Hutchens captures county bowling championship

Posted on 22 August 2019 by LeslieM

Michael Hutchens won the men’s open championship at the Broward County Top 8 Bowling Tournament at the Strikers Family SportsCenter in Sunrise recently. Photo by Gary Curreri.

By Gary Curreri

Michael Hutchens defeated Matt Lazarus, 224-223, to win the men’s open championship in the Broward County United States Bowling Congress Association’s Top Eight Tournament at the Strikers Family SportsCenter in Sunrise recently.

The 36-year-old Pompano Beach man was sitting in third place during qualifying until he rolled a 274 to seize the top seed. 

“I loved it,” Hutchens said. “It was awesome! I love the sport because it is competitive and you can beat anybody,” Hutchens said. “It doesn’t matter what generation you are from, what you like or what your personal interests are. Anything about this game, it doesn’t matter. We are all here for one thing and that is to bowl, and that is what I love.

“You can be a rocker, you can be country or you can be rap,” he continued. “You can be anything you want.”

It was his debut in the Top-8 tournament. He moved to Florida from Indiana in 2013. He bowls at Diamond Strike Lanes in Pompano on Wednesdays, Strikes@Boca on Thursdays and Sawgrass Bowl in Tamarac on Fridays.

The top eight bowlers from around Broward County competed in the one-day event in six divisions –Boys and Girls, Men’s and Women’s Open, and Senior Men and Women. 

“I just wanted to show that I belonged, that’s it,” said Hutchens, who said he has bowled more than a dozen perfect 300-games. “I usually average between 225 and 230, but averaged 240 today. To me, bowling is about fun. It is the enjoyment of the game, meeting new people and everybody fits in because we love one thing and that’s bowling. We all want to win.

We all want to enjoy it, but at the same time we want everybody to be good.”

The competitors in the tournament bowled three games of qualifying and the top four bowlers in each division bowled step ladder finals. The fourth-seeded bowler took on the third seed and that winner bowled the second seed, and the that winner bowled the top-seed for the title.

To qualify for the event, bowlers need to bowl in two leagues in two different houses (bowling alleys) or two leagues in the same bowling center. They have to compete in at least 2/3 of the league to qualify for the Top-8. Juniors needed only one league to qualify for the annual tournament.

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Tel Aviv on Fire opens

Posted on 22 August 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Despite what Representative Rashida Tlaib says, things must be getting better between Palestine and Israel … at least in the movies. The winner of the Venice, Haifa and Seattle Film Festivals, Tel Aviv on Fire opens tomorrow in area theatres. It is a satire about relations between the Palestinians and the Israelis, but with good intentions.

Tel Aviv on Fire is a popular soap opera that is about the “Six-Day War,” circa 1967.  With gritty vacuum tube television technology, we are introduced to the fictional Tala, who is a Palestinian spy with plans for terrorism upon Israel. The actress who portrays Tala has charisma and attracts both Palestinian and Israeli fans.

As the producers decide how to wrap up their soap opera, an executive producer hires his bumbling nephew Salem, who has no experience writing screenplays. He does have an ear for dialogue, and Salem becomes a valuable assistant to the soap opera, which makes Salem a local celebrity at the border crossing between Israel and Palestine.

With great celebrity, comes great responsibility. While crossing the border, Salem runs afoul the Israeli checkpoint officer. Fortunately for Salem, the officer’s family is fans of Tel Aviv on Fire. Unfortunately for Salem, the family wants to influence their own story lines into the soap opera.  

A foreign language film with both English language and English subtitles, Tel Aviv on Fire is a gentle motion picture.  Both sides of the border will find some laughs and the conclusion does satisfy.

This weekend, The Peanut Butter Falcon expands its theatrical distribution in South Florida. The national box office has been slow for this movie, but it is one of the highest rated movies of the year on Rotten Tomatoes.Com in which both critics and public reaction match by a mere one percent difference.

As dire as recent big screen entertainment has been, both The Peanut Butter Falcon and Tel Aviv on Fire are two life-affirming movies with genuine laughs and warmth.  

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Memories, markers and monuments

Posted on 22 August 2019 by LeslieM

At the time of this writing I’m sitting in an airport lounge waiting to board a delayed return flight from New York to Florida. I’m also reflecting on the reason for this trip: the passing of a dear friend and mentor whose life was celebrated in an impressive three-day event. Christian minister and pastor Rev. Dr. A.G. Quarrie was an influencer who caused many people from different generations and different countries to converge on Bronx, NY to show respect for his leadership and to offer comfort for his family. We shared our memories of his friendship and example, and spoke of the great void that now exists with his departure. With numerous tributes and commendations, punctuated with moving gospel songs and powerful homilies, the combined services were a fitting marker to a life well lived. His impact and legacy will live on in the lives of those whom he touched in a powerful way.
I’m also looking ahead to the upcoming dedication of the memorial park on the site of the Old Colored Cemetery in Deerfield Beach. (See more on the event, pg. 4). Once slated for residential development, the site was preserved through the vigorous outcry from members of the community who knew the significance of the land. Thanks to the determination of our community’s leaders, monies to purchase the land and create a memorial park were secured, and the site will serve as a monument to an undeniable past that should never be forgotten. There will also be a statue in honor of the late Branhilda Richardson-Knowles, who served as a midwife for many of the community’s citizens of color who were born in homes rather than hospitals due to social conditions at the time.
As I write this, I’m sitting in an airport that is undergoing major reconstruction to modernize and update the facilities and travel experience for the millions of travelers that pass through its terminals each year. You can only imagine the congestion and confusion that exists as motorists and travelers attempt to navigate the maze of steel, construction equipment, and re-routed traffic, that make entering and exiting the airport an adventure in and of itself. Pictures of the finished product look impressive, but the experience is unnerving and frustrating. Sometimes, in our rush to give birth to the future we produce undeniable birth pangs in the present.
I’m of the opinion that history should be noted and, in some cases, preserved through markers and monuments. Far too many in our day have no appreciation for the past and either take too much for granted or seek to erase the realities of what once was in order to create what they desire. History can be denied but it cannot be undone. Like sounds which once released cannot be reclaimed, neither can the experiences of the past be retracted and refurbished. What’s done is done, and we can only appreciate and celebrate, or contemplate and educate ourselves concerning the good and bad of history. There is something to be learned from all of the past.
As the ancient Israelites made their journey towards the land of promise, they were instructed to set up markers and memorials to their experiences of God’s presence among them. In Exodus 17:14, Israel’s victory over the Amalekites in the valley of Rephidim was to be written and recorded for a memorial. In Exodus 28:29, Moses is given this directive, “So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the Lord continually.” And the successful crossing of the Jordan River during flood season was marked, in Joshua 3:17, by stones which were to serve as “a memorial to the children of Israel forever.” Through these markers future generations would gain knowledge of their history. As Marcus Garvey once said, “A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”
May we never forget the people, places and events that shaped us and positioned us for the present and future.

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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Pompano Beach Golf Course hosts mentor program

Posted on 15 August 2019 by LeslieM

Pine Crest mentor coaches (L to R): Mitchell Davis, Rafael Salazar, Dylan Glatt & Sam Fruit.
Submitted photo, courtesy of Jack Bloomfield.

By Gary Curreri

The First Tee of Broward recently held its 4th annual Mentors Day at the Pompano Beach Golf Course. The Mentors Day was created four years ago by students from the Pine Crest School golf team as a way to introduce groups of deserving young people to the game of golf. 

This year, they once again partnered with the youth organization, Love Our Nation and Tee-2-Green students at Pine Crest and members of the Pine Crest boys golf team.

This was the third year that Pine Crest senior golfer Dylan Glatt coordinated the program. He was assisted by three other boys, varsity golfers in mentoring, and they were seniors Sam Fruit and Rafael Salazar and freshman Mitchell Jacobs.   

“The student mentors taught practice range safety, demonstrated the full swing, chipping and putting, and then the children got to try it out for themselves,” said Jack Bloomfield, director of operations for the First Tee of Broward County. “At the end of the instruction portion of the program, the children participated in a putting contest.”

“It was a wonderful day,” Bloomfield added. “I would also like to thank the Pompano Beach Golf Course for hosting the event.”

The program concluded with a luncheon for all of the participants sponsored by Galuppi’s on the Green Restaurant. Following lunch, each child was presented with a goody bag filled with golf-related prizes sponsored by the PGA Superstore, Jack Nicklaus, Edwin Watts, The Pompano Municipal Golf Course and the Glatt Family.

Pompano Beach men’s golf results

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association held a Two Best Ball of Foursome tournament on Aug. 7 at the Pines course.

The team of Dave Dowling, Jim Greeley and Dennis Sejda carded a 113 to take first place ahead of Al DiBenedetto, Robert Raser and Roy Wilhoite who finished two shots back with a 115. Finishing in third was the team of Gary Gill, John Grether and Bob Mascatello, who shot a 123 and won on a match of cards.

Wilhoite won the closest to the pin contest on the third hole by hitting his shot to 12-feet from the hole. He also calmly made the putt for a birdie.

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Innovation Boca New Innovation Strategist

Posted on 15 August 2019 by LeslieM

Pedro Moras networking at a Brazilian Business Group event.

By Karen Lustgarten

Just three months into the newly-created position of Innovation Strategist for the newly-created Boca Raton Innovation Office, Pedro Moras is in a whirlwind of meetings with city officials, heads of different departments, representatives of organizations, citizens, the start-up community, the business community and leaders of Smart cities in other states and countries. He’s in the information gathering stage, researching to determine where Boca Raton lies as a technology hub on the Smart city spectrum.

His input into Boca’s existing technology and innovation ecosystem is coming from various sectors to identify gaps, strengths, where the city needs to improve and where residents want it to be. At this stage, he’s determining what the city needs to do and the period of time to get there in order to champion Boca Raton as a Smart city and an innovative ecosystem attracting talent.

“The time it will take, the investment it will take, the impact it will have in the community and how do all these things interconnect” is part of the goal setting said Moras. “I didn’t want to come into this position as Innovation Strategist with an arrogant approach saying this is what the city should be doing. I’d rather take a step back, learn, get feedback and we start building a strategy for everyone.”

Boca Raton

Smart City goals

The Smart city concept integrates information and communication technology (ICT) and various physical devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) network to make city operations and services more efficient, and to connect to citizens. Surveillance, automated transportation, smarter energy management systems, water distribution, urban security and environmental monitoring are examples of IoT applications for Smart cities.A Smart city would thus be a city government that not only possesses ICT technology, but has also implemented this technology in a manner that positively impacts the quality of life to make a community more livable.

Smart cities that Moras admires include San Diego, Seoul, Singapore and New York City, “…which is evolving in an interesting way by how they are merging Smart city and the start-up ecosystem,” he noted.

In cities like Hong Kong, technology applications, such as sensors and analytics around air quality, is a major priority because of their high air pollution issue. In Boca Raton, air pollution is important, but he said we don’t have a compelling issue about air quality.

“As we continue our research, one of the goals is to understand and prioritize the unique needs of our city so that we can begin mapping out which Smart city applications and technology make the most sense for Boca,” he said, saying that one major goal is creating a holistic Smart city strategy. Based on early assessments, Moras sees mobility (transportation and traffic) and green technology as important areas of focus here.

He noted that Boca is using quite a bit of technology — sensors in traffic lights, gathering data points.

“Of all the technology we have in the city, how do we bring in that data in a holistic manner and create an intelligent system that allows us to make sense of all that data in order to make better decisions?” he asked.

He said there are many systems in the city being used effectively“…but they are pretty much like silos [isolated from other systems]. So how do we make all these technologies talk to each other?” Some of the integration is already happening he said.

“When we talk about Smart city, we are specifically asking what are the gaps in the city, where do we want to be and what are the projects that are going to get us there? Then, we bring in the right players who we met with across the city and externally. We want to take the mission and vision created and manifest them into something visual where we can see what Boca Raton will look like over the next 10 to 15 years and start building a clear path to getting there. We’re at that stage right now,” he said.

For Boca Raton to be a technology hub, there needs to be an interconnection of things.

“We started talking about the concept of creating a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem. A big piece of that is engaging the start-up community, and how do we make the start-up community stronger? How do we give the right resources and funding for the start-up community and define what types of start-ups we want to attract into our environment? So there’s a lot of strategic work that needs to happen,” he said.

Entrepreneurial emphasis

Pedro Moras is familiar with entrepreneurial start-ups. Born in Brazil and raised in South Florida, he will be tapping into his experience to help further grow the city’s start-up and innovation culture, and promote Boca Raton as a Smart city — an innovation and technology hub.

Prior to his new position, Moras co-founded a successful pet food technology start-up (PetMio) that utilizes advanced artificial intelligence technology to create customized pet nutrition products. He was managing partner at the Konnected Minds Group, a Miami-based innovation consultancy, and was a founding member of the Transformational Innovation Group at Jarden Consumer Solutions (now Newel Brands), a corporate new ventures group focused on new product and business opportunities.

In leading the development of Boca Raton’s Smart City and innovation ecosystem strategy, Moras says he has a lot to unpack beginning with researching Boca’s existing situation. Innovations are happening here he said; he is seeking details about them and areas for improvement.

“Understanding this will allow us to create a detailed Smart city vision and strategy,” said Moras.

Karen Lustgarten is president of Multi-Media Works, a multiple award-winning media company specializing in video, PR, print and social media with offices in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. She founded a newspaper in Washington, DC, was a syndicated columnist and a bestselling author. www.multi-mediaworks.com.

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The Peanut Butter Falcon soars

Posted on 15 August 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

The Peanut Butter Falcon opens tomorrow. This independent sleeper film is an acknowledgement of the American dream. This film contains so many subtle echoes of American cinema and literature, expect media buzz about this filmaround awards season.  

Without a family, Zak (Zack Gottsagen) has Down’s Syndrome and lives in an assisted living facility with his aged roommate Carl (Bruce Dern), a retired engineer. Zak’s caseworker is Eleanor (Dakota Johnson), a sympathetic soul who is trapped within the rigid rules of the assisted living facility. Inspired by Zak, Carl and Eleanor find escapism by watching VHS copies of Southern Wrestling featuring The Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church). 

Across a river, Tyler (Shia LeBeouf) continues his long-standing feud with Crabber Duncan (John Hawkes). A passive aggressive game of tit for tat literally explodes with a dock fire. As Tyler flees for his life, he learns he has a stowaway, Zak, on his little dinghy.

Filmed on the outer banks of Georgia, the narrative for this filmechoes Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Pat Conroy’s The Water is Wide and Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Sufficeth to say, The Peanut Butter Falcon is a meandering and leisurely told tale, but one that engages the ticket buyer up until the final image before the credits roll. Despite outrageous situations, itnever loses a human connection.

Not since Chris Burke’s work as “Corky” on the ABC Television Series Life Goes On, has an actor with Down’s Syndrome taken on such a responsible role. With a natural truth, Zack Gottsagen acquits himself as the title character. Despite a wide generational gap of acting schools (from the Actor’s Studio to the World Wide Wrestling League), the ensemble cast provides generous support towards their leading man.

Despite being tabloid fodder, both Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Shia LeBeouf provide transformative performances that may have affected their personal lives in a positive way. Shedding her Fifty Shades of Grey notoriety, Dakota Johnson gives a winning performance. Even the notorious Bruce Dern provides charm as a rebel who is confined to a chair in an assisted living facility.

Every couple of years, there is a motion picture sleeper that awakens the Dog Days of August box office. A roller coaster ride of laughs and tears, The Peanut Butter Falcon is a sharp contrast to the motion pictures on the big screen these days, go see this one for some Saturday matinee popcorn-eating fun!

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You don’t have to be an idiot

Posted on 15 August 2019 by LeslieM

One of my all-time favorite TV shows was Country Fried Home Videos, hosted by Bill Engvall. In each episode, people would do things that are unthinkable to a normal person. The most bizarre behavior gets rewarded with the “Here’s Your Sign” award. Past winners include a man who got bit as he stuck his hand into the mouth of an alligator, another man who rolled a large piece of slate down a mountainside and right into his vehicle, and another man hanging a large pincher crab on his nipple – ouch! In my opinion, the winners of these awards are idiots!

According to dictionary.com, an idiot is “an utterly foolish or senseless person.” Well, I’ve come across a few idiots in my day, and so have you. Consider the person who sees a “wet paint” sign and touches it to see if it is really wet. Think about the person who blames a ladder as defective after falling from the top section that states, “Danger: Not a Step.” The worst I ever heard was the man who ignored the warning labels and tried to trim his hedge by picking up his lawnmower; he lost fingers on both hands!

Idiots are not only revealed by their bizarre behavior, but also by their bizarre thought processes. Consider the man who gets angry when the woman he had a one-night stand with asks for child support. Consider the person dying with lung cancer or Emphysema who continues to smoke. What about the 90-year-old man who refuses to believe that his 20-year-old girlfriend is only after his money and not his wrinkly old body. These are only a few examples of foolish or idiotic thinking; but there are many, many more.

Foolish behavior is nothing new. Consider Adam & Eve, who lost everything because they believed a talking snake and ate the fruit. Consider the people who mocked Noah as he built the ark and ultimately drowned. Uzzah touched the Ark of the Covenant after God told him not to and fell dead. King David had many wives and concubines, but just had to have Bathsheba. Judas saw Jesus’ perform miracles, but chose to betray Him. The crowds chose to crucify Jesus, even though Pilate proclaimed Him to be innocent. People have been making utterly foolish or senseless decisions since the beginning.

Foolish behavior and beliefs continue today. People deny Jesus’ existence, even though His life is documented by historians. People now argue that America was never founded as a Christian nation, although the proof is stamped all over Washington D.C. People refuse to believe the Bible. People know what God expects, but they choose to live otherwise. Proverb 14:12 NIV states, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”

It is easy to prove that people make utterly foolish and senseless decisions every day; but the point is that we do not have to. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Realizing this, don’t be foolish; instead choose wisely. It is appointed unto men once to die and after that is the judgment. So, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. That is the wisest choice you can ever make!

Dr. Gary A. Colboch is Senior Pastor at Grace Church located at 501 NE 48 St. in Pompano Beach. For more information, call 954-421-0190 or pastor@gbcfl.org.

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Christensen captures Boros Award

Posted on 08 August 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Thomas Christensen, a 2019 graduate of Pompano Beach High School, won the Junior Golf Association of Broward County’s Julius Boros Award. Photo by Gary Curreri.

Thomas Christensen, a 2019 graduate of Pompano Beach High School, captured the most prestigious award that the Junior Golf Association (JGA) of Broward County has to offer.

The 18-year-old from Coral Springs won the coveted Julius Boros Award, which goes to the male golfer who had the lowest stroke average for the summer golf series. His scoring average was 72.4. He is headed to the honors college at the University of Florida (UF).

“I’ve always wanted to go to the UF since I was a little kid,” Christensen said. “Both of my parents went to UF and I grew up watching Tim Tebow on TV, so it was kind of my thing. I had to go to UF, and I am happy that I get to go.”

Christensen has played in the JGA of Broward since 2009, but he took some time off when he got frustrated that the other golfers in his group hit the ball farther.

“I had moved up the divisions, but I got to a point to where I didn’t hit the ball far enough to keep up,” he said. “I wasn’t really enjoying it.”

That was when he was 11-years-old. He came back after a two-year layoff after growing about 6 in. in height and working more on his game.

“I was around 5 ft. tall playing in the junior division, and the rest of the golfers looked like giants to me. They were like 5-10 and 5-11,” said Christensen, who is now 6 ft., 3 in. tall. “I was definitely a lot smaller than the rest.”

He finished third in the three-day, season-ending tournament, and, in addition to winning the Boros Award, he also won the Purdo Award for the highest grade point average for a male golfer and also the Bedford Scholarship.

“Going into the past few seasons, it wasn’t about winning every event,” Christensen said. “Every day, I came to this final event of the championship, and I see the guy who gets to go up and get his name engraved on the large Julius Boros Award trophy, and I have always wanted to do that.

“So, this year,” he continued, “it as mostly about earning that award and not so much about winning the individual tournaments. I wasn’t trying to do anything too fancy, just put up some good solid numbers.”

Christensen said he continues to improve.

“I am still learning a lot about my own game,” Christensen said. “I am finding myself in situations where I can post numbers. I like to make several birdies in a round. The key is putting it together every single hole.

“I feel like I am due for that,” Christensen said. “It hasn’t quite happened yet, so I am going to keep working at it.”

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Brian Banks, a must see for the start of preseason football

Posted on 08 August 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

For multiple reasons, football is not as important as it used to be to me. In the past two years, the drama has been on the sidelines and off the field of play. When the Miami Dolphins play tonight, I will be more interested in how the commentators, Nat Moore and Bob Griese, both Dolphin legends, are doing.  The Dolphins opponent will be the Atlanta Falcons.

The film Brian Banks opens this weekend, and the Atlanta NFL franchise plays a part in this narrative. The dream of playing football is a big part of the film, but this movie is based on a true story about a 16-year-old male that is victimized by rumor, gossip and hearsay.

The film opens on a playground as Brian Banks (Aldis Hodge) watches from a gated fence. He is enjoying the game of pee wee football, but is annoyed when he has to answer a call from his parole officer. 

Under a new California law, Brian is forced to limit his travel outside of Los Angeles. This law derails his chances to play football with a small time college, which opens up old wounds. He was a high prospect recruit for USC, but this was prevented when Brian was accused of sexual assault in a high school hallway. When a plea bargain deal failed, Brian spent his formative years in prison.

With only the support of his mother (Sherri Shepherd), Brian perseveres and obtains the aid of a civil rights lawyer, Justin Brooks (Greg Kinnear). Yet, Brian’s case is mired in bureaucracy and legalese. A break in the case occurs when Brian’s accuser makes an overture to be his Facebook friend.

Brian Banks is a fascinating modern story, with echoes of great drama from Jean Paul Sartre, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Friedrich Nietzsche. In the darkest abyss of solitary confinement, Brian finds his true character when he remembers the inspirational words of his mentor (Morgan Freeman, in an unaccredited cameo). 

Since his recent passing, HBO has been playing the documentary The Many Lives of Nick Buoniconti, which recounts the man’s career as football player, a lawyer and as an advocate to cure paralysis. Like Brian Banks, Nick Buoniconti used football as a means to an end, but it did not define their lives. Brian Banks is a cautionary film about having a dream denied, but through character development, life does not have to be a nightmare.

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Storms don’t last forever

Posted on 08 August 2019 by LeslieM

What a storm we had this afternoon. The lightning bolts were bright and seemed to pause, almost demanding our attention. The thunder was booming and the rain was falling. My wife and I sat on the back porch in amazement, as we watched one lightning bolt after another. The storm lasted for less than an hour and then it was over. The lightning ceased, the thunder silenced and the rain stopped. It was in that moment that my wife spoke these words of wisdom, “Storms don’t last forever.” I said, “That would make a great blog,” to which she replied, “I know,” and then chuckled.

Like thunderstorms, the storms of life seem to hit us out of nowhere. Life can be sunny and, before you know it, you are in the middle of a storm: Finances fall short, companies downsize, health fails, relationships end, careers close out, cars break down, miscarriages happen, we fail tests, miss promotions, and the poor choices of others often affect us. We can close our eyes, cover our ears and bury our head in a pillow; but the life-storm rages on.

It is no coincidence that the Bible records so many stories about storms. Probably the most familiar is found in Matthew 8:23-27 where a storm rose up while Jesus and the disciples were boating on the Sea of Galilee. The disciples were fearful and upset that Jesus was sleeping; but when they woke Him, He calmly said, “Peace, be still,” and the storm ended.

Listen to some of the promises in Scripture related to the storms of life. Psalm 57:1 tells us that we can take refuge under the shadow of God’s wings, until the storms of destruction pass by. Nahum 1:7 tells us that God is a stronghold and we can take refuge in Him. Psalm 91:1-2 calls God my (personal) refuge and my (personal) fortress. Isaiah 4:6 calls God a refuge and a shelter from the storm. Psalm 23 reminds us that God protected those travelers that navigated through the treacherous Valley of the Shadow of Death (a literal place). 2 Cor. 4:8-9 states, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” Just “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

You may remember the song “The Anchor Holds,” written by Lawrence Chewning and sung by Ray Boltz. I had the privilege of hearing those two men sing that song together. Just before they sang it, I heard Lawrence Chewning tell the story of writing that song in his year of sorrows after: his father died, his wife experienced her third miscarriage, the church he planted and pastored for 19 years split, and he was tired, burned-out and discouraged. It was during that time that God gave him the lyrics to “The Anchor Holds” and used it to comfort, encourage and renew his soul. Those words have also blessed countless thousands of other people, too!

Today, you may find yourself in the middle of a personal storm. In the words of my wife and a Bible full of promises, remember that storms do not last forever. “Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). Hang in there!

Dr. Gary A. Colboch is Senior Pastor at Grace Church located at 501 NE 48 St. in Pompano Beach. For more information, call 954-421-0190 or pastor@gbcfl.org.

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