August 15, 2016 - Sunday was the 13th Sunday after Pentecost.  In my sermon Sunday before last I returned to the Luke Gospel (Luke 12: 13-21.)  Jesus and his disciples and other followers have made that fateful turn and are heading to Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is the ancestral home of Kings since David—the home of the newly built great Temple--the official regional capital of this region for the Roman Empire.  Jesus’ parable is about the rich fool who builds more barns to keep the excess of some very good harvests.  I  think in our age of wealth and excess we would look at the rich man and think he was being prudent—not foolish.  But Jesus sees in this man someone so wrapped up in things and stuff that he runs the risk of not seeing the Kingdom that is at hand.  This past Sunday’s scripture was Colossians 1: 24-28.  Once again the evangelist was dealing with turmoil within the local Jesus community.  The stress was on developing and maturing in faith.
Our Sunday school scripture was Romans 9: 6-29 and certainly created many questions.  Unfortunately, they looked to me for clarity which I simply could not give.  It is a scripture that gives those who believe in predestination some fodder for their belief.  Starting in verse 15 God says to Moses that he will show mercy to those he chooses.  In the next verse Paul says, “So then, it doesn’t depend on a person’s desire or effort.  It depends entirely on God, who shows mercy.”  Many Protestants believe in what is called “two-fisted predestination.”  This idea says that God has decided before he ever started creating those he will save and those he will condemn.  Today’s Epistle Lesson was Colossians 1: 24-28 and these few verses also open up a can of worms.    
The last two Sundays we were again in double digits.  Lillie, Liz, and Mike were up from Houston this week and it is just like a burst of sunshine when they come in.  We really miss seeing Lillie every Sunday and around town.  Joe’s son Ben came with Joe this morning.  I met Ben back in 1975, the year I started teaching at Joaquin.  He had just graduated from high school and had started college.  More recently, I saw him at his parents’ 50th anniversary celebration.

My Internet service was out most of last week; I didn’t get my article turned in and I didn’t send out a weekly email to the Paxton folks. I am still nursing my broken foot, but loyal folks headed to Green Acres.  Sue said there were plenty of stories shared and songs to sing!  Next Tuesday was scheduled to be our ministry to Holiday Nursing Center, but we are postponing it. 

Saturday morning I got a call from Joe that Gloria had died.  Mrs. Gloria was such a sweet lady. She will be missed by her Paxton Church friends, her friends and neighbors, and the many students that she taught over the years.  Her funeral will be Tuesday at 1:00 at Mangum Funeral Chapel.  Visitation will also be Tuesday, starting at 11:00. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe and his family. 
“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 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!

August 10, 2016 - Bennett Chapel Missionary Baptist Church invites everyone to its Annual Homecoming Revival Sunday, August 14, 2015 at 2:30 pm, Pastor Joseph Hall Jr. along Union Springs & 1st Baptist Church of Grand Cane & Shreveport, La.  will be our special guest . Revival services will be August 16-19th at 7:30 pm with a different speaker each night.  

Tuesday (8-16) Rev. Leonard White
Wednesday (8-17)-Minister Barrington (BJ) Gibson
Thursday (8-18)-Rev. Denzell Hughes
Friday (8-19)-Apostle Juanita Tave

Come and bless the Lord with us!! Bennett Chapel Church Family Bishop W. C. Martin, Pastor

August 9, 2016 - "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32) 

These words of Jesus sound like He is talking to people who are in bondage, telling them what they must do to be freed from captivity.

Yet, the Old Testament Jews were a group of people whose claim of superiority is that they are "children of Abraham" and were never in bondage to anyone. 

Of course they had to get permission from the Roman Governor anytime they were to do anything and they carried Roman money in their pockets.

These people were in spiritual bondage. They were bound by their own sins and many more of them by their rejection of Jesus. 

Jesus is assuring the people He is addressing in this scripture, who do believe in Him, that they have received, both truth and freedom. The truth of His words and freedom from their own sinful ways. 

He exhorts all to "abide in My word" (abide, means - to have one's abode, to reside or dwell within) We see here that if we are to be useful vessels for the Lord that we must truly "live in and by, the Word of God".

Fruit-bearing is the mark of a true disciple as Jesus said; "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35) 

So if one is a "true" disciple then one will live the truth he has learned by abiding in God's Word and doing the Lord's work.

A false disciple, on the other hand, is one who only professes to be a Christian. 

He loudly claims that he is living in Christ, but his actions tell the real truth, he does not know the truth he professes, and is living in the world, and not in Christ. 

He has a name of one who lives, but he is dead in sin, in bondage to his sin. 

Peter and John, while they were at Antioch were the first to be called "Christian". 

Did they give themselves this name, no, they were called Christians because the non-believing Jews could tell by the lives they were living that they had indeed spent time with Christ.

They had been transformed, freed by the power of the Word of God in their lives and the others could readily see the difference in them. By the lives we live each day we too shall be known.  

I would suggest that living as false disciples, professing Christ with one's mouth, but denying Him with one's deeds is the greatest obstacle to spreading the Word of God to the world. 

If one sees another professing Christ, but living "of the world" then the false disciple has forever made an impression, a bad impression, upon that lost person and has made salvation much, much harder for that person to ever obtain. He has become a stumbling block and not a stepping stone for Christ.

Let us, each and every one, be stepping stones each day for the Lord, let us lead others to Christ by our own lives by being true disciples. Amen...

August 8, 2016 - "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"  1 Corinthians 6:19  

When I was fifteen, I awakened one morning at 3:00, grabbed my .410 shotgun, and walked four miles down the railroad tracks from Center, Texas to Mill Creek. It was one of those beautiful fall mornings…a little cool…no wind.. perfect weather  for squirrel hunting.    I had hidden a pack of Chesterfields in my coat and smoked on my way to the creek.

Suddenly squirrels appeared everywhere.    I shot… and shot…and shot… at point blank ranges …but they all ran off unscathed.  Figuring that my smoking (forbidden by my parents) must have brought my bad luck, I placed the pack on a stump and blasted them with my shotgun. Afterwards I killed two wood ducks with one shot and nabbed two fox squirrels.

I’m not saying that success at hunting will always improve if we quit smoking.

But our success at living definitely will. 

August 5, 2016 - On behalf of Pastor George Cartwright and the Mt. Horeb Baptist Church family we would like to invite everyone to our annual Homecoming and Revival.  Our Homecoming services will start Sunday, August 7, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. at the Mt. Horeb Baptist Church in the Bland Lake Community.  Rev. Amos Horton and the Reed Chapel Baptist Church will be our special Guests for the evening. Our revival services will start Monday, August 8, 2016 through Friday, August 12, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. each night.  The Evangelist for the week will be the Rev. Christopher Moore, pastor of the New Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Houston, Texas please join us and be blessed.

August 4, 2016 - The St. John Missionary Baptist Church will be hosting a Musician Appreciation honoring Sis. Cindy Gatlin Saturday, September 10th at 7:00pm. The St. John Missionary Baptist Church family humbly requests your choir or praise dance team to render an A & B selection. Upon accepting our invitation to participate, please contact Sis. Sandrel at 936-598-4189.

August 4, 2016 - Old Home Church will be having the annual Back 2 School Bash, Saturday, August 6th @ 6:00 PM.  There will be water slides, pony rides, sno cones and snacks.  There will be dominoes and board games in fellowship hall for adults.  Everyone invited to come out and join the fun!  Call or text for details  936-332-9293

August 3, 2016 - Center Learning Academy at First Baptist Church, Center, TX is looking to enroll children ages 2, 3, and 4.  Center Learning Academy is a Christian-based childcare center that provides a loving learning environment for you little one.

Come by the daycare at First Baptist, 117 Cora St., Center, TX to pick up a packet or call 936-598-3708 for more information.

August 3, 2016 -  It is that time of year again, North Jericho (FM 699) Homecoming.  It will happen Sunday, August 7th at 12pm at North Jericho Church.  Please join us for food and fellowship. 

August 2, 2016 - Project String Power registration for violin, viola, cello, upright bass, harp, guitar (all styles) and banjo lessons is Saturday, August 13, 10:30-12 noon at St. John's Episcopal Church in Naylor Hall. Scholarships available. Choose the instrument you want to play and set a time for lessons.