Christ by the Sea Messages

Walk through the Bible with Pastor Cliff Melvin.


Midweek Message, April 4, 2018

13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. Luke 24:13-14

I love the story of the Emmaus Road encounter with Jesus. It reminds me of my Emmaus Walk from 1994 which helped re-direct my ministry. It reminds me of how often I don’t “see” Jesus when his presence is right in front of me. It reminds me of how important the sharing of the “breaking of bread” is for His followers and how we can see Jesus in our friends when we are “breaking bread” together. I hope you will pull out your Bible and read the whole story as recorded in Luke 24:13-35.

Happy Easter Season!


Thank you, Thank You! We have reached and exceeded our challenge goal which was announced on Palm Sunday! You are an awesome congregation!

·        A new Wednesday night study on the book of John begins this week at 6:15pm. Join us.

·        The next Women’s study begins Thursday morning titled: Becoming A Woman of Influence.

·        Boy Scout Car Wash this Saturday morning at CBTS.

Midweek Message, March 28, 2018

My friend, Charlie Reeb wrote this last week:

“Many who were waving palm branches for Jesus were nowhere to be found when he got the tar beat out of him. Any fan can show up for a parade. It takes a follower to go to the cross. Palm Sunday can either be a tailgate party before Easter or it can be a preparation to die in order to truly live.” Rev.Charlie Reeb, Pasadena Community Church, St. Petersburg, FL

It is my fervent hope that any follower of Jesus does not move, from the parade of Palm Sunday to the joy of Easter, without walking through the turmoil, pain, and loss of Holy Week as experienced on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. This is the most holy and meaning-filled week of the Christian year. I pray that we all will experience it fully as we celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord.




Holy Week Worship Experiences:

Lenten Midweek, Wednesday, 6:30, Elaine Thompson shares her Faith Journey

Maundy Thursday meal and worship, 5:30, Ratcliff Hall

Good Friday, 7pm

Easter Cantata, Saturday, 4:30 and 7:00pm

Easter Sunday worship, 8:00, 9:30, 11:00

Midweek Message, March 21, 2018

Hindsight is always 20/20. Yet, while we are in a particular situation, we often make things out to be what they aren’t and infer wrong meanings. Later, we kick ourselves, thinking, If only I had known then what I know now!

Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem must have been one of those moments for the disciples. It probably appeared to be a wonderful day for them—and it was, but for different reasons than they realized. They thought the Messiah had come to reestablish Israel’s power in the world. But God had something else in mind.

The disciples weren’t the only ones who had misconceptions about the Messiah. Many Jews expected Him to be an earthly king. They saw Jesus as their new king, come to bring salvation from political and societal oppression. He raised the dead, so they assumed He could also restore the kingdom of David and free them from Roman rule.

Seated upon a donkey, Jesus resembled a ruler returning to his city in peacetime, whose loyal subjects lined the path with coats and palm fronds.

This week, think back to those times when circumstances looked one way but turned out to be something else. Recall what it was like to realize God was different than you imagined and to see God’s will unfold in surprising ways.



·        Challenge Gift offering this Sunday! Help us match the $50,000 given!

·        Palm Sunday 8:30 and 11:00

·        Midweek Lenten worship on Wednesday at 6:30pm

·        Maundy Thursday meal and worship, 5:30pm

·        Good Friday worship at 7:00pm

·        Easter Cantata, 4:30 and 7:00

·        Easter Sunday worship, 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00am

Midweek Message, March 14, 2018

“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place and was praying there.” Mark 1:35

 The word often means regularly. A lot. Jesus spent a lot of time alone with God. Why? Jesus needed to stay connected to the Father in order to be refreshed and recharged after the pressures of ministry. Knowing His ultimate purpose on earth was to go to the cross for our sins, Jesus also needed strength to continue walking in God’s will.

 Even though our most intense pressures and stress pale in comparison to what Jesus faced at the cross, we also need God’s refreshment, strength and encouragement in the face of life’s daily demands and anxiety. So how do we spend time with God? Where do we start?

  1. Remove Distractions. Silence your cell phone, close your laptop, turn off the TV – and ask God for a desire to know Him.
  2. Be Vulnerable. Pray and pour out your heart to God.
  3. Read God’s Word. God speaks, teaches and encourages us through the Word. If you want to know God, then read the Word.
  4. Join Others. The Bible speaks about the importance of community with other believers through corporate worship and small groups.

Jesus spent a lot of time with God the Father in order to be refreshed and recharged. The more time you spend with God, the more you will understand the power of God’s love that brings joy, fulfillment and purpose to life. So, ask God to help you prioritize time with God today.


  • Wednesday Night Lenten worship tonight at 6:30pm. Linda Petrilla shares her Faith Story.
  • UMW Spiritual Retreat on Saturday. Call the office for more information.
  • Habitat Work day this Saturday!
  • Silence is Golden! Can you help other worshipers stay connected with God by honoring silence during the quiet moments of worship? Please!

Midweek Message, March 7, 2018

“The joy of the Lord is my strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10

One of my personal goals for this year is to find more joy in every day. I had five particularly joyous moments last week. Here they are:

1.   Sitting at Waldo’s with a cold beverage, Lisa, and good friends while watching the full moon rise over the ocean and light the water up like a sparkling diamond.

2.   Being greeted with big smiles and hugs from the two kids I mentor at Beachland Elementary.

3.   Having the privilege of sharing communion with Corabell DeWitt, a long -time fiend of the church who is 104 years old and Nora Smith, who helped start our Endowment Fund.

4.   After an 11 hour work day, joining four friends for a dinner birthday party where we laughed our heads off and I stayed out way past my usual bedtime!

5.   Cooking a delicious dinner for my family of a tomato caprice appetizer, parmesan encrusted tripletail fish, sautéed zucchini and yellow squash with chocolate cake for dessert.

I pray that each of you find more joy each day this year as well!



Join us for Midweek Lenten worship on Wednesdays at 6:30pm!

Our next Habitat work day is March 17. Sign up now!

Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday: SPRING FORWARD

Band of Brothers is Saturday at 8am, CJ Cannon’s restaurant.

Midweek Message, February 28, 2018

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;

in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Psalm 51:3

Last week, I was walking with a friend on a lovely day complaining about someone with whom I had had an unpleasant encounter. As I reached the height of my righteous indignation, he nudged me and pointed to a beautiful flowering bush in full bloom. I had to laugh at myself because the incident spoke so clearly of how I miss the beauty of the present moment when I get stuck in resentment, when I indulge in nursing a grudge.

After that incident, I realized that as my image of God has been changed, I am more willing to look at my faults. I know that I am being called into greater freedom by a God who loves me, rather than being shamed by a punitive God who delights in pointing out my deficiencies. Looking at our imperfections should not be an exercise in contempt, but a way in which we become more deeply aware of how our wounds keep us from living with compassion and joy.

May the beauty of the present moment not pass you by…





  • John Gunter, a long-time friend of the church has died at age 100. May God give him peace.
  • Wednesday supper, 5:30pm and Lenten Worship, 6:30pm are a great blessing. Join us!

Midweek Message, February 21, 2018

Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you. Psalm 71:6

I have always felt that birthdays are very important. On our birthdays we celebrate being alive. On our birthdays people can say to us, “Thank you for being!” Birthday presents are signs of our families’ and friends’ joy that we are part of their lives. Little children often look forward to their birthdays for months. Their birthdays are their big days, when they are the center of attention and all their friends come to celebrate.

We should never forget our birthdays or the birthdays of those who are close to us. Birthdays keep us childlike. They remind us that what is important is not what we do or accomplish, not what we have or who we know, but that we are, here and now. On birthdays, let us be grateful for the gift of life.


  • Midweek Lenten Worship, every Wednesday in Lent. June Traylor shares tonight.
  • Trash and Treasure Sale is this Saturday.
  • SERVE Ministry Fair on Sunday in Ratcliff Hall.

Midweek Message, February 14, 2018

These words from Mother Teresa and Henri Nouwen spoke to me on this Valentine’s Day/Ash Wednesday.

 The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. ~Mother Teresa

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. Henri Nouwen



·        Ash Wednesday – Imposition of Ashes from 12-1pm in the sanctuary and at Lenten worship tonight, 6:30pm with Dave Althoff sharing his faith story.

·        The funeral for Vince Laconis will be Thursday, 2pm at CBTS

Midweek Message, February 7, 2018

“Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, yet shall they live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” John 11:25-26

In hope of the resurrection I am still saddened to announce the death of two of our CBTS “saints”. Both of these saints were charter members of Christ By The Sea. Dot Lyon (Gene) died on February 5 and Vince Laconis (Anita) died on February 6. Dot’s memorial service will be at 11am on Friday, February 9 at CBTS. Vince’s memorial will be at 2pm on Thursday, February 15 at CBTS. Both will have a reception following in Ratcliff Hall.

Please keep the Lyon and Laconis families in your prayers.



  • Band of Brothers, special guest speaker, 8am, Saturday, Feb 10
  • Broadway Concert, Sunday at 3pm. Join us!
  • Ash Wednesday, Feb 14. Please bring your Palm Crosses from last year to be made into ashes this Sunday.

Midweek Message, January 31, 2018


2 Corinthians 9:7 God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9 offers wonderful guidelines for giving. Give generously. Give willingly and from the heart. Above all, give cheerfully, for in giving we have an opportunity to reflect God’s generosity to us. When we follow these guidelines, our giving will not leave us stressed out but overflowing with gratitude to God.

This passage also reminds us that giving has many forms. Our gifts may be monetary, or they could be things we do for others and for God. Babysitting for a couple at church; mowing the grass for an elderly neighbor; bringing a meal to a sick person-all these are ways we can give. Our obedience-along with our confession of the gospel-brings praise to God.

Giving ourselves in earnest prayer for others may be one of the greatest gifts we can give. May we also daily remember to thank God for his indescribable gift, salvation in Jesus Christ.


Lord God, we offer ourselves to you in gratitude for the indescribable gift of your love to us in Christ. Help us to live out that gratitude daily in the power of your Spirit. Amen.



  • Stewardship Commitment Cards will arrive in your mail this week!
  • Puerto Rico Mission trip informational meeting is February 6, 5:30pm, Church Conference Room.
  • Lenten Wednesday Night Worship begins on February 14. February speakers will be David Althoff, June Traylor, and Ed Danshaw.
  • UMW bakers and soup makers for Trash/Treasure are to pick up soup containers and cake rounds in the kitchen.

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.