Monday, January 26, 2015

Is It Right To Go To A Medium To Speak With The Dead?

‘Real Answers’ by Pastor Bruce Sofia

QUESTION:  Is It Right To Go To A Medium To Speak With The Dead?

To answer this question that we addressed at our last “Friends Needing Friends” (a widow sisterhood group) meeting, I am doing so that you can see firsthand what God has said about consulting physics and/or fortunetellers.  TV and horoscopes have made this kind of activity quite popular, but there are many things that are popular in society that are not popular with God.

    1.  First of all, no one has access to the dead but God.

     2.  Secondly, mediums have never had the approval of God; in fact, they were to be removed from           the land.

Here are some Bible verses that express God’s thoughts on this subject.

Leviticus 19:31Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.
We are defiled because physics cannot know the future, only God knows the future. They can gather information from evil spirits, and make an intelligent guess, but that is the extent of their knowledge. Furthermore, “Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy,” eventually that is what will happen to those who frequent fortune tellers and physics – they will steal and your joy

Leviticus 20:6I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.”
To God, when people consult a medium they slap Him in the face. They are bowing before a man/woman rather than God. Look to His Word. Pray. There is no better comfort anywhere then when you have communed with God.

Isaiah 8:19When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?

2nd Chron. 33:6 – He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger.
Remember the words of our Lord in Matthew 6:34 – Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I love the words of Ira Sankey, “Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand, but I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand.”

Very truly yours, In Jesus,

Pastor Bruce Sofia
Founder & Director of
Gloucester County Community Church.

Friday, January 23, 2015

He Knows My Name


Good morning Ladies ~ Today is a new day let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Here is something for us to ponder each and every day. God has written our names in the palms of His hands. He has promised to never leave or forsake us, no matter where we are. He loves us unconditionally.

“Can a woman forget her nursing child?
Can she have no pity on the son

to whom she gave birth?
Even these may forget,
but I will not forget you.
See, I have marked your names on My hands."

Isaiah 49:15-16New Life Version (NLV)


He Knows my name (Tommy Walker)



Thank you dear Jesus for your love and tender mercies toward us. They are new every morning.

Your thoughts toward us are more in number than the sands of the sea.

Bless each of us as we go about our daily business, may we continually trust in you to meet all of our needs, physically, mentally and spiritually.

In your name we pray Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Persistence of the Prophetess



And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem (Luke 2:36-38).

One of the greatest blessings in this gospel is the presentation of Anna the prophetess’ encounter with the Christ Child at His dedication. The temple was a crowded and noisy place, yet the Holy Spirit directed Luke’s attention to this divine meeting between the Son of God and the old widow, and He inspired the Evangelist to record some very precious detail for earnest truth seekers here. Anna is identified as a prophetess and our Teacher reveals three precious virtues in His description of her encounter with Jesus that are worthy of our imitation. Diligent disciples will find faith maturing truth in this reflection on the persistence of the prophetess

Anna was persistent in waiting through the years. The Spirit moved Luke to record that Anna was“advanced in years”, had been married “seven years”, and had been “a widow until she was eighty-four”. Anna’s life is a clear foreshadow of the Church, the Bride of Christ… “For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2). Like Anna with her husband, true believers have experienced a brief time of fellowship with Christ here on earth… “Jesus then said, ‘I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me’” (John 7:33). Like Anna, we are presently living as a widow since Christ has returned to Heaven for a time… “And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). Like Anna, true believers wait earnestly to be reunited with Christ… “Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7). Are you imitating the persistence of Anna by seeing through the trials and circumstances of this temporal life and focusing on the soon return of Christ?

Anna was persistent in worshipping in the temple. The Teacher included a definition of worship here. He moved Luke to note that Anna worshipped “with fasting and prayer night and day”. Real worship is an around-the-clock lifestyle of fasting, or renouncing of the world’s distraction and temptation… “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). Diligent disciples increasingly replace love for the world with love for God… “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). Like Anna, maturing believers develop a lifestyle of prayer, learning to pray in the Spirit… “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:18) and praying at all times… “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). Are you imitating the persistence of Anna by developing an intimate and growing prayer life with Christ?

Anna was persistent in witnessing about Christ. The Paraklete wants us to note Anna’s powerful reaction to the Spirit’s clear revelation of the identity of the Christ Child. Upon finally encountering the One she so desperately longed for, she was so excited that she could not contain her joy and her heart erupted with “thanks to God” while her lips began “to speak of him” to others who were seeking the Christ. Evidence that we are truly born again children of God is a genuine excitement and joy that we cannot keep to ourselves. The Spirit leads true disciples to those He has been drawing to Christ so we might speak to them about Him… “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Are you imitating the persistence of Anna by seeking and obeying every opportunity to speak of Christ?

As we grow up into Christ we wait, worship, and witness more like Anna, as we imitate…

The Persistence of the Prophetess.

By Pastor Bob Barber


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Don’t Trust Yourself, There’s a Better Way

By Shari Hervold

Proverbs 3:5-6 admonishes us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” To trust in someone means to have assured reliance on their character, veracity, and strength. Here we are told to trust in the Lord whole-heartedly. Specifically, what does that look like to the widow?
Most widows have lost the one earthly individual they trusted enough to share their lives with, expose their emotions to, bear the children of, and to whom they have looked to for carrying out the jobs around the house requiring physical strength. In addition, for those more serious decisions, the widow was part of a team, weighing pros and cons before arriving at a decision. Now she finds herself cast in a solo role where decisions still need to be made, children may still need emotional, if not physical, support, and those jobs requiring physical strength still need to be completed. In addition, not only is the widow now alone, she is often very lonely and dealing with a myriad of emotions, often overcome with tears when she least expects them. While dealing with all of this, she is acutely aware that life must go on and she is the one to maintain control over hers. Often, not wishing to bother others in her life, she slogs along, keeping herself busy to avoid coming to terms with the void in her life…until she realizes that she has been performing empty motions.



In this scripture God invites you, precious widow, to trust in Him with the entire of your life, withholding nothing from Him. He realizes that you are a frail mortal with only a fragmentary view of your life. Your understanding is limited; His is limitless. We often harbor the misconception that if we understand, then we will have peace about a situation. So what happens when we don’t understand or perhaps even worse, we think we’ve figured something out only to realize we were mistaken? God here lets us know that our peace is contingent on Him and our trust in Him. His thoughts are far above ours. I especially love the line that invites us to acknowledge him in all our ways – yes, even those day-to-day, seemingly inconsequential decisions, hurts, disappointments –give them to God and He will direct you. God knows all about your frailties, your grief, your frustrations, even your anger, so He invites you to trust Him enough to commit your life into His keeping because of His great love for you. He doesn’t shake his finger at you to shame you for your feelings, your failings, your inadequacies and inabilities. His love for you has nothing to do with what you do or don’t do. That’s why this scripture is so precious to the widow. He knows that you’ve lost your life’s partner. He understands the turmoil you feel at times, even better than you do, and wants you to trust Him to make your life secure in His love and protection. Verse six gives us the promise that when we trust in God and forsake our efforts to figure out everything for ourselves, then He will direct our paths. He’s a God who is smart enough to figure out anything; nothing confounds Him! If you are experiencing some personal pain or turmoil in your life right now, I encourage you to meditate on the words of this scripture, and rest well tonight knowing that your life is in His hands.



Thursday, January 8, 2015

Music is good for our souls


Good morning Ladies ~ I hope your new year is off to a good start and that you are feeling God’s loving presence in your lives.

This morning as I walked around my gardens and felt the gentle, chilly breezes on my skin, I stopped & looked upward at the blue sky and white clouds and just thanked Jesus for His many blessings.

I’m starting my third year without my dear husband and my word for the year is ‘dependence’. Dependence on Jesus for all things in my life. I am looking forward to seeing ‘how’ He is going to lead me ever closer to Him in this new year. My ‘widow’s fog’ has lifted quite a bit and there are some things I’d like to accomplish this year. Jesus is my strength.

He is the one who puts music in my heart, music that makes my soul soar, that uplifts my spirit when I am down. He has used music to speak to me often on this widow’s journey.

I was asked to put these threes songs below up for you all to enjoy again. As we listen to them again I pray that your spirits will be lifted and that you will be drawn ever closer to Jesus.


He’ll Do It Again


‘One Day at a Time’



This song really blesses my heart.


“Just watch and see,

This is just the beginning of the beginning.”


‘Glorious Unfolding’



As we go about our daily routines,

let us lift our hearts

in praise and thanksgiving to Jesus

for everything He has done

and for working all things out in our lives.


May God’s peace, love, joy and strength flow through you and surround you.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Mission Statement 2015

Friends Needing Friends Mission Statement
Good morning Ladies ~ We are at the start of another new year, and it is a good time to share what this ministry is about.


"Friends Needing Friends" is a special ministry for widows only.
This ministry is a sisterhood of ladies selected by God.  I have been asked the following questions many times - "why widows only?" or "I'm divorced, why can't I come?" I will try to answer these questions as simply as I can.
When you divorce your mate, it is a human decision between two people.  The death of a mate is a decision made by God. The true reason for either loss, only God knows.
As director and founder of "FNF" I have witnessed a special compassionate bond between all the ladies.  When a newly widowed person comes to a meeting for the first time, I will introduce the widow to another widow.  Immediately, there is an expression of compassion that no other person can give nor receive.  Their eyes meet and in a single glance without saying a word, there is an exchange of understanding and full knowledge of their hurts and feelings.  These feelings are the true meaning of the word "sisterhood".
The dictionary's definition of the word "sisterhood" is: "An organization of women with a common interest, as for social, charitable, or females members of a church".
The common interest of "FNF" is from the Bible in 2 Corinthians 1:4 - God comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  Our sisterhood of women is doing exactly what God has directed it to do and who better to help at this time - you guessed it - another widow.
Our sisterhood was founded in June 1988 and has physically and financially supported several other charitable organizations.
We have a Teddy Bear ministry where once again we obey God by visiting the sick and the shut-ins. Since 1995, our ladies have delivered hundreds and hundreds of Teddy Bears to the sick and have encouraged the shut-ins with God's love.
The past several months, God has led "FNF" to support a special Christian Foundation in India that supports our widow sisters who are in need of food, shelter and medicine.
As of this month (January 2015), our two ministries (N.J.& FL) have raised $1,000.00. (PTL) As the saying goes: "Side by side, or miles apart...We are sisters, connected by the heart."
Yes, we have met the dictionary’s description of the word "sisterhood" and yes our ladies have obeyed the LORD by sharing the comfort that God has given to us.
May I further explain to you that "FNF" is a ministry available to widows only; that may or may not attend a church.  There is a desperate need in our society today regarding the widows that we come in contact with.  Our group is a Christian Interdenominational ministry and we do not urge joining a different church or changing one's religion.
I hope that you will be able to attend our monthly meeting/luncheon, which is on the third Monday of each month. We look forward to seeing you there and if you can, invite or bring a widowed friend.
Meeting place:
Palm Beach National Golf & Country Club
7500 St. Andrews Rd., Lake Worth, FL. 33467
Time: 10 a.m. - 12 noon
In June 2013, we celebrated our 25th Anniversary of FNF.
That was also the year God laid upon my heart to leave New Jersey and reside in Boynton Beach, FL to live near my son Daniel and his family.  God also led me to start another ministry  in FL, the same as FNF in New Jersey. It is now the beginning of 2015 and the ministry in Lake Worth, FL has been blessed by God.  Our Bible verses for all of our meetings is found in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. (NLT)
Happy 2015 ~ Dotti Ackerman