Good News - December 2022

Largest Christian Newspaper in America • • December 2022 • Volume 24, Issue 9

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On The Cover Good News Celebrates 2022-2023 Faith leaders in the cover photo shoot graciously hosted by Pastor David Cassidy, Pastor Mike Veitz and the talented team at Spanish River Church. Front Row: Bill Mitchell, Senior Pastor, Boca Raton Community Church; Doug Sauder, Lead Pastor, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale; Mike Veitz, Director of Evangelism and Outreach, Spanish River Church; Stephan Tchividjian, President, Church United, powered by the National Christian Foundation South Florida; Bernard King, Sr., Pastor, Cornerstone Bible Fellowship; 2nd Row: Darren Bennett, Pastor, Calvary Chapel North Miami; Casey Cleveland, Lead Pastor, The Avenue Church; Trevor Wallace, Pastor, Jesus Team Ministries; Rob Pacienza, Senior Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church; Troy Gramling, Lead Pastor, Potential Church; 3rd Row: Ken Kerrigan, Calvary Chapel Cornerstone Church; Darren Davis, Pastor, Harbour South Florida; James Welch, Pastor, First Baptist Fort Lauderdale; Rev. Dr. Alex Umole, Pastor, Christian Life Center, Sunrise; Joe Vitkus, Senior Rabbi, Temple Aron HaKodesh; 4th Row: Larry Lacy, Pastor, The Answer Church; Rev. Myron Rhodes, Jr., Senior Pastor, GraceWesleyan; Rev. Dr. O’Neal Dozier, Senior Pastor, TheWorldwide Christian Center; Anton Venter, Doxa Deo/City Changers; Don Karpinen, Founding Pastor, Victory Church; 5th Row: Dr. Mark Van Dorn, Pastor and Chaplain, Florida Faith Church and the International Swimming Hall of Fame; Bob di Scipio, Pastor, Hope for All Nations Church; Arthur Connor, Jr., Lead Pastor, Metropolitan Baptist Church; Dr. Jason Jackson, Overseer and Senior Pastor, The Lions Den Missions Base; Dr. Ronny A. Bramos, Senior Pastor, Victory Life Church; Newton Fairweather, Pastor, Faith and Joy Church; 6th Row: Bishop Dr. Preston Williams, II, Pastor, Gateway Church; Brian Quigley, Pastor, Calvary Chapel North Lauderdale; Josiah Graves, Pastor, The Exchange Church; Eddie Vega, Senior Pastor, Fuel Life Fellowship; Virgil Sierra, Lead Pastor, Vertical Church (Iglesia Vertical);Brian McMillian, Location Pastor, Coastal Community Church; Back Row: Josh Mitchael, Location Pastor, Coastal Community Church; Samuel Roman, Campus Pastor, Christian Life Center, Tamarac; Anthony Scibelli, Pastor, Calvary Chapel West Boca. Photography by Justus Martin PUBLISHER 6 December 2022 Good News • South Florida edition How old is Santa? Exactly how old is Santa? According to my haphazard research, Santa Claus is 1,751 years old as of 2022. In fact, the origins of Santa Claus can be traced all the way back to a monk named Saint Nicholas, who was born between 260 and 280 A.D. in a village called Patara, which is part of modern-day Turkey. Why does Santa wear red? Saint Nicholas, a 4th Century Greek bishop famously wore red robes while giving gifts to the poor, especially children, and theEnglish folk figure "Father Christmas," whose robeswere originally green, turned red over time. Really? What does the Christmas tree symbolize in the Bible? Some believe this verse means the tree is a celebratory symbol based on theworship of God. “On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees - frompalms, willows and other leafy trees - and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days” (Leviticus 23:40 NIV). Does Coca-Cola own Santa Claus? The Christmas myth is that Coke owns the Santa Claus image. But it's not true! Even though Coca-Cola originated some of the character's defining features, the company is not the author and, therefore, has no copyright on that character. Why is Christmas important to Christians? Christmas is a time to remember that when Jesus was born, God became human. This allowed God to save humanity from sin. Without the incarnation of Jesus, Christianity could not exist. Christmas is a time for Christians to remember that they are part of a global community, despite differences within Christianity. Who decided December 25th was Jesus birthday? In the late 330sAD, Pope Julius I declared: “December 25th, Christ born in Bethlehem, Judea. What does Luke say about Christmas? Spread theGoodNews of Christmas: “And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10). I’ve been reading a lot about Paul lately and in my past all I knew about Paul was more likely Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, Paul Newman, or Paul Manafort …. So my curiosity abounds. What does Paul say about Christmas? Celebrating the birth of Jesus. It's celebrating that Mary the virgin brings forth a child who has no human father… Hummm, would some consider this IMPOSSIBLE? but as a believer it is what it is because after all, He is GOD. Merry Christmas everyone! Les South Florida Edition • Good News • December 2022 • Volume 24, Issue 9 Advertising: We reach over 110,000 readers each month. 80,000 in print and 30,000 via our online digital edition. Placing an ad in our publication is affordable and effective to help grow your business. Call us today! Distribution: Available inmore than 800 locations throughout South Florida. To become a free distribution point for the newspaper, please contact Shelly. The Good News is published by Good News Media Group, LLC, Reproduction in whole or part strictly forbidden without the consent of the publisher. Copyright 2022. All rights reserved. Good News Media Group, LLC. PO Box 670368, Coral Springs, FL 33067 954-564-5378 • Publisher: Leslie J. Feldman [email protected] Editor: Shelly Pond [email protected] Advertising & Marketing: Robert “Buddy” Helland Jr. V.P. Sr. Marketing Manager [email protected] Bill Harvey Director of Special Sections [email protected] Art Director: Milton McPherson [email protected] Social Media Manager: Ariel Feldman [email protected] Editorial Assistant: Eric Solomon [email protected] Cover Photography: Justus Martin [email protected] Questions, I have questions constantly… PERSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . . . .8 I Love You, Bono – by Stephan N. Tchividjian IN THE WORD . . . . . . . . .10 The Government Will Rest on His Shoulders – by Franklin Graham REFLECTION . . . . . . . . . . .12 I Remember Mother in a Special Way – by Newton Fairweather PARENTING . . . . . . . . . . .14 My Best Christmas – by Dr. Bob Barnes & Torrey Roberts FOSTER CARE . . . . . . . . . .16 AMessage from the Front Lines – by Kevin Enders YOU ASKWHY? . . . . . . . 18 The “AAA” Message of The Manger – by Dr. Tommy Boland MARRIAGE . . . . . . . . . . . .20 A Good Conversation - by Lisa May FAITH AND VOCATION 22 What is Faith and Vocation? A Theology of Work - Gianluca Cueva THE CODE . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Heaven – by Dr. O.S. Hawkins HEART AND SOUL . . . . .26 Accident Victim Chooses Forgiveness over Bitterness; Finds New Calling to Serve – by Dr. Debra A. Schwinn INSIGHT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 The Christmas Story: What Gifts Are You Bringing into The New Season? – by Rob Hoskins FAITH LEADERS 2022-2023 29 - 44 GOODNEWS WANTS TOKNOW . .46 - 48 What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made? ENCOURAGEMENT . . . .50 Pocket Change – by Omar Aleman LEGAL Q&A . . . . . . . . . . . .52 The Rules for Business Texts in One Word: Don’t! – byWilliam“Bill”Davell andCharles“Chuck” Tatelbaum VILLAGE HYMNS . . . . . . .54 The Season of Giving - Jonas Maldonado CALENDAR . . . . . . .66 - 67 CLASSIFIEDS . . . . . . .68 - 71 Leslie J. Feldman C O N T E N T S Good News • December • Volume 24 Issue 9

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PERSPECTIVE 8 December 2022 Good News • South Florida edition I was introduced to the music of U2 back in high school, and I have remained a fan ever since. Bono, the lead singer has been open about his faith in Christ, and though unconventional in his expression, I don’t doubt it. Recently I had the opportunity, with Lisa, to see his one-person presentation entitled, “Stories of Surrender,” a two-hour depiction of his life story based on his recently published book by the same name. The experience was exceptional and profound. I was drawn into the experience and noted how he used emotion, intellect, cadence, art, movement, music and silence to communicate the message. There were many instances where the elongated pause or breath was designed uniquely to invite me, the listener into his space, into his emotion, into his experience. I was invited to experience and see for myself what he experienced and saw, and then I was given permission to write my own story. These invitations were particularly profound as he spoke about his relationship with his wife, his late father, his late mother (he was only 10 when she passed away) and his band mates. I laughed, I pondered, and I wept. I reflected on my own journey with my wife, family, late father, mother and friends. I was reminded of God’s design of each of our lives and how there are aspects of life that are rather mundane all the while mixed in with the spectacular. An ill-timed expression The auditorium that hosted this event was at capacity, approximately 2500 people, sort of like a large church service. The energy of the audience, many with beer in hand (unlike a church service), was ready for a one-man rock concert… .and yes, they did get a little of that. However, the audience sat at the feet of an artist who shared his story. A story mixed with laughter, pain, loss, stardom, love, marriage, family, conflict, fear, laughter, and the occasional unbelievable, “whaaaaaaaaat?” However, periodically, at just the wrong time, with the artist’s silence hanging in the air, purring and hovering, inviting me to experience the same and waiting for me to surrender, someone would yell, “I love you Bono” …breaking the moment. The ill-timed expression (well-meaning I’m sure), occurred several times at the growing chagrin of other members of the audience. I couldn’t help but be a bit irritated and sort of wished they would stop. I thought someone would do something or say something. However, nothing happened. I chuckled and thought if it bothered Bono, he was in the best position to say something… but he said nothing. The irony of it was if they really “loved Bono” they would let him do his storytelling without the interruption. The ill-timed expression was less about the artist and more about the fan. I then thought about what I would say to that person if I saw them in the lobby, post show. Irritated, I could perhaps say something like, “next time don’t be so selfish” or “not everyone wants to hear your screams of enthusiasm” but quickly realized I would probably say, with a big smile on my face, “looks like you enjoyed the show. I did too.” I never had the chance. Silent reverence I share all of this for a deeper reason. I couldn’t help but think about God’s interactions with me and mine with Him as He tells us His story. God also uses emotion, intellect, cadence, art, movement, music and silence to communicate the message. His story too is filled with laughter, pain, loss, stardom, love, marriage, family, conflict, fear, laughter and the often unbelievable, “whaaaaaaaaat? (think sunset with a green flash). He too is a master storyteller and will often tell His story with the well-placed pause…. the moment of silence…. the invitation to make it my own. The gap can be uncomfortable and the introspection awkward. God invites me into His story and to make it my own. However, many times in the middle of God’s pause, I yell out, “I love you God”.Perhaps my illtimed bold expression of my devotion and admiration of God is a decoy and distraction because I don’t want to surrender to the invitation; it’s too uncomfortable, so I interrupt the silence (but I look good doing it). Sometimes the greatest act of worship is to sit in silent reverence to His breath. Linger on His message Perhaps God’s story is revealing things that He wants to share with me. Perhaps when He shares His story about Adam and Eve’s rejection of His love, he evokes in me a time in my life when my love was rejected and the pain that ensued. Perhaps when He shares about His anger towards those who hypocritically speak on His behalf, he evokes in me the anger I feel when someone falsely represents me. Perhaps when He shares the story of inviting many to follow Him, and they do, it evokes in me the satisfaction I get from being a part of a team, a family, a community. Do you understand? Sometimes God will speak to us in mysterious ways and the truth of what He’s saying is not immediately revealed…. we linger in the silence and in the in between where the true meaning is revealed. Therefore, before we so quickly jump up and interrupt God’s story with an ill-timed, “we love you God” …we actually show Him our love by waiting, by listening, by pondering and letting His words linger as we meditate on the mystery of His masterfully told story, which becomes our story. Stephan N. Tchividjian is the president and founder of the National Christian Foundation South Florida. Visit to learn more. - Stephan N. Tchividjian - National Christian Foundation President I love you Bono

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10 December 2022 Good News • South Florida edition IN THE WORD Tens of millions of Americans flocked to the polls on November 8 to cast their ballots in one of the most crucial midterm elections in our nation’s history. Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives by a narrow margin, while Democrats retained control of the Senate. Some people may be sad, some may be glad and some may be mad about the election results. One thing’s for sure — our success as a nation depends on God. Our country can’t turn its back on Him and expect His hand of blessing to continue. We need His help, protection and favor. Whether or not you agree with the candidates who just won, we are to pray for them. The only hope for America is God. Over the past two years, we have had an administration that loudly promotes ungodly policies, even seeking to rebuke those who disagree with their immoral agenda. Crime is everywhere because we don’t understand the Biblical imperative that evil must be punished (Proverbs 11:21). LGBTQ advocacy has flourished because we don’t abide by God’s revealed truth that homosexuality is sinful and gender identity is sovereignly bestowed by Almighty God, who made us male and female. There is no such thing as a transgender person — it is simply rebellion against God’s wise design. I don’t know what the next few years may hold, but we certainly can pray and ask the Lord to move in the hearts of our newly elected authorities to make wise decisions in accord with God’s principles When the Bible tells us to pray for our leaders, it includes a promise for us. “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4). In other words, we are praying not only for a good and wise government, but that our leaders will exercise their authority in such a way that a favorable spiritual climate will exist for believers to peacefully live in their communities in sincere godliness and reverence, not under the thumb of evil policies and agendas. Of course, Christians through the millennia have been oppressed and persecuted. Think of the great Apostle Paul, who spent virtually his entire ministry, after the Damascus Road encounter with the risen Christ, suffering for the sake of the Gospel. After Paul’s dramatic conversion, the Lord told Ananias, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My Name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My Name’s sake” (Acts 9:15-16). And stand before kings he did, as he preached Christ before King Felix and King Agrippa during his time in prison in Caesarea. Then for another two years in Roman incarceration, members of Caesar’s own household came to saving faith as they heard Paul proclaim Christ. Nothing stopped him from boldly proclaiming the Gospel. Writing to the Philippian church from his Roman confinement, Paul could emphatically say, “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel” (Philippians 1:12). That’s because Paul knew he served a risen King. No hostile Roman government, no political opposition, no pagan culture, no false religion, could stop him. This is just as true for believers today when we love Christ with all our hearts and set our minds to fully obey Him whatever the cost might be. Jesus Himself constantly taught on the Kingdom of God as He went from village to village and synagogue to synagogue. He was not the political and military king the Jews had long hoped for, but He is exactly the kind of King we need, the King who rules in the hearts of men and women who have been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and confess their allegiance to their Savior. As we look forward to Christmas and celebrate Christ’s birth, I’m reminded of Isaiah’s prophecy about the Savior, and how we can look forward to a glorious and endless day when the government will lean wholly on the Messiah. “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:6-7). Those in political power come and go. As we pray for godly leaders and strive to be salt and light in our culture, we know that “our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20-21). Christ is coming for a second time to earth, this time as mighty warrior to judge the living and the dead and establish His millennial reign. There will be no opposition before the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16). Until then we will do all we can to boldly advance His Kingdom through the preaching of the Gospel. I was just in Milan, Italy, for a Festival. An Italian conservative party has just taken power with promises of a new agenda and direction. That’s good, but far more important and life-changing, thousands in Milan heard the Gospel of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, and many made decisions to trust in Jesus as their Savior. Christ is now their sovereign King. For all eternity! He will reign forever and ever. Hallelujah! Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version. Decision magazine, DECEMBER 2022; ©2022 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; used by permission, all rights reserved. - Franklin Graham - President and CEO Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association TheGovernmentWill Rest onHis Shoulders Franklin Graham preaches with his interpreter in Milan, Italy. Those in political power come and go. As we pray for godly leaders and strive to be salt and light in our culture, we know that ‘our citizenship is in heaven. ” “

REFLECTION 12 December 2022 Good News • South Florida edition It was around 5 a.m. onThanksgivingmorning when the thought came to me to share with you one of the most important persons in my life that I am thankful for. You see, there is a hole inmy heart, yet there is joy in my heart. This was a day I knew would come but did not look forward to. As a believer in Christ, I knew that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Nevertheless, knowing that reality is one thing, and experiencing it is another. Let me tell you what I am talking about. My mother, at the tender age of 97, went home to be with the Lord andwas laid to rest during theweek of Thanksgiving. There are a million stories I could share with you about her, but let me just tell you a few, and hopefully you will have an idea of who she was. Maybe you’ll see your mother in these stories, or even come to appreciate that elderly person in your life more. Mother was always right I remember sitting in her living room after coming home from college. I had been away for about two years, but she greeted me with a big hug and went into a question-and-answer session. She would always give me this strange look as if she was looking inside my heart. I would ask her why she was looking at me like that, and she would say, “If I told you everything youwould knowasmuch asme.” I was intimidated by that look, but at the same time felt love. It mademe assess where I was in life. She would tell me things about life in a subtle way, and in later years those things proved to be true. These were things that made me think twice about the actions I was about to take, or even the decisions I needed make. No question about it, she had a big influence on me. Mother loved to pray She lived alone in her own house and refused tomove, even though she had the means to go and live elsewhere. She often would say, “I am not alone; I have angels around me.” As I experience life’s journey, I would come to understand years later what it means to not be alone. Mother had a relationship with the Lord built on prayer. Whether on the phone or in person, she loved to pray. Evenwhen shewas not feeling well, “Let’s pray” were her words. When circumstances were not going right inmy life, I would call her and ask her to pray for me. For some reason, it seems as though she could always get a prayer through, and my prayer was not working. She would say things like “Stop, look and listen: STOP to pray, LOOK to God for an answer and LISTEN for His response.” Those words of wisdom helped catapult my prayer life and my walk with Christ. Mother was a mother’s mother Before I got married, mother had literally vetted my wife. I did not know how their first meetingwould go, but I knew I wanted some input fromher. I wanted her blessing on the woman I would spend the rest of my life with. However, I didn’t think their meeting went well because mother said nothing. Later, before I got married, she asked me did I pray about it, which seemed like she had not made a conclusion about my future wife. She knew it would not matter, so rather than saying anything negative, she said nothing. Friends, that is wisdom. Sometimes if you can’t say anything positive, just remain silent. It is a lesson I learned and follow to this very day. Life is amarathon; she andmywife became “besties” years later and would spendmany Saturdays together. Mother no longer wanted to seeme as much as she wanted to see my wife. I was grateful for their relationship. My wife consistently talks about how she was blessed to have known her. One of mother’s legacies tomy wifewas her best ever sweet potato pie recipe, as shewas great cook. Mother was an angel By now I hope you figured out that themother I amspeaking of is not my biological mother. The woman that I’ve been talking about was my churchmother.Although not blood related, mother was an integral part of my family. She andmymother were best friends, and when in her presence it was as if I was in the presence of my biological mother. The woman who stood in the gap when my biological mother went home to be with the Lord has now gone home as well. She lived a full life in the temporary, as she prepared for the permanent. She was an angel and her life exemplified that she was ready. In her later years, you would find her talking about the day when the Lord would call her home and encourage us to continue being the “salt and light” of the earth. She was a walking billboard of God’s love, grace, mercy, favor, protection and healing. Mother loved God, and she loved her neighbors. She was a living testimony that there is a heaven. And if there is one for her, there is one for you and me. There is no better place that she can be after 97 years of living. The church was full Often when you leave this earth, people say nice things about you. All of us who came together on that day had the same story about mother. She had no biological children of her own, yet every one of us that spoke about her echoed the same message of how much love she showed us. There were many tears, not of sadness but joy. Mother left a piece of herself in all of us. She impacted us in ways we did not even see. The irony of all of this is that my biological mother went home to be with the Lord during the week of Thanksgiving. As I write this on Thanksgiving morning, God truly knows how to give you “beauty for ashes.” Inmy spiritual imagination, I can see those two women talking together about all their children. My challenge to you is to learn to appreciate the person who gives you that motherly/fatherly wisdom and love. You never know where it will come from, just be thankful. Newton Fairweather is the pastor of Faith and Joy Church and the CBMC Fort Lauderdale Board Chaplin. I Remember Mother in a Special Way Newton Fairweather Pastor, Faith and Joy Church, and CBMC Fort Lauderdale Board Chaplin

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14 December 2022 Good News • South Florida edition PARENTING My best Christmas recollection as a child actually began on summer vacation. I was about eight years old, and my dad and I were walking through the tourist village where we were vacationing. I saw a pair of red, knit slippers with fake leather soles and Indian beads on top. They were those ugly slippers that were basically thick socks with a sole sewn on so you could walk outside. I repeat, ugly! When I saw them, I said to my dad, "I bet mom would like those," thinking he would spend the eight dollars and get them for her. His reply caught me off guard. I didn't see a lesson coming. My dad said, "Bobby, why don't you buy them and give them to your mom for Christmas." Before I could respond with the reality that I didn't have eight dollars, he offered to loan me the money and let me pay it off little by little. Done! That was my first experience with the layaway plan. My dad got the slippers and supposedly hid them from mom until Christmas. Christmas morning When Christmas morning came, I was beside myself. I couldn't wait. But this was a totally new kind of excitement. I was more excited about giving mom her moccasin stocking slippers than I was about any of the presents under the tree for me. Dad helped me wrap her gift, and I put it under the tree the night before. When Christmas morning came, my brother and I were finally permitted to leave the stairs where we were sitting. I raced to the tree. But his year was different from any previous year. This time I dove for the present I was giving mom instead of grabbing the biggest gift with my name on it. I turned and proudly put the gift on her lap. "Mom," I began, "I'm not going to tell you what it is but it's something you wear on your feet. But you cannot wear them outside (as if someone would wear something this ugly out of the house ...) My brother Steve was ripping open his first present as I sat at mom's feet, watching her open the gift I had spent the entire Fall paying for. She saw them and loved them. I could tell by her face that they were the exact fashion statement she had been searching for. Immediately mom put them on and walked around in them. I don't remember her ever taking them off... ever. At least it seemed that way. Beginning an account My dad introduced me to a plan that year and taught me how much fun it is to give. He called it a Christmas account; but I called it a savings account. Dad held a little of my money each week so I would have a lot more money for the next Christmas. That was the beginning lesson about learning to save. Putting away a little each time I received my allowance was the beginning of the lesson that taught me to eventually put away a little extra on my mortgage and pay it off twelve years early. The best part of that first Christmas lesson; however, was to begin to learn the exciting truth about giving. It really is more blessed to give than receive. The joy of giving The real truth about Christmas is a difficult truth to teach. We have been conditioned to believe that it is more awesome to get. We received the ultimate gift at Christmas because God gave the ultimate gift at Christmas, His son. "Why?" a child might ask. Why would God do this for us? God gave His son at Christmas because He loves us, and true love compels us to give rather than get. My dad began teaching me the lesson of giving and the lesson of love on my eighth Christmas. He used my love for my mom to get me to let go of my money. He helped me to focus on the happiness of someone else. This Christmas begin that journey with your child. Start the laborious lesson of using Christmas to teach about saving money instead of spending money, and the lesson of giving rather than getting. Remember, God so loved us that He released his Son from heaven. Love means giving not getting, but that is a lesson that has to be taught. Visit for more advice from Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts - Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts - Sheridan House FamilyMinistries My Best Christmas

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FOSTER CARE 16 December 2023 Good News • South Florida edition As a part of the Christian community here in South Florida, I would imagine you’ve likely heard the name “4KIDS” over the years. Since 1997, 4KIDS has been changing the lives of kids and families in crisis. In fact, this year we’re celebrating 25 years and over 30,000 lives impacted! God is at work for the vulnerable What I would also imagine is that you likely aren’t accustomed to hearing the latest stories and updates that come straight out of our community’s vulnerable population of children and families and how God is using His people to change those lives in powerful ways. Whenever I meet with a partner or friend for lunch, I share the latest information from the frontlines of child welfare and beyond. Over those lunches I see businessmen and women, leaders, pastors, and others all shocked by the realities that kids in crisis face in our backyard. I also see these individuals ignited with a call from God to make a difference and join in on the miraculous work being done on behalf of kids and families. While I imagine I likely can’t have lunch with every Good News reader, I can still invite you to pull up a chair and listen to the latest God stories with me and get introduced to a new way to make an impact or to pray together as we work to eternally impact the Kingdom. Introducing Kevin Since we are having “lunch,” how about I introduce myself first! In 2006, my wife Michelle and I were at our home church Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale when we first heard about 4KIDS. At the time, we were relatively new Christians, and we were open to how God would use us. We were learning more about God’s Word and His heart for the vulnerable, like in James 1:27 where it says: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” It was through that season that we opened our home as foster and later adoptive parents. The way God has spoken to and inspired His people to move toward children and families in crisis has been a beautiful legacy and testimony through not just my family, but hundreds and even thousands of others. Since 1997, 4KIDS has licensed over 1,300 Christian Foster Families who have offered love and the hope of Jesus to children in their homes. 4KIDS was searching for a new president after Doug Sauder became the lead pastor at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. Through God’s divine orchestrating, I was humbled and honored to receive the role as President and CEO of 4KIDS in 2017. I have spent my entire career in business, with 30 years of experience, and bringing that unique lens to 4KIDS has accelerated innovation as we implement business best practices that can make a tremendous difference for nonprofits, while maximizing the ministry focus on kids and families in crisis who need to know the Hope of our Savior. Impact that grows beyond To say this journey changed my life hardly encompasses the way my heart has changed through being a foster and adoptive dad. That’s the amazing thing about what God is doing through this work – it’s not just impacting the vulnerable kids we serve, but it’s changing our lives, as those who serve, in the process. In the deepest sense, we’ve all been touched by the restoration and beauty of adoption – all who have put our hope and trust in Jesus, have been spiritually adopted into the family of God. It’s no wonder the people who have served through 4KIDS have experienced their own transformation as they work to transform the lives of others. We see it in the ways 4KIDS continue to expand and deepen our reach year after year. This is revival. New impact strategies 4KIDS is on an incredible track for growth and impact. And in the last five years we’ve expanded healing through our unique EPIC Therapeutic Approach with over 30 therapists on staff. We’ve also expanded hope through prevention provided through CarePortal, reaching over 2,200 children and 3,000 individuals, which has surpassed $500,000 economic impact on our community since November 2020. So much of this is possible through uniting local churches who come together to wrap-around kids and families. I am often asked by other nonprofits about our strategies for growth, and we enjoy sharing a lot of those through conversations on our Advocate 4KIDS Podcast, which is accessible on Apple Podcast and on Spotify. I look forward to sharing stories from the frontlines with you, as we link arms to share God’s heart for the vulnerable. Hearing these stories and serving their needs allows us to impact lives for eternity! To learn more, visit A Message from the Front Lines of Child Welfare - Kevin Enders - 4KIDS President & CEO A 4KIDS family, pictured from left to right: Daniel, Mark, and Denise Brooks

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18 December 2022 Good News • South Florida edition YOU ASK WHY The “AAA” Message of The Manger We have arrived at the most wonderful time of the year, not because the kids are jingle belling, and everyone is telling you be of good cheer. Rather, it’s the most wonderful time of the year because to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and His name is Jesus. I want to share a word of encouragement with you rooted in the manger. Have you ever considered why our Lord was born in a manger and not a magnificent palace? It is my prayer that our God will meet you in your place of deepest need this Christmas season and shower upon you glad tidings of great joy! “Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luke 2:4-7). During the Christmas season, there is a mixture of great joy and great pain for many who are reminded of the loss of loved ones. As a pastor, I not only consider it a great privilege to minister to our congregation through this season on both ends of the spectrum, but I too, am the recipient of ministry myself from our family of faith. In 2014 during the Christmas season, my mom was called home to be with our Lord. A few years before her, my dad was called home in the afternoon of Christmas day. So I know from personal experience both the joy and pain the Christmas season can bring, and this is why the “AAA” message of the manger is so important to share. 1. Approachability If Jesus had been born in a magnificent palace, only those of noble birth would have had access to Him. But to be born in a lowly manger makes this Christ child approachable to all who will come to Him. You do not need to be born into a high society to approach Him. You do not need to be born into a family of princely pedigree to approach Him. You do not need to be born on the right side of the tracks (wherever that is to be found) to approach Him. You need only to be born again (John 3:3) by grace through faith to approach this baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. His approachability leads us now to His… 2. Accessibility The only guards posted about the Christ child had four legs. There were no palace guards to keep out the riff raff. There were no palace gates to bar the way to Him. The angel made the first announcement of the birth of Jesus to shepherds, who were among the most despised social groups in Judea. These shepherds were both religious and social outcasts and barred from worship in the Temple. No respectable Jew would have anything to do with these unsavory individuals. To be sure, they would not have had access to Jesus had he been born in a palace, but in a manger, they were welcomed. Just a cursory glance through the gospel accounts of the life of Jesus from the cradle to the cross, and we see that it was the unwanted and the undesirable who were welcomed with open arms by Jesus. Unsavory shepherds, unscrupulous tax collectors, and unwanted sinners were welcomed by Jesus. The sick were welcomed. The broken hearted were welcomed. The hurting and downcast were welcomed. The poor were welcomed. The foolish were welcomed. The “good thief” dying on a cross was welcomed. His accessibility leads us now to His… 3. Availability As comforting as the first two categories of “approachability” and “accessibility” are, “availability” is the summun bonum… the highest good. What good would “approachability” and “accessibility” be if Jesus did not make Himself available? It should be easy to see that “the message of the manger” shouts of the availability. He was available to all who would come unto Him from the cradle to the cross. But that’s not the end of the story. The cradle led to the cross and the cross led to a grave that held Him for three days. But on that third day, a dead man got up and walked out alive and well, and is available right now for all who will come unto Him, by grace through faith, and receive Him as both Lord and Savior. "But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God" (Luke 22:69). In closing, regardless of where this finds you this Christmas season, whether it be “white” or a bit “blue,” meditate on and marinate in the “AAA” message of the manger, and the One who is approachable, accessible and available will meet you in your deepest place of need. “Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls’” (Matthew 11:28-29). I pray you have a blessed Christmas season and that your heart would be moved and ministered to by the miracle and majesty of the “AAA” message of the manger. Remember, this promised Messiah is always approachable, accessible and available to EVERYONE (including me and YOU), who will seek Him not just throughout this Christmas season, but daily throughout the New Year. This is the gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN! - Tommy Boland - Cross Community Church Pastor SERVING FLORIDA & BEYOND FOR OVER 50 YEARS We remain committed to developing innovative approaches in our practice areas and to achieving timely and creative solutions.

MARRIAGE 20 December 2022 Good News • South Florida edition Over the years, I've cherished the robust and sometimes rowdy conversations between family and friends during the holidays. Whether it's about religion, politics, sports, or who won the card game, it's lively and sometimes rather intense. Like many of your families, my family is full of strong opinions, and everyone is eager to share. Sometimes the conversations are fascinating because we learn so much about each other's passions, and other times they become an ouch! The difference between a good conversation and an OUCH is whether or not we’re respectfully speaking AND generously listening. Meaningful relationships are born through meaningful conversations. A good discussion creates connectedness. It allows us to feel known even if we have differing opinions. Every human yearns for connectedness. We need, want and long to belong. Many families and couples are present in proximity, and they’re having conversations, but the conversations are superficial, and once the pleasantries are exchanged, we move to the next person. A good discussion requires four things: time, vulnerability, respect and listening for understanding. Two people talking with no one listening is just more noise. Learning to listen is imperative to our relationships' wellbeing and emotional health. Fortunately, we can train ourselves to be better listeners, but it is hard work. What is listening? Listening is active, not passive and, therefore, is sometimes tiring. It is other-centered, not self-centered, and, therefore, sometimes sacrificial. It is crucial, not peripheral, and therefore, indispensable. It is difficult, not easy, and therefore, often neglected. It is rare, not common, and, therefore, incredibly desirable. Listening is not like a chess game – planning your next verbal move while the other person is talking. Listening is not a trial – judging what is said or how it is said. It is not a 100yard dash – thinking how quickly you can end the discussion. Listening is like a sponge – absorbing as much as possible of what is being said and the feelings behind the words. It’s like a pair of binoculars, fixing attention on and bringing into clear focus what is being said. Good conversations require generous listening, and that requires discipline, effort, intentionality and practice. Becoming a better listener is developing a pattern of focus in two areas: ATTENTION and CONFIDING. You must be fully present and emotionally available, with the freedom to confide your thoughts and feelings. It flows from a heart of humility, yields to the other and honors the other's perspective. It seeks understanding and is patient and kind. It gives our conversations dignity. Generous listening is an expression of love Poor listening rejects; generous listening embraces. Poor listening diminishes the other person while generous listening invites them to exist and to matter. Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes, “Just as love to God begins with listening to his Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them.” What does the Bible say? “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19). It’s simple enough in principle but challenging to live. Most often, we are slow to hear, quick to speak and quick to anger. “He who gives an answer before he hears. It is folly and shame to him” (Proverbs 18:13). "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interest but each of you to the interest of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:3-5). “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud” (1 Corinthians 13:4). This Christmas season, give the gift of connectedness, a meaningful conversation adorned with generous listening. As Bonhoeffer writes, “We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God.” Live the Life South Florida exists to strengthen marriages and families through healthy relationship education, beginning in middle school through senior adults. We are educators, coaches, and pastoral counselors. If you're looking for a clinical counselor or therapist, we are blessed to have many in the South Florida community. We'd be honored to provide you a list of highly qualified and reputable individuals. Visit - Lisa May - Executive Director, Live the Life South Florida A Good Conversation

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Will you work in heaven? Day after day we clock in and out from work. But perhaps in the busyness of our days, we don’t tend to think of what our life with the Lord will look like when He returns. What will heaven be like? What will we spend eternity doing? Will we only be singing praises to God endlessly? Or will we be doing more?Will we work in heaven? Depending how we answer this question will determine how much we understand what “Faith and Vocation” truly is. So, before we look to the end and consummation of all things, let’s start at the beginning. God’s work and ours “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work” (Genesis 1:1; 2:2). In the first pages of the Bible, we see that God is a God that works (and a God that rests, but that’s for another time). God calls his work good, in fact, it’s very good (Genesis 1:31). And among his work, God creates humanity, man and woman in His image (Genesis 1:26). So, it should come as no surprise that among the blessings humanity is given, one of them is work (Genesis 2:15). It was, therefore, good for man and woman to work. And what was the nature of their work? This is what has become known by some as the Cultural Mandate: “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it’” (Genesis 1:28). Adam and Eve’s work was to start in the Garden, but it was never meant to end there. They were to cultivate and expand God’s creation as they “filled the earth and subdued it.” They were to care for creation as they stewarded God’s resources, cultivating the land and creating a culture that was obedient to God. Because though the Scriptures begin in a Garden, they end in a City. Cursed, but not destroyed And we see that Adam and Eve do end up leaving the Garden, but not by choice. Tragically, Genesis 3 records the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Their sin against God not only casts them out from the Garden and brings about death, but it also brings curses upon their work. As men and women must now labor and toil outside the Garden, their work will be made painful, full of thorns and thistles (Genesis 3:16-18). It’s important for us to note that God does not take away the blessing of work. Work was given to humanity before their sin and disobedience, and it remains after. Oftentimes we tend to think that work itself is the curse. However, work itself is not a curse but cursed. His workmanship and our work Before beginning his public ministry, Jesus himself worked as a tradesman and experienced how humanity’s work was cursed. Of course, Christ came to be more than just a carpenter. He came to work for our salvation. In Christ, we are told that we are now His “workmanship” (Ephesians 2:10). In Christ we are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). And while some are called to vocational ministry, not all are called to this vocation. However, all are called to some vocation. Be it teachers, maintenance workers, lawyers, artists, nurses, or construction, we are all called to a vocation. The Cultural Mandate, though affected by the curse, is also not destroyed. And though Christ’s Great Commission calls us all to be disciple makers this does not mean it has to be done apart or in opposition with the Cultural Mandate. On the contrary, the Great Commission now compliments the Cultural Mandate. Paul, in one of his letters to the church in Colossae, speaks about how we are to work in our day-to-day jobs: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23). The New Testament does not remain silent when it comes to our work. Our faith in Christ demands a change in the way we work and view work. We work as unto the Lord. Whether we are painters, students, engineers, stay-at-home parents, or businessmen and women, we work as unto the Lord. Should we then seek to evangelize in our places of work? Yes, and amen! Should we also seek to do and produce good and honest work, no matter the vocation? Yes, and amen! Faith and work remind us that there should be no separation between Sunday morning at church and Monday morning at work. Christian, are you letting your faith impact your work? Pastor, are you equipping the saints for the work of the ministry at their 9-to-5 jobs? Work restored When Christ returns, we know that He will come and make all things new. As a matter of fact, what we see at the end of all things is a New City, a Garden City (Revelation 22:1-5). Here we see allusions back to the Garden but now with no curse. Instead, the church will reign (v. 5) forever and ever. Work will not be abolished but the curse over it will. Like before, we will continue God’s Cultural Mandate to rule and reign over His earth. What a glorious hope we have! And until His return, we continue to work unto Him. But this is not an easy task. We need help from trained pastors and faithful Christian institutions (universities, seminaries, etc.) to help us with our theological understanding of Faith and Vocation. We are not saved by our works. We are given work to worship and honor God through, all to the praise of His glorious name! Gianluca Cueva is an Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries at Trinity International University-Florida. FAITH & VOCATION 22 December 2022 Good News • South Florida edition - Gianluca Cueva - Adjunct Professor, Trinity International University-Florida What is Faith and Vocation? A Theology of Work