Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Strategic Time

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO

Although the KBF has been serving Kentucky Baptists since 1945, its time has just arrived.

Given the significant challenges of financing in the future the missions and ministries of every component of our larger Baptist family, and given the demographic, economic, social, cultural, technological and denominational trends and their collective impact on charitable giving, the role of the KBF in the future of Kentucky Baptist life will be ever more critical.

It takes money to do missions – and – it will take more in the future than in the past. Our churches, the Cooperative Program and other Kentucky Baptist related ministries, including associations, are where money is transformed into ministry. And, more than any other time in our history there is a tidal wave of opportunity in securing legacy gifts, but the window of opportunity for many will not be open for long.

Therefore, before it’s too late, the older generation of Kentucky Baptists must be challenged to leave a legacy through their churches and other Kentucky Baptist and Christian ministries that have been near and dear to their hearts. The younger generation of Kentucky Baptists must be taught how to live according to the biblical principles of the Christian discipline of financial stewardship.

We Kentucky Baptists are involved in the greatest business in the world – the Great Commission business! Amen? The late A.M. Vollmer, the first full time executive of the KBF, said it best in his final report to the board of directors upon his retirement in 1964 after 18 years of service: “the Foundation has been in the past and will continue to be in the future my first love among all of our Kentucky Baptist projects. This is true because it lives to strengthen all the rest.”

The KBF believes every adult Kentucky Baptist should have a Christian estate plan the fruits of which will make a lasting difference in the world for the cause of Christ through one’s church, the Cooperative Program and one or more of his/her favorite Baptist cause(s).

Please give us the privilege of assisting you and your church in facilitating your estate stewardship plan. Laurie Valentine, our trust counsel. Is awaiting your toll-free call.

For more information, please call us at (502) 489-3533 or toll free in KY at 1(866) 489-3533.

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It’s Inventory Time

By Barry G. Allen- President & CEO

As 2014 has ended and 2015 begins, each of us should take an inventory of our lives. The Apostle Paul offers some helpful guidance in Philippians 3:12-16.

Much like the Philippian church of Paul’s day, we find ourselves in a world that does not place a premium on spiritual values. Instead, contemporary society invites participation without restraint in various kinds of immorality. By some modern-day standards, there is no “right” or “wrong.” Seemingly, every individual has the privilege of doing what is “right” according to his or her standards. As a result, our society is “slouching toward Gomorrah.” Regretfully, we are living in a world bent on decay.

In contrast to our contemporary American scene are the Apostle Paul’s words, which specify the values and goals of a Christian. Instead of seeking to satisfy self-desires and carnal pleasure, Paul encountered self-denial and commitment to Christ as his life’s purpose. His values were spiritual, and his goal was Christ. The intensity of his desire was expressed in such vivid language as “press on”, “straining for” and “seize.” The most important aspect of his life was his relationship to Jesus Christ. Christ, instead of self, was at the center of his being.

If we, then, honestly evaluate Paul’s perspective, these questions arise: Are our values in the right place? Is Jesus Christ the goal of our lives? Has our spiritual progress been deterred because of self-centeredness? Do we have the courage to struggle with our sin and the sin of the world?

As Christians in today’s world, we are challenged prayerfully to consider our values, our goals and our commitments. Let these words of Paul help you meet the challenge: “Not that I have already attained all of this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

For more information, please call us at (502) 489-3533 or toll free in KY at 1(866) 489-3533.

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Stewardship Truths- #12

A 12 part series discussing stewardship.

By: Barry G. Allen
Leave a legacy like Abel, who offered God a more acceptable sacrifice than his brother Cain

Hebrews 11:4: "By faith Abel offered God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain did. By faith Abel was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And, by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead."

Abel's offering was made in faith. His outward gift revealed his inward faith and righteousness for subsequent ages to see. His example of faith - his legacy - speaks to every generation, not simply as an immortal memory, but as a stimulus for each of us to follow Abel's example and leave a lasting legacy of our faith beyond our lifetime.

Contact Laurie Valentine or Barry Allen for assistance in how to "leave a lasting legacy" through your estate plan for the benefit of your church and other causes near and dear to your heart.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

12 Steps For Christian Estate Planning

By: Laurie Valentine- COO & Trust Counsel

A Christian estate plan is one you develop by determining how God wants you to: (1) provide for your family and other “dependents” at your death and (2) have your finances managed and decisions made for you if you became incapacitated and no longer able to do those things for yourself.

Step #12 Don’t Wait! Failing to plan is really planning to fail. And, failing to keep your plan up-to-date may be even worse.

You don’t have to have all the answers to get started. Most estate planning documents are changeable. So, you can start with fairly simple documents and then “tweak” them from time to time throughout your life as you sense God’s plan for how you should provide for your family and other beneficiaries changes.

And, make sure to review your plan on a regular basis (every three to five years) and also when there are significant changes in your family (births, marriages, deaths, etc.) and/or in what you own. Look at everything---your estate planning documents; how all assets are titled; and beneficiary designations. Determine if: (1) the alternate beneficiaries for the shares of beneficiaries who have died are still who you want; (2) the possibility you might have more children/grandchildren was provided for in your existing documents; and (3) the persons named to serve as executor, trustee, power of attorney are still willing and able to serve in those capacities.

For more information, please call us at (502) 489-3533 or toll free in KY at 1(866) 489-3533.

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Simplify…Multiply…Dignify

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO

With all of life’s complexities with which we are bombarded daily, the idea of simplifying anything sounds refreshing, does it not? Even though we Christians know the reason for the season we still seem to get caught up in the complexities of shopping, cooking, entertaining and traveling and miss the full blessings of giving.

So, why not simplify your life, avoid some of the complexities of the holidays, do more for Christ and make sure your giving reflects the true spirit of Christmas.

And while you are at it, why not multiply your giving to make your gifts go further? If you are about to write checks to your church and other charitable organizations let me suggest you consider instead gifting appreciated stocks or mutual fund shares, if that is an option for you. By gifting appreciated assets you avoid the capital gains tax, and therefore, lower the cost of your gifts or multiply the value of what you give versus cash gifts.

In addition, why not consider establishing with the KBF a donor advised fund to which you can make cash gifts and appreciated stock gifts to take advantage of the tax deduction in 2014 but defer the distributions to your church and other charitable organizations to 2015 or later? This is another practical way to multiply your giving. Call Laurie Valentine or me toll-free for more information on this simple, but effective tax-advantaged giving option.

Finally, why not dignify your giving by considering a legacy gift that pays tribute to someone you love, or one that would perpetuate your own Christian witness beyond your life time? A legacy gift to the KBF to establish a permanent endowment for the perpetual benefit of your church and other charitable organizations near and dear to your heart would be a wonderful way to dignify your 2014 giving. You could start with a modest gift and make additional gifts in the future, including a bequest or beneficiary designation in your estate plan. Laurie and I are just a toll-free phone call away to assist you.

Tis the season to simplify, multiply and dignify.

For more information, please call us at (502) 489-3533 or toll free in KY at 1(866) 489-3533.

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Stewardship Truths- #11

A 12 part series discussing stewardship.

By: Barry G. Allen

Do not let “things” distort what are the true riches in life.

       Proverbs 16:16: “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver.”

       Proverbs 22:1: “A good name is more desirable than great riches and to be esteemed is better 
       than silver or gold.”

Proverbs 23:4-5: “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”

According to God’s Word, true riches are wisdom, understanding, a good reputation and esteem – and – these are worth more than silver or gold.

Furthermore, God’s word reminds and cautions us to the reality that “things” are transient and elusive. Like an eagle, they will suddenly soar away out of reach toward the heavens.





Therefore, do not wear yourself out in the struggle for them.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Plan for Death Taxes

By: Laurie Valentine-COO & Trust Counsel 

Christian estate planning may be the single most important act of financial stewardship a Christian may take. Not planning to defer, reduce or eliminate your death tax liability is poor stewardship----assets that could have been preserved for family must be sold to raise funds to pay those taxes and less estate value remains to pass to family and other beneficiaries.

There are two death taxes that may be owed at the death of a Kentucky resident----federal estate tax and Kentucky inheritance tax.

Federal estate tax is owed if the total value of all of your assets at your death, whether individually-owned, jointly-owned, or beneficiary-designated and wherever situated, exceeds (for 2014) $5,340,000. Federal estate tax assets include life insurance, retirement accounts and assets in trusts. Gifts to a surviving spouse or charity at your death provide federal estate tax savings because their value reduces the portion of your estate subject to such taxes.

Kentucky Inheritance Tax is a death tax owed by some beneficiaries, no matter where they live, on the value of what they inherit from a Kentucky resident. Your spouse, children, grandchildren, siblings and charitable beneficiaries are exempt from having to pay Kentucky Inheritance Tax, no matter how much they inherit from you. All other beneficiaries will have to pay inheritance tax if what they inherit from you exceeds very modest exempt amounts----$1,000 for nieces, nephews, children-in-law, aunts, uncles; $500 for all other individuals and non-charitable organizations.

For more information, please call us at (502) 489-3533 or toll free in KY at 1(866) 489-3533.

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.