Tag Archives: Christ

Refresh Yourself

Picture if you will a very hot and dry desert. What’s the first thing you think of? Water! For fourteen years our family lived in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona. I remember quite clearly one summer after our first child was born, our air conditioner went out because the temperatures reached 120′! YES, I said 120 degrees!  If you’ve every flown over the valley you’ll see that nearly every home has a pool because of the extreme heat.  I also remember that I never left the house without water!! Anyone who has ever lived there knows exactly what I’m talking about. I also remember taking walks. It was either EARLY in the morning or when the sun went down and even then I would literally pour water on me to keep me cool as I hit the hiking trails or the streets of my neighborhood.

Our soul is very much like that hot and dry desert. Whether we realize it or not our very being THIRSTS for God! Many people may not realize it but the truth be told, we are God’s creation, and living a life without him in it is like  living in the desert without water.

Let’s take a look at a true story of Jesus and a woman who came to get water from a well:
As Jesus was leaving Judea and returning to Galilee, he came to village in Samaria.  Jacobs well was there and because he was tired from his long walk, he sat beside the well around noontime. “Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, ‘You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?’ Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me and I would give you living water.” “But Sir, you don’t have a rope or bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will NEVER be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.John 4:4-14

Here Jesus is teaching us a comparison between the water that we drink  and the LIVING water that comes from Him.  As we can clearly see the Bible references Jesus as the “Living Water”.  The word of God also reveals that Jesus is the bread of life.  First let’s look at what Jesus says in Mathew 4:4 “People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” Jesus explains in another passage of scripture what this means: “The true bread of God is the One (Jesus) who comes down from heaven” John 6:33.

What is the best way of obtaining the “true bread” which is God’s word? “So then faith comes by hearing and by hearing the word of God” Romans 10:17. In the scriptures above this the apostle Paul explains the importance of the teacher, the minister that God has sent to proclaim “His” word and in Hebrews 10:25, the word of God teaches us one very important aspect that we must be careful to not forget as Christians, His people, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” The King James version says, “Forsake not the assembling of  yourselves together, as a manner of some have…” So what is God saying here? “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith (faith comes by hearing God’s word by his ministers that he has called) and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13.

Many times we can get distracted and go through life thinking that this part of Christianity is unnecessary.  We get wrapped up in work and raising our families that we sometimes do not see the importance of going to church.  I remember going through a period in my life where I failed to see it’s importance. I went from faithfully going to hear God’s Life giving words to not. And I can honestly say that I do not ever want that to happen again. Why? Because hearing God’s word causes faith to grow.  The scriptures also say that through “faith and patience” we “inherit God’s promises”.  If we’re not being fed the “bread of life” or drinking that “living water” on a regular basis our faith that helps us conquer EVERYTHING in life will not grow. Faith my friend is the ONLY thing that can overcome doubt, fear, anxiety and worry. Hearing God’s word increases our faith to overcome anything that presents itself in life. God’s word says, “the just shall live by faith.”

I encourage you today that if you have put going to church on the back burner to rethink your decision and based on the word of God put it back on your “To-Do” list.  “Blessed are they that Hunger and Thirst after righteousness (God and His word) shall be filled” Mathew 5:6 (Jesus words)

Pastor Nina Tidwell
Ponce Church, Ponce Inlet, Florida~A Surfside Church

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Free From Addictions

Have you ever been engaged in a conversation with someone and have them say something so “off-the-wall” that it leaves you speechless? Well that happened to me during my walk just the other day. While enjoying the beautiful ocean and river view from the jetty a friend was passing on their bike. We both stopped to say hello and chat a bit. During our conversation we got on the subject of family and friends that have struggled with addictions such as drugs and alcohol.  This person began to share how for some reason people who are struggling in these areas are drawn to them.  As they elaborated more about this subject they began to express how they believe God puts the addiction on these people, and basically said that is their lot in life. When I heard this I just about FELL OVER!! Friends, this ridiculous man-made philosophy could not be farther from the TRUTH! (This is a good example of folks not knowing nor understanding the Love, Grace and Power of God)  Please allow me to share why. Firstly the word of God  is truth and HIS TRUTH says that Jesus came to set the “captives” free, Luke 4:18. Do you know what that means? ANYONE and I mean anyone who is imprisoned (in a life-long struggle) by drugs, alcohol, and anything else that keeps one from enjoying life, has been given an opportunity to walk free.  Jesus who holds the key to their freedom came to unlock their prison door and let them out! 1Corinthians 10:13 says that God, has provided a “WAY OUT” of temptation, trials or troubles (including addictions) period!  It’s as if the One who has the key to your freedom (Jesus) comes and opens your cell door and says, “Come on out, you’re FREE!”  The word of God also says that Jesus has “rescued” us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son” Colossians 1:13 nlt
My friend this is GOOD NEWS! Your ticket to freedom comes from a very LOVING God, and He demonstrated His amazing love by sending His Son Jesus to set you free! This is no joke. This is not just a nice story, this is the power of God, and He is ready, willing and able to take you on a new journey to freedom. One, He is asking you to allow Him to help you. If you’re not a Christian yet and you want to be, all you have to do is ask Jesus to be a part of your life. Say this prayer from your heart: “Jesus, I believe in you. I believe God sent you for me, that it is your will for me to be free! Be my Lord and my Savior, show me YOUR way. Show me the way of your peace. Help me to be free from the things that can harm me. I want you now. You are my strength. Because of you I am no longer bound by this addiction. It no longer has power over me. Forgive me Father for my sins and I thank you that you love me and no longer remember my mistakes. Thank you God, and thank you Jesus! Amen.”
YOUR NEW JOURNEY, A FRESH START: Now one of the next steps to take on your journey of recovery is to give your mind NEW thoughts. The Bible says to “renew your mind” with the word of God. Why would He say that? Because God’s word is spirit and Life. When we become a Christian, a follower of Jesus, the Bible says we are a NEW creature in Christ Jesus. We’re forgiven, we now have God’s very Spirit living inside of us, but our minds always need renewing. Our mind continually needs to be nourished with God’s truth. God’s word washes away all of the negative thoughts that have kept us bound.  “And now dear brothers and sisters, one final thing, FIX YOUR THOUGHTS on what is True (God’s word), and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. THINK ABOUT things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me–everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the GOD OF PEACE  will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 nlt.
The Lord has put “pastors and teachers” into the body of Christ (Christians) and has given them gifts to teach God’s word. I would encourage you to find a church that teach Jesus Christ as the Son of God and that teaches Faith and Love.  I cannot tell you how when I first became a Christian, how powerful it was for me to “hear” God’s word and be in a church that teaches the truth. You especially want a church that teaches Gods love and that God does NOT put evil on you to teach you a lesson. You want a church that teaches about God’s Grace, Love and Mercy. If you do not know where to start, send me a message and I will be more than happy to help you find a church that offers what I have shared with you today.
Know this: God is NOT mad or angry with you. He is so loving and merciful. The word of God says that it is His love and goodness that leads us to Him. He is with you every hour and every second of the day. You can literally call out to Him and He WILL help you. He is that awesome and so faithful, ready to pour out His Love on you. I know, I met Him over 30 years ago and He has never let me down, ever!

I also encourage you to listen to Pastor Rick’s messages. His newest series “The Great Escape”  is now available to listen for free or download and listen to at any time.  Go to  poncechurch.com


A-Stones-Throw-Away

And there she was, a beautiful woman crouched  down covering her head in fear knowing her death was just a stones-throw-away! Then, all of a sudden, a kind and gentle man approached her and said to the crowd surrounding her, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down and began to write in the sand…when the accusers heard what he had said, they slipped away one by one, then the man stood up and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No Lord,” she said, and Jesus said to her  “Neither do I go and sin no more.” John 8:1-11 (New Living Translation)

After the 2011 Super Bowl began I sat down to check my facebook newsfeed and as I scrolled down I could not believe one of the posts I read regarding Christina Aguilera and her National Anthem performance. It was not so much what was said, but it was “who” said it (a fellow Christian): Filled with judgement and condemnation.  I thought to myself, “Aren’t we Christians?! What kind of example are we setting to those surrounding us? Especially the ones we’re called to win to Christ.”  Then I began to think about Jesus and how gentle and merciful he was (and is) during his life here on this earth before his death and resurrection. He set so many examples for the Christian to follow and yet sometimes, because of our words and our actions, I feel many of us have forgotten who we represent! It seems as though we have allowed ourselves to be tricked into following religion instead of Jesus.  When we as Christians read this story of the woman caught in adultery we say, “Yes, that’s right, we are to show love and be merciful” But then when REAL life presents itself  it seems that many times  we’re left standing with rocks in one hand and a pitch fork in the other.

To the Christian: If you are a true follower of Jesus, check your heart and your motives. Ask yourself this very simple and world renown question: “What would Jesus Do?” Take a close look again at our Saviors life…how did He live and treat others? And then make the necessary adjustments and act accordingly.

To the person who is on the fence regarding Christianity:  I know it may sound strange, but don’t make your decision based on the people around you.  As Christians we are flawed! Jesus said that there is “Treasure in Earthen Vessels” meaning, as people, we are going to make lot’s of mistakes and that your BEST example is Jesus Himself.  He came to forgive and show God’s mercy in action. He was a man with no sin, but yet he became sin for us…he paid a penalty that none of us deserve and why? Because, “God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son, that whoever chooses to believe in Him (Jesus) would not perish, but have life everlasting” John 3:16  He loves and forgives you, and all He asks of you is to believe and love others in return.