Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Once again, it’s time to celebrate. WOW!  Do we serve such an awesome God.  He tells us time and time again in the Bible to celebrate, unwind, relax, and enjoy yourself. If you seriously think about it, it’s His way of restoring our mind and bodies after completing a task and to preparing us to get ready for another. 

Friends Needing Friends is celebrating their 27th Anniversary of this ministry. Twenty-seven years ago God called me into the ministry of helping the widow and to create a sisterhood for widows only.  To read all about how the ministry was started – click above to “Our Founder & Mission”.

We started our celebration with a special meeting in New Jersey with Pastor Bruce Sofia as our guest speaker. Pastor Bruce was my pastor for over twenty-five years and encouraged me to start this widow ministry.  Now get comfortable and get ready to receive a special blessing.

Friends Needing Friends” 27th Anniversary Celebration

I’d like to talk to you about three types of mentality – Scarce, Content and Plenty.  As widows you are most likely left in one of three positions:

1.     Scarce – I don’t know how I’m going to survive.

2.     Content – I’m ok.  I’m not going to live in luxury, but I’m going to make it.

3.     Plenty – I’m sitting pretty well off.  In fact, I’m able to help my family and others.

No matter what condition you find yourself in, the attitude with which you approach that position will determine your “joy”.

When Paul and Silas found themselves in a prison cell facing execution; they chose to sing hymns. What was the result?  Their attitude set them free. The chains were broken, the jailer and his household were saved, and Paul and Silas were released.
Now whether they were set free or not, they found freedom in the posture of their attitude. In prison or out of prison they were set free.  Paul tells the Philippians 4:11b-13, I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (12) I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (13) I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. 
The reality of life is we’ve all met people who have plenty, but it’s not enough. We’ve met people with little and it’s plenty and we’ve met people, that whatever their situation, they have enough.

Now here’s the promise. Let me suggest that you, all of us, cloak ourselves with this promise: Philippians 4:19-20 – (19) and my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (2) Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.


1.     For 40 years God fed the Israelites in the desert with Angel food.
2.     When Elijah was wondering where his next meal was going to come from, God fed him
with ravens.

3.     When the disciples wondered how Jesus was going to feed 20,000 people, he told them to find a lunch.  He then fed all 20,000 with one boy’s lunch.

A scarcity mentality is rooted in fear, and demonstrates distrust in the awesome power of an Almighty God to supply ALL or our needs according to His unlimited resources.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help in times of fear. First go to God, then be willing to follow His lead, whether it is manna from heaven, ravens, a boy’s lunch or a dear friend who’s been there.  Paul said he received great joy when the brethren met his need.

You can rest in this promise, the best of all is God is with you. David said, “I’ve been young and now I’m old, and I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken nor their seed begging for bread.”  Psalm 37:25. So, what do you say, let’s cloak ourselves with an attitude of plenty, for our God is plenteous!

A good place to start, do you know the Heavenly Father?  Here’s how:

Admit your sins have separated you from God. (Psa 14:1-3; Rom 3:23); 

Believe that God did something about your sins through Jesus Christ. (The final Pascal Lamb/Messiah.)  (Lev. 17:10; Heb 9:19-22);

Commit yourself to His righteous by confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior.  (Isa 53:5: Col.1:22)

Do it today!  (Isa 49:8: 2Cor 6:2).

Father in Heaven, I am sorry for the things I’ve done that are wrong; I am a sinner; forgive me. Thank You for loving me and sending your son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for my sin. Holy Spirit, come into my heart; Jesus be my Lord and Savior. I give You my life.  Amen.

Message by Pastor Bruce Sofia
Founder and Senior Pastor of
Gloucester County Community Church
Sewell, N.J.
Pastor Sofia has been the Pastor
 For FNF since 1988.

 F.N.F. - 27 Years Serving the Lord!

God has put a dream inside of you. It's yours and no one else’s. It declares your uniqueness. It holds your potential. Only you can birth it. Only you can live it. Not to discover it, take responsibility for it and act upon it, is to negatively affect yourself as well as all those who would benefit from your dream. (WFYT/June16)

"For all the sad words of tongue and pen; the saddest are these, it might have been." John Greenleaf Whittier Rescue your dream.                  

Thank you God for the 27 years of your protection, love, and provision for the widow. Thank you for all the ladies that have served in both FNF ministries and in India. We thank you for our churches that have sponsored this special ministry.  We thank you for our FNF blog that has reached our country and internationally.  We thank you for everyone that has participated in our FNF blog. Only you could reach out to the world and help these widows. You are truly an awesome God. 
I love you God, your servant,
Dotti Ackerman
Founder & Director of F.N.F.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

PART 2 - PSALM 91:9-16

Living Under the Shadow of the Almighty

Psalm 91 is such a precious, calming-to-the-soul Psalm to each of us. But it especially resonates to the widow who may have no one else to be her defender, her protector, her provider, or her calming agent when life roars at her.  We want to look at verses 9-16 today.

Verse 9 begins with the declaration: For Jehovah is my refuge. I choose the God above all gods to shelter me. The preceding verses had spoken of a number of things that may occur to cause someone to fear: darkness, wars, sicknesses, calamities and disasters. When one is living alone, as most widows do, and the protection of their husbands is no longer available, God here lovingly reminds them that He is their protector and they don’t have to fear any of these things…if their trust and faith is in Him. Verse 10 asks the question, “How can evil overtake me or any plague come near? 

 We hear and read a lot about angels these days – some of it true to Scripture and a lot of it not remotely true. But here we read in Psalm 91:11 that God gives the angels orders to protect his children wherever they go. The noted Bible commentator, Matthew Henry, reminds us that this is not an order to the church in general, but to every believer in Christ personally.  This says a lot about the personal, loving God that we serve. The charge that he gives to the angels regarding you, dear widow, is to keep you in all your ways. Even when the danger to you either physically, spiritually, or emotionally, isn’t even evident to you; yet, the angels will protect you.

I love the personal attention that the Psalmist ascribes to the angels as they go about their duties toward us: They will steady you with their hands to keep you from stumbling against the rocks on the trail.  It seems to me that it is instinctive to a husband to reach out and touch the elbow or arm of his wife when there is any danger of falling or stumbling. Often my husband will reach for my hand as we cross a street, or walk up stairs. I’m sure that many of you widows remember your husbands doing this to you and you probably miss that tender physical touch. This verse reminds us of the great ability, and power given to angels, yet also their great affection for us. They are able to bear you up out of danger and they “do it with all the tenderness and affection wherewith the nurse carries the little child about in her arms,” comments Matthew Henry.

You widows know better than many the “rocks on the trail of life” and how dangerously close some of you may have come to falling because of them. Grief and loneliness are two conditions that can sink one into despair quickly and permanently if one allows them to. I think these might be the “lion” or “dangerous snakes” in your lives. I say this because death is so final and no one is totally prepared for it. Your husbands were your life partners, and some of you have eloquently stated how you felt that your “songs had lost their tune” when you became a widow. I’m convinced that Satan, if given the chance, will use these to defeat you. Yet, verse 13 states that the angels will safely protect you and you can trample these beneath your feet.  Whatever the “lions” and “snakes” are in your lives, you don’t have to fear them or succumb to them.

The last verses of this Psalm speak again of what God will do to and for those who love Him. Everything that we have is because of His great love for us. Because we know the person who owns the name God, we can use that name when we need to. He will be with us in trouble, which indicates that we will have some trouble as long as we’re on this earth, but He walks us through it. Ultimately, He will rescue us and honor us with a full, long life. As someone once remarked, “You can’t get a longer life than eternal life and eternal life is quality life.” Those are the rewards for making Jehovah God your God and trusting in Him to take your hand when you feel that you are walking alone through life.
Message by Shari Hervold

I pray that you will allow Psalm 91 be a constant reminder to you that you are precious to God and that He personally cares for you as a defender, provider, protector – and all that you need - as you traverse through life as a solo traveler.

 Enjoy the beautiful music of Josh Grodan --- Eagle's Wings

Thursday, June 11, 2015


Psalm 91:1-9

I invite you to look with me at Psalm 91.  I suggest that you read the entire Psalm yourself. For our purposes, we will look at the first 9 verses.

The gods of the ancient world were concerned with powerful people, not unlike our world today. You know those people: the wealthy, the intellectual, the gorgeous, the great athletes, and cunning warriors. The remaining members of society just served as a backdrop, so to speak, for the schemes of the mighty and powerful, and the deities. That is not true for the God portrayed in the Bible. Our God is one who, not only is interested in his creation personally, but also loves them infinitely. Psalm 91 is a reminder of that.

According to the great commentator, Matthew Henry, verses 1-9 remind all of us that those who live a life of communion with God are constantly safe under His protection and may have security of mind at all times. I don’t have to remind you widows that you find yourselves so vulnerable at times without the protection of your husbands…not just physical protection, but protection from scams and being over charged, to name two. I think these verses have special meaning to you.

"The Widow of Zaraphath"
I couldn’t help but think of some of the widows in the Bible and how God’s protection was there for them. The first one who comes to mind is the ‘”widow of Zaraphath.”  Her story is recorded in I Kings 17. We know that the drought in Israel affected many women. Have you ever wondered why God sent the prophet to her? I suggest it was because of His concern for her as a widow. Psalm 68 reminds us that God is a defender of widows. She, as well as her child, would have died without divine intervention. She appears to be without family or anyone to whom she could turn. Do you ever feel like that? Remember that if your trust is in God and you are abiding in Him, nothing can happen to you without His permission.

Naomi & Ruth
Two other Old Testament widows who experienced God’s protection and guidance were Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth After her husband and two sons had died, Naomi was left in a foreign land grief stricken and destitute – and not just a little bit angry with God. But, she was God’s child and His love for her was not diminished by her anger and frustration. Think of that long trip back to Israel she took, along with Ruth. They were vulnerable to wild animals, robbers, and unsavory males. Yet, their ever loving and watchful God protected them the whole journey and lead them safely to Bethlehem. Once there, God lead the young widow Ruth to the fields of Boaz who just happened to be a relative of Naomi and became her kinsman redeemer in the tradition of that time. God was working on behalf of these two widows in all of these things. Ruth’s declaration that Naomi’s god would be her god was the best decision of her life. No two women were in a more desperate situation upon arriving back in Bethlehem. Yet, verse four of this Psalm uses the metaphor for God as that of a hen who lovingly gathers her chicks under her wing to keep them safe. And that is just what God did for these two widows. Matthew Henry states that by natural instinct the hen not only protects them, but calls them under that protection when she sees them in danger, not only keeping them safe, but cherishing them and keeping them warm. What a beautiful picture of the personal, loving, caring God that is spoken of in this Psalm. You may sometimes feel as helpless as a chick and easy prey for life’s predators, but you are invited to trust under the shadow of the wings of the great God of the universe. He’s just that caring of you precious widows.

With so much happening in our culture and in the world at large, it easy for one to worry about dangers of all sorts. Verse 5 centers on things that may be a cause for concern:

·       You don’t need to fear the nighttime
·       You don’t need to fear what could happen to you during the daytime
·       You don’t have to worry about sicknesses
·       You don’t have to worry about world calamities or disasters
·       You don’t have to fear wars

The best part of that section states that the reason you don’t have to be overly concerned even though you are living alone is because GOD IS YOUR REFUGE!

Just as the widow of Zaraphath obeyed the request of the prophet Elijah, and Naomi and Ruth put their trust in the God of Israel, so you must decide to make God your refuge, you must converse with Him, and be “at home” with Him.  The Psalmist says, “I choose the God above all gods to shelter me.” These promises in Psalm 91 are sure to all who do so and you can know that no evil will befall you. You may have to go through some sufferings and trouble, but our loving God allows that for your good and He will go with you and see you safely and lovingly through them.

Think upon the words of this Psalm and choose to trust your entire life to the God of the Bible who loves you more than you can ever know. Next week we’ll look at the rest of this Psalm.                  
Message by Shari Hervold
Next week's message:  Living UNDER the Shadow of the Almighty
Psalm 91: 9-16

Just click on the center of the picture and enjoy Josh Groban - Eagles Wings 
God Bless!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Lois and Eunice - Grandmother and Mother

We live in an age of negative influences. God's word has been taken out of schools and public buildings. Television and movies are full of hostility, murder and immorality. Children can be sheltered at home but soon grow out of parental protection. In this age of negative influences bombarding children from all sides, how important it is that they receive the strong spiritual influences within the family. As mothers and grandmothers, we have a mission to build God's love into a child so that they are equipped for life.

Grandmothers and mothers often fail to get credit for the success of a child. Often it is the father or the child's intellect or good luck. However, it is often mothers and grandmothers who have been working quietly in the background to build character from the time of the child's birth.

Lois and her daughter, Eunice, are mentioned only once in the Bible. Not much is said about them but that which is recorded tells the story.

To get the picture, we will take a look at the son and grandson, Timothy. The apostle Paul wrote two personal letters to Timothy who was a young church leader. In 2 Timothy 1:2, Paul calls him "my beloved son." Timothy was his spiritual son and beloved protégé.

Paul calls Timothy "my beloved son.

Acts 16:1 tells us that Timothy's mother was a Jewess and a believer but his father was a Greek. His father would have known little about God but Timothy received training through his mother and grandmother. We are told that Timothy had been taught the Holy Scriptures since he was an infant. He had been fully prepared for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.  (2 Timothy 3:15, 16) Paul acknowledged the sincere faith of Lois and Eunice and saw that same faith living in Timothy. (2 Timothy 1:5)

Timothy may have been led to faith by Paul but I am inclined to think that it was his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice who steered him to Jesus Christ. They had already given him a firm foundation in Scripture. When they came to know Jesus, it would have been natural to teach Timothy about their new found hope.

These two Jewish women must have taught Timothy to know God just as they had been taught, for ancient scriptures instructed parents to memorize God's word and to instill it into the hearts and minds of their children. God's word was to become a natural part of daily life. (Deuteronomy 11:18, 19)

Lois and Eunice knew that if Timothy had a good spiritual foundation, he would be strong as he grew.
"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6 They knew that in giving him this foundation, he would have inner guidance that would never fail him because wisdom and understanding begins with the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 9:10)

So as mothers and grandmothers, let us not entrust our children's future to chance. Begin now to build a firm foundation of faith on which they will stand and grow.
Pray that your children and grandchildren will receive Jesus Christ early in life.
How will you make scripture a natural part of your everyday life so that it naturally becomes a part of your child's life?
By:  Lynne Chapman – Bella Online’s Christian Living Editor

Message by Shari Hervold

Now sit back and enjoy a wonderful song by Celine Dion called "A Mother's Prayer"

I pray you'll be my eyes
And watch her where she goes
And help her to be wise
Help me to let go

Every mother's prayer
Every child knows
Lead her to a place
Guide her with your grace
To a place where she'll be safe

I pray she finds your light
And holds it in her heart
As darkness falls each night
Remind her where you are

Every mother's prayer
Every child knows
Need to find a place
Guide her with your grace
Give her faith so she'll be safe

Lead her to a place
Guide her with your grace
To a place where she'll be safe

Published by
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group