9-14-21 FUMC Updates – The Book of Revelation Begins

 What a blessing to know that our friends who have been struggling with difficult health challenges are all on their way to getting better!  It’s been terrible having the church on “PAUSE”, but we’ll be deciding about reopening for in-person worship and resuming our weekly activities this Friday night, 9/17.  Please check your prayer text, email, Facebook, or website calendar for updates after 5 PM.

In the meantime, we are still doing God’s work … checking on our neighbors, delivering meals to people who can’t get out, sending notes to people we miss AND praying intentionally! (One of the common side effects of this new covid-variant is people have NO appetite so a wonderful home-cooked meal might be appreciated!) 

Doing God’s work ALSO means getting ready to dive deep into the Book of Revelation and we’ll start with a PREVIEW …

THIS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th, 9:30 AM, A ZOOM CONVERSATION, Unlocking the KEY to the Book of Revelation… besides the fact that this ENTIRE book is a direct revelation from Jesus Himself, besides intriguing bright red beasts with seven heads, and dragons, monsters, and cosmic eruptions, we are attracted to this book because it opens a vision of what will happen in the battle of good and evil at the end of the world! (And we know what happens – the Lamb wins!!) 

On this Thursday’s call, we’ll go over the what the impact of the 1000 YEAR MILLENNIUM has on the overall message, and I’ll share the main keys to understanding the symbols in the scripture. Let me know if you want a recorded copy of the call and I’ll send you a link when it’s over.

To Join Our Zoom Meeting, Thursday, 9/16, 9:30 AM:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88202913940?pwd=eGVGTjRqVWhqTndsMmRrRlgvTFV6Zz09

Meeting ID: 882 0291 3940     Passcode: 900735

Never tried ZOOM?  It’s easy!  Learn on this video, or these instructions from ZOOM.

 

WHAT’S HAPPENING NEXT WEEK IF WE ARE OPEN:

Tuesday, 9/21, 8-9 AM, Prayer in the Courtyard whether the buildings are open or not, we’ll be outside praying!  Come join us!

Tuesday, 9/21, 10 AM, Wesley Hall … brother Henry’s monthly Bible study … on the GREAT COMMISSION (see attached questions).

Wednesday, 9/22, 6:30 PM, Sanctuary,  CHOIR GATHERING … everyone who likes to sing or wants to sing or might want to be in the choir, please come and talk about possibilities for when it’s safe to sing in close quarters again. Lynn Adler and Lindy Hearne have committed to lead music through December and hopefully, this will include getting the choir going! But we need to know of YOUR interest – if you can’t come next Wednesday but DO want to be in the choir, let me know

Thursday, 9/23, 9 am – 3 PM, SEW DAY in Asbury … the prayer quilt ministry invites you to come and get involved!

Thursday, 9/23, 9:30 – 11 AM, BOOK OF REVELATION BIBLE STUDY in Wesley Hall … because I did a sermon series on the SEVEN CHURCHES, the 1st 3 chapters of Revelation in January 2020 (you can listen on the website starting with the 1st of 5 messages HERE, it begins with 1-12-20 – 7 LETTERS: In Search of a Great Church) I’m not wasting any time jumping into the DEEPWATER of this beautiful book so bring your study Bibles and let’s get ready for 9 GREAT weeks with Jesus!

Let’s continue to pray, pray, pray that our church will be fully back soon!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Debbie


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8-25-21 FUMC UPDATES … the LAMB WINS

I know you’re all paying attention to the COVID updates that seem to change hour-by-hour … this new Delta strain is aggressive and yes, even vaccinated people are at risk. As I said on Sunday, we are going to do everything we can not to take ANY steps backward from the progress we’ve made through the first few rounds of this virus, but that means we all must be diligent in our behaviors. I am asking you all to be mindful of social distancing when you are near others – and, if you don’t feel well, or you’re coughing, or sneezing, etc. please stay home.  People sitting around you don’t know if you have allergies, a simple cold, or COVID so please understand the need to be careful.

I also mentioned on Sunday that I can feel the anxiety swirling around everyone these days. There’s a lot going on in our world and in our lives but I want to remind you again, nothing that is happening in our world, nothing that is going on in our lives is too much for the Lamb of God!  THE LAMB WINS

“Together they will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. And his called and chosen and faithful ones will be with him.” Revelation 17:14

Chapters 17 and 18 of The Book of Revelation layout a startling picture of the FALL OF BABYLON. Babylon, a city mentioned 287 times in the Scriptures, more than any other city except Jerusalem, is the name also associated with organized idolatry, blasphemy, and the persecution of God’s people. For example, in Jesus’ day, Rome was a “new” Babylon because it epitomized all the antagonism and opposition to the Christian faith as well as an image of declining moral values.

Let us not forget, however, that no matter who or what the “they” is that goes to war against the Lamb, JESUS IS VICTORIOUS, He IS the King of Kings!  But Christ calls all of us, the chosen and faithful ones, to stand with Him and be faithful to accomplish His will on earth! This is our daily choice to trust in God’s way above our own.

So as people of faith, we keep focused on the DROPLETS OF GRACE all around us because the joy that we find in our everyday lives reminds us of the HOPE that Jesus provides!  And hope shows up in MANY ways:

–         Send a card to someone you haven’t seen or is sick … there is joy in giving!

–         Be intentional about time for prayer every single day … there is joy in praying!

–         Find some quiet time to be alone with God … there is joy in being still!

–         Make a phone call to someone on your mind that you’ve “been meaning” to talk to … there is joy in caring!

–         Make a little extra food for dinner and take it to someone you’re thinking about … there is joy in sharing!

–         Make a list, as long as you can, for all the things you’re GRATEFUL for …there is joy in gratitude!

–         Read and contemplate ONE joyful scripture a day and see how it applies to your life … there is JOY in God’s Word!

–         Write down something that is making you feel stressed or anxious and surrender it to God … there is joy in trusting Him!

Yes, we PRAY that this virus will be eradicated, that our sense of community with one another will be fully restored, that our children will get the full benefit of a great education as the pandemic flares up again, and that the people we love will be safe from harm! But we also know that in the waters of baptism, we are claimed as children of God, and as part of God’s family, we don’t live in this world separate from one another or, more importantly, separate from Him! Repeat often … THE LAMB WINS!

SOME IMPORTANT CALENDAR CHANGES:

–         SEW DAY TOMORROW 8/26 POSTPONED … we have had contractors working on some of the ceilings and doing some painting in Asbury Hall so until that work is done, and we can get all the furniture put back, SEW DAY has been postponed.  Stay tuned, Amy Moss will keep us updated on a new date.

–         WEDNESDAY NIGHT MEAL, 9/2 CANCELLED … until COVID cases decrease, we feel better waiting so we can gather more safely. Don Beaty and the kitchen team are ready and willing, and we’ll keep you posted!
 

JOINING DAY THIS SUNDAY! August 29th … this Sunday is a special day where we’ll welcome some of our church family and friends into church membership.  If you haven’t yet let me know you’re ready to join the church, please let me know … or please call if you have questions!

REMINDER …MONDAY MORNING BREAKFAST with BROTHER HENRY, 8 AM at Richie’s:  you’re invited to “hang out” with the guys on Monday mornings! This informal time of fellowship is for anyone looking for great conversation and some faith-filled time with other Christian men!

LAST DAY FOR SCHOOL GIFT CARDS AND UNDIES, Sunday, August 29th … school is already back, and our gifts will be MOST appreciated!

IS GOD CALLING YOU TO “MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE”? Wednesday, September 22, 6:30 PM in the sanctuary … while the choir is not meeting now due to the small choir loft space on the chancel, anyone who to be part of the choir please SAVE THIS DATE! We’ll gather in the sanctuary with Lynn Adler and Lindy Hearne to start planning for the future and I hope all you who SING will be there!

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT BIBLE STUDY? Please reply … I am very excited to RESTART Bible studies in September, assuming we can do it safely, sitting with some distance. Brother Henry is planning to come on the THIRD TUESDAY of every month at 10 AM to do a study so before I schedule my re-start study on the BOOK OF REVELATION, I’d love to hear from you … will you please reply to this if you are interested in coming?

Would you be more likely to attend a 10-week study on the Book of Revelation in the EVENING (Wednesday night) or in the MORNING (Thursday morning)?

 
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CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK QUILT RAFFLE:

Yes, this FABULOUS quilt can be YOURS if you’re the lucky winner of the raffle!  Look how gorgeous it is!! And it’s BIG, that’s a king-size bed it’s on!  Tickets will be available in the sanctuary on Sundays, $1 each or 6 for $5 or you can buy them directly. We would also love your help selling raffle tickets to YOUR friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. Talk to AMY MOSS or ELLIE PAGE for details.

THE BEST IS YET TO COME continues as this Sunday, 8/29 I’ll look at a question I’m often asked: Will we really see our loved ones in heaven? I hope to SEE you all, in person or on Facebook LIVE!

In Christ Alone,

Pastor Debbie


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8-10-21 Get ready to see God’s creation at its best!

GET READY!​  ​​The most spectacular meteor shower of the year, the Perseid meteor shower, has started and NASA reports this is the “best meteor shower of the year”!! While it is expected to last through August 24th and you should be able to see the meteors as early as 10 p.m., it is expected to produce the greatest number of meteors in the early mornings of August 11, 12, and 13 between 2 a.m. and sunrise. During those times, you could see 100 meteors flying per hour! And we get a bonus this year because there will be no moon to ruin the show! 

A meteor shower is a celestial event in which a number of meteors are observed to radiate, or originate, from one point in the night sky. Each year the Earth goes around the sun passing through a dusty trail left behind, in this case, from the Swift-Tuttle comet. Those particles in the trail then collide with our atmosphere and disintegrate to create a beautiful meteor shower with fireballs that can be seen in the summer night sky.

How can we FORGET that it was God who created this amazing world in which we live? How can we escape marveling at his perfect plan? The very first verses, in the very first chapter of the Bible, tells us: 

When God began to create the heavens and the earth— the earth was without shape or form, it was dark over the deep sea, and God’s wind swept over the waters— God said, “Let there be light.” And so light appeared. God saw how good the light was. God separated the light from the darkness. God named the light Day and the darkness Night.

There was evening and there was morning: the first day.

God said, “Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters to separate the waters from each other.” God made the dome and separated the waters under the dome from the waters above the dome. And it happened in that way. God named the dome Sky.

As we gaze into God’s beautiful skies, especially this month, let us never ever forget that it is a mighty God we serve and a glorious God who deserves our praise!

CLICK HERE for the KETX/Fox 51 in Tyler meteor report. Or HERE for the Earth Sky Astronomy Essentials.

​THANK YOU, GOD, for the beauty of the earth and sky!

Pastor Debbie​


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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


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7-12-21 FUMC Updates

There’s no getting around it … we live in a fast-paced world of technology! Our phones have become handheld computers, Bluetooth has replaced wires, we can now take videos and pictures and in an instant and send them to LOTS of people all over the world!  Technology keeps us aware of what’s going on in the world within seconds of things happening, we can get answers to questions instantly, and maps are obsolete with GPD that not only maps out direction but tells us when there are road slowdowns! 

If you go online to search for ANYTHING you’re likely using GOOGLE (70% of the total market is driven by Google and 85% of the MOBILE search market uses Google) What does this matter? A search engine company PODIUM reports “The way that customers find and choose businesses has changed drastically in recent years. In the past, consumers would rely mainly on a business’s advertising, previous experience, or recommendations from family and friends but with more and more people turning to local search Google is even starting to automatically filter out local businesses with less than a 4-star rating.  (You can learn more if you’re interested HERE.)

We’d like to boost our ratings so when people search for us they won’t end up at FUMC Winnsboro LOUISIANA or when they search for a church in Winnsboro, TX. They don’t find other churches that get their attention first.

SO, HERE’S A SIMPLE WAY YOU CAN HELP YOUR CHURCH …

  1. Go on our Facebook page and rate our page HERE.

… You will see a star rating under the Cover Image on the left-hand side of the Page Timeline. Click On the Stars.

… Select the “Write A Review” button.

… Write A Review.

… Press Submit.

  1. Go on our GOOGLE HERE and in the search bar at the top of the page search for First United Methodist Church Winnsboro, Texas.

… You will see our listing on the right side of the page with info, map & some pictures.

…Scroll down to the bottom until you get to REVIEWS

…Rate and write a review

…Press submit
 

MANY THANKS TO THOSE WHO SAID: “This is my church, I’ll do it!!”

  1. Our July WEDNESDAY NIGHT MEAL was awesome! Of course, meatloaf is my favorite so I am biased but many thanks to the kitchen team and dessert makers who made it such a great night!
  2. Our Parent’s Night Out was a Blast! We had 28 kids and 14 adults and we had a GREAT time.  Here’s a short video so you can “meet” some of the kids … click HERE!  The next one is on Friday, August 6th so save the date!
  3. Our buildings have been POWER WASHED! Lane Lewis, Conner Ragsdale, and his friend Kayden worked for HOURS cleaning off the grunge and mold from the buildings. 
  4. The dead bushes & trees from the ice storm are being REMOVED! Conner Ragsdale and his fiancé Cheyanne, had the chain saws and clippers out to start the process and we’ll be slowly trimming things “closer” in the months to come.

 

PRAYER in the COURTYARD, Tuesday mornings, 8-9 am… Have you considered spending some intentional time with Jesus? Do you find yourself telling God, “I GOT THIS?” and feel like you’re sinking? Are you called to pray but can’t seem to find the time? Mike Ewert is spearheading PRAYER in the COURTYARD where you can come and go on Tuesday mornings from 8-9 am in a sacred, outdoor shady space. Come and be still and let the power of the Holy Spirit work in a very special way!

TIPS FOR TOTS FISH FRY, Monday, August 2, at the Wood County Carol Green Convention Center… PLEASE DON’T LEAVE US ALONE OUT THERE!  Carolyn Stewart and I are inviting you to join us at a FISH FRY benefitting THE FOSTER KIDS PROGRAM OF WOOD COUNTY!  We will be two of the fun, crazy, and wacky “Celebrity Waiters” so order your FISH FRY dinner tickets in advance for $20, or $25 at the door! IF we do a good job serving you, all our tips, and the tips of ALL the “celebrity waiters” will go directly to serve the children! We’ll be serving from 4-6 pm but the event goes from 4 – 8 pm so get your tickets today!  www.Tips4Tots.org

This Sunday we’re looking at the lessons we learn from another BAD GIRL in the Bible Jezebel … FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS!

Pastor Debbie


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7-3-21 FUMC Updates

Happy July 4th! I hope you’re enjoying this mid-summer reminder of how truly BLESSED we are to live in America! I am happy to be back from my 2-week vacation and I can tell you that with Covid vaccination rates increasing people ARE traveling again, hotel occupancies ARE increasing, and restaurants ARE getting busy again!  What a difference a year makes!

I love the July 4th holiday because it reminds me of how proud I truly AM to be an American! I realize there is a small fraction of people who disagree, but oh how I wish they could understand that our country is great because GOD is our foundation … not a President, not a Supreme Court and not a Congress! Men and women are not perfect, so our country is not perfect, but our country was founded on Godly principles and so to me … July 4th IS a religious holiday!

I read a great story from TIME Magazine about John F. Kennedy that puts this into perspective …

“On July 4, 1946, Kennedy — then 29 years old, the Democratic nominee for a Massachusetts Congressional seat, and still a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve — was the featured speaker at the City of Boston’s Independence Day celebration. He spoke at Faneuil Hall, the red-brick building where long ago the colonists had gathered to protest taxes imposed by King George III and his Parliament.

Kennedy began by talking not about taxes, or about the British, or about the consent of the governed, but about religion. ‘The informing spirit of the American character has always been a deep religious sense. Throughout the years, down to the present, a devotion to fundamental religious principles has characterized American thought and action,’ he said.

For anyone wondering what this had to do with Independence Day, Kennedy made the connection explicit. ‘Our government was founded on the essential religious idea of integrity of the individual. It was this religious sense which inspired the authors of the Declaration of Independence: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.’”

Kennedy wasn’t the only politician who saw GOD in our foundational principles…

The Declaration of Independence issued from Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, included four separate references to God. In addition to the “endowed by their Creator” line mentioned by JFK in his July 4 speech, there is an opening acknowledgment to “the laws of nature’s God,” an appeal to “the Supreme Judge of the World,” and a closing expression of “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”  George Washington, announcing the Declaration of Independence to the troops in a General Order dated July 9, wrote, “The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man, will endeavor to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country….knowing that now the peace and safety of his Country depends (under God) solely on the success of our arms.”

I pray that the theology of our country’s founding will NOT be forgotten! Sure, the Declaration’s concept of God-given rights certainly is not without its flaws but without a belief in God that should be the foundation of a strong moral fiber, what do we have?

So, amid all the barbecues and fireworks this July 4, take just a moment and reflect on our Creator. As Kennedy realized, the American Revolution, which resulted in the free we live in today, started with God, and with the Founders’ belief in rights that are His gift to us!

WEDNESDAY, JULY 7th, 6 pm, FELLOWSHIP MEAL… I look forward to seeing you at our first Wednesday Fellowship meal in the Family Life Center … I’d love to meet your friends so bring a guest!

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT, Friday, July 9 … thanks to all of you who are MINISTRY SAFE trained and ready to roll!  The sign-ups for the next 2 events are ready now so just CLICK HERE and pick the spots you want! Parents:  let us know your kids will be coming … if you came last month, there’s no need to register again, but if your kids are coming for the 1st time or you have friends that want to save time and register online, CLICK HERE. And yes, everyone can register at the door!

REMINDER NO CHILDREN’S CHURCH on JULY 11th … we will have communion on July 11th so as always, there will not be children’s church.

IMPROVEMENTS AT THE CHURCH:  the Trustees are working on the sidewalk in front of the sanctuary to renovate two parking spaces to help people getting from their vehicle to the front doors. While there have been some weather delays, we’re looking forward to the improvements being complete.

Hope to see you Wednesday night!
Pastor Debbie


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