July 18,  2016 - “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”   Matthew 6:6  

My son Mark called several years ago to say that he and his wife have started back to church (thank you, Lord!).   He said the church they’d visited Sunday was large, had good music, and “everyone had a Bible”. “The preacher preached good, but never smiled”, he laughed.

“Dad, I’d just faint if I were asked to pray in public.” “I pray on the way to and from work and every night, but I don’t think I could pray in public”. He was surprised when I told him how many good people never pray in public. 

I told him that public prayer isn’t an essential and that his Pastor knows that, too.  An inability to pray publicly is no sin.

But praying only in public is.

July 14, 2016 - Mt Zion CME to honor their pastor Robert Gipson on Sunday, July 17th at 3p.m. Special guest speaker is Rev. MacCaul and the Salem United Methodist Church of Orange, Texas.

July 13, 2016 - Old Salem Missionary Baptist Church is hosting a revival starting Monday, July 25, 2016 through Friday, July 29, 2016 at 7pm nightly.

Everyone is invited to come and enjoy congregational singing and specials are welcome. Bro. Wade Bryan of San Augustine, Texas will greet you each night with the Word of God.

Old Salem MBC directions: Take Hwy 7 West from Center to FM 711 to County Road 1297.

July 12, 2016 - Sunday was the 8th Sunday after Pentecost.  The Gospel story is one of the best known of Jesus’ parables: The parable of the Good Samaritan is not found in any of the canonical Gospels except Luke.  The story is well known but is also truly revolutionary.  If Jesus only wanted to speak of healing and help, he would have made the wounded man the Samaritan.  But no, the Good Samaritan is the one whose heart went out the wounded man and made sure he was taken care of.  Whoever was reading this story in the early Jesus communities would have to say the hated word, Samaritan, a person the Jews considered the lowest of the low.  This person was the good neighbor—he was the one who was moved to mercy.  There is no doubt in Jesus’ story that everyone is welcome into the Kingdom of God. 

The Sunday school lesson used the 3rd chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans, in which Paul sounded like an Old Testament prophet.  The divide between followers on the role of the Jewish law was very much in evidence in today’s reading.  So much of Paul’s letters deal with this divide that we know it must have been a major early stumbling block in forming Jesus communities of both Jew and Gentile.  Fannie had us really thinking about some of the difficult passages.  We are burdened by not really understanding the time and place of those first century Christians. 

We had a good crowd for Paxton Sunday morning.  Joe and Hilda teamed up to bring our music this morning.  Sue has a birthday this week, and Sue and I also celebrate our 42nd anniversary.  That is hard to understand until I get up in the morning and look in the mirror.  I can’t quite figure out who the old man staring at me is!   

I hope everyone had a nice July 4th celebration with family, good food, and fireworks.  Every time the fireworks went off, our canine fireworks started up.  Abner would start barking and the two smaller dogs, wanting to be like Abner, joined in the barking marathon.  Sue and I had a nice quiet day except for our dogs.  After being gone for most of the month of June, it was nice to be back home.    
             
“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 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!

July 12, 2016 - St. John Baptist Church in Center, TX will be hosting a Homecoming July 17th at 2:30pm. Followed directly will be a four night revival service, July 18 - July 21, at 7:00pm nightly. Guest speaker for the week will be Rev. Kenneth Cotton of Goodwill Baptist Church in Pineland, TX. Please join in for a soul filled revival!

July 12, 2016 - Ladies and Gentlemen, save the date, you are invited to the 50th Birthday Celebration and First Lady Night honoring Lady Pearl Nash on Saturday, July 16th at 6:00pm. The theme will be "It's Jubilee Time: Leviticus 25:10-12" with guest speaker Pastor Dot Clark of Hillsboro, TX. It is a white attire event, all ladies are encouraged to wear pearls. This event will be hosted at the House of Refuge Apostolic Ministries at 215 Church St. in Center, Texas.

July 12, 2016 - I often hear people asking; "How do I live a Christian life in America in 2016." So, I have put together some answers to this question.

The great Apostle Paul wrote in (II Timothy 3:16) "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness." Now, let's look at this verse in more modern English for a better understanding; "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and should be used to determine what we believe (doctrine), to voice our disapproval of acts against God's will (reproof), to correct wrong decisions in life (correction), and for teaching God's Word (instruction). We must teach God's Word so that we all will mature in our knowledge of God's Word and so be better prepared to serve God each day ."

The great King Solomon wrote; (Ecclesiastes 12:13) "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the sole duty of man." Here is the simple truth of that verse; our lives and our daily travels here on earth should be about fearing God and doing His will, for us, each day. By prayer each day we can know what He wants us to do for Him, by faith we can do it to His satisfaction and for his greater glory. Doing God's will should be our daily goal

How, you may ask do I know what God's will for me is? 

We find that answer in the book of Micah. (Micah 6:8) in this scripture a younger man of some means comes and asks the old Prophet just how should he present himself to the Lord for salvation, asking how much he should prepare to sacrifice for the Lord to accept him.

The old Prophet answers him thusly; "He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, to love mercy and too walk humbly with thy God."

Ok, let's say this again for a better understanding of what God requires of us.

"He has shown you O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but, to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, to be a good neighbor, help others when you see them in need and to humble yourself, submit to God's will each day, and not your own wishes or the wishes of men."

Jesus tells us in (Matthew 24:35) "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." 

As pilgrims, we are only passing through this land, we are here waiting for His call home or for His return whichever comes first. We are not here to rest our time away, no, we are to spend our days in service to Him, spreading the gospel by our daily living. By being examples of righteous living for others to see. We know from Jesus' words that the Bible is the only thing we need to guide us through this world.

In 2016 we must choose whom we will serve; the God of heaven, or the gods of man which most of our society serves today. 

"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." AMEN???

May the Lord God bless you and keep you each day... 

July 11, 2016 - Neuville Baptist Church will be hosting VBS July 16, 2016 from 8:30am to 5:00pm. Program and fellowship to follow after.  Bring extra clothes for the water slide. Accepting ages baby to pre-teen. 

July 11, 2016 - One of the more difficult or confusing topics of the Bible is the Godhead. The diagram provided helps to illustrate how the Godhead works. 

The Father, Son and the Holt Spirit all posses the qualities of God but are three distinct and individual people. For example Jesus said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (Matt. 28:19). By Jesus' statement what we have are three distinct individuals with equal authority, for that is what in the name of means (Ac. 4:7; Col. 3:17).

Another example of this is given at the baptism of Jesus. “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased' (Matt. 3:16-17). We have the Son being baptized, the Spirit descending and the Father speaking. Three very distinct entities all doing separate things. So if we go back to the diagram we can see that the Father is not Son. The Son is not the Father.

Neither is the Father or Son the Spirit and the Spirit is neither the Father or Son. Just like in a marriage, the man and woman become one flesh but they are still individual people. So is the Godhead, it is made up of three individual people but yet is still one “God” or godhead.

We also see the powers of “God” in all three. In the beginning God created (Gen. 1:1). And yet the Father said it was the Son who “laid the foundations” (Heb. 1:10) and Job said that the Spirit had formed him (Job 33:4) and it was said that God knows us before birth (Jer. 1:5; Psm. 139:15-16).

We also can find that all three know the unknown. For it was the Spirit that knew Ananias lied (Ac. 5:3- 4). Jesus knew what was in the hearts of men (Mk. 2:8). And the Father knew of the sin of Achan and David (Josh. 7:11; 2 Sam. 12:7-12).

All three are also eternal. The Spirit is eternal (Heb. 9:14). The Son is eternal (Jn. 1:1; 1 Tim. 1:17). And the Father is eternal (Dt. 33:27).

All three are also involved with salvation (Matt. 28:19). The Spirit baptizes us into the body/church (1 Cor. 12:13) and seals us (Eph. 1:13). The blood of Jesus cleanses us (Rev. 1:5) and we are baptized into Him (Gal. 3:27). And the Father has blessed us with every spiritual blessing and predestined us to adoption (Eph. 1:3,5).

So what we have with the Godhead is three distinct individuals who are equal with power, knowledge and they are all eternal. Each member of the Godhead has their own specific role to perform.

Church email: northsidecoccenter@gmail.com

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July 11, 2016 - “Run in such a way as to get the prize….” I Cor. 9:24
   
The expression, “he got my goat” dates back to the early days of horse racing in the U.S.  The jockeys would put a goat in the stable with their high spirited horses to keep them calm.  Sometimes, the goats were stolen from the stables to upset the horse causing them to run poorly. 
     
With over half of our country’s hospital patients suffering from other than organic problems, the need for a few goats in our stables is obvious. Have you ever started out with a wonderful day and met someone who left you looking like a barnyard after a wild animal attack… “here an eye, there a claw, and yonder a pile of feathers”?  More than likely you met a goat thief. 
     
Goat stealers are pretty easy to spot and most of them have standing reputations for their devilish work. It took me a long time to learn that the wisest thing to do about these folks is to keep them out of my stables. God wants all his children to run a good race and we can’t do it by hobnobbing with goat-snatchers.

They’re not worth it …and they could cost us the race!!

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