What Legacy Will You Leave?

By Gerry Wakeland

Today the AFBC family will say a final farewell to Ollie Allred. For those who knew Ollie, they know that he loved God, his wife Patty, his family, and his church. He loved his friends.

Ollie Allred was a man with a servant’s heart. He served long and well. And we can be assured that when he entered his heavenly home last week, he heard the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

In the words of Pastor Kevin Linthicum, Ollie finished well. And he left a legacy not just for his own family, but for his church family and the many others who were a part of Ollie’s life.

What is a legacy? Webster defines legacy as anything handed down from the past. Often, we think of that as money or material possessions. But the Bible looks at it quite differently.

Everything we need to know about passing on a Godly legacy is found in Scripture. The Bible is as valid for us now as it was for all the generations before us.

God spoke these words to Moses, admonishing him to instruct the people.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 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. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 (NKJV)

Teaching our children, the Word of God is a legacy. It’s a legacy that will last long after we are gone.

Proverbs 13:22 tells us, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” (NKJV)

This verse keeps our life goals, our vision and our legacy front and center when we’re choosing how to use our money today. When we weigh what we want now against what we really want later, we realize how temporary satisfaction pales in comparison to a legacy of purpose and generational fulfillment.

An inheritance is not limited to money. It also includes godly character qualities like integrity and trustworthiness. Combining a financial inheritance with wisdom and godliness ensures that the next generation will also manage God’s blessings God’s way for God’s glory long after I’ve graduated to heaven.

When I think of men like Ollie Allred I think of those godly character qualities. It is imperative in these perilous times that we are serious about modeling these character traits for our children and our children’s children. But it doesn’t stop there. Every day we have the opportunity to model those same traits for others. Whether at work, school or play.

Every day we have the opportunity to build people up when the world is trying to tear them down. We can do a kind deed that will go on and on after we are gone. We can lend a helping hand without expecting anything in return. This is the legacy left by Ollie Allred.

The truth is this: You will pass on something to your children and grandchildren…the question is, what?

The legacy you leave is the life you lead.

What Legacy Will You Leave?

By Gerry Wakeland

Recently I was given a gift. It was more than just a book. It was the result of many hours of blood, sweat and tears. My Footprint for God is a product of Kenn Edward’s passion for helping people see how they can build their spiritual legacy and leave their footprint on this earth. In a sense, this book is a part of Kenn’s very own footprint.

I have to admit I have come to that point in my own life where I am starting to think about the legacy I will leave for my children and more importantly, my grandchildren. Kenn reminds us that our true legacy is intangible. It’s not money or material items. It’s how we will be remembered. It’s the footprint that we leave behind.

Our spiritual legacy is about investing in people, family, friends, even strangers God places in our path. It’s about financing Kingdom work in many different ways. My Footprint for God is filled with personal stories from Kenn’s many years in financial and estate planning and nearly 40 years of teaching God’s Word in small group settings.

In his book, Kenn covers a comprehensive list of practical financial issues and provides the tools needed to work through these issues. Estate planning, wise giving and good stewardship are only a few of the topics. Each one is supported by scripture helping the reader understand the biblical principles behind Kenn’s sage advice.

“It’s Not Mine” is the title of Chapter Four. It was my favorite. It reminded me of a sermon I heard years ago that taught us everything we have belongs to God and He just allows us to hold it. Learning that concept changed the entire way I treated my possessions and my finances. Scripture teaches us that we are blessed to be a blessing. Kenn’s teaching reinforces this philosophy.

This book also helps us to view financial issues that we tend to overlook or avoid. Matters like how to handle our resources if we were to remarry. How do we deal with yours, mine and ours? What do we leave to our children when we are called home? Tough but necessary topics.

For those melancholy readers who love charts, you will find a number of very helpful forms that can be reproduced. Other resources are available at no charge on Kenn’s website.

If you struggle with financial matters this book will be a great tool for you. It will also be an encouragement, instilling the confidence that, yes, you can do this. If you know someone struggling in this area, My Footprint for God would be a great investment in their life or a great wedding gift for a young couple just starting out.

This material is designed not just for individual study; it can also be used for small groups. It comes complete with discussion questions and exercises for each chapter. In my opinion money is a hard topic to discuss. Working through these issues with other Christians can be a helpful way to study financial principles. It may be the spark needed for someone to look more closely at their own relationship with God.

Whether you study alone or with others in a group, I encourage you to get this book and put it to work for you. Start now to build your own footprint for God. Start by asking yourself, “How do I want to be remembered?”

For more information about Kenn’s ministry or to purchase your own copy of My Footprint for God, visit www.FootPrintForGod.com

When God Has Other Plans

By LuAnn Edwards

Isn’t it amazing how God can use us even when things don’t go the way we planned? If we are willing to follow Him, He can use us in any situation. He sometimes surprises us with what He can accomplish through us.

In June, my husband and I along with my sister and her husband took a trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We loved spending time together and realized how much we are alike. Since we live 1500 miles apart and do not get to see each other often, our time together was very enjoyable.

I originally planned this trip to be a time for my husband and me to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. When I told my sister that Ken and I were taking a trip to Michigan, she asked if she and her husband could join us. I told her yes, but in my selfishness, I also told her, “It will be great to get away just the four of us.” That was my way of saying, “Please, no grandkids on this trip.” My sister’s grandkids are precious and spend a lot of time with her. However, I wanted this to be a “grown-up” trip only; after all, this was our anniversary celebration, right? I had it all planned!

The Lord had something else in mind. In the end we had my sister’s oldest grandson, along with other family members totaling 15 people! It turned out to be a wonderful blessing!

God’s Word says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). God did work; He worked in the heart of a nine-year-old boy, my sister’s grandson, Tey.

Tey was a pleasure to have along. He hiked with us, didn’t complain about the food or mosquitoes, and seemed to like hanging out with his Great Aunt and Uncle. We were all so proud of him when he was sworn in as a Junior Park Ranger and received his badge.

Tey was so open to our praying before each meal. He wasn’t accustomed to doing this at home. He thought it was so special that when he received his meal before the rest of us, he said he couldn’t eat until we all prayed. He even volunteered to pray a couple of times.

Something simple, this prayer of thanksgiving before a meal, spoke to his tender heart. Upon returning home, he taught his brother and sister to pray before their meals too. My husband sent Tey a recording of Bible stories that he is listening to and sharing with family members as well.

I am thankful Tey was able to join us on our trip even though it meant a change in my selfish plans. Only God knows what He has prepared for this young man. I am expecting great things and feel so blessed to have shared in just a small part of it.

God uses our testimony to influence those around us. Our consistent life with Christ will shape our eternal legacy. This legacy is an investment into the lives of the next generation for the cause of Christ.



What Will Be Your Family Legacy?

by LuAnn Edwards

My parents were great examples of two people totally sold out to the Lord. They became very active in their church, faithfully serving together for 30 years until their health gave out. They left our family the legacy of their personal commitment and faithful service to the Lord.

This commitment to the Lord was not always a part of their lives, however. I grew up attending church on a not-so-regular basis. If I remember correctly, the church taught that if you became a member and took communion twice a year, you would go to heaven. Our family did the minimum; we wanted to make it into heaven! Our church was dull and lifeless. I knew there had to be more, and I needed it.

My mom, too, was searching for more. She began watching Billy Graham Crusades on television and telling me about them. We both decided we needed to find out more. We started attending a small church in our neighborhood. It had friendly people and was very lively; nothing dull or lifeless about it! There we heard about accepting the Lord into our hearts and lives and developing a relationship with Him. It was there we found Jesus!

About a year later, my dad accepted the Lord into his life as well. It was no more, “Let’s just get into heaven;” it was now, “What else can we do for our Lord?” My parents supported the church financially and became very involved. They would also faithfully pray at the kitchen table each morning for their children, grandchildren, and church family.

Years later, after moving 500 miles away, we would stay in their home when we visited. Their faithfulness in prayer touched my heart as I heard them calling out the names of their children and grandchildren to the Lord asking Him to care for them and for them to accept Him as Savior and Lord of their lives.

I, too, desire to leave a family legacy for my children and grandchildren. I would like to be remembered as a woman of faith who walked in the Spirit of Christ; a woman who loved the Lord with all her heart and found joy in worshipping her Lord and bringing Him glory; a woman who dearly loved her family and prayed for them daily and for others as well believing God would move on their behalf with blessings upon blessings; and a woman who lived for the Lord even when she thought no one was watching. What kind of lasting family legacy are you hoping to leave?

Matthew 6:20-21, But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.