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Pray for your Grandchildren not to have the spirit of fear

September 28, 2015
If you find this blog meaningful, please share it with your friends by email or Facebook below. If you would like to receive these blogs with grandparenting resources regularly, please give us your name and email address on the bottom right, we will include you in our mailing.  We will send you a free downloadable copy of “31 Scriptures to Pray for your Grandchildren.” Many grandparents have appreciated the resources for intentionally praying for their grandchildren in the book Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for your Grandchildren, check it out on this website. Please leave comment below. May God bless you richly as you grandparent with a purpose, Lillian Penner, National Prayer Coordinator Christian Grandparenting Network, lpenner@christiangrandparenting.net

Christmas Holiday Special

December 1, 2015
Join the many people are ordering this book for Christmas gifts. The book Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for your Grandchildren by Lillian Penner will make an excellent Christmas gift for your grandparents or your friends who are grandparents. The book challenges grandparents to pray intentionally for their grandchildren and provides suggestions of how to pray for them. To learn more about the book, check out the Book, Endorsements and Preview of the book on www.gdptpr.com The soft cover book retails for $11.99. However, I would like to give you a special offer during this holiday season of $10.50 including shipping. To purchase the book just click on “Purchase.” E-books are available for those Baby Boomers and beyond who would like to read it on their electronic reading device for $3.99 at Amazon.com. – See more at: http://www.gdptpr.com.

The Emotions of Mary and Joseph

December 3, 2015
A few years ago my husband and I attended a reunion in Branson, MO where we saw the awesome performance of The Miracle of Christmas at the Sight & Sound Theatre. I was impressed by how they displayed the emotions of Mary and Joseph when they were faced with the announcements of Gabriel. While the Jewish nation was waiting for God to free them from living in Roman bondage God sent the angel Gabriel to tell Mary, “Greetings, You are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled and questioned the angel. The angel said to her, “Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name of Jesus, He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” Mary asked the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin.” Gabriel said, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. . . For nothing is impossible with God.” Mary recognized God’s voice and responded, “I am your servant, and may it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:20-38) Joseph, Mary’s fiancée was troubled when he learned Mary was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. He did not want to expose her to public disgrace so he had in mind to divorce her quietly. However, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins (bondage).” When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel commanded and took Mary home as his wife but had no union with her until she gave birth to a son, and he named the son Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-25 Joseph was a righteous man and Mary had found favor with God, they were greatly troubled, however, they recognized the voice of God, the angel delivered. Because of Mary’s obedience, she had the honor of giving birth to Jesus, the long awaited Messiah fulfilling what the Lord had said through the prophet Isaiah. I have to ask myself, “Am I so committed to God that when the Holy Spirit tells me to do something my response is like Mary’s,’ I am your servant, and may it be to me as you have said. Pray for your grandchildren, their parents and yourself to live so close to God that when He speaks to them they will recognize his voice, listen to Him, follow Him in obedience, and trust Him, as Mary and Joseph did. By Lillian Penner              

Another Christmas Idea for Grandchildren

December 7, 2015
Today I would like to share a presentation of The Candymaker’s Gift produced by my friends David and Helen Haidle. The Candymaker’s Gift is an excellent story about the real meaning of Christmas to share with your grandchildren during this Christmas season. You can show it to them or you can send it to them in an email. Great suggestion to send to long distance grandchildren. You can listen to this story at no cost to you on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVXQpejFhrU Christmas season is an excellent time to share the message of God’s love with our grandchildren. Helen Haidle, award-winning author of 54 books for children and adults, wrote the first book on the meaning of the candy cane. Helen wrote this fiction story after she had shared the symbolism of the candy cane with her Sunday school students. “The Candymaker’s Gift” won a C.S. Lewis Silver Award and a CBA Silver Medallion. To learn more about David & Helen Haidle’s Seed Faith ministry go to http://seedfaithbooks.com/shopexd.asp?id=163. The book is out of print but limited copies are available on their website. By Lillian Penner          

What Christmas Memories do you want to give your Grandkids?

December 10, 2015
Christmas is a great time to connect spiritually with our grandchildren, helping them understand the significance of the birth of Jesus Christ. Grandchildren look forward to receiving gifts from their grandparents at Christmas and grandparents love giving them gifts. Some grandparents spend lavishly shopping for gifts for their grandchildren. The GRAND magazine stated that there are over 70 million grandparents in the US. Imagine how much money grandparents will spend on their grandchildren this Christmas. We live in a self-centered entitlement society, which encourages children to think of themselves first. As grandparents, we can teach our grandchildren about giving when we do something together for a needy person. Go shopping together for a gift for a needy child, cook a meal, or bake cookies for someone who is ill. My husband and I enjoyed taking our granddaughters to purchase items for the Christmas Operation Shoe boxes. As our economy tightens, we might rethink about how we are going to handle the gift giving this year. We can give meaningful gifts that don’t cost much money, such as spending time, one on one with a grandchild or participating in an activity together. Last Christmas a friend of mine gave her granddaughter sewing lessons, which didn’t cost much, and they were able to spend some quality time together. A grandfather might take his grandson fishing or go to a sporting event together as a gift. Give them memories that enhance your relationship with your grandchildren. As we do our holiday preparations let’s attempt to make a memorable Christmas for our grandkids. Some don’t live nearby so we won’t be able to spend the holidays with them, however, we can send them a “special” note, an unexpected Skype call, or make some kind of connection with them, in addition to our gifts. Give your family the gift of a tradition of the true meaning of Christmas, which can be passed on to future generations. A tradition in my family was that my parents always read the Christmas story from Luke 2 before opening gifts at Christmas. My husband and I did the same and we still do and have noticed that our sons are following the same tradition. It would be a blessing for my parents if they could see that this tradition was passed on to their future generations. Ask God to give you ideas of what you can do to encourage your grandchildren to think of others and their needs, not only their own. What do you want your grandchildren to remember about celebrating Christmas with you? Do you want them to remember you by the costly Christmas gifts you gave to them? On the other hand, do you want them to remember something about celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, such as blowing out the candles on Jesus’ birthday cake or reading the story of the birth of Jesus from the Bible before opening the gifts? “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3 By

Have you seen the Trimmings on the Christmas Tree?

December 17, 2015
The Christmas tree, the greatest symbol of Christmas is an evergreen tree, representing life. The custom of erecting a Christmas tree can be historically traced to 15th century. “The tree was traditionally decorated with edibles such as apples, nuts, or other foods. In the 18th century, it began to be illuminated by candles, which were ultimately replaced by Christmas lights after the advent of electrification. Today, there are a wide variety of traditional ornaments, such as garland, tinsel, and candy canes. An angel or star might be placed at the top of the tree to represent the angel Gabriel or the Star of Bethlehem from the Nativity. [1]                     The branches on the evergreen tree, remind us of the many roles we have in our lives such as parenting, grandparenting, great-grandparenting. They also remind us of all the relationships we have with our family, friends, neighbors, our careers, hobbies, activities, sports etc. As we submit, each of these branches to God He can adorn them with ornaments, as He develops our character, with the fruit of the Spirit. Let’s look at the ornaments on the tree representing the fruit of the Spirit. When we accept God’s unconditional LOVE in our hearts allowing His love to flow through us to others he will give us JOY. Our hearts will be full of joy amidst the daily challenges of our lives because “The joy of the Lord will be our strength.” When we experience the JOY of the Lord as our strength, we will have PEACE. PEACE is calmness in our hearts amidst the challenges we face, extending through our lives to others. After our adorning with love, joy, and peace, we will be empowered with PATIENCE, an attitude that does not lose hope for others even if they irritate or hurt us. KINDNESS expressed with our words and deeds to a sad or lonely heart may be their connection for Jesus. Then GOODNESS will flow into good works from our kind heart reflecting the character of God attracting others to Jesus. Another ornament placed on the tree is FAITHFULNESS. Just as God is faithful to us, it is important that we too, are dependable and trustworthy with others. Faithfulness brings us to GENTLENESS, an ability to be pleasant, composed and controlled in the daily challenges of life. The last ornament we will place on the tree is SELF-CONTROL, which adorns our lives with the character of strength to restrain us from doing wrong. We cannot have self-control without all the other ornaments. Then the tree will be wrapped with a garland of God’s righteousness and the star will be placed on the top directing people to Jesus. We will plug in the lights illuminating the tree representing Jesus the light of the world, a symbol of hope. Just as we have beautiful Christmas trees in our homes, our lives will be beautiful when adorned with the fruit of the spirit. This year

An Answer for a Blue and Gloomy Christmas

December 21, 2015
Does the song, “I’ll be home for Christmas”¹ Frank Sinatra made popular in the 50’s make you blue and gloomy because you are not going to see all of your family during this Christmas season make you sad? Grandparents love to be with their loved ones to celebrate Christmas, the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. My husband and I will miss several of our family members this year at our family gathering, so we share that disappointment with you. However, during my winter morning routine of sitting by the fire, having a cup of tea I was reading from my favorite devotional book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I was reminded of the wonderful gift of God’s presence in my life and the peace that is available to fill my deepest longings when my focus is on Him. God never meant for us to be self-sufficient, He designed us to need Him so we will stay close to Him and be complete in Him. He is sitting at the right hand of God waiting for us to bring our lonely heavy hearts to Him to experience His peace, which only He can give. Very often, I want to figure out how to solve my own issues. Sometimes I try to bury or deny my neediness by pacifying my longings with people or possessions. God carefully designed our longings and feelings of incompleteness, to point us to Him to weather the storms of life. Sarah Young also writes from Jesus Calling, “When your focus is broad enough to include Me in your thoughts, you feel safe and complete. When your perception narrows so that problems or details fill your consciousness, you feel empty and incomplete.”² During the Christmas season, we often hear Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a Child is born and He will be called Wonderful Counselor”. A counselor is an adviser, an advocate or one who gives guidance and instruction. With the promise of Jesus as our counselor, ask yourself, “What need am I holding in my heart, that I can trust God for guidance today?” As believers in Jesus Christ, we have the privilege to wrap our neediness, our concerns, our loneliness, and our worries into a package and give it to Jesus this Christmas. He is waiting to receive your package so He can give us a gift, which will be beyond our comprehension.     Prayer Dear Father, I come to you with all my neediness. Forgive me for trying to bury and deny my thoughts and feelings, pacifying my deepest wishes with people or possessions. Help me to focus my thoughts on You so I will be aware of your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.     ¹ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pk-SLQPYJ0 ² Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004). p 358.