November 11, 2021 - Most of us have our bad days. On those days, our every act, our every thought, our every spoken sentence seems to have a “but”, a “can’t” a “don’t”, or such like. On those days, we are at our worst. We fret about our health and our circumstances and we pity ourselves to the very verge of tears.

But what do we get out of it? Well, we get misery and worry. By compounding every problem and considering every obstacle, we make matters worse than they are.

So, why do we beat ourselves up when we get “down in the dumps”? Because we momentarily lose our perspective. We magnify things out of proportion so that they overwhelm us and upset us. Yet, we can quickly get rid of negative thoughts. We must switch our will power to the positive current. Once we do, we will notice an improvement almost immediately.

One by one, count your blessings in health, wealth, home, family and other areas of life. Think about all the things that are right in your life instead of all those things that are wrong. It is just as easy to be constructive and positive as it is to be destructive and negative.

So the next time you are “down in the dumps” and having a bad day, do something about it! Take a walk, chat with a neighbor or undertake a worthwhile project. Before you know it, the weight of the world will be lifted from your shoulders.

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.

November 8, 2021 - Fall Revival Services at Lydia MBC, with Bro. Randy Fair.

Lydia is located on FM 139 in Huxley, Nov 8-10 at 6pm.

November 8, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. This Thursday is Veterans Day, so on Sunday we celebrated veterans, saying special prayers for those who gave so much for the country you and I love. Our first hymn was “America,” AKA “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” also commemorating these selfless heroes.

We have had some really cool mornings. I covered my citrus trees a couple of nights, still having lemons and limes that are not quite ripe. The (huge) lemons started out green and slowly have turned yellow. I will be busy in a week or so moving the trees into the greenhouse along with other potted plants. My dogs don’t seem to mind the cold at all and think I am kind of a nerd as I get all bundled up. My daughter gave me a Fitbit to keep up each day with the number of steps I take. Verdict: I have been averaging around 4 miles a day. Some of those steps are purposeful and others are just moving around and working in the yard and gardens.

Our Sunday School lesson from John was about Jesus feeding the 5,000 with a few loaves of bread and five fish. Our writer told us this is the only miracle story found in all four gospels. John, though, would not call it a miracle—but a sign as to who this Jesus was. Once again Jesus talks about helping the poor, making us feel guilty about the abundance of the kingdom. Unfortunately, religion sometimes does put a guilt trip on us. (My mother was pretty good at that too!) I guess we must struggle on and find our way, with the help of Jesus and our fellow travelers.

The Old Testament lesson came from the first chapter of Ruth. This is one of the most beloved books of the Bible and one of only two named for a woman. Parts of it are often used at weddings, even though the story isn’t about romantic love but about a steadfast love that comes from God. This week while I was working on my sermon, I knew I wanted to approach my sermon from different angles since I have preached this story many times. I also realized that I had too much to say and needed to make two sermons out of the material. So next week I will continue the wonderful words of love overcoming great sadness and grief. Naomi, full of sorrow and yes, bitterness, knew she had to find a way to keep on going. She forged on, showing Ruth how to live with strength.

Our first hymn was “America” in honor of the upcoming Veterans Day, a stirring choice at any time and particularly meaningful this week. Then we sang “Blessed Assurance,” a comforting and joyful hymn. Our song leader Joe says it’s one of his favorite hymn. We closed out our time of worship with “Have Thine Own Way, Lord.” For celebrating Holy Communion, I used a liturgy called “Let the Vineyards Be Fruitful.”

Wednesday I took macaroni and cheese and a couple of checks to Community Christian Services. It is always refreshing and rewarding to see so many friends hard at work helping others. “Thanks, thanks, and ever thanks,” as William Shakespeare would say. In November, we will collect rice and beans. Joaquin First Baptist folks are also gearing up for Children’s Christmas, their part of CCS. They are organizing individuals and groups to “adopt” children, buying each a shirt, pants, shoes, and gift; First Baptist adds socks and Bibles.

We finished up our district reports this week, and I will send our Church Conference Reports to the District Office. Sue has bought some Covid-safe snacks and bottles of water for the conference, which will be November 20th at 2:00. We look forward as always to meeting with our District Superintendent, Dr. White.

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.

November 4, 2021 - ​According to the teachings of Jesus, every person is going through one of two gates. Either they are choosing to enter the narrow gate and the narrow way that leads to life or they are choosing the broad way which leads through the broad gate to destruction.

These two ideas represent two ways of life. One represents the way of good while the other represents the way of evil. The thought taught by Jesus in Matthew 7 is that more people will follow the easy and popular way of life than the one prescribed in the scriptures.

​This teaching is harmonious with another of the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 22:14. Here he says, “for many shall be called, but few chosen” That indicates there will be only a few people comparatively speaking, who are interested in the Lord’s way enough to follow it and be saved.  Jesus makes his call this way, “Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction and many there be which go in there at.Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

​In this Jesus is warning people to be very careful how they live. Too many people, who may think they are on the narrow path, might be surprised to find themselves on the broad way if they carefully analyzed their lives. Jesus wants everyone to be saved, but he must have the cooperation of every person who wants to be saved. They must enter the gate he prescribes and live his kind of life, his way.

It’s something to think about…..TBP

Join Us for Worship this coming Lord’s Day
Center Church of Christ
www.centerchurchofchrist.com

November 1, 2021 - St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church and Rev. Freddie D. Wilson, Pastor, are hosting the 112th Church Anniversary on Sunday, November 7, 2021 at 11am.

The event is a Park and Praise and the theme is "The House of God" Genesis 28:17.

Pastor Wilson will bring the message.

November 1, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. Sunday was All Hallowed Saints Eve (Halloween); Monday is All Saints’ Day, when Christians remember all the saints that came before them, honoring and thanking them for the impact they made. Paxton Methodists recalled the saints of the church and the saints of our personal lives with photos we displayed, recollections during the service, and special hymns for today.

Sue and I got our Covid-19 booster. As I was preparing services for All Saints Day, I thought of all those families who have lost loved ones from Covid-19. Over 750,000 of our fellow citizens have died since the pandemic began. We are experiencing fewer cases and deaths right now, which is great. But still. 100,000 people are infected each day and 1,300 Americans die each day. Let’s keep up the fight to to rid ourselves of this virus.

We sure had some strong winds for a couple of days last week. Saturday, I spent some time picking up tree limbs that were blown to the ground. We had a nice rain but really need more. Predictors of the weather think we are going to get more rain and wind by mid-week as another cold front is supposed to move through. And...some mornings in the 30s! I will really have to bundle up when I take Gunter and Sam for a walk.

Paxton Methodists have been bringing peanut butter and jelly to add to the Community Christian Services collection this month. I will deliver it all, along with a couple of checks, on Wednesday. It is always so nice to see those friendly dedicated volunteers at CCS. In November, we will collect rice and beans. Joaquin First Baptist folks are also gearing up for Children’s Christmas, their part of CCS.

Our Sunday School lesson was about “Covenant Renewal,” and our scripture was Deuteronomy 29: 10-29. The author told us that the earliest form of this Old Testament book was found in 621 BCE. Josiah was king in Judah, the southern kingdom. With the discovery of the book, there was a major effort to revive the covenant that Moses and his people made with God generations earlier. The author tied that to the need of the modern church, and us personally, focusing on the renewal of our covenant with God. Paul speaks about being born daily: I too think we need to renew our lives often and live as Jesus did.

We had a business meeting this morning to approve the reports of the church and the budget for 2022. I gave out copies of next year’s budget to everyone—but unfortunately, it still said Budget 2021. It is hard for me to think or write 2021, and here it is November! No telling what year I will think 2022 is. I will send off copies of the reports to our District Superintendent ahead of our Church Conference on November 20.

The scriptures for All Saints Sunday came from the New Testament, Revelation 21: 1-4, 6b, and from the Apocrypha, Sirach 44: 1-12. This scripture from Revelation is often read at funerals, because John speaks of a new heaven and a new earth coming. He proclaims that God is among his people—that he is the Alpha and the Omega. In Sirach, the writer talks of those who had great impact among their people. They knew their history and were wise. They were respected by people in their own time. Some may not have monuments built to them, but their influence, goodness, and love were still felt. These are the saints of our lives.

Our hymns—two sung and one listened to—further carried out the All Saints theme for this Sunday. We began with “When We All Get to Heaven,” a lively, spirited song we are all familiar with. The other one we sang was “Shall We Gather at the River.” The CD accompanist chose to play this one rather slowly, but if Mrs. Hilda had been at the piano, it would be another toe-tapper. I taped the listen-to hymn on my tablet, but it’s actually in the Methodist hymnal also: “Sing with All the Saints in Glory.” I didn’t think I knew it, but my wife pointed out that the tune was Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” Talk about uplifting music!

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 29, 2021 - Center First Baptist Church is hosting Trunk or Treat on Sunday, October 31st from 5pm until 7pm. Come for a night of fun for the whole family! First Baptist Church is located at 117 Cora Street, Center, Texas 75935.

October 28, 2021 - First United Methodist Church invites you to their annual Halloween Trunk-or-Treat on Sunday, October 31 from 6pm until 7:30pm at 211 Porter Street in Center.

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 or Rev. Malcolm Monroe at (936) 598-2707 or visit www.fumccentertx.org.

October 28, 2021 - Do you remember hearing that old saying, “you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar?” It is something we have heard all of our lives.

If you turn to the book of Genesis, when Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy food, they took a lot of gifts, balm, spices, myrrh, nuts, almost are all mentioned and Genesis 43:11 says “a little honey.”

We have all known folks with a lot of ability, a lot of intelligence, but there was no honey in their lives, no sweetness, no joy.

Jesus came so that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. Jesus brings sweetness into our lives. Paul would write, “be ye kind one to another.” (Ephesians 4:32) Truth be told, most of us have not committed unkind acts deliberately. Yet, how often are we guilty of unintentional unkindness? How often do we forget to speak a word of encouragement? How many times have we failed to weigh our words before they left our lips?

Kindness should be a positive force in our lives. We should look for opportunities to be kind to one another, to spread joy, to show people Jesus Christ living in our lives.

As Jacob told his sons on their journey to Egypt, “take a little honey” so we too should take a little with us every day of our live.

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 26, 2021 - New Life Church presents Scare Tactics "...A Cold Day in Hell" is October 24th at 10:30am and 6pm and October 25 and through 28 at 7pm Nightly.

What is Scare Tactics?

Scare Tactics is an annual production by New Life Church in its 10th year. This production includes; live action drama, video scenes, costumes, make-up, lights, sound effects, interaction with the audience, and a short gospel message. Each year’s production is totally new; new story lines, characters, scenes, etc. Although this is a difficult task it is essential in order to keep the experience new and fresh each year. This presentation is based on a TV show by the same name, in which participants wish to scare friends or family. In our version they are trying to scare others about the importance of our decisions concerning eternity i.e.; Heaven or Hell

Is Scare Tactics like “Hell House?”

In a word, NO! Scare Tactics is a drama with a complete story, a short gospel message and then ends with a scene depicting the wonders of Heaven for those who have become Christians. The presentation has been compared to Heaven’s Gate & Hell’s Flames, a production that has garnered national attention. Although some elements are similar, the total experience in every Scare Tactics presentation is unique because Pastor Steve writes a new story each year with the same heart for reaching people with the gospel message as he does for his sermons.

This year’s presentation is titled “...A Cold Day in Hell!”

Performances are Sunday, October 24th at 10:30am and 6pm and Monday through Thursday, October 25 - 28th at 7pm nightly. Nursery will be provided. For more information call 936-598-3286 or visit online at www.centernewlifechurch.com or www.mynlc.info.

New Life Church is located at 822 Hurst Street, Center, Texas.

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