Simpler Living

Summer Luke Brugger Unsplash

Good News and Taxes

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | March 28, 2011

Okay, so we are getting closer to the U.S. tax deadline of April 15. It’s not as easy anymore (if it ever was for us) to just turn over our financial plans or receipts and have someone else do it for us: a spouse, an administrative assistant, a doctor or even an employer. These days,…

Read More

Financial Security and the Bottom Line

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | March 21, 2011

Financial security is a subjective thing. Certainly, it has to do with making our income and expense numbers come out right. But it also depends upon perception: our emotional well-being and personal answer to the question, “How much is enough to live on?” One devotional Scripture for today is in Hebrews 13, which says in…

Read More

Christ Church Teaches Healthy Money Habits

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | March 16, 2011

What are youth learning about healthy money habits from the adults around them? How can local churches help shape young people’s financial values? The issue is urgent, and some churches are stepping up to the task. Take Christ Church in Richmond, Virginia, for example. To grow generosity among their members, they knew they needed to…

Read More

Basic Training

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | January 11, 2011

Written 1/11/2011 for the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church       After an extended time off, my spunky horse needed to go back to basic training. For horses, this instructional time includes ground work, safety issues, and fundamental cues for mutual respect and attentiveness. It emphasizes communication and affirms our core relationship…

Read More

The Power of Enough

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | December 7, 2010

As we enter Thanksgiving and the gift-buying days leading up to Christmas, now is a great time to talk about what is enough. According to the consumer version of this season (in the U.S., at least), excess becomes our expectation, even our norm: excess food, excess buying, excess entertainment and activity. “Enough” is a word…

Read More

Enough: Discovering Joy, Simplicity, Generosity

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | November 29, 2010

In an intriguing article from Luther Seminary’s e-newsletter, Stewardship for the 21st Century, Linda Rozumalski writes about “the theology of enough.” Practicing this theology counteracts the attitude of acquisition, she says, and breaks the illusion that we own and control our lives and the things that we have. One way to develop this “theology of…

Read More

First Fruits Living

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | June 10, 2010

Okay, so our financial lives have been stretched greatly in this worldwide recession – and some people a whole lot more than others. But here’s one lesson hopefully all of us have learned: Whatever money we do have, we can choose to put it on God’s priorities instead of into greedy speculation, tight-fisted hoarding, or…

Read More