“Listen to me and eat what is good....” Isaiah 55:2

Doug FincherJanuary 11, 2016 - When I was growing up in the 40’s, many poor folks in my hometown of Center, Texas depended on wild game for food. There were so many people hunting that deer and squirrels were hard to find. When someone killed a deer, they’d tie it across their car’s hood and parade it around the Center square. The rabbits we brought to mother tasted a lot like chicken after she her pressure cooked and batter-fried them. We also ate a few raccoons and tried possum…. once.

There was always plenty of “greens” in the neighborhood gardens. Our neighbors often shouted to us, “you kids come over and pick a ‘mess of greens’ when you get home from school”. We ate turnip greens, mustard greens …and in the winter…collards. I got hooked on the broth left in the pot ….we called it “Pot Liquor”. Pot liquor with cornbread and a glass of my Grandmother’s freshly churned buttermilk was as good as it got. My brother Joe says the very thought of pot liquor and cornbread still puts him in a coma.

Our neighbors Ottis and Tommie Melton bring us greens every year from their farm on Palo Gaucho Creek near Hemphill, Texas. When Otis walked up with a sack of Mustard greens yesterday, the greens’ fresh aroma reached the porch before he did. After supper Pam saved some pot liquor for my cornbread the next day. (I was a grown man before I learned that “pot liquor” is not spelled “pot licker” that it’s full of vitamins and makes good soups and gravies.)

When Mother asked me to never drink liquor, I promised her I never would. I’m an old feller now and haven’t broken my promise. I’ve never tasted a drop of wine, beer or any other intoxicant.

But I have imbibed many, many bowls of pot liquor during my lifetime and have enjoyed every drop of it. And the future remains bright for all of us pot liquor lovers. Since it tastes good, is cheap to make and won’t get me drunk, not only will it always be my favorite liquor.

It’ll also be my only liquor.

January 18, 2016 - Saving a Generation Ministry presents Apostle James Bolton of the Bolton Brothers on this, Thursday, January 21, 2016, 7:30pm at Pineywoods Outreach Center 255 Haley Ave. join us for an evening of Praise and Worship!

Rev. Clark & Sis. Charlotte BynumJanuary 8, 2016 - First Pentecostal Church of Joaquin invites everyone to come and help welcome our new pastor and his wife, Rev. Clark and Sis. Charlotte Bynum to Joaquin, Tx and Shelby County. An installation service will be held Sunday, January 17, 2016 at 6pm with Cornerstone UPC from Lufkin, Texas ministering in praise and worship.

They are both natives of the Pollok area about 5 miles North of Lufkin, on Highway 69 North. Rev. Bynum graduated from Central in 1983, and Sis. Charlotte graduated from Central in 1986. They have two children: Carli Joy Moore, Carson James Bynum and one grandson Cooper. Carli is married to Kade Moore, the son of Brother and Sister Phillip Moore who Pastors at Cornerstone UPC, in Lufkin, Tx.

Bro. and Sis. Bynum both have been very active in all facets of Sunday School for all ages. They have been involved in Music Ministry together since Rev. Clark received the Holy Ghost in July 1986. She was the piano player in the local church they attended. Rev. Bynum has held Local License with the United Pentecostal Church since 1991. Together they have been very active in Sunday School teaching, Singing, and Preaching in many churches around East Texas.

Rev. Bynum holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from SFA, and a Master of Education from SFA. He has been in the public school system for 21 years. He was a classroom teacher for 10 years, and has been a campus principal for 11 years. Sis. Charlotte holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting Degree from SFA, and a Master of Science in School Business from Texas A & M Commerce. She has been in corporate accounting, and public school accounting.

We are so excited about what God is doing for our church. We have a new Sunday School department that is awesome and would like to invite you to come and worship with us.
We are blessed and honor to have Rev. Philip Moore and His wife Sis. Tina Moore from Cornerstone UPC, Lufkin, TX helping to welcome Rev. and Sis. Bynum to Joaquin, Tx. And Shelby County. Rev. Philip Moore will be preaching and Sis. Tina Moore will be leading the Praise and Worship Team. You do not want to miss this you will truly be blessed.

If any should not work, neither should he eat…” - I Thes. 3:10

Doug FincherJanuary 4, 2016 - Spot, a Painted Bunting that I’ve photographed the past three years, has a new family in the sand hills near Center, Texas. Today all three fledglings flew into the grass where their parents often feed. They are fully feathered and except for their lack of color and yellow at the corner of their mouths, they look like adults. After their crash landing, they began frantically fluttering their wings to get fed.

But instead of feeding them, Spot angrily fussed and chased them away. These determined little birds not only tried to get food from Spot, but from every other adult that flew into their feeding area. All the adults wisely ignored their begging like Spot did.

Although our country has a large number of people who can’t feed themselves, we also have a lot of folk who could but won’t ….and unless we stop serving them, they never will.

Even the birds know that.

January 4, 2015 - Sunday was Epiphany Sunday. Happy New Year wishes to everyone.  I really don’t know what happen to 2015 it went by far too quick!  In fact every year since 1999 seems to just fly by.  Today is the Sunday that we remember the wise men who came to Bethlehem to see the new king.  To find this story we must read from the Matthew Gospel as it is the only one that mentions wise men.  Tradition says there were three wise men but actually Matthew doesn’t tell us.  I guess it could be thirty.  The light draws them to Jesus and the dawning of a new age—the Kingdom that will be central to Jesus’ teachings some thirty years later.

Joy and Gene’s kids, their spouses and grandson Austin were up from Houston to celebrate the New Year.  It is always great to see them.  Austin spoke the Lord’s Prayer perfectly and so clearly—pretty impressive.  We don’t often have school age kids but I looked and found a red bucket with a bulletin to color, colors, a little game, and a puzzle book.  Fannie had a good lesson taken from Genesis.  So many things from these old texts confuse and bother us modern folks.  But you can always pull from the words a valuable spiritual lesson.  Joe and Hilda brought us our music this morning and we sang two Fannie Crosby songs.   

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.

In fine Methodist fashion, pastors have been working on and putting together “end of year” reports.  No matter how big or small, Methodist churches answer pages and pages of questions.  I had really good help from Gene who keeps the church’s financial records.  Not too many years ago, all pastors went to the District Office on “Report Day” and the records were audited.  Today, all that information is done with computers.

“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!

Randall Smith, Pastor

December 31, 2015 - Pastor Marlin Cloudy Sr., lead Abundant Love Ministries and members of the community, on a Prayer Walk, on Christmas morning. The walk began with singing and prayers at the site of the building, and former night club, known as the "Drippet." Pastor Marlin had a brother who lost his life on these grounds over 30 years ago.

The walk stopped at the building, known in the community as Buckleys, and at the "four way," with prayers in both stops. The group turned and ended the walk back at the Drippet, with congregational hymns being sang and ending with testimonials and a Prayer.

The message in the Prayer Walk was "Where one life was lost, many will be gained."

Abundant Love Ministries is located at 1246 Shelbyville Street, Center,TX. Sunday services begin at 12pm, with Sunday School at 10:30am. Bible Study is on Wednesdays at 7pm. You are always invited and welcome.

December 30, 2015 - Shelbyville United Methodist Church is beginning it's 191st year of ministry in Shelby County. You are invited to join us as we begin this new year with an exciting look at the history of ministry through this church and how/where God is still working through us today.

Sunday Worship:
9:00am Short United Methodist Church
11:00am Shelbyville United Methodist Church (also live streamed)

“Gifts, Strengths, & Mission: God Working Through Us"
NEW worship series January 3—February 7, 2016

How is God gifting us and working through us to make real change in the world? What are your God-given strengths, gifts, and passions for missions? This 6 week series will help us discern how God is working in and through our lives. We are invited to dream about God’s vision for our lives, our church and our community.

  Jan 3: “Who You Are”
  Jan 10: “Discover Your Gifts, Strengths, Talents”
  Jan 17: “Vision the Mission”
  Jan 24: “Understanding Gifts & Strengths”
  Jan 31: “Living into Gifts”
  Feb 7: “The Mission”

In Christ,
Rev. Ryan Stratton
Shelbyville & Short UMCs

December 30, 2015 - Pastor Marlin Cloudy and Abundant Love Ministries will host “Watch Night” services, Thursday, December 31st, beginning at 10’oclock pm. You are both welcome and invited.

Regular Wednesday night service for this week is cancelled.

December 30, 2015 - House of Refuge Apostolic Ministries at 215 Church St. will hold a Watch Night Service at 10:00 on Thursday, December 31st. The Watch Night Service will be held by Apostle W. E. Nash Jr. Pastor. Everyone is invited to attend, hot soup will be served.

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.