September 4, 2018 - Born-again, this is the term Jesus used when he was speaking to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews as he said; “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)

Nicodemus could not understand this as he was thinking in the flesh and not in the spirit, Jesus was probably referring to the scripture in Ezekiel Thirty Eight where the Lord God says; “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” (Ezekiel 36:25-27)

The true definition of being born-again into the kingdom of God.

So how does God accomplish this feat of cleansing and rebirth of his children?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:36)

Pretty clear there isn’t it, one must first believe and then obey if one is to enter the kingdom of God for eternity. 

Jesus also gave us this concerning spiritual life and worship.

“But the hour is coming and is here now, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24)

All who come to Jesus accepting him as Lord will receive the spirit and truth through him for he is both the bread of life and the water of life, freely given to all who will accept it.

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

The Spirit of life, the Holy Spirit is given by the Father to all who believe in the Son of God as Lord but what about the truth, for we are to worship both in spirit and in truth.

Jesus answers this question as well when he says; “If you abide in my word, you truly are my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:5)

And so where do we find this bread of life and water of life for eternity? John gives us insight into this in his vision of heaven.

“Then the angel showed me the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month.” (Revelation 22:1-2) 

For all who believe in the Lord and obey him the future is certain for they will dwell in the house of the Lord forever, drinking from the river of life and eating from the tree of life, worshiping the Lord in Spirit and in truth… Will you be there, the choice is yours to make, choose wisely for it is a permanent decision…

September 3, 2018 - Sunday was the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time; as we ordinarily do, we gathered at Paxton United Methodist around 9:15 for Sunday School. We started a new quarter with new materials and a new author. The first unit deals with creation: What beautiful creation stories are found in the two chapters of Genesis! Here you find order created from chaos as well as the beginning of the earth and sky. Ms. Fannie kept us on task while we all contributed our ideas, wonder, and puzzlement about creation and that great mystery we call God. 

My computer also remains a great mystery to me, but luckily there are people who can make sense of technology. I took my ailing computer to David Worsham, who has always had great success in cleaning it up, ridding me of nasty viruses, and getting me up and running. Last week I didn’t send an article to the newspapers and online newspapers, and I didn’t write my weekly news article that I send to church members and friends. But now I am back online and writing this article Labor Day afternoon. Walking the dogs was a joy as the clouds were thick with a temperature in the 70s. We Texans have learned to appreciate any break in the heat and humidity during these sizzling summer days. 

We had three visitors Sunday that shot us into double digits—something we celebrate at little Paxton Methodist. We are small in number but big in heart. My son Jacob came to visit and attended church. It is always wonderful to see my kids. My daughter Megan is in New York City at the U.S. Open (tennis). She had a marvelous time, meeting some celebrities and seeing some really fine tennis.

It was great to have Teresa and Larry visiting Paxton Methodist. They are friends of Gene and Joy, and we sure hope they will come again. We celebrated Labor Day, the Rodney Dangerfield of American holidays because it doesn’t get much respect. There will be few fireworks and no pastel eggs to hunt. But this holiday, which is a little over a hundred years old, celebrates American workers and the importance of the Labor movement in our nation. 

The Old Testament Lesson for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time was from The Song of Songs, chapter 2: 8-13. The poetry of the Songs is about love—romantic love. The authors of the various books of the Bible often speak of love since God is love, and the ground being of all existence. The Epistle Lesson comes from James 1: 17-27. Tradition tells us this book was written by Jesus’ brother James, who became the leader of the Jerusalem church and was a fierce opponent of Paul. Yes, even then there were disagreements in the church.

We had two nursing home ministries week before last, but as I said earlier in this article, my computer wasn’t up to reporting. Minnie played for Holiday’s program, and Hilda for Lakeside. At both, Pastor Matt spoke of Biblical dreams. Nora read a going-to-school book in honor of kids and teachers, and she also sang. Fannie treated us to wit and wisdom, astounding us with some of her facts. Jo, Maggie, Gene, Ollie, Margie, and Sallie joined us, with Sallie and Gene doing specials. Gene sang “Morning Has Broken” as a birthday treat to me. Sue read different children’s poems at each place; she also followed Pastor Matt’s Biblical dreams with some more modern inspirations coming from dreams: the periodic table, the song “Yesterday,” and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, to name a few. I emceed both programs, giving my wife and Maggie a break from that job.

“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. God’s Speed.

August 31, 2018 - The Wallace Chapel Baptist Church, Timpson, Texas 75975 Rev. Derrick Rhodes, Pastor and Sister Shaneeta Rhodes, First Lady.

2018 Church Calendar:

  • September 2 - Church Anniversary
  • October 22 - Youth Revival - Monday Night
  • October 23 - Youth Revival - Tuesday Night
  • October 24 - Youth Revival - Wednesday Night

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

August 28, 2018 - Today we have many religions which proclaim their god to be the god, the one we must worship if we are to prosper. Others say there is no god, that we ourselves are god and that whatever we desire should be ours to have and to hold.

And yet, for those of us who follow the Living God, the God of heaven, we see in our Bibles a different story than the ones told by those other than Christians.

For the one who says there is no god, that he is his own god the Bible says; “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Of these the Bible also says; “They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.” (Psalm 14:1)

As Christians we certainly do not wish to fall into that group and be considered abominations by the Lord God, for abominations are anything that God despises and will not look upon, a very bad place for one to place himself indeed.

For those others who would say, there are many gods, all of which are fine if you worship in earnest. For those God says; “I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:5-6)

For me, that is pretty clear, those “other gods” that we are told are just fine if we worship them in earnest, according to the one true living God are not so fine, they are in fact not gods but idols, manmade forms, worshiped by foolish men who do not know God.

I beg you today to pay attention to the words of the Bible that we are writing down here today and meet the one true God. The God of life eternal, the creator of all things and the Lord of all.

Let us look at a few more examples of what God says about himself and his deity so we all understand just who God is.

“I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)

Which of the idols of the foolish can do these things? Which one can create light and darkness or help you in times of trouble or cause trouble for you when you begin to stumble and turn away from him? Which one I ask can do such things, none for all of these false gods are dead and cannot even help themselves.

God says; I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.” (Isaiah 45:12)

“For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): I am the Lord and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:18)

And so I ask you today, would you serve a lifeless idol who cannot help you in your times of need, or, would you call on the Most High God of heaven to lift you from the darkness and into the light of the Christ?

When the Son of God was asked by a disciple how one could come to the Lord, he said; “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) 

Will you call upon the Lord Jesus today for salvation of your soul? Tell him, “Lord Jesus,  I am a sinner, lost in darkness, please Lord Jesus help me to turn from wickedness and save me from my sin.” Do this and he will save you this day…

Dyan Gardner

August 27, 2018 - We the Members and Pastor of Carroll Chapel CME Church in Shelbyville would like to invite you to our Annual Homecoming and three nights Revival, Sunday, September 9-12.

Our Speaker for Sunday will be our very own: Rev. Jamar Jackson. 

  • Monday Night at 7:30 PM will be Elder LA Kendrick Bluford of The Church and Kingdom of God in Christ, Todd Spring Community in Shelbyville, TX.
  • Tuesday Night at 7:30 PM will be Bishop Roosevelt Swindle of the First Pentecostal Church in Shelbyville, TX.
  • Wednesday Night at 7:30 PM will be Pastor Cassandra Swindle of Murray Chapel Pentecostal in Logansport, LA.

Everyone is invited. 

August 24, 2018 - Jackson Missionary Baptist Church invites children ages 2 through 12th grade to kickoff Awana! We need you to make the 2018-19 Awana Year a Success!
Kickoff is Wendesday, August 29th with registration and pizza at 5:45pm. Activities include inflatable obstacle course, dunkin/splash (come get your leader wet,) ping pong, corn hole, bottle toss, hungry bear, ladderball and others. We are look forward to your joining us.

Jackson Missionary Baptist Church is located at 11120 Highway 7 E, Joaquin, TX 75954.

Sue Finch and Ashley Long - Awana Ministry Directors; Bro. David Long - Pastor

August 21, 2018 - Neuville Baptist Church Homecoming August 26, 2018. We will begin at 10:45 Bro. John McGuire will be preaching. Lunch will be after service, followed by a singing performed by Danny & Rebecca Wall from Broaddus TX. At 1:30.

Everyone is welcome and invited to come be a part of this wonderful celebration.

August 21, 2018 - America is a land of good and evil, of positive and negative, a land of masses of people, some living for the Lord and some living for the devil.
And so it has been since the initial sin of man, the sin of Adam and Eve shortly after God created the earth and all its inhabitants.

And so it will be until the coming day of the Lord when the final judgment is made and all those who do not believe in the Lord will be sent into eternal damnation. As we are told by Job; “As the cloud fades and vanishes, so he who does down to Sheol does not come up.” (Job 7:9)

Spiritual death is a very permanent thing from which one does not recover just as hell is a very permanent place from which one does not escape. A place of which Jesus says; “In that place will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 8:12) A place of torment where one never dies, but lives forever in torment knowing that all he had to do was to call upon the Lord and be saved.

“The Lord preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.” (Psalm 145:20)

“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18)

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)

As spiritual death and hell are permanent for those who do not love the Lord, so too is heaven and its glory permanent for those who do accept the free gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus.

The choice is for each to make, heaven of hell, life eternal of death eternal. 

Do not think that this is something that God is committing your to; no your eternity is totally of your own choosing as God gives each of us our own free will to choose as we will.

It is Gods wish that none should perish but that all should have everlasting life, but the choice remains for each to make for himself.

You might ask why would God allow such to happen. That is what faith is all about, in order to enter the Kingdom of God one must first have faith in Jesus Christ and accept him as Lord of all for there is no other way to heaven than through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, as the Lord and acceptance of his gift of life is the only way one can escape the fires of hell.

God gives each person that opportunity to believe in Christ and accept him on faith.

“For. I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)

Righteousness comes to all from the faith of Christ Jesus in the Father for the faith one has in the Lord Jesus Christ. May you find your faith today and receive the many rich blessings of our Lord, forever… 

August 21, 2018 - Sunday was the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We had our regular bunch for Sunday School and church. One of our regulars is far away visiting her sister, and we sure miss her. Our Sunday School lesson was a really good one. Gene read the scripture, Romans 12: 9-21. It speaks about love and justice, which can not be separated. Paul lists many actions that come out of God’s love and justice, such as not thinking one is better than anyone else. We as Jesus followers are to contribute to the needs of those less fortunate. We are not to judge or try to get back at people who have hurt us. These are all actions which are hard for us humans but are part of our moving toward Christian Perfection.

My sermon was based on the Old Testament lesson for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. On his death bed, David names Solomon as his successor. This does not set well with his son Adonijah, who had the backing of David’s trusted general, Joab. So Solomon goes off to the holy city of Gibeon and prays and offers sacrifices.  God comes to Solomon in a dream and promises to grant him what he wants. Solomon asks for wisdom and a discerning heart; God is very pleased by such a thoughtful request. 

This month we are collecting children’s socks and underwear for Community Christian Services. August in our church is “Undie Sunday Month” and we voted to give an extra $50 from the church to Community Christian Services. Kids returned to school on Monday, August 20, in Joaquin. We at Paxton have been praying for returning students, teachers, and staff—hoping they have a safe and productive school year. I loved the years that I taught and was a principal, but I sure enjoyed sleeping until 9:00 Monday morning! Next month we will collect boxes of macaroni and cheese. This week we have two nursing home ministries. On Tuesday we have Holiday Nursing Home; Thursday is Lakeside Assisted Living.   

Our Charge Conference this year is the latest it has been since I became a Methodist minister.  Methodists, I discovered, strongly believe in connections between local churches, districts, conference, and the worldwide Methodist Church. Our Charge Conference will be held with the other Shelby County United Methodist Churches at 3:00 PM on Sunday, November 25th. We will have a church conference at Paxton before that and approve a budget, officers, and the pledge to pay our apportionments in full, which Paxton always does. Apportionments are what a local church pays to support the larger worldwide Methodist Church. 

“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

August 20, 2018 - Toledo Bend Cowboy Church, Huxley, TX,  has retained the services of Bro. Don Richey, of Huxley, who is a trained Transitional Pastor. Bro. Don has agreed to stay with us in this capacity for as long as 18 months, and longer, if necessary.  He is a pastor with forty years experience. He was the pastor at Haslam First Baptist Church in the late 1980’s. When he retired, he decided to get training to be a Transitional Pastor. He recently served in that capacity for about 18 months at Dunnigan Missionary Baptist Church in East Hamilton.

Bro Don RicheyTransitional Pastor was a new term for most of us at TBCC. Bro. Don has been explaining some of the objectives that position entails. They are:

  1. Lead the church to embrace its history of ministry.
  2. Affirm with the church it’s Biblical growth principles
  3. Focus on the Kingdom results rather than human assumptions.
  4. Establish church practices.
  5. Help identify and allocate church resources.
  6. Help the church discover the pastor God has for them.
  7. Assist the new pastor acquaint with the church and community.

I have to say, when Bro. Don explained all these points, I felt the stress I didn’t know I’d been carrying around just release my shoulders and I felt relaxed and hopeful that we would be getting the new pastor TBCC is meant to have. We don’t have to worry about hiring one of the next few pastors that applied for the position. We will have time to find out exactly what our church body wants and needs so that we can find the pastor who meets our needs and whose needs we will be able to meet.  We want to have a compatible relationship with our new pastor.