Posts by Generous Stewards

“Teach Your Parents Well”

I remember the good-natured difference of opinion my dad and I had in my teen years about “nature versus nurture.” He would say that a person’s good traits were “in your genes,” and I would say, “It’s how you are raised.” – But when it comes to generosity, scientific studies have increasingly found that it’s…

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Saints and the Search for Moral Presence

Today is All Saints Day, so it’s appropriate to think about the saints in our lives and world. These days, every day seems to be the opposite of saintly: national brink-of-war tactics, political partisan diatribes, hate crimes, and horrendous violence. So maybe All Saints Day is really important right now, whether we ascribe to official…

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The Social Contagion of Generosity

Generosity is not just an individual trait; 1 it can have a huge effect on our communities. I was excited to see that scientific studies are actually documenting how generous behavior creates and builds our relationships with others. I’ve always thought of contagion as a bad thing: as in viruses, diseases, a plague. So an…

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Breathing in the Image of God

In my latest book, Growing Generous Souls (soon to be published), I wrote about ways we can grow increasingly into “the image of God.” God sees us, not just how we have been or are now, but how we can become more radiant with God’s love, both within who we are and in our relationships…

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Gratitude’s Three Foundation Stones

Gratitude is not just a feel-good approach to life. There I sat at a Greater Good Gratitude Summit, a gathering to promote the evidence-based practices of gratitude. Dr. Robert Emmons, coordinator of the event, said gratitude is “a heightened and focused intellectual appreciation” where we focus on the abundance of our lives instead of on…

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Encounter with an Owl

God’s creation is a lot more powerful and mysterious than we human beings usually think. And most of it is certainly not tame. I was on our back deck, looking out into our woods mostly of ten- to twelve-story pines, when hundreds of resident wild birds sounded the alarm, circling and screaming at one another.…

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Crowdfunding

With so many natural disasters and national tragedies these days, millions of people have responded through donation-based crowdfunding, where individuals give money for a cause, project or person without receiving anything tangible in return – except a whole lot of satisfaction, knowing they’re and joining others to provide resources and help people out of dire…

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Curiosity — Stewarding Our Attention

This past weekend on retreat, I was thrilled to get reacquainted with curiosity as one of the seven key attributes named by Lacy Ellman in her book, Pilgrim Principles. Last year I wrote about two studies of curiosity among Millennials, in my blog, Generous Stewards – Curious and Creative. It was exciting to think of…

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Three Steps for Victory

Who ever thought that doing planned giving could be like performing a triathlon? While swimming, bicycling and running sounds a whole lot harder to me, when I read “The Three Parts of Victory”1 it made perfect sense. When someone wants to compete, he or she needs to do three things: • Commit to a plan,…

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Rest and Labor

Happy Labor Day to you! The U.S. holiday reminds me of the Bible’s commandment to rest, particularly on the Sabbath, the heart of Jewish Law. For Christians, Willy Rordorf’s book Sunday continues to be a resource from my seminary days. In it he lays out “the history of the day of rest and worship” for…

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