February 22, 2016 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9  When I enrolled in college in the 50’s, I chose Greek as my foreign language requirement for a B.A. Degree.  And since The New Testament was originally written in Greek, (Greek was the world language in Jesus’ day), theological students commonly studied Greek to better understand the New Testament.

My Greek professor, Dr. C. E. Roark, was a Baptist pastor as well as a Professor at ETBU. At 64 years of age, he’d still begin his class every semester by doing a backflip in front of the class…a feat that amazed all of his fledgling students. After the backflip he began: “Young men, Greek is not an easy language to learn, so make sure you don’t miss any classes.” “Forty percent of you will either flunk out or drop out before the semester is over.”  Then he’d   tell this story:

“At a General Motors plant in Michigan, a car came to the end of the assembly line with nothing but a chassis. When asked what happened, the foreman replied, ‘someone must have dropped their wrench.’”    

Then eyeing us intensely, Dr. Roark said, “Young men, you will not pass this course if you drop your wrench.”
   
Fortunately, I didn’t drop mine. I even bested my friend Tony Evans on the final test and finished first in the class. But I have dropped my wrench many times since those days but was always given a chance to pick it up again.   When we Christians have “wrench dropping” experiences in our lives, God doesn’t kick us out of the class. Instead he says, “I see that you’ve dropped your wrench….”
“Now let me help you pick it up again.”

February 19, 2016 - Saturday, March 12, First Baptist Church will be hosting Tammy Whitehurst. For more information contact 598-5605 FBC. First Baptist Church is located at 117 Cora Street Center, TX 75935.  Registration is currently open and will be $20 before the 26th of February and $30 after. 

Tammy’s passion is to communicate the hope found in Nehemiah 8:10: “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”  She wants women to experience the JOY that is a result of having a relationship with Jesus Christ.  The goal for her ministry, “Joy for the Journey” is to encourage and inspire women of all ages and from all walks of life. Tammy speaks from the heart about what applies to the heart using laughter and life experiences.  She feels that laughter is a tool to deal with the difficult times in life. Tammy states, “Having becoming a Christian at 25 years of age, I am still so amazed when I consider God’s love for me through the death of His Son, Christ Jesus.  God guided me to be a teacher in the classroom for 16 years but after having heart surgery in my 30’s, I also became a much bolder speaker for God.” Tammy earned a Women’s Ministry certification from New Orleans Baptist Theological   Seminary. 

February 17, 2016 - As Valentine’s Week comes to a close, the members of St. John Missionary Baptist Church would like to send a special thanks to all that SHINED in our HEARTS at the Valentine’s Banquet.  It is the monetary contributions of people, churches, and businesses like yours that made our event successful.

Please accept our warmest thanks for your generosity and compassion towards our Church. You are God’s greatest Blessings!

Thanks to all,
St. John Baptist Church Family
St. John Missionary Baptist Church
Valentines Banquet 2016
Center, Tx
Rev. Winston Kibbles Sr.- Pastor

February 16, 2016 - There are times when most men forget that they are only allowed to prosper by the goodness and grace of God.

Such was King Nebuchadnezzar. The forth chapter of Daniel deals with his failure to honor God and with the punishment from God for the consequences of his actions.

In Daniel 4:27; God sends a messenger to the king who tells him to heed God's advice, that he should; break off his sins by being righteous and his iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. That if he does so, God might lengthen his prosperity. The king had 12 months to change his ways, when he did not, God took his mind from him and made him crawl on all fours and eat grass with the cattle for 7 years. By the end of that time he had very long hair covering his body and his finger nails were as eagle's talons.

Daniel 4:34 shows that after 7 years Nebuchadnezzar looks to the sky and honors God and is restored to his former self. Finally, he saw the world in it's true light, understanding that God is sovereign and supreme over heaven and earth and there is none other than Him. We are confronted with 2 disputes over God today, the first being a moral issue; whether God or man's rule or will shall be done. The second intellectual, asking whether an intellectual and supreme God exercises continuous rule and providence in the world or whether all things happen according to either blind fate or the laws of nature.

Daniel 4:35 answers this saying that all the people of earth are reputed as nothing... So much for self worth or being overly proud of oneself.

Daniel 4:36 shows us that for honoring and praising God that Nebuchadnezzar had his entire kingdom reinstated to him with even more majesty being awarded to him than before. Finally, he saw the world as it really is and he then started trying to make certain that others found out about God and accepted Him as Lord and Savior too.

Daniel 4:37 gives God all praise and glory and offers a final word of warning to us all; "Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of Heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride, He is able to put down."

Pay attention America to these final words of warning, the good king can certainly testify to the power of our Lord and we would all do well to heed his advice.

Please feel free to join us on Wednesday evening at 6:00PM at Spring Hill Baptist Church for our weekly Bible Study. Call 936-615-1427 for more information.

May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you every day...

February 16, 2016 - As a writer I suppose that it is normal that I love working with words.  I love puns and jokes.  Perhaps you are not familiar with the word “lexophile”.  It means a person who loves words and word plays.  They love to put words together that have dual meanings.  Some people call them “puns”.

The following list of lexophiles was sent to me by a good friend, and I want to pass them along for other people to enjoy.  I understand that an annual national competition is held to see who can come up with the best lexophiles.  The following were some of the winners:

You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish.
To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.
The batteries were given out free of charge.
A dentist and a manicurist married.  The fought tooth and nail.
A will is a dead giveaway.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
A boiled egg is hard to beat.
When you’ve seen one shopping center, you’ve seen a mall.
Police were called to a day care center where a three year old was resisting a rest.
Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off?  He’s all right now.
A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.
When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.
He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
When he saw her first strands of grey hair, she thought she’d dye.
Acupuncture is a jab well done.  That’s the point of it.
Those who get too big for their pants will be exposed in the end.
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
A backward poet writes inverse.
A chicken crossing the road; poultry in motion.
If you don’t pay your exorcist, you can get repossessed.
You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.
He broke into song because he couldn’t find the key.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.

A final thought:

Lord, give me a sense of humor,
Give me the grace to see a joke,
To get some humor out of life,
And pass it on to other folk.

February 15, 2016 - We have recorded for us a great example of a young man that went against the crowd, and it worked out to his benefit. As the Jews went off into captivity a young man named Daniel had decided to take a stand.

We read, “5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. ... 8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself” (Dan. 1:5,8).

Here we have a young man that has been taken by force away from his home. He is in a land with a foreign language. He has people of authority over him to do him harm if they wish. But in all these he decides that his standing before God is more important than giving into his immediate surroundings. Daniel was only one of a number of “youths” (Dan. 1:3-4). But he did not go along with the other young people of his day, he did not conform to his surroundings. And as a result the Lord blessed him (Dan. 1:9), and he was better off than the other youths from Jerusalem (Dan. 1:15).

Being different and going against the crowd or the masses (for the right things) always works out. As Solomon writes, “For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil” (Pr. 1:32-33).

You see Daniel was not concerned with what his buddies thought nor was he fearful of the authorities in a foreign land. By Daniel going against the masses it worked out in his benefit. But he did not do so sarcasticly, for it is written, “...therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself” (Dan. 1:8).

Daniel is like the blind man of John 9. The man of John 9 was born blind and then Jesus healed him. But when he was faced with pressure from the authorities he said, “The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. 31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. 32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. 34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out” (Jn. 9:30-34).

Here we have two great examples of going against the crowd for what was right. Daniel in a foreign land and a man that had been healed with nothing fall back on except Jesus.

Church email: northsidecoccenter@gmail.com

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February 16, 2016 - I visited my crop-duster friend Wayne Smith in Edgerly, La. last week.  I first saw Wayne back in the 80’s when he flew his Ag-Cat Crop-duster over a field where I was photographing birds.  He was flying low enough for me to see the cigar in his mouth.

From that day when I heard his plane, I’d follow him in my pickup and photograph him as he sprayed insecticide over the rice fields. I was watching him spray Phil Rauser’s rice field one day when the body movements of his flagman down the field caught my eye.

As the young man moved closer to me, he’d wave his hands in the air while waiting for the plane’s next pass. When he got close enough for us to talk, I asked, “Why are you waving your hands?...is something  wrong?” “Aw, naw, there aint nothing wrong”, he smiled.  “I just been catching skeeter hawks”.

Some folks believe that only a lunatic would think of catching a dragon fly. To the contrary, its people who won’t do the useless things that have the mental problems. Lunatics are always serious…they don’t do “useless” things.  But they’d likely get on the road to sanity if they’d just relax…get careless…
….and catch some “skeeter hawks”.

February 15, 2016 - Sunday, St. Valentine’s Day, was the First Sunday in Lent.  A 40-day period of prayer and reflection leading up to Easter, Lent is celebrated by most Christians around the world.  The Sundays in Lent are not actually part of Lent but are seen as “little Easters.”  

My scripture came from the first book of the Ancient Hebrews—Genesis 1: 26-31.  During Lent we are reminded that our creator is still about creating.  As the hands, feet, eyes, and ears of the Christ, we are to be a church that is open, loving, and caring regardless of size, and we are to be about grace and forgiveness.  These must always be the cornerstones of our faith.

What a beautiful week we have had!  The weatherman said last night that we might get some rain and that we need it.  I guess he was right, but having sunshine and springtime temperatures sure calls us to go outdoors and enjoy the day.  I have many raised beds in my yard, needing me to weed and clean up—what fun!

Fannie’s Sunday school lesson was based on Leviticus 23: 15-22.  The scripture outlines worship during the Festival of Weeks, also called Pentecost.  Even though the practices certainly have changed, the need for worship—for praising God and for renewal—remains the same today.

It was great to have everyone this morning—we were in double digits!  Before worship is time for all of us to visit, and we at Paxton are a very sociable people!   Mrs. Hilda was back today, making our singing sound much better, and Joe picked some well-known songs.  “This Is My Father’s World” has such nice lyrics about enjoying all God has given us.

This Tuesday, February 16th is our ministry to Holiday Nursing Center.  On Thursday February 24th at 2:00 will be our ministry at Lakeside Assisted Living.  We welcome anyone who wants to join us to bring songs, stories, and prayer to the residents.

“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 10, 2016 - Open Door Baptist Worship Center invites you to the 16th Church Anniversary Service on February 28th at 3:00pm. We are located at 900 Cotton Ford Road Center, Texas 75935. Guest Speaker will be Pastor Jeremy Moore & Friendship Baptist Church.

February 9, 2016 - Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church will be hosting the Harper Family on Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 5pm. Please come and join us for some good Gospel Bluegrass Music. You will receive a blessing. God Bless All! Bethlehem MBC is lcoated at 13127 Hwy 7 East, Joaquin, Texas 75954.

For more information about the Harper Family, visit them online at www.HarperFamilyMusic.com

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