Gratitude and Grace

Gemma Evans Colorful plants in pots on fence

Content Curation

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 23, 2014

Recently I ran into a new word: “curated.” Oh sure, I’ve known museum “curators,” who are in charge of handling all the museum’s treasures. But these days the word “curate” is being used in some new ways. One use of the word is in “content curation,” in contrast to “content creation.” Whereas content creation is…

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Stewards of God’s Mysteries

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 22, 2014

Easter is the season, more than any other, when God takes our breath away with the sheer mystery of God’s overwhelming grace. In the face of Jesus’ resurrection, none of us can stand on our own two feet before God. It’s overwhelming enough to reflect on God’s self-giving love in Jesus’ life and death for…

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Throwing Open the Door

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 7, 2014

I’ve been thinking recently about what constitutes abundant life in our daily living. Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of Romans 5:1-7 (The Message) says that when we throw open our door to God, we discover that God has already thrown open God’s door to us. “We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand –…

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Control and Obsession

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | February 14, 2014

Okay, so I admit I’m obsessive-compulsive about some things. Like where the pots and pans go in the kitchen, and some of my daily routines. But I’ve never forgotten what a speaker said years ago: when we’re obsessive, the key is to choose what to be obsessive about. Instead of trying to control our boss’s…

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Means of Grace

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | January 14, 2014

“Discipline” can be a scary word. Even when we hear it in churches, as in “spiritual disciplines,” our first instinct might be that it’s punishment or obligation. When that unconscious reaction happens, it’s hard to respond out of a place of gratitude and joy. So maybe it’s better to say “framework” or means of grace.…

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Palpable Presence

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 23, 2011

What an outstanding experience I had recently — training the first half of our Stewardship Associates and meeting with all of them by phone! These nine people from across the United States will help teach stewardship and generosity in the local church. The first event we are offering is a workshop called “Annual Funding and…

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Grace and Temptation

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | March 16, 2011

I hate being sick. When I do get sick, my temptation is to refuse to acknowledge the reality that would allow me to rest and focus on healing. When I engage in such denial, I try to plow ahead with my own plans, and then get worse. Use of the word “temptation” here is deliberate,…

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Personal Connection to Mission

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | January 31, 2011

His white-whiskered face lit up. “I’ve been a Volunteer-in-Mission for years,” he said, citing how many times he had gone to Louisiana to help after the hurricanes. Hands-on ministry isn’t just for folks in their twenties. People of all ages engage with both head and heart when they get their own two hands involved. Personal…

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Stewards of Grace

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | December 21, 2010

Sunlight peeks through smoky pearl skies. Raindrops shimmer, suspended from fine, fragile pine tips. Creation awaits fulfillment in the One who is to come, God incarnate. We are “servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries,” called to be found trustworthy and faithful (1 Corinthians 4:1). How can we possibly be worthy of trust in…

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