February 29, 2016 - Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ in San Augustine, Texaswould like to invite the community to Family and Friends Day on Sunday, March 6 at 3pm. Pastor Brandon Owens Sr. and Pleasant Grove Baptist Church of Center Texas will be special guest.

February 29, 2016 - Sunday was the Third Sunday in Lent.  This special time of reflection and inward looking is coming to an end.  May we use the remaining time to further understand His word.  The last week of Jesus’ life is referred to as Holy Week.  So much is packed into that week that I plan to preach several sermons on that fateful time.  The Gospel writers spend a great deal of their time looking at the events of this one week.  My scriptures for the next several Sundays will come from the oldest of the four Gospels, Mark.  Mark has the best chronology—not just the days but sometimes even the hours. 

This week began with Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  His followers and onlookers cheered and laid their cloaks and palm branches in front of Jesus.  Jesus heard the cries and saw the hopeful looks in people’s eyes as they wondered:  Could Jesus be the one?  Also entering Jerusalem that day in front of a large army was the governor, Pontius Pilate.  He always left his seaside villa to be on hand if trouble broke out during Passover.  Having to be away from the sea and in the dusty streets of Jerusalem, Pilate started the week already in a bad mood!           

We had a small crowd this Sunday.  As usual Fannie put together a great Sunday school lesson.  I always notice the similarities between our study in Sunday school and the scriptures for worship.  We will start a new quarter in our studies, so we got new books, which include some of my favorites from the Old Testament.  Joe and Hilda teamed up for our music this morning, and we sounded pretty good on some old standards.  

Sue and I delivered the food that our church has collected this month—rice and beans—to the Community Christian Services.   In March we will be collecting cans of chili.  Next Sunday will be Holy Communion.  This sacrament is so important to the life of the church but is especially important in these days before Easter.  Fannie announced that the Watsons will host Easter Sunrise Service.  Fannie said she thinks this will be the 29th Sunrise Service that they have held at the Watson homeplace.  Everyone is invited: I know we will enjoy the time of worship and song—and of course the breakfast afterwards!

 Last Thursday we went to Lakeside Assisted Living.  We had so many volunteers, and the residents filled the living room.  Some of the staff joined us too; Sue and I were so pleased to see one of our favorite former students, Sandra McDaniel Harper.  Ollie and Fannie had poignant stories to share, and Pastor Matt brought a short message.  Gene sang a few specials, and Maggie and I tried to keep the music and program going.  Judging by the spirited nature of it, I think we did a good job!  Nora told a story with props and also sang a song.  With Nora singing on the group songs and Hilda and Sylvia playing the piano, we sounded better than we had a right to! 

“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!

February 29, 2016 - Gates Chapel Baptist Church will host its 103rd Church Anniversary on March 6th at 2:30pm. 

The guest speaker will be Rev. Anthony Jackson of Mr. Dena Baptist Church. 

Everyone is invited to attend says Paster Frankie Cooper. 

February 29, 2016 - Open Door Baptist Worship Center at 900 Cotton Ford Road, Center, Texas 75935 invites the community to our Pack the Pew Services on Sunday March 6, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. 

Guest Speakers will be Pastor Damien Reese and St. James Baptist Church from Gladewater, Texas.

February 29, 2016 - Paul told Timothy, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:2-4).

As Paul writes this young preacher he warns him that the day will come when “Christians” will not want the absolute, unfiltered truth of the gospel. They will want a more “touchy feely” non-offensive version of Jesus.

Preaching the gospel involves telling folks what they need not necessarily what they want. It involves rebuking for sin and for straying from the truth. And doing it in season and out of season, in other words reproving and exhorting even when it will not go over very well with the congregation. Is there ever a comfortable time to reprove and rebuke? As a preacher I have not found one yet.

As Paul said “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”. And we see this today, many people are more loyal to a man than the truth. It was true in Bible days and it is true today. Remember Paul said they will heap to themselves teachers, in other words they will heap up teachers that will tell them what they want to hear and not what they need to hear. Itching ears can always be scratched. But a scratched ear is not the same as enduring sound doctrine.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:2-4).

Church email: northsidecoccenter@gmail.com

If you would like to receive our weekly bulletin via email, then just send us your request and we will be happy to put you on the list!

February 29, 2016 - "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”  John 8:36  

During the seventeen years that Pam and I have fed the birds at our house, we’ve seen some unusual species drop in.  The Incas doves (Mexican doves) began nesting here fifteen years ago and are now here in large numbers.  A few years ago, a ring-necked turtle dove (a.k.a. “collared dove) eased in one day and nine more were at the feeder the next day.

Three beautiful Zebra Finches stayed with us for over a month last year and a few months ago we awoke to the whistling of a Bob White Quail.  Even though we used to hunt them, I never knew that they were ventriloquists.  As the male perched ten feet from us, we watched his beak as he “threw his voice” to sound like he was a hundred yards away! It was a real treat to wake up every morning to the whistling of this little bird.  He and his mate were here only two weeks before disappearing.

As I glanced out our kitchen window last month, I called out to Pam, “Come quick!” “There’s a parrot at the feeder!” We grabbed our Kaufman Bird Book and found that our visitor was a Peach-faced Lovebird. After nibbling millet for a few minutes, he chirped loudly and flew away. We thought we’d never see him again, but a few days later he was back in with two other lovebirds.  We named the first bird “Peachie” and refer to the other pair as “The Twins” since they always perch together as they feed.

Originally from Africa, sizable numbers of these birds have been seen   recently around the Phoenix, Arizona area.   Were our birds once caged birds? We don’t know.  Some have suggested that we put a cage out to see…but we won’t do that.  It’s more enjoyable to watch them play freely in the trees above us.  We want them to stay free. …We wish all of our birds to be free.

When I was released from the cage of my sin at fourteen years of age, I’ve never desired to be caged again.   It’s so wonderful to be free!   
I wish everyone was.

February 23, 2016 - God called Jeremiah to be a prophet at an early age, even as a child, Israel had been taken into slavery years before and now Judah was slipping into the same sins of idolatry and immorality.

God called Jeremiah to warn the nation of God's impending judgment that was to come upon them if they did not repent and return to Him. He was even called the weeping prophet as he had a tender heart and would often weep when people did not believe him, most ridiculed and persecuted him instead of heeding him. In (Jeremiah 1:17-18) God told Jeremiah of all the things he was to do and of the things God had put in place to protect him from his own people.

For over 40 years he warned them but they did not heed him and eventually they were taken into slavery by King Nebuchadnezzar, who gave Jeremiah the choice of going to Babylon or staying in Judah with the remnant of old people. They did not take those who could not do hard work but left them to fend for themselves in a desolate land. Jeremiah stayed with the remnant who eventually fled to Egypt where he spent his last years on earth.

The final message that God gave to Jeremiah is found in (Jeremiah 1:19) "And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee." These were his own people that God warned him about, his own people who ridiculed and persecuted him, once even placing him in a cistern as in a prison cell.

As God's children and His workers today our opposition many times is much more secret, more sneaky than the frontal assaults that Jeremiah faced. Much of our opposition seeks to make us uncomfortable, unsure of ourselves and our faith.

I assure you that every day that we seek to carry out God's will the evil one sends his army of demons against us. They will try to hinder and slow us and block our path each day in order to try and halt our daily work for our Lord.

They will try to confuse us, to make us doubt one another and maybe even falsely accuse one another.

They will always try to interrupt us when we witness to another person for the Lord; trying to make that person doubt the truth we are telling him.

God assures us though that through it all; even if we grow weary and fearful that we cannot ultimately be defeated for He is with us. He fights for us and protects us from His enemies. He tells us as He told Jeremiah that; "they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee."

We must put on the full armor of God, His Word, pray for His blessings for America, pray for God to send us godly leadership, and we shall overcome, and America will not fall as did Judah and Israel.

May God Bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you each day.

February 22, 2016 - Sunday was the Second Sunday in Lent.  The temperatures are so warm for winter.  Even though I have enjoyed getting out and preparing the garden, I am not sure so many warm days in winter is really a good thing.  Someone reminded me how often we get a freeze around Easter.  But still, the call of spring is pretty strong!

The Gospel Lesson was Luke 13: 31-35.  Those fateful days of Holy Week are fast approaching.  Jesus must know the terrible danger he and his followers would face when they entered the Holy City. In our Gospel Lesson, Jesus laments that the religious leaders and others who wielded power were ignoring God’s call.  Jesus wishes that he was a hen so he could gather all the chicks and protect them.  There is a chapel in Jerusalem which could be the very spot that Jesus cried out to Jerusalem.  This chapel has a beautiful window, and at first one would think it was stained glass—it isn’t. The window has clear glass where one can have the same view that Jesus did so many years ago: Underneath this window is a mosaic of a hen and her chicks.

Our Sunday school lesson once again comes from Leviticus.  The scripture explains in detail all that is to be done on the Day of Atonement—Yom Kippur.  All the sacrificing of animals and other details leave a modern reader kind of lost.  But the themes—atonement, mercy, and reconciliation—are still true today, not only in the Jewish faith but also the Christian faith.

We had a wonderful surprise today.  Lillie, Liz, and Mike were up this weekend and came to church! It was so wonderful to see them, and they put us in double digits once again.  Mike has retired and hopes they will be able to come up more often, staying longer.  We sure hope so. 

Last Tuesday we had our Holiday Nursing Center ministry.  We had a real small group to begin with, but more and more folks joined us.  Nora read a poem and sang a song.  Ms. Hilda played many songs that the residents requested.  This week on Thursday at 2:00 we will go to Lakeside and visit, sing, tell stories, and read some scripture.  All this month we have been collecting dried beans and rice for Community Christian Services.  Sue and I will take those to Haslam Baptist this week. 

“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!

February 22, 2016 - Please join us for Disciple Now, a weekend retreat for ages 7th-12th grade, at Lydia Missionary Baptist Church in Huxley, Tx! D-Now is designed to take students to a deeper level in their relationship with Christ and help them enjoy the fellowship of other believers. 

We will begin at 6pm on Friday, February 26th and finish at 8am on Saturday, February 27th. This weekend will include praise & worship, devotionals, basketball & volleyball tournaments, Minute to Win It challenges & lots of other fun!!! Supper & breakfast will be provided. For questions call Will Parks (936-368-2838) or Bro.Wes Hall (936-368-2462)

February 22, 2016 - “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth” (Heb. 12:5-6).

The seeds of “God is love” paints God in color that He is not. Oh yes, God is love (1Jn. 4:9-11) and His love sent Jesus (Jn. 3:16). And it His love in our hearts that gives us hope to carry on (Rm. 5:5). But God is not love only. The love of God is not a free ticket to live like the devil and do what we want with who want and where we want. As the Hebrew writer said His love also brings a chastening or correction.

As parents we correct our children because we love them. When they begin to go in the wrong direction our love does not bridle our tongue or actions, instead we correct and discipline them. The Lord chastens and scourges us in order to keep us from the fires of hell. As Paul said, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21).

It is the love of God that corrects us when we go astray. If God did not correct us He would not loves us. The next time you feel chastened by Scripture just remember it is because God loves you!

Church email: northsidecoccenter@gmail.com

If you would like to receive our weekly bulletin via email, just send us your request and we will be happy to put you on the list!

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