Category Archives: hope

Life After Tsunami

Amid the rubbish stands one of the most beautiful sites anyone will ever see: Springtime Sakura, better known as “cherry blossom” trees.  While preparing for my trip to Japan, I look at the hard work our friends in Otsuchi are doing by helping the people that have been devastated by the tsunami that swept through their town, taking lives and tearing down many of the structures that once stood strong.  But with all of the pain and suffering, there is something more powerful than death and destruction: Life!

Jesus says in the ancient scriptures “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come, that you might have Life and Life more abundantly” John 10:10.  You may say, “Where is this Life? How can Life be present when there is so much sorrow? ” When God raised Jesus from the dead he sent His Spirit to live inside every person who chooses to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. This Spirit demonstrates the love of the Father (God) when we love those around us.  As the people of God his Love empowers us to help a neighbor living just down the street or thousands of miles away bringing comfort to the hurting.  This kind of Love is expressed with more than words, it is accompanied with action,  “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we must also give up our lives for our brothers and our sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but show no compassion–how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth.” 1John 3:16-18

Just like the Sakura trees showing off their display of life and beauty…the people of God are active all over the world  showing this  “Life”  through acts of love toward mankind.  “Let your lite  so shine that mankind will see your good deeds (acts of Love) and Glorify your Father which is in Heaven” Jesus words found in Mathew 5:16

Thank you for your prayers as I continue preparations for my upcoming trip to Japan. Below is Pastor Guna and Jey and members of their congregation returning from their first trip into Otsuchi.  They have recently returned with another team and are working to help clear anything damaged by the tsunami and cleaning the homes so the families (who are in shelters) can return to their homes. God bless them as they show the people of Otsuchi God’s love through their acts of kindness.

For more information regarding our call to Japan, read my blog titled, “Japan: Mission of Love” or go to our website at PonceChurch.com


He’s Alive and Well

For thousands of years the story of Jesus death and resurrection have been told in churches, meeting places and homes all over the world.  Jesus himself began to speak of his death even before they laid a hand on him. “Listen” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again” the gospel of Mark chapter 10, verses 33 & 34.

Celebrating Easter is more than the traditional  chocolate bunnies and colored Easter eggs, it’s remembering Jesus laying down his life for all mankind and God raising him from the dead. Why? Jesus Christ the Risen One was sent to us because of God’s amazing love.  Jesus endured the beatings for you and me. He allowed them to hang him on the cross to pay for our sins.

In the old testament Adam and Eve chose to not follow God’s instructions and when they disobeyed what the Father told them sin came into the earth.  Prophets in the old testament spoke of the coming Messiah who would take away the sin of the world.  “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 2Corinthians 5:21  Because of the wonderful mercy and love of God, he sent his one and only Son to die for you and me, and when God raised Jesus Christ to life again, he made it possible for us to be put back in good standing with God our heavenly Father again.  All God asks of us is to believe. Believe that he sent Jesus to us, that he went to the cross for us, died and believe that God raised him from the dead.

Jesus Christ is alive and well today. He sits at God’s right hand in Heaven and because of the power of the resurrection, he lives in his people, his followers, Christians today. How? “The Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” Romans 8:11

As you celebrate Easter this year remember God’s amazing love for you and all of mankind. Realize and accept the truth that we need our sins forgiven. Understand that with our own strength or works we cannot make that happen, forgiveness only comes through believing in Jesus Christ and that he died for us.  Open your heart to Jesus and follow Him. Once you make this decision, your life will have meaning.  “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced…Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” Romans 10:8-13

Happy Easter!

Pastor Nina Tidwell
Ponce Church, Ponce Inlet, Florida

Everyone Welcome! We’re Surfside and we’re Casual!
Sundays 10AM
4670 S. Peninsula in Ponce Inlet


Soul Surfer~Snap!

Bethany Hamilton

During the courageous true story of Bethany Hamilton who miraculously recovered from a 14 ft., Tiger Shark attack, leaving her with only one arm,  left me in awe as I watched her “Snap” a wave just as if nothing had ever happened. For those of you who are unfamiliar with surfing terms, “Snap” means a “sharp turn” executed at the top of a wave.

What also astounded me as I watched  “Soul Surfer” which was released on Friday, April 8th 2011 was her courage to get back-on-the-board only one month following the shark incident.

Even though Bethany was the victim of a shark attack, she did not play the “victim role” in real life.  AnnaSophia-Robb who played Bethany Hamilton in the film did an amazing job at portraying her as a  fighter!  Bethany did not want to be looked at or treated differently.  In the movie, when offered a 5 minute “head start” by surf competition officials, Bethany turned it down.  As I watched Bethany’s life unfold I saw her inner-strength and courage  powerful enough to inspire us all!

So how did she do it?! How did Bethany go from being a shark attack victim to taking 1st place in the 2005 National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) circuit?  “I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength”  Bethany gained her courage from her faith in God and in His Son Jesus Christ.  Jesus, the FIRST to ever walk on water, literally.  He is the same One who spoke to a storm while  he and his disciples (followers) were on a boat.  And as the disciples came to wake him saying “Lord, don’t you care that we’re going to die?!” Jesus responded and said “Oh, you of little faith” and immediately calmed the storm. This “faith” that Jesus speaks of in the Bible, “faith” to “move mountains” FAITH to conquer any “storm” in life, is the same faith that Bethany and her family believed in and together they grabbed hold of. It was this amazing faith and hope that ONLY the Lord God can give that turned what could have destroyed Bethany and her family  around for good: Bringing hope and courage to all who are willing to open their hearts and minds,  “All things are possible to those that believe”


Til’ the Hurt is Gone

“You’re never gonna be alone…If you feel like letting go-I’ll never let you fall…I’ll hold you til’ the hurt is gone”  Lyrics from the song “Never Gonna Be Alone” by Nickelback.  On YouTube alone there are have been over 8 million people that have nourished their soul by the verses from this song.  That’s 8 million people that are either going through or  have experienced some kind of heartache in their lives.

As I listened to the powerful words of hope, I could not help but think about how close they are to the very words of Jesus. In one particular scripture Jesus says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” and in Luke 4:18 Jesus himself says that He has come to “…heal the brokenhearted

Maybe you have lost a loved one and wonder if you’ll ever be free from the pain.  Or maybe you have gone through a divorce and feel like you’ll never love again. Whatever you are going through the God of all Peace wants you to know that you truly are NOT alone.

You may be asking the question “How do you know?” Let me encourage you to read one of my previous blogs titled: “Girl Meets God” in it you’ll find my personal story and how I met the only one who could take my own pain of loss and heartache away. Is it possible? Absolutely! The only way the pain can continue is if you choose to hold on to it.  It’s like a wound on your own body.  If it is not given the proper care such as cleaning the affected area, medicating it and covering that wound with clean bandages it will not heal properly, in fact it can even get worse by becoming infected. Our heartaches and pains in life also need the proper treatment.  Just like Jesus said, “…I have come to HEAL the brokenhearted…”

How? In my research when someone experiences a loss of any kind, there are emotional stages and one of them is “anger”  We can become angry with others and even angry with God.  Let me stop you here for a moment:  The scriptures say that we have an enemy and that enemy is NOT God.  Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief (devil, satan) has come to steal, kill and destroy, BUT I (Jesus) have come that you might have life and life more abundantly” Look carefully at this  passage Jesus is letting us know right away who our enemy is.  He clearly lets’ us know that it is neither God nor Himself  bringing evil into our lives.   In this passage Jesus is teaching us  that there is a thief  (this is the same enemy that deceived Adam and Eve in the garden) and that He (Jesus) came to help us and deliver us from this evil and gives us His Life in abundance.   If you look at the life of Jesus on the earth, you’ll see that the scriptures say “He went about DOING GOOD and HEALING all that are oppressed from the Devil”
So we can clearly see here that God is a GOOD God…and He sent His Son Jesus, giving us good things and providing a life greater than we can ever imagine.

Once we make the decision and believe the TRUTH which is God’s word, then we can begin to “let go” of the anger and begin to “Look to Jesus” who promises to do good and heal those whose hearts have been broken.  There is hope my friend, just ask God to help you.  Believe in His Son Jesus…He is the one who came to give you His Life…full of joy, peace and happiness…and remember, you’re “Never Gonna be Alone”