• Pastor Steve VanAmburg

Leaving A Legacy

Leaving A Legacy

By Rev. Steve VanAmburg

Psalm 116:15 - Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.


As I write this blog my wife’s mom, Martha Bartl, just died. She was 91 years old and ready to meet her Lord Jesus Christ and her loved ones who had gone on before her. She had been under hospice care for the last 4 months or so. She was the mother of 8 wonderful children of whom I was blessed to marry the youngest daughter, Naomi. I remember a conversation I had with my mother-in-law around 30 years ago and I mentioned to her that I bet she was probably excited about going to heaven. She was such a godly lady and I was surprised when she said “No.” She went on to say that her children and their families needed her. She wasn’t ready to go because there was more that God wanted her to do and she needed to pray for them too. She wasn’t ready to “check out” early as we would say. God had a plan for her and she was determined to fulfill that plan.


Over the years my wife and I had 3 children and now we have 7 grandchildren. “Grandma Bartl” as we affectionately called my mother-in-law was there for all of us as well as my wife’s brothers and sisters and their families. I remember after one of our children was born she flew down from Alabama to West Palm Beach, FL, where we were living, so she could help out my wife. This lady who was a farmer’s wife seldom left the farm and yet she got on a little “puddle jumper” of a plane to come down and be with family. She was a great woman of faith and a wonderful “prayer warrior.” In her later days as her weak heart had slowed her body, and as dementia had slowed her mind, her face still always lit up when the grandchildren and great-grandchildren stopped by. She saw them as God’s gift to her.


I consider myself blessed that I knew her and that she prayed for me and my family and for so many others. She was always helping and teaching others and she left an incredible legacy behind. Our world is filled with people who are full of themselves. My mother-in-law was filled with God’s love and she gave herself to everyone else for her Lord. As God poured Himself into her, she poured herself into the lives of others. She may have left our world, but her legacy still lives in my heart and mind and in so many others as well.


When we see incredible people like Martha Bartl, I think we should all ask ourselves, “What kind of a legacy am I leaving behind?” This life God has given to us is wonderful. So what will we do with it? My prayer for you is that we would leave a legacy that would glorify God and make Him smile. My mother-in-law did just that. Now it’s our turn.

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