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Transfer the Blessings

Do you have a will or a living trust? Have you named a legal guardian for your children? Who will act in your place if you ever become mentally incapacitated? How will the blessings that God has entrusted to you be distributed after you go to heaven? While nobody wants to think about death or incapacity, creating a plan to address these questions is an essential step you must take to protect yourself, your property, and your loved ones.

What is Saint John’s Transfer the Blessings Ministry?

Our Transfer the Blessings ministry is committed to providing our members the support and comprehensive expertise they need so they can wisely plan how they transfer their blessings to their families and the ministries they love through a Lifetime Plan for Giving. The wise transfer and stewardship of these blessings to family and ministries can have an impact today, tomorrow and forever. Our faith in Jesus gives us a certainty in eternity. With the help of Transfer the Blessings, we can be just as certain about the way we affect the future for our loved ones! Proper planning can also spare your loved ones of the expense, delay and frustration associated with managing your affairs when you pass away or become disabled.

Meeting with Jason Jones

Jason Jones is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s.

Jason begins each consultation by listening to understand each individual’s unique priorities. Using the information he gathers, he then guides and directs each individual in shaping a Lifetime Plan for Giving that fulfills personal and family goals. This confidential service includes discussion of family matters, the challenges involved in estate plan development and the opportunities. These conversations help you to understand how the benefits of charitable planning relate to your personal goals.

When you ask for Jason’s assistance, you can expect:

  • A prayerful approach to our work together.
  • A convenient meeting time and place, usually at your home or church.
  • No charge for Jason’s services.
  • Guidance and options to organize and implement your Christian estate/gift plan.
  • Complete confidentiality.

What is a Lifetime Plan for Giving?

Through our planned giving process, Jason will help you to establish a complete Christian estate/gift plan. We call this plan your Lifetime Plan for Giving. A Lifetime Plan for Giving is a method of assisting you by summarizing your stewardship and estate planning goals. This step by step process helps you prepare the best gifts for your family and the best gifts for the ministries you love. Here’s what’s included in a Lifetime Plan for Giving:

  • A will or a revocable living trust with a pour-over will.
  • A durable power of attorney for financial affairs.
  • A durable power of attorney for health care.
  • A review of ownership issues and beneficiary designations.
  • A gift plan to provide for your family.
  • A gift plan for your favorite ministries.
  • A statement of faith.

If you already have a completed estate plan, the Lifetime Plan for Giving process can still provide you benefit. During the process Jason will review your current plan. Often this reveals questions or details that need to be addressed. These questions may include:

  • Are your documents up-to-date and valid?
  • Does your plan include a personal statement of your faith that can be used by the Holy Spirit to encourage the faith of future generations?
  • Have you aligned your beneficiary statements with your plan?
  • Do you have a both a financial and a medical Durable Power of Attorney?

Lastly, this service provides the opportunity to have your plan reviewed from a charitable perspective. Jason may be able to provide you with some options that accomplish your goals in ways that you may have never considered.

Contact Jason

Having a completed a Lifetime Plan for Giving gives you peace of mind knowing that your wishes for the gifts God has entrusted to you are fulfilled. This service is free to you and there is no sales process involved. To schedule a meeting with Jason, click the link below:

Schedule Now!

If you would like more information or would like to set up an appointment over the telephone, don’t hesitate to contact Jason. He can be reached at:
Phone: (970) 988-0305
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Applying Purpose

In most communities, firework displays have been cancelled due to COVID. That might leave you scratching your head, wondering what you are going to do this year to celebrate the Fourth of July. It could be that you have always staked out the same spot each year. Maybe friends and family have joined you there. What will you do now that life has changed? Does this mean that Independence Day has lost its purpose?

Loss of purpose is scary. We often live a big part of our lives without any “purpose” associated with what will happen to the financial gifts found in our estates after the Lord has called us home. That can be scary too! Sometimes, we don’t know how to begin addressing that purpose and organizing ourselves so that we can put together a purposeful plan, using legal documents prepared by our attorneys to direct gifts to Godly design. You are not alone. Nearly half of all Americans have yet to complete this work.

“Fred” and “Mary” had procrastinated throughout their marriage, never wanting to spend the time and navigate the legal complexities of getting everything in order. Finally, they partnered with an LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor to begin organizing their plans, understanding the entire scope of gifts the Lord had given them to manage. Through a few weeks of planning and lots of prayer, they completed their plan. At the end they shared, “It feels so good to have this in place!”

Godly purpose feels good, for it resonates with God’s design for our creation.

You may have trouble reinjecting purpose into the Fourth of July this year without fireworks. But you can apply purpose to your estate plans. Your LCMS Gift Planning Counselor can help.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Avoiding a Collision

Imagine standing on a railroad track with a train coming right toward you. Would you be scared? Of course you would! Hopefully, you would have enough sense or physical strength to jump off the track.

Sadly, Satan can fill our minds with his lies that create fear, with the result that we feel life is nothing more than facing the danger from oncoming trains. We jump and jump, until one day our efforts are to no avail.

Yes, those are devilish thoughts. From the day the Lord claimed you as His own in baptism, you are headed to a destination. Washed in Jesus’ blood, chosen for inheritance, you are destined for life in His new creation of a new heaven and new earth, the “home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3). Your resurrected body will make you fit and ready for that great joy.

So, no, you are not staring into the face of an oncoming train. You are being led in the Savior’s grace to the life He has prepared for you (John 14). Because of this, life is not a reaction to the next threat but a purposeful look into a future that has no end.

That purposeful living includes making specific plans, directed by the Lord in prayer. For the child of God, such plans include assembling a specific direction of the Lord’s assets He has assembled under your control in your estate. These gifts will bless family (through inheritance) and ministry (through bequests), so that long after you are “home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5) His gifts will continue to bless, enabling others to know the love of Jesus. This is Christian gift planning.

Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor is ready to assist you today, in person or by video conference.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

What is Your Story?

Lydia had been a lifelong member of her Church. You know her type—she was the one who helped with every service project. During the hymns, she sang loudly. When friends were struggling, she was at their house with food to ease their burdens. She was even known to whistle her favorite spiritual songs at times. One day, someone asked her, “How can you be so happy all the time?” Lydia answered, “I’m not. I just know Jesus loves me.”

That was Lydia’s story. What is your story? Certainly, there have been times that you have been dropped to your knees by the force of challenge. But other times, you have had the greatest day of your life. There have also been many days in-between. Yet from the day of your baptism, there has been one common thread: you know that Jesus loves you! That is your story.

When the Lord’s call removes us from the living out of these days, we long to have people know what we have known. We want them to know the love of Jesus too. That’s why we do our planning. We write a Christian testimony to place in our wills or use as a family blessing to leave behind. We order the distribution of our earthly gifts through a will or trust. We organize everything around the theme, “I want everyone to feel loved by what God has done through my life. I want them to know Jesus.”

Life now seems to defy organization. Just about the time we put our plans in place, life changes and our plans need to be updated as well. Is it time for that review for you?

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How Much Control is Too Much Control?

The LCMS Foundation encourages God’s people to respond to the presence of God’s gifts in one’s estate by putting together a gift plan that looks to bless the family we love and the ministries that are close to our hearts. Without planning, and unless they are spelled out in wills/trusts or detailed in beneficiary designations for investments, IRA’s, insurance contracts or even one’s house, such desires are only wishes and may not happen

The two most important questions you want to answer are:

  • How do I want this gift (inheritance) to bless family members? Starting from that goal, you can construct a plan of blessing.
  • How do I want this gift (bequest) to bless the ministry or ministries I care about? You might think of placing restrictions on how those gifts will be used.

There is a fine line between Godly planning and trying to become God ourselves. We don’t want family to waste God’s gifts. We want to make sure that future needs of family are addressed. We want to make sure that gifts to ministry will do more than purchase new bushes for the parking lot. But how do I know when I am getting too restrictive about the gifts I am planning, either withholding family gifts well into the future that could really jumpstart an education or career today or planning gifts for ministry that reflect values that are not widely held by others in that ministry, potentially orphaning my gifts with too many restrictions?

There is no easy answer to these questions. The process begins and ends with prayer, with prayer throughout, as we seek God’s will. In a perfect world, a family inheritance will include discussion with children, grandchildren or other heirs. Planned ministry gifts will include discussion with ministry leaders to gain a clear vision for future ministry plans. Connecting gifts with those plans will maximize their effectiveness.

Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor can be helpful with all of this, asking you the right questions in your quest to put together the right plan for family and ministry. Most of all, we desire this process to recognize throughout that all these gifts are the Lord’s gifts. Our questions center around the theme, “How can these gifts of the Lord bless others in the best way?”

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tax Season

Are taxes evil? Jesus said, when questioned about that, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God, what is God’s.”

Though some taxes are wasted, much support things we really need. We want to have roads to drive on. We want to have security officers to protect us. We depend on government being there to rescue people from communities that are in crisis. The list could go on and on.

At the same time we celebrate blessings of services provided through taxes, many of us also struggle with paying them. That has probably been true since Egypt began taxing 5,000 years ago. Some of that aversion may flow from our selfish hearts, not wishing to help others. Some of it flows from our fear that dollars will not be spent correctly.

God calls us to be good stewards of the gifts He gives us. Can I be happy about directing those gifts to those who have not proven to be good stewards?

Avoiding taxation can never be our prime motivation for making contributions for supporting the Lord’s work. It is sort of a defensive posture. That posture causes us to shrink in on ourselves. Instead, we look to maximize the use of God’s gifts to magnify the impact they will have on spotlighting the love of Jesus in the world.

Our faithful decisions will be mindful of potential tax savings and use legal opportunities to save tax dollars, knowing those savings will enable us to do even more, showing love to family or supporting ministries the Lord has laid on our hearts.

Be aware that a simple review of your estate plan may turn up many opportunities to fine-tune your service to the Lord. If you want to look into this, your LCMS Gift Planning Counselor can help.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Funding the Future

The married couple were both faithful in participating in everything in their local congregation. Every time the lights were on, they were there. They were without children and, by all appearance, very modest in the assets they had. In reality, this couple had been so careful about the stewardship of their gifts that by the time the Lord called them home, they had hundreds of thousands of dollars in their estate. 95% of it went to support ministry when their earthly life was complete. What a blessing to their home congregation and other ministries across the country!

We get so preoccupied with paying bills and facilitating family needs that we often overlook that the Lord is giving us opportunity throughout our earthly life to create and grow accumulation of assets that can be directed to ministry long after we are no longer here. Maybe that is the best kind of giving, when credit isn’t the goal, but faithful support of Gospel sharing is.

Just as you have opened a saving account for vacations or Christmas, or a college fund for children’s education, or a retirement account, have you ever considered creating a “fund” for the future support of ministry?

How would you do that? Maybe you set aside part of an inheritance you receive. Maybe you designate a percentage of your estate to the Lord’s work. Maybe you consider endowing your weekly offering to the Lord, directing money from your estate to a personal endowment that will keep on supporting your favorite ministry just as if you were still here writing the check. There are many ways to respond. The appropriate plan is the one facilitated by the gifts the Lord has provided in your life. Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor can help you think, pray and plan toward a gift the Lord has enabled from before the foundation of the world.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Review Your Plan

“John Lutheran” (name changed) owned a successful business throughout his life. Now in retirement, he and his wife enjoy a comfortable life, affording plenty of time for John to play golf.

From time to time, John had heard about the Transfer the Blessings Gift Planning Ministry offered at his church. He had never utilized this free service because he had already completed his Estate Plan with his attorney. His Will stated that the bulk of his assets were to be left to his children and it also included a 25% gift from his estate to his congregation when the Lord calls him home to heaven.

John often shared this with his pastor. On one occasion John’s pastor recommended that he meet with the congregation’s gift planner to review his plan. John was reluctant to devote that kind of time to this work, feeling, that since it was already written in his will, his work was done.

John ultimately gave in and decided to meet with the gift planner. He was shocked by what he found out with the gift planners help. The vast majority of John’s assets would be transferred by “beneficiary designation” (Transfer on Death, TOD, Payable on Death, POD, etc …) and would never pass through his will. He had named family members as the beneficiary for these. What that meant was, that the 25% gift Bob had planned to gift all along would now amount to about $750. That’s not what he wanted. The gift planner helped John and his wife align the couple’s designations with their wishes. The couple was very grateful, and John was especially thankful that he eventually took the advice of his pastor to meet with the gift planner.

The point is that even though we may think that we have our charitable gifting work completed, a simple misalignment can unwind the entire plan. The Lord calls us to careful stewardship of His gifts throughout our lives. A good rule of thumb is to review the plan every five to seven years, to ensure it is still in place, rather than make an incorrect assumption. Is it time for that quick review for you?

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Resurrection Workshop

Preparations

Home decorations have transitioned from pumpkins to turkeys, and now to snowmen and sparkly trees. Children of all ages treasure year-end holidays. Memories kindle warmth of glowing fires etched in our family and emotional rooms.

Churches celebrated Reformation and Thanksgiving. Advent’s expectation is that the Savior of the World is arriving! With décor changes, God’s people prepare their hearts to receive their King.

Mary, chosen to bear God’s son in the flesh, was told to get ready. After the angel’s visit, Mary exclaimed, “all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me! Mary recognized the Giver and Gift.

“[God’s] good things are merely gifts, which last for a season; but His grace and regard are the inheritance, which lasts forever … the grace of God is eternal life, 1 ” wrote Martin Luther.

Year-end preparations include planning and arranging. Many organize their lives getting ready for what lies ahead. What else can we put in order besides tangible and perishable presents that adorn our Christmas trees and represent our human love?

Martin Luther also said, “God would not have [us] put [our] trust in His goods and gifts, spiritual or temporal, however great they be, but in His grace and in Himself, yet without despising the gifts. 2

The time-based clutter of life pulls us toward temporal concerns. Statistics indicate that less than 10% of Americans have included a charitable gift in their estate plans. One reason might be due to an uncomfortable visit with an attorney.

Have you considered allowing a fellow LCMS Gift Planning Counselor as a trustworthy guide to help you to prepare for expressing the enduring intent of your faith and love?

  1. Martin Luther, “The Sermon on the Mount and the Magnificat” in Luther’s Works (Concordia Publishing House, 1956), XXi, 324.
  2. Martin Luther, “The Sermon on the Mount and the Magnificat” in Luther’s Works (Concordia Publishing House, 1956), XXi, 325.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Harvest and Inheritance

Gathering is a natural activity, often accomplished without much thought to the effort. The “grasp reflex” of humans is alive and well. The evidence of harvest is obvious, whether gathered for others or for self.

Reaping, on the other hand, is more of a consequence, not easily gathered. For sure, what a person sows, they reap. What is important in sowing to obtain joy, meaning or blessing?

Inheritance is something that another person gives to, or for, another. For some it’s a birthright. For others it’s heirlooms with special meaning. For many it’s a natural inclination of familial love. God’s Word informs us that “God Himself is our inheritance.”

A plentiful harvest is a recurring reminder of God’s desire to give yields that produces sustenance among the living. Around the world, it’s a material ingathering that is enjoyed by the righteous and the wicked alike. Harvest reminds us of the spiritual legacy as well!

In collecting harvests from labor, Christian stewards return a portion to the One who provides all for use and enjoyment. Believers give their first-fruits to God as evidence of a First Commandment faith. When earthly life is complete, this giving can return a portion of the substance of a Christian steward’s harvest, so the Lord’s work is strengthened. A joyful tradition during biblical ages, it continues as a tradition in ours.

Truly an undeserved heritage is given in God’s yields! St. Peter wrote under inspiration, “[Jesus Christ] has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” 1 Peter 1:3b–4

The gift of eternal life has been endowed on the Cross as an inheritance waiting for all who are called by the Holy Spirit. Consider reflecting such inheritance in your own plans.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..