August 12, 2021 - There is an interesting incident in the life of Jesus recorded in Mark chapter 14. Jesus was the guest of honor in the house of Simon the leper. While having dinner, a woman came with a box of precious ointment and broke the box and poured the ointment on the head of Jesus.

Well, almost immediately, the “naysayers” and the “faultfinders” began to criticize this wasteful act. Mark tells us some said the ointment could have been sold and the money given to the poor. He also tells us they murmured against her. Yet, in the face of this biting criticism, Jesus commended her and told them to leave her alone because she had done what she could.

The story suggests to us that Christianity is a religion of doing things. It is not something one gets but something one does. Jesus went on to tell them that wherever the gospel would be preached, what she had done would be spoken of as a memorial to her.

From this story, we learn that each of us has a responsibility in the Lord’s Kingdom to “do what we can”. God wants us to do what we can and our responsibility is equal to our ability. The greatest need in the church is not eloquence, education or wealth. The greatest need is the spirit that will cause each person to do what they can. Are you doing your part in the service of the Lord?

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.

August 12, 2021 - Huxley Helping Hands will have a Drive-thru food pantry, Saturday, August 14, 2021, starting at 9am Hillcrest Baptist Church, Center, Texas. Must show I.D. and be in line by 9:30am to receive a box. Only one box per household.

August 9, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. The typical Texas summer weather pattern has come to our part of the world. Once again Mother Nature sent us a curve ball instead of what we usually get temperature-wise at the beginning of August. It was nice to have slightly cooler days and low humidity. But it didn’t last, and we are back in those dog days of summer. Still, no triple digits or wildfires.

Sue and I were in Dallas last weekend visiting our kids. Larry filled in for me, speaking about growing up in the suburbs but being pulled to the quieter country life of his grandparents. Both Sue and I had the same upbringing—suburbs of big cities but frequent visits to grandparents in small towns and farms. We enjoyed reading his talk, and I really appreciate Larry covering the pulpit for me.

I think the Sunday School class is getting used to our author this quarter, and beginning to appreciate the way she talks about scripture. Today’s lesson was based on Job’s suffering; she also discussed why pain befalling good people just doesn’t have a satisfactory answer. We all would like to a clear understanding, but it never really came to Job; we too will have to puzzle over the reality of suffering.

It was so great to have Carolyn back. Carolyn was at Sunday School and church last week, too, but I wasn’t. Carolyn’s daughter Lisa came and we had a lively discussion during our lesson. The church gave thumbs up to two scholarships that will go to grandchildren of two of our members. While we were going over the announcements I realized that I forgot someone’s birthday—mine! Oh, well, I don’t need reminding that I am getting older.

Sue operates the CD player; luckily, we have many hymns on CDs. We are able to play and sing the Gloria Patri and the Doxology in response to our Affirmation of Faith and our offering. Today’s hymns were “Take My Life, and Let It Be” and “Lord, I Want To Be a Christian.” These two are not so familiar to our congregation, as we are more used to old-time songs from the Cokesbury hymnal and Heavenly Highways. Singing from CDs, though, the most important feature is a song with breathing spaces—some of the instrumental accompanists seem very much in a hurry to get someplace else!

My sermon was based on John 6: 35, 41-51. In the words of today’s Gospel, Jesus told those who were hanging on his every word that he was the Bread of Life. Bread and water are still the basics in most human diets. But of course, Jesus is talking about much more than bread. And when he added that he came down from Heaven, the neighbors who knew his parents and watched Jesus grow up were not happy. But these words provided much comfort to the Jewish Jesus followers of the first century.

All during the month of July, Paxton Methodist collected cans of spaghetti and ravioli for Community Christian Services. I delivered the food and some checks to Community Christian Services last week. In August, with its school reopenings, we will focus on “Undie Sundays” to help outfit returning students. This was the original monthly collection for Christian Services at Joaquin Methodist, which later was expanded to various foods and hygiene items each month. As I write this, the Joaquin school parking lots are full to bursting (Logansport returned already). We hope teachers, staff, and students in Shelby County and Desoto Parish have a safe and productive school year.

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.

August 5, 2021 - The Bright Morning Star Baptist Church will be hosting it's annual revival three nights, beginning Monday, August 9th - 11th at 7:30 p.m. nightly. The special guest speaker will be Pastor A.L. Horton, Sr., Reed Chapel Baptist Church, San Augustine, Texas. Please come and join us each night. The church is located at 623 Martin Luther King Drive, Center Texas.

Host Pastor Anthony Jackson

August 5, 2021 - James would write for us, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow, For what is your life?  It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14)  If you want to make God laugh, really laugh, tell Him what you are going to do tomorrow.

The Bible is filled with examples of those who had great plans for tomorrow and yet, tomorrow never came.  When Felix heard Paul preach, he trembled upon hearing the word of God.  He told Paul to go his way and he would call for him at a more convenient time.  He told Paul he would wait until tomorrow and for Governor Felix, tomorrow never came.

Jesus tells us of a rich farmer who had an abundant harvest in Luke chapter 12,  He was planning to tear down his old barns and build greater barns to have a place to store all his abundance.  He had great plans for tomorrow, but God had other plans.  God called that man a fool and told him his soul was required that very night.  Tomorrow never came for that farmer.

Paul would write to the church in Corinth, “now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2)  Do not put off serving the Lord until tomorrow, but begin today, right now to serve the Lord and live His kind of life, His way.

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

August 2, 2021 - On August 8, 2021 at 11:30am, Mt. Gillion Baptist Church will be holding it’s “Second Sunday” in August Annual Homecoming Service. Speaker is Bishop Joseph Hall Jr., Pastor of Union Hill Baptist Church, Mansfield Louisiana.

Rev. Gary Suell, Sr. Pastor.

August 2, 2021 - On Sunday, August 8, at 10:15am the congregation of First Baptist Church of Center will honor area educators. On this Sunday before school starts we invite any teacher, coach, counselor, administrator, retired teachers, etc. to join us for our morning worship service which will include a time of recognition, prayer, and a special gift for each educator present. We love teachers at First Baptist Center. God bless teachers! For more info call David Mathis at 979-533-1575 or 936-598-5605.

July 29, 2021 - It is an exciting time when a toddler abandons crawling and takes those first faltering steps. Once that happens, it is not long until they are going to attempt to climb the stairs. If they have reached The talking stage, they will inform you that they will do it "all on their own." However, parents are standing nearby to see how they make out and make sure they do not fall. To be sure, that little toddler will reach the top safely if they just keep going. For them, the last step is just as easy as the first one. Trouble comes only if they begin to wonder why they are so high and they get in trouble if they turn back. It is then they will take a tumble.

Paul would write, "Forgetting those things which arre behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:13-14) As Christians pressing toward the goal, we can learn some things from a toddler. You see, our heavenly Father is standing by, ready to assist us when we stumble. We also can leer that the struggle is not greater as we climb higher, but it is easer because we have experience behind us. Then, it is dangerous to look back, we must forget what is behind.

It is a big adventure for a child to climb the stairs. It is the greatest possible adventure for us to climb the heights toward God. Are you moving closer to God day by day? If not, you 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.

July 26, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. The typical Texas summer weather pattern has come to our part of East Texas. After months of rain and more moderate temperatures, next week promises to reach almost 100! I am watering my various gardens and fruit trees every day, which takes about an hour and a half. But gardening has kept me going during the quarantine, so I have no complaints.

That is not completely true. I can always complain about something. People, we must step up and get vaccinated! Texas and most other states are seeing Covid-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths increasing at an alarming rate. We are entering a fourth wave. This spike will be be mostly among those not yet vaccinated. But there are breakthrough infections among those who have already had Covid-19 and those who are vaccinated. These are very troubling times. It is your patriotic—and Christian—duty to get your vaccination now!

Fannie had a very thought-provoking lesson prepared for us. The title of the lesson was “Love Your Neighbor. Really.” Ms. Fannie asked us what story we usually associate with being a good neighbor: The Good Samaritan, of course. But the scripture for today that Gene read was Mark 2: 1-12 about four men who lower their paralyzed friend through a hole they created in the roof. This man is not only healed but also forgiven. Of course, that sets off the legal experts who wonder who this Jesus thinks he is.

Sue operates the CD player; luckily, we have many hymns on CDs. We are able to play and sing the Gloria Patri and the Doxology in response to our Affirmation of Faith and our offering. Today’s hymns were “Shall We Gather at the River” and “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand.” Both songs have water themes, which I thought was appropriate for the Sunday we read about Jesus walking on the water.

My sermon was based on the scripture, John 6: 1-21. Today’s Gospel tells two miracle stories. The first is about Jesus feeding the multitude and the second, Jesus walking on water, telling his disciples not to fear. Each of these beloved stories should have its own Sunday, but for some reason the lectionary scholars put them together. I focused on Jesus’ caution to avoid being fearful. We are living in scary times and need to call upon Jesus, as well as our friends and families that God has given us, to calm our anxious minds.

All during the month of July, Paxton Methodist collected cans of spaghetti and ravioli for Community Christian Services. I will deliver the food and some checks to Community Christian Services. In August, with its school reopenings, we will focus on “Undie Sundays” to help outfit returning students. This was the original monthly collection for Christian Services at Joaquin Methodist, which later was expanded to various foods and hygiene items each month. It’s August, so we will be collecting kids’ underwear and socks all month long.

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.

July 26, 2021 - Back To School Bash at Mount Calvary Full Gospel Church on Saturday, August 7th at 6pm. Come enjoy activities: inflatable obstacle course, kiddie bouncy house, horse shoes, washers, dunking booth, 42 - dominoes, cake walk, and free hotdogs.

All Children must be accompanied by an adult. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the fellowship.

Mount Calvary Full Gospel Church, 5527 FM 417 East, located 2 miles off of Hwy 87 on 417 East in Shelbyville, Texas 75973.

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