December 12, 2022 - Good Morning! It’s Monday, December 12.

I know we’re in the middle of the Christmas season, but this morning, my thoughts are focused on thanksgiving. This past weekend our church hosted a new holiday event called Journey to Bethlehem and God blessed beyond our hopes, expectations, and prayers.

About 450 friends and neighbors joined us on this two-night “trip”. They encountered shepherds, angels, Roman soldiers, the innkeeper, magi, and Mary and Joseph. They walked through a tunnel of lights, visited a Victorian village, said hello to Santa, and enjoyed cocoa and cookies. They got to know a donkey named Oaty, an alpaca called Joey, and a flock of sheep and goats (don’t know their names). They heard holiday music, got a warm First Baptist welcome, and were reminded of the reason for the season.

God blessed us with a new and unique way to give a Christmas gift to our community. It was exciting, it was inspiring, and it was fun. God is good... and we are thankful.

Meet you back here tomorrow,
Bro. David

December 9, 2022 - Good Morning! It’s Friday, December 9.

Phillips Brooks was a giant of a man - six foot six, 300 pounds. In 1865 he was the 29-year-old pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia and he was considered one of the finest preachers in America. He delivered a sermon at Abraham Lincoln's funeral. But, more than anything else, Phillips Brooks enjoyed being a pastor and was never happier than when he sat cross legged on the floor of a children's Sunday School room at his church, letting the laughing kids crawl all over him! But the stress of taking his church through the years of the Civil War had taken a toll on this young pastor. Being a shepherd during times of crisis can do that to a man.

At the end of 1865 the leaders of Brooks' church urged him to take a break and he decided to journey to the Holy Land. On Christmas Eve of that year, he found himself in Jerusalem and decided, at the spur of the moment, to ride on horseback to Bethlehem. It's only six miles away. At dusk he came over a hill, and there, laid out before him, was the little town - looking much as it did on that first Christmas night. It was a moment that took his breath away, a moment that he would never forget. On returning to Philadelphia he was inspired to write a Christmas poem for the children of his church. He asked his organist to fashion a tune for it and O Little Town of Bethlehem has gone on to become one of our favorite American carols.

Bethlehem today looks nothing like it did in the 1st century. When you drive there from Jerusalem you must pass through military check points and the city is surrounded by a 20-foot wall. It gives the appearance of an armed camp, it looks very much like a prison. The angel's message to the shepherds - peace on earth - can only faintly be heard there now. But when we sing Phillips Brooks carol, the little song that he wrote for the children of his church, it gives us a look at what Bethlehem was 2000 years ago. And it gives us a glimmer of hope for the days to come.

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight
O Holy Child of Bethlehem descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Immanuel!

Meet you back here on Monday,
Bro. David

You can visit Old Bethlehem this Christmas in Center, Texas. First Baptist welcomes you this Saturday and Sunday beginning at 6pm and continuing through 7:45. It's free. It's unique. It's entertaining. It's inspiring. Join us!

December 8, 2022 -  On Tuesday Nov. 29, members of Tenaha First Baptist Church attended Branson at Bethany. They enjoyed the wonderful music of the Williamson Branch family and were entertained by illusionist Matt Adams. A delicious catfish meal was enjoyed after the event.

Come join us Sunday mornings at 9:30 for Sunday School and worship at 10:30. Follow us on Facebook at First Baptist Church,Tenaha Texas. You will be blessed!

Tis a sad, sad story they relate 
These weak and foolish beings 
Who never get through the day 
But someone hurt their feelings.

December 8, 2022 - Injured feelings are given as an excuse for a lot of wrong doing. Alcoholics have used hurt feelings as an excuse for going on another binge and not a few Christians have forsaken the church because some member of the church hurt their feelings. 

Let’s face it, there are tactless, ill-mannered people who are forever saying crude and harsh things that would puncture the feelings of most anyone. Yet, it matters little what people of this disposition say or do. No life has ever been lived without a few knocks. If every sensible adult would stand firm and fight their own battles with life, each little knock would leave them stronger and more knowledgeable than before. Remember, kites rise against the wind, not with the wind. 

Hurt feelings usually spring from a well of self-pity and folks, life is too short to spend one minute in self-pity, or in seeking after the pity and sympathy of others. We must make sure we are not one of those tactless people who needlessly hurt the feelings of others, and we must also make sure we don’t “wear our feelings on our sleeve” just waiting for someone to hurt them. 

It’s something to think about. . . tbp

Join Us for Worship this coming Lord’s Day at Center Church of Christ or online at

December 1, 2022 - Facing grief this holiday season? You are not alone. Discover ways to make it through the holidays and find hope for the future at the upcoming Surviving the Holidays seminar.

New Life Church is hosting a free, 2-hour event on Sunday, December 11 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM. A personal copy of the GriefShare Holiday Survival Guide will be provided to participants who register in advance.

You can register for this free event by December 4 on the GriefShare website at or call 210-215-2602 to RSVP.

December 5, 2022 - St. John Episcopal Church invites everyone to join them for Christmas Eve services at 3pm, Saturday, December 24. The church is located on 96S and South View Circle.

Everyone is invited to attend.

December 5, 2022 - Good Morning! It’s Monday, December 5.

As a student of the Bible, wouldn’t you be thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down with a Bible character and interview them? What would you ask Moses? What would your questions be for Paul? We focus on a man today who probably had an opportunity to do just that. Today we look at Luke.

Luke was a physician and highly educated. He was a man of details, an historian. Luke traveled with Paul on his missionary journeys and, several times, found himself in Ephesus. Here’s where our story gets interesting. It is thought by many Bible scholars that one of the residents of Ephesus during this time was none other than... Mary, the mother of Jesus. 

Did Luke have the chance to interview Mary? If so, it would explain why Luke’s gospel has the most information about the birth of Christ. It would explain how he could write phrases like, “but Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

Take time this Christmas season to reread the Christmas story in Luke. And, as you do, try to imagine that the words are coming from... Mary.

Meet you back here tomorrow,
Bro. David

Journey to Bethlehem is an interactive, immersive holiday experience being hosted by First Baptist Center this coming Saturday and Sunday night. Call 936.598.5605 or 979.533.1575 to reserve your free tickets!

December 2, 2022 - A Blood Drive at First Methodist Church is set for Friday, December 9, 2022. The drive will be held from 10am to 2:30pm in the Fellowship Hall of First Methodist Church at 211 Porter St., Center, Texas. Walk-ins are welcome or donors can call the Church Office at 936-598-2707 to make an appointment. They can also go online to to schedule their donation.

December 1, 2022 - Except for Conference Championship Games and the Bowl Games, the College Football Season is about over. I came across the following that was written by another minister (to be honest, I am not nearly creative enough to come up with this!) and he makes some compelling arguments much like the arguments folks make for quitting the church.  Here are the reasons he has decided to quit attending sporting events.

1. The coach never came to visit me.
2. Every time I went, they asked for money.
3. The people sitting in my row didn’t seem very friendly.
4. The seats were not very comfortable.
5. The referees made several decisions I did not agree with.
6. I was sitting with hypocrites – they only came to see what others were wearing and visit with each other.
7. Some games went into overtime and I was late getting home.
8. The band played some songs I had never heard before.
9. The games are scheduled on my only day to sleep in and run errands.
10. My parents took me to too many games when I was growing up.
11. Since I read a book on sports, I feel that I know more than the coaches anyway.
12. I don’t want to take my children because I want them to choose for themselves what sport they like best.

Those excuses have a somewhat familiar ring to them do they not.

It’s something to think about… tbp

Join us for worship this coming Lord’s day at the Center Church of Christ, 110 Hurst Street, Center, Texas or online at

November 30, 2022 - The last thing Christ directed His friends to do before He left the earth was to fulfill “The Great Commission,” a call to go into the whole world with the Good News and make followers of those who don’t know Christ. With this as their catalyst, community members and local churches have joined forces to organize KINGDOM HARVEST a one night crusade scheduled for Wednesday, November 30th at 6:30 pm. The event is open to the public and free to attend. It will be held at The John D. Windham Civic Center in Center, TX with special guests, Evangelist Ken Freeman and the Jason Lovins Band.

"Putting an event like this together is no small feat. Several local churches have already committed to support the Crusade, and hopes are many more will join in,” stated Levi Willoughby, local Youth Pastor and one of the event's organizer. “We have many opportunities for service and support."

Rusty Hall, local Pastor, said organizers are optimistic that the crusade will result in many salvations. “I have been involved in many crusades, and the events are always life-changing.” He said the effort spans denominational lines, and the desire is that it “will energize our churches.” He added that the crusade “is a big thing to put together — it’s a sacrifice. But when people are willing to make that sacrifice, God comes through with the resources.”

If you would like to get involved, there is still time. Examples of service opportunities include:

  • Counselors the night of the event
  • Transportation to/from the event
  • Parking attendants
  • Event set-up/take-down
  • Prayer Team
  • Publicity/Outreach
  • Ushers
  • Financial Support

Counselor Training for the event will be held Sunday, November 13th at 4:30 p.m. at Smyrna Baptist Church in Huxley, Texas. Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to contact event organizers by phone to see where they can serve. If you are unable to serve, please don’t miss the opportunity to hear the word and worship with us on November 30th. Additionally, we ask that you join us in prayer for the event, its organizers and for attendees' hearts to be open to the gospel.

For more information, visit online