Generous Good News

 

The Good News is another newspaper that shares stories to enrich lives this time mainly in the UK. Back in the 50’s/60’s 10 groups of  10 people in each team distributed the paper throughout the Isle of  Wight in 10 days, I recall. It was a special outreach and a time of blessing.

A note from their website: http://www.goodnews-paper.org.uk/

Good News is a contemporary outreach newspaper used by churches and missions to take the good news about Jesus Christ into communities across the UK. Every month, Good News reaches thousands of readers with true stories of how God is changing the lives of those who put their trust in his Son, Jesus. Using jargon-free language, it also explains how everyone can find a personal relationship with Jesus.

Thank you for visiting our site. We hope you find the information you are looking for via the links on the toolbar above. You can also look at the current issue of the newspaper by clicking on the pages showed opposite. If you have any further questions you can get in touch using the contact link, or see the contact details on the To Order page.

Good News is a registered charity, no. 1075894, and a member of the Evangelical Alliance

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Generous Poetry

Unplanned meetings always fascinating me. They are so often very special and lead to unexpected blessings. One of these was in a hotel where I met up with a couple and their friend. Each year this trio has met at this half-way venue between their home towns. Earlier they were neighbours and have kept in touch down the years.

It was amazing that the couple, retired folk, knew about the ship project in which I have been involved over the past few years. So we had an instant connection. The wife had authored a book of poems and desired to donate a couple of hundred of them to share with the nations.

Plans evolved and the poetry books were dispatched to a medical project for use in the hospitals for the patients to read. The final batch are designated to be sent overseas with another project that supplies tools for training centres overseas.

Brenda’s generosity in sharing her thoughts in poems will be a rich blessing to many. The book grew out of an exercise in writing poetry as part of her therapy programme a year or two back.

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[Photo:Wikpedia: Poetry]

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Be Generous with Cherished Ideas.

 

From Your Cherished Idea . . .

“Don’t ignore me!”  “I’m trying to get out, but you keep putting me aside saying, “Not now,”  “Maybe someday,” and “I can’t focus on you today.” I know I’m important to you. You get excited when you think about me, but you don’t do anything with me anymore.”  “Now is the time! Your world is waiting for me. I can change life for so many people if you sit down and work me into something people can touch and feel, watch or listen to.”

Do you ever feel like your ideas are talking to you like that? There are these things deep within you that you know God has called you to share. But you don’t know how, where, when or who. In these moments your self-consciousness takes over and you convince yourself that the idea has no merit. You stuff it down again and move on with your daily activities.

If you are struggling to share your big idea, you aren’t alone. There are people all around you who can help. In fact, that’s why we started Generous Mind. We come alongside you as you bring your idea into reality; providing you with resources, identifying where you need input, and suggesting possible direction.

Our vision is to empower thought leaders and organizations with the understanding, the capacity and the tools to share their ideas with the world. Connect with us today to find out how we can collaborate with you to make your cherished idea come to life. As you consider what ideas are waiting to come out, your first step is to recognize that you have things worth sharing. Have you realized this yet or are you still denying the power of the ideas inside you?

Posted by Jon and Mindy Hirst

http://generousmind.blogspot.com/

[Photo from Wikpedia: Ideas]

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Motivational Generosity

 

While strolling through the local town centre, I noted a whole range of folk that were highly motivated to show generosity to others. Volunteers, young and older, were positioned through the area encouraging folk to donate to the Royal Air Force associates, others were in the Parish Church available to give a tour, chat to folk who came into the building and even invite them to a up of coffee or tea.

In another part of the town, buskers were playing the most cheerful and professional music in aid of a charity and the ST John’s Ambulance folk had a tent offering training in life-saving.

Inside a hall the local Hospice had a varied display of the amazing group of options they had for folk to assist in enabling their local home and others to keep operating. They have an excellent track-record and the homes the operate are extremely well designed and organised. The genuine enthusiasm and generosity of those already volunteering was such that would impact others to join with them and thus strengthen the whole operation of the charities.

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Generosity Encouraged

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” A letter from Paul to his friends in Corinth in 1st Century.

This quote is very inspiring and comes from the most important collection of writings ever stored on parchment and paper. It encourages us to be generous and genuine in all our dealings with others.

The spirit of this quote is in operation daily throughout the world in so many thousands of ways. May we continue to seek to capture this theme and make it a part of our lives.

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Generous Office Space

 

 

 

Finding offices for the Doulos Preparation Teams is always a creative challenge. They come in all shapes and sizes. In South Africa in 1993, the way we found the office was particularly amazing. We attended the second morning service at the Presbyterian Church and shared our prayer requests, especially for an office. Afterwards we met a Lawyer who invited us to visit him the next morning as he thought he may have the office we need. He also pointed out that he and his family always came to the earlier service but as the children had been so late in getting ready that day, they all came to the second service where we shared. Interesting!

Later that same day, we shared in another church, this time from the Anglican background. Sitting in the congregation was the personal secretary to the Lawyer we had met in morning. As we shared about the need of an office, unknown to us she prayed that her boss would be willing to let us have one of his spare offices. She was truly amazed in the morning when the first thing her boss said was “Could you get the spare offices ready so that the Doulos Team can take a look at them”. She did not realise that he had attended the service where we spoke. They turned out fine, more than adequate, a whole suite of rooms and of course free  of charge.

[Photo from Wikpedia: History of the Office]

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Generous Beauty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A pastor was speaking to his congregation on the topic of beauty and was explaining that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. By way of illustration he said that if everyone saw beauty in the same way he did then all of the men in the congregation would want to be married to his wife. Whereupon someone whispered to his friend,“If everyone saw her the way I do then no one would want be married to her!”

Yet there are some things in life which seem beautiful to all who are privileged enough to behold them. People, animals and nature can all be beautiful. Some would say that every aspect of creation possesses beauty to some degree . . . in the sea, on the land and in the sky.The ideal outward beauty of a person changes because of the specific focuses of a culture. To some beauty is in the eyes, for others the neck is remarkable, to some the length of legs, to some the thinness, while to others the roundness. A person’s
outward beauty is always relative to the values of one’s culture. But a person’s inward beauty; their love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control seems to be valued universally.

King Solomon, in his book of Ecclesiastes, wrote the following about “beauty”: “I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time . . . but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work f rom
beginning to end”.

“Everything beautiful?” We all know that there are times when everything is not beautiful so what does this mean? It says that everything is beautiful when the timing is fitting or appropriate. There is a time to laugh and weep, to tear down and build
up, to keep and throw away, to go to war and make peace, to be silent and speak, to embrace and refrain . . . and the list goes on. In it’s right time everything is beautiful, says the King! But not every time in life is beautiful!

In order to live life to the fullest we need to learn how to find beauty in it’s time. To ignore beauty is to ignore beauty’s creator, but to invite beauty to become part of our daily life is the simple act of just noticing. If you enter an art museum, you will see beauty and admire the artist. If you find a home beautiful, you praise it’s designer. If reading a book or watching a movie you encounter a beautiful storyline, you gain respect for the writer. But what of a prairie sunset, a mountain range, a
flowing river, a waterfall, or a simple flower? To whom do you acknowledge everyday beauty? There is beauty amid the chaos of life, just look and you will find it!

Everything Beautiful?
Pastor Fred Sherwood
Mannville Community Church

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Generous Friends [7]

One of the privileges of the ship project is to welcome parents of serving crew and staff members onboard for a week or so to see at first-hand how the ship project operates.  The travel arrangements are usually made by the parents themselves. The ship’s driver often picks them up from the airport or whatever. Occasionally, there is some miscommunication of travel details or some changes occur in their onward plans. This means that the Lineup personnel in the port of call, who have lived there for some three months, in this case, about 6 months, are called into assist.

On one occasion, the parents needed some tickets sent to them on the ship in Taiwan, which for some reason were being issued in Manila, through our preferred ticketing agency. These tickets were needed as soon as possible in Taiwan. The lineup coordinators enquired with a worldwide air courier to see how quickly these valuable documents could be delivered to their destination. The manager was extremely fair indicating that he could not guarantee a 24-hour service which would have been necessary to assist our friends. This caused the Lineup folk to use their creativity to discover alternatives. The last option would be a return airfare to personally carry them over. Although this would not have been exorbitant, nevertheless they sought to discover other options.

The idea came to them perhaps they could find a person travelling on a flight to Taiwan willing personally to carry the tickets for us. The coordinators already had special long-term passes enabling them to enter the airport with ease.  Using their passes and ingenuity, they went to the airport, stood near to the check-in desk for Taiwan flights and prayerfully sought to identify the person whom they felt would be a possible person to uplift them safely for us. The tickets needed to be deposited with the specific agency at the airport in Taiwan from which the parents could collect them for their return flight to the UK.

They both felt that a particular lady in the queue could be a possible person. So they approached her in a friendly manner and enquired if she might be able to help. She asked for more details and then said, “Yes, I believe I can. I know Chinese well, know the agency desk and more remarkably, last night at the hotel where I was staying I was talking over coffee with a person who had just been onboard your vessel in Taiwan. She shared all about Doulos with me. So I know what you are doing and know about your ship.” This was most encouraging to think that out of all the people in the queue this was the person we approached. It sounded as though she was a businessman’s or diplomat’s wife.

Thus the tickets were safely uplifted and the parents made an “on-time” departure. It is so encouraging to be able to be part of such incidents, confirming to us that Higher Hands are at work in the project and we need to be sensitive in seeking to fit in with His Plans and Arrangements. It reminds me of the verse in the Psalms that mentions about the eyes of the servants are always watching the Hands of the Master.

[Photo from Wikpedia: Aircraft]

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Generous Friends [6]

When operating an ocean going vessel, there are occasions when spare parts of needed to replace damaged or broken ones. The stories behind these incidents are quite remarkable.

On one occasion such a part was needed urgently and enquiries made locally and in nearby countries to no avail. It would take some days for such a part to be located and then delivered to the vessel. In the port where the ship was berthed, another vessel called in to deliver goods. Some of our crew went over to meet the crew and one of them knew their language.

It was discovered during the visit onboard that the visiting vessel had several new spare parts, exactly the ones we needed. Thus the part was delivered right to our vessel, even before it had been ordered. The crew were generous and gave us two of them, which was an amazing provision.

Friends we had not even met until then….

Professional services are often needed too. During the renovation of the galley, everything was arranged except a professional tiler. One day a gentleman came onboard and expressed to the welcome desk staff that he would be so pleased to help us but his skills were not nautical ones. They asked him his area of expertise and he revealed that he was a “professional tiler”. Of course, he was warmly welcomed onboard and the tiles were laid with expertise and finesse. Generous sharing of such skills can make such a difference and especially when they are needed so urgently.

As we sailed into a South African port, we discovered that the port town was celebrating their 150th Anniversary. We were invited to participate in the special parade and decorated one of our mini-buses as a mini-version of our vessel which was also historic around 90+ years old.  The new photographer onboard was eager to capture some good shots of the celebrations which included a fly past of historic aircraft and a parade of vintage vehicles.

As we were waiting with our disguised mini-bus to participate in the parade through the town, We talked with some of the vintage car owners. They were very friendly and I recorded some of them for a Talking-Newspaper to which I contributed at that time in the UK. the parade went well and was much appreciated by all, especially the photographer and myself as we were privileged to ride in one of the vintage vehicles.

A day or two later, a cheerful grandmother arrived onboard asking if her grandson might have a special tour of the historic ship and even see the bridge. for his birthday.  Soon one of the officers’ wives was guiding her grandson along with her own youngsters through the ship.  During the visit it was discovered that the grandmother had just sold a haberdashery business and the officer’s wife had just been delegated to find some new curtains and cushion covers in that port of call. he “match”  was perfect and soon they were all off to town – to the grandmother’s old shop. Such generous help, guidance and kindness are so much appreciated when the ship berths for just a couple of weeks or so in ports of call.

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[Photo courtesy GBA Ships: www.gbaships,org

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Generous Friends [5]

As the visit of the Educational Bookship to a port of call is a city-wide event, there is a fair amount of publicity to arrange prior to the vessel’s arrival. Thus sponsors are discovered that are willing to assist with the expenses of such promotional materials. A comprehensive advertising package has been developed over the years and thus the Project Managers have detailed material to present to potential sponsors. In one port, a business CEO was quite interested but had an extra idea outside the package and wondered if we were interested.

He asked if one of his company’s latest 4-wheel drives might be on display on the ship’s car deck thus enabling all the visitors to have a close look at it. In reciprocation, his company would be happy to take care of the publicity expenses. This was agreed and some 90,000 visitors to the Book Exhibition on the vessel passed by his latest demonstration model, that had been hoisted onboard by the ship’s crane. Such generous partnership is very encouraging and enables the project to continue operating.

One publicity sponsor had a creative idea for our programme tickets, He operated his own opticians business and asked if he could place a small sentence on the back of the tickets as an advert for his business. Of course, that was fine. He chose the creative wording, in small font: “If you are having difficulty in reading this, maybe we can assist you” and then his company details. Another generous friend.

While a graphic artist was designing the poster for a ship visit, a client of his came into his office. He admired the poster design and enquired if the company being advertised by the poster  might be looking for a sponsor. Of course, the artist affirmed that they were and his client, who was a restaurant owner, offered to sponsor the posters.  He also invited 10 of the ship’s officers to a meal at his restauranton  several occasions while we were in port. Generous friends appear from unexpected places.

Fuel is a very essential requirement for such a project and at times we load a few hundred tons. In one port of call, it was noted that the fuel price was falling. This was very interesting and of course was studied carefully. There being an optimum time we need to load the fuel – there was a cut-out day during the 14 day stay. This would hopefully enable us to make good use of the tremendous savings while not delaying the vessel’s departure. The chosen day arrived and amazingly the price of the fuel started rising soon after we agreed on our price.

The story of generous friends and provision continues…..

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[Photo from Wikpedia: Glasses]

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