Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Value of a Written Legacy

Today we welcome guest blogger Cavin T. Harper, Executive Director of Christian Grandparenting Network.*

“And I will make every effort to see that
after my departure
you will always be able to remember these things.”
2 Peter 1:15

When my grandparents passed away, so did most of the stories of their lives and my heritage.

While I still had the imprinted memories of the times we did have and the faith they so powerfully gave witness to as I and my siblings were growing up, I am missing some very important pieces of their lives that played important roles in shaping who I am today.

When Peter said what he did about making every effort to see that the things that had to do with life and eternal life would always be remembered, I suspect he had in mind more than just telling stories around a campfire. That’s why he wrote a letter—a written record was one way he could help them remember.

What effort are you making to make sure the lessons and stories God has written on the pages of your life are being passed on to another generation? They are priceless stories that will help the generations after you remember and understand how your story is impacting the story God is writing on the pages of their lives. They are stories that must be told and remembered.

My good friend, Lana Rockwell, has written a valuable book, Passing On A Written Legacy,* with simple, practical helps for creating your own written record to pass on to your family. Don’t underestimate the value of leaving a written record.

My sadness at having lost so much of the story of my family history is repeated over and over by many others who feel so much of their own history has been lost because no one took the time to write it down.

I feel so strongly about it I have also put together a tool for helping you write your legacy. The Legacy Journal* can help you organize information about your personal and family history in the first section, and in the next section record your thoughts and lessons learned about life that you want another generation to know as they journey through life. I encourage you to consider using both tools to tell your story.

Whatever tool you use, we will bless the next generations if, like Peter, we make every effort to see that these things God has done throughout our lifetime are remembered for the blessing and encouragement of another generation.

It really is more than our story--it is HIS story written on the pages of our lives as a testimony to His greatness and grace. Write it down, record it on video, or do both.

Make the effort for the sake of your children and grandchildren. If you do, they will call you blessed.

Thanks, Cavin. Your message is so important:

The stories God has written on the pages of our lives
can help future generations
understand the story God is writing
on the pages of their lives.

What a valuable legacy!

*Learn more about Cavin's Legacy Journal and Lana's Passing On A Written Legacy by reading The Value of a Written Legacy at


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  2. I am part of the club that wishes there was a written record of my great grandparent's time and all of their children. Unfortunately even if they had wanted they couldn't write their own story down. We are blessed, even in this day and age to be able to write. Many around the world still do not have that ability. God bless you Calvin and Linda for for emphasizing that our stories are really God's stories in our lives. Something simple, yet profound.

  3. Joyful, you have so much wisdom to share. You are right, so many people in the world still do not have skills needed to read and write. That's one reason I was privileged to work with Wycliffe Bible Translators: I knew they were helping literally millions to learn to read and write in their own languages.

    Joyful, I have found a lot of family history, for free, at In the right column I click on "texts" and after that, in the search box, I type in what I'm looking for, such as "history of Dekalb County, Illinois." It will show a list of books on that topic and you can click through them and do searches for specific names. You have a choice of books/libraries to search, including Canadian texts. You might find interesting info about your great grandparents or the towns they lived in. Let me know if you find anything.


  4. Thank you. This is our chance to write about the goodness of God and encourage the next generation!

  5. Thanks for stopping by, Karen. Cavin's message is timely and encouraging.

    Happy writing, :)

  6. Thank you Linda and Cavin for this very powerful reminder to preserve our stories for generations to come. I believe it is a driving force behind my passion to share my story for my children and grandchildren and future generations. My life has been blessed by the stories of my ancestors passed down to me. And yes, through it all we see God's goodness!

  7. Kathy, your children, grandchildren, and their children will find rich blessings and treasures in your memoir. God bless you as you write, polish, organize, and publish!


  8. Hi Linda, sorry I haven't been able to keep up with your posts here so I didn't see your reply until now. I don't think the resources you mention would be of help with my family history.

    But that is okay because the rest of my story is that both mom and I had long wanted to know the history of the family. Through divine intervention, God made a way for us to learn much of it. So we have been so blessed as it goes back many generations! The part that is missing is that I would have wanted to know from my great grandparents what their lives were like in detail and to hear their stories.