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When You Don't Understand, Trust God?
By Marshall Gonzales
 
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”    Proverbs 3:5
 
I was traveling to an appointment when I had to stop at a traffic light. At the corner was a man and woman, holding up a sign, asking for money. Their signs said they were veterans and needed help. Just one look at them and one could tell they were in great need of help. I felt bad because I did not have any money on me. I thought that I should carry some dollar bills so that I can hand out one or two when I come across people like this. I have given, people on the corner, money before.

 
As I continued through the traffic light, I noticed another person at another corner doing the same. I began to feel sorry for them and started to talk to God. I told Him that there was so much suffering in the world. I felt so helpless because I know that I cannot help all those in need.  Then I told God, “Then there are those invading other countries and killing so many innocent people.” I began to tell God that I didn’t understand why so many innocent people, especially children, had to die just because someone wants to take over a country. Why can’t the battle be just between those who are wanting to fight and leave the innocent alone. I told God that I was not questioning His sovereignty. I just didn’t understand why innocent people had to suffer and die.
 
I was travelling on a six-lane highway and once and a while there would be someone on the side of the rode selling something, honey, wooden chairs, etc. Then I noticed up ahead an elderly lady parked on the side of the rode with a yellow balloon in one hand and a small sign in the other. I thought to myself, “What is she doing? That sign is so small, how can anyone read it?’ Then as I passed her, I noticed what the sign said, “Trust God.” Tears began to swell up in my eyes.
 
The following day, I was reading my devotional. The last paragraph said the following, “Questions will arise that cannot be settled by any amount of thinking. Do not spend time trying to settle them. Take up the work waiting to be done, trusting God as your wisdom. His righteousness will go before you, and the questions that have troubled you will answer themselves.” (The Upward Look, p. 133).
 
I understood well. God was telling me that I may not understand why things are happening the way they are, but I should just trust God and what He is doing. It is a humbling experience to know that God loves you so much that He will take the time to answer your questions.

Stewardship Heroes
 
Stewardship is a total lifestyle."  It involves our temple, time, talents, truth, testimony, and treasure.  Below you will find a Texas Conference member who did her best to be a faithful steward at her home, church, and community.
A Life Sketch of Jo Frazier-Meyer
by Uzziel Maldonado

 
She was born Lena Jo Killion in eastern New Mexico, close to Lubbock, Texas in a city called Causey, New Mexico.  She was born in 1932.  Her parents were Seventh-day Adventist Christians.   Her father, Arthur Apton Killion (AA Killion), and her mother, Wilma Edrie O'Neal Killion (Edrie) had a family farm with lots of acres, cattle for milk and meat, a garden that provided fruits and vegetables, and more than 1000 chickens which provided plenty of eggs for the home and for sale.  AA (Dad) believed that “an idle mind was the devil’s playground” while Edrie (Mom) believed “if anything was worth doing at all, it was worth doing right.”  As you know or can imagine on a farm there is always work to do.  And so, the children were responsible for helping at 7 in the morning.  They had to wash, package, and sell the eggs.  This along with the wise use and administration of her parents was enough to provide for the family and children. 
 
They had a total of seven children.  Two sons and five daughters.  Jo was the fourth of seven.  Sadly, one of her sisters’ died while only four months old.  Unfortunately, it would not be the last time she would lose a loved one so young.  Zela, her sister, described her as a “tomboy.”  She loved riding her horse and playing with her brothers, but she loved talking to her sisters, a habit that she never lost.  They all helped her develop and refine the gift of gab.  Zela continued saying “Jo was very social and loved having friends, laughing, and spending time with others.  Now this would get her into trouble.  Dad would require all children to be home by 5 or get 'a licking' and for Jo, 'a licking' was a bargain for just a few more laughs.”  
 
Like her siblings before her, she was sent to Keene, Texas so that she could attend Southwestern Adventist Junior College and Academy, a school they all grew to love.  She arrived in her freshman year of high school and attended every year after until she graduated.  Dad made sure they would work in their spare time.
 
After she graduated from the academy, she returned home to work as a nurse’s aide.  She would marry soon after.  Her husband was a young man in her hometown in New Mexico by the name of Jack Frazier.  Kenneth Leroy was the first of her children.  Elis Eugene was her second boy, but he too would die at the age of only twenty-seven (27) months.  This loss was difficult for the family.  In her Bible, she would underline, Psalms 16: 1 which says “Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust” and write “Amen.”  In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 where it speaks about the state of the dead, she would write “Lord make me a part of this.   Amen.  Thanks.”  
Jo prayed for comfort and to be able to meet her son and all her family on that Day when all things would be made new.  Her third and final son was Donald Arthur.  She loved her children and family.  However, she and Jack divorced.  This loss was also very hard on the family.  In a note she had tucked in her Bible she wrote “Blessed Holy Spirit, take my will and make it one with Thine divine will.  I am willing to be made willing.  Please, at this moment bring my upward desires and inclinations into submission to the will of God. Thank You.  I believe and claim.”

She went back to school and became a social worker.  Zela says “working in the nursing home, and as a social worker were really her cup of tea.  She liked it.  She was good at it.” She worked many years as a social worker helping others in Arlington and Fort Worth. 

 
In her Bible, she also highlighted Genesis 3:18, which says “And the Lord said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.”  And wrote beside it “You said it, Lord.  You do it.”  The date was 1/12/92.  Then on 6/2/96.  “He did.”  This is because she married Richard Meyer.  Jo and Richard would volunteer at their local SDA church in Gainesville.  Zela continues, “She would sing and play the piano.  He was quiet and she was a talker.  They loved their church family and spending time with them during potluck.  However, Jo and Richard had a desire to give to the church even more but how could they since they were both retired?   Well, God gave them [both] a second wind buying, remodeling, renting out, and selling rental properties.  And that buying and selling allowed them both to give more to charity.” They were married for 25 years (He died on 9/7/2019). 
 
Because of her joyful nature and business-savvy mindset, she was invited to take part in the Association Board meeting which deals with the business side of ministry such as the buying and selling of church property.  This further exposed and expanded her to the needs outside of her church, the needs and projects in her conference, and the needs around the world.  In her Bible, she also highlighted Psalms 41:1-3 which says, “Blessed are you that consider the poor: the Lord will deliver you in time of trouble.  The Lord will preserve you and keep you alive and you shall be blessed upon the earth.” She wrote “Amen”.  
(left to right) Zela Padon-Denny, Bo Gendke, Walter Denny
Jo Frazier-Meyer had a desire to advance the Lord’s work and influence eternity both in life and after her death.  Her gifts have been to the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Community Services and for the development of Lake Whitney Ranch as well as the Rwanda Mission field.  Thank you Sister Jo for your life of service.  Eternity alone will tell of the impact you had on earth and for eternity.   Click here to read her obituary.  Click here for the archive link of the check presentation to Adventist Community Services on September 1, 2022.
Counsels on Stewardship
by Ellen G. White
 
Wills should be made in a manner to stand the test of law. After they are drawn, they may remain for years, and do no harm, if donations continue to be made from time to time as the cause has need. Death will not come one day sooner, brethren, because you have made your will. In disposing of your property by will to your relatives, be sure that you do not forget God's cause. You are His agents, holding His property; and His claims should have your first consideration. Your wife and children, of course, should not be left destitute; provision should be made for them if they are needy. But do not, simply because it is customary, bring into your will a long line of relatives who are not needy..CS 328.2

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 considering gifts of life insurance.
Simple Ways to Give Gifts of Life Insurance and IRA Rollovers
by Lynette Ecord

If you are one of the many who wish you could do more to support your local church, school, Lake Whitney Ranch, Educational Endowment Fund, Community Services, Evangelism, or one of the many other areas of ministry within the Texas Conference, life insurance can be an effective and convenient asset to give.

 There are various ways to make life insurance donations, but the simplest way is to name the Texas Conference as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. If you have reached the stage in your life where your home is paid for and your children are grown, then you may no longer have a need for the life insurance proceeds or the entirety of them. Making a charity such as the Texas Conference the beneficiary also ensures the privacy of the gift, if that is important to you, and provides a lasting legacy for the ministries that are special to you.

If you are in or near retirement and have been saving money, then you probably know that investing with a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) offers a tax-advantaged way to save money over many years. The two main benefits of a traditional IRA are the ability to invest pre-tax dollars and the fact that you do not have to pay taxes on your investments until you start taking income distributions.  At age 72 (age 70-1/2 for those born before July 1, 1949), the IRS requires you to take IRA withdrawals in statutorily mandated, annual increments known as “Required Minimum Distributions” (RMDs).  RMDs are subject to ordinary income taxes and more taxable income may push you into a higher tax bracket, which can lead to effects on your Social Security income and Medicare benefits.  And if you don’t take your RMDs, you could be subject to a 50% penalty on the amount that wasn’t withdrawn.
 
For charitably minded retirees, however, there is a tax-relief strategy available.  It is called the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). The QCD allows you to instruct the administrator of your IRA to direct the distributions – up to $100,000 per year – to a qualified 501 (c)3 charity such as the Texas Conference.  Because the income goes directly to charity, you don’t report it as taxable income and don’t owe any taxes on it.  It’s a win for you and a win for the ministry.
 
For more information regarding gifts of life insurance and IRA rollovers  contact us at 817-790-2255.
September 2022

Texas Conference September Offering Schedule 
  • 6:  Local Church Budget
  • 13:  World Budget - Radio Ministries (GC)
  • 20: Local Church Budget
  • 27: Texas Vision:  This offering is divided evenly between the following Texas Conference Projects: Academies, Lake Whitney Ranch.
Fall Season Dad Jokes

1. Why did the tree worry that he would never get his leaves back after autumn?

He didn’t be-leaf in himself!

2. Why was the robot couple’s anniversary in the fall?

They were autumn mated.

3. What month does every tree dread?

Sept-timberrrrrrr!

4. What did the leaf say to autumn?

I’m falling for you!

5. What’s the ratio of a pumpkin’s circumference to its diameter?

Pumpkin Pi.

6. What type of vehicle should you use for a fall hayride?

An autumn-mobile!

7. Why did the scarecrow win the Nobel Prize?

Because he was out-standing in his field.

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, and Stewardship Coordinator
Email Sofia: Administrative Assistant
Email Claudia: Administrative Assistant
Email Pedro: South Texas, San Antonio, and Central Texas Field Representative and Area Stewardship Coordinator
Email Marshall: East & Greater Houston Field Representative and Area Stewardship Coordinator
Email Uzziel: Associate Director, North Texas Field Representative, and Area Stewardship Coordinator
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