Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Talk with God

Just a quote to think about. The idea of our prayers bothering God is a lie from Satan and we need to be careful not to believe it.

Talk with God today about the concerns on your heart. Talk with Him about your children and grandchildren - He wants to hear what you have to say. He loves you and He loves them even more than you do, so talk with Him.

Hand Down the Faith with "Mystery Bags" - Trust God with the Impossible

As our grandchildren grow older, they will experience and learn something we also experienced and learned as we grew older . . . there are times in our lives which are difficult, challenging, sad and even frightening. Oh, yes, there will be times of joy as well; these are the times when it is easy to trust God. But, there will be difficult times and the grandchildren we love - and our sons, daughters and in-laws we love as well - will experience those times throughout their lives.

It is essential we teach and model for them what it means to trust God at all times, but especially in those times when, "we are powerless to do a thing". Today's "Mystery Bag" will give you the opportunity to talk with your grandchildren about trusting God - and share with them about a difficult time in your life when you trusted God as well.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Legacy You Leave for Christ Will Endure Forever

If you are a grandparent who hands down the faith as a part of a strong team made up of the most influential people in the lives of your grandchildren - parents and grandparents - then please, take heart when you read this quote from David Jeremiah. If, however, you are not part of a "team" and find you are the only one handing down the faith to your grandchildren, then, please take heart as well. What you do matters. The legacy you leave for Jesus will endure forever!

A Prayer for God's Perfect Peace

As I sit here and write this post I'm listening to the morning news. The heart-breaking reports of anti-Semitism, terrorism, severe weather, shootings and fights in schools, election ads filled with anger which further divide us, and so many more reports which may leave us feeling sad, frustrated, angry and even afraid. The world in which we, and the ones we love, are living is filled with these types of reports every day. But, we do not have to be afraid. We do not have to despair. We are able to have God's perfect peace, even in the sad and frustrating things which are happening.

As you go through this day, consider making the following prayer from Isaiah 26:3, 4 your "go-to" prayer whenever you feel frustrated, sad, angry or afraid. And, consider teaching it to your grandchildren as well . . . 

Monday, October 29, 2018

God's Love Abides Evermore the Same

Aren't you so thankful for the truth in this quote from Charles Spurgeon? Even though our lives change, and they certainly do, God always remains the same. He always continues to love us. He is always trustworthy. He is always faithful.

Trust God with Our Grandchildren

The first time our grandchildren are placed into our arms, we know we will love them forever. We hold them tight and with each grandchild, we are completely convinced we are holding the most adorable grandchild ever!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Memories & Heritage

When you think back on your grandparents, do you have memories of times spent with them? Are there aromas and tastes you recall? Are there things which once belonged to them and now are small bits of your heritage?

Handing down a heritage involves retelling the family history; telling about the time when you went fishing with your grandpa and then had a fish fry with the day's catch! It is talking about the times when you all went on a vacation together and the car with your grandparents and little brothers missed the exit your parents and you took, and they got lost! (On Mother's Day, no less!)

A Grandparent's Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Send your Holy Spirit to fall afresh on us, and show us how to pray effectively for our grandchildren.
Refine our prayers like silver in a crucible. Remove the impurities, such as our pride, self-imposed will and propensity to tell You how to fix things according to our plans. Remove our lofty sentences and empty words.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Saturday Promises - God Will Bless Our Descendants

Each Saturday I'll post a, "Saturday Promise" where I share a promise from God in regards to our descendants. Last Saturday was our first "Saturday Promise" and I said; "What better way is there to wrap up a week . . . being reminded of God's promises and love for our children and grandchildren."

Trust God

What impossible situations are you depending upon God for today? Do you have a family member who is not walking with God? Are you, or someone you love facing a health crisis? Do you need a job? A home? A repaired relationship with family?

Why Doesn't the Church Have Ministry to Grandparents?

Last week I wrote about how three of the Grandmas with Heart are also Charter Members of the Legacy Coalition who were there from the beginning and who helped found it. Today I'm very happy to share with you a clip of a general session from one of these grandmas, Cathy Jacobs, as she taught at the first Grandparenting Conference where the Legacy Coalition provided speakers. Listen to what Cathy had to say about why it matters for churches to have a ministry which engages and equips grandparents to hand down the faith. (You will find it at this link.)

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Best Parts of Growing Older

It dawned on me this morning, we are only 67 days from the end of 2018 and the start of a new year. Truly time does pass quickly and, like it or not, we are growing older, but there are many blessings which come with growing older; and certainly one of them is the blessing of knowing and handing faith to our grandchildren. While we certainly need to be focused and purposeful about doing this, we also need to be sure we take time to watch for how God answers our prayers and how our grandchildren are learning to grow in their own walk with God.

Be Alert! Watch for What God Does

If you are like me you have many things which fill your days - time spent growing in our walk with God, time with family, things to keep us busy at home, possibly a job, volunteering at church and the list goes on. And, since the Holiday Season is nearly upon us and there are less than two months until Christmas, we are likely to become even more busy. While we may be busy, it is essential for us to make time for those things which matter the most - such as praying, growing in our own walk with God and in handing down the faith.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Hand Down the Faith with "Mystery Bags" - What Comes Out When You are "Squeezed"?

Childhood certainly has its wonderful times . . . those moments when our grandchildren are able to try and learn something new. The time they caught tadpoles and were able to watch them grow, or hold a baby bunny, or catch fireflies on summer evenings at their grandparents' home. The times when they just played with abandon. And, of course, the times when they snuggle with their grandma and enjoy a book together or help her bake cookies! Wonderful, memory creating times for sure!

But, childhood and growing up will also have difficult, even painful times as well. Those times when they may not feel like they have any friends and the times when they struggle to learn something new. It is essential for us to do all we are able to do to "fill our grandchildren with love". There is an old question we should be asking our grandchildren and this question fits wonderfully with a "Mystery Bag" activity.

October 31st - An Opportunity to Share the Love of Jesus! Don't Waste It!

Okay, yesterday I wrote about the "Dilemma of Halloween" and how we need to be wise. I wrote about how it gives us the opportunity to have a conversation with our grandchildren about who Jesus is and why the focus on evil and gore at Halloween is not something of which we want to be part. But, having said this, I do believe Halloween does offer us an unique opportunity to share the love of Jesus with our neighbors and all the children who knock on our doors on October 31st.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Model What it Means to Live Life with God's Perspective Guiding Us

With "Lotto Fever" very much in the news the past week, there has been lots of talk about what people would do if they won more than a billion dollars. Some people have talked about buying expensive cars, or even their own island. But the thing I want the most can not be bought; not for a billion dollars or any amount of money. More than anything I want my daughter, son, daughter-in-law and grandsons to know, love and walk with God. 

The Halloween Dilemma . . .

When it comes to Halloween, I have always felt a bit of a dilemma. As a child it was harmless. I dressed up as princess, a Japanese girl in a kimono, etc . . . simple costumes with no focus on gore or evil. My siblings and I trick-or-treated to the neighbors' homes on our street and always felt like we really "scored" with our buckets of candy! After all, it was really all about the candy!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Thoughts About Being "Real" & Trusting God's Great Love

Today I want to share something with you once again, which I originally wrote three years ago and posted to the Legacy Coalition Facebook page/blog (legacycoalition.com), and then add a few more thoughts. I wrote . . .

Trust God to Draw the Ones We Love to Him

Fall is a time when we are able to see God's amazing creation in it's colorful glory . . . at least here in West Michigan as the trees are ablaze with color! Isn't it comforting to know the God Who created everything loves our grandchildren (and adult children, too) - even more than we do and He wants them to love Him even more than we do? 

This is why Jesus came to Earth - to show God's amazing love and to draw us to Him. There was no other reason - He loves us! He loves those we love! God loves us!

Consider making John 3:16 and 12:32 a simple prayer for those you love . . . 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Be Involved - It Matters

For far too many years, we were "sold" the idea of how our retirement years should be spent on us. We believed our retirement is time for us to travel, play golf and relax. But this is not the truth. None of these things are the things which truly matter. Handing down the faith is what truly matters and we do this by spending the time we have with our grandchildren.

If you live near your grandchildren, clearly this is easier for you to do; but even if you live far from your grandchildren, you are still able to connect with them on a regular basis and be involved in their lives. Consider some of the following ideas - whether you live near or far . . . 

Time Spent in Prayer is NEVER Spent in Vain

I have very specific things I pray about throughout each day for the people I love. These prayers are on my heart and mind nearly all the time, so I depend upon the truth in this quote by Charles Spurgeon . . . the time I spend praying is NEVER time spent in vain. NEVER!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Trust God's Direction in Your Life & the Lives of Those You Love

Don't you find strength and encouragement in knowing this is true - God knows the best way for us to reach our destination! This is true for our children and grandchildren, too.

Prayer for Grandparents to Hand Down the Faith

Heavenly Father,

The “harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Luke 10:2). Therefore, we earnestly pray You will raise up an army of grandparents who, recognizing the harvest set before them, commit the remainder of their time on this earth to leaving a legacy of faith to their children and their children’s children. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Saturday Promises - God Will Teach & Bless Our Descendants

Don't you just love how the Bible is filled with promises from God about how He loves our descendants! I find it so encouraging to read in Scripture what God has to say about my grown children and grandsons - God does not and has not forgotten them. He loves them! He promises to teach them and bring blessings to their lives!

Our Grandchildren Need a Walk With God Which is Their Own

Four of the Grandmas with Heart are also part of the Legacy Coalition - three of us, Cathy Jacobs, Sherry Schumann and Lynda Freeman - are actually Charter Members, as we were there from the start of the Legacy Coalition. The very first Grandparenting Conference where the Legacy Coalition provided speakers was in May of 2016 in Minnesota and both Cathy and Lynda taught both general and breakout sessions. For the next few weeks I'm going to share short video clips of their general sessions - today we have a clip of Lynda speaking about why it matters for our grandchildren to have a faith of their own.

You will find it at this link.

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo#grandparentingonpurpose

Friday, October 19, 2018

Pray & Be Part of the Answer

As we grandmas know, prayer is one of the most powerful - if not the most powerful thing we will ever do for our grandchildren - and children, too. Oh yes, we spend time with them, plan opportunities to go places together, talk, and invest in them in other ways which matter, too, but prayer is the most powerful thing we will do, because God has promised to hear, listen to and answer our prayers!

Help Grandparents Who Parent Their Grandchildren

Last week I shared a link to an article by one of our Grandmas with Heart - Linda Ransom-Jacobs where she wrote about how grandparents are able to help their grandchildren when their parents get a divorce. (You will find it at this link.) 

Today I'm delighted to share a link to another article by Linda where she writes about three reasons grandparents who parent their grandchildren are emotionally exhausted and how the church is able to help.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Watch for Those Great Opportunities and Hand Down the Faith

In my previous post, I wrote about the two kinds of grandparents - those who are blessed to be part of a team made up of parents and grandparents who are focused upon handing down the faith to the children they love and those who are the only ones who hand down the faith to their loved grandchildren.

While these two kinds of grandparents have different levels of support as they hand down the faith, both are irreplaceable in the lives of their grandchildren. Both need to be focused upon creating opportunities to hand down the faith in those every day happenings as well as the situations which seem impossible.

Two Kinds of Grandparents - Your Grandchildren Need You

While a grandparent is a grandparent no matter where they live, there are two kinds of grandparents. There are the grandparents who have a strong family team which is focused upon handing down the faith to the children they love, and they are part of this team. Their team is comprised of the parents and grandparents - the first and second most influential people in the lives of their grandchildren - the people who love their grandchildren the most. The team members are intentional about sharing their faith history, prayer history and how God and His Word are completely trustworthy; they are focused upon handing down the faith to the children they love and they do it together, as a strong team.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Your Help Will Be Most Sincerely Appreciated

Today I'm asking for your help. If you read Grandmas with Heart and find it to be a helpful, encouraging, equipping and empowering resource for you, please help us get the word out about this site and resource. It is our heart's desire to be a place where grandmas (and grandpas/parents) will be equipped, empowered, find information, ideas and resources which will help them hand down the faith to the children they love.

Please "like" and share our blog, facebook page, twitter account and pinterest page (which, by the way, is a great place to find and get copies of all the photo memes we post each day).

Lavish Grace - "Dangerous, Expectation-Wrecking, Smile-Creating" Grace - On Our Grandchildren

As our grandchildren grow up and live their lives they will run into people who extend grace to them; and those who do not. But, as their grandmas (and grandpas/parents, too) we have the wonderful opportunity to be the person who they think of when they think of the word "grace", by the way we live, the things we do and say and by how we are lavish in the way we show grace to them.

Hand Down the Faith with Mystery Bags - Shine Like the Stars

A few weeks back I wrote about how important it is for us to engage our grandchildren when we hand down the faith, so they are able to learn the way God created them to learn. (You will find this post at the following link.) I mentioned using "Mystery Bags" with your grandchildren and today I'm very happy to share with you another idea for a "Mystery Bag" you could use to hand down the faith to your grandchildren.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

PASS THE LEGACY: 7 Keys for Grandparents Making a Difference

Cathy Jacobs is one of our Grandmas with Heart. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Pass the Legacy Ministries, a speaker, a founding member of the Legacy Coalition and a grandma who loves her grandchildren and is committed to passing the legacy.

Cathy has just written a book, PASS THE LEGACY: 7 Keys for Grandparents Making a Difference and today we are delighted to share with you about this excellent resource.

Share the Truth About Who God Is with Your Grandchildren

One of the very important things we need to do as grandmas who are purposeful about handing down the faith, is to help give our grandchildren a true view of Who God truly is. The world around them will not do this; and sadly, even our churches may do not do an effective job when it comes to helping our grandchildren see the truth about God, if they leave them thinking God is boring, because their classes tend to be boring. 

But we are able to do this. We are able to help our grandchildren see the truth about God, and we are able to do this in our every day conversations. Consider the following opportunities we could use to help our grandchildren see the truth about God . . . 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Remember God is Faithful - Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

Handing down the faith is all about remembering how God was faithful yesterday, seeing how He is faithful today and sharing how we are confident He will be faithful tomorrow!

God Keeps His Promises

I love this quote from D.L. Moody! Even better, I love reading God's promises in the Bible and being able to point to times in my life where He has kept His promises! 

Just look at some of the many, wonderful, amazing promises from God . . . 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Hand Down the Faith - It is Truly Valuable

This is a photo of my great-great grandparents and my great-grandma when she was a girl. Old family photos such as these typically are family "treasures", heirlooms which are handed down from one generation to the next. They are considered as "valuable" to the family and help give us a "connection" to those generations who came before us.

Prayer for Those Left in the Wake of Hurricane Michael

Heavenly Father,

We shutter at the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Michael: decimated buildings and homes, damaged roadways and bridges, toppled trees and power lines, and the most tragic of all, loss of life.

We pray You will raise up an army of unsung heroes, families helping families, neighbors helping neighbors, communities helping communities and Americans helping Americans.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Redeem Your Days

As I write this post and look out my window I see the trees awash with color! Bright yellows, reds and oranges as Fall takes hold here in West Michigan. It will not be long before my yard looks like the yard in this photo - covered in leaves, as we have seven large maple trees in our yard - one is the most enormous maple tree I've ever seen, a very big sycamore tree, several birch trees and numerous pine trees - yes, we have trees and most leave millions of leaves in our yard . . . keeping my husband busy clearing the leaves before the snow falls each year!

How Grandparents can Help their Grandchildren when Mommy & Daddy get a Divorce

Linda Ransom Jacobs is known around the world for the amazing work she does with Divorce Care 4 Kids. She has made a significant and lasting difference in the lives of countless children and parents with the ministry of DC4K and we are so honored to have her as one of our Grandmas with Heart!

Today I'm very happy to share with you a link to a post Linda wrote about, "How grandparents can help their grandchildren when mommy and daddy get a divorce"

Friday, October 12, 2018

Model Being a Peacemaker Who Loves & Prays for Others

I love this excerpt of a prayer from Clement of Rome. You may be wondering, "Who was Clement of Rome?" Great question. I wondered the same thing a few years ago when my church asked me to write a short story about Clement of Rome for a series on heroes of the faith for the children in our church. Please allow me to share with you what I learned and a few things for us to think about when it comes to handing down the faith to our grandchildren.

Embrace Your Role as Grandparents

Whether you are grandparents who are able to team up with your grandchildren's parents to hand down the faith as a unified team, or you are the only ones who hand down the faith to your grandchildren, the important thing is for you to fully and enthusiastically take on the role given to you by God to hand down the faith. There is nothing more important for us to do with the time we have left; nothing which will leave a bigger impact on the lives of those we love the most.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

God ALWAYS Does What He Says He Will Do

I LOVE this quote! There are things I pray every day for my family and friends and I depend upon God to do as He has promised. I hold tightly to the truth, "It is God's nature to keep His promises."

This photo is from Whiskeytown National Recreation Area - it is an area which was burned in the Carr Fire this past summer. If you look closely, you will see in the background the grey, ash-covered ground and the black trunks of the burnt trees, but in the foreground you are able to see how life is returning! Green grass and plants are growing and bushes are getting new leaves! 

Hold Tightly to the Truth. Do Not Give Up. Continue to Pray.

We write a lot about praying for ourselves, our children and grandchildren. There is a reason for this; because God hears, listens to and answers our prayers, making prayer the most powerful thing we are able to do for ourselves and those we love.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Prayer for the Storms We Face

On this day when we may be facing storms, I thought I'd share another wonderful, encouraging, powerful, true verse from the Bible and make it into a simple Scripture prayer which you may use as you face the storms which come your way - and into the lives of those you know and love. As the physical storm rages around you and/or those you love and/or the storms of life batter you physically and emotionally, please hold to the truth of God's Word.

Hold Tightly & Believe Through Your Storm

As we all know, there are times in our lives, and in the lives of those we know and love, when we face storms. Sometimes the storms are actual storms, such as hurricane Michael and sometimes the storms are difficult and frightening times we face in our lives; such as when we, or someone we know and love has to deal with cancer, dementia, some other illness, death, job loss, children/grandchildren who wander from the faith, being hurt by people you trusted, divorce or any other storm we face.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

God's Grace is the Reason for Everything

Don't you just love this quote! It is so true! God has blessed me with His grace; His amazing, great grace. My life is filled with His joy and peace, because of His gift of grace.

I had nothing to give, or offer for my own forgiveness, but God's amazing, unending love sought me out and then He lavished His grace on me. I know this. I am so thankful for this.

Share the Truth

I know there are solid reasons to be someone who no longer uses Facebook, but I find it is a tool which allows me to stay in touch with family and friends - especially those who live far from me. It is also a tool which allows me to share my faith with those I love. This morning I posted something on my facebook page for my family. I wrote;

"A few truths I've experienced in my life, so I know they are true - I hope they encourage you today! . . .

Monday, October 8, 2018

Hand the Faith to Your Grandchildren - They Are Able to Believe

As grandmas (and grandpas and parents, too) who are purposeful when it comes to handing down the faith, this truth is one which motivates and moves us. Our grandchildren are able to understand the truth about God, His love, grace, faithfulness and Word.

Learn God's Word Together

One of the best things you will ever do for your grandchildren is to help them learn God's Word. How do we do this? consider the following ideas . . . 

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Welcome to "Grandmas with Heart"!

Welcome to "Grandmas with Heart"! We (Linda Ranson Jacobs, Debbie Guinn, Joani Schultz, Sherry Schumann, Nohemi Murray, Cathy Ja...