June 24, 2021 - Sorrow is a universal experience, it comes to the rich and poor, to the powerful and the weak. So much of the sorrow in our world is unseen, often it is hidden from view purposely. Many times it is known only to the individual and to God. It can be buried beneath a cheerful countenance and earthly baubles. Yet, even the most cheerful often have troubled hearts.

Our hearts can be troubled by sins, either our own or the sins of others. Hearts can be heavy because of the departure of a loved one or the deep waters of serious illness. There are times that our hearts are distressed due to the unfaithfulness of a friend or feelings of insecurity. 

Jesus did not shun sorrow. To be sure, He was often found among people with heavy hearts, people who were distressed and uneasy. To these He was sympathetic. Jesus suffered with people and shared their sorrows. His mission was to “heal the brokenhearted” (Luke 4:18)

Jesus’ remedy for broken and troubled hearts was faith. He said, “believe in God, believe in me” (John 14:1) A few sentences later he said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me” When our faith is in Jesus Christ, when we live life His way, our troubled hearts will find relief.

It’s something to think about… tbp

Join Us for Worship this coming Lord’s Day

Center Church of Christ

June 22, 2021 (Event Flyer) - Pleasant Grove MBC is having Revival beginning on June 28th through July 2nd.

Bro. Kevin Windham will preach on Monday and Tuesday. Bro. BJ Windham will preach on Wednesday and Bro. Billy Windham will preach Thursday and Friday.

Revival begins at 7 pm each night. Song specials are always welcome.

We would love to see you there! Everyone is invited. Come and bring a friend to enjoy the services and let a true Revival happen in your heart. For more information, contact Pastor Josh Crawford at 572-5303. God Bless you all.

June 21, 2021 (Event Flyer) - “Victory in Jesus” is the theme of the June 27-28 meeting of Clever Creek Baptist Church with Kirbyville Pastor David Neely and a number of musical guest singers.

Preacher David NeelyMany people spend a lifetime filling in the blank, “Happiness is….” Only to find their own personal life seemingly blank and unfulfilled. Happiness for Pastors Jerry Hopkins and David Neely is experiencing and proclaiming “victory in Jesus.” Brother Neely has experienced illness, pain and many difficulties, finding in Jesus certain victory and a joyous, overcoming life.

Music Leader Charles Delaney will lead the music each service. Brother Charles has extensive experience in music, having taught music in Houston public schools and local schools here – San Augustine and Shelbyville. We are privileged and blessed to have his witness and leadership in gospel music.

Pastor Jerry Hopkins celebrated his 27th year with Clever Creek Baptist Church and welcomes you to become part of God’s work at this historic Baptist Church.

This special meeting at Clever Creek Baptist Church will begin with Pastor Hopkins preaching the opening message on Sunday morning, June 27th, on praising God for our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ.

Then Sunday night through Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Guest Preacher David Neely will speak to us the message of Jesus’ victory and our victory through Him. We hope that you will set aside Sunday, June 27, through Wednesday night, June 30, 2021, to share in our “Victory in Jesus” meeting at Clever Creek Baptist Church.

  • June 27, Sunday Morning – 10:55am, No Sunday School, Praising God for Jesus Our Savior with Pastor Jerry Hopkins
  • June 27, Sunday Evening – 7pm, Praising God for His Victory in Jesus with guest preacher, David Neely
  • June 28, Monday Evening – 7pm, Praising God for Victory Over the World with guest preacher, David Neely
  • June 29, Tuesday Evening – 7pm, Praising God for Our Faith with guest preacher, David Neely
  • June 30, Wednesday Evening – 7pm, Praising God for One Another with guest preacher, David Neely

June 21, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. Today was the fourth Sunday after Pentecost (and also the real Father’s Day). I had been thinking it was Father’s Day all last week and ended up using some FD material in last week’s sermon. That didn’t make sermon writing any easier this week. But as we see in today’s scriptures, things are not always meant to be easy.

Sue is back operating the CD player and putting our songs together for worship like she did at First Methodist in Joaquin. We certainly miss our piano player, Ms. Hilda, and were so happy to hear that she is home. We hope she gets stronger each and every day. Today we used a couple of songs that we sang often at Joaquin but that are not on the Paxton standard list. The hymns for Father’s Day were “This is My Father’s World” and “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us.” Sue decided they were both “kinda father-ish.” (In case you’re wondering what happened to “Faith of Our Fathers,” that hymn is on a CD unfortunately missing from our set.)

Our Sunday School lesson once again focused on the Old Testament Joseph, who had become an important person in his adopted country of Egypt. What took him to the top was his ability to interpret dreams. Joseph didn’t take credit for what he saw but correctly predicted seven years of famine followed by seven years of woe. This last part would bring his family back together—but at what a cost!

For Father’s Day, I discussed my dad and my father-in-law, who would both have turned 100 this year. They certainly saw plenty in their years! The older I get the more I appreciate that I was able to internalize some of my dad’s best qualities. He introduced my brother and me to reading, playing hard to win (but not at any cost), thinking deeper than we realized we could, and treating everyone—regardless of station—with respect. I wish there was a way to say thanks, but I guess paying it forward does thank your mentor.

It was good to visit by phone with Hilda this week. Joy also talked to Carolyn, who thinks she may come back to Texas later this summer for some doctors’ appointments. We might have to ID her to make sure she is still a red, white, and blue Texan! It was nice to have Larry McNeil back this morning. Last weekend he went to northern Arkansas (almost to Missouri) for a family reunion and a memorial service for his wife Rose. Larry said traveling to this part of Arkansas really makes for a scenic but lengthy trip. Sue and I made a much shorter trip this week to Monroe to visit Uncle Eddie. He is a champion storyteller and always regales us with tales of family, friends, and adventures. Luckily this time, we had no such (mis)adventures through small-town Louisiana on our return—and this time we had a paper map just in case!

Sue and I ordered a copier from Amazon, and I was able to run off bulletins for this morning. I was proud of myself for getting it up and running... but don’t congratulate me yet: Somehow I was totally unable to call up my sermon and prayers on my trusty Kindle. I always need a script heavy with instructions and directions written down right in front of me, in English, as I often lose my place. This week I had to use prehistoric reminders—on paper.

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.

June 17, 2021 - Faith is a common denominator in all of our lives. We daily express faith in something. In fact, we cannot live a single day without exercising faith. To be sure, we have faith in the physical world.

When you woke up and went into the bathroom this morning, you flipped a switch and you had faith the light would come on. When you get in your car, you have faith that it will start. When you mail a letter, you have faith the postal system will get it to the right address. When you go to the pharmacy, you have faith that the pharmacist will give you the right drugs. When you get in an elevator in a high rise building, you have faith in the low bidder on the construction project.

In his first epistle, John writes of victory in overcoming the world. The world to which John refers are those things which are in the world. John writes in I John 5:4-5, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the word, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.”

Our faith must be a faith that leads us to live Jesus’ kind of live, His way. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

Faith in Jesus that leads to victory must come from the Word of God. We must spend time letting God speak to us through His word an speaking to God through prayer. There can be victory in overcoming the world. This victory is the victory of faith.

It’s something to think about… tbp

Center Church of Christ

June 14, 2021 - The Wimberly Cemetery Homecoming will be held on Sunday, June 20 at noon. Everyone is encouraged to come, enjoy our beautiful cemetery, and fellowship with friends and family over lunch.

If weather permits, we will be setting up tables and chairs outside this year.

Also, if anyone would like to donate to the cemetery fund, that would be greatly appreciated either at the homecoming or by mail. Hope to see you there!

Donations may be mailed to: 
Wimberly Cemetery 
c/o Mack O’Rear
11466 FM 2694
Shelbyville, TX 75973

June 14, 2021 - This Saturday, June 19, the Joaquin FUMC Youth Group will be hosting a car wash in the Joaquin, TX Brookside Brothers parking lot. They will be there from 9am-3pm. The money raised will go to sending the youth to Church Camp this summer. So, come on out and enjoy a great day!


June 10, 2021 - After Simon had denied Jesus for the third time, Jesus looked at Simon. He didn’t say a word. He just looked at him. When Simon saw Jesus, he went out and wept. He wept bitterly.

I remember times when I would do things that disappointed my earthly father. Times when he didn’t say anything. He just looked at me with disappointment in his eyes. It was worse than any whipping he ever gave me (and I got my share of those!).

Let’s be honest, all of us from time to time disappoint those we love. Worse, we often make mistakes and disappoint the Lord who loves us and died for us. That’s what Paul was talking about when he wrote, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

Some of our mistakes admittedly are quite trivial, even just plain dumb. Things like locking our keys in our car (sometimes with the motor running), forgetting to add sugar to the cranberry sauce (it does make it very tart) or walking into an electric fence.

However, there are other “mistakes” that are more significant. Things like heading down a path to addiction. Things like committing a crime or walking out on a spouse and children. However, all of our mistakes, from the momentarily annoying to the life altering can be washed away by the blood of Jesus. 

The one fatal mistake we can make is to ignore the fact that one day we will die and that Jesus is the only way to shun Hell and enter Heaven. That is one thing we must get right.

It’s something to think about… tbp

Center Church of Christ

“You have no room for My Word...” John 8:37

June 7, 2021 - We finally replaced the large pecan tree that was blown down by the storm of ‘98 with a mulberry tree. The mulberry grows fast, provides shade, and supplies food for the birds. We were really surprised to see its limbs already loaded with berries the first year.

But we are also surprised that the birds (with the exception of two mockingbirds) have completely ignored the tree! Its berries are as sweet as sugar. I know… I’ve eaten a lot of them. And its beautiful limbs look perfect for the birds to perch on while they feed. I am so disappointed that more birds aren’t feeding in it after all the trouble we went to for them.

It’s also surprising that church members don’t feed more on the Word of God. I wonder how God feels when we ignore it.

I think I know.

June 7, 2021 - Grace and peace from our friend and brother Jesus. Today was the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost. This Sunday is sandwiched between two family holidays—Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. And yet the Gospel lesson for today deals with conflict in the family. Today was also D-Day. That date will always be remembered by people of my parent’s generation—just like later generations remember when President Kennedy was killed and when the twin towers came down.

Last week our internet went out, and we could only establish WiFi for a few minutes before it sputtered out: We would have to unplug and reboot over and over. This went on all last week, but on Saturday morning everything started working. We have been expecting it to go out each time we sit down at computer or phone, but so far Sue and I are connected. Maybe there was a little Divine intervention!

We got new Sunday School literature for the summer quarter. The first lesson was about Joseph and the trouble with his brothers. This seemed to mirror the Gospel lesson for the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost, with the dispute that developed in Jesus’ biological family and with his family of faith. Conflict rears its ugly head, and sometimes it becomes really hard to tamp down the growing problem.

Since we resumed in-person worship, our music had been on CD. And we are reminded yet again how much we miss Hilda being here. Last week I worked on the sound system at church, and I think we are ready for music and singing. Sue is operating the CD player and putting our songs together during worship. She did this at the Joaquin church when we didn’t have a piano player. Today we sang “Amazing Grace,” starting with an easy one! Later we listened to Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light,” one of my all-time favorites. Maybe next week we’ll sing two songs, going for the gold!

The first Sunday of each month, we celebrate a Service of Communion and Remembrance. Pandemic Communion was disposable cups and Ziploc bags in the pews. But today, people could kneel or stand at the altar; if instead they wanted to remain in their seats, I would bring Communion to them. Another little bit of normalcy.

The Gospel lesson was from Mark 3: 20-35, where we see Jesus and his followers just returning from the success of their first tour of the Galilee. But what appeared to the Pharisees as Jesus and his disciples ignoring the Sabbath would cause all kinds of trouble. It is the only place in the New Testament where the writer said Jesus became angry. But his anger didn’t turn to hatred—he still had compassion, even for the Pharisees.

In June we will collect paper towels and toilet paper for Community Christian Services. Last Wednesday I took the cans of fruit, as well as some checks from the church folks, to First Baptist Haslam. They had a large, steady crowd receiving food supplies. It’s always inspiring to see them at work for the Kingdom of 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.