The Idlewild Foundation started with a mission to promote planned giving, strategic estate planning. Estate planning can be complex because it involves the U.S. Tax Code, a set of laws Congress regularly “simplifies.” In fact, Congress has simplified the U.S. Tax Code, Title 26 of the U.S. Code (26 USC) so well that it is now only 24 megabytes in size with more than 3.4 million words and over 7,500 letter-sized pages with 60 lines each! Check it out at U.S. Tax Code On-Line.

That’s intimidating to even the best and the brightest; however, that is not an excuse to take no action. To want to do something but to end up doing nothing means you may have had good intentions but not good enough.

The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.   


James, the half-brother of Jesus said as much:

James 2:14-17
14     What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 
15     Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 
16     If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 
17     In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

The Apostle John agreed:

1 John 3:18
18     Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Modern proverbs agree because we all know that “actions speak louder than words,” “talk is cheap,” and “no one ever climbed a hill just by looking at it.”

In the area of stewardship, actions also speak louder, much louder, than words. It is not enough to want or intend to be a good steward. It takes time, effort, thought, and study in the form of wise planning. The wonderful thing about this stewardship is that you do not have to do it by yourself, in fact, you shouldn’t. Seeking wise counsel is not only Biblical, it is simply silly not to. Proverbs 15:22. That is especially true when the counsel is without cost. At The Idlewild Foundation we can help and our help and guidance is without cost to you.

All believers are called by God to be shepherds of the church of God, which Jesus “bought with his own blood.” Acts 20:28. Good shepherding requires that we be good stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. We need to be skillful and deliberate in supporting the mission and ministry of Idlewild. 

Planning to be a good steward and taking the steps to actually carry out those intentions and plans are areas where The Idlewild Foundation can help. The topic of stewardship and estate planning means a lot more than just having a will. Any plan should involve a family conference involving all of your family affected by those plans.

Ultimately, making the right decision will allow you to find the greatest joy, 2 Corinthians 9:7,  and at the same time you can know that God has been well-served and you have done your part. This is a blessed opportunity with which we can help, don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

Opportunities Missed (or The Curse of Permanent Potential)
There was a very cautious man
Who never laughed or played
He never risked, he never tried
He never sang or prayed
And when he one day passed away
His insurance was denied
For since he never really lived
They claimed he never died.

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.