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The Lion and the Lamb
By Marshall Gonzales
 
 “But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”
Revelation 5:5 NKJV

 
I am sure that many of you have heard the saying, “In like a lion and out like a lamb”. This saying is used to describe the month of March, when many times the weather at the beginning of the month is very harsh and windy and at the end of the month is calm and meek. This happens because March is right on the border between winter and spring. The change from cold to hot can bring some very interesting weather. What I find interesting is the use of these two animals, the lion and the lamb.
 


In the Bible, the Lion and the Lamb are used to symbolize Jesus. Revelation 5:5 calls Him the Lion of the tribe of Judah, “…Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” In John 1:29, as well as in many other places, Jesus is called the Lamb of God, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
 
Unlike the month of March, when Jesus came to this earth the first time it was as the Lamb of God. He was meek and gentle. He came to serve and not to be served. He came to seek and save those that were lost. Everywhere He went, He would heal the sick, raise the dead, touch the untouchable, and forgive the unforgiven. Even as He was being mistreated and nailed to the cross, He was as quiet and humble as a lamb. Of course, as the Lamb of God, He was to give His life a sacrifice for all and thus make eternal life available for all.
 
The Bible also teaches that Jesus will return again. One of my favorite verses on this subject is John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” Jesus promised that He would come again to this earth. There are many places in the Bible that teach that Jesus will come again. But this time He is not coming as a Lamb, He is coming as a Lion. He is coming to take all who have accepted His gift of salvation to be with Him forever. He is coming to destroy sin and all its effects on this world. He is coming with all the angels from heaven and notice what the Bible says will be the results, 2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” This is definitely not like a Lamb, but rather like a Lion.
 
Jesus promised He would come again. We don’t know when Jesus will come again. We must be ready as if it were today. Although March may come in like a lion and go out like a lamb, Jesus came as a Lamb and will come a second time but as a Lion. Today is the day to accept the Lamb of God who will take away your sins, give you eternal life, and will soon come as the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

  
Extra!  Extra! Read all about it.  The 

The Smart Steward is our new monthly publication produced by your Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Stewardship Department and is emailed to pastors, treasurers, and stewardship directors. Find this month's publication along with our archived publications on our website here.  
The Stewpot is produced by the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and is emailed to our department in the middle of the month.  This month we are expecting it by March15.  We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause.  You will find the latest and archived Stewpot available for download here.
Counsels on Stewardship
by Ellen G. White
 
"The Lord designs that the death of His servants shall be regarded as a loss, because of the influence for good which they exerted and the many willing offerings which they bestowed to replenish the treasury of God. Dying legacies are a miserable substitute for living benevolence. The servants of God should be making their wills every day, in good works and liberal offerings to God. They should not allow the amount given to God to be disproportionately small when compared with that appropriated to their own use. In making their wills daily, they will remember those objects and friends that hold the largest place in their affections." CS 326.2

To continue reading this chapter click here.
Gift Options

Every month we include a different estate planning option to advance the Lord's work.  This month we are discussing gifts of real estate.  
What is a Charitable Gift Annuity?
by Lynette Ecord
 
A charitable gift annuity is a contract between a donor and a charity. As a donor, you make a sizable gift to charity using cash, securities or possibly other assets. In return, you become eligible to take a tax deduction for your donation, plus you receive a fixed stream of income from the charity for the rest of your life. A portion of the payments you receive may also be tax-free for a period of time.
 

How Does a Charitable Gift Annuity Through the Texas Conference Work?
 
First, you make a donation. Then, the gift is set aside in a reserve account and invested. Based on your age(s) at the time of the gift, you receive a fixed quarterly payout (typically supported by the investment account) for the rest of your life. At the end of your life (as well as your spouse’s, if you’re giving as a couple), the ministry/church/school that you designated within the Texas Conference receives the remainder of the gift.

Individuals or couples can set up a charitable gift annuity. Your annuity is generally funded with a cash donation, but occasionally can be funded with gifts of other appreciated assets such as securities. The minimum gift for establishing a charitable gift annuity is $20,000, and rates can be as high as 8.6% (currently). Rates are based on the donor(s) age(s) at the time of the gift, and if you choose to begin receiving your payments immediately or if you choose to defer the payments to a later date.   

In addition to the income stream, annuitants may also be eligible to take a tax deduction at the time of the original gift, based on the estimated amount that will eventually go to the charity after all the annuity payments have been made.

For more information or to explore other options click 
here.
  

 

Bane and Tim Sinclair
Bane's Story
Stewardship Children's Story
by Tim Sinclair


What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’” Luke 15:4-6 NKJV
 
My name is Bane. I love to go everywhere with my dad and sometimes I get to go to work with him. I love to go with him in his truck. Sometimes I take a nap in the backseat while my dad works. That is what I was doing when a strange bad man got into the truck and started driving away from my dad. I did not know it at the time, but they had been watching my dad and his truck for over an hour trying to decide when to steal it. After he stole me and my dad’s truck we drove and drove and drove. I didn’t know what to do so I just laid real quiet in the back seat. After a long time, we pulled into a parking lot. The bad man made me get out of the truck and then he drove off and left me there. I was scared and confused because I didn’t know where I was or why he had just left me and where was my dad. The place that the bad man dumped me out at was at a store called Walmart next to a busy freeway. I was scared and did not know what to do. I was able to get away from the busy parking lot and make it under the busy freeway. There was a small store and a Taco Bell with a field out back where I was able to find water to drink, but I couldn’t find hardly any food.  Every morning I would wake up and wonder “is this the day my daddy will find me?” I didn’t wander off from the brushy area that I had found to hunker down in. All the traffic and strange noises were scary. 


After I was stolen my mom and dad started trying to find me immediately. They prayed for Jesus to watch over me and protect me every morning and during the day and at night before going to bed and sometimes even during the night. My dad would even ask people to pray for me on Facebook. I waited and waited and waited – for 19 days I waited for my daddy to come and get me. This is like what we are doing right now – we are waiting for our Heavenly Father to come and get us and take us home. Sometimes we get lonely and scared but Jesus is coming back to get us. He has promised if we don’t wander off, He will come and take us home.
 
Meanwhile, after the truck and trailer and I were stolen, my dad put this information out on Facebook. Somehow this nice lady from Fox 4 news saw the story and got in touch with my dad. She began to share the story on the news and on her Facebook page. Almost every day they talked trying to figure out what to do next to try and find me. Five days after I was stolen the Dallas police called and told my dad that he could come pick up his truck. My dad asked about me, but the police did not have me, just the truck. You see, after the bad man who stole me put me out, he sold my truck to a drug dealer and the police caught him and arrested him with my dad’s truck. When they questioned him, he didn’t know anything about me.
 
Day after day I was still waiting on my dad to find me. I still didn’t wander off. Every day my dad was praying and looking for me. Lots and lots of people were trying to help. People would let my dad know of a place where they thought that they had seen me, and he would go check it out, but I was not there. He got lots of pictures sent to him on Facebook of puppies that looked a lot like me, but it wasn’t me. He even got calls about puppies that had been run over and he would go and look to see if it was me, but it wasn’t me. That was pretty hard on my dad.
 
On the 19th day that I had been gone my dad put out a post that I was still missing, prayed for me again and then went to work. That morning he got a call from the Dallas detective that had been working this case and he said that they had arrested the man that had stolen me and my dad’s truck and trailer. He also said that a Fort Worth police officer was going to go and talk to the man that had stolen me and try to find out where I was. After the officer talked with the man that was in jail, he called my dad and told him that I had been put out by the Walmart in Seagoville. After he hung up the phone my dad immediately called the lady at Fox 4 and told her where I had been put out. Right away she posted on Facebook where I had been put out. When my dad got home from work, he got on Facebook to see if there were any new leads on where exactly I might be.
 
There was a nice lady by the name of Kacey who had contacted my dad through Facebook. She said she was a “tracker”. That is someone who helps find lost puppies and gets them back home or to a new home. She told my dad that if anyone saw anything to give her a call. My mom had gotten home from her work and was sitting down relaxing when my dad got a message from the lady at Fox 4. A nice police officer in Seagoville had seen a dog that he thought looked like me but when he whistled at it, it ran off. My mom and dad got some dog food and coats and jumped in the car and took off. On the way my dad called Kacey the Tracker and told her where they were headed, and she said that she would meet them there. When they got there, she set up a feeding station and a game camera and then they sprayed this stuff called liquid smoke to try and make me come to the feeding station so the camera could take my picture. After she set everything up, she went back home. My mom and dad decided to stick around for another hour to see if they could see me. Nothing happened and so about 1AM in the morning they decided to go back home. As they were leaving, my mom was impressed to drive out in the field behind Taco Bell. I was laying down in the tall grass so no one would see me. Then I saw these car lights coming out in the field where I was at. I stayed down because I didn’t know what was going on and I was still scared. Then I heard this familiar voice calling my name Bane – Bane, Bane. I got so excited, could it really be my mom? I jumped up and ran towards the car and my mom’s voice. Oh Boy it was her! Then I ran around to see if my dad was here too. Yes, Yes, Yes! My dad has come to get me and take me home, oh boy! He opened the door and I jumped up into his lap before he could get out of the car. I was so glad to see him, I was crying and so was my dad. My dad and I got in the back seat and my mom drove home, and my dad petted me all the way home. When we got home after 2am and I realized that we were really and truly home – I got so excited I just started barking and barking on the front porch, just so happy to be home!
 
Boys and girls just like Bane waited for his daddy to come and get him we are waiting for our Heavenly Father to come and get us. He has promised He will come and take us home if we don’t wander off. I want to be ready and waiting for him so I can go home and live with our Heavenly Father forever, don’t you?


Click here for the pdf script.
, presentation and video.  
Click here for a video to accompany the story. 

Stewardship Heroes
 
Stewardship is a total lifestyle."  It involves our temple, time, talents, truth, testimony, and treasure.  Below you will find a story from within the Texas Conference of a couple doing their best to be faithful stewards at their church and community.
Testators Arturo & Irma Zarate
East Texas Stewards:  Arturo and Irma Zarate
 
Arturo and Irma Zarate are founding members of the Longview Spanish Seventh-day Adventist church. Arturo serves as deacon and music leader, while Irma serves as a deaconess and has helped with the children’s ministries. They both have been very active in their church, helping with VBS, youth clubs, maintaining the church property, and various other church projects. They love God and they love their church.
 
Recently they realized that part of being a good steward is to make sure that what God has given them goes to the right place once they are no longer here. They knew they needed to have a Will, Financial Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, and an Advance Directive made for each of them. They contacted Pastor Marshall Gonzales and he helped them through the process.
 
Today, they feel at peace knowing that what God has given them will go into the hands of their loved ones and to the church they love so much. Arturo and Irma say that it was so easy and now they don’t have to worry about it anymore.
March 2022

Texas Conference March Offering Schedule 
  • 5:  Local Church Budget
  • 12:  World Budget: Adventist World Radio 
  • 19:  Local Church Budget
  • 26: Texas Vision:  This offering is divided evenly between the following Texas Conference Projects: academies, Lake Whitney Ranch.
Additional Online Resources
 
Texas Conference Website Stewardship Section: click here
  • 2022 Sunset and Sabbath Offering Schedule: click here
  • 2022 Sabbath Offertory Reading:  click for English  Spanish
Texas Conference Stewardship & Planned Giving Website:  click here
Southwestern Union Stewardship Department:  click here
North American Division Stewardship:  click here
General Conference Stewardship Department:  click here
Life is uncertain. Don't wait till the last minute to have things in order. Protect your property and your family. Get started on your Last Will and Testament today. We can help!
Click here to reply
Important Documents to Have...

Is it time to update your documents?

  • Have you moved to Texas and need to create new documents?
  • Do you need to name a legal guardian for your minor children on your Will?
  • Are your children grown and financially independent and you would like to change the distribution of your estate?
  • Do you need to add or remove beneficiaries on your Will?
  • Would you like to include a gift to the Lord's Work in your Will?
If you answered 'yes' to any of the above questions, then it may be time to review and update your Will.

Contact the Texas Conference Trust Department to update your documents at 817-790-2255 ext. 2105 or reply to this email.
Email Lynette: Trust Services Director & Association Secretary
Email Sofia: Administrative Assistant
Email Claudia: Administrative Assistant
Email Deyvy: South & Central Texas Field Representative
Email Marshall: East & Greater Houston Field Representative
Email Uzziel: North Texas Field Representative
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