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

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What am I doing here?

As a high school student, I remember walking to our lockers in the morning with my friend, and one of us would turn to the other and say, “What are we doing here?”  At the time, the answer was fairly simple for me: get an education and head to college.  I’m sure it was much the same for my friend even though she was heading for marriage instead of college.  Perhaps she had days when it seemed pointless to keep going just to get that piece of paper while wearing the funny hat.  She certainly didn’t need a diploma to get married, and as far as I know, she never had a career which required a diploma either; so I understand her question.

Don’t we all ask that same question at different times along life’s pathway?  What are we doing here?  Even as Christians, who have the Word to lighten our way, as well as a promised eternal destination, the question still lingers: What are we doing here?

Take a moment to think about life…

  1. We work: A job is a necessary part of living, providing for our needs and wants, and can be a source of great satisfaction.
  2. We marry: Many of us find our true loves and choose to share life with that one person.
  3. We have children: If the Lord is gracious in allowing us to have children, they become a huge part of our lives.
  4. We love God and try to serve Him: As  born-again believers, Jesus Christ becomes a part of our lives.

So maybe life looks like thispieChart_jpg (3)

Perhaps the percentages are different:One part might take up bigger chunks of time, and we could certainly include a lot more categories, but you get the idea.

On our quest for an answer, we may look at verses to help us to find the answer, like:

Romans 12:1,2  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

I once heard a missionary preach on this verse, and he put it like this: As you are going, teach and make disciples.  That statement gives us a clue, and we can build upon it every day of our lives, answering the question, “What am I doing here?”  At my job, think Christ!  In my home, remember Jesus!  At church, worship and focus on Jesus Christ!  He is the only One that can give meaning and purpose to life. So then, our chpieChart_jpg (1)art will look something like this:

God becomes the hub of our lives, affecting every part of it.  If we try to put God one piece of the pie, the rest of life falls apart!

Perhaps you’re asking, “But how do I do that?”  So glad you asked!  🙂 The answer is actually simple: fall in love with Jesus!  Remember when that certain someone filled your every waking moment?  He or she affected the way you ate and dressed, where you went, what you watched.  I remember following the Oakland A’s because a young man liked that team! Now, I don’t even know who they are!

However, falling in love with Jesus takes TIME!  Spend time with Him and you can’t help but love Him. Talk to Him, read His love letter, talk about Him, write down your thoughts about Him and you will find that He will be the hub of your life: the One that everything centers around!

The following verse gives us a glimpse at what it looks like to fall in love with something; sadly, this man was in love with his stuff! But as you read it, apply it to our relationship with Christ.

And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. Luke 12: 18

and I said, I know what I will do, I will change my schedule and put time with my Savior first; and in my life, I will give every part to Him. (The Wanda Translation 🙂 )

“…for such a time as this”

It is 1843.  A weary mother sits in her one room log cabin in the back woods of Virginia.  She attends church when the itinerate preacher comes to her “neck of the woods.”  She works hard to keep her little cabin clean, her children fed and her husband  happy.  At times she wonders what life is all about.

Germany, 1932: a grandmother looks back over her life.  She has worshiped God every Sunday.  Her children would call her blessed.  She scrubs the floors, irons the shirts, and plants a garden.  Much of what she does today, she does every day, and she wonders what life is all about.

It is 226 AD.  A young father looks anxiously at his family as the soldiers march through their little town.  They are Christians.  They have seen others persecuted for their beliefs, but God has spared him.  He works hard to keep them fed at the only job he knows to do.  He wonders what life is all about.

She sits at the computer.  She has raised her children for the Lord.  She serves God in her church and teaches a Bible study to teens.  She is busy for the Lord, but sometimes she wonders what life is all about.  I am that woman.

Do you ask the same question that has echoed down through the ages:  What is life all about?  I remember walking up the stairwell EVERY day in high school with a dear friend.  She would turn to me and ask, “Hummski (that was the polish version of Hummel), what are we doing here?”  I would ask her the same question.

Was this Esther’s question as she was taken from her home to a foreign land to live with a cousin, only to be taken again from home and entered into the king’s contest for a new queen?  What is the answer to that age-old question: what is  life?

Our chapter of heroes will help us a bit: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”  (Heb. 11:13)  The answer is twofold:

  1. Remember that we are “strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”  We often sing that last stanza of Amazing Grace, but do we stop to think about the meaning of those words?

When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun;

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, than we first begun.

As a born-again child of God, this life is just the practice session for eternity!  Keeping that in mind helps us to live our lives in step with God!  What we accomplish here WILL be rewarded there.  We will never be disappointed in eternity for living for Jesus. (F O C U S 🙂 )

2. …for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)  These were the encouraging and rebuking words of Moredcai to Esther as she lived in the safety of the King’s palace while a death sentence hung over all her people, the Jewish nation.  Because of her actions, the nation was spared.

What is God’s mission for you?  He has something for each of us to accomplish.  Among the days of routine and sometimes drudgery, there is a task that God has for each of us.  Perhaps it’s just a smile to a neighbor,  a soft answer to the telemarketer, or a sweet spirit in our homes; however small or great the task, live in the light of doing “all for the glory of God.”

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do,

do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor. 10:31