Monday, July 21, 2014

Serving and Giving ~ Christmas in July

 

What a ‘Merry’ meeting we had today. We had a good turn out considering it is summer with ladies being on vacation, and our winter ladies being back up north.

We had a time of prayer, songs, games, and giving. There was much joy, love, hugs and laughter.

Friends Needing Friends is a ‘sisterhood’ that believes in:

‘Serving God and Others Even While We Ourselves Are Hurting’.

In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 we read the following:

Blessed be God,

even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of mercies,

and the God of all comfort;

Who comforteth 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.

~~~

There is a joy that can’t really be explained when we give to others, especially when we are hurting. We grow in God’s grace and mercies.  He fills our hearts and minds with His love and peace, and strengthens us as we trust in Him.

One of our ministries is our Teddy Bear ministry, started in New Jersey in 1995 after Dotti’s sister passed away. She had had a shop and there were teddy bears sitting there just waiting for homes to go to. So, an idea was born, and they found homes with widows to help ease their grief, to let them know that God loves them and that they are not alone and that others care for them as well. This ministry continues today in New Jersey and in Florida.

Besides widows they have also been given to ladies who are sick or in need of God’s love and assurance. God loves us all no matter what our situation and we need to hear or be shown that at different times in our lives. God’s grace, love and mercy know no bounds.

~~~

Here is a photo of our ladies taken today with some of our teddy bears.

What a sweet bunch. I love them all more with each time we get together. We’ve all walked through the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ and Jesus has seen us through, being right beside us every step of the way. We are here sharing what He has done and is doing in our lives.

Click on photo for a larger view.

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Some of these bears also go to assisted living homes to share God’s love with the widows there. Hundreds of teddy bears have been given away through the years and the stories that have come back to us about them have been inspiring and encouraging.

~~~

Another ministry has been one of giving to our Veterans.

Today, we brought candy to give to

‘Forgotten Soldiers Outreach’.

They all need to know that God loves them too. They have served their country faithfully, and sometimes they are forgotten by the wayside.

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Over the past 2 1/2 years, our group here in s.e. Florida has had Diaper Days, where we bring newborn diapers to give to a group called, ‘First Care Family Resources’, for unwed mothers. It’s a place where they are taught to care for their babies and to make a better life for themselves. We’ve also brought in new baby clothes and baby items for this same group.

Giving is a big part of our ministry, not just to each other, but to others as well.

fnf-bag

 

Below are more photos from our ‘Merry’ meeting/luncheon today.

In this  photo below we have a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law duo.

You can read their sweet testimony here.

Doreen is a sweetheart to bring her dear mother-in-law, Olga, to each meeting. Doreen has become a member of our staff and is a tremendous help.

The ladies were playing the ‘pocketbook’ game. This is where items are called out and the ladies have to see if they have these in their pocketbooks. Doreen was the winner with a whopping 10 items from the list.

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The ladies were all so intent as they searched for the items.

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Next, we have our Bible Quiz winners. Each month we have a Bible Quiz.  We receive the quiz with our newsletter and read the scripture and answer the questions at home, then bring the quiz to the meeting. We had quite a few today who got all the answers right.

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It was a ‘Joyous’ meeting. Our last Christmas song sung before lunch was “Joy To The World”. By the last verse, our voices had risen in volume and joy and love was pouring out of our hearts filling the room.  God/Immanuel was with us.

 

~~~

Here is our buffet lunch today fixed especially for us. Wonderful little whole wheat rolls with butter, salad makings, and a chicken/parmesan noodle dish, and several steamed veggies. Oh yea, we had a delicious homemade cream of vegetable soup that all of us loved and wanted the recipe for.  We had iced tea, lemonade, soda, and coffee for beverages.  For desert we had a real treat today, ice cream with caramel sauce and crushed Oreo cookies, plus peanut butter cookies and chocolate chip cookies.

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We all left filled with good food,

friendships blessed

and closer to our God.

~~~

We will be taking a little vacation the month of August, so we’ll see you again, God willing, in September.

~~~

I will close this post with a photo of our staff, minus the photographer, Smile. They are busy here stuffing envelopes at our last staff meeting. There is much discussion, ideas, laughter and prayers as we work with Dotti in planning and getting ready for each month’s meeting.

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It is a joy to be part of the staff

and this ministry.

A ministry created by Dotti, out of a need

and a love for widows,

and for God’s honor and glory.

~~~

Wherefore comfort yourselves together,

and edify one another…

Rejoice evermore.

Pray without ceasing.

In every thing give thanks:

for this is the will of God

in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1Th 5:11, 16-18

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