December 29, 2015 - Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ, Hwy 87 South, Shelbyville is hosting a Shepherd and Wife's Appreciation for Elder Archie and Sharon Thompson.

Once again the time has come for us to honor our Shepherd and Wife and will be celebrating on January 9th and 10th, 2016!. Musical honoring our Shepherd and Wife will be on January 9th at 6pm. Appreciation service will be January 10th at 2:30pm. Speaker to be announced. Come and join in lifting up the Name of God. For more information, please call Feleshia Thompson at (936)590-4561.

December 28, 2015 - Bennet Chapel M.B.C. family will be celebrating their Annual New Year Watch Night Service on December 31st, at 9pm. Service will be held at Bennet Chapel Church with Bishop C. Martin, pastor.

Special guests will be Joe Lewis and the Southern Wonders. The Anointed Voices along with other musical guests.

We're asking all that can and will to come out and join us in celebrating Jesus as we bring the new year in.

Doug FincherDecember 28, 2015 - “You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can't forget. Those are your 'friends.'”

Walter was my roommate during my first two years at East Texas Baptist University in the early fifties. Our friendship grew from attending classes together to cutting classes together to fish in Marshall’s Scout Lake. We were always the first ones to swim in the Lake’s icy water at the beginning of spring. Walter and I hitchhiked to Springfield, Missouri one year…left with seven dollars between us …ate grapes and apples from roadside farms along the way. On our way back home we wound up a few miles out of Mena, Arkansas… broke and hungry. As we stood waiting for a ride, an elderly man walked down from a nearby house and said, “Boys, God told me to give this to you” and handed us each a silver dollar. He couldn’t have known how hungry we were…or how deeply we appreciated his help…or how good the hot dogs were a few minutes later.

While visiting with me at my first pastorate in Patroon, Texas, Walter met and later married one of our sweetest teenagers, Jane Runnels. A few months after performing their marriage ceremony, I entered the Army and lost touch with them. From time to time I got information from Jane’s Mother and Dad who still lived in Patroon but it was never convenient to go visit them. As the years passed by, I was Pastor of churches in Oregon, Ft. Worth, Amarillo and Louisiana….and during those years I promised myself many times that I’d locate Walter and his family.

The year reached 2009...and yesterday I suddenly realized over fifty years had passed since I had seen my friend. So I quickly made a resolution to find him …regardless of what it took. I started by searching through my Book of ETBU Alumni. After that failed, I typed “Walter Bishop” into the White Pages in my computer and could hardly believe my eyes when I found the listing: Walter Bishop, 6410 Highway #90, Madisonville, Texas. It also listed his zip code and telephone number.

Reaching for the phone, I hurriedly dialed the number and after few rings, I heard a familiar “Hello” ….and even after all these years, I knew the voice was Jane’s. I hastily asked her a series of questions and then asked, “How’s Walter?” A noticeably long silence followed before she replied: “Douglas, Walter crossed the Jordan ten months ago.” “I found him dead in his bed”.

A deep sense of remorse gripped my heart as I realized my many plans to see my friend had come to an end. “Jane, I’m so sorry”. “He was one of my dearest friends but I’ll never see him again until I cross the Jordan, too…” That’s right”, she said.

“None of us will”.

December 28, 2015 - Smyrna Baptist Church of Huxley announces revival services start Sunday, January 10th at 10:30am and 6pm. The revival will continue Monday through Wednesday, January 11, 12, and 13th at 6:30pm nightly. Guest Speaker is Evangelist Lyndon Longoria of DeRidder, Louisiana. Special music guest is Kerry Longoria - Shoutin' Ground.

Bro. Lyndon is currently a member of the Faith Baptist Church in Port Neches, Texas. He has served as a full-time vocational evangelist and president of Strength for Today Ministries for the past 16 years. Among his accomplishments, he has served on the Executive Board of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, been a conference speaker at the Louisiana Baptist Convention Pastor's Conferences and a three time speaker at the Louisiana Baptist Evangelism Conference. He has also been elected president of the Louisiana Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists three times.

Him and his wife, Kerry Longoria, have 7 children and 8 grandchildren. He was a pastor for 22 years before becoming a full-time evangelist.

December 28, 2015 - Sunday was the First Sunday after Christmas. Traditionally this Sunday is about the childhood and family of Jesus. There are only three episodes dealing with the childhood of Jesus: His parents presented him as an infant at the Temple ; the wise men came to see this Jesus; the third is the one that serves as today’s Gospel. Jesus is around twelve or thirteen, making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem with his family. I sure wish there was more about the young Jesus. Some historians have studied about life in rural Palestine during the time Jesus lived, trying to piece together a likely scenario of what Jesus’ life would have been like. I really enjoy reading these “biographies” but also realize most is just conjecture. In these stories, though, we see hope and also a parent’s loving care.

Fannie had a real good lesson at Sunday School. The lesson came from Matthew and Mark and dealt with many issues in Jesus’ day. The hero for the lessons was an unnamed widow who gave two small copper coins at the Temple . Jesus was very critical of those who operated the Temple and those with so much who wanted to be recognized for all that they did. Jesus reminds us that in his Kingdom the low will be lifted up and those with so much will be brought low.

We had a great crowd Sunday. One must realize that the word “crowd” means different things for different churches. We were in double digits, always a pleasure at Paxton. It is so wonderful to have an infant that comes regularly with her mom. We love Evie and Liz. Evie is so alert, taking in what is going on. And so cute besides!

I hope that everyone’s Christmas was blessed. In talking to folks Sunday morning, it seems that they all had a nice Christmas. We made a trip to Monroe to see Sue’s aunt and uncle. Sue’s mom went with us and had a good time reminiscing with her brother and sister-in-law. Our two kids came in Christmas Eve, and we had a really nice couple of days. It is one of the very few times that we have had Christmas in Joaquin. When our kids were young, we bundled everyone and everything in the car and went to one of the grandparents’ homes. This year, then, was lower-key and peaceful.

We have three birthdays coming up. We send out Happy Birthday wishes to Bill Thompson, Jake Watson, and Steven Joe Watson. In January we will be collecting cans of tuna for area food pantries. We have three ministry opportunities this month. On Monday, January 4, we will visit Green Acres starting at 2:00. On Tuesday, January 19 at 2:00, we will visit Holiday . On Thursday January 28th we will visit Lakeside Assisted Living. All are welcome to join us.

“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!

Evangelist George ParsleyDecember 16, 2015 - So many good, religious people are committed to a family religion. How many times do people say “my grandparents were _____, my parents were ______ and I will always be a ________.”

This attitude is nothing new, even the Jews of old had this same mind set. We read, “As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of Jehovah, we will not hearken unto thee. 17 But we will certainly perform every word that is gone forth out of our mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil” (Jer. 44:16-17).

You see, these people did not care what the prophet said. They did not care what the Lord said. What they cared about is the continuation of their family religion. But we will certainly perform every word that is gone forth out of our mouth, ...as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes,. But their family religion would be the end of them. “Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and with your hands have fulfilled it, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her: establish then your vows, and perform your vows. 26 Therefore hear ye the word of Jehovah, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt: Behold, I have sworn by my great name, saith Jehovah, that my name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, As the Lord Jehovah liveth. 27 Behold, I watch over them for evil,and not for good; and all the men of Judah that are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there be an end of them” (Jer. 44:25-27). A family religion could be your ruin.

Church email: northsidecoccenter@gmail.com

Evangelist George Parsley, Northside Church of Christ

December 23, 2015 - Sunday was the 4th Sunday in Advent and is often referred to as Mary’s Sunday. Our gathering words were The Canticle of Mary also called The Magnificat. Today is the last Sunday of Advent. Christmas is right around the corner and the television news says 100 million of us will be traveling this Holiday Season. Paxton United Methodist wishes everyone a Joyous, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The scriptures for this Sunday all deal with anticipation and restoration and healing. Micah has done what a prophet of God is suppose to do—tell the people to repent—to turn back to God. His words are fierce but like earlier prophets Micah sounds a hopeful note that in the midst of troubles and difficulties God is always with us. In our Gospel Lesson Mary is told that her child will be the chosen one—the Messiah promised in the Hebrew Scriptures. We need to remember how often God has used humble people—the most unlikely people to be his messengers of Good News.

Fannie decided that Sunday School would be about Christmas. So she searched her “teacher folders” and removed stories and poems about Christmas. Like a good teacher she assigned parts and we had a joyous time. We were in double digits at church and so we were all happy about that. It sounded about evenly divided between those staying home and those traveling this holiday. Sue, her mother Dixie, and I will head to Monroe for a day to visit Dixie ’s brother Eddie and his wife Pasty. But we plan to be home for Christmas. This will be the first time in a very long time that our kids will be home for Christmas.

Last week several volunteers went to Holliday Nursing Center to sing Christmas carols and to just enjoy each others company during this festive time. On Monday, Delta Gamma played host to the Pineywoods Harp Ensemble and Fourte’ Cello Ensemble. Their program was filled with Christmas carols. Afterwards, the ladies of Delta Gamma had refreshments. Sue and I enjoyed ourselves so much and visited with old friends that we don’t see all that often.

Everyone in the Joaquin area was saddened by the news that Mike Wood died after a long battle with cancer. Mike taught for over 30 years and also served as mayor and fire chief. He was a friend to us all and we are going to really miss him in so many ways.

As I was writing this article Fannie called. Steven Joe was headed to the hospital in Longview . Our prayers and thought are with him.

“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!

December 22, 2015 - (Psalm 33:12) "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance."
For many generations America was this blessed nation, but, sadly it seems she has turned from God and has gone the way of so many others, the way of the world.

God allows all people their own free will which is many times, our undoing. It is our choice if we are to serve Him, or if we are to serve man. God allows the lost to sink into the pit which they have made, trapped in their own nets like fish in the sea.

Verse 15 of our text tells us just that; "The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made; in the net which they hid is their own foot taken." (Psalm 9:15)

God will not be mocked, people will most definitely reap what they sow. Those that sow in the flesh "building worldly wealth and empires" will reap corruption. Those that sow in the kingdom of God will reap of the joys of heaven. Again, that is each person's individual choice that must be made. That's that "free will" thing again.

Verse 17 says that; "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." (Psalm 9:17) There is a literal, eternal, burning hell. It was prepared for the devil and his angels. While hell is for individual unbelievers, but it is also for nations that forget God. The Lord will judge the nations at His return to earth, and the "goat" nations, those lined up on the left, will be cast into hell.

You might ask; "how can that person do so well, by his words and deeds he convicts himself of non-belief? Well, think about what Jesus told the Pharisees, in my words, He told them "you better enjoy your riches in this life for this is all you will ever have". The righteous may have to wait, but eventually they will receive their riches, in heaven. So too, the poor and the needy will one day be rewarded as verse 18 tells us; "For the needy shall not always be forgotten; the expectation of the poor shall not perish forever." (Psalm 9:18)

Their faith might be tried, but they will not be forsaken by the Lord for God is able to supply all of their needs through Christ. Vengeance belongs solely to the Lord, and He and He alone will repay. The Psalmist prays that God might arise to prevent the wicked from prevailing and to judge the heathen. Verse 19 says; "Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight." (Psalm 9:19)

You see no matter how many television preachers rant every week about the mercy and love of God, the God of mercy and love is also the God of wrath and judgment and judgment will come.

Every person will give an account to the Lord: the saved for their faithfulness and the lost for their unbelief. Those are two separate judgments for two classes of people. The first at the rapture when all the righteous are judged and approved by Jesus, the second at the White Throne Judgment when all of the lost will be judged guilty of non-belief and cast into the sea of fire which is known as hell, for an eternity of torment.

Verse 20 says; "Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men." (Psalm 9:20) The greatest of men, the greatest of nations, yes, even America, are but mere mortals, and their days are numbered with God.

The Psalmist prayed that God might strike fear in the hearts of the nations, causing them to realize their frail nature. Perhaps he thought some of them might recognize their need of God and turn to Him for mercy. That maybe some of the nations might follow the instructions written in II Chronicles 7:14 where God tells Christians, those of His name, to humble themselves and pray and repent and that then He would hear them, forgive them and heal their lands.

Pray Christians, pray daily for American Christians to do just that, pray so that God will then be able to forgive our sins and heal our land. Amen???

You are always welcome to join us for our weekly Bible Study at 6:00 PM on Wednesdays at Spring Hill Baptist Church. For more info call (936-615-1427)

December 15, 2015 - Forgiveness, the prophet Daniel says in (Daniel 9:9) "To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him." Daniel tells us that even though we have done wrong and sinned against God, that He still forgives our sins by His great mercy. Praise the Lord that our God is such a loving and forgiving God that even though we do not deserve mercy, He grants it to us.

Saved by the grace of God, forgiven for our sins and transgressions by His glorious mercy, we are the blessed children of the Most High God. How blessed we are to be called His children.

I hear many preachers extolling these virtues of our Lord and it is true that God is most merciful and forgiving and we should rejoice in that fact. Rejoice in the mercy of God that allows us to receive that which we cannot earn nor deserve.

Almighty God is most certainly a loving God, but He is also a just God. Since He is just, He cannot ignore our sins, nor can He allow them to go unpunished. Another part of the payment of sins that we often do not mention is the consequences we must face for our actions.

Forgiveness is always available to those children of the Most High God who ask Him for it. Consequences, however, remain after forgiveness is given and must be paid, in full, by all who have sinned against God.

Let us look at King David as proof of forgiveness and consequences of sins.

In the book of 2nd Samuel we see part of the story of King David and his rule over the kingdom of Israel.

One evening as David sat on the roof of the king's house he saw, below him, a woman bathing. (2 Sam 11:2) "And from the roof he saw a woman washing herself, and the woman was very beautiful to look upon." Her name was Bathsheba, she was the wife of one of his fighting men, a man named, Uriah. Now Uriah was away fighting under David's commander, Joab, so David sent for Bathsheba to join him in the Kings house.

David seduced Bathsheba that night and she conceived and soon afterwards told him that she was pregnant. Now, the good King has a problem, he has committed adultery with another man's wife and now she is pregnant. David sends for Uriah to come to Jerusalem and gives him a chance to spend the night with Bathsheba so his sin will be covered and Uriah will be known as the babies father.

When Uriah refuses, David sends a sealed note, by Uriah, back to Joab instructing him to put Uriah at the front of the battle and then allow him to be killed. This is done and word soon comes to Bathsheba that her husband has been killed.

After a period of mourning David sent for Bathsheba; (2 Sam 11:27) "David sent and fetched her to his house and she became his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord."

The Lord sent Nathan, the priest, to David to admonish him for his sin and David did confess and ask for forgiveness, which he was given, but, even still, Nathan told him this; (2 Sam 12:14) "Howbeit, because by this deed, thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, that child also that is born unto thee shall surely die."

David then began to pray and weep; for 7 days he wept and would not eat as he tried to prevent the death of the child. Though the Lord forgave David of his sin, he was not relieved of the consequences of his sin and at the end of the 7th day the child died.

You see, David's sins of adultery and murder were forgiven but not excused. He still had to pay the consequences of his sins, something we need to better understand today.

Many times people pray for forgiveness for sins and yet when hard times still befall them they will assume their prayers were not heard by the Lord. Believe me, He heard and If the prayers were in earnest, their sins were forgiven. That is the truth, we are most certainly forgiven by our Loving God, but for justice to prevail, we must pay for that same sin. That is it's consequence.

Today, in this world of; "it's not my fault, I didn't do it" this truth needs to be taught. The brother of Jesus, James, the leader of the church of Jerusalem tells us; (James 5:16) "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." Yes, prayer by the righteous works, but sin still comes at a price and that price must be paid even as forgiveness is given by our loving and just Holy Lord.

You are always welcome to join us for our weekly Bible Study at 6:00 PM on Wednesdays at Spring Hill Baptist Church. For more info call (936-615-1427)

December 23, 2015 - St. John Missionary Baptist Church Family will be Celebrating the New Year In with “Night Watch Service” on December 31st at 9:45pm. Service will be held at St. John Baptist Church in Center, 2308 CR 2050, with Rev. Winston Kibbles Sr., Pastor.

Special guests are Rev. Alvin Davis and Open Door Baptist Church of Center, TX and Rev. Jeremy Moore and Friendship Baptist Church of Bobo, TX.

We are asking All that can, please come and join us as we celebrate the old and bring in the New Year worshipping, praising, and giving thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

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