Christ by the Sea Messages

Walk through the Bible with Pastor Cliff Melvin.

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Midweek Message, July 18, 2018

And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. 1 John 1:4 ESV

John was one of Jesus’ closest friends, even called the “beloved disciple.”

He heard Jesus speak, saw him with his own eyes, touched him and spent time physically with him (1 John 1:1-3); but this did not complete his joy. Just knowing Jesus wasn’t enough for him.

Some of us may be wondering why the joy Jesus said we would have (John 15:11, John 16:24) just doesn’t seem present in our life. Could it be because this joy is not intended as a personal well, but an overflowing, communal spring?

John wrote this letter to his Christian brothers and sisters to complete his joy. His joy was complete only when sharing Jesus with others, and the joy he possessed he shared. Some think we only talk of Jesus to non-Christians, and when that’s finished there are weightier matters of the faith to converse with Christians about. But Jesus is the source of our joy.

Have you been talking with other Christians about Jesus lately? Have you shared about what Jesus has done in your life with those who are not Christians? Examine your life and see if your joy isn’t complete because you have not been sharing Jesus with everyone.

Peace,

Cliff



Midweek Message, July 11, 2018

 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

 2 Corinthians 3:17

I was in my 5:30am Spin Class on Monday when the instructor played the Lynard Skynard song, “Freebird” as we simulated climbing a long hill. As I rode, my mind drifted and I began to think of all the ways I/we are not free. We place ourselves in self-imposed cages far too often. Sometimes it is out of past regret, or some unspoken guilt we cling to, or out of a childhood mistreatment. But, the scriptures point us to the great, good news that we are in fact to be free people in Jesus. Because of the act of Jesus on the cross we are forgiven and redeemed and set free. When we allow the love of Christ to fully enter our hearts we will know that depth of freedom. My prayer for all of us is that we will live into that freedom as disciples of Jesus.

Peace,

Cliff

Church News;
On July 6, during a severe storm, the sanctuary was hit with a lightening strike. We lost many electronics in the chancel area including digital lights, microphones, etc. The amazing gift is that there was not a fire. The ceiling is scorched where the lightening ran along a line of microphone wiring and you can see where the clear possibility of a fire could have happened. We are working to recover the systems, but it will take time and money to get us whole again. Please be patient as we make repairs.



Midweek Message, July 4, 2018

Happy Independence Day!

On this Independence Day we should be on our knees thanking God for all God has given us. The United States was founded upon the principle which says everyone has an equal opportunity. Thank God for a country where there is no caste or class to keep a person from choosing any path in life for themselves. If a person has a will to work and study, he or she can get ahead regardless of background. In addition, thank God, God has given us freedom of religion. Whatever you may believe, no one can close your house of worship because your religion does not coincide with theirs. A few people meeting in a small, out-of-the-way shack, worshiping God as they believe in, have the same right to religious freedom as the people who worship God in the great cathedrals on the avenues of our greatest cities.

God bless the United States of America.

Peace,

Cliff

CHURCH NEWS:

·        Help feed the Homeless at the Source this Sunday. Food is still needed.

·        Join us next Wednesday, July 11, for our Covered Dish Supper and Movie Night. We will be watching “I Can Only Imagine”.

·        Help is needed any day at The Shining Light Garden. Contact Dave Althoff for more information.



Midweek Message June 27, 2018

 

Jeremiah 31:17 says, “there is hope for your future, says the Lord: your children shall come back to their own country.”

Last week I worked alongside 12 teens from Indian River County and several from Puerto Rico. This week I have been in Vacation Bible School with 35-40 children each day. There are many people who express concern to me for the future of our country and our world when they see this generation of kids locked into electronic devices so much of the time and, seemingly unconcerned about the world around them. I want to proclaim that, if these kids I have been with these past two weeks are any indication of our future, then our country and our world are in good hands. These were young people who thought deeply, interacted well with adults, worked hard, learned with purpose, and were seeking a relationship with God. It was a joy to be with them and to talk about spiritual concerns.

These young people gave me a deep sense of hope for the future. I can’t help but feel more positive about the next few generations after seeing the servant hearts of the teens and the respectful inquisitiveness of the children. I hope you will continue to reach out to young people and share of yourself with them. I am so thankful for our Beachland Ministry, the Youth On A Mission outreach, and the Intervarsity Ministry at IRSC. We can help mold some of the next generation with positive, Christ-based concepts as we support and interact with these young ones.

Peace,

Cliff

CHURCH NEWS:

Enjoy the FOURTH of July! The Church office will be closed.



Midweek Message, June 20, 2018

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39b

This week 30 folks from Indian River County are living out this commandment from Jesus as we work alongside our neighbors in Puerto Rico to help them rebuild after Hurricane Maria. I am excited to be with them, and so, I have written this ahead of our trip.

We have been planning with the members of the Juncos, PR, First Baptist Church for months now. I have experienced God’s love through our neighbors in Puerto Rico as they have made caring and supportive preparations for our trip. I have experienced God’s love through the enthusiasm of our multi-generational team as we have met together and made plans. I have felt God’s love through the generosity of our church as donations have come in to support and underwrite this mission  trip. I feel your prayers for the mission team right now as I write this note to you.

Thank you on behalf of the team. Thank you on behalf of our “neighbors” and new friends in Juncos, Puerto Rico. My hope is that this experience is a life-changing time for each of our team members, but, especially for the 11 teenagers who are with us.

Blessing,

Cliff

CHURCH NEWS:

·        Please continue to pray for the staff and children who will be a part of Vacation Bible School next week.

·        Have you ever served as a part of the team providing a meal at The Source Homeless Ministry? It’s a powerful experience of sharing God’s love. Sign up at the SERVE bulletin board.



Midweek Message, June 13, 2018

You make known to me the path of life;in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11 ESV

Have you ever really enjoyed being in the presence of someone?

It might have been a boyfriend or girlfriend and, hopefully, your spouse!  Maybe someone who always made you laugh, and you probably still look forward to spending time with them.

The Psalmist wrote that in God’s presence there is a fullness of joy for us.

In the Old Testament, God dwelt in the Holy of Holies, and it was where His presence was (Leviticus 16:2).   Once a year, a priest was chosen to enter there.But, we read that after Jesus died on the cross, its separating veil was ripped (Matthew 27:51). Therefore, God no longer dwells there.

We can often look for that Holy of Holies experience in our times of worship. We may walk into a church service and sense that God is there; which is probably true.

We constantly long for that sense wherever Christians meet.  But, should this be the only time that we sense God’s presence?  Should we really be searching for God’s presence?

Or, should we be acknowledging God’s constant presence in our lives?

Jesus says that He will always be with us (Matthew 28:20) and He even sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us (John 14:15-17).

Instead of looking for God in a place or a special gathering, meditate on the truth that God is not confined to any location or event. God is ever present, whether we can “feel” God or not.

Cliff

CHURCH NEWS:

Two items to place on your prayer list: The Puerto Rico Mission Team and the VBS staff as they prepare to serve others in the weeks ahead.



Midweek Message, June 6, 2018

Matthew 7:2-5 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.  And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast upon her brunette head. She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, “Mom, why are some of your hairs white?”

“Well”, her mother replied, “every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.”

The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, “Momma, how come all of Grandma’s hairs are white?”

A funny story, yes — but isn’t it true that we’re always looking for someone to blame for our imperfections? The Lord warned us about the danger of pointing out the faults of others. He said that people with planks in their eyes should not attempt to remove specks out of other people’s eyes. Somehow, we lose sight of this so quickly! We are all still growing. None of us has arrived! We need to be aware of how the enemy tries to ensnare us in this way.

I don’t know about you but I tend to agree with the person who said “The only person I want removing splinters out of my eyes is someone with a clear vision and a gentle touch!”

Let’s ask the Lord to help us to see the ways we’ve been judgmental and become people with clear vision and a gentle touch! Let us build up one another and encourage each other so that the work of the Lord may go forward and we may rejoice together in the blessing!

Cliff

CHURCH NEWS:

  • Vacation Bible school is nearly here. Sign-up NOW! June 25-29
  • Please lift our Puerto Rico Mission Team in prayer. They will be in PR from June 16-23.


Midweek Message, May 30, 2018

36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:36-39

A friend posted these quotes on a social media site and I found them to be spiritually and psychologically true. I hope you find them helpful. I recently had an important discussion with a parishioner dealing with number 3.

Three quotes that will help you find peace when dealing with difficult people:

1.   The greatest stress you go through when dealing with a difficult person is not fueled by the words and actions of this person-it is fueled by your mind that gives their words and actions importance.

2.   It’s OK to be upset. It’s never OK to be cruel. Rage, resentment, and jealousy do not change the hearts of others-they only change yours.

3.   Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace. Free yourself of the burden of being an eternal victim.

Peace,

Cliff

P.S. I hope you will help our church attain a summer attendance goal by being in worship every Sunday you can from June – August.

CHURCH NEWS:

·        Sign-up continues for our June 25-29 Vacation Bible School.

·        Prayer requested for our Puerto Rico Mission Team. June 16-23.



Midweek Message, May 23, 2018

This week we celebrate Trinity Sunday. The mystery of the Trinity is a profound doctrine, yet integral to our understanding of God. Below is a prayer for Trinity Sunday.

O God of all life, you are present to us in the wonder of creation; in the quiet whisper of a spring breeze and in the thunderstorms that shake the earth. You are present also in the tall strong Son of Galilee, whose earthly life provides a pattern, whose death provides release from old captivities, whose rising awakens a fresh new hope. We know your presence, too, in the still small voice within that warns us when we stray from your path and encourages us when we might stop along the way. We are grateful for your coming in all these unique and special ways. Amen.

Cliff

CHURCH NEWS:

·        VBS sign up continues. Join us for this creative week of sharing the Good News with children from around the county.

·        Please be in prayer for the 30 folks preparing to go to Puerto Rico on June 16.



Midweek Message, May 16, 2018

Once again, Henri Nouwen captures an important thought which is helpful for all of us:

No two friends are the same. Each has his or her own gift for us. When we expect one friend to have all we need, we will always be hypercritical, never completely happy with what he or she does have.

One friend may offer us affection, another may stimulate our minds, another may strengthen our souls. The more able we are to receive the different gifts our friends have to give us, the more able we will be to offer our own unique but limited gifts. Thus, friendships create a beautiful tapestry of love.

I find this to be so very true. When I expect a friend, spouse, or family member to have all I desire in one person, I am bound to be disappointed. That is why it is important to have a variety of persons in your life, each with their unique traits. This way I can appreciate each one for their unique qualities, and, hopefully, they can appreciate my unique quirkiness as well!

Peace,

Cliff

CHURCH NEWS:

·         Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser for our Puerto Rico Mission Trip is this Sunday 8:30-12:30. Tickets are $10. Join us!

·         Have you registered your child or grandchild for Vacation Bible School which is June 25-29? Registration is open now!




Midweek May 3 2017

Last week I was at a workshop and this poem was shared. I have never been much of a poetry kind of guy, but, these workshops have given me a deeper appreciation for the gift of poetry. This is titled “Evidence” by Mary Oliver:

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous to be understood. 

How grass can be nourishing in the

mouths of lambs.

How rivers and stones are forever

in allegiance with gravity

while we ourselves dream of rising.

How two hands touch and the bonds

will never be broken.

How people come, from delight or the

scars of damage,

to the comfort of a poem.

 

Let me keep my distance, always, from those

Who think they have the answers.

 

Let me keep company always with those who say

“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,

And bow their heads.
 

Who are those people in your life who say “Look!”, laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads? I hope and pray you have at least a few of them and that you keep their company regularly!

Peace,

Cliff

 

Church News:

  • Imani Milele Children’s Choir from Uganda in concert this Sunday at 3pm.
  • Habitat Build day, Saturday, May 6, 7:30-noon. Call Howard for more info at 772-205-2569.