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

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:

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:!/MAIfanpage

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