New Year Resolutions & Diligent Plans for Determined Stewards
By Uzziel Maldonado

 “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty..” Proverbs 21:5 ESV

Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker of yesteryear, recommends the importance of a plan by saying "don't start the day/week/month/year until you have finished it."  He compares the value of knowing what you want and need before getting started to the role of having a blueprint when building a home.  Building without a blueprint would be madness.  Blueprints help prevent tragedy, frustration, and failure.  Being intentional in building and in life is essential.

Solomon however, warns that blueprints or plans alone do not lead to success.   It is equally important to "work your plan."  Proverbs 21:5 puts emphasis on diligence.  This word can also be translated as determined, a sharp-pointed tool, and in poetry, fine gold.  I like to think that these variations of interpretation are related.   In this case, determination is the "sharp tool" or the "golden touch" that helps one accomplish an otherwise difficult task.  This word is also found in Proverbs 10:4, 12:24, 13:4, and 21:5 where determination leads to wealth, rulership, hunting trophies, food, and abundance.  

Here is another nuance about determination from the Bible.  Success is elusive like a wild animal that one is hunting.  Proverbs 13:4 and 12:27 say diligence or determination are required for returning with the wild game on the hunting expedition.  The texts warn that the slothful end up hungry but the determined end up satisfied and fat!  They also warn that the wild game has no desire of being caught and will do their part to remain as before, namely, free and away from the hunter.  Though proper equipment may facilitate the experience a hunter must still be steadfast, resolute, and determined at obtaining their objective.   

 This time of year, many are open to self-reflection, self-assessment, and change.  Sometimes this personal assessment is the result of an external inventory such as a yearly professional evaluation at work.  Other times a medical visit where our blood lab report shows elevated numbers that require a change in lifestyle.  For still others, it is a heart-to-heart conversation with a loved one,  or a phrase or thought from a book or passage from the Bible that spurs one to hope and action for something better.  As the New Year begins it is often our goal to somehow be better.  New Year Resolutions often include social, financial, spiritual, professional, and health goals.  Here are a few tips to assist in "bagging your buck" and obtaining your goals.  Just remember to your S.M.A.R.T.E.R. plan and resolutions add the golden element of diligence and determination.  Happy New Year from your Stewardship Department!  
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 January 15.  We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause.  You will find the latest and archived Stewpot available for download here.
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.  It can also be found on our website here.  
Stewardship Heroes

Stewardship is a total lifestyle."  It involves our temple, time, talents, testimony, and treasure.  Below you will find a story from within the Texas Conference of a couple doing their best to be faithful stewards at their church and community. 
Testators Kathy & Luis Hernandez
Luis shares these H.E.A.R.T. lapel pins as a reminder to love your neighbor as yourself and that interdependence is greater than independence.    H.E.A.R.T stands for hear, encourage, appreciate, reconcile, and teach.  
North Texas Stewards:  Kathy & Luis Hernandez

Jesus' message to the Samaritan woman is that "whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14).  This water of life "satisfies our longing as nothing else can do" and is supposed to spill out of our lives to bless others.  That is why we want to express gratitude toward our testators Kathy & Luis Hernandez who serve and provide physical and spiritual support at their home, church, and community.  

Luis has a passion to serve and help others.  While his son was of Pathfinder age Luis supported Pathfinders as the associate director.  He wanted to give youth programs to keep them involved and active in church but was also interested in their personal growth and development.  Together Luis and other leaders and Pathfinders would go on bike trails and skate parks to recruit more Pathfinders.  After his son finished with Pathfinders, Luis still had a desire to reach youth and adults alike and expose them to the gospel of Jesus.  Was there something to reach the masses?

"The Lord put it in our hearts to start a radio station.  People make decisions while alone or in the privacy of their own homes.  The Lord could use the radio to speak to someone open to hear a word of hope or looking for direction.  We didn't know anything about starting a radio station but we just knew there was Adventist broadcasting and opportunities for broadcast licensing."  That same year, Luis and a few others applied to the FCC requesting a radio frequency to transmit to his community.   One year and a half later he received approval to begin and a twelve-month deadline to be on the air.   

Though the desire was God-led it was still filled with setbacks and frustrating moments.  Luis continued sharing, "at first we thought we would simply apply for loans to get the adequate funding to purchase all that was needed but we found no loans were made for a non-profit ministry such as ours.  Still, we were led to push-on.  It felt like the right thing to do." Though they did not have the entire amount to cover all expenses, they were determined to move forward.    "We decided to start by doing things piece by piece."    Then something odd took place.  "As we started working, people wouldn't take my money."  Essentially Luis found many professionals who were willing to work and provide their expertise and labor but refused to accept payment.

Kathy and Luis have been married for two years.  Thank you Luis and Kathy for being faithful stewards and an inspiration to others. 
Radio station equipment.
This hundred-foot radio tower along with all of the required components, approvals, and installation was a result of many miracles and a divine General Manager.   From start to finish it only took thirty days!
Counsels on Stewardship
by Ellen G. White
"That which many propose to defer until they are about to die, if they were Christians indeed they would do while they have a strong hold on life. They would devote themselves and their property to God, and, while acting as His stewards, they would have the satisfaction of doing their duty. By becoming their own executors, they could meet the claims of God themselves, instead of shifting the responsibility upon others. " 325.3

To continue reading this chapter click
Gift Options

Every month we include a different estate planning option to advance the Lord's work.  This month we are discussing retirement-plan beneficiaries.  
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.  


Austen carrying a kid.
Stewardship Children's Story
by Lynette Ecord

Austen was excited! He was one of just a few of the students in his school choir who had been chosen to go and visit and sing for another school.  After they sang the teacher and other adults were taking them to the mall where they could buy lunch at the food court, play some arcade games if they wanted to, and do some shopping.  Austen had been saving money from doing chores for his parents and grandparents and had already decided what he wanted to buy.  

All the kids had a great time singing for the younger kids and wishing them a Merry Christmas!  Then it was time to load up on the bus and head to the mall.  The first stop was the food court.  Oh, there were so many choices! Mexican, Italian, Corn Dogs and Cheese Dogs on a stick, Chinese food, just about anything you can imagine!  And, of course, there were plenty of desserts there too.  Austen’s stomach growled in anticipation as he tried to decide what he was going to eat.  And then, of course, he could finally get those two items he’d been saving up his money for.  His mom had given him money to buy his lunch, so all of his money could be used for what he wanted – and maybe there’d be a little left over to play some games when he was finished shopping.
But then he noticed something.  There were a couple of his classmates who were sitting at the tables, with no food, and not looking around to see what they might buy for their lunch.  In fact, they looked rather sad.  Austen walked over to them and asked them if they weren’t going to eat.  It turns out that neither of them had any money for lunch.  How sad is that?  Imagine sitting in the middle of almost every kind of food you could imagine, watching your classmates and everyone else enjoying some delicious food while you sat there hungry.  What do you think Austen did? 
Several years ago Austen had noticed the homeless people who lived under the bridges in the city near his home.  And ever since then Austen had prayed every night for Jesus to help those people get good jobs and homes, and to get to know Jesus.  So when Austen realized that his school friend's parents hadn’t had enough money to give them to buy food for lunch, he immediately decided that he was going to buy them lunch.  His Mom had given him a little more than he needed for his own lunch, but not very much, so he had to use some of the money that he had been saving to buy some special things so that his friends could enjoy the special lunch too.  He thought, “Well, I’ll just get one of the things I was wanting to buy, and when I’ve saved up some more money I’ll buy the other thing I wanted.”  So after they ate, Austen went to do his shopping, and guess what?  One of the things he wanted he got a $5 discount on and he had just enough to buy both of the things he had wanted!  Is God wonderful? 
It makes God happy when we choose to care more about what other people need than about what we want.  In the Bible book of Matthew, chapter 25 tells us that when Jesus comes back to take us all to heaven He will say to his children “I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was alone and away from home, and you invited me into your house. I was without clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.” And then He will say “I tell you the truth. Anything you did for any of my people here, you also did for me.” I want to hear Jesus say that to me, don’t you?

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

Texas Conference January Offering Schedule 
  • 1:  Local Church Budget
  • 8:  Religious Liberty  
  • 15:  Local Church Budget
  • 22: Texas Vision:  This offering is divided evenly between the following Texas Conference Projects: academies,
  • Ranch.
  • 29:  Local Church Budget
  • church building projects, evangelism, and Lake Whitney
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
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