Category Archives: joy

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


Girl Meets God

Growing up as a young girl I remember getting up early every Sunday morning with my Dad and going to church.  Although I have fond memories of singing in the choir and  hearing about Jesus in my Sunday school class, I did not know that we had such a loving God until years later.

Much of my life as a young school girl I witnessed a bitter-sweet marriage with my mother and father. Rarely did I encounter love.  The only time I remember a little peace in the home was usually during the holidays.

In Michigan at the age of 10 I remember my father standing on the landing with suitcases in hand say to my mother that he was leaving.  When I heard this it felt as though my heart dropped into my stomach.  As I look back that was probably one of the most heart-wrenching times in my life.

As the days and years went on I watched my mother take prescription drugs to help numb the pain. As I look back, I can’t help but remember that what was once supposed to be a temporary fix, turned into years of addiction for my mother.   This was a time when doctors would  write prescriptions without getting to the heart of the matter. To me many drugs then and now function as a band-aid to cover  a wound that is much worse and needs more care than just an abrasion.

Over the next five years I witnessed first hand the heart-ache and pain that my mother so desperately tried to endure. But her battle was lost at the young age of 45 when she decided to end her life. Before her death I remember one particular incidence:  It was the middle of the night and for some reason I awoke and found my mother so stoned standing in the kitchen with a knife in hand cutting an empty plate.  I know now that the Lord was with me as I gently took the knife out of her hand and put her to bed.

Aside from all of this I remember that I began to gravitate toward people my age and older that were big on alcohol and drug use. I remember (and I do NOT encourage) there were times when I would sneak out of the house in the middle of the night to get drunk with my friends while sitting on the corner of our street.

This behavior went on for a few years until one day, because I could no longer deal with my mothers illness,  I decided just days before her death to go and live with my father along with his new wife and family.   Two days after moving in with my new family my father received a phone call from a concerned neighbor asking him to come and see if my mother was alright since there had not been any activity at the house.  When my father, who was a firefighter and captain of the paramedic squad arrived, the door was locked which led him to climbed through the back living-room window. It was there he found my mother overdosed with a note at her side.

Now I had a new hurdle to overcome and that was my struggle with the enormous guilt that I carried for the next five years of my life:  The only thing I knew to do at that time was to drown my sorrows with drugs and alcohol. It was during this time that I had also become anorexic until one day I was literally scared into eating again after my body began to act abnormally. I remember saying to myself, “I have got to start eating again” and so I immediately got up, went into the kitchen and began to make myself something to eat.

In my senior year of high school I decided to get married (mainly to get out of the house) but it lasted only a year and a half and it was not long after that I began “partying” again. Then one day after my divorce (and while living again with my parents)  I remember  my brother Bob came to visit and shared with me about this amazing person named Jesus. While he was talking to me I knew that there was something different about him which that in itself captured my attention. As I look back I see how God’s perfect timing was spot on because I was getting real tired of my life fast!

It wasn’t long after this that I had been given a cassette tape with the personal story of a woman by the name of Sandy Brown.  She was a former cocktail waitress in Vegas.  She spoke about how Jesus showed himself to her and she didn’t even know who he was until He said his name and then she thought to herself: “I know that Name, I use it all the time!” From that day on Jesus  began to transform this young womans life by helping her to overcome her drug addiction and ultimately opened the doors of churches all over the country allowing her  to share her amazing story with others about God and His amazing love through Jesus Christ.

Because of all that I had been through I knew that  I was ready for a change.  So I said a prayer that I meant from my heart, and it went something like this, “Jesus I believe in you..I believe that you died for me and rose from the dead…forgive me of all I’ve done wrong.  Help me to follow you, be my Lord and my Savior” After talking to the Lord I remember lying on the floor in my sisters bedroom and it felt as though I had a blanket on top of me, it was very comforting, I was also crying, not because of sadness, but because it felt like this huge weight was lifted off of me and I knew that something inside of me was different.  Although the outside did not change much right away I knew that on the inside my heart was filled with God’s love, joy and a peace that I had never felt before in my entire life!

Has my life up to this point been perfect? No. But one thing remains true: I have by the mercy of God experienced the Lord’s goodness and feel a great passion to share His unconditional love with anyone who is willing to listen.

The Lord has led my husband Rick and I along with our two boys to start the first church ever in the history of our home town.  Pastor Rick teaches the Bible in ways that can help us on a day-to-day basis.

If you are looking for something more meaningful in your life, just know this: God loves you! There is nothing that you have done, or are currently involved in now that will keep God from showing His love to you.  He is ready and waiting for you to call out to him. “They that call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. You can also access Pastor Rick’s messages for free at http://www.poncechurch.com


Don’t Get Scrooged

Scrooge

I LOVE Christmas! I enjoy the shopping and giving to others, I especially love that it is one of THE most celebrated times of year where everyone from all walks of life witness Christians celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ the Savior of the World! What I do not love however is the “bah humbug” mentality that goes along with this merry holiday.  In years past I would find myself looking at the faces of those pushing their carts down the crowded isles and I did not like what I saw: Many with unhappy faces filled with frowns and even anger. Because of this I found myself beginning to dread the thought of participating in one of my personal favorite times of the Christmas season: shopping! As I pondered ways to keep this from happening I had this inspired thought: Don’t look at their faces! This year as we began our Christmas shopping I chose to put it into practice. Now I do my best to focus on those that have a jolly spirit. I have made it a point to turn my attention toward the giggly, joyful child as they look at the abundance of toys on display, or the one singing along to the Christmas jingles as they make their way through the store.  I have also decided this Christmas to not get Scrooged! And most of all to keep my focus on the most meaningful reason for the season, and that Is Jesus, “Unto us is born this day in the City of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord”
Merry Christmas Everybody and have a Happy and Safe New Year!
God Bless Us Everyone!


It’s Christmas Time Again!

Christmas

Christmas

Christmas! One of the most celebrated times of the year. Complete with love, excitement, laughter, and don’t forget the Cookies, Cakes and Ginger Bread men.  Not to mention snow falling, fires burning and lights all aglow.  Ah yes, Christmas time is here once again. With the hustle and bustle that the holidays bring…let’s remember to keep it real, simple and stress free!  The following are just a few tips to help preserve the Joy and Peace that Christmas brings:

1) Be Realistic: The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videotapes.

2) Stick to a budget: Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts. Try these alternatives: Donate to a charity or adopt a family in need, give homemade gifts or start a family gift exchange

3) Reach Out: If you feel lonely or isolated, volunteer to help at your church or visit the hurting in hospitals and nursing homes .  Volunteering your time and  helping others also is a great way to lift your spirits.  Jesus says that when we LOVE our neighbor our JOY will be full! John 15

4) Taking time for yourself: Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Take a walk at night and look at the stars. Listen to soothing music. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.

5) Learn to say No: Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Family, friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity.

6) Forgive Others: Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all your expectations. Forgive any grievances you may have toward loved ones and remember Jesus said, that if we want the Father to forgive us we must forgive those that have wronged us (Mark 11). When we hold grudges toward others we think we’re getting back at them.  The truth is,  we are only hurting ourselves. When we are not forgiving, we are imprisoning ourselves in pain and sorrow and it can affect our emotional and physical health.  My advice would be to ask God to help you forgive…and remember If you want mercy from our heavenly Father then we must extend that same mercy.

7) Remember the Good: Some of us have lost those that are dear to us.  It is OK and normal to be sad at times, especially during the Christmas season.  One way that helps grieving is to “Remember the Good”.  Remember their smiles and their laughter.  Surround yourself around family and friends that are closest to you.

8) Celebrate the Reason for the Season! Remember Christmas is about the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Teach your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews about the true meaning of Christmas, that it’s MORE than just packages and bows and focus on God’s Love for he gave us the Greatest Gift of All!  Celebrate Jesus!
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/MH00030/NSECTIONGROUP=2
for more on stress management