Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
This summer, I had the pleasure of taking a day trip with a few friends down the Weeki Wachee River in Florida. Two friends were in kayaks and another friend and I were on our stand-up paddle boards (SUP). A SUP - which looks like a surfboard - is designed to be stood on and a paddle is used to steer and propel through the water. Good balance is essential!
We had packed our lunches, cold drinks and sunscreen and we were ready for the adventure. After we put our water vessels in at the boat ramp, we headed toward the spring of Weeki Wachee. The water traffic was flowing both ways; some were going the same way we were - struggling against the current with the breeze in our faces and others were going the opposite direction with the current and the breeze pushing them forward, they had it much easier. We navigated around tree roots, low-lying branches with spider webs and spiders, as well as other people who were on floats, jet skis, SUPs and even boats.
As we rounded one bend in the river, four kayakers were traveling directly toward us, the current and wind were pushing them so they were going FAST. Three of them swerved away from us but the 4th kayaker looked panicked; she didn't have her paddles in the water and wasn't trying to navigate away from me. She simply yelled, “I don’t know what to do!” I quickly assessed the situation - all I could do was drop to my knees, hold on and brace for impact! And that’s exactly what I did! We collided, thankfully, no one was injured and I didn't fall in the water!
As I stood back up, the words, “every knee will bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord….” came to mind. Philippians 2:9-11 states, “Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (NIV). One day, every person will know beyond a doubt that Jesus is God’s Son, and He is the Savior of the world. And on that day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess to the glory of God the Father. I imagine that we might quickly drop to our knees when we are before Him and see His glory; His perfection; His unconditional love.
There may be times when we physically get on our knees as we humble ourselves, pray and surrender. Other times we may bow our hearts in worship and surrender. The best way to navigate this challenging life is to drop to our knees, hold on tightly and surrender to the Almighty One who paid it all for you and me.
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, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. 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.