Posts Tagged ‘What will be your legacy month’

Reflections on my ordination and my legacy

August 11, 2020

August is a special month, and I recently published an article in Medium.com recognizing this month as “What will be Your Legacy Month.” August 11 is especially significant since it relates to a milestone in my life. An event of supreme significance occurred 46 years ago when I was ordained to the Christian ministry.

Ordination is the public recognition of a response of an individual to the call of God to serve. The recognition of this inner prompting to be of greater service may have transpired a considerable time prior to the actual ordination ceremony. I recall as a child being aware of the presence of God, and as I grew older and was introduced to the Bible, I remember reading the passage from Isaiah 6 where the glory of God overwhelms the Prophet, who responds to the question: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us.” Isaiah answers saying, “Here am I, send me.” This simple response resonated within me for years, and I publicly acknowledge that I had heard and accepted the call in 1974 at age 32.

Ordination is said to be a process whereby individuals are called, chosen, and set apart to serve, considered as a “special sacrament.” Such an entry point for service can begin with “the new birth” experience when one accepts Jesus Christ as savior and endeavors to follow in his steps. A child, however, who gratefully and joyfully accepts the blessings of the Father, eventually matures to the point of being about the “Father’s business.” In the minds of some, ordination is considered a kind of “rite of passage” which commences with a higher level of service in ministering to Body of Christ, expressed in Ephesians 4:11-13:

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

In reflecting upon my ordination ceremony which also involved a prayer of consecration, the laying on of hands, and a word of prophecy, all of which have been sources of inspiration and direction over the years. I wrote an original psalm inspired by that experience, and I later dedicated to other fellow servants who continue to respond to God, those who heard His voice and answered

The Call of God

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,
beseech you to walk worthy of the calling
with which you were called,
Ephesians 4:1

The call of God resounds like a repeated name
From the lips of a beloved friend who knows us.
We wait and clearly hear our name and see the flame
Lighting the path to fulfill God’s divine purpose
As we choose to embrace a higher destiny.
This holy calling only God can verify.
We know our ears cannot hear; our eyes cannot see;
Yet from the depths of our heart, we cannot deny
That we have truly heard and seen what few will know.
We must, therefore, arise and strive to reach the place
Where the mighty rivers of understanding flow,
And we must never doubt God’s purpose and His grace.
In the unbroken line of all those ordained of God,
We stand. Having heard, we rise to heed the call of God.

August 11 is a “double lovely” day since it is also the birthday of my 4-year-old grandson, Kingston Edward Simkins, who answers, in part, the question raised in the monthlong celebration of What will be Your Legacy Month.”

Kingston and Grandpapa Johnson love to read together

Kingston Edward Simkins is part of my legacy that I believe will extend for generations to come. The lyrics to “The Blessing,” a powerful benediction by Elevation Worship featuring Kari Jobe and Mark Carney, express my innermost desire:

Day one of our brand-new beginning

August 11, 2019
This verse brings to mind a special celebration of my ordination and the birthday of my grandson on August 11

As a wave intensely hot days ushered us into August, the eighth month of the year, the term “new beginnings” came to mind since the number 8, symbolizes a fresh start. E.W. Bullinger, in his celebrated work, Numbers in Scripture, comments:

. . . Eight denotes resurrection or new beginning or regeneration or commencement.  The eighth is a new first. It is the number that has to do with the Lord, who rose on the eighth day or new first day.  In Hebrew, the number eight is derived from an expression that means “to make fat,” “cover with fat,” “to super-abound.” As a participle, it means “one who abounds in strength,” etc. As a noun, it is “superabundant fertility,” “oil,” etc. So that as a numeral, it is the superabundant number. As seven was so called because the seventh day was the day of completion and rest, so eight, as the eighth day, was over and above this perfect completion, and was indeed the first of a new series, as well as being the eighth. Thus, it already represents two numbers in one: the first and eighth.

In thinking about August, I realize some people also identify it as “What Will be Your Legacy Month.” The website of holidays, Gone-ta-pott.com, offers this definition and elaborates upon the month-long celebration:

“A legacy is what someone or something is remembered for or what they have left behind that is remembered, revered or has influenced current events and the present day. . . What Will Your Legacy Be Month is a month for people to reflect on their past and present actions and vow to make positive changes that will affect generations. We have to remember the seeds, whether positive or negative, that we plant in our children’s lives. This observance is about making the right choices so our children and their children will make the right choices. Everything we do will grow and reflect our teachings. So, teach your children well.”

Benjamin Disraeli made the statement, “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” We are perhaps familiar with the statement, “The greatest gift you can give someone is a good example.” Similar sentiments are also expressed in Proverbs 22:1:

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.

Paul exhorts Timothy, as a father to his son, to be an example of the believers in what Timothy says, in what he does, in the way he lives, in faith and purity.

On August 1, I was especially aware of the question asked in the designation of the eighth month, as I prepared to spend a couple of weeks with our three-year-old grandson, Kingston Edward Simkins.  One of the joys of my life is being with him as he celebrates his birthday which coincides with the anniversary of my ordination to the Christian ministry on August 11, 1974.  While reflecting on the goodness of God, my soul overflows with gratitude, as we sing songs from Veggie Tales and I teach him original scripture memory songs. He has already learned the names of the books of the Old Testament by heart before turning three, a feat which I first accomplished as an adult a few years before my ordination. To share in his love for reading and learning more about the Bible and spiritual matters is a blessing, indeed.

Anticipating events of celebration this month inspired this poetic response which I am posting today.

Day One

“Behold, I am making you new, brand new.

You will never be the same.”

Day one of a brand-new beginning arrived on August first,

As I still seek to satisfy this lifelong, unquenchable thirst

To know the will of God more fully and to serve Him

With gladness of heart, as we usher in the coming Kingdom.

This month unfolds with a question: “What will be your legacy?”

We smile and offer our response for all seasons: “We shall see.”

With outstretched necks we look up, waiting to mount up like eagles, to ascend.

Each day blossoms in beauty as a new the beginning of the end

When the Lord shall restore all the thief came to steal, kill, and destroy

When at last we dwell in God’s presence where abides fullness of joy.

We learn once more that to love is also totally to forgives

And know the more abundant life we were designed to live.

For His glory, our spirit, soul, and body the Lord has healed

When face to face what we knew in part will have been fully revealed.

Those who walk in God’s love never lose, but they are always winning.

This we know is so true from day one of a brand-new beginning.

The example that we leave for others to follow is part of our legacy, which should be of concern to everyone, not just during August but every day of our lives. The video below is a reminder to Christian believers of the importance of the legacies that they leave: “Find Us Faithful.”

August: “What will be your legacy month?”

August 3, 2013

 The Torchbearers by Charles Umlauf depicts the teacher passing the torch of knowledge to the student.


The Torchbearers by Charles Umlauf depicts the teacher passing the torch of knowledge to the student.

August is “What will be your legacy?” month. Gone-ta-pott.com, holiday website, offers this definition and elaborates upon the month-long celebration with this comment:

“A legacy is what someone or something is remembered for or what they have left behind that is remembered, revered or has influenced current events and the present day. . . What Will Your Legacy Be Month is a month for people to reflect on their past and present actions and vow to make positive changes that will affect generations. We have to remember the seeds, whether positive or negative, that we plant in our children’s lives. This observance is about making the right choices so our children and their children will make the right choices. Everything we do will grow and reflect our teachings. So teach your children well.”

This holiday website offers tips on how to create a legacy as well as information on how to celebrate the holiday, along with other valuable material. ”

Victoria Lynn Dunn, Director, Leadership Initiatives for Women of Color at The Ohio State University Office of Diversity and Inclusion, provides another perspective and describes in poetry:

The Life That Becomes a Legacy

The life that becomes a legacy

is never merely measured in days

never simply seen through the haze of unmet expectations

and dreams deferred.

 

The life that becomes a legacy

is never merely one that teaches

but is one that reaches toward the mark

pressing whether or not it makes it—today.

 

The life that becomes a legacy

keeps kindly in view tomorrow

and mediates its sorrows

with joys unspeakable

and sometimes spoken.

 

The life that becomes a legacy

becomes that legacy

despite a history of many things

shattered

broken.

 

But never destroyed

for even broken things and broken wings can fly

Contrary to the black bard Dunbar,

for there Is one far greater than he

and HE wrote your story before ever any bird was caged

HE set the stage of the play that would become the great drama of life.

 

And HE never sees anything too broken not to care

too broken for repair and, in fact, delights in repairing broken things

broken dreams

and making them new.

Benjamin Disraeli made the statement, “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” We are perhaps familiar with the statement, “The greatest gift you can give someone is a good example.” Similar sentiments are also expressed in Proverbs 22:1:

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.

Paul exhorts Timothy, as a father to his son, to be an example of the believers in what Timothy says, in what he does, in the way he lives, in faith and purity.

The example that we leave for others to follow is part of our legacy, which should be of concern to everyone, not just during August but every day of our lives. The video below is a reminder to Christian believers of the importance of the legacies that they leave: “Find Us Faithful.”