Do everything without grumbling and arguing
For the past 10 years I have led children in worship through music. We have an incredible Children’s Director who taught me there is more to leading worship than singing. It’s about encouraging children to focus their hearts on worshipping God for who He is, and to help the truth of God’s Word sink deep into their hearts through music.
Many of the worship songs have great words, unfortunately the kids don’t understand words like grace, mercy, redeemed, glory, rejoice, trusting in God’s name and others. I love how the Lord gives me an opportunity to teach the kids what they are singing about so they can focus their hearts on the Lord.
Philippians 2:14 says “Do everything without grumbling and arguing.” Wow did the Lord sear this command on my heart. Last week my brother and his family came to visit from Kansas. My husband is a firefighter and the only day we could take them out on the boat was Sunday. However, I was scheduled to sing in Children’s Church and I couldn’t find a replacement.
All week I threw a tantrum with the Lord, I grumbled and argued. I said things like “I can’t believe I have to do this, it’s not fair” and “this is really going to mess up our whole day.” I drove to church Sunday still complaining when the Lord whispered to my heart, “you are looking at this as a responsibility to fulfill instead of an opportunity to serve Me.” With tears in my eyes I confessed my sin and prepared my heart to lead worship.
During the welcome time I went over to greet a boy who hugs me every time I see him. I asked him how he was doing. In a quiet voice he shared something that happened that week that no little boy should ever have to experience. He told me he was scared. I instantly wrapped my arms around him and asked him if I could pray with him and he said “yes.” As we prayed, my heart just broke as we brought his fear to the Throne of Grace.
Shortly after we prayed it was time to sing a song straight from Psalm 33:20-22. I invited the children to come to the front with me as we sang on our knees. The boy almost ran to get the spot beside me. We were on holy ground as I watched this little boy kneeling with his hands raised, worshipping and singing:
“In you our hearts rejoice, for we are trusting in your name
We depend on you, for we are trusting in your name
Our hope is in you Lord, for we are trusting in your name”
I cried all the way home completely humbled by God’s grace. I had spent the entire week grumbling and arguing with the Lord because I thought boating with my family was more important than serving Him. In spite of my selfish and ugly attitude, God allowed me to help my young friend trust Jesus in his pain.
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.