Living a Generous Life @ChristmasCount @goodmenproject

generosityI recently read, “The Genius of Generosity” by Chip Ingram.

Less than 100 pages in length, this book flipped the switch on a major light bulb moment in my life.

Told through a simple story of generosity, this true-life experience has the ability to change lives and create a movement that is often missing in our society.

The gist of the book is shared in Chapter One.  A new Pastor is given access to a secret checkbook with the sole purpose of being generous.  The lessons that emerge are profound.

As I read the book, it occurred to me that generosity is one of the simplest actions for us to partake in.  During this Christmas season, we think about the generosity of gifts, how generous will you be with your boss, the kid’s teachers and Aunt Edith?  Many of us look at generosity as a task that is expected on special occasions, “The Genius of Generosity” made it clear that true generosity is found in year-round service and giving.

In reading the book, I began to look for opportunities that I could be generous.  Through my time, talents, gifts and service, generosity allows me to shape the future in small and large ways.

In seeking opportunities to be generous, I found that the true reward has little to do with what I give, but more about the feeling I get in giving.  Knowing that my small gift helps make the life of someone else easier certainly is a blessing that far outweighs the gift.

As I search for opportunities that I can be generous, I find that often it is in small gifts of service or finance that makes the biggest differences.  It isn’t about the big gift, but the small token that allows someone to know that they are being thought of by a neighbor.

Generosity has nothing to do with size, it is all about heart.

As I have looked for giving opportunities, I have found them.  No big life altering donations or life changing moments, just small gestures that make a difference.

The rewards I have found through generosity have far more to do with my heart than the gifts.  Being generous simply feels good, there is no other way to say it and if 20, or 50 or 100 dollars can help someone, the feeling I get is 10 fold.

Most importantly I have found that generosity is best given quietly.  We hear stories of major gifts given by celebrities on a daily basis, but I contend that while those gifts are miraculous, they pale in comparison to those given quietly and without fanfare.

“The Genius of Generosity” is a testament to what can be done when we look for opportunities to serve.   The book highlights 12 “bright ideas” of generosity that are simple take-aways for the reader….

  • To be smart, spend carefully.  To be wise save, regularly.  To be genius, give extravagantly.
  • When your money goes, your heart flows.
  • Generosity is a gateway into intimacy with God.
  • Stewardship is the path.  Generosity is the adventure.
  • Generous givers make God and His purposes their highest priority.
  • Enjoy God’s generosity to you…. then share it with others.
  • Faith increases giving, and giving increases faith.
  • Those blessed by God become blessers for God.
  • Generous living is joyful living.
  • God measures generosity not by the size of the gift but by the size of the sacrifice.
  • Generosity isn’t an act.  It’s a way of life.
  • True generosity doesn’t stop with possessions.  It starts with them.

As I have sought out opportunities to be generous my life has found greater joy.  Don’t get me wrong, I want great gifts for Christmas and I still ponder how much to spend on co-workers and Aunt Edith, but I know those challenges will work themselves out.  My more important thoughts are on how I can generously affect someone’s life.

Ironically, the more you give, the more you want to give.  As I seek ways to be in service, I find greater peace and joy in the simple gifts of generosity.

This Christmastime my thoughts don’t revolve around brightly colored bows or snowflakes, my greater joy will be found in service and generosity.  Ironically, isn’t that what the first Christmas was all about anyway?

About the  author Chip Ingram is Senior Pastor of Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, CA and President of Living on the Edge, a teaching and discipleship ministry that provides practical help for everyday believers. He has a unique ability to communicate truth and winsomely challenge people to live out their faith. He has served as a pastor for more than 25 years and as president of Walk Thru the Bible.  The author of 12 books, Chip reaches more than a million people each week on radio and television worldwide.  Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four adult children and six grandchildren.

Tuesday 10 – Janna Renee, Perception is Everything – Blogger, 10.22.13

Tuesday
Meet Janna Renee, author of Perception is Everything a great blog that traces her life as a young married woman dealing with the daily challenges and the heroic challenge of keeping the home fires burning while her soldier husband serves.  But the blog is more, life, love and fun of a young woman with incredible energy and passion for life…. a good read!
Perception is Everything, is just what it says, and Janna has a unique and humorous way at looking at what life has to offer.
I love the way Janna describes herself and her blog…..
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Thanks for taking part in the Tuesday 10, Janna and thanks for your writing!
1)Excluding family members, who inspires you?
I find inspirations everywhere…blogging, reading, meeting new people. Other than family or my husband, there really isn’t one person that I fixate on. I simply try to keep my heart and mind open to find inspiration in the most unlikely of places.
2)What is your guilty pleasure?
I don’t actually do much that I feel guilty about, but I love chocolate, pizza, and other generic desires that one tends to feel guilty about indulging in.
3)If you were to write a book, who is one person you would want to list in the acknowledgements and what would you say?
“I would like to dedicate this book to my dear husband, without whom, this book would not have occurred. If only I had listened to him years ago, I would be ten books in instead of this first one. If by chance you don’t find this book entertaining, then you may also send the negative credit his way, as well. Like I said, without him…this book would not have occurred.”
4)What is your favorite sandwich?
Either Sour Dough buttered with garlic, parsley, and mesquite turkey or turkey, pepperoni, pepper jack, onions, and pesto.
5)What is the best professional advice you ever received?
Work to live, don’t live to work. May sound counterproductive to professionally excelling one’s career, but we all have different priorities and my priorities aren’t work related.
6)As a child, what was your favorite bedtime story?
The Giving Tree, and I still periodically read it to this day.
7)Who is the first Presidential candidate you ever voted for?
I plead the fifth on the particular candidate, because I mostly keep my political beliefs out of blogland, but it was the 2004 election!
8)What is the one career achievement you are most proud of?
Um…I don’t have a career, per say…but it could be a toss-up between work printing a full size poster of me or getting published in a Chicken Soup book.
9)If you could spend the day with any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
Harry Potter. I love to get lost in the series, and visiting the Harry Potter World at Universal Studios just made me even more obsessed.
10)What is the best meal you ever ate?
I have eaten waaaay to many good meals to narrow them down, but I love anything that my family cooks, and my husband is a god in the kitchen. I guess if I had to eat one place for the rest of my life, I would say Broadmoor Brunch. Brunch happens to be my favorite meal as long as there is a buffet to go with it.
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