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Sun, Mar 26

March 17, 2017 - 100 Men in Black will be celebrated 3pm on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at Mt. Zion CME, 921 MLK, Center, Texas.

Please come and help us celebrate Men Working It with guest preacher, Rev. Gary Chalk, Moore Chapel CME and Armstrong CME, Jasper, Texas.

Bro. C.W. Garrett, Chief Steward is the chair person for the event. Rev. Elena Weaver, Pastor, Rev. Trevor Barnett, Presiding Elder, and Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick, III, Presiding Prelate.

Sun, Apr 02

March 2, 2017 (Event Flyer) - St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Center is hosting a Family and Friends Day Program - War Room Ready… Put Your War Clothes On!

The theme of the day is “The Battle is the Lords” from the scripture of Ephesians 6:10-20. Special guest is Rev. Roderick Kirkendall, Pastor of St. Luke Baptist Church, Logansport, Louisiana.

The church and Rev. Winston Kibbles, Pastor, invite all of our family and friends to come celebrate with us on April 2, 2017 at 2:30pm

March 20, 2017 - Springtime is upon us and isn't it beautiful. East Texas is ablaze with color. Driving down the highways you can see the woods filled with dogwoods that are in full bloom. Yards filled with beautiful Azaleas and Lillies. Deep green pastures and plowed fields form a patchwork of beauty that makes East Texas one of the most beautiful places on earth. All the trees blooms that capture the eye and add a realization of the magnificence of Gods creation of new life each year.

I am always most amazed at fruit trees. In the spring they are beautiful with their blooms. Everyone of them are covered with beautiful white or pink flowers that last for a few weeks and then they are gone. If you look closely when the blooms fall off you'll notice everywhere there was a bloom it is now replaced with a tiny fruit. You can't tell what kind of tree it really is until it starts producing fruit. The fruit is unique to the tree.

An apple tree can't produce figs, an orange tree can't produce peaches. A tree cannot produce a fruit that is not in its DNA to produce. Apple trees always produce apples.

Jesus draws the fruit tree comparison with religious people in Matthew 7:15-20. In the sermon on the mount Jesus says about "religious" people, "You will know them by their fruit". Notice He didn't say by their gifts. Don't misunderstand, the gifts of the Spirit are important, but Jesus is clear in His speech when He says "you will know them by their fruit." You see the fruit we produce comes from within us. If someone is filled with the Spirit they will produce the fruit of the Spirit. These fruit are the true character traits that all Christians should be identified by.

So what are the "fruit of the Spirit"? Paul lists those in Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control." He adds "against these there is no law." If you want to know if someone is a Spirit filled believer check their character. All born again believers have these traits as part of their spiritual DNA. Its the only fruit they can produce.

So to use Jesus' analogy, if you are not producing this kind of fruit in your life you probably need to check your heart and your faith. Remember in Matt. 7:19 Jesus said, "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire."  He said that to emphasize how important it is for us to live our lives producing those good fruit. Just think what the world would be like if everyone possessed and lived by these nine fruit.

What a wonderful place it would be.

Here's the good news! No matter where you are in life or what you have done God loves you. He wants you to experience the joy of salvation so that you can have the peace that passes all understanding. He is long suffering and kind when you need Him. He wants you to taste the goodness of His blessings that He is faithful to pour out on His children. He will be gentle in His dealings with you and give you the self control that you need to keep yourself pure and holy. All you have to do is ask Him to forgive you and let His Spirit take control of your life.
                                                      
                                                                              I'm Just Sayin
                                                                              Mike Belgard

March 17, 2017 - 100 Men in Black will be celebrated 3pm on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at Mt. Zion CME, 921 MLK, Center, Texas.

Please come and help us celebrate Men Working It with guest preacher, Rev. Gary Chalk, Moore Chapel CME and Armstrong CME, Jasper, Texas.

Bro. C.W. Garrett, Chief Steward is the chair person for the event. Rev. Elena Weaver, Pastor, Rev. Trevor Barnett, Presiding Elder, and Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick, III, Presiding Prelate.

March 16, 2017 - A Living Sacrifice

"I Appeal to you therefore brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." (Romans 12:1)

A living sacrifice, to devote our bodies as followers of the Lord, giving to him as he asks each day. Not following the world, but keeping apart from the world, living in Christ Jesus. This is the duty of all Christians each day.

Paul even lists ways in which we may be called to serve each day. "Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them; if prophesy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; The one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness." (Romans 12:6-8)

So we see ways in which God may call each of us to serve him, each having his own unique qualifications, given by the grace of God, for service to God.

Let us also look at several marks that will be seen in the true Christian. I am not attempting to discredit anyone here, only to give ways we can verify if the person before us is as he says. Even when that person before us is in the mirror.

First is love, Paul says Christian love must be genuine, not for show, but from the heart. Second, Christians freely contribute, as their own situations allow, to help others in need, one cannot be selfish and do God's will.

Third, maybe the most difficult of all, bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

Forth, to live in harmony with others, rejoice with those who are happy, weep with those who are saddened. Live at peace with all people if possible.

Fifth, to never be haughty, but to live with humility always, to never be wise in your own sight for the one who is wise in his own sight is foolish indeed.

Sixth, never repay evil for evil, instead be patient, give thought to what is right, do what is honorable in response to another.

Seven, leave vengeance to the Lord; "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written. "Vengeance is mine says the Lord."" (Romans 12:19)

We are told to give food and water to our enemy when he is hungry or thirsty, in doing so we cause consternation or confusion in him. The Bible says in doing so, we heap coals of fire on his head.

"Do not be overcome by evil, overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21)

When one comes claiming to be a Christian, look at him using these Christians attributes to verify that he is as he says.

More importantly, look at yourself using these same attributes to see if you are you think you are.

The true Christian follows closely this verse; "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." (Romans 12:12)

Each of us can become better servants of God if we look at ourselves through these eyes. Amen...

May the Lord bless you and keep you and make his face to shine upon you...

March 14, 2017 - Sunday was the Second Sunday in Lent.  Every Sunday in Lent was seen by ancient Christians as a “little Easter.”  The Old Testament Lesson was the story of Abraham and Sarah receiving the call from God.  We are told that without question or hesitation that Abraham and Sarah pull up stakes and follow God.  In Old Testament imagery moving toward God is described as going to the “Promised Land.”  In our New Testament Lesson we see Nicodemus meet Jesus under the cover of darkness.  Our story tells us that Nicodemus is intrigued by this small town rabbi, but Nicodemus is presented with more questions than answers. He is most concerned with Jesus’ seeming tolerance to Gentiles. But Jesus keeps speaking about being born anew.  The Gospel Lesson from John 3 included the most recited verse in Christianity.

My daughter and I took off to Arizona to watch pre-season baseball.  We are long-time Cubs fans, and this year we have something to celebrate.  We saw three Cubs games and visited with some cousins who live in Tempe.  Paxton Methodist had a Sunday of song, scripture, and stories.  Fannie and Larry told the history of Paxton and Tenaha.  Joe and Hilda sang a special, and Sue read a story.  Also last week, a group went to Green Acres, which is now under a different name, for our monthly ministry.   Pastor Matt led the program and gave a devotional from Genesis.  Nora and Jo sang a duet, and Nora read a picture book of Dolly Parton’s song about her “many-colored coat.”  Hilda and Minnie traded off piano duties.  Sue read Part 1 of Dr. Seuss’ “You’re Only Old Once.”  It was another of those rainy days I missed in sunny Phoenix.

It was great to be back at Paxton.  It seemed that I was gone for a long time, and my wife informed me that our dogs and granddog aren’t very good conversationalists.  It was wonderful to have Liz and Charlie worship with us this morning.  Liz and Charlie are two of my favorite people in the whole wide world!  Paxton received a certificate of appreciation from the Bishop for once again paying 100% of our apportionments.  Apportionments are a church’s part in supporting schools, universities, hospitals, and missions around the world.

“Whoever you are, in whatever faith you were born, whatever creed you profess; if you come to this house to find God you are welcome here.” Paxton United Methodist Church is an inviting church that takes to heart the idea of “Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds.” Sunday School starts at 9:30 and Worship begins at 10:00. Our email address is paxtonumc@yahoo.com. If you would like the weekly email newsletter about Paxton Methodist you can send me your email address to the Paxton email address and I will add you to the list. God’s Speed!

Peace of Christ

March 14, 2017 - Isaiah speaks of the perfect peace of those whose minds are focused on the Lord.

"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." (Isaiah 26:3)

Jesus gave us this promise of peace before He ascended back to the Holy Father. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be afraid." (John 14:27)

The peace of Jesus came without restriction, without conditions other than faith. Unlike the world which always asks for more than it gives, the peace of Jesus asks only for our trust and belief in him. He tells us to not be troubled, not to worry, for with him, we have all we will ever need, eternal life in heaven.

Nothing of this world can match the riches of eternal life with the Lord.

He assures us of this fact with these words. "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) He even gives us fair warning that we will suffer tribulation which our dictionary describes as; "grievous trouble, severe trial or suffering", but so that we will not worry, he tells us that he has overcome the world. If we are born-again then we too have overcome the world, for the world cannot prevent our eternity with the Lord. As he says here, no one can take his sheep (believers) from his hand. "I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand." (John 10:28-29)

If you have accepted the free gift of salvation from the Lord Jesus then you truly have peace in your heart for you rest assured of your future with him. Yes, you will experience troubles as long as you live in this earth for it is a wicked and vile place, filled with wicked people who do not believe in the Lord. These people will be your enemies just as they were the enemies of Jesus and the prophets of old. Jesus explains this for us here. "If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." (John 15:18-19) So, you see the thing which makes any Christian special is what makes every Christian hated by the world. Jesus has chosen us, set us apart from the world so it hates us as it hated Him.

Have peace in your heart, knowing that you are set apart from this cruel world, knowing that no matter what the world does to you, even to the point of killing your earthly body, there is nothing more it can do; for your soul, your spirit is secure in Christ Jesus. Remember Paul's words as he sat, chained to the floor of a Roman prison. "For I consider the the sufferings of this present time are not worthy comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." (Romans 8:18) Yes, peace Jesus gives to us, a peace unlike any reward of this world. The peace of knowing that eternity is set. That the future of all who are born-again is secure in Christ. The peace of Jesus Christ our Lord...

May the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you...

March 13, 2017 - The First United Methodist Church of Shelbyville presents The Ford Sisters & Mike Burkhalter on Friday, March 17, 2017.

Prior to the gospel concert, enjoy finger food and fellowship at 6:00pm (bring a finger dish) and the concert begins at 7:00pm. Open mic for all!

First United Methodist Church of Shelbyville is located at 252 FM 417 W, Shelbyville, TX 75973

March 13, 2017 - “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
 
When I enrolled in college in the 50’s, I chose Greek as my foreign language requirement for a B.A. Degree.  And since The New Testament was originally written in Greek, (Greek was the world language in Jesus’ day), theological students commonly studied Greek to better understand the New Testament.

My Greek professor, Dr. C. E. Roark, was a Baptist pastor as well as a Professor at ETBU. At 64 years of age, he’d still begin his class every semester by doing a backflip in front of the class…a feat that amazed all of his fledgling students. After the backflip he began: “Young men, Greek is not an easy language to learn, so make sure you don’t miss any classes.” “Forty percent of you will either flunk out or drop out before the semester is over.”  Then he’d tell this story:

“At a General Motors plant in Michigan, a car came to the end of the assembly line with nothing but a chassis. When asked what happened, the foreman replied, ‘someone must have dropped their wrench.’”  Then eyeing us intensely, Dr. Roark said, “Young men, you will not pass this course if you drop your wrench.”

Fortunately, I didn’t drop mine. I even bested my friend Tony Evans on the final test and finished first in the class. But I have dropped my wrench many times since those days but was always given a chance to pick it up again. When we Christians have “wrench dropping” experiences in our lives, God doesn’t kick us out of the class. Instead he says, “I see that you’ve dropped your wrench….”

“Now let me help you pick it up again.”

March 10, 2017 - Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University© is coming to Center, Texas and is presented by Heritage Baptist Church of Center.

It is nine-week money class where you will learn to pay off debt, overcome your fear of budgeting, and create a savings plan to replace retirement worries with financial peace. More than 4.5 million people have changed their futures with Financial Peace University©. You can too!

The classes will be held at Sassy Red's Bakery, 1000 Tenaha Street, Center, Texas starting Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 7pm. For more information, contact Roy Davis by email at roydavis1953@sbcglobal.net or phone 936-598-2447.

March 9, 2017 - Have you ever had something to do that was important but just kept putting it off until the last minute? That's something that all of us have experienced at least once in our lives. Most of us practice it almost daily in some form or fashion. When I was a kid in school most every paper that I wrote, homework or assignment I turned in, was "hot off the press" you might say. A very sweet teacher told me that I was a "master at procrastination."

I couldn't wait to run home and tell my family that Mrs. Rush (my fourth grade teacher) had found something that I was actually good at in school.  Later when I found out what that word actually meant I realized even though it was true, that it was one of those traits that I needed to try and eliminate from my character rather than develop.

God gives us the opportunity to start over and to live free from our past. But for some reason we make excuses why we can't do that at this time. Why do we desire change but fear it so much, even when we are living in a dark place we so desperately want to leave? Its because this dark place we are in has become comfortable for us. We become afraid to step into the light of change because we are not sure what we might see. So rather than accept the light of change we continue to live in the darkness of the past.

I have found that one of the greatest hindrances in our quest to beginning our new life in Christ is "procrastination" on our part to start over. We say we want to start new, but we tend to put it off until another time. God is ready to heal your life today but you are afraid of letting go. So instead of accepting the healing God has for you, you put it off. Why? Usually your afraid of what might happen next, or what God might ask you to do if you surrender your life to Him.

There is a story in the Old Testament where God sent plagues on the Egyptians. One of the last plagues was of frogs. Thousands of them took over the Pharaohs palace. When Moses told Pharaoh that God was ready to remove the plague at Moses' command. Moses asked when he wanted God to proceed. Pharaohs answer was classic. He said "tomorrow." God could have stopped the plague instantly, but Pharaoh decided to spend one more night with the frogs rather than accept Gods immediate cure for his problem. I guess the question I have for you now is; How many more nights are you going to "sleep with the frogs" in your life rather than let God get rid of them for you?

We don't have to wait for anything. The same power that God used to resurrect Jesus from the grave is the same power that He will use to resurrect your life. That's how Paul had the boldness to say, "But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ."

We have to realize that we have to quit procrastinating and move forward with the new life God has given us. Forget the past and look to the future. Don't spend another night with the frogs. Trust Him and he will give you a new life today!
                  
                                                                   I'm Just Sayin,
                                                                   Mike Belgard

March 8, 2017 - The Wallace Chapel Baptist Church Family cordially invite you to our Pastor and First Lady "Appreciation Services."

Pastor Derrick and First Lady Shaneeta Rhodes. Sunday, March 12, 2017 starting at 3pm. Wallace Chapel Baptist Church 108 South Marcus Street Timpson, Texas 75975 Reverend Derrick Rhodes, Pastor.

Guest Speaker: Rev. Charleston Johnson, Pastor of First SMyrna United Missionary Baptist Church Timpson, Texas 75975.

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