The first ever national Grandparenting Summit (conference) in Frisco, Texas is history. What an amazing experience being part of a movement of God to call an army of godly grandparents to a life of intentionality that matters for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Larry Fowler, CEO of the Legacy Coalition, and the man behind the vision for the movement, gave a stirring challenge to all of us from the very first session to stand up and declare our commitment to this cause. At the end of this blog I will share that Declaration written by Larry, but embraced by hundreds of attendees at this conference.
Before we look at that declaration, I thought it would be valuable to share some of Larry’s thoughts about four different kinds of Christian grandparents. I would urge you to consider them and ask yourself which one best describes you. Here we go…
Traditions for the sake of tradition tend toward irrelevance. However, traditions rooted in meaning and purpose, when observed with intentionality and some measure of creativity, can be transformational. Advent is one of those traditions. It is also one often neglected or ignored.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent on the Church calendar. Historically it was a time set aside to help believers prepare to receive the fullness of Jesus’ coming. This time of preparation stands in stark contrast to the chaotic and greed-centric practices of Americans today rushing to snatch the best deals offered by equally greedy merchants as soon as the Thanksgiving meal is done. In the Advent season we find a time to pause and reflect on something so profound and remarkable as the coming of Messiah to redeem those who receive Him, and the coming again of Messiah to claim His redeemed.
Preparation for Advent is more than lighting the candles of the Advent wreath and quoting some scriptures.
I will make every effort to see that after my departure
you will always be able to remember these things. 2 Peter 1:15
What do tattoos and intentional grandparents have in common?
Valerie Bell, CEO of Awana, addressed 800 grandparents last week at the National Legacy Grandparenting Summit in Frisco, Texas, explains the common thread.
“It is important that grandparents tattoo the truth of God’s love and grace on their hearts because there is a battle for the heart of a child in the world.” She shared a vivid illustration of how making an impression upon a child’s heart is much like a tattoo artist’s needle. His needle pricks the skin repeatedly—up to 3000 times per minute—injecting an insoluble ink to create a permanent image. In the same way, intentional grandparents repeatedly prick the heart of their grandchildren with the stories of God’s truth and grace.
Remember! Do not forget! Impress upon their hearts! The command to remember is throughout the Bible, and the key to remembering is repetition.
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely
so that you do not forget. (Deut. 4:9)
Which is easiest to remember—the positive things that have happened to you, or the negative, painful things? We have a propensity as human being to remember the negative things more easily than the positive ones. In fact, researchers say that we could have nineteen positive experiences during any given day, and one negative one, but it will be the negative one we will most remember and dwell on.
Remembering requires intentionality. It is the constant warning of prophets and patriarchs. “Be careful”, “watch yourself closely”, “do not forget”, remember”! Why? Because we are so prone to wander and forget who God is and what He has done in the past. And that has devastating consequences.
Janet Thompson, author of Forsaken God? Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture, says, “If we don’t remember what God already has done, we won’t believe what he is capable of doing in the future. Memory builds faith… Most [believers] don’t intentionally forget God; they just don’t try hard enough to remember him.” (pg. 21)
Being a Grandparent of a Child with Special Needs
Emily Pearl Kingsley wrote an article in 1987, called Welcome to Holland, about her journey as the mother of a child with disability. Essentially, it was about how being a parent of a child with disability is akin to planning a trip to Italy, only to find out that the plane you were on was actually destined for Holland, an entirely different place and culture than you had planned.
The point of her article was that we all have certain expectations about what the parenting journey will be like. For the parents of children with disability, it is important to understand that the change of destination in whatever dreams a parent may have is just a different place—not better or worse, just different. She concludes by saying, “if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.”
- What Shapes Your Legacy of Truth?
- Should You Be a Surrogate Grandparent?
- Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite!
- The Price of Foolishness
- How to Make Work a Blessing... Not Just a Job
- Do We Have a Delivery Notification Problem?
- Don't Let Your Grandchildren Lose Their History
- Four Things You Can Do to Make a Difference
- Six Questions Worth Asking Your Grandchildren
- Too Much to Lose
We need your help to reach our $40,000 Project Goal for 2016 to equip and empower today's grandparents to live out their biblical roles. Our projects include...
- Ministry Partner training and development
- GIA (Grandparents In Action) series, and
- DIY GrandCamp Manual
Four Kinds of Christian Grandparents - Part One12.04.2016 10:48
PRAYER FOR A GRANDDAUGHTER12.01.2016 02:27
The Tattoo Principle11.20.2016 06:19