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Give According to Your Values

1 week ago By The Signatry

Why is it important to give according to your values? There are millions of nonprofit organizations in the world, and they would all love to be the beneficiary of your donation. Choosing to give to an organization which values the same principles as you and your family gives you the peace of mind that your gift is furthering the causes you care about most. Choosing where to give is a big question with potential long-reaching and even eternal impact! Here are some suggested questions to consider as you formulate a values statement for your financial giving: 1. If you could…

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Family

The Easter Legacy: The Gifts of Calvary’s Road

1 month ago By Bill High

Some call it Calvary’s road.  And no doubt, we’ll sing songs about it on this Easter Sunday.  They’ll be triumphant songs, powerful songs. As I read the scriptures, I cannot help but think of the reality of Calvary’s road: A common criminal was released instead of Jesus.A weak politician, seeking to gain favor, symbolically washed his hands of the false charges, and then he scourged Jesus.  A scourging alone could kill a man. He was lead away to the governor’s palace to an entire battalion of soldiers. They stripped Him of his clothes—the cloth tearing at his flesh. They replaced…

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Family

Returning to the Lost Vision of Generations

2 months ago By Bill High

In every age, there are stories that transcend time and culture Such is the story of Abraham. We find him in Genesis 12. His family is first mentioned in Genesis 11. Genesis 1-5 provide the story of Adam and the succeeding generations. The Adam generations are marked by the general mandate: be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. But with little other compass settings by the time of Noah, the chief goal of man appears to be his own self-satisfaction. Stated differently, he lives for himself. And with this self-centeredness, God sets about a grisly plan: the destruction of mankind through flood. Genesis 6-11 are all about this plan, and the new start.  In turning the page to Genesis 12, we find an entirely new focus: a single person—Abraham. As if to illustrate that idea, God tells Abraham to leave his family, his kindred and his country behind. It’s a new start. It as if God’s focus is directed entirely towards one man, and placing in that one man a new vision. It’s a vision for generations. Indeed, God tells Abraham “to your offspring I will give this land.” He repeats the vision in Genesis 13: “to your offspring I will give this land forever.” By Genesis 15, God sharpens the vision in one dramatic star-filled night when he tells Abraham that his descendants will be like the innumerable stars of the night sky. By Genesis 22, God tests Abraham to see if he is willing to sacrifice even his treasured son and heir.  The vision is repeated with each succeeding generation. And by the time of Moses, the vision is sharpened further still with the Law, a means of communicating a code of conduct for God’s chosen people. The Law would ultimately give way to a Messiah, a redemptive Savior.  The vision of generations is marked by these big ideas. The story of God in our lives. A promise of a future place—a promised land. The story of sacrifice—of being willing to let go, to trust and to let God do his work. When these big ideas take root, we are willing to live not just for ourselves but for those yet to come.  How do you consider the vision of generations working out in your own life?

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Family

The Difference in Living Generously

3 months ago By The Signatry

When we think of someone who lives generously, we don’t often focus on the checks they write or the tax breaks they receive. Most often, when we observe someone with a generous lifestyle, we notice how they spend their time, the work they do for the common good, and the character behind their generosity. A generous lifestyle goes beyond charitable donations. It involves a willingness to give of your time, energy, and God-given gifts. Here are three questions to ask if you desire to expand your generosity: Who/how can I serve today? Being generous requires intentionality. By setting your mind to seek out daily opportunities to live generously, your heart will be motived to give in a deeper way. Thinking intentionally about generosity will position you towards situational generosity, where you can meet needs that exist within your community. What can I give besides money? There is a common belief that says you cannot be generous if you don’t have money. However, living generously goes beyond giving financially. Giving through acts of service and volunteer work require time and energy. These two gifts are often more valuable to the recipients than money. Leave a lasting and priceless legacy by using your unique abilities and passions to meet the needs in your community. How does living generously impact your legacy? Giving generously frees you. It loosens the grasp of material possessions and self-involvement. Living generously has a profound impact on your personal character and is a key training ground for younger generations. Making generosity a part of your lifestyle allows you to model and teach biblical values to those around you. A generous lifestyle is an invitation to be a good steward of what God entrusted to you: your time, talents, and treasure. By embracing this mindset, you will leave a lasting impact on your community, family, and eternity.      

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Family

Stewarding your family in the business sale process

4 months ago By The Signatry

Selling a business involves careful planning, but we often don’t take into consideration how it will impact our family. What does it look like to steward your family through this process in a way that will not only protect but allow them to thrive generations from now? When faced with these issues, there are a few important questions to consider: What should I give to my children? 70% of wealthy families lose their fortune by the second generation, and by the third generation, 90% have squandered their money. Clearly, passing on money is not enough to solve problems in our families. We often forget that there is more than financial capital to pass on; we need to consider the intangible aspects of wealth- social, spiritual, intellectual, and emotional capital. Your children will be more equipped to handle financial wealth when it is preceded with the knowledge and family values imparted. How are my children equipped to handle wealth? How do you ensure your children are ready to steward the wealth you plan to pass on to them? Thriving individuals are more likely to handle inheritance properly. Are they responsible with their finances? Do they have a good work ethic? Considering whether the inheritance is most likely to contribute or cripple their life, is important.  Sometimes the most loving action is saying “no” and setting boundaries that encourage your children to grow. By passing on biblical values and placing a priority on the intangible assets, we cultivate healthy families and provide a means for long term success. What is God calling me to do in the next season? Transitioning out of your business can be an exciting time to pursue God’s calling for the next season of your life. Consider how you can use this next season to continue to cultivate family relationships and build upon your legacy. Think about the causes you and your family are passionate about. You can make memories with younger generations by giving back, supporting, and volunteering with ministries as a multigenerational family. The heart of generosity goes far beyond the money we are willing to give. It permeates everyday decisions and determines the legacy we will leave. Cultivating a lasting family through the sale process will require honest communication. A healthy family will practice transparency. If the challenges seem too great, it is ok to invite outside help. In the same way, a business sale requires advisors, you may want to invite someone you trust to help advise your family as you deal with difficult topics and proactive planning. Wealth does not have to break apart our families. By bringing a better balance to our families as we learn to pass on intangible capital as well—emotional, spiritual, mental—we set the stage for long term success.

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Family

Breaking the Cycle: Generations & Wealth

4 months ago By Bill High

An article in Money magazine tells of the difficulty of holding on to wealth in the second generation. Stephen Lovell, a financial planner, describes going to his grandfather’s house and being impressed by their house, cars, boats and all their “toys.” His grandfather’s estimated net worth was $70 million dollars. But the next generation squandered it. The Challenge Money magazine cites the Williams Group consultancy group for their study that 70% of wealthy families will lose their wealth in the second generation and 90% by the third generation. Two troubling statistics stand out: 78% feel the next generation is not equipped to…

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Family

The Power of Family Celebration

5 months ago By The Signatry

One of my favorite things about this time of the year is the coming together of family. No matter how young or old, the beauty is in being together. Every family is unique, each with its own rhythm and different dynamics, but sometimes we can tend to focus on our differences more than what unifies us. As you begin the new year, I encourage you to consider how the current generations in your family can unite and learn from each other’s experiences and perspectives. Moving past surface differences begins with learning to listen. When we listen, we often fixate on…

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Family

The Promise within a Name

5 months ago By The Signatry

Between the closing of the Old Testament, with the book of Malachi and the opening of the New Testament there is a 400-year prophetical silence.  After Malachi pens his letter to the Israelites, we do not hear God speak for another four centuries when the angel of the Lord appears to Mary and Joseph, separately. Joseph, a Jewish carpenter from the lineage of David and a man of honor, finds himself in a dilemma.  Mary, his bride to be, tells him she is miraculously pregnant. Undoubtedly, his friends and family are whispering in his ear to leave the woman he loves, because the baby certainly isn’t his. If he follows through with the marriage his reputation will certainly be tarnished, his status in the Jewish community will be impacted, and his livelihood will be hindered. Joseph surely felt alone and torn, as he pondered one of the most difficult decisions of his life. Then, amongst the other voices and Joseph’s own doubt, God breaks the prophetic silence. In Matthew 1:20-21 the Lord says, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” He goes on to remind Joseph of a prophesy written over 700 years earlier in verses 22-23, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). In the midst of his doubt and confusion, Joseph is told to not be afraid, and the promise wrapped in the name “Immanuel” unlocks hope for his future and all of creation’s future. Think back to a time when you were facing a tough decision and felt alone. Were you afraid? Did you ask why you could not hear the voice of God?  Notice, it was not until after Joseph had made up his mind to quietly divorce Mary, that God speaks. The phrase “Do not be afraid” occurs 366 times in the Bible and is always accompanied by the idea that God is with us.  Immanuel is more than just a name, it is an enduring promise and prophesy, that God is and will always be right beside us.  During this Christmas season, we not only celebrate the birth of our savior, but we also rejoice in the promise that was given us through His name, “Immanuel.”        

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