Monday, October 26, 2015


In I Timothy 6:18, we read these words: Command that they do good, that they be rich in good works, generous, willing to share, and laying up in store for themselves a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of eternal life. (MEV)

Paul is writing to Timothy, his son in the faith, and instructing him on what he should be teaching to the church in Ephesus. Someone, upon reading this verse, remarked that it is telling us to enjoy being a blessing to others for in so doing we are laying up eternal riches that will far exceed any sacrifice we may make down here.

As I contemplated this verse in reference to widows and, always seeking to inform my writings with biblical examples, I thought of Tabitha, the story of whom is recorded in Acts 9:36-42.  She was a follower of Jesus Christ who became ill and died.  Her death so upset the people of her church in Joppa that they sent for Peter to come.

The scriptures don’t say exactly why they sent for Peter, but it does tell us that when he arrived the widows could only take him to where Tabitha’s body lay, and then through their weeping point out to him the many garments that Tabitha had made. The scriptures describe her as being full of good works and acts of love. The scene seems to be that of a group of widows, who traditionally were among the most impoverished in their culture, totally distraught at the death of this generous, loving woman and looking to Peter whose miraculous works were well known, as if to say, “We can’t survive without her. Do something!” And he did.  He sent them out of the room, and prayed over her and God raised her up. 
Tabitha has left us with quite a legacy and example of how to live out the injunction of I Timothy 6.

As many of you know, the FNF chapters in New Jersey and Florida have “adopted” twelve widows in India and send a monthly stipend to them through the Kerusomen Gospel Ministries.  They have selected what are known as “orphaned widows,” those with no family to help them; in fact, many times they have been totally abandoned by their families and left with no means of support. 
These American widows initially took on the support of five orphaned widows and that group has grown to twelve.

 Dotti Ackerman, director of the Florida chapter, asked her widows to give a Christmas gift in the amount of $5.00 per widow above their regular stipend. Dotti relayed the following story to me:
          One afternoon when I was at my dentist’s office, he inquired how everything was going with me, knowing that I was undergoing cancer treatment. We had developed a special bond as both his mother and sister were cancer survivors. I told him about my widows’ group’s support of the widows in India and how we were wanting to send them a monetary gift at Christmas as well as gifts to Pastor Sahaya Simon and his family who oversee the ministry. My dentist Dr. Ralph asked me how much was needed, and then gave me enough American dollars to cover monetary gifts for the widows and gifts for the Pastor and his family. The $55.00 my widows collected covered the cost of mailing 
 the gifts.

Dotti was elated as she shared this story of God’s provision. Her widows gave sacrificially and God moved on the heart of Dotti’s dentist to go beyond what Dotti could ask or think and a dozen widows and a pastor’s family in India will be the grateful recipients.

John Wesley made the following a rule for his life and I pray that each of us will too.
          Do all the good you can,
          by all the means you can,
          in all the ways you can,
          in all the places you can,
          to all the people you can,
          as long as ever you can.

However, I don’t want you to think that by doing good you somehow earn God’s approval.  Oswald Chambers beautifully says it, “Christian character is not expressed by doing good, but by God-likeness. It is not sufficient to do good, to do the right thing. We must have our goodness stamped by the image and superscription of God. It is supernatural all through.”

 In other words, our acts of love and service are prompted and empowered by the Holy Spirit who indwells each of God’s children.  Pray that God will open your eyes to ways to show His love through acts of generosity and service each day.

Message by Shari Hervold

Wednesday, October 14, 2015



“…the battle is not yours, but God’s  


   An overpowering Egyptian army pursued God’s people. Backed up against the sea with no weapons or way of escape, God parted the waters and led His people to safety. A menacing army hunted down the prophet Elisha, but God struck the army with blindness and sent them home humiliated. The Israelites were no match for the Aramean army that surrounded Jerusalem and cut off their food supply.  In the middle of the night God caused the enemy to hear sounds of a great army, the Arameans fled in fear, leaving all their silver, gold, food and supplies behind. Time and time again when God’s people themselves unfit, ill equipped and with nowhere to turn, God stepped in and unfurled His power. Your Heavenly Father always has a plan and His plans never fail.

 “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry…He delivers them from all their troubles.” 

Samuel begged God to defend the Israelites against the Philistines, and God answered in a loud voice like thunder that caused the enemy to flee. Hezekiah pleaded with God to save the people from the Assyrians, and an angel of the LORD put to death 185,000 men in the enemy camp.

 Jehoshaphat prayed, “we have no power…we do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” God gave the people victory without having to fight. 
Because he loves says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him; for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon Me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him”.

When you cry out for help and God speaks, do exactly what He says. Obedience is faith in action.  God told Moses to stand firm and be still; they would be delivered without a fight. By faith the people did and they beheld the miracle. God told Gideon to reduce his army from 32,000 to 300 to fight the Midianites. By faith he did, and God brought an easy victory. God told Joshua to march around Jericho for seven days blowing trumpets. By faith they did, and the insurmountable walls crumbled. His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. At first they may not always make sense, but God’s ways are perfect, and His word is flawless. He knows your enemy. Trust His plan.

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. I will turn the darkness into light…and make the rough places smooth. Turn to me and be saved…for I am God, and there is no other. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come…’  In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust in your strength.  

We all find ourselves in helpless situations when things will seem out of control. God understands. “When we were utterly helpless with no way of escape, Christ will at just the right time and died for us sinners…”  The God that lovely gave His only son to rescue us from our helpless state will not abandon us. When we in faith look to Jesus in our weakness, He becomes our strength.  When we invite Him into our dead ends, He becomes our way. When we fix our eyes on Him, He          becomes our peace.

Where are you facing disap-
pointment, setback, insurmountable walls, overpowering enemies, or impossible odds?  Take heart! The battle is not yours but the Lord’s.

Surrender to Him.  He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Trust His love for you His plans never fail.

Message "Giving God Your Battle" by the Senior Pastor J. Bruce Sofia from the
Gloucester County Community Church
Sewell, New Jersey. Pastor Bruce has been my family's pastor since 1984. Thank you Pastor and may God Bless you and your family.

Tears Are A Language God Understands by Amy Lambert

The Battle Belongs To The Lord by John Michael Talbot