SUSAN MIRES/contributing writer
LEAWOOD, Kan. – Monty Sheridan is a texting grandma – and she is determined to use her power for good.
“There’s nothing I like better than to talk to someone about Jesus,” said Sheridan.
One of her most significant undertakings began with a request from her grandson Brett Hilton. In the fall of 2010 when he was a student at Northwest Missouri State University, Hilton sent her a text message: “Hey, Nana, can you do something for me?”
He asked if she would send him a Bible verse to read every day.
Nana, of course, was more than happy to fulfill his request. Sheridan believes that, as a grandmother, she has both the privilege and responsibility to invest the Word of God in young lives.
“You don’t start when they are 21. Ever since they were little children, we talked about the Lord, even if it was just a little sentence,” she said.
So she texted verses early every morning and then sent them to Hilton’s cell phone so he could read them before going to school.
A few weeks later, his girlfriend Mati sent Sheridan a text: “Good afternoon, Nana! Brett has been reading me the verses you send him. Is there any way that you could start sending me one every once in awhile?”
Sheridan decided to send the message to all eight of her grandchildren, plus two friends. She prayed about which passage to send each day and added her own thoughts to encourage them.
“I tried to think of everything in the Bible I wanted the children to know,” she said. Here is one she sent:
“Good morning Sweet Ones,
“Today our verse is found in Psalm 37:23, which says, ‘The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.’
“Wow! Every day we have many choices and decisions to make. Let’s let God make those decisions for us. Just ask Him. He will help you. So many times I’ve cried out to God, ‘help me!’ and He’s always brought an answer to my heart.
“Til next time. Lv u Nana.”
Sheridan shared a text message with her good friend Linnie Porter. Porter told Sheridan she should put the verses in a book for her grandchildren. Sheridan stated that she hated to delete the messages after she spent so much time on them and later asked Porter if she would like to help with publishing the book. She said, “It is a text world today. This will be a great project.”
The book Hey Nana! Can You Do Something For Me? is the compilation of a year’s worth of text messages. Sheridan published it first of all for her grandchildren – who now range in age from 15 to 25 – but also for others to read and be uplifted by the Word of God.
She especially wants to encourage grandparents to share with their grandchildren. While parents are the primary “seeders” of the Word in their children, she believes grandparents can be “overseeders” who reinforce the word.
“I want to give my family something about Jesus, but I don’t want to burden them. Just something to get their minds thinking toward the Lord,” she said.
Sheridan’s book is available for purchase on Amazon. She also speaks to women’s groups, as well as teens. One of her goals is to encourage women, parents and grandparents to share the love and truth of Christ.
“Just share through your attitude and little snippets now and then,” she said. “Little by little and bit by bit is how to do it with consistency.”
Sheridan and her husband, Jerry, are devoted to their local church and are active members of Lenexa Baptist Church in Lenexa, Kan., a church affiliated with the Missouri Baptist Convention. Jerry Sheridan is on the board of trustees at Hannibal LaGrange University. They currently reside in Leawood, Kan., and are blessed to have their three children and eight grandchildren living nearby in the Greater Kansas City area.