Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving


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.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Let it Go!


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.

Shari Hervold


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Meeting 17th November in Florida


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.


Open Our Eyes

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Open My Eyes, That I May See

by Maranatha Vocal Band


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Grief Tips


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.

Isaiah 40:31

Monday, November 10, 2014

Trust in God


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.

It happened.

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:

Psa 139:17 


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.

2Co 1:3-4 

Other verses have been a tremendous help to me also:

See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
Isa 49:16  

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."
Revelation 21:4

Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy...
Psalm 126:5


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

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