Category Archives: Parenting

A New Season – Grandparenting

On Friday, November 1, 2013 my wife Jerilyn and I entered into a new season of our life. We became Grandparents to Chaucer Whitt Johnston born to our son and daughter-in-law Grady and Ann Johnston. We were excited to hear the news they were expecting back in the early part of 2013 and then to receive the news that our grandson Chaucer was born was wonderful news. Jerilyn and I have prayed for the baby since we first heard that Grady and Ann were expecting and now that he has been born our prayers continue for Chaucer, Grady and Ann.

Chaucer Whitt Johnston

 

 

 

 

Many years ago I met a writer, speaker and radio talk show host Irene Endicott who had a passion for Grandparents. I begin learning about the grandparenting season from Irene as well as learning from my parents and Jerilyn’s parents.  Irene Endicott and Ferris Jordan wrote a book Grandparenting By Grace. The following is adapted from them.

a. Grandparents ought to be teachers to their grandchildren about God’s love. Isaiah 12:2-6

b. Grandparents ought to tell of God’s faithfulness toward our family. Deuteronomy 4:9

c. Grandparents ought to share family history with grandchildren.

d. Grandparents ought to be intentional to have some play times with grandchildren.

e. Grandparents ought to be an encourager to their grandchildren.

f. Grandparents ought to provide a listening ear to their grandchildren and children.

g. Grandparents ought to be wise and note hold a critical spirit.

h. Grandparents ought to be a blessing to grandchildren.

i. Grandparents ought to be a prayer warrior for their grandchildren.    Matthew 21:22

I will pray daily for the role Jerilyn and I have in the life of Chaucer. My parents and Jerilyn’s parents were a huge influence to me as a father and tremendous grandparents to our sons. I pray that I can take some of their instruction to be the Papa J that God would have me be to Chaucer.

I am thankful for Bob Hostetler a writer, speaker and teacher that has influence my life. Bob crafted the following 31 Virtues to pray for children and (Grandchildren).  I pray daily for my family and I will use the following 31 Virtues to pray for Chaucer.

1. Salvation—”Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” (Isa. 45:8; 2 Tim. 2:10)

2. Growth in Grace—”I pray that my children may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet. 3:18)

3. Love—”Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to live a life of love, through the Spirit who dwells in them.” (Gal. 5:25; Eph. 5:2)

4. Honesty and Integrity—”May integrity and honesty be their virtue 
and their protection.” (Ps. 25:21)

5. Self-Control—”Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be alert and self-controlled in all they do.” 
(1 Thess. 5:6)

6. Love for God’s Word—”May my children grow to find Your Word more precious than much pure gold and sweeter than honey from the comb.” (Ps. 19:10)

7. Justice—”God, help my children to love justice as You do and act justly in all they do.” (Ps. 11:7; Mic. 6:8)

8. Mercy—”May my children always be merciful, just as their Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)

9. Respect (for self, others, and authority)—”Father, grant that my children may show proper respect to everyone, as Your Word commands.” (1 Pet. 2:17)

10. Biblical Self-Esteem—”Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:10)

11. Faithfulness—”Let love and faithfulness never leave my children, but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts.” (Prov. 3:3)

12. Courage—”May my children always be strong and courageous in their character and in their actions.” (Deut. 31:6)

13. Purity—”Create in them a pure heart, O God, and let that purity of heart be shown in their actions.” (Ps. 51:10)

14. Kindness—”Lord, may my children always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” (1 Thes. 5:15)

15. Generosity—”Grant that my children may be generous and willing to share, and so lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age.” (1 Tim. 6:18-19)

16. Peace-Loving—”Father, let my children make every effort to do what leads to peace.” (Rom. 14:19)

17. Joy—”May my children be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Thes. 1:6)

18. Perseverance—”Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to run with perseverance the race marked out for them.” (Heb. 12:1)

19. Humility—”God, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all.” (Titus 3:2)

20. Compassion—”Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion.” (Col. 3:12)

21. Responsibility—”Grant that my children may learn responsibility, for each one should carry his own load.” (Gal. 6:5)

22. Contentment—”Father, teach my children the secret of being content in any and every situation, through Him who gives them strength.” (Phil. 4:12-13)

23. Faith—”I pray that faith will find root and grow in my children’s hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them.” (Luke 17:5-6; Heb. 11:1-40)

24. A Servant’s Heart—”God, please help my children develop servant’s hearts, that they may serve wholeheartedly, as if they were serving the Lord, not men.” (Eph. 6:7)

25. Hope—”May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13)

26. Willingness and Ability to Work—”Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work at it with all their heart, as working for the Lord and not for men.” (Col. 3:23)

27. Passion for God—”Lord, please instill in my children a soul that ‘followeth hard after thee,’ one that clings passionately to You.” (Ps. 63:8)

28. Self-Discipline—”Father, I pray that my children may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair.” (Prov. 1:3)

29. Prayerfulness—”Grant, Lord, that my children’s lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers.” (1 Thess. 5:17)

30. Gratitude—”Help my children to live lives that are always overflowing with thankfulness and always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:20; Col. 2:7)

31. A Heart for Missions—”Lord, please help my children to develop a desire to see Your glory declared among the nations, Your marvelous deeds among the peoples.” (Ps. 96:3)

In addition to praying for Chaucer I will look forward to the times we can spend together. While the distance is great at this time I am thankful for technology that provides opportunities for us to see him and communicate to him.

In closing I want to offer the following congratulations:

To Grady and Ann we rejoice with you in the birth of your first-born child.

To Jerilyn I am excited to share this season of life with you. You will be a wonderful Mimi to Chaucer.

To Steve and Linda Feaga the parents of Ann and grandparents to Chaucer I offer my congratulations to you and know Chaucer will love you and your entire family.

To Jody and Paul, congratulations on being an Uncle to Chaucer.

To Jayne and Faith congratulations on being an Aunt to Chaucer.

To the great-grandparents congratulations and thanks for loving Chaucer and encouraging Grady and Ann on their journey s parents.

To our extended family thanks for sharing and rejoicing with us in this new season of life.

With a Grateful Heart,

Papa J

Finishing Strong!!! Part 5 of 5

I am sharing in five parts a dialogue that took place through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. The reason for this dialogue-taking place in person, email and FaceTime is that we live nineteen hours away from each other and it was a progressive conversation over several weeks. My intent in sharing this dialogue is that it might be used by God to encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter to keep the doors of communication open. I do have Jody’s permission to share this series of articles.

Today I am sharing part five of our dialogue.

The following is an inside view of a dialogue through email, FaceTime and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. My intent in sharing is that I hope it may encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter.

This past Spring my youngest son Jody and I took time to visit and write about finishing strong. You see, at that time he was one year away from graduation at Liberty University. It is often said you will be remembered more by how you finish than how you start. I knew we were on the eve of Jody completing his third year at Liberty and thought this would be a good time to encourage him how the next twelve months have the potential to shape the rest of his life.

I challenged Jody in five areas to finish stronger at Liberty University.

You can go to www.jayjohnston.org to read the first four areas I covered in a challenge for Jody to finish strong.

Today’s post covers the fifth area that Jody and I discussed last spring. The fifth area that Jody and I discussed was character.

This is an area that my wife Jerilyn and I have attempted to live out before our two sons, family, co-workers, friends and neighbors. I am grateful that Jody and I can still have this conversation. It is a healthy conversation about who we are as Children of God, about who we are when no one else is around and who we are in public places. I am thankful that a discussion of character with our sons has never been about judging the character of someone else and we don’t measure ourselves by someone else’s character. The subject of character in our family is defined by who we are in Christ.

Today’s Take-Away for you to consider:

Discover who you are as a follower of Jesus Christ!

Matthew 5:48; I Peter 1:15-16; I Corinthians 13: 4-8; Galatians 3:20

In closing, let me bring you up-to-date on Jody. He was to begin his final year at Liberty University on Monday August 20, 2012. However, he was on a mission trip to Uganda and will returned August 28. Check out his photos and stories at Instagram or Webstegram  @jodyjohnston. He will be back in class on the 29th of August. I am praying he will be healthy, strong and overcome the nine-hour time difference quickly. I know the people of Bethlehem Baptist Church will be excited to have him back on Sunday September 2. As a father I am grateful for the love this church demonstrates to Grady, Ann and Jody.

This past summer Jody travelled throughout the US with a college friend Ryan Carl as they sought to build community among Instagramers. You can read more by clicking on this link:

http://www.liberty.edu/news/index.cfm?PID=18495&MID=61763#.UDZBcXni9Ws.mailto

Jody took our talk to heart as he has started off his senior year at Liberty University strong. I pray for a strong finish. I am grateful for a University committed to training Champions for Christ. For more information on Liberty University I encourage you to visit www.liberty.edu

Please take a moment and let me know your thoughts about this conversation.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston

#Pilgramers, #Instagram @JodyJohnston #LibertyUniversity #trainingchampions for Christ

Finishing Strong!!! Part 2 of 5

Everyday this week I am sharing one of five parts of a dialogue that took place through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. The reason for this dialogue-taking place in person, email and FaceTime is that we live nineteen hours away from each other and it was a progressive conversation over several weeks. My intent in sharing this dialogue is that it might be used by God to encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter to keep the doors of communication open. I do have Jody’s permission to share this series of articles.

Today I am sharing part two of our dialogue.

The following is an inside view of a dialogue through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. My intent in sharing is that I hope it may encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter.

This past Spring my youngest son Jody and I took time to visit and write about finishing strong. You see, at that time he was one year away from graduation at Liberty University. It is often said you will be remembered more by how you finish than how you start. I knew we were on the eve of Jody completing his third year at Liberty and thought this would be a good time to encourage him how the next twelve months have the potential to shape the rest of his life.

I challenged Jody in five areas to finish stronger at Liberty University.

Yesterday, I covered the challenge for Jody to have a strong personal walk with Jesus.

Today’s post covers the second area that Jody and I discussed last spring, which are his academic requirements. I expressed appreciation for him continuing to be a good student and keeping his grades up. I urged him to not slack up and to give the remaining classes his best effort because it will improve his GPA and will help him as he begin applying for entrance into a Seminary Graduate School. I also encouraged him to take some elective courses that would help with life skills like Business 101 and Financial Management. He might not be the Valedictorian of the Class of 2013 but I believe he will be able to say he gave his best effort while at Liberty University and for that I am grateful.

Today’s Take-Away for you to consider:

We must give our best at school, work or whatever we do!

2 Timothy 2:15; Colossians 3:23-24; Proverbs 13:4

I am grateful for the excellent education Jody is receiving as a student at Liberty University.

I hope whatever you have to do today you will give your best for the glory of God.

Tomorrow I will post a third area of the discussion Jody and I had last spring.

I also thank you for praying for us here in South Louisiana as we await Isaac.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay

Finishing Strong!!!! Part 1 of 5

Today, I am sharing Part 1 of 5 post that comes from a dialogue through email, FaceTime and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. The reason this dialogue took place in person, email and FaceTime is that we live nineteen hours away from each other and it was a progressive conversation over several weeks that was healthy for me and Jody.  My intent in sharing this dialogue is that it might be used by God to encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter to keep the doors of communication open. I do have Jody’s permission to share this series of articles.

Today I am sharing part one of our dialogue.

The following is an inside view of a dialogue through email and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. My intent in sharing is that I hope it may encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter.

This past Spring my youngest son Jody and I took time to visit and write about finishing strong. You see, at that time he was one year away from graduation at Liberty University. It is often said you will be remembered more by how you finish than how you start. I knew we were on the eve of Jody completing his third year at Liberty and thought this would be a good time to encourage him how the next twelve months have the potential to shape the rest of his life.

I challenged Jody in five areas to finish stronger at Liberty University.

The first area that Jody and I discussed was in his personal walk with Jesus.

I told him how grateful I am that he has a personal relationship with Jesus and that it seem like only yesterday that we stopped on Interstate 65 heading southbound

at mile marker 43 where he personally invited Jesus into his life. I challenged him that he has an opportunity to intentionally prepare and mature in his personal walk with Jesus during his senior year that would launch him into the next season of his life.

We spoke of some specific actions including his private time with God and public times of service and disciplemaking. We also spoke of those opportunities God orchestrates like divine appointments, and he needed to be in tune with God so he would not miss those appointments.

Today’s Take-Away for you to consider:

1. Accountability as a Christian is a must!

The Bible says God holds us accountable. Romans 14:12

A Christian is accountable to one another. 1 Corinthians 12

We must not see accountability as our enemy or a way to ambush someone. I see accountability as a backstop in life that supports and protects us from being found in an appearance of evil.

You might have read this and say well that works for them because the father and son both identify themselves as followers of Jesus Christ. So, what if a parent or child, teenager or young adult is without Christ what can I do to begin a conversation with them about Jesus. The very first thing I would do is pray for God to open a door for such an opportunity. We often try to go and do matters that are important with God without ever consulting Him.  Second, I would go to that person not with the intent to harm, but to share with them how much Jesus means to you. Let this be a personal time of sharing the story of Jesus and what God is doing in your life. Third, I would follow-up with that person and see how they are handling the conversation. Fourth, do not give up! Keep Praying and Asking God to bring that person to Salvation.

I hope you will take time to read and share your feedback with me by leaving comments at www.jayjohnston.org

I will post part 2 tomorrow. In closing, would you join in praying for family members who need a personal relationship with Jesus. I also ask you join me in praying for the preparations  and evacuation procedures taking place along the US Gulf Coast because of Issac.

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay

FInishing Strong!!!!

I will be sharing a post each day this week that comes from a dialogue through email, FaceTime and in person that my son Jody and I had this past spring. The reason this dialogue took place in person, email and FaceTime is that we live nineteen hours away from each other and it was a progressive conversation over several weeks that was healthy for both Jody and me.  My intent in sharing this dialogue is that it might be used by God to encourage a mom, dad, son or daughter to keep the doors of communication open. I do have Jody’s permission to share this series of articles.

This past spring my youngest son Jody and I took time to visit and write about finishing strong. You see, at that time he was one year away from graduation at Liberty University. It is often said you will be remembered more by how you finish than how you start. I knew we were on the eve of Jody completing his third year at Liberty and thought this would be a good time to encourage him how the next twelve months have the potential to shape the rest of his life.

I challenged Jody in five areas to finish stronger at Liberty University. Those areas include: personal relationship with Jesus, academic excellence, work ethics and expectations, friends and personal character.

I hope you will take time to read and share your feedback with me and others by leaving comments at www.jayjohnston.org

With a Grateful Heart,

Jay Johnston