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Gò0dNews July 2021


Christian Magazine






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Abdiel Medina Andrew Corbin Andrew Lee Bekah Prytherch Brent Madaris Denise Nelson Eddie Turner Filip Brunner Janise Copeman Jocelyn Rooks Jodi Varnado John Garrod Kristen West Linda Ray Center Michael Lindon Pam Wattenbarger Thomas Sturgeon, Jr. Yvonne Morgan


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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!

goodnewscm.com issuu.com/catoosaga Disclaimer 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.

Contents J U LY 2 0 2 1

GoodNews from the Pastor’s Desk

6 Little is Much if God is in It! by Brent Madaris

GoodNews for Kids

8 God’s Power

by Bekah Prytherch

GoodNews on Money Matters

10 Too Close for Comfort by Andrew Lee

GoodNews for Men

12 Growing Up With Dad by Michael Lindon

GoodNews for Women

14 Leggings or Super-Hero Attire?

by Denise Nelson GoodNews for Everyone

18 Prepare the Bride by Jocelyn Rooks

GoodNews for Life

20 Perfection

by Kristen West

GoodNews Cover Story

22 Corazon de Mexico Adrian De La Torre

by Jodi Varnado GoodNews for Everyone

24 Catoosa Citizens and Veterans Memorial

GoodNews for Teens

26 Advice to Graduates by Abdiel Medina

GoodNews Poetry

28 Asking For Forgiveness by Thomas Sturgeon, Jr.

GoodNews for Everyone

30 The Man with The Sword by Filip Brunner

GoodNews for Everyone

32 Are You a Martha or a Mary?


by Janise Copeman

GoodNews for your Taste Buds

34 Banana Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

by Pam Wattenbarger GoodNews for Everyone

36 Doing the Right Thing in The Wrong Way

by Andrew Corbin GoodNews for Family

38 The Wisdom in the Struggle by John Garrod


GoodNews for Everyone

40 Vacation Reflection by Linda Ray Center

GoodNews for Everyone

42 Hostile Territory by Eddie Turner

by Yvonne Morgan


Gò0dNews from the Pastor’s Desk

Little is Much if God is in It!


by Brent Madaris

harles Spurgeon said that the prayers God answers are

Fourthly, notice the Nail. The nail is the smallest little peg

those prayers that begin in His heart. What does this

upon which something can be hung! It is not much, but it is


a start! It is though Ezra is saying, “God has given us just a

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we

ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us” (1 John 5:14). When we pray according to His will, we are praying according to what is in His heart. I want my prayers to be answered and I am sure that you do too. Let us explore Ezra 9:8 together and learn. “But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in

little chance!” It is as though a man is on a cliff and he has the slightest foothold. It makes me want to say, “Be careful man! Your position is precarious!” That is where Ezra was and where we are at today! Fifthly, look at the Light. God wants to give spiritual insight and understanding to His children (Psalm 119:18, 1 John 1:5–7). He also wants to open the eyes of the lost (2 Corinthians 4:4, Acts 26:18).

his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage” (Ezra 9:8). Firstly, I want you to see Awareness. That little word “now” expresses Ezra’s awareness. Even as Ezra was speaking, he was aware that grace was being shown. Can we say the same? Can we say that right now, grace is being shown (in our lives, our homes, our church)? Yes! God is showing His grace right now! (Psalm 46:1, Exodus 3:14). Our God is the reality. It is time that we seek Him and believe Him! He is the ever-present God that is able (2 Chronicles 16:9). Secondly, I want you to observe Opportunity. We live in a day of sin which is corrupting our society, dividing our homes, destroying our communities and our country. As badly as we have behaved, it is a wonder that we are still here! God is giving us space to repent. Our God is willing to show us His grace right now in every situation! (Lamentations 3:22). Thirdly, I want you to meditate for a moment on the Remnant. We are definitely living in the generation of the remnant. A remnant is something that is left when more

Lastly, consider the Reviving! Notice the phrase “a little.” This verse begins and ends with “a little”— “a little space” and a “little reviving.” These may be the days of little things, but even little things can be great. As I conclude my thoughts, I want to leave you with this

desirable parts are taken away. I remember going to the fabric

final idea. Ezra could have prayed for deliverance but he did

store with my mom when I was a kid. She would buy fabric

not—he prayed for reviving in the bondage. God loves to

to make clothes, but she would often go to the back and buy

work in the middle of our struggle and in the middle of our

remnants because she could find a use for them. There needs

trouble. Let us pray that God will give us a reviving in the

to be prayer that God will take up the Christian remnant of

midst of our bondage!

remnant—both before and after the Flood (Genesis 7:23). Joseph was also the remnant that God used mightily (Genesis 45:7).

6 // July 2021

About The Author

our day and find use for them! Noah and his family were the Brent Madaris is the pastor of New Haven Baptist Church in Summerville, GA. He is also a Family Nurse Practitioner. He has a Master of Divinity from Crown Seminary and is currently engaging Doctoral studies at Pensacola Theological Seminary.

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Gò0dNews for Kids


God’s Power by Bekah Prytherch

ne of my favorite stories in the Bible is

good guys and the bad guys—and that He was

about the Israelites being freed from

in control!

Pharaoh’s control in Egypt. This story is

I am older now, but as a child I loved this story.

filled with amazing things that God did to show

I never really thought about it until recently, but

His power to the Israelites—like all of the plagues!

there were children who experienced this. They

Then, He shows them His power again by parting

saw all the plagues that took place, they saw their parents and themselves being

the Red Sea and letting His

enslaved, and they also

people go.

saw the hand of God upon them by being

“Then the

led out of slavery! All

Lord said to

the powerful things

Moses, ‘Why

that God did to

are you crying out to me? Tell

get them free—I

the Israelites to

cannot imagine

move on. Raise

being a child

your staff and

who is able to walk through

stretch out your

water, and seeing

hand over the sea

the walls of water

to divide the water so

surround me!

that the Israelites can go

God did some pretty

through the sea on dry ground. I will harden

amazing things for the Israelite

the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. All I will gain glory through Pharaoh

children, just as He did for their parents. He is

and all his army, through his chariots and his

the same God that He was for the Israelites as He

horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am

is for us today! He can take us to some amazing

the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his

experiences in our life today, as long as we keep

chariots and his horsemen” (Exodus 14:15-18).

our focus and our eyes upon Him!

is that God continues to show His power to the 8 // July 2021

About The Author

One of my favorite things about this story

Bekah Prytherch is the children’s pastor at Heritage Fellowship Church of God in McDonald, Tennessee. She is married to her husband, Caleb, and they live in Cleveland, Tennessee.

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Too Close for Comfort MONEY MATTERS

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ecently, I met a former student of mine for coffee and financial discussion. Brad Perkins is a financial advisor with Raymond James, and like me, he’s always reading financial books to learn more and educate himself. During our conversation we discovered that we shared a peculiar irony: namely, that as Jesus observed, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own hometown” (Mark 6:4). In other words, both of us had tried in vain to help close relatives or friends by advising them not to continue down the path of unwise financial decisions, but our advice was dismissed or rejected out of hand, falling on deaf ears. Yet, we have both been contacted at various times by complete strangers who solicited our financial opinions and listened to us attentively. (Obviously, Brad is a licensed professional who is qualified and certified to dispense this advice in a fiduciary role, whereas my opinions are informal and more general, and I am not engaged in dispensing any legal or professional advice). But this situation presents a very perplexing paradox, indeed. Why do close relatives and friends often reject unsolicited advice, especially anything related to personal finance? The answer lies in the word “unsolicited.” Your friends and relatives may feel you are judging them somehow and perhaps even condemning their financial choices, which in their mind might jeopardize your relationship, as though you don’t respect their right to make their own decisions. Alternatively, it may simply be a question of personal values—some of our relatives and friends may feel that driving a leased luxury car or flaunting designer labels on clothing and handbags is essential to their sense of identity and self-esteem, regardless of whether they can afford these luxuries—and they don’t want to hear any

10 // July 2021

advice to the contrary. But still, you may feel the urge to “show them the error of their ways.” What to do? The easy answer is to do nothing; just hold your tongue; try to grin and bear it. This is America, after all, and our loved ones are free to do as they please, for the most part. However, perhaps you might suggest a helpful financial book like Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover, or maybe a helpful financial podcast offering practical advice regarding spending and investing such as The Mad Fientist or Talking Real Money or Stacking Benjamins or The Broke Millennial Podcast. Make a note of what seems to be important to this person in terms of spending or financial goals—saving for a child’s college education? Paying off credit cards? Golfing one day each week? Look for ways to inspire this person (or persons) to better manage money in order to reach these goals. In the spirit of “show, don’t tell,” be sure you model good behavior in subtle ways without being obnoxious. For instance, by always using cash or debit card at restaurants instead of a credit card, or by suggesting enjoyable activities that don’t involve spending any money, you are modeling wise financial practices without being “preachy” or “talking down” to someone. There’s a saying that “more is caught than is taught,” and through the process of observing your consistency and financial discipline, you never know the extent to which you can be a positive influence. Now, when it comes to your children, feel free to be more blatant and teach money lessons regularly and intentionally. But with adults, that approach is often too heavy-handed. God’s Word reminds us, “Whoever would foster love covers over an offense” (Proverbs 17:9a), so be patient and allow God to guide your advice and ensure your motives are pure.

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Gò0dNews for Men

Growing Up With Dad


by Michael Lindon

couple of weeks ago, I was asked to be a

unconsciously adopt a similar approach to life. Who

guest on a Christian radio station. Before

your parents are becomes who you are—this can

going live on the radio, I was prepped by the

be good or bad. In my life, it has been good—even

radio station’s producer with certain questions the DJ

beyond good—because my parents gave me not just

would ask me. One of those questions was: “What was

good, they gave me God. I am forever grateful.

it like growing up with your dad?”

I have always loved what the Apostle Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:5, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned (genuine) faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” Authenticity—the genuine matters of your life—will always be passed onto the next generation or caught by your children. My Dad and Mom have always been genuine about the greatest thing in life—Jesus. My parents’ passion for helping people is because of Jesus.

After some thought, I was able to respond to this

Keep it simple, saint…love Jesus and love

meaningful question with a meaningful answer. I

people. That is what my Dad and Mom instilled

responded by saying, “Growing up with my Dad

in me and everyone they have met. From the

was real.”

perspective of a son, I ask, “what are you passing

The greatest quality my parents instilled in me is authenticity. My Dad and Mom are very genuine about everything they do in life. Throughout my life—

onto the next generation? What are your children catching from you?” I hope your answer to this meaningful question is

from childhood to this present day—my parents have

meaningful. I pray your children are catching the same

always believed and wanted the best for every person

thing Timothy caught from his parents and I caught

they have ever met.

from my parents—an unfeigned faith in Jesus. This is

motivation behind everything they say and do. Growing up in this type of atmosphere, you

12 // July 2021

true riches! About The Author

Jesus has always been their inspiration and

Michael and Nicole Lindon are the lead pastors of Living Faith Church located in Hixson, Tennessee. They are passionate to see people win in life through the truth of God’s Word and powerful presence of JESUS.

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Gò0dNews for Women

Leggings or Super-Hero Attire?


by Denise Nelson

o far, 2021 seems to be a year of

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his

maintenance for me. Just like my husband’s

appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord

truck needed some tuning up, it seems

does not look at the things people look at. People look at

so do I. Recently, I went to the doctor to get my

the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart”

hearing checked. Since I work from home, my

(1 Samuel 16:7).

work attire mostly consists of exercise leggings and t-shirts or tanks. Many years ago, I would

Now as awesome as it was in that moment, I am not nor have I ever been a personal trainer. If

purchase workout videos (yes, I am that old) and watch them hoping for a transformation. Today, I wear workout gear in hopes of something amazing happening—and it finally did. I had completed my paperwork indicating that I was self-employed and when the technician inputting my information into the computer finished, she looked up and said, “Let me guess. You are an exercise trainer?” Shocked, I explained I work from home and just wear the clothes. I remember a time in Scripture when the people of

someone tried to put me in that spot, I would fail. The

Israel wanted a king and they picked Saul. Saul was

experience however, was a wonderful reminder for

handsome and tall, and they thought—based on his

me. Everyone has a story and usually it is much deeper

appearance—he fit the bill. Even later, when God sent

than outward appearances reveal. If I will take the time

the prophet Samuel to anoint the new king, he started

to love my neighbor instead of judging my neighbor,

by looking at the outward appearance.

I might find an amazing treasure that blesses two

“Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else” (1 Samuel 9:2).

hearts—mine and theirs. In the meantime, try not to judge me if you see me in my super-hero attire in the future.

outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

14 // July 2021

About The Author

The Lord said to Samuel, people look at the Denise Nelson lives in Ringgold, Georgia, with her husband, son, father, and grandfather.

12802 N Highway 27, Chickamagua, GA 30707 (706) 888-0414


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

16 // July 2021

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 Mount Pisgah Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-935-3031 Mount Vernon Baptist Church 1006 Mount Vernon Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-935-3872 New Bethel Baptist Church 1635 Salem Valley Road Ringgold, GA 30736 706-965-3500 New Friendship Baptist Church 3833 Salem Valley Road Ringgold, GA 30736 New Heights Baptist Church 158 Ooltewah Ringgold Rd Ringgold, GA 30736 706-965-9838 New Liberty Baptist Church 923 Graysville Road

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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goodnewscm.com // 17

Gò0dNews for Everyone

Prepare the Bride


by Jocelyn Rooks

s a single woman in her late twenties, it is quite natural for me to pray for and think about my future spouse. One of the things I pray about

concerning my future spouse, is that God would prepare me for him. As much as I want the man the Lord has for me to be all that the Lord intended me to have, I need to also commit my prayer life and my daily life to preparing myself to be the wife that the Lord wants me to be. What does that look like? For me, I ask the Holy Spirit to

help me be a better steward of my finances. I ask Him to help me be a good steward of my household, of my time, and in all areas of my life, simply because one day I will share my life with someone else. I am actively waiting on the promise of a husband by preparing myself to be a wife. I’m preparing myself to be a bride, even though I am not sure when my wedding will actually be. In the same manner, Jesus is returning for a Bride. The question for everyone, not just women, is: Are you prepared? How are you preparing for His return? This is not meant to be a turn-or-burn narrative, but rather an encouragement for us to not grow weary in our well doing. It is a reminder that there is a set apart lifestyle we should be living as we wait for His glorious return.

strengthens us where we are weak and helps us to yield

Our eyes should be fixed on Jesus. Our hearts should be

the fruits of the Spirit in our everyday lives so that we may

set on Him and His presence. One of the best things about

look more like Christ in our lifestyle—and be presented as

Jesus is that we don’t have to wait to develop a relationship

a Bride.

with Him before He physically returns—we can enjoy the

The beautiful thing about this Bridegroom is that He

benefits of a relationship with Him right now. We can have

isn’t expecting you to be perfect. You don’t have to change

intimacy with Him now. You can fall deeper in love with

anything about your physical appearance. He doesn’t have a

Jesus now!

type. He is already madly in love with you. I encourage you

No one knows when He will come back. We don’t know the date or the time, but just as I have shared about my

to set your minds and hearts on Jesus as we all prepare for the Bridegroom’s return for His Bride.

personal preparation to be an earthly bride, the Holy Spirit lives where we are not fully yielded to Him. The Holy Spirit

18 // July 2021

About The Author

can help us in the areas where we struggle, the areas of our

Jocelyn Rooks is a Chattanooga resident who serves at Redemption to the Nations Church as the event coordinator. She graduated from Lee University in 2015 with a degree in public relations and received her Masters’ degree in entertainment business from Full Sail University in 2018.

Church Activities & Events First Lutheran Camp Vespers Service

Sunday, July 11 (5:00-6:00 PM) 1621 Lee Pike, Soddy-Daisy, TN 37379

Redemption to the Nations Church CREATE / Youth Summer Day Program Monday, July 12 (8:00 AM) – Friday, July 16 (10:00PM) 1908 Bailey Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37404

Rock Bridge Community Church Ringgold / Serve the City

Saturday, July 24 – Wednesday, July 28 120 Remco Shops Ln, Ringgold, GA 30736

Parkway Baptist Temple The Erwin Family Music

Sunday, July 25 (8:30 AM) 65 Stuart Rd, Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742

Gò0dNews for Life



by Kristen West

erfection. It was a standard I believed I needed to

Thanks be to God for the work of being perfected!

achieve in every area of my life when I was a child.

David, known as a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts

From grades to social status, trendy outfits to recital

13:22), said it simply in Psalm 138:8: “The Lord will perfect

performances, perfection ruled my life. When I became an

that which concerns me.” David understood he was a work

adult—going through a variety of life messes—I realized

in progress. God made it resoundingly clear that He was

perfection is a myth this side of Heaven. It took me many

looking upon David’s heart and not his outward appearance

years to realize that there is a vast difference between

or performance: “…man looks on the outward appearance, but

perfection (a standard the world promotes) and being perfected

the Lord looks on the heart” (I Samuel 16:7).

(a work that God performs). If I may, I would like to wipe off the glossy veneer on the surface of perfection to reveal its dark underside—pride. The two always go hand in hand. The Pharisees—abrasive and confrontational characters that repeatedly appear in the Gospel stories—are a perfect case study for this. These religious men always put their egos first, made outward appearance of most importance and were obsessed with trapping Jesus. The Pharisees lived for perfection. They were rule keepers to the nth degree. Pride was their driving motive. Jesus clashed with this self-righteous group more than any other recorded in Scripture. Matthew 23 details a speech that Jesus gave to warn people about the deceptions of the Pharisees—denouncing their arrogant ways. A few highlights included: *They do not practice what they teach. (verse 3)

What a statement of truth, grace, and hope! The same

*They do everything to be seen by others. (verse 5)

God who looked on David’s heart is the same God working

*They live for social status, titles, and approval. (verses 6 & 7)

in us today! I pray this truth would breathe life into your

*They focus on the outward appearance. (verses 27 & 28)

heart, friend! We were not made to carry the burden of

This group of men had zero compassion for the hurting,

perfection, walk under the weight of pride or keep up with

no empathy for the broken, and complete disregard for the

the demands of appearances. Give all that to Jesus today

wounded. Pride reigned supreme in their hearts—the very

and let Him perfect that which concerns you: “I am sure of

opposite of what Jesus stood, lived and died for. Without

this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to

the grace of God, we would be just like them, wouldn’t we? Our

completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

sinful disposition always leans towards pride and is bent within us to move us from a place of pride to one of humility, love and grace.

20 // July 2021

About The Author

to act like the Pharisees. It requires God working internally

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 kristen-west.com.

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Corazon de Mexico Adrian De La Torre by Jodi Varnado

hen you step into Corazon de Mexico, you step

States and open his own restaurant. At the age of eighteen,

into Mexico. From its original Mexican design

De La Torre humbly worked his way up the culinary-

to its authentic Mexican cuisine, Corazon de

latter—from dishwasher, to server, to butcher, to cook—and

Mexico will transport you to a different country—a traveling

has finally reached the esteemed position of restaurant

experience most of us have been missing for a long time.

owner. “It has been a long process, and not an easy one.

Corazon de Mexico opened on April 30, 2021, but has

Dreams can come true when you have the passion and work

been a dream of owner and operator, Adrian De La Torre’s

hard enough. Without the passion, nothing is going to work

for a lifetime. “This restaurant has been a project of mine for

out,” said De La Torre.

a long time. I wanted to build something from scratch and have complete control over the design,” said De La Torre. The restaurant’s name, Corazon de Mexico, translates to

The success of De La Torre’s first restaurant, Poblanos Mexican Cuisine, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, inspired De La Torre to establish a restaurant closer to home. As a

“Heart of Mexico”—a concept evident in the atmosphere De

resident of Marietta, Georgia, De La Torre wanted to bring

La Torre has created. Growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico,

the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine to Fort Oglethorpe,

De La Torre always knew he wanted to move to the United

Georgia. “Mexico has had a huge influence on my life, and I

22 // July 2021

carry Mexico with me in my heart,” said De La Torre.

This influence is apparent in Corazon de Mexico’s modern concept—the dishes, glasses, tiles, and artwork are all imported from Mexico. This unique environment will make you feel as though you are dining in the middle of Guadalajara—surrounded by the inviting culture of the city. Corazon de Mexico offers a combination of traditional Mexican cuisine and Tex-Mex comfort, including lunch, dinner, and dessert menus. These menus include all your favorite meals with a modern Mexican flair, including, omelettes, breakfast burritos, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, fajitas, soups, ceviche, specialty entrees, sopapillas, and banana chimichangas for dessert. Corazon de Mexico is

Mexico offers a 10% discount to businesses in the community

vegan and gluten-free friendly. No matter your age or

from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Monday through Friday.

dietary restriction, Corazon de Mexico has homemade

Corazon de Mexico is located on 2681 Battlefield

Mexican cuisine for the whole family! Corazon de Mexico

Parkway, Fort Oglethorpe, GA 37403. You can contact

also provides catering for special events throughout Fort

Corazon de Mexico at (706)-406-2060 or email De La Torre at

Oglethorpe and surrounding areas.

adrian@corazoncuisine.com for more information.

“Corazon de Mexico is a good place to come and spend some time,” said De La Torre. You can experience the beauty and flavor of Mexico every weekday. Corazon de Mexico is open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Corazon de

goodnewscm.com // 23

Gò0dNews for Everyone

Catoosa Citizens

and Veterans Memorial


by Yvonne Morgan

he Catoosa Citizens and Veterans

a salute to the American flag, are tied together

Memorial is a “United Salute to America.”

with a band of gray brick pavers symbolizing

The memorial is located near the entrance

the veteran’s support.

to the Benton Place Campus in Ringgold, Georgia. Twenty years ago, its founding members were

This Memorial is being paid for by private individuals, businesses, and grants. Participation

Yvonne Morgan (President), Mark Fletcher, Lance Reece, Ross Andrews, and Jack Killian. These members wanted the Memorial to be a unique tribute to citizens and veterans united in their common support of America. The centerpiece of the Memorial is an American flag, behind which is a crescent shaped Patriot

in the Memorial is open to all citizens and

Wall displaying patriot quotes and a capstone

veterans who want to express their patriotism

inscribed with the Pledge of Allegiance.

regardless of where they live, work or serve.

Immediately in front of the wall is a walk of red

Patriots whose names are engraved on bricks

brick pavers, symbolizing the citizen’s support.

in the Memorial walk have committed their

The five service flags, fixed at

resources, honor, and lives in support of the

24 // July 2021

United States of America.

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Gò0dNews for Teens

Advice to Graduates


by Abdiel Medina

fter 1 year of preschool, 5 years of elementary school,

what you need to hear. Our Father knows what we need

3 years of middle school, and 4 years of high school,

to be uplifted spiritually and emotionally, so let God work

I have finally graduated. It feels like time has flown

through you to encourage others.

by fast, but a lot has happened in the process—especially

Here is an example of how God has worked through

surviving a pandemic! When I reflect upon my journey in

others to encourage me. I was recently recognized as the

high school, something I take away is that we need to seek

Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Athlete of the Year

opportunities to encourage people daily. Every day there are

from a group of 7 schools. I also had the honor of receiving

people struggling and hurting around us. Even in Cleveland,

the Chris Leggett Memorial Scholarship. What people may

the “Bible Belt,” there are a lot of teens struggling with adult-

not know is that throughout the school year, there were

sized problems. We cannot afford to wait until we start seeing

many times I almost gave up on the FCA Ministry.

red flags in a person to intervene—it could be too late. The encouragement of others needs to start today. You do not need a fancy sermon or any special words to

I was passionate about the FCA—a calling God had placed on my heart. However, it was a big challenge because I had stepped up as president and had to learn how to lead

encourage someone. The key is to be genuine and let God

the FCA amidst a pandemic and Covid protocols from the

speak through you. If you are fake with the words you use,

school. I am grateful that God placed Coach Eric Phillips

it could actually hurt the person instead of helping them.

in my life. He served as my FCA sponsor and would

Furthermore, our Holy Father knows the words a person

constantly encourage and believe in me. My family was

needs to hear.

also a big encouragement to me throughout the FCA, they

Hebrews 4:12 declares, “For the word of God is living and

helped carry the burden of stress from the overwhelming

active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division

times I experienced. Due to the encouragement they

of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the

gave me, I was motivated to keep on going with the FCA

thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Ministry. I had many opportunities to share Christ with

God knows all of the thoughts of our heart and how to connect with us on a personal level. When you pray to Him to give you the words of encouragement to share, it

people at my school and help Christians grow as leaders and in their walk with Christ. After reflecting upon my journey in high school and the FCA, I have come to recognize the great need for us to

everyone has experienced moments when someone has

encourage others and to be around people that encourage

wrote you a letter, sent you a text, or maybe you are just

us. By doing so, we are demonstrating God’s love and

listening to worship music on the radio and it is exactly

helping fight the good fight.

26 // July 2021

About The Author

is amazing the impact it can have on a person. I am sure

Abdiel Medina is an energetic nerd, CHS Alumni, and college bound for Lee University! He desires to pursue Christ, and help others grow as leaders and in their walk of Christ!

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Gò0dNews Poetry

Asking For Forgiveness


by Thomas Sturgeon, Jr.

sking for Forgiveness

Really I don’t mean to do it

Silently troubling my heart

Giving me some pride about my work

Keep going like my father

I ask for forgiveness, even though Not heard, I’m giving it to God, for He knows He created me Forgiveness, I’m not shy anymore Offering me a chance to take His hand Ready for a new life, I’m willing oh Lord

If I’m never heard, will He let me know? Violence isn’t the key, O Lord Nothing can go with me, I have belief in Christ who strengthens me Even though I don’t get my way Success is with me if only I believe in Him Starting to think, streets of gold. Heaven is here

On that same boat again, I lie 28 // July 2021

About The Author

Forgiveness isn’t easy Thomas Sturgeon, Jr. is a 35-year-old author living in Chatsworth, Georgia. He has been featured in 32 anthologies and is also the author of Red Carnival and a book of poetry titled A Peel of Skin.




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Gò0dNews for Everyone

The Man with The Sword


by Filip Brunner

e have it backwards when we think that

twelve-hour shifts before, so I understand the immense

we need to fear the men and women in law

pressure police officers are under day in, day out.

enforcement. Do not take my word for it,

Some are men and women of excellent character who

see what God in His Word has to say about the subject. “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to

the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do

love what they do and want to keep the neighborhoods safe for all people. When we speak out in blind anger against the

that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the

minister of God, we are in fact speaking out against

same, for he is the minister of God to thee for good.

God who installed him or her into the office which

But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid, for he beareth not the sword in vain. For he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Romans 13:3-4). First of all, notice that God is saying rulers—or in this case the law enforcement representatives of the executive branch of federal, state and local governments—are not a terror to good works, but of the evil. As a citizen, it is my responsibility to live in accordance to the laws which govern the particular society I am a part of. Therefore, when I am confronted by law enforcement with an alleged infraction of the law—and I am innocent—I need to cooperate with the men and women who are charged with

they are to execute with justice. We do need to speak

enforcement of the law.

out against individuals who bring shame to the office,

Why? All authority that is granted to anyone is

but in such a way in which civilized members of

granted to them by God— “…for he is the minister of

society are to be heard and not in wanton disregard for

God unto thee for good…” and “…he is the minister

any propriety.

of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” This includes law enforcement. When a member

Besides, men and women of faith, let God deal with them. He is the one who promised: “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place

of law enforcement does that which is evil in breaking

unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will

the law, he or she is under the same—if not greater—

repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

condemnation as any criminal out there. proverbial baby with the bathwater. I have worked

30 // July 2021

About The Author

We need to be careful to not throw out the Filip Brunner is married to his wife, Dr. Kim Brunner and together they have six children. He is a writer, author, and artist.

ourney But it can alsoto seem overwhelming, looking down the long road ahead. You may be asking yourself, how sho An easy step is to put a key foundational piece in place with life insurance. By doing that, it helps ensure t ookWhat like? Does Your anyone who may rely on you financially—now or into the future—will be OK. Luxury Retirement Look So start your financial fitness journey with this oneLike? step forward. Let’s start the conversation.

e. And that’s the way it should be.

Call me today to see I can help you have a greater retirement. ou may be asking yourself, howhow should I begin?

ce. By doing that, it helps ensure that Guy Percy OK. Financial Representative

art the conversation.

7371 Nashville St Ringgold, GA 30736 www.countryfinancial.com/guy.percy guy.percy@countryfinancial.com


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journey to financial fitness means different things to different people. And that’s the way it should be.

This piece has it can also seem overwhelming, looking down the long road ahead. You may be asking yourself, how should I begin?

been reproduced with the permission of Life Happens, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers make smart insurance deci their families’ financial futures. Life Happens does not endorse any insurance company, product or advisor. © Life Happens 2018. All rights reser easy step is to put a key foundational piece in place with life insurance. By doing that, it helpssafeguard ensure that

Home | Auto Life | Health Business

one who may rely on you financially—now or into the future—will be OK.

tart your financial fitness journey with this one step forward. Let’s start the conversation. Guy Percy Financial Representative 7371 Nashville St Ringgold, GA 30736

® www.countryfinancial.com/guy.percy e Company , Bloomington, IL. guy.percy@countryfinancial.com


n dedicated to helping consumers make smart insurance decisions to pany, product or advisor. © Life Happens 2018. All rights reserved. Policies issued by COUNTRY Life Insurance Company® and COUNTRY Investors Life Assurance Company®, Bloomington, IL.



This piece has been reproduced with the permission of Life Happens, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers make smart insurance decisions to safeguard their families’ financial futures. Life Happens does not endorse any insurance company, product or advisor. © Life Happens 2018. All rights reserved.


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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Are You a Martha or a Mary?


by Janise Copeman

ime spent away can bring a time of reflection.

There will always be time for business, chores and

As I am often so busy with work and other

running around, but the gift of quality time with someone

responsibilities of everyday life, it had been a

you love is something you cannot buy or ever get back.

while between visits with my family and friends. It was

Family and friends are a precious gift from the Lord—one

during this reflection that the Lord placed on my heart this

not to be taken lightly.

question: Are you a Martha or a Mary? I realized I had not picked up my phone or checked social media, but I had actually unplugged and allowed

Family is important because it can provide love, support, and a framework of values to each of its members. Family members teach each other, serve one another and share in the joy and sorrow of life. From the very first moments of life, children depend on their parents and family to protect them and provide for their needs. We must be listening to the Holy Spirit every moment of our lives to be led by the Lord. There are times when we need to be busy and working with what He has us to do. There are also times when He wants us to be still and lay at His feet. As I am growing older, those moments are becoming much more valuable. As my parents and siblings are getting on in years, it is really eye-opening to see where we set our priorities. Responsibilities are something we all have to be concerned with, but knowing

myself to spend time with my parents and family. This time

how to prioritize them is what we must practice daily. We

was so special and bonding—it is all my heart wanted to do.

must learn to be in a moment and enjoy it.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may

You may often hear about families who may have

be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you”

taken each other for granted, realizing one day that

(Exodus 21:15).

they have allowed time to rob them of so many precious

“Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children” (Proverbs 17:6). This time made me think about the story of Martha

memories with one another. I encourage you to allow the Lord to rearrange your priorities—to value the time you have and recognize what is truly important.

and Mary. Martha was caught up in the nature of her usual precious moment with the Lord—not even realizing just how precious that time was.

32 // July 2021

About The Author

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

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Gò0dNews for your Taste Buds Banana Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting by Pam Wattenbarger


eminiscent of that Southern summer classic, Hummingbird Cake, this version comes

together easier and quicker thanks to starting with a boxed mix. The uniced cake layers can be frozen up to three months by following these instructions. Allow the cake to cool completely. Wrap the layers tightly with plastic wrap. Wrap these layers in aluminum foil and place in an airtight container. This technique prevents the cake from absorbing moisture and becoming freezer-burned.

Ingredients For the cake: • 1 (15.2-ounce) box spice cake mix • 1 cup milk

Instructions • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, place the spice cake mix, milk, butter, and eggs. Using a mixer, stir until blended. • Add in the mashed bananas and beat until the mixture is well blended.

• 4 large eggs

• Pour the batter into a greased 9” by 9” baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

• 3 bananas, peeled and mashed

To Make the Frosting:

• 1 stick of butter, melted

For the frosting: • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese • 1 teaspoon vanilla • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar

• Place melted cream cheese into a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix on medium speed until mixture is blended, 1 to 2 minutes. • Slowly add the cream, beating constantly, until the frosting is the desired consistency. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Store the iced cake in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

34 // July 2021

About The Author

• 1/4 cup heavy cream (or as needed) Pam Wattenbarger is the author of The New Southern Cookbook: Classic Family Recipes and Modern Twists on Old Favorites & The Southern Air Fryer Cookbook. Find her recipes and more at SimplySouthernMom.com.



















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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Doing the Right Thing in The Wrong Way


by Andrew Corbin

Samuel 6:1-7 David wanted to make a permanent place for the ark of God. He had the right intention.

1 Chronicles 13:3 states, “And let us bring again the

but the Philistines were the enemy of God and His people. The Philistines sent the ark back on a cart (1 Samuel 6:11). I guess David saw the ark of theaaaaZZ v

ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days

covenant coming up on a cart and thought that it

of Saul.” David, in 2 Samuel 7:2, said, “I am dwelling

would make it so much easier to go from place to

in a house of cedar, but the ark of God is dwelling within

place. Why in the world are we getting the priests to carry

curtains.” The ark of God deserves better than

it on their shoulders when we could put it on a cart? The

that. David had the right intention and the right

reason: God said to carry it on the priests’ shoulders. It really doesn’t matter if the way of the world is easier, you need to do it God’s way. There will be times when doing it God’s way will be more difficult than our own. We will probably try to question why it can’t be easier, but God knows and He has a plan. David did the right thing in the wrong way, and it cost Uzzah his life. The ark was going to fall off the cart, and Uzzah put his hand on the

mentality. While he was trying to do right thing, he

ark and he died right then and there. Your actions will

did it in the wrong way.

always affect someone else. There’s a large magnitude

In Exodus 25, God commanded that the ark of the

placed on every decision we make, especially our

covenant be carried in a specific way. There were four

decisions that have to do with our Spirituality. Often

golden rings that were made into the ark and put on

times, we look at the effects of doing the wrong

each corner. Then God commanded they made staves

thing. On the flip side, we look at the effects of doing

or some wooden plank and overlay those with gold,

the right thing, but in the wrong way. It is not only

and put the staves through the rings, and the priests

important to be doing the right thing, but it is just as

were supposed to carry it on their shoulders.

important to be doing the right thing in the right way.

God laid specific and clear instructions on how it God’s way. He did it by the way of the Philistines,

36 // July 2021

About The Author

the ark should have been carried, but David didn’t do

Andrew Corbin is the husband to Amber, father to Reed, and pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church in Chatsworth, Georgia. The Church’s address is 3155 Hwy 225; Chatsworth, Georgia 30705.

113 OAKWOOD ST. • CHICKAMAUGA, GA 30707 706.375.7247 • OCAEAGLES.ORG

Gò0dNews for Family

The Wisdom in the Struggle by John Garrod


ay the Lord answer you in the day of struggle…” (Psalm 20:1).

sweep over our faith. “Where is my God?” we cry out. He is right there with you. He may not part that

I was born with a bit of a silver spoon

tidal wave, even though He could. He may not make the

in my mouth. My wife might describe it a little differently;

struggle disappear, although He could. No, He may not

the word spoiled might come into play.

do any of that, but what He also will never do is leave you

As the youngest of 4 children, by the time I was a

nor forsake you. Psalm 20 tells us that He is with us in our

teenager and my siblings had moved out—either married

distress. We may read that twice, ten times, or a thousand

or in college—our father’s engineering business was

times, but until we have experienced that distress—and

thriving, and money was flowing rather steadily. We had a

seen His steadfast faithfulness in our lives—we may harbor

nice beach house. I had a car to drive and a dune buggy to take me to trouble—a mere $4 filled its gas tank! We were not wealthy by America’s standards, but we were…comfortable. At the least, I never remember seeing my parents’ struggle. We would all like a life with no struggles, at least not major ones. We would like to struggle with deciding between taking the BMW or the Mercedes. For most of us, those aren’t the struggles we face. We struggle between new clothes for the kids or whether we can afford ground beef for dinner. We may struggle between keeping the electric on or making a car payment. We may

cracks in our faith. As we endure the struggles, holding

struggle between buying new tires for the car or getting a

fast to this promise, we build our faith.

few months out of a couple of used tires. We try to shield

We should take care to share these lessons with our

our kids from these struggles, we don’t want them to

kids. One day, they will be out there, sailing around

worry. But life as an adult is full of struggles.

among troubled waters and rising waves. They need to

Struggles, real struggles, aren’t any fun. Although,

know He is with us through all of it. They need to know

struggles are the place where God teaches us to trust

that He uses those struggles to develop our faith. Protect

Him. It is not that God is inflicting us with struggles for

them, but don’t build so big a shield that they can’t see the

His enjoyment—rain falls on the just and the unjust, Jesus

deliverance, or the hand that delivers it.

declares to us in Matthew. Sometimes those struggles don’t tsunamis—imminent destruction about to wash us away. It is here that fear—desolate, desperate, lonely fear—may

38 // July 2021

About The Author

feel just like rain, they loom over us and our outlook like John Garrod is a father of six, husband of one. He is a graduate of Lee University (c/o ’19), a discipleship teacher at South Cleveland Church of God, and a U.S. Army veteran.

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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Vacation Reflection


by Linda Ray Center

can remember a time before COVID, when

Through it all, I had no fear. God promises

a tragic announcement on our cruise ship,

to be close to all who call on Him. His Word to

the Viking Sun, blasted over the intercom.

me is better than any travel insurance. Many

Passengers on Viking Sun’s sister ship, the

of us are making vacation plans again, but how

Viking Star, was taking in forty-five degree

many people will take God along too?

water off the Norwegian coast. Their engine

Vacations can serve as a spark plug for our communion with the Creator. Use this time to be restored and charged physically and emotionally— but also spiritually. Don’t miss the chance to see the works of His hands, claim His promises, and listen to His truths. Even though vacations can be a busier time than our normal daily routine, the Lord promises if we seek Him with all our heart we will find Him—no matter where we are. King

room had flooded and they were airlifting

David did. He sought and thirsted for the

passengers off the ship. As I prayed for the

presence of God everywhere he went.

passengers aboard the Viking Star, my favorite

The Lord blesses our faithfulness when

scripture came to mind: “God is our refuge and

we encounter Him. Take part in what He has

strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm

created for us. How do you impact God’s glory

46:1). His presence on this vacation gave

while visiting other places or on vacation?

passengers—as well as myself. 40 // July 2021

About The Author

me a keen sense of His protection over the Linda Ray Center writes about everyday life with God, others, and self, as an author, freelance writer, and blogger at www.lindaraycenter.com. She resides in charming Chattanooga and will showcase her grandchildren’s pictures at any given moment.


Christian Magazine

Mission Statement:


Writer Guidelines:

e believe when people are equipped,

Who: Our writers range from pastors, professors, and

motivated, and passionately engaged in

professional writers to stay at home moms and dads,

living out their faith in Jesus Christ they

business professionals, and others who have a desire to

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

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

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

Gò0dNews for Everyone

Hostile Territory


by Eddie Turner

e live in a world of continually increasing darkness.

darkness and allow fear to mask our awareness that we are

With the details of this darkness broadcasted on

lights of this world—moving about amidst armies of angels

our TVs and on our phones within our homes, it

who radiate God’s glory and who intercede on our behalf. God

is only fitting that we carry a sense of fear as we venture out

Himself is also present within us as we approach life’s valleys

each day. We watch as our fellow citizens mimic the Pharisees’

that appear shrouded by the shadow of death. It is when we fail

shouts for Jesus to be crucified when they read a tweet by a

to recognize what is going on behind the scenes that we allow

public figure whose words are stripped from their context. It

ourselves to become rattled.

is as if our culture has produced a breed of individuals who

In the Bible, Jesus tells us not to live in fear more times than

are lurking in the darkness just waiting for an opportunity to

I can count. This is extremely important for us because he knew

pounce on one another. If you are wondering whose behavior

what was coming. He knew we would question our ability to

this resembles, I’ll give you a hint. It is not Jesus. 1 Peter 5:8 Unfortunately, the evil in our world is here to stay despite the many attempts to micromanage it from existence. As much as we try to separate ourselves from this evil, many who call themselves Christian are only stirring the pot and causing the world to see followers of Christ as part of the problem. Needless to say, the burden associated with Jesus’ instruction for us to endure this life is only getting heavier. How much more are we expected to take on? If you have ever been told to read between the lines, there

endure if we allowed ourselves to be consumed by the anxieties

was likely something your attention was called to that you did

of life. In this verse from Matthew, Jesus warns how a world

not see right away. Only after taking a second look or applying

like ours today can have a tremendous impact on our hearts.

additional focus, were you able to grasp the bigger picture.

Matthew 24:12-13

In the book of 2 Kings, we read about the prophet Elisha and

As the culture around us increasingly reflects the

his servant who are being pursued by their enemies. As they

lawlessness Jesus spoke of, we must know that our survival

became surrounded, the servant began to fear for his life.

is dependent upon the condition of our hearts. There is no

“What shall we do?” he called to Elisha, who prayed for his

questioning whether we can live through this. We most

servant in response.

certainly can. But can we love through this? This is the struggle

2 Kings 6:16-17

Jesus was talking about. Can we love one another in a world

When my children were little, I often reminded them of

that ignites hatred in our hearts? Can we remain fixated on God

the presence of angels nearby whenever they could not sleep. While we could not actually see these angels, this story of

amidst the chaos? As followers of Christ who are indwelled by the strength

Elisha and his servant assures us that they are indeed present

of the one true God, we must take every measure to protect our

and in great numbers—all the time. This is our reality; a reality

hearts from growing cold and allow the love He placed within

that requires our reading between the lines to see. Instead of being

us to pour forth and light our paths through hostile territory.

blinded by the light, however, we often become blinded by the ]

As you go along, know that angels will be close by. God,

42 // July 2021

however, will be much closer.

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