GCF SWAP Newsletter
Can you believe it is already JANUARY, 2022!
2021 closed with you busy bringing joy to others. Several of you were able to help provide gifts for the Angel Tree (children of an incarcerated parent) and/or for Valley West Rehab Center, where one of our dear friends of Grace lives. Some of you participated with this program individually or through your community group or other areas of the church. Thank you for your generosity. Many Angel Tree gifts were delivered by several including some of your SWAP team members. Helene and Larry Hewitt picked up the approximate 43 gifts and delivered them to Valley West. Thanks, Helene and Larry. That was a gift of joy to many!
This next month will find our church regrouping as decisions are made for future projects. We’ll keep you informed about when and where they may need our help.
It’s been 22 years since the world was concerned about Y2K…the fear of the total end of all we knew at that time. Yet, we survived. God’s plan stayed in place, in spite of man’s fears, plans, and preparations which never came to fruition.
Now we are in another crisis which has caused so much fear, anxiety, turmoil, stress, upheaval, and also division among family and friends. Two years ago our pastor encouraged us to practice ‘Relaxed Concern’. I trust you are continuing to do so. Yes, we need to continue to be concerned in many areas of our life but doing it without the fear, anxiety, turmoil, etc. is God’s way. Let’s enter 2022 TRUSTING God and OBEYING him by continuing to "Love people where they’re at and help them follow Jesus.” In order to do that, we must first personally TRUST and OBEY our Lord daily. If you weren’t able to attend Grace (Sunday, Jan 2) I’d suggest you listen to Steve’s sermon on line. Go to YouTube, search for GCFEugene and you’ll find the sermon. It’s well worth listening to.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.’
It was the late 1880’s when Daniel B Towner, a musician, was traveling with the evangelist, D L Moody. While conducting a series of meetings in Brockton, Massachusetts a young man rose in a testimony meeting and said, “I am not quite sure – but I am going to trust, and I am going to obey.” Mr. Towner jotted that sentence down and sent it to Rev J H Sammis, a Presbyterian minister, who wrote a poem based on the phrase, ‘trust and obey’. Having it returned, Towner struggled to write a melody for the poem and threw his notes in the trash. However, his wife retrieved them, went throughout their home singing it all day and told him, “I feel the melody you have written is just what is needed to carry the message.” She was right.
The first verse of this beautiful old hymn reads as follows:
‘When we walk with the Lord In the light of His Word, What a glory He sheds on our way! While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey. Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.’
Verse two certainly encourages us in 2022.
‘Not a shadow can rise, Not a cloud in the skies, But His smile quickly drives it away; Not a doubt nor a fear, Not a sigh nor a tear, Can abide while we trust and obey. Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.’
If you have an old hymnal on the bookshelf, pull it out and read the remaining verses. The Lord will bless your heart when you do so. If you don’t have a hymnal look it up on your phone. It’s there. By the way, I was talking to the owner of an Antiques and Collectables shop recently and she said there is a big demand for old hymnals. People are searching for truth, and the words in these old hymns certainly speak for themselves. Most hymns are personal testimonies written from the heart of Christians.
As we continue to navigate in our Covid Crisis world, let’s look to our Lord for answers instead of the world. We can always Trust Him!
Your SWAP Team will be continuing to communicate with the GCF staff in the upcoming months and we’ll let you know what projects will be available for all of us ‘experienced’ adults to help in.
Until next month…
God bless you in this wonderful new year He has given us to trust him, serve him and obey him.
(Much of the above information came from the book ‘Then Sings My Soul’ by Robert J Morgan. W Publishing Group – an imprint of Thomas Nelson. 2011)