Jan 31, 2013

February 1: Day to Share and Prepare for a Generous Month



What could happen if we join together as a community for 28 days of generosity?  You are in the right place.  The month of February we'll make it happen.  We'll have our own experiment in generosity right here in Western Colorado (if you are reading from outside the area, don't hesitate to join in).  Each day we'll join together being generous. The wonderful TED video with Michael Norton suggests that giving to others makes our lives better.  Science proves that giving releases Oxytocin in our bodies, giving us a positive lift when we are generous.  Receiving has the same effect.  Join in for the 28 Days of Generosity.  February 1st is Day 1 and we will spend the day sharing and preparing for generosity.  Each day we'll share some ideas to get the creative juices flowing.  Feel free to post your ideas and share in the comments, on Facebook and beyond.  28 Days Kick Off Event: 5:30 p.m. at Great Harvest (bring a friend and join the fun)!
  1. Invite a friend to join you in the 28 Days of Generosity
  2. Tell everyone you see today about the adventure you are undertaking and ask them to join you
  3. Forward a link to this page
  4. Tweet about it
  5. Catch up with The 28 Days of Generosity on Facebook
  6. Print off the calendar and plan ahead with family and friends
  7. Share the idea with groups you are a part of--your church, the folks at the gym, your co-workers...
  8. Share the 28 days with a complete stranger
  9. Start a kindness journal and include in your entries how kindness makes you feel
  10. Check out the front page of the Montrose Daily Press where you can catch each of the 28 Days of Generosity.
Our community is running full speed ahead with this.  Keep up with all of the 28 Days of Generosity here.

Jan 28, 2013

Show Me the Money - by Ed Gungor


You'll appreciate this wonderful article by Ed Gungor published in Relevant Magazine.  Ed shares a story of God's provision and encourages us in proper thinking on stewardship and reliance on God.

Check out the article here: Show Me the Money - by Ed Gungor.

Jan 23, 2013

Wednesday in the Word: Good Excuses Not to Be Generous


However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you. If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward your needy brother and give him nothing. He may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.
 
Deuteronomy 15:4-11 NIV84

Open Handed? Give Generously? Too often I am guilty of analyzing away generosity. I’ll hear that still small voice that says to give and I come up with my own excuses, not around the year of Jubilee and cancelling debts, but more along the lines of stewardship. “I can’t give cash to that homeless guy, he might buy alcohol.” I then run to Taco Bell and buy a combo to give away but by the time I get back to the corner where the homeless guy was, I’ve missed my chance. “I guess I’ll eat this combo… good thing it was the exact combo I would have picked!”  

I’m joking a bit here, but I do feel my heart in the wrong place at times. Instead of vetting every generous thought until it is gone, perhaps we should be generous on every occasion. Would God actually bless that? Would he bless me in all my work and in all I put my hand to?  

A prayer:  

Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart. Tell Him that you’ll do whatever he tells you.

Jan 22, 2013

28 Days of Generosity - We are off and running...wanna join us?

You may have read the post about our local project to promote generosity during the month of February. We invited a group of community members to dream about what could happen if we were to join together as a community for 28 days of generosity.  About 60 folks came together and decided the project was worth doing.  They shared their ideas for each day of the month and from hundreds of ideas we came up with these 28 things: 

1.      Share & Prepare for Generosity
2.      Give Something Away
3.      Phone a Friend
4.      Chivalry Day
5.      Give 5 to Your Favorite Cause
6.      Warm Wednesday
7.      Neighbor Day
8.      Furry Friend Friday
9.      Senior Citizen Saturday
10.  Take 10 Minutes
11.  Muscle Monday
12.  Talent Tuesday
13.  Baker’s Dozen Day
14.  Healthy Living Day
15.  Family Friday
16.  Small Person Saturday (Youth)
17.  Reach Beyond Our Community
18.  Thank a Leader
19.  Sweetness Day
20.  Give 20 Minutes
21.  Handwritten Note or Card Day
22.  Food Friday
23.  Snow Day Saturday
24.  Team Up With Others Day
25.  Secret Santa Day
26.  Book Day
27.  Simple Kindness
28.  Eat Out for Charity
 

A project like this could easily turn into a giant event-focused planning nightmare.  Our hope was to avoid that scenario at all costs.  We promised folks only two meetings.  The first meeting gave us our skeleton of the 28 days. At the second meeting we presented 10,000 business cards with the 28 days and a QR code that links back to the Facebook page and blog.  We forwarded the QR code, the logo and the schedule to everyone involved and they are running with it. The community has embraced this project and we have begun to see some amazing things happening:
 
 
  • Four local churches are taking the concept to their congregations.
  • A local Montessori school called Bright Beginnings has tweaked the calendar to fit the kids and they have shared a wonderful video on generosity as seen above.
  • Non-profits are running with the concept and taking it to their donors and to the families they serve.
  • The local school district is on board and Student Council at a few schools are running with it. We even got a message from students at a school in a neighboring community and they want to join in.
  • I am most excited about the involvement at my own home. This is going to be a great chance to emphasize the importance of giving with my children.
What could happen if you joined in?  Each day during the month of February I’ll share some ideas to get involved where you are.  You don’t have to be super wealthy.  In fact, you can participate with absolutely no money.  If a day doesn’t seem to fit, stretch the meaning a bit to make it work for you.

What could happen if we join together as a community for 28 days of generosity?

Jan 8, 2013

Wednesday in the Word: Work as Worship



Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Matthew 28:19 

I can’t remember who pointed it out to me first, I think it was my pastor, but if you do a search on the best translation of this you will read that the chapter doesn’t just say GO.  Instead, the best translation of Christ’s words seems to be, “As you go, make disciples of all nations.” 

I really enjoy this work as worship video.  Too often I am guilty of keeping the sacred on Sunday and devoting the rest of the week to the secular.  I am excited to jump into a book study with folks from our community this week on the book, The Integrated Life: Experience the Powerful Advantage of Integrating Your Faith and Work.  You can read my review of this book here. 

Ask yourself:

Do I act differently on Sunday at church than I do at work on Monday?
Does God have a big plan for my ministry at my work?
Do I know anyone that works in a ‘secular’ job that works as if they are worshiping?
How could I worship more at work today and tomorrow?
How can you fill the great commission as you go?

If you haven’t read The Integrated Life by Ken Eldred it’s a good start on the subject.

Share your thoughts!
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