But now, this is what the LORD says He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel:"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1
I am visiting my daughter and her family in Minnesota. Cooler fall temperatures have already arrived here; a nice change from the still summer-like heat of my south Alabama home. While the cooler weather is nice, the best part is being with family.
My grandson, Joseph, is two years old. Every day brings growth and change in some area of his little life. I enjoy playing his toddler games, reading his favorite books together, going for walks and playing in his backyard. And, I love it when he calls my name.
During Joseph’s first year, my daughter and her family lived closer so my husband and I saw them often. We watched as our Little Joe learned to sit up, then crawl and walk. We watched him learn to eat solid foods, learn to dance, and throw a ball. We listened with joy as he began to talk, giving names to his loved ones. He said “Dada,” “Momma” and “Papa.” Even his uncles had names in his baby language. Though Joseph and I have had a special bond since he was born, I had no name in his baby vocabulary.
I knew he loved me by his eagerness to come to me when we saw each other. I knew he enjoyed rocking in my arms, singing, and playing together, but I had no name.
My husband and daughter wanted Joseph to call me “Emby,” short for “MB,” short for Mama Bear, which my kids like to call me. I often asked Joseph to say my grandmother name, but he just wouldn’t.
And then a few months ago, it happened; Joseph said, “Emby.” It was one of the sweetest sounds I have ever heard! I squealed with delight when he said my name. I was official! I was Joseph’s Emby! I belonged to him; he had said so with his own little voice. I love having a grandmother name that is all mine!
I wonder if this is how God’s people felt the first time, they heard God’s words through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 43? God declared to his children that he was calling them by name because they belonged to Him:“…This is what the LORD says—He who created you, Jacob,He who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;I have summoned you (called you) by name; you are mine.”’ (Isa. 43:1 NIV)
When the people of Israel heard this, did they squeal with delight? Did they bow in humble adoration because the Creator of the universe had a name for them? Did they realize how personal a God their Redeemer really was?
Jesus also spoke of knowing His followers by name in John 10. Jesus said that as the Good Shepherd, he calls his own sheep by name.
And in Revelation 2, we have a promise from God that He will one day give to believers a new name, written on a stone. Revelation 2:17b declares, “And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.” Such will be the intimacy each believer will share with his God forever!
Weekly Memory Verse
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.