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Leaving a Legacy

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This article was originally posted on Cathy Jacobs' blog,, on May 20, 2013.  Join Cathy Jacobs for a free Grandparenting Seminar on Friday, September 9 and Saturday, September 10 at Shandon Baptist Church.

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A legacy is a gift or inheritance that lives on after we are gone. As grandparents, God intends for us to leave something that will endure long after we depart this world. How are we to do that?

Five ways to pass your legacy to the next generations:

First, tell your children and grandchildren your story.

As you sit around the Thanksgiving table, as you drive in the car on a trip, or as you tuck your kids in bed; tell your family how you first heard about the Lord. Did you always hear your parents talk about God? Or were you in college the first time you met someone who personally knew Jesus Christ? Whether you have walked with the Lord all your life or have just started the journey, share your story with your family. Tell them of the times you struggled with the Lord as well as let them know of the victories God has had in your life. As you communicate your tales of truth, you will be teaching on the “stage of life” about the ways, works and Words of God. You are passing a legacy of God’s faithfulness to the next generations.

Next, build warm memories with your family.

We want our grandchildren to remember the times they spent with us. So, be intentional and do things to imprint their hearts. These memories can be simple things — like always “bless” them before they leave. Or every night they are in your home, kneel beside the bed and say a prayer together. Strategically transform common, even painful events, into powerful, pleasant memories by modeling godly character and a positive attitude. These positive memories will be an anchor to truth in their adulthood.

“Three is a magic number” – Create meaningful traditions.

In today’s turbulent world, it is important for children to have security and stability. Regular and unique customs provide a beautiful backdrop of stability that enhances their outlook and appreciation for life. Our consistency sends a message that says three very important things: “You are loved, valued and special.”

Four, Encourage deeper walks with the Lord!

Read God’s Word to them on a regular basis. Tell them stories of the heroes of the faith. Pray with your family and let them know you are praying for them consistently. Share your heart’s desire that one day you want everyone to be together in the Kingdom of God with “no child left behind.” Let them know that it is not so important as to what you do in life. Rather, it is important as to who you are in Christ!!!

Finally, speak words of affirmation into your family.

No one can give encouragement like a grandma! When we speak words of support and unconditional love, we bolster their self-esteem and empower them toward maturity. Tell them how smart and talented they are and what bright futures you see for them. Watch their faces light up, soaking in every word!

These are powerful ways to leave a strong spiritual legacy for your family. And by doing so, you are connecting the hearts of your loved ones with the heart of their Heavenly Father.



Catherine Jacobs has lived in the SC Lowcountry for 25 years.  During that time she raised her family of four children and became heavily invested in her community church.  St. Paul’s, Summerville, eventually became both a place of worship and employment, as she served on the parish staff for 14 years as the full-time Director of Children and Family Ministry.
As part of this team, Catherine transformed the children’s ministry into a center for training parents and grandparents who encourage their children to become life long followers of Jesus.  This passion for increasing the impact of a parent and grandparent’s impact on their child’s heart led to the creation of Pass the Legacy.
Today, Catherine continues her service to the Kingdom and fellowgrandparents and grown parents through the ministry of Pass the Legacy.


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The 50% Leadership Principle

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"We should invest 50 percent of our leadership amperage into the task of leading ourselves."

-Dee Hock, Founder and CEO Emeritus, Visa


When I first read this quote, I have to admit I was a little mystified. Was Dee Hock, the Founder and Former CEO of Visa, engaging in some kind of hyperbole, or was he actually saying that the key to his success as a leader was spending half of his energy on leading himself? 

Self-leadership may be an unfamiliar term or concept to many of us, but many of the world’s top leaders swear by it. The idea at the core of self-leadership is that you cannot give out what you do not possess yourself. Another pillar of self-leadership is that we must invest in, nurture, and care for ourselves if we are to lead others well.

 The idea at the core of self-leadership is that you cannot give out what you do not possess yourself.

Whether you are a parent, employer, Sunday School teacher, or lead in another capacity, I  challenge you to practice self-care in the three following ways:






"And he said to them, 'Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.' For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat." (Mark 6:31)

If we are going to operate at maximum capacity, it is imperative that we take time to get physical, emotional, and mental rest. In the above verse, Jesus ordered His disciples to rest  following an intensive season of ministry.

In Luke’s account of the same event, Luke adds that Jesus also withdrew to a desolate place by himself to rest. 

God, in his wisdom, has decided that we should spend a third of our lives on earth sleeping. If nothing else, this is a clear, daily reminder of our physical limitations and need for rest.



"The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” (Matthew 11:19)

As one author points out, it is quite ironic that one of the chief complaints against the Son of God, was that He was not religious enough! In contrast to the severity and self-denial of John the Baptist, Jesus was accused of over indulging in food and wine.

For some reason, there have always been religious types who seem to envision God as a hater of pleasure. This is astonishing considering the fact that God created taste buds. Think of it, God did not have to create them, I suppose we could have just eaten food for sustenance. But He elected to give us the ability to experience the pleasure that food brings. The same could be said of ears for music and eyes to behold the beauty in nature.

James says that every good gift comes from God (James 1:17) and upon each day of creation, God declares that the creation is good. God has given us virtually endless godly pleasures that we are permitted to enjoy. He has no interest in us living ascetic, severe lives! May I challenge you to make your hobbies, interests and recreation a priority? I don’t know about you, but if I go too long without doing something for myself, I tend to be less patient and less enjoyable to be around. If we are going to operate at a high level in leadership, we must recharge our batteries through good pleasures and recreation.



 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)


These are some of the most practical and reassuring verses in Scripture. Here we have a promise that to the extent we bring our anxiety to the Lord, to that same extent, we will experience a peace which guards our hearts and minds. 

Prayer with thanksgiving helps us to be recalibrated. It helps us to put the world back into rational perspective. When we feel anxiety, if we give thanks, we remind ourselves of all the good in life and the faithfulness of our God. This helps us think soberly about our troubles and not develop tunnel vision that focuses only on our anxiety. 

These verses are so powerful because God promises that if we take our anxiety to Him with thanksgiving, He will guard our hearts and minds. Why hearts and minds? The heart here refers to our emotions and our minds, our thoughts. When we bring our anxieties to the Lord, He promises to guard both our emotions and thoughts. This is how we become mentally and emotionally recalibrated when life’s troubles get us out of whack.

If you want to lead at a high level, then you must recharge your batteries through rest, recreation, and recalibration.


May God help you to practice the kind of self-leadership that not only benefits you, but best prepares you to make the greatest possible impact on those you lead!


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