His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I will close this post with a song for us in the new year. Let us rejoice and be glad in each new day that God blesses us with.
For this week before Christmas we have an uplifting message from Shari Hervold. May hearts be blessed and strengthened as we focus on Jesus.
FOCUS, Before Making Decisions in the New Year
I don't have to tell a widow reading this today that the loss of your spouse threw your whole life out of focus. Initially, you most likely walked around in a daze, in shock and grief. There was so much paper work to do, agencies to contact, decisions to be made, with no partner to aid in those decisions. Some of you had help and support from children or other close family members and many decisions were made prior to death. Still, you found yourself alone in your grief and maintaining a clear focus was most difficult for you. You may still find it difficult to do so today, many weeks, months, or even years later.
While focusing or giving full attention to the ordinary decisions in life is important, it is even more important that you learn to turn your focus toward God before stepping out into the newness of life that God has prepared for you. Recall with me the story of Esther from the Bible. The Jews were set to be annihilated and Esther, as queen, was in a position to intercede to the king on their behalf. However, before even going to the king, she asked others to pray for and with her. Her entire focus was on God and seeing his guidance and protection. She was wise enough to recognize that she must focus first on God before stepping out into what she had been called to do to save her people. Her beauty, her position as queen, all her charm and ability to use speech and actions to sway the king would have little effect in a crisis of this magnitude. Esther is one of the many in the Bible who, before stepping out into the "unknown" first turned their focus on God and his leading.
As a widow, your life has been totally altered; it will never be the same. You will be getting advice from many sources; most, if not all, well-intentioned. I encourage you to listen well, and weigh that advice...but don't make a move until you turn your focus away from it and to God. Why? It is only God who has the whole picture of your life. It is only he who can truly lead you into the path that is best for you. When you turn your focus toward God, make sure that your attitude is one of trust in him and a willingness to obey his leading. You can be totally secure that he has your best interest at heart. Keep in mind the words of Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
Do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
And he will show you which path to take.
As you pray, you might want to make a list as options come to your mind. Do so with God's pleasure in mind, not just what appeals to you. Look over your list to see if anything on it clearly violates any principles found in God's Word. Eliminate those; they will not be in his plan for you. You now have a realistic picture of your options to help you make a responsible, God-honoring decision. If the focus of your heart has been to please God, taking into account Biblical principles, along with any wise counsel you may have received, I suggest that you are ready to step out with the full confidence that God will work out his purposes through that decision.
This Christmas season is the perfect time to begin to focus on Jesus and his love for you. The new year looms on the horizon, but with your focus on God and his will, you can face it unafraid. Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
Good morning Ladies ~ Here we are the week before Christmas. I hope you are all being filled with the love, peace and joy of this holiday season. It is all because of Jesus that we celebrate this time of year. Let us give thanks to Him for all He has done and continues to do for each of us. May we learn and grow in His love with each new day.
Well, we down here in sunny s.e. FL had our Christmas meeting yesterday. We had a nice turn out of 26 ladies and a good time was had by all. We missed those who could not be with us and wish them well.
This is our lovely table setting.
Gifts in the center.
Here is dear Ramona, who checks in our ladies as they come in.
At every meeting we start off with singing and clapping hands to “This is the Day”.
I couldn’t find the rendition that we sing with but here’s one that is really good, happy and thankful.
Next, we have Dotti, our founder and leader with some of our group. We had 26 ladies, which was a good turn out for our steadily growing group. We’re not quite three years old yet.
We had to improvise a place this month for our display of Teddy Bears and Bibles and this worked out nicely. Our Teddy Bear ministry is doing really well and we are blessed by the stories shared by those who give the bears to someone.
The Bibles are given out to each lady after they have attended twice.
Kathy Caprio, pastor for our group, was our guest speaker. She spoke on having “True Peace in Your Life”. That true peace is Jesus.
As Jesus fills our lives with His peace, we in turn share that peace with others.
If any of you reading this have not yet believed in Jesus, right now is a wonderful time to ask Him to come into your life. We are all sinners and have come short of His glory. He came as a little babe in a manger, who grew into manhood and gave His life so that we’d be free from all sin. He rose on the third day so that we’d have life with Him forever.
As we draw closer to Christmas, let us remember to pray for those less fortunate than we are. Pray for those who are ill, who are having problems, whatever they may be. Pray that the Love and Light of God, which is Jesus will shine in hearts this Christmas season.
I will close this post with an instrumental version of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” by the National Philharmonic Orchestra, Richmond Brass, Charles Gerhardt
Good morning Ladies ~ Well, here it is Christmas holidays once again. Down here in s.e. FL it is a very chilly 51 and feels like it is 43. To us, that is COLD.
Here’s a Christmas tune to start off our holiday season.
‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas’ by Johnny Mathis.
Today’s post features pictures taken at the Christmas meeting for our New Jersey sisters.
Diana ~ Thank you for all of the photos you have taken in the past couple of years. You are doing a great job!
What a lovely table setting.
Eileen and Lois have been faithfully serving with this ministry for over 25 years.
Here we have Becky with the poinsettias that were given to each lady attending.
Mary Lou (l.) present director, and Eileen (r.) assistant director. Eileen has served with each of the directors since Dotti.
Meet Mildred and Livesta.
Here we have the birthday girls.
*Happy Birthday* to all of you.
Look at these dear ladies decked out in holiday finery. They look so Christmassy and cheerful. I hear they had really nasty weather that day, but had a great turn out of 98 ladies, including 8-9 visitors.
The couple shown in this picture are Bonnie and Jose. They brought the Jewish Hanukkah Menorah and told the history behind it. If you wish, you can read about the history here.
Below is a song sung for this celebration.
As we begin to celebrate our Christmas holidays let us remember that ‘Jesus is the Light’ who came into this world, to save us from sin and darkness, to give us joy unspeakable and full of glory.
God incarnate in a little human baby. The Word, Jesus, was made flesh and dwelt among us. He grew from a baby into a lad, on into manhood, where He ministered to many, and died on the cross and rose again so that we’d be free.
He is with us today by His Holy Spirit. We are not alone, God is with us and will never leave us.
I will close with this beautiful song.
‘Immanuel’ by Michael Card
Hello dear Ladies ~ Today we have a Christmas message from ~ Dr. J. Bruce Sofia
Senior Pastor of Gloucester County Community Church.
(This church has supported FNF since 1988)
I recall years ago when we were producing a TV show called "The Other Side", one of the questions posed to those on the street was: "What does Christmas mean to you?" The answers received were varied in nature from, "I'm Jewish but I have no problem with it," to "It's about family and friends," to "I'm an atheist - I think the world would be better without it," to "It's too commercial," to "It's about Jesus." So, here's a question to ponder: "What would the world be like without Christmas?"
Two words immediately came to my mind - light and life: Jesus the light of the world" Jesus the way, the truth and the life. What would the world be without Christmas? I really don't think we would want to know. I have been to four continents, and where Christianity is absent so is 'light' and 'life'.
Think about it for a moment? The air is filled with a positive and inspirational 'buzz', but those of us who know Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior understand "the way." The airwaves are filled with His name...Christ-mas. He is everywhere? The colors. The trees. The decorations. The snow (at least in our part of the country. Sorry Dotti, couldn't resist. LOL!) The music. The carols. The shows. The concerts. The gifts. The parties. The days off. The spirit of generosity and giving. And I could go on. Although they are not the Christ, they speak of Him, and, it is "awesome."
Yes, as the gospel writer Luke put it: "For unto you is born this day a Saviour who is Christ the Lord." Anyone who has come to know Christ in a redeeming and personal way knows there is nothing that can compare. Let us rejoice and be glad!
In closing, permit me to take this moment and thank God for His gift to you who are widowed - Dotti, (Founder & Director of FNF in Lake Worth, Florida), Mary Lou (Director of FNF, Turnersville, N.J.) and ALL who assist them throughout the year. Ladies (and Paul, Mary Lou's hubby), you truly all bring light and life to many. Thank you!
Have a blessed Holiday Season and a Merry Christmas!
Below is a beautiful rendition of ~
Dear Ladies ~ Here we are just a little over three weeks away from Christmas. We have a wonderful message today to bless our hearts and start us out on this special holiday season.
May you feel the love, peace, joy and strength of God surrounding you and flowing through you as you read Pastor Stan’s message and listen to the song, “Wrap Me in Your Arms”.
Hello Ladies ~ What a special time of the year as the Advent season begins this first week of December as we both remember and celebrate the coming of Jesus that first Christmas. I want to share with you a scripture the Lord put on my heart FOR YOU and then pray a special Christmas prayer for all of YOU.
A Prayer about the "Advent Arms of God"
"You who bring Good News to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the town of Judah, "here is your God!" See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart." Isaiah 40:9-11 [NIV]
Gracious Father, Advent is right upon us, this month of December as we remember and celebrate the coming of your own beloved son, the promised Messiah and our gracious Savior, Jesus Christ. Grant to us that this season will be more than just Christmas carols, and Christmas candy and Christmas cookies and Christmas gifts, although it often includes that. Surprise us Lord, in some unexpected ways this entire month as we engage in the story of Jesus' birth all over again.
Rescue us from the mundane and the predictable ways we think of Christmas. Reshape how we feel about Christmas as we are reminded that through Jesus you brought Good News of Great Joy to the whole world, including us. And we desperately need some Good News right now. Help us not to be afraid but to be reminded and arrested by this picture Isaiah paints of your amazing "Advent Arms". This promise of the Messiah carries with it the loving embrace we all need, especially around these holidays.
In Jesus, You come near to us as the sovereign Lord, with your sleeves rolled up as the powerful Ruler of the Universe. To think that your arm rules over all history, all nations, all kings and all circumstances and that we are literally resting in your everlasting arms. It's sometimes too much to even think about.
In Jesus we want and need you to come near to us as the most compassionate Shepherd ever, gathering us and carrying us your lambs in your all-powerful arms. The image and hope of You, the Great Shepherd, are staggering. To be tended to as dumb sheep, to be held so close to your beating heart, to be gently led ~ What more could we possibly long for and need?
And these aren't just metaphors, Father. Metaphors have no power to save us. You really are this kind of God, loving, compassionate, meek and mild, yet you come with great power and glory. This season help us Lord to fall into your "Advent Arms" as we remember that you are a most wonderful, merciful, loving, saving shepherd of our souls, that you are Immanuel, the God who is both FOR us and WITH us this Advent season.
I pray this with Advent wonder and amazement, knowing I'm being held in your "Advent Arms" in the matchless name of Jesus, Amen.
South Palm Community Church
Lake Worth, FL
“Wrap Me In Your Arms” by Freddy Rodriguez
Hello dear Ladies ~ I hope you all had a lovely day today. We have much to be thankful for, just not today, but every day.
In the Bible we read in 1Th_5:18 ~ In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
In the verse above, it says to give thanks in every thing. Which means even for things that aren’t good in our lives, we are to give thanks for. Because, our hope is in Jesus, and we know that He works all things out for good.
In this post we have photos from our FNF New Jersey group for their meeting this month.
This is one of their lovely table settings.
Some of the ladies.
MaryLou and a couple more of her ladies.
This is their photographer Diana and a couple more ladies.
Here we have MaryLou and the birthday girls.
Here is one of the new ladies who has been three times and received a Bible.
The Turnersville Fire Dept. came and gave the lady tips for fire safety, escape routes, etc. Here they are being shown how to use the fire extinguisher.
I will close with a couple more verses on giving thanks.
O give thanks unto the LORD;
call upon his name:
make known his deeds among the people.
Praise ye the LORD.
O give thanks unto the LORD;
for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever.
Good morning Ladies ~ Today we have an inspiring piece by Shari Hervold. Let us open hearts and ask Jesus to bless her words to us at this holiday season.
Let It Go!
In 2013 the Disney Corporation released a fantasy film entitled, Frozen, based on Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen. The film featured a song entitled, "Let it Go," which speaks to the heart of every individual who is holding on to things, memories, emotions, anything from one's past that needs to be released before (s)he can move forward in wholeness. Look at some of the lyrics from this song: "Let it go, let it go, Can't hold it back anymore; Let it go, let it go, Turn away and slam the door..."
The words of that last line sound pretty tough to a widow, don't they? Slam the door on my past? Forget that I had a loving husband? No, Never! In fact, it's not about forgetting at all, but rather about turning yourself from looking backward and start facing forward. I know that each widow reading this in America wants to celebrate this Thanksgiving with a heart full of gratitude and enjoy each moment, yet some find so very hard to do because all they can focus on is what was and not what is. The prophet Isaiah in the 43rd chapter of his book admonishes us to not dwell on the past. God is going to do a new thing.
I have read the writings of and listened to widows who have spoken of the challenges of letting go of their life prior to becoming a widow. Let's just think about the past for a moment. I trust that when do you that you, like all of us who have had to move forward from something painful, recognize the unalterable truth that the past is over and gone. While the repercussions and memories of the past may follow us, the past is not reality. Have you ever considered Ruth, the widowed daughter-in-law of Naomi, whose story is told in the Bible in the book that bears her name? Don't you know that she probably considered her life as good as over when she was widowed young and childless in a culture that didn't always treat widows well. She found herself poor with no means of support except what she could scrimp together through hard, backbreaking work in the fields. But, because of her faith in God and His provision for her, He brought a godly man of means into her life. She found joy again in marriage and the new thing that God did for her was to allow her to conceive and bear a son; a son that was in the lineage of Jesus Christ.
One woman stated that "When we hold on to the past we are holding onto a part of life that we will never get back and that prevents us from progressing forward and realizing our future." I suggest that as long as we cling to the past, it makes us forget that we even have a future. Pain and loss are a part of life and sometimes that pain, especially the pain of losing someone dear to us, makes it all the more difficult for us to think clearly. We must allow Christ to transform the pain into healthy memories freeing us to face forward towards the future as we live moment by moment, grateful for the present and His presence in it. Let me encourage you with the words that God spoke to Joshua when he had to lead the children of Israel after the death of Moses, "...Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
Are you ready to let go of the past and move forward into the future that God has prepared for you, knowing that you are not alone? I encourage you to ask Him right now to reveal to you the things that He wants for you to let go of. Then, move out in faith to the bigger and brighter things that He has prepared for you.
Good morning Ladies ~ It is a new day, let us rejoice and be glad in it. It is a gift from God, let us thank Him for it as we go about our daily living.
We had a really good meeting on Monday. We met in our renovated room. We were served a sit down meal too instead of buffet style and that was nice for all.
We sang, we played a game or two, we did lots of hugging.
These three dear ladies below, are part of our staff and ‘greeters’. How you are ‘greeted’ anywhere is an important part of whatever is going on. I will never forget being ‘greeted’ by these three the first time I went to FNF Florida. They made me feel welcome, gave me big hugs and told me ‘it’ would get better. It being grief, and it has.
Sally, Ramona and Ellie.
Some serious hugging going on here.
A Simple Hug
One of our staff members was our guest speaker this month and she gave an encouraging and inspiring post on ‘Focusing on Jesus’, by Sue D.
Focus = A central point, attraction, attention, activity, concentration.
Can you point to Jesus as the central point of your life?
F ~ Frees us From our sins.
Sometimes when we lose our spouse, our sinful nature makes us mad at God. But turn that madness with a prayer to God to soften our heart. Focus your thoughts on God alone. He hears and knows your heart.
O ~ Our Lord, teacher and friend
So, now we are on our own, our "friend" is gone. Oh yes, I was assured by my husband he would show me what to do with the checkbook in case something happened to him first, but that never happened. So there you are, alone to focus on this checkbook and bills staring at you. But then our Lord, teacher and friend shows us the way to focus.
(Bill rounded off figures, check book a nightmare.)
Then it may also include pumping your own gas and if not used to driving, just ask Jesus to help you "take the wheel."
C ~ Christ is the center of our lives.
When our spouse was with us, we put our focus on him, making meals he liked and other thing to make him happy, our focus was on him. We also celebrated all those special occasions, birthdays, anniversaries and the other holidays. We have to put our focus in Christ and He becomes the central point of our lives. Celebrate with Jesus and the memories he allows us to remember in our hearts.
U ~ Under His grace and mercy we live
Without His grace and mercy what would we have to focus on? We continue to serve the Lord as we did our souse.
S ~ Savior, Shepherd who suffered for us.
Suffer, did our loved one suffer, did we suffer too? Our focus would be drawn to that and feeling helpless trying to make that pain and suffering go away for them. But Jesus did suffer, more than we can imagine and died too. But He rose and will always be there for us. Our loved ones will one day rise too and we will also be with them. We need to show Jesus that we need Him and to just plain Focus on Him.
I asked everyone a question in the very beginning, can you point to Jesus as the central point of your life?
Even though I invited Jesus into my heart at a young age, I rededicated my life when I was older and could understand what it was like to have a personal relationship with Jesus.
I had trials to face, ones that I could not have gone through without Jesus as the central point in my life.
He is the Savior who saves us at all times.
I pray today that you also have Jesus as the central point of your life.
by Sue D.
I will close this post with a medley of three songs about focusing on Jesus.
by Maranatha Vocal Band
Good morning Ladies ~ Today we will have some tips to help us when we have times of grief.
Call out to God. Regardless of how you are feeling, talk to God, whenever you feel like it. He is there for us 24/7, every day we are blessed with. He can handle our feelings whether they be calm, angry, frustrated or fearful. Talking to Him is a balm to our souls. We are letting things out instead of holding them in. He hears us and is working all things out.
Read God’s Word and other uplifting pieces. I read Psalms a lot after first losing my husband. David went through a lot of grief in his life, but he never lost his faith in God, even in his darkest moments.
Do something for someone else. This really helps when we are down. Doing a kind thing for someone else lifts them up and also lifts us up.
Eat delicious healthy foods. Keeping up our strength by eating nutritious foods will work wonders in our moods. Eat colorful foods. Fix something that smells wonderful too.
Drink lots of water. During times of grieving or great stress, our bodies become depleted. We need water for our health.
Get exercise. Take a walk around the block, your apartment complex, in the mall, or just around your house. Raise your arms, try to touch your toes, breathe deeply.
I enjoy working in my gardens. They were great therapy for me before I lost my husband, but have become even better therapy now that he is gone.
Be creative. Do you have a creative hobby? It may be hard at first to get back into doing something that you enjoy doing, making jewelry, painting, needleworking, gardening, working with wood, cooking, baking, writing, paper crafting, etc. That first little step of working with your hands, using your mind, will help you on your road to recovery.
Find a friend. Having a friend that we can talk to about how we are feeling is priceless. Having someone we can do things with is great too.
We have to get outside the ‘box’ of grief, so that we can be an example of God’s love and tender mercies. Grief doesn’t end overnight. We will have some grief the rest of our lives, because of our loss. But, it becomes less, is not so overpowering. We grow through it.
Listen to music. Music lifts our spirits. It doesn’t matter the style. Flow with it, let it fill your whole being. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.
With that thought, I’ll close this post with a song Dotti said was going through her head. It is a good one, reminding us of God’s love and tender care for us.
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Hello Ladies ~ Today I am sharing a little something from my heart. I became a widow 23 months ago yesterday. I’ve come quite a way in this journey so far, as God has been my strength and with God beside me each step of the way, I will make it through to the end when I will see Him face to face. What a time of celebration that will be.
Widowhood is not something we chose.
Our lives changed.
We are on a new journey in this life. I've read that we can look at it as an adventure. During this journey we grieve, we learn to trust God for everything. We grow in His grace and tender mercies. Being a widow is not by chance, or bad luck, it is the will of God and it is a gift. A gift to draw closer to Him.
When I first became a widow I cried out to God (still do) to be my strength. I asked Him to heal my broken heart, even though I did not see how that was possible. Tears came often and sometimes lasted a good while.
I read the Bible, I searched online to find help for Christian widows. I read widow's blogs, web pages, read books for widows. All were uplifting and encouraging.
I was deeply touched and encouraged by the writings of Octavius Winslow (1808-1878).
He wrote in "The Godly Widow Confiding in the Widow's God"
In Jeremiah 49:11. "Let thy widows trust in me."
It is well! All that he does, who speaks these touching words, is well.
It is well with you, for he who gave in love, in love has taken away the mercy that he gave. The companion of your youth, the friend of your bosom, the treasure of your heart, the solace of your declining years, is removed, but since God has done it—it is, it must be well.
Look now above the circumstances of your deep and dark sorrow, God has done it; and that very God who has smitten, who has bereaved, and who has removed your all of earthly good, now invites you to trust in him. Chance has not brought you into this state; accident has not bereft you of your treasure; God has made you a widow, that you may confide in the widow’s God.
There are so many scripture verses to let us know that God loves us and cares for us deeply during this time in our lives. Verses that will draw us to a closer relationship with Him. One of my favorites is found in:
As we dwell on what God says to us in His word, our faith becomes strengthened. As our faith is strengthened then we can be a light to others of His love and mercy. We can encourage other widows on this journey.
The two verses below really touched my heart at my very first Friends Needing Friends meeting. All of the ladies were reading these out loud and it blessed me in my fresh grief. These ladies knew how I was feeling and they comforted me as we visited after the meeting. They told me it would get easier, and it has. All because of God.
Blessed be God,
even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies,
and the God of all comfort;
Who comforts us in all our tribulation,
that we may be able to comfort them
which are in any trouble,
by the comfort wherewith we ourselves
are comforted of God.
Other verses have been a tremendous help to me also:
See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
Just think, God has your name written in the palms of his hands. That’s wonderful!
And another is:
The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:
In the gift of each new day of this journey, may we all grow in the love that God has for each and everyone of us.
May we grow in the knowledge of His word, so that we will be loving, forgiving and encouraging to one another.
In closing, are some verses about our tears. I still have times of tears, but they don’t last as long, the grief isn’t so raw. God has most definitely been my comfort.
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 (NLT)
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever."
Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy...
Remember too, next Monday the 17th is our next meeting/luncheon for our south Florida ladies.
Our guest speaker will be our own Sue Dolbow and she will be speaking on what is our ‘Focus’ in this life. Pray for her as she speaks. Pray for the staff and Dotti as we all prepare for our gathering together.
Love, hugs & prayers ~ Rainey
'Real Answers' by Pastor Bruce Sofia'
QUESTION: IF WE SOMETIMES SUFFER THE “CRAZIES” DURING GRIEF, DOES THAT MEAN THAT WE HAVEN’T FULLY GIVEN THE SITUATION OVER TO GOD?
Good question. (I know that people say, “No question is a dumb question,” and that may be true, but some questions are better than others.) This question actually comes with many faces, that is, time and time again people will say to me, “Pastor, I thought I gave it to God, I really did, but it keeps surfacing. What am I doing wrong?”
The reality is you may have given the situation over to God. (Again, the situation could have many faces: a lost loved one, a wayward child who continues to disappoint or hurt you in some way or another, a husband or wife that has left you for someone else, someone who takes advantage of you, someone who owes you money, someone who mistreats you, and the list goes on and on.)
For example sake, let’s consider a situation that we categorize as an “offense.” Let’s say a woman’s husband leaves her for someone else. She gives this situation to God. She does well until she sees the woman with her husband in the grocery store, then all of those past feelings surface again. Does that mean she did not give the situation to God? (In this instance an offense). No! It means that when she saw her husband with the other woman she received a “fresh” wound. To have peace she must now give this “fresh wound” to God. And, thereafter, each time she is stabbed she must give the wound to God.
(I realize that this example raises the issue of resolving offenses, and that is a matter, which requires more than just giving it to God. Horizontal offenses – person to person – can only be settled “person to person.” But, time does not afford us the luxury of dealing with this subject now.)
Just as the woman who gave her husband and the other woman to the LORD has to continually give the matter to God each time she sees the two of them together, or may hear something about the two of them that upsets her, so when the question arises as to “Why?” concerning the loss of a husband (or wife) that must be given to God.
The more quickly you give the matter to the LORD the less time the matter has to become huge and uncontrollable. Continually and immediately rest upon God’s promise of Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Stand upon Romans 8:31 – “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Also, realize that the “crazies” are a normal – remember Martha and Mary’s words to our Lord? “If you had been here my brother would not have died.” John 11:21,32. What isn’t healthy is dwelling in a world that you cannot do anything about. You cannot do anything about yesterday, you can, however, do something about tomorrow. Place tomorrow in God’s hands and watch Him gently settle the crazies and add new memories that calm the grieving ones. NOTE! I did not say He would remove them, what He will do is calm them. Remember what Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believe in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” John 11:25. If you will listen, Jesus will always give you words that bring peace to the “crazies”.
Pastor Bruce Sofia
Good morning Ladies ~ Today is a new day let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Let us also remember
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
Lam 3:22-24 (NKJV)
Monday our sisters in NJ had a ‘homecoming’ celebration as Dotti was up there to share about our new ministry with them. That new ministry is supporting widows in India.
Below we have:
Pastor Bruce Sofia - Founder & Director of Gloucester County Community Church
Dotti ~ Founder and Director of FNF
Shari – Former director of New Jersey group
MaryLou ~ Present director of the New Jersey group
Let us be thankful for the vision for this ministry and the continued service by these four who care for widows, in our groups and around the world.
Here is Dotti sharing about the widows in India.
Ladies giving from their hearts.
Next we have Shari Hervold who gave a wonderful talk from Luke chapter 10, about the Good Samaritan. Here are some main points that touched my heart from reading her talk.
Whenever we choose to serve the needs of others, there's a cost involved. Sometimes it is out time, sometimes our emotions, sometimes our convenience, sometimes our money, and sometimes all of these.
Indifference has no place in the family of God.
If we want to be more like Jesus, then we must be willing to lessen the pain and brokenness in someone's life today...and each day.
Let us think on these words as we consider being of service and giving to others.
Monday’s meeting had a great turn out of 100 ladies, and a good time was had by all.
As we go about our days, let us remember to pray for each other. Let us be thankful we have such a group as ‘Friends Needing Friends’ to meet with each month. Remember to pray for the staff also as they prepare for each meeting.
God’s blessings on each and every one of you.