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Make Sure That You Give Back What You Have Gained

 To The Generations That Follow You

Warning!  This message is not for the faint of heart.  It will demand self examination and self evaluation.  It is not presented to you as  “do it or else” type discussion, but rather as a loving, caring, piece of information as to what a Believer in Jesus Christ should make certain becomes an integral part of who they are as a person and what they do with the use of their own life for themselves and for their family.

God Almighty has given all mankind specific instructions as to how they should live out their own lives while they sojourn here on earth.  That bit of truth lies as an acronym to the word Bible:

B     Basic
I      Instructions
B     Before
L     Leaving
E     Earth

God’s Word, as documented within the pages of the Holy Bible, specifically teaches everyone what they should be doing while they live here on earth.  You have a choice to personally make.  You are either obedient to the Word of God or you aren’t…there is no middle ground.  Partial obedience is total disobedience.  There is really no wiggle room for anything else!

Mankind in general, from the beginning of time, has never liked any type or kind of physical, mental, emotional  or spiritual restrictions.  He has always longed for and fought for individual personal rights and liberty.

The key to achieving such liberty and freedom can only truly come from obeying the Word of God and living out one’s life in strict accordance with and to His guidance and instructions.

Please remember that a benefit or blessing carried by and within a real legacy must be passed onto another person or legal entity before it can become a bona- fide personal legacy.   This beneficial gift must first be received before it can ever become classified as a true legacy.

You cannot call something a gift unless and until it is actually received by the intended recipient or another designated individual.

Children are the natural legacy of any family of human beings.  They all become carrying vessels of what parents and other adults and experiences have poured into them through their education, learning, and the  acquisition of knowledge and understanding.  As they are educated, they soon learn the intricacies of the what, why, when, where, and how the things in life come about and what their intended use and operation really is as God designed it to be. They have learned what they know from their parents, teachers, and other authority figures who come into their lives as they grow and mature from infancy.

This is the precise reason why the parents of any child should always be aware of and concerned about what their personal example is showing and teaching their own children.  People do what pole see.  This Truth of Life has no age limits or restrictions.

Permit me to share with you what I believe a Godly Legacy actually is; what a Godly Legacy is defined as being in my own words:

A Godly Legacy is a created or produced valuable benefit that has lasting and increasing value and,…is passed on from one generation to another.  It is a glorious blessing to all the who receive it, preserve it, and pass it on to the next recipient.

Because this is how the Lord God desired and designed life itself to properly work, the best reference to His desires and instructions to all of we humans is laid out within the pages of Holy Scripture.  It is the “operators’ manual,” so to speak, for all people showing them how to live their lives the way God wants them to live.

All truly successful people know and understand the importance of giving back what they have learned over the course of their own lives to the generations of other human beings following them.  This process should all begin within the Home, the Church, the School, and the associations with other people who exist and influence them as they are maturing in their own lives.

God Almighty gave us this personal guidance concerning how we believers are to treat children, and how we are to guide and direct them, and as concerns what and how we should teach them as we train them up in the way they should go while they are maturing into contributing adult members of our society and culture.  Some of these instructions are recorded in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 18, verses 1—7  NKJV:

Who Is the Greatest? 

(1)  “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who then
       is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’

(2)  Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst
      of them, 

(3)  and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted
      and become as little children, you will by no means enter the 
      kingdom of heaven.

(4)  Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the
      greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

(5)   Whoever receives one little child like this in My name
      receives Me. 

Jesus Warns of Offenses 

(6)   Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me
       to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung
       around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the 

(7)   Woe to the world because of offenses!  For offenses must
       come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” 

Th Holy Scriptures go on to tell us all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ , that adults are to bless and reward all children with love, care, and protective concern.  We are to teach them all in the ways they should go and grow mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  This is recorded in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 19, verses 13—15. NKJV :

(13)     “Then little children were brought to Him that He might
              put hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked

(14)      But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do
              not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’

(15)      And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.”

Every adult in the world today has a preassigned God-given responsibility to teach and train and provide a good and godly example for all children no matter who the actual parents are, where they live, and what they believe.  God’s Laws are universal because God is the Creator of the Universe.  His Truths are the same for everyone,…everywhere,…all of the time.

Almost fifty years ago I began reading to my own children out of fairy tale books, children’s books. and also Bible stories. I wanted them to gain, at an early age, the excitement and desire that comes from reading books as they grew up.  I always taught them that fairy tales were very real and true stories about life in which innate things, trees, animals, and make-believe characters could talk, sing, and move.  I always emphasized that their on imaginations were the most important part of their own brains.  

Imaginations were the catalysts of all great creativity that their little minds could use to help them dream and desire for greater and better levels of living as they grew up into adults.

The stories would serve them best as learning sessions wherein they would learn great and valuable “life lessons” that they would remember and take with them into their later years of life.  I also emphasized the importance developing good listening habits as I read these daily stories and teaching sessions.  Every night ended with a story and a holy scripture reading.  Later, after the story was read, we would discuss it in detail and the lesson that it was teaching.  At the end of each discussion period, I would ask each child to use their own imagination and come up with one or two of the craziest words they could think up.  Then the child would stand up, calm themselves and then speak out the conjured up word or words that they had create out of their own imaginations.  They then would give a short one or no more than two paragraph made up story which must include using their imagined crazy words.  My desire was to teach them how to become a good thinker and communicator in front of other people.  All three of them were most reluctant at first to participate; but soon grew accustomed to this public speaking venue and eagerly looked forward to their own chance to “shine” in front of their siblings.  Well, before you knew it, I was reading to four different classes of preschool students and now twenty years later I am still reading to more than 200 students every month at the private Christian school my grandchildren attend.

Of course I always take lots of packaged candy as a treat to the students  either before reading, during the reading, after the reading, or all three times as determined by the students.  This just helps keep their positive expectations up and remind them to be excitedly and positively expecting great things to happen whenever I show up.  

I always include the “imagination building” times with each class to whom I read.  And of course, the use of made up words, followed by a short story.  I started this creating and speaking session by actually choosing the students who were to speak after I was through speaking.  The kids have become so used to it and excited about it that they eagerly volunteer to stand up and tell their own crazy story.  No timidity or embarrassment whatsoever exists on their side today.

The children have grown to love these special times together and will never forget the things they have learned and then applied their young lives.  It is my prayer that they too one day will carry on this legacy into their own families as they develop them in the years to come.

Reading is one of the single best ways to gain knowledge and understanding about the Truths of Life that actually apply to everyone.  This has grown into a wonderful blessing for me and the students and faculty.  Remember what God’s Word says, “You will reap that which you sow!”

Up until six years ago, before I sold my river home, I would invite all of the classes of students, their teachers, and all parents and siblings of all kids to my home during the last week of school for a year end celebration and bar-be-que.  The kids got all the hamburgers and hot dogs they could eat.  Parents provided salads and drinks, and I provided rib-eye steaks or wild Gulf of Alaska Salmon and Halibut for the teachers, faculty, and parents who came to help serve, supervise, and care for the kids.

I rented those big rubber pneumatic bouncing toys and slides and inflated them so that the kids had ample places to play and entertain themselves during their day long adventure.  There were adventure trails and wildlife viewing areas and other nature trails to walk around and explore throughout the property.  There were artesian springs, and fish-filled ponds as well as a half mile stretch of the Little Spokane River front to explore and discover other wild life both on land and in the water.

Buckets of varied and assorted candy were strategically placed throughout the premises and play areas.  There were no rules or limits on the candy consumption,…at least by me….much to the chagrin of the “Sugar High” conscious mothers and teachers of all these students. 

The day ended with “all-you-can-eat” fresh ice cream for all attendees.

I had a Swan’s Ice-Cream Truck fully loaded and parked in my driveway with an unlocked access door.  Any and all in attendance could visit the truck as often as they desired.  No Limits!  Oh the good memories we all had together as friends and good pals!  What a way to live!

I truly had earned my title which all the students and staff affectionately called me,….Poppa Severn

Destiny is not a matter of chance…rather, it is a matter of choice!

Getting involved in your children’s and grandchildren’s lives is simply a matter of taking interest in something they are doing and then getting involved with them as a volunteer.  No one will do it for you.  All you have to do to begin such activities is to decide you are going to do it and then start taking the necessary time to get involved.  You will never have time to do such things, but you certainly can take time to get involved.  You choose.  Getting involved is totally up to you. 

Permit me to present to you a short comment that was written in the monthly March 2011 news-letter of the private Christian School that my grandchildren attend:


“Who is this ‘Poppa Severn’ everyone keeps talking about?  You may have heard the name ‘Poppa Severn’ floating around the school:  It may even take on mythical proportions.  Well, there really is a guy named Poppa Severn.  He is Dave Severn, grandparent to Jordan (’18), Matthew (’20), Hailey (’23), and James (’25).  He started coming to the kindergarten class 5 years ago to read to the students.  Now he (and his candy jug) make the rounds regularly in our grammar school.  We love to have our parents and grandparents involved in such loving ways.  Thanks Poppa Severn for all you do!”  

Please re-read the above definition of a Godly Legacy, and then make an intelligent choice right now as regards what your personal involvement in your own family legacy is going to be.  

What will your own children, grandchildren and their families say about you and what you did for and with them while you were alive as they were growing up?

The best use for your life is to so live your life, that the use of your life will out-live your life.  

Peace and Love to All of You……………….Poppa Bear 


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