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Posts by Generous Stewards

Autumn: Why and Now

This is the first week of fall, and I’m beginning to see the signs. When I lived in Europe, the seasons changed dramatically from one day to the next, and they certainly do in other parts of this nation and the world. But in Northern California it’s usually a more subtle change. The night temperature…

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Signposts for Wisdom

We can grow in wisdom if we reflect on and learn from our experience. After writing the chapter on “Growing as Becoming” in Growing Generous Souls, I thought about wisdom as less of an achievement or endpoint, and more as a process of becoming the wise person each of us is meant to be. A…

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Stewarding Our Story

Our regional writers group had a booth this past weekend at the Gold Country Fair in Auburn, California. It was an engaging time, as fifteen of us took shifts talking with people about reading and writing and inviting them to join us and to buy our books. What surprised me most was how involved members…

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What We Need Is Here by L. Roger Owens

L. Roger Owens’ book What We Need Is Here (Upper Room Books, 2015) is not what my longtime-pastor side might call a “spiritual self-help” book. Its subtitle points to this: Practicing the Heart of Christian Spirituality. Not content to settle for surface religious “how-to”s, Owens seeks to reach the heart of Christian spiritual life, by…

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Attitude, Cancer and Prayer

There’s no more stark realization than hearing cancer has attacked your body and you must defeat it to live. That happened to me four years and five months ago. So it’s a very moving experience every year when I attend the Relay for Life, celebrating that I’m a survivor/thriver, and joining hundreds of people from…

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Freedom from Fear

Freedom from fear is not an esoteric neverland. Some of us – maybe most of us – have seen it in a person’s action or life at some time. A rescuer saves a child from a fire or flood. A wartime buddy aids a soldier, or a stranger helps someone stranded by the road. A…

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Remember Who You Are

It was thrilling to see the new version of the movie The Lion King! It was a whole, new experience with real animals (and evidently very sophisticated computer work): a you-are-there experience. I don’t know if it’s because this version was based on the screenplay, but it contained several have-to-reflect-on-it adult one-liners. I mean “adult”…

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A Basic Financial Health Checklist

Managing the money and things we have can get complicated, but the basics don’t have to be. At a workshop on “The Whys and Hows of Money Leadership,” stewardship leader Mark L. Vincent1 shared three points we can take care of, as our financial health checklist:2 1. I have a spending plan or budget that…

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Positive Self-Talk

What we inwardly tell ourselves is important. Although it’s not the only factor in physical performance, researchers and practitioners have seen positive results for a long time. We act on our perceptions and beliefs, whether we are aware of them or not. For example, those who believe it’s a dog-eat-dog world will see only one-upmanship…

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From Outreach to Engagement

I hadn’t thought about it before, but the traditional church term “outreach” can connote an old-school view of “us versus them” mission. If delivered or heard in the wrong way, it implies that givers have all that is worth giving, and receivers have nothing to contribute to the equation. It’s as if we do outreach…

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The Future with John Wesley

Today, June 28, is John Wesley’s birthday. With all the brouhaha among United Methodists lately, I’ve been thinking about what makes Methodists. We know the term was first used in derision: “those method-ists, who always have a method for everything!” But what is the spirit that John Wesley tapped into, that continues to ignite and…

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Stewards of Our Stories

When I walked into the great hall one evening this week, about a thousand chairs were arranged in circles of six, set up for small-group conversations. For this one session, it was not the usual set-up for a United Methodist Annual Conference of local-church pastors and leaders. “Be a steward of your story,” the speaker…

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