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!!

July 11, 2016 - It's Revival Time! We repeat: It's Revival Time! The time for a revival is now! Strong Triumph Church would like to cordially invite everyone, young and old and in between, to join us for 3 epic nights of revival as we set the atmosphere for a mighty move of God. The theme of this revival is Seeking God's Face (2 Chronicles 7:14)! The revival will take place on July 13-15th, beginning at 7 p.m. each night. The revivalist for the week is Rev. Javoris Gatlin, of The Life Church International, Longview, Texas. For more information, please contact Elder Faye Dell Allen at 936-368-2611/936-572-5810 or Sis. Sylvia Hubbard at 936-332-3103.

July 11, 2016 - Carroll Chapel CME Church in Shelbyville will be having their Pastor Anniversary on Saturary July 31, 2016@ 7:00 PM. Guess speaker will be Pastor Karen Christopher of The Pine Flat CME Church in Nacogdoches, TX. Everyone is invited.

July 7, 2016 - Mt. Calvary Full Gospel Church Revival July 18 - July 22, 2016 on FM 417 E in Shelbyville. The revival begins at 7pm with Bro. Lamar Denby. Friday night gospel group is the New Day Spirituals.

Everyone is welcome and song specials are welcome as well.

July 6, 2016 - Flyer - Toledo Bend Baptist Church and Shelbyville United Methodist Church are excited about VBS this year!

Join us Friday through Saturday, July 15 - 17 at Toledo Bend Baptist Church in Huxley for this incredible event.

Completed Pre-K through completed 7th grade.

Music, games, snacks, worship, Bible stories, arts & crafts, petting zoo, and more!

Registration forms will be available at each church and at the Registration night of July 8 at Toledo Bend Baptist Church.
We will be showing the movie "Evan Almighty" and offering movie snacks this night starting around 6:30pm.

Our schedule will be:
Friday, July 8: Registration & Movie night
Friday, July 15: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Saturday, July 16: 9:00am - 2:00pm
Sunday, July 17: 4:00pm - 6:00pm

July 6, 2016 - Jesus said, “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (Jn. 12:47-48).

Jesus also said, “But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved” (Jn. 5:34). So what can we conclude from this? We can conclude that anything Jesus said about salvation or that saves us, is indeed something that is connected with salvation. On the surface of that statement I know of no one that would disagree with it. If Jesus said it then it must be true, right?

Well lets make some application. Jesus said, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. ...5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:3,5). It is also written, “...The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mk. 1:15).

And lo and behold that is what His apostles taught as well (Mk. 6:12). You see repentance is a condition of salvation. Simon had to repent in Ac. 8:22-24. Peter also would have to repent at Paul’s' rebuke in Gal. 2:11-14. And the young man in 1 Cor. 5:1-5 would have needed to and was required to repent. Even the church at Ephesus was going to have to repent or lose its status as a church (Rev. 2:5). We cannot live and do things our way and still be saved.

Not only did Jesus say repentance was for salvation He also said baptism was to. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk. 16:16). Without it the kingdom is not available to us, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. ...5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3,5). While some religious circles deny that this is baptism and the water is our fleshly birth (which is what Nicodemus thought) it is baptism. The “again” is with the water and the Spirit, a spiritual birth.

Peter also said, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Ac. 2:38). Did not Peter teach the sayings of Jesus? Remember when Jesus said, “but these things I say, that ye might be saved”. Who will disagree with Jesus? If Jesus said it, it must be true.

Church email: northsidecoccenter@gmail.com

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June 30, 2016 - The Power Of God: And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me, in heaven and on earth." (Matt. 28:18) NKJV

All power was not given to Jesus as a reward for His death on the cross, He has always had the power within Him. He has always been equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit in power, essence and glory, the Holy Trinity acts in perfect unison.

He had the power to willingly lay down His life and he had the power to take it up again. This statement in verse 18 was made to the church as assurance that He had the power to enable her to carry out the terms as stated in the "Great Commission" and that he would be right there with the church as His command was carried out on earth. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matt 28:19-20) NKJV

His claim of all power in universal, He has authority over all the forces of nature, as well as over all spiritual powers. For instance, He stilled the storm, overcame Satan, healed all manner of diseases, raised the dead, read people's thoughts and assured the church that the gates of hell would not prevail against her.

He exercises His power in the salvation of lost souls. He tasted death for all; so whosoever will may come to Him for salvation. His blood is so powerful that it cleans from all sin. No one comes to Him in faith and is ever cast out.

Jesus has the final judgment, the faithful believers will stand before the Judgement seat of Christ in heaven. Nations will face Him when he returns to earth in great power and glory. Those who reject Him will have to face Him at the end of this age at the Great White Throne Judgment, only to be condemned to the lake of fire for eternity.

Jesus, Himself tells us that NO ONE comes to the Father but through Him. His authority is seen in heaven as He mediates each day for His flock. 

The Father has exalted Jesus and has given Him a name that is above all other names. The purpose being that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord of Lord's to the glory of God the Father. 

There are no exceptions for those who wish salvation, it can only be gained through the grace of God given to those whose knees do bow and whose tongues do confess Jesus as Lord  (those who humble themselves and submit to His will and not their own or the will of mankind.)

As the "model prayer" says; "for Your's is the power, the kingdom, and the glory, forever and ever, amen."  Blessed and honored be the name of the Lord...

“Don’t forsake the assembling of yourselves together…” Heb. 10:25

July 4, 2016 - While I was a student pastor of the Bonaldo Baptist Church in Nacogdoches County (Texas), I picked up the Buster brothers on my way to church every Sunday morning. I’d dared go no further than the front gate because of the yard full of yellow cur dogs that wanted to bite me. On the days the children weren’t going to church, one would meet me at the gate and say, “Wint going” (e.g. “we aint going”).

There’s lots of ways of saying “wint going”. “There are too many hypocrites in the church”, “I’ve got chickens to raise, cows to feed, and company coming”. “Income tax is coming up…” “Hunting season has opened”…. “I was made to go to church when I was young”… “I feel like I’m coming down with something”…. “If you only knew what I know about those church members…” “If I came, the house would fall in”..”I worship the Lord in the great out-of-doors…”

It took me a little while to understand the true meaning of all this rhetoric. I learned that these people were no busier than most of the rest of us and that they were just saying with many words what the Buster boys could say in two:

…“Wint going”.

July 3, 2016 - Sunday was the 7th Sunday after Pentecost. Monday, July 4th is our nation’s Independence Day. If these first days of July are any indication, July 4th is going to be a hot one. But we live in Texas, so we have to expect it to be hot. We have so much to be thankful for as citizens of the United States. We are sometimes a divided nation, but I think we concentrate too much on what divides us and forget all that binds us together. We as a nation have overcome much for two plus centuries. In the third verse of America the Beautiful the song writer says, “God mend thine every flaw.” This applies not only to our nation but all citizens of this great nation.

Our Sunday school lesson was titled Ignoring God’s Truth Within Us. The scripture was from Romans 2: 17-29. Already in the first generation of the Jesus Movement there were divisions. The most contentious was between Jewish and Gentile Jesus followers. One of the constants in both the Hebrew Scriptures (our Old Testament) and the New Testament of first century Jesus followers is the human being. We humans tend to be slow learners—except we are quick to judge and quick to get angry. I read our lesson in the Wesley Study Bible, which included an added piece about Wesley, the founder of Methodism, having his heart “strangely warmed” and knowing that God loved him: The Bible Study group he was attending was dealing with Martin Luther’s study of the book of Romans. 

In the last chapter in his letter to the Galatians, St. Paul tells the people that they will harvest what they plant. This is still true today. If you plant hatred and bigotry, those will be your harvest. What I think has always been a problem for people is that we are way too often so busy that we don’t take time to water our spiritual needs. Howard Rice says people have always been beset by the twin aches of living. There is a sense of cosmic loneliness without God and there is a yawning sense of meaninglessness without some sense of the Divine. But it takes time and effort to live Kingdom lives and to make that central to your everyday living. 

What a great group we had this Sunday! Gene and Joy’s son Chuck, his wife Kim, and their son Austin were here to celebrate July 4th and came to Sunday school and church. Lilly, Liz, and Mike were also up from Houston. Lilly is beautiful as always, and it warmed my heart to see all of them. We celebrated Holy Communion this Sunday. For the last several communion services, I have been using a different liturgy. I really like it, as it is so inviting and also spot-on about the idea that taking communion can be a transformative moment. 

Sue and I have travelled in June to Chicago and to Louisiana, Missouri. We had a family reunion in Chicago, and then a week later we had another family reunion in Louisiana. The little town of Louisiana is right on the mighty Mississippi just south of Hannibal—Mark Twain country. When we got home from the last reunion we washed clothes one day and headed to Dallas the next. My daughter was moving her “stuff” into her new home. The renovation has taken longer than anyone expected, and the contractors are not quite through. But the end is in sight! 

While Sue and I were gone, the church and other volunteers met at Lakeside for our monthly ministry. Earlier in the week, the group also had a program at Holiday. Pastor Matt, Minnie, Hilda, Nora, and Sylvia were there to provide songs and stories. I really admire the dedication of the volunteers and know that the residents enjoy this special time. 

“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!