Davar Partners International (DPI) began in 2009 with the goal of making audio versions of the Bible available to the majority of the world’s population who do not read. Multiple offices were soon opened with the goal of recording high quality audio Bible content and seeing it distributed mainly into the Africa and Asia Pacific regions, which contain by far the largest number of people globally who still do not have access to the Bible in written or audio format.
Today, DPI has offices in Israel, South Africa and the United States with the goal of giving over 5 billion people (80% of the world’s population) access to an audio Bible in a language they can understand through its Audibible® program.
To unpack the 80 percent figure further, 45 percent of the world’s population cannot access the written Bible at all as they are unable to read. The remaining 35 percent either have limited written comprehension of the language the Bible is written in, or they are impaired from reading the Bible through a physical disability and therefore cannot read.
Do you remember when the iPhone first came out? Remember the lines people stood in and waited in to get their hands on one of these groundbreaking pieces of technology? Well, I was one of those crazy people who waited for hours. It seemed like something was special about this device.
Fast forward 10 years and the cell phone market is dominated by “smart phones”; what was at first a novelty has become the norm and way of life.
What I saw in the cell phone market with the iPhone, I now see in the world of giving. Although it’s not a new concept, the idea of giving assets instead of cash or by check is for many families a revolutionary way to give.
WaterStone helps givers make smart choices about how they give so their favorite churches, ministries and nonprofits can receive more resources to further their causes. In turn, Uncle Sam receives fewer dollars (and it’s legal)!
We teach these concepts to church, nonprofit and ministry leaders, Kingdom-minded givers, and advisors (financial advisors, estate planning attorneys, CPAs) at a multi-day learning...more
The story of brothers Cain and Abel centers on an offering. In another sense, we could think of the story as centering on giving. Cain and Abel knew that to approach God, to enter into relationship with their Creator, they had to make sacrifices—give—to the Lord. Moreover, their approach reveals that there was a blueprint for how one was to approach God.
First, Cain and Abel brought their offerings “to the Lord,” indicating that there was a particular place where gifts were to be presented. Second, they went to the place of offering together, indicating that giving was not just an individual practice but something done in community. The nature of the offerings also indicated that God expected giving from the brothers to come in a certain form—they should not come with empty hands. And the quality of what they brought was also set by God they should not offer simply what they fancied to give. But the looming question remains: Why was Abel’s offering accepted while Cain’s was rejected?
Abel Accepted, Cain Rejected
When we look at a map, we often see borders of countries, and mountainous regions, but we never see the people that are within those countries. The early mapmakers would come to the end of their work and would state “beyond here be dragons.” Literally it was a statement of an unfinished work that needed to be completed yet covered with a warning.
The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded us to take the gospel that He has given to every nation. Stepping beyond the map takes us into interpersonal relationships that have eternal benefits of seeing people know the Christ that we serve. This is the heartbeat behind Indigenous Ministries.
Indigenous Ministries is focused on three core programs: missions, uplifting people, and relief efforts.
By stepping “beyond the map” into difficult access countries and areas, Indigenous Ministries engages with what God the Holy Spirit is doing in redeeming people to Himself who otherwise might not have the opportunity to respond to God’s love.
Indigenous Ministries trains fishers of men in India,...more
The Widow’s Crisis
There once lived a woman in a village of Israel. This woman’s husband—the son of a prophet—had recently passed away, leaving her with mountains of debt and two young sons who were too young to care for her. Adding to the dilemma, her family’s creditors had come to collect—and had threatened to take the widow’s two sons be his slaves in lieu of payment. She had no money to pay back her husband’s debts, and the weight of social stigma was a heavy burden. The woman knew she had only one hope in this situation—God himself. So she turned for help to Elisha, a prophet and a man of God.
Harrison Named as WaterStone CEO
The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Ken R. Harrison to the position of Chief Executive Officer at WaterStone. His mission is to provide executive leadership and strategic direction to the ministry while inspiring WaterStone’s entire community of givers, advisors, nonprofits, churches and business leaders. A Colorado Springs-based charitable foundation, WaterStone has directed more than $550 million to over 4,000 churches, ministries and nonprofits worldwide since being founded in 1980.
Harrison spent nearly two decades in the commercial real estate arena both nationally and internationally. After successfully building and growing his company, he sold the majority interest to Colliers International, the second largest commercial real estate company in the world. He stayed on as CEO and Chair of international valuation. He later served as president of Iomnis Professional Solutions, a developer and distributor of virtual reality software with application to the real estate...more
The fastest growing homeless population in our country is single women and their children. The O’Connor House began as a simple vision to help these young women in crisis pregnancies.
Colleen Dulac of Carmel, Indiana, and her friend, Kris Bussick, both were called by God to open a home for single mothers. After asking God to help them, He began opening doors for their mission. They researched the needs of the Hamilton County area and found there was not a home to help single pregnant women in the county and the surrounding area. They talked to hospitals and crisis pregnancy centers and found there was a desperate need to house women in crisis pregnancy and especially women who are over 18 who already have other children.
In the summer of 2005 the doors of The O’Connor House opened and the mission began. Colleen and Kris decided to name the home after John Cardinal O’Connor, a defender of life in New York City. This home accommodated up to five women at a time. In 2011, The O’Connor House moved into a larger home which has room for...more
WaterStone is blessed to announce the rollout of the Association of Christian CPAs, Tax and Accounting Professionals (ACAP). ACAP was introduced to the world on WaterStone’s platform with an introductory webinar this past October. A number of Christian accounting professionals around the country saw the opportunity to create an organization in order to encourage, support and share best practices with each other from a biblical worldview, particularly involving the topic of charitable giving as a tax-reducing and kingdom-building instrument.
“We’re just not hearing enough about charitable solutions as a part of our professional services,” one of the founding members said. “People, even tax professionals, don’t know about the kinds of tax-smart solutions available to them, and we hope to use ACAP to bridge this information gap.”
These men and women are inviting Christian tax and accounting professionals to join them in spurring one another on into running their practices on the principles of biblical stewardship. “As individuals we must be stewards of all we have…...more
Before Israel embarked on a new journey into the desert, God gave his people a departure gift: the plunder of Egypt. God empowered the Israelites to take jewelry, gold, silver, and clothing from the Egyptians and carry it into the wilderness (Exodus 12:35-36).
Later, this plunder was used in two collections – a collection to build the tabernacle and a collection from which to fashion a gold calf. Let’s take a closer look at these two collections.
A Collection for the Tabernacle
The Lord gave Moses detailed instructions to build a portable place where he would dwell with his people again – the tabernacle. How were the Israelites supposed to create a finely-designed portable structure in the middle of the wilderness? Where would they find the right supplies? Because of God’s previous permission for Israel to take plunder from Egypt before the exile, the Israelites had enough gold, silver, and other materials to construct the tabernacle exactly as God instructed them. Even more, God filled workers with the specialized gifting of his Spirit to...more
Fathers in the Field is a Colorado-based nonprofit that exists to rekindle and establish the spirit of boys who have been abandoned by their fathers; mentoring them one-on-one in life skills through outdoor activities, and by sharing a Christian understanding of our Heavenly Father’s love and sacrifice for His children.
The Cycle of Destruction
God ordained the family structure to be the only fortress we have in this fallen world and that is why Satan has so cruelly attacked our families and distorted the roles God gave fathers as the Pastor, Provider and Protector of God’s children. Once the father is gone, abandoned boys too often are left to follow the path of darkness and carry the many deep and soulful wounds around for a lifetime, unless godly men stand up and step into a boy’s life and mentor him in the knowledge of their Heavenly Father’s love for them.
Children from fatherless homes account for:
The first national Association of Christian CPAs, Tax and Accounting Professionals is now launched. ACAP exists to help Christians:
We hope and pray that together we can add great value to our practices and to our clients through the insights gleaned from this professional organization.
In October, WaterStone hosted a webinar to introduce CPAs, tax and accounting professionals to ACAP's purpose and leadership committee.
Mark your calendar with the following year-end dates to keep in mind.
WaterStone's offices will be closed on the following business days to celebrate:
December 19: To ensure organizations receive resources by the end of the year, make 2016 grants from your WaterStone Giving Fund by December 19.
December 31: To receive tax deductions for the 2016 tax year, make contributions to your WaterStone Giving Fund on or before December 31.
Please send to: WaterStone | 10807 New Allegiance Dr., Suite 240 | Colorado Springs, CO 80921
Four burning issues may be on your clients’ minds this Giving Season. Even if your clients don’t mention these points, they may be thinking about them. If you don’t ask if these tax issues are of concern to them, who will?
1. WHY AM I PAYING SO MUCH IN INCOME TAXES?
Those with earned income who pay and complain about high income tax bills.
2. HOW CAN I GET A BETTER YIELD ON THE FIXED INCOME PORTION OF MY PORTFOLIO?
It’s challenging (if not impossible) to garner decent interest through fixed income. Historically, only low interest rates are available on fixed-income investments like CDs, money market, US treasury bonds, and corporate bonds.
Introduce charitable tools that provide regular lifetime income: CRT, CGA, and CPT.
Save Taxes AND Build the Kingdom
At WaterStone, we believe giving should be a thoughtful, intentional act that glorifies God. Intentional Giving is hard to accomplish when so many people scramble for their checkbooks on December 31 to secure those last-minute tax-deductions for the year.
We can help! Register for our Giving Season Webinar and learn from of our 35+ years of experience in tax-saving, Kingdom-building, generosity.
You will acquire the tools needed to navigate this Giving Season successfully. Better yet, these tools can be implemented immediately, saving you time in December!
What if there was a different way to approach education? An approach focused on fulfilling Christ’s commission to make disciples in every nation. An approach that allows students to learn where they live so they can continue to serve where they are. An approach that is affordable to ensure that all who are called can be equipped. An approach that provides practical training alongside the theological. An approach that cultivates students to be spiritual leaders around the globe. This is the vision of Grace School of Theology – a seminary to the world.
Established in 2002, Grace School of Theology is a private, non-denominational institution of higher learning with a global headquarters in Houston, Texas. By leveraging technology, Grace is able to train students throughout the United States and in more than twenty countries, impacting lives from Cuba to Pakistan. The need is great, evidenced by the 100% enrollment growth Grace experienced in the last year alone.
However, the goal is not numerical but eternal. The effort is...more
Dallas Baptist University, located in the rolling hills of southwestern Dallas, exists to provide Christ-centered quality higher education in the arts, sciences, and professional studies at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, to traditional age and adult students. The University’s goal is to produce servant leaders who have the ability to integrate faith and learning through their respective callings.
Dallas Baptist University was originally founded as Decatur Baptist College in 1898 and was the first two-year institution of higher education in Texas. After moving to Dallas in 1965, Dallas Baptist University has maintained its roots and its commitment to a Baptist heritage.
Today, Dallas Baptist University enrolls 5,156 Students in the following programs:
In addition to the wide array of academic programs available, Dallas Baptist University offers a...more
WaterStone partners with crisis pregnancy centers to support the cause of life by educating their donors about charitable giving strategies. The result? More resources for more ministry!
In early September, WaterStone was privileged to attend the Care Net National Conference in Orlando, Florida alongside our strategic partner, Joe Baker, Founder and CEO of Save the Storks. Care Net supports one of the largest networks of pregnancy centers in North America and hosts annual conferences to encourage and equip the centers’ senior staff members.
Vice Presidents of Generosity, Terry Cargill and Mark Ralfs, shared with conference attendees WaterStone’s value in providing customized giving strategies that benefit their donors and bless their crisis centers through multiplied giving impact, minimized taxes and the heightened joy of generosity. Mark commented,
Angel Reach is a Texas-based nonprofit that focuses on breaking the generational cycle of abuse, neglect, and homelessness in order to enhance the lives of current and former foster youth.
Sandra Carpenter and Debbie Zempel met in Conroe as parents of foster children. While navigating the system long term for their own children, both realized a pressing need arising for those children who aged out of foster care and had no place to go or resources with which to support themselves. They founded Angel Reach to provide a Transitional Living Program that would house these youth, provide educational and social services, and teach the living skills necessary to become independent adults. This initial need expanded into four groups of young people who are part of the Angel Reach umbrella of service programs. While Angel Reach houses some clients, the others live in different circumstances.
Angel Reach identified four vulnerable groups of people in their community and created programs to address the...more
WaterStone is pleased to announce that Joe Arioto has joined WaterStone as a key member of the Giving Strategies team.
Joe serves as WaterStone’s Vice President of Generosity where he connects givers, professional advisors and nonprofit organizations with the innovative giving strategies and expertise of WaterStone. Based out of Denver, Joe’s mission is to help release more financial resources to those charities, churches, ministries and nonprofits that are building the Kingdom.
Joe earned a B.A. in Business Administration at Point Loma Nazarene University and has entrepreneurial, business coaching and nonprofit experience. He most recently held an Advisor position at the marketing company, Peerless Analytics and prior served as Director of Operations of Promise Keepers.
Joe serves on a number of advisory and executive boards for Kingdom business initiatives including: ROTEK and Building a Kingdom Company.
Joe is married to his wife, Mandy, President and CEO of MOPS International. They reside in Denver with their three children.more
WaterStone is pleased to announce that Al Childs has joined WaterStone as a key member of the Giving Strategies team.
Al serves as WaterStone’s Vice President of Generosity where he connects givers, professional advisors and nonprofit organizations with the innovative giving strategies and expertise of WaterStone. Based in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Al’s mission is to help release more financial resources to those charities, churches, ministries and nonprofits that are building the Kingdom.
Al earned a B.B.A. in Finance at Baylor University and has four decades of experience in the wealth management and banking industries, most recently as Comerica Bank’s Senior Vice President and North Texas Regional Manager for Wealth Management.
Al is actively involved in his community having served as Treasurer and Chairman of the Board for the Dallas area Habitat for Humanity. Al also has served on the Advisory Board of Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business and is a deacon at his local church.
Al and his wife have two grown sons and four...more
WaterStone was blessed to convene the 2016 WaterStone Giving Academy in Colorado Springs, August 17-19. The WaterStone Giving Academy is our premier educational forum designed to educate and equip financial professionals and ministry and nonprofit leaders from around the country. Our goal is simple: To connect Christian givers, their advisors, and ministries to the innovative giving services and strategies that WaterStone can provide.
Over 50 professionals attended this August’s WaterStone Giving Academy, representing the entire span of the map of the United States. From California to Florida, New York to Georgia, the Lord gathered a community of men and women committed to honoring God by stewarding their client and donor relationships by championing intentional giving strategies to help build his Kingdom.
Mark Pehrson, Financial Advisor, Wells Fargo, stated,
The mission of Bibles For The World is to be a catalyst for individual and cultural change through Christ and the power of His Word.
Humble Beginnings: From Headhunters to Hearthunters
In 1910, when the Gospel first came to the Hmar tribe of India, one of the first converts was a young man by the name of Chawnga. As more and more of the tribal people became Christians, he saw the need for the Scriptures in their native language. Chawnga prayed that someday he would have a son who would learn to read and write so that he could translate the Bible into the Hmar language.
Chawnga went on to have a son named Rochunga. At age ten, knowing that God wanted him to go to school, Ro became the first boy from his village to make the trek through 96 miles of dangerous jungle to start school. He later continued his schooling in England and then completed his graduate work at Wheaton College in Chicago.
During his time in school, Ro worked hard on translating the Bible into his native language. Once complete, the precious manuscript...more
Studies show that in one generation, the number of occasional Bible readers fell by twenty percent—the equivalent of about 700 people per day. If this trend continues, by 2040 two-thirds of Americans will have no meaningful connection with the Bible.
The Institute for Bible Reading was formed to address this growing problem by challenging the old paradigms of what it means to read the Bible well and by giving people the resources they need to restore their relationship with God's Word.
The Institute for Bible Reading believes that the negative Bible trend can be reversed. They are reintroducing people to the Bible as a whole story, not as segmented text.
So far, their efforts have helped over 6,000,000 people experience the Bible in fresh new ways through programs like The Story and Community Bible Experience.
The Story is an abridged, chronological Bible that reads like a novel. There are no verse references, and...
WaterStone honors God by serving givers at the intersection of faith and finance with trusted, independent counsel and technical expertise. As a ministry dedicated to helping the faithful build the Kingdom, WaterStone comes alongside stewards of family wealth and helps nurture their heart for giving, multiply their giving impact, minimize taxes, and heighten their joy of generosity. Every day we trust in the Lord’s provision. We know that He connects us to givers, advisors, and charities as complementary parts of the one body of Christ. We are blessed to continuously add new members to the WaterStone giving community.
We are pleased to present our historical financial results through Fiscal Year 2016 (ending March 31, 2016):more
Bring a message of hope for mothers and their unborn to your town.
The inspirational drama, voiceless, will premiere in theaters across the country carrying a message in support of life on October 7, 2016. Voiceless is an exhortation for all of us in the Church to take a stand for God's truth about life and a call to action to support, serve, and minister to mothers in crisis.
Voiceless is a story of a former soldier who takes on a position as an outreach leader at an old church. He discovers an abortion clinic directly across the street and chooses to get involved despite resistance from the church’s pastor and several members. In doing so, he puts everything on the line, not only his job, but his freedom and marriage as well.
WaterStone is proud to share the pro-life message of voiceless. We hope you'll take a stand for life and help the cause by bringing this movie to your city. A theater chain will guarantee to screen voiceless in your town with a pre-purchase of 250...more
Philemon had lost a valuable commodity - a slave. Well, not lost exactly. The slave had run away, far away, to Rome. That’s the bad news. The good news is that in Rome the runaway slave, Onesimus, meets Paul and becomes a follower of the Way (not necessarily in that order).
Paul writes to Onesimus’ master, his old friend Philemon, the host of the local house church. Paul asks Philemon a favor. Let Onesimus go free! After all he’s a brother in Christ now. Paul goes on to say that if Onesimus owes you anything just put it on my bill. While you’re looking for my bill, I’ve got one here for you. You owe me (Paul) something too-- everything.
Philemon is being put to the test. Paul is asking him to demonstrate his faith through giving. Philemon must give up a valuable material possession, a slave worth a large amount of Roman gold. But that’s not all. Paul is also asking Philemon to give up his pride and his class consciousness by receiving Onesimus back into his house—as a freed man! Philemon would have to show the neighbors that his former slave, a runaway for that...more
“I didn’t know you could use corn and turn it into a gift to a charity.”
“Why didn’t my advisor tell me not to sell that asset prior to gifting part of it?!”
“I never knew that the income from my rental property could provide a recurring gift to my favorite faith-based charity!”
These are some of the questions and comments that provide the impetus for WaterStone to conduct Intentional Giving Workshops like the four we’ve organized this past spring in Austin, San Antonio, and the Dallas/Plano areas of Texas.
WaterStone’s Intentional Giving Workshops are designed for givers, advisors, and nonprofit leaders to learn how to multiply their giving impact for the Kingdom, minimize taxes, and heighten the joy of generosity. WaterStone provides trusted counsel on innovative giving strategies including gifting from complex assets (securities, real estate,...more
Teen Challenge of Colorado Springs (TCCS) is a featured WaterStone Kingdom Program. TCCS acts to provide youth, adults, and families with an effective and comprehensive Christian faith-based solution to life-controlling drug and alcohol problems in order to become productive members of society. By applying biblical principles, TCCS endeavors to help people become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted physically well, and spiritually alive.
More specifically, TCCS is a nonprofit Christian Academy being established to minister, disciple and educate boys ages 13-17 with behavioral issues. While the local facility is in the developmental stages, TCCS has available placement with other Teen Challenge facilities, but can immediately provide in-office crisis and intervention counseling, therapy services and recovery programs for both adults, teens and families.
TCCS’s approved program provides counseling, crisis intervention and therapy for people dealing with...more
Growthtrac Ministries is a Christian nonprofit media ministry that strengthens marriages by providing life-changing, Christ-centered resources through innovative online media. Growthtrac Ministries was birthed in 2000 when Jim and Sheri Mueller discovered that the engaged couples they mentored at Willow Creek Community Church needed resources to teach them how to build healthy marriages.
The institution of marriage has a profound ability to impact the very fabric of our society. When marriages fail, crime and poverty levels rise. Research indicates that when maritally-stressed couples seek assistance, they often turn to the Internet first. This is where Growthtrac Ministries excels.
Last year alone, Growthtrac impacted more than 600,000 couples through its strategic use of online media. Although Growthtrac’s outreach through web and radio has grown 20 percent annually since 2011, in 2015 they grew by 150 percent. Eighty percent of Growthtrac’s audience indicated that their resources are making a positive impact in their marriage, inspiring Growthtrac to set the...more
The Refuge for DMST (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking) has a very specific mission: To provide trauma-informed, long-term restoration shelter and services to girls 11-17 years old who have been exploited through sex trafficking.
Over 100,000 U.S.-born children are trafficked each year within our own borders for the purpose of being sold for sex. The average age a young girl is lured into the web of trafficking is 12. The harsh reality is that this happens to girls across all socio-economic, racial, educational and family backgrounds. The primary factor that makes a girl vulnerable to being trafficked is her age. Sex trafficking of children is a supply and demand phenomena, with the internet being the primary way to transact the purchase of a young child for sex.
The Refuge for DMST’s response is The Refuge Ranch, a facility which will provide long-term, holistic care in a pastoral and peaceful setting for girls ages 11-17...more
Surveys rarely reveal that tax advantages are the most important reason for giving. This is good. The most compelling reason for giving is to support the mission of a nonprofit about which you are passionate. At the same time, it is in your best interest to maximize the tax benefits of your gifts whenever possible.
You might be able to avoid paying capital gains tax and provide additional support to your nonprofit of choice simultaneously.
The Power of Non-Cash Gifts
Unfortunately, to make gifts you sometimes have to liquidate assets to provide the necessary cash on hand. These asset liquidations generate capital gains tax, reducing the amount of funds available for giving and directing these funds to Uncle Sam instead.
Non-cash gifts, “asset-based giving,” simply means making a gift with something of value which the Internal Revenue Service does not consider cash. Securities-based gifts, such as stocks and mutual funds, fit into the non-cash category, as do real estate, business interests, agricultural and oil & gas...more
“I will not give burnt offerings to the LORD that cost me nothing.” 2 Samuel 24:24
King David had a problem. He decided to trust in his own royal power and took a census of his eligible fighting men. God challenged David and forced him to recognize that his military head count was an act of distrust in the Lord’s power and protection. To his credit, David was convicted and confessed the error of his ways. But what was done could not be undone. God declared punishment on the people of Israel for David’s transgression in the form of a plague, killing 70,000. David’s repentance came with a charge: to purchase a plot of land on which he could offer the LORD a sacrifice and placate his wrath and end the plague.
David found the piece of land, a threshing floor in the city of Jebus (later Jerusalem). When he told the landowner, Araunah, what he needed the land for, Araunah offered to give David the threshing floor for free. David refused the offer. For David, his offering to the Lord had to come through sacrifice. David had to pay a price, a full price, in order to...more
“Let’s focus on the Third World here in America!” These words, spoken by Kent Hutcheson, inspired him 36 years ago to launch Colorado Uplift. Their mission is to focus on Denver’s inner-city youth with the goal of improving their academic performance and guiding them onto better career and life tracks.
Across America’s urban areas, public school students drop out at alarming rates. Too many of America’s high school students are underserved and as a result they are underperforming. A large majority of urban youth lack even one caring adult in their life.
Colorado Uplift operates from a “students-mentoring-students” approach. High school students learn leadership skills in the classroom from Uplift’s trained staff. The time spent together fosters personal relationships between staff and students, offering the students support on a relational level. Colorado Uplift is committed to providing year-round encouragement to their students through a variety of programs.
WaterStone is pleased to announce that Mark Ralfs has joined WaterStone as a key member of the Giving Strategies team and now serves as Vice President of Generosity. Based in St. Louis, Mark will lead our efforts to connect givers, professional advisors and nonprofit organizations with the innovative giving strategies and expertise of WaterStone.
Mark earned a M.S. in Mass Communications from Miami University and a B.S. in Broadcasting from the University of Florida. He has over three decades of experience in business, most recently as Vice President and Wealth Advisor for the BMO Private Bank. Mark has served his church, Calvary EFC, in many capacities including serving as Chairman of the Elder Board, facilitating a financial management curriculum, helping to spearhead the church’s legacy giving ministry, and leading various small groups. Mark has also served as past Chairman of the Board of Child Evangelism Fellowship of St. Louis.
As Vice President of Generosity for WaterStone, Mark’s mission is to serve givers at the intersection of faith and finance, helping...more
I had a great lunch last week with David Eaton, a young social entrepreneur in Colorado. I’ve known him for two years and I love the work he and his team are doing to help parents and their teenagers communicate about faith, media, and technology.
As a father of four I know that this is no easy task!
For example, have you ever heard of the phrase, “Netflix and chill?” To be direct, “Netflix and chill” is an euphemism for casual sex. Watching “Netflix” is the pretense under which a student would text a friend (or stranger) to come over … though they both know they have no intention of actually watching anything. Why does this matter? Even after a year of this phrase trending in popular media many Christian adults have no idea that the saying exists, and worse, they don’t know what it means. It’s hard to parent your kids when you are unaware of the challenges that they are facing.
The good news is that Axis exists to help parents become “bilingual.”
Every week they create an incredible resource called The Culture Translator. It’s a free email...more
WaterStone was blessed to convene the 2016 WaterStone Giving Academy in Santa Ana, California, February 9-10. The WaterStone Giving Academy is our premier educational forum designed to educate and equip financial professionals and ministry and nonprofit leaders from around the country. Our goal is simple: connect Christian givers, their advisors, and ministries to the innovative giving services and strategies that WaterStone offers.
Attendees delved deeply into the following topics:
The advisors and nonprofit leaders who convened, heard how they can uncover more resources to fuel more ministry projects that honor God by serving his people. The key takeaway was the tremendous opportunity to serve...more
WaterStone recently enhanced its Charity Advised Fund (CAF) program, making this fundraising solution for nonprofits more robust than ever.
When a nonprofit partners with WaterStone it’s a win, win, win: the nonprofit wins – with increased resources; donors win – by saving on taxes and multiplying their giving impact; and in the end, the Kingdom wins.
WaterStone empowers nonprofits by:
There are many worthy causes deserving of our time, talents and treasure. In fact, in the United States alone, there are over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations! At first glance, this fact can be overwhelming. A staggering 1.5 million charities and ministries depend on the gifts of others for their existence and the fulfillment of their mission! However, at WaterStone, we view this statistic as an opportunity to steward well the gifts, talents, and passions the Lord has placed in our hearts.
The Giver of all good things has entrusted unique desires into the hearts of each of His children. The purpose? To glorify Him through the message of His Good News. Examples of these unique desires are to see entrepreneurs succeed through business skills training, a concern to provide nutrient-dense meals to the elderly, or a longing to see orphans mentored.
WaterStone has made efforts to help you discover new organizations that match your personal beliefs and giving goals. The new...more
WaterStone is scheduling and planning multiple events for 2016 designed to encourage and equip givers, advisors and nonprofits with the information necessary to multiply givers’ impact for the Kingdom.
Select those events from the following list that are well suited to your giving goals, and make plans to attend! Visit our events page for the most current details and registration information.
Intentional Giving Workshops
WaterStone’s Intentional Giving Workshops are designed for givers, advisors and nonprofit leaders to learn how to multiply their giving impact for the Kingdom, minimize taxes and heighten the joy of generosity. WaterStone provides trusted counsel on innovative giving strategies on topics including gifting from complex assets (securities, real estate,...more
We all know that Zacchaeus was a wee little man on the outside, but how do we measure his heart after his encounter with Jesus? Jesus chose Zacchaeus, a tax collector, to host the Messiah’s entourage for a dinner. Zacchaeus had been the object of Jesus’ loving call and embrace. In response, Zacchaeus was transformed. His life as a cheat and scoundrel was dead. Jesus had given him a new heart and a new spirit. He was a Jew born anew.
The taxman wasn’t just changed on the inside; his walk would never be the same. Zacchaeus vowed to the Lord that if he had extorted more than the fair share of the tax bill, he would recompense the offended parties fourfold! The Gospels don’t tell us the rest of the story but just imagine Zacchaeus making the rounds of his tax district. As he knocked on the door of his constituents, the murmurs and curses from inside would be the same as he had always heard. But this time Zacchaeus had come not to collect Roman taxes, but to give back from his own purse. As news of this new campaign of restitution resounded across the villages, imagine the...more
Throughout the Bible, giving is an expression of faith. One account that illustrates this principle is King David's contribution to the construction of the Temple in Jerusalem. David had lived his whole life in service to the Lord and in expectation of the day when he would be able to build a permanent house for the Ark of the Covenant.
Bad News and Giving
When the time came for breaking ground, the Lord informed David that he was not worthy to lead the project. There was too much blood on David’s hands. David's son, Solomon, would be the one to build the temple in Jerusalem. How did David react to this bad news? We might expect him to be disappointed or even to question his faith. Instead, we see a positive reaction and giving plays a vital part.
David turns to the public assembly and tells them that he has been denied by God the privilege of building the temple. Nevertheless, he offers his full support to the project by giving his entire personal fortune - all his gold, silver and precious possessions. The leaders of Israel hear David’s...more
The cross-cultural, inspirational drama, “The Pastor,” will release in over 400 theaters across the nation on January 25, 2016. Depicting the story of a former gang leader’s spiritual transformation, the highly-anticipated event will be presented as a special one-night engagement by WolfGang Cinema in partnership with Fathom Events.
“The Pastor” is both a dramatic character study and an action parable that has audiences rooting for the underdog. Set in Brooklyn, N.Y., after a brutal knife attack in prison, a former gang leader ends up in solitary confinement, where he discovers his faith in God and finds his true purpose as a pastor after being released on parole. He seeks out the underprivileged youth of his predominantly Hispanic community so that they may find an alternative path to the dangerous gang lifestyle so rampant around them. As turf wars heat up between the two most prominent gangs, one gang leader targets the pastor’s new mission and community – the church is vandalized, his life is threatened and his estranged wife is kidnapped. Fighting his inner demons and...more
Jack Kim, Founder and Principal at KORE Investments, and a WaterStone giver, was recently interviewed by Jeff Haanen, the Executive Director at Denver Institute for Faith & Work. In this interview Jack and Jeff discuss Jack’s business model, philosophy of giving, and why we should tithe even if it means ordering off the dollar menu at McDonald’s.
Jeff Haanen: Let me ask you a few questions about the KORE Investments business model. Would you share your philosophy of how you do your business differently?
Jack Kim: When I first moved to Denver from Chicago, I saw the TOD sites, Transit-oriented Development. I kept hearing Transit-oriented Development stuff, and then I thought, well, I’m Kingdom-oriented, so I should call this “Kingdom-oriented Real Estate.”
What I’ve been really struggling with lately is the “stewardship” versus “ownership” distinction. It’s a critical distinction to make in my daily walk because we’re wired to think we own everything....more
If you are age 70 ½ and older and have an IRA, Congress has good news for you. On December 18, the Senate passed a bill, HR5771, which included a provision reauthorizing the IRA charitable rollover through December 31, 2014.
This provision allows donors age 70 ½ and older to transfer up to $100,000 from their IRA to a qualified public charity. This transfer can be made free of federal income tax and the gift qualifies for your 2015 required minimum distribution (RMD).
WaterStone can receive qualified IRA Rollovers into any of our Charity Advised Funds. However, the IRA charitable rollover may not be directed to a Giving Fund (Donor Advised Fund); it must go directly to a qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Since the December 31 deadline for 2015 contributions is nearly upon us, WaterStone invites you to consider a charitable rollover gift to WaterStone’s $1 Billion Impact Fund.
The charitable purpose of this fund is to build awareness and facilitate legacy mission planning within the Christian community especially in the areas of planned giving...more
The 2015 Giving Season is here and there are many worthy causes to contribute to! Building the Kingdom begins with intentional and intelligent giving. Following is a three-step checklist to help you maximize your holiday gifts:
1) Be specific: There are many worthy causes to support, meaning you can find an organization that is a wonderful match for your personal beliefs and goals. Visit WaterStone’s Kingdom Programs page and use our new search feature to find your favorite and new programs that match your charitable interests.
2) Leave the work to us: When considering a new nonprofit to support, it’s important to consider the organization’s:
accountability and transparency
When you choose to give to an organization listed...more
Many owners of agricultural commodities have a genuine interest in using these assets rather than cash or investments for their giving. They understand the tax savings as well as how this will satisfy their personal and charitable objectives to support their family, church and charities in significant ways. One question remains: how do these Kingdom-minded givers support their many favorite charities, ministries and nonprofits with their harvest gift?
The WaterStone Giving Fund is the answer for the receipt and sale of agricultural commodities like crops and livestock. A WaterStone Giving Fund also offers a number of significant advantages to meeting charitable giving objectives.
1) Stream-lined: consolidate all giving in one fund
2) Simplify: 24/7 online access for distribution requests
3) Flexible: make distributions to favorite charities...more
'Tis the Giving Season! As you consider your year-end giving, keep these deadlines in mind to ensure you reap this year’s tax benefits.
December 18: To ensure organizations receive resources by the end of the year, make 2015 grants from your WaterStone Giving Fund by December 18.
December 31: To receive your tax deduction for tax year 2015, make contributions to your WaterStone Giving Fund on or before December 31.
Please send to: WaterStone | 10807 New Allegiance Dr., Suite 240 | Colorado Springs, CO 80921
Fathers in the Field, located in Loveland, Colorado, is a ministry devoted to establishing and rekindling the spirit of boys who have been abandoned by their fathers. The Heavenly Father’s love and sacrifice for His children is shared through one-on-one mentorships that teach life skills using outdoor activities.
Courtney Stewart’s life has been anything but easy. Yet nothing prepared her for the difficulty of being a single mother. For married parents, they share the burden of making tough decisions for their family. For single mothers, they bear the weight of those tough calls alone and recognize the need of a fatherly figure in a young boy’s life.
Prior to entering Fathers in the Field, Courtney’s son, Christopher, had never had an example of what it meant to be a man. This lack of interaction with men created trust issues for both Christopher and Courtney. While he struggled to trust men in honoring their promises, she struggled with letting him go places with other people, especially strangers.
Asian Hope began in 1999 as a small orphanage serving 30 children in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In order to provide these children the same opportunities that you and I would give our own kids, Asian Hope opened private schools and became a leading education provider in the country.
Ten years later the Cambodian school system was still in shambles, but the orphan crisis had shifted. UNICEF reported that 80% of the children in orphanages were in fact not orphans or abandoned. Their parents had made the devastating decision to put them in orphanages in the hope of getting an education and a new future.
Asian Hope protects, educates and empowers Cambodia’s most vulnerable children in their own communities and in their own families. Community based Catch-up Schools are the best way to deliver the Gospel and vital tools for a hopeful future while having open access to families, local churches, community leaders, and public schools.
Asian Hope is changing the lives of vulnerable, overlooked children by overcoming the system of exploitation that traps them in poverty...more
To entertain a group of committed professionals living out their faith through their work is a powerful reminder of the Spirit’s work in our lives. At the WaterStone Giving Academy, we share technical insights, but somehow softly wrap the charts and numbers in a folio of biblical wisdom, fellowship, and prayer.
Following is a taste of what a few of our attendees are saying about the WaterStone Giving Academy.
• I’m encouraged by the people here at the Giving Academy who are working with a Godly spirit.
• I appreciate the talent and social engineering. God is using these advisors, with the help of WaterStone, to advance His Kingdom and achieve joy in giving for a biblical donor.
• Godly leaders are an inspiration for other people.
• Ministries can rely on WaterStone as a partner for the furthering of their ministry work.
• The Giving Academy needs to continue to keep a blend of ministries and advisor attendees.
• If there’s a way, Mulder can solve it!
• It is a blessing to meet and commune with believers in...more
WaterStone is pleased to announce that Terry Cargill has joined WaterStone as a key member of the Giving Strategies team. Based in the Woodlands, Texas, Terry will lead our efforts to connect givers, professional advisors and nonprofit organizations with the innovative giving strategies and expertise of WaterStone.
A graduate of Baylor University, Terry has over 30 years’ experience in banking, most recently as Managing Director for J.P. Morgan Chase. Terry’s financial expertise and leadership experience equip him to be an exemplary Ambassador for WaterStone to help build and strengthen The Woodlands community of giving. As ambassador for WaterStone, Terry’s mission is to serve givers at the intersection of faith and finance by helping them unlock their giving potential and release more financial resources to the Kingdom through those churches, ministries and nonprofits that do the Lord’s work.
WaterStone CEO Steve Leach, who resides in Austin, Texas and once lived in The Woodlands, remarked,
WaterStone was blessed to convene the 2015 WaterStone Giving Academy in Colorado Springs August 19-21. The WaterStone Giving Academy is our premier educational forum designed to educate and equip financial professionals and ministry and nonprofit leaders from around the country. Our goal is simple. To connect Christian givers, their advisors, and ministries to the innovative giving services and strategies that WaterStone can provide.
Over 60 professionals attended this August’s program. Representing the entire span of the map of the United States. From California to Florida, Minnesota to Louisiana, the Lord gathered a community of men and women committed to honoring God by stewarding their client and donor relationships by championing intentional giving strategies to help build his kingdom.
On Wednesday, August 19, ministries and nonprofit leaders convened to hear how they can uncover more resources to fuel more ministry projects that honor God by serving his people. The key take away for ministry leaders was the tremendous opportunity they have to serve their donors...more
WaterStone is pleased to announce the appointment of Stacy Westover to the position of Senior Gift Strategist. Stacy’s mission is to apply her expertise on giving with trusted counsel and serve givers at the intersection of faith and finance.
Stacy has been an estate planning attorney in Colorado, having earned her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and her B.A. from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in psychology.
Working alongside WaterStone President, John C. Mulder, Stacy brings legal expertise that can help frame the innovative giving strategies WaterStone provides to givers.
As WaterStone strives to honor God through the transformational power of giving, Stacy will play a vital role in equipping givers, finance, and ministry professionals with the advice and tools to transform assets into living water, water that fuels the building of the Kingdom.more
WaterStone honors God by serving givers at the intersection of faith and finance with trusted, independent counsel and technical expertise. As a ministry dedicated to helping the faithful build the Kingdom, WaterStone comes alongside stewards of family wealth and helps nurture their heart for giving, multiply their giving impact, minimize taxes, and heighten their joy of generosity. Every day we trust in the Lord’s provision. We know that He connects us to givers, advisors, and charities as complementary parts of the one body of Christ. We are blessed to continuously add new members to the WaterStone giving community.
We are pleased and humbled to present our financial results for Fiscal Year 2015 ending March 31, 2015:more
Hands of the Carpenter (Hands) is a faith-based nonprofit community in Colorado that uniquely serves single mothers and widows in need by addressing the often overlooked issue of transportation. Hands provides automobile repair and maintenance in an effort to relieve the enormous financial burden and related distress that automobile repair puts on this population and their opportunity for economic self-sufficiency.
Watch Hands of the Carpenter’s two minute video:more
Will Stevens, WaterStone’s Director of Giving Strategies, recently penned an article for BEST Stewardship Illustrated, a publication of the National Center for Stewardship and Generosity. Will’s topic of discussion was walking closer to God through stewardship. Will shared how stewardship may look like a management function, but at its core is rooted in relationship with God.
We hope you enjoy reading this article and trust Will’s insight through the first stewardship mandate in Genesis will help you take a fresh look at stewardship and equip you to personally carry out this directive.more
Giving express faith that God can and does provide for his people superabundantly. The faithful trust that God can supply all our needs even when they are engaged in the sacrificial act of giving away their resources.
When Noah and his family of eight emerge from the ark, they have the meat they had carried with them to survive. How odd that the first thing Noah does is to build an altar and offer thanksgiving by sacrificing those very same clean animals on it! Noah knew that by giving those clean animals to the Lord, he was expressing his faith in Yahweh and his trust that Yahweh could and would provide for them despite the seeming shortage of supplies. Noah’s altar stands as testimony to giving as an act of thanksgiving reflecting a trust that the Lord will provide for his people.
APPLICATION FOR TODAY:
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” – 1 John 3:17
“You shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother.” - Deut 15:17
As we sit back in material comfort, the Spirit reminds us that all we have – home, car, televisions, phones – come from God. How we steward the material wealth the Lord has entrusted to us is a test of our faith. One biblical truth is that when we give, we are expressing the love of God in us.
After all “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son…” If God shows his love for us by making the ultimate gift, how can we imitate Him? One way is to give what we have, even what we hold dear, what we treasure, and give it away. When we give, we demonstrate our love of God by loving our neighbor.
Scripture is clear, in both the Old and the New Testaments, that a spirit of generosity is one sign of faith and trust in the Lord. When we give to the work of the Lord through church, charity...more
We may be tempted to think of giving as being all about the recipient. After all, the money a ministry collects does much good. It aids the work of the ministry, helps promote the gospel, and delivers aid to those in real need. What we may overlook is that the Bible teaches us that giving also is of benefit to the giver. When Paul made an appeal for funds he told the Philippians: “Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account” (Phil 4:17). Paul is telling us that the giver himself is blessed by his act of generosity, since he earns credits to his account in heaven (not credits toward salvation, but credits toward the degree of rewards believers receive in the afterlife).
JESUS AND GIVING
In the Gospels (Mark 10:16-18, Luke 18:17-19, Matt 19:15-17), Jesus offered the Rich Young Ruler a chance to be blessed by giving away his wealth, which Jesus saw as an impediment to his repentance and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Giving is a response to an invitation from the Lord to participate in...more
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” – Acts 20:35
Often when we consider the fruits of our giving we focus on the immediate impact of the dollars. For example, when we give to a ministry providing Bibles to the unchurched peoples of Scotland, we conclude the impact of our gift was on those individual Scots who actually received the Bibles. But the impact of our giving extends far beyond what the money we send can buy or provide. When Jesus declared that it was more blessed to give than to receive he was alluding to a wider blessing.
APPLICATION FOR TODAY:
From 1930 until his death in 1963, C.S. Lewis lived and worked at his home in Oxford, known as “The Kilns.” The C.S. Lewis Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the author. Today, his home remains a Christian study center and a destination for tours, seminars, and a host site for Scholars-in-Residence programs.
Through a WaterStone Giving Fund, givers were able to contribute to the restoration of The Kilns which has allowed the C.S. Lewis Foundation to hold summer seminars where attendees explore Lewis’ writings and his journey of faith.
WaterStone’s passion is to help givers like you transform assets into living water, water that nourishes the life of the ministries you choose to support. Let WaterStone help you support the ministries you’re passionate about by helping you give more efficiently.more
Naaman, commander of the Syrian army, had a problem. He was a leper. All his power and triumphs on the battlefield could not cleanse him of this blot on his person. One day his household servant, a Jewish girl taken captive in war, suggested that Naaman go to Israel to see a man of God there who could cure him.
Naaman and his military entourage, loaded with a pile of treasure to pay for a miracle cure, traveled to Israel. They pulled up to the prophet Elisha’s door and requested a meeting. Without even opening the door, Elisha relayed instructions for Naaman to go to the River Jordan and dip in it seven times. Go dunk in a dirty river? Naaman thought the prophet would be like his own pagan quack and come out, wave a magic wand, say a few chants, collect some money and send Naaman on his way. Naaman was appalled by Elisha’s instruction, but his entourage reasoned with him. What’s so hard about plunging into the Jordan a few times?
Naaman goes ahead, dips in the Jordan River seven times and is healed by the power of Yahweh, the LORD. Even more miraculous,...more
One day the wicked king Ahab gazed out at his neighbor’s land. This fellow Naboth had a fine vineyard that was the envy of the king. Ahab decided he had to have that vineyard. He paid a visit to Naboth and offered him a fair price or another piece of land, whichever Naboth preferred. Naboth told Ahab: “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers” (1 Kings 21:3).
Ahab went home and sulked and his wife, the queen of all evil, Jezebel, confronted him. When Ahab told her how disappointed he was not to have Naboth’s vineyard, Jezebel took matters into her own hands. She paid off witnesses, concocted some trumped up charges against Naboth and had him executed by stoning.
Covenant Obedience and Our Wealth
It is easy to recognize the evil of Ahab and Jezebel. But what do we make of Naboth? What drove him to resist the authority of the king? Why not give the king what he wanted?
Naboth was a man of faith, and he refused to compromise his covenant obligations to his God. Naboth’s covenant position was that of a...more
A Family Legacy Fund is designed to accomplish both short and long-term family giving objectives. Through a WaterStone Family Legacy Fund, a family gains the flexibility of a public foundation with the structure and control associated with private foundations. It is an excellent alternative for a family who has significant assets earmarked for churches, ministries, and charities – every type of nonprofit doing the Lord’s work.
Favorable Tax Treatment
A Family Legacy Fund provides superior tax benefits.
Through WaterStone, a Family Legacy Fund costs...
Throughout the Bible, giving is an expression of faith. One account that illustrates this principle is King David’s contribution to the construction of the Temple in Jerusalem. David had lived his whole life in service to the Lord and in expectation of the day when he would be able to build a permanent house for the Ark of the Covenant.
Bad News and Giving
When the time came for breaking ground, the Lord informed David that he was not worthy to lead the project. There was too much blood on David’s hands. David’s son, Solomon, would be the one to build the Temple in Jerusalem. How did David react to this bad news? We might expect him to be disappointed or to question his faith. Instead, we see a positive reaction and giving plays a vital part.
David turns to the public assembly and tells them that he has been denied the privilege of building the temple. He offers his full support to the project by giving his entire personal fortune –all his gold, silver and precious possessions. The leaders of Israel hear David’s pledge and respond in...more
WaterStone kicked off the new year in Phoenix, Arizona, where 26 advisors, CPAs, estate planners, attorneys and ministry leaders gathered for the WaterStone Winter 2015 Giving Academy. The Academy’s purpose was to honor God by continuing to build a community of giving in the Phoenix area. By sharing successful case studies featuring the tax, financial, and spiritual benefits of intentional giving, Academy attendees encouraged one another and modeled the Biblical idea that we are called to be good stewards of our client relationships.
Topics such as “Why Give?,” “Gifts of Appreciated Commercial Real Estate with a Variable Income Solution,” “Giving Engine: Fuel Your Client’s Giving,” and group exercises helped attendees acquire expertise in new giving services and build upon best practices.
Our time together was a blessing, serving as a reminder of our mission to come alongside givers to implement the strategies which drive intentional giving, while sharing in the joy of generosity.
Join us in August for our 2015 WaterStone Giving Academy in Colorado...more
Last April I returned to my Alma Mater, Texas A&M, to participate in an entrepreneurial-driven event, Shark Tank, based on the hit TV show. I enthusiastically served on a panel of judges as young Aggie entrepreneurs pitched their business model ideas to a host of businessmen in the audience.
Among the participants I met was a young entrepreneur, Brian Lamb, who stood out from the for-profit crowd for founding a non-profit ministry named Replenish. Hinged on its “buy one, give one” model, Replenish provides clean water for children in developing countries by donating a purification water device for every case of bottled water sold. As we visited, Brian and I discovered that Replenish and WaterStone are both built upon the foundational scripture: “He who believes in me, as the scriptures have said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).
In addition to educating buyers about the global water crisis, Replenish has implemented clean water initiatives in 16 countries. Their current focus is in Kenya where they are nurturing relationships...more
“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; unto God the things that are God’s”
Tax season is once again upon us. With your annual tax bill looming, are you resigned to simply putting your head in the sand, sending a check to Washington D.C., and forgetting all about it until next year? Or are you committed to doing something now? Are you serious about reducing your 2015 tax burden?
What if you learned of a way to reduce your 2015 taxes, take those same government-bound dollars and use them to make an impact on people’s lives on your own terms. Here’s the gift to give yourself this tax season: the gift of intentional giving. What is intentional giving? It’s a commitment to approach your giving with business-like precision, fueled by a desire to be a good and faithful steward of all that God has given you.
Here are four components to intentional giving:more
February 14 is best known for giving flowers and chocolate, sending sweet notes, and dining with those we love. Most of us participate willingly, but have questioned if Valentine’s Day is more about lining the pockets of the chocolate and flower industries rather than expressing love from our hearts. The past few years, it seems as though cupid’s arrow is aimed at a new target as Valentine’s Day slips into the shadows and Generosity Day steps onto the stage.
In 2011, Sasha Dichter of the Acumen Fund, brushed off a man asking for money on the subway. The next day, Dichter, convinced he made a mistake by denying the man, decided to embark on a personal 30-day Generosity Experiment and record his experiences on his highly read blog.
His experiment caught the interest of his readers so much so that three days before Valentine’s Day, Dichter declared February 14 as Generosity Day; a day to cultivate the practice of generosity, share love with everyone, and reclaim the over-commercialized Valentine’s Day holiday. With that, a new movement began with the simple goal of...more
Save the Storks is a ministry dedicated to the cause of life by caring for pregnant women. Their mission is to empower every abortion-minded mother to choose life and to share with her the good news of Jesus.
When Heather and I were married we were unable to have kids of our own, but we knew God had brought us together to be a family. As we prayed and meditated on what God would have for us, I went to preach a revival in New Mexico. I quickly grew to love the pastor, his wife and the church family as I shared our search for God’s direction in our lives. The church took up our cause and made our family a focus of their prayer life. Three months later Heather was pregnant. As quickly as we learned of the pregnancy, we lost that baby. As we sat in our home church that Sunday, the pastor called attention to our loss and while we wept along with many in the congregation, he told the church that God was going to give us a family. Many women who had lost babies came over and gave Heather hugs, love and counsel. It was a...more
Yesterday, we discussed the fact that Simeon recognized baby Jesus as the promised salvation, the Messiah. Today we will address how Simeon recognized Jesus and highlight four of six key lessons about faith in Christ that we can practice today: matters of character, theology, anointing, proclamation and prophecy.more
The birth of Christ, the Messiah, was no historical surprise. The inspired writers of the Old Testament scriptures had pointed to God’s breaking in on the world and, through an Anointed One, a Messiah, a Christ, deliver his people from their enemies, as well as establish a divine kingdom in which justice and righteousness would reign. But when Jesus was born, who knew? He was recognized by only a few and, over time, in fact was rejected and despised.
So it was at his birth and so it was in his life; so it is today. Christ is either unrecognized for who he is, the Messiah, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, or hated, mocked, rejected and despised.
So who did recognize Christ and how can we know Him today?
Let’s talk about a man who recognized Christ as the one promised in the Scriptures, Simeon. He is talked about in Luke 2:25-35. After Joseph and Mary had heard the news delivered by angels about the first coming of Christ, they still had to proceed as all new parents. There was the birth and then the care for the newborn child. One can imagine the couple...more
December 6 is the church feast day of Nicholas, third-century bishop of Myra. He is the historical model for today’s Santa Claus. While Santa is a commercial creation, Nicholas is a real role model for today.The real historical Nicholas embodied a combination of generosity and faith lived out in works.more
Casa Hogar Alegre is a children’s orphanage located in the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México. The dedicated staff provides a loving home for babies, children and teenagers who have been victims of abandonment, physical or psychological abuse. The children receive food, education, clothing, medical care, technological training; and most of all, they receive love. Casa Hogar Allegre also provides a strong Christ-centered focus and Biblical teaching, which is woven into their everyday living and educational programs.
In Mexico, abandoned and homeless children are often placed in government institutions. Social workers try to locate and reunite families, but even with their resources it sometimes takes years. The Mexican government agencies work together with Casa Hogar Alegre to provide a loving home for these precious children. Some may live in the home until they are of age to support themselves.
Although the government places children at Casa Hogar Alegre, the orphanage does not receive any financial help from the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez or State of Chiapas....more
Steve Leach, WaterStone’s CEO and a member of C12 Group, was recently interviewed for the Colorado Springs Business Journal. The catalyst for the interview was WaterStone’s superlative results for fiscal year 2014, which ended March 31, 2014.
Since Steve took the reins of WaterStone in 2012, the Christian foundation, whose mission is to serve givers, their advisors, and charities through innovative giving solutions, has enjoyed spectacular success. Steve credits C12 for providing a valuable forum through which he could develop leadership ideas, share best practices, and glean trusted advice from a Christian group committed to serving the Lord by supporting one another.
WaterStone’s recent results are just another step on a journey which is fueled by a combination of business principles, faith, and bold leadership. Steve’s vision is to equip, educate and inspire givers to make a one billion dollar impact on the Kingdom...more
Peter and Vivian Jenkins are a Zimbabwean–born couple who have spent the last thirty years serving the Lord in their own native land, and in neighbouring Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Married in 1976, at Victoria Falls, on the banks of the Zambezi River, Peter worked for five years in the mining industry as an extractive metallurgist, while Vivian has always been a passionate junior school teacher. In 1980 they took time out to spend two years at Christ for the Nations in Dallas, Texas, before returning to Zimbabwe in 1982.
Leaving the mining industry behind, Peter started working as an assistant pastor in a local church in Gweru, Zimbabwe. Vivian returned to teaching and was the major breadwinner, which says a lot as teachers were notoriously badly paid in those days! Zimbabwe had only just come into existence, following the civil war that saw the end of white-ruled Rhodesia. In those unsettled times there were huge needs – and opportunities – in Zimbabwe.
With Vivian’s passion for education, one of the first projects the Lord opened up was the...more
Ebola continues to dominate the headlines and stir unease across the globe. WaterStone is privileged to be in a position to offer tangible help to those who are in harm’s way of this epidemic. It’s a humanitarian effort through the Live Life Liberia Fund.
We sent out a call for your support three weeks ago and we are pleased to report that we have received over $6,850. We are over one-third of the way to reaching our $18,000 goal. One hundred percent of these monies are going into direct action, supplying the people in Liberia with:
We thank you and ask for your continued prayers for all those at risk from Ebola and those who are fighting the battle against it. I invite you also...more
The month of August saw the first WaterStone Giving Academy come and go. In the words of Will Stevens, WaterStone’s Director of Giving Strategies, “What a blessing!”
During this three day event, WaterStone entertained a group of committed professionals consisting of financial and investment advisors, CPAs and attorneys. Advanced giving strategies were shared enabling advisors to fulfill their calling to help others build the Kingdom by providing technical giving solutions to their clients and deepening client relationships while attracting new ones.
Technical insights were shared, but somehow the charts and numbers were softly wrapped in a folio of biblical wisdom, fellowship, and prayer.
Here’s what one attendee had to say about WaterStone’s first Giving Academy:
“What a great time of inspiration, practical ideas and help as we seek to serve the charitable giving needs of our clients. Getting to know, in depth, the leaders of WaterStone was huge for me. Business minded guys with a ‘get it done’ type attitude. It was 3 days well spent! Thank you...more
Consider Noah. When Noah and his family disembarked from the ark, Noah built an altar (the first altar mentioned in the Bible) and made burnt offerings upon it. Noah’s first act was to offer gifts to the Lord.
How had Noah come to this position? Genesis 6 tells us that the Lord was angry at the wickedness which had infested the world and he vowed to blot out man from the earth. But God chose one man to be saved from destruction. God did not scour the globe seeking a man worthy of salvation; there was none. Noah did nothing to earn his place as contractor and captain of the ark. Noah was selected simply because he “found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen 6:8). Only after Noah had found favor with God was he called a righteous man (Gen 6:9).
Noah faithfully executed his assignment constructing the ark, and in the meantime served as the Lord’s prophet, proclaiming God’s word of judgment on the earth (see 2 Peter 2:5 as Noah is called a “herald of righteousness”).
Noah’s act of giving to the Lord, this sacrifice, had three essential meanings.
In light of the current distress in the Ukraine, stories are emerging of God’s faithfulness to bless and provide for His people.
David, founder of Steiger, a worldwide mission organization, was moved to invest in young people from the Ukraine and other parts of the Russian-speaking world. He recognized that these “revolutionary times” are good for the gospel and he understood the importance of sending young, equipped and passionate missionaries, evangelists and disciplers into Russian speaking areas.
With this mission in mind, Steiger recruited 20 students from the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia to attend the Steiger Missions School (SMS). Among these 20 students are members of a popular band from Belarus called Nuteki. Nuteki enrolled into the SMS to participate in the “Platform” program, a program designed to equip Christian artists and musicians to use their God-given ability to proclaim the gospel outside of the church.
One obstacle stood in the way. The SMS typically provides 90% of Russian-world students’ scholarships. The increase in the number of...more
At the beginning of the summer we posted Kate Gallaher’s story and her parents’ establishment of a scholarship in her memory. Since then, Kate’s organs were successfully donated to save three lives. Colorado Springs newspaper, the Gazette interviewed Kate’s parents, Mark and Gail:
Kate Gallagher was a graduate of Air Academy High School, engaged to be married and studying early childhood development at Pikes Peak Community College. She had a special way with children, who seemed magically drawn to her – the one grownup in the room who, kids could tell, would be game for whatever.
Kate would drop to the floor to play with them, despite the constant pain in her abdomen and the swelling in her legs. Complaining was never her way. In 2005, when she was a high school senior, Kate was diagnosed with a liver disease called Budd-Chiari syndrome. Clogs in the hepatic veins had irreparably damaged her liver, and in 2009, she was placed on the liver transplant list at University of...more
The theme of this year’s National Day of Prayer is “One Voice United in Prayer” featuring Romans 15:6 as its key verse:
“So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The night Jesus was betrayed and arrested he prayed not only for his disciples but for all believers. His prayer expressed a desire for unity among those who would choose to believe in him “so that the world will know that you [God] sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me,” John 17:23 (brackets added). Part of our calling is to live united with fellow believers so that the world will see living examples of God’s love. One ministry in particular is steadily influencing believers to make this calling a reality.
Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) gathers people of all ages, races and cultures in 38 countries on six continents to dive deeper into God’s Word. They believe that through studying the Bible people will have a better understanding of God, His Word and His love. Through a stronger relationship with God, participants discover how...more
In May of 2013, having surpassed $500M of lifetime contributions in 2012, WaterStone’s board set off on a bold objective to catalyze $1 Billion of new generosity. Our goal is to advance the Kingdom through the power of transformational giving by serving givers at the intersection of faith and finance. We asked a few friends of WaterStone to join us in this $1 Billion initiative to sow into the generosity of others and we were blessed as they joined us for a greater impact.
We are pleased and humbled to present our financial results for Fiscal Year 2014 ending March 31, 2014:more
Randy Alcorn’s Eternal Perspectives magazine is always thought provoking. The Fall/Winter Issue 2012 was no different. Some fantastic quotes appeared on a page focused on thanksgiving. Two stood out to me as I prepare for Thanksgiving Day.
“A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.” – Henry Ward Beecher
“Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.” – A.W. Tozer
The Beecher quote convicted me and exposed my “entitlement mentality”. My lack of thanksgiving on a daily basis surely reveals a heart that is proud and focused on getting rather than giving. A key to being thankful is to humble myself. I Chronicles 29:11-12 (TLB) states: “Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord… riches and honor come from you alone… and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength.” I am entitled to nothing. Everything I have is a gift and reveals God’s grace.
The Tozer quote inspired me. God...more
Recently, Gayle Perkins and I met with Mark and Gail Gallagher and heard their journey through the emotions and difficult decisions after losing their daughter. Many survivors find comfort in keeping their loved one’s memory alive by honoring that person’s life and interests. This is true for Mark and Gail in the case of their daughter, Kate.
Kate was 26 years old and engaged to be married when she passed away after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. She was a 2005 graduate of Air Academy High School and attended Pikes Peak Community College where she studied Early Childhood Development. Her love for young children was evident in her professional and volunteer work at YMCA, summer camps and Mothers of Pre-Schoolers programs.
Kate faced each day with a smile as she bravely fought liver disease for seven years while also dealing with the challenge of her learning disabilities. Despite these trials, she didn’t complain even though her pain level required daily medication. Kate’s quick wit brought joy to her family and friends. She loved people and her joy and compassion in...more
Every year, I find myself returning to a familiar source to reawaken the reality of what Jesus did on Good Friday. The source is Max Lucado’s No Wonder They Call Him the Savior,and this year I offer to you a selection from the chapter titled “It Is Finished.”
“Stop and listen. Can you imagine the cry from the cross? The sky is dark. The other two victims are moaning. The jeering mouths are silent. Perhaps there is thunder. Perhaps there is silence. Then Jesus draws in a deep breath, pushes his feet down on that Roman nail, and cries, “It is finished!”
What was finished?
The history-long plan of redeeming man was finished. The message of God to man was finished. The works done by Jesus as a man on earth were finished. The task of selecting and training ambassadors was finished. The job was finished. The song had been sung. The blood had been poured. The sacrifice had been made. The sting of death had been removed. It was over.
A cry of defeat? Hardly. Had his hands not been fastened down I dare say that a triumphant fist would have punched the dark sky....more
The inspiration for our newest blog series, A Willing Heart, is to inform a correct understanding of biblical giving. If we read most of the current popular Christian literature on giving, we have to ask a basic question: Is it true that giving always revolves around money? When the primary lesson we draw from the Bible about giving is focused on its financial aspect, we miss the complete biblical model. The Bible teaches us far more about giving than how to make financial contributions. Giving carries layers of meaning beyond the scope of economics.more
A wonderful model for what biblical giving looks like is found in the person of Boaz. In the book of Ruth, Boaz is a man of valor and respected as a prominent citizen of Bethlehem. When Ruth, a foreigner and a widow in need, goes to glean in the fields of Bethlehem, she happens upon the piece of land belonging to Boaz, who, it turns out, is a near relative to Ruth’s widowed mother-in-law, Naomi. The foreman of Boaz’s fields allows Ruth to glean and gather grain, in accord with the Law which required farmers to leave the edges of their fields unharvested so the poor, the needy and sojourners could scoop up the scraps and feed themselves.
When Boaz appears in the fields, he distinguishes himself as a man of God in his words and in his deeds. The most prominent feature of his godly character is revealed in his giving. Boaz’s spirit of generosity exceeds the formal requirements of the Law. Boaz gives Ruth more than immediate material relief. Boaz’s generosity, revealing a willing heart and spirit, is manifested in three ways: through his provision, his protection, and his...more
By John Mulder
How does one lead like Jesus? As a Kenya Hope board member, I recently helped teach 25 Kenyan men and women this very thing. Kenya Hope is an organization that helps meet the spiritual, physical and mental needs of children and their families through Hope Centers built in Kenyan villages. We requested leaders from each of the five Hope Centers to attend a two and a half day conference to discuss how to lead like Jesus with your heart, your head and your hands. We also covered John Maxwell’s 21 Laws of Leadership.
Servant Leadership Strengthens Relationships
This conference was the first time that all of the centers had gathered in one place and the synergy of the group was exciting to see. At the end of the conference, we held a foot-washing ceremony to exemplify Jesus’ heart to attend to the needs of others. This proved impactful for the group to witness, countering their cultural mentality that if you are educated then you have earned the right to be served. In fact, after everyone’s feet had been washed, one man stepped up and said he would wash mine! What an honor...more
By Will Stevens
WaterStone has been pleased and humbled by Charity Navigator’s “four star designation” of WaterStone in its annual review of charities, which is the highest award level.Charity Navigator’s four star rating highlights excellence in two broad areas of a charity’s performance: financial health and accountability/transparency. Charity Navigator ratings give givers a snapshot of how efficiently a charity will make use of their donations, how effectively it has sustained its programs and services over time, and their level of commitment to good governance, best practices and openness. Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator has become the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities.
Charity Navigator recently discontinued their review and rating of public foundations like WaterStone, who are primarily dedicated to the arena of donor advised funds.
When you visit WaterStone at Charity Navigator, you will find WaterStone listed as “not rated”....more
By Cheryl Dutton
The WaterStone teams are changing their titles, but not their promise of dedicated service to our community of generosity and giving.
As a ministry committed to helping families, their advisors and charities through innovative giving solutions, WaterStone is changing the name of its chief giving vehicle, the Donor Advised Fund, to the WaterStone Giving Fund.
With the new look to our Giving Fund, we are also renaming the teams that represent WaterStone to our giving community. Our Client Services area is now WaterStone Giving Services. Those professionals who provide our clients with trusted counsel and technical expertise on giving and those who support them through marketing and educational tools are now collectively the Giving Strategies Group. The names WaterStone Giving Fund, Giving Services, and Giving Strategies, better describe the broad range of services by which we create value for our partners, givers, advisors and charities.
“WaterStone is honored to come alongside givers and...more