463. I love my church. I love the people. They are family. Second Baptist Church, Warner Robins GA is my church HOME. My husband has served on staff there almost 24 years (June 1st). We raised our boys there - they were both saved and baptized there. I have a grandson there now - how awesome is that? On Wednesdays I head there straight from work to teach Bible study. This week I was blessed at the sight of the late winter sun shining on the steeple. Thank you Jesus for Your Light and this light in the community.
464. And I love my oldest son's church too. He pastors Cross Point Baptist Church and is a mighty fine son, brother, husband, daddy, and preacher. I am most blessed to be his mom. I would sure love to hear him preach in person more often, but I'm thankful for their podcast. Also thankful he and his wife and my two oldest grandchildren are close by.
465. And here are those two babies sporting their "dinosaur" shirts I made for them. They were headed to Mother's Morning Out and I'm grateful to my sweet daughter-in-law for taking the time to share this picture with Gran Jan.
466. My youngest son hosts an annual BBQ for his friends in January. It was last weekend. Jonathan has always had a lot of friends. (Here he is in our "barn," getting ready for the feast.) He is a good man to have for a friend. He is also a wonderful son, husband, daddy, and brother. It is pure JOY to be his mom.
467. My dad is a great cook and he loves to cook. (Reference gift #457.) He and Jonathan (above) spent the day before the Friends BBQ making my dad's family recipe of southern Brunswick Stew. The stew was delicious but I love even more that they made a memory and dad passed down that tradition. They even cooked it in an old cast iron pot that belonged to my dad's dad. Priceless to me.
468. My church hosted the Bailey Smith Real Evangelism Conference this past weekend. I'm thankful for the legacy of this great man and thankful for the pastors and wives that were encouraged by the conference. Our choir sang Wednesday night and it was a JOY.Bill Stafford is one of the heroes of our family. He preached in the conference that I just mentioned above. God has used this man to teach me about the Christ Life, about stewardship and about selflessness. I have not arrived by any means, but I'm thankful for this saint who is nearing 80 years old. Thankful for pastors and evangelists of his generation. May God raise up more mighty men like these.
470. There was another great conference this past week that I was supposed to attend, but I just knew I needed to be home for the event at my own church. SSMTC (Siesta Scripture Memory Team Celebration) was the culmination of a year-long scripture memory committment through Living Proof Ministries. I participated in the first event in Houston back in 2010 after memorizing all year in 2009. I thank God for the power of His Word - this grace gift NEVER stops giving.
471. I'm thankful that even though I could not attend, the tender hearted teacher in Beth Moore made a way for the event to be streamed live. Thank you God and may you bless the staff at Living Proof Ministries for this precious gift to us. I watched Saturday morning on my laptop.
472. These are two dear friends of mine from AL and TN that attended the SSMTC. We met through the ministry of the BLOG and outreach of Living Proof Ministries. Truly. They are dear to me. Genuine friends who I can contact at the reach of an iPhone. :) Thankful for technology in this generation, and especially Hey Tell :) Right girls?
473. Although I could not attend the SSMTC I wanted to share my JOY in my spiral of verses for 2011. I can literally see God's Hand at work through the progression of the year and the Word that ministered to my heart. I love God's Word. I encourage you to begin a memory plan if you're not already doing so. It will be LIFE to you.
474. Red cowboy boots on a list of gifts? You betcha! My sweet husband gave me these when I turned 40 (just a wee bit ago). :) I wore these to let my friends at SSMTC 2012 know I was with them in Texas spirit on Friday. :)
475. This is my 365 Day Picture app on my iPhone. You simply take a picture for every day of the year to capture your year in photos. Technology is a wonderful thing when kept in its proper place. God's Word tells us in James 4:14 that life is but a vapor. I can honestly say that I count every day on this Earth as a gift from the Good Lord. I'm savoring them.
476. Thankful for doctors who take care of little boys when they don't feel well. My daughter-in-law sent me this picture of sweet Jackson boy on the way home from the doctor yesterday. Thankful for God's healing in our lives, physically and spiritually. They stopped to get him a Sonic fruit slush - how precious is that?
477. Thankful again for the joy of handwork and the way it calms my busyness and centers my heart. I made this for my little granddaughter for Valentine's Day. She called me last night and told me she was praying for me (via her daddy's coaching). I can't wait to give this to her.
478. I came home from work one evening last week to see two of the most important men in my life (besides my sons and grandsons) laying out a plan to plant 35 pecan trees here at the farm. My husband and my Dad. Thankful thankful thankful for them.
Sweet blog readers! Thank you for your comments and for your support. I pray your week goes well and you can see His Grace Gifts through your daily lives. He is ever present even when you don't realize that truth. That is the joy of counting these gifts - you see them EVERYWHERE and you become more aware than ever of the simplicity of life at a slower pace, sensitive to His Voice and Spirit. I'm learning - sojourning.