My Dog and a Kitten
"And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 4:19
When my daughter was a baby, my parents gave us a puppy from their dog’s litter. We named her Chloe and loved this little white dog with black eyes and little black nose. One afternoon, when Chloe was 7, I let her outside. Normally, she stayed in the back yard - but this day, she got out of the fence and barked at the door. I should have let her in at that moment; however, I was putting my two-year-old son down for a nap and decided to let her in as soon as he fell asleep. That was a choice I have always regretted! Before he fell asleep, our neighbor rang the doorbell and informed me that a school bus hit Chloe. We rushed outside and in the middle of the street was our lifeless Chloe. I was hit with grief and guilt!! We stood crying on the side of the street. As we were getting ready to pick her up, a kitten suddenly appeared and approached each of my sobbing children. They were devastated over Chloe - but with this playful kitten, their tears soon dried up and they started laughing. As I watched this happening, I believed that the Lord provided this kitten at the exact moment we needed in order to offer us comfort. Over the years, this situation has reminded me that no matter the circumstance, He is the God who provides. Whatever our need, whatever we are facing - He knows. He cares. He will provide.
Throughout Scripture, there are countless ways that God provided. In Genesis 22, out of obedience to the Lord, Abraham was preparing to sacrifice his son, when he “saw a ram caught by its thorns…and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. ‘So Abraham called that place Jehova Jireh, the LORD Will Provide’” (Genesis 22:13,14). The Lord creatively used ravens to bring food to Elijah in the wilderness when there was a famine (1 Kings 17: 2-16). When Jonah was running from God out of disobedience, the Lord provided a large fish to save him (Jonah 1). And out of His unconditional love for us, the Lord provided His perfect Son to pay the penalty for our sin (John 3:16). Jesus is the ultimate gift and only provision for eternal hope, joy and life!!
The God of Abraham is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow and He Will Provide! He will provide through a divorce, unplanned pregnancy, death, accident, job loss, illness, financial crisis, difficulty with a parent, child or grandchild, deployment, depression…. The situations are endless - however, He remains the same. Rather than half-heartedly saying, “I know that God can provide,” we can confidently say, that the Lord Will Provide because that is Who He is! He Will Provide in His timing and for His good and pleasing will. He may provide at the very last moment, when everything looks hopeless, but He will always provide!
By the way, because no one claimed that kitten, we kept him and named him Jireh!
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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.