2017 Scripture Memory Team – August

The two verses I’m working on memorizing for August are powerful verses, full of confident HOPE in the Lord. The first one is from the amazing first chapter of the New Testament book of Colossians. Christ is before all things – He existed before existence. This clearly separates Christ from every created entity. Do I understand that? I do not. Do I believe that? Absolutely I do. This hope is the cornerstone of the authority of the Holy Trinity.

The second half is also powerfully assuring. In Him all things hold together. It’s been a rocky 2017 across our land since January unfolded with a new President and all the turmoil that has surrounded race relations in our country the past couple of years. I honestly love people and I’m thankful to be part of the Human Race. I know that is very simplistic, but it suits my beliefs. I embrace the truths of the song I learned as a little girl ~ “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” And he loves the big children too. Remember that in Him all things hold together even when they don’t appear that way. One day…one day!

Now for my second passage – from Hebrews, a wonderful book of the Bible. I love this scripture too. Another verse of confident HOPE!

Isn’t it the most wonderful JOY that every Christian can come right into God’s presence with just the mention of His Name? Unlike the high priests – who could only approach God’s earthly throne in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle once a year, we can draw near…with CONFIDENCE! Receiving mercy – finding grace. Yes!

We sang the old hymn “I Need Thee Every Hour,” this past Sunday. It was written in 1872 by Annie S. Hawks. Sing these words, slow and strong if you know the tune – it will bless your soul.

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord.
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

I need Thee, oh I need Thee;
every hour I need Thee.
Oh bless me now my Savior,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
come quickly and abide, or life is vain.

I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
Thy promises so rich, in me fulfill.

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
Oh make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.

Truth! In Him all things hold together – and He’s as close as the mention of His Name!

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2017 Scripture Memory Team – July

Both of my verses come from the New Testament book of Romans this month.  Hebrews, Psalms and Romans may be my favorite three books of the Bible.  For today. Because truthfully, I love all 66 books.  I wonder if a there is a theme to all of my 2017 memory verses, I need to review them and see. I believe there is a theme for July. Christ is everything! Salvation is available to everyone and faith in Jesus will never ever disappoint. There are days when I strain to hear clearly from Him through all the distractions in my day, but He never disappoints. He never has. I love the simplicity of this verse. The more we get to know Him, the more we learn and know and experience His faithful love and grace in our lives.

My second July memory verse is also from Romans. Chapter 11, verse 36.  I went to a Lifeway Women’s Ministry Leadership training almost 7 years ago in North Carolina at the beautiful Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville. My friend and ministry partner Cindy Schult and I attended together. It was where we heard Margaret Feinberg speak for the first time. She was delightful and has written many books since that time. We also heard from Melissa Fitzpatrick, the beautiful and intelligent daughter of Bible study teacher and author, Beth Moore. Melissa taught a session and Romans 11:36 was her focal passage. This verse especially resonated with Cindy and has every day since November 2010. More recently this verse has been brought back again to my  heart. He Himself is everything. He is the originator, sustainer, and finisher of everything. From Him, Through Him, To Him. All things. And because he is all in all, all glory and honor is due Him forever.

He NEVER disappoints.
He is in EVERYTHING.

Gran Jan

 

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Gran Jan Camp – 2017

The second GRAN JAN CAMP is a wrap! I went from one camper to three, so it was BIG BIG BIG! Here are my campers, my three oldest grandchildren, Madie, Jackson, and Zeke! Zeke attended the inaugural Gran Jan Camp last summer, so he was a great helper and co-director and “watch me, this is what we do” guide! He just finished 2nd grade and Madie and Jackson just completed first grade, the only prerequisite for attending, besides being my grandchild!
The theme for our camp this summer was “ENCOURAGEMENT!” Our focus verse was I Thessalonians 5:11:

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Our focus was that our WORDS MATTER! We talked about encouraging people we don’t know and people we do know, most especially our families. We started this year with a Scavenger Hunt! I had the best time putting this together. I had 15 clues that ended up at the firepit by our pond. I worked on the clues and enjoyed putting them out all over the place… Clue 1 started inside our home, and the next clue led to another spot, to another, to another! These are some smart grandkids, I tell you that. I had to run to keep up with them and I don’t run. 🙂

So our big project was “encouragement rocks.”  Each grandchild had 4 rocks to decorate with words of spiritual encouragement, and they did amazing! Just look at these rocks! We encouraged folks we don’t know with words of hope and healing. We then went on a field trip to place the rocks in three different stores. We prayed that just the right person who needed to be encouraged that day would find the rock meant for them. We had a blast and talked about the joy that was ours to be an encourager to someone else.

We made snack necklaces to enjoy from all our hard rock placement that morning! 🙂 Zoom in close to see the “snack necklaces.”  They used pretzels, cheerios, fruit loops cereal, and gummies and enjoyed munching on these. Zeke had almost eaten his before I could take the picture!

When you live in the county without a swimming pool and it is over 90 degrees you buy a “slip and slide!”  They had a blast on this thing during the early evening and Pop and I enjoyed watching them.  After they had slipped and slid they wanted to play in the pond, and off they went. Pop even got in on the fun in the pond with them and then our lab, Copper jumped in with them too.

One of my favorite things we do is bury a time capsule on the last day of Gran Jan Camp. Jackson and Emery wrote letters to “their 18-year-old selves.” Yes they did! We will unearth these in 10 years and I pray we can all be together to do so. “Lord willing,” as my Granny Maloy always said about everything.

Madie and Jackson each added a “fidget spinner” to their time capsules.  It’s a recent new toy that is all the rage now. You basically just hold it, twirl it, and watch it spin. Jackson wondered if in 10 years if fidget spinners would even still be around. Stay tuned!

The time capsules were placed in the ground right outside Pop’s shop in Gran Jan’s zinnia garden.  Zeke’s was already there from last year and so we know exactly where they will be. I printed some pictures from the week to place inside, and I also wrote a letter to Madie and one to Jackson to place inside the time capsules too. Pop wrapped them up tight with plastic and sealed them well.

The joy of Gran Jan Camp is all about memories and family legacy. I loved having uninterrupted time with my grandchildren these three days.  Time to just be with them, praying and playing together. What a joy to be able to share in the lives of these precious little people.  I love them so much it hurts. You grandmothers out there know exactly what I mean by that.

I’m already getting a folder of ideas for next year’s camp and will enjoy this season while it lasts.  To everything there is a season (Ecclesiastes 3:1), and I know my campers will eventually outgrow Gran Jan Camp, but prayerfully they will never outgrow the memories.

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2017 Scripture Memory Team – May

May is here and has been delightful in many ways. The weather today is so nice. Right now it’s a beautiful 77 degrees with a nice breeze blowing. My favorite kind of gardening weather.  Two of my wonderful grandchildren have May birthdays and were born exactly two weeks apart back in 2010, Madie on May 10 and Jackson on May 24. They both just finished first grade and are Gran Jan’s JOY! The time is flying by.

Another fun event in May was our annual Worship Ministry Picnic for our choir, orchestra and technical team workers. We hosted it at the Morton Farm the first Saturday of May and it was a lot of fun. The families enjoyed having the room to roam and see the cows and chickens, and fish in the pond. Grilled hamburgers and hotdogs with all the trimmings filled the menu.  Everyone pitched in and helped serve one another in love. The fellowship was sweet. That brings me to my May 1st memory verse. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it’s necessary! Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. Offering hospitality is a way to show love. Doing it without grumbling is icing on that cake you may serve! We had over 150 folks and we enjoyed each one.  I pray I will always be kind and hospitable…without grumbling.


This next verse jumped out at me during a recent sermon by my Pastor, Jim Perdue. I love the Psalms and when he announced his text I was eager to turn there in my Bible. The Lord IS righteous and he LOVES righteous deeds. The best part is He gives us the righteousness through His son Jesus to do those deeds. We can’t be righteous in our own strength.  He will take care of us with His fellowship, protection and with the favor of a loving father. One day we will be in His presence and enjoy those blessings for eternity. But aren’t you thrilled to know those blessings now? I need Him every hour of every day.

It seems as though our society is getting darker and darker, people getting more and more evil. I believe it is because of quick news and media and the way we hear about everything so quickly that makes it seem this way.  This verse helps me press in to my heart the truth that God is in control. He sees and He knows every single deed being done, whether righteous or unrighteous.  I don’t need to keep any score pads in my purse (or in my mind and heart either). He’s got it all in His Mighty Hands. Let’s remember that He will take care of us as we trust in Him. And one glorious day, we will BEHOLD HIS FACE! Wrap your mind around that truth for a moment.

Gran Jan

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2017 Scripture Memory Team – April

It’s the last day of April and this month brought joy to my gardening heart. I planted flowers and fixed up some containers on the front porch for ferns and red geraniums. In my raised bed vegetable garden, I’ve planted tomatoes, three kinds of peppers, sweet onions, butter peas and pink-eye peas. Everything is up and growing. In fact, we just got home from church a little while ago and I couldn’t wait to get in the garden to check out how everything was doing. I let my hens out of the chicken house to free-range for a bit and just enjoyed the last few hours of this last day of April. The two verses I am working to memorize from April are in the New Testament, I John 2:6 and Ephesians 4:32, both of them have to do with our walk, our behavior.

Our beliefs dictate our behavior. We behave what we believe. If we claim His Name I just believe folks ought to see that in our daily lives. Do I mess up? Of course, every day. But my aim is still to walk in the manner Jesus walked. Shining His light, listening for His voice throughout the day and walking in His Spirit. I can do that by praying, reading His Word, and by just being kind – as stated in Ephesians 4:32. I want to be known as a kind woman, and for the law of kindness to be on my tongue (Proverbs 31:26).

I love the tenderhearted word in this verse. To stay tenderhearted we have to forgive, be kind, forgive, love people, forgive. FORGIVE. As we’ve been forgiven. If you’re hurting due to unkind behavior from someone, as hard as it is to do – pray for them and ask God to help you forgive them. The more you pray for them the more tenderhearted your heart will become. And tenderhearted folks are a joy to be around.

Signing off now, expecting some April showers tonight…my next post will be my May flowers.

Blessings,

Gran Jan

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2017 Scripture Memory Team – March

March is a month for change. Change in the weather, change in time (daylight savings), and even change of season. The Vernal Equinox – when both day and night are each 12 hours long.  The old English proverb “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” is surely holding true here in Georgia with such varied temperatures! March also brought the “time change.” Springing forward is challenging to us non-morning folks. However the trade-off is worth everything because dusk, eventide, twilight…is my favorite time of day, and I love more light in the evenings.

My verses for March brought some change too. A sense of challenge to recognize some of His amazing attributes. Loving and obeying Him more, and recognizing His faithfulness in everything.

March 1: My Pastor, Dr. Jim Perdue is preaching through 1 John and I have really been encouraged and strengthened through these sermons. This verse is one of those “jump off the pages of the Bible” verses. I have been taught from childhood to obey His commandments. Love and obedience walk together. I always wanted to please my parents and be obedient. I’m a rule follower, truly. The joy in this verse is the second half ~ His commandments are not burdensome. You know how your heart rests and is at peace when you are obedient. You don’t carry the burdens of guilt and fret over your poor choices.  Isn’t it good news to know that His commandments are not burdensome? Thank you Jesus for being our burden-bearer and commandment-giver.

March 15: Girl, you better get your hopes up! I remember hearing that quote at a conference from Thelma Wells. She rolled it off her tongue like this…Girrrrrrrrrrrlll, you bettah git yo hopes up. That challenge to remain hopeful has stayed with me for years. We must always have hope and our hope must be in Christ. Not a wavering hope, but steadfast hope. And why? Because He who promised is faithful. The older I get the more I see His faithful ways. It’s because I have more days to look back on and see His faithfulness in my life. I’m confident in my confession of unwavering hope. Not because I’m strong, but because Jesus is, and He doesn’t break His promises.
I hope you are resting in the truth of these two verses…whether you’ve ever read them or not.

  • His commandments are not burdensome.
  • He who promised is faithful.

The Solid Rock is one of my favorite hymns.  I love this first verse especially:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

Believe, hope, obey, and celebrate!


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2017 Scripture Memory Team – January

Welcome 2017!

This will be my 5th year participating in the Scripture Memory Team with Living Proof Ministries It is both challenging and wonderful at the same time. This special team is held every other year. The accountability and method of memorizing two verses each month keeps me coming back. I was part of the very first group in 2009, and haven’t missed one since, having participated in 2011, 2013, 2015 and now with the 2017 group. I attended the inaugural celebration held in Houston, Texas in January 2010 (following the 2009 year of memorizing).  The blog post from that wonderful memorable event is here:  2010 SSMT Celebration 

I am sensing a theme for January and the word is “strength.” Each of my two January 2017 memory verses are from the Psalms, one of my favorite books of the Bible, and probably the one I go to the most for encouragement and yes, for strength. Psalm 105:4 says seek His strength, Psalm 59:17 says His name is Strength. I need the strength Jesus gives and I find it in His Word. Thankful.

If you don’t have a method for memorizing scripture, I encourage you to find one and get started. This method involves writing the verses in a small spiral book of notecards and carrying it with you. Repetition and reading the verse over and over will help you press it in your heart and mind.  It is a lifeline for me and God brings the verses to my mind when I need them for myself and even when encouraging someone else. I’m looking forward to this year of scripture memory.

 

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