Generosity Heroes

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           Generosity isn’t about what we do with things; it’s about the heart. A generous heart gives quality time to listen to another person, gives follow-through compassion to act on concern for far-away people, gives personal involvement and practical resources to people in need and creatures in danger. And there are plenty of people who demonstrate generosity just by being who they are.

I love what Rebekah Basinger said once on generousmatters.com: “Forget the trope about the left hand knowing what the right is up to. It’s time to celebrate lives lived generously, to make heroes of those who share selflessly, to sing the praises of folks who embody the Golden Rule.”

So who are these generosity heroes for you? They may be people in the headlines, or those who are always behind the scenes, local folks who make good things happen, or those who work on our behalf on the world scale. Let’s forget the left hand / right hand business, and sing their praises!

Your partner in ministry,

Betsy Schwarzentraub

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Lynne Twist for Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday

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Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday” this April 23 will include Lynne Twist, inspiring blogger and author of The Soul of Money. I was so moved by her blog, “Super Soul Sunday with Oprah” that I made the following comment:

“Lynne, I was thrilled to read your response to being interviewed by Oprah for this April’s Super Soul Sunday. Navigating the world of money can be hugely challenging, whether we come from our U.S. obsessed “money culture,” or from impoverished situations like those of Oprah’s Leadership Academy graduates. It takes attention, persistence and intentional gratitude to mature in the very traits you have and recognized in Oprah: spiritually grounded, loving, smart, and incredibly generous.

“A key aspect of growing such generous souls is telling ‘rallying stories:’ experiences that inspire hope, and trust in God’s abundance. When we reflect on learning from our own experiences and share what we’ve heard from others, we encourage healing in our relationship with money in an amazing ripple-out way. Thank you for your own grounding and the way you share rallying stories about generous stewards with so many of us in the process!”

Lynne Twist’s site is http://soulofmoney.org. Another great resource is Rebekah Basinger’s www.generousmatters.com.

Your partner in ministry,

Betsy Schwarzentraub

Help for Talking About Money

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Stewardship professionals and bloggers can be a great help to a lot of folks on the front lines of ministry – not only sharing their knowledge, but also giving courage and inspiration for our daily work. Rebekah Basinger is one of those people for me, through her site, www.generousmatters.com. For example, she wrote a piece called “Red Letter Money Talk” (Oct. 18, 2016). Here is what I wrote back to her:

“Dear Rebekah, I loved this blog! As a stewardship educator and retired pastor, I agree with Dick Towner that we can come to understand stewardship in a way that transforms hearts and conforms our lives to the image of Christ. But it’s an ongoing, lifelong process! Both confidence and care are good to have in equal measure when we allow use of money to be part of our spiritual care for those we serve.

“The best part, as you say, is knowing that we are not asking for ourselves, but instead ‘present the challenge, invite, and trust God to do the rest.’ Thank you for your encouragement!”

Your partner in ministry,

Betsy Schwarzentraub