Got Any River’s?
Written by Oscar C. Eliason
Got any rivers, you think are uncrossable?
Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through?
God specializes in thing thought impossible
He does the things others cannot do.
As I have gotten older, I have been really interested in my genealogy. Even the Bible has a great Genealogy guideline. As I fill out my family tree, I have been reflecting more on my grandparents influence in my life. I would like to start this little series about my Poppy (Paul Lucas). My grandfather was born in 1924 in Oklahoma. He grew up in a small town and was very ornery! His father was a blacksmith, and his grandfather the Sheriff.
I have many great memories of my Poppy and Granny. Poppy and Granny were always there to encourage me with my singing (Granny still does!). They took me, my brother, and my cousins to Youth Rally’s, Fellowship Meetings, District and General Conventions, and even to our National Teen Talent Expo in Florida. Poppy taught me how to drive, which I think he took many heart pills for! They were always an encouragement to all of their children and grandchildren, even when we were difficult.
One thing that I remember most about my Poppy is his love for Jesus. He showed us grandkids the love of God. He was an example to his family by showing us how to be patient, kind, and still tell the truth, even if it hurts.
Poppy and Granny always sang together when they were in the car. Poppy would always start Got Any Rivers?, and Granny would harmonize with him. Then Poppy would whistle the song and Granny would hum along. Even though I was a teenager and would roll my eyes at my cousins or brother when they would start singing this, the song has really stuck with me. I would even sing it under my breath at times.
Poppy had a stroke in the winter of 1992. Even that didn’t stop him from doing God’s work. He witnessed to numerous people. He was even planning a new church if God healed him. He and Gran even sang Got Any Rivers? He never lost faith or went into a pity party about his condition.
I spent the summer of 1994 with Poppy and Granny. During that time, I read a book about a boy who grew up when my Poppy did. As I would talk the little songs in the book, Poppy would start singing them. I had so much fun that summer. I learned about him and his childhood. It will always be a memory that could not be compared. It was then I truly started realizing the example he had on my life.
This past October I went to visit my cousin Hollie, she brought out an old tape recording of my Poppy singing some of his songs to her oldest son, Travis, when he was a baby. For the first time in 15 years, I heard my Poppy’s voice. As I sat, listened, laughed, and cried, I watched my kids’ faces and seeing my son’s, Lucas, eyes light up at the funny songs, it made me a little sad that they never got to know him. However, there is a day, very soon I pray, that they will know each other and I know that he will give them the biggest hug in the whole world.
It makes me happy to know that I am raising my kids to have the same type of faith and values that my Poppy and Granny have passed along. Yes, we are ornery at times; but, my kids know how much God loves them and that He has a plan for their lives.
Do you have a person who is an example of Christ in your life? If so, and you get a chance; tell that person how much they mean in your life. Let them know you appreciate the Godly example they have made in your walk with God.
And for my family members who may be reading this, “Oooey Gooey was a worm. A big fat worm was he. He climbed up on a railroad track, the train he did not see. OOOOEEYY GOOEY!!!”
This question has been on my mind a lot lately. How will my children, grandchildren, friends, and family remember me?
Will I be remembered for making gingerbread every Christmas? Will it be for being a woman who strived her best to be a Godly wife and mother? I’m desperately hoping it’s not for being a procrastinating, scatter brained, unorganized, occasionally crabby person who ONE time made a bad batch of tacos and ever since her husband questioned her every time she suggested them for dinner… Or made anything else new for that matter.
How can we make sure that we are remembered for the good and not the bad?
I would say the best thing we can do is to make the positive in our lives outshine the negative. Live with a positive outlook as much as possible. Let Jesus’ light shine through you. Don’t hold grudges, act bitter, be mean, or easily offended. And while it can be an easy way to handle a delicate situation by being passive aggressive, is that really something we would want to be remembered for?
Recently I’ve been trying to take note of my habits. Which ones are great to have, which ones I don’t mind or are not damaging, and which ones I would never want to be remembered for. Then I sat and thought of my Grandparents… Two of the most caring, loving, Godly people I’ve ever known. I remember them for all the funny and wonderful things they did. I remember them for raising their family for Christ. I remember them for loving coffee, Diet Coke, and going out to eat. I remember them for being compassionate and passionate for the work of The Lord. Do I recall them having flaws and being human? Certainly! However, more often I remember them leading us by example in a positive, unique, Godly way.
I have taken it upon myself to be sure that I leave a similar legacy for my own children and grandchildren. Why “similar” and not the exact same you ask? Because it’s MY legacy. Not Dorothy’s. Not Paul Benjamin’s. It’s ANGIE’s legacy. I want to pass down all of those same things, but in my own way with some added flare that says “Angie was here…” Part of that is that I MUST agree to have my photo taken more often. While still. Not on a ride at Disneyland making some dumb face. Ugh… 😉
What about you? How will you be sure that you are passing down what would be good habits for your children and not setting them up for a fall?
Isn’t it funny? There are a million books and websites you turn to when you find out you’ll be a mother. You’re worried about everything from what to eat, how to decorate the nursery, making sure you set a Godly example, sleep routines, safety, and fashion. Sadly, in the midst of most mainstream books, blogs, and websites the whole subject of passing on your family legacy or even creating one is left out. (Notice I said “mainstream”, there are a ton of resources, just not “popular” ones.)
For a lot of you, this may come easily. Others, not so much. Maybe you came from a family where legacy wasn’t important or a broken home and you were left confused. Or, perhaps, unfortunately you didn’t know your parents. Some of you may have had a wonderful legacy as far as family, but you’re parents did not instill Christian values. Just where does one start or even begin?
What does “legacy” mean? Webster defines it as:
Definition of LEGACY1: a gift by will especially of money or other personal property : bequest2: something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past
A legacy can include teachings, morals, traditions, thoughts, property, name, etc. It literally covers just about everything, as long as it is passed down. The goal is to make it a worthy legacy. Something that your children’s children will say, “I am who I am, because of my legacy, and for that I am grateful.”
How do you do this, exactly? Well, it’s certainly not simple. In a nutshell, think of what is in your life that you want to pass down and amplify that. Think of what you do not want to pass down and bring that to a halt. Children are sponges, soaking in every thing we put out whether good or bad. (Ouch, huh? It hurt me to type that last part, probably more than it did for you to read it. 😉 )
I, personally, grew up in a Pastor’s home. My Grandparents were very Godly and amazing to our family as are my parents. However, even so, there are things that I want to pass down that are “my own” but still of Christ.
I wish I could fit this all into one post. I’m sorry. I know I have 4 other series going right now, but when God says to write, I write. So here it is: On Fridays I will be writing “Creating A Legacy”. Please remember that I am no expert, just somewhat experienced and still learning. Feel free to chime in at any time with comments, questions, suggestions, etc.
God bless and have a great weekend!