June 3, 2019 - (Flier) - First Baptist Church - Tenaha is hosting their annual Vacation Bible School!

Bible Round-Up. Saddle-up for a trailblazing weekend of fun! All children who have completed PreK-4-6th grade are welcome to come have a rootin' tootin' time with games, crafts, snacks, music and more; while going on an epic bible adventure and learning about God's greatest gift!

Friday, June 7th 6pm-8pm and Saturday, June 8th 9am-3pm.

June 3, 2019 - In 1951 I hitch-hiked to Springfield, Missouri (with three dollars in my pocket) and enrolled in the newly-established Baptist Bible College. The school was kind enough to help a bunch of “pore” preachers get a start. Springfield had more colleges than any city of its size in the U.S. Since jobs were hard to find, some students sold encyclopedias or Bibles… and I found a job washing dishes at The Colonial Hotel in downtown Springfield.

It was snowing when I got off from work one day and as I was returning to the campus, I passed a movie theatre. I was tempted to buy a sack of popcorn and go inside to warm up. But several fellow preachers at college let us know that all movies were sinful and that no preacher should go near one. I almost watched the movie that day (don’t know what movie) but since I didn’t want to be a stumbling block to my preacher bothers, I pulled my coat up around my neck and trudged back to the dorm.

I’m an old feller now --- never have cared much for movies --- but if I had that day in 1951 to do over again, I know just what I’d do. I would come out of the snow, buy some popcorn, go in the theater... and hope that all my preacher friends saw me go in. And who knows… the movie that day might have been a really good western…

… like “Shane” or “Red River.”

Smyrna Baptist Church in Huxley invites you to come Worship with us Sunday, June 9 at 11:00 am. Scott Camp, evangelist, will be speaking and Music Leaders will be Paul, Brittany and Bryan. They will also be at the Center Park behind the Library at 6:00 pm Sunday night for a fun night. Scott will also speak at "The Porch" at Smyrna, Monday, June 10th. Refreshments at 6:30 pm and Worship begins at 7:00 pm.
Come worship and bring someone with you to hear the words of this mighty man of God.

June 3, 2019 - Old Home Baptist Church will be holding VBS "Farm Fresh Faith" Monday, June 10th - Thursday, June 13th from 6pm - 8:30pm nightly.

Come out and join the fun and games, story telling, snack time and singing. Everyone is invited. Call or text for details: 936-332-9293

June 3, 2019 - My wife Connie, makes one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever eaten. I have watched her make it from scratch. The ingredients that she uses like flour, butter, cocoa, buttermilk, powdered sugar, baking soda. When they are eaten alone, none of these ingredients taste very good and would probably give you a tummy ache. But if you stir them up and put them in an oven on about 350 for a while  it turns into something that that is pleasing to the eye and palate.

Thats how God does with things in our life that are difficult. He mixes them up puts them in the fire and when its all said and done you come out a better person than you were before it all started. Coming out on the other side of the fire turns you into something completely new and pleasing to God and others.

We know that trials are going to happen in life. We just don't expect them to happen when they do. But one thing we can be sure of is that there is a reason that we are going through them.

There are two ways that we can react to trials: 1. We can wallow in self pity. 2. We can rejoice in our suffering knowing that it is a testing of our faith that will make us a better Christian in the end. Dr. Charles Stanley wrote about how to deal with difficult times. This is my spin on his points.

There are ten things we must be convinced of when going through these difficult times.

  1. God is in control of this trial and its intensity. James 1: "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
  2. God has a specific purpose for this trial. “God does not spare present pain if it means future glory.” (David Jeremiah)
  3. It is designed to meet a specific need. God is working things out in you during trials. Pray more “show me” prayers than “deliver me” prayers.
  4. This trial is going to teach you something about yourself that you didn't know. You will be pushed out of your comfort zone to do things that you never knew you could do.
  5. It is going to strengthen your faith. James 1:12 "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."
  6. God is going to sustain you under extreme pressure. 1Cor. 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
  7. It will develop a Christlike character in you. Romans 5 "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
  8. It will help you measure your spiritual gifts. Sometimes God has to give us a push to make us seek the wisdom of the Spirit and use the gifts that He has given us.
  9. God will walk with you through the trial every step. God is faithful to stay with us in any trial we go through. He promises to “never leave us or forsake us.”
  10. By the grace of God you will be more than conquerers. Romans. 8:35-37 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. God is always there for us.

Trials are Gods way of taking all the things that aren’t quite right in our lives and applying a little heat to turn us into something beautiful and pleasing to Him.

James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

I’m Just Sayin
Mike Belgard

June 2, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the Seventh Sunday of Easter. What a beautiful week we had! I have really enjoyed working in the garden. On Monday Sue and I went to the Memorial Day Program at Shelby County’s historical court house. It was a moving program, and Paxton Methodist made a good showing there. Gene received a 4-H quilt of honor—not only thoughtful but beautiful. Jo, as a member of a Gold Star family, told about a family quilt; she promised to share that story at our nursing home programs. Two of our Joaquin folks, Kenneth Dickerson and Deputy Constable Newton Johnson, performed the “colors” parts of the program: flag and wreath.

Theresa gave everyone fans today at church commemorating the D-Day landing. On Monday we head to Focused Care for our monthly ministry, and she plans to pass fans out to the residents there.

During the month of June Paxton Methodist will be collecting paper products—toilet paper and paper towels—for Community Christian Services. Last month we collected cans of fruit. I delivered the cans to CCS and saw many good friends working to help provide food and other needed staples to area residents. It’s always such a pleasure to see the well-organized and well-stocked giveaway days at CCS.

I went to Tenaha Methodist this morning for worship and communion. It was nice to see Pastor Matt and Amy. We will certainly miss them, but we wish them well at their new location. I also met Pastor Sarah and her husband Matthew.  Pastor Sarah will be Tenaha and Timpson Methodist Churches’ new preacher. I saw other friends at the service and sat with Ms. Hilda. We so appreciate Ms. Hilda also coming to Paxton and playing the piano for us. Not to mention hearing another sermon!

I was late getting to Sunday school—Ms. Fannie was busy teaching when I came in. The lesson covered the new covenant that Jesus made with his disciples and all of humanity. The scripture was Mark 14: 12-31, perfect for this Sunday since we celebrated communion during our worship time.

All our regulars were in attendance this morning. Then came a delightful surprise when Liz, Lillie, and Mike arrived from Houston. They are part of us even though they can only get to East Texas periodically.

This was the last Sunday of Eastertide.  Next Sunday is The Day of Pentecost. The scriptures for Eastertide came from Acts, Revelation, and the Gospel of John. A common theme to all was how precious life is: We are to live each day fully and in a way that lifts up the ideas of Christ.

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.

Randy & Sue Smith Paxton Methodist Church

May 31, 2019 - Jackson Missionary Baptist Church Youth Camp hamburger fundraiser Friday, June 14, 2019.

$8 per plate, on the square in Center, Tx. 11am - 2pm or until sold out. Includes hamburger, chips, cookie, water, fixings. 

Delivery available. Taking pre-orders. 

Any questions contact Michelle Rhame - 936-591-7917

May 30, 2019 - Joshua was born a slave and yet became the leader of Israel. He was appointed to lead Israel into the Promised Land and was commissioned by the Lord to lead His people. Leading the people of God, Joshua went from victory to victory. They successfully crossed the flooded Jordan and conquered the fortified city of Jericho.

Yet, Joshua sent a few thousand to conquer Ai, and they were defeated. Following this, we see Joshua on his face, defeated and in despair. We hear the Lord tell Joshua to get up and He asks Joshua why he is lying on his face. (Joshua 7:10)

Joshua must not focus on this one defeat. He needs to consider the good things God has done for Israel. He must think of all the blessings God has already given and all of the blessings God has promised for the future. Instead of being power conscious Joshua has become problem conscious and is focusing on this one defeat.

Well, Joshua did rise up and he led his people to victory. When we feel defeated, we need to remember all that God has done for us. He loved us, He gave His son for us and he will also give us the victory. Like Joshua, when we suffer defeat, if we are not careful we too will become problem conscious and not power conscious. It was Paul who tells us that God gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ in (I Corinthians 15:57). That victory come to those who submit to the will of God, give their lives to Christ and live their lives for Jesus.

It’s something to think about…..tbp

Join us for worship this coming Lord’s day at the Center Church of Christ, 110 Hurst Street Center, Texas, or online at www.centerchurchofchrist.com

May 27, 2019 - “Hear this all peoples! Give ear, all inhabitants of the world, both low and high, rich and poor together. My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.” (Psalm 49:1-2) 

The Psalmist makes it abundantly clear that he is speaking to all people and that all should listen and hear his words of wisdom.

“I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will solve my riddle to the music of the lyre.” (Psalm 49:4) 

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)

“Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me, those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches?” (Psalm 49:5-6)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) 

By putting our trust in the Lord and leaning on him each day through constant prayer; we are led through the pitfalls of this world by our redeemer, forever safe in the arms of our Lord.

“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:6-8)

No amount of wealth can protect one from death of the flesh. All people who are born on earth shall surely die in the flesh unless the Lord returns for his own before their time is up. 

The goal of all should be to forever live in the Spirit by the salvation freely given by God through the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ, who gave up his own life on the cross as payment for the sin of all mankind, once for all…

“For he sees that even the wise die; the fool and the stupid alike must perish and leave their wealth to others.” (Psalm 49:10) 

“Their graves are their homes forever, they're dwelling places to all generations, though they called lands by their own names. Man in his pomp will not remain; he is like the beasts that perish.” (Psalm 49:11-12)

“In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but trouble befalls the income of the wicked.” (Proverbs 15:6)

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19) 

“Hear this, all peoples! Give ear, all inhabitants of the world, both low and high, rich and poor together!” (Psalm 49:1) 

Listen to the words of the Psalmist and do Gods will in life and not the will of man or of your own desires of the flesh. Listen and be blessed by the Lord God of heaven…

May 27, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the Sixth Sunday of Easter. Monday is Memorial Day: Our thoughts and celebrations should be about those who sacrificed so much. As the Christ said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” I have been watching a mini-series on the terrible nuclear accident at Chernobyl. The accident was much worse than believed; but for the heroic efforts of first responders, miners, engineers, and scientists, the devastation would have been catastrophic. We also know that they were aware they would die in the fight to save others. On this Memorial Day, we remember all those who have fought and died from the early days of our country to the present. The debt owed can never be repaid.

It is hard to believe that May is almost finished. All during May we have been collecting cans of fruit for Community Christian Services. Next month we will be collecting toilet paper and paper towels each Sunday. The folks at Haslam Baptist and the other community volunteers do such a wonderful and needed service in our area of East Texas. Thanks so much!

We finished this quarter in Sunday school with another scripture from Romans. Paul reminds us that we are to be a living sacrifice through service. To most of Paul’s listeners at the time, a sacrifice was an offering to God—through an animal slaughtered at the temple. So the idea of being a daily, a living sacrifice would have sounded very strange.

The scripture for Sunday started with Revelation 21:10. It is John’s vision of Heaven coming down to earth. Most everyone has an idea of what the afterlife will be like. But Heaven is not only something for the other side of the grave. It is living fully in the presence of God. Life is so precious and such an amazing gift; we must embrace God by embracing each other and in doing so, experience Heaven here on Earth.

The way the calendar fell in May, we had two nursing home programs in one week. On Tuesday, we went to Holiday, where I emceed and Minnie played piano. In honor of the upcoming Memorial Day, Theresa brought flags for all attendees; we also sang a number of patriotic hymns along with the other Heavenly Highways ones. Fannie read two selections about veterans, adding her own thoughts. Nora spoke about Doris Day and sang her signature “Que Sera Sera,” ending with a peppy number that her church enjoys. Sue read Where Are Momma, Poppa, and Sister June? Later in the program she did a selection from Food Hates You. Sallie came to help sing but didn’t feel up to a special of her own.

Our program at Lakeside Assisted Living was on Thursday. This time Maggie emceed, in the process telling several family stories. Hilda played their baby grand; again, selections were patriotic as well as religious. Jo and Margie joined us, helping residents and adding strong voices to the singing. Sue read There’s a Cow in the Road, which prompted many to share their own animal anecdotes. Fannie, for example, told about the Watson herd getting out on Highway 84 before she read two selections about veterans. Ollie did two funny pieces: one a conversation between God and a man about how to understand women (impossible); the other a poem lamenting that “my get-up and go has got up and went.” Nora, noting Doris Day’s recent death, talked a little about the actress and woman, and sang “Que Sera Sera.” Gene led us in “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful,” which were to be our closing…but Pastor Matt arrived just then. At road construction and perhaps a wreck, he’d had to make several detours, ending on a dirt road with a flat tire! He told how much he’s enjoyed our programs at Lakeside, a little about his future post at a large church in Beaumont, and did the benediction. Hilda began spontaneously playing “God Be with You,” and we all joined in.

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.

Randy & Sue Smith Paxton Methodist Church