Posts by Generous Stewards

Fear Not

Have you ever noticed how often, when the angels showed up in the Bible, the first thing they said was “Fear not”? I admit I’ve had some direct encounters with the Living God over the years, but I haven’t seen an angel so far. I mean the wings-and-light kind. If I had, I might be…

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White Gifts Sunday

Communion Sunday always inspires me, as I try to pray for everyone who comes forward to receive the host: parents with children mostly in hand, senior singles, teens in their social bunches, and the less mobile waiting to be served in their seats. But yesterday was also Epiphany Sunday, celebrating the Magi coming to the…

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Engagement, Mission and Generosity

            Yes, mission trips can have a downside (if travelers are patronizing or culturally clueless, for example), but plan on doing one in the New Year anyway. We can learn how to improve the hands-on mission, but the learning for the missioner can be priceless.             In an excellent Inspiring Generosity post on Nov. 7…

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Christmas Being

            Being. Focusing on being versus compulsive doing. That’s what prompted me several years ago to start writing my book, Growing Generous Souls. I had experienced dozens of years of well-meaning doing in the church, dotted with periodic moments sensing our being in the presence of the Living God. My study of the spiritual disciplines…

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Congruence: Eugene Peterson

             There was so much more to Rev. Eugene Peterson, the author of The Message, a version of the Bible, than I had known about him, despite years spent with that volume in daily devotions. I knew he was a Presbyterian clergyman who had pastored a church for decades, but I didn’t know he was…

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Being in Advent

This far into the pre-Christmas period, many of us may be up to our chins in busyness, whether from shopping, community holiday events, or gatherings of family and friends. And did I mention shopping? So how can we re-focus ourselves on being instead of frenetic doing? On the birth of Christ in our hearts and…

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The Spirit of Advent

“Counting the Days to Christmas” is the title of a Christian devotion-and-activity book I started some years ago for children and their parents or grandparents. Maybe someday I’ll finish it. It’s hard to believe that we’re counting those days to Christmas already this year. Advent calendars start counting on December first. They’re a favorite tradition…

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Reign of Christ Sunday

Yesterday millions of Christians celebrated “Reign of Christ Sunday,” the last Sunday of the Christian worship Year. At first blush, it’s odd to have one Sunday named that, since the Reign, or Kingdom, of God is a big deal in Christian faith. But it turns out that it came about in 1920s Italy, as the…

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Giving Thanks for Messy Relationships

Thanksgiving was a big deal in my growing-up family, since we’re Mayflower descendants. So Mom would pull out all the stops, and we kids helped in the preparations, as well. But no matter how people approach Thanksgiving, getting ready for that holiday can involve some special recipes or once-a-year dishes we save for that one…

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Grieve, Hope, Respond

St. Paul once wrote that we grieve, but not as those who have no hope (1 Thess. 4:13). I saw that personally once, when I attended the funeral of a man who was the patriarch of his Hmong clan, some of whom were members of the congregation I served. The family had decided to have…

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