Accepting Generosity

Written by cycleguy on January 12th, 2010

I sit here stunned as I write this.  It is easy for me to be generous.  I love it!  I love seeing people’s faces light up.  I especially love it when I can do it anonymously.  But it is really hard for me to know how to accept it.  But let me set the stage.

Scene #1:  the year is in the late ’80s and I am a pastor of a church.  I have had the chance to meet a young man (he is that because he is younger than me) and because he is a Marine we talk a lot about integrity.  An event in “John’s”  life (not his real name) throws his world into upheaval mode.  Little did I know how much it would involve my world also.  It is a really long story but to make it short: for almost 10 years he sought, fought, begged, pleaded, went to court and countless other things to win his girls back from a wife who ran and accused him of some ugly things.  Thousands of prayers were said for him and God’s protection and hedge around the girls.  I told him once, “John, some day I envision them calling or walking to your front door and saying, ‘Daddy, can I come to live with you?'”  That is almost exactly what happened!  Time has gone by and many years but my contact with John hasn’t.  Not as often as I would like but an occasional email or visit or phone call.

Scene #2:  I have made no secret about my dream ride here (original post).   I updated that post with this one. Let me digress for a moment.  I started saving for a new bike (saving quarters & various other odd income) over 9 years ago.   I had close to $900 back in ’05 when I bought a Chevy Colorado Crew Cab and wanted to do a spray-in bedliner and cover.  It took it all but I paid cash for it.  I began all over and along the way I have dug into it in order to help others.  Seemed like I would never get there but as you can see by the last bike update I had made a commitment to get a new one to replace my aging 11 year old Bianchi.  I am not looking for a pat on the back by any stretch but have always felt that a new bike took second place to Advent Conspiracy or a daughter’s mission trip or a number of other ways to be generous.

Scene #3: I am sitting in my office this morning and open an email from “John” and it says, “Before you even begin to say anything just listen (or read). God has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams.  It is on my heart to pass along some of His blessings.”  He goes on to tell me that I am to contact a bike store manager that I know and I am to tell him exactly the bike I want. And that it is paid for! “John” says further that I can either accept it in brotherly love for someone who’s life I saved or…actually there is not an “or” option.

So I sat stunned as I read that, tears wanting to roll out of my eyes and down my cheeks.  Business took me away from emailing him when about a half hour later I got a phone call from “John.”   When I went to say something he tells me not to.  He went on to say some other things that I won’t repeat…they are between me, him & God.  So, here is my take-away.  I write this post not to toot my horn…I hope you see that.

  • I write this to tell you not to give up being generous. I did not give hoping God would reward me in a big way (which He chose to do).  I gave because He told me to.
  • I write this to tell you that no act of generosity is wasted. Whether it was giving my time, heart and love to a broken man or to a needy person or some mission outreach, no act is wasted.
  • I write this to tell you that you never know how God will choose to bless you. It may be financially.  It may be in freedom of heart.  It may be in a sense of “aaaahhh” because you helped someone.  It may be in a gift like this one.  But don’t give in order to get.  Give just to give.  Be generous just to be like Jesus.
  • I write this from a practical side as well.  I have no credit card so saving for a bike was essential.  Waiting was hard and I am glad that I did not have a card or I guarantee I would have used it.  But look at what I would have missed out on!

I apologize for this post being so long.  Trust me when I say I could have gone on longer.  It was hard as it was to keep it short.  🙂  Craig Groeschel has been blogging about generosity this week.  You can read some excellent ones here and here.  Stay tuned for his Wednesday post.  So, may I ask you a question?  How have you been touched by generosity lately?  I don’t want this to be all about me. I want to hear your stories.  More importantly, I want to hear God’s stories.  Please share.


34 Comments so far ↓

  1. Janna says:

    What a great way to show kindness and generosity. “John” is blessed to have a friend like you.

    I’m glad that you are able to get your bike….now what will you do with all the money you have saved?:) Love you lots.

  2. cycleguy says:

    Janna: thanks but I think you are prejudiced. 🙂 As for what am I going to do? Mom already has her mind working I know. Mine has been also and it does involve some generosity. Give my grandson my love.

  3. Tami Grandi says:

    I know what Mom wants- a Wii (the oldest daughter would like one too!) ha ha!

    Love you- and I just sat here and cried. I’m sorry I “fussed” at you on the text.

  4. karma says:

    The timing of this post is absolutely stunning. For the past couple of days, I have been milling over the idea of generosity — what it means to BE generous and what it means to ACCEPT generosity.

    Thanks for your post!

    (AND glad you got the bike!!!!)

  5. cycleguy says:

    Tami: Yeah well the Wii may have to wait. 🙂 As for fussing: what are you talking about?

  6. cycleguy says:

    Karma: glad the timing was good. So good to hear from you!

  7. Jim F. says:

    Great Post! God is so very faithful and he blesses us beyond measure. Thank you for being an example of faithfulness.

    I know you will enjoy that bike more than any bike that you would have saved for because it is a special gift from God and eveytime you ride it, you willbe reminded of it.

    Enjoy my friend!

  8. cycleguy says:

    Jim: thanks for the kind words. I am truly overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness to me. I also have this sneaking suspicion that the bike will stand as a “monument” to friendship and to God’s faithfulness. Maybe that will mean no wrecks! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Jan Frame says:

    Awesome post! I had tears in my eyes reading it. You have and do touch people’s lives in ways you don’t realize, God shed his generosity through “John”. So cool! You will feel so blessed when riding that new bike, a gift from God & “John”.
    Have a great day Bill!

  10. Robin Rane' says:

    I’m crying…so like a precious friend…so like a precious Father. Good heavens, why did this effect me so? Tell him I can hardly wait to give after reading this. Also, thank you for being someone who prays. thank you for praying for him and for me and for a hundred others. Humbled by this whole story…

  11. cycleguy says:

    Jan: thanks for the nice words. I reckon we would all be amazed how many lives we have touched. I feel blessed to count you and Michael as friends. You have a great day and thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  12. Rick Boyne says:

    Bill, all I want to say is two things: God is Good all the time and thanks for sharing this story. It has helped to start off what will end up being a horribly hard day with tears of joy for a brother…

  13. Toby says:

    Great stuff Bill!! We are so blessed with the church family we have around here it would be hard to pinpoint one specific instance where we were on the receiving end of the generosity.
    I don’t know bout you, but when I’ve been on the receiving end so much, it just makes me want to give more. That God Guy must know what He’s doing :-).

  14. cycleguy says:

    Robin: be careful. Don’t want to dehydrate. I know I cried because of someone doing something so overwhelming for me. Glad it inspired you to give more. You are welcome for the prayers. Them dangerous prayers are said for you every day. Thanks for stopping by.

  15. cycleguy says:

    Rick: I can only imagine what will bring this to a horrible end for you but as a pastor I know it can numerous things. Prayers were said for you this morning by name. Be faithful brother. Thanks for the comment.

  16. cycleguy says:

    Toby: yep. I will agree that God Guy must know what He is doing. Aren’t you glad? God’s blessings are amazing. Thanks for stopping by.

  17. Cameyg says:


    Fortunately, God knows who I was talking about when I thanked him for the man & his gift of the bike to you. I know your soul will be encouraged each time you ride.. and then how you’ll pour that encouragement out onto others. Thanks for taking the time to share!

    There are so many of His stories I could share with you & all who read just since we’ve been here. One story really stunned us back in December. (Using your word there of stunned.)

    In 2005, we gave away a van that could easily fit 7 people. It had been given to us during the years I was ill. We gave it away to a pastor & his family. They thought it was the most beautiful van they had ever seen. It wasn’t going to just be used for their family.. but for God’s family.. praying for His Kingdom to increase through their van ministry. We had no need for it since my parents had just got a brand new one right before we were moving in with them to take care of them.

    Fast forward to December… we met up with my mom & her new husband. She had just sold her old home.. the one we had lived in with her and my dad. She realized the vehicle we were in – that had also been given to us when we moved here.. wouldn’t fit all 5 of us (Dick, myself and our 3 sons).

    When we can arrange it… Dick & I are free to go back to G-town to pick up the van that my mom has now paid off since selling the house. It is to be used for our family & with prayers for God’s Kingdom to increase because of our (His) ministry here or wherever we may go in it.

    Interestingly enough… it’s the very van I got to pick out on the new vehicle lot & test drive before my dad signed the papers to purchase it. “Since you’re going to be the one driving it, us and whomever else may come along… I want you to enjoy the ride.”

    Oh, is that God! It’s a story only He could have dreamed up!

  18. *~Michelle~* says:

    How awesome is that!??!

    I always knew God had a special place in his heart for bikers. 😉 *wink

    enjoy the blessings that God has brought your way…may your cup continue to overflow.

  19. Tony York says:

    You have blessed me today with this story.

    And I share in your joy because you allowed me to through your words.

    Awesome…just awesome.

  20. cycleguy says:

    Thanks Michelle. I too believe God has a special place for bikers also. Thanks for stopping by.

  21. cycleguy says:

    Tony: Glad it was a blessing and you could share my joy. Thanks for dropping by.

  22. cycleguy says:

    Thanks for that story Camey! I shouldn’t be but I am continually amazed at how God works! Then again, I never want to lose the amazement in what He does. Thanks for the response and extra story. Glad you stopped by.

  23. deb says:

    I really, really needed to read this today: “I write this to tell you that no act of generosity is wasted. Whether it was giving my time, heart and love to a broken man or to a needy person or some mission outreach, no act is wasted.”

    A little history: a little over 6 months ago my son’s best friend came to live with us due to a bad home situation. There are days when it is very difficult having another teenager in the house (financial and otherwise). The only quote I can remember on these days is “No good deed goes unpunished.” Your post reminds me that we just need to remain strong and that God will provide for us.

    Thank you.

    btw, have lots of fun on your bike!!! what a blessing 🙂

  24. cycleguy says:

    Deb: so nice to have you stop by. I applaud your decision to help out a teenage friend of your son’s. It will not go unnoticed nor un-blessed! Thanks for taking the time to respond. I look forward to having lots of fun1 🙂

  25. Cameyg says:


    Praying for you, your family, your son’s best friend and the bad home situation that caused him to come live with you.

  26. cycleguy says:

    Camey: will forward your prayer thought to Deb to make sure she sees it. Thanks for caring.

  27. Cameyg says:

    Thanks, Bill. I couldn’t find her email addy on her blog.

  28. Ivan says:

    Fantastic story, but I’m sure you deserved it.


  29. cycleguy says:

    Thanks Ivan and have my own thoughts on the last comment. Not sure I really deserve anything I am given. Thanks for the comment.

  30. Bob says:

    A member of my church had saved for almost 5 years to purchase a new Ranger bass boat. When he finally had the money he was at church when some missionaries shared about an orphanage in their country. He felt very strongly to give half of his saved money, which he did. Last week a member of his SS class called and told him to drive to an address nearby. There in the yard was a 3-yr old Ranger that had never been in the water. The man who owned it had a stroke the week after he bought it and had just died a few days earlier. All his kids wanted was half of the new price. So yes, God does sometimes answer our carnal desires, and when he does, it’s always the best. (Ranger is the best)
    Bob S

  31. cycleguy says:

    Bob: thanks for the great comment. I love hearing stories that show how God’s timing is always best and that at times He rewards generosity to others. I bet that man will never get in that truck without a word of thanks on his lips. Great to have you stop by my blog. Please visit again.

  32. Julie H says:

    Bill I am so glad to hear of the kindness that this friend has shown you. God bless and keep you as you enjoy your new bike and just remember a Wii would be good to have for those months that you can’t be out on that bike. God and John have blessed you with this gift so enjoy and be safe.

  33. cycleguy says:

    Thanks Julie. I am truly blessed and humbled that God and Ron would do such a thing. Can’t wait to ride it though!!