“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear My voice and open the door, I will come in and we will share a meal together as friends.”
When I was a little girl (six years old, to be exact), a dear family friend gave my sister and me a book. It was entitled, “If Jesus Came to My House,” and was written by Joan Gale Thomas. There are delightful illustrations on each page and the text of the book was a poem.
We kept this book on a particular bookshelf, not with the books that my sister and I could look at any time we wanted. This was a special book and I loved it when my mother read this story to me. The story begins,
“If Jesus came to my house
and knocked upon the door
I’m sure I’d be more happy
Than I’ve ever been before.
If Jesus came to my house
I’d like Him best to be
About the age that I am
And about the height of me.
I’d run downstairs to meet Him,
The door I’d open wide,
And I would say to Jesus,
‘Oh, won’t you come inside?”
That story impressed upon me at a young age, that Jesus wanted to be with me and wanted to be my friend. I could totally relate to the little boy in the story who played host to Jesus on that day. He showed Jesus the most special places in his home and garden, picking flowers for Him and apples from the family tree. The little boy even showed Jesus the places that frightened him in the darker parts of the house, realizing that with Jesus there, those places weren’t so scary any more. He shared his toys with Jesus and let the little Lord Jesus pick out one to take home with him. It seemed like a perfect day to my little imagination.
The story goes on to explain that while Jesus cannot physically come to visit us in our homes, we can gather with others to pray and learn about Him and worship Him. And we can be kind to those around us, sharing what we have and giving our best to them.
Fifty years later, I still have that little book and I keep it on a particular bookshelf. There are days when I still imagine how it would be if my friend, Jesus, came for a visit. We would share a cup of coffee and I would show Him all of my favorite things and places in my home. We would talk and laugh and I would probably even tell Him about my worries and my fears. We would have a lovely day together and I would be sad when it was time for Him to leave. But the happiness we shared that day would linger after I closed the front door as He walked away, and I would smile throughout that evening, thinking of all the sweet time we shared together.
Jesus is always willing to spend time with us. No, He doesn’t physically come over, but He is with us just the same. And He would love nothing more than for us to sit with Him, and tell Him all that is on our minds and in our hearts.
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.