Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cling to God


Good evening Ladies ~

Here we are at the beginning of a new week.  With each new day may we rejoice and be glad in each one.

Let us cling to God with all of our hearts. He is the author and finisher of our faith and as we study His word and talk to Him throughout our days, we will be drawn ever closer to Him.

The more we study God’s words, the more they will come into our minds and hearts when we need them most.

"Let thy widows trust in me." —Jeremiah 49:11

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He restoreth my soul. Psalm 23

"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" Deuteronomy 33:27

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Deu_31:6


These are just a few of the wonderful and uplifting scriptures from God’s word.

May your hearts and minds feel the peace and strength of Jesus, our Savior, as you think on these verses. Let them seep into your souls.

I will close this with the following verse.

Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.  Psa_143:8 


Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Happy 26th Anniversary for FNF NJ


Our Friends Needing Friends group in New Jersey celebrated their 26th anniversary at their recent meeting/luncheon.

We are all blessed by and thankful for the efforts of our dear Dotti Ackerman for starting this group 26 years ago. She saw a need and stepped out by faith to do something for widows. God has strengthened and blessed so many through this ‘sisterhood’.

Here are photos from their celebration.














May God’s continued blessings be on this group and the staff who lovingly and faithfully serve the Lord in this ministry.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Who Am I?

Today we have another of Diana Clark’s poems, written after her dear husband went to be with the Lord. You can read her introduction from her booklet of poems in the post, ‘The Gift of Tears’.

‘Who Am I?’
I looked at life through his eyes;
I made his dream my dream.
Now my life without him
Doesn’t have a theme.
I have so few opinions
I can really call my own;
Didn't I think I'd need them.
Never thought I'd be alone,
And have to draw conclusions,
Then state my point of view.
About so many things in life,
I haven't got a clue.
I'm not sure what I like now,
Or where I'd want to go
For rest and relaxation-
I really just don't know.
Half my heart is missing;
I feel so incomplete.
To continue on without him
Is really quite a feat.
But on and on I must go.
He'd want me to, and so
I recall the times he told me,
"You're stronger than you know."
Strength: O yes, I feel it,
But it is not my own.
By God's grace I have it,
Through Christ and Christ alone.
Please, Lord, now I need You
To help me find my place.
When I peer into the mirror,
Who's behind the face?
Who am I now without him?
It's so hard for me to see.
I know I'm in there somewhere.
Lord, help me to find me.
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."  Philippians 4:13 (KJV)

With permission by: Diana Eileen Clark from her booklet
"Simply Put ~ Inspirational Poems of Hope
as You Journey Through the Valley"


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

FNF South 16 June Meeting


Hello Ladies ~ Summer is here. Our northern friends have gone back to their homes and some of our year round ladies are on vacations. Our group was small this past Monday, but we had a good time and we had 2 new ladies.

As you know, Dotti has asked we staff ladies to choose a widow of the Bible that has impressed/inspired us and to give a talk on that widow. This month was my turn and Dotti asked me to post my thoughts here on

‘Anna the Prophetess’

Her brief story can be found in Luke 2:36-38


And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.




Anna chose to stay single. We don't know if she had any relatives that could have taken her in or not, as it is not recorded. We do know that she went to the temple to serve God, by fastings and prayers, night and day, and never left the temple.

She prayed, she fasted and waited. She believed in God and the promises that had been made about a coming Messiah and she prophesied this over and over again throughout her years in the temple serving God. This was God's will for her and she lovingly and gladly lived her life of serving God in this way.

God blessed her, a widow, by letting her 'see' the blessed HOPE, the Messiah, when He/Jesus was brought to the temple for the purification ceremony by his parents, Mary and Joseph. Anna 'knew' who He was and she prophesied to all around her that He was the salvation promised to God's people. Anna is the first in a line of prophetic disciples who will speak about Jesus to all who were looking for the redemption of Israel.

Mary was the first to have the good news announced to her by the angel Gabriel, but Anna is the first woman (and a widow) to understand fully and proclaim the good news.

How wonderful that God used a widow to proclaim who He was. Jesus, the incarnation of God in the flesh, the Lamb of the world, come to seek and save those who are lost. Anna had been lovingly faithful to God throughout her life, telling others of His coming and He rewarded her with allowing her to see the Savior of the world.  How exciting that must have been for her.

How exciting for we widows, to know that God can and does work through widows to proclaim His love and mercy. Let us open our hearts and minds to serving Him and telling others.

So, what can we learn from Anna?

To serve God ~ whether or not we are able to actually serve God in our churches today, we can certainly serve Him through our lives and the gifts that He blesses us with.
In I Corinthians 6:19 the Bible says ~  "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"

We all are blessed with different ways/gifts of serving the Lord. If you don't know what your gifts may be, ask God to show you. Trust Him and let Him work through you.

In I Peter 4:10-11 (NIV) we read the following.

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever."

Let us remember also ~ Colossians 3:23 ~ "And whatsoever we do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;"

Now back let's go back to Anna, she was strong, committed to and trusted God, she was patient. She kept on prophesying to all she met of God and His promises. She didn't know if she would see the coming of the Savior, she just knew He was coming and she had to speak it. God spoke through her and so speaking truths, she was a witness to others.

Anna's name means 'grace'.

That is what I pray for in this time of my life, to be full of grace as I walk this journey of widowhood, and wait to see Jesus.

May we all walk in God's grace.

Let us tell others of all that He has done for us.

Let us be lights of His love, grace and mercy.

He is our God and He is awesome.


As we all know, this is a rough and sometimes lonely journey that we are on.  We did NOT ask to join this 'sisterhood', God chose us. Through this journey He draws us ever closer to Him.

"Let thy widows trust in me."  Jeremiah 49:11

May God bless all of you as you go about your daily lives serving Him in the ways He has given you to serve. He is your strength and He is continually with you.



Friday, June 13, 2014

It's Time To Celebrate

Put Your Mourning Aside: It's Time To Celebrate
The month of June is known for its celebrations; in fact, it is the most popular month for weddings and, along with May, for graduations.  Friends  Needing Friends International is celebrating two noteworthy milestones: the New Jersey chapter turns twenty-six and the blog celebrates its first anniversary with over 8,500 "hits" in eleven countries to its credit.  While all the praise for every accomplishment for this ministry goes to God, I think there is Scriptural precedence for celebration and partying.  One only has to look in the book of Nehemiah to read of such celebrations.
The rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem is recorded within this book.  It was not an easy process.  The workers became discouraged and wanted to quit, their enemies taunted them, and Nehemiah had a lot to contend with in leading the people in this process.  Once it was completed and the beautiful city of Jerusalem was again well defended, those Israelites who had been taken captive and were now living elsewhere began to come "home" to Jerusalem which once again began teeming with people.  Then Ezra, the priest, called the people together to read the Law of God aloud to them as it had been so long since that had occurred.  They were so happy to once again hear God's Word that they wept openly.  The eighth chapter of Nehemiah tells us that Nehemiah told the people to stop their weeping, for the joy of the Lord was their strength.  Then, he told them to do something that might seem a little curious to us: he told them to "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks..." Ladies, that's a celebration.  Your ministries have been developed with tears, moments of wanting to give up, and discouraging remarks by outsiders, but FNF, as well as the blog, is stronger than ever.  To God be the glory! This calls for a celebration.  It's time to party!
The twelfth chapter of Nehemiah records the joyous occasion of the dedication of the wall. I think it could well serve as a model for what Friends Needing Friends will be doing in June. Verse twenty seven tells us that they celebrated with songs of thanksgiving.  It is fitting that you women give thanks to God for FNF, not forgetting to be thankful for Dotti, the founder, and Florida director, as well as Rainey, who developed and maintains the blog.  And don't forget all those who work so hard each month to put on the lovely meetings that you enjoy. 
I also note that the Scripture states that they celebrated joyfully.  There is a difference in merely being happy and being joyful. Happiness comes from without, but joy comes from within.  These folks were happy, taking pleasure in the moment, but they were also joyful, which is long lasting.  The Florida chapter is throwing a blog party and its New Jersey counterpart will have a lovely luncheon with a special speaker and music presentation.  I encourage you to not go light on the fun, food, and frivolity.  After all, the whole of this ministry is dedicated to you women who have endured mourning accompanied by many tears.  Take to heart Nehemiah's words: "Do not mourn or weep...Go your way, enjoy choice food (don't even think of counting calories) and sweet drinks...for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
Congratulations to FNF, its blog, and each of you ladies who minister to each other faithfully month after month!  God is celebrating with you.
Shari Hervold
Reflection: If you are reading this blog and have not asked the Jesus of the Bible to become your Lord and Savior, I implore you to do so now.  If you long for a lasting joy in your life, I ask you to trust in Jesus Christ for eternal life made available to you through His death and resurrection.  Jesus Christ himself said that if you come to Him, you will become a child of God and a joint heir with Him in all the wonderful things that God has prepared for those that trust in Him.  It is the best decision you will ever make.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Dealing with Tough Times


'Real Answers' by Pastor Bruce Sofia'


No one is immune to tough times.  Scripture is quite clear that everyone even the righteous, will face "tough times."

Psalm 34:19 says, Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

The NIV words it: A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him/her from them all.

Although no one likes tough times - we feel out of control, uncomfortable, the unknown is frightening, and the list goes on - they are necessary to our emotional and spiritual maturity.

Romans 5:3-5 tells us, We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; (4)perseverance, character; and character, hope. (5) And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

God is concerned about our character more than anything, and tough times develop our character.  In fact, how we respond to the tough times is the key.  Are we pliable enough to allow the Potter to mold us on the wheel of trouble, or do we resist the Potter's shaping?  Do we learn and allow God to make us like Christ, or do we complain?

When Scripture says, "In everything give thanks" that is exactly what God means. (I Thessalonians 5:18) For when we give thanks we acknowledge that God sees a bigger picture than us, and that He will work out all things for our good...even our times of trouble. (Romans 8:28) Remember, the writer of Hebrews tells us to count hardships (tough times) as discipline from the LORD.

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his Father? (8) If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  Hebrews 12:7-8,11

I love the words of Job after he had faced his terrible time of trouble - few if any have faced what Job had to face - My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Job 42:5

When trouble comes your way, may you submit to the hand of God's perfection and say with the patriarch, "I have seen God with my own eyes." Don't look at trouble as a curse; look at it as a blessing soon to be realized. However, do remember this - if you don't give your time of trouble to the LORD and ask for Divine intervention, most likely you won't receive it. So ask. Believe. Anticipate. God cannot fail. 

Pastor Bruce Sofia


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Someone is having a birthday


Hi Ladies ~ A very dear lady and friend to all of us is having a birthday on the 6th.  Our very own Dotti, founder of FNF and leader of our south FL group of ladies.

Here is a birthday prayer I found today.


Heavenly Father, Please bless Dotti, on her birthday. Dear Lord, please protect and guide Dotti as she continues along the path you’ve chosen for her. Give her the courage to follow in your light, and feel your love wherever she goes.

Make her strong and give her the strength to make good decisions in the coming year. Keep her free from illness and sadness.

We know that life is like a book. With each new chapter, we learn and grow towards what you would have us be. Bless Dotti now on her birthday, and in the future.

In your name we pray Jesus,



Birthday’s are a time of celebration. 

That means a cake and singing happy birthday

to the birthday girl.




Love, hugs, prayers and birthday wishes

from all of us.

Monday, June 2, 2014

New Music


Good morning Ladies ~ This is just a quick note to let you know that new music has been added to our Music Tab above.

Music is good for our souls.

Here are some scripture verses about songs and singing. I found a verse in Job this morning that is great. ~ God is our maker, who gives us songs in the night.  Isn’t that fantastic? He lifts us up, He walks us through our valleys and fills our hearts with song.


O COME, let us sing unto the LORD:

let us make a joyful noise

to the rock of our salvation.



Serve the LORD with gladness:

come before his presence with singing.



Let the word of Christ

dwell in you richly in all wisdom;

teaching and admonishing one another

with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,

singing with grace in your hearts unto God.



Serve the LORD with gladness:

come before his presence with singing. 



The LORD is my strength and my shield;

my heart hath trusted in him,

and I am helped:

therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth;

and with my song will praise him. 



And, let us remember “whatever we do, do heartily, as unto the Lord.”  Col 3:23


I’ll end this little post with a song that will make you want to get up and dance.  As believers in Jesus, we have Him to thank for everything, the greatest being His love and giving His life for us so that we’d be free from sin and live with Him forever and ever. This life we are living here is only the beginning.

Enjoy ~ Rainey


Ramsey Lewis - Oh Happy Day (Live)