Traces of Grace
Online Worship This Sunday
Don’t miss our live stream worship service Sunday morning at 10:00am. Pastor Matt will be starting a new sermon series "Blessings In Challenging Times" with part one of a two-part message from Matthew 5:1-10 called "You Are Blessed When..." Don't forget to join us after our service on Zoom for a fellowship time. Both links are available on our website at fumccollingswood.org, where you’ll also be able to view the service throughout the week.
Thought For Today
Have you ever tried to drive on a real foggy morning? It’s often difficult to see where you are going. On my iPhone there is a weather advisory that warns about weather conditions that can impede safe driving. It seems that's the way life can be some days. The fog can roll in without warning or even a sudden snow or ice storm storm in the winter. As weather is unpredictable, so often life is the same way. This year life has given us many difficult and challenging experiences, both personally and collectively. It seems that no one quite escapes one way or another. So, what do we do? How do we continue to navigate our way with joy and allow our faith in Christ to guide us or begin that journey of faith?
I believe David, once again in the midst of challenging times, models another heartcry to a faithful God found in Psalm 130:1-2,5-7
Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord ; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord, more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
David has this passion to allow God to guide him right from his heart, not pretending, a real encounter with God who loves him. So often we may know God has a plan and purpose for our lives but we need to daily bring our lives to him. Allowing ourselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit and His word gives us what we need to navigate the times in which we live.
In my quiet time his week, I read a thought that challenged me from pastor and writer Eugene Peterson that I want to share with you today about this idea of waiting on God:
The long and short of it is that there is a lot more going on the way than getting to a destination. And there is a lot more going on on the way than what we are doing. There is what God is doing. Which is why we “ wait on the Lord.” We stop either by choice or circumstance so we can be alert and attentive and receptive to what God is doing in and for us, in and for others, on the way. We wait for our souls to catch up with our bodies. Waiting for the Lord is a large part of what we do on the way because the largest part of what takes place on the way is what God is doing, what God is saying… The waiting is not just a meaningless “waiting around.” We “wait for the morning” which is to say we wait in hope. We wait for God to do for what we cannot do for ourselves “in the depths.” When he has done it we are once more on the way.
As I was sharing this with someone this week, we talked about how important this is because the presence of Jesus is with us and in us every step of the way. The journey is part of the destination through which the Lord allows us to walk. My prayer is that no matter the challenges we face, even the real hard ones, remember God wastes nothing so we will be a sanctuary of His presence until he brings us to heaven.
Let's continue to pray for the spiritual condition of our day which needs to experience the love and forgiving power of Jesus in our lives in a fresh new way. We need our Lord’s help through the pandemic, the natural disasters and the social issues of the day like racism and even politics that divide so many. We continue to pray for so many who reach out for prayer within our church family and our greater community (Community prayer box) and missionaries both local and around the world. We continue to thank God for the many blessings... we know God answers prayers. Here are some prayer concerns for this week:
- our church and the community
- the schools and the children and staff
- our country and leaders
- everyone affected by COVID-19
- Please be in prayer for Neil Kinky, his mother passed away, her service was this past Wednesday. Please keep Neil and family in prayer at this time.
- Continue to pray for Linkin Miller, the son of Jennifer and Stephen, and grandson of John and Joyce Cluelow who is still in serious condition; now will be undergoing special treatments...please pray!
- Joy Evans in her recovering journey and Craig and her family
- Continue to pray for Margret Robinson for medical concerns
- Continue to pray Mary Mondatsos who is still having medical challenges.
- Pray for the steps to reopening our church building as we get closer. One week away! Please go to our website, fumccollingswood.org if you are interested in attending, as we are encouraging everyone to pre register so we can help everyone as we begin this first phase of entering the building safely together. You also may call the church office at 856-858-1186 to leave your name and how many will be attending.
If you have any prayer concerns or ways we can serve you, please let us know. We desire to journey with you even through these days of social distancing. Remember, you are loved!
In His Grace,
Pastor Sam and the Staff