I can't believe it. A branch in the Vine is seven years old this month! THANK YOU, dear readers, for reading and encouraging me to keep writing! You have blessed me beyond measure. Can I share a little of the story behind it all?
Eight years ago, I started to be aware that some young women in my life (among whom was my daughter-in-law Cortney) were writing blogs ... quite effectively, I might add. I thought to myself,
"I'm too old to do a blog, but if I weren't, I would call it A branch in the Vine."
That thought, which turned out to be God-given, stayed deep in my soul for a whole year. Then Christmas came, and the Lord gave me a sweet story about my misshapen Christmas cake, a metaphor for my glorious Lord who laid aside glory.
Since it involved Cortney and Jeremy and their boys, I shared it with Cortney and said,
"This would make a great blog post! Would you like to write it for your blog?"
"Why don't you write it, Jan, and I'll post it on my blog."
So I did ... and she did. (You can read it here, Welcome to our World.) And the rest is history ... I got the writing bug and then the blogging bug. And here we are seven years later.
And so as days have gone by, I've watched this little blog unfold into something bigger.
There are the many people who have contributed to what you find here.
First and foremost, there is my Lord and King Jesus Christ. He is my Life, the Source of all. He lives in and through me as me as I let Him (faith). His fullness unfolds day by day. He is the Source, the Sum of all spiritual things.
Try these "throw backs" to get excited about the magnificence of this glorious Person who is All in all:
The True Vine: Tell me about your name
Christ Himself: the Sum of All Spiritual Things
The Key to the Christian Life
Touch Jesus . . . Touch Life
Then there's you, the reader. You are not a huge tribe, but you are my tribe. Or better, we are all together a small part of God's tribe, His family, His branches in the one True Vine. And I value you, dear friends. Some of you are my long-time friends, others are new friends, and to my delight, there are those of you whom I have met as you have found my blog online. Thank you to each of you for reading and responding and sharing. You are a joy to my heart.
My son, Jeremy Loyd, my talented designer, encourager, and teacher is included in my list of significant folks. As he & I crafted together this blog and later my book, we would have lunch here at the house and go from "Mom and son talk" to "talking shop." Thank you, my darling son. Any technology I can do, I owe to you and your tutelage.
Here is Jeremy's creative website if you care to take a look at some of his other design work and branding:
And of course I can't forget the "guest branches." You all have contributed such variety and fullness to a branch in the Vine. Some of you are missionaries; others are friends, new and long-term; a few are bloggers who allowed me to share your posts. Some family members wrote for a branch in the Vine. One is my husband; others are my daughter, my daughter-in-law, and even my grandson. I even met a dear brother in Kenya online who has a young family and a growing church. He wrote a blog and sent photos of his family.
If you would like to take a peek at the writings of these brothers and sisters, scroll through the titles at this link:
And finally there is one "branch," who wrote this blog by the grace of God and, I trust, with the anointing by the Holy Spirit. What a privilege and a joy to write day by day or week by week, whenever the Lord moved me ... all of this as a result of a change that God worked in my life as a believer ... so much so that it was like being "born again again."
Here is a link that tells my story:
The Smile that Destroyed my Religion
Many things have resulted from all the writing and sharing that God has orchestrated here. There are the regular blog posts, too many TOPICS to list (enter a topic of interest in the "SEARCH" slot, upper right).
There's the book The With-ness of our God: Relationship in Every Dimension. (Look here for the video, endorsements, summary, leader/study guide, etc: The With-ness of our God).
And then there are messages that were given to Bible study groups, homeschool groups, retreats, etc that became blog posts or vice versa. (For more information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org )
So there it is, friends. Thank you for taking the time to read these ramblings. I wasn't sure how this post would go but I wanted to celebrate the God of all opportunities and open doors. He opened the door and I walked through. Thank you for joining me on the other side of the door.
A couple things: What open door is right there before you? Take a step through and see what God may do.
The other is this: Would you celebrate with me by sharing a branch in the Vine with a friend? Thank you.
With love & joy in our Jesus. Amen.