683. While driving home from my day in Atlanta with Lanie, a thunderstorm was brewing as I got closer to home. I am so thankful for the much needed rain. I could see this one coming and we ended up with 2 inches of rain and some great puddles…for little grandboys and Gran Jans.
My heart is as near to overflowing these days as it has ever been – aside from my salvation day, my wedding day, my sons’ births and weddings, and the days my grandchildren were born—I am full of praise and thanksgiving to the Good LORD for His unmerited grace and tender mercies to me these recent days.
409. I’m starting my list today with the blessed news that my church has a new pastor, Dr. Jim Perdue, and he will begin his ministry at our church on January 1, 2012. He has a lovely wife and four beautiful children. He grew up in our church and is now coming home after getting his seminary education and pastoring the past 10 or so years. HE LOVES US! What a season we endured prior to his coming – God has surely been my Shield, Defense, Strong Tower, Refuge, and my Best Friend. Thank you JESUS! The timing is just God as we approach the season of Thanksgiving. I am most humbly thankful.
410. Fall is my favorite season. I praise God for His gifts of seasons to enjoy. The color this year has been spectacular.
411. I received a voice mail last week from a young woman named Fran that blessed my heart in the deepest places. She loves Jesus and is in the “zone” raising 3 young men. Her desire is to live a life that counts and she is so much FUN! We are “siestas” which is an affectionate term for members of the Living Proof Ministries blog community. It is the most genuine, caring group of believers ever. Right siestas? Thank you Fran for encouraging me on every level. You know I love you and I’m here for you.
412. Following these wonderful young women as they journeyed to Ecuador on a Compassion bloggers trip. Sophie, Melanie, Ann, Amanda, Kelly. You bless me!
413. I attended a fundraising banquet last week for Covenant Care Ministries, an adoption agency that places children in two-parent Christian homes. The speaker talked about everyone’s adoption story…as we are adopted into the family of God by the provision of Christ’s death on the cross. Hallelujah and Amen.
414. My two oldest grandchildren go to Mother’s Morning Out twice weekly at their church. Last week the firetruck came. Oh the JOY! My grandboy is on the front row and is seated – far left. Everything to Zeke is “so fun.”
416. My dad is a retired Marine Captain and Vietnam War veteran. I am so proud of him. He has always worked hard and provided for our family. He loves this country and we fly the flags here at our farm every day of the year – but this past Veterans Day, 11-11-11, they seemed extra bright against the blue November sky.
417. Captain Tom, my father. I love him.
418. I’ve made quilts for each of my 3 grandchildren for Christmas gifts. These are the labels I will sew on the back of the quilts for Zeke and Madie Ruth.
419. In my father’s footsteps, and in his boots. This is my youngest grandboy wearing my son’s boots. Couldn’t you just squeeze him?
420. There is a song on Travis Cottrell’s latest CD that is entitled “Thanks Be To Our God.” That song has been used of God to minister to my soul – I’m talking every single time I hear it. It is anointed. I’m so grateful. Reference #409. “For the road that leads from darkness into light…for the hope that rescues us from endless night…”
421. Worship. Just as We Are. There is another song on that same release that is the “Just As I Am” invitation song used in hundreds of Billy Graham crusades. But Travis’s version has a beautiful addition about coming to Christ and how He receives us JUST AS WE ARE that my husband has used in our worship services the past 2 Sundays. Just get the whole CD – you will be blessed.
422. Planning our Thanksgiving menu via text messages with my sisters Joan and Jo. So glad this is a year where all the family will gather together (at our home) and not one of those off years where we scatter – even though I do know those years are blessings to the other families too!
423. My Wednesday night Bible study group is going through Beth Moore’s “Wising Up – Proverbs study.” Last week we learned about Wisdom for Moms. Not a dry eye. My life’s greatest joy has been to raise my two sons. No other accolade or accomplishment means more to me that being a mom and Gran Jan.
424. I am thankful for my home and the farming community in which I live. The land of cotton. I don’t have to “wish I was there” as the old song says…I am there. It is cotton harvest time in these here parts…I can’t help but wonder what my paternal grandfather and his father would have thought about all this “modern equipment.”
For the strengh to carry on
And forgiveness great and strong
And the promise of Your mercies ever new
Thanks Be To Our God
371. Four Generations around the table last Monday as my Dad, me, Jonathan, and his son Jackson enjoyed supper together. What a blessing to have and especially as it was my Dad, (“Papaw” to my sons and grandchildren) who spoke that gift aloud.
372. The privilege to speak to a group of women last week at a local church, Oakland Baptist. They are beginning their women’s ministry and this was their very first event. It was a JOY to encourage them. I love women’s ministry. I shared with them from God’s Word and used the word WOMEN as an acrostic. W=Word of God, O=Outreach, M=Mentoring, E=Encouragement, N=Needed. (The N for needed was what Jesus spoke to Martha when he told her that Mary had “chosen that which is needed.”) Luke 10:42
373. Courtney, my new young friend. A new choir member – young, beautiful, smart (she’s an engineer). She loves to cook and it was JOY to share with her last week as we talked recipes and country living.
374. This past out-of-town weekend shared with my dearest friend of 24 years, Lanie. We celebrated her birthday – her LIFE. She is an ovarian cancer survivor of 2 years. We shopped, we went to a quilt expo, we laughed, visited a Country Living Fair, we ate, we laughed, we sewed for 10 hours straight on Saturday, we laughed, and we truly celebrated with much prayer and thanksgiving. God is so good!
375. This sweet gift from Shannon, a monogrammed pumpkin. Shannon is another young woman who radiates Jesus. Her smile is so beautiful as she smiles from the inside out. She and Natalie (another young woman I love) are in my Wednesday night Proverbs class, and we are “Getting Wisdom” in our Wising Up study by Beth Moore.
376. Yesterday my church and Deacons (represented by Mr. Lee Evans) honored our pastoral staff. It was a beautiful time – I was so blessed. October is clergy appreciation month. As a pastor’s wife of 34 years I would like to ask you to please encourage your pastor and his wife and family (not just in October, but any time). A card, a note, a gift certificate – and most of all – with prayer! In order below are our staff pastors, Jimmy Moneypenny, Gary Morton (my husband), Matthew Gibbs, Dawson Hull, Mike Slade, Ben Hunley, and Mike Dorough. They are wonderful Godly men with great integrity and hearts for ministry. All praise to Jesus Christ!
377. I am the proud owner of a new iPhone 4S. If you know me at all I promise I am not being worldly or materialistic – I am truly thankful because I love this phone and all it will “do.”
378. The sheer JOY to hug the necks of a young couple in our church who have been praying for a baby for over 8 years and are now expecting! May God bless this little one yet to be. I love you Bubba and Heather. I can’t wait to see your JOY grow in the months ahead…and that precious life inside your womb too!
379. My new favorite picture of my son and his two children. Look at the JOY that radiates in their eyes and smiles! They are sporting their “Got Biscuits” shirts I bought for them at the Paula Deen store in Savannah.
380. A wonderfully kind and encouraging email from Nancy Mattingly last week. Nancy is the correspondence manager for Living Proof Ministries and I tell you this – the woman loves Jesus and lives for His Glory. She blesses me. I love you Nancy.
381. Christmas gifts for my two Compassion children, Iduar in Colombia, and Gloria in Uganda. May God bless these two precious children.
382. The pure and simple JOY of hearing/seeing true worship yesterday as Jordan sang “I Will Rise” with our choir. He sang the solo. Jordan has some limitations in the world’s eyes, but to God, He is everything. I love that young man.
383. Another John Deere quilt – I finished this one at the QTT this past weekend – the “Quilting Time Together” with my friend Lanie.
384. The true JOY of seeing what some “meant for harm” being turned into what God is using for good. He loves His church, His bride, and He has surely poured out His love and grace on my church the past year. We stand amazed. He is a mighty big God and cannot be undone. I could shout – in fact, I have!
385. As I sign off to head back to my office, I want to leave you with this sign I saw at the Country Living Fair….Yes, I was promoted to Grandmother and that is the very reason I began this blog…GRAN JAN’S JOY!
221. Front porch rocking chairs, hummingbirds zooming by, and long talks with my sweet husband. We always say to each other, “it just doesn’t get any better.” I pray we will be blessed to grow old together (Gran Jan & Pop pillows were made by our daughter-in-law Erin!) I love that man. I love to hear people speak of his integrity… and I’ve heard that spoken often these past months, and it blesses me every time!
222. Fig preserves. Delightfully Southern. One of my Dad’s sisters (he had eight) taught me how to make them. Aunt Jimmie Lou. Even her double name is delightfully Southern! There is nothing better on a hot buttered biscuit than fig preserves.
138. Speaking of birds…the hummingbirds are back…I so love them!