What Is Truth?

Whatsover

The woman featured in this short clip below is very special to me. Her name is Beverly Skinner. [She leads in women’s ministry at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.] God used Beverly in my life at a conference I attended last year for women’s ministry leaders called Selah: A Retreat for Women who Lead Women.  I purposefully went alone to the conference. I really wanted (needed) to have time to think and just be. The drive to north Georgia was great, providing lots of “windshield time,” lots of time to be alone, to sing, to pray, and to ponder. I haven’t ever met a stranger and was blessed to make many connections among the women’s ministry leaders who also attended. A very precious, special group for sure. The most important connection for me was with the Holy Spirit. He assured me and confirmed in my heart that I was to continue leading in women’s ministries at my home church.  I went to the retreat with eyes and heart wide open, seeking a word from The Word.

I ran across this clip on Facebook this week where Beverly was teaching at a women’s event in south Georgia. The event, Flourish, is the women’s ministry from CrossPointe Church in Valdosta where Lanelle Rogers is the Director. She also attended the SELAH retreat! It really resonated with me, and I hope it will with you too.

Truth Has a NAME! It is Jesus! The One and Only.

GranJan-BlogSignature

 

Share

Appearance on Life Today with Beth Moore

LifeTodayBethI’ve had some wonderful opportunities in my lifetime – blessings straight from the Hand of God. This privilege I am sharing today actually happened back in October 2015. I was a guest on the Life Today show with my amazing friend Beth Moore. We taped on October 9 & 10, 2016 and then the episode aired December 21, 2015 and has also repeated a couple of times since then. I wanted to share this blessed opportunity on my blog to preserve the memory for my grandchildren. I know my grandmothers’ stories of faith and I want my grandchildren to know mine!

It came back to my heart again recently through a connection via “the Internets.” 🙂 A friend at church, Debbie Shepherd – told me she had seen a post on Instagram where a woman was talking about “seeing this lady on TV talking about having an Audience of One.” Debbie knew about the Life Today program and she shared the Instagram post with me. I checked it out and lo and behold it really was from the Life Today ministry program where I had shared my story. So the sweet connection in cyber space with Becky Strahle was another blessing and an answer to my prayers that the Lord would use this amazing opportunity He had given to me.  Becky makes these awesome cuff bracelets and graciously sent this one to me. You can find her at Farm Girl Paints

Audience of One

It all began when I received an email from Beth Moore’s assistant, Mrs. Kimberly McMahon. She said that the Life Today show on which Beth Moore regularly appeared as a guest was looking for someone to come on the show alongside Beth to help introduce a revised study entitled Fully Alive. She knew I could suggest some women that had been touched, blessed and encouraged by the Bible study ministry from Beth and Living Proof Ministries. As I pondered for a while some ladies came to my heart, so I asked for their permission to submit their names and contact information to the folks at Life Today.

Fast forward a couple of days, and I myself received a phone call from a producer at Life Today, Mr. Steve Baldwin. He interviewed me and several other women and then later that day called and actually offered ME the opportunity to fly to Dallas to appear on the program with Beth! I was a bit shocked and also very excited, all at the same time. Arrangements were made quickly and before I knew it, I was headed to the Atlanta Airport for a whirlwind trip. I pulled out of my driveway on Friday morning October 9th in the wee hours of dawn and returned home the next evening on Saturday about 9:30 PM, about 38 hours of fast-paced delight! Every detail came together with no effort. I was even off work on that Friday so there was nothing but open doors for the wonderful privilege to share my story with Beth on Life Today – of how I discovered the JOY of Living Free. Freedom through salvation in Jesus Christ!

I’ve shared my testimony of coming to know Christ here on my blog before.  Last summer, July 7, 2015 actually marked the 30th anniversary of the day He Called My Name.  So as Beth so clearly stated in our time on the Life Today program, my story wasn’t as messy as hers, but we both desperately needed His Saving Grace.  The link below, “More Than a Good Girl,” is the entire program from that wonderful day:

MORE THAN A GOOD GIRL

Here is also a promotional video that capsules the program:

I am so thankful thankful thankful for God opening these doors and I pray that He will continue to use our stories of salvation in Christ, our testimonies of saving grace – to point people to Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, the Life! Know your story, be willing to share and as the Word of God says in I Peter 3:15 says – be ready.

1 Peter 3:15
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts,
and always be ready to give a defense
to everyone who asks you
a reason for the hope that is in you,
with meekness and fear;

John 14:6
Jesus told him,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one can come to the Father
except through me.

Jan-Beth

GranJan-BlogSignature

Share

TASTE & SEE – A Mentoring Ministry in the Kitchen!

Psalm 34:8
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!

Even with all the ways for people to connect through social media nowadays, nothing replaces a face-to-face conversation. And there is something REALLY special about gathering around a good meal at the table. TASTE & SEE wants to do just that! TASTE & SEE is a new ministry of encouragement for women of all ages to connect and share together while learning cooking (and life) skills. My sweet friend Jan Hamil and I are so enjoying this outreach. The book of Titus exhorts the older women to teach the young! We get together and cook and talk and laugh and share. I’ve heard many women say over the years that the “quilting bees” of long ago were good for women to share and connect, and it wasn’t all about the quilting! Women need women like never before in our social media driven society. I’m thankful to have the blessing of sharing my life’s experiences (and love for cooking) with these precious young women. When I was a young pastor’s wife I had the same blessings from older women in my life, but we didn’t know it was mentoring. We were just doing life and it happened along the way, nothing forced or organized. It was just the pure joy of coming alongside another woman to be an encourager. You can’t get that from a computer screen, or texting, or an iPhone chat. I certainly don’t want to take away from modern technology, because I sure do love my convection oven, dishwasher, and air conditioning! We wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun at TASTE & SEE if we’d had to chop wood to load the stove before making these biscuits! Can I get a witness? 🙂 But these are GIRLs – Girlfriends In Real Life!

These pictures are from my church’s (Second Baptist)   April 11, 2015 session of TASTE & SEE in one of our big old church kitchens. Learning to make homemade biscuits was on the menu. [Our Winter session included two different soups, cornbread, and a delicious Honeybun Cake.] Our devotional was from John 6 where Jesus talks about the True Bread of Life! We are meeting again in July and October also with much deliciousness and delightful conversations planned.

IMG_3858 IMG_8909 IMG_9391 IMG_9392 IMG_9398 IMG_9400 IMG_9401 IMG_9402

TASTE & SEE THAT THE LORD IS GOOD!

GRANJAN

 

Share

Scripture Memory Team Verse 5 – March 1, 2015

10292544_713027298804447_2891017255611194206_n

My heart has been stretched with emotional swings this weekend…sorrow from the sadness of a funeral to the joy of a wedding, both events within a few hours yesterday and all with people we’ve known and loved for many years at our home church, Second Baptist, Warner Robins.

We began Saturday morning by attending the funeral of Dirinda Maxwell, a precious 51-year-old woman and friend who lost her battle with cancer. Her service was a true celebration of her life and the confidence that it truly was well with her soul. Dirinda was a cheerful and content woman of faith. Her funeral began with the congregation singing “10,000 Reasons – Bless the Lord,” and ended with “I Will Rise.” Pastor Mike Dorough shared a verse that had blessed Dirinda on her journey the past few months. I immediately knew it was going to be my memory verse for this post today.

Nahum 1:7

The Lord is good,
A stronghold in the day of trouble;
And He knows those who trust in Him.

Here is the link to the Living Proof Ministries post for the Scripture Memory Team, Verse 5 from Beth Moore.

The wedding of Nick and Hannah Prieto was beautiful. Nick is a young worship pastor that we’ve been blessed to know almost his whole life. My husband Gary prayed a blessing over them at the wedding. It brought back so many memories of our wedding. I was a young girl marrying a music man too and I didn’t know much of anything except that I loved him and wanted to spend my life with him. Now almost 38 years later we’ve had a great day at church, he’s still leading worship and he’s still my music man and I still love him with all my heart. God is so good to me.

Love and prayers for the Maxwells and the Prietos tonight. God knows those who trust in Him.  Nahum 1:7

GRANJAN

Share

Pastor Appreciation at SBCWR!

October is Pastor Appreciation Month! Second Baptist Church Warner Robins is blessed with seven awesome pastors and they are all featured in the video below! As a Pastor’s wife, I say thank you to everyone that had a part in this (Kevin Cher, Lindsey Myers and others).  

I wanted to share this video to introduce them to you! I am married to wonderful worship/executive pastor Gary Morton and he has served at Second Baptist, Warner Robins, Georgia for over 26 years.  WE LOVE OUR CHURCH! Thank you also to Pastors Jim, Mike S, Matthew, Dawson, Jimmy, Mike D, and Ben! You are a blessing to so many folks! Thank you for leading and loving us!

Love & Blessings,

Gran Jan

Share

My Story – Blessed Assurance – Jesus is Mine!

Today is the 29th anniversary of the day I became a believer in Jesus Christ (July 7, 1985). One of my sweetest memories is the day my Granny Maloy shared her story of salvation with me – so today I am re-posting from my blog archives below where I wrote “my story” five years ago on July 7, 2009. I want my grandchildren (and everyone who will) to be able to read about the day Gran Jan met Jesus. Because I love to tell this story…

Jan Morton

Please let me share the wonderful day that Heaven Came Down for me! It was 24 years ago today, on July 7, 1985. I was 27 years old…a young minister’s wife and stay-at-home-mother to two little boys who were not quite one year old, and not quite four years old, and the absolute joys of my heart. Here is my story… It was a Sunday morning and our routine was the same. As was his custom, my early-bird husband was already long gone to the church, and I was home getting myself and my two little fellas ready for church. Another “sameness” to the routine was the nagging doubt that had filled my heart for quite some time. I knew deep inside that something was just not right. My heart was heavy and unsettled. I was lacking peace…but I had lots of pride. After years of being a church member and A.G.G. (Always Good Girl), the realization that I was trusting my goodness and not His grace were ever before me. For you see – I had never seen myself as lost. To be found you must first be lost. I was a card-carrying, rule-following, obedient hypocrite. But on that hot summer day of July 7th as the Sunday morning service was nearing an end, I could take it no more! The plagues of doubt were destroying me…but the Holy Spirit of God reached down that morning and brought the deliverance I was desperate for. I quickly slipped out of the choir and made my way to the front of the church. I took the Pastor by the hand. I told him that I had been going through the motions – and that I had never truly accepted the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross as payment for my sins. I had lots of “cranial” knowledge but no “cardio” knowledge. My head was full – my heart was empty! The surprised Pastor told me to have a seat on the pew and fill out a card to “join the church!” I gently told him that was what had gotten me off track years before…and this time I wasn’t joining the church, I was joining with Jesus! I turned aside and knelt down at the altar of that precious church and for the first time in my life realized my lost soul needed a Savior – a Redeemer – not a religious experience. I remember praying and asking Jesus to forgive me and come into my heart. My heavy heart was lightened, and the pride in “what would the church members say when they discovered the Music & Youth Pastor’s wife wasn’t even a Christian?” would worry me no more! Heaven came down and glory filled my soul! There’s an old hymn of the same title by J.W. Peterson that I absolutely love. Go here Heaven Came Down to listen to the festive melody that reminds me of a carousel at the fair!

1. Oh what a wonderful, wonderful day, day I will never forget.
After I’d wandered in darkness away, Jesus my Savior I met.
O what a tender, compassionate friend, He met the need of my heart. Shadows dispelling, with joy I am telling, He made all the darkness depart.

Chorus: Heaven came down and glory filled my soul! When at the cross the Savior made me whole. My sins were washed away and my night was turned to day. Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

2. Born of the Spirit with life from above into God’s family divine.
Justified fully thru Calvary’s love, O what a standing is mine!
And the transaction so quickly was made, when as a sinner I came.
Took of the offer, of grace He did proffer,
He saved me, O praise His dear name!

3. Now I’ve a hope that will surely endure after the passing of time.
I have a future in heaven for sure there in those mansions sublime.
And it’s because of that wonderful day, when at the cross I believed.
Riches eternal and blessings supernal, from His precious hand I received.

So on this my Spiritual Birthday, I wanted to share my joy with you. The joy of knowing Jesus and the blessed assurance that it isn’t about what I do – but about what He did! It isn’t about my works, but the wondrous exchange of His death for my life! Born on November 16…Born Again on July 7! (Pastor’s wives make such better church members when they get saved!) 🙂

Because He Lives,

GRANJAN

Share

40 Days – Lent 2014

Today is Ash Wednesday and marks the first day of Lent. Growing up Southern Baptist, I never heard any mention of “Lent.” However, this marks the third year I’ve been intentional during this “40 Days” time.  Intentional for me in that I focus my mind and heart on why we as Christians celebrate this time of year.  For those of you like me, who did not grow up in a church that formally practiced this tradition, here is a definition of Lent:

Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Holy Week/Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – His suffering and His sacrifice, His life, death, burial and resurrection. Lent runs from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday and so includes 40 weekdays.

We may not have observed Lent, but for over 20 years my church (under the direction of my wonderful husband Gary) presented “The Warner Robins Passion Play” for our community. Through music, worship, and drama, we depicted the life of Jesus, His crucifixion and resurrection.  Some of the most wonderful times as a worship ministry have been during this Holy Season.  I love this time of year – everything shouts NEW LIFE!

I want to share the devotionals that I have used during the 40 days of Lent.  The first one is free and is from Ann Voskamp’s blog, “A Holy Experience.” Click here on “The Trail to the Tree.”  It is a beautiful devotional. This is how Ann describes Lent: “It’s the preparing the heart for Easter. Like going with Jesus into the wilderness for forty days, that we might come face to ugly face with our enemy. Our sacrificing that we might become more like Christ in His sacrifice.”

Another one is a book entitled Reliving the Passion by Walter Wangerin, Jr.  It is a 40 day devotional from the New Testament gospel of Mark.  It’s poetic and dramatic and I loved every page.

This year I am reading a book entitled Draw the Circle, by Mark Batterson. It is a 40 day prayer challenge that his church (National Community Church) in Washington, DC has used during Lent.

Please let me share that I don’t see Lent as anything “ritualistic” or a way to garner favor with Jesus.  God’s saving grace is free and I can’t do anything to cause God to love me any more than He already does.  I won’t “give up” anything – He gave His all for me. And another thing – my faith is a daily faith – experienced minute by minute.  These 40 days are special to this time of year and the significance of Easter in the life of a believer – but EVERY DAY is a gift of grace to me!  I especially love this song by Keith & Kristyn Getty – “The Power of The Cross.” Here is the first portion…
Oh, to see the dawn of the darkest day
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men, torn and beaten then
nailed to a cross of wood.
This the power of the cross
Christ became sin for us!
Took the blame, bore the wrath 
we stand forgiven at the cross.
I pray you will seek daily solitude these next 40 days – in prayer – in worship, thanking Jesus for His supreme sacrifice on the cross for you.
Gran Jan
Share