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Generosity: To be fully beneficial, needs to be freely given and freely received

God is the ultimate gift giver, in fact, we are never more like God than when we are being generous.  How often does pride rob us of this great blessing in life? Why is it that more blessed to give than to receive?  Over the years, I have had the privilege of inviting people to give to Lake Ann Camp. I’ve had many conversations which resulted in a checkbook being taken out and great generosity displayed. How can I ever thank these people appropriately?  There is a voice inside that makes me feel unworthy of the gift as if I should do or be something that would be as monumental as the gift itself.

Planning for the four-month sabbatical was both exciting and unnerving.  I knew I needed to take Margy and get away from the ministry of the camp but where would we go and how would I ever be able to afford it?  As I wrapped up the details of the summer, God’s plan began to unfold.  I had secret desires that seemed selfish but in a perfect world, they were what I envisioned for this time.

One desire was to go where it was warm so I could continue my exercise and weight loss routine outdoors. The other was the dream to go back to Oregon, where I was born, and revisit my roots and extended family that I had not seen in years.

I Remember a Conversation I Had Years Ago

I remember a conversation I had years ago with a contributor who had given a very substantial gift to the camp.  Knowing there was going to be more finances needed, he encouraged me to do additional projects and then called one day to find out how much more was needed.  When he called I was hesitant to tell him because it involved thousands more than expected. As I was stuttering and stammering on the phone, he made this statement: Ken STOP!  When I call I want to know that I have blessed you and your ministry.  I do not want to hear that I have been a burden to you.  Now, how much do you still need?

What a lesson!  I humbly thanked him, told him how excited I was that this project was moving forward. From that day forward I have sought to bless those who chose to bless others with their generosity.  Since then, I have endeavored to graciously accept these gifts.


These people were blessed by God and they chose to give of that blessing. As servants of God Most High, Margy and I simply thanked our benefactors. We trust they were able to experience the joy of giving as Margy and I enjoyed the benefits of God’s provision.  I pray that they were as blessed in their giving as we were to receive it.

Sabbatical Take-aways that Will Impact Your Campers this Summer (Part Six) was written by Ken Riley, Executive Director at Lake Ann Camp and Retreat Center. 

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