February 18, 2020 - Please let me show you this day who owns this universe and all the things within it and let us all learn how we can gain favor with this all powerful, all knowing, all seeing God above us.

"The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers." (Psalm 24:1-2)

And so we can plainly see that this world, this earth, this universe do indeed belong to the Lord, and that all the things upon the earth also, for it is he and he alone that has created all things including the earth and everything upon it.

So if all things belong to the Lord, the One who has created all things, how then can we come to partake of his goodness, to enjoy the fruits of his labor as we live on this earth?

"Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?" (Psalm 24:3)

This my friends is the question that all people should be asking the Lord each and every day of our lives until we have the answer we seek. That answer we seek, as all others, is in the pages of his Bible.

"He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully."

"He will receive blessings from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation." (Psalm 24:4-5)

Jesus tells us that those who do give up their current life to follow him will receive the treasures of heaven that all seek.

"Truly I say to you, "there is no one who has left house or wife or bother's or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life." (Luke 18:29-30)

All who follow Jesus who deny the sinful life of this world and obey his words and wishes, they will receive his rich blessings of joy and peace while on earth and the blessing of eternal life in heaven.

"Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob." (Psalm 24:6)

May we give all glory, all blessings to the one who has saves us from our sinful ways and makes us a part of his heavenly family, may we all give praises to the King of glory!

"Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in."

"Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle!"

"Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in." (Psalm 24:7-9)

Yes, remove all the obstacles that can prevent the Lord from entering your heart and cleansing you from all wrong, humble yourself and accept him as Lord and Savior.

"Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory." (Psalm 24:10)

May you receive him today and forever know his joy and peace within your heart. 

February 17, 2020 - Grace and peace from our brother, Jesus, Amen. Sunday was the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany. I am still waiting for my computer to be updated; my wife’s computer has viruses, so it takes forever to get something typed and ready to send out. This past Saturday I attended a mandatory workshop in Longview on Sexual Ethics. Many of our area Methodist pastors were there—it was good to catch up with them.

We had a small group at Paxton Methodist Sunday. The Paxton Methodists are collecting soap and shampoo for Community Christian Services this month. On Tuesday at 2:00 we are going to meet at Holiday Nursing Center for our ministry there. We will sing songs and tell stories, hear scripture and share encouraging words.

Our Sunday School Lesson was titled “Holy People,” with the scripture Psalm 24: 1-6. Fannie, as always, had an inspirational lesson: We had good discussions about worship and what it means to be God’s people. The writer said we are all, in some way, shape, or form, pieces of the world’s holiness. A comforting idea!

The Gospel lesson continued where last Sunday’s left off. Since the Epiphany Season is quite long this year, we get to spend several Sundays reading and studying Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The Gospel lesson and the Sunday School lesson matched up well. Jesus proclaims that the Kingdom of God has arrived and then explains what we are to do to live in that Kingdom—in God’s World.

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.” Sunday School starts at 9:30 and 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.

February 17, 2020 - Stewardship - what is the meaning of that word, how does it apply to the life of a Christian.

Stewardship - according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.

If we are talking about stewardship, then stewardship of what? The management of the things the Lord has entrusted to each one of us, for all anyone has is given him by the Lord.

"The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, and the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers." (Psalm 24:1-2)

All that I or you or anyone has is entrusted to him by the Lord for all has been created by the Lord and all belongs to the Lord, we are only entrusted with the good-keeping of what we have for the time we are here.

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

And Good said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food." (Genesis 1:26-29)

And it was so with Adam and Eve and their descendants until the flood came and all mankind except for Noah and his family were destroyed for all were evil in every way.

As Noah and his family departed from the ark along with all of the animals that he had kept for the Lord, the Lord blessed them as he had done with Adam and Eve.

"And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything." (Genesis 9:1-3)

God made man stewards of every living thing on earth, for with Noah he added the animals of the earth to the things which he gave man, not to abuse nor to waste but to use for his own food and welfare. It is the same with all material things of the earth, they are God's, we are only allowed to use what we need for our lifetime here on earth.
God's word says this about treasure, here on earth and in heaven.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)

And so I ask you, are you being a good steward of the things the Lord has entrusted you with? 

Are you working each day to do his will and to follow in his footsteps in your journey through life? 

Are you laying up your treasures in heaven where you will have them throughout eternity, or, are you chasing the treasures of this world, establishing your kingdom on earth where it will all burn away one fateful day?

Follow the Lord Jesus Christ and his treasure, eternal life with him in the kingdom of God in heaven.

May you be receive the blessings of our Lord, his joy and peace even on this earth!

January 20, 2020 - Mark your calendar for the 2020 Smith Chapel Baptist Church annual programs and dates.

  • 120th Church Anniversary - Sunday, March 1 at 2:30 p.m.
  • Choir and Usher Annual - Saturday, April 25 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Family and Friends Day - Sunday, June 7 at 2:30 p.m.    
  • Church Homecoming - Sunday, August 2 at 11:30 p.m.
  • Homecoming Revival - Monday-Wednesday, August 3, 4, 5 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Musicians Appreciation - Saturday, September 5 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Men and Women Day - Saturday, October 3 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Harvest Day - Sunday, November 8 at 2:30 p.m.

I am Saved (Regeneration) Ephesians 2:8
I am being Saved (Sanctification) 2 Corinthians 4:16
I will be Saved (Glorification) 1 Peter 1:5

Smith Chapel Baptist Church is located at 919 County Road 4704, Timpson, Texas 75975 with Reverend Mario Osby, Pastor and Sister Teresa Osby, First Lady.

Past events:

  • Pastor & Wife Appreciation - Sunday, January 19 at 3:00 p.m.

February 17, 2020 – The First United Methodist Church (UMC) of Center and Polly McKissick Montemayor, First UMC Missions Committee Chair, extends an invitation to our community by joining the members at First UMC by becoming a pen pal and connecting with an individual in the congregation of Gold Creek Agape Church in Mezcales, Nayarit, Mexico. The goal is to establish a relationship between the two churches as well as our community by connecting members and residents directly and encouraging them to pray for one another.

How to become a Pen Pal?

Write a letter of introduction to be delivered to a member of the church in Mexico. The writer introduces himself/herself with a short bio and some personal information. Writers can include photos or their email address if they wish. Somewhere in the body of the letter, the writer asks,” How can I pray for you?” The letters will be delivered to members of the Agape congregation, along with a translation to Spanish. Agape members will reply to the letters, and the replies will be delivered, along with an English translation, to the letter writers from First UMC and our community. Agape members will also ask, “Como puedo orar por ti?”

Where to send your letters?

Your letters can be sent directly to Polly McKissick Montemayor at her email address swimsuits@yahoo.com or delivered to the church office at 211 Porter Street, Center, TX. If you have questions or need additional information regarding this outreach ministry, please contact Polly at (936) 591-5586 or Pastor Karen Jones at (936) 598-2707.

February 13, 2020 - You are invited to the 20th Annual African American Heritage Celebration.

Theme: African Americans and the Vote, Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 12:30pm

This is the sole fundraiser for the L.D. Suell Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Guest Speaker: Minister Larry Ingram, New Jerusalem COGIC, Mt. Enterprise TX

Pastor Elder Cleon D. Williams, Sr. Lily of the Valley COGIC 620 Greer Street: P O Box 191 Center, TX 75935.

February 13, 2020 - 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 or they are choosing the broad way which leads through the broad gate.

Of course, 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, 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 that there will be only a few people comparatively speaking, interested in the Lord’s way enough to follow it and be saved. Jesus puts it 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 thereat. Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Jesus is warning folks to be careful how they live. Many people, thinking they are on the narrow path, might be surprised to find themselves on the broad way. Jesus wants everyone to be saved, but He must have their cooperation in living His kind of life, and living it his way. Are you living for Jesus, and living life His way?
It’s something to think about…..TBP

February 13, 2020 - First United Methodist Church (UMC) of Center will begin the season of Lent by offering “Drive-through Ashes and Coffee” to motorists on Wed., Feb. 26 beginning at 7am until 8am. All drivers need to do is pull up in the church parking lot and roll down their car window to receive a moment of prayer, ashes on their forehead and a cup of coffee. 

Later that day, First UMC invites everyone to their Ash Wednesday service at 6pm in the church sanctuary. During the service, everyone attending our Ash Wednesday service will have the opportunity, if they choose, to receive the application of ashes in the form of the cross on their forehead. The ashes simply remind us not only of our limited time on earth, but also of the grace of God who extends life past death by means of the cross. 

Ash Wednesday is the initiation of the season of Lent. The Lenten season is a spiritual journey spanning 40 days from Ash Wednesday until Holy Saturday before Resurrection Sunday, Easter. During Lent, we are called to a season of self-reflection, some form of spiritual commitment and special attention to scripture and repentance. For many, it is also a season in which we adopt various acts of kindness and compassion.  

For more information about First UMC and the season of Lent, please contact Rev. Karen Jones at (936) 598-2707.

February 11, 2020 - The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the churches in Galatia concerning what appeared to be a turning away from the gospel of Christ which Paul had preached to them shortly beforehand.

Paul, in his usual blunt, upfront fashion gets right to the point of their being drawn away as he says,

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel - not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: "If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:6-9)

Paul then reassures the churches of Galatia of the authenticity of the gospel message that he and his followers had preached to them before as he says,

"For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it, through the revelation of Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1:11-12)

Again he verifies the truth that all who believe are justified, made clean of sin, by their faith in Christ Jesus. As the words he speaks to the Jews around him are also meant for us of today, for faith is for all who will come to the Lord seeking for redemption.

"We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not  justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, as we have also believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose." (Galatians 2:15-21)

"Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for the righteous shall live by faith." (Galatians 3:11)

"Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe." (Galatians 3:22)

And only to those who believe in Christ Jesus as Lord for it is as Jesus himself said, 

"I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

Will you come through him today, will you accept him as your Lord and Master, forever? It is time to choose, please, choose life in Christ, reject death in the world...

February 10, 2020 (Registration Form– Save the date and join us for an evening of family fun, food, fellowship and a friendly time of cooking competition! Center First United Methodist Church (UMC) Missions Committee will host their second annual Soup, Chili and Gumbo Cook-off competition on Sunday, February 23, 2020 beginning at 4:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the church Fellowship Hall located at 211 Porter Street.

The cooking competition is open to all ages, all local organizations and amateur cooks only. A non-refundable entry fee of $10.00 secures table space. Advance registration is required by Wednesday, February 19, 2020. Teams will be allowed to begin space set-up at 3:00 p.m. Food and space judging begins at 4:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Teams will have the opportunity to compete in one of the food categories as well as the Best Decorated Table Space category by decorating their table with a theme of the team’s choice.

Cook-off event ticket donations are $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for youth ages 4 to12 and children age 3 and under are free; event tickets will be available at the door. The event begins at 4:00 p.m. for competition food sampling, which includes soup, chili and gumbo samples, crackers, and drinks. Adult ticket holders will receive 5 tickets to vote for their favorite Soup, Chili or Gumbo and youth ages 4-12 will receive 3 voting tickets. Additional voting tickets will be available at the event for $1.00 each. First Place People’s Choice awards will be presented in each Soup, Chili and Gumbo category and for the Best Decorated Table Space. Winners will be announced at 6:00 p.m.

In addition to this year’s event, a silent auction will be held during the cook-off competition. All proceeds from the cook-off fundraiser will benefit Center First United Methodist Church Missions. 

For complete event rules and team entry registration, please visit the First UMC website at http://fumccentertx.org. For additional information, please contact Becky Parfait, Center First UMC Missions Soup, Chili and Gumbo Cook-off Coordinator at (936) 332-3456, beckyparfait@yahoo.com or Pastor Karen Jones at (936) 598-2707.