Thursday, June 27, 2013

Christmas in July is coming up soon

 

Good morning Ladies,

This is a little reminder about our ‘Christmas in July’ meeting.  In a little over two weeks we will be gathering together to celebrate Christmas, in the middle of a hot and humid summer. It will be fun and refreshing.

I am looking forward to this meeting as it will be my first ‘Christmas in July’. I have heard that the ladies had a wonderful time at the last one.  You will be getting your newsletter shortly telling about exchanging gifts, etc. for our celebration.

It will be a time of love, joy, peace and sharing.

So, mark you calendars for this special event.

* 15 July 2013 *
10:00 a.m.

Palm Beach National
Golf & Country Club

Come celebrate with us
& bring a friend.

$12.50 per person

christmas-july

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Christmas in July? Yes ~ July 15th

 

Be sure to mark your calendars ladies for the next Friends Needing Friends meeting. 

It will be Monday, July 15th, 2013 when we will be celebrating    

* Christmas In July *.
 
Time:  10:00 am

Place: Palm Beach National Golf & Country Club

Cost: $12.50 per person

Lots of fun, singing our favorite Christmas songs, and exchanging gifts. More information will follow in your newsletter.
 
Remember to invite another widow! Share this joy and laughter with others.

 

christmas-july

Be not anxious

 

Be not anxious for your life

Consider the lilies of the field,
 
how they grow;
 
they toil not,
 
neither do they spin:
 
yet I say unto you,
 
that even Solomon in all his glory
 
was not arrayed like one of these.

Luke 12:22, Matthew 6:28-29

06-18-kathleen

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

17 June ~ D-Day (Diaper Day)

 

What a wonderful meeting we had today.  It was joyful, fun, we learned new things, we got to know each other a little better and we left with joy in our hearts, twinkles in our eyes, looking forward to the meeting next month. We also grew in God’s grace.

Today was D-Day (diaper day) so we brought in packages of newborn diapers to be given to ‘First Care Family Resources’. This is something that is always needed and appreciated.

One of our ministries with FNF is the giving out of ‘Jesus Cares Bears’. These are given out to widows in nursing homes, in the hospital, or those who are sick and not able to get out.

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Our guest speaker today was Pastor Dave Luster, of So. Palm Community Church. He encouraged us to keep helping each other and uplifting one another.

06-17-dave

Peggy Heflin found lovely ‘Gratitude Journals’ for us to write in, things we are thankful to God for.  ‘Jesus is our BFF” (Best Friend Forever). Writing in this journal is a way to uplift our spirits. Thanking God is so good for us, spiritually, emotionally and physically.

06-17-bff-notebook

While we are enjoying our delicious and bountiful luncheon, we are able to view some of God’s glorious creation.

06-17-florida

Again, we wish to thank all the ladies for the diapers for the precious newborns that these will go to through ‘First Care Family Resources’. Diaper Day was a success.  The babies and their Mom’s will be very thankful for this gift.

06-17-welcome-tablejpg

Already we are looking forward to our meeting next month, which will be “Christmas in July”.  Hope to see you there.

If you’d like to come to our next meeting. please contact Dotti Ackerman.

Ph: 561-509-7142

Email: dottia@att.net

******

Comfort each other and build one another up.
I Thes.5:11

Beloved, let us love one another:
for love is of God
1Jn_4:7

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Reminder ~ Tomorrow’s meeting

 

Tomorrow is our meeting for June, 10 a.m.

Palm Beach National
Golf & Country Club
7500 St. Andrews Rd.,
Lake Worth, Fl. 33467
Time: 10:00am - 12 Noon
Cost: Luncheon - $12.50 per person

Please contact  Dotti if you’ve not done so yet, to let her know, how many will be there for the luncheon.

Ph: 561-509-7142

Email: dottia@att.net

 

Remember to bring a pkg. of diapers for newborns.  These will be given to First Care Family Resources.

If you know of a widow invite her. The meeting/luncheon is a source of friendship, sharing God’s love, growing in grace, having fun. A time to bless and be blessed.

************

~ Verse for today ~

The eternal God is your refuge,

and underneath are the everlasting arms

Deut. 33:27

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Testimonial - Rainey


Dear Ladies ~ I wanted to share my little story of finding FNF.
My dear husband of 43 years went to be with God on the morning of 9 Dec. 2012.
We have no children, the closest family is over an hour away. I prayed to God to find a Christian widow’s group. I Googled and came up with nothing close.  I did find Grief Share and signed up for their daily devotionals. They had meetings in various places but none close to me.
I read my Bible, and various books and writings on being a widow. I started a blog about my life as a new widow called The Continuing Journey, in hopes that I might be a witness of God’s love at this time, and to help with my own grieving.
While reading my devotional again one morning, from Grief Share, I got the nudge to check them out again to see if they had any groups meeting locally.  I found one meeting at South Palm Community Church, but it had already started. While on the church website I decided to see what else they had and lo and behold, there was a group called ‘Friends Needing Friends’ for widows only. I was thrilled.
I emailed the lady who was the contact person. She emailed me back right away and said the next meeting was just a day or two away and she hoped to see me there.  She said to ask for her when I got there.
I was excited. The day of the meeting, I walked up to the entry and the sign in table, and asked for Dotti and before we could even meet, I was greeted and enveloped with love by dear sweet ladies. They had twinkles in their eyes, smiles on their faces, and they told me the grief would get easier, as it was just three months for me, and they all knew just how I was feeling.
I was then given a paper to fill out, and another sweet lady took me to a table to sit and as I was hanging my purse on the back of my chair, she said about the lady I was going to be seated next to, “This is Lois”. I hadn’t looked at the lady yet, and I looked up and said “Lois?”. We looked at each other and she got up and we hugged and I sobbed.  She patted me and said sweet words. She had heard about my husband but didn’t know how to get in touch with me. You see, I know Lois from many, many years ago.  She knew my husband when he was a lad, she was a friend of his late mother. Amazing.
I filled out my paper, took it back up to the sign in table, and oh my goodness, I looked up and there was Diana, a sweet lady, my age, we’re in our early 60’s. We had gone to the same church back before we got married, the same one Lois went to also. I just couldn’t believe it and couldn’t thank God enough for working all of this out.  Diana told me another dear friend of ours from the same church also came there, Jeanne Rhodes.  I didn’t see her until the next meeting and I cried buckets then.  (Her husband had taken my husband and other lads from the church out on camping trips. I had worn her daughter’s wedding dress when my husband and I got married.)
The love, the friendship, God’s goodness was filling the space there my first meeting. My heart was overflowing, tears were streaming.  The music touched my soul.
I left that day thanking God for bringing this all about.  For Dotti, the dear, sweet contact lady, who happens to be the founder/director of FNF. (I didn’t know it at the time.) For being reunited with old friends and for the start of new friendships.
Being a widow is very lonely! Only another widow knows what you are going through.  When I looked in those dear ladies eyes that first time there, I was swamped with love. I will never forget it.
I look forward to every meeting and getting to know all of these dear ladies better.
I am glad to be a part of the ‘Special Sisterhood Selected by God’. It isn’t something I would have chosen, but God brought me to this place, at this time in my life.  I don’t know what He has in store for me but He is my strength when I am weak and He will never leave or forsake me.
My prayer is that  we all will grow in God’s grace and love and share with others what He has done and is doing in our lives.
Thank you dear Dotti for starting FNF all those years ago.  Your work has touched and blessed many lives.
Love and hugs ~ Rainey

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Testimonial - Doreen & Olga


Here is a sweet note from the daughter of one of our dear ladies of the ‘sisterhood’.
Testimonials let us all know how something or someone has helped or blessed us in some way.
By our testimonies, we let others know how God is working in our lives, or the lives of others.
***
My mother-in-law, Olga, is a shy, soft spoken sweetheart.  I knew that unless I put her in the car and drove her to the FNF meeting, she wouldn’t go by herself.  So that’s what I did.
Those wonderful women welcomed her (and me) with loving arms. I have watched Mom open up and blossom thru their warm, tender care. She looks forward to each meeting now. Thank you God and thank you FNF.
Doreen Kenney
doreen-olga

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bible Widow – Widow and Her Pot of Oil

 

WIDOW AND HER POT OF OIL

 

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The Woman Who Was Deep In Debt.

II Kings 4:1-7

Evidently this bereaved woman was the widow of one of Elisha’s pupils who, left with two sons, faced the anguish of seeing her sons taken as slaves in payment of the debts facing her. She confessed to Elisha that her dead husband was a man who ‘feared the Lord,” even though he was not able to make adequate provision for her and their children. As a prophet, his calling prevented him from making money. Here was another widow who was to prove what God was able to accomplish. Because of the interest Elisha had in all of his students, the penniless widow of one of them approached the prophet for advice and help in her predicament. Those ‘sons of the prophets’ were not young unmarried men living in a monastic life under the supervision of their chief, but were heads of families having their own separate houses, with Elisha taking a deep interest in their welfare.

“Heaven helps those who help themselves,” the axiom has it, but how could this debt-ridden woman help herself? Elijah said to her, “What hast thou in the house?” She replied, “Not anything, save a pot of oil,” and like the Serepta widow, and the lad with his loaves and fishes, the young student-prophet’s widow was to prove how God is able to multiply what we surrender.

Elisha is conspicuous in Bible history as a miracle worker. For a full coverage of all the miracles he performed the reader is referred to the author’s volume on All the Miracles of the Bible. The miracle of the pot of oil is most instructive. First of all, it reminds us of the Levitical law concerning children exchanged for debt (Leviticus 25:39), who continued in servitude until the year of Jubilee. Under the ancient and more severe Roman law, no provision was made for the future release of an unhappy debtor (see Matthew 18:26). Then, as to the miracle itself, we note the combination of faith and action for the young widow, believing that the prophet would find a way out of her problem, obeying his command to borrow all possible vessels from her neighbors. The one small pot the widow possessed did not hold sufficient oil to sell and pay off her husband’s debts which were not due to any profligate living on his part. The vessels borrowed had to be empty ones. Often we pray for the infilling of the Divine Oil, but we are not empty enough for Him to fill. “Emptied! That Thou mayest fill me.”

A further feature of the miracle is that when all the vessels had been gathered, the widow and her sons had to shut the door and follow the instructions of Elisha in private. Curiosity and disturbance from without had to be avoided because widespread publicity would be undesirable in such a miracle. Jesus imposed a similar injunction of secrecy on those whom He healed (Luke 8:51,54). Spiritual miracles are entirely contingent upon the closed door.

Pray to thy Father in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Empty vessels are of little use if there is no closed door. With the door shut the widow took her own pot of oil and started to fill the empty pots, and as she measured out the oil it miraculously multiplied, as did the water turned to wine (John 2:1-12). When all the borrowed vessels were filled, the excited yet grateful widow said to her eldest son, “Bring me yet a vessel,” but sorrowfully he replied, “There is not a vessel more.” Then comes the suggestive phrase, And the oil stayed. God never allows His provision to run to waste.

The conclusion of the miracle is likewise suggestive. The delighted widow went and told Elisha of the wonderful amount of oil which her own meager supply had produced, and he told her to sell the abundance of oil she had and pay her creditor, and with her children live on the rest of the money secured for the oil. Over and above what was necessary for the debts the widow inherited, there was sufficient for the family to live on without any further shadow of debt. How like God it is to give us more than we could possible ask or think! Yielding abundantly characterizes His giving! With divine benevolence there is never any stinginess. After the miracle of the loaves and fishes, the disciples gathered up twelve full baskets of fragments. The pattern of divine bounty was set forth by Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount, “Good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over” (Luke 6:28-46).

By: Herbert Lockyer “All the Women of the Bible”

Bible Widow - Naomi


Naomi
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Naomi Teaches the Widow that Honesty is the Best Policy


Naomi had lost her husband and two sons and was left with two daughters-in-law to support and no means for doing so. Here she was in this foreign country with her life crumbling around her. Her grief was deep and her pain so intense that she felt like there was no way out. And you know what she did? She blamed God. She railed at him about his reasons for not stopping the plague from killing her sons. In Ruth 1:13 she cried out, ‘The Lord Himself has raised His fist against me.” It’s conjecture what she said and did, but regardless, she was just plain angry and beat down. Have you ever been in that position?

It was at this point that Naomi made the decision to return to Bethlehem, a long dangerous journey of over 70 miles. You would have thought that when she finally reached her destination, alive and with her beloved Ruth at her side, she would have heaved a sigh of relief and rejoiced in God’s goodness to her. But that isn’t what she did. “The Almighty has greatly afflicted me,” she called out to them. Her physical appearance was so greatly altered from when she lived there that she was barely recognizable, stooped by grief, bitterness, and poverty.

Before we become too harsh with Naomi, think of all the adjustments you’ve had to make since the loss of your spouse. Perhaps you too have suffered loss of income, family home, and are afflicted with grief and loneliness. Naomi refused to hide her sorrow or bitterness. She believed in God’s sovereignty and attributed her suffering to His will.  I like this about Naomi. There was no pretense about her. She didn’t pretend everything was okay when it wasn’t. She didn’t respond with, “I’m fine, thank you,” when she felt like screaming. She was in the bosom of her own people and felt free to express her true feelings. I think Naomi’s advice to you would be to not play the martyr and say what you think is expected of you when trusted family and friends inquire. People ask how you are because they want to know, they’re concerned and want to be of help. Saying, “Oh, I’m okay,” or “I’m hanging in there,” doesn’t help you or them. Feelings are fickle; we know that. But, they are real to us when we experience them and Christ is touched with the feelings of our weaknesses. Be honest with yourself and your family/friends and solicit their prayers for your comfort and emotional well-being. God will hear yours and their prayers. In fact, He longs to do so and bring you back to total wellness again. 

Shari Hervold




































Bible Widow - A Widow’s Gift

 
 
A Widow’s Gift
 
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  While Jesus was teaching in the temple, people were coming and going. He went over by the box where offerings were put. He picked this place to teach because He knew on that day, a very precious lady would come in with her last two pieces of money.  She had two mites. These were worth hardly anything but it was all she had. She did not know that Jesus knew about her.  Because she had so much love for God and trust in Him, she was going to give her last two mites and go hungry. She was so thankful for the comfort God had given her since her husband died. She had to give something. Waiting in the shadows, embarrassed that her offering was so small, she hoped for a chance to put her little coin in the offering box.  She planned to wait till the rich people were done pouring in their big offerings. Quietly, shyly, she watched for her chance. Jesus turned His head so she thought He was not looking. Quietly the KING OF THE UNIVERSE let His shy little widow woman think no one saw her give to HIM. Inside His heart, Jesus was thrilled at her attitude of gratitude even when she was so poor. He could hardly keep quiet.

  He pretended not to notice her, but this KING OF THE UNIVERSE was adoring HIS daughter the widow lady, as he was teaching. Out of the corner of His eye He watches her silently work her way over to the box, looking this way and that. Hoping no one would see her give just two mites.

   As she places her coins in the box, something happens in the heart of Jesus. What He did next had the effect of a huge pile of money hitting the floor. You know how everyone looks if you drop 50 to 100 big coins on the floor? It was just like that. Everyone was looking. Jesus, the KING of the universe, told everyone to look. She was caught! There was no hiding now.
 
At first she was so embarrassed. Then, as she heard the blessing from the Master's lips, tears flooded her eyes. There must be some mistake. She did not give more than the rich people, yet He said she had. Jesus began to explain that the rich people gave so much money but they still had lots of money left to get everything they needed. They had not given the same way she had. He told the crowd it did not take any faith for them to give so much because they were living in comfortable homes, full of food, and had more money coming.

  Her gift was different. Her husband was dead. She had no more money and no more coming. She had given the money she really needed to buy food with. She was going to be hungry. She had to trust that God would take care of clothing, food, and housing. Her gift showed she was very, very thankful and knew God could get her anything she needed. Their gifts showed they wanted praise from others. They also showed they were not really thankful for what they had.

  Her example has caused many people to give more out of a heart of love and trust just like the little widow lady. In this way her gift has grown to many billions of dollars. That's how she gave more than all the rich people's gifts added together.

Jesus was so proud of her! He not only blessed her on that day but for the rest of her life. We do not know her name but her story has been told for over a thousand years. She has taught us how Jesus delights in unselfish giving till it hurts.

Jesus said to give with joy, thankfulness, trust, and love. He will make sure you always have enough to be able to eat and extra so you can give more.

By Pastor Bruce Sofia




Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bible Widow ~ Mary, Widow Mother of Jesus


Mary, Widow Mother of Jesus
jesus-mother-mary

At that the time of Jesus death, His mother came near with a deep sadness, as she watched the cruelty to Jesus. She had a soul to save too. Jesus was dying on the cross for her sins also. Jesus was her Savior as well as everyone else in the world.
During the agony of His separation from God, the sins of the world were crushing out His life. He took the punishment we should have had.   Because the wages of
sin is death.
While all of this was happening, Jesus' mother stood nearby. It was as if a sword was piercing her own soul too. Mary did not have her husband Joseph to help her during this grief.
She was a widow.
Now, as Mary stood at the cross crying for her son, Jesus asked His beloved John to become like a son,  to care for His mother.
This gesture was a gift to John that reminded John always of Jesus. John was like a very loving son in his care for Mary.
Jesus, in His agony upon the cross remembered His own mother, and is touched today by a mother's sorrow.
In every grief and every need Jesus will give comfort and help.
Jesus expects all to give tender care for their parents. As stated in Exodus 20 that if you do this your days will be long on the land which the Lord gives you.

A quote from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary:
All things therein written shall be fulfilled.
Christ tenderly provided for His mother at His death.
Sometimes, when God removes one comfort from us, He raises up another for us, where we looked not for it.
Can you remember a situation similar?
I can…I thought that my family should step in and help me especially , my brother.

Maybe take Danny, who was only 15 years old at the time of his father's death) to a baseball game.  Anything! He never asked or done anything to help.
And yes, I was very angry and hurt for my son. But my precious Jesus knew my brother was not capable to give to Dan what he needed.  Instead, Jesus sent friends that took Dan hunting and to the baseball game etc.
Jesus knows about dysfunctional families ….Why didn't He call upon His siblings…and who did He call….a dear friend John to care for His mother.
Again, I repeat:
Sometimes, when God removes one comfort from us, He raises up another for us, where we looked not for it.
  
Jesus will always love, provide and protect the widow…..Praise God. 

Author unknown

Bible Widow ~ Widow of Zarephath


A Lesson from the Widow of Zaraphath

1 Kings 17:8-16



The story of the widow of Zaraphath clearly shows a woman who was in dire straits.  A famine had gripped the entire region and she and her small son had run out of provisions.  In fact, she was down to her last meal.  She was totally destitute without any means of support, and yet, she a Gentile, was shown mercy by God.

Elijah, God's prophet, was suffering under the same famine as she and God had instructed him to go to Zaraphath where a widow resided whom God had commanded to care for him.  Don't you find it curious, yet comforting, that God specified that it was a widow?  Yet, we can see from the story that Elijah and the widow provided support for each other.  She obeyed Elijah's request for that last morsel of food, and miraculously was enabled by God to prepare a meal for the three of them each day until the famine ended.  And it wasn't just their physical needs that were met.  Their daily conversations and Elijah's spiritual insights had to be a blessing to the widow, thus lessening the loneliness of widowhood for her.  In addition, undoubtedly Elijah played with her son and shared with him stories of the God of Israel.  So, none of them had to muddle through the drought alone.

This widow was desperate, but God is a god of the desperate.  Don't be afraid in your desperation, when the dark times of life come crowding in, to look God in the eye, so to speak, and seek Him for His provision for your need whether it be physical, emotional, financial, or spiritual.  He will do for you as He did for this widow - the unexpected and the supernatural.

God didn't just drop the food in their mouths.  That lonely, desperate widow had to first focus on the need of another, then trust God to meet her needs.  So be prepared to be used by God to bring about the answer to your prayer.  Never forget that though you may be a widow, you are never alone with God in your life.  Just remember the widow of Zaraphath if you ever doubt that!

Shari Hervold

Bible Widow ~ The Persistent Widow


The Persistent Widow
Luke 18:2-8

"There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God, and did not respect man. And there was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.' And for a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, lest by continually coming she wear me out.' And the Lord said, 'Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now shall not God bring about justice for His elect, who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?'" 
The Righteous Judge
That first question (viewing God as a stern Judge) is one I've asked myself through the years when I've struggled with answers that are oh so s-l-o-w in coming. In fact, when I first started a prayer journal in 1988 I wrote this quote at the top of the first page: "Prayer is not getting man's will done in heaven, but getting God's will done on earth. It is not overcoming God's reluctance but laying hold of God's willingness." It's attributed to Warren Wiersbe.

The quote helped me in my commitment to pray for things for the long haul with the right attitude. I knew that I sometimes saw God as an adversary whom I was cajoling for answers he was reluctant to give. How wrong that was. But God knew how we would often feel and he gave us a story to reveal the truth about how prayer works.
The set up for the parable in scripture goes this way: "Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart." (Luke 18:1) See? Jesus is aware of how things might sometimes seem as we pray and pray and he wants to give us some behind the scenes information so we won't get the wrong idea or become discouraged.
In older times the woman in the parable was called the "importuning" widow and it's too bad that word has fallen out of favor because it hits the nail on the head. Importuning goes way beyond persistence. It means to "to press or urge with troublesome persistence; to beg, urge, or solicit persistently or troublesomely."
(Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary © 1969)
This widow was nothing if not a bulldog. All the odds were against her prevailing including the legal system. She couldn't even afford an attorney to plead her case before a Judge who cared nothing about justice. As a widow she had few rights. The only thing she had going for her was that she WOULD NOT ACCEPT NO FOR AN ANSWER. Slim credentials you might say but that's exactly what would finally win the day for her. When we are up against impossible circumstances that's exactly what will win our day too.

Well, actually we are one up on the persistent widow. We are not approaching an unrighteous Judge like she was. We have the advantage of "importuning" a God who longs to "bring about justice for His elect, who cry to Him day and night."Our God is a Righteous Judge. In fact, think of this; he is the Supreme Court Justice of the whole universe. Is there anything he can't do?

Okay, if that's true you might say, why doesn't he? We wonder why some things take such a long time and why a God who is all powerful doesn't just wave his "magic wand" and bring the answers.


Justice Speedily
The parable says: "Will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them speedily." I used to read that over and over and I was stumped by it. I would look at one of my prayers that had been going up to the throne room for eons and mutter within myself: "It already hasn't been speedily."
When we pray we need to know going in that some things will require extreme persistence. That realization will help us gear up for an endurance run and keep our expectations realistic. That's why the parable of the persistent widow is such a good one to hold close to our vests in our prayer closet.

Faith
The final element of the parable is something of a surprise. Jesus laments at the end: "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" So the Lord is equating persistence with faith? Those who have the bulldog like persistence of the widow are those who have faith

Yet, how often is it found? Evidently, not as often as God would expect. When Jesus returns, how much faith will he find? No matter where he doesn't find it let him find it in you. Let this parable build your faith as you take on the spirit of the woman he held in such high regard. If you are powerless in your petition you have a great advantage. Your answer is on its way-speedily!
Author Unknown
Friends Needing Friends


Bible Widow ~ Anna

 

FIRST TO ACCLAIM THE CHRIST

This story of Anna is recorded in

Luke 2:36-38

 

Humble, staid, serious, unearthly in spirit, a woman of a strangely expectant faith-that was Anna the prophetess, the first person to proclaim Jesus as the Christ. In the little band of men and women who looked for the Redeemer, she was the one figure that stood out in bold strokes.

This was a period when Rome dominated the entire Mediterranean world, ruling an empire larger than the Greeks, the Persians, or the Egyptians had known. The Empire was strong and powerful. Its science, philosophy, theology, wealth, ecclesiastical and social power reigned supreme and were in opposition to any such idea as the coming of a Messiah. But there were a few, like Anna, who knew that the prophecies long foretold would be fulfilled.

Why was the first one in Judaea to proclaim the Christ this gentle, elderly woman? Luke depicts Anna as dwelling in an ivory tower of the spirit, aloof from worldly preoccupations, she lived on a plane apart from material things and ‘served God with fasting and prayers night and day.” He calls her a prophetess and in that she joins others eminent figures-Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah. Anna stands foremost among prophetesses in the New Testament.

In Luke’s brief description of Anna we learn that she was a woman of great age, who “had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years.” From that passage commentators determine her age differently. Some say that she was eight-four years old. Others interpret the text to mean that she had been a widow eight-four years. If she had been married seven years, she was now probably well over a hundred years old. But her exact age is of no great consequence.

More important is Anna’s spirituality. The mention of her is so brief that little of her character can be given. But there is enough to liken her to a bright star that sweeps above the horizon and then suddenly dips down out of sight.

Denied the triumphs of motherhood, she had scarcely absented herself from the Temple since her early widowhood. Probably she held the place in the Temple of a deaconess or Sister of Charity.

It is easy to visualize Anna as a woman erect for her years, walking about the pillared Temple of Jerusalem in a flowing black dress with a shoulder shawl of a brighter hue, probably purple and paler drapery about her white hair.

Onlookers, however, would not observe too closely Anna’s attire, but her face, a face that showed neither hate nor cynicism nor malice, but a gentle sweetness and a serene spirituality. She seemed to say, “I am one of those who never ceases to believe in the great wonders of God.” Her faith was the kind that gives meaning to the words of Joel quoted later by Peter in his great speech at Pentecost: “I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath” (Acts 2:19).

Anna belonged to the godly remnant. Perhaps she, like the Wise Men, had searched the skies the night Christ was born and had seen the “star in the east.” She was one of those who had time to enjoy all of God’s beauties, such as the stars that lighted the sky at night, the dawn that broke in all its effulgent color over the Temple, and the setting sun as it dipped behind the tall spires shadowing the Temple’s rugged stonewalls.

Though an old woman of the ancient tribe of Asher, a daughter of Phanuel, Anna was young in hope. She not only confessed the Christ but spoke of Him to all who were looking for the redemption of Israel. Is not this the real clue to Anna’s creative, active, significant self?

Among these others looking for redemption and the coming of the messianic age were people of a simple faith, people who like Anna were more engrossed in spiritual things around the Temple than in material things, people who read the Scrolls of the Law and the Prophets daily and believed fully what Isaiah had spoken when he said, “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness” (Isa. 32:1). “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse” (Isa. 11:1). She believed, too, in what the prophet Micah had said, “But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel” (Mic. 5:2). She believed, too, in what Isaiah had said in Isaiah 2:2-4, and what Micah had said in almost the same words in Micah 4:1.

We know that Anna was a woman who listened to the reading of the scrolls of the sacred scriptures (the Bible of her time) and believed fully in the prophecies they contained. Not only did she believe, but she watched unceasingly for the coming of the Messiah.

The time for her to see Him with her own eyes finally came. It was at His presentation in the Temple as an infant according to the customs of the chosen people, and at the ceremonial service of His mother’s purification, forty days after His birth. The favored mother, Mary with Joseph, had now come up to the holy city on Mount Zion from Bethlehem, to present the most mysterious offering that had ever been laid before that altar.

Probably Anna watched Mary cross the large open space within the Temple walls, called the Court of the Gentiles, and ascent the beautiful steps of the uncovered gateway leading into the Court of the Women, a higher area which lay like a terrace above the outer court.

Just as the venerable Simeon uttered his famous Nunc Dimittis, saying, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation” (Luke 2:29-30), Anna stood watching the wondering priest. No sooner had she seen the enraptured Simeon lift the child Jesus in his arms than she caught the heavenly inspiration that animated the priest and the baby’s parents.

Turning to the bystanders who had waited so long for the redemption of the Lord, Anna declared that this was the promised Messiah, the Hope of Israel, the Redeemer of the world. What greater prophecy could there by than this concerning an unconscious, helpless babe?

This aged woman had seen God more than events, and God in events. She had seen because she was intimate with grace, providence, and redemption.

As Joseph and Mary quietly wended their way out of the Temple with the child Jesus, we can see Anna unobtrusively returning to her thanksgiving and prayer in the Temple. In all probability she did not live to witness the public manifestation of the Christ, much less to hear His divine teachings and promises. But she had been there to behold Him and to thank God for Him and to speak of Him to all those men and women of prayer and devotion who had looked for the redemption He was to bring.

By: Edith Deen

“All the Women of the Bible”

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Loving God, Loving Each Other

 

Songs are part of our meetings. I love music, and singing has been part of my life since I was a child.

At my first meeting a few months back, I was a very fresh widow. I was enveloped in love from the ladies, from the music and spoken word. Tears rolled down my cheeks as God’s love and peace filled my heart.

Each meeting ends with us joining hands and singing this beautiful song,

“Loving God, Loving Each Other”

Loving God, loving each other,
Making music with my friends;
Loving God, loving each other,
And the story never ends.

They pushed back from the table
To listen to His words,
His secret plan before He had to go.

It's not complicated;
Don't need a lot of rules,
This is all you'll need to know.

Loving God, loving each other,
Making music with my friends;
Loving God, loving each other,
And the story never ends.

We tend to make it harder,
Build steeples out of stone,
Fill with explanations of The Way,

But if we'd stop and listen
And break a little bread,
We would hear the Master say

Loving God, loving each other,
Making music with my friends;
Loving God, loving each other,
And the story never ends.

 

 

May your heart be blessed as you listen to this lovely song.  May you feel God’s love, peace and strength flowing through and surrounding you.

Rainey

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Upcoming Meeting 17 June


Greetings Ladies,

We are having a combined meeting, luncheon, birthday party on the 17th of June.

As gifts, we are to bring a pkg. of disposable newborn diapers. These will be given to First Care Family Resources. They have a need for these diapers and this is a way for us to help.

The meeting and luncheon take place at:

The Palm Beach Nat’l Golf & Country Club
7500 St Andrews Rd, Lake Worth, FL.

This will be our third meeting here and it is a nice environment and the luncheon is delicious, all you can eat for $12.50 per person.

It is a time of getting to know each other better, a time of being encouraged from God’s word, the Bible, and for having fun too.

We leave with smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts.

Hope to see you there and if you know of any widows invite them to come too.

Please contact Dotti at 561-509-7142 or email her, dottia@att.net if you wish to attend, so we can let the Club know how many are coming. 

See you there.

Widowhood

 
It wasn't by chance that we are now on this journey of widowhood.
 
God brought us to this place
 
We have become a widow so that we might trust in Him.
 
He is our dearest Friend.
 
He is our rock,
 
our strength when we are weak.
 
He has promised to never leave or forsake us.
 
We are to be of good courage and hope in Him.
 
May we grow graciously in His mercy and love.