Scripture Memory Team Verse 19 – October 1, 2015


Psalm 12:3 (HCSB)
May the Lord cut off all flattering lips

and the tongue that speaks boastfully.

In this Psalm, David is crying out to God for deliverance from folks who were double-minded and used flattery to deceive. According to Dr. Thomas Constable’s notes, David placed confidence in the promises of God to deliver those who look to Him. Can we just go ahead and say this verse sounds a bit harsh? Cutting off flattering lips and boastful tongues? Hyperbole, yes, but it spoke to me and I pray it sticks (to the roof of my mouth and deep in my heart.) :) 

My friend Patsy Randall and I are team-teaching women’s bible study classes on Sunday afternoons. We are both in the same season of life, moms to grown sons, and both of us are also grandmothers…to our great delight and joy. We are just finishing up Jennifer Rothschild’s Hosea Bible study, and getting ready to begin The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer in a couple of weeks.

But we’ve already decided we are going to begin the New Year of 2016 with a study by Karen Ehman called “KEEP IT SHUT!”  We may as well just go ahead and say that title isn’t very soft or appealing either…however, it is a discipline that I crave and I know Patsy does too.

Today the author Karen Ehman has a list called “7 Tips to Stop Shooting From the LIPS!” Woohoo! Don’t you want that list? If so, there is a free printable for you to download at her website and can be found at this link: 7 TIPS TO STOP SHOOTING FROM THE LIPS  I’ve already printed mine and so has Patsy!

My mouth sometimes gets me in a heap of trouble – yes it does! Yesterday was one of those days. Mrs. Ehman says “we have to make the choice every day to put away the verbal ammunition and restrain our words.” Some days we make it, some days we don’t. God is faithful and by His Spirit and armed with the truths learned in His Word, we can overcome!

Blessings to you today!



Scripture Memory Team Verse 18 – September 15, 2015


Psalm 91:14-16 (NLT)
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.

    I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”

What a glorious group of promises from Psalm 91 – which happens to be one of my favorite Psalms. I want to break this down into all the “I’ wills.”  Note the verse begins with THE LORD SAYS – so when He says…we believe and trust!

  • I will rescue those who love me. Do you love Him? Have you ever needed rescuing? From a situation, from a relationship, from your own self? He will rescue those who love Him. That’s a promise.
  • I will protect those who trust in my name. Have you ever needed protection? How about every day? Of course we all do from the enemy of our souls. But then often  I need protection from my own thoughts and mouth (speaking before thinking) which takes me back to my April 15 verse from James 1:19 about being slow to speak.
  • I will answer. This is sometimes harder to understand because we don’t know when He will answer. Sometimes the answers are:
    • Direct
    • Denied
    • Delayed
    • Different
      ut the promise is there – HE WILL ANSWER. Wait in faith.
  • I will be with them in trouble. Trouble comes calling to all of us in our lives. It could be of our own making or we could be completely blindsided by trouble. God is with us and He promises that.
  • I will rescue and honor them. God will rescue us and He is always on time. Trust in Him.
  • I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation. A long life and salvation. A life here and eternal life there. The greatest promise of all.




Scripture Memory Team Verse 17 – September 1, 2015


Psalm 119:57 (NET)
The Lord is my source of security.
I have determined to followed your instructions.

I’m continuing my seasons theme this year with verse 57 from Psalm 119. We are very close to Autumn on the calendar and I’m in the Autumn season of my life. This is a season I am relishing with JOY.  This joy includes witnessing the faithfulness of God in my life…the security and contentment in a beautiful marriage of 38 years to my best friend and the love of my life…the anticipation of retirement in a few years…the gift of having both my parents alive and well and living nearby…the delight of my grown sons and their wives all living for Jesus and taking care of their families and always the sheer JOY of my life…I am Gran Jan to FIVE AMAZING GRANDCHILDREN!

Chapter 119 in the book of Psalms is the longest in the Bible with 176 verses.  It is so beautiful to me. I love that verse 57 also represents my current age of 57 years. [That number will help me remember it as a I continue to memorize scripture as part of this “team” with Living Proof Ministries.]

The theme of seasons applies to me here now because I KNOW without any shadow of doubt that the Lord is my source of security. Why can I say that? Because I’m older and this assurance from living a long time and experiencing God’s faithfulness in the journey. Being able to look back and see God’s Hand and His plan is a gift. And the second part of the verse says I AM DETERMINED to follow His instructions. Yes I am! Because I know that He is good and faithful and His plans for me are true and perfect.




First Days of School Days – 2015

All my grandchildren have returned to school. The two littlest ones are actually going to pre-school, but all five of them are in “school.” I am writing this post for the sheer JOY of having these pictures all in one spot so that I may look back on them one day. This blog is all about these great and wonderful blessings called grandchildren, Gran Jan’s JOY. They make me smile from the inside out. Just thinking about them can stir my heart.

My prayer for them this school year is that God will:

  • guard their hearts,
  • protect them from bullies,
  • keep them safe and well,
  • help them stand strong,
  • help them be kind to everyone,
  • help them have friends and be friends,
  • help them be a blessing to their teachers and…
  • instill in them the character of Christ and that the plans He has for them will begin to take shape.






Amen and amen, in the Mighty Name of Jesus!



Scripture Memory Team Verse 16 – August 15, 2015


Ephesians 3:16 (NLT)
 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources
he will empower you with
inner strength through his Spirit

What a great prayer for busy women of God, for anyone truly. Whatever your current life season – busy mom, working a busy job, empty nester, student, single mom – we all need the power of the Spirit of God to strengthen us.  I love the Amplified version of this verse too:  May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality].  This isn’t about fatigue. In fact, I don’t know many women who aren’t fatigued – this is about inner strength – HOPE – JOY – PEACE in your inner person.

This is my prayer for you today – for whenever you happen to come across this post. It is timeless and forever. Call upon the Name of the Lord, His strength will carry you with any task or burden you are facing. Way down deep.  Where it counts.

Lord help me memorize this one well, to be able to pray it over and over again, for myself and for others.  Amen.



Scripture Memory Team Verse 15 – August 1, 2015


Psalm 116:2 (HCSB)
Because He has turned His ear to me,
I will call out to Him as long as I live.

This verse is amazing and oh so comforting to me! Dr. Thomas Constable  says this Psalm is uncommonly affectionate. A heart of gratitude to God for hearing the cries of His child. I saw the picture below while scrolling through Instagram recently. My friend Michelle Rodriguez had posted this picture and it caught my attention. Then last week at the funeral of a pastor, I heard the verse referenced again. I perked up and listened to the context. IMG_0465It is simple, really. God listens to us when we pray. Why do we make it so hard or complex? (I said we.) There is a little book that I dearly love and love to recommend. It is called The Power of Crying Out, When Prayer Becomes Mighty, by Bill Gothard. I’ve read through the book several times. It’s a go-to book for me. I remember during the season of praying for my oldest son and his wife as they were desperately asking God for a child. I believe with all my heart, soul, mind and strength that when I get to Heaven it will be revealed to me that God heard my intercessory cries on their behalf and Zeke Morton was born. [And then followed Madie, and Abe…Zeke’s younger siblings and more gifts straight from the Hand of God.] This picture was made a couple of months ago after Zeke had spent some time at the Morton Farm with me and Pop. [We Mortons dearly love to stop at The Atlanta Varsity!]GranJan-ZekeHere is an overview of that powerful little book:

When members of the early church cried out to God in urgent need, the place shook with the power of their supplication. In this compelling vision for modern-day supplication, Bill Gothard recognizes the key truth that only God’s almighty power can rescue His children in times of distress. Using illustrations from Scripture and testimonies from everyday people, Gothard demonstrates the power of crying out — and how God can shake the world of those who cry out to Him today.

I encourage you to really trust God in that He hears and He listens. There is a difference you know. He cares. I am confident.

Blessings today to you,



My Sister Jean ~ She Lived 25 Years, She’s Been Gone 30 Years…

Five years ago today I wrote the following post on the 25th anniversary of my sister Jean’s death, July 19, 2010. Today now marks 30 years since she’s been gone. I miss her every day…we all do, my parents, my sisters Joan and Jo, her daughter Amy and other family members. Thankful one day there will be a reunion the likes of which I can’t even imagine! 

Sisters are Different Flowers From the Same Garden…

I am the oldest of four girls all named by our parents with “P.J.” inititals, Pamela Jan, Phyllis Jean, Patricia Joan, Peggy Jo; all called by our middle names. This picture was taken back in 1981 as we celebrated our parents’ 25th wedding anniversary.  (We are standing in birth order, with me on the far left.)

This past January 18th would have been Jean’s 50th birthday if she had lived. But God had other plans, and my sister died on July 19, 1985, 25 years ago.  She was only 25 years old when a tragic car accident took her life instantly.  She’s been gone for as long as she lived.  Some days it seems like only yesterday…and other days I mourn every one of those 25 years. 

I have scanned in some photos from our early years.  Every memory I have of my childhood includes my sister Jean as we were so close in age.  This could well be one of our first photos together.  I was 2 years, 2 months and 2 days old when she was born in January of 1960.

 This photograph is one of my favorites of Jean and me with our mother.
I was a brown-eyed brunette (still am), and she was a blue-eyed blonde!
 Here we are on Christmas Day – I especially love my memories of Christmases with Jean.  We loved this kitchen set, and always played “house” with our baby dolls.
We played outside for hours with this old dog.
Even though I am older, she was often my defender in squabbles.
Here we are all decked out for Easter with matching hats and dresses. 
I was 7 years old, Jean was 5, and our baby sister Joan was 9 months old.
Jo was born the very next year on Good Friday.
 This is Jean and I in front of our home in Hawaii.
Our Dad was a career Marine, and our family lived in Hawaii during
his duty there. We loved our years in Hawaii and the timing was
great as we were teenagers and we loved the beach!

A few months ago when the thought resonated in my heart that Jean had been gone as long as she had lived, I asked my mom if us girls could spend the day togther to remember Jean and celebrate her life. So that is what we did this past July 19th.  My sisters and our mom went to the cemetery and put flowers on Jean’s grave. 

There is a quote that Jean always loved, so her sweet husband had it carved into her beautiful pink granite tombstone at the bottom.  It says:

With each rising sun,
think of life as just beginning.
Show kindness and love today,
for tomorrow’s chance may be lost.

It was extremely hot that day, and we didn’t tarry too long.  But we did what we came for. We talked about how much we miss Jean, and we shed some tears. We visited our paternal grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ graves, and many of my Dad’s siblings’ graves too.  After we left the cemetery, we had lunch together and did a little shopping.  It was good to just be together.  We wanted to remember her, but not to mourn as those who have no hope! Jean had a little girl, our sweet niece Amy, who was not quite two years old when her momma died.  I texted Amy and told her what we were doing, and she was so glad.  She lives out of state or she would have joined us.  She is so much like her momma.  It is absolutely uncanny when I watch Amy and see Jean’s hand motions and facial expressions.  She did not get the privilege to raise her girl, but she lives on in her every day.  Amy is so beautiful.

This picture of Jean and Amy was taken not long before Jean died.
I cannot tell you how Jean’s death devasted our lives. The morning of her funeral was the darkest day I have ever known.  My heart was broken for my parents more than anything. Jean’s death remains the greatest loss in our family.  But this I know! Jesus gives grace and He is so faithful.  We turned to Him for comfort and He met us every time.  We miss her every day, and when the family is together, we are not complete.  But I know beyond doubt that a day is coming when we will be together again in Heaven!  Because of the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross and our faith in Him as Lord and Savior – we will see her again one day, alive and whole.Blessings to you all.  Love your family every day, for tomorrow’s chance may be lost…


Scripture Memory Team Verse 14 – July 15, 2015


Psalm 118:8
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in man.

I don’t believe I can make this verse any clearer without insulting you blog readers.  I know for myself there are times when I want to run to a friend or co-worker with an issue that doesn’t even concern them. I find myself wanting to just talk it out. That isn’t always a wise decision on my part. The older I get the more I realize the wisdom in keeping some things to myself. Taking time to let things “press in and process” in my heart…mull over as the old-timers say. Now this isn’t to discount that there aren’t times I need to seek wise counsel. When that need arises in my life I always talk to my husband. He is wise and trustworthy and he genuinely always desires the best for me, but he isn’t afraid to call it what it is. Whatever “it” may be. :) I also have several friends I can count on to speak truth to me. Lanie, Patsy, Cindy, Teresa…

However in those times when you need a “refuge,” [shelter or protection from danger, trouble] you better take it to the Lord. Don’t trust in people. They will let you down and sometimes the way down is a hard fall. To me taking refuge in the Lord means getting alone with Him, the Bible in my hands, and a quiet place to pray and wait. Time to be still and cease striving. Hope this encourages you today and this verse will come to you just when you need that refuge the most!



The Loft Linkup [Potluck…]


I’ve been away from “THE LOFT” for two weeks and I’ve missed this weekly connection with new friends and certainly my friend Leah Adams However, I thoroughly enjoyed some time away from my office and all things electronic and media – but I’m glad to be back today with this Potluck topic.

My dictionary app defines potluck as “a food or a meal that happens to be available without special preparation or purchase; a meal especially for a large group to which participants bring various foods to share; whatever is available or comes one’s way.”

To me, the word Potluck brings to mind memories of 38 years as a pastor’s wife and many, many, many (did I say many?) covered dish lunches, suppers, and fellowship times around the table. I believe meal time is so important and something sadly missing in today’s families. A time to relax, connect, and share conversation. When I was growing up we didn’t eat on the run, or really even eat “out” very often. Most families ate at home…together. Some of my sweetest memories surround being in the kitchen with my mother and my sisters.  Although I do recall many squabbles with whose turn it was to wash the dishes and whose turn it was to dry! Gotta love being raised in a house full of sisters. To this day one of my favorite times is when both of my boys have their feet back under their mama’s table! 3GenerationsSo for our potluck gathering today at The Loft I am going to literally share a potluck with you – some of my favorite recipes. Click on the title link below for each one and I hope you will try one, or some, or all of them. I will tell you that the meatloaf recipe receives more “hits” than any on my blog! So fun!

Icebox Banana Pudding

Morton Meatloaf – Delicious!

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Jalepeno Cornbread Muffins

Southern Tomato Sandwich :)

Peach Cobbler!

Quick & Easy Lasagna

Buttermilk Biscuits

Happy Potluck! It’s Wednesday, how about that? Many churches have potluck suppers on Wednesday night!



He Called My Name 30 Years Ago Today!

Thirty years ago today I became a believer in Jesus Christ. I can honestly say on that day…July 7, 1985, as this song by Chris Tomlin says, “I stepped out of the dark and into the light when He called my name. I couldn’t run, couldn’t run from His presence…”   This song shares exactly how I felt that hot Sunday morning in Athens, Georgia at Central Baptist Church…

So very thankful that I have the blessed assurance that it is well with my soul. I wrote my whole story here a few years ago Heaven Came Down. I do celebrate July 7th each year, but this 30 year anniversary is extra special. I’m off work today, I’ve had time alone to remember and ponder and pray. Thankful, blessed, rejoicing. 

Never gotten over that day, never been the same!