All posts tagged: generosity

You Forgot One Love Language, Mr Chapman!

I’d just done the groceries. I was standing at the boot unloading bags of shopping while simultaneously instructing Master Five to jump in the car, and placating Miss Two with offers of treats if she just sits tight in the trolley until I’d finished. It’s always a tricky moment that follows. Do I strap both kids into the car and make a dash to return the trolley, or do I juggle them there and back on account of the fact that it’s technically illegal to leave children alone for any length of time in a car, unsupervised? On this occasion, my dilemma was solved before I even had a chance to give it much consideration. A man walked up having just deposited his own trolley and said, “Can I return that for you?” Yes, I said, and he did, and I thanked him over and over, buckled the kids in and drove away feeling like singing. Something upbeat, you know, like from The Sound of Music. And it’s really odd, because I’ve thought of that …

Here is an Orphanage Giving to the Needy of Nepal

“We head off today. I’ll be honest, I’m a little nervous. Scared even. I don’t know quite what to expect. I have driven a fair bit through Nepal and the mountain roads are sketchy at the best of times – add an earthquake and I imagine it’s going to be a ride to remember!” This was penned by a guy I know who last week helped deliver 500 relief packages to people affected by the earthquakes in Nepal. He delivered them from the orphanage he runs with his father in Banbasa, India. An orphanage helping the Nepalese. The needy helping the needy. If ever there was a picture of the generosity that Jesus calls us to, this is it. Giving selflessly, even painfully, because the need cannot be ignored – not just giving out of duty or overflow. Clifton Shipway is the grandson of Maxton D. Strong, the founder of The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission. He moved there from Launceston as a 19-year-old to help. He’s still there today, working as the deputy director of …

Australia Shows Poor Form in Supporting the Poor

One billion dollars. I find it hard to get my head around that figure when most transactions in my household are less than three figures. In case you’re right now trying to count how many zeros come after the one in 1 billion – it’s nine. One billion dollars is a ten-figure quantity. When I (logically) asked my four-year-old what he could buy for $1 billion, he said, “A Stegosaurus. A big one. And a plant.” I don’t doubt that. If a paleontologist stumbled on the last living Stegosaurus and wanted to make some cash, maybe $1 billion would be a reasonable price tag (perhaps they’d throw in the plant for free). A T-Rex fossil affectionately known as Sue sold back in 1997 for a record $8.36 million. Can’t say I was much enlightened (or surprised) by my son’s response. He has ODD… Obsessive Dinosaur Disorder. He’s a prehistoric fanatic, and they tell me it’s a phase… So, I turned to Google and found an image of the sum. One billion dollars in $100 notes …

My Two Cents Worth on the 2014 Federal Budget: Entitlement & Opportunity

“The age of entitlement is over. It has to be replaced, not with an age of austerity, but with an age of opportunity.”  Treasurer Joe Hockey in his budget address on Tuesday night. “Yes!” I wanted to bellow from my lounge-chair arena, like some footy head on a Friday night.  At the risk of opening a can of worms here, I will say that it’s been real interesting listening to the roar of dissent from different corners of the community. It was going to happen. No budget satisfies everyone. And we all have our bugbears, our causes and our unique circumstances. Those key words again… Entitlement. Austerity. Opportunity. If we would believe Hockey’s bold words, handouts are kaput, not to be replaced with any kind of severe governance but rather to uphold opportunity as the individual and corporate way forward. Sounds good. But cutting Australia’s aid budget by a whopping $7.6 billion over five years sure makes me uncomfortable. That means that cuts to aid (1.2 per cent of Federal Government expenditure) will provide 20 …

Write Your Own Obituary

You are flicking through the paper when you stumble across a story with your name in the headline – it’s your own obituary.  There in black and white is your life story, a weighing-up of your achievements and legacy. This was the reality for Alfred Nobel. When his brother Ludvig passed away while visiting Cannes in 1888, a French newspaper erroneously printed that Alfred had died.  He opened the paper to find out what had been written about his brother only to find an account of his own life, describing him as the inventor of dynamite. “Le marchand de la mort est mort,” the obituary stated (The merchant of death is dead).  “Dr Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday,” the article continued. I think it would be safe to say that Alfred was shocked and disappointed with what he read that day about his contribution to mankind. Faced with this unique situation, he recognised an opportunity to rewrite his own legacy – the …

Give to the Poor and Lend to the Lord

We put the Christmas tree up a little late this year. So much going on, and we wanted to do it properly. So, last Friday night, before the wee one went to bed, we played carols, poured ourselves a gin and tonic and set about adorning the tree with tinsel, baubles and lights. When it was done, the tree laden with festive colour, we switched on the lights and stepped back to admire the result. Meanwhile, Master Nearly-Two stepped forward and tried to blow out all those twinkling little lights that so resembled candles! And we laughed till our sides hurt. I love the spirit of Christmas, those moments of love, joy and peace. They are achievable, believe it or not, when we allow ourselves time to soak in the reason behind our traditions. In one of the recent Feast magazines, Hobart foodie Matthew Evans said, “All of us need a wake-up call to get back in touch; to give for giving’s sake; to invite and be invited; to host and be hosted. To feed and be fed.” To …

Legacy of a Legend: Bryce Courtenay

Australia lost a man of determination and character when Bryce Courtenay died, aged 79, about 10 days ago. I was saddened to hear of his death, but looking into his life and achievements, you couldn’t wallow for long. This was a life to be celebrated. Something like one in every three Australians have one of Courtenay’s 21 books in their homes. He sold more than 20 million copies of his novels – and he only put pen to paper in his 50s. Courtenay’s strategic approach to writing – churning a new book out every six months, on average – demonstrated an enormous self-discipline that stretched beyond the page. He ran more than 40 marathons, mostly aged 50-plus. When I heard of his death I was immediately reminded of an interview I had with the man they are calling a “latter-day Charles Dickens”. I was a smidge nervous about interviewing such a well-known author, so my questions were ready, voice recorder and notepad at hand. What I wasn’t prepared for was when I had exhausted my questions (with enough material …