“Grandparents, like heroes, are as necessary to a child’s growth as vitamins.” Joyce Allston
As a little girl, I remember my grandma being around a lot. She and my grandpa owned a radiator business where she worked energetically keeping books, answering phones, managing collections and even making deliveries. She was a female force of nature in a man’s world, and she always let me “help.”
When I was a teenager, life began to get more complicated, especially when my parents divorced. Grandma always listened and sympathized. I knew she understood when no one else did.
As an adult, our relationship grew even closer. She praised me, complimented me, and cheered me on. I always felt prettier, smarter, and more capable in her presence than with anyone else. I was her favorite. Or so I thought.
In 1993 I blew out my knee in a skiing accident; and back then ACL repair was pretty difficult surgery. The day after I got out of the hospital, Grandma Mamie went in to have heart surgery. It didn’t enter my mind that she could ever really die. At my husband’s urging, I mustered my strength and went for a pre-op visit.
We prayed and held hands. She said, “No matter how this turns out it will be OK because I’ll either feel better on earth or a lot better in heaven … and God will take care of both of us.” She felt a lot better … with Jesus the next day. I did not. But I clung to her words, knowing that she wanted me to rely on the Lord for comfort.
I am now a grandma to three toddlers and feel richly blessed to have had my grandmothers as well as my mother and step-mom to model this role for me so beautifully.
I am a rookie, so won’t offer personal advice but according to some of the wisest grandmas I know (including my mother-in-law) these are the things Godly grandparents do:
- Pray for them to continually be immersed in the knowledge and love of God at an early age and even to finding mates of God’s choosing.
- Perceive and reflect their worth and affirm God’s calling on their lives.
- Listen to them any time they want to talk.
- Gently offer wise counsel to encourage them in their faith and character development.
- Love them unconditionally … don’t be afraid that you’ll “spoil” them.
- Be creative, fun, and affectionate.
- Respect their parents and never undermine their authority.
Proverbs 17:6 says that,
“Grandchildren are the crown of the aged…”
No wise person would ever neglect their “crown” or what they value most. Being a God-honoring grandparent is a huge job and when you get it, you’re the one who can do it best. It is, however, your decision.
If you are fortunate enough to have a grandparent still living, take advantage of what they have to offer. Share your heart, ask their advice, and listen to their stories filled with a wealth of experiences. Appreciate their humor, affection, and wisdom. Tell them what they mean to you and how they’ve influenced your life.
“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life…” says Proverbs 10:11.
My grandmother spoke encouraging words of life, love, and comfort. I know her secret was that she made each of her grandkids believe they were her favorite. What an auspicious legacy to carry on, possibly even with children who have no one to call Grandma or Grandpa.
Walking the Floodwall
By: Ryan Duncan, crosswalk.org
“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” – Luke 2:52
I have a confession to make; last Sunday I skipped church. I actually had a very good excuse: I wanted to spend more time with God. I know that sounds pretty strange, and I’m certainly not saying Christians should start ditching on Sundays, but that morning as I was getting ready to leave I couldn’t help feeling (much to my surprise) that the Holy Spirit didn’t want me to go to Church that day.
So instead, I stayed home and started reading the Bible. I’d only planned on reading two chapters that morning, but I ended up reading eight. Occasionally I’d re-read passages to let the words sink in or underline verses that stood out to me. After I’d finished, I went outside and started walking. There’s a floodwall near my apartment that acts as a kind of jogging trail, and as I made my way across it, I talked with God.
I just started praying, telling God about the things going on in my life. My worries, my hopes, what I was grateful for, I let it all pour out as I made my way to the end of the trail. To be honest, it was the closest I’d been to God in a long time. Looking back on it now, I can see God has a sense of humor. Not only did I spend three hours meditating with God, (an hour and a half longer than my usual Church service) but the first chapter I read that morning was Luke 2, which contains one of Jesus own experiences with our Heavenly Father.
“After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.” – Luke 2: 43-50
Sometimes, Church can become a ritual. We go, we sing the songs, we sit through the sermon, and then forget everything once we’ve left. We allow our Sunday services to become our faith, and our time with God starts looking more like something out of a self-help seminar. But God doesn’t just want our attendance on Sundays, he wants us. I think this story in Luke to shows us what our time with God should really be like.
For Jesus, his Father’s house was a place of safety, a place where he could grow and mature, a place to listen and at the same time be heard. So the next time you go to Church, don’t go out of habit, but apply the lessons to your life, and when you sing, sing for Christ.
“With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God.” – Acts 3:8-9 NASB
For many people, Christianity is just a religion, an option to be considered, a philosophy of life, or a set of teachings that may or may not be true.
But everything changes when we have a personal encounter with God by experiencing a supernatural work or witnessing a miracle. When we know the joy of being forgiven and born again and realize that everything in the Bible is true, we are transformed! We realize that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life! He is alive and still answers prayer.
Consider the reaction of a cripple in first-century Jerusalem. He “had been lame from his mother’s womb” (v. 2). It seemed like a hopeless situation.
Then Peter spoke to him, and instantly the man stood up and could walk. Unable to contain his joy, he entered the temple “walking and leaping and praising God.” God emerged from the pages of history and became very real.
The amazing thing is that miracles like this still take place today. We receive answers when answers seem impossible; we receive supernatural healing and wisdom from above. Our sins are forgiven, and we experience the fruit and gifts of the Spirit.
How real is God to you? Remember that He desires to have an intimate relationship with you. He is ready to be involved in your life, to answer your prayers, to provide everything you need.
An appeal to sinners
“This man receiveth sinners.” Luke 15:2
Suggested Further Reading: Ephesians 1:3-8
Allow us just to amplify that word: “this man receiveth sinners.” Now, by that we understand that he receives sinners to all the benefits which he has purchased for them. If there be a fountain, he receives sinners to wash them in it; if there be medicine for the soul, he receives sinners to heal their diseases; if there be a house for the sick, an hospital, a home for the dying, he receives such into that retreat of mercy. All that he has of love, all that he has of mercy, all that he has of atonement, all that he has of sanctification, all that he has of righteousness—to all these he receives the sinner. Yea, more; not content with taking him to his house, he receives him to his heart. He takes the black and filthy sinner, and having washed him—“There,” he says, “thou art my beloved; my desire is towards thee.” And to consummate the whole, at last he receives the saints to heaven. Saints, I said, but I meant those who were sinners, for none can be saints truly, but those who once were sinners, and have been washed in the blood of Christ, and made white through the sacrifice of the lamb. Observe it then, beloved, that in receiving sinners we mean the whole of salvation; and this word in my text, “Christ receiveth sinners,” grasps in the whole of the covenant. He receives them to the joys of paradise, to the bliss of the beatified, to the songs of the glorified, to an eternity of happiness for ever. “This man receiveth sinners;” and I dwell with special emphasis on this point,—he receives none else. He will have none else to be saved but those who know themselves to be sinners.
For meditation: Contrast whom Christ receives with all that they receive in him in return (Luke 15:20-24). Are you one of them?