December 12, 2017 - House Of Prayer / Casa De Oración is inviting you to worship with us. Pastor Gilberto Medina, from Nevada state, will be ministering this Sunday, December 17th, at 10:30am. We will have delicious food after service. Bring your friends! Free admission.

House Of Prayer / Casa De Oración te invita a adorar a Dios juntamente con nosotros. El Pastor Gilberto Medina, del Estado de Nevada, estará ministrando este domingo 17 de diciembre, a las 10:30am. Tendremos deliciosa comida al final del servicio. Trae a tus amigos! Entrada Gratis.

526 CR 4356, Tenaha, TX 75974, behind the Country Club, off Hwy 96 (936) 332-3087 (office), (936) 657-0258 (cell/text)

December 12, 2017 - What do you desire in life this morning? Do you wish for fame and fortune, for gold and silver? 

Or is your wish for family and friends, for fellowship with those you love? 

Let’s look to the Proverbs for some ideas about what we should wish for in our lives today.

“A good name is to be chosen rather than riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1) 

Why a good name above riches, could not one buy a good name if one had plentiful riches?

“The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all.” (Proverbs 22:2) 

Because when the day comes and the trumpet sounds all will stand before the throne of judgement with no distinction made between rich and poor. The Lord cares not for your position in life, he cares for your position in heaven and he waits for all to come to him and accept the Lord Jesus as Lord and Master and receive the gift of eternal life with him.

For those who read and study the Bible the word of God gives instruction for eternal life with the Lord.

“The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” (Proverbs 22:3) 

To the prudent who knows the word and will of God there is a reward in heaven waiting for those who fear the Lord.

“The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4)

God gives us his word for our instruction and for our daily living but so many do not use it, those go on in ignorance and suffer daily without knowledge nor hope.

The world is governed by the devil, the prince of the air, and all worldly activities are to promote the wishes of the devil.

“Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.” (Proverbs 22:5) 

What should we desire in life this morning? We should desire to know the Lord, to walk in his light and to do his will for us each and every day. How do we do this? We study the Bible daily praying for guidance and inspiration from the Lord God that we may know his will for us, that we may do his will each day and become more perfect vessels in service to him and the gospel. We should do this, not only for ourselves but for our children and our children’s children as well. For it is up to us to teach those younger than us in the ways and will of the Lord.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old and he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) 

It is the duty of this generation to learn the will of God and to pass it along to the younger generations to come. For all must face judgement, all will be judged for their lives their deeds done in this life, whether good of evil.

“Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail. Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.” (Proverbs 22:8-9) 

The old prophet Micah said there is three things that the Lord requires of all who wish to receive salvation; “to love justice, (to do unto others as your would have them do unto you), to love mercy, (to help those in need), and to walk humbly with God, (to do God’s will each day and not your own or the will of the world).

Let the desires of the Lord govern your life, turn from the world and to God that you too may earn a crown and a place in heaven.

May the blessings of our Lord be upon you and may you do his will each day...

December 11, 2017 - Sunday was the Second Sunday of Advent. It was a cold Sunday morning, but then again, it’s just about two weeks before Christmas. Winter has yet to make its official entry this year, but try telling that to the folks south of us who got a rare December snowfall!  We are in a Christian year that stresses the Gospel of Mark. Even though Mark is the second Gospel in the Bible, we know it is the oldest—written about 30 years after the crucifixion of Jesus. According to the Mark Gospel, the Good News (the definition of “gospel”) begins with John the Baptizer urging people to turn their lives around. Sunday’s Gospel was Mark 1:1-8, where we are introduced to the wild John. In the Mark Gospel there are no birth stories—no Bethlehem or mangers or wise men or shepherds. John baptizing people into the “kingdom life” opens and is a central idea in the Christ story.

Our Sunday school lesson focused on how to discern—figure out—those who teach us to serve and those who seek power and indulgence. Our scripture was Acts 13:1-12; there, we see someone who proclaims to be a Jesus follower but is turning Jesus’ message into “crooked paths.” 

We had a small group this morning but a really good Sunday school lesson and worship service. Joe and Hilda worked together to bring our music, which we all enjoyed.  Sunday being the Second Sunday of Advent, Fanny lit the first two Advent candles while Sue read the Advent Lesson.  The Second Sunday stresses peace, as the first proclaimed hope.    

The folks at Paxton Methodist hosted their annual Paxton Community Christmas program and dinner last Tuesday.  We had a full crowd, and Fannie put together a really nice program.  There was an abundance of food, of course!  The church looked beautiful, and the sanctuary was full of lively Christmas songs, aromas of good food, and the wonderful company of friends and neighbors.  After I welcomed everyone, Sue started us out with a picture book called How Santa Got His Job, and Fannie read parts of the Christmas story in verse between each Christmas song.  Friends of our church helped out with the program: the Wimberlys singing “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem,” Wayne leading the congregational singing, Gene Casto presenting a Calypso version of the Christmas news, and Nora Robinson doing her “Thank You for Giving to the Lord” (by request of our members who’ve heard her sing it at nursing home programs).  It was a splendid night!

“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 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. Godspeed.

Randy & Sue Smith
Paxton Methodist Church

December 11, 2017 - The Pastor and members of Carroll Chapel CME Church in Shelbyville, would like to invite you to our Annual Harvest Drive Program on Sunday, December 17 at 3:00pm. Everyone is invited. 

December 8, 2017 - “First Christmas!” a Gift from the First Baptist Church Family to the Families of our Community! A production of music and drama, of choirs and bells, of comedy and candlelight! A cast of 150 children, youth, and adults from First Baptist Church will present this production. This is a great opportunity for Sharing the Joy of the holidays and the Reason for the Season.

Two performances – Saturday, December 9th at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 10th at 6 p.m. in the Sanctuary of First Baptist Church, 117 Cora Street, Center, Texas.

Free Admission. Call 936-598-5605 for more information.

December 5, 2017 - Sunday was the First Sunday of Advent. Paxton Methodist Church looked so nice when I walked in. The Christmas tree was up and the sanctuary was decorated. The Advent candles were beautiful, and my mother’s nativity scene looked right at home. Everything is ready—thanks to various Paxton elves—for the Paxton Community Christmas Party Tuesday at 6:00.

We had our usual crowd—not really a crowd! We started our new series of Sunday school lessons, dealing with the early Jesus movement and their faith in Jesus. The scripture was Acts 3:11-21, about a man who is healed. Peter and John want every one to know that it is not them but Jesus who healed this man. They call Jesus the “author of life,” and we see that quite early in the development of the Jesus movement, Jesus is so much more than a prophet or teacher or healer.

Joe and Hilda teamed up to lead us on two Fannie Crosby songs. Carolyn gave Sue some readings for the days of Advent, and Fannie lit the Hope candle. Our scripture was from Isaiah 64, where we heard that the people were excited about the coming of the Lord into their lives. Sunday was the first Sunday of the month, so we celebrated Communion. Because our church was so decorated, our Communion “table” had to be the middle of our circle as we stood near the altar.

Sunday was the beginning of a new Christian year, a year in which the Gospel of Mark will be stressed. This provides a problem for the Christmas season since the Mark Gospel has no birth story, unlike Matthew and Luke. The reading from Mark 13:24-27 is an apocalyptic writing that urges Jesus followers to be ready when the Human One of God will return again. Advent is a time of waiting and preparing; our human nature often sees us becoming restless—we tend not to be a patient people!

Paxton Methodist decided to send a $500 check to CASA for their work with foster children. In the Methodist system, our church gives to the missions and programs of the world-wide Methodist Church and our Texas conference each month through our “apportionments.” But our small church also helps out with many local needs: providing scholarships, supporting the Gideons, relief to victims of natural disasters, funds for local food banks, assisting with school needs, and so on. We are also helping out with Joaquin’s Community Christian Services to provide Christmas gifts to young people. In a week I have a meeting with our new District Superintendent, Rev. White. At our Charge Conference, we met him for the first time—he seems a genuinely nice person.

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, our Lakeside ministry was moved to the last Thursday of the month. No one seemed confused, though: Mrs. Fannie commented that she believed we had more people than she’d ever seen there! Minnie and Hilda handled the piano duties for congregational singing and some specials. Gene, Carolyn Hooker, and Nora all sang specials, so we had some fine talent. Pastor Matt, temporarily on holiday from SMU, was able to be there; his devotional was heartfelt, dealing with his own family’s recent loss. Maggie and Sue let Pastor Matt off from emcee responsibilities, continuing their trade-off running of the show. Readings were from Fannie and Ollie, with Sue telling a joke. We jumped in the Christmas season a little with “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” and Nora’s two—“Up on the Housetop” and “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.” With so many people, our congregational singing was strong, including Jo and Margie, who are kind enough to join us.

“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 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. Godspeed.

December 5, 2017 - I am always amazed at the effectiveness of simplicity. It seems that the more simple something is, the better it is, and more enduring it is over time. God has always used simple things to change the world. Any simple thing done with love, God takes and turns into a great thing.

Take for instance the Christmas carol "Silent Night". In 1818 on Christmas eve an Austrian priest Joseph Mohr asked the church organist Franz Gruber to write music for a poem that Mohr had written earlier. The challenge was that Mohr wanted it done for the evening service and the church organ was broken. But Gruber was able to come up with a simple tune that he could play on a guitar. That night the two sat on the stage and sang for the first time, the simple, but probably most sang carol of all times, "Silent Night". Never could they have imagined how popular and enduring of a song it would be.

You see that is how God has always worked. He takes what is simple and does great things with it. People try and make the Gospel of Christ complex but it is really simple. John 3:16 simply put says; that God loves you and me so much that He sent His Son to pay the price for our sins, and that anyone who truly believes that, will not die, but live with Him forever. Jesus preached a simple gospel of "repent and be saved for the kingdom of God is near." Its not hard to understand. Its just hard to believe that something so simple could bring about such an eternal change in your life. But that's just how God works. As the angel told Mary that night, "With God all things are possible."

Remember, that baby being born in simple and humble surroundings on that first Christmas night, happen because God loved you and wanted you to have a chance to live with Him in eternity. Simple as that. Don't try to make it more complex. Just trust Him, and He will give you the gift of eternal life for Christmas.

I'm Just Sayin
Mike Belgard

December 5, 2017 - The First United Methodist Church of Center will be having their annual Sacred Sounds of the Season. We invite everyone to come hear the beautiful sounds of Christmas at 6:00 PM on Thursday, December 7th in our Sanctuary.

November 27, 2017 - Sunday was Christ the King Sunday. The Gospel Lesson for the last Sunday on the Christian Calendar was Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus is dividing the sheep from the goats—those who will live in the Kingdom and those who will wander lost. And what was the test—did you feed the hungry, give a drink to the thirsty, welcome a stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick and those in prison? That is how Jesus judged those seeking entry into the Kingdom of God. Christ the King Sunday is a day to reaffirm the centrality of Christ in our lives. I read that the Swedish Lutheran Church calls this Sunday the Sunday of Doom because the scriptures for this day all deal with judgment. I’m pretty sure most of us prefer Christ the King over Doom!

We were in double digits Sunday, which is always exciting at Paxton Methodist. Gene and Joy’s son Chuck and his family came and worshipped with us before heading back to Houston. Everyone said they had a very nice Thanksgiving. Sue and I went to our daughter’s in Dallas and had a good time visiting family and, of course, eating too much! It was especially good to have my brother there; last Thanksgiving he was in the hospital, but by this holiday, he’s had a successful lung transplant and is back out and about.

We completed our Sunday school quarter where all the lessons dealt with covenant.  Next Sunday is the beginning of a new religious year and the start of Advent; as such, we will start a new course of study. Our Paxton Community Christmas Program and Dinner will be Tuesday, December 5th starting at 6:00. After worship we loaded up my truck with rice and beans that I will take to Community Christian Services this week. In December, we will be collecting cans of soup.  

Last week was our program at Holiday Nursing Home. Sue, Fannie, Nora, Jo, and Hilda did the honors and reported having a fine time. Hilda, as usual, gave lively renditions of traditional songs. Fannie told the true, historical story of earlier Thanksgivings, and Nora sang “Over the River and Through the Woods,” a Thanksgiving song. Who knew? Nora also shared her “Thank You for Giving to the Lord” and promises to sing it at Paxton’s Christmas party.  Sue read a funny kids’ book called Dog Breath about a dog named Hally Tosis (get it?). And Jo made the mistake of mentioning that she used to do nursing home programs in costume—like a pilgrim and an Indian. Uh oh!  We will have plans for her! Our ministry at Lakeside Assisted Living will be this Thursday at 2:00, a postponement because of the Thanksgiving holiday. 

“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 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. Godspeed.

Randy & Sue Smith
Paxton Methodist Church

November 27, 2017 - Super Group String Orchestra and Piney Woods Youth Orchestra of Nacogdoches in concert under the direction of Leonard Kacenjar, conductor for Project String Power, Inc. will perform at First Baptist Church of Carthage at 7 p.m. on December 18. Everyone is invited to attend. There is no admission charge.