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."
415. My daughter-in-law Erin really loves to bake and she's very good at it - actually I think she's quite good at everything she does. Check out her cake against the cover of the October Southern Living Magazine. I told you she was good!
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.
I come broken to be mended
I come wounded to be healed
I come desperate to be rescued
I come empty to be filled
I come guilty to be pardoned
by the blood of Christ the Lamb
And I'm welcomed with open arms
Praise God - Just As I Am...
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."
425. I'm blessed to have a mom who is a wonderful gift of grace to our family. She recently went on a retreat with some senior citizens from our church and they were able to meet Dr. David Jeremiah. I listen to this man preach most every weekday morning on the Sony radio in my bathroom as I'm getting ready for work. He is a great communicator. (That's my mom in the white jacket on the far right.)
426. This lone red maple is so beautiful in the field. The variety is "October Glory" maple, and even though we are now in November - she is still GLORIOUS! I'm in the fall season of my life too as I approach my 54th birthday in just 2 days. My life's desire is to stand strong (and sometimes alone) and say "Soli Deo Gloria." For the Glory of God Alone! Yes I know I just made an analogy to a tree...but I love it.
For the strengh to carry on
And forgiveness great and strong
And the promise of Your mercies ever new
Thanks Be To Our God