Leaving Your Life Imprint (Transcript)

Kenny Mauck: This is Kenny Mauck and you're listening to Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.

Roger Marsh: Hello everyone. This is Roger Marsh and you are tuned to the Friday edition of Family Talk. I pray that you had a relaxing Thanksgiving with your family and friends and glad you've joined in for this special program today. Our host is Dr. Tim Clinton who is filling in for Dr. Dobson behind the microphone and in just a moment you're going to hear Dr. Clinton's recent conversation with Kenny Mauck. Kenny is an Author, a Speaker, and a Licensed Therapist with over 20 years of experience. Today, he and Dr. Clinton will discuss Kenny's book called Leaving Your Life Imprint. Kenny will describe his journey to investigating his family's heritage and lineage. He'll also unpack the profound lessons that were passed down to him, generation to generation. This idea of passing on a godly legacy is a truly valuable concept that everyone really needs to understand, now more than ever. This is a fascinating conversation that we know you will enjoy. So here now is Dr. Tim Clinton on this edition of Family Talk.

Dr. Clinton: Kenny, so great to have you join us. I know we've had a long time friendship, but it's always fun to have a conversation with you.

Kenny Mauck: Great to be here, Tim.

Dr. Clinton: As we get started, Kenny, there's that old piece where this dad's walking, he's got his son stepping in his footprints behind him and it says, "If you smile, he smiles. If you laugh, he laughs. If you spit, he spits. You yell, he yells." The power of influence is real and it flows, Kenny, multi-generationally, doesn't it?

Kenny Mauck: It does.

Dr. Clinton: Yes. So much so that we say families tend to reproduce themselves. Isn't that true?

Kenny Mauck: True.

Dr. Clinton: And we often in Christianity say that, well, we quote scripture that says, "The sins of the fathers are often visited to the third and fourth generations." You and I've had conversations where we can turn that on its head. We also believe the blessings of the fathers are visited to the third and fourth generations. God's called you. You've written a new book called Leaving Your Life Imprint. Kenny, tell us what it's all about. Why'd you do it? And let's jump into this.

Kenny Mauck: Okay. Well, I met mortality in my own living about five years ago. I was having bad dreams about dying and literally not knowing - okay. It went on for four or five months where I just was like, and what I was doing, I didn't realize I was losing friends and family and so it was impacting my life and I was like, "Man, I'm going to shut my eyes for the last time. My heart's going to stop. My brain's going to stop and that's it."

Dr. Clinton: That's terrifying.

Kenny Mauck: And one night I woke up right in the bed, put my feet down. I thought, "I'm still alive." And through that experience, I started searching, okay, "What am I going to leave my kids? I can't just leave him a will, but I did." I said, "Maybe that'll make me feel better." I did the will, did that, all the land, the stock, everything. But Tim, I started realizing there was something more that was missing, it was my story. I didn't know my full story. Here I've been working with other people's story for years as a therapist and then I'm looking at my own story. I'm like, "I don't know."

And it was just amazing journey to go back all the way in the 1700s, find my generational family and realize all the things that encompass that relationship, both the good and bad imprints that I was missing and start filling in some blanks. And now every day it's a new day for me because I realized the gift of life and how important it is and how important story is, that's where the word imprint comes because I'm like, "I want to imprint my own kids with this story." And that was the neatest thing at the book signing, giving my kids their story, that I didn't have.

Dr. Clinton: Kenny, I've had a few of those nights where you wake up and you begin to think about, "What am I doing? Does my life matter?" I think of that movie Saving Private Ryan and one of those opening scenes. It was, I guess what we just want to know is what we did. Did it really matter? Do I count? Living a life on purpose. Rick Warren wrote that book years ago, The Purpose Driven Life and it's like taking an inventory, taking stock.

Now the Psalmist said, "Lord, teach us to number our days." We do well when we think about life from this perspective, what you want us to do is you want us to go back and to really understand our stories, what's influencing us and how or what are we doing to influence those closest to us and those around us.

Are we living a meaningful life? You went back, I think everybody's dabbling in with this ancestry.com. Everybody wants to, I think you send your spit in or something. They can tell you who you're related to, what your narrative, what your story is all about. It's wild. Everybody is doing this thing. I haven't done it but I'd like to. I'm half scared too. But Kenny, you went back.

Kenny Mauck: I did.

Dr. Clinton: Take us on the journey and teach us the lessons that God gave to you in this. Give them to us, help us.

Kenny Mauck: Okay. Well, one is I didn't know that my six-time-great-grandfather came from Germany. Before I finished this book, I said, "I'm not going to finish this book until I go over and see where he was." He was born in 1707 in Giessen, Germany and he left because of religious persecution. Isn't it interesting? He wanted to come to America for religious freedom because he was Lutheran. So I saw the place where he actually took off to come to America. It took him, Tim, five months in total, took me 10 hours to get over to Germany, it took him five months on a boat that almost sunk. And I'm like, "This is unbelievable that people died and he survived to get here-" I wouldn't be sitting here had it not been for my six-time-great-grandfather.

Dr. Clinton: Kenny Mauck roots. Family roots. Fascinating. So keep us going in your narrative here.

Kenny Mauck: Sure. Then I realize — almost - it was like a movie. I was going, "Wow, this is my family. And they have so many issues coming to America." One grandfather was, he basically was the explorer of the family. So he was moving a lot and he had some control issues. He had a son, he named him Samuel. In my German ... you don't name your son Samuel. He named him after his boat, the boat his dad came over on America. And back in those days, if you're German, you don't want to name any of your kids other than German, but he named his after a British boat called Samuel. That was the boat that my grandfather came on-

Dr. Clinton: Because it brought freedom to him.

Kenny Mauck: It did, it did. And so that legacy, that whole thing of lineage, I learned about, one of my grandfathers became a bootlegger and he made some of the best moonshine whiskey in East Kentucky, too. So this wild ride between life, I started realizing, "Man, I could do a case study on just my family that I had no idea. No idea about." And so it brought something into me to go, "Wow, this is so cool." And then I look at our X, Y, and Z generation, Tim, and one of the biggest thing they all have in common is they're alone. They don't understand story.

Dr. Clinton: There's a disconnect going on.

Kenny Mauck: There's a huge disconnect in story.

Dr. Clinton: They don't have this identity, this rootedness. It's interesting, modern day research is showing that it's important for families to keep traditions. It's important for them, by the way, to also have meaningful activities together like eating dinner. Because in those moments, it's not necessarily about the food, although we think diet's important, but in these moments there's this osmosis process that's going on where thoughts that are significant, relationships that are valuable and important are being wired kind of together and passed on generationally. Here's some fascinating things we learned. I know sitting at the feet of my dad, my dad was in World War II. Tom Brokaw called that-

Kenny Mauck: The greatest generation.

Dr. Clinton: ... that generation, the greatest generation ever. They were. They were the ones who changed the course of history. They changed the world. And my dad would talk about being a boy, basically, coming out of DuBois, Pennsylvania, getting on the USS Pennsylvania, terrified, going in the South Pacific. They talked about what it was like to have the kamikaze planes come after him and more. I mean, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom and he would describe it in intimate detail. And I'm sitting there and my eyes are like going in the back of my head. I'm petrified for him.

He told a story one time where a howitzer misfired and he actually, he got selected on the boat to go get that shell out of that gun and drop it overboard. Think about that, as a kid. My dad said, "Tim, I was so happy to get back to the mainland." He said, "When I got into the mainland," he said, "I got off that boat and I kissed the ground."

He said, "I was so happy to be back in the United States." He said, "When I got back to DuBois, I went to downtown DuBois." and he said, "Oh, by the way, when I went into DuBois, Pennsylvania, that's where I saw your mother, who by the way, we broke up when I left for the war and she had a ring on, she was engaged. And you know what she did, Tim? When she saw me, she slipped that ring off her finger, slid it back in her purse or something," and he said, "Me and your mom reconnected." Those are stories. You get what I'm saying?

Kenny Mauck: Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Clinton: It's like wow. And he said, "As a part of that journey, I promised the Lord that if I got back home, I would serve him." Think about that. My dad made a decision to go after his faith in a meaningful way and later became a pastor out of that whole journey. Is that what you're talking about, Kenny?

Kenny Mauck: It is. And it's so exciting to see what you're doing with AACC. We need men to step back up, man. We need men to take our proper place about story, about sharing it. And I love what you're doing. There's a call to men. I want to see our men of Christ rise like never before, and I just think there's something happening right now with men. We've got to beat it, with the liberal media or whatever that is. We've got to break that. It's got to be men that break that whole thing.

Dr. Clinton: I was reading a piece last night about David with his son, Solomon. And it was in that kind of final, a father to son moment, and he challenges Solomon to "show yourself a man, be strong." Can you imagine looking at your daddy the last time and those are his words to you? Can you imagine how they got etched into your heart and soul? This, this issue of multi-generational flow is so significant. Again, we agreed the sins of the fathers unfortunately are visited to third and fourth generations. You can imagine how the disconnect often influences adversely a boy or a daughter. You know that?

Kenny Mauck: Absolutely.

Dr. Clinton: You can see also how the blessings of a father. I think of Joseph with his own father in the latter stages of the book of Genesis, where Joseph, even after all those years being sold out by his brothers, you know that, when he reveals himself to his brothers, he says this, "How's our dad?" You know that, "Can you go get him? Can you bring him back here?" You know that? And in the midst of that, you think about the power of family. Joseph is second only to the Pharaoh, Kenny, and in this moment, after all those years, then he has all this blessed life. When he reveals himself to his brothers, the scripture says that he wept so loud that the entire house of the Pharaoh and the Egyptians heard him cry, "Cause everyone to get away from me." You know that, "Get them all out of here." Because out of him poured that rootedness, that connectedness and that desire to love and be loved. You know that.

Kenny, keep us going on the journey here. What else did you learn about yourself and why is it significant? How does it help us understand what you mean by leaving your life imprint? I suppose, here's a good place for a double negative. You cannot not leave a life imprint. You're leaving one. It's what kind of one are you leaving?

Kenny Mauck: Absolutely. For me, it changed me so much that at Christmas time, what I do now with my kids, I write letters to my kids, my family, even my grandkids, and I tell them about their story. You know, back in the old days, Tim, people actually sat around the fireplace and talked about story, but now we kind of let social media and TV have misplaced a lot of that, but I'm going back with my kids. I talk about story. I write them letters and letters are something really special because when I was going through ancestry.com, letters were really important to the family. And I love that about my own kids, my own family. Writing them letters is something they can keep.

They take with them. It's not a Christmas gift that they can take and go, "I'm going to throw it away in a few years." This is something they're going to put in their drawer and they bring it and they're starting to bring them back to me. That's what's so cool. Even my own adult kids. At first, it was the grandkids - and when I started telling the story, it'd be like this long table. All of a sudden, my kids, my grandkids are at the back. And by the time I'm done, guess what? They are right there in the front listening about their heritage. And Tim, you don't know what that means that that's an imprint that's going to ... it's going to carry beyond my lifetime.

And that's, that's why I share in the subtitle of my book, you're going to leave something that lives beyond your lifetime. And that's what's so powerful. What you're doing. You've left an-

Dr. Clinton: Kenny, I love that.

Kenny Mauck: ... an imprint, and I'm leaving imprints of my kids. I'm leaving imprints through the mental health services that I've been providing. But guess what? I know that there's nothing I've done that is deserving of any praise. It all goes to Jesus Christ because there's nothing in my story better than the story of Jesus.

Dr. Clinton: Hi, you're listening to Family Talk. I'm your host, Dr. Tim Clinton. Our special in-studio guest today is one of my good friends. He's an author, speaker, powerful voice in this generation, Kenny Mauck. So what you're saying is practically figure out how to stay rooted or connected and to pass on the story. Pass on love, grace. Pass on moments that are significant. When you talk about letters. I reached for my wallet and I pulled out two old pieces. Believe it or not, I have this, I wish you could see it, you all listening, I have this little piece and it's a, Kenny, you can see this. It's a picture of a face and there are tears coming down it.

And when my mother died, my daughter Megan, who was little at the time, she writes me this little note and says, "Daddy, I cry because of nanny C." and she gave that to me and, and she just wanted me to know that she loved me and she wrote me a little note. That thing is so old, you guys, but it's got a centerpiece in my wallet. Also, in my wallet is a handwritten note from my son Zach. And in that note, he is a boy and he writes me this letter about what it means to be loved by his dad and it meant so much to me that I kept this letter. It's an imprint-

Kenny Mauck: Huge imprint.

Dr. Clinton: ... in my wallet because it reminded me of the influence that I have in the lives of my own kids. And how serious I need to take it every day, because you cannot not have influence. And it's nothing but pure grace, you all, because we're doing that. Dad, you had an influence today. Mom, you had an influence today. Really. And Kenny, I mean, that's the piece. I know you challenge me about, "Tim. Let's number our days. Tim, let's make sure we make the maximum use of our influence, whether it's we're influencing counselors, whether we're influencing people around us in our church community, whether we're influencing our own marriage, our relationship with our children, and whether or not we're even doing anything that matters for God."

Kenny Mauck: Absolutely.

Dr. Clinton: Period. Most importantly, because in the end, that's all that really matters.

Kenny Mauck: Absolutely. You know, C.S. Lewis' wife, before she passed away, she looked at him and said, "This is the deal." Because he was not accepting her death from cancer and she said, "Here's the deal. The pain I'm going to feel then is part of the story now, the joy that we have now." In other words, she was saying, "It's part of the story. We're imprinting part of our life right now and that's going to help me face the end." I thought that was so powerful in Shadowlands, the movie, here's one of the greatest theologians and he's being schooled about, "Look, we're talking about eternity, right? We're talking about living life with intention, right?" And it changed Lewis to send what? A Grief Observed, one of the biggest, the greatest books.

Dr. Clinton: That book had a real influence on me. It did. You know, when my mother passed away, my dad lived alone without her for almost 11 years. He was a pastor in rural Central Pennsylvania, Kenny. And a couple of the most significant moments I had with my dad was simple conversation with him about, "Dad, how do you do this without mom?" I said, "Dad, you're up here." He lived in central PA. He had a trailer with a couple of rooms built onto the trailer and that was his nest. He loved it so much. And I said, "Dad, what's it like to live without mom?" You know what I heard him say that night? He said, "Tim," he said, "It's the moments when I'm in bed alone by myself and I reach over to touch her and she's not there. Those are the moments that get me." You know that? He said, "I miss her so much." For him to say that to me was ... it spoke of the love that he had for my mother. You get it?

Kenny Mauck: Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Clinton: And it was like, he taught me a lesson about how much he really loved. I said, "Dad, how do you wake up then? How do you do this? In A Grief Observed, Lewis said he felt it was, there were times when he couldn't even hardly even shave, he just didn't have the motivation or heart to do it because he was so broken. And he turned around and he said, "Tim, I reframed it and I just, I love to live life because I want to tell as many people as I can, while God gives me the opportunity, about what it means to be loved by God." You know that. "And I want to live that out-"

Kenny Mauck: I do too.

Dr. Clinton: ... "In front of my family. I want you guys to know that your dad loves you."

Kenny Mauck: Absolutely.

Dr. Clinton: My dad was the kind ... I think he's the kindest man I've ever met my whole life, Kenny. Leaving a life imprint, you all, your kids have a vision of you. I wonder if they were to draw a picture of you, what would it be? If they were to describe you and you weren't around and you could listen in, what would they say about you? Who are you? What kind of a story are you leaving with them? You cannot not have influence. Kenny, tell us some more about what you learned.

Kenny Mauck: Well, one of the things I learned was being a busy guy with two nonprofits, legacy nonprofits, and then a commercial real estate business. I started realizing, I got to back off from this stuff and you know, I'm a driver. You are too, right? And we have to be reminded by our family sometimes.

Dr. Clinton: We got a little go in us.

Kenny Mauck: Yeah. But I took my kids this last year, each one of them. I never want my kids to be to a point where I can't spend time with them. So, I took them, and it was great. We did something special for each one of them. And what I learned about them is they're all three different and yet they all three want one thing. They want time with their father. They want quality time with their dad. And so I'm learning that now with my own grandkids. I love when my little one comes around, and my little girl, my daughter adopted a few years ago. Here they come around and she says the word "Pop." And it just destroys everything within me and I just wrap my arms around her and I'm going, "Wow, this is the love of the father that I'm feeling right now as he loves me. I'm able to love my child. I have this gift of life and what am I doing? I'm impressing not in just words, but I'm impressing them with affirmation, holding her and letting her know the unconditional love of Christ."

Dr. Clinton: Some listening, Kenny, and we're fighting the clock here now, might say, "But my life story's a mess. There's a lot of brokenness, and I want to have that kind of influence. I'm listening. I'm saying, 'God, please help me do that,' but we've got maybe some work to do. Maybe there are some things I need to ask forgiveness for or more." Kenny, what do you say to them?

Kenny Mauck: God's whole story is redemptive. If you look at the prodigal son, if you notice that story, Jesus says, "The father ran." He didn't walk. He didn't wait for the kid to run to him. He ran. That's the way Jesus is, Tim. He's waiting. He's waiting to run. All He's asking is for a heart that's willing to be broken and to see Him ready to run. He can write new chapters. Yes.

Dr. Clinton: Kenny, the real significance, I guess, would be to say, "Hey, listen, I want to make a decision right now to maybe alter or rewrite some of my story here. I want to change that trajectory, and if I need to make amends, God, help me to see what I need to do and help me to do that very thing." I'm going to challenge you listening today, if that's where you're at and you're thinking, "You know what? I hear this, Lord, help me. Teach me to number my days. God, help me right now. I'm 35. I'm 47. I'm 62." Whatever it is, I don't care where you're at. "God, I need to make an adjustment." We want to challenge you to make that adjustment and start taking serious the idea of leaving a life imprint. Kenny Mauck's new book, Leaving Your Life Imprint: A Legacy Story that Lives Beyond Your Lifetime. That's meaningful. Kenny, how can people learn more about your ministry and maybe reach out to you?

Kenny Mauck: Go to Kennymauck.com.

Dr. Clinton: Kenny Mauck, M-A-U-C-K.

Kenny Mauck: Get your book there.

Dr. Clinton: Kenny, thank you for giving this gift to us. I'll give you the closing word to our listeners.

Kenny Mauck: God can rewrite not only your story, but He also can create new chapters in your story. And that's what this whole session's about, that leave your imprint and it starts with accepting Christ and His plan for your life.

Dr. Clinton: And embracing it.

Kenny Mauck: Embracing it.

Dr. Clinton: Thanks for joining us, Kenny.

Kenny Mauck: Pleasure.

Roger Marsh: Well, this is Roger Marsh once again, and you've been listening to Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. Today you've been hearing from our cohost, Dr. Tim Clinton, and his guest, author Kenny Mauck. Visit Drjamesdobson.org for more information about Kenny's book, the one that we focused on today, called Leaving Your Life Imprint. That's Drjamesdobson.org and then click on today's broadcast page. Well, that's all the time we have for this week here on Family Talk. Be sure to join us again Monday as we begin highlighting and replaying our best programs from the year of 2019. You won't want to miss any of these broadcasts throughout the entire month of December. It's going to be a lot of fun. Thanks for listening today and be sure to tune in again Monday for more of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. Have a blessed weekend.

Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson family Institute.

Dr. Dobson: This is James Dobson again. Before we go, I'd like to remind you that Family Talk is a listener supported program. If you've enjoyed this broadcast, we'd appreciate your helping to keep us on the air. As you know, we talk about everything from religious liberty to the sanctity of human life and raising boys and girls, among others. These are the passions of our hearts and I hope they are for you too. Thank you so much for listening and for being part of this ministry. For more information, go to Drjamesdobson.org.

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