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



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.




Wedgwood Country Club 

Washington Township ~ New Jersey

Brrrr, cold but beautiful snow.


Palm Beach National Golf & Country Club

Lake Worth, Florida

Beautiful palms and colorful blooms


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


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


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


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


Some of our New Jersey Ladies




Some of our Florida Ladies



Dotti ~ our gracious and lovely founder.


Kathy ~ our wonderful and lovely speaker


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”


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


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


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.



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.



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



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.




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.


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


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.




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 *.



Looking forward to seeing you all on Monday.

Bring love, joy, open hearts, thankfulness

and another dear widow if possible.


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.






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