What are YOU thankful for this Thanksgiving season?
by Lillian Penner
Published on November 25, 2022

What are YOU thankful for this Thanksgiving season?

By Lillian Penner

I am very thankful to God for our family, health, home, friends, and opportunities to serve Him. My husband and I experience many blessings daily amidst the difficulties we have faced along our journey of life. We have learned that the God of the mountaintop experiences is the same God in the valleys throughout our sixty-four years of marriage.

I am also thankful for the spiritual legacy my great-grandfather left for me. He didn’t leave me finances or heirlooms but a spiritual trust fund, a foundation for future generations.

My great-grandfather lived in Poland; he went through the motions of becoming a church member but did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. His parents died and left him as an orphan as a teenager and had to live with strangers. He writes that he did not live as he had been taught and followed the ways of the world.

After he got married he became very ill with a boil and suffered for 2 years. It was at that time he felt he needed Jesus and asked God to control his life, he studied the Bible, and a few years later he became a pastor. My great-grandparents had many sorrows, they had 13 children, and only 2 lived to be adults. The others died in infancy, war, drowning, and illnesses with lack of medical care at that time.

I just read the story of his life and was encouraged with how they trusted the Lord amidst the losses, of war, persecutions, illnesses etc. He writes that Psalms 103 was his favorite Scripture and helped him through the hard times.

Because of my great-grandfather’s faith in Jesus Christ, he left a spiritual trust fund that has passed through many generations. My grandparents, my parents, myself, my children, grandchildren are experiencing my great-grandparents faith in Jesus. Even now my great-grandchildren are growing up in Christian homes.

Just as Moses told the Israelites the following Scripture gives us God’s role for grandparenting.

Just make sure you stay alert. Keep close watch over yourselves. Don’t forget anything of what you’ve seen. Don’t let your heart wander off. Stay vigilant as long as you live. Teach what you’ve seen and heard to your children and grandchildren. Deuteronomy 4:9 The Message (MSG)

Our children and grandchildren do not inherit salvation by birth into our families. Nevertheless, we can pray their hearts will be prepared for when they are presented with an opportunity to step into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

You may not have a story to tell about a spiritual legacy. However, you have the opportunity to develop and pass on a Spiritual Trust Fund to your children, grandchildren, and future generations.

My prayer is that my great-grandfather’s Spiritual Trust Fund will continue to be passed on to future generations.

I hope and pray that you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving day as you count your blessings with your family.

Lillian Penner is the author of Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for Your Grandchildren in English and Spanish. She has been on staff with the Christian Grandparenting Network prayer ministry for fourteen years, developing prayer cards, grandparents@Prayer groups, and the Grandparenting Day of Prayer. She has a passion for praying intentionally for her grandchildren and desires to share that passion with other grandparents.

An avid blogger, Lillian breaks into smiles if you ask about her thirteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She and her husband, John, live in Portland, Oregon, where they are active in church ministries. They were both raised in Christian homes and desire to pass their godly heritage to their future generations. She and her husband enjoy traveling, Southern Gospel music but most of all, enjoy spending time with their family.

Feature Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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