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.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Christmas Message was a Generous One

All month we have been celebrating Christmas with our family through evening readings, singing, treats and the advent candles and calendar. As we have done that we have interacted with most of the players in the Christmas story as they have heard the Good News of Immanuel - God with us.

As we reflect on all of those encounters with the message of hope that Jesus was either on His way or already arrived, the number and variety of times God chose to share this news is striking.

God did not hide His Son away. He was not stingy with those He shared the news. He shared freely . . . grandly . . . generously!

Let's just think for a minute about some of the instances of God's generosity:
  • He made Himself known to the wise men far away with enough notice to travel all the way to Bethlehem
  • His angel appeared to Mary and Joseph to explain this amazing journey they were about to participate in.
  • A multitude of angels came to the shepherds to announce the birth.
  • God prepared the heart of Simeon who waited in the courts of the Temple for the Messiah to make Himself known.
These are just a few examples and we could go on and on for pages if we included all of the amazing prophecies in the Old Testament that foretold the coming Messiah.

What stands out is how generous God was with the Good News. He truly wanted the world to know and was intentional about His communication to us. Let us take time this Christmas to thank Him for this wondrous gift!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Found: One Generous Mind at the Dentist’s Office

Going to the dentist’s office doesn’t seem like it would be a time to witness generosity. Fear, dread and anxiety, yes, but not generosity. But every time we go to our dentist, they are truly looking out for our best. Whether it’s trying to find whether we qualify for a discount or sending us home with a plate of special food they had from celebrating a birthday, they are giving by nature.

The generosity does not stop there. The most generous mind in the office is the dental hygienist. Most of the time, the hygienist working in your mouth is not concerned about your mind. They work in your mouth, making sure it is as clean as they can reasonably get it. But this lady is truly interested in letting you know all about your teeth. She gives you helpful tips about how to work with your kids on good tooth-habits, and explains why things are the way they are in regards to your teeth.

No matter what profession you are in, you can be a generous mind. Most of the time we think about the teacher or author, but we can all care about what another person knows and understands. We can enrich each other’s lives by sharing what we know. But most importantly, being a generous mind can be a form of loving one another.

When was the last time you shared what you knew with someone else? What was your motivation? Do you think God was using you to love the other person?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Value: Humility

Humility is a dangerous virtue to value—at least it’s dangerous to talk about it. As soon as you do, you realize how much you have to grow in that area and it’s out there for all to see! But it’s still important to being a generous mind and hence I write this post in spite of my reservations.

If you want to hear from God, it’s important to be humble. Psalm 25:9 says, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” (NIV) How I need to know what is right and understand his way! Without understanding, life can seem like a muddled mess.

But it’s more than just for my personal benefit. When I am humble and learn from God, I can share those lessons with others. Words are such a powerful force. I remember times in my life when I did not have the resources to reach out to God on my own, but someone came along and spoke truth into my life. The words were healing to me—exactly what I needed to hear.

Matthew 11:25-26 (NIV) says, “At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.’”

Children want to share. “Look, Daddy,” they say and, “Mom, watch me!” They spend endless minutes recounting the last show they watched or the intricate plot of the book they read. They want you to know. They have both the humility to learn from God and the internal drive to share it with others.

Our Savior also had the humility to learn from the Father and share it with us. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

How do you think humility helps in the learning and sharing process?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Generous Minds are Reading Minds

How many books do you have on your "to read" pile right now? Some of you might have 15 and others may have none at all. Either way, you might be doing very little actual reading these days. What with family, friends, multiple jobs, volunteering and entertainment, who spends dedicated reading time?

Now we know that many of you do, but you get the idea. It's hard to focus on reading (especially when it isn't the latest fiction book everyone is talking about). Our attention spans are getting shorter and the books seem to be getting longer!

But not reading is not really an option . . . is it? What we have seen over and over again is that the ideas that you put into your brain are the fodder and raw material that allow you to develop new and creative ideas to share with the world.

That is why being a Generous Mind requires you to be a reader. You have to have new and different inputs into your life in order to create new and creative ideas to share with others. But the trick isn't to start reading just any book. Here are some tips to be intentional with your reading:

1. As C.S. Lewis famously said, "It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between."

2. As you read a book that is meaningful, research who influenced the author and read their books/content as well.

3. Read from many different disciplines and as you read ask yourself what you can learn from this very different area of thought.

4. Ask friends to share the book that has most impacted them this year and then read them.

5. Mix it up between books that encourage, inspire, challenge, entertain and educate. You need all these inputs.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

When the Poor Become Generous

Today's post is by Chris Horst
Chris Horst serves as director of advancement for HOPE International. Chris spent time doing microfinance work in Romania and has visited many of HOPE’s programs across the globe. He completed his undergraduate degree in business at Taylor University (Indiana) and his MBA at Bakke Graduate University. He currently lives and works for HOPE in Denver, Colorado. Chris and his wife, Alli, are parents to one son, Desmond, and active members at City Presbyterian Church. Chris & Alli write on their blog, Smorgasblurb.

When the Poor Become Generous
By Chris Horst

It is more blessed to give than to receive.
How many times will you hear these wise words this holiday season? This is my favorite time of year primarily because of this season’s emphasis on giving. The charitable and gift-giving yearnings among us all are stoked and encouraged more in December than at any other time of the year. This spirit is encapsulated and affirmed in what might be our favorite Christmas saying: It is more blessed to give than to receive.
The axiom could not be truer. Giving is a joy. Research suggests that generous people are happier people. Generous countries are happier countries. Benevolence brings vibrancy to our faith. Historically, openhandedness and abundant giving have been the fragrance of the Church. Part of our mandate as Christians includes a call to a countercultural understanding of our role as stewards, rather than owners, of our time and treasure. I’ll just speak for myself, but my hunch is others will resonate: My charity often robs the poor of the opportunity to give, rather than encouraging generosity.
We hold a collective agreement that giving is more blessed than receiving. Accordingly, we need to invest more energy and intentionality around promoting generosity among the people to whom we give. When the poor become more than recipients, actually becoming donors and volunteers themselves, the very soul of generosity is unleashed.
Pay it forward-ism should be our rally cry. These two stories from Romania and Uganda compel me to give in this way.
Inspired by the generosity of donors to their country, a group of Romanians determined to replicate this generosity themselves. This month, 50 microfinance clients of HOPE’s partner program in Romania participated in funding and packaging over 12,000 Christmas shoeboxes for orphans in their community.
In Uganda, one man—Bishop Hannington—has catalyzed an entire community around this concept. Even though the town was recovering from a war, and poor in every way imaginable, he preached a surprising and seemingly impossible message of generosity. Even the very poorest in this community responded to his call to live generously. One woman, both elderly and crippled, put an exclamation point on Bishop Hannington’s message (4:57 in the video):
“I heard what was taking place. And even though I am crippled, I, too, wanted to give.”


Bishop Hannington from International Steward on Vimeo.

What God did there through His church is nothing short of a miracle. The story will be an encouragement to you as we enter fully into the season of giving.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Take Care in What you Share

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25, NIV)

How often do the words of someone refresh you? Do you refresh others with what you communicate? My hope is that you experience this give and take of benefitting others with generosity both with material wealth and with thoughts that come from what God is teaching you. And that is an important point to consider, what are we sharing and communicating to others? Is it truly wealth or is it something not worth sharing?

When sharing about the generous mind idea years ago, a friend asked about all of the “drivel” that could potentially be thrown out there in an effort to be generous with our thoughts. That thought has been rolling around in my head for a long time. It’s true; much of what we think about could be put into the drivel category. But, should that discourage us from sharing the nuggets of wisdom that we gain throughout our lives?

This morning I read two Proverbs that seems to speak to this issue. First, my eye caught Proverbs 12:23:

The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly. (Proverbs 12:23, NIV)

At first I thought, “Oh, no! Maybe we aren’t supposed to share what is going on in our minds.” Then I read the comment by what we fondly call “Bible Guy” (the commentary), and “he” directed me to Proverbs 10:14.

The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin. (Proverbs 10:14, NIV)

After reading them together and the commentary which says of the phrase, store up knowledge, “Rather than babbling folly…,” it seems that it’s the babbling about foolish things that is the problem. The message I got was that we should take care in what we share. It’s important to consider whether what we’re sharing is from God and is wisdom or is something foolish.

In a world where you can post almost instantly, this can be a challenge. It’s so easy to post without thinking. But these verses have challenged me to check myself before I share—to share with care.

How much care and thought do you put into what you share? As you strive to be a generous mind, ask God to put wisdom and truth into your heart and mind so that you can refresh others.

Commentary referred to is from The NIV Study Bible, 10th Anniversary Edition

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

When the Toothpicks are Gone

I reached into my purse pocket and found a toothpick. This is not the first time this has happened. Just after my grandma died seven years ago, I found a toothpick that she had stashed away in the pocket of a pair of pants. It made me tear up then. Now it makes me smile. It brought back memories of her—how she always had a tissue up her sleeve just in case, her graceful and peaceful manner, her hugs and that beautiful face.

We all have people we’ve loved and lost. They live on in our memories, triggered by little things they have left behind—a chair, a piece of jewelry, or a card. Grandma gave my sister the red highlights in her light brown hair. She gave my mom a certain inflection in her voice while I got her likable nature.

But what happens when the toothpicks are gone? When all the little things she’s left behind seem to fade in to the world around us? What will remain? Values, traditions, and lessons she taught. The times she invested in others. The small kindnesses she did throughout her life.

That is part of what Generous Mind is about—enabling people to step outside the everyday survival of life and communicate with others the important ideas God has given them. It’s helping people to make a contribution to the world that will live on in others.

What are you doing in your life that will live on? Who are you investing in today?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Generous Thinking is Comprehensive

When we look for true examples of generous minds, we are looking for those who share regularly but also share in many different areas of their life. A Generous Mind might share regularly about a hobby such as building model airplanes. They might also share their knowledge at work as a mechanic or engineer. At the same time they may be mentoring a young father or mother in areas related to parenting.

This comprehensive nature of their generosity shows that it isn’t simply in their job that they should share but that they have developed a lifestyle of sharing. This holistic discipline of sharing makes it clear that generosity is a core value that is bound to come out in anything that the person does.

For so long we have separated our activities to such an extent that we have not expected our values to permeate the various areas of our lives. But as integration and authenticity become greater and greater values, people are beginning to expect that our lives will be permeated by our values.

So how do you break down these self-imposed barriers and create a value for generosity across all areas of your life?

1. Define the values that you want to permeate your life so that you can be intentional about them. We recommend that generosity be one of them!

2. Ask yourself how these values are being demonstrated in every area of your life?

3. Define how you will measure whether those values are represented in your life.

4. Look at your life and all that you do as a single unit and see if every area is representing these things you value.

Are you willing to live comprehensively in this area of generosity and other key values in your life?

Thursday, November 03, 2011

What is a Gift Without a Receiver?

Every idea is a gift, but without a connector, how will it get to its recipient?

Today we have a guest post on the Vessel Project's blog run by Keiki Hendrix about the importance of connectors when being generous with ideas. Thank you Keiki for this opportunity!

http://vesselproject.com/2011/11/03/what-is-a-gift-without-a-receiver/

Monday, October 31, 2011

Seven billion ideas and counting

It’s easy to see the number of people climbing and grow worried, but when you think about the potential of a person…the ideas they have, the love they have to offer, the contribution they can make to our world, it can be exciting too.

Just think of it—if every person had just one significant idea in their life, then seven billion people means seven billion significant ideas to work with! Sure we’re not all Einstein or Shakespeare or Martin Luther King Jr. We may not create major shifts in our world, but each of us affects our part of the world even if it’s in a small way.

And as the population grows, so our responsibility to capture ideas that will help others becomes more important. Matt Ridley has an interesting perspective on the situation in his book The Rational Optimist. Read Chris Marshall’s summary on Ridley’s thoughts. The idea is that innovation may help us solve the challenges of a growing population. Just think of it. The more people we have, the more ideas we have to build upon.

What one idea do you have that could help others even if in a small way?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thoughts from a Bowl of Goop

Orange goop slipped between my fingers and found its way under my nails as I diligently pinched each pumpkin seed into the bowl. This was going to be a big job and so my mind began to wander.

I started thinking about God and wondering, “Why do we love God when we can’t see him? What makes our hearts reach out to him?” I thought that maybe it was because he was our creator and created things always look to their creator with gratitude and love.

I thought about how it’s the same with kids and their parents. Even before they know whether their personalities would click or they would agree or even like each other…they love their parents with an unconditional love.

What creates that connection? Then I started thinking that in both cases, it’s because the one is essentially part of the other. Every created thing reflects its maker just as every child reflects the characteristics of both parents.

The song from my one of my earliest Sunday school memories began to play in my mind, “Oh, how I love Jesus, because he first loved me.” Of course. We love him because he loved us first. How simple. How true. We can love because of his love. We exist because of his love.

Some drama was brewing in the house and the noise finally drew me out of my thoughts. I rinsed the goop off my hands and left the wondering behind.

In the midst of the Halloween craziness, I hope you have time to let your mind wander into God’s spaces and realize how much he loves you and why you are mysteriously drawn to him.

When you think about God, what are the things that you wonder?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Generosity or Control…What You Can Learn at the Pet Store

Our daughter’s parakeet is warbling and chattering away as I write this. She brings so much joy to our house with her little personality and beautiful chirping. I’m thinking back to the day we were at the mall and we visited the pet store. The manager took an interest in our desire for a bird and spent about 20 minutes asking us questions and educating us on kinds of birds, what they are like, cost, and other things to consider when selecting a flying pet. He seemed to find true joy in sharing what he knew with us. His style was not pushy, but generous. He encouraged the burgeoning animal expert, affirming her research and engaging in an educated discussion of birds.

After some comparative shopping online, several weeks later, we went to a large pet store to select a parakeet. The woman working the department said to me, “You’re not planning to put a bird in that cage are you?” I stammered at the harsh tone of her question, looking at the cage we had brought from home. The woman then went on to educate us on the appropriate ways to take care of a parakeet. When my daughter tried to chime in to the one-sided conversation she was either corrected or shot down. In spite of this treatment, our daughter bought the bird and has been very happy with her friendly and happy personality. While she came away with a bird…I came away with a stark contrast of a generous mind with one that was not generous.

But what makes one a generous mind and the other not? After all, they both gave information about birds. Intention is the invisible difference. From my perspective, the man at the mall seemed to be trying to add to our knowledge of birds in order to enhance our enjoyment and experience with a new pet. The woman at the larger pet store seemed to be trying to get us to follow the rules as she saw them. One intention was generous, the other was about control.

Can you think of a time you have shared information for the sake of control?

Tell us about an experience you have had with a generous mind.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Update from River Town

Have you read Through the River; Understanding Your Assumptions About Truth? We have an update from River Town on the Through The River blog.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Splendor of His Provision

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19 NIV)

Are you enjoying the provisions God has put in your life?

Have you ever gone through your day, sitting in front of the computer, walking down fluorescent-lit hallways only to come out into the light of day and cover your eyes from the brilliance of the sun? Without having enjoyed the outdoor beauty of the sunrise, it is hard to take in the sudden beauty of the sunlight. Life is like that. We are surrounded by gifts from God, but we stay inside, letting the blessings go by unnoticed. Then, in rare moments, we are struck suddenly with the splendor of his provision only to go back inside for the remainder of our day. Still the beauty remains, whether we notice it or not.

1 Timothy 6:17 says that God “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” It’s not just about existing…it’s about joy too. How wonderful to know that we can put our hope in a God who provides everything for us, not simply for our survival, but for our enjoyment. The sun not only provides warmth, but illuminates the yellows, oranges and reds of the deciduous trees in fall. Our friends provide security, but also laughter. The life God provides may not be what we ordered off the menu, but our circumstances are what God can use to draw us closer to him, and in him we will find joy.

Do you have security knowing that God will provide for you?

The rising and setting sun each day reminds us that God will provide. It is with this security—knowing that everything is God’s and that He will take care of us—that we can be generous with what we have. At Generous Mind, we believe that includes ideas as well as other resources. The capacity for creativity, problem-solving, and humor come from God and we have the opportunity to share those gifts with others.

And think of it. Verse 19 says that when we are generous, we will be rewarded with life. This not only means that God smiles when we give our resources to someone, but when we write a blog post that glorifies him, help someone solve a problem, or make someone laugh. When we give of ourselves we are being generous.

What resources has God given you that you are willing to share?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bringing Passion and Experience Together


It is natural to downplay what we do not possess. It is one of our first defenses when we are faced with our own inadequacies. We see our age – whether young or old – and affirm it as a huge advantage. We also look at our experiences and compare them to what other’s have done.

And as we go about our comparisons we reduce those around us; limiting their contribution in our minds and our spheres of influence. One of the places where this is happening in dramatic fashion is the realm of leadership. In this liminal time of transitions where everything is being reframed around new philosophies, financial realities and technologies, there is an unnecessary struggle for leadership.

Young leaders have grasped a vision for how the world must be reframed in these new times. They bring passion and excitement to their roles as they seek to remake their industries, nonprofits and churches based on the new rules governing our world.

At the same time older leaders have a wealth of experience and knowledge that they seek to bring to these unstable times. They have walked through tough times and good times. With both they have learned how to lead and develop organizations that stand the test of time.

Both of these perspectives are true, powerful and vital to the organizations trying to thrive in today’s realities. But when young and old leaders sit in the same room, they are not affirming what the other brings to the table. In fact, I mostly see disconnects, discouragement and divisiveness. Older leaders refuse to validate the passion and new thinking of the young. And young leaders refuse to affirm the experience and context that older leaders bring to their roles. And as each downplay the other’s significance, they wipe away any opportunity to leverage both passion and experience together for the good of the causes they represent.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Whether you are a young leader or an older leader reading this post, you have the opportunity to stand firm in your identity in Christ, confident in your value as a Kingdom leader and humbly extend your hand to another. By affirming what other leaders bring to your cause and encouraging them in their role, you will see amazing synergies begin to take shape.

If you are ready to do that, I would like to recommend that you read the following two posts by Jonathan Pearson, a younger leader who serves as Communications/Online Pastor for Cornerstone Community Church in Orangeburg, SC. I love his heart to help younger and older leaders communicate and engage.

If you are a younger leader, read his post called “3 Things Younger Leaders Need to Say.” http://jonathanpearson.net/2011/05/17/3-things-young-leaders-need-to-say/

If you are an older leader, read his post called “3 Things Younger Leaders Need to Hear.” http://jonathanpearson.net/2011/05/12/3-things-young-leaders-need-to-hear/

Make sure you read both posts and ask yourself how you can foster a healthy leadership dialogue.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Memoir: Self-Centered or Self-Giving?

Today, Stephanie S. Smith shares about the memoir and how sharing your story can be an exercise of a generous mind.

Stephanie S. Smith is a twentysomething writer, editor, blogger and literary publicist addicted to print and pixels. She runs her business, (In)dialogue Communications, from her home in Upstate New York where she lives with her husband. Follow her blogging about embodied faith, creative life, and millennial culture at www.stephindialogue.com or @stephindialogue.

America seems to have a love/hate relationship with the memoir. This genre has risen in popularity over the past decade, with advocates praising its transparency and the inspiration of human triumph over the odds, and critics accusing it of syrupy, self-centered drivel.

I’ve read memoirs that fall into both categories, and while at times personal narrative slides into an egocentric universe of one, I would argue that the memoir is a powerful creative outlet for self-giving.

Memoir as Hospitality
Telling your story is a deeply personal act, requiring confidence and vulnerability. We do not invite suspicious strangers into our homes to sit at our table; neither do we entrust the tragedies and triumphs of our lives to just anyone. Storytelling is an exchange that only happens in the context of great confidence. And to invite a person into your story is a powerful act of hospitality.

Memoir as Community
In 1 Thessalonians 2:8, Paul describes the effects of hospitality in his ministry to the local church, “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” (NIV 1984) Love for others, rather than selfishness, provokes us to share not only the gospel truth, but the personal and intimate details of our lives with others. Following this model, personal story-telling through memoir opens the door to community, creating a safe environment for others to empathize and share their stories as well.

C.S. Lewis once said, “We read to know that we are not alone,” and memoir is perhaps the best literary form to meet this need in the life of the reader, as self-giving narrators tell their tales and open the door to universal community of the human spirit.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

What is Success?


We all want success—to feel like we’ve accomplished something and done it well. But because success ties to personal goals and desires, there is a discrepancy between what people consider success. Not only do people in general have different expectations, but individuals can have mixed or conflicting desires related to those expectations. The question isn’t simply, “What is success?” but also, “Who defines success?”

For Christians, it’s the classic Sunday school answer, “Jesus!” But how do we take the goals and desires of Christ and apply them to the work in front of us? It’s a challenge, but it can be done…and it will look different for everyone. That is what is so hard. There is no objective standard for success contrary to what our world tries to convince us of.

For example, suppose Jesus impresses on you in your devotions that he desires you to grow in faith as you serve him. (see Luke 7:9) Now let’s say you’ve been working all morning on a presentation that will decide whether you get an assignment you have been hoping for. Success in your mind would be for the meeting to go smoothly, for your presentation to be accepted, and for you to be selected to head the project. So how do you pray? How does Christ see success in this situation? What will cause you to depend on him in faith? Can you entertain the thought that he might be glorified even if you don’t get the assignment? What if he wants someone in the office to see how you deal with disappointment? God may be up to something entirely different than you expect…expect it!

So again, how do you pray? Let’s go back to Sunday school for that one too. “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 (NIV)

Are you asking God to help you define success or are you using the metrics of the world to create your definition? Ask God to give you new perspective on success this weekend and see how he changes your focus in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Teamwork is NOT cheating


I love how ending credits are now integrated into the movie itself. Whether bloopers or snippets or a wrap up scene, the movie-makers have decided not to waste this valuable time and space without integrating it into the entertainment experience.

But have you ever wondered why there is so much time dedicated to the credits? Rows and rows of names scroll by, communicating to us that this movie did not come about through one person, but it took a whole team to pull it together.

Creativity is like that…more heads make an idea better.

Working in teams definitely takes a shift in thinking from our very independent mindset to a more community focused one. Reminiscent of our school days, we almost feel guilty for pulling other people into the project for fear that we will be caught cheating. But the ability to work in groups should be seen as a gift and a skill that can result in great products and services.

Generous Mind values teamwork. Because we (Jon and Mindy) work together as a team, we see everything through the lens of teamwork. We are most fulfilled when we are working with others who are seeking, forming and fostering healthy teams. It’s a core value for us—one that affects everything we do.

What ideas are you working on that could benefit from a team forming around it? Who could you pull in to help make your idea better and bring it into reality?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Where are your ideas coming from?


“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning." John 15:26-27 (NIV)

So many thoughts rush through our minds in a day. Where do they come from? Some come from your past, others from your worries of the future still others are triggered by what is going on in the here and now. But when you’re a follower of Jesus, we have the voice of someone else penetrating through the chaos of our minds. That someone is the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth who can teach us about Jesus. But the learning doesn’t stop there. We are expected to tell others about what the Spirit teaches us about Jesus. But so many times we put down the ideas and thoughts that we have instead of sharing them. We rationalize that they are not good or that no one is interested. But sharing what we have learned is so important to the growth of others.

Part of what can help us move beyond this barrier is knowing the nature of the Spirit. The NIV uses the name Advocate for the Holy Spirit. The English Standard Version uses the word “Helper” and the American Standard Version uses "Comforter.” In all three cases, the words connote someone who is for something. In the case of the Spirit, that something is you. Isn’t it wonderful to know that he can help, counsel and advocate for you?

What has the Holy Spirit been sharing with you that you could pass on to others? Ask yourself who needs to hear what you’ve learned.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sharing Our Dream

An excellent way to be a Generous Mind is to share your ideas as a guest on someone else's blog. We are always looking for opportunities to do this and Paul Steinbrueck's blog Live Intentionally seemed like a wonderful place to share.

He is doing a weekly series on Fridays where he asks people to share about their dreams and goals. So we asked Paul if we could share about our dream of seeing a world full of Generous Minds.

We hope this post that Mindy wrote will inspire you and encourage you on your journey of generosity.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

When Ideas Own Us


More than anything else in our lives, ideas produce great amounts of pride in our hearts. Maybe it is because ideas are so personal. We think them up, craft them, define them and present them to others; and in that process we possess them in our hearts.

When Jesus says that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:21, NIV), He is exposing our natural tendency to be owned by what we value. We see this at play with our thoughts and ideas on a regular basis. As we create ideas and go out in the world to share them, they become our treasure. And as they increase in value to us, we become more and more prideful and possessive of those ideas until the ideas actually own us!

What an amazing transformation. We start our journey with an idea determined to bless those around us as we share it and we end up slaves to that very idea. It is a tragedy that we see play out each day as people battle to own and profit from the ideas that were given to them by God.

Now there is nothing wrong with turning ideas into products and services and selling those things to those who will benefit from them. Don’t get caught up in that trap! After all Paul charged for the tents he made and probably drove quite a hard bargain.

We are not speaking about methods and tactics here—but of the heart. In John 13:14 Jesus defines what should guide our heart. This verse comes on the heel of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples and He then says, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14, NIV) To do what Jesus did, his treasure had to be in another place that was not guided by the rules of this world. He was guided by a different set of values and motivations which led him to a posture of humility and service.

Back in Matthew 6:21 Jesus was calling us to leave this world’s metrics behind and define our lives around the rules of the Kingdom. That means we must not allow our ideas to own us. We must not put at the center the rights that this world tries to convince us to fight for and we must share generously out of a humble heart. Ideas are tools which God graciously puts into our hands in order to bless others. Humility should be at the foundation of every thought that we seek to share.

How will that change your role as a thought leader? It will become less about “my idea” and more about “your growth.” We will not focus primarily on protecting our rights and instead expend our energies on the needs of others. We will share freely, but wisely, with the knowledge that our ideas come from God and are given to us as a means to bless others.

Are you enslaved to one of your own ideas today? Ask God to release you so that you can use it for His glory!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yellow Balloon


I held so tightly to the string, my nails dug into my hand. It was my first floating balloon and I was so happy watching that yellow orb bouncing along against the Midwestern blue sky. I was determined to keep that balloon in my hand, despite the breeze tugging at it.

Then my worst fear happened—the string slipped out from under my fingers. The balloon began to ascend. My stomach felt the despair and then lifted for a moment as the bouncing balloon hit the top of the porch ceiling. Maybe I could catch it…then it broke free into the air and began sailing away.

I watched it as it shrunk into the sky, smeared in my vision with tears.

Now, all these years later, I see that I was looking at my lost balloon all wrong. Sure, I lost the balloon, but how many other people could look up and watch my yellow treasure float up into the blue expanse? How many spirits did it lift that day?

Ideas are like that balloon. When we get one, we are elated. For some of us, we want to squeeze that string so hard we bleed. We’re afraid—afraid of losing it…maybe to another person or maybe to the breeze. Our first instinct is to put it somewhere safe. But what if I did get the balloon safely to my room? It would have floated for a little while on the ceiling and then slowly sunk to the floor. Wasn’t the destiny of my lost balloon so much better? Think of the heights it achieved!

Your idea doesn’t have to be limited by your ceiling. If you are generous with it and share it with others, it may touch the clouds. Ideas only get stronger as you share.

That is what Generous Mind is all about—releasing ideas that resource the world. We don’t want your ideas locked in your mind. We want them to count.

Be brave. Open you fingers. Let the balloon go.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Getting an Idea Ready for Bouncing

What is the first thing you should do when a new idea is brought to life? Most people dive in and begin trying to dissect it. But in reality we believe you should do the opposite. The first thing to do when you have an idea is to think bigger than the initial thought. Many times we have an idea, but it comes out as a small application in response to a specific challenge. It’s a little like coming upon a field of flowers after walking a long way. Trudging along, at first you are looking down and only see one purple bloom. In order to see the whole picture you need to look up.

This process of looking up could include asking yourself questions like, “What is the basic principle behind this idea?” “Is this bigger than one project?” and “What am I trying to accomplish here?”

Once you identify what that bigger principle is, you can begin asking, “What are some other ways I can apply these principles?” and “How else can I solve this problem?”

After you answer these questions, you can be sure that your idea will begin taking the shape of a trampoline—taut and ready. Now you can start throwing things onto your idea to see if they bounce. Begin by asking the generosity questions; “Who else would care about my idea?” “Who should care?” and “How can I get the message out to them?”

Once you have that, think about the ways you can communicate to those people in the most appropriate ways. Email, Twitter, a Website, texting, mail, Facebook. How about television, radio, magazines or newspapers? Have you considered doing seminars…maybe a book or a series of articles? A blog would be something to consider.

The opportunities are endless. You just have to get inside the heads of the people who would care about your idea. That shouldn’t be too hard…chances are they are a little like you. After all, you came up with the idea. Figure out how you can speak to them on an ongoing basis and start doing it. Try to get feedback so you can tweak your idea until it is the bounciest trampoline in the neighborhood. Then involve them in the process. When your idea is ready, you’ll have people already interested in what you’re doing.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

What will bounce off your next idea?

Ideas are like a trampoline. Your idea is the material stretched to the point where anything that touches it bounces! You throw a book onto it, it bounces, a radio show, it bounces. Blog, movie, speaking opportunity; bounce, bounce, bounce.

But like a trampoline, unless something is bouncing on it there just this big round piece of mesh taking up space in your back yard. The idea by itself cannot accomplish its purpose. That’s where you come in. What can you throw onto your idea?

Maybe you have an idea to make your train ride more productive. What should you bounce off your idea? Maybe you can invent something. Then maybe you can start a blog about making better use of your time on the commute. You could write a book…or an e-book. You could even get an entire group of people excited about using their commute to accomplish a common goal.

You may need help making your idea useful. That’s normal. Most people need others to help get where they need to go. That’s where Generous Mind comes in. We want to walk alongside thought leaders like you to help get creative opportunities bouncing off your ideas. So get one out, stretch it, get ready, then throw some things on it and see what happens. We look forward to walking alongside you through the process.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Sharing Stories From a Cultural Goldmine


Guest Blogger: Johanna Fenton

This month we at The Seed Company are celebrating a milestone: entering our 700th Scripture translation partnership. Since 1993, the year we were launched by Wycliffe Bible Translators, we've operated on the mandate to accelerate Bible translation.
We thank God for His blessing and for our many partners—on and off the field. As I reflect on this milestone, however, I'm cautiously aware of a potential danger: hoarding what we've been blessed with.

In my role of coordinating social media content for our blog, Twitter, and Facebook, I have access to a cultural goldmine of stories and information. Instead of hoarding that information, which would be the easy thing to do, I want to do the exact opposite by delivering to our readers the best stories from that treasure trove.

Consider the possibilities with me. We've got local people translating Scriptures in a major langugage—spoken by about 70 million people—in a sensitive region of Asia. On the other end of the spectrum, we've got local people translating Scriptures in Sudest, a language spoken by about 2,000 people in Papua New Guinea. Out of this ministry, many stories are born.

But sharing stories has challenges.

For starters, many of the places we operate are sensitive. People's lives hang in the balance when they dedicate themselves to translating the Scriptures. We must protect their identity and their work.

Thankfully we have several standards in place and knowledgeable folks who help determine the best avenue for stories from sensitive locations.

Another challenge is sharing stories with passion. Stories, after all, are not just dry collections of facts.

Just recently I questioned the method of how I was collecting stories. Before I was using email and documents. But sometimes the stories were lacking … passion. So then I turned to what many would call an old trick-of-the-trade: interviewing eyewitnesses. My, what a difference! I ask just a few simple questions and people begin bubbling over with an overwhelming amount of vivid details!

I can hardly wait for my next interview. I’ll be interviewing a woman who just returned from a Trauma Healing Workshop led by local Bible translators in a sensitive country. Be on the lookout for her story in an upcoming blog post.

What are other ways we can share from a cultural goldmine? Please share your thoughts!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

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?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Love must come first

Before you can be generous you must love.

But you ask, "Why can't I simply be generous without all the heartache of loving those I want to share with?"

The answer is simple. Generosity is sacrifice and we don't sacrifice for people we do not love. If you can give someone something without loving them, it isn't generosity. It is something else. Something other than human.

But if you will love those around you, then you will naturally be generous with anything and everything you have.

That means you will be generous with your money, your time, and your ideas. That is what we focus on. We want you to think intentionally about what it looks like when you reach out in love to others by sharing what is on your heart.

What do you know that others don't? What experiences have you had that others haven't had? That is where your Generous Mind can start once you have laid the foundation of love.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Can you waste generosity?

On this blog we talk alot about how you can be a generous mind and share what God has put in your heart. But what about those recieving the generosity? Can it be wasted on those who do not care or learn from what you share?

This is an easy question to grab on to because we always hear about being efficient and effective with our minsitry and our work. People tell us to focus our attention on where we will do the most good.

I am attending the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit and am asking this question because these speakers are giving everyone in attendance the ideas and insights from their heart. But are we as the audience wasting their generosity? Are we minimizing their great sacrifice?

As I have invested years in thinking about what makes being a generous mind so important, my answer has to be "NO!" But why? If I share something that is powerful and you ignore it, then didn't I waste my efforts?

Generosity has two equal parts to it. God is demanding that the giver be generous and the reciever accept the gift with humility and thankfulness. If you are on the stage at the Leadership Summit today or tomorrow, you are responsible to share what is on your heart as effectively as you can. That is what God expects from you. Nothing more.

We can easily complicate the scenario when we try to do God's job by working out how people will recieve what we have to share. But resist this temptation. Your job is to share generously those ideas that God has put on your heart. Let Him orchestrate the ah-ha moments. Many times you will find that your great idea lead someone to have a whole other insight that you could never have orchestrated anyway.

So don't worry about waste - give generously and expect God to do amazing things with your offering.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Engine Behind Your Generous Mind

It is not natural for you or I to be generous. Our nature would have us hoard and store things away for ourselves but generosity requires an outside influence of some kind. This engine of generosity propels us to share even when our sin nature wants to keep it all for ourselves.

So what is the engine that is driving your generous mind? For some people it is the opportunity to have influence. They are driven to be generous in order for others to look up to them. For others the engine is control. They share so that they can be the ones running the show and driving the agenda. Still others might share as a type of currency. They share from their mental storehouse in order to build up credits with others and access their ideas at a later time.

You will notice that all three examples of the engines that drive generosity are about the individual and their wants or needs. Should these be the drivers of generosity? No, they should not. The only authentic driver of generosity is pleasing God. If our hearts are in tune with God's heart and we are striving to love Him and love others, then we will be generous because God demands generosity. If our desire is to please God, then we will have this inner drive to love others that is a powerful engine indeed.

One of the key components of that engine is love. As we love God, He gives us the power to love those around us. Being a Generous Mind is but one demonstration of that love that God gives us for those He puts in our lives. When I think of 1 Corinthians 13:13 where Paul describes faith, hope and love and then stresses the power of love, I can't help but think of love as the fuel that drives our engine of generosity.

This takes us to motivations. It may be very difficult for people to tell which engine is driving your Generous Mind because the results may look very similar. Your engine may be control, but those who are benefiting from your generosity may not readily see that. But while individual instances of generosity may not display your engine, the overall picture of your generosity will surely do so. Over time, the engine behind your Generous Mind will clearly show itself.

So what is driving your generosity?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sharing What Isn't Yours

So here is a question, how can you be generous with ideas that don't belong to you? I don't mean ones you steal . . . I'm referring to ideas that you create as part of your work. They are works for hire; owned by the company you work for.

What is the protocol here. You are a generous person who is committed to sharing what you know. But your ideas belong to the company paying the bills and providing you with resources.

Here are some questions to ask:

1. Will you jeopardize the organization you work for by sharing the information or will you benefit the organization?

2. What is your motivation to share? Are you trying to hurt the organization or impact it's profitability or mission? Or are you trying to help the organization accomplish it's mission in your generosity?

3. Have you talked with your team or your boss about your passion to be generous? Is that passion shared among those you work with?

These are key questions to ask. Think of something you have developed for your company and then ask these questions about it. Does it give you permission to share? If you feel you have permission from the organization, then your next job is to figure out how to be generous with what you are working on.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Need Clarity? Tell Your Story!

Progress comes with a price. Our modern world saw so many amazing advances because we allowed many silos of expertise to grow and develop around us. "I'm a dentist." "I'm an expert in 20th Century Asian American Culture." "I know everything about Cocker Spaniels." We talk about this issue of silos in our book, Through the River.

One of the things lost in our focus on progress and areas of expertise is a sense for the larger story of our times, our professions and our lives. You can only find your story if you take down the silos around you and look at all the elements of your life together. Then you begin to see the narrative of your life in new and unique ways.

A great way to be a Generous Mind is to tell your story. Believe us, it is helpful to others as well as yourself. As you tell your story and weave together education, family, work, hobbies, learning, and other key aspects of your life, you will get many new insights into who you are and where you should focus your efforts. But your story also helps those around you. Through the telling of it, you will inspire others and give them new perspectives on their own stories.

Who could you tell your story to today?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Generous Mind Story: Contentment

Introduction
Ron Pritz is our guest blogger today. He is the Executive Director of Organizational Development for OC International. When I heard his story recently I was compelled to ask him to share with our Generous Mind community about the task that is in front of him and how he is approaching it. Take a moment to read about how Ron is stewarding a large donation for the organization even as we struggle through recession.

Contentment
“. . . for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation . . . “ Philippians 4: 11b-12a (NIV)

The proper response to God’s provision, whether full or sparse, is the faith response of contentment. Like most mission agencies today, my organization, OC International, has had its share of struggles over the past two or three years in terms of matching spending to income. Hard decisions have had to be made. Times of pain have occurred.

But last December the Lord did something beyond our experience and even beyond our ability to “ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20). From a treasure trove of artifacts from 18th century Chinese royalty, the Lord gave us a completely unsolicited and unprecedented gift of $2,000,000 to be used for projects for our mission’s work around the world.

Because this gift was designated to projects and not primarily to operating expenses, we continue to lean on the Lord for His faithful monthly provisions. However, with this wonderful gift there has been a certain thrill throughout the organization that, for the first time, many ministry dreams are now becoming realities. Never before have we been able to go out to our people, challenging them to dream and soliciting from them strategic projects that will grow the Kingdom.

For the most part we have only been able to identify with the Apostle Paul in the “I know what it is to be in need” portion of the Philippians passage. And in those circumstances we, like most believers, find ‘contentment’ more of a challenge. But in these last few months we have enjoyed joining Paul in experiencing “what it is to have plenty.” But in the end Paul’s point is neither need nor plenty. His point is contentment. So our prayer is that the Lord will give us His grace to rejoice in this wonderful gift while realizing that He grants us ‘needs’ so that we can learn contentment in those times as well.

Can we really have contentment no matter whether the Lord graces us with plenty or graces us with little? Both are part of His provision and are linked to what He is doing in our lives and in our organizations.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Generosity Means Going Beyond Expectations

Part of being a Generous Mind is to go beyond the expectations of those who you are sharing with. Everyone comes to a conversation with expectations of what you will share and how you will invest in them. Most of the time people underwhelm in this area. We share too little and fail to pass on things that matter. But once in a while someone breaks the barrier of expectations and shares something of great significance. I found that to be true with the sermon shared by the Bishop of London at the royal wedding recently.

Take a moment to read the transcript below and respond to this blog post with what you received from his act of generosity:

Wedding Sermon given by the Bishop of London

"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire."

So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day this is. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves.

Many people are fearful for the future of today’s world but the message of the celebrations in this country and far beyond its shores is the right one – this is a joyful day! It is good that people in every continent are able to share in these celebrations because this is, as every wedding day should be, a day of hope.

In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future.

William and Catherine, you have chosen to be married in the sight of a generous God who so loved the world that he gave himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ.

In the Spirit of this generous God, husband and wife are to give themselves to each other.

The spiritual life grows as love finds its centre beyond ourselves. Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life in which we discover this: the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed. In marriage we are seeking to bring one another into fuller life.

It is of course very hard to wean ourselves away from self-centredness. People can dream of such a thing but that hope should not be fulfilled without a solemn decision that, whatever the difficulties, we are committed to the way of generous love.

You have both made your decision today – “I will” – and by making this new relationship, you have aligned yourselves with what we believe is the way in which life is spiritually evolving, and which will lead to a creative future for the human race.

We stand looking forward to a century which is full of promise and full of peril. Human beings are confronting the question of how to use wisely the power that has been given to us through the discoveries of the last century. We shall not be converted to the promise of the future by more knowledge, but rather by an increase of loving wisdom and reverence, for life, for the earth and for one another.

Marriage should transform, as husband and wife make one another their work of art. It is possible to transform so long as we do not harbour ambitions to reform our partner. There must be no coercion if the Spirit is to flow; each must give the other space and freedom. Chaucer, the London poet, sums it up in a pithy phrase:

"Whan maistrie [mastery] comth, the God of Love anon,
Beteth his wynges, and farewell, he is gon."

As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life. This is to load our partner with too great a burden. We are all incomplete: we all need the love which is secure, rather than oppressive. We need mutual forgiveness in order to thrive.

As we move towards our partner in love, following the example of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is quickened within us and can increasingly fill our lives with light. This leads on to a family life which offers the best conditions in which the next generation can receive and exchange those gifts which can overcome fear and division and incubate the coming world of the Spirit, whose fruits are love and joy and peace.

I pray that all of us present and the many millions watching this ceremony and sharing in your joy today will do everything in their power to support and uphold you in your new life. I pray that God will bless you in the way of life you have chosen. That way which is expressed in the prayer that you have composed together in preparation for this day:

God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.

In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.
Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer.
We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Generosity isn't Hard but it is on Purpose

Many times we view generosity as something difficult. We assume that something generous must be significant and costly. Of course, generosity never comes cheap and always costs us time, effort, etc. However, sometimes you can do simple little things to be generous.


In these days of social media tools, simply taking the time to put your content on a site that is designed to share your ideas is an act of generosity. Many people develop their idea but then simply put it on their blog or their web site. This may get some interaction and benefit a very particular group of people, but by putting that same powerpoint or whitepaper on Scribd or Slideshare you can engage a very different group of people with your idea.


It's not hard but it does take intentionality. You have to set up the account, select the resources you want to share and then post them. Let me give you an example. We work with Global Mapping International (GMI) to engage leaders with ways to use Operation World as they lead others in prayer. We were developing resources to help leaders and putting them on the GMI Web site. This was driving great traffic from people who were connecting with those resources. But then we decided to put those same resources on Scribd. What happened was amazing. We were able to get those resources to a completely new group of thought leaders (over 500 reads so far) that probably had never heard of GMI.


What small things can you do to exponentially grow your generous mind? Don't think big, think little and watch how those small efforts grow!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

What I should have done with my sick day

Yesterday I was sick . . . I didn't sleep well and that just added to the misery. So there I was in bed on a beautiful Colorado Spring day . . . sick.

There were limited things I could have done, being miserable and all, but I wasn't completely out of it. Actually my brain was working overtime thinking of all the things I had wanted to do that day. I had deadlines to make, emails to write, etc. So I spent much of the day worried about what I could not do and trying to do just a little of it without allowing myself to feel even worse. But towards the end of the day, I started to think about what I should have done with my sick day.

In reality, sick days are unplanned moments when life has to stop because our bodies require it. They provide a way for us to slow down and a chance to process. As I debriefed my sick day experience, I realized that I should have used that time to listen to God, ask questions about how I am spending my time and consider ideas that I have not taken the time to process. If I had done this, I would have come out of my sick day with new insights. Instead, I came out of it just one day behind.

This lesson is my only insight from a day in recovery. Could there have been more? I'm sure there could have. So next time you are sick, look at the day as a chance to restock your Generous Mind with ideas and insights to share with others.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Sharing Ideas on how to Pray

Prayer is a very sensitive and private topic for most of us. We struggle to pray and we also view it as highly personal. However, our times in prayer lead to some of the most important things that we need to share with others.

I am partnering with GMI (Global Mapping) to write articles about how to pray for the nations in connection with their launch of the CD/DVD of Operation World. This is an amazing resource. I would encourage you to check out these areticles and share them with those you know who have a passion to pray for the people of the world.



I would also love to hear what God is teaching you as you pray and minister to others in prayer. Those lessons are critical and will bless each of us.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sharing In New Ways

As you know well by now, our Generous Mind team is always looking for new ways to share ideas with others. One of the ways that we share regularly is through facebook and twitter. However, one of the great challenges with these tools is that they break ideas into very small pieces. These fragments of ideas sometimes communicate so much but other times the meaning gets lost.

It is also very hard to tell a story with these small pieces of sharing. So I have been in search for tools to give context to our social media sharing. I have finally found one! It is called Storify and it is an amazing way to bring bits of video, image and content together from the web to share a larger story.

Take a minute to check out our first story using this tool. We created it around how to pray for the earthquake victims in New Zealand.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Generosity After You Die

So I've been thinking about a simple question. "What happens to all your ideas, thoughts, and content when you die?" Well, for those famous people there are many a publishing deal to be made by agents and family members even if they have passed away. But what about us regular people?

Well, in reality, your ideas can have impact way beyond your years on earth. However, you have to be intentional. Lets think through a few important steps:
1. You need to keep your ideas well organized so that people can find them and utilize them.
2. As you get older, make it a point to do writing projects with younger people so that their writing will carry on.
3. Make very specific decisions about important ideas and put directions in your will so that your family can help carry them out.
4. Teach, mentor and share ideas with those who will benefit.
5. Use blogs, websites, books and other accessible mediums to present your ideas and make sure that others have the passwords so they can continue to maintain your content for you.

I hope these thoughts are helpful and that you will take the time to be deliberate with your ideas.