Upcoming National Grandparents Day

Lillian Penner, who leads Grandparents @ Prayer would like to remind everyone to celebrate this year’s National Grandparents Day by praying for our future generations:

 Christian Grandparenting Network is asking grandparents all over the world to unite in prayer for their grandchildren on Sunday, September 8, 2013. This date is the official United States National Grandparents Day designated by a Senate proclamation signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1978.

            Our grandchildren are living in a desperate moral and spiritual climate navigating in a world hostile to truth. Satan has launched an aggressive attack our families, schools and our nation to desensitize our children to truth and righteousness. Perhaps at no other time in our history is a call to prayer more urgently required than it is today for our grandchildren.

The mission of Christian Grandparenting Network (CGN) is to promote effective grandparenting, which is intentional about assisting our children and grandchildren to know and follow Christ wholeheartedly. CGN is issuing a call to all grandparents to join with other grandparents in their churches, community and around the world for an intentional day of prayer on behalf of the next generation.

            Will you stand in the GAP to join grandparents worldwide on Sunday September 8 to pray for the next generation that they may walk in the truth? Will you volunteer to plan an event with your friends or in your church?

To join the movement  go to https://www.facebook.com/GrandparentDayOfPrayer?ref=hl, “Like” our fan page, “Click” on the free download button to get the chapter “Communicate your Faith to your Grandchildren” from the book Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for your Grandchildren by Lillian Penner, National Prayer Coordinator for Grandparents Day of Prayer.

For more additional information and resources go to www.gocgn.com or contact Lillian Penner lpenner@christiangrandparenting.net.

We at GTO sincerely hope you will get involved in this prayer effort and help move our children and grandchildren one step closer to the Lord.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom (and Grandma)

For all the moms and grand-moms following us here at GTO, we’d like to wish you a very happy and blessed Mother’s Day. We hope that your day will be filled with the abundance of God’s love and special times with your family.

Mother’s Day is always such a bittersweet time for me (Renee), as my mother passed away in 2004 at the young age of 63. I am certain she is now spending her days walking streets of gold, living in one of God’s special mansions reserved for soulwinners, attending praise and worship concerts around the clock, and hanging out with Bible heroes in her glorified, sickness-free body. Because of this I simply cannot be too sad for her; in fact, you could say I’m a little jealous.

But, of course, I miss her greatly, and perhaps most often when I think about my own kids. My oldest, who is now a junior in high school, will soon be graduating, and God-willing, attending the Air Force Academy soon thereafter. My mom will not be there to congratulate him on all his hard work or give him sage grandmotherly advice for his future.

My 12-year-old daughter is growing up to become just like my mother in so many ways, the least of which is their shared love of God’s Word, all things purple, and dancing. How I wish they could get to know each other better and realize all they have in common. And, my youngest, who was only 2 months old when I flew him to Ohio to attend my mother’s funeral, is now 8. They were in the church together that day, but never had the chance to meet.

My mother missed out on some wonderful times watching her grandchildren grow up. Although, somehow, I believe she is watching them in her own way. My children, however, are the ones who really missed out. Only my oldest had a few years of getting to know her. They never knew her sense of humor, benefited from her godly wisdom, or experienced her days before cancer, which were joyful and contagious to all who were near her.

One thing they are able to get a glimpse of, however, is her relationship with God. This has been made possible through spiritual diaries and journals that my mom kept over the years and that were given to me by my dad after she had gone to be with the Lord. I’ve read numerous entries to my kids, and they are always amazed at the close, comfortable walk she had with Jesus–they were the best of friends.

Through the journals we learn of her faith victories, her struggles, and her constant desire to be more like Jesus in every possible way. No matter what we are going through in our individual lives, reading about her daily times in God’s presence always strengthens us, encourages us, and often convicts us to live our lives better.

I share this story with you today–2 days before Mother’s Day–to encourage you to do what you can to leave a spiritual legacy for your children or grandchildren. The day will eventually come when you will no longer be able to pray for them or encourage them in the Lord. But if you start now, you can leave them with your words of wisdom and faith long after your gone.

My mother never intended for anyone to read her journals or diaries that were meant to be just between her and God. Sorry for snooping, Mom, but I truly hope you somehow know the blessing they have been to my entire family.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom (and Grandma)! I also hope you know how much you are still loved and cherished. See you one day soon. Love, Renee.

Grandparenting Through Obstacles Wins a “Book of the Year” Award from CSPA!

CSPBOTYA_oval_logo Compressed  You did it!  A big hearty Thank You! to everyone who took the time to go over to the web site of the Christian Small Publishers Association and voted for Grandparenting Through Obstacles.

This is Dianne writing today.  Christian Small Publishers Association has announced the winners of their 2013 Book of the Year awards and Grandparenting Through Obstacles won in the “Family/Relationships” category!

Renee and I are thrilled!  Needless to say, our publisher, Pix-N-Pens Publishing, is also thrilled.  This is the first Book of the Year award from Christian Small Publishers Association for the publisher as far as I know. We send our sincere thanks to our publisher, Tracy Ruckman, for all she has done (and is continuing to do… More about that next!) to make our book a success.

So we thank you very much.  An award like this provides one more way to make our book known and so helps us get it onto the radar scope of those who need it and those whom it can help.

It also helps make known those who contributed to the book, including Cavin Harper who wrote our foreword and all our twenty contributors.  They made this book.  We couldn’t have done it without them.

One more thing: We have too much good news to share in one post! We have some more very exciting and important news coming about Grandparenting Through Obstacles and we really need your help…again. I’ll get the information together and share in another post. Please don’t miss it!

(Oh, okay.  If you simply have to have a hint… We need your help to go to St. Louis to promote Grandparenting Through Obstacles.)

You made this “Book of the Year” award from Christian Small Publishers Association possible by voting and by praying. We thank you again. I believe Heaven will be different because of you.

GTO interview on Generation W blog

Recently I (Renee) was interviewed by novelist Julie Momyer on her Generation W blog. We talked about Grandparenting Through Obstacles–how it all began and how we hope it will help grandparents who are struggling to reach their grandchildren for Christ.

Instead of copying the interview here, I’m going to send you to Julie’s site. She has some great articles and other fun things just for women!  So, here’s the link…enjoy!

http://juliemomyerblog.com/2013/03/29/author-interview-renee-gray-wilburn/

Please VOTE for Grandparenting Through Obstacles!

If you haven’t VOTED for our book yet, the deadline is approaching fast and Renee and I would sure appreciate your vote!
 
Grandparenting Through Obstacles been nominated for a “Book of the Year” at Christian Small Publishers Association! Renee and I need your vote if our book is going to win.Would you please click through right now and cast your vote for Grandparenting Through Obstacles? You can VOTE here: http://www.christianpublishers.net/13votes/ 

You’ll find our book in the “Family / Relationships” category which is the second category down. The book is on the right (third row of books down) with the blue cover.
If you want to check out the book further, read the reviews on Amazon or check out some pages on Amazon’s “Look Inside the Book” feature.After you vote you can snag a print or an e-copy of the book from Amazon for Kindle or BarnesandNoble.com for Nook.

You have the opportunity to vote for your favorite books in several categories. A Familiar Shore, in the fiction category, is published by the same publisher and I know Jennifer would appreciate your vote too.

It would help us out so much if you’d ask your friends to vote also. To vote, send them to: http://www.christianpublishers.net/13votes/  Let’s see how many votes we can gather up and see if we can’t blow the competition away!

Thank you so much for voting for our book and for all your support. As I’m sure you can imagine, winning “Book of the Year” is great publicity, lets readers know we’ve created a fine book, and would help get the word out about Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ so people who need it will hear about it. 

Fighting for Your Grandkids’ Future

Recently, I had an online magazine for grandparents hit my inbox. The magazine, which will remain unnamed, normally has uplifting, interesting, and helpful articles and resources for grandparents, so I’m typically anxious to look it over when I get it. This time, what I saw on the cover really agitated me as a Christian conservative. This blog post is not going to be so much about what I saw but rather about the questions the cover story led me to ask of our reader grandparents.

The cover was a head shot of Al Gore and the text next to him said that he was “fighting for our grandchildren’s futures.” We all know, of course, that Al Gore is the grand champion of global warming, which has now been re-titled to the more politically correct “climate change.” Your opinions on global warming and its destruction of our planet may stand anywhere in the broad spectrum of possibilities. As a Christian, I believe God when He says (in essence), “It’s not over til I say it’s over,” and who are we to think that we can single handedly destroy what God has created? But that’s a blog for a different day, different place.

For now, I’d like to look at the phrase “fighting for our grandchildren’s future.” For Al Gore, our big fight lies in the assumption that the earth is going to burn up and our grandkids won’t be around to see our planet when they’re older adults. Other fights include the trillions of dollars of national debt we are currently in and how that is now squarely resting on our grandkids’ shoulders. Or, for Christians, the fight might (should) lie in the fact that God is being removed from society at a rapid pace and therefore our sense of all morality has been thrown out the window. And there are many, many other fights as well.

So, what is it for you as a grandparent? Is your fight more personal, or can it be found on a national or global scale? Is it financial, spiritual, ethical, environmental, or something else?

What is it that irritates you so much that when you consider how it’s going to affect your grandkids you want to put on the gloves and go fight? Then, ask yourself, “What am I going to do about it?” You can either just stay mad and complain, or you can get moving and start training for your fight.

Our world is not what it used to be when we were growing up. While we’ve had many technological advances, which have positively affected numerous fields and industries, the decay throughout society is rampant. As Christians, we understand that the root of the decay is spiritual, and while, ultimately, we must get at the root, we also need to fight against the fruit that we see in our everyday lives.

And one thing’s for certain: If we don’t start getting in the fight, our grandkids’ future is going to be rather dim. Be intentional about your grandparenting, make the moments you have with your grandkids count, and get in the fight to help make their world a better place.

Vacationing with Grandkids

As the weather begins to warm and the end of the school year draws near, thoughts begin turning to summer vacation. Whether you’re a grandparent who lives near or far from your grandkids, summer is a great time to plan a special getaway for just you and them. Here at GTO, we’d like to help you in your travel plans! We’ve compiled a short list of resources that are geared to intergenerational travel, with many targeting Christian families.

It is our hope that you will take some time this summer to connect in a special way with your grandchildren, and use every opportunity to draw them closer to Christ.

Road Scholar Educational Adventures: www.roadscholar.org

Road Scholar is an educational travel organization for adults 55 and over. In addition to their regular trips for seniors, they also offer vacation packages for grandparents and their grandchildren all over the world.

Sierra Club:  www.sierraclub.org/outings

The Sierra Club has many family outings as well as local outings to choose from. Also, each year they hold a week-long grandparents and grandkids outing in July in Tahoe National Forest, California.

Oceanwood Christian Camp: www.oceanwood.org

Held on a beachfront property in Ocean Park, Maine, Oceanwood camps have something for everyone–including a special Grandparent Camp in July, complete with Bible studies and live music, plus all the usual summer camp activities.

Pilgrim Tours:  www.pilgrimtours.com

A Christian tour company hosting hundreds of tours, including trips to various Bible lands. They have special pricing and packages for grandparents and their grandchildren.

Woodloch Pines Resort:  www.woodloch.com/grandparents

Voted one of the best family resorts in the country by TripAdvisor, Woodloch Pines, nestled in the hills of Pennsylvania, has many options for celebrating family time, including their specially designed G3-Generation Grandparent program.

 GrandCamps: www.grandcamps.org

Grand Camps hosts two camps each summer: one in Colorado in mid-July, and the other in Minnesota in mid-August. Their motto is “building a legacy that matters,” and their goal is to help grandparents connect with their grandkids in a spiritually meaningful and fun environment.

Beaver Camp: www.beavercamp.org

A Christian camp, exclusively for grandparents and their grandkids, held in Lowville, NY for 3 days and 2 nights each summer. The camp includes hiking, crafts, nature study, boating, fishing, swimming, ropes course, group games, as well as Bible studies.

Creation Museum: www.creationmuseum.org

A biblically inspired 70,000 square foot museum that aims to bring Bible to life with exhibits such as a “Dinosaur Den,” planetarium, botanical garden, the Garden of Eden, and much more. Located in northern Kentucky.

Holy Land Experience: www.holylandexperience.com

Located in Orlando, Florida, the HLE is a Christian them park that includes over a dozen exhibits, live shows, and architectural recreations of Bible lands–all aimed to help its guests learn about the Bible and Jesus. Weekly church services and Bible studies are also held at the park.

These are just a few of the many options available to help grandparents and grandkids spend some time together this summer. Whatever you choose, we pray that Jesus will be at the center of your experience.

Great Grandparenting Quotes!

 Sometimes grandparents say the darndest things–about themselves and their grandkids! We hope you’ll enjoy these quotes that are sure to bring a smile to your face.

The best babysitters, of course, are the baby’s grandparents. You feel completely comfortable entrusting your baby to them for long periods, which is why most grandparents flee to Florida. ~Dave Barry

On the seventh day God rested. His grandchildren must have been out of town. ~Gene Perret

When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window. ~Ogden Nash

If your baby is “beautiful and perfect, never cries or fusses, sleeps on schedule and burps on demand, an angel all the time,” you’re the grandma. ~Teresa Bloomingdale

Never have children, only grandchildren. ~Gore Vidal

Grandchildren: the only people who can get more out of you than the IRS. ~Gene Perret

If God had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

A friend of mine was asked how she liked having her first great-grandchild. “It was wonderful,” she replied, “until I suddenly realized that I was the mother of a grandfather!” ~Robert L. Rice

The idea that no one is perfect is a view most commonly held by people with no grandchildren. ~Doug Larson

Grandparents are there to help the child get into mischief they haven’t thought of yet. ~Gene Perret

Just about the time a woman thinks her work is done, she becomes a grandmother. ~Edward H. Dreschnack

Grandchildren are God’s way of compensating us for growing old. ~ Mary H. Waldrip

The reason that grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy. ~Sam Levinson

An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again. Anything longer than that, and you start to age quickly. ~Gene Perret

Something magical happens when parents turns into grandparents. Their attitude changes from “money-doesn’t-grow-on-trees” to spending it like it does. ~Paul Linden

My grandmother is over eighty and still doesn’t need glasses. Drinks right out of the bottle. ~Henny Youngman

Two things I dislike about my granddaughter — when she won’t take her afternoon nap, and when she won’t let me take mine. ~Gene Perret

Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap. ~Doug Larson

If I would have known that grandchildren were going to be so much fun I would have had them first. ~Bill Laurin

The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent. ~Sam Levenson

Co-Author of Grandparenting Through Obstacles wins “Books of Hope” contest

Co-author of Grandparenting Through Obstacles, Dianne E. Butts, has won the non-fiction category in Pix-N-Pens Publishing’s “Books of Hope” contest.

In 2012, Pix-N-Pens Publishing, the same company that published Grandparenting Through Obstacles, held a contest to search for manuscripts to publish. Early on, publisher Tracy Ruckman said that she had noted something disturbing in the faces of people she saw everywhere: hopelessness. She wondered what she could do. So she sponsored the contest to look for books on hope to publish in order to take hope in Jesus Christ to the hopeless.

The contest was announced in May. Pix-N-Pens and its sister publisher, Write Integrity Press, wanted entries in both fiction and nonfiction. They also wanted stand-alone books and books in series of three.

“I was inspired by the contest,” Dianne says, “but I wasn’t sure what to enter. I didn’t have anything that fit the ‘hope’ theme in the works.” So what did Dianne do? “I went to my concordance and started looking at how many times the word ‘hope’ was used in the Bible. I found about fifty uses of the word in the New Testament, 31 in the Psalms, 18 in Job, and interestingly only 12 elsewhere in the Old Testament.

“I thought I could write a brief chapter or devotional-style entry on each occurrence and so that’s the idea I pitched to the contest in the 3-book series nonfiction category.”  The first book in Dianne’s “Days of Hope” series will be 50 Days of Hope from the New Testament.

Finalists were announced in June. “Lucky for me,” Dianne says, “there were far more entries for fiction that for nonfiction books. Everyone wants to write fiction, but nonfiction is purchased far more often. When people need help, they reach for nonfiction.”

The winners of the contest were announced on January 23, 2013. You can read the official announcement here: “2012 Books of Hope Nonfiction Winner” Announced. Scroll down for the winners of the fiction categories.

When will Dianne’s books release? “That has yet to be determined,” Dianne says. “Right now Pix-N-Pens has me very busy with two other series I’m writing for them.” The second book in her “Prophecies Fulfilled” series, titled Prophecies Fulfilled in the Death & Resurrection of Jesus, releases next month just in time for Easter. The first book in that series, Prophecies Fulfilled in the Birth of Jesus, released for Christmas 2012 and is available now. Like Grandparenting Through Obstacles, it’s a great resource for individual use or group study.

Dianne is also contracted for a 3-book series of fiction, the “Springs Eternal” series starting with Hope’s Diner, which is scheduled to release later this year.

If you enjoyed the help and inspiration you found in Grandparenting Through Obstacles, you may be interested in Dianne’s “Days of Hope” series when it’s available. In the meantime, you should check out other books published by Pix-N-Pens (PNP) and Write Integrity Press (WIP), such as their just-published book Parenting On Your Knees by Vicki Tiede. You can also find inspiring, good, clean fiction including WIP’s Valentine’s Day release, Heart Bouquets and their Christmas release, The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt.

All of PNP’s and WIP’s books are available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, other online outlets, and on Kindle and Nook as well.

You can learn more about Dianne from her blog. To stay up to date with new developments with both the authors of Grandparenting Through Obstacles, visit Dianne’s Amazon page and Renee’s Amazon page.

Solo Grandparenting and Missing Grandpa – Interview with Author Janet Chester Bly

Author of The Power of a Godly Grandparent and many other books

Author of The Power of a Godly Grandparent and many other books

 Today we have an special interview with author and grandmother Janet Chester Bly.

GTO:  Janet, you and your late husband Stephen wrote The Power of a Godly Grandparent/Leaving a Spiritual Legacy by Stephen & Janet Bly (Beacon Hill). What prompted you to write this book?

JCB: When we first became grandparents, we wanted to be all we could be for those precious little ones. As we looked to other grandparents as role models, we wanted to pass on to others what they were doing right to impact the next generation. Many of the ideas for this book come from not only grandparents, but also parents and grandchildren who contributed their experiences.

GTO:  Please give us an overview of some of the chapters.

JCB:  Chapter 1 “The Power of Seeking God First”

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God … and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33 KJV). Grandchildren are part of the ‘added things’ in our lives – not the first thing. There is one first thing – The kingdom of God. If our grandkids see us put God first, rather than just talk about it, they get the message through us that God is important. When we love them, in spite of the circumstances of his or her birth or anything else out of their control, we show them Jesus.

Chapter 9 “The Power of Sharing Spiritual Truth”

This chapter shares some  dos and don’ts of conveying spiritual values. We advise to make it natural, sincere, and consistent. We talk about dealing with grandchildren who are unresponsive to the Gospel. 

Chapter 13 “The Power of Praying For Your Grandkids”

Make a picture prayer journal for each one. Develop a monthly prayer calendar. Pray for their education. Pray for their salvation. Pray for their careers. Pray for their wisdom. Pray for them in their trials. Pray for their health and safety. Let them know that you pray for them. Ask them for prayer requests. Share with them a prayer request of your own.

GTO:  We know Stephen went home to be with the Lord and you must miss him terribly. How has his home-going affected your grandparenting? What have you done differently or learned to do? How did you help your grandchildren deal with it?

JCB:  My husband passed away on June 9th, 2011 and I’m still learning how to live in my world without him in it. He left a huge hole in our family and we’re trying to get used to not having our leader in so many ways as part of holidays, decisions and the spark for all sorts of activities.

I feel inadequate as a “single grandparent” to be what we were as a couple for them. I can’t toss the little ones up. I can’t build play gyms for their yards. I can’t talk or do sports as well. Lots of things are different. But I discuss their grandpa and what he did when it seems right to do. I show them all the love that I can. I let them know when I’m sure their grandpa would be so proud of them. His and my photo together is in each of their homes and even the little ones mention him sometimes. Even the 4-year-old knows he is in heaven with Jesus.

One of the hard things was selling Grandpa’s pickup, so they no longer had that reminder when I drove up in it. I am so thankful for the books that he wrote, a heritage for them all for many decades to come. I’m making sure they all have copies of every one of them.

GTO:  Any updates on your life, coming books, or projects in process that you’d like to share.

by Stephen Bly (his final book)

by Stephen Bly (his final book)

JCB: My three sons and I finished Stephen’s last novel that he had started, Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot. Set in 1905 on the Oregon coast, ex-lawman and Arizona rancher searches for his missing U.S. Marshal friend and grapples with the strange game of golf on behalf of a charity celebrity tournament. It’s full of adventure, humor and a bit of romance.

Can a committee write fiction? We had the passion and four months to find out. Completing Dad’s novel became a family affair. You can find the story about the process on the blog at our website: http://www.blybooks.com/

I’m also working on an epistolary novel (a novel in letters) set in the latter 1800s, with the working title, The Passions of Jennifer Ashby.

 GTO:  Thank, Janet, for visiting with us today and for sharing your story. I know it’s going to touch someone out there. Find out more about Janet’s books at these links …

website: http://BlyBooks.com

“On A Western Trail” blog: http://BlyBooks.blogspot.com 

by Stephen and Janet Bly

by Stephen and Janet Bly

Download Kindle Bly Books: http://amzn.to/VFM4r0
Download Ebooks & Estories: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/janetcbly  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janetchesterbly
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BlyBooks
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/janetcbly/