FaceTime with the Lord

Recently, I experienced the pleasure of FaceTime with my grown children. Since we are scattered across the East Coast, being together is a rarity. My sons arranged a FaceTime family gathering on a Sunday evening. Meanwhile, I texted my kids and told them to mark their calendars as the Jacobs were meeting face to face. At 8:00 p.m., I hit the link my son Chris sent me. Voilà! I saw his face. Over the next few minutes, the others joined. Soon my entire family was online together.

I started the conversation by asking one son a couple of questions. A few minutes later, I asked another one some questions. Quickly, the dialogue between my family members sprang forward. At that point, I reclined in my chair, listening to these siblings and their spouses chat, laugh, and poke fun at each other. With their faces scattered across my computer screen, I was thrilled to watch my loved ones interact with each other. For an hour, I basked in the joy of their company.

Rejoicing …

The next morning, I thanked the Lord for the opportunity to visit with my children. What a treasured evening it had been. Then I remembered a Bible verse I often use as I begin my time with the Lord. I turned in my Bible to Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (NIV 1984 edition, emphasis added).

In the past, I had struggled with the thought that the Lord delighted in me. I questioned if He actually enjoyed my presence. But that morning, for the first time, I understood His joy. Just as I delighted in spending time with my children, my heavenly Father delights in spending time with me. Imagine that! The Lord of the universe loves my company, and I love to read His Word because it fills His heart with joy.

The Power of the Word of God

Living in the twenty-first century, many of us lead hectic lives. Often we are over- committed and exhausted. Wisely, God tells us “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10, emphasis added). One way to apply this verse is to read the Bible daily so God can strengthen our surrendered hearts to Him and equip us to navigate this frenetic world. If we desire to impact our children and grandchildren for the Lord, we need to establish a daily routine of meditating on His living Word. You could say it is “FaceTime” with the Lord.

Four Practical Steps

Many grandparents long to spend time studying and reading the Bible. However, they struggle with the logistics. I find it helpful to follow four practical steps. First, determine a reading schedule that is realistic for your current lifestyle. I start by asking the Lord to design my reading time. The second step is to use a Bible that is easy to read and understand. My favorite one is the New International Version (NIV). There are a number of excellent Bible translations. Your pastor or a sales person at a Christian bookstore may be able to recommend a Bible best suited for you. A third practical step for reading your Bible is to bring a notebook and pen to your quiet place. I find it helpful to jot down thoughts that come to me as I spend time with the Lord. The fourth step is to develop a reading plan. Often, I use a devotional book, a study guide or an online reading plan. It is important to establish a structure so I do not flounder when I start my quiet time. The structure keeps me on a timely tract.

Yes, “FaceTime” with the Lord is precious time in His presence. He has provided an amazing book called the Bible. It tells the most compelling story of all time, the story of the true God who longs to be with His people forever. He gave us this heavenly treasure so we can know how to run our earthly race. One
day we will see Him face-to-face. But until then, let us draw near to Him daily by reading and rereading His written Word. Remember, He delights in you. You bring joy to His heart and a smile to His face when you choose to “FaceTime” with Him.

For more information on “Reading the Bible Daily”, you can go to Catherine’s book, Pass the Legacy: 7 Keys for Grandparents Making a Difference at www.passthelegacy.com.

A Crazy Life

Catherine Jacobs

I remember well my crazy mom’s life of raising my four kids. No one warned me it is equally delirious being a grandma. Let’s see, this week I’ve crisscrossed the city not once, twice, but four times. Three of those runs were grandchild related. The fourth trip was to lead a class for grandmothers. Yes, I often catch MY breath as I watch my daughter race from one Mom’s event to the next. But I’m eyeballing her as I scurry hither and yon, repeating to myself, “I can do EVERYTHING through Christ who strengthens me.” The problem is I’m not as young as Carrie…. Sigh ….

Now I’m not complaining at all. I love it. Even though I get exasperated trying to balance this “retired” life, I wouldn’t trade any of it. Oh, I wish my life were nice and neat and orderly. How I long for a simpler, organized life-style. But you know what? I realized that is probably NOT going to happen — not in this life, anyway. So, I grab my keys and GO. When I can, I plunk away on my computer or scribble with a pen across various sizes and shapes of paper (old fashioned, I know). Also, I love to talk, visit or share with other grandparents about this amazing season of GRANDparenting. Notice I capitalized the first letters in the previous word. That is because this second season of parenting is “grand”. It is God’s vision for us as we age, gain experience and, hopefully, become wiser. The jury is still out on how wise I am. Finally, occasionally, churches ask me to speak at seminars, workshops or conferences.

Recently, I was given the awesome opportunity to write a few words to you, the readers on “Gospel Shaped Family”. Compared to the other writers on this website, I’m the “young one”. Not in age (at all!). But in experience of writing and speaking. I am a grandmother who has written a book and spoken a few times around the country. I’ve been blessed to walk with the Lord for over forty years. I base my thoughts on the living Word of God. So, grab a cup of tea and join me soon as I relate to you my struggles, nuggets of God-given wisdom and experiences of raising kids and grandkids in the faith.