March 26, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the Third Sunday in Lent. We had such a nice week, and spring has officially sprung. It was really good to get out into the yard and garden, but I couldn’t help thinking about those hot summer days that are sure to come. I should just be satisfied with the now, but I am not always that mindful. We had a small group at church this morning. Fannie shared that she had a good, newsy visit with Keith. We certainly do miss Keith and Vera and hope Keith is feeling better. All this month we have been collecting cans of chili for Community Christian Services. In April we will collect toothpaste and toothbrushes. 

Fannie had a really good lesson for Sunday school, as always. We heard the familiar story of Zacchaeus but with a few new twists. The crowd certainly wasn’t pleased when Jesus singled out Zacchaeus and went to his house for dinner. Too often, religious folks become convinced of their righteousness and look down on others. The scripture from Luke said the people saw and they grumbled. In my sermon I mentioned that of the many faults Paul was highlighting to his readers and listeners, the biggest fault was grumbling. Uh oh! Guilty!

In my sermon I carried on the Lenten idea of life being a journey and pointed out that like our spiritual forefathers and foremothers, the Jewish people, we too are wanderers. Paul spoke of falls—spiritual falls. Falls, whether physical or spiritual, are unplanned and unexpected events. And we know that our human condition tells us we will have falls along the way on our journey toward God.

Last week was our program at Holiday Nursing Home. I was the first one there, my wife second, and Pastor Matt third; we hung around outside the building, desperately hoping for a piano player. Even our musical Nora said she couldn’t help us out. And then…up drove Minnie and Hilda—not one piano player but two! We trooped into the dining room to crank up our program. Minnie played so Hilda could sing. I emceed and shared some surprising details of St. Patrick’s story from last week’s sermon. Pastor Matt read two contradictory passages about the death of Saul, concluding that they had self-serving politicos in that day just like we have today. Sue read a funny book called The Day the Goose Got Loose, in which pandemonium ensued. Nora did a “serious” song about Jesus and then flung us into a hand-clapping rendition of “Deep in the Heart of Texas.” This week we head to Lakeside Assisted Living on Thursday at 2:00. 

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.

March 25, 2019 - Pastor Byron Coutee, Jr. and the Blount Chapel Missionary Baptist Church would like to invite everyone to our Mission Program at 11:15am on Sunday, March 31, 2019.

Speakers include:

  • Sis. Stephanie Hicks of the St. John Missionary Baptist in Center, Texas
  • Sis. Jackie Moton of the St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Center, Texas
  • Bro. Lester Pitts of the Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Center, Texas

For more information contact Sis. Joyce Edwards

March 25, 2019 - There are many questions concerning the Christian way of living, questions of what should I do, or, what should I not do if I am to follow Jesus Christ and he is to be my Lord and Master.

The prophet Micah gave answer to a young man that came before him asking the question, “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high?” (Micah 6:6)

Now this young man is assuming that he will have to bring gifts or sacrifices to the Lord in order to be accepted as a child of the Most High God.
But, the prophet says no, there is nothing that you must bring before him but yourself as he answers with these words.

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

Sounds so simple, so easy, we have only to treat others equally, with justice, to show mercy and kindness to all less fortunate than ourselves, and lastly, to walk humbly with God.

Oh, but therein lies the problem. 

For humility is not an attribute of the natural man, no, man looks to his own selfish wishes and seeks to satisfy his own will and not to submit to the will of God each day.

Humility is a hard taskmaster for the natural man and gives so many so much trouble in following Gods will through life.

Micah has told us what God requires of all who would follow him and we can look to the Proverbs for the things which are best left alone in the life of the Christian.

Proverbs chapter six says this about the things that God does not like, the things that one is to refrain from in order to live as God wishes for his child.

“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him” (Proverbs 6:16) 

Let us look first at the  six things that God hates.

“Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.” (Proverbs 6:17)

Haughty eyes - haughty is to have or to show contempt or superiority for all considered inferior to oneself. To look down on others and to exalt oneself.

Lying tongue - See Commandment #9 - Thou shall not lie!

Shedding innocent blood - See ‘Commandment #6 - Thou shalt not murder.

“A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil. A false witness who breathes out lies” (Proverbs 6:18-19) 

Wicked plans - a wicked heart cannot serve God

Run to evil - if saved one must run from evil and to the Lord.

False witness - See Commandment #9 - Thou shalt not lie!

And lastly, the things which God abhors - 

“And one who sows discord among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:19)

Discord - to cause active quarreling and conflict among others.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)

“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well.” (James 2:8)

“Submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

“Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.” (James 4:10)

And there we have an understanding of the do’s and don’ts of being Christian. May you be blessed by the Lord this day and forever…  

March 25, 2019 - “Love thy neighbor as thyself…” Matt. 19:19
 
Five states have named the “Mocker” as their state bird. Her beautiful repertoire of over 40 sounds includes mimicking birds, barking dogs, squeaking gates, and sirens. She fearlessly defends her young against literally anything. 

But the mockingbird has some disappointing habits. Territorial and scrappy, she’s been known to starve babies of other species by not allowing them to be fed. Mockingbirds care for their own….and Only Their Own

Since they’re guided by instinct, there’s no hope they’ll change. Not one has since the Garden of Eden. But in spite of her shortcomings, she at least has an excuse for them. So the big question is:

What’s ours?

March 21, 2019 - Youth Sunday & Fundraiser March 31st Sunday school 10am church services 11am lunch 12pm.

Dinner, a show and auction
After the morning service, the youth will be selling plates including a stuffed baked potato (with beef or pork), cookies for dessert and a drink for $8.

You can eat it there or get it to go.

But you don't want to miss the show. The littlest preacher & his wife will be there.

Then there will be a homemade auction of items donated by church members & the community.

We will not have an evening service!

If you have any questions please call Haley Parks (936-369-2838) or Bro. Michael McArthur (368-2462)

March 21, 2019 - First Baptist Church of Center is hosting a Blood Drive on Thursday, March 21st from 10am until 2:30pm in the fellowship hall. Contact Teresa Crawford at 936-598-5605 to setup an appointment or for more information. The sponsor code for the event is 7765.

Be sure to 'Eat - Drink - Bring I.D.'

First Baptist Church of Center is located at 117 Cora Street, Center, Texas 75935. Visit online at giveblood.org to learn more about Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center - Commit for life.

March 18, 2019 - Rodney Lambert in concert April 6, 2019 at 6:30pm. Maple Springs Baptist Church, Highway 5 Logansport, LA.

Everyone is welcome. Come one, come all. See you there!

March 18, 2019 - Abundant Love Ministries will celebrate our 10th Annual Church Anniversary, Sunday, March 24th at 2:30 pm. Bishop W.C. Martin, Pastor of the Bennett Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Shelbyville, TX, will be our guest minister.

ALM Sunday school and regularly scheduled noonday service are cancelled for the day.

You are welcomed and invited to join us in celebration of this milestone anniversary, in addition to any of our other regularly scheduled weekly services.

Abundant Love Ministries is located at 1426 Shelbyville St., Center, TX 75935

March 18, 2019 - Love and peace from our brother Jesus. Sunday was the Second Sunday in Lent. And the luck of the calendar (or of the Irish!) meant that Sunday was also St. Patrick’s Day. The patron saint of Ireland was actually from England, but like the bumperstickers say, he got there as fast as he could. After a rainy, stormy start of the week, the last few days have been cool but sunny. Mr. and Mrs. Bravo have set up their nursery down in Haslam, a sure sign that spring is almost here! Sue and I took our vehicles up to Brookshire’s since the Joaquin Methodist kids were having a car wash. It was great to see Nolan and Theresa as they were busily helping out. After I got my truck washed, I went to Exotic Plant Farm’s Haslam branch and bought a plum tree, rose bushes and some hosta. When I got home I ordered more plants from a catalog. I am going big this year with Texas-friendly perennials. 

Last Thursday at 10:00, a group met at Focused Care for song, scripture, and stories. Fannie read about friendship and then asked residents to share something about a good friend. Nora and Jo joined together to sing a couple of songs and also led the residents in “Deep in the Heart of Texas.” Everyone joined in singing and clapping in honor of Texas Independence Day. Pastor Matt read from the Psalms, sharing a few words and a prayer. I told a little about St. Patrick. Minnie played the piano, and Hilda lent her good voice to our singing. I think she knows all the songs in Heavenly Highways! This week on Tuesday at 2:00, we will be heading to Holiday Nursing Center for our monthly program there. 

Our Sunday school lesson was on Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son. This wonderful story speaks of forgiveness and God’s desire for our redemption. But it also points out how hard it is to forgive. It is truly a divine trait that we have to work on every single day! Our Christian faith must be a life-long journey toward God. 

St. Patrick was captured and taken to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He was given barely enough food to stay alive. He later wrote that as a slave, he began to pray to the God he had so often ignored. When he finally escaped and returned home, he became a priest. His family was horrified when he asked to be sent back to Ireland as a missionary. My benediction was this Irish blessing: “May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sunshine lie warm upon your face. May the rains fall soft upon your fields. And, until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”

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. 

March 18, 2019 - The McWilliams-Rather Cemetery Association invites you to attend and participate in our Fundraising Drive and Annual Meeting to be held on Sunday, March 24th at 3:00pm at Todd Spring Baptist Church.

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