Leaving A Legacy – Part Three

The memory of the righteous is blessed.” Proverbs 10:7

As we look at legacy leaving, we have seen thus far that:

1.    Everyone leaves a legacy.

2.    Everyone has been left a legacy.

3.    A legacy can be either positive or negative.

4.    The legacy you received is not as important as the legacy you leave.

5.    The legacy you received can influence the legacy you leave.

Let’s continue.

6.    The legacy you leave may have more influence than the life you lead.

Everyone has spheres of concern and spheres of influence. We pray for our spheres of concern and try to do something tangible in our spheres of influence.

For example, I have a concern for feeding those who are hungry. The need is so massive that I can only do something within my spheres of influence. Therefore, I contribute and help with feeding children in Malawi, Africa and with our food distribution program at our church.

My hope is that whatever legacy I leave will have a greater influence on the world than the influence I have had in my lifetime.

I often think about a quote from educator Neil Postman. He wrote, “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” His quote is all about leaving a legacy through our children.

7.    The life you lead determines the legacy you leave.

How we lead our lives will greatly influence the legacy we leave. For example, the things like faith are caught, not taught.

Jesus’ greatest influence on His disciples happened as they lived life with Him. They caught the things He was teaching by watching Him and eventually living out their lives in accordance with His life and His teachings.

Part of Jesus’ legacy to this world was the disciples whom He influenced by the life He led.

We may do well to ask ourselves the question, “Who am I influencing in the world today?” A secondary question might be, “How am I influencing them?”

Something to think about and more to come…

Leaving A Legacy – Part Two

The memory of the righteous is blessed.”  Proverbs 10:7

In Part 1 (2 weeks ago), I addressed points 1 & 2. Let’s continue our look into #3, 4 & 5 of 9 thoughts about legacy.

1.    Everyone leaves a legacy.

2.    Everyone has been left a legacy.

3.    A legacy can be either positive or negative.

Positive legacies are the ones that are beneficial to others. My father taught me to never say something negative today that could be said tomorrow. It gives us time to cool down if we are upset and think about what we were about to say. I consider his advice as a positive legacy from him.

Negative legacies are the ones that hinder us as a person. For example, a family sin that is passed down from generation to generation would be a negative legacy. The Bible speaks of this in Exodus 20:5, which says, “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me”.

4.    The legacy you received is not as important as the legacy you leave.

We have very little or no control over the legacy we received. It is normally a byproduct of being raised and living life. A financial legacy is a result of the way your family handled it material possessions over a lifetime. Most children do not have direct control over it.

We do have some measure of control and influence over the legacy we leave. We make decisions all the time, which directly impact the legacy we will leave. In Proverbs 22:6, the Bible says to “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” This verse speaks directly to leaving a positive legacy for your children.

5.    The legacy you received can influence the legacy you leave.

There can be a direct correlation between the legacy you received to the legacy you leave.  If you received a positive legacy, it would be a good thing to pass it forward. If it is a negative legacy that it would wise not to pass it forward.

Remember that any negative legacy you received doesn’t have to hold you in bondage and captivate the legacy you leave. God is in the business of bringing healing and new life into those who desire it, which means that a negative legacy can be overcome. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” Old things passing away and new things coming into being mean that negative legacies can be surmounted.

Something to think about and more to come…

Leaving A Legacy – A Sidebar

“Grandchildren are the crown of the aged…” Proverbs 17:6a (ESV)

As I write about leaving a legacy, a Story of God’s Goodness has burst upon the scene regarding a legacy in my life. This is a living illustration of legacy leaving.

The Bible teaches that grandkids are the crown of the aged. Anyone and everyone who is a grandparent know the truth of this Bible verse. Children are incredible, but grandchildren are uniquely wonderful.

This verse became a greater reality to me when my oldest granddaughter, Keila Asaoka, graduated from Maranatha High School. I was asked to be the Keynote Speaker at the Commencement Ceremony held at Lake Avenue Congregation Church. As a bonus, they asked Keila to introduce me to the 3,000 plus parents, grandparents, family members and friends gathered to celebrate the Class of 2017.

cory.keila.speaking.jpg

Allow me to be a proud grandpa for a moment and share what she said:

“I have the awesome privilege of introducing a very special guest.

He has been the senior pastor of Evergreen Baptist Church of San Gabriel Valley for forty years! He coached the Maranatha girls volleyball team for over ten years, helping lead them to their FIRST (and only) CIF championship in 1987. He even helped coach girls’ basketball for a few years. He has been a mentor and father figure, not only to student athletes, but also to faculty like Mr. Rouse and Coach Rivas. He was a member of the search committee for our current head of school, Dr. Sherman.

 He has had a RICH history with Maranatha the past thirty years not only as coach, but also as parent and now grandparent. He is a humble servant leader, loves Jesus and always makes family a priority. He is a man of integrity and the most generous person I know. (Thanks for always making sure my Starbucks app is loaded so I can treat my friends and siblings.) 

It is with great pride and joy, that I introduce…my grandpa...The Reverend Cory Ishida.”

After she introduced me, I shared that her introduction was the best introduction I have ever had in over 40 years of ministry. It wasn’t just the words and thoughts she shared; it was the fact that she is my granddaughter. After all, she is one of the crowns in my life and part of a grandpa’s legacy.

God has been good to me over the course of my lifetime. The blessings have been many. My heart echoes the words of the Apostle Paul who wrote, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

As I think about Keila introducing me with poise under pressure (a value I teach as a parent and a coach), I cannot help but think about legacy leaving. I feel so proud and so blessed.

Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone)!