April 7, 2022 - You have no doubt heard of the French artist, Pierre-Auguste Renoir.  He was a leader in the development of the impressionist style.  In his later years, he developed Rheumatoid Arthritis which severely limited his mobility.  During the advanced stages of his condition, he had to have an assistant place the brush in his hands so that he could paint.
 
​We are told that one day, a friend came while he was forcing himself to
paint.  Noting his pain, he asked why he continued to torture himself.  He replied, “The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”
 
​You know we all have our moments of pain and our memories of beauty.  It is that beauty that makes life worth living when pain comes.
 
​I think about the pain of Jesus in the garden.  I think about the prayer he prayed and how he agonized in that prayer.  For Jesus, the pain of the cross passed, but think of the beauty that remains because of the cross.  Because of the pain of the cross, we have the beautiful practice of worship.  We have the glorious songs that tell of the cross and the beauty of heaven.  We have the beauty of the memorial feast of the Lord’s Supper, the feast Jesus said for us to do in remembrance of Him.
 
​In this live we often experience pain.  Sometimes we are called on to watch our loved ones die.  Often, we see them in great pain.  But the pain passes and the beauty of precious memories remains.  For the faithful child of God, the pain of this life will someday be over, but the beauty of heaven will remain.
​  
It’s something to think about. . . TBP

April 6, 2022 - St. John's Episcopal Church is having Good Friday Services at 1pm on April 15.

Located on 96 South and Southview Circle. Everyone is invited to attend. Join us!! 

April 6, 2022 - All are invited to join the congregation at Joaquin First United Methodist Church in celebrating our risen Lord at a Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday, April 17 at 6:45 in the morning. We will gather at the garden, adjacent to the church. There will be breakfast served after the service.  Please join us.

April 5, 2022 - St. John Baptist Church of Center with Pastor Rev. Winston Kibbles presents Easter Sunrise Service at 6am on Sunday, April 17th. Guest speaker, Pastor James Brown from Carthage, Texas will bring the message "He has Risen."

Morning worship is at 10:45am. Sunday school begins at 9:45am. The Easter program will be during morning worship service. Easter egg hunt is immediately after church service.

St. John Baptist Church is located in the Africa Community at 2308 CR 2050, Center, Texas 75935.

April 4, 2022 - Good Morning! It’s Monday, April 4.

I love history. It was always my favorite subject in school. I love collecting, because every antique is a little piece of history. Yesterday our pastor shared a profound thought in his sermon - History, without His story, is incomplete.

Jesus is the center of history. We record time by either counting down to Bethlehem (BC) or by counting from it (AD). Jesus is the center of time. He is the center of God’s plan for mankind. He is the center of our story.

History, without His story, leaves us unprepared to face the future.

Meet you back here tomorrow,

Bro. David
dmathis@fbccenter.org

April 4, 2022 - Grace and peace from our brother Jesus, Amen. It has been two weeks since I wrote the Paxton article and weekly newsletter because I was out of town visiting family. I saw my kids and my brother and sister-in-law, getting caught up on all their doings. I also made several stops at plant nurseries and a bookstore. It goes without saying that I came back with more plants to be planted. Playing gardener is my pandemic therapy. Having these nice days full of warmth and sunshine is good for the soul.

Sunday was the 5th Sunday in Lent, and the scripture moved to John’s Gospel—a familiar story of Jesus and his followers stopping to visit Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in Bethany. It is nearly Passover, and they are very close to the capital. One of the few historians of this time, Josephus, says that Jerusalem was a city of around a 100,000 people but during Passover held as many as 500,000 pilgrims! I think that Jesus was ready to just relax around friends, and he had no better friends than Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. The dust-up in our story occurs when Mary rubs very expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet. Judas complains because what was spent on the perfume was equivalent to a year’s wages for most people. Shouldn’t such money be used to help the poor? John portrays Judas as already dishonest and thus discounts his objections. I hope the rest of the visit was calm and peaceful for our brother, Jesus, before he faced the tumult of the next week.

We had a visitor a week ago Sunday at Sunday School and Worship. Claudia lives close by, and we had such a good time getting acquainted with one another. Claudia came again this morning! Gene read the Sunday School scripture from Mark 13: 5-8, 28-37, which encourages us not to try predicting the future but to have faith in God’s goodness. He also warns of those who seem to proclaim the same message that Jesus is preaching but really are not. We are urged to be alert to the ways God breaks into our lives, our communities, and our world.

This being the first Sunday in April, we celebrated Holy Communion. We began the service with the Gathering Words based on Psalm 132. The Gospel lesson was John 12: 1-8. Our first song this morning was “Blessed Assurance,” a comfortable and rhythmic tune. Then came “Nothing But the Blood,” which had no pauses or places to catch our breath. We Southern folks need some resting spots in our songs! I used a Service of Communion & Remembrance that begins with words from the medieval mystic, Teresa of Avila. She reminds us that we are now the hands, feet, and eyes of Christ and must be about doing good as Jesus did. Our bulletin quote was advice from Arthur Ashe on how to accomplish that: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

While I was gone earlier this week, Sue took the March checks and canned chili to Community Christian Services, where Mayor Frank Cooper helped her unload. We will be collecting toothpaste and toothbrushes for CCS during the month of April. Ben called Fannie and gave an update on our good friend Joe. From what Ben said, Joe is doing much better and is getting settled in.

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

March 31, 2022 - Jesus didn’t quit assembling with the disciples because Judas was a hypocrite, or because Peter was always “buttin in”.  Nor did he quit because James and John “flew off the handle” occasionally.  His interest in these men was not lessened because they were envious and jealous of each other at times.  He did not quit teaching the high standard of life because some of his close associates failed miserably to live as they should.  He did not refuse to teach others because they were unkind and unbelieving.
 
​Jesus did not quit as a leader because some could not see “eye to eye” with him and criticized him to his back.  He did not cease to teach good morals, just because he associated with an adulterous woman, an unscrupulous business man or demon worshippers.  When he didn’t get everything his way he didn’t stop praying nor did he give up the fight because all his disciples fled from him when there was danger.
 
​Instead, he chose a course of right and was sure it was right, and let nothing stop his development and accomplishments for God.  He drank the bitter cup of betrayal, crucifixion, death and burial.  But he didn’t quit there.  He came from the grave to be the ruler of the universe.
 
​If you ever feel like quitting or taking off, just remember Christ and Him crucified. I believe that will keep you at your post of duty.
​  
It’s something to think about. . . tbp

“Confess your sins…” James 5:16

March 29, 2022 - There was a story in today’s news about a man paralyzed by a gun shot wound who wanted to “buy out the gun manufacturers and melt down all their guns.” This is an all too-familiar American story… just another case of blaming inanimate objects for human sins and errors.

Americans are notorious about blaming others for their bad habits. We blame tobacco companies for our smoking habits in the same way that some overweight people blame fast food chains for their obesity. It’s sad to see such a departure of human reasoning.

The Bible teaches us that we (and no one else) are responsible for what we eat and smoke, but many had rather blame it on someone else.

The Blame Game is as old as the Garden of Eden and is still a favorite. But it’s a game that no one should play…

… because no one wins.

March 28, 2022 - Good Morning! It’s Monday, March 28.

Happy Anniversary to our Daily Devotions! Two years ago today, we began sharing these little thoughts. My church had just shut down for the pandemic and I wanted to stay connected with our volunteers - during the COUPLE OF WEEKS until Covid was over! Well, here we are two years later, still living in the “new normal”. Who knew?

Our Daily Devotion family grew from just a handful of teammates to several hundred friends. And then, a few months ago, Shelby County Today graciously invited us to join their team. God is good. I pray that this ministry has ministered to your heart as much as it has ministered to mine - because we’re in this together! And together, as we share encouragement, as we share The Word, as we share our hearts, we can move forward in His wisdom and through His grace.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that God works all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Meet you back here tomorrow as we begin year #3!

Bro. David
dmathis@fbccenter.org

March 24, 2022 - First Baptist Church of Center is hosting a blood drive on Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 10am until 2:30pm at the Fellowship Hall.

Contact Teresa Crawford at 936-598-5605 or scan QR Code to sign up.

Receive a free t-shirt for all who donate!

Eat. Drink. Bring I.D..

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