1,000 GIFTS, #538 to #561

Monday, March 19, 2012

After ending my last post with the wonderful news of grandchild number four on the way, His grace gifts continue to bless and astound me. He is a Faithful God.

538. And these three precious gifts from the Good LORD bring Gran Jan's JOY to great heights. We had fun this past Saturday at our monthly family breakfast at the farm:

539. So thankful there was a single blue popsicle in the box when the request is made by my grandson, "I want a blue one Gran Jan." 

540. Fresh brown eggs and stone ground grits from the Callaway Gardens Country Store make breakfast so good (and butter - never forget the butter).

541. A morning spent dividing daylilies in my mom's garden - made especially easy by a good hard rain the night before.

542. Thankful for the good health of my parents and that they live next door. Yes, of course, families can get out of sorts with one another, but His grace is sufficient. And we are family.

543. Firewood gathered by my husband for sweet times around the firepit. (Gift #520).

544. I love a "series" of preaching messages, so I love that our new pastor, Dr. Jim Perdue is preaching through a series each Sunday morning. Right now he is taking us through the Beatitudes from The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5). The series is called "Blessed," and we certainly are...beyond measure...to have him as our pastor. His wife and children are so precious to us and they've only been with us 3 months.

545. I love my church - if you've been around this blog very long, you know that I love my family and my church. It was a special delight to help hostess a shower recently for a young man that I've had the pleasure of watching grow up. Christopher Alford is marrying a fine young woman and I'm thankful for his godly parents and extended family.  The blessing of community - the family of God - and a local church = God's grace indeed.

546. My oldest son Jeremy celebrated 10 years as Pastor of Cross Point Baptist Church the first Sunday of March. We thank the Good LORD for that special milestone and blessing of God. But when you note that he is only 30 years old and has been pastoring that same church one-third of his life...that is God's Amazing Grace. I love you son, and yes, I am proud - I am your  mother.

547. My youngest son works at our local military base (a Project Manager) and we received the greatest compliment last week from someone who "just wanted us to know" that Jonathan is a man of great integrity and already respected in his field at his young age. I love you son, and yes, I am proud - I am your mother.

548. Having both sons and their wives and our grandchildren within 20 minutes of home is one of the greatest blessings of my life. God's grace and goodness multiplied. I praise Jesus for that grace gift in this day of families on the move.

549. The response to the new Bible study by Beth Moore, "James, Mercy Triumphs" has been wonderful. God is using His Word to touch lives. The power is in the Word of God. May He continue to speak and may we be "swift to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger." (James 1:19)

550. My friend Sophie (Boo Mama) shared the most wonderful app on her blog last week and I am LOVING it. It is FREE and is called Red Stamp  You can use it to create wonderful e-cards like this that can be texted, emailed, tweeted, sent to Facebook, printed, mailed, whatever.  It is so much FUN.
551. I have driven by this little white country church ever since we moved to the country almost 5 years ago...to my dismay I discovered last week that the church was MOVING, literally. It has been empty for some time now. I would love to know the history.

552. But imagine my delight when I saw this sight the very next morning, about 1/2 mile from my office...someone obviously cared enough to restore this church.  I am so glad that not only can churches be restored, but because of HIS Grace, we may be restored too.

553. Spring cometh - tonight when you are asleep - at least if you're in the Northern Hemisphere. March 20, 2012, at 1:14 A.M. (EDT). I can't wait because I love to garden. These gorgeous flowers were in the garden center last week.

554. These two little sweethearts made a trip to the chicken house Saturday morning and were so proud of their findings...more brown eggs. They have NO FEAR!

555. The most beautiful full moon this month...I took this picture on my way home from Praise Team practice, after James Bible Study...my heart was as full as this moon.

556. This little sweetheart is the son of a couple on our Praise Team. He sits right there at the pastor's podium while we are rehearsing. I love little church boys. So thankful to God for young couples raising their children up to love Him and His Word. Thankful for a church where the Word is preached and where families can grow in grace.
557. These right here is the Women's Ministry Leadership Team at my church. We had one of the sweetest meetings last week - planning and praying for God's Will as we seek ministry opportunities. God is doing a great work among us. I love you ladies.

558. This picture is from a women's leadership planning retreat held back in January (see gifts #485-#489). We have decided to get together again next month just for fellowship, because I'm telling you this...we had one of the best retreats I've ever been on. Kindred hearts united to serve our Great God. More Grace.

559. I picked this little man up to come spend the night with me, and on our way home we passed the local fire station and lo and behold they were washing the fire truck. He was beside himself. I'm thankful for the firemen who let him see this truck up close.
560. A joint project by two grandmothers - how special is that? Me and Mrs. Catharine, Madie's maternal grandmother. She is making the dress and I put the bunny applique and name on the front. Catharine is an accomplished quilter and seamstress. I'm having a blast.

561. Lastly tonight I want to share the beautiful sunrise from this very morning, the last full day of winter. I don't know where you are right now in your spiritual life, but tomorrow is Spring and you can begin anew with Christ. I'm so thankful that God's grace and mercies are new every morning - whether you are in a "winter" season or on the brink of something fresh and new, He will meet you there. I know this for sure because He's done it for me. He is our Redeemer, oh Praise His Name!

1,000 GIFTS, #524 to #537

Monday, March 5, 2012

His grace gifts abound and I am so very thankful. Life is busy - and my blog of late has basically been all about the counting. This counting sums up my life these days as I live and   love to see His gifts of grace. This living intentionally to see His Hand carries over to eyes open wider to see His grace everywhere. Will you consider leaving a comment about His grace in your life? I would love to hear from you. 

523. My wonderful dentist Dr. Alex Bell, Jr.  Yes - my dentist. I had a great appointment 2 weeks ago. Dr. Bell has been my dentist for almost 24 years. His sons and my sons grew up together and his wife Sandy is one of the sweetest ladies I know. I'm thankful for their attentive care to our family. We use to be neighbors and the memories of that time are so sweet to me.
524. Grandson Zeke spending the night and then staying the WHOLE next day. We were literally inseparable for 24 hours. We made cookies and we watched movies and we laughed and played and took a nap together and had popcorn and he makes me forget anything except what I'm doing right at that moment...which is enjoying him...Gran Jan's JOY. He has begun to tell me that "he loves me with all his heart." Gets to me every single time.
525. Special delivery to my many birdfeeders with sunflower seeds. Pure joy.
526. Special help filling the birdfeeders...more JOY.
526. A trip to Atlanta with three sweet coworkers for a School Board conference. We girls had a great time. I am blessed to work with some wonderful people - supportive and kind.

527. Leap Year Wednesday - February 29, 2012 was the night we began the new Beth Moore study - "James, Mercy Triumphs."  We had 35 for class and just yesterday at church there were more women buying books...
528. Happy faces of women in Bible study...
529. Spring is still two weeks away and we've barely had winter here...on a walk last week during my lunch hour I saw dogwoods blooming...
530. This is a beautiful flowering shrub that blooms in the winter in our part of the state...Taylor's Pink Perfection  The color is divine and so is the JOY of this plant during the winter.
531. The JOY continues with making things for my grandchildren...
532. Yellow violas blooming in an antique bucket hanging on my garden fence.
533. Tomato soup and crackers at my desk...quiet lunch times during a busy day.
534. I dearly love pimento cheese. So does my oldest son. It's a Southern thing. My friend Sophie (BooMama) and I texted about our pimento cheese love recently when we saw new recipes featured in the February Southern Living magazine. Sophie's blog and her writing is another favorite of mine. Pimento cheese and bacon...my my my.
535. The blessing of driving country roads to and from work each day. Lord bless the farmers. Thank you for sending the rain this weekend and greening up the landscape. Thousands of pecan trees have been planted in the distance.
536. Look who was at my supper table tonight...eating two helpings of Gran Jan's chicken and rice. God's tender mercies - blessing me with three grandchildren...
537. AND NEWS OF ONE MORE GRANDCHILD ON THE WAY! Gran Jan times four...in late September. Thank you Jesus.



1,000 GIFTS

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