Are you a Generous Mind?

Are you a Generous Mind? If you are intrigued by the idea, this is a place to explore what it means to you. Our blog focuses on helping you to learn what it means to be generous with what you know. You will find helpful tips and encouraging examples that will inspire you to release your ideas to the world! Find out more at www.generousmind.com.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

You are Known by What You Share

Today on Twitter Cathy Day shared "You are what you read." I have heard multiple versions of this quote over the years. Another popular version is "You are what you measure." The main idea behind these quotes is that our actions reveal something very significant about who we are as individuals.

As I thought about Cathy's tweet, I decided to write back with this addition, "You are known by what you share." While what you read ends up making you who you are, what you share is what defines how people know you. It will paint you as a radical, a friend, an intellectual, a humorist, a profane person or a person of great principle.

As I considered this idea, I thought about the fact that we can shape how we are known by what we choose to share. Are we sharing on particular issues? Maybe we have a cause that drives our Generous Mind. Or perhaps we are sharing about family and friends and that is what defines our generosity.

Whatever we share, we need to be aware of the huge impact it will have on our reputation. Now, that should not be the reason you share things, but it is one of the results of being a Generous Mind. The more you share, the more people have insight into what you are reading, thinking and doing -- thus the more insight they have into who you are!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Generous Imagination

There is a lot of buzz around the new Noah movie coming out soon. Many are excited to see it and others are very apprehensive about how it presents the Biblical story. I have not read very many perspectives yet and I have not seen more than a quick trailer. But I want to focus on one key idea that we have to consider as we respond to Generous Minds.

When someone is being generous with their ideas, they are usually taking something from the world and presenting their own ideas or thoughts about it. They are riffing off of something and adding perspective that only they could bring. How we respond to their generous gift will significantly impact their willingness and ability to share in the future. With that in mind, let's consider Noah.

The story of Noah has many details and very few all at the same time. We see great detail about the things God wanted us to know such as Noah's character, the size of the task, the reason for the flood and the care for God's Creation. But for some reason, God chose not to tell us much about the rest of the people Noah was living amoung. Beyond our knowledge that they were very evil and that they mocked Noah, we have little info.

So as the creators of the new movie sat down to develop a script and bring it to life, they had a big challenge. The medium of video is all about dialogue and interaction between characters - heros and villians. In the story of Noah, those elements are fairly thin. So the writers began to imagine what it might look like and have brought to the viewer one interpretation.

If they truly had good motives and were trying to share an honest perspective of what Noah might have lived through, then their script should be considered a generous gift and part of an ongoing dialogue about this important story.

I'm not saying that this perspective on the story should be taken as Biblical. Instead that it should be taken, with generous hearts, as the efforts by a certain group of creatives to share what they think might have happened.

Generous Minds need the freedom to share what God gives them to share and to know that they will not be judged for the sharing. Now, we can have great discussions about their perspective and approach. We may find it helpful and others may find it far from the mark. But the ability to allow someone to share what they think might have happened and speak into the global conversation is crucial.

Will you allow the creators of this film that opportunity?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Generosity Requires Margin

Think back to a time when you effectively shared an idea or experience with another person. Consider your state of mind . . . what your day was like . . . what led to the conversation. It is very likely that you are remembering a moment when you had time to think, interact and be intentional. Most of the moments when we model the ideas behind being a Generous Mind best are moments with margin.

This is common sense but it escapes us so often. How could we have the space and forethought to share our ideas when we are rushing to appointments, cramming for tests or thinking about 20 other things besides the people we are standing in front of? The answer is, "It isn't possible." Being a Generous Mind requires margin in our lives.

This point was brought up by an executive of an organization that we have been talking with about our Generous Mind Mentoring Program. As he thought about the opportunity and his current life situation, he responded that he did not feel like he had the margin necessary to do it justice.

We are so glad he was in tune with his life and current situation to recognize his lack of margin for the mentoring process. And at the same time, his comment brings up a very important issue.

If we were to poll each of you reading this post today, most would say the same thing. So the questions is, "Is it ok for us to be living lives with no margin for generosity?" The answer, of course, is no. But the solution is not so easy. The reason for our answer is very simple - our lives our too busy.

But the busyness is not easy to get rid of. Our economic models, social circles and personal/professional growth trajectories have created lives that require breakneck speeds. Slow down and the wheels come off. That means that our lifestyles are only sustainable without the margin we truly need to be generous.

There are no easy ways to slow down your life because inserting the margin will require tough life choices. But if someone were to try it, one thing is for sure . . . they would have time to tell someone about it over coffee and may just inspire another person to make the switch.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ragamuffin Film Review, Stargazer’s Theater, Colorado Springs, January 13, 2014

I walked away from The Ragamuffin film which depicts the life of Rich Mullins sad and thankful. Sad because I ask again, “Why God? Why then? I needed him.” And thankful to the man who made such sacrifice to sing of God’s furious love to a generation of suburban brats like me who were raised on the need to perform.

If the goal of the movie were, like a medley, to make you long for the real thing, then the film was a success. But with a medley you have the ability to turn that longing into i-tunes downloads. My desire to see Rich Mullins again—to hear him laugh and sing—is not so easily assuaged.
Watching the film is like seeing someone that reminds you of a friend. Maybe a cousin or a brother—you search for signs of your friend. You see an expression, a gesture, or hear a voice inflection, but he is not there. I realize that my expectations for this tribute film were not only unrealistic, but impossible. I was looking for a resurrection. I miss the man who wrote the soundtrack to my adolescence, and though I logically knew from the outset I would be disappointed, I was hoping to see him again.
Well-acted for the most part and wonderfully researched, Ragamuffin gives insight into Rich’s life. The depiction of Brennan Manning and his influence on Rich connected many dots for me. The actor who played Rich did a marvelous job on many levels, but I thought the roughness of Rich’s character was overemphasized. I remember Rich as grown out, but combed; tattered, but clean. He was rough around the edges, but not jagged. I don’t remember his hair detracting from his eye contact. When I met Rich backstage once, he looked at me as if I were the only one in the room—even though he never met me before.

But the thing I most miss is Rich’s laugh—and his ability to feel love and beauty and joy as deeply as he felt pain. The film team was able to capture Rich’s ability to feel deeply, but only on the cloudy side—like Johnny Cash. I miss the fun I saw Rich have on stage and the teamwork he fostered among the band members. I understand that humor is difficult to harness, and done badly is terribly embarrassing, but Rich was funny, and I miss that.
My thanks to the team for their hard work and diligence on this project. Please don’t take my disappointment as a reflection on your job well done, but simply a sign that I miss the real man, as I am sure you do too. Your film helped me remember him, but I should not expect to see this generous mind until I pass through the portal to the immortal. I will be excited to thank him for going before me in life and sharing the lessons God taught him through joy and pain.
To find showings near you visit http://ragamuffinthemovie.com/tour/ or connect via facebook or twitter. Oh, and make sure to watch the trailer.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Little Blue Country

This entry is a part of a series from July 29-August 13. Join me in taking your family on a World Tour Vacation at Home using the Operation World prayer guide.

Ethiopia
Today's pick came from Girl 7. She closed her eyes and panned her index finger across the map which came to rest on Kenya. Then for no apparent reason (but that perhaps the country adjacent was blue) she changed her pick to Ethiopia.
What a rich history this small, land-locked country has! One of the first Christian nations as well as one of the oldest known nations; it is suspected that coffee originated here. Caffeinated beverages are highly valued around here, so that was an exciting tidbit.

We talked about the famines in the 80s and how people helped bring aid to the country, but that now we needed to pray that their own agriculture grows in spite of the fact that the soil is tired after 3000 years of cultivation. A few of us prayed, and then we watched the YouTube video of the "We are the World" song that many artists including Michael Jackson and Kenny Rogers sang to raise money for the suffering people at that time.
Good Intentions
In the beginning of this journey, I expected long, in depth conversations. Now I am finding that short and sweet is best. We seem to learn more, it is fun and it takes the pressure off. Just a thought.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Reimagining Italy

This entry is a part of a series from July 29-August 13. Join me in taking your family on a World Tour Vacation at Home using the Operation World prayer guide.
Note: Guest blogging is husband Jon

Well, the weekend was crazy so we suspended our World Tour Vacation using Operation World. I guess every vacation needs some down days.

Anyway, we were back on the road today and visiting the amazing country of Italy. Our son loves Italy because of the food. So we let him search for a few great photos of Italian food on Google images and he showed his favorites.

We also talked about why so much of Italy is considered Christian but there still significant need to share the love of Christ there. That is a complex concept . . . not sure how much got through. We explained about the Pope and the Catholic Church. Our daughter had recently studied some of the differences between the Protestant and Catholic Church in Sunday School and shared some of what she remembered.

We also talked about the high literacy rate and the relatively few immigrants that live there. We got to look below Italy and see how close Libya is to them. That brought up some good discussion on immigrants and the lengths people will go to get to a country of greater opportunity.

We finished up wanting some of the amazing pizzas we saw in the pictures! It's fun when you can tie other countries to the passions of your kids . . . like we did with our son. He has always been passionate about baking and so Italy was a natural to get his attention.

How are you connecting your kid's passions to help them pray for the nations?

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Japanese Intermission

This entry is a part of a series from July 29-August 13. Join me in taking your family on a World Tour Vacation at Home using the Operation World prayer guide.

Intermission
We've been watching different Disney movies as a family to get ready for our trip in October. We've been putting off the Robin Hood request because it’s just so long for an after dinner movie. Tonight we broke it in two parts and visited Japan during intermission with our chocolate surprise (which was a shared Hershey milk chocolate bar).

Japan
I gave the kids paper and pencils and had our oldest tell us about the Japanese art style manga. Then I let them draw as we talked. I gave them each a “test” question to guess at.
  1. Is Japan landlocked, an island or a peninsula?
  2. True or false: There are many immigrants in Japan.
  3. True or false: The Japanese can believe in whatever religion they choose.


We also talked about prayer requests. This is what I appreciate most about Operation World, the prayer requests. Tonight we prayed:
  • That the people of Japan would understand the Bible since it is not easy to understand within their culture. This is where our oldest told us about Manga Messiah she found at the library that might be a help to Japanese trying to understand the Scripture.
  • That the people of Japan would see that Jesus is not only God to other countries, but for them as well.
  • That God would take care of the rising numbers of older people and that they would come to know Jesus in their old age.


Good intentions
It was all I could do today to follow through on this trip. Much of motherhood is pushing through. Whether it is cleaning a bed in the dark of night or slathering sunscreen on a moving target, sometimes it is just about getting the job done and being consistent. Maybe I don’t have extra creativity to give, but I can give all I have for the day and trust that God will make up the difference—even if it means letting something go for the day.

Until tomorrow! Blessings…

Answers: 1) A group of islands. Four large and 3000 small. 2) False. Only 1.5 percent of those living in Japan are not indigenous. 3) True. Religious freedom is written into their constitution.