Thursday, December 1, 2016

Legacy Coalition - Tim & Darcy Kimmel - Gracious Grandparenting

The last general session on the last day of the first-ever Legacy Grandparenting Summit was leg by Tim and Darcy Kimmel . . . yes, the Kimmels. As I have said, the Legacy Coalition did not "skimp" when it came to lining up top quality speakers who had much to share with grandparents about being intentional Christian grandparents! From the start with Larry Fowler, Josh Mulvihill, Valerie Bell and Chuck Swindoll and family, all the way through to the Kimmels, the general session speakers challenged and encouraged the grandparents to make a difference in the lives of their grandchildren, because grandparenting matters!

What is grandparenting? Tim and Darcy Kimmel shared a few answers to this question . . .
  • Darcy shared how grandchildren are rewards and God gives us the opportunity to come alongside our children and help as they raise them to know, love and walk with God.
  • Grandparenting is a second chance.
  • Grandparenting is a sacred trust to make a real difference.
  • Give a chance to show grand love between the generations.
Then Tim shared how we live our lives and the commitments we make determine if we make a difference in our children's lives. Grandparenting is more than spending our time in rocking chairs. The average age of a first time grandparent is 47 - average person lives to be 78 which gives us 30 years to make a difference.

Our generation is more active, more educated, more traveled than before. We have a lot going for us as this generation of grandparents - we can make a difference in our grandchildren's lives!

Then Tim went on to share from Psalm 71 about how we can be gracious grandparents. He said -
  • We need to be wisdom hunters - take knowledge and add God's grace to it to make a difference for future generations.
  • We have more to offer and the biggest thing is to offer grace to our grandchildren - treat our grandchildren as God treats us.
  • We have had a front row seat to God's majesty and love than others in our family so we can show -
  • Maturity - we learn from life.  
  • Experience - we've seen and done it all - we've been there!
  • Perspective - we know things which really matter in life and help our children not sweat the little things. 
  • Assistance - help with our time - to give them a break and be a sounding board for them. 
  • Pray like mad for them and do not give unsolicited advice. 
  • Love with fewer strings attached - more patient and love instantly and fully.
  • How to "tip the sacred cows" - don't buy into the idea we need to retire and only care about ourselves. We need to roll up our sleeves and use the rest of our lives to really make a difference!
If this was where the Kimmels ended, we would have been challenged and encouraged for sure; but it was not. He shared four wonderful roles outlined in the Bible about how to be grandparents . . . 
  1. Be people who are giving a blessing to our grandchildren. This how we speak into our grandchildren and attach high value to them. Children who receive this blessing are able to move into the world and hold on to the truth about who they are. Use our words and actions to give security, significance and strength to our grandchildren. When we do this we continue to grandparent from the grave. Don't ever show favoritism as it will undermine your grandchildren. Be people who pray every day, as this is a significant way to bless our grandchildren. Pray for each child and grandchild and pray for their faith journey (2 Timothy 1:5).
  2. Be torch bearers. Give a steady light to illuminate their path. Hold up the light and pass it on - pass on our heritage of faith. Be sure not to drop it! Don't let the light go up. There are many things to trip us up in life - sin, being cynical, disconnecting; but we need to hold the light high and be people who are intentional Christian grandparents. One main way we do this is to be a torchbearer of the Gospel to our grandchildren and by treating them the way Jesus does . . . giving them grace, patience and love. We need to trust the Holy Spirit to draw our grandchildren to Him in His time - hold up the torch of the gospel, not chase them around with it! We need to be agents of grace. Remember, John 3:17 follows John 3:16 - God did not send Jesus to condemn us, but to give us life! Be life-givers who show grace!
  3. Be a standard. Be a GPS for our grandchildren to help them know where they are. The world gives them so many false readings - we need to be people they can depend on for what moral living in an immoral world looks like and what it looks like to love when others do not. They need to know we are "accurate" and are able to show them what is absolute, so they will know they are safe. We need to be committed to not be fear-based grandparents or fall for the lie our security is in money and things. Show our grandchildren what is true, have courage and show consistent integrity. God calls us to things which are bigger and better - Psalms 15.
  4. Be legacy givers. We all leave a legacy, we have a choice about what kind of legacy we will leave. Don't leave a legacy of regret. Trust God and ask Him to help us finish well by leaving a legacy which never dies. We can do this by leaving clear tracks for them to follow. Remember, our grandchildren are more apt to want to follow us, when we deliver what we say covered in grace. Don't be harsh or unkind in our responses to our grandchildren. Let God's grace move through us, so it becomes what defines us and our daily lives!
Tim challenged us to show our grandchildren how a person of faith dies. One out of one people die (unless Jesus comes back first), so when it is our turn show our grandchildren everything we taught about being confident in God and His goodness is really true! Those we leave behind will know who we really were - we need to leave a legacy of faith, so seize the day! Be grace-filled grandparents! 

Yes, it is true! God has a very special role for us as grandparents! He wants us to show our grandchildren how a life of faith can carry us through life and carry them as well and the Kimmels left us challenged to go out and be gracious grandparents!

The Kimmels wrapped up the Legacy Grandparenting Summit with the final general session. It was an amazing and life-changing three days! If you were there, you will want to participate in next year's Summit for sure . . . if you were not there, you will want to participate in next year's Summit for sure as well!
Watch the website - as info about all the specifics for the next summit will be available in January. Please plan to join us and bring grandparents and leaders from your church with you!

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