Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
I vividly recall being in the shoe department of a retail store when I heard a child call out, “Mommy, where are you?” In a peaceful, reassuring voice the child’s mom replied, “I’m right here, follow my voice.” The mom continued to guide the child with encouragement until the reunion was obvious to those within earshot. “Mommmmmy!”, said it all.
I have replayed this scene, in my mind, many times. It always makes me think of my relationship with the heavenly Father. As His child, I desire to hear His voice speak to my heart and guide me.
One of the first verses I memorized was James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (ESV). Some translations say to “Come near to God.” My desire is to come running into my Father’s outstretched hands, but I must be honest, I don’t always do that. Even this morning, as I sat down to read my Bible, my mind was all over the place. The rapid, random thoughts brought me to the point of anxiousness. I was trying in my flesh to make order of my thoughts. Finally, I drew near...
I followed the example the Lord made known to the prophet, Jeremiah, “Call to Me and I will answer you” (Jeremiah 33:3, ESV). I called out in prayer for Him to help me concentrate. As I started praying, He quieted my soul. Was there something magical about it? No! But, by faith, I chose to believe He would do what He said He would do. I called. He answered! The author, Evelyn Christenson, of “What Happens When Women Pray”, would have called my prayer an “SOS” prayer. I definitely needed help!
Thankfully, with my mind quieted by the Lord, I could now draw near by approaching Him in The Word. It is here that He speaks to our hearts. I have heard some people say, “I wish He would speak to me when I read my Bible!”Our Lord longs to speak to each one of us through His Word...even more than we want to hear from Him!
On the inside cover of my Bible, I have written a few quotes from Andrew Murray’s book, “ The Inner Chamber and the Inner Life.” These words are a wonderful reminder to me as I open the Word of God.
“The Word of God is a living Word. It carries a divine quickening power in it.”“These words are full of the life of God. God is in them, and makes His presence and power known to them who seek Him in them.”
Lord, today, may we each choose to draw near to You. And may we hear You speak to our hearts through Your living Word.
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.