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.

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?