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Giving Out of Love 
By Marshall Gonzales
 

 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 NKJV

 This time of the year people’s attention turns to giving. They will spend hours looking for that just-right gift for that special person. They will travel miles in search of that one gift they feel will bring happiness into someone’s life. They are willing to put up with crowds of people, long hours of searching, and miles of travel. The reason they will go through all of this is because of love. They want to demonstrate their love to that special someone.
 
Amazingly Jesus did the same. Over two thousand years ago, He traveled many, many miles to come to this planet as a baby. Then He spent hours among the people, preaching, teaching, and healing.  He ran into all kinds of crowds, some who were happy to see him and some who did not want him around. Jesus traveled all those miles, spent all those hours, and put up with all those crowds, not because he was looking for a special gift, but because he wanted to demonstrate a special gift; God’s love for you.
 
John 3:16 tells us, because God loves us, because God loves you, he gave the greatest gift of all! He gave his only Son! He gave Jesus! Please notice that the scripture does not say that God loves us because he gave us Jesus, but rather that because He loves us, he gave us Jesus. God gave out of love!
 
It is always wonderful to receive a gift from someone that loves you, but it is twice as nice when the gift you receive has another gift inside! God loves us so much He gave us Jesus. What a wonderful gift! Yet, Jesus loves us so much, He gave us the gift of eternal life! Wow! What a truly magnificent gift! 1 John 5:11,12 says, “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life….” The reality is that when you receive the gift that is Jesus, you also receive the gift that is eternal life. You cannot have one without the other. The most amazing thing of all is that the gift of Jesus and the gift of eternal life are both given by God who gives out of love!
 
As you are giving and receiving gifts during this time of the year, don’t miss the gifts that bring real love and happiness. Don’t forget to receive the gift that is Jesus and the gift that is eternal life. These gifts are more valuable than anything you will ever receive. As you receive them, remember that they are given to you by God who gives out of love and that would be out of love for you.
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 December 15.  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
 
"Those who neglect known duty by not answering to God's claims upon them in this life, and who soothe their consciences by calculating on making their bequests at death, will receive no words of commendation from the Master, nor will they receive a reward. They practiced no self-denial, but selfishly retained their means as long as they could, yielding it up only when death claimed them." 325.2

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 year-end gifts.
Year-End Gifts
by Lynette Ecord

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa

It doesn’t seem possible that December is here again. Yet, here we are, barely recovered from our Thanksgiving feasts, and heading full speed into the holiday season.  December is undeniably the season of gift giving. As we rush to find the perfect gift for everyone on our list, a time of the year that should be filled with joy too often becomes overshadowed by stress, overspending, and exhaustion. 
 
Much has been written about ‘gifts from the heart’ – a gift of time, a handmade gift, a handwritten letter or note sharing specific ‘gifts’ that we appreciate in a loved one and our thankfulness for them in our lives.  The feeling of finding or creating a great present and watching a loved one open it is so satisfying. As Jesus is recorded saying in the book of Matthew, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.  The reason we give gifts is to show our thankfulness for, and love to, those around us. Giving gifts is an excuse to explore our personal relationships and think about the benefit they add to our time on earth. It’s not selfish to enjoy the personal fulfillment generosity brings, and doing so can build a constructive experience that your brain will reward you with long into the future. The Bible has a lot to say about giving and the joy that it brings.
 
As Christians, this is also the time of year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, as He began His time on earth. Although we realize that it isn't the actual month that He was born, it is a good time to dwell on what the gift of that birth meant to mankind.  Just as we share gifts from our hearts with our loved ones here on earth, we also want to share gifts that bring honor and glory to our Heavenly Father. 
 
Throughout this year, we’ve shared with you many ways to give.  This month, we ask that you take time to consider your personal relationship with Jesus and what He has done in your life as you consider what gifts from your heart you will give Him this giving season.

 

December 2021

Texas Conference December Offering Schedule 
  • 4:  Local Church Budget
  • 11:  Adventist Community Services (NAD)
  • 18:  Local Church Budget
  • 25:   Texas Vision:  This offering is divided evenly between the following Texas Conference Projects: academies, church building projects, evangelism, and Lake Whitney Ranch.
Merry Christmas Jokes

What did the stamp say to the Christmas card?  Answer:  Stick with me and we'll go places

What's the difference between the Christmas alphabet and the ordinary alphabet?    Answer:  The Christmas alphabet has No-el.es.

Why is it getting harder to buy Advent calendars?  Answer:  Their days are numbered!

 What do you call an elf that can sing and dance? Answer:  Elfis.

What do you call a broke Santa? Answer:  Saint Nickel-less

Why don’t crabs celebrate Christmas? Answer:  Because they’re shell-fish.

What do snowmen eat for breakfast? Answer:  Frosted Flakes and Ice Crispies.


For more jokes 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!
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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.
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