Thursday, November 24, 2016

Living the Faith, Part 4

In case you aren’t familiar with what the Foundation does, I want to share with you that our main focus is planned giving – helping to match the need people have to give with the best tool to use to achieve their goals in their circumstances. We help people to find that sacred space where they can live their faith, through their lives and into their deaths.  I can tell you that it is a great joy for me to sit with a family at their kitchen table and talk to them about their dreams of giving, and help them to find a way to accomplish them.

I can tell you that I never have to convince people to be generous – they are already living a life of generous faith. All they need from me are the concrete means to do what they want to do. I am convinced that is because of God’s grace, at work in their lives. They are witnessing by their actions, to the generous God who has created them (and us) through the way they live their faith, even through their death.

Because of the work I do at the Foundation, Lynn asked me to come today to share the word of God with you and to share the spiritual nature of estate planning and planned giving. I’m not here to provide a commercial for the Foundation, but because of what I have experienced in the work I do, I can share with you some concrete ways to live your faith even to the end of it.

First of all, I want to encourage you to not be afraid to think about it. I think it is natural to want to avoid thinking about our own deaths and therefore, to avoid thinking about having a will.  Our plan, rightly so, is to live, just like my plan for the Monday of this week was to go to work and start checking the items off on my list. What we all know is that life on this earth is not forever; what we know as Christians is that God walks with us through this life, and through our deaths, and into life eternal. I hope you know that God has changed your life; and I know you know that God has changed your death. Because of that, we can rest in our trust of God, and we can live without worry of death.

So, think about your death, without fear.

Jeff, who is the President of the Foundation, worked with a couple in the southern part of the state to complete a charitable bequest in their wills. He met with both the husband and the wife, and once everything was complete, the wife told him that she had been having nightmares about dying without completing their plan. Even if we don’t admit it to ourselves, we worry about our wills and our plans until we complete them. I know she found relief in getting it done; I imagine we all do.  So, I invite you to trust in God, set aside any fear you have of facing the issue, and move toward the relief of having it done.  And please remember, it doesn’t matter if your estate is large, or small – everyone is a steward of what God has given to them, and everyone needs a will.

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