Grandchildren

Today’s Truth: However, be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you don’t forget the things which you have seen with your own eyes. Don’t let them fade from your memory as long as you live. Teach them to your children and grandchildren. Deuteronomy 4:9 (GW)

From My Heart To Yours:

I am fortunate enough to be blessed with 3 grown children and 7 grandchildren. 4 of them live in the same town as I do, 1 lives 1 1/2 away in another town and the last one lives 2 hours away in a different town. We always try to find time for us to visit the grandkids or for them to visit us. Last week I kept the youngest grandchild, Bryson, who is almost 1-year-old, for 5 days. This weekend I have the other 6 grandchildren for 10 days. Whew I am tired just thinking about it.

The scripture for today is one that I try hard to remember and practice every time I am with my grandchildren. I really do love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul and all my mind and I want them to love Him as I do. Every time I am with them I try to find ways to add God into the conversation.

Over the next 10 days I plan to blog about my grandbabies, better known as gbabies, and tell you some of the creative ways we get to talk about God. I will also share with you things they tell me about God. This should be an interesting week of God talk. I am sure I will learn a few things from them about God that I did not know before and I can’t wait to share those with you too.

I have always known that I was blessed to have seen all my children grow up, get married and have children of their own but the scriptures talks about grandparents and grandchildren quite a bit.  God’s word describes blessing and gives instructions for grandparents.

Promises, Blessings and Instructions:

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.  Proverbs 17:6 (ESV)   I feel like a Queen with my gbabies.  It is wonderful to see the smiles, the excitement and shrills when I visit.  To them you can never do any wrong.  They love you even if you discipline them.  They take everything to heart that you say and hang on every word you speak.  If you say it they believe it!

May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!  Psalm 128:6 (ESV) It’s a blessing if you get to see your children’s children yet with the blessing comes great responsibilities.  I think it funny when I see the gbabies displaying some of the same traits that their parents have.  Every says, “When I grow up and have kids I will never….”  When they grow up guess what?  They do what they said they would never do.  Now they understand why their parents did it in the first place.  It gives me great pride and joy to see that the gbabies really are a lot like their parents because they have great parents.

“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.” Isaiah 59:21 (ESV)  This scripture is a wonderful promise if we are telling our gbabies about God.  When I was a parent I was so busy working or cleaning or taking care of other things that I constantly stressed about everything.  Today’s culture is even more stressful for parents.  Because the parents are running here and running there, taking the kids to swim lessons, dance lesson and ball games they may not have the time to talk to the kids about God like we do as grandparents.  While our children, now parents themselves, are getting busier we, as grandparents, are slowing down.  Why do you think that is?  I think it is because with age comes wisdom.  We begin to see parenting differently.  We see life differently.  We see God differently.  We know as our life begins to slow down what things are most important in life.  God really becomes number one and a sense of urgency comes upon us to share that with those we love, to make a difference with the next generation.  Speak God’s words to your grandchildren, read them the bible, share stories of things he has done for you and their parents, tell them the bible stories in a way that they will remember them.  Speak the words to them so that will speak the words to their children and their grandchildren.

Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. 1 Timothy 5:3-4 (ESV)This is a long gone tradition but one that needs to resurface.  I remember as a little child my great-grandmother lived with us.  Her hospital bed sat in the middle of our living room.  We helped my mother take care of all her needs from food to bathing.  I can still hear her telling us stories of the old days and things about my dad that we thought were funny and interesting.  We loved her so much and missed her dearly after she passed.  I am very proud of my parents.  They made huge sacrifices to take care of my great-mother.  I always thought my parents were great parents, and they were, but they were also being obedient to what God said they should do.  I want to instill this in my children and grandchildren as well.

You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, Exodus 20:5 (ESV)  We must remember that what we do will affect our children and grandchild down the road.  As my pastor husband says “Your children will be more like you than you can ever imagine”.  Parents have to be aware at all times that our personalities, our behaviors, our traditions, our opinions etc will pass on to our children.  These things will pass on to our children’s children and to the third and fourth generation.  I want to be responsible for passing on things that make a difference.  Things of God.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord, as parents, aunts and/or grandparents we know the long-term effects we can have on the little ones in our family.  Sometimes, we forget how important it is to make our conversations with them about you. Help us to remember to share our stories of blessings, the stories in the Bible and to encourage them to love you with all their heart, all their soul and all their minds. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

 

The Old Oak Tree

Today’s Truth: Revelation 2:4-5, “4 However, I have this against you: The love you had at first is gone. 5 Remember how far you have fallen. Return to me and change the way you think and act, and do what you did at first…..” (GW)

From My Heart To Yours:

If you were born after in the 90’s you will probably laugh as you watch the following video.  Now try to listen to the words of the song and not focus on the large mustache.  If you were born before or right after 1973, go ahead and sing along, you know you want to.  By the way, I immediately wanted to search for, watch and sing Knock Three Times, didn’t you?!?!  Oh no, I couldn’t help myself…found it, watched and sang it too.

This popular song, Tie A Yellow Ribbon by Tony Orlando and Dawn, was based on the true story of a convict returning from jail who requested a sign from his wife to indicate that she would welcome him home. First he writes her a letter and puts it in the mail, text messaging, emails or cell phones didn’t exist back then.  Ok so go ahead and laugh again those of you who laughed earlier.  He doesn’t wait for her to rejection him, instead he jumps on a bus to go to her. In his letter he ask her give him a visual sign that she will take him back, a yellow ribbon around a tree he remembers in the front yard of her home.

As the song goes on you can hear the anticipation, urgency and yes even fear in the lyrics as he gets closer to her house.  Rejection will be hard but easier to handle if he doesn’t have to see her face to face and hear the word NO.  That’s why he has ask for visual sign.

Almost there, tension building, all the feelings of rejection and discouragement overwhelm him to the point that he can’t even look, can’t look for the sign he asked for a simple yellow ribbon around big old oak tree that he remembers standing in the front yard.  He has pulled the other passengers on the bus into his story by telling them about his love and how he hopes she will take him back, about the simple sign of acceptance he hopes to see and his fear of not seeing it.

The passengers tell him he doesn’t even have to look, they will be his eyes.  They too are now hoping and looking for HIS yellow ribbon on the tree.  As they near the house I can see EVERYONE but the man standing on the same side of the bus stretching to see over the others to see if the simple yellow ribbon requested is on the tree.  I can imagine as the man hears the shouts and cheers is he excited and stands to see what they see. It turned out that he was very welcomed home: there were a hundred yellow ribbons on that old oak tree.  Whew, I almost want to cry and shout with joy myself as I am typing the description of this song.

This song really hits home with me not because I have lost an old love who was in prison or been separated from husband before, but because I know so many who have lost their love for Jesus.  Todays scripture talks about returning to your first love, God.  So many have strayed far away from God, almost forgotten that they were saved.  Fear somehow replaced the faith they once had, causing them to run away from God and go back into the sinful world of the flesh to satisfy their doubt and unbelief.  Have you or someone you know left God, been a prison of sin, and want to return but you have the same fears and anxiety about rejection as the man had in this song?

If you want to return to God you can do it.  First you have to decide that you are tired of doing it your own way and remember that doing things God way is more satisfying.  Proverbs 14:14 says: A heart that turns from God becomes bored with its own ways, but a good person is satisfied with God’s ways.(GW)  YOU and only you can decide that you are tired of living the way you are.

God wants you to come back home to him.  He knew that some of us would wonder so he has made a way for us to return home.  You are not the first nor only one to stray away from God.  He tells us in Jeremiah 6:22 “Come back, you rebellious people, and I will forgive you for being unfaithful….” (GW)

So how do you return to God? So change the way you think and act, and turn to God to have your sins removed Acts 3:19  (GW)   Ask God to forgive you, get back into the word, and let God blot out your sins. It’s that simple. Just pray and ask God to forgive you and clean you up and HE DOES.  How wonderful and amazing is that?  No rejection letter, no door slammed in your face, just yellow ribbons all over the oak tree for you.  Just like in the song not only will God say yes but He will say emphatically yes.

Now that you have been given the forgiveness to come home you should be careful so you do not stray away again. Jesus said, “Stay awake, and pray that you won’t be tempted. You want to do what’s right, but you’re weak.”, Matthew 26:41(GW).  Tell other Christians about your return home to let them rejoice with you, like the passengers on the bus rejoiced with the man in the song.  Ask them to pray for you and with you.  Welcome home my friend.

Let’s Pray: 

Dear Lord, I am sorry for leaving You, my first love.   Sometimes the pull from the world is so strong that I can lose my way.  Help me to stay strong through the reading of your word, prayer and meeting together with other Christian brothers and sisters. Thank you for forgiving me, for loving me and for allowing me to come home.  Let my light burn brightly once more for you.  Hear my heart, Lord, and ignite my passion for you in a, fresh and dynamic way.  In Jesus Name. AMEN.