Your Living Legacy

defaul17Our lives are ordered by the Lord, and He does this through people and circumstances which He sends our way. This week has been a flurry of activity in a kaleidoscope of directions, which is probably true for most of us; however, dealing with death does not drop into the schedule every week.

A dear friend from our church died yesterday. Her life was a constant challenge to me. She was diagnosed with MS shortly after her marriage, and her husband left her. She has been in a wheel chair for years in a little apartment filled to the brim with penguins—she loved penguins! Whenever we would visit her, we came away with a smile. Dannah had a mission to make everyone smile.

While sorting through her things last Saturday, my heart was heavy. Life would soon be over for Dannah. In many ways, that was a relief. For the past six months, she’s been in and out of hospitals and on death’s door often, constantly in pain.

Is it by accident that I’m reading through Ecclesiastes right now? I think not! Chapter one says, One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. (4) Chapter two has these words of wisdom: For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? As the fool! (16 NKJV) These verses capture the sense of Solomon’s struggle. Is there anything new under the sun? What is the meaning of life? By chapter three, he’s changed his direction of thinking: To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: And by the end of the book, he’s gained the right perspective: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (12:13)

But as I sit here today, looking back over my activities of the week, I have to wonder, or ponder, or think through that big question: What is the meaning of life? Does it lose meaning when it seems to be all drudgery, monotonous, or mundane?
I have found that it helps to think about my grandparents. They were farmers and gardeners, carpenters and housewives. They never traveled much or were “movers and shakers” in their communities. They lived, worked, raised kids and corn and cows, and died. That doesn’t sound very complimentary, but believe me, I’m glad they did live and raise kids, or I wouldn’t be here!

Life is good, even in the worst of circumstances. God is good and ALWAYS does what is right. I just finished reading Job, and certainly don’t want to be a “miserable comforter,” but sometimes we just need to “stop it!” (You need to watch this little clip of Bob Newhart, and you’ll understand!

God sends us through the valleys and then gives us the strength to reach the mountain tops! Then we rejoice and enjoy the view…and slide back down! (Or Satan pushes us!) But that’s okay because we are alive! We are living, and life is for the living! Enjoy it, make the most of it! Spend time with people, especially those under your roof! And know that quality time may look like a waste of time to you, like sitting and chatting with your two-year-old while he eats his lunch!

Make your living legacy count, so that when you’re at death’s door, you can look back down over the trail you’ve forged, and you can rest in the arms of Jesus with no regrets! Wow! That’s a tall order! How do you do that? …one step at a time!

This poem was written by Dannah in 1995.  She still had twenty more years of living to do!  Please, take the time to read it.  It’s long, but it’s a great perspective builder!

At The Road’s End

At the road’s end, there lies a peaceful rest:

A rest that is eternal and better than Earth’s best,

A place that’s sheltered and protected from unrest of any kind,

A place where pain and suffering you will never find,

A place that is cradled in the hollow of His hand,

A place where you can always hear the celestial angelic band.

A place where a medicine chest, upon the shelf so full,

Will never again cause havoc and treat the body so cruel.

Twisted, withered, and missing body parts will be restored,

And never again will I need my shiny transfer board.

The wheelchair that supports me and speeds me along the way,

Will no longer be part of me when I reach that happy day.

That place is surrounded by beauty and quietness,

where naked eyes and open ears will experience the bliss.

No crutches, nor braces, nor aids of any kind.

No surgery, no chemo, or such as the likes you’ll find.

There will be no death or loss of life,

There will be no stress or strife.

A place where true peace will reign among all men,

A place where prejudice and hate will n’er be round again,

A placed where the landscape is covered by pure white,

I can hardly wait to see it, t’will be an awesome sight.

A place that will be illuminated completely from within,

A place that will not be corrupted by death and sin,

A place that is both an ending and a beginning,

A place so perfect in all respects, it sets my mine to spinning.

A place where every race, gender, and nation

Will be reunited with each and every predeceased relation—

Oh, what a joyous celebration will be spread

Without a single worry, fear, or dread.

No need to look backwards over your shoulder,

No need to fret the morrow, for you shall never wax older.

Finally set free, no more irons, no more fetters,

No more hassles with bills, no more vile and hurtful letters.

Never another lonely tear from the corner of my eye shall fall,

As I open wide my eyes to see those dear ones, one and all.

As they approach me, surround me, and welcome me with glee,

I gaze into those loving eyes of the One who died for me,

And suddenly, and awesomely, I finally understand

Just why my grief and suffering was just a part of the Master’s plan:

For every teardrop, hurt, and sorry was tailored for that eternal gain.

And so as I travel those final few feet,

I draw my last breath as my Savior I meet.

Don’t be distraught, you’ll miss me I know.

Don’t be discouraged, instead let your faith show.

Be happy for me, I’m whole once more,

No wheelchair, no tethers, not one little sore,

Please excuse me, I much to explore!!!

Just wait till you get here, you’ll adore it I’m sure.

If you are wondering just where your prayers and thoughts to send,

I have forever established my residence in that place—AT THE ROAD’S END.

1/95 Dannah L Kegler

The top of the “Spirit-chain”

ID-10058017“What a nice group of people.”  The comment was made several times, and I had to agree.  Of course, they were all my relatives!  Two aunts, three cousins and spouses, my dear mother (in whose honor the hot dog roast was organized), my sister and her husband, two of our children and their families, and my dear husband.  So, what makes us so nice? 🙂

My husband wasn’t a pastor for very long before I realized that my extended family was not “normal.” My childhood was filled with memories of family get-togethers which included my no-nonsense grandmother and her children: five girls and one boy.  My mother was the youngest of the tribe.  We were always a close-knit family, but there were a few missing elements to these gatherings.  There was never any raucous music, alcohol, or pornography. We were God-fearing people.  All of my cousins grew up in the church.  Most were married in the church.  We learned our lessons and were fairly faithful.

Sad to say, that isn’t the case anymore; however, something stuck.  The principles which my grandparents taught to their children were passed on to the next generation—it was just what you did, and there is still the aura of Biblical truth whether we all attend church or not.  However…

What about the following generations?  How many of them attend church or even believe in God?  And what about my generation?  How many of us still hold to the truths we were taught as children?  I’m afraid that in some homes, something is missing?

Even though I’m so thankful for the heritage I have been given, I am even more thankful for the mercy of God upon my life!  Romans 9:15 says, For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. God had mercy on me!  He tugged at my heart as a child, and when I was hell-bent on ruining my life as a teen, He reached down and saved my soul!  And to top it all off, He led me to a young man whose life was also changed by the same true spirit of God.

Where are you in your walk with God?  Is He tugging at your heart or, perhaps like Paul, sending “pricks” which you are having a hard time kicking against? Maybe it’s that uncle who keeps mentioning God, a lot of times without ever saying a word! Or perhaps its that neighbor who keeps inviting you to church, or the blogger who keeps bringing up the subject of salvation; and every time you read or hear or watch, God touches your heart.  Why don’t you give it up and surrender to Him?

Maybe you are in the “ruining your life” stage.  That’s an awful place to be!  It starts out fun, but as the consequences of sin begin to pile up, the burden can be unbearable.  God meant it to be that way.  He wants you to give up and look up to Him!  Just take the plunge and drop dead!  Paul writes in Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Or perhaps you’ve made it: You have surrendered your life to Jesus, asked Him to forgive your sins, and you are trusting Him to take you to heaven when you die.  Do you know what that means?  You are His child and you are on the top of the spirit-chain. You have the awesome privilege to live your life for Him!  You have the opportunity to be the spiritual spouse, parent, or grandparent.  You get the opportunity to live for Christ and pass the baton on to the generations which will follow you!

I know I quote it often, but one of my favorite verses is 3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. I have that privilege and opportunity to pass the baton!  Oh, the joy of gathering with my children and grandchildren and seeing the love of the Lord in their lives—to watch as my sons train up their children in the Lord, and my daughters lead my grandchildren to know the Lord!  We all get along and love being together; in fact, next year, we hope to take a week and vacation together.  Our time will be sweet, and it will be centered around the Lord, not this world!  Praise God for what He can do, if we will just yield to His way!  Try it—the benefits are out of this world!

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:
and let him return unto the LORD,
and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither,
but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud,
that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:
it shall not return unto me void,
but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Isaiah 55:6-11

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Enoch Walked with God (Can we?)

If you are looking for a daily devotional that really digs into the Word and is full of Biblical truths, you may want to look at FEATURE – A Daily Bible Study Guide. This little booklet is packed with the Good News of Jesus Christ! Today’s reading starts a ten day series on Hebrews eleven.  (I thought I was reading the one for today, but this is actually Saturdays!) It was just too good to keep to myself!  Enjoy!

The patriarch Enoch pleased the Lord by his godly walk in the midst of rampant ungodliness (Gen. 5:21-6:6). The Bible does not say that Enoch had the encouragement of others who were of like mind or that he was in some way insulated from the wickedness that completely permeated his society.  No, the Scriptures only state that he “walked with God” (Gen 5:22). Enoch knew what conduct was pleasing to his Lord, and he had faith to believe that no personal sacrifice was too great to strive for that circumspect walk. [Emphasis added] Without doubt, conflict, and suffering resulted from such a forthright testimony, but just imagine the blessedness of walking in fellowship day by day, step by step, with the Almighty God!  How much better is the hallowed friendship of the divine “Friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24) than the fleeting favor of anyone else.  Yes, the Lord rewarded Enoch for his walk of faith, for God translated him up to glory so that he did not have to experience death (v.5).

What does this example mean for us today?  Can we walk in this present evil world and still please our heavenly Father at the same time?  By faith, we certainly can!  We see from the Scriptures that God still desires to reward believers who are willing to step out in faith and live for Him in an age that reminds us of the time in which Enoch lived.  Christian, one day we will stand before our Lord either to receive reward or to be ashamed of our actions (1 Cor. 3:8-15, 1 John 2:28).  Is our walk worthy of reward?  Does the world or the Word determine our course? [Emphasis added] Do we “diligently seek” (v.6) to walk by faith—as Enoch did?  If so, our Lord is pleased, and our reward is sure.

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death;

and was not found, because God had translated him:

for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

But without faith it is impossible to please him:

for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,

and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:3,4