March 22, 2021 - Even before there was a building with the name "Jackson Baptist Church" on it, some Jackson Community people were meeting to worship God in an old stone building, referred to as Jackson School. As well as being a school, it was used for church services, singings, and singing schools. After a period of years, the need for a church was apparent. There was a Jackson Cemetery in the area, and .9 acres was donated for a church building next to the Jackson Cemetery.

Jackson Missionary Baptist Church was organized and dedicated on March 27, 1921 with 26 members. The membership was formed by people from neighboring sister churches. The building was built of ship-lap lumber and painted white. The building faced the "old road" to Joaquin; and, it had two doors on the front and one on the back. Three rows of home-built pews filled the rectangle shaped building. This church building was built with money furnished by the community, labor by membership, a love for God, and a desire to serve and worship Him.

For almost 30 years, services were held in the original building. However, on February 20,1950, the church appointed a committee for construction of a new building. On February 26, 1950, the original building was torn down and a second, one-story brick building was built. Labor was provided mostly by church members themselves. Some worked all day on regular jobs and came directly from those jobs to work on the church building, and also worked on Saturdays. Church members helped by buying doors, pews, and windows in their families' names.

In 1963, a parsonage was built and afterwards a dedication was held.

Through the years the church family grew, and once again the church appointed a new construction committee in 2013 to seek out expansion possibilities. After much searching it was determined, and approved by the church membership, that the church should relocate by purchasing 9 acres of land, and a third building be built.

Once again, the third new building was built following the same pattern set by the church members who had come before them. Saturday workdays were held to clear the property and accomplish tasks as the building was being built. Money to build the building was furnished by church members and others in the community. Some made donations in memory of their family members for projects and items.

“Mid-Construction” worship services were held throughout the building process so that members could see the progress being made. The building includes a sanctuary for worship, fellowship hall, kitchen, and Sunday School/Awana Ministry rooms for classes. The stain glass windows from the previous church building were incorporated into the design, along with the previous pulpit and other church furniture. On May 10, 2020, church members met in the new sanctuary for a Mother's Day worship service, and it was clear to see that the time had come to begin meeting permanently in the new church building. As the effort to complete this building continues, the church family at Jackson celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the church and carries on the vision that began in 1921. God continues to bless the church membership as He saves souls, changes lives, and builds His Kingdom. 

To God be the glory!

Also, The Calvary Boys in Concert Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 7pm.

Jackson Baptist Church
11620 State Highway 7 E
Joaquin, Texas 75954

March 25, 2021 - We read in Mark chapter 6 that Jesus and the disciples were trying to get away from the crowd of people for a little peace and quiet. They needed some R & R as we would say. Yet, Mark tells us the multitude followed and Jesus spent the day teaching them. The “day was far spent”, evening was coming, and the great crowd of people needed to be fed. In Mark chapter 6 and verse 38 Jesus asks the disciples, “How many loaves have ye?”

Jesus was not asking for information, he knew how many loaves they had. Neither was he asking because he could not feed the multitude without their loaves.  Jesus wanted those disciples then and all disciples of all ages to know that He is to bless others through them. He wanted them to know, and he wants us to know, that we must be willing to use what we have or give it into his hands that others might be blessed.

The disciples in that far off day did not have enough for themselves, but when they surrendered what they had to Jesus, it increased sufficiently to feed themselves and the multitude with more left over than they had at the beginning. It is not how much we have, but how much faith we have in what Jesus can do with what we have.

Jesus says to us, “How many loaves have ye?” We must never say or think “not enough”. When we surrender it all to Jesus, when we commit it to Him, we have more than enough. 

It’s something to think about … tbp

Center Church of Christ
110 Hurst Street
Center, Texas
www.centerchurchofchrist.com

March 22, 2021 - Center Christian Academy located at 2398 US Hwy 87 North in Center will host an Eggstravganza for children and youth ages 1 to 10 on Saturday, April 3 from 10am until Noon. The Eggstravanganza will have an Egg Hunt beginning at 11am, prizes, snacks, a petting center and photo booth. Tickets are $10 each. Please call (936) 332-5531 for tickets. Please come and support our Senior Class and have TONS of Springtime fun! 

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” 2 Timothy 3:1

March 22, 2021 - Mother accomplished a near impossible task when she raised her ten children on so little ... no car, no telephone and often no food. Sometimes our food consisted of only what we could get hunting and fishing. We picked peas on the halves and cotton for two cents a pound, but were fortunate enough to have some better-off-than-we-were relatives that kept us in hand-me-down clothes.

But those hard times were also happy times. My brothers (Bill, John, Joe) and I spent most of our time exploring every patch of woods and every fishing hole within walking distance of our house. Leaving early in the morning, we’d pack our Sledge overall pockets with smooth rocks from the gravel pit, grab our sling shots and go hunting.

Mother always told us the exact same thing when we left: “You boys be careful”.  Many times we were gone from daylight until dark while making the rounds down to Weaver’s Pond, Dellinger's pasture and sometimes we walked the four mile walk down the railroad tracks to Mill Creek, our favorite paradise.

We roasted crawfish tails and perch and grazed on possum grapes and wild plums to make it through the day. On good days we had watermelon, sugar cane and eggs borrowed from the neighbor’s henhouses. I have often wondered why Mother didn’t worry about our being gone all day. I guess it was because those days weren’t like these days. They were simple days and safe days. We never locked the doors at our house and rarely heard of rape, murder or bawdy house stories. We’d didn’t have drugs, drive-by shootings, gangsta-rap or X-Rated movies. Sunday was a special day of rest and prayer and the pledge of allegiance was a part of our daily school activities. The Gideons visited our school every year to hand out New Testaments.

If Mother was raising her boys in our present days, I wonder what she’d say if we told her we’d be gone all day and be home before dark. Would she tell us go ahead and “just be careful?" 

No ... not in these days.

March 22, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the 5th Sunday of Lent. We are reaching the end of this Christian time of reflection, with next Sunday being Palm Sunday. Over half of each of the Gospels deals with that last week of Jesus’ life between Palm Sunday and Easter morning. Life, death, and new life is at the heart of Christianity, so it is Easter—not Christmas—that is the most important Christian celebration. But the events of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday make it the saddest time also.

Spring has sprung as of last Saturday! The weather has been dry, but a few days have been jacket-wearing time because of the north wind. My two best four-legged friends, Gunter and Sam, join me each morning for a two-mile hike at the park. Later in the day we take another walk around downtown Joaquin. Sam and Gunter are always ready to go. I have also enjoyed working in the garden. Amazingly, most of my perennial plants are coming back after February’s near-zero temperatures. This rebirth is awe-inspiring and makes me think of Easter.

Our daughter came in for a visit this weekend: It was so nice to visit with her and her little dog too—not Toto but Stella! We went Friday afternoon to Mimi’s Nursery on Highway 7 in Joaquin; Melissa has some really nice plants and hanging baskets at good prices. The next morning I went down to Haslam where the Bravos have plants set up, including a tree I bought that grows black apples with yellow meat! On our way to Nacogdoches on Saturday, we went to the Lily Farm on Highway 7, where Megan filled a wagon with plants to take back to Dallas. Gardening with flowers, vegetables, and trees is always my therapy, but especially during the pandemic quarantining, and it seems my daughter has inherited that love.

In Nacogdoches we visited Sue’s mother, along with our nephew. It’s good to see Dixie so lively and perky at 93! After picking up his daughter and his girlfriend, our nephew took us to meet his dad—my former roommate and brother-in-law Dave—for dinner (wood-baked pizza, yum) and live music at a Pineywoods outdoor venue.

Our Sunday School lesson emphasized that living a holy life requires spiritual, mental, and physical commitment. The text for the lesson was 1 Corinthians 6: 12-20. Paul really stressed that the community in Corinth was the living body of the Christ, and they should do nothing that would tarnish that perfect image.

My sermon focus was the Gospel, John 12: 20-28, but I started out talking about the Old Testament lesson from Jeremiah. Jeremiah was certainly one of the angriest prophets, and he characterized God as angry too. Today’s lesson, though, had a ring of hope as Jeremiah said God was going to make a new covenant, written directly on the human heart.

Since we resumed in-person worship, our music has been on CD. We can hum the song under our masks but no vigorous singing! The two songs we used during worship were from CDs, one a favorite and the other a new one for Paxton. “Hymn of Promise” was our first one, a song Brother Billy called The Methodist Anthem. Our Hymn of Joy was the “Prayer of St. Francis.” We have this famous prayer in the hymnal, but I don’t remember hearing it set to music before.

All during March, Paxton Methodist has been collecting cans of chili for Community Christian Services. Next month we will be collecting toothpaste and tooth- brushes. This week Community Christian Services had two giveaway days, one a program from the federal government that helps farmers as well as those who need food. During this time of pandemic, economic crisis, and high unemployment, the need is greater than ever.

Paxton Methodist is having in-person worship; we respect each other by wearing masks and keeping socially distant. Scientists and medical professionals, who know more than politicians about this subject, say that we can do three simple things to curtail the spread of Covid-19: wash our hands regularly, stay at least six feet apart—social distancing, and yes, wear a mask—or maybe two masks—mask-wearing is the patriotic thing to do. It is also the Christian thing to do, loving your neighbor as you love yourself. And get that vaccine!

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.

March 21, 2021 - A "drive-by" community event at First Baptist Church of Center will be held on Saturday, April 3 from 10am until 11am. Come get some eggs, candy and get your photo taken with the Easter Bunny! First Baptist Church of Center is located across the street from the Historic Courthouse. For more information, please call (936) 598-5605.

March 18, 2021 - If you come to our home and look in the refrigerator for the margarine, you won’t find any. You will, however, find real, sweet cream butter in both salted and unsalted varieties. We use butter at our house, lots of butter and I have the waistline to prove it! This morning, as I applied a generous amount of butter to my biscuits, I watched it turn into a beautiful golden liquid as it soaked into that dry biscuit. That beautiful golden liquid made me think of the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:12, you know, the passage we call the “golden rule.”
 
Jesus said, “whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them”. Have you ever thought what a difference that would make in our world if we put that into practice in our lives? Some of the luster of that passage has been lost because it is tossed about so glibly and has been used on so many “plaques” that we hang on the wall. Yet, just like generous application of golden butter enriches a biscuit (or anything else!) every relationship in our lives could be improved and enriched by a generous application of Jesus’ “golden rule.”
 
If we would take a moment and remember these words of Jesus, it would drastically change our disposition, our words, and our actions. Take a look at life from the other person’s point of view. Let us make sure we use a portion of the golden rule in our lives as generously as the portion of butter we want on our biscuits!
 
It’s something to think about ... tbp
 
Center Church of Christ
110 Hurst Street, Center, Texas

March 14, 2021 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the 4th Sunday of Lent. In the United Church of Canada, today is also Laughter Sunday. Lent is such a solemn time for people of the Christian faith, but we must never forget laughter and humor. An old proverb says, “If you don’t laugh, you don’t take life seriously enough.” During my sermon I told some of the “humorous” tricks the Joaquin high school seniors played on me, their first-year teacher who wasn’t much older than they were.

Ms. Fannie had another good Sunday School lesson for us today. Gene read the scripture that served as the focus of the lesson—1 Peter 2:1-10. Our writer says that this letter was written to the many new Gentile Jesus Followers. They must have seemed out of the loop, not knowing all the Jewish spiritual stories, commandments, and special celebrations. Peter tells them that they need only to remember two things—love God and love your neighbor. Pretty good advice for everyone.

Since we resumed in-person worship, our music has been on CD. We can hum the song under our masks but no vigorous singing! The two songs we used during worship were from a CD that Fannie loaned me. Our first hymn was “Just a Closer Walk with Thee,” soothing and melodic. Later, we enjoyed a lively banjo version of “Where the Soul Never Dies.”

The Gospel lesson for this Sunday includes John 3:16. The writer of the John Gospel refers back to what was the Old Testament lesson today: Moses crafts a bronze snake on a pole so all the Israelites who had been bitten by God-sent snakes could look upon the idol and be saved. The Gospel writer says that the Son of God must be raised up just like Moses raised up the bronze snake. In case comparing Jesus to a snake sounds strange, I reminded the congregation that Hebrews viewed snakes as a symbols of wisdom, not just as sneaky evildoers like the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Paxton Methodist is having in-person worship; we respect each other by wearing masks and keeping socially distant. Scientists and medical professionals, who know more than politicians about this subject, say that we can do three simple things to curtail the spread of Covid-19: wash our hands regularly, stay at least six feet apart—social distancing, and yes, wear a mask—or maybe two masks--mask-wearing is the patriotic thing to do. It is also the Christian thing to do, loving your neighbor as you love yourself. And get that vaccine!

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.

March 11, 2021 - One of the things I miss from my childhood is the fireplace we had in our home. I can remember many cold, dreary winter mornings laying in bed, pulling the covers up tight and hearing the sound of my father chopping kindling to get a fire going. It was still dark outside, there were coals in the fireplace from the fire during the night, but dad wanted to make sure there was a big fire going before my mom and I would get up in the mornings. Those roaring fires he built would fill the room with cheer and brightness as their radiant warmth pushed away the frigid winter dreariness.
    
The love that Jesus taught and demonstrated has that same transforming quality. When Paul wrote the First Corinthian letter, he would tell us in that great chapter on love in verse 13, “but the greatest of these is love.” Love is our greatest weapon against the cold selfishness and deep despair of the world around us. Just like the old family fireplace was central to the warmth of our home in the winter, so love is central to our Christian faith. Without love, there is no Christian. With love, the Christian has need of little else.
    
They tell the story that when John became too old to preach, and too weak to walk to worship services, his friends would carry him on a stretcher. They would place his stretcher on the floor and he would say over and over to those who passed by, “little children, love one another.” Some finally grew weary of his ceaseless repetition and asked why he always said the same thing. “Because” he replied, “it is the Lord’s command, and if only this is done, it is enough”.
        
It’s something to think about…..TBP

March 10, 2021 - Huxley Helping Hands drive thru food pantry, Saturday, March 13 at 9 am, at Hillcrest Baptist Church, Center, TX. Only (1) box per household, must show your ID and be in line by 9:30 am to receive a box. 

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