He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters,
Do you like to do puzzles? I am not patient enough to do the 500 piece puzzles, but I enjoy one in the 30-60 piece range. Just for the record, I do those with some of our grandchildren, not by myself! It’s fun to find the corners and straight edges, filling in the border of the picture.
Sometimes, when I am reading God's Word, I feel like the Lord gives me puzzle pieces. I will read a verse or passage and meditate on it. Then He seems to give more understanding through other verses as the days go by. Eventually He brings the puzzle together for me.
A few weeks ago, the Lord began to lay out a new puzzle for me. My Sunday School class, studied Psalm 23. I continued to think about verse 23:2b-3a, “He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul.” In other translations the waters are described as, “quiet or peaceful”, and our souls being, “refreshed or renewed.”
What a beautiful picture that can awaken strong emotions. We know that we are led to this place of refreshment by drawing near to God in His Word and through prayer.
Soon after my study in Psalm 23, I read Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
The Lord prompted my heart to camp on the last part of the verse.
“Ok Lord, you want my words to be filled with grace to others.” Then I was reminded of some wonderful times of fellowship I have spent with a dear mentor in my life. Whenever my friend and I part ways, I am usually challenged and excited to experience what the Lord may have in store for me. There have also been times, though, when she helps me move from fear and self-pity to see God’s hand in the situations of my life.
This dear friend speaks God’s grace into my life. I leave being refreshed, or in process of being restored. The Lord revealed to me that He first and foremost brings renewal through His Word. But He also allows us, as His children to be His voice of grace in the lives of others. It amazes me that by giving the gift of time and words, led by the Holy Spirit, our Lord will use us to lead others to quiet waters.
Here lies the question for our hearts today, “Do we allow our words to be part of God’s will to help others be refreshed in Him?” We learn from Proverbs 18:21a, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” May we all strive for tongues that are filled with life!
How can we work toward having words that are filled with life and grace? We seek the Lord each day, in His Word, knowing The Word is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12a). The Lord will guide us and empower us through the Holy Spirit, and we must rely on His wisdom.
James 3:17-18 reveals how our words, filled with God’s wisdom, will help us speak life into one another, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
Lord, make us instruments of Your grace and life!
I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.
I love walking on the beach! A year ago, I was taking a night stroll on the beach with some of my family members and we were searching for sea turtle’s nests. The stars were out but it was very dark. My 5-year old grandson and I were walking together and rather than carry a flashlight, he wore a headlight on his head so we could see where we were walking.
After walking for awhile, he casually mentioned that bugs were in his face. I hadn’t noticed any bugs, so we kept walking. A few steps later, he said that bugs were getting in his eyes. When I stopped and looked at him, I saw a swarm of bugs all around his face and entire head. They were attracted to the light!
I have never compared myself to a bug, but at that moment, I remembered that Jesus said, “…I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12, NKJV). Jesus is The Light of the world because in Him is the glory of God. He shines among us and He shines upon us. He invites us to follow Him and not walk in darkness and have the light of life. Like those bugs, we are drawn to His Light - His goodness, His kindness, His peace and His unconditional and sacrificial love that He has for each one of us!
If we walk in darkness, we will eventually get hurt. We desperately need The Light to expose things that the darkness hides. Recently, I read about three kinds of darknesses that we face when we choose to not follow the Light: darkness of ignorance, darkness of impurity and darkness of sorrow.** I am so thankful that the Lord is The Light for in Him there is no darkness.
In Psalm 119:105, Scripture is compared to a lamp, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Like that headlight that helped us navigate the dark beach, His Word lights our paths and guides our thoughts and actions to help keep us from stumbling. This is so exciting that Jesus, The Light of the world invites us to follow Him. When we follow HIm by reading His Word, praying and obeying His truths, we will not walk in darkness, we will have the light of life and He will light our path!
The next time you are outside and see a light in the darkness, watch how desperate the bugs are to get to the light and think of Jesus, THE LIGHT of the world.
I have played hide-and-seek with many children over the years. While older children understand the object of the game…when you are hiding, you try to not be found by the person doing the seeking, younger children view the game differently. In fact, younger children don’t seem to understand the point of the game at all. The biggest thrill for the hiding younger child is to be found.
Most of the time, when younger children are “hiding”, they giggle and talk, awaiting the exciting moment of being discovered by the seeker. And then, when the seeker finally uncovers their hiding place, they erupt in giggles and squeals of delight…they revel in being found.
One of my favorite Bible stories found in Luke 19, is about a man named Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a Jewish man who had exchanged the honor of his heritage for employment with the Roman government; a government that was oppressing his people. Zacchaeus was a tax collector for the Romans.
Zacchaeus was not just any tax collector, he was the chief tax collector, the man responsible for gathering all of the taxes in the region of Judea, with tax collectors of lesser rank working under him.
It seemed the trade-off was worth it to Zacchaeus. He liked being rich. And, Zacchaeus didn’t seem to mind being the object of contempt and disdain of his fellow countrymen.
But maybe the money couldn’t fill up the empty places deep within Zacchaeus. Maybe the lack of friends left him wanting; wanting something that a nice house and gold coins couldn’t satisfy.
As the story goes, the tax collector heard one day that Jesus would be passing through his town of Jericho. Zacchaeus wanted to see this Jesus whom he had heard so much about.
Crowds of people were everywhere trying to get a look at Jesus; there was no way that a person of shorter stature, like Zacchaeus, stood a chance at getting a glimpse of Jesus. Zacchaeus had an idea; he would run ahead of the crowds and climb up a sycamore tree that was beside the road.
It seemed a ridiculous idea for a man of his position to risk the humiliation that climbing a tree might bring if he were discovered. The people would surely mock him. But Zacchaeus just had to see this Jesus for himself.
Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed the tree. He stayed silent as he watched the crowd approach with Jesus in the center of the throng. He caught a glimpse of the Rabbi. The Rabbi’s steps came to a halt right underneath the tree. Jesus looked up and into the eyes of the tax collector. Jesus spoke and called him by name, “Zacchaeus! You must come down from the tree quickly because I am on my way to your house. I thought we would have a visit today.”
The surprised tax collector did just as Jesus told him. With great excitement and delight the chief tax collector escorted Jesus to his home.
We’re not told what the two men talked about that day. But we are told that their conversation wrought a change in Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus wanted to make restitution for all the money he had wrongly taken from his fellow citizens. Zacchaeus also wanted to give of his wealth to the poor.
On a day that Zacchaeus thought he would simply be a bystander in the crowd when Jesus came to town, he ended up playing host for the Rabbi. Zacchaeus gained a friend who changed his life forever. When Zacchaeus climbed up into that tree seeking to see, he did not know that it would lead to him being found by a loving Savior.
"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
I love how the Lord can even use my dog to teach me great truth. I have a two-year-old Weimaraner who has captured my heart. An evening bike ride is one of our favorite things to do (well I ride he runs). Several months ago we were on one of our rides, as we passed by a house I noticed a lady standing in her front yard holding onto her dog. We got about a half a block away when her dog came flying out of nowhere and attacked Tahoe.
Now Tahoe is a lover not a fighter and as he was trying to get away from Cujo (not sure, but that might be his real name) his leash wrapped around the front of my bike and down I went. The lady finally caught her dog and dragged him back to her house. I checked Tahoe and myself for blood, picked up my bike and continued on our way.
I went from scared to fuming in about two seconds flat and for two blocks I had this dialog going on in my head, “I can’t believe that lady just let her dog go, she saw us riding by, she knows her dog is vicious and she just let him go, people like that should not have dogs...” I would have continued my rant if I hadn’t looked down to see Tahoe trotting along with a big smile on his face (oh yes he smiles). He had already forgiven the attack and was enjoying his run.
That is when I heard the Lord’s whisper to my heart “that is how quickly I want you to forgive.” 1 Corinthians 13 tells us “love keeps no record of wrong.” But let’s face it forgiveness is not always easy; like when your husbands says something that cuts, or you just can’t seem to please a critical parent, or a friend lets you down, the list goes on and on. If we are not careful these things can build up and make our hearts hard and bitter. Others have been hurt in deep, dark ways, that that are difficult to speak about and seem impossible to forgive.
In Matthew 18 Peter asked Jesus “how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?” Essentially Jesus said unforgiveness is not an option and told the parable of the unforgiving servant who was thrown in prison to be tortured because he refused to extend the forgiveness he received to a fellow servant. Jesus is very clear in his command to forgive.
To paraphrase St. Augustine “Our Lord never commands what he does not also provide”. So how do we forgive?
Colossians 3:13 says "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." The key to forgiveness is to remember that we are forgiven.
His forgiveness is not based on our merit, there is not a single thing we can do to earn it, and we do not deserve it. Our sin and rebellion against the Holy, Righteous, Loving Almighty Creator of the universe pales in comparison to any sin that is committed against us Yet, through the blood of Jesus the Lord forgives us. When we allow the joy of that truth to penetrate our hearts it gives us the freedom and desire to do the same for the people in our lives.
Everything the Lord commands us to do is for His glory and our good. When we forgive we reflect His glory, we display a glimpse of what God’s forgiveness looks like. Forgiveness is also for our good; it sets us free from the prison of bitterness, anger and hatred and allows us to live the joy filled abundant life the Lord desires for us.
"Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Here we are, smack dab in the middle of the strangest week of the year: the week between Christmas and New Year’s. It’s a time when all of the days mush together like a plate of leftovers. The holiday season is ending and we are no longer being ushered along by the events marked on a crowded calendar. In fact, many of us are walking through these days in a blissful fog; nibbling on stale cookies and wearing pajama pants; and while we’ve enjoyed the excitement that this season brings, it feels pretty good to finally get a chance to slow down and rest.
When we consider what we just finished celebrating at Christmas: Jesus coming into the world to be with us, then it only makes sense that a week of rest should follow. Why? Because rest is found in the presence of the Lord.
There is a moment recounted in Mark 6:30-32, when the disciples had just returned from their mission trip and were eager to tell Jesus about all of the things that had been done in His name. There were many people around and so much excitement in the air, that the disciples could not even eat. So, Jesus, being fully aware of all of their needs, says to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31)
If we look closely at what Jesus says to the disciples in Mark 6:31, He is not simply encouraging them to just ‘go lay down’, He is telling them to purposefully get away and be alone with Him. This shows Jesus’s desire to be personally involved in our times of physical and spiritual rest. He is always reaching out for us to come away with Him to a quiet place, but how often do we accept this offer?
There are days when I am so tired in the morning that instead of getting up early for quiet time, I choose to stay in bed longer assuming that I’ll be better for it. But, on those days, when I attempt to rest on my own, I find myself less revived than I am on the days when I wake up early to spend time with the Lord. When I purposefully involve Jesus in my time of rest, I find myself refreshed in a way that allows me to become a more patient mom, a more understanding wife and a more productive member of His body.
Today, if life has you tired, try to remember that in His humanity, Jesus also experienced what it felt like to be physically and spiritually exhausted. Because of this, you can trust that He knows exactly what you need and that He is perfectly suited to help you through your times of weariness.
This week, as you bask in the residual glow of the Christmas season, accept the Lord’s open invitation to go away with Him to a quiet place and get some rest.
See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated ‘God is with us.’“
Last year, my mom gave me a beautiful nativity set. It was the one I helped her put up in our home for many years, so I was very happy to have it for my house now. My children were so excited to help me get out all the pieces and set it up in our home and my toddler son’s favorite part was baby Jesus in the manger. He would carry it around with him and play with it. At night, he asked my husband and me if he could take baby Jesus to his room because he wanted to sleep with him.
After the Christmas season was over, we packed up the nativity set, including the baby Jesus figurine. Different times throughout this past year, my son would see the nativity box in our garage and ask if we could get it out so he could play with baby Jesus.
As I was thinking about my son’s love for the baby Jesus figurine in the nativity set, it reminded me of how thankful I am for God’s constant presence! What a blessing it is that we don’t have to wait each year to get out the nativity set for Jesus to be with us. In Matthew 1:23 it says, “See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated ‘God is with us.’“ For the people in that day, this was a foreign concept to them. Only certain high priests were allowed into the “Holy of Holies” to be in God’s presence. However, because of Jesus’s birth all those years ago, we now have constant access to Him because of the salvation offered to us through His death and resurrection. He became our “great high priest” (Hebrews 4:14).
When we confess our sins and believe that Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead three days later in total victory over our sin, we become children of God and then have the Holy Spirit in dwelling within us. We have the power and presence of God always with us. May we never take this for granted. Because of Jesus coming as a baby and ultimately shedding His blood for our sins, we can now, “Approach the throne of grace with boldness” (Hebrews 4:16a), as children of God. This Christmas season, may the celebration of Jesus’s birth be a reminder to us of His love and salvation, that allows us to always be in His presence, not just at Christmastime.
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.’”
Silent Night, Away in a Manger, Joy to the World, Oh Come All Ye Faithful...all songs that cause our hearts to swell, to be still. Songs that allow us for a moment to forget about what is going on around us. Songs that cause us to actually sing along...sometimes louder and more off key than we realize (ha!). But have you ever wondered why this is?
Why do smiles sneak onto our faces and lyrics escape from our lips when we hear these Christmas songs? Could it be the memories we have attached to these songs...possibly? I would wager a guess that it has to do with something else...someone else. The reason that these songs stir in the very core of our being, our souls, is because the one who came to rescue our very souls is who these songs are all about.
Lately, I have been focused on the Christmas Carol, Oh Come All Ye Faithful. This song reminds me of the shepherds’ encounter with the angels in Luke 2. This is when the first invitation to come was given. Come and see the Savior of the world. Check out this incredible encounter found in Luke 2:8-20:
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
You see, these particular shepherds actually had a really important job. Alfred Edersheim in his book, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, puts it this way:
“Somewhere deep in Jewish tradition (revealed in writings called the Mishnah), a belief had arisen that the Messiah would be revealed from the Migdal Eder ("the tower of the flock"). This tower stood close to Bethlehem on the road to Jerusalem, and the sheep that pastured there were not the type used for ordinary purposes. The shepherds working there, in fact, took care of the temple-flocks, the sheep meant for sacrifice.
We can trust that God had a specific purpose for this shepherd audience, and the work they performed suggests the reason. These men who watched the sheep meant for the slaughter received a divine message about the ultimate Lamb who would take away the sins of the world through His death and resurrection. (Adapted from The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah by Alfred Edersheim (Book II, Chapter VI)).”
Is it any wonder that God would send the host of angels to tell them the good news first? It was as God was saying, “You have done a great job taking care of the sacrificial lambs. Now come and behold THE Sacrificial Lamb. The Savior of the world. The one who will redeem you. The one who will reconcile you back to the Father.
God’s call to come echoes even today. The Bible is filled with invitations for us to come:
“Oh come all ye faithful joyful and triumphant
Come and behold Him, born the king of angels
Oh come let us adore Him.”
Like the shepherds, won't you come? Come lay yourself before the throne of the one who came to love you, to rescue you. He is calling you, His beloved, to come and worship Him: to come into His presence and adore Him
“…the joy of the Lord is my strength.”
Several years ago, a friend taught me a children’s song. The tune is more like a chant than a song and it has been going through my mind for the last several weeks. There are only three lines, so you can repeat it as many times as you want. I wish we could sing it together - here it is:
J is for Jesus
O is for Others
Yi Yi Yi Yi is for you! You! YOU!!!
The song is very fun and simple, yet it has a deep truth. We will have JOY when JESUS is first and the highest priority in our lives, followed by OTHERS such as family, friends and possibly strangers and then, lastly, YOU, or self. Doesn't that seem so simple and clear? Jesus. Others. You (Self). Whenever I’m feeling discouraged or irritable, I go back to this little chant and always discover that I have put the needs of others OR my self interests first. Everything is out of order when Jesus is not first. OYJ or YOJ certainly does not produce J O Y!
Another song about joy is one of the most famous Christmas carols - Joy to the World. This popular song, written by Isaac Watts in 1719, was not written as a song celebrating the birth of our Savior but rather a poem based on Psalm 98. “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music” (Psalm 98:4, NIV). The original theme of the poem was actually referring to when Jesus returns - Joy to the world, the Lord is come, Let earth receive her King - the second coming of the Lord.
We may not always be in the middle of happy situations during Christmas but we may still choose JOY. As I am finishing this devotion, we are traveling to Georgia to participate in my dad’s celebration of life. He passed rather unexpectedly and this is a very hard time for our family. As I cry out to the Lord, I am holding on to the fact that “…the joy of the LORD is my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10, NIV). This Christmas season, regardless of what we are facing-we can choose to remember why we celebrate. We celebrate Jesus, Savior of the world - He came as a baby, was a perfect man who bridged the gap between a holy God and sinful man, He is preparing a place for us in heaven and He is coming back again, and when He returns, even the rocks will sing! His return is the ultimate JOY TO THE WORLD!
Next time you sing Joy to the World, the Lord is come, Let earth receive her King, remember joy comes when we put Jesus first and also that no matter what we are facing today, even if this holiday season is not filled with everything happy and easy, we can definitely rejoice in the fact that one day He is returning! He came for you and for me. He came because He loves you and me so very much.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Have you noticed the unique way people are anticipating Christmas this year? There is an “unwritten rule” saying you are not to decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. However, this year all across the country outside Christmas decorations began showing up in early November. Companies that specialize in Christmas displays have seen a 15% to 20% increase in business.
So why is this happening? As Donna shared last week “2020 has been a crazy year”, as we seem to face one hardship after another. Many are simply worn out by the constant bombardment of the next crisis and people are turning to Christmas decorations to try to brighten their lives. Kristen Carpenter, chief psychologist at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center said “There are health benefits to putting up lights early. Holiday lights and decorations can help bolster people’s moods and fend off seasonal depression.” But as followers of Christ, Christmas cheer does not come in decorating with lights; it comes from our hope in the “Light of the World.”
There are two kinds of hope. One is a desire for something good to happen in the future, and many are looking to a change of scenery to change their darkened thoughts about the future. And then there is Biblical hope, this is the confident expectation that God will fulfill all of His promise for our future, and this hope will cause our hearts to rejoice even when there is trouble all around.
At Christmas we celebrate the birth of a baby who fulfilled the promise God made in Genesis 3 when He promised that He would provide a Savior who would defeat Satan, and rescue us from sin and death. Isaiah prophesied of this hope saying, “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.” (Isaiah 9:6-7 NLT)
Yes, Christmas lights are beautiful, and they do give me a good feeling when I decorate my house with them, and yes I even decorated much earlier this year, but my hope that brings true joy lies elsewhere. It is found on the dark night when God himself lit up the sky with the most incredible Christmas display, as the angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds declaring the birth of The Hope for all mankind. Then the sky was filled with a host of angels saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14 KJV)
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
I grew up playing sports all year long; soccer was in the fall, basketball was in the winter, softball was in the spring and then in the summer, though considered the “off-season”, was when all of the sports seemed to mesh together. You see, the summer wasn’t really soccer season, it wasn’t really basketball season and it wasn't really softball season. It wasn’t always convenient to go to practice or to drive to away games on a perfect summer day, but regardless of the inconvenience, I was prepared to play whatever sport that day brought. Why? Because I had been training for it and I had a desire to be in the game.
This idea of being prepared in all seasons is something that we see encouraged in 2 Timothy 4:2. Here, Paul urges Timothy to, “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”
Much like studying a playbook to learn strategies before a big game, the Bible gives us clear instructions to get us ready to share Biblical truths with others. In the verse above, Paul is exhorting Timothy to continue to boldly preach the word. He then goes on to lay out some specific ways in which this is accomplished. As believers, there are a few things that we too can take away from this. We must be prepared to speak the truth at all times and in all circumstances. We must be ready to correct those who misunderstand God’s word, to rebuke those who deliberately misuse the gospel message and to encourage others by sharing the love of Jesus Christ with them. We are to do this with sincere patience and with careful instruction, so that through both our actions and our words, we are providing others with an accurate portrayal of the gospel.
In sports, there is this idea of keeping our eyes on the prize and it can be very beneficial when we are playing to win. For an athlete, the objective is always to win. For the Christian however, we must recognize that winning an unbeliever to Christ does not depend on us. We can wear the full armor of God as a uniform and have every Bible verse memorized, but if the Holy Spirit does not move in the heart of the listener, then there can be no victory. God does not need us in order to win, but still, He recruits us to be a part of His lineup, so it should be our objective to serve Him faithfully by sharing the truth when He puts us in the game.
When the Lord calls us into action, it isn’t always convenient. Like playing an away-game at a rival school in the middle of summer, it may mean having to leave our comfort zone to go to places that are unfamiliar and to be around people that we don’t really like that much. But, as believers we must always be prepared to play. Why? Because we are on God’s team and God’s team does not get an off-season.
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, have five children, one son-in-law, one soon to be daughter-in-law, and one wonderful grandson. Donna and Bryan have recently moved back to their home state of Arkansas after livingin southeast Alabama the past 23 years. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.