June 2, 2022 - The writer of Hebrews in Hebrews 8:10 quotes a passage from the 31st chapter of Jeremiah where he writes, “I will put my laws into their mind and write them in their hearts”. God is telling us there will come a time when his laws, his precepts, his commandments will not be written on tablets of stone, but it will be a law written in the heart.

God is telling us that the spirit of His laws, the spirit of living His kind of life will take hold of our hearts. It won’t be a legalistic kind of obedience but an obedience of love because we love God. There is a place in Matthew 15:8 where Jesus quotes Isaiah when he says, “this people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” We surely don’t want that to be said of us.

Is there an application in this for those of us living in this present day and age? Why do we obey God’s commandments? Why do we live God’s kind of life? Do we live God’s kind of life out of a fear of going to hell? Do we live God’s kind of life because that is “what we are supposed to do”? Or, are we living God’s kind of life out of our love for God. Are we living God’s kind of life because of the love God showed for us in sending Jesus and we want to return that love.?

Where is God’s law written for us, for you and me today? Is God’s law written on our heart so that we live for God because we love Him? It should be.

It’s something to think about. . . tbp

Join Us for Worship this coming Lord’s Day at Center Church of Christ or online at www.centerchurchofchrist.com

June 1, 2022 - Patroon Baptist Church is hosting a blood drive on Sunday, June 12, 2022. The donor coach will be on site from 9am until 1:30pm. **Free beach towel for donors!** Contact Sandy Jenkins at 936-275-3644 or go online at commitforlife.org.

May 31, 2022 - The Joaquin Community Cemetery Homecoming will be held on Saturday, June 11 beginning at 10:30 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Joaquin. We will have a pot luck lunch to follow in Fellowship Hall. Our speaker, Cynthia Webster, will give us a talk and slide show about the early merchants of Joaquin, including the theater. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

May 31, 2022 - Good Morning! It’s Tuesday, May 31.

On May 31, 2010. Chris Haney passed away. Don’t know who that is? No reason you should. But you know his creation. In December, 1979, Chris was a young journalist in Canada. He and a friend decided to play a game of Scrabble, but discovered that some of the letter tiles were missing. So, instead, they created their own game. They called it Trivial Pursuit. It became the “hot” game of the ‘80’s and, to date, has sold over 100 million sets for over a billion dollars. Not trivial at all.

My mom also passed away in 2010. She loved Bible trivia. She had half a dozen games in her collection. I inherited a couple of them. And she had a small library of Bible trivia books. She used them to create her own games, that she used at church fellowships.

The Bible, of course, is much more than just a series of facts, more than a collection of information. God instructs us in James 1:22 to be "doers of the Word and not hearers only." But how can we "do" the Word unless we first learn the Word, study the Word, know the Word.

Psalm 19:7-8. The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

Not trivial at all!

Meet you back here tomorrow,
Bro. David

“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
May 31, 2022 - In 1949, Daddy moved our family of eight children to a house on the Shelbyville Hill. It was a good year for me: I had been converted in a tent revival that year and George Smith had given me a job taking up tickets at The Rio Theater in Center. I was able to hitch-hike to work every Saturday and hitch-hiked back home around midnight. I would be dropped off on the hilltop where the old cotton gin used to be and walked the 100 yard walk to the house in total darkness. I could see neither the road nor the dark ditches on each side.

So I prayed all the way home… that God would hold my hand and keep me from falling in the ditches. I was learning that praying in dark times was a lot easier than praying when the sun was shining. And who would believe that in 1990… fifty years later… we moved back… not just to East Texas… but to Shelbyville’s First Baptist Church. And the sanctuary sets precisely at the mouth of that dark road I walked years ago. I’m an old feller now and God still holds my hand and guides my feet…

… and I’m still praying on my way home.

May 31, 2022 - Sunday was the last Sunday of the Easter Season. What many see as the birth of the Christian Church, Pentecost, comes next Sunday. Shortly we enter into Ordinary Time, which most people would vote for—just regular, everyday time. But our world was shattered once again by gun violence. This week it happened at an elementary school right here in our beloved Texas. Twenty-one people, nineteen of the them children, were gunned down in their classrooms by an 18-year-old armed with a semi-automatic weapon. There are no thoughts or prayers that can help grieving parents, siblings, and grandparents at this time. We recoil at the idea that our children are not safe when we send them to school. The week before was a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. And before that, a church shooting. What will we do about this madness? Perhaps our leaders will heed the overwhelming call from Americans, put aside their differences, and work together to help heal our country.

Monday is Memorial Day, when our nation unites to remember the men and women who have defended our country, paying with their lives. It is also a good time to remember our active service people and our veterans—all of whom have made sacrifices. In addition, Memorial Day is seen as the unofficial beginning of summer. Students and teachers across Shelby County are out of school until August. We at Paxton hope the young folks, teachers, and school personnel have a good summer—a time to rest and recharge.

As this was the last Sunday of May, we gathered up the offerings of canned fruit for Community Christian Services. In June, we will donate paper towels and toilet paper.
The original collection schedule did not purposely choose for this reason, but it is nice that we usually have one month of heavy items (like cans of fruit) followed by a month of lighter ones (like next month’s paper products). Makes it easier on the “toters.”

We completed another quarter of study and got new Sunday School literature for Summer 2022. Our final lesson was titled “Acts of Generosity.” The reading came from 2 Corinthians: 8-9. Paul is reminding the church in Corinth of its promise of a large donation to the church fathers back in Jerusalem. Paul has good advice on how one should give. Fannie had a really good lesson prepared, and we agreed about the need of generous hearts...but also the difficulty in dealing with people who are not straightforward about their need. There are no easy answers.

We added to our church’s prayers the Family of Frances Fallin as well as the victims of the gun violence in Uvalde. I read a prayer for Memorial Day from the Methodist Book of Worship. I accidentally turned too many pages and was reading a prayer for Independence Day, discovered my mistake, and turned back a page. The Paxton folks will hear the other prayer in July. We sang “America” and “America the Beautiful” to keep in the spirit of Memorial Day. Our bulletin had two quotes this week. From Vince Lombardi: “We will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence.” He might have been referring to football, but this idea certainly carries over into life in general. The other, in a list of Memorial Day quotes, was from former president Clinton: “There is nothing wrong with America that can’t be cured with what is right in America.” Also inspiring.

My sermon mentioned that Christians of an earlier time would have come to church this week to remember the Ascension of Jesus. This Sunday, the Gospel lesson again came from John, detailing Jesus’ final prayer for his friends and other followers of his teachings. My sermons for the two previous weeks were also based on John telling of Jesus’ final talk with his disciples. Jesus said that it was compassion—love—that would mark them as his followers. He also told them that the Holy Spirit—The Friend or The Companion—would be with them in their life’s journey. Today we finished with Jesus final prayer.

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, and Open Minds.” 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 your email address to the Paxton email address, and I will add you to the list. God’s Speed.

May 27, 2022 - Lone Cedar Missionary Baptist Church and Pastor Martin Ferguson invite the community to attend our Revival at 2068 FM 3082, Joaquin, Texas. Services begin at 7 p.m., Monday, May 30th thru Friday, June 3rd. Dr. Neal Clark will be our Evangelist, Bro. Jay Pollan will lead our music and Dr. Travis Worsham will be our pianist. Specials are welcome. Come join the worship of our Lord and Savior each night.

May 27, 2022 - Join us for Jerusalem Marketplace VBS at Old Home Baptist Church June 6th - 9th from 6:00 - 8:00 PM nightly. Come explore the Marketplace where Jesus walked. You will see how the people lived and worked in Jerusalem as you explore the different stations. Hope to see you there! For more info, call 936-254-4872 or 936-248-2821

May 26, 2022 - This week we have witnessed another example of man’s inhumanity to man.  The tragic school shooting in Uvalde which took so many innocent lives breaks our hearts. We sympathize with those parents and grandparents who have lost their children in such a horrific manner.  Our hearts ache and our eyes become misty with tears as we consider what it might be like if we were in their shoes. As we pray and ask the God of Heaven to give them strength, courage and comfort, we also express our gratitude that our own dear little ones are safe, at least for now.

Yet, there is another example of man’s inhumanity to man being put on full display in the wake of this tragedy. Parents have not even had an opportunity to make funeral arrangements for their children and the usual suspects are attempting to use this tragedy and use these children and their families to their political advantage.

It matters not what side of the political debate you might be on when it comes to guns and gun control, people need to let these families have some time to grieve and mourn before politicians, activists, celebrities and pundits use this tragedy to promote a political agenda.

“Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them” (Matthew 7:12) If you had lost your child or grandchild, would you want an opportunity to grieve before someone exploited the death of your child or grandchild for political gain?

It’s something to think about. . . tbp

Join Us for Worship this coming Lord’s Day
Center Church of Christ

May 26, 2022 - Ramah Cemetery will hold our annual meeting at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 4, 2022 at the Ramah Baptist Church in Tenaha, TX.  The church gym will be open and families are welcome to bring a covered dish lunch to celebrate and honor our loved ones.