January 2023

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January 2023 Complimentary
Christian Magazine ®

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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
Medina Amy Scott Beth Penny Brent Goodge David Beckmann Detrick Redding Dorothy Teague Granger Hughes Greg Grotewold Jessica Mathis Judy Hood Katie Loveless Kristen West Paula Burgner SALES
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GoodNews from the Pastor’s Desk 6 New Year...New Methods by Detrick Redding

GoodNews for Youth 8 Battling Leaves to Share God’s Love by Abdiel Medina

GoodNews Money Matters 10 Taxes in Retirement - It’s Not What You Make, But What You Keep That Counts by Granger Hughes

GoodNews for Men 12 God’s Will by David Beckmann

GoodNews for Women 14 I Am Martha by Dorothy Teague

GoodNews for Everyone 18 Embracing Our Blindness by Kristen West

GoodNews Cover Story 20 Mtn. View Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

GoodNews for Mothers 22 The Importance of a Christian Village by Jessica Mathis

GoodNews for Everyone 24 The Power of Our Words by Paula Burgner

GoodNews for Life 26 Waiting by Amy Scott GoodNews Poetry 28 Don’t Ever Doubt by Judy Hood

GoodNews for Everyone 30 Active Stillness by Greg Grotewold

GoodNews for Everyone 32 Praying for the Impossible by Brent Goodge

GoodNews for your Taste Buds 34 One Pot Tomato Soup GoodNews for Everyone 36 Unbroken by Katie Loveless GoodNews for Everyone 38 Resolutions by Beth Penny

Contents JANUARY 2023
6 20 38

New Year…New Methods

Here’s another New Year’s article, common for this time of year, right! We hear sermons preached about new stuff. Let’s be honest, we’ve all heard of this, and it truly sounds redundant in a lot of our ears. The new year resolutions come rolling in—promises of weight lost, promises of business ventures, promises of better choices. People tend to start something, and by February, we stop and revert to where we were. Why? Because new isn’t always easy, and that makes us uncomfortable.

Kingdom of His Son, Jesus. This will pull us out of comfort in order to legislate for the Kingdom.

Now let’s discuss this new stuff again. The word of God tells us in Isaiah 43:19 that He will do new things for His people. That statement alone requires us to expect new things within our lives. New things are promised to all of us—new creatures in Christ, new and better promises, new Jerusalem, behold I make all things new. God is not stuck to the old and formal way of things; he promises new things. New is not just about times of existence but mainly refers to the “freshness” of something. The things of the past may be stale, outdated and ready to be discarded because God is presenting new things for us. New things that are to replace the old stuff. New ideas that replace old ideas. New plans that replace old plans. New methods that replace old methods. Fresh new things are for us even within this new year. The way you were last time, the methods of last time, the mentality of last time is ready to be exchanged for something new and fresh.

Wow, what a revelation of truth. The new will pull you out of your comfort zone and believe me, we all prefer to be comfortable. Webster’s definition of comfortable is affording or enjoying contentment and security, free from stress or tension. That sounds good to us. We all want that for our lives. However, to be comfortable tends to cause inactivity on our part, and we were not created for that. God created us to be people of action, dominion and order. As representatives of Christ in the earth, Christians are to be people of authority and power. This is for all believers, it’s not a selective calling on some and not others. We, believers, are called to share in the responsibility of Christ. We have been called out of the Kingdom of Darkness into the

As I conclude this article, let me encourage you. This new place that God has for us believers will make our flesh uncomfortable. It will, because He will, challenge us away from the path of our yesteryear. We will be challenged to think differently, to operate differently, even to live differently. If we are willing to go the way of the “New” with God, we qualify for greater manifestation of His Glory. Get ready to challenge your comfort. Remember the challenging of your comfort, when you are heeding to God, is really for your good. The Glory of your latter is greater than the Glory of your former. The squeeze, the readjusting, and relocating from God is really to prepare you for a Greater Manifestation of His Glory! Happy New Year! New Year…New Methods!

Gò0 dNews from the Pastor’s Desk 6 // January 2023
Detrick Redding, born and raised in Rome, Georgia, is a husband to Toris and father to 4 children. Called to pastor at an early age, he currently pastors at Rally Up International Ministries in Rome, Georgia. Detrick has a deep passion for not only seeing people born again, but knowing their true identity and what is made available to all in Jesus Christ.
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Battling Leaves to Share God’s Love

I, alongside my brothers, Evan and David, were battling against Mother Nature herself. She wielded a countless army of orange and red spiked soldiers, but we were determined not to yield. At last, we reached the point where darkness surrounded us, and the cold stabbed at our flesh. However, we had already sacrificed so much and were fighting for a noble cause, so we knew that we must not give up. So, we fought the good fight, stayed firm, and ultimately, we were victorious.

Alright, I admit that this is a bit of an exaggeration. It was early December, and we were raking leaves for our awesome youth pastors Leah and Spencer Hughes. For the last couple of months, they have been going through a difficult season, and we wanted to do our part to help them out. Thankfully, as Christians, Christ had given us a commandment that fit perfectly for this situation. Jesus Christ had declared, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34, NKJV).

As disciples of Christ, we carried the desire and responsibility to exemplify love towards our youth pastors, especially with the tough season they were experiencing. Although we could not change the source of their ongoing struggles, we desired to support them in whatever means we could. For that reason, when David, one my brothers from church, informed me that the leaves needed to be raked at our youth pastors’ house, I called up my brother Evan, and the three of us got to work. Consequently, we were able to express God’s love to the Hughes family by fulfilling one of their housekeeping needs. Furthermore, I have been in awe of how the rest of my church, Keith Street Ministries, has been an outpouring of God’s love by taking the initiative spiritually and emotionally in prayer and financially

through donations to support their family. This has helped the Hughes family to focus on what’s important.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16, NKJV). We have the opportunity and responsibility as the children and army of God to share God’s joy and love into the world. Specifically, you can start to do so in your community by using the gifts, talents, and time God has given you to work alongside fellow Christian brothers and sisters to support the needs of the community around you. Afterall, God can even use the mundane task of raking leaves to be a blessing to those who are going through a tough season.

So, I encourage you to share God’s love in your community by serving the needs of those around you. Finally, a special thank you to Spencer and Leah for continuing to trust God and being an inspiration and source of God’s love to those in your community.

Gò0 dNews for Youth
8 // January 2023
Abdiel Medina is a young writer, member of Keith Street Ministries, maker of KSM Youth memes, and Sophomore at Lee University. About The Author

Taxes in Retirement - It’s Not What You Make, But What You Keep That Counts


Money Matters Granger Hughes

We spend our lives worrying about accumulation in our retirement accounts. In fact, many of us have probably been courted by an advisor stating they can get us more growth than our current one. Growth in our retirements is important, however, it’s not the only concern we face. Others, for example, are rising healthcare, long-term care, volatile markets, and the ever-growing concern of future tax rates. So, how can we begin to shift our thought process from just growth to these other important aspects of retirement? After all, it’s not what we make, but what we keep that counts.

Many retirees are unaware of potential tax hurdles in their retirement, and understanding a few can go a long way to ensure we keep as many of our hard-earned dollars as possible. Let’s start with Social Security – did you know that at your full retirement age, your Social Security may still be taxed? For example, if you are a married couple earning more than $44K a year in provisional income, your Social Security could be taxed up to 85%. This means if you are bringing home $40K in Social Security income taxed at 85% (which would be $34K), that has become taxable at your marginal rate. At a basic level, most people are counting on their Social Security income, and having a tax bill like that could greatly affect the retirement they had planned for.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) play a large role in this as well. Many people are not aware that at age 70½ our government mandates we take out 3.65% from our Qualified plans (401K, 403B, Traditional IRA, etc..). When we factor in RMDs, pensions, taxable accounts (brokerage, etc.), and Social Security, we could be setting ourselves up for a big tax bill we may not have been expecting. For our entire lives, we have been trained to load up our tax-deferred buckets because we don’t have to pay taxes on that money. In all reality, we are doing just that – deferring taxes – and we don’t know whether we will find ourselves in a lower tax bracket in retirement or not. All of a sudden, we may be looking at a big loss, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the markets.

When we tack on a potential market decline, things can really begin to get messy. So, what can we do? We can start shifting our minds to a new way of looking at things: preparing for the potential tax increases. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that if the spending in our country goes unchanged, the new tax rates will be 25%, 63%, and 88% respectively. What could this do to our retirements when we have for so many years deferred those taxes? With the 2018 Trump tax cuts, this may present a great opportunity for many retirees. It is going to allow many people to get their taxes at a discount. After all, it’s either “pay me now, or pay me later.”

As I mentioned earlier about provisional income being a key factor to our tax bill, what if the income we took was tax-free? There is a way to accomplish this. The key in retirement is to pull our money from the right buckets. So, if we are distributing money from our Roth IRAs, then this income doesn’t show up on the IRS’ radar. However, Roth IRAs may not be for everyone. There are income threshold restrictions, as well as the requirement to have earned income to qualify. So, what if you find yourself in that situation? You can opt for a Roth conversion – this is where you would take a specified portion each year from a Qualified account such as a Traditional IRA, and move it into a Roth. It is important to note, be careful, and do not attempt this on your own, because it could generate a large tax bill. However, systematically moving funds to a Roth can generate tax-free income in retirement, so if taxes go to 66% or 100%, zero is always zero.

Another tool you could look at using is a properly structured life policy. This can help generate tax-free income, as well as provide a death benefit that doubles as long-term care protection in the event the need arises. This will function much like a Roth, though it is important to note that it is a life insurance vehicle and there is a cost of insurance associated with it. This vehicle is linked to an index such as the S&P, so the gains will be tax-free so long as it remains in the right structure. The important thing is to realize that long-term care or a death benefit is needed, and to conduct adequate research as not all LIRPs are created equal.

10 // January 2023
Driven by a passion to educate, inform and prepare future retirees, Mr. Hughes works with his father to help provide educational opportunities for clients as well as others in the community. He feels a responsibility to help inform those who may otherwise not be aware of strategies, changes, and opportunities available to them when it comes to their financial well-being.
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God’s Will

All sincere believers want to do God’s will. We pray for it all the time: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.” Consequently, it can be pretty frustrating when you are not sure what you are supposed to do. It’s easy to wish God would just talk to you, like he did to Noah (“Build an ark”), or Abraham (“Go somewhere else”) or Moses (“Lead my people out of Egypt”). But, when you look at those occasions in light of the sweep of history, they are at very important points in God’s plan of salvation and rather rare. So, if God doesn’t talk to us like that, what are we to do?

Lots of people today talk about “having peace” about doing something. If they refer to the Bible at all, it’s likely to be Colossians 3:15: “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” However, that verse doesn’t have anything to do with a feeling you have. It’s not about “guidance.” It’s about getting along with folks at church, “in one body.” I’m pretty sure if you asked Moses, walking away from the burning bush, if he “had peace” about going back to Egypt, he’d think you were nuts.

It seems the basic way we do God’s will is to look for what the Bible says about our situation (Psalm 119:105), and ask for wisdom to understand what’s best (James 1:5). We get counsel, of course (Proverbs 11:14), and we watch out for our conscience (Hebrews 13:18). Otherwise, we step out trusting God to lead us in the right path (Psalm 23). Recognize that you are a sheep and stay close to your shepherd. “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus.”

Of course, one way God can lead us into things is by letting stuff happen to us. Remember Joseph? People talk about “having a call” from God: how about being thrown in a pit and sold into slavery? That’s some way to get called by God! I wonder if he “had peace” about it.

But, he did the right thing in a situation like that: he stayed faithful (remember Potiphar’s wife). When you cannot understand what the devil is going on, you at least know that God is still good, he’s still in control, and you need to stay faithful to him and give him time. Eventually, you’ll look back and see God’s will was done, like Joseph did (Genesis 50:20). Neither our mistakes nor evil people can mess up God’s will for us (Romans 8:28). Thank God for that!

How are we to have confidence? We trust in God’s faithfulness to his promises. He gave his only Son for us, how will he not with him freely give us all things (Romans 8:32)? Just keep looking to Jesus (Hebrews 12:1,2). It’s harder for a child of God to get out of God’s will than we think—or than the devil wants us to think!

Gò0 dNews for Men 12 // January 2023
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 revbeckmann.com.
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I Am Martha

There are a lot of theories on different personality types. I am what I would call a “Type A” personality. That is, I am competitive, organized, impatient, and highly aware of time management (Wikipedia). I am always making lists and if I don’t accomplish my set of tasks for the day, I can really get down on myself. I like things done in a certain order and when they aren’t, it throws me off. We all have different personalities and our own special quirkiness.

In the Bible, we find the story of Mary and Martha of Bethany, who were sisters with very different personalities. They were close friends of Jesus, as well as their famous brother, Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead (John 11). Luke 10 tells us that Jesus was welcomed into the home by Martha, which would indicate she was the older of the two sisters and ran the household. We are told that Mary sat at Jesus’ feet while He was teaching, along with the other men of the community who had come to listen to Jesus. Martha, on the other hand, was busy preparing the meal for Jesus and was frustrated that Mary wasn’t getting up to help her. She finally complained to Jesus about Mary, saying, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But Jesus’ answer wasn’t what Martha expected. Instead of saying that He would speak to Mary and encourage her to help out with the meal preparation, He said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).

I can just imagine what Martha must have felt like, because I am Martha. I get distracted by the many things I have to do. I worry more than I should about the tangible, everyday mechanics of life, rather than sitting still and listening to the voice of the Lord. While Martha was working within her gifting of a servant’s heart, not only preparing the meal but, no doubt, cleaning the house beforehand to make everything nice for her special visitor, she got so busy she missed out on listening to Jesus. Mary broke cultural norms of the time by sitting with the men listening to Jesus teach. Her place truly should have been in the kitchen but she wanted to sit at His feet and soak up all that He had to say. Both Mary and Martha were passionate about Jesus, but showed it in different ways. There’s so much to learn from this story!

As Christians, we are supposed to “do good.” Psalm 37:3 says to “trust in the Lord and do good…” while Matthew 5:16 reminds us to “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.”

Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” So, while we know we should perform good works in Jesus’ name, we must not get so distracted by those works that we miss Jesus! The work and the serving must not take precedence over sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to Him.

So, what is the “one thing” that Jesus was talking about? It is Him! He is what should come first in our hearts and minds and

everything else will follow. (“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you” Matthew 6:33) As with all things in life, it is a matter of prioritizing, putting God first, and having our ears attuned to hear what He is telling us each day.

We all get busy with the business of life. As Christians, we try to follow the precepts of scripture and do good works. However, sometimes we get caught up in doing too much and lose sight of what or who is most important. When we get overwhelmed with all that we are tasked to do, that is when we need to shut out the noise of other voices, both cultural mores and religious expectations, and listen only to Him. (“…when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I” Psalm 61:2) Like Mary, we must choose that one thing that is needful— sitting at His feet, basking in His presence, becoming refreshed to continue our journey.

Gò0 dNews for Women 14 // January 2023
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
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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 // January 2023

Church of Living Faith

7623 Alabama Highway

Ringgold, GA 30736 706-937-5673

Crossroads Church 7638 Nashville Street Ringgold, GA 30736 crossroadsringgold.com

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

Oglethorpe Church


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


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

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

goodnewscm.com // 17
Directory List/Update Your Church Listing (423) 790-5378

Embracing Our Blindness

Growing up in Upper Michigan, I learned to drive on snowy roads. Blizzards were the most nerve-racking of road conditions to navigate, as they brought complete whiteout conditions in which you literally couldn’t see anything beyond the windshield.

I remember having to slow my car to a crawl of 1 mph and pray that nothing was on the road ahead of me. On top of that, I was also praying to stay on the road as

One of the most comforting things to turn to in moments (or seasons) like that is God’s Word. It is overflowing with promises to anchor our hearts and souls as we find ourselves in the middle of blind conditions. Learning to believe God’s promises, pray them over our lives, and stand on them is part of our continual growing and maturing in the faith.

“I will lead the blind by a way they did not know; I will guide them on paths they have not known. I will turn darkness to light in front of them and rough places into level ground. This is what I will do for them, and I will not abandon them” (Isaiah 42:16).

The promises in that beautiful passage apply specifically to those who find themselves in a place of blindness, uncertainty, turbulence, and uncharted paths. It gives us hope to embrace our blindness and look to God to help us as only He can.

every painted line, road marker, and cautionary sign was gone, engulfed in the heavy white snowstorm. Visibility was severely limited. It was like driving blind.

I have lost count of how many times in my life I have felt like I’m spiritually navigating a blizzard. Times when I absolutely cannot see where I am going, what my next step should be, and where the road is I need to be on. On top of that, those times tend to make me feel like I’m alone, disconnected, and in a place where no one else can really help. Can you relate?

Do you feel like you’re in the dark today, friend? Navigating a spiritual blizzard? Blind as to which way to turn, what choice to make, and how to move on? Let Isaiah 42:16 breathe hope, peace, and comfort into your heart today. Blizzards are temporary. They don’t last forever. Neither do the seasons of blindness we find ourselves in from time to time. May God help us to embrace our blindness as we wholly depend on Him to guide us!

Gò0 dNews for Everyone 18 // January 2023
Kristen West recently published a book of 40 devotions called He’s an Everyday God. About The Author
6276 Alabama Highway, Ringgold, GA 30736 MTNviewcdjr.com - 888.379.3305 PURCHASE A NEW VEHICLE WITH US! WITH RATES AS LOW AS 0% APR! Terms based on make & model

Mtn. View Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

Mtn. View Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram (CDJR) opened in Ringgold, Georgia, on February 1, 2014. Our dealership is part of Mtn. View Auto Group, a familyowned organization dedicated to enriching the communities in which our businesses are located. We have formed close ties with several local charities, civil organizations, schools, and government agencies to demonstrate our commitment. It is our responsibility to operate with integrity, something we take very seriously at CDJR. Holding ourselves to high standards and developing strong relationships with our customers have been the catalysts to our success.

One of our favorite things about operating in Ringgold is the opportunity to involve ourselves in local events, especially those which bolster the local economy. We are proud to be the title

sponsor of the 1890 Days Jamboree*, an annual Memorial Day weekend festival showcasing local vendors, food, artists, and musicians. We provide vehicles for Ringgold’s annual DownHome Christmas Parade*, another popular event that draws large crowds to our town. At Mtn. View CDJR, we believe in treating everyone with respect. Many of our customers have become lifelong friends who help bolster our ties with the community. We are partners with Lighthouse Therapeutic Foster Care, Inc.*, an organization dedicated to helping all children feel wanted and loved. Our dealership proudly sponsors their annual Christmas party, providing food and gifts for approximately 50 foster families in the program.

Of course, Mtn. View CDJR is first and foremost a full-service automotive dealership.

20 // January 2023 FEATURED COVER STORY

We strive to meet all the automotive-related needs of our customers. We are home to Mtn. View Off-Road & Emergency Services, a division of our dealership aimed at the specialty services required by some of our customers. Our Off-Road department specializes in customizing vehicles that suit the needs of our adventure enthusiasts. We work with our customers to enhance the aesthetics of their vehicles for those who want a little more pop than the standard options offer. We offer lift kits, custom wheels, off-road tires, and a variety of other products that help our off-road adventurers get the best performance from their vehicles. Our Emergency Service department does everything from simple emergency lighting to full police unit upfits. We are the area’s number one provider of Law Enforcement vehicles.

Mtn. View CDJR has become one of the tristate’s top selling dealers thanks to our staff who always goes above and beyond when it comes to customers satisfaction. We have been honored with multiple awards from our peers, including the Chrysler Pentastar Award eight consecutive years. We are the area’s first dealer to win Chrysler’s prestigious Customers 1st Award, an honor we do not take for granted. We are

very thankful to our employees, customers, and vendors who enhance and promote our business every day. Our goal is to continue providing quality products and services to our customers, and to maintain our status as a productive and honorable entity within our community. Our slogan is “Number One for a Reason,” and we know that reason lies within the relationships we value so much.

Mtn. View Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram is located at 6276 Alabama Hwy, Ringgold, GA. Call the Sales Department today at (706)-696-8820.

goodnewscm.com // 21

The Importance of a Christian Village

Motherhood can be described in a variety of ways— exciting, stressful, full of love, upsetting, covered in grace—the list goes on. What I have come to realize is that without a village to walk alongside us during this phase of our lives, motherhood may be described with more bad adjectives than good.

Let me be honest and say that when I first became a mother, life was lonely, and I’ve heard firsthand that a lot of mothers have felt that way at some point in time. It was so lonely, in fact, that I was searching for any type of friendship—even if it was a relationship that negatively effected my relationship with Christ. Nine times out of ten, a Christian is more easily swayed to do wrong than a non-believer is swayed to do right. Being lonely is more beneficial than being unequally yoked in friendships. That is a hard pill to swallow. God said in His word, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18). Doesn’t this mean that God never intends for us to be lonely? Shouldn’t we avoid it at all costs? If we keep reading in Genesis, we find that Adam’s helper, Eve, was the person who encouraged Adam to disobey God, which led to the “fall of mankind.” Not all company is good company.

A Christian village—where do I find one of those? That was a question that I had for years and that I’m sure many women have. Career changes, family relationships, simply a need for a fresh start…these are just a few things that might lead to a place and a time where friendship is simply not easy but crucial. At times, church relationships are simply not enough. Around six years ago, I discovered a group for local Christian mothers called MOPS (“Mothers of Preschoolers”). Did I join? No. Here I was praying for Christian friendship, and I ran from it. I was too anxiety-ridden to try something new.

Fast forward a few years later, and a friend who was very active in that same MOPS group told me they were in dire need and asked if I would consider joining MOPS leadership. My first thought was probably something like,

“No way! I’ve been running from this group for years. I’m not a social butterfly. I can’t be a leader.” Looking back, I think this friend asked me because she knew I wasn’t one to typically say no to a need. Fast forward, I’m extremely thankful for that friend that knew I couldn’t say no because it was God’s way of showing me who my “Christian village” was.

This “Christian village” and group of close-knit friendships I have found has been something I’ve always longed for. There’s something about friends who will be honest about the valleys of motherhood but will pray about them with you. Those who understand how lonely the everyday chores of motherhood can be and that a simple cup of homemade coffee and conversation with a friend can make all the difference in the day.

Motherhood was never meant to be lonely. Although it might not seem like it now, there is a group of God-fearing friends waiting for you to join them. The Lord is wanting us to pray to and trust Him. He is waiting for us to step out of our comfort zone, as Peter walked onto the water, and find our “Christian village.”

Gò0 dNews for Mothers 22 // January 2023
My name is Jessica Mathis and I am from Rome, Georgia. I am a blessed Christian, wife, stay-at-home mama, and part-time women’s advocate. I am just trying to raise a tiny human, one day at a time.

Church Activities & Events

Ringgold United Methodist Church New Year’s Day Brunch

Sunday, January 1 | 10AM 7484 Nashville St, Ringgold, GA

Burks United Methodist Church

The Agee Family

Thursday, January 12 | 6PM 6433 Hixson Pike, Hixson, TN

Carolyn Baptist Church Karen Peck & New River

Sunday, January 15 | 6PM 2305 Cleveland Hwy, Dalton, GA

Parkway Baptist Temple David Phelps Saturday, January 28 | 6PM 65 Stuart Rd, Fort Oglethorpe, GA

The Power of Our Words

What are words without meaning? They are like confetti that has already been thrown at a party and ends up on the floor, soon forgotten about and trampled over. Sometimes, that is how we throw our words around. Our words can bolt out of our mouths and never be thought about until it is too late. Often times, we say things but don’t think about what it may mean to others, such as the actions behind our words. Sometimes our words can hurt others and they can feel like a deep cut from

For some, words are extremely important. It matters greatly to them how things are said. But for others, it’s the actions that we show behind the words. Our tongue is one of the strongest muscles in our body. It has no bones but yet it is strong enough to break a heart. So, be careful of what you are saying. Just as the Bible tells us in Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Our words can be like seeds that are thrown into a garden—when enough love is put into them, they have the power to help someone grow. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 15:4, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”

a knife. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 12:18, “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.”

When we can’t express how we feel, our actions seem to take over for us and our true colors shine. Sometimes our colors can be as dark as a storm cloud when we are mad, and other times they can be as bright as the sun. This is why most people say that actions speak louder than words. In some ways, our words may reveal our heart, but to some, actions are what reveals our soul. The words that we speak can have such an impact on others, but they can also have an impact on us as well. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”

Our words are simply mere expressions of thoughts and feelings until they are acted on. Anyone can say they care, but when you watch their actions, it shows that they care. Our actions can prove who someone is, and their words can prove who they want to be. The words we speak may sometimes lie, but our actions will always tell the truth. Your beliefs do not make you a better person but your actions do. Our words can change how we feel about life sometimes, but the actions we do can change our whole life. In life, the way you treat people says a lot about who you are. A weak person will seek revenge, a strong person will forgive, and an intelligent person will ignore harsh words. Just remember you are the most powerful when you are silent, and when you do speak, speak with kindness, as this is good for our soul. The Bible says in Proverbs 16:24, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, health to the bones.”

Paula Burgner is a very strong willed, outgoing, girl who loves working out, and she believes in her heart that you are capable of doing anything that you put your mind to.

Gò0 dNews for Everyone
24 // January 2023
706.841.0600 3028 Lafayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 Providence Associates—your local accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, and tax preparation office. Has God given you a vision for a ministry? We assist set-up of new nonprofits as well as maintain the necessary documentation. TakeaTour andVisitthe DesignCenter Call 706-529-7000 or email sales@pattersonfarms.com A Community Like No Other in NW Georgia


What are you waiting for? Is it an important phone call, a job change, a loved one to get well, an upcoming vacation, a positive pregnancy test, a marriage proposal, a break—what is it?

We recently found ourselves in a season of intense waiting. My husband became ill quite suddenly, and over the course of 18 months we waited. We waited for a liver to become available for transplant. Once the transplant occurred, we waited to see if his kidneys would start to function. Once it was determined that they would not

for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

This verse caused me to reflect on my faith. How do I wait upon the Lord? Am I complacent in my waiting?

Do I look for the ways that He is active and alive and seek opportunities to share about Him with those around me? Or do I feel offended by day-to-day life and flippantly proclaim that all will be better when Jesus returns?

Truthfully, I am guilty of both. Waiting on the Lord may mean spending time in prayer, seeking God, and standing firm in what He has declared. It also means sharing with Him about the longings of our heart and trusting Him to sculpt them and fulfill them according to His plan.

function, we waited for him to get listed for a kidney transplant. We then waited for a kidney to become available. Once the kidney transplant occurred, we waited for the organ to begin functioning. I could go on and on. It was an exhausting journey.

The largest part of any of our existence involves waiting. There is an obsession in creating a false sense of control by doing all “the things” to bring about a desired outcome. It is easy to become fixated on what we seem to be lacking and hyper-focused on the longing for the next thing that we miss the beauty of the journey, and thus we can become weakened by waiting. Isaiah 40:31 reminds us that we are strengthened as we wait for the Lord, “But they who wait

Henri Nowen states, “We can learn to be obedient people who do not always try to go back to the action but recognize the fulfillment of our deepest humanity in passion, in waiting. If we can do this, I am convinced that we will come in touch with the power and the glory of God and our own new life. Our service to others will include our helping them see the glory breaking through—not only where they are active but also where they are being acted upon. And so, the spirituality of waiting is not simply our waiting for God. It is also participating in God’s own waiting for us and in that way coming to share in the deepest love, which is God’s love.”

My challenge to myself and for you for the coming year is to cultivate a life where we live in a way that seeking the Lord—waiting for Him—is our go-to for waiting for life circumstances to change. And in our waiting, I hope we will connect more deeply with our Heavenly Father on our journey and that those around us will be drawn to Him. Amen.

Gò0 dNews for Life 26 // January 2023
Amy Scott is the Executive Director of Bethany Christian Services of Greater Chattanooga. She is an adoptee who passionately serves the adoption community for over ten years. Amy resides in North Georgia with her husband and three daughters.
About The Author

per depositor, per insured depository institution, for each account ownership category. Please visit www.fdic.gov or contact your financial advisor for additional information. Subject to availability and price change. CD values are subject to interest rate risk such that when interest rates rise, the prices of CDs can decrease. If CDs are sold prior to maturity, the investor can lose principal value. FDIC insurance does not cover losses in market value. Early withdrawal may not be permitted. Yields quoted are net of all commissions. CDs require the distribution of interest and do not allow interest to compound. CDs offered through Edward Jones are issued by banks and thrifts nationwide. All CDs sold by Edward Jones are registered with the Depository Trust Corp. (DTC).

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Don’t Ever Doubt

Our Lord is so wonderful, so true

If you will yield, he will make you brand new

He sends his spirit to seek those who can be found Makes them royalty while preparing their robe and crown

He loves his children, oh yes, he does He always has, just because He sent his Only begotten Son To bring salvation, the victory won He’s calling out to you and me Wanting to know if we can really see Into his world that he’s talking about Before long he will come back with a shout So look up my friend, stay on the right route Don’t hesitate, don’t ever doubt

Gò0 dNews Poetry
28 // January 2023
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Active Stillness

e still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10, ESV)

In an age where we are incessantly targeted for demands on our time, it’s easy to read this verse and release a long sigh. How can we possibly afford to be still when the world around us requires that we be in constant motion? Life is so busy that many struggle just to make it through the day without losing their sanity. I look at how hard my wife and I run during the course of the week and can understand the level of anxiousness many Christians carry as they scurry from one obligation to the next.

One of the first casualties of this war on time is intimacy with God. While our visceral reaction to the psalmist may be one of exasperation, we know deep down we can’t afford not to be still. To do so would only invite more anxiousness and an ever-escalating guilt. And yet, we don’t jump off the hamster wheel; in fact, we run faster.

Psalm 46:10 was written, it is thought, in the context of great calamity for Jerusalem and the people of God. In the midst of this great turmoil, Israel needed to stop and contemplate the power of the God they worship. They needed to be reminded of two things: one, God will ultimately prevail; and two, there is great safety under His protective wing. There was no need to fret.

The Lord has the exact same message for us today. In our calamity, however we choose to define it, we, too, need to be still and contemplate His sovereign presence. We need to stop and, if you will, reacquaint ourselves with the glorious attributes of our Creator. We need Him to remind us of His great care. We need Him to remind us of His unending, never-changing love. We need Him to remind us that He is superintending every hour of our day. He is in control, and we need not fret. The Lord, and those who He has called, will be victorious in the end.

When we go to this well of boundless grace and drink our fill of His wonders, we will be refreshed. We will gain

not only perspective on our obligations but also a peace as we go about fulfilling such obligations. This peace will allow us to more consistently display Christ to those whose paths we cross throughout the day.

Go daily, go hourly, go minute-by-minute if necessary. But go. Well drinking won’t just fall into our lap. It takes great action to be still. It takes real intentionality to carve out

time daily to stop and let the Lord minister to us. It takes real intentionality to say “no” to the demands of loved ones for ten minutes in the morning so we can quicken our hearts before God. It takes real intentionality to let the dirty dishes sit in the sink overnight so that we can surrender the day’s concerns to Him before bedtime. It takes real intentionality to pull over—literally if need be—and petition the Lord for help as we are about to face a particular adversity.

The world won’t come to a crashing halt while we take the time to be still. In fact, it is one of the most unselfish things we can do for those that depend upon us. A refreshed Christian is a mercy and grace-filled Christian.

Be still and be emboldened by the supreme glory of your God.

Gò0 dNews for Everyone 30 // January 2023
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

Praying for the Impossible

As the days of Passover went by, the church members came together for a round-the-clock prayer service. These Christians were no strangers to suffering and persecution. Many had been imprisoned or seen their family members killed because they refused to deny the Name of Jesus. But this was different.

James, who had been among the first disciples called by Jesus; James, who had been one of only three to witness the glory of the Transfiguration and the agony of Gethsemane; James, who had rashly assured Jesus that he too could drink whatever cup of suffering was coming Jesus’ way…had just been killed by King Herod. Many Christians had already given their lives for the cause of Christ, but the leadership of the church had previously been spared.

Now, Peter was in prison awaiting execution. Chains hanging from each extremity, multiple iron doors separating him from freedom, and sixteen Roman soldiers guarding him on pain of their own deaths if he escaped prevented any hope of human rescue. The heartless King Herod, bereft of the character of Heaven, gave no hope of clemency. Unless God stopped the evil work, the human instruments Christ has chosen to lead His church would all soon be dead. Tirelessly, the church prayed.

The night before Peter’s execution finally arrived. In answer to the prayers of His people, Christ sent an angel to the lonely prison cell. Peter’s chains fell off. Unhindered by locks and soldiers, the angel led Peter through the prison gates to freedom and then disappeared. Peter gathered himself and went to the house where the believers were praying. Knocking on the door and trying to keep his voice low enough not to waken the neighbors, Peter requested entrance.

Rhoda’s heart leaped for joy when she heard Peter’s voice, and she went to tell the praying church that God

had answered their prayers. But nobody believed her. They basically told her it was impossible for Peter to be released and would she please be quiet and reverent so they could resume asking God to do what they were insisting that God could not have done. Finally, they agreed to go check and see who was still knocking at the door.

How often do we plead with God to free those we know and love, not from earthly chains, but from bondage to sin? For most of us, the answer is likely “not nearly enough.”

But when we do pray those prayers, we need to believe God can and will work miracles in the lives of those we pray for. It is so easy to pray for our friends and family day after day and year after year while honestly expecting no real change. When God, in His perfect timing, works the miracle of deliverance in their lives, may we be sure we do not leave them outside knocking while we try to move to a quieter area to keep praying for God to do something He has already done.

Gò0 dNews for Everyone 32 // January 2023
Brent Goodge lives in Whitfield County. He doesn’t understand how prayer works, but he trusts the God who gave us the gift of prayer. Brent is praying that this message was a blessing. About The Author
KAWASAKI CARES: Read Owner’s Manual and all on-product warnings. Warning: The Teryx® side x side can be hazardous to operate. For your safety: Always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing. Never operate under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Avoid excessive speeds and stunt driving. Be extra careful on difficult terrain. Protect the environment. The Kawasaki Teryx side x side is an off-highway vehicle only, and is not designed, equipped or manufactured for use on public streets, roads or highways. ©2022 Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. Scan with camera to view videos, key features and more.
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for your Taste Buds

One Pot Tomato Soup

There is nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day!

This tomato soup recipe is a family favorite—both delicious and nutritious. What’s even better? It’s so easy to prepare, only one pot and 30 minutes needed. If you try out this recipe at home, tag us on Facebook at Goodnews CM and let us know your thoughts!

Instructions Ingredients

• 2 teaspoons of olive oil

• 1 cup of diced yellow onion

• 1 clove of garlic, minced

• 1 teaspoon of dried basil

• 1 (28-ounce) can of whole peeled tomatoes

• 1 (6-ounce) can of tomato paste

• 1 (14.5-ounce) can of diced tomatoes

• 1 cup of vegetable broth

• 1 (14-ounce) can of coconut milk

• ¾ teaspoon of sea salt

• ¾ teaspoon of black pepper

• 1 tablespoon of maple syrup

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and dried basil.

2. Add the tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, coconut milk, salt, pepper, and maple syrup. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer. Let cook for 15-20 minutes.

3. Turn off the heat and let the soup cool. Then, puree in a blender.

4. Transfer the soup back to the pot and bring soup back to a simmer over medium heat until warmed. Simmer uncovered until desired consistency is reached.

5. Serve with homemade croutons or pair with a grilled cheese!

Gò0 dNews
34 // January 2023
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We have been enjoying a much-needed break which served as an ideal time for family to visit. One morning one of our house guests shared that something fell and broke in the room they were staying in. A decorative plaque, a gift from a friend, was on display in a metal easel on the bedside table. Somehow, through the night, a bump disturbed the plaque so much that the plaque landed squarely on the floor. The morning light revealed two distinct pieces, which our guests carefully collected and placed on the shelf for repair. I assured them all was well as they relayed the mishap. I have a collection of broken things I am saving up for repair.

After our house guests returned to their home, I retrieved the plaque to assess the repair. It is a beautiful break. The crack is clean, pristine and only serves to punctuate the message on the plaque which reads: “As for me and my house…we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). The crack ultimately underlines the portion that reads, “we will serve.” I smile at the punctuation because it echoes in my soul with the same resounding joy of a bell ringing. This is true.

As for me and my house, we have determined that no matter who comes or who goes, we will serve the Lord. We will stand strong in the power of His might and in the liberty of His grace. We will walk in peace and enjoy a peaceful habitation of rest and joy. We will not be indelibly shaped by the trials of this life. Instead, they will merely serve to etch the channels God desires for His grace to flow through. We will be unbroken. Any crack made on the canvas of my life will only serve to further

punctuate the grace of God and His anointing on my life to proceed. We will carry on, unbroken. No matter what, we will serve.

I ask you, sweet friend, what bumps in the night have disturbed your rest? What has jostled your faith to the point that prayers seem to fall to the floor in brokenness? Look closely here. All hope is not lost. Things are not shattered beyond repair. There is goodness here, even amid the rubble of broken things. There are not too many broken things for God to attend to. You may be tempted to think that things are adding up beyond His control. Like me, you may be counting your own collection of broken things awaiting repair. Beloved, nothing is wasted. God will use even the broken things to display His glory.

Cracks will do one of two things. They will either let the light in or they will underscore truth. Either way, you, too, can carry on with a resolve that is unbroken. You can enjoy the potential of a much-needed break. “Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart” (Psalm 97:11, ESV).

Say it: God, I believe you that nothing is wasted. You will make beauty from ashes and give me the oil of joy to replace my mourning and grieving.

Pray it: God, have your way in me. My life belongs to you. Use it for your glory as you see fit. Thank you for the cracks in my life. They are merely points of reference for your glory to shine through. I make room in my heart for your word to be written on the walls in bold, italicized print with underscore.

Gò0 dNews for Everyone 36 // January 2023
Katie Loveless is a social worker, wife, and mother of five boys. She is a student of grace who enjoys writing, gardening, and empowering others to pursue stability. About The Author

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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.

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The holidays are over; now what? Dark mornings, earlier evenings, gray days. The winter blues have set in. Time for a new start? Why do we set January as a time for a fresh beginning?

Over 4,000 years ago the ancient Babylonians were the first to have celebrated the “New Year.” However, the Babylonian new year was in March as the crops were planted. The people reaffirmed their loyalties to the king and their gods and made promises to pay their debts and return borrowed items. In turn they expected the gods to provide a bountiful harvest. Later around 46 BC, Julius Caesar moved the “New Year” to January. January, named for Janus, paid homage to the god of arches and doorways. Janus symbolically looked backwards into the prior year and forward into the upcoming year. The Romans made promises of good behavior for the upcoming year to Janus. Thus began our custom of New Year’s resolutions.

Fast forward to 2022. Research shows that between 38 and 48 percent of adults between 18 and 35 make New Year’s resolutions. Forty-eight percent of those resolutions are health-related. Yet, only eight to nine percent of people report actually keeping their resolutions. So, where does that leave the 92 percent that did not keep their promises? Feelings of failure, inadequacy, and depression can make the long, cold, and dark winters seem that much more somber.

I stopped making resolutions years ago when I realized I was only setting myself up for failure with unattainable expectations. Cue more of the winter doldrums. Here’s how I look at it. Small goals are attainable. When a child is learning to walk, those shaky, wobbly, teetering first steps have to come before training for a marathon. Players don’t go straight to the NFL without playing peewee ball. We can’t win a gold medal in swimming without first learning

how to hold our breath. The list could go on and on. Reach for small goals and feel successes rather than failures.

Here is my goal: to be the best me I can be. I don’t have to, want to, or even try to be better than anyone else. My goal is to be better than I was yesterday. Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. Strength comes from doing the things you thought you couldn’t. That feeling of accomplishment starts with reaching the small goals that you set for yourself.

While he was in prison Paul wrote his letters to the church at Philippi to thank them and encourage them to

continue in their Christian walk. He gives encouragement in Chapter 3 Verses 13 and 14 by saying, “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Reading Paul’s words reminds us that our goal isn’t accomplished here in life. Daily we keep working towards the small steps that lead us to become our best selves.

Gò0 dNews for Everyone 38 // January 2023
Beth Penny has taught English at Model High School since 1997. There she is also the Yearbook adviser and the Special Education Department Chair. She and her husband, Chad, have four children. About The Author
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