August 29, 2022 - Mark your calendars for August 31, 2022 at 6pm for a Luau / Movie at the Beach! You don’t to miss out on the fun and excitement of the new Awana year. Lots of things planned to enhance our learning experience. We are ready for the 2022-23 year - All we need is YOU!!!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact: Sue Finch – Awana Ministry Director – Jackson Missionary Baptist Church at 936 269 4895 or message on FB.
 
About Awana Ministsry – Brief Summary
Awana is an acronym - Approved Workman Are Not Ashamed – based on 2 Timothy 2:15 
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”

Awana Clubs are for ages 2 through 6th grade.

Two major goals of Awana are:

1. Reach boys and girls with the gospel of Christ
2. Train them to serve Him.

It helps churches and parents work together to develop spiritually strong children and youth who faithfully follow Jesus Christ.

Awana is fun with a purpose! Games, crafts, awards and other activities reinforce the gospel message. A lively experience where fun and learning go hand in hand.

Each age group’s curriculum is designed specifically for that age.

19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. Philippians 3:19 

August 29, 2022 - The seven deadly sins, also known as cardinal sins, is a grouping and classification of vices within Christian teachings. According to the standard list, they are pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, and sloth. They are attitudes and devices that lead into many other sins. I have been preaching since I was eighteen years old. I have preached many sermons on those deadly sins over the years and have heard many other preachers warn us about committing them.

But as I think over it, I wonder why I have preached mostly on only six of these sins. And I’m not alone… other preachers hardly ever preach on all seven of them, either. Maybe it’s because that “ignored sin” gets a little too close to home for most preachers to preach or for many church members to hear.

It’s the sin of gluttony.

August 29, 2022 - Grace and peace from our brother, Jesus. We just finished an unusual week of weather here in East Texas. Gone were the dry, dusty days and triple digit temperatures. Instead, we had substantial rainfall and high temperatures only in the 70s and 80s. Except for a few flooding issues in our area, it was a nice break from our normal summer. High school football is in the air, and all the Shelby County teams that played on Thursday and Friday won! Happy faces come Monday morning.

Today, we gathered up packages of new children’s underwear and socks for Community Christian Services. I will make a trip to CCS on Wednesday to drop off the checks and clothing. It will be great to see many of my favorite Joaquin people! During the month of September we will be collecting macaroni and cheese. We wish our best to Lillie, Hilda, and Joe: We miss them and pray that they are getting along OK. It was great to have Sue and Fred back with us this morning!

This morning at Sunday School we began by talking about the turmoil and breakup in the United Methodist Church. Many congregations, including Paxton, are wrestling with whether it is better to stay in the denomination or to “disaffiliate” from the Texas Annual Conference and The United Methodist Church. Like many congregations, large and small, Paxton Methodist is trying to discern God’s direction in the questionable future. They are currently looking at information from the district and involved in discussions.

Fannie did get to the lesson at hand. The focus for the lesson came from Matthew 26: 47-56 that Gene read for the class. We heard about how Judas betrayed Jesus and a mob came ready to do violence. Some of Jesus’ disciples were ready to respond to the violence with more violence. Jesus would not be part of that but stood his ground with dignity, even as the angry mob took him away.

The author certainly feels the ideas of non-violence and meeting anger with compassion is the way of Jesus. The theme of our worship and sermon was humility; the Sunday School author certainly showed how Jesus met the situation of betrayal with calmness and humility.

Our worship service began with gathering words from Psalm 81. The poet tells his listeners that God wants us to listen to him and that those who do will be fed the finest wheat and honey. This psalm was often read to Jewish worshipers, regardless of the lesson’s theme that day. Our affirmation of faith was The Apostles’ Creed, a favorite of many Protestant churches. We sang “Where He Leads Me” and “Only Trust Him” along with the Gloria Patri and the Doxology. One bulletin quote was from Desmond Tutu, an Anglican Archbishop as well as Nobel peace prize winner: “We are made for goodness. We are made for love. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders. All are welcome.” The inside quote was by William Wordsworth, renowned British poet: “The best portion of a good man’s life is his little nameless, unencumbered acts of kindness and love.”

The prophet Jeremiah said that God wondered if his favorite people had forsaken him. They seemed not to listen and to have walked away from living water. They tried unsuccessfully to build their own wells but that didn’t work out. There were two other readings from the Jewish Testament, one from Sirach, found in the Catholic Bible and the Jewish Testament but not in our Protestant Bibles. Sirach and Proverbs 21 speak of the need to be humble—because when you think too much of yourself, you set yourself up for a fall. This was the message Jesus shared with his Pharisee guests at dinner. His parable was a thinly veiled questioning of the way certain individuals around that very table were acting. And then Jesus made an outrageous request of them: When they have their next dinner party, invite the outcasts of society to come and share. People might sneer and laugh, but God will rejoice. The important guests didn’t much like Jesus’ idea.

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.

August 29, 2022 - Good Morning! It's Monday, August 29.

Bro. David is on vacation this week and will be reprinting some devotional favorites from the past. This devotion originally ran on September 28, 2021.

On September 28, 1968, the Beatles’ song “Hey Jude” became the #1 song in the world. Many consider it the greatest of all the great songs that came from that group in the ‘60’s. And for many, it was their one and only connection to that name ”Jude”. But there was another.

James the Less was the primary leader of Christianity’s very first church, the church of Jerusalem. He was one of the Twelve, had a significant influence on the Apostle Paul, and died a martyr’s death. And he was the brother of Jesus Christ. The Jude of today’s devotion, of which we know very little, was said to be a brother of James the Less, and so... also the brother of our Lord.

And he wrote the shortest book in the New Testament, and the second shortest in the Bible (after Obadiah). It’s’ 25 verses are found right before the mighty Revelation and are mostly focused on warning the early church, and us, about false teachers. But then, at the end, there is one of the most beautiful proclamations of praise in the Word of God. Here, as we end today’s devotion, is Jude’s doxology . . .

To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

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

August 25, 2022 - Every morning, the sun comes rising over the eastern hills to flood this old world with its light. There are myriads of folks who greet each new day with an eager freshness. To them, every day is full of hope and promise. Their hearts are light, their problems are nothing more than challenges to a more exhilarating life. Yet, there are others who face each new day with a certain amount of dread and foreboding. They are convinced that the problems they face are not just challenges, they are a weight to carry beyond their strength.

To those who greet the morning light with eagerness, there is no word of encouragement necessary. To the others, words of encouragement seem to have lost their meaning. Yet, even they might take heart from a man whose life was plagued with illness. Robert Louis Stevenson was a British novelist, poet, essayist and musician. He gave us, among other works the classic, “Treasure Island.” Stevenson was plagued with poor health and yet wrote, “Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all that life really means.”

You know, this is really all the Lord expects of us. Just to live for Him one day at a time. Then, when life is over we can fall asleep in His arms of love, care and protection. Blessed thought and happy day!

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.

August 24, 2022 - Grillin’ Chillin’ & Lovin’ First (GCLF) announces their first event on Saturday, September 3 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Portacool Park near the splash pad. GCLF is free family fun! Everyone is welcome to attend!

GCLF is all about families getting together with other families, making new friends, grilling dinner, and having fun. We will meet on the first Saturday of the month at various locations around Center. Bring something to grill for your family - hot dogs, hamburgers, steak, sausage, boudin – whatever you like. Drinks, sides, and fixings will be provided - just remember to bring buns if you need them! We also provide the grills! We will have activities and crafts for families with games and music. Remember to bring your lawn chairs!

For more information about Grillin’ Chillin’ & Lovin’ First, visit https://gclf.fun, contact Malcolm Monroe at (936) 598-2707 or send an email to GCLF.FUN@gmail.com. Follow GCLF on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GrillinChillinLovinFirst/.

August 24, 2022 - Neuville Baptist Church will be having homecoming on Sunday, August 28th. Services begin at 10:50AM. Bro. Orr will be preaching. Lunch will follow the service. Come join us.

“….For he hath no form or comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53:2  

August 22, 2022 - From the time Christian children settle into Sunday school classrooms, an image of Jesus Christ is etched into their minds. In North America he is most often depicted as being taller than his disciples, lean, with flowing, light brown hair, fair skin with light-colored eyes. Classical European painters usually portray Him as tall and thin and with delicate, almost effeminate features. The Original African Heritage Edition of the King James Bible has a picture of Jesus looking like a man from Central Africa.

He was a Jew and very likely resembled the Jews of Israel today.

For centuries some have believed that Jesus was under a Nazirite vow. According to Numbers 6:1-6 the person taking a Nazirite vow pledged to abstain from wine and grapes, to avoid touching a dead body and to not cut his or her hair until the end of the vow's duration. But the Gospels record occasions when Jesus drank wine, which means He would have broken a Nazirite vow had He been under one. Samson, John the Baptist and Samuel were “Nazirites”…but Jesus was a “Nazarene” meaning only that he was from Nazareth. There is absolutely no way that we can determine how long his hair was proving that hair length isn’t a definitive measure of anyone’s worth.

The New Testament emphasizes Jesus’ sinless life and moral teachings, but has almost nothing to say about what He looked like. The mob that came to arrest Him that fateful night could not tell Him apart from Peter, John or any of the others - Judas Iscariot had to actually point Him out (Matthew 26:47-49).  Jesus was an ordinary-looking man.  

So maybe it's time for us to dust off the Gospels and discover the real Jesus. We could find that not only did Jesus look different from what we have believed, but that the Gospel contains many other truths about Him that we’ve never heard.

August 22, 2022 - Good Morning! It's Monday, August 22.

Just a few weeks ago, Shelby County Texas was high and dry. We were in a drought. We were under a burn ban. The temps were in the triple digits and rain was a distant memory. How things have changed! We got three inches over the last few days, it's pouring as I write this, and the weatherman says there's lots more to come.

And so, naturally, I'm thinking about a man... named Noah! Here's a reprint of a clever top ten list. Enjoy.

Everything I Need to Know in Life, I Learned From Noah's Ark.

1. Don't miss the boat.
2. Remember, we're all in the same boat.
3. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
4. Stay fit. When you're really old, someone may ask you to do something really important.
5. Don't listen to critics, just get on with the job at hand.
6. Build your future on high ground.
7. For safety sake, travel in pairs.
8. When you're stressed, float a while.
9. Remember the ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.
10. No matter the storm, when you're with God, there's always a rainbow coming.

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

August 22, 2022 - Grace and peace from our brother, Jesus. It is Saturday afternoon, and the strangest things are happening: The Cubs just tied the ballgame with the Brewers and it’s raining. [Update: The Cubs won, making 5 in a row, we got almost two inches of rain!] Saints be praised. The temperatures are moderate for August, and we are supposed to get rain for the next few days. Yeah! My wonderful dogs, Gunter and Sam, act like they want to go for a walk, but when they get on the front porch and realize it’s raining...full stop! I saw a bumper sticker that said, “If you want to know what Heaven is like, get a dog.” I agree 100%. Those two make continually make us laugh.

This morning at Sunday School I filled in for Fannie, who had a grandchild getting baptized. The poor folks at Sunday School had to listen to me twice! In the reading from Ephesians, we hear Paul speaking about the divide between Gentile and Jewish believers. Even though this issue was supposed to have been put to sleep, it kept raising its ugly head—and Paul had to keep warning against it. Many of the converts that looked to Paul were Gentiles. The Jewish followers had always seen Jews as set apart—God’s chosen. They felt it was a step down to worship with and eat beside Gentiles. They had a sense of entitlement, and Paul knew that wasn’t going to work.

Our worship service began with gathering words from Psalm 71, which says we can take refuge in the love of God. Our affirmation was The Apostles’ Creed. The CD player was having issues today, but eventually we sang “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” and “When We All Get to Heaven.” In a nod to today’s sermon, our first bulletin quote was about aging: Dr. Seuss said, “I still climb Mount Everest just as often as I used to. I play polo just as often as I used to. But to walk down to the hardware store I find a little more difficult.” Inside the bulletin, Malcolm Forbes advised, “Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time.” We missed Carolyn, Sue and Fred today, hoping they’ll soon be back among us.

We will collect children’s underwear and socks for another week, and then our donations go to Community Christian Services. In September our contribution will be boxes of macaroni and cheese, a favorite of kids everywhere. When she was younger, our great-niece ate all-orange meals featuring mac-n-cheese and Goldfish crackers. After she grew old enough to cook for herself, she often made mac-n-cheese. Sue asked what her favorite recipe was, and Ava replied, “The blue box.”

I titled my sermon “Recalculating.” When I have GPS on in the truck but am not going exactly the way it directs me, it says, “Recalculating.” I read this week that the only person who really likes change is a wet baby. I think that is true and becomes truer the older we get. But we have to be ready to recalculate because we don’t know what the future holds. In Sunday’s Gospel lesson, it seems as if all the planets get aligned. Jesus and his disciples just happen to be in that unnamed village on the Sabbath. Jesus is asked to read from the scroll and speak at the synagogue. He looks where the women are allowed during service, seeing a woman bent by eighteen years of hardship. Jesus, full of mercy, goes to her, grabs her hands, and straightens her up. For the first time in many years, she is able to look someone in the eye. The leader of the synagogue criticizes Jesus for “working on the sabbath,” but Jesus, of course, shows the healing to be the right thing to do.

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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