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B r a n d o n • Va l r i c o • L i t h i a • S e f f n e r • R i v e r v i e w • P l a n t C i t y • A p o l l o B e a c h

Volume 20, Issue 9

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September 2016

An Evening With Unspoken At Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church

By Michelle Colesanti

Gift Certificate Giveaway Page 5


Cowboy Church Opening In Plant City In October Page 3

Cupcakes & Jesus Line For Tweens At Family Christian Page 6

Second Tampa Bay Coffee & Art Festival Page 11


Faith & Footprints:

Page 4

Hooked On Books:

Page 13

Pastor’s Corner:

Grace Notes:

Page 9

Page 15

yourself to a craft, I Tickets are now think the better you on sale for national become at it, esperecording Christian cially as you are surband Unspoken rounding yourself when they perform with people who are at Holy Innocents’ good at it.” Episcopal Church at Jennette is a 604 N. Valrico Rd. in local Christian music Valrico on Friday, recording artist who September 9. The has recorded an concert will also feaalbum in Nashville, ture opening artist and currently serves Cole Jennette. as worship leader at Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the Tickets are now on sale for national recording Christian band Unspoken, who will perform Riverside Church in at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church on Friday, September 9. Ft. Myers. concert begins at 7 The proceeds p.m. Unspoken has Innocents’ is extremely excited to be able will be split between Soldiers for Faith had two top-five singles on the Christian to host this event.” ( and Holy music charts and is an up-and-coming Unspoken first came together after Innocents', where the proceeds will go group in the Christian music industry. They leader singer Chad Mattson met guitarist toward the mission and ministry of the recently released a new album titled Mike Gomez on a mission trip in the church. Follow Through, and this concert is your Dominican Republic. Mattson had been Want to meet Unspoken? A VIP ticket chance to hear favorites and brand new struggling with drug and alcohol addiction experience is $30 and gets you reserved music. for years, and decided to go on a mission first- or second-row seating at the concert, Rector, Fr. Douglas Scharf said, trip to re-build his relationship with God. It a free CD, and a meet-and-greet with the "Hosting this concert is a great opportunity was there in the Dominican Republic band following the concert. General for people in our community to hear some where Mattson’s eyes were opened and admission tickets are also available at $20 really good music with a positive, encourhe came to know Christ in a powerful for ages 17 and older. For ages 16 and aging message by a well known Christian way. under, it is $10 (with student ID). Visit band. Usually bands of this caliber only Mattson reflected on this season of to purplay in larger venues, so this concert will growth on the group’s web page, “The chase tickets. be a unique experience, and Holy more you work on something and devote

Bloomingdale High Graduate, Pro Baseball Player Finds Strength In Faith

By Nick Nahas

In a society where athletes like Tim Christian athletes together to spread the Tebow are heavily scrutinized for showing gospel and show that they are not their faith on the playing field, Sal Giardina ashamed of their faith. Sal shows his faith is a Christian athlete who is not afraid to on the field when he prays in centerfield display his faith in God on and off the before each game. baseball field. “My ultimate goal as a professional Baseball has always been a big part athlete is to make an impact on people's of the Giardina family. His brother, lives and lead people to the one true Carmine, was a pro baseball player until Savior Jesus Christ,” Sal said. With every retiring after last season, and his father, signature he puts a Bible verse, usually Sal Giardina Sr. has been coaching baseEphesians 2:10, a verse he says is very ball for the majority of his life. His mother, close to his heart. “For we are his workLaurel, owns 1st Sporting Goods, located manship, created in Christ Jesus for good on Lithia Pinecrest Road. Sal played high works, which God prepared beforehand, school baseball at Bloomingdale High that we should walk in them.” Photo courtesy Sal Giardina School, and played college baseball at “I do this because you never know Sal Giardina (right) and his parents pose for a Palm Beach State, later transferring to who this verse can reach or who it can photo at the Atlanta Braves spring training game. Lynn University before being drafted by encourage,” Sal said. gled with classes, and the stresses of trythe Atlanta Braves in the 2014 MLB Draft. Sal has already had an impact on a ing to balance baseball and school at the He currently plays for the Carolina young fan who saw him praying before a same time. As a result he began partying Mudcats, a Class A-Advanced affiliate of game. The fan’s mother texted Sal to and drinking to help fill the void that he felt. thank him. “At his all-star tournament the Braves. One day he got a call from his brother Faith has also been an anchor in Sal’s tonight, I looked over and he was praying asking him if he wanted to join him in shar- during the National Anthem and took a life for as long as he can remember. He ing his testimony with a youth group. He was raised by a Catholic family that went knee to pray in the on-deck circle before was hesitant at first, but he wanted to go to each at-bat,” she said. “I had never seen to church every Sunday. He attended support his brother. “As I listened to my church services and went to Sunday him pray and display his faith on the field brother tell his testimony, it was like I heard before he saw you do it. So I wanted to school, but he didn’t realize what it truly God’s voice for the first time,” Sal said. “He thank you for the positive influence in how meant to be a Christian yet. “I prayed had gone through the things that I was when things were hard and knew who he plays the game and for teaching him God was,” he said, “but I never understood going through. I saw the change that God that he doesn’t have to hide or be had made in my brother’s life and wanted the relationship side of things.” ashamed of his faith while he is on the Sal went through a hard time in his life to get to know more about Jesus.” field.” Carmine founded an organization when he transitioned to college and had to For more about Unashamed Athletes, called Unashamed Athletes to bring live on his own for the first time. He strugvisit

Page 2 • • September 2016

Celebration Dinner Promotes Empowering Choices For Positive Change For Teens

Staff Report

teaching them refusal skills, and encouraging students to set boundaries in their dating relationships. Lecturers discuss the benefits of abstinence. It has a partnership with the Hillsborough County School district and has a presence in almost all the main high schools in Hillsborough County. For over 15 years, A semi-formal dinner to learn about the Teen IMPACT IMPACT has reached about Program takes place on Thursday, September 22. 10,000 students each year, IMPACT, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, teaching them how to avoid high-risk promotes healthy living and relationships behaviors. through its Teen IMPACT program. It gets In the summer a program called students to commit to being drug-free, Summer Staff is offered. High school stualcohol-free, and tobacco-free, while prac- dents are recruited and trained to provide ticing abstinence. skit-based presentations, highlighting the According to Executive Director healthy choice lifestyle that they have Angie Kagey, “The essence [of IMPACT] learned through IMPACT at area Boys is to continue to provide students with and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, recreation ceneducation on healthy choices and relaters, and church youth groups. In order to tionship education throughout our comparticipate, students need to apply, audimunity.” tion, and pass an interview. IMPACT has a three-prong IMPACT’s annual dinner is a celebraapproach. Besides the classroom education of IMPACT and its main fundraiser. tion and teen IMPACT, there is also The semi-formal dinner takes place this Parent Power, where parents learn how year on Thursday, September 22 from to have conversations with their teens 6:30-8:30 p.m. at The Regent, located at about how to avoid high risk behavior. 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview. Doors The program provides additional support open at 6 p.m. and dinner starts at 6:45 to help parents feel more qualified to talk p.m. There is no cost to attend the event to their teens. and reservations can be made at IMPACT’s Classroom Education There are also gram sends trained speakers into the opportunities for both individuals and schools to educate teens on the imporbusinesses to host or sponsor a table. tance of sexual risk avoidance, while also Call 264-9368 for more information.

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Page 3 • • September 2016

Plant City’s Cowboy Church Opens In October

By Bonnie Mentel

who have never been to church,” Gillett said. He will be the pastor at the new site. Gillett started out as a chapter president with the organization and was eventually asked to be a chaplain. He worked as a licensed chaplain and was ordained as a pastor in June. Gillett and his Head Chaplain for Cowboys for Christ Ministries of Central Florida David Gillett (left) pictured with Erich Holmquist. family oversee five different youth rodeos A new Cowboy Church will be meetthroughout Central Florida, from Arcadia ing at the RRR Farms in Plant City. Its to Lakeland. They serve with the Youth first service will be held on Sunday, Rodeo Association of Central Florida, October 2 at 10 a.m. teaching children the Bible. “This church is going to be more like Cowboys for Christ, which is located an outreach community church where in Ft. Worth, Texas, states on its website, we’re going to meet once a month and “Cowboys for Christ is one of the very have a service for the community. It’s for oldest livestock industry ministries and for people who wouldn’t normally go to over 42 years we have been a leader in church,” said David Gillett, head chaplain proclaiming Jesus Christ to the lost wherfor Cowboys for Christ Ministries of ever they work, play and live. We are a Central Florida. ‘go to them’ ministry that reaches out to The morning will consist of a halfall aspects of the cowboy world at every hour of Bible Study, a break, followed by opportunity to reflect God’s love and a worship service and then lunch, so that reveal His wonderful plan of eternal salvapeople can fellowship with each other. tion.” Gillett’s wife, a former preschool teacher, The website also states that both city will have activities planned for the chiland country folk are welcome at their dren. services. Cowboys for Christ currently has a RRR Farms is located at 7449 Cowboy Church in Polk City, Church of Loghouse Rd. in Plant City. For more the Barn. They average about 30 people information, visit its Facebook page, per service. The goal of both churches is Cowboys for Christ of Central Florida, call to work with attendees to eventually get 982-1172, or email them into a regular church. “This is a starting point for people

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Page 4 • • September 2016

Get To Know Your Saints

By Kelly Wise Valdes

a church. Staude searched for the ideal location during her travels throughout Europe and the United States. During a trip through Sedona, she was in awe of the beauty of the red rocks and decided the chapel should be built there as "a monument to faith, but a spiritual fortress so charged with God, that it spurs man's spirit Godward." The chapel is a testimony of great architectural achieveChapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona. ment. The construction was More than half a century after its concomplicated, requiring skill, ingenuity and struction, the Chapel of the Holy Cross commitment. The chapel is an example of continues to be a spiritual landmark setmodern architecture, with primary focus ting high atop the red rocks of Sedona, on the large windows and cross behind Arizona. The views from outside the an altar. It took more than 18 months to chapel are breathtaking and the serenity complete and was dedicated in April inside is humbling. The chapel is built on 1956. Within the year, the chapel two pinnacled rocks more than 250 ft. high and extends outward from a red rock achieved national recognition and was featured in Life Magazine, The New York wall representing the solid Rock of Peter Times, The Washington Post and in the Bible. The amazing views, especially at sunset, make this chapel a popu- received a national award for religious lar tourist destination and spiritual pilgrim- structures. Visitors world-wide have traveled to age. this destination in Northern Arizona, often The Chapel of the Holy Cross was a expecting to find the chapel as just anothgift from Marguerite Brunswig Staude, a er charming site but are often surprised to sculptor, philanthropist and devout find themselves in awe of the spirituality Catholic, who believed the Chapel of the from this simple building and its location Holy Cross to be her greatest artistic among Sedona's red rocks. achievement and the fulfillment of her Visiting the chapel is free and is open life's mission. While in New York in 1936, daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (except for Staude observed that a cross could be Thanksgiving, Good Friday, Easter and seen in the newly constructed Empire Christmas.) For more information, visit State Building when viewed from a certain angle. This was her epiphany to build

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Page 5 • • September 2016

Your Monthly Catch Local Happenings In Our Community

admission charge, but donation box available and appreciated. There are 350 seats; everyone is encouraged to come early or bring a chair. Call 967-3046 or visit The singing takes place the last Friday of every month. It is located at 7818 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Lithia.

St. Stephen Knights Of Columbus Installation

On July 30, Assembly 3418 of the Knights of Columbus held its installation of officers at St. Stephen Catholic Church. The Installation was officiated by Sir Knight Julio Alvarez Jr., who had been appointed by the Master of the Desoto Providence to conduct it as his representative. Each degree of the Knights of Columbus is associated with a particular virtue, the fourth being patriotism. Consequently, the fourth degree is often known as The Patriotic Degree. The requirements for joining the fourth are that a brother knight must have been a third degree member in good standing, be an exemplary Catholic, and be of sound citizenship of his country. The goals of the fourth degree may be summarized as the promotion of the ideals of Catholicism and Patriotism side by side.

Blue Mass To Be Held For First Responders In Appreciation

The St. Stephen Knights of Columbus wants to show its appreciation and pray for first responders as a community by holding a Blue Mass on Wednesday, September 14 at 7 p.m. This is open to all first responders even if they are not Catholic. Our Supreme Knight and Pope John Paul asked all Knights to have this Mass to honor all First Responders after 9/11. St. Stephen Catholic Church is located at 5049 Bell

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Assembly 3418 of the Knights of Columbus recently installed officers at St. Stephen Catholic Church.

Shoals Rd. in Valrico. Call 743-2805.

Uncle Mikes Offers Pastors Free Meal On Sundays

Pastors eat free on Sundays from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (up to $11.99) at Uncle Mikes at 106 S.R. 60 E. in Plant City.

BCWC’s New Season Of Luncheons Begins With Salute To America

The Brandon Christian Women's Connection will commence its season of luncheons with a theme, music and a spiritual speaker on Monday, September 12 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Salute to America with a patriotic theme and music will honor veterans. This is a nondenominational luncheon for all ladies and no membership is required. The luncheon will take place at Bell Shoals Baptist Church in the Special Events Center located at 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. The

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Free Movie Night At RUMC

The Hispanic Ministry of the Riverview United Methodist Church (RUMC) is hosting a free movie night to view War Room. The movie will take place on Friday, September 9 at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Bill Chrichton Hall, located at 8002 US Hwy. 301 S. in Riverview. There will be free pop corn and soda. Call 389-3607.

Inspirational Music And Singing At The Farm

Join the fun on Friday, September 30 at The Farm singing about God and country. Enjoy hamburgers, hotdogs and beverages at 6:30 p.m., music (open mic) at 7 p.m. and featured artist at 8 p.m. No

Holy Innocent’s Episcopal Church is accepting vendor sign-ups for its ninth annual Fall Whistle Stop Craft Show on Saturday, November 5 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The event will be held on the church grounds at 604 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico. Both inside and outside locations are available. Interested vendors can register for a spot at Contact 689-3130.

Forming Consciences For Faithful Citizenship

Prepare for the upcoming election with a fully-formed conscience. Join Rev. Joel M. Kovanis for a study of the United States Catholic Bishops document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” This document will be discussed over four weeks, beginning Tuesday, September 6 at 12:30 p.m. in the Conesa Center. Visit or call 634-2328. Prince of Peace Catholic Church is located at 702 Valley Forge Blvd. in Sun City Center.


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Page 6 • • September 2016

The Crossing Church Helps Shoes For Tampa Bay 2016 Collect Shoes For Local Children

Staff Report

(Right) Emma began collecting shoes for children at her seventh birthday party. Due to her compassion for others, Shoes for Tampa Bay was born and now over 7,000 pairs of shoes have been collected. (Above)Members of The Crossing Church helped Emma in her collection of shoes.

Shoes for Tampa Bay originated from the vision of a 6-year-old girl named Emma. At this young age, Emma displayed a compassionate and loving heart for people. For her seventh birthday Emma asked her mom if [instead of getting presents for herself] she could get shoes to give to children in need. Her aspiration and God’s calling led her to begin collecting new shoes for children who did not have any of their own. Emma’s excitement became transparent when she and her family collected over 500 pairs of shoes in less than six months. Knowing that they were on to something special, but not knowing how or what to do, Emma and her mom decided to reach out to The Crossing Church for better guidance and direction. From that connection, Shoes for Tampa Bay was born. To date, over 7,000 pairs of shoes have been collected. These shoes blessed children locally and across the world from Tampa to

Kenya. The Crossing Church under the leadership of Pastor Greg Dumas has paved the way for Shoes for Tampa Bay (S4TB) for the past three years. The Crossing Church has two campuses located in Tampa and Ruskin, and has partnered with local churches, agencies and elementary schools in the Tampa Bay community. This event opens the door for volunteers at the church level, as well as, volunteers from the schools, parents and community leaders. According to Shane Riley, director of local outreach for The Crossing Church, “The 2016 S4TB event provided shoes to the students of Ruskin, Clair Mel and Potter Elementary. Any shoes that were left over were given to the school to give out as needed. In addition, we also were able to give shoes to Emergency Care Help Organization of Brandon, Metropolitan Ministries and the Guardian ad Litem program of Hillsborough County.” This event is done annually in preparation for the children going back to school. This is their third year running and the hope is to be giving out shoes for a long time to come. For additional information and to see a short video, visit

Family Christian Promotes Positive Message Within New Clothing Line

By Tatiana Ortiz

Family Christian recently launched a new clothing and accessory line for tween girls called Cupcakes and Jesus.

Spreading and encouraging a positive message for young females in the realm of the fashion industry seems grim nowadays. Unfortunately, the media and entertainment industry plays a major role in how females portray themselves. “Family Christian developed an alternative to secular clothing and accessory options line called Cupcakes and Jesus,” said District Manager of Family Christian John Luick. In July, Family Christian launched its exclusive brand called Cupcakes and Jesus, which targets tween girls. It hit 150 store shelves nationwide throughout the United States. The brand strives to promote uplifting messages based off phrases from Bible passages such as Song of Solomon and other books of the Bible. All of their apparel, stationary items and personal accessories consist of a phrase branched off of these

passages. “Be Bold, Shine Bright” and other phrases can be seen on their products. Prices of items range from $1.99 to $29.99. Consumers can purchase T-shirts, notebooks, socks, bookmarks, lip balm and much more in stores or online. The majority of the line includes accessories, hairbrushes, and lip balm just to name a few. The lip balm comes shaped in multicolored golf balls. With the T-shirts, individuals can choose between a total of two and sizes do vary. Also, the products come in an array of bright colors with the cupcake emblem. The line name, Cupcakes and Jesus, stems from the idea that a cupcake can be a fun pick-me-up. With the name Jesus, means to shine bright. This uniqueness of the brand ties into their message, which will help girls think positively about themselves. “Family Christian supports parents, whether single or not, and wants families to know that their girls are loved by their Creator,” said Luick. For more information about Family Christian or Cupcakes and Jesus, visit It is located at 2454 W. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m.- 5 p.m. Call 651-5700.

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Page 7 • • September 2016

Get It Listed! Get It SOLD!

Get To Know Your Saints

By Kelly Wise Valdes

A canonized saint that is honored as Rita’s desire was to understand fully a special protector is the suffering of Jesus. known as a patron saint. A One day when Rita was patron saint may also be a 60 years old, she was benefactor of persons in a meditating before an certain occupation or a image of the crucifixion guardian of those who when suddenly a small bear the saint's name. A wound appeared on her patron saint may be forehead, as though a invoked to intercede with thorn from Christ’s cruciGod for help in a time of fixion crown penetrated special need. her own flesh. For the This month we are next 15 years she wore learning some interesting this external sign of union history about Saint Rita of with the crucifixion. Cascia. Rita was born in During the last four St. Rita of Cascia 1381 in a village near years of her life, Rita sufCascia, Italy. As a young girl, Rita visited fered from chronic illnesses and was conthe convent of the Augustinian Nuns and fined to bed. It was during this suffering dreamed of one day becoming a nun. that it was said that Rita received divine However, her parents had promised her visions from the Lord. In spite of the pain in marriage, according to the custom of she constantly experienced, she offered the day. Rita was married at the age of 12 herself courageously for the physical and to a man described as cruel and harsh. spiritual well being of others. She was married for 18 years, had two She died at the age of 76 at Cascia sons and was finally widowed when her and many miracles were reported instanthusband was killed in a brawl. Both sons ly. Canonized in 1900, she is honored in also died of natural causes soon after. Spain as a patron saint of hopeless causRita found herself at this time of mourning es. Her body has remained incorrupt over drawn even more so to her calling to the centuries, at times giving off a sweet serve Christ. fragrance. Much of her body is still incorAnxious to become a nun, she tried rupt; including her forehead where the unsuccessfully to enter the Augustinian wound can be seen. Today it is in a Nuns of Saint Mary Magdalene sealed glass coffin in a church of St. Monastery. She was refused because Augustine in Cascia, Italy, where she was a widow and because of the Christians come to pray and ask for a requirement that all sisters should be virmiracle. gins. Finally, the nuns welcomed her as Stay tuned next month while we she had proven her unwavering devotion explore the life of Saint Luigi Scrosoppi. to prayer and charity.


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Page 8 • • September 2016

Local Reformers Unanimous Chapters Offers Help With Addictions

By Michelle Colesanti

gram was Reformers Unanimous. Currington decided to launch the program nationally in 2000 and today there are over 1,000 RU chapters worldwide. In 2013, Pastor David Goforth of Providence Baptist Church in Riverview introduced RU to his church. Members took up a love offering for the ministry and began praying about when and how to start it. It took two years, but in December of 2015 Ethan and Sarah Owen felt the calling to take on the ministry. They received formal training in Rockford needed to bring RU to the church, trained other members and began the program locally. Ethan is currently the director of the Tampa Bay’s RU chapter. He felt the calling to this ministry because of God’s working and great power in Ethan and Sarah Owen began the Reformers the midst of his own addiction-filled Unanimous chapter at Providence Baptist life. He spent most of his teenage Church in Riverview in 2015. years filled with depression, frustration Reformers Unanimous (RU) is a pro- and anger, which was due to bad relagram helping people with crippling addic- tionships. Instead of turning to God, he tions gain their freedom through Jesus turned to drugs and alcohol. In 2011, he Christ. Founded in 1996, Steve finally understood that his addiction was Currington started the program in because he did not have the Savior in Rockford, Illinois after his own 10 year his life. Through His power, Ethan gained bondage to drugs and alcohol. A very not only sobriety, but freedom from his serious car accident that nearly took his addictions. life helped him focus on a new direction. The RU program is open to the pubHe decided to return to church, and was lic and meets every Friday at 7 p.m. at welcomed with open arms. Over a period Providence Baptist Church, located at of time, he developed a program to help 5416 Providence Rd. in Riverview. others who were also addicted. That pro- Childcare is available.

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Wycliffe Bible Translators USA Connects Millennials To The Bible

By Libby Hopkins

President Ronald Reagan once said, “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems we face.” Many people don’t look at the Bible as a problem solver; they only see “just a book.” The Barna Research Group reported in 2016 that only 16 percent of Millennials believe the Bible is the actual, literal Word of God, and one in three Millennials view it as “not inspired by God” or “just another book.” One in five teenagers has a similarly negative view of Scripture. The Wycliffe Bible Translators USA hopes to change these statics with their “Why Bible” (#WhyBible) campaign that kicked off September 1. “The Word of God is perhaps the most important ingredient for a healthy, individual faith and a thriving church community. But research shows that a surprising number of people, including believers, are apathetic about the Bible,” said Bob Creson, president and CEO of Wycliffe USA. “We want to start a conversation about the Bible’s power to change lives.” The Why Bible campaign will run throughout the month of September, and Wycliffe USA anticipates it becoming an annual initiative. For more than 70 years, Wycliffe Bible Translators have helped people around the world translate the Bible into their own languages. It also helps with language development, literacy and other

spiritual and physical needs. “Our founder, William Cameron Townsend, was originally a Bible salesman in Guatemala,” said Gena Lorenz of Wycliffe Bible Translators. “When he encountered Cakchiquel speakers who had no use for the Spanish Bibles he was selling, he realized many minority languages need Bible translations of their own. In 1942, he founded Wycliffe Bible Translators to help translate the Bible for every language that needs it.” Today, Wycliffe continues that mission. Of the world’s roughly 7,000 languages, at least 1,700 translations have yet to begin. This represents 180 million entirely unreached people. However, thanks to improving methods and innovations in technology, the goal of starting a translation project in every language that needs one may be less than a decade away. Creson and Lorenz both hope the Why Bible campaign will change the way everyone, including Millennials, view the Bible. “We want to start a conversation and get people thinking about the Bible again,” Lorenz said. Our hope for Why Bible is that it inspires people to engage with Scripture regularly as part of their daily walk with God, and demonstrates the Bible’s relevance and power for those who haven’t yet considered all it has to offer.” Visit or

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Page 9 • • September 2016

Objects Of Compassion

In 1940, Audie Murphy was a 5 ft. 5 in. tall 16 year old teenager who was almost denied the opportunity to serve his country during the Second World War. Turned down by the Air Force and the Marines because of his height, he joined the Army. He was smaller than average in stature but gigantic in heart, bravery, and courage. Four years later he would be the United States’ most decorated war hero in history. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor plus 32 other medals of valor. He was America’s hero. In contrast, I remember Branded, a T.V. program when I was young (that’s now played on the Western Channel) about a U.S Calvary Captain in the early west named Jason McCord, played by legendary Chuck Connor. McCord was the sole survivor of a fierce battle and massacre at Bitter Creek, but was judged and branded a coward. Each week a new episode brought McCord face to face with a new accuser and an opportunity to prove that “he was a man” with respectable character. He only received compassion and respect after he had proven himself in the face of conflict and testing. Most of us have not had the applause and accolades of an Audie Murphy. Probably, more of us have felt

condemnation or the stinging judgements of an accuser. But, how great does it feel to be an “object of compassion?” At the dedication of the great temple, Solomon prayed in 1 Kings 8: 46-50, “When they sin against You, for there is no man who does not sin,… forgive Your people... and make them objects of compassion before those who have taken them captive, that they may have compassion on them.” Others may not know or understand the momentary impulse that triggered a heroic action or the circumstances of the moment that led to one’s wrong choice. God does. Even if we have not been branded publicly, the enemy accuses us and convinces us that we should be objects of wrath rather than objects of compassion. Rejoice, you are an “object of compassion!” Dr. Daniel R. Stahl has ministered in the eastern Hillsborough County area for over 30 years. He previously served on staff at Bell Shoals Baptist Church, Calvary Church (now The Crossing Church), Bay Life Church, and currently his third church plant, The Palms Church, which meets at 207 New Hope Rd. in Brandon on Sundays at 9 & 10:30 a.m. He graduated from Western KY University (BA), Southwestern Baptist Seminary (MDIV), and Fuller Theological Seminary (DMin). Visit

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Page 10 • • September 2016

Volunteers Needed For Annual Coastal Cleanup

Staff Report

Since 1989, KTBB has provided bay-area residents of all ages with opportunities for meaningful service. Tampa Bay Beautification, founded in 1989, and Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful, founded in 1992, merged in 2012 to form KTBB. Last year, more than 16,000 KTBB volunteers took part in 972 community projects throughout Tampa Bay. Damico added that this year the organization has developed a Marine Debris Tracker app that volunteers are Photo courtesy KTBB now encouraged to download on their The Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Club gears up mobile devices available both the to remove litter from the Hillsborough River in Google Play and Apple stores to collect September 2015. data on litter removal. Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful (KTBB) is During last year’s Coastal Clean Up, now recruiting volunteers for the 4,928 volunteers collected 18,837 lbs. of Hillsborough River and Coastal Clean Up, miscellaneous debris (wood, metal, tires, one of the organization's largest annual etc.) from around 86 clean up locations events. that included 1,746 acres of park, 56 Scheduled for Saturday, September acres of wetland, 41 miles of shorelines, 17, the event will be KTBB’s 29th annual nearly 30 miles of roadways and 37 acres clean up, which according to of trails. The total number of trash bags Environmental Program Coordinator, Tom filled amounted to 2,876. Damico, fits the organization’s mission KTBB officials also want to thank volperfectly as it provides environmental unteers for their participation in the July education and volunteer opportunities that 5th, After Fireworks Cleanup that has develop individual responsibility and envi- resulted in the cleanup of more than 10 ronmental stewardship. acres of park land, 4 miles of trails and “This event is an amazing opportunity prevented more than 2,149 lbs. of litter for the community to get a better perand debris from entering into Tampa Bay. spective of what it takes to keep our World Oceans Day, on Saturday, coastlines clean, how important this event June 11 had 512 volunteers remove is, and how we can move forward as it is 25,501 lbs. of marine debris from locapared with education,” Damico said, tions along the Hillsborough River, McKay adding that the six-hour of service comBay, the Garrison and Seddon channels mitment is a great way to develop leader- and Tampa Bay. ship and project coordination skills while For info or the registration link, email meeting new people in the community. Damico at

Brandon Foundation’s Angels Program Connects Community Members In Need

By Lippy Hopkins

and talents to serve someone in need.” The program’s first Evening of Hope was held in November of 2006 and they were able to create a database of Foundation Angels that continue to help families in our community every single day. “Our Angel Teams and Angel Providers often tell us how wonderful they feel to be able to help someone in need with their service and in return, they receive the greatest blessing,” Brewer said. The Foundation Angel Program is unique in that they match businesses The Brandon Foundation is hosting its 2016 Evening of Hope and Charity Check and individuals in the Brandon comPresentation on Friday, November 4. munity with individuals in need. “Most times the providers offer their services There is an old saying that goes, “If for free or deeply discounted,” Brewer we were all like angels, the world would said. “We ask our community to be the be a heavenly place.” To many in the eyes and ears and to submit a family in Brandon community, the Brandon Foundation’s board members are consid- need on our website. Our Team Leaders then review the requests, ensure they are ered the angels that walk among us. The legitimate needs and then disburse the mission of the Brandon Foundation is to request to our Team Leaders who lead improve the quality of life and shape the future of our community by creating public our Angel Teams.” Once a team has accepted a family, awareness, developing resources and they will make a home visit to assess supporting initiatives that address local their needs and begin coordinating servicneeds. They do this through their Angels es with the Angel Providers. Program. To learn more about the Brandon “The Foundation Angel Program was created in 2006 after several of us experi- Foundation and the Foundation Angel Program, visit enced the loss of family members to the or call 689devastating disease of cancer,” said the 6889. The foundation will be hosting its foundation’s Executive Director, Liz 2016 Evening of Hope and Charity Check Brewer. “We wanted to create a program Presentation on Friday, November 4 at that would engage our entire community The Regent. The Brandon Foundation is to help one another. While a business may not be able to write a check to spon- located at 1210 Millennium Pkwy. Ste. 2010 in Brandon. sor an event, they can give of their time


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Page 11 • • September 2016

Dennis Lee Band To Perform At New Horizons Group Homes Annual Barbeque

Staff Report

For information on purchasing in advance, call 5712690 or 653-2466. A silent auction will include a wide variety of items, with something to please every taste and pocketbook. All proceeds will go to New New Horizons Group Homes will hold its annual barbecue and Horizons Group silent auction Saturday, September 24 with all proceeds benefitting its developmentally challenged residents. Homes. New Horizons Group Homes will Brenda Watkins said, “We are fortuhold its annual barbeque and silent aucnate to have the Dennis Lee Band pertion on Saturday, September 24. New forming again this year. Dennis has been Horizons is a non-profit organization in a great supporter of the special needs Brandon operating two homes for develcommunity for many years. Violinist opmentally challenged adults, most of Stephanie Simon will also be performing. who work in the community or in shelThe entertainment will be something you tered workshops. The faith-based organiwill not want to miss.” zation was started in 1992, with the first The keepsake ornaments that are home opening in 1999. still available will be sold at the Currently, the Alice Storms Home has BBQ/Silent Auction for $10. Those eight men. Five ladies reside in the Mary include: Brandon Depot, Old Brandon Lou Creamer Home with an opening for School, Sharrar’s General Store, Brandon another lady. The Peter and Brenda Woman’s Club, First Baptist Church Watkins Home for six men is now under Brandon, Valrico Civic Center, Brandon construction. Supply Company, Bill’s Prescription The barbeque is New Horizons Center, Martin’s Jewelers, Limona annual major fundraiser and will take Improvement Association, Scogins place from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Department Store, Hamp’s Garage, and Central Baptist Christian School gymnasi- the Brandon Chamber of Commerce. um located at 402 E. Windhorst Rd. in The ornaments are also available at Brandon. Age’s Art & Frame, First Baptist Church The meal includes a pulled pork barBrandon, Greg’s Hallmark, Martin’s becue sandwich with mac and cheese, Jewelers, and Rainbow Engraving. All baked beans, beverage and dessert, and proceeds go to New Horizons. will be catered by BubbaQue’s. Tickets If you need one that you are unable are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. to find, call Brenda Watkins at 653-2466.

Second Tampa Bay Coffee And Art Festival To Feature Local Artisan Roasters By Kathy L. Collins

The second Tampa Bay Coffee and Art Festival is set to take place on Saturday, September 10 at The Noise Box in Brandon.

DCNoise is an all volunteer organization that is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of people in the community. DCNoise is hosting its second Tampa Bay Coffee and Art Festival on Saturday, September 10. There will be two sessions. The first is from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and the second is from 6-9 p.m. The event will be held at The Noise Box located at 1310 John Moore Rd. in Brandon (on the grounds of Christ Community Church). Tickets are between $15 and $32 and include mug, coffee tasting notebook, T-shirt and pen. Tickets can be purchased at According to Thom Schultz, executive director of DCNoise, “The focus of the Tampa Bay Coffee and Art Festival is on the artisan side of coffee. It is perfect for those who are not very knowledgeable about coffee as well as those who consider themselves aficionados.” Attendees can also opt to upgrade their ticket and attend special brewing and tasting ses-

sions. Local roasters such as Buddy Brew, Brown Bear Coffee Roastery and Birds of a Feather Coffee will participate. Vendors such as Spaddy’s Coffee Truck and more will be on hand. Art is also a big component of this event. Local artists will be on hand to show their art in a festival style setting. There are even plans to have some of the artists do live demonstrations during the event. All of the artists are local, and all of the art is fine art that has been hand crafted. Proceeds from the second Tampa Bay Coffee and Art Festival will benefit the newly formed Bay Area Foundation for the Art (BAFA), a start-up organization that strives to provide scholarships for the fine arts and performing arts. Schultz explained how the event came to fruition. “All of us at DCNoise are into coffee and we like art, so we thought why not combine the two for an event. The first one held in April was a huge success,” said Schultz. For information and to purchase tickets, visit and follow the Tampa Bay Coffee and Art Festival on Facebook.

Page 12 • • September 2016

Upscale Fashion And Consignment At Julie’s Walk-In Closet

By Jillian Tumlin

Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Michael Kors, Brahmin, Brighton, B Makowski, Fossil, and Tignanello to name a few. Julie’s Walk-In Closet also presents jewelry such as gemstones, sterling, Swarovski, Brighton, Tiffany, Premier Designs, Betsey Johnson, Michael Dawkins, and other popular store brands. “Our jewelry comes Julie’s Walk-In Closet offers designer names such as from all over the world, Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Michael Kors and more. brought by consignors who Julie Pomeroy found the inspiration travel often,” Pomeroy said. “People are for her business in 2009 after noticing the surprised by the fine jewelry they see need for consignment shops that would they walk in here, and that’s somewhen cater to women looking for more upscale thing that sets us apart from other confashion and accessories in the Brandon signment shops.” area. During this time, she knew about The layout of the store is organized plenty of consignment shops existing in high-end items are kept at the front, with Brandon, but few offered high-end or a main showroom featuring clothing, renowned brands. Ever since, the busihandbags and jewelry and separate ness has worked with over 1,800 conrooms dedicated to home décor, shoes signors and it continues to grow. and dresses. Clothing sizes from extra“Our store is really well-known small to plus size throughout the shop. throughout the Brandon and Tampa area. Employees at Julie’s Walk-In Closet also What we offer can’t be found at the mall,” work to provide customers with education said Pomeroy. on fashion and how to accessorize. Julie’s Walk-In Closet opened with Customers are encouraged to ask staff the goal of educating the local public of for help in accessorizing or finding clothupscale resale shopping. The boutique ing to fit their body shape and style. offers a variety of clothing, shoes, jewelry, Julie’s Walk-In Closet is located at and handbags. The merchandise varies 720 W. Robertson St. in Brandon. Store from being new to gently used, but all of it hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday is in great condition as Julie’s Walk-In through Saturday, with Thursday being Closet is selective in its consignment until 7 p.m. For more information open process in order to offer its customers regarding consigning and the store itself, high-quality items. Handbag designer visit names featured at the shop include

Local Teen Releases New Single, Donates Song And Talent To Charity

By Pearlie Mondovics

For 13-year-old the Amalie Arena Riverview resident in Tampa, where and up-and-coming she is scheduled R&B singer-songto take the stage, writer, Estacia, at no cost, persinging is not just a forming her single part of life, but is along with the life. Star Spangled "Music is the Banner. voice of my soul “She is perthat neither words sonally lobbying nor actions can for this event and describe,” Estacia asking people to said. “It's the thing donate for this that runs in my cause,” Neysa veins. Music is basisaid, adding that Local teen Estacia recently released her new cally my life. It's will also Estacia R&B single and is looking forward to donating her time and talent to local charity at the been my life since I participate in the upcoming St. Jude’s walk/Run to End was young." actual five-mile Childhood Cancer. The young walk and run and artist's love of music, specifically rhythm encourages people to come and join her and blues, began during her father’s team. “Her goal is to sign up 50 people to deployment, as she sang the tunes of her walk or run with her,” Neysa said. favorite artists to lift the spirits of her famiNeysa emphasized that nominated ly. as a Blue Star Military child, Estacia also This love for music and family led to understands the sacrifices of military famithe recent release of her new single, lies during their loved ones’ deployments Speak To Me, produced by local Grammy and has received many thanks for her winner, Lannie Battistini, for the record community service works. label, Hands In Motion, located at 140 W. “With her gifts and experience in Robertson St. in Brandon. charitable work, Estacia wants to conAccording to Estacia's publicist and tribute her talents to help find the cure for agent, Neysa Battistini, the single is curcancer,” Neysa said. rently being considered for a nomination Estacia's album is scheduled to be for the 59th Grammy Awards. completed later this year and released in Aside from the song's release in January 2017. More about Estacia can June, Estacia is looking forward to share be found at, on her time and talent during the upcoming Facebook at St. Jude's Walk/Run to End Childhood IAmEstacia and Twitter at Cancer, on Saturday, September 24 at

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Page 13 • • September 2016

Hooked On Christian Books

By Kelly Wise Valdes

Back To School Reading

Back to school time brings about all new challenges and opportunities for our kids. From Kindergarten to college, temptation is everywhere. How can parents keep their children God-centered with a balance of friends and fun and education in the mix? The below books have helpful and encouraging information for parents to encourage their children through their school years and even into college to stand with faith.

Helping Your Child Succeed In Public School: From Kindergarten To High School By Cheri Fuller Whether your child is in Kindergarten, in high school or anywhere in-between, this book is packed with information to help your child succeed. This encouraging, positive book draws on the experiences of parents who have dealt with the challenges of public schools and have seen their children excel while remaining faithful in their spiritual life.

Surviving Middle School: Essential Tools To Prepare You For The Road Ahead By Rick Bundschuh So how do parents and students survive middle school? This spirit filled book brings helpful answers that are sure to give a jolt of confidence to families that are facing this transition. Families can read together fun ways to navigate through the waters of middle school while growing in their trust with God and each other.

How to Stay Christian in High School By Steve Gerali Peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, sexual temptation, academic honesty are just a few challenges for Christians in high school. How can teens deal with complex issues without compromising their faith? Drawing on biblical stories of young people this book demonstrates how meeting today's challenges by following Christ pays off in the end.

Can You Keep Your Faith In College? By Abbie Smith This faith-based book will help guide your college student through the best years of their life. From dorms to dating to academia, every piece of the college equation becomes a loaded opportunity for your child’s faith to thrive. This is a must read for any Christian that is making this transition into the college arena.

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Page 14 • • September 2016

Area Church Directory


River of Life Christian Center 6605 Krycul Ave, Riverview 813-677-4453 Keysville Assembly of God 10308 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Lithia 813-737-4803



Bell Shoals Baptist Church 2102 Bell Shoals Rd, Brandon (813) 689-4229 Bell Shoals - Apollo Beach Campus 6414 Golf and Sea Blvd, Apollo Beach (813) 641-2222 First Baptist Church of Bloomingdale 3303 E. Bloomingdale Ave, Valrico (813) 689-3847 First Baptist Church of Brandon 216 N Parsons Ave, Brandon (813) 689-1204 FishHawk Fellowship 15326 Fishhawk Blvd, Lithia, (813) 655-7431 Journey Church 1310 John Moore Road, Brandon (813) 699-8262 Liberty Southern Baptist Church 2505 W. Granfield Ave. Plant City 813-752-1450 New Beginning Baptist Church 15926 Carlton Lake Road, Wimauma (813)634-4555

Nativity Catholic Church 705 E Brandon Blvd, Brandon (813) 681-4608 St. Anne Catholic Church 106 11th Ave. N.E Ruskin (813) 645-1714 St. Stephen's Catholic Church 5049 Bell Shoals Rd, Valrico (813) 689-4900

Boyette Springs Church of God 12114 Boyette Rd, Riverview (813) 671-0086


Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church 604 N. Valrico Rd, Valrico (813) 689-3130


Immanuel Lutheran Church 2913 John Moore Rd, Brandon (813) 689-1787 Living Savior Lutheran Church 2650 Lithia Pinecrest Rd, Valrico (813) 681-2375


First United Methodist Church of Seffner 1310 South Kingsway Rd., Seffner (813) 689-3513

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Bay Life Church 1017 Kingsway Ave, Brandon (813) 661-3696 Centerpoint Church 1801 S Miller Rd, Valrico (813) 689-1906 Destiny Church 2322 11th Ave Se, Ruskin (813) 645-3337 Life Church at FishHawk 6420 Lithia Pinecrest Rd, Lithia (813) 681-6503 Revival Outreach Center 225 N.Dover Rd, Dover (813) 681-2250 The Crossing Church - Main Campus 10130 Tuscany Ridge Drive, Tampa, (813) 626-0783

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HighPoint Church of Brandon 2207 Lithia-Pinecrest Rd, Valrico/Brandon (813) 685-4827


First Presbyterian Church of Brandon -PCUSA 121 Carver Avenue, Brandon 689-4597 Presbyterian Church of Bloomingdale–USA 710 E. Bloomingdale Avenue, Brandon 813-654-3699 Redeemer Church-PCA 12404 Boyette Rd., Riverview (813) 741-1776 Westminster Presbyterian Church PCA 402 E. Lumsden Road, Brandon (813) 689-6541


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Grace Community United Methodist Church 5708 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Lithia (813) 661-8858 Riverview First United Methodist Church 8002 US Hwy 301 South, Riverview Ruskin United Methodist Church 105 4th Ave. NW Ruskin (813) 645-1241 South Shore United Methodist Church 11525 Big Bend Road, Riverview (813) 649-9462

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Page 15 • • September 2016

Grace Notes: By Debora Coty


I received a note recently from an aspiring writer who felt as if she were climbing never-ending stairs. She'd worked hard to complete a manuscript, only to have to rewrite the whole confounded thing. Sigh. I feel her pain. So do you. Climbing, climbing, always climbing. So difficult when we can't see the top of the stairway. It's not just a writer thing. It's a life thing. In the wake of the gal's letter, challenging scenes resonated with me when spouse and I tried a new mountain trail: unending stairways, steep and rock-hard; feeling minuscule and defeated by the immensity of your goals before you even get started; doubts that they're even possible to achieve. Who hasn't felt that way? But that's not to say we shouldn't try. Because I believe sometimes in Papa God's eyes, the journey is actually our destination. It seems all uphill for a time, but there are little respites along the way, if we pause to look for them. Like the wee wildflowers (I prefer this moniker over weeds) inexplicably growing among the rocks. Finally, if we persevere long enough to reach the top, the satisfaction and joy of accomplishment is unspeakable. Even though we occasionally slid backward on our behunkuses, we got up, dusted off our fannies, and kept putting one foot in front of the other until we reached the last step.

But you know a secret I've discovered? You may have already discovered it too. The stairs really don't ever end. Once you conquer one stairway, there's always another starting just a little ways further on the landing. And that's a good thing. That's the way it's supposed to be. Otherwise we might spend the rest of our lives lounging by the reflection pool and forget there's more out there. Something different to see, feel, experience at the top of the stairs. So I gotta go put another cold pack on my achy calf (leg, not cow) and try to think of something comforting and inspirational to say to a writer lady who wants to give up. Maybe I should just tell her to take a hike. “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial …” (James 1:12, NIV).

By Michelle Caceres

NewSouth Window Solutions President and Owner Earl Rahn said the company’s windows are made in Florida for Florida homes by Florida workers.

Brandon resident Assosouvale Pili’s home was invaded with the sounds of the outside world. The sounds of birds chirping, dogs barking and lawnmowers broke the solitude that he was looking for in his home. “I had old single pane windows and every little noise outside could be heard,” he said. Pili decided to replace his windows, so he researched companies and chose to hire NewSouth Window Solutions. “From the salesperson to the installer, everyone was so professional and confident in their work,” said Pili. He wasn’t the only one to think so. When the county inspector came to make sure the work was done correctly, he was impressed with the quality windows. Now, with his new vinyl-frame, double pane windows installed, Pili said the birds, dogs and lawnmowers are still making noise but he doesn’t hear it. NewSouth Window Solutions

Owners Dan and Deb Ochstein and Earl and Amy Rahn said that is exactly why they left successful careers at one of the country’s largest window manufacturing companies in Ohio to open NewSouth Window Solutions in Florida in 2010. “We came here to bring energy-efficient windows to the state,” said company President Earl. “Single pane aluminum windows, which used to be so popular here in home construction, no longer meet current energy codes.” In addition to dramatically cutting down on outside noise, NewSouth Window Solutions’ windows save money on energy bills year round, add value to homes, extend the life of air conditioning and heating units, add curb appeal, improve security and protect carpet and furniture from fading due to UV damage. Earl said NewSouth Window Solutions, located at 4901 Oak Fair Blvd. in Tampa is not a window store. As a factory-direct company, custom windows are made in their factories for each individual customer, put on the back of their trucks and driven to customers’ driveways. “We offer an unconditional lifetime warranty on our windows,” said Marketing Director Amy. “It’s the last window you’ll ever need.” Osprey Observer readers that mention this article will receive 40 percent off the purchase and installation of three or more replacement windows. NewSouth Window’s factory showroom is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday 12 Noon–4 p.m. Visit or call 793-7948.

Debora M. Coty is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of over 100 articles and 13 books, including Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate, More Beauty, Less Beast, and Too Blessed to Be Stressed. Debora also teaches writing workshops. Visit

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Page 16 • • September 2016

By Kelly Wise Valdes

Hot Off The Christian News Wire

Robertson, Sadie Robertson and Bella Robertson. For more information and release dates, visit

Pokemon Go: A New Opportunity For Evangelism

Columbine Movie I’m Not Ashamed Being Released In October

I’m Not Ashamed is the inspiring true story of Rachel Joy Scott who was the first of 13 people killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Scott was singled out because of her Christian faith. Based on her honest and heartfelt journals, this hope-filled story reminds us that when we put our lives in God’s hands, we can make a world of difference. “I’ve always been drawn to hands. I think it’s because it’s the way we touch people,” wrote Rachel Joy Scott in her journal. “If one person could go out of their way to show compassion, it could start a chain reaction.” Scott’s mother, Beth Nimmo, is an executive producer on the film. Nimmo is proud that this film will show her daughter’s commitment to her faith and how that has touched so many lives even after her death. I’m Not Ashamed was filmed in and around Nashville, Tennessee. The cast includes mother/daughter reality stars from A&E’s Duck Dynasty: Korie

Churches across the nation are opening their doors to Pokémon Go trainers, in hopes that while they are picking up necessary essentials for the game,they will hear the most necessary message of their life: the Gospel. Grace Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina is one church that learned that it was a PokeStop, where players could come and catch Pokémon. Unlike other churches and organizations who have deterred Pokémon gamers, this church does not mind that it's bringing more people to its doorstep. The church has set itself up as a Pokémon "lure" to attract more players. "We are using this as a tool," Grace Church Pastor Kenderick Vinar told CBN News. "We did this as a way to build relationships, to make connections with the communi-

ty, build bridges with people. It seemed like a win in that regard." For now, it is a great opportunity for churches to connect with the community and grow. To learn how to become a pokestop, visit

Coach Tony Dungy Inducted Into Hall Of Fame, Credits God

At his hall of fame induction speech last month, Tony Dungy reflected on his journey from an undrafted player to a Super Bowl-winning coach. "The Lord has truly led me on a wonderful journey through 31 years in the NFL— through some temporary disappointments to some incredible

joys," Dungy said. Dungy quoted scripture from Matthew 16:26 in his speech at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame stadium in Canton, Ohio. “What would it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" Dungy did not have an easy path on his way to being a great football player and hall of fame inductee. As an undrafted player in 1977, then being fired from his first head-coaching job 25 years afterward, he has learned to walk by faith and not by sight. He was overlooked in 12 rounds of the NFL draft after his college career at the University of Minnesota. "I was devastated," he said. "But it is just one example of God's plans being better than our plans." Fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a rough playoff loss, he was hired by the Indianapolis Colts where he became the first African American head coach to win a Super Bowl. Dungy recognized key players that were at the ceremony, saying, "you don't win in the NFL without players, and was I ever blessed with players."


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Page 17 • • September 2016

Live Like You Mean It

Ridge Top Exteriors Provides Window, Door Services To Homeowners

“An Invitation To Church”

By Tatiana Ortiz

Ridge Top Exteriors installs new and replacement home windows and door manufacturers. It offers high quality materials to protect residence and their family from weather and theft. Their brand of EnergyMax consists of energy windows that includes single hung, double-hung and much more. Windows come in multiple colors, styles and configurations. Along with that, homeowners can choose from several unique styles of doors. “Anything that the client wants, we can provide that An inside look of window displays at Ridge Top Exteriors. for them,” said Gebhart. At times, some homeowners might In regards to a warranty on windows, need to change a window or a door in Ridge Top Exteriors brought in a private their home, which could be costly. Ridge label. The private label provides five Top Exteriors in Tampa gives homeowndiverse styles of windows and it can suit ers the option to participate in their dollar anyone’s budget. The warranty is lifetime down program. and transferrable. “The client gives them a dollar down. A 10 percent discount can be When the project gets completed to 100 received for current and former military percent of their satisfaction, the client will personal, state and community law owe a balance,” said Ridge Top Exteriors enforcement and senior citizens with a Owner Larry Gebhart. valid identification. Ridge Top Exteriors opened in March “Overall, we want the community to of this year. This 4,900 sq. ft. building know that we provide a great product for became the first store in Florida. It is their them with our honest and fair prices,” said sixth location within 14 years. Ridge Top Gebhart. Exteriors began its journey in Madison, For more information about Ridge Wisconsin. Since then, the business Top Exteriors, visit www.ridgetopexteriorsexpanded to other locations such as or visit them on Facebook. It is Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Las Cruces, New located at 10101 E. Adamo Dr. in Tampa. Mexico; St. Louis, Missouri; and Atlanta, Hours of operation are Monday through Georgia. Seven employees work at the Saturday 7 a.m.- 5 p.m. Other times by Tampa location. appointments. Call 616-1227.

By Derek Maul

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest” (Matthew 11:29 – The Message). Each Sunday I try to post something encouraging and invitational to connect people with church ( It doesn’t matter who you are, regardless of where you stand regarding spirituality or religion, the faith community has something you need – and you have something the community needs. Church is about finally finding our way home. We were created with the idea of community sown into the essential fabric of our being. For good or for ill the church is how Jesus planned to continue his work. So I will always believe local congregations of stumbling disciples remain the ideal place to explore faith, and to live as followers of The Way. So come home. And as you come, think about this scripture: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29 NRSV). I always associate this scripture with the evening I walked the shore in Galilee. The serenity arrested me. I sat, looked into the water and on to the surrounding

hills, and thought about how I could possibly capture the moment in a photograph. Eventually I balanced my long-suffering Nikon on a rock, set the timer, and launched a pebble into the water. I like to think of my faith as a “work in progress” example of what Eugene Peterson calls “the unforced rhythms of grace” (The Message). “Get away with me and you’ll recover your life,” Peterson’s Matthew 11 paraphrase invites. It’s not a translation, but this is one of those instances where I think he nails it. This is foundational. Life with Jesus is full and rich in a way that is not possible for me outside of the incalculable beauty of the community of God’s children. I honestly don’t think any one of us is complete without him. So come home already. Come home.

Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and more. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at


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Page 18 • • September 2016

LOCAL CHRISTIAN NEWS will celebrate Mass. Saint Anne Catholic Church is located at U.S. Hwy. 41 and 11th Avenue N. E. in Ruskin. Visit SaintAnne

with the mountains and valleys, take you through the ABCs of ministry, and help you have a successful faith walk. The program will be held at Revival Worship Church located at 6528 U.S. Hwy. 301 South, #104 in Riverview. Call 504-9177.

Hearing The Voice Of God Conference

Destiny Church, located at 2322 11th Ave. SE in Ruskin, completed its Annual Freedom From Hunger campaign at the end of July. Each year members of the Destiny Church family are encouraged to bring non-perishable food to help feed people in the local area. This year 1,198 lbs. of food were donated to the Community Cupboard Food Bank that is administered by Calvary Lutheran Church in Apollo Beach. In addition to the food that was donated, Pastor Jerry Lubrano, lead pastor of Destiny Church presented a check for $500 to Jim Wise, director of the Community Cupboard.

A free one day program that focuses on hearing the voice of God will be held on Saturday, September 10 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The Saint Anne Catholic Church recently celebrated the Feast of program is made of two Saint Anne and Saint Joachim. sessions: Session 1: Parish Celebrates Patron Saint The preparation to hear the voice of God, In keeping with the Parish’s Diamond and Session 2: The conduct of hearing; Jubilee theme of creating a Legacy of power of hearing; The rewards of The Faith in the SouthShore Area, Saint Anne hearing; and The life of hearing. Pastors Catholic Church celebrated the July 26 Kayode and Linda will share with you Feast of Saint Anne and Saint Joachim, what the act of hearing God has done in the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, lives. The program will be held at their with special celebrations. A nine-day Revival Worship Church located at 6528 Novena to Saint Anne concluded with a Holy Hour on July 25, which was followed U.S. Hwy. 301 South, #104 in Riverview. Register at by an ice-cream soda social. On July 26, the Feast Day was celebrated with Mass at 8 a.m., followed by a breakfast reception. The Parish has conducted many special activities since the beginning of its Diamond Jubilee Year on November 1, 2015. The next will be a two-day pilgrimage to the historic city of St. Augustine, with a stop at the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe in Orlando where Fr. John McEvoy, pastor of Saint Anne,

Equipping Bible Class

Beginning Saturday, September 3, at 9:30 a.m. and meeting every other Saturday is an Equipping Bible Class, designed to equip you to pursue the call of God on your life. Pastors Kayode and Linda will take you through a detailed curriculum with the objective of focusing your eyes on God's will teach you how to deal

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Destiny Church Canned Drive Brings In Almost 1,200 Lbs. Of Food

be offered, with programs covering all forms of tobacco. Free Nicotine replacement patches, gum and lozenges will be available while supplies last and if medically appropriate. The first class will be held Monday, September 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the University of South Florida Area Health Education Center located at 3515 E. Fletcher Ave., Ste. MDT 1400 in Tampa. An additional class will be available on Monday, September 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Oakfield Medical Plaza at 276 S. Moon Ave, Ste. 260 in Brandon. Preregistration is required by calling 9747889. Visit

Revive Women's Conference 2016

"My Story" Revive Women's Conference will be held from Friday, September 30-Sunday, October 2 at The Palms Church, located at 207 New Hope Rd. in Valrico. This gathering is open to all women and will feature three days of passionate worship with Jeremy Help For Quitting Rosado, life changTobacco ing messages, and Quitting tobacco inspirational content. Destiny Church Pastor Jerry Lubrano isn't easy. Finding It will be hosted by presents a $500 check to Jim Wise, direchelp should be. Pastor Mary Stahl. tor of the Community Cupboard. Tobacco Free The cost of the three Florida offers free tools and services to day conference is $45 and includes cofhelp you get started. In September, free fee, drinks, Saturday's lunch, snacks, and community worksite and clinic groups will materials. Visit

It makes sense to prepare for all of life’s big events. And just like planning for your retirement, pre-planning for your funeral and cemetery arrangements can also bring the peace of mind that comes with doing the right thing. Schedule your pre-planning appointment today. Whether you choose cremation or burial, we offer a range of products and services designed to accommodate all budgets.

Page 19 • • September 2016

Cosmetic Dermatology Expert Joins Hightower Dermatology

By Amy Schechter

Sometimes walking “I was born and raised into a doctor’s office draws in Florida,” she shares. “I us back to the days when know how the harsh sun we were children, apprecan be overwhelming. hensively awaiting the next Every age, though, is really vaccination. As adults, we beautiful. Sometimes we know more of what to all need a little pick-meexpect, but healthcare can up.” seem complex and dauntShe is committed to ing nonetheless. This is educating and treating all not the case at Hightower of her patients as individuDermatology, whose pasals, so she can help them sionate commitment to reach their goals of health quality care is evident the and happiness. Her medmoment their friendly staff ical assistant, Lindsey greets patients at the door. Daniels, attests to her Nurse Practitioner Donna Moody was recently added to patience. Their mission is also the team at Hightower unmistakable when clients “Donna is the best. Dermatology. meet with Nurse She looks at everybody Practitioner Donna Moody, the newest individually and takes her time, so they member of Dr. Kortney D. Hightower’s feel listened to. She’s really focused on team. In Sun City for a little over a year, personalized care,” Daniels said. Moody widens the array of dermatology Whether one is looking for preventaand skincare services the practice offers. tive care or has a few problem areas, Already an expert in general dermatology, Moody invites the community to consult dermatologic surgery, and Mohs surgery, with her for their skincare needs and the single most effective technique for prides herself on helping others achieve removing cancerous tissue, Dr. Hightower subtle, natural looks. She is well versed in joined with Moody who brings her extenBotox and Dysport, a newer and often sive experience in cosmetic dermatology. less expensive way to combat fine lines After raising a family, Moody returned and wrinkles. to school at the University of South The practice accepts most major Florida where she found her interests insurances as well as Care Credit. For piqued by dermatology, especially as it more information, to request an appointrelates to dealing with oncology, and ment, and to check out their specials, visit practiced for just over 10 years in the or call Brandon area. Perhaps just as important the office at 634-1484. Hightower as knowing you’re in competent hands is Dermatology is located at 957 E. Del the feeling of warmth you get when you Webb Blvd., Ste 101 in Sun City Center. listen to Moody speak.

Page 20 • • September 2016

Osprey Observer 2016-09 Christian Voice  
Osprey Observer 2016-09 Christian Voice