Category Archives: Legacy

Passing down a legacy of generosity

Book Review: Giving It All Away … And Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously, by David Green with Bill High

David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, believes that the rule of generosity, the rule of giving, is the foundation for building a lasting legacy. In the early part of the book, he explains the concept of legacy.

Leaving a legacy is about succession—those who follow after us… “When all is said done, your ability as a leader will not be judged by what you achieved personally … You will be judged by how well the generation behind you did after you were gone. Your lasting value will be measured by succession.”

Later in the book, he explores the meaning of generosity.

My journey into generosity has shown me two important thing, among others. First, generosity has a starting point. You don’t just wake up one day and poof, you’re generous. It begins with a decision to steward your resources with a heavenly mindset. Second, generosity depends not on how much money we have but on the posture of our hearts. Too often we think of generosity as the sharing and giving of money. But that’s a shallow definition. Generosity goes much deeper.

Part of the book is a memoir where Green talks about lessons instilled in him by his parents. He also describes what the family experienced when they sued the US Government over Obamacare and the case went all the way to SCOTUS, the US Supreme Court. The rest of the book explains how David and the Green family developed their convictions and commitments towards generosity and how it impacts their business, Hobby Lobby. He also describes their approach to wealth management and passing on wealth to children and grandchildren.

In the final chapter, he lays out the family’s basic ideas regarding wealth, business, and generosity.

  • We are not owners of anything. God owns everything.
  • God wants us to be good stewards of everything he’s put into our hands.
  • We all have wealth—our intellectual capital, our social capital, our emotional capital, our spiritual capital, and our financial capital.
  • Stewardship produces responsibility: as stewards, we need to be found faithful.
  • The great joy of stewardship is generosity: giving it away because we get it all back again in the form of joy.

While the book is very simple, straightforward, and easy to read, it will stretch your thinking on the subject of generosity and passing wealth on to the next generation.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Posted by on May 6, 2017 in Books, Finances, Legacy, Ministry


Celebrating Christmas in Heaven

One week ago, one of our church’s senior saints was promoted to glory. Harlow passed from this life and entered the presence of his Lord and Savior where he will celebrate Christmas in a whole new way. A drummer with a sense of humor, he asked to be buried with his drumsticks in his hands because as he put it, “I want to teach the angels how to play ragtime.” Welcome home, Harlow. We will miss you.

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Posted by on December 14, 2011 in Christmas, Funerals, Legacy


Lasting Legacies

Last night I received a note from a person who read an article I wrote 13 years ago. It referred to something a friend said to me 22 years ago that still encourages people today. My friend’s legacy is now touching a second generation.

My friend, Maggie, works in the seminar department of Walk Thru the Bible Ministries. She is now in her 70’s, and is semi-retired. Maggie is a prayer warrior. If you have a problem, you call Maggie, and she and her network of pray-ers will take your issue before the throne of God.

In 1989, I was fired from my first ministry. (I had not done anything wrong, but neither had I done enough right.) I was out of work and ministry for seven months. I was discouraged, depressed, and ready to quit.

During that period of time, Maggie called one day and read Hosea 2:14-15 to me.

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.

Maggie then said, “Mark, I am praying that God will give you hope.”

In 1998, nine years later, I wrote an article entitled, “When you feel like a failure,” which was published in Kindred Spirit, a publication for the Dallas Theological Seminary family. I later posted the article on our church’s website and on my blog.

Last night I received the following note. The grammar is a bit jumbled, which indicates it was written hurriedly and with great emotion.

Dear Pastor:

I am an attorney is Las “Vegas. A terrible thing happened and I have been having been suffering from depression and panic attacks for weeks. I could not sleep, and my days were consumed with fear and anxiety. But, I found it impossible to cry.

Today I read your article,”When You Feel Like a Failure.” I started to sob. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

May God bless you.

Maggie spoke words of encouragement to me 22 years ago. I wrote an article 13 years ago. Both her words and mine are still speaking clearly today.

Leave a legacy that outlives you.