The Generous Catch

 

Providing food for the 300 plus folk on board one of the international service agencies vessels is always a challenge. On one occasion they were in a port where a fishing business had some ten vessels in their fleet. One of the fleet they designate as the Lord’s Ship, which would provide funding for charities etc.

During the visit of the international ship, the special fishing vessel returned to harbour with it’s previosu catch. The owners suggested that we might prefer to have fresh fish in lieu of funding. Thus they asked us to open up our freezer and generously supplied several weeks if not months supply of fish.

Such generosity is experienced around the globe and is evidence of generous hearts many of whom have been touched by the Master Mariner.

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Reviewing Generously

 

 

 

One idea leads to another as you probably know.

Today, I was checking on the information about a book a friend has written that is called: “How Huge the Night by Lydia Munn and Heather Munn. I went to the Amazon site for the UK and did not find any, thus wrote to my friend suggesting some folk she knows might send in some reviews.

In response, I received a link to the book on Amazon in the States where there were around 40 reviews for the book. Excellent ones too. As I was reading some of them, I thought of an idea and will share it with you here.

Is there an opportunity for people to write reviews about books they have read for the Amazon sites to encourage folk to read the books too but also to be a channel of blessing through their writing to the readers of the reviews.

If folk just drafted one review a week then it would be 52 reviews a year and if 10 people take up the idea then 520 good reviews with quality principles embedded in them would be drafted. If 100 folk,then 5200 reviews etc. This could become a great channel of generosity.

Value your feedback…..

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A Generous Approach

RURCON is not a Funding Agency but rather an Enabling OrganisatIon which believes in local self-reliance and sustainable lifestyles based on good Christian Stewardship or ‘Caring Management”, focusing on the poor. The realities of African pre-Christian culture are of a fully-integrated religion + everyday life such that the ancestors operate as the living dead and are consulted in all matters pertaining to practical life decisions. The gospel as often presented, addresses personal salvation – a personal “ticket to heaven” or the “upward” dimension – but not enough towards the matter of the “horizontal” dimension of relationships with others, and very little towards the “downward” dimension of the earth and its stewardship.
*RURCON is working to address these issues.
*RURCON seeks to be both responsive to Church requests for help and pro-active in furthering the cause through education and extension of appropriate ideas, values and practices.*
*RURCON believes God made us to be givers and receivers in relationship with Him, with each other and with our particular place and resources.
*RURCON focuses on people and possessions engaged in prayerful progress using appropriate ideas and technology – for water development, farming, health, shelter, transport, etc.
Success in RURCON’s work of promoting Christian Stewardship can be assessed by several criteria including:
?Greater trust in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
? Greater fellowship together – stronger communities.
? Greater release of resources to God’s work locally and to give away.
Proverbs 29:18 warns “where there is no vision, the people perish”, so where there is vision, the work of God can flourish. To have a project, programme or plan, however well prepared, is no guarantee of success without humble dependence on the Spirit of God in its conception and execution. RURCON does not run projects but rather, we advice on Christian Stewardship for development.
Christian Stewardship is central to the progress of the Church since Christians are stewards of:
•The gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ and His Cross.
•Ourselves – souls, minds and bodies
•Others around us – their souls, minds and bodies.
•Whatever material possessions God entrusts to us.
The environment – to ensure sustainable livelihoods in future.
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Generosity over Breakfast

Every three years, a non-profit organisation in German has been privileged to host some 400 cyclists for breakfast. Quite a challenge but a joy. The personnel from two offices join together for this regional event. They turn several of the rooms into breakfast venues  and the main courtyard of the historic Mill, where they are based, into a mega-buffet area.

It is amazing to see the quality of the creative buffet display – 4/5 star for sure. Everyone becomes involved and from about 0630hrs to 0830hrs the cyclists arrive complete with their mechanics and paramedics etc. The two CEO’s welcome the guests and the staff ensure that they are served with excellence while answering all the questions from these mobile guests.

After enjoying their special breakfast, which many rate as the best on their tour through the region, they are presented with a colourful book of life stories from world-renowned sportspeople in German with a complimentary “Keep fit tips” pullout. They probably pass this on to others as they’re usually pretty fit anyway. The local municipality provides the funding and gives a donation to the project while the Mayor often gives a good promotional word for the ngo on the local radio as the coordinators of the Tour are interviewed.

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The Generous Meal

 

 

In a small village in the UK, most months, a group of keen folk gather to enjoy fellowship over a meal and then listen to a guest speaker sharing about their latest project.

This is such a simple format but one which is such a blessing to projects in diverse parts of the world from Africa to the Philippines and throughout Europe. Projects providing fresh water for rural villages in Africa, caring for communities in the Philippines, collecting and sending refurbished tools to eager communities internationally, motorcycle volunteers in the UK assisting the Hospitals, village cottage businesses making quality scarves and maritime projects.

The generous cooks buy all the fresh ingredients from local stores and sometimes vegetables from their gardens to prepare a delicious meal. Various members assist with the serving and washing up etc. As each person pays for their meal, the total is shared with the visiting speaker. This is usually around the £80-£100. Such generosity is a great encouragement to the coordinators of the various projects.

Maybe you could organise such a generous meal in your area. If there was just one such event in each of the 70 UK cities then around £70,000 would be generated for worthy projects in a year.

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Strategic Generosity

 

 

 

1 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. 2 This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the LORD’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. 3 You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your fellow Israelite owes you. 4 However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, 5 if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. 6 For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.
7 If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. 8 Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need. 9 Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.

Freeing Servants
12 If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free. 13 And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed. 14 Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the LORD your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.
16 But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, 17 then take an awl and push it through his earlobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your female servant.

18 Do not consider it a hardship to set your servant free, because their service to you these six years has been worth twice as much as that of a hired hand. And the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do.  Courtesy: http://www.biblegateway.com/

These powerful words from the Ancient Scriptures give us an insight into the strategy for generosity from the Creator’s heart. They are well worth thinking through and appreciating in their depth of meaning. GN

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Communicating Generously

 

Worldwide there are over more than 300 million people, speaking over 2,000 languages, who do not have access to the story of God’s love for his people – the story of the Bible – in the language that they understand the best, their ‘heart’ language.

Wycliffe Bible Translators believe that the Bible is the best way for people to come to know and understand who God is. Our vision is that by working with churches, organisations and individuals from around the world, all people will have access to God’s word in a language that they truly understand.

Bible translation can make a big difference to a community. Not, not just through strengthening the church and enabling spiritual transformation, but also by encouraging literacy and improving the physical well being of people. This month’s story is a great illustration of how a Bible translation project had a big impact on the health and education of a people group, as well as drawing them closer to God.

http://www.wycliffe.org.uk/

“One the great privileges I’ve had is observing at first hand translators at work in Papua New Guinea where there are some 800 languages many of which still need to be written down and in which the Scriptures need to be translated. Being enabled to witness the whole process, in various stages in different rural groups, it has been inspiring to see the way that the translators and their families give themselves without reserve and over many years to see the finished product.

Being able also to see some of the obstacles and challenges faced during the process of translation has been a revelation. The generous heart and Calvary inspired determination which translator have displayed is amazing.

They are certainly Communicating Generously and bring much joy into lives and communities.” GN

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Welcoming Generosity

 

 

 

Growing up in a welcoming family that regularly had new members through fostering or temporary hosting of youngsters, the whole aspect of caring as families has been much in my heart. I guess we have some 25-30 members of our extended family as a result of fostering over the years.

Such generous caring I’ve seen in several countries over the past few decades . One family was special. The wife was not well and had given birth their only son at the only time she could. Seven years on she passed away thus leaving a sad husband and son. However, the husband met a lovely young lady who had just lost her husband. They were then a  complete family again which grew to four. They also generously adopted 4 other young folk whose parents were tragically killed in a car accident. Such families are such a joy to meet.

You may recall the note about the retired gentleman who has found a new venture to bring meaning to life by assisting and encouraging orphanage and street kids projects in the Philippines. He and his late wife had spent some 30 years of fostering youngseters and preparing them for life. Such generous welcoming is a wonderful investment in lives.

Today, I have just heard from friends in Asia, where they are tecahing, about their adpoted son and others in a nearby orphanage for whom they care. Such generosity is inspiring and thus I thought you too would be encouraged.  Such generous welcoming is special and you may like to explore it too.

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Total Generosity

 

 

 

 

 

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”

John Wesley

The above quote is a well known one by a very special speaker and writer. One could almost insert the word “generous” into the quote, as the meaning is so similar. John Wesley was certainly very generous and an excellent example for us. He gave himself generously to all those who he met. Riding more miles on horseback than any other person in our UK history, writing many hymns, giving many sermons and publishing many books.

In another quote he said although always “in haste” he was never “in a hurry”.  A wonderful example to follow.

May we seek to have such a 24/7 generous attitude.

[photo courtesy of Wikpedia: John Wesley ]

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Generous Commission

 

It reads like the biblical story of Paul and Silas but it’s not – it’s the story of Mumure, a gentle pastor living in a small village of Papua New Guinea. Mumure Ttopoqogo began working with linguist Ernie Richert because he wanted to learn English.

Soon he added Hebrew and Greek to his language repertoire as together the two men translated the New Testament into the Guhu Samane language. News of their work spread throughout the area.

By the time they finished the translation, the Guhu Samane people were so anxious for God’s word that the initial printing of 1200 New Testaments sold out almost immediately and a second printing of 1600 copies sold out in just two weeks. Even
those who didn’t read purchased a copy of the Bible to save for their children or grandchildren.

The people believed in the power of that word. And the Word didn’t disappoint them. Revival broke out. The people turned from witchcraft and previous forms of worship, burning their idols and other spiritual relics. They sang the Psalms back to God in their own language, and even learned to play the guitar to enhance their worship. They
used Scripture songs as tools for spreading God’s word among those who couldn’t read. In fact every verse of the Guhu Samane New Testament and all the Psalms were set to music. They did all this to the glory of God and the consternation of several church leaders, who condemned such practices.

The Guhu Samane people began to embrace even deeper forms of personal worship, and the church leaders became more and more displeased with this new group of believers. When this new, united body of believers began to grow exponentially, the
displeased leaders conspired with the police to arrest Mumure and six of his friends, hoping to put an end to what they considered a cult.

But prison walls cannot restrain the power of God’s word. While in prison, Mumure read aloud from an English Bible, translating the words into Guhu Samane as he read. Fellow prisoners listened to God’s word in their own language and responded from their heart. Almost immediately, twenty men in that jail gave their lives to Christ and joined Mumure and his friends in singing, praying and praising God.

After three days, a government official came and ordered Mumure and his friends to leave, saying, “You must not go back to your home. Instead, you must go around and preach in all the remote places where we cannot go.” Like the Apostle Paul, Mumure left that prison commissioned by God to preach the Good News to people everywhere; but unlike Paul, Mumure had the blessing of the local government official to do
that work.

Soon thousands of people turned to the Christ of the Guhu Samane Bible. Today, 35 years later, this body of believers has sent more than 50 pastors to preach the Good News throughout Papua New Guinea.

The revival never died out: it continues to reach a new generation. The vernacular Psalms and songs are still being sung in churches today. Youth and literacy programs promote the on-going study of the Guhu Samane Scriptures. Mumure and his son Steven have shifted from training pastors to training translators, encouraging Papua New Guineans to assist in translating the Scriptures into
other languages of that nation. Their desire is to see more and more people changed by the power of God’s word in their own language. (By Chad Owens and Dawn Kruger)

http://www.wycliffe.org.uk/

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