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Can Medicaid Take My Home? 
by Lynette Ecord
 
So you qualify for Medicaid to help pay for your long-term care, but now you’re hearing that the State can come in and recover against the home that you own for any costs incurred while you were in the long-term care facility.  What do you do?  Luckily, there is a legal way for you to protect your home property. It involves deeding your property to someone else by means of an Enhanced Life Estate Deed.  You may have heard this referred to as a “Lady  Bird Deed”.  The “Lady  Bird Deed” was named after President Lyndon B. Johnson’s wife and is an instrument whereby a Medicaid recipient deeds his or her home to a family member or close friend while simultaneously reserving the right to live on the property during the Medicaid recipient’s life. For Medicaid purposes, the recipient no longer technically owns this property after death. The Medicaid Estate Recovery Program cannot file against a person if that person doesn’t own anything. As long as the deed is drafted correctly and filed with the correct county prior to the recipient’s death, the home and land are protected from such recovery claims.  Medicaid has blessed this transaction as a valid method of avoiding a Medicaid Estate Recovery Program claim, and caseworkers are familiar with this process. If you or a family member are facing a likely transition to a long-term care facility, be sure to contact your attorney or estate planning advisor for help in protecting your home. For more information click here.
COMICS

The Intersection of Grace, Gratitude, and Gifts
by Uzziel Maldonado

What are you thankful for in 2020? Unfortunately, by this time of the year, we have all seen and/or suffered a loss (health, wealth, social unrest and injustices, etc.) directly or indirectly.  Some of us don't even have to be exposed to the latest news or think long and hard to find something to complain about.  Praise be to God, that despite our current situation, we can also find something to be grateful for.  In fact when asked "How are you doing?" we can usually respond, "Better than I deserve!"  This is because God "makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:45), which is to say, God, graciously provides for all.  Furthermore, as Christians and recipients of God’s present and future promises we also have much to hope for.  Even so, the call to give thanks in the midst of uncertainty and strife is neither easy nor new to America at least.

The Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians on Thursday, November 26, 1621, which is historically known as the first Thanksgiving, experienced this festival under much loss and turmoil.  So were subsequent calls during difficult times(American Revolution, Civil War, the Great Depression) by American leaders to reflect and give thanks.  To read more on the history of Thanksgiving click here.  

Similarly, Psalms 34, written by David while fleeing from Saul, says "I will bless the LORD at all times, his praise shall continually be in my mouth" was written while David was in the desert due to persecution.  This year the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has also experienced a "bumpy ride."  The loss of life, jobs, fellowship, and meetings that affect our state and members also affected our institution and yet our church has much to be grateful for.  She has been graciously supported by her members and by the grace of God.  Perhaps now better than ever, we can appreciate Psalms 7, 27,31, 34, and 52, all written by David under turmoil, and 
reflect on our past, acknowledge our loss and frustrations yet look to heaven and find, comfort, strength for today, and hope for tomorrow.
 
“Stewardship is a total lifestyle.  It involves our health, time, talents, environment, relationships, spirituality and finances.”  Below you will find a few stories from across the Texas Conference of members who are doing their best to be good stewards.
East Texas Stewardship Hero: Cynthia & Enoc Garcia
“Not all heroes wear capes” is a phrase often said of healthcare workers and others who place their lives at risk to serve and protect.  However the same is true of social workers like Cynthia, who quietly pour their hearts and soul helping their clients find solutions and resources to their difficult situations.  It can be an emotionally taxing job that often goes unthanked, however, Cynthia still makes the effort to offer words of truth and hope to those whom she serves.  Similarly, pastors like Enoc also pour their hearts and soul serving their churches and community by showing others the blessing of having boundaries and living within their means.  They testify how God can multiply our efforts and do much more than we ever imagined when we trust and wait on Him.  However quietly they may serve, their desire is to impact eternity now and later.  Thank you both for your great service and example.  

North Texas Stewardship Heroes: Helena & Alfredo Gaona
Retired Pastor and active Chaplain Alfredo Gaona, together with his wife, a retired Physical Therapist,  Helena, are both originally from Bogata, Colombia. They were married with children for almost 20 years before God lead them to the United States, first to New Jersey, and then here to Texas. Their hearts and lives of stewardship are seen in many ways, but perhaps one of the simplest ways they care for God’s resources (and share them with others) is through their fruit orchard. The Gaona’s keep up a 1-acre lot that is beautifully filled with 70 different varieties of fruit trees, as well as several nut trees, grasses, and flowering plants. It’s like caring for a little “Garden of Eden,” and God has surely blessed the fruit of their labors, literally. Thousands of fruits are produced, gathered, sold, and GIVEN away by the Gaona’s every season. What a true inspiration and blessing they have been for many! Thank you Pastor Alfredo and Helena, may God continue to produce all kinds of good fruit in your lives!
November 2020
Below is a list of some awareness events taking place this month.  Some may encourage to visit a health professional for a procedure or check-up, other’s may encourage to have the home inspected or have something installed, and still others may encourage 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 November!   

Texas Conference Offering Schedule
November
  • 7: Local Church Budget
  • 14: World Budget (Global Mission)
  • 21:  Local Church Budget
  • 28:  Texas Vision

North American Division Calendar 
November
  • Native Heritage Month
  • 7: NAD Stewardship Sabbath
  • 14: NAD Human Relations Sabbath
  • 15: National Philanthropy Day
  • 21:  Welcome Home Sabbath
Professional/ Relationships
  • Adoption Awareness Month
  • American Education Week
  • Veterans Day: 11
Home/ Homestead
  • Recycling Awareness
  • Thanksgiving: 26
Health
  • National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month
  • American Diabetes Month
  • Bladder Health Month*
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Month*
  • Diabetic Eye Disease Month*
  • National Epilepsy Awareness
  • National Healthy Skin Month*
  • National Hospice Palliative Care Month*
  • National Stomach Cancer Awareness Month*
  • Juvenile Diabetes Awareness
  • Lung Cancer Awareness
  • National Family Caregivers Month
  • Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
  • World Antibiotic Awareness Week: 11-17
  • World Prematurity Day: 17
  • GERD Awareness Week: 17-23
  • Great American Smokeout: 19
  • International Survivors of Suicide Day: 21
  • National Family Health History: 26
May our good God inspire and guide us as we consider ways to serve Him!
Life is uncertain for anyone. 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...

Perhaps this is a good time to have your important documents in order...

  • 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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