Thursday, December 31, 2015

This grandma's Promise

For 2015, 2016 and for all time, this promise is absolutely my promise . . . 
I may not be able to take my sweet grandsons to fancy places. I may not be able to buy these dear boys the newest, coolest and most awesome toys and gadgets. I may not be able to give them every thing they may want, but I absolutely will be sure the words I say fill their hearts with joy and remind them how ever so much they are loved!  
I will always put aside my computer and make room in my lap for sweet boys to snuggle (after all, a grandma's lap is not a place for a computer; it is a place for a grandson)! I will always greet these three gifts from the hand of God with a smile on my face, in my eyes and filling my heart! I will be certain to be generous with the words, "I love you; forever and for always!" and most importantly; I will be absolutely certain these three boys who fill my heart with love and make it so very happy, know as much as their grandma loves them . . . and it is a whole lot; God loves them even more!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Using Bacon

Image result for clipart of baconDo you have things in your life which you think you will never use? Things you had to learn or do, mostly when you were younger? Well I do . . . or at least I did, until this morning that is!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Some Feed-back Requested . . .

I've been writing the past few days about things which really matter - and those which do not. Of all the things we can choose to spend our time and resources on, those which involve developing a relationship with our grandchildren, so we can pass on our faith to them, are the things which are most important.

So, today I want to ask you, my readers, for some feed-back. Does the church you attend have a ministry for grandparents which engages, equips and encourages them to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren? If so, please email me (lyndagcj@gmail.com). I'd most sincerely appreciate the opportunity to talk with them to find out what they are doing.

Does the church you attend currently not have a ministry for grandparents which engages, equips and encourages them to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren, but they might be interested in hearing about how they can? If so, please email me. I'd most sincerely appreciate the opportunity to talk with them to share information about the Legacy Coalition (a ministry I'm part of which is focused on doing exactly this).

Monday, December 28, 2015

Thankful or Wantful??? Top Five Blessings for which I'm Most Thankful!

Image result for clipart for top fiveYesterday I wrote about my Top Five Reasons for Being There (you'll find it at this link), so today I want to talk a little about being thankful and then share my Top Five Blessings for which I'm Most Thankful.

We have been thinking and talking in the past couple months about being thankful and how we can help our grandchildren learn to be truly thankful people. But, I wonder, how thankful are we? Are we really thankful, or do we have to have more clothes, a new car every year or other year, a bigger, newer house, new gadgets, new phones, new tech, more vacations, more time golfing . . . the list can - and often does - go on and on.

Are we truly thankful . . . or are we actually "wantful"?

And, what is it we, "want"? Do we actually want the things mentioned above, or do we want things which really matter; such as, time with our families, being able to see our children/grandchildren grow to love, know and walk with God, becoming people who are serious about prayer, being a truly generous person . . . again, this list can go on and on as well.

In this day and age it is all too easy to turn our attention upon ourselves as we get older and retire. It is all too easy to adopt the "me-attitude" of our world and care more about experiencing and enjoying a life of ease and comfort. If this is what we do, we will pay a huge price for it . . . and I'm not talking about the dollars we will spend to do this . . . although there will be many dollars spent to have this type of retirement life.

The true cost will be in what really matters, as we may find ourselves lose our ability to influence our grandchildren and pass on a heritage of faith. Like I said, we may lose what really matters.

We need to be the grandparents who understand what really matters, who are truly thankful for the blessings which are most valuable and who are serious about living the life God gives to our dying breath - not "retiring" from it all to live for ourselves in our final years.

So, I want to share with you my Top Five Blessings for which I'm Most Thankful . . . 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Our Top Five Reasons for Being There

Image result for Clipart for most important
I have friends who were telling me about how they only let their grandchildren spend time at their homes a couple times a month. They said they thought it was "wise" to set "limits", so their own children did not take advantage of them when it came to taking care of their grandchildren. They said this "freed them up" to be able to enjoy their retirement.

I love my friends, but think they have completely missed what wisdom is when it comes to their grandchildren. I am happy to spend time with my grandchildren as often as possible. My grandsons have at least one sleepover at my house each week and typically on Wednesdays I pick them up from school and spend the rest of the day with them. (I take them to my church, where they participate in the mid-week ministry for children before they go home.)

So, why do I believe it is real wisdom to spend as much time with my grandchildren as I can? Consider the following . . .

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Three-Eyed, Big Nosed, Spotted Alien Hats

Each year, for the past several, I've crocheted a hat for my grandsons for Christmas. We live in a snowy state - typically - and winters are cold here; I want their little heads to be warm. Plus, if you have to wear a hat, I figure it might as well be fun . . . and a little silly and crazy is fine, too!

Happy Day After Christmas!

I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas with your families. I had a very unique Christmas - our power was out, due to a very strong windstorm, and our generator stopped working, so Christmas plans had to be changed. We were going to have family over to celebrate, but instead visited our son, daughter-in-law and grandsons and postponed our plans for dinner to Tuesday night.

I'm very happy to say my grandsons had so much joy and thankfulness over the gifts they received; there was no attitude of wanting or "needing" more gifts! I know these boys will be very happy for many, many days, weeks, months and years to come for the gifts they received.

So, today I'm sharing my final Christmas carol, and want to encourage you, as you go through today remember; "Even when Christmas is over the Light of the World is still here!"

Friday, December 25, 2015

It's Christmas . . .

Christmas star decoration with blue background and Jesus is the reason for the season lettering clip art of manger pictureIt is Christmas - while we typically celebrate on Christmas Eve at my parents with my siblings, their families and my family, we had a power outage due to high winds and no power at my parents - or my house, since we live across the street from them. Our celebrating has been postponed this year. It feels strange to not be enjoying the typical traditions, but while all the celebrating is fun; something I look forward to each year, the most important thing is taking time to thank God for the reason we are able to celebrate . . . the birth of Jesus!

So, while I most sincerely miss the power (our generator has given up the ghost), I am reminding myself about what really matters. Christmas is far more than gifts, celebrating, meals - and even more than electricity in our homes. Even when I do not have those things, I still have Jesus and God's gift of Grace and these are what really matters.

If you know Jesus, then I'm sure you'll be celebrating one of the most important happenings in all of history, too! If you do not yet know Him, I pray this year you will come to know Him Who loves you so much, He was willing to leave Heaven, be born as a tiny baby in a stable and ultimately grow up and give His life on a cross so we can be forgiven! Talk about the best Gift ever!!!

Merry Christmas everyone, and thank you for reading my blog!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Guardian "Angels" & I Am Ever So Thankful!

My son, daughter-in-law and grandsons live in a nice
neighborhood. They have nice neighbors and nice little homes - the houses were probably built in the '50's, but are all kept up nicely. 

They also have a dog . . . a lovely blue/grey pit named Gimli.

I tell you all this because I want to say how tremendously thankful I am for how God protected them. The other night, in the middle of the night, Gimli ran to their door barking and growling with extreme "focus". There were men on the other side of the door who were trying to pick the lock. Needless to say, they left when they heard what sounded like a huge, fearsome dog on the other side of the door. (Other homes in this nice neighborhood were broken into the same night.)

My Christmas Carol for You - Jesus Joy of Man's Desiring & Joy to the World

I enjoy Christmas "Flash Mobs" . . . I think it would be fun to be part of one, so today I'm happy to share with you a very well done, "flash mob" - this time it by the Air Force Band, starting with a single cellist (my personal favorite musical instrument) on the floor of the National Air and Space Museum's Milestones of Flight gallery. By the end of this four minute performance there are 120 musicians and vocalists playing and singing to the delight and surprise of those who visited the museum!  

While we are all likely able to sing from memory, Joy to the World, Jesus, Joy of Man's Desiring (written by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1716 and 1723) is one we may recognize, but not know, so I looked up the words to share with you, along with Joy to the World, which was written by Isaac Watts in 1719 and was based on Psalm 98. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

This Christmas Be the Gift God Wants You to Be!

Today, rather than share another Christmas carol, I want to share a few thoughts about Christmas. While it is the time of the year when we tend to be more joyful, more merry . . . at least, many of us are, it can also be a very sad time of year for some of us, our neighbors or children who go to school with our grandchildren if they are experiencing difficult times in their families. Along with helping our grandchildren worship and celebrate the birth of Jesus, we need to also help them learn how to be on the watch for those children and families who may need our help. Watch for . . . 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Absolute Joy!

Image result for clipart for joyThis weekend my grandsons were at my house and we were talking about why Jesus came and how when we ask Him for forgiveness, He answers and forgives us! Caleb (four years old) said; "I did this!" 

Josiah, the older brother (seven years old), said; "What did you do, Caleb?" Caleb said, "I asked Jesus to forgive me." Josiah said; "So, you asked Jesus to forgive you for your sins?" Caleb answered; "Yes." To which Josiah said; "Good! Then now you will be able to go to Heaven one day!"

This grandma enjoyed listening to these two, sweet boys talk about being forgiven and yes, I feel absolute joy! There is nothing more important, or better, than knowing my grandsons have made the choice to follow God! 

My Christmas Carol for Today - This Baby - by Steven Curtis Chapman

Image result for baby Jesus clipartYesterday was a busy day around my house . . . my grandsons spent Saturday night and Sunday night my oldest grandson sang in the children's choir at church - busy and wonderful! This grandma was very happy to sit in the audience and see his sweet, smiling face as he sang!

So, today I'm very happy to share another "Christmas carol" with you - this time it is a song I've never heard before, but one I really like . . . "This Baby", by Steven Curtis Chapman . . . 

Look at the lyrics -

Saturday, December 19, 2015

My Chistmas Carol for Today - It's About the Cross

Christmas is NOT about the presents. Christmas is NOT about the tree. Christmas is NOT about the decorations. Christmas is NOT about the cookies. Christmas is NOT about a lot of the things we so easily become distracted by . . . Christmas IS about the Cross. It IS about God's love! It is the reason Jesus came to be born as a baby. He came so we can have new life! 

Look at the lyrics . . . 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Celebrate! Merry Christmas!

Thank you to each of you who take the time to read grandma's cookie jar; I most sincerely appreciate you all! 

Since I can not mail each of you a Christmas card, I thought I'd post my card to you here on grandma's cookie jar!

My grandsons helped make these cards - as I wrote about a couple days ago - and they prayed for you . . . they prayed everyone who received a card would experience a joy-filled year and come to know and walk with God closer in the coming year.

This is my prayer for all of you, too!

Merry Christmas!

My Christmas Carol for You - All is Well - Carrie Underwood & Michael W Smith

There are many, "peppy" and "spunky" Christmas songs, but the song I chose for today is one which is simply lovely in every way. The music is played by Michael W Smith on a piano and a full orchestra - beautiful. The singing is by Carrie and Michael - lovely. And the message in the words is one of hope, comfort and joy . . . perfect!

Look at the lyrics for All is Well . . . 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A New Tradition - Gingerbread House

We have a new, "tradition" with our three, sweet boys. Last year, and now this year, we got a Gingerbread House kit and helped the boys assemble their house. This year Caleb picked the house kit he wanted at the store, then we took it to his house, so he and his brothers could build and decorate it.

Little Shane (two years old) fell soundly asleep in the house, but Caleb and Josiah were happy to eat candy, apply frosting, eat candy, add candy, eat candy . . . did I mention they enjoyed eating the candy???!!!

My Christmas Carol for You - While You Were Sleeping - Casting Crowns

We are all familiar with how there was no place for Jesus to be born - most of us think there was no room in the inn, but it is very, very possible the place where there really was no room was in Joseph's family's home. They knew Mary was pregnant without first being married and may not have wanted her in their home - leaving just the stable for her and Joseph to find shelter when Jesus was born.

Regardless of whether it was an actual inn, or family, when Jesus was born, He was not greeted by a warm, soft bed in a home, hotel or hospital. He slept in a manger among the animals. He was not welcomed into the arms of grandparents and extended family; he was greeted by shepherds. Just think what they missed.

Think what we miss when we do not focus on Jesus; when we do not make room for Him. Today's song by Casting Crowns calls us to be awake and to watch and make room for Jesus today!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"Candy!!!" "Chocolate!!!"

Image result for images of Christmas chocolate kissesYesterday my grandson, Shane (two years old) was at my house and wanted to help me make cookies. Since I planned to make Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies, I sat him on the counter in front of me and showed him how to unwrap Hershey Kisses, which my plan was, to then put in a bowl, so they would be ready to put in the cookies when they came out of the oven. This was my plan, but apparently not Shane's plan!

He sat there and as soon as he saw the Hershey kisses he said; "Candy!!!" He happily unwrapped a kiss, said; "Chocolate!!!" and then into his mouth the candy went! I smiled and gave him another one to open, because typically - and surprisingly - Shane only eats one or two pieces of candy and then decides he has had enough . . . yes, I know this is shocking and difficult to believe, but it is typically the way he behaves with candy. "Typically", but not always!

My Christmas Carol for You - Michael W Smith - Christmastime

Image result for clipart for Christmas nativity
Today I'm very happy to share with you a Christmas Carol which you may not be familiar with, but I'm sure you are very familiar with the one who is singing it . . . Michael W. Smith. "Christmastime" is a song which calls us to join together and sing the carols, sing about the joy, sing about the message of peace on earth which comes, because Jesus is born!

Look at the lyrics . . . 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Legacy Coalition Blog Chain - Cavin Harper - Let's Build a Manger

Grandpa Manger Build
I'm very happy today for the opportunity to share with you another post in our Legacy Coalition Blog Chain, this time it is another article from Cavin Harper. In this post Cavin shares information from his friend, Mike Young, about how to engage your grandchildren and keep them focused on what Christmas is all about by having them build a manger and then take them on an, "adventure" to help them focus on God's great gift of Jesus!

You'll find Cavin's and Mike's post at this link . . . please check it out, plan to try this with your grandchildren and then share it with the parents and grandparents you know!

Christmas Cards & Prayers

As I mentioned the other day, my grandsons helped me make my Christmas cards this year. Saturday, when they were at my house, we sat down and each of them; including two year old Shane, helped make the cards . . . Shane and Caleb (four years old) "colored" the backgrounds and Josiah (seven years old) helped draw the designs.

My Christmas Carol for You . . . the Hallelujah Chorus - Like You've Never Seen It Before!

My "Christmas Carol" for you today is one which is presented in such a creative, fun and
unexpected way, it just has to be one of my favorite Christmas videos . . . sit back and enjoy!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Legacy Coalition Blog Chain - A Christmas Legacy by Valerie Bell

I'm very happy to share with you another post in my Legacy Coalition Blog Chain; this time it is written by Valerie Bell. Before you check the post, please allow me to share a little with you about Valerie Bell.

My Christmas Carol for Today - Christmas Carol of Love!

Image result for clipart for Christmas bellsToday's Christmas Carol is one with a simple message and one which is great fun to watch - and perform as a lip-sync . . . if you worked on this with your grandchildren, you could have so much fun presenting it for your family and neighbors . . . they would be certain to never forget it!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

My Christmas Carol for Today - Christmas Offering

My Christmas carol for today is Christmas Offering. It is so easy for us - and for children - to think about Christmas in terms of the gifts we are giving and the gifts we want to receive. This year, lets take time to focus instead of offering our worship to Jesus instead; no one else deserves our praise! Look at the lyrics:

Legacy Coalition Blog Chain - Grandparents & Gift-Giving by Cavin Harper Christian Grandparenting Network

I'm very happy today to begin our "Blog Chain" with people who are part of the Legacy Coalition. The first post I'm delighted to share with you has been written by Cavin Harper. Cavin is the founder of the Christian Grandparenting Network. What is the Christian Grandparenting Network, you ask? Well, they describe it, in part, as;

Saturday, December 12, 2015

My Christmas Carol for Today - Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

My Christmas Carol for today is, Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee and this is what Christmas is all about - not the gifts, cookies or "fun" . . . it is about adoring Jesus and the joy He gives! Look at these lyrics . . . 

Grandparenting, the Legacy Coalition & a Blog Chain!

Did you know . . . 
  • The average age a person becomes a grandparent for the first time is 47.
  • Most people who become grandparents, will be grandparents for 1/3 to 1/2 of their lives!
  • There are more than 600 places in the Bible where God tells grandparents to pass on the faith to, "their children's children".
  • Next to parents, grandparents have the most influence in the lives of a child - far, far more than a Sunday school teacher or children's ministry worker.
  • Grandparents have a relationship - or at least can have - which they can build on to influence their grandchildren for Jesus.
  • The most effective discipleship takes place in the context of a relationship.
  • Discipleship is all about older generations passing faith on to younger generations.
  • Most churches have ministry to parents - through high school, and sometimes college, and ministry to senior saints, but not ministry for new and young - not ready yet to retire - grandparents.
When you think about your grandchildren, it is important for us to understand when it comes to engaging them in God's Word and passing on a heritage of faith to them, the best place for this to take place is within the relationship of a grandparent and their grandchildren. While this is true, many, many of us do not know how to pass our faith on to our grandchildren. We do not know what God's Word says about the role we can have in passing our faith on to these children who mean so very much to us.

It is for these reasons a new movement is forming across the USA - the Legacy Coalition - Grandparenting that Matters! I am part of this movement (Senior Writer) and will be sharing much more with you in the coming months about what the Legacy Coalition is and how you, and your church, can be involved.