October 5, 2015 - The Good Shepherd (John 10:11-18)

“I am the good shepherd: The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep.” (John 10:11) Yes, Jesus is the Good Shepherd, no, He is the Great Shepherd and He did lay down His life for His sheep, you and me. He came that we might have life and have it abundantly, everlasting life.

He was not just a “hired man”, no, He is the Lord God and He came so He could pay the debts we could not pay due to our imperfections.

Jesus stands in sharp contrast to those who are mere hired men. There are many who pretend to serve, but only for what they can get out of it and when the going gets rough they desert the sheep. Jesus loved His own until the very end of His life here on earth and He loves us still today as He stands in as our mediator.

“I am the good shepherd, I know My sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for my sheep.” (John 10:14-15) Jesus knows our nature, our needs and our names. He knows the desires and longings of our hearts and He knows our abilities. He carries us in His arms as He knows what is best for us and He supplies our needs.

We know Him, we know that we are completely dependent upon Him for our daily protection and provisions and we know His voice when He speaks to us through the scriptures.

“And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring in, and they shall hear My voice. There shall be one fold, one shepherd.” (John 10:16)

Jesus disciples were practically all Jews and many Jews were very bigoted and did not consider Gentiles to be of the same “class” as they considered themselves. Do we see that same attitude in Christians today?

“I am better than that person; he or she is a dirty, grimy sinner.” Please don’t let any one of us develop that attitude and if one of us should, please let someone correct that attitude in love. I am sure that Jesus knew the hearts of all of His disciples and knew He had to correct that bigoted attitude in all of them to start with.

Jesus opened wide the gate of the sheepfold for all who would enter, but it is the sinners call to walk through the gate of his own free will. The good shepherd also leaves the fold to search for just one lost sheep. We must not forget that there are others who Jesus wishes to be in the fold and it is our job, as Christians, to go forth and find them.

 “There will be one flock, one shepherd.” Yes that will be but not until the Rapture of the Church when all the Saints will be gathered together with The Lord in the air and all will be made perfect.
A large number of his sheep are already with him in glory. A large number remain on earth, but when Jesus comes for His own, not one of His sheep will be left behind. All will be caught up to meet Him in the air and it will finally be one fold, one shepherd. Come Lord Jesus...

You are always welcome to join us for Bible Study on Tuesday evenings in Timpson at the Community Center in SoSo Park and on Wednesday evenings at Spring Hill Baptist Church. For more information please call (936-615-1427).

October 5, 2015 - I am going to test you older folk’s memories with this story.  I was thirteen years old when the event occurred, but I can still remember it vividly.  There was continuous radio coverage, and a new medium, television, covered the story live which was a landmark event in American television history.

Kathryn Anne Fiscus was a three-year old girl who fell into an abandoned well in San Marino, California.  She fell over ninety feet down the fourteen-inch-wide shaft of an abandoned water well.

On the afternoon of Friday, April 8, 1949, Kathy was playing with her nine-year-old sister, Barbara, and a cousin, Gus, in a field near their home.  The three were headed back home when Kathy suddenly disappeared.  The others were baffled at her disappearance until they heard her faint cries coming up the well shaft.  The beautiful blonde, blue-eyed three year old girl had fallen almost one hundred feet down the shaft and was trapped.

Within a few hours a major rescue effort was underway with drills, derricks, bulldozers, and trucks from a dozen towns.  Three giant cranes and fifty floodlights were borrowed from Hollywood studios. Volunteer workers arrived from all over the area to help in the rescue attempt.  The plan was to dig another hole parallel to the one that Kathy was trapped in, then tunnel over to her location and extricate her.

After digging down 100 feet, workers reached Kathy on Sunday night.  Almost 10,000 people had gathered to watch the rescue operation and waited in silence while a doctor was lowered into the new shaft to check on Kathy’s condition.  The doctor sent up the following report, “Kathy is dead and apparently has been dead since she was last heard speaking.”   It was determined that she died shortly after the fall from a lack of oxygen.

If there can be anything ironic about a tragedy such as this, it would be that her father, David, worked for the California Water and Telephone Company which had drilled the well in 1903. He had recently testified before the state legislature for a proposed law that would require the cementing of all old wells.

The rescue attempt of Kathy Fiscus received nationwide attention in the United States since it was carried live on radio and on a television station, which was still a new medium. A reporter for television station KTLA, channel 5 in Los Angeles reported on the event for twenty-seven hours.  Stan Chambers had been a reporter for only two years.  His reporting on live television is regarded as a watershed event in live TV coverage.  Mr. Chambers died in March, 2015 at the age of ninety-one.  He had been retired for only a few years.

The current location of the well is on the upper field of San Marino High School, and is unmarked except for a metal cap covering the opening.   Kathy is buried at Glen Abbey Memorial Park in Bonita, California.  The inscription on her marker reads, “One Little Girl Who United the World for a Moment”.

This event affected country singer, Jimmie Osborne, so much that he wrote and recorded the 1949 song “The Death of Little Kathy Fiscus”.  It sold over one million copies, and Osborne donated half of his proceeds to the Fiscus family.  Other artists including Kitty Wells and Howard Vokes, also recorded their versions of the song.  Several movies were made by Hollywood based upon this story in 1951, 1959, 1969, and a final one in 1987 by Woody Allen.

This story might further jog your memory to a similar event that happened in 1987.  Jessica Morales became famous at the age of 18 months after falling into a well in her aunt’s back yard in Midland, Texas on October 14, 1987.  Rescuers worked for 58 hours to free her from the eight-inch well casing 22 feet below the ground.  Following her rescue, surgeons had to amputate a toe due to gangrene from loss of circulation while in the well.  She also suffered a broken arm and still carries a scar on her forehead from the ordeal.  Her rescue was greatly assisted by the use of the new technology of waterjet cutting.

These two unfortunate incidents of the past tended to bring our country together.  The massive media saturation of the ordeal prompted President Ronald Reagan to state that “everybody in America became godmothers and godfathers of Jessica while this was going on.”  The same thing happened during the Kathy Fiscus ordeal.  I feel that our country, though having changed a lot, would still react the same at another incident such as the two just described.  Am I correct or not?

October 5, 2015 - First United Methodist Church in Center, TX invites you to a fun filled fall festival! The festival will take place at the church on Wednesday, October 28th from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. The festival is directed towards the youth of the community, from grades Pre-K to 5th. There will be tons of fun, games and prizes!

October 5, 2015 - “Eutychus fell out the window because of Paul’s long sermon…”Acts 20:9

In the late fifties while I was a student at ETBU in Marshall, Texas I was asked to preach at The Bonaldo Baptist Church in Nacogdoches County.  The church was composed of the descendants of the early Spanish settlers…the Acostas, Molandes,

Ariolas..    The Bonaldo Creek and The Loco Creek ran near this community and into the Angelina River.  The church decided to name their church after one them and wisely chose The Bonaldo.
Both the log parsonage and the outhouse were inhabited by large wood rats and long chicken snakes. And the ancient well was partially filled with an accumulation of armadillo hulls,  tin cans and years of dinner- on- the- ground left-overs.When I arrived for my appointment that first Sunday, Deacon Vick Ariola introduced me to his seven Molandes cousins and their families who made up the majority of the membership. He advised me, “Now preacher, we got a bird nesting under the pulpit…

and we don’t want them eggs to git cold”.Sure enough, as I approached the pulpit, a wren fluttered from her nest under the

pulpit and sailed out through a missing window pane.  I don’t remember what my sermon subject was that day, but I do remember that I didn’t let those eggs get cold!
I was pastor of the church for two years and they never replaced the window pane.  They must have figured keeping out the elements was not as important as keeping out long-winded preachers!

October 5, 2015 - Grace and peace from our brother, Jesus.  Sunday was the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time.  Sunday was also World Communion Sunday.  It is a good feeling knowing that you and 1.5 billion Christians around the world were partaking of Holy Communion.  

Our Gathering Words was the Litany for World Communion Sunday.  Our Affirmation of Faith was The Apostles’ Creed and our responds to the affirmation was the Gloria Patri.  The Psalter Lesson was Psalm 25: 1-5.  The Gospel Lesson was Mark 10: 13

-16 and Jesus’ words centered on children.  Because we know so little of Jesus’ life we often have to read between the lines.  But I feel safe in saying that Jesus love children and that they loved him.  My sermon tried to imagine how Jesus would interact with children as well as those who followed him to hear his wisdom. As I said we celebrated Holy Communion.  John Wesley believed that Communion could be a means of grace and so the table is open to all.  This month we are collecting peanut butter and jelly for Christian Services.  Next Sunday we will a Gideon come and give us an update on their work.  Paxton UMC has had several

members who were Gideons and I know that Fannie is still active with this group.  Our church also contributes each year to the Gideons.
We were in double digits this morning.  Lillie, Liz, and Mike were up from Houston this weekend and joined us for church.  It is always so great to see them.  Larry came this morning to worship with us.  Paxton is so small that we get really excited when folks

we haven’t seen in awhile come and join us.  Joe was back this morning and led us in our singing.  Ms. Hilda is so faithful to come to Paxton and play the piano for us.
“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!


October 2, 2015 - October 26-28 - Youth Revival at 7:30pm each night

Monday, October 26th
Pastor Charleston Johnson
Tuesday, October 27th
Pastor Jeremy Moore
Wednesday, October 28th
Pastor Rayford Carraway

September 30, 2015 - St. Therese Catholic Church will conclude a several month remodeling project with a special re dedication service and solemn blessing on Sunday, October 4th at 11:00am. St. Therese was built and dedicated in its current location on upper Arcadia road in 1983. Since this time, our parish has grown tremendously and has not been updated or remodeled in 32 years. With this remodel, we have all new ceiling, flooring, pews and many other updates.

The Catholic Church has greatly evolved in Shelby County over the years. There are reports of Catholics here in the Seventeenth Century but the church was not formally established in Shelby count until 1951. Church of the Divine Infant Catholic Church in Nacogdoches and was served by a part-time priest.

Today, our parish is served by a full time priest with a mission in Timpson under his jurisdiction.

Most reverend Bishop Joseph Strickland from the Tyler Diocese will be at St. Therese Church on Sunday, October 4th for the re dedication and solemn blessing. A reception is planned afterwords and everyone is invited.


September 30, 2015 - Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God on Christ in San Augustine, Texas is having a 1st Pastoral Annivesary Celebration for Elder Willis LaKendrick Bluford on Sunday, October 11, 2015 at 3pm with Apostle W. E. Nash Jr. as guest speaker.

September 30, 2015 - Come celebrate with us! We, the members of the St. John Missionary Baptist Church, will be celebrating our 126th Church Anniversary Sunday, October 18, 2015 at 2:30pm. Special guest speaker will be Rev. Jeremy Moore, pastor of Friendship Baptisit Church. The theme will be building upon the foundation of God scripture : 1 Corinthians 3:10. St. John Missionary Baptist Church is located in Center, TX, and can be reached at 936-598-4769.

September 30, 2015 - The year 2016 marks the 150th Anniversary of the First United Methodist Church, Center, Texas. If anyone has historical photos, documents, newspaper clippings, 8 mm home movies, video, 35 mm slides, etc. they would like to share with us please bring them by Chief Imaging, 614 Tenaha Street. Most items can be scanned on the spot and you will not have to leave them.

We look forward to your help in bringing the history of the church to life. Billy Sue Payne is the Anniversary Chairman.