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Walking to the Promised Land

  1. Wilderness Walking: Trust, Delight, Commit
    2 Digging Deeper
  2. The Blessed Life Ever: Walk in the Ways of the Lord
    2 Digging Deeper
  3. Flawless Footsteps: Walk as Christ Walked
    2 Digging Deeper
  4. The View From Down Here: Walk Humbly
    2 Digging Deeper
  5. Watch Where You Step: Walk Carefully
    2 Digging Deeper
  6. Keep on Keeping on: Walk by Faith
    2 Digging Deeper
  7. Stay out of the Shadows: Walk in the Light
    2 Digging Deeper
  8. Follow Your Guide: Walk by the Spirit
    2 Digging Deeper
  9. Walk Tall: Walk Uprightly
    2 Digging Deeper
  10. Choose Wisely: Walk with Wise Men
    2 Digging Deeper
  11. Love, That's All: Walk in Love
    2 Digging Deeper
  12. When No One's Looking: Walk in Integrity
    2 Digging Deeper
  13. Be Good Do Good: Walk in Good Works
    3 Digging Deeper
  14. Leave Your Past Behind: Walk in Newness of Life
    2 Digging Deeper
  15. Remember Who You Are: Walk Worthy
    2 Digging Deeper
  16. Walk with the Father: Walk with God
    6 Digging Deeper

Grand Blessings

Precious memories, how they linger,
How they ever flood my soul;
In the stillness of the midnight,
Precious, sacred scenes unfold.
As I travel on life’s pathway,
Know not what the years may hold;
As I ponder, hope grows fonder,
Precious memories flood my soul.

My grandparents have been gone now for many years, but the memories indeed linger and they are altogether precious. I consider the time I spent with my sweet Mama Jane, my Grandma and Grandpa Creer, my Grandpa Pat, and my Granny and Granddad to be a gift. It is a gift of heritage, wisdom, love, faith, and hope; a gift that I will always treasure.

My last grandparent to leave this world was my mother’s mother, Louise, who was affectionately called “Granny” by all of her “grands” and “greats.” Granny’s final moments were spent with her four children gathered around her bed; and when she approached the Golden City, I am certain that her beloved Buford was waiting for her at the gate.

As Granny drew closer to the end of her physical life there was one concern she expressed over and over. It was her mantra—and it became her plea.

“I hope my family will stay strong. I hope they will stay strong for what is coming.”

I think of those words spoken by my grandmother. I think of them quite often. I am not sure what Granny believed would be coming, but I do know that her desire was for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to faithfully endure the trials of this life so that we might enjoy a marvelous reunion in Heaven one day. Granny was an incredible blessing to our family while she was here on this earth and she continues to bless us and encourage us through the echo of her final words: “Stay strong.”

The Blessing of Grandparents

“A grandparent is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend.” I read that definition of a grandparent in a blog article the other day and I love the beautiful picture painted by those words. Grandparents play a unique and meaningful role in the lives of their grandchildren and when families invest in this special relationship, the blessings will overflow.
When I think about my own grandparents, and how my life was blessed by each of them, I think about what I would have missed had they not been a part of my life.

I would have missed the blessing of their prayers. I know that as a grandchild, sincere and fervent prayers for my soul were lifted continually on my behalf. There was comfort in knowing that in days of chaos and in times of difficulty, there was someone sitting in the calm and quiet of their home, with head bowed over folded hands, praying my life into calm and order. I can close my eyes and easily picture my Granddad in prayer. It is a peaceful image and a familiar one, as I cannot count the number of times I saw my grandfather pray. I don’t know how often my name fell from the lips of one of my grandparents in prayer, but I will be forever grateful for the moments they brought me to the throne of God without my ever knowing.

The Bible tells us in James 5:16, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” One of the greatest blessings a grandparent can give their grandchild is the gift of prayer. Pray for their parents, pray for their education, pray for their friendships, pray for their future spouses, pray for their safety, and pray for their faith. Be a prayer warrior everyday for those precious grandchildren!

I would have missed the blessing of their stories. By stories, I mean Bible stories, stories from their childhood, stories about my parents, and stories of our family history. Grandparents are wonderful story tellers! I remember listening to my great-grandmother, Mama Jane, tell stories about horse and buggy races (typically started by young boys over the heart of a girl), working at the mill, and taking care of her younger brothers and sisters. I loved hearing my grandparents talk about what my mom and dad were like as children while looking through old photo albums. (You mean Mom and Dad were actually kids at one point? What?!?) Stories are important because they teach lessons through pictures and emotions. Story telling is an experience that involves the heart, the mind, and the spirit; and because of that, the people and lessons within those stories are not easily forgotten.

Bless the lives of your grandchildren by sharing stories with them. Tell them about your favorite Bible men and women, tell them about your parents, and then tell them about their own parents, tell them about your first car, or your first love. In this world of virtual communication, give grandchildren your spoken words. Talk to them and teach them the value of stories. I think of the instruction Moses gave the Israelites in Deuteronomy 4:9, “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.”

I would have missed the blessing of their wisdom. I am thankful for the wisdom-gleaning moments I had with each of my grandparents and if I had them with me today—the questions I would ask, the conversations we would have, and the hours I would spend just soaking up their knowledge and experiences! Their wisdom was a godly wisdom; a wisdom “from above” described in James 3:17 as “pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.”

The Bible tells us that “wisdom is with aged men and with long life is understanding” (Job 12:12). Share that blessing with your grandchildren. Let them confide in you and then lovingly advise them. Tell them what you learned from your mistakes and your successes!

I would have missed the blessing of their example. Albert Einstein once said, “Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the only way to teach.” I’m thankful for the countless life lessons I learned through the examples of my grandparents. They taught me the importance of family, the beauty of true love, the necessity of forgiveness, the gratification of hard work, the joy of living, and a real appreciation for the things in life that really matter.

Through their actions they showed me the happiness that comes from singing, the benefit of reading books, the pleasure that can be found in giving away what you have, the value of a gift that is made with your own hands, the comfort of a home cooked meal, and the peace that comes with slowing down and enjoying every minute.

By means of their righteous living, grandparents “bear fruit in old age” as their grandchildren learn from and follow their examples (Psalm 92:14). They can instill in their grandchildren qualities such as compassion, kindness, and patience, simply through the way they live their lives. I read somewhere that eighty percent of everything children learn in their first twelve years is through their eyes. I’m not sure how much truth is in that statement but I think it makes a valid point: we should never underestimate the impact of our example on the young people in our lives.

I would have missed the blessing of their faith. My grandparents left their grandchildren a legacy of faith and this is the blessing for which I am the most thankful. I am eternally grateful that my grandparents commended the works of the Lord to the next generation and that my parents declared the Lord’s mighty works to me and my sisters (Psalm 145:4). As this faith is passed down from generation to generation I think of Timothy and how his sincere faith dwelt first in his grandmother and then in his mother (2 Timothy 1:5).

What a gift it is when grandparents are actively involved in strengthening the faith of their grandchildren. Some of my favorite moments are when me, Sam, and our three children share a pew with their grandparents during a time of worship. To look down and see my Dad with his arm around my son, or my Mom sharing a Bible with one of my daughters, or to have my children hear their Paw Paw preach a Gospel sermon, or sing a song with RoRo, fills my heart with indescribable joy.

When Jacob was nearing death, he called for Joseph’s sons that he might bless them (Genesis 48:9). Jacob had not expected to ever see the face of Joseph again, but at the end of his life he was reunited with his son and was able to see his grandchildren as well. As Jacob blessed the son’s of Joseph so grandparents can bless the lives of their grandchildren today through prayer, stories, wisdom, example, and faith. Oh, the blessings I would have missed had it not been for the grandparents in my life. “I’m staying strong Gran, I’m staying strong.”