December 24 - 30, 2007
Stewardship New Year's Resolutions for 2008
The New Year -- a clean slate! It's no wonder that we are so eager to make resolutions to avoid the mistakes of the previous year and to be pro-active on other issues in our lives. This year, why not reframe your resolutions in light of God's call for us to be good stewards and use all of our blessings wisely? Here are some common resolutions that have enormous implications for the stewardship of life.
Lose weight. Enjoy God's blessing of abundant food, but do not overdo it. Remember that many people in the world do not have enough to eat, and they struggle to find enough calories, protein, vitamins and minerals to live a healthful life. Meanwhile, eating too much can be unhealthy for us!
Exercise more. It's one of the keys to optimal health for our bodies, which Paul calls the Temple of God. Our bodies are designed to be used and exercised. People in middle age begin losing muscle mass every year, so we must exercise just to maintain our muscle mass! Moreover, exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, increases bone density and adds vigor to our days.
Spend more time with family and friends. At the end of the day, our relationships -- more than money or power -- determine the quality of our lives. Spending time with the people we love the most is how to be good stewards of those relationships.
Get out of debt and save more. The Bible makes it clear that the love of money can be a distraction to our lives of faith. To live within our means enables us to focus on what is really important: Family, friends, faith, health.
Attend church more regularly (or pray regularly, or read the Bible regularly, etc.). Let's face it: Our lives as disciples help us to see all the rest of our existence in balance and in relationship with God's creation. But our walk as disciples will not deepen without effort.
Finally, resolve to give to the church and charity. Wise use of our money means giving back some to God, from whom all blessings flow. Why not commit to a fixed amount and work towards a tithe?
These are just a few, but you can think of more. Because when you get right down to it, every resolution has something to do with stewardship of our lives.
--Rob Blezard, Webmaster and Editor
Reprint rights granted to congregations for nonprofit use. Just include this notice: "Copyright (c) 2007, the Rev. Robert Blezard, archive.stewardshipoflife.org. Used by permission."
New This Week:
Put the Christ Back in New Year’s Resolutions
What will you resolve to do in 2008? Why not set goals for your spiritual health and wellbeing? This article looks at how Jonathan Edwards, the great preacher of the Great Awakening, handled his New Year’s Resolutions, and what we can learn from him. Click here for “Put Christ Back in New Year’s Resolutions,” from Christianitytoday.com.
Sermon: The Church’s New Year’s Resolutions
The pastor at Baltimore’s Central Presbyterian Church had an interesting idea – preach about New Year’s Resolutions for his congregation. It’s worth considering for your own congregation. Click here to read John Schmidt’s sermon, from Central Presbyterian Church.
Clean Sweep Time
“It’s ‘Clean Sweep’ time, when we can clean up and reorganize our operations so that 2008 will run even more smoothly and we can accomplish even more this coming year. The big problem with most of us is that we really don’t know where to start.” Click here for tips, from Tuck Aaker, columnist for ELCA Stewardship Resources.
Stewardship FAQ: St. Clement’s-by-the-sea
Every now and then we run across an excellent stewardship page on a congregational website that we can lift up to inspire other congregations. Here’s one by St. Clement’s-by-the-sea,” an Episcopal congregation in San Clemente, Calif. Its stewardship FAQ is concise, faithful and informative. Click here for the stewardship page of St. Clement’s-by-the-sea.
Guidelines for Personal Stewardship
Here is a handy, brief, easily understood guide for a Christian who is seeking guidance on how best to live, spend and interact with God’s creation. Good information for everyone. Click here for Guidelines for Personal Stewardship,” from the Church of England Stewardship Resources