Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Mary, Did You Know?

Mark Lowry wrote a song a few years back that quickly became a holiday favorite entitled, Mary, Did You Know? It questions whether Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew the true essence of who Jesus really
was as the Son of God. Did she really know the extent of what she was saying when she told Gabriel, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be unto me according to  your word,” (Luke 1;38 EV)? Regardless of our speculations about Mary’s foreknowledge, the question remains: What enabled her to endure in quiet humility his cruel and unfair treatment,   especially by the church leaders of the day? It is the same strength that will keep you strong when life throws you “curve balls” that seek to undo you. Mary’s absolute trust in her Heavenly Father was unshakeable and she knew that His ultimate purpose would prevail. His word was his bond.

            In this life we will experience pain, sickness, death, poverty, childlessness, unwanted pregnancies, disappointments with children, financial reversals and other unpleasant occurrences, all of which are part of the human experience. John 16:33 reminds us, “In this world you will have tribulation.” So, what should a Christian woman’s response be to all of these vicissitudes of life?

 Let’s look back again to the response of Mary to the announcement of Gabriel. Without consideration to what it would personally cost her, she could say with full assurance in her heavenly Father, “May it be unto me according to your word.” In other words, may everything you have said come true. Mary was able to ponder each incident in her life with full assurance in the words of God. When Jesus made the announcement that we would have troubles in this life, He knew that it would not be received well. Who wants to be assured that bad times will definitely come? But then He delivers the good news, “But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33 MEV). We, like Mary, must believe the words of Christ and have a calm assurance that he is in control no matter what comes our way. Our faith must be rooted in our risen Savior who is the ultimate overcomer.

            As women we identify with the mothering aspect of Mary’s role in Jesus’s live. We can feel her humiliation at being considered an immoral young woman, we feel her hurt as her child is mistreated by the neighborhood kids for being a “bastard,” we share her pride when he becomes a rabbi, we understand her confusion over some of his teachings and activities, we weep with her as he is brutally beaten and crucified, and rejoice with her at his resurrection. Then, she learns that he is going to return to his heavenly home, his true home. But, we don’t read of any disappointment from Mary over this because by this time she had come to realize that she was simply a vessel chosen by God to be a part of a plan for mankind much larger than she. Living out her reply to Gabriel had by now become second nature to her. She willingly waited with the others in the Upper Room for the infilling of the Holy Spirit, and, upon reflection could see how God’s plan was coming to pass. We must do the same, becoming stronger in our faith with each tribulation – no matter the form it takes – and someday we, too, will reflect on our lives and see the hand of God in it all.

            As we experience the joy of the wonderful Christmas season and look forward to the new year, we are faced with a question concerning our own lives: Do we know what lies ahead for us? We only know what Jesus told us. We know that in addition to good times, we can expect some tribulation. Perhaps for some it will be sickness, other may face financial reversals, some may make a major move with a change in lifestyle, and others may experience the death of a loved one. But one fact remains, only God knows what lies ahead for each of us and, if we want to experience true peace of heart and mind, we must remain firm in our faith and trust in Jesus and His Word. Then and only then can we say as Mary did, “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be unto me according to your Word.” Have a blessed and joyous Christmas!

Message by Shari Hervold

 "Mary Did You Know"  by Mark Lowry

 


                                     
                                              

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Animals Make a World of Difference for Widows in India

 Did you know many of the widows Friends Needing Friends serve are in India? In good times these women and their children survive on as little as $1.90 a day. Now with the pandemic to contend with, the future of these families looks bleaker than ever before. The fear of disease is keeping employers unwilling to re-open; the well-to-do won't allow domestic help to enter their homes. Many of these widows are totally disabled. Unlike America, most Indian citizens have no government safety net to fall back on. It's even worse for widows; help from the outside is their only hope...

 During the Covid lockdown, FNF, with their partner Kerusomen Gospel Ministries sent  emergency food packages to starving widows and their communities. It was a lifesaver, for sure, but only for the short term. 

As always, God's plan is so much bigger than we imagine.

We think BAG of food. He says BUILD a business.

God doesn't want to provide food for a day, a week or even a month. He offers us the blessing of joining Him in a transformational mission: providing food and income for entire communities, creating businesses that will last generations. 

As the holidays approach, you can give a gift that lasts a lifetime. Prayerfully consider partnering with us to provide 65 goats and 500 chickens to abandoned widows and struggling families in India. A gift of just $25 can create lasting change and a make a huge difference.

Did you know many of the widows Friends Needing Friends serve are in India? In good times these women and their children survive on as little as $1.90 a day. Now with the pandemic to contend with, the future of these families looks bleaker than ever before. The fear of disease is keeping employers unwilling to re-open; the well-to-do won't allow domestic help to enter their homes. Many of these widows are totally disabled. Unlike America, most Indian citizens have no government safety net to fall back on. It's even worse for widows; help from the outside is their only hope...

 During the Covid lockdown, FNF, with their partner Kerusomen Gospel Ministries sent  emergency food packages to starving widows and their communities. It was a lifesaver, for sure, but only for the short term. 

As always, God's plan is so much bigger than we imagine.

We think BAG of food. He says BUILD a business.

God doesn't want to provide food for a day, a week or even a month. He offers us the blessing of joining Him in a transformational mission: providing food and income for entire communities, creating businesses that will last generations. 

As the holidays approach, you can give a gift that lasts a lifetime. Prayerfully consider partnering with us to provide 65 goats and 500 chickens to abandoned widows and struggling families in India. A gift of just $25 can create lasting change and a make a huge difference.

Watch a short video from Tom Caprio, KGM president, to find your best Gift of Hope!

 


 



Thursday, October 15, 2020

A Question from the Widow of Zarephath


 

  It will come as no surprise to you when I say that widowhood doesn’t hit every woman the same way. Some of you, in addition to dealing with the loss of your husband, your shared companionship, your chauffer, your escort to events of all kinds, you have suffered the loss of income.  What you ladies are experiencing isn’t the “one size fits all,” even though you have many feelings and experiences in common. No matter where you are in the grieving process or the circumstances of your widowhood, you are all asking or have asked the question, “What next, Lord?” God’s Word has the answer to that question. We are going to look at the situation of a widow in the land of Zarephath to see how God answered that question in her life.    

The story of the widow of Zarephath, (her name was never given to us) is recorded in I Kings 17:8-18. Let me summarize the story for you. The setting for the story is Zarephath,

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Daughter, Your Faith Has Healed You. Go in Peace

 As I am writing this, the COVID-19 pandemic is going into its sixth month. Months in which some of the time was spent in quarantine, but always with wearing a mask when going out for any reason. It has been disconcerting to have favorite restaurants and retail stores closed, to be attending church services via internet, bumping elbows instead of greeting friends with a warm hug, postponing or holding “zoom” weddings and other important events, burials of loved ones without benefit of a real funeral and the list of inconveniences goes on. Yes, life has not turned out the way we imagined at the beginning of 2020. As I reflect on the isolation and inconveniences we have endured as a result of this pandemic, I’m reminded of a woman

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Praying from a Positon of Strength



I hope that all of you have either read or listened to the most recent blog here on Friends Needing Friends. In it you were challenged to fast and pray this weekend, July 24, 25, 26, for God to stay this COVID-19 virus. As I stated in my previous blog, you may totally do without food for a meal each day, but we’re not asking you to fast the entire three days. Just be in prayer as you go about your day and be specific in your prayers for this pandemic to come to an end, always acknowledging that you want God’s will to be done as His timing is perfect.
Let me encourage you by calling

Saturday, July 11, 2020

BATTLING "COVID-19" WITH PRAYER




The book of Esther in the Old Testament records the story I’m going to be sharing with you today. Let me just briefly give you some context for what was occurring in today’s lesson. An edict had gone forth from the Persian king, King Xerxes, that all of the Jews in his kingdom were to be killed. Esther was the queen at this time but King Xerxes didn’t know that she was Jewish so he didn’t think twice about signing the edict. However, Esther’s older cousin, Mordecai who had raised her since early childhood, knew that they were in a desperate situation. His only hope was getting Esther to go before the king and plead for her people. This would mean that she would have to declare her true nationality and that alone might jeopardize her relationship with the king. Then she reminded Mordecai that she

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Going Forward as Fearless Women of God

Click below for a wonderful Video of the message by Shari Hervold - "Going Forward as Fearless Women of God" 



For all who wish to copy this special message by Shari Hervold just highlight and copy. This message is expecially for those who are in need of help getting through the pandemic.  

As I am writing this, we are into the 13th week of lockdown during this COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps for a while we were content to finally not have pressing appointments, to be able to attend“church” in our pajamas and see friends and family and participate in small group sessions via Zoom or some
other technological wizardry. Yet,

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Feeding Sheep during QUARANTINE


Feeding Sheep during Quarantine

Yes, you read that title correctly. The United States as well as many, if not most, of the countries around the world is in quarantine because of Covid-19.
But sheep still have to eat and someone has to feed them. There’s a portion of Scripture that speaks of this. After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”  

“Yes, Master, you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

God Will Aways Take Care of You

Your Spiritual Birthright: Jacob, Esau, and You - Healing and RevivalIn the book of Genesis we read the story of Jacob who left his father’s home because he feared the anger of his brother Esau. As you may recall, Esau regretfully had sold his birthright to Jacob in exchange for a bowl of “soup,” and subsequently Jacob had cheated Esau out of his father’s blessing. So at this point, Jacob most likely feared for his life. Genesis 28:10 takes up the story:...

Saturday, February 1, 2020

TRUST IN THE LORD

There is an interesting story in the Bible that has so many layers to it that I hesitate to even share it with you. But, I think there are some great truths that you, as widows, can gain from it so I’m going to relay it and trust that God will speak into your hearts. The names David and Bathsheba are familiar to just about everyone all over the globe....