Christ by the Sea Messages

Walk through the Bible with Pastor Cliff Melvin.


Midweek Message, March 22, 2017

The well-known theologian, Mick Jagger, once said, “I can’t get no satisfaction!” You see no earthly pleasure or possession or achievement can ever satisfy the deep longing in our souls. St. Augustine said, “The human heart was made for God and our hearts are restless till we find rest in Him.” I believe we all have a deep longing for God and God’s Kingdom. Until that deepest longing is satisfied, nothing else will be enough.

I hope to see you Sunday as I share a little more on this subject as we continue in the “Living Deep” sermon series for Lent.



·        Lenten Midweek Worship with Mary Walker sharing her faith story. Wednesday, 6:30pm, Sanctuary

·        Habitat Work Day, March 25, 7:30am to noon.

·        UMW Baked Goods and Soup sale – March 25, 9am-1pm, Ratcliff Hall

·        Monster Piano Concert, March 26, 3pm., Sanctuary.

Midweek Message, March 15, 2017

“I think that too often the motivation to live more faithfully grows cold once the church services are over. We don’t always take what we learn in church and live it out in our daily lives. If we leave behind what we learned while we were assembled together, we miss out on putting our discipleship into practice. Taking to the street what we have learned means treating our families and neighbors the way Christ would. It means being the very best employees we can be. It means maturing as parents, as students, and even as citizens. It means for us to go beyond listening to acting.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself!



  • Lenten Midweek Worship with Dr. David Moon sharing his faith story. Wednesday, 6:30pm, Sanctuary
  • Habitat Work Day, March 25, 7:30am to noon.
  • UMW Baked Goods and Soup sale – March 25, 9am-1pm, Ratcliff Hall
  • Monster Piano Concert, March 26, 3pm., Sanctuary.

Midweek Message, March 8, 2017


The Shack and The Trinity

I read the book “The Shack” when it came out in 2007. It was a powerful book which I recommended to many people. It is now in movie form at the theater. I saw it on Saturday and was impressed with how well they captured the essence of the book. It is a difficult, challenging and emotionally charged story. I told people when I gave them the book to hang in there during the first 40 pages and it would be redeeming after that. In the theater on Saturday I laughed and I cried…a lot!

The part I was most intrigued by in the book and movie was how they portrayed the concept of the Holy Trinity. It is certainly not what most people have in mind! Yet, I found it refreshing and thoughtful, even if not traditional.

I like what Catherine LaCugna says about the Trinity: “The doctrine of the Trinity reminds us that in God there is neither hierarchy nor inequality, neither division nor competition, but only unity in love amid diversity.”

I think the writer of THE SHACK would agree.


·        Midweek Lenten worship at 6:30pm on Wednesdays

·        Parsonage Open House, March 18, 2:00-4:30pm., 1310 White Heron Ln.

·        Monster Piano concert, March 26 at 3pm

Midweek Message, March 1, 2017

There is another way to fast during Lent which is not giving up something, but is to take something on. Take on something like writing personal notes to shut-ins, or working each week at Shining Light Garden, or making a point to add in a new spiritual discipline such as journaling. There are many ways to prepare during this season with both giving up and taking on. My hope is that you will do something for this season that will make you more aware each day of God’s presence in your life, so that we are fully prepared to know the gift of God’s love in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Grace and Peace,



·        Ash Wednesday Imposition of Ashes and worship. “Drop-in” Imposition of Ashes from 11:00am to noon in the sanctuary. Worship at 6:30pm. Lenten midweek worship each Wednesday night at 6:30.

·        New member class is on March 12.

·        Monster Piano concert is March 25 at 3pm.

Midweek Message, February 22, 2017

At a workshop this past weekend, church growth guru, Reggie McNeal, spoke about the frightening demographic study that shows the decline of respect and need for the church/faith. In the WW2 generation only 11% of people are de-churched (that is finding the church/faith to be not necessary in life), while the number rises with each generation to a high point of 35% of 20 year olds having this attitude and being de-churched.

McNeal, our Bishop, and our District Superintendent are calling the church to find alternative methods to reach these de-churched young people. Being in ministry within local schools is seen as a top priority. I am thankful CBTS has been involved with our local elementary, Beachland, for over 6 years. Now, it appears, would be a good time to see how else we can touch the lives of these young people and their families, many whom have never had a church or faith connection or have simply chosen to step away seeing it as unnecessary. Our mission at CBTS is to joyfully share the love of Christ. How can we joyfully share the love of Christ to impact young people in our community? Please send me your ideas.

Grace and Peace,
  • March 1 is Ash Wednesday. Join me for a drop-in imposition of ashes from 11:00 – 12:00 and for Wednesday Lenten worship at 6:30pm
  • Mark your calendars for Lenten worship on Wednesdays during Lent. Each week a church member will share their faith story. 6:30 pm with hymns, prayer, faith story, and communion.

Midweek Message, February 15, 2017

Henri Nouwen shares these words which I felt were very appropriate for this Valentine’s week:

When we talk to one another, we often talk about what happened, what we are doing, or what we plan to do. Often we say, “What’s up?” and we encourage one another to share the details of our daily lives. But often we want to hear something else. We want to hear, “I’ve been thinking of you today,” or “I missed you,” or “I wish you were here,” or “I really love you.” It is not always easy to say these words, but such words can deepen our bonds with one another.

Telling someone “I love you” in whatever way is always delivering good news. Nobody will respond by saying, “Well, I knew that already, you don’t have to say it again”! Words of love and affirmation are like bread. We need them each day, over and over. They keep us alive inside.

So-o-o…in case you haven’t heard the words lately….your Pastor loves you and is thankful that you are in his life.



·        Women’s Seminar, Saturday, February 18 at CBTS. 9am-3pm

·        March 1 is Ash Wednesday. Join me for a drop-in imposition of ashes from 11:00 – 12:00 and for Wednesday Lenten worship at 6:30pm

·        Mark your calendars for Lenten worship on Wednesdays during Lent. Each week a church member will share their faith story. 6:30 pm with hymns, prayer, faith story, and communion.

Midweek Message, February 8, 2017

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going.

After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.

Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. The pastor made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs.

After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet fascination.

As the one lone ember’s flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and “dead as a doornail.”

Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.

Just before the pastor was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday.”

by Dr. John MacArthur

I hope to see you in church this Sunday!



  • Have you turned in your pledge card? We are 30 cards short of last year.
  • Piano Quintet Concert, Sunday 3pm
  • Women’s Conference, February 18, 9am-3pm

Midweek Message, February 3, 2017

2 Timothy 1:7 “God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

I have spent the past 48 hours with a group of clergy colleagues, some of whom I have known for decades and others whom I met for the first time on Tuesday. This was the first of four workshops in the Courage To Lead training offered by our Florida Annual Conference. I want to thank you for the privilege of attending, as I am using my budgeted Continuing Education money for the training.

It is amazing what 48 hours can do! I entered the two days on Tuesday feeling anxious about the future and incredibly tired. (Five moves in six months will make you tired!) But, I came away from the workshop feeling renewed in my spirit and excited about what God has in store for us at Christ By The Sea. The workshop is designed to help us connect again to our spiritual center, our true self. And thanks to you allowing me to go, I feel much more connected than I did just three days ago!

I look forward to sharing some of my experiences and insights as we grow together in faith and love.




  • Piano Quintet Concert, February 12, 3:00pm
  • Band Of Brothers Valentine’s Dinner, February 14 Contact Tom Bugg for tickets and more information.

Women’s Seminar, February 18, 8:30am-3:00pm


Midweek Message, January 25, 2017

Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

This coming Sunday we will consecrate our pledge cards and take a look at our giving for the past year here at CBTS. I think you will find it very enlightening! God has certainly blessed us mightily in our lives and in our beautiful church. Scripture calls us to return a portion in thanks back to God through the church. I want to encourage all of us to be cheerful and consistent givers so that more people will be reached with the Good News of God’s love through our fabulous church. As we all do our part, amazing things can happen for the Kingdom of God!

See you Sunday!



·        Small Group sign-up continues through Sunday. Join a group for fellowship and spiritual growth!

·        Tickets are available for our upcoming concert, A Piano Quintet, on February 12.

·        Band of Brothers Valentine’s Day dinner at CJ Cannon’s, 6pm on February 14.

·        Women’s Seminar with Leigh McLeroy on February 18, 9am-3pm. Get you tickets now!

Midweek Message, January 18, 2017

“Worship the Lord with gladness.” Psalm 100:2

Hopefully, you have received your Stewardship Pledge Card by now. Last Sunday we spoke of the importance of Prayer and I hope you will commit to praying for the church, the staff, and its ministries. This week we will focus on the topic of Presence…specifically, being present with God in worship. Worship is primarily about honoring God, acknowledging God as God, and offering our praise and thankfulness. I also hope you will make a commitment to being here in worship as often as possible. When you are not here I miss you!

See you Sunday!



·        This Sunday the Bethune-Cookman University Chorale will be with us at 11:00 worship. They are a great blessing!

·        Join us in our new Small Group (Connect Groups) ministry by signing up this Sunday after worship!

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!




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.