WHY TIME with NannyGranne

Why Do I Need a Heavenly Father When I Already Have a Daddy?

Filling in for the Kindergarteners Bible Class was always fun and filled with great questions, observations, and giggles.   Today was no exception. The lesson was about Father Abraham and his family.  

Harper’s cherub face looked so confused. “Isn’t God the Father?  Why is Abraham a Father?”

Nannygranne explained, “Yes, Harper, God is everyone’s Father because He made us all. But  Abraham was a father because he had children and grandchildren and many great grandchildren.”

“But why was Abraham the Father if God was the Father?”  Harper’s question was echoed by a couple of the others.

“I have a Daddy.  I don’t have a Father,” said one.

“I have a Daddy, a Granddaddy, and a Step-Daddy.  I have three daddies,” chirped another.

Nannygranne chose her words carefully. “The words Daddy and Father mean the same thing.  A Daddy, or Father, is a man who takes care of his children.  They protect us and teach us important things.  Some people call them Daddies and some people call them Fathers.  Do you see what I mean?”  

“But why do we need a heavenly father when we already have our daddies?” Harper wasn’t satisfied yet.”

Oh, we need both very, very much. Jesus had his Heavenly Father (who He even called Daddy one time) and but He also needed Joseph.  God gave His son, Jesus, a kind of step-dad to take care of him when he was a baby and help him grow to be healthy and helpful.  Jesus always did what God the Father wanted Him to do but He also obeyed Joseph and Mary who took care of Him.”  

“Oh!  So God is our Heavenly daddy, too?”

“God is our Forever Father.  Our daddies take care of us on this earth.  God will take care of us even in Heaven.  If our daddies are gone, our Heavenly Father is always taking care of us and watching over us.  And God even teaches our daddies how to take care of us better.”  

Nannygranne knew what the next question would be, and prayerfully braced for it.

“My mommy says my daddy doesn’t take good care of us.  That’s why he doesn’t live with us anymore.”  Ryan’s admission came with a look that asked more whys than a child should carry.

Nannygranne shook her head. “Sometimes our earthly daddies forget to listen to God and miss out learning how to be better daddies.  But that doesn’t mean they don’t love us.  It just means they get confused about how to show us they love us.  Have you ever hurt someone’s feeling accidently?”  

Nannygranne prayed for the Spirit to give her wisdom.

“I broke my sister’s necklace and she cried.  I didn’t mean to but I got in trouble,” admitted one red-headed, freckled little tyke.

“Well, grownups accidently hurt feelings all the time, too.  But we have to remember they still love us and maybe someday we can show them how to love us better.  But aren’t we glad that no matter what happens to our earthly daddies, God our Father will never go away, never forget about us, never lose us, never stop loving us, and even when we die, will take care of us and take us home where we’re forever safe.”

“Well, I’m glad we have daddies and granddaddies and our Heavenly Father, too.”  Harper proudly bobbed her head over her newly gained knowledge.

The redhead piped up saying, “So is Father Abraham our father, too?”  He had no idea that his question was actually theologically deep and discussed at length in scripture.  The answer is “Yes,” but the full answer would be waiting for him in another 10-15 years.

Nannygranne wondered, “Why do you ask?” 

“You know.”  He began to sing, “Father Abraham had many sons, and many sons had Father Abraham.  And I am one of them.  And so are you…”

Nannygranne continued the song with the kids, “…so let’s all praise the Lord.  Right hand! . . .”  She smiled to herself thinking she should never underestimate the logic of little ones.

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Parents – to learn more about Christians’ Father Abraham, Gal 3:26-29; John 1:12; Rom 10:9

Article explaining: https://churchofchristarticles.com/blog/administrator/abraham-father-many-nations/

“Why Didn’t God Make Himself a Wife?”

One sunny summer afternoon, Nannygranne and Timmy headed for their favorite Turtle Pond just down the street from her house.  Timmy held Nannygranne’s hand as they walked, “helping” her find the way.

“How many turtles do you think we’ll see today,” Nannygranne wondered.

“I saw about fifty last time!”   Timmy loved Turtle Pond.

Finally arriving, they found a shaded seat to settle in and observe the movements in the still water.  As heads popped up, looked around, and submerged again, Timmy would shout the number.  Eventually they were up to thirteen.

“Oh look, Nannygranne!  There’s a mommy, a daddy, and their baby!  See?”  Whispering excitedly, Timmy pointed and ran toward the water to make sure his guest hadn’t missed the excitement.

“That makes me remember something God said when He made the first man . . . ,” Nannygranne started.

“That was Adam,” Timmy interrupted.

“Yes, when God made Adam, He said it’s not good that man should be alone, so He made Eve for his wife.  It looks like God made turtle families, too.”  

Head tilted, Timothy wondered, “If it’s not good to be alone, why didn’t God make Himself a wife, too?” 

“Well, there was only one human that day, so God made him a wife to be with and be his helper.  But God isn’t alone in Heaven.”

“He’s not?”  Timmy was now tossing sticks in the direction of the turtles, having grown bored with counting.

“Oh no. God has His angel army and heavenly creatures.  Also, the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus are always together. Jesus is God’s Son.”

Timmy hopped onto the bench next to Nannygranne. “But how did God have a Son if He didn’t have a wife?”

“I’m sure you’ve heard the story, Timmy.  God asked Mary and Joseph to be Jesus’ human parents when Jesus came to earth to become a human.  But God made marriage just for humans.  In fact, God made marriage to help us understand God’s plan for all humans.”  

Nannygranne knew more questions were stirring now.

“Marriage is to help us understand what?”  

“When God made Eve, He made her the same as Adam, but different. He made Adam a boy and Eve a girl.  He made her to fit with Adam and to be Adam’s helper.”  Then God gave them the job of taking care of the earth.”

“Eve was a helper, like when me and Mama help Daddy clean out the garage?”  

Nannygranne smiled. “Well, something like that.  God also made humans to be like Him in some ways and different in some ways. Like Him, He wants us to take care of one another and our world.

“God also made husbands and wives so children will be born and so we will have families in this world.  One day, God’s children will go live with Him forever and be His big family.”

“So God made us to be His helpers and makes us His family?”

“Yes, Timmy. But most importantly, God made marriage and families so we can learn how to love like He does.  Love is so important.  He wants us to learn how to love each other as brothers and sisters and to obey our fathers.  God also really wants husbands and wives to always love each other.  That’s how He loves us.  He never stops wanting us in His family. He’s the best Father we will ever have.

Timmy wanted to be sure he understood. “So God doesn’t need a wife because He already knows how to love and already has Jesus and us.  Is that right?”

“My oh my, Timmy! You listen so well!”

“Yeah.  Learning all about turtles made me smart like that.”  Timmy bobbed his head.  

Nannygranne ruffled Timmy’s hair.  “Keep asking good questions like that, Timmy.  God loves helping you find your answers.”

For deeper study of God’s purpose of marriage see Gen. 1:26-27; 2:15-25

Marriage as an analogy in the Old Testament:  https://unlockingthebible.org/lifekey/the-analogy-of-marriage-in-the-old-testament/

Marriage as an analogy in the New Testament:  https://unlockingthebible.org/lifekey/the-analogy-of-marriage-in-the-new-testament/

“Am I Just In the Way?”

Nannygranne loved Church Camp and appreciated that at her age, the directors were content for her to teach cabin devotionals and “work the crowd” in between.

A ballgame was underway and she searched for a shade.  She noticed a girl sitting alone watching the game, but her posture gave away the dejection she was feeling.

“Hi!  Got room for me in this nice shade?” Nannygranne asked.

Without speaking, the girl scooted down the bench a little.

“I’m not much of a ball player, myself,” Nannygranne said, “so I just like to watch.  Sometimes I’m the cheerleader!” Nannygranne hoped the girl would join in the conversation.  But silence continued.  “The kids call me Nannygranne.  What’s your name?”

“Annie,” the girl responded.

“Hi Annie.  Are you having some fun here at camp?  Made any new friends?”

Annie shrugged.

“I think there’s a group making jewelry over at the gazebo.  Would you like to go over there?  I’d go with you and we could make something for ourselves and a friend.”

“I’d just get in the way,” she responded with an unseeing stare toward the ball field.  Then she repeated, “I always just get in the way.”

Nannygranne frowned. This youg girl was in pain deeper than typical growing pains.  She felt unwanted.

“Mmmm,” Nannygranne said, “I remember feeling like I was in the way one time.  All my country cousins were riding horses and I didn’t know how.  Our grandmother made them take me riding with them but they got mad because they had to help me so much and I was afraid of going fast.”

“What did you do?” 

“I don’t remember but I know what I’d do now.  I’d tell my grandmother that I would rather spend time with her and let the other kids ride horses.”

“My grandma just tells me that I’m in her way.”

Nannygranne thought for a moment.  “Sometimes I still feel like I’m in the way even now.”

“Who says you’re in the way?”  Annie shifted on the bench and turned toward Nannygranne.  She’d found a comrade in her misery.

“Sometimes my kids and grandkids are really busy.  They have so many places to go and so much to do and they don’t need my help.  Sometimes I get to thinking they don’t need me anymore and that I’m only in the way.  But then I stop and think to myself, ‘I don’t like feeling this way.  I’m going to find another feeling.  I’m going to find someone who needs something.’”

“How do you do that?”

“Well, I find someone else who might be feeling lonely, too—like some of my older friends and neighbors.  Sometimes I call them and visit.  Sometimes I bake a cake and see who I can find to share it with.  Sometimes I invite them over to play games.”

“I don’t know how to bake cakes,” Annie complained, returning to her slump.

Nannygranne leaned closer to her. “Do you know how to make jewelry for someone else?”

Annie looked toward those making jewelry and grinned sheepishly.  Nannygranne offered her hand and she took it.  Together they headed toward the gazebo. 

As they walked, Nannygranne said, “You know, Annie.  Jesus helps us learn how to beat the lonelys.  He said that we should treat other people the way we want to be treated. So when I’m lonely, I try to find someone else who might be lonely and do for them what I want for myself.  And it works!  I’m not lonely any more.  Jesus is so smart!  “Nannygranne stopped.  And do you know what?”  

Nannygranne stopped like she was thinking. Annie waited. 

Finally: “We’re never in Jesus’ way!  He always wants us even if we feel like nobody else does.  So the next time we think we’re just in the way, we can remember that Jesus always has room for us.  He has things for us to do.   Do you think we should do that?”

“Yes!” Annie gave a high-five, then giggled. “Nannygranne, you’re fun! Can we be friends?” 

“Dear children, let us not only show love for each other by what we say.  Let us show love by really helping each other. Then we will know that we really belong to God…Our thoughts may say that we are bad.  But God knows much more than we know in our thoughts.  God knows everything.” 

                           I John 3:18-20 Easy English Version

“But God, I Get So Mad!!!”

As soon as Nannygranne saw Oliver, she could feel the exasperation exploding in his young body.

 His mother said, “I’m sorry Nannygranne.  He’s grounded and can’t come with the rest of us to the water park.  I hope he’ll calm down for you.” Then she left.

Nannygranne’s heart broke for Oliver.  This was a big disappointment for someone so young.  After the rest of the family left, Nannygranne told Oliver she would keep him company and knew he must be disappointed to have to stay home today.  Then she brought a dining chair close to Oliver and quietly sat down, placing her large bag at her side.  Validating his feelings and allowing him to be quiet was what he needed for a while.  Perhaps he would want to talk about it in his time.

After a few minutes of silence, Nannygranne rummaged in her bag, pretending to be searching for something.  Unloading her treasures, she set them on the floor between her and Oliver without comment.  First was a travel game of Tic-Tac-Toe, then Old Maid cards, a bag of marbles, another of jacks, a sucker and a bag of chips.  

“Oh no!” she said. “I forgot my colored tapes!  I wanted to make a picture of you with my colored tapes.  Sometimes I get so mad at myself!”  Then she paused, sighed loudly and added, “I’m sorry Oliver.  I hope you won’t be mad at me.”

Oliver, still slumped over, head in hands, just shook his head without looking up.

“Thank you, Oliver.  I think you must really be feeling angry.  I miss your smile and happy eyes, and I miss our having fun.  What happened to make you feel so bad?”

Bursting into tears, Oliver shouted, “It’s not fair!  My brother broke my goggles and I have to have my goggles for the water park.  I got mad so now I don’t get to go! God, I’m so mad!”  He was drowning in these perceived injustices.

“I’m so sorry that happened to you.  If you’d like to sit in my lap, I could tell you a story and maybe it could help you feel better.”

Oliver seemed to welcome the gesture of friendship and quickly climbed into her lap and her hug.

“Did you know that Jesus had a step-father?”1

Oliver sat up, surprised.  “He did?  I thought Joseph was his daddy.”

“Well, Jesus’ real father was Jehovah God and God sent Jesus from their home in heaven to live on earth.  Then God sent an angel to ask Mary and Joseph to take care of Jesus.”

“Why did God do that?” Oliver couldn’t imagine such a thing as being sent away from home.

“Jesus had a special job that his Father wanted him to do and Jesus said He would go to earth and be turned into a human so He could do that job.” 2

“Oh, I know what His job was.  He came to earth to forgive us of all our sins.”  Proud of himself, Oliver now smiled, 

“That’s right.  But Jesus always missed his Father and one time he got to go visit His Father’s House in Jerusalem.  But his parents wouldn’t let him stay,” Nannygranne began.

“What happened?”

“Well, his family went on a big holiday vacation to Jerusalem.  They camped out with other families and their kids, too.  They stayed in Jerusalem for the holiday for a whole week and then it was time to go home, except Jesus wasn’t ready to leave. After they’d traveling all day long, Mary and Joseph started to set up their camp and noticed Jesus wasn’t around.  They must have thought He was with His friends, but all the travelers said they hadn’t seen Him all day.

“Mary and Joseph must have been worried someone had stolen Jesus or that He’d wandered off and gotten lost.  They hurried back to Jerusalem early the next morning but it took them all day to get there.  Then they looked for Him and looked for Him three whole days!  Finally they went to the temple.  Maybe they wanted to go pray and ask God to help them find Jesus.  But when they arrived, there Jesus was!   He’d been in the temple talking about the scriptures with all the old teachers.  He was so happy to be in God’s house, talking about God’s word.  I bet He really missed his Father.

“But Joseph and Mary got on to Jesus and made Him go back to Nazareth with them.  He was only twelve years old and needed to finish growing up.  Jesus was disappointed, but He knew the Father in Heaven wanted Him to obey his parents–even if it wasn’t fair.”3

Waiting for Oliver to process the story, Nannygranne finally asked, “Do you think Jesus knows how you feel today?”

Oliver looked down at his hands then, nervously picking at his fingernail, he said, “But I didn’t do like Jesus.  I hit my brother and yelled at my parents.  That’s why I didn’t get to go to the water park.”  

“Oh, I see.  Sometimes we make big mistakes.  But it’s important to understand that Jesus has felt just how we feel4 and even when we’re angry.  He wants to help us learn from our mistakes and then He even helps us.  You see, Jesus understands that we make mistakes and He’s never surprised when we do.  But He loves us too much to not help us.”5

“But my brother broke my goggles and he didn’t get into trouble.”  Oliver’s scowl returned and he crossed his arms in frustration.

“You’re right.  That doesn’t feel fair.  What do you think Jesus did when his brothers broke his toys or tools?”

“I don’t know,” Oliver shrugged.

“Well, the Bible tells us that Jesus grew in wisdom and also got along with people well.  So, He figured out what to do when people weren’t being fair. 6 

“Jesus’ disciples sometimes didn’t think things were fair and Jesus would tell them that they could trust Jehovah God to do whatever needed to be done when people did wrong.7  He told them that their job was to be patient and kind, forgiving and helpful.  He said that God said, ‘I tell you, I will do the punishing.’  He said it’s not our job to pay people back, but we’re supposed to treat them well.  Sometimes those people change and become better when we do that.  But there will be others that just can’t stand us being nice and may leave us alone.”

“How does God punish somebody?” Oliver was both curious and concerned.

“Well, God gives us parents to do the punishing, or teachers at school or the principal.  For grownups that do wrong, God gave us police to catch them and put them in jail or make them pay people money for what they hurt or broke.8  But when people fight each other, it can become very dangerous.   It’s best to stay away from things like that.9  Jesus never let His friends fight each other.”

“Oh,” Oliver said thoughtfully.  Finally with a nod of his head, he climbed down.  “Can I play in the sprinkler outside, Nannygranne?”  Evidently, he’d found satisfaction and wanted to move on.  It’s no wonder Jesus said of children, “The Kingdom of Heaven is made up of these.”9

“That sounds like so much more fun than making pictures with colored tape.  You go get your bathing suit on and get a towel while I go out and get the hose and sprinkler ready.”  As Nannygranne worked, she prayed Oliver’s lesson today would come to mind over and over as he learned to navigate our angry culture into the future.  And she thanked God, again, for His better Way.

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Luke 1:26-38

John 3:14-21

3 Luke 2:41-52

Hebrews 2:18; 4:15

5 John 16:33

Luke 2:52

Matthew 20:28; Matthew 20:1-16

Romans 1:18-32; 12:9-21; Romans 13:1-7

Matthew 18:1-4

For more on the anger of Jesus:  https://www.rethinknow.org/what-made-jesus-mad/

“Why did God make people different colors?”

Church camp was a highlight every summer for Nannygranne.  She especially loved the “tweenagers” at Junior Camp.  She loved seeing the kids emerge from their childhood cocoons to become part of a team, learning to meet and co-exist with strangers, becoming life-long spiritual friends.  This week had been no exception.  Her cabin held ten precious girls ages 9-12.

“Ok girls, let’s begin our quiet time,” she instructed.  “Everyone in your bunks, lights out, flashlights on, let’s talk together.  What’s a question on somebody’s heart that we could ask God about?”  

Nannygranne waited.  She knew someone would speak eventually. And, usually, the longer it took, the more sincere the words.

After a little over a minute, a shy voice pierced the quiet.  “Ms. Nannygranne, why did God have to make people different colors?”

“Thank you for that question.  I can’t see who it is in the dark, but I’m glad you thought of this.  Someone tell me if you think different colored skins is a good thing or a bad thing.” 

Again, there was brief silence. Then:

“Some people say if your skin is black or brown that it’s bad for you.”

“At school we learned that white people have been mean to everybody that’s not white and that’s what’s really bad…being white.”

“That’s not true!  It’s not bad to be any color.  God made us the way He wants us.”

“Maybe He did, but all the books and all of history shows that white people have always been on top and made people slaves and stole their land.”

“OK, ladies, everyone bow your heads.  Let’s ask God to help us with this question.” 

Nannygranne realized the question had become a tinderbox and she knew that recognizing God’s presence could diffuse the situation for now.  She prayed, “Thank you Father for these girls and this place tonight.  Thank you for curious and bright minds and thank You, our Creator, for loving each and every one of us so much that Jesus let Himself be killed in our place for the wrongs we do to each other.  Father, help us to be wise and to love each other like you’ve loved us for so long.  Help us Father with the wisdom from your word and your ways to understand each other.  Help us to see Your answer and help us to compare our ideas with your answers and change our thoughts to be like Your thoughts.  We know Father that following your ways brings us peace and plenty and leads us Home to You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

The room was quiet once again so Nannygranne began.  “Ladies, this may come as a shock to you, but if you think about it, you already knew this.  Can anyone guess what I’m about to say?”

“We shouldn’t argue but we should love each other,” someone ventured in light of the prayer she’d heard.

“That’s a very good thought, but not the surprise I’m thinking of.”  Nannygranne hoped the mystery would capture everyone’s attention and overrule any negative feelings that might remain from earlier.  “Here it is:  God didn’t make people different colors.”

“What?”

“What are you talking about?”

“But God created all of us and we’re different colors.  I don’t get it!”

Nannygranne spoke over the chaos. “I told you that you might be shocked.  But you know this.  Who does the Bible say God made first?”

“Adam and Eve.”  The voices chimed from the darkness with light from three or four flashlights dancing around the room.

“That’s right.  In Acts 17:26 the Bible says ‘From one person, God made all nations who live on the earth.’  He was talking about Eve.”

“Then how did people get to be different colors?”

Nannygranne responded, “Well, humans are very colorful.  Our skin is different colors, our hair and eyes are different colors, our bodies are all shaped differently, our voices are different from everyone else.  You’ll learn about genetics in Science Class.  Different genes cause differences in our appearance.  Some genes are stronger than others and win more often.  The genes for dark skin are stronger than the genes for light skin.  The genes for being right-handed are stronger so there are more right-handed people in the world.  Do you understand what I mean?”1

More silence, followed by “Not really.”

“Adam and Eve had all the genes in them when God created them.  Their children, grandchildren, and following generations would have looked different from them and each other.  So, God made humans with genes and that’s how we became different colors.  

“We don’t know what color Adam and Eve were because to God, it wasn’t important.  In fact, the Bible says in Colossians 3:11 and Galatians 3:28 that to God it’s not important whether someone has been a Jew or not, whether you were a hillbilly or a gang member, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman.  What matters to Him is that we belong to Jesus.”  

Nannygranne waited to see how the girls would respond.

“Well, then why do people say white or black or brown are bad?  Who started the hate?”

“Well, that’s a question the Bible doesn’t answer for us.  God just wants us to be different from the world and realize that it’s all about our souls, not this body that our souls are in.2  But, from the very beginning, there have been haters.  Adam and Eve’s own son killed his brother because he was jealous.3  God understands how we are and  He’s given us a roadmap in the Bible4, a model of His Way in Jesus5, and the Holy Spirit to help us along in living the life He wants for every one of you here and everyone out there.6  People just have to choose it for themselves.”

“Well, how did everybody get so divided?”

“Through the history of mankind, every color of people—red and yellow, black and white—has gathered with people who looked like themselves and called it different races.  Then they made rules for that group’s art and food and families and called it culture.  As time went by, the groups argued over whose group was better and began to fight and steal and try to get rid of each other. 

“Today it’s happening again, even though America was built to be one united nation of people of different colors.7  You and I can decide we’re going to not be part of that bickering or believe what we hear when it’s not God’s truth.  We can live well.  We can do life God’s way.  Who knows?  Maybe someone will see our peaceful and helpful way of living and decide God’s Way is better after all.”

Silence again ruled the darkness, though now not seeming as dark.  Nannygranne’s eyes had adjusted and she could see the light reflected softly on the faces of the girls in the room.  Softly, someone started singing.

Jesus Loves the Little Children

All the Children of the World

Red and Yellow

Black and White

They are Precious in His Sight

Jesus Loves the Little Children

Of the World

1  Dominant Genes https://www.ranker.com/list/most-common-dominant…

2 Mark 8:36


Genesis 4

4  II Timothy 2:15

Philippians 2:6

Romans 8

Critical Race Theory https://www.mindingthecampus.org/2021/06/07/critical-race-theory-and-common-sense/