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Pastor's Corner

Tuesday, July 12, 2017
Dear Friends,
I certainly enjoyed this morning! Leon Willingham picked me up at 6:15 a.m. and we traveled to Quitman for a men’s breakfast fellowship. Today’s study leader was Eldridge Goins and we generally discussed Luke 23 and Jesus’ words to a dying criminal “today you will be with me in paradise.”
I say “generally” because the kind, loving discussion covered a great many topics. The men were speaking their minds on deep spiritual belief.
Breakfast was excellent and some anonymous source paid everyone’s costs. Thank you, whoever you are!
Good Food, Good Friends, Good Book,
Good Food, Good Price, Good Friends, and The Good Book,
are a GREAT way to begin every day!
In the coming days, I will say more about Adult Bible Studies.
Love,
Paul
 
July 9, 2017
 
Independence Day - July 4th has come and gone. Many flags were flown within our town, people enjoyed cookouts and fireworks. Below are excerpts from an article written by Dr. Dillon Burroughs which offers at least four clear reasons to celebrate. 1. Gratitude for Religious Freedom
First, America offers significant religious freedom for Christians (and others) to freely worship. The United States continues to operate as one of the nations offering the most religious freedom worldwide. Did you know that more than one-fourth of the nations in the world (53) include some form of legal restrictions or prohibition toward Christian activities? Yet in our nation, we can attend the church of our choice, openly read the Bible on our own or with others, and openly pray to God. Despite ongoing legal challenges to certain Christian activities in America, the nation still enjoys great religious freedom. This is certainly something to celebrate.
2. Appreciation for Those Who Defend Our Freedom
Second, Christians can thank God for those who serve and have given their lives to defend our freedom. This includes past military veterans, current military personnel, as well as honoring their family members. We often forget our freedom of religion and other freedoms can only continue if our armed forces protect our nation and national interests. While this does not mean we have to agree with every military decision or conflict, we can be thankful for all those who serve and their families.
3. Thanksgiving for the Opportunity to Participate in Government
Third, we can thank God for the opportunity to participate in the democratic process of our nation. Our nation offers the ability to participate through voting and even options to run for political office. Contrast this situation with the tyrannical Emperor Nero who led the Roman Empire during the New Testament period and you’ll quickly appreciate the opportunity to have a voice within the political process.
4. Thankfulness for Peace with Family, Neighbors, and Friends
Fourth, we can express appreciation for a nation at peace. If you lived in Syria today, your home and community would live under the threat of civil war. In many parts of Sudan, you would live in fear of your town being attack by rebels. If you were a Christian living in Iraq, you may be forced to flee for your safety.
Despite significant violence within the United States, the nation remains free of war within its own borders. Most of us take this peace for granted, yet millions worldwide long for a single night of rest without fear of attack in their communities. We can at least take a moment to thank God for the peace He has provided for our family, our community, and nation. As Jeremiah 29:7 teaches, we can seek the good of the city where we live and work to impact those around us with the love of Christ.
Yours in Christ,
Paul
 
July 2, 2017
Dear Friends,
Thank you for such a Wonderful Welcome! Dyane and I have been so lovingly treated by our new Church and all of Mineola. I especially wish to thank Lay Leader John Fuller and his kind wife Gayle for letting Dyane and me stay in their Spiritual Retreat at their home.
This week is Vacation Bible School, and what a Great Week it’s been! So many children...so many adult volunteers...so many precious memories and life-long songs to remember. A special thanks goes to all those who have made this beautiful week a reality.
For the Thomassons, this is “moving week.” We’re here but our furniture and more arrives on Wednesday morning, June 28. I am in the office now and looking forward to meeting each and every member of our church and community.
One last thing I’d like to say is this: Initially I plan to love, listen and learn. I hope to visit with every single member and family in their home during my first year here. I’d like to sit down, share a cup of coffee, and learn more about each other and our church.
I look forward to our future together!
Yours in Christ,
Paul









First United Methodist Church, Mineola Texas