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Stories Archives for 2016-12

Resolutions by Mike Belgard


 

It's New Year and everyone is trying to come up with their New Year resolutions. It always amazes me that people typically have to make the same resolutions every year. Some of the more popular resolutions are; losing weight, starting a new workout program, quitting smoking, praying more, and reading your bible more. And while these are all great resolutions, it seems that after a few days or weeks our resolve tends to begin to weaken and before you know it, we are right back to where we were. It's not because we don't really want to accomplish these things, we just seem to get busy and distracted and it becomes too easy to put other things first.
 
God knows how we are. He created us. He knows that we are weak in our resolve sometimes. The disciples were, Moses was, even the Apostle Paul realized this when he wrote in Romans 7:15 "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want but I do the very thing I hate. (ESV)" We all struggle with resolve. God has given us some encouragement in His word to help us along our journey to accomplish what He has put in our hearts .
 
Here are some "pearls" of scripture from the word to help you accomplish your goals this year and succeed in accomplishing your resolutions.
 
1) Proverbs 3:5-6, " Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
 
We must learn to trust God in all things. We don't have to understand whats going on or even how He is going to work it out. We need to put it in His hands, and have faith that He will work it for our good and His glory.
 
2) Philippians 4:13, "I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength."
 
When we feel ourselves getting weak this verse reminds us that it's not our strength that can carry us through, but we must rely on His strength. The God that created the universe and all things in it with just a word, promises us that He will give us His strength to accomplish anything that he puts in our hearts to do.
 
3) Matt.19:26, "Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
 
When the world tries to tell you that it can't be done, this scripture reminds us that when we place trust not in our self, but in the One who has control over everything, nothing is impossible.       
 
Write these scripture down and review them everyday and when the going gets tough they will renew your resolve. Remember God loves you and wants you to be successful in all you set out to accomplish. Trust Him and He will give you the strength you need to succeed this year and forever.
                                                                I'm Just Sayin
                                                                Mike Belgard

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In God's Word by Mike Mills


 

While the Bible is full of mysteries, today we look at samples of the 7 mysteries of Matthew Chapter 13 called by the Lord; "the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven".
 
The parables of Jesus are actually stories told in the physical but talking about the spiritual, they are parallels between the two worlds.
 
"For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him." (Matt 13:12)
 
What could this mean? "Whoever has" is the believer who has accepted Jesus as Lord, more will be given him, eternal life in heaven. "Whoever does not have" are the lost, all they have are the things of this world, all of that will be taken from them for all things of this world will pass away.
 
The seven mysteries or parables in chapter 13 are: 
 
(1) the sower, or the difference in people, from the hard-of-heart who will not listen to the Word, to the semi-annual Christian who goes to church only a couple of times per year, to the full-time Christian who has turned away and needs to be brought back into the flock, to the sold-out Christian who lives each day for the Lord. 
(2) the wheat and the tares, the story of all Christians who must live here on earth in the midst of the children of the devil. Many of the tares will be so completely deceived by the devil that they will believe themselves to be children of the Lord. 
(3) the mustard seed, the story of the gospel, beginning with Jesus and the 12 disciples and spreading all over the planet 
(4) the leaven, commonly seen as the impurity in bread and in the church. No where in scripture is leaven considered good. As with the wheat and the tares, the tares never become wheat and are finally sorted out by the angels and burned in the fires of hell.
(5) the hidden treasure, heaven is such, a treasure hidden from view and only to be seen by those who believe, to gain it Jew and Gentile alike must forsake all of the world, or the field, and turn to the treasure alone. 
(6) the pearl of great price, the true church, paid for by the blood of Christ, covering the world. The kingdom of heaven, the children of heaven paid for by Christ, baptized into one spirit into one body, now being prepared to be given back to Christ as the pearl of great price. 
(7) the dragnet, the complete reaping of the world in the end of this age and in the day of judgment. When the just will be sorted out and taken into the temple of Christ while the unjust are judged guilty and thrown into the burning fires of hell. Let us be the "good ground" the bearers of good fruit for the Lord.
 
As Jesus said so often; he who has eyes, let him see and he who has ears let him hear. May we each one be the one who does see and hear the Word of God. 
 
I pray if yo u do not know Jesus as your Lord and Redeemer that you find Him in the upcoming new year. 
 
May God bless you each day...

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Happenings at Paxton Methodist, Dec 19th


 

Sunday was the Fourth Sunday of Advent, bringing our Advent journey to an end.  The four words of Advent are hope, peace, joy, and love.  I agree with Paul when he says the greatest is love, and that is today’s theme.  Christmas comes on a Sunday this year.  At Paxton, we will have Christmas Morning Worship Service at 10:00.  There will be no Sunday school.  Only two of the four Gospels speak of Christmas morning.  Christmas was not celebrated in the Christian Church until the 4th Century CE.  Even after the universal church made Christmas an end-of-year celebration, many Christian sects refused to participate.  In the Puritan colonies it was a crime to observe Christmas.  Workers were ordered to the fields and expected to give a full day’s labor.
 
The Gospel for the 4th Sunday of Advent is Matthew 1:18-25.  If Luke is Mary’s story, then Matthew is Joseph’s story.  And it is a story of love and devotion.  The angel spoke to the handyman Yosef and said, “Mary will bear a son, and you are to name him Yeshua.”  There is no greater example of someone discounting his own pride and feelings to do something out of love than Joseph, a model of humility and love. 
 
Our Sunday School lesson came from Luke 1:8-20, which tells about the promise of a child to Zechariah and Elizabeth.  We are familiar with this story and reminded that we must trust God even when it challenges us.  Our writer had one whole section called “Silencing the Skeptic”:  We have to admit that we are often skeptical just like Zechariah.  I remember reading about a scientist and  Christian who said sometimes she has to “will” herself to believe.  We all have to do that sometimes. 
 
Last Tuesday many of us went to Lakeside Village for song and stories.  Joyce, Lori, and Wyatt sang and played piano and guitar, delighting everyone with their special talents.  Fannie shared a poem that she wrote for Christmas 2016 and had copies of a wonderful Christmas story set at the end of WWII; she gave both to all the residents and guests.  Gene Casto sang a song about that special little boy, Jesus.  Nora shared her version of “Mary, Did You Know?” a haunting  Christmas song.  All of our nursing home ministries are made possible because of the work and planning Hilda does.  Our Holiday Nursing Center ministry has been cancelled for this month, but we’ll pick up next year!
 
In Methodist tradition, pastors will meet with their District Superintendent (Presiding Elder) in January, and around the world Methodist churches will submit their yearly reports on January 9th.  With all the new technology, these reports are done online.  That saves an extra trip to Lufkin. 
 
Everyone at Paxton Methodist wishes all our friends and neighbors a Happy Christmas.  Each New Year comes with challenges, and 2017 will be no different.  But our wish is that many joys will be found in this New Year. 
 
“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!

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