Saturday, February 24, 2018


Dear Friends Needing Friends,

Greetings from our birth state, New Jersey, and in the name of our Provisional LORD!
How exciting to think that FNF will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary in June of 2018.

Congratulations! And a very special “thank you” to Dotti Ackerman, Shari Hervold and Mary Lou Tweed who have watched over you with tender loving care.
Welcome to the FNF family all of you who are a part of this marvelous family outside of the United States. So pleased you’re a part of the family. I have spoken for FNF Anniversary nearly every year since its inception. Looking back, I would have to say if there is one message that stands paramount to me it’s THE VALUE OF ENCOURAGEMENT. More people are made and broken by the spoken word than any other way. That’s why I’d like to share these thoughts from my talk on June 25, 2012.

How about we start with a light moment?
Hymns for her: One Sunday a pastor told the congregation that the church needed money and asked the people to prayerfully consider giving a little extra in the offering plate. He said that whoever gave the most would be able to pick out three hymns. After the offering plates were passed, the pastor glanced down and noticed that someone had placed a $1,000 bill in offering. He was so excited that he immediately shared his joy with the congregation and said he’d like to personally thank the person who placed $1,000 bill in the offering plate. A very quiet, elderly and saintly lady, sitting all the way in the back shyly raised her hand. The pastor asked her to come to the front. Slowly she made her way to the pastor. He told her how wonderful it was that she gave so much and in thanksgiving asked her to pick out three hymns. Her eyes brightened as she looked over the congregation, pointed to the three most handsome men in the building and said, “I’ll take him and him and him. (Smile)

As the years creep up on us ever so quickly, we often wonder what we can do when, physically, our bodies have limitations, when our eyes and ears and joints aren’t what they used to be. Granted, we may not be able to do the things we did when we were 30, but there is one thing all of us can do. What do you think that one thing is? HINT! It’s something EVERYONE needs whether they will admit it or not. Encouragement! You can be an encourager.

Phillis Theroux writes, “One of the commodities in life that most people can’t get enough of compliment….Compliments by their very nature are highly bio-degradable and tend to dissolve hours or days after we receive them- which is why we can always use another.” WFYT – April 20, 2006

We should be an encourager because God is an encourager. Note these words to the young Joshua as he takes the helm from Moses: “Be strong for “take courage”) for I am with you. Do not fear.”  These words, in some form or another, are found again and again in the setting of encouraging.

They were said by the LORD to Abraham (Gen. 15:1) after he had rescued Lot and delivered the king of Sodom from defeat and then gave Melchizedek the tithe.
God to Hagar (Gen 21:17) when she, as a single parent, though she and her only son were going to die.

David to Solomon (1 Kings 2:2:  I Chr 28:10 & amp: 20) in building the temple.
Jonathan to David (1 Sam:18) when David was running from Saul for his life, a refugee in the very nation of which he was anointed to be king.

The angel to Mary (Luke 1:30) in having the unfathomable responsibility of carrying,
giving birth, and raising the Son of God.

Paul to Timothy (2 Tim 2:1) in teaching others. The “First and the Last” to the church at Smyrna (Rev 2:10) not to fear what they must suffer – affliction and poverty – for in the end, they will receive “the crown of life.”

There is a lady who has been attending GCCC since we moved into our building in 1996. When she first came to the Church she struggled severely with depression. (I strongly believe her low self-esteem was a result of a poor relationship with her father who NEVER encouraged her.) When she would come to me with questions about life in general – I would encourage her. The transformation was amazing. She began serving in the church, tithe, invest her money somewhere other than low interest bearing cd accounts, conquered an eating disorder – which was actually an image disorder, and no longer sees a counselor. Why? ALL because of a few words of encouragement every-so-often. Amazing!

In a big city cathedral, an altar boy dropped the communion wine. His bishop turned to
him and whispered reassuringly. “it’s  okay, someday you’ll be a great priest.” That boy became Archbishop Fulton Sheen, whose sermons touched the hearts of millions for 30 years. You never know what a graceful word will yield.
So be an encourager!  A kind word spoken with purposeful intent could change lives (not simply a life but lives) for all eternity.

Message by Pastor Bruce Sofia,
 Gloucester County Community Church, Sewell, N.J.

I Will Worship You by Matthew Ward

Because of Who You Are by Vicki Yohe