Posts by Generous Stewards

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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Generosity of Inclusion

I hadn’t heard of Rachel Held Evans until her shocking death last month at the age of 37. I don’t tweet, and I’m a lot older than Millennials. But in her case that was my loss – I celebrate her intentionally generous life as an “apostle to outsiders,” and am grateful for how her influence…

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Why People Give to One Cause Over Another

A longtime friend just asked me, “How do each of us grow a passion for one project or another?” Clearly none of us can give in response to every need, so what prompts us to choose one or some ministries over all the rest? Certainly he’s not the first person to ask that. In fact,…

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Tornado Heroes

The news was terrifying wherever we looked last night, May 28, with mind-numbing numbers: 500 tornados touched down in the last thirty days, roaring through 22 U.S. states. Heavy rains, flash flooding, continuing storms, tornados everywhere. “It looks like a war zone,” said dazed residents, looking over the rubble of their communities. Yet in the…

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Many Thanksgivings

In Mutuality and Thanksgiving I said, “Thanksgiving is not a season. It’s an orientation of our minds and hearts that naturally flows into a lifestyle of generosity, of mutual giving and receiving.” But the process of giving and receiving is not only a two-way affair. As science-of-generosity researchers have noted, people who know others involved…

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