Tag Archives: Legacy

A Weird Christmas Legacy—and a Spiritual One

16 Dec

I thought it was fake Christmas news—a hoax. It turns out, it was “false” teeth news … along with a glass eye!

Phil Luciano, a columnist for the Peoria Journal Star, wrote recently about a dead grandpa’s false teeth and glass eye—handed over to his step-grandchildren after his death—that are re-gifted by family members in a shocking, odd Christmas tradition.

Early on, they simply re-gifted Ralph Yocum’s teeth and eye. Imagine the recipient’s shock on opening such a gift!

Now family members are more creative. They have repackaging the human remains in a snow globe, placed it in soap for a unique soap-on-a rope, inserted it in a gumball machine with gumballs, attached them to wind chimes, and even stuffed them into a cosmetically-altered “Tickle Me Elmo” doll.

Though weird, the legend of the teeth and eye continues.

It’s a family legacy that keeps old Ralph’s memory alive.

My writer friend, Kathy Howard,* has odd family heirlooms too:   her great-grandfather’s dental bridge, and a jar with her mom’s gallstones from surgery in the 1970s!

My husband’s family has a strange family legacy that makes all of us laugh. We pass along an old, gold-painted “pee pot” to family members on special occasions. It evokes memories of years of vacation traveling when Bob and his siblings needed “to go,” but their dad didn’t want to stop to find a bathroom! (Hence, the “pee pot.”)

But on a more serious note, family legacies are often opportunities to pass something treasured down through the generations.

A few years ago, Kathy—who I mentioned above—wrote about ways to pass down a spiritual legacy. She encouraged people, using principles from Deuteronomy 6:1-9, to do four things.

Let me summarize her four points here:

1. Start with Yourself.

Be a living demonstration of the truth of scripture and authentic faith.

Don’t be afraid to live your faith in front of your kids!

2. Give Them God’s Word. 

Purposefully share scripture in a variety of ways and in various circumstances.

3. Tell Your Family Stories.

Share what God has done for you and your family. “Weave them into the fabric of your family history,” Kathy wrote. “Don’t let yourself or your children forget!”

4. Stand Firm in Shaky Times.

Stand firm because “an unshakable faith in shaky times is the most effective testimony you can give your children,” Kathy said.

That kind of legacy will be meaningful because it will impact the next generation. It has the potential to instill faith in Christ and keep His memory “alive” in our families and homes.

It’s a lot more powerful and life changing than a snow globe filled with grandpa’s teeth and eye!

– Dawn

* Kathy Howard wrote Unshakable Faith: 8 Traits for Rock-Solid Living, which I highly recommend! Her blog is here.

 

 

 

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Gobble, Gobble, Gobble …

18 Nov

I remember a Thanksgiving Day long ago when my grade school-aged boys were into kids’ joke books. Have you ever heard these silly “turkey jokes”?

Such as:

Q: Which side of the turkey has the most feathers? A. The outside!

Q: Who is never hungry on Thanksgiving? A. The turkey, because he’s already stuffed!

Q: When is turkey soup bad for your health? A. When you’re the turkey.

Q. Where do you find a turkey with no legs? A. Exactly where you left him.

And totally silly . . .

Q: Why don’t you put the turkey near the corn? A: Because he will gobble, gobble, gobble it up!

I’ve had “gobbling” on the brain this week. I fully intend to gobble up some turkey and fixings next Thursday.

But there are some other, beneficial things I can “gobble up” too.

Join me in using the scriptures below to remind you to “gobble” up these godly priorities.

I can…

1. Gobble Up Time with the Lord.

Be still and exalt Him! Psalm 46:10; Psalm 62:1

Draw near to Him and repent of sin. James 4:8

Pray expecting God to answer. Matthew 6:6

Abide in the Lord. Psalm 91:1; John 15:4

2. Gobble Up the Word of God.

Delight in and meditate on scripture. Psalm 1:2

Strengthen your heart against temptation. Psalm 119:9, 11

Handle scripture wisely; study it! 2 Timothy 2:15

3. Gobble Up Resources (books, videos, Podcasts, etc.) with Solid Doctrine.

Don’t forsake solid teaching. Proverbs 4:2

Avoid diverse/strange teachings. Hebrews 13:9a; 2 Timothy 4:3

Hold firm to and teach the “trustworthy” Word & sound doctrine. Titus 1:9; 2:1

4. Gobble Up Memories with Family Members.

Honor parents—show respect and let them tell their stories. Exodus 20:12;

Create a legacy for your children, your “heritage” from God. Psalm 127:3-5

Be wise in parenting. Ephesians 6:1-4; Proverbs 6:20

Pass on your love for the Lord and His ways. Psalm 103:17

5. Gobble Up Inspiring Opportunities with Friends.

Choose friends carefully. Proverbs 13:20

Treasure loving, loyal friends. Proverbs 17:17

Seek Accountability from wise friends. Proverbs 27:5-6; 17

Give thanks for the friend who lifts you up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

6. Gobble Up Open Doors to Minister to Others.

Love sacrificially. John 15:12-13

Obey the Lord—His purposes for you. John 15:14-15

Watch your attitudes. Colossians 3:12-14

Embrace God’s way of love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Practice the “one anothersof scripture: love one another, encourage one another, serve one another, etc.

Don’t take a day for granted. Practice the priorities of scripture and seek the Lord. Enjoy Him!

Gobble up the life He’s given you!

What do you need to gobble up more of this year? Focus on that as you consider ways to express your gratitude this Thanksgiving.

 – Dawn

 – Graphic of turkey, courtesy of Pixabay.

How to Not Be Spiritually Clueless

7 Oct

A silly woman called “911” on her cell phone to report that her car was broken into. She was hysterical, explaining the situation to the dispatcher.

“They’ve stolen the stereo. They’ve stolen the steering wheel. They’ve even stolen the brake pedal and accelerator!” she yelled into the phone.

“Stay calm,” the dispatcher said. “An officer is on the way.” A few minutes later, the officer radioed in to the dispatcher.

“Disregard the call,” the officer said. “She got in the back seat by mistake.” *

Clueless, right?

Clueless people aren’t necessarily “airheads.” They just have no idea what’s going on.  They haven’t taken time to see the facts that are right in front of them.

The words “spiritually clueless” came to mind recently as I talked to a woman about faith and other spiritual concepts. I had to go back to the basics and explain terms that she should have learned at church. I wondered how this could be, with so many evangelical churches today. Were people just getting pretty stories and no “meat”?

I recently read an article from 1999  ~ and I would imagine that the situation is worse, today. Professor Gary Burge at Wheaton College tests incoming freshmen on their knowledge of the Bible and he says his findings are “alarming,” especially since most of the students at Wheaton come from strong evangelical churches.

For example, one third of students cannot put these in chronological order: Christ, Abraham, Pentecost, and the Old Testament prophets. Half cannot sequence these events: Isaac’s birth, Judah’s exile, Moses in Egypt, Saul’s death. One-third could not identify Matthew as an apostle. Eighty percent of students do not know where to find the Lord’s Prayer.

I recently had a time of Bible study with my middle granddaughter, Jenna. In the midst of our study on fear, we got sidetracked on the word “wisdom.”

“How do I get wise?” she asked. After talking about health wisdom, financial wisdom, relationship wisdom, etc., I told Jenna the most important kind of wisdom is Life Wisdom, because that will help us with all other needs for wisdom. When she asked me how to get this life wisdom, I took her to Proverbs 2:6 ~ “The Lord gives wisdom.”

If you want to be wise, I said, you need to ask God (see James 1:5), and then read the Bible, because that is where you will learn about what God thinks and what His plans are for your life and for the world. Jenna asked so many questions about the Bible that day … I pray she will always seek her wisdom from God.

Later that night, as I watched a television show, I heard a man talk about a woman who was “clueless.” I remembered my conversation with Jenna and thought, “Lord, help me cooperate with my grandchildren’s parents to build spiritual truth and values into all of these dear children so they won’t be spiritually clueless about You when they grow up.”

Wisdom is the opposite of being spiritually clueless. It comes from rubbing shoulders with those who speak and model wisdom and from spending time with God and His Word. Psalm 119:99 says, “I have more understanding and deeper insight than all my teachers, because Your testimonies are my meditation” (Psalm 119:99 Amplified).  “Understanding and deeper insight” … that sure doesn’t sound a person who is spiritually clueless.

Wisdom is what I want for my life, and the heritage I want to leave my grandchildren. [I wish I had read Carrie Ward’s book, Together: Growing Appetites for God, when my sons were young. It would have inspired me to read more of the Bible to my children. I recommend this book to moms who are serious about reaching their children’s hearts for Christ!]

How do you instill wisdom in your children and grandchildren?

* Adapted from “Missing Car Parts,” CybersaltDigest, 5-19-12

– Dawn

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