Family Sticks Together

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls entitled, Nana’s Love Notes

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Hi my sweet Grandgirls,  It’s Nana coming to you out of some deep thoughtful places.  As I raised your parents, my desire was to parent them in the ways of the God I surrendered my whole life to. As you know I came to know Jesus when I was fifteen years old.  My home life was anything but Christian.  It was insecure, filled with turmoil and it messed with my sense of security, identity and purpose.

It was so clear to me that Jesus ways were totally opposite of the world.  Do you see that too?

Jesus changed my life!  I knew that Jesus died for me … for me!  I surrendered everything to Him. Before I was a lost child trying to find my way in the world. I was hearing messages that confused me, tempted me drew me in.

After accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior, my life was bent on pleasing Jesus and glorifying Him with all that is within me.  Do I fail, yes!  Do I receive conviction and great sorrow when I sin, absolutely.  Do I repent, yes, because my heart is broken when I grieve Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

One of my deep concerns, as I raised your parents, was that my kids would not get the significance of His death and His claim on their life.  It is a concern I have for you too.

I considered the vast difference in their home life in comparison to my upbringing. My kids were surrounded with love and support.  Would they know they had a big hole in their life .. a hole that only God could fill?  Would they see the great sacrifice Jesus made in order to claim their heart, their lives, their everything?

It occurred to me today that growing up with support and love does not have to take away from the fact that Jesus died for you and wants your all.  Though you are surrounded with love, you also face trials of many kinds.  Living in the world brings with it many opportunities to see the world for what it is.  Self Serving, Deceptive and Empty!

You have each other. I delight in the bond I see between you. 🙂    I have watched you all struggle with the world, I have seen your pain. I have seen you give in to the world’s philosophies and prayed God would draw you back. But I have also watched you soar like an eagle as you choose to magnify Jesus with your lives. I cannot begin to tell you the JOY it brings to my heart when I see you walk away from sin and choose Jesus.

You, who have turned your eyes upon Jesus, have been changed. I see it and you shine brightly.

There is a grave responsibility for you ‘older’ girls.  The younger ones are watching you and they are learning, believe me they are.  They need you, they really do!  They love you and they desperately want to look up to you.

When Jesus died, he did it to set us all free from sin. I know each of you have learned this as you have grown up. When we receive Jesus .. Our life is not our own ..  It is no longer ‘I’  big capital ‘I’ but Christ who lives in me.

“God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.” I Corinthians 7:23

The world you are growing up in is filled with messages that are opposite of what Jesus teaches. Are you seeing the difference between God’s kids and those who have chosen to live the world’s way?  There are not many who choose Christ – so those who do stand out, they are different from the rest.

FRIENDSHIPS

When my kid’s were entering their teen years I prayed for God to send them godly friends.  I pray the same for you. When I refer to ‘godly’ peers, do you have someone in mind? Let me encourage you to know this person and pursue a friendship. Here’s why:

“He who walks with the wise will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20

and

“Do not be mislead, Bad company corrupts good morals.”  I Corinthians 15:33

GOD’s Word

I pray you spend time in His word because in it you will find purpose, peace, direction, fulfillment and great Joy.  His word is LIVING and it is HIS word to his children.

The Psalmist shares the heart of God’s child:

My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times” (Ps. 119:20) Not a popular thought in a world that hates rules, eh?

“Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them” (v. 129).  Convinced that His word is life, we willingly, gladly submit to His ways.

The greatest gift I can pass down to you, my beloved grandgirls, is to point you to Jesus through his word.  If you say you love him, you will obey him.

“For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Eccl. 12:14

“Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.” John 14:23a

“If you love me, keep my commands.”  John 14:15

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”  Matthew 16:24

“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”  Matthew 10:38

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” Romans 12:2

I pray you will take up your cross and follow Jesus and never take for granted or reject the one who died to give you abundant life. May you chose Christ every time and soar like an Eagle.

That’s it for today girls.  Remember, I am your Nana! For better or for worse, I love you fiercely, I pray for you always.

Love,

Nana

 

 

 

 

 

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The Miracle of Answered Prayer

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls entitled, Nana’s Love Notes

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Hello my sweet Grandgirls,

I got off track after I told you I was going to share some miracles God has performed in my life.  I’m back on track and ready to share.

Miracles happen when God steps in and does what only He can do.  God has answered my prayers, so many times and so specifically that I know that I know that I know, He did it.

When God answers prayer in a big and miraculous way it touches our lives and we are never the same.

Prayer Miracles

I was 15 years old when I came to know Jesus.  I was a new creation. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops – It didn’t take long for me to learn nobody, in my world, really wanted to know or hear about Him. Not only were they not interested but many took offense when I tried to tell them.

I did not understand their reactions. Why wouldn’t everyone want to know the good news about the one who created them and loved them so much. What caused this revulsion when I spoke the name of Jesus?

As I began to grow as a child of God, my understanding of the enemy’s tricks grew too. He was the enemy of God and of God’s kids and he causes blindness and revulsion toward God’s son. It was then I knew I needed to talk less and pray more for those I loved, those who turned deaf ears to the message of God’s love and Jesus sacrifice. There is power in going to our Father, in prayer, because he hears and longs to answer our prayers of faith.

Prayers for Family

I experienced a deep peace and joy for the first time in my young life. My family didn’t get it. In fact, some gave me a rough time. I got made fun of and they called me a religious fanatic. As the tears burned my eyes, they laughed. My greatest grief, though, was that they didn’t get it.  I wanted them to know Jesus, they needed him just as much as I did.

I’ve shared with you the miracle of provision for College, right? God made a way for me to attend a Christian College.  A group of people from my Church promised to give money each month to make my first year possible.  Talk about humbling!!  Carried away by the love of God, I also carried the weight of leaving my family. Who would be Jesus to my family?

Once at college, I continued to pray consistently and urgently. I was no longer at home, there was no more opportunity to share God’s love.

After being involved in college life for awhile, I began receiving letters from my Dad. He was telling me some amazing happenings. He told me the plumber, carpenter, the insurance man and an old friend were telling him about personal faith in Jesus Christ.

It was absolutely miraculous! All of these people were being sent by God to tell my family the good news. I have no doubt about it. You see, in all of my life, before I heard about Jesus, no one had ever shared the story of salvation.  It was like Christians were coming from everywhere and into my parent’s lives. Only God could do this.

Prayers for my Son

danielThen there’s the story ya’all know.  The story about my handsome boy, your Dad and your Uncle Daniel, who went through a crazy walk of rebellion. I thought my mother’s heart would break. I cried out to God over and over again. I prayed was God would send believers into Daniels life. Once again the answer was mind blowing.
Dan told me that believers were everywhere. Christians shared their faith with him at work, at appointments, in restaurants, and in the most uncanny places. These children of God, were all holding out hope to my one and only son. Honestly kids, I  have never known anyone who was so chased by God. It was another miraculous answer to prayer that eventually led to your Dad and Uncle surrendering to God’s will.  JOY!!
 

Prayers for my Daughter

Renee was a quiet kid.  She was a trusting child. As a teen I was grew worried because she was interested in the bad boy types. I prayed and asked God to help me in guiding her.

One night Papa and I went to a concert at a Christian Conference Center. We sat across from a Doctor and his wife.  As the Doctor talked he pointed toward the banquet table at a handsome young man with a beautiful smile. The doctor beamed saying, that’s my son. As he continued to brag on his son, I sent prayers up. I prayed, “God, please give Renee a young man like this one. She doesn’t know what a ‘good guy’ looks like.  

It was the following year that Renee met a young man who came to our Church as the leader of the college-aged youth group. Soon, he showed an interest in Renee and began to hang out with the family. One of the things he liked to do was cook for the family. One night as he was doing his thing, I asked him about his family. He told me his Dad was a Doctor and his mom, a nurse. He went on to tell me they spent alot of time, in the summer, at a Christian Conference ground near their house. The bell went off!!  Oh my goodness, this was the young man the Doctor had bragged about. Here he was – right before me. God did not send me someone ‘like’ David, he sent me David! I looked at David and said, “David, I don’t know what role you will take in my daughter’s life, but I do know God sent you.” I then revealed how God sent him to Renee as a direct answer to my prayer.

David married Renee two years later. David is excellent loving your mom, Aunt Renee, and he provides such a stabilizing effect on her life.  She needed that – God supplied it. Only God!

Prayers for my Youngest

christyThis writing would not be complete without mentioning your mom and Aunt Christy. This, my youngest child, has possessed a heart for God from the time she was little.  We did not experience the struggles with her that we had with her siblings.

My prayers for Christy were answered as I watched her make hard choices. She even had a whole youth group come against her when she confronted them on their heart issues.  It broke her heart, she did not budge from her convictions.

Though she too, was strong willed, she took her orders from her Loving Father and chose to follow in His footprints. At a very young age, she brought her friends to me so I could share Jesus with them.

I share these miracles of answered prayer, within our family because I want you to know how specifically and lovingly God has blessed our lives.

You girls are blessed to be born into a family where God is actively at work. You have a family that pulls together to speak into your lives and to love you well.  It’s rare these days girls!

May these words give you a reason to pause and offer thanksgiving to the God who answers miraculous prayers and bestows blessings on our family.

I love you forever and always,

 Nana