Tuesday, May 21, 2019

IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME: Leaving a Lasting Legacy

Do this in remembrance of me.
(I Corinthians 11:24b)
good character is the best tombstone.  Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered.  Carve your name
on hearts, not marble.  (Charles Spurgeon)

Memorial day is considered the first major holiday of summer! For many it's a time of letting loose and celebrating with family, graduations, barbecues, reunions, and relaxing vacations.  Here in Indy, it's a time we find our city peppered with black and white checkered flags and signs welcoming thousands of visitors enjoying the Indianapolis 500 Parade events and Sunday's race.  We prepare ourselves to be more alert and more patient because of frequent traffic jams, reckless speeders, and inebriated revelers moving from one party to the next!

However,  some traditionalists like myself, prefer to spend this time thinking about those who have passed on from this life.  We make visits to the cemetery to spruce up burial grounds with flowers and perhaps a flag if they were veterans.  Drink in the solitude of the surroundings and just take time to REMEMBER those who still mean so much although are gone! 

Sure, there will be a moment or two of sadness but nothing like the feeling you get when passing gravesites that haven't been visited in years.  These may be overgrown with faded or tattered remnants of artificial flowers.  Perhaps the headstones are green and moldy with moss or the area simply trampled over because no marker was ever placed there.  It makes you wonder, how will I be remembered when I'm gone?  Will I be that unmarked grave or if cremated...stuck in the back of the closet next to an old bowling ball and worn out shoes?

Don't be put-off thinking you're too young for such contemplation!  You don't have to wait until you're old to start building a legacy, in fact you're building one right now.  But is it one that will stand the test of time or will it evaporate the moment you're dropped off at the cemetery!  

Our, Lord and Savior, Jesus was only thirty-three years old when He departed this world.  He had only ministered three years, but thousands of years later we are still talking about Him! His brief life is still celebrated!  His legacy is still making an impact, changing and making lives better, He is still being REMEMBERED! I want that, don't you?

A good place to start is learning the difference between prosperity and prosterity!  Prosperity is all about amassing wealth, having abundance to enjoy now and in the future.  Prosterity, on the other hand has to do with the discovery and appreciation of something valuable by future generations.  They are similar but vastly different when it comes to leaving a fruitful legacy! 

Whereas some folks work hard to leave material things to their descendants, which is absolutely biblical: 
a good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children (Proverbs 13:22); a legacy that last is more than money, property, or a thriving stock portfolio.  One must consider that everyone cannot leave such tangible items to their loved ones.  I know that was true of my parents.  But they left me something much more, a precious posterity--integrity, perseverance, purpose, and most of all a love for God, His word and His people!  These are gifts that will follow me perpetually into eternity!

The second step then is deciding what you want your legacy to be.  Remember this is a gift that you're going to leave to the people that mean the most to you!  You must ask questions. Here are examples:  Out of the sum total of my life experiences and God-given insights, what matters most to me?  What positive things have I discovered that has contributed to a God-honoring and well-lived life?  Is there anything I need to stop or start doing that will maximize my influence and make a greater impact on the life of another? 

Three things that contribute to an Enduring and Memorable legacy are Your Character, Your Passion, and Your Service to Others! Read these scriptures and meditate on them:

Proverbs 20:7 - A righteous man who walks in his integrity, how blessed are his sons after him. 

Proverbs 10:9 - He who walks in integrity walks securely.

Luke 6:31 - Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Colossians 3:23 - And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.

All these may be summarized in this one verse from Micah 6:8

 He has told you, O man what is good and what does the LORD require of you,
 but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God. 

Where do you want your legacy to be written?  On a fading tombstone or on the hearts of people you have touched during your lifetime?


If you would like to leave a comment please send an email to: sisters4sisters@att.net OR  scroll to the bottom of my blog page at  http://alittlewiser63.blogspot.com  click on the no comments by the pencil and it will change to a writing space. 

Monday, May 6, 2019

There's Nothing like....FAMILY!

A new commandment I give to you...
that you love one another ...(John 13:34)
It's been a whirlwind few weeks readers and I've found it incredibly hard to sit and post all that is going on in my life and in the world!  But as we grow closer to what I consider one of the most sacred days on the calendar (Mother's Day) I just had to make time to share a few words! Let me begin with...THANK YOU GOD FOR MOTHERS!  Especially so, because they are who make FAMILIES possible!

As you can tell I'm still a bit euphoric over a weekend that I spent with my own wonderful family! We had a mini-family reunion in Memphis a few days ago and although it was an unusual time for such, it was perfect for us!  Kith and Kin traveled from as far as California and everywhere in between.  We came from Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and even the deep southern state of Mississippi.  It was wonderful to get re-acquainted with all the nieces and nephews that I rarely see and catch up with the going on's in their lives  To put names with now grown up faces and their children.  We even had a new baby to coo over!

The weather was warm which was a blessing since our gathering took place in a beautiful outdoor setting surrounded by lakes.  A great way to enjoy God's beauty and welcome Spring with flowers and greenery of the new season!  It really made me appreciate all the things that we take for granted and among these is the gift of family!  I don't know where you are in your sentiments about that.  Truly, I understand that families can bring their own share of pain and chaos.  But let me remind you.....You would not be who you are today if not for the nurturing and care of FAMILY!

Now think about that!
 Your mind may automatically go to people who are your blood relatives.  Those you share some genetic material.  But that's not necessarily true! A family can be anyone you have a personal connection with and has been with you during important experiences in your life.  Someone who has seen you through good and hard times!  A person who accepts you and loves you unconditionally.  One that you can depend on to stick by you even though your differences and perspectives are vastly different!

I'm blessed to have eclectic family units!  Yes, there's my blood relatives, but I have family at my local Y.M.C.A. where I exercise, laugh, and pray with three times a week.  I have good friends that I see only occasionally but stay in touch with by telephone, text, or card but if needed would drop everything to come to my rescue! And of course I have my Forever Family, my church family!

That term Forever Family, is most often used in conjunction with foster parenting and adoption!  But  God gave me a Forever Family, the moment, I accepted Christ as my Savior! (Ephesians 1:15)  This is a bond that goes so much deeper than DNA, friendship, and fellowship circles.  It positions me eternally in a family that grows larger day by day, has no ethnic or cultural boundaries and when meeting a fellow saint,  I find an instant Holy Spirit Love connection!

My Forever Family, like my biological family comes in different sizes, skin tones, and manifest a variety of personalities. Some I can abide and others take a little more effort... but they're still family!   There is a family resemblance that cannot be missed!  Although imperfect, at our best we look and act just like our big Brother Jesus and our Father! (I John 3:2-3).

Forgiveness is a key trait of family!  At my family reunion I was saddened to hear that certain  relatives felt disconnected and abandoned by our family!  Circumstances in their lives separated us for many years!  But by the end of the weekend together, I truly believe we bridged some of those gap years and we all left a little closer to one another.  We now have an opportunity to start fresh! That's what families do! We become resilient over time!

Mother's Day is only a few days away.  It's a time that can invoke good or bad memories!  It can be a time of joy or sadness depending on the experiences you have had!  But I truly believe if you try very, very hard you will find that someone, (blood or not) took you in; loved you, invested time in you, encouraged you when you were at your lowest and treated you like family!  Celebrate them!!  

...There's Nothing Quite Like IT


If you would like to leave a comment please send an email to: sisters4sisters@att.net OR  scroll to the bottom of my blog page at  http://alittlewiser63.blogspot.com  click on the no comments by the pencil and it will change to a writing space.