Brothers - Preacher and Worship Leader

Thursday, July 30, 2009

This mother's heart is so full of joy and gratitude tonight as I write this post on Gran Jan's Joy. Last night, both of my boys were "back together" at our home church for a special youth service. My oldest son preached and my youngest son led worship. I sat there and just cried with joy to the Lord, so did my husband. Both boys grew up at Second Baptist Church. We dearly love our church, my husband has served on staff there 21 years. Our oldest son has been gone since he was 17 when he began to pastor a church his Junior year of high school...yes.he.did. He is still the pastor of Cross Point Baptist Church and is now working on his doctorate degree from SWBTS. He has always been a great student. My youngest son leads worship in the student ministry here at our home church, and also sings in his daddy's choir. He is a tax assessor, a real estate appraiser. Both boys are married, and our daughters-in-law are beautiful blessings, and we love them.
And of course, little Zeke needed tending to while his daddy preached, so I was happy to oblige. I love him more and more and the feeling is reciprocal...he is starting to reach for me and wants to stay with me, and I love that so much.
It was a great night for our family, one I will cherish and thank God for. One of the most tender blessings for my heart was when Jeremy openly exhorted his little brother for the heart and passion he has to lead worship. My heart rejoices with joy that my boys and their wives are all serving Jesus. You young mothers out there, be encouraged. God is able.
Oh to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be,

My First Blogaversary

Friday, July 24, 2009

One year ago TODAY I penned my very first blog entry entitled "The Waiting Room." I was waiting for the birth of my first grandchild. It had been a long wait, and the time was drawing near. To say I was beyond excited is an understatement. People who know me well often say it doesn't take much for me to be excited, but this anticipation was unlike any other! A grandson!!! Little did I know that exactly one year to the day from that first blog post, my little grandboy would be spending the night with us! This time last year he wasn't even here...tonight he is asleep in the same crib his daddy slept in 27 years ago. I am smitten, pure and simple...hence the title of this blog, "Gran Jan's Joy." I hope my boys and their wives will add some more JOY to our lives in the next few years, but until then...here are a few photos from tonight's joy.
Happy First Blogaversary to Me! If I look a little more excited in these pictures than Zeke does, it is because I am. :)
Gran Jan

Sunflowers!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Psalm 113:3
This field of sunflowers is near my home...
what a delight!
(These pictures were taken by my friend, Carmen)

From the rising of the sun
unto the going down of the same
the LORD's name is to be praised.

Love, Jan

Heaven Came Down on July 7, 1985

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

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,

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