Book Reviews by Betsy

resources and reviews

The Treasure Principle

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | October 2, 2020

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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Ask, Thank, Tell

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | September 20, 2020

“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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Writing in the Sand

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | June 22, 2020

“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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What We Need Is Here by L. Roger Owens

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | August 26, 2019

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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Growing Generous Souls Is Now Out!

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 13, 2019

I’m pleased to announce that my new book is now out: Growing Generous Souls: Becoming Grace-Filled Stewards! It invites church leaders and individuals to stop racing from one activity to another and instead to focus on being rather than on compulsive doing and consuming. The book includes reflection questions and resources to help people move…

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The Big Secret of Giving

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | July 3, 2018

By William C. Green, United Church of Christ, 2007 The Big Secret of Giving: Hidden Treasures in Life and Church is a booklet of 27 devotions related to financial giving, but grounded in a holistic understanding of stewardship as our response to God’s generous grace. While the booklet was written in part to encourage giving…

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Love in a Time of Climate Change

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | May 7, 2018

Rev. Sharon Delgado’s Love in a Time of Climate Change: Honoring Creation, Establishing Justice is a “faith response to climate change” (p. 178) that tells the truth about how far down the road we already are in global warming, while simultaneously giving us hope for transformation – IF we have the political will to take…

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Stewardship in Living Context

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | April 17, 2018

I was thrilled to learn about the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s plans for resourcing churches starting next year! When our Resource Editorial Team met today, we heard about future possibilities for congregational resourcing, networking opportunities, and the growth of a digital stewardship library. For many years, the Giving: Growing Joyful Stewards in Your Congregation magazine has…

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Live Courageously

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | March 16, 2018

I was thrilled to receive Live Courageously, this year’s issue of Giving: Growing Joyful Stewards in Your Congregation, from the Ecumenical Stewardship Center.  In addition to a center section Leader’s Guide for an annual financial commitment program based on small groups, it includes “Bright Spot” stories celebrating real people practicing faithful stewardship and generosity, book…

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“My Child Is a Flower” Stewardship Songs

By Betsy Schwarzentraub | January 29, 2018

Rev. Dan Damon is an inspired writer of hymn texts and tunes, as well as a seminary teacher, pastor and friend. I was thrilled when he showed me a stewardship song he had written after I preached at his church one day. But his new songbook, My Child Is a Flower, contains many thoughtful, creative,…

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