Category Archives: Generosity

“But the fruit of the Spirit is…goodness…” (Galatians 5:22).

God is more concerned about what we are than what we can do. He is actively at work in our lives and His purpose is to change us from the inside out. In Galatians chapter five He lists the fruit that He is working to produce in each one of our lives.

One of those important qualities on that list is goodness. The actual Greek word has a wide range of meaning, but F.F. Bruce suggests that in its context in Galatians, it most likely means “generosity.”

Generosity is “realizing that all I have belongs to God and using it for His purposes.” 

We have a tendency to think that as long as we tithe, we can choose how to spend the remaining 90% however we please. But as stewards, we are responsible for all that God entrusts into our care. 

Joseph was a steward in Potiphar’s house. He was in charge of everything but he owned nothing. God wants us to have that same attitude toward our finances.

Our generosity and willingness to give to meet the needs of other Christians is a reflection of our true spirituality.

Not long after my father accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior, he became very interested in missionary work. He was informed of a specific need for £5.00. And although he couldn't meet that need himself (for in those days after the war, £5.00 was more than a week's wages), he prayed that the Lord would provide. After he prayed, he heard my grandmother — who wasn't a Christian at that time — come up the stairs, past his door and into her room. A short time later, he heard her come out and stop at his door. Then she came in and said, "Here, I'm sure you can use that," and put a large white £5.00 note into his hand. 

God use the abundance of one Christian to meet the needs of another.

When was the last time that God prompted you to give to the needs of another Christian? Did you obey God's prompting?

But generosity involves much more than just money. We are to be generous with our praise, our time, and our forgiveness. And God has promised, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38). 

Morris Hull
Home Life Ministries

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Understand God’s Purposes for Money

One of the major sources of conflict — even in Christian marriages — today is money. Everybody has their own ideas how their money should be used. But as Christians, we need to realize that everything we have comes from God and belongs to Him. So in order to be good stewards of the money God has entrusted to our care, we need to know and understand God’s purposes for money. Knowing and applying God’s purposes for money results in financial freedom. An incorrect understanding of God’s purposes for money brings financial bondage and a host of consequences that have the potential of destroying your marriage, your health, and your testimony.

A man who has financial freedom can build his job around his family; a man without financial freedom is often forced to build his family around his job. If we have sleepless nights and ulcers worrying over financial decisions it is probably an indication that we do not have a correct understanding of God’s purposes for money, because God wants us to be financially free in order to serve Him.

Financial bondage is an immediate consequence of not understanding God’s purposes for money. God’s purposes for money are not to provide us with security, independence, or even to buy whatever we want. God’s purposes are, firstly:


If we build our lives around possessions, then we will be devastated whenever those possessions are lost or taken away from us. Recent banking and Stock Market scandals prove that even respected, financial institutions cannot guarantee absolute security. So that people who were trusting in bank or retirement accounts are now experiencing the consequences of financial bondage.

Security is only possible as we build our lives around that which can never be taken away from us. We can loose every possession, every person, and every position; but if we are building our lives around the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, we can loose everything else and still have security because He can never be taken away from us.

God wants to build into each one of our lives the quality of contentment. In 1 Timothy 6:8, Paul says, “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” The person who is not content with God’s provision of food and clothing will always have deep financial and spiritual problems.  Contentment with the basics enables us to resist the constant barrage of advertising that seeks to convince us that we are not able to enjoy life unless we buy some new gadget or service. Paul again says in 1 Timothy 6:6, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Is contentment a characteristic of your life? Are you content with your present salary or are you always trying to figure out how you can earn more money? Are you content with the size of your house or car, or do you secretly wish for something bigger and better? An attitude of discontentment is probably an indication that you are experiencing financial bondage.

A second purpose for money is:


During the time of Christ, the Jews and Gentiles had no dealings with each other. But God was able to overcome this problem among Christians by using Jewish Christians to take the Gospel to the Gentiles and then using the Gentile believers to meet the material needs of the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem who were experiencing famine. Paul explains this purpose for money in 2 Corinthians 8:14: “…that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want….”

Our generosity and willingness to give to meet the needs of other Christians is a reflection of our true spirituality. You can often tell how committed a Christian really is and where his priorities really are by looking at his cheque book.

Not long after my father accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour, he became very interested in missionary work. He was informed of a specific need for £5.00. And although he couldn’t meet that need himself (for in those days after the war, £5.00 was more than a week’s wages), he prayed that the Lord would provide. After he prayed, he lay down on top of his bed. And as he lay there thinking, he heard my grandmother — who wasn’t a Christian at that time — come up the stairs, past his door and into her room. A short time later, he heard her come out and stop at his door. Then she came in and said, “Here, I’m sure you can use that,” and put a large white £5.00 note into his hand. God uses the abundance of one Christian to meet the needs of others.

When was the last time that God prompted you to give to the need of another Christian? Did you obey God’s prompting?

God’s third purpose for money is:


One of the greatest protections that every Christian has from making wrong financial decisions is purposing not to move forward on any program unless and until the funds are provided. Hudson Taylor said, “God’s work done in God’s way will not lack God’s support. He is just as able to supply funds ahead of time as afterward and He much prefers doing so.”

God will use the supply of money or the lack of it to confirm His direction for many of our financial decisions. If the funds are not available, it could be for several reasons: either we have misspent the money; we don’t need the item; or God may be testing our faith by providing the funds just when they are needed.

Before I left Northern Ireland to attend Bible college in the United States, my father sat me down and told me that they weren’t able to pay for my Bible school education for two reasons: 1) they couldn’t afford it, and 2) they wanted me to learn to trust God for the money without borrowing and without making my financial needs known to anyone but the Lord. Half way through one school year, I didn’t have enough funds to pay for the next term. I sensed the Lord leading that if the funds were not provided on a certain day by 4:00 p.m. then I would take that as his direction for me to return home. The day of the deadline arrived, and at 3:50 p.m. God had still not provided the money. Then the telephone rang and I was asked to go immediately to the school office. I was asked if I had all of the money to pay my school bill. I told them I hadn’t and how I sensed the Lord’s leading to put a deadline at 4:00 p.m. that afternoon. I was then told that before I even came into the school office, an anonymous donor had placed enough money in my school account to take care of my entire school bill. I looked at the clock, and it was just seconds before 4:00 p.m. God had confirmed His direction with the precise timing of a gift.

This leads us to God’s fourth purpose for money:


2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” God is a supernatural, powerful God, who wants to demonstrate His reality and power both to Christians and to an unbelieving, skeptical world. One of the ways He has chosen to do this is through the miraculous provision of money.

A miracle is a natural or supernatural event with precise timing that brings glory to God. Whenever a Christian or a church prays about a specific financial need, and they receive an unexpected and unsolicited gift from someone who didn’t know about that need, God’s supernatural power is demonstrated.

In Malachi 3:10, we read: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” God wants to demonstrate His power and bless us if only we will trust Him with our finances.

A young couple I know were challenged about tithing. They were deep in debt and experiencing all the consequences of financial bondage after stepping outside of God’s will and making some wrong financial decisions. When the husband received his next pay cheque, they first wrote a cheque for their tithe, and then paid the remaining outstanding bills. By the end of the week, they had no money in their bank account and the petrol tank in their car was nearly empty. On the way to church that next Sunday morning, the husband suggested not giving the tithe to the church as he needed petrol to get to work the next day; but the young wife insisted that having made the commitment to God, they should obey and trust the Lord to demonstrate His power on their behalf. The following day, the young wife expected the Lord to provide the money miraculously in the post. But when the post arrived and there was no provision of money, she became angry at God. Then just before the husband had to leave for work, a relative arrived with an unexpected cash gift enough to fill the family car with petrol. That young family saw a demonstration of God’s power, and they were then able to share with their children how powerful God is and how He was able to provide for their specific need. God delights in demonstrating His power so that we can report them to each other and to our children and to our grandchildren.

Outline taken from Men’s Manual Volume 2

“I Wish I Had Given Him More”

The story is told of a prince who disguised himself in the clothes of a beggar. As he was walking through the streets of the city, he came across another beggar who had just been given a large loaf of bread. The prince pleaded with the beggar for some of the bread. The beggar at first refused, but then rather grudgingly gave the prince three small pieces of bread.

The next day when the prince returned to his palace, he sent his servant to the place where the beggar sat, with a gift of three gold coins and a note that read: “One piece of gold for each piece of bread.” As the servant explained what had happened the previous day and read him the note from the prince, the beggar said, “Oh, I wish I’d given him more.”

That will be the cry of many Christians as we stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ. Not, “Look at all the great things I have done.” Not, “Look at how much I’ve given to the church and missions.” But we will be confronted with the reality of the time wasted, the money misspent and the opportunities missed to share the Gospel with others.

When you get to the end of your life, what will you be able to look back on and say, “This is what by God’s grace, I have accomplished for the kingdom of God.” What are you doing with your life that is going to make a difference in eternity?

“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (1 John 2:28).

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

Three Types of People

As we rejoice in the Lord and seek not to quench the Spirit we will be enthusiastic. What exactly does it mean to be enthusiastic? There are three types of people in the world, energy-givers, energy-wasters, and energy-takers. God not only loves cheerful "givers" of our finances but also our energy.


  • Helps others
  • Says kind words
  • Smiles
  • Shares with others
  • Stands for what is right
  • Tells the truth, even when difficult


  • Helps if convenient
  • Says nothing
  • Does not smile
  • Keeps things for self
  • Stands for nothing
  • Tells the truth most of the time


  • Helps self
  • Says unkind words
  • Frowns
  • Takes from others
  • Stands for wrong
  • Lies when it is convenient

Enthusiasm is being an "Energy-Giver" in every area of life.

The Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Giving Last Slice of Bread

“I have seen Christians in communist prisons with 50 pounds of chains on their feet, tortured with red-hot iron pokers, in whose throats spoonfuls of salt had been forced, being kept afterward without water, starving, whipped, suffering from cold, and praying with fervor for the communists…Afterward, the communists came to prison too. Now the tortured and the torturers were in the same cell. And while the non-Christians beat them, Christians took their defense. I have seen Christians giving away their last slice of bread (we had at that time one slice a week) and the medicine which could save their lives to a sick communist torturer who was now a fellow-prisoner.”

-Richard Wurmbrand

Projects on Generosity

  • As a family, discuss and pray whom the Lord might direct you to give food baskets or special gifts to this coming Christmas. Discuss the benefits of giving anonymously.
  • Consider supporting a missionary family, and discuss creative ways that you as a family might be able to make more money available to give to help meet the needs of others.

Six Probing Questions on Generosity

  • Do you promptly give God the firstfruits of all your increase?
  • Are your gifts prompted by what you cannot use anymore or by what you see a person needs?
  • Do your gifts make the one receiving them feel obligated to you?
  • Do you give a gift to those you want to help you in the future?
  • Have you ever given a large sum of money to God that you could have used for a personal want?
  • How many unexpected gifts have you given in the last year?

Character Clues Game


Champion Blood Donor

Joe Kerkofsky was America’s blood donor champion. The American Association of Blood Banks honoured the 62-year-old retired security guard at a special presentation in Chicago. Mr. Kerkofsky lost an arm in an accident when he was six. He was thence rejected for military service in World War II. Since then he donated nearly 31 gallons of blood. The human body contains 10 or 12 pints of blood. Joe has donated more than 20 times that amount. “Giving blood makes you feel like contributing life itself,” he says. “There’s no more precious a gift than life. Money can’t buy the joy of giving blood to help someone who needs it.”

Encyclopaedia of 7,700 Illustrations

A Wise Investment

Shortly before the turn of the century, two young students were working their way through Stanford University. At one point their money was almost gone, so they decided to engage the great pianist Paderewski for a concert and use the profits for board and tuition. Paderewski’s manager asked for a guarantee of $2,000. The students worked hard to promote the concert, but they came up $400 short. After the performance, they went to the musician, gave him all the money they had raised, and promised to pay the $400 as soon as they could. It appeared that their college days were over. “No, boys, that won’t do,” said the pianist. “Take out of this $1600 all your expenses, and keep for each of you 10 percent of the balance for your work. Let me have the rest.”

Years passed. Paderewski became premier of Poland following World War I. Thousands of his countrymen were starving. Only one man could help-the head of the U.S. Food and Relief Bureau. Paderewski’s appeal to him brought thousands of tons of food. Later he met the American statesman to thank him. “That’s all right,” replied Herbert Hoover. “Besides, you don’t remember, but you helped me once when I was a student in college.”

– Our Daily Bread


Shrink My Income?

A man knelt with his pastor and committed himself to God to give a certain percent of his income as long as he lived. From his first week’s pay he gave $1 to the Lord. Soon his weekly offering had increased to $10. As time went on, he continued to prosper. Before long he was giving $100 a week, then $200, and in time, $500 a week. Finally he called the pastor. “Please come and see me,” he said. “It’s urgent!” When the minister arrived, the host said, “You remember that promise I made to God years ago? How can I get released? When I made the promise, all I had to give was a dollar, but now it’s $500. I can’t afford to give away money like that.” The wise old pastor looked at his friend and said, “I’m afraid you cannot get a release from the promise, but there is something we can do. We can kneel down and ask God to shrink your income so that you can afford to give a dollar again.”

– Our Daily Bread

Give of Your Best

A missionary told of a woman in India who was holding a weak, whining infant in her arms, while at her side stood a beautiful, healthy child. The man of God saw her walk to the banks of the Ganges River and throw the robust youngster to the crocodiles as an offering, and then turn toward home again still clutching the sickly child to her bosom. Tears were running down her cheeks when he stopped to question her concerning her shocking actions. She proudly replied in defence of her conduct, “O sir, we always give our gods the best!”

– Our Daily Bread

Returned With Interest

When the British preacher C. H. Spurgeon went to Bristol for the purpose of ministering there, he hoped to collect 300 pounds to support his work with homeless children in London. At the end of the week of meetings, many people had been blessed, and his financial goal had been reached. That night as he bowed in prayer, Spurgeon seemed to hear a voice saying, “Give that money to George Mueller.” “Oh no, Lord,” answered the minister, “I need it for my own dear orphans.” Yet he couldn’t shake the idea that God wanted him to part with it. Only when he said, “Yes, Lord, I will,” could he find rest. Early the next morning he made his way to Mueller’s orphanage and found that great man of prayer on his knees. The famous preacher placed his hand on his shoulder and said, “George, God has told me to give you this 300 pounds I’ve collected.” “My dear brother,” said Mueller, “I’ve just been asking Him for exactly that amount.” The two servants of the Lord then wept and rejoiced together. When Spurgeon returned to London, he found a letter on his desk containing 300 guineas. “There,” he cried with joy, “the Lord has returned my 300 pounds with 300 shillings interest!”

– Our Daily Bread

The “I Wills” of Generosity

  • I will share what I have with others
  • I will recycle
  • I will not expect anything in return for my generosity
  • I will give of my time and talents
  • I will praise the good I see in others

Share a personal illustration from your own life of when you were generous or stingy. Be sure to emphasise that there were benefits to being generous and consequences to being stingy.

Character First! Education Series 1

LIBERALITY, examples of

(Select Reading, De 26 Mal 1:6-14 3:4-12 Mt 6:1-4)

Gifts of Israel for the Tabernacle
# Ex 35:22

Over-plus of Gifts
# Ex 36:5

Offerings at the Dedication
# Nu 7:3

David’s Gifts for the Temple
# 1Ch 29:3,4

Gifts for the Repairing of God’s House
# 2Ch 24:10

Offerings for the Rebuilding of the Temple
# Ezr 1:6 2:69 8:25 Ne 7:70 Lu 19:8

The Poor Widow’s Offering
# Lu 21:1-4

Liberality in the Early Church
# Ac 4:34,35 11:29 2Co 8:2 Php 4:16

How to Demonstrate Generosity

to God

  • Give God the first part (10%) of your income
  • Give God the first part of your day
  • Dedicate yourself totally and unconditionally to the Lord

to Parents

  • Be generous with praise for your parents
  • Give meaningful gifts on special occasions that demonstrate your appreciation for your parents
  • Send them an unexpected gift such as flowers or a card for no reason other than to say “I love you and am grateful for you”

to your Employers

  • Be willing to work overtime if necessary
  • Show initiative and go the “extra-mile”

to your Church Leaders

  • Show hospitality to other church members and visitors
  • Be willing to give sacrificially to mission projects and other church needs
  • Tell your church leaders that you are willing to serve in any way that you can

Character Definitions of Generosity

  • Realizing that all I have belongs to God and using it for His purposes 
  • Giving a gift that is cherished by the receiver and the giver 
  • Withholding a gift that will hurt the one who receives it 
  • Giving the right amount at the right time 
  • Giving a gift that requires personal sacrifice 

generos’ity or gen’erousness noun liberality of nature, the quality of being free and unstinting with one’s possessions, money, time; nobleness of nature, magnanimity; a generous act; nobility of birth (archaic). »Latin generosus of noble birth, from genus birth (Chambers Dictionary)

Bible Verses Related to Generosity

Spend an evening (or several) looking at just one of these verses at a time. Don’t forget to ask your children the questions: Who? What? Where? Why? When? and How? Discuss with your family what each verse or story teaches about the character quality; and give vital application of how this quality can be applied to your family. Choose several verses to memorise together as a family.

  • Exodus 25:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. {bring me: Heb. take for me} {offering: or, heave offering}
  • Exodus 35:5 Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass,
  • Deuteronomy 15:7 If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:
  • Deuteronomy 15:8 But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.
  • Deuteronomy 15:9 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee. {thought: Heb. word} {wicked: Heb. Belial}
  • Deuteronomy 15:10 Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.
  • Deuteronomy 15:11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
  • Deuteronomy 15:14 Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him.
  • 1 Chronicles 29:17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee. {present: Heb. found}
  • Psalms 112:5 A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. {discretion: Heb. judgment}
  • Proverbs 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
  • Proverbs 3:10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
  • Proverbs 11:25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. {liberal…: Heb. soul of blessing}
  • Proverbs 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again. {that which…: or, his deed}
  • Proverbs 22:9 He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor. {He that…: Heb. Good of eye}
  • Proverbs 23:6  Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
  • Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
  • Proverbs 23:8 The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.
  • Ecclesiastes 11:1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. {upon…: Heb. upon the face of the waters}
  • Isaiah 32:5 The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful.
  • Isaiah 32:8 But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand. {stand: or, be established}
  • Matthew 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold [water] only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
  • Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
  • Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
  • Romans 12:8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. {giveth: or, imparteth} {with simplicity: or, liberally}
  • 2 Corinthians 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
  • 2 Corinthians 8:14 But by an equality, [that] now at this time your abundance [may be a supply] for their want, that their abundance also may be [a supply] for your want: that there may be equality:
  • 2 Corinthians 8:15 As it is written, He that [had gathered] much had nothing over; and he that [had gathered] little had no lack.
  • 2 Corinthians 9:6 But this [I say], He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
  • 2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
  • Philippians 4:17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
  • Philippians 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things [which were sent] from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. {I have all: or, I have received all}
  • 1 Timothy 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; {willing…: or, sociable}
  • James 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. {Grudge not: or, Groan, or, Grieve not}
  • 1 Peter 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

Hymns and Choruses Related to Generosity

  • Give of Your Best to The Master (Howard B. Grose, 1851-1939)
  • Give Me Thy Heart (Eliza E. Hewitt, 1851-1920)
  • Have I Done My Best for Jesus? (Ensign Edwin Young, 1895-)
  • I Gave My Life for Thee (Frances R. Havergal, 1836-1879)
  • Is Your All on The Altar? (Eisha  A. Hoffman, 1839-1929)
  • Trust, Try, and Prove Me (Lida S. Leech, 1873-1962)
  • All for Jesus (Mary D. James, 19th century)
  • I Surrender All (Judson W. Van de Venter, 1855-1939)

General Gordon’s Medal

It is related of General Gordon, affectionately known as “Chinese Gordon,” that when the English government sought to reward him for his magnificent service in China, he declined all money and titles, but accepted a gold medal on which his name and a record of his thirty-three engagements was inscribed. After his death the medal could not be found. Finally it was learned that he had sent it to Manchester during a famine, with a request that it be melted and used to buy bread for the famishing poor. In his diary that day he had written these words: “The last and only thing that I had in this world that I valued. I have given over to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

-Wilbur E. Nelson