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A Father's Love
By Deyvy Rodriguez
 
 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

 
My three-year-old son loves grape juice. Especially the Welch’s 100% kind. One day as I was pouring grape juice into a cup for myself, he saw me from a distance and ran to me. Upon arriving he looks up to me and asks, “Can I have some grape juice, papa?” “Sure,” I said to him. I poured some grape juice into his cup and gave it to him. Just before he’s about to drink it he looks at me and asks, “You not gonna say no?” 


“Why would I say no,” I thought to myself, I gave it to him. “No, son. I’m not gonna say no. It’s yours. Drink it all” I told him, thinking that was an odd question. Just about he’s about to drink it, I gently said to him, “Just don’t let it spill on the floor, ok?” At that point, he seemed to have changed his mind and didn’t want to drink it anymore. He extends his little arm offering the cup back to me and says, “I don’t want it.” It was a moment I would never forget. He was afraid he would make a mistake and disappoint his father, thinking perhaps I would love him less. My heart sank at the thought that he would think this about his father.

That moment reminded me that perhaps I’ve sometimes had similar thoughts about God. Will God turn His back to me if I fail Him? Is He waiting for me to make a mistake to remove me from the Book of Life? Does my lower back pain come from God because of unconfessed sin? Will God not hear me if my prayer is too short? Then I realize that these thoughts come when I cease to remember the beautiful character of my Heavenly Father. He is patient, kind, loving, forgiving, merciful, gracious, and personal. He knows my name and has prosperous plans for me. He wants to give me hope and a future. Jer. 29:11.
I stooped to my son’s level and I said to him, “Son, it’s ok. Don’t worry if it spills on the floor. We’ll clean it up. Here, drink it.” His facial expression immediately changed and he joyfully drank his grape juice.

  
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 here.  Find 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 February 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
 
"We should regard ourselves as stewards of the Lord's property, and God as the supreme proprietor, to whom we are to render His own when He shall require it. When He shall come to receive His own with usury, the covetous will see that instead of multiplying the talents entrusted to them, they have brought upon themselves the doom pronounced upon the unprofitable servant." CS 326.1 

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.  
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 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. 1. Real estate encumbered by debt will trigger bargain sale rules and limit the amount of the deduction.
  2. 2. Depreciation previously taken and subject to recapture may reduce the deduction.
  3. 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.

  

 

“A man’s friends should be kind to him when he is in trouble. This should be done even if he stops fearing God.” Job 6:14
Stewardship Children's Story
by Lynette Ecord
I heard a story recently about two horses who live in a field. From a distance, each looks like any other horse.  But if you stop your car or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing.  If you look into the eyes of one of the horses you will see that he is blind.  His owner has chosen not to get rid of him, but has made a good home for him.  If you stay and watch and listen you will hear the sound of a bell.  You will see that it comes from the smaller horse out in the field.  Attached to her halter is a small bell.  It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her.  As you stand and watch these two friends, you’ll see how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray.  When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure her friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell.

 
Like the owner of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we aren’t perfect or because we have problems or challenges.  Like the owner of the horses God watches over us, and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.  Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those whom God places in our lives.  Other times, we are the guide horse, helping others see the way.  Good friends are like this.  You don’t always see them, but you know they are always there.
 
The Bible has a lot to say about the importance of being a good friend.  In the book of Job, chapter 6, and verse 14, it says “A man’s friends should be kind to him when he is in trouble. This should be done even if he stops fearing God.”  When the Bible talks about fearing God it doesn’t mean being afraid of him.  It means that you are in awe of His majesty, power, wisdom, justice and mercy – that you adore and worship Him.  So what this Bible verse means is that we should always be a kind friend – even if one of our friends doesn’t love and worship God anymore.  God never stops being our friend, and He wants us to be that same kind of friend to others.
 
Many years ago when I was a little girl, in Sabbath School we sang a song that helps us remember how we should treat others.  Maybe you know it too.  It went like this, “Be happy, be kind, be loving, be true.  I’ll meet you in heaven and live next door to you!”.  Let’s always remember to be a helping and kind friend who shows others what it means to live like Jesus!


Click here for the pdf script, presentation and video.  
February 2022

Texas Conference February Offering Schedule 
  • 5:  Local Church Budget
  • 12:  Adventist TV Min. (NAD)  
  • 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!
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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.
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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