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THAT THE NEXT GENERATION MAY KNOW (Series on Mothering & Mentoring)

We’re beginning a short series for mentors, mothers, aunts, and  grandmothers. We are all called to impact the next generation.



My friend Twila secretly made this Shutterfly book for her daughter,

 last Christmas,

to tell the story of her grandson,


We are all called to remember ways God has worked in our lives,

and in the lives of our forefathers,

passing them on,

“so that the next generation would know,

even the children yet unborn.”

(Psalm 78:6)


page 1Page 2(1)Page 3 for realpage 4 second timePage 5page 6page 7 page 8 againSerious doctor with folded arms in labcoat

Mommy went to the doctor.

The doctor said,

“The little nest

is breaking apart.

There is no baby.

We need to

clean out the nest.”

page 10 page 11

Beautiful young doctor with stethoscope So Mommy went to a

different doctor.

She asked,

“Now are

you ready

to let us

clean out

your nest?”

page 14

page 15page 16page 17page 18page 19page 20

Though the first doctor made a mistake (and sent his faulty records to the next doctor), God was watching over Henry, and guiding his mother. She listened and obeyed. And “Nana” recorded it so that he would know, and so that the next generation might know, even the children yet unborn.

I’m hoping you might invite those who need this series and also those who have raised faithful children to jump in and share their thoughts as we mentor one another. E-mail them or share on social media. And please pray too — I certainly was not a model parent and am not a model grandparent — but I am learning, and I am also learning from others who are wiser. Please pray for me and those participating.

On a wonderful “blog sisters” note twelve (TWELVE!) of you came to Ohio this weekend and we had an absolutely wonderful time getting to know one another on a face to face level — pictures are to come, but it was great. All were wonderful. Mary E was able to come — having gone off the cancer med that was making her so sick for a two week respite. She was as lovely as we have come to believe — as were others. Laura Dancer, AT LEAST FOR ME, was a surprise! (Now that I’ve met her face to face I feel I can tease her like that for I can hear her laugh! Despite the enormous load she carries in her life, she faces it with joy and humor.) We must do this again sometime somewhere, (some of you will do it on the cruise!) for it was wonderful. Chris orchestrated it all, drove me two hours out of her way to the airport, and brought food — as did Nancy and Susan  (I’m probably missing some helpers). We prayed together. Nancy and Laura-Dancer brought their daughters. Pictures to come! I am also so grateful for prayers — God certainly was gracious. All my planes were on time, my voice held up, and except for Friday night when I spoke to leaders, I had energy for this five day trip with so much speaking in Fargo and Ashland. Most of all I sensed His amazing quickening. Thank you!


1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

2. Can you think of a Shutterfly (or other company) book you might make for a child or children to pass on a story? In a sentence, what would be the story?

Monday-Wednesday: Bible Study (Psalm 78)

This is a long psalm, so we will only take the first part.

3. Read Psalm 78:1-8.

A. How does the opening verse show the importance of what the psalmist (Asaph – my favorite) is about to tell them?

B. How is a “parable” or a “story” to pass on different than simply teaching didactic truths?

C. What, according to verse 4, does God want us to do?

D. What reason, according to verses 6-8 is given for this command?

God is angry with Ephraim, whom He blessed, but forgot His works. On a personal note this is interesting to me for I live in a village named Ephraim, whom its believing founders named because she was so beautiful, for one meaning of Ephraim is “doubly fruitful.” (Joseph named his son Ephraim for God made him “doubly fruitful” in the land of his suffering.)

Ephraim, Wisconsin named by its Moravian Founders because it is “doubly fruitful.”

That generation had a deep faith but today, by and large, Ephraim has drifted from the faith of its fathers. Two little churches are on the hill — one is open only in the summer for tourists, and the other is endeavoring, through the guidance of a new pastor, to find its way back to the faith of its founding fathers. What happened to the Ephraim of old and to this little Ephraim? I know part of the problem for both was prosperity — for Christianity moves away from wealth. Wealth makes people feel a lack of need for God.

Also, as we read the history of both, we know that there were enormous failures morally, and failures to pass on the torch. They forgot His works and the wonders He had shown them. We are so prone to forget. I think one of the reasons that Ann VosKamp’s One Thousand Gifts is so paradigm changing is because she took the concept we all know of the importance of being thankful, and put it to a poetic story that moved our hearts to see HOW LIFE-CHANGING keeping a list of thanks could be. I keep a list now, and it is helping me.

4. What comments do you have on the above paragraph and why?

5. If you were to thank God for three simple things from yesterday, what would they be?

6. I think it is important to get together as a family at least a few times a week, and over a meal. We were able to keep suppers pretty regular and that was our best time. For some it is breakfast or bedtime or a weekly family night. Here is when we tell our “stories,” ways that God moved in our life that day, or ways He rescued His people in the past. Here is when ask questions and listen. We also need to do this all through the day, as we walk by the way, when we rise and when we lay down…  If you have children in the home, how are you endeavoring to make this happen and how?

7. Read Psalm 78:9-16 and list some of the works they forgot.

8. What are some acts of God in your life that you must never forget? List three stories with one summary sentence for each.

Thursday-Friday: Sermon

Scot Sherman: A Song for Children

This is a Presbyterian pastor (and the sermon is very Presbyterian) from the Monergism site. What I loved about it is how he caught passing on “the story.” There is static in the beginning but it disappears fairly soon.

A Song for the Children

If the player above does not work, go to this site and choose the first sermon: http://www.monergism.com/search?keywords=psalm+78&format=All

9. Share your comments and notes.


10. What is your take-a-way and why?

Leave a Comment

Comment * If this is your first time here, please comment then fill out your name and email as stated at the bottom. Dee will approve you within 24 hours.


  1. 1. What stands out? Oh Dee, I had no idea you were going here when you said you were doing a new series for mothers, gmas, and such! Tears this morning as I read Twila’s story to her grandson…life is a miracle, isnt it? So timely for me…..isn’t that a kiss from the King?

    Thanks be to God for Dee, this blog, and my sisters here! Thanks be to God for a very blessed weekend! I can’t wait to meet the rest of you 🙂

    1. Laura, I’m so glad this week’s blog’s opening touched you the way it did! And you were a surprise! You’re so “multi-faceted”!! You’re into nature/science, passionate about politics and world events, an expressive dancer…need I say more? I could, but it would take up too much space!

      1. Susan it was so nice to meet you (and everyone)…..you have a lovely, kind spirit and sweet smile!  I was touched by you being touched by our “dance.” I am a curious person by nature and love to learn new things, I think that’s why I am seemingly diverse. It’s true, I can be passionate about things too! I think you “women of the Midwest” are my kindred spirits because my mom and dad were both from that part of the country…..well dad was anyway! Mom was a Pennsylvanian! Really loved spending time in the great state of Ohio; it was beautiful.

    2. Laure we are so close and NH is such a small state I would LOVE to meet you sometime:) so glad you went and your daughter too! Very excited to hear about that!

      1. I would love that too Liz! We should pick a place midway to meet for coffee sometime. can we connect on the Facebook page?

        1. Laura I am not on Facebook but I can maybe ask either Jackie or Nila if they can give you my email on there. It is my work email and I just do not want to put it out on here. I would love to meet up for sure.

    1. Yes, we got to our stop safely and we’re on our way to pick up my son. I’m glad that you made it safely as well! Weather is beautiful and so is Pennsylvania this time of year! Safe travels for everyone driving today.

  2. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?  Oh the ENTIRE STORY stood out!  I sobbed through the whole thing and then read it to my mom with my voice breaking because one of my nephews (mom’s grandson) has a similar story.  My sister-in-law’s placenta was tearing away from her uterus but the doc she was going to thought she had a molar pregnancy (cancer) and recommended an abortion.  She did not do that and I think saw another doctor who told her the placenta was 50% torn away.  He said that the part that was still attached could stay attached and the baby would be okay or it could tear away and she would miscarry.  My brother called me and said, “so pray the part that is attached will stay attached.”  I said, “I’m going to pray that the part that has torn away will re-attach!!”  He said, “does that ever happen?”  I said, “Does it matter???”  He said, “Well, I guess not.”  My sister-in-law then went for monthly ultrasounds and after a couple the tech said, “Well that’s weird, it looks like the placenta is actually re-attaching.”  My brother said, “How often does that happen?”  The tech said, “It NEVER happens!”  🙂  Over the next few weeks it TOTALLY RE-ATTACHED! 
    2. Can you think of a Shutterfly (or other company) book you might make for a child or children to pass on a story? In a sentence, what would be the story?  Yes, the above story in my answer to #1!  🙂  
    AND…It was SOOO wonderful to meet you all yesterday.  I just want to say, please don’t make me out to be more than I am, or think more highly of me than you should.  I’m so totally ordinary and a typical God-breathen piece of clay!  Grateful everyday for His deep love for me, which is the ONLY thing that enables me to walk into the dark with Him…to take His hand and dance as He leads.  Dee, I LOVED that movie scene so much… that started me crying immediately (I rarely wear make up and should not have bothered wearing any for yesterday either!)  I’m so glad that you are NOT a NY Times best-seller, Dee, because I have a feeling that if you were you would never have the time to make such an intimate difference in the lives of so many.  Just keep dancing with Him as the lead. =)

    1. Wow!  What a wonderful story, Mary!  Love your thoughts about the conference too and about how sweetly Dee DOES take the time to make such a difference for so many.  I am so humbled by that too.

    2. Mary, I LOVE the story of your nephew.  I’m also a little surprised about what the tech said — because my experience is that they haven’t been willing to tell me ANYTHING even when I can see some of it for myself…

      1. Yes, technically I think they are not supposed to tell any diagnostic things….but I have had some that will hint to me if it is good. =)  

    3. Mary, that movie clip from Miss Potter also makes me tear-up, every time! If you haven’t seen the entire movie, it’s well worth it! And it is your total belief, trust, and reliance on His deep love for you that really shines in you!

      1. Oh Susan, I do plan to watch it!  I can’t wait.  Was just looking at ordering it from iTunes!! 😀 It’s so cool that I can picture you in my mind now!

      2. I came home and began to watch Miss Potter again 🙂

        1. 😀

      3. I love ‘Miss Potter’.  It’s on my ‘to buy’ list as I’ve only seen it once.  What’s the scene you watched? 

    4. “I said, “I’m going to pray that the part that has torn away will re-attach!!”  He said, “does that ever happen?”  I said, “Does it matter???”  He said, “Well, I guess not.”  My sister-in-law then went for monthly ultrasounds and after a couple the tech said, “Well that’s weird, it looks like the placenta is actually re-attaching.”  My brother said, “How often does that happen?”  The tech said, “It NEVER happens!”  🙂  Over the next few weeks it TOTALLY RE-ATTACHED!”
      Oh thank you for sharing, Mary…an excellent reminder that with God ALL things are possible…

    5. Absolutely love that placenta reattaching story, Mary. Wow! A miracle!

    6. Mary love the story of the placenta reattaching! We serve a miracle working God. I loved especially the response to your brother!!!!! I bet the Lord did too!

    7. Dearest Mary, I want to respond to your comment about our response to you. Your faith and sweetness in the face of hard trials is priceless. You displaying the realness of you hope in Christ inspires us to lean into Him more too. So really you are making His name great… it is right that we love you for that 🙂

      1. Ditto!

      2. I just saw this, thank you Chris!  I need to email you about how you got over your frozen shoulder!!!  Thank you too, Laura

  3. I feel blessed to have been a guest with your “blog sisters” at Ashland, to see and feel the bond of brides of the King. The message of idolatry changes the image of several things that have recently become a focus in my life. Thank you Dee for helping me to see these things as the idols they truly are.  What a wonderful series to begin following. I love so much being a mother but would agree with my mom, almost, when she said, “it would be great if you could skip your children and go straight to your grandchildren”.
    I will be praying for you all. Thank you!

    1. Welcome Norlene! We are glad you were able to be at the conference and now have joined us here on the blog! It is a great place to be.

    2. Welcome, Norlene!   I’m so glad you went to the conference with Joanne and so glad you’ve jumped in here this morning!  It’s a place of great encouragement.  🙂

    3. Norlene I’m so glad you joined us here!  

    4. Welcome Norlene!  It was nice meeting you in Ashland.

    5. Welcome to the blog, Norlene. I am one of the Canadian blog sisters. This is a wonderful place of kindred spirits.

    6. Welcome Norlene. This is indeed a special place of sharing, and growth! 

    7. Norlene,
      Welcome to our group! Love the uniqueness of your name-wondering if it is a combination of loved ones’ name? My real name “Ernema” came from “Ernesto and Emma”. smile.

      1. Ernema, I am named after my grandmother Nora. My dad wanted to name me Norlena Angelina. I am grateful that my mom nixed that!  

    8. So glad you made it here Norlene!

    9. Norlene, Welcome to the blog.  So glad you were able to go to the conference!

    10. Hi Norlene, 
      Welcome!! So glad you were at Dee’s event in Ashland-glad to have you here with us!

  4. It is so heartening to hear about the gathering of the twelve (blog sisters) this past weekend!   Loved hearing that Laura and Nancy’s daughters were there too!  I am hoping to bring my daughter, Erin, when/if Dee comes to the Omaha, Nebraska area (where my daughter lives).   Only wish I could have been there this past weekend too.    Hoping that some of us can meet up at another time and another place 🙂    
    This makes me think of Hebrews 10:25   “….not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.  
    So grateful for the capacity of continuing to “meet together” right here in this blog place for now, as we continue to encourage each other along the way.
    Bless Be the Tie, Sara Groves    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcYFtihSg_8

    1. Nila,  Omaha would be a good place to meet.  Right, Joyce?  😉
      Nila, I almost posted on FB earlier today that we should all go to AirBnB and plan a stay at a certain place listed there 🙂  And then I started thinking about how SPREAD OUT the western half of the country is.  When I lived in IN, I remember telling people who didn’t think I was from the Midwest that if the country were divided in half, Ohio would be in the Mideast and Montana would be in the Midwest!

      1. Renee, you are so right about Ohio truly being the MidEast!  I have NO CLUE how we got included in being the “mid west!”   Must have been determined back where there were only a few states in the union!

      2. I could potentially make it to Omaha 🙂

    2. Welcome, Norlene, so glad you could go to the retreat and also the other blog sisters. Love the words to the hymn, Bless be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love! It is a beautiful fellowship of sisterhood!

    3. Nila Amen looking forward to listening to the song:)

    4. Oh this is so, so true, Nila.   When I think back on the past year being here with you all on this blog, I really can’t say thanks enough.   My life has been completely different by meeting with you women here.  I am a different person than I was a year ago when I came here, too.  Thanks be to God!

      So grateful for the capacity of continuing to “meet together” right here in this blog place for now, as we continue to encourage each other along the way.

    5. Beautiful song Nila. Thanks for sharing

  5. Enjoyed reading of your meeting together. That’s quite a commitment, as I guess many had to come interstate to make that happen. That’s wonderful.
    2. Can you think of a Shutterfly (or other company) book you might make for a child or children to pass on a story? In a sentence, what would be the story?
    When my children were small, I made photo story books for them about their visits to Nana. Different technology then, and they haven’t stood up to the ravages of time. I don’t have any grandchildren yet, but reading that I would like to make a book to tell them about their granddad they won’t get to meet. 

    1. Kerryn,  It’s so sweet to think of you making those books for your kids to remember their Nana and to plan for making one for your future grandchildren to know your husband. I didn’t know 2 of my grandparents and just barely knew the other two.  My youngest daughter was 9 months when her grandpa died.  You’ve given me a thought too, about making a book for her to know more about her grandpa who dearly loved her visits while he was dying.  Come to think of it, I did dedicate a page to her and grandpa in her baby album. 

  6. A. How does the opening verse show the importance of what the psalmist (Asaph – my favorite) is about to tell them?
    I think perhaps my people, indicating relationship, is the key to the importance of the story. This is not just any story, but a story that involves them intimately. Like Henry’s story.
    B. How is a “parable” or a “story” to pass on different than simply teaching didactic truths?
    A parable or story is often used for teaching because people get involved in the story and that helps them to get the message, in a way that simply stating the message often doesn’t. It can be used to provide context or application for the message.
    C. What, according to verse 4, does God want us to do?
    God wants us to pass on to future generations the things we have learned about God.
    D. What reason, according to verses 6-8 is given for this command?
    So that they will trust God and keep his commands.

  7. I attended Dee’s conference yesterday & was delighted to meet so many lovely ladies! I was especially blessed to meet Mary E. – you are a special person & so humble. I felt a kindred spirit with you immediately. I do hope you can join us on FB, too. I don’t have much wisdom or profound thoughts to share, but when I saw this week’s study was about mentoring I recalled Dee’s words from yesterday on mentoring. She said, ” A mentor is like the twin tail-lights guiding you when you are driving in a snow storm.”  A few months ago, I started attending a wonderful church in my community (thanks to Dee’s prompting to seek out a bible based church again) & I have developed a friendship with a kind & caring lady named Sarah who has become my mentor. We meet weekly at the church & she has kept me from “going into the ditch” as she is a little further down the road from me & has handled blizzards wisely. Speaking God’s truth to my heart is a lesson we revisit every week. I clearly see my need for friendship even though I tend to be a loner. I’m so glad I didn’t allow the hurt of past relationships to prevent me from seeking new ones. 

    1. It was such a blessing to meet you as week, Joanne!  I do hope to get on FB soon (my brother can help me set up a private page when he is here in a few weeks.)  Perhaps we will meet again one day, this side of heaven. =)

      1. Yes, I hope so, Mary! 🙂

      2. Mary, what you need to do to stay really private on FB is not have FB friends and not post updates on other pages (only post in hidden and secret groups — and even those can be switched to more public settings).  When you have FB friends, you show up in their “friend” list unless their friend list is hidden so that only mutual friends can see someone on the list.  I switched my friend list to hidden when I started the FB group; I know many people who get their FB friends by going through lists of others’ friends.

          Though the FB group itself is secret (which means it can’t be found through a FB search and those not in the group can’t read posts), most of FB is not secret, especially if you have FB friends. There’s so such thing as a completely private page if you have friends and allow them to post on your page.  You’d probably need to set your page so that no one else can post on it (I did that and was instructed by a “friend” to change it!) and use a middle name or (?) for a last name.  It’s amazing how I’ve been able to track down old friends who have their pages set at such security that it’s not even possible to request their friendship on FB — but they posted on another (business) page once or twice, and I found them 🙂

           If you want privacy, you do have to be cautious on FB.  I don’t want people to know what I am doing or thinking most of the time.  It STILL takes guts for me to post on my FB page, and I didn’t add my photo for a LONG time.  Though I am an introvert, I DEFINITELY am not shy–just sometimes creeped out by the Internet because there is nothing private about the Internet!  But this is more public than FB 🙂  PLEASE JOIN US!  But if you want privacy, you don’t want to do much outside the group.

        1. Thanks for this info, Renee.  

        2. Mary–I’ll give you my hyper-private take–I use my first name and a fake “last” name–I never set up a home page or answered any of the questions like where I went to high school…and I don’t “friend” anybody, so I won’t show up on their page (though I did a few in Dee’s group before I realized this part!. It’s funny because sometimes I’ll log in and it will ask me if I’m from Ohio (or somewhere else I’ve never seen), and try to peg me down based on the group–but I’m too sneaky to answer ;)I don’t use FB at all outside the group–but I have been surprised by what a blessing it is for prayer requests, etc…

        3. Elizabeth said it better (about FB privacy: only post in the group and don’t have friends!).  Many FB groups have rules.  At one point, I posted rules & one included being careful not to friend people who might want FB privacy.  I made my friends list private so that it was easier to get people into the group.  I know Diane and I are able to invite people by email (as group admins).  The two primary ways to join are through a FB friend or through an email invitation.

        4. I totally respect and understand the need and desire for privacy.  Just have to say that I’ve also experienced God moving in amazing ways through renewing friendships and going deeper than ever before because of reconnecting on facebook!  I don’t think I would ever have reconnected with my high school friend, Steve, before he died if his sister and I hadn’t first become confidants on facebook. (I barely knew her as she was 5 years older than me in school).  I also have a childhood friend whose husband is in late stage cancer and they have a whole network of hometown friends from the past and present  (yes, I did grow up in a tiny town of 300 people!) who are praying and supporting them through facebook.    I have countless stories of deepened friendships with people I’ve not seen in decades and relationships with long lost relatives too.  Yes, one does have to be wise about things, but for me allowing people into my life that I haven’t seen for decades has been totally rewarding!  (sometimes annoying….but you have to take the good with the bad)  What is most wonderful is that so many friends and acquaintances from childhood/ high school days now totally embrace their faith in Christ.  For many, I would have never known this if we hadn’t reconnected.  Growing up, cementing foundational truths about the Lord and aging does have it’s advantages  🙂  Just had to share this.  It’s been a joy to me.  I know it’s not for everyone though!

    2. Joanne, Thanks for sharing Dee’s example of the tail-lights in a snow storm.  My heart pounds when I read that example (need to ponder that one).  I’ve done that in ND blizzards, far from towns at night, when I should NOT have been outside.  Now I’m a city wimp and don’t leave town in snow-storms, let alone blizzards (weather forecasting has improved!).  I have both driving and school-bus memories when we couldn’t see the front of the hood of the vehicle.  This really makes the concept of mentoring come to life and MIGHT lead me to be braver about opening up with others.

    3. Joanne, glad to see you here today! It was a pleasure to meet you and your friend. I have been considering signing up to be mentored at my church, so I am glad to read of your mentoring experience.

    4. Great thoughts here, Joanne.  I’m so glad you’ve found a good church and a wonderful mentor!  

  8. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?  Feeling emotional reading the whole introduction.  TWELVE of you were together this weekend.  That so amazes me!  I’ve already seen the pictures on facebook and they are wonderful!   That Sarah was there, whom we have prayed for so often.  And that Mary E. had that extra blessing of feeling well enough to make it.  My eyes were misty looking at the pictures.  
    And of course the story of Henry!  How amazingly beautiful!   (Dee, now I know why you suggested I make a Shutterfly book to tell my granddaughter’s story)   Parts of the last two weeks, I have been able to be with my brand new granddaughter.  I just said goodbye to her and her 2 year old brother this morning and won’t see them until July.   Another reason I’m teary.  And also; lack of sleep.  I felt the weight of something hasty and unkind I had said last night in a conversation with my son and daughter in law.  It bothered me all night and I did not get much sleep.  I apologized right away this morning and now I am working on forgiving myself.   Just at a time when I have been feeling that  ‘parenting’ is in the past, I felt I had failed my kids.  Whew.  All this emotion is exhausting.  Grateful for the lyrics of a song sung in church today.  Need to look them up and meditate on them. 
    2. Can you think of a Shutterfly (or other company) book you might make for a child or children to pass on a story? In a sentence, what would be the story?     Timely question for me.   I shared the story in a paragraph the week she was born, but in case you missed it.   Our granddaughter, Adelyn was born on her due date, April 1st.  The home birth with a midwife which was carefully planned for, was interrupted when baby A. made her appearance while the midwife was still on her way.  God’s provision was amazing as a visiting OB nurse was just a few doors down and my son who had met her just the night before called her in urgency and she arrived seconds before the baby was born!    I’ve written my version of this story.  My kids are including their details and already planning a picture book (especially since I gave them Dee’s suggestion!) 

    1. Oh Wanda, i was also thinking of baby A’s delivery when i read this! 😀  I’m so glad that you and your son and daughter-in-law are writing it up to bring to remembrance down the road!  

  9. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

    The story. And then when I read this question, I burst into tears. This brought back memories of a picture book I made many years ago (pre-Internet) to remind a young child of those who loved her. She brought it to daycare.

    The topic, as a whole stands out because I’ve been thinking more about this lately (mid-life crisis 😉 ? )

    SO glad so many were together for the weekend. I keep grinning when I see the photos on FB!

      1. Daycare is a scary place for some, especially during the very long days.  Was good she could bring it with her many of those days.  A couple years later, I gave her a copy of a photo of me that was taken for a church directory; in order to fit it in her wallet (as a 4 yo), she folded it — right in the middle of my face:)  She’s now grown & lives relatively close.  I had planned to take her out for dinner Friday night, and she paid for the meal while I was in the bathroom.  We do have some hilarious memories because she has had me wrapped around her little finger since she was a baby.

        1. Love these stories of an ongoing sweet relationship, Renee!

  10. 2. Can you think of a Shutterfly (or other company) book you might make for a child or children to pass on a story? In a sentence, what would be the story?

    I would develop a multi-generational story of immigration, homesteading, and God’s faithfulness to families on the farm. The primary recipient only is two — but right now, it would be just as much a reminder for me as for her. Right now, I could begin to sketch out a story board, but I’m not ready to write it

    1. Renee, that sounds great!  I hope you do it!

    2. What a great idea this is too!  

  11. This series looks interesting. I hope it will help me to think through how to grandparent more effectively for Christ. We frequently have Krista’s three boys with us and I would dearly love to make the most of our time together to lead them to Jesus. I haven’t been able to figure out any ideas to use on a regular basis. Our other grandchildren we do not see very often. How do I reach them? 

      1. Hmm… will think about this.  I teach an intergenerational class; I changed the focus this semester and hadn’t taught it for 5 years.  There used to be info online about Intergenerational activities for grandparents and grandchildren, including those at a distance.  I’m sure some could be adapted for Christians/sharing the Gospel.  My grandparents who did live a distance away had a big impact on me; those occasional visits, giving me time, and unconditional ACCEPTANCE made a difference.  It really didn’t take specific activities.  My grandpa played with us and was a carpenter who made us kid-sized furniture (and behaviors related to dementia frightened us), and my grandma LOVED us — and we knew it.  It wasn’t specific activities.  There’s something about just plain “being there” even when “there” is too far away to see regularly — and acceptance that made the biggest difference.   (I’ll stop because my brain has switched to “what the research says” mode)

    1. I don’t have personal experience, as I don’t yet have grandchildren, but it comes up in my work. I’ve also heard frequently about the influence of godly grandparents.
      This is some interesting research, if you have access to journals. Interviews with children show that grandparents can have significant influence even when they do not live close. 
      Allen, Holly Catterton and Oschwald, Heidi Schultz. “The Spiritual Influence of Grandparents.” Christian Education Journal 2008, Vol. 5 (2), pp: 346–362.
      The statements of these children… offer strong support for the idea that grandparents nurture their grandchildren’s relationship with God through their frequent prayers, their stories, their clear example, their quiet witness, their availability, and especially their ability to lavish love, grace, and mercy on grandchildren in deep need of such gifts.
      This is one example from the report… Abigail, age 10, said of her grandmother: She goes to church in Georgia [where she lives] and she talks about God like every single time she comes [to visit]. She reads her Bible and writes in her journal every single morning and she’s nice and she’s patient and she just has a lot of self-control.
      When children named someone they thought knew God, the next question was, “What is it about that person that makes you think he (or she) knows God?” In regard to grandparents knowing God, some children described a spiritual experience while in the presence of a grandparent. Other children said things such as
      • the grandparent mentions God in birthday cards;
      • the grandparent practices a daily quiet time with God;
      • the grandparent is loving like God is;
      • the grandparent shows faith in God in times of stress such as natural disasters;
      • the grandparent brings gifts. 

      1. Thank you Kerryn, for these practical, hope filled examples!

      2. Kerryn thanks so much for sharing this. I am not a grandparent yet either but already praying for the future generations.

      3. I love both Kerryn’s and Renee’s posts about grandparenting from a distance.  Thank you both for taking the time to share.  And thanks for asking the question, Diane!  

    2. Diane can I respectfully suggest prayer as a start in looking for your idea for reaching your grandchildren. The Lord gives the BEST and most creative ideas! 

      1. Liz, This is my link first and foremost to my grandchildren. Praying for them for salvation, protection, good choices are my ongoing prayers for my 11 grandchildren.
        It is so hard to be far from them; 2000 miles to 100 miles away…
        But I have already started writing stories to pass on to them. I need to get some IT help to do something for a way to share them.

        1. Shirley wow 11 grandchildren. I am sure it must be hard being so far away. No distance is too far for our prayers. Do you Skype? Friends that I know have children and grandchildren so far find that such a blessing! 

        2. Shirley, It’s so good that you’re writing stories for your grandchildren!  My mom wrote about her childhood and a lot of family history and gave it to us one Christmas.  Some of it was hand written.  Some typed on a typewriter by a friend.  ZERO tech skills (or even technology available!) but I cherish it so much.  She also reprinted many key, significant photos of ancestors and of her growing up years.  I am so grateful I have this to pass on to my children/ her grandchildren.  

        3. Shirley, I’m definitely not an IT person — but depending how you want to share the stories and how detailed they are, I might be able to find some sort of a template online that works for your stories.  Though not a techie, I am a good snoop:)

    3. good books and lots of communication. my mom texts my older kids and that has been great. there are so many books that tell the gospel message in a kid friendly way. if you would like a list let me know 🙂

  12. So enjoy seeing everybody who were able to make it to Ashland! What an answer to prayer. I recognize several of you because of your pics either here or on FB. So glad to be back here after last week’s trials. I will post on FB sometime tonight.
    1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    The story of Henry and the faithfulness of God through the seemingly correct diagnosis of the doctor. I have a good friend who is expecting twins and they are monitoring her right now because of the possibility of the babies’ placenta sticking to each other. I am also thinking of my sister right now who is now technically on hospice. Only a miracle can heal her; the doctors have said there is nothing they can do in terms of treatment.
    2. Can you think of a Shutterfly (or other company) book you might make for a child or children to pass on a story? In a sentence, what would be the story?
    This question brought tears to my eyes. My sister, Grace has three children age 12, 10 and 7. She and her husband has raised these kids to be God-fearing. I hope I can tell them a story about their Mom and how she has continued to be faithful to God in the midst of all the hardships she has experienced in life.
    Dee, thank you for thinking of this series on mentoring. I am looking forward to learning more from you and from my blog sisters and from God’s Word.

      1. I was excited to hear about 12 women from the blog being in Ohio even Laura all the way from my state of NH I went to a Lisa Terkherst Women’s day out in NH Saturday. There was 2 days each drew 900 filled to capacity and they had to turn away 500. Dee NH is HUNGRY I  would LOVE to have you come to NH sometime! Although I would drive somewhere as well. 

        1. Dee. Prayer is where it all begins right? I will pray too! This was their 23rd year doing it.

        2. Yes, Dee, I would LOVE it if the Lord would open the way for you to come to NH. I am still many hours away from NH but I would move almost heaven and earth to try to be there and drag some other women with me!! Many women from the area go to the States to shop so why not go to the States to praise the Lord and grow spiritually! How can we make this happen? Yes, I will join in prayer for it.

        3. I would come, of course!

    1. This made me weepy too. Praying Bing for Grace’s children, your relationship with them, and that circumstances regarding your travel plans to see her will fall into place.

    2. Oh Bing,  I’m so sad to know of this next stage for Grace.  No wonder your last week was filled with sorrow and trial.  How dearly loved those three precious children are.  You are a wonderful, loving sister and aunt and I am praying for strength and wisdom for you as you stand in the gap for your sister.  

    3. Ernema Praying for your sister Grace, for a miracle, for her family and for You! 

  13. I haven’t looked ahead to the questions for this week, but I’m feeling both a little unsettled and also looking forward to it.   Like Diane, I don’t see my grandchildren often: only  a few times a year.  I am so grateful that they are in a home and community where they will learn about Jesus.  Also praying about the potential of my son and daughter in law adopting the 9 year old twins they are fostering.  So far, they are still officially in their grandmother’s custody, (though it is highly unlikely they will ever live with her-my kids are their ‘mom and dad’ in every other way.)  My husband was adopted when he was 9; totally different circumstances but it hit me one day that it would be amazing if this were to happen during their 9th year.   Also, tonight while driving home after taking my youngest back to college, I had an epiphany!  Nothing earth shattering but somehow, it has eluded me lately to thank God every day for our family ‘just as it is’ instead of always focusing on my wishes for some things to be different.  I have children and now grandchildren that I love with my whole heart and all of my children love and support each other in tender and huge ways.  I need to spend more time relishing these blessings!  I have often been overwhelmed by the fear of the unknowns (one of my children’s life threatening illnesses, wishing for one of my children to marry, yearning to be more involved in grandkids lives,  hoping for my kids to be able to adopt the twins and of course spiritual matters etc.)  Daily gratitude for where everyone is right now instead of pre-occupation with changes is my new parenting goal!

    1. Wanda,  I suspect that your parents had an influence on your kids without seeing them real frequently (even on the youngest, though she wasn’t that old when they died), and Skype wasn’t even in use then!  Just wondering how they might describe the influence of their grandparents.  I smile when I think of your parents’ influence, and I didn’t meet them many times.  SO I KNOW they would have impacted (and still do impact) your kids.  That legacy will last, whether they can express it or not.  (but I’d be curious to know how they’d express it — and your communication with them probably is open enough to find out 😉  ).  You might have some answers to the grandparenting from a distance questions in your family.

      1. Oh Renee.  This is exactly the encouragement I needed.  You’re so right.  My parents had a huge influence on my kids and still do.  I have poignant evidence of this fairly often.  My oldest, though they don’t accept the same foundational Christian truth that their grandparents did, have a deep and evident respect for it.  My parents’ Bibles, hymnbooks and other evidences of their faith are cherished by them.  And they really do help keep the memory alive for my youngest who was only a baby when dad died and 11 when mom died.  And when I think about it, even though we were about half the distance away from them as I am from my grandkids, we only saw them them about as often as our grandkids see us.  I had never even made that discovery before!  THANK YOU!  

    2. I love your parenting goal Wanda, when I read it thought, godliness plus contentment is great gain.

      1. Thank you Chris!  I love that verse.  I always thought that it summed up my mother’s life perfectly.  She was the most content person I have ever known.  (which humbles me, because I sometimes am not).  I needed that reminder!

    3. Wanda, what a great parenting goal!

      Daily gratitude for where everyone is right now instead of pre-occupation with changes is my new parenting goal!

      1. Wanda I agree exactly with what Diane shared here. A confirmation of a goal I keep wanting in my life!

    4. “Daily gratitude for where everyone is right now instead of pre-occupation with changes is my new parenting goal!” Thank you, Wanda!

  14. I read the passage in Psalm 78 earlier today.  I remember thinking a couple months ago that I wanted to get back into Psalms — sorta feels like “old home week” to read this passage.  Although I read the passage, I didn’t understand all that I was reading — and am curious.

  15. 3. Read Psalm 78:1-8.
    A. How does the opening verse show the importance of what the psalmist (Asaph – my favorite) is about to tell them?
    it says to give “ear,” or to, listen up!
    B. How is a “parable” or a “story” to pass on different than simply teaching didactic truths?
    People can seem to remember stories or parables, it’s hard to just remember a list of rules.

    1. Laura, I am so happy you and Sarah were able to join the others at Dee’s conference!
      Your faithfulness on the blog and as a parent is so evident!

      1. 🙂

  16. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    The story of Henry… this brings so many thoughts of where and how we put our faith…where it is human, human error is possible and probable at some point…no one is perfect but our Lord.  The consequence of human error in this case would be the loss of precious Henry.  The Lord spoke to Elizabeth and Elizabeth heard and listened…not once, but twice.  How ironic that Twila’s daughter’s name is Elizabeth; John the Baptist’s mother Elizabeth was the recipient of a miracle, and Twila’s Elizabeth as well. 
    2. Can you think of a Shutterfly (or other company) book you might make for a child or children to pass on a story? In a sentence, what would be the story?
    I started a book for my granddaughter that begins with pregnancy and continues on…I had hoped to do her first year and give it to her on her first birthday, but as the first year came and went, the book was not completed.  Similarly, I had thought about the first two years, but that birthday has now passed as well…  I’m going to keep working on it, adding as needed…who knows, maybe it will be a high school graduation gift…:)
     3. A. How does the opening verse show the importance of what the psalmist is about to tell them?
    The psalmist stresses his desire for them to hear and listen…”hear my teaching; listen.”
    B. How is a “parable” or a “story” to pass on different than simply teaching didactic truths?
    A parable/story is likely more easily remembered–most stories are easily relate-able and reach to greater depths in teaching and transforming the listener.  Didactic truth certainly has its time and place in conveying instruction and information, but for lessons of life and heart, a story will likely have greater mind/heart impact.
     C. What, according to verse 4, does God want us to do?
    Tell the next generation about the Lord; share with the next generation the Lord’s goodness, His love, providence, protection…ALL that He is and has done.
     D. What reason, according to verses 6-8 is given for this command?
    That the next generation will…
    *put their trust in the Lord
    *be mindful of the Lord’s providence and provision (deeds)
    *be obedient to the Lord’s commands
    *their hearts will be loyal to the Lord
    *their spirits will be faithful to the Lord

      1. Thank you, Dee…the time spent with LeeAnna was nice, as was the time spent with you and my bible study sisters.  

    1. Your daughter and granddaughter are both so blessed to have you Nanci.  That book you began for your granddaughter will be a priceless treasure!  

  17. 4. What comments do you have on the above paragraph and why?  Well first, I just love that picture, it looks like something from a puzzle or storybook.  You live in a storybook looking town, Dee!  Secondly, the story of it’s spiritual decline reminds me a little of Sodom (just a LITTLE, not much) but I was thinking of Ezekiel 16:14, which, in my NAS version of the Bible says that, “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.”  I think it is, as you mentioned, Dee, easy to not see a need for God when you have wealth, as apparently Sodom did.  And then spiritual and moral decline will ensue.  
    5. If you were to thank God for three simple things from yesterday, what would they be?  It was rainy here but the grass was so incredibly vivid green, I did thank Him for that at one point.  AND…it was such an upheaval to have to leave my other church at the onset of this cancer but God already knew what He had in mind for me.  I began going to a church in my parents town before I even knew I’d be living with them and it was a 35 min drive away and now I am a 15 min drive away and OH, WOW, the women in my morning Bible study class are so precious (just like you blog sisters) that I could never have even dreamed of a better group to be with.  The enemy meant all that happened with my other church for evil but God meant it for good.  I thanked Him for bringing me to this church (and that class) numerous times yesterday.

    1. Mary!  I am thrilled to hear of your women’s Bible study group and that you are in a good fellowship again!  We had both shared concerns about churches within this year and I am so glad you are feeling renewed!  I also find that verse in Ezekiel so compelling.  When I first read it, it was in the context of social justice and caring for the poor.  I was amazed that it is listed as the reason for Sodom’s guilt which to me means that her apathy toward the poor trumped her abhorrent sexual sin.  I would love to hear a good sermon on this!

  18. 3. Read Psalm 78:1-8.
    A. How does the opening verse show the importance of what the psalmist (Asaph – my favorite) is about to tell them?  In my NASB version it says, “Listen” as the opening word and later, “Incline your ears…”  
    B. How is a “parable” or a “story” to pass on different than simply teaching didactic truths?  Well a parable (like the wise man building his house on the rock and the fool on sand) seems more hypothetical…like this is what COULD happen but didactic truths are what REALLY did happen, indisputable facts.
    C. What, according to verse 4, does God want us to do?  Tell to future generations the works that the Lord has done in our lives
    D. What reason, according to verses 6-8 is given for this command?  so that they will not forget God and so that they will put their hope in God.

  19. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    Oh that Elizabeth was sensitive to the leading of the Spirit and did not follow through with the medical advice! What a legacy of faith and meaning for that child, I loved it!

    I thought about some of the children I know. How their lives are not what I would have chosen for them. I thought of Hannah and how she took her precious, prayed for, Samuel to the temple after he was weaned. I need to grow in faith, that God knows just what he is doing and that he is working things out to the good of those who love him.

    The get together! It really… truly… was amazing 🙂
    I smile as I write this.
    I made it home in time to hear our speaker at church on Sunday, He was speaking from 1 Thessalonians 2. My heart was filled with the goodness of God as I drove home, I was thinking of  Dee and the way she pours out her life in ministry, how she has been Gods agent for change in my life and so many others.  So much of the text of the sermon, how we need to pour out the love we’ve been shown by God onto the people in our path though it be costly or inconvenient to us that we need to love because we’ve been loved, fit with what I had been thinking about on the way home.
    Isn’t it easy to see Dee in these verses?

    1 Thessalonians 2 “5For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 6Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 8So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 9For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11For you know how, like a father with his children, 12we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. 13And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. “

    1. Love the Scripture passage and your application to Dee, Chris, as well as this quote. Very true!

      “we need to pour out the love we’ve been shown by God onto the people in our path though it be costly or inconvenient to us”

  20. What stood out was daughter Elizabeth’s nearness to God and trust in God.  So beautiful to see.
    My book in planning, is the story of my grandson’s great-grandparents (all who died prior to his birth), but who live on through pictures, traditions, etc.  He needs to know them.

  21. Another book I completed on my parents and grandparents, I had my son read and post as a podcast so that the great-grandchildren of my parents could know about them.  Technology is changing so fast, it is hard to think of an item that will withstand time, but the telling will be revealed somehow or historians and archeologists will be out of business.
    Psalm 78:1-8
    A. there is an entreaty to listen with the implication to hear the message and apply it.
    B. Stories and parables give a context to truths, show or model a truth, and create a picture to be remembered.  Most of us learn better, with such connections.
    C. The hope is for this generation to pass of the truths, embedded in stories so the next generation will share with their kids, and so forth.  As I was reading this Psalm and question I felt led to mention our Seder presentation.  We had a Jews for Jesus missionary, Heather Drake, come and explain the Seder.  Her presentation was packed with the stories that surround the implements and elements of the Seder.  Her constant mantra was (my paraphrase) ‘I do not understand how so many Jewish people can miss seeing Jesus and His path to salvation as it is shared in many places in the Seder service.’  (Those of you looking for ways to impact your Holy Week Services should consider contacting Jews for Jesus and requesting one of their many presentations.  My church is still talking about how much they learned.)
    D. Follow this directive so that: the next generation will know the truth and pass it on; so that they will not forget God’s works; so they will keep His commandments; so they will experience Hope in God; so they will be faithful and steadfast, in contrast to the present generation.

    1. Sherryl we had a Seder supper this year and have done in in years past. It was not done by Jews for Jesus but that would be great to have them come. We so enjoyed it and I too do not know how they can not see how they miss Jesus. One day that will change

  22. My grandson is also a miracle baby.  His mother, Elizabeth, has a stubborn metabolic disorder that required very strong medicine.  8 years ago, she had difficulty getting into her doctor to renew her prescription.  As a result of this 4 month delay, she was able to conceive a child (she and her husband did not think they would ever be able to conceive) and the conception was a healthy one due to her being off her meds for 4 months.  As a result, our grandson was born healthy, and has been a blessing every day.  With God all things are possible.

    1. Another Elizabeth miracle baby!

      1. That makes 3 Elizabeths 🙂 (counting John the Baptist’s mother, as Nanci pointed out!) 

  23. How does the opening verse show the importance of what the psalmist (Asaph – my favorite) is about to tell them?
    He tells them to LISTEN, I thought of Charles Stanley and Ann Graham Lotz and how they often call their listeners to attention by admonishing them to listen. 
    And this: Luke 9:35

    “Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!””

    B. How is a “parable” or a “story” to pass on different than simply teaching didactic truths? Parables and word pictures help us remember by engaging our imaginations, it helps the truth sink in.

    C. What, according to verse 4, does God want us to do? Not hide His truths, but to tell them, to tell of the glorious deeds, and might, and wonder of the Lord.
    D. What reason, according to verses 6-8 is given for this command? That they will know, and tell of, and hope in God. That they will not forget, but keep his commandments (the next made my heart leap, because my children do not walk with God as I long for them to) that though their fathers were rebellious and without faithful spirits that they can be different.

    1. Oh wow, Chris — Luke 9:35 definitely helps this the first part of Ps 78 soak in.  Thanks!

  24. very sad I missed this weekend 🙁 you all look so lovely. I am so excited about this. I LOVE being a mom. it is what i was called to do, in fact as my children get bigger I have really struggled with feeling like I have purpose. My older children are not perfect, they are making a lot of mistakes, but I love being with them and have figured out (after a lot of really long nights and REALLY ugly mistakes) how to let them be imperfect and not feel like its my fault. I struggle with liking my youngest, I struggled with liking my oldest when he was younger as well. It has been really hard to admit that to myself but I find when i do it takes some of the power out of it and it keeps me on my knees asking God to change my heart. 
    some of the things I do for my kids is I write letters in a journal and when they turn 16 or 18 depending on maturity level I give the book to them to read. this has been a sourse of healing at times, they have been able to read how much i love them and read my prayers for them and this has made me seem more human to them, its easier for them to forgive me for not being perfect.  I mess up SO much, but so do my kids and we have just agreed to have grace for each other….but that took MANY years to come to, in the christian community, and really the home schooling community there is this set of rules that if your kids dont follow you are considered a failure,  the moms are so hard on each other and so darn prideful, myself included. my daughters wear two piece bathing suits, they date, my son’s fiance spends the night at his apartment when she is home from school, one gets Ds on her report cards, my son will go weeks without calling or texting me…i do not have perfect kids….and I am not a perfect mom! BUT learning to live with grace “broken together” has given me such a HUGE peace and I feel so called to share that freedom with other moms. 
    this song is about marriage but i think its also really good for parenting. living in grace and brokenness together leads to a place where healing can take place. 

    1. I do love your honesty, Cyndi. One of the things that God has been teaching me over the past few years of our family shatteredness is that I am broken, but God loves me dearly anyway. Yes, we are all broken; but we can decide to be “broken together” and live in grace. Thanks so much for the song! Tears! As I admit my own brokenness and because of the grace God has given me, I learn HOW to love, and I can give grace to my spouse’s and my children’s and grandchildren’s brokenness.

    2. Cyndi, I know your “pain” here….about “perfect” kids. Unfortunately, I still blame myself at times for their mistakes. I wonder what I could have done better. It is hard. I often don’t like my children 🙁 and struggle to be kind and loving no matter what. I also wrote journals to my kids instead of doing baby books. I like your idea of having them read them as teens; I was planning to give them theirs when they got married or were “more responsible.” That day may not come!!! My youngest (18) is really struggling right now with his self worth. Maybe I should let him read……

      I appreciate this so much, Cyndi!  It took many years for me and my oldest son too.  And we still struggle sometimes with expecting things from each other that are not realistic.  And, this week I really messed up by something I said to my younger son, who DOES share my faith and values.  I hardly slept all night feeling such remorse.  Couldn’t wait to get up so I could apologize.  And I always hope that when I am gone, they will remember the apologies more than the mess ups.  I also appreciated your honesty about the faith community having these ‘perfect’ standards and feeling like you have to hide your mistakes and the mistakes of your kids.  I have wrestled with that as well.  I’m just SO grateful for the honest friends I have.  They are the ones I gravitate toward!  Not the ones who look perfect on the outside!

       I mess up SO much, but so do my kids and we have just agreed to have grace for each other….but that took MANY years to come to

    4. Cyndi, you hit it on the head…”I do not have perfect kids…and I am not a perfect Mom”…me either…:)  Perfection is unattainable this side of heaven, with the exception of our Lord…I strive towards excellence, doing the best I can and realizing that sometimes I’m going to fall short or “drop a ball”…not easy to take, but true.  There is no “perfect” person, couple, child, family, doctor, pastor, church, etc. this side of heaven…we are all fraught with sin. 

  25. I’m also loving getting back into a Psalm this week.    When I read verse 8, my mind went to this short news clip from Steve Harman’s ‘On the Road’.  I almost never watch TV news anymore, but Hartman’s stories are always worth watching!  Someone shared this on facebook today though it’s from 2013.  What struck me is that even when a parent fails miserably and the truth is not passed on (the stubborn and rebellious generation whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to Him’) God’s grace can meet us still.  This is a remarkable story about a 15 year old boy.  Though it doesn’t explicitly say that he was motivated with the love of Christ, he sure displays it!  

  26. B. How is a “parable” or a “story” to pass on different than simply teaching didactic truths?I love this question; and it’s been answered well here, so I will tell a story or ramble instead;) During the past few years I’ve read more about the use of story in teaching and research (just haven’t taken time to get good at it).  I found a link that helped me apply storytelling to change my own perspective and have used it in class.  If I find it again, I’ll share it here.  It also might be useful in writing stories for the next generation. 
    C. What, according to verse 4, does God want us to do?  pass down to next generations what we have heard from earlier generations.  Cool — didn’t think about his passage when I said I wanted to write a multi-generational story.  This passage likely was written during a time and place primarily accustomed to oral traditions.  If people didn’t pass stories down to future generations, they would be lost forever.  One reason I am interested in storytelling is because I’m hoping that absorbing the process of story-telling will help me interact more effectively with those who do come from an oral tradition.  We’re sorta spoiled in that even if we missed some of the stories, we might be able to track them down in writing.  I found an 800+ page book published in the early 1900s in Google Play a couple weeks ago when I was searching for info about some ancestors.  I never did find the info about the people I was searching for — but I found photos/text about others — as well as info about people coming from the play we visited in Norway.  I had never heard some of the specific stories of people who settled that area.
    D. What reason, according to verses 6-8 is given for this command?  “so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments”  — and not be like their fathers who weren’t faithful.

    1. Renee:  When I read your answers here, suddenly Richard Twiss’ words rang in my ears:  “Who’s going to tell them THAT story?”  He said that over and over.  And a few weeks later, he was gone and the stories have to be told by another.  Powerful.  

      1. Wanda, what a good reminder!

    I thought part of v. 2 seemed spooky, & I hit the commentaries.  The spooky part = dark: “I will utter dark sayings from of old.” 
    When Spurgeon didn’t answer to my satisfaction, I checked out Matthew Henry and read this: “These are called dark and deep sayings, because they are carefully to be looked into. The law of God was given with a particular charge to teach it diligently to their children, that the church may abide for ever.”  This answers the “why” question.  I had tunnel vision in thinking about generations.
    From John Wesley’s Explanatory notes:

    Dark sayings — Not that the words are hard to be understood, but the things, God’s transcendent goodness, their unparallel’d ingratitude; and their stupid ignorance and insensibleness, under such excellent teachings of God’s word and works, are prodigious and hard to be believed.

    The last one made the most sense to me regarding “dark.”  Still not completely connecting the dots — Maybe I have dark brain syndrome?

    1. The NIV says 
      “I will utter hidden things, things from of old”, so I never questioned it.  Interesting question and commentary though.  What translation are you reading?  Dark could be similar to hidden.  ?  

      1. ESV

    2. This is from the Amplified Bible
      “I will utter dark sayings of old [that hide important truth]”

      Then it references Matthew 13:34-35
      “34 These things all taken together Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, without a parable He said nothing to them.
      35 This was in fulfillment of what was spoken by the prophet: I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things that have been hidden since the foundation of the world. [Ps. 78:2.]”

      I hope this is helpful

      1. Thanks.  The ref to the Matthew passage does help!

  28. A. How does the opening verse show the importance of what the psalmist (Asaph – my favorite) is about to tell them?    I only saw the words hear and listen but I think Kerryn had an excellent point, seeing the word my as a key word.  He is speaking to HIS people. It is personal.  
    B. How is a “parable” or a “story” to pass on different than simply teaching didactic truths?   A parable uncovers hidden meanings by using something familiar to teach a deeper truth.  It resonates with the listener because they can engage with the story and it leaves them with a meaningful moral or truth to remember.  

  29. 4. What comments do you have on the above paragraph and why?The following stands out to me: “They forgot His works and the wonders He had shown them. We are so prone to forget.”  I am guilty, but what is striking is that I am not stewing in my guilt but turning to Jesus.
    Ugh!  Something else that stands out is that I am resistant to keeping a list (not just of thankfulness, but of ANYthing).  I go through spurts when I don’t want to write more words on a page.  Even though I used to journal regularly, these days I am successful at journaling about one day in a row! — every 6 mos.  As I write this, I realize that my Mom’s lists of prayer/answered prayer that I have seen are examples of writing that was passed down, even if it wasn’t necessarily intentional.  A thankfulness list would be the same.

  30. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why? – This opening segment saddened me to think that doctors who have sworn to save lives thought so little for this child that was created, but as it unfolded, it brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart that Elizabeth thought so much of her unborn child and was so in tune to God that she heard that still small voice to hold on. What an amazaing outcome. Just like Elizabeth in the bible who was beyound the years to conceive heard that still small voice that she would indeed be a mother. Fitting that our modern day mother was also named Elizabeth.
    2. Can you think of a Shutterfly (or other company) book you might make for a child or children to pass on a story? In a sentence, what would be the story? – I had not thought about myself doing one but did by my son and daughter-in-law a book to write in for Logan. Not sure if they are or not, but thing about one to do would be to help my mom do one for Logan or even the unknown grandkids that will come after she is gone. How great that would be for them to get to know her.

  31. I just want to also say what a great time I had this weekend meeting so many wonderful women from the blog. And Dee, your message was spot on, a little hard to hear, very convicting,  🙂 but great take aways from it as well. When I got home I made it to church and our Rooted class and as the Holy Spirit would have it, gave the same messages for me to hear and get down deep in my heart and soul. Looking forward to when we can do this again and meet more of you.

    1. Oh Julie, I LOVED sitting next to you and getting to know you!  So glad you came!

  32. C. What, according to verse 4, does God want us to do?
    Not hide the stories, good and bad,  and to praise Him!
    D. What reason, according to verses 6-8 is given for this command?
    So the next generations would know Him, love Him by keeping hope in Him, and not be as the previous generations….stubborn and not faithful to Him; to learn from their mistakes.

  33. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    I LOVE TWILA’S SHUTTERFLY BOOK!   Because remembering this way that God worked in his life will effect her grandson deeply. Perhaps God’s love for him will soak in deeper as he grows and in times of not sensing God’s presence, of the teen years when he might question God’s faithfulness and love this book would point him back to the truth. 
    2. Can you think of a Shutterfly (or other company) book you might make for a child or children to pass on a story? In a sentence, what would be the story?
    Oh yes! I am thinking of our Isaac’s story and I have such rich memories of how God has provided for and protected him throughout his autism journey. Hmmm…this is a really great idea.

  34. 1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
    Twila’s creativity…and, as this little boy, Henry, gets older, I believe the most significant thing that will stand out to him from this book is that his mom listened to God’s voice, not man’s. It really is a story of trust and dependence upon God, and the amazing realization that God knows us even before we’re born!
    2. This isn’t easy to answer in one sentence, and it makes me think differently about the scrapbooks and albums I’ve made for my children. There is a story that I know that tells me of God’s faithfulness to preserve His own, but it’s not one I think I could make a book out of, yet I can re-tell it. The Lord preserved my dad’s life many times, even as a child growing up with an abusive father, who, at one point, plotted to kill him and his mother. Too many details to share here, but had he succeeded, obviously I wouldn’t be here, nor my children.

  35. 3. A. He says, ‘give ear’ and ‘incline your ears’ to his words. I think also that the exclamation point at the end of the first sentence stresses importance.

    B. It penetrates the heart! :)) It goes past the mind to the heart. Truths can easily stay in the mind taking a while to get to the heart-and as we see with the Pharisees with some it never gets to the heart and just stays in the head.

    C. To tell our children the glorious deeds, his might, and wondrous things God has done. We are not to hide these things from them. That our children would pass them on to their children.

    D. So that the future generations will set their hope on God.

  36. 4. What comments do you have on the above paragraph and why?
    *anger…the Lord has righteous anger that is rooted in His love for His people.
    *prosperity…the people are “self”-serving; prosperity has turned them away from their true provider and to self.
    *gratitude…being thankful opens our eyes to the man, MANY blessing that abound. 

    These three points hit “home”… 
    I’ve learned something interesting about anger recently.  Anger shows idols with the simple question, “what are you defending?”  The answer to this question shows the root of the anger (i.e., is it righteous anger or idols at play).  The Lord has righteous anger rooted in His love. 

    America has been blessed to be a land of prosperity…the poor in the U.S. in comparison to some other countries are rich, to say nothing of the rich.  We have seen a turning away from the Lord, a lack of “In God we trust” mentality…the evil one’s bait of prosperity has snared many in our country.

    Gratitude…”One Thousand Gifts” impacted me greatly.  It opened my heart to being aware of the blessings that are all around me…it has helped in opening me to living in the present moment.  I have fallen away from the practice of listing gifts, but reading this has prompted me to revive my practice.
    5. If you were to thank God for three simple things from yesterday, what would they be?
    1) an 8.5 hour Monday work day
    2) a sentiment posted by my daughter regarding spending time with me this past weekend.
    3) yummy French Onion-Mushroom soup for dinner

    1. 🙂

  37. 4. What comments do you have on the above paragraph and why?

    I thought of this from Deuteronomy:

    . 7For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, 8a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, 9a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11“Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, 12lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, 13and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, 14then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, 15who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, 16who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. 17Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. 20Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.

    It fits so frighteningly well with your description of Ephraim and what Laura (over the weekend) shared about New England. But as always God keeps a remnant,  a seed in the stump, you and your friends are planting a church where people can hear the gospel 🙂
    The warning are sobering, but we hope in Christ.

    Matthew 5
    14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

  38. 5. If you were to thank God for three simple things from yesterday, what would they be?
    Our weather: We had an every sort of spring weather day yesterday, it was clear and sunny with blue skys, it was windy and dark, it rained big fat rain, there was a brief thunderstorm. I loved the variation, I thought about how plants need all of those things to be healthy and so we need seasons on blessing and hardship to trust and to grow deeper in our faith.
    My Family: I was with two of my boys briefly yesterday, we were just chatting, nothing extraordinary, I just enjoy them and the easy way we are together. I thought of Wanda’s parenting goal, about relaxing, having faith that God hears my earnest prayers for them and that I don’t need to manipulate them somehow when we are together, to cease striving, it was good.
    Food: I made dinner, a simple heathy dinner of greek salad, roast chicken and hummus. I have been really busy and haven’t cooked much lately. It was nice to be home. The chicken made the kitchen smoky (I roasted it at high heat) I opened the windows and the smell of the rainy spring air mixing with the roast chicken was wonderful, I was grateful and happy.

  39. I’m going back to the ‘book to pass on’ idea because I just thought of this WONDERFUL (no tech skills required!) memory book resource!   There’s a book callled Grandma, Do You Remember When?  published by Harvest House Publishers  from Eugene, Oregon.   It’s a hardcover, stunningly beautifully illustrated question book that gives a Grandma an opportunity to write answers to questions posed, to pass them on.   Here’s a link to Barnes and Noble but in a quick Google search, I see it is at Amazon etc. also.  
    Believe it or not, I stumbled on this treasure at my local grocery store one year and bought it for my youngest daughter to give to my mom for Mother’s Day.  My youngest (the youngest of her grandchildren) was only 10 at the time.  As it turns out, unknown to us, my mother had a brain tumor that was beginning to cause some mild confusion.  But her long term memory was still very good.  Since we lived 6 hours away, my niece (bless her heart) who lived in the same town and was still in high school, sat down with my mom and interviewed her with the questions and wrote out her answers.  Her handwriting had begun to get shaky and she would easily forget her tasks.   3 months later, mom was dx with brain cancer and a year later she died.    It is such a treasure.   I ordered more books from the publishers so my other nieces and my other daughter could have a copy.  I still have not filled in the blanks with her words.  GREAT REMINDER HERE to DO this!    And maybe I should buy a copy for ME to fill out for my grands!   Some of you may be interested in looking at this link.  

    1. Oh, Wanda, what a precious gift that you sat down with your Mom to write out her answers…indeed a treasure for all.  Thanks for the suggestion.

    2. Wanda I bought a similar book for my father in law one year for Fathers Day and he did fill it out. My nephew brought the book to my attention after my father in law passed away and showed me his response to a person who made the biggest impact on their faith and he had written about me. This of coarse was God speaking thru me. To God be all the glory. It was such a blessing to read the things he filled out after we had lost him. Thank you for this reminder as I may make this purchase for my Mom. She has so much in her life to share!

  40. 3. the psalmist REALLY wants us to listen to what he is about to say. He wants us to teach to our childrens hearts, since that is where a parable goes strait to.
    He encourages us to brag on God, to share with our kids all the wonderful things He has done for us and for those who have come before us.
    I read many biographies to my kids so they can see how wonderful God is and how real HE is. We also meet missionaries and spend time listening to their stories so that they can hear just how real and powerful and personal our God is.
    Peoples lives, the change that GOD makes in them, the power that shines from them is the best way to show our kids who GOD is and how much HE loves them and wants to live inside of them.

      1. For what ages, Dee?  Early childhood or elementary?  

      2. they are added Dee 🙂 this is a topic that I am SOOOO passionate about so please forgive me if I overpost!!!

  41. 4. Wealth makes us think we are “enough” The stories of how GOD has moved in our lives and the live of many others will wet the appetite for us and for our children to want to experience that kind of power in our own lives.
    5. I love keeping a “thankful” list. we have in some seasons made a thankful poster or a thankful jar in our home, when selfishness seemed to reign.
    sorry about my ramblings….i got carried away with the whole thankful thing…please feel free to ignore 🙂
    right now Im thankful for the sunshine, a quiet house, drivers ed (I hate teaching driving to my kids!), less pain today then yesterday, natural meds, sick kids who want their mommy, a great school, missions week, International dinner and the many international women I get to spend time with every monday, big windows, a car with heat, students who question me, new end table, flowering trees, paintings from my children, shoes that fit, a comfy bed, good coffee, good books to read, energy, time…….

  42. top 10 kids picture books
    Max Lucado “you are special” ; “If only I had a green nose” ; the oak inside the acorn” “you are mine” and many more…here is a link to all his books
    “Kingdom Parables”
    “Gods wisdom for little girls”
    “the black and white rainbow” “the treasure tree”  “id choose you” by John trent
    for a little bit older kids
    Hero tales, all 4 volumes my favorite by far! very short bio’s of missionaries with questions and organized by character traits Dave and Neta Jackson
    same couple writes historical fiction books about missionaries called “trailblazers” I love to read these out loud to my kids but easy enough for a 3rd grader
    link to these boodk you can have them all downloaded to a kindle or ipad for only 99 cents each!
    for a little older girl the “A life of faith” series, mostly Millie and Violet series. there are 8 books in each so they will keep your young reader busy! are wonderful reads, full of charecter building stories of young women who follow God
    thats all i got for now 🙂 hope you love them as much as I have!

    1. Yes, agreed,”You are Special” is wonderful…believe it or not, I bought it for myself many years ago.  Thanks for the other suggestions, Cyndi…I’ll definitely be looking into them.  My granddaughter really enjoys books (following in her Momma and Grammy’s footsteps); Grammy will be spending more one-on-one time with her during the summer months…it will be fun to read these books together…:)

    2. I also LOVE Hero Tales and worked out a Sunday School curriculum based on them one summer when I was Children’s Director at church.  Excellent reads.   As for picture books, I have several Lucado picture books on my coffee table regularly.  Like Nanci, I bought a copy of  You Are Special just to have at home.  For me. 🙂   
      Recently, I have fallen in love with Nancy Tillman’s work.  I didn’t know specifically if she is a believer, but her wonderful book, Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You is SO descriptive of for both a parent/grandparent/aunt’s  love, but ultimately God’s perfect love for us.  I had it in my closet to give to my grandson, but my daughter, his aunt, beat me to it!  I just gave Tillman’s  book,   On the Night You Were Born (which was a New York Times bestseller) to my newborn granddaughter and I noticed that she included in the inside cover, the words,   You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  I also see that she illustrated a book for Eric Metaxas.   I need to google more about her and her work.  Beautifully done!

  43. also Adventures in Odysee has been a HUGE blessing to our lives, our kids listen in the car and in bed and have learned a ton about bible history as well as american history and they think they are being entertained. Focus on the Family has a new thing where you can subscribe to them so that they are much more affordable. here is the link
    also all the Chronicles of Narnia have been done on audio by them and it is VERY well done, many other classics as well.

    1. Oh my gosh…me too!  My daughter still listens to Adventures in Odyssey.

  44. *I must never forget that God healed my marriage when I never thought it could be healed*
    *God showed a hurting broken little girl HIS love and gave her the courage to open herself up to be loved*
    here is a link to that story, dont have time to write it 🙂
    *God uses my brokenness for HIS works, I just need to open my eyes to HIM.

    1. Cyndi Thanks for sharing these beautiful blog posts. I love the story of your adopted daughter and all the Lord has done there thru His love poured out thru your family

  45. Jumping on here a little late, but I want to say how absolutely wonderful it was to meet all of you in Ohio this past weekend. Not one person who knows me can believe  not only that I talked to, but spent the evening talking with people that I have never “met” before.  When I first mentioned going to the conference it was just a thought of seeing Dee speak and maybe even getting to say Hi to her sometime during the day, but thanks to Chris and the others it turned into so much more.
    Thanking God for each one of you!!

    1. Love this post, Dawn!   Made me smile 🙂

    2. Dawn, you are such a kind person! I enjoyed meeting you too  🙂 I hope you and your hubby had a nice time on vacation. I don’t know if you heard what Sarah said to me? She said, “mom, don’t you know you shouldn’t spend the night with people you meet online?” Too funny! I told her normally that was true, but these were my Christian blog sisters…..

  46. Appealing to someone else’s memory here!   Somewhere recently, I read a quote from I think, Tim Keller (but could have been Phil Yancey because I have read books by both of them recently).  It may have even been quoted on this blog….or in a sermon.  The quote referred to …”the opposite of __________ is thanksgiving”   And it made me think because it was not the immediate opposite word one would first think.   Was it….the opposite of fear?  the opposite of ???   I need someone to fill in the blank!  I have been searching for it!  Went through the current Keller book I am reading and re-read all that I had highlighted (surely I would have highlighted it) and didn’t find.  Googled quotes by both.   My friend, with whom I read and discuss books, remembers it too….but she did not know either.   Since we both read Prayer by Yancey and Keller’s Walking with God through Pain and Suffering together, I thought it could have come from one of them.  ANYONE?      I am stuck and want to go back and read the context.

    1. Is it entitlement Wanda?

      1. Thanks, Liz.  But it’s not that.  I think it was fear or something similar because I remember pausing to think about it.   It wasn’t a ‘usual’ opposite.  Hmmm.  

    2. Wanda,  I don’t think this answers your question, but it does relate.  I’m currently re-reading A Praying Life by Paul Miller.   In the chapter on cynicism he says, “nothing undercuts cynicism more than a spirit of thankfulness.”  He goes on to say, “thanking God restores the natural order of our dependence on God.”    I often need this restoration.

      1. That’s good too, Nila.  Thank you.   I’ve done some more searching tonight but haven’t found it.  However, this is also a very helpful quote.  

  47. 8. What are some acts of God in your life that you must never forget? List three stories with one summary sentence for each.
    1.  Okay for the first one I’m going to recycle an answer from about 4 weeks ago. 😀  I’m going to copy and paste no need to read it all In summary, I must never forget how the Lord delivered me from a pattern of relational idolatry and how He has on-goingly showed me that He is enough.  Here is the story repeated for anyone who is board. 😀 :many years ago, when I first read The Friendships of Women.  Although that book was not specifically about Idolatry (as Idol Lies is) the section on relationship idolatry was what REALLY spoke to me the very most.  I could never figure out why I had such intense, emotional responses in my friendships (extreme highs and lows, dependent on how a friend responded to me- or did not respond- at any given time.)  Finally I had a name for it (idolatry) and a solution (repentance.)  Oh the UGLINESS of that name.  I was an idolatress.  And, as Rebecca mentions in Idol Lies, the biggest fear I had was that if I gave up my idol (emotional dependency on friends) then I would be left empty and alone and insecure because God, though I loved Him, could never be enough to fill the huge void that I always sensed in my heart (so I thought.)  So, I just told Him that fear.  I cried to Him and told Him how scared I was of being alone and void.  What happened next is a bit fuzzy to me because I feel unclear as to whether is was a vision or dream or what (I just know it was from the Lord), I had been reading my Bible and sobbing and I think I fall asleep out of exhaustion.  In this (vision/dream) I was standing at the sink washing dishes and crying as I thought of what I would be giving up by letting go of my grip on certain friends, and how empty I thought I would be, and then I felt a hand on my back (did not see the person) and somehow I knew it was Jesus behind me, His hand resting on my shoulder,  and He said only two words “I AM.”  And that was enough.  I was pretty undone by that.  I sensed His BIGNESS then and that HE IS all I have ever needed and would ever need.  It was still a process to “let go” but discovering on a daily basis His enoughness has been  well worth the journey. 
    2.  There have been other incredible things throughout my life, like once when a leukemic patient I was caring for was back in for a second attempt at “induction therapy” (an attempt to get her into remission so she could go for a bone marrow transplant, the first induction failed) it was right before Christmas.  She was a Believer and she was so sad to be away from her husband and children right at Christmas (she was about 37 years old.)  That evening I was to administer the chemo.  My habit was alway to pray over the chemo and the patient as I administered it (VERY SCARY STUFF!!)  So, I started the saline drip running into her central port (near the heart) and prayed my usual, “Father, please let this do only good and no harm to this patient, only what she needs, nothing more, nothing less.”  BEFORE I began to IV push the chemo med, at the very start of only the saline, the patient began to cough as though she was choking.  I immediately stopped the saline and began to recheck everything (her line, etc…and listened to her heart and lungs.)  All was fine and she stopped coughing.  I called her oncologist and he ordered an EKG and chest x-ray and again, all was fine, but I just was not at all comfortable with proceeding with the chemo infusion that evening so I told the oncologist this and he said to hold it for that night and he’d see her in the morning.  The next evening I came to work and the patient was gone.  They had drawn her blood counts that day and she had gone into remission!!!!! She did NOT need that chemo at all.  All she needed was one more day to show them that she was in remission!!!!  I think I will never forget this for as long as I live.  She was home with her family for Christmas and soon after that was getting her bone marrow transplant.  
    Okay, those were paragraphs, rather than summary sentences so I will just share those two! 

    1. Wow!

    2. What a lovely chemo story, Mary.  To think that God used you to be the one who was her nurse that night!  So many things to think about here.  Wow! is right.  (and I didn’t even realize you worked in oncology.)

      1. I only worked oncology for a couple years.  I always went from one speciality to another, always worried that I was not smart enough or competent enough to work in nursing at all!  And yet clearly I should have KNOWN that in and of myself I was not, but God was with me!  I could have put my trust in Him a whole lot sooner than I did and saved myself constant stress and anxiety.

    3. Chills! Thank you Mary for sharing these wonderful never forget stories with us!

    4. Mary thanks for sharing these stories! Wow! 

    5. Loved your personal stories, Mary! I also started my nursing career in oncology…back in the 80’s. Yours is a very beautiful story about praying before giving chemo; I regret that at that time in my life, I was still an unbeliever.