Leadership Lessons From Solomon
By Deyvy Rodriguez

At the beginning of Solomon’s reign as King of Israel, God appeared to him in a dream and said, “Ask. What shall I give you?” (1 Kings 3:5). Solomon said, “…I am a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in…give your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil.”

We could all learn from Solomon’s request. Here are some lessons:

1. Solomon humbled himself. (I am a little child" (vs. 7) He compared himself to a little child. Not childish, but child-like. Children are young, inexperienced, vulnerable, and dependent. He needed a child-like faith to trust in God. As the new King, Solomon would need his Heavenly Father to depend on. Christ said, “Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven" (Mat. 8:3). “Be a child again. Cast all your burdens and sorrows on Him who alone can give rest to the weary heart and peace to the troubled soul.” EGW, This Day With God 310.

2. Solomon recognized his lack of knowledge. "I do not know" (vs. 7). He accepted that he did not have all the answers. A know-it-all king would only be perceived as ignorant, stubborn, and unteachable. The Spirit of God cannot work on those that are not willing to learn. Accept that you know nothing if you want to learn something. Solomon would later write, “Lean not upon your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge God” Prov. 3:4, 5.

3. Solomon considered himself a servant. "Lord, My God, You have made your servant king" (vs. 6). Christ, the King of Kings rules the universe, but He also became a servant. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.” (Mat. 20:28). A godly leader is a servant-leader. He doesn’t seek his own interest, but the interests of others.

4. Solomon asked for wisdom. "Give your servant a discerning heart" (vs. 9). He did not ask for power, riches, fame, or earthly goods, but for heavenly wisdom. True wisdom is fearing God: “Those who are striving for an education in the sciences, but who have not learned the lesson that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, are working helplessly and hopelessly, questioning the reality of everything. They may acquire an education in the sciences, but unless they gain a knowledge of the Bible and a knowledge of God, they are without true wisdom.” 3 BC 1156. “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore, get wisdom…Exalt her, and she will promote you.” Prov. 4:7, 8

5. Solomon asked so that he could give back. Why? "To govern your people" (vs. 9). Solomon knew that his reign would not last forever. His term as leader would eventually end. He asked for understanding in order to judge his people well while he was alive and ruled. He wanted to use his God-given gifts to benefit those around him even after he was gone. This was the legacy the wanted to leave behind.

6. Solomon asked for discernment. Why? "To distinguish between right and wrong" (vs. 9) There is a curse upon those that call evil good and good evil (Isa. 5:20). Solomon wanted to discern between light and darkness, good and bad, right and wrong. A successful reign would depend much upon his discerning abilities.

If God wants you to ask Him for something, what would you ask for?
Farewell, Pastor Jerrod
By: Lynette Ecord
Pastor Jerrod Songy
On September 30, after over thirteen years with the Texas Conference, the last nearly five of those as North Texas Trust Officer, we said farewell to Pastor Jerrod Songy.  As some of you may know, in December of 2020 Jerrod and his wife, Danae, adopted Jerrod’s then 8-year-old cousin, after much prayer and leading from God.  For the first-time parents this was a big undertaking, and one they took very seriously.  Recently it became clear to both Jerrod and Danae that, for the benefit of their new son, Ethan, they needed to be able to have more ‘family time’ during which both parents were present.  Due to the many evening and weekend appointments required as a Trust Officer, as well as Jerrod’s desire to further his education, the decision was made to leave, as least for the present time, employment with the Texas Conference.

During his time as a Trust Officer, Jerrod proved himself to be a man of high integrity and ethics.  His attention to detail and desire to produce professional work was admired and much appreciated, especially so since it was always done with kindness in his interactions with both his coworkers and those he served in the field.  Pastor Jerrod and Danae both have hearts for ministry, and will most definitely continue to serve the Lord in whatever capacity they are called to.  Please join with us in praying for God’s continued blessing on the Songy family as they begin this new stage of their lives.
Danae, Ethan, Jerrod
Welcome New Trust Officer,
Marshall Gonzalez

By: Lynette Ecord
The Texas Conference Personnel and Executive Committees recently met and voted to ask Pastor Marshall Gonzales to serve as the Trust Officer/Stewardship Coordinator for the Houston and East Texas area, effective November 1. Pastor Marshall and his wife Julie, are not strangers to the Texas Conference. They spent the past few years as Directors for our Community Services Department and, prior to that, Marshall served as pastor in several churches around the Conference.  At the beginning of this school year, Julie accepted a call to teach at Cypress Bend Elementary School in Jefferson.  Marshall’s transition to this position will allow him to be there in Jefferson with Julie as he takes care of the estate planning needs of East Texas and Houston.

Pastor Uzziel Maldonado, who is presently the Trust Officer/Stewardship Coordinator for the Houston/East Texas Area, will be moving to replace Jerrod Songy in the North Texas area as soon as he, his wife Julianna, and their three daughters Bella, Gabby, and JoJo, are able.  Our San Antonio/South Texas territory will continue to be taken care of by Pastor Deyvy Rodriguez.

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 October 15.  We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause.  You will find the latest and archived Stewpot available for download.
Stewardship Heroes
Pastor Antonio “Tony” Correa, associate pastor at the McAllen Central del Valle Seventh-day Adventist Church was one of the Determined Cycling Tour riders who cycled more than 800 miles and helped fundraise for the $1.5 Million endowment fund.  When asked why he was “determined” to support this perpetual scholarship, Pastor Tony shared his testimony. 
I was born and raised in a small city near Sao Paulo, Brazil. I grew up in a Catholic home but at the age of nineteen, I ended up in the hospital due to alcohol poisoning due to drinking. While at the hospital an Adventist couple arrived to my room to pray for me and give me a set of Bible studies called “The Faith of Jesus.”  They invited me to attend these Bible studies and within six (6) months I was baptized. Soon after I was studying my Sabbath School quarterly and aspiring for a better life. That is how I began to get involved in literature evangelism. 

After working the summer, I earned and saved money to provide for my financial needs and even help eliminate his father’s debt.  Then I started studying at the Adventist University in Sao Paulo (UNASP).  Soon after I was invited to be a literature evangelist/ missionary in Boston, Massachusetts. Then God led me to learn English as a Second Language (ESL) at Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU). I was invited and helped by Mary Ann Hadley for that first year. 

The following summer I worked as a literature evangelist with the Oachita Hills College Magabook program.  After paying my tithes and offerings my summer earning were enough to pay most of my tuition and debt but was still short $1,400. That is when Dr. Bill Kilgore, one of my theology professors told me about a special scholarship that I might qualify for. I learned that Pastor Lambeth had died but left a provision in his Will to help students who met the following criteria: Must be Brazilian, a theology major, and a missionary! My educational needs and prayer were met by God, and through an estate plan!  From that point I was determined to support Adventist education as soon as possible.

After graduating from SWAU, Pastor Tony continued to lead literature evangelist but for the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventist as the Publishing Ministries Department Director. In 2020 Pastor Tony joined McAllen Central del Valle pastoral staff in 2020. He is married to Blanca who he met at SWAU and has two sons, Ishmael, and Jeremy.
Counsels on Stewardship
by Ellen G. White
"Such excuse their covetousness by informing you that they have made arrangements to be charitable at death. They have considered the cause of God in their wills. Therefore they live a life of avarice, robbing God in tithes and in offerings, and in their wills return to God but a small portion of that which He has lent them, while a very large proportion is appropriated to relatives who have no interest in the truth. This is the worst kind of robbery. They rob God of His just dues, not only all through life, but also at death."

Counsels on Stewardship 324.

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Gift Options

Every month we include a different estate planning option to advance the Lord's work.  This month we are discussing guardianship.
What Is Guardianship?
by Lynette Ecord

Most of us are familiar with the concept of naming Guardians for minor children in our Wills, but did you know that Guardians are also sometimes necessary for disabled adults, or senior citizens? 

The Guardian for a child is expected to care for that child/those children by being responsible for their day to day care. That care includes providing a home and supervision for a child, food, clothing, and everything else a parent might provide a child. When a parent designates a Guardian it is the hope that the Guardian will also provide love and emotional support for the child.  In other words, a Guardian takes the place of the parent when the parent passes away while the child is still a minor. A Guardian can be designated as both the caregiver and the individual responsible for the assets left for the child (referred to as the “Trustee”).  Sometimes, though, a parent designates a different person, or even a bank, to be the Trustee for the assets left to provide for the care of the children. This flexibility is allowed by law so that a parent can designate the best care giver for the child, and also provide that an individual, bank, or trust company, who is financially savvy can manage the assets for the children.

But what about Guardianships for adults? What is it, and why might it be necessary? The purpose of guardianship for an adult is to protect adults with dementia, mental illness, or other impairments who cannot make decisions for themselves and/or their assets, or they can’t communicate those decisions. Generally, this results in a legal proceeding in court where a judge will appoint someone as the Guardian for the incapacitated adult. In this case, the Guardian decides where the “ward” (the adult for whom the Guardian has been appointed) will live and the type and scope of health care needed by the ward. Court-appointed Guardians are frequently required to post a bond, and to seek the court’s permission before disposing of property, entering contracts, or making major decisions about the ward’s life. They are also required to report to the court regarding the ward’s health care needs, property, finances, and expenditures.  However, there is a simpler way to take care of this possible future need, that will allow you to name the person who would become your Guardian if you should find yourself in need of one.

Many discussions around estate planning involve the topics of Wills and Powers of Attorney.  However, a Designation of Guardian in Advance of Need is also an essential part of a comprehensive estate plan – especially for those who have no spouse.  Just as there is a Guardian appointed for the care of minor children, and a Trustee appointed for the care of the assets left for that child, there are also two separate designations for adults.  A Guardianship of the Person is generally responsible for providing care, supervision, food, clothing, and shelter for the incapacitated person, and may also consent to medical treatment on his/her behalf.  A Guardianship of the Estate appoints a Guardian who is responsible for managing the property and financial affairs of the incapacitated person (the ward).  Just as with a child, these Guardianship appointments can both be given to the same individual, or to two separate individuals.  A Designation of Guardian is very important, even if you already have Medical and Financial Powers of Attorney.

For more information regarding Guardianships please feel free to contact us at 817-790-2255

October 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 October!   

Texas Conference October Offering Schedule 
  • 2:  Local Church Budget
  • 9:  Southwestern Adventist University
  • 16:  Local Church Budget
  • 23:   Texas Vision:  This offering is divided evenly between the following Texas Conference Projects: academies, church building projects, evangelism, and Lake Whitney Ranch.
  • 30:  Local  Church Budget
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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