A Year to Remember…2014!

Here I sit on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2014. This has been a very blessed year for me and mine. We have all been healthy and strong. My husband is leading worship with more joy and passion than I’ve ever known him to, and he takes such good care of me and our home and family. Our church is growing with lots of new young families. Both my boys have experienced growth in their lives – Jeremy in ministry as a pastor and Jonathan with leadership awards and job growth in his career. My daughters-in-law are delightful – loving my sons and taking good care of their homes and children. What more could this mama desire for her family? I received a promotion and began a new job June 1st within my same organization. My parents and sisters and their families are all well. My heart is full…

Sometimes when I have the time, (or just because it brings me joy) I will scroll through the pictures on my iPhone. I did just that earlier this afternoon and picked out one (sometimes more) special favorite for every month from 2014. Letting pictures do my blogging has become common for me, so here I go again.

January 2014
Atlanta was hit with a huge snowstorm in January. This is the view from the passenger seat of my husband’s truck as we drove back home from the airport. My flight (and all flights) were cancelled for several days. I was meeting my friend and we were scheduled to fly to California to appear on the “Wheel of Fortune!” YES!!! Hopefully we will be rescheduled in 2015. We are ready to buy vowels and spin that wheel! 

January

February 2014
This is a picture of my youngest grandchild, Abe that was on the big screens in the church where my son Jeremy (Abe’s father) is the Pastor. My husband and I were there for a special service of dedication of Abe’s life. It was also my husband’s birthday. It was a great weekend – our first time to hear our son preach since he began his ministry at First Baptist Cartersville in September 2013, just one month after Abe was born. A very special weekend.

Feb

March 2012
This is my mom on her birthday! My sisters and I took her to lunch at a fun Mexican restaurant and celebrated her life and had a great time. We always do. I love my mom and I’m thankful for her faithful, consistent life. No drama! Just love and support.

March

April 2014
In April I went to Callaway Gardens with a dear friend, Sharon Riley. We attended the Birds of Prey Show and I am still tickled pink with the timing of this picture of a Great Horned Owl. I literally stuck my iPhone up and snapped the shot as this great bird flew over my head. The bird’s talons touched the top of my head as it flew over…wow!

April

May 2014
May was so special for my three oldest grandchildren! Zeke graduated from Pre-Kindergarten, and my 2nd and 3rd grandchildren (Madie and Jackson) celebrated their fourth birthdays just two weeks apart. (Each of my daughters-in-law had children born in May of 2010.)

IMG_6748 May-Madie May-Jackson

June 2014
A big summer shower produced some GIANT puddles here at the Morton Farm. The weather cleared and was great for puddle jumping and running followed by s’mores. This was a special memory and these two grandboys had a blast together. 

June

July 2014
The Fourth of July was a great week! I was off work and the weather was unseasonably cool and my boys and daughters-in-law and all five grands were here. We had a big breakfast together and then they all fished in the pond. This picture was impromptu and has become so precious. I have it framed at work and here at home and on my computer desktop. I am one blessed Gran Jan! 

July

August 2014
August 22-23 was a weekend that had been planned and prayed for since April of 2013! Our church was blessed to host Priscilla Shirer of Going Beyond Ministries for a women’s conference. All 2,200 seats of our church were filled and we had overflow seating in the choir loft. It was a glorious weekend that I will always remember. Many lives were touched and I pray that eternity will bear the results of this weekend. 

August

September 2014
Little Miss Emery, grandbaby number four, celebrated her second birthday with a Minnie Mouse themed party. Here she is with her daddy (my son), and sweet mama. (I made Emery’s birthday shirt!) It was so much fun and she is absolutely precious. She and big brother Jackson actually spent the night last night here with me and Pop. We made cookies, watched Frozen and had a big time. Gran Jan’s JOY.

September

October 2014
My sweet man and I went to the beach for a few days in October. We rested, ate delicious seafood, walked on the beach, shopped, and had a wonderful time. This time away together was way long overdue. We also visited a brand new church called Sunrise City Church in Fort Walton Beach that is being planted by two young men and their wives and two other couples that we’ve had the privilege to know most of their young lives. It was a great trip with special memories.

October October2014

November 2014
Back in September my best friend Lanie and I had a “sew-in” and I made these Christmas jammies for the grands. I gave them to all five of them on Thanksgiving and they donned them for a picture for me! It just doesn’t get any sweeter than this! More Gran Jan’s JOY!

November

December 2014
This picture was just last week on Christmas evening after our family tradition of breakfast on Christmas Day night. I love my family. As I’ve looked back over my camera roll today the themes of faith and family are everything to me. This blog is a record of the legacy I pray to leave for my grandchildren especially. I am very humbly grateful for God’s grace on my life and I sincerely mean that.

SONY DSC

No party tonight here at home, but lots of celebrating in my heart! We have always preferred a quiet New Year’s Eve. I like to think about the year that is leaving and anticipate the dawning of a brand new year. May the Good Lord bless you all in 2015 with His great love. He is so faithful!

GRANJAN

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Priscilla Shirer – Beyond Beyond!

psl - church signI still remember what I was doing that beautiful Spring morning (April 2013) when I “got the call” from Lifeway! “Hello, Jan? Would Second Baptist Church Warner Robins, Georgia, be available as a host site for a Priscilla Shirer Live Conference in 2014? ” Let me think….YES! I had been working in my garden and I was taking a little break to drive around our pond in my golf cart.  I nearly drove the cart into the pond with excitement as I called to share the news with my friend and women’s ministry team partner, Cindy Schult. I even asked her if she was sitting down! Our team had been praying for a couple of years about hosting an event and the time finally came when we decided it was time to move on…God’s timing is always perfect. What seemed a long time away from the call actually occurred last weekend (August 22-23, 2014) as 2,000 women gathered to worship together and hear the teaching of one of God’s gifted servants, Mrs. Priscilla Evans Shirer.

I wanted to give a recap here and also share what a joyous journey it was for me, Cindy Schult and Teresa Thomas, women’s ministry leaders from Second Baptist.  Our Lifeway Coordinator for the conference was Tammy Slayton, and we loved her within 3 minutes of our first meeting. (I can’t say enough about how wonderful every single aspect was for our team. Lifeway was a JOY in every way!) Cindy is a woman of  great detail and handled every detail to the fullest. Teresa was our Prayer Coordinator and she was amazing. Her weekly prayer updates were a highlight for me and many others. I’ll never forget the night we met to pray over every seat in our church! We also had two young women, Kala Raines and Lindsey Myers who helped with all things social media and Google docs.  Love those two girls!!! Many many many of our ladies served in so many ways – hospitality, food service, encouragers, bookstore, and on and on.  God knows who they are and I pray He rewards them for their faithfulness to serve.

PSL - full house

All the tickets were GONE several months before the event, so Lifeway asked if we could seat women in the choir! YES! This is a view from the choir loft. (Our awesome photographer was Keith Thomas, husband to our prayer coordinator Teresa.)

PSL - team

We had a sweet time of fellowship with Priscilla during the break Saturday morning. She is so kind and genuine. She even expressed how at home she felt among us and she loved the diversity of the women attending the conference!  We loved on Priscilla and showed her true Southern hospitality! (That’s Cindy and me standing, and Teresa, Priscilla, and our pastor’s wife Stephanie seated.) 

PSL - Anthony

I love this picture so much! Priscilla also enjoyed the worship led by her brother Anthony Evans.  My favorite song of his was “The Mercy Tree.” His energy in leading worship was contagious – it was so awesome to hear 2000 women singing praises to Jesus!

Me and Priscilla - first arrivedHere’s me and sweet Priscilla right as the event was beginning Friday  night! She is adorable. Look at that smile!

psl - from sound boothHere’s a view from the lighting booth way up high that my friend Amy Yaughn took. I loved seeing the church “full to the brim” with women praising and praying together.

Priscilla shared “THE FIVE P’s OF BIBLE STUDY” Saturday morning.  She uses this as she studies the Word of God for herself and in her devotional time as well.  Here they are:

1. POSITION yourself to hear from God.

2. PORE over the passage and PARAPHRASE the major points.

3. PULL out the spiritual principles.

4. POSE the questions. 

5. PLAN obedience and PIN down the date. 

Here are also some “nuggets” that I wrote in my notes:

  • God does not just speak to be heard, He speaks to be obeyed.
  • God’s sovereignty allows us to be in the place where He can use us and show us His power.
  • God Margins: the space between my experience and His majesty!
  • The enemy tries to keep us from what God has for us because He knows our position in Christ.
  • Fear causes us to forget the faithfulness of God.
  • The enemy can’t form the weapon if we don’t hand it to him.
  • From Exodus 14:13-14 ~
  •      BE FEARLESS – do not engage in fear in any way
  •      BE STILL – plant your feet – stand firm
  •      BE WATCHFUL – see the salvation of the Lord all along the journey
  •      BE QUIET – train yourself not to open your mouth in complaint

There are dozens more pictures and comments on the Priscilla Shirer Live Warner Robins Facebook page!  Click on this link to see them: PSL – WARNER ROBINS

I am so thankful to the Good Lord for allowing me to be a part of this event and to serve the women who attended.  I pray still that lives,  homes, marriages, and families will be impacted for eternity as a result!  

Ephesians 3:20-21
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,
according to the power at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,
forever and ever. Amen.

GRANJAN

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PRISCILLA SHIRER LIVE RALLY!

We are just days away from the PRISCILLA SHIRER LIVE RALLY event! I hope you are planning to attend!

RALLYWHAT:    Priscilla Shirer Live – RALLY!

WHEN:    Thursday, April 17, 2014 – Doors Open at 6:30 PM

WHERE:  Second Baptist Church “Hangar”  – 2504 Moody Road, Warner Robins, GA  31088

WHY:       Because God is going to do something amazing at PSL – Warner Robins – August 22-23, 2014

This event is going to be great with lots of great food, fun, and fabulous door prizes.  VIP Tickets will even be given away at the event!

SEE YOU THERE!

Jan

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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.

PWRetreat

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.

Zeke-snowman snowbabies

Abe-JD&snowBasketball Snow

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…

EM and bitty babyZeke-possum

marshmellowsZekefeedingAbeAforAbe

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!

WOF

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.

Abe-DedicationAbe-ittybittyAbe&pop&me

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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Five Minute Friday – GRACE

Five Minute Friday

Grace. The older I get the more I desire both to be and to be known as a woman full of the Grace of Almighty God.  So for me to be a woman of grace I have to believe that His grace really is sufficient, and to be known as a woman of grace, I must show grace, give grace, and live grace.  I love the title of the book by Liz Curtis Higgs, “Embrace Grace.”  Welcome to the Forgiven Life!  I remember the first time I heard the acronym for GRACE, which the speaker said meant “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”  I’ve never forgotten that definition. It cost Jesus everything – His very life – to allow me to embrace the gift of salvation and receive His grace. His grace was given so freely to me that I really want to share His grace with others.

For me…SHOWING GRACE means giving the benefit of the doubt when my flesh wants to criticize or hold someone accountable.
GIVING GRACE means forgiving immediately without any need for a why or a cause for explanation.
LIVING GRACE means  every moment of every day to live out a life of grace.  At home, at work, in the grocery store, at church, in the tough times.  To be leaning in close enough to hear Christ whisper grace to me so that I can show grace to everyone who comes across my path.

By showing, giving, and living grace, I will be blessed to become that woman of grace.  I so want to be that mentor of a grace-filled, grace-full woman to the young women who God brings into my life, beginning with my two daughters-in-law and two granddaughters, Madie Ruth and Emery Caroline.

The words of the old hymn “Grace Greater Than Our Sin” have always been such a treasure.  I love the hymns, and this one is a favorite.

Marvelous grace of our Loving Lord,
grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt.
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Grace, Grace, God’s Grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within.
Grace, Grace, God’s Grace.
Grace this is greater than all our sin.

Thank you Lord for your Amazing Grace!

Gran Jan

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The 20 Verses You Love Most

This post by Liz Curtis Higgs,  THE 20 VERSES YOU LOVE MOST will forever be one of my all time favorites.  I wanted to share it with you here on my blog, and also so I would then have a “place” to return again and again to read for myself. 

Mrs. Higgs took a poll on her blog this past Spring. She asked her readers to select a verse that was “the one.”  Your life verse. Your mission statement. Your word from the Lord. The verse you’ve memorized, posted on a bulletin board, stitched onto fabric, written below your signature.  The response was nearly 1,000 verses.  She then compiled a Top 20 list and wrote a beautiful summary post for each verse. The 20 verses included 11 verses from the Old Testament, and 9 from the New Testament.

Come back again and again when you have time to read and savor these verses. She does a beautiful job dissecting each one with details and beautiful photos to accompany her writing.  I just know you will find “your verse” in this compilation. Please share your favorite verse in a comment below.

Blessings,

Jan

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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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