Monday, August 25, 2014

Four Women that God Chose…Conclusion


Hello dear Ladies,

Today we have the final installment of this series. I hope and pray that you all have been inspired and encouraged in your life of hope and trust in Jesus.


Four Women That God Chose to be in the Lineage of His Son, Jesus Christ

by Shari Hervold




In the last three installments of this series, we have looked briefly at the stories of three women in the lineage of Christ Jesus, God's son.  I trust you've found their stories interesting and inspiring.  If you didn't read about any of them, you may do so by clicking on their names: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth.

The fourth and last woman mentioned in the lineage of Jesus is the former wife of Uriah whom we know as Bathsheba.  If you recall, Bathsheba was the very beautiful woman who David lusted for, took to bed and impregnated, then had her husband killed so that he could wed her. Some have cast her as a seductress, but I take issue with that.  2 Samuel 11:4 tells us that David sent his men to get her (he was the king and she had to come) and when she came to him he lay with her.  David is cast as the actor and she the one acted upon.  Dr. Larry Richards calls it outright rape.  David had other wives and many sons, but Bathsheba lay aside fear and advocated for her son to succeed David as king and won David's promise to do so.  She further acted courageously on Solomon's (her son) behalf when it looked like another son was going to claim the throne.  Even though her marriage began on the weakest of foundations, she had the strength and fortitude to put that behind her and be a good wife and mother.  It is said that Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs as a dedication to his mother who strongly influenced his life. 

Matthew gives us a quartet of women whom we would least expect to see in the genealogy of Christ.  Yet, we learn from them that when God wants something done, He will enable it to happen and He used ordinary, imperfect people as His instruments through which to work. His grace and mercy cover all sins and He can turn mistakes and unwise choices into blessings.  Whatever it is that God lays on your heart to do, there's not an excuse that you could use that God hasn't already heard...and He simply replies that: "My strength is made perfect in weakness," (2 Corinthians 12:9).  Nothing or nobody, saint or sinner, can thwart God's plan for your life.  If you doubt that, just remember these four, less-than-stellar women chosen to be in the lineage of Jesus Christ our Savior!



Reflection: You can become a child of God by accepting Christ's death as penalty for your sins, and acknowledging Him as your Lord and Savior.  He will come to live in your heart and give you eternal life.  I encourage you to do this now!



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Four Women that God Chose…Part 3



Hello Ladies ~ Today we have part 3 in our series. May we all be blessed and encouraged as we read.


Four Women That God Chose to be in the Lineage of His Son, Jesus Christ

by Shari Hervold


Before we meet Ruth, let me remind you that if your haven't met the two women that were introduced in the first two lessons in this series, you may read about them by clicking on their names, Tamar and Rahab.




The next woman, Ruth, is greatly admired and loved by all who read her story in the book that bears her name.  She, unlike Tamar and Rahab, did not have a blemish upon her record...except for one thing.  There's always a back story, isn't there?  Ruth was a Moabite and as such, because of a sin the Moabites had committed, according to Deuteronomy 23:3 she "was shut out of the congregation of the Lord." God's Word itself shut her out.  Yet, she, with great courage and strength from God Himself, rejected the gods of the Moabites, traveled to a strange land and culture with Naomi, her mother-in-law, and accepted the Hebrew God.  The trip from Moab to Bethlehem was a long and dangerous one, yet Ruth bravely faced down her fears and made the journey, fully expecting nothing to await her there.  She was an outsider from a heathen country and, as far as she knew, would remain so.  Soon after her arrival she began the hard task of working for food for herself and Naomi.  Ruth 2:12 says that Boaz states this concerning her: "The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge." The one thing Ruth had not reckoned on was God's love and protection for her.  But, because of her love for Him and Naomi, God rewarded her.  God worked out the details so that Ruth went on to marry Boaz, a kinsman of her deceased husband, and bore a son, Obed, who became the grandfather of King David, thus in the lineage of Jesus.  Next, we will meet the last of these four ladies, Bathsheba.

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 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.



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Four Women That God Chose…Part 2


Hello Ladies ~ Here is the second part of this 4 part series.


Four Women That God Chose to be in the Lineage of His Son, Jesus Christ

by Shari Hervold




In the last post we looked briefly at the story of Tamar and the role she played to earn a place in the lineage of Jesus Christ.  If you haven't done so and would like to read about her, you can do so by clicking on Tamar.

The next woman we want to meet is Rahab, another woman more likely to be mentioned in a Hall of Shame than a Hall of Fame.  In fact she is most often referred to as "Rahab the Harlot."  Her story is told in Joshua 2. Rahab was an innkeeper in the city of Jericho; in those days women were innkeepers, never men.  Since she was in a position to lodge guests, it was natural for Joshua's spied to go to her place of business.  They told her about their mission as spies for the Hebrew people, and she courageously hid them from the Jericho authorities who were on the lookout for them.  Who knows why Rahab was so willing to trust the Hebrews/ perhaps she was heartsick of the life she was living, feeling worthless, without value.  Whatever the motive, she put her fears aside and by faith accepted the word of the Hebrew spies to protect her life she protected theirs. She knew of the great deeds of their God and she put her faith and trust in Him.  God enabled her to be successful in concealing them and she was rewarded by being saved from death when the Israelites destroyed Jericho.  She went on to live among the Jewish people, marry an Israelite, and produce a son, Boaz the husband of Ruth, who was in the line of David and Christ, the Messiah.

In the next installment we will read about Ruth.


Reflection: Would you too like to belong to the family of God and know for certain that you will have eternal life?  That's why Jesus came, died on a cross, and rose from the dead.  We are all sinners and Jesus, God's son, paid the debt for our sins by His death.  If you just acknowledge that you have sinned and ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and turn your life over to Him, He will make you a child of God with an eternal future with Him.  I invite you to do so now.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Four Women That God Chose…Part 1


Four Women That God Chose to be in the Lineage of His Son, Jesus Christ

by Shari Hervold



    Four Old Testament women are mentioned in the book of Matthew in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.  Who they are and how they got there may surprise some of you.  But God is God and, while we don't always know why or even how He does what He does, we know that we can trust Him to have a master plan He is working out....for the good of those whose trust is in Him.

    The first woman mentioned is Tamar, the young Canaanite woman selected by Judah to be the bride of his oldest son, Er.  When Er died childless, according to tradition and the Levirate marriage law, the next closest of kin was to impregnate the widow and any son born of that union would be considered the son of the childless husband.  The whole sordid story is recorded in Genesis 38, which you can read.  But, because the next brother chose not to impregnate her and the youngest son was not yet marriageable age, Tamar was left to remain a widow until the youngest son reached the age of maturity, at which time Judah was obligated to give him in marriage to Tamar.  Yet when Shelah, the youngest son, was old enough to marry, Judah reneged on his legal and moral responsibility and made no effort to marry Shelah to Tamar, leaving her childless.  At this point Tamar did something that we might deem devious, but took a lot of courage never-the-less.  She dressed up as a prostitute and seduced, not Shelah, but Judah, became impregnated by him and bore twin sons, Perez and Zerah whom Judah fully acknowledged as his.  Now, we may not approve of the actions of either of these individuals and they certainly acted in disobedience to God, but we must acknowledge that Tamar was exceptional for her time period, practicing great courage in holding her ground to what was rightfully hers and preserving the line of Judah.  God's grace is manifest in this story, using Tamar's moral downfall and using it in a way only He could because Christ was born through the lineage of Perez, her son.  All of this could only happen through the grace, mercy, and strength of God.  Her success was totally dependent upon Him. In the next post we will learn about the second woman mentioned in Matthew's genealogy, Rahab.

Reflection: God sent His son, Jesus Christ, to become the sacrifice for the sins of the world.  If this is a truth that has been lost on you, but you now want to acknowledge that you are in need of a savior and confess your sins and accept the death of Christ on a cross as a penalty for those sins, you will become a child of God.  Because Christ was resurrected from the dead, you too will have eternal life.  I invite you to make this decision today.

Ancestry of Jesus Christ

Matthew 1 Amplified Bible (AMP)

1 - The book of the ancestry (genealogy) of Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the son (descendant) of David, the son (descendant) of Abraham.

2 - Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

3 - Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Aram,

4 - Aram the father of Aminadab, Aminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahsson the father of Salmon,

5 - Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,

6 - Jesse the father of King David, King David the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah, Bathsheba.




Sunday, August 10, 2014

Four Women That God Chose …Introduction


Hello Ladies ~ We are starting a little series, a study about four women in the lineage of Jesus Christ.

May we all be blessed and inspired as we learn about these four women and their roles in God’s plan for the whole world.


Four Women That God Chose to be in the
Lineage of His Son, Jesus Christ
"My Strength is Made Perfect in Weakness," says God

by Shari Hervold

  What are some of the excuses that you've offered for not doing something that was asked of you, something in your heart of hearts you really felt like God wanted you to do?  Some of you think that God only uses "good girls," you know those women with no "unspeakable sins" in their past, or women with certain abilities and capabilities.  When we think like this we are totally limiting God and His ability to enable us to do anything that He wants us to do.  In fact, those really are not only lame excuses, but excuses driven by self-centered instead of God-centered thought patterns.

  Think with me of the women that God chose to be in the lineage of his son, Jesus Christ.  If we go to the first chapter of Matthew and read the genealogy of Jesus, we note that there are forty men named and only four women.  Now, what is astounding isn't that there are only four women, but that women are mentioned at all.  Women were simply not granted the status of appearing in genealogies.  God had ordained that the Messiah would come through the lineage of David, so we would expect that any child would have a pure-blood Hebrew mother, an upstanding woman without a blemish to her name.  Yet, when I look at the names of these women, I again take a double-take, for not all were what we would characterize as "good women." For the next four posts here on the blog we will look at each one briefly to learn more about her life and the circumstances under which she was chosen to be in this august lineage.


Ancestry of Jesus Christ

Matthew 1 Amplified Bible (AMP)

1 - The book of the ancestry (genealogy) of Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the son (descendant) of David, the son (descendant) of Abraham.

2 - Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

3 - Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Aram,

4 - Aram the father of Aminadab, Aminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahsson the father of Salmon,

5 - Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,

6 - Jesse the father of King David, King David the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah, Bathsheba.




To be continued.

Friday, August 8, 2014

We’ve had over 10,000 visits!!!


Good morning dear Ladies ~ Today we have yet again another reason to celebrate. This morning we are thankful to Jesus for the over 10,000 visits we’ve had to this blog.  It is all because of Him that this blog is even here. We have the information that our dear Dotti has to share with widows, and the words of others who are led to share what God lays on their hearts for the widows too. Plus we have the witness of our dear sister widows and how God has not forsaken them but has helped them grow as they walk this journey. We also have  God’s words to us throughout this blog, and music for us to sing to and to make our hearts sing as well.


Here are some thoughts from Dotti this morning.


Our God is an awesome God!

Before I left New Jersey (2011), to go to Florida, I asked God, "What am I going to do with 23 years of information helping the widow from the Friends Needing Friends ministry?" God never answered me, so I just packed as much as I could and moved.

A year ago (2013) I met another widow, Rainey, who came to our meetings and she introduced me to blogging. The excitement welled up inside of me, and I knew it was God answering my prayer.  I was told that once you put information on the blog, it is permanent.  A permanent file from God, with the material to be used that was kept from over the years that many people could see and be helped by.  We started putting this material and changing the information on the blog every 3 to 4 days. I just had so much information to share.

Today the Friends Needing Friends blog has reached a total of over  10,000 visits. This material will stay not only in New Jersey or Florida, but will go to  many other widows in the United States and other countries. Considering the subject of this ministry, only God could do the multiplying and restoration of these widows.

Truly, our God is an awesome God!

Dotti Ackerman



10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman







Congratulations to everyone that has participated in this Blog Spot of Friends Needing Friends.. Thank you and may God bless each and everyone.



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

He Giveth


He giveth more grace

when the burdens grow greater,

He sendeth more strength

when the labors increase;

To added affliction He addeth His mercies,

To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,

When our strength has failed

ere the day is half done,

When we reach the end of our hoarded resources

Our Father's full giving is only begun.

His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,

His power no boundary known unto men;

For out of His infinite riches in Jesus

He giveth and giveth and giveth again.

Annie Johnson Flint (1866-1932) 




Humble yourselves therefore

under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time;
casting all your anxiety upon him,
because he careth for you.
1Pe 5:6-7 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Recognizing Loved Ones In Heaven


'Real Answers' by Pastor Bruce Sofia'


This is a good and intriguing question, and I'd like to address it in three parts.

1) First, yes we will recognize those whom we have known on earth in Heaven.

In Luke 16, we are given the story of the rich man, who had everything in this life but spent an eternity in hell, and Lazarus who had nothing in this life but received all the blessings of an eternity in heaven.  They know one another here, and although there was a chasm (divide) between them in eternity, they were able to recognize one another in eternity.  Of course, it is important to remember that seeing from Heaven into Hell is a special dispensation usually not granted.  However, this passage does indicate that we will recognize one another in eternity.

Another passage that indicates we will recognize one another is when Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus, Peter, James and John on the mount of transfiguration.  The disciples, who by the way had never met Elijah and Moses, recognized them. Mark 9:2-7

2) Second, Scriptures indicates that we will recognize one another by our "soul persona." What do I mean by that? We will not have these human bodies but will have a new and glorified body that is referred to as a "spiritual body." Job 19:26 and 1 Cor. 15:44. You many recall, in nearly every instance Jesus is seen after his resurrection he is not recognized until he chooses to reveal himself.  In one instance he is recognized at the breaking of the bread (Luke 24:30-31), at another, when he chooses to reveal the nail prints and wound in his side (John 20:24-29). There will be not defects in our new and glorified bodies.  That's cool! It won't be GQ or Cosmo's model of perfection; it will be God's both in appearance and nature.

3) Third, will we remain married to our spouse in eternity?  Sorry to disappoint all of you who wish to remain married in eternity (some of you aren't disappointed - smile), but death does truly part us. Romans 7:2-3 You recall the lady who had, lawfully, seven husbands - Jesus said, "we shall be like angels in heaven, neither married or given in marriage."  Matthew 22:22-32

However, don't be disappointed, guess who is your spouse: Jesus.  He is the "groom' we are his "bride."  Now, that's awesome.