August 2022

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Gò0dNews August 2022


Christian Magazine




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Dr. Alan D. Hix Dr. Andrew Lee Beth Penny Brenda Dedmon Chad Hess Chase Holtzclaw Cheryl L. Dunson Detrick Redding Donald Cantrell Jodi Varnado Judy Hood Karla Smedley Kristen West Sandra Gilmore Shannon Richardson-Hopkins Susan Lavigne Wayne Williams Zebbie Brewster


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Contents AUGUST 2022

GoodNews from the Pastor’s Desk

6 Ending the Search for Peace by Detrick Redding

GoodNews for Kids

8 Time For Back to School! by Brenda Dedmon

GoodNews Money Matters

10 Learning the Secret Language

by Dr. Andrew Lee GoodNews for Men

12 Marvelous Mercies by Donald Cantrell

GoodNews for Women

14 Planned Preparation by Karla Smedley

GoodNews for Fathers

18 Step Up to The Plate by Wayne Williams

GoodNews for Everyone

20 Unsanitized Prayer by Kristen West

GoodNews Cover Story

22 Burgess Insurance Services: Matching Clients to Companies

by Jodi Varnado GoodNews for Everyone

24 Be A Witness for God by Susan Lavigne

GoodNews for Life

26 Sharpened For the Battle by Chase Holtzclaw

GoodNews Poetry

28 Learn To Love by Judy Hood

GoodNews for Everyone

30 Of All the Places by Sandra Gilmore

GoodNews for Everyone

32 What is Most Important


by Chad Hess

GoodNews for Everyone

34 Unwritten

by Beth Penny

GoodNews for Everyone

36 Patience

by Shannon Richardson-Hopkins

GoodNews for Everyone

38 Just One Word

by Zebbie Brewster

GoodNews for Everyone

40 Finding Strength in



by Dr. Alan D. Hix GoodNews for Everyone

42 God Loves All Creatures Great & Small

by Cheryl L. Dunson


Gò0dNews from the Pastor’s Desk

Ending the Search for Peace


by Detrick Redding

ow would you describe your heart? How would

every challenge].” That sounds like good news to me. Jesus

you describe your daily mood? What’s going on

passes along to us His perfect and complete peace to use in

in your mind? With the activities of the day and

our own lives. This peace is a supernatural peace that affects

time that we are in, there are many different variations of answers. We are faced with so many things that challenge

a natural world. We have Jesus’ peace located within us, so let’s look

the hearts and minds of many, from young to old, wealthy

at it. Jesus walked on water even when the storm was

to not so wealthy, those near and those far away. One thing

raging. Jesus spoke to a billowing storm, and it had to

that is common among all is that the issues of this world

stop blowing. Jesus was faced with a huge dilemma of

affect us all in some way or another.

feeding 5,000 men and their families with two fish and fives loaves of bread, but He never broke a sweat. Although He was challenged many times, His peace was always His umpire directing His life. This is the same peace that He has left for us to use. The key phrase in John 14:27 is “Do not let your heart be troubled; nor let it be afraid.” We have a responsibility to utilize the peace that He has left for us. Now, how can I apply Jesus’ peace? In Matthew 14:2233, Jesus was walking on water during a storm. When Peter saw Jesus, he asked to come to Jesus. He was given an invitation to come. Peter walked on the water just like Jesus. However, when he took his eyes off Jesus, he started sinking. We can learn from Peter in this instance.

There is one element that we all can benefit from, and

1. Desire to walk like Jesus.

that is peace. Peace is defined as a state of tranquility or

2. Be willing to be different than the majority.

quietness. Also, it is described as freedom from disturbance,

3. Keep your eyes on Jesus, not the storm.

a state of security or order. That sounds heavenly, doesn’t it?

We have a wonderful opportunity to utilize the same

Having peace in a turbulent world almost seems impossible.

peace that Jesus used. When the world is in turmoil,

Tranquility and order in a world of turbulence seems like a

God’s peace will guard our hearts and minds. His peace

dream. How can that dream come true?

will surround us like a shield. His peace is our refuge of

Jesus said to His disciples in John 14:27, AMP, “Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as

safety. We can’t let fear come in and take away our peace. Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God and His word!

troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for

6 // August 2022

About The Author

the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be Detrick Redding, born and raised in Rome, Georgia, is a husband to Toris and father to 4 children. Called to pastor at an early age, he currently pastors at Rally Up International Ministries in Rome, Georgia. Detrick has a deep passion for not only seeing people born again, but knowing their true identity and what is made available to all in Jesus Christ.

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Gò0dNews for Kids

Time For Back to School!


by Brenda Dedmon

hen you hear those words, how does it make

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

how you feel about starting back to school and how you

school. “I will write down your ideas.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

might even discover you have made a new best friend.

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

8 // August 2022

About The Author

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

Your One-Stop Shop For Insurance Ben McWhorter

601 E 1st St. Rome, GA 30161-3143 (706) 234-8686

Learning the Secret Language MONEY MATTERS



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

nyone who’s been married for a while knows that

or writes about “investment vehicles,” we might assume

marriage can sometimes be volatile, meaning, “likely

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

to change rapidly and unpredictably.” But what do

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

financial experts and economists mean when they use terms

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

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

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

them more understandable, shall we?

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

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

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

this means the market is swinging wildly up and down rather

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

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

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

this year, stock markets have been quite volatile.

So “debt instrument” means an investment that involves

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

loaning money in order to receive regular interest payments,

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

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

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

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

or mutual fund which holds stocks of many companies. The

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

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

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

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

they might sell bonds to raise the money from investors.

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

Interest rate environment: Let’s drop the confusing word

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

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

remaining mortgage debt. Sometimes we hear of an employee

up or going down.”

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

Passive investment/active investment: With a “passive

company—this means they receive a share of the company

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

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

collect regular payments such as dividends or interest, or you

their compensation package.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

folks would use simple terms that we can actually understand

some time and effort to sell them.

instead of obfuscating with pretentious jargon (that last word

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

10 // August 2022

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






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Gò0dNews for Men

Marvelous Mercies


by Donald Cantrell

was feeling a little nostalgic the other day and I thought

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

about one of those old metal or aluminum water dippers

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

that people used to have. My grandmother had one,

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

and several of my relatives had them around their houses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

does with His children.

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

Whenever we get knocked down, due to our own

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

dealings or because of some unexpected mishap, the Lord

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

immediately comes upon the scene, checks us out, brushes

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

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

never be exhausted or denied. One could easily assume

marvelous mercies, because they are fresh and faithful. If

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

that we are feeble and weak.

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

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

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

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

12 // August 2022

About The Author

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


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Gò0dNews for Women

Planned Preparation by Karla Smedley


Planned Panicking y sister Gail and I tend to worry. Over the years, when a family went to the hospital, we shared our concerns. Often, we fed on each other’s worries. She would say something like, “what if it is…or that …?” I would contribute, adding worse scenarios. On our worst panicking days, this exchange of woes continued back and forth for a while. Actually, we laughed, referring to our frets as planned panicking. We thought if we prepared for the worst and the worst came true, we would not have far to fall with our emotions, thinking it was the best way for us to handle the stress of the trials of life.

dangerously difficult to recover from. God’s way is more difficult to find because it is hidden among the overgrown weeds of this world. However, if we push back the briars, we can find His hand. Then unknowns become less frightening. While our world changes rapidly, God never changes. He wants to comfort, strengthen, and guide us. His principles are timeless; His ways bring healing and peace. Planned Preparation I am thankful that along the bumpy roads of our lives, Gail and I have matured in our faith. His goodness was, is, and will always be. He is there to hold us when we cry,

The Unknown For me, my most difficult trials are usually the ones that accompany a large unknown element, which leaves me wondering: what, when, where, and how. The unrevealed path looms ahead, and I struggle with navigating it. Thus, planned panicking seems to help. I visualize, directing myself through the worst-case scenario, knowing I could

World’s Way or God’s Way Looking for a path, the world’s way will often tell us to hate our way through, find revengeful actions to retaliate, or perhaps reach for a substance to deal with the pain. We can easily view these choice actions in response to the daily hits of the situation. Click on the television, look at social media, and check out the headlines on magazines. We can also allow sadness to develop into depression. Satan loves this worldly way, and he is good at throwing exaggerations our way: it is always or it will never. These falsehoods can throw us into a tornado of negative thinking, which can be

14 // August 2022

help us stand again, and light the path ahead. Still, while we cannot understand all the why’s of this world, God’s guidance allows us to navigate the way we should walk the unexplainable paths His way, helping with the when’s, where’s, what’s, and how’s. Abiding in His Word helps me prepare for the rains and storms. Seeking Godly wisdom from sound-Christian friends provides an earthly crutch through the debris of the trials. Making a mental or written list of how He has carried me through previously troubled times builds my confidence, allowing trust to breed and take flight over hardships. Planned preparation is not as easy as planned panicking because it takes time, but it brings peace! “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in troubles” (Psalms 46). About The Author

walk anything pertaining to it. None of us can live without facing trials. Perhaps, these trials are as simple as spilling something on your shirt right before a big meeting or being late due to traffic. Other times, the trials can be life-altering: loss, illness, death, finances, betrayal, moves, disappointment, and unwanted change. Hardships require us to make some choices, whether we want to or not. The bigger the trial, the bigger the effects on our lives. If we stand still, the tidal wave of change can knock us over. So, I see two choices.

Karla Smedley lives in Dalton, Georgia, where she has taught 5th through 8th grade for the past twenty-four years. She is a member of Emmaus Baptist Church and has two grown children. She enjoys singing with the praise team at church, and she writes a Christian blog, Smorgasbord of Sisterhood, with her cousin Donna.

Come in on your birthday and receive a free pasta dinner, including our famous house salad and garlic rolls, with spumoni ice cream for dessert.

288 Shorter Avenue NW, Rome, Georgia 706.378.9009 | Study At Your Own Pace


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Rome Church Directory

African Methodist Episcopal Bethel AME Church 22 Nichols Rd Rome, Ga 30161 706-295-0019 St. James AME Zion Church 3 Maxwell Lane Rome, GA 30165 404-307-7396 Summer Hill AME Church 1981 Kingston Hwy NE Rome, Ga 30161 706-235-7113


St. Andrew’s Anglican Church 42 Ash Street Rome, Ga 30161 706-235-5892


First Apostolic Church of Rome 3213 Cave Spring Rd Rome, Ga 30161 706-235-9551

Assembly of God

Redemption Church 105 Broadus Road NE Rome, Ga 30161 706-232-0277


Antioch Baptist Church 4526 Big Texas Valley Rome, Ga 30165 706-232-7248 Armuchee Baptist Church 6648 Big Texas Valley Rd NW Rome, Ga 30165 706-235-3169 Berean Baptist Church 8 Skyline Dr Rome, Ga 30161 706-295-9832 Blue Pond Baptist Church 1291 Morrison Campground Rome, Ga 30161 706-235-3296 Bryant Chapel Baptist Church 24 Shady Lane Rome, Ga 30161 706-235-9768 Bush Arbor Baptist Church 3290 Black Bluff Rd Rome, Ga. 30161 770-885-0779 Calhoun Avenue Baptist Church 1021 Calhoun Ave Rome, Ga 30161 706-234-4431 Calvary Baptist Church 101 Broadus Rd NE Rome, Ga 30161 706-291-1461 Cedar Valley Baptist Church 3024 Cedartown Hwy SW Rome, Ga 30161 706-295-0978 Community Chapel Baptist Church 3733 Black Bluff Rd Rome, Ga 30161 706-232-4070 Desoto Park Baptist Church 1107 Cave Spring Rd. Rome, Ga 30161 706-232-6207 Dykes Creek Baptist Church 3181 Kingston Hwy NE Rome Ga, 30161 706-291-7790

16 // August 2022

East Rome Baptist Church 601 Cedar Ave Rome, Ga 30161 706-234-8553 East View Baptist Church 901 Kingston Ave Rome, Ga 30161 706-291-8250 Emmanuel Baptist Church 1414 Old Dalton Rd Rome, Ga 30165 706-232-3939 Enon Baptist Church 3105 Turkey Mountain Rome, Ga 30161 706-295-5052 Fairview Baptist Church 2348 Old Cedartown Hwy SE Lindale, Ga 30147 Fellowship Rome Baptist Church 314 Burnett Ferry Rd Rome, Ga 30165 706-234-9416 First Baptist Church 100 E 4th Ave Rome, Ga 30161 706-291-6850 Flatrock Baptist Church 848 Cunningham Rd SW Rome, Ga 30161 706-234-9976 Flint Hill Baptist Church 3578 Wax Rd SE, Aragon, GA 30104 706-232-8121 Friendship Baptist Church 2283 Calhoun Rd NE Rome, Ga 30161 706-295-4803 Garden Lakes Baptist Church 2200 Redmond Cir Rome, Ga 30165 706-234-6615 Greater Mount Calvary Baptist 445 East 14th St Rome, Ga 30161 706-234-5047 Hill Crest Baptist Church 2202 N Broad St Rome, Ga 30161 706-291-8806 Hollywood Baptist Church 112 Lombardy Way Rome, Ga 30161 706-234-6642 In Focus Baptist Church 12 N Hughes Rome, Ga 30165 706-234-8963 Lakeview Baptist Church 80 Salem Dr Rome, Ga 30165 706-235-2149 Lovejoy Baptist Church 436 Branham Ave Rome, Ga 30171 706-232-1917 McFall Baptist Church 3011 Rockmart Rd SE Rome, Ga 30161 706-235-5673 Mount Alto Church 1915 Huffaker Rd NW Rome, Ga 30165 706-232-6222 Mount Carmel Baptist Church E 20th St Rome, Ga 30161 706-232-8777 Mount Olive Baptist Church 17 E Pennington Rome, Ga 30161

706-234-6413 New Antioch Baptist Church 4553 Calhoun Rd NE Rome, Ga 30161 706-295-2248 New Bethel Baptist Church Weathington Dr Rome, Ga 30161 706, 291-8939 New Canaan Baptist Church 3 Excelsior St Rome, Ga 30165 706-291-1984 New Hope Baptist Church Hwy 156 Rome, Ga 706-235-0250 New Hope Baptist Church 399 Moran Lake Rd Rome, Ga 30161 706-290-0507 North Broad Baptist Church 1309 N Broad St Rome, Ga 30161 706-295-2100 Northwood Missionary Baptist 4076 Calhoun Rd NE Rome, Ga 30161 Park Ave Baptist Church 531 Park Ave SE Lindale, GA 30147 Parkview Baptist Church 4 Wesley Drive Rome, Ga 30165 706-232-4431 PisGah Baptist Church Alabama Rd Rome, Ga 30161 706-232-4431 Pleasant Hope Baptist Church 5935 Rockmart Road SE Silver Creek, Ga 706-235-2800 Pleasant Grove Baptist Church 500 N Division St Rome, Ga 30165 706-235-0731 Pleasant Valley North Baptist 735 Old Summerville Road NW Rome, GA 30165 706-232-6426 Pleasant Valley South Baptist 702 Pleasant Valley Rd SE Silver Creek, Ga 30173 706-234-1841 Providence Baptist Church 17 Burnett Ferry Road SW Rome, Ga 30165 706-291-0689 Riverside Baptist Church 48 Ash Street Rome, Ga 30161 706-291-8114 State Line Baptist Church 8536 Black Bluff Road Cave Spring, Ga 30124 678-988-0339 Saint Paul Baptist Church Pleasant Valley Rd Rome, Ga 30161 706-235-5037 Second Avenue Baptist 823 E 2nd Ave Rome, Ga 30161 706-232-3663 Shannon First Baptist Church 400 Fourth Street, PO Box 997, Shannon, GA 30172 Sherwood Forest Baptist Church 1 Goodman Rd Rome, Ga 30161

706-291-6174 Shorter Avenue Baptist Church 1410 Shorter Ave Rome, Ga 30165 706-234-8266 South Broad Baptist Church 508 South Broad St Rome, Ga 30161 Spring Creek Baptist Church 2636 Chulio Rd SE Rome, Ga 30161 706-234-1220 Springfield Baptist Church 113 Smith St Rome, Ga 30161 706-295-7217 Thankful Baptist Church 935 Spider Webb Dr Rome, Ga 30161 706-291-8132 Three Rivers Church 2960 New Calhoun Highway NE Rome, Ga 706-766-0942 Trinity Baptist Church 1728 Calhoun Rd NE Rome, Ga 30161 706-295-3368 Turner Chapel Baptist Church 756 Turner Chapel Rd Rome, Ga 30161 706-235-8682 Unity Baptist Church 2261 Pleasant Valley Rd Rome, Ga 30161 706-232-2184 West End Baptist Church 107 Mississippi Dr Rome, Ga 30165 706-235-1971 West Rome Baptist Church 914 Shorter Ave Rome, Ga 30165 706-232-9722 Wilkerson Road Baptist Church Wilkerson Rd Rome, Ga 30161 Woodlawn Baptist Church 1649 Cartersville Hwy SE Rome, Ga 30161 706-232-4171 Word & Way Baptist Church New Rocketmart Rd Rome, Ga 30161 706-234-8729


Saint Mary Catholic Church 911 N Broad St Rome, Ga 30161 706-295-7014

Christian & Missionary Alliance

Missionary Alliance 306 Coker Dr Rome, Ga 20165 706-235-9190

Church of Christ

Church of Christ 108 E Callahan St Rome, Ga 30161 706-291-0675 Lindale Church of Christ 3035 Maple Road Lindale, Ga 30147 706-234-3027 Oak Hill Church of Christ 1500 Martha Berry Hwy Rome, Ga 20165 706-291-0351

Rome Church of Christ 121 Primrose Road Rome, Ga 30161 706-234-4444

Church of God

Armuchee Church of God 4974 Martha Berry Hwy Rome, Ga 30165 706-232-4414 Church of God of Prophecy 94 Huffaker Rd. Rome, GA 30165 706-528-4225 Lindale Church of God 585 Park Ave Lindale, Ga 30147 706-232-5676 New Life Church of God 210 E 18th St Rome, Ga 30161 706-232-0704 New Hope Overcoming Church of God 200 Nixon Ave Rome, Ga 30161 706-234-4695 North Rome Church of God 1929 N Broad St Rome, Ga 30161 706-291-6687 Rome AOH Church of God 504 Decatur St Rome, Ga 30165 706-295-2999 West Rome Church of God UA 2827 Alabama Hwy Rome, Ga 30165 706-880-6895

706-234-4923 Renovation Church 13 Redmond Ct. Rome GA 30165 706-314-9084

Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 3300 Garden Lakes Pkwy Rome, Ga 30165 706-235-2281


Holy Trinity Lutheran Church 3000 Garden Lakes Blvd Rome, Ga 30165 706-232-7257


Cornerstone Church 324 Mathis Dr Rome, Ga 30165

Beech Creek UMC 2972 Alabama Hwy, Rome, Ga 30165 706-235-4973 Chapel Hill UMC 1818 Kingston Rd Rome, Ga 30161 706-232-9177 Holsey Sinai CME Church 1233 Martin L King Rome, Ga 30161 706-295-7265 Lindsay Chapel UMC 9 College Park Dr SW Rome, Ga 30161 Livingston UMC 21 E Lakeshore Dr SE Rome, Ga 30161 Metropolitan UMC 700 Broad St Rome, Ga 30161 706-291-8660 Mt Pleasant UMC 4782 Alabama Hwy Rome, Ga 30165 706-232-4350 New Bethel Methodist Church Reeceburg Rd Rome, Ga 30161 706-235-9700 North Rome UMC 706-291-6704 Oostanaula UMC 74 Battey Farm Rd Rome, Ga 30161 706-292-0084 Rome First UMC 202 E 3rd Ave Rome, Ga 30161 706-291-8590 Rush Chapel UMC 1225 Rush Chapel Rd Rome, Ga 30161 706-291-7986 Scott Chapel UMC 3 Chambers St NE Rome, Ga 30161 Second Avenue UMC 801 E Second Ave SW Rome, GA 30161 Shannon UMC 600 First Street Shannon, GA 30172

Cave Spring Church of God 19 Mill Street Cave Spring, GA 30124 706-777-8348 Cedar Creek Baptist Church 5440 Black Buff Rd Rome, Ga 30161 706-777-8360

Live Oak Baptist Church 5506 GA-100 Cave Spring, GA 30124 706-777-8566 The Empty Tomb 5630 Fosters Mill Rd SW Cave Spring, GA 30124 Rehoboth Missionary Baptist

Disciples of Christ

First Christian Church 209 E. Second Ave, Rome, Ga 30161


Church of the Transfiguration 304 Coker Dr Rome, Ga 30165 706-234-0197 Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church 101 E 4th Ave Rome, Ga 30161 706-291-9111


Rome Foursquare Church 308 Reservoir St NE Rome, Ga 30161

Full Gospel

Christ Gospel Church 619 Chulio Rd SE Rome, Ga 30161 706-234-7744

Independent Bible

Grace Bible Church 614 Dalton Rd NE Rome, Ga 30165


706-491-7112 Silver Creek UMC 36 Reeceburg Rd SE Silver Creek, GA 30173 706-234-2518 South Broad UMC 546 S Broad St Rome, Ga 30161 706-232-5230 Trinity UMC 606 Turner McCall Blvd SW Rome, Ga 30165 706-291-0033 Wesley Chapel UMC 9 College Park Dr SW Rome, Ga 30161 West Rome UMC 1003 Shorter Ave PO Box 2247 Rome, GA 30164 706-234-6214

Rome, Ga 30165 706-235-8561 Solid Holy Rock Deliverance Tabernacle 700 Kingston Ave Rome, Ga 30161 706-291-8948 The Church at Rome 246 North 5th Avenue Rome, Ga 30165 706-346-2733 Trinity United Christian Church 6 Deer Run Trail Rome, Ga 30165 706-204-8270 We The Church 810 East 2nd Ave Rome, Ga 30161 Words of Faith Tabernacle 3134 Rockmart Rd Rome, Ga 30161 706-314-9158

Rome First Church of the Nazarene 20 Glenda Dr Rome, Ga 30165 706-234-5023

All Saints Church 615 Cleveland Ave Rome, Ga 30165 706-378-4474

Access Church 1905 Calhoun Rd Rome, Ga 30161 705-584-7497 Christian Church at Rome 2417 Shorter Ave Rome, GA 30165 706-235-0501 Glorious New Jerusalem Church 537 W 12th St Rome, Ga 30165 706-295-2045 Glory Tabernacle Church 300 Watson St Rome, Ga 30165 706-235-0888 Gospel Harvester Church 1246 Cartersville Hwy SE Rome, Ga 30161 706-290-9858 Greater Refuge Ministries 1604 North Broad St Rome, GA 30161 706-622-2448 Legacy Church 524 Avenue A SW Rome, GA 30165 LIFE Church of Rome 19 John Davenport Drive Rome GA 30165 706-728-3166 Lighthouse Church of Rome Lighthouse Dr SE Rome, Ga 30161 706-291-0864 New and Living Way Bible Church 59 Dykes Creek Rd Rome, Ga 30161 706-233-9200 Northside Church 75 N. Floyd Park Rd. Rome, Ga 30165 706-233-9896 Rally Up International Ministries 2460 Shorter Avenue

Cannon Temple Holiness Church 308 Porter St Rome, Ga 20161 706-233-9001 Christ Temple Holiness Church 1321 Martin L King Rome, Ga 30161 706-235-3787 Victory Temple Of Joy 118 Williamson St. Rome, Ga 30165 706-766-3865

6 Rehoboth Rd SW Cave Spring, GA 30124 706-777-3313 First Baptist Church 4 Old Cedartown Rd. Cave Spring, GA 30124 706-777-3566 Cave Spring UMC

30 Alabama Street Cave Spring, GA 30124 706-777-8624 Jackson Chapel UMC 301 Jackson Chapel Rd Cave Spring, GA 30125 706-777-3750






Covenant Presbyterian Church EPC 1645 Cartersville Hwy. Rome, GA 30161 706-767-8373 First Presbyterian Church EPC 101 E 3rd Ave Rome, Ga 30161 706-291-6033 Seven Hills Fellowship 530 Broad Street Rome, GA 30161 706-530-1630 Silver Creek Presbyterian Church 6 Old Rockmart Road Silver Creek, Ga 30173 706-234-6862 Westminster Presbyterian Church 1941 Shorter Ave Rome, Ga 30165 706-235-8561

Seventh-Day Adventist

Rome Bethany Seventh-Day Adventist Church 307 E 14th St SW Rome, Ga 30161 706-292-0067 Seventh-Day Adventist Church 2526 Cedartown Hwy SW Rome, Ga 30161 706-234-4117

Cave Spring Church Directory // 17

Gò0dNews for Fathers

Step Up to The Plate

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

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

18 // August 2022

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


by Wayne Williams

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


Eradicating poverty involves an integrated approach, which Community Share Ministries is committed to providing for our local communities. It isn't enough to simply provide food and clothing to people during difficult times, but is essential to tackle all of the core issues impacting families. We believe in doing our part to make the world a better place for all within our community and the communities surrounding. We do this through feeding, clothing, and housing people in need. We exist to make a difference.

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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Unsanitized Prayer


by Kristen West

ave you ever felt like there are just some things

overlooked. A huge chunk of the Psalms was written

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

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

talk to Him, you somehow need to put your

are basically a collection of unsanitized prayers. David

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

removes any religion from his conversations with God

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

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

my words and pray with certain religious verbiage, God

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

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

David knew it was foolish to try and sanitize his

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

walk with God had more ups and downs, twists and

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

turns than the world’s best rollercoaster. He defeated

some incredible ways! “…pour out your hearts before

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

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

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

20 // August 2022

About The Author

exploits too numerous to name here.

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



Burgess Insurance Services: Matching Clients to Companies by Jodi Varnado


A Family Affair n 2010, Brad Burgess built his current 5th avenue office in the heart of Rome, Georgia. However, the Burgess name has circulated throughout Floyd and Polk County

for over thirty years. Frank Burgess, Brad Burgess’s father, opened Frank Burgess Insurance Agency in 1983. Brad began working with his father in 1993 while attending college. One year later, Brad graduated and moved to Rome to partner with his father full-time. Frank Burgess purchased Shelley Insurance in 1997 and led their office in Cedartown, GA, while Brad ran their second location in Rome. Today, Brad and his team of agents continue the legacy Frank Burgess established all those years ago, providing exceptional, personal insurance services to clients throughout Northwest Georgia. Get To Know Your Local Independent Agent Burgess Insurance Services provides clients with every type of insurance from Home, Life, Business, Auto,

22 // August 2022

Motorcycle, RV, and more! Brad has earned the highest rankings from Auto-Owners Insurance Company President’s Club since 2017. The President’s Club honors the top 25 Life, Health, and Annuity agents nationwide in a calendar year. This Fortune 500 company has over 24,000 authorized agents in over 30 states. This accolade aside, Burgess Insurance Services’ success is rooted in their partnerships with several carriers and relationships with clients near and far. Brad and his team of five agents can quote and write

policies unique to each individual and their specific needs. “Every individual has a different situation, and I like finding companies that work best for each client,” said Brad. The first step to pairing clients with the perfect policies is getting to know what’s most important to them! This process of getting-to-know their clients is a guiding practice of Burgess Insurance Services, where Brad and his agents will spend quality, in-office time with clients discussing their distinct needs. In today’s industry, efficiency is priority. Although convenient, this priority often excludes the intentional, in-person attention clients need. Burgess Insurance Services’ office staff is committed to maintaining their clientele, and prefer sit-down meetings to impersonal phone calls or online transactions. Many clients have come into their office wanting business insurance, and through their meeting with Brad, will come back seeking a personal insurance policy too! “I love solving problems, and that’s really what the insurance industry is all about. I like to think of these challenges like the children’s game where you fit shapes into different sized holes. This type of problem-

Lori in college. It wasn’t until Brad graduated and moved to Rome that their romance resurfaced. Lori came into Brad’s office requesting information for home owners’ insurance, and one year later, the two were married. Brad and Lori’s children attended Model High School, where their youngest recently graduated. Brad has been involved in sponsoring sports teams and has also helped coach teams for the local YMCA for years. The Burgess family values these

solving doesn’t feel like a job, because I love finding the

community ties, both personally and professionally.

solution,” said Brad.

Set Up an Appointment Today

Celebrating A Close-Knit Community Burgess Insurance Services is grateful to work with clients throughout Northwest Georgia, especially rooted within the close-knit community of Rome. “Rome is a real melting pot. It’s big enough to meet new people, but still small enough to foster close, long-lasting friendships,” said Brad. “Some of my clients have been with us for thirty years, and others are my closest friends. We love being able to create personal relationships with our clientele.” Brad and his family are active and adoring members of the Rome community. In 1996, Brad started dating his wife

If you are looking for experienced agents who will meet with you, answer your questions, evaluate your individual needs, and match you with a company and policy perfect for you, call Burgess Insurance Services today! Burgess Insurance Services’ offices are located at 114 S Philpot St, Cedartown, GA and 222 N 5th Ave, Rome, GA. You can contact Brad at his Rome office at 706-234-5680.


Gò0dNews for Everyone

Be A Witness for God


by Susan Lavigne

ow many of you have ever watched the TV series

• How did I come to know Jesus?

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

• How do I see God working in my life?

am talking about? Maybe you have seen a TV show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

in the world, this opens opportunities not only to share

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

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

salvation. The responsibility is between God and the

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

person who hears my testimony.

our lives regardless of the circumstances. Then, we should

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

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

prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to

His attorneys!

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

24 // August 2022

About The Author

ponder the following questions so you will “…always be

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

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Gò0dNews for Life

Sharpened For the Battle


by Chase Holtzclaw

ow do you want your life to be? Do you want

as it gets used. Over time, even the sharpest blades need to

peace? Do you want your life to be simple? Or

be worked on. That goes for Christians as well, we need to

what about this, do you want less hard ache and

be worked on by our Father in Heaven. When we are too

pain? We all want better lives and to be able to live in peace

dull to be used for what we are created for, then it is time

without all the pains that life throws at us. What if I told

to be sharpened. Even Jesus was sent into the wilderness by

you, your pain has a purpose for not only your future but

the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil. Often, we forget

for others as well.

that even Jesus had to be put through things in order to be

In the Bible, it tells us that with trials comes growth,

prepared for the battles to come.

and with growth comes faith. When we grow into our faith and understand that God can turn any situation into something amazing, it is then that we can truly help others in need. How can we help people if we have never had hard ache ourselves? I know this side of things more than most. Sometimes I feel pain, not only physical, but also mental is my middle name. Through all my trials and pain, I can see how God has worked in my life to allow me to help others. I can understand why they feel the way they do, and I can help them walk through the storm. This only comes when we understand that God has a better plan. We are built and made stronger in the hard times as long as we never give up. When I think of God molding me in a way that He can use me, I think of a sharp sword. I know when that sword was made, it started out as a lump of metal. The metal must

Being a child of God is not easy. It gets hard sometimes,

be heated up to extreme temperatures to shape it. When

and we must stay strong. All things work out for the good

it is hot enough, the craftsman can shape the metal into

of those who love the Lord. In your life, if you are being

whatever the craftsman needs it to be. When the craftsman

used by God, then He will have to shape you. When He

is shaping the metal, he must use force to make it the perfect

gets that perfect shape, then He will have to keep you sharp

shape. After the craftsman is almost finished with the metal,

for you to continue to work properly. I love the fact that I

he needs to make it stronger, so he cools the metal with oil.

am never alone in this battle of life. We are here together as

When this happens, the sword will become hard and almost

brothers and sisters in the Lord. This is a wonderful life God

unbreakable for the battles to come.

has gifted us and we should remember this always. Never

When God is working on us, we often feel that it is a

give up and always look to become more for the Lord. Look

bad thing. I have learned over time this simple truth—God

up and tell your Father, “I’m ready to become sharp again

is always for us, and He will never be against us. He wants

Father.” He will work on your heart right then. As always, I

us to become better at everything we do that is good. God

love you my brothers and sisters.

shape you into what you are made to be. Even after a sword has been sharpened, it will always need to be resharpened

26 // August 2022

About The Author

will let the Holy Spirit lead you into the fire in order to

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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KAWASAKI CARES: Read Owner’s Manual and all on-product warnings. Always wear a helmet, eye protection and proper apparel. Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Adhere to the maintenance schedule in your Owner’s Manual. ©2021 Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.

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Gò0dNews Poetry

Learn To Love by Judy Hood

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

28 // August 2022

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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Of All the Places by Sandra Gilmore


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

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

lingering address. Our family was rooted in the Word of

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

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

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

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

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

for new experiences, new friends, new neighborhoods, new

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

time zones.

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

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

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

otherwise. When queried about which place was my favorite,

with the issue of blood and Jairus’ daughter became centered

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

include where the Christmas story took place. Have you been

and asked that the inscription be changed. Pilot emphatically

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

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

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

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

*Bethlehem Although it’s secular history might have

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

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

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

first mentioned in Scripture in reference to Rachel, who died

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

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

through places with comfort and miracles. Will you invite Him

served as the backdrop for the endearing story of Ruth and

in today?

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

30 // August 2022

About The Author

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

Shaping Hearts Sharpening Minds

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Gò0dNews for Everyone

What is Most Important

n Matthew 17:24-27, Peter is confronted by the collectors of the half-shekel temple tax. They inquire if Jesus pays the tax as prescribed by temple rules. Before Peter can even tell Jesus of the incident, Jesus asks him about the rulers of the earth. From whom do they take their tribute, their sons or from others? When Peter replies others, Jesus simply states, “Then the sons are free.” What happens next is one of my favorites of Jesus’s miracles. Jesus, in a very casual, almost aloof manner, tells Peter to go fishing. Just cast a line in the water. The very first fish you catch will have a shekel in its mouth. So as not to offend the powers that be, give them the shekel as payment for both you and me. Jesus tells Peter that in the grand scheme of things, this whole issue is essentially insignificant, but let’s do it anyway so we don’t ruffle their feathers. Oh, to have the wisdom and sense of humor of Jesus. Every day we are faced with many things. Some are significant, but many are not. Oftentimes, we make an issue of something unimportant while missing and not focusing on things of far greater importance. What is of utmost importance is the Gospel and Jesus’s redemption of the world. Many 32 // August 2022

important issues divide this country and the world, but are any as important as the message that Jesus died and rose from the dead? The social issues of our day are indeed troubling and need our attention. There are still black and white areas where believers must take

positions and not waver in our commitment to the truth. But remember what is most important. Jesus told Peter to pick his battles and to remember that “the sons are free.” Remember in our many disagreements that the message of the risen Christ is above all else. Ask today for the grace to see what is important and then do that. Ask for the wisdom to pick your battles, and always focus on and embrace what truly matters. About The Author


by Chad Hess

Chad Hess is a husband, father and Army Veteran. He is a parishioner at Saint Andrews Anglican Church in Rome, where he is involved in lay ministries.

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by Beth Penny

ow many times have we given up on someone

over your work; Then I can start this day sun-washed,

with the comment, “They’ll never change. That’s

scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.”

just how (insert name) is?” Sometimes the lack of

When God forgives us and we allow Him to show us the

change is a deal breaker, and relationships are severed—

way that we should move forward in our lives, our horizons

parent/child, friendships, romantic relationships. No

are limitless. This brings to mind a pop song written by

relationship ties are immune. On the other hand, we can’t

Natasha Bedingfield twenty years ago, “Unwritten.”

have relationships with others to try to help them change,

“I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined,

whatever the behavior. The harsh reality is people don’t

I’m just beginning…the pen is in my hand…staring at the

change. Similarly, God doesn’t change either. God is the

blank page before me…let the sun illuminate the words

same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. But He is in the

that you could not find…today is where your book begins.

business of changing people.

The rest is still unwritten.”

We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. When God enters the picture or when we allow Him to work His plan through us, we can see the light through whatever metaphorical darkness is plaguing us. Sometimes though, it takes others around us longer to accept we are on the path God is giving us. The public isn’t always as quick to forgive as God is. That’s hard and disheartening for us when we are wading upriver trying to do what God has called us to do. A little advice—make a habit of not holding someone’s past against them. Trust God and know that when God makes a change, it sticks. When someone has allowed God

That is how God sees us when we allow Him to take

to work and grow themselves into a better person, allow

control of our heart. How freeing for us that we no longer

them to show up as that person.

have the weight of sin on our shoulders. God creates us a

Now, turn that inward. Allow yourself a clean slate

new person. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is

to push forward and make the choices God would have

in Christ, a new creation has come: The old is gone, the new

you to make. Put the past in the past, not forgetting but

is here!” Trust in God and show up as that new person, and

forgiving yourself. Psalm 19:13 from the Message Bible

allow others to show up as that new person as well.

fresh! Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I can take

34 // August 2022

About The Author

tells us, “Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day Beth Penny has taught English at Model High School since 1997. There she is also the Yearbook adviser and the Special Education Department Chair. She and her husband, Chad, have four children.

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by Shannon D. Richardson-Hopkins

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

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

partially from cell phones, social media, gaming,

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

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

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

I am just saying that they have contributed in some way

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

to this instant gratification era and the ever-shortening

expectations of life.

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

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

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

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

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

on their devices. Make them go outside with nothing but

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

a water bottle and their imaginations. Give them paper,

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

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

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

sports in the backyard with your teens. Play board games

Streaming was not heard of when I was young. You

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

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

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

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

the end. Just wait and see.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

36 // August 2022

About The Author

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

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Gò0dNews for Everyone

Just One Word


by Zebbie Brewster

ave you ever had a bad day or seemingly bad

with my breathing! I am not exactly sure what the

days after bad days? Your heart was weary

doctor did to help me, but it worked. I am sure my

and you needed a word of encouragement.

mom’s prayers went a long way in helping also!

Have you ever prayed for God to just speak a word of encouragement to your heart and mind? My mom has been very sick and I want so much to

I can say with much thankfulness that I have never known a time in my life when my mom wasn’t praying for me and my two brothers. They made the difference

make her journey better. It is a very painful path she is

in all things always! Now I know that prayers—and

on right now, and I remember as a child, she was the

many of them—will continue to make the difference in

one I could always go to when my heart was weary.

our daily walk in this world. “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you” (I Peter 5:7). As Christians, we don’t walk this journey alone. It is amazing how God will send people to our pathway to speak a kind word or send up a prayer for us. That day I prayed quietly for the Good Lord to please give me a word of encouragement, and I was amazed at how many people showed extra kindness to me that day! The Bible talks about those kind words: “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth:

She knew how to try to help when I was hurting. It

and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!”

seems more than once in the summertime I would find

(Proverbs 15:23). “A word fitly spoken is like apples

my way into a wasp nest and come screaming home

of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).

with them chasing me. My mom would try to calm me down and doctor me the best she could. I remember one time I got bit by a red wasp on my bottom lip and that was not good! I ended up in

So, I pray that in your walk with the Good Lord, today you will find apples of gold in pictures of silver and that it will add comfort to that heart that needs encouraging.

Thank the Good Lord the swelling did not interfere

38 // August 2022

About The Author

the doctor’s office because I was allergic to bee stings.

Zebbie Brewster resides in Summerville, Georgia. She is an active member at Perennial Springs Baptist Church.

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Finding Strength in Weakness


by Dr. Alan D. Hix

ugust is a month of beginnings. My two

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

granddaughters are looking forward to the

glimpse of the glory of heaven that awaits believers. He

excitement of being in the next grade. As a lifelong

would have been glad to encourage others in sharing the

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

amazing sights and sounds. However, God threw a roadblock

dreams and looking forward to new possibilities as the

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

school year begins. The business of fall activities keeps that

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

excitement going into the Christmas break. The new year

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

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

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

in 2 Corinthians 12:2-9:

assume that hardship and difficulty are the exception. Paul

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

discovered that it is those very things which challenge

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

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

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

40 // August 2022

About The Author

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

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


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God Loves All Creatures Great & Small


by Cheryl L. Dunson

n the fifth and sixth days, God created living

Billy Graham once wrote, “We must never treat any

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

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

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

are indirectly treating our Creator with contempt. Instead,

When God created man in His own image, His first

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

mandate to man was to have dominion over the creatures

the Bible reminds us that we are responsible to Him for

God created. The Lord delegated responsibility of His

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

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

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

be good stewards (Gen. 1:26).

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

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

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

recognize dogs in need of rescue, and to acknowledge

and furry creatures into our home, while others prefer to

those dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives,

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

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

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

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

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

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

kind to all living things and commit to never abuse,

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

neglect or mistreat any of God’s wonderful creatures.

42 // August 2022

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