Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"Go and Enjoy!" Yea Nehemiah!

It’s time to “Go and enjoy!” Yea Nehemiah!

Friends Needing Friends International is celebrating two noteworthy milestones: the New
Jersey chapter is celebrating its 28th anniversary and the blog is celebrating its 27,000 “hits” in over a dozen countries. While all the praise for every accomplishment of this ministry goes to God, I think there is scriptural precedence for celebration and partying. One only has to look in the book of Nehemiah to read of such a celebration.
The rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem is recorded within this book. It was not an easy process. The workers became discouraged and wanted to quit, their enemies taunted them, and Nehemiah had a lot to contend with in leading the people in the process. Once it was completed and the beautiful city of Jerusalem was again well defended, those Israelites who had been taken captive and were not living elsewhere began to come “home” to Jerusalem, which once again began teeming with people. Then Ezra, the priest, called the people together to read the Law of God aloud to them, as it had been a long since that had occurred. They were so happy to once again hear 
God’s Word that they wept openly. 
The eighth chapter of Nehemiah tells us that Nehemiah told the people to stop their weeping, for the joy of the Lord was their strength. Then, he told them to do something that might seem a little curious to us; he told them to “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks. . .” Ladies, that’s a celebration. This ministry has been developed with tears, moments of wanting to give up, and discouraging remarks from outsiders, but FNF, as well as the blog, is stronger than ever. To God be the Glory! This calls for a celebration. It’s time to party!

The twelfth chapter of Nehemiah records the joyous occasion of the dedication of the wall. I think it could well serve as a model for what Friends Needing Friends will be doing in June. Verse twenty-seven tells us that they celebrated with songs of thanksgiving. It is fitting that you women give thanks to God for FNF, not forgetting to be thankful for Dotti, the founder, and Florida director and maintainer of the blog, and Mary Lou, the New Jersey director. And don’t forget all those who work so hard each month to put on the lovely meetings that you enjoy.

I also note that the scripture states that they celebrated joyfully.  There is a difference in merely being happy and being joyful. Happiness comes from without, but joy comes from within. 

These folks were happy, taking pleasure in the moment, but they were also joyful, which is long lasting.  The Florida chapter is throwing a blog party and its New Jersey counterpart will have a lovely luncheon with a special speaker and musical presentation.  I encourage you to not go light on the fun, food, and frivolity.  After all, the whole of this ministry is dedicated to you women who have endured mourning accompanied by many tears.  Take to heart Nehemiah's words: "Do not mourn or weep...Go your way, enjoy choice food (don't even think of counting calories) and sweet drinks. . . for the joy of the Lord is your strength."Congratulations to FNF, its blog, and each of you ladies who minister to each other faithfully month after month!  God is celebrating with you.

            Reflection: If you are reading this blog and have not asked the Jesus of the Bible to become your Lord and Savior, I implore you to do so now.  If you long for a lasting joy in your life, I ask you to trust in Jesus Christ for eternal life made available to you through His death and resurrection.  Jesus Christ himself said that if you come to Him, you will become a child of God and a joint heir with Him in all the wonderful things that God has prepared for those who trust in Him.  It is the best decision you will ever make.

Message by Shari Hervold

Thank You Jesus

At our age we might not be dancing to the music, but we can still tap our feet to the beat and celebrate. FNF has worked very hard over the years serving the Lord. Therefore, let's get ready as we listen to the next song. "Celebrate Good Times" I wonder what they sang as they celebrated in Nehemiah's time.  (Smile)

Friends Needing Friends in New Jersey is a special sisterhood of widows and has great leadership. Pastor Bruce Sofia of the Gloucester County Community Church has been the Pastor of FNF for 28 years and Mary Lou Tweed is now the director of this fantastic sisterhood.

These ladies help with all the desk needs for the organization and have been with the sisterhood for over 25 years. God Bless these ladies.

Congratulations to all these ladies! These are the ladies that God has sent to FNF. I love them all dearly.

The ladies all meet at Wedgwood Country Club,

Turnersville, New Jersey.

Diana is our photographer from the N.J. chapter.
Thank you Diana for all your faithfulness and loyalty to FNF. May God truly favor you.