| October, 2019

Baja Café Dos celebrates 20th anniversary

Posted on 16 October 2019 by LeslieM

Owner Julio Apaixonado & daughter Priscilla.

Photos by Katy Freitag

On Sept. 29, locals were trying Código Tequila, eating delicious Mexican food and having plenty of fun at Baja Café Dos in Deerfield as it celebrated two decades of being in the community. There even was a big George Strait bus outside. He is the spokesperson for Código Tequila. It was a fun night.

This restaurant knows how to be a good community partner. They are always giving back and offering nonprofits the ability to do fundraisers at their location, and giving proceeds back to them, including for local sports teams, Relay For Life, marching bands, Kiwanis, the Woman’s Club and more.

Julio Apaixonado, daughter Priscilla and bartender Lauren Rachel by George Strait bus.

They have two upcoming events. First is an Abaco Relief Party on Saturday, Oct.19 from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Twenty percent of proceeds will be donated to those in need. Second is the 5th Annual Paws For a Cause on Sunday, Oct. 27 from 3 to 8 p.m. sponsored by the local Woman’s Club and benefitting local animal rescues. People can adopt a cat or dog, win a raffle basket, and buy other goodies. There will be a Halloween Pet and Person costume content too.

Brian Paolini with daughters Brooke and Sierra.

Baja Café Dos is located at 1310 S. Federal Hwy. in Deerfield Beach. For more information, call 954-596-1304 or visit www.bajacafedeerfield.com/.

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RECORDTV Americas opens in Lighthouse Point

Posted on 16 October 2019 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Any Brazilian would have been thrilled to attend the 66th anniversary of RECORDTV Americas in its new headquarters in Lighthouse Point on Sept. 27. The star-studded event was hosted by top model and host of Hoje em Dia, Ana Hickmann. Other celebrities spoke, including actors Kadu Moliterno, Rayanne Morais and Felipe Cunha from the telenovela Topíssima, Portuguese basketball star Ticha Penicheiro, MMA fighters Fabrício Werdum, Renzo Gracie and Vitor Belfort, as well as Cake Boss chef Buddy Valastro.

The mayor of Lighthouse Point, Glenn Troast, who helped cut the ribbon, said, “We are very proud to have RECORDTV here in our city. We have worked with them over the last few years to get all the building right, and seeing how it turned out is really wonderful. With the vibrant Brazilian community we have in South Florida, the building will be a true icon for our city.”

Hundreds of guests attended the event, which was in Portuguese, including international journalists, Brazilian diplomats, politicians and company representatives. The President of the Brazilian Tourism Institute (Embratur), Gilson Machado; Ambassador João Mendes Pereira, General Consul of Brazil in Miami, RECORDTV Americas Executive Director Wilon Cardoso and CEO of RECORDTV International Marcelo Cardoso also spoke.

RECORDTV broadcasts content in Portuguese 24 hours a day.The company has been in the U.S. for almost 20 years and continues to expand what they have to offer. Their content can be seen in Portuguese-speaking communities in over 150 countries. They strive to utilize top of the line technology to keep up-to-date with today’s demands.

Visit their website at http://recordtvamericas.com.

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Saiko-i lends a helping hand

Posted on 16 October 2019 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Inside the front entrance of Saiko-i Sushi Lounge & Hibachi, you will find a larger-than-life gold Buddha statue covered with money. It seems people enjoy leaving some extra cash and making a wish in hopes of gaining some luck in return. That practice has proven lucky for another local group — Boca Helping Hands, a 501(c)(3) that gives back to those in need by providing food, helping those in crisis and even offering job training programs. Over the last year, Saiko-i owners husband and wife Tina Wang and Jason Zheng have already collected $2200, which they gave over to the organization in the form of a check to Boca Helping Hands Development Manager Karen Swedenborg and their Development Specialist Anna Campitelli Rubenstein.

Swedenborg said, “We thank Tina Wang and Chef Jason Zheng for their kindness … These funds will be used to help to feed our clients through our food programs.”

The restaurant, located at the Shoppes at Village Pointe, at 5970 SW 18 St., in Boca Raton, took over what used to be Gatsby’s. They have a huge 7000 sq. ft. space with an outdoor patio. Within the restaurant, there is a very large hibachi area, great for special events, and a more intimate area for regular dining. They have big booths with curtains for privacy, as well as tables and a full bar. Enjoy raw and cooked sushi, appetizers, entrees from the kitchen, noodles, stir fry, bento boxes for lunch and more. Ask about their specials. [Try the Bang Bang Shrimp for a sweet and not that spicy appetizer. Also, try out the very unique Matcha Green Tea Tiramisu. Ask about their specials].
Wang said she spends time in this location, while her husband stays at their other restaurant in Royal Palm Place called Yakitori Sake House. They will be opening another restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale called Koi soon.

For more information on the restaurant, call 561-393-5888 or visit www.saikoiboca.com.

FYI: They have a Halloween Party, called Saiko-i-ween, on Oct. 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. There will be a costume contest with prize money, extended happy hours, yummy food, sweet treats, candy and cocktails. There will even be a DJ.

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VG Vodka is on the scene

Posted on 16 October 2019 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Victor George Vodka (VG) is popping up everywhere it seems since its official launch back in September. The ultra-premium vodka, which took the silver medal at the San Francisco Wine and Spirits Competition this year, will be the official vodka of the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival,  30th Annual Swing for the Kids Golf Tournament at Lago Mar Country Club, Exotics on Las Olas, and will be featured at the Ft Lauderdale Intl. Boat Show and elsewhere. The locally-sourced vodka is gluten-free and uses all-natural ingredients. The filtration and oxidation process they utilize helps to purify and remove harsh congeners and free radicals to make a spirit that is headache and hangover free.

What is more interesting than the vodka is the man behind the brand – Victor George Harvey. His life has undergone a series of twists and turns, but he is back with a commitment to build South Florida’s largest locally owned liquor brand. This go-getter was a college athlete, a rapper (with the name Tai Pan) with a record called “The Rise, The Fall, The Rise,” and his own record label. He got involved in real estate and opened up his first vodka company, called V. Georgio Vodka in 2008.  His new vodka, VG Vodka, is already getting a lot of buzz and growing rapidly.

Currently, his vodka is being bottled out of South Carolina, and he is building and opening a distillery on historic Sistrunk Boulevard in Ft. Lauderdale, which will house a tasting room, offices, cigar bar and restaurant. 

In addition, he and his two children, both business majors in college, have their own VG clothing line, including boxers, hats and T-shirts, with more merchandise coming soon. A book and movie about his life are in the works. He is certainly one to watch, and look for VG Vodka coming to an event, restaurant, bar or store near you.

For more information, visit www.victorgeorgevodka.com.

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Local football teams on win streaks

Posted on 16 October 2019 by LeslieM

Jaylan Knighton is hopeful of helping Deerfield Beach to a win over host St. Thomas Aquinas on Friday. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Both the Deerfield Beach and Blanche Ely football teams are on a roll.

The Bucks (5-2) have won five straight games after starting the season 0-2, while the Tigers are 6-1 after winning their fourth consecutive game. Blanche Ely’s only loss this season was a 42-0 setback to Deerfield Beach in the third game of the season. Since then, they have reeled off four wins in a row, including a 48-7 win over Olympic Heights.

“The discipline has definitely improved, and we have a great senior class,” said Blanche Ely coach Clifford Wimberly after the Tigers finished 1-9 last year. “We’re taking one game at a time and finding the little things to help us improve.”

When they defeated Stranahan 26-24 two weeks ago, it marked their first win over a team with a winning record in 13 games, dating back to a 13-7 overtime win over Dillard in the Soul Bowl on Nov. 5, 2016. 

Tigers’ senior running back Shomari Lawrence scored on a 28-yd. run midway through the fourth quarter in the Stranahan game for the difference. He wound up with 20 carries for 94 yds.

Coming off a 64-0 manhandling of Spanish River, Deerfield Beach will face a still test this weekend when they face the nation’s 12th ranked team at St. Thomas Aquinas.

The Bucks will be led by senior quarterback Michael Pratt and senior running back Jaylan Knighton, in addition to a stellar receiving corps.

Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association results

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association held an individual play (Low Gross and Low Net in Classes) on the Pines Course on Oct. 9.

Gary Gill won the Low Gross for Class A with a 75. Winning the Low Net competition was Chuck Brown, who carded a 64, while Bill O’Brien shot a 75 to take second.   

The Class B Low Gross winner was Lance Naiman, who shot an 86 and won a tiebreaker. Jack Permenter and Charles Schaefer each shot 67s, but Permenter won in a tiebreaker to take Low Net in the Class B competition.                                                                                                   

In the Class C competition, Oscar Aleman won the Low Gross with an 88, while Jerry DeSapio won the Low Net with a 68 and Jim Blake was second with a 71.   

Bob Mascatello won the Class D Low Gross honors with a 92. Al DiBenedetto won the Low Net in the Class D with a 65, while Dennis Rooy was second with a 68.

The closest to the pin winner on hole (No. 7) was Charles Schaefer, whose tee shot came to rest 8ft., 10in. from the hole. He stepped up and made the putt.

Pompano Beach Women’s Golf Association results

The Pompano Beach Women’s Golf Association recently held a Cat Fight in Classes tournament on Oct. 15. The winner of the A/B Class was Janet Stuart with a +1, while Lynn Goodman won the tiebreaker over Deborah Brown. They both carded a -3 in the competition. Lori Tarmey won the C/D Class with an Even score, while Dianne Levanti at -3 was second.

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Oct. 11 was El Camino day!

Posted on 16 October 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

As late as Monday morning, Oct. 7, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie was supposed to open exclusively in Miami. Perhaps some studio executive read this column a few weeks ago because last Friday night, the film also opened locally, as close as the IPIC Boca Raton theater in Mizner Park. The first screening was packed and the ticket buyers were intimately aware of every nuance of this Breaking Bad history, while embracing some of the characters from Better Call Saul, a spin off.  This is noteworthy because El Camino also debuted on Netflix the same day — Friday, Oct. 11.

Like Rob Zombie’s 3 from Hell, Vince Gilligan’s El Camino is redefining the business model for a motion picture release. Neither film rivals the box office revenue of a Joker or The Addams Family, but both 3 from Hell and El Camino are relatively low budget productions, so the return of investment can be substantially larger, whereas a successful big budgeted studio production with many movie stars may never see a profit for many years after release.  Kudos to the independent streaks of Rob Zombie and Vince Gilligan for lighting the way for the creative part of the motion picture industry.

Despite being part of the Breaking Bad universe, El Camino is a standalone movie. One does not need to see the previous 62 episodes of the television series, but one will likely want to watch them now. The El Camino Jessie Pinkman (Aaron Paul) character is the gestalt of television version of Breaking Bad. Jessie, the boy, has become a man and is the whole of the sum of his 62 parts.    

El Camino opens  moments after the grand “Felina” of Breaking Bad. Jessie has escaped his captivity and is on the run from the police and sadistic criminal scumbags. After reuniting with his old buddies Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) and Badger (Matt Jones), Jessie seeks the services of Ed (the late Robert Forster), a man who runs his own private industry witness protection program.  

Given writer/director Vince Gilligan’s love of words, El Camino is a double entendre. While there is a Chevrolet car in the movie and the locations are set in New Mexico, El Camino is a Spanish word for “a path, a road or a journey.”

How Jessie goes from “Point A” to “Point B” is an entertaining story, yet this is a meditative story about potential redemption.  Throughout the film, various Breaking Bad characters appear in flashbacks. Each provide kernels of wisdom for Jessie’s journey to enlightenment.  

Sadly, the Oct. 11 release also marks the passing of Robert Forster. An actor with 50 years of motion picture experience, Forster provides a fine swan song performance as “Ed the Disappearer.” Suffering from Brain Cancer at the time of filming, Forster’s performance rings sincere and true. 

There are some great violent visuals to El Camino, but the quiet moments with Aaron Paul and Robert Forster will be the cinematic moments to savor. 

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Posted on 16 October 2019 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach

Oct. 1: A woman reported that someone tried to break into her home at 503 NE 47St.

Oct. 1: A man reported that three aluminum ramps were stolen from a flatbed trailer at 1401 Green Rd. The total loss was $4,000.

Oct. 1: It was reported that a burglary took place at Hook Fish and Chicken at 244 W. Hillsboro Blvd. The loss was about $3,000 worth of new and used cooking oil.

Oct. 1: A man was observed stealing two Fitbits from Target at 3599 W. Hillsboro Blvd.

Oct. 2: A man was arrested and charged with retail theft at Home Depot at 60 SW 12 Ave. He stole three grinder blades valued at $467.

Oct. 2: A man was arrested and charged with retail theft from Home Depot at 60 SW 12 Ave. He stole two chain saws.

Oct. 2: A man reported his motorcycle stolen from 256 NE 47 St.

Lighthouse Point

Sept. 25: A wallet was found at 3500 NE 27 Ave. The property was recovered and placed into property.

Sept. 26: Police responded to an alarm call at a restaurant located at 2426 N. Federal Hwy. They found a rear door open. The property was checked and it was secure.

Sept. 26: Police responded to an interior burglar alarm at 2901 NE 47 St. The property was checked and it was found secure.

(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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Family Secrets

Posted on 16 October 2019 by LeslieM

Fifty-five years ago, the mother of a loving family gave birth to a baby girl with Down’s syndrome. The child was sent to an institution and never mentioned in the family again … A middle aged daughter sits with her aging mother, who survived Auschwitz and learns that her father had been married before and had two daughters. She also learns that her father’s first wife and two daughters were murdered in Poland by the Nazis … A husband and wife celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary and the husband, recovering from a heart attack, tells his wife that he has fallen in love with his cardiologist — his male cardiologist … These are a few examples of secrets families carry. More often than not, they carry shame along with the secrets. “We are as sick as our secrets” is a slogan said at 12 Step programs, along with encouragement to share those secrets with a higher power and another human being in order to remove the power the secrets holds.

Keeping certain things in our lives to ourselves can certainly be a normal aspect of privacy; but, when such secrets have an impact on the family’s well-being, they can cause hurt and disrupt familial bonds.

As a licensed psychotherapist, I hear details of family secrets during many of my family therapy sessions.

Some of the family secrets disclosed include physical abuse, substance abuse, sexual abuse and hidden political opinions. (Families say they can finally open up about sexual abuse due to the “Me Too” movement and others say they hide their political opinions due to the current U.S. political climate.)

At times, family secrets are maintained due to the desire to protect someone. Parents try to protect their children from information and past situations they believe if known would be painful. Sometimes, this desire to protect does the opposite. One example is a parent not telling their child they are adopted. Another example is a caretaker who is known to the child as their mother tells the child that another relative is their actual birth mother. In these situations, honesty is best. Honesty will decrease the long held belief of protection and shame associated with family secrets.

Keeping a secret sometimes is the better choice and not unhealthy. If a patient tells me they wish to keep their past sexual escapades from their spouse or even their voting record a secret, I help them see that privacy is an active choice that they can be content with.

Many issues that were stigmatized in the past such as adoption, divorce, sexual orientation and gender identity have become more accepted today. Discussing these issues with openness helps affirm to a family that their situations are not shameful. They have become normalized and cared about.

My work as a psychotherapist is to cultivate honesty within the family system and to encourage dealing with family issues in a healthy manner. Family secrets can be worked through and families can realize that “change is possible.”

Dr. Julia Breur is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private clinical psychotherapy practice in Boca Raton. Her website is www.drjuliabreur.com. For more information, e-mail info@drjuliabreur.com or call 561-512-8545.

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Posted on 16 October 2019 by LeslieM

Marine Advisory Board Meeting

Thursday, Oct. 17, 6 p.m.

City Commission Chambers at City Hall

150 NE 2 Ave.

Deerfield Beach, FL, 33441

The public is invited to attend. For further information, please contact the city’s staff liaison to the Board, Patrick Bardes, at pbardes@dfb.city.

8th Annual Brazilian Festival of Pompano Beach

Saturday, Oct. 19, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 20, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Pompano Beach Community Park

820 NE 18 Ave.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

You are invited to enjoy Brazil’s art, culture, music and cuisine. Visit an outdoor circus featuring live performances of mascots welcoming kids during the day. The kids zone includes an inflatable playground with slides, moonwalks, waterfalls, obstacle courses, rides and games that will keep families busy all day. The amazing journey into Brazil’s art, culture, tradition and cuisine is the focus of the exhibitors’ zone. Experience a line-up that will include performances, fashion, cover and local bands, headliners and a closing Musical Act.General Admission: $5/day, $8/weekend pass; VIP: $45/day, $80/weekend pass. Free for children under the age of 13.

19th Annual Health & Wellness Expo

Saturday, Oct. 19, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Center for Active Aging

227 NW 2 (Eller) St.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Activities will include vendors with “healthy” information and education for all ages, flu shots administered by Walgreens and free health screenings. The screenings will check balance, blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, hearing, vision, stroke risk assessment, memory screening, HIV and skin cancer. There will be door prizes, giveaways and entertainment. Breakfast and lunch will be available for purchase at affordable prices. For additional information, contact Robin Marzullo, 954-480-4446 or e-mail rmarzullo@dfb.city.

Kiwanis Golf Tournament

Saturday, Oct. 19, 8 a.m. shotgun start

Pompano Municipal Golf Course

1101 N. Federal Hwy.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Come out and support the Kiwanis Club. Registration is $125/individual or $500/foursome. To register, mail payments to Kiwanis Club of Deerfield Beach, PO Box 1105, Deerfield Beach, FL 33443, or visit www.deerfieldbeachkiwanis.org. Make checks payable to Kiwanis Club of Deerfield Beach Charitable Foundation.

A Concert for Hope

Sunday, Oct. 20, 2 to 6 p.m.

The Butler House

380 E. Hillsboro Blvd.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

An afternoon of music to celebrate Cancer survivors and remember those we have lost. $10 donation to the American Cancer Society includes two luminaria bags for the upcoming Nov. 2 Hope on the Beach event. For info., call T.J. Eagen at 954-592-3150.

Lighthouse Point Commission Meeting

Tuesday, Oct. 22, 6:30 p.m.

Fletcher Hall

2200 NE 38 St.

Lighthouse Point, FL 33064

Book talk – Frankenstein

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2 p.m.

Percy White Library

837 E. Hillsboro Blvd.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, is a classic piece of gothic literature. This book discussion will ask the question “Why is Mary Shelley’s book still popular today after 200 years?” Books are available for check-out with a library card.

Save the Date:

2nd PlanIt Pompano

Community Workshop

Thursday, Oct. 24, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

E. Pat Larkins Community Center

520 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

The City of Pompano Beach, along with its consultant team, will be holding the second of the Community Workshop series for the public to provide input to help prepare the latest update of their Comprehensive Plan. To register for the workshop or for more information, visit http://planitpompano.cgasolutions.com.

Open Mic

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2 to 3 p.m.

Percy White Library (Meeting Room)

837 E. Hillsboro Blvd.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Join the audience, rap, sing a song or read a poem.

Commercial Real Estate Broker Breakfast

Tuesday, Oct. 29, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Hillsboro Community Center

50 Fairway Dr.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

Join the City of Deerfield Beach as it celebrates the dealmakers that contribute to the city’s vibrant business. Breakfast will be served as attendees learn about the city’s new development projects. The staff will also share information on available programs and incentives for investment, as well as ongoing improvements in the city’s permitting process. This is an opportunity to create strong partnerships between real estate agents, developers, and municipal and community leaders. The event is free, but registration is required via Eventbrite: https://dfb-commercial-broker-breakfast.eventbrite.com. For additional information, contact Gigi Chazu at 954-395-6051orgchazu@deerfield-beach.com.

Meet & Greet

Tuesday, Oct. 29, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Umberto’s Italian Restaurant

2780 E. Atlantic Blvd.

Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Greater Pompano Beach Sister Cities, Inc. cordially invites you and your friends for a meet and greet to thank their supporters. One complimentary drink and delicious appetizers included. $25 per person. Proceeds benefit Pompano Beach Sister Cities. To R.S.V.P., e-mail tpnjp4@gmail.com or call 954-975-0578. Please makes checks payable to Pompano Beach Sister Cities, 2661 S. Course Dr. #408, Pompano Beach, FL 33069

AAUW Membership Meeting & Presentation

Tuesday, Nov. 5, 12:30 p.m.

Emma Lou Olson Civic Center

1801 NE 6St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Come out for the first monthly membership meeting and educational presentation of the season! After a brief membership meeting, Denise Elliott, League of Women Voters, will discuss the Electoral College & the Interstate Compact.  New members welcome. No charge. To R.S.V.P., call 312-316-6229 or e-mail: pompanoscholar@yahoo.com

Pat Anderson’s Art Class

Tuesday, Nov. 5. 10:30 a.m.

Sample-McDougald House

450 NE 10 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Come on out for Watercolors in the Butterfly Garden. “Paint what you see while you see it. Tomorrow it will change.” Classes will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. $40 a class, or $100 for all four classes. Art supplies, instructions and easel setup are included. Bring lunch for picnic tables under the shade of pines and Oaks. For information on November classes, visit http://patandersonartist.com/.

Pat Anderson’s Art Show

Tuesday, Nov. 5. 2 p.m.

Sample-McDougald House

450 NE 10 St.

Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Two decades of Pat’s Plein Air paintings include Flagler RR to Key West, Panama Canal while Art Instructor Onboard, Bahamas: Abacos Hope Town, Marsh Harbour, Man Of War Cay, Green Turtle Cay and Treasure Cay, prior to Hurricane Dorian. Paintings will show through Nov. 12. Admission and tour of the house will be $10, which includes Pat’s lecture: “Mangroves-Mansions-Memories.” For more information visit, www.samplemcdougald.org.

Deerfield Beach Woman’s Club Trips:

Murder Mystery Train

Friday, Nov. 8 until Saturday Nov. 9.

Jump aboard for an overnight trip to Ft. Myers. This trip includes one night at the Hyatt Place hotel with hot breakfast, a trip to Depot Museum, a visit to Miromar Mall with coupon booklet, and a visit to Tin City — sit down dinner & show on the Mystery Dinner Train. The price is $222 per person and all inclusive. Don’t miss out. For more information and to make your reservation, call Sally at 954-427-2175.

Day Trip to Bayside

Market Place Miami

Thursday, Dec. 5.

Lunch at Bubba Gump known for Forest Gump Movie and a 1 ½ hour sightseeing boat tour. The price is $75 and all inclusive. To make reservations, call Sally at 954-427-2175. Hurry seats for this trip will be going fast.

Historic Butler House Tours

Every Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Butler House

380 E. Hillsboro Blvd.

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

The historic home of James D. and Alice Butler is right here in Deerfield Beach and you can get a tour and find out more about our local history. Donations appreciated. For more information, call 954-429-0378.

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Things promised and present

Posted on 16 October 2019 by LeslieM

All things are yours, whether . . . the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ and Christ is of God. (1 Corinthians 3:21-23)

Sometimes, we shrink the truths of the Gospel down to things promised. To be sure, we have been promised an eternity with our Lord, and this eternity will be a place where there will be no more sorrow or sin, pain or persecution, fear or unfaithfulness, disease or death. In a word, it will be the paradise that was lost in the Garden of Eden by the sin of Adam and Eve. The apostle Paul describes this as the beatific vision of God: “Now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

But what about now? What does the Gospel promise us in this present life? What blessings can we expect before we cross the Jordan and enter into our eternal rest?

This article would indeed have no end if I were to try and set before you all that we have been given, for “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Here are just a few things, which I pray will be both a comfort and an encouragement to you. We are . . .

Unconditionally loved

Completely forgiven

Perfectly accepted

Totally empowered

Supernaturally strengthened

Utterly united to God in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit

We must always remember that the Gospel is not only a promise of eternal life. It also impacts our everyday life as well. As the apostle Paul wrote in the passage that opens this article, Whether things present or things to come, ALL THINGS ARE OURS!” And what was Paul doing, but simply advancing a truth that God had already set before His people.

The upright shall have good things in possession. (Proverbs 28:10 KJV)

Christian, it is important to remember that even a life full of “good things” does not mean we will not experience difficulties. Jesus promised that we will experience troubles in this life (John 16:33). The unbelieving world will present problems for the Christian, from intense pressure to intentional persecution.

And if that was not trouble enough, the believing world will present its problems too. Why? Because we are still sinners in moment-by-moment need of a Savior. We say things we ought not say; do things we ought not do; and think things we ought not think, making life difficult on ourselves and those around us. But remember this too: After the promise of problems, Jesus assures us, “But be of good cheer! I have overcome the world.” Because Jesus was an overcomer, we, too, are to be overcomers, regardless of the challenges and difficulties we face on this side of the grave.

In closing, as a child of the Most High God, you currently have good things in your possession. To live out this truth is to live a life marked by joy and thanksgiving to the One who has so graciously given it to you. And above all that you have been promised, you have the presence of your Lord Jesus everywhere you go. When Jesus walked with His disciples, they had Him with them physically, but not every moment of every day. But when Jesus left this earth, He sent His Holy Spirit and promised that His Spirit would dwell within us every moment in this life . . . and in the next. “Surely I am with you always,” He assures us, “to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

May this truth set us free to love our God and to proclaim His incredible promise to a world that desperately needs to hear it.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. Never forget that . . . Amen!

Tommy Boland is the pastor for Cross Community Church located at 841 SE 2 Ct. in Deerfield Beach. For more information, call 954-427-3045 or visit www.thecrosscc.org.

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