Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tax Law to benefit churches and other charitable organizations

I was recently made aware of a new tax law that could be beneficial to churches and other charitable organizations, especially given the possibility of higher taxes with a new Democratic administration.

The IRA Rollover provision was recently enacted and will apply to gifts made between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009. This provision may allow you to make charitable gifts in 2008 and 2009 to churches (or other qualifying charities) without adverse tax consequences.

Anyone who is at least 70 ½ years old and has retirement assets held in a traditional IRA may take advantage of this provision. If you fit these criteria, you can make a direct charitable gift of up to $100,000 each year (2008 and 2009) from your IRA. Because your gift is made directly to your church or other charity of choice from your IRA, the gift does not increase your adjusted gross income and will also count towards any Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) you are otherwise required to take out of your IRA during the year. Although no income tax deduction for the gift is allowed (because the gift was made directly to the church from the IRA), the overall effect is a completely tax-free gift.

If you are a pastor or church staff member, I would encourage you to inform your senior adults over 70 years old of this tax saving provision. This could save tax money for your senior adults as well as increase your church budget's bottom line.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Work you Love!

A few weeks ago, I was out in my front yard doing some yard work, when I happened to get into a brief conversation with my neighbor across the street. My neighbor runs a small distribution company out of his house - he sells and delivers for a popular snack cake company, and I would venture a guess that he is financially successful in his business.

My neighbor recently purchased a rather large RV/motor home and I was helping him back it out of his driveway. Before he pulled away to go camping for the weekend, he said to me, "This is why I work so hard during the week so I can get away for the weekend."

After my neighbor made that statement, it made me feel sad for him and the work he does. I am thankful that the Lord has provided numerous work and career opportunities for me that are mentally stimulating, meaningful, and have eternal rewards!

I don't know what you do for living, but I sure never want to be in a job/career situation where I don't enjoy what I do on a day-to-day basis. Are there going to be difficult days, days in which you want to get away for a weekend? Sure there are always going to be those kind of days, but I would encourage you to pursue work that aligns with your life purpose and goals. Seek God's direction and will for your vocation, career, and life's calling.

A great resource for more information regarding work you love is Dan Miller. Check out his website at