Showing posts with label Resources. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Resources. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Magazine for Widows & Widowers

My friend Johanna from Beloved Warrior Bride sent me a note yesterday saying

Hi Ferree. I am thinking of you today and thanking the Lord for the work you do with widows.  God is so amazing. He is stirring the hearts of people to take seriously the need for widows to be understood and care for in a deeper way

Today as I took a look at this blog I was shocked that it's been two weeks since I last posted. But then I realized I hadn't because I am seeing the same things Johanna is---"God is stirring the hearts of people..." and I've had some very interesting contacts, emails and phone calls to start off this year. I look forward to telling you about some exciting new things in the future!

Encourage your heart too by clicking over to Chera Fellowship, an online magazine written for widows and widowers. This is a wonderful ministry of Independent Fundamental Churches of America and has been in publication for years. Someone sent me a gift subscription during my first year and it was such a comfort. It comes out 4 times a year by mail (only $10.00), but you can also read past issues online for free! Here's the link: Chera Fellowship. If you're on Facebook visit their page and give it a Like.  
♥ 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

One Widow's Story: Widowhood Is Not A Mere Problem to Solve

My Facebook friend Lynda recently shared a discovery God put in her path as she was contemplating the many anniversaries and challenges ahead of her this month. Please read on to find out what she discovered. This wasn't "just a coincidence," so I am posting it today for your benefit too. Thank you Lynda for sharing what the Lord is doing in your life! ♥ ferree
* * *
April as usual will bring a shower of family birthdays (and an anniversary), including my late husband’s “Forever 49” birthday. With the thought that he would have been 53 years old, I realized that I’ve become settled into the groove of widowhood. I felt somewhat ambivalent about feeling too settled, feeling like I need to push myself forward. I certainly have done several “firsts” multiple times over and there will be more to come. Funny, once in awhile I miss the rawness of grief for it kept the nearness of Mike closer. I can, however, still conjure up the physical solidness of him - how his hugs felt, how it felt to hold his hand, how it felt to be kissed by him. The last time ever I held his hand was the night before he slipped into the deathly coma. I remember his strong grip and how it loosened, but not letting go as he fell asleep, mercifully without any hallucinations. For a long time I could not think of that night without riding a wave of grief, but Time as the Healer enabled me to cherish the memory easier now.

Recently I went into a Christian store going out of business and a book “The Undistracted Widow” caught my eye and in leafing through it, a phrase jumped out to me: “Widowhood is not simply a problem to be solved or a circumstance that must somehow be overcome.” 

I then bought the book even though I had already read a few books on the topic of widowhood. The author, a widow herself, shared an article that helped her to see widowhood as a calling from God. The article goes on to say that both marriage and singleness are callings, or vocations. The article’s author explained that when we view our lives as a calling from God, we believe that God has arranged for us to enter a certain state and qualified us to be used by Him to bring in the kingdom of God.

The author then said that is true for a Christian whose spouse has died, and true for a Christian whose spouse had walked out, deserting him or her. And now we have the choice to see our singleness as a vocation, not by bad luck or chance, but as a gift from the Lord. He also wrote that of course, no one would expect such a person to think about the state of singleness as a gift immediately after some traumatic event that has made him or her single.

The author of the book, in another chapter, outlined 10 ways how not to waste the experience of widowhood and use it to magnify Christ:
1. We will waste our widowhood if we do not believe it is designed for us by God.
2. We will waste our widowhood if we believe it is a curse and not a gift.
3. We will waste our widowhood if we seek comfort from anything other than God.
4. We will waste our widowhood if we refuse to think about death.
5. We will waste our widowhood if we think that “surviving” widowhood means a desperate search for another mate rather than cherishing Christ.
6. We will waste our widowhood if we spend too much time reading about widowhood and not enough time reading about God.
7. We will waste our widowhood if we let it drive us into solitude instead of deepening our relationships with unmistakable affection.
8. We will waste our widowhood if we grieve as those who have no hope.
9. We will waste our widowhood if we treat sin as casually as before.
10. We will waste our widowhood if we fail to use it as a means of witness to the truth and glory of Christ. *
Ouch. I certainly needed to adjust my thoughts regarding widowhood and not to see it as just something to be endured. I have hope that I can live fulfilled in this second half of my life here on earth (if I should live to 100!) and it’s up to God if my calling or vocation gets changed back to marriage. Hopefully now I will get some Divine trajectory on how not to waste my widowhood in practical ways. ~ by Lynda M.S. 

* Taken from The Undistracted Widow by Carol W. Cornish, © 2010, pp. 168-170. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org. To order a copy of the book for yourself, please click here: 
512320: The Undistracted Widow The Undistracted Widow

By Carol W. Cornish / Crossway


Writing from a biblical perspective, Carol Cornish helps readers to discover how God is working in the midst of the deep distress of losing a spouse. She provides the reader with direction in finding true and lasting comfort in Christ. Cornish, who lost her husband of 38 years to lung cancer, encourages widows to use their widowhood for God's glory. Ministry to widows needs to be a priority for Christian communities, and Cornish equips churches, families, and friends to come alongside those mourning the loss of a spouse.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Road to Spiritual Health in 2015

Are you spiritually starving yourself?

Just as the body needs to eat, our spirit needs to be fed God's Word.
I know it's hard to concentrate in the early days of grief, but after a while we should make a concerted effort to spend time reading the Bible in order to grow and get through this ordeal.
1 Peter 2:2 (KJV)
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby

Why not equip yourself with a good plan for Bible reading or devotions in 2015? Here are two devotionals you can receive by email and some Bible reading plans for your choosing.

Through the Bible In A Year Reading Plans
There are so many Bible reading plans its hard to choose! Personally, I want to focus on the New Testament this year so I'll be using the 5 x 5 x 5 plan. I've used it before and highly recommend it. It will take me through the entire New Testament in 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week, and suggests 5 ways I can get more out of it. I'd love for you to join me in using this plan too! Just click on the PDF, print it, and keep it with your Bible so you can check off each day's reading. The other plans are great, but if you've never read the entire Bible or have trouble concentrating, I think you'll really like the 5 x 5 x 5 plan. Click here to find it and take a look at them all: Bible Reading Plans for 2015

Daily Devotionals
For inspirational reading and comfort you can subscribe to various ministries. There are so many I couldn't begin to list them all so check your denomination, favorite Christian broadcasts or publishers to see what they offer. For grief and widowhood I recommend the following free subscriptions:
A Season of Grief daily emails from GriefShare
A Widow's Might daily emails plus a free ebook on growing through grief

The journey through grief is challenging and rugged. Take it step by step, one day, one moment, one breath at a time but don't starve your spirit along the way! Fuel up with God's Word each day and you'll be in a far better place next year at this time.

Happy New Year!  ferree

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I Hope You'll Join Me in November!

I'll be speaking at this widows retreat and I hope you'll be able to be there too!
Click the link below to register, and please email me at [email protected] if you're able to come so I can be sure to meet you.     
ferree
                                          

Register Today!!

by Liz Anne Wright

aNew Season Widows Conference

November 7-9, 2014

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Register here

The post Register Today!! appeared first on aNew Season.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book Discussion Guide, Week #2

Dear Reader,

Blogs are a good resource for widows, but it’s so good to talk face to face with other widows, and my book Postcards from the Widows' Path provides the perfect opportunity. Over the next several weeks, every Thursday, I'll post each of the five sections of the discussion guide to Postcards.... That way you will always be able to access it right here in the blog whenever you're ready for a group. I think this will be a good solution for my overseas friends like Babs, in England, who's in a widows group the Lord is beginning. This way she won't have to wait for it in the mail.

Maybe you'd like to gather two, three or more widows or others for a time of friendship, support and meaningful conversation too. Meet around your kitchen table, or a casual coffee shop, or your church library---any place that's comfortable and distraction free. You’ll cherish the sacred reflections and find renewed hope as we journey through Ruth.

Week 2: Changing—chapters 6-10 of Postcards...; from Ruth 1:10-22 

Icebreaker Which postcard did you like most? Which chapter was your favorite? Which journaling exercise was most helpful for you? If you could live anywhere in the world you wanted, where would you choose to go?

Discussion Questions

· On page 59 is a list of some misconceptions which are easy to believe when we are suffering. Which one do you think is the most common for people today?

· Discuss the three choices for widows in chapter 7. In which group do you find yourself---1) remain? 2) return? 3) risk?

· During grief, some widows are drawn closer to the wonder and love of God, as Ruth. Others struggle like Naomi. How do you see faith existing in both of these women?

· Have friendships changed for you since your husband died? If so, what are some character traits you need to look for in new friendships?

· How would you have felt and responded to the villagers of Bethlehem if you were Naomi returning home after ten years and so much loss?

· There are both similarities and differences between Naomi's outburst in Ruth 1:21 and Christ's cry from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? How are they similar? How are they vastly different?

· Do you view your experience in following God as closer to Ruth's or more like Naomi's?

Conclusion: Take prayer requests and close in prayer. Thank everyone for coming and decide when and where you'll meet next time to talk about section three—Working—taking the next step, a turning point in grief, safe people and much more!

P.S. The best place to order Postcards From The Widows' Path is right here on this blog. Click on the Bookstore tab at the top of the page and you'll find a safe and secure PayPal button. You don't need a PayPal account either. If you prefer to pay by check, please email me with the # of books you want to order and your shipping address. I ship by media mail only and your order will arrive in 2 - 9 days.
For International orders, you must email me first with your country and mailing code so I can send you an invoice which you can securely pay with a credit card.
And finally, if you'd like a free printed copy of the discussion guide, please email me at [email protected]
 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Book Discussion Guide, Week #1

Dear Reader, Blogs are a good resource for widows, but it’s so good to talk face to face with other widows, and my book Postcards from the Widows' Path provides the perfect opportunity. Over the next several weeks, every Thursday, I'll post each of the five sections of the discussion guide to Postcards.... That way you will always be able to access it right here in the blog whenever you're ready for a group. I think this will be a good solution for my overseas friends like Babs, in England, who's in a widows group the Lord is beginning. This way she won't have to wait for it in the mail.
 
Maybe you'd like to gather two, three or more widows or others for a time of friendship, support and meaningful conversation too. Meet around your kitchen table, or a casual coffee shop, or your church library---any place that's comfortable and distraction free. You’ll cherish the sacred reflections and find renewed hope as we journey through Ruth.
ferree

Week One: Grieving—chapters 1-5 of Postcards; based on Ruth 1:1-9
 
Icebreaker: Which postcard did you like most? Which chapter was your favorite? Which journaling exercise was most helpful for you? How would you feel after a 50-mile hike like Naomi and Ruth took?

Discussion Questions
· The widows in Ruth seem pretty special since we can read about them in the Bible, but in what ways were they like ordinary women today?
· What are the ways a person's identity might change because of loss?
· How can listing her losses help a widow through grief?
· What tasks could you start on now in case you decide to move in the future? What would it take for you to decide to re-locate after loss?
· What sort of mountains and challenges do you face? How would seeing them as part of the scenery along the way, rather than the destination, offer hope and help?
· What do you think of the statement that every widow needs both kindness and rest? What might have happened in this Bible story if Naomi had not prayed for kindness and rest? What should we do if we feel our prayers are going nowhere?
Conclusion: Establish a routine of taking prayer requests and closing with a prayer. Thank everyone for coming and decide when and where you'll meet next time. Session 2—Changing—will include the three choices of widows, how friendships change, Naomi's big meltdown and more!
 
P.S. The best place to order Postcards From The Widows' Path is right here on this blog. Click on the Bookstore tab at the top of the page and you'll find a safe and secure PayPal button. You don't need a PayPal account either. If you prefer to pay by check, please email me with the # of books you want to order and your shipping address. I ship by media mail only and your order will arrive in 2 - 9 days.
 
For International orders, you must email me first with your country and mailing code so I can send you an invoice which you can securely pay with a credit card.
 
And finally, if you'd like a free printed copy of the discussion guide, please email me at [email protected]
 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Have You Heard of Widow Wednesday Yet?

Look what's getting launched on Saturday, May 3rd! A married couple in Missouri who were missionaries all over the world with YWAM for seven years are now serving the Lord by serving widows they've met in their insurance business. I spoke with Cynthia by phone on Monday and found out that when she and her husband realized the needs and began to take one afternoon a week to visit and help 150 widows around them, they also realized there are hundreds of thousands of others with similar needs.

Why not raise awareness and show people how they can get involved by simply devoting an afternoon to help a widow? they thought. So, since there are silly things like "National Ice Cream Day" and more importantly "Chocolate Day," (smile, please)---why not a National Widows Day?

Indeed! Why not? You can join in too! Just pass this along on your blog, Facebook, email, etc. and visit their website for more info.
ferree