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Entries in Legacy (12)

Tuesday
Aug132019

Leaving a Legacy of True Treasure

Cathy Horning, a true Bible lover, loves to help people understand the truths and treasures of scripture. In this Legacy UPGRADE, she shares how to leave a legacy to children and grandchildren that can make a difference in their lives.

"This month I turn 60!" Cathy says. "Six decades of life seemed the perfect time to write an upgrade post about milestones. Until, I received an unexpected gift that shifted my focus from years past to the ones which lie ahead."

I (Dawn) am in the proces of considering what legacy I will leave to my own family someday, so I truly appreciate Cathy's wisdom in this post.

Cathy continues . . .

The gift was an old Bible, a precious treasure which challenged me to be more purposeful about what I will leave behind one day.

You see, during the past year a deep regret had grown in my heart, because I had nothing which belonged to my grandmother. So, on a recent visit to my parents, my mom had no idea the special gift she was passing on to me when she gave me my grandma’s Bible.

And, if that wasn’t enough, joy flooded my heart when she opened the pages to reveal a treasure trove of notes, poems, and handwritten letters addressed “To God” and “To The Lord.” 

The inheritance of my grandmother’s Bible and it’s contents inspired me to be more intentional about leaving behind a legacy of true treasure.

1. Leave True Treasure

Growing up, we lived thousands of miles away from extended family and I loved when we would go for visits. But especially precious to me were the letters my grandmother and I wrote to each other. I’m sorry I didn’t keep her letters, which had been tangible reminders of her love, faith, support and encouragement.

So finding the letters she had written to the Lord in her Bible was like discovering true treasure.

2. Leave A Treasure Chest   

I wish I would have known to cherish the letters my grandma and I exchanged, and to keep them in a safe place. But I didn’t.

So as an adult, I am conscientious to keep journals I have written, notes and cards others have given to me, as well as pieces I have written for others.

I hope that one day the writings I have saved will be a treasure chest for my loved ones to explore.

3. Leave Imperishable Treasure 

The letters my grandmother and I wrote to each other are gone forever, but her plain, black, hardback Bible, filled with the handwritten letters of her prayers, lasted.

Still, after I read each note and letter, I found I was sad that there was nothing underlined or highlighted in her Bible to give me a  glimpse of what had spoken to her the most from God’s Word. Until, I showed my adult children my wonderful gift.

Then, as we looked through the notes and scraps of paper together, my daughters noticed that there were small black pencil marks next to passages throughout it’s pages. To me these marks have become an imperishable treasure.

This month as I turn 60, about the same age my grandmother was when she wrote her letters, the gift of her Bible stirred up questions in my own heart.

  • What will I pass on?
  • What will I leave to bless and encourage my loved ones?

Not just personal letters, like the ones between my grandma and me, but a spiritual heritage like Timothy’s grandmother and mother passed down to him.

“I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you… 

"Remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:5-7, 3:14-15)

More than anything, I want to pass on a treasure chest to my children and grandchildren. I want it to be filled with:

  • Imperishable treasure from my own faith journey, 
  • A true treasure of my own prayers and prayers God has answered, and of
  • Testimonies of God’s faithfulness as I held on to the truths and promises in His Word.

My prayer is that this true treasure will fan into flame their own walks of faith, long after my life here is over and I am in my heavenly home. 

What legacy of true treasure will you leave behind? How would you want to "fan into flame" your family's walks of faith?

Cathy Horning is an author, blogger, speaker, Bible teacher, encourager, mentor, wife, mom, grammy to thirteen (and counting), and Jesus lover! She loves the Word of God! Absolutely, nothing brings her greater joy than sharing with others how very precious, practical and powerful are the promises and truths in God's Word, and how He desires to transform our lives into the men and women we were created to be! Learn more about Cathy here and here.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Bru-nO at Pixabay.

Tuesday
Apr032018

Why We Need Billy Graham's Perspective on Time

When I think about Debbie W. Wilson, I think of the word "refreshing." She encourages us to get a fresh perspective on things we take for grated. In this Biblical Thinking UPGRADE, she encourages a more biblical perspective on how we view and use our time.

"When a university student asked Billy Graham what had been the biggest surprise in his life," Debbie says, "he answered, 'My biggest surprise in life is its brevity.'”

I (Dawn) think that realization becomes more apparent the older we get. In day-to-day circumstances, we may forget to live in light of eternity. But life is short; what are we waiting for?

Debbie continues . . .

James agreed. He wrote to those bragging about their big plans for the future,  

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14 NIV).

Job put it this way,

“My days come and go swifter than the click of knitting needles, and then the yarn runs out—an unfinished life! (Job 7:6 The Message).

An adult mayfly has a lifespan of less than a day. In comparison with eternity, our lifespan is shorter than a mayfly’s.

Remembering this helps us live without regret.

Our family traveled I-40 from California to North Carolina. If you look at I-40 as representing eternity—which it feels like when you’re glued to the seat of a car with two small children wanting to escape the back seat—our lifespan covers less than 2 miles of I-40’s 2,555 miles.

Cultivating an Eternal Perspective

Remembering life’s brevity should shake us from our slumber. Are we living for the 20-mile stretch or for eternity?

Remembering the brevity of life changes us. It changes—

1. Our PURPOSE

Instead of bragging about my plans, I seek His plan for my life. He knows the future; I don’t.

I want to live for eternity.

2. Our DEFINITION of a Deal.

James rebuked the wealthy who got rich by not paying their workers on time.

“You thought you were piling up wealth. What you’ve piled up is judgment” (from James 5:1-3 The Message).

If saving some cash cheats a sales person out of the fair compensation he needs to feed and shelter his family, it is not a good deal.

The wealth of those James rebuked became a source of shame when they faced death.

3. What we COLLECT

I love to decorate, but when our family moved to the Midwest for a two-year stint, we didn’t invest much time or money into our rental house. However, I willingly spent more on furnishings at a nearby antique auction for pieces I knew we’d move to our permanent home.

It would have been a waste to paint walls and plant shrubs in a place we were soon leaving.

When we set up our permanent home, we were thankful for the pieces we’d bought with our future in mind. 

It’s not wrong to store up treasure. We just need an eternal mindset to identify real treasure and to store it in the right place where it will not be corroded or have the power to corrupt us (Matthew 6:19-34).

4. The LEGACY We Leave

A cartoon showed a man standing before a storage unit with his son. The raised door revealed a space packed from floor to ceiling with stuff.

“This will all be yours one day,” the father beamed as his son grimaced.

What am I leaving behind? For what will I be remembered?

Billy Graham’s “brief” life on earth ended this year. His faithfulness to Christ during his 99 years blessed millions. I can only imagine the throngs of people who greeted him in heaven.

Our lives may not be as public as his, but our choice to live with an eternal perspective is just as valuable.

How does considering the brevity of life change how you live today?

Debbie W. Wilson—drawing from her personal walk with Christ, twenty-four years as a Christian counselor, and decades as a Bible teacher—speaks and writes to help others discover relevant faith. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. Share her journey to refreshing faith at her blog and website.

Graphic Adapted, courtesy of JaStra at Pixabay.

Tuesday
Aug162016

Peggy Leslie's Legacy

My friend Peggy Leslie went home to heaven a few days ago. Since then, I've thought a lot about her legacy.

Yes, there were all the women who sat under her solid Bible teaching, and those who read her co-authored* mystery novels, and those who were blessed by her ministry in the church library. Her ministry in these and other places of service was sincere and deep, practical and always honoring Christ.

But Peggy's greatest legacy is in her children and grandchildren - those she and her beloved husband Gene (married 52 years) loved and taught so well. Most of all, I remember how Peggy loved to pray for every member in her family: her five grown children, the married children's spouses, and all her precious grandchildren. 

She told me once how she prayed for each child on a separate day. I remember being so convicted that I did not pray nearly enough for those I loved ... and that all changed for me because of Peggy's influence.

I am sharing this adapted version of a post she wrote for UPGRADE in April of 2015. (It's short and simple - but don't mistake how wise her words were!) I chose to run her words again to remind her family and friends what an extraordinary woman of God she was (and is).

As if they'll ever need reminding.

I love you, Peggy. I'm thankful for eternity.

I wonder if there will be "sweet tea" in heaven?

Dawn

“'Opposites' are supposed to be two different things. Right? So, how did I get five opposites in my five children?”

Our first three children were born in less than three years. Even before the first reached kindergarten, I observed that from the beginning each one, though in many ways like the others, was different from his or her siblings.

Karen, our firstborn, had a beautiful Sunshine Girl smile and could be very entertaining. Yet overall she was somewhat reserved, definitely not a chatterer.

Chuck, on the other hand, was one of those outgoing children who never met a stranger. We said he was “born talking.”

Scott was the observant one and the one most likely to share deep feelings. One day little Scottie came to me and said, “Mommy, I feel sad.” None of the others ever did that voluntarily.  

The differences continued as Kate (the sweet little “ham” and born teacher) and April (the sensitive musician) came along.

In the beginning I knew nothing about studies on temperaments, A-B-C-D “types,” or birth-order. But as I observed—and dealt with—each child’s idiosyncrasies, I concluded that to a point, each of my children was “born that way.” 

God had designed each one with a unique, inborn make-up that Gene and I needed to recognize.  

Here are a few things I learned along the way—some of which I wish I’d figured out sooner!

1. Pray, pray, PRAY to know how to “Train up your child in the way he should go . . . " (Proverbs 22:6)—which will usually be quite different from his siblings!

Gene and I have always prayed for our children, but for a long time in a kind of haphazard way, and usually individually. Many years ago, we came up with a plan.

We call it SPD—Special Prayer Day.

With seven in the family, each gets his or her own SPD. On that day, I usually contact that one by phone call, text or email and ask:

“Do you have any SPRs [Special Prayer Requests] today?”

I cannot count the number of blessings and answers and special moments that has brought to our family.  

Come up with you own plan. Just be sure to pray!

2. Observe each child so you’ll recognize differences and know the way that one should go.

3. Celebrate each one’s uniqueness.

Don’t try to force one into an area he’s not good at (sports, music, drama, etc.).

Don't expect, or try to make, one child like another one.

4. Encourage talents or skills God put there by providing ways to enhance them (sports sign-ups, music lessons, etc.).

5. Discipline when a child uses those talents and skills in inappropriate ways.

To me, those last two hints envelope the meaning of Ephesians 6:4b: ...bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

6. Pray. It bears repeating!

"Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her" (Provrbs 31:28).

* NOTE: Peggy Leslie and Donna Jeremiah co-authored and published two Christian mystery novels: Storm over Coronado and Intrigue in Coronado.

Tuesday
Mar222016

They're Taking It All In

Sharon Hoffman, a godly grandmother and author, knows the importance of touching the next generation for Christ. In this Grandparenting UPGRADE, Sharon encourages us to leave a legacy of spiritual heirlooms.

“Often extraordinary truths about God are taught in the most ordinary ways,” she says.

When my (Dawn’s) boys were young, I loved to embrace teachable moments; and now that I have three granddaughters, it’s still a pleasure. Sharon’s wordd remind me how crucial this is.

Sharon continues . . .

Because such moments come without warning and often at the most inopportune times, we’ve got to be ready to impart spiritual truths, seizing those fleeting teachable moments. They are more powerful than we can ever imagine.

Because I take my role of leaving a legacy of faith very seriously, not too long ago I made a commitment before the Lord, that with His help, the remainder of my life will be dedicated to ensuring that the heritage I pass along to my grandchildren is physically, emotionally, social, and most of all, spiritually rich.

From the mail that I receive and the 100-plus women I networked with in preparing my book—A Car Seat in My Convertible?—it is clear to me that a vast majority of women take their spiritual heritage very seriously, too, and have that same desire.

Edward H. Dreschnack said, “Just about the time a woman thinks her work is done … she becomes a grandmother.

And our grandchildren are taking it all in.

You, remarkable grandmother, can make the most of every moment when it comes to living out Deuteronomy 6:6-7:

"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

God wants us to be communicating scriptural truths along life’s way

  • When we look up at a rainbow;
  • When we stand at the edge of a river;
  • When we come upon an overflowing parking lot and need a space;
  • When we pause to ask God to help the hurting people in an ambulance when we hear a siren;
  • When we pray for healing or stop to help someone who is hurt.

All along life’s way we can be the hands and feet of Jesus before our grands.

Believe me, they’re watching and taking it all in. I don’t know about you, but as for me, even though I’m having the most fun ever in my grandmothering, I’ve found my body losing the vitality of my younger years, reminding me daily of the simple truth I’m not going to live forever.

I want to sow spiritual seeds in the fertile ground of my grandchildren’s hearts while I can.

Let me ask you some personal questions:

Is that what you desire?

What seeds are you sowing?

What kind of spiritual influence are you having?

How do you encourage your grands in the faith?

Is your life a reflection of the Savior?

You have an incredible opportunity to leave a legacy of spiritual heirlooms!

At the end of your life, will you look back at a bountiful harvest from the dozens of seeds you’ve planted, having influenced your grandchildren to love your Lord as you do?

Sharon Hoffman challenges women to change their world. Known for her warm demeanor and trademark smile, this vivacious author, speaker and grandma is the author of The GIFTed Woman, Come Home to Comfort, Untie the Rainbow, The Today Girl, and A Car Seat in My Convertible? Sharon wears “many hats,” including pastor’s wife. She and her husband, Rob, call Tennessee home.

Thursday
Dec312015

Become Productive in 2016

Pam Farrel is one of the most productive people I know. I'm always amazed by what she has accomplished in her personal life, family and writing/speaking ministry. In this New Year's UPGRADE, she encourages us to consider how we're using our time, because it can have a lasting impact.

"Each day we live the legacy we want to leave!" Pam says. "Because of the ticking clock, we need creative ways to squeeze the most out of each day."

Building a legacy is important to me (Dawn) too. I don't want to fritter away my time. Pam's insights into becoming more productive can help all of us use our time more intentionally.

Pam continues . . .

Eph. 5:15-16 reminds each of us: the time we have to create and leave a legacy is short.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

People have often asked me, “How did you write 40 books, serve your church, keep a happy marriage, and raise sons who have also become healthy leaders with happy marriages and families too?”

So in 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman book, I share my 7 Simple Steps for creating time to P-R-O-D-U-C-E:

P - Plan Out the Future.

Plan each year, each month, each week, each day, and each hour. Those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

I like to use Outlook. (I color–code my Outlook so I can find items for family, work, social life quickly on my schedule, and I can input all important details.) I also plan who to delegate task to, or I schedule into my planner the time it will take for me to achieve the goal.  

R - Respond instead of React.  

 I don’t waste time on negative emotions.

Worry, self-doubt, frustration over delays or plans going awry are time wasters.

If I hit a really hard emotional hurdle, I will cry for a few minutes, then plan in time to better deal with the emotional fallout later.

To keep a positive disposition, I also plan in nourishing time off for favorite activities, dates with my husband, my kids, friends, ministry colleagues and days off for solitude. Time for self-care transforms into more time.

O - Optimize Multi-tasking.

I try to link easier tasks: Walk and listen to podcasts or audio books; fold laundry and watch the news; stretch while I listen to scripture songs; walk and pray through priorities or post to social media; dust or do dishes while memorizing scripture. 

D - Deliberately Group Tasks for Efficiency.

If I have to get dressed up for a meeting or speaking, then that is the day I also do other meetings, or filming for our ministry. I also link all my errands on one day.

By grouping similar tasks, I can also enjoy full days at home to be creative and comfy in my sweats!

U - Use every minute.

If I have an extra few minutes I check email, read newsletters, a magazine article or a book that can help me improve an area of my life.

I also handle small household tasks in those random five-to-ten-minute slots: clean out a drawer, wipe down the kitchen, empty the dishwasher or make a quick phone call.

C - Calendar Priorities.

I carve out and mark down time with God, family vacations, marriage getaways and date nights, our kids’ major responsibilities, activities and celebrations. These all get placed on the calendar as far out as possible.

E - Elevate My Vision.

I pray to get God’s viewpoint on my life, my marriage, my family, my ministry, my business, my friendships, my health—on all my life.

I have found it saves me time to do life God’s way.

God has great things for you to do. Enjoy seeing Him PRODUCE wonderful things through you!

Which one of these ideas will help you PRODUCE more in the next year? Or which will help you PRODUCE with a better attitude?

Pam Farrel is an international speaker and author of 40 books including her newest: 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success in Keeping It All Together.   She and her husband Bill are relationship specialists who help people become "Love-Wise."

Graphic adapted, image courtesy of pixabay.com.