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September 8, 2017 - The annual Folsom Cemetery Homecoming will be held on Sunday, September 17 beginning at noon on the grounds of the cemetery. All are invited to bring there lunch to share and their donations for the perpetual care of the grounds. Donations can be mailed to: 3471 FM 2026, Center, Texas 75935.

Danny Paul Windham, Sec/treasurer

September 6, 2017 - The Smith Family will be in concert 6pm Saturday, September 9, 2017 at New Columbia MBC.

"Hear the Gospel in song and praise," you are invited! "Come rejoice in the Lord with us."

New Columbia MBC is located at 2018 FM 1970 S. Timpson, Texas.

September 5, 2017 - Sunday was the 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time. Sunday, unlike recent days, was pretty and full of sun. Our hearts and prayers go out to all those who are mourning and suffering from the effects of Hurricane Harvey. It is good to see that the whole nation is responding and that Congress seems ready to move quickly to provide aid. Our church voted to give money to the Salvation Army. Many individuals have already given to various aid groups. The clean-up and rebuilding is going to be measured in months and years. Our neighbors and friends in New Jersey and New York are still rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy devastated those two states.

The Gospel Lesson from Matthew 16:24-28 is one of the most difficult passages in the Gospels. Jesus says that his followers must be ready to carry their crosses and to lose their lives. In my sermon I spoke of Oscar Romero and Dietrich Bonheoffer, two devoted Christians who indeed carried the cross and lost their lives being disciples of Jesus.

The Epistle Lesson from Romans 12:9-21 was a very uplifting scripture that we needed to read after the tough Gospel lesson. Paul says that love must be at the center of who we are. He went on to say that the best way to combat evil is by doing good. Catherine de Hueck Doherty said, “The hunger for God can only be satisfied by a love that is face to face, person to person. It is only in the eyes of another that we can find Christ.” John Wesley said that loving God and loving neighbor cannot be separated.

We celebrated Holy Communion this morning. We are collecting boxes of macaroni and cheese for Community Christian Services.

“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.

September 5, 2017 - As I watch the rain fall steadily outside of our home and see the devastation south and east of us on the TV, I am reminded of this verse from Isaiah.

For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered.” (Isaiah 65:17)

Then I realize it doesn’t matter what happens today for soon the Lord will create new heavens and a new earth and all will be forgotten. All the worldly accomplishments of people will be long forgotten, nothing remembered but that which is written in the books of life and death.

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.” (Revelation 20:12)

I ask you today, which book will you be found recorded in, the single book of life or one of the many books of death?

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” (Revelation 21:1)

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said. “Write this down for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5)

The vision of the new heaven and the new earth and the great white throne judgement as shown to the Apostle John by our Lord.

As the Lord said to John, “Write this down for these words are trustworthy and true.” It is up to each of us to believe and follow his will and way so that we are not in this the last judgement. All who believe will be spared to live eternally in the new heaven and the new earth, while a much worse fate awaits those who reject the gospel of the Lord Jesus.

And he said to me; “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:6-8)

There are the choices folks, eternal life in heaven serving our Lord, OR, eternal life in hell, floating, burning in a lake of fire for eternity, with no end.

So let me ask you. What of this evil world is worth the punishment for a life of sin? Can you give me a reason for choosing a life of sin now and sacrificing a life of eternal bliss in heaven with our Lord? I think not…

I ask you this for this reason.

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out of my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)

It is my prayer that if you have not accepted our Lord Jesus as your Lord and Savior that these words from our Lord will accomplish that task this day.

May the blessings of our Lord be yours today and forever…

September 1, 2017 - First Pentecostal Church of Joaquin invites you to an old fashion tent revival for a special time of miracles, signs, and wonders done by the power of Jesus’ Name. Bring your problems, needs and prayer requests with you to be met by Jesus Christ, the One who IS the Answer!

Revival Service Schedule:

  • September 20th – 23rd, Wednesday – Saturday, 7:00 p.m. under the Blue and White tent located on Hwy 7 East between Dollar General and Subway on the Haslam Strip in Joaquin, Texas.
  • Sunday Morning, 10:00 a.m. at the church
  • Sunday Evening, 6:00 p.m. at the church

Evangelist Vlad Goodrum and local ministers will be preaching.

First Pentecostal Church of Joaquin is located at 11113 St. Hwy 7 East Joaquin, Texas. For more information, contact Pastor Ron Johnson at 936-269-4245.

August 31, 2017 - Bell Chapel Baptist Church in San Augustine is hosting their Annual Homecoming and Revival. Homecoming will be Sunday morning, September 3 at 11am with Nathaniel Harper Jr. speaker from Dallas.

At 3pm that evening will be Rev. Artis Mosby Pastor of Roberts Baptist Church of San Augustine Texas.

Revival will continue on Monday at 7pm with Rev. William Riggs from Lufkin Texas being the Evangelist for the service Monday - Thursday.

Bell Chapel Baptist Church is located at 2172 FM 353 in San Augustine, Texas.

August 30, 2017 - We, the members and Pastor of Carroll Chapel CME Church in Shelbyville, would like to invite you to our annunal Homecoming and three night revival. Sunday, September 10-13.

Sunday Evening service will begin at 3pm. with our guest speaker Rev. Karen Christopher of the Pine Flat CME Church in Nacogdoches, TX.

Monday-Wednesday Night starting at 7:30pm.

Monday Night guest speaker: Elder Lakendrick Bluford: Triumph Church Todd Springs Community.

Tuesday Night guest speaker: Pastor Cassandra Swindle: Murray Chapel, Funkston, La.

Wednesday Night guest speaker: Pastor Frankie Cooper: Gates Chapel Baptist Church, Shelbyville, TX.

August 29, 2017 - August 21, 2017, a day when many across our nation saw a phenomenon rarely seen from this hemisphere.

A partial to total covering of our sun as our moon passed between the earth and the sun.

Many scholars and scientists make claims of a solar eclipse being the cause of the time described in the Bible when the earth went into darkness as Jesus hung in agony on the cross.

Roman soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross and raised him up, they then divided his clothing among themselves and they and the people who were around wagged their heads at him in ridicule and scoffing.

The chief priests and elders also mocked him, saying; “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.” (Matthew 27:42)

And then; “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.” (Matthew 27:45)

At the end of that ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice and gave up his spirit and was dead.
God the Father would not allow his Son to be ridiculed and mocked as he suffered the sins of all men. He paid a debt no other man could pay, he did not deserve to be mocked as he suffered once for all.

I contend that this was definitely not a solar eclipse for the Bible says, the darkness lasted for 3 whole hours, from noon until 3:00PM, and all the land was covered in darkness.

This is not possible for an eclipse. As the earth spins on its axis and rotates around the sun with the moon rotating around the earth, the time the moon remains between the earth and sun is but a few minutes in any given spot upon the earth, not 3 hours and certainly not covering the entire land at once. The total part of the eclipse of this past week covered only a narrow strip of the earth as it passed across America from west to east.

If you doubt the power of God to regulate the sun, moon and earth let me tell you of the day the sun stood still.

As Joshua and the Israelites moved across the Promised Land defeating city after city they finally were engaged by a group of 5 Amorite armies. God told Joshua to completely wipe out the 5 armies, leaving no man standing. As the battle raged Joshua saw that he would never be able to complete Gods command before the sun would go down that evening so he prayed to God.

Sun, stand still at Gibeon and moon in the valley of Aijalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.” (Joshua 10:12-13)

The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole 24 hour day.

We must choose if we are to believe the Bible or those enlightened souls who seem to be educated far beyond their mental capacities.

I, for one, choose as did the great warrior Joshua; “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

Never doubt the power of the Living God and never give his glory to anything or anyone else.

August 28, 2017 - Sunday was the 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time. Our hearts go out to those along the coast and in the Houston area as Hurricane Harvey is certainly dealing a devastating blow. I imagine most East Texans have relatives and friends in the affected area. I have received many emails from the Conference and District offices about relief efforts: United Methodist Relief (UMCOR) is already helping, as are numerous other volunteer organizations. All donations to UMCOR go to actual relief since Methodist churches, large and small, pay the administrative costs through their apportionments. It is heartwarming to see so many organizations—as well as individuals and neighbors—helping with flood rescue and relief.

The Epistle Lesson came from Paul’s letter to the Romans. This letter was certainly important to Protestant Reformers like Martin Luther. A few centuries later, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, was at a Bible Study dealing with Luther’s commentary on this letter when he felt his heart “strangely warmed” and knew that God loved him. This letter to the Romans spelled out Paul’s understanding of the faith and of being a true and living sacrifice for God.

We all missed Fannie this morning while she was attending the baptism of a great-grandchild. I filled in as Sunday school teacher on the lesson from Acts. This was the final lesson of the quarter which dealt with “answering the call.” In our scripture Peter’s narrow ideas begin to expand as he welcomes Cornelius and other Gentiles into the faith.

During the month of August we have collected children’s underwear and socks for Community Christian Services. This was a holdover from the days at Joaquin Methodist when Ms. Gayle always got new clothes, shoes, backpacks, and school supplies together for the kids who needed them as they headed back to school. In September we will collect boxes of macaroni and cheese for Community Christian Services.

Our Lakeside Assisted Living program was last Thursday afternoon. Minnie played piano for the group singing. Gene did two specials, including the haunting “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess. Fannie and Ollie both read heartfelt selections. Sue didn’t read this time, as she was busy emceeing, assisted by Maggie. Hilda and Margie were both in attendance, helping with the singing. We also had a very special blessing: Emily Taylor and Joyce Hughes brought their harps and treated us to solos and duets, including “Eidelweiss,” “Greensleeves,” “The Angel Hymn,” and “This Is My Father’s World.”          

I hope the kids and teachers and other school staff have had a good start. Our prayers go out to our good friend Ronnie King as he awaits surgery.  Jerry Foshee stopped by and visited for a few minutes. It was so great to see him and to get an update on Neva, the girls, and their families. My dog Abner was not very friendly: I think he is getting old and cantankerous like his human companion!

“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 10am. 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.

Randy & Sue Smith
Paxton Methodist Church

August 28, 2017 - In 1981 while I was living in Orange, Texas, I was invited to preach at the Hillcrest Baptist in my hometown of Center, Texas. On the Saturday evening preceding my Sunday appointment I went out to warm up the car (it was 24 degrees in Orange), and the car wouldn’t start! In a sudden semi-panic, I jumped into 2 pairs of pants, my Army long handles and put on my heavy overcoat. Then I crammed everything possible in the saddlebags of my Yamaha XS 1100 motorcycle and motored out to 96.

By the time I got to Buna, I knew I’d made a mistake. My warmest clothes, gloves and trusty bike fairing were no match for the freezing wind. I considered turning back, but after warming a while at the Dairy Queen, I continued on to Jasper. When I told a Jasper service station attendant I was going to Center, he said, “Son, Center’s 60 miles away” “You gonna freeze on that bike”. But since I was half to Mother’s, turning back was no longer an option.

I “throttled up” at San Augustine when I realized I had only 18 miles to go… but hadn’t counted on a surprise I’d get on Bland Lake hill. Center’s State Trooper Hal Wyatt spun off the shoulder behind me and pulled me over. After doing a double take of me, he said, “Doug, is that you?” “it’s 23 degrees in San Augustine… you were topping that hill at 85 miles an hour!” I promised to slow down and when I got to Mother’s house I could hardly talk and my hands and legs were completely numb. But a slow thaw at Mother’s heater, and a leg-warming with her electric blanket warmed me up for a great night’s sleep.

I learned the next day that fewer people were concerned about how cold I got than the ones who believed preachers should ever ride a bike… ever… in any weather. During the next two years, I made a few more appointments on it, but always in better weather and at shorter distances. I finally sold it when I took a pastorate in Louisiana.

I’ll never forget that cold trip to Center. I’ll also never forget my beautiful XS 1100 that got me there…

… and that never failed me.

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