Experience the Joy of Receiving and Giving
by Uzziel Maldonado

In John 10:10 Jesus compares His ministry with what Satan offered.  Satan, the thief kills, steals, and destroys our time, talent, treasure, and testimony, which is to say, our life and all our potential.   On the other hand, Christ, the generous benefactor, came that we may have life and have it more abundantly.  As the disciples: 1. heard His authoritative sermons, parables, and teachings (Matthew 7:29) and 2. saw His miraculous healings, prayer life and his compassionate treatment of others (Matthew 9:36) and sacrificial death on the cross they eventually 3. surrendered their pride, plans, and will to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and heaven took them to new heights and depths in their spiritual growth.  Indeed as Jesus’ disciples heard and saw The Word and The Light made flesh (John 1:1-5) their lives were transformed and eventually they too gave/shared Christ, and His healing.   They too marveled their enemies as they were both the messenger and the message who had spent time with their Maker (Acts 3:6; 4:13).  The disciples experienced the joy of receiving and giving Christ. 

Like the disciples, Paul eventually received Christ and His abundant life.  Yet Paul did not keep this to himself.  He too shared Christ and how heaven helps humanity with the world.  Paul told the Philippians that Jesus gave so much that He emptied Himself to rescue (Philippians 2:7) and repeated the words of Jesus that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).  Paul experienced the joy of receiving and giving Christ. 

When Paul arrived at Pisidian Antioch he shared with new Gentile neighbors the hope as found in Jesus.  Though many prominent Jews and the local civic leaders eventually kicked him out of the city, there were many Gentiles who “were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48).  What was the response of these new believers?  They too shared Christ with others and “the word of the Lord spread through the whole region” (Acts 13:49).  These new believers experienced the joy of receiving and giving Christ.   

The best thing that can happen to us is to have Christ dwelling within.  He is our blessing.  He becomes in us a fountain of life that springs up into everlasting life (John 4:14).  He fills our cup and it overflows (Psalms 23:5).  When we are blessed, we might become a blessing.  If we become a blessing then we will be more blessed.  2021 has begun and with it a new opportunity to make positive changes that will impact lives.   May these resolutions not just include “experience the joy of receiving Christ” but may they also include “experience the joy of giving Christ” in many creative ways!  Be blessed!  Be a blessing! Happy New Year! 

"Power in the Blood" Blood Drive
Patch Giveaway

FREE PATCH TO BLOOD DONORS:  We have experienced the joy of receiving the blood of Christ.  If we are able to do so let us share our blood to the save lives of others.  ATTENTION Health Ministries, Adventurer, Pathfinder, and Master Guide leader. We are giving away one free patch to the first 1000 blood donors.  Limit one patch per donor.  For more information click here.

by Lynette Ecord
There are many benefits to having an estate plan and including charitable giving in your plan could mean a lot for you and your family. Each month we’ll share with you some ways to do so, and how you might be able to gift more to both your heirs and charity with tax-saving strategies. This month we’ll discuss gifts of retirement assets.
IRA’s, 401(k)s, and 403 (b)s can be donated to charity at any time, either during your lifetime or at death. But did you know that, if done correctly, you can realize substantial tax savings by making such a gift? The key is to make a direct contribution to a charity of the retirement asset rather than cashing the asset out, paying the income tax due because of the distribution, and then contributing the proceeds to charity. Since 501(c)(3) charitable organizations are tax-exempt, donating the asset itself directly to the charity bypasses the income tax that would otherwise be due.

For many people, a retirement account like an IRA or 401(k) may be the most significant source of assets accumulated in their lifetime. Others may find that, due to their other resources and investments, they do not need all the funds accumulated in their retirement accounts. If this sounds like something you might be interested in,  click
here for more information then contact your advisor at the financial institution that is holding your retirement asset(s) and have them contact us.  You can also learn more here.
New Year's Humor
Stewardship Heroes
Stewardship is a total lifestyle.  It involves our health, time, talents, environment, relationships, spirituality, and finances.”  Below you will find a story from within the Texas Conference of a married couple who are doing their best to be faithful stewards.
NorthTexas Stewardship Heroes: Danae and Jerrod Songy 
We look forward to the day when there will be no more tears or pain. In the meantime, we are called to be the body of Jesus, meet needs, provide a message, and hope.  That is why we want to express gratitude toward our spiritual-frontline workers like testators Danae and Pastor Jerrod who provide many near and far with a message of hope and healing.  Those in the Keene - Fort Worth area are familiar with the radio station 88.3 The Journey and "Mornings with Danae" where she shares with her audience practical counsel and faith as found in the Word of God.  Danae also has a special interest in helping young women find their truest and deepest identity in Christ.  Pastor Jerrod loves sharing the Biblical counsel on stewardship and enjoys teaching Dave Ramsey's principles of debt elimination and financial freedom.  The rest of the time he is busy serving as a Trust Officer helping many with their estate planning documents.  Together Danae and Jerrod enjoy staying physically fit and active.  In 2020 they decided to extend their love to Ethan, their young relative who had become an orphan in Tennessee but was living in Idaho and welcomed him into their home.  On December 15, 2020, they officially adopted Ethan into their family.  Welcome, Ethan to the Texas family!  Thank you Danae and Pastor Jerrod for being great examples of Christian stewards!
January 2021
Below is a list of awareness events taking place this month.  Some may encourage to visit a health professional for a procedure or check-up, others may encourage you to have the home inspected or have something installed, and still others may encourage to send a card or express gratitude to a friend or loved one.  We hope this may serve as a friendly reminder, a gentle nudge, and a source of inspiration for ministry opportunities as plans are made this month.  Happy January!   

Texas Conference Offering Schedule
  • 12-24: Determined 2021 Cycling Tour for Health and Educational Support
    • The Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is hosting the fifth annual Determined Ride (formerly called Tour de Youth), a 14-day cycling tour from McAllen, Texas, to Richardson, Texas, for the benefit of students throughout Texas. This cycling tour will be a physical challenge as well as an endeavor in humanitarian efforts.  For more information click here.
North American Division Calendar 
Professional/ Relationships Home/ Homestead Health Want the Sunset Calendar? Click here.

May our good God inspire and guide us as we consider ways to serve Him!
Life is uncertain for anyone. 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!
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Important Documents to Have...

Perhaps this is a good time to have your important documents in order...

  • 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.

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