“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
As a mom of two young children, I have seen both of them fall down many times. Usually after they fall, they run over to me, with tears in their eyes, pointing to where their “ouchie” is. The next part is my favorite, because usually, all I have to do is simply kiss the “ouchie” and say two magic words: “All better!" Then all the pain seems to magically be forgotten, the tears disappear, and the playing resumes.
There are times in life when our children fall and a simple kiss helps them feel better. However, there are also times when it does take more than a kiss and a few simple words to help ease the pain. We might need to use a cloth to clean up the dirt and blood, maybe even use some antibacterial cream, and then seal it with a bandage to let it heal. Occasionally, a doctor’s visit might be necessary. In these healing processes, it may cause more pain to our children when we have to clean the wound, or do something even more extensive. However, as loving parents, we know that we can’t let our children stay untreated. In that moment, they may be begging us to just leave it alone, out of fear of more pain. But we know that avoiding temporal pain now would result in even more severe pain later.
As followers of Christ, God is our loving Abba Father and He sees the many wounds of His children. Some of those wounds might be minor ones that we run to Him and ask Him to heal quickly. Some, however, are wounds we have allowed to remain untreated for way too long, out of fear of more pain we might experience from Him cleaning up the wound. When we’ve been hurt by someone or gone through a severe trial, it can seem easier to just bury that pain down deep, choosing to remain sad or angry. Like our children do with us, we might beg God to just leave our wound alone so we don’t have to deal with it or relive the pain. However, once we allow God to clean out our infected wounds, we can experience freedom from that anger and hurt. He can bring about forgiveness and joy in our hearts that we never thought possible. Psalm 147:3 tells us, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” God is more than capable to heal our wounds, however, we have to be willing to let Him. The healing process can involve pain and time, but if we continue to leave it buried and not dealt with, the pain will be so much worse, like an untreated wound. Only God can “turn my lament into dancing…and clothe me with gladness” (Psalm 30:11).
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”
Quarantine has brought out the gardener in me. I know, it shocked me as well! For years, my thumb has been brown. If it resembled a plant or flower, you better believe that I could kill that thing in no time. However, this season of life has caused me to slow down, to be intentional, which is a really good thing for my flower garden.
In the cool of the morning, I slip out into the backyard to check on the flowers. The weather overnight and the morning’s sun will determine the physical appearance of the flowers. If there was a heavy storm, the plants will reflect this. The petals are normally hanging off the stem or found nearby on the ground after the rain has come through. If the sun is too hot, the flowers will be wilted and brown. At first, this really discouraged me. Having ugly flowers was really depressing. I bought the flowers to bring about some brightness and color to my life.
Determined to grow out of my brown-thumb stage, I did some research. Turns out, flowers falling off the plants or withering is a normal occurrence. I learned that each day, I must go out and “dead head” my flowers. This simply means, I look carefully at each flower and assess its health. If it is withered or brown, I simply “pop-off” (deadhead) the flower. Getting rid of the old flowers makes way for the new flowers to blossom. Within days, new flowers were peeking through, refreshed, and full of color. I also learned that the practice of deadheading allows the plant to bloom longer than if the unhealthy flowers are left on the plant.
It is in these quiet moments of tending to my flower garden that Jesus speaks truth to my heart. “Sarah, I do the same thing to you each day. I look at what is withering or dying in your life, and I prune it away. It hurts a little, but the outcome is so beautiful. When you allow me to come in and replace the old with new, you blossom in a way you never could have on your own. I give you life. I give you color. I renew your heart and your mind.”
You see, Jesus is not content with us staying the way we are. John 15:1-2 says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” Did you catch that last part? God prunes us so that we can be even more fruitful. He wants to fill us to the point of overflowing with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). These are the attributes that bring about the most beauty in our lives. We are most like Jesus when we are displaying these fruits, living them out fully in our lives. Our hearts beat with His, we bring Him glory, we reflect His beauty.
Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Forget the withered, dying flowers of your past. Allow Jesus to come in and do a new thing in you. Allow Him to spring up new life in you. Allow Jesus to bring streams of living water to your heart, mind, body, and soul.
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.
“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
While I was in Colorado a couple of weeks ago during my quiet time I read Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” I just got stuck on this verse and the phrase “takes hold of your right hand”. I wondered, “Why does it say right hand, why is it so specific?” Then I wondered, “What the percentage of the world is left handed?” It turns out only that 10-12% of the people in the world are left handed. So for most people who read this, the right hand is their strong hand. So, if someone takes hold of your strong hand that leaves you with your weak hand to work with.
Walking anywhere in Colorado was an adventure, I was continually coming across an ice patch and if I wasn’t paying attention and hit the ice just right I would get a quick heart dropping slide that made me feel I was about to land on my rump. (I had had an unfortunate incident with falling off a shuttle while I was there and I just didn’t want to find myself on the ground again.) So my husband Sean and I held hands while we walked, I admit it wasn’t about romance it was about survival.
Sean is a firefighter, his job is to protect people from danger and 99% of the time I trust his ability to protect me. But he’s lived in Florida for 40 years, and I’ve witnessed his ice walking ability, it is only slightly better than mine. Because of this, I just couldn’t walk with him holding my right hand because that left me to use my weak side to protect myself if we started to slip.
This reminds me of Isaiah 41:13, we all have a “strong side” these are the gifts and abilities God has given us that we feel confident in. But that is not where He wants us to stay. The Lord “takes us by the right hand” because he doesn’t want us to trust in our abilities. . Rather He wants us to step out in our weakness. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 the Lord says, “My power is made perfect in your weakness”. It is in this weakness we learn to trust and depend on the Lord for so much more than only doing the things we have confidence we can do ourselves.
When we are too confident in ourselves this leads to pride, thinking we can do it all on our own. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” He want us to step out in our weakness because then His power is magnified, we show the world how amazingly powerful, faithful and trustworthy He is.
I love the last part of Isaiah 41:13 “Do not fear, I will help you”. That is a promise I want to cling to when I want to shrink back into the safe place of my abilities instead of stepping out in my weakness and magnifying “God’s all-surpassing power”.
“It (David’s throne) will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky.”
My husband and I have been “empty nesters” for almost a year now. This summer we are only part-time empty nesters as our youngest son is home from college. But soon he will be going back to school and the house will be quiet and the piles of laundry will be smaller and the refrigerator will contain less food and our two puppy dogs will be sad for a time. I will be sad for a time as well.
When our youngest returns to college in Virginia, we will once again have five grown children living in five different states, none of them living in our home state of Alabama. Oh, this momma can get to them with a ticket from an airline or a long car drive if need be. But having them over for a spur of the moment dinner or an afternoon cup of coffee just doesn’t happen. Thankfully, their leaving and moving about has come in stages. My husband and I have adapted; we visit them whenever we can and we are thankful for technology that allows us to have video calls often. But sometimes I still miss their presence.
Often times, in the evening after the sun has gone down, I will step outside of our quieter-than-it-once-was home and look up at the sky. The stars are in their places and the moon is in its place, giving off its reflected light. Looking up at the bright shining moon gives me peace and quiets my momma’s heart because of a Bible verse from Psalm 89. In Psalm 89, the moon is described as God’s faithful witness in the sky.
The verses of Psalm 89:36-37 refer to Israel’s King David, God’s anointed who led God’s nation for a time. David was the man God described as “a man after His own heart.” The verses read: “His (David’s) dynasty will go on forever; his throne is as secure as the sun, as eternal as the moon, My faithful witness in the sky!”
King David’s kingship will live forever because God’s very Son would be born in the lineage of David. Jesus will forever be King on God’s throne, as sure as the sun and moon hang in the sky day after day.
The moon serves as a sign, a faithful witness to God’s faithfulness in keeping His promises. So, when I look up during nighttime skies, I think about God’s faithfulness. I think about the fact that the very same moon, the same faithful witness in the sky, that I see is the moon that my children see, in Texas and in Minnesota; in Georgia and Ohio and in Virginia. When I physically cannot be with the people I love, My Heavenly Father can be and is with them.
The moon that we can look up and see from anywhere in the world, reminds me that God can surely see me and the people I love from His abode in heaven, no matter how far we may be separated geographically. God is watching over me and mine, no matter where in this country or around the world we may be…and that is a comforting thought to me.
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
Most of us have experienced a time when our children were afraid and wanted us to check under their bed or in their closet to make sure that nothing was looming under or with in that would harm them. As we entered their fear of the unknown, they stayed far from the door in case trouble appeared. They awaited our reaction, looking for the love in our eyes, the smile of encouragement, and a walk of confidence.
What is it that you need to walk "into" today? Is there a conversation you feel led to address with your husband but you fear his response? Are you doubting yourself as a mom and unable to face this day with confidence? Are you frustrated by a behavior that your child continues to exhibit and you can’t muster the mental strength to deal with it? Is there someone to whom you need to speak truth in love but are concerned they won’t hear your heart? It might be that you need to address an overwhelming financial issue that youare avoiding. Or, are you nervous about an upcoming appointment?
The good news today is that the Lord will go before you!! He goes before us in His love, power, wisdom and peace, (just to name a few!)
Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
Whatever your day holds, God is holding it!!! He is going before you into it. He is with you and will not leave you alone.
However, He does command that we be not afraid or discouraged. You may ask, “But, how do I do that?”Just like children walking into the unknown, they ask their parents for help. We must ask our Heavenly Father for help. As a believer, we talk to our Father in prayer with faith, trusting He will take care of us.
Do you need encouragement and strength to let go of your fears? May the power of the Word found in Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT) minister to you now. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Lord, You know what we are walking into today. We thank You that You will lead us (Ex. 13:21a) and make the rough places smooth (Is. 45:2 NAS) as we keep our hope and confidence in You alone.
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Have you ever hesitantly tried a new activity and ended up loving it so much that it became a part of your life? Several years ago, I rode my bicycle across the state of Florida with a Christian cycling group called Coast 2 Coast (C2Cbikeride.com). Since that first ride, I have joyfully ridden my bicycle across the state thirteen times with about 70 other riders and a small support crew. Each October, we loaded our bikes into a semi truck in Tampa and drove to Daytona Beach. Upon arrival, the bikes were unloaded and the truck drove away. We are left standing in the parking lot with our two wheels on which we will travel over 200 miles from Daytona Beach to Tarpon Springs.
A few years ago, a man with an impressive reputation participated in the ride. He was a star football player, 2-time Super Bowl Champion (once as a player, once as a coach), 2-time ESPY Award winner, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, received the Buccaneers Ring of Honor Award, authored several books and regularly appears on TV. Truly a celebrity. Coach Tony Dungy and his beautiful wife, Lauren, were on that ride!! We were all starstruck!!
The first year that Coach Dungy rode, we were all standing in the parking lot near Daytona Beach when the truck drove away. I looked at Coach and thought, “WOW, we are all on the same playing field. His impressive credentials will not help him ride 200 miles. The only thing that matters is how he prepared. Sure hope he’s ready!” Did he train? Did he practice riding in the hills? Does he know how to shift gears? Does he have what it takes to get to the finish? At that moment, it did NOT matter that he had 2 Super Bowl rings. The only thing that mattered was if he was prepared.
Those thoughts reminded me that there will come a day, in each of our lives, when the truck pulls away. When that day comes, we will be left standing there - all by ourselves. In Scripture, we read, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27, NIV). On the day when the truck pulls away, we will face judgment and the only thing that matters is if we are prepared.
How do we prepare? Scripture states, “that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, NIV). We prepare by admitting that we are a sinner. (I don't know about you, but when I look at myself, I know that I am a sinner!) Thankfully, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NIV). We also read that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). However, “…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9, NIV). Have we admitted? Have we recognized the consequences of our sin? Confessed? Believed?
If you are prepared, thank the Lord for His amazing gifts! If you are unsure if you are prepared, please take time to consider His words and what you are “doing” with Jesus Christ, the One who loves you so much that He willingly laid down His life for you. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, NIV).
Remember, our credentials will not open the door to heaven, only Jesus Christ can and we have to be prepared. No one can ride for us, no one will stand in our shoes. When you reach the finish line, will you hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21, NIV)? If you are unsure, please let His Word prepare you for your eternal ride because none of us knows when the truck will pull away.
(By the way, the Dungy's are an amazing couple. They each confess Jesus as Lord and strive to serve Him and others to the best of their abilities. And, yes, they both were well prepared for the ride and not only did they finish strong but they have come back and ridden again and again!)
And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Mark 4:35-41 gives the account of Jesus calming the wind and the waves on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus told the disciples in verse 35 “Let’s go across to the other side.”(ESV) While Jesus was sleeping on a cushion in the back of the boat, the wind began to blow furiously. As a result, the waves grew so high the boat began to take on water. The disciples were terrified!
I have a deep appreciation for this kind of terror. Several years ago, we took our 21’ fishing boat to the Florida Keys for the weekend. We were novice boaters, with less than 20 boat rides under our belt. To add to our inexperience, the Gulf of Mexico was the only water we had ever navigated. That weekend we discovered there is a BIG difference between a windy day on the Gulf and a windy day on the Atlantic Ocean.
We planned an all-day fishing trip on a reef about six miles from shore on the Atlantic side of the Keys. We woke up that morning to 18mph winds (not ideal boating conditions but we only had a few days to spend on the water). We knew it would be a bumpy day, but we had experienced windy days on the gulf and thought we could tough it out.
After a long, bumpy ride, we finally arrived at the reef. But the waves were so high we decided to head back to shore. This is when things got worse. The waves grew so large, and our boat was so small that as it crested on the top of a wave, we sat there for a couple seconds with the propeller exposed. The engine was at full throttle, but the boat was going so slowly it felt like we were standing still. Between the sound of the crashing waves and the exposed propeller the sound was deafening.
In Mark’s gospel account of the stormy boat ride, the disciples woke Jesus in the middle of the raging sea and asked, “Don’t you care we are perishing?” Jesus replied, “Why are you so afraid?” Jesus seemed to be asking, “Don’t you trust me yet?” Jesus had already said, “Let’s go to the other side of the lake.” Every word that Jesus says is true, so when he said this He was telling them “we are going to the other side of this lake.” But in the middle of the raging sea they forgot what he said.
What is it about the storms of life that causes me to forget what His Word tells me? He promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:8) But when I walk in something God has called me to do, and it becomes difficult or doesn’t look like I thought it would, I become fearful and think “this time He is going to leave me, and I will fall flat on my face.” The promise of Proverbs 3:5-6, tells us that when you trust the Lord instead of yourself, He will make your path straight. Unfortunately, when I have been insulted or upset, I will turn to what I see and feel instead of what I know God’s word says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”(Proverbs 15:1)
In the middle of the raging sea, Jesus said three words, “Peace be still,” and creation immediately obeyed. Jesus is the One who is for us, not against us. Jesus is the One who died so we might come to know and love Him. Jesus is the One who asks us, to trust Him in the middle of the raging storms of life and whispers to our hearts “Peace be still.”
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
My three-year-old grandson is visiting at my house. He is a busy boy with an active imagination. From the time he awakens in the morning and comes into our bedroom to say, “Good morning,” he is already role-playing as one of his favorite cartoon show characters. He quickly reminds me that he is not “Joseph,” the name given him by his parents, he is “Poli”.
The character, Poli, is a car who transforms into a robot when help is needed. Of course, this transforming car has helpful friends who also transform to assist any of the vehicles in their imaginary community who might find themselves in desperate situations and need help.
Pretending to be Poli is very real to my grandson; he often remains in character for an entire day. He acts as he thinks Poli would act. He also asks his grandparents to play along. Our Joseph, or rather, Poli, wants his Papa and me to transform into other members of the imaginary rescue team as well.
His play has made me think about Romans 12:2. In this verse, the Apostle Paul tells his readers, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (NIV)
The New Living Translation puts it this way, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
Jesus desires to transform His followers into like-minded friends. Jesus didn’t think the way others thought when He lived on this earth. He thought like His Heavenly Father. Jesus amazed the common people and frustrated the Jewish religious leaders with the truths He taught and the authority with which He taught them. He turned people’s views upside-down by saying things like, “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment!”
A few verses later Jesus told His listeners, “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:21, 27-28) Jesus’ words were revolutionary; the ways of heaven invading earth.
As followers of Jesus, we cannot think or act in ways that imitate the ways of the world. We have to let God transform our thinking to be like His. To know the way God thinks, we have to get to know Him through the reading of His Word and listening to His Holy Spirit who lives within us.
Tomorrow morning, my Joseph “Poli” will invade my bedroom and transform into a robot superhero. Tomorrow morning, God is wanting to transform my thinking and make me a new person who loves more freely, surrenders more easily and desires His will above my own.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
My toddler boys love it when they get to sit up on the kitchen counter. They get busy right away taking all of the spices off of the spice rack and cheerfully testing the durability of nearly every cooking utensil that they can get their hands on. As the boys sit there playing, they look carefree, happily mixing up imaginary cookies and periodically pretending that the large spoons are swords.
Meanwhile, I am perched behind them, ready to pounce at whatever fall, mess or fight that may occur. My mom-brain is busy calculating a response to every possible scenario that could lead to the need for an ice pack, a vacuum or an emergency room visit. In the middle of their fun, I am exhausting myself with “what if’s”, anxiously waiting for trouble to ensue.
I don’t typically hover over my children awaiting disaster, but there is just something about my boys being up so high and being too young to recognize the possible dangers, that sends me into a frenzy of over-analyzation, and, alright, I’ll say it, worry.
What is worry? Worry is the lack of faith in God’s perfect provision. It causes us to make bad choices or paralyzes us from being able to make choices at all. It brings God's sovereignty into question and leaves no room for faith. Ultimately, worry is the foolish thing that we do when we are afraid that life won’t go our way.
Are there times when it is wise to worry?
No. But, sometimes worry can disguise itself as wisdom. A good example of this is my reaction to the boys sitting up on the counter. Since the boys are so young, it is wise for me to be cautious, to stand close by and to supervise, but it is unwise for me to let that caution turn into a spirit of fear; which 2 Timothy 1:7 says, is not from God.
In this scenario, I was wearing a mask that looked an awful lot like a concerned mom, but in reality, it was just my fear playing dress-up. Not only was I exhausting myself with all of the “what if’s”, but I was also missing out on the sweetness of the moment with my children. Worry deceived me; it caused me to react foolishly and prevented me from enjoying the happiness that was right in front of my face.
Worry will steal our joy if we let it, so we must choose to trust in the Lord at all times. The wisdom that He provides us will never lead us into fear. Instead, as we read in Psalm 94:19, when we are anxious, the Lord will comfort us and restore our joy.
Today, there are many things that have the power to cause us to worry, but we must never allow ourselves to be fooled by this counterfeit wisdom. Instead, we must cling to Godly wisdom; relying on His sovereignty and the truth of His word, which beckons us to not be afraid!
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, have five children, one son-in-law, one soon to be daughter-in-law, and one wonderful grandson. Donna and Bryan have recently moved back to their home state of Arkansas after livingin southeast Alabama the past 23 years. 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.