January 30, 2020 - Mt. Zion C.M.E. is hosting their Women's Conference on Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 9am till 12noon. Registration fee is $10.

The theme is 'The Fruit of the Spirit' with the following speakers:

  • Ms. Jacklyn Moton ~ Love
  • Missionary Brenda Carrillo ~ Joy
  • Minister Yolanda Neal ~ Peace
  • Ms. Joyce Jackson ~ Patience
  • Mrs. Feleshia Thompson ~ Kindness
  • Ms. Christine Patton ~ Goodness
  • Ms. Brenda Allen ~ Faithfulness
  • Mrs. Jennifer Ingram ~ Gentleness
  • Ms. Ruby Johnson ~ Self-Control
  • Mrs. Pearlie Nash ~ Tying it all together!

Leaders for the conference are Rev. Richard Edwards ~ Pastor, Sis. Rose Patton ~ Conference Chairperson, Sis. Tracie Garrett, Sis. Sandra Latham, and 1st Lady Sharron Edwards.

Mt. Zion C.M.E. Church is located at 921 MLK Drive, Center, Texas 75935.

January 30, 2020 - There was a little boy whose mother made him sit down, and he said, "I may be sitting down, but I am standing up inside." How many of us are like that? We hide our inner rebellion underneath external religion and go about pretending to do the will of our Heavenly Father.

Did you know that God classifies the sin of stubbornness with that of idolatry? Samuel told King Saul after his rebellion against God, "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." (I Samuel 15:23) We are warned against this sin in Psalms 32:9, "Be ye not as the horse or as the mule, which have no understanding; whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near thee."

Stubbornness is responsible for many of the heartaches and headaches that folks have today. It has broken more hearts, divided more churches, and wrecked more lives than perhaps any other sin. It is no wonder God classifies it with idolatry, for it is the worship of self.

Don't let stubbornness keep you from serving the Lord. Don't let stubbornness keep you from Bible Study and Worship. We will be looking for you on the Lord's Day!

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 www.centerchurchofchrist.com.

January 28, 2020 - First Assembly of God in Timpson is hosting a Movie Night on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 6pm. Showing will be the movie “Overcomer” and it is free to the public.

First Assembly of God is located at 652 Houston Street, Timpson, Texas. Please contact Thomas Langley at 936-572-4693 for more information.

January 27, 2020 - When my Lumberton friend Allie Sheffield said as she grew up, she crossed their creek on a foot log, I immediately remembered the one that I crossed when I was pastor of the First Baptist Church of Mauriceville, Texas. When I arrived at the church parsonage, a deacon came by to help me move in. He walked up, held a thumb up and said, “My name is ‘Thamar Dickerson’, and I hear you like to hunt squirrels.” Thamar and I became best friends and I’ve never forgot this man…or his name.

Thamar showed me “The-S-Curve Woods” on Highway 96, and his favorite woods, “The Foot Log Woods” on The Lemonville Road. The Foot Log Woods could only hunted by walking an old foot log across a rice canal. When Thamar took me there, his dog “Yeller” whizzed ahead of us and sailed across the log to the other bank. “Don’t you try that, Preacher,” Thamar warned. ”You can’t cross like Yeller just did…. and besides, half way down this slick log is a 'Coon and Possum' outhouse.” I couldn’t believe how beautiful the woods were on the other side…the huge white oaks, tall pines, the large grove of holly trees….and it was obvious that the squirrels enjoyed their quiet environment, too.

In time, the Foot Log Woods became my favorite woods and on rainy days the hum of the distant Texla Sawmill and their 12:00 whistle always told me time and direction. On certain days, I hid in the holly grove and watched the birds and squirrels feed on holly berries. Little did they know as they hunted food, I was too, slipping up the canal bank and watching the exotic Wood Ducks eat floating pin oak acorns so invigorated me that I seemed to forget that I was there to hunt squirrels. And when two Red Foxes walked past, me one morning, I started taking my camera when I hunted The Foot Log Woods.

I had a terrible case of flu in 1965 while I lived in Mauriceville. When Deacon Delbert McWhirter came by and asked how I was, I said “I can see people walking all over the wall.” “Then I’ll see you later," he laughed as he hurriedly left the room. Two days later, I stumbled my way to the car coughing, sneezing but determined to hunt The Foot Log Woods. When I got half way across the Foot Log, I suddenly slipped and landed waist deep into the frigid cold water. Clawing and scratching my way to the bank, I shivered my way home, put on dry clothes, and went to bed. I couldn’t believe how I woke up the next morning…no fever…. no coughing ….and all my flu nymphets were gone!

That all happened almost 55 years ago and if I walked into the Mauriceville First Baptist Church today, I wouldn’t recognize many of the people. Their present Pastor was born when I was their Pastor in the sixties and all fourteen Deacons have now crossed The Jordan. .

Yesterday, (1/15/2020) as Pam and I drove down the Lemonville Road, I asked her to pull over. Since we were parked within fifty yards of The Foot Log Woods, I began telling her my experiences there and about 30 minutes later, I suddenly remembered that we were on our way to photograph birds on the Gulf Coast.

The years have gone but I won’t forget the kindness of the people at Mauriceville. I spent six wonderful years there.

They were six of the best years of my life.

January 27, 2020 - Grace and peace from our brother, Jesus, Amen. Sunday was the 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany. The Gospel lesson moves from John back to Matthew. The Matthew and John Gospels are so very different—written at two very different times to two very different peoples. My sermon began with a new covenant that the prophet Jeremiah said would not be written in stone or on parchment or a scroll. Instead, God would write this new covenant directly on the human heart and mind. In Jeremiah 31:31-33, we see that God forgives and goes even further. With the covenant written in our souls, God says that he will no longer see our sins. This sounds so strange to us. In today’s Gospel lesson, much is happening: John the Baptizer has been arrested, Jesus has moved to Capernaum, and he calls Andrew, Peter, James, and John to follow him. In my sermon I tried to speak to the meaning of discipleship for these four and also for us, thousands of years later.

The first month of the New Year is about up. We have been collecting cans of tuna for Community Christian Services in January; in February we will collect soap and shampoo. Ms. Lillie has a birthday today, and we hope it is a nice day for her.  Part of being a Methodist is the connection between us here and Methodists worldwide. Each year we pledge to pay our share of our district and conference expenses. This allows us the opportunity to be part of all the wonderful outreaches of our worldwide church. We support hospitals, schools, colleges, universities, research facilities, and in general bring the good news to everyone.

Our Sunday School lesson was the last in a series about covenants. The scripture was from Jeremiah 31-37, where God says that he will make a new covenant and place it on the hearts and minds of people. We Christians believe that Jesus embodies this covenant, living out the reality of loving God and neighbor—the heart of the law and the covenant.

Because of the way January’s dates fell, two of our programs were last week—on Tuesday, Holiday Nursing Center, and on Thursday, Lakeside Assisted Living. Due to weather and/or illness, some of our regulars were unable to attend, but those who were there brought a good program. I emceed both, sharing anecdotes at we went along. One was from a Jay Leno “Man on the Street” interview testing Biblical knowledge; a woman, when asked what Biblical character was swallowed by a big fish, replied confidently, “Pinnochio.” Our pianists took turns—Minnie at Holiday and Hilda at Lakeside—we feel lucky to have such talent among us. Pastor Sarah talked of furnishing her new house and making changes, including those that come with being a Christian; later, she continued the theme of change, pointing out that, although scripture doesn’t change, we see it with new eyes as we mature. Sue read Yertle the Turtle at Holiday, Rosie Revere Engineer and “Purple Pox” at Lakeside. Nora shared “Dance at Grandpa’s,” a picture book from The Little House in the Big Woods and also sang “How Great Is Our God.”  Fannie spoke about some of the community projects her classes had done and then read Helen Steiner Rice’s “In Times Like These.” Jo and Margie joined in to help with the greeting and singing.

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

Randy & Sue Smith/Paxton United Methodist Church

Thus declares the Lord of hosts, "Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts." (Zechariah 1:3)

January 27, 2020 - This is the call of the Lord to all people, that all should return to him, that all should turn from their wicked ways, repent of their sins, seek his face and pray to him for  salvation.

The Lord makes this call for he does not wish that any should perish but that all should reach repentance.

"The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

And why would the Most High worry or care about all men, why should he wish that none should perish in the fires of hell?

It's simple, because his Son, Jesus Christ, died for the sin of all men, that all men simply by accepting his free gift of salvation could then be saved from the penalty of their sin, which is death of the spirit.

Does God really love us that much and wish for our repentance and redemption?

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

But why one might ask is mankind doomed to perish without the salvation that only comes through Christ Jesus?

Because of the original sin of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.

"The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 3:15-17)

Now Eve ate the fruit of the tree and gave it to Adam and he too ate of it. 

God then cast them out of the garden, forever, and due to this original sin against God, from that day forth the earth and all men have been accursed. All must therefore repent of their sins to gain redemption and salvation for without salvation all are dead in their sins forever.

"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." (John 3:17)

There is no other way to secure one's salvation except through belief in Jesus Christ as our Lord.

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

"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:18)

Condemned not by God but by the sin of Adam and Eve. All must reach repentance or face the penalty of their sin which is death.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

All must decide between life in Christ Jesus or death in the darkness, forever away from God, suffering the torment of eternal fire and damnation in hell.

Return to God and he will return to you and save you from your sins.

Which will it be for you, life in Christ, or death in hell? 

All must choose, please my friends, choose wisely for your eternity depends upon this decision.

May God's blessings be upon you forever and ever!!!

January 23, 2020 - In our day and time, we have become obsessed with the consumer mentality. To be sure, it has permeated every aspect of our lives. We look for a restaurant with the best price, menu, atmosphere and location. We shop for clothes at a store that carries our size, has our taste in clothes and the best sales.

Sadly, many take this same attitude with them when it comes to church. To be sure, we call it “church shopping”.

If we have little kids, we look for a church with a great program for kids. If we don’t have kids, we look for a church that doesn’t have a “bunch of noisy kids” bothering us.

We want the music enthusiastic but not too loud, the preacher to be youthful but not too young, and relevant but not trendy. Most of all, he needs to deliver a life changing message in less than 20 minutes.

And, know this, if anything stops meeting our expectations, we are off “church shopping” again.

Yet, the church was never intended to serve the consumer mentality. You see, the church is not about serving us, it is about us serving God and serving others. In the church, we are to be more focused on seeking the desperately lost rather than meeting the felt needs of the comfortably saved.

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 www.centerchurchofchrist.com.

January 22, 2020 - Pastor Freddie Wilson and the members of Saint Paul MBC invites you to join us for our Mission Community. We will begin at the church on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 12-noon.

This event is to serve those in need in the community. Vegetable soup and fixings will be served at the church, and from there the mission will reach out to the community.

Saint Paul M.B.C. - A Church With a Vision, A Community of Faith.

January 21, 2020 - Grace and peace from our brother, Jesus, Amen. It is Saturday, January 18, and I am at my computer working on my sermon for tomorrow. The Gospel lesson comes from the John Gospel, which was one of the later writings to be included in the Christian Testament. We don’t know who the author of this very spiritual book was, but are fairly certain it was written at the end of the first century of the Common Era. It is very different from the first three gospels. I have pulled several wonderful books from the bookshelves about the period of time when Jesus was thought to have lived in Capernaum. This part of his life is after his tribulations in the wilderness and the beginning of his three-year ministry. From his home base at Capernaum, Jesus makes frequent trips to the Jordan where John the Baptizer is urging people to turn away from the old ways of living. In our Gospel story, people seek out Jesus, who invites them to his home.

Our Sunday School lesson comes from the Jewish (Old) Testament and focuses on the covenant between Yahweh and David. From the scripture we see that the covenant Yahweh made with Saul had many conditions, and also that Saul failed to meet them. But the special bond between Yahweh and David had no preconditions, as David had a special place in God’s heart. It seems as if David was the favorite and that he could get away with more than others. His poor choices did complicate his life and bring him sorrow, but God’s love for him did not weaken. That kind of love is a comforting thought as we muddle through our own living!

I had a busy week seeing doctors this week. I had four appointments—but I guess I’m good to go for awhile longer! I am feeling better after having the flu and a sinus infection. The weather has been so strange, it is hard to figure out if it is going to be raining and warm or windy and cold. We have had temperatures in the 70s in January! After my last doctor’s appointment Friday, I drove by Community Christian Services and found workers busily getting the food bank ready to go. Paxton Methodist collected cans of soup in December, so I was able to deliver those. In January we are collecting cans of tuna. We have two nursing home ministries this week. On Tuesday at 2:00 we head to Holiday Nursing Center; the same time on Thursday will find us at Lakeside Village Assisted Living.

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

January 20, 2020 - Sold to the Highest Bidder: The Teresa Richenberger Story

First United Methodist Church in Joaquin has invited Teresa Richenberger to speak at the 10:30am service Sunday, January 26. Teresa has not only written a book, she has lived the life of an Exotic Dancer and experienced the life that would be perfect movie material, except it’s not a pretty story. It is raw and often tough to hear. 

As a teenager, she began to feel hopelessness, as lots of teenagers do. Teresa began a life that would spiral out of control and cause countless problems and dangerous situations. She’s the only one who could put into words what happened because she lived it for over 10 years on the streets of towns and cities in East Texas. 

From shame and guilt to freedom and confidence, her story brings hope to many. God did a might work in her life and she now speaks often to teens and young adults in need of her transforming story. All are welcome at the service and we especially invite young adults, both men and women.