Christ by the Sea Messages

Walk through the Bible with Pastor Cliff Melvin.


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.



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!



  • 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.



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.


·        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.



·        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!




·         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 Message, May 9, 2018

This week we celebrate a very special day: The Ascension of Christ. It truly is a day to celebrate, for without the Ascension Jesus would not have been re-crowned as King of the World. Jesus is re-crowned! The prayer he prayed in his last night before to the cross, has become completely fulfilled because of this day;

“Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.” John 17:5 NLT

Jesus is KING! He has ascended and is enthroned. Great glory, splendor, majesty, and goodness emanate from Him – it is who He is. EVERYTHING is under His rule and authority. Grasp the impact. We can know that whatever is going on in our lives, Jesus has power over it. Difficulties, trials, temptations, heartbreaks, illnesses, persecutions…whatever name it goes by, Jesus’ name is greater. The Bible encourages us to bring these problems to our King;

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 NLT

So, hail the once and future King! For He has ascended on this day with victory and bids us come. Amen!



·        The Band of Brothers meets on May 12, 8:00am at CJ Cannon’s. All men of the church are invited.

·        CBTS Golf Tournament is May 12 at Bent Pine Golf Club. Get a foursome together and join us! BBQ dinner following.

·        Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser for the Puerto Rico Mission Team on May 20, 8:30-12:30.

Midweek Message, May 2, 2018

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35)

I was recently at another church for an important meeting. I left that gathering so very thankful to be the pastor at Christ By The Sea. In the meeting there was back-biting, gossip, sarcasm, power-seeking, and posturing. In my 8 years at CBTS I have never experienced this sort of behavior from church members. While I left thankful to be your pastor, I also was saddened by what I experienced…both for that local church and for its pastor.

When I read the passage from John 13:35 I can’t help but wonder about the critical nature of the words Jesus was speaking. If we in the church cannot love and respect one another, what hope is there for the rest of the world? Thank you for being caring, thoughtful, open to change and growth kinds of people. I am blessed by you and your actions!



  • We move to one worship service at 10:00am this Sunday, May 6.
  • The Band of Brothers meets on May 12, 8:00am at CJ Cannon’s. All men of the church are invited.
  • CBTS Golf Tournament is May 12 at Bent Pine Golf Club. Get a foursome together and join us! BBQ dinner following.
  • Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser for the Puerto Rico Mission Team on May 20, 8:30-12:30.

Midweek Message, April 25, 2018


“Receiving is an art. It means allowing the other to become part of our lives. It means daring to become dependent on the other. It asks for the inner freedom to say: “Without you I wouldn’t be who I am.” Receiving with the heart is therefore a gesture of humility and love. So many people have been deeply hurt because their gifts were not well received. Let us be good receivers.” Henri Nouwen, Bread For The Journey

I want to say a heartfelt thank you to you all for the wonderful cards, wishes, and gifts for my birthday last week. I am always amazed at your care and generosity and it makes my heart sing with gratitude. You are a wonderfully, giving, caring congregation!

With love and appreciation,



·        We return to one worship service at 10am on the first Sunday of May.

·        CBTS Golf Tournament is May 12, 1:30pm at Bent Pine Golf Club. Get a foursome together and join us!

·        Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser for the Puerto Rico Mission Team is Sunday, May 20 8:30-12:30, tickets $10.

Midweek Message, April 18, 2018

“I am the gate for the sheep….I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:7,10

This week in worship we will focus on John 10:1-10. It talks a lot about sheep. I was never very fond of being called a sheep by Jesus, but, the more I learn of the role of the shepherd for the sheep, the more I am OK with being a sheep. If Jesus is my Good Shepherd, then I will be a sheep any day. The Good Shepherd protects, provides for, leads us safely, searches for us when we are lost, and even lays down his life for us as needed. I’ll be a sheep to that shepherd any day. Amen.



·        Celebration of Life for Don Lindell, Friday April 20, at 3:45 PM, Indian River Estates, West Chapel.

·        Pastor Cliff will be leading a trip to the Passion Play at Oberammergau along with a River Cruise on the Danube from July 30-August 10, 2020. The Passion Play only occurs every 10 years in Oberammergau. Brochures are available in the church office or by request via phone or email.

·        Our Puerto Rico Mission Team will be leaving on June 16. If you would like to help support the team of 30 folks financially simply write a check to CBTSUMC and note PR Mission. A Pancake breakfast to raise funds will be led by the teens going on the trip on May 20. They will be cooking and serving 8:30-12:30.

Midweek Message, April 11, 2018

13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[f] from Jerusalem, 14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad.[g] 18 Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” Luke 24:13-18

I know that I spoke about the Emmaus encounter with Jesus last week, but, I love this story. Again, you may want to pull out your Bible and read the whole story from Luke 24:13-35. The phrase that caught my eye this week is “Are you the only one who does not know?” I am sure many of you have been like me at times and felt like you were the last to know something. Maybe it was a joyous thing such as the birth of a relative or perhaps the loss of a love gone away or death of a friend.

The important thing about the discovery is the response. For Jesus followers the response was one of awe and action. They experienced the moment of discovery and moved to action as they began to share the exciting finding with others. When a discovery is a positive one we want to share it with others. I hope you will share the Good News of how Jesus has touched your life with those around you.



  • Band of Brothers breakfast, Saturday, 8am, CJ Cannon restaurant.
  • The Vero Beach Chamber Orchestra celebrates the culmination of its 10th anniversary season with a concert at 2 p.m. April 15 in the Vero Beach High School Performing Arts Center, 1707 16th St., Vero Beach. The final concert of the season will include Piano Concerto No. 2 by Camille Saint-Saens, featuring Dr. Marcos Daniel Flores at the piano.
  • Save the Date for our Puerto Rico Fundraising Pancake Breakfast which is all morning on May 20. Also, please keep the Mission Team in your prayers as they plan for the June 16-23 trip.

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.