The Bolts—not the ones in the air—are big here. I played baseball once upon a time, so, I knew about the Rays. And I have become a Rays fan, even though I still pull for the Cardinals, Braves, and the Royals. J But I had no idea how big the Tampa Bay Lightning (aka Bolts) was down here. It may be because I was not a hockey fan? They are vital to our community. Many fans exist of what I still consider a “northern” sport. It’s been fun to enjoy their success as a team and observe a winning professional team in our area, unlike some of the other professional teams in our area. (Sorry, but it’s true, but I still pull for them.) There are bumper stickers, posters, and rabid fans everywhere. I like it. But, I still don’t like hockey. One of our deacons, his name is John and he welcomes people as they come in the buildings on Sundays, continues to try to make a hockey fan out of me. You may need to pray for him because it ain’t happening so far. J BTW—the bolts in the air are big too. Wow!
My Southern—not to be confused with the country—accent drawls—attention. (You see what I did there?) Now, I had served in FL before moving here four years ago, but not South Florida. Even though I had been chided in the past about my accent, nothing like what has occurred here. Needless to say, it doesn’t bother me, unless they say country. (Friend, I can take you to “country” on our upcoming mission trip to my beloved home state, but I can assure you that I ain’t country! J) So, I try to use it to my advantage. It’s sort of like me listening to an English accent. I ask them questions just to hear them talk. When outsiders ask me where I am from and what I am doing down here… man, I go for it! J I love the people of St. Pete!
Fifth Avenue is made up of the most eclectic group of folks—which is a good thing—I’ve ever pastored. When I moved here we had a certain amount of cultural representation. I have noticed an expansion of various people groups becoming the norm. There is not much more I could be excited about than this reality. Why? Because it better represents the body of Christ as well as our community. May HIS Tribe increase!
AFTER THIS I SAW A VAST CROWD, TOO GREAT TO COUNT, FROM EVERY NATION AND TRIBE AND PEOPLE AND LANGUAGE, STANDING IN FRONT OF THE THRONE AND BEFORE THE LAMB… Revelation 7:9