New Year’s Resolutions to Kick-Off the Year
What are your New Year Resolutions for 2019? Lose weight, exercise more and get in better shape are almost always number 1 or at least in the top 5. But then life happens! Sometimes you keep such a resolution for a few weeks or maybe even a few months with strong encouragement. After that, the busy days of spring begin to take over – that new treadmill you invested in becomes a clothes hanger and that gym membership is all but forgotten, “(Yawn) I’m just too tired today …”
Instead, make one of your resolutions for 2019 to review your financial and estate plans. Significant life changes are something that should trigger in your mind the question, “Do I need to change my will or trust?” or “Should I change any of my beneficiary designations?” If you need an easy way to keep track of your bequests and beneficiary designations on bank accounts, IRAs and financial or investment accounts, make a list. It is best done on a computer file so you do not have to re-do the entire document each time there is a change, but then print it and keep it with your estate and financial documents just in case your computer files are somehow lost. For a few additional thoughts on this topic, see A Few Estate Planning Pitfalls (especially #3) and A Few More Estate Planning Pitfalls.
Also, think about adding a few fresh ideas in which your entire family can become involved! Here are some suggestions to prayerfully consider.
1. Serve: Serve together as a family, a small group or just as a group of friends. Find a ministry that touches your heart and about which you can be passionate. Schedule yourself to serve regularly in this ministry with your family, a group of friends, or involve your small group. On a simpler note, you can visit a friend you haven’t seen in a while, perhaps someone out with an illness or injury. Always remember that stewardship is a L.I.F.E. activity that is not limited to dollars and cents. It involves your Labor, your Influence, your Financial resources, and your Expertise, your entire L.I.F.E.
2. Broaden your view: Look for new opportunities to broaden your stewardship. Never neglect giving your tithe to your home church. Check out Does the New Testament Teach Tithing? Know that God has also called us to give over and above the tithe. Read and reflect upon Deuteronomy 15, Matthew 23:23, and Luke 12:33-34.
3. Give wisely: When you find a ministry that touches your heart, consider giving as well as serving. You can give in different ways. Instead of just monetary giving, consider giving an appreciated asset, stock, or a piece of property. This type of giving may be better for both you and the charity than if you sold and donated the net proceeds. This strategy may reduce your tax burden and increases the amount the charity receives. Not sure how to do this? The Idlewild Foundation can show you how. Just give us a call at (813) 264-8713.
4. Learn about Giving Funds: Explore the possibilities of a Donor Advised Fund that will allow you a deduction now, but choose who you want to support and how much you will give at a future date. This kind of fund can be an efficient means of setting up recurring donations and makes record keeping for taxes easy. Learn more at Ways to Give, or just give us a call.
5. Share your experience with others: If you have a life example of how God has blessed you and how you have given back to Him, share your story. Tell your small group, your friends, and your family about how you’ve been blessed and how you’ve been able to bless others.
6. Accelerate your life: In 2019 as Idlewild accelerates its debt payment and kingdom investments, join Pastor Ken in that goal. Be a part of Accelerate! Give over and above the tithe to accelerate payment of the last of the debt and allow Idlewild to enter a new phase of even more service to the kingdom.
Here’s another idea! Why not spend some time reviewing your spending for 2018? By looking at your bank and charge card statements you’ll get a pretty good picture of where your money was spent and what your priorities have been. Did you find ways to glorify God through any of your spending? Did your spending in 2018 give more glory to yourself than to God? Could you do better? Give God the credit He is due. He made your income and your abilities possible.
18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth …
Take some time to sit down with your family and discuss ways to manage your money more effectively. Consider speaking with someone from the Stewardship Ministry of Idlewild Baptist Church or with us at The Idlewild Foundation. We can give you tips and ideas in managing your money. And don’t worry. You won’t be bludgeoned until you agree to give money to the Foundation! On the other hand, you will learn ways that you can further God’s kingdom by sharing His blessings with others – with open hands!
You can contact us at The Idlewild Foundation, (813) 264-8713 or email us at Foundation@idlewild.org. May 2019 be a year to celebrate!
About the Author
John Campbell has retired from a 40-year legal practice as a trial attorney in Tampa. He has served in multiple volunteer roles at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Florida, where he met Jesus. He began serving as the Executive Director of the Idlewild Foundation in 2016. He has been married to the love of his life, Mona Puckett Campbell, since 1972.