Amazing Grace… What do you value most priceless as your family heirloom?

AMAZING GRACE: How My Father Taught Me to Rejoice in the Word of Our Father



True Story from The Award-Winning Book Amazing Grace

Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go; Even when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

            What do you value most priceless as your family heirloom? Whether it’s an object passed down through generations, or knowledge, or something you’ve stumbled upon at a vintage store, it comes with a story attached and connects us to our heritage and collective past. But, what if the family who had the possession of that antique, ancient recipes, sculpture, or family history—was totally destroyed due to neglect or churlishness? You know that our family’s priceless heirloom passes down one Generation to the next—well, what if our Generation just dropped the ball altogether, leaving the family with no treasured history? That is the number one chief reason I was so determined to write my father’s story about God’s Amazing Grace—he passed on to me his priceless legacy of what it means of having a relationship with God almighty and spiritual values. I cherish and embrace to this day as my foundation of hope to share with the world. 

            Each Generation has memories, stories, and values it wants to pass along to the next Generation. This is essential as it pertains to our faith, beliefs, values, and spiritual matters. And we do not want our children’s faith in God not to be important to them—especially after they turn eighteen years old, leave home, and they are on their own. The seed that you plant in your child starts the day they are born. However, there are some myths about passing on your spiritual relationship with God to the next Generation.

Myth #1: Spiritual values happens by entitlement – that our sons and daughters will inherit our spiritual beliefs by merely being around their parents and attending church, or just being a good person. Remember, your children are watching you 24/7, and you can’t possibly think that your influence doesn’t matter, because it does. Your children can’t just mimic your core spiritual values—you have to be intentional and teach them about WHAT the spirit of God is all about. And, WHY it is so vital to develop a relationship with God through your everlasting Faith matters. And let’s be honest as parents, our children don’t always see our best side; they may witness and observe conflicting emotions displayed in our moments of anger, vulnerability, and weakness. Remember, they are always watching and hearing everything you say and do. 

Myth #2: It’s the church and schoolteachers’ job – that’s what education is for—let the professionals handle it. Unfortunately, some parents take themselves out of the equation, feeling that their lack of knowledge or prior mistakes excludes them from being the primary spiritual influencer in their child’s life. However, if you know enough of the Gospel to believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Savior, you know enough to begin influencing your children to believe in Jesus. But, the fact of the matter is that you are the number one person present in your child’s life than any church leader or schoolteacher can expect to be. You are your children’s teacher. I love this verse in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go; Even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” What a seemingly simple, but overwhelmingly complicated verse! Yet, it’s one of the most quoted. 

Myth #3: Is the effort worth it? It is true; adolescence is a season of transformation into independence, which might bring on “resistance” and rebellion against a parent’s wishes. However, we must understand the long-term consequence of allowing a spiritual vacuum to exist in your home; young adults will struggle to make wise choices according to God’s desires. Yes, it is worth the effort (I can testify as a pastor’s kid (PK)); my dad would tell me quite frequently that he had no greater joy than watching me as I praised and worshiped God. As you have read my story from the little girl nestled in the corner on my dad’s porch, the one thing he always did with me was to take the time to teach me the word of God. When my siblings and I became adults, our dad continued to make it a point to get involved in his offspring’s lives to pass on God’s wisdom and faith to all of his children, grandkids, as a family heirloom and inheritance. 

            The following is a written conversation my dad had with Ms. Anderson, a concerned schoolteacher of my older brother’s only son. I firmly believe an old African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” In today’s social world, the networks of relationships you can create your modern-day village—with grandparents, neighbors, teachers, friends, community, and others who have touched your life directly or indirectly. 

            Yes, “it takes a village to raise a child.” The impact on the difference it will be when sharing and caring and giving back in our communities, starting in our own backyard called home. Oh, there is so much work to do. The book of Psalm 145:4 say’s it all, “One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.”

It Takes A Village
From a concerned schoolteacher
Denver, Colorado

January 31, 1995

Dear Dr. Brent,

            Your grandson, William IV, very proudly shared the article about you with our class. He spoke very highly of you and his relatives at the University of Denver. He said he didn’t get to see you as often, though. Young William is articulate and bright. Unfortunately, his inconsistent study habits keep his grades from reflecting on his true abilities. I am sure any encouraging note or word along with prayers, of course, would help William focus a bit harder. I would certainly help William answer any letters he receives. 

            I know it is difficult to call him, as he has no phone at home. Unless there is some reason your son doesn’t want you to contact William, you could call at school (831-7044). You would have to explain the situation to the secretary to pull the call through to the classroom, but I will alert the office to okay any calls from you. As a veteran teacher, I ache when I see students with high potential slipping into habitual non-production. I fight in every way I can think of to break negative habits. This letter is yet another attempt to push a nice young man onto a successful path. 

            William and I will appreciate any thoughts or gestures made for his success in school. When we visited the Governor’s Mansion, William wanted to know how he could become the governor? I told him one of the first steps was to become more responsible. He has really been trying since Winter Intermission.

Mrs. Anderson


It Takes A Village
February 03, 1995

Dear Mrs. Anderson,

            I want to thank you for your letter dated January 31, 1995, concerning my grandson, William. My heart leaped with joy to see someone in this day and age who really cares, people who have great insight, seeing beyond the natural into the supernatural and making an effort to do something about it. I speak blessing upon you, as Jesus did to them that followed. “Verily, I say unto you; I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Matthew 8:10.

            I have, for many years, tried to have a relationship with all of my children and have been very successful with all of them and their families, except my son Bill, a distant relationship, at least the last four or five years. We have begun communicating as a father and son should and share the things that are so close to our hearts. 

            A few months ago, he and his son, William, and daughter, Joy, visited me in Lamar, which began a good relationship, which has been so distant in the past.  We began to communicate. “Where communication begins, frustration ends.” This was the first time that I had the opportunity to really visit with my grandson, and granddaughter, Joy, his sister. Bill, my son, communicates by letter at least once or twice per week. My daughter Carolyn from California was here on a three-day visit and brought William, my grandson, with her to visit with us in Lamar. Upon that visit, I discovered the potential in William, as you have discovered. Same words and the same habits.

            I wrote my son Bill and shared my findings with him and, in part, a solution, at least the beginning of a solution. I wrote to him approximately three weeks ago and suggested for him to put William into a Cub Scout or a Boy Scout Program. 

            The reason: My grandson needs to be disciplined by his peer group in a positive setting, seeing his peer as a role model, and having it enforced by adult men role models. I explained to him that I will help pay for all of the expenses for this endeavor. I feel this will point William in the right direction with positive input, breaking the negative habits, dealing with his spirit first before his intellect, his mind, and emotions will be ready to receive. 

            Thank you for helping me. If this attitude is not dealt with in a positive way, the system will deal with is in a negative way when he is old. I will write my son Bill and insist that he must be involved and cooperate and all things will work together for good. Thanks again for your concerns. You are a wonderful instructor. If we had more people and teachers in this world like you, this world would be a better place to live in. 

            I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayer: That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory may give unto you wisdom and revelation, in the knowledge of Him, that the eyes of your understanding will always be enlightened, and that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. Ephesians,1:16-17.

            I will write William at least one letter every two weeks at his address, and I will call you at the school in one week and will keep in touch.

In Him,

Dr. William L. Brent
New Life Christian Center 

            Teach Your Children Well. Helping others appears to cross generations within families. Twenty-five years later, little William IV is now a grown man, happily married, with four kids of his own. He works full time to take care of his family and volunteers in his church ministry. Passing on the priceless as your family heirloom could be taking the time out of your busy schedule to share your time, which only happens when a village gets involved early in a loved one’s life.

            I must say, when I read the letters written by a concerned schoolteacher and my dad, it brought tears to my eyes. I immediately thought about the world we live in the countless families across the nation where parents will use their children as bargaining tools against their spouse, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and loved ones. This list can go on and on with no end in sight, which can create a generational curse. Our United States courthouses are full of cases where the children are the ones who are affected in a very negative way when parents do not get involved by continuously planting good and trustworthy seeds in their children’s lives. Suppose a parent teaches their child to hate. In that case, they will pass down to the next Generation, a spirit of hate, and this hatred could very well backfire on the parents when they are old; hatred has no boundaries when children are taught to hate, they will eventually start hating you, the parent. Please do not take my word for it—just read a few cases dockets in the family Juvenal court system.   

            Provide a consistent message of love and truthThere’s power in teaching the next Generation the purpose of love through giving. Not surprisingly, there are countless people to make a difference in the world by helping others; when a teacher wants to help your child, such as Ms. Anderson, you must intentionally make it a point to get involved, and let them help. Yes, if you are working and are unable at that particular time, that’s when you will know there’s the power of having your own village to help you. You can indeed create your village by helping someone else. That’s really how it works. Yes, I thank God to this day; at the age of 63, I, too, have created my very own village.
            Additionally, when you know your purpose in life and teach your children about what it means to live a life with purpose, you both will experience a sense of excitement in giving and helping someone else in need. In turn, giving can also help you achieve your purpose. When you give from the heart, you never know what blessings are in store and how many lives you are touching. That is one of the most powerful gifts of wisdom any parent can pass down as an inheritance to the Next Generation. As I have mentioned in previous chapters, the “love” of money cannot fill one soul’s deep beauty. 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 

            I believe, somehow as human beings we got it all twisted when it comes to inheritance and one’s core values. Once again, don’t take my word for it; just read any family court dockets for yourself or watch any Lifetime TV true shows. The shows will reenact what happens when the love of money rules one’s life, which will open the doors to evil acts as it destroys the families and the Next Generation.

            For additional knowledge about this subject matter, I have included the following scriptures as a bible reference study guide of a few verses related to what Generation can pass to the next Generation. And the type of legacy, be it good or bad, will be passed on to your children’s and your children. But there is good news—knowledge is your power, and you can break generational curses when you know God’s word. Yes, God is good, and his mercy endured forever. 

  • Deuteronomy 30:19 says we can either choose life and blessing or death and cursing. A generational curse is believed to be passed down from one Generation to another due to rebellion against God. If your family line is marked by divorce, incest, poverty, anger, or other ungodly patterns, you’re likely under a generational curse. 
  • Psalms 145:4 – One Generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. Psalms 100:5 – For the LORD [is] good; his mercy [is] everlasting; and his truth [endureth] to all generations
  • You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.(Exodus 20:5-6; cf Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9)
  • Psalms 145:4 – One Generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.
  • Psalms 100:5 – For the LORD [is] good; his mercy [is] everlasting; and his truth [endureth] to all generations.
  • Proverbs 4:10-27 – Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. (Read More…)
  • Genesis 22:18 – And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
  • Luke 1:50 – And his mercy [is] on them that fear him from Generation to Generation.
  • Psalms 102:18 – This shall be written for the Generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.
  • Psalms 78:4 – We will not hide [them] from their children, shewing to the Generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
  • Daniel 4:3 – How great [are] his signs! and how mighty [are] his wonders! his kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion [is] from Generation to Generation.
  • Psalms 71:18 – Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto [this] Generation, [and] thy power to every one [that] is to come.
  • Psalms 119:111 – Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they [are] the rejoicing of my heart.
  • Exodus 34:6-7 – And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, (Read More…)
  • Malachi 4:6 – And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
  • Exodus 20:5-6 – Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [Generation] of them that hate me; (Read More…)
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (Read More…)
  • Romans 1:1-32 – Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the Gospel of God, (Read More…)
  • Ephesians 4:1-32 – I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called…

    READ AMAZING GRACE in it’s  Entirety   

Bible Scriptures From The New International Version (NIV)
Bible verses related to Generation To Generation from the King James Version (KJV) by Relevance


About Carolyn Brent

Dr. Carolyn A. Brent, is an award-winning bestselling author and a National Physique Committee (NPC) Masters Women's Figure Champion at age 60. She is an expert on both self-care and caregiving; she is the founder of Across All Ages and two nonprofit organizations, CareGiverStory Inc. and Grandpa's Dream. Carolyn's research and extensive collection of published works have made her a notable figure in her field. For seventeen years, she worked for some of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies and has worked as a volunteer at various assisted-living facilities. Her award-winning books include The Caregiver's Companion: Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself and The Caregiver's Legal Survival Guide: Navigating through the Legal System.

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