Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Make This a Summer to Read - and Have Important Conversations With Your Grandchildren

Yesterday I wrote about using the Summer to help our grandchildren learn to notice, remember and record how God shows His hand and His heart in their lives. Today I want to share a simple way we are able to impact our grandchildren and help them learn Who God Is and how they are able to know and follow Him.

So what is this, "simple way"? Reading books. Yes, books! Books are wonderful tools to help our grandchildren learn Who God Is, whether the book is a Christian book for children and teens or not. First let's look at using books with young grandchildren - near and far, and then we will look at the same with older grandchildren/teens - near and far. I will write a post tomorrow with a few book reviews and recommendations.

Our God is Faithful & Big Enough to Do More Than We Imagine

Faithfulness. God always does what He says He will do. This is faithfulness and I for one depend upon and am ever so thankful God is Faithful. 

The Bible is full of true accounts of real people, just like us and how our very real God showed His love, grace and faithfulness to them. These accounts help us understand how He shows His love, grace and faithfulness to us as well.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Make This a Summer to Notice, Remember & Record

Life is unpredictable. We do not know what is around the next "corner", but we are able to look back with 20/20 vision! This summer "grandma" on purpose and help your grandchildren - no matter their age or location - learn to keep track of what is behind them and learn to "exercise" their 20/20 vision!

Give your grandchildren their own notebooks/journals - and get one for yourself as well. In preparation for this activity, spend some time writing in your journal about how God has showed His wisdom and goodness to you over your lifetime; so you are able to trace His hand and trust His heart.

Treat Wandering Ones with Respect & Trust God to Answer Your Prayers

Last week I reviewed a resource from the Legacy Coalition - and announced a giveaway for one as well; which you still have time to enter if you are interested in doing so - you will find the information you need at this link. This resource, the  Grandparenting DVD: Strengthening Your Family and Passing on Your Faith is a set of DVDs with sessions from the first Legacy Grandparenting Conference taught by three of our Grandmas with Heart - Linda Ranson Jacobs, Cathy Jacobs and Lynda Freeman (as well as sessions by Cavin Harper, Larry Fowler, Valerie Bell, Josh Mulvihill and Rob Rienow) and a workbook written by another Grandma with Heart - Sherry Schumann. 

In one of the sessions taught by Rob Rienow he tells how he shared his faith as an adult with his dad; who was an athiest. He said even though his dad told him not to speak to him about Jesus, he felt he had to do so. While this may be okay to do if you are talking about sharing Jesus with a parent, I believe you must be very careful in a case where your grown son or daughter has wandered, as not only do you risk alienating your son or daughter, you may end up losing all contact and influence with your grandchildren as well.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Live Intentionally - "Grandma" on Purpose!

As I've mentioned a time or two before, it is likely there are more days behind us than there are before us. For this reason we grandmas need to "grandma" on purpose. We need to make the most of the days we have before us and need to both be watching for opportunities to hand down the faith and we need to plan special opportunities to do this as well. 

God is Always Faithful to Be There for You & the Ones You Love

I don't know about you, but I find great encouragement in this verse. I want to be an effective and intentional grandma who is focused upon handing down the faith; and I know there certainly are times when I am. But I am far from perfect; very far. There are times when I am not as focused upon handing down the faith as I would like. Times when I know I could do a better job when it comes to handing down the faith.

I am ever so thankful God is faithful to do as He has promised to do; draw the ones I love to Him. He never fails. He always is working - even when I am not able to see what He is doing.

Prayer for the Strengthening of Our Grandchildren

Lord Jesus,

Today, we pray for the strengthening of our grandchildren's faith. Let them believe You are the Christ, the Savior of the world. Let them grow in faith each time they hear or read God's Word (Romans 10:17). Let them be of courage, as they dare to be different from their peers, walking, "by faith and not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:6-7). Let them exercise their faith, using their gifts to carry the Gospel message to others (Romans 12:6-8).

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Show the Generations God is Real & Testify to His Love

God tells us to help our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren learn to see Him by sharing with them the ways He shows His care for us. When we tell how He answers our prayers, we are showing the generations behind us how God is real and are testifying to His love for us. When we point out a way God has blessed us, we are showing the generations behind us how God is real and are testifying to His love for us. When we do these things, we are handing down the faith in a very tangible way - one they may even be able to see.

Pray & Trust God

Whether you are part of a team handing down the faith which is made up of your grandchildren's parents and other grandparents or you are handing down the faith to your grandchildren on your own, do not forget the most important Member of your team - God. He has promised to never leave you. He has stated over and over how much He loves you and the ones you love. He wants the ones you love to make the choice to love, know and walk with Him more than do you. So, trust God to draw them to Him. Trust God to show them His love. Trust God to be right there with you through thick and thin.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Give Your Grandchildren the Gift of God's View of Them

While the world often sends a message to our grandchildren which tells them their value is found in the things they do or they need to change who they are to have value, the truth is God knew what He was doing when He created them. They are created in His image and absolutely have infinite value, dignity and worth.

God's Great Promise & A Prayer

When we first became parents, if we were people who knew, loved and followed God, we certainly wanted this for our children as well. As they grew up, we did what we knew to do to point them to Jesus and rejoiced as they put their trust in Him. When they married, we experienced the joy of watching them start to build their home on the firm foundation of God and His Word.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Live on Purpose

How do you want to be known . . . and remembered? I (Lynda) want my grandsons to remember I always greeted them with a smile, hug and "I love you!" I want them to remember their grandma was someone who had real joy.

The Time We Have Left

When I read these verses from Psalms 90, there is something huge which stands out for me . . . twice in these verses I read where God reminds me to be mindful of, "the time I have left". While I do not know how many days are before me, I am absolutely certain there are fewer days before me than there are behind me. 

So, when I read where God is telling me to learn how to, "use wisely all the time I have left", to be satisfied with God's love, and to, "celebrate and be glad for the time I have left", this catches my attention. It absolutely matters what I do with the time I have left. I must use it wisely - and this means being focused upon handing down the faith to my grown children and grandchildren.

Free on Kindle - Pray Through the Psalms for the Ones You Love

Tomorrow, April 26, 2019 is the day my book - Deeper In 4 Grandparents & Parents, Too! Praying the Scriptures for the Children You Love - Psalms Edition becomes available for free as a Kindle copy. Yes, from April 26-30, 2019 it will be free on Kindle.

This book provides you with 52 weeks of Scripture prayers from the Book of Psalms which have been personalized for you to pray for yourself and for the ones you love.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Know What Makes Your Grandchild, "Tick"

You may be a grandparent who is focused upon handing down the faith and who is able to see the fruit of all you do with your grandchildren. You may be a grandparent who sincerely wants to hand down the faith to your grandchildren, but may not be sure where to begin. You also may have tried to hand down the faith, but feel like your efforts were not as effective as you had hoped. If you are not sure where to begin, or have tried in the past with varying results, I want you to know, one important "key" to handing faith to your grandchildren is to know what makes them "tick". If you know the things which already interest your grandchildren, you will then be able to take those things which interest them and connect them to God's Word.

Grandparenting Resource - Grand Parenting DVD - We Are Giving One Away

Almost four years ago a group of people met to talk about if there was a need for a ministry which equipped and encouraged grandparents to hand down the faith to their grandchildren and which called upon churches to serve the grandparents in their church by developing a Grandparenting Ministry. This group became known as the Legacy Coalition and four of our Grandmas with Heart were there - Sherry Schumann, Linda Ranson Jacobs, Cathy Jacobs and me, Lynda Freeman. 

The following May we were invited to speak at a grandparenting conference in Minnesota - the general sessions were filmed and turned into a resource any church is able to use to equip the grandparents in their ministry. This DVD resource - Grandparenting DVD: Strengthening Your Family and Passing on Your Faith is a two DVD set with ten sessions and a workbook; the speakers are Larry Fowler, Josh Mulvihill, Cavin Harper, Valerie Bell, Rob Rienow, Linda Ranson - Jacobs (one of our Grandmas with Heart), Cathy Jacobs (another of our Grandmas with Heart) and me, Lynda Freeman. I'm very happy to say the Legacy Coalition sent one set for me to review and a second one for me to give away.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Get the Most Out of Your Influence on the Next Generations

There are Christian grandparents I know who love their grandchildren, but who think it is "enough" to see their grandchildren once a month and to let them come over for sleepovers once or twice a year. They tell me they don't want their grown children to, "take advantage" of them, so they limit how often they are willing to take care of and spend time with their grandchildren. They instead spend their time doing things they enjoy, pursuing hobbies and going places with friends.

They do love their grown children and grandchildren, and they are truly wonderful people, but by limiting their interactions, they are limiting their ability to influence the generations who follow them and hand down their faith to them. They are running the risk of not only limiting their influence, but of actually eliminating their influence and they are missing out on the joy of handing faith to the next generations.

Love Your Grandchildren & Be Sure They Know It

I am very intentional when it comes to being sure my grandchildren KNOW I love them. We talk about it. I show it with my actions. I email and snail-mail them notes where I always say I love them. We even sing about it! I pay attention to the things in which they are interested and listen when they have something they want to tell me.

Children need to know they are loved, unconditionally and forever by their grandma - and their grandpa, too. Even more important, they need to know God loves them with an even bigger love!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Know & Hand Down a Joy Like No Other

This quote is something we know to be absolutely true - our grandchildren fill our hearts with so much joy. When we see their smiles, we experience joy. When we hear them call out to us, we experience joy. When they make the choice to believe in God, we experience joy. When we are able to watch them grown in their walk with God, we experience joy.

But, joy is not a "one-way street", because as grandmas - and grandpas - we are able to help our grandchildren experience joy as well. In John 16:24 we read . . .

Our High Calling & Definite Blessing

"Nurture" is a word we use, especially when we think about the role we have as grandmas - and grandpas, too. But, do we know the most important parts of nuturing?

Well, Dictionary.com defines the word as . . . 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Resurrection Sunday - He is Alive!

This is the truth upon which we build our faith - Jesus is not still in a tomb; He rose, just as He said He would do! Because of this, we are able to receive God's grace and His forgiveness for our sins.

Did You Know . . . & Free in Five Days

In five days you will be able to download the Kindle copy of my book, Deeper In 4 Grandparents & Parents, Too! Praying the Scriptures for the Children You Love - Psalms Edition. In this book you will find 52 weeks of Scripture prayers for you and the ones you love; from April 26, 2019 through April 30, 2019 the Kindle edition is completely free. Please plan to download a Kindle copy for yourself and tell those you know, so they are able to do the same.

Make the Most of Your Influence & the Biggest Difference Possible

Being a grandma - or grandpa - means we will have a lot of fun. It means we will receive some of the most wonderful hugs. It means our lives change in significant and incredible ways.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

God Is Working & Has a Plan & Purpose

Stop and think for a moment what it must have been like the morning after Jesus died and was buried. If you believed in Him, followed Him, loved Him and then watched helplessly as He died, how would you have felt? We see in Scripture how His disciples felt - they were afraid and went into hiding. They must have felt confused and incredibly sad. This was not what they thought was going to happen.

But, just because they were not able to see what God was doing, just because they were not able to see God's plan or purpose, it did not mean God was not doing something; it did not mean God did not have a plan and purpose. As we know, God was doing something - something BIG and amazing and He absolutely did have a plan and purpose!

Best Name Ever

What do your grandchildren call you? When my grandsons were just starting to talk, they called me, "Gra". I loved being called "Gra". As they got older it changed to, "Grama" and then, "Grandma" - and I love them all.

A few years back, USA Today shared a BabyCenter survey of the most popular names for grandmas, and grandpas, too. They are -

A Prayer for the Ones You Love

As grandma, there isn’t anything more important to me than for my grandsons to grow to be men who know and love Jesus. This world at times may feel like a scary place; it seems evil is laughed at, discounted and accepted like it has not been before . . . at least in my lifetime. As I think about the things I want to pray for my grandsons, I think about the things Jesus prayed for His disciples, and for all of us, as recorded in John 17.
Jesus prayed His disciples would be protected by the power of God’s name, so none of them would be lost. He did not ask God to take them out of the world, but to protect them from the evil one, so they would have unity and the world would believe. Jesus went on to pray these things for those who would believe . . . us!
I believe there are solid reasons to pray these same things for my grandsons; and this is my prayer based on John 17:6-21 . . .

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Reason is Love

There is a reason Jesus did what He did . . . He loves us. He did not have to do what He did; He chose to go to the cross. We just need to believe.

Reflect the Joy!

Last year my grandsons and I were talking about the Fruit of the Spirit when my then nine-year old grandson said he thinks of his poppa and I when he thinks of the word "joy"; my six and four year old grandsons agreed! This is one of the most wonderful things anyone has ever said to and about me!

So Future Generations Will Hear

If you are a grandparent who has teamed up with your grown children and the other grandparents to hand down the faith, stop whatever you are doing and thank God for this incredible blessing He has given you; the blessing of being part of a team of the people who love your grandchildren the most and who are working together to hand down the faith. As you and this team are intentional about handing down the faith, you are likely able to experience the joy of watching as your grandchildren learn to respond to God's Word, put their faith in Him and grow in their walk. An incredible blessing for sure.

If you are not part of a team, because the other grandparents and/or the parents are not handing down the faith and you are doing this on your own, take heart. God has promised His Word will not return void - it will accomplish what He has planned. Do not give up on handing down the faith - even if you are doing this on your own. What you do matters and does make a difference. Be faithful and intentional when it comes to handing down the faith and you, too will likely be able to experience the joy of watching as your dear grandchildren learn to respond to God's Word, put their faith in Him and grow in their walk. Absolutely an incredible blessing; one for which you are also able to stop right now and give thanks to God.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Free on Kindle April 26-30, 2019 - Deeper In 4 Grandparents & Parents, Too!

I just finished updating my book - Deeper In 4 Grandparents & Parents, Too! Praying the Scriptures for the Children You Love - Psalms Edition and from April 26-30, 2019 it will be free on Kindle.

This book provides you with 52 weeks of Scripture prayers from the Book of Psalms which have been personalized for you to pray for yourself and for the ones you love.

Think About God's Great Love

With Resurrection Sunday just three days away, today is a wonderful day to think about God's love. God did not just tell us He loves us - which He did do, and continues to do, but He also showed His great love by making His grace available to us!

Love Your Baby's Baby - It Is Important

Debbie Guinn is the Editor of HomeFront Magazine and one of our Grandmas with Heart; don't you just love this quote from her! I definitely do.

We grandmas - and grandpas, too - have lived a few years and we have learned what is important in life; this helps us know how to love deeply. And, yes, one of the ways we show this deep love begins with loving our baby's baby. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Encourage Your Grandchildren With - I Love You Forever and For Always

This is something I say often to my grandsons - and have throughout their lives. It actually is a line from a song I sing to them - "You Are My Sunshine". I "tweaked" the words a bit, to make it, "our song" and it is what I sang to them when they were babies. Even now there are times when the boys will ask me to sing them their "Sunshine song" . . .

Hand Down the Faith with a Mystery Bag Project - Share the Message of the Cross

In two days we will remember Good Friday; it is the day we think about Jesus on the cross. He willingly took our place; the innocent for the guilty, so we are able to be forgiven and receive God's grace. Take time today to help your grandchildren remember and thank Jesus for what He did for you all with a Mystery Bag project.

Consider this fun activity which will help them understand the message of the cross. You will need . . . 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Love Like There is No Tomorrow . . .

This week as we remember Jesus' act of love and look forward to Resurrection Sunday, make the choice to love the people He has put in your life the way He loves - with your all.

God's Word Endures Forever

About a week or so ago, the crocus' began to bloom at my house. They are one of my favorite flowers, because they are one of the first to show up when Winter ends and Spring begins. 

Yesterday, however; we received a few inches of snow . . . my poor crocus' were buried under the snow. But, today it has warmed up, the sun is shining, the snow has melted and the crocus' are blooming once again.

Pray Like Jesus Did

With Resurrection Sunday just a few days away, I am reminded to take time to pray for my daughter, son, daughter-in-law and grandsons. When Jesus was on the earth, He prayed for His disciples and for us; it was one of the most important things He did before He went to the cross. (You will find His prayer in John 17.)

My grandson told me he wants to pray like I do (I always pray my grandsons will grow to love God more and more, so he prayed and asked God to help him love Him more and more!), reminds me how important it is for me to pray for the ones I love. So, I want to pray like Jesus did! I want to pray about the things Jesus prayed about . . .

Monday, April 15, 2019

God's Word Will Accomplish God's Purposes

Yes! God's Word will accomplish what He planned for it to accomplish; and we know He gave us His Word, so we will know Him. Be encouraged; if your children/ grandchildren are not walking with God, this promise from God is for them, too! Spend time today reading God's Word and share with them this week how it is powerful in your life.

And, make it part of your prayers for them to see and experience how God's Word is real and powerful in their lives, too!

Do Not Be Afraid; Stand Firm & Be Still

Do not be afraid; stand firm and be still. Easy to write; not so easy to do . . . especially when you are experiencing something difficult or frightening. However; just because something is not easy to do, it does not mean we are not able to do it.

God delivered His people from where they were slaves in Egypt and sent them on their way towards a land where they would be free; free to live, free to work and free to worship Him. I find it so interesting to read Exodus 13:17-22 -

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Did You Know? How Old Were You When You First Became a Grandparent?

How old were you when you first became a grandparent? Whether you are a younger, or older grandparent, you are the second most influential people in the lives of your grandchildren (second only to their parents). Make a difference on purpose in the lives of your grandchildren by pointing them to God.

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose 

Grandchildren NEVER Outgrow Our Hearts

Our grandchildren get bigger and older every day and the day does come where they are too big for arms to carry or even laps to hold, but they never outgrow our hearts! In fact, our love for them grows deeper and stronger every day. 

Prayer for Our Grandchildren to See Jesus

Behold, the Lamb of God. He was pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities; by his wounds, we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). By His blood, we are saved.

Heavenly Father,

We pray for the opportunity to explore the miracle of the resurrection with our grandchildren. And when the opportunity arises, please help us share the story of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection in an age-appropriate way our tenderhearted grandchildren are able to understand.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Watch for What God is Doing

It has been very windy where I live for the past few days. I am able to hear the wind blow - loudly - throughout the day and night. I am able to look out my window and see the branches on the trees sway, bend and dance in the wind - pretty much non-stop. I am able to see bits of leaves and plants blow around from the wind. Oh yes, even though I am not able to see the actual wind, I have no doubt it is windy outside, because I am absolutely able to see and hear what the wind is doing.

New Ways to Say, "I Love You"

If you are a grandma (or grandpa/ parent) like me who often tells your grandchildren/children you love them, think about finding a new and different way to tell and show how much you love and value them. Consider asking them to help you do this . . . for example you might . . . 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Encourage Your Grandchildren With - You Did It!

Linda Ranson-Jacobs is one of our Grandmas with Heart and she is the creator of Divorce Care 4 Kids. She absolutely knows how to serve and help children and parents who go through divorce.

But her wisdom is not only for those who go through divorce. She has much wisdom for all children, parents and grandparents, too. On her blog last summer, Linda wrote a powerful article about how grandparents, and grandbuddies, are able to make a significant difference in the life of a child. She said they are able to be the champions, cheerleaders and mentors in the life of children - you will find her full post at this link - definitely read and share it.

Hand Down the Faith to Generations with Your Bibles

My sister and I are both so blessed to have one of our grandma's Bibles. In them she underlined verses which mattered to her and left little notes and even clippings from papers with things which encouraged her in her life. These Bibles are amazing gifts; treasures with which our grandma is still able to hand down faith long after she entered Heaven.

Today I'd like to encourage you to consider a simple way you are able to continue to hand down the faith - after your life on Earth is over; just get Bibles and underline your favorite verses in them. Jot a few notes in the margins. Make these Bibles tangible things from which you are able to "speak" when you are gone. Then, leave them for your grandchildren/children and tuck in a personal note as well. Whether you have much or little to leave when you are gone, these Bibles will be something the ones who receive them will truly treasure. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Become a Student of the Children You Love

Today I thought it would be fun to re-share a quote with you from David Jeremiah . . . "Every child is created uniquely by God and he puts a certain formula in the heart of each of them. It is the parents' (and grandparents') challenge to figure out the combination. We need to spend time studying, looking, listening and observing."

Have a GrandThankful Heart & Model It

Sherry Schumann and I were the people who first started the facebook page for the Legacy Coalition. One of the first posts I wrote for them was about how sad it was in the Bible where we read about generations who forgot God. As a grandma, this is something I'm very concerned about. If people whose grandparents crossed the Jordan and watched as God brought down the walls of Jericho, stopped the sun and all the other amazing things God did; if these people could just a generation or two later "forget" God, I wonder how my grandsons will remember Him.
Apparently, from the number of you who read and shared my post (and another on the same topic which Sherry wrote a couple weeks later), this is a concern for you as well. I understand this. I want my grandsons to grow to be teens, then young adults and then older adults who love, know and follow God. I want them to remember Him. But . . . how does this happen?

It is Not about a Bunny, It is About the Lamb - Have Fun Building Memories & Tradition

One thing we are able to do as grandmas is plan for fun times with our grandchildren; times which will build memories, traditions and our relationship with our grandchildren. For example, each year my grandsons decorate eggs at my house and then after Resurrection Sunday dinner, their parents hide the eggs in my yard and the boys go find them. It is just fun. We do this just for fun.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Our Grandchildren Show God's Wonderful Creation

Spring has arrived; Crocus are blooming in my yard, tulips and daffodils are growing, trees are budding and it won't be long before color and life are everywhere! I do love Spring.

But, I do not need a change of season to see God's wonderful creation. I see it each time I spend time with my grandsons. They are growing, so quickly! As they grow, I am left amazed by God's wonderful creation. The three boys are similar in some ways, but they each have their own unique interests, abilities and skills as well. They are each a "one-of-a-kind" creation and it is so obvious God knew what He was doing when He created them and He did not make any mistakes; His, "fingerprints" are all over my grandsons!

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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...