Book Review of Grandparenting Through Obstacles by Elsi Dodge

The following review of Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ  by Elsi Dodge, who contributed a story to the book, was posted on on September 8, 2012:

I assumed Grandparenting Through Obstacles was another compilation book–a delightful collection of stories about true situations, from which the reader can draw his or her own conclusions and applications. Not so with this book, though! In addition to the 20 stories, the editors have included (for each story) Grandparents in the Bible, Points to Ponder (specific to the story), Steps to Take (specific to the story), Scriptures to Study, Ways to Pray, and notes. In other words, this book can be used as a Bible study, a leaping-off point for grandparents, a study guide for anyone working closely with children, or the beginning of a planned path to the child’s heart. It is a powerful, deep, highly useful manual for any grandparent, great-grandparent, grandparent-to-be, parent, or God-parent. Impressive!


Merry Christmas!

We will resume our normal posting on Thursday, but for now we just wanted to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed and prosperous 2013.

Thank you all very much for following our posts and stopping by Grandparenting Through Obstacles.  We pray that this Christmas season will be filled with God’s peace, presence, and provision for you and your family!

Renee and Dianne


Book Review of Grandparenting Through Obstacles by Elaine Burbridge

The following review of Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ  by Elaine Burbridge, a contributor to the book, was posted on on September 14, 2012:

I’ve found that Grandparenting Through Obstacles is replete with ways for grandparents searching to help build a firm Christian foundation within their grandchild’s or grandchildren’s lives. The book’s Bible study profile, available prayer suggestions and staying connected ideas enhance it from cover-to-cover. I feel the authors deserve an A+ for their outstanding role in seeing to its preparation and publication. E.B.

Praying for Grandchildren with Lillian Penner

Thank you for joining us again as we speak one more time with Lillian Penner, the National Prayer Director and founder of G@P (grandparenting prayer groups) at Christian Grandparenting Network. As we mentioned last time, Lillian has developed a great resource for grandparents–a prayer card that offers suggestions and scriptures for how to pray for grandchildren.

Before we get into the specifics of the card, let’s find out from Lillian how they came about.

Lillian Penner

Lillian Penner

Lillian, when we last talked to you, you shared with us two of your favorite scriptures that you believe really speak to God’s promises for our children and grandchildren. How did these and other such scriptures provide inspiration for creating your prayer cards?

Scriptures like these made me excited to pray, because I knew that I was praying God’s will for my grandchildren. After I got excited about praying the scriptures, I wanted to be able to share them with others. I thought a good way to do that was to develop a prayer card filled with God’s Word and promises concerning our grandchildren.

After I created the prayer cards, I’ve had many grandparents tell me they like these and other resources that I’ve provided for them. I then decided to pull these resources together into a book called Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for your Grandchildren. Right now, I have prayer cards that help with praying for children, grandchildren, children specifically in school (preschool to college), and for grandchildren’s various life stages (from infants to married grandchildren). Additionally, my blog at offers other resources and help for grandparents who want to be intentional about imparting the things of God to their grandkids.


Lillian’s cards are designed so that a different suggested prayer and accompanying scripture can be prayed each day of the month. On her “Praying for Children and Grandchildren” prayer card, some prayer ideas include praying for compassion, direction, friendships, obedience to God, wisdom, salvation, peace, and self-control. Each prayer suggestion is one sentence, with a blank where the praying grandparent would insert the child’s name to make the prayer personal. A corresponding scripture follows each prayer.

The simple ideas are meant to serve as prayer starters, a launching pad of sorts for your prayers. Once you get started by saying the suggested prayers, it’s then time to allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you into a deeper more personal prayer for your grandchildren. He will show you the specific needs of each grandchild so you can then pray more effectively.

Lillian, I know these cards will be a blessing to any grandparent who uses them. Can you tell our readers how to access these cards?

The best way to get the cards is to download them from for free. From the website click on the prayer link, which will take you to the cards. You may also contact CGN to purchase hard copies of the cards.

Thank, you, Lillian! I hope all of you will take advantage of these prayer cards and share them with your family and friends as well. I also hope you have enjoyed our time with Lillian Penner and learning more about the awesome work she is doing across the country to help grandparents as they pray for their grandkids.

Please VOTE for Book of the Year! – Grandparenting Through Obstacles Nominated

Our book has been nominated for “Book of the Year” at The Book Club Network!

 To win we need your vote! Will you please vote right now? I don’t know how long voting will be open, but I think it closes soon.

 Vote here:

 If you haven’t joined this site before, you must join to vote but it’s free.

 See the boxes on the right-hand side? Scroll down to the NONFICTION box, click  my book, Grandparenting Through Obstacles, then click to vote.

While you’re there, the top box is for FICTION — please vote for Jennifer Fromke’s novel A Familiar Shore. Jennifer writes for the same publisher who published our book so her publicity for winning Fiction Book of the Year would help us, too!

 Would you also please use the share buttons at the bottom of this post to send this information to your Twitter feed, Facebook, blog, e-mail, etc.?

 Voting closes soon and to win we need all the votes and all the help we can get. THANK YOU!

Meet Lillian Penner–Helping Grandparents Pray (Pt.2)

Welcome back, and thanks for joining us for Part 2 of our interview with Lillian Penner, the National Prayer Director for Christian Grandparenting Network. Last time, we learned about how Lillian became involved with CGN and formed G@P (grandparents’ prayer groups), as well as her vision for the prayer groups. Today, let’s see what words of encouragement Lillian has for grandparents.

Lillian Penner

Lillian Penner

What advice or encouragement do you have for grandparents who may be growing weary of praying for a difficult family situation?

This is a tough issue that many grandparents are facing today. I am so thankful that we have the opportunity to take  those issues and lay them at the feet of Jesus. He is sitting at the right hand of God, waiting for us to bring our concerns for our children and grandchildren to Him.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we have a wonderful Helper. The Holy Spirit knows the needs of our children and grandchildren, and knows God’s will for them. He will intercede for us, if we ask, according to Romans 8:26-27. Often I don’t know how to pray for my loved ones, but I ask the Holy Spirit to make intercession for me, and it helps to take the heavy load off of my heart.

What would you say is/are the biggest challenges grandparents and parents face today concerning their (grand)children?

A major challenge with grandchildren is how to relate to them once they get into the technological age. Today, if grandparents want to relate to their grandchildren in the teen years and beyond, they need to learn how to email, text, and participate in social media, if they want to stay connected with them. Grandchildren have many opportunities to be involved in extracurricular activities, so they are very busy. Grandparents need to be able to keep up with them!

A challenge with parents is that they are so busy nowadays, it’s hard to find time to connect with them and the grandchildren. Some grandparents struggle to know their boundaries and also fall into competition with the other grandparents. I have recently talked with several grandmothers who are not allowed to have any contact with their grandchildren because of conflict with the parents.  Additionally, about one-third of all grandparents are having to raise their grandchildren full-time.

It is so important that we know how to pray effectively for our children and grandchildren. There are just so many issues and struggles to deal with nowadays. Lillian, do you have any favorite scriptures that speak to God’s promises for our children and grandchildren?

My two favorites are:

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”                           1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

 Thank you, Lillian, for sharing from God’s Word with us today. Knowing how to pray makes all the difference–in our lives and in the lives of our family. Next time we meet, we’re going to share with you the incredible prayer cards that Lillian has developed as a tool to help parents and grandparents more effectively pray for their children and grandchildren. We hope you will join us next Tuesday and learn how you can receive your own prayer cards for free!

Once again, in the meantime, please visit Lillian at her blogsite:

Lillian Penner is an author of Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for Your Grandchildren, blogger, speaker, and national prayer coordinator for the Christian Grandparenting Network. She has been active in church ministry for more than fifty years. Currently residents of Portland, Oregon, Lillian and her husband John have three sons and nine grandchildren.

Meet Lillian Penner–Helping Grandparents Pray, Part 1

Lillian Penner

Lillian Penner


Today we’re going to hear from a very special guest: Lillian Penner. Lillian is   the National Prayer Director for Christian Grandparenting Network. I’ve asked Lillian to share a little about her role in the organization, her vision, and any suggestions she has for helping and encouraging grandparents in their prayer journey.

We won’t get to all of that today, but we’ll be back with Lillian this Thursday as well. Let’s get started since we have so much to talk about with Lillian.

First of all, how did you initially come to get involved with CGN?

I received the special gift of grandparenting as I approached my midlife season. It was exciting to become a grandparent. However, I learned that along with this gift came a sacred trust to imprint another generation with the message of God’s faithfulness. Reflecting on my new responsibility, I realized my prayers were too general and vague, and I became frustrated with how I was praying for my grandchildren.

After I asked God for wisdom and read several books about prayer and grandparenting, my praying changed dramatically. I discovered God’s Word was a great resource to help me with my praying; not only for my family, but also for myself. Praying Scripture gave me more boldness and confidence in my praying.

While surfing on the internet looking for grandparenting resources, God directed me to the Christian Grandparenting Network website. After sharing my passion with them, they invited me to become their National Prayer Coordinator, a position they did not yet have. This would include writing devotionals and prayer suggestions on their website.

I recognize that these are challenging moral and spiritual times in which we live, especially for our grandchildren. A media-driven culture has desensitized our grandchildren and pushed the boundaries of a Christlike lifestyle. Today, the role of grandparenting has become very important because the rescue of our culture may well rest on the shoulders of praying grandparents.

What an incredible call we have for the second half of our life! As the National Prayer Coordinator for CGN, I want to help encourage grandparents to better understand the mighty and powerful force that prayer can be for our grandchildren in these times.

I understand that you have started something called the Grandparents @ Prayer Project. Explain a little about what that is and what your vision is for the project moving forward.

At Christian Grandparenting Network we have developed “Grandparents@ Prayer” or G@P. This is an intercessory prayer group that brings grandparents together to pray for each others’ grandchildren and families.

In the Bible, Esther stood in the gap for her people, the Jews. Today, grandparents can stand in the gap with prayer for their grandchildren. As grandparents, we can make a significant difference in the world by praying regularly and deliberately for our grandchildren and their parents. We have an opportunity to powerfully touch the lives of another generation for eternity.

At G@P…

Our purpose is to call grandparents around the world to intentionally and regularly gather to pray and intercede for their grandchildren, children, and communities.

Our goal is to encourage and provide resources that help grandparents become intentional prayer warriors on behalf of their grandchildren. This is accomplished through the personal discipline of intercessory prayer in the battle against the Enemy.

Our structure is that of small and large groups meeting for about an hour once or twice a month at a designated location for guided prayer and fellowship.

I see an urgency for grandparents to intentionally pray for their grandchildren in this morally and spiritually deprived world in which we live today. Moving forward, my vision is that we would have 100 G@P groups in the U.S. and other parts of the world by the end of 2013.

So, you want to reach 100 in about a year. How large or widespread is G@P today

We currently have about 22 groups meeting throughout the U.S.

Lillian, for those grandparents out there right now reading this and wanting to get involved in a G@P prayer group, how would they do so?

Grandparents can get involved by going to then clicking on the prayer link and completing the form. They will then be sent information, including the locations of current G@P groups. If there are no groups in their area, we also have guidelines for how grandparents can start their own group.

Does G@P have a presence in churches, or is it restricted to individual and small-group participation?

The G@P groups are used by churches, small groups, and also individuals. Some groups start as small as one interested grandparent asking a friend to join him or her in prayer. Usually the groups will grow by word of mouth as others hear how they can get involved.

Thanks, Lillian, for introducing us to your prayer network. On Thursday we’ll discuss meeting grandparenting challenges through prayer, scriptures to encourage grandparents, and the prayer cards Lillian has developed to help grandparents more effectively pray God’s Word.

In the meantime, you can learn more about Lillian at her blogsite:

Lillian Penner is an author of Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for Your Grandchildren, blogger, speaker, and national prayer coordinator for the Christian Grandparenting Network. She has been active in church ministry for more than fifty years. Currently residents of Portland, Oregon, Lillian and her husband John have three sons and nine grandchildren.

Janet Thompson – Guest Blogger: “5 Ways to Spiritually Nurture Your Grandchildren”

Janet Thompson, author of Lois and Eunice Bible Study

Today we are pleased to have a guest blog post from author and speaker Janet Thompson. Janet is the author of the Face-to-Face Bible study series from New Hope Publishers, including the study Face-to-Face With Lois And Eunice: Nurturing Faith in Your Family, and many other books.

“5 Ways to Spiritually Nurture Your Grandchildren”

by Janet Thompson

The crowd at the Easter Cowboy Breakfast down by the river went silent as my 6-year-old granddaughter Katelyn recited John 3:16. I was the speaker that morning giving the Gospel message of Easter and I had asked Katelyn if she would like to help me—she didn’t hesitate. When she came forward and clearly spoke into the microphone, I was one proud beaming Grammie, as were her parents and siblings sitting in the front row. Later that day, Katelyn asked me what Scripture I was going to ask her to recite next time. That’s my girl!

How I love being a grandmother: it’s as if God saved the best for last. Interestingly, the only woman in the Bible referred to as a “grandmother” is Timothy’s grandmother, Lois. She and her daughter Eunice received accolades from the apostle Paul on their rearing of his protégé and future pastor, young Timothy: “I [Paul] have been reminded of your sincere faith which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5). “And from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

As a grandmother of eleven grandchildren who all know about Jesus and some know Jesus as their personal Savior, here’s what I’ve learned from Lois:

  1. Pray for, mentor, and nurture the faith of your adult children—the parents of your grandchildren. I put pictures of my grandchildren in my Bible and look at their sweet faces as I pray for them every day.
  2. Give with a purpose. Choose gifts that introduce grandchildren to Jesus at an early age. Shop at Christian bookstores or online at to find age-appropriate games, books, DVDs, CD’s, and toys. Christmas and Easter are especially good times to give them an age-appropriate Bible.
  3. Look for opportunities to talk to grandchildren about Jesus and His love for them. For example my three-old granddaughter Sienna would only jump into her older brother’s arms at the swimming pool even though other kids were trying to get her to jump to them. We talked later that Sienna trusted her brother because she knew he was trustworthy, just like we can trust Jesus.
  4. Be a role model that family members admire and respect.
  5. Assume an active role in your grandchildren’s lives, even if you live far apart. Stay current and don’t criticize the things that interest them. Learn their communication style—email, texting, Skype, cell phone, social networking. Remain relatable and relational with each generation.

Lois and Eunice were intentional in raising Timothy in his faith. The world didn’t set standards for their home, God did. They knew God’s Word and taught it to Timothy. An effective way to help parents and kids learn Scripture is through songs and CD’s. The kids love to play them in the car and sing along and soon mommy and daddy are learning them too.

Parents are often so busy raising their children, that they rely on the church to educate the kids spiritually. Grandparents are usually at a stage of life where they can help parents nurture faith in the home. If relationships are strained with adult children or you don’t live close, you can still pray for them.

My prayer is that my legacy to my grandchildren will be: Grammie taught us about the Bible and Jesus, and she lived what she believed.

What spiritual legacy are you leaving for your family?

Lois and Eunice bible study book cover


We would like to add that many wonderful Christian books can also be found on and Barnes and that does not carry, including our book  Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ.

Thank you, Janet, for stopping by today and sharing your tips with us. May God richly bless your writing, your ministries, your grandchildren, and all your family. And may God richly bless our readers and your families also.


Janet Thompson is founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and director of About His Work Ministries. She’s a speaker and author of sixteen books, including Face-to-Face With Lois And Eunice: Nurturing Faith in Your Family—one of seven books in the Face-to-Face Bible study series (New Hope Publishers). Janet and her husband Dave love being Grammie and Grampa, and understand the difficulties of long distance grandparenting—only three of their eleven grandchildren live near them. Visit Janet at

Book Review of Grandparenting Through Obstacles by J. P. Davis

The following review of Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ  by J.P. Davis was posted on on November 7, 2012:

Grandparenting Through Obstacles by Renee’ Gray-Wilburn and Dianne Butts is a must-read for all grandparents. A new approach in each story will challenge the readers in their role as a grandparent. In this book you will find words of wisdom on the journey of life. It will enlighten, refresh, refine and help the readers learn more about their spiritual needs. The authors give a clear message as they write about Grandparents in the Bible as a guide to help grandparents today. At the end of each story is a short excerpt of Biblical grandparents such as Josiah, Obed, Abijah, and Jacob who also had challenges in their lives.

The Points to Ponder, Steps to Take, and Scriptures to Study, and One Way to Pray, is included at the end of each chapter. Also the Christian Event and Activity Ideas for Kids is a special section to help grandparents teach their grandchildren the Bible.
This will help them to better understand and apply wisdom in their own grandchildren’s lives. This is a powerful book of personal stories that will make a great gift for grandparents.

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”