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White Helmets in Syria

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | December 19, 2016

Generosity reaches a whole new level when your life is on the line – and when you’re saving someone else’s life at the literal risk of your own. That’s what the “White Helmets” are doing every day in Syria, as they voluntarily rush in after the bombs have hit. The rescuers don’t care about a…

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Encouraging Generativity

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | October 10, 2016

Stephen Post and Jill Neimark wrote a fascinating book called Why Good Things Happen to Good People. It shares some exciting scientific research proving a connection between doing good and living a longer, healthier, happier life. In it, one new discovery for me was generativity. Apparently the term generativity was first used by psychologist Erik…

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Propel: Involvement and Generosity

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | June 10, 2016

I just wrote a book review for next year’s Giving magazine on Clayton Smith’s new book, Propel: Good Stewardship, Greater Generosity. The theme of that issue of Giving is “Living Generously,” and I hope you’ll order it online at this fall. But there are a lot more ideas from Propel than I could pack…

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A Reminder from the Birds

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 9, 2016

These past months the wild birds have been everywhere, first seeking whatever they could to build their nests. When much of the U.S. was still battling snowstorms, Northern California began to see spring. Thankfully we’ve had enough rain this year to cancel the current year’s (although not long-term) drought. Mornings have been filled with birdsong…

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God the Artist

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 12, 2016

“Great work, God!” called out Dr. Don Adams, prompting the conference audience to give a standing ovation in response to God’s artistry as Creator. That was many years ago, but I’ve never forgotten it, both because of its spontaneity and also because of its view of God as the ultimate Artist of life. Years ago…

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The Morning-After Net

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 9, 2016

It’s doubly hard when a dream turns to dust, when people who have gone through a dramatic life event (a significant relationship, a turn-around experience) see all the goodness vanish. The dream dies, our new life doesn’t pan out, loved ones drifts away. Unsure of what to do, we ask ourselves, Can I go back…

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By Betsy Schwarzentraub | January 25, 2016

Printed maps are mostly a thing of the past. These days, many people depend on their “GPS” – Global Positioning Satellite – to get to their destination, particularly if it’s to a place they’ve never been before. A lot of folks depend solely on their GPS for guidance anywhere. So I was intrigued when I…

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Kernels of Hope

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 24, 2015

Referring to the current world scene, one magazine writer used the phrase “rise in hate, kernels of hope.” I don’t deny the rise-in-hate part: it’s everywhere! But I prefer to point to the kernels of hope wherever I see them, particularly because some kernels become seeds that sprout and grow as others pick up the…

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Hope for Refugees

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | October 20, 2015

The television news has been devastating, showing thousands of refugees running for their lives, swamping train stations to leave one country for another, cradling babies and urging their children forward, in the face of forceful military or hateful crowds. It doesn’t take much to imagine the misery they are leaving behind, along with all their…

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Contagious Generosity

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | August 9, 2015

What an act of generosity! Our friends were coming up to this year as their fiftieth anniversary. Having lived in Australia and the United States over the years, they had formed strong friendships with a great number of people. So they decided to spend their special anniversary money, and more, on bringing the two communities…

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