ABOUT THE BRADENTON AREA:
Bradenton co-anchors its own two-county Gulf Coast metropolitan area with similar-sized Sarasota, just to the south of Tampa Bay. While Sarasota is better known and characterized by more upscale panache, Bradenton is a down-to earth waterfront city with a skyline of its own fronted by an inviting downtown riverwalk. Nestled between the city and the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Anna Maria Island is Bradenton's beach escape. The island's communities have a casual "Florida Keys" feel complete with an array of "mom and pop" inns and tropical-style beach cottage rentals. Overall, the Bradenton area makes for a great underrated, family-friendly, coastal destination.
WHY WE NEED JESUS, AND HOW TO FIND HIM:
We sure live in an amazing world, full of natural wonders, diverse creatures, and reliable scientific forces that all reflect the glory and splendor of Almighty God. From the brilliant reefs to the high-altitude peaks, God's handiwork has inspired generations of travelers to see the far corners of this magnificent planet He created. That said, man is the most special of all God's creations, as it is mankind with whom He seeks a personal relationship. One need not look far, whether in the big cities or remote rural outposts, to see that regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, economic status, or even religious background, all people need a Savior. Though some people strive for perfection, all will always fall short. Fortunately, our Father has seen to it that we don't need to be perfect; we need Jesus. While religion is about man trying to reach God, Christ is God reaching man. Christ died on a cross with all the weight of the past, present, and future sins of humanity on His sinless shoulders. Then, He rose from the dead, conquering death for all eternity. All men and women are broken, but if anyone confesses this brokenness, repents of all that makes him unworthy, and sincerely accepts Christ as Lord and Savior, then the gifts of salvation and eternal life will be his. Too often people find themselves playing games, hiding their true selves, or going through the motions of performing ritualistic "religious" behaviors with apathetic hearts. That said, Jesus already knows everything about every one of us. He created us. He knows our weaknesses, our failures, our temptations, and our insecurities. He sees us for who we really are, regardless of the masks we wear. No amount of money, no respectable status, no fancy clothing, and not even any kind of good works can fool Him. Don't try to be a better version of yourself than you really are. Jesus loves YOU and will meet you exactly where you are. Just be sincere, and if you truly submit yourself to Him, He will help change whatever needs to be changed from the inside out. Trust Jesus! He loves you and wants a relationship with you. Accept Him into your heart, and He will free you from bondage to sin, and the guilt associated with it. If you don't know how to ask Him into your heart, then try saying the following prayer. The exact wording is not important, but the attitude and intentions of your heart are very important. Do it today!
I recognize that I need you in my life.
Thank you for accepting me just as I am.
I seek You and want to receive You as my personal Lord and Savior.
Please come into my heart, and forgive me for all my sins.
I am Yours.
Thank you, Jesus!