Nov 2017

Let’s Do This Right!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Today is Thanksgiving Sunday, the Sunday leading up to the start of the “Holiday Season” that includes Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas (along with New Year’s Eve). THANK YOU to EVERYONE who is making the next 5 weeks so Beautiful and Holy!
I have definite beliefs about this time of the year. At its worst, it is just absolutely EVIL. It can be a time of Too Much…too much spending, too much shopping, too much drinking, too much partying, too much eating, too much stress, too much hurry, too much worry, too much JUNK.
At its best, it is HOLY. At its best, we thank God on Thanksgiving. At its best, we celebrate the season of Advent by keeping Christ and His Holy Spirit central throughout Christmas. We don’t just remember the Reason for the Season, we live our lives special, Holy ways in November and December.
At its best, we live out the season through SERVICE. We started wonderfully with a free Thanksgiving meal for 100 last Friday. Next week we’ll do flood buckets after church. A soul-winning prayer garden is taking shape as well. Caring and Sharing will soon be here and almost incalculable amounts of love and dedication have gone into making it a beautiful success (again)! We have other special plans for service and worship as well.
At its best, we live out the season through MEANINGFUL FELLOWSHIP in which there is heart-to-heart communication with family and friends. We take time to really listen and really share with our loved ones, to overcome past differences through forgiving and letting go of old resentments, and especially to share our faith with our closest loved ones. One of the very best things about the Christmas season is that it gives us a unique, annual opportunity to share our Faith. Don’t let the opportunity pass by! You may not get another chance.
Finally, at its best, we live out the season through JOYFUL WORSHIP. God Sent Us A Savior! Let’s celebrate that through Holy worship experiences. I’m looking forward to the Hanging of the Greens, to the Christmas Cantata, to Christmas Eve, and more. Invite your friends; let’s celebrate this season the Right Way.
THE CHOICE IS YOURS. How will you spend the next 5 weeks? I urge you to resolve Now, Here, Today to make this season all about Christ and His Love.

Nov 2017

Our annual Finance Campaign is drawing to a close. Thank You for your generosity! A great many Estimate of Giving Cards have been returned. Every single one is critical for the ministry of our church. I especially want to thank Chairperson Dan Vickers and his many dedicated assistants for putting so much time and effort into making Consecration Sunday the fine experience it was.
Again, I want to thank each and every single member and supporter of the First United Methodist Church of Mineola for all that they do and have done. Our church’s many ministries continue, and prosperously grow, because every year our church members prayerfully take the time to pray, pledge, and donate a certain amount of their income. Together, this becomes our budget. Together, we do a LOT in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Faithful giving leads to transformed living.
Most pledge cards have been returned. Thank You! Have you returned yours? Together, let’s pray that this coming year will be a wonderful year in which we are strongly led by the Holy Spirit of God.

Oct 2017

As a Methodist pastor I have had many other friends who are also pastors. Two I would like to speak about this morning are Reverend Charles Allen and Reverend Mark Young.
Mark is a Mineolan, having married a wonderful lady (Sherri) from Mineola many years ago and then finally retiring here a few years ago. They now live very near the Funeral Home on 37 on what Mark likes to call a “hobby farm”. I know he now feeds chickens, horses, cattle, etc.
But I especially know that he is a fine Methodist pastor. Currently, in retirement, Mark serves part-time as the pastor of Canton-Wallace Methodist Church. Before that he served 40 years pastoring churches in Houston and East Texas. Additionally he served as the District Superintendent of the Beaumont District for 5 years and as the Director of Spiritual Care and Values Integration at the Houston Methodist Hospital at Willowbrook. His dad was a Methodist pastor and so is his daughter.
I’m proud to say that he has been a friend of mine since 1980.
The other Methodist pastor on my mind this day is now in Heaven. His name is Charles Allen. Charles Allen wrote over 50 books, received more souls into membership than any other Methodist pastor in history, and is a legend in the Houston area. I’m proud to say that he, too, was a friend.
He could do a great many things exceptionally well, but he could especially preach with power, eloquence, and conviction. From experience I just know exactly what he would do if he were here on this Consecration Sunday. When he preached about finances his favorite theme was, “You can’t out-give God!” Then he would proceed to prove it. Then, after worship and lunch, he’d come to my home, demand we watch the Cowboys on TV, and sleep through the whole game.
Charles was right; you can’t out-give God.
Mark will prove that to us today. We’ll want to see more of Mark in the future.

Oct 2017

One of my favorite questions for a church to ask itself is: If this church didn’t exist…would it make any difference to this world or community?
The answer here at Mineola is this; it would make a HUGE difference to a HUGE number of people.
Did You Know that Every Year Your Church…
-Hosts two weekly Gospel worship services that joyously reach out in the Spirit of Christ
-Hosts Vacation Bible School for the children of this church and city
-Hosts Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. Our troops are GREAT!
-Hosts a HIS KIDS ministry for children on Wednesdays, teaching Biblical Christianity
-Hosts several weekly adult Bible Studies in Sunday School, members’ homes, and elsewhere
-Serves our community through participation and leadership in various community events
-Serves our community through great-in-deed United Methodist Youth programs
-Serves our community through hosting CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). This saves
and protects children and their families
-Serves our community through United Methodist Men’s ministries
-Serves our community through United Methodist Women’s Ministries
-Serves our community through beautiful Bell Choir Ministry
-Serves the Senior Adult community through numerous ministries, opportunities, and events
-Strongly participates in the Emmaus and Kairos Communities, hosting reunion groups and
helping men and women to connect (and reconnect) to God in new and beautiful ways
-Envisions and Creates new ideas in ministry. Some of the more successful ones we created are
Grace Community Healthcare, Kindness Cottage and Chair Yoga. Others we strongly assist
and maintain include Caring and Sharing, Bread of Life, and more
-Hosts Numerous Community Groups that serve to make Mineola a better, safer, place to live
-Envisions, considers, debates, and prays about new ideas and ministries. We seek to be The Church, saving and nourishing souls through the Power of God’s Holy Spirit. Additionally, we seek to be The Church by reaching out to others in need through the Love and Power of Jesus Christ
-Hosts Many Other Ministries that lift up the Life, Message, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ,
the Son of God
EVERY DAY the First United Methodist Church of Mineola makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE in this community, this world…and in each one of our lives.
This coming Sunday is Consecration Sunday. We will all worship together in the Praise Court at 10:50. Dr, Mark Young will be preaching. Afterwards both of our congregations will have a Celebration Luncheon together (also in the Praise Court) with a tasty, catered, free meal.
I certainly hope each of us is prayerfully deciding about their financial commitment for the coming year. Please be generous; we need You to keep making a difference in this community.

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