• Deborah Arlene

What’s Your Legacy?


My uncle David used to present wonderful family slideshows every Christmas Eve. He would spend many hours, days, and weeks preparing them. This was during the time of “old school” technology. He used cassette tapes to record his narration and music, and he clicked through slides one by one with a slide projector. These slideshows were created with such love, and they were so much fun. Certainly one of my fondest childhood Christmas memories. He tragically passed away at a young age, but he inspired me.


While taking some gerontology courses at a local community college, I learned about a career called “Life Review Specialist.” Those conducting a life review sit with elderly individuals and ask them questions about their lives, encouraging them to reminisce. These conversations are sometimes recorded, and it is viewed as a therapeutic way to reduce depression and improve a sense of life satisfaction.


After learning about life reviews, I decided to do something similar, blending my uncle David’s family slideshows with my own version of a life review. I interviewed an elderly family friend and video recorded and audio taped our time together. I then transcribed the audio and video into a printed book, and gave him the audio, video and book. Later, I did the same thing for my mother-in-law and my parents. What a treasure these life reviews turned out to be, for both me and the persons being interviewed. I know they will be very special to my children and their children as well. What a precious gift for future generations -- printed books, video, and audio of great, great, grandparents, that they’ve likely never met, sharing detailed stories about their lives. Truly a wonderful legacy gift!


In 2016, I began compiling family yearbooks for our children, their spouses and our granddaughter. They are another enjoyable way for future generations to learn about their ancestry.


All of these projects really got me thinking about legacy. One of several driving forces behind completing my novel, “The Dream,” was legacy. I wanted my grandchildren, great grandchildren, and beyond, to know where I stood on issues of life, and on issues of eternity with Jesus.

Have you ever thought about eternity? Our human brains can’t really comprehend it. All that we can muster up is an acknowledgement that eternity is a very long time…forever. Jesus offers eternal life (John 3:16, 1 John 5:13), as well as abundant life here and now when we choose to walk with him (Psalm 16:11, Matthew 6:33, John 10:10, James 1:17). Abundant life doesn’t mean material things or worldly “stuff,” but heavenly joy and peace. Jesus truly brings a legacy of life.


The old testament also offers some wonderful scriptures about legacy. When we choose to love and obey the Lord, we can believe God's Holy Word when it says that a thousand generations in our family lines will be blessed (Exodus 20:6). What a wonderful promise for those who walk with Jesus!


What legacy are you leaving? You couldn’t ask for or even dream of a better legacy to leave your children, their children, their children’s children (a thousand generations), than a legacy of abundant life in Jesus Christ.


But what if you don't have family? If this is the case, then sometimes discussions about ancestry and family can bring painful emotions to the surface. Perhaps there's been a family rift, or maybe your family has passed away, or perhaps you're adopted and don't know the ancestry of your birth parents and wish you did. Whatever the case may be, please know that when you receive Jesus as your Savior, you also get a brand new and very large family (John 1:12, Ephesians 2:19) -- a whole bunch of new brothers and sisters in Christ. Not only that, but you are the child of the most high God (Isaiah 64:8)! He is the father of the fatherless (Psalm 68:5), and you are deeply loved by Him (Psalm 86:15). You are truly adopted into a diverse and beautiful family (Ephesians 1:5); and therefore, you also have an opportunity to leave a powerful legacy of life through Jesus as you share this good news with others.


Are you walking with Jesus? Do you know where you’ll spend eternity? It’s important to know the answers to these questions. Your legacy, and your eternity, depend on it. If you have questions, or want to know more, send me a message.


Dear Jesus, I thank you for the wonderful gift of eternal life that comes only through you. I pray that each person reading this would truly know you as their personal Lord and Savior, and would pass that legacy on to as many others as possible. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


In Christ’s Love,


Deborah Arlene

Author of The Dream


Writer of Light – #3


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© 2019 by Deborah Arlene.