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 27, 2012

Generously Retelling the Story

One of the most interesting parts of Christmas for us is watching the new and creative ways people share the story of Christ's birth. Every year there are new twists on God's most important story that bring the details to life in unique ways for new generations.

This is a key way to be generous. To tell the Christmas story in a new way is an amazing act of generosity as you generously share your perspective on what God did 2000 years ago.

One example of a creative approach to the Christmas story is the book by Ruth Bell Graham, "One Wintry Night." In this book a little boy from the mountains hurts his ankle on a hike and takes refuge in a cabin built by his grandfather. The grandmother who lives there tends to his wound and tells him a story . . . the whole God story from Genesis to the death of Christ from the perspective of the events of Christmas. This story does an amazing job of putting the larger narrative into the context of Christmas.

As we are reading this story, Ruth Graham is giving us the ability to share the grand narrative with our children in light of the events of Christmas. What a generous gift!

How are you retelling the Christmas story this year and being generous with your perspective?

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Engaging in a Cause will Change Your Life

In today's world everyone says that their product or service will change our lives. We hear ad campaigns say that "This changes everything!" We always wonder, why do we want everything to change anyway? Obviously there is a sense that the change these advertisers are describing will lead to a change that improves our quality of life in some way. But most of the time it simply leads to more discontent.

But with causes that God cares about, this ad copy is actually true.

God uses the causes He puts in our lives to change us in profound ways. Causes do this because they are developmental forces in our lives compelling us to understand God's Kingdom in new ways and then join Him in His Kingdom work.

Good causes do this in small ways by allowing us to taste what God loves and see the impact it has on our lives and those of our family and friends. Usually it is a simple act of filling a shoe box, comparing dirty and clean water, eating a meal with a homeless family, or writing God's Word.

The last one is the one we want to talk about today. Many of you know that we are passionate about Ending Bible Poverty. It is a cause that we think is so critical to seeing more people be about Kingdom work.

One of the groups that is doing excellent work in Ending Bible Poverty is The Seed Company. They take this cause seriously and have done some excellent work in helping people connect with the cause.

One of their latest efforts is to challenge people around the world to Write the Word. This simple act of writing God's Word intentionally has an amazing affect on people. It internalizes the message and allows you to focus on God's Word in a unique way. As people around the world are doing this, they are realizing what Bible Poverty or Bible Riches look like.

Read this post from one of the passionate advocates of The Seed Company and see how they are helping those around them write the Word!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Diagnosis Leads to Generosity

Guest Blogger Bio: Melissa Danley is a 25-year-old Communications student with emphasis in Public Relations. She’s blessed with a beautiful life of wonderful family and friends and an eccentric little dachshund.

My name is Melissa and 10 years ago I was diagnosed with a degenerative bone disease in my jaw called Idiopathic Condylar Reabsorption. This rare disease basically kills your condyle joints (the part that holds your jaw together) and they slowly disintegrate. This causes the bottom jaw to deform and shift over time. The good news is that eventually the joints stop dying and there is a corrective surgery that can fix it. For me, this took 10 years. Over the 10 years my body tried to compensate and muscles in my neck shifted around causing terrible neck pain and headaches. My jaw had receded so extremely that it closed off my airway by 90% causing sleep apnea, memory loss, trouble concentrating and regular migraines. This was some serious stuff!

At my initial diagnoses there was very little research and understanding on this disease because it was so incredibly rare. We had no idea what to do. I am so thankful that it took 10 years to finally get my corrective surgery. Over that time there has been such a growth in the research, different surgeries and techniques used to fix it. On top of that, over that time I actually was able to find other people who have the same disease! It was such a blessing to be able to talk to them. Those who had already had the surgery were able to give me information and tips on recovery and those who hadn’t had the surgery yet really connected with me.

Even though I now had a "cyber support group," there was still little-to-no information out there that I could really understand. I could read the medical articles or chat with different people about their experience but I wanted to actually see the process. So I decided to start a video blog that documented in real time my entire experience. (See my video blog here.)

I began one year prior as I prepared for the surgery and continued to make videos through out my surgery and very long recovery. I showed everything. My insecurities, blood, tears, frustrations and triumphs were all out on the Internet for everyone to see. I didn’t spare a single detail or embarrassing bit of information. I was incredibly vulnerable. But the incredible thing was the amazing response I received.

People from all over the world with this disease began writing me and telling me how much my videos had helped and encouraged them. And then people without this disease began to do the same thing! It was amazing! I was able to answer questions and even refer people to different surgeons. God took what I thought was a simple idea and turned it into a tool that really helped people. Now there is not only information about this disease, but people can actually watch as someone goes through the process of fixing it. And this is all because of God, not me! God walked beside me through the entire agonizing and psychologically challenging experience and I am forever grateful. God is so good. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Innovation is Key to Engagement

I'm reading the book "Lincoln on Leadership" by Donald Phillips. It is an amazing read focused on the leadership lessons we can take from Lincoln's life and work. But one piece of info struck me as I was reading. Did you know that Lincoln is the only president to own a patent?

I started thinking about how innovation changes how a person engages with the world. Lincoln was obviously someone who was always reading, thinking and reframing things in new ways. This led to his patent, but more importantly it led him into a way of engaging with the world.

How did his innovative spirit help him in the White House? Here are a few thoughts:

  1. New Perspectives: As an innovator, Lincoln could see things in new ways and from different perspectives. This allowed him to look at the extremely challenging situation during the Civil War and find ways to move the country forward.
  2. Belief in People: Innovators believe in the creative abilities of people. That means that they believe people are capable of doing extraordinary things. I'm sure Lincoln's belief in his staff and generals was critical to their success.
  3. Vision of the Future: When we innovate, we are imagining the future in a new way. Lincoln had to imaging a new future of the entire country!

Are you an innovator? How is your ability to innovate giving you the edge in your efforts to engage your world?

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Littworld: Amazing Examples of Generosity

We have been meaning to write but it has been a busy week. The 2012 Littworld Conference on Christian Publishing just wrapped up outside of Nairobi, Kenya. What an amazing event. We were not able to go this year but we were following along and sharing some amazing content on Twitter.

Here are some of the tweets:
"If the Lord called you to write 5 books, & you only write 2, you will have to account for the other 3 in heaven." ~ Lawrence Darmani

Respect your reader, love your reader-Robin Gunn

New tech and social media allows students to be local, regional and global all at the same time. Daniel Bourdanne

Inya Reyes: The printed word goes to places where we cannot go and stays in places even after we've left.

No. 1 reason why people buy a book: Someone they know & trust recommended it. ~ Dan Balow

In our work as publisher & writers, we must always seek to know what is relevant by connecting with God. Dr Muindi

During the event, the MAI team also kept the world informed through some wonderful blog posts. You can read them here: http://www.littworldonline.org/

Finally, pictures tell the story so well. Take some time to visit the MAI Facebook Page where they have uploaded dozens of amazing photos of authors and publishers gathering together from around the world: http://www.facebook.com/#!/MAIfanpage

We hope you will take a little time to explore the amazing insights that came out of this event!

Monday, October 22, 2012

What is a Content Ecosystem?

Last week I had the great pleasure of sharing at the InterVarsity Press staff retreat. They asked me to come and share about the concept of a content ecosystem and I was glad to take the time to invest in their team.

This idea is critical to understanding how content thrives in today's world. My main point was that content, just like energy in a natural ecosystem, is generated, transferred and recycled all the time. The challenge is how to understand this content cycle and harness it to empower ideas.

If we think of the ground as the cause, the plants as the content and the living organisms as the community, then we see how these ecosystems are set up. By having a rich and deepening cause, it grows dynamic content which then helps the communities thrive as they consume it.

The biggest challenge to this idea is looking at publishing holistically. Instead of seeing our job as manufacturing books, we must see our job as birthing, growing and cultivating ideas that transform readers.

The organic metaphor is so important to helping us see content as alive and dynamic. If we simply see content as dead words on a page we are destined to kill the very ideas we are trying to bring to life.

So do you understand your cause, content and community? Do you treat your ideas as an ecosystem that needs every help to thrive?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pastors as Generous Minds

With this being Pastor Appreciation Month, it seemed fitting to ask the question, "In what unique ways are pastors Generous Minds?"

Well, this sacred calling is definitely a generous one. Think about the time that most pastors spend praying beside bedsides, pouring over sermon notes or teaching in small groups or classes? Each of those opportunities allows them to be generous with what God has put on their hearts.

But one of the greatest spaces where I have seen a pastor's generosity is over a cup of coffee or a lunch table. If you look at the calendars of most pastors, you will see them littered with meet ups like these. They are having coffee with someone who has just started attending the church or they might be having lunch with an elder.

These times of more focused and intentional conversation are where pastors get to be the most generous. They take from the rich soil of their studies and apply it to the unique and individual situations of those that sit in front of them.

Have you ever had lunch with your pastor? If not maybe this is the month to schedule an appointment. I hope that it will be yet another opportunity for your pastor to be a Generous Mind as he ministers alongside you in your local community.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

I'm too busy to share today!

What causes life to be so busy that you don't have time to share what you are thinking with others? Well, it is always a combination of things that swirl around you like a tornado descending on your house.

The pressure at work, the activities of the family, the social obligations of church and community, along with all the interactions you have with friends combine to form a wall of confusion in our minds that shut everything down.

The sheer level of activity cause us to bottle up what we are thinking, put our heads down and try and push through the busyness. How many times have you gone out with your significant other after not having a date for a long time and realizing that you have bottled up your ideas for so many days that you can't get them flowing again!

Busyness does shut down generosity. It makes us the focus of our every move and we end up loosing sight of how we should be investing in others. We must make generosity a discipline that fights against the busyness of the day.

We can start by creating spaces to share with others. They might be the meals with share with family, co-workers or friends. It could be a weekly Bible study we attend. For others it might be a friend you call on the phone each week. Whoever and whenever it is, we must make sharing with others a regular part of our lives or the flow of ideas will dry up and our minds will cease to be a blessing to others.

Monday, October 01, 2012

A Generous Vision

What does it look like when you are generous with vision? Well, of course it means that you are sharing your vision with others freely. But does it mean more than that?

YES!

Being generous with your vision means that you are generous in its creation as well as its dissemination. It is easy to share what you are striving to promote and raise awareness for. It is much harder to share in the process of creating that vision.

But that is what makes all the difference. If you will share in the creation of your vision, then you are not just one more person peddling ideas out there. Instead you have a team of people around you who have participated in developing an idea and have bought in to seeing it become a reality.

But to be generous is always to give up control. When you share something, you loose at least a part of it. You relinquish your full control for the benefit of others. Are you willing to relinquish control of your vision in order to see many more own it and push it forward?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Let's Be Friends

"Letting go of control builds friendship." Patrick Fung

When we are generous we loose control of the thing we used to possess. It is now out there . . . available to others and outside of our control. That scares many people but it shouldn't. Why? Because when our things go beyond our control they are able to accomplish so much more.

This is especially true in relationships. As we approach people from a posture of generosity with ideas, time and resources, we look very different to them. Sales people look a certain way because of control. A sales person has control of an asset and is trying to get you to purchase that asset. They want to transfer it to you for a fee.

When we come with a posture of generosity, people's guard drops. They see us as friends. We are people with their best interest in mind. We are not trying to manipulate them, convince them or butter them up for our purposes. We are there to share something we feel will benefit them.

So if you are looking for deep friendships to develop as you engage, start by being generous and letting go of control. See where God takes the relationship from there!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

What Would a Generous Politician Look Like?

We are in the middle of another election cycle in the US. But wherever you are in the world, you can relate the the drama, hype and ideology that is an election in our 21st Century world. As I have watched this election unfold (and others like it), I have begun to ask myself the question, "What would a generous politician look like?"

The reason I ask the question is that political battles are usually anything but generous. It is a game of releasing only what you must when it is to your advantage and holding back anything that would reveal too much about who you are and what you really believe.

So I thought it might be nice to share some things that a politician could do to be a Generous Mind. Here are a few ideas that I would love to see become a reality in our political landscape:
  • What if a politician shared a book they were reading each month with their constituencies? It would not be a promo for a like-minded author as much as a way for voters to get to know them, get educated and think through what the candidate is thinking through.
  • A politician might generously walk the voters through their thinking on an issue and openly share how their ideas had grown deeper, morphed and modified over their career.
  • It would be truly generous if a politician would be willing to listen to voters and then share specific responses to those concerns. Even if they didn't have a full answer, they would be willing to say that they did not and talk about how an answer might be found together.
  • What if politicians generously shared about the struggles and challenges of running for office and helped people think through the more nuanced realities they were facing rather than focus on one-liners and platitudes?
  • What if a politician wrote every speech they gave and invested their own sweat into those communications?
  • How might a voter's trust increase if a politician showed real value and appreciation for those they were running against?

These are just a few thoughts on how a politician might be more of a generous mind. Do you have any to add?

Monday, September 03, 2012

What are we working for?

We listen to a lot of country music. One of the constant themes in this genre of music is the idea of "Working for the Weekend!" It is pervasive in our culture as well. We see work as something that we must do in order to have a certain quality of life.

Work is a "means to an end" for most of us today. This causes us to resent the work and focus only on the benefits we derive from it. We begin to see our work as the time where we are out of control and our own time as the really meaningful time where we are in control of our destiny.

So as the resentment and lack of control build up, we get increasingly negative about work. Sometimes our struggles with work don't come from either of these issues but from sheer exhaustion. We live with so little margin that we struggle against the things that are driving us . . . like our work.

We find that when we allow these forces to drive our work, we loose all our joy and replace it with bitterness, frustration and discontent. But if our work is driven by our desire to share what we know with others there is opportunity for great joy.

How do we do this? Here are just a few things that make a difference in our perspective about work:
1. Finding ways throughout our day to share what we are doing and learning with others so that people benefit in small but meaningful ways.

2. Identifying the "why" behind our work so we can always keep the big picture in focus.

3. Making life part of work rather than separating it in a silo. We talk with our kids about work and build life into our work so that neither one is the master of the other.

4. Striving to see God glorified in all our work so that we are ultimately working for Him rather than for any earthly reason.

We hope these ideas are an encouragement as you ask yourself the question "What am I working for?"

Monday, August 27, 2012

Preparing for the Day

These days our days happen to us. We look back and wonder where the time went. The meetings blend and our email piles up. Usually we have little sense of intentionality in our day.

That is a problem for a Generous Mind. Being generous with ideas requires significant planning and intentionality. You have to prep for meetings, debrief them afterwards and think through what to share as you resource people via email.

So many people I meet want to be significant but do not plan for significance. Is that something you struggle with? The quality of your interactions and the significance they have in the lives of others will be directly correlated to the time you spend on them.

So as you go through your day and think about tomorrow, ask yourself this question: "What can I do today to prepare as I seek to make tomorrow significant?"

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Generational Generosity

Joe Handley, president of Asian Access, shares this guest blog post about the generosity of the leaders who had gone before him. He has a wonderful challenge for each of us!

It is not often that successive leaders in one organization work well in collaboration and resourcing. So I find myself blessed to reap the investment from all three of my predecessors at Asian Access. They have laid a rich foundation for the ministry, which is not often seen in ministry and organizational leadership.

Each, in their own way, continues investing in the ministry and in me their successor. It is both inspiring to see and powerful to experience.
 
Our founder set our course in ideation that was way ahead of it's time and has even become more vogue in ministry the last 10-15 years. He stood on top of a hill overlooking Tokyo and asked a Japanese pastor his vision for the nation. After the pastor shared at length, he apologized and said, "Ken, you are the apostle God sent to Japan. What is your vision for our country?" Ken replied, "My vision is to empower your vision!" That spirit, now much more at the center of mission than it was 40 years ago, carries the ministry of Asian Access to this day. It continues to drive us. We are about developing leaders who multiply churches to unite the church, multiply leaders and congregations and extend the transforming power of the Gospel.

His immediate follower, Steve Hoke, helped shape and form the ministry into an effective organization. He took the entrepreneurial ethos and spirit to new heights by strengthening the systems and structure, so that Asian Access would have an enduring legacy. In addition, Steve continues investing in Asian Access in the same manner that Ken does: by sharing his wisdom and resources. Both men continue to share their vast contacts in ministry and fund development that are essential for a ministry to survive.

Fast forward to my immediate predecessor, Doug Birdsall. Doug had the keen insight and foresight to focus the ministry around that original call "to empower leaders". He discerned God's best for Asian Access in a season of great missional change. Through his able leadership, the mission focused and then was able to expand as that focus became a leading edge factor for ministry across Asia. Like the two before him, Doug shares his connections and resources well.

All three have mentored me over the past three-and-a-half years. They practice the principle of generational generosity Each, in their different ways, continues to build the ministry of Asian Access by encouraging, platforming, and blessing the next generation. They frequently call me to encourage or give sound advice and periodically are available for in-depth discipleship, mentoring or counsel. In addition, all share their wealth of wisdom and networks for the good of the ministry and for the strengthening of my generation.

I pray that I, in turn, will practice what they have done me by investing in the following generations. What a tremendous legacy Asian Access has in these remarkable leaders who continuously sow seeds into the mission long after they have stepped into new kingdom roles.

Who do you need to thank for investing in you? And how you can pay it forward to the next generation? Let me know your thoughts.

Monday, August 20, 2012

FREELY GIVE? Why one professional journalist opted to give away some of his good stuff

NOTE: We are thrilled to have one of our partners, Dean Merrill, sharing about his journey as a Generous Mind. Take some time to explore the content that he has generously made available and ask yourself, what God might be challenging you to give to others.

I sold my first piece of writing at age 21—which led the national youth magazine that bought it (Campus Life) to offer me a real job with a real paycheck. I’ve been earning my living in Christian publishing ever since.

Understandably, I guess I’ve assumed along the way that if you’re really good at your craft, you’ll get paid for it. When people or publications have asked me to write something for free, I’ve thought that was something only amateurs did. I’ve usually found a polite way to say I “couldn’t work it into my schedule just now,” or some other excuse.

But what about some of history’s greatest authors—Moses, David, Isaiah, or Paul? So far as I know, they collected no royalties. (Their current publishers are doing just fine, however.) What about John Wesley, who wrote as an old man, “I have laboured as much as many writers; and all my labour has gained me, in seventy years, a debt of five or six hundred pounds”?

This past winter, I stepped out of my professional persona and decided simply to give something away to the Body of Christ. After all, the economics of publishing are in upheaval these days, anyway; the Internet has wrought huge changes in all our formulas for remuneration. Maybe I could afford to skip that headache for the benefit of a nine-session course I’d taught at my church, which had been well received.

The result has turned out to be a free curriculum posted online, where anybody can download it. It’s called “GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES—What 19 Centuries Tell Us about the Holy Spirit’s Gifts in Action” (see www.greatcloudcourse.com). It offers full-scale leader presentations plus 80 PowerPoint slides, links to several custom-edited YouTube clips, and a dozen handout sheets for attenders.

What would be a reasonable retail price for this package? I haven’t bothered to calculate. Other projects are paying my bills these days, and meanwhile, I’m willing to let God do with this course whatever he sees fit.

Back when I was a teenager, I sensed a call to ministry one day through what Jesus told his disciples: “Freely you have received; freely give” (Matt. 10:8). I had freely received the blessings of growing up in a Christian home with devout parents who had provided a Christian high school education, music lessons, and tons of encouragement. Now it was time to start giving back. I turned down a paying job that summer to travel and sing with a music group for next-to-nothing.

Now these decades later, I’ve taken another step in the generous life by putting this course online for no charge. Will it be a big success? Down the road, will it pay me back somehow? I have no idea. The value instead is in the sharing, the insights passed along to those who will engage with the material. For me, that’s reward enough.

Dean Merrill is the author or co-author of more than 40 books, including national best-sellers. He has served in leadership posts at Campus Life, David C. Cook, Focus on the Family, and International Bible Society (now Biblica). For the past eight years, he has worked independently from his home in Colorado Springs, where he lives with his wife, Grace. (For a full roster of his books, see www.deanmerrill.com.) He was assisted in developing the “Great Cloud of Witnesses” course templates by Generous Mind.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Gut Check - Global Leadership Summit 2012

We are pleased to have David Soper, wwwinspiredbythewordofgod.com, guest blogging today about last week's Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit. We hope you enjoy his personal reflections on this important event.

Bill Hybels began the closing session of the 2012 Global Leadership Summit by saying that leaders need an "annual recalibration, a vision infusion, a gut check".  (I love that Bill says things like "gut check")  For me, the gut check at this GLS was a moment of profound gratitude. Bill went on to share his story of growing up in a lifeless, loveless, powerless church, but as a college student being seized by the vision of what the church was intended to be.  I'm so glad he was seized by that vision.  With tears in my eyes, I was reminded of what God had done in my life a little over 20 years ago at Willow Creek.  

Early in 1991, I moved from East Lansing, Michigan to Schaumburg, Illinois looking for a fresh start.  At 31, I was a fairly successful young engineer, but had struggled for years with drug use, and even though I was a professing Christian, my heart was far from God.  I started attending Willow Creek hoping to find my way back to God.  What happened over the next year was nothing short of a miracle.

I came back to God, I met fired-up Christians, I fell in love with Jesus again, and I soaked up great Bible teaching.  As I worked through serious sin issues and bondage, God was faithful and used my new friends at Willow to pray for me and challenge me.  And if that wasn't enough, God introduced me to my future wife there.  Earlier that same year, Connie had come to Christ and was baptized at Willow.  By God's grace we fell in love and one year later we were married.  

This is the vision that Bill was seized by - broken people transformed by the love of Christ and a healing community.  My life has been permanently altered because of that vision. Willow was not perfect then, nor is it now.  But God is perfect, and through the hands of faithful, trustworthy, and devoted servants the church of Jesus Christ can be the life-giving, power-filled place it's supposed to be.


I thank God that Bill had the courage to chase that vision back then, and that he challenged leaders to do the same today.  As I prayed along with 1000's of others to pledge my love, my heart, my talents, my energy, I was moved to the core and reminded once again that Jesus Christ is building His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!


David Soper and his wife, Connie, live in McAllen with their three precocious canines, Sonny, Oscar and Happy.  He works as a Sales Executive for a major IT company and often travels around the globe for business.  They both have a passion for discipleship and ministry, and are active members of Palm Valley Church.  David is a graduate of Michigan Tech (engineering) and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (theology) and serves on the boards of Palm Valley Church and the World Radio Network, which has 14 Christian radio stations along the US-Mexico border from Brownsville to Yuma, Arizona.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

It’s All in the Name

NOTE: We are pleased to have Vikki Walton sharing her thoughts about how to be a Generous Mind by learning people's names and paying attention to details. After all, how can you share your ideas with someone if you can't even get their name right!

It’s happened to me. Maybe it’s happened to you as well. You contact someone through email or they message you, and they respond with your name spelled incorrectly. For those of us with various ways that our name can be spelled we simply accept this on most occasions. However, when your name is written there in full view or the person has been corresponding with you for some time and still spells your name incorrectly, then it begins to become frustrating.

The statement has been made that the sweetest word is the sound of a person’s own name. In these days of visual dialogue, the incorrect spelling of a name is often no different than calling Jane . . . Sue. So why should this matter? Because it reveals a lot about the individual. Are they detailed? Do they take the time to ensure that they are correct in their response? Do they care about others?

Certainly if someone doesn’t spell a name correctly, it doesn’t automatically make that person someone who lacks empathy or is disrespectful of others. However, in my profession as a nonprofit consultant I work with many individuals who interact with those who may become donors to their organization. If these groups expect—or want—others to be generous, they must return the favor by showing respect to that person by addressing them correctly.
So how can you show your generosity to others?
1.      When you meet someone and they state their name, ask them, “Is it spelled this way” or “How do you spell your name?” For most people, that not only shows your interest in them but that you respect them.

2.      If you goof and spell someone’s name incorrectly through digital correspondence, quickly respond back to them with an apology. Most people will simply think it is inconsequential and forget about it. However, those who have taken the time to come back and apologize for their error have risen a notch in my estimation of them.

3.      Use the person’s name when you speak or correspond with them. Not only will this help you to remember them, but it builds a greater connection. For example: “Hi. Jon. Nice to meet you. Do you spell your name with an h?” Then as you leave, to reinforce your remembrance of them, you can state their name again. If you want to begin to remember people’s names, the easiest way is simply speaking it.
A name is the most personal thing a person shares with the world, and you can be assured that “a lilac by any other name would not smell as sweet.“
Vikki (not Vicky or Vickie or Vickky or Vikkie or Vickkie) Walton
Vikki Walton is Founder and President of grants for higher, llc. As a nonprofit consultant, certified grants specialist and certified grants reviewer, she comes alongside nonprofits that are intent on taking their vision to the next level. She is also a requested speaker for nonprofit training seminars and women’s events. As a freelance writer, her byline has appeared in local papers such as the Gazette’s “Experience”, “Home”, as well as the Broadmoor’s in-house magazine.  She has also had pieces published in magazines and compilation books and is a book reviewer for iloveamysterynewsletter.com. The spelling of her name was taken from the singer, Vikki Carr.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Don't Miss Any Opportunity to be Generous

Our Generous Mind team attended the International Christian Retailing Show a few weeks ago. It was a great time to connect with publishers and authors as we strive to help mentor thought leaders in building long-term platforms to share their ideas. We had so many great conversations.
One of those conversations was with an author named Ron Wagley, retired president, CEO and chairman of Transamerica Insurance. What an amazing and godly leader with a servants heart. He shared his passion for discipleship and how that passion produced his new book "Finding Strength in Tough Times."
We talked about the lessons he had learned as he discipled people from his community and church. We learned about his heart for reaching out to other CEOs and his love of golf. He showcased what it meant to be a Generous Mind!

Just a few days after that event we learned that he passed away suddenly from a heart attack. What sad news. It was tragic to hear of such a passionate servant loosing his life so suddenly.

But as I thought about meeting him just a week earlier, I rejoiced in one thing. He was faithful in God's call to be a generous mind. Sure he could have put off gathering his thoughts, capturing his insights and producing a book. But he didn't. He obviously felt God wanted him to share what he had learned and now we will benefit for years to come even as he is worshiping next to his Savior.

It reminds me of the urgency that comes with all of God's directives on our lives. If God is challenging you to do something, like being a generous mind, don't wait. This might be the very moment when he wants you to impart those ideas and you may not get another chance. Or maybe you will . . . the point is obedience.

Just like Ron responded in obedience and left his legacy in this book, along with many other ways, God wants you to respond to his challenge on your life today. Will you?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Want to experience Generous Minds in action? Be a judge...

...of a writing contest that is. I just recently was a judge for MAI's blog contest. What an honor to read through these amazing posts from around the world and learn from writers on every continent. When you put yourself in the position to interact with what people are sharing it is an amazing opportunity.

Make sure to check out these amazing entries and check back to see the winners.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Being Generous Starts with Your Notes

I'm not a good note taker. That is a very valuable skill and one that some possess in greater quality than others. But that doesn't mean that note taking isn't extremely important. Taking notes is a skill that equips us to follow through on what we are learning and committing to as we attend meetings and connect with partners and friends.

In fact, note taking is at the center of being a Generous Mind. There are two main ways that note taking helps to be generous with your ideas:

1. So many of our ideas come at strange times and in awkward places. We are not always ready to share them when we get them. That means that sharing them requires that we write them down for use in the future. We have all had the experience of waking up in the middle of the night with an idea, assuring ourselves that we would remember it, and then subsequently forgetting it entirely. Notes capture our ideas and allow us to share them in the future.

2. When we are with people in meetings or at events (like the ICRS conference I'm at right now), we commit to share many things. We want to connect people, share links, and send resources. Many times we make these promises but don't actually follow through because we don't have notes to remind us. Taking notes of our action points is key to being generous with those we are engaging.

So are you taking notes today? What do you need to be writing down in order to be a Generous Mind?

Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Tyranny of the Too Much

Recently I was at a meeting with a friend of ours, Robin Jones Gunn. We were talking about many interesting things related to our writing, global publishing, marketing and such. During one of our conversations, Robin said something like this, "We have gone beyond the Tyranny of the Urgent and now we struggle with the Tyranny of the Too Much."

That was a simple and powerful way to describe the way most people feel every day. We feel overwhelmed, inundated and unable to process all that comes our way. Just following twitter can make your head spin as the articles, quotes and news come flowing in.

One of the questions we have asked ourselves with the Generous Mind cause is this, "Are we simply making the problem worse by challenging people to create even more ideas and information that no one has time to read or process?"

What a question! Are we part of the problem or presenting a solution? I sure hope we are part of the solution. But how can more information and ideas being shared generously be a solution to anything???

One common misconception about the Generous Mind cause is that it is a challenge to simply be generous with "your" ideas. We think of the world very individualistically so we immediately assume that we must be generous with what we possess.

However, generosity of ideas can apply to things developed by others. Unlike with money, you can be generous with what others are creating. This makes idea generosity a bit unique and very exciting. One of the key ways to be a Generous Mind is to be on the lookout for worthwhile ideas that others are sharing and help get them out to more people.

So as you wake up tomorrow and start your new week, be on the lookout for important ideas that others are sharing that deserve a wider audience. Look for them and then, with appropriate attribution, send them along to your audience. This is something that we do every day on our twitter feed in our effort to be generous with the ideas of others. We hope you will join us in this essential part of the cause.

As a good way to get started, find one great idea out there and share it as a response to this blog!

Monday, July 02, 2012

On Coming Home

When I thought about coming home, I was concerned about the impact of the devastation on our daily life. It’s disturbingly small. Some people in our circles lost everything while our pocket of the city was spared by a four lane road and a stop light. When I look at the mountains out my window, the deep evergreen color has turned two shades darker to black, but it almost seems as if a cloud’s shadow is passing over.

It doesn’t seem fair, does it? I know that I said that I wanted to accept God’s provision in my life even if it meant simply the ability to cope—and I do. So, why am I having trouble accepting God’s provision for the little girls in my daughter’s class who have lost their homes? Why do I doubt that He will provide for them as He will for me and my family? Why should I doubt that He will be faithful to draw them to himself for comfort?

I sat down to my desk this morning to work and I couldn’t. My work as a writer is to make sense of life, and life doesn’t seem to make much sense. A few days ago the light of the afternoon sun was snuffed out, the air chokingly thick and ash littered the few belongings we crammed in the van. Now I’m back in the same house, breathing fresh air with invisible pain all around me.

I got a whiff of campfire smell and immediately felt irritable. How am I supposed to continue meeting deadlines, having meetings, shopping, and facilitating social engagements as if nothing happened at all? I suppose I can’t. Not by myself. I guess even though the fire skirted us physically, it impacted us emotionally and we need to acknowledge that, give ourselves room, and ask God to use it in our lives.

Oh God, show me what you’re doing in my life and in the lives around me. Make sense out of this chaos and help me to rely on you for not only my own needs, but the needs of others. I pray that you WILL work all things together for good (Romans 8:28). Amen.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Reflections on watching the Waldo Canyon Fire descend

06/26/12
I spent the day soaking in the insane heat of the Colorado sun today. I worked in the yard picking out of the rocks every little weed I could find, watering the flowers I bought and planted on Saturday—the day the Waldo Canyon Fire broke out—and labeling things in the garage. I was in denial. Certainly this danger would be like the hurricanes we dodged in Ft. Lauderdale, FL or the tornadoes that skirted past us in Aurora, IL. We would scurry around preparing things only to find that we piled all our stuff in the middle of the floor for a false alarm or huddled in the basement with wide eyes only for our vegetable garden to get rained on.

I decided a couple days ago that if I saw the flames come up over the ridge that it would be time to go. But when I saw the first glimpse of flames…not coming from behind, but already an inch down the mountain, I couldn’t believe it. Is it really time? Could this be happening? I was, well, what is the word? Dumbstruck, amazed, entranced…the power of the flames was like watching a storm approach and I could barely take my eyes off “my” perfectly triangular mountain outlined in burning trees. “My” mountain. How many other people look out their window at breakfast and consider it their own mountain?

I looked around the house. Sure I’ve had a love-hate relationship with this place. Many times I wanted to escape the walls, the endless stairs, the million little things that need to be fixed, cleaned and replaced. But I certainly didn’t want anything bad to happen to it. So many memories and experiences happened here. So much pain—and growth—came with it as a backdrop. I know the sounds, the smells and the light of this house and it’s become a comfort to me. Seven years ago I moved in one person, and today I escaped another.

As I drove away, I checked the garage door a second time as is required when you have my personality. It didn’t matter that the door is broken and only closes when you override the sensor from inside the house. There’s no way it could have been open, but I wanted it to be safe—checking was all I could do.

And now checking is what I can’t do. I don’t want to see our neighborhood swallowed up by that mighty flame. So here I am on the floor with my computer—procrastinating. I just don’t want to check anymore.

We are all settled at Jon's parents' house in Palmer Lake. Sky is chirping on her swing, Cheerio is sleeping on a yellow towel and the kids are in the next room dreaming (I hope) of Phineas and Ferb. I kissed their clean little heads (we had to wash all the smoke smell off of us. I don't think I am going to enjoy a campfire for a long while!) I am so thankful that we’re all here. It will be even better when Jon and our oldest daughter come back to Colorado from Illinois on Thursday and we are ALL together.

I can't believe how blessed we are. We had to leave our home today, but God provided a place where we can shower, go to Walmart to buy our son new sandals (he got in the van without shoes!), have dinner, and watch a beautiful sky at dusk as the crushing heat seeps away. It's hard to believe there is a fire at all with the clear air and the nice conversation we had. I am glad.

The news was on when I came upstairs after talking to Jon on the phone. I saw a snippet of the houses in the neighborhood across from ours burning and I could barely stand it. Oh, God. Please provide…you always do. So why do we doubt? Because we think we have a better way? Because we want it our way? Yes, that is it for me. So God, if you choose to allow our house to burn, I thank you that you will provide in the way that you see fit. Perhaps it is that you show me a way to cope—and grow—through this. Perhaps it is the peace you have given me this whole day—the peace that passes understanding. Whatever your provision, I want to accept it because you know what is best, and I trust you. Amen.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Publishing Tweets from the MAI Board Retreat

I'm writing from the MAI Board Retreat. MAI is a author/publisher training ministry that goes to the hardest places and equips local voices to write for their countries. This morning we had Dan Balow, publisher from eChristian.com, come and share about some key trends in publishing. Here are some of the tweets I shared this morning.

The message is the message rather than the medium being the message. Format is becoming less critical.

Now books can be continually updated so that each #book is a living product rather than something that's finished & done. @danbalow #MAI

"Minimum Viable Product" means creating creating products based on the need rather than print standards or industry expectations. #MAI

What is agile #publishing? Teams of editors, sales, marketing, design etc working together to produce products. @danbalow #MAI

"Publishers need to develop direct relationships with their consumers." Dan Balow #MAI #publishing #author #books

Hearing @danbalow talk about O'Reilly tools to help authors/editors work together. Very interesting.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Tools for a New Age

"Our Age of Anxiety is, in great part, the result of trying to do today's jobs with yesterday's tools." Marshall Mcluhan

We are surrounded by anxiety. Have you ever seen a time so full of worry and concern? We are struggling with the changes in the economy, global geopolitical changes, shifts in morals and family and the list goes on.

But while we are questioning so many things, strangely we are not questioning the tools we use to deal with our daily reality. We are experiencing a major paradigm shift but we are assuming that the tools that served us well in modernity will still do the job today.

The reality is that they won’t. One example of this is found in our book Through the River. We talk through the “truth lens” of modernity, post modernity and the next age and challenge people to consider the way they are viewing truth.

But the same can be said of many areas of life. We have an unquestioningly accepted the idea that our old tools will continue to serve us in this new time. And when they don’t work, we throw up our hands in frustration.

Well, since that isn’t working so well we need a new plan. Let’s start building new tools based on the rules of this new age. Let’s start asking some of the hard questions about the rules that define this new time and then build tools that affirm our values and help us to lead effectively.

What are some examples of tools for today?
  • Empathy: The ability to put ourselves in the shoes of others will be a critical tool for an age where we are engaging with the world at so many different levels and about countless causes and activities. Take our course on Empathy by clicking here.
  • Mutuality: I got this phrase from Fritz Kling’s book “Meeting of the Waters.” (See his book for more examples of new tools.) This idea of humble engagement where we learn from each other and grow in our own abilities as we see God working in the lives of people who are very different than we are.
  • Global Community: The ability to harness global communities of people around causes and speak to them in the language of the effort will be a powerful tool for mobilization. No longer are we limited to those who stand next to us in the harvest field.
  • Civil Conviction: This phrase coined by Richard Mouw is a great tool that allows us to hold on to core truths but do it in a way that shows humility and grace. We talk about this in our book Through the River related to the truth lens of Critical Realism which says “there is truth we know and truth we are learning together.”
This is in no way an exhaustive list of tools. Instead it is a few examples of new mental tools that we will need in order to be effective in this new age. What other tools do you see as critical to today?

Monday, June 11, 2012

An Organic Look at Our Book

Recently we partnered with YWAM Organic, a video magazine presenting videos about what God is doing around the world. They asked Jon to talk about our recent book, Through the River. Our book helps you understand the three main ways people view truth in today's culture. Then it gives you practical insights into how to relate with people who have each of these truth lenses.

While we believe this book is very important to the evangelical discussion of our day, it isn't a quick read. We based it off an academic work by a mentor of ours - Dr. Paul Hiebert. So it has some deep ideas in it and you have to be willing to do some serious thinking.

That's why we love this video. The interviewer, Jon Matas, did a great job asking the core questions and pulling together a great overview of the book. Watch this video and then if the topic is something you just have to explore in more detail, you will know the book is for you!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Where Generous People Spend Their Time

"Marketers need to spend less time making promises and more time keeping them." - Seth Godin

Our world is filled with people who spend their time making promises, claims, and boasts. Very few spend their time delivering. And I can see why. We reward those with audacious promises and we get bored with everyday diligence.

So whether you are a marketer, a project manager, a baker or a housewife, there is something to learn here. When you look at your day, what percentage of the time are you making promises about what you will do and what percentage are you delivering on those promises?

Sometimes we get addicted to making promises. We get a rush from the connection, the potential, the power of what might be. It is so thrilling that we immediately seek out the next rush. The problem of course is that we have now left that old promise in the dust and have extended ourselves so much that we are unlikely to be able to fulfill it.

Generous people learn to be generous with their promises and with the follow through. It would not be true generosity if they didn't, right? If I only promise to give a donation, I am not generous. It takes follow through to call it generosity.

The same is true in every other area (including our minds). Being generous requires more than promising to share your thoughts. You have to actually share them in a meaningful way!

What areas have you made promises but failed to follow through? What can you do today to make a change and begin to show true generosity?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Generosity in the Face of Imperfection

What is one of the main reasons that people do not share their ideas? It's simply the fear and insecurity that we place on our work. We want it to be just right and it never is. So our work languishes in the shadows of our mind instead of becoming a beam of light to bless those who read it.

Our team at Generous Mind is passionate about helping people overcome this fear. Part of what we do is mentor authors as they seek to develop their cause, create their content and grow their community. One of the authors we are working with is Daniel Blackaby. He will be officially launching the first book of his fantasy trilogy next week. Make sure to join his communities and his journey.

We will share more about his book and his cause (Liberating the imagination) in the future. But today, we are highlighting one of his first blog posts on his Imagination Underground Railroad blog. Daniel does an incredible job of tackling this issue of fear in insecurity about a creative's work head on. In the post he poses this question, "...will the fear of imperfection or the joy of creativity rule the day?"

Daniel shares in his post "Prerequisite of Imperfection" that each of us is imperfect and that we have set a false standard in our work as creatives. His goal is to liberate us so that we can be generous. Well, he inspired us!

Make sure to read this post and ask yourself, "What fear or insecurity is holding you back from sharing your ideas, art, or other creative works?"

Monday, May 28, 2012

Helping Kids be Generous

Sometimes kids need help being generous. It's not that they don't have amazing ideas to share and creative ways to share them. However, sometimes they need to see that adults want to hear their ideas.

Today is Memorial Day in the US and we are celebrating those who have served and those who serve in our military. So we asked our kids to create a picture that would highlight how thankful they are to these soldiers who have sacrificed for them.

Here is what they produced:


Our oldest is into cats, so she produced this image of a warrior cat thanking the troops. If you like young adult cat fiction, make sure to check out her blog: Oneclaw Media.


Our second created this note to his great grandpa who served in World War II and  his grandpa many times removed who served in the Civil War. It is wonderful to see his desire to connect with those who have come before. When we told him he couldn't use his name he decided that Oto was a good pen name.


Our youngest can't write much yet so she drew this. At first she didn't like the idea of her work being on the Internet but then she warmed to it. We love the way she made the lines different and so colorful. We never did get a clear story about what this represents.

We hope that these three simple examples showcase how children can be generous when given a platform to share what is on their heart.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Generous Minds Learn Together

A key characteristic of a Generous Mind is being a life-long learner. This is because you can't continue to be generous with your ideas unless you are learning new things to begin with. However in your lives today learning is so hard to prioritize.

There are a few reasons for that. The first and most obvious is that we are to busy to learn. Another reason is that our culture tells us that we must project a sense of expertise in order to build influence. By always acting the expert we convince ourselves we don't need to learn any more. Finally, we don't learn because we struggle to find the content that will help us. There are many courses and trainings that just aren't the right fit.

Well, in our Generous Mind community we are committed to fostering learning in key areas related to sharing ideas. So we will be rolling out a series of courses using the TED-Ed platform over the next few months.

Our first course is a very important one on Empathy. We have found that people's ability to engage their communities and equip them to grow is defined by their ability to empathize with their communities.

So we hope you can take our course on Empathy and share with us how it has helped you be more generous with the ideas God has given you.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What to do Post-Conference

We are all good at "going" to conferences. You have the travel, meetings, seminars, late nights, inspirational plenary sessions and so on. But we are usually very bad at the Pre-conference prep and the Post-conference debrief.

Generous Mind was just involved in helping with the 2012 Evangelical Press Association event in Colorado Springs (see all the tweets at #EPA2012). It was an excellent event with a wonderful mix of worship, learning, connecting and thinking.

But the greatest challenge for those who attended EPA last week and any of you who have recently been to a conference is how intentional you will be in your followup. Because it is in the followup that all the money, hard work and effort to attend the event will pay off.

So here are a few things to help make your Post-conference debrief more meaningful and your learning more long-term:

  1. Write a blog or a report for your organization that outlines the 10-20 key ideas that you came away from the event with. Ask for questions and input from those you share it with.
  2. Pick 5 ideas that you gathered from the event and write out how you will apply them over the next 4 weeks with very specific goals for what you want to achieve.
  3. Commit to continue interacting with at least one person that you met via social media, phone or email.
  4. Ask yourself how what you learned should impact the way you view your world. Take away at least 2 things that are of long-term significance.
  5. Write down what you can do to better prepare for the same event next year so that you have a plan ready to implement as the next event nears.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

An amazing event

Our Generous Mind Team has been rather quiet on the blog this week because we were very involved in this year's Evangelical Press Association (EPA) event here in Colorado Springs. This is a wonderful conference for writers, editors, designers, marketers, etc. It is highly focused on learning and equipping and has a ton of very practical value.

We led a workshop, participated in two panels and also helped coordinate the EPA twitter strategy using the #EPA2012 hashtag. Here are the wrapups from each of the days of the conference. We hope that these ideas and fun insights are an encouragement to you as you strive to be a generous mind.

Wednesday Night Wrapup

@tedolsen Ready to get going at #epa2012 - planners put together some very impressive workshops this year

@MegBiallas Moses dropped in on #EPA2012 opening dinner to talk about faith-based social gaming -- in traditional dress + iPad!

@agreermusic: Happy to be leading worship for #EPA2012 @EPAtweeter at Colorado Springs' @FocusFamily !" // thnx 4 being here!

@EPAtweeter We will be hearing from Dr. Scott Todd from @compassion talking about the 58 partnership #epa2012

@DeWayneHamby We are awakening to a gospel that doesn't separate demonstration from proclamation. - Dr. Scott Todd @truefast #EPA2012

@joshmcquaid The church of tomorrow won't interact with poverty as it does now...how are we changing? Are we changing? Dr Scott Todd at #EPA2012

@generousmind Malaria kills a million kids every year, but 22 countries recently cut their rates in half. Scott Todd #epa2012 // amazing

@lindacanup "What are your expectations for the future of the poor?" - Scott Todd #EPA2012

@DFRidings "God has given us everything to end extreme poverty" -- Scott Todd. Wake up church! #EPA2012

@philoday Ending global poverty: $73 billion per year for 10 years. All the resources needed exist, and it can get done. Scott Todd. #EPA2012

Thursday Wrapup
@joshmcquaid What makes coffee better? A side of Pikes Peak. Way to pick a killer spot #epa2012

@imrobertjohnson Multimedia is about giving control to the user. #EPA2012

@sandraglahn Listening 2 Al Tompkins, Pointer Institute's lead spkr on 10 Laws of Multimedia Storytelling. #EPA2012

@generousmind Attending the seminar on mentoring at #epa2012. Mentoring triad: God-mentor-mentee. Are u being mentored/mentoring.

@imrobertjohnson New media: story BEGINS on publication vs. old media: story ENDS on publication. #EPA2012

@AnnHovsepian #EPA2012 - Humour can be a great way to break into secular markets (also think Amy Awards). @EPAtweeter
@joshduv How you curate your content is everything! - @louannsabatier #EPA2012 Publishing Steps to Take in 2012

@EPAtweeterAre you mentoring across departmental lines? Creates org connectivity and greater learning. Dr. Liz Selzer #epa2012

@MattBranaugh Stat from mobiThinking: 1 in 4 download a mobile app--and use it only once. #epa2012

@DavidJMadeira Brush Fire Mobile - Successful app will cost over $100K & need to include strategy, marketing & upkeep. Proceed w caution. #EPA2012

@AnnHovsepian Pause before the punchline; in written humour, spacing and punctuation provide that pause. #EPA2012

@joshduv A publication may be WHAT you are, but branding is WHO you are. Nobody buys/donates on fact alone. Brand = emotion. Critical!! #EPA2012

@lindacanup @generousmind - all content has an ecosystem, but we often choose to ignore it. #EPA2012

@AnnHovsepian Social media sites are the means, not the end, of your influence as writer. - Al Tompkins #EPA2012

@mkvermillion Cause: an others-focused effort that allows community to form and act to accomplish a specific goal. #EPA2012

@MegBiallas Session on generational differences and mentoring. Great overview of 4 generations in the workplace. #EPA2012

@AnnHovsepian What can you use besides text for your stories? Photos, video, audio, charts, illustrations, interactive maps... #EPA2012. @EPAtweeter

@FocusFamily Great having the Evangelical Press Association here on campus this week. Follow @epatweeter and #EPA2012.

@DeWayneHamby Number one reason people don't even open your email - it's not relevant. @louannsabatier #epa2012

@joshduv #EPA2012: More young people are watching video. Increased by more than 100% in a year. // 90% of that's probably Justin Bieber music videos.

@MegBiallas Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, speaking now at #EPA2012. http://lockerz.com/s/207945158

@joshduv Key leadership quality: Know your heart as best you can. #EPA2012 Greatest weakness in Christian leaders: too much ego, too little God

@lindacanup "God is getting us ready for something more than the culture wars." @DalyFocus #EPA2012

@brittanyklaus @agreermusic really appreciating your leading worship at EPA--loving the hymns. #EPA2012

@imrobertjohnson sitting in the "Geeky Goodness" workshop with @atompkins. you can check out some of the geeky goodness at http://aimfortheheart.com/cool-tools/ #EPA2012

@joshmcquaid why we blog: because we never know how God might use our writing @ElsaKokColopy #EPA2012

@joshduv New magazine model for content, design and publishing requires three times the work of old model. #EPA2012

@ashboyer Fun running into old friends and making new ones @ #EPA2012.

@joshmcquaid good bloggers are good observers of their world @ElsaKokColopy #EPA2012

@imrobertjohnson Do you need to check the validity of a document or a photo, check out the metadata that is attached with each file! #EPA2012

@brentrinehart Great session on blogging from @elsakokcolopy #EPA2012! You have no idea who will see your post & how they will be encouraged. So write!

@philoday The Best and Worst Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter http://mashable.com/2012/05/09/best-time-to-post-on-facebook/ via #epa2012 @jadeatherage

@joshduv Inspiring, intense, encouraging, uplifting day at #EPA2012. You all are living, breathing, amazing stories. Keep sharing your heart.

@JenicaBreLee How do you cope with significant loss? Great session on starting over by Rusty Wright today. They even prayed over me! #blessed #epa2012

@agreermusic RT @generousmind There is an inconclusiveness in hymns that I love. @agreermusic // great way to discribe authenticity in hymns! #epa2012

Friday Wrapup
@AnnHovsepian As if the networking opportunities at #EPA2012 weren't great enough, I get to soak in views such as this. Loving CO! http://pic.twitter.com/qyunp7Gs

@ryanksmith RT @DeWayneHamby: So far my takeaway from #EPA2012 is GO MOBILE. Need to prioritize development on app and/or mobile-friendly site.

@imrobertjohnson Keyboard shortcut for making brushes larger or smaller: use the brackets beside the "P" -- [ or ] #EPA2012

@ryanksmith Email is not a broadcast medium any more. It's effective for your core audience, but not for cold calls. #epa2012

@lindacanup Contextualize your content for the day. how will it benefit the people on a given platform? @generousmind #EPA2012

@imrobertjohnson If you use Illustrator, you better be using artboards! #EPA2012

@MegBiallas Favorite sign I've seen this week at #EPA2012. http://instagr.am/p/Kffikti7el/

@josephvijayam My seminar at #EPA2012 on picking the right #technology vendor is about to begin! Hope you will be there!

@joshduv The best #writing internships are those that actually let interns write/get published. This requires more risk for manager. #EPA2012

@joshmcquaid rebranding is about more than just how you look...it's how you live out your brand #EPA2012

@imrobertjohnson Does your internal image match your external image? This is an indicator of your need for rebranding. #EPA2012

@DeWayneHamby What a wonderful treat to hear a female choir from Azusa Pacific singing today in the hall for FOTF during #EPA2012http://youtu.be/6JxMHMkQw78

@joshduv When hiring #freelance #writers, remember it's not just about the legal contracts but also about maintaining good relationships. #EPA2012

@joshmcquaid there's no outsourcing of a rebranding process...you have to make the internal investment too #EPA2012

@juliawurst Met the sweetest woman who spontaneously prayed for me at #epa2012. Love making these connections!


@AlexMurashko Soaking it all in at #OccupyFocusOnTheFamily (with no complaints!) #EPA2012

@lindacanup: New EPA logo revealed #EPA2012 http://pic.twitter.com/v3drC7pS" // check out the new logo!
@philoday New logo for Evangelical Press Association. RGB colors reflect explosion of digital content. @EPAtweeter #EPA2012 http://pic.twitter.com/WFU1Vb1a

@joshduv Starting the ideal editor workshop at #EPA2012. "Editors make the difference between a piece of work and a piece of art."

@MegBiallas OMG. Leif and @mafeinberg are treating us to chocolate and strawberries for the last workshop of the day. Be jealous. #EPA2012

@joshduv What's the mission, theme, purpose of your publication? #Editors must bring that down into the editing process. #EPA2012

@generousmind You don't have to create something out of nothing to be innovative. Margaret Fienberg #epa2012

@lindacanup Your brand needs to be stories--share the stories that make your community what it is @mafeinberg #EPA2012

@joshmcquaid Bloggers, writers, editors, know what stories aren't yours to tell and have the boldness to sacrifice the "punch" @mafeinberg #EPA2012

@joshduv As the #editor you have the power to make or break a writer, to crush them or bless them! #EPA2012

@joshmcquaid @mafeinberg make a list of the other people doing what you're doing and pray for them (and tell them) #EPA2012

@KatherineTPhan Margaret Feinberg tells evang pub to extend grace to each other to get through tough shifts We r not alone @mafeinberg #EPA2012

@ryanksmith What else are your readers reading? Look at those sources and learn from them. @mafeinberg at #EPA2012

@generousmind @KatherineTPhan: Dont give up, pass on wisdom to, raise next gen of christian media professionals @mafeinberg #EPA2012"// yes!

@AnnHovsepian Loved #EPA2012. Also love that I'm going home tomorrow. NOT loving the fact that I have to pack tonight. Hope all this SWAG fits in bag. :)

@pamelapraniuk Had a great time at EPA this year!! I'm still processing everything I have learned these past couple of days!! #ColoradoSprings #EPA2012