Broker Check

Bluffton Location

117 E Elm Street

Bluffton, OH 45817

April 2017 - Love is in the Details


 (guest contributor, Kathi Dunlap)

The door closed after the last appointment for the day had ended.  While we had clients in the room, we focused on them — their story, their goals, their needs — the things that they were and were not saying. When they walked away, we turned our focus to follow-through. “I’ll research that information for them…” “How long until retirement?” “Did they confirm that they have a will?”

Some of the people who come in for an appointment are seeking to tie up some loose ends in their retirement plan. Others are young and trying to make important decisions to see that their young family is cared for. Yet others want to know what they should be doing, even if they are not quite ready or able to do it. These are “big picture” concepts and they are very important to our clients of all ages. One of the hardest things to do sometimes is to translate those “big picture” ideas into action steps and, for some, that means they’ll struggle to follow through.

One mission that we take very seriously is to help you follow through. We believe that “love is in the details.” If you think you want to have your wife as a beneficiary on your life insurance and you assume that your kids will be contingent beneficiaries, but there is no follow through to be sure that arrangement is in place, it can make things difficult and painful for your survivors. If you have a    mentality of saving money but you don’t make a plan on how to invest it, you could end up not quite meeting your objective for retirement income. Ultimately, if you know you need to start doing something to plan for retirement or provide for your family and you never start — you’ve left out a very important detail!

I’ll be honest. I think that many people don’t make an appointment with a financial adviser because they think they have to have it “all figured out” first. Or they think they have to have a lot of extra money laying around. Or they think they’ll get to it later on. The problem is these details don’t come together and the conversation never ends up happening!

We recently had a young client come in and ask really thoughtful questions. As Gary systematically answered the questions, the client realized that he was getting more than investment advice — he was getting an education. We discussed the difference between being in the market vs being in fixed products that have guarantees.  He then said “I heard I was supposed to be doing something” with regards to a Roth IRA. As Gary illuminated one area after another, the client then asked, “How will I know what to do in retirement? What’s the right way to do things?” I bet you can easily see that this client is already ahead of the game simply because he’s taking time to ask questions and learn from the answers! These conversations he’s having with Gary, trying to make a plan for the future, are “love in the details” for his family.

I want to ask “what details does your family need you ­­­to follow through on?” and encourage you to take action steps. I realize, though, after months or possibly years of pushing details to the back-burner, it can be really difficult to know where to start. May I suggest that you make an appointment to have a no-cost, no-obligation conversation? Taking a step forward will feel good!

Love is in the details—

Kathi Dunlap



Have things changed for you — new home, new phone number or email, new child, family changes?  Do you need to change or review your beneficiaries? Please take a moment and send a quick email to   We may simply need to update our files, but certain types of information should also be reported to the companies who hold your investments. Let us help you stay up-to-date!

We consistently add people to our mailing list who we think may benefit from the material.  If this is one of your first newsletters, WELCOME!!  We hope you enjoy it!  We try to be informative and share our thoughts and our lives with you.  We know you are busy and also realize that perhaps you are served well by another adviser and don’t “need” to hear from us.  If that’s the case and you’d rather not receive these mailings, feel free to email or call us at 419-358-4207 to ask to be removed.



Riley Creek Arbor will be taking an inner-city elementary school class bowling in May, as an incentive to do well on their state tests. We will also be walking in the Bluffton Memorial Day parade to promote the Arbor’s involvement in the community.

Kathi Dunlap recently had the opportunity to represent the Riley Creek Arbor and Gleaner Life Insurance in Washington, DC.  She and other representatives partnered with American Fraternal Alliance to meet with Senators and Congressmen to help educate them about fraternal benefit societies and their good in local communities.



Many of you who work with Gary regularly know that he doesn’t focus on selling products. He wants to serve his clients and help them meet their financial goals. One often-hidden aspect of a person’s financial plan is to have adequate, well-chosen insurance. If you would like him to review what you already have (either life or property & casualty), he would be glad to do so as part of our comprehensive service to you. Kathi has recently become licensed as a life agent in Ohio to assist Gary with meeting your needs.



Do you know someone in the financial service field who is considering career advancement or someone desiring to start in financial services? We are considering hosting some round-table discussions with young advisers and/or students and would like to connect with people who want to learn more about the business. We also are having discussions about hosting a “Work as Worship” conference in Lima and/or Bluffton next February for Christian business people to integrate their work with their faith. More to follow!



What are some ways that faith impacts your finances? What influences (books, mentors, etc.) help you align your finances with your values?  Christians often think of faith and finances only in terms of their charitable giving but it is so much more than that.

Here are some books, websites, and magazines to help you focus on Christian priorities in your finances: 

  • “Kingdom Gains” by Dwight Short
  • World Magazine (covers current events but has many helpful articles on money, benevolence, faith-based charities, etc.)
  • and
  • “answers” tab
  • “The Treasure Principle” by Randy Alcorn
  • “Business by the Book” by Larry Burkett
  • “I Found Jesus in the Stock Market” by Cassandra Laymon

We are exploring the possibility of opening a Christian finance lending library through Riley Creek Arbor (to be located in our office.) If we were to do that, what books/resources would you recommend that have been impactful for your financial and spiritual journey? We’d love to hear from you. Post thoughts on our Faith Investment Services facebook page OR contact us through our website at


"From the President's Desk" at Summit Ministries  Dr. Jeff Myers, November 2013

The devil's greatest lie, both in the Garden of Eden and today, is, "God does not want good for you." 

This lie is refuted in the very first chapter of the Bible: "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good"  (Genesis 1:31).  In Hebrew, the phrase "very good" is "meod towb" (pronounced MAY-odd Tove).  It means exceedingly, heartbreakingly, abundantly, richly, immeasurably good in a festive, generous, intelligent, charming, splendid way.

The English word flourishing is based on the ancient Greek idea of eudaimonia - the good life. It's not a life of leisure, but a life of fulfillment.  God made our first parents so they could take responsibility, be creative, glory in creation, and revel in one another's company. Their flourishing was very much tied to their actual physical presence and work.

Unfortunately, a heresy arose in the early church called "Gnosticism" which said that the fall irretrievably ruined creation and that Christians should shun it and focus only on the spiritual realm.  Gnostics even went so far as to proclaim that Jesus did not really appear in the flesh because that would have been an intolerable corruption of his spiritual being.

The apostles roundly condemned Gnosticism.  First John says that anyone who does not proclaim Jesus as having come in the flesh is giving a message that is not from God.  And yet it is amazing how many in the so-called postmodern or emergent church hold to tenets of Gnosticism to this day.

At Summit we teach students that their desire for eternity should cause them to care more about what is going on in this world, rather than less.  Thomas Aquinas put it this way: "Grace does not destroy nature, but completes it."

At the heart of human flourishing is a life of involvement -- even leadership.  And at the heart of leadership is a  robust love for God.  Dorothy Day said:

"We must build up leaders. 

And the leaders must first change themselves. 

And the job is so hard, so gigantic

in this, our day of chaos, that there is

only one motive that can make it

possible for us to live in hope -

that motive of the love of God." 

In fact, to Augustine, the cultivation of this kind of love is precisely what attracts others to us: "Beauty grows in you to the extent that love grows, because charity itself is the soul's beauty."

Summit instructor John Stonestreet recommends asking four questions to connect our love for God and the life habits that lead to flourishing:

  • What are my loves? What do I care about most deeply, based on how I use my time, talents, and treasure?
  • What are my loyalties? Who or what gets the real me? What causes me to commit my time and energies?
  • What are my longings? If I continue where I have aimed, where will I end up?
  • What are my liturgies? What do I worship? What are the rhythms of my life? What are the habits of my life?

Hidden in the answers to these four questions is the secret to a life of flourishing.  And in a life of flourishing, we discover what the good life -- from God's perspective -- is all about.



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