December 31, 2021 - Let’s put the UNITY, back into our Community.

We want to get together and pray in the New Year on December 31st at 12 noon on the Court House lawn. Everyone is invited.

Our mission is to gather together as believers, humble ourselves, and welcome God’s plan in for the New Year of 2022.  

The World needs more Jesus in it. For new relationships to form, and for existing relationships to grow stronger. Our relationship with Him, sets the tone for every other relationship in our lives.

We Hope to see you there.

“Bodily exercise profits for a little while: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8

December 27, 2021 - After my open heart surgery many years ago, I began to slowly gain weight… and lose energy. It became a real struggle just to walk up the steep steps onto the porch or into my shop. I had gone on the Adkins grease- cheese and meat diet a few years ago and just couldn’t stick to a life without vegetables. So I decided to try a slightly modified South Beach approach with plenty of chicken and vegetables but no bread, potatoes, or sugar (low carbs).

I was surprised at how easy the new eating approach was to maintain. I didn’t go hungry, but slowly began to drop off the pounds. Pam and I started walking a mile and a half each morning and doing some light exercising. I couldn’t believe the difference this new life style began to make on my life both emotionally and physically. Within six weeks, I had lost over twenty pounds and felt better than I had felt in many years. Zipping up the steps beam effortless and my desire to work in my shop and do things I used to do became easier for me and I began looking forward to the activities of every new day.

I finally realized that if I wanted to stay healthy I’d have to eat right, exercise and control my weight. By the way, I found that the scripture “bodily exercise profits little” actually reads “profits for a little while” in the original Greek text. In other words, it will profit us as long as we are on the earth, but won’t be necessary when we get to heaven.

So I won’t have to make a new resolution to eat right, lose weight and exercise this New Year but will resolve not to stop doing what I have done for the last months. This new life style will help me maintain spiritual fitness too… the kind of exercise that profits… not for a little while… but forever.

December 13, 2021 - The First United Methodist Church (UMC) of Center invites the community to a Christmas Eve Candlelight Gathering on the downtown square in front of the historic Shelby County Courthouse from 6pm to 6:30pm. 

First UMC invites the entire community to come together for an evening of festive family time of singing familiar carols while celebrating the joy of Jesus’ birth. Everyone should bring their own candle. Hot cider will be provided before the event. The evening will conclude with everyone singing Silent Night by candlelight!

“First United Methodist Church Center is overjoyed to be able to provide this festive, community-wide, candlelight gathering for the second year in a row,” said Rev. Malcolm Monroe. Come early, enjoy the hot apple cider, and visit with friends from across the community as we unite on this special evening.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be cancelled with no alternative service. (Santa Claus will not be with us because he will be on the other side of the world delivering toys to the children there).

For more information about the Christmas Eve Candlelight Gathering or about First UMC, please contact Rev. Malcolm Monroe at the church office (936) 598-2707 or visit the church website at www.fumccentertx.org.

December 21, 2021 - First Baptist Church of Center will host a Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve at 6pm. The 45 minute event will feature bells, favorite carols, a children's storytime, and the Lord's Supper. The public is warmly invited. FBC Center is located right across from the historic courthouse. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

December 21, 2021 - St. John's Episcopal will be having Christmas Eve Services, December 24th, at 3pm. All are welcome to join us.

St. John's Episcopal is located on 96 South, on left, just past Southview Circle.

December 23, 2021 - My favorite Christmas Song, without a doubt is “White Christmas”. It was written by Irving Berlin for the movie “Holiday Inn” in 1942. My favorite recording artist for the song undeniably is Bing Crosby. I could not begin to tell you how many times I have listened to it over the years. I used to even be able to play it on the piano.

Well, have you ever thought about dreaming of a “Right Christmas” instead of a “White Christmas”? A “Right Christmas” would be one where you made room for Jesus. Have you ever thought about how many people at this season of the year give lip service to Jesus Christ and yet, they have never really made their hearts “right” with God?

Though we do not know when Jesus came into the world, and though we are not commanded to celebrate His birth, the majority of the religious world does focus their attention on Him at this season of the year. We are told that Jesus came to save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).

The great tragedy is that like the innkeeper in Bethlehem, many today have no room in their hearts for Jesus. You see, he did not come just to save us from the sins of the flesh, but also from the sins of the disposition. You know, things like envy, hatred or an unforgiving spirit. So you see, I’m dreaming of a right Christmas, the kind where men and women make Jesus King of their lives, every part of their lives. Have you done that?

It’s something to think about… tbp

Join Us for Worship this coming Lord’s Day at Center Church of Christ or online at www.centerchurchofchrist.com.

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” John 3:16

December 13, 2021 - Pam and I constantly tell our children that we love them. We call them in New York and Texas almost daily telling them this. My Mother expressed it often to her children with letters, phone calls and cards. But in all the years I knew my Dad, he never once told me he loved me. And if my reaction to that fact was like some people I know, I’d be whining to the world how mistreated I was as a child and how it had so affected my life.

But I’ll never whine about it. My Dad was one of the hardest working men I have ever known and his rough, hardworking hands were sufficient proof that he loved his wife and ten children. He “caught a ride” or hitch hiked to many of his jobs and bought his first auto (an old International pickup) when I was a senior in high school. Daddy passed away in 1984 and if I saw him again today, he wouldn’t have to say he loved me. I already know it.

His being raised without parents and in difficult circumstances made it hard for him to express himself. So I’m not disappointed with Daddy for not saying “I love you” because showing “I love you” is a thousand times better…

than just saying it.

December 9, 2021 - I want to apologize in advance for the tone of this column this week.  It just seems that sometimes no matter how much you try to help some people, the less you seem to accomplish.  That said, I have had enough!  I resolve that never again will I try to help someone.

Either I am too kind-hearted, or too stupid, but I resolve never to again be taken advantage of by some ingrate.  During our cold spell last winter we took a man into our home out of the kindness of our heart.  Truly we felt sorry for him, it was cold and he was trembling and we felt it would be a good thing for him to have a warm place to spend the night.

However, the next morning, he had just vanished.  Not one word, no note, no goodbye, no thank you for sheltering me, nothing.  Now, you want to know the ultimate payoff?  I realized that there was a large wet spot on the living room carpet.  Obviously the lazy bum was too sorry to walk 15 feet to the bathroom!  That’s the thanks you get for trying to help some people.

So as I said, I am finished!  With colder weather approaching, I want to warn you about this man if he should appear somewhere near your home and like me you feel tempted to help him.  He is heavy set and will be wearing a scarf.  His nose is orange and looks somewhat like a carrot, his eyes are as black as coal and his arms are so skinny they look like twigs.  Do not under any circumstances bring him into your house as he will leave you with a mess to clean up! Gotcha! Have a great week. 

It’s something to think about…..tbp

Join Us for Worship this coming Lord’s Day 
Center Church of Christ
www.centerchurchofchrist.com

“They that come to the Lord must believe that He is......” Hebrew 11:6

December 7, 2021 - When I was in the eighth grade, the Curtis Publishing Company came to our school to get the students to sell popular magazines for them. (Saturday Evening Post, Reader’s Digest, etc.). And we could win special prizes if we sold enough subscriptions.

I knocked at Mrs. Munnerlyn’s door and said, “You don’t want to buy any magazines, do you?” “Come in, Henry,” she smiled. “I need to talk to you.” She stood me over a hot heater grate in the floor and gave me one more pep talk. “You’ll never sell anything with that negative approach. To be a good salesman, you’ve got to believe in what you sell.”

Hey, I took her advice and became the number one seller in our class. I won a brand new Schaeffer fountain pen!

One reason some church members never sell anyone on Jesus is because they don’t act like they believe in Him…

… and some of them probably don’t!

December 6, 2021 - Hope, peace, love, and joy are the themes, one for each of the four Sundays of Advent. Last Sunday the word was hope, and today it is peace. Dr. King warned that there cannot be peace if there is no justice. Jesus would certainly agree with that. We are moving toward Christmas Day, but it feels more like fall in October than winter in December. When Sue and I went to Saturday’s Christmas Festival in Joaquin, it was almost hot. I have been wearing short sleeved shirts, which is not something this cold-natured person does at this time of year. Joaquin’s Candy Cane Christmas was still festive—with carols, lots of red and green, and holiday crafts. Did I mention food? Booths and booths of that too!

My older dog Gunter had surgery last week: He’s now sporting a large blue cone around his neck to keep him from messing with his eye. I think he’s a little embarrassed to wear it, and I know it has to be uncomfortable. But Gunter has been a real trouper, accepting his fate, even including eye drops. He has a good appetite, and he and Sam are still enjoying their adventures.

I took beans and rice to Community Christian Services this past week along with a couple of church checks. I also took a very generous donation for someone who receives my weekly newsletter but doesn’t attend our church. The volunteers at CCS were so pleased! In December we are collecting cans and boxes of soup. Also in December I will start gathering data about the church for the “End-of-Year” reports, a regular part of being a Methodist. Reports must be turned in before January 12, 2022. That seems so far in the future, but 2022 will be here sooner than we think.

Our Sunday School focused on Luke 1: 5-25, 57-58. The story of the long road to Bethlehem begins with the birth of John the Baptist. This series of events is led off by the angel bringing the news of an upcoming birth to Zechariah and Elizabeth. This couple was old and doubtful. I think Ms. Fannie’s class was in agreement with the author when he said, “The secret of patience is doing something else in the meanwhile.”

Today we not only had a service of the word but also a service of communion and remembrance—Holy Communion. Sue served as music tech and Joe lead us in singing “Amazing Grace” and “Away in the Manger,” two old standards that most of us know by heart. The Gospel lesson for today came from Luke 3: 1-6; for the first time in the new Christian year, we meet that wild man of the wilderness, John the Baptist. The Old Testament lesson was from the prophet Malachi. When growing up in Trinity Lutheran Church, all I knew about Malachi was that his short book was the last one of the Old Testament. But his message was very similar to John the Baptist. Both prophets told the people that they needed to repent—to turn back to the God of the Covenant and to be about kindness, justice, and mercy.

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, and Open Minds.” 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 your email address to the Paxton email address, and I will add you to the list. God’s Speed.

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