by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters, September 2014

Generosity begins at the beginning. Generosity is not just the practice of being nice to others, it is a way of framing your life in light of the grace of God. We name this early in the life of any disciple here at Highland Hills. If you listen, you can find it in our baby dedication litany: “This child is not your own. She is a gift from God and you will teach her to give her life back to God for the rest of her days.” Generosity defines the Godbearing life. By giving our lives back to God, we discover how to live with and love each other through concrete practices of sharing, generosity, and love. All of these find root in the love we offer back to God and the lives we dedicate to God’s mission in the world.

Thomas S. Monson says in An Attitude of Gratitude: “This is a wonderful time to be living here on earth. Our opportunities are limitless. While there are many things wrong in our world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that work, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help. We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.”

Five couples founded Highland Hills Baptist Church because they were willing to practice these virtues, dedicate their resources to God, and listen to the call of God to create a new mission. That creative call echoes through the generations. How will we continue to answer God’s call to build this community of faith? We are stewards of more than just our lives or the lives of our children. We are stewards of this community of faith. We are called to continually offer it back to God. How may God be calling us to continued faithful generosity in the life and mission of Highland Hills Baptist Church? Answering these questions may cause us to look beyond the oft-told story of a life on this side of the river and inspire us to look forward to the future God might build with this community.