Meet My Family and You’ll Know Why I’m Grateful

There’s no way I could have a series on gratefulness without highlighting my sweet family.

This month, we gathered to celebrate all the grandchildren! One has a birthday towards the end of October, two have birthdays in November, and one just recently arrived from Uganda. So, as you can see, there was much to celebrate!

When I look at the picture below, my heart is filled with gratefulness and my eyes fill with the tears to prove it. 🙂

I see a hubster who is the most faithful man I know. He makes dreams come true that I didn’t even know existed.

I see two sons who not only love God, but pursue Him, as well as community with other believers. I learn from them…often. I take no credit for the amazing men they’ve become but truly give God all the glory.

I see two a-mazing daughter-in-laws whom I began praying for when our boys were in elementary school. Of course, I didn’t know exactly who I was praying for…but God did! They are godly women who love their families well. Brian and I often talk about what amazing wives and mothers they are (which is no surprise if you knew their mothers!)

And the grandchildren. Oh my. Well, when I see them, my heart bubbles up with pure joy. Each, already with their own personalities and strengths (note: Grammy’s don’t see weaknesses.)

Many of you prayed for Judah, Liv, Brandon, and Megan while they were in Uganda for 60 days. Thank you! Judah is a happy little boy with a quick bright smile that lights up any room. I have no doubt that he, and the story God is writing for him, will one day be used to bring true Light to dark corners around the world.

I pray this Thanksgiving — and every day — we will be reminded of the treasure found in our families. One day, when all is said and done, it will not be the temporary things of this world we’ll remember, or be grateful for. It will be our families and how we loved  one another well. Yes, that will matter most.

(Left to right – Brian, Zach, Piper, Gabe, Sarah, Judah, Me, Brandon, Liv, and Megan)
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Psalm 100:4

When Three Prayers Collide on a Picture

by Cathy Baker

There we were, the three of us, playing on the aqua blue eyelash rug in the library. Piper, Gabe, and me. On the shelf nearby, sat a freshly framed picture of Judah, our newly adopted son from Uganda. 

It was a poignant moment as we sat on a butter-soft rug knowing that my son and daughter-in-law were battling unseen forces for Judah’s freedom flight back to the US. Crucial decisions were taking place that day. I picked up Judah’s picture asking Piper, who will be 4 in November, and Gabe, who’ll soon be 2, if they wanted to pray together for him. I laid Judah’s picture on the rug. One by one, we gently placed our hand on the picture of the one we call our own and did just that. 

The one we call our own.

I am learning that when prayers collide, regardless of place or age, there is a powerful force at work. His name is Jesus.

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” 
Matthew 18:20


 One last thing I’m learning as we close out this month’s series: Based on the elaborate displays in Barnes and Noble we are never too old to color! If you would like to enter the random drawing for this “adult” coloring book on Joy by Valentina Harper, simply fill in the blank via the comment section! Winner will be announced on Wednesday, September 9th.

One thing I’m currently learning is _________________________________________. 

Purchased at Barnes and Noble

Praises and Pink Tutu’s

As you know, our oldest son, Brandon, and his wife, Megan, are adopting a little boy from Uganda. Thank you for the many prayers you’ve offered up on their behalf. Many of you have asked about an update, so here’s Megan latest. Click here to join in the praise!
It’s no secret that our youngest son, Zach, and his wife, Sarah, are BIG USCS fans (my dad, a Clemson grad, can’t help but wonder where he went wrong. LOL!) — and now, it seems that Piper is also pretty in pink…and garnet (check out the shoes!)

And one last adorable picture of daddy and daughter:

Sunday Snippets

Today I’d like to introduce a new series, Sunday Snippets

Summit Church has an amazing team of pastors including Jason Malone, Kyle Estepp, and the Mauldin Campus Pastor, Brooke Taylor. One cannot help but want to take notes—and share them—so every Sunday afternoon, I plan to post pithy points jotted down during the morning service.

Most are not written down verbatim. Please visit Summit’s site to listen to the sermon in its entirety, if you wish.  

Kyle continued in Galatians 3:25 – 4:7, focusing on our adoption in Christ. 

Three ways becoming a child of God changes us:
1. Our adoption secures us. It’s a love that cannot be earned or achieved, but simply received. 
2. Our adoption embraces us. It says you are My child. It’s a love that gives us unlimited access to our Father at all times—a love that can never be taken from us. Never!
3. Our adoption motivates us. In biblical times, the oldest son carried on the family business. As children of God, we too are to carry on – to display – the Father’s work through our lives.
Because of our access to the Father, our position in Christ, and our empowerment through the Holy Spirit, why do we so often choose to live as orphans and hired servants instead of children of the King? 
Let us choose to live in the freedom of our adoption!
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Romans 8:14-17

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