Estate Planning vs Legacy Planning

Estate Planning vs Legacy Planning

I have been very intrigued by the content in this month’s Kingdom Advisor’s study group centring around legacy and the importance of having an impact beyond my lifetime. Everyone was challenged with the difference between estate planning and legacy planning. In particular, legacy planning not only represents a change in terminology, but it changes the lens through which we see things. Specifically, estate planning has a one-generational focus (transferring wealth to your heirs) while legacy planning looks to impact 5-7 generations (transferring values to multiple generations). That requires a bigger vision and a broader perspective than advisors or clients typically focus on.

Financial professionals are uniquely positioned to invest in the lives of clients. I know as an advisor my discussions focused more on Estate/Wealth Planning rather than Legacy Planning, so this study stretched me to expand my thinking.

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My parents are presently visiting with us and this past weekend our son and grandson visited, so we had four generations in our home. My Dad shared stories with us about how his faith and relationship with God were developed as a young minister and also the impact his own father had upon that faith. Most of these stories I had heard before but my son and daughter-in-law listened intently while baby Ernest slept through it all. I thought how important this time was and wondered if generations yet unborn would benefit from hearing the same stories. To see how God was active in the lives of my parents and grandparents helps to inspire my faith so I am sure it can impact others.

4generationsThink about the business of family for a moment – isn’t it truly about legacy planning?

I will teach you hidden lessons from our past–stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the LORD, about his power and his mighty wonders. For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them–even the children not yet born–and they in turn will teach their own children. Psalm 78:2-6

These verses instruct families specifically to focus on legacy planning which is clearly beyond one generation. I encouraged my Dad to write these things down so the events of his life could be passed on to the children not yet born. That way, his life reaches beyond his years lived on this earth. Many people may feel estate planning is just for those who have wealth, but legacy planning is for everyone.

Ron Blue provides some excellent advice in his book “Splitting Heirs,” when he describes the “Wisdom Principle” which is to “transfer wisdom before wealth. Wealth never creates wisdom. Wisdom may create wealth.” If you think about it “wealth” is the focus of estate planning, while “wisdom” is the focus of legacy planning.

We need to think deeper about the time we are each given. We all have 24 hours per day, and 168 hours per week. On the topic of stewardship Ken Boa says,

“What differentiates people isn’t the amount of time available to them, but the manner in which they exercise their gifts and talents within the available time. We can waste time; we can spend time; or we can invest our time wisely. That’s what stewardship is about: faithfully developing and using our gifts, talents and resources within the amount of time God has allotted to us.”

We have time in an equal measure, but we must be intentional about how we spend it or invest it. The fact is that we often just spend our time when we should be investing it.  Talents are not in equal measure to everyone. We are unique and each has different gifts. Our focus tends to be more about using these gifts to grow wealth and much less  about the growth of our heirs.

Thinking beyond our life can be very challenging because it stretches us outside of our normal pattern of thought. Maybe our perspective needs an adjustment so we consider more the impact we can have upon “the children not yet born.” That takes intentionality and a shift of focus. Our efforts must move toward transferring our values and wisdom  as a guide to govern future generations and less effort on accumulating and transferring wealth. It seems if we get the legacy planning right, the estate planning will be so much easier.

The accumulation and eventual transfer of wealth is a major part of financial planning. If we fail to give proper attention to the legacy planning, we have truly missed the reason that we were entrusted with the wealth in the first place.

Are we spending our time creating something that will only benefit one generation? Can we be more intentional in our investment of time and leave a legacy that extends 5-7 generations?

Remember Canada is Free

Remember Canada is Free

Nov 11th is a day to honour those who fought for the freedoms we enjoy in Canada. Reading a few headlines recently causes me to wonder where we find are as a nation.

1. Rex Murphy: Governor General appoints herself umpire of questions of faith and science

In the National Post headline, Rex Murphy posed an important question in response to the new Governor General’s recent speech: In this wonderfully diverse Canada that Ms. Payette now represents, was it her intent to ridicule the religious beliefs of so very many faiths? 

There are many people in Canada who hold a biblical worldview and many who obviously are of a different opinion. I always understood that we have a freedom in Canada not just to hold those beliefs, but also to have leaders (particularly appointed leaders) in our country who respect those rights and freedoms, not ridicule them. It seems to me that our Governor General, the Queen’s representative in Canada, has in fact, misrepresented our Queen, who herself has referenced God many times in her speeches. I found the GG’s comments divisive while the emphasis of the Queen is unity. In 2011, our Queen said, “Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities.” The GG would benefit from reading some of the Queen’s speeches.

2. A post by CBC News in regards to Alberta’s Home Education Association who has invited Ken Ham, a top US creationist, to be the keynote speaker at their upcoming conference in April 2018. The article quoted Calgarian Paul Ens who criticized this decision and stated, “It (the invitation) signals to me that this homeschool group is not serious about following provincial curriculum or proper science education for their children.”

Based on the speech by the GG and the statement from Ens in this article, it seems that science and a biblical worldview are completely opposed to one another. However, read closer as Rex Murphy clarifies how these views are not necessarily in conflict; “… the observations on the origins of life and the religious understandings of that most profound of subjects are not in contestas evidently she (GG) thinks they are, with scientific understandings. They can, and in fact often do, co-exist. There is physics, and there is also metaphysics; facts are indeed truth, but truth is very often more than just facts.”

Truth is meant to bring us to a higher place, where we can co-exist with others who may have different beliefs and opinions. The message from the Queen is one of reconciliation in the midst of differences. Let’s remember that in Canada we are free to co-exist. Determining if what you believe is actually truth can be a challenge.

“You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you … Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief.”  C.S. Lewis

A common saying used in academic circles is, “The truth will set you free” and is often used to promote academic freedom and the power of learning. A recent visit to the Museum of the Bible helped me realize the impact of the Bible on education.  Many universities have this statement emblazoned on a sign near the entrance of a building. But “the truth will set you free” did not originate in academia; Jesus said it first. His statement has nothing to do with classroom learning. In fact, John 8:32 speaks of a higher form of knowledge than is capable of being learned in a classroom.

Canada is Free

It seems that the best selling book of all time (the Bible) is something that many are afraid of.  Maybe it is seen as dangerous, especially when it comes to education. In his blog, Jerry Bower asked that very question: Is the Bible Dangerous?

“If the Bible is the truth, then ignoring it is ignoring the truth. Contempt for it is contempt for the truth. Hostility to it is hostility to the truth. And there is nothing more dangerous to a person than to build a life on hostility to the truth”

As a parent, I want my children to be free and live according to truth and certainly not be hostile to it. It can be a struggle to discover truth but the goal is an eventual embracing of truth which creates principles we can live by.  I always felt responsible as a parent to train my children, which is a step above following any provincial curriculum.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said this of education:

We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living.

Is Canada as free as it once was? Have you felt your freedom in Canada threatened by recent happenings?

Are You Hearing But Not Understanding?

Are You Hearing But Not Understanding?

Just over two years ago, I had surgery on my shoulder and I now visit a specialist every six months. Recently, I had another visit and I usually take my wife with me to help me understand since the doctor has a very strong French accent. Even though he speaks English, it can be very difficult to grasp the meaning of his words. During the appointment, he asked a question, but we just looked at each other bewildered because neither of us understood a word. He repeated it with the same result. He was saying “Ohh-ta-wah” in such a way that when it was placed in a sentence, we just couldn’t understand. After stating it the third time, we both realized he was asking if my surgery had been done here in Ottawa.

Have you ever heard someone but not understood what they said?

yesbymagnet_1Sometimes, language or dialect can be a barrier to understanding. I recall when we had friends from Ontario visit us in Newfoundland and we had a conversation with some locals. Our friends heard us speaking, but did not understand. Maybe I shouldn’t be shocked because the very tone of the common phrase, “Yes b’y,” actually changes its meaning.

The effort required to hear a sound compared to the effort required to process it, is exponential. Understanding is logically the step that follows hearing, unless, of course, it involves a politician.

prime-minister-trudeauPoliticians typically only say what they want us to hear and we have to dig deeper if we desire to get the entire meaning; otherwise our perspective remains limited. For example, the Trudeau government often claims it has cut taxes for middle-class Canadian families. A recent article helped me understand that while it did reduce the second lowest federal income tax rate (from 22 to 20.5 per cent), it also eliminated a number of tax credits, thereby increasing income taxes for Canadians who previously claimed such credits. Result: 81% of middle-class Canadian families with children are paying more in personal income taxes.

The Liberals quickly speak of reduced tax rates, but the elimination of tax credits enlightens our understanding of the issue. What we comprehend about any issue or even a person, depends on what we hear (and read).

perspectiveIf you think about it, the perspective from which you see things can be the very obstacle that prevents you from seeing another point of view.  (Doesn’t this graphic resemble a political debate? It totally depends on which side you are on).

The Bible has some interesting things to say regarding understanding:

  1. One instruction is to not depend on your own understanding. Maybe one of the reasons is that our own understanding limits our ability to understand others.
  2. Also, “By understanding He (The LORD) established the heavens.” What did God understand?  Was it an understanding of the power of sound and what is formed from vibrations? Maybe the reason God spoke was to cause vibrations to form the earth. What did He establish? Heaven represents an eternal dwelling place for believers. If God is an example for us then, the purpose of understanding is to establish something that is eternal and meaningful to others.
  3. Mankind has the capacity to understand the deeper things that are buried within a person. The purpose in a man’s mind is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.  If you think about your work, it may be important to understand others to bring clarity to them. Financial professionals can actually be a key to help clients see their inner purpose, why they have so much, or even why they have faced some troubles in life.
  4. By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, so that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. Faith is not the opposite of reason, but actually a higher dimension of understanding. Think about the dreams within a person; they are actually unseen until exposed. If it is a dream of writing a book, it exists only in the mind of the author and only becomes visible when written.

In our work we should:

  1. realize “our own understanding” can be limited and should not always be relied on
  2. know we are called to establish something eternally significant through our lives
  3. understand others to expose the purpose that is often hidden deep within a person
  4. identify that faith can add a higher (or deeper) level of understanding

UnderstandingIn a conversation, an accountant told me he keeps his antennas raised when in discussion with clients. Since mankind is spiritual, our spirits are meant to be active and sensitive, which leads to an understanding of others. It is the spirit in man … that makes him understand. This depth of understanding is the requirement to draw out purpose.

In our efforts to understand others, how often do we simply rely on our own thoughts?  By ignoring our inner person (not having our antennas up), are we missing the greatest opportunities to explore the deep waters (purpose) hidden within others?

 

 

 

Why are Thoughts and Prayers Insufficient?

Why are Thoughts and Prayers Insufficient?

The headline in the National Post read:

‘Your thoughts and your prayers are insufficient’: Jimmy Kimmel tearfully calls for gun control

Is America’s national Thoughts and Prayers Strategy (TAPS) no longer working? That is a question raised in an article in Maclean’s magazine making statements which can be disturbing to the Christian community.

Here is one example: Unfortunately, there is growing evidence that TAPS may not be delivering the results we would expect from appealing to an omniscient and all-powerful deity.

In other words, thinking about others and praying to God is simply not effective and the results are not clearly evident. We ought to think more about what is really accomplished through “thoughts and prayers” because it seems to be terribly misunderstood, especially in light of recent incidents of violence.

The power of thinking is impactful on the person having the thoughts and only impactful on others when those thoughts are expressed.  Many have probably quoted the proverb that says, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” If a person then, is consumed with thoughts of murder and killing, and those thoughts are not taken captive, they will eventually be acted upon and that person can become what was thought about. I would suggest that this is exactly what takes place when murderous acts happen; the thoughts transform the person to become what he is thinking.

The idea expressed in the Maclean’s article is that the thoughts and prayers of US congressman are somehow supposed to alter the behaviour of the American people. Let’s get it right; the thoughts and prayers are to comfort after an event like these incidents  (Las Vegas, USA and Edmonton in Canada) and should not be trivialized.  Maybe it is true that the thinking around gun control needs to change in order to make America a safer place, but please don’t diminish the effectiveness of “thoughts and prayers” for the people impacted by these sorts of incidents.

A most challenging statement for many Christians is this one: This data is very surprising when you consider the power of beseeching God. You would think parting the Red Sea, or smiting the Egyptians with a plague of frogs, would be far more difficult than just reducing gun violence. It is worth noting, however, that most well-known examples of successful celestial intervention in earthly affairs are over two millennia old.

Pray for LVHe goes on to cite the reasons for the non-response from God, which could be denominational, or we are not praying enough, or the wrong people are praying, or praying wrongly (kneeling or not, with eyes open or eyes closed).

When I read these statements it upsets me because in my 50+ years on earth, I have seen God’s intervention. As a matter of fact, without it I would have only been here for 5 years because meningitis would have taken my life. We need to think deeper about the true purpose of prayer.

“Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.” – Soren Kierkegaard

From this quote, we see the focus is really about bringing change within the person who prays. Therefore, the focus of “thoughts and prayers” is actually more about changing the thinker and pray-er rather than those being thought about or prayed for. However, I certainly can testify that both can be transformed by prayer. I wonder if we have really missed the true power of prayer and thereby dismissed its effectiveness. Isn’t prayer about relationship with God, communicating with Him regularly rather than someone we call on only in crisis? Relationship with God through prayer is meant to change us. When prayer changes us, that’s when we can be an influence for change.

Just think for a moment about what God said when he created earth and also man. He said, “Let them (man) rule over the earth.” Mankind has been placed in a position of authority and influence by God, within nations to effect change as it is needed.

“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” – Corrie ten Boom

Think about it –  we often use prayer to God as a spare tire. When there is a major incident or crisis, we call out to him. Prayer is meant to be our steering wheel which actually sets our course. It is meant to be part of our lives daily, not just when we have a blow out.

Does God intervene today? Maybe someone like paraplegic Joni Eareckson Tada, who had her neck broken as a teenager is much better qualified to answer this question:

“God permits what He hates to accomplish what He loves”

She calls suffering “a splash of hell” but maintains that a “splash of heaven” can be found through intimacy with Christ in the midst of it. And she can say so because she has found it to be true. The first part of that statement is strikingly similar to Jimmy Kimmel’s statement, “It feels like someone has opened a window into hell.” The problem is most are missing the “splash of heaven” since intimacy with Christ only comes through “thoughts and prayers” on a regular basis, not just at times like this.

What influences your life most? The splash of hell? Or the splash of heaven?

The Power of Sound

The Power of Sound

I had the opportunity to speak recently at a local church and chose to talk about the impact of our words. In essence, I began to walk through what words actually become as we speak them and the potential impact of those words on those who hear (including ourselves).

I quickly referenced Job 4:12-14 to demonstrate the path words take within us and how they are able to impact us. “A word was brought to me in secret; my ears caught a whisper of it. Among unsettling thoughts from visions in the night, when deep sleep descends on men, fear and trembling came over me and made all my bones shake.” We are truly complex creatures and what we hear impacts us more significantly than we realize.

If you look closely this verse reveals what words become:

  1. Firstly, “a word” was heard or became a sound.
  2. Then came “unsettling thoughts
  3. And “visions in the night,
  4. Which developed into “fear and trembling
  5. Finally it “made all my bones shake.

All this disruption came because of a whisper in the ears. How is this even possible?

The Power of Sound

Until I did some research, I didn’t realize that sound actually creates, organizes and forms all the basic fundamental shapes found throughout the known universe. For more than 50 years, scientists have proven this to be true. Interestingly, these forms are referred as “Sacred Geometry,” which is said to be a discovery of man, not his invention.

Take a look at an amazing video demonstrating the effects of sound being played underneath sand pebbles on a metal plate. The sound causes them to move and organize into geometric shapes and the higher the frequency the more complex the shapes (just watching for a minute will illustrate).

 

Sound is a type of energy made by vibrations. So if you think about throwing a rock in still water, the resulting rings of waves are similar to the effects of sound. It is interesting that irregular sound waves create noise, while regular repeating waves create music.

Researchers have also discovered that we pay more attention when an emotion (such as happiness, sadness or anger) is expressed through vocalizations than we do when the same emotion is expressed in speech. So sound itself then, may be more powerful than we typically give it credit. Have you heard the proverb: “a joyful heart is good medicine?” If you stop and consider how joy is expressed, it is usually in the form of laughter (maybe some of the healing is through the sound itself).

Consider our lives at times; there can be so many different inputs with emotional attachments (like anger and frustration) and the result is often noise. Joy, on the other hand, is medicine because it produces regular repeating sound waves, having an impact that is like music to our ears!

Elba Mueller explains the Power of Sound  by referencing one of the most amazing experiments, conducted by Doctor Masaru Emoto, who gained worldwide acclaim for his groundbreaking research and his discovery that water is affected by vibrational sound in some very surprising ways.

When I read this, my immediate thought was about creation (in Gen. 1), when “the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” I’m thinking those waters were affected by the vibrational sound because “God said.”  It seems the sound of God’s voice resulted in the earth changing from empty to being filled.

In his experiments, Dr. Emoto analyzed the formation of differently shaped crystals in water as it was exposed to different sounds in different forms. Part of his research included verbal affirmations, thoughts, music, and even prayers from a priest. He focused on verbal affirmations of love and gratitude as they were being directed toward water that was sitting in a Petri dish. He then analyzed the water under a microscope and took before and after pictures to document the change.

pay attentionDr. Emoto and his team observed that after the experiment very beautiful crystals had formed in some of the frozen water samples where the positive vibrational waves were directed. Dr. Emoto then exposed water samples to music from Mozart, Beethoven, and other classical composers and found that beautiful crystal shapes formed in these samples as well.

He also experimented with people saying things like “you fool,” “I will kill you,” and other unpleasant phrases using a harsh tone. Dr. Emoto found that ugly, incomplete, and malformed crystals were formed in the water samples exposed to these negative expressions and tones.

 

Dr. Emoto concluded that any sound is vibration, and vibrations such as music and other positive sounds including the human voice can be a form of healing energy.

Here is what I find fascinating: on a 3D level the body is more than 70% water. If crystals formed in water from sound vibrations, then it seems pretty clear that the sounds and words we hear impact our bodies. Think about your words and the tone used expressing these words. I think it is fair to say that the vibrations we make when we speak are either forming something beautiful or something ugly, incomplete or malformed in those who hear.

When you talk with your children, spouse, neighbours, clients or colleagues; what impact is the sound of your words having? Are they building up or tearing down?

 

What Have I Become?

What Have I Become?

We are all on a journey in life and the one thing that remains constant is change. My wife recently took on the task of capturing some of our home videos (30 years worth). These include so many memories and changes, from hair styles to the way we dressed. The music at our youth events seemed radical to some at that time, but now, much heavier music is typically used in many worship services on Sunday mornings all across North America.

TrumpThink about politics for a moment. Just look back one year when the United States was in the midst of an election campaign. Let’s be honest, when you first heard that Donald Trump was running for President, how many thought he would actually become President? Most didn’t believe he had a shot at becoming the candidate to represent the Republicans in the run up to the election, let alone be in the presidential race. For many, the unthinkable happened … Breaking News: Donald Trump is now the President.

How was this possible? Many were left wondering how this could happen. Think about one of the things that politicians do everyday. They talk a lot, sometimes getting themselves in trouble because they say the wrong things. Things change because there are people who speak to influence others to bring about that change. 

For America, this was a major change. What was the basis for that change? I think you will have to agree that media of all kinds, was and remains a major influencer that results in significant change in our culture. Have you ever felt outrage when you hear about people who have been unfairly mistreated? Often times we hear about these types of circumstances through some form of media. When there is frustration over an issue, the media drawing attention to it can be the very means to bring change.

The fact is, whatever media you tune into begins to shape you and slowly your opinions can change, sometimes without even realizing it.

Change is constant and often comes through relationship and communication. Here’s an example in my life. I met a pastor in the early 2000’s who was a cyclist. He would often ride 30-50 kilometres (20-30 miles) at a time, and then on many Saturdays, he would double that distance. I first thought the guy was nuts, until he looked at me and said, “You would make a great cyclist.” Well, I wasn’t involved in any other sport and knew I could use the exercise, so I bought myself a bike and started. First, it was shorter distances, but in a very short time, I was riding those same distances too. Before long, I was challenging myself and one day, rode 120 kilometres (75 miles). My point is this: I became a cyclist, because someone said, “You would make a great cyclist.” I agreed with that statement and decided to become what I was told I could be. 

In 1991, I became a salesman of life insurance, partly out of necessity, but also because I was told I would be good for the role.

On 3.16.2017, our son, became a father, making me a grandfather. Well how did that happen? Without making this a PG rated blog, allow me to explain: It started with a conversation. Cathy (now my wife) and I, had our first date in May 1985. We talked together a lot on that evening. We shared our dreams and visions for the future and discovered that we had so much in common (at least until we got married, but that’s a story for another day). Well the words we shared eventually led to our marriage, where we publicly spoke our commitment to one another (before God and this company, I believe is how it traditionally goes). I still recall memorizing our vows in which we promised to “speak words of grace that would build one another up.” Maybe, I remember that so well, because it was one of the most difficult parts to keep.

IMG_2027

Well 25 months after those vows were spoken (to the very day), our son, David was born. He made similar vows himself when he was married (20 years later).

Here is the point: change comes to our lives because words are spoken.

Marriages happen because words are spoken (vows), divorces happen for the same reason. Politicians are elected in many cases because of promises made (words spoken) and not re-elected in other cases because promises were broken.

We are constantly becoming or changing because of the influence that comes into our lives through media (words that are spoken to us). You may not even realize it, but you are actually very much an influencer, and are helping others become who they are. The words you speak are more important than you realize because they are agents of change and with them you impact those around you.

Interestingly, the Bible says “the word became flesh” referencing, of course, the coming of Christ to live on this earth as a man. The Bible is the only book that has the claim of being alive and still desires to become something, or bring about change in us.

My son and daughter-in-law have discovered that when new life entered their lives, change was immediate. In my next few blogs I will walk through the impact  words have within us and how they impact what we become.

So let me ask you this: How have words spoken to you impacted your life? What change are you bringing in others through the words that you speak?

 

Did You Chase The Ace?

Did You Chase The Ace?

One of the headlines in the news, especially in Newfoundland, but also nationally is:

Newfoundland couple wins $2.6-million Chase the Ace jackpot in final night of lottery

Chase

According to one blogger, Chase the Ace is a phenomenon in Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2014, just two lottery licenses for the game were issued; for 2017 alone, at least 283 have been granted to churches and community groups across the province in order to raise funds. I find it interesting that he also referred to this phenomenon as “a new religion.”

When I read this statement, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt, maybe a little uncomfortable. I decided to seek a definition and without even leaving my laptop, google told me: religion is a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance,

It seems the word “religion” accurately represents the Chase the Ace phenomena because hundreds of people would line up for hours with funds to purchase tickets. What was the motivation? While it was ultimately about raising money for the church, the primary motivator of the participants was the desire for profit, not about giving (even though the cause was a good one). Right below that definition of religion, it states that “consumerism is the new religion.” While this lottery is a successful means of fundraising, what created the enthusiasm among the people was the desire for wealth, which is driven by consumerism.

Here is the structure of the Chase the Ace lottery: the consolation prize was 20% of the day’s ticket sales, while 30% accumulated into the jackpot that was awarded if a ticket-winner drew the Ace of Spades from a diminishing deck of cards. The other 50% went to the parish (charity). Interestingly, there is little focus in the media on the amount raised for the church except that: Organizers say they will know how much money the lottery raised in a couple of days.  There is no doubt this fund-raising was a huge success and much more was raised this way than by passing an offering plate around on Sunday.

Here is my point: most people weren’t focused at all on giving, yet 50% was being given away. They were “tricked,” for lack of a better term, into giving half of their money away. What was everyone focusing on? Maybe partially on giving. The primary focus though, was on receiving, or winning the prize. There was a building of excitement each week as the Ace was not drawn and the jackpot (30% of ticket sales) continued to grow.  Even the 20% (consolation prize) created great anticipation.

Interestingly, Newfoundland and Labrador’s provincial motto is an admonishment from Jesus Christ: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God.” The promise is that when we do this, tomorrow will take care of itself; but it seems like we no longer place any confidence in these words. One of the ways to put God’s kingdom first is to give, and trust Him for our provision. Instead, giving is disguised as a lottery and we trust in our own abilities for tomorrow’s provision, even if it comes from a lottery.

Churchill

The fact is most of us have simply lost the focus and excitement of giving, because we would much rather receive. Obviously, the vast majority of those who bought tickets did not win anything, so their only consolation is that they gave 50%, but most of these probably feel they lost the entire value of their ticket. I think the truth is that most had little thought for the amount they were actually giving to charity. Isn’t it still true though, that it is more blessed to give than to receive?”