A Lasting Legacy: A Helpful Guide as You Walk the Pathways of Life

A Lasting Legacy: A Helpful Guide as You Walk the Pathways of Life

by Albert Christian Schauer Jr, Phyllis Jane Schauer

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781450293242
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 05/29/2012
Pages: 172
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.37(d)

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A LASTING LEGACY

A Helpful Guide as You Walk the Pathways of Life
By Albert Christian Schauer Jr. Phyllis Jane Schauer

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Albert Christian Schauer Jr. and Phyllis Jane Schauer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4502-9324-2


Chapter One

Faith

... Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth; if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, "Move from here to there" and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. (Matthew 17:20–21)

The making of this book had its genesis in a desire to leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren, a legacy founded on taught spiritual values as well as learned lessons. The messages here are really nothing exceptionally special about basic foundational values or behaviors. What might make them special is the uniqueness of the messages and that those messages have come from those whom our children and grandchildren know, and knew, intimately. Their very own Oma and Opa, real people they knew, wrote this. These are lessons experienced and encountered by people just like themselves.

He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. (Proverbs 2:7–8)

We start this book with a discussion on faith: our faith, the faith of our parents, the faith of our grandparents and ancestors, and the faith of those gallant leaders found in the history of Israel and dedicated followers of the precepts laid out by our dear God and heavenly Father.

Faith gives us a solid ground to stand on. Faith, embraced by hope, gives us purpose and meaning for our lives. More to the point, we want to talk about the faith we trust you have developed and nurtured, the faith we hope resides in your heart, and the faith you carry with you every day of your lives.

Without faith, we have no foundation on which to stand. Paul says the foundation of a Christ-centered life is faith, hope, and love. So too, we will start our book with these three foundations. Without a strong faith, the rest is meaningless. We live by a faith made available through the workings of the Holy Spirit allowing us to know that God has laid out a promise for us when this mortal life is finished.

Throughout the history of mankind, faith has always been at the foundation of man's existence. We, and all mankind, have this need inbred in us to put our trust in something. Every element of our daily lives is founded on faith. We, for example, put our trust and faith in God as the author and sustainer of all things. God in His majestic love and faithfulness provides for our every need. We know that and we believe. We trust and have faith that God will be there day in and day out to feed us, clothe us, and shelter us.

Yet there are those who put their trust in scientific reasoning and state that unless it can be seen and repeated in an experiment, there is no foundation for believing in something. In their twisted way, those same individuals will emphatically proclaim the proven scientific fact of Darwinian evolution. They will state evidence that points to millennia of genetic evolvement eventually leading to human life. Yet when asked to apply their very own strict scientific regimen by insisting on the need to observe the principle of repeatability, they will immediately retaliate by insisting one must have faith. Faith in a God is not acceptable, but faith in a scientific principle must be accepted. Simply put, the belief in Darwinian evolution is nothing more than a groundless faith by those who will readily deny the existence of God and outright refuse to accept any supernatural existence of beings or events.

We have been called not to just put our trust in whatever meets our momentary fancy. We are a cherished creation of an all-loving and omnipotent Creator. Our lives are not operating in a totally free-for-all vacuum. For our Maker and Creator has set Himself in front of us to make sure that our faith is sound and squarely fixed on Him.

A life of sixty, seventy, or eighty years cannot progress without a firmly rooted faith in a whole variety of day-to-day activities. The building we work in evokes our faith in knowing the structure won't explode or collapse. We cross a bridge and have faith that architects have designed the structure so the bridge will not give way. We drive our vehicles on roads trusting that other drivers are careful.

The faith we are talking about is far more substantive than those examples. We're talking about a deep conviction that the impossible is possible, that the unthinkable is achievable, and that the unattainable is reachable. Notice how Paul says it in these excerpts from Hebrews 11 (verses):

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. (1–2)

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (3)

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country. (8–9)

By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who made the promise. (11)

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son ... (17)

This kind of faith is one that transcends all earthly comprehension and asks us to accept that without question those human activities and issues that far transcend our human understanding. Now this is not saying we do not quest to gain greater understanding of God's creation and the magnificent workings of the world and matter. No, not at all. For without that quest for greater understanding and knowledge, we never would have uncovered God's desire to have us discover automobiles or airplanes or advanced medical techniques or a host of other mind-numbing technical advancements. God's world is full of yet to be discovered wonders, and He desires that we continue to uncover those wonders, which manifest the power and glory of His unfathomable creation. There comes a time in everyone's life where we cannot understand how God will accomplish His will in our life, or how we will get out of a particular situation, which seems all but hopeless, or how we will overcome what appears to be a career-ending or life-ending situation. Times like these make us feel as if all hope is gone and all solutions are exhausted. We need to revisit the verses from Hebrews. Building on those passages, the following verses from Psalms say it so well:

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. (Psalms 9:9–10)

[M]y God turns my darkness into light. (Psalms 18:28b)

In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. (Psalms 2:4–5)

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. (Psalms 18:32)

The book of Nahum is one of those Minor Prophets we probably skip too frequently in our Bible reading. Notice how he declares his faith in God so succinctly when he says:

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. (Nahum 1:7)

Faith will support you and strengthen you. Faith will give you hope when all else seems lost. Faith will brighten your day when your friends seem to abandon you. Faith will stand you strong when all seems to be going wrong. Faith will lift you up when the trials of the world seem to never end. Faith will bear you up when your body seems to be failing, when all hope is lost, and when nothing comes to the forefront to alleviate the anguish or pain. Having been in those situations so many times ourselves, let us put it this way. Stay strong in the Lord. Through faith, He will not fail you.

Oh, how many times we forgot this. We always seemed to try to reach down into our hearts for the answer. Or we tried frantically to analyze a problem and rationalize a solution. We could never seem to get to a complete answer. It seemed we were always running into a roadblock. Yet the faith that God placed in our hearts always came back as a reminder. He is faithful, thus, we should be faithful.

This book is founded on faith. If you lack faith, all the rest will seem meaningless. There are those in this world who will mock and belittle your beliefs. You will be challenged to assert your faith in situations that lack any understanding of faith. You will be called upon to reach into your heart and proclaim the faith that has made you a child of God. You were raised as children of God and the faith. What He has implanted in your hearts can never be lost. It can be forgotten, but never lost. When all else fails, return to your faith. It will hold you strong and give you courage.

[I]f we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. (2 Timothy 2:13)

Your faith will grow as you study His Word. Your faith will grow as you study His creation. Your faith will grow as you meditate in prayer. Your faith will grow as you congregate with believers. And your faith will grow as you share your resources in advancing His kingdom. You can see that a true faith builds as time passes. You will see wondrous things in your life, things that defy imagination. You will experience wonders that cannot be explained by mere human understanding. The glories of God are too magnificent to comprehend and grasp by our mortal and feeble minds. Our understanding is miniscule when compared to the boundless wisdom and ways of God. This you must accept. This you must trust in and plant in your heart.

Then there are those times when you must stand firm in your faith. God has given you considerable understanding and wisdom when proclaiming His ways. Those who proclaim more education or those who proclaim more of life's experiences will challenge your faith. There are those who will assert their authority and insist that their way is the correct way. Because of your beliefs, you may be laughed at or feel humiliated. You may even be in a position of having to make a career choice because your faith conflicts with the norm of the organization. But through it all, stand firm in your faith and do not fear. For as Isaiah once said:

If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all. (Isaiah 7:9b)

Be assured that Oma and Opa were called upon to express their faith and oftentimes during difficult situations. When we were working, there was no end to the number of people with whom we associated who were devoid of the faith, the faith that so richly blessed us. During Opa's college days, he was called to assert in examinations that the world came into existence through chemical means and was not created by God. Incorrect answers abounded in the exam papers when we attested to another means by which the world came into existence, that by the wondrous creative works of our all-powerful and omniscient God. Or in the work environment when the company leader proclaimed there could be no God, for how could a God allow such suffering, pain, and injury in this world. Or later in life where so-called educated scientists proclaimed the sanctity and sound science of Darwinian evolution for the origins of human beings. Space doesn't permit us to go into the fallacy of the evolution myth. There are numerous, wonderful publications by eminent scientists, pastors, and philosophers who expose this myth for what it is.

We talk later about the Bible and its foundational necessity in our lives. This is where it begins. The Bible establishes the very core of the Christian faith and the means to salvation. Through study of the Bible, you will build the nucleus of your faith and the strength you need to sustain and proclaim that faith. It is for this reason that we as grandparents, and those who are your parents, are charged with educating you in that faith. This is the reason you have been nurtured during your youth to understand the essentials of our faith. You are called to stand strong and go forth to proclaim that faith, just as countless millions have done before you. Take this charge seriously. Do not waver. Do not weaken. Do not yield. And do not forget the lessons of your faith. It will carry you through the hard times, and it will prosper you in the good times.

Chapter Two

Hope

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations. (Romans 4:18)

The journey of life fills up with a multitude of opportunities, challenges, and frustrations. The diversions soon overtake us, and we begin to question our purpose or our mission. There are times when all hope is lost and all seems hopeless. We feel helpless and all seems to go wrong. Wonderful expectations are drowned out by hopeless periods of frustration. It seems as if we have no possibility of accomplishing any meaningful objective, let alone our specific objectives. Our faith seems to desert us, and we wonder whether our long-held beliefs are of any value. Rest assured the answer is yes and we will tell you why.

Every biblical character suffered from that same sense of hopelessness and despair. When all seemed to be beyond recovery, hope in the Lord carried the day. The non-Christian does not enjoy that insight. God offers hope to every believer and in that vein gives you and us that inward comfort that springs from hope. Contrasted with the unbeliever, our hope is founded on God's promise of surety and trust. Our God is capable of rectifying any situation or circumstance. When all else fails, our trust in God, manifested through the virtue of hope, brings that deep, heartfelt assurance that all will work out right; God's way will prevail, and the end result will be even better than we could have imagined.

Directly linked to the faith we discussed earlier is the gift of hope. Packaged deeply inside every human being is a feeling of expectation, a feeling of anticipation, or a desire for a life offering greater fulfillment. Every individual is born with that intangible something, which yearns for a better existence, a better result, and a better something. Whether that expectation is for earthly material wealth, for honor or recognition, or for intangible, spiritual fulfillment, the yearning is as real as more tangible emotions such as hunger or fear.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God. (Psalms 146:5)

Throughout life, we are always looking forward to expectations of a better job, a better house, a better boss, a better church, and a better salary. As a matter of fact, those desires start very early in life as we express a desire for gifts, a desire for time with our fathers, a desire for toys, or a desire for a new bike. After a while, we begin to refer to that desire as hope. We hope for a boyfriend or a girlfriend, we hope we are accepted at a certain school, we hope our children are born healthy, or we hope our parents are compassionately cared for as they grow older.

We see that hope is an expectation of something yet to be fulfilled, something in the future, whether near term or long-term. Hope is something that implies that the desired result is out of our control and that somebody or something else will determine the outcome.

Hope is a wonderful human characteristic given as a gift from God and is a vital survival mode human trait. We see time and time again people who have lost all hope, people who have reached the end of the line. These people are destitute and void of any joy. They have lost that feeling of joyful expectation, of looking forward to a future of improved well-being and happiness. We see this in people who suffer in almost all forms of depression. Their faces and demeanor display emptiness, hopelessness, a complete inability to see any possibility of things getting better, or to see a brighter day tomorrow. They see no way out and nothing looks right or positive. Put another way, they have no hope. Nothing gives them a reason for going on living.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. (Psalms 62:5–8)

(Continues...)



Excerpted from A LASTING LEGACY by Albert Christian Schauer Jr. Phyllis Jane Schauer Copyright © 2012 by Albert Christian Schauer Jr. and Phyllis Jane Schauer. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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