Lillian, it is nice to have you as a guest author today. Could you tell us a little about yourself and all the things you do?
Lillian Ann Penner is the author, speaker, National Prayer Coordinator for Christian Grandparenting Network: directing the Grandparents@Prayer groups and the annual Grandparents Day of Prayer, blogger, and a freelance writer. She and her husband, John have been married over 53 years and currently reside in Portland, OR. They have three married sons and twelve grandchildren, who are the love of their life.
Where we live in Portland, the flowers are gorgeous starting in April with the tulips. Portland. I love the flowering trees here and the beautiful flowers since we lived in the desert for 40 years and the flowering season was very short. We have a forest behind our townhouse and it is just lovely.
Lillian has been active in church ministry for over 50 years, led a mentoring ministry for women, participated in short term mission’s trip in Ukraine, and volunteered with several Christian ministries. Currently, she is involved in the leadership of a women’s Bible study and the 55+ group in her church. She blogs on several websites, as well as her own on at www.grandparentingwithapurpose.com.
Lillian loves to travel with her husband exploring new areas, taking pictures, reading fiction books, and have lunch with her friends.
Tell us about the genre of your work.
Challenge grandparents to model a standard of moral living in an immoral world and pray for their grandchildren growing up in a spiritual hostile climate.
Why did you choose this genre?
I have a passion for my grandchildren growing up in this post-Christian environment.
How is writing in the genre you write, different than other genre?
My audience is to grandparents. I give them tools to pray intentionally for their grandchildren.
What are some of your books, stories that have been published?
I have several published articles and book reviews in newspapers and magazines.
My book is titled:
Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for your Grandchildren
ISBN 978-1-6150-7611-6 Available on websites with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Crossbooks Publishing, and my website www.grandparentingwithapurpose.com. Published Nov. 2010.
Maybe your grandchildren are living with you. Maybe they’re thousands of miles away. Their parents may be spiritually rebellious or simply neglectful of the family’s spiritual life, failing to make prayer and church attendance a regular part of their routine. But even if your grandchildren’s parents have established a strong Christian home, busy schedules, jobs, parenting, and all the distractions of today’s world conspire to distract or even destroy the family. How can you, as a grandparent, help?
God gives grandparents a sacred trust—an opportunity to imprint another generation with the message of his faithfulness. You can stand in the gap by being a godly example for your grandchildren and by praying for them. Even grandparents who already pray regularly for their grandchildren will discover creative suggestions for making the practice even more meaningful. From cell phones to photo prayer journals, you’ll find tools that work for you—and for your grandchildren.
The author provides specific examples of prayers to help you get started, such as alphabet prayers, prayers based on special scriptures, and prayers for certain holidays. You may even widen the circle, praying for other children in your life, for children who have parents in the military, and for the adults who influence your grandchildren. Regardless of how far away your grandchildren are, praying for them can bridge the distance between you and leave them with an inheritance more precious than gold.
Where do you get your ideas for writing?
I get my ideas from reading books, magazine articles, listening to grandparents, praying, and from my heavenly Father.
What is your favorite thing about your book?
The suggestions of how to pray intentionally.
Why and when did you begin writing? I started writing my thoughts about intentionally praying for my grandchildren about 8 years ago. I had developed a passion to pray for my grandchildren and I wanted to share it with others. I heard a speaker say, “If God has given you a passion for something He wants you to share it with others.”
Is there any one person who had a big influence on you or encouraged you to write?
An author friend, Helen Haidle who has written many books and been a book editor for a publisher was a great influenced me greatly. She encouraged me to participate in the annual Oregon Christian Writers coaching conference for several times, in addition to their one-day conferences.
What is your writing schedule?
Since I am writing weekly blogs for two websites, I write a several days a week.
What atmosphere do you need to write?
I like to sit in my recliner with my laptop in my living room with no distracting noises.
What projects are you working on now, or plan for the future?
I would like to write some small booklets for grandparents with Suggestions to Pray for their grandchildren.
What kind of advice or tips do you have for someone who wants to write and be published?
Go to coaching and writing conferences, network, and do research on the computer. There are many websites offering writing advice.
Are there any other comments, advice or tips that you would give to beginning writers?
You just have to learn and persevere.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I enjoy reading, traveling, and spending time with my children and grandchildren.
Is there anything else you may wish to add.
I am amazed that God has used an ordinary farm girl from Oklahoma with very little college education to write a book and have a grandparenting ministry. I have always been involved in a ministry during my adult life. Now I am so grateful that God is giving me the opportunity to serve Him at the age of 74 sitting in my recliner with my laptop encouraging grandparents to pray for their grandchildren a they are growing up in a post-Christian culture.
What “Made It” moments have you experienced in life?
Becoming the National Prayer Coordinator for the Christian Grandparenting Network. Writing the book, Grandparenting with a Purpose: Effective Ways to Pray for your Grandchildren. Having an article published in the Significant Living Magazine.