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Lina AbuJamra

Sue Badeau

Dianne Barker

Twila Belk

Gail Bones

Harriet Bouchillon

Mary Carver

Jeanne Cesena

Pamela Christian

Lisa Copen

Erin Davis

Diane Dean

Deb DeArmond

Kelly DeChant

Danna Demetre

Melissa Edgington

Debbi Eggleston

Pat Ennis

Morgan Farr

Pam Farrel

Sally Ferguson

Liz Cowen Furman

Gail Goolsby

Sheila Gregoire

Kate Hagen

Doreen Hanna

Holly Hanson

Becky Harling

Debbie Harris

Nali Hilderman

Cathy Horning

Kathy Howard

Mary James

Priscilla Jenson

Lane P. Jordan

Rebecca Jordan

Ellie Kay

Maria Keckler

Sylvia Lange

Debby Lennick

Peggy Leslie

Kathi Lipp

Kolleen Lucariello

Kathi Macias

Paula Marsteller

Melissa Mashburn

Dianne Matthews

Cindi McMenamin

Elaine W. Miller

Kathy Collard Miller

Lynn Mosher

Karen O'Connor

Yvonne Ortega

Arlene Pellicane

Ava Pennington

Laura Petherbridge

Gail Purath

Marcia Ramsland

Kaley Rhea

Rhonda Rhea

Vonda Rhodes

Cynthia Ruchti

Julie Sanders

Judy Scharfenberg

Deedra Scherm

Laurel Shaler

Joanie Shawhan

Stephanie Shott

Poppy Smith

Susan K. Stewart

Stacie Stoelting

Letitia "Tish" Suk

Jill Swanson

Janet Thompson

Janice Thompson

Teri Thompson

Brittany Van Ryn

Elizabeth Van Tassel

Leslie Vernick

Laurie Wallin

Julie Watson

Joan C. Webb

Shonda Savage Whitworth

Cherri Williamson

Kathy C. Willis

Debbie W. Wilson

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Jamie Wood

And UPGRADE'S Founder

   Dawn Wilson


Entries in Legacy (11)


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—


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.


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?


“'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.


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.


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


Upgrade Your Integrity

Pam Farrel is on a mission to help people grow with God’s truth and godly wisdom. In this Character UPGRADE, she focuses on the priority of integrity.

“Sin leaves a wake,” Pam says. “Behind every selfish action is a sea of hurt and pain.”

My (Dawn's) husband used to say, "It's not a matter of whether we're selfish, but rather how selfish we are." Selfishness can erode the strongest marriage!

Pam continues . . .

Bill and I are known as relationship specialists; experts on love and romance. This means is we need to live out our love! We need to make every effort to get along, work through issues, and give plenty of mercy and grace to protect our marriage.

Because our love—and yours—is about living and leaving a family legacy.

Protect Love and Legacy: the Bible tells us this is a priority:

“Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump...” (1 Corinthians 5:6-7).

“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

The “A Priority” is to guard our life and protect the gift of love God gave.

God will bless your choice to keep your vows:

“He who walks in integrity walks securely…” (Proverbs 10:9).

“He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity” (Proverbs 2:7).

“For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; The upright will behold His face” (Psalm 11:7).

 “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).

In my newest book, 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success in Keeping It Together, I share that on my desk are several items to remind me that it pays to walk in integrity.

On my desk you’d find:

1. Photos of me with Bill as well as photos of our children, grandchildren, mentees, parents—all those whose lives I would undermine if I cheated on my vows.

2. A compass given to me by a wise mentor in leadership who said, “Let God’s voice be your compass”

3. All my Bibles. Looking at God’s Word all day, every day, reminds me to be in it—and to let it impact the way I live.

4. A barnacle attached to a stone as a reminder that a barnacle cannot live apart from the stone just as I cannot survive apart from Christ, the Rock of my Salvation.

5. A frame with verses about living with integrity visible on the front, and stories of the harmful wake others left when they wandered from Christ and His plan for committed love.

6. A heart paper weight to remind me to have a whole heart for God.

7. A figurine with an umbrella on it, reminding me that life is best when lived under what I call “God’s umbrella of blessing.”

For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield” (Psalms 5:12).

8. A turtle, because if you see a turtle on a fence post you should ask, “How did that turtle get there?

Turtles can’t climb, so someone placed the turtle on high. In the same way, God gave each of us a legacy, a platform, so God can take us down a few notches—or elevate and bless us—depending on our choices. 

“Be humble in the Lord’s presence, and he will honor you” (James 4:10).

Integrity may not be easy—but it can be SIMPLE. Guard your heart, your life, your love and your legacy.

What will you place on your desk to remind you that “those that honor God, God honors”? (1 Samuel 2:30

Pam Farrel and her husband Bill, are international speakers and authors of 40 books including their two newest: 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman and 7 Simple Skills for Every Man, each designed to help a person, using simple skills, to create a life that he/she will love to live, and a way to love those in his/her life. Find them at, where they are helping people in all their most vital relationships by intersecting God’s wisdom with people’s desire to be loving. 

Graphic adapted, Image courtesy of usamedeniz at