Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year from Grandmas with Heart

As we move forward into 2020, we pray for you to experience God's joy as you hand down the faith to your children and grandchildren!

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose

Grandmas Do Make a Difference . . . By Praying for Their Grandchildren

Yesterday I wrote about one way grandmas (and grandpas, too) absolutely are able to make a real, significant and important difference in the lives of their grandchildren – they are able to point them to Jesus. I shared a simple way we are able to do this . . . by reading books to and with our grandchildren and shared with you several of my favorite books I like to read with my grandsons.

Today I want to point out another important and essential thing we are able to do as grandmas to make a real, significant and important difference in the lives of our grandchildren . . . we are able to - and must - pray for and with them.

Make a Significant Difference in 2019 - Hand Down the Faith

God has called us as grandmas (and grandpas, too) to a significantly important job. He wants us to hand down the faith.

This job at times will be challenging, tiring and even has the potential to break our hearts, but it also is the thing in our lives which will bring us the most joy!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Grandmas Do Make a Difference - Point Our Grandchildren to Jesus

As we are about to start the new year, I thought I'd take a minute to remind us, the things we say and do with our grandchildren do make a difference. This is absolutely true. Grandmas (and grandpas, too) most certainly are able to make a difference, so for the next few days, I’m going to share with you some of the ways we are able to make a real, lasting and important difference in the lives of our grandchildren; starting with . . . we make a difference in pointing our grandchildren to Jesus!

This is one of the most important things we will ever do to make a difference in the lives of our grandchildren – point them to Jesus. We need to begin to do this when they are just little by reading to them, singing to them, and by telling them how very much Jesus loves them.

Pointing our grandchildren to Jesus is not really difficult. We are able to do it with something as simple as reading to our grandchildren – and there is no shortage of wonderful books out there which you may use to help your grandchildren understand how very much God loves them. I do this with my grandchildren – and you are able to do it, too! While I have many wonderful books and resources which I’ve used over the years with my grandchildren to point them to Jesus, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you today.

God is Not Finished with You

2019 may have been a year filled with blessings - time spent with family handing down the faith to the generations who follow as the most important blessing. It may have been filled with answers to prayer and opportunities to grow in your walk with God - and watch your family do the same.

It may have been a year where you prayed and prayed and are still waiting to see how God answers. It may have been a year where you continue to pray and ask God to soften the hearts of the ones you love, open their eyes and draw them to/or back to Him.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Be Memorable & Hand Down the Faith

Part of handing down the faith - a big part of it - is taking the time to build a close relationship with your grandchildren/children. There are certainly many ways to do this, but one way is by planning opportunities together to just have fun. These fun times together help you build a strong and close relationship as you make memories which will last beyond your own years - and give you natural opportunities to have important faith conversations while you are having fun as well.

In 2020 I am going to plan special monthly fun days with my grandsons to help build these close, strong relationships with them. Each month one of my grandsons will go through the silly holidays for the month with me and they will pick a couple of their favorites and then all of us will celebrate those silly days together on a special Saturday. For example, my youngest grandson is starting with the month of January. There are many possibilities for a "fun day" in January - for example . . .

Walk Worthy in 2019

I love this quote from the Kimmels and also find it challenging - I absolutely want my grandsons to be able to trust me to walk worthy of the incredibly sacred calling from God to hand faith to them. Handing down our faith is the thing which matters the most. Take time today to pray for your children and your children's children and plan a way to walk worthy and grandparent on purpose; to hand down your faith!

Prayer for New Beginnings

Father God,

We thank You for new beginnings. We don’t need a list of New Year’s resolutions or a silver ball to drop on Times Square for us to enjoy a fresh start. Our new beginnings commence with You, for Your love is unfailing. Your “mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning” (Lamentations 2:22-23).

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Take Time to "Ponder" God's Great Works & Blessings

Do you believe it? 2019 is about to become part of the history books. As 2020 begins, it is often easy to become so focused on the things we are planning for the year, we forget to take time to thank God for His many blessings - big and small - from 2019. So, let's take some time to remember the blessings we experienced throughout the past year. Consider the following . . .

Have a Purpose & Plan for 2020 - Part Two

Yesterday I wrote about what my husband and I are doing this year to hand faith to our grandsons. I shared how we are making Lamentations 3:21-23 our focus in 2020.

Today I'm writing about the second thing we want to focus on with them . . . helping them become people who pray and read God's Word. We are using the book - Praying Deeper Through the Psalms for Children with them this year and are looking forward to the boys becoming people who talk with God for themselves! So far the results have been more than I had hoped. My oldest grandson is using the book each morning and night to pray - on his own! He is reading his Bible and we are having some amazing conversations about God and walking with Him! My two younger grandsons are also using the book, but it is taking them longer to get in the habit of using it each day - they do at least five days a week when they are at my house, but my middle grandson is starting to remember to use it at his house, too!

Friday, December 27, 2019

Have a Purpose & Plan for 2020

2020 is before us and while we do not know what all it holds, you are likely similar to me; I have hope for 2020 to be a year filled with opportunities to hand faith to my grandchildren and build solid, wonderful, joy-filled memories with them as well! 

While I have plans for fun – trips to our local garden, science projects for them to enjoy, opportunities to show thanks to church volunteers and many more opportunities for “fun” – the things I’m most focusing upon, are two ways to build their faith over the coming year.

Be the Grandparent Who Does Not Underestimate God's Power

I love this quote from Max Lucado and find it to be extremely encouraging. There are people I love for whom I pray, and continue to pray, even when I do not see an answer. I need to be reminded of the truth of how God hears, listens to and has the power and will to answer!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Happy Day After Christmas

A few years ago Matthew West wrote the song, "Happy Day After Christmas", so today, on the day after Christmas, I thought I'd share the song (at this link), the lyrics and a few thoughts about continuing to hand down the message to the ones we love of how, "even when Christmas is over, the Light of the World is still here!"

Hand Down the Faith in 2020 with Generations Quest Cultivate the Faith for Free

If you are looking for something to help you hand down the faith, then take a minute to download your free Kindle copy of Generations Quest Cultivate the Faith! - it is free at this link today, December 26, 2019 and tomorrow, December 27, 2019. This resource will provide you with 52 weeks of Bible learning, science projects, crafts, cooking and much more - all designed to make it easy for you to hand down the faith while engaging the children you love in interesting, fun and active learning - and it is free on Kindle!

I wrote Generations Quest Cultivate the Faith!, because I wanted something which would engage my grandsons in learning - these lessons definitely do this!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

This Christmas Believe - Jesus is Truly Real

For those of us who believe in Jesus, Christmas is a time of celebration - a time to remember and be so thankful for the great Gift God gave us in the birth of Jesus. It is the reason we hand down the faith - because we want our grandchildren (and children) to believe and receive God's Gift of love.

For us believing Jesus was a real person who was born as a baby, lived a perfect life, died on the cross for us then three days later rose from the dead is a "given". We celebrate Christmas because we believe. It truly is our "reason for the season".

But, if we have people we love who do not believe, consider approaching who Jesus is from the record of history - outside the Bible. Yes, Jesus was a real, historical person. Yes, there is recorded history of who He is - outside the Bible. If Jesus was a real person - and He is recorded as such, then we have to make a choice. Do we believe who He said He was, or not?

Not Just a Baby in a Manger

As you celebrate Christmas and teach your grandchildren about what it is really all about, do not just leave Jesus as a baby in a manger. Be sure to tell why He came and how His resurrection makes it possible for us to receive His amazing grace.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Hand Down the Faith this Christmas in a Fun, Hands-On Way

Yesterday one of our Grandmas with Heart - Sherry Schumann - shared with me a fun idea for handing down the faith with our grandchildren, so today I'm delighted to share it with you.

Hand Down the Faith - Share God's Best Gifts

Tonight is Christmas Eve and tomorrow is Christmas. Many of us will be celebrating with the ones we love and this celebrating is likely to include the giving of gifts. We put thought into choosing just the "right" gifts for the ones we love and look forward to giving the gifts we chose to the ones we love.

The Reason Jesus Came

I am blessed to count Janae Dean as one of my friends. Her husband is Wayburn Dean - he sang with Acappella - and since they go to my church, from time to time we are ever so blessed to have him lead our worship services. Janae shared a link to Wayburn singing, "O Holy Night" and today I am ever so happy to share it with you. Enjoy!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Give Gifts Which Make A Lasting Difference

As grandmas (and grandpas/ parents) who are serious about handing down the faith there are several essential and important gifts we will give to the children we love. Of course, the most important is the gift of handing down the faith by helping them know they are able to believe in God and trust His Word with confidence. Everything else springs from this.

God IS Near

As you celebrate Christmas this year, keep this truth in mind - "God is near, whether you sense His presence or not."

Hand Down the Faith for Free with Generations Quest Cultivate the Faith!

Handing down the faith tends to be something which we look forward to doing and enjoy, or something which leaves us feeling confused and unable to do effectively. Well, no matter which of these describes you, I am very happy today to let you know about a resource which gives you 52 lessons, complete with science projects, crafts and cooking activities to engage the children you love while also helping them learn about real people from the Bible, how those Bible people chose to walk with God and how they are able to do the same. This resource is called Generations Quest Cultivate the Faith! and today through Friday the kindle version is free at this link!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Be "That" Grandma (Grandpa/Parent)

As our grandchildren grow up we certainly want to give them as many happy things and festivals to be enjoyed as possible. We want to help them make lasting memories which will build our relationship with them and point them to God. Christmastime is one of these times when we think about these happy things and festivals - our family traditions and often celebrate in ways unique to Christmas.

The Manger Dares Us to Believe the Best is Yet to Be

Our society tends to make such a big deal about famous people when they have their babies - especially some of the royal family in England, as we all saw in 2019. Media even waited outside the hospital for the official news of the new baby's birth.

But, when the one, true King was born, there was no hospital. There was no waiting media. There was no "big deal".

Prayer for Our Grandchildren to Understand the True Meaning of Christmas

Heavenly Father,

We live in a culture, which encourages our grandchildren to be self-absorbed and self-centered, seeking instant gratification for their whims and desires. We especially see this during the holiday season.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Celebrate, Remember & Serve

At my house (Lynda) this year we are celebrating Christmas on Christmas night. My grandsons are very excited about being able to open their gifts, but I'm happy to say they all know Christmas is about much more than receiving gifts - they know it is about Jesus. They remember the reason for all the celebrating.

Pray & Wait Until the Answer Comes

One of the things we want to do as we hand down the faith is to teach our grandchildren how to talk with God for themselves. Yes, we pray for them - and want them to know we do - but, it is essential for them to learn to be people who talk to God for themselves as well.

Part of teaching our grandchildren about prayer means we teach them to recognize while there are absolutely times - many times when God answers our prayers in ways which match up with what we were asking - or closely match up - there are also times when He does not. There are sometimes times when God gives a clear, "No" to our requests and other times when He wants us to wait.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Christmas in a "Nutshell"

With Christmas just a few days away, I thought I'd share with you some Christmas thoughts . . . 

Corrie Ten Boom knew the joy of life with family and the incredible loss of her loved family in the concentration camps of Nazi  Germany. Yet, through it all, she held tightly to her faith in God, His love and His goodness. I love this quote from her . . . 

Commit to Make God's Love the Cornerstone of Your Home

As 2019 ends we certainly see our country struggling to find a level path forward. There is so much turmoil and division around us in our nation and possibly in our own families. I love this quote from John Coulombe; a truly godly and wise person.

A Love Which Needs No Talk

When it comes to love for another person; such as the love a grandma (or grandpa/parent) has for a grandchild/child, dictionary (dot) com defines it as;
A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a (grand)parent, child, or friend.
This is, I'm sure we would all agree, a solid definition for the word, "love", but God's Word gives us an even better "definition" and picture for what love really is all about. Just look at 1 Corinthians 13 - 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

We Must Remember & Remind

As 2019 draws to a close there are certainly many things I want to remember; things and times where God showed His love to us in big and small ways. For example, God answered a huge prayer for my family this year by opening the door for my son/daughter-in-law to buy a house in the best school district (one of the top 250 in the country). It was an absolute miracle they even got the house and now after the first semester in their new schools, my grandsons are doing very well and are very happy in their new schools! A HUGE answer to prayer for sure!

Be Known for Kindness

Last week I wrote about giving the best gifts by giving the gift of Kindness (you will find it at this link.) I said; "When we speak softly with love, we are showing what it sounds like to be kind. When we give an encouraging hug or pat on the back, we are showing what it feels like to be kind. When we share with them - and take them with us to share with others - we are showing them what it looks like to be kind. 

Most importantly, when we forgive them, we are showing them the heart of kindness. Jesus showed His kindness to us by forgiving us and He wants us to be people who forgive as well.Today I want to think a little more about showing kindness and why it matters. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Focus Upon God's Faithful Love!

At my house we have used Scripture passages as a “blessing” for our grandsons - we say it at meals and bedtime when the boys are here for sleepovers. So far we have used Proverbs 3:5, 6; Jeremiah 29:11-14a, Galatians 5:22 – 24 - we use a passage until we believe God would have us focus on something else with the boys . . . which means we might go back and reuse previous passages from time to time. We talk about the passage for our blessing, what it means and how we live it in our lives, so every time the boys hear it, they know exactly what we are talking about.

Christmas is just a week away and is certainly a time when we think about love, so it seems appropriate to share the next passage I want to use with my grandsons - with the focus on God's faithful love for us – and how I have “paraphrased” it so my young grandsons will understand.

Live Intentionally. Do Something Today Which Will Last Beyond Your Lifetime.

I find it hard to believe, but 2020 is just around the bend. Before we know it, we will be entering a new year and a new decade. It is common for people to make, "New Year's Resolutions", but it is also common for those same "New Year's Resolutions" to fall by the wayside in a few months - or weeks - or even days. 

So this year, rather than make "New Year's Resolutions" let's instead be grandmas (grandpas/parents) who commit to live in such a way as to be able to know when God wants us to do something and then do what He wants us to do. Happily, we do know some of the most important things God wants us to do; consider the following . . . 

Hand Down the Faith with Generations Quest for Free

As I wrote the other day, we Grandmas with Heart are committed to helping you with resources, ideas and information to help you be equipped, encouraged and empowered to hand down the faith. When I need a resource, I tend to sit down and write things I know will engage my grandsons and help them understand and remember what God's Word says, so they are able to know, love and walk with God. I have written books/resources/curriculum in the past for Group Publishing, Big Idea, SuperBook and my own church, so writing resources and books is something I am able to do. This means I have resources and books to use as I grow in my walk and to use with my grandsons as well.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

You Are Part of His Best Plan

There are truly many amazing verses/passages in the Bible, but Psalms 139:16 certainly qualifies as one of them. Just think about what it is saying; even before we, and the ones we love, were born, God knew everything about us! He knew what we would look like, who we would marry, what children we would have and who our grandchildren would/ will be. He knows how long our lives will be as well and He knows how we will choose to live the life He has given to us. He knows if we will faithfully make the choice to hand down the faith or if today is the day when we are going to make this choice.

Give the Best Gifts Ever - Show Self Control

For the past week and a half we have been looking at the best gifts we will ever give to our children and grandchildren - showing the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives and homes. Today we will look at the last part of the Fruit - Self Control.

Make 2020 a Year of Handing Down the Faith Intentionally with Your FREE Kindle Copy of Generations Quest Cultivate the Faith!

When we hand down the faith, we watch for those unplanned opportunities to connect life with God, His Word and how we are able to know and walk with Him. But, we also need to plan opportunities to do these things in a very intentional and purposeful way as well. 

This is where Generations Quest Cultivate the Faith! comes in. This book provides you with 52 intentional, purposeful lessons complete with science projects, crafts, cooking along with Bible lessons, time to work with a prayer journal and teach your grandchildren/children why they are able to believe in God and trust His Word with confidence. I wrote this book to have something I would be able to use to engage my active grandsons in learning how to know, love and walk with God and I am so happy to let you know next week - December 23-27, 2019 you are able to download the Kindle copy of it for FREE!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Give the Best Gifts Ever - Be Faithful

When we think about words which describe God, "faithful" is a word I love, because in a world where all too often people let us down, God is faithful and He NEVER lets us down. The on-line dictionaries give several definitions for the word, "faithfulness", but basically they all carry the idea of how a faithful person does what they say they will do; they are able to be believed and trusted.

We are absolutely able to always believe and trust God, because He always does what He says He will do. So, when we show the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives, we will be people about whom others are able to say these same things.

A Prayer for Those You Love Who Wander

There are few things which break a parents and/or grandparent's heart more than to watch as their children and/or grandchildren walk away from their faith. If you do not know this pain, be tremendously thankful; the world in which we live makes it oh, so easy for them to be sidetracked, confused and derailed.

If you know this pain, as you enter a new year, be encouraged; God loves them more than you do; He wants them to love Him back and walk closely with Him. Find comfort in this truth. 
Perhaps this will be the year when your prayers are answered. 

Either way, consider making Jeremiah 24 your prayer for the ones you love . . . 

Hand Down the Faith So They Have a Walk with God of Their Own

I am blessed to have my grandsons at my house for a sleepover nearly every weekend. On sleepovers we typically do things to help them learn more about a life of faith. For 2020 our focus is on helping them learn to be people who talk with God for themselves by having them learn to pray the Psalms back to God. Each weekend for the past four weeks we have been taking time to talk about the upcoming passage in Psalms we will be reading and the prayer from the passage for them to use in the coming week.

Yesterday when we did this I talked with my grandsons about why it matters for them to walk with God on their own. We talked about how they are able to see their poppa and I walk with God - they see us live the Fruit of the Spirit, they hear us pray, see us read our Bibles, they hear us talk with them about our faith and talk about how God has answered our prayers and the prayers of their ancestors. Then we talked about how while these things are important, they are not enough. They have to do these things for themselves for them to walk with God.

We absolutely have to tell, teach our grandchildren what we do to walk with God, but this is not enough. We also must tell, teach them what it means to have a walk of their own with God. Look at this link where I (Lynda Freeman) spoke about this very thing at a Legacy Coalition Grandparenting conference a few years ago. We do not want our grandchildren to be the generation of people who forget God. To stop this, they have to have a walk with God of their own.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Live a Life of Adventure

I love what Luci Swindoll said about how we are able to have a life of adventure whether we are seven or seventy! Life is what we make it; we are able to jump in and give it our all - as I wrote yesterday, we are able to give the ones in our lives our, "best part" and when we do, we are able to be sure our life will be an adventure!

Live your life - no matter how many days you have yet before you - fully, joyfully, completely and richly. Model this life of adventure to your grandchildren/children and when they notice - and they will - and they ask you about your joyful, full life, share with them where your joy and adventure comes from - walking with God.

Give the Best Gifts Ever - Give the Gift of Gentleness

Don't you just love this quote! It is so true and as we apply it to our grandchildren, we are reminded our grandchildren are gifts from the hand of God. He chose the grandchildren we have to be our grandchildren - and us to be their grandma (or poppa). Since God chose the grandchildren we have there is every reason for us to love them with our all - and to be grandmas who show great gentleness to them.

Prayer for Those Who Grieve During the Holidays

Heavenly Father,
We approach You on bended knees, our hearts heavy for those who grieve from loss. Whether it’s one less chair at the dining room table or a phone that doesn’t ring, the reminder of a loved one who has passed or is estranged from us is painful, especially during the holiday season.

We pray You comfort those who mourn. Hide them in the cleft of Your rock when their heartache becomes too great.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Give the Best Gifts Ever - Give Goodness - Your "Best Part"

How would you define, "goodness"? Perhaps as being good, doing what is right, or showing excellence? These are all ways Dictionary.com defines it, along with . . . "The best part of anything."

I really love this last way of defining, "goodness" and want to encourage you to make it the way your grandchildren grow up being able to describe you, because you gave them your, "best part". Yes, we want to give and do what is good, right and excellent when it comes to our grandchildren and when we do, we are giving them the gift of "goodness".

The Gift of Value

This quote from Max Lucado is the absolute truth and it is essential for us to be certain, completely certain our grandchildren and children know this is not only what we firmly believe, but it is the truth about how God sees them as well. Far, far too many people today do not see value in themselves. So many others believe they only have value because of the things they know and/or can do. We must be focused and intentional about communicating the truth - the ones we love (and all people) have value because they exist, simply because they are; not because of anything they say and/or do.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Give the Best Gifts Ever - Model Kindness

Of course we all want the children we love to be kind, as children and when they are grown. While they are able to learn to be kind from others in their lives, if we as their grandmas (grandpas and parents, too) treat them with kindness throughout their lives, they will learn to treat others in the same way.

When we speak softly with love, we are showing what it sounds like to be kind. When we give an encouraging hug or pat on the back, we are showing what it feels like to be kind. When we share with them - and take them with us to share with others - we are showing them what it looks like to be kind. 

Called to Hand Down the Faith With God

While what I'm writing today is more focused upon those grandmas (and grandpas) who hand down the faith alone, God's promises to hear, listen, answer and never leave us are for all of us and are promises to which we are all able to hold tightly. 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Mystery Bag - Sometimes Handing Down the Faith is Simple - & Fun

When it comes to handing down the faith to my grandsons, I of course talk with them about why they are able to know God is real and trust His Word with confidence. I help them learn to talk with God and model what it looks like to love, know and walk with God. All important, essential parts of handing down the faith. But, there are also times where I plan something simple and fun to help them learn to show their faith by showing love and appreciation to others.

This past weekend we worked on making 60 simple, fun snowman ornaments and last night they gave them to the Wednesday night Children's Ministry volunteers at our church. I want my grandsons to be quick to appreciate those who help them - especially those who volunteer their time to do so. Making these ornaments was a simple and fun way for them to do this.

If you would like to help your grandchildren make these ornaments for the volunteers at your church or neighbors, teachers at school, local firefighters or police or shut ins, you will need the following . . . 

We Have a Purpose

As you gather with your family in person, over the phone or through some type of tech such as facetime or hangouts, along with thanking God for the people He has placed in your family, take time to see each person as someone who gives your life purpose. See them as people God has lovingly placed, purposefully chosen to put in your life for you to love, hand down the faith and point them to Him. In this season of "gift-giving", our children/in-laws and grandchildren are gifts to us from the hand of God. If this does not bring purpose to our lives, nothing will.

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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...