| January, 2017

FLICKS: Fences & Moonlight

Posted on 19 January 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Denzel Washington has entered the Hollywood legendary status decades ago, joining generational acting legends like Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier. Fences marks Washington’s third directorial motion picture, which is based on August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony award-winning Broadway play. Having won a Golden Globe award (for Viola Davis), Fences is poised to receive multiple Oscar nominations.

Sanitation custodian Troy Maxson (Washington) returns home on payday and dutifully gives his check to his loving wife, Rose (Davis). After finishing a bottle of gin with his sidekick and discussing his glory days as a baseball player, Troy and Rose bring up their domestic woes.

Much like those controversial award-winning plays from the 1950s (Death of a Salesman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) that became award-winning motion pictures, Fences features terse dialogue creating fantastic performances. Much like the performances given by Marlon Brando’s Stanley Kowalski and Elizabeth Taylor’s Maggie the Cat, Washington and Davis sink their teeth in their roles with conviction.

At 139 minutes, Fences is a long movie to sit through. Set in a Pittsburgh townhouse, watching the Maxson family air their dirty laundry gets long in the tooth. After witnessing much arguing and bickering, one wishes the Maxson family would move away.

Among multiple awards, Moonlight took home the Golden Globe award for best picture. Whereas Fences was a static story, Moonlight clocks in under two hours and feels more epic. Set in a crime neighborhood in Miami, Moonlight presents the right of passage for little Chiron Black and covers the span of time from 1979 to the present day.

Told in three parts, we meet “Little,” a bullied boy whose Mom (Naomie Harris from Pirates of the Caribbean and James Bond franchises) is a drug addict. Seemingly pulled out of a bad situation by a mentor, little Chiron witnesses a tragedy that colors the rest of his life. In Part two, titled “Chiron,” we see the teenager confront his own feelings that leads to explosive actions. “Black” is the final story which presents the protagonist coming to grips with his current situation as a young man of the streets.

With echoes of Boyhood, Breaking Bad and Brokeback Mountain, Moonlight is truly an original story that presents a culture we see on the street. For its originality with surprising plot twists, Moonlight deserves award consideration.

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CRIME WATCH

Posted on 19 January 2017 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

Jan. 3: A woman reported that someone broke into her car parked at 1140 E. Hillsboro Blvd. and stole a purse.

Jan. 3: Two bicycles and a barbecue grill were stolen from a storage unit at 1086 S. Military Tr.

Jan. 4: A man reported his bicycle stolen from 1000 E. Hillsboro Blvd.

Jan. 5: A FedEx package was stolen from a home at 1261 NW 48 Ct.

Jan. 9: A car parked at 759 NE 42 St. was broken into and two purses were stolen. The total value of the content of the purses was $2,160.

Lighthouse Point

Dec. 18: A wallet containing credit cards, checkbook and gift card was taken while the victim was shopping at 3772 N. Federal Hwy. The victim believed that three female subjects who were shopping in the same aisles might be responsible.

Dec. 19: Someone entered an apartment at 4741 NE 21 St. and stole a purse containing keys to a rental vehicle, driver’s license, credit cards and prescription medicine. The loss was $84.

Dec. 20: Someone stole a Ford F-350 tailgate, two mirrors and a front grill from a vehicle that was parked at 2831 NE 21 Ave. The loss was $1,700.

 

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HAPPENINGS

Posted on 19 January 2017 by LeslieM

Bed and Breakfast Weekend

Friday, Jan. 20, 3 p.m. to Sunday, Jan. 22, 1 p.m.

Quiet Waters Park

401 S. Powerline Rd.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

Hayride on Friday night, movie on Saturday night and continental breakfast, followed by a guided nature walk on Sunday morning. Each campsite features a 10 x 10 ft. platform tent fully set up, fire ring, BBQ grill, picnic table, water, electricity, access to showers/restrooms. Campers are on their own for dinner both nights. Pre-registration/payment required. $80 per campsite for up to 4 campers/$5 per additional camper (limit 2.) One adult camper age 18 + must be included at each campsite. For further information, call 954-357-5100.

Movies on the Lawn — Secret Life of Pets

Friday, Jan. 20, 7 p.m.

Great Lawn

Intersection of Atlantic Blvd./Pompano Beach Blvd.

Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Family-friendly event. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnics. For more information, call 954-786-4111 or visit www.pompanobeachfl.gov.

Nautical Flea Market

Saturday, Jan. 21, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 22, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Community Park

1801 NE 6 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Over 200 vendors will be selling new and used gear at great prices. Find boating equipment, fishing gear, nautical antiques and artwork, scuba gear, beach attire, boat shoes, jewelry, motors, anchors, tackle, hard to find parts and manufacturer close-outs. Local dealers and private sellers will be on-site ready to make a deal on new and used boats, motors, trailers and jet-skis. Listen to live music, enjoy lunch and beverage. Bring the kids too. Adults-$5/Children under 12, free. For more information, email info@nauticalfleamarket.com or call 954-946-6419.

Presidents speak

Saturday, Jan. 21, 2 to 4 p.m.

Deerfield Beach Percy White Library

837 E. Hillsboro Blvd.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Presidents and Their First Ladies, Dramatically Speaking,” presents John And Abagail Adams. See these reenactors bring history to life. Also see new display, “Presidents in Miniature” presented by Les Petits Collecteurs of South Florida. These miniature settings of U.S. presidents were created by the club artisans and hobbyists who live in Deerfield and surrounding communities. For more information, call the reference desk at 954-357-7680.

5K Kiwanis/Key Club Walk/Run

Sunday, Jan. 22, Registration-6:30 a.m.

Walk/Run-7:30 a.m.

Countess de Hoernle Park

100 Spanish River Blvd.

Boca Raton, FL 33431

Hosted by Boca Raton Kiwanis

Don King, Honorary Chair. Funds benefit homeless and foster care students. To register or donate, visit www.bocaratonkiwanis.com.

Wings of Freedom

Monday, Jan. 23 to Thursday, Jan. 26

Pompano Beach Airpark, Sheltair

1401 NE 10 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Come see historic planes from WWII. Explore the inside of a plane or even take a flight on a B-17 or B-24. Everything has a separate price. For reservations and information on flight experiences, call 800-568-8924 or visit www.collingsfoundation.org.

Love is in the Air”

Fashion Show Luncheon

Wednesday, Jan. 25, 11:30 a.m.

Lighthouse Point Yacht & Racquet Club

2701 NE 42 St.

Lighthouse Point, FL 33064

Enjoy lunch, fashion show hosted by Sondro’s at the Cove, entertainment and door prizes to benefit NE Focal Point Alzheimer’s, children, senior & adult services. Tickets: $60 in advance. Call 954-480-4460 or email rwilliams@deerfield-beach.com.

Save the Date: Aunt Mary’s Annual Attic Sale

Saturday, Jan. 28, 8 a.m. to 2pm

St. Paul the Apostle Church, Parish Hall

2700 NE 36 St.

Lighthouse Point, Florida 33064

Household items, furniture, clothes, jewelry, small appliances and more. All items “second time around.” Refreshments available for purchase. For more information, call 954-943-9154.

Unity in the Community

Saturday, Jan. 28, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Community Park

2001 NE 10 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Come and visit exhibit for St. Peter’s Anglican Church at this family fun day.

Pirate Day

Saturday, Jan. 28, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pompano Citi Centre

1955 N. Federal Hwy,

Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Climb aboard a “real pirate ship,” located near Sears. Meet and greet with Captain Jack and The Little Mermaid, Ariel. Children of all ages are encouraged to come dressed in their best pirate or mermaid themed costumes for a day of activities that will include arts & crafts, music and face painting. Search through buried treasure at the Pompano Citi Centre table and you might find gold. Ride the carousel during this event for only $1. For more information, visit www.pompanociticentre.com.

Seeking vendors for Pet Expo

Saturday, Feb. 18, noon to 4 p.m.

Pompano Citi Centre

1955 N. Federal Hwy.

Pompano Beach, FL 33062

The annual free event will feature a Pet Costume Contest, Q&A session with Banfield Pet Hospital staff, Puppy Kissing Booth. Sponsored by 99.9 FM Kiss Country. Music and Carousel rides. Leashed pets welcome. Vendors or charities interested in participating may call 954-691-4888 for information on how to participate. Applications for rescues or vendors can be found at www.pompanociticentre.com/sales-events/.

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CLERGY CORNER: Forgiveness is not a safe topic …If you are preaching it correctly”

Posted on 19 January 2017 by LeslieM

It was a regular Sunday, like any other Sunday. The Scripture text assigned for the day included the words below:

So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.” – Matthew 5:23-24 NRSV

I thought, “This is a good time to preach on forgiveness.” Now, I have preached many sermons on forgiveness. In fact, I would go so far to say that you really cannot proclaim the Gospel if you don’t bring up the topic of forgiveness.

And, besides, I thought, “Forgiveness is a safe topic.” Yes, I wasn’t in the mood to preach a controversial sermon that would stir up or even divide the congregation.

It was going nice and smooth. I brought up God’s love, our sinful nature, our need to be forgiven and the ultimate price God was willing to pay for us on the cross. It was nice and safe. People were smiling pleasantly and nodding their heads and I thought everything was going well.

And, then, I decided to apply this to our lives. Therefore, if you are estranged with someone you love or another member of the congregation, I want you to go home, call them up, and tell them that you forgive them.

The mood changed quickly. Smiles started to leave faces. I even saw a frown or two. People were squirming in their pews. I knew that I may have gone a step too far.

And then, when people were departing from the service, one person decided to linger behind. It was one of the frowners. She proceeded to tell me that she was wronged by another person whom she loved. Now, I am not talking about victimization, but it was more of the nature that words were said that hurt her feelings. I understand that feelings can get hurt; and, when they do, it isn’t pleasant.

But this person was very upset with me; because, in her words, her anger was “none of my business” and “how dare you” was used to question my message.

For years she has been nursing this grudge and now I challenged her to forgive the person who hurt her feelings. I was now the bad guy. It would have been good if I would have stopped my sermon at the cross of Christ and then proceeded with a pleasant hymn. But I had to throw in that pesky “however” and I discovered that, indeed, forgiveness is not a safe topic for some people.

When I challenged the congregation, I received the counter-challenge. When this occurs, it is easy to pull back and retreat. Lesson learned; don’t include the “however.” Keep it safe. Talk about forgiveness in generalities; but, do not, under any circumstances, make it specific or personal. Forgiveness is a safe topic when you talk about it in generalities, but not specifics. But when you get specific, it gets personal. People squirm, get angry, and even confront you.

But, wait, have I not been called to proclaim the Gospel? Have I not been called to distribute the sacraments which, at their core, are a means of grace? As a Lutheran, I include the confession and forgiveness in my service. None of my business? Forgiveness is my business.

I thought about the fact that I could have ended with the proclamation of God’s forgiveness, but this proclamation is not an ending; it is a new beginning.

And, as far as “keeping it safe,” we were never promised a safe journey. In fact, if anything, we were assured that living we find ourselves in danger every time we live out our faith. Safety was never promised. Forgiveness, on the other hand, is the promise.

Considering all of the obstacles we face within our places of worship that are related to the lack of forgiveness and forgiving, I double down on this message. I proclaim forgiveness and do it; if people squirm — good riddance. It is high time that we embrace the pastoral courage to leave the safety zone and challenge our people to forgive. I look back at that Sunday with no regrets. My only regret is that I didn’t learn this lesson sooner.

Pastor Gross is a pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, located at 959 SE 6 Ave., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, call 954-421-3146 or visit www.zion-lutheran.org.

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Biondo’s Pizza Plus: The Plus means more variety

Posted on 12 January 2017 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

For five decades, Joe Biondo has been creating his pizza creations. In 2015, he moved from his location in The Cove Shopping Center, where he had been for five years, and moved to his current location in the Deerfield Square Shopping Center (606 S. Federal Hwy.) He credits the move as his best decision yet, citing his increased visibility and easy access to parking as the reason for his increase in customers.

As his business has grown, he has also expanded his menu, and that is where the Pizza Plus comes in, including deli different sandwiches – reubens, pastrami and more; wings; burgers; chicken fingers, calzones; strombolis and salads.

Our Philly Cheese Steak is filled with 12 oz. of meat and cheese,” said Biondo, who added, “Nobody uses Italian cold cuts like we do. We use Black Angus beef. We make our own pizza dough, sauce, everything is homemade and hands-on.”

They have plenty of sides to add, such as French fries, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, garlic knots, meatballs and Italian sausage.

Their pizza remains a staple. It comes in various sizes, including a 10 in. personal pizza, a 12 in. and a 17 in. All the pizzas come with grande cheese.

The regular pizza is called Napoleton, which in Florida is called New York style. We also have double dough, which is like a pan pizza – thick, and our Sicilian is a tomato pie, with lots of herbs and Romano and Mozzarella cheeses, virgin olive oil and fresh basil,” he said, adding, “We have gourmet pizzas, including chicken pesto, Florentine, Hawaiian Chicken and pineapple and white pizza (with Ricotta, Romano and Mozzarella) and Margarita (with fresh tomato and fresh basil). Our signature pizza is the Biondo Supreme.”

The secret ingredient is tradition. He uses his family’s longtime recipes. They hail from Cinisi, Sicily. Today, the business is run not only by Joe, but also his wife, Janet, and her son, David.

In addition to a wide variety of Italian specialties, they also have beer and wines available, including some selections from Italy, as well as soda.

Don’t forget dessert! They have cannolis, NY Style Cheesecake and zeppolis.

Biondo’s has always been known as a take-out and delivery locale, but they are really hoping people sit within their seating area, get away from the grind for awhile and enjoy. They even have a flat-screen TV to watch. Their prices are so affordable it makes it easy to feed the whole family.

They deliver within a 3-mile radius ($10 min. delivery). For more information, call 954-427-7754 or visit www.Biondo’s pizza.com.

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FLICKS: A Monster Calls, Manchester by the Sea & For a Few Dollars More

Posted on 12 January 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

After hearing the tragic news from the Ft. Lauder-dale Hollywood International Airport, I went to see a movie whose primary theme featured the terror of grief, A Monster Calls. Based on an award-winning young adult novel written by Patrick Ness (from an idea by Siobhan Dowd), A Monster Calls has received a low box-office return. However, given the vast visualization and emotional wallop, you should see it on the big screen for genuine popcorn-eating fun and entertainment.

12-year-old Connor (Lewis McDougall) wakes up each morning at 12:07 a.m. with a reoccurring nightmare, that he cannot rescue his mother (Felicity Jones – Rogue One) from a pit. His mother is battling cancer and Connor channels his fears into his art. Inspired by his mother’s love of the original King Kong, Connor envisions his own monster (voiced by Liam Neeson), who forces him to listen to three stories. Upon completion of the three stories, the monster demands that Connor tell him his own story and it must be the truth.

Directed by J.A. Boyona, this film is filled with allegory enhanced by quality special effects. However, it is the human exchanges between his grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) and principal (Geraldine Chaplin) that pack the most emotional wallop for the protagonist, Connor. I wished I saw A Monster Calls a week ago. It would have made my Top 10 list.

Written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea also focuses on grief. Last Sunday night, Casey Affleck took home a Golden Globe for his performance as Lee Chandler, a tortured man who loses a brother (Kyle Chandler) and is given custody of his nephew, Patrick (Lucas Hedges).

Unlike the tortured Connor from A Monster Calls, Patrick is a callow high-school student who is both popular and a two-timing ladies’ man. Given the horrible history with his ex-wife Randi (Michelle Williams), Lee does not have the emotional strength to mentor his nephew.

Minus monsters and special effects, Manchester by the Sea is pure and painful realism, with moments of humor and beautiful New England cinematography. This film is a roller coaster ride. A funny scene involving slapstick and a refrigerator freezer becomes an emotional breakdown for one of the characters that is painful to watch. However, this scene provides much character revelation and alters the family dynamic for the rest of the film.

While both films deal with subjects that we would like to avoid, both Manchester by the Sea and A Monster Calls are fine dramas for a matinee afternoon price.

For more escapist entertainment, Silverspot Cinemas in Coconut Creek will screen the second Clint Eastwood/Sergio Leone spaghetti western, For a Few Dollars More, on Monday evening. Before the 7 p.m. screening, a spaghetti dinner with a glass of wine and tiramisu will be served, along with some popcorn [for $23]. Details: www.silverspot.net.

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CRIME WATCH

Posted on 12 January 2017 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

Dec. 27: Two women were involved in a verbal argument at 551 NW 42 Ct. One woman went into the other woman’s bedroom with an aluminum bat and struck the woman on the back of the head. She was arrested and charged with aggravated battery.

Dec. 31: A woman was at a party at 2550 SW 14 Ct. She returned to her vehicle and saw that someone smashed her rear passenger window and stole a Louis Vuitton purse valued at $1,500.

Dec. 31: A woman reported being the victim of a battery by her manager at a workplace at 2400 Century Blvd.

Dec. 31: A burglary to a U-Haul was reported at 100 Fairway Dr. where $3,500 worth of electronics was stolen.

Dec. 31: A man reported that his iPhone was stolen while he was at the beach at 200 N. Ocean Blvd..

Lighthouse Point

Dec. 14: The victim who resides at 4431 NE 24 Ave. said a tag was either lost or stolen off a vehicle. The victim discovered it was missing upon returning home.

Dec. 16: The store manager said a subject stole fried chicken and beer valued at $13.28. He was apprehended outside the store at 2450 N. Federal Hwy.

Dec. 18: A wallet containing credit cards, checkbook, and gift card was taken while the victim was shopping at 3772 N. Federal Hwy. The victim believed that three female subjects who were shopping in the same aisles might be responsible.

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HAPPENINGS

Posted on 12 January 2017 by LeslieM

Friends of the DB Arboretum meet

Thursday, Jan. 12, 7 p.m.

The Deerfield Beach Arboretum

Constitution Park

2841 W. Hillsboro Blvd.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

Free and open to public. Speaker: John Webster, member of the American hibiscus society and authority on the many species of hibiscus shrubs. Light refreshments served and plant giveaways. For more information, call 954-480-4495 or visit www.treezoo.com.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

Saturday, Jan. 14, 9 a.m. to noon

Central City Campus, Building A

401 SW 4 St.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

For safe disposal of hazardous household items, Deerfield Beach Residents may bring materials to the city’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day. Free, Deerfield Beach residents only. Collection takes place the second Saturday of every month 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, call 954-480-4391 or visit www.deerfield-beach.com.

Broward Shell Show

Saturday, Jan. 14, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Emma Lou Olson Civic Center

1801 NE 6 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Thousands of beautiful & unusual shells from around the world on display and for sale. Free. For more information, visit www.Browardshellclub.org.

Martin Luther King Jr. Brunch

Saturday, Jan. 14, 10 a.m.

Oveta McKeithen Recreational Complex

445 SW 2 St.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Sponsored by Deerfield Beach Kiwanis Club West. Keynote Speaker: Josephus Eggelleton Jr., Fmr. Broward County Commissioner. Moderator: Gwyndolen Clarke – Reed , Fmr. State Representative. Tickets $25. RSVP: Tracey Williams at 954-798-7526 or Velemina Williams at 954 -428- 1637.

30th Annual Boca Fest

Saturday, Jan. 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday, Jan.15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Town Center Mall

6000 Glades Rd.

Boca Raton, FL 33431

Howard Alan Events is excited to announce that Boca Fest will return to The Town Center Mall at Boca Raton. The show will be located in the parking lot of The Terrace, a recent expansion near Bloomingdales, The Blue Martini and Gap. The show includes over 200 national artists. Free. Pets allowed (with leashes).

2017 Cool Wheels Car Show

Sunday, Jan. 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Quiet Waters Park (Shelter #10)

401 S. Powerline Rd.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

See a variety of souped-up cars, new and old. Listen to music from DJ Eugene, Rockin’ Rich and Scott the Music Man. Live performance by Across the Universe, the ultimate Beatles tribute. SWAT demonstrations by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, a silent auction and raffle prizes. Local food trucks will be there. Benefits the Youth Automotive Training Center. Free admission but Quiet Waters Park charges $1.50 per person for gate entry. For more information, visit www.yatc.org.

DB Chapter of Hadassah meets

Monday, Jan. 16, noon

Century Village

Le Club Activity Center Rm. C

3501 West Dr.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

Speaker, Ira Zornberg will discuss his book Jews, Quakers And The Holocaust. Refreshments served. Guests and chapter members from up north welcome. For more information, call 954-427-9902 after 6 p.m.

Safe Boating Course

Tuesday, Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m.

Pompano Beach Sail & Power Squadron

3701 NE 18 Terr.

Pompano Beach, FL 33064

Learn Basics of navigation, docking, emergency situations, water sport safety and local laws. Cost: $50 for Broward residents/$85 all others (includes textbook.) For more information or to register, visit www.pompanosafeboating.com.

DBICA Meeting

Thursday, Jan. 19, 6:30 p.m.

Community Presbyterian Church

Briggs Hall

1920 SE 5 St.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

First meeting of the year. For more information, visit www.DBICA.com.

Worth the Drive: 4th Annual Delray Beach Fashion Week

Wednesday, Jan. 25 to Sunday, Jan. 29

Local designers and diverse fashions will take center stage at the fashion runway events, designer showcase, fashion luncheon, Stiletto Race and, for the first time, a Fashion Week Boutique Pop Up Shopping Event. Created by the Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority and the Downtown businesses. The events will take place throughout Downtown Delray Beach and many are free to the public. Runway seats are ticketed. Ticket proceeds benefit Delray Beach Achievement Centers for Children & Families. For more information, visit www.downtowndelraybeach.com/events/delray-beach-fashion-week-2017.

Exchange Club 150 Charity Dinner

The Exchange Club of Pompano Beach will host their annual 150 Charity Auction and Drawdown Dinner at the Lighthouse Point Yacht Club on Saturday, Jan. 14 from 6 to 11 p.m. This year’s theme is Caribbean Soiree, chosen by club president David Vivies, whose heritage comes from the island of Martinique. There will be a steel drum band at the cocktail hour, a live band and entertainment during dinner, and the excitement of the 150 Drawdown to win cash and prizes. In addition, there will be a silent auction, 50/50 and wine wagon raffles, and a live auction with trips to Caribbean islands, a dinner cruise, private plane flight with a destination lunch, fishing charter, and mountain vacation home. This is the Exchange Club’s premier fundraiser to support student scholarships, child abuse prevention, local service projects and charities, such as the Broward Children’s Center, the Children’s Hearing Institute, Dynamos, Woodhouse, Honor Flight and the DAV. Tickets for the event are $150 and dinner only tickets are $100. Attendance is expected to beabout 200 people and the attire is Caribbean formal. Contact David Vivies at davidvivies@gmail.com for tickets or more info.

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CLERGY CORNER: My Top Ten of 2016

Posted on 12 January 2017 by LeslieM

On the evening of Oct. 21, 2009, the flight crew of Northwest Flight 188 accidentally lost radio contact with air traffic control and flew approximately 150 miles past their destination of Minneapolis, Minnesota (MSP). Unfortunately for the pilots, besides losing their flight credentials, David Letterman, in response as to how this could happen, released the Top Ten Northwest Airlines pilot excuses. Having piloted under the Northwest colors myself, it pains me to admit that number seven —“Tired of that show-off Sullenberger getting all the attention”— gave me a chuckle.

It just so happens that Sullenberger, aka Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, also graced my list of the Top Ten resources in 2016 That Made Me a Better Person.

10. (Movie) God’s Not Dead 2. As a staff member with First Priority of South Florida, a non –profit organization operating under the Equal Access Act which “gives students the right to initiate and lead a Christian club on campus,” this movie reminded me that with nearly half a million students in the public middle and high schools of Southeast Florida — with statistics indicating that over 90 percent of these teens do not know Christ—one of the greatest mission fields is right in my own backyard.

9. (Podcast) Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell. This series challenged me to think differently about the past, and while I may not always agree with everything Gladwell has to say, I’m reminded that empathy begins when I leave the island of self.

8. (Podcast) The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast. One particular episode stirred me to consider that if EQUIP, our student ministry, disappeared, would it matter? Would anyone miss it? I was forced to reevaluate the culture I was creating and enact a strategy to ensure it was a culture of continual improvement through a clear mission and vision. This podcast required me to defend why EQUIP exists.

7. (Movie) Sully. I’m moved to tears when the bustle of New York City drops everything to rescue the 155 passengers and crew of US Air flight 1549 when the plane lands in the Hudson River. This movie reminds me that there is much good in this world, and, as the old cliché states, “Not all heroes wear capes.” Sometimes they just ride ferry boats to work.

6. (Book) From the Pen to the Palace: A Youth Ministry Evangelism and Discipleship Dtrategy for a Post-Christian Culture by Benjamin Kerns. Benjamin introduced me to a world where the prodigal son never returns. It’s a context I have to understand if I’m ever to reach a generation that’s always lived in the “pen” and has never experienced the “palace.”

5. (Book) Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull. The title says it all and it’s my favorite book about how teams should operate.

4. (Movie) I’m Not Ashamed. This true story crafted from the journals of Rachel Scott, who was killed for her faith during the 1999 Columbine shooting, reminds me why it’s important to live boldly for Christ.

3. (Podcast) The Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast. Pastor Craig helped me to understand the importance of being a leader that communicates effectively. He also taught me how to embrace change and to accept nothing less than my God-given leadership capacity.

2. (Book) Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You by John Ortberg. There is a reason Pastor Doug Sauder recommended this book to his entire staff, and why it’s my No. 2. This book helped me understand exactly what my soul is and how I can administer the proper “soul-care.”

1. (App) The YouVersion Bible App. Truthfully I could just say The Holy Bible — it is all we need. But what I love about the YouVersion Bible App are the reading plans that span every topic and situation imaginable. With this app you’ll never have to say, “I don’t know where to start.” It also includes multiple languages, translations and even audible versions. A truly transformative 2017 begins here in God’s Word.

C.J. Wetzler is the NextGen pastor at First Baptist Church of Deerfield Beach. Before transitioning into full-time ministry, CJ was a commercial airline captain and high school leadership and science teacher. For questions or comments he can be reached at cj@deerfieldfirst.com.

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Laura Duksta Envisioning success

Posted on 09 January 2017 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

With 2017 upon us, many are ready to declare their intentions for the new year. But announcing your goals and making them happen are two different things. There are so many ways to set goals and make good things happen in your life. Many have watched the popular film The Secret (or read the book) and learned about the Law of Attraction but were left feeling that a step was missing. Why did they spend time visualizing but nothing came to fruition? Those who really study these types of self-help practices know that to really transform themselves they can’t just think about things to make them happen, they have to take action. But a first step is not only thinking about something, but also putting it on paper, or creating a “vision board.”

Author Laura Duksta knows all about creating something from nothing and utilizing a vision board to focus her intentions. Today, she is the best-selling author of three books, has traveled around the country promoting her book and travels back and forth between Ft. Lauderdale and Nashville.

But she didn’t always have this life. At age 11, she lost all her hair to Alopecia Areata, which caused her to wear a wig, hiding herself from the world. She withdrew and thought she would never be able to do the things she wanted in life. It wasn’t until her 30th birthday when she decided to give up the wigs and come out as “the bald chick,” a hip moniker that would help in her new life.

Her first book came about when she was praying for her sister, but something told her to pray for her nephew instead. From that experience came the idea for her first book, I Love Your More, an illustrated flip book for kids that focuses on the relationship between mother and son. She self-published it. At the time, she was a bartender in South Beach so becoming an author certainly was a departure and the first step on her journey to finding herself and spreading the message of love around the world, something she had in her heart deep inside when she was a young girl.

One of the manifestations from her vision board had to do with a number — 11 million, which she had put on her board as an intention of how many lives she hopes to touch, how many books would be eventually out in the world. When she switched her publishing to Sourcebooks, at the first meeting, the owner, to the surprise of everyone in the room, said that the vision for the book was 11 million copies sold, a number for which seemed way too large for a first-time writer. But, to Duksta, the number was no surprise; after all, she had it on her vision board.

I love vision boards, because I am a visual person. I have become a big fan of visioning,” she said, adding, “The power of a vision board is connecting your goals and dreams to what it actually looks like in life. One of the key ingredients to achieving your goals and dreams is being able to see it as already so — feel and believe it in your mind and heart, to the point that it draws a tear of inspiration when possible.”

What is a vision board? Usually, it is a poster board with cutout images and words from a magazine or newspaper that you hope to manifest.

Duksta said, “Put that photo-shopped picture of you accepting that Oscar on your vision board, and take five to 10 minutes every day to imagine yourself accepting your Oscar and reciting your speech. What does it feel, sound, look, taste and smell like? Making this real is why Einstein said ‘Imagination is more powerful than knowledge.’

Our mind cannot discern between reality and virtual reality; so placing ourselves into the scenes of our life we wish to manifest puts the Universal Laws of Attraction, Appreciation and Vibration into motion and we draw to ourselves what we think, and thank, about, and resonate with.”

Duksta went on to write two other books: You are a Gift to the World and now I’ll Hug You More. She goes around the country doing book talks and motivational speeches, especially for children.

For more information on this dynamic and inspirational author, visit www.lauraduksta.com.

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