How To Talk To Grandchildren

By Dr. James Dobson

How To Talk To Grandchildren

Question: Dr. Dobson, I have seven grandchildren that I think are just wonderful, but I don’t know how to talk to them when we are together. It has been a long time since I was young. How can I engage these kids in conversation and draw them to me? What should I talk to them about?

Answer: Children love to talk about fun things and funny things. They love to play games and solve puzzles and look at pictures. When you interject yourself into their world at these and other points of interest, and if you aren’t cranky and demanding, they will open themselves to you. All you have to do is give them your time and attention. Then you won’t be able to keep them off your lap!

Now, concerning what you should talk about with your grandchildren: One of the most important contributions you can make is to teach them about your family’s early history, about the obstacles your family overcame and what has made their stories unique. Education consultant and author Cheri Fuller applied the lyrics of an old African song to this responsibility. It included this line: “When an old person dies, it’s as if a library burns down.” You are the “library” for your grandchildren, being able to connect them with their past. It is your obligation and privilege, I believe, to give them a sense of identity within the family.

My great-grandmother helped raise me during my early years. When I was just three or four years old, I remember her telling me stories about her life on the frontier. She told me how she would sit in her log cabin at night and hear the mountain lions come down from the hillside looking for the pigs. She would describe fascinating experiences that helped me understand how different life was then. The time we spent together bonded us to one another. The stories she told me then are still vivid in my memory. They helped open my mind to a love of history, a subject that still fascinates me to this day.

I suggest you gather your grandkids around and start telling them stories about your past—of your courtship with their grandmother, what she looked like, and why you fell in love with her. Then tell them how you came to a relationship with Jesus Christ and what that did for you. I think you’ll find your little ones will be eating out of your hand.

Pastoral Ministry: We Languish for Men

TOZER

Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” —Acts 21:13

The Church at this moment needs men, the right kind of men, bold men….

We languish for men who feel themselves expendable in the warfare of the soul, who cannot be frightened by threats of death because they have already died to the allurements of this world. Such men will be free from the compulsions that control weaker men. They will not be forced to do things by the squeeze of circumstances; their only compulsion will come from within—or from above.

This kind of freedom is necessary if we are to have prophets in our pulpits again instead of mascots. These free men will serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary. They will make no decisions out of fear, take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious act out of mere custom; nor will they allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation. Of God and Men, 11-13.

“Lord, what would it take for me to be that kind of man? Do in me whatever work You need to do today, that I might die to the allurements of the world and serve You with high motives. Amen.”

Renewal of Joy – First15 – March 22

Renewal of Joy

Weekly Overview:

One of the best aspects of spending time alone with God is being renewed daily by his word and presence. When we make space for God in our lives, especially at the beginning of the day, he is faithful to renew and prepare us for all we will face out in the world. Scripture says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Where do you need renewal? How greatly do you need God’s mercies in your life? He has a plan this week to both teach and guide you into an encounter with him that will renew you with his overwhelming goodness and love. Make space for God. Make time to encounter him. And experience the refreshing spring rain he longs to bring to heal the dry and weary places of your heart.

Scripture:“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:12

Devotional:

When I think of the word “joy” I often picture the unadulterated smile of a child’s face. Children have this ability to have joy simply because they’ve found the delight of their parents. The joy of a child is unlike anything most of us experience as we grow up. For most of us, true joy has been crowded out by the pressures and cares of responsibility. Joy becomes contingent upon the circumstances of our lives. Most of us feel the pressure of finances, work, relationships, and even serving God consistently to the point that joy is a pursuit we’ve almost given up on. But God has a message and a plan for you for a renewal of consistent and unshakable joy. Let’s open our hearts and minds to dive into everything God has in store for us as we spend time encountering his desire to bring us joy.

Our joy is not to be of this world, but of God. Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” The fullness of joy will only be found in God’s presence, and the Bible tells us that God’s presence is everywhere! Psalm 139:7-10 says, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” Because God is everywhere and in his presence is fullness of joy, joy is available to you 24/7. And Scripture teaches us in Romans 14:17 that “The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” God’s lordship in our lives is all about “righteousness and peace and joy.” Our heavenly Father desires to bring about those incredible fruits of the Spirit in you today. He has a plan to lead you to perfect, unshakable joy. But in order to receive the incredible gift your God wants to give you today, you will have to make a choice to place your hope and trust in him.

Scripture tells us that our joy is to be wholeheartedly found in God and not in the world. The joy our heavenly Father longs to bring us is meant to transcend anything this world could ever do to us. But in order for God’s desire to come to fruition in our lives, we have to place our hope and trust solely in him. Psalm 33:21 says, “Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.” Romans 15:13 says,“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” What we place our trust and belief in becomes the rudder that guides our emotions. If you place your trust in your job, people, or finances, you are building a foundation for your joy that can be crushed at a moment’s notice. But if you will choose today to place your trust and hope in your Lord Jesus Christ, you will have a sure foundation unshakable by any trial or circumstance that comes your way. In fact, those very trials that had the power to destroy your joy will, in God, become yet another source of it.

James 1:2-4 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” When you place your hope and trust in God, your eyes will be opened to see the incredible work he is doing in you through any and every circumstance. Whether you have success in this life or not, you will have joy because your life will be wholly lived with your relationship with God as first priority. When your goal is to see God’s kingdom come to earth, the circumstances of your job and relationships won’t have the power to shake your joy and satisfaction any longer. You see, God’s plan to is to redeem your life totally and completely. God’s plan is to renew your joy every morning as you place your hope and trust in him alone.

Spend time today with your heavenly Father doing that very thing. Reflect on your life and see what has had the ability to shake your joy. May your joy become like that of a child’s today, who simply delights in the love of the Father. “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,” Colossians 1:11

Guided Prayer:

1. Meditate on the joy God has in store for those who place their trust in him.

“For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.” Psalm 33:21

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

2. Reflect on your own life. What has the power to steal your joy? Where have you been placing your trust and hope?

3. Place your hope and trust in your heavenly Father today. Choose to give him your heart instead of the world. Make your relationship with him first priority.

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

How incredible is the heart of our God that he would consistently and constantly bring us joy! Your God has such a love for you that he never wants you to go a day without it. He never wants you to have a moment without his unshakable joy. Jesus said in John 10:10“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Experience the abundant life your God has in store for you as you live your life in a wholehearted pursuit of the joy of your good and present heavenly Father.

Extended Reading: Psalm 139

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