I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom 12:1-2

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Widows and Orphans

Tonight my church's widow ministry (specifically targeted to young widows) will have our first meeting.  I am privileged to lead this group as we learn that we are not on this journey alone.

Our theme verse is Psalm 68:5-6.  This verse has been near-and-dear to my heart for several years (as evidenced by the faded and water-spotted handwritten 3x5 card next to my bathroom mirror). 

It reflects God's heart for widows and for the fatherless.   This morning I looked up Ps. 68:5-6 in almost every version offered by Bible Gateway.  Below are some of my favorites.  

New International Version:
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
   is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,
   he leads out the prisoners with singing;
   but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

New International Reader's Version:
God is in his holy temple.
      He is a father to those whose fathers have died.
      He takes care of women whose husbands have died.
  God gives lonely people a family.
      He sets prisoners free, and they go out singing.
   But those who refuse to obey him
      live in a land that is baked by the sun.

Holman Christian Standard Bible:
God in His holy dwelling is
a father of the fatherless
and a champion of widows.
God provides homes for those who are deserted.
He leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
but the rebellious live in a scorched land.

New Living Translation:
 Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—
      this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
  God places the lonely in families;
      he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
   But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

New Century Version:
God is in his holy Temple.
       He is a father to orphans,
       and he defends the widows.
  God gives the lonely a home.
       He leads prisoners out with joy,
       but those who turn against God will live in a dry land.

Which version speaks to you?


Alice said...

I like the wording in the New Living Translation. :) Praying for your new ministry. I'm proud of you!

Our church hosted a "Meet and Greet" for kids in foster care, today. Tomorrow afternoon, there is the monthly widow's luncheon.:) The girls in my daughter's Bible study prepared decorations and are serving.

I love our church! I also love to hear about other churches that are being faithful!

Justine said...

Oh, Alice! What a wonderful church you are involved in! Thank YOU for your service to the orphans and widows.

I am blessed and so thankful for my church and thrilled to find there are others who take the Word of God seriously enough to help those in their own community as well as around the world.

I love the NLT, too! In fact, most of the scriptures I used tonight were from that translation.

Alice said...

This morning, our church highlighted the widows misistry. They also featured a new,(<1yr.) ministry called, New Commandment Ministry. Groups are formed with 3 men each. Each group is paired with a widow or single mother. One Saturday/month, the 3 men spend the morning at the widow's home helping however they can. Sometimes it is repairs, chopping firewood, winterizing,etc. The same 3 men stay with the same widow so that a relationship can grow between them. The 3 guys who were interviewed today, go way above and beond their 3 hr./month commitment. They stop by and load her wood box every 2 weeks, and check to make sure her driveway is plowed after storms.

I don't know if your church is big enough for such a ministry, but I wanted to pass on the idea. It is AMAZING!Everyone wins.

They first ministered to the widows in our church, but now it has grown into an outreach.

Justine said...

Alice, that sounds absolutely wonderful! I am going to tuck this idea away for future use. Thank you!

The Gross Family said...

Just wanted to stop by your blog and check in on things. I hope your meeting went well. Make sure to update us! I am glad to hear your church has a ministry for widows.