May 13, 2019 - “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you...” James 4:8

The combination of sandy roads, spring branches and a plentiful food supply has made Center, Texas’ Sand Hill Community an ideal nesting place for exotic birds from Mexico and Central America. Located about six miles south of Center, Texas, it remains one of the most beautiful parts of Shelby County Texas. My Dad explored these sandy roads when he was a youngster and took all ten of us there many times as we were growing up. Instead of vacations to The Grand Canyon or Yellowstone, we made ours to The Sand Hills…to Big Ditch and Gunnel’s Cave… which were only a short drive from of our house in Center.  After becoming adults, we all made frequent trips home to see Mother and to re-explore the Sand Hill roads with her.
 

Back in the 70’s I asked my sister Jeri in Texarkana to meet me at Mother’s and spend a day in the Sand Hills with her. We left her house early one August morning and after a drive through the Snow Hill, Short and Jericho communities, we wound up taking pictures and picking Sand Hill grapes along a sandy road near Gunnel’s Cave. 

Suddenly, I spotted a handsome lizard basking in the sun about fifteen feet off the road. As I complained to Mother about the lizard being too far away to photograph, Sis quietly touched my shoulder and whispered, “Let me talk to the lizard.” I nervously looked all around to see if anyone was watching us. Then as we walked toward him, she began: “Don’t be afraid.” “We won’t hurt you.” “Hen Doug just wants to take your picture.” After telling the lizard how pretty he was, we got close enough to see his eyes twinkle and after getting several close-ups, we backed away leaving him undisturbed.

As we were discussing my sister’s “way with lizards” on the way home, Mother said, “You know, God lets us come close and talk to Him, too.” “I know, Mother,” I replied. “And not only do we talk to Him.” “Through prayer and His Word…..

“He talks to us, too.”

May 11, 2019 - Campti Methodist Church Homecoming Sunday May 19, 2019. Business meeting 11:30. Dinner at 12-noon. For information call 936-598-8250

May 9, 2019 - Come and join friends and family as they celebrate Homecoming on Sunday, June 9, 2019 at First Assembly of God in Timpson, Texas. Service starts at 10am.

Come hear an anointed message from Rev. Sidney Brandon as well as having God inspired praise and worship and special singing. Afterwards, there will be a time of fellowship and food.

The church is located at 652 Houston Street, Timpson, Texas 75975.

May 9, 2019 - When a man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost, he reduced altitude and spotted a man below. He descended a bit more and shouted, "Excuse me sir? Can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man below replied, "You are in a hot air balloon, hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You are between 40 and 41 degrees north and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude."

"You are obviously a technical person," said the balloonist. "I am," replied the man. "But how did you know?" "Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I am still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me at all."

The man below responded, "You must be a politician." "I am," replied the balloonist, "but how did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are, or where you are going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise which you have no idea how to keep. And you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is, you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it's my fault."

Well, we all tend to judge others more harshly than we do ourselves or our families for doing similar things. Paul addresses this in Romans Chapter 2. The Jews in Rome were judging the roman Christians for things that they thought were inappropriate, when they were guilty of the same sins. We are going to look at some things Paul points out about judging others. 
 
Remember that when you point a finger at someone else there are four more fingers pointing back at you. Paul says that "we are without excuse," for the things we judge others for are the things we do ourselves. Romans 3:23 says "For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," There is no one who can stand in judgement of someone else. We need to stop judging people by our standards and what the world says is right. The only example worthy of comparison is Jesus.

When you judge others it brings the judgement of God onto you. And by the standard that you judge others you will be held accountable. Luke 6:37-38 says, "Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” There is the law of reciprocity at work. "You always reap what you sow, and you always reap more than you sow."

God does not show partiality. If you sin or if you don't you will be judged by God. If you practice righteousness you will be blessed by God. It does not matter what church you go to, if your daddy was the head deacon or your mother was the matriarch of the church. God sees you for who you are and he judges you by your heart without partiality.

What is important in the end is that we don't judge, fear God, and embrace Gods grace not only for ourselves but for others. We must remember that Gods grace extends to everyone without partiality as well. 

Mother Theresa wrote the poem, 'Anyway,' to chronicle how that love might change our lives. I leave it with you today to reflect and to pray:

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

I'm Just Sayin,
Mike Belgard

May 9, 2019 - When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, the world was not prepared for His birth. There was no room in the inn for Joseph and Mary so Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger where the livestock were fed. This is a story that always makes us just a bit sad. Yet, there are things worse than a “No Vacancy” sign at the local Inn.

You see, much worse than a crowded Inn is a heart that has no room for Jesus. A heart that contains evil thoughts. A heart with hatred, jealousy and envy. A heart filled with unforgiveness. When these things are present in our hearts, there is no room for Jesus.

The result of a heart too crowded for Jesus is an empty heart. When the unclean spirit went out of a heart in Matthew 12, nothing was placed there to take its place. It returned and found the heart empty, swept and garnished (Matthew 12:44). With the aid of seven more wicked spirits he enters and we read the last state was worse than the first (Matthew 12:45).

We should not allow our hearts to be too crowded for Jesus nor should our hearts remain empty. In the words of that old song, “Let Jesus Come Into Your Heart” and keep his blood upon the door posts of your soul. Invite Jesus in, make room for Him, live His kind of life, live it His way and someday make your home with Him in Heaven. Blessed thought and happy day!

It’s something to think about… tbp

Join us for worship this coming Lord’s day at the Center Church of Christ, 110 Hurst Street, Center, Texas.

May 8, 2019 - Lone Cedar Missionary Baptist Church will be holding their annual Homecoming Celebration on Sunday, May 12th at 10:30am. There will be special music, cemetery report and offering, and a pot luck lunch to follow. 

Family and friends of the community are welcome to come and share a memory and enjoy the fellowship.

May 8, 2019 - Guess what everybody! We know you're running around getting ready for graduation and summer vacation and we pray that you will be abundantly blessed in it all. Also we at Messiah Baptist Church Timpson would like to invite you to take a break with us May 15-19th as we celebrate Christ in Revival with different visiting ministers on each date! We are so excited and ready for the Lord to refresh us through His word and His music!  Watch for more details! (Parking is behind the Church) 

Wednesday, May 15th 7pm - Sermon by Bro. Ottis Jarrel Of Hallsville
Thursday, May 16th 7pm - Sermon by Bro Jeremiah Moss Of Nacogdoches
Friday, May 17th 7pm - Sermon by Bro Grant Hanes Of Nacogdoches
Saturday, May 18th 7pm - To Be Announced
Sunday, May 19, 11am - Sermon by Our Own Bro David Lawhorn of Timpson
All Music by Wayne Wimberly of Carthage

May 8, 2019 - The Pastor and Members of Carroll Chapel CME Church in Shelbyville would like to invite you to our Annual Building Fund Program Sunday, May 19 at 3pm. Our Guest Speaker will be Rev. Bobby Russell, Pastor of Rocky Hill Baptist Church in Huntington, TX. Everyone is invited.

May 7, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the Third Sunday of Easter. Easter is not to be a one-day remembrance and celebration but a way of life, and the time from Easter to Pentecost is often referred to as Eastertide. The first Sunday in May was beautiful after days of rain and storms. Since it was the first Sunday of the month, we celebrated Holy Communion. Also, during this month we will be collecting cans of fruit for Community Christian Services.

Our Sunday school lesson was about God’s grace: The scripture for the lesson was Romans 3: 21-31. The Letter to the Romans is probably the most important of all the New Testament letters to Protestants. Luther certainly saw it as crucial, and Wesley had his “heart strangely warmed” during a study of this letter. Fannie had us really thinking and dealing with questions that don’t seem to have pat answers. I guess that is when faith becomes even more important. 

I used Psalm 30 as the scripture for my sermon. The Psalms are the Jewish hymnbook, and this psalm was a hymn of thanksgiving. The writer expresses gratitude to God for saving him from death as well as from those who wanted to do him harm. He goes on to say, “Weeping may stay all night, but by morning, joy.”

Our monthly Focused Care program has been changed to the first Monday at 10AM, so that is where we were today. We had a lively bunch, both presenters and residents. Hilda had a long trip to Lumberton and back on Sunday, but on Monday she was playing piano with gusto. I emceed, choosing songs we all knew (and could therefore belt out joyfully). Pastor Matt did a devotional on a post-Easter sighting of Jesus and also spread his personal good news: He has been appointed to Beaumont’s Wesley United Methodist Church, and his wife Ami has a school job in deaf education, her field. We’ll certainly miss them but wish them good journey. Sue read The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash, and Nora sang her book, Grandma’s Feather Bed. Fannie shared some wisdom sayings and placed replicas on the tables for the residents. Jo, her voice getting stronger all the time, joined us, as well as Teresa, in her first of—we hope—many programs with us. Morris, as he has been doing, assisted the church group with the congregational singing. 

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 9:30 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.

May 7, 2019 - The world today is filled with those will do not believe in the Lord God as the Creator and Ruler of all things.

For today all are told that one can be his own god, that all one must do is to serve his own will and desires, that there is no God that must be served and obeyed. 

These same people, these liars and false prophets, tell all that if they have a like, a desire, then to follow it and enjoy it for we are our own gods.

Let me tell you, through the words of the apostle Paul what God’s Word says about unrighteousness, which is what we have been talking about, the acts of being unrighteous which the dictionary says is; “not righteous, sinful and wicked.”

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” (Romans 1:18) 

This one verse from God’s Word is describing those liars and false prophets who preach and teach a perverted gospel and not the gospel of our Lord. God’s wrath will fall upon them when God decides the time is right for there is no excuse under heaven for their lies and deceptions against their fellow man.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19-20) 

What Paul is saying is that as we live in this world we are surrounded by God’s creations, from the earth and the heavens to all the creatures upon the earth. 

For all that we see has been created by God and in his creations we see his supreme power and majesty displayed so that all can see.

Who we are and what we have are all the works of our God, for without him we are nothing, we do not exist without him. He blew the breath of life into every one of us, our very being is dependent upon him.

Herein lies the problem for so many in the world today, deceived by those who spread falsehoods, those who would deny that God created the universe and all things in it, those who would claim some random-big-bang beginning to the world instead of the acts of our Creator. 

God’s Word says this about all who would deny him and his works of creation.

For although they knew God, (for all can see his handiworks around them) they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” (Romans 1:21-25) 

And so I ask you today. Whom shall you believe? Whom shall you follow, the Creator of all things or one of his creatures? 

The choice is yours to make, for all must choose, for from birth we are following the wrong choice and must change or we will remain lost forever.
 
For Jesus says to all; “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) 

Choose wisely my friends, choose wisely, choose life with Christ Jesus today…

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