May 2023

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Gò0dNews May 2023


Christian Magazine





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Brent Goodge Brian Johnson Carrie O’Neal Charles Finney Chase Holtzclaw Chris Mullis Danny Hesterly Donald Cantrell Granger Hughes Heather Johnson Dr. I. Esther Jeba Janice Washington John Garrod Judy Hood Kristen West Reagan Marsh Talma Clark Terrie Ruff


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


M AY 2 0 2 3

GoodNews from the Pastor’s Desk

6 Ask The Pastor: What is the Difference in Spiritual Gifts and Talents? by Reagan Marsh

GoodNews for Kids

8 Intertwinement

GoodNews Poetry

28 My Love Letter by Carrie O’Neal

GoodNews for Everyone

30 Pentecost

by Brent Goodge

by Charles Finney

GoodNews for Everyone

GoodNews Money Matters

by Terrie Ruff

10 Taxes on Your Investments and Social Security

by Granger Hughes GoodNews for Men

12 Lovely Things

by Brian Johnson

GoodNews for Women

14 Who Are You Opening the Door To?

by Heather Guthrie GoodNews for Everyone

18 The Word of God by Chris Mullis

GoodNews for Parents

20 Empty-Nesters by Kristen West

GoodNews for Youth

22 Sharing the Burden by Danny Hesterly

GoodNews Cover Story

24 North Georgia Toyota GoodNews for Health

26 Therapy Dog at Hamilton

Medical Center Celebrates 2,000th Visit

32 Color in the Clouds GoodNews for Life

34 He Called First


by Chase Holtzclaw

GoodNews for Everyone

36 April Showers

by Janice Washington

GoodNews for Everyone

38 Was This the Last One? by John Garrod

GoodNews for Everyone

40 Cat’s Rule

by Donald Cantrell

GoodNews for your Taste Buds

42 Morning Glory Muffins


by Talma Clark

GoodNews Poetry

44 Master Of My Soul by Judy Hood

GoodNews for Everyone

46 Do You Want to Receive More Blessings Beyond What You Request?

by Dr. I. Esther Jeba


Gò0dNews from the Pastor’s Desk Ask The Pastor: What is the Difference in Spiritual Gifts and Talents?


by Rev. Reagan Marsh

s a longtime pastor, I often receive inquiries

and Christians in love should employ their talents

about the Bible, theology, and spiritual

in helping one another and “doing good to our

matters. Here’s a recent one which is common

fellowman” (as the old catechism says). But a talent

for many people.

fundamentally belongs to this life, while a spiritual gift

Q. I often hear people talk about spiritual gifts and talents

prepares God’s people for the next life.

as though they’re basically the same thing, and the words seem to be used interchangeably. Does the Bible give any difference? A. Good question! Spiritual gifts are those abilities given by the Spirit’s grace upon conversion (1 Corinthians 12-14). Talents are natural, common grace skills which lost and saved men alike may have. Both may be used for serving the Lord, blessing his people, helping his cause, and glorifying his name (e.g., Oholiab and Bezalel, Exodus 31:1-11); both are God-given, in that God crafts each of us specifically according to his wise purposes, for his praise (Psalm 139:14-16; 1 Corinthians 12:11); and both must be developed and matured (note 1 Cor 14:12’s direction: “strive to excel in” these things). The fundamental difference is that spiritual gifts are the purchase of and pertain to the gospel, and are exclusively the possession of those who are in Christ; while talents are personal abilities (though positive, helpful, and good) which anyone might have or develop while still in Adam. Spiritual gifts edify the body, building the church

Talents are God-given abilities and skills to accomplish something worthwhile and beautiful in this life. Spiritual gifts come to us with bloodstains from an old rugged Cross; they point us again and again to the One who died and rose again to give precious gifts of his grace to his Bride. Keep your questions coming at – I’ll do my best to answer it helpfully and faithfully from the Bible.

up in the graces of Christ; they are the personal, beloved people, for our soul’s eternal good. Talents may certainly be employed to achieve temporal good,

6 // May 2023

About The Author

practical, applied ministry of Christ among his

Reagan Marsh, MATS, MDiv (eq.) is husband to Kara, daddy to RG and AG, and founding pastor-teacher to Reformation Baptist Church of Dalton, GA. He contributed to The Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia (Eerdmans), edited The Works of John Flavel (Banner of Truth), writes regularly for The Founders Journal, and is coediting The Works of Hercules Collins (H&E). An SBTS graduate, certified biblical counselor, and Th.D. student in Puritan studies, he has served in gospel ministry since 1998.


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Gò0dNews for Kids



by Charles Finney

here was a boy named Judge Ment. He

his classmates to join him in activities outside

was a bright and curious student, but

of school, and even made an effort to strike up

he often found himself feeling isolated

conversations with his teachers during class.

from his classmates and teachers. He didn’t

Judge Ment also learned the importance of

quite know how to connect with them, and as

intertwining with others in work and play. He

a result, he struggled to make friends and form

found that working together on projects helped

meaningful relationships.

him to learn new skills and to appreciate the perspectives of others. He also discovered that playing with his classmates and teachers helped to build trust and camaraderie, and that it was a great way to have fun and relax. As Judge Ment continued to make connections and build relationships, he found that his experience at school became much more enjoyable. He felt happier and more fulfilled, and he was able to

One day, Judge Ment’s English teacher assigned the class to read Psalm 133:1, which

achieve more academically and personally. In the end, Judge Ment realized that the

says, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when

verse from Psalm 133:1 was not just a scriptural

brothers dwell in unity!” The verse struck a chord

passage but a wisdom that can be applied

with Judge Ment, and he began to reflect on the

to his daily life. He understood the true

importance of unity and connection in his own life.

meaning of unity and how it can be achieved

Determined to change his ways, Judge Ment

by intertwining with others in work and play.

began to actively seek out opportunities to

He became a shining example to his classmates

connect with his classmates and teachers. He

and teachers, and he was forever grateful for

volunteered to work on group projects, invited

the lessons he learned about the importance of

8 // May 2023

connection and community.



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Taxes on Your Investments and Social Security

Money Matters Granger Hughes

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


s tax season comes to an end for most tax filers, let’s look at how our investments can affect our tax filing at year end and how and when your Social Security income

might be subject to income tax.

5. Tax-loss Harvesting: Some investors engage in a strategy known as tax-loss harvesting, where they sell losing investments to offset gains and reduce their tax bill. However, there are rules and limitations to be aware of, such as the

The stock market and taxes are closely related, as investment

“wash sale” rule that prevents investors from immediately

gains and losses in the stock market can trigger tax implications for

repurchasing the same or a substantially identical security

investors. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

after selling it at a loss.

1. Capital Gains: When you sell a stock for more than what you

Social Security income may be subject to federal income

paid for it, you have a capital gain. Depending on how long

tax, depending on the total amount of income received from all

you held the stock, the gain may be classified as short-term

sources, including Social Security benefits.

(if you held the stock for one year or less) or long-term (if

If an individual’s total income, including half of their Social

you held the stock for more than one year). Capital gains are

Security benefits, exceeds certain thresholds, they may be required

subject to taxation, with long-term gains generally taxed at a

to pay federal income tax on a portion of their Social Security

lower rate than short-term gains.

benefits. The thresholds for determining whether Social Security

2. Capital Losses: When you sell a stock for less than what you paid for it, you have a capital loss. Capital losses can be used to offset capital gains in the same year, which can lower your

benefits are taxable depend on an individual’s filing status and are as follows for the 2021 tax year: • Single Filers: If their combined income (which includes

tax bill. If your capital losses exceed your capital gains, you

adjusted gross income, nontaxable interest, and half of their

can use the excess losses to offset up to $3,000 of other types of

Social Security benefits) is between $25,000 and $34,000, up to

income (such as wages) and carry over any remaining losses to

50% of their Social Security benefits may be subject to federal

future tax years.

income tax. If their combined income exceeds $34,000, up to

3. Dividends: If you own stocks that pay dividends, the dividends you receive are generally taxable. The tax rate on qualified dividends (which includes most dividends paid

85% of their Social Security benefits may be subject to federal income tax. • Married Filing Jointly: If their combined income is between

by U.S. corporations) is generally lower than the tax rate on

$32,000 and $44,000, up to 50% of their Social Security benefits

ordinary income.

may be subject to federal income tax. If their combined income

4. Retirement Accounts: If you hold stocks in a tax-advantaged retirement account, such as a traditional IRA or a 401(k), you generally won’t owe taxes on gains or dividends until you withdraw money from the account. However, there are some exceptions, such as if you take early withdrawals from the account or if you hold certain types of investments (such as REITs) in the account.

10 // May 2023

exceeds $44,000, up to 85% of their Social Security benefits may be subject to federal income tax. Overall, it’s important to be aware of the tax implications of your stock market investments. It’s also important to note that not all states tax Social Security benefits. Both of these factors make it worth consulting with a tax professional or a financial advisor if you have any questions or concerns.

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Gò0dNews for Men

Lovely Things


by Brian Johnson

ow do you handle adversity? People have

her off at her mother’s house every morning so she could

different ideas, thoughts, and techniques to

catch the bus from there. She and I had a ritual. When

get them through. As Christians, we have

she got out of the car to walk to the door, she would stop

a tendency to forget to turn to God first. We try to

halfway, turn to me, and blow me a kiss. I would blow

work things out on our own, and eventually, we get

one back to her. She would catch it, close her eyes, and

around to talking to God about it. Philippians 4:6

hold it to her chest, then look at me and smile. That was

says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by

lovely! It was a key thing I would think on whenever I

prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your

was upset about the situation I found myself in.

requests be made know unto God.” In the next verse, we’re told this will give us peace. This isn’t always an instantaneous process though. What do we do when we keep dwelling on it? How can we move our focus away from the problem so that we’re not full of care? Not only does Paul tell us to give it to God, but he also tells us what to think on instead of the problem. Verse 8 of that same chapter tells us to “think on” things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and things that are of a good report. After an eleven-year marriage, I discovered my wife was having an affair. She decided to

Thank God for His word and its practicality. In this

leave me and our children to be with him. This was the

scripture, it doesn’t just tell us to let go and let God, it

most difficult time of my life. I cried a lot! I lost weight

also tells us what we can do to replace those negative

without trying. Everyday was incredibly difficult. In my

thoughts. If you are struggling with issues in your life

Bible reading, I came across this scripture and saw it in

that make you full of care, take the time to write out some

a different light. I decided to look up each of these six

things you can think on that will help you focus on the

things through the Bible and write down a key phrase

positive or things that you can be thankful for. That way,

or thought that corresponded to each one. I also thought

you’re prepared to combat those thoughts Satan uses to

about things in my life that had to do with each one.

keep you down.

kindergarten. She rode the bus to school, but I had to be at work before the bus picked her up, so I would drop

12 // May 2023

About The Author

When school started that fall, my daughter was in Brian Edward Johnson is a deacon at his church, nurse and author of Behaving Wisely, One Man’s Journey from Betrayal to Blessing. He longs for Christians to trust God for every aspect of their lives.

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Gò0dNews for Women

Who Are You Opening the Door To? sk, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). I was headed out the door. The door wouldn’t shut. I slammed it a time or two. Actually, three times. Open and shut. Open and shut. I looked around the door and could not figure out why it wouldn’t shut. I thought maybe the camera cord had repositioned. Maybe someone recently had problems

shutting it. Maybe someone tried to break in and just didn’t do well. My first thought was it was just fine last night. I didn’t have time to see who could fix it. Also, who could? Anyhow, I locked the screen door and shut the door the best I could. I said, “God, this is your house. You protect it and take care of it anyways, so I’m trusting you.” At some points, the door came to my mind throughout the day. I talked to God about it again. When I got home, I talked to Him again and tried to shut the door a few more times. It didn’t work the first time, but I thought, surely, it’ll work this time. I looked all around the door. Finally, I thought

14 // May 2023

it had to be around the latch. I looked closer. Sure enough, there’s a plate that goes around the latch, and that was loose. The two screws were loose that kept it aligned. In that moment, the Holy Spirit started speaking to me. How something small being misaligned can throw you off. Nothing else was in the way except the most important plate. Are you opening the door to your past? We say, “Come on in, old friends! Come on in, anxiety! Come on in, depression! Y’all have always been there! Come on in, old ways. Come on in, old sin.” We literally open the door of our hearts, our mind, and our soul to those old ways. When the Lord comes knocking, we close the door on Him. We don’t trust Him with our ugly. We say, “Nope, God, you can’t see this, you can’t fix this, and I’m too ashamed for you to work this out. You deserve better than this.” He keeps gently knocking. Finally, we decide we are going to open the door to Him! Opening the door! “Come on in, peace and contentment! Come on in, freedom! Come on in, Jesus!” We were so focused on what we used to be and opened the door to anything. Let’s open the door to the Lord! Let’s surrender to Him! Let’s ask Him in all things! He is the door! He is the way! His is the truth! Let’s focus on the Kingdom! The door to Heaven! We have the keys to the Kingdom! Are you going to keep opening the door to what is not of God? He really loves you. He really loves you. He really loves you. About The Author


by Heather Guthrie

Heather Guthrie, daughter of the King dancing in the deep and encouraging others with truth. She loves to meet people where they’re at in ministry. She can be reached at


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Dalton Church Directory Assembly of God

Christian Fellowship Assembly 3656 Chattanooga Road, 30755 706-280-7594 The Sanctuary 515 Reed Rd NW, 30720 706-270-2088 The Healing Center Church 515 Reed Road, 30720 706-229-9456


Abundant Life Baptist Church 811 J and J, 30721 706-278-5289 Antioch Baptist Church 1205 Antioch Road, 30720 706-278-1305 Beaverdale Baptist Church 2496 Beaverdale Rd NW, 30721 706-259-7089 Calvary Baptist Church 2115 Chatsworth Rd, 30721 706-278-6324 Carolyn Baptist Church 2305 Cleveland Highway, 30721 706-259-8142 Centerpoint Baptist Church 420 Centerpoint Drive SE, 30721 706-277-2100 Christ Reformed Baptist Church 1378 Dug Gap Rd, 30720 706-226-3026 Concord Baptist Church 1054 Hopewell Rd, Cohutta 30710 706-694-8618 Cove Baptist Fellowship Church 461 Carbondale Rd SW, 30721 706-277-3484 Crown View Baptist Church 502 West Tyler St, 30720 706-278-7422 Deep Springs Baptist Church 1660 Beaverdale Rd NE, 30721 706-259-3255 Dug Gap Baptist Church 2031 Dug Gap Rd, 30720 706-278-2377 Eastbrook Baptist Church 204 Hill Rd, 30720 Eastside Baptist Church 913 East Morris St, 30721 706-278-8553 Eleventh Avenue Baptist Church 2550 South Dalton Bypass, 30722 706-278-7020 Emmaus Baptist Church 4268 S. Dixie Rd, 30735 706-483-5251 First Baptist Church 802 Kenner St, 30721 706-226-9681 First Baptist Church of Dalton 311 North Thornton Ave, 30720 706-278-2911 Grace Baptist Church 2049 Lower Kings Bridge Rd, 30721 706-537-6884 Good Hope Baptist Church 2525 Lake Francis Rd, 30721 706-259-3719 Grove Level Baptist Church 2802 Cleveland Highway, 30721 706-259-8519

16 // May 2023

Good Samaritan Baptist Church 3137 Cleveland Rd, 30721 706-259-7239 Gospelway Baptist Church 336 Jupiter Cir, 30721 706-278-1424 Grace Baptist Church 2049 Lower Kings Bridge Rd, 30721 706-537-6884 Harmony Baptist Church 187 Lower Dawnville Rd, 30721 706-226-5521 Harvest Baptist Church 3986 Cleveland Hwy, 30721 706-694-8951 Hill Crest Baptist Church 1901 Cityview St, 30720 706-279-1267 Hopewell Baptist Church 3527 Airport Rd, 30721 706-226-5987 Kinsey Drive Baptist Church 2626 Kinsey Drive,30720 706-277-3505 Lakeshore Park Baptist Church 12 Crescent St, 30720 706-275-6050 Liberty Baptist Church 506 South Pentz St, 30720 706-226-5535 Lindsey Memorial Baptist 706-673-7650 3503 Lindsey Memorial Rd. Rocky Face, Ga. 30740 Macedonia Baptist Church 1355 Dawnville Rd NE, 30721 706-259-9220 Maple Grove Baptist Church 347 Maple Grove Rd, 30721 706-483-6300 McFarland Hill Baptist Church 307 Brickyard Rd, 30721 706-277-5521 Mount Rachel Baptist Church 332 Haig Mill Lake Rd, 30720 706-278-5192 Mount Ridge Baptist Church 1401 M L King, Jr. Blvd, 30721 706-278-0335 New Hope Baptist Church 900 Roan St, 30721 706-226-2093 New Hope Baptist Church 706-673-8050 2105 Tunnel Hill-Varnell Road Tunnel Hill, GA 30755 New Life Baptist Church 2620 Old Grade Rd, 30721 Northwest Georgia Baptist Church 222 North Pentz St, 30720 706-463-3490 Olivia Baptist Church 1817 Guy St, 30720 706-278-3507 Pine Grove Baptist Church 4004 Airport Road, 30721 706-264-8630 Poplar Springs Baptist Church 897 Poplar Springs Rd, 30720 706-259-8727 Reformation Baptist Church 244 N. Hamilton St, 30720 706-314-8711 Rocky Face Baptist Church

1544 Rocky Face Railroad St, 30740 706- 226-5751 Salem Baptist Church 1448 Pleasant Grove Dr, 30721 706-259-7045 South Dalton Baptist Church 498 Lakemont Drive, 30720 706-278-4946 Shiloh Baptist Church 2014 East Waugh St, 30721 706-226-5981 Temple Baptist Church 2310 South Dixie Hwy, 30720 706-226-6785 Valley Baptist Church 2907 Old Rome, 30720 Welcome Hill Baptist Church 2772 E Welcome Hill Circle, 30721 706-278-0368 Whitfield Baptist Church 2134 Dug Gap Rd, 30721 706-278-6776


Fellowship Bible Church 2044 Dug Gap Rd, 30720 706-278-6269


Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church 968 Haig Mill Lake Rd, 30720 706-278-3107


First Christian Church 1506 Dug Gap Rd, 30720 706-278-7244

Church of Christ

Central Church of Christ 515 N. Tibbs Rd, 30720 706-278-8051 Riverbend Church of Christ 2218 S Riverbend Rd, 30721 706-226-0819

Church of God

Church of God of Union Assembly 2311 South Dixie Rd, 30720 706-275-0510 City View Church of God 3688 Chatsworth Hwy, 30721 706-226-6686 Crosspointe 2681 Underwood Street 30721 706-278-2649 Lifegate Church 2744 Cleveland Highway, 30721 706-259-0016 Valley Brook Church of God 1474 Mineral Springs Rd, 30720 706-279-3296


Church on the Hill 1035 Abutment Rd, 30721 706-278-9208 Community Fellowship Church 409 North Fredrick St, 30721 706-278-3204 Freedom Community Church 908 Elk Street, 30720 706-463-2690 Rock Bridge Community Church 121 W Crawford St, 30720


Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church 901 West Emory St, 30720 706-278-8857

Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 610 Shugart Rd, 30720 706-278-5295


Christ the King Lutheran Church 623 S Thornton Ave, 30720 706-278-3979


Bethel AME Church 620 Spring Street, 30720 706-226-2714 Bethel UMC 123 Bethel Church Rd, 30721 706-278-3309 Dalton First UMC 500 South Thornton Ave, 30720 706-278-8494 Fairview UMC 735 Riverbend Rd, 30721 706-996-5057 Five Springs UMC 2823 Five Springs Rd, 30720 706-277-3928 Mineral Springs UMC 4079 Airport Road, 30721 706-517-0200 Mt. Vernon UMC 597 Lafayette Road Rocky Face, GA 30740 706-673-4667 New Haven UMC 4040 South Dixie Highway, 30721 706-217-1879 Pleasant Grove UMC 2701 Cleveland Highway, 30721 Sugar Valley UMC 503 Murry Hill Dr, 30720 706-280-9112 Trinity UMC 901 Veterans Dr, 30721 706-278-4042 Varnell United Methodist Church 3485 Highway 2 Cohutta, 30710 706-694-8023 Wesley Chapel UMC 808 Jamestown CT, 30721 706-270-2331


First Church of the Nazarene 2325 Chattanooga Rd, 30720 706-278-8428 Grace Church of the Nazarene 1111 Nelson St, 30721 706-278-1171


Abundant Life Bible Church 901 Chester Road, 30721 706-270-9733 Bridging the Gap Ministries 514 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, 30721 706-277-7575 Relentless Worship Center 210 Robinwood Dr, 30721 706-313-1129 Dalton House Of Prayer

897 College Dr, Conference Rm 3, 30720 706-915-6545 Dawnville Community Church 1409 Dawnville Rd NE, 30721 706-259-5342 Good Neighbors Church 910 South Thornton Ave, 30720 706-226-0846 Gospel Light Tabernacle 804 Sheridan Ave, 30721 Grace Fellowship Ministries 620 N Glenwood Ave 2&3, 30721 706-280-1375 Northwest Christian Fellowship 272 Main St, Varnell, GA 30756 706-694-9830 River of Life Church of Dalton

2919 East Walnut Ave, 30721 706-965-6683 Saint James Overcoming Church 400 North Fredrick St, 30721 706-278-0319 Tunnel Hill Community Church 706-673-4022 121 North Varnell Road Tunnel Hill, GA 30755


Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal Fuente de Agua Viva 1007 Underwood St, 30721 706-278-4963 La Senda Antigua 308 East Matilda St, 30720

706-270-8826 True Gospel Pentecostal Church 109 South Henderson St, 30721 706-278-5696 Shadow Ridge Worship Center 122 Wheat Drive Varnell, GA 30721 706-280-4546


ChristChurch Presbyterian 510 South Tibbs Rd, 30720 706-529-2911 First Presbyterian Church 101 S. Selvidge St, 30720 706-278-8161 Grace Presbyterian Church

2107 Threadmill Rd, 30720 706-226-6344


Salvation Army 1109 N. Thornton Ave, 30722 706-278-3966

Seventh Day Adventist

3 Angels Hispanic SDA 701 E Morris St, 30721 706-618-1182 Dalton Hispanic SDA 112 W Long St, 30720 706-275-0523 Dalton SDA Church 300 South Tibbs Rd, 30720 706-226-2166

Chatsworth Church Directory Baptist

Blue Ridge Primitive Baptist Church 706-517-9849 134 Hyden Tyler Road Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Calvary Baptist Church 706-695-7747 Highway 225 North Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Center Hill Baptist Church 706-695-7988 65 Berry Bennett Road Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Cisco Baptist Church 706-695-9270 Highway 411 North Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Cool Springs Baptist Church 706-517-5388 Holly Creek Cool Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Fellowship Baptist Church 706-695-2626 4396 Highway 52 Chatsworth, GA 30705 US First Baptist Church 706-695-2112 121 West Market Street Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Flat Branch Baptist Church 706-695-2663 3443 Highway 286 Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Free Hope Baptist Church 706-695-3717 4176 Highway 76 Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Holly Creek Baptist Church 706-695-8522 422 Holly Creek Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Liberty Baptist Church 4221 US-76, Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Little Consauga Baptist Church 706-517-5733 1100 Sugar Creek Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Maranatha Baptist Church 706-695-6330 Highway 225 South Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Mount Pisgah Baptist Church 706-517-8944 2309 Old Highway 411

Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Murray Baptist Church 706-695-9712 508 West Peachtree Street Chatsworth, GA 30705 US New Hope Baptist Church 706-517-3089 1273 New Hope Road Chatsworth, GA 30705 US New Prospect Baptist Church 706-629-9521 7629 Highway 225 Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Old Fashion Baptist Church 706-695-5420 885 Ben Adams Road Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Open Air Ministries 706-386-484 1058 Mtn Crest Dr. Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Prayer Baptist Church 706-624-9216 10859 Hwy. 225 South Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Shinning Light Baptist Church 706-517-1739 801 North 5th Avenue Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Smyrna Baptist Church 706-695-5815 1913 Smyrna Church Road Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Spring Place Baptist Church 706-695-5532 441 Highway 225 South Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Strait Way Baptist Church 706-517-2861 508 West Peachtree Street Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Total Praise Baptist Church 706-695-6441 1461 Greeson Bend Rd, Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Zion Hill Baptist Church 706-517-5913 Highway 225 North Chatsworth, GA 30705 US


Grace Bible Church 2599 Leonard Bridge Rd. Chatsworth, GA 30705 US

Church of Christ

Woodhaven Church of Christ

706-847-7400 508 West Peachtree Street Chatsworth, GA 30705 US

Church of God

Chatsworth Church of God 706-695-9388 Highway 411 South Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Central Community Church 706-695-4242 60 Pine Hills Drive Chatsworth, GA 30705 Spring Place Church of God 706-695-8000 717 Tibbs Bridge Road Chatsworth, GA 30705 US

Full Gospel

Faith Worship Center 706-695-6866 189 Hyden Tyler Road Chatsworth GA 30705 House Of Prayer 616 Jenkins Road Chatsworth, GA 30705 US


Casey Springs UMC 7250 Chastworth Highway South Chastworth, GA 30705 Center Valley UMC 706-971-4646 5394 Highway 225 North Chatsworth, GA 30705 US First United Methodist Church 706-695-3211 107 W Cherokee Street Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Fullers Chapel UMC 2144 Fuller’s Chapel Rd Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Mineral Springs UMC 71 North Way St Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Spring Place UMC 706-695-5143 Po Box 248 Chatsworth, GA 30705 US


God’s Light House 784 Smyrna Church Road Chatsworth, GA 30705

The Church of God of the Union Assembly at Chatsworth, GA 706-695-7335 Highway 52 Alternate Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Liberty Tabernacle 706-517-3140 2196 Smyrna Church Road Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Living Word Christian Fellowship 706-695-5005 960 Cherokee Drive Chatsworth, GA 30705 US New Beginnings Ministries 706-695-6067 646 Floodtown Road Chatsworth, GA 30705 US North Gate Church 706-548-4967 7727 Highway 225 South Chatsworth, GA 30755 US Tabernacle of Praise 706-517-0377 1435 Leonard Bridge Road Chatsworth, GA 30705 US Wings Of Faith Ministries 706-695-1527 1122 North Holly Drive Chatsworth, GA 30705 US


Victory Tabernacle 706-517-1458 355 Ellijay Street Chatsworth, GA 30705 US A Place to Worship 706-517-8568 259 Old Landfill Rd Chatsworth, GA 30705 US

Presbyterian Sumach Presbyterian Church 706-695-4773 2089 Sumach Church Chatsworth, GA 30705 US

Seventh Day Adventist

Seventh-Day Adventist Church 706-517-5124 1115 Highway 52 Chatsworth, GA 30705 US // 17

Gò0dNews for Everyone

The Word of God


by Rev. Chris Mullis

Timothy 3:16—All Scripture is inspired by God and is

(Matthew 7:5). We must allow the Bible to convict us first

useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize

and foremost.

what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are

wrong and teaches us to do what is right. The Bible is the Word of God. The Apostle Paul said it is

The natural, rebellious state of the human heart always wants to justify bad behavior. We either look for a verse to prove we are right, or we will disregard the Bible as

inspired by God. The Greek word he used was theopneustos,

outdated and no longer relevant. We must walk the middle

which means “God-breathed.” In other words, God breathed

path between these two extremes. We must take Scripture

life and spirit and wisdom into the Holy Scriptures.

seriously because it is the Holy Word of God. That means

The breath of God is sacred and powerful. It breathes life into being. You may recall from Genesis 1 that God

striving to understand its original context and what God is saying to us today. It also means humbling ourselves before God and obeying His Word, even when it runs counter to the mainstream opinions of our culture or what we personally want to believe. When we want to go along with the crowd, the Bible says, “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it” (Matthew 7:13-14). When people follow the Truth of Scripture, even when it goes against popular opinion, a little piece of God’s Kingdom comes on earth and it helps change our world forever for the better. I think of Dr. Martin Luther

spoke the universe into existence. He said, “Let there be

King, Jr.—Scripture led him to fight for civil rights even

light...” and there was light. He spoke and the sun, moon,

though it went against the popular opinion at the time. He

and stars came to be. In Genesis 2:7, God brought Adam to

was arrested, beaten, spied upon, and ultimately murdered

life by breathing in his nostrils. In the same way, Scripture

because he lived out the biblical truth that all people are

is alive with the breath of God, bringing truth and life when

created in the image of God and should be treated equal. His

we have faith to hear.

faithfulness in the face of resistance helped change our

The Bible is not a weapon we use to prove we are right

attitudes about race so they better reflect God’s values.

and everyone else is wrong. At its core, 2 Timothy 3:16 says

What other truths in Scripture are we called to live

the Holy Bible is “useful to teach us what is true and to

faithfully today, even though they fly in the face of popular

make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us

opinion? Will you follow the edicts of society? Or will you

when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” It’s

build your life upon the solid rock of God’s Holy Word?

more comfortable to point fingers at everyone else than “First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye”

18 // May 2023

About The Author

to look inward at our own faults. However, Jesus said,

Rev. Chris Mullis is an ordained minister of the United Methodist Church with a Masters of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Pastor Chris’s ministry has spanned twenty years and four different churches in Georgia. Chris is currently serving God as the senior pastor of Pleasant Grove Methodist Church located at 2701 Cleveland Hwy in Dalton, GA.

Church Activities & Events Silverdale Baptist Academy B-SHOC

May 5 | 12:30PM 7236 Bonny Oaks Dr, Chattanooga, TN

Riverbend Park

TBRI Caregiver Training Series May 11 - June 1 1999 Riverbend Rd, Dalton, GA

Christ First Church C1 Youth Meeting

May 17 | 6:30PM - 8PM 5994 Martha Berry Hwy, LaFayette, GA

Gò0dNews for Parents



by Kristen West

y husband and I are empty-nesters. The

them, rising early in the morning to offer burnt

days of making little lunches, working

offerings for all of them.”

through endless piles of laundry, and

“For Job thought, ‘Perhaps my children have

juggling a variety of extracurricular activities are over.

sinned, having cursed God in their hearts.’ This was

Our four children are all grown and living their own

Job’s regular practice” (vs. 5).

independent lives. I smile to see them happily settling

Even as an empty-nester, Job continued to

into their own marriages, careers, and families. As

spiritually cover his grown children in prayer! He

parents, though, that transition can be challenging,

continued to exercise his God-given parental authority

can’t it? We spend decades providing for them, instructing them, and ultimately, preparing them to leave us and our homes. Yet, when the time finally comes for them to vacate the nest, we sometimes struggle to understand what our new role is. Many times, we try to continue to be a remote extension of what we once were when they lived in our house. As a result, we insert ourselves where we’re not invited; offer advice when it’s not solicited; and try to co-manage their decisions and jump in to offer damage control if we see things not going so well. Speaking

to bring his kids before God’s throne regardless of

from experience, that generally doesn’t help.

their age or station in life. Can you think of anything

The book of Job offers a wonderful example of how we, as parents, can continue to influence the lives of

more influential than this? Our children will grow up, move out, and embark

our children for good, even when they’re grown, out of

on their own lives. Our days of in-home nurturing

our homes, and making their own decisions. Job’s sons

will come to a close. But the truth that should comfort

“used to take turns having banquets at their homes”

every parent’s heart is simply this—while your

and would invite their sisters to join them (Job 1:4

children will eventually be beyond your reach, they

CSB). There’s no record of Job attending these house

will never be beyond your prayers!

was over, Job would send for his children and purify

20 // May 2023

About The Author

parties, however “whenever a round of banqueting 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

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Gò0dNews for Youth

Sharing the Burden


by Danny Hesterly

very Thursday, I get up at 4:45 a.m. to play basketball

family and friends. If you’ve lived for more than a minute,

with a few of my buddies. It’s never easy getting up

you know how crazy and difficult this can be.

at that time. I’ve been doing this for over a year now,

Jesus loved with no strings attached. He was willing to

and I never want to get out of bed. This week I’m playing

be inconvenienced daily. Jesus’ heart was constantly being

basketball, and I’m already dreading the annoying sound

moved with compassion as He interacted with people. Jesus

my alarm clock is going to make.

was the perfect embodiment of outrageous love in action.

The only positive thing about getting up that early is

If Jesus lived like this, we, too, should be doing the same

going to pick up my little brother to play basketball with

thing. To be called a Christian is to be like Jesus in every

me. I’m the one who is usually doing the pick-up, but every

way possible.

once in a while, he messages me: “Hey Danny, let me pick

This month, what are some of the ways you can share in

you up for basketball this week.” Do you know what that

the troubles of those you care about? It doesn’t mean getting

means for me? I get to sleep an extra twenty-five minutes!

in trouble with those you care about, but how you can be

Praise Jesus! It makes a huge difference knowing that my

a voice of encouragement and a present friend. Psalm 46:1

little brother is willing to pick me up from time to time and

says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help

share in those early morning drives to the gym.

in times of trouble.” If God is present in our lives during

Galatians 6:2 says, “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” As followers of Jesus, we are called to live

times of trouble, we should also be present in the lives of those we care about when tough times come their way. Have you ever tried to lift a sleeper sofa (a

a holy life. To live a holy life simply

couch with a bed in it) by yourself? Those

means that our behaviors are not

things are super heavy. By having just

to copy the world’s behaviors. Our

one other person to help lift an end of

lives are to reflect the character

the couch, it dramatically decreases the amount of weight you are lifting. It’s

and actions of Jesus. When

the same way in helping those

we share each other’s burdens, we are

in trouble. By being a present

obeying the law of

friend, you are sharing in their burden by helping

Christ. What is the

make it lighter for them

“law of

to carry. Go and be


that kind of person

To love

this week.

and to be willing to share the and the challenges of our

22 // May 2023

About The Author

pain, the hard moments, 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.






2213 Cleveland Hwy Dalton, GA 30721 (706) 529-8136


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2685 C L E V E L AND H I G HWAY DALT ON , G A 30721 706.281.4770 •



North Georgia Toyota

orth Georgia Toyota had its beginnings in a small

is a state-of-the-art collision paint and repair center. North

“Outdoor Center” that sold boats, chainsaws, and

Georgia Toyota has gone through the rigorous standards

lawnmowers along with Toyota cars. In 1975 Edgar

and requirements to become a Toyota Certified Collision

Brooker, father of current dealer Eddie Brooker, obtained

Center. This adds to North Georgia Toyota’s ability to

the Toyota Franchise for Dalton and the surrounding areas.

provide one-stop shopping for all Toyota needs. If you

Mr. Brooker had owned various domestic franchises but

are looking to buy a new Toyota, a certified Toyota used

did not quite know what he had gotten into, as Toyota was

vehicle, or you need parts, service, or Collision Care, then

a very small player in the North American Automotive

North Georgia Toyota is the only name you need to know in

Industry. He agreed to try it for five years, and if sales

the North Georgia area.

justified it, he would build a standalone facility. Sales did

North Georgia Toyota and Collision Care are staffed

take off, and the new North Georgia Toyota was opened

with approximately 75 dedicated employees, many of them

on Walnut Ave in 1980. By 1997 the business had grown,

being bi-lingual. The industry is constantly changing, and

and another facility was built on the same campus. Growth

North Georgia Toyota works hard to keep its employees

continued through the 90s and 2000s, and the need to

trained and to provide access to the latest technology and

expand came again. An extensive remodel was started in

resources available.

2014, and the “new” North Georgia Toyota had its grand

Like everyone else, the automotive industry has

re-opening in 2016. The upgrade gave more customer and

faced significant challenges in the last three years. North

service parking, a 3 Bay Lube Center, a bigger showroom,

Georgia Toyota has strived to continue to serve our local

retail parts area, new sales offices, a new enclosed Service

communities and take care of their “backyard.” Many

drive, and an enclosed vehicle delivery area.

dealers resorted to add-ons to MSRP and other tactics. North

In 2020 North Georgia Toyota rolled Collision Care

Georgia Toyota did not resort to these tactics. Instead, they

Center under the Brooker Motor Co umbrella. Collision Care

focused on taking care of their customers and continuing to

24 // May 2023

provide a good and easy buying and servicing experience. Through challenging times that have not returned to preCovid conditions, North Georgia Toyota employees have strived to always say, “Oh, yes, we can!” Toyota continues to provide a stellar lineup of vehicles for the consumer. Toyota has been a part of our world for over 75 years. The best way toward a cleaner future is with a diverse lineup of powertrain options. Toyota has you covered whichever powertrain you choose. For safety, every Toyota offers an integrated system of active and passive safety technologies to protect you and your passengers. Come see what makes Toyota a top-ranked seller, topranked in safety features, top-ranked in reliability, and topranked in resale values. North Georgia Toyota was owned by Edgar Brooker until he died in 2010. Upon his death, his son, Eddie Brooker, became the Dealer Principal of North Georgia Toyota. Eddie had worked in various capacities at the dealership since graduating from the University of Georgia in 1983. The dealership has survived many ups and downs in the last 40 years. Recessions, high-interest rates, tsunamis in Japan, competition in the marketplace, Covid, supply chain issues, etc. Through it all, North Georgia Toyota has focused on being the “Best Place to Buy a Car or a Related Service.” More importantly, it has focused on being the “Best Place to Work for its Associates.” It takes both to be a success and a good corporate citizen. North Georgia Toyota has won various accolades awarded by Toyota for Customer Relations Excellence, Parts Excellence, Service Excellence, and Dealer Excellence, including Southeast Toyota’s “Elite” Status. North Georgia Toyota has also been represented by numerous Sales, Service, and Management employees in the prestigious

Southeast Toyota “PROS” program, an award for excellent Sales, Customer Service, and Product Knowledge skills. Today, the dealership is led by Eddie Brooker as Dealer Principal and Greg Epps as General Manager and Managing Partner. Eddie and Greg have been lifelong friends, and both graduated from the University of Georgia in 1983. Greg joined Eddie at North Georgia Toyota in 2010 and became General Manager in 2013. In 2020 Greg became an equity partner and handles the day-to-day operations of the dealership. Eddie and Greg are excited to be a part of the North Georgia community and give back to the community that has been a part of their lives for so many years. As they will often remind us, “Some people say y’all can’t do that. What do we say? Oh, yes, we can!” They both look forward to continuing to make North Georgia Toyota the “Best Place to do Business” and the “Best Place to Work.” // 25

Gò0dNews for Health Therapy Dog at Hamilton Medical Center Celebrates 2,000th Visit


haonia, a 9-year-old American Kennel Club registered American Staffordshire terrier, recently celebrated her 2,000th pet visit with Hamilton Medical Center (HMC). Shaonia has 2,840 volunteer hours as a therapy dog. “That is a huge milestone for our furry friend,” says Gay Ann Talley, Guest and Volunteer Services supervisor, “and we are so proud of her.” Joanne Davis, Shaonia’s owner, started volunteering with HMC’s Therapy Dog Program in February of 2014 and has had two other dogs participating in the program in the past, Shawnee, an American Staffordshire terrier, and Sophie, a springer spaniel. They have since retired. Sabrina, a Boston terrier, is the newest addition. “Sabrina visits Hamilton occasionally but not often because Hamilton is Shaonia’s people,” said Davis. “She knows when I have been to Hamilton without her, and I get the cold shoulder for a while, but not too long. Shaonia has a heart as big as her smile, so she doesn’t stay upset for long.” Davis says when she rescued Shaonia, she never dreamt she would be a therapy dog. But one day everything changed. “She was scared to death of everything!” says Davis. “I would take her out to explore the world. And one day, she pulled me over to this gentleman, sat at his feet and looked up at him. He started to pet her, and that was it. A therapy dog immerged!” Shaonia became certified with Alliance of Therapy Dogs in 2016. “Shaonia has gotten really good at being a therapy dog,” Davis says. “When we enter into a room, she can feel who needs her the most. Whether they’re anxious, nervous, not feeling well or worried, she picks up on this and goes and sits in front of them so they can pet her.” Davis says she and her dogs participate in the program to make people smile and feel better. “When you walk into a patient room and they see the pups and their faces light up, you can’t get a better feeling than that,” Davis says. “When we are walking down the halls, we often hear nurses say, ‘SHAONIA!’ and they come up to her to get their love. Their reactions and interactions with Shaonia are heartwarming to me and make me feel very blessed we are able to do therapy dog visits.”

26 // May 2023

HMC’s Therapy Dog Program is part of its plan to treat the whole patient. The therapy dogs visit with patients, families, and associates throughout the campus, including patient rooms, the Peeples Cancer Institute, the Emergency Department, medical intensive care unit, and even administrative offices. Other volunteers in HMC’s Therapy Dog Program include Jill Durden with Quigley, an Australian shepherd, and Janie DuBose with Buck, a terrier mix. Researchers and experts agree that pets excel as therapeutic agents in the healing process and serve as a strong antidote to the depression that is often associated with acute medical diagnoses. Studies have shown that patients and family members who interact with a therapy dog experience a decrease in blood pressure and stress levels. A visit from a therapy dog team helps break the daily routine, increases overall emotional well-being and stimulates the mind in compelling ways. Therapy dog visits offer benefits which include bringing joy and laughter, taking a person’s mind off of aches, pains and worries, encouraging the sharing of emotions and stories, providing an opportunity to communicate with others, lowering stress levels and rekindling fond memories of a person’s own pet. “When anyone pets the dogs, they are releasing oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, into their body and also into the dogs,” says Davis. “Shaonia is addicted to being a therapy dog. I have been very blessed to have Shaonia come into my life. To be able to share her with people has been another blessing. We both look forward to visiting with more people and hope to have many more years participating in the program.”


Gò0dNews Poetry

My Love Letter Carrie O’Neal

You are the lover of my heart, And the saver of my soul. You cleanse my life, And make me whole. You’re more than I’ll ever understand, And more than I deserve. Yet you teach me daily, And give me Your Word.

I can’t fathom Your love, But I’m forever so grateful To be called Your child, And sit at Your table. 28 // May 2023

About The Author

Lord you correct me, You never reject me. You sacrificed your Son to eternally protect me.

Carrie is a work from home wife and mother to three children. While her college education is in English/ Creative Writing, Carrie currently works in the field of Marketing. She truly loves Jesus and wants to do what she can to spread His message of freedom, love, and hope.

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Gò0dNews for Everyone



by Brent Goodge

even weeks following the Passover, the Israelites

of Christ’s commission. The man wasn’t a theologian, but

celebrated the Feast of Weeks. Seven weeks after

he could tell an audience who wouldn’t listen to Jesus

the original Passover during the deliverance from

what the power of Christ had accomplished in his life. And

Egyptian slavery, God spoke His Ten Commandments to

when Jesus returned to the region, this man’s missionary

Israel. This was the inauguration of the nation of Israel as

efforts resulted in a massive harvest of souls for the

His people.

kingdom of God.

On an annual basis, the Feast of Weeks would usually occur during our month of May. It was a thanksgiving

Seven weeks after Jesus died and was raised from the dead, the Holy Spirit fell on the apostles. One hundred and

celebration for the spring harvest and a prayer of faith for a strong autumn harvest. It was one of the three annual feasts all adult Israelite males were commanded to attend. The morning after calming the sea, Jesus met a man the world would consider hopeless. Demonic powers had granted him strength in all the wrong ways. The man could rip irons out of rock, but he had no power to go find Jesus for supernatural deliverance. Like the lamb lost on the hills, the only hope for this man was that the Good Shepherd would come looking for him. While His frightened disciples ran away, Jesus stayed, unafraid to complete the mission His Father had sent Him to do that day. Bring home the lost sheep. In the presence of Almighty God, the demons trembled. Begging Jesus not to send them to torment for

twenty disciples became 3,000 in a day. The Gospel went to

torturing one created in His image, the demons asked

the known world in one generation. Deliverance on Calvary

to invade a herd of pigs. Jesus granted their request but

had led to the early harvest at Pentecost.

demanded they leave His child immediately. Almost instantaneously, the onlookers were distraught

That 3,000 has grown to over two billion who claim to follow Jesus today. The final harvest is fast approaching. Are

that a massive value of pigs drowned in the lake. But the

we telling others what Jesus has done for us? Are we finding

Father in heaven was rejoicing that another child had been

the lost sheep? Or do we run away from “losers?” If we

brought home. Jesus had done it again.

have received the deliverance from Christ, if we have been

The man had been delivered from slavery to sin and the devil. He was now a living symbol of the early harvest

inaugurated as His people, then how can we possibly have any higher priority until He returns?

of souls. Falling to his knees in gratitude and worship, the followers. But Jesus said, “No.” He had received the power of Christ’s redemption. Now he would receive the power

30 // May 2023

About The Author

man begged Jesus for permission to join the band of His Brent Goodge lives in Whitfield County and prays for focus to listen for the Master’s voice rather than staring at the surrounding waves.





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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Color in the Clouds

“The Heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Ps. 19:1).


by Terrie Ruff fter work I decided to pick up something quick

and saw nature as a witness of God’s creation. The red

for dinner and run another errand before

revealed His loving sacrifice for my sins and the sins of

heading home. Honestly, I was distracted by

the whole world. And the yellow seemed to be shouting

several thoughts that day and wanted peace of mind. I

to me that I had the Son of Righteousness in my life, and

kept dwelling on my “issues,” and before long, I began

that the sun would shine again! I would smile again and

to feel down. I tried to call several friends and no one—I

my tears were temporary. And the “Son” was shining,

mean no one—was available! I then began to get angry

and I was smiling. Hallelujah. What a colorful God!

because I try to always be there for them, now I couldn’t find anyone (my self-pity party had begun). With only voice messages and silence, I had almost

I will never forget that colorful cloud and how God showed up at just the right time in a wonderful display of color, reminding me that He delights to be with me

worked myself into tears when I noticed ahead of me

and that by any means necessary, He will come to me

a bright, colorful cloud! The first color was blue, then

when I need Him the most. Even if it’s in the form of a

red and yellow! It looked as if the sun was reflecting

colorful cloud!

the colors off of the fall trees in the surrounding area,

How has God “wowed” you lately? How has nature

and I was able to witness fall colors in the sky! I was so

reminded you of God’s love, watch, care, and protection of

amazed at this sight that I forgot about my “issues” and

you? The next time you see something extraordinary in

began to focus on the awesome Creator God I serve. Just

nature, consider it a gift/reminder from God just for you!

at the moment of a tearful breakdown, He gave me a The colors I saw were peaceful and calming. The blue brought me to my knees as I worshipped God

32 // May 2023

About The Author

reason to smile! Terrie E. Ruff is a public speaker, soloist and inspirational author. She is an active member of the Orchard Park SDA Church in Chattanooga. Terrie can be contacted at

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Gò0dNews for Life

He Called First by Chase Holtzclaw


magine what it would be like if God had a cell phone.

We get to the point where we feel we have let our Father

Imagine if you had His number saved in your phone

down. In this frame of mind, we find ourselves defeated

as Father God. You can reach out to Him anytime you

and often lonely. We fall off the wagon or backslide, as

want to text or call Him. You can speak to your Father

they used to say. We tend to forget who God really is to us.

anytime you want, knowing when you text or call, He

We forget how much He is for us, and yes, I meant to say,

would answer you. What would you do if you had this

“how much He is for us.” Remember what the Word says,

ability to communicate with Him in

“If God is for you, who can be against

this way? Would you text Him all the

you?” (Romans 8:31). When we become a child of God,

time or call Him for everything? Or would you not want to bother Him

He is our Father, no question about

because you thought He was busy?

it. He becomes our Father who loves

What would you do with such a gift

us and is for us. He may not like

as this? What if Father sent you a text

all the things we do or how we act

every day and told you good morning

sometimes but He loves us the same.

and how much He loves you. It

We must remember these things and

would be wonderful to feel that love

keep them close to our hearts. When

from your Father every day.

we get away from Father, it is not Him

After a while, when life gets busy,

who leaves us. It is not Him who stops

would you start to see Father is calling

calling. Father always keeps His phone

but hesitant to pick up the phone?

charged and right beside Him. He

Maybe you’re too busy today to have

always wants to talk to His children

a conversation with Him, or you could

and make sure we know how much He

not be in the right mood to talk to your

loves us. He is always willing to give

Father. A little time goes by, and you’re

you the best advice even if it’s not what

just not where you want to be in life, or

you want to hear. If you have stopped

you have things in your life you know

calling Father back, now is the best

that your Father would not like, so you

time to dial His number. He may speak

don’t respond back to Him. After all,

with a whisper, but you, His child, will

it is not hard to get busy or feel a little

know His voice. It is never too late to

ashamed or embarrassed sometimes. Each time He calls and

call God. He is waiting up day and night to hear your voice.

you do not answer, more guilt fills your heart. Days turn

He loves you so much. I pray you make that call today. I

into weeks, and weeks into months.

pray you get the chance to hear Father’s voice. It will change

Either way you want to look at it, if we do not keep in

your life.

lost the relationship we built with Him. We feel guilty for not building that connection to become closer with Him.

34 // May 2023

About The Author

touch with our Heavenly Father, we feel as though we have Chase Holtzclaw has three wonderful kids. God saved Chase’s life by showing him He has a better way. Chase prays that he can show his children how to love God above everything and to love their neighbor as themselves.

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Gò0dNews for Everyone

April Showers


by Janice Washington

e’ve all heard the old adage: “April showers bring May flowers.” Sit down with an apple blossom or a chrysanthemum. Go ahead, get real up close and personal: “Chrysanthemum, you’re sporting a lovely fuchsia heugh this season. May I ask where you got it? Apple Blossom, your fragrance is to die for. May I ask how you acquired it?” If you listen carefully, they—like a great aunt with a southern drawl—will chuckle back, “Oh this old thing? I got it from April Showers.” May’s flowers are a direct result of April’s showers. This natural

dynamic has metaphorical value and its sentiment is echoed throughout God’s word. You see, May dawns the glitz, but April holds the grit. May epitomizes freshness—birds are chirping, bees are buzzing, and animals are coming out of hibernation. May sings lead while April harmonizes in the background under dim lighting. April is to Calvary what May is to Resurrection. Psalm 30:5 puts it this way, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Isaiah 61:3 describes it as an exchange of sorts: beauty for ashes, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, and the oil of joy instead of that of mourning. While April’s raindrops are pummeling the earth, we all know that May’s flowers are coming. There is something about a picturesque May that puts a messy April into context. We tolerate the former in anticipation of the latter. One is to be endured, the other to be enjoyed. Call it

36 // May 2023

perspective, call it comfort, call it crazy, but isn’t it the birth of a child that makes the labor pains worth it? Romans 8:28 makes it clear that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Suppose, however, that (metaphorically speaking) the awareness of May does not eliminate the sting, impact, nor trauma of April. What solace does the word offer us when life is not so cut and dry? What do we do with miscarriages, relapses, natural disasters, infidelity, eating disorders, paralysis? How do we cope when the pain is graphic, deep, and ugly? What happens when life intrudes upon our stability in taboo shades of cancer, molestation, poverty, identity confusion, postpartum depression, pornography addiction, and PTSD, to name a few? What is the answer when the promise of May’s flowers is not enough to process the gravity of April’s showers? When the mud won’t wash away, when the imagery remains long after the monsoon has passed? One word: “Gethsemane.” It is the intersection of humanity and deity, where Christ grappled with the task before him. A reckoning place. A grayness. Under the weight of expectation, a vulnerable savior prayed with blood, sweat, and—I imagine—tears for an alternative. Yes, a resurrection was His to claim, but crucifixion was the prerequisite. Liberation was the final destination, but torture was the vehicle that would get Him there. Gethsemane literally translates to “oil press.” This was a place of pressing, where friends slept while He carried the weight of the world. In honest prayer, He pressed beyond “Can this cup pass from Me? to “Not my will, but Yours be done.” Sometimes April lingers and you are up to your waist in flood water, debt, unforgiveness, chemo treatments, or even suicidal thoughts. Sometimes you are seeking desperately for a way out, an alternative to the storm. The promise of May’s flowers can seem far off, a faint whisper competing for your faith over the sound of thunder. May God’s sovereignty settle like a healing balm until raindrops give way to sprouts and Gethsemane ushers in courage. Oh, and the next time you cross a chrysanthemum or an apple blossom, perhaps you will be the pinnacle of the garden this time. “Reader, just where did you get that glow?”


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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Was This the Last One?


by John Garrod

he troubles had begun before Thanksgiving, with

in the door of my mind. A thought began to haunt me:

problems that even left my primary care physician

Was this Christmas just past my last one?

at the VA scratching her head a bit. She tossed out

possibilities and acronyms with no certainty to any of them. The one thing that stuck in my head was that this problem needed to be fixed, and soon. Then in January, came one of those voicemail messages you don’t ever want to get. Based on a scan

And then I began to do the wise thing. I began to pray. I began to look at the Word. The reality is, yes, I am going to die. Short of the Rapture coming soon (today before lunch would be fine, Lord), something will get the better of this body. Cancer? Tailgaters on a wet I-75? Random Chinese

I had done last July (yes, 6 months prior), a doctor

weather balloon falling on me? I don’t know. I don’t

somewhere in the system determined I had a form of

know how, and I don’t know when. I don’t know if it will be peacefully in my sleep, or screaming like the passengers in my car at the time. But just as much as I don’t know the how or when, I do know how it turns out. God will still be God, and Jesus will still be my savior. Every promise He gives me in the Word will be true, and I 110% believe that when that day does come, as I enter the gates of heaven, I will in no way whatsoever be concerned about cancer, tailgaters, or the indignity of death. I won’t spare a thought as to whether I have a good doctor or not. I won’t be second-guessing my dietary choices. On that day, I will cry no tears and feel no fear, nor will I ever do any of these

cirrhosis, a suspicious spot on my liver, and I needed to

again. The road of life between this point and there may

be evaluated for home health care. (That last bit was an

be rife with potholes, detours, and washouts, but the

error; the doctor’s assistant just basically guessed at the

destination is worth the disturbances.

meaning of an abbreviation on a note from the doctor and left that on my voicemail.) Don’t ever Google medical stuff. It’s a bad idea. Two hours in, I was convinced I was rabid or maybe had

“And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death will be no more, nor will there be sorrow or crying or pain anymore; for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

by the time I was done, I was almost ready to just go dig a hole somewhere. Fear was trying to stick its size 18 shoe

38 // May 2023

About The Author

ovarian cysts. Pretty unlikely for a 58-year-old man, but John Garrod is father of 6, husband of 1, an ESOL teacher in Dalton, GA, a Lee U graduate (c/o ‘19), a U.S. Army veteran and a member of South Cleveland COG.


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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Cat’s Rule by Donald Cantrell


t has been around seventeen years since I heard, “There

Ziggy is now one healthy, gigantic ball of fur, weighing in

will be no animals in this house,” from my wife. That

at a grand total of 20 pounds, and none of it is muscle.

was right before my daughter talked her into it and

As my wife prepares for work each morning, we can

brought home this chocolate-colored ball of fur that we

usually depend on one of the cats, if not both, getting upon

named Coco. We were blessed to have her in our lives

the counter, sprawling out and watching her as she does

almost twelve years. Then, I heard the same thing, “There

her morning routine. I have never really been a cat lover

will be no more animals in this house.”

until these two guys came into our lives, and now I am

Well, we now have two cats, and those big boys rule the house. The first one is here now because we rescued a

sold on cats. I truly think that cats are smarter than dogs, and if they could talk, they would agree.

Russian Blue cat from a place in Chattanooga, Tennessee,

We just purchased some new furniture for our living

without knowing that ole “Jelly Bean” did not like my

room, and Ziggy has taken a liking to the new recliner,

wife and terrified her when I was gone. We had to take

which was supposed to be for my wife. There is no way

him back, and after a thorough search, I

that she would even attempt to oust him,

found another Russian Blue, whom we

because he has taken a liking to me, and any

named “Gizmo” because of the markings

attempt by her to move him might not be so

on his face.

smart. In reality, he has bluffed her and she

This big boy is a lean mean fighting

thinks that he is the boss.

machine, who weighs in at a grand total

I go out for breakfast every morning and

of eleven pounds, but it is all muscle. If

the moment I arrive home, Gizmo is waiting

you have never had a Russian Blue in your

for me as he looks out the window. Then he

home, then you are missing out. This big

jumps down and waits for me to take him

boy is a loner, and you can only mess with

outside, so that he can look around. If I

him on his own terms. If you try to, he will

could read his mind, this big boy has a

let you know that he doesn’t want to be

call for the wild and would only come

messed with by giving you a love tap or a

home to eat. Ziggy, on the other

sternly placed bite.

hand, never wants to go outside

Believe it or not, I was brave enough

and could care less about it.

to try and bring another Russian Blue

One thing I have learned

home, though this one was deathly sick,

about cats is this, “Cat’s Rule”

unbeknownst to us. He would hide under

and we merely serve.

our furniture, displaying no personality.

40 // May 2023

About The Author

After many trips to the veterinarian, ole 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.”


Christian Magazine

Mission Statement:


Writer Guidelines:

e believe when people are equipped,

Who: Our writers range from pastors, professors, and

motivated, and passionately engaged in

professional writers to stay at home moms and dads,

living out their faith in Jesus Christ they

business professionals, and others who have a desire to

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

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

Morning Glory Muffins by Talma Clark

Ingredients • 2 cups of all-purpose flour • 1 1/3 cups of sugar • 2 teaspoons of baking soda

Instructions 1. Combine the first five ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir in carrots and the next four ingredients.

• 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

2. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine oil and remaining ingredients.

• ½ teaspoon of salt

3. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened.

• 2 cups of grated carrots • ½ cup of raisins • ½ cup of shredded coconut • ½ cup of chopped pecans • 1 (8 ounce) can of crushed pineapple (drained) • 1 cup of vegetable oil (canola oil) • 3 large eggs (lightly beaten) • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

42 // May 2023

4. Place paper baking cups in muffin pans. Spoon 2/3 full. 5. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown. 6. Remove from pan. Yields approximately 22 muffins. 7. Grab a cup of coffee or milk!

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Gò0dNews Poetry

Master Of My Soul by Judy Hood

He is the Master of my soul Everyday I make heaven my goal I walk the very narrow straight One day St. Peter will let me through the gate I bow my head as I fast and pray I know He will be with me all the way My journey is long, but my heart beats strong Nothing can keep me from the throng I love my Lord more than life, you know I gave Him my heart, I gave Him my soul So if you would like to live in heaven too Just humbly bow, He’s been waiting for you 44 // May 2023

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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Do You Want to Receive More Blessings Beyond What You Request?


by Dr. I. Esther Jeba

e usually make requests to God for the

Although the Israelites’ behavior angered God, He still

fulfillment of our desires. However, if we do

wished to fulfill their longing for meat. He directed

not receive a prompt response, we may lower

Moses to instruct the people to consecrate themselves in

our expectations and implore the Lord to grant us smaller

preparation for the next day when they would receive

wishes and bestow His blessings upon us. In times of

meat. God promised to provide them with meat for a

hardship, we may forget that God is omnipotent, we are

whole month until it would be nauseating. Moses relayed

His children, and He is capable of bestowing blessings

God’s message, and as promised, the people were given

that surpass our imagination. Instead, we may plead

meat. However, while they were still chewing the meat,

with Him as if we were impoverished beggars, hoping

the Lord’s wrath flared up against them, and a plague broke out killing many of them. Why were they unable to savor God’s blessings? Because they did not follow the Lord’s command to consecrate themselves, but instead only craved His blessings. If the Lord granted the wishes of the Israelites beyond their expectations, imagine how much greater He is to bless us beyond our own expectations and limitations. The Almighty Lord joyfully showers us with His blessings, much like a loving father who delights in giving gifts to his child. However, we may not receive these blessings if we are not prepared. To prepare ourselves

for a meager sum. This article will explore a secret way in

for the Lord’s blessings, we must consecrate ourselves

which we can receive blessings beyond our expectations.

and strive for holiness. Let us consider those of us

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding

who desire to receive blessings from the Lord: do we

abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to

also desire to be holy, which is the key to receiving

the power that worketh in us” (Eph. 3:20).

His blessings? Consecration is the secret to receiving

On their journey to Canaan, the children of Israel

blessings that exceed our expectations. Therefore, let us

had an insatiable desire for meat and began to wail.

dedicate ourselves to holiness and receive an abundance

When Moses heard their cries, he prayed to the Lord.

of blessings from above. Amen!

46 // May 2023

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