December 2022

Page 1



Merry Christmas!

December 2022 Complimentary
Christian Magazine
Back Row (L to R): Darrin Douglas, licensed funeral director; Mason Holliday, funeral assistant; Perry Horner, funeral assistant; Marc Rush, licensed funeral director; Jim Hibbard, funeral assistant. Front Row (L to R): Brent Swanson, funeral assistant; Robert Bankston, funeral assistant; Judy Satterfield, administrative assistant; Kathy Partin, family services; Joseph Bathe, funeral assistant; Darla Rush, administrative assistant; Greg Rush, licensed funeral director. Not pictured: Jenna Eve Picou, licensed funeral director; Harold (Joe) Parker, funeral assistant; Susan Harper, after care-family support.


Dr. Alan Hix

April Engstrom

Brent Goodge

Danny Hesterly

David Huff

Dorothy Teague

Grace Logan

Greg Grotewold

Jeff Pitts

Jonathon Wright

Judy Hood

Matt Jensen

Mitchell Qualls

Paula Burgner

Paul McGuire

Rick Hughes

Samuel Burger Sandra Gilmore

Dr. Shawn Jones Dr. Wayne Williams SALES

Bud Kinches 423-650-2801 Email: DESIGN Caleb Prytherch Email: PHOTOGRAPHER

Hello Friends,

We want to take a moment to tell you who we are and what we are about. Our names are Matt and Bethany Ruckman and we have six beautiful children, Brendon, Kailey, Andrew, Leah Jean, Emma, and Cooper. We live in Cleveland, Tennessee, and love what this town has to offer! We have started GoodNews Christian Magazine because we feel that when God, family, and community are combined, lives will be changed.

GoodNews Christian Magazine is a complimentary, Christian lifestyle publication. You can find us throughout the community in retail establishments, churches, restaurants, and more. Our magazine opens the door for Christians to work together to grow and strengthen our community through relevant editorial and effective advertising.

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


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

About Us
Paula Knipp 423-310-4207 FACEBOOK
Jodi Varnado Email: PUBLISHER
Matthew and Bethany Ruckman Cell: 423-503-1410 Email: OFFICE 423-790-5378 WEBSITE

GoodNews from the Pastor’s Desk

Not So Silent Night by Jeff Pitts GoodNews for Kids

The Shepherds and Angels by Danny Hesterly GoodNews Money Matters

Would You Like to Have Lifetime Income? by Rick Hughes

GoodNews for Men

Jesus and Jesus Alone by Greg Grotewold GoodNews for Women

Have You Opened Your Present? by April Engstrom GoodNews for Everyone


GoodNews for Everyone

He’s Already There by Dorothy Teague GoodNews for Everyone

The Gift of Giving by Paul McGuire GoodNews for Everyone

The Greatest Memory by Dr. Alan Hix GoodNews for Everyone

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ by Samuel Burger GoodNews for the New Year

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

God’s Promise Kept by Matt Jensen GoodNews for your Taste Buds

Christmas Ambrosia Salad GoodNews for Everyone

God’s Second Chance by Grace Logan GoodNews for Everyone

A Divinely Appointed Visit: Luke 1:39-56 by Jonathon Wright GoodNews Poetry

Emmanuel by Judy Hood GoodNews for Everyone

Stop and Listen by Paula Burgner GoodNews for Everyone

Memory by Dr. Wayne Williams

Contents DECEMBER 2022
18 The Character of Christmas by Brent
GoodNews for Everyone 20 Tugging at Christmas by Sandra Gilmore GoodNews for Life 22 The Two Greatest Gifts by David Huff GoodNews for Health 24 No Doctor Heals You, Only God Can Heal You! by Dr. Shawn Jones GoodNews for Everyone 26 Small Gifts, Large Hearts by Kristen West GoodNews Cover Story 28 HoneyBaked Ham by Tricia Sluder
6 28 54

Not So Silent Night

By now, across your radio airwaves or streaming services has come hundreds of renditions of the classic Christmas carol “Silent Night.” Everyone from Bing Crosby to Taylor Swift has recorded this holiday hymn. As the story unfolds of a peaceful Jesus in the manager, for one set of characters in the biblical narrative, that first Christmas night was less than silent.

proclaiming the arrival of Jesus. I have never heard an army of angels united in song; my imagination leads me to believe that it was not so silent. I have often wondered if carried along the Bethlehem night sky, echoing off the silence of the stars, was a song sung loud enough for a new mom, a new dad, and their newborn to hear. I have wondered if the infant Jesus was still and silent that first night not simply from the comfort of his mother’s arms, but from the lullaby of a familiar song that was sung in a field nearby.

While the infant Jesus was still and sleeping in heavenly peace, for those unnumbered shepherds keeping watch at night in the field, the silence was broken by a symphony of angels. In fact, they quaked at the sight of such a glorious moment in time.

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:13-14

For these first century herdsmen, the silence of the night was broken with a great army of angels

That first Christmas all was calm, all was bright, but just maybe like the shepherds, we need something to break the silence. In the noise of life, in the hustle and bustle of a busy Christmas season, sometimes hearing from God becomes a challenge. Even when life is not silent, we have felt that the Lord has been. We have been living in a season of silent nights. Like those shepherds whose night was interrupted by a choir of heavenly hosts, we need a God to break the silence of our lives. We need once again for God to speak that all is calm and all is bright and that truly Christ our Savior is alive.

As we celebrate love’s pure light coming to earth with a dawning of redeeming grace, let your prayer be that God would divinely interrupt your season and break the silent season you have been in. May the Christ of Christmas become the light of your season in not so silent ways.

Gò0 dNews from the Pastor’s Desk 6 // December 2022
Jeff Pitts, with his wife Rachael, pastor The Collectives Church in Cleveland. He can be found enjoying local coffee shops and tacos. About The Author
STORAGE CONVENIENT LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU! 1451 Guthrie Drive 37311 3005 Overlook Drive 37312 2265 Shady Lane 37312 (423) 479-6377 • NEW LOCATION OPENING SOON! Corner of North Lee Highway at Old Charleston Lane RESERVE YOUR SPACE NOW! PEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY TO KINGDOM AND CIVIC PURPOSES. TRUCK RENTAL "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 NIV

The Shepherds and Angels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gò0 dNews for Kids 8 // December 2022
Danny Hesterly lives in Chattanooga, TN where he spends most of his days in coffee shops helping others discover their part in God’s amazing story. Danny has two children (12, 10) and has been married to his lovely bride for 17 years. About The Author
CLEVELAND CHIROPRACTIC ACUPUNCTURE & WELLNESS SERVICES OFFERED: • Chiropractic Adjustment • Acupuncture • Massage Therapy (423) 790-1451 CLEVELANDCHIROPRACTICANDREHABILITATION.COM CLEVELAND TEAM 2145 Keith Street 423.476.3696 403 West Madison Ave 423.333.0220 ATHENS TEAM Celebrating National Hospice and Palliative Care Month Merry Christmas & A Blessed New Year! 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICE, HOLIDAYS & WEEKENDS

Would You Like to Have Lifetime Income?

Money Matters

Rick Hughes with

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 // December 2022
(423) 664-4203
1727 Mount Vernon Dr. NW Cleveland, TN 37311 ReMax Real Estate Professionals Kimberly Ledford, Listing Specialist Broker Call/Text: 423.595.8231 Listing Residential, Commercial, and Raw Land Properties Spot on Service with Gentle, Genuine Expertise

Jesus and Jesus Alone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have You Opened Your Present?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gò0 dNews for Women
April Engstrom resides in Bradley County with her husband and two boys. She loves her family at the Church at Grace Point and exploring God’s creation. You can follow April’s blog at
14 // December 2022
About The Author
2245 Chambliss Ave. | Tues. & Thurs: 9am - 1pm, 3pm - 6pm 266 Broad Street NW | Tues. - Sat: 11am - 3pm SouthernCharm@Charm2010 Cleveland Botox Dermal Fillers Skin Care Chemical Peels Waxing Consults (Surgical & Aesthetic) 423.813.7008 | MONDAY - THURSDAY: 9:00AM - 5:00PM | FRIDAY: 9:00AM - 3:00PM Dr. Christopher Chase Success in life is determined, not by what you face, but how you react to it. Purchase Carrie Doyle Jones' new book, Life Lessons today! Available for purchase Online & at all Southern Charm locations. A Perfect Gift For Christmas! Southern Charm

Cleveland Church Directory


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


Assembly of God


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

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 Christ

North Bradley Church of Christ 1510 Stuart Road NE, Suite 207 Cleveland, TN 37312 (423) 473-3298

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

16 // December 2022

(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

Community 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

Revolution Life Church 1525 Jones Ave SW, Cleveland, TN 37311 (423) 310-7287

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

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

Jacob’s Tent Fellowship 1080 Montgomery Ave NE, Cleveland, TN 37311

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 // 17

The Character of Christmas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Whose character are you praying to receive this Christmas?

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



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Sunday, December

Tugging at Christmas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gò0 dNews for Everyone 20 // December 2022
Sandra Gilmore serves the Lord as wife, mom, and encourager, mostly through writing and speaking, occasionally through cooking, rarely through anything athletic and only because of the mercy and grace of Jesus. You can reach her by email: or her website: About The Author
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The Two Greatest Gifts

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

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

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

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

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

Gò0 dNews for Life
22 // December 2022
My name is David Huff, and I am married to Brittany and together we have five wonderful kids. We attend Rock Bridge Community Church Calhoun where I serve on the prayer team. I am also a senior at Liberty University. About The Author
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No Doctor Heals You, Only God Can Heal You!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Shawn R. Jones is director of Chattanooga

Wellness Centers in Cleveland & Chattanooga

2245 Chambliss Ave. NW, Cleveland, TN 37311

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

Gò0 dNews for Health
24 // December 2022
About The Author

Small Gifts, Large Hearts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gò0 dNews for Everyone 26 // December 2022
Kristen West works at Rock Bridge Community Church with a heart for staff leadership, development, and care. She is a communicator with a passion to inspire, encourage, and challenge others in their daily walk with Christ. She writes and publishes weekly content on her blog at About The Author
Cleveland Towne Center 423-476-0056 ™

HoneyBaked Ham

As I shared in this publication three years ago, HoneyBaked Ham opened in Cleveland on December 19, 2012. We will soon be celebrating ten years in Cleveland. It’s a common sentiment expressed by people as they get older that the years seem to go by more quickly with every passing year. In so many ways, it seems like it has been a full ten years, and then maybe more than that, and at other times, as I’ve watched my grandchildren grow, it isn’t possible that it has been ten years.

Our customers are the best. To say that we have become “mayors” of our town is an understatement. Thanks to the friends that have shared us with their friends, our circle of acquaintances has grown exponentially since we opened. Among the three of us, Marty, me and

our son, Craig, we know thousands of people in Cleveland and Bradley County. And thanks to our favorite radio personality, Steve Hartline at Mix 104.1, there are many that know us and know the HoneyBaked brand, but we don’t know them. It’s a wonderful community we live in. Many in our community are excited to see a new business open and they are quietly cheering them on for success. Cleveland is blessed with many bright entrepreneurs that network and support one another. That means a lot if you are opening a new business, to know that a crowd is cheering you on from the sidelines, both seen and unseen.

Like all businesses in the last couple of years, Covid was a game changer. For six weeks in the spring of 2020, our dining room was closed

for dining in, but because we are a specialty food retailer that is centered around great meals, the impact of Covid on our business was barely a bump in the road. We did better in 2020 than in any previous year, 2021 was even better, and we are well on track for 2022 to exceed 2021.

We have seen a marked increase in the number of family gatherings and the emphasis now placed on being together. With the uncertainty and the losses suffered as a result of Covid, many have rethought their priorities and have seriously evaluated how they want to spend their time, now making time with family more of a priority than it used to be. They are grateful for the gatherings around the table, remembering those who are no longer there, and celebrating those who remain. With all this, we

FEATURED COVER STORY 28 // December 2022

have experienced the loss of several wonderful customers, and we have grieved the loss with their families.

We have learned so much about the unique holiday experience of having a HoneyBaked Ham franchise. There are difficulties as we balance life and work. Craig and his wife, Lindsay, have four children, my precious grandchildren, and they are active and engaged in their school, Tennessee Christian Preparatory School. There are joys, too, because Marty and I are privileged to work with our son, side by side, every day. What a blessing! I wouldn’t have it any other way. As manager, Craig has worked tirelessly to grow our business, and he is the reason we have great holiday hams for our customers. Along with a busy lunch and catering business, he has been a huge part of our success. We could not have done it without him.

There have been countless times in our ten-year history that a customer has shared joys and sorrows, like the sister who called to reserve a ham for Thanksgiving because her younger sister was diagnosed with an aggressive lung cancer and time together was uncertain. I remember the lady who didn’t bring cash or a credit card to pay, thinking she could write a check. I was near the register and heard our associate tell her we don’t accept personal checks. I stepped in to ask the customer her name. I remembered that her husband had passed barely two months before that, and although I didn’t know her personally, I agreed to accept her personal check, thinking that she had been through enough already. She was very grateful for my exception, stating that her mom had just died,

and she had needed to pick up items to provide meals for family coming in from out of town. I’ll never forget the look on the little girl’s face when she came in with her dad one Christmas to get a ham. Our products are specialty retail and are a premium price. When the dad realized he couldn’t afford what he wanted and turned to walk away, a customer behind him saw the exchange and stepped up to pay for what he wanted. The little girl looked up at her dad, beaming with a smile, as she saw his look of surprise. We have been fortunate to see many of our customers express kindness to others, and appreciation to law enforcement and military customers who were in our store at the same time.

The best HoneyBaked customers live in Cleveland, Tennessee, and the surrounding communities. It has been a privilege and a unique blessing that

we know most of our customers by their first name, all about their children and grandchildren, their daily lives, their hopes and their dreams.

We are deeply honored to grace holiday tables in Bradley and the surrounding counties. A gift of a HoneyBaked ham tells the recipient that they are truly special, and when a HoneyBaked ham is the centerpiece of the holiday table, the hostess is telling her family that they are loved, and they matter. We have been blessed beyond measure to be a part of a business that brings families together. It is a unique experience that creates HoneyBaked happiness. Thank you all for your support. // 29

He’s Already There

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

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

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

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

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

Gò0 dNews for Everyone 30 // December 2022
Dorothy Teague is a Tennessee native, who resides in McMinn County with her husband, Lewis, on their farm. After completing 31.5 years as a teacher in the Bradley County School System, she is active in her church at Eastanallee Baptist Church where she is a member of the choir and praise team. About
The Author
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The Gift of Giving

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

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

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

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

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

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

32 // December 2022
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The Greatest Memory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About The Author

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34 // December 2022
Dr. Alan Hix is an Associate Professor of Christian Studies at Shorter University. In addition to being and educator, he has served churches as a pastor, been involved in mission trips to Africa, Canada, and Alaska, and participated in archaeological excavations in Israel for several years.

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. It provided atonement for our sins. “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

When you celebrate the birth of Christ this Christmas season, appreciate the victories garnered in history over this doctrine. Understand the immense value of this truth, gain a better appreciation of the finished work of Christ, and the church’s vigorous stand against error to maintain the originality of the faith once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3).


Gò0 dNews for Everyone 36 // December 2022
Samuel Burger is the pastor of Chestuee Worship Center in Calhoun, TN. He holds a Master of Arts in Ministry from Piedmont Divinity School in Winston-Salem, NC. He is happily married to Danyelle for six years. About The Author
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5 Ways to Start the New Year Off Right

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

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

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

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

1. Reflect on the previous year.

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

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

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

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

3. Set SMART goals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About The Author

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

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God’s Promise Kept

“Iwill put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

In this passage, God is the one who promises, the snake is Satan, and the offspring of the woman is Jesus. Here we find that God promises that Jesus will come in order to fix and improve everything that

• Will explain God’s law (Exodus 20:1-21; Matthew 5-7)

• Will be like a substitutionary lamb who takes away sin (Exodus 12:1-28, John 1:29, 35-36)

• Will be a son of David (2 Samuel 7, especially verses 12-16; Matthew 1:1; 12:42)

• Will be the place that God’s presence fills like the temple and tabernacle, but better (Exodus 26, 40; 1 Kings 6, 8; Matthew 12:6; Colossians 2:9)

The Old Testament announces that Jesus will come. The New Testament announces that Jesus has already come and will come again. We can believe all that God has promised because he promised that Jesus would come and then delivered on it. All who repent and believe in Christ will be saved by his blood and righteousness. All who refuse to come to Christ will be judged for their sins by the God of perfect holiness. Will you stand before God in Christ or in your sins?

For all the promises of God find their Yes in him (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Adam has ruined through disobeying God (Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 45). This promise means judgement for Satan but salvation for mankind. This promise grows like a tree. The more Scripture that is written, the clearer and brighter this promise becomes. For example, the offspring of the woman:

• Will be a son of Abraham (Genesis 12, 15, 17; Matthew 1:1)

• Will be a king (Genesis 49:8-12; 2 Samuel 7, especially verses 12-16; 1 Timothy 6:15)

• Will be a ruler and redeemer like Moses, but better (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Acts 7:35)

• Will lead another Exodus (Exodus 1-15; Matthew 2:15)

And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One (Acts 7:52; read verses 1-53).

Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look (1 Peter 1:10-12).

Gò0 dNews for Everyone 40 // December 2022
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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Christmas Ambrosia Salad

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

Instructions Ingredients

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

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

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

• ½ cup of sweetened flaked coconut

• 1 ½ cups of mini marshmallows

• ½ cup of sour cream

• 1 (8 ounce) container of Cool Whip

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

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

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

4. Chill in the fridge overnight before serving.

5. Enjoy!

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42 // December 2022
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God’s Second Chance

On July 10, 2022 at 7:45, my youngest brother Tony (age 55) has a Basal Ganglia Stroke (this type of stroke occurs when blood leaks from a burst, torn or unstable blood vessel into the tissue of the brain). Tony was taken by ambulance to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital Emergency Room, and immediately rushed into surgery to drain blood from his brain. After surgery, Tony was very heavily sedated and on a ventilator. We wait, pray, and hope Tony recovers.

July 11, 2022—I am posting to Pray Warriors to pray for healing for a family member. I am praying to God to give my brother a second chance of life. A scan was done, showing improvement. This is our hope, brain is still draining.

July 15, 2022—Scan was done, slight improvement. We keep praying.

July 17, 2022—Brain still draining, Tony is opening his eyes, squeezing his left hand, we keep praying. Now, I am praying Psalm 118:17. Tony will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done.

July 20, 2022—Tony’s quality of life was greatly impacted, he will move to comfort care. I left from TN to IN that morning, praying and crying. I arrived at the hospital around 8:00 p.m., my niece Amber was there, she had prayed over her father. Tony knew we were there; his eyes opened several times and squeezed my hand. The presence of God in the room was amazing. As I cry and love on my brother, I read this to him:

That if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Tony was squeezing my hand so tight; I believe he saw Jesus. Tony is now saved and is going to be with God. Hallelujah! Then I read Psalm 23 to him, The Lord is my Shepherd.

July 22, 2022—Tony went to Hospice care, he is very comfortable.

July 23, 2022—I prayed Peace and Comfort over Tony.

July 24, 2022—With guidance from God, Tony died peacefully and comfortable at 5:00 a.m. with Grace (his sister) beside him. I raise a Hallelujah to God!

God gave Tony a second chance for Eternal Life. Only God could do this. Thank you, God! I would like to thank IU Ball Memorial Hospital, ER, Surgeon, ICU, Hospice, and all staff for taking care of my brother.

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A Divinely Appointed Visit: Luke 1:39-56

Mary went into hyperdrive, throwing her stuff together. She had to know if the angel’s words were true. After all these years, was Elizabeth going to have a baby? Mary’s journey from Nazareth into the hill country of Judea was uphill, but she didn’t seem to mind. As each hill passed, Mary was getting closer to seeing her relatives and friend. The closer she got, the more excited she became. Mary was a woman on a mission and could not wait to see Elizabeth.

Shortly after this, the women sat down to talk and share a meal. “It is so good to see you, Mary! I have not felt God’s presence like that in a long time. You have no idea how good it is to have someone to talk to. I have been in seclusion for five months after getting pregnant. And my husband Zechariah has not said a word after the angel Gabriel told him we were going to have a child.”

Mary quickly replied, “I know Gabriel. He’s the same angel that told me about my child and your pregnancy. That is the reason I came.” Both women were amazed by all the great things that God was doing in their lives.

Elizabeth reaches across the table to give Mary some bread and asks, “How long are you staying?” “Well, I had not given it much thought, but as long as you will have me. I was hoping to help in any way I could and see the baby.” Elizabeth told one of her servants to prepare the extra room upstairs and said, “It will be a joy to have you.”

Mary finally got to the house and knocked on the door. She had no idea what was about to happen. The very moment she came into the house, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth was in the kitchen, but her words echoed through the house. “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!”

Elizabeth knew she was pregnant without Mary having to say a word. The timing of this great blessing overwhelmed Mary’s heart. And further confirmed the truth she held deep inside.

The two women had a great time reminiscing. Mary was a tremendous help and blessing to Elizabeth and their family. Mary’s visit was a special blessing from the Lord that lifted Elizabeth’s lonely heart. But the Lord used both of them to comfort, help, and encourage each other. And in the midst of it all, God’s Spirit showed up mightily. Mary stayed with Elizabeth through the rest of her pregnancy, and it was a Godsend.

I hope this Christmas, you and your family will have a wonderful time celebrating the birth of our Savior. May we all love, serve, and encourage each other for God’s glory. May we all pray for more of God’s Spirit to help. And may we all be more like Mary and Elizabeth, true servants of God that believe in the promise of God’s Son.

Gò0 dNews for Everyone
46 // December 2022
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
About The Author
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Over rough terrain they traveled far

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

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

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

Before they knew it the baby was born

As the animals looked on, the cows eating corn They named him “Emmanuel” meaning “God with us” When the three kings arrived, they made such a fuss

Giving him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh

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

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

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

Gò0 dNews Poetry
50 // December 2022
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Stop and Listen

As I sit with my legs crossed on what’s left of the green grass before it all withers away into crunchy straw-like strings as the cold days approach, I close my eyes and take a moment to stop and listen to my surroundings. I often think about how much we all miss every day and the sounds around us that we take for granted. Most of the time, we never stop to listen because we are too busy watching with our eyes instead of listening with our hearts.

ears that don’t. This shows us that it is more important to listen than to speak sometimes. In the Bible, James 1:19 tells us, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”

When we hear, we are listening to what is being said, but when we actually stop to listen, we can hear what is not being said. The Bible tells us in Matthew 11:15, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” If we stop long enough and just be quiet, we can listen to the wind as it talks. When we are listening to the silence, it will speak to us as well. Then, when we stop to listen to our heart, it knows. Therefore, when you have a gut feeling, you should listen to it.

We don’t realize it until later in life when we are no longer young and carefree, but we have to stop and take time to enjoy the little things in life.

As I sit here, I hear the birds chirping and the wind slowly rustling through the leaves that are still on the trees. In the distance, I can hear the sound of a passing car. The sounds that surround us can sometimes be calming, but other times, they may be hectic. We must be aware of our surroundings and choose them carefully. I think of how much one person can learn from just being still and taking a moment to actually listen to what is around them.

If we do not listen and only talk, we do not learn anything. This is why God gave us a mouth that closes and

I feel that when I take the time to stop, be still, and just listen, God speaks to me the most. His small voice will be heard, as it says in Ezekiel 43:2, “And his voice was like the sound of many waters.”

It is through times like this that we learn through being quiet and listening. We often gain the reward of wisdom, as the Bible says in Proverbs 2:2, “So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding.”

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

Gò0 dNews for
52 // December 2022
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“The Lord spoke to Joshua, saying: “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan…” (Book of Joshua 4:1b-3a)

“Monument,” “momento,” and “memory” are terms we rarely hear, and yet we exercise the functionality of those words quite often. Whether in our physical actions, mental thoughts or verbal expressions, we frequently use this abstract and cognitive skill when we ponder the past, propose ideas or make future plans.

(hence, “recall”) what we are thinking about. The scriptures declare in the Book of Ecclesiastes chapter 12, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, I have no pleasure in them” (verse 1). Thusly, I am inclined to believe that our creator God has innately designed His human creation with the unique ability to reflect, retrieve and respond to vital information through long years forgotten. Be that as it may, visual aids are sometimes needful and providentially included (read more of the Joshua chapter 4 text).

As we age, and if you are like me, it helps to have tangible objects to prompt and enable one to recall a person, place or event. Case in point, recently while clearing and cleaning the ole homestead of our childhood home following our mother’s passing, my siblings and I came across a number of books, pictures, church bulletins, newspaper clippings, and other documents that “brought back” a lot of fond memories. (And might I add that some were not so fond, as they reminded us of how strict a disciplinarian our mother was at times she needed to be and for all the right reasons. Another story for another time.)

The online version of the popular Psychology Today magazine states, “memory is the faculty by which the brain encodes, stores, and retrieves information. It is a record of experience that guides future action.” Further, “memory encompasses the facts and experiential details that people consciously call to mind as well as ingrained knowledge that surface without effort or even awareness.”

Rather technical terminology wouldn’t you say? Well, more plainly stated, my rendition of this somewhat complex word can be summarized with two words, “mental recall.” Do you find in conversations with family or friends you occasionally use the expression, “Do you remember so and so or such and such?” Or if you are the one to whom that question is posed your reply might be, “You know, I recall this or that.”

Memory, though tricky at times and not always readily forthcoming, serves us best when we can call to mind

Consequently, as a family, we agreed that there were a number of items such as jewelry, clothing, cookware, and appliances that we dared not throw away as they reminded us rather vividly of our mother’s class, character, and personal style. Those items and more (perfumes, letters, coin collection) served as “stones” or memories of years long gone but enabled my siblings and me to wisely converse about future plans for our mother’s estate while charmingly reflecting on a woman revered by her family and well-remembered by her church members for numerous contributions to her beloved community. Given her legacy and its lasting impact on my hometown is, in and of itself, a “momento” truly worth keeping!

May this article serve as a dedication to my [our] dear mother/mentor/role model/best friend, Frances Maw Spencer Williams Johnson. “Gone but by no means forgotten!”

Gò0 dNews for Everyone 54 // December 2022
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