Thursday, May 2, 2019

Make This a Summer to Help Your Grandchildren Learn to Soar by Serving

This world turns a lot of things around, but one of the areas where this is easiest to see is in the area of what it takes to experience fulfillment and to be "great". The world tells us to look out for ourselves and to demand our "rights". The Bible gives us a different path forward; look at Mark 10:42-45 . . .
Jesus called them together and said, “You know those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Putting ourselves and what we want first is not the "path" on which we will find fulfillment and greatness. No. Putting others first and serving those in need is the way to experience joy.

So, with this in mind, please allow me to encourage you to look for ways you will be able to help your grandchildren learn to choose to use what God has given them to "soar" by involving them in serving others this Summer. Clearly this is easier to do if your grandchildren live near you, or if you will be spending some time with them over the Summer, but regardless of their age or location, with some prayer and creativity, you will be able to do this with them. Let's look at a few ideas you might try.

If your grandchildren live nearby -
  1. Have them help you gather produce from your garden - or, if like me you have the "black thumbs of death" and kill all plants you try to grow, have your grandchildren do a few chores to earn some money, then visit a farmer's market with you, make some selections with the money they earned, to share with a family in need, a shut-in you know or your church's pantry for those in need. Have your grandchildren draw/make a card to put with the produce and deliver to the people to whom you are giving the produce. Be sure to take time to pray with your grandchildren for whomever you are giving the produce.
  2. Arrange with your church to help wash windows, vacuum or put cards in the pews - something you could do to serve your church together. Spend time praying for the people who will fill the building the next Sunday and for God to draw them to Him.
  3. Bake cookies or bread and take to your church for the staff to enjoy. Take time to pray for the staff and their families.
  4. Make prayer notes for elderly people in your neighborhood and/or church and mail them to brighten their day - and of course, spend time praying for them together.
  5. Gather gently-used toys, books and clothes your grandchildren are no longer using - or may still be using - and donate to your church's or community's clothes closet for families in need. Pray for these families.
These ideas are projects any age of your grandchildren are able to do - some younger grandchildren may need help, but no matter their age they will be able to do these things with you.

What if your grandchildren live far from you? Consider the following ideas -
  1. Send them some money and craft supplies; ask their parents to give them chores to earn the money, then take them to a farmer's market to select produce to give to others, like the grandchildren did who live nearby. Have them make cards as well. Call them to talk about what they did and to pray together for the people who receive the produce.
  2. If the parents are willing, involve the grandchildren in serving in their church, too. Again, call to pray with them.
  3. Send them a recipe and non-perishable ingredients, so they are able to make bread or cookies. You may be able to arrange with their parents to call while they are baking to talk and pray with them.
  4. Again, send art supplies and stamps then arrange a phone call and/or facetime, so you are able to connect while they make the prayer notes and pray with them.
  5. If the parents are willing to work on the last project with the children, connect with them by phone or facetime to talk about what they will be doing and to pray with them before they gather items.
These are just a few ideas, but the point of it all is to help your grandchildren learn to be people who use what God has given them to serve others and in so doing, to "soar"!

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