Scripture Memory Team Verse 22 – November 15, 2015

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Ephesians 4:23-24
Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Put on your new nature, created to be like God—
truly righteous and holy.

The struggle is truly real. I hear and see folks use that phrase sometimes and it is usually over something that is NOT really serious or a true struggle. However…the daily struggle to walk in the Spirit and live righteous and holy lives is indeed serious and very real. The only way we can put on our new nature is to renew our thoughts and attitudes – every day and often every hour or in moments.

I’m in the middle of a Bible study by Priscilla Shirer entitled “The Armor of God.”  Below is an excerpt – in fact my memory verse for November 15 came from my time in this study.

All day, every day, an invisible war rages around you —
unseen, unheard, yet felt throughout every aspect of your life.
A devoted, devilish enemy seeks to wreak havoc on everything that matters to you:
your heart, your mind, your marriage, your children,
your relationships, your resilience, your dreams, your destiny.

But his battle plan depends on catching you unaware and unarmed.
If you’re tired of being pushed around and caught with your guard down,
this study is for you.

The struggle is real and so is the enemy. However, there is a Savior and His Name is Jesus. And He is REAL and he really cares for you and will make a way for you to have a renewed heart and mind from any and all negative talk and strongholds.

Blessings to you today!

GranJan-BlogSignature

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Scripture Memory Team Verse 19 – October 1, 2015

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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!

 GranJan-BlogSignature

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A Time For Everything

I’ve been reading through the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, and the first verse of Chapter 3 may be the most well known passage, “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.”  Everything – all of life translates to seasons. From the beauty found in the four seasons of a year to the way the seasons of our lives change.  Everything.  To everything there is a season. 

Autumn may be my favorite season on the calendar, but I look forward to Winter and the joy the Christmas season brings, then there is the anticipation of a new year in just four weeks. I really love gardening in the Spring and Summer too. Each season brings its own beauty and joy. I want to savor some family memories here on Gran Jan’s Joy, so I’m going to post some pictures from our lives for the past several months…seasons and times for which I am so thankful.

Summer Family Breakfast with Four Generations at the Table!

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Zeke and Madie in the cornfield across the road from our farm.

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Sweet Emery in a dress I made for her…

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A trip to the Farmers Market with the bounty of summer fruits and vegetables…

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Gran Jan’s JOY – all five of them!

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Riding backroads…Georgia Red Clay

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My oldest son and his family enjoying time at our pond…

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My youngest son and his son fishing…

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Grandyounguns…there is nothing sweeter!  I love that they are all so close in age.

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Moonflowers from my summer garden…it was dark by the time the bloom unfurled.

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Sweet peach ice cream on a hot summer evening…

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Summer storms and rain puddles for grandsons to jump!

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Homemade Fig Preserves…

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Front Porch Swings on Summer Saturday Mornings…

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My dad and my youngest grandson Abe…I love this picture so much.

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Zeke’s First Day of Kindergarten…that season came too soon!

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Sitting by the pond and the firepit my husband built for me on a cool summer evening…

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Sweetest (and best) little soccer player…Jackson Morton!

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A ride with my parents and this…the house my Dad lived in when he was 15…a true memory lane trip.

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A painting party with some sweet friends…girlfriend therapy…

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Baby quilts I made for new grandchildren born to two special friends, Pat Boutwell & Joan Falldine…

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Emery’s Minnie Mouse 2nd Birthday Party…Delightful! (I made her shirt, made me so happy!)

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My youngest son ordained as a deacon at our church…no words to describe my joy.

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1 & 2 Thessalonians Bible Study, “For not all have faith, but the LORD is faithful.”

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A trip to the beach in October with my sweetie…it was so special!

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While at the beach we attended Sunrise City Church – a highlight of the Fall Season for us.

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Meeting Eric Metaxas at Covenant Care’s fundraiser and getting my book signed…

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A text with grandgirl Miss Madie sporting a GranJan creation…day made!

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White violas in a strawberry jar…one of my Fall traditions…

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Coming home to find love notes from my husband all over the house…what a blessed woman I am!

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Fall cotton fields…I love living in the country…

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Christmas dresses for my grandgirls, made at a weekend sew-in with my BFF Lanie!

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Babysitting our youngest grandchild, little Abe, two weekends in a row this past month!

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These pictures cover lots of time from this past Summer and Fall and each one is a sweet memory for me. I’m so thankful for my family and the JOY they bring to me. I’m also thankful for this season of my life…grandmothering these young ones. I can truly say I’ve loved and learned in every season of my life and I pray that continues to hold true for me as long as God leaves me here. He is so faithful.

GRANJAN

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Fabulous February – 2014

I fully hoped with much faith that 2014 would be a “better” year than 2013 was for our family.  God is faithful and was so good to see us through the trials we faced. I experienced His grace in so many ways in 2013.  I wrote about it in a post entitled Triple Trials. You can’t always see God’s purposes in every season, but His peace and His presence are very real.

February has been a great month for so many reasons! Remember my blog counting to 1,000 GIFTS when I posted pictures and shared the JOY of counting His gifts of grace? Well, this post is going to be similar as the pictures tell the story…here goes!

I spoke at a retreat for pastor’s wives in North Georgia at the beautiful Georgia Baptist Conference Center in Toccoa.  The theme was “Live Out Your Legacy,” and God blessed in every way. The most precious time for me was when my son Jeremy introduced me before I spoke on Friday evening. Talk about a living legacy! He made me cry my eyes out – it was a surprise and a blessing all rolled together. I love him so much! He and his brother were pure JOY to raise.

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We’ve had a TRUE winter here in the South. Lots of snow and lots of fun! I’m hoping tomorrow when March rolls in…we can see some signs of sweet Springtime! I’m ready to get in the garden.

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We’ve had some great meetings this month and the momentum is building! Second Baptist Church Warner Robins is blessed to host Priscilla Shirer Live this coming August 22-23, 2014. The event is open to all women and we hope that all 2,300 seats are taken! Please go to LIFEWAY to order your tickets before June 27th for a discount!PSL-SBCWR

This blog began because of my JOY in becoming a grandmother.  The joy continueth…

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More random… My friend Jan and I auditioned last summer in Atlanta to be on the Wheel of Fortune! We did really well and made it through to the final cuts… SEVEN MONTHS LATER…we were called to go to Culver City, CA for taping, and the snowstorm of Atlanta cancelled our flights and the trip to “spin the wheel” was postponed.  The fine folks at Wheel of Fortune say we are at the top of the list for rescheduling a “Girlfriends Getaway” themed week…and we hope it’s soon! “TEAM JAN” is ready to go!

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Quilting is another love of mine. I made a quilt this month at my sister’s request (several months ago) to help raise funds for her son’s high school baseball program.  She is in charge of the annual big fundraiser.   I sure hope it does well for them – tomorrow is the big day!  Ola-Quilt

My sweet husband and I had the privilege to attend our son’s church this month! It was our first time to be there since they moved last September. This Sunday was special for several reasons…it was our first occasion to attend, we were able to hear Jeremy preach a wonderful message, it was my husband’s birthday, and our youngest grandchild “Abe” was dedicated to the Lord.  Our hearts were overflowing.

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February 2014 has also provided some good times here at the Farm enjoying the sunsets and time around the fire pit on those rare warm days we enjoyed. SunsetFirepit

Teaching Wednesday Night Bible study is a JOY and privilege.  To experience learning and growing in the Word of God is something I hope to never take for granted.  This study “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World” has been timely, rich, and wonderful!MaryHeart

I always see a pattern in these posts…faith and family – the two treasures I hold dear.  I hope that never changes. I’m so very thankful.Christmas2013

Love and JOY from Gran Jan on this last day of Fabulous February 2014!

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Priscilla Shirer Live – Coming to Second Baptist, Warner Robins, GA

I am very excited to announce that my church (Second Baptist, Warner Robins, GA) will be hostessing PRISCILLA SHIRER LIVE…and it’s a YEAR away! However, our Women’s Ministry Team (Cindy, Teresa, Jennifer, and me…love these girls!) are getting geared up and prayed up and fired up! We will be putting together a BIG CORE TEAM as well for this event, so stay tuned here on my blog, and on Facebook and Twitter! Priscilla is a tremendous teacher of the Word of God and is so genuine. WE LOVE HER BIBLE STUDIES! I’ve given her a title that to me fits her so well. “Queen of Analogies.”  She can make a concept so clear and plain by the wonderful way she weaves a day-to-day analogy to the spiritual teaching she is expounding upon.  So mark your calendars and save the date for August 22-23, 2014!  To attend, you must register through the LIFEWAY EVENTS link.

A little unknown fact to many people is very special to us at Second Baptist.  We heard Priscilla speak at a retreat we attended at Callaway Gardens, Georgia about 12 years ago.  We loved her so much we invited her to come share at an in-house women’s retreat at our church.  She came and we loved her even more…and especially when she told us she was three months along in her first pregnancy.  Now she is the proud momma of three sons!  God is so good.

This following description is from the Lifeway site:

Ever feel like you’re in a rut? Whether you need inspiration or a challenge, Priscilla Shirer Live will snap you out of routine faith. Priscilla’s ministry to women around the world focuses on the expository teaching of the Word of God. She desires to see women come to a full understanding of who they are in Christ by hearing the uncompromising truth of Scripture. With passionate Bible teaching from Priscilla and worship by Anthony Evans, you don’t want to miss this intimate and inspiring event for women of every age, culture, and background.

Thankful, blessed to serve, and praying for Priscilla Shirer Live! 

Jan

 

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Women’s Ministry – Don’t Lose Heart

SERVANT LEADERSHIP is important to me. We lead by serving, we serve by leading. In my church I serve in the music ministry and in the women’s ministry. Tonight our women’s ministry Leadership Team is meeting…over chips and salsa at a local Mexican restaurant.  (We are hoping for a “table in the back!”)  I love these ladies so much. Left to right – Cindy serves as our Events Coordinator, Teresa serves as Bible Study Coordinator, Jennifer serves as Outreach Ministry Coordinator, and I serve as Director. Tonight we will pray, share, and go over our calendars. Yesterday I emailed them  the following encouragement. [It isn’t original to me, but I can’t pinpoint it’s origin, and just tweaked it a bit to fit women’s ministry; however, it can apply to any of us out there serving and leading.]  It is easy to lose heart and focus. Why? Besides the spiritual warfare that is rampant to servants of Christ, a whole lot of living just happens. In the lives and families of this team just the past year we’ve experienced births, deaths, hospitalizations, and more.  Just like your lives I’m sure…WMLT3

WOMEN’S MINISTRY – DON’T LOSE HEART!
From
2 Corinthians 4

#1 The Temptation to Lose Heart
In verse 1, it says “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we DO NOT lose heart.” It doesn’t matter what our ministry is, sooner or later we’re going to be tempted to lose heart, to get discouraged, to listen to naysayers, and to want to give up. We can’t! When others accuse us or reject us, remember what’s at stake: the gospel of the glory of Christ (in every women’s ministry event we plan, that is our priority).

#2 The Temptation to Lose Focus
In verse 5, it says “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” Do we need a focus check? (I do.) No matter what our job or ministry is, if we are followers of Jesus Christ, our ultimate goal ought to be to shout out the name of Jesus in everything we do. WE are so commited to this! 

#3 The Temptation to Lose Power
Verses 7-12 are some of the greatest in the whole Bible: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”  GLORY!

Those are awesome verses, aren’t they? We must walk in the Spirit and overcome our flesh and fatigue. We must FOCUS! Let God’s Spirit have His way in us. That’s our treasure. That’s our secret. Don’t let the difficulties we face cloud the truth of God’s Word.

#4 The Temptation to Lose Faith
There’s more! In verses 13-15, the Word says “Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, so I spoke”, we also believe, and so we also speak.” Do we believe God? Are we resting on His promises, or do we still follow our feelings? Feelings are terrible leaders and we know that as women we can RUN on emotion. Faith is believing God’s Word and acting on it no matter how we feel, because God promises a good result. ARE we doing it?

#5 The Temptation to Lose Vision
Finally, like it can get any better, 2 Corinthians 4 ends with these verses: “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Can y’all hear the music soaring?  This is not the end. Our vision is fixed on eternity. There’s more to come and I cannot wait.

I hope you know these truths in the depth of your soul. I pray these truths will fill you with joy to keep on enduring for the sake of HIS GREAT NAME.

Hollerlujah,
Jan 🙂

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1,000 GIFTS, #949 to #966

949.  As I get so close to the GOAL of 1000 gifts, I am remembering today where it all began.  I was attending a conference for worship pastors (and their wives) with my husband, and we were in Birmingham, AL.  My first gifts, one to ten are here.  That conference is 2 weeks from today and we are part of the team that is hosting the event (Metro II) here in our state in beautiful Savannah, Georgia.  Time flies…

950.  And speaking of worship – here is our grandson Jackson singing “Where I Belong”  (Building 429)  in the tub just last night. He had heard that Pop (my husband) had sang it in “big church.”  Click on the little link below (Jackson-Tub) for 20 seconds of pure JOY.  “All I know is I’m not home yet, this is not where I belong…take this world and give me Jesus, this is not where I belong…”  Jackson-Tub

951. Phone calls at work that begin like this, “Mom, you want to meet me and Carrie and the kids at Chick-fil-A for lunch?”  Indeed!  Then lots of hugs and kisses from Zeke & Madie Ruth before I head back to the office.  My favorite way to spend a lunch hour!  Thank you Jeremy for calling and inviting me.

952. Grace beyond all measure in the continued strength and healing in my dad’s recovery.  He is a miracle of the Lord and my heart is full to overflowing with thankfulness.  He is still in the hospital but is most assuredly on the mend.  Thank you for praying.

953.  My friend Lanie invited me to an “art party.”  The sponsor is Truth Be Told Art and it was absolutely wonderful.  It is a wonderful ministry where you paint His Truth on canvas. We painted the scripture from Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Spirit. The artist led us step by step and we are so proud of our artwork!  Left to right in the picture is Kathy, me, Lanie, and Joy.  Both Kathy’s and Joy’s husbands are staff pastors at our church.  Blessed time of fellowship.  Pears
954.  Thank God for the JOY of some springtime weather right in the middle of winter…record highs last week.  This may be the perfect weather to me.  Just warm and wonderful, breezy, low to no humidity.

955.  My oldest grandchild and I spent a long time just sitting on the bank of our pond on that beautiful Spring day last weekend. Zeke is a talker and we enjoyed long conversation. He calls this weeping willow our “picnic tree.”  We had a most wonderful time and I’m so thankful.ZekePond956.  And that perfect day was made more perfect by some “flowers” from Zeke. Dandelions…delightful! 🙂Dandelions

957.  I love the music of Travis Cottrell and our choir and orchestra and really our whole church enjoy his music.  Our Praise Team is working on “Jesus Saves.”  My husband is planning something very special when we sing it and it will feature a presentation of ALL the people who have come to Christ and been baptized in our church recently…YES! Jesus Saves!  I was actually in the audience the night Travis recorded this music at First Baptist Woodstock, Georgia. What a great memory!

958. I planted a Rose of Sharon last weekend.  Mine is white and I love this old-fashioned flowering shrub.  A sweet and precious friend, Jan Leary brought it to me from Atlanta.  Her father was in the hospital at the same time as mine.  We met in the hospital lobby and talked and encouraged each other through that trying time right at Christmas.  She is very special to me.  I love you Jan! We have a lot in common, beginning with our names.

959.  Life is but a vapor…James 4:14 from the Amplified Bible.  Barely a week goes by that I don’t think about something I learned from the Bible study on the book of James (Mercy Triumphs) by Beth Moore and her daughter Melissa Fitzpatrick. One cool morning last week as the vapor and fog was wafting through the pecan trees I stopped to take a picture…

Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow.
What is the nature of your life?
You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist)

that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air].
Vapor

960.  Love this new “app” for the Scripture Memory Team!  I am memorizing Psalm 103 this year.   SSMT app

961.  Thankful for the safety of my friend Cindy who was home during an attempted break in at her home last weekend.  She is a woman of the Word and had the presence of mind to know that the attempted “robber” needs Jesus.  I am praying for God to bring her peace of heart and mind as she works through everything.  Jesus be near.

962. I had everyone over for a big family breakfast this past Saturday and we enjoyed some time outside. I love this picture of Jackson and Madie running.  They are exactly 2 weeks to the day apart. I pray they will be as close in friendship as their ages are in days…Running

963. Sweet Emery is always so HAPPY and I enjoyed some time with her in the house while everyone was visiting the cows!Emery-JOY

964. Our Pastor preached one of the most practical and clear messages yesterday on what it means to be a disciple of Christ that is GROWING in relationship with Him (from Hebrews 5:12-14).  I so desire to be a mature woman of faith!
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

1. Lack of growth limits your ability.
2. Lack of growth hinders your productivity.
3. Lack of growth reveals your immaturity.

965.  I assure you I did not draw any attention to myself or disturb anyone around me as I quickly took this picture (with my iPhone) at church yesterday, but I wanted to preserve this moment in my mind…a group of friends praying together at the close of our services.  I have no idea who or what they were praying for, but it touched me way down deep.  So thankful for small groups, Bible study, Sunday School and JESUS!  The bond that holds us all together is His love.  Thankful for that grace moment yesterday.PrayingTogether

 966.  And lastly…this quote from Dr. Perdue yesterday:

Grace didn’t come with a “to-do” list, Grace came with a DONE list.

AMEN AND AMEN!
Jan

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