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More or Less by Jeff Shinabarger

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More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity by Jeff Shinabarger My rating: 4 of 5 stars Jeff Shinabarger tells the story of how he moved to a new home in Atlanta and the neighborhood welcoming committee showed up on his doorstep. It was a homeless guy named Clarence who was eager to let the new neighbor know he was “looking for work.” Jeff suddenly saw his life through Clarence’s eyes and realized he had an overabundance of almost everything. This change in perspective caused Jeff and his wife to engage in a series of social experiments. For instance, after receiving a credit-card bill in January they realized they had overspent at Christmas and didn’t have the means to pay the bill. They cut back their spending and decided to see if they could go for an entire month by eating only the food in the house. They lasted seven weeks without going to the grocery store. The...

Giving It All Away . . . and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously by David Green

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Giving It All Away…and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously by David Green My rating: 3 of 5 stars When I saw David Green’s book, Giving It All Away . . . and Getting It All Back Again, I expected an epic tale of a billionaire who did exactly that—gave it all away. I hoped it would be more than a rags-to-riches story. I anticipated a story of David Green going from great riches as the founder of the retail giant, Hobby Lobby, moving to rags as he gave it all away, and then back to riches as he got it all back again. Instead, I found the first half of the book discussing his lawsuit against the United States. He admitted that he had written most of the book before the lawsuit came up so he put the book on hold and added this information later, but it should have been a book of its own. The added content deviated from the message of the book (as intended). While I’m on...

The God Guarantee: Finding Freedom from the Fear of Not Having Enough

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The God Guarantee: Finding Freedom from the Fear of Not Having Enough by Jack Alexander My rating: 4 of 5 stars Fear of not having enough or fear that God won’t provide are what author Jack Alexander calls a scarcity mindset. When we hoard what little we have, God can’t use us. The author writes, “When we have a scarcity mind-set, we hold on to what we have been given instead of freely giving it to others—and God’s miracle of provision stops.” In contrast to a scarcity mindset, the author urges us to develop a capacity mindset. Capacity is not limited to the current circumstances as we see or experience them. Rather, our lives and circumstances have the capacity to be more. While scarcity looks at how little we have, capacity looks at how much God can make of it. Again, the author writes, “Living within God’s capacity changes the entire conversation. It’s no longer about living in...

Genius of Generosity Book: Lessons from a Secret Pact Between Two Friends

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Genius of Generosity Book: Lessons from a Secret Pact Between Two Friends by Chip Ingram My rating: 4 of 5 stars Chip Ingram describes learning about generosity as a young pastor. An elder in his church, who was a prosperous executive, fed money into an account and asked Ingram to give the money away to people who needed it most. One of them had resources and the other had contacts with needy people. The secret pact began. They met quarterly to discuss results and replenish the fund for the next quarter. From this experience, Ingram learned the meaning of being a steward of someone else’s money. His task was to give away money that belonged to someone else. In reality, we are each stewards of God’s money and He is willing to keep funding our account if we will give it away. By couching his message in his experience as a pastor giving away someone else’s money, his teaching points were...

BeScrooged: Imagining a Full Life of Generosity

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BeScrooged: Imagining a Full Life of Generosity by Gordon MacDonald My rating: 4 of 5 stars Part storybook, part devotional, and part Christian teaching, this book is a fast-paced, enjoyable read with a serious message. BeScrooged follows the transformation of Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. At each stage in Scrooge’s development, the authors provide Christian teaching on the subject of “full-life generosity” and devotional readings focusing on specific people in the Bible who exemplified either stinginess or generosity (or the struggle in between). According to the authors, we each need to reach our personal crisis that brings about life transformation, a point at which we have been BeScrooged. Just as Scrooge had a drastic and total transformation of his outlook on life, we each need to experience a similar moment that forever changes our hearts and lives. Full-life...