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.



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