Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Peanut butter and backpacks

This past weekend, the congregation participated in a last-minute drive for peanut butter and backpacks that the Haiti team needed to take with them to feed children in that Third World country. The congregation's support blew everyone away. There was so much peanut butter, in fact, that we were able to share the extra jars the Haiti team couldn't accommodate with team leaders heading to Mexico, Guatemala, Ethiopia and El Salvador. The generous donations from Tomoka families — all contributed in one weekend — will now feed children all over the globe! Haiti team leader Kevin Hahn's reaction:

The response was amazing. We got about three times as many backpacks as we needed and four times as much peanut butter needed. The backpacks we are able to take with us. What an amazing God we have! He sure gives abundantly. I’m just amazed how wonderful our church is at responding to a need in such short notice. The children of Haiti will enjoy the peanut butter sandwiches and backpacks beyond what I can tell you.
What a mighty God we serve! Please pray for the Haiti team, which should arrive today on the mission field. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Second Blessing's Expansion

Have you heard about the expansion of A Second Blessing thrift store? We are excited that the store, managed by Cindy Beers, has begun accepting additional donations as well as larger gifts to sell. An average of $2,000 a month is given to Tomoka Christian’s missions account by the store, and now it has the ability to help fund missions to an even greater extent.

What you may not know: Along with this expansion came the addition of a new facility, the Tomoka Training Center. This center has become the place where the church’s Biblical Counselors are trained.

Those interested in learning more about becoming a Biblical Counselor are invited to a session there at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 23. The morning will begin with a DVD presentation and will include time for discussion.

FYI: The new Tomoka Training Center is in Suite 791 of the Tomoka Plaza. While it is inside the thrift store, the Training Center’s entrance is directly behind it. Look for signs.

If you have any questions about the store, including volunteering, you can contact Cindy at 386-677-6317. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bad Chick-Fil-A Experience?!

Perry Noble of NewSpring Church recently re-posted some of his most popular blogs. I encourage you to check out "My Wife Had a Bad Experience at Chick-Fil-A".

Monday, June 4, 2012

GodThoughts LIVE

Check out a recent post from GodThoughts LIVE:

To successfully follow Jesus, there will be times when you must steadfastly refuse to rely on your own understanding (see Proverbs 3:5).  I'm talking about major decision-making here!

Indeed, there will be times that all logic and reason will say one thing...but God will ask you to do another.  Over a lifetime there will, without a doubt, be times when...

Click here to see what God will ask of you that may defy your logic and reasoning.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ninos de Mexico Reflection

The following is an excerpt from a letter from Ruthie Wiggins.  She and her husband Lee are retired and live part-time at Niños.  They both teach in the school and are great surrogate grandparents to our children.

     Let me be honest here, I, Ruthie Wiggins, rather enjoy being productive. Taking time to just reflect, think, pause, read does not come naturally for me. However, recently I took some time just to consider some of the top lessons I have learned being at Niños. Because of the richness of this experience I could go on and on, but here are the top six.

 1. People, especially Niños kids, don't owe me anything. My calling is to just be. Be consistent, love, be a sharer of life and the truth, be a listener, be a helper, and be a participant. Some Niños kids respond to me more than others. When I give expecting thanks I am disappointed every time. The outcome of my efforts is orchestrated by one much greater than me.

 2. I've had it easy in life and often took it for granted. The same two parents my entire life, even on our thinnest week we had enough food on the table to keep us satisfied, examples of Jesus all around me, great schools, and many additional perks at my fingertips. Gratitude comes easier now.

 3. Life is worth living. Overall the kids and staff here are far more "up" than "down" people. Tough times, typical complaints, and discouragement you bet, but still an air of hope reigns here.

 4. Time, promptness, schedules, appointments --- all over rated. Don't get me wrong, I do see the value in the stateside way of doing business. However, my life is richer for having lived in a culture where the needs of people and relationships take priority over specific, rigid time frames. Somehow there is more freedom and less frustration living this way.

 5. God is in the stretching business and when stretched I won't break. Being at Niños has pushed our comfort level to new heights. However, God's faithfulness has risen to the task at every turn.

 6. Jesus Christ does not speak English. The Holy Spirit does not whisper in English. His message of love knows no one language.

Visit the Ninos de Mexico site here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Lord Gives Us...

...the courage of William Wilberforce
...the passion of William Tyndale
...the love of Mother Teresa
...the boldness of Martin Luther

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Challenge for All Men - Perry Noble

Perry Noble, pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina, recently blogged about a sermon from a series of his entitled "All In". Here is an excerpt from that blog:

#3 – If we are walking with God we will constantly be shaped and transformed more and more into the image of Jesus.  Some of the things we shared on Sunday about this…

Single men…Jesus had a job!  He was a carpenter until the age of 30 and then did ministry!  He was not a boy who shaved…He was a man (please see I Corinthians 13:11!)  He didn’t live in Mary’s basement, watch youtube clips with his buddies until 2am, sleep until lunch, go get a cheeseburger from a drive thru, come home and play games and then get on Facebook around 5:00 or so to see which woman He wanted to use and manipulate that evening!

Single guys…Jesus treated women with respect & admiration…He never sought to use them or manipulate them in any way.

(BTW…I wrote an article last week entitled, “EIGHT WRONG REASONS FOR DATING A GIRL” that was written to challenge guys, you can check it out here if you think it may help!)
Married guys…Jesus had a job but He was not a work-a-holic!

Dads…Jesus had time for children (see Matthew 19:13-14) – we MUST have time for ours!         (I wrote more about that here in a post about dating my daughter)

Too many dads today want to give their kids PRESENTS…when they really want our PRESENCE!

Married guys…Jesus hasn’t walked away from His bride (the church), we should NEVER walk away from ours!

Men…Jesus was generous, we should be as well.  People who get closer to Jesus get more generous–period!

#4 – Men, if the Lord convicted and corrected you on Sunday (as He did me) then rejoice in that and move on!  None of us have ever out-sinned the grace of God!  He can STILL USE YOU!  Adam screwed up and He still used him!  In fact, every Bible hero we have (other than Jesus) was a complete screw up and God worked in and through them anyway!  If you are still breathing then it is NOT TO LATE to make right what has been wrong for so long!

To see Perry's blog in its entirety, click here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Resources for Women

God is good! Read the letter below from Michaell Hancock, Executive Director for Resources for Women, the Pregnancy Care Center that Tomoka Christian supports.

Dear Pastor Joe and Tomoka Christian Church,

The number one reason women give for having an abortion is that they feel like having a baby will interfere with school, work, or other responsibilities.

That was the case with Mandi (not her real name), an eighteen-year-old student who recently came in for a pregnancy test. The test was positive. Mandi explained to our Advocate that she felt like abortion was the best thing because she wanted to finish college and start a career. The Advocate listened to her concerns and, with care and kindness, educated her about abortion and encouraged her to take a deeper look at her options. During that conversation, Mandi was surprised to learn that her baby already had a heartbeat.

Because of their time together, Mandi chose life for her baby!

She returned the next day, remarking, "I don't know what I was thinking." Today she is excited about having her baby, whose heartbeat she has seen on our ultrasound.

Thanking you for supporting us. What we do matters!

Totally Trusting Him,

Michaell Hancock

Friday, April 13, 2012

7 Ways to Destroy Your Marriage

Perry Noble recently posted "7 Ways to Destroy Your Marriage" on his blog. Check it out:

#1 – Refuse To Communicate

Talk about the person and not to them because doing so will be awkward…this will assure destruction!  And, the silent treatment is really an amazing weapon when it comes to refusing to communicate, don’t worry about the fact that five year olds do it…just own it!

#2 – Refuse To Listen

Interrupting my spouse during conflict to immediately correct them and then trying my best to make a stronger point always helps tear a relationship to pieces!

For the remaining 5 destructive marriage acts click here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Why I Love Our Student Ministry

  • Bill and Johnell Collins have led our middle school and high school ministry to new levels of spiritual ministry.
  • On average, 375 teens are involved weekly.
  • Our teens lead worship through prayer, drama, preaching, vocals, and instruments.
  • Our teens serve at nursing homes, home makeovers, city missions, a bicycle ministry which restored and gave away 500+ bikes last year, run their own radio ministry (every Saturday at 8:30 p.m. on WAPN 91.5 FM.), and also serve on mission teams around the globe.
  • New teens are readily welcomed into the group by the existing students.
  • 54 teens have been baptized into salvation since January 2011!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why Daddy Is So Important

1. Children will seek love elsewhere if they don't receive Godly, unconditional love from their daddy.

2. Daddy is the primary teacher when it comes to loving Jesus, worship, serving, tithing, praying, and forgiving.

3. Daddy is the example of marriage and ethics.

4. Daddy is a child's hero - they don't expect perfection, but they should have an example set for them.

Deut 6:14

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sudan Mission Trip Report

Below is a report from the Creggar family who visited Southern Sudan at the end of December. Please continue to pray for the people of Sudan and the Creggars' return trip in 2013.

After multiple flights to get to Juba (the capital) we met Riny Tong, the oldest son of the chief and my interpreter for the last 6 years in Egypt.

After a few days and battling airline schedules, we were able to arrive in Wau, Southern Sudan and then get a car to travel the 126 miles to Ayeit. (This took us 6 hours as the roads are very difficult to travel on.)

Ayeit Village rests approximately 30 miles from the Northern Border of Sudan. Southern Sudan is predominantly Christian (with a Catholic influence). The church closest to the village is a Catholic church lead by an Egyptian priest. There were no Bibles anywhere from Turalei to Ayeit.

We brought 25 soccer balls that were inscribed with the plan of salvation, the ten commandments and other scripture which we read to those who spoke English. We also insisted that the younger boys do the same, sharing what the balls said with others in their native Dinka language. We also brought 20 bags of clothing for the men, women and children who had none. Lastly, we brought enough food to feed the community for at least 6 months and left them with enough money to sustain them for another 6 months after that.

After meeting with the chief in the village of Ayeit, he granted us full permission to build a church, school, clinic and do whatever else we felt was necessary in that area. We also met the Commissioner in Turalei who seems very open to “build up” that area. He was very welcoming and did not hinder our travel there with the exception of traveling at night for our safety.

They lack food, shelter, clothing, and worst of all a church or pastor. They are in desperate need of the hope in Jesus Christ and what the Holy Spirit can bring to them each day. This area is consistently threatened by the Nuer tribe of the east (as they continue to steal their cattle and kill anyone who gets in their way) as well as the Muslim regime in the North.

Their agriculture consists of tobacco which they sell to the market for money to buy meat. When we asked them why are they not growing things they could eat and feed their families with, their reply was “Show us how!” They lack the agricultural skills it takes to grow food, even with the river very near for watering.

We plan to return to the village in November of 2013. We are working on plans to build a church (with a pastor already in mind that is in the area!), help with agriculture and bring Bibles!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Who You are in Christ

Let's not forget who we are in Christ.

· Handcrafted (Psalm 139:14)

· Accepted (Romans 15:7)

· Gifted (Ephesians 4:7)

· Valued (Luke 12:7)

· Chosen (1 Peter 2:9)

· Loved (Zephaniah 3:17)

That's who you truly are!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Zboch Family's Newest Member

Below is great news from the Zboch family who are currently in China adopting their new son:

Hello Friends and Family...Ni hao... That's Chinese for Hi; How are you?

We made it to China! Wow! That's one looong flight... over 25 hours with 2 hours of travel by train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou. That's quite a trek but definitely worth it!

Monday was Gotcha Day! What an incredible day! We were so excited to meet Greg after all this time and yet a bit nervous about how he would feel about his new mama and baba (Chinese for papa).

When he entered the room, he looked at me and with a smile said, "Mama!" It was one of the sweetest words I have ever heard. After a brief visit, we left hand in hand with a big smile on all our faces! (The attached picture is of us leaving the Civil Affairs Office.)

Now if a Mama could brag for just a little... Greg is an amazing little boy with a smile that just lights up his whole face! He has a great sense of humor and is quite the comedian! We have laughed so much, and our guide is always translating with a giggle something cute Greg has said. He knows his numbers 1 to 10, letters in English, and quite a few words. His English is coming along much better than his parents' attempts at Chinese! And for such a little guy, he eats a TON... as much as we do! I am going to be one busy, cooking Mama keeping all these boys fed. Thankfully, he seems to like just about everything.

It's incredible the joy and laughter that he has already brought to our lives! Marc said last night that Greg is just full of surprises! This morning as Marc was doing one of his yoga handstand moves (that is quite impressive I must add), Greg got down right beside him and started doing headstands!

Today we headed back to the civil affairs office to adopt Greg. So now it is official - we have a precious new son. Looking back over this past year as we finally stepped out in faith to the call God placed on our hearts, it has been an awesome journey. It has had its share of challenges but mountaintop joys, too. Along the way we have had a sense of peace in our hearts that could only come from God.

Marc and I have been so touched by your encouragement, enthusiasm, support and all your prayers! Thanks be to God for this wonderful blessing in our lives and to you for all the prayers. We can't wait for you to meet our son, Greg Xinguan Zboch!

With love,
Marc and Pam

Monday, March 19, 2012

Seven Facts a Wife Should Consider about Her Husband

Perry Noble has another great blog about marriage and this one is for the women:

#1 – As a wife you should never, I MEAN EVER, underestimate the power of your words in regards to how you speak to your husband. You should be his PRIMARY source of encouragement. The words you speak to him and about him in front of others carry more weight than you could EVER imagine!

To read the remaining six facts from Perry Noble's blog click here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ten Facts a Man Should Consider about His Wife

Men, you need to read this from Perry Noble:

#1 – Before she was your wife she was God’s daughter…and He is VERY concerned about how someone treats His girl!

#2 – Women are responders, so if there is friction/conflict in the relationship she is most likely responding to something that is off center…and it is going to take an actual conversation where you use words to figure out what it is.

#3 – If a man will not lead his family then satan will! (See Genesis 3!)

#4 – One of the biggest questions that a woman is always asking of her husband is, “can I trust you with my heart?” And the answer to this question is not simply declared but rather demonstrated over time.

#5 – Every word you speak has meaning to your wife…and HOW you say those words carry even more meaning.

To read the rest of Perry's blog, click here.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

NPEA: Capital Campaign

Below are recent prayer notes from Derek Olsen, lead church planter at Revive Christian Church in Bismarck/Mandan, North Dakota. Please pray for their needs as well as for Derek as he leads this new church that Tomoka is supporting.

We will praise the Lord at all times! (Psalm 34:1)

1. Prayer teams to blanket the Bismarck/Mandan/and Lincoln areas with prayer.
2. Prayerfully waiting on God to reveal how this church will look and be.
3. Local churched and unchurched people to join us as we build a reproducing church movement here in Bismark.
4. Bootcamp was full of prayer, new friends, information and knowing that God is building His church in some great places.
5. Thankful for Marilyn Olsen, Dan and Mike Hatten for watching our kids while we were in Johnson City, TN.

We love the Lord because He hears and answers our prayers. (Psalm 116:1)

1. We need good leads on a possible part time Children's Ministers. We know that God has one in mind; we pray for Him to reveal this person to us.
2. We have a potential creative arts minister. Pray for God's wisdom and guidance for us and for him and his family.
3. Dan, Amanda's father, is getting his house ready to move back into it. Praying for even more good health.
4. Bringing back God's heartbeat to man's life.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sudan Report

Below is an exciting report from Safaa Fahmi, missionary to Egypt:

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Greetings and love in His loving Name.

I returned yesterday from Sudan, it was a great trip and I can easily see God’s hands dividing the water before us “to make for Himself an everlasting Name”.

The Sudanese students who studied with us in “HIU in Egypt” asked several times to extend our work to reach Sudan, but we could not do that for two reasons. (1) lack of money for plane tickets. (2) Our schedules were tight. For more than a year I was praying for Sudan asking God to open the door … and … He finally did.

The trip to Sudan in Numbers:

* Two weeks of extensive teaching. (Six subjects, 2 counseling, 2 N.T., 2 O.T.)

* No. of students: 48 , 80% of them are ministers and evangelists. 45 men and 3 women.

Next time there will be more than 100 because we will choose a better timing (this time it was in the midst of the midyear exams).

* 10 are studying for the MA level and 38 are studying for the BA level.

* The students represent 7 denominational churches.

* 3 of the students are the presidents of their denominations. We are expecting 5 more presidents of their denominations in the next conference. They already enrolled but they could not come, some because of war in their areas and the rest because different reasons.

* 15 students came from Sudan Church of Christ which is completely different from our churches, they are a blend of the Episcopal and the Presbyterian beliefs and system.

* The Students came from Khartoum in the North, Nubba mountains in the mid-west, Cordovan in the South-west and from Southern Sudan.

(Above - the 3 female students)

* Egypt is about 100 years more advanced than Sudan , although the bed was not comfortable and the rest room and the shower were very primitive and need God’s grace and peace inside for one to be able to use them , yet we enjoyed very much working with them there, they are hungry and thirsty for learning God’s Word.

I send my special thanks and my continuousprayers to the donors who helped in making this trip a success (persons and churches).

The Story of

Gabriel Coko Toto

I was in Sudan this week to start the first Bible College for our Restoration Movement in Sudan. School will be similar to the summer and winter courses in our colleges is the States. The staff will be going to Sudan for two weeks, every five days a professor will teach one course 6 lectures a day from 8am-9pm. This will take place twice a year until they finish their BA or MA degree.

Gabriel is one of our students who came from the Nubba Mountains area. He is a convert from Islam since 1984 and he became an evangelist 1986. In 1989 he was found by the Sudanese authorities, they arrested him accusing him of terrorism. They tortured him for days with electricity shocks, burnt his back and his thighs with very hot iron and hard beat him until bleeding to deny his Christian faith but he refused. They crucified him on a military tank in the burning sun heat of Sudan (110-115F). He was dehydrating but still insisting on his faith so they covered his hands except one finger with plastic bags and put his hands in boiling oil until everything melted, the plastic bags, his flesh and even his bones except the finger which was kept to remind him of all what he went through because of his faith ..…

He was hospitalized for nine months for fear of infection, then he was rescued by the members of his church. He was not afraid after passing through all this to go

back to evangelize and tell people about Christ “if we live we live to the Lord and if we die we die to the Lord…whether we live or die we are the Lord's.”

Gabriel lost nine fingers but he has now nine children. He is 49 and when I asked him about the story of his hands, he laughed and said, "I replaced every finger I lost with a child that will be a soldier in God’s Army."

Pray for him and his nine children. (Above - Gabriel & Safaa)

Every time I go to Sudan or work with Sudanese, and I see their misery and their spiritual and physical hunger comparing to the blessings I am blessed with from God, I feel a big responsibility towards them and I understand the meaning of Paul’s words …"the necessity is laid upon me, yes, woe is me if I don’t preach the Gospel."

May God Bless you all

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cuba 2012

Recently, Tomoka Christian Church sent Rob Rodriguez on an exploratory mission trip to Cuba in order to establish a partnership with a local church in that country. Below is a summary that Rob wrote of his time in Cuba:

On Saturday I flew into Cuba with no trouble from customs and headed to the first home church, Dora E. Valentine Presbyterian Church in Varadero. On Sunday I attended church, which was two hours long in English and Spanish. Pastor Depeche is keeping the church focused on staying on the right path.

Sunday afternoon we visited a Mission church in Guasima. Pastor Delpecho leads worship there on Saturday night. The church has an outreach program of banana plants and an organic garden to raise money and to feed the needy. They also they have baseball outreach for the area kids. They don't own the field, but they cleared the land and placed a bridge over a large ditch that is 20 ft across and 10 ft deep so the kids would be able to access the field.

Sunday night we visited a house church named “All are Welcome” (more like a bible study group) in Bachichi. They meet Tuesdays at 3pm with about 11-15 worshipers. The group is a real fellowship of believers; the women are the “pastors” for the neighborhood helping all those in need.

Also on Sunday night we went to another house church named “Follower of God” (more like a bible study group) they meet every Tuesday night with 12-18 worshipers and they also have a time of prayer and fasting every Saturday morning. This house church is located in El Central, which is named after a closed sugar cane factory that has been shut down; subsequently, the area is very poor.

On Monday morning we drove to a church camp. The camp was built in1960 and has phone service. They are trying to move from just using the facilities for summer camp to year-round use. In order to update the facilities and expand to hold more than 80 campers, they are looking for people to partner with in order to help financially. The cost per child for camp is about $50.

Monday afternoon we visited Santa Clara Church, which has 100 members. This church is financially funded by two churches in the U.S.

Tuesday we drove to Matanzas and had lunch at a seminary where we were staying the night. I spoke with the director of the seminary and he said that the church in Cuba was dying until the 1990s. Unemployment is growing due to cost-cutting measures by the government. Private businesses are growing. Two years ago there were around 70,000 small businesses and now there are about 360,000 and growing.

Tuesday afternoon we visited a church in Sabonulla and I met their lay pastor, Ms. Mercedes, who is 82 years old. She was asked to feed the hungry one Sunday afternoon a month. She answered "No," and she instead chose to feed the hungry every Sunday. She is now feeding 50 people every Sunday as an outreach for her church. The cost is about $30 a week. I made a donation from the Wednesday night offering of $460. This will feed 50 people a week for 14 weeks, or around 700 meals. (Photos are of inside of the church and the kitchen. Notice the stove on which the meals are cooked every Sunday.)

Later that afternoon we visited a Church in Union of Reyes with Pastor Reyea. This church’s worship is accompanied by a 12 year-old girl Rosemary on piano and the drama and dance ministry for kids is led by a 12 year-old named Rebecca. She performed a poetry reading for us. I made a donation of $300 for the youth programs for the worship of God through the arts.

Thursday we visited the Cuban Council of Churches. I was able to meet with the president who said to expect 50% growth in churches in Cuba in the next 2 years. The fastest growing is the charismatic churches.

The Council is translating the Bible onto video for deaf Cubans by using Cuban sign language. While we were there the Vice Consular of PR for the American Consult, Mrs. Nancy Szawlwinski, and her assistant, Mary Gunderson, visited the Council of Churches. We asked and were granted a meeting with them and heard the state department party line on Cuba. I rounded out my trip with a tour of old Havana in a horse drawn carriage and saw the old city.

Summarily, I believe that Tomoka Christian Church should follow up and apply for a license so we can return to Cuba on further mission trips on our own. Additionally, it would behoove us to contact the Florida Counsel of Churches and see if they know of a church or churches with whom Tomoka could form a long term partnership. The fields are ripe and the harvest is ready, but the workers are few.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why I Love Tomoka's Children's Ministry

1. Nearly 500 children a week are hearing God's Word and being shown the love of Jesus.

2. 280 servants work to help our children connect with God.

3. Our children's pastoral staff (Carrie Graham, Paula Anderson, Kathy Tran, Cara Haren, Don Haren) are amazing. Their commitment to our children and their parents is inspiring.

4. 38 children accepted Jesus in 2011.

5. Children bring passion. life, and energy into the Body of Christ.

But Jesus called the children to Him and said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these." -Luke 18:16

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday Church Update

I recently received a report from Pastor Ed on the success of the Tuesday Church service. We are excited to share in the growth and success of this service and encourage you to continue to pray that it will be a great outreach to the community in order to win others to Christ.

Tuesday Church will celebrate its seventh year in the spring of 2012.

· Tuesday is the sixth worship service featuring hymns and familiar choruses.

· Growth has been steady averaging over 100 for the last few years.

· 2011 average attendance was 117 *2012 so far is averaging 130*

· Tuesday lunch is one of the keys for the growth – provides a time of fellowship for our adult worshipers – 80 -90 lunches are served every Tuesday – they look forward to that.

· Recently there have more and more first time guests worship with us on Tuesday

· Several baptisms and new partners have come as a result

· Opportunities for service include the lunch crew, servers and hosts, tech people in the visual/sound booth and of course several talented musicians.

· Our second annual Tuesday Christmas featured several talented people taking part and a record attendance of 375. 260 meals were served that day. Tuesday Christmas in 2010 was the second highest record of 306 and over 200 meals.

· The recent series of messages on Galatians, Job, Philippians and currently Matthew are available on-line or CD.

· The Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5-7 will begin as a series on February 21, 2012

· Featured missions guests at the weekend service often return for Tuesday emphasis.

· Special music is often offered – Tom Shelton from Ohio was our guest for his third concert here last Tuesday.

· Hope Street is a local gospel group that has worshiped with us on Tuesday for the last several years. They are featured once a month for a special and have done two or three concerts for us on Tuesday morning.

· As for the future – Tuesday Church will continue when we move to Hand Avenue. There will be a smaller chapel for us to use.

· God has blessed this ministry and thanks to all those who have not only attended but have stepped up to help serve. We give you thanks.

It has been my pleasure to be your Tuesday Church Pastor for almost seven years.

Pastor Ed

Saturday, February 11, 2012

7 Ways to Make Your Marriage Awesome!

Plan right away to attend our next marriage seminar at Tomoka Christian Church on March 23 & 24. This will be a Friday evening and Saturday morning event. Our seminar leaders are Clint and Penny Bragg, members here at Tomoka who travel the country as marriage missionaries. The date is set so mark your calendars for the good of your marriage and be watching the Email Express and Bulletin for more details..

Here are some motivating marriage tips that Perry Noble, pastor at NewSpring Church in South Carolina, posted on his blog this week:

#1 – Stop Fighting IN IT and Start Fighting For It – as long as you see your spouse as the enemy your home will always be a battlefield, and EVERYONE loses when you fight with each other and not for one another.

#2 – Stop Asking God To Fix Your Spouse And Ask Him To Fix You – no one in any marriage is perfect…and when we stop pointing out all of our spouse's perceived inadequacies it really does make us a much better person to be around. (Psalm 139:23-24 is a GREAT prayer to pray when asking God to show you your very own “opportunities for improvement.”)

#3 – Ask For Help – you are NOT the first married couple that has ever struggled, you WON’T be the last. The problem is that (especially in church) we are so obsessed with what people may say or think that we will allow our relationships to implode. We cannot allow our desire for appearance to distort the reality that we need help!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Family Ministries of Florida

Family Ministries of Florida is located in Seffner (near Tampa) and provides a safe, Christian home environment for children who are unable to live with their parents. Christian couples serve as houseparents and provide a structured and nurturing environment for the children, including family devotion time. To view their website click here.

In December, Barbara Shoner and Richard Hanna took a team to Seffner to Family Ministries Children's Home to bless the children with gifts that members of Tomoka donated. Below are excerpts from thank-you notes that were written by the children and teens in Seffner.

Dear Friends at Tomoka –

My name is Ethan and I am 17 years old, a senior in high school and plan to attend Southeastern University in the fall. Thank you so much for making my Christmas special. I really enjoyed all the gifts…. My favorite was definitely the St. Louis Cardinals stuff. I absolutely love the Cardinals and these things were just incredible. Again, thank you so much for giving me a wonderful Christmas.

Dear Tomoka –

Thank you for the gifts you gave me. I really like the guitar. I wish I could get better at it. Thank you for everything you guys did. I hope you guys had a good Christmas just as special as mine. Have a Happy New Year. God bless you all.

Love, Tina

Dear Tomoka –

I want to say thank you for all the gifts. They were all great, and it’s always fund hanging out with you guys. I hope we have many more parties with you. Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Your friend,


Dear Friends,

Thank you very much for the Christmas party. I had fun playing all the games. I loved all the food and my presents. Tell Santa hello for me.

From Fran

Dear Friends,

Thank you very much for the Christmas party. I had so much fun playing games and seeing Santa. I loved my clothes! I am wearing them today.



Dear Tomoka,

It is me Ricky. I wanted to thank you for coming and having the party for us. It was a blast! I really enjoyed the gift and piñata. I can’t wait until you come back next year if you do.

P.S. You should really come back next year.



Dear Tomoka –

Hi it’s Amanda. I just wanted to say thank you so much for the Christmas presents. I really appreciate everything that you guys did for us. The lunch was awesome!!



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Resources for Women

Resources for Women is a Christian Pregnancy Care Center with whom Tomoka Christian partners. Located in Daytona Beach, they continue to be a valuable asset to our community in offering pregnancy and abortion education and counseling. Below are excerpts of a letter from their Executive Director, Michaell Hancock:

In 2011, Resources for Women had over 1400 appointments with young women. We administered more than 300 pregnancy tests, over 100 ultrasounds, conducted over 800 parenting education and Bible Study classes, and provided more than 11,000 baby and maternity items for our clients.

However, Resources for Women also saw countless tears, immeasurable brokenness, indescribable fear, and overwhelming confusion and pain. In a far greater measure, however, clients witnessed His grace, love, hope, and provision for these women, their babies, and their families.

In every opportunity we offered truth, love, and the resources to encourage them to find God's plan. Truth and love are the most powerful weapons we have to stand against the evils of abortion in our community.

Thank you for partnering with us as we partner with Him.

To find out more about this ministry or to volunteer to help, please visit their website at www.achoice4women.org.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

El Salvador Mission Trip Report

Our El Salvador mission team saw great success in growing Christ's kingdom on their trip last month.

They performed a Christmas Nativity skit at VBS in El Zonte, gave away children's Bibles, and then headed to Remar Orphanage where they loved on 80 children who have no family. The team spent that day playing games and doing basic chores at the orphanage.

Next they made stockings that they stuffed with toiletries and jewelry and handed them out at the San Diego Church where they performed worship music and handed out more children's Bibles. As a result, Francisco, the little boy pictured, asked Jesus into his heart!

During the remainder of the trip, they put up a Christmas tree at the orphanage, led the children in making ornaments, led the children in more VBS and worship and praise time, and spent time in prayer with the pastor of the church.

Please continue to pray for Pastor Orland and the congregation and community of San Diego Church. Their future plans include a school for their community as he continues to feed many on very limited resources.

Additionally, please pray for the wonderful children of the Remar Orphanage, that they continue to feel God's love and presence and all come to know Him as well as are welcomed into loving families.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Food Pantry 4th Quarter Update

We had another generous and successful quarter in our Food Pantry mission to wrap up 2011. The number of food pantry patrons continues to grow and because of your donations and our wonderful volunteers, low income families continue to receive a food supplement twice monthly. To learn how to qualify to receive assistance from the Food Pantry, click here.

We served 687 households this quarter, up from 609 in the third quarter. Additionally, we served 203 more people this quarter than last.

As for our Thanksgiving baskets, we were blessed to have enough funds for 330 baskets, but ended up distributing 270. The remaining food was returned to the pantry shelves to be distributed as needed at a later date.

The Food Pantry is always accepting donations and is currently in need of any type of cereal, peanut butter, and jelly.