September 5, 2019 - One of the things there is too little of in our world today is praise. People have become so filled with critical ideas and harsh words that a little genuine praise and appreciation is often mistaken for flattery. Yet, every heart years for appreciation. All of us want to know that our efforts, however small they might be, are appreciated and noticed.

The Apostle Paul was noted for his compliments, whenever praise was due. Once he wrote to the Thessalonians and said, “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labor of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thessalonians 1:2-3) Neither Paul nor the church would have been better off had he withheld his words o praise and commendation.

Our world is filled with wickedness, it is true. But there is also much goodness, patience, sacrifice, loyal work and kindness that needs to receive credit. Solomon said, “Take away the dross from the silver, and there cometh forth a vessel for the refiner.” (Proverbs 25:4)

Look for something to praise in someone you meet this week. If you are sincere in your praise, you will lift a person’s courage and determination every time you open your lips. Remember that someone’s circumstances of life may be molded by your words today.

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 or online at www.centerchurchofchrist.com.

September 4, 2019 - The Open Door Church will be hosting a Men and Women Day Program on Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 3pm. Special Guest will be the Pastor Marlin Cloudy and the Abundant Love  Ministries. Open Door Church invites you to come out and worship with us. Open Door Worship Center is located at 900 Cotton Ford Road, Center, Texas 75935.

September 4, 2019 - The annual Folsom Cemetery Reunion will be the third Sunday in September, September 15th on the grounds beside the cemetery beginning at noon. Friends and family are asked to bring their lunch to share and contributions to the Folsom Cemetery Perpetual Fund. Funds can be mailed to 3471 FM 2026 Center, Texas 75935. It is requested that no glass vases or ornaments be used for decorations.

Danny Paul Windham, Secretary/ Treasurer

September 3, 2019 - Smyrna Baptist Church in Huxley invites you to come receive a blessing at "The Porch" Monday, September 9, at 7pm, refreshments served at 6:30pm.

Speaker and Evangelist Steve Paysen will be leading our worship service, and leading the worship music will be Paul, Brittany, Abigail and Hannah Grace.

Smyrna Baptist Church invited you to come praise and worship the Lord with them!

September 3, 2019 - The Pastor and members of Bright Morning Star would like to invite everyone to the Annual Usher's Day program, Sunday September 8th at 3 p.m. Guests will be Pastor Mario Osby and the Smith Chapel Baptist Church of Timpson, Texas.

September 3, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother, Jesus. Happy Labor Day! Not much going on in downtown Joaquin—not that much ever happens.  It is just plain hot outside. Labor Day used to signal the end of summer and the beginning of school. But kids in Joaquin have been back to work for a couple of weeks—and we’re expecting triple digits this week. Once again, Texas is dealing with a mass shooting.  We are left to wonder what can be done to stop the carnage.  The folks along the east coast are dealing with their own potential tragedy as Mother Nature has created quite a powerful hurricane. 

At Sunday school we started a new quarter with new books that are smaller and lessons with a different format. But that didn’t stop us: We had a good class about the creation stories in Genesis that tied into the message for this Sunday in Ordinary Time. At church we celebrated Holy Communion as we do each first Sunday of the month. My sermon came from Luke 14, where we find Rabbi Jesus invited to a Pharisee’s home for Sabbath dinner. Jesus uses the situation to explain how it will be in the Kingdom of God. We certainly hear how important humility is in the Kingdom and that everyone—even people we marginalize—are more than welcome to join him.

Paxton Methodist got the nicest letter from Heaven Umbrell, who is finishing up her work on her Master’s Degree (with a 4.0). During the month of September we will collect macaroni and cheese for Community Christian Services.  Last week I caught them busy on a Wednesday and delivered our August donations. Our Charge Conference is coming up in October; I need to get the reports done so we can have everything ready. 

Labor Day turned out to be our regular date for the program at Focused Care in Center. I was under the weather, so my wife Sue took over the emcee duties, leading the group in songs from Heavenly Highways and sharing anecdotes. Mrs. Hilda was lively as ever on the piano—and visited nursing home folks before and after the program. Mrs. Margie visited them also but saved time to join in with our singing. Pastor Sarah shared a sweet story about her own dog and a stray that seemed to have adopted them, linking it to a passage in Revelation. Sallie lent her sweet, clear voice to “I Come to the Garden Alone.” Sue presented Yertle the Turtle, her mother’s favorite of the Dr. Seuss classics.

Our worship time is 10:00 AM; we would love to have you come to worship with us. I know how very busy everyone is: Our early meeting time enables you to move on to family get-togethers or jobs afterward. Not to mention naps, which my wife says are best on Sunday afternoon.  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.

September 2, 2019 - The question of godly works -

Jesus tells us that we are to be the light of the world, and he explains that people do not light a lamp in their house and then put a cover over it. No, they set it on a stand so all in the room can see by its light. And then he says of us,

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:18) 

And James, the brother of Jesus, said this about good works,

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?” (James 2:14)

And in an even more profound statement James says this about faith and works,

“For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” (James 2:26) 

This sounds like a pretty strong argument that to be complete in Christ that we must do many works for him. But what would these works be, how would we do them, how do we know what works we are to be doing for the Lord?

We all know the story of how Jesus fed the 5000 people with only a small boy’s lunch of fish and bread. 

How he prayed and broke the fish and bread and the disciples passed it out to the people and when all had eaten their fill, there was twelve baskets of leftovers, all from five barley loaves and two fish. 

Maybe we don’t all know the rest of that story though. 

The next day the people searched for Jesus until they found him, as they were looking for more food, but Jesus told them, you are seeking me because you ate your fill of the loaves. 

And then he told them this, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life.” (John 6:27) 

And then the people asked of him, “What must we do to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (John 6:28-29) 

And then Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:40)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.” (John 6:47-48) 

The good works that we are to do for the Lord is simply to show by our lives lived in him; the goodness, the love, the grace and the mercy shown by him to everyone, even those who nailed him to the cross.

A young man once asked the great preacher, Billy Sunday, “What must I do to be saved.” Billy Sunday answered him, “Son, there is nothing that you can do to be saved!” The young man then pleaded with him for a way to salvation and Billy told him again, “Son, there is nothing you can do to be saved! Jesus has already done it all!”

And that is the gospel truth of faith and works, we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, shed for all on the cross of Calvary and the works we must do are to believe in him and to shine the light of the gospel through our lives lived for him. 

Believe in him that he is God, repent of your sinful ways, and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and you will be saved… May his blessings be upon you this day and forever. 

August 30, 2019 - There are those people who believe that something they have done in their lives would forever prevent them from being saved, from being accepted as his own by the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is not what the Bible teaches and for all who have this feeling, “I have been too bad for Jesus to ever love me, there is just no use for me to even ask him to forgive me for I am lost forever.” 

Let me tell you about a man whom I assure you was much worse that you, a man who lived to persecute and execute Christians every day.

This man was known as Saul of Tarsus, he was a son of a Pharisee and was raised in strict orthodox Judaism. When he was thirteen he was sent to Jerusalem and completed his studies under the famous Gamaliel.

Saul was the most fanatical of the Jewish scholars and became the natural leader of the persecutions of the Christians, the followers of the man Jesus Christ.

Saul even presided over the stoning of Stephen. He was convinced that Christians were heretics and that the honor of the Lord demanded their extermination, and he was dedicated and vigorous in this mission.

On the last of his missions to exterminate those who followed the man, Jesus Christ, as Saul and the men who were traveling with him to Damascus were stopped by a brilliant light coming down from heaven. 

Blinded by the intensity of this light Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, “Why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” (Acts 9:4-5) 

Here we have the foremost persecutor of the followers of Christ being stopped in his tracks on the road to Damascus on another of his missions to arrest and imprison Christians, by the leader of those Christians, the man known as Jesus, the Lord we know as Jesus Christ. And then Jesus our Lord tells Saul what he is to do next.

“But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” (Acts 9:6) 

For three days Saul sat in Damascus, unable to see as he waited for word from the Lord. Saul then saw a vision of a man called Ananias that would come and lay his hands on him that he might see again.

As Jesus called on Ananias to go to Saul, he resists saying to the Lord, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” (Acts 9:13-14) 

Ananias knew very well of Saul and he certainly did not want to go to him for the Lord, but Jesus assured him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.” (Acts 9:15) 

And so the Lord changed his name to Paul and he became the greatest of the apostles bringing the gospel to all who would listen.

Paul established the seven churches in Asia Minor, converted thousands of Gentiles to Christianity, proclaimed the gospel, even to the Romans and wrote thirteen books of the New Testament.

And so now I ask you, “Is anything you have done so bad, so evil as to compare to Saul of Tarsus?” 

Don’t you think that if God could use a man so vile as Saul, making him into the apostle Paul, that he can also use you? Do you really think that you are “Too Bad” for Jesus to accept?

Call upon him and he will accept you today and save you from the penalties of your sin forever. May his blessings be upon you forevermore…

August 29, 2019 - Spann Reunion will be held on Saturday, August 31 2019 at Spann Chapel Missionary Church.

Bring your favorite covered dish, your old pictures, and family stories. We will be there around 10:00am.

August 28, 2019 - Believe it or not, there have been times I have been accused of being too “narrow-minded” when it comes to spiritual matters. Yet, Jesus said in Matthew 7:14, “Strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it.” There are actually other areas of life where you find narrow-mindedness.

There is no room for being broadminded in the chemical laboratory. Water is composed of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. The slightest deviation from this formula means you don’t have water.

There is no broadmindedness in the garage. The mechanic says the piston rings must fit the cylinder walls within one thousandth of an inch if the motor is to run smoothly, there cannot be any variation.

Broadmindedness cannot exist on the athletic field. The game is played according to the rules and there are no favors shown for “charity’s sake”.

Why then do folks expect broadmindedness in the realm of religion and the plan of salvation? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the father but by me” (John 14:6) Jesus Christ expects us to follow His plan and live His kind of life if we want to go to heaven. Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ” (Romans 1:16). Well, neither am I.

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 or online at www.centerchurchofchrist.com

Pages