March 8, 2016 - House of Refuge Apostolic Ministries is celebrating Founder's Day, celebrating 14 years in ministry, on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 3pm. With the scripture of Moving Forward, Proverbs 18:16, come honor Apostle W.E. Nash, Jr.

Enjoy special guest speaker Archbishop John L. Lawson, Jr. from the Miracle Tabernacle, Prayer and Praise Cathedral, Longview, Texas.

House of Refuge Apostolic Ministries is located at 215 Church Street, Center, Texas 75935.

March 8, 2016 - Joaquin Community Men's Breakfast will be Saturday, March 12 at 8am at the Joaquin First United Methodist Church fellowship hall. Come and enjoy good fellowship. Mike Parker will be giving the morning devotion; come and bring a friend.

March 8, 2016 - House of Refuge Apostolic Ministries in Center, TX is celebrating Founder's Day, honoring Apostle W. E. Nash Jr. on Sunday, March 13th at 3:00pm. Special guest speaker will be Archbishop John  L. Lawson Jr. of Longview, TX. Everyone is invited and lunch will be served. Special thanks to H. O. R. A. M. members. 

March 8, 2016 - When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, God gave him instructions for building the first temple, the first "house of God" on earth. This tabernacle had a specific size, a specific shape, and had to be erected in a specific direction on the compass.

God's glory came down and filled this temple both by day and by night as He dwelt in it while He journeyed with the Israelites.

The 2nd temple or "House of God" was the temple erected by Solomon in Jerusalem, it too followed closely along the lines of the original temple. God's glory also filled it when it was completed and, only the high priest could enter into the inner sanctuary and then only one day per year after much preparation.

Ezekiel was to be a priest of Israel but he was one of the Hebrews that was carried away into captivity in Babylon during the second raid on Israel and before the final raid when Judah itself was taken into captivity for 70 years. Three raids; first, Daniel is taken, second, Ezekiel is taken, third, Jeremiah is left with the remnant, the old and sickly.

The temple in today's text is the third, although the temple in Jerusalem was rebuilt, it is still just the second temple of God. This third temple was shown to Ezekiel, during the time of his Babylonian captivity and is actually a vision of the millennial temple of Christ. The same temple of Christ described in the book of Revelation, the temple where all believers will spend the millennial reign of Christ after the Tribulation.

In the vision, the glory of God entered the temple through the eastern gate, the same as Ezekiel and from there the Holy Spirit took him into the inner court to see the glory of God which was filling the house.

As you read (Ezekiel 43:1-9) you too will see as God shows Ezekiel inside the temple and tells him of all the things which will be.

The voice of God telling him that no more shall the people defile His name with abominations. No more shall they build walls between themselves and God. All that are unrighteous will be put away and all believers will live in God's House forever.

As the gospel of God spread from the east, to the west, to the entire world, this vision heralds the time when the knowledge of the Lord will completely cover the earth.

As Peter, James and John saw Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration in all of His glory, so to will all people see Him one day as He returns to earth in great power and glory.

On that day every head shall bow and every knee shall bend in reverence to the Lord.

You are always welcome to join us on Wednesday evenings at 6:00 PM for our Bible study at Spring Hill Baptist Church.

May God bless You and keep you and make His face to shine upon you each day...

March 8, 2016 - Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church family invites you to join us as we honor our Pastor and First Lady for 23 years of service. Please join us on Sunday, March 20, 2016, at 3:00 p.m. at Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church. Our special guest will be Pastor Timothy Teel and the Bell's Chapel Baptist Church of San Augustine, Texas.

March 8, 2016 - Sunday was the Fourth Sunday in Lent, a time of reflection in Christian communities for nearly two thousand years.  I am preaching a series of sermons on the last week of Jesus, ending on that long-ago Easter Sunday.  Last Sunday, the one we call Palm Sunday, the scriptures from Mark dealt with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey.  The other procession coming into the city was Pontius Pilate’s.  He had been given two main jobs by Rome—collecting taxes and maintaining the peace.  So the Roman governor left his seaside resort and came with reinforcements to keep the Jewish people under control on the important holiday of Passover. 

The Mark Gospel, the oldest Gospel in the Bible, gives us a time line if we are alert to it while we are reading.  My sermon dealt with Holy Monday.  Mark says, “On the following day…” so we know that Jesus and his followers left Bethany and headed back to Jerusalem.  The most significant event that day was Jesus chasing out the money changers and other salesmen.  Mark makes it pretty clear that this wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision by our Lord.  He first cursed a fig tree for not bearing fruit.  If like me, you take the Bible seriously but not literally, you understand that the fig tree represents symbolically all that was wrong with the Temple system.  Then he headed for a showdown in the Temple yard.

On Sunday we celebrated Holy Communion.  The Service of Communion and Remembrance begins with a quote from the medieval mystic, Teresa of Avila.  “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

Our new Sunday school lessons come from the New Testament and deal with prayer.  The author provides many differing ways we can understand prayer.  Prayer is the sort of thing that can’t be judged.  No one can come up with the only correct forms of prayer.  Our author reminds us that an important component of prayer is silence, listening for God in the quiet. 

We had two birthdays this past Sunday.  Liz Ideker and Larry McNeill share March 6 as their birthday.  The congregation sang Happy Birthday.  Joe was off to the lake with son Ben, and Hilda was visiting.  So Gene was our song leader, and Sue played the CDs.  We have the complete Methodist Hymnal on CD and we sang two familiar songs. 

We were sad to hear of the death of Gloria’s brother Barkley Bowlin.  Mr. Bowlin would often join us in singing when he was a resident of Pine Grove.  Bill Skinner of Joaquin also died this past Friday.  Bill was a member of Joaquin Methodist since 1953.  His memorial service was Sunday afternoon, and Rev. Ortigo and I officiated the service.

"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 9:15 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!

March 7, 2016 - Peter writes, “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet 1:9). There are different “stages” of salvation. For example we are to save ourselves from this evil generation (Ac. 2:40). We can be saved from our sins (Ac. 2:38). We can also be saved from the wrath of God (Lk. 3:7). But eternal salvation does not come nor is it guaranteed until the end as Peter said in the passage above. Eternal salvation is based upon our faith or faithfulness while in this life.

Notice what Peter said just prior to the above verse, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” (1 Pet. 1:5-7).

Eternal life is not given until we have proven our faithfulness to God. Oh yes, it is reserved in heaven (1 Pet. 1:4) but it is only a reservation. Much like making a reservation for a room or a flight, it is reserved or guaranteed but we do not literally have it until we arrive and check in.

Peter said in the text that their faith was tested, they were in heaviness, had manifold temptations and tied by fire. Our endurance through such times brings about the outcome of our faith, the salvation of our souls.

Jesus said be “faithful till the end” (Rev. 2:10) in order to receive the crown. Demas was said to have left the faith (loved this present world) (2 Tim. 4:10; 1Jn. 2:15-17). The Hebrew Christians were warned to not given up their reward (Heb. 10:35-36,39).

Paul writes, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:7-8). He also wrote, “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible” (1 Cor. 9:25).

James also writes, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (Jm. 1:12). And Jesus said, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev. 3:21).

Our faithfulness in this life in times of temptations and trials will bring about the end of our faith. The end or outcome of our faith will be rewarded with eternal life. A life of sin and a love of this world will cost us our inheritance in heaven and cancel our reservation of eternal life.

Let us strive to receive the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls. As we go through the many fiery trials and manifold temptations of this life let us do so with our eyes fixed on our reservation in heaven!

Church email: If you would like to receive our weekly bulletin via email, just send us your request and we will be happy to put you on the list. 

March 7, 2016 - “Sons are a heritage from the Lord --children are a reward from Him...” Psalms 127:3

When I was Pastor of The First Baptist Church of Mauriceville, Texas, I received a surprise visit from Dr. R. G. Commander, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at East Texas Baptist University In Marshall, Texas. He was soliciting my help as a ETBU alumni in the construction of  a new Science building at the college. Dr. Commander’s two children and I received B.A. degrees there in 1958. 
Several minutes after he drove away, he returned to our house.  “I forgot to tell you something”, he began. “As you know, for many years,   I’ve been pastor one of the largest Baptist churches in Texas and serve on the Board of Trustees in two Texas Universities.  I’m proud of my work record, but if I had life to live over again, I’d spend less time pleasing people and would spend more time with my dear children. “Doug, I’ve watched your young children playing in the yard today. Be sure to spend plenty of time with them while they are young. You’ll regret it if you don’t. Your church members are important, but not more  important than your dear children.” 
I remember Dr. Commander’s advice as if it was yesterday.  My children are grown now and have their own families. Two live in New York, and three live in Texas. I hardly ever see them and miss them so much…day in and day out …every day.  I cherish  the memories of them as they were  growing up…talking about what happened at school every day…fishing and swimming with them …helping them dress for church….laughing  with them around the table.  The memories are overwhelming.  Sometimes they make me laugh…sometimes they make me cry.
I’m an old feller now and would love to put my arms around all of them today.  Sitting with them again…hearing them laugh ….(and argue)…. would be a dream come true.  Maybe we’ll get together this year.

It would be a great entry to my list of good memories.

March 1, 2016 - This week we will be in the book of Luke, Chapter 19, Verses 41-44. In the days leading up to their arrival at the city of Jerusalem Jesus foretold to His disciples of His entry into the city, of His betrayal and of His death and resurrection but even they did not truly comprehend what was going to happen. Verse 41 of our scripture says that as Jesus drew near to the city of Jerusalem that He wept or lamented over it. The dictionary describes "lament" as; "to feel or express sorrow or regret: In verse 42 Jesus laments over the people of Jerusalem, knowing that they would soon reject Him, call for His death; even call for a murderer to be released in place of the Lord Jesus. 

Jesus knew that they would be left without excuse for their rejection of Him and He agonized over their coming fate. As he rode into the city there were many people there praising Him, spreading palm fronds in his path and acclaiming Him as the Messiah. They had no idea that in one week they would be calling for His death on the cross. 

Only Jesus knew the events of the coming week. He would clean out the temple one last time. He would institute the Lord's Supper that we still celebrate today. He would suffer agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, He would be falsely arrested, tried and crucified. But as He rode into the city his thoughts were not on Himself and His upcoming agony but on the people of the city who were going to pay for their actions against Him and the many prophets God had sent to them in the past. 

They had stoned each one who had come to proclaim the coming Messiah and now they would cry out for his death as well. Verses 43 and 44 tell of the overrunning of the city in AD 70 when the Romans overthrew Jerusalem. The city was leveled with not one stone being left upon another just as Jesus foretold in these verses. The Romans even burned a pig upon the alter in a final gesture of disrespect for the Israelites and their beliefs. 

The Jews paid a heavy price for their rejection of Christ, yet their nation has finally been restored to some extent though not nearly as large geographically as originally promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That gift required obedience by the people to acquire in full. Judgment follows rejection of Christ and only through repentance and faith can one be justified and receive eternal life with the Lord. "Whosoever will" can come and be saved by His grace. Salvation waits, but it is up to man to claim it. Please feel welcome to join us at Spring Hill Baptist 

Church for our weekly Bible study each Wednesday evening at 6:00 PM. may God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you each day. For more information call: 936-615-1427 

February 29, 2016 - Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ in San Augustine, Texaswould like to invite the community to Family and Friends Day on Sunday, March 6 at 3pm. Pastor Brandon Owens Sr. and Pleasant Grove Baptist Church of Center Texas will be special guest.