Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Robes Made By Dorcas
Acts 9:36-42

Dorcus, a word which means “Gazelle”, was sometimes called Tabitha. She was a very kind person who spent her time caring for the widows of Joppa. The story takes place in the time of the early church right after Saul’s conversion.

Tabitha, it is not known whether she was a widow or not, could have been the leader or overseer of the local widows or she may have been a dear friend who cared for them. What is clear is that she did many good things for others. We are going to study what happened in Joppa when Tabitha took ill and died.  This is where the story gets exciting. 

Verses: 37 & 38 - Her body was washed and placed in the upper room and the disciples sent two men for Peter “Please come at once”.

First, we see a clear illustration of the body of Christ coming together to support one another in a time of great need.

Verse 39:  Peter went with them and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying…

The widows were not unfamiliar with death or grief yet here we see them weeping for their friend.  “Their tears didn’t compromise their strength,” and we know the widows were strong because, they summoned Peter a wanted man.  They kept the body in the upper room, the room was for prayer meetings in faith and they stayed there until the work was done.

Verse 39… showing him the robes and other clothing Tabitha made while she was with them. Some translations say for “them” and other translations say specifically “inner and outer robes” for them.  I want us to take great care in not overlooking the significance of the end of this verse. The key word is “robes”. What do robes represent in scripture? Robes are used often in scripture when there is a change from some form of death to life. Tabitha made robes for the widows and those robes symbolized the widow’s journey from death to life again. Inner robes meaning newness spiritually and outer symbolizing newness in purpose.

This is so powerful. For we can now see that why Tabitha meant so much to them. God used her to change the lives of the widows both inwardly and outwardly. Here they are exclaiming to Peter “LOOK PETER, LOOK WHAT SHE DID FOR US THIS IS WHY WE ARE HERE, SHE SHARED ALL SHE HAD WITH US AND WE ARE FOREVER CHANGED!

Verse 40:  Peter sent them all out of the room, then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said “Tabitha, get up!”. She opened her eyes and seeing Peter she sat up.
Verse 41: Then he called all the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. This became known all over Joppa and many people believed in the Lord.

Because the widow’s did not let their tears compromise their strength and they remembered the new robes of purpose, Tabitha sowed in their life, and they were able to give testimony to the world. Have you given robes of purpose to someone lately? Or has tragedy loss and sadness limited your strength?  Today, please take the time to reflect on those in your life who may have given you garments for praise. Now you can draw strength from their example which can inspires you to inspire others. 

By Rita Leone Reyes – This message blessed many widows at our FNF meeting in N.J., especially when Rita had everyone repeat the phrase “My tears don’t compromise my strength”  A phrase to be repeated to yourself daily.  

God On The Mountain by Lynda Randle - A perfect song for the lives of all widows.

Friday, March 6, 2015


Dear Friends,

At one of the “FNF” meetings, the ladies were asked to write a question concerning widowhood and I would answer one question each month that would be published in their monthly newsletters and now in the Friends Needing Friends blog.
I pray as you read the different answers to the many questions that were presented, God will speak to your hear
t as He helps you through your time of grieving.
Very truly yours in Jesus,
Pastor Bruce Sofia                                                       

Question:  How long should I wait to enter into a relationship (with the opposite sex) after the loss of my husband?

This is an excellent question with no so simple an answer. So let me speak from my heart and share some thoughts relational to my observation from years of posturing. (These truths are also apropos to those who have just come out a broken or soured relationship.)

1  First, remember that the years you spent with your first husband gave you time to become “soul mates.” Becoming a soul mate takes time. It moves beyond the “conditions” and the “becauses,” it loves “unconditionally” (period).  This does not happen overnight, hence there needs to be a season of healing before one should even consider a “romantic” relationship with the opposite sex. (I would suggest at least one and a half years, two or more is better.)
Paul gives good advice to the widow in I Corinthians 7:8 – Now to the unmarried and the widow I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. Paul goes on to explain his reasoning in verses 29-35 when he says, (29) What I mean, brothers, is...An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs-how he can please the Lord. (33) But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world-how he can please his wife-(34) and his interests are divided.  An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world-how she can please her husband. (35) I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

However, Paul clearly states in verse 9 “if a couple cannot control themselves, they should marry,” and in verse 36 he says, “If anyone thinks they are acting improperly towards the person they are engaged to, they ought to marry.” 

2   Secondly, the above Scripture give clear directives in understanding our purpose in life – it is to please God and serve Him in a way that brings honor to His name. A wrong mate can redirect us away from serving God; therefore we should be patient in letting God bring to us the right person, if indeed remarrying is in His interest. Remember this truth: If it’s in His best interest, it will ultimately be in your best interest.

Make sure that when you enter into a relationship with the opposite sex as a widow(er) that the reasons are to advance His kingdom and not just for your pleasures. Ask yourself, “Does this person want what God wants for my life? What does God want for your life? He wants you to “follow Him and fish for men.”  (Matthew 4:19). If the person you are considering a relationship with does not have this at heart, they will steer you away from God and you will miss what is best for your life.

You have heard the expression “haste makes waste.”  How true in life when it comes to entering into opposite sex relationship. How many have wasted good years on relationships that have turn sour. Not only is patient a virtue in this instance, but seeking godly, objective counsel is also wise.

Proverbs 11:14.
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.  Consider the counsel of those who over the years have revealed themselves as true friends.  They will see your situation much more clearly than you. Ask them what they think, then put their thoughts before the Lord in prayer. If you will listen, God will reveal His heart to you and it will be what is best.

By Rev.Dr.J.Bruce Sofia - Founder & Director of Gloucester County Community Church

 Lord Song, I Know The Plans I Have For You!