Gift Planning Profile: Brenna Lawrence
“The Lord’s given me unspeakable joy,” says Brenna Lawrence. “It brings me tremendous joy to know that my hard work will be used to advance His Kingdom.” Brenna, 62, is an enthusiastic supporter of Alliance Defending Freedom and several other Christian ministries. In fact, she is committed to giving 30 percent of her income back to the Lord. “The giving is the most exciting thing of anything I do,” she explains.
Thirty percent is a significant amount of money for anyone to part with, but Brenna says her return on that investment is worth the sacrifice. After giving the first 10 percent to her church, she divides the remaining 20 percent between ministries she feels passionate about, and says Alliance Defending Freedom tops that list. The “30 percent principle” did not come from a request, suggestion, or a passage in a book, Brenna explains. “I just felt like it was what I wanted to do. I’m so thankful God forgave my sins and saved my soul, I feel a burden to see His will done in this world.” And, there are times when she feels compelled to give even more.
Several years ago, Brenna’s father passed away unexpectedly. One of the necessary pains of organizing his estate was to sell the family farm, which caused great emotional distress. During that time, Brenna was drawn to the Old Testament story of Hannah and Samuel (1 Samuel 1). In realizing that Hannah’s personal pain in giving her only son, Samuel, back to the Lord brought tremendous blessings for generations to come. Brenna did the same. She took every penny she made off the sale of the farm and donated it back to the Lord.
It is with that same generous heart for giving that Brenna will leave a gift of retirement to Alliance Defending Freedom. “As soon as He takes me home,” she says, “I want that money to go to [Alliance Defending Freedom]. This money is blood, sweat, and tears, and I don’t want it to be wasted. I want it to continue God’s Kingdom when I’m gone.”
Brenna first heard about Alliance Defending Freedom by listening to an interview with Alan Sears on a Focus on the Family radio program. She sees the unique ministry of Alliance Defending Freedom making a difference in situations that leave her feeling frustrated and powerless on her own. “I see our nation taking away the rights of believers, left and right. That frustrates me. If I didn’t stay focused on Jesus Christ and realize He has a purpose for it and know [Alliance Defending Freedom] is fighting for us, I would be so discouraged. The stronghold of evil discourages me so much; but [Alliance Defending Freedom] is a righteous standard, combating the unrighteous.”
Brenna works in real estate in California and has no children of her own. She sees her gift to Alliance Defending Freedom as her inheritance being given to God’s children. While a health scare prompted her to get her estate in order early, she encourages others to do the same. She would like to think that her own financial sacrifices to the Lord would encourage other Allied Ministry Friends to be generous and faithful stewards of the gifts with which God has blessed them. “The verse is true, ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,’ (Matthew 6:21)," she explains. “When I give to the Lord like that, my heart is moved. I don’t care nearly as much about material things. It frees me.”
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Note: This section provides general financial information, not specific financial advice. The material contained in this section does not create or imply an advisor-client relationship with the Alliance Defending Freedom, Inc., or any of its attorneys or allies. For specific questions, consult a qualified financial and/or legal advisor.