Monday, August 31, 2020

Take What You Have & Do It

If you are a grandma (or grandpa/ parent) who is confident when it comes to handing down confident faith, then wonderful! Get out there and hand down confident faith!

But, if you are a grandparent who wonders what to do, how to do it and if you are even able to hand down confident faith, just take what you know . . . cooking, crafts, reading, writing, playing, building with legos, anything you are able to do . . . and use it to connect with your walk with God and His Word. This is handing down confident faith! For example . . .

Our Primary Job Description

It has almost been six months since the start of covid quarantine and social distancing. While there are churches which have re-started church services, most churches have not re-started their ministry for children and youth. Six months without the opportunity for the children we love to connect with other adults who teach them what we are and with friends who love Jesus. Six months without learning more from the Bible and being encouraged to have a confident faith. 

Pray for the Condition of the Hearts of the Ones You Love & Their Relationship with God

John Wesley once said; "Prayer is where the action is." He was correct. While in this life there is much we are not able to do, we are able to pray, and God is able to do what we are not.

We are not able to change the condition of the hearts of the ones we love. We are not able to change their relationship with God, but we are able to pray and know God is able and willing to answer our prayers.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Our Grandchildren are Always Close to the Heart

Don't you just love this little saying? It is absolutely true - whether our grandchildren are in our arms, on the other side of the world or somewhere in-between, they are always, "close to the heart". 

Be a Wise Grandma Who Uses Words With Care

We grandmas know words matter and words have power. While research clearly shows this to be true, we know it is true from our own experience and from watching our children and grandchildren. This is why it is essential for us to be wise grandmas who use words on purpose - words which encourage, build up and praise the effort our grandchildren put into whatever they are doing.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

We Have a Powerful Influence

Grandparents are able to have a powerful influence in the lives of their grandchildren. Absolutely able to do so.

Know & Do

If we have grandchildren, then it is clear God wants us to hand down confident faith to them. We do not have to wonder about what God wants us to do; we are able to clearly know. So, this means there are many decisions in our lives which are very easy to make. If a decision before us would provide the opportunity for us to hand down confident faith, then we do it. See, easy!

Friday, August 28, 2020

You Will Never Go Where God Is Not

In just four months and four days we will be entering 2021 - 2020 will be over. I have to say, 2020 has been a year filled with things I did not expect to see or experience. I am looking forward to it being in my "rear-view-mirror".

But, throughout this year I am happy to have been able to experience Zephaniah 3:17 -

Four Things to Keep In Mind

As our grandchildren return to school, we may have some deep concerns - especially as we hear on the morning news how local schools are closing again due to children and staff testing positive for covid. The children we love - and their parents who we love - may also be experiencing serious concerns. While it is legitimate to feel concerned, we need to hold tightly to the truth - God hears, heeds, answers, and delivers us - and them - by prayer.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Do the Most Important Thing - Hand Down Confident Faith

Do you know what a Cassowary is? Have you ever heard of a Sun Bear, Sunflower Sea Star, or an Archerfish? What do you know about Pangolins? Do you know about the absolutely amazing thing a Hawksbill Sea Turtle is able to do - it was only discovered recently? These six animals, and six more, are included in my new book - Eyelash Vipers, Pygmy Elephants, Pangolins & More! and not only will you be able to use this book to share full-color photos of the animals and fun facts about them with your grandchildren, but you will also learn how each of these animals were designed "just right" to have the things they needed to be able to survive. When you share these things with the children you love, you will be able to show them "why" they are able to believe in God - the Designer - with confidence.

If we are serious about handing down the faith, we need to share with the children we love not only what to believe (although this is important), but also why they are able to believe with confidence. The day will come when they will be faced with people who do not believe. If we have not equipped them with the "whys" for their faith, the ones we love may join the increasing numbers of young adults who walk away from their faith. It is vital for us to teach our grandchildren and children the "whys" - and this book will help you do so.

Look what people are saying about this book . . .

My Top Five Reasons I Listen to My Grandsons

I remember a day a few years back when my grandsons were at my house watching a children's show and the topic of not being listened to came up (it was the "title" of the episode). I asked my oldest grandson if he felt this way sometimes and he said; "Yes. Well, except for you, grandma, because you always listen to us." 

As adults it is far too easy to be busy with the things we are doing, or with our tech, and just not listen to children. Children do tend to talk a lot and it is not always "earth-shattering" things they have to say; but when it comes to my grandsons, I feel like if it is important to them and they want to tell me about something, then I want to hear it! I'm so glad they have noticed this!

So, as I thought about this conversation, I came up with five reasons I listen to my grandsons and today I'm sharing them with you. They are . . . 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Help Them Know, Love & Confidently Follow Jesus

We are not able to give to others what we do not have for ourselves. If we are not growing spiritually, we will not be equipped to help our grandchildren/children grow spiritually. Sometimes it is easy - too easy - to focus on the "things" we need to do every day and lose sight of the thing upon which we really need to be focused . . . knowing and walking with Jesus.

Being Found!

When my grandsons were young, they loved to play hide-and-seek . . . did I say "loved"??? No, it is more like they "LOVED" to play hide-and-seek! They loved hiding and then they loved being found, but I think it was the "being found" part they loved the most, because they typically ended up telling us where they were "hiding"! They said things like, "I'm going to hide under the table and you can count, then you can come and find me!" Or, when we finished counting and said; "Ready or not, here we come, oh where oh where could you be?", they typically told us; "I'm in the closet!" or "I'm under the table!" or wherever they were. Plus, if we took too "long" to "find" them, they made little sounds . . . to "help" us find them! Then when we found them, they tended to laugh, give hugs, and we did it all over again . . . and again . . . and again! Did I mention they "LOVED" playing hide and seek??!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Hold Tightly to the Truth & Teach the "Whys"

Did you know it is impossible for you to see your own nose - unless you look into a mirror? But, just because we are not able to see our nose, it does not mean we stop believing we have a nose. Of course not. We believe the truth - each of us have a nose, whether we are able to see our nose or not.

Love & Grace - the Driving Forces

It is essential for us as grandmas (and grandpas, too) to be people who model loving and extending grace at all times in our relationship with our grandchildren. They need to know for sure, no matter what happens, no matter what they say or do, we will always love them and always show them grace.

Monday, August 24, 2020

This is So AWESOME!

My grandsons typically spend Saturday night at my house for a sleepover. With covid, we watch our church's service at home, as it is live-streamed on Sunday mornings. Yesterday our pastor started a new series which will last for about eight months as he teaches through the Book of Revelation. My nine-year-old grandson was listening, and said; "This Book has Jesus' words in them! It is the things Jesus says! When we read them we are able to see what Jesus has to say! This is awesome! This is So AWESOME!!!"

Love Your Baby's Baby - It Is Important

I love this quote from Debbie Guinn. 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. 

Sunday, August 23, 2020

The Best Parts of Growing Older

We are only four months and one week from the end of 2020 and the start of a new year. While this year with covid it may seem like time has ground to a stop, truly time does pass quickly and, like it or not, we are growing older. However; there are many blessings which come with growing older and certainly one of them is the blessing of knowing and handing confident 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.

Model a Big Faith

Our grandchildren are growing up in a world where God is not held up as God. People who believe in Him are often treated as if they are unintelligent and foolish. If people are not able to explain everything, then they often do not believe; and sadly some grandparents have sons, daughters and/or grandchildren who believed as children, but now they stop believing, or at least begin to seriously question what they believe as adults. 

It is very different from when I grew up. When I was a child people tended to believed in God. People typically went to church. It was a different world.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Hand Down a Confident Faith with "Eyelash Vipers, Pygmy Elephants, Pangolins & More!"

Today I am very happy to let you know about a new book - Eyelash Vipers, Pygmy Elephants, Pangolins & More! This book is the second book in the new "Life on the 'Goldilocks Planet'" series and will equip you to hand down a confident faith to the children you love. It is available on Amazon at this link and in our bookstore at this link. If you order it through our bookstore, you will save a couple dollars and will receive an autographed copy.

This book will equip you to engage your grandchildren, have a great time learning about the amazing world around us, and see how God's design is everywhere we look - and shows us why we are able to believe He is real! I am so humbled and thankful for this endorsement from Tim & Darcy Kimmel for my new book series - they said . . .

Grandmas are Cookie-Bakers!

Just for fun today, what cookie do you make the most for your grandchildren? Please comment below to let us know your family's favorite cookie. 

We Are View-Givers

Today I want to write about something important. Handing down a confident heritage of faith to our grandchildren. Five years ago I heard Steve Bell (Willow Creek Church) say something which got my attention: "How we feel about our grandchildren is how they will feel about themselves."

Friday, August 21, 2020

Hand Down a Confident Faith So They Have Wisdom

I love this quote from Charles Swindoll - 
Wisdom is looking at life from God's point of view.
God's point of view is the one which matters. As intentional Christian grandmas (and grandpas/ parents, too) we know this. But the world in which the children we love are growing up and where they live does not necessarily know or believe this. Our grandchildren will have people - friends, teachers, even family, who tell them God's point of view doesn't matter because God is not real. If we do not equip them with the reasons "why" they are able to believe God is real, it is all too possible a day will come when they stop believing.

God Will Set You A-Praying

Don't you just love this saying from Matthew Henry! If you are a prayer warrior who has been praying for years, you have likely experienced this in your own life and have examples of how God has answered your prayers as part of your "Prayer History" which you are able to share with your grandchildren. If prayer is something with which you struggle, then try the following to become a prayer warrior and build your own "Prayer History" . . . 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Trust Whether You See . . . Or Not

If we have experienced anything in the past five months of life with covid, it is certainly how there are times when we are not able to see God's purpose or plan. Hopefully we are also seeing how even in these times, God is still on His throne, and in firm control of the universe - and our lives.

It's Our Job to Obey What God Has Decided

As grandmas it is our "job" to pray and hand down confident faith - we know this and it is our joy to do so. It is also our "job" to love our grandchildren - and certainly we fell in love with them the very first time we saw and held them. Loving our grandchildren is the easiest "job" we will ever have.

We are happy to pray, hand down confident faith, and love our grandchildren, and know at least the basics of what these things involve, but today I want to think about a time when it may be possible we will also have to speak up for our grandchildren.

Hand Down the Faith with Mystery Bags - God is Able to do Infinitely More than We Ask or Think

As our grandchildren return to school (whether at home or in class) for another year of learning, another year of getting along with others, another year of growing, it is important for us to remind them no matter what they face - both in the blessings and the challenges which are before them - God is able to do infinitely more than they will ask for, think of or need. One fun way to do this is with a simple bar of Ivory soap and a microwave. For this Mystery Bag project you will need . . .

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Have Courage - Say Your Prayers & Go Forward

"Jesus knew He only had to ask His Father for help and thousands of angels would have been there to help Him! Jesus knew He didn’t even need the angles – after all, Jesus made the angels! Jesus knew real strength is not shown by bragging or showing off, but rather by doing what needs to be done for the ones you love! Jesus showed us His great love by showing us what it means to be meek, what it means to have real strength!" (Praying Deeper Through the Psalms for Children)

A Grandma Loves Forever & Shows It

I do not know who first said this quote, but it is certainly something we all have thought - we will hold these little ones for a short time, but while we know they will grow too big for laps, they will never  outgrow our love. We remember how it felt to be the mom - there were times when we wondered if the diapers, late night feedings, toilet training, etc. would ever end, but as the grandmas we know the years actually just flew by and before we knew it our children were grown.

As these children we love grow up and head for life as adults, there are things we are able to do which will stay with them forever. When we take time to show love; they will remember, so what are some of the best ways to show love? Consider the following . . .

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Bow Down Low - the Stakes Are High

When it comes to our grown children and grandchildren, the stakes are high. As George Barna's research shows, more and more young adults are leaving not only the church, but their faith as well. We must be focused upon two things - handing down a confident faith, so the ones we love know why they believe what they believe (consider using my new book series to help you do this essential thing - find it at this link) and we must pray, because while we are not able to draw the ones we love to Jesus - He is. 

Be the Link in the Chain which Connects the Past with the Future

We grandmas and grandpas certainly have the best "job" ever. We get to snuggle our grandchildren when they are little, read books, play games, enjoy taking them places, do science experiments together, teach them to cook, use tools, and be their biggest cheerleaders. We get to hand down confident faith and teach them about God, Jesus, the Bible, and how to talk with them. Oh yes, without a doubt, we have the best job ever!

Monday, August 17, 2020

We Have a Purpose Which Matters

We have purpose. Our purpose is to hand down a confident faith to the children God has entrusted to us. Now we may feel confident when it comes to doing this - or we may wonder how to do so. But, whether we are confident or not, reflecting Jesus' love to our grandchildren, so they are able to see it, and believe in Him with a confident faith is our purpose.

Leave the Most Powerful & Valuable Legacy for the Ones You Love

My best friend in high school was Teresa Moore. She took her faith and walk with God seriously and was determined to be a missionary. In college she met Tim Holmgren, they were married, served for 24 years in Papua New Guinea, and then 12 more years at the New Tribes office in Florida. My friend was a woman of prayer, so when I started writing my new book, The DNA of Grandparents & Parents who Hand Down the Faith, I knew I wanted to ask Teresa to share part of her Faith History for the first chapter. Teresa graciously honored me by doing so and one of the things she shared is this saying;

Sunday, August 16, 2020

"Keep a Firm Grip on the Faith"

The Bible presents Satan as a "roaring lion" and says he is looking for people to "devour" in 1 Peter 5:8. This sounds frightening; and if we look at the world around us it is easy to see how he is doing this with so many.

However; this verse does not tell us to run and hide under our beds. No! It tells us to be clearheaded, alert, watchful, on our guard. The following verses say it this way in the Phillips translation . . . 

Be Sure They - and You - Know the Truth

Do you ever wonder if God truly hears your prayers? Do you have prayers you have prayed for years which you continue to pray - all without seeing anything which gives you an inkling an answer is near? If so, take heart in this quote from Joni - "There is nothing which moves a loving father's soul quite like his child's cry."

Prayer for Grandchildren Returning to School/College

Heavenly Father,
We pray for our grandchildren who are heading back to high school and college. Protect them from any pitfalls, which await them. Pitfalls called identity-crisis, self-worth, and peer pressure. Pitfalls persuading them to challenge and rebel against their parents and the values they’ve been taught.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Trust God for a Confident Faith

As our grandchildren face the return to school this Fall, we and they may feel like there are plenty of things which leave us feeling afraid - or at least concerned a fair amount. But, whether they begin the 20/21 school year at home or in class, we are able to be certain God is with them - and us. So, while we may feel concerned, we do not have to be afraid or discouraged. We are able to trust God.

Blessings Not Measured by Dollars

As my day began this morning, I was thinking about blessings . . . big and small, and I most certainly have many! I have an amazing husband (we met on a volcano!!!), two grown children, and a daughter-in-law of whom I am proud and love with all my heart. Three sweet, rascal grandsons who fill my heart with joy! Yes, my blessings are many and I am ever so thankful!

Friday, August 14, 2020

The Real Big Things

When it comes to my grandsons, there are things which may at first look seem small, but the truth is, they are actually the real big things. For example, my grandsons love to tell me about all kinds of tech things. I am almost as "non-tech" as a person could possibly be, but, my grandsons are all quite techy. It would be easy to "zone out" and not pay attention as they tell me about tech things, but these things are important to them. So, when they tell me about tech things - or anything - I stop what I am doing, look them in the eyes and listen. I try to ask questions which show I am listening. I want them to know - and experience - how when something was important to them, it was important to me - or at least important enough for me to truly listen to them. My grandsons - and the things about which they care - are the Big Things.

Equip Your Grandchildren for the New School Year with God's Love, Joy & Peace

My grandsons will be heading back to school in just one week, so to help them focus and prepare in this final week, we are going to focus upon and pray one of our blessings . . . 

Faith & Love

If you have children and grandchildren who love and follow God, be thankful - you are so blessed to be able to team up with your sons, daughters and sons/daughters-in-law to hand down the faith. 

If you do not have children and/or grandchildren who love and follow God, be thankful, you are still able to hand down the faith, because in both situations our faith in God makes all things possible. 

Whether you have a team to work with you to hand down the faith or not, you still have God and with faith in Him, like Caleb of old, and with God on our side it does not matter what we face - our challenges may be huge and we may feel like grasshoppers, but God is bigger than any challenges!

What is the Job of Your Church?

I'm going to say something which may surprise you; it is NOT your church's job to hand confident faith to your grandchildren. If you look throughout Scripture you will see God's best plan for the handing down of confident faith is for grandparents and parents to be the people who hand it to the children He has given to them. When both sets of grandparents and the parents team up to hand down confident faith, they are powerfully effective and are able to make a strong impact on the children they love.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Live & Show

The start of 2020 has most certainly been "difficult" for us and for the ones we love. This "difficult" year not only has another four months to go before 2021 arrives, but we certainly have more months before immunizations and treatments are available for covid; allowing life to return to a more "normal" pace. It is accurate to say 2020 so far has brought "troubles" upon us, but thankfully, we are able to hold tightly to God's promise of His unfailing love and never-ending peace, and believe He has a plan for us and the ones we love.

New School Year - God's Faithful, Constant Promises

One more week. At this grandma's house we have one more week of Summer vacation and then the new school year begins. We are planning to get the most out of this week as we spend time together building memories and talking about trusting God as the new school year begins.

I have a grandson in First Grade, a grandson moving into Fourth Grade and a grandson entering Seventh Grade. At this point, they will all be starting remote school at home for at least the first three weeks of school. It will be a year with a fair amount of uncertainty for sure and I want my grandsons to know God is with them, they are absolutely able to trust Him, and He has plans for them.

Look at this wonderful verse and promise in Isaiah 25:1 -

God's Unfailing Love, Compassion & Great Peace & He Will Be Their Teacher

I am so encouraged to know no matter what happens in the world around us, God's unfailing love, not just His love, but His  unfailing love will not stop and His promise of peace will be kept. As if these wonderful promises were not enough, God goes on to say He has compassion for us, our children will be taught by Him, and they will have great peace; not just peace, but great peace!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Your Most Productive Years are Ahead of You

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 a confident faith to my grandchildren.

Know Them as God Knows You

It is essential for us as grandparents to know our grandchildren - really know what makes them "tick". This matters for us when it comes to discipline and to handing down a confident faith. It also matters if we want to help our grandchildren cope with all the uncertainties related to them returning to school due to covid-19.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Pray Your Grandchildren Will Be People Who Pray

It is absolutely true the One to whom we pray is big enough to hear and answer our prayers. We need to know and hold to this truth, but we also need to be purposeful about communicating this to our grandchildren, so they become people who pray as well.

So, as you go through this week, consider making the following from Psalms 27:7-14 your prayer for your grandchildren . . . 

Trust God. Hold Tightly to Him

You may, or may not, know much about Elisabeth Elliot, but she was the wife of Jim Elliot - one of the missionaries killed by the Auca tribe in Ecuador in 1956. She, and Jim, believed God brought them to Ecuador to reach the Auca people and share the Good News of Jesus with them, but while trying to connect with them, the Auca people were frightened and killed Jim. 

Monday, August 10, 2020

Influence Which Truly Lasts

The best gift you will give your grandchildren is the example of what it looks like to live life as someone who loves God and others with their all. When they see we honestly love others, the words we speak and the things we do will give security, significance and strength to our grandchildren.  

We grandparents are the second-most influential people in the lives of our grandchildren (second only to parents), so our example is powerful and truly does make a real and lasting difference!

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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...