February 6, 2023 - Good Morning! It's Monday, February 6.

Hope you enjoyed yesterday - your "day of rest". Sundays, for church people, can often be everything but days of rest. Busy churches have busy Sunday schedules - worship services (often multiple), Sunday School, small group Bible studies, rehearsals, committee meetings, fellowships, etc, etc, etc! I grew up in a pastor's home and Sundays were always long and full.

When the pandemic hit - three years ago now! - Sunday schedules were greatly reduced. Many churches were shut down for months and months. Those that opened usually only had one worship service for a while. The "day of rest" was actually pretty restful. But, Sundays are busy once again. And on Monday mornings, church folk can sometimes have a "spiritual" hangover!

Another term for Sunday is worth noting today as well - The Lord's Day. And so, whether we spend it at church all day, or on other activities at home or in the community, Sunday should always be a day where we give special focus to God, and to our relationship with Him. The Bible reminds us that He is our strength when we are weak - or tired.  It reminds us that "those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary."

Meet you back here tomorrow,

Bro. David

February 3, 2023 - At His Feet Ladies Retreat Friday. February 3, 2023 at 7 o’clock in the evening Sardis Pentecostal Church, 4352 County Road 3047, Center, Texas 75935.

Special speaker is Cindy Fish.

February 3, 2023 - White Rock Missionary Baptist Church, Center, welcomes Jill Neave in concert at 6pm on Saturday, February 11, 2023.

Jill Neave has spent the last 33 years singing southern gospel music. The majority of that time was spent traveling the southeastern U.S. with a group called “The Singing Christians.” After the group retired, Jill continued to sing as a soloist and has a love for the old-time gospel songs, harmony, and spirit.

She shared a few words about Vestal Goodman who has always been her favorite singer. “Vestal could sing a song and make you feel every word. That’s what I strive to do… and to help you feel a little closer to Jesus when you leave than you were when you came.”

Jill and her husband, Mike, will soon celebrate their 30th anniversary and have spent the last several weeks helping build a house for some of their Nacogdoches friends, Brandon and Amanda Jones. The Neaves and Jones' relationship stems back to 1997, where they met at the National Quartet Convention in Kentucky.

Until I went into the sanctuary of God, then I understood.” (Psalms 73:17)

February 2, 2023 - The value of attending the public meetings of the church is a matter of dispute in the minds of many people. There are some folks who go to church regularly while others do not go at all. Then there are those who are in the services occasionally on days like Christmas, Easter and Mother’s Day.

What is the merit of going to church? Does it help? Is the outlook of the regular church goer different on other points from the outlook of those who do not go to church or only go occasionally?

In the passage above, the 73rd Psalm, the Hebrew poet expressed himself on this matter. He had almost given up trying to do right. He saw the prosperity of the wicked and envied them. He saw the ease of the sinful and wondered why he must be burdened.

Seeing these things he had about decided that God didn’t care. That conclusion is fatal to spirituality. Then one day he went up to the sanctuary of the Lord – that is, he went to church. It was here he got his bearings again. When he left, his feet were on firm ground. He understood God’s plan when he went to church. Why not try it?

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.

January 30, 2023 - Good Morning! It’s Monday, January 30.

The Library of Congress is the official library of the United States. It was started in 1800, but during the War of 1812, the British burned it to the ground. On January 30, 1815, 6000 books from the personal collection of Thomas Jefferson were purchased to restore the library. Today it boasts over 170 million books. You can visit your national library in Washington D.C. - in the Thomas Jefferson Building. But, unless you’re a high government official, you can’t check anything out.

Lots of Americans love books. And we love collecting books. I have about a thousand at my house (I’m no Thomas Jefferson!). I know that you, at the very least, have 66 books in your home. The first one is titled Genesis and the last Revelation. The Library of Congress has The Gutenberg Bible and a copy of Jefferson’s Bible. Over the centuries, some, in protest, have chosen to burn the Bible. In 2009 there was even a church in South Carolina that burned Bibles - all the ones that weren’t in the King James Version.

But the Bible endures, and continues to be “a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path”.

Isaiah 40:8 - “The grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of the Lord endures forever”.

Meet you back here tomorrow,
Bro. David

January 26, 2023 - A laugh may be the sweetest or the most bitter sound that comes from the human voice, according to the sentiment it expresses. To be sure, laughter is not an unimportant incident in a happy life, but a gift of God to serve a definite purpose and is even more useful in less happy lives.

Laughter is one of life’s greatest shock absorbers. Many of the things at which we laugh would be very annoying if we did not think them funny, and laughter is nature’s device for taking up the jolt. Laughter is a better response than annoyance to a horde of petty annoyances that dog our heels.

Laughter is also a source of strength. Men endure and achieve as they learn to break the monotony of routine work with laughter. The burdens of many lives are beyond the normal power and endurance of human beings. There are various sources of strength for ush and one of them is laughter. It is a familiar fact that Lincoln said that laughter, relieving the strain of care, was what kept him from breaking beneath the load he had to bear.

Laughter is the magnet that draws. It may be a very quiet unostentatious laugh, perhaps not more than a twinkle of the eye, but it is the key that unlocks the hearts of people. Laughter is a fine art when it covers a heart that may be heavy but is undaunted and unafraid. Such laughter is a principle of life. It is an expression of a noble courage, a genuine love and a deep and abiding faith in God.

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

January 24, 2023 - There will be a 5th Sunday Singing this coming Sunday, January 29, at 6pm at First United Methodist Church.

All area churches are invited to attend and bring any music and singers to perform. 

Afterwards there will be a pot luck finger foods snack time.  

All are welcome

January 23, 2023 - 5th Sunday Night singing at Mount Calvary Full Gospel Church, 5527 FM 417 East, Shelbyville, TX 75973. January 29th starts at 6pm. Musicians will need to arrive at 5:30 to set up. Finger foods will be served. For information call 936-591-8500.

January 23, 2023 - Abundant Love Ministries (ALM) is pleased to announce two (2) scholarships, "The Pastor Marlin and 1st Lady Felicia Cloudy Service Scholarship" and "The Minister Mike Sparks Service Award Scholarship."

Each scholarship will award two (2) $1,000 each, scholarships to four (4) qualifying Shelby County residents. Click each respective scholarship above for more information, including application and process for applying.

Application submission deadline is Monday, April 10, 2023. Questions and correspondence can be forwarded to the ALM Scholarship Committee, at abundantloveministries936@gmail.com.

All are always welcome and invited to any and all of our scheduled services. Abundant Love Ministries is located at 1426 Shelbyville St., Center, TX 75935.

January 23, 2023 - Good Morning! It’s Monday, January 23.

Yesterday, at First Baptist Church of Center, Texas, we welcomed a special guest - a representative of the organization called Campus Crusade for Christ. Actually, for the last ten years, it’s gone by the name “Cru”. Started in 1951, as a ministry to college students, Cru has worked, for over 70 years now, to spread the gospel message of Jesus Christ around the world.

In the 1960’s, Cru developed the gospel tract “The Four Spiritual Laws”. Over four billion have been printed. I remember using it when, as a teenager, I first experienced sharing my faith. Cru produced the film “Jesus”, the most watched movie in history, with over seven billion viewings, in over 2000 languages. In the 1980’s, I remember being on a mission trip to Mexico, when my team set up a projector in a small village, and shared the story of Christ with hundreds of villagers - in their language.

Yesterday our pastor preached on soul winning, on witnessing, on evangelism. He urged us to share our personal testimony with those around us. He inspired us to “tell the old, old story”.

Proverbs 11:30 - The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and they that win souls are wise.

Meet you back here tomorrow,
Bro. David