July 24, 2019 - When we were in Austin a few years ago, we realized that they had revived a relic from the past and installed parking meters on Congress Avenue. These were different from the ones I remembered from my younger days when you put your penny, nickel or dime into the meter and they registered your time. These took plastic and printed you a sticker to put on your windshield.

Yet, I started thinking about those old parking meters, and how people would drive around to try and find a meter that still had time left on it and park on someone else’s nickel. Then I thought, you know, there are a lot of folks who try to go through life on someone else’s nickel.

You see, there are a lot of people who are directly or indirectly benefitted by the church in their respective community who make no contribution in any way to its building or program of work. Now, bear in mind these folks would not want to live in a community without the church. The tragedy is they assume the church can live on their good wishes and are quite willing to let others furnish the cash and labor for the church to go forward and continue its program of work.

So, here is the question. Are we going through life, expecting the church to always be there for us but never willing to do anything for the church? Are we doing our part or are we parking on someone else’s nickel?

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.

July 24, 2019 - The Pastor and members of Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church invite you to our Annual Homecoming and Revival Services.

Homecoming is Sunday, July 28, 2019 at 3pm with special guests Bishop W.C Martin and the Bennett Chapel Baptist Church Family. 

Revival is July 30 through August 1, 2019 (Tuesday-Thursday) at 7pm nightly. Evangelist for the week is Pastor Arthur Douglas Jr. from Evergreen Baptist Church of Shreveport, La.

July 23, 2019 - Lydia Baptist Church on FM 139 in Huxley would like to announce their vacation bible school!

Monday, August 5th through Friday, August 9th 6pm until 8:30pm each night. Classes for ages 3 years old through 12th grade.

This epic African adventure engages the whole herd. At Roar, kids explore God’s goodness and celebrate a ferocious faith that powers them through this wild life.

For more information, please call 936-368-2462.

July 23, 2019 - Gates Chapel Baptist Church celebrates Annual Homecoming and Revival

Everyone is welcome to attend!

The Annual Homecoming is set for Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019 at 3pm.

Rev. Timothy Teel and Bells Chapel Baptist Church are their special guest.

Revival services will begin Aug. 5-9, 2019 at 7:30pm nightly with Rev. Larry Thorn, Evangelist from Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, Carthage, TX.

Update: This event has been canceled for July 28th and will be rescheduled for a later date.

July 19, 2019 - Pastor and Members of The House of Refuge is hosting a Family and Friends Service. Sunday, July 28, 2019 at 3:00pm. Guest Speaker will be Bishop Elect T.B. Yarbrough from The New City of Refuge from Joaquin and Dallas, TX. 

July 22, 2019 - I got a letter from my dear High School friend, Jack Fontaine. When we graduated from High School in 1950, he enrolled in Texas A & M and became an Engineer. I enrolled at The Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri and became a Preacher. He has retired in Frankston, Texas now and we are blessed to still communicate after all these years. He is my "blood-brother." 

Since we have just celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing of Apollo 11, I am printing his great story in the papers I write for. 

Dear friend Henry,

I have read almost all of your stories over the years and I feel like I almost know your life's story. So I thought I would write some of the experiences that made up my life and share them with you. Only the good one's of course!

As the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing approaches, it brings back many memories of the time I spent at NASA'S Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC), now the Johnson Space Center, from 1967 to 1972. I was a member of the Ground Support Group that provided on site services in Occupational Medicine, Environmental and Occupational Health. The contractor was Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston. My job was as an Industrial Hygienist conducting on-site evaluations of employee exposures to noise, toxic chemicals and non-ionizing radiation.

One of the most interesting evaluation that I did was to evaluate exposures to the very toxic chemicals used as attitude control rockets in the Apollo 11 Command Module. This was after it was quarantined in the Lunar Receiving Laboratory (LRL), along with the astronauts. Thankfully, no traces of the chemicals were found. As I finished the survey, a North American engineer (they were the contractor that built the spacecraft), came over and asked if wanted a souvenir. I said "of course," and he ripped of a strip of gold Mylar film that had covered the spacecraft and gave it to me! The edges were all burnt from the heat of re-entry through the earth's atmosphere. I still have the film and the special badges that allowed my entry into the LRL. I consider my time at the MSC as one of the highlights of my professional career.

Your old friend and blood brother, Jack

July 22, 2019 - Let us look this morning at the cure for all that ails the world around us. Could it be that we could have a cure for the problems of the world, oh, but we do, and it is written out for us in God’s Holy Word just waiting for us to deliver it to the world…

So here is that long-sought-after-cure…

“For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (1 John 3:11)

So simple in word, so difficult in deed, to just love one another.

“We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brothers righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:12-15)

Cain murdered Able not for anything that Able had done to him, but because Cain had failed to please God with his sacrifice while Able had done as God had required and received God’s blessing for his own sacrifice.

Cain became so angry with Able simply because of his own disobedience and Able’s obedience.
Cain’s solution to the problem cost his brother his life and himself a lifetime of rejection by God, both were therefore dead from that time forth.

The scripture says that if one does not love others that he abides in death, that if one simply hates his brother then he has murdered his brother. Showing that the works of the mind are as strong as the works of the body. One can murder with the mind as well as with the body.

So just who is my brother, who is it that I must love if I am to abide in God’s love and have God’s eternal life abiding in me?

Let me answer that by using an example of a neighbor. Who is my neighbor? One might say; “Whoever touches me is my neighbor.” If this is true then my neighbor is every person around the world, for the chain is unbroken from me, around the world and back to me. All people are my neighbors, as all people are my bothers.

This includes all nationalities, all colors, all creeds for God only made one race, the human race. He made many nationalities, many colors of people but only one race of people, we are all human beings, made in God’s image, in the image of God he made us. (see Genesis 1:27)

How can one say that he loves his brother if he looks with hatred on someone of another color than his own? How can one abide in God’s love if he does not love his brother? He can’t…

The opposite of love is hate and the world is full of hate today and only the true love of Jesus Christ can cure what ails this evil cruel world.

“By this we know his love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (1 John 3:16)

Jesus died not just for you and I but for all people, all nationalities, all colors, all creeds and if we are to follow him we must also love all others and serve all others with the gifts that God has given us.

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 John 3:17)

It cannot, for it is with the mind as well as the body that we reject others. If we look on another that is in need and do nothing to help then we do not have God’s love abiding in us which means that we then abide in death. This cannot so be for a child of God!

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)

“By this we shall know the we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” (1 John 3:19-22)

Love God with all your being, love your brother as yourself and life eternal with our Lord will be yours.

July 22, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother, Jesus. It seems like the entire US is suffering from high heat and humidity—including Alaska, which my daughter just returned from last week. It looks like we are going to have a break from the heat with some unusual July temperatures and some rain this coming week—both will be appreciated. 

The Gospel Lesson for Sunday was a familiar one. Martha and Mary welcome Jesus and his friends.  Martha is busy working, preparing not only a meal but her home; Mary, on the other hand, sits and listens to Jesus. Martha would have appreciated Mary’s help, but Mary is so engrossed in Jesus and his teaching that poor Martha is ignored. What everyone in this story seems oblivious to (except Jesus) is the great danger Jesus is in. 

So much of our story is out of character for first century Palestine.  We assume that Martha is a widow because she owns property.  But is Mary a widow also?  We are not told about Martha’s or Mary’s situation in the lesson. Even though the Gospel doesn’t say, we assume that Martha is the older sister—I guess the more responsible one. And the idea that Mary, a woman, would be allowed in the company of men to study with a rabbi was unheard of.  So much to ponder is so few words.

Ms. Fannie did such a great job of navigating us through a complex scripture. Matthew 5: 38-48 is certainly one of those difficult teachings of Jesus. Jesus tells us that no longer are we to live by the idea of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Now, if some one slaps us on the right cheek, we are to offer our left.  If someone sues us for our shirt, we are to offer them our coat.  If someone demands that we walk a mile for them, we are to walk two. The writer says that the old way was the “law of retaliation”: Jesus’ new way is not to fight fire with fire. Learning to love our enemies is going to require a lot of practice and a lot of determination. 

Last week our nursing home ministry took us to Holiday.  They are currently without an activity director, though, so there was no one to announce the program or bring people there. We also had a light showing from our folks.  So we did lots of congregational singing, accompanied by the lively playing of Hilda and Minnie. Jo read a cute poem called “Why Worry,” and Sue performed Shel Silverstein’s “Sick.”  Nora sang a moving piece that combined some of the words of “Amazing Grace” with the idea that “He is forever mine.” W.O.W.  I was, as usual, the emcee and did the benediction. 

Our worship time is 10:00 AM; we would love to have you come to worship with us. I know how very busy everyone is: Our early meeting time enables you to move on to family get-togethers or jobs afterward. Not to mention naps, which my wife says are best on Sunday afternoon.  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.

July 19, 2019 - Latham Cemetery on FM 139 South of Shelbyville is in need of donations for upkeep. Donations may be mailed to Latham Cemetery, %Citizens Bank, P.O. Box 151, Center, Texas 75935 or to Latham Cemetery, %Jeri Dean, P.O. Box 1016, Timpson, Texas 75975. For more information call 936-254-4994.

Make checks payable to Latham Cemetery Fund. We thank you so much and God Bless!

July 19, 2019 - The First United Methodist Church on Porter St in Center invites you to Sunday's service, July 21, 2019 at 8:30 am. July is "casual month" and worshipers are encouraged to dress comfortably. The message will be brought by pastor Karen Jones and breakfast will follow. This Sunday, the music includes several big congregational hymns and a choral anthem featuring instrumentalists from the staff of the CHS Band. Longtime band directors Chris and Christina Smith will be playing trombone and flute, and the congregation will get to meet the band's two newest directors playing the clarinet and trumpet. The woodwind and brass will be joined by bass, piano, organ and voices to create a unique worship opportunity.