Melvin Capital, Precious Metals, and Heavenly Real Estate
by Uzziel Maldonado

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21 NIV
The stock market has always seemed like a roller coaster to me.  Some investors “win” only if a company does well.  Others on Wall Street “win” when a company loses.  Such was the hope of Melvin Capital.  Melvin Capital, a Wall Street hedge fund, bet against Game Stop thinking that the once-popular video-game store was promised for doom.  However, due to the power of social media, many young investors “flipped the script” and bought the stock low (about $20 dollars per share) in an effort to prevent the company from crashing and causing the giant to lose.  So many were wanting to hurt the “giant” that the stock ended at $500 per share.  Melvin Capital was surprised, to say the least after 53% of the hedge fund was lost!  It was considered a #RobinHood “victory” where the poor beat the wealthy.  The moral of the story is even the savvy investor loses.

Similarly, Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and Dave Ramsey, author of Total Money Makeover, both financial gurus with what seem diametrically opposite views of what it means to be  “financially free” have been warning that the US government debt will lead to major problems in the economy.  Ramsey encourages all to be debt-free, have savings and investments to “ride the storm.”  Kiyosaki on the other hand encourages to “leverage debt” and invest in precious metals to protect from the ravages of inflation due to incessant printing of money. Thus the price of silver has begun to climb as well. 

Jesus warned that our earthly investments, whether precious metals (inflation resistant), real estate (cash flow) or any acquisition of other valuable possession is never entirely secure and risk-free.  His advice was not just to diversify (Ecclesiastes 11:2) but to lay up a more lasting treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20).  In chapter 11 of his book, It’s Your Money! Isn’t It?, G. Edward Reid shares four problems of “hoarding” money:
  • 1) in a failed economy, one could lose all he has saved
  • 2) some will hold on to their money so long that it cannot be used to benefit the cause of God.
  • 3) saved money will not help if you cannot buy or sell (Revelation 13:7) and
  • 4) hoarded valuables will testify of our selfishness and speak against us in the judgment.
Reid continues sharing about safe investments with multiple quotes from Ellen White like
  • “In giving to the work of God, you are laying up for yourselves treasures in heaven.  All that you lay up is secure from disaster and loss, and is increasing to an eternal, an enduring substance.” (Counsels on Stewardship, p. 342)
  • “Those who really feel an interest in the cause of God, and are willing to venture something for its advancement, will find it a sure and safe investment (Testimonies, Vol. 1. p.226)
  • "We are to place in the Lord’s treasury all the means that we can spare.  For this means, needy unworked fields are calling… The money invested in this work will bring rich returns.” (Testimonies, Vol 9.p.49)
  • “Money has great value because it can do great good…but money is of no more value than sand, only as it is put to use in providing for the necessities of life, in blessing others, and advancing the cause of God.” (Christ’s Object Lesson, p.351)
God places a higher value on people rather than things and a higher value on heaven rather than earth.  As we continue this year let us continue to experience abundant living and invest in people.  Let’s continue to experience the joy of giving.    

Every month we include a different estate planning option to advance the Lord's work.  This month we consider gifts of real estate.
by Lynette Ecord
For many donors, real estate assets represent a significant portion of their wealth, but nationwide, gifts of real estate make up less than three percent of charitable contributions every year. Individuals with a property that has significant long-term appreciation may be able to realize two tax benefits by contributing the property outright to charity. First, the donor may take the full fair market value tax deduction for the property, and second, the donor may eliminate the substantial capital gains tax they would incur if the property was sold and the proceeds were donated. Please note, however, gifts of real estate have the following limitations on the amount of the charitable contribution deduction:
  1. Real estate encumbered by debt will trigger bargain sale rules and limit the amount of the deduction.
  2. Depreciation previously taken and subject to recapture may reduce the deduction.
  3. In most cases, the deduction is limited to 30 percent of the donor’s adjusted gross income.
If you own rental property, vacation property, or have unused property, and are nearing retirement, you may be considering selling the property. By gifting the property to the church, you will not only be supporting the various areas of ministry within the Texas Conference, but you can also receive some benefit yourself! 
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, click here to learn more.  These donations should be carefully planned to avoid traps that can quickly erase the benefits, so be sure to talk with your tax advisor as well.  If, after consulting your tax and financial advisors, you decide you would like to make a gift of real estate to the Texas Conference, get in touch with one of our planned giving officers.
"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.

Stewardship Heroes
Stewardship is a total lifestyle.  It involves our health, time, talents, testimony, 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.
East Texas Stewardship Heroes: Andrea & Timothy Wright
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 servicemen and women like our trustors Andrea and Timothy who provide stability in the Houston community.  Tim experiences the joy of serving his community as a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Teacher at a junior-high where he inspires youth with his diesel mechanic degree as well as serving God and others as a police officer.  Tim said, "I see the worse in children and adults but the Lord has an answer to all of our problems."  Similarly, Andrea faithfully serves God and humanity as an ultrasound technician, and at the Gulfhaven SDA Church with the food pantry and as a deaconess.  Tim also enjoys serving God as a deacon at the Gulfhaven SDA Church.  They keep occupied as they experience the joy of extending grace through service everywhere they can.  These love-birds have been married for 39 years!  Thank you Andrea and Timothy for being great examples of Christian stewards!
Valentine's Humor

Jokes for Kids

1. What do you call the world's smallest Valentine’s Day card?

A valen-teeny.

2. What did the stamp say to the envelope on Valentine’s Day?

I’m stuck on you!

3. What did one volcano say to the other?

I lava you!

4. What did the cucumber say to the pickle?

You mean a great dill to me.

5. How did the phone propose to his GF?

He gave her a ring.

6. What did the one sheep say to the other?

I love ewe!

For more click here.

We strive to advance the Lord's work by providing:
  1. 1) estate planning INFORMATION
  2. 2) estate planning DOCUMENT PREPARATION and
  3. 3) estate planning FIDUCIARY REPRESENTATION
With Covid-19 ravaging humanity, many unexpected deaths are taking place leaving survivors wondering what to do next.  This month we added 47 Things to Consider After Death Comprehensive Checklist put together by attorney and counselor at law, Michael B. Cohen but there is plenty more.

We strive to provide the latest, relevant information regarding estate planning on our website.  This free resource is for all who visit!  So spread the word and experience the joy of giving! #ExperienceTheJoyOfGiving  

February 2021
Below is a list of awareness events taking place this month.  Some may encourage you 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 you 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
  • 6:  Local Church Budget
  • 13:  Adventist TV Min
  • 20:  Local Church Budget
  • 27:   Texas Vision
  • 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
  • 3:  Four Chaplains Day
Home/ Homestead
  • Spay/Neuter Awareness Month
  • 2:  Groundhog Day
  • 12:  Chinese New Year
  • 13:  National Tortellini Day
  • 14: Valentine's Day/ International Book Giving Day
  • 15: Singles Awareness Day
  • 15: Susan B. Anthony Day
  • 16:  National Almond Day
  • National Children's Dental Health Month
  • Heart Month
  • Boost Your Self Esteem Month
  • 2:  Lung Leavin Day 2021
  • 4:  World Cancer Day
  • 8:  International Epilepsy Day
  • 11:  International Day of Women and Girls in Science
  • 19: International Care Day
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!
Click here to reply
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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