September 14, 2015 - Paul writes, “Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Rm. 10:1-3).

As the picture shows, a house cat sees himself as a mighty majestic lion, in like manner many religious people see themselves in a righteous light. But Paul said, speaking of the Jews that they had zeal but it was a zeal based on their own righteousness and not on the truth.

This comes from our own version of truth and not “the truth.” Paul wrote, “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, in creaseth with the increase of God. 20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh” (Col. 2:18-23).

For all practical purposes Paul is speaking of made up religion and not what is according to Christ. Just like in our text above from Romans they were seeking a righteousness before God but based on their terms and desires. And you see the real danger of this false sense of righteousness can be hard to see for what is presented as truth has the appearance of wisdom.

Jesus also taught that tradition and commandments of men to bring about a sense of righteousness is all for naught, in vain (Matt. 15:7-9). As the prophet said, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Is. 64:6).

Our attempt to be righteous based on our will, desire and standard is useless. We must submit to the righteousness of God, which is only found in Jesus and not men or tradition. And that righteousness is only found in the gospel of Christ (Rm. 1:16-17). And we must not confuse the teachings of men with the righteousness of God.

Northside Church of Christ
Church email: northsidecoccenter@gmail.com

September 14, 2015 - “They are not busy…they are busybodies…” II Thes. 3:11

One of my daughters was the “tattle tale” of the children. When Amber heard the others planning something secretive, she’d jump up, strut out of room warning, “I’m telling!” She reminded me of “the informer” in Bill Cosby’s family.
Keeping a confidence is an impossible chore for some people. They’re like the man that said, “If I can’t keep it a secret, I’ve got some good friends that can help me”. And when they say, “I’m sorry to hear that”, they really mean, “I’m happy to hear it and can’t wait to tell it.”
The world is way short on sympathetic listeners. And the Bible tells us to confess our sins one to another. ….but you’d better not confess them to the wrong person!! Everyone that hollers “Sweet Jesus” can’t be trusted with our confessions. God hears our confessions, “buries them in the depths of the sea, and remembers them against us no more forever”….but our “friends” are not always so kind.
We laughed at Amber when she’d run in the house announcing “I’m telling”….but those who mishandle confidential information aren’t funny. They won’t say, “I’m telling” like Amber did. But you can bet your bottom dollar when they learn something nobody else knows….
They’re gonna tell!

Doug's email address: finchersphoto@sbcglobal.net

September 14, 2015 - Grace and peace from our brother, Jesus. Sunday was the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The scripture I used for my sermon was actually last Sunday’s Gospel Lesson—Mark 7: 24-30. I used the Epistle Lesson from James last week. Both these two scriptures are so important I decided to use the Mark Gospel and its story about the Syrophoenician woman. In the Matthew story this woman was a Canaanite woman. Both descriptions refer to someone who is a Gentile and despised by the Jewish people. This woman who is first ignored by Jesus is very persistent because her daughter was very ill. I wish this woman was given a name by the Gospel writers because I view her as very important and pivotal in the Jesus movement. Even though this lady is ignored and then treated dismissively gets what she comes for. Her daughter is healed and this woman has faith that even a Gentile hated by most of the Jewish people would be welcome into the Kingdom that Jesus talked about.

We had a smaller crowd than we usually do. Gene filled in for Joe who wasn’t feeling very well. Gene selected some “crowd favorites” and we appreciate Gene and Hilda for our music. It was Joe’s birthday so we sang Happy Birthday and we hope he felt the love coming his way! We discussed the Charge Conference and spoke of the challenge our District Superintendant laid down. He is hoping that many churches will help fund the Zoe Project. We will discuss and vote on that next Sunday. On Monday Bishop Huey will be in the East District. She will meet with laity and pastors at Lufkin First Methodist. This will the last year she will be our bishop. Bishop Huey has been an inspiration to all of us over the last twelve years.

This past Tuesday around eight Methodist Churches in Shelby County joined together and had a Charge Conference. It was so nice to see Rev. Ortigo from Joaquin Methodist and many folks from Joaquin. Joaquin Methodist will always have a special place in my heart. It was wonderful to hear about all that they are doing. Fannie Watson spoke for the Paxton congregation and did a splendid job. Fannie is such a good speaker and told about many of Paxton’s ministries. Rev. Huffman, the District Superintendant of the East District gave a heart felt devotion and showed a video about a wonderful new ministry that every church no matter how small can help out. It is called “Zoe” and is set up to help orphans and vulnerable children. The ministry is not a hand out but a hand up. It is very similar to World Vision that helps people by given seeds, livestock, helping drill a new well etc.

This coming Tuesday will be the Holiday Nursing Center ministry. I plan to be there and am looking forward to seeing our friends at Holiday . The next day I head to Houston for a check-up and screenings at M. D. Anderson. This past week I went to the Logansport Library to return books and check some out. Linda Foreman is the head librarian and told me that husband Buck is undergoing chemo. Our prayers and thoughts are with Linda and Buck.

“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!

September 10, 2015 - Coming Together, All Ministers of Shelby County are welcome September 29th at 7pm at the Shelby County Senior Nutrition Site, Center Texas.

Join us! This is an invitation to all Ministers of Shelby County. This meeting, hosted by Shelby County Outreach Ministries, is an opportunity to bring together the body of Christ and focus on the needs of the community.

Questions, if you feel like you need more information we are always happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact Helping Hands Outreach Center at 936-598-4990. Office hours Monday - Friday 9am-2pm.

September 8, 2015 - Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ presents Health and Information Fair in the Strong Community on September 26, 2015 starting at 8:30am.

Lunch on Saturday will be provided by the School of Wisdom Department from 12noon until 1:30pm. Enjoy workshops, free food, fun and information... something for the entire family! There will be a hayride for the children, activities and games.Lessons include: 

Love and Marriage, Make it last 4-ever

  • The power of education, test taking strategies for STARR and college entrance exams
  • Straighten up and fly right, from the cradle to prison
  • Services for seniors
  • Grant writing and business start-up
  • Respect and character
  • Rights' of passage, from boys to men
  • Dancercise
  • Diabetes and your health, what you need to know
  • HIV and AIDS, What's love got to do with it?
  • Blood pressure, hearing and vision screenings
  • What's new on the streets? Drugs and alcohol abuse

The church is located on CR 2545 (Directions: from Center take 87S, in Shelbyville turn left onto FM 417 East, at the Y take the right onto FM 2694 and travel 4.7 miles, turn right onto FM 3471 and travel 2 miles, go straight at the 4-way (New Harmony community) where the pavement ends onto CR 2545 and travel 1.9 miles, the church is located on the left.)

For more information, contact Lenola Wyatt at 936-332-4949.

August 31, 2015 - Triumph the Church & Kingdom of God in Christ welcomes you to our Annual Pack the Pew "Family & Friends" Day! Sunday, September 27, 2015 starting at 12 noon, please join us at 908 Daniels Street, Center, Texas 75935/-936-598-8982 for additional details.

Bishop Howard Cloudy, Pastor, LaTreaser Cartwright, Youth Director

August 27, 2015 - Toledo Bend Baptist Church, of Huxley, TX, invites you to a free dinner and a movie at 6PM, this Friday, August 28th. The movie is Do You Believe?, and it’s by the creators of the movie, God’s Not Dead. Please come!

August 26, 2015 - Jackson Baptist Church of Joaquin will be hosting a Awana Program beginning September 2, 2015. A Meal will be served at 5:45pm and classes will begin at 6:30 pm. The program is open to ages 2 to high school.

Please come join us. For additional information visit www.jacksonbaptistchurch.com

August 25, 2015 - If your looking for an exciting family event then don't miss The Borliks who are coming to Center on Thursday, August 27th, 2015 at 7:00pm.

The Fun will be held at Center Christian Academy on Timpson Hwy 2.2 miles north of Taco Bell. Everyone is invited! If you need more information please call Dathan Triplett at 936-332-1697.

August 24, 2015 - Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” Psalms 107:2

Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.” Malachi 3:16

In 2008 Pam and I took a three week vacation to the Pacific Northwest. I once lived in Oregon and had for many years wanted to visit there again. On our way up, we visited Yellowstone, spent several days along the Snake River, and a few days in Oregon and Washington. On our way home we drove down the Highway 5 along the beautiful Oregon /California Pacific Coast line. It didn’t take long to us to see the difference between the Northwest and our home in the Bible-Belt. (Only 25% Washington and Oregon’s population belong to a church…of any kind.) And instead of the Christian decal of the fish on automobiles, we saw a large number of symbols promoting atheism. When we saw the fish sticker on a car one day, we followed it into a parking lot only to find that the fish had feet and the anti- God symbol “Darwin” inscribed on it.

But when we stopped at a Colorado Motel on the way home, a man wearing a large wooden cross checked us in. “He’s obviously a Christian”, I whispered to Pam. As the clerk filled out his paper work, I asked him, “Are you a Christian?”…and still looking down, he almost inaudibly mumbled under his breath one word…. “Yeah”. Since he never said anything else, it was obvious he didn’t want to talk about Jesus. When we got to our room, I told Pam that if the man had said “No” instead of “Yeah”, it would have meant about the same thing. This I know for sure: The world will never be won to Jesus if we are just cross wearers instead of cross bearers…

And if all we can say about Jesus is….. “Yeah”.

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