Thursday, October 31, 2019

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 violence, terrorism, severe weather, horrible fires, shootings, political commentary filled with anger which further divides 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 . . . 

Our Impact & Influence for Generations

Take time today to read again and think through this quote from Wayne Rice - "The Bible makes quite clear there is a strong connection between the decisions we make today and outcomes which impact many generations who follow us."

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Truth About Prayer

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 these quotes by Josh McDowell and from a favorite one by Charles Spurgeon . . . 

Hand Down the Faith with Mystery Bags - Loving & Being Kind to Others Fills You With Joy

When Jesus walked this Earth He was asked which law was the most important. Jesus said loving God with your all was most important and loving others was the second most important. We see all around us what happens when people do not love God and others with their all. Today people think they are free to say and do anything; even when their words and actions harm others. This Mystery Bag Project will help you have important conversations with the children you love about how the words and actions we use are able to harm others; or build them up, resulting in great joy. You will need . . .

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Schedule Time with Your Grandchildren

We are coming into what is often one of the more busy times of the year - so many things to do, places to go, events to attend, and the list goes on. While many of these things on our to-do and to-go-to list are likely to include family, others do not, so take time to make time for your grandchildren in particular.

Yes, it is not unusual for our grandchildren to have a lot to do on their lists this time of year as well, but it is also a time of year when they may feel overwhelmed by the busyness or even left out of all the things which are going on. When you take time to schedule time for them, it does make an impact - a big impact on our grandchildren.

I know, Halloween is still a few days away and we have not yet celebrated Thanksgiving, but if we do not plan ahead for this time of year which is filled up quickly with parties, get-togethers, and other events, we may find we do not have time to do something special with our grandchildren. So, please indulge me and think about scheduling some special time for your grandchildren; perhaps something like . . . 

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

This post is also a repeat from last year in case you did not see it, or wanted to find it again this year.

Yesterday I wrote about the "Halloween Dilemma" 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.

Showing Real Intentional Love - A Prayer for the Ones I 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 may be a scary place; it seems evil is laughed at, discounted and accepted like it has not been before . . . at least in my lifetime. When 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 – and we – will have unity and the world will believe.
I believe there is good reason to pray these same things for my grandsons and my daughter, son and daughter-in-law; this is my prayer based on John 17:6-21 . . .

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Halloween Dilemma

I originally posted this last year, but decided to share it again, so if you did not see it, or want to see it again it is easy to find.

When it comes to Halloween, I have always felt a bit of a dilemma. As a child, it seemed 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 our neighbors' homes and always felt like we really "scored" with our buckets of candy! After all, it was really all about the candy!!!

Make the difference. Do what matters. Hand down the faith.

I know. You have read, repeatedly, how I believe you are able to make a significant, real and lasting difference in the lives of your grown children and grandchildren. More than one time you have read over the past two years how I believe what you do as a grandma (or grandpa or parent) most certainly matters. It is nothing new for you to read how it is of utmost importance for you to hand down the faith. There is a reason for these things . . . because they are true. You are able to make a significant, real and lasting difference in the lives of your grown children and grandchildren, what you do as a grandma (or grandpa or parent) most certainly matters and it absolutely is the truth when I write about how it is of utmost importance for you to hand down the faith.

You do make a difference. You do matter. You are able to do the thing which is of utmost importance.

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 27, 2019

We Cannot Love Too Much

I wrote several times this past week about loving our grandchildren with our all; unconditionally. We grandmas (grandpas and parents, too) need to know it is not only okay to do this, but it is one of the most important things for us to do for the children we love. (And this goes for our grown children as well.)

Choose our Influencers, Trust & Believe the Truth

In my new book, The DNA of Grandparents & Parents who Hand Down the Faith, I looked at several people from the Bible and what we are able to learn from them; including Elisha and how he lived as someone with a strong Spiritual DNA. One of the ways he did this was by being careful about who he allowed to influence him. I wrote; "It matters who we allow to influence us. Elisha chose to be influenced by Elijah and in making this wise choice, his beliefs, actions and experiences were shaped by someone who loved, knew and followed God. This is extremely important for us; and for our grandchildren."

Prayer of Protection on Halloween

Lord Jesus,
Reminders of Halloween are springing up everywhere. Candy corn, caramel apples, Tootsie pop “ghosts” and plaid-shirted scarecrows decorate the schools, groceries and homes in our neighborhood.
As grandparents, we can’t help but worry about our precious grandchildren on Halloween. We pray You protect them from mischievous, shady and cruel characters who delight in playing tricks on unsuspecting children.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Most Richly Blessed

Handing down the faith is about the words we speak and the things we do. When we are committed to and focused upon handing down the faith we will plan specific things to do and say and will also be watching for those unplanned opportunities for us to hand down the faith.

One powerful and impactful way we hand down the faith is by living lives which show how we find great delight in God's commands and we respect Him. As our own children and grandchildren watch us live this type of life, they will see our faith is real, will know how to live as "mighty" people themselves and they will be blessed.

Become Truly Fulfilled

There is so much truth in this quote from Charles Stanley. I know the more I am there for my grown children and grandchildren the more joy and fulfillment I experience. I absolutely love my grown children and grandchildren and being able to help them, spend time with them and point them to God are the best and most fulfilling things I will ever do.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Continue to Point Your Grandchildren to God

As grandmas (and grandpas) who are focused and intentional when it comes to handing down the faith, there may be times when we wonder if what we are trying to do is actually being accepted by our grandchildren; or not. We may wonder if we are effective when it comes to handing down the faith; or not. We may wonder if our grandchildren are really being impacted for Jesus by the things we say and do; or not.

Sometimes I wonder these things. Along with teaching our grandchildren what the Bible says, my husband and I are focused upon teaching them the "whys" - why we are able to believe God is real and trust the Bible with confidence. One of the ways we do this is by talking about how each of them and all of creation show how our amazing God is creative and apparently He enjoys being creative . . . after all, He created platypus, kangaroo, okapi, dumbo octopus and us!

Believe the Truth

In many ways we grandparents are the same, no matter who or where we are; there are also ways we are not the same. Some of us may live near our grandchildren; some may not. Some of us may have strong, healthy relationships with our grown children and grandchildren; some may not. Some of us may have grown children and grandchildren who love, know and walk with God; some may not. Some of us may know how to hand down the faith; some may not. Some of us may be committed prayer warriors; some may not. 

While we are not the same in some things; when it comes to the things which matter the most, we grandparents are the same; we love our grown children and our grandchildren and want them to love, know and walk with God. 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Memorable Ways to Focus Upon Developing Eyes of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is just a month and a few days away. In the days leading up to this day where we tend to particularly focus upon being thankful, take time to be thankful - to look around you with "eyes of gratitude"; and consider challenging your grandchildren to do the same.

To help you with this, try one - or more of the following ideas . . .

Love With Your All

This quote from Elisabeth Elliot is true - "Love attracts, it does not coerce." When we as grandparents show an unconditional, unlimited, unreserved love which is true, equal and generous, (as I wrote about yesterday), we will draw our grandchildren to us. When we draw our grandchildren to us, we give ourselves a "platform" from which we are able to speak into the lives of our grandchildren and know they will listen to us. It isn't enough for them to just "hear" what we say; we want them to "listen", so they will take what we say to heart and it will impact the way they live.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Love Them - You Will Not Spoil Them

I looked at some of the things Gary Chapman wrote in his book, "The 5 Love Languages of Children" and this quote caught my eye; partly because it is true and partly because it is basically what I wrote about in my book, "Don't Worry; It is Impossible to Spoil Grandchildren".

A grandma (or grandpa) who loves their grandchildren the way Jesus modeled for us - unconditionally, unreservedly and equally will not "spoil" their grandchildren. Jesus lavished His love upon us and we do not need to be afraid to do the same for the children He has given to us.

Jesus is 100% Certain to Be With Us

The local and world news has been full of reports of people who are suffering - due to weather, fire and the actions of others. My heart, and prayers, go out to them.

Joni Eareckson Tada knows a lot about suffering. This quote from Joni is powerful and true as in this world it is a 100% guarantee we will suffer, but Jesus is 100% certain to be with us through every challenge we face.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Keep On Keeping On, Do Not Give Up, You Continue to Have a Purpose

While there are many verses in the Bible which particularly speak to, encourage and challenge me, these verses from Psalm 71 are at the top of my list. They put my life and what drives me into words . . . 

NOTHING will Separate God's Children from Him

I am so encouraged by this quote from Charles Spurgeon to know God considers me to be His child, no matter what, forever. God is the perfect Father and, so of course He does not stop loving me as I am His child. I would never stop loving my children and grandchildren, so why would I think God would do this with me?

But, I also find great encouragement to know God is the perfect Father to my children and grandchildren as well. He loves them and will never toss them aside or take His love from them. He loves them forever. Take a look at the last sentence . . .

Monday, October 21, 2019

A Team of Vital Influencers

We grandparents (and parents) are the most influential people in the lives of our grandchildren - second only to their parents. What we say and do does influence, impact and make a significant difference in their lives, so we matter. If we want our grandchildren to grow up knowing and following Jesus with their all, like Cavin says, we have to tell them the truth about who God is and how they are able to know and walk with Him.

But, it is important for us to understand there are other people in the lives of our grandchildren who also are able to influence them; people we want to have a part in influencing our grandchildren. I am writing about leaders and teachers at church. It absolutely is the job - and joy - of grandparents and parents to hand down the faith to the children we love; not the job of the church. But, the church does have a job and a part in influencing our grandchildren. As grandparents, we need our church to do the following . . .

Let the Children Come

Handing down the faith and building a strong Spiritual DNA for the generations who follow you are things you do on purpose. They are also things you do in those unexpected moments which come your way from time to time. As I've written about, the past couple months have brought my family opportunity to see first hand and up close how God answers prayer in regards to the school my oldest grandson would attend this Fall, a new house for my son, daughter-in-law and grandsons and in the day-in-day-out "simple" prayer requests for good days at school.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Point Them to the One Who will Lead Them

There are many people out there who have ideas for how we are able to help the children we love learn to make wise and right choices and while some of those ideas may be solid, God tells us what to do in Proverbs 3:5, 6 -

Follow God & Impact the Ones You Love in a Strong and Lasting Way

We talk a lot about choosing to follow God, but what does this mean? What does it look like for us to choose to follow God? The answer is simple;

Prayer for Our Grandchildren's Relationship with Jesus

Lord Jesus,
We pray our grandchildren do not become burdened or buried under the weight of the Law. Instead, let them discover freedom. True freedom. The freedom which comes from knowing You as their Savior and Lord.
We pray You draw our grandchildren into a deeper, more intimate relationship with You. Shower them with Your mercy and grace. Forgive their sins, heal the broken places of their hearts and assure them of Your love.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

So Together We Raise the Youngest Generations to Love the Lord

Grandmas with Heart is here to encourage, support and equip grandmas to hand down the faith to their grown children and grandchildren (and grandpas and parents, too). We want you to know you are not alone as you work to hand down the faith. We want you to know about resources and tools to help you as you hand down the faith. We are committed to providing information for anyone to use as they hand down the faith. This is why we post every day - typically at least twice - because we want to help awake, "a retired generation to reach a wandering generation, so together we raise the youngest generations to love the Lord", as Cathy Jacobs (one of our Grandmas with Heart) so perfectly wrote in her book; Pass the Legacy 7 Keys for Grandparents Making a Difference.

Choose Faith and Trust God

I have been watching the weather reports as tropical storm Nestor moves on shore in Florida and then on towards the Carolinas. If you, or people you love, are in the path of this storm, experiencing the storm, tornadoes and/or storm surge you are in my prayers. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Notice, Record, Remember & Share the Joy

While there are many people, relationships and things in our lives which bring us joy, certainly among the ones who bring us the most joy are our grandchildren. As are our children, our grandchildren are gifts from God who according to Proverbs 17 are part of God's plan to bring us joy.

Prayers that Stir the Hearts of Grandparents

One of our Grandmas with Heart, Sherry Schumann just released her new book; Prayers that Stir the Hearts of Grandparents, so today it is my honor and delight to let you know about this wonderful book.

Tell the "Whys" - Science Shows a Cause, a Designer & Intelligence

When I was young, since I was a Christian, it made sense to me to believe God is real and the Bible is true. It was a "given" I would believe. So, when I became a parent, I focused upon helping my children learn what the Bible says, Who God is and took them to a solid church where they would be involved in serving. It never occurred to me to teach them "why" we believe God is real and they are able to trust the Bible with confidence.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Move Forward Into the Future God Has Planned

When I read this quote from Barbara Johnson, I thought right away of my children and grandchildren. This is most certainly an important message for me to share with them; especially as they likely have many years before them as they experience the future God is preparing for them. I want them to dream about the things they would like to do with their lives and the idea of making those dreams part of their prayers is one I most certainly want to share with the ones I love. 

I often tell my grandsons I know God knew what He was doing when He created them and He did not make any mistakes. I tell them I can not wait to see what He will do with them and their lives and I believe God gave them the interests and abilities they have. I believe God has given my grandsons the dreams and interests they have and as they grow, learn and develop those things, they will be able to use them to serve and glorify God. I also believe doing these things will give them joy, so I look forward to them moving forward into the futures God has planned for them.

There Absolutely Are Reasons & Reasons

Yes, you and I are the "older travelers" to whom Amy Carmichael referred in her quote . . . whether we want to think of ourselves as "older" . . . or not! It truly has been a number of years since we started on our journeys through life and we have been able to see, experience and learn a lot which helps us know with confidence God has led us, "over hill and dale" and He did not give us a spirit of fear. He has always been beside us, each step of our way and as we look at those behind us, who are just starting on this journey of their own, we are able to assure them, with complete confidence, "there are reasons and reasons for hope and for happiness and never one for fear."

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Don't Give Up Your Most Productive Years

I am challenged by this quote from Tim and Darcy Kimmel - particularly the part which says too many of us grandparents never figure out our most productive years for the Kingdom of God may be ahead of us when we retire. I don't know about you, but I have been a "busy bee" most of my adult life serving in Children's Ministries, teaching Children's Ministry leaders/volunteers across the country how to be effective in teaching and engaging children about Jesus and being a mom who wanted to hand down the faith to my children and now a grandma who wants to hand down the faith to my grandchildren.

Teach, Tell & Show the Important Messages

There are many important messages we as grandparents need to teach and tell to our grandchildren. Some are basic - be kind, don't play with fire, pay attention in school, share with others, obey your parents (and grandparents), and of course the list goes on with these basic, important messages.

Then there are the important messages we as grandparents need to teach and tell to our grandchildren in regards to handing down the faith, such as . . .

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

God's Faithful Love

If you are like me, you probably have several favorite verses in the Bible. When I became a grandma, I added a few more favorites to my "list" and Psalms 103:17 is one of them . . .
But the Lord's faithful love is from forever ago to forever from now for those who honor Him. And God's righteousness reaches to the grandchildren.
Yes, God specifically tells us in His Word His faithful love is for and reaches to our grandchildren! Definitely one of my favorite verses.

I love how God describes His love as, "faithful". Dictionary (dot) com defines the word "faithful" as;

Trust God Completely

Since we know for certain God loves the ones we love; the children and grandchildren He gave to us, we are absolutely able to trust God completely with their lives. God wants them to experience the blessings He has in store for them. God wants them to know the joy of walking with Him. God wants them to live their lives with the peace which comes from trusting Him. Since all of this, and much more, is true, we are most certainly able to trust God with the ones we love.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Pray - God Hears, Listens to & Answers

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.

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.

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 is 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!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Hugs Help

When my grandsons were little, they would at times get a rascally twinkle in their eyes and tell me, "Hugs and kisses are weird!" I would pretend to be shocked and tell them, "Hugs and kisses are NOT weird; they are wonderful!" They always laughed and repeated their rascally saying, while laughing, a LOT, but I typically ended up receiving a hug and kiss - happy grandma for sure!

Then the day came where I first saw this stat and, of course, I shared it with them. They were surprised, then said; "Then if hugs are good for us, we will live a LONG time, and so will you, because you give us lots of hugs, grandma."

Take Heart in God's Promises

If you - or someone you know and love - have grown children and/or grandchildren who once claimed faith in Jesus, who once walked with Him, who once looked forward to opportunities to go to church and fellowship with other believers, but now no longer do, take a minute to read this verse and think about what God is promising you, me and to all of us in these words.

Prayer for a Fresh Start

Father God,

We pray for You to forgive us, for we have become a nation of idols. We’ve polluted our lives with carved images and false gods. We’ve set our sights on the things of this world and not on You.

We’ve placed our confidence and trust in stocks and bonds; and we’ve sought the fleeting happiness, which money buys. We’ve defined ourselves by our possessions and not as children of the Living God.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Do the Will of God

While this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one which has a powerful message for the ones we love, it also has an important and essential message for grandmas - and grandpas, too. Especially as we approach retirement. The most important things for us, now and for however many more days we have before us, are not for us to be happy, achieve pleasure and avoid pain, but the single most important thing for us is to, "do the will of God", no matter what.

Tools for Your "Job"

Aren't you glad to know your "job" is not to draw the ones you love to God, but it is to be faithful to hand down the faith! To help you with your "job", we Grandmas with Heart post to this blog at least twice a day. This information is here to encourage, challenge, equip and empower you as grandmas - and grandpas and parents, too - to hand down the faith . . . to do your "job"!

Friday, October 11, 2019

God Hears & Answers Our Prayers

I find this quote from Martin Luther to be both encouraging and challenging - we learn about the power of prayer by experience, because when we pray with our all, we are heard and God answers. 

As you go into the weekend, please keep this in mind - God hears prayer, God answers prayer - in His time, but He always hears and answers our prayers. Make your time of prayer a priority and don't give up - especially when God delays on His answers. 

Look for the Joy

I love this quote from Barbara Johnson - what a wonderful reminder, there are times when . . . I have to look for the joy! Now, it is true there absolutely are times when the joy is right there, right in front of me and is so obvious it is impossible to miss it. Such as . . . 

Just a Reminder . . .

So far 174 of you have received your free Kindle copy of my new book; The DNA of Grandparents & Parents who Hand Down the Faith, if you have not yet done so, please do so now, because today is the last day it is available for free at this link.

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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...