Love and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was Palm and Passion Sunday.  I usually like to celebrate Palm Sunday because it is festive, whereas Passion Sunday is full of betrayal, torture, and death. Either way, this week is the most important week of the Christian faith. Our Sunday school lesson was appropriately named “Called to Remember.”  The main scripture was Matthew 26: 1-13.  We are told that the priests are plotting against Jesus. In this heated atmosphere, an unnamed woman anoints Jesus’ head with expensive perfume, igniting outrage among the disciples, who regret the money it would have fetched to help the poor. 

The scripture for Passion Sunday was Luke 22: 14-23: 56.  It was a very long scripture because Luke describes in detail all the events of this week: the Last Supper, the agony in the garden, betrayal, arrest, the flight of the apostles, denial by Peter, torment by the Sanhedrin, trials before Pilate and Herod, and then back to Pilate where Jesus is humiliated and tortured. We see Simon of Cyrene carrying Jesus’ cross, the crucifixion, his prayer for forgiveness, salvation of the thief, the death, and then Jesus’ hasty burial. We must wait until Easter Sunday to finally experience the joy.

We celebrated Holy Communion this morning, among the palm fronds we carried up front while listening to “Lord of the Dance.” Roy and Judy Welch of Sunshine Florist are so nice to provide the palms every year. To further decorate the church, I got Easter lilies from them.

My daughter and I were in Ohio last Sunday for my aunt’s 90th birthday and a family reunion. We had a good time traveling together and seeing so many cousins. Larry McNeil filled in for me; Sue told me what he spoke on—a retrospective of Leon Hale, the long-time Houston columnist, including some stories about our old friend, Richard Wharton.             

Fannie read a nice letter from Mrs. Ruby at Community Christian Services. The strange thing was that Ruby mailed the card before Christmas 2018, and Fannie received it this week! We collected cans of chili last month, and I delivered them to Community Christian Services last Wednesday. This week Joy heard from Carolyn, who is enjoying her time with her sister.  We need to send Carolyn long-distance Happy Birthday wishes. Fannie, Evie, and Margaret also have birthdays in April. Fannie reported that her grandson, Jake, successfully completed Ranger training in the army. That is really some accomplishment! 

Last Thursday Mrs. Hilda and folks went to Focused Care for the monthly ministry. Since coming home, though, I was busy catching up with doctors’ appointments. This Tuesday at 2:00 we will head to Holiday Nursing Center. In Joaquin Saturday’s Spring Fling got washed out: They may try it again this coming Saturday.

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. God’s Speed.

Update: The fish fry at Dreka Pentecostal Church has been cancelled until further notice due to weather for Saturday April 13th, sorry for any inconveniences this this may have caused.


April 12, 2019 - Dreka Pentecostal Church is having a fish fry fundraiser Saturday, April 13. Plates are $8 and this includes fish, french fries, coleslaw, piece of bread and a dessert. 

Plates are pick up only and are limited, first come first serve. Plates will be ready to start picking up at 11. For more information you can call Mildred at 9365984433. Thank you and God bless.

April 12, 2019 - There will be an Easter Sunrise Service at Joaquin First United Methodist Church beginning at 7:00 a.m. April 21. Breakfast will be served afterward in Fellowship Hall. All are welcome.

April 19, 2019 - Youth Easter Play. Mount Calvary Full Gospel Church Our youth will Present "He Lives" Sunday Evening at 6pm April 14th. In the church sanctuary. come and enjoy a wonderful presentation.

April 10, 2019 - I love this time of year. The smell of fresh cut hay, everything turns that beautiful shade of green, its like life is starting over again every spring. As a child growing up I looked forward to these signs that the seasons were changing and that summer would soon be here. The cold dreariness of winter is replaced by the bright, warm, days of spring

Just as seasons change in nature, so they also do in our lives. It seems that sometimes they change too rapidly, but if we pay close attention there are usually signs that a season in our lives is about to change. I once heard a man say that life is just a cycle of changes. That we are all either getting ready to go through a situation, are in the middle of a situation, or we are just coming out of a situation. Life changes rapidly and sometimes unexpectedly, but rest assured it will change. That can give you great relief in two different ways : 1) If you are in a bad season right now you can rest assured that it is going to get better. 2) Seasons are something we go through, not stay in! Seasons bring relief from harsh conditions just as some seasons bring those harsh conditions. I have learned in the past 58 years of living, that no matter how hot the summer or cold the winter I might find myself in, that God is about to send relief. In James 1:12 He says "Blessed is the man who perseveres during trials, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life God has for those He loves." God always sends relief. We just have to trust Him.

In the book of Ecclesiastes Solomon writes: "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven." He simply goes on to list the things that happen in the cadence of life. For every birth there will be a death, for every tear there will be a laugh.

As we see the world around us changing in such dramatic fashion, it is easy to get discouraged. It seems that all that was right is now wrong and all that was wrong is now right. We are going through a season of great change. We are in a season of harsh times for those who truly make a stand for their faith. God wants you to know today that He has great plans for you. Remember that seasons change and God always brings relief. He never leaves us in a harsh season. Remember the rain and storms of spring bring the flowers of the summer. The season that you are in right now is about to change for the better. If you are in a stormy season, hold on because the sun is about to shine. God loves you and you can trust Him to see you through this time.

I'm Just sayin'
Mike Belgard

April 8, 2019 - Pastor Byron Coutee, Jr. and the Blount Chapel Missionary Baptist Church would like to invite all area churches to our Youth Revival starting Wednesday, April 17, 2019 through Friday, April 19, 2019 at 7:30pm nightly.

Speakers:

  • Wednesday night: Rev. Brian Bass of the First Baptist Church in Lufkin, Texas
  • Thursday night: Pastor Bradley Hale of the Mt. Horeb Baptist Church in San Augustine, Texas
  • Friday night: Pastor Brandon Owens, Sr. of the Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Center, Texas

All choirs, soloists, and praise teams will be welcomed!

April 8, 2019 - Everyone is invited to come worship on "The Porch" at Smyrna Baptist Church in Huxley, Monday, April 8th.

Refreshments 6:30pm and worship begins at 7pm. Guest speaker will be Bro. Wayne Bickley, pastor at Soda Baptist Church in Livingston, Texas. Bro. Bickley was a former pastor at Smyrna and a powerful man of God.

Awesome music leaders are Paul, Brittany, Bryan and Abigail.

Everyone is invited to come and receive a blessing. Bring someone, Jesus loves you.

April 8, 2019 - The Pleasant Hill Cemetery Association would like to invite everyone to their annual Homecoming on Saturday, May 18, 2019. Come join us as we remember those we loved in life, and are still in our hearts today. Please bring your favorite dishes for our potluck dinner which is always great. If you are unable to attend, donations in memory of your loved one, for the care and preservation of the cemetery may be mailed to the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, PO Box 91, Shelbyville, TX  75973.

April 3, 2019 - The Southern Plainsmen "Louisiana's Goodwill Ambassadors" in concert April 12, 2019 starting at 7pm.

Center Bible Fellowship, 925 Tenaha Street in Center, Texas 75935 will be hosting the group. 

Everyone is welcome.

For more information call 936-572-4446.

For booking (318)663-4812. Visit them online at www.southernplainsmen.com or www.facebook.com/southernplainsmen

April 3, 2019 - Have you ever had something to do that was important but just kept putting it off until the last minute? That's something that all of us have experienced at least once in our lives. Most of us practice it almost daily in some form or fashion. When I was a kid in school most every paper that I wrote, homework or assignment I turned in, was "hot off the press" you might say. A very sweet teacher told me that I was a "master at procrastination."

I couldn't wait to run home and tell my family that Mrs. Rush (my fourth grade teacher) had found something that I was actually good at in school.  Later when I found out what that word actually meant I realized even though it was true, that it was one of those traits that I needed to try and eliminate from my character rather than develop.

God gives us the opportunity to start over and to live free from our past. But for some reason we make excuses why we can't do that at this time. Why do we desire change but fear it so much, even when we are living in a dark place we so desperately want to leave? Its because this dark place we are in has become comfortable for us. We become afraid to step into the light of change because we are not sure what we might see. So rather than accept the light of change we continue to live in the darkness of the past.

I have found that one of the greatest hindrances in our quest to beginning our new life in Christ is "procrastination" on our part to start over. We say we want to start new, but we tend to put it off until another time. God is ready to heal your life today but you are afraid of letting go. So instead of accepting the healing God has for you, you put it off. Why? Usually your afraid of what might happen next, or what God might ask you to do if you surrender your life to Him.

There is a story in the Old Testament where God sent plagues on the Egyptians. One of the last plagues was of frogs. Thousands of them took over the Pharaohs palace. When Moses told Pharaoh that God was ready to remove the plague at Moses' command. Moses asked when he wanted God to proceed. Pharaohs answer was classic. He said "tomorrow." God could have stopped the plague instantly, but Pharaoh decided to spend one more night with the frogs rather than accept Gods immediate cure for his problem. I guess the question I have for you now is; How many more nights are you going to "sleep with the frogs" in your life rather than let God get rid of them for you?

We don't have to wait for anything. The same power that God used to resurrect Jesus from the grave is the same power that He will use to resurrect your life. That's how Paul had the boldness to say, "But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ."

We have to realize that we have to quit procrastinating and move forward with the new life God has given us. Forget the past and look to the future. Don't spend another night with the frogs. Trust Him and he will give you a new life today!
                  
                                                                   I'm Just Sayin,
                                                                   Mike Belgard

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