April 8, 2019 - Everyone is invited to come worship on "The Porch" at Smyrna Baptist Church in Huxley, Monday, April 8th.

Refreshments 6:30pm and worship begins at 7pm. Guest speaker will be Bro. Wayne Bickley, pastor at Soda Baptist Church in Livingston, Texas. Bro. Bickley was a former pastor at Smyrna and a powerful man of God.

Awesome music leaders are Paul, Brittany, Bryan and Abigail.

Everyone is invited to come and receive a blessing. Bring someone, Jesus loves you.

April 8, 2019 - The Pleasant Hill Cemetery Association would like to invite everyone to their annual Homecoming on Saturday, May 18, 2019. Come join us as we remember those we loved in life, and are still in our hearts today. Please bring your favorite dishes for our potluck dinner which is always great. If you are unable to attend, donations in memory of your loved one, for the care and preservation of the cemetery may be mailed to the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, PO Box 91, Shelbyville, TX  75973.

April 3, 2019 - The Southern Plainsmen "Louisiana's Goodwill Ambassadors" in concert April 12, 2019 starting at 7pm.

Center Bible Fellowship, 925 Tenaha Street in Center, Texas 75935 will be hosting the group. 

Everyone is welcome.

For more information call 936-572-4446.

For booking (318)663-4812. Visit them online at www.southernplainsmen.com or www.facebook.com/southernplainsmen

April 3, 2019 - Have you ever had something to do that was important but just kept putting it off until the last minute? That's something that all of us have experienced at least once in our lives. Most of us practice it almost daily in some form or fashion. When I was a kid in school most every paper that I wrote, homework or assignment I turned in, was "hot off the press" you might say. A very sweet teacher told me that I was a "master at procrastination."

I couldn't wait to run home and tell my family that Mrs. Rush (my fourth grade teacher) had found something that I was actually good at in school.  Later when I found out what that word actually meant I realized even though it was true, that it was one of those traits that I needed to try and eliminate from my character rather than develop.

God gives us the opportunity to start over and to live free from our past. But for some reason we make excuses why we can't do that at this time. Why do we desire change but fear it so much, even when we are living in a dark place we so desperately want to leave? Its because this dark place we are in has become comfortable for us. We become afraid to step into the light of change because we are not sure what we might see. So rather than accept the light of change we continue to live in the darkness of the past.

I have found that one of the greatest hindrances in our quest to beginning our new life in Christ is "procrastination" on our part to start over. We say we want to start new, but we tend to put it off until another time. God is ready to heal your life today but you are afraid of letting go. So instead of accepting the healing God has for you, you put it off. Why? Usually your afraid of what might happen next, or what God might ask you to do if you surrender your life to Him.

There is a story in the Old Testament where God sent plagues on the Egyptians. One of the last plagues was of frogs. Thousands of them took over the Pharaohs palace. When Moses told Pharaoh that God was ready to remove the plague at Moses' command. Moses asked when he wanted God to proceed. Pharaohs answer was classic. He said "tomorrow." God could have stopped the plague instantly, but Pharaoh decided to spend one more night with the frogs rather than accept Gods immediate cure for his problem. I guess the question I have for you now is; How many more nights are you going to "sleep with the frogs" in your life rather than let God get rid of them for you?

We don't have to wait for anything. The same power that God used to resurrect Jesus from the grave is the same power that He will use to resurrect your life. That's how Paul had the boldness to say, "But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ."

We have to realize that we have to quit procrastinating and move forward with the new life God has given us. Forget the past and look to the future. Don't spend another night with the frogs. Trust Him and he will give you a new life today!
                  
                                                                   I'm Just Sayin,
                                                                   Mike Belgard

April 2, 2019 - The Book of the Psalms contains 150 chapters and was written over a period of twelve centuries. From fifteen hundred BC to three hundred BC. 

It is mostly a collection of songs and prayers offered to God on behalf of the Jewish people.

All of the various chapters are centered around the one and only living God. And they each one promote this Creator God as the King of all the earth and a refuge to all who would trust in him as Lord and Master.

This is the same belief as that which is held by the Christians of today which makes the Book of the Psalms pertinent for today as well as yesterday.

The very first of these chapters tells all who read it, the ways of both the righteous and of the wicked and gives all who would follow the Lord, inspiration and hope for a better place to come.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;” (Psalm 1:1) 

In those few words the Psalmist gives us three things which we must avoid if we are to find ourselves to be blessed of the Lord. 

We must not be found living with and as the wicked, to be blessed we cannot live in a house of sinners, we must choose who we will live and associate with in life if we are to be blessed by the Lord. Nor can we sit in the seat of scoffers of which the dictionary says is; “an expression of scorn, derision, or contempt for others.” A direct conflict to that which says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”

To be blessed one cannot be found to be a part of any of these things, but must instead, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:2) 

The blessed man is to read and study the Bible, Gods book of the law, both day and night, meditating on its words that he cannot be deceived by the evil one nor his minions.

For the one who follows God and studies the Word of God is offered a special place, a special life on earth, one of promise and reward to come.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does he prospers.” (Psalm 1:3) 

This blessed man has his roots grounded in the fertile soil of the Bible, fed by the living waters of our Lord. He yields the fruit of the gospel throughout his time on earth, leading others to the Holy Spirit that they too might be convicted of their sinful ways and accept the Lord Jesus as their own. Through all the trials and persecutions and ridicule brought upon him by the world he stands strong and the gospel prospers through him as he reflects the goodness of our Lord through his life. Oh, to be a blessed one of God!

"The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.” (Psalm 1:4) 

There is an age old process for cleaning the hull from the nut of the wheat or barley that is to beat the grain in a pile with sticks and then to toss it all into the air on a day when the wind is blowing. The hull (the chaff) being lighter than the seed (the nut) is then blown away and one is left only with the edible part of the grain.

The wicked have no such root in the good soil of the Bible and so they are blown away by any wind that comes along. They follow after any lie which they hear and so are doomed to the hell of eternity.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;” (Psalm 1:5) 

The righteous will be judged at the judgement seat of Christ and then allowed to enter into the kingdom of heaven, while the wicked will fall on the day of the Great White Throne Judgement, all of which will be sentenced to hell. And so I ask, in which will you stand?

For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” (Psalm 1:6) 

Let me assure you, these two are the only choices we have, we either follow Christ, or we follow the devil, the choice is yours to make. Please, make it wisely for it is eternal…

April 1, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the Fourth Sunday in Lent. With Easter not until April 21st Lent seems longer than usual. But that can’t be true because Lent is always exactly 40 days long. This year I have stressed that Lent is about our life-long journey into God. Jesus emerged from the wilderness, turning toward Jerusalem and the events of the Last Week, which culminated in Easter Morning. 

Once again our Sunday school lesson covered the call to discipleship: The scripture from Matthew was about calling Peter and Andrew, James and John. These fishermen were summoned to be disciples of Jesus, and they dropped everything and followed. Fannie reminded us that just a few weeks ago the scripture was the same story but from the Gospel of Mark—not Matthew. The writer thought the idea of costly discipleship was worth two lessons.

The Gospel Lesson for the Fourth Sunday in Lent comes from Luke and is the parable of the prodigal son. When I was young I liked the magical stories of the Bible—Jonah being swallowed by the great fish, Jesus turning water into wine, or the feeding of five thousand people with just two fish and five loaves. But today I enjoy the more earthy stories like the parable of the Prodigal Son, which is so real. In Henri Nouwen’s book, The Return of the Prodigal Son, he says that we have all been the prodigal son as well as the jealous, angry older brother. Our goal is to become the caring, compassionate, forgiving father. All the pictures in the bulletin were from Rembrandt’s famous painting about the son’s return.

Monday is April Fools Day and I hope I don’t fall for any pranks. As a teacher, I had many students trying to fool everyone on April 1! We have had such pretty spring weather the last few weeks. The rains have not been too heavy, so my yard and garden appreciate the warmth and the rain. Then it snowed! April Fools! But it did get cold. During March, Paxton Methodist collected cans of chili and I will get them delivered to Community Christian Services this week. In the coming month we will collect toothpaste and toothbrushes.

Last Thursday we headed to Lakeside and visited with our many friends there. Minnie was mostly in charge of the piano, until we sang what Nora called a “going out on a limb” song. Hilda, who knows ‘em all, took the bench on that one. Our congregational singing is certainly aided by the strong singers there, like Jo (even with laryngitis), Margie, and Hilda. Pastor Matt emceed and also spoke about Philippians, a Biblical song summing up the life of Christ. By special request, Nora sang “Take Me Home, Country Roads” with the children’s book illustrating it. Sallie soloed on “It Is Well with My Soul.” Ollie warmed us up with a funny story about the Easter Bunny and then read a more serious piece. Gene channeled Elvis and Johnny Cash on two oldies, sang “I Believe,” and led “He Touched Me.” Sue shared crossword clues and answers, also reading The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash. I didn’t intend to do more than sing congregationally, but Pastor Matt noticed my Cubs shirt and asked if I wanted to tell what special day it was: opening day of Major League Baseball. I explained that, on this very special opening day, the Cubs were playing in Dallas, and our daughter Megan had tickets for all three games of the series. 

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, 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 me your email address to the Paxton email address and I will add you to the list. God’s Speed.

April 1, 2019 - King Solomon, the son of David, the one highly blessed by God with knowledge and understanding says this about the value of wisdom.

“My son, if you receive my words and measure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” (Proverbs 2:1-5) 

When Solomon became king God asked him what he would wish for if he could have anything he desired. Instead of gold or silver or long life, Solomon asked for wisdom and understanding that he might rightly judge his people, for this unselfish request God make him the wisest and richest man who has ever lived on earth.

Solomon’s vast wisdom allowed him to become the greatest king of the Jews and he was admired by all people.

Solomon also said this about knowledge and wisdom for all who would seek them.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)

He also asks this of those who choose not to believe in what he is telling them.

“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?” (Proverbs 1:22) 

Solomon calls those who choose not to accept the Lord as their God, simple and foolish and others he calls scoffers or those who exhibit scorn or contempt or mockery of others and he condemns them all for their hate of the knowledge of the Lord.

The king says for all who would seek wisdom and understanding that one must first make his ear attentive and incline his heart to understanding. One must seek and desire wisdom and knowledge of God If one is to receive it. 

One must seek it even as he would seek earthly treasures with a diligence and a zeal for the hidden treasures of heaven.

In order for one to seek and value heavens treasures, one must fear the Lord, knowing the penalty for non-belief is to kindle God’s mighty wrath against oneself. 

The psalmist says; “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 2:11-12) 

Rejection of Christ Jesus as Lord will indeed kindle God’s wrath against one and without repentance and acceptance one will surely perish, both in body and soul for eternity.

Turn to the Lord God for help and hope for eternity.

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and watching over the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” (Proverbs 2:6-10) 

May you come today, seeking wisdom and knowledge, accepting Jesus Christ as Lord, receiving the gifts of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and eventually, eternity spent in harmony with our Heavenly Father. Seek and you shall find…

March 29, 2019 - We the members and Pastor of Carroll Chapel CME Church will be having a bake and BBQ fund raising event. Saturday March 30, at the top of the hill in Shelbyville.

We will be selling BBQ turkey legs and cakes. 

March 27, 2019 - 'No Greater Love' will be presented Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 7pm at the Windham Civic Center in Center, Texas.

The play will take the audience on a journey through Jesus' arrest, crucifixion and resurrection.

'No Greater Love' is an orginal play written and directed by Kimberly Phillips of San Augustine MBC and features a cast and crew which comes from all the way north in Texarkana down to nearby San Augustine. The cast is made up of members of churches associating with the Churches of the Missionary Baptist Association of Texas.

There is no admission fee. Church and Youth Groups are welcome to attend.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down His life for His friends." ~ John 15:13

March 26, 2019 - Open Door Church is celebrating 1st Lady Vanessa Davis' 60 years of life and 20 years of ministry at 3pm on Sunday, March 31, 2019.

Special guest is Detries Morris of the Higher Ground Ministries.

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