January 3, 2024 - Good Morning! It's Wednesday, January 3.
Houston is my hometown. And on January 3, 1962, something extraordinary began there, a dream really. On that day, ground was broken on a new kind of sports stadium, a "domed" stadium. It was the first of its kind in the world. There are many in the world now, but the Astrodome was the first.
The dream belonged to a man named Roy Hofheinz. He had been the mayor of Houston in the 1950's, when I was born, and during that time he took a vacation to Rome. He would say later that seeing the ruins of the Roman coliseum was the inspiration for his dream. The astrodome was built on former swampland, came in under budget, and was dubbed "the Eighth Wonder of the World".
In 1970, just six years after his dream opened, Hofheinz suffered a stroke that left him in a wheelchair. He died in 1982, and in 2008 the Astrodome was closed. It still stands today, a slowly crumbling echo from the past, Houston's very own Roman ruin.
Texans have always been dreamers, Americans too.
Big dreams, small dreams, dreams that bring great success, dreams that end in great disappointment.
Do you have dreams for this new year? Does God have a dream for you? Perhaps you can find your inspiration in a simple scripture verse - Micah 6:8.
"He has shown you what is good, and what the Lord requires of you. To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."
Meet you back here tomorrow,
January 2, 2024 - Good Morning! It's Tuesday, January 2.
What kind of person are you? Glass half empty or glass half full? How we experience life, how we evaluate it, often comes down to how we perceive it. Do your perceptions tend to be positive or negative? Something to consider as we begin this new year.
My last devotion was sent out on Friday, December 22. That same day, my daughters and their families were coming in, and we were looking forward to a restful and festive Christmas. And then, very early on Christmas Eve morning, my wife suffered a stroke. She was rushed to the hospital, and instead of gathering around the Christmas tree, my family gathered around her bedside. She is in a temporary rehab program now and doing much, much better.
When these events began to unfold, I thought that this would certainly be a Christmas that we would want to forget (glass half empty). But then I considered the fact that, typically, the only week of the year that my family is all together, is the week of Christmas, and I couldn't imagine having to go through all that happened without the love, care, and support of our daughters and their families (glass half full). It will surely be a Christmas that we will always remember.
I've never been a big fan of making New Year's resolutions. But, in 2024, I'm going to try my best to have a positive perspective about the circumstances and challenges that come my way. I'm going to try to see things through God's eyes, through His perspective. And we can all choose to claim the promise found in Romans 8:28 - "And God works all things for good to those who love Him, and are called to His purpose."
Meet you back here tomorrow,
December 29, 2023 - Pastor Marlin Cloudy Sr. and Abundant Love Ministries will host “Watch Night” services on Sunday, December 31st, 2023, beginning at 10pm.
Regular Sunday morning worship will be held Sunday, December 31, 2023 at 10am.
Everyone is welcome and invited.
Abundant Love Ministries is located at 1426 Shelbyville St. Center, TX 75935
December 28, 2023 - Patroon Baptist Church is hosting a blood drive on Sunday, December 31st from 9 til 1:30. These donations will help offset the product used in Kevin Windham's infusions so please make plans to donate.
You can register at giveblood.org for your time or just come by. If you're not able to come on this date you can stop by the Blood Center in Nacogdoches and let them know you're giving for the Patroon Baptist Church blood drive.
You're also invited to stay for church and receive a great message. There will also be a potluck lunch after the service.
December 27, 2023 - Woods New Hope Baptist Church welcomes Ernie Couch and Revival in concert at 10am on Sunday, December 31, 2023.
Woods New Hope Baptist Church is located at 120 County Road 425, Tenaha, Texas 75974.
“Magi came from the East to Jerusalem….” Matt. 2:11
December 26, 2023 - The Three Wise Men who followed the star to Bethlehem might not have been all that wise…or even men…at least that’s what the Church of England determined at their recent General Synod in London. A committee revising their last Prayer Book says that the word Magi” (translated ‘wise men’) discloses nothing about wisdom or gender”.
“Magi” was the title of officials in the Persian (now Iran) Court and no historical records refer to any of these officers as women. These “Magi” or “Oriental Scientist” were the early astrologers and were known for their wisdom. The Bible doesn’t say there were three of them. It says “Magi” came from the East bearing three gifts, “gold, frankincense and myrrh.”
But what does any of this parsing of sentences and splitting of hairs really mean? It means that people are trying to alter the Bible to make it politically correct. In doing so, they miss the central theme of this story: Wise Men found Jesus.
Wise Men still do.
December 12, 2023 - First Methodist Church of Center invites the community to their Annual "Christmas Eve Candlelight Gathering" on the Square in front of the historic Shelby County Courthouse on Christmas Eve from 6pm until 6:30pm.
The community will come together for an evening of festive family time of singing familiar carols while celebrating the joy of Jesus' birth. Everyone should bring their own candle. Hot cider will be provided prior to the event. The evening will conclude with everyone singing Silent Night by candlelight!
Rev. Malcolm Monroe stated that, "First Methodist-Center is overjoyed to be able to provide this community-wide gathering for the fourth year in a row!"
In case of inclement weather, the event will be cancelled with no alternative service. (Santa Claus will not be with us because he will be on the other side of the world delivering toys to the children there.)
For more information about the Christmas Eve Candlelight Gathering or about First Methodist-Center, please contact Rev. Monroe at 936-598-2707 or visit the church website at www.CenterFirst.org
December 19, 2023 - The church family at First Baptist Church of Center invites you and yours to a brief, informal time of fellowship and worship at 5pm on Christmas Eve, December 24. The 45-minute service will include a children's story, a message from our pastor, many of your favorite carols, the observance of The Lord's Supper, and a candle lighting ceremony. First Baptist is located at 117 Cora, right across the street from the historic courthouse. Call 936-598-5605 for more information. Merry Christmas!
December 11, 2023 - St. John's Episcopal Church will have Christmas Eve service at 3pm on Sunday, December 24th. Everyone is welcome. The church is located on 96 South just past Southview Circle in Center.
December 22, 2023 - Pleasant Grove MBC invites you and your family to the first annual Winter Fest!
There will be candy, games, a cake walk, a fire for S'mores, and other wonderful things! Winter Fest will be on December 30 at Pleasant Grove MBC, located at 1440 CR 1470, Timpson, TX.
It is located between Center and Timpson. Winter Fest will begin at 5pm.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with Bro. Josh Crawford at 572-5303 or find him on Facebook.