STEWARDSHIP | Gratitude and generosity — lessons learned

My faith conversion started eleven years ago. In this time, God has been giving me lessons in gratitude and generosity. Here are some things I've learned.

Building a relationship requires a daily commitment to prayer. Our relationship with God starts and grows by talking and listening to Him every day. If we aren't listening to God, who are we listening to? This is best done in silence when we can hear His response.

STEWARDSHIP | Right here, right now

Time is one of those gifts most of us take for granted. We don't give a second thought that we may not be here tomorrow. This, in turn, leads to many excuses for not starting something today and waiting for "tomorrow" before we begin. Each of us at some point in our lives has said some version of "I'll wait until I have all my ducks in a row before I start."

Matthew Kelly stated:"Time is a precious gift. It is so precious that God dispenses it to you one second at a time. Do not waste time."

STEWARDSHIP | The best of both worlds

Many of us probably don't need more evidence that God exists, but in case you do, take a trip to Italy. My wife and I just returned from a two-week vacation there. Venice, Florence, Pisa, Pompeii, Sorrento, Positano, Assisi, Rome and Vatican City, the best of both worlds, a little taste of heaven here on earth.

I had no idea what was in store for us. What I thought was going to be a sightseeing trip quickly developed into a religious pilgrimage.

Two things have stuck with me from the trip. First, the beauty of God's creation. Second, the beauty of man's creativity inspired by God.

STEWARDSHIP | Financial peace starts with putting God first

For many people, God and money run "neck and neck" as the top priority. Ashamedly, for part of my adult life, money was a bigger priority for me than God. "No one can serve two masters. He will hate the one and love the other... You cannot serve God and mammon (wealth)" (Matthew 6:24).

In working with many St. Louis parishes over the past several years, a few things have become clear:

• People absolutely crave God, but are unsure or tentative on how to start the relationship.

Stewardship: Endurance – Character – Hope

We like to see immediate results. We like success. But success is a process, and part of the process is failure. We tend to learn more from failure than success: "For the just man falls seven times and rises again..." (Proverbs 24:16).

Many of us have seen success and failure over the years, and from this we learn that building a stewardship culture takes time — you won't necessarily see immediate results.

Filling a need for Diapers


Barbara Riley is a foster parent who has adopted six children. On a limited income, any help she receives is appreciated, especially for the foster children such as a 2-year-old she's caring for who's still in diapers.

Tommy Johnson has grandchildren living with him, including a 20-month-old who wears diapers. It's hard to stretch his income to cover the youngsters' needs, he said, noting that it isn't enough.

Faynita Mosley is a mother of four, including two little ones, works part time and struggles to make ends meet.

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