Great gift idea for Grandparents Day!

September 9th is National Grandparents Day. Are you planning to celebrate it?

According to Surprising Facts About Grandparents on www.Grandparents.com, 66% of grandparents have never celebrated Grandparents Day!

Is it time to change that? Why not get the new book Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ for your favorite grandparent — even if that’s you!

Order now! You’ll have the book just in time for Grandparents Day on September 9, 2012.

Follow us on Twitter: @GParentObstacle

Like us on Facebook: Grandparenting Through Obstacles

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Thursday Interview with Grandparenting Through Obstacles book contributor Elaine Burbridge

Elaine Burbridge is a writer in Richardson, Texas. She faces both parenting and grandparenting challenges in that her daughter is not currently walking with God. But Elaine is playing “A Divine Role in God’s Theater,” which is the title of her story in Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ.

Unfortunately, Elaine’s story in not unique. Many grandparents face similar challenges. But Elaine has made an impact on her grandchildren, even through those challenges by being intentional about her grandparenting. Here she shares some insights.

GTO:   Hello Elaine. Thanks for stopping by today! Tell us, what are you hoping our readers will gain or learn from your story?

Elaine:   Never give up asking the Holy Spirit to minister to loved ones. He does answer in a mighty way.

GTO:   Well that sounds like you’ve experienced some answered prayer! Please give us an update on any developments with your grandchildren since writing your story.

 Elaine:  I witnessed my grandchildren’s baptism. Yeah!

 GTO:   Oh my! That is terrific. And actually, that is the very fruit we are hoping to see. That fruit, the spiritual fruit of seeing grandchildren come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior (of which baptism is a sign), is what it’s all about. So thank you so much for sharing such good news.

          Surely you had something to do with your grandchildren’s decisions. In what ways do you believe God has used you in affecting your grandkids and influencing them toward Him?

 Elaine:  By showing His love – hugging, kissing and caring for them. Also, in testifying that Jesus is my Savior and He died for all of our sins. And of course encouraging them to live for Him too.

GTO:   Elaine, what do you think is the greatest challenge faced by children today, and how can grandparents help them with this challenge?

Elaine:   There are too many worldly turn-on’s which consistently grab their attention. Here are some ways to intentionally counteract the world:

  1. Take them to church (and lunch for fellowship) as well as Christian-based activities (camp, choral groups, etc.).
  2. Introduce the real Bible text into their daily lives, even via Internet connections.
  3. Take a specific time to pray with them (kneeling is important), considering their needs and desires.

GTO:   You shared some very significant challenges you faced in your story in the book. How have you grown in the Lord through the challenges you’ve faced in trying to reach your grandchildren?

Elaine:   I’m better at studying His Word and praying. I’ve learned to depend more on His promises. I’m reaching out to others more – no longer afraid to witness.

 GTO:   That is awesome, Elaine. Not being afraid to witness for Him is an area God has been working on in me, too. Let me ask you what advice can you give our readers to help them become more intentional about imparting spiritual truths and values to their     grandchildren?

Elaine:   Take time to converse and read with them. Young minds are so open to absorbing what grandparents have to say. They will listen and ask questions – be prepared to answer.

GTO:   What do you hope your grandkids will most remember about you when you’re gone?

Elaine:   That with all of my heart, I loved them and Jesus. And, I loved to take them catfishing too!

GTO:   Awesome answer! A catfishing grandma! I’ve been trout fishing, but not catfishing. I really must try that.

Thanks Elaine so much for spending time with us today. We’re also grateful you shared your story in our Grandparenting Through Obstacles book.

The pre-publication special price is still running, but time is running out because the publication date, August 17th, is approaching quickly. How exciting is that! Get the Pre-Publication price today!

Two Exciting Announcements!

Hello friends of Grandparenting Through Obstacles! For today’s post, I’d like to let you know about two exciting announcements. The first is from our publisher, PixNPens Publishing.

To help celebrate the release of our book on August 17, they will be holding a special contest for grandparents going through a challenge of their own. As you know, our book discusses 4 different challenges that today’s grandparents face when it comes to sharing their faith with their grandkids:

–the challenge of parents not walking with God

–the challenge of long-distance grandparenting

–the challenge of non-traditional families

–the challenge of partnering with parents

PixNPens would like to hear about your challenge.

Here’s how to enter:

Write your own grandparenting challenge that you’ve dealt with in the past, or are currently dealing with. Share how you’ve handled the situation in a Christ-like manner, and if there’s already been a positive outcome, share that as well.

Keep your story at approximately 250 words, and then include a little bio about yourself at the end. You can include one or two photos if you wish, and if you have a link to a blog or website, you can include that too.

We’ll receive entries from now until August 15th, and then, beginning Monday, August 20th, we’ll post entries here on the blog through the end of September.

We’ll announce a winner (or perhaps even a few winners) in October!

One winner will receive a special gift basket just for grandparents that includes gift cards, books, and other goodies. Stay tuned for more details on that in the coming days.

Depending on the number of entries, we could also have several runner-up prizes, too.

Send your story to: tracyruckman@pixnpens.com

We look forward to reading your stories, and pray that they’ll help other grandparents who may be in similar circumstances as well.

For more information on this contest, please visit their website at www.PixNPens.com

Our second announcement is from our friends at GRAND magazine. Dianne had posted earlier about this wonderful magazine just for grandparents and how to subscribe. Well, the editor at GRAND wanted to let you know that she will offer a special deal for all of our readers: a FREE 12-month subscription to their online magazine. That’s 6 bi-monthly issues at no cost to you!

To take advantage of this offer:

Use this link —  http://tinyurl.com/freegrandsub

for instant access to the current issue and archives plus each new bi-monthly issue that will be delivered right to your inbox.

For fast and easy access to GRAND anytime, http://bit.ly/GRANDMAGAZINE will give you simple instructions to install a G icon on your desktop.

If you are a Mac user, there is one additional step to drag the icon from your applications to your dock.

We hope you enjoy your GRAND subscription!

Feel free to share both of these announcements with your grandparent friends, and help us get the word out about Grandparenting Through Obstacles!

Thursday Interview with Contributor Grace Hewson

Welcome back to our Thursday interview sessions. This week we’re talking with Grace Hewson, author of the  “Full Armor of God” story, which appears in Part 3 of Grandparenting Through Obstacles. This section of our book deals with the challenges of grandparenting in a non-traditional family. This could mean a blended family, a family with only a single parent, or even a family where the grandparent has to assume the role of parent.

In this story, Grace’s grandson, Bobby, is dealing with some anger issues. Since he loves to pretend that he’s a swashbuckling hero, Grace uses that interest to teach him about donning the full armor of God and wielding God’s Word as a sword.

Let’s talk to Grace and get some insight into the story behind her story!

GTO: Grace, why did you decide to share the story you did in Grandparenting Through Obstacles?

Grace: When I wrote this story, I felt crushed in spirit and had to fight to keep my head above water.  Writing about the pain of separation helped me cope with all the changes we were facing.  Although I was angry and confused over my daughter, Celina’s, personality change and the effect it was having on Bobby, I knew our family had to stand up to this crisis in faith.  My husband and I did a lot of praying and deliberately stayed focused on a positive outcome.

GTO: That must’ve been really difficult to stay positive during that time. What are you hoping that our readers can learn from your experience going through this?

Grace:  I’m hoping that my story will help other believers realize they are not alone. Many Christians are struggling with issues in their homes that were unheard of a decade ago.  Rebellion takes on many forms and has no age limit.

GTO: That really is a good point. Since you brought up rebellion, we all know there are so many things that can cause this in a child–no matter how old the child! What would you say is the greatest challenge faced by children today, and how can grandparents help with this challenge?

Grace:  I believe moral decline, across the board, has accelerated and become the “new norm” in our society.  Unless Christian families take a radical stand and speak up for our beliefs, the world and its false views will shape the hearts and minds of our children and future generations.

GTO: Yes, that really is the foundational root of all the challenges we see. It’s the godlessness that has crept in and taken over our society in so many ways. It can get overwhelming for Christians, especially those who are trying to parent or grandparent according to God’s ways. Hopefully your situation has changed for the better since writing your story. Can you give us an update on any recent developments with your grandson?

Grace: Well, about six months ago, our renegade daughter came home.  She is currently looking for work in the medical field, and has left the bright city lights behind.  Last Sunday she came to church with us.  Bobby feels secure and now loves every moment he spends with his mommy.  Thank You, Jesus!

GTO: Indeed! That is awesome, Grace. We’re so happy that your story has a happy ending. It’s all because you became intentional regarding prayer and getting involved in Bobby’s life. What a great testimony!

We hope that stories like Grace’s will provide you with encouragement and perseverance as you navigate the challenges of being a Christian grandparent in today’s world. We want to remind you to please “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter so you can join in our discussion of grandparenting through obstacles!

www.Facebook.com/GrandparentingThruObstacles

Twitter@GParentObstacle

Great Resource for Grandparents: Grand Magazine

Have you heard of Grand Magazine?

It’s a magazine just for you. You can check out many articles on its website. For example check out their “Celebrity Grandparents” columns on the Expert Advice tab, or the many informative articles under the “Raising Grandkids” tab.

From Grand Magazine’s About Grand page: “This is our world, and together, we explore the changing face of grandparenting. Continually updated with new and helpful information, standard features on the site include: long-distance grandparenting, kinship care and grandparents’ rights, children’s health and development, intergenerational travel and reunions, family money, fun and games to do with your grandchildren, food and family gatherings, fashion, inspirations, grandchildren’s photographs and funny sayings, and much more!

“Our Forums and Contact Us encourage you to respond to our features and column — our new e-zine gives you GRAND magazine minutes after its published with live links to all its resources.”

Grand magazine subscription  is $19.95 for 12 issues. It’s a great resource. (Or ask for it as a gift for Grandparent’s Day, coming September 9th!)

Thursday Interview with contributor Lynn Leissler – Part 2

Last week we talked with Lynn Leissler, author of the story “Are All the Grown-Ups Thirsty?” in the new book releasing in August, Grandparenting Through Obstacles. Lynn had so much to share we’re continuing this week.

GTO: Lynn, tell us, what do you think is the greatest challenge faced by children today? And how can grandparents help them with this challenge?

Lynn: I see several, but the greatest is the lack of firm moorings. Sadly, in our culture we are more concerned with hurting their feelings than in molding their souls. A spiritual foundation is absent in so many homes. So when children hear conflicting messages, it’s easy to fall prey to untruth, peer pressure, fads, or their hormones. Also, parents are insanely busy and the kids get less focused attention.

GTO: What can you tell our readers to encourage them not to give up on their kids or grandkids no matter how bad their situation might look?

Lynn: I once read this quote: “Never give up on anyone…or believe that they are beyond help or hope…no matter how cold, negative, destructive, or unloving they may be. Who is to say that which is barren today will not be fruitful next year?” –Or the year after that. We as grandparents never know what tiny thing will touch our kids’ or grandkids’ hearts. My daughter, who doesn’t stay in contact, called on her birthday. She didn’t ask for anything, but just wanted to hear Mom’s voice, to connect. I praise God for that tiny good thing. We tend to desire momentous events, but often it’s a passing kindness, a casual word that embeds in another person’s heart and soul.

GTO: That’s beautiful, Lynn. What advice can you give our readers to help them become more intentional about imparting spiritual truths and values to their grandchildren?

Lynn: It depends on whether their parents are hostile or open. Either way, Jesus’ method is quite efficient. Parable teaching. For little ones who smell a daffodil, you might say something like, “Boy, God sure likes yellow, doesn’t He!” You can always respond to their questions and comments with, “I’ll pray…” or “I did pray.”

If their parents are hostile, don’t push, or you’ll gain an enemy. Instead, pray like crazy for openings from your grandkids. And when those openings come, shoot up an SOS prayer for wisdom. Walk softly with your response, for you don’t want to come across as putting down the parents. And watch for God’s opportunities and surprises!

 GTO: Wonderful advice, Lynn! Thank you for sharing your insights with us. May God bless you, your children, and your grandchildren.

Please come back next week for another Thursday Interview with another contributor to the book, Grace Hewson. We’ll look forward to hearing what Grace has to say.

In the mean time, will you please let the grandparents in your circles know about this blog? Or Share this page’s link on Facebook and Twitter.

Please Like our Facebook page at Facebook.com: GrandparentingThruObstacles.

Also, you can Follow us on Twitter: @GParentObstacle.

Creating Teachable Moments with Grandchildren

Last Thursday, Dianne interviewed one of our contributors, Lynn Leissler. In the interview, Lynn stressed the importance of taking advantage of teachable moments with your grandkids. And Lynn made a very good point when she said that “all events, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, are teachable moments.” This is a key point to grasp if we are to be successful at impacting little hearts and minds for Christ.

Too often, we’ll try to wait for just the right moment or perfect environment to make a spiritual connection for our grandchildren. But, as many of us have discovered, these moments may never come–or at least not frequently. Sometimes, we must create them ourselves. Once we get the mindset that Lynn rightly has, we’ll start viewing any moment as a teachable moment. But how can we realistically stay in this mindset?

The first step to walking in this mindset is prayer. Every day that you are with your grandchild, ask God to show you immediately when a teachable moment is upon you. Ask Him to open your eyes to the little things around you that you can share with your grandchild and use to make a connection that will help teach her about God or somehow bring her closer to Him. I guarantee that you will be amazed at the things you start seeing and paying attention to!

Next, be ready to share. There are days when the grandkids will tire you out, make you grumpy, and get on your last nerve! Resolve to not allow such distractions to keep you from your mission of bringing your grandchildren closer to the Lord. This is why it’s so important to be intentional about your spiritual role in your grandchildren’s lives. If you live each day to purposefully impact them for Christ, you will be able to overcome the temporary challenges that get in your way of sharing those teachable moments.

Finally, purpose to make it fun! Get your grandkids involved in looking for these moments where they can relate events to God or His Word. When you’re in a situation, ask them, “What do you think God may want us to learn from this?” or “Is there anything in the Bible you can think of that relates to what just happened?” When you’re out and about with your grandchild, have him see how many things he can somehow connect with God. As he mentions them, talk about them and try to think of a relevant scripture that will help reinforce that connection.

How could this be a teachable moment?

Not only is it more fun when your grandkids are involved in seeking out these moments, but by doing so you are teaching them how to be sensitive to God and how to look for His fingerprints in the world around them.

How about you? How do you deal with teachable moments? Have you had any special ones lately that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them!

Please stop back this Thursday when Dianne will continue with Part 2 of her interview with Lynn.