Sunday, December 29, 2013

Hands Beautiful

 "Then Jesus drew the little children to Him, and blessed them, but He did more than that. It has sunk deep into the memories of the evangelists that in blessing them He laid His hand upon them. . . It was an act of the sweetest and most natural tenderness, the gentle and caressing touch of love. When He laid His hand upon the infant's head, He was laying it upon the mother's heart. Do you think these mothers ever would forget it? Some of them would see that hand again. It would be pierced then, streaming with red blood, and they would say, 'Look! that hand was once laid upon my child.' Behold His hands, then, they are hands of power, but the mothers could tell you that they are hands of tenderness."

Excerpt from "Hands Beautiful," Meditations on the Gospels by George Morrison

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all as we celebrate God's gift of His Son. Remember His purpose in coming. Believe in Him.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Child's Actions

"Even a child is known by his doing; whether his work be pure or whether it be right." Proverbs 20:11 

Another share from a Facebook page. Isn't it wonderful? There is little else that can be said for this photo.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Childhood Glimpses: Ruby Bridges

Ruby Bridges is one of three examples of children having courage to do right things in the face of wrong which I posted at the Facebook page this morning. For anyone who doesn't know, a daily prayer is posted there each morning as the first post of the day. These prayers are based on the daily devotionals from the Bright Gems book. Day 16 is "Having Courage" and we're in the first month of the sequence, which devotional is about Daniel having courage to do the right thing. So today's prayer, based on that, is asking the Lord to give our children and grandchildren the courage to do right.

I can think of no better example than this child, from a very difficult time in our country. This is a great painting by Norman Rockwell of this courageous little girl, just six years old. 

I found this article written by Ruby many years later, where she was looking back and reflecting on all that had happened during her childhood. Not many of our children will be called upon to do what she was, but we hopefully will teach them, as Ruby's mother did, that they have the power of prayer to help them through in the face of hard things when others wrong us. The Lord can surely help them to do right.

Trusting in God,
Nanna Maxine

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bright Gems Online Special

Speakable Gifts has a special going on of the Bright Gems book. It's being offered here, at Pinterest, and at Facebook. The price is $7.50. This is the best price that's been offered and shipping is free! And besides that, it comes with a free download of the BG Notebook. The link is here.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Keep Those Lips From Slips


If you lips would keep from slips,
Five things observe with care;
Of whom you speak; To whom you speak,
And how and when and where. ~ Anon

We've been talking a bit about the use of the tongue at our Facebook page and this poem fits right in. And isn't he too cute? Broderbund's title for this photo was "Whoops." :)

Nanna Maxine

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Fanny Crosby, a Christian Heroine

(Image: Wikepedia)

Oh what a happy soul am I!
Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.

How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don't;
To weep and sigh because I'm blind
I cannot nor I won't.

Fanny Crosby wrote this poem when she was but eight years old, and what a wonderful example and testimony she is to our children. I encourage you, no implore you, to read Fanny's biography to your children and sing some of her many hymns together. She lived a long and fruitful life, despite her handicap. In fact, I often think her life would not have been so fruitful without it. God knows exactly what He's doing and how to bless His saints. And indeed He did bless us through the life of this woman.

I wish the "Glimpses for Kids" by Christian History Institute were still available but as far as I know, you can no longer get the little church bulletins by that name. If I ever find out they're still available anywhere I'll be sure to pass that info along. But the text for the various biographies from those bulletins, written for children to read, are still available online and Fanny's is here. These excerpts from the bulletins do not include the graphics and puzzles but at least they can be printed out and read. 

Please talk to your kids often about the Christian heroes of the past. Believe me, they need to hear these things. Just turn on your news for five minutes and you'll have no doubt as to why.

Nanna Maxine

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Daughter Is...

 "A daughter is the happy memories of the past, the joyful moments of the present, and the hope and promise of the future." ~Author Unknown

Photo by Peter Bacler

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's a Wonderful Life

There is so much I could say about this movie, as most of us could, but the word that comes most to my mind is the word "tradition." For our family, this movie has been a tradition, and while some of its themes are indeed adult, for my children that was never a problem. After all, this is a fantasy story, and what child doesn't appreciate that?

Family values come through loud and clear and when George Bailey goes off the "deep end," what brings him back to the reality of just what it is in life that's important? Yes, his wife and children. 

It's one of those films where you can say many of the lines with the actors, you've seen it so often. It enriches our home as we listen to the sounds while we do our baking, or wrap the gifts, or trim the tree. Well, it's a major part of Christmas around here, that is, the traditional part.

As with everything we do these days of holiday preparation, we just need to make sure that Christ does not get lost in the shuffle. 

But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy a little excursion into this little small town and its people. 

Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Blessing of God

XVII. Train them, lastly, with continual prayer for a blessing on all you do.

"Without the blessing of the Lord, your best endeavours will do no good. He has the hearts of all men in His hands, and except He touch the hearts of your children by His Spirit, you will weary yourself to no purpose. Water, therefore, the seed you sow on their minds with unceasing prayer. The Lord is far more willing to hear than we to pray; far more ready to give blessings than we to ask them; — but He loves to be entreated for them. And I set this matter of prayer before you, as the top-stone and seal of all you do. I suspect the child of many prayers is seldom cast away. . .

"...Mark how Abraham intercedes for Ishmael...See how Manoah speaks to the angel about Samson...Observe how tenderly Job cared for his children's souls...  Parents, if you love your children, go and do likewise. You cannot name their names before the mercy-seat too often. . ."

[ I hate to leave this wonderful little book and I've put off this last installment, but I do implore you to read the entire writing, but particularly this last section. I would encourage you to find the booklet itself; it's not expensive at all, but I have found a pdf  of the text in its entirety here. You can then print it out and read it all for yourself. Mr. Ryles' concluding words are just so precious. The final quote after this pretty much sums up the heart of the writer, and of mine, with regard to Christ and our children. Heed the words well, and God bless. ~ mr]

"The Lord teach you all how precious Christ is, and what a mighty and complete work He hath done for our salvation. Then, I feel confident you will use every means to bring your children to Jesus, that they may live through Him." ~ J.C. Ryle

 ~ From the Duties of Parents, J. C. Ryle, See the first post in this series. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

What To Put On

"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; . . ." (Colossians 3:12)

Another important verse to teach the children. Learning more about humility will never harm them to be sure. We all need to have it impressed often on our hearts.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Being Humble

I have the above image listed in one of my pictures folders as "BG children" because it's the image I chose to put on the cover of Bright Gems for His Crown years ago. I was delighted to see it on this Facebook page today, a lovely page I follow because of the many sweet pictures and art that you see there as well as well as great quotes. The page, "Life's Daily Treasures" chose a perfect verse for this picture, Eccl. 9:10 which expresses the need for us all to do whatever we do with all that we have.

However, today at our HCG Facebook page we have a theme, and it's humility. So I'm going to share that picture from the LDT page in a short bit, with a link to this blog post. Being humble is the theme for the day (every now and then we're going to have a theme to coincide with the morning Bright Gems prayer), as the date is the 20th and the Bright Gems topic for Day 20 is "Being Humble." I would like folks to remember, if they don't have the book, that each particular topic has three separate devotions, one for each of the three months, depending on when the book is started. So, I thought it would be nice to copy here the introductory thoughts for Day 20, written to the children. Remember also, the introductory thoughts are to be read for each of the three devotionals:

"Now we have some thoughts to share about being humble.  God tells us in His Word that we must be humble.  To be humble means that you do not think too highly of yourself. Yes, we know that you are yet a child. You probably feel that we do not need to tell you to be humble. And yes, we know that Jesus once said that people should humble themselves like little children. But that does not mean that children are never proud. What Jesus was saying was that grown-ups should have simple faith, like children often do. But when God teaches in the Bible that people should be humble rather than proud, He is talking about children too. So today, let's think more about this." ~ From Bright Gems for His Crown

Yes, our children do indeed to learn humility like the rest of us. Let's teach them, shall we? And I'm sure that you and I both know that all our teaching is in vain if it doesn't include our example.

Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Best Training Book

This is another painting/picture I needed to share because the message is so there for us all. I was blessed that as of this writing this picture had been shared 9,750 times and counting. This gives me hope.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Soul of a Child

The soul of a child is the loveliest flower
That grows in the garden of God.
It climbs from weakness to knowledge and power,
To the sky from the clay and the clod.

To beauty and sweetness it grows under care,
Neglected 'tis ragged and wild,
It's a plant that is tender and wondrously rare,
The sweet wistful soul of a child.

Be tender, O gardener, and give it its share,
Of moisture, of warmth, and of light,
And let it not lack for painstaking care
To protect it from frost and the blight.

A glad day shall come when its bloom shall unfold,
It will seem that an angel has smiled.
Reflecting a beauty and sweetness untold
In the sensitive soul of a child.

~ Author Unknown

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

Mirror, Mirror

"If you stood in front of a mirror holding 11 roses, you will see 12 of the most beautiful things in this world." ~ Unknown

As I said on Facebook, what a wonderful thing a parent could say to his or her daughter. I was really taken by this very precious quote. Never heard it before. Another thing. I would hope the parent could say it truthfully, and I also hope that this beauty if far more than skin deep.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Child and Your Stomach

One thing for sure, if we give our stomach everything we can afford to, IF we can afford to give it the many things we know are not the best for it, it will surely be spoiled in more ways than we can count. So it is with our children. And who wants spoiled children?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Eyes of Children Around the World

I am posting this video directly from a page on Facebook called "The Eyes of Children Around the World." I follow this page because of what it is and the why of it. If I directly quote here what the administrators of the page said respecting this video you'll understand better the why of it and what it is I wish more of us would capture in our hearts, and not only become more aware of the children of the world, but that our Lord would impress them on our hearts more heavily and so much so, we're more constrained to help and less comfortable going on with our lives of relative ease without giving them a thought. Hear the message of their quote:

"This video does not pursue any kind of economic benefit; it's only goal is to raise awareness about the reality of our world, its people and its children. The close bond that springs out from looking at the innocence of these eyes transcends the judgement of the mind, and puts us in contact with an essential part of ourselves, a part where the real values of the human being live: love, compassion, gratitude, empathy, solidarity... The values of the world are falling apart; We hope that these children help us rescue them." 

From the heart,
Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Friday, November 1, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sibling Love

It seems I'm adding new Pinterest boards at such a rapid pace these days, it's surprising even me. Since joining in February, I thought I'd settled in this summer with about twenty-five or so, but there has been one thing after the other that has come along and each time it's like I feel somewhat constrained to start another one!

Just a few days ago, it was the "Playing Mommy" board and yesterday, well, someone repinned a photo which has been on the "Beautiful Children" board for quite a long time. A thought has been playing around in my mind for a month or so, but when the above picture was repinned, it pushed me over. Hence, once again a new board for SG.

Now what do you see in this picture? In my opinion, what stands out most is the sibling love, manifested in care and protection of the older for the younger. In this particular instance, it's two brothers who have a need and a great one at that. We don't know the circumstances behind why they found themselves in that situation, just that it's there for us to see. But for me, while I see the need, more than the need itself, and overriding it, I'm seeing, and feeling, the love. And thus, today, the board called "Sibling Love" is born.

Some of the pictures pinned on this board will be needy children, but some will be children in a comfortable and loving home situation with two parents. Some may be in a loving one parent home. But some will not have parents at all. And what better time to remember children like these than the week coming up on "Orphan Sunday."

These two children, the cover picture for the new board, are here to represent two things: One, the brand new board displaying love between brothers, sisters, brothers and sisters. Two, a needful reminder of the orphans, some of them even finding themselves struggling to live on the streets, homeless. May God have mercy on them, but even more, may He impress on each of our hearts a desire to find ways to help.

Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Best Inheritance

My prayer, and that of many others . . .

Friday, October 25, 2013

Playing Mommy

"We say that a girl with her doll anticipates the mother. It is more true, perhaps, that most mothers are still but children with playthings." ~ F. H. Bradley

I've been having some fun this week looking through pictures of little girls and dolls. Now anyone who had known me well in the past would know that as a child, I loved playing with dolls and had the same experience with my two daughters. Not only did they enjoy their dolls, but I enjoyed their dolls almost as much as I had my own. It is a definite fact that our dollies were, in fact, members of the family. Actually, they still are.

Now, in looking through these various photos and paintings of girls and dolls, I've discovered something. To the child, a doll can fulfill several roles. It can provide companionship, be a little "me" who can wear the same outfits, be a student, be a patient, and who knows what else. But more often than not, with the heart of a little girl being what it so often is, you'll find that this little make believe person is someone whom the child can "mother." Somewhere in the interaction between the girl and the doll, you will see it come out. And sometimes the pretend child is almost as big, if not bigger, than the real one. How delightful it is to watch the child's imagination and play. And we all know how important this play is; in fact it has often been called the child's "work." But it is in many ways usually preparing them for adulthood.

Now you may be wondering why this sudden interest in dolls to the extent that I would be perusing photos of them. Well, the reason is our new board at Pinterest. Having recently pinned an absolutely gorgeous vintage photo of a young girl and her doll, this whole idea of "playing mommy" was so apparent, it inspired me to do a whole board dedicated to the concept. So, I've been looking for pictures to put on it, and you won't be surprised to find out there are many to choose from. There are so many pictures of girls and dolls, however, that I decided to be rather choosy about it. You'll see that the focus is not on the dolls themselves, but the children. It's what the child is doing with relation to the doll(s) that I've been trying to capture, or something in her demeanor that caused me to gravitate to a particular photo. Sometimes, it's the look on her face.

You can just imagine how much fun this has been! And you'll even see a few pictures with a little girl and a real live younger person who's being mothered! Remember, we're focusing on the maternal instinct which comes out at a very early age. The board is here and the photo above is typical of what you'll find there: Budding mommies "playing," but in reality, preparing for the future.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Promises of Scripture

Train them remembering continually the promises of Scripture.

"You have a plain promise on your side,'Train up your child in the way he should go, and when he is old he shall not depart from it.' (Prov.22:6) Think what is is to have a promise like this...

"Think who it is that promises. It is not the word of a man, who may lie or repent; it is the word of the King of kings who never changes...

"Think,too, what the promise contains, before you refuse to take comfort from it. It speaks of a certain time when good training shall especially bear fruit,--'when a child is old.' Surely there is comfort in this. You may not see with your own eyes the result of careful training, but you know not what blessed fruits may not spring from it, long after you are dead and gone..

"'Cast thy bread upon the waters,' saith the Spirit, 'for thou shalt find it after many days' (Eccles. 11:1) Many children, I doubt not, shall rise up in the day of judgment, and bless their parents for good training, who never gave any signs of having profited by it during their parents' lives. Go forward then in faith, and be sure that your labour shall not be altogether thrown away. Three times did Elijah stretch himself upon the widow's child before it revived. Take example from him and persevere."

 ~ From the Duties of Parents, J. C. Ryle, See the first post in this series.
[There are so many encouragements and hopeful words in this short segment. Mr. Ryle has a main purpose here of helping to guard against parental discouragement in the course of the proper training of children. He's not saying we can do things our way and cling to the promise of this verse. But he is saying we have hope in it if we persevere in the right way. We do our best in following His precepts. He brings the fruit eventually. But we must sow. ~ mr]

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lucy Stories

I just recommended Elizabeth Prentiss' Lucy Stories over at the Facebook page and I'd like to do the same here in case someone happens by and sees this. You can read an excerpt from Lucy's Six Teachers at the Prentiss blog here. It will give you an understanding of the special little touch this nineteenth century writer had with children. She wrote quite a few stories for the young. So, if you're interested and get a chance, her books are available at a variety of places.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Giggling is Fun

Just for fun and because I pinned a good article today about getting your kids to laugh/giggle, here are a few jokes for you to tell your kids or they other people. Here goes:

What is the easiest thing to part with?
A comb.

How many men were born in 1920?
None. Only babies were born.

Why is a catcher's mitt like the chicken pox?
Both are catching.

What do you call a lazy doctor?
Dr. Doolittle

What do you call a rabbit with fleas?
Bugs Bunny

What is the difference between a shiny penny and a dirty nickel?
Four cents

What did Cinderella say while she was waiting for her photos?
"Some day my prints (prince) will come."

Okay, so they're corny. So what? All the better for your kids to tell.

(From Lots O' Riddles, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

You Are My Sunshine

Just to brighten up your day! And isn't that what sunshine does? And when you SING about it....  Actually, though, this was inspired by the sweetest story ever which I shared at the Facebook page this morning. I don't know if I'm allowed to copy/paste the story here so best not to take any chances. It's on the HCG page if you want to hunt it up though. Happy Thursday. Unfortunately, the sun isn't shining here today.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


 (Image from the movie, "Lassie Come Home.")

I rather think this is a TV series your children might enjoy and benefit from. I'm so sorry that most of the ones I tend to recommend are oldies, but such is the state of things, I'm afraid. I remember watching this show during its very long run from 1954 to 1973. Now that's a long time for a TV show, so obviously there were a lot of people who watched it besides me.

If you like heartwarming stories with lessons of love, compassion, adventure, courage, and the like, maybe it would be worthwhile digging up some dvds if they're to be found or look for it on a channel that broadcasts the old shows. And then, of course, the movie can be viewed from a variety of sources, I would hope. I don't KNOW this, but maybe you would want to look into it.

We don't have to succumb to everything we're being fed today. We do have choices, and one of those choices is to dig into the past and unearth some of the oldies but goodies. In my opinion, the Lassie show and movie fit into that category. And this is especially true if you like dogs AND children like me. But then again, sometimes I found the show a bit sad as it often made me teary. But that's just the way I am, and then again, who's to say that's not a good thing for your kids too?

I need to mention that the show had Lassie's exploits taking place with family life in a farming community, then some seasons of adventures with  US Forest Rangers, and the canine star finally ended her long series run at a children's home. For some reason, I don't remember the last seasons so perhaps I never watched those, I'm not sure.

So there you have it. Lassie is my latest TV recommendation. More to come no doubt.

Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Let's Play Checkers

I had completely forgotten about this game. I'd like to play with my grandchildren. Surely this would be a fun activity for you and one of your children. Or you could encourage a couple of them to play together. Let's not let technology take away the fun we can have together in such a nice way. Good one on one time for sure. And from chess.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Give Me Oil In My Lamp

Grandfather God

 A six year old boy named Aaron described God: "He's old. It's been a long time since he was a kid!"

His seven year old sister, Aubrey, offered a more specific portrait of God when she added, "He's like seventy or seventy-two. He's like everybody's grandpa in the whole world." Then she added thoughtfully, "except he's not our grandpa, he's our Father."

(Borrowed from Josh McDowell's Youth Devotions, copyright Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler, 1997)
I found this very intriguing and it really got me to thinking. Somehow this little girl saw a distinction between God as a grandpa and as a father. And the thing is, she's correct, at least with respect to how we usually view what a grandfather does and what a father does. This particular devotion is entitled "Grandfather God" and it's for the date October 12th. As pointed out there, God isn't just a grandpa figure who gives us things and pats us on the head. He's not like our grandparents who usually don't discipline or punish us. God sees and knows our sin and He DOES discipline us for it.
But I would add, as our heavenly Father, He also provides for us and cares for our every need. We can be thankful for these things and we can hope and pray that earthly fathers who are raising their children would do likewise. We can hope they'll be like their heavenly Father as they raise their children. At least we can hope this for those Christian dads we know in our lives.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Apples, Anyone?

The article at the website about apples has always been one of my favorites. I guess it's because I like almost anything made with apples and also because they are indeed good for you. So now that we're right smack in the middle of the season when this great fruit is plentiful and economical, why not take a look at this article and the links it contains? Enjoy! Oh, it's here.

Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Thursday, October 10, 2013

To Live In Hearts

I hope I continue to live in the hearts of those whom I leave behind, and hope you do too. And may it be in the ways that matter most and best to Christ.

Maxine, a/k/a Nanna

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Power of Sin

XV. Train them remembering continually the power of sin.

"You must not expect to find your children's minds a sheet of pure white paper, and to have no trouble if you only use right means. I warn you plainly you will find no such thing. It is painful to see how much corruption and evil there is in a young child's heart, and how soon it begins to bear fruit. . . In little ways they will creep out at a very early age; it is almost startling to observe how naturally they seem to spring up. Children require no schooling to learn to sin. [Italics mine]

"But you must not be discouraged and cast down by what you see. You must not think it a strange and unusual thing, that little hearts can be so full of sin. It is the only portion which our father Adam left us; it is that fallen nature with which we come into the world; it is that inheritance which belongs to us all. Let it rather make you more diligent in using every means which seem most likely, by God's blessing, to counteract the mischief. Let it make you more and more careful, so far as in you lies, to keep your children out of the way of temptation.

". . . Remember the natural depravity of your children, and take care."

 ~ From the Duties of Parents, J. C. Ryle, See the first post in this series.

[ This is the most unpleasant of the topics so far, but it's a necessary one. If we ignore the Adamic nature which resides in each of us, and the fact that it's an inheritance we received at birth, we'll have a most difficult road to travel in our parenting. But knowing this helps us to have pity on our precious children, and love them even more when we remember we're all in that same boat, and hopefully we'll be more diligent and careful to lead them to Jesus and instruct them in the right Way.]

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I Couldn't Care More

"In a world full of people who couldn't care less, be someone who couldn't care more." ~ Author Unknown

If there is anything we can teach our children that's more important than kindness and compassion I would love to know what that is.

Lovingly, Maxine

Monday, September 30, 2013

Bye, September!

My favorite month coming up!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

I Am Love

I shared this poem on Facebook and love it so much I want to have it here too. This is about the essence of love and I like that much of it is about the love within the family.

Some say I can fly on the wind, yet I haven't any wings.  
Some have found me floating on the open sea, yet I cannot swim. 
Some have felt my warmth on cold nights, yet I have no flame.  
And though you cannot see me, I lay between two lovers at the hearth of fireplaces.  
I am the twinkle in your child's eyes.  
I am hidden in the lines of your mother's face.  
I am your father's shield as he guards your home.  
And yet, some say I am stronger than steel, yet I am as fragile as a tear. Some have never searched for me, yet I am around them always. 
Some say I die with loss, yet I am endless. 
And though you cannot hear me, I dance on the laughter of children.  
I am woven into the whispers of passion.  
I am in the blessings of Grandmothers.  
I embrace the cries of newborn babies.  
And yet, some say I am a flower, yet I am also the seed.  
Some have little faith in me, yet I will always believe in them.  
Some say I cannot cure the ill, yet I nourish the soul.  
And though you cannot touch me, I am the gentle hand of the kind.  
I am the fingertips that caress your cheek at night.  
I am the hug of a child.  
I am love....  
Author Unknown