November 21, 2019 - A preacher one time was asked if a certain man and his wife belonged to the church where he preached. His reply was, “No, they do not belong to the church here. They are members, but they do not belong to the church.”

It’s like this,” the preacher explained. “neither their time, their affection, their energy, their money, nor their influence belong to the church.”

Does that make you wonder what kind of membership these people had in the church? The preacher said, “they came to us, and we received them in good faith, and we thought they were looking for spiritual fellowship and service. Sadly, their attendance has been so infrequent they have no sense of belonging to the church family and the church has not been a spiritual home to them. Truthfully, there is not an ounce of this man and his wife that belongs to the church. All they have ever added to the church is a name on the roll.”

The sad truth is, the rolls of local churches are loaded with names that are “members only”. This is their only indication of love for Christ. Yet, Bible love is active and not passive. Jesus expressed His love by dying for us.  Will we show our love by living for Him?

Do you belong to the church? Where will you be this coming 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 www.centerchurchofchrist.com

November 20, 2019 - First Baptist Center, 117 Cora, will host a Community Thanksgiving Celebration service Sunday, November 24, 6pm. All churches are warmly invited! There will be food and fellowship following the service.

November 18, 2019 - Grace and peace from our brother and savior, Jesus, Amen. Sue and I got back home from Madrid, Spain, last Thursday. We had a really nice time with our daughter as we stayed in the old part of Madrid. Sue and I don’t get around as well as we used to, but our daughter was very patient—and finally decided we’d taxi or Uber everywhere. The worst part of traveling overseas was the long—ten hour—flight. It was nice getting home even though it sure was cold when we landed in Texas. It was cold in Madrid, but neither rain nor cold kept people out of the plazas. The city would come alive around 10:00 PM, with our apartment right in the heart of it all. And, by the way, around 9PM is the usual dinner hour!

Paxton Methodist welcomed a Gideon speaker, John Dulin, last Sunday while I was gone. He gave an update on the work of Gideon International, and everyone said he was a particularly good speaker. Paxton Methodist also remembered the veterans who have served our nation. 

Sunday morning our Sunday School lesson focused on the need to remember that only God can impart life. We sometimes get so wrapped up in material things and the comfort they give us that we forget it is only in God that we will find life. In him, we find the strength to get through bad times. Our author quoted Proverbs: “Fools find no pleasure in understanding.” Also from Proverbs was this reminder: “Wise are those who restrain their talking; people with understanding are coolheaded.” 

As we gathered yesterday morning we heard from Mr. Fielder’s granddaughter and awarded her another scholarship. We also discussed some dates for the Paxton Community Christmas Party. Since this is the beginning of the really busy holiday season, dates are filling up fast. We decided to go home, look at our calendars, and discuss a date next Sunday. We also received a thank-you card from the Joaquin Children’s Christmas Fund for our contribution to this wonderful program. On Tuesday, we travel to Holiday for our monthly program. During November, we will be collecting rice and beans for Community Christian Services. Larry and Theresa will celebrate their anniversary this week: We wish them years and years of continued happiness!

My sermon was based on the words of the minor prophet, Haggai. Haggai is referred to as a minor prophet not because his speech or impact was minor but because his words were brief—only two chapters. My focus was on Haggai’s call for reestablishing sacred space—a new temple for the people to come worship and bond with each other, their ancient faith, and God. We modern people may not realize it, but we too need sacred space—special time. This sacred sanctuary doesn’t have to be in a church; it really has more to do with carving out time to experience the Divine—the wonder—the more! 

Because I was not here to write about our previous nursing home program, I am including it here: 

We had a nice group at Focused Care on Monday, November 4—both presenters and “customers.” Before the program started, Theresa distributed holiday door hangers she had bought (an excellent idea for nursing home residents). Minnie kept us going with her piano accompaniment, and Margie and Hilda swelled the ranks of presenters. I was the emcee, sharing anecdotes between songs and pronouncing the benediction at the end. With deference to Veterans Day, Fannie read “I Am the Nation,” a piece from Ann Landers; afterward, she shared a Thanksgiving acrostic poem. Pastor Sarah talked about her own lack of preparedness (running low on gas) compared to God the Planner, and also discussed All Saints Day. Sue performed Dr. Seuss’ Gertrude McFuzz. Nora “sang a book,” a children’s version of “Over the River and Through the Woods.” Then, with the help of her sister Jo, she did a touching “How Can I Keep from Singing Your Praise?” Altogether a lively, fulfilling program.

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.

November 14, 2019 - "Ready or not, here I come" was the way we announced to our companions we were coming to hunt for them when we played "hide and seek" as children. Well, as far as the Holidays are concerned, "ready or not, here they come."

I was thinking the other day about the holidays of my youth (yes, it's been a while!) and going to my grandparents home for Thanksgiving. Though we never went over the river and through the woods in a sleaigh, we did over the years make some rather long trips in the Oldsmobile!

I can still in my memory see my grandmother standing, outlined by the light behind her coming from the house  as she would stand on the porch as we got out of the car. I can smell the pumpkin and cherry pie and the fragrance of roast turkey that had just come from the oven in preparation for tomorrow's feast.

There is also something I remember. I remember the sadness in her eyes when somtimes part of the family was not able to be present for the family gathering. That made me wonder about something. If grandmother was so saddened when part of her family was absent from the family table, how does the Lord feel on His day when part of His family is absent from His table?

Where will you be this coming 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. www.centerchurchofchrist.com

November 13, 2019 - We the Members and Pastor of Carroll Chapel CME Church in Shelbyville, would like to invite you to our Annual Harvest Drive Program, Sunday, November 17 at 3pm, 

Our Guest Speaker will be: Apostle Cassandra Swindle and the Murry Chapel Church Family of Fungston, La. 

Everyone is invited. 

November 13, 2019 - The greatest act of love the world has ever seen was done by Almighty God for all members of the human race as he looked at all people, lost in their sinful ways, endowed with the sin nature from their father and mother, Adam and Eve. Brought on all by their original sin in the garden of Eden.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 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 3:16-17)

And the Son, Jesus Christ, loved the world and the Father God so much that he came willingly, giving up his own deity for a time that he might come and pay the price for the sin of all mankind, once for all. A debt that no human person could pay for we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Jesus was the only man who lived a life without sin, a life that qualified him to become that unblemished sacrifice required for redemption of sin. Only Jesus could perform that selfless act of death on the cross to redeem mankind from their own sinful ways. Only Jesus could remove the condemnation from mankind.

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1-2)

For all who accept Jesus Christ as their Sovereign Lord all guilt is removed and forgotten, never to be remembered again. 

All who accept Jesus as Lord are washed by the blood he shed on the cross and become heirs to the throne of God, members of the heavenly family of God almighty. Blessed be the name of the Lord...

All who accept Jesus as Lord are no longer children of the flesh but are forever children of the Holy Spirit of God, just as Jesus is the Son, we too are made anew as children of the Most High God.

"You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you." (Romans 8:9)

It is as Peter said to those to whom he preached on the day of Pentcost; as Peter said, 

"Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)

Whoever believes in Jesus Christ as Lord receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, given by the Father to all who believe in the One whom he has sent. The Spirit then lives within that person becoming his Helper and Counselor through this life. Once you believe that Jesus is Lord the Spirit of God dwells in you.

"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)

"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him." (John 3:36)

Do you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord of all? Have you accepted him as your own Lord? If not then will you do so right now? Ask him to forgive you of all your sin and take you as his own and you will know forever the joy and peace that comes with living in the Christ. 

May you receive him today as Lord and Master as you become an heir to the throne of God and live forever in harmony with our Lord... 

November 11, 2019 - Back in 1957, I was student Pastor of he Liberty Hill Baptist Church in San Augustine, Texas. County Clerk Cecil Murphy called me one day asking if I had time to perform a wedding “for a young couple.” I told him I would and minutes later a young man came to the door.  When I asked where he wanted to be married, he replied, “Oh, I’m already married.” “The couple to be married is too old to get out and want to be married in the car.” 

I walked to the car, turned backwards in the front seat, and read the ceremony.  When it came time to kiss the bride, they just hugged each other tightly and giggled.  The bride’s name was Ida Luke and she was 92 years old. The groom (can’t remember his name) was a 93 year old retired store owner from Nacogdoches.  

I’m 86 years old now and have done hundreds of wedding ceremonies. I’ve married them in houses, studies, in court houses,  on creek banks, in parks, in my gun shop and a myriad of other places, but this was the oldest couple I ever married and my only ceremony in a car.

Cecil told me the next Sunday at Church, “Bother Doug, you did their ceremony  in a car…but that marriage was made in heaven.” 

November 11, 2019 - Bennett Chapel Missionary Baptist Church invites everyone to its Annual Youth Day Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 2:30 pm.  

Special guest will be Pastor Mario Osby and Smith Chapel Baptist Church Family. Every one is invited to come praise the Lord with us.

Bishop W C Martin, Pastor 
Melissa Stanberry-Youth Director

November 11, 2019 - One day as Jesus passed through Samaria he stopped near the town of Sychar at the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jesus sat by Jacob's well which was also there and rested for he was tired from his travels.

As he sat there by the well a woman came to draw water and since Jesus had no means by which he could draw water he asked the woman of Samaria for a drink of water from Jacob's well.

The Samaritan woman then said to him; "How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?" (For Jews have no dealings with samaritans.) John 4:9)

And Jesus answered her, saying; "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, "Give me a drink", you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." (John 4:10)

What, one might ask, is this (gift of God) that Jesus is speaking of and what is the (living water) that he would have given her?

"Repent and be baptized every one if you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)

The gift of God is the indwelling of the one who accepts Jesus Christ as Lord with the Holy Spirit of God.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the promise that Jesus made to us before he ascended back to heaven.

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you." (John 14:16-17)

The living water is the guidance and teaching by the Helper that satisfies the longing within everyone. That longing for spiritual enlightenment, that emptiness, which is within every human being from birth until it is filled by the Holy Spirit of God.

As Jesus made clear, there is no other way to the kingdom of God but through him.

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

Only by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord does one receive salvation from the penalties of sin and only by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord can one receive the Holy Spirit to guide one through life.

As the woman of Samaria bragged on the well which Jacob had dug and given to the Samaritans for water Jesus said to her; "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:14)

"The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water!" (John 14:15)

How about you, do you thirst for more, do you seek for joy and happiness in your daily life?

There is but one place to find them, in the Holy Spirit which one receives only when one accepts Jesus Christ as Lord. Accept him today and know forever the joy and peace that comes by living in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

November 9, 2019 - St John Missionary Baptist Church – Center  will be celebrating our choir anniversary on Sunday November 17, 2019 at 2:30 pm

Special guest will be Rev Anthony Jackson and the Bright Morning Star Church of Center Texas.

Everyone is invited to come worship and celebrate this joyous occasion.

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