The Treasure Principle, by Randy Alcorn, is a small gift book with loads of wisdom for Christians in process. Its subtitle says it all: Discovering the secret of joyful giving. The foundation of our hidden treasure, says Alcorn, is in Matthew 6:19-21, where Jesus says that earthly treasures won’t last, in contrast to our treasures…

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“Stewardship has been kidnapped and is being held hostage by a sinister villain named Paying the Bills,” states Charles R. Lane in his book, Ask, Thank, Tell. But authentic stewardship is really about discipleship, biblically based, and centered on three simple verbs that can renew and clarify our local-church stewardship efforts. This refreshing book helped…

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Now is a natural time for pastors to be planning their preaching topics for the year ahead. How can we approach stewardship holistically – in its fullness – over the months ahead to include giving money but not let it take over all the other dimensions of stewarding God’s gifts? One helpful way is to…

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There are many helpful and creative ways to make a planned gift. Here are the most important ones, according to Renard J. Kolasa, Esq., of Couzens, Lansky:1 Outright gifts, particularly appreciated securities. Gifts at death via Will or Trust – perhaps the most important source of gifts other than outright cash gifts during life; should…

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It’s good to learn about one or more of the spiritual disciplines – prayer, meditation, Scripture study, and more – but to actually practice them presupposes solitude, or the clarity of mind and heart that come from it. In these days of the pandemic, many may say, “With social distancing and staying home, I have…

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Almost every parent has been there: pressuring their young child to write the obligatory thank-notes to Aunt Charlotte and the next-door neighbor after Christmas or their birthday. But does sending those notes under mild duress make your kids really feel grateful? The fact is: we cannot make children be thankful. We can only make them…

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“To speak of the heart is not to sentimentalize but to ensoul,” says author Thomas Moore. “There is a toughness and intelligence about living from the heart. . . .”1 Moore uses the phrase living from the heart to describe what the Gospels imply about a new sense of self: “openness to experience, to the…

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Most church leaders want to help their congregations become more generous. But how do we do that? And how can we assess or measure our progress toward specific results? “Results” are what people will know, be, or do because of their stewardship exposure and experience. “Strategies” are action steps to achieve our results. For example,…

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Written for Voices and Silences, 2003 Grace, Giftedness, Giving and Growth – these four words, from Clif Christopher and Herb Mather’s book, Holy Smoke!, prompted me to reflect on these themes in my life. For me, they flow in a cycle, a deepening spiral, which begins and ends with God’s grace. From God’s side, it’s…

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Written for the General Board of Discipleship, The United Methodist Church, 2010 Stewardship is whatever we do with what God has entrusted to us by the way that we live. In response to God’s outpouring love and covenant faithfulness, we live out of God’s abundance instead of the illusion of scarcity thinking. We seek to…

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June fifth is coming up soon – World Environment Day. And boy, do we have a lot of issues to address! But one essential dimension of our impact on the environment that calls out right now is what we choose to eat. “Clean eating” is a phrase that’s becoming popular in some circles these days.…

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“Our soul is our true self, the essence of who we are, seeking to grow more and more into the image of God,” says Growing Generous Souls,1 pondering Genesis 1:26-27. But what is the image of God? Beyond that book’s couple of paragraphs, here are a few further reflections. Some renowned Bible scholars confirm the…

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