Sunday, December 29, 2013

Have a wonderful 2014

 

Good morning dear Ladies,

Here we are at the close of another year and the start of a new one.

It is the time to reflect and to look forward to another year of God’s providing for us.

The past three years I’ve chosen a word or words to think on for the coming year.  The first year 2012 was the word Hope, and my hope was most definitely in Jesus that year, as God took my dear husband of 43 years home to be with Him on the 9th of December.

This year, 2013, I thought of two words, Anticipation and Thankfulness.  Anticipation as to seeing how God would work things out in my life.  Thankfulness because I wanted to thank God even in the great loss of my life.

My word for this coming year is ‘Conqueror’, which means to be ‘victorious’.  That’s what I want to be in 2014, a victorious Conqueror. I don’t want to be afraid because I don’t have my husband by my side anymore. I still want to do things, as I am able to. I don’t want to think I can’t, but think I CAN, and it’s all because of Jesus.

From the day my husband left this planet, I told people, including doctors and nurses right after he left, that God was my strength and He certainly has been that this past year.

Dotti has been bringing ‘strength’ verses up to us to memorize at the past couple of meetings.  The first one in Philippians 4:13 has been a favorite of mine.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Neh. 8:10 says ~ The joy of the Lord is your strength

This was a new one to me and is another good verse to remember.

This morning I found another one in my devotional book “Jesus Calling” and it is from Isaiah 26:4

Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

With Jesus continually beside me, strengthening me, I can be a ‘Conqueror’.

What word can you think of to inspire you this coming year?

No matter what word you choose, always put your trust in Jesus. He does work all things out for His honor and glory. We often don’t know the reasons for why things happen in our lives, but He does, and one day we will know and rejoice.

Love and hugs and God’s continued blessings on each and every one of you ~ Rainey

 

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Our Christmas meetings

 

Good morning Ladies,

What a lovely meeting/luncheon we had this past Monday.  Everyone looked wonderful decked in lots of color, hearts were filled with Christmas cheer.  We came loaded with gifts for newborns for the First Care center. We played games, sang songs, Kathy Caprio gave us an uplifting talk and our luncheon was delicious!

I am combining photos from the ladies in New Jersey from their Christmas meeting with some of ours.  They had snow we had lovely, warm, balmy temperatures.

Click on photos for larger views.

 

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Wedgwood Country Club 

Washington Township ~ New Jersey

Brrrr, cold but beautiful snow.

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Palm Beach National Golf & Country Club

Lake Worth, Florida

Beautiful palms and colorful blooms

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I love this entry.  Don’t these ladies look cold?

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The reason we wear jackets and sweaters down here to our meeting is because it is so cold indoors. Smile

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Look at this beautiful fireplace with roaring fire and that lovely tree.

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Here is our lovely Florida tree, but no fire, the air-conditioner is running.

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Some of our New Jersey Ladies

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Some of our Florida Ladies

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Dotti ~ our gracious and lovely founder.

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Kathy ~ our wonderful and lovely speaker

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This sweet lady is Doris.  She had a birthday earlier this month.  She is young at heart, very spry, always willing to help set up for our meetings, and she is 97. She is a real delight to know, a real sweetheart.

“Birthday Girl”

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Here are our gifts for the newborns of First Care in our area. We all had so much fun getting and giving these gifts.

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Dotti and Peggy who do so much for our group with the gifts.

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This lovely young lady is Donna Irizarry from ‘First Choice’ who told us a little about this ministry, for young unwed mothers. May God richly bless this ministry as it reaches out to touch and save lives with God’s healing love.

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Now, here is our group photo. What a lovely, happy group of ladies.  I am so glad and thankful for this group in my life. This isn’t all of our ladies, as some couldn’t be here for the meeting that day.

Thank you Donna for taking this shot.

Click on photo to see the bigger picture.

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Now that Christmas is almost here, let us remember why we celebrate this day.  It is because God came down in the flesh as baby Jesus, who would grow and live and give His life so that we might be saved and dwell with Him forever. If you have not asked Jesus to be part of your life, please do so today. It is real easy. Just tell Him you are a sinner and wish to be saved by His grace. Invite Him into your life and you will be greatly blessed now and forever.

We, dear ladies, are in the process of being restored. God is our Strength when we are weak, and He is our Joy. As we grow in His Grace and Tender Mercies, let us be thankful for all that He has done and for what He will do in the future.  We don’t know what the future will bring, but we do know who holds our future. God Almighty. He works all things out and it is all good, and for His Glory.

Love and hugs to all of you. 

May you feel the Love, Peace,

Strength and Joy of God flowing

through and surrounding you

each and every day.

Merry Christmas and Have a wonderful 2014.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Choosing to celebrate Christmas

 

The Christmas holidays are often the most difficult for a widow. Her sense of loss is keenly felt and she is more aware of her loss than at other times.

The 8th chapter of the book of Nehemiah tells the story of the children of Israel rebuilding the wall around the city of Jerusalem that had been destroyed by their enemies. It was hard, arduous work, made harder by the taunting of the enemy which discouraged the people.  Ezra, the priest, read the Word of God to them and they began to weep. As widows you, too, have been brought to sorrow and tears over loss in your life. But, though weeping and sorrowing is necessary, it isn't the last message that God has for you. God had Nehemiah speak to the people saying, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to the Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Then all the people went away to eat and drink…with great joy." Their sorrow was turned to joy as a result of their obedience to celebrate with joy.

Did you notice in the above verse that Nehemiah urges the people to send portions of food to those who didn't have? Invariably, that is the result of those who find their lives beginning to heal. They begin to reach out to others. In fact, I believe that reaching out to others is a catalyst to one's own healing,  something that Dotti Ackerman, founder of Friends Needing Friends, has always emphasized.


In Nehemiah, the 13th chapter, we see that, after an absence, Nehemiah returned and found the people had slipped back into some of their worldly ways and he set out to restore them.  I see his return as a sign of God's grace and restoration, no less true for the widow.  You, too, went through a period of great sorrow after the death of your spouse. Then you began to heal, and you found that you could find some joy in life again.  But now as you approach the Christmas season, you do so with apprehension, grief, and a flood of memories about the "old days" and your time-honored family traditions.  Jesus wants to restore you to wholeness and give you a reason to celebrate again just as He did the Israelites. But, just as they, you must choose to focus on, not just the birth of our Lord, but to what his life, death, and resurrection have won for you and that is eternal life. Can you do this without Christ's strength? No! But here is the paradox: The joy of the Lord is your strength. Choose to rejoice, to look at what you have instead of your losses, and to look ahead to eternal life with Christ and your loved one. There are important ways in which celebration will not, and cannot, ever be the same again. So, it is okay to plan for them to be different. Be realistic about what you can handle, both physically and emotionally.  But do celebrate, for this is God's will for you and you will marvel at the strength He will provide as His joy floods your heart.

Shari Hervold

 

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Upcoming Christmas meeting 16 December 2013

 

Good morning Ladies ~

Here it is time for our Christmas meeting and luncheon. It is going to be a joyful and loving time spent together. If you know of another widow who has not been to our meetings, invite her.

We had a delightful time at our staff meeting this past Monday as we prepared for this coming meeting/luncheon.

Here are the ladies minus myself as I’m behind the camera.

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We will be having our Christmas * Baby Shower *. We will have lots of fun with baby shower games and enjoy seeing all the gifts brought for newborn babies..

The wise men brought gifts to the Christ child as we would like to do to a baby that has been saved from abortion.

Items needs for newborns follow:

Baby powder, shampoo, baby wash, baby lotion, rash ointment/petroleum jelly, bibs, bottles, receiving blankets, towels, wash clothes, diaper bags, pacifiers & clothes.

Do not wrap the baby gifts.  Thank you.

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Our guest speaker will be Kathy Caprio. She is a gifted speaker and I’m sure her message will uplift our hearts.

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The Christmas season is a wonderful time of year. A time to reflect upon Jesus, our Savior being born over two thousand years ago. He is no longer in a manger, or even on the cross, but is now sitting at the right hand of God interceding for you and me. Now, because of Jesus the Messiah, we have forgiveness of our sins and eternal life.

 

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We are looking forward to seeing you on Monday, 16 December ~ at the Palm Beach Nat'l Golf & Country Club.

Meeting starts at 10, but please come early to check in and be seated so we can get started on time.  Have the correct change too, $12.50. We thank you. This helps in making the meeting run smoothly.

We have a dress code color this time: Red, green, silver or gold, holiday colors.  Not sure I have these colors in my wardrobe, Winking smilebut I plan to * Be joyful *.

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Looking forward to seeing you all on Monday.

Bring love, joy, open hearts, thankfulness

and another dear widow if possible.

Rainey

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

November’s New Jersey meeting

 

Here are some photos of our lovely sisters in New Jersey.  Both of our meetings happened on the same day at the same time this past month.

I think it is wonderful to be able to see ladies from both of our groups.

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It is hard to believe that Christmas is just 3 weeks away.  This year has zipped by.

May your holidays be lovely and let us all remember to let the Light and Love of Jesus shine forth from all of us.

Love, hugs and prayers ~ Rainey

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Special gifts for the holidays!

 

The gift of listening: But you must really listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listen.
 
The gift of affection: Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.
 
The gift of laughter: Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories, your gift will say "I love to laugh with you".

The gift of a written note: it can be a simple "Thanks for the help" note or a full sonnet. A brief handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life

The gift of a compliment: A simple and sincere, "You look great in red," "You did a super job" or "That was a wonderful meal" can make someone's day.
 
The gift of a favor: Everyday, go out of your way to do something kind.
 
The gift of a cheerful disposition: The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. Really, it's not that hard to say hello or thank-you.

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Thank you God for my "Friends"

 

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Do you thank God for the people He has placed in your life? Paul did and we read about his prayer for Philemon in Philemon 4-6. Be sure to thank God often for the people He blessed you with and let them know you are praying for them.

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I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,

Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;

That the communication of thy faith

may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing

which is in you in Christ Jesus.

Phm 1:4-6 
 
Ladies, start giving and have a "Happy Thanksgiving"

Dotti

Monday, November 18, 2013

Today’s Happy Meeting in Lake Worth

 

Hello Ladies ~ We had such a wonderful time today. A happy meeting before Thanksgiving.  We were blessed by God’s loving presence, filling our hearts with His love, grace, tender mercies and strength so that we might go out and be a light to others this holiday season.

Click on any of the photos for a closer/larger view, then hit your back arrow to go back to the post.

Here we are singing “This is the day that the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

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Somehow, Dotti’s message was lost in the shuffle and she had to wing it, but she did wonderful as the Holy Spirit gave her the words we needed to hear and we were inspired by what she spoke from her heart.

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Terri and Elli ~ You both gave wonderful presentations today and we are thankful for your part in this ministry.

Peggy, you also did a lovely job with all that you did for the meeting today. It all ran smoothly and we appreciate the work that goes into making this happen.

Our staff is very important and we love you all, you are vital to making this ministry a reality.

Below, are photos from our luncheon, which was delicious as always.  You ladies are all beautiful, your smiles are infectious. God’s love and light shines forth through and from all of you.

We welcome our first time visitors and hope you will join us again.

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At our next meeting, we are having a Baby Shower for new mothers with “First Care Family Resources”. We can see some items here, and we’re all asked to bring items for newborn babies at the next meeting.  This is a wonderful thing to do, especially at this time of year.

Below you see some of our ladies looking at the sweet little outfits.

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Here’s our display table for Bibles, give thanks journals, the baby shower, and our teddy bear ministry.

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As I close this post, let us remember to commit to memory the verse we were given today to help us in this journey of widowhood.  It is a great one to always remember at any time.

I can do all things

through Christ

who strengthens me.

Php 4:13 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Reminder :-)

 

Hello Ladies ~ This coming Monday, 18 November, is our monthly FNF meeting/luncheon starting at 10:00 a.m.

Please come a few minutes early for checking in and have the correct change, $12.50, so as to keep things moving smoothly along. Thank you.

This is our meeting before Thanksgiving and may we all give thanks to God for His many blessings we’ve had so far this year.

We’re looking forward to a great time of being together, singing, sharing, laughing, and enjoying good food.

May you continually feel the love, joy, peace and strength of God flowing through and surrounding you each and every day.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lessons from the Life and Death of Dorcas

 

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The story of Dorcas is recorded in Acts 9: 36-42. Dorcas was a Jewish woman, living in the seaport city of Joppa, who had come to faith in Christ, most likely through the ministry of Peter or one of his associates. She was a talented seamstress who saw the opportunity to use her talent in blessing others.  She chose the needy, the orphans, and widows, all who were marginalized by their culture, to be the recipients of her handiwork. Her generosity with her time and talents earned her the love and devotion of the entire church community, but especially among the widows.

Yet, in spite of her loving generosity, she became very ill and died. She left a large group of people who were grief stricken, especially the widows whose lives she had personally touched with her generosity. And so, after preparing her body for burial and laying it out, they sent for the Apostle Peter who was ministering nearby to come immediately, as they most likely had heard how his prayers had resulted in the healing of a paralyzed man just days before.

Peter came and found a grief stricken group of widows who showed him many articles that Dorcas had lovingly stitched for them.  So, after sending them out of the room, with a heart full of faith in his resurrected Lord, Peter commanded Dorcas to get up - and she did. He then led her out where tears of grief quickly turned to tears of joy and shouts of praise.

Dotti Ackerman, founder of FNF, has recently undergone surgery and stated to me that the prayers of godly women ministered to her so much. While she is recovering nicely, her healing has not been instantaneous as was Dorcas's. But, she feels that God is teaching her lessons in the process. One of those lessons is patience. Dotti's stroke left her with a word retrieval difficulty and often others would just blurt out the word for her, leaving her frustrated. She is regaining that ability, but she has gained a new respect for others who suffer from the same disability. To listen carefully requires patience and Dotti relates that she is gaining patience through the process.

God's timing for healing is His and His alone. But, there is great comfort in our joining in prayer for each other in times of need.  And it's also important to solicit the prayers of men and women of God to join us in prayer. Regardless of our talents and gifts, we can all pray and that really is the greatest resource we have anyway.

By Shari Hervold

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

God’s Providing for the Widow

 

Good morning dear Ladies,

Here is a blessing that happened to me recently.  I needed trees trimmed.  I was out front one morning working in my main garden when I heard the lawn maintenance guy pull up across the street. I walked over to where I could see out to the street and saw that on his trailer, he had advertised that he does tree trimming and removal.  I went out to the sidewalk, hollered across the 5 lanes, and he came over.  I told him what I needed doing and we agreed on a price, and he would call me when he got back from going out of town.


He called a couple of weeks later and came out and took care of the trees for me.  I wrote him a check. While here he had asked me about my little blue Mazda.  I told him I was thinking of calling the 'we buy junk cars' people, but hadn't yet and told him what all was wrong with the car.  He asked how much, I told him $450, but as we were talking I lowered it to $400.  He then said, he wanted it  and would give me my check back ($400) for his tree trimming as he hadn't cashed it yet.  So, I had my first barter happen.  By the way, this guy's name is Mark, the same as my husband.


God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.  The trees are trimmed, the car is gone, and when it cools down a bit more, I'll start moving 'iron', collected through the years, to the space where the car sat, so that when George comes he can just load it onto his trailer to take to the scrap yard for me.  He and the guys will have to move some of the heavier stuff, but I'll do what I can and be thankful all the while for God's wonderful working in my life.

Rainey

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But my God shall supply all your need

according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Php 4:19 

 

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Do any of you have a story of God’s supplying your needs that you’d like to share?  Write out your story and email it to Dotti.  Hearing about how God provides for us is very encouraging and inspiring to others.  We’d love to hear from you.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013