December 2022

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December 2022 Complimentary
ò0dNews Christian Magazine ® CATOOSA & WALKER LLC Merry Christmas!

Nestled in the rolling foothills of Northwest Georgia. Conveniently located between Chattanooga and Atlanta, our family farm offers unrivaled beauty and serenity with just the right touch of rustic charm and modern amenities. Our lush grounds frame tranquil ponds. Cascading willow trees sway majestically in the mountain breezes. Cattle and llamas graze in nearby verdant fields as ducks and swans paddle peacefully atop shimmering waters. Aside from the pristine countryside, we offer a barn, a pavilion, two gazebos, an open, flat grassy area, and a fire pit for your special occasion. Whether you need indoor or outdoor settings for your next event, look no further than Willow Tree Farms.

609 Post Oak Road Ringgold, GA 30736 (706) 965-2378


Dr. Alan Hix

April Engstrom

Brent Goodge

Danny Hesterly

David Huff

Dorothy Teague

Filip Brunner

Greg Grotewold

Judy Hood

Kristen West

Mitchell Qualls

Paul McGuire

Rick Hughes

Samuel Burger Sandra Gilmore

Dr. Shawn Jones


Shane Franks 706-270-2410 Email: DESIGN

Caleb Prytherch Email: PHOTOGRAPHER

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 throughout the community in retail establishments, churches, restaurants, and more. Our magazine opens the door for Christians to work together to grow and strengthen our community through relevant editorial and effective advertising.

GoodNews Christian Magazine is written by men and women in the community who love and serve the Lord. Our hearts are open and willing to be used by God to reach out to the community to spread the GoodNews!


All of the content in the GoodNews Christian Magazine is for general information and/or use. Such contents does not constitute advice and should not be relied upon in making (or refraining from making) a decision. Any specific advice or replies to queries in any part of the magazine is the personal opinion of such experts/consultants/persons and is not subscribed to by GoodNews Christian Magazine. The information in GoodNews Christian Magazine is provided on an “AS IS” basis, and all warranties, expressed or implied of any kind, regarding any matter pertaining to any information, advice or replies are disclaimed and excluded. We reserve the right to refuse any advertisement or article we deem inappropriate.

About Us
Christian Magazine Catoosa DISTRIBUTION
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GoodNews from the Pastor’s Desk 6 The Incarnation of Jesus Christ by Samuel Burger

GoodNews for Kids 8 The Shepherds and Angels by Danny Hesterly

GoodNews Money Matters 10 Would You Like to Have Lifetime Income? by Rick Hughes

GoodNews for Men 12 Jesus and Jesus Alone by Greg Grotewold

GoodNews for Women 14 Have You Opened Your Present? by April Engstrom

GoodNews for Everyone 18 The Character of Christmas by Brent Goodge

GoodNews for Life 20 The Two Greatest Gifts by David Huff

GoodNews Cover Story 22 Elite Realtors

GoodNews for Everyone 24 The Gift of Giving by Paul McGuire

GoodNews for Everyone 26 When Does a Revival Really Start? by Filip Brunner

GoodNews Poetry 28 Emmanuel by Judy Hood

GoodNews for Everyone 30 Tugging at Christmas by Sandra Gilmore

GoodNews for Health 32 No Doctor Heals You, Only God Can Heal You! by Dr. Shawn Jones GoodNews for your Taste Buds 34 Christmas Ambrosia Salad

GoodNews for Everyone 36 Small Gifts, Large Hearts by Kristen West GoodNews for Everyone 38 He’s Already There by Dorothy Teague

GoodNews for Everyone 40 The Greatest Memory by Dr. Alan Hix

GoodNews for the New Year 42 5 Ways to Start the New Year Off Right by Mitchell Qualls

Contents DECEMBER 2022
6 22 36

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ

In church history, there have been monumental debates concerning the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Notably, the Council of Nicea, (A.D. 325) the Council of Constantinople, and the Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451) was formed to defend the truths of the faith, including the Incarnation of Christ. These events played a decisive role in maintaining this vital doctrine and made it easier to identify heresy as creeds were formed toward this purpose.

Men such as Arius, Apollinaris, Nestorius, and Eutyches made serious errors pertaining to this doctrine. One man by the name of Athanasius defended the doctrine successfully against Arius before and during the Council of Nicea. During those formative years of the church, there was a fight to keep doctrinal orthodoxy. Obviously, this doctrine is indispensable, or they would not defend it so strongly.

The fact of the matter is that Jesus is fully Man and fully God. John vouches for this truth in both of his books. The first chapter of John demonstrates the deity of Christ while the epistle of John stresses the humanity of Christ. John likely wrote the epistle in response to Docetic Gnosticism (regarding the human Jesus as a ghost) and Cerinthian Gnosticism (This “Christ Spirit” indwelt the man Jesus at his baptism and left him before his crucifixion) that threatened the originality of the faith. In fact, Ignatius, an early church father, fought against Docetism which was invading the church well before the convening of the councils. Thus, history indicates the gospel of Jesus Christ has always been attacked which further validates its importance.

However, I want to state why this doctrine should keep the same level of importance as it did during those historic debates over the identity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1. It means God has not left us. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1).

2. It means God understands us. ”For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,

but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

3. It gives us an example of how we should live in this world. “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

4. It provided atonement for our sins. “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). When you celebrate the birth of Christ this Christmas season, appreciate the victories garnered in history over this doctrine. Understand the immense value of this truth, gain a better appreciation of the finished work of Christ, and the church’s vigorous stand against error to maintain the originality of the faith once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3).


Gò0 dNews from the Pastor’s Desk 6 // December 2022
Samuel Burger is the pastor of Chestuee Worship Center in Calhoun, TN. He holds a Master of Arts in Ministry from Piedmont Divinity School in Winston-Salem, NC. He is happily married to Danyelle for six years. About The Author
Ocoee Riverside Farm wishes you and yours a beautiful Christmas season and many blessings for the coming New Year! • Unique Lodging • Riverside Cabin • Barn Stays • Covered Wagons • 30 Acre Farm • Reunions • Field Trips • Birthday Parties • Farm Tours • Horseback Riding • Camel Rides • Pony Rides • Tubing • Kayaking • Waterfall Hikes • & More! Ocoee Riverside Farm wishes you and yours a beautiful Christmas season and many blessings for the coming New Year! Come in and see our new selection of: GETYOUR GIFT L I ST READYFOR A Merry CHRISTMA S Diamonds & Wedding Sets • LeVian • Pearls • Gemstones Titanium • Tungsten • Tennessee Whiskey Rings Watches Seiko • Citizen • Musical Clocks Sterling Silver Jewelry • Bellissima • LaFonn Dancing Diamonds • Elle 501-B Alamar Street • Ft. Oglethorpe, GA • 706.866.3522 Interest Free Layaway Webuyscrapgold & silver for cash. • Financing WAC • Free Gift Wrap • Expert Watch & Jewelry Repair We Would Appreciate your Vote for North GA Best of the Best 2023 Voted North Georgia’s #1 Jewelry Store 12 years in a row! 2023 VOTE FOR US 222928-1 2019 2019 2019 2020 2019 2021 2019 2022

The Shepherds and Angels

Do you remember that part in the Christmas Story where the angels begin to sing to the shepherds who are out in the middle of their fields taking care of their sheep? Just in case you might have forgotten, it’s found in Luke 2:8-15:

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

This had to be both amazing and a bit scary for the shepherds. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an angel, but if I did, I’d probably feel just like those shepherds did that night. There are a lot of really fun and fascinating things found in this passage of scripture. Like the announcement of the Messiah (the Savior of the world) or how there was just one angel, then all of a sudden, a ton of angels were singing. But there’s one huge thought I’ve always had that stands out when I read the Christmas Story. Here it is:

Of all the people in the world, the angel of the Lord told the most important news to a bunch of smelly, poor, and unpopular shepherds. You see, being a shepherd during Jesus’ time wasn’t a job most people wanted. Shepherds were considered not smart or trustworthy. They didn’t make a lot of money being shepherds, and most people didn’t want to be friends with them. But we see in Luke 2 that an angel of the Lord came to the shepherds FIRST! Wow!

The good news is that the Messiah, the Lord, being born in Bethlehem belonged to everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, rich or poor, liked or disliked. This good news was for shepherds and kings alike. Isn’t that just amazing? God sees us as His children. We are all important to Him. God doesn’t have favorites. His good news is for everyone.

So, during this Christmas season, we ALL get to receive the greatest gift ever given to us. His name is Jesus. He is God’s son. He is the Savior of the world, and He wants to be our friend.

Gò0 dNews for Kids 8 // December 2022
Danny Hesterly lives in Chattanooga, TN where he spends most of his days in coffee shops helping others discover their part in God’s amazing story. Danny has two children (12, 10) and has been married to his lovely bride for 17 years. About The Author
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Would You Like to Have Lifetime Income?

Money Matters

Rick Hughes with

Driven by a passion to educate, inform and prepare future retirees, Mr. Hughes founded Hughes Retirement Group in 2007. His main interest is helping his clients in reducing their taxes.

When Social Security began under President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, the average life expectancy was 66. At that time, FDR said that Social Security would begin at age 65, but later allowed someone to take it at 62 because of life expectancy. Either way, the payout did not last long in most cases. Roosevelt’s goal was to provide Amer icans with a stream of income they could not outlive. It was a great idea that allowed someone to work x number of years, then begin collecting some of the money they paid into the SS system. With life expectancy now in the mid-80s, the biggest fear most seniors experience today is “outliving their money.” For a couple who is 60 years old, there is a 40% chance one of them will live to be 95. Now what if this happens to you? How will you handle this? If you do the math, it would make sense to take the SS benefit at age 62 if you knew you were not going to live beyond 77, but for any age beyond that, it would make sense to take SS at Full Retirement Age (FRA) or after. If you wait until FRA, you will receive an additional 8% each year until 70.

If you are a person who has worked and had a retirement account through your employer, such as a 401k, 403b, or profit sharing, then a strategy called “Lifetime Income” might pique your interest. Think of it as a pension, or benefit you receive just like your SS each and every month for the rest of your life. If and when you draw SS, you expect the check to be deposited each and every month into your account. Lifetime Income will be another stream of income being deposited into your account for the rest of your life. It is important, if possible, to create an additional income stream to supplement the income stream you receive from your SS benefit.

Another benefit to this additional Lifetime Income stream is a statement we often use: “Zero is Your Hero.” What I mean by this is that you benefit from market gains while avoiding the losses. If you could know your principle is safe from market volatility, wouldn’t you be interested in this strategy?

How does it work? Say you have a 401k, and you are on the verge of retiring but do not want to risk your principle with the market. Your funds would be linked to the index, but you would only receive gains from the market, not the losses. This is because you receive interest credits if the market performs well, but if the market takes a downturn, “Zero is Your Hero.”

I have a client who had a 401k, had accumulated $170,000 from her employer, and was ready to retire with her husband. Although their goal was to take their SS benefit each month, they could not maintain the lifestyle they wanted without addi tional income. They had decided to put the money in the bank and take out $800 per month, or $9,600 per year, to supplement their income. The problem, however, was that they would run out of money after 17 years. I gave them a different strategy that would allow them to take $1,600 per month for the rest of their lives, even after one of them died. Let’s do the math. Say they draw on this money each month for 25 years. That would amount to $480,000. Which strategy would you prefer?

If Lifetime Income is something you’d like to discuss, give Hughes Retirement Group a call. You can reach us at 423-6644203 or We’d love to hear from you!

Sources: Worker-to-Beneficiary Ratio in the Social Security Program (

10 // December 2022
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Jesus and Jesus Alone

Ican still recall as if it were yesterday. I couldn’t eat and was anxious to get going, for I wasn’t able to think about anything else. I put my baseball uniform on and headed over to my coach’s house to catch a ride. Not only did I have a game that night, but it was my turn to pitch.

The rotation required that I take the mound every other week, which meant my nerves were working overtime every other week. I wasn’t nervous about having to pitch; I was nervous because I knew that in order for me to be pleased with my performance, I would need to do something I had not done all season. It wasn’t enough to win the game; success demanded that I pitch a no-hitter.

And as had happened all summer, I failed. Even though we won the game and I got a “w” under my name, I gave up not only a couple of hits, but in fact a run. I was crushed. And as had happened all summer, I spent the balance of the week both sulking over the bitter defeat and constantly replaying in my head the pitch sequence to each of the batters who got on base. You would have thought I had blown Game 7 of the World Series.

I’m a recovering perfectionist. The problem wasn’t that I wanted to play well; the problem was how I defined what “well” meant. I saw no difference between it and perfection; in my mind, they were one in the same.

It wasn’t until Jesus entered my life that I began to recognize not only how destructive such striving was but also how unnecessary. The Lord showed me that I was using baseball (and the myriad of other aims that received my exacting energy) as a means by which to fill a more profound need. There was no way the sport and my ability to perform it could ever possibly deliver on the expectations I carried. Even if I had pitched a perfect game, I still would have been left unsatisfied and for one very good reason. I was seeking something that was designed to be met by Jesus and Jesus alone. That something was acceptance. Only He could provide the type of approval for which my heart longed.

And when I decided to surrender my will for His, that’s exactly what I received. With tender mercy, Jesus began pouring out His unadulterated love upon my frustrated soul. He embraced me with a care that left no doubt I was not only accepted by Him but adored. Adored! The Lord loves and likes me. He delights being in my presence. “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17, ESV).

This is staggering given I didn’t do anything particularly special to deserve such treatment. In fact, I did nothing, which was the whole point Jesus was trying to impress upon me. He wanted me to stop striving, stop performing; He wanted me to be still and simply abide in Him. “Stop stiving and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10, NASB). The Lord desired my heart, not my sacrifice. “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6, ESV).

None of this outpouring of grace would have been possible without Calvary. Jesus died my death, and I took on His robe of righteousness (Romans 4:5). Because of the Son’s perfecting work on the cross, the Father now counts me as perfectly righteous. “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14, ESV). When the Father looks at me, He doesn’t see Greg and his brokenness; He sees Jesus and His holiness. Simply amazing.

Immeasurable in mercy, unparalleled in power, irreproachable in purity, immutable in character, unrivaled in tenderness, and irrepressible in joy, Jesus is the very embodiment of the perfection I had long sought. And I gained what I was seeking at the very moment I relinquished any effort to secure it. I became perfect when I abandoned my need to be perfect and yielded to the One who is.

May we find our acceptance in Jesus and Jesus alone. His is the only approval truly worth pursuing.

Gò0 dNews for Men 12 // December 2022
Greg Grotewold lives in Oakdale, MN, with his wife, Sandi, and their two sons, Luke and Eli. He is a deacon in his local church and greatly enjoys serving in this capacity.
About The Author

Have You Opened Your Present?

Picture it—that Christmas when you got the present you’ll never forget. Maybe it was something small, something that brought you hope when Christmas was a dark time for you. Maybe you received lots of presents, but there’s that one you’ll always remember. For me, it was a set of ballet slippers, a skirt, leg warmers, and a dance bag with my name on it. I was like so many others dreaming of being a ballerina. But what was so magical about that present wasn’t just the present, it was the heart behind it. My parents were telling me that they believed in my dream too. The clothes weren’t just pretend ballet clothes; they were the real deal. I continued to wear them throughout my ten years of ballet.

Our Heavenly Father is investing in you too. He knows your heart, and He wants to bless you with gifts that will enable you to succeed at the tasks He has placed in your heart. Yes, God gave us some mind-blowing gifts. Some knock your socks off, praise Jesus, work-in-the-Holy-Spirit kind of gifts. These gifts are the real deal. They are there to equip you and help you succeed in the path God has laid before you. A path that requires you to be in relationship with the Father to bring glory to our Lord Jesus, all of which is made possible by the Holy Spirit being present in our daily lives. The greatest gift, next to salvation, is the gift of the Holy Spirit. A living and breathing, active part of the trinity is living inside of you. This is promised to us in John 14:14-21.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17, ESV).

When you accepted the salvation of Jesus Christ, you were given the gift that Jesus Himself requested from the Father. Read the whole of John 14 for an even more beautiful picture of His intentionality behind this gift. The Holy Spirit

didn’t come empty handed into your spirit, either. We see in 1 Cor. 12:4-11 examples of His gifts. In Gal. 5:22-23, we see the fruit of those gifts. In Romans 12:6-8, Paul urges us to use these gifts.

Yes, God does and will always shine when He is able to work where you are weak. But think about how much He will be able to accomplish if you are willing to allow your gifts to be pushed to the level where Jesus takes over and gets the glory. You are an active, needed part of the body

of Christ, and He wants to use you. He’s gifted you with everything He needs. Have you opened it?

As we enter this Christmas season, as we remember the greatest gift ever given to us, I encourage you to remember the daily gift you have living inside you. Jesus came and died for your sins, and now the Holy Spirit lives within you to bring glory back to Jesus. Allow Him to speak God’s heart to you. Allow Him to use you for God’s good and faithful plans. He’s speaking, have you stopped long enough to listen? May God bless you this Christmas season and this coming year as you discover all He has for you. Open the gift.

Gò0 dNews for Women
April Engstrom resides in Bradley County with her husband and two boys. She loves her family at the Church at Grace Point and exploring God’s creation. You can follow April’s blog at
14 // December 2022
About The Author

Ringgold Church Directory


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

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


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


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

16 // Cleveland 2022

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


First Presbyterian Church

1 Harker Road Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 706-866-0232 // 17
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The Character of Christmas

We love to read of the angels singing to the shepherds in Luke’s account of the Christmas story. Matthew’s edition presents Christ as the Baby King worshiped by royal emissaries. But have you ever read the Christmas story in Revelation? Both Matthew and Luke presented the Bethlehem story as the Messiah’s arrival to earth. The emphasis of both is to convince the reader that this Baby in the manger was the Prophesied One.

John’s Christmas presentation, found in the book of Revelation, doesn’t allow the reader to dwell on the bleating of sheep, the poetic Magnificat, the glorious music of the angels, or the magi from the East. You can read it in Revelation 12:1-5. Satan, the dragon, was standing ready, waiting for Jesus to arrive on earth, so that he could “devour” Jesus “as soon as (He) was born” (Revelation 12:4).

Revelation’s Christmas story gives us the backstory that Luke and Matthew did not include. Satan and one third of heaven’s angels had been expelled from heaven for rebellion against God (Revelation 12:4). Satan had heard the promise God made to the woman in Eden that One of her seed would crush his head (Genesis 3:15).

And Satan was anxiously awaiting the day the King of the universe would step foot on Satan’s territory, where Satan was sure the Creator would be an easy Prey.

Did the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit know Satan’s plans? Of course. What kind of parent sends their child to certain death? What kind of God sends Himself to certain death? What kind of God do we serve? We worship a Creator that once made us in His image (Genesis 1:26; Revelation 14:6,7). And One who committed Himself to the prospect that He would do whatever it took to restore His image in us. Christ was “slain, from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).

And so “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” Immanuel, demonstrating to us the glorious loving character

of Almighty God (John 1:14; Matthew 1:23). Through Herod the Great, Satan did try to kill Jesus as soon as He was born (Matthew 2:16-18). But in the ignominious death of Herod, God demonstrated to satan what his own fate would be (Matthew 2:19).

The story of Christmas, as the entire story of salvation, is simply a contrast of character. Satan, the king of selfishness (Isaiah 14:12-14), set himself against Jesus Christ, the King


Decisions have consequences. The king of selfishness will die an ignominious death as his vassal King Herod did (Isaiah 14:16-20; Ezekiel 28:18,19). And the King of Selflessness will spend eternity worshipped by those He died to transform, knowing if He could go back, He would never have chosen any other path (Philippians 2:9-11; Isaiah 53:11).

Whose character are you praying to receive this Christmas?

Gò0 dNews for Everyone 18 // December 2022
Brent Goodge lives in Whitfield County, and will never ever understand why God was willing to die to save him. About The Author Selflessness (Philippians 2:5-8). The serpent’s apparent victory, striking the heel of his Creator on Calvary’s cross, was the event that would crush Satan’s own head (Genesis 3:15).

Church Activities & Events


Classic Christmas
Lee University
Collegedale Commons Mistletoe Market
Burr Performing Arts Park Dalton, GA’s 1st Annual Merriest Christmas Extravaganza on Main!
GA The Colonnade Center Brian Free & Assurance
264 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold, GA
December 4 | 3PM - 4PM 150 11th Street NE, Cleveland, TN
Saturday, December 10
Sunday, December 11 4750 Swinyar Drive, Collegedale, TN
Saturday, December 10 10AM - 6PM
S Hamilton Street, Dalton,
Thursday, December 29 | 6:30PM

The Two Greatest Gifts

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Leaves have turned colors and have fallen to the ground, and I love walking through them and hearing the crunching underneath my feet. For me, it is extremely peaceful and centers my mind on the things that I take for granted every day. The best part of the season is that within weeks, we are at one of the happiest times of the year—at least to me. Yes, I am referring to the gift-giving season. I love watching my kids, wife, and other family members open their presents on Christmas day.

The main reason I enjoy watching everyone is it reminds me of the two greatest gifts that God gives me every day. James 1:17 says that every good gift comes from above. Indeed, it does. One of the gifts that I am so thankful for is that each day I wake up and I have air to breathe. I love the Creation story so much because of this. In Genesis 1, man was formed from the Earth and God breathed His breath into man. God later formed woman from the side of the man and again He breathed life into her. Every day God breathes life into

us. Every morning when we wake up, the breath of God is flowing through us.

The next gift I am given every day is the opportunity to receive salvation. The opportunity to be forgiven for the things I have done and the things I will do. God could have easily said, no, you are too wicked and destroyed me, but He chose to allow Jesus to redeem me. That is a gift that keeps giving everything just as much as life. Not only do I get to experience a new day with life here on Earth, but I also get to experience eternal life with my Lord and Savior. You cannot replace those gifts.

This Christmas season, I want to encourage you to take time and think about the life that God gives you every day. The air we breathe, the eternal life we will have for those who are redeemed to Christ, and the miracle birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas, and may you enjoy the gifts that God gives us every day.

Gò0 dNews for Life
20 // December 2022
My name is David Huff, and 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. I am also a senior at Liberty University. About The Author

Elite Realtors

Your house is the largest investment you will likely ever make in your lifetime. Whether buying or selling, there’s no need to make this decision bigger or more difficult than it has to be. You shouldn’t have to worry about big things—like whether or not you can negotiate the right price—or small things—like washing the windows one final time. With the help of Elite Realtors, you won’t have to worry at all.

Tracy Lee opened Elite Realtors in March of 2020, servicing all of North Georgia and most areas within a 50-mile radius of Chattanooga. Since then, the business has taken off on its own, an explosion of sorts, as more and more homeowners discover how easy and enjoyable it is to buy or sell a house with Elite Realtors! “I established [the business] because I got tired of franchises taking over what real estate is all about, and that to me is service,” said Lee, who emphasized the focus she puts on her clients. “Commissions are negotiable, my client comes first, and if, at the end of the deal, the only way to close is to reduce our commission as realtors, we should be able to do it. I do it because I love it, not because I’m trying to make a ton of money off of it. It’s a passion.”

Tracy Lee and her team at Elite Realtors want the buying process to be fun! It’s important to have an agent you can trust no matter what, and it’s equally important that you love your home if you’re buying or get the value you deserve if you’re selling. “Our rates are flexible, we’re down to earth, and we try to have a good time and take the stress off of you,” said Lee. If you’re looking to move, you can call (706) 937-4663 to get in touch with Tracy Lee and her team and start the buying or selling process. Remember, buying or selling a house is an investment! Put your investment in the hands of someone you can trust: Tracy Lee and Elite Realtors.

Meet Elite Realtors

Bonnie Hood: Bonnie is a native of North Georgia. She received her REALTOR license in 1997. After gaining valuable experience in real estate, she acquired her Broker’s license. She specializes in residential real estate in the Chattanooga, Tennessee, and North Georgia Areas. Whether you are buying or selling your home, it can be a stressful task. So, as your REALTOR, her job is to take the stress out of your hands. Communication is a vital factor to success in Real Estate. That’s why she communicates every step of the way. That gives you assurance knowing that she’s there to guide you. Her goal is to satisfy your needs, whether it is your first home or your last home. She will always put herself in your shoes. Bonnie currently resides with her husband Stan in Ringgold, Georgia. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, and antique shopping. You can contact Bonnie Hood at (423) 421-3946 or

Stan Hood: Stan received his license in 2006 but took a break from real estate in 2010. He returned to real estate in 2019 to work with his wife as a team. He specializes in residential properties for buyers and sellers. He will work hard for you from finding your property to the close. You can contact Stan Hood at (423) 443-9278 or

Martha Alexander: Martha has been a realtor for 15 years. She’s from Rock Spring, GA, and originally from Houston, TX. Along

with being a devoted wife and mother of two, she studied speech communications at West Texas A&M University and is also bilingual. Professionalism and her client’s best interest are her top priorities. Her vast real estate knowledge and expertise allow her clients and customers to have the most effective and pleasant transactions possible. Martha is upbeat, positive, and has an infectious personality. You will instantly feel like you’ve known her for many years. You can contact Martha Alexander at (423) 593-2500 or

Lisa Headrick: Lisa is a lifelong resident of Northwest GA and is very passionate about the wellbeing of the citizens of this area and is very involved with the thriving business community. As a business professional in Catoosa County, both as an Assistant Deputy Tax Commissioner and real estate broker in Georgia and Tennessee for over 20 years, her personal and professional connections and knowledge of the area work in her favor to help with the smooth sale of your home or find the perfect lifetime investment. Lisa has worked for Catoosa County Government for 10 years, and has also served on the Board for the Catoosa County Economic Development Authority responsible for bringing business and development to the county. Lisa and her husband of 35 years owns a residential and commercial real estate development company and were the first to build a St. Jude Dream Home in the Chattanooga/North Georgia area. She also served 5 years as Executive Officer on the Board of the Northwest Georgia Homebuilders Association. She, her husband, two daughters and three grandchildren currently live in Chickamauga, GA. You can contact Lisa Headrick at (423) 593-8052 or

Haven Cox: What an exciting life it is as a real estate agent! I enjoy meeting and taking the journey with each of my clients. If they are looking for a “new” home, building a home, or selling their home, I am truly honored to share the experience with each of them. I know I have done my job when I receive pictures of my clients in their new homes. I love that I have this opportunity and look forward to handing over many more keys. You can contact Haven Cox at (423) 827-3666 or

Nathan Phillips: Nathan is a member of the National Association of Realtors, Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors, and Georgia Association of Realtors. He lives with his wife and two children in Northwest Georgia. As both a realtor and a registered nurse working

FEATURED COVER STORY 22 // December 2022

with hospice patients, his devotion to helping and caring for people is unmatched. His passion for real estate was ignited after buying his first home. Since 2014, he has helped many Chattanooga area residents purchase and sell their homes. Nathan’s inviting personality and strong work-ethic will help both buyers and sellers feel comfortable and informed through every transaction. As a seasoned agent and lifelong resident of the Chattanooga area, Nathan has the expertise to help you find the home of your dreams. You can contact Nathan Phillips at (423) 227-0005 or

Arica Patterson: 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. You can contact Arica Patterson at (423) 645-5979 or

Amber Stepanek: Amber is a lifelong resident of North Georgia. She started working as an administrative assistant in 2009 and fell in love with real estate. It was not until 2020 when she finally took the leap and decided to do real estate fulltime. She’s licensed in both Tennessee and Georgia, specializing in first time home buyers. Amber loves working the process from start to finish. Her goal is to have her clients be as well informed as possible, to be treated like family and to always put their best interest first. Amber currently resides in LaFayette, GA, with her daughter Aubrey and son Landon and their two dogs Mira and Mauser. She looks forward to working with you and helping you find a home! You can contact Amber Stepanek at (423) 290-0645 or

DeeAnn Sturdivant: DeeAnn is a lifelong resident of Georgia. Her background in real estate began with 24 years as a Real Estate Paralegal. Her love for real estate and passion for people and relationships built is what has driven her to become a realtor. The knowledge she has gained over the years has made her a valuable asset to anyone looking to buy or sell. Your best interest is her only interest. As a mother of 5 boys, she understands family values and your family will be her priority. Let her show you and your family the way to home ownership! You can contact DeeAnn Sturdivant at (404) 368-2359 or

Taylor Gardenhire: Chattanooga and the surrounding North GA areas are considered small towns. The word of mouth is a strong advocate to each business. That is why Taylor strives to leave a lasting impression on her skills to effectively communicate and follow through on her word to every client and friend who goes through a real estate transaction with her. Taylor was born and raised in the Chattanooga/ North GA area, so it was never a question of which state to specialize in. She earned her license in Tennessee and Georgia! She has worked full time selling homes for 6 years. For Taylor, as a local realtor, every experience goes beyond the transaction because it’s more than selling a home for her. She is your realtor, your friend, and your neighbor.

Vivian Hurley: 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 is 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. You can contact Vivian Hurley at (706) 331-3541 or

Donna Southerland: Why choose me as your agent? When you work with me, you will receive a knowledgeable and professional real estate agent, a committed ally to negotiate on your behalf, the systems in place to streamline buying your home, and the backing of a trusted company. Looking to sell your home? Exposure to your home? Looking to purchase a home? My job is to make the real estate buying process simpler, and as a real estate associate of Elite Realtors LLC we are doing just that. Our company prides ourselves in staying on the cutting edge of technology and if you select me as your real estate agent, you will receive all of this and more. You could never find a more dedicated, energetic, or focused agent to represent you. I’m licensed in Tennessee and Georgia. Please give me a call for a no obligation assessment of your needs! You can contact Donna Southerland at (423) 599-2558 or

Tyler Payne: At the end of 2020, Tyler initially began investing in real estate before ultimately deciding to pursue real estate as his career. Over the past year, he has developed relationships that have thrust him even deeper into discovering his passion for real estate. He received his license in March of 2021. Tyler graduated from The McCallie School in 2015, and then attended Lee University where he played baseball for four years and graduated with a degree in Business Finance. As a lifelong resident of the North Georgia and Greater Chattanooga areas, Tyler brings a deep understanding of the community that surrounds it. You can contact Tyler Payne at (423)-508-4136 or

Sarah Mccloskey: I was born in Lincoln, Illinois, and relocated to Chickamauga, Georgia, in 2005 and I am loving every minute of it! For the past several years I have worked as a Family Engagement Coordinator for a local elementary school in NW Georgia. My school families and students bring me so much joy! When my husband and I began the search for our first home, we called Martha Alexander to help us on our journey. She was then and still is fantastic to work with! It was very obvious to see how much she loved her job and I realized then that this was something I wanted to be a part of. I took the leap into real estate and I’m loving being a part of Elite Realtors! Whether it be navigating the way for first time home buyers or helping you find your forever home, from the first phone call to closing, I will be there for my clients every step of the way. You can contact Sarah McCloskey at (423) 326-7954 or

Shellie Tyrrell: Shellie is a new realtor. She has a degree in respiratory therapy and has a small business selling gifts. She resides in Ringgold with her husband and her fur babies. Shellie is ready to help you find the home you need for this stage of your life. You can contact Shellie Tyrrell at (704) 390-4882 or // 23

The Gift of Giving

Perhaps the greatest gift of one person to another is a spoken word. I think we can accurately say that to “gift” someone in this way is to speak a thing that elevates, improves, or enhances their value as a person. Who wouldn’t like that?

God’s great Gift to mankind is firstly His Son (the Gospel of John refers to Him as “the Word” in John 1:1), whose furthering Gift to us is access into a friendly relationship with God (by our words or confession, Romans 10:10)—which is God’s intent. So, even God’s Gift of Jesus gives back to Him! When we re-gift from that Treasure, we demonstrate our own likeness to Him. We echo back His spoken intent to Abraham that “through your seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 22:18).

And how is our “re-gifting” done? It starts with our spoken words. In our troubling and turbulent times, I want to encourage us all to speak with such words that build up and encourage Righteousness in our lives and in our Nation. God’s desire is that all Men come to Him, that none would be destroyed (2 Peter 3:9). Let’s speak words which invite His plans to bear that precious fruit.

The Lord once asked me, “My Words bring Light and Life, what do your words bring? Better use My Words!” That challenged me! Perhaps you will have to do some repenting of words spoken, as I did! So, I’m passing along that same challenge to you: “What do your words bring?”

In this season, as we consider the priceless Gift of Christ to us, and face a new year, let’s consider the value of our words spoken to and about others. If we will ask Him, our Father will give us Life-giving words to speak, words that express His great Love for a person. This is the kind of gift we can give every day of every year.

Paul McGuire has been born again for almost 60 years, and has pursued to hear God’s Voice through all those years. He and his wife Teresa of 49 years are active at Living Word Church in Cleveland, Tennessee. They have two children and five grandchildren.

24 // December 2022
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When Does a Revival Really Start?

“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12).

In the middle of September, a tent was pitched in front of our church. Not a tent you would go camping in, but a tent that holds over 1,400 people as a part of our first ever tent revival. Over several days, we saw God work in wonderful ways. Countless believers rededicated their lives, and almost 100 received Christ as Savior. But when did the revival really begin? Was it when four to five men met for prayer three years ago because they were tired of the same old, same old?

“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up” (Hosea 6:1).

Or, was it a long time ago, in eternity past, in the heart of God?

“Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? Show us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation. I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he

will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly” (Psalm 85:6-8).

Is it possible that there is only one real revival which is multi-branched and multi-faceted? Indulge me for a moment. When Seth was born, people began to call on the name of the Lord. Revival. Enoch walked with God after the birth of Methuselah. Revival. Noah found grace with God. Revival. Peter heard a rooster crow. Revival. Paul saw a light and heard a voice. Revival. Paul and Silas sang at midnight after being beaten and imprisoned. Revival. Peter killed and ate from stuff that the law said was unclean. Revival. Some gave all they had. A woman gave a penny. Revival. Mary Magdalene broke an alabaster box and anointed the feet of Jesus. Revival. The mother of Jesus saw her Son on the cross. Revival. A young boy gave his lunch, and a lot more than just 5,000 men were fed. Revival.

What about the four men who prayed earnestly for revival? Little by little, others joined them, but some fell away because they became discouraged. Still, others prayed all the more. Finally, three years later, perhaps… but definitely in eternity past, God knew the day would come. Intertwined in the revival that flows from the very heart of God, a small church on the side of the road, like so many others before it, plunged headlong into the current of God’s grace and mercy. We became the benefactors of God’s will for us by taking a closer walk with the Almighty. We have renewed zeal and an overflowing of God’s love for a world in need of Jesus. Just something to think about.

Gò0 dNews for Everyone 26 // December 2022
Filip Brunner is married to his wife, Dr. Kim Brunner and together they have six children. He is a writer, author, and artist.
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Over rough terrain they traveled far

The things that have happened have just been bizarre Like when Mary told Joseph she was with child by the Holy Ghost

Most men would have left and headed for the coast But an angel came to Joseph in his sleep that night She will give birth to the Savior of the world; she did not lie

So as there was no room for them in the inn All that was left was a stable but they gave thanks once again

Before they knew it the baby was born

As the animals looked on, the cows eating corn They named him “Emmanuel” meaning “God with us”

When the three kings arrived, they made such a fuss

Giving him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh

He was such a delight; he was God’s spoken word He came to bring salvation to all men If men would just put their faith in him He hung on the cross, you see

To show his love for you and me Just think when we get to heaven fair And see all the wonders that are there

What a moment that will be When our Jesus we shall see

Gò0 dNews Poetry
28 // December 2022
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Tugging at Christmas

In East Tennessee, John Muir quotes surface quite often, jarring us to discover something wonderful we’ve overlooked. Mr. Muir validates his quest into these hills, “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

When one tugs at a single thing in the Bible, he finds it attached to Christmas! Check out all the monthly Christmasconnected articles of this series in back editions of the 2022 GoodNews Magazine.

Before the common elements of Christmas today, before the tinsel and trinkets, the long ride to Bethlehem, the shepherds or the manger, there was a prayer. Zechariah and Elizabeth prayed for a son. We now know this son preached and baptized prior to the Messiah’s earthly ministry. The interesting thing about that prayer was, it’s quite possible, it had been set aside. Do you quit praying after a while? When natural evidence says the prayer won’t be answered, or when your heart loses hope? Although Zechariah’s prayer centered toward his family, the answer (their son John the Baptist) impacted the world. Your prayers are also part of a design set in motion by the Grand Designer. Only God knows the potential they hold. Keep praying! Scripture endorses our prayerful ponderings because while [Joseph] was thinking the Lord sent an angel to answer his questions (Matthew 1:20).

Also in Matthew, the “Begats” are listed. This list can be quite boring until you tug at it toward Christmas. Each name has a meaning that combines to tell the story of God’s Glory, right up to the birth of Jesus.

Another tug toward Christmas is a little town called Ephrathah, or more specially, the road connecting Ephrathah Bethlehem as it meanders even farther toward Jerusalem. Nothing changes the world quite like a road. Did you know this road brought in so many changes?

The Psalmist assures us, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). Although the road passing by Ephrathah mutely carries its travelers, the Word spotlights grand events. We know King David’s men found the Ark of the Covenant near this tiny town and with a holy procession, David took the Ark back to Jerusalem (Psalm 132:6, 2 Chronicles 1:4). As Benjamin gasped his first breaths from

the dusty air alongside this road, his mother Rachel breathed her last (Genesis 35:19). Centuries later, Jeremiah’s tears would stain this road without recourse as Babylonian soldiers forced Rachel’s shattered tribe to captivity (Jeremiah 40:1).

Not all the tears along this road were unhappy. Naomi’s friends formed a welcoming committee for Naomi’s daughterin-love and blessed her, “May Yahweh make the woman who has come into your house like Rachel and like Leah, which two built the house of Israel; and treat you worthily in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem” (Ruth 4:11). Ruth is in the genealogy of Jesus.

It is no wonder the Christmas story unfolds in Matthew with a quote from Micah, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting” (Micah 5:2). God’s people were steeped in the history of this road from Ephrathah to Jerusalem. The torch of prophecy and the lantern of history shed light on this well-worn pathway.

Even today, we continue looking for connections to Christmas through Scripture. It seems we know much about Christmas, until we look again. There’s so much to unwrap about the birth of Jesus!

Gò0 dNews for Everyone 30 // December 2022
Sandra Gilmore serves the Lord as wife, mom, and encourager, mostly through writing and speaking, occasionally through cooking, rarely through anything athletic and only because of the mercy and grace of Jesus. You can reach her by email: or her website: About The Author
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No Doctor Heals You, Only God Can Heal You!

Growing up in the mid-west, church was an occasional Sunday event in my family. Honestly, my Grandmother Pauline preached enough in her living room every afternoon to fill in a lot of the gaps! However, we all have times in our lives where God proves He is always in charge—even if He does not make Himself known regularly to you and stays in the background of our lives.

Fortunately, He is a loving God and will sometimes let us dig pretty deep holes we think we cannot ever recover from. But when you calm yourself and pray, the revelations

overtake me, and somehow my raft mates suddenly yanked me from the rapids and I was saved! I realized I was on a wrong path and this was another wake-up call to pray for forgiveness, redeem myself with God, and get back on the plan. God had plans for me to help people heal, and just like each of you, God has a plan to follow.

There is a saying in Chiropractic: “Life Comes from Above Down Inside Out!” It means that all healing is divine and comes from above, from God through Jesus Christ. This Life-Force is expressed inside your body outwards through the nerves. All doctors are simply tools of the Lord with special skills to help your body heal itself. No drug heals you, as they can only inhibit or stimulate body function. No surgery heals you, as it removes cancers etc. or tries to improve joints or organs. They remove the impediment to healing, and your body does the healing! It’s the same with Chiropractic care, we remove interferences of bones pinching nerves, so it’s like turning the switch on to organs, muscles, and tissues of the body. We move the bone, and the power that made your body can once again heal the body. A Chiropractor treats no diseases, we only treat people, helping your innate healing power from God do miraculous things.

He wants us to learn will come to us, and eventually, the best way out of any situation! And the key is redemption! We all make mistakes, and we all sin. Because God gave us all His only son, Jesus Christ, who died for all our sins, we only have to ask for forgiveness and admit we have sinned, and we are redeemed! How many times have you felt a hundred pounds lifted off your shoulders when you asked for forgiveness and were redeemed? It does not mean we will not suffer, but there is always light above to guide you out of any hole you dug!

The most dramatic experience for me was when I was white water rafting on the Colorado River; our raft got stuck on a huge rock at the beginning of the harsh rapids and I was hurled into the water. A few seconds later, I came up more than 50 yards from the raft. I was unable to swim 10 feet to shore or barely breathe as the current was so powerful, and I had to swallow water to get breaths. In my sheer panic, suddenly, a voice quietly said to me…it’s not your time now, you have too much to do. I immediately felt calm

Some people may seek a doctor on a nutritional basis, and some need a tumor removed. The key is God will try to get you to the right doctor for any situation. Listen to His guidance. I cannot tell you how many new patients have come in and told me, “God sent me to you. Now you better figure this out!” If God sends someone to me, I know I will do my best as He gives me strength and confidence to help people who need my help! We are taught in Chiropractic school the second most important principal, to “Share for the sake of Sharing, Give for the sake of Giving, and Love for the sake of Loving.” Remember, you cannot row someone across the river without getting there yourself. I take that to mean that all doctors of all professions that have a desire to help others heal get blessings back to them as well.

Dr. Shawn R. Jones is director of Chattanooga

Wellness Centers in Cleveland & Chattanooga

2245 Chambliss Ave. NW, Cleveland, TN 37311

6016 E Brainerd Rd., Chattanooga, TN 37421 (423)-790-5000.

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32 // December 2022
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Christmas Ambrosia Salad

This side dish is sure to bring joy to those around the dinner table this Christmas! Let us know if you share this sweet treat with your family this season. Tag us on Facebook at Goodnews CM.

Instructions Ingredients

• 1 (15 ounce) can of mandarin oranges, drained

• 1 (20 ounce) can of pineapple tidbits, drained

• 1 (10 ounce) jar of maraschino cherries, drained

• ½ cup of sweetened flaked coconut

• 1 ½ cups of mini marshmallows

• ½ cup of sour cream

• 1 (8 ounce) container of Cool Whip

1. Drain the mandarin oranges, pineapple, and maraschino cherries. Pat the fruit dry. Cut the maraschino cherries in half.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the pineapple, halved maraschino cherries, flaked coconut, and mini marshmallows until combined. Then, gently fold in the mandarin oranges.

3. In a smaller bowl, mix together the sour cream and Cool Whip until well combined. Then, gently fold into fruit mixture.

4. Chill in the fridge overnight before serving.

5. Enjoy!

Gò0 dNews
for your Taste
34 // December 2022

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Small Gifts, Large Hearts

It was Christmas morning. My living room was filled with family and the remains of what had been neatly wrapped packages. We were nearing the end of our traditional gift exchange when my 13-yearold grandson produced a small, red stocking from behind his back and gave it to me. “Merry Christmas, Grandma,” he proclaimed.

I dumped out the stocking to find $13.82. The entire contents of his piggybank from home. “It’s everything I have, Grandma,” he said with a sweet smile. “And I wanted you to have it.”

My eyes welled up with tears as I gave him a bear hug that he’s probably still recovering from to this day. His comparatively small gift of the morning had the largest impact on my heart. The rest of us had purchased gifts within our budgets and from our surplus. Not him. His gift was completely and unreservedly sacrificial.

Mark 12:41-44 tells a story of a widow who did the same thing. Jesus and His disciples happened to be sitting across from the temple treasury one day as folks were coming through and dropping in their offerings. “Many rich people were putting in large sums. And a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little” (vs. 41-42).

Jesus used that opportunity as a teaching moment for His disciples as He told them, “I assure you: This poor widow has put in more than all those giving to the temple treasury. For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she possessed—all she had to live on” (vs. 43-44).

The Gospel point here is simple. In regards to giving, it is always the sincerity of the thought and the attitude and generosity of the heart that God regards. Not the magnificence or largeness of the gift. In a

culture where we’re encouraged to buy big, spend more, and keep up with the Joneses, that life-giving truth is essential to remember. Small things matter. Tiny tokens of thoughtfulness and love count.

As we approach this Christmas season, I pray that we all will keep that truth close to our hearts as we give freely, sacrificially, sincerely, and with love.

Gò0 dNews for Everyone 36 // December 2022
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 About The Author
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He’s Already There

Iwatch a lot of “Sci-fi” shows, and I’ve been a “Trekkie” for a long time, watching the earliest Star Trek series avidly. I’m fascinated with “worm holes” and hooked on movies about time travel. I’ve always thought it would be pretty cool to be able to go back in time and fix my mistakes, or gain the knowledge of how not to make them to begin with. A peep into the future to ready ourselves for what’s to come would be quite handy. But I have to bring my vivid imaginings to a halt and step into scripture where the real answers are found.

Even though God created time, He is above time itself (Genesis 1 and 2—the seven days of creation). He is omnipresent, which means that He is everywhere at all times. We ordinary mortals cannot see the future; we can only look back at the past or see the moment we are presently in. But God is everywhere at all times, tenses, and places! He is not confined by the construct of time nor can He be contained by any of the laws of nature and science that we must abide by (“Behold, Heaven and the highest Heaven cannot contain You” 1 Kings 8:27).

Psalm 139:7-10 says, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to Heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! …if I dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” So, no matter what

happens to me in my present or future life, He is an almighty God who is already there taking care of me. Even though I come from a long line of worriers, I try to hold fast to this tenet and what Matthew 6:34 says, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow.”

Time travel may not ever come to pass while I am on this earth, but God is already the ultimate time traveler! He is omnipresent! “We see through a glass darkly…” (1 Corinthians 13:12) but God already knows all the events of your life (Psalm 139:16) and is there in each moment of it with you. It’s comforting to know that no matter what happens in my life’s journey, He’s already there!

Gò0 dNews for Everyone 38 // December 2022
Dorothy Teague is a Tennessee native, who resides in McMinn County with her husband, Lewis, on their farm. After completing 31.5 years as a teacher in the Bradley County School System, she is active in her church at Eastanallee Baptist Church where she is a member of the choir and praise team. About The Author
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The Greatest Memory

The Christmas season is often a time for remembering. What is your fondest Christmas memory? The month of December holds some special days for our family. My father was born in December, and he and my mother were wed a few days before his birthday. Skip forward in time, and our daughter was born on my parents’ anniversary, and a few days later, I walked across the stage at New Orleans seminary for my doctoral degree.

Christmas songs often reflect memories of Christmases past. The Twelve Days of Christmas might cause us to wonder what we would do with all of those presents if our true love actually did give them to us. The cacophony from all the livestock alone might make us rethink our view of the Grinch as a villain. He had a problem with the noise too!

Closer to home, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus might stir memories of those childhood schemes to catch a glimpse of the man in the red suit. I’ll be home for Christmas captures the wistful longing for treasured Christmas traditions.

More poignantly, Jim Brickman’s song That Silent Night, recounts the story of a courtship that began on a Christmas night and continued through the decades. Alone now, a widower looks back over the years of Christmases spent together. We feel his wistfulness in the chorus:

And the world spins round and the seasons change Letting go moving on and nothing stays the same Winter turns to Spring and Summer turns to Fall Our shadows on the wall, I still can see When I was holding you and you were holding me.

We find many details of the Christmas story in the Gospel of Luke. The difficult journey to Bethlehem, a stable turned into a delivery room, and a host of angels announcing the messiah’s birth to lowly shepherds all capture our imagination. Luke concludes his narrative with a simple statement that implies the details he recounts come from Mary’s memories: “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

I wonder how often during the course of Jesus’ life, Mary paused to remember the wonder of those events. As her heart was broken as she watched her son dying on a Roman cross, did she think back to those events when it seemed God was

planning something special for her child? She would not know until three days later, that God’s promise all those years ago was fulfilled in ways she could never have imagined.

During my early adult years, a popular song for church choirs to sing at Christmas was called simply, That Night. The song begins with a hushed memory of a humble birth.

That night in all of Heaven there wasn’t a sound As God and the angels watched the Earth. For there, in a stable the Father’s only Son Chose to give Himself through human birth. And when the cry of a baby pierced the universe Once for all, men were shown their worth.

The chorus crescendos into a powerful declaration of the eternal significance of this one simple event.

And the heavens exploded, with music everywhere. And the angels spilled over heaven’s edge and filled the air. And the Father rejoiced, for He did not lose His Son, But He gained to Himself forever those who’d come.

No wonder Mary pondered these things in her heart. For Christians throughout the centuries, this is truly the greatest memory. This Christmas, let us make it ours!

About The Author

Gò0 dNews for Everyone
40 // December 2022
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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5 Ways to Start the New Year Off Right

One more year is almost in the rearview, and the countdown to the new year is on. Can you believe it? If you’re like me, you may already be thinking about new opportunities and goals to help you start the new year right.

If you’re rolling your eyes at the thought of “New Year’s Resolutions,” let me just state the obvious: There’s nothing significant about January 1 when it comes to goals. There is nothing magical about new year’s resolutions. In fact, research has found that only about 45% of people even make resolutions. (And 35% of those who do quit them before the end of January.)

So, are they even worth it? While resolutions may not be the most successful, there is a lot of benefit in setting goals for yourself. Goals can help you become who you want to be, provide stability and drive you. January 1 gives you a good starting point. The calendar flips to another year, and it’s often seen as a fresh start.

But, how do we start the new year off right?

1. Reflect on the previous year.

Healthy things grow. Healthy people are no different, but to grow, we have to see where we are. Start by looking back at the previous year and ask yourself: What went well last year?

What did I accomplish? How did my life improve? What goals did I abandon? Why? What hurdles did I overcome? What do I wish I had spent more time doing?

2. Ask yourself, “What do I want to improve upon and why?”

You have the best opportunity to achieve the goals you set for yourself. Be careful not to set your goals based on what another person or our culture says. Your goals are about your health, finances, career, relationships, or whatever you choose. No matter how good a goal is, the success rate is diminished if it’s set for the wrong reasons. Side note: There is no magical number of goals either. Maybe you just need to start with one and focus on it until you achieve it.

3. Set SMART goals.

Ever heard of a SMART goal? SMART is an acronym coined in the Management Review Journal in 1981. It means specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. It’s a business model for setting goals, but it translates well to other types. Here’s a brief explanation of a SMART goal:

• Specific: Your resolution should be absolutely clear. Instead of “I want to get in better shape,” say, “I want to run a 5k in 3 months.”

• Measurable: You need a way to measure your progress. Depending on your goal, you may have to search, but look for a tool to measure your progress. Choose a method that you’ll stick with.

• Achievable: If it’s not attainable, you’ll probably give up too soon. Don’t try to jump too big, too fast. If there’s a big, lofty goal you want to achieve in the future, that’s great. Break it down into smaller goals and take those on. It’s a lot less daunting to say you want to lose 5 pounds in 2 months than to say you want to lose 50 pounds.

• Relevant: Does the goal matter to you? Is this something you want, not anyone else?

• Time-bound: Every goal needs a timeframe. The timeline must be realistic. Set a target achievement date and set benchmarks along the way.

4. Build a support system. Achieving goals is a lot easier when you surround yourself with people cheering you on. Come alongside friends or family, and all agree to share your goals and support each other. Accountability will push you to keep at it. If you need to, find an online group with similar goals and journey together.

5. Write it down. This seems simple, but there’s power in writing your goals, perhaps in your planner or on a sticky note in a prominent place. Make sure they are somewhere highly visible so you can read them over and over. And you can check off that goal once you achieve it. Go ahead and set those goals for the new year. But take the time to make a plan. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

About The Author

You can reach Michell Qualls at Mitchell@ or visit First Things First’s website for more content at

Gò0 dNews for the New Year
42 // December 2022
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