August 2022

Page 1

Gò0dNews August 2022


Christian Magazine



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GoodNews Christian Magazine Catoosa

Hello Friends, We want to take a moment to tell you who we are and what we are about. Our names are Matt and Bethany Ruckman and we have six beautiful children, Brendon, Kailey, Andrew, Leah Jean, Emma, and Cooper. We live in Cleveland, Tennessee, and love what this town has to offer! We have started GoodNews Christian Magazine because we feel that when God, family, and community are combined, lives will be changed. GoodNews Christian Magazine is a complimentary, Christian lifestyle publication. You can find us


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Contents AUGUST 2022

GoodNews from the Pastor’s Desk

6 What’s In Your Hand? by Jeff Pitts

GoodNews for Kids

8 Time For Back to School! by Brenda Dedmon

GoodNews Money Matters

10 Learning the Secret Language

by Andrew Lee GoodNews for Men

12 Marvelous Mercies by Donald Cantrell

GoodNews for Women

14 Comes a Warm Sunbeam by Candyce Carden

GoodNews for Fathers

18 Step Up to The Plate by Wayne Williams

GoodNews for Life

20 Hope or Nope?

by Janise Copeman

GoodNews Cover Story

22 The Joint Chiropractic GoodNews for Everyone

24 Convict on the Loose! by Monica Gambrell

GoodNews for Everyone

26 Unsanitized Prayer by Kristen West

GoodNews Poetry

28 Learn To Love by Judy Hood

GoodNews for Everyone

30 Who Can You Be an Inspiration To?

by David Huff GoodNews for Family

32 Before There Was



by David Beckmann GoodNews for Everyone

34 God Loves All Creatures Great & Small

by Cheryl L. Dunson GoodNews for Everyone

36 Be A Witness for God by Susan Lavigne

GoodNews for Everyone

38 Finding Strength in



by Dr. Alan D. Hix GoodNews for Everyone

40 I Never Met Emily by Deck Cheatham

GoodNews for Everyone

42 Just One Word

by Zebbie Brewster


Gò0dNews from the Pastor’s Desk

What’s In Your Hand?


by Jeff Pitts

hat’s in your hand?” This is a simple question in an awkward moment of the biblical

story. It is used in delivering the plagues. It strikes the Red Sea and parts the water. It was most likely in Moses’ hands as Joshua fought the Amalekites. It strikes the rock

narrative. Yahweh speaking to Moses, the chosen deliverer

to bring forth water in the desert. This staff was a central

from the burning bush, offers this response to Moses’

character in the narrative of the Exodus. God used what

question. Moses, barefoot on the holy ground of God’s

was in his hands.

mountain, poses a question to confirm what he is hearing

This leads us back to the question: What is in your

the Lord ask is really real. So, Israel’s future deliverer asks

hand? I am fairly certain in the forty years of Moses’

the Lord, what if they don’t believe me when I said you sent me.

career as shepherd, he never looked at the stick in his

Insert God’s question: “What’s in your hand?”

hand and thought, “I bet this is going to be significant.”

It is a question I think we need to ask ourselves.

There was probably never a day that he looked at that

What is in our hand? In this particular biblical moment

shepherding staff and thought, “I bet this will strike the

Moses was holding a staff, a tool of his season of

sea and split it wide open.” I am fairly certain Moses

shepherding. A symbol of the life he is currently living

simply saw the value as not much more than being useful

and reminder of the princely life he has left behind. The

for the season of shepherding.

staff is a perpetual reminder of the life he left behind,

How often do we look at what is in our hands in one

the one he has lived since taking flight. In that moment,

season as insignificant when in the next, we find out it is

God demonstrates to Moses that what he has seen as

something God wants to use for His good? What do you

insignificant, God sees as useful.

hold that in this season you think is not useful in the hands

The Lord asks Moses to throw down the staff. Moses does so. The staff turns into a snake. God asks Moses

of God? God wants to use what is in your hands even when we

to grab the snake by the tail. It returns to a staff. This

see them as insignificant, even when we look at them as a

supernatural demonstration was to prove to the people

tool of simply the season we are currently living in. God

and Pharoah that God had certainly chosen Moses.

sees what is in your hand as a significant resource to help

Throughout the Exodus, this staff in the hands of

others believe. So, what is in your hands?

6 // August 2022

About The Author

Israel’s leaders would continue to be significant in the

Jeff Pitts and his wife Rachael are church planters in Cleveland, TN of The Collectives. He also co-hosts a leadership podcast called The Leadership Drip. He can usually be found sipping a cup of strong coffee.

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Each Wednesday our Hump Day guests enjoy up close encounters with our two dromedary camels including camel rides! Your $20 admission also includes free parking, pony rides for children under 100 lbs., and entry into our petting zoo with a bag of feed for hand feeding. Space is limited to 8 guests per hour and must be booked 12 hours in advance. Following your animal rides and encounters feel free to enjoy your bagged snacks or lunch at our picnic area for as long as you like.

Gò0dNews for Kids

Time For Back to School!


by Brenda Dedmon

hen you hear those words, how does it make

“Oh, I remember the boy’s name was Ren, and I think we will

you feel? Responses may include: “No, I am

be in the same class,” replied Owen. “Maggie, do you remember

not ready,” “Summer was too short,” “Great, I

the girl’s name?” asked Mom. “I think it was Sadie Grace,”

am ready to see my friends,” and “I hope I can make new friends this year.” The month of August is “Back to School”

replied Maggie. “I have two ideas for this first day of school,” said their mom.

time. The following story is about the beginning of a new

She got a pen and paper and asked Owen and Maggie to name

school year. As you read the story, think about two things:

things they would like on the first day if they were going to a new

how you feel about starting back to school and how you

school. “I will write down your ideas.”

could do the things in the story for a new friend.

Maggie said, “I would want someone to help me find my way around the school.” Owen replied that he would want someone to sit with him at lunch. Mom said, “Let’s review the list: help find your way, eat lunch with you, introduce other students to you, play with you at recess.” “What is your second idea?” asked Owen. “I am so glad you asked,” replied mom. “We know it is Ren and Sadie Grace’s first day. Ren will be in your class, Owen. And Sadie Grace will be in yours, Maggie. I would like you to take the list and make sure you do all these things for them today.” They both had big smiles and said, “Great Idea.”

Owen was excited that it was the first day of school. He

When they got in the car that afternoon, their mom asked,

hurried down to breakfast and found his sister, Maggie, sitting

“How did it go?” They both had big smiles and said at the same

at the table crying. He asked, “Why are you crying?” She told

time, “I think I have a new best friend.”

him she was scared about the first day of school. “Why are you

Now it is your turn! Talk with your parents and discuss

scared?” he asked. She reminded him that her best friend Ella Kate

how you may help someone at your school this year! You

had moved over the summer, and she would not be at her school.

might even discover you have made a new best friend.

Owen told her that she would make new friends. Maggie just let new family they had met at church. She said, “They just moved to town, and they don’t know anyone here.”

8 // August 2022

About The Author

out a big sigh and wiped her tears. Mom reminded them of the Written by Rev. Brenda Dedmon, retired director of the CLC, First Baptist of Dalton and an avid BAMA fan.

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Dr. Andrew Lee is professor of English at Lee University. He also serves as a coordinator for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. He and his wife Esmerelda have three children.

nyone who’s been married for a while knows that

or writes about “investment vehicles,” we might assume

marriage can sometimes be volatile, meaning, “likely

they’re talking about collectible cars. What’s your “investment

to change rapidly and unpredictably.” But what do

vehicle”? Aston Martin, Rolls Royce? Here’s the translation in

financial experts and economists mean when they use terms

plain terms: just replace the word “vehicles” with “choices” or

like “volatility?” Let’s simplify some investing terms to make

“types.” So your “investment vehicle” is the type or choice of

them more understandable, shall we?

investment—stocks, bonds, real estate, gold, etc. What about

Volatility: When you hear about “volatility” in stock markets,

the mind-boggling phrase “debt instrument?” Sounds like a

this means the market is swinging wildly up and down rather

flute or tuba that you’re making payments on, doesn’t it? Again,

than moving gradually or steadily in any one direction. So far

just replace the word “instrument” with “type” or “choice.”

this year, stock markets have been quite volatile.

So “debt instrument” means an investment that involves

Equities: When you hear about investing in “equities” or

loaning money in order to receive regular interest payments,

“the equity market,” just replace the word “equities” with

such as investing in bonds. A “bond” is simply an I.O.U. used

“stock market”—you’re buying shares of stock in a company

by a company or government in order to borrow money for a

or mutual fund which holds stocks of many companies. The

particular reason or project. If Smith County needs to build a

confusing part is that we also talk about having “equity”

new school, or if Corporation X wants to build a new factory,

in your home, which simply means the value of your home

they might sell bonds to raise the money from investors.

minus the mortgage debt owed on your home—or the profit

Interest rate environment: Let’s drop the confusing word

you’d receive from the sale of your home after paying off any

“environment” and just say “interest rates are currently going

remaining mortgage debt. Sometimes we hear of an employee

up or going down.”

(usually an executive) having “equity” in their employer’s

Passive investment/active investment: With a “passive

company—this means they receive a share of the company

investment,” you invest your money and then do nothing but

profits (perhaps through shares of company stock) as part of

collect regular payments such as dividends or interest, or you

their compensation package.

just wait for a period of time until the value of your investment

Liquidity: No, it’s not water or oil. An investment you

goes up (hopefully) so you can sell at a profit. With an “active

can sell easily and at any time is referred to as a “liquid”

investment,” you’re actually doing a considerable amount of

investment. For instance, with a click of the mouse or computer

work in order to increase the value of your investment, such as

keyboard, you can easily sell shares of a publicly traded stock.

renovating a house in order to make it more valuable to earn

On the other hand, investments such as real estate or rare

a profit when you sell it. It would be nice if financial services

collectibles are often referred to as “illiquid” since it would take

folks would use simple terms that we can actually understand

some time and effort to sell them.

instead of obfuscating with pretentious jargon (that last word

Investment vehicles/debt instruments: These annoying phrases are two of my biggest pet peeves. When someone speaks

10 // August 2022

was a bonus for you—look it up)! “The more the words, the less the meaning” --Ecclesiastes 6:11.

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Gò0dNews for Men

Marvelous Mercies


by Donald Cantrell

was feeling a little nostalgic the other day and I thought

and gasping for air. That is, until his dad runs in from the

about one of those old metal or aluminum water dippers

sideline. In 99 out of 100 cases, that dad will look down at

that people used to have. My grandmother had one,

that boy, asking him if anything is broken, and the kid will

and several of my relatives had them around their houses.

usually whimper “no” as the dad lifts him up and wipes

Some were inside, while some hung on a post outside. It

him off before sending him right back into the game. As

has been ages since I saw one, so I went on eBay to see if I

I think about that scenario, that is exactly what the Lord

could find one, and sure enough, there was one for sale. It

does with His children.

looked just like those from when I was a young child, but

Whenever we get knocked down, due to our own

when I magnified the photos, I noticed that the dipper or

dealings or because of some unexpected mishap, the Lord

ladle had dents on it. So, after reading a bit more, I found

immediately comes upon the scene, checks us out, brushes

out that the dipper was used, but it was still useful. Lamentations 3:21-23, KJV, “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” That used dipper reminded me of myself and my standing before God. I am so thankful that He does not write me off because of my flaws, failures, inadequacies, and sins. The Lord is faithful in His mercies, and His forgiveness is fresh; it will

us off, and puts us back into the game. I am so glad for His

never be exhausted or denied. One could easily assume

marvelous mercies, because they are fresh and faithful. If

that most of us are like that used water dipper—we have

you need them today, they will be there, but they will also

survived life, though it has dealt us some rough blows.

be there tomorrow. The next time you mess up, go to the

God still finds value and usefulness in our lives. You are

Lord, ask Him to forgive you, and allow Him to place you

most likely harder on yourself than God is, for He knows

back in the game. Contrary to popular opinion, the Lord

that we are feeble and weak.

is not out to get you, He is out to love you and wants to

Last fall, I was a football referee for the Murray County Recreation Department and I was humorously reminded

extend His marvelous mercy unto you. Will you allow Him to do that?

is a rough sport. It is a game of collision, and often times a kid will literally be knocked flat on his back while heaving

12 // August 2022

About The Author

of how God treats His children. As we all know, football Donald Cantrell is a lifelong native of Murray county and has been pastoring and preaching since 1980. He has had the honor of publishing over thirty books and his sermon material is sold all over the world by various online companies. If you visit his house any weekend in the fall you will find them watching the “Florida Gators or the New England Patriots… Chomp Chomp.”

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Gò0dNews for Women

Comes a Warm Sunbeam by Candyce Carden


et the morning bring me word of your unfailing love… (Psalm 143:8, NIV). Sitting in the early-morning quiet of the

When we practice stillness, we receive the greatest gift—the presence of God and the warm sense of His love and care for our every need. Its

tiny beach condo, I watch the sun inch its way

warmth wraps us in His peace and comes from

above the bay. Sunrays soon break through the

the deep-seated joy found only in Him.

glass sliders that run the width of one wall. I’m content to sit and do nothing but contemplate the shafts of broken light on the

To tune in to God’s unfailing love, we spend time with Him. We read the Bible to know Him better. We talk with Him. Just like with any friend,

ceramic-tiled floor. I watch dust motes, illuminated by the sunbeams, float in the air. I feel the sun’s gentle warmth. I hear its silence. And I sense God’s presence. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote, “Just as there comes a warm sunbeam into every window, so comes a love—born of God’s care for every special need.” Although Hawthorne never belonged to religious organizations, he had strong faith. He knew God’s love. He felt it in the most

we nurture our relationship. And as we draw

ordinary things on the most ordinary days. How

near to Him, He draws near to us. Then we find

else could he capture such a beautifully poetic

Him everywhere—in the sky, the trees, the stars

truth that analogizes God’s love with a warm

overhead, and the warm sunbeam.

sunbeam? God speaks to us through nature. We

Father, too often I rush through life without inviting You along. Slow me down so I don’t miss You.

have only to grow still, silence the noise, pay God’s whispers. 14 // August 2022

About The Author

attention, and be present in the moment to hear A retired teacher and beach lover, Candyce Carden writes devotions for CBN, Refresh Magazine, The Quiet Hour, and Reflections among others. She’s currently at work on Waves of God’s Glory, a devotional set at the beach. Follow her blog at

N E X T H O M E P L U S . C O M


I retired from the income tax business and started a new career in real estate several years ago! I love helping people find their NEW HOME, or sell their existing properties. I pay special attention to their needs, budgets and enjoy getting to know each client. I work diligently to help my clients navigate financing, property searches and treat them with patience and respect! Licensed GA & TN. In my spare time, I own a small fitness studio and enjoy FAMILY TIME with my grandkids!


105 RBC Drive, Ringgold, GA 30736 706.935.6398 Each NextHome Office Is Independently Owned And Operated.

Ringgold Church Directory Baptist Boynton Baptist Church 4093 Boynton Drive Ringgold, GA 30736 706-952-1551 Briarwood Baptist Church 26 Ellis Springs Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-965-9177 Burning Bush Baptist Church 2195 Burning Bush Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-866-1989 Calvary Memorial Baptist Church 518 Highway #41 Ringgold, GA 30736 706-891-9340 Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle 4994 Highway 41 Ringgold, GA 30736 706-935-4323 Cherokee Valley Baptist Church 1495 Cherokee Valley Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-935-6220 Christ First Church 1008 N. Beaumont Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-375-1008 Clearview Baptist Church 2183 Dietz Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-866-0164 Ebenezer Baptist Church 77 Hackett Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-965-7970 Faith Baptist Church 308 Boynton Drive Ringgold, GA 30736 423-509-5334 First Baptist Church of Ringgold 7611 Nashville Street Ringgold, GA 30736 706-935-2358 Friendship Primitive Baptist Church 851 Ooltewah Ringgold Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-935-2382 Gospel Way Baptist Church 31 Bowling Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-891-9866 Grace Baptist Church

16 // August 2022

7638 Nashville Street Ringgold, GA 30736 706-965-7969 Harvest Baptist Church of the Deaf 1314 Old Three Notch Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-375-7107 Video Call: 706-956-0445 Heritage Pointe Baptist Church 60 Dyer Bridge Place Ringgold, GA 30736 706-858-0976 Hickory Grove Baptist Church 5010 Houston Valley Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-673-6999 Keith Baptist Church 1573 Keith Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-450-0963 Living Faith Baptist Church Highway 41 Ringgold, GA 30736 706-891-1817 Midway Baptist Church Highway 41 North Ringgold, GA 30736 706-937-2317 Mount Peria Baptist Church 341 Sparks Street Ringgold, GA 30736 706-935-4887 Mount Pisgah Baptist Church 66 Westbrook Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-935-3031 Mount Vernon Baptist Church 1006 Mount Vernon Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-935-3872 New Bethel Baptist Church 1635 Salem Valley Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-965-3500 New Friendship Baptist Church 3833 Salem Valley Road Ringgold, GA 30736 New Heights Baptist Church 158 Ooltewah Ringgold Rd Ringgold, GA 30736 706-965-9838 New Liberty Baptist Church 923 Graysville Road

Ringgold, GA 30736 706-937-4754 Peavine Baptist Church 1089 Peavine Road Rock Spring, GA 30739 706-375-4721 Philadelphia Baptist Church 1065 Pine Grove Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-891-5683 Pine Grove Baptist Church 46 Pine Grove Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-891-2427 Pleasant Grove Baptist Church 7769 Alabama Highway Ringgold, GA 30736 706-935-3348 Pleasant Valley Baptist Church 1995 Ooltewah Ringgold Rd Ringgold, GA 30736 706-537-3633 Poplar Springs Baptist Church 422 Poplar Springs Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-965-4461 Salem Baptist Church 1947 Keith Salem Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-965-3907 Welcome Hill Baptist Church 223 Inman Street Ringgold, GA 30736 706-965-4814 Church of Christ Cohutta Road Church of Christ 2233 Mount Vernon Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-935-3884 Ringgold Church of Christ 4099 Nashville Street Ringgold, GA 30736 706-965-2820 Church of God Boynton Church of God 1956 Three Notch Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-937-6300 Indian Springs Church of God 2256 Highway 41 North Ringgold, GA 30736 706-937-3599 Noble Church of God 75 Glass Rd

Lafayette, GA 30728 Ringgold Church of God 117 Emberson Drive Ringgold, GA 30736 706-935-2056 Wallaceville Church of God 236 Harp Switch Road Chickamauga, GA 30707 706-375-2736 Community Green Pasture Community Church 1008 North Beaumont Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-375-7333 Lee’s Chapel Community Church 3253 Catoosa Parkway Ringgold, GA 30736 706-935-9928 Rock Bridge Community Church 102 Remco Shops Lane Ringgold, GA 30736 706-279-3175 Full Gospel Yates Spring Full Gospel Church 1300 Yates Springs Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-638-2305 Methodist Boynton UMC 4246 Boynton Drive Ringgold, GA 30736 706-866-2626 Graysville UMC 2331 Graysville Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-891-9253 Ringgold UMC 7484 Nashville Street Ringgold, GA 30736 706-935-4777 Woodstation UMC 13198 Alabama Highway Ringgold, GA 30736 706-965-3360 Non-Denominational Battlefield Church of Faith Highway 41 South Ringgold, GA 30736 706-937-7729 Calvary Chapel Ringgold 548 Boynton Drive Ringgold, GA 30736 706-952-1502

Church of Living Faith 7623 Alabama Highway Ringgold, GA 30736 706-937-5673 Crossroads Church 7638 Nashville Street Ringgold, GA 30736 Faith Builders International 8309 Highway 41 Ringgold, GA 30736 256-338-5031 Grace Memorial Church 118 East Nashville Street Ringgold, GA 30736

706-965-7969 The Gathering 2501 Pine Grove Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-841 0161 Light House Church 1201 Lafayette Road Rossville, GA 30741 706-861-2715 Messianic Ministry To Israel P.O. Box 22654 Chattanooga, TN 37422 New Life Church PO Box 1973 Ringgold, GA 30736

706-866-7799 Venue Church 3969 Cloud Springs Road Ringgold, GA 30736 423-637-7100 Presbyterian Chickamauga Presbyterian 700 7th Street Chickamauga, GA 30707 706-375-3432 Christ Fellowship 1176 North Three Notch Rd. Ringgold, GA 30736 706-937-4115 Morton Memorial

560 Red Belt Rd. Chickamauga, GA 30707 706-338-7176 Seventh-Day Adventist Ringgold Seventh-Day Adventist Church 124 Kittle Street Ringgold, GA 30736 706-935-3741 Battlefield Community Seventh-Day Adventist Church 96 Hillman Lane Ringgold, GA 30736 706-861-5999

Fort Oglethorpe Church Directory Baptist Anchor of Hope Baptist Church 2613 Lakeview Drive Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-866-8318 Battlefield Baptist Church 178 South Cedar Lane Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-866-1316 Burning Bush Baptist Church 2195 Burning Bush Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-866-1989 Calvary Memorial Baptist Church 2 E Gate Drive Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-866-6183 Cloud Springs Baptist Church 207 Cloud Springs Road Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-866-0164 First Baptist Church Ft. Oglethorpe 2645 LaFayette Road Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-866-0232 Moriah Baptist Church 2864 Battlefield Parkway Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-866-8843 Nellie Head Memorial Baptist 2379 Catoosa Parkway Tunnell Hill, GA 30755 706-935-5236 Old Fort Baptist Church 18 Van Cleve Street Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-861-2807

Parkway Baptist Temple 65 Stuart Road Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-866-0325 Victory Baptist Church 1013 Layfayette Road Rossville, GA 30741 706-866-0371 Catholic Saint Gerard Catholic Church 3049 Lafayette Road Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-861-9410 Church of Christ Fort Oglethorpe Church of Christ 6 Harker Road Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-866-4124 Community Battlefield Ministries Church 64 3rd Street Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-866-9090 Episcopal Church of the Nativity 1520 Cross Street Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-866-9773 Methodist Fairview UMC 2112 McFarland Avenue Rossville, GA 30741 423-653-1043 Fort Oglethorpe UMC 1733 Battlefield Parkway Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-820-6314 Newnan Springs UMC

78 Monanaw Avenue Rossville GA 30741 706-866-6724 Nazarene Battlefield Parkway Church of the Nazarene 3220 Battlefield Parkway Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-866-9838 Non-Denominational Battlefield Praise & Worship 1337 Battlefield Pkwy, Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-913-0531 Chosen Generation Ministries 92 W Patterson Avenue Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 423-779-6777 Living Waters Ministries 1337 Battlefield Pkwy Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 423-255-8655 Ridgeland Point Church 1417 Happy Valley Rd. Rossville, GA 30741 RockPointe Church 1278 Cross Street Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-820-6523 Untethered Church 2473 Lafayette Road Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 423-991-6067 Presbyterian First Presbyterian Church 1 Harker Road Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-866-0232

List/Update Your Church Listing (423) 478-6484 // 17

Gò0dNews for Fathers

Step Up to The Plate

nd, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4, KJV). As I excitedly channel surf the multiple baseball games on my high-resolution television, I am reminded of the book, Step Up to the Plate, Dad by author, evangelist, and notable conference speaker RV Brown. In this autobiographical work, the former coach and now Biblebased motivational speaker to numerous high school and college athletic teams provides instructions and exhortations to help men of faith rise to the occasion of being effective

in their efforts to succeed at fatherhood. Admittedly, there is no “cookie-cutter” or one set of rules that can generically be used by any man that will ensure 100% success in this vital area of parenting. However, in Brown’s book, there are words of wisdom that many a “dad” have found to be resourceful in an attempt to fulfill that sometimes elusive calling to be a “good father!” From a biblical standpoint, even Israel’s great King David, “a man after God’s own heart,” struggled and, at times, failed in his efforts. That being said, I think that one of the common mistakes we as fathers make is thinking that we will be “perfect,” beyond reproach, or even “flawless at fathering.” Nothing, my friend, could be further from the truth! Interestingly, as it should be noted in the key verse stated earlier, the notable admonishment to fathers or dads (words

18 // August 2022

used interchangeably throughout this writing) is the one thing we should “not” do. The Phillips translation reads, “don’t over-correct your children or make it difficult for them to obey the commandment.” Or, in my interpretation of the text, “don’t expect of your children what God does not expect of you and me, and that is, to be perfect, without fault or mistakes.” Don’t misrepresent Matthew 5:48, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” When the actual rendering of the word “perfect” in the original Greek is “teleios” (of men, “fullgrown,” mature; and of God, “wanting nothing necessary to completeness,” Strong’s Concordance). Friend, God expects us to mature, “grow up into him in all things” (Ephesian 4:15) but knows quite well our shortcomings (reference Romans 7:18). Conversely, note the two things we as fathers are to do (interestingly, over the one thing we are not to do; time nor space restraints will not allow me to elaborate on the significance of that key point). Fathers, we are to “nurture” them. Ironically, in multiple Bible translations and scripture versions, there is the common use of the expression, “bring them up.” Hence, to “bring” something would seem to indicate that you “come along with.” As dads, you and I are to “bring up,” comparable to the expression used by the writer of Proverbs, “train up” (Chapter 22, Verse 6). I am inclined to ask, as dads, are we perfect? No! Are we without faults? No! Have we had our share of mistakes? Yes! Contrariwise, Has God written us off? No! Does God persist in rebuking and scolding us? No! Is God loving, patient, kind, and merciful towards us? Of course, He is! Dads, God as our Father seeks to “bring us up” or “alongside” Himself “with Christian teaching in Christian discipline” (Phillips). And so should we with our sons and daughters. Ultimately, but not without time, patience, and occasional mistakes, you and I as fathers, will “mature” our children as we ourselves mature in the things of God. In the words of my friend RV Brown and during this season of baseball, “Dads, [it’s time to] Step Up to the Plate!” About The Author


by Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams and his wife of over 40 years, Lita, reside in Athens, Tennessee.

Church Activities & Events Parkway Baptist Temple The Nelons

Saturday, August 6 | 6PM - 10PM 65 Stuart Rd, Fort Oglethorpe, GA

Welcome Hill Baptist Church The LeFevre Quartet

Sunday, August 7 | 10:30AM 4528 Ooltewah Ringgold Rd, Ringgold, GA

New Covenant Fellowship Church Monthly Men’s Breakfast

Saturday, August 13 | 9AM - 10:30AM 1326 N Moore Rd, Chattanooga, TN

Lee University Conn Center U-Church

Sunday, August 14 | 7:30PM - 8:30PM 150 11th St NE, Cleveland, TN

Gò0dNews for Life

Hope or Nope? by Janise Copeman


t is so easy these days to lose hope. It may seem

When I was reading, I noticed three times what the

overwhelming at times. Every day we are bombarded

Lord is trying to get through to us. “Why art thou cast

with news or events that can rob us of the joy we hold.

down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me?

As Christians, our hope lies not in the things we can see

Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of

or the temporal but in the One who has saved us and has

his countenance” (Psalms 42:5, Psalms 42:11, Psalms 43:5).

given us a future and a hope that no one can steal from us.

We are to praise Him in the midst of trouble, no matter

Our anchor and hope are eternal, not someone or something

what our flesh feels like or our emotions try to tell us. “You

that changes constantly. He changes not. He is the same

are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word”

yesterday, today, and always. Psalms 31:24, “Be of good

(Psalms 119:114).

courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.”

Someday, this temporal world and its chaos, cares, and wickedness will be behind us, and our true destination will be before us. Daily struggle and war against the enemy will cease. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel” (Joel 3:16). In the meantime, we are to fight the good fight of faith. “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer” (Romans 12:12). Our life here should not dictate who we truly are since this

For example, the lesson about Peter walking on water—

is not our home. We are just passing through. We are in the

when we take our eyes off of Jesus and focus on everything

world but not of it. We are aliens and strangers here; we are

going on around us, we start to sink under the weight of it

not to be so entangled and at home here that we lose sight of

all. When we cry out to Jesus in faith, He will catch us with

our eternal destination, for this world is passing away. What

His hand and raise us up above what seems impossible.

awaits us is nothing our human mind can comprehend.

When we are pulled to and fro by everything going on in

“For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye

the world, we lose our focus. This makes me think of Job

heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel” (Col. 1:5).

and the testing and hardship he experienced, even his own

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ”

Lord was and refused to give up on that hope. In the end,

(Titus 2:13).

when all seemed lost, the Lord blessed the latter end of Job’s life even more than his beginning!

20 // August 2022

About The Author

family and friends turned on him. But he knew who His

Janise Copeman lives in Trion,Georgia, is 49 years old, and she is blessed to be married to her soulmate for 26 years. She enjoys reading, writing, and encouraging others by spreading joy and love in the Lord.

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The Joint Chiropractic

elcome to The Joint Chiropractic! Whether you have seen a chiropractor in the past or are seeking a local chiropractor near you for the first time, expect your visit to The Joint Chiropractic to be different from any healthcare experience you’ve had before—perhaps even life-changing. At The Joint Chiropractic, our mission is to improve the quality of life and overall health for every single patient through routine and affordable chiropractic care. We recognize the need for whole-body well-being. Our doctors have prioritized this mission and take the time to customize your experience when you visit our clinics. So, no matter which clinic you choose to visit in the Greater Chattanooga area, you will not be disappointed. Among our several remarkable doctors, Dr. Ben Steward and Dr. Brittany Steward take a lead in this specialized practice with their passion to change lives. Originally from Lansing, Michigan, Dr. Ben was an outstanding athlete in high school and played basketball, football, and ran track. His physical prowess earned him a full ride through college. He was awarded a football scholarship and led a very active

22 // August 2022

lifestyle. He realized early on how to work and create with his hands from his Father. While focused on sports, Dr. Ben suffered an injury. He did not want to take medication or worry about a future surgery to correct the problem and his pain. Chiropractic care seemed to be a natural way to help heal the body and relieve pain. After receiving just a few adjustments, his priorities shifted, and he knew what was in store for his future. Dr. Ben found his true passion was to help people stay active and healthy, and instinctively he turned his studies to the natural science of chiropractic care. While Dr. Ben attended Northeast College of Health Sciences preparing to graduate, he met Dr. Brittany in Upstate New York. Discovering that she shared his passion for an athletic lifestyle and helping people live pain-free after injury without medications and surgery, the two became a pair. Dr. Brittany’s passion goes deeper than just a goal. She is enthusiastic about helping people become the healthiest version of themselves, and this desire led her to also pursue certification in functional medicine, Whole Foods Nutrition, and Sport Science for Human Performance.

Outside of chiropractic, she coaches Functional Fitness and Weightlifting. The two hit it off so well that they wed and began a move to Tennessee. Learning about The Joint—its convenience, its affordability and its accessibility to all, regardless of economic class—Dr. Ben and Dr. Brittany decided to join The Joint family in the Greater Chattanooga area. Dr. Brittany expresses her reasons for choosing The Joint to work chiropractic care in our clinics. “Everyone can benefit from chiropractic care, and in most cases, it delivers better results with less risk than most alternatives. The Joint Chiropractic removes many of the barriers that limit people from receiving chiropractic care, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to help every patient I treat,” said Dr. Brittany. Sharing in that passion, Dr. Ben adds, “I enjoy working for The Joint for several reasons. We provide affordable chiropractic care, which is beneficial for many patients that are getting introduced to chiropractic for the first time. I enjoy working with the working class and helping them get back to work with less pain. The Joint is also a great way to have convenient chiropractic care. We are open on weekends and later hours, which gives our patients flexibility to come in on their free time.” You may ask yourself how can routine chiropractic care help improve your quality of life? The answer is simple. Through manual manipulation of the spine delivered to the highest standards by licensed chiropractors, chiropractic care works to restore and maintain proper communication from your brain to your body by relieving what chiropractors refer to as a subluxation, or a misalignment, of the spine. Restoring proper alignment to the spine can assist with pain relief and prevention of a multitude of whole-body issues that are rarely uniquely defined as products of a misalignment. Headaches and Migraines, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain, Elbow Pain, Knee Pain, and Foot and Ankle Pain are just some of the most common maladies that can be relieved through routine chiropractic adjustments. Some of the rarer symptoms one could experience relief from are Tension and Stress Disorders, Arthritis, Bursitis, Neuropathy, Joint Discomfort, and Chronic Injury Pain. The Joint was originally founded in 1999 by a Doctor of Chiropractic with a vision to transform the traditional, often misunderstood concept of routine chiropractic care by making it more convenient, friendly, and affordable. In March 2010, The Joint was re-founded with the acquisition of the original eight franchised clinics. Today, The Joint has grown to a nationwide network of more than 700 chiropractic offices and counting. We are the leader in

delivering routine chiropractic care, performing more than four million spinal adjustments a year. Locally, you can visit Dr. Ben and Dr. Brittany as they rotate in our five different clinics in the Greater Chattanooga area. Banner Healthcare PC, the owner of these franchise locations, took great care in choosing the locations that would best suit the community’s interests. You can visit any one of our convenient locations in Cleveland,

Hamilton, Hixson, North Shore, and our newest clinic in Fort Oglethorpe, GA. Our hours are always posted on our website by location. We are open nights and weekends and are proud of our no-appointment policy, which means walkins are welcome! Our Wellness Plans and Packages are so affordable they eliminate the need for insurance and for a limited time, you can get your very first consultation, exam, and adjustment for the low rate of $29. Upon your arrival, our Wellness Coordinators will welcome you gladly. Signup is easy, and most visits take less than fifteen minutes. On your first visit, leave some extra time for your consultation and exam with your chiropractor. You will also receive an adjustment on your first visit, so prepare to feel better right away. As our chiropractors often share duties at our several clinics, we invite you to get adjusted by all of them through routine care. We keep accurate records and work as one big family, so we welcome you to take a step towards your wellness journey with us today. Feel the difference an adjustment can make at The Joint Chiropractic—where we are changing lives, inspiring active lifestyles, and building healthier communities, one patient at a time. // 23

Gò0dNews for Everyone

Convict on the Loose!


by Monica Gambrell

y husband and I had decided very early on in

no one had ever told her, “I love you,” unless they wanted

our relationship (even before we were married)

something in return. I was stupefied. We must ask God for

that if and when we had children, one of us

His eyes so that we see people as He does.

would always be home with them. Many people told us

I Samuel 16:7, “…God does not see as man sees, since

that it wasn’t possible in this economy to make it work

man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at

with only one income, but we were determined. And it

the heart.”

did work. We had to make many choices that were unconventional, but we believed we were doing what was best for the family. Bear had always been the one to work while I stayed home with the children, but there came a time when our roles reversed. I got a customer service job with a utility company, which paid much more than he had ever made, so I went to work. The building I worked in was closed to the public. It was locked up tight and there were plenty of security measures in place. Many days Bear would load the children into the vehicle and pick me up in the parking lot so we could all have lunch together. Bear was 6’6” tall, around 340 lbs., wore a size 15 shoe, and was a very imposing figure. He also kept a buzz haircut most of the time. On top of that, on one particular day, he showed up wearing an orange T-shirt as prisoners wear. Before I even made it outside, I heard the commotion and asked

Isaiah 11:3, “And He will delight in the fear of the Lord,

someone what was happening. Apparently, security had

And He will not judge by what His eyes see, nor make

mistaken him for a convict on the loose and had called the

decisions by what His ears hear.”

police for backup to apprehend him! It wasn’t until I arrived

Luke 6:37, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged.

on the scene that everyone involved was assured that he was

Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Pardon,

indeed a harmless husband. I can’t tell you how opposite

and you will be pardoned.”

my reaction was to my husband’s. I couldn’t stop laughing. Here’s my question: How many people do we instantly

Father God, I am guilty. Many of us are. May we sing the Brandon Heath song in our hearts. “Give me Your eyes

judge the way they judged him? We see a homeless person

so I can see—Everything that I keep missing. Give me Your

holding a sign asking for help and turn away. We see an

love for humanity. Give me Your arms for the broken-

impoverished mother with dirty and possibly unruly

hearted—The ones that are far beyond my reach. Give me

children and puff ourselves up in comparison. Shame on

Your heart for the ones forgotten—Give me Your eyes so I

us. Surely all of us have been judged by others as well.

can see.” Oh, Lord, how we need this in our world! The only

Charlene, a woman more beautiful than any Hollywood

way this world can change is when believers start acting like

actress, and a friend of mine, admitted to me one day that

believers. Mercy.

24 // August 2022



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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Unsanitized Prayer


by Kristen West

ave you ever felt like there are just some things

overlooked. A huge chunk of the Psalms was written

you can’t say to God? Or that when you do

by David. As you read through them, you’ll notice they

talk to Him, you somehow need to put your

are basically a collection of unsanitized prayers. David

words into a holy sentence structure? As a young Christ-

removes any religion from his conversations with God

follower, I sure did. I was convinced that if I didn’t polish

and tells it like it is. He says what he means, describes

my words and pray with certain religious verbiage, God

what he’s feeling, and pours out his every raw emotion.

wouldn’t listen. Nothing could be further from the truth.

David knew it was foolish to try and sanitize his

If you can’t be raw, unfiltered, and completely vulnerable

words. What would be the point? Didn’t God already

with God, then who can you be that way with?

see and know everything about him? Was there anything David had already said or done that God had not been privy to (Psalm 139:1-5)? The same is true for us today. God wants us to talk to Him— unfiltered, unsanitized, completely raw. He already sees your anger, worry, frustration, and bitterness. He already knows about that sin, secret, addiction, and heartbreak. There are no special words, phrases, or flowery church jargon that God is looking for. He just wants you—the real you—to talk to Him. Dump out the hurt, the pain, the anxiety, the fear… in your own words. Don’t hold back.

David, referred to as “a man after God’s own heart”

David didn’t. He brought his authentic, broken, and very

in Acts 13:22, is one of the best examples of this. David’s

real self to his conversations with God, was called a man

walk with God had more ups and downs, twists and

after God’s own heart, and saw God move in His life in

turns than the world’s best rollercoaster. He defeated

some incredible ways! “…pour out your hearts before

Goliath, became one of Israel’s most well-known kings,

Him. God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8, HCSB).

committed adultery with Bathsheba, had her husband murdered, and embarked on an abundance of other With the highs and lows of his life documented for all of us to study, the way he prays should not be

26 // August 2022

About The Author

exploits too numerous to name here.

Kristen West works at Rock Bridge Community Church with a heart for staff leadership, development, and care. She is a communicator with a passion to inspire, encourage, and challenge others in their daily walk with Christ. She writes and publishes weekly content on her blog at




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Gò0dNews Poetry

Learn To Love by Judy Hood

There once was a man who walked this earth He was so wise; great was his worth He healed the sick; he had no favorite pick He tried to save them all from making a dark fall He walked the sea so all men could see Many miracles he performed for you and me He was complete love; that’s what he’s all about So build your faith; don’t live in doubt God gave us a big world in which to live So be good to each other, your love to give Give it richly; good seeds will grow Help your neighbor to and fro If this world would love as much as it hates Just think, we would all walk through those pearly gates.

28 // August 2022

You can get Judy Hood’s newly released book, But For The Grace Of God Go I, through Amazon, Barnes & Noble or ebooks.























My name is Arica Patterson. I am a devoted Christian, wife and mother of three. I have been involved in real estate in some capacity my whole life. Most of my family is involved in real estate which has been instrumental in my success as a real estate agent. I am a firm believer in learning from the more experienced people around me. As I have watched and learned over the years I have been fortunate enough to be involved in every step of building a home as well as the remodeling process. As a result, when choosing a home or preparing a home for the market, I can offer my client the knowledge I have gained through my experiences. Buying or selling a home weather it is for you personally or as an investment is one of the biggest and most important decisions one will make. For this reason, I give each real estate transaction my full attention and do my very best to make the process a smooth and seamless transaction for all involved. I look forward to helping any real estate dreams become reality.



Native to the area, Vivian Hurley, is knowledgeable of the Greater Chattanooga region. Having lived in North Georgia and now residing in a small rural town just north of Chattanooga she licensed in both Georgia and Tennessee. Growing up on a farm in Chickamauga, Vivian knows the value of hard work and perseverance. Deciding to pursue a career in real estate two years ago allowed the freedom to be more present in her family’s lives. Basing her customer service on building relationships with current and future clients is what makes Vivian the ideal agent for first time home buyers, she will be with them every step of the way. When not helping clients find their dream home this mother of three and wife of 10 years can be found camping or at the ball fields with her family any given weekend.

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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Who Can You Be an Inspiration To?


by David Huff

rowing up, I worked for a discount store called

Jesus was a great example of someone who served

Roses. It was there that I would meet Jody

His people, and also led His people. This is what I

Wheldon, someone who would go on to change

remember the most about Jody, the way he held himself

my life many years later. Jody was the assistant manager

accountable to show respect not just to himself but to

of Roses, and he would later be named store manager.

those around him. Jody was a true example of what

What was so special about Jody was how he inspired us

Christ set for us as a servant leader. I encourage you

to do the best we could in everything we did. He poured

today to look around at the faces near you, the faces that

out the love in his heart to each person he knew. To a

you see every day and ask yourself, what would it hurt to

17-year-old kid who never had anyone take the time to

speak a kind word to someone? What would it hurt to show

express encouragement, I did not know how to accept

love to someone who may not be the best person?

it. It did not matter because, many years later, his words

As a 17-year-old kid who was lost in the world and

still echo in my mind. Jody was only our store manager

stayed lost for many years, I needed the inspiration

for less than a year, but in that short amount of time, the

I received at that tender age. Even though I did not

inspiring he did would last a lifetime.

realize it at the moment, God was working in the

Jesus was a great encourager and influencer who inspired many to give up their lives to teach the Gospel

background to orchestrate my return to Him. It only takes a few seconds of the day to be nice to someone. It only takes a few seconds of the day to show love to someone, and

years after His death. In 1 Corinthians 11:1 we are called to be imitators of

we receive a reward for it too. The

Christ. That includes influencing the

more kindness, inspiration, and

lives of someone who has no one

love that we show to someone

else to help them. Jesus taught that

comes back to us. We find ourselves a new joy and

we are to love our neighbor as we love

peace that we have never

ourselves. Your neighbor is anybody


near you—a co-worker, a family

Who can you

member, someone on the elevator, or even your physical neighbor. In

inspire today

Titus 2:7, we are told to

through your

show ourselves in all

loving acts

respects to be a model

of kindness?

of good works. Being a model of good works is living the as Christ did.

30 // August 2022

About The Author

servant leader life

My name is David Huff. I am married to Brittany and together we have five wonderful kids. We attend Rock Bridge Community Church Calhoun where I serve on the prayer team, host team, production team, and a small group co-leader. I am also a senior at Lee University.

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Gò0dNews for Family

Before There Was Evangelism…


by David Beckmann

here was the family. When God made

hates the family so much. That is why the devil and his

provision for His will to be done on

servants have always done what they could to destroy the

earth, He created a man and a woman,

“traditional” or “natural” family, which God established

with the idea that they would start a family. When He

at the creation. And boy, have they been busy over the

decided it was time to start that project over, He saved a

last century or so! Our enemies know how important the

family from the Flood—Noah’s family. When it was time

family is. Do we?

to begin and establish “His own” people who were to do

I write to believing, evangelical married couples. As

His will in the Promised Land, He started with the family

we seek to fulfill the Great Commission and to live out

of Abraham. When God gave the law for His people at

the Christian life—to be salt and light in this world—

Mt. Sinai, right in the middle of it is the family: “Honor

how do we order our personal priorities? How are we to follow Paul’s instruction to be wise and understanding what the will of the Lord is for us (Ephesians 5:15-17)? Well, after he says to do that, he tells us to live in the Spirit, be thankful, have a submissive attitude toward one another, and then he orders our family life (Ephesians 5:18f).

your father and your mother…” Ultimately, when God

Evangelism is important, but God created families

sent His Son to save us from our sin and to establish His

to do His will on earth before they fell and needed

kingdom, He had him raised in a family.

evangelism. How can we invite people to God’s love in

I say all that to get to this: when the apostle Paul writes about living out the Christian life, we should

Christ if we cannot love our relatives (1 John 4:20)? Furthermore, if we are to disciple the nations,

expect him to put a lot of emphasis on how we live in

shouldn’t that discipling begin with our own children?

our families—or I should say households, because he

Has God not given them to us for that purpose?

includes the servants—which he did. Why? Because

Shouldn’t we want to have children (or adopt them) so

the family has always been the primary building block

we can nurture them to know the Lord and thus build the

for His kingdom and the doing of His will on earth—

family of God, the Church?

“thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

If we want to win the world for Christ, whatever we do, let’s still focus on the family.

a godly family are so important for us as Christians. It is also why the devil, and the world under his influence,

32 // August 2022

About The Author

That is why marriage and the raising of children in The Rev. David Beckmann is an Anglican priest and Moderator of the C.S. Lewis Society of Chattanooga. Recently, he was director of the C. S. Lewis Study Centre at The Kilns, Oxford, UK. He blogs at

Gò0dNews for Everyone

God Loves All Creatures Great & Small


by Cheryl L. Dunson

n the fifth and sixth days, God created living

Billy Graham once wrote, “We must never treat any

creatures to fill the water, the skies and the earth.

part of God’s creation with contempt. When we do, we

God saw that it was good, and He blessed them.

are indirectly treating our Creator with contempt. Instead,

When God created man in His own image, His first

God calls us to be stewards or trustees of His creation and

mandate to man was to have dominion over the creatures

the Bible reminds us that we are responsible to Him for

God created. The Lord delegated responsibility of His

the way we treat it…The Bible commands us to take care

creation and everything in it to us, and He entrusted us to

of the animals under our care…. Even the animal of an

be good stewards (Gen. 1:26).

enemy was to be treated kindly…” (Ex. 23:12).

In other words, animals matter to God! August 26th is set aside as National Dog Day to

Naturally, some of us are more receptive to animals in our lives than others. Some of us choose to invite warm

recognize dogs in need of rescue, and to acknowledge

and furry creatures into our home, while others prefer to

those dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives,

keep them at the barn or in the pasture. Still, some favor

keep us safe, and bring comfort. But let’s expand upon the recognition of canines and appreciate the importance of all animals in God’s kingdom. In Genesis 1 & 2, we see animals bring joy to God. He declared them “good!” In Psalm 104, God demonstrates His care for the animals, beginning with giving water to all beasts of the field, wild donkeys and birds of the air (11 & 12). The Lord makes grass to grow for the cattle (14), and prepares homes for the birds in the cedars and pine trees (16 & 17). God made the high mountains for the wild goats and rabbits. He made the forests for the lions to seek their prey and then to lay down in their dens (20 & 21). He spilled teeming creatures beyond number into the sea (25), and all of God’s living things look to Him for their food at the proper time (27). By giving man kingship of His creation and everything

keeping their living spaces free of animals altogether. God certainly recognizes and appreciates our preferences.

in it, the Lord commands us to secure the welfare of its

But, in deference to God’s awesome creation, let us be

subjects: “The righteous care for the needs of their animals,

kind to all living things and commit to never abuse,

but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel” (Psalm 12:10).

neglect or mistreat any of God’s wonderful creatures.

34 // August 2022

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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Be A Witness for God


by Susan Lavigne

ow many of you have ever watched the TV series

• How did I come to know Jesus?

Perry Mason? How many of you have no idea what I

• How do I see God working in my life?

am talking about? Maybe you have seen a TV show

• How has God taken my life events and made me unique?

like Matlock or Law and Order? In every episode, there is a court scene. In a court of law, whether on TV or in real life, as a witness on the witness stand, you would be asked to “Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,

• How can I take the comfort that God has given me to comfort others? • What wisdom or revelations has God given me that I can share with others?

so help you God.” A witness’s job is to tell the truth of what he sees and knows from his own personal experience. God wants us to be His witnesses of His work in our lives. Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be my witnesses…to the end of the earth.” However, what I didn’t realize initially is that there is a big difference between being a witness and being an attorney. Attorneys try to convince, while a witness merely tells the truth. When I was witnessing for Christ, I thought I was responsible for convincing others to follow Jesus, and if I failed to do that, then I failed God. I was wrong. We are only called to tell others what we know about God. So, I couldn’t fail as long as I spoke truth from my own life. Our

As you ponder these questions, also think about where you would be now if someone had not witnessed to you? Personally, I believe the enemy is making it easier for

role as witnesses is to share our life story with others and

us to share our faith every day. Whenever bad things happen

let God, through His Holy Spirit, do the convincing. What

in the world, this opens opportunities not only to share

a relief to know that I was not responsible for another’s

our concerns about what is going on in the world, but also

salvation. The responsibility is between God and the

our trust that God is still in control. We still trust Him with

person who hears my testimony.

our lives regardless of the circumstances. Then, we should

So, in order to witness to others, you may want to

pray for others to see the peace of God inside ourselves. Remember, God is calling all of us to be His witnesses, not

prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to

His attorneys!

give the reason for the hope you have…” (1 Peter 3:15).

36 // August 2022

About The Author

ponder the following questions so you will “…always be

Susan Lavigne attends Cornerstone Church. She is a Christian speaker and songwriter. Feel free to contact her at

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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Finding Strength in Weakness


by Dr. Alan D. Hix

ugust is a month of beginnings. My two

Paul had received a great gift. He had been given a

granddaughters are looking forward to the

glimpse of the glory of heaven that awaits believers. He

excitement of being in the next grade. As a lifelong

would have been glad to encourage others in sharing the

educator, I have seen August as a time for dreaming new

amazing sights and sounds. However, God threw a roadblock

dreams and looking forward to new possibilities as the

into that plan by allowing a difficulty to enter Paul’s life

school year begins. The business of fall activities keeps that

that caused him to question God’s plan. God’s response was

excitement going into the Christmas break. The new year

simple, yet profound: “My grace is all you need.”

also starts with anticipation of good things to come. However, by Spring Break, both students and teachers are ready for the school year to be over. The dreams of the year past have either been realized, dimmed, or fallen to the side. By Spring Break, we’ve settled into making it to the end. Sometimes our spiritual lives are like that. We come into a relationship with Christ with a host of dreams and possibilities. Over time, however, that original fervor often dims, and we settle into a “getting through the day” mindset. Add to that the difficulties and crises that life throws our way, and we can lose that sense of the close connection to Christ we felt at first. We long for that original sense of intimacy, and we wonder how we will face the challenges yet to come. The Apostle Paul had a similar experience that he relates

One of the struggles we have as believers is that we often assume that if we are faithful and obedience to Christ, that our lives should be relatively free from difficulty. We

in 2 Corinthians 12:2-9:

assume that hardship and difficulty are the exception. Paul

I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago…and heard

discovered that it is those very things which challenge

things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell. That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth…So, to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each

our faith that cause us to realize that in those moments of discouragement, God’s grace is all we need. The hopes, dreams, and anticipations for our lives that we thought were crushed find new direction in Him. It is this shift of focus that moved Paul to conclude in verse 10, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” So, the next time you find yourself standing amidst the wreckage of your broken dreams, choose to turn to Christ, not away from Him. When we do, we discover, like Paul, God’s grace is all we need.

weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me (NLT).

38 // August 2022

About The Author

time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in

Dr. Alan Hix is an Associate Professor of Christian Studies at Shorter University. In addition to being and educator, he has served churches as a pastor, been involved in mission trips to Africa, Canada, and Alaska, and participated in archaeological excavations in Israel for several years.


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e believe when people are equipped,

Who: Our writers range from pastors, professors, and

motivated, and passionately engaged in

professional writers to stay at home moms and dads,

living out their faith in Jesus Christ they

business professionals, and others who have a desire to

have the potential to be world changers. Our mission is to bring people into a dynamic

relationship with Jesus Christ—a relationship that empowers them to see how God can work through individual personalities, situations, and talents. Christ was an activist, he did not neglect the needs of the people as He brought His message. We strive to encourage everyone to look more like Christ by reaching outside of themselves to serve the needs of others—at home, at school, in communities, and across the world. Phone: 423.478.6484

reach out to people through words of encouragement. What: We believe that it is important to laugh together, praise each other, encourage one another, and to offer biblical advice. Articles can be directed toward everyone, or from woman to woman, or man to man. We love to share recipes and family traditions as well. We ask that articles be kept to a 500 word maximum. We’d love to hear from you! Where: Please send submissions to Why: Because God has not intended for us to just survive. We believe that we are intended to reach out to love and encourage each other. God has brought each of us through tough times, blessed us, and made the “impossible” possible. Let’s, together, share the love of Jesus Christ.

Gò0dNews for Everyone

I Never Met Emily by Deck Cheatham


never met Emily Brown Kocis, but I know her. I know

those who go on. But we never just go on, for the life that

her as God allows me to know His truth, and in its light,

loves and touches also resurrects. We are changed because

her light, God’s light through her, I am changed. All who

this life was lived and was loved and did love. And through

knew her are changed. Emily was diagnosed with peritoneal

this resurrection, the eternal bond can never be broken. Love

mesothelioma, a rare cancer. She was a daughter, a sister,

has yet to know death.

a wife, a mother and more. She was 28. She parted this life January 7, 2017. Light emanates from her soul and spirit. Emily’s spirit touched me. I spent time reading her posts on Caring Bridge, and through her words, I began to understand a person’s life by its devotion to more than self. By its love and faith and courage in the face of human certainty, life is a prayer. Her life, more than self, prayed for us all. Emily walked her path with a sublime clarity, not with any sense of giving up, but with a confident determination to fight, to win, and to live. Her journey, which began with “just another hot Tuesday in July…that day that changed everything,” would forever alter the lives she touched.

Anne Lamott, in her book Traveling Mercies says, “They

Emily’s life, death, and words reveal God to me. She

seem always to be walking. As with all nomads, if you

said, “There is something about the illusion of a limitless

don’t keep walking, you die—so you figure out how to

horizon that makes you squander your time a little more

keep walking.” This is how I will think of Emily. Though

carelessly. And there is something about accepting the fact

here but for a while, she is still walking, leaving in her path

that the cancer may win that alters your field of vision. Time

grace, dignity, and hope, walking in the minds and hearts

becomes something to savor. Again, the fight is not over.”

of family and friends and the lives she touched, even people

I prayed for Emily so many times with so many others in so many solitudes. I asked God to heal her and give her strength and courage. As I read her words, I found she

like me who never met her. “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken” (Psalm 55:22).

possessed these gifts before the first prayer was uttered.

For more information on peritoneal mesothelioma,

I asked for nothing less than what was in God’s power

contact the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation at

to grant. I asked for her light, God’s light through her, to

Our earthly bonds are but for a while, and though severed by death, the broken bond seeks an equilibrium for

40 // August 2022

About The Author

remain in our presence. Deck Cheatham has been a golf professional for some 40 years. He lives with his family in Dalton. He is a guest columnist for the Rome News Tribune, The Daily Citizen, and the Calhoun Times. Email him at

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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Just One Word


by Zebbie Brewster

ave you ever had a bad day or seemingly bad

with my breathing! I am not exactly sure what the

days after bad days? Your heart was weary

doctor did to help me, but it worked. I am sure my

and you needed a word of encouragement.

mom’s prayers went a long way in helping also!

Have you ever prayed for God to just speak a word of encouragement to your heart and mind? My mom has been very sick and I want so much to

I can say with much thankfulness that I have never known a time in my life when my mom wasn’t praying for me and my two brothers. They made the difference

make her journey better. It is a very painful path she is

in all things always! Now I know that prayers—and

on right now, and I remember as a child, she was the

many of them—will continue to make the difference in

one I could always go to when my heart was weary.

our daily walk in this world. “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you” (I Peter 5:7). As Christians, we don’t walk this journey alone. It is amazing how God will send people to our pathway to speak a kind word or send up a prayer for us. That day I prayed quietly for the Good Lord to please give me a word of encouragement, and I was amazed at how many people showed extra kindness to me that day! The Bible talks about those kind words: “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth:

She knew how to try to help when I was hurting. It

and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!”

seems more than once in the summertime I would find

(Proverbs 15:23). “A word fitly spoken is like apples

my way into a wasp nest and come screaming home

of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).

with them chasing me. My mom would try to calm me down and doctor me the best she could. I remember one time I got bit by a red wasp on my bottom lip and that was not good! I ended up in

So, I pray that in your walk with the Good Lord, today you will find apples of gold in pictures of silver and that it will add comfort to that heart that needs encouraging.

Thank the Good Lord the swelling did not interfere

42 // August 2022

About The Author

the doctor’s office because I was allergic to bee stings.

Zebbie Brewster resides in Summerville, Georgia. She is an active member at Perennial Springs Baptist Church.

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