Growing in Grace

Gemma Evans Colorful plants in pots on fence

Fear Not

By Generous Stewards | January 14, 2019

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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Congruence: Eugene Peterson

By Generous Stewards | December 17, 2018

             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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Gratitude’s Three Foundation Stones

By Generous Stewards | October 8, 2018

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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Communion Community

By Generous Stewards | August 13, 2018

For many years now, whenever I’ve celebrated Holy Communion I’ve silently prayed for each person by name as they come forward to receive the bread and dip it into the cup. I started this early on as a pastor and have continued it as my personal participation worshiping in the congregation. Ever since doing research…

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Gratitude and Resilience

By Generous Stewards | June 18, 2018

“If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you must look forward, do so prayerfully,” said poet and activist Maya Angelou. “However, the wisest thing you can do is be present in the present . . . gratefully.” Citing this phrase, church historian, consultant and author, Diana Butler Bass wrote a marvelous article on…

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Recovery, Symbols, and Gratitude

By Generous Stewards | May 21, 2018

It’s been two-plus weeks now since coming home from hip replacement surgery. Needless to say that’s major surgery. I was hugely grateful that my immensely popular surgeon (whose operations are routinely booked several months in advance) slipped me into a cancellation, after a year of increasing pain. Each day is an improvement in minor but…

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I Am Blessed!

By Generous Stewards | January 23, 2018

Last week I got to hear Rev. Dr. Alex Awad, pastor of East Jerusalem Baptist Church, professor at Bethlehem Bible College, and retired missionary for the United Methodist Church. A Palestinian Christian who was born in Jerusalem, he is a direct descendant of those first disciples at Pentecost. But because he is a Palestinian, he…

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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s Legacy

By Generous Stewards | January 15, 2018

God calls us to be stewards not only of our personal relationships, but also of our communities, which ultimately can affect justice on a national, even world-wide, scale. In these turbulent political days, I am grateful for people who speak up publicly in a variety of ways, because of their faith. Today is the day…

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Gratitude at Work

By Generous Stewards | October 25, 2017

Thanks in large part to University of California at Davis professor Robert Emmons, the field of “Positive Psychology” has grown by leaps and bounds since the early 2000s.1 Positive Psychology is the scientific study of gratitude and its benefits, in fields ranging from anatomy to sociology, affecting both the quality and the length of a…

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Helping Children to Forgive

By Generous Stewards | September 25, 2017

Forgiving someone can be one of the greatest forms of giving. Writing about it in my new book, Growing Generous Souls, I’m reminded of how difficult it can be, but also how life-changing and rewarding it is for both the receiver and the giver. Above all, forgiveness is a process, and loads of studies have…

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