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The Greatest Generation

Tom Brokaw, in his book The Greatest Generation praised the Americans who fought in World War II and died as well as the living who returned to create the greatest economic boom in the history of the world.


What impressed me most was the praise Brokaw gave to hundreds of thousands of men who willingly sacrificed their lives so the people of Europe would be freed and Pearl Harbor avenged. What kind of commitment does it take to give one's "last full measure?"


Heres my question; What will future historians call us, our generation and why?


I'm 74. I'm a "boomer". That just means I was born in the decade after World War II. But that term says nothing about who we are, or what we've accomplished. So what have we accomplished, or sacrificed to attain that will inspire future generations?


More to the point, will you and I be remembered as The Greatest Generation by our family and friends?


This Sunday is Fathers Day. Most of us men will get cards, or calls from our kids, Maybe we'll gather for a meal to celebrate. Then what? What stories will our children or grandchildren, tell and retell about us to future generations about how we courageously loved and lived out our faith?


When I pass I know my children will tell humorous stories about vacations we took, embarrassing moments or things that happened in various houses we lived in. But here's how I hope to be remembered;


I want my family to remember me as a serious follower of Jesus and not just a good Christian. Years ago a wise man told me;


Your children won't remember 5% of what you told them, but they'll always remember the way you made them feel.


I want our children to remember how passionately I I loved Jesus, my family and others, including strangers more than I loved myself or my lifestyle.


"Let your light so shine before men that they see your good works and give glory to your father in heaven." Matt. 5:16


I want our children to remember I was "for" far more than I was against. By that I mean I do not want them to remember me as a complainer, railing against people and ideas I disagree with, but as an advocate for kindness, justice and mercy.


Consider taking some time this week to write down how you'd like to be remembered. Then ask yourself, "What do I need to do to make that a reality?" Is there a relationship that needs to be healed, a bad habit that needs to be broken, an apology that needs to be spoken, a spiritual habit that you've failed to adopt, or have you simply neglected to teach your children life-lessons of faith? Is there a "wrong" in your city that needs to be addressed, a family in your church that needs help, a mother, or father you've not spent enough time with lately, or a child you've neglected because you find it difficult to connect with them?


This isn't simply about how we hope to be remembered. When we take on the name Christian, our reputation becomes Jesus' reputation to those who know us.


A wise man once said to me, "Clare would you like your children to be better followers of Jesus than you are?" "Yes, of course I would," I answered enthusiastically. "Then be a better follower of Jesus yourself." Ouch!


"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:1-4

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