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Simple Joys with “Chewbacca Mom” Candace Payne Welcome to Georgia Great Wolf Lodge

Madeline Carroll From the Dove Award Winning Film I Can Only Imagine


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CONTENTS

17 MADELINE CARROLL

Putting God first in her acting career has been a tough road for this young actress, but the Lord’s faithfulness has brought her to complete surrender.

6 Local Events

Article submissions

submissions@goodlifemagazine.org 1582 Williams Dr, Suite 250 Marietta, GA 30066

14 Which Type of Evangelism is Right?

26 12 Easy Ways to Help Others this Season

8 A Lesson from the “Chewbacca Mom”

21 The Gift of Christmas

29 Discovering Your Calling

11 Artist Spotlight:

22 GOODlife Giving Guide

32 GOODlife Travel

From concerts to arts-n-crafts festivals to fun runs—you’ll find activities for everyone in your family to enjoy.

When expectations don’t meet reality, we can either flee in fear or stand tall and laugh.

Edward Chilungu’s album Soundtracks offers us all an invitation to Sabbath rest.

Spontaneous evangelism versus relational evangelism—one, the other, or both?

One man’s journey to discovering the true meaning of the holiday

Our curated list of trustworthy charitable organizations, where you can be the hands and feet of Jesus this holiday season

MUST Ministries suggests a variety of ways you can reach out to make a significant difference for neighbors in need.

When God forms each one of us, He plans to place a tool in our hands that we will use for Him.

Great Wolf Lodge: Georgia’s newest family resort offers a yearround water park and much more.

Publisher / Editor Kristen Bland

Assistant Editor Autumn Burr

Creative Director Advertising

Gabriel Bland Contributing Writer Sharita Hanley

On the Cover

GOODlife Magazine features Madeline Carroll, who has a major role in the I Can Only Imagine movie, the recent winner of the 2018 “Inspirational Film of the Year” Dove Award.. For the full story, see page 17.

info@goodlifemagazine.org 770.656.4400

facebook.com/goodlifechristian @goodlifechristian GOODlife Magazine is a bi-monthly publication distributed throughout Atlanta and Metro Atlanta. Entire contents, including design elements and logos, are copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any media without the express written consent of the publisher. GOODlife Magazine, LLC reserves the right to edit or reject any editorial or advertising content. Advertisers assume liability for content of all advertisements. All information herein has been checked for accuracy to the best of our ability. Not responsible for deletions, omissions, errors and/or inaccuracies. © 2018 GOODlife Magazine, LLC. All rights reserved.


Fall/Winter Events Fridays, November 2–30 at 7pm The Battery, Atlanta The movie series is free to attend, and guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and/or blankets. Parking is free for the first four hours (non-event days) in the Red, Purple, and Green decks. Dates are subject to change due to weather, etc. November 2 - Jurassic World (PG-13) November 9 - Minions (PG) November 16 - The Secret Life of Pets (PG) November 23 - Captain America: The First Avenger (PG-13) November 30 - Polar Express (G)

batteryatl.com/events/

Due West Holiday Market

Saturday, November 3 from 9am–2pm Due West UMC, Marietta 17th Annual Holiday Market, bake sale, and silent auction in the Family Life Center; more than 40 vendors

www.duewest.org/holiday-market

Taste of Kennesaw

Saturday, November 3 from 11am–7pm Main Street Kennesaw Downtown Kennesaw will be filled with the sweet smell of food and the sweet sounds of rock ‘n roll; over 40 restaurants, all types of children’s activities, beer garden, sponsor booths, and admission is free.

Baconfest 2018

Saturday, November 10 from 8:30am–10:30am GracePointe Marietta Baptist Church Men’s event featuring a “Man Breakfast” of eggs, biscuits, gravy, fried potatoes, and all the bacon you can eat! There will be door prizes and guest speakers. Tickets are $8:00 pre-paid or $10.00.

gracepointemarietta.org

Tim Hawkins LIVE

Saturday, November 10 at 7pm, doors open: 6:15pm Midway Church, Villa Rica One of the most in-demand comedians in the country; a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to support Clemmie’s House, a transitional home for ladies.

midwaychurch.com

Veterans Day Ceremony

Sunday, November 11 at 2pm Patriots Point at Cauble Park, Acworth Acworth honors the brave men and women living in our community.

acworthparksandrecreation.org

Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Georgia

November 17 – January 6 Six Flags Over Georgia, Austell The park continues its new holiday tradition with a breathtaking winter wonderland featuring 16 themed areas that host a variety of delightful By Divine Conference  and interactive activities to help November 9–10 from 6:30pm–9:30pm capture the holiday spirit. Grace Ministries Int., Marietta sixflags.com/overgeorgia The conference is designed to help 10th Annual Acworth Turkey you consistently experience God’s Chase 5K Fun Run; 2K Walk love, joy, and peace in the midst of Saturday, November 17 at 9:15am life’s busyness and stress. This is not Main Street in Downtown Acworth just another seminar that teaches Participants bring a non-perishable behavioral modification, but a lifetransforming experience empowered food item to benefit the Tackle Hunger Program, then enjoy a 5K. by the Holy Spirit to communicate Walk, jog, or run; participants of all the indwelling, empowering ages and abilities are welcome. presence of Christ as Life.

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acworthturkeychase.com

Acworth Senior Lunch

Tuesday, November 20 at 12pm Roberts School Community and Education Center, Acworth Lunch is served at noon, followed by several rounds of bingo with prizes and other special activities; free to all senior citizens.

16th Annual Gobble Jog

Thursday, November 22 at 6:30am Marietta Square This Thanksgiving Day tradition features a 10K run, 5K run/walk, 1K run/walk and a Tot Trot. The race benefits MUST Ministries, a nonprofit that helps about 28,000 people in need in our community.

mustministries.org

Christmas in Acworth

Saturdays, November 24 – December 15 Main Street Acworth This series of events kicks things off with a Merchants Open House on November 24. Shop the sales, sample treats in the downtown stores, and enjoy a festival of trees. On December 8 and 15, get free pictures with Santa between 1-5 p.m. (using your own camera) and enjoy free horse and carriage rides.

Called2Love Atlanta – Pastor’s Date Night

Tuesday, November 27 at 7-9pm Roswell Street Baptist Church, Marietta A comedy event for couples, featuring comedian Jason Earls. Pastor couples get free admission with promo code: PASTORFREE. Refreshments are provided.

called2love.com

Mac Powell’s Christmas Party

Friday, November 30 at 8pm Earl and Rachel Smith Strand Theatre, Marietta Join Mac and the Family Reunion to sing along to your favorite Christmas

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Friday Night Xfinity Movie Series


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Join us for Christmas at North and discover the true identity of the child born unto us! Sundays in December at 9:30 and 11am | mountparannorth.com/christmas MOUNT PARAN NORTH | 1700 Allgood Road · Marietta, GA 30062 | 770.578.9081 tunes, as well as a few of Mac’s brand new songs and biggest radio hits.

macpowell.com

The Service of Lessons and Carols for Advent

Sunday, December 2 from 5:30pm–8pm St. James Episcopal Church, Marietta The order of service includes old liturgical forms that vividly express the Church’s preparation for the coming of the Lord Jesus, including an Advent Responsory led by the choir, a symbolic movement from “darkness to light,” alternating lessons from the Old and the New Testaments with anthems and hymns, and the sharing of the good news from St. Matthew’s Gospel.

stjamesmarietta.com

Night of Prayer

Thursday, December 6 from 7pm–8:30pm Mount Paran North Church, Marietta Drop in for a time of personal worship and prayer. You will have an opportunity to share your need and receive prayer from trained prayer ministers in a safe and loving environment.

mountparannorth.com/events

Christmas at Piedmont

Friday, December 7 from 5-9pm & Saturday, December 8 from 10am-5pm Piedmont Church, Marietta Show will feature over 40 unique handmade arts & crafts booths, a huge children’s play area and interactive crafts for the kids, all types of food, entertainment provided by local school choruses and dance groups, a live nativity, and free photos with Santa. Admission is free.

piedmontchurch.tv/events

The Annual RiverStone Women’s Christmas Tea

Saturday, December 8 from 9:30am–12pm Riverstone Church, Kennesaw Speaker will be the authentic and fun Anita Corsini. co-owner of REDBaRN Homes, a real estate agent and designer, and co-host of HGTV’s Flip or Flop Atlanta. With the Lord’s guidance, and support from lifelong friends and family, Anita has navigated a number of trials, including her son’s cancer diagnosis in 2014. This challenged her faith to the core, but by the grace of God, she came out stronger on the other side.

riverstoneonline.org/events

Homecoming Christmas Concert

Friday, December 14 at 7pm First Baptist Woodstock Bill Gaither and the Gaither Vocal Band will be joined by artists like Mark Lowry, The Martins, The Nelons, Lynda Randle, Angela Primm, and many more.

premierproductions.com

Christmas Caroling on the Square

Sunday, December 23 from 6pm–8pm Glover Park, Marietta Square St. James’ choirs lead the annual candlelight caroling at Glover Park with favorite carols and music of the season.

Lauren Daigle – The Behold Christmas Tour Saturday, December 8 at 7pm Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre, Atlanta Platinum-selling, two-time GRAMMY Nominee performing a special Christmas concert

laurendaigle.com

Newsboys United Tour

Thursday, December 13, doors open: 6:00pm The Classic Center Theatre, Athens Welcoming back former bandmates Peter Furler and Phil Joel for one incredible tour, the band is together again under one roof, showcasing all the hits. Zealand and Adam Agee also perform.

newsboys.com

To See more events or to submit your own, go to goodlifemagazine.org/events november/december 2018

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Trash-Bag Choir Dresses H S U R C E G E L L O C E H T D N A BY CANDACE PAYNE (CHEWBACCA MOM)

Swish, swish, swoosh, swoosh. You could hear the sound a mile away from our black concert choir dresses as we lined the hallway, preparing to perform in one of the most beautiful, ornate, and historic churches in the South. I was standing in line in my usual spot—two people away from him. It’s not necessary to name him—let’s just say it’s the “him” we’ve all had at some point in our quest to find someone to date and marry. He was funny, cute (enough), witty, talented, and kindhearted. We’d laugh at the most juvenile things about movies and ourselves. Now, I can look back and shake my head at how dramatically I pined after him. You see, he didn’t end up being the one or the him I now love and share all my life with. But to a nineteen-year-old kid with dreams of loving someone and being loved in full, he was all I could think about night and day. And there I was . . . taffeta dress, meat sweats, and two spots away from him. Usually I would stand next to the altos, an appropriate thing to do for a choir—stay in your section. But occasionally the choir director does you a huge honor by trusting you to stand in a formation where you are mixed with other singing parts surrounding you. It means you are good enough to sing your part correctly without having to listen and follow the person next to you. Listen, if it’s possible to say that you feel “boss” and like a “bad mamma jamma” about being a choir kid, this was the moment you’d own that feeling. So I was in rare form that day. I was full of tacos, with intensified confidence in my “madd alto skillz,” and yet I was a ginormous ball of nervous energy to be near him as well. It was the perfect storm for what would come next. We swished and swooshed as elegantly as we could to the stage and took our places on the risers. We had several 8

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songs to sing that day as honored guests. And since we would be there a while, the church provided some chairs to sit on when we were done singing our special music. Now, these weren’t your everyday chairs. This day we were graced with the chairs borrowed from the preschool room adjacent to the church sanctuary we were singing in. You know—the hard, plastic ones that are only about two feet tall. However small they were, I was grateful to have them. I despised standing in that dress for longer than necessary. As we finished our last song and ended this sacred, holy moment, applause erupted. We were trained, though, not to respond to any praise or applause whatsoever. Finally, the director gave the signal to stand at ease, and we began to take our seats. I looked to my right just as he began to


look to his left. We locked eyes. Y’all. Was this moment the moment when he’d finally realize I was everything he was dreaming about too? With eyes still locked on target, I refused to be the first to look away. I noticed he was gently lowering himself toward the seat behind him. As he moved, I took his cue and also began to crouch backward. In slow motion, as we moved together toward our low-to-the-ground hard plastic school chairs, his eyes shifted toward the floor behind me. His expression swiftly turned from a small smile to a concerned frown. I was not only missing the corner of this tiny chair, but was also about to miss the entire riser that I had been standing so confidently on just seconds before. As I fell, my trash-bag dress blew up like a wind had taken hold of it in a supermarket parking lot. Before I knew what was happening, I was completely upside down, dress over my head, and face flushed the brightest red. I collected myself, pushed my dress down to its rightful position, rocked back and forth trying to gain momentum to get upright, and finally stood up with all eyes on me. Time was frozen. I was frozen. Faces of friends, my choir director, and hundreds of strangers looked frozen with concern as well. And I had a choice to make. Would I rush off stage and hide from embarrassment? Or would I laugh at what had just happened and own the moment? I believe we have moments like these every day. No, they may not look quite like this moment. But they are moments when we feel like a failure—exposed beyond the reach of what we were willing to share. They are moments we find ourselves falling hard right after performing at some of our mountainous bests. We might feel embarrassed because of who saw us fall. Yet I have found these aren’t just moments but opportunities. We all have a choice in how we respond when expectations don’t meet reality. We can either flee in fear or stand tall and laugh! As the frozen moment of all eyes on me began to thaw, I was embarrassed. I also knew that this was hilarious. When I stood to my feet and shoved the dress back down, I did what I know best to do: I let out a boisterous laugh. Suddenly it was as if everyone took a cue in how to respond and began to laugh with me. I wasn’t faking this moment and hiding behind a laugh. No, not one bit. I thought of what it must have looked like from the audience’s perspective, and a smile made its way across my face, and uncontrollable laughter followed. I wondered what he must have been thinking of me . . . and as I looked up at him, he was standing with a hand out to make sure I wasn’t hurt. And I realized something monumental in that moment

LIFE HAPPENS

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about simple joys: joy can always be found when you learn to not take yourself so seriously. Oh, the joy we often miss out on when we flee in fear when, instead, we should stand in confidence and laugh out loud. Proverbs 31 talks about how a truly noble and honorable woman should behave and act and live. (Y’all know I could use all the lessons I can get.) One of my favorite verses says it like this: She always faces tomorrow with a smile. (v. 25, The Message) Another version puts it this way: She can laugh at the days to come. (NIV) No matter what comes—the fear of days unknown or uncertainty with health and finances—there’s power in standing up to whatever you’re facing with a smile and a laugh. There’s a deep confidence that confesses, “This is not the end of my story, and it won’t be the worst of it either!” That moment with my college crush and the entire audience seeing me with my dress over my head wasn’t the end of my days. Sure, it was embarrassing, but something in me knew it was better to laugh and know this was just a moment. And wouldn’t you know it, about twenty years later, I still laugh when I retell this story. It was an opportunity to be brave, confident, and humbled that I wasn’t about to miss. Where in your life have you been refusing to get up off the ground and break the atmosphere with a laugh? If a situation comes to mind immediately, know this: it’s never too late to shift your response. I know firsthand that life can bring you down without warning. I know full well that it can feel overwhelming. I know the temptation to run away in shame instead of standing tall and owning your mistakes (and, even worse, owning your arrogance). The most beautiful thing about joy in moments like these is how it reflects a humble heart. So, friend, if you’ve been taking yourself a bit too seriously of late, or if you feel overexposed and embarrassed by choices you’ve made intentionally or unintentionally, take some time to muster a smile and know that simple joys thrive in your humility. Excerpt from Simple Joys: Discovering the Wonder in the Everyday by Candace Payne, Zondervan, 2018. Used by permission.


Edward Chilungu’s Soundtracks: An Invitation to Sabbath Rest By: Sharita Hanley

E

dward Chilungu, affectionately known as “Ed,” is the kind of musician your soul needs after a long week and overpacked schedule. A classically trained pianist, he composes music reminiscent of the importance of Sabbath rest. But whether he’s recording his debut album or playing with New York rock band Relevant Worship, Chilungu’s focus is simple. “I play music as a means for me to find communion with God. I want my music to be a means that invites others to have communion with God too.” His particular style of music is like an open invitation, summoning listeners to do exactly what Chilungu hopes, spend time with God.

Musical Style

“This debut album is unique in that, through collaboration with Chris Hoisington and other musicians, we were able to add a whole new depth of color and emotion to create moods I couldn’t with just the piano,” Ed explains. “The production enhanced my composition in a cinematic way. In this album, you can expect to hear a musical autobiography, as well as experience the peace and love that God gives when we offer our music to him. This album will not bring stress but rest,” he concludes. I couldn’t agree more. Cerebral and harmonic, Chilungu’s compositions are instrumental in more ways than one. Literally speaking, his melodies are classical tracks made up of instruments like the piano, percussion, and other wind, string, and brass instruments. Figuratively, though, the music works just like Chilungu hoped it would—an artistic, symbolic invitation to sit before the King. But this wasn’t always the case.

Journey in Music

Chilungu learned to played the piano at only three years old. Like most classically trained musicians, his focus was on technique and precision. Inspired by Bach, Beethoven, and Schumann, he wanted to be the best and was well on his way to accomplishing that dream. “I was playing at a concert artist level since I was around twelve years old and had a strong technique for sight reading music,” Ed asserts. But something was missing. He wanted to express his own thoughts and feelings, so at only seventeen years old, he taught himself to play by ear. “I found a passion to improvise and express my own emotions.” As he grew older, gaining even more experience as a musician was extremely valuable as he found himself battling schizoaffective disorder, a mental health condition that includes aspects of both schizophrenia, such as hallucinations or delusions, and a mood disorder, such as mania and depression. “The first few years on meds, my motivation to play was almost Author: Will Graham gone,” he admits. Yet God had a plan. november/december 2018

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While listening to the music of jazz pianist Keith Jarrett, Ed had an oneon-one experience with God. “As I listened to his [Jarrett’s] recording of jazz standards, I saw my room fill with what appeared to be white light, and the next day, I was able to improvise at a level that was not possible for me at that time.” At that moment, his life and music changed. His music became less about technique and more about expressing raw emotion and the truth of God’s love. His time spent with Relevant Worship made it even more clear. “I had found the reason to play. Who I played for [God] was more important than what I played. He had anointed me to play for Him, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

An Invitation for All of Us

Soundtracks, his debut album, feels like a conversation with God. With songs like “Return,” “Restitution,” “Angels,” and “King David’s Dream,” it is like a collection of modern days psalms. But rather than words, Chilungu has created brilliant harmonies that evoke certain moods. Nevertheless, each sound feels somewhat like a prayer. “Angels,” a gentle, cerebral, and heavenly composition, feels like a celebration of the new heaven and earth. “Restitution” and “Return” evoke more repentant feelings that seem to speak to the grace of God. But Chilungu also includes songs reminiscent of everyday life on the album too. “My favorite song is probably ‘Jessica’s Song,’” he divulges. “The song just came to me in a moment of inspiration. I feel a very beautiful emotion and good vibes while performing it, so for that reason, I would say this song is my favorite. ‘Restitution’ and ‘Angels’ are a close second because they show off more of my classical side as a composer and player. ‘Roy Hobbs’ takes you to a baseball game with the overdubbing of a World Series game from about 100 years ago.” All in all, the album remains very true to its name— soundtracks. The compilation acts like a soundtrack of dayto-day life, reminding us of all the little moments God has given us. Every tune encourages us to take the time to slow down and say thanks for each day as it shapes and molds us and reminds us of just how great He is. Produced by Old Bear Record Studios, Soundtracks is an invitation to Sabbath rest. It’s the kind of album that requires us to stop and to remember the goodness of God, and that is always a message worth hearing. ‘Soundtracks can be purchased on iTunes. Keep up with Chilungu by following him on Instagram @edchilungu. 12

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Sharita is an introverted free spirit who prefers reading over talking. Seriously addicted to Earl Grey Tea, she can be found at Teavana when her budget allows for it, or small independent bookstores when it doesn’t. A lover of culture, she’s more than willing to set her books aside for conversations about the Middle East, Guatemala, and Nepal. She lives in Mableton, Georgia with her husband.


Cobb County’s Best Kept Secret for 36 Years Imagine if you, your family, your neighborhood, or your whole town was in an extreme drought where water was nearly impossible to come by. What would happen if, in the middle of town, a fully functioning well was discovered? In the culture we live in today, we are iin the midst of an overwhelming drought. A drought of freedom and peace that has led to so many people feeling hurt, alone, and overwhelmed by depression, leaving them with questions that need answers. But, in the midst of this turmoil, there is a well that provides access to that much needed life-giving water of freedom and peace, and that well is called Grace Ministries International. As an equipping ministry, they not only offer support for those in need but are also a resource to ministries and individuals, offering training and refreshment to those who give of themselves to help others. Grace Ministries International is a well of freedom for the thirsty and rejuvenation for those who feel weary and alone. By promoting the indwelling, empowering presence of Christ as life, through biblical instruction, both nationally and internationally, their mission is to be a multi-faceted resource to the Body of Christ through individual and organizational discipleship. They accomplish this is by offering counseling for immediate and long-term needs, education for life and for leadership, materials to those in need, and more. Based in Cobb County, they are actively seeking to make their services known to the local Atlanta Christian community now more than ever before. They also continue to have an impact on international ministries. Grace Ministries International seeks to provide restoration through an environment that inspires hope, nurtures spiritual

growth, and equips disciples who can then equip others. With a team of twelve counselors, through a model of discipleship and pastoral counseling, they exist to help individuals discover their identity and God’s good intention for their lives so that they can walk in the fullness of rest and freedom that Christ has for everyone. When describing what makes them different from other ministries, Gary Layne, a discipleship counselor at Grace Ministries International, shares, “Other organizations may work with you on three, five, or more steps to be a better Christian or person, or perform better, but we look at why you’re doing what you’re doing. We feel, like Christ said, if you change the inside, the outside will change. So, as someone comes to understand what they believe, what is truth to them, and if they change what they know as truth as it is revealed to them from God through his Word, then they can act in a different way. We’re not about how-to’s; we’re about why. Because our why is based on who we think we are, which our society really struggles with. Christ came to give us a new identity as a child of the King, and so if we can realize that, learn that, and walk in that, it changes the way we act.” This idea, that the cross changes everything for a believer in Christ, not only deeply influences the way that they counsel but it affects everything they do from creating nationally distributed literature to teaching their educational courses. So whether it be a class designed to help new and long-term believers gain a deeper understanding of what Christ is calling them to, a conference designed to encourage and equip leaders, or a podcast on a challenging topic, intended to provoke conversation and thought, Grace Ministries International wants to help encourage and equip the Body of Christ to be who we were designed to be. To find out more about Grace Ministries International or to access their resources and information on classes or conferences, visit www.gmint.org or give them a call at 770-690-0433.

To find out more about Grace Ministries International or to access their resources and information on classes or conferences, visit www.gmint.org or give them a call at 770-690-0433.


Spontaneous Evangelism or Relational Evangelism? By David Hoffman

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In modern American Christianity, one of the greatest needs facing the Church is the need to reach the lost and bring the gospel to those who will never enter a church building. The Great Commission (Matthew 28-18-20) is a directive to “go into the world.” Many different statistics, determined by people like George Barna and organizations like LifeWay, show that evangelism (the practice of Christians sharing the gospel with non-Christians) in the United States is moving toward a rapid decline. They also reveal that the majority of America will be unchurched in the coming decades if the trends continue. There are many different perspectives and strategies for evangelism; however, I am going to discuss one of the biggest issues that is keeping the American Church from being able to properly impact those who are outside the Church. I would argue that there are two prominent camps concerning evangelism in the Church today. One camp promotes “spontaneous evangelism” and the other camp promotes “relational evangelism.” Sadly, they are often pitted against one another. Spontaneous evangelism can be defined as evangelistic encounters with random people. Some examples include the following: a person you share the gospel with at a grocery store, someone you give a gospel tract to, an individual you strike up conversation with in a waiting room with the purpose of sharing about Christ, etc. Usually, spontaneous evangelism is done with people you will very likely never see again. It places the emphasis on getting to the heart of the gospel message as quickly as possible with the person in front

Both are good strategies, but both are incomplete on their own. Sadly, many Christians feel they must choose one or the other. It is a major failure of modern American Christianity that the two are set in opposition to one another. Each side needs what the other one has, and the most effective evangelism can only be accomplished when the strengths from both sides are incorporated. When we look at the ministry of Jesus, we discover that He perfectly balanced both. He made disciples over a long period of time, but He also had spontaneous encounters with people like the “woman at the well,” Zacchaeus, and those whom He healed and delivered throughout his ministry. In each type of encounter, lives were totally transformed by His love and truth. In the same way, God wants us to allow the Holy Spirit to use us both spontaneously and relationally so that He can totally transform the lives of those we minister to with His love and truth. of you. However, it places little emphasis on building relationships and following up with people. Relational evangelism is completely different. It is done with people that you know and see on a consistent basis. Some examples include co-workers, extended family, neighbors, workout buddies, etc. Relational evangelism places the emphasis on building relationships before engaging with someone concerning the content of the gospel. Over time, the gospel message may be brought up as the relationship grows. The end goal of this type of evangelism is helping a person gain a relationship with Christ over time through long-term relationship.

God is calling all of us believers to allow Him to use us to reach the lost with the gospel. It is not for only a few, it is not for only ministers, and it is not for only those who seem to excel in it or appear to be “naturally gifted.” The Great Commission is a command to each believer to “Go into the world,” to “preach the gospel,” and to “make disciples.” If we are only open to God using us to do relational evangelism, we will likely fall into having no outward witness of our faith in our day-to-day life. That perspective can lead us to a mindset that places 100 percent focus on only the four to eight people we are trying to build relationship with and an extreme november/december 2018

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reclusiveness toward anyone else. That means that if it takes two to three years to help four to six people come to Christ and be discipled, anyone else that God wants reached evangelistically will likely get bypassed.

open to committing to Christ and being discipled. Truly, it is not an issue of one versus the other. Both will be required to properly reach the lost with the gospel and for the American Church to begin to become more effective in the culture.

On the other hand, if we are only open to having God use us to do spontaneous evangelism, we will likely fall into never attempting to fulfill the mandate to “make disciples,” which goes beyond just “preaching the gospel.” People who only embrace a spontaneous approach often are very open about sharing the gospel with random people that they will likely never see again. However, they often miss clear opportunities that God places in front of them to follow up with people and help them become grounded in the Word of God or grow in their new identity in Christ. It is good for people to hear the gospel, but discipleship is an integral part of growth in the Christian life, and it can only come through long- term relationships.

Let’s consider a soccer analogy. It is nearly impossible for someone on the total opposite end of the field to kick the ball and score a goal, especially with the defense and goalie in place. To score a goal, a team must kick the ball back and forth to each other all the way up the field to get the ball in the best position to score. Sometimes, one player has the ball for an extended time (relational evangelism). But often, as the ball is moved up the field, different players must quickly pass the ball off (spontaneous evangelism). For people who come to saving faith in Christ and begin to spiritually grow, each of their lives have certainly been filled with many instances of both spontaneous and relational evangelism.

Being a complete and healthy person means being able to grow and learn new things. Those who like spontaneous evangelism and those who like relational evangelism must learn from one another. Every single soul we come across requires a unique strategy. This is because everyone is at a different place in his or her journey toward Christ. Some people need to be presented with the gospel, whereas others have had people share the gospel with them previously and now are at a point where they are

In the day and age we are living in, God is calling us believers to take serious the command to “preach the gospel” and to “make disciples.” This mission requires an openness to the Holy Spirit using us spontaneously and relationally throughout each of our days. Your effort to share the gospel with a waiter or store clerk will move God’s plan forward in that individual’s life. Each time you share the gospel, an opportunity arises for a dramatic change to occur in the person on the receiving end. What seems to be a spontaneous encounter can even open up the possibility of relationship and discipleship if you are willing to follow up.

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So, when it comes to Christians fulfilling the Great Commission in this country, we need to be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to use us in certain situations spontaneously and in other situations relationally. Spontaneous evangelism and relational evangelism should not be set as rivals. The truth is that both are needed and required if we are going to be led by the Holy Spirit to fulfill His plan and purpose as we minister to those in our day-to-day lives.

David Hoffman is an evangelist and the director of Kingdom Enterprises, an outreach and evangelism ministry in Tucson, Arizona. His passions are to reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ, ignite a passion for evangelism within the lives of believers, and help equip them to live Spirit-filled and Spirit-empowered lives. For more information or to contact him, please go to HisKingdomEnterprises.com or IgniteAmerica.org.


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With spiritual wisdom beyond her years, guided by her parents’ example, Madeline began at an early age making God the center of every area of her life and trusting Him in all things. Madeline shares about when she got her first lead role in a film, Swing Vote, alongside Kevin Costner and several other familiar faces, when she was eleven years old: “My mom has all the credit in the world for my first half of my career because it really was her being so

prayerful and watchful over me… She prayed so hard that I would get Swing Vote. She literally walked around the casting office while I was in the callback—like the walls of Jericho, seven times. She just went around and around and around praying for me, and I ended up getting the part.” Being a part of this film really boosted her career, as her theatrical talent began getting more attention and regard.

Reciprocal Faithfulness

“Y

ou’re never going to work again!” one of her representatives told her as she turned down yet another promising, career-boosting role. Three years ago, the then nineteen-year-old talented actress, Madeline Carroll, fell on her hands and knees, crying out hysterically to God, “I am so done. I’ve held onto your word. I have walked this thing out. I have pushed forward. I just don’t see you in this. Lord, am I just crazy? Have you moved on, and I just haven’t? Am I being disobedient? Lord, I can’t do this anymore.” Years before, she had made a decision to follow God’s leading in the types of acting roles she would accept and had committed not to be involved in films that dishonored Him. But as she was getting older, it was becoming more and more difficult, and now she was at a crossroads.

A Promising Start Madeline’s acting career began when she was just three years old when a talent agent just happened upon the talkative tot at a nail salon. Madeline recalls her audition: “My mom literally had to read the lines off of the page to me because I couldn’t read.” The youngster ended up getting signed, and acting became her life. “I just completely fell in love with it—you know, it was my baseball; it was my soccer,” explains Madeline. “While God was opening all these doors for me in acting, He was also opening so many doors for me in my spirit,” she recalls, adding, “I developed a really close relationship with God at a very young age. I felt God calling after my heart whenever I was like eight or nine years old.” 14 18

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More and more, offers for sought-after roles began pouring in. Madeline was really excited about a superhero movie for which she had landed a role. It had just fallen in her lap and she was certain that it had been “a God thing.” But when she and her parents read the script, their hearts sank. She explains, “It was just beyond filthy and the character I would have played was a really hardcore character and it had a lot of [explicit] language…” While she had what she refers to as “ridiculous favor” with the director, and he and his team were willing to revise her parts to line up with her standards, she still felt unsettled about it. After attending a healing service at her church one evening and being asked to pray for a little boy, she immediately felt in her spirit that she needed to pull out of the film. She told her mother, “I can’t do this,” explaining, “I don’t think it’s gonna line up with where God is taking me.” Even though she knew she was making the right choice, she laments, “It was a really hard decision because, with films like that, there’s times where they really, truly do come along and you’re like, My life is just going to be different. I know that this will make me a movie star.” But she held onto the hope that God had bigger things in store and that He has His

children’s best interests at heart. Madeline shares that “God was so faithful,” rewarding her decision to glorify Him in her career choices. Through her early to mid-teen years, she landed major roles in a number of studio films like Flipped, The Spy Next Door, and Mr. Popper’s Penguins.

A Season of Hardship When she was fifteen, at the peak of her career, it all abruptly stopped. “And it was like all of a sudden… it wasn’t few-and-farbetween things I passed on, it was almost every project. It was just hard.” But she continued to press forward. At sixteen and seventeen years old, Madeline began to wonder if she was meant to continue acting. She remembers going to the beach with her family and just feeling devastated and numb as she suffered through “a really rough identity crisis.” As she was walking along the beach, she came across a man who was using special tools to build and fine-tune an extraordinarily intricate sandcastle. Watching him carve out all sorts of little details, she thought,


Wow, how much effort to put into something that’s literally going to be washed away. She recollects, “He had designed this thing to perfection, taking such care of it.” As she kept walking, she thought, Why bother with something like that? And then the Lord told her, “Madeline, that’s exactly what I want to do with your life. I want to take the time and the care with the scraping tools and just make you something so special and unique.” Madeline continues her story, “And I remember, I had my little prayer time, and I was walking back…passing the sandcastle again, and the guy’s gone—he was gone and this beautiful sandcastle is left. And there was, I’m not kidding, maybe a crowd of fifteen people surrounding this thing and were now taking pictures of it and pictures with it. And the Lord spoke to me again, and He said, ‘Madeline, this is what I want to do with your life. I want people to see my hand and my design on every part of it.’ I started to cry and I was so overwhelmed because that’s what God wants for all of us.

Madeline, referring to I Can Only Imagine:

“God’s dream was so much bigger for my life than I ever could have imagined. I watched this movie, and for me, it’s just like this living, breathing testimony that will be there forever of God just showing up for me and revealing to me who He is…” God takes that care with all of us and works on us and just designs us. And at the end of the day, we’re just like that sandcastle—we’re going to be washed away. We’re not here forever.” That encounter gave Madeline the strength and desire to keep forging forward through her season of hardship. But it would be several more years of the same devastating career experiences and decisions.

The Crossroads This trying time led her to the inescapable crossroads, where she had a pivotal decision to make. Was it time to put an end to the career she adored? She remembers calling out to God in anguish: “I’m giving up. I’m surrendering it. Lord, I’m ready to move on. I’ve made up my mind I’m telling my agents I’m done. Lord, I want you to know, that I want to follow you more than anything. So here’s my dream—you can take it back even though it devastates me. I just want you to know that I love you more than I love this, and I’m willing to walk away if that’s what you’re asking.” Then, she told the Lord, “If this is still what you want of me, then God, you have to send me something—better yet, you have to send me something that will edify you, and that’s how I’ll know that this is what you want…I don’t want to go one more day feeling this depression.” Literally, the very next day, Madeline received a text from a director for whom the year prior she had auditioned for a part that she didn’t get. However, he told her, “I kept you in mind for a year, and the Lord has had you on my heart…I just want you to

know that I feel like the Lord wants you to be in my next faithbased film.” Madeline broke down in tears. “I couldn’t believe that God answered my prayer word-for-word… So, I knew that, even though it’s been hard, I was still meant to be here.”

Beyond Her Imagination

After completing that movie, she was at a commercial audition with another actress who knew Madeline was a Christian. The woman told her about a faith-based film that was in the works, I Can Only Imagine, based on the story behind the hit song of the same name. Madeline shares, “I knew immediately that it was going to be something so powerful, so I left that audition, and I called my manager, and I was like, ‘You have to get me in for this movie.’” Since auditions had already been scheduled, the producers agreed to set up a meet-and-greet with Madeline, where she says they talked about the Lord the entire time. After she left, she told her mother, “I don’t know if I’m going to get this part, but I really think that I’m going to work with these people at some point.” She shares, “I was so blessed and relieved to know God was just kind of showing me that there are other people trying to do what I’ve been trying to do my whole life.” And then a few days later, she found out she got the part. “It was just amazing. I mean, just to see what God did with it from then on out has just been insane! I just see everything that’s happened with this movie, and I’m like, ‘God, who am I?’ God could have given me anything, and He gave me this! And I am blown away…It’s truly been a miracle for me.” I Can Only Imagine, which also features fellow Christian and well-known actor Dennis Quaid, was released earlier this year. Madeline exclaims, “God’s dream was so much bigger for my life than I ever could have imagined. I watched this movie, and for me, it’s just like this living, breathing testimony that will be there forever of God just showing up for me and revealing to me who He is…”

Complete Surrender And God’s not done with her yet. Madeline has filmed several movies since then, her most current release, Indivisible, in theaters as of October 26. And she’s even open to Him leading her into other lines of work if He so chooses. After seeing His faithfulness, Madeline has so much more peace in whatever He calls her to because she knows that He has her best interests at heart. She told the Lord, “Whatever you would want of me now, whatever it is, you have me totally.” She advises us all: “Let God either bless that dream that He’s given us or replace it with something else. And God’s vision for our lives is always better. I feel like I’ve learned that a hundred times over this past year.” november/december 2018

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THE GIFT OF

Christmas By Jerry Samson

I left home for college at the age of seventeen. I could hardly wait to be on my own, or so I thought. Just before Christmas one year, I found myself broke and without bus money to make the trip home. Too proud and embarrassed to ask my parents for help, I tried to hock my record collection. No takers! I was upset and saddened at the prospect of spending Christmas alone. Fortunately, I found a last minute ride and got to spend the holiday with my family, who welcomed me home with open arms. It was also while I was away at college that I learned about the true meaning of Christmas. As a skeptic, I had a hard time believing in God. I had heard at various times that the son of God, Jesus Christ, had come to the world in human form, had died on the cross to take away the sins of the world, and had risen again. But I did not know what that meant, and I really did not care. Being at a university, however, I was open to listening to other perspectives about God. So it was somewhat new of an idea to me when I heard that salvation from Hell, forgiveness of sin, and spending eternity with God in Heaven is all a free gift from God for those who make a U-turn from self and put their trust in Jesus for salvation (Romans 6:23 and Ephesians 2:8-9).

It almost sounded too good to be true. Is salvation a gift from God and not based on my own works or moral goodness? I just wasn’t sure. After a few months of careful thought, study, and consideration, I came to the conclusion that the claims of Jesus Christ were true. I received Him as my savior. It has been over 37 years since I made that decision. I have experienced the peace and joy in my life that can only come from Christ. Life has not been without problems, but Jesus has been with me in the struggles. So, what about you? God wishes good for your life and is for you. Please know that He offers you the greatest Christmas blessing of all:

‌let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

(Revelation 22:17, NIV)

Merry Christmas to you! Jerry Samson is a Human Resources professional who works in Marietta, lives in Acworth, and attends church in Woodstock.

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The GOODlife

GIVING GUIDE

We believe that Christians are actively called to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the world around us. We know that each person’s life is unique, and the abilities, opportunities, and resources to give to others are similarly unique. As Christmas and Thanksgiving come around, giving naturally comes to the forefront of our minds. But with that seasonal goodwill comes questions: What organization should I give to? Where should I volunteer my time? How do I know it’s a worthy cause? And so on. In response to these questions, we have compiled this list of organizations, mostly locally based, each representing a different area of need in our community today. These seven made the cut because they are incredible stewards of the resources donated to them, not only in their application, but also in the efficiency of their programs, so as to minimize the portion of each donation that must be used to cover overhead costs.*

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We believe it’s easier to stay invested when you are passionate about something. So, as you figure out where you want to give your time or resources this holiday season, find a need that you have a passion for meeting and start being the hands and feet of Jesus there.

*All information provided by each individual organization 2018


MUST MINISTRIES

SERV INTERNATIONAL

Multiple locations in Cobb and Cherokee

Canton | Georgia

MISSION

MISSION

Serving neighbors in need… transforming lives and communities in response to Christ’s call

GREATEST NEED

100 food, New underwear and socks, and toiletries for 33 pantries PERCENTAGE OF A DONATION DIRECT TO CAUSE

85

To use food as a platform to share God’s love and transform lives

GREATEST NEED

81.6

89

Private and corporate funding so they can continue their mission to reach and love more people in need

77

80

PERCENTAGE OF A DONATION DIRECT TO CAUSE

100

81.6

www.mustministries.org

www.servone.org

WELLSPRING LIVING

COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL

Atlanta | Georgia

Colorado Springs | Colorado

MISSION

MISSION

85

Releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name

GREATEST NEED

For the winter season, see the needs in their Christmas Gift Catalog at:

GREATEST 100 NEED 81.6

Funding and “new with tags” clothing for teenagers

89

77

and in 25 countries globally

Transforming lives of those at risk or victimized by sexual exploitation

PERCENTAGE 85 OF A DONATION DIRECT TO CAUSE

89

77

www.wellspringliving.org

https://www.compassion.com/charitable-gift-catalog.htm

80

PERCENTAGE 100 OF A DONATION DIRECT TO CAUSE

81.6

www.compassion.com 85 89 77

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80

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NO LONGER BOUND

DESIRE STREET MINISTRIES

Cumming | Georgia

Southeastern United States

MISSION

MISSION

based in Atlanta | Georgia

Rescue addicts, regenerate men, & reconcile families

To love our neighbors by revitalizing under-resourced neighborhoods through spiritual and community development

GREATEST NEED

Scholarships for men to come into the program. According to the organization’s unique model, to assist in supplementing the cost of the program, residents work 40 hours a week in one of four industries: Cars4Recovery, NLB Thrift, NLB Studios, and NLB Furniture. The men gain work experience and learn how to cope with the stressors of a work environment, as most in the program have little to no job history and, therefore, low income. Even with the cost of the program supplemented by the industries, many have difficulty affording the costs. Scholarships help lower the barriers for men who are seeking help in their addiction.

GREATEST NEED

Prayer and resources to expand their care and coaching programs. Through their partnership model, Desire Street is planning to add 6 additional ministry leaders to reside in and support under-resourced neighborhoods. Your assistance will thrive so they can reach more 100help them81.6 children and families with the gospel.

PERCENTAGE

PERCENTAGE OF A DONATION DIRECT TO CAUSE

100

81.6

www.nolongerbound.com 85

85 89 OF A DONATION

89

77

80

DIRECT TO CAUSE

77

80

www.desirestreet.org

ATLANTA DREAM CENTER

Southeastern United States based in Atlanta | Georgia

MISSION

Atlanta Dream Center has three main prongs of service: • Metro Kids: prevention program that identifies and holistically engages children and their families living in low-income and transitional housing • iAm: homeless program that works to restore dignity and meet needs of those that would be considered

the least in our city

• Out of Darkness: program that cares for victims of commercial sexual exploitation

100

81.6

85

PERCENTAGE 89 A DONATION 77 OF DIRECT TO CAUSE

GREATEST NEED

For this season, the biggest needs are toy donations (by December 5) and partners for their Annual Christmas Toy Giveaway on December 15. The gospel is shared before the toys are given to the children. Long-term, the youngsters are provided with an opportunity to thrive through discipleship and academic programs. 24

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www.atldreamcenter.com/toygiveaway


Potter’s Wheel By Cindy Evans

Here I am again, Lord, I place myself on Your wheel, shape me, mold me, fill me, Your hands I want to feel. Fashion me as you see fit, I wait as You work and smooth... Spinning around, help me stay soft, do what You need to do. Help me stay on the wheel, surrendered to Your doing, trusting in Your vision, trusting in Your timing... and tomorrow morning again, may You find me right here, still asking for Your touch, always staying near.

3721 New Macland Road, Ste 200 Powder Springs, GA 30127

770-439-3006

Cindy Evans is a published poet living in the greater Atlanta area. She knows that she herself still needs molding and hopes the Potter will have His way in her. When she’s not writing, you may find her at a faith-based movie with her husband or serving at the local Christian hospice.

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12 Easy Ways to Help Others During the Holidays By Kaye Cagle

The holiday season always brings us to a point of thinking of others, but few know the best ways to make a significant difference. Partnering with a trustworthy charity serving those in poverty is a good solution. MUST Ministries is one option in our local community. In the past year, MUST Ministries has served 33,200 people in need, and 22,500 of them were children. In fact, 84 percent of all clients served were women and children, including many single moms struggling to help their families survive. Few suburban residents realize the severity of the poverty level right in their own community, but hundreds are homeless or on the verge of homelessness. In fact, one of the counties that MUST serves, Cobb, has documented more than 2,000 homeless children in its city and county school systems. And hundreds more are younger than school age. In MUST’s service area alone, more than 450,000 people don’t know where their next meal will come from or when they will be able to eat. Every morning, children are telling their teachers they haven’t eaten since the last school lunch. The good news is that many caring neighbors would help if they just knew what to do, so here is a list provided by MUST to give suggestions for reaching out:

1. Collect new socks and underwear—possibly the greatest

need for all ages. Because it’s easier to give something already in your closet, donations are usually used items, yet donated underwear must be new, so charities receive less than they need.

2.

MUST provides four Toy Shops in the area. In addition to donating toys, giving new winter essentials is a critical way you can help: blankets (full size and throw blankets), hats, scarves, gloves, jackets, pajamas, t-shirts, and of course, socks and underwear.

3.

Help the Toy Shop with one of the greatest needs: gifts for tweens and teens. Need some ideas? Handheld games, hair dryers, curling irons, belts, jewelry, headphones, skateboards, scooters, sports equipment, makeup kits, cologne/perfume, purses, wallets, adult coloring books, watches, boots, running shoes, and hair accessories.

4. Volunteer at a Toy Shop where day, evening, and weekend shifts are available beginning December 1 and running for

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three weeks. Go to mustministries.org to sign up. (Must be ten or older to help.)

5.

Email MUST’s group volunteer office and come with family and friends, coworkers, small groups, civic clubs, or sports teams to sort food and clothing. Email aradford@ mustministries.org to schedule.

6.

Collect food. A list of what’s needed most is on the MUST website, but with thirty-three pantries (including thirty embedded in schools!), MUST always needs food to help others. Canned fruit, cereal, juice boxes, peanut butter, jelly (kids love grape!), and toiletries, like detergent, shampoos, deodorant, soap, large diapers, and toothpaste are very helpful. (Did you know toiletries aren’t covered by food stamps?)

7.

Help raise money to fight poverty by participating in the annual Gobble Jog on the Marietta Square. Thanksgiving morning, almost 10,000 runners will gather at something akin to a street festival with music, Thanksgiving and Christmas costumes, Gobble Dogs, and lots of fun. Sign up today at GobbleJog.org and be sure to create a fundraising page to make an even greater difference!

8. Host an office raffle to raise money. 9. Make a donation from your company in lieu of client gifts

and send your clients thoughtful cards saying you made a gift in their honor to help someone in need.

10. Create a giving tree in your office, church, or neighborhood clubhouse. 11. Email lminns@mustministries.org and offer to provide a meal and serve it at the Loaves and Fishes Community Kitchen. 12. Shop through www.smile.amazon.com and select MUST

as your charity of choice so a portion of your shopping goes to the ministry. You can even ship food or items to the Donation Center (at 1280 Field Parkway, Marietta, GA 30066) so our clients receive a donation in two ways!

So many ways to help and so many needs to be filled. Everyone can do something to make this season better for a neighbor in need, but the truth is, the need never takes a break. You can do many of these things year-round. Giving financially is always helpful, and you can add your own creative ideas. Just think of ways to help and do it. You will change lives—including your own. MUST Ministries serves eight counties in North Metro Atlanta, including Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Douglas, Gwinnett, North Fulton, Paulding, and Pickens. More than 4,200 children will be served by the Toys Shops.


DISCOVERING YOUR CALLING By Don Moen november/december 2018

29


I

have led people in singing to the Lord for decades now, but many years ago, I came to realize that, as Christ followers, our entire lives are worship in so many different ways. When my wife, Laura, and I are playing with our grandchildren, to God that is worship. When we get to drill another water well in Africa, we are worshiping. When I sit with a friend over coffee and tell what God is doing in my life, I am worshiping. When our lives are operating in His Spirit, and we are living in His truth, we are worshipers all day, every day and night.

the days ahead increase your boundaries and expand your territory to bless God and all those around you as you serve in His name. May you stay inspired and be spurred on to even greater works. Perhaps you discovered God’s gift that He placed in your hands many years ago, but something, someone, or some

God has placed my hands on the piano keys, and He has most certainly placed something that is personal, unique, and special in your hands as well, through which you can worship Him and bring glory to His name. This is also a pattern of how He works in and through us. Noah had a hammer. Abraham had a ram. Moses had a staff. Rahab had a scarlet cord. Joshua had a shout. Gideon had a trumpet. David had a slingshot. Mary had a baby. A little boy had a lunch. A widow had two coins. A woman had a jar of perfume. Jesus had a cross. When God molds each one of us in our mother’s womb, He plans to place something in our hands that we will use for Him. Maybe today you know exactly what He has provided, and you have been faithfully wielding your gift for God’s glory in your circles of influence for many years. Bravo! May

unfortunate circumstance, regardless of fault, stole it from you, cheated you, or simply distracted you. No matter the reason that your hands are now empty, this can be the moment you choose to take it back up, to reach out and receive once again what God has always intended for you to hold for His glory. Let no enemy, no lie, no false accusation against you as a child of God hinder you from receiving your inheritance that He chose for you from the foundation of the world. Finally, you may have been a Christian for a while or maybe you have just prayed the salvation prayer for the first time and have yet to discover what God has in store for you. Your hands may be empty now, but you are ready for God’s will to be revealed as to His calling in your life. Follow Him, and He will show you His plans. Immerse yourself in His Word that is filled with promises for you. I will always remember the day I was headed out the door with my briefcase in hand to go on a sales call. I stopped in our hallway as God spoke to my heart. Right then and there, I made the decision to follow God’s call on my life to be a songwriter. I vowed to the Lord not to do anything else solely for the purpose of making money. Setting the briefcase down, I went straight to my piano and began to write. I knew in that moment everything I would do moving forward would have to be about my calling from Him. In the next couple of hours, I wrote the song, “Here in Your Presence.”

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Here in Your presence, beholding Your glory Bowing in reverence, we worship You only Standing before You We love and adore You Oh Lord, there is none like You To write those words that thousands of believers around the world would sing out in worship, I had to trade what I had in my hand for what God had willed for me from His own hand. Here is a prayer for you, if you’re ready to surrender to His will for your life and discover your own calling:

Lord, I surrender to Your will. I submit to Your plans. I can’t do this by myself. So, according to Your Word, I am calling to You right now and seeking You with all my heart. Give me Your hope. Lead me to my future. Tell me those great and mighty things I don’t know. I want to listen to what You have to say. Please hear my prayer and show me Your way. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Taken from God Will Make a Way by Don Moen Copyright © 2018 by Emanate Books, an imprint of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com.

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Huge Children’s Book Section

Exciting Toys & Games

Puzzles Galore

A Brand New Experience at our Kennesaw store!

425 Barrett Pkwy. Kennesaw, GA 30144

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Great Wolf Lodge

If you are daring, you must try Wolf Tail, where you step into a launch pod to prepare for the floor to drop out from underneath your feet, hurling you into a nearly vertical, twenty-foot freefall, followed immediately by a 360-degree, high-speed loop. Enjoy an exclusive, adult-only oasis adjacent to the outdoor pool, complete with relaxing chaise lounge chairs and a private hot tub. While you are there, your kids can visit Camp H.O.W.L., which provides fun, educational activities both during the day and in the evening, while you can have time to yourselves, guilt-free. For those looking for drier fun, the resort features  dozens of additional entertainment options outside of the water park on resort property. The selections include the Howlers Peak Ropes Course, Howl In One Miniature Golf Course, Ten Paw Alley family bowling, Northern Lights Arcade, Rustic Ridge Rock Wall, and MagiQuest, a fan-favorite and the brand’s exclusive live-action adventure game. You will discover a truly remarkable array of culinary delights at Great Wolf Lodge. “We created signature menus for each of our restaurants to ensure that all of our guests—no matter their age— will find delicious, wide-ranging meals that will appeal to even the most finicky eater,” says Keith Furnas, the resort’s General Manager. You can begin your day at Campfire Kitchen, featuring an extensive buffet of farm fresh eggs, Applewood smoked bacon, signature wolfshaped waffles, and fresh fruits and berries. Or save this option for later, as the buffet transforms into a showcase of entrées featuring local and regional specialties. Throughout the day, you’ll find something for everyone, from options like Timbers Tacos to Hungry as a Wolf hand-tossed pizza. For a delicious afternoon treat, you can opt for classic favorites like Ben & Jerry’s or Dunkin’ Donuts, or try out Incredible Craveable, whose

R

ain, heat, snow, or sleet cannot keep you away from the newest family resort in Georgia! The nearly 500,000-square-foot resort includes a 93,000-square-foot indoor water park, a 40,000-square-foot adventure park, and 20,000 square feet of meeting spaces. The Great Wolf Lodge Georgia resort, located off Interstate 85 in LaGrange, just a short distance from Columbus, also features 456 themed hotel rooms, including family suites accommodating eight to thirteen people. As you come through the entrance, passing the huge stone wolf, you and your family will not be able to hold back your excitement. You will arrive at the gorgeous, enormous lobby that feels like you are entering a ski resort—very warm and inviting. The friendly staff will greet you with the remarkable service they continue to provide throughout your stay. Splashtacular family fun and water-filled thrills await you inside the water park. You will have a howling good time at the indoor water park, filled with body slides, tube slides, raft rides, activity pools, and splash areas designed to delight every age range and thrill level. You will discover comfortable 84-degree temperatures year-round, a gigantic wave pool, complete with waves reaching up to three feet in height as they roll through every five minutes, and a winding lazy river for relaxing. Don’t miss Fort Mackenzie, a “water fort treehouse,” and the two first-of-theirkind slides, Rapid Racer and Triple Thunder.

highlight is the signature Tipping Bucket Sundae, a pack-sized treat layered with ice cream, brownies, cookies, candy, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream. To end a day of adventure, the adults in your group will especially enjoy an upscale dining concept at Barnwood, featuring a farm-tofork menu in a rustic-themed setting. The menu is highlighted by ingredients sourced from a 100-mile radius of the resort, ensuring


freshness and an ever-changing array of dishes based on seasonality. “We are committed to sourcing our ingredients locally, meaning not only are we supporting the area purveyors and farmers, but we’re also able to offer the freshest fare in our dining facilities,” explains John Suley, Vice President of Food and Beverage for Great Wolf Resorts. “Not only will the food be freshest possible, but the menu will feature fan-favorite dishes from other Great Wolf Lodge locations, paired with local Southern favorites.” But no matter where you eat, all kitchen facilities at Great Wolf Lodge are free of peanuts and tree nuts. So, what are you waiting for? Visit www.greatwolf.com/georgia to begin planning your adventure at the Great Wolf Lodge Georgia today.

Valuable Tip: You can arrive as early as 1:00 p.m. on the day of check-in and enjoy the amenities even if your room is not ready. On your day of departure, check-out is 11:00 a.m., but you can also stay and use all amenities until the evening when everything closes!

SNOWLAND HOLIDAY CELEBRATION (November & December) Great Wolf Lodge celebrates the most festive time of year with its annual Snowland celebration, taking place November through December, 2018. Adults and children alike will delight when they arrive at Great Wolf Lodge, as the Grand Lobby transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with hundreds of twinkling lights, Christmas trees, daily snow showers, and other cheerful decorations. Snowland also features visits from Santa Claus; North Pole University, where kids complete fun, holiday-themed assignments around the resort for the chance to earn a “snowploma;” the Polar Wolf Walk, a tour that teaches lessons about polar bears and penguins; and more. During the winter “howliday,” children’s activities, including Story Time, Yoga Tails, Interaction Reaction, and Paws on Projects, will also get a jolly twist.

november/december 2018

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GOODlife Magazine November/December 2018 - Madeline Carroll  

Featuring Madeline Carroll on this issue's cover, GOODlife Magazine is a premier bi-monthly Christian print and digital magazine. We capture...

GOODlife Magazine November/December 2018 - Madeline Carroll  

Featuring Madeline Carroll on this issue's cover, GOODlife Magazine is a premier bi-monthly Christian print and digital magazine. We capture...