August 2022

Page 1

Gò0dNews August 2022


Christian Magazine





4220 OCOEE ST N, STE 102 | CLEVEL AND, TN 423.641.0956 |


Dr. Alan D. Hix Dr. Andrew Lee Brenda Dedmon Cheryl L. Dunson David Beckmann Deck Cheatham Donald Cantrell Jack Borders Jeff Pitts Jonathon Wright Judy Hood Kristen West Matthew Dennis Matt Jensen Monica Gambrell Paula Burgner Paul McGuire Sandra Gilmore Shannon Richardson-Hopkins Sheneka Land Susan Lavigne Wayne Williams


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Contents AUGUST 2022

GoodNews from the Pastor’s Desk

6 What’s In Your Hand? by Jeff Pitts

GoodNews for Kids

8 Time For Back to School! by Brenda Dedmon

GoodNews Money Matters

10 Learning the Secret Language

by Andrew Lee GoodNews for Men

12 Marvelous Mercies by Donald Cantrell

GoodNews for Women

14 Acknowledgment and Celebration

by Sheneka Land GoodNews for Fathers

18 Step Up to The Plate by Wayne Williams

GoodNews for Everyone

20 The Birthplace of Heroes and Villains

by Matthew Dennis GoodNews for Everyone

22 God Loves All Creatures Great & Small

by Cheryl L. Dunson GoodNews for Couples

24 I Want to Be a Helper by Jonathon Wright

GoodNews for Everyone

26 The Paths We Travel by Paula Burgner

GoodNews Cover Story

28 The Joint Chiropractic GoodNews for Everyone

30 Unsanitized Prayer by Kristen West

GoodNews for Everyone

32 Hope and Faith in Our Father Liberate

by Paul McGuire GoodNews for Everyone

34 Be A Witness for God by Susan Lavigne

GoodNews for Everyone

36 Convict on the Loose! by Monica Gambrell

GoodNews for Everyone

38 I Never Met Emily


by Deck Cheatham

GoodNews for Everyone

40 Finding Strength in Weakness

by Dr. Alan D. Hix GoodNews Poetry

42 Learn To Love by Judy Hood

GoodNews for Family

44 Before There Was Evangelism...


by David Beckmann GoodNews for Everyone

46 Do You Know Your Creator? by Matt Jensen

GoodNews for Marriage

50 Til Death Do Us Part—You Are Kidding, Right?

by Jack Borders GoodNews for Everyone

52 Patience

by Shannon Richardson-Hopkins

GoodNews for Everyone

54 Of All the Places by Sandra Gilmore


Gò0dNews from the Pastor’s Desk

What’s In Your Hand?


by Jeff Pitts

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

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

narrative. Yahweh speaking to Moses, the chosen deliverer

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

from the burning bush, offers this response to Moses’

character in the narrative of the Exodus. God used what

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

was in his hands.

mountain, poses a question to confirm what he is hearing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There was probably never a day that he looked at that

What is in our hand? In this particular biblical moment

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

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

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

shepherding. A symbol of the life he is currently living

simply saw the value as not much more than being useful

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

for the season of shepherding.

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

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

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

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

God demonstrates to Moses that what he has seen as

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

insignificant, God sees as useful.

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

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

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

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

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

supernatural demonstration was to prove to the people

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

and Pharoah that God had certainly chosen Moses.

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

Throughout the Exodus, this staff in the hands of

others believe. So, what is in your hands?

6 // August 2022

About The Author

Israel’s leaders would continue to be significant in the

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


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Gò0dNews for Kids

Time For Back to School!


by Brenda Dedmon

hen you hear those words, how does it make

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

how you feel about starting back to school and how you

school. “I will write down your ideas.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

might even discover you have made a new best friend.

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

8 // August 2022

About The Author

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


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Learning the Secret Language MONEY MATTERS



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

nyone who’s been married for a while knows that

or writes about “investment vehicles,” we might assume

marriage can sometimes be volatile, meaning, “likely

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

to change rapidly and unpredictably.” But what do

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

financial experts and economists mean when they use terms

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

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

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

them more understandable, shall we?

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

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

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

this means the market is swinging wildly up and down rather

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

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

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

this year, stock markets have been quite volatile.

So “debt instrument” means an investment that involves

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

loaning money in order to receive regular interest payments,

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

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

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

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

or mutual fund which holds stocks of many companies. The

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

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

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

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

they might sell bonds to raise the money from investors.

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

Interest rate environment: Let’s drop the confusing word

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

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

remaining mortgage debt. Sometimes we hear of an employee

up or going down.”

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

Passive investment/active investment: With a “passive

company—this means they receive a share of the company

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

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

collect regular payments such as dividends or interest, or you

their compensation package.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

folks would use simple terms that we can actually understand

some time and effort to sell them.

instead of obfuscating with pretentious jargon (that last word

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

10 // August 2022

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

Gò0dNews for Men

Marvelous Mercies


by Donald Cantrell

was feeling a little nostalgic the other day and I thought

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

about one of those old metal or aluminum water dippers

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

that people used to have. My grandmother had one,

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

and several of my relatives had them around their houses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

does with His children.

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

Whenever we get knocked down, due to our own

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

dealings or because of some unexpected mishap, the Lord

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

immediately comes upon the scene, checks us out, brushes

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

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

never be exhausted or denied. One could easily assume

marvelous mercies, because they are fresh and faithful. If

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

that we are feeble and weak.

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

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

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

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

12 // August 2022

About The Author

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

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Gò0dNews for Women

Acknowledgment and Celebration


by Sheneka Land

everal years ago, I attended an international church

helping them to relaunch during seasons of difficulty and

conference and was surprised to see an honorary display

discouragement. Too often we are blinded by the belief that our

dedicated to a recently deceased woman who had attended

agendas and plans are more important than celebrating the people

the same church I had. I could not believe what I was reading! She

who help us carry them out. We convince ourselves that we are

had been an ordained minister, scholar, professor, and a beloved

too busy or that our community is too large to acknowledge or

prison chaplain. Further, testimony was given of her love and

celebrate important milestones.

compassion toward others throughout her entire life. We had

A few years back, my husband and I visited The Church of the

walked past each other Sunday after Sunday, sometimes sharing

Apostles, one of the largest Protestant churches in Atlanta, GA. I was

a brief smile and a “hello” yet I never knew her. Only a small

beyond impressed with the leadership of Dr. Michael Youssef as I

circle of people (mainly those in a senior citizen small group) in

witnessed him congratulating and shaking hands with members of

our large congregation were aware of her significant ministry and

his church who were graduates from the high school to the doctoral

educational contributions. I was deeply saddened that I had

level. Afterward, he invited the congregation to celebrate them as well with prayer, applause, and a reception

never known this beautiful woman who could have been

following the service. Another thing we noticed

a voice of wisdom and encouragement to more than

was that the most urgent prayer needs among the

those within her own generation. Publicly celebrating

congregants were publicly mentioned, and a rolling

her would have thrown off the veil that hid her identity, resulting in blessing and affirmation for her

list of prayer requests was displayed on the screen

and inspiration for those within the community.

for all to see. Without doubt, people knew that no

Growing up in my home church, I remember the

matter the size of their church, they mattered to Dr. Youssef and the church body.

importance our community placed upon celebrating people and milestone events. Ministerial candidates

Celebrating and giving honor to others is

were set forth in ministry in commissioning services

worth every amount of effort. While grand parties and elegant receptions are great,

where they received authoritative affirmation from

even the smallest gestures or words

our pastor and prayerful support and

that take only minutes can make the

encouragement from the church body

difference of withering or watering

as everyone gathered around in prayer to bestow the mantle of

the soul. Recognition and celebration

ministry upon them. Encouraging

of accomplishments and milestones make life-changes easier and launches

words flowed and hugs were

one toward a hopeful future even amid

plentiful. Throughout the years,

transitional stress. More important, the

several families left our fold due to career

celebrated one is made aware of their

promotions or ministry opportunities; we tearfully but joyfully celebrated those times

value and purpose in life, realizing that

as well. Further, new babies were applauded

their contributions have not been in vain. From the family of two to the community

upon their first-time attending church,

of thousands, may we always make space for

milestone anniversaries were acknowledged,

acknowledgement and celebration.

retirees were congratulated, and academic Celebration matters. Celebration builds lasting memories that serve to sustain people,

14 // August 2022

About The Author

achievements were lauded. Sheneka Land is an ordained minister, community service chaplain, and a graduate of the Pentecostal Theological Seminary where she earned her MDiv. She is co-author of From Rejection to Validation ( She and her husband, Jon, currently reside in Cleveland, TN. Sheneka can be found on Facebook at Strokes of Hope.


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Cleveland Church Directory Apostolic

First Apostolic Church Of Cleveland 4859 Freewill Rd NW, Cleveland, TN 37312 (229) 343-6880

Assembly of God

Grace Assembly 1976 Westland Dr SW, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 472-7729 The Collectives Church 3925 N. Ocoee Street, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 641-0193 Triune Assembly 301 Sunset Drive Cleveland, TN 37312


Beacon Baptist Church 505 Corvin Rd NE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 472-7056 Bellefounte Baptist Church 132 Bellfounte Rd NE, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 336-2312 Bethel Baptist Tabernacle 3165 Buchanan Rd SE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 479-5820 Berean Baptist Church 2355 Bucks Pocket Rd SE, Old Fort, TN 37362 (423) 478-1697 Big Spring Baptist Church 1415 Hardwick St SE, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 472-1101 Blue Springs Baptist Church 699 Blue Springs Church Rd SW, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 472-0932 Candies Creek Church 294 Old Eureka Rd Charleston, TN 37310 (423) 479-3731 Cedar Springs Baptist Church 723 Cedar Springs Church Rd SE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 479-5506 Center Point Baptist Church 1205 Lower River Rd NW Charleston, TN 37310 (423) 336-2133 Cleveland Cowboy Church 3040 Blythe Rd. Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 476-7936 Cloverleaf Baptist Church 2290 Waterlevel Highway Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 339-3617 Clingan Ridge Baptist Church 2412 Georgetown Road, NW Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 472-3511 Church At Grace Point 2595 Old Freewill Rd NW, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 728-5050 Covenant Baptist Church 249 Calhoun Rd SE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 559-2653

16 // August 2022

Dalton Pike Baptist Church 3055 Benton Pike NE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 472-7606 East Cleveland Baptist Church 1145 Arnold St NE, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 472-8728 Echos of Mercy Baptist Church 535 Durkee Rd SE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 715-9739 Elkmont Baptist Church 4030 Old Freewill Rd NW, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 479-4600 Emmanuel Baptist Church 1227 Powerline Dr NE, Cleveland, TN 37323 Farmland Community Church 1675 Greendale Dr. SE Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 473-9891 First Baptist Church 1275 Stuart Road Cleveland, Tennessee 37312 (423) 709-9100 Galilee Baptist Church 665 Old Chattanooga Pike SW, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 496-2019 Henegar Baptist Church 7423 Mouse Creek Rd. Cleveland, TN 37312 Hopewell Baptist Church 188 Old Georgetown Rd NW, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 479-3763 Lebanon Baptist Church 1411 Old Parksville Rd NE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 479-6700 Macedonia Baptist Church 3119 Spring Place Rd SE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 479-1713 Maple Street Baptist Church 1700 Maple St NE, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 478-3622 Maranatha Baptist Church 453 Blue Springs Ln SE, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 614-8991 Michigan Avenue Baptist Church 2741 Benton Pike NE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 472-8891 Mt Carmel Baptist Church 7619 Blue Springs Rd, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 479-1620 New Friendship Baptist Church 1344 Chatata Valley Rd NE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 476-6007 New Salem Baptist Church 175 Ladd Springs Rd, Cleveland, TN 37323 North Cleveland Baptist Church 2815 Ocoee St N, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 476-8524 Oak Grove Baptist Church 4452 Bates Pike SE, Cleveland, TN 37323

(423) 479-9125 Old Pathway Baptist Church 224 Rymer Rd NE, Cleveland, TN 37323 Parkway Baptist Church 185 Meadow Ln SE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 339-5522 Philadelphia Baptist Church 910 30th St SE, Cleveland, TN 37323 Philippi Baptist Church 2325 Old Harrison Pike NW, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 479-5385 Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church 799 Inman Street East Cleveland, Tennessee 37311 (423) 476-4081 Public Church 850 17th St. NW Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 458-4405 Ridgeview Baptist Church 1501 S Ocoee St, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 472-5119 Samples Memorial Baptist Church 371 Samples Chapel Rd SE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 476-2329 Shenandoah Baptist Church 138 Osment Rd SE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 339-0103 Shiloh Baptist Church 357 Highway 64 Ocoee, TN 37361 (423) 338-4292 Shiloh Baptist Church 3406 Blair Rd NW, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 479-5755 Stuart Park Baptist Church 850 17th St NW, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 472-6741 Tasso Baptist Church 164 Old Charleston Rd NE, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 559-2114 Temple Baptist Church 3070 Harrison Pike, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 476-6813 Thompson Spring Baptist Church 5660 Bates Pike SE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 790-1823 Union Baptist Church 797 Hughes Lake Rd SE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 559-1720 Valley View Baptist Church 4657 Spring Place Rd SE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 472-7707 Washington Avenue Baptist Church 1720 Perry St SE, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 472-0489 Waterville Baptist Church 4555 Dalton Pike SE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 472-5582 West Cleveland Baptist Church

1959 Westland Dr SW, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 472-8927 Westwood Baptist Church 4001 Georgetown Rd NW, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 472-1534 White Oak Baptist Church 2043 White Oak Valley Rd NW, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 559-2359


St Therese Catholic Church 900 Clingan Ridge Dr NW, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 476-8123


Cleveland Christian Fellowship 695 S Ocoee St, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 476-2642

Church of God

Community Chapel Church of God 807 Blythe Ave SE Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 479-2143 Cornerstone Church of God 1826 SE Dalton Pike Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 478-0006 Church of God Sanctified, Inc. 746 First Street N.E. Cleveland, TN. 37311 (423) 479-3895 East Cleveland Church of God 900 15th St NE Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 479-3389 Fellowship of Praise Church of God 931 Inman Street East Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 479-3121 Grace Community Church of God 4745 Mouse Creek Road NW, Cleveland, TN 37312. (423) 614-0708 Heritage Fellowship Church of God 4635 South Lee Hwy McDonald, TN 37353 (423) 476-6316 International Worship Center Centro Internacional de Adoración 533 Central Ave. NE, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 476-1977 Kinser Church of God 141 Kinser Road Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 476-7400 Lakeview Church of God 105 Pound Street SE Cleveland, TN 37323 (423)-790-5805 North Cleveland Church of God 335 11th St NE, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 476-5513 Michigan Avenue Church of God 515 Minnis Road NE (423) 284-7573 Mt Olive Church of God 3522 Harrison Pike, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 479-3381

Mt View Church of God 210 Roadway Dr SE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (706) 455-3528 Pine Hill Church of God 1484 Old Alabama Rd McDonald, TN 37353 (423) 488-0939 South Cleveland Church of God 1846 Volunteer Dr SW, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 476-6382 Westmore Church of God 2440 Legacy Pkwy NW Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 479-3415

Church of God of Prophecy

Cleveland Spanish COGOP 2610 Grove Ave. Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 473-7199 Durkee Road COGOP 201 Durkee Rd. Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 472-4384 Keith Street Ministries COGOP 4000 Keith ST. NW Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 476-2448 Peerless Road COGOP 3301 Peerless Rd. NW Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 303-2680 Spring Place COGOP 2530 Spring Place Rd. Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 476-6414 Union Grove COGOP 533 Union Grove Rd Charleston, TN 37310 (423) 479-5357 Wildwood COGOP 140 Wildwood Ave Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 479-6584

The Church of God

The Church of God Jerusalem Acres 1826 Dalton Pike SE Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 472-1597


Fellowship in Christ 1025 Beech Circle NW Cleveland TN 37312 (423) 314-2382

Disciples of Christ

First Christian Church 3625 N. Ocoee Street Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 472-6682


Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church 320 Broad St NW, Cleveland, TN 37311


First Lutheran Church 195 McIntire Ave NE, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 472-6811

Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 4200 Pryor Rd N.E. Cleveland, TN 37312

(423) 503-6394


Big Spring United Methodist 1196 Hardwick St SE, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 476-5242 Black Fox United Methodist 1820 Old Chattanooga Pike SW, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 339-1908 Broad Street United Methodist 155 Central Ave NW, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 476-5586 First United Methodist Church 3425 Ocoee St N, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 476-4504 Mount Zion UMC 7223 Germantown Rd NW Cleveland, TN 37312 Pleasant Grove UMC 3043 Pleasant Grove Church Rd SW Cleveland, TN 37311 Red Hill United Methodist Church 527 Red Hill Valley Road SE Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 728-5413 South Cleveland United Methodist 1165 Church St SE, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 507-5760 Tasso United Methodist 1106 Tasso Ln NE, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 479-4457 Trinity United Methodist Church 731 1st St SE, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 614-7900 Valley Head Methodist Church 920 Mouse Creek Rd NW, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 472-0575 Wesley Memorial Methodist 3405 Peerless Rd NW, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 472-9578


Faith Memorial Church 910 17th St NW, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 476-6281 First United Pentecostal Church 4095 Peerless Rd NW, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 476-9436 Full Gospel House of Prayer 1500 Wildwood Ave. Cleveland, TN Set Free Christian Fellowship 1175 King Edwards Ave. Cleveland, TN


Cleveland First Church Of The Nazarene 2712 Henderson Ave. Cleveland, TN 37312 423-472-7371 New Hope Church of the Nazarene 4514 Waterlevel Highway Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 473-3379


Benton Pike House Of Prayer 2615 Peach Orchard Hill Rd, Cleveland, TN 37323 Christian Fellowship Ctr 895 6th St NE,

Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 479-9591 Church Alive Ministries 6315 Mouse Creek Road NW, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 476-8133 Cleveland Community Chapel 1823 Forest Ridge Dr. Cleveland, TN 37311 Cleveland Cornerstone Church 533 Broad St NW, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 479-1775 Community Hall Church 1305 6th Street Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 472-2178 Crossroads Community Church 1000 South Lee Highway Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 716-2871 Dwelling Place Church International 523 Urbane Road NE Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 790-5200 Evening Light Gospel 200 20th St SE Cleveland, TN 37311 Fairhaven Ministry Center 1807 Blythe Ave. SE, Cleveland TN, 37311 Freedom Fellowship Church 3555 Blue Springs Rd, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 478-0654 God’s Family Fellowship 2823 South Lee Hwy Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 458-4490 Graceway Chapel 221 14th St NW, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 728-2226 Eleven22 Church 1701 South Lee Hwy Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 488-4526 The Journey Church 3191 South Lee Hwy, McDonald, TN 37353 (423) 728-4100 Living By Faith Ministries 1175 King Edward Avenue Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 457-9072 Living Stones Church 4165 Peerless Rd NW Cleveland, TN 37312 Living Word Church 930 25th Street NW Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 339-3028 New Life Bible Church 155 S Ocoee St, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 472-3882 Restoration Fellowship 211 Trewhitt Dr SE, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 479-4249 The Sanctuary 1203 Smith Dr. Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 478-2843 Tasso Christian Church 1135 Tasso Lane, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 479-2705 The TRIBE 1175 King Edward Avenue SE Cleveland, TN 37311

(423) 380-8802 Tri-State Cowboy Church 200 Natures Trail SW, McDonald, TN 37353 (Building 3) (423) 303-8954 United Christian Church 2200 Peerless Rd NW, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 479-4277 Unity Christian Ministries 2419 Georgetown Rd NW Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 473-9338 Walker Valley Community 787 Lauderdale Memorial Hwy Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 336-9696


Charleston Cumberland Presbyterian Church 8267 N Lee Hwy, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 336-5004 First Cumberland Presbyterian 161 2nd St NE, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 476-6751 First Presbyterian Church 433 N Ocoee St, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 476-5584 Flint Springs Cumberland Presbyterian Church 515 Flint Springs Rd Cleveland TN. 37323 (423) 284-6397 Prospect United Cumberland Presbyterian Church 310 New Murraytown Rd. NW, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 476-6181 St James Cumberland Presbyterian 151 Short St NE, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 472-5762 Trinity Presbyterian PCA 1780 Stuart Rd. NE, Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 559-9595

Seventh Day Adventist

Bowman Hills Adventist 300 Westview Dr NE Cleveland, TN 37312 Cleveland Fellowship Church 211 Trewhitt Drive Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 400-7054 East Cleveland Seventh-Day 801 Howard Circle SE Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 476-9299 Ladd Springs Seventh-Day 5860 Bates Pike SE Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 476-1889

Zion Assembly

Zion Assembly Church of God 5512 Waterlevel Hwy, Cleveland, TN 37323 (423) 476-3337

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

Gò0dNews for Fathers

Step Up to The Plate

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

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

18 // August 2022

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


by Wayne Williams

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


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Gò0dNews for Everyone

The Birthplace of Heroes and Villains


by Matthew Dennis

very hero and villain are born at the same place in

suffering and turns it into a force for good. We forgive

their lives. Both, like the rest of humanity, are in

those who have hurt us, because we have also been

as much control of the circumstances in their lives

forgiven of much. Scripture gives us the key to guarding

as a fly’s ability to cast Mars into another galaxy. Every

our hearts from taking the path of the villain. Hebrews

hero and villain’s story begins with a rejection, a betrayal,

12:12-15 tell us, “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms

a loss, a setback, or a traumatic event. At this point, both

and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that

make a choice. The villain holds on to his anger, refusing

the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. Make

to forgive. In seeking to destroy the monsters that caused

every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy;

his suffering, he becomes the monster he swore to fight

without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no

against. On the other hand, the hero has accepted his

one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root

suffering and turned it into power. The hero’s very

grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

existence is a living testament against the villain’s absolute sense of “justice.” Therefore, in the eyes of the villain, the hero must be eradicated because the hero stands in the way of the villain’s plan to make all pay for the injustice he has suffered. In contrast, rather than taking out his pain on the rest of humanity, the hero sees his own brokenness in the rest of humanity, as well as in the villain. He is determined to make sure that no one is ever treated with such cruelty as he has been. It is humility that guards the

I’m not the first to say this, but I believe forgiveness is

door of the heart and keeps evil at bay. This is why it is

more for the healing of the victim than the perpetrator. No

common to see the hero surrounded by community to

villain or hero is born overnight. Rather, they are created

remind the hero of who they are, lest they lose themselves.

in the small every day choices of how they face their

Villains isolate themselves lest anyone see the darkness

suffering. You cannot control what happens to you, but

within. For the greatest battle we face in the fight against

you can control how you respond. When tragedy strikes,

evil is not out there, but within our own hearts.

who will you choose to be?

It is no mistake that superhero movies and stories is deep within each of our souls. Jesus Himself faced His suffering head on and embraced the cross for our sake. Through Him, we have access to a power that takes our

20 // August 2022

About The Author

are all the rage in our culture. They speak to a truth that Matthew Dennis is currently teaching high school Bible at Maryville Christian School. He is passionate about developing leaders and equipping the next generation to engage with modern day philosophies and culture. Matthew also writes on his own blog, “Gifts from the Desert,” at He uses this blog to help people grapple with the reality of suffering, how to embrace it, and transform it into a source of hope, healing, and strength.

Gò0dNews for Everyone

God Loves All Creatures Great & Small


by Cheryl L. Dunson

n the fifth and sixth days, God created living

Billy Graham once wrote, “We must never treat any

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

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

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

are indirectly treating our Creator with contempt. Instead,

When God created man in His own image, His first

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

mandate to man was to have dominion over the creatures

the Bible reminds us that we are responsible to Him for

God created. The Lord delegated responsibility of His

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

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

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

be good stewards (Gen. 1:26).

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

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

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

recognize dogs in need of rescue, and to acknowledge

and furry creatures into our home, while others prefer to

those dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives,

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

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

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

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

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

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

kind to all living things and commit to never abuse,

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

neglect or mistreat any of God’s wonderful creatures.

22 // August 2022

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Gò0dNews for Couples

I Want to Be a Helper


by Jonathon Wright

he Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to

What kind of things are you planting in the garden of

be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’”

your marriage and life? Are they kind, helpful, and good or

(Genesis 2:18, NIV).

bad and destructive? It is easy in the heat of an argument to

Growing up, I loved, and at times hated, working in the

say or do things we don’t mean. But remember, they plant

garden with my dad. One year, my dad asked me to dig 150

bad seeds in our marriages and lives. It is easy to let anger

postholes that were a foot and a half deep to plant tomatoes.

get the best of you, and temptation is all around. But God’s

It was a lot of work. But in the end, the hard work paid off,

way leads to better things.

and we had some great-tasting food to eat and drink. Adam and Eve spent a lot of time in the garden as well.

Life and marriage may not be a rose garden, but if you plant a rose, in time, one will come. Don’t give up or lose

God created Eve to be a helper in the garden of Adam’s life. The word helper reminds me of the words: helpful, beneficial, and good. Adam and Eve’s job as a married couple was to find ways to make the garden and their lives better. We all know that the actions of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 did not make their family better. They introduced sin and death into the world. There is a principle in the word of God called Sowing and Reaping. Galatians 6:7-9 describes this very important principle. It states, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become

heart, continue to do things God’s way, and trust that your

weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a

marriage and life will get better. Remember 1 Corinthians

harvest if we do not give up” (NIV).

2:9, which states, “But as it is written: What no eye has

Galatians 5:19-23 helps to understand the difference

seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has

between the flesh and Spirit. It states, “The acts of the flesh

conceived—the things God has prepared for those who love

are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;

Him” (NIV). Our actions in tough times can help or hurt

idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealously, fits

our marriage. I want them to help, and I want to see more

of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy;

of God in the garden of my marriage and life. I want to be a

drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did

helper. Lord, help my words and actions glorify you. I thank

before, that those who live like this will not inherit the

you for your amazing grace and recommit my life to you.

forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (NIV).

24 // August 2022

About The Author

kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, Jonathon Wright currently lives in Cleveland, Tennessee, and has been a member of the Church of God for about twenty years. He is a graduate of Lee University and Beacon University where he earned a BA and MA in Biblical Studies. He loves studying the Bible and has done so for over thirty years, but only now has God given him a desire and the opportunity to be a writer. Jonathon hopes to encourage people to read the Bible and take notes. You can find more from Jonathon at


(423) 763-1000 5595 N. Lee Hwy Cleveland, TN 37312 Boundless Moving & Storage is the premier moving company in the Chattanooga area for one reason: Our Culture Of Service ensures we take care of our customers and their belongings.


Gò0dNews for Everyone

The Paths We Travel


by Paula Burgner

ost of the time, when we take off walking,

paths are never discovered unless you get lost. When

we only think about where we are trying

you feel like the path you are on is not your own, think

to get to and how fast we can reach our

of it like this: in a forest of a thousand trees, there is no

destination. Often, we are not thinking about what

two leaves alike, and no two journeys along the same

path we are on or who may be watching us to see

path are alike. When you feel lost and like you have

where our path may lead. Sometimes, life can make

taken the wrong path, pray, and God will show you

us question everything we do, and make us wonder if

the right way to go.

we are taking the right steps. When this happens, we need to make sure that we are asking God to guide our every step, as He already knows the path that He has laid out before us. In the Bible, it tells us this in Psalms 37:23: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” Just one footstep will not make a path; you must keep walking again and again in order to start seeing the path you have paved. If you come across a clear path, it might not lead anywhere, as most paths to great things have a lot of debris in the way. Sometimes, what may

Proverbs 4:11 tells us, “I have taught thee in the

seem like a detour in life can be mistaken for a blessing

way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.” We

in disguise.

all have a choice to choose what path to take in life,

We must find our own path in life. Whether we

and we each have different paths that we take, but

walk or run, we have to keep on going. Not all paths

no matter where we go in life, we always take a little

are straight; most of the paths we will go through in

of each other with us everywhere we go. So, stay

life will have ups and downs and curves along the

grounded in God’s Word, and you will never walk

way. For this reason, we must relay on God and ask

a path in the dark. As the Bible tells us in Psalms

Him to guide us along our way. Just as the Bible tells

119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light

us in Proverbs 3:6, “In all your ways acknowledge him,

unto my path.”

It’s not how fast we take on the path, but how we react while on that path. Sometimes, the most beautiful

26 // August 2022

About The Author

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



The Joint Chiropractic

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

28 // August 2022

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

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

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

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

Gò0dNews for Everyone

Unsanitized Prayer


by Kristen West

ave you ever felt like there are just some things

overlooked. A huge chunk of the Psalms was written

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

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

talk to Him, you somehow need to put your

are basically a collection of unsanitized prayers. David

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

removes any religion from his conversations with God

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

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

my words and pray with certain religious verbiage, God

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

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

David knew it was foolish to try and sanitize his

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

walk with God had more ups and downs, twists and

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

turns than the world’s best rollercoaster. He defeated

some incredible ways! “…pour out your hearts before

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

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

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

30 // August 2022

About The Author

exploits too numerous to name here.

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

Gò0dNews for Everyone

Hope and Faith in Our Father Liberate don’t enjoy difficult times. Who would? But my wife and I have seen enough challenging times to know “up close and personal” the wonderful Faithfulness of God. His Faithfulness is the foundation of who He is! Anchored in Him, we cannot only endure trial, storm, and difficulty, we can live—live in His Peace and enjoy His Provision. Psalm 91, we have been learning, is not just about shelter in times of danger or trial, but is about a place of Peace to live, a place from which to do battle against and to gain Victory over our enemy through Christ. In this extraordinary time in history, we are facing some genuinely disturbing assaults from Satan. Certain men who have accumulated untold wealth have sold out to a dark agenda. The evils they pursue, most of us would never consider doing. What do we do? First of all, we must not fear but turn to our Father for His Promise of help. And I emphasize: Do not fear. Fear paralyzes—hope and faith liberate. Fear leads us away from God and away from His Truth. We Hope in God’s Promises, and our Faith anticipates His fulfillment of those Promises (Hebrews 11:1). I encourage you: keep your eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), just as this old song speaks so well: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face; And the things of earth will grow 32 // August 2022

Strangely dim, In the light of His Glory and Grace” (Helen Howarth Lemmel, 1922). Set your hearts to consider that these are exciting times and that hearts belonging to Jesus have nothing to fear! With your spiritual eyes fixed

on Him, you will see miracles as never before in the earth. We win, if we are His—always. And many, who do not know Him now, will rush to Him as they hear the Truth of the Gospel, and as they see His wonderful, rescuing, redemptive, restoring Love. Rejoice! Heaven is visiting the earth! And we get to be a witness of and participate in these great moves of God! What exciting times to be alive!

About The Author


by Paul McGuire

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

Gò0dNews for Everyone

Be A Witness for God


by Susan Lavigne

ow many of you have ever watched the TV series

• How did I come to know Jesus?

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

• How do I see God working in my life?

am talking about? Maybe you have seen a TV show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

in the world, this opens opportunities not only to share

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

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

salvation. The responsibility is between God and the

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

person who hears my testimony.

our lives regardless of the circumstances. Then, we should

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

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

prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to

His attorneys!

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

34 // August 2022

About The Author

ponder the following questions so you will “…always be

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

Gò0dNews for Everyone

Convict on the Loose!


by Monica Gambrell

y husband and I had decided very early on in

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

our relationship (even before we were married)

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

that if and when we had children, one of us

His eyes so that we see people as He does.

would always be home with them. Many people told us

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

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

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

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

the heart.”

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

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

someone what was happening. Apparently, security had

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

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

decisions by what His ears hear.”

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

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

on the scene that everyone involved was assured that he was

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

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

and you will be pardoned.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

impoverished mother with dirty and possibly unruly

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

children and puff ourselves up in comparison. Shame on

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

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

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

Charlene, a woman more beautiful than any Hollywood

way this world can change is when believers start acting like

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

believers. Mercy.

36 // August 2022

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Gò0dNews for Everyone

I Never Met Emily by Deck Cheatham


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

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

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

loves and touches also resurrects. We are changed because

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

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

knew her are changed. Emily was diagnosed with peritoneal

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

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

has yet to know death.

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

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

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

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

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

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

horizon that makes you squander your time a little more

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

carelessly. And there is something about accepting the fact

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

possessed these gifts before the first prayer was uttered.

For more information on peritoneal mesothelioma,

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

contact the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation at

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

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

38 // August 2022

About The Author

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


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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Finding Strength in Weakness


by Dr. Alan D. Hix

ugust is a month of beginnings. My two

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

granddaughters are looking forward to the

glimpse of the glory of heaven that awaits believers. He

excitement of being in the next grade. As a lifelong

would have been glad to encourage others in sharing the

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

amazing sights and sounds. However, God threw a roadblock

dreams and looking forward to new possibilities as the

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

school year begins. The business of fall activities keeps that

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

excitement going into the Christmas break. The new year

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

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

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

in 2 Corinthians 12:2-9:

assume that hardship and difficulty are the exception. Paul

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

discovered that it is those very things which challenge

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

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

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

40 // August 2022

About The Author

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

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

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Gò0dNews Poetry

Learn To Love by Judy Hood

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

42 // August 2022

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Gò0dNews for Family

Before There Was Evangelism…


by David Beckmann

here was the family. When God made

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

provision for His will to be done on

servants have always done what they could to destroy the

earth, He created a man and a woman,

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

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

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

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

last century or so! Our enemies know how important the

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

family is. Do we?

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

I write to believing, evangelical married couples. As

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

we seek to fulfill the Great Commission and to live out

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

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

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

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

your father and your mother…” Ultimately, when God

Evangelism is important, but God created families

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

to do His will on earth before they fell and needed

kingdom, He had him raised in a family.

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

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

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

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

shouldn’t that discipling begin with our own children?

our families—or I should say households, because he

Has God not given them to us for that purpose?

includes the servants—which he did. Why? Because

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

the family has always been the primary building block

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

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

family of God, the Church?

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

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

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

44 // August 2022

About The Author

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



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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Do You Know Your Creator?


Part One by Matt Jensen

o you know your Creator? Do you really know

Some of the most controversial words in the Bible are,

Him? May God use these words to help Christians

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”

know Him better, and unbelievers to know Him

(Genesis 1:1). Why is that? Because if these words are true,

through Jesus Christ. May everything that has breath praise

nothing ultimately exists for us (Colossians 1:15-17). They

the One true God (Psalms 150:6).

were neither made by us nor to promote our purposes or

God is a Spirit (John 4:24; 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:15)—

glory (Ephesians 1:1-14; Romans 11:36). If these words are

As one author describes, God is “immaterial, invisible,

true, then God’s standard of morality, belief, and worship

and without composition or extension.” In other words,

are the standard to which we must all submit.

God does not have a body (immaterial) or take up space (extension), can’t be seen (invisible), and is not composed of parts (composition). He’s not one part holy and another good; therefore, every attribute of God qualifies each attribute. We can’t see Him with our eyes, but we can know Him in our hearts by faith. We can’t see Him, but He always sees us! God is a Spirit, infinite (1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 145:3)— This means that everything God is, He is without limits. He transcends all measurements of time and space. In fact, God does not merely exist like us to a greater degree, but his existence is different in quality. God’s existence is incapable of measurement. He’s not spread out over the universe but everywhere present with the entirety of His being. God is a Spirit, infinite, and eternal (Psalm 90:2;

It means that sin is a big deal and needs a big solution. Can you imagine standing before this God and giving an account for everything you’ve ever said, done, or thought

2 Peter 3:8)—God has no beginning, no end, and no

about doing? You can’t run from Him—He sees all! You

succession of moments. He completely transcends time. God

can’t kill Him—He gives life! You won’t outlive Him—He’s

does not reflect on yesterday or think ahead of tomorrow.

eternal! You can’t bribe Him—He’s unchangeable! But

Before time was created, God was there. For God is time’s creator.

this great God offers a big solution to our big problem in

God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable

Jesus Christ. As the hymn Rock of Ages carols, Jesus is sin’s

(Exodus 3:14; Psalm 102:26-28; Malachi 3:6)—Change

“double cure;” He saves from wrath and makes us pure. In

occurs in time, but God is eternal. God can’t change because

other words, Jesus has promised to deal with sinners’ guilt

there’s no room for Him to improve. He’s already perfect! If He

before God (Romans 3:9-26) and the power and pollution

were to change it must be for the worse. God is the same

of sin in them (Romans 6:1-23). He has promised to do

yesterday, today, and forever—perfect.

this for all who come to Him in repentance and faith. Why

In his being (Exodus 3:14; John 5:26; Revelation

wouldn’t you come to Him? Isn’t the infinite, eternal, and

4:11)—God’s being is spiritual being, infinite being, eternal

unchangeable God better than what you’re worshipping?

gives life to God; God gives life to all things. God is the uncreated Creator of everything that is not Him!

46 // August 2022

About The Author

being, unchangeable being, and self-existent being. Nothing Matt Jensen is a missionary from Reformation Baptist Church in Dalton, Georgia. He and his wife, Danielle, are preparing to move to Thailand soon with their son, Judah. They are also anticipating the birth of another son, Gabriel.

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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. Phone: 423.478.6484

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

Gò0dNews for Marriage Til Death Do Us Part—You Are Kidding, Right?


by Jack Borders any years ago, a young couple sat in the

prepared, you do it. If laundry needs to be done, you do

minister’s office as they were finishing their

it. What about the vows you exchanged? Were they just

pre-marital counseling. The minister took the

words or do they actually have real meaning? What if the

couple by surprise when he asked a very direct question, “Imagine your wedding ceremony goes perfectly. The

day comes when you must put up or shut up? Fast forward several years when the same couple,

music is great, the message is meaningful, the vows are

now middle-aged, is sitting in church together. The

heartwarming. Then the reception goes well. The punch is

groom watches week after week as a retired missionary

good, the cake is moist and delicious. Friends and family

couple enter the building. The elderly gentlemen smiles

all have bright smiles and well wishes as the newlyweds

as he pushes his wife’s wheelchair to their customary

leave for their honeymoon.”

place. The man’s ministry focus has now changed from the tribes in Africa to the woman in the wheelchair. The middle-aged groom realizes that if they live long enough, he will either be pushing the wheelchair or sitting in the wheelchair. Fast forward to present day. Now the groom is old. He pushes his bride’s wheelchair down the corridor of the nursing home where she now resides. The old man reflects on the minister’s question so many years ago. He remembers that he made a promise, no a commitment on their wedding day to love his bride in sickness and in health until death parts them and he fully intends to keep his word.

The minister continued, “While you are on the way to

Their love story didn’t go as the groom would have

your honeymoon destination, you are involved in a traffic

written it, but he believes with all of his heart in the

accident and your spouse is now paralyzed from the neck

sovereignty of God. He clings to Romans 8:18, “For

down. Your spouse now cannot contribute anything to the

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are

marriage. You do everything. What happens now?”

not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be

The young groom-to-be left the office and pondered the minister’s question for the next few days. You have

revealed to us.” His prayer is that his love for his wife might serve as

just left your wedding after promising to love your wife,

an inspiration to someone just as he was inspired by the

for better or worse, in sickness and in health, until death

love the elderly missionary displayed for his wife.

needs to be cleaned, you do it. If a meal needs to be

50 // August 2022

About The Author

do you part. Now your wife can do nothing. If the house Jack Borders is a Christ follower, husband, father, grandfather and caregiver living in Cleveland, Tennessee.

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Gò0dNews for Everyone



by Shannon D. Richardson-Hopkins

he impatience of today’s youth is unsettling. It comes

to the knee,” and binge-watch The Clone Wars as much as

partially from cell phones, social media, gaming,

the next person. But this “Right Now!” mindset that is being

streaming services, etc. I am not dissing these things;

instilled in today’s youth is not healthy. It’s spoiling them

I am just saying that they have contributed in some way

(in a bad way), they are quick to anger, and have unrealistic

to this instant gratification era and the ever-shortening

expectations of life.

attention spans of our kids. In my day, if you wanted to talk to friends or family

As an adult who grew up without all this, the best advice I can give parents today (where technology is

far away, you called them. If they were home, you were

concerned) is to limit the amount of time your kids spend

charged for every minute of long-distance. You could also

on their devices. Make them go outside with nothing but

write a letter. Letters took time to write, and you had to wait for a response. Now, you can text, call or message on social media free of charge. Do you still have to wait for a response? Yes. Does it take days or weeks? Usually not. Several social media sites have oneminute videos. You just swipe on to the next one if you get bored. One-minute recipes, crafts, skits, etc., are all attributed to shortened attention spans. Back then, we did not have video games at home. We played sports, board games, D & D, or made-up games. Later we had arcades, but you had to go to the mall, when they were open, and have a pocket full of quarters to do anything. Now, we have games at home, anytime, right

a water bottle and their imaginations. Give them paper,

at our fingertips! They cost a pretty penny, but you can play

scissors, and glue, and have them create something. Play

over and over and over. Die, respawn, repeat.

sports in the backyard with your teens. Play board games

Streaming was not heard of when I was young. You

with them. Plant a garden with them. Read with them. Teach

had to wait an entire week to see a new episode of your

them the value of patience. I promise it will be worth it in

favorite show. If you missed it, you were out of luck

the end. Just wait and see.

until re-runs started—the next year! Now you have whole

Titus 2:1-2, “But speak thou the things which become

seasons, even entire series, all at once! If you still watch

sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave,

weekly shows and you miss one, you can watch it at your

temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.”

Technology definitely has its perks (when it works). I love being able to FaceTime the grandkids, “take an arrow

52 // August 2022

About The Author

convenience on your DVR. My name is Shannon D. Richardson-Hopkins. I have two beautiful daughters, two awesome sons, and two wonderful sons-in-law. My youngest son has autism. I am also a very proud ‘Gamma’ of six beautiful grandkids who are 7th-generation Church of God. Woohoo! I love the Lord with all of my soul, and pray that I can serve Him in whatever He wills me to do. I hope to inspire people through wisdom and The Word of God.

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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Of All the Places by Sandra Gilmore


grew up moving a lot. Roots and wings we had, just not a

*Capernaum Wow, what a place in the life of Jesus!

lingering address. Our family was rooted in the Word of

Miracles happened often in this adopted home of Jesus, after He

God, in our special traditions, and in laughter, letters, and

left Nazareth. How does its name reflect His presence there? It

phone calls from other family and friends. I grew up grateful

means “town of the comforted.” His miracles brought comfort

for new experiences, new friends, new neighborhoods, new

with a miraculous catch of fish, His deliverance of the Sermon

time zones.

on the Mount, His healing of Peter’s mother-in-law and the

Each location gifted me with lessons I wouldn’t have had

raising-the-roof healing of the paralytic. The lives of the woman

otherwise. When queried about which place was my favorite,

with the issue of blood and Jairus’ daughter became centered

my reply was, “They all were!” Because we knew each move

on His healing comfort. And there’s more: He healed two blind

was ordained by the Lord. He blessed each place for us!

men, restored a withered hand, plus the sanity of a man tortured

Jesus moved around a lot too. He understood the proverbial “roots and wings.” Is there something to be gleaned from the

by demons. Jesus called upon a fish to deliver tax money and called upon a loaf and fish dinner to feed thousands with twelve baskets leftover. His comfort was readily displayed. *Nazareth About 65 miles from Bethlehem, there’s a hamlet that is quite overlooked in history. It’s not mentioned in the Old Testament. The writings of the Talmud and our own Jewish-scholar-turneddevout-Christ-follower Paul are silent about it. Even Josephus omits any mention. And yet, the God of the Universe highlights this place specifically. Its name comes from a Hebrew term meaning “root or branch.” In Isaiah 11, we learn the Messiah is the root of Jesse. While history skips record of this town, when do we hear of it again? Thirty-three years after Joseph and Mary make their Nativity journey from here, Pilot engraves the name on history when he writes a title for Jesus “and puts it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE

places Jesus lived? Let’s take a look. Of course, the locales will

JEWS” (John 19:19). Many Jews rebutted Pilot for the wording

include where the Christmas story took place. Have you been

and asked that the inscription be changed. Pilot emphatically

following this series? Check each month as we explore often-overlooked

answered, “What I have written, I have written.” The sign

connections to this sacred event and wind our way back to Christmas.

marked in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin remained above the cross

*Bethlehem Although it’s secular history might have

where Jesus was crucified. It remains in the record to this day.

been born with the birth of Christ, this “House of Bread” was

Of all the places Jesus lived, the most significant place is

first mentioned in Scripture in reference to Rachel, who died

in our hearts. Once He becomes our Savior, He shepherds us

near there around 1700 BC. Several centuries later, this place

through places with comfort and miracles. Will you invite Him

served as the backdrop for the endearing story of Ruth and

in today?

there. David was a renowned warrior. Interestingly, Bethlehem sounds like the term “warrior or fighter” in Hebrew.

54 // August 2022

About The Author

Boaz, whose descendant David becomes king and rules from Sandra Gilmore serves the Lord as wife, mom, and encourager, mostly through writing and speaking, occasionally through cooking, rarely through anything athletic and only because of the mercy and grace of Jesus. You can reach her by email: or her website:

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