Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What is Your Focus?

When I decided to write this blog, along with using it to share resources, reviews, recipes, craft ideas, etc - lots of fun things - I wanted it to have a real purpose . . . real meaning. So, I developed a "reason" - vision - for grandma's cookie jar . . . 
"just as grandma's cookie jar should always be full of good things, this blog will be full of good ideas, information, activities and reviews of things to help grandma . . . and grandpa, mom and dad too . . . pass on a heritage of faith to the children in their lives!" 
I believe a grandma - and grandpa, mom and/or dad - should most certainly enjoy the opportunities they have to "enjoy the good things" with their grandchildren/children, but always be watching for the opportunities to connect those "good things" back to our faith, so we are able to pass on a heritage of faith to our grandchildren/children. There is NOTHING more important to me than to know my children and grandchildren know, love and want to walk with God every day! So, while grandma's cookie jar has - and will continue to have - a lot of "fun" things in it, there is a reason . . . a point . . . a focus for all the "fun" . . . to "pass on a heritage of faith"!

When it comes to grandparenting/parenting there is often more than one thing to focus on . . . caring for grandchildren's/children's physical needs, caring for our own needs, watching for opportunities to challenge grandchildren/children to try new things, to grow and learn, being sure to listen to the things which are happening in their lives, being sure the cookie jar is always full :^) . . . the list could, and often does, go on and on. but what is your real focus? What is the one thing you really need to keep at the top of your list?

I believe it is spiritual growth. We can not 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 and lose sight of the one thing we really need to be focused on . . . knowing and walking with Jesus. 

So . . . as you approach your opportunities to grandparent/parent this week, consider the following focus which we can find in Psalm 86 - there is one for each month of the year . . . 

  1. I will depend on God and put myself in His hands! 
  2. I will cry to God for help because I know I can call on Him and I'm confident He will answer!
  3. I know there is no one like God!
  4. I will give honor to God and put His work on display - showing His Greatness because there is no one but God!
  5. I'll ask God to train me to walk straight so I can follow His true path!
  6. I need God to put me together, one heart and mind so undivided I'll worship Him in joyful fear!
  7. From the bottom of my heart I thank God!
  8. I will not keep secret what God is up to!
  9. I will share how God has shown His great love to me!
  10. I will praise God because He is both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love and He never, never quits!
  11. I wait in anticipation of how God will look me in the eye and show His kindness by giving me the strength to go on!
  12. I joyfully anticipate how God will show His love for me as He gently and powerfully puts me back on my feet!
Psalm 86 . . . 1-7 Bend an ear, God; answer me. I'm one miserable wretch! Keep me safe—haven't I lived a good life?  Help your servant—I'm depending on you! You're my God; have mercy on me. I count on you from morning to night. Give your servant a happy life; I put myself in your hands! You're well-known as good and forgiving, bighearted to all who ask for help. Pay attention, God, to my prayer; bend down and listen to my cry for help. Every time I'm in trouble I call on you, confident that you'll answer. 
8-10 There's no one quite like you among the gods, O Lord, and nothing to compare with your works. All the nations you made are on their way, ready to give honor to you, O Lord, Ready to put your beauty on display, parading your greatness, And the great things you do— God, you're the one, there's no one but you!
11-17 Train me, God, to walk straight; then I'll follow your true path. Put me together, one heart and mind; then, undivided, I'll worship in joyful fear. From the bottom of my heart I thank you, dear Lord; I've never kept secret what you're up to. You've always been great toward me—what love! You snatched me from the brink of disaster! God, these bullies have reared their heads! A gang of thugs is after me— and they don't care a thing about you. But you, O God, are both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit. So look me in the eye and show kindness, give your servant the strength to go on, save your dear, dear child! Make a show of how much you love me so the bullies who hate me will stand there slack-jawed, As you, God, gently and powerfully put me back on my feet. (The Message)

Whether you find Psalm 86 helpful to you in keeping your focus, or something else, determine your focus and then keep it in view!

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