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Dana Reardon's Weekly Reflection
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2002-2003

Dec. 29 - Resolve To Revise Priorities in 2004. "Stewardship demands a constant reexamination of what we are given and what we need and what our church and those around us need.  God has given us plenty.  It is just a matter of how we share it."

Dec. 22 - Mary's Glimpse into God's Kingdom. "Filled with the Holy Spirit and carrying the hope of the world, Mary gets a glimpse of God's intention for creation. And it looks startlingly different from human vision.  And we who have been sealed by this same Holy Spirit and marked by the cross of that same Hope for the world are offered that same glimpse of God's intention for creation."

Dec. 15 - Repent, and Turn Outward. "When we start on the quest to learn how to love God properly, sometimes it leads us too far inward. We start worrying if we are doing it right.  We start worrying too much about our own spiritual well being. We start thinking, 'Have I done enough?'  'Have I loved enough?'  And then we get lost in the hall of mirrors of our own making."

Dec. 8 - This Christmas Make A Different Kind of List. "In a time when we should be counting our blessings, we are asked to come up with things we don't need so people can know what to get us.  To me this is counterproductive to the meaning of Christmas."

Dec. 1 - Gratitude for God's Blessings is Enough. "As I sit between Thanksgiving and the Advent of our God, I plan to just sit and contemplate how selflessly God gives, without any strings and without any obligations.  It is on the silence of that thought that true thankfulness arises."

Nov. 23 - Give Thanks This Week -- And Always "When I was in India, I saw that the people had so much less and yet I heard so many more expressions of thanksgiving and praise for the God who they knew was taking care of them."

Nov. 17 - Ask God -- the Answer May Surprise You  "I have decided not to think that I know the mind of God.  One of the greatest gifts God has already given me is God's son who taught us to pray for the things that we need.  And then I will let God do the answering."

Nov. 10 - The Impulse To Give -- or To Ignore. "What is your first impulse when you see someone in need?  Before the rationalizations kick in.  Before even you worry about who else is watching or even whether the person you think needs help may take it the wrong way?"

Nov. 3 - Listening for God's Voice - "This is how we become better stewards of the mysteries of God.  By our willingness to see ourselves as God's people and how we might touch others with our lives and love and faith."

Oct. 28 - Overwhelmed by Temptations All Around - "Our message ought to be about changing lives and not just about getting a little more of the money that is usually going to movies and CDs and faster cars and bigger houses.  If our message is just like theirs, if we are just doing another commercial that vies for a piece of the pie then we are lost.  We have become the tempter."

Oct. 20 - What's Your Story With Money? "Jesus knew that we needed to be clear about our relationship with money.  That is why two-thirds of everything he had to say was about money.   Telling someone to sell everything he has and give away his money is a fast way to help him come to terms with his feelings about money."

Oct. 13 - Prescription for a Life of Joy - "We make all kinds of bargains with God to get what we want, but God has already given much more than we can ever repay. And God continues to give us good things as if our bank account were not already overdrawn."

Oct. 6 - The Simple Simplicity Solution - "Jesus didn't call us to sell our possessions and give alms because He wanted us to have less.  Jesus calls us to give it all away, to travel light so that we might have more.  So that we might have it all.  So that we might possess the kingdom."

Sept. 29 - Jesus' Hard Words About Money - "If we speak for Jesus and ignore money we have lost a good share of His message.  But more than that we have forgotten the power of God to transform and to heal that Jesus came to bring us."

Sept. 22 - Relish, Embrace, Use Silence. "The silence between activity gives meaning to all of it.  Think about it for a minute.  Every new and creative thought comes out of the silence and not out of the constant stream of commentary in your brain.  God breaks into the silence to talk to us."

Sept. 15 - The Compassion Reflex. "Jesus didn't say, I was hungry and you thought about it while you carefully examined your budget for the year and considered what you could give." 

Sept. 9 - One Lesson We All Need."Sure, our children need to learn that they don't need everything they think they do.  But first we need to learn that same lesson.  But if we do it by depriving them and us, something else will take its place.  But if we do it by offering ourselves in place of what is not essential then they will have gained something."

Sept. 1 - Finding Kairos in Our Kronos "If we are living in God's kingdom, then how we plan out our days and what we commit ourselves to depends on what will serve to usher in the kingdom of God. ... Too often we don't plan our time and evaluate our priorities.  We let the tides of time push us along and get us involved in too many activities."

Aug. 24 - 'Found Money' Can Give You a Start.  Freedom  is what Jesus' had in mind when he urged us to give it all away.  He had in mind the freedom to follow. The more that what we own ties us to this world, the harder it gets to follow Jesus into the kingdom.

Aug. 18 - Pray Over Your Finances. "Pray before you decide if that big house is what you need or that you need to give more money for other things including you church.  Or maybe that house will be a welcoming place for friends and strangers and is exactly where God wants you to put some of your money."

Aug. 11 - Listen to God Afresh Every Day. Maybe stewardship is not about maintaining the status quo, but about keeping up with a God who is always creating anew. 

Aug. 4 - Fund Raisers? Try Spirit Raisers. "The gospel is all about inviting others in to share the joy that we have been given.  The gospel is all about inviting them to be a part of what we are about."

July 28 - What's Precious in Your Eyes? "Before we can truly learn to give and to be truly generous, we have to learn what has value.  Then we need to learn how to give away what we value to others."

July 21 - Jesus' Words To Live By. "If it's hard for someone from outside of our faith to see the words of Jesus lived out in our lives, then maybe we have some thinking to do about what it means to follow Jesus."

July 13 - The Blessings of Receiving. "Sometimes God gives us gifts through other people, so we need to be open to those gifts too.  We learn to say, 'Thank you,' and not 'You shouldn't have.' "

July 6 - When Christ's Fullness HIts You. "When we look at the world we see what Christ sees.  We see the hunger and the pain and we reach out as Christ would.  When we see those who are lost we want to share the good news."

June 29 - God's Generous Undo Button. "The people I know who are the most loving and forgiving are also the most generous.  They don't worry that the one who receives it might not spend it wisely."

June 8 - Dare To Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth. "Jesus talked about 100 percent.  He said sell all your possessions and give alms.  He said deny yourself.  He said take up your cross and follow me."

June 1 - God Calls Us to Make a Difference. "All that we have been given in this
world is a trust.  It should be treated with the same sense of responsibility."

May 25 - Giving: A Matter of Priorities -  "We are touched by the generosity of God and feel moved to give, but unless we reorganize our pocketbooks to make room to give, we will never actually do it."

May 18 - Stewardship Has Its Consequences -" In stewardship it is easy to become unpopular.  When you live a generous life in a selfish world you may be lucky if you win even a consolation prize."

May 11 - God Gives Enough for Everyone - "Give thanks for what God has given and receive it with gladness and know it is not about deserving but about your being loved."

May 4 - The World Needs Superheroes: Saints Like You -- "We find ourselves called to be saints to the world.  We are called to be people empowered by the Holy Spirit."

April 27 - Do Your Gifts and Talents Meet Real Needs? -- Most of us in the church are trying to be faithful to what God has called  us to.  It is just that some of us haven't listened lately.  We need to listen anew every day. 

April 20 - Dark Thoughts for Easter Saturday -- "All of us have these thoughts in the dark Easter Saturdays of our lives when it all seems hopeless; when it seems as if their is not God and no one but ourselves to trust in."

April 13 - Thank God for April 15 -- "In a free society we can argue about what should be included in the government's responsibility and how taxes should be distributed.

April 6 - Spend Boldly, But Believe Even More Boldly -- "We will make mistakes in the way we spend our money.  But we will make as many mistakes in hoarding money."

March 30 - Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread -- "When we pray for our daily bread it makes us community whether we like it or not.  And what we receive is not singularly ours.

March 23 - Put Your Heart Where Your Treasure Is -- "In a rich suburb it is sometimes possible to believe in the power of money.  In poor urban churches they have to rely on God's vision."

March 16 - Give Generally, Spend Prayerfully -- "Would you like to pay for the snow plowing?  Or the electricity bill? Or maybe you would like to contribute to the pastor's salary?

March 9 - Tithing is Just the Jumping-Off Place -- "God gives us abundantly, and stewardship is about how we spend all of what we have.  Is what we do with our time and our  treasures life-affirming?"

March 2 - Yes, It's About Money, Too! - Often people will say to me that stewardship is not all about money. Whenever someone gives me that line, I get a little suspicious that they are looking for some kind of absolution for their guilty feelings of not giving enough.

Feb. 23 - Mourn, Pray and Give Blood -- About Pastor Izzo's response to the R.I. nightclub fire. "People have asked how you cope with such tragedy.  You cope by finding a way to help.  And that is what so many people have done."

Feb. 16 - Send a Valentine of God's Love -- "I know people who carry the weight of every hurt that they have ever felt. "

Feb. 9 - Sharing Our Struggles Is A True Gift -- "Authentic witness is not about how great we are or how far we have come.  It is about how great God is and how much God has given us."

Feb. 3 - Here's a Tip: Value Those Who Serve -- "Do you see the others who may be peripheral to your life as people or just as bit characters in the story of your life?"

Jan. 26 - Share Your Stories of Love and Blessing -- "That may be part of what real sainthood is about -- seeing the blessings around you."

Jan. 19 - Is Gambling a From of Stealing? -- "You don't help someone keep what is theirs by winning their money,  even if you give it all away."

Jan 13 - God's free weight-loss program -- "Lose the weight of the burdens you carry for the mistakes you have made and the hurts you have caused and the sins you have committed."

Jan. 6 - The Practical Side of Extravagance --  "Sometimes a gift that lifts the heart or soul can change a life.  And sometimes it is the life of the giver that is changed."

2002

Dec. 30 - Do We Give First Fruits or Gleanings? -- "People's giving is a spiritual matter and something the pastor should know."

Dec. 23 - Time for the Perfect Gift -- "We all need to be listened to.  In the hustle and bustle of gift buying, sometimes we run out of this gift."

Dec. 16 - Be a Link in the Chain of Giving -- "The chain starts with God.  God has given us so much. God gives abundantly all year long."

Dec. 9 - Guides for the Lost Soul -- "Everyone is looking for love and grace and forgiveness. And that is what we are offering because God offered it to us."

Dec. 2 - Just Preach the Gospel; Leave the 'Feeding' to God -- "We want to beat people over the head with God and tell them how they ought to feel and act."

Nov. 25 - Let the Children Lead Us -- "We talk a lot about teaching children to share and be generous. People are always asking me how to teach stewardship to children."

Nov. 18 - The Therapeutic Touch of Stewardship -- "We start at a place of thankfulness for the love and care God gives us -- for the tangible ways that God showers us with love."