7-29-21 FUMC Updates

WHEN GOD WINKS AT YOU, Sandra Strickland

Several years back I read the book, When God Winks at You by Squire Rushnell.  It was such an interesting book to me and opened my eyes to things that happen so often and we just shrug and say, “What a coincidence” and move right on with what we were doing.   The book showed me there is no such thing as a coincidence and I began seeing what I used to think were fluke coincidences as messages from God. 

In the summer of 2010 I was experiencing a lot of heartache with family problems.  I had prayed and prayed over the issues, but this one particular morning I changed my prayer somewhat and asked God to send me a sign from Him with His help because this problem was eating me up!

I left this with God and went for my early morning walk.  When I returned, I began reading the Tyler Morning News.  I worked the crossword puzzles and had just begun the cryptogram when I had to stop midway through and get Danny’s breakfast.  When I got back to finish the puzzle some time later, there was my word from God in the solved cryptogram—“The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.”  Did I say “What a coincidence!”?  No, I immediately recognized it as an answer from God asking Him to send me a sign and offered my thanks to Him right then and there with a smile and a laugh that was begging to be released due to this unbelievable “wink” from Him that brought a smile to both our faces.

I had been letting this problem consume my thoughts and God was telling me to let it go before it did more harm to me.  This was a quote from 18th century French philosopher Voltaire who was a deist and only acknowledged a god.  He had no belief in the God, the Trinity, nor miracles or signs from God.

This summer day in 2010 God winked at me and showed that He can use whomever He desires to get our attention.  He can even use words from a radical and satirical Frenchman who had been dead for 232 years!!!

I challenge you to think about this story the next time something happens and you mutter, “Well, what a coincidence!”  It may very well be God winking at you, showing He can use many unusual ways to get our attention.

Thanks Sandra for this wonderful reminder that there are droplets of grace, and sometimes BUCKETS of grace all around us!

If you’re someone who likes to be busy, this is the week for YOU! 

TIPS FOR TOTS: Monday, August 2, 4-8 pm, Carroll Green Civic Center, Quitman … Carolyn Stewart and I have decorated our aprons and, yes, they are as crazy as you can imagine!  Please come support the WOOD COUNTY FOSTER KIDS program at the all you can eat CAT-FISH Fry … you can get tickets at the door and AJ’s Fish House is legendary in East Texas so the food will be great! P.S. The celebrity waiters will be judged for their performance and aprons at 5:45 so please cheer LOUDLY for OUR your cat-fish servers!

 Wednesday Night Fellowship Meal, August 4, 6 pm … our kitchen team will do all the cooking – just bring a friend and a love offering and come!

 Parents’ Night Out, Friday, August 6, 6 – 9 pm … please share our posts on YOUR Instagram and Facebook pages but if you are ministry safe trained, we really need your help!  Please let me know you can help or sign-up on the link in the emails you’ve received … please don’t just show-up as that doesn’t help us know how to plan. To make it easy on all volunteers we need 18 adults – we can do it with 12 but right now we have 6 … please don’t wait to get plugged in!

 GRAPE HARVEST AT MARY & BRAD’S, Saturday, August 7, 7 am – 11 am … the FARM to COMMUNION TABLE grape harvest is back in time to stomp, taste, and then eat lunch. (Feel free to bring a side dish.) Buckets and harvest forks provided, bring sunglasses, hats & sunscreen … and bring a friend! Let Mary know if you’re coming: Bar W Ranch & Vineyard, 9502 FM 1448, Winnsboro, TX 75494, Home:  903-365-2552, Mary’s Cell:  781-248-6717

MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC … as you know, we’ve been trying different kinds of music this summer in hopes of finding someone who can lead us into the fall!  We have musicians scheduled through September 19th and THEN, hopefully we’ll have someone who can start getting our choir back! In the meantime, we have learned a few new songs in the last few years and for those who like to read music that’s not in the hymnals, attached is a NEW song you’ll hear this Sunday and it’s one of my favorites: THE REVELATION SONG. It’s perfect for communion Sunday so feel free to print it and bring it or, let me know you want a copy and I’ll bring it Sunday.

THIS SUNDAY … we’ll finish our series on Less Than Honorable people in the Bible with a bad boy you know … JUDAS ISCARIOT!  If you’ll be watching at home, have your communion elements ready!

Pastor Debbie


6-1-21 FUMC Updates

I hope you had a great Memorial Day Weekend!  I was sitting at my computer yesterday afternoon and heard a deafening “boom”, then another and while I wondered if walking out my front door hearing gunshots was a smart idea as I stepped onto the sidewalk I could hear Taps playing from the City Cemetery down the street … what a lovely reminder of what Memorial Day is all about!

I also took some time this weekend to catch up on some reading and came across an article in Inc. Magazine that got me thinking about WISDOM.

Picture this: You return home after attending some kind of religious experience that leaves you inspired and on a spiritual “high.” But when you get home, the grass still needs to be mowed, bills still need to be paid, your teenager is sulking, and your spouse has the same irritating habits he or she had before you left for the event. How many conversations does it take before your inspiration and spiritual high drift away? For many of us, sometimes only one.

Regarding conversations like that, the business magazine Inc. recently ran an article saying that emotionally strong people, people who recognize, understand, and manage their own emotions, KNOW when and to what degree to engage in conversations with others. The article defined a “three-question rule” for how to manage our own emotions and influence the emotions of others in the process! According to the rule, there are three things you should always ask yourself before you say anything:

  • Does this need to be said?
  • Does this need to be said by me?
  • Does this need to be said by me, now?

Oh, how I wish I had learned these questions when my children were teenagers and I felt like I had to respond and KEEP responding to every little thing!  (SEE THE REST OF THE DEVOTIONAL ATTACHED)

Wednesday Night Fellowship Meal, 6/2, 6 pm this week Ken Atkins is making his famous chicken and Wanda is making her delicious potato salad go invite a friend and come!


Parent’s Night Out, Friday, 6/4, 6 – 9 pm … thanks to Crystal and Joes Chandler and Joey and Rita Newton who offered to spearhead our summer children’s events!  We are asking people to register BEFORE they come but will encourage ANYONE to come and register at the door … here’s the link to details if you want to share it with friends! https://www.fumcwinnsboro.com/kids-youth/


Communion this Sunday, 6/6, 10:50 am … this Sunday you’ll have the option of coming forward to be served communion at the chancel rail or to take an individual communion cup instead. We are very excited to release the past restrictions but recognize that some people will still prefer to maintain caution.


CRAFT DAY, Saturday, 6/12, 9 am – ? … come for coffee and donuts and work on some of the projects already started or bring your own and work in fellowship with others!  If you are making crafts for Christmas in the Park at home, please bring your completed projects so we can get an idea of what else we might need to be working on.  And as always, your CREATIVITY and IDEAS are welcome!


Children’s Church starts back, Sunday, June 13th in Welsey Hall …  kids who have finished grades 2 – 6 are invited back to CHURCH and parents can drop off their kids with Miss Paige after 10:40 on non-communion Sundays.  Thanks to our adults who will be our plus-one on the 2nd and 4th Sundays … if you would like to help on the 3rd or 5th Sundays, please let me know!


WE’RE LOOKING FOR A CHILDREN’S MINISTRY LEADER:  I have attached the job description (CLICK HERE) again so please pass it on to anyone you know who loves Jesus, loves kids, and has a creative spirit to engage children in understanding the love of Christ!


FACEBOOK LIVE on Sundays at 10:50: I realize we had some sound issues on Sunday, but we know what happened and we’ll be back to normal this week!  Also, if you’re watching online, please say hello to Sarah Sparks, our behind-the-scenes Social Media Coordinator … she’ll be signed on with you on Facebook!  Those of you who watch regularly, please check in with each other and when you see someone NEW, please welcome them!  If you’re in church with us on Sundays, open your phone as church is starting and CHECK-IN on your Facebook page and see who’s signing in with us!



–         PRAYER QUILT “SEWISTS”:  a big thanks to all those who came and cut and sewed pieces …it was productive and fun, so they’ll do it again on June 24th.

–         WATER BOTTLES FOR GRADUATION: thanks to everyone who helped give out over 800 bottles of water Friday night … we are blessed to be a blessing to our community!

–         MINISTRY SAFE TRAINED:  to the 17 people who have completed their Sexual Awareness Training and background checks so they can serve our children, my heart is so incredibly happy!  TO those of you who requested the training link and haven’t received it, please check your SPAM folder, or let me know and I can send it again!


I have attached a brief description of SPIRITUAL GIFTS (CLICK HERE), but you can go back and watch the sermon from Sunday on Facebook if you missed it.  This Sunday we’ll finish up our HOLY SPIRIT series with a look at the FRUIT of the SPIRIT … if you have the light of the Spirit turned ON, people will know!


Grace and peace,
Pastor Debbie