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Stories Archives for 2017-02

Happenings at Paxton Methodist, Feb 28th


Sunday was Transfiguration Sunday. In the ancient church and in many denominations today, Transfiguration Sunday is one of the most important holy days in the Christian faith. In the ancient world, the earth was flat and above the sky was the realm of God (or gods). So when Moses was called by God to receive the Torah, he was called to the mountain. Moses was enveloped in a cloud, and the people saw what appeared to be a raging fire on the mountain. In our Gospel Lesson Jesus along with Peter, James and John ascend the Holy Mountain: The three disciples see Jesus transfigured and standing with Moses and Elijah. They hear from within the cloud a voice which says, “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.” With this holy day, the Season of the Epiphany ends. Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the forty days of Lent.
I went to Tenaha Methodist this morning to hear Pastor Matt preach. It was so nice to see so many friends and to listen to Matt’s thoughtful message. I was late for Sunday School, but Fannie gave me an excused tardy. This was the last lesson in the quarter; accordingly, we received new material and will have a new author. We have been in double digits at Paxton every Sunday this year! We all hope that Susan, Vera, and Keith are on the mend. Sue has also been sick, so I took her place to start our worship service with readings.
This past week we headed to both Holiday and Lakeside for our monthly ministry. Both ministries were well attended—we had so many volunteers who read, sang, and visited with the residents. Larry Terry came to both ministries to play his fiddle. At Holiday Fannie told some little-known facts about the Presidents in honor of Presidents’ Day. Nora read a book and sang a song. At Lakeside Joyce Hughes and Emily Taylor brought their harps and played several selections. Joyce also played the piano and sang. Nora and sister Jo put their voices together to sing a song. Laura read three poems. We all had a good time and enjoy visiting our friends at the various nursing centers.
“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 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!


In God's Word by Mike Mills


February 28, 2017 - Such a simple term, such a difficult task at times. Forgiveness is the true test of the Christian's inner self, a true test of the level of faith in each of us.
"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matthew 6:14-15) This verse follows the Lord's Model Prayer which is (Matthew 6:9-13).
Jesus forgave those who nailed him to the cross, even as they drove the nails through his hands. He is our example, our measuring board for our actions in life.
Job sat in sack cloth and ashes, covered by sores from head to toe, suffering extreme pain. Three of his friends came to console him, but instead they judged him guilty of some heinous crime due to his condition. Job however did not let them persuade him, for he knew he had done nothing wrong, instead he trusted in the Lord and the Lord repaid him double what he had before when his test was completed.
Like the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18, we are forgiven by our Master, so to must we forgive others or be judged as hypocrites.
"Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying; "I repent, you must forgive him." (Luke 17:3-4) Note, the scripture didn't say; "you might forgive him, no, it says, you must forgive him." It also tells us it may not always be easy to be a Christian. Not easy to forgive when we are wrongly or unjustly accused or blamed, not easy, but necessary, for the Lord says we must.
"And you who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he sat aside, nailing it to the cross." (Colossians 2:13-14)
As the Lord nailed our trespasses to the cross and forgave us our sins, we too must forgive others of their trespasses and sins.
No matter the situation, whether it is in business, in our family life, with our friends, or in church, the command is the same. Forgive others as the Lord forgave you.
"Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are all members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil." (Ephesians 4:25-27)
Speak the truth, always, because we are all of the same family, the human family. You may be angered by the actions of others toward you, but you must forgive and not sin as they have sinned.
For if you do not forgive; you enable the devil to come into your life and hinder your faith, hurting only yourself. Stopping you from becoming the Christian you can be.
Lord, please, help us to bring the spirit of forgiveness and repentance back into our country, into our daily lives and into our churches.
Help us, O Lord to be the best we can be for your namesake, amen...
May the Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you this day...


In God's Word Pastor Mike Mills






"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5) 
February 21, 2017 - The great king Solomon, the son of king David brings us these words in the book of Proverbs, the source of many of the wisest words of the Bible.
King Solomon advises us against depending upon our own opinions, but instead to trust in the Lord and not ourselves.
"In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths." (Proverbs 3:6) 
To make straight our path means to make our path shorter, more direct, an easier way to go. So by asking God for His help and leadership in all that we do we find ourselves having an easier time of navigating the path through this world. Acknowledge your own weakness and His strength.
As the old saying goes; "the man who has himself for his lawyer has a fool for a lawyer" so to is the man who "leans upon his own understanding".
"Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil." (Proverbs 3:7) 
The wise man fears the Lord, for He is all powerful, controlling all things, at all times. As the model prayer says; "for your's is the power, the kingdom, the glory" these things, all power, all kingdom and all glory belong only to the Lord, it is His and His alone and He will not share His glory with anyone.
The person who thinks he is smarter than the Lord is indeed a fool and destined for darkness. Fear the Lord and turn away from evil so that you too may flourish and be fruitful.
No man possesses wisdom, wisdom is an attribute which must be found and it is only found through prayer to the Lord. When, as a young man,Solomon became king of Israel God asked Solomon what he would wish for God to grant to him. Solomon asked for the wisdom to govern his people with knowledge and understanding. "And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore," (1 Kings 4:29)
Solomon understood what God had done for him and he used his God-given wisdom to rightly judge and rule over Israel all of his days. He wrote these words about wisdom and understanding; "Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from "her" (being wisdom) is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13-14)
If you find yourself floundering in a sea of despair, if the daily grind seems just too much to handle, stop what you are doing. 
Sit for a time each morning, waiting on the Lord. Just sit and talk to the Lord as you would your best friend, for He wishes to be so. Talk to Him about your problems and troubles, ask Him for guidance and leadership and wisdom. 
But first, if you are not saved, ask Him to save you, for the prayers of the unsaved fall on deaf ears. 
Ask him to forgive your sins and to save your soul from hell, accept Him as Lord and He will redeem you. Gain the wisdom from God to navigate the straight path through this world.
May God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you...


Happenings at Paxton Methodist, Feb. 19







Sunday was the 7th Sunday of the Epiphany, a season which is very long this year because Easter is so late. The Old Testament Lesson from Leviticus and the Gospel Lesson are tied by a command. In Leviticus 19:2 we are told to be holy because God is holy. In Matthew 5:48 Jesus says we are to be perfect because God is perfect. Holiness and Christian Perfection strike at the heart of Methodism and Wesleyan theology. In Wesleyan thought there is no holding steady—either one is moving toward Christian perfection or one is moving away from God. We too often become conditioned and don’t spend the time needed to study and to meditate. Wesley speaks of two kinds of works which are a sign of one’s love for God. First are works of piety which include worship, prayer, meditation, fasting, and studying scriptures. Then there are works of mercy: visiting the sick and imprisoned, taking care of the poor, and above all else, Wesley says, “doing no harm.”
We had a small Sunday School class but a great lesson, which again used Paul’s letter to the Galatians as the starting point. Paul speaks in his letter to people about freedom, an idea not well understood in the Empire. Only a small number were citizens of Rome. Most people were conquered, and many were slaves. But Paul sees freedom in following Jesus. Ms. Fannie led a lively discussion, and we all appreciate her preparation. We missed Joy at Sunday School and worship, sending her our best as she recuperates from surgery. Keith and Vera both have the flu, and we hope they start feeling better soon. We miss you all. 
Our Sunday School class (there is only one) is held in the sanctuary. It is always such a wonderful sound to hear the door opening as folks come to worship. It was great to see Larry, Susan, Laura, and Joe. Hilda plays for First Methodist in Tenaha and then drives down 84 to Paxton to play for us. Hilda and Joe always select hymns that seem just the right ones for that particular Sunday.
Sue starts off our worship time with The Gathering Words which usually come from that Sunday’s Psalter Lesson. We as a congregation then speak a creed of our church. Usually we use the one that most Protestants know the best—The Apostles Creed. But the last few Sundays we have been using a Modern Affirmation. Next Sunday is The Transfiguration, which will be followed by the forty days of Lent. As you know, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which is the day after Fat Tuesday (better known as Mardi Gras) and ends on Easter weekend.
We have two ministries this week. On Tuesday we go to Holiday Nursing Center and on Thursday, Lakeside Assisted Living. Both ministries start at 2:00. We have been collecting soap and shampoo all month for Community Christian Services. Next month we will donate cans of chili. 
“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 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!


In God's Word By Mike Mills, Feb. 14


As I see the unrest, the "protests", the "riots" in America I wonder, just what is causing these things? They claim they are protesting for some mythical, "worthy cause", but when asked questions about their reasons, most cannot answer. Most cannot tell you why they are there. I see the answer in God's Word.
"And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them." (Romans 1:28-32)
Now, before you accuse me of mixing religion and politics, no, I am simply looking to the only real truth in this world for answers to today's questions of life. I know by studying the Bible that it is the only truth of this world. If I need answers I am going to look for them where there is truth. I go to the book of answers, the Holy Bible.
The problems of America are not; unemployment, illegal aliens, or ISIS. No, the problems of America are lack of knowledge of the Word of God. 
God tells us how dangerous this is, to reject Him. "My  people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children." (Hosea 4:6)
An unrepentant generation can cause just such happenings as we see daily on the television. God clearly states that if we forget His teachings, He will forget, even our children. 
When God is at controversy with the people of any land that land falls into despair and the following happens; "There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed." (Hosea 4:1-2)
Is that what we are seeing in America? Is that where we are headed? I am afraid so, I am afraid that unless Christians rise up and do as God has instructed us in His Word that things are going to continue to follow the path of destruction in America.
"If my people who are called by my name (Christians) humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Its time Christians, it's time to follow God's instructions. Do as He says; humble yourself, forget your pride, get on your knees and beg Him for forgiveness for yourself and your country. Only then will we see conditions in America improve. 
Read and study your Bible every day, make time, its important...
Not by man but by the Lord God will America be restored to its former greatness.
May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you this day.


Love Is Something You Do


It was a time when the Roman empire was at the height of its power and the last thing they needed was for their soldiers to be concerned about anything other than fighting. But as has always been, young men and young ladies dream of love and marriage. The Roman government, not caring that much about a young soldiers dreams realized that if he had a wife he would be more concerned about his wife than conquering the world. So a decree went out that no soldier could marry, and any priest caught marrying them would be arrested. But a priest named Valentine felt that the perfect will of God was demonstrated by true love between a man and woman. So he began secretly performing marriages between soldiers and their loves. He was arrested and thrown in prison. While in prison he continued to minister to the imprisoned Christians of the love of God. He became friends with the jailer. As their friendship grew Asterius (the jailer), told Valentine of his sick daughter. Valentine had him bring the girl to him and he prayed for her and she was miraculously healed. The story goes that before he was to be executed he wrote the young girl a final letter and signed it "your Valentine."

Of all the things talked of in the bible, nothing is mentioned more than love. Throughout the bible God reassures us of His love for us. His love is a perfect, pure and unconditional love that crosses all cultures. A perfect description of how we should love is found in 1 Cor. 13:3-8. Paul writes; "If I give away all that I have and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but do not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." If you read this closely you will see that love doesn't have as much to do with how we feel, but what we do. For some reason we have distorted love over the years and turned it into a "feeling." The Bible teaches that love is not about how we feel about each other at all, but how we treat one another. To show love you have to give love.

So this Valentine day if you really want to show someone that you love them do something for them. Don't just buy them something. Do something for them that is completely unselfish and ask nothing in return. Do it just because you love them. Material gifts last only for a little while but a true act of love last for eternity. Gods gift to us was given over 2000 years ago and is still as relevant today as it was then. Jesus gave the ultimate gift of love; Himself. Accept His gift of love to you today and enjoy the peace that comes from living in a loving relationship. "So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." Don't miss out. Receive the love of God and share it with someone today.

                                                                       I'm Just Sayin,
                                                                       Mike Belgard


"Oil and More" By Doug Fincher


“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so….” Psalms 107:2
While on recent vacation to the West Coast, Pam and I took the “Alton, Utah” exit searching for a much-needed quart of motor oil.  Nine miles later we entered the village of about 40 houses, found a beautiful Mormon Church, but not a store anywhere.  We knocked on several doors but couldn’t find a soul home….anywhere.  It was like a ghost town.
But I finally got a response. A young mother with two young children came to the door and got me a quart of motor oil from their garage. Refusing to take money for it, she asked me to wait as she went back into her house. She later reappeared with a religious tract on which she had written: “Have a safe trip, Love, The Heatons”.
As we topped the hill on our way out, I began comparing what the lady did with what so many church members would have done.  
While most Christians would’ve given the quart of oil, I wonder how many would have also shared their faith.  The needy might not expect us to give them anything more than a quart of oil.
But God does.


In God's Word By Mike Mills, Feb. 7


It is finished" (John 19:30) 
These were the last words spoken by Jesus before he gave up His spirit on the cross. 
The Bible says he bowed His head and gave up His life. With those three words, the most important and selfless act of service ever to be seen on this earth was completed.
The sins of mankind from the beginning of earth until the end of this age were, once and forever, paid-in-full by the Lord.
The act of love shown to us by the Heavenly Father was on par with the act carried out by Jesus on the cross for the Father gave up His only Son, condemned Him to death for all mankind.
"I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them." (John 17:26) By His ministry and His death Jesus made the Father known to all men, for all time.
"He will receive blessings from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob." (Psalm 24:5,6) This is the blessing, the reward for those who do know the Lord. Those who do accept the free gift of the Holy Spirit to guide them through this world.
The eternal blessing of salvation, freedom of the penalty of sin, forever, paid for by Christ Jesus, freely given to those who seek the face of God Almighty. 
Jesus asked the Father in His prayer just before being arrested by the soldiers; "I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one." (John 17:15) Freedom from the penalty of sin, forever, for the saved.
Our promise of salvation, eternal life spent with the Lord; "Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world." (John 17:24) 
That day will come with the Rapture of the Church when all the saved will be lifted up to meet the Lord in the sky.
"Knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us into His presence." (2 Corinthians 4:14) This will happen just as the Bible says, it even gives us reassurance as we grow older, that we are to wait patiently, for our time is coming. "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day." (2 Corinthians 4:16) 
If you are saved then your time is coming when you will be with the Lord in heaven, forever. 
If you do not know the Lord then I beg of you today, seek His face, pray for forgiveness and you will be saved.
May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you every day of your life...


Happenings at Paxton Methodist, Feb. 6


Sunday was the 5th Sunday of the Epiphany.  The Gospel Lesson continues with Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. We find a similar story only in the Luke Gospel in Luke’s Sermon on the Plains. Matthew’s telling of the story is more difficult and much more Jewish.  In Matthew’s telling Jesus has a problem with the Temple and those that serve the Temple.  In today’s lesson, Jesus tells those listening that they are the salt of the earth and the light that will bring brightness into the world.
It was raining Sunday morning.  Fannie went to see her great-grandchild baptized today, so the folks at Paxton had to put up with the preacher for both Sunday school and worship.  This quarter all of our lessons came from the Psalms and all dealt with praise.  Today’s lesson was Paul’s letter to the Galatians.  Paul established this church, but word has reached him on his missionary travels that trouble brews.  In the church at Galatia, some are teaching that in addition to believing in Jesus, a follower also has to keep the Mosaic Law.  This was the first known split in the early Jesus movement: This letter has often been called Magna Carta of Christian Liberty. 
Even though it was a cold, rainy morning, we had a nice crowd at worship.  Susan, Laura, and Joe have become regulars, and we all so enjoy them.  Today was Keith’s birthday, so we sang Happy Birthday to him.  Joe and Hilda had us rocking through two peppy hymns.  After the “Service of the Word” we celebrated Holy Communion.  We appreciate Fannie preparing the “bread and wine”—the elements of communion—for us.  Tomorrow we go to Green Acres Nursing Home for our monthly outreach.  We are so thankful to Hilda for organizing these outings.  This month we are collecting soap and shampoo for Community Christian Services.        
“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 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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