April 16, 2018 - Sunday was the Third Sunday of Easter. The Gospel for Sunday was Luke 24: 36b-48. The story was about the two disciples on the road to Emmaus who have an encounter with the resurrected Lord. This wonderful story is only found in the Luke gospel and the sharing of a meal was what triggered the experience. These two frightened disciples have fled Jerusalem and met up with a stranger. To their surprise the stranger knew nothing of the last few days, so they fill him on the events surrounding Jesus. After the resurrection encounter, the two disciples realize that the Spirit had warmed their hearts: Their despair has changed once again to hope.

Our Sunday school lesson was titled “Follow Me.” The story from John 21: 15-23 sees Jesus quizzing Peter on whether Peter truly loves him. Three times Peter answers in the affirmative. Ms. Fannie pointed out that our author tends to point out things that we wouldn’t normally explore. 

We were so pleased as we were finishing up Sunday school to see Lillie, Liz, and Mike come in. It is always such a treat when they venture up from Houston. We of course talked a little baseball. Fannie told us that the Hispanic congregation that met at Paxton Methodist for many years will dedicate their own church next Saturday. It has been great to watch the progress of the building (on Hwy. 96 between Tenaha and Center). Our church also extended Steven Evans’ scholarship for this year; he graduates after this semester. 

Last Thursday a group of us met at Focused Care for singing and stories. When I got there, Hilda was already playing the piano and had everybody singing. The residents at Focused Care really enjoy the old church songs. Fannie shared some stories full of wisdom and Nora sang a special. Nora’s sister Jo also helped out with the singing—nice to have her back after her recovery. This Tuesday we head to Holiday Nursing Center for a program. 

“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. Godspeed.

He that believes in me shall never die…” John 11:26

April 16, 2018 - In 1995 Pam and I gave music boxes to our children and close relatives for Christmas presents. We were kinda proud of our little projects. They were made of walnut, fitted with exotic wood inlays, lined with velvet, and installed with music movements. And we designed them to play when the lids were lifted.

Mother was thrilled that her box played her favorite hymn, “Amazing Grace”. And when she passed away in 1999, we put her box on the mantle of our home. Her box has done a very unusual thing over the years: it intermittently plays on its own. This morning at 2:00 we were again awakened by it and I sang in my heart along with the music:

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise 
Than when we first begun. 

We’ve never wound Mother’s box in the years that we’ve had it. The lid stays closed…. but it still plays at times. And this morning it didn’t play as if it were about wound down, but played for a brief time at regular speed!

Pam and I concluded again today that it doesn’t matter whether Mother’s box is “miraculously” playing or not. Maybe a combination of atmospheric changes and odd coincidences makes it play. The overwhelming thought that matters to us is not that Mother’s music lives on.

It’s knowing that Mother does.

April 16, 2018 - Tenaha Church of Christ will be hosting an open house celebrating God's blessing of our new building. Please join us in worship and praise on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 2:00 pm for Devotional, refreshments, fellowship. Tenaha Church of Christ is located at the corner of US Hwy 84 East and FM 2669, one mile east of Tenaha on Hwy 84 East. For more information, contact Margaret King Freeman  936-248-3811.

April 16, 2018 - Fellowship MBC of Joaquin Texas will be hosting their annual Homecoming April 22nd. Services will begin at 10:30 AM with food and fellowship to follow. All are invited to attend. Guest Speaker will be R.B. Elumbaugh Pastor of Mt. Herman MBC.

April 11, 2018 - House of Refuge Ministries cordially invites everyone to the First Sermon of Sister Tammy Johnson, Apostle W.E. Nash Jr. pastor, on Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 3pm.

Romans 10:15 - And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

House of Refuge Ministries is located at 215 Church Street, Center, Texas 75935. For more information, call 936-590-5888.

April 10, 2018 - There is a saying that goes like this; " Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me."  I'm sure that you may have said this when you were a kid or maybe taught it to your kids when they were being called names. The truth be told, that sounds good in theory, but its not really true. The words we speak and the words others say to us have great power and can hurt in a way that leaves lasting scars.  That is why we need to be very careful what we say and how we say things.  In Proverbs 12:18 it says " There is one whose rash words are like sword thrust, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."  We have power in our words to tear down and hurt or to heal brokenness.
So why are words so powerful? We have to  realize that God spoke all things into existence and gave us His Word as a guide for us to live by. So God puts a lot of emphasis on the power of words. Jesus called Lazurus out of the grave. He battled the devil in the desert with the Word of God. I could site many other examples but you get the point. Words do matter and how we use them in relation to others can have a profound impact on their lives. Husbands and wives who constantly criticize and tear each other down with their words will eventually destroy the love relationship that made them so happy in the beginning. Fathers and mothers who beat their children down with harsh words can destroy the life of a child they say that they love.  I believe harsh words are like bullets fired from a gun. When you shoot them out of your mouth they are not going to stop until they hit something. When they do, they first leave an open wound that may heal up eventually,  but leave a really nasty scar. 
So how should we speak to one another so that instead of tearing down, we build others up? Paul speaks directly to that point in Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupting talk come from your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." Let your words be words that are filled with kindness, gentleness, and self control. When we speak to each other with love and respect there is no limit on the effects those words have on improving the confidence, self esteem, and love that can grow from them. I have seen peoples lives changed by words of encouragement spoken to them. When we allow the Spirit of God to guide what we say, our words can be like a "healing salve" put on a wound that gives instant relief.
So as we go through our day let us imitate Christ . Let us treat everyone with love and respect. Speaking words of encouragement, peace, and love, extending the grace that God has so freely given us to all we meet. It will not only improve the lives of those you come in contact, but God will bless you with a life filled with love and happiness.

I'm Just Sayin,
Mike Belgard

April 10, 2018 - Strong Triumph Church, under the leadership of Elder Faye Dell Allen, invites everyone to their annual revival, May 3-5, 2018 starting at 7 p.m. each night. The evangelist for the week is Pastor Brandon Owens of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Center, Texas.

Please come out and join us as we lift up the name of the Lord. For more information, please call Elder Faye Dell Allen at 936-368-2611/936-572-5810.

April 10, 2018 - United in Christ, our Lord-

Why does each person have a longing in his soul, a longing for more than the world can offer, for more than the world can provide? For what do we seek?

We seek for the unity that comes only with living in the Lord Jesus, of being in the Body of Christ. The unity that comes by being one with the Lord and many others, each being a single part of the Body of Christ which is the church of the Living God on earth.

Paul gives us insight into this longing as he speaks to the Ephesians, exhorting the church to unity based on the truth of there being one God and Father of all and his work of salvation through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

This unity was established by the Lord Jesus when he established the church in his name, we are only to accept him as Lord and to continue in unity with one another.

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

“There is one body and one Spirit - just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call - one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Ephesians 4:1-7) 

While Paul is speaking here to a group of first century Christians, the way was established by the Lord Jesus for all to follow. 

One hope, that of eternal life and joy, lived with Christ in heaven. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:3)

One Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God that the Father sent to indwell each of his children when the Lord Jesus ascended back to heaven. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name.” (John 14:26)

One Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ. Cornerstone of the unified church, the body of Christ, irrespective of denominational differences, a voice for Christ around the world.

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

One faith, the faith given us by the resurrection of the Lord, the faith of knowing that if forever faithful that we too will be raised in unison with him to be with him forever in heaven. “To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18)  

One baptism, showing again the unity of becoming one with the Lord. “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - Jews or Greeks, slaves or free - and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13) 

One God and Father of all, the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent God of all, our Heavenly Father and Creator of all things. 
For all who walk with the Lord and reside in the Body of Christ, I rejoice as the angels rejoice in heaven with each soul that is saved.

For those who have not yet chosen to accept the Lord, I issue this prayer and hope of redemption to come.

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith - that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19)

April 10, 2018 - The Golden Harvest Ministries Club will meet Monday, April 16th, 2018 in the Fellowship Hall of the First Baptist Church at 11:30 AM. An enjoyable musical program will be presented by Charles and Judy Delaney. 

Visitors are always welcome to join us for a delicious covered dish luncheon, a good program and time of fellowship.

April 9, 2018 - Sunday was the Second Sunday of Easter. The First Lesson for this Sunday was a short passage from Acts 4: 32-35. In these four verses we see what the hallmark of the early Jesus Movement became—consumed with living a life of caring, giving, and compassion just as the Master taught and lived. 

After plenty of rain, Sunday morning was chilly, but the sun was trying to break through. Sue and I got just over four inches at our house; most everyone had three or more inches. Gene is hoping that the ground will dry out enough so he can start putting in his garden. He is a serious gardener, with a huge garden that he works diligently. I, on the other hand, just play at being a gardener but I do really enjoy it. Flowers, vegetables, trees, and bushes are some of the lovelier things in God’s creation.

We had the regulars for Sunday School. Fannie’s lesson really stressed the idea of community, which was so important to the early church. The lesson from John 21: 1-14 has Jesus fixing breakfast for his disciples. The disciples don’t recognize Jesus until he has them cast the net to the right and bring up many large fish. I like the idea of Jesus appearing and doing something as ordinary as fixing breakfast for his friends. I think we are to be ready to encounter Jesus in shared experiences with each other.

All month long we will collect toothpaste and toothbrushes for Community Christian Services. I found their schedule of openings on the internet, so maybe I’ll be better able to deliver our monthly donations. Up until now, I’ve just been hoping they might be open when I go through Haslam on other errands. This Thursday we head to Focused Care at 10:15 for our first monthly program. 

“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. Godspeed.