May 2, 2022 - House of Refuge Apostolic Ministries presents the 21st Annual Conference - Let's Ride for Jesus on May 11-13 at 7:30pm nightly.

Conference guest speakers are:

  • Wednesday night - Sis. Stephanie Hicks, Reed Chapel Baptist Church, San Augustine
  • Thursday night - First Lady Natasha Jones, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Center
  • Friday night - Prophetess Ronda Coleman, Gates Community Church International, Athens

Everyone is invited! Conference host is Lady Pearl Nash.

May 2, 2022 - Good Morning! It's Monday, May 2.

This Thursday at noon there will be a National Day of Prayer event in front of our historic courthouse - in the "center of Center". I'm coordinating this half-hour event that will include the singing of the National Anthem, and prayers for our country, our schools, our churches, our military, our first responders, etc. If we have at least 100 people attend, we'll end the half hour with a human prayer chain around the courthouse, singing "Amazing Grace"! I invite all of our faithful daily devotion readers to come down and join us, as we come together to pray this Thursday at noon. Today we'll begin a brief series on prayer in preparation for the National Day of Prayer.

When it comes to the subject of prayer in the Bible - what's the first thing you think of? I imagine it's the passage that we call "The Lord's Prayer". We find two versions of it - a longer one in Matthew and a shorter one in Luke. Some people call this prayer "The Our Father". I like to call it "The Model Prayer" because it's not a record of Jesus praying, it's a record of Him teaching His disciples, and us, how to pray. I think that the real "Lord's Prayer" is found in John chapter 17. Jesus has completed the teaching lesson that He shared with the disciples in the Upper Room, and then, just before they go out to the Garden of Gethsemane where He will be arrested . . . Jesus prays.

It is a prayer that it is remarkable because of its very personal language, its intimate connection with God. In verse 10 Jesus prays, "All I have is yours, Father, and all You have is mine". And it is remarkable because, even though Jesus is about to face an unimaginable test, His prayer is almost completely directed outward. He's not praying for Himself, He's praying for His disciples, He's praying for me and you. 

"I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as we are one. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent me and have loved them, even as You have loved me."

A selfless prayer. A prayer for others. A model prayer.

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

May 2, 2022 - Plans are full steam ahead for this year’s homecoming. Let’s fill the tables with food and enjoy visiting with everyone. Bring your family and take in some fresh air. After the stress of the last few years come relax with friends. Hope to see a big crowd this year! Join us on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 11 a.m. for lunch.

Find us on Facebook - Pleasant Hill Cemetery

Donations may be mailed to:
Pleasant Hill Cemetery
P.O. Box 91
Shelbyville, TX 75973

Tim PerkinsApril 28, 2022 - Peter would write in I Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon Him for he careth for you” (KJV). Personally, I like the way that Phillips translation gives us this passage when it says, “You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern.” Whether we realize it or not, you and I are in this verse. If there was ever a passage for troubled believers, this is the passage.

So much in this world is impersonal. You have to press one for English and give someone the last four numbers of your social security number. Yet, God still knows you and me as individuals. Guess what, God does not track us down by the last four digits of our social security number either. He knows us by name and he has time for us. Just like he had time for an outcast publican named Zacchaeus, a woman with a disease that touched the hem of His garment, and an unnamed woman with a poor reputation he met beside a well near Sychar. Jesus had time for them, and he has time for me and you.

When we read that passage in I peter, we realize we are in that verse and that our cares and burdens are in that verse. Peter tells us that Jesus can take on the full weight of all our worries and anxieties. Everything we are carrying, all the baggage we have and every care that is a roadblock to a blessing.

Don’t ever wonder if Jesus cares. He does, and He wants to bear our burdens if we will only let him.

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

April 27, 2022 - Old Sardis Cemetery in San Augustine County will host Homecoming on Sunday, May 1, 2022. Bring a covered dish. Arrive at 10am with lunch at noon.

Directions to Old Sardis Cemetery: From Aiken, Hwy 7, in Shelby County, take CR 1210 south for 4.5 miles to four way intersection of Rocky Mountain Road and Spring Ridge Road. Precede straight on Spring Ridge Road for .4 miles, cemetery on left.

April 27, 2022 - It’s almost time… so mark your calendars for Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 11am for the Sardis Cemetery Homecoming fish fry fundraiser. We will have the best catfish around! The plates have lots of fried catfish, French fries, the very best pinto beans, (made by Melba Rodgers) and all the fixings… plus homemade desserts. Lick your fingers good eating for $10 a plate!

This fundraiser helps to maintain the cemetery. We need your help and contributions to keep up with this inflation. We look forward to seeing you there. LaNell Rash will be ready to help you and answer any questions you may have regarding the cemetery.

It’s always so beautiful this time of year! So come on by for a visit with some of the nicest people in the county!

All proceeds will benefit the upkeep of the cemetery and grounds. Any donations can be mailed to Sardis Cemetery, 6034 FM 414, Center, TX 75935.

April 27, 2022 - The Annual Duncan Cemetery meeting will be held Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 1pm at the Cemetery. If you cannot attend and want to send your upkeep donation, send it to Duncan Cemetery, c/o Traci Parker Barrientos, 25514 Saddlebrook Way, Katy, Texas 77494. Hope to see you there.

April 25, 2022 - The Buckner reunion will be held at the Clever Creek fellowship hall on Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 10:30am. Bring your favorite covered dish and stay for the auction. All proceeds will go towards up keep of our family cemetery. Donations are welcomed.

April 25, 2022 - Good Morning!  It's Monday, April 25.

In Mark 16:15, Jesus says this - "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Are you a preacher? Most of us, when we hear that word, think of an ordained minister who stands behind a pulpit on Sunday mornings and delivers a prepared sermon to a congregation. But, when we look closer at this scripture verse, that doesn't seem to be who Jesus is talking about.

The original Greek word that the Bible translates as "preach" is the word "kerusso" which means to declare, proclaim, or announce a message. It comes from the word "kerux", the name for the spokesman, the representative of a king.  This was a very important and honored position in the ancient world. The kerux spent much time with the king, preparing and shaping and clarifying his vision and his message. A close, personal relationship between the kerux and the king was vital to the success of this entire process.

If we call ourselves "Christians", we accept that we are representatives of Christ, the King of Kings. And so, every day, in the way that we live our lives, we speak His message of love, of hope, of purpose. Every day . . . we preach!

Meet you back here tomorrow,

Bro. David
dmathis@fbccenter.org

April 24, 2022 - Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. This Sunday was Orthodox Easter in the East and Low Sunday here in the Western world. Easter sees the highest attendance at our churches, and usually the lowest attendance is on the second Sunday of Easter (thus, “low Sunday”). Oh, human nature—quite marvelous. Sunday morning the sun began to peek through the clouds, and by the time I got ready to go to Sunday School, it was shining brightly. It has been windy and dry, and we are still suffering from drought. I water just about every day, but with the mild temperatures I don’t mind. Ask me about that in a month or two and you will hear a different story.

Paxton Methodists have been collecting toothpaste and toothbrushes for Community Christian Services during the month of April. But in this last week of April, I will take what we have collected and a couple of checks to CCS. Next month we’ll bring cans of fruit. Paxton Methodists also want to send along anniversary best wishes to Vera and Keith.

Our Sunday School lesson was based on Psalm 104, a poetic look at God and creation. From the springs to the mountains, the writer is really in awe of all that God created. The author of our lesson points out that Methodists have a commitment to protect the planet and to work on a sustainable environmental lifestyle. She also speaks about that first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. This Friday we celebrate Arbor Day, another reminder of God’s beauty.

The quote on the front of the bulletin from Henry David Thoreau said, “Nature if full of genius, full of the divinity.” That sure went along with our Sunday School lesson. Our Gathering Words were from Psalm 118, and our affirmation was The Apostles’ Creed. The Gospel lesson, John 20: 19-30, told the story of Doubting Thomas. Our first song was “I Stand Amazed in the Presence,” a rousing hymn. The second was a more sedate hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

Before the Prayer of the Church, Fannie reported that her grandson Jake broke his leg during maneuvers. Being an active duty serviceman, he is always on our prayer list. Jake, we hope you bounce back quickly. Sue announced the addition of a mini library to Joaquin, next to the Blessing Box downtown. So people can get and give non-perishable foods and hygiene products in one and books and magazines in the other.

In my sermon I complained that the John Gospel refers to Thomas as Doubting Thomas. I understand why, but the writer didn’t take into account what a faithful believer he was before that fateful week in Jerusalem. Post-Resurrection when Jesus first appeared to the disciples, Thomas wasn’t even there. Maybe he should be referred to as Absent Thomas. In the first appearance among his disciples, Jesus takes a big breath, breathing the spirit on each of his friends. I am sure he would later do the same to Thomas. I used Owen Meany from the John Irving novel, A Prayer for Owen Meany, to illustrate what the John Gospel imagines really strong faith would look like. I also stressed how important it was for the disciples that they had each other. Friends are the greatest gift we receive from God.

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.

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