| November, 2017

After signings, Pompano players set on season

Posted on 30 November 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

After putting “pen to paper” five Pompano Beach High School seniors are hoping to make even more history.

Five baseball players from the school recently became the first early signees from the school to ink national letters-of-intent with Division 1 college programs.

Trevor Kniskern, who was named the Dairy Farmers Player of the Year in Class 5A, led the way signing with Pepperdine, while Dillon Abell (University of New Orleans), Chris Ajello (Asbury College), Chase Costello (Louisiana State University) and Mike Schuler (Florida Atlantic University) also signed to play at the next level during national early signing day in the school’s auditorium earlier this month.

The fab five from Pompano Beach have been setting records and making history since they arrived and hope to bring a state championship back to the school this season. The team came up a run short against Jacksonville Bolles in the Class 5A state semifinal game.

This is crazy,” said Kniskern, who helped Pompano Beach win their first ever regional final and reach the state’s final four. “I have been looking forward to this day my whole life. Ever since I started to play baseball, I always thought I have to make it to college and it is finally here. It is definitely a weight off your shoulders.

I am banking on going to school,” said the 17-year-old from Lighthouse Point. “I don’t think my draft stock is that high, but we will see in three years. It should be up there.”

Kniskern said he has learned a lot of communication skills with the team and said, “When I was talking to all of the different coaches for colleges, I got to work on my speaking abilities. I’ve learned a lot.”

Being exposed to a lot of tight situations on the mound, where he is the team’s ace, has helped in close ballgames. He finished 11-1 last season on the hill for the Tornadoes.

I have been able to channel my nervousness to do well on the field,” Kniskern said. “Last year, we fell short and we are going to use that as motivation to keep it going and stay focused on the goal and that is to win a state championship, and win the first ever one for Pompano Beach High School. I am very proud of this group of guys. we have been making history together and it is really exciting to be doing all of this with them.”

These are the most we’ve had up on this stage at one time on this day,” said Pompano Beach Athletic Director Jason Frey, as he addressed friends, family, peers and others during the 40-minute ceremony. He noted that the players on stage also excel in the classroom with a 3.75 combined cumulative GPA.

Pompano Beach’s Costello, 17, said he hardly slept the night before signing day. Ironic, since he said he’s dreamed of the moment ever since he started playing.

I was very anxious for this day to come,” Costello said. “Today was just amazing. It just came up so quick. I loved it. I loved every minute of it.”

Ajello joked of his recruiting trip to the Christian school.

It was a little weird because everyone was really nice,” Ajello said with a laugh. “One of my coaches, who played for Coach Giummule, said, ‘don’t worry about it, you’ll get used to it.’”

The biggest reaction and laughter of the morning came from Abell as he recounted the singing on the bus ride home after winning the regional title last year in addition to his reasons for his college choice.

I chose them (New Orleans) because they gave me the best offer,” Abell said, “and I wanted to be away from home.”

Two years ago, the Tornados won their first district title in 55 years and now have won two straight. The team won their first regional championship and also advanced to the state final four for the first time in school history.

It’s the first time we have ever had any early signees,” Giummule said. “This is the group I came in with, so that makes it a little more special. I came in with these guys and all five of these guys who have signed have been in the program all four years. It is all about them, their families and their dreams coming true.

Today is a sweet day and I will worry about tomorrow, tomorrow,” Giummule said of the pending graduations of the players after the season. “A lot of hard work was put into this and I thank my booster club for making sure that this was set up and organized. I am appreciative of them. It is hard for their families. Good families produce good kids and this is the product of a good upbringing.”

The group was among the thousands of senior athletes around the country to sign their national letters-of-intent. Only football, soccer and men’s water polo athletes could not sign during the early signing period.

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FLICKS: The Star & The Man Who Invented Christmas

Posted on 30 November 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

As I slowly awoke Thanksgiving Day morning, I watched NBC’s broadcast of the Macy’s Day Parade, but grew weary of the Peacock network’s self promotion. Feeling nostalgic, I said, “March of the Wooden Soldiers,” and this Christmas classic appeared on my television screen. I was thrilled. As Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy and Mickey Mouse prepared to overthrow the villainous Barnaby Silas and the Boogey Men, the CW Channel saw fit to interrupt Victor Herbert’s soaring climatic musical score for viewers to stay tuned for five hours of a Friends marathon … nostalgia interruptus …

With a smaller marketing mix than last week’s champion, Coco, The Star is another animated motion picture that opened. This film is a religious movie that is not preachy. It is the story about Mary’s pregnancy and how she was guided by a bright star. The story of Mary’s nine months is seen through the eyes of a donkey named Bo and a mouse who is a witnesses.

The story is simple, but entertaining. Traditional Christmas carols are given modern update without sounding intrusive. Despite having a light touch, The Star has many tender moments about faith, hope, redemption, forgiveness and salvation. Patricia Heaton, Kris Kristofferson and Oprah Winfrey voice a cow, a mule and a camel, respectively; as Herod, Christopher Plummer’s voice is perfectly typecast.

Plummer is also delightfully typecast as Scrooge in The Man Who Invented Christmas. Plummer does not actually portray Ebenezer Scrooge, as the character is a figment of Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens). Based on the book written by Les Standiford, The Man Who Invented Christmas details Dickens’ personal demons and inspirations that inspired his classic work, A Christmas Carol: Being a Ghost Story of Christmas.

The film opens with Dickens on a successful world-wide tour to promote his acclaimed book, The Adventures of Oliver Twist. The film fast forwards three years and Dickens has written three bombs. While outwardly being optimistic, Dickens sees creeping debt with his housing expenditures.

With his back against the wall, Dickens strikes a deal with his publisher to produce a Christmas/ghost story in a mere six weeks. Holing up in his office and play acting each role, Dickens works feverishly on his novella. Unfortunately, family interruptions keep impinging on his craft, especially from his father (Jonathan Pryce), who unwittingly becomes the personification of Ebenezer Scrooge.

The Star, The Man Who Invented Christmas and Coco are three good family movies on the big screen these days. While The Star and Coco may induce the most tears and laughter, The Man Who Invented Christmas is thought-provoking about family, craft and charitable inspiration.

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CRIME WATCH

Posted on 30 November 2017 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

Nov. 14: When a man gave a hitchhiker a ride, the hitchhiker pointed a gun at the driver and demanded to be taken to a warehouse. The gunman forced the driver to watch him and a young woman do drugs. The gunman then left. The incident was reported at 321 NW 3 Ave.

Nov. 14: A man reported that his former business partner used his personal credit card to pay an $859.24 phone bill. The incident was reported at 1015 E. Cypress Dr.

Nov. 14: A man who is now in police custody stole another man’s cell phone. The incident was reported at 2400 W. Atlantic Blvd.

Nov. 14: A man said two women attacked him with a board and stole his wallet with $80. The incident was reported at 321 NW 3 Ave.

Nov. 14: A woman reported her cell phone stolen and said she believes it was stolen by her friend’s grandson at 217 NE 23 Ave.

Lighthouse Point

Nov. 8: The victim said he found the lights to his business at 2028 NE 36 St. on after it was closed the day before. He also discovered the computers were turned around and cables unplugged to an x-ray machine. The coffee maker was warm. The victim believes a former business owner may be responsible.

Nov. 8: The victim said boarding stairs were missing from a boat at 2701 NE 42 St. The victim was out of town since March.

Nov. 10: Police responded to a boat fire at 2421 NE 27 St. The victim said 30 minutes prior to the fire he had connected a battery to a charger. The victim attempted to put the fire out with a garden hose. The damage was estimated at $100,000.

(This is a partial list. For Deerfield Beach Crime Watch in full, visit www.DFB.City and click on “Sign Me Up” to receive the city wide report.)

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HAPPENINGS

Posted on 30 November 2017 by LeslieM

Riptide Music Festival

Saturday, Dec. 2, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Ft. Lauderdale Beach Park

1100 Seabreeze Blvd.

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

Cage The Elephant, Weezer, Andrew Mcmahon, Boyz II Men, Salt-n-Pepa, Loverboy and more will be playing at this 2-day event. Shuttle parking lots open at 10 a.m. Saturday & Sunday. On Sunday, showtimes will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit www.riptidefest.com/tickets.

Breakfast with Santa

Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 to 11:30 a.m.

Butler House

380 E. Hillsboro Blvd.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Enjoy breakfast, photos with Santa, arts & crafts. Family of four is $10 with $5 each additional person. Organized by Deerfield Beach Historical Society. For more information, call 954-429-0378 or visit www.deerfield-history.com.

Ocean Way Holiday

Saturday, Dec. 2, 5 to 9 p.m.

International Fishing Pier

200 NE 21 Ave.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Join the City for the Annual Deerfield Beach Ocean Way Holiday Celebration. Bring the entire family out for a magical evening. Enjoy musical performances, kids activities, photos with Santa, tasty holiday treats, ice skating by the ocean and snow showering all night! For more information, call 954-480-4429.

Cocktails with Santa

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6 to 9 p.m.

Butler House

380 E. Hillsboro Blvd.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Enjoy some libations and good company. Holiday foods and sweet treats. $20 donation. Extra fee to take pics with Santa. R.S.V.P. to judithofdfb@gmail.com.

Yuletide Parade

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m.

McNab Park

2250 E. Atlantic Blvd.

Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Yuletide Parade is back on Atlantic Boulevard! They are looking for parade participants. The parade will be starting from Riverside Drive, heading west on Atlantic Boulevard and ending at McNab Park with a holiday celebration to include children’s activities, inflatable slides, glitter tattoos, and, of course, Santa Claus! Mayor Lamar Fisher will light the community Yuletide Tree to officially ring in the holiday season in Pompano Beach. For more information, call 954-786-4111.

Save the Date: ABC Safe Boating Class

Saturday, Dec. 9, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pompano Beach Sail and Power Squadron

3701 NE 18 Terr.

Pompano Beach, FL 33064

This class includes learning what to do in emergencies and basic seamanship education. You will receive your Boating Certificate and Florida boating education card upon completion. The class fee, which includes a boating text book, is $25 per person for Broward Residents and $60 for all others. For more information or to register, visit www.pompanosafeboating.com or call 754-444-1470.

Breakfast with Santa

Saturday, Dec. 9, 9 to 11 a.m.

Emma Lou Olson Civic Center

1801 NE 6 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

He’s making his list and checking it twice! This is your chance to eat breakfast and play games with Santa Claus. Please consider donating a toy for the less fortunate. $7 for admission. For more information, call 954-786-4111.

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CLERGY CORNER: Thanksgiving in Vermont

Posted on 30 November 2017 by LeslieM

As we all made our plans for Thanksgiving Day this year, surely the remembrance of past Thanksgivings, some good and some perhaps not so good, seeped into our memories. I was raised on a farm in Vermont and Thanksgiving Day was a big deal. The growing season was at an end by November, and it was time to celebrate and thank our Lord for whatever bounty He had provided.

We had a small family farm on a country road that led to the top of George Hill where my grandfather had his dairy farm. He raised fodder grain and tended his cows, while my grandmother raised turkeys and chickens and tended her vegetable garden. The country road was dotted with family farms that made up a closely knit community. There were years of plenty and years of scarcity; years when our root cellars and storerooms were full, and years when we wondered how we would make it through the winter until spring. No matter what each year brought, our community would gather together on Thanksgiving Day, at my grandfather’s farm, and give thanks to our Lord and share whatever we had.

Thanksgiving Day always unfolded based on a two-part plan that never strayed far from our community’s deep love and dependence on our Lord to provide what we needed.

My grandmother came from a long line of country cooks. She knew what to do in the kitchen so her part in the plan was to organize the food preparation. She provided the roast turkey; my mother brought the stuffing which used homemade caraway-rye bread [the caraway seeds were picked from the school yard across the road from our farm] and sausage made from hogs raised by Barbara’s husband; mashed potatoes and parsnips from Gwendolen’s root cellar; creamed onions from Ethel’s storeroom and, the pièce de résistance, crab apple pie, using apples picked from the trees behind Helene’s farm house. When I wandered into the kitchen, I could always hear my grandmother reminding the cooks that our meal, in any given year, was based on the bounty provided by our Lord, which we raised and harvested with our own hands.

Part two of the plan involved my grandfather. In addition to being a dairy farmer, he was a country preacher. He built his own church next to his farmhouse, drove his buggy along that country road on Sunday mornings, picked up his parishioners, took them to his church, preached to them and took them back to their homes.

On Thanksgiving Day, he would gather all the kids into his parlor and quiz us on what we knew about our Lord and what we wanted to thank Him for. One Thanksgiving, he asked us to give voice to our most fervent prayer. My prayer was that Daniel, my favorite uncle, would come home safe and sound. You see, Uncle Dan was in the army and fighting a war in Europe. My grandfather’s answer was, “Our Lord hears and answers our prayers, but in His own time, and as is best suited for each of us.”

There was an empty chair at the dining room table that year. I asked my grandfather who it was for. He dropped his eyes and said, “Do you know Rabbi Eleazar from town? Well, he says the empty chair at his table is for the prophet Elijah. The rabbi says Elijah will bring news we need to hear from our Father in heaven.” Before the meal ended, there was a knock at the door. My grandfather asked me to see who was there. Spoiler alert – it was my Uncle Dan, handsomely dressed in his army uniform. I jumped into his arms and he carried me back to the dining room table amid the cheers from everyone and the broad grins on the faces of my grandparents.

They never fessed up to it, but I always suspected that my grandparents knew Daniel was coming home and choreographed it all to teach us a lesson about living in the hands of a benevolent God who hears and answers prayers, and provides for the well-being of his children. I pray this for each of you during this Thanksgiving season and always.

Rev. M. Tracy Smith, SSA, Rector is from the Saint Peter’s Anglican Church, 1416 SE 2 Terr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, call 954-695-0336. Wednesdays and Sundays: Holy Communion at 10 a.m.

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Szklany second at state

Posted on 22 November 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Fittingly, Ryan Szklany is planning to study at Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach. With a month to go in the cross country season, he was concerned that the gap between him and the top-ranked Class 1A runner in the state (Trevor Foley) may be a little too large. Szklany was nearly a minute behind Foley’s fastest time of the season.

The Highlands Christian Academy 17-year-old won six meets this year and showed at state that he had tremendous heart as he closed the gap considerably falling by just eight seconds with a personal best 15:55 clocking at the FHSAA Class 2A Cross Country State Championships at Apalachee Regional Park. Foley won the event in 15:47.25.

It was just a great finish for me,” said Szklany, who trimmed nearly 20 seconds off his previous best time. He will be running this Friday in the FACA Senior All-Star Meet. “The last month of the season I just kept putting in the work and training hard. It was a great way to end my senior year in cross country. I just went all out at the end and it paid off.”

Foley has a best time of 15:20, so Szklany knew he had to stay within striking distance at the state meet. Szklany’s time this season was 16:16.40, which was three seconds off the previous 16:13.0, which he ran in the Foot Locker South event in Nov. 2015.

Foley, who transferred from Nature Coast Tech (Class 2A) to Citrus Park Christian (1A) before last year’s track season, had defeated Szklany earlier this season.

In their lone head-to-head meeting, Foley won the Flrunners.com Invitational 18 Race of Champions Boys Division at Holloway Park in Lakeland on Sept. 30. Foley won the event with a 15:54.64 clocking, while Szklany covered the distance in 16:23.15. Szklany was third in the Jim Ryun Invitational by Fellowship of Christian Athletes (16:35.80).

This is good for confidence knowing that I could hold down a strategy,” Szklany added. “I was a little disappointed because I didn’t get a PR, but I was able to get my second fastest time of the season and I am happy with that.”

Szklany said he has started to return to the form he was at two years ago when he ran his personal best time of 16:13.00 towards the end of the season and won the district and regional championships.

I just think the development paid off,” Szklany said. “I think the training caught up a little bit and I starting to transition back into it. It really showed in the end.”

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FLICKS: Coco & The Man who Invented Christmas opens this weekend

Posted on 22 November 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Was he a good boy?” David Eller asked my mother while lunching at Duffy’s. Fortunately for me, Mom answered in the affirmative.

This exchange symbolizes my almost two decade professional relationship with my publisher and boss. Like my Grandfather, Dave G. Watson, Mr. Eller held positions of responsibility, yet he made a point of reaching out to his employees and celebrating their accomplishments. David Eller’s southern charm, loyalty to his employees and commitment to community philanthropy will be his legacy for many years. [See story about Mr. Eller on Pg. 1].

Opening this Thanksgiving weekend, Coco is a family friendly movie about memory and mourning. Despite what the mass marketing has revealed about a kid playing a cool looking guitar, this Disney/Pixar animated movie has much heart with an emotional roller coaster ride from tears to laughter.

When the opening credits roll, we learn about a man who runs away from his wife and child to pursue a musical career. For many generations, the family bans music from the household. As the generations pass through time, the great grandson Miguel feels the lure of music and keeps a guitar hidden.

When El Dia de Muertos approaches, Miguel is expected to participate in the annual family rituals. Instead Miguel tries to sneak off and enter a talent contest. The matriarch gets upset and smashes Miguel’s guitar. Angered, Miguel runs away from home and tries to enter the talent contest without his guitar. Told that he needs an instrument, Miguel sneaks into the tomb of the musical legend Ernesto de la Cruz and borrows his unique guitar. This theft causes a shift in the fabric of the universe and Miguel enters the land of the dead.

While this transition to the land of the dead provides the scariest portion of Coco, this film is full of beautiful amber, orange and gold imagery, which enhances this excellent story. The conflicts which drive the character motivation follow a logical progression, though with many surprises and character revelations. The character of Coco has limited screen time, but is the heart and soul of the movie.

Being a Disney/Pixar movie, Coco is filled with many visual details reminiscent of the award-winning Up. As Brave promoted Scottish folklore, Coco celebrates Mexican culture. The song, “Remember Me,” will be heard frequently during the awards season. The holiday cinema season is off to a fine start with the opening of Coco this season.

Based on Les Standiford’s book, The Man who Invented Christmas also opens this weekend. Starring Beauty and the Beast’s Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens, the story details the author’s inspiration to write A Christmas Carol. Christopher Plummer portrays the curmudgeon who inspired Ebenezer Scrooge. The buzz is good for this film and if you cannot get a ticket for Coco, then The Man who Invented Christmas could be a fine substitute. Happy Thanksgiving!

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CRIME WATCH

Posted on 22 November 2017 by LeslieM

DEERFIELD BEACH

Nov. 6: Someone broke into a car parked at 753 Siesta Key Cir. and stole a driver’s side airbag valued at $1,500.

Nov. 6: Someone broke into a car parked at 964 Siesta Key Dr. and stole an airbag and a wallet.

Nov. 8: Someone broke into Goval Auto Sales at 3991 N. Dixie Hwy. and stole a pressure cleaner and other tools.

Nov. 8: A man reported that someone stole his motor scooter from 174 SE 3 St.

Nov. 11: A man reported that his trailer at 875 NE 48 St. was broken into.

Lighthouse Point

Nov. 1: Police responded to an alarm call stemming from the north garage and interior door at 2457 NE 26 St. It was discovered that an employee accidentally set it off. The interior was checked and the call was cleared.

Nov. 1: A phone was found at 2432 N. Federal Hwy. and turned over to police where it was placed into property.

Nov. 2: A witness observed a dog running around at 5001 NE 24 Ave. and called the police. A short time later, the witness called back to say the dog was with its owner.

(This is a partial list. For Deerfield Beach Crime Watch in full, visit www.DFB.City and click on “Sign Me Up” to receive the city wide report.)

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HAPPENINGS

Posted on 22 November 2017 by LeslieM

Emoticoncert 2: The Spirit of Giving

Saturday, Nov. 25, 2 p.m.

Pompano Beach Cultural Center

50 W. Atlantic Blvd.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Presented by South Florida Chamber Ensemble (SFCE). Dancers join the SFCE trio for a performance of Tchaikovsky’s joyful Nutcracker ballet paired with the happiest American ballet ever written, Aaron Copland’s Rodeo. To purchase tickets, visit www.ccpompano.org.

Fleetwood Mac Tribute

Saturday, Nov 25, 8 to 11 p.m.

Galuppi’s

1103 N. Federal Hwy.

Pompano Beach, FL 33062

The Definitive Fleetwood Mac Show is one that fans will look forward to seeing with a cast of well-known local artists, including Melinda Elena as Stevie Nicks, Eddie Jelley as Lindsey Buckingham, Larry Quadagno at Mick Fleetwood, Howie Hughes as John McVie and Eldad Kira as the keys of Christine McVie. This tribute has been called “one of the most authentic Fleetwood Mac experiences” in South Florida! There’s no charge to attend this free concert on the patio. Tributes and Popular Bands are at Galuppi’s every Friday and Saturday night. For more information, visit www.galuppis.com or call 954-785-0226.

Tuesday Night Beach Dances

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 7 to 9 p.m.

Main Beach Parking Lot

149 SE 21 Ave.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Johnny Vincent will be playing for your entertainment just south of Hillsboro Boulevard at the ocean. Wear your dancing shoes and bring your beach chair for a fun evening under the stars. For more information, call 954-480-4429.

Save the Date: Ocean Way Holiday

Saturday, Dec. 2, 5 to 9 p.m.

International Fishing Pier

200 NE 21 Ave.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Join the city for the Annual Deerfield Beach Ocean Way Holiday Celebration. Bring the entire family out for a magical evening as we celebrate the season. Enjoy musical performances, kids activities, photos with Santa, tasty holiday treats, ice skating by the ocean and snow showering all night! For more information, call 954-480-4429.

Riptide Music Festival

Saturday, Dec. 2, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Ft. Lauderdale Beach Park

1100 Seabreeze Blvd.

Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316

Cage The Elephant, Weezer, Andrew Mcmahon In The Wilderness, Portugal, The Man, and many more bands will be playing at this two-day event. Shuttle parking lots open at 10 a.m. Saturday & 10 a.m. Sunday. On Sunday, the showtimes will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit www.riptidefest.com/tickets.

Yuletide Parade

Thursday, Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m.

McNab Park

2250 E. Atlantic Blvd.

Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Yuletide Parade is back on Atlantic Boulevard! They are looking for parade participants. The parade will be starting from Riverside Drive, heading west on Atlantic Boulevard and ending at McNab Park. For more information, call 954-786-4111.

Breakfast with Santa

Saturday, Dec. 9, 9 to 11 a.m.

Emma Lou Olson Civic Center

1801 NE 6 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

He’s making his list and checking it twice! This is your chance to eat breakfast and play games with Santa Claus. Please consider donating a toy for the less fortunate. $7 for admission. For more information, call 954-786-4111.

ABC Safe Boating Class

Saturday, Dec. 9, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pompano Beach Sail and Power Squadron

3701 NE 18 Terr.

Pompano Beach, FL 33064

This class includes local boating knowledge, what to do in emergencies, and basic seamanship education. You will receive your Boating Certificate and Florida boating education card upon completion. The class fee, which includes a boating textbook, is $25 per person. for Broward Residents and $60 for all others. For more information or to register, visit www.pompanosafeboating.com or call 754-444-1470.

55th Annual Pompano Beach Boat Parade

Sunday, Dec. 10, 5 to 9 p.m.

Starts at Lake Santa Barbara

Pompano Beach, FL 33062

The parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Boats leave Santa Barbara and head north to Hillsboro Boulevard. Enter your boat for free! Chance to win one of three cash prizes. Captains get goody bags filled with great items from chamber members plus a free DVD of the boat parade, T-shirts and social media exposure for their business. Places where you can view the parade are Sands Harbor Resort (where the judges will be), Two Georges at the Cove, Houston’s, The Rusty Hook, Harbors Edge Park and Alsdorf Park. Get a registration form from rbunker@paymaster.com.

Season of Wonders”

Sunday Dec. 10, 10 a.m.

Community Presbyterian Church

1920 SE 4 St,

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Presentation of the cantata. This expressive work is filled with classic carols, as well as newly composed anthems and encourages us to ponder the miracles surrounding the birth of Jesus.

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CLERGY CORNER: How to live a grateful life

Posted on 22 November 2017 by LeslieM

A Peanuts cartoon shows Snoopy looking over his Thanksgiving dinner in a bowl. In the first frame he remarks, “How about that?” In the second he is eating and thinking to himself, “Everyone is eating turkey today, but just because I’m a dog, I get dog food.” In the third frame he concludes, “Of course, it might have been worse…” And in the final frame he remarks, “I could have been born a turkey.” It’s an interesting commentary on our propensity to be dissatisfied with circumstances in life only to perhaps discover a reason to be grateful after all.

In this season of Thanksgiving, we should be reflecting on the many reasons why we ought to be grateful. If we are not careful, we may fall into the trap of focusing more upon our dissatisfactions than upon our blessings. Issues that result in frustrations, anxiety and worry abound in our lives, but we don’t have to be victimized by adversity. It is possible to develop a lifestyle of gratitude and thankfulness regardless of what we may face.

In Philippians 4:6, Paul advises believers to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” He essentially offers a formula for living a grateful life in three practical steps. “Be anxious for nothing” translates into “do not worry”. Eliminate, or at least diminish, anxiety, fretting and worry from your life. Anxiety has to do with mental anguish and excessive concern, which can cloud our ability to think clearly or act rationally.

Someone calculated the average person’s anxiety in the following manner: 40 percent of our anxiety is focused upon things that will never happen; 30 percent is focused on things from our past which cannot be changed; 12 percent is focused upon criticism from others, most of which is untrue; 10 percent concerns our health, which only worsens with stress; and only 8 percent of our anxiety is focused on real problems with which we must contend. A whopping 92 percent of our anxiety is entirely unnecessary! We simply need to learn how to manage the remaining 8 percent. Paul’s strategy? Just don’t worry!

Next, we are encouraged to pray about everything. Prayer is conversing with God, sharing our hopes and dreams, as well as our fears and concerns. Many therapists will attest to the benefit of talking through your problems and challenges. We all need to have people in our lives with whom we can consult when facing overwhelming circumstances. Who better to converse with than the all-knowing and all-powerful God in prayer. Psalm 55:22 offers a promise: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you.” An old hymn of the church adds, ‘take your burden to the Lord, and leave it there.’ And someone once remarked, “why worry when you can pray?”

Finally, Paul’s strategy for living a grateful life urges the practice of being thankful. Even when faced with dissatisfaction or disappointment in life, we can still find a reason to be grateful. Like Snoopy discovered, things may not always go our way but that doesn’t mean we have to be resentful. Rather, we can choose to be thankful.

In fact, there are three reasons why we can be grateful in adversity. It could have been worse than it is, there may be a life-lesson in the experience and it will work for your good. The Scriptures provide ample confirmation of this perspective. Believers live with the knowledge that God is ordering their steps and guiding them to perfection and maturity.

Enjoy this season as you spend time with family and friends. Consider the many reasons to be thankful and aim for a lifestyle of gratitude. Don’t worry about anything, pray about everything, and be thankful in all things. Happy Thanksgiving!

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

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