May 6, 2019 - St. John Missionary Baptist Church honoring 12th year pastoral anniversary Sunday, June 2nd, 2019, 2:30pm.

St. John Missionary Baptist Church is located at 2308 CR 2050 Center, Tx. Guest speaker will be Rev. Shan Gilder, Holy Temple C.O.G.I.C., Silsbee, Tx.

May 6, 2019 - In this world there are those who seek righteousness and also those who seek wickedness and the results of their searches are very different.

If you are one who seeks righteousness then the Lord says to you, “Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.” (Psalm 37:1-2)

Though they struggle with all their might to establish wealth on earth, it is all for naught for the Bible says; “I have seen a wicked, ruthless man, spreading himself like a green laurel tree. But he passed away, and behold, he was no more; though I sought him, he could not be found.” (Psalm 37:35-36) 

You see, earthly wealth accomplishes nothing for when one dies he is gone but his wealth is left for another to enjoy.

Rather than seeking earthly wealth work daily to store up your treasures in heaven where they will not be lost, they will not rust nor will they ruin but will be waiting for your arrival in heaven when the Lord calls you home.

For the seeker of righteousness, “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” (Psalm 37:3) “Turn away from evil and do good; so shall you dwell forever.” (Psalm 37:27)

Again the Lord tells all who seek him and his righteous not to fret over the evil ones of this world but to focus on the Lord and his kingdom instead. Dwell with him!

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” (Psalm 37:7)

“Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.” (Psalm 37:8-9) 

There is nothing to envy of the wicked man for his wealth is perishable and shall be burned away on the day of the Lord, while the wealth of the righteous is stored in heaven where it cannot be spoiled nor destroyed but is safe and waiting for its owner to come home and claim it as his own.

“The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, but the Lord laughs at the wicked for he sees that his day is coming.” (Psalm 37:12-13) 

When the world turns against you and ridicules you and persecutes you for your faith in Christ Jesus turn away and focus on our Lord, let him establish your steps and direct your paths, let your path be as the Bible says in the book of Matthew where it says, not to be anxious about what we shall eat or what we drink or what we shall wear for our Heavenly Father knows what we need in life and he will provide for those who seek his face and do his will; “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33) 

“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way.” (Psalm 37:23) Follow the Lord and delight in his way and he will direct your path.

“Turn away from evil and do good, so shall you dwell forever.” (Psalm 37:27) 

For all who turn away from evil and do good can truly expect that, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6) Follow God and not man and know his rich blessings today my friends. Trust in the Lord and know his peace and eternal joy…

May 6, 2019 - “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.”   Psalms 107:2 

“Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.” Malachi 3:16  

In 2008 Pam and I took a three week vacation to the Pacific Northwest. I once lived in Oregon and had for many years wanted to visit there again.  On our way up, we visited Yellowstone, spent several days along the Snake River, and a few days in Oregon and Washington.   On our way home we drove down the Highway 5 along the beautiful Oregon /California Pacific Coast line. 

It didn’t take long to us to see the difference between the Northwest and our home in the Bible-Belt. (Only 25% Washington and Oregon’s population belong to a church…of any kind.)  And instead of the Christian decal of the fish on automobiles, we saw a large number of symbols promoting atheism.  When we saw the fish sticker on a car one day, we followed it into a parking lot only to find that the fish had feet and the anti- God symbol “Darwin” inscribed on it.
But when we stopped at a Colorado Motel on the way home, a man wearing a large wooden cross checked us in. “He’s obviously a Christian”, I whispered to Pam. As the clerk filled out his paper work, I asked him, “Are you a Christian?”…and never looking up, he almost inaudibly mumbled under his breath one word…. “Yeah”.  Since he never looked up, it was obvious he didn’t want to talk about Jesus.

When we got to our room, I told Pam that if the man had said “No” instead of “Yeah”, it would have meant about the same thing.  This I know for sure:  The world will never be won to Jesus if we are just cross wearers instead of cross bearers….

And if all we can say about Jesus is…..

“Yeah”.

May 5, 2019 - First Baptist Church of Center is hosting 'In the Wild, Amazing Encounters with Jesus' June 17 through June 21 for Kindergarden - 6th grade and Summer Music Camp for completed 1st through 6th grade.

1st through 6th graders are invited to come from 12:15pm until 3pm for the Summer Music Camp VBS. The Summer Music Camp is $10 for each camper and kids can experience 'In the Wild' with Bible study and special activities planned just for them. Kindergarden through 6th grade are invited to come for free from 9am until 12:15pm for their own adventure. 

Gas up the all-terrain vehicle and head out on a wilderness adventure like no other. Get up close and personal with elephants and egrets, polar bears and penguins, cockatoos and crocodiles, and so much more! This summer kids will focus in on some amazing, real-life encounters with Jesus and discover the most amazing truth of all—Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing we can have life in His name. Each day kids will make crafts, play fun games, enjoy tasty snacks, sing cool songs, and learn about missions.

For more information, call First Baptist Church at 936-598-5605 or email scline@fbccenter.org. The church is located at 117 Cora Street, Center, Texas 75935.

May 3, 2019 - The Dreka Pentecostal Church will have a fish fry benefit to send the kids to church camp. The fish fry is Saturday, May 4 and plates will be ready for pick up starting at 11. Plates are limited and are first come first serve. Fish plates are $8.00 and will have fish, french fries, dessert, bread, and coleslaw. For more information call 936-598-4433.

May 3, 2019 - Pastor Byron Coutee, Jr. and the members of the Blount Chapel Missionary Baptist Church would like to invite all area churches to our Annual Choir Anniversary. Pastor Troy Allen of the Mt. Beulah Baptist Church in Lufkin, Texas will be the guest speaker on Sunday, May 5, 2019 at 3pm. Dinner will be served.

May 3, 2019 - Sometimes first aid is not a bandage, or CPR or calling 911. Sometimes first aid is YOU. A person you know could be experiencing a mental health or substance use problem. Be prepared to help.

St. John’s Episcopal Church in Center is hosting a Mental Health First Aid class on Saturday, May 4, 2019 from 8:30am until 5:00pm.

The Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour training course that will teach you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The course helps anyone who wants to learn how to provide initial help to someone who may be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness or is in crisis. 

If you are an educator/school administrator, nurse, primary care giver, public safety personnel, member of a faith community, social services staff and volunteer, substance abuse professional, social workers or any member of the community interested in becoming trained, this course will give you the tools to help those in need.

The course is delivered by Certified Mental Health First Aid USA instructors.

The cost is FREE and lunch will be served. If you are interested in attending this training please go online to register at http://www/episcopalhealth.org/mhfa/

St. John’s Episcopal Church is located at 1063 Southview Circle, right across the highway from High Roller Wells.

May 2, 2019 - I will never forget the 2000 Olympics in Sydney Australia. History was made in the sport of wrestling. Alexander Kareli the giant strongman Russian who had dominated the ultra heavyweight division for 13 years was defeated. He had not only been undefeated for thirteen years but had not allowed his opponents to score a single point against him in over six years. But in the 2000 Olympics he was defeated by the young American Roulon Gardner who was smaller and less experienced. The wrestling world was shocked by this surprise upset. Although Roulon was strong he could not out muscle Alexander, so he used form, intelligence, and technique to score the winning point against his opponent.

Our spiritual life is a lot like that. We are in a constant wrestling match with the devil. We are not stronger than he is but we have the ultimate coach, who gives us the tools that we need to take on the devil and defeat him.

Ephesians 6: 10-13 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

To be successful in wrestling there are three things that you must posses: strength, (intelligence) wisdom, and endurance. Paul tells us in these passages that spiritual wrestling is no different. So let us look at these three in closer detail, so that we might utilize these principles to help us in our daily struggles with the enemy in our lives.

1. Strength. The emphasis here is on where we get our strength. When we gain our strength from God, we are tapping into a strength that far exceeds our human abilities. God tells Joshua and the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” We need to realize when we are in the midst of a battle and we feel like we cannot go on any longer, or we feel like our strength is failing, that we do have a strength that comes from God that is unfailing. Just as physical strength is required to succeed at Olympic wrestling, so spiritual strength is required to succeed at spiritual wrestling. Philippians 4:13 says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (or gives me strength)."

2. Wisdom. If you are going to beat your opponent you need to study him so that you know his every move. You must use wisdom to defeat Him. In Matthew 10:16 Jesus sends out His disciple with this command: "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves." Jesus knew that His disciples were going to face some serious resistance from the devil so he warned them to be wise in the way of knowing who their enemy was and what he was capable of. We need to ask God everyday for wisdom.

Proverbs 3:5-8 has always been my "life" scripture. It keeps me grounded and reminds me where I need to get wisdom from. It says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; but in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones."

3. Endurance. We must understand that we are in this fight to win it. We have to be prepared to stay in until the end. When you give up you lose. In Hebrews 12:1-2 the writer tells us that "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Life is tough there are many things that can trip us up, and make us stumble. But we have to get up, brush ourselves off, and continue to run this race we call life. You can't quit just because you stumble and fall. God knows that is going to happen to us from time to time. You see its not about how you start the race, or how hard the race is with all the obstacles, its how you finish, and that you finish that counts. If we keep these principle we will be able to say what Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing."

Just like Roulon Gardner received that Gold medal, we too are going to receive a crown because God loves fighters, finishers, and keepers (standers).

I'm Just Sayin,
Mike Belgard

May 2, 2019 - Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God, sent by God into this world, not to judge the world, but to save the world. For only by faith in Jesus as Lord can one come to the Father God for salvation.

And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

For I have not spoken of my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment - what to say and what to speak.

And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” (John 12:44-50) 

Words of the truth of the gospel given all by the Lord Jesus Christ himself. It is by Jesus’ own words that we know the truth of him.

I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) 

As Jesus said, he has come not to judge the world but to save the world and for all who believe in him salvation has come, they are judged to be not-guilty of their own sins and are forever freed from the penalties of their sinful ways. 

And to those he gives a new commandment, a commandment of love.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) 

And for all who do love the Lord Jesus and strive to keep his commandments he promised and delivers a most precious gift, the gift of the Holy Spirit of God come to indwell each one, to be a Helper through life, a guide and comforter all the way home to be with the Lord forever.

If you love me you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:15-18)

Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send you in my name, he will teach you all things and bring you to remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26)

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:8) May his rich blessings be upon you today and forever...


Submitted by aerial photo of human prayer chain around the historic courthouse at National Day of Prayer 2018!

May 2, 2019 - In 1952 the United States Congress voted that the first Thursday in May each year would be the National Day of Prayer. Again this year, citizens and leaders of Shelby County will be meeting in front of our historic courthouse on Thursday, May 2nd from noon until 12:30pm to pray for our community and to make a statement that we are a community that believes in the power of prayer!

The brief half hour event will feature a color guard from Barksdate Air Force Base and prayers for our country, our military, our first responders, our churches, our elected officials, and our schools. We will end, as we did last May, with a human prayer chain around the historic courthouse.

We invite community leaders, church members, and anyone who believes in the power of prayer to join us! Contact David Mathis at dmathis@fbccenter.org or 979-533-1575 for more information.

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