October 20, 2022 - Have you ever noticed how complicated some folks want to make religion? We live in a world of problems. Preachers even spend a lot of time pointing out the problems of our time. Yet, the world is not asking for an elaboration on the problems, rather the world is seeking solution to those problems.

It sometimes reminds me of the accident study conducted about accidents in the home. When it was revealed that 90% of all accidents occurred either at the top or bottom of the stairs, the computer solution was to remove the top and bottom step.

Often, we are searching for complex solutions to our present day problems and anxieties. Yet, the God of heaven, who is high and holy, is not insensitive to the hurts and problems you and I face. He offers a simple solution to modern day problems in every area. Remember the words of Jesus in John 14:1?He said, “Let not your hearts be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me.”

We need to stop focusing on ourselves and focus on others. We need to follow the example of Jesus who “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). We need to realize that real security is built upon trust in God and that God is ever the source of real security.

When we spend more time with the solutions provided in the word of God and live a life obedient to the will of God we will find that we have a simple solution to the stress of life.

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.

October 20, 2022 - First United Methodist Church located at 211 Porter Street invites you to their annual Halloween Trunk-or-Treat on Saturday, October 29 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The free family-friendly event is open to the community and will include lots of activities, food and trunk-or-treating in the church parking lot. For information, please contact the church office at (936) 598-2707.

October 18, 2022 - St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Tenaha, Texas is celebrating their 145th Church Anniversary on Sunday, October 23, 2022 at 11am. Guest speaker is Pastor Bryan Gates with Harmonia Baptist Church, Nacogdoches. The theme is ‘The Church that stands on a rock.”

The church is located at 102 Booker T. Washington Drive, Tenaha, Texas 75974.

"Cast all your anxieties on the Lord for He cares for you...." I Peter 5:7

October 17, 2022

My brother Joe who lives in Orange, Texas has a pet squirrel. She’s three years old and her name is “Squirrel”. When I called him yesterday and asked what he was doing he sighed, “Oh, sitting here with Squirrel in my lap.” “She’s got the warmest feet”. “The Lord’s taught me a lot through Squirrel.”

Joe and Squirrel have a close relationship. When he goes to the barn, she runs to him…runs up his back and sits on his shoulder. “If I shell her pecan, she’ll eat it, but when I give her a whole one, she buries it in the ground.” “I raised her on Half and Half.” “She sat on my shoulder while I sharpened a saw blade yesterday and the noise and sparks never fazed her. “She has complete faith in me and knows I’ll take care of her. She goes to her special nest in the barn when the weather’s bad.”

“Squirrel” is so very fortunate to have someone taking such good care of her.

And so are we.

October 17, 2022 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus, Amen. I didn’t submit a news article or write my weekly newsletter last week because I was out of town visiting family. I had a great time with my son and daughter, as well as visiting with my brother and sister-in-law. Last week we had a Gideon speaker, so he took over the sermon part of the service, while Larry and my wife did the rest. Sue reported that David was an interesting speaker and a very nice person. Fannie and I attended the Gideon banquet on Thursday evening, which featured a program and an excellent meal.

We were in double digits this morning, an exciting event at Paxton Methodist. Gene and Joy’s daughter and son-in-law were in for a family reunion (plus a victorious homecoming game) and attended church. It is always good to see them. The quotes in our bulletin today came from two well-known people of our world: Queen Elizabeth II and Dr. Seuss. According to the Queen, “Grief is the price we pay for love.” Dr. Seuss, in his Oh, The Places You’ll Go, said this: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself /Any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy/ who’ll decide where to go.”

Our church service was supposed to begin with a Gathering Hymn today, but either Sue or I accidentally switched the stereo into the off position. Our Gathering Words were based on Psalm 119, where the poet speaks about his love for God and God’s ways. After figuring out the problem with the stereo, we were able to sing “When We All Get to Heaven” and “Hymn of Promise,” two of Paxton Methodists’ favorites. At the Gideon banquet, we also sang “When We All Get to Heaven,” prompting me to include it in Sunday’s service.

My sermon was based mainly on Jeremiah 31: 31-33. Jeremiah is a long book, where he goes from a prophet correctly predicting doom and destruction to a prophet speaking optimistically of a new day and a new covenant. Today’s Old Testament lesson sounded a hopeful message for the future: God would once again make a pact with humanity. This one wouldn’t be written on stone tablets but on the human heart. We mortals would have within us the love, hope, and promise of God even if, like the Israelites, we were forced to leave our beloved home.

We had a really good Sunday School lesson. Fannie pointed out that our writer has for several Sundays in a row stressed that God requires us to look out for those less fortunate than we are. Jesus calls upon us not only to care for our families and friends, but even for those who don’t like us. Claudia read the scripture that came from John 9. Our writer warned us that we sometimes try to keep those who are marginalized out of view or treat them as if they are invisible. In the Bible lesson Jesus heals a blind man. In that time period, it was thought that blindness was inflicted by God for some wrong the person or his ancestors had committed. The blind man was really at the margins of society—but not to Jesus.

During the month of October, Paxton Methodists will collect peanut butter and jelly for Community Christian Services. Remember that a Blessing Box is located between Cindy’s Mexican Restaurant and the Community Center in downtown Joaquin. If you are clearing out your cupboards, take extra non-perishables to the Blessing Box. A big Happy Birthday this week to our dear friend Vera.

Last Thursday, Paxton Methodist met again about disaffiliation—whether to stay in the United Methodist Church denomination or join the new Global Methodist order. Rev. Tim Turner from San Augustine joined us to deliver information and answer questions. San Augustine has already been through the separation process and is going to become a Global Methodist Church. Rev. Turner also serves on various steering committees with the new GMC, so he was able to share many details. In the next few weeks, Paxton Methodists will meet in a more formal Church/Charge Conference and officially vote whether to disaffiliate or remain United Methodists.

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.

October 17, 2022 - Good Morning! It’s Monday, October 17.

I love crossword puzzles. And every day I try to complete the one from The New York Times. It’s the “gold standard” - the best of the best. I grew up in Houston and started doing the Houston Chronicle crossword when I was a kid. Good puzzle. But not the best. But the best that a South Texas boy could get his hands on.

When the internet came along, so did remote access to the New York Times crossword. But I resisted. In my opinion, puzzles should only be done on paper. And they had to be done with a pen - never a pencil! That was my gold standard. But times change, and now, every day, I open up my iPad and do the best crossword puzzle in the world.

Life is constantly changing. And, every day, the rate of change seems to be accelerating.
Standards from the past are being left in the past.

But a "gold standard" for living life still remains. You can find it in your Bible - or on your iPad if you prefer.

2 Timothy 3:16-17. All scripture is inspired by God, and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the child of God may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I'd like to write more... but I've got a puzzle to finish!

Meet you back here tomorrow,
Bro. David
dmathis@fbccenter.org

October 13, 2022 - A businessman was sitting at his desk. All around him were bills, letters and other evidence that he was totally absorbed in the details of his business. The minister of the church entered, anxious to discuss the man’s soul. The business man said, “Oh, you must excuse me, brother, I am too busy to take time for that today.”

Politely, the minister asked, “When shall I call on you again?” The business man replied, “I don’t know, and really can’t tell you. I am just too busy right now. I have a lot to take care of.”  With a sad and heavy heart, the minister excused himself and the businessman returned to his paperwork. 

A few days later, a disagreeable stranger stepped into the businessman’s office and laid a cold hand on his shoulder. “Come, you must go home with me” the visitor demanded. The businessman laid down his pen, closed his desk and left. He had no choice. A cold chill settled on him as images of so many things left unfinished flashed before his eyes. The name of his visitor was death.

We may think we are too busy. We may think we don’t have time to obey the Lord and live His kind of life. However, we will someday not be too busy to die. 

Do you think you could find time for Bible Study and Worship this coming Lord’s Day?

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

October 11, 2022 - Shelbyville First United Methodist Church - “the one with the tall steeple” in downtown Shelbyville - will celebrate our church building’s 125th year birthday October 23, 2022!

Early visitation coffee with friends will begin at 9am.

Our worship service will begin at 11am and we are excited to announce Bishop Scott Jameson Jones of the Texas Annual Conference will bring the message on this day! District Superintendent Dr. Richard White will assist.

Please join for this special time in our history!

October 10, 2022 - Patroon Cemetery Association will hold it’s annual meeting and lunch at 12:30pm on October 16, 2022 at Patroon Baptist Church Fellowship Hall located on FM 2261 in Patroon. 

The annual business meeting will begin at 12:30pm and lunch will follow. Please bring your favorite covered dish or desert.

Donations are needed for the upkeep of the cemetery. For those unable to attend and who would like to make a donation please mail to:

Patroon Cemetery c/o Virginia Wilburn, Treasurer, 18853 Hwy 87 S, San Augustine, TX 75972.

We look forward to seeing everyone this year. Due to not having the Homecoming for the past two years, our funds have dramatically decreased from lack of donations. We are considering having “Cemetery Workdays” so your input will be greatly appreciated at our Annual Meeting.

October 10, 2022 - Good Morning! It’s Monday, October 10.

These daily devotions began in March of 2020, when my church shut down for the pandemic. I began to send these little thoughts to members of our Worship Ministry, just to stay connected. That was two and a half years ago, 30 months, 130 weeks... over 600 little devotions.

This morning, I woke up without a thought in my head. I didn't know what I would share with you today. I was thoughtless! And then I remembered the King James translation of Matthew 6:26 - "Take no thought about your life." These are words spoken by Jesus in His famous Sermon on the Mount. The modern translations use different words - Don't Worry!

Later in the chapter Jesus says, "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" And then there's the famous verse 33 - "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you." I had no words to share with you this morning, but His words are more powerful than any that I could ever imagine.

I didn't need to worry!

Meet you back here tomorrow,
Bro. David
dmathis@fbccenter.org

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