Legacy means leaving and making a difference in the world that goes beyond your life.
Most people want their life to count. They want to make a lasting difference, be part of something that will go on even beyond their own life. There are many ways we can do this – having a family, caring for children or younger people than ourselves; setting up or being part of a charity; giving money; supporting children overseas via an organisation like Compassion or simply caring and loving for people around you.
Pictures, see Powerpoint attached (3 slides only).
"Don't count the days, make the days count." Muhammad Ali
"We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count." Neil A. Maxwell
"The purpose of life is to matter, to count, to stand for something; to have it make some difference that we lived at all." Leo Rosten
"Often we set out to make a difference in the lives of others only to discover we have made a difference in our own." Ellie Braun-Haley, author of A Little Door, A Little Light
"We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee." Marian Wright Edelman
"Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!" Anne Frank
"The greatest mistake is to do nothing because you can only do a little." Sydney Smith, English clergyman and writer
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring: all of which have the potential to turn a life around." Leo Buscaglia
"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." William James
"I have one life and one chance to make it count for something . . . I'm free to choose what that something is, and the something I've chosen is my faith. Now, my faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort. My faith demands - this is not optional - my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference." ex-US President, Jimmy Carter
"If you wake up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance to make a difference!" Unknown
"You can’t always change what happens outside of you, but you can change what happens inside of you" Joyce Meyer
CS Lewis famously wrote, ‘If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.’
STORY – verified as having some truth by truthorfiction.com
A teacher in New York City decided to honor each of her graduating high school seniors by telling each of them the difference she felt they made as an individual.
She called each student to the front of the class, one at a time. First she told the student how they had made a difference to her and the class. Then she presented them with a blue ribbon imprinted with gold letters reading: "Who I Am Makes a Difference."
She noticed a considerable attitudinal change in the class. So she decided to do a class project to determine what impact such recognition could have on their local community.
She gave each student three more ribbons, and asked them to go out and spread an “acknowledgment ceremony.”
One of the boys in the class went to a junior executive in a nearby company, and honored him for helping him with his career planning. He gave him a blue ribbon and put it on his shirt.
Then the boy gave the executive two extra ribbons and asked him to find someone else to honor, and to in turn give them the extra blue ribbon so they could acknowledge a third person. The student asked the executive to report back to tell him what happened.
Later that day the junior executive went in to see his boss, who was known as a rather bad-tempered man. He sat his boss down and he told him that he deeply admired him for being a creative genius. The boss was very surprised. The junior executive asked him if he would accept the gift of the blue ribbon, and asked for permission to pin it on him.
His surprised boss gave his permission. The executive pinned the blue ribbon on his boss's jacket directly above his heart. Then he gave his boss the third blue ribbon, and told him of the boy’s request.
That night the boss sat his 14-year-old son down and told him: "The most incredible thing happened to me today. I was in my office and one of my junior executives came in and told me he admired me, He gave me a blue ribbon for being a creative genius. Imagine that. He thinks I'm a creative genius.”
He then told his son he wanted to honor him, and pinned the last remaining blue ribbon on his son’s t-shirt.
The startled boy began to sob. He couldn't stop. His whole body shook. He looked at his father through his tears and told him: "Dad, earlier tonight I sat in my room and wrote a letter to you and Mom explaining why I was killing myself, and asking you to forgive me. I was going to commit suicide after you were asleep. I didn't think you cared for me at all.”
His father walked upstairs and found a heartfelt letter full of anguish and pain. The envelope was addressed, "Mom and Dad."
The boss went back to work a changed man. He called in each employee one at a time to let them know that they made a difference.
MOVIE CLIP, PAY IT FORWARD – note the clips are quite moving
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGcwG-2owow (around 5 mins)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWaKbGPilPQ (around 10 mins)
You can leave a lasting legacy in this world. You can make a difference. But we have to make right choices so that this happens. One thing the Bible teaches is to love other people, as we would want to be loved. Even if we don’t feel lovely, everyone wants people to like them / to love them / respect them / have friends. The Bible also tells us that what we sow we reap. This was understood by the farmers of the day – if they put seed onto the right ground, in time it would create a harvest. The same is true for us – we should do good, do what is right, look out for others. As Christians we believe that the greatest legacy was Jesus who died so that people could be made right with God. Today, will you step up, accept the challenge and make a difference.