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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What Jesus said and did in the Gospels are signs of who he is. But how do we apply that to who we are in Christ? Where else can we turn to find additional guidance about who we are because of Christ’s work in our lives? Colossians 3:8-17 can help us see the shape of…

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Written for Giving: Growing Joyful Stewards in Your Congregation, Vol. 22, No. 1, By the Ecumenical Stewardship Center The roots of generosity are in habits of the heart, not in one’s bank balance, says Herb Miller,1  recognized authority in church effectiveness. His assertion is as true related to major gift donors as it is of…

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Stewardship is the how of living toward God – not the wheels on the bus, but the way the wild geese fly. The way the wild geese fly – not just instinct but also intention: the how of living toward God. The how of living toward God – using what I have for God’s goals:…

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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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