May 9, 2022 - Sunday was the 4th Sunday of Easter. We have had a couple of good rains and some humid summertime weather. Not to mention some middle 90s—in early May! It is Saturday evening, and as I proofread my sermon again, I finally think it is ready to go. I will see tomorrow if I put anyone to sleep. Just joking! This Sunday in the Season of Easter is sometimes referred to as The Shepherd’s Sunday. We began this day with the 23rd Psalm as our Gathering Words.

We had a small Sunday School class and congregation, as some members were sick and others out of town. The Sunday School lesson was to encourage good stewardship: Much of our discussion focused on what tithing meant to the agricultural folks of ancient Israel/Judea and to us in the 21st Century. The text was Deuteronomy 14: 22-29. The purpose of the tithing system in the ancient society was to make sure no one would be disadvantaged permanently or consigned to second-class status. It recognized the reality of poverty and hoped to alleviate it. With the tithe, one conferred worth, dignity, and belonging on those who had been less fortunate. That is still true today.

Sue read the Gospel from John 37-30, with Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Scholars and temple folks wanted Jesus to state plainly if he thought he was the promised messiah—trying to trip him up as usual. Jesus didn’t feel as if he owed these people anything. He said look at what I do—healing and trying to lessen people’s pain. He told his questioners that they were too preoccupied to hear the call of the Good Shepherd.

Our songs were two favorites of our church—“When We All Get to Heaven” and “Hymn of Promise.” The first one is a lively, toe-tapping hymn, and the second is a heartfelt poem set to beautiful music. The affirmation was The Apostles’ Creed, probably the best-known ancient creed. During the merry month of May, our church folks will be collecting cans of fruit so we can take them to Community Christian Services at the end of the month. Later this month will be Joy and Gene’s anniversary. This past weekend they celebrated their twins’ 50th birthday. We all gave thanks for our mothers—and mother figures—for the impact they had on our lives.

In my sermon, I spoke a little about each Scripture on today’s traditional lectionary. From the Old Testament, we had the story of Dorcas, devout servant to her church, and Psalm 23 about the shepherd. In earlier times, shepherds such as David were steadfastly guarding sheep for the family and tribe; by the time of Jesus, however, the flocks and most everything else were owned by absentee landlords, leading to many shepherds doing only a “good enough” job. In Revelation and in the Gospel of John, we again find the shepherd motif: Like Psalm 23, the shepherd symbolizes care and trustworthiness.

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.

May 9, 2022 - Drive thru food pantry, Saturday, May 14 at 9am at Hillcrest Baptist Church. Only (1) box per household and ID is required. Must be in line by 9:30am to receive a box.

May 9, 2022 - Good morning! Today is Monday, May 9.

I hope all you moms had a wonderful Mother’s Day. At First Baptist Center, a “mother’s trio” sang a song called “If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again.” We dedicated it to all those who were remembering mothers that have gone on to heaven. My mom passed in 2010 and nothing has been quite the same since.

Losing a parent is one of those milestone moments in life. It changes how we see ourselves. It redefines who we are. This past Thursday our pastor lost his dad, after a long and lingering illness. I'm driving up to Tulsa, Oklahoma early tomorrow for the funeral service. And so, I'll be reprinting a favorite devotion from the past. Hope you enjoy it.

And I hope you'll remember our pastor, Bobby Bressman, and his family in prayer during their time of loss.

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

Tim PerkinsMay 5, 2022 - In the event you are unaware of what is going on, this coming Sunday is the day set aside in our country as “Mother's Day.” It is that day where we honor our mothers. We honor those who are teachers and disciplinarians. They are cleaning ladies, gardeners and mowers of lawns. And, with all that, they understand that baking cookies is more important than washing windows.

Mothers are nurses and doctors. They are psychologists, counselors, chauffeurs and coaches. They are also developers of personalities, molders of vocabularies and shapers of attitudes.

God commands us in His word to honor our mothers. It is also the sensible and loving thing to do. There are many of us who wish we still had our mothers living so we could honor them. So that we could remember them and love them. You see, while the world is full of mothers, no one can take the place of our own mother.

So, this Sunday, there will be cards, flowers, candy and various gifts showered on mother's in honor of her "special day.” Here's an idea of what you can give your mother for Mother's Day. Go and sit beside her in church this coming Sunday. I know she would like that. You see, all too soon the day will come that you can't sit beside her in church, so do it while you can.

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.

May 5, 2022 - The annual Powdrill Cemetery Homecoming will be Saturday, May 14, 2022, at 12 noon. The event will be held the Grant barn, located 1 mile north of Arcadia. A short business meeting will follow. Bring your favorite dish and enjoy fellowship and visiting the cemetery grounds.

If you are unable to attend, donations may be mailed to Powdrill Cemetery Fund, c/o 549 Lakewood Dr., Center, Texas 75935.

 

May 5, 2022 - At noon today there will be a National Day of Prayer event in front of our historic courthouse.

The half-hour ceremony will include -

*National Anthem - Mayor Pro Tem, Leigh Porterfield
*Prayer for America - Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian
*Prayer for Schools - Elementary School Principal LeeAnn Masterson
*Prayer for Soldiers - VFW Quartermaster Larry Hume
*Prayer for First Responders - County Sheriff Kevin Windham
*Prayer for Churches - First Methodist Pastor Malcolm Monroe
*Prayer for Families - Shelby County Outreach Director Sherry Harding

And we’ll close the event by forming a prayer chain and singing “Amazing Grace”.

Join us today at noon for the National Day of Prayer!

May 4, 2022 - Sunday was the 3rd Sunday of Easter. We have had rain, wind, nice low humidity days and not-so-nice high humidity days. Typical spring in East Texas—with some wild weather thanks to climate change. In last week’s Sunday School lesson, the author spoke about our denomination United Methodist) and our stand to protect the planet from misuse by us humans. We are supposed to be the stewards of this beautiful earth, but we haven’t done a very good job.

I am late sitting down at my computer (I almost said typewriter—that dates me!) because I went to the hospital in Shreveport to have an injection in my spine. It was the third one, giving me some relief. Regardless, though, I am not ready to halt my pandemic therapy—gardening. I have 21 raised beds and containers; I really enjoy “playing in the dirt.” Gene and I were discussing how gardening isn’t a money-making proposition, but it is fun. On May 17th Joy and Gene will celebrate their anniversary. They will also be heading to Houston sometime in May to help their twins celebrate their 50th birthday.

Sunday was the first day of May: I can remember celebrating May Day, like field day, at my elementary school. Once, maybe in fourth grade, I was entered in the sack race. I was given a defective sack—it had no bottom. So I didn’t have to jump—just ran full out and won...or so I thought. I was disqualified because of my defective sack. Not my fault! Later that day I won the 50-yard dash and went home with one blue ribbon. During the 50s and 60s we were all fearful of communism. May Day sounded a little communist, so many schools in Texas changed the day to Americanization Day. We kids really didn’t care—a full day of recess was fine no matter what they called it. I remember that week of the Cuban Missile Crisis, going to the A&P, where a company was selling bomb shelters in the parking lot. They had several models you could choose from and tour. My brother and I were sold but couldn’t convince my dad that it would be a good investment.

Beginning a new month, we are collecting cans of fruit for Community Christian Services. I already delivered a couple of checks and the toothpaste and toothbrushes Paxton Methodists have been bringing to church all April long. Mrs. Ruby wanted me to thank the Paxton Methodists, and invited me to come back for lunch. I had a doctor’s appointment so I couldn’t stay.

Our Sunday School lesson was not an easy one to digest. This ancient law text from Leviticus made perfect sense to primitive agricultural people who lived in a tribal family system. Much of the text, however, fell on puzzled 21st Century ears. When the passage spoke of leaving some of the fields fallow we did understand that. The author tried to use the text to remind us of our role in creation and our function in preserving God’s Kingdom on Earth.

Our Church service began with words based on Psalm 30 as we gathered for worship, and our affirmation was The Apostles’ Creed. Sue read from the last chapter of the John Gospel; as I started my sermon, I read from the last chapter of the Mark Gospel. I wanted to stress how God more often than not meets us in the “ordinary” of life and not the extraordinary. In the Gospel, Jesus fixes breakfast for his disciples—can’t get much more ordinary than that! The writer of John says this was the third appearance of the resurrected Christ.

Our first song was “Savior, Like Shepherd Lead Us.” I felt it went along with Jesus asking Peter three times if Peter loved him, then telling the disciples to feed his sheep. The Hymn of Joy was “Blessed Assurance,” which heralded both the appearance of the resurrected Jesus in our Scripture and our commemoration of the Lord’s Supper. Because it was the first Sunday of the month we celebrated the Service of Communion and Remembrance.

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.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God." Romans 8:28

May 3, 2022 - My brother Bill enlisted in the Navy when we graduated from High School in 1950 and soon afterwards, I hitch-hiked to Springfield, Missouri and enrolled in The Baptist Bible College with dollars in my pocket and joined a number of other "pore" young preachers. My parents didn't have a phone, so Mother often wrote letters to keep me in touch with the family.

Even though postage stamps were only 3 cents back then, eight children were still at home and even a stamp was hard to come by at times. Each of Mother's letters were enclosed in a small "lick to seal" envelope and she faithfully wrote on the back of them, "All things work together for good to them who love the Lord...” "Romans 8:28." "Hen Doug, all things that happen to us won't be good,” she used to say… "but they will all work together for our good.”

On February 25, 1999 our saddened family gathered around Mother's casket for her burial in the cemetery at Center, Texas. As I stood reminiscing, I envisioned Mother's hands, her letters, and her special left-handed handwriting. And I recalled her saying to me, "Remember, Hen Doug… 'All things.' " And under my breath I whispered, "I know, Mother." "I do remember.”

"I always will.”

May 3, 2022 - On Thursday, May 5, Noon - 12:30, the people of Center are invited to gather at the "center of Center", in front of our historic courthouse, for a National Day of Prayer event. Would you give 30 minutes of your day to be one of a hundred community folks to join hands and circle the old courthouse in a prayer chain? That's going to be a memorable moment! The half hour program will also include the singing of the National Anthem and prayers for our country, our community, our schools, our churches, and our first responders. Join leaders from our city as we say together - "Prayer is powerful!", and as we lift our hearts together in prayer to God. Contact David Mathis at 979-533-1575 or dmathis@fbccenter.org for more info about the National Day of Prayer.

May 2, 2022 - The Campti Methodist Church and Cemetery Homecoming is scheduled for Sunday, May 15, 2022.

The business meeting is at 11:00 am and lunch at 12:00 noon

Donations can be taken by:
• Donna Jameson 579 CR 2010 Center, TX 75935 or,
• Mary Culver 357 CR 3080 Center 75935.

This homecoming is held the Third Sunday in May every year. 

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