Largest Christian Newspaper in America • goodnewsfl.org • January 2023 • Volume 24, Issue 10
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On The Cover Bob Hoskins, OneHope Founder, Evangelist And Missionary, and Rob Hoskins, OneHope President, are pictured at the Marie Green Forum Building in Pompano Beach, headquarters for the international ministry One Hope, whose mission is to bring God’s Word to Every Child. Read the full article on pages 28 – 30. Photo by Justus Martin www.justusmartinphoto.com PUBLISHER 6 JANUARY 2023 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition Growing up Feldman in Miami Beach was challenging in a family of highly competitive, brain twisting nightly discussions. My dad was forever curious, and I now kiddingly, albeit with ferocious truth, suggest if my dad was alive during Google, he’d never have slept at all. My older sister was quite the brainiac, but I wrote that off because she was four years older than me and expected to be smarter than me… I would rationalize because she was quicker to the answers. My dad reassured me that although in this household I may appear to be the village idiot; it was a very smart village. Which brings me to a rounded point of how much I don’t know, but I’m thankful for my mentors and Google. So, what the heck did Kemosabe mean when Tonto grunted to the Lone Ranger, “that’s right kemosabe!” We believed that to be “faithful friend… or trusty scout” or something similar... But not so fast; I’ve got Google: “In a 1996 interview with Tomson Highway, Sherman Joseph Alexie Jr., a Spokane- Coeur d’Alene- Native American novelist and screenwriter explains: “Kemosabe in Apache means “idiot,” as Tonto in Spanish means “idiot.” They were calling each other “idiot” all those years! That’s right Tonto never said Kemosabe… Tonto would say ...um Kemosabe! I’ll never watch those old reruns the same again. Unfortunately, well-stated false arguments are often adopted as dogma rather than simply stated truths, according to Author Ed Sharrow, a philosopher and Christian mediation instructor. A lie was told about theApostle Paul that Paul was an anti-Semite. “There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality” (Romans 2:9–11, ESV). “I advanced in the Jews’ religion beyond many of my own age amongmy countrymen, beingmore exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through his grace” (Galatians 1:14–15, ESV). Ed Sharrow offers: Avery selective and incorrect reading of Paul’s epistles has been used to justify anti-Semitism at several stages in Christian history. Christ Jesus, Paul and the original apostles were Jews. Christ is specifically the Jewish Messiah, who happens to have a mission to reach all of God’s faithful children. Christians and Jews are like stepchildren who have the same father but who grew up in different households. It is possible to hate step siblings, but it is unproductive and harmful to strong family relationships. Paul was the consummate Jew. He was a law-abiding practitioner of the strict beliefs and rituals of the Pharisees. When Paul mentions the “traditions of my fathers” in the Galatians quote above, he refers to his encompassing practice of teachings that were later codified in books such as the Mishnah, Midrashim, and Targums. The misconception: “The more features we put into a product, the more customers will like it.” This misconception is one of my favorites, and here from Harvard Business Review. “Product-development teams seem to believe that adding features creates value for customers and subtracting them destroys value. This attitude explains why products are so complicated: Remote controls seem impossible to use, computers take hours to set up, cars have so many switches and knobs that they resemble airplane cockpits, and even the humble toaster now comes with a manual and LCD displays.” “Companies that challenge the belief that more is better create products that are elegant in their simplicity. Bang & Olufsen, the Danishmanufacturer of audio products, televisions, and telephones, understands that customers don’t necessarily want to fiddle with the equalizer, balance, and other controls to find the optimum combination of settings for listening to music. Its high-end speakers automatically make the adjustments needed to reproduce a song with as much fidelity to the original as possible. All that’s left for users to select is the volume.” And my closing misconception: “Lightning Never Strikes The Same Place Twice.” This is one of the oldest and most persistent "common sense" myths around. If it were true, then lighting rods, which are used to divert lightning from buildings into the ground, would be single-use creations. In reality, lightning strikes prefer to hit tall structures that rise above the surrounding areas. A lighting strike looks for a path to the ground and when it finds one, the charges move from the clouds down to Earth. Certain tall buildings and many trees have all experienced multiple lightning strikes. Even a few people have been struck more than once. You get more lightning the closer you are to the equator, and Lake Maracaibo is the world’s capital for lighting with 1.2 million strikes per year. Ok. We have the new 2023 starting this month. Have faith and believe in Him, He is not a myth or misconception He is the truth “With GodAll Things Are Possible” (Matthew 19:23-30). Enjoy ! Les South Florida Edition • Good News • January 2023 • Volume 24, Issue 10 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 2023. All rights reserved. Good News Media Group, LLC. PO Box 670368, Coral Springs, FL 33067 954-564-5378 • www.goodnewsfl.org 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] Misconceptions PERSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . . . .8 Hero Maker - by Stephan N. Tchividjian REFLECTION . . . . . . . . . . .10 The Power of Self-Discipline in 2023 – by Newton Fairweather PARENTING . . . . . . . . . . .12 Avoiding The Ultimate Family Marathon – by Dr. Bob Barnes & Torrey Roberts FOSTER CARE . . . . . . . . . .14 Coming Together for Life – by Kevin Enders YOU ASKWHY? . . . . . . . 16 Cast Off that Corpse and Take Up Your Cross! – by Dr. Tommy Boland MARRIAGE . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Resolve to Count Your Blessings - by Lisa May HEART AND SOUL . . . . .20 Professor Sets the Stage for a Struggling Student to Thrive – by Dr. Debra A. Schwinn THE CODE . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Your Money Talks – by Dr. O.S. Hawkins GOODNEWS WANTSTOKNOW . .24 - 26 If you were given a 30-second ad slot during the Super Bowl, what would you do with it? COVER ARTICLE . . . .28-30 OneHope Founder Bob Hoskins Recounts 80 Years of Ministry with His Son Rob Hoskins – by Shelly Pond FAITH AND VOCATION .32 Consider the Heavens – by Susie M. Cohen, PhD INSIGHT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Kick-Start a New Beginning – by Rob Hoskins ENCOURAGEMENT . . . .36 Home Run – by Omar Aleman CALENDAR . . . . . . .42 - 43 CLASSIFIEDS . . . . . . .44 - 48 Leslie J. Feldman Jay Silverheels as Tonto and Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger in the original TV series C O N T E N T S Good News • January • Volume 24 Issue 10
PERSPECTIVE 8 JANUARY 2023 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition Recently I overheard someone say, “you are not a hero maker.” The comment immediately got my attention for many reasons. I was curious what a hero maker was and what it took to make one? I was also intrigued by what standards one was measured by to determine if he/she was a hero maker? I sensed there was something worthwhile hidden within the comment, perhaps a secret prize of some sort. We all love heroes, and they do, indeed, come in all shapes and sizes. The most notorious heroes are those men and women that stand up for the little guy and defend justice. There is a whole industry that creates, promotes and nurtures these types of heroes. We actually call them “superheroes.” and they have this unique ability to harness the imagination of everyone, especially our children. Who doesn’t like Batman, Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, and even Mighty Mouse (old school). However, there are other heroes too. I can’t help but think of first responders: brave men and women who run to the scene of the accident, the natural disaster, the crime, the pandemic and the like. These heroes are willing to risk it all to protect all exposed and at risk. We honor our veterans in much the same way. Many of these men and women had no choice but to face death, disease, suffering and loneliness to defend a country, a belief and/or a home. Heroes, indeed, live all around us, and the uniform they wear may simply be a pair of jeans, t-shirt emblazoned with a big tongue, and a pair of worn sneakers. How are heroes made? The idea of a hero begs the question of how is one made? I have heard of a cabinet maker and a wine maker, but never a hero maker. I wonder if I can stare at the mirror and identify myself as a hero and in essence become a “selfmade” hero? One can choose a career that lends itself to heroic accomplishments and possibly be put into a position of heroic action. However, how can one aspire to be a hero? I sense that a lot of that births from character that is developed over a long time and often from very challenging circumstances. We have all witnessed the touching video or news story of someone rescuing another, having made a split-second decision to do so. These action steps erupt from years of cultivation and are rarely random (though they appear as such). Additionally, you see the story of extreme sacrifice one is willing to endure for the sake of a loved one. For example, a spouse’s devotion to their partner as they care for their illness or the parent that sacrifices for the betterment of their child. Many dreams are buried in an effort to be the unexpected hero. I sense that we all desire to be a hero, even reluctantly, sometimes. I think there is a sense that a hero is seen, makes a difference and contributes to the overall well-being of mankind. I think, in essence, it’s what the Bible means when we, as Christ followers, are called to be His ambassadors… perhaps we are God’s dispatched superheroes. Waypoints Every year I ask God to provide for me a word or two that act as waypoints for my life’s journey. These words become His guiding principles by which I try and navigate the unpredictable nature of life. These God-given words help develop my character and focus. During the last several months I have been listening and praying to decipher and uncover the word(s) God may have for me. These words become ingredients by which He does His work in me. The two words that I believe God has put before me are: Resilience - The official definition of resilience is the capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness Wonder - The official definition of wonder is a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable. I initially found the two words a bit at odds with one another. Is there an adverse relationship between wonder and resilience? In an effort to be resilient, do I risk losing (or gaining) a sense of wonder? Does a sense of wonder undermine the desire to be resilient? What is a healthy relationship between wonder and resilience? The more I thought about these things the more I began to see the correlation between resilience and wonder. I would simply say that wonder gives resilience its why. A hero is someone whose character has been forged over a long period of time, and we often notice a consistent sense of wonder. This wonder compels them to develop the resilient skills and know how to explore the wonder. For example, think of the Wright brothers who had a compelling sense of wonder to fly, yet, through a lot of trial and error, built a craft that demonstrated the resilience to actually accomplish the dream. World explorers, inventors, human rights activists, philanthropists, and even parents all demonstrate a sense of wonder that requires the necessary resilience to realize the dream. There is much talk that the next year or two may present many challenges (what’s new). We have talk of economic slowdown, inflation, supply chain issues (where is Kids Tylenol), threat of nuclear war, increased political divisiveness, attacks on our Christian faith and rights, etc. I sense that we will need a lot of heroes next year. Therefore, as I lean into the next year, I do so with a deep desire to avail myself to His work and let him make a hero out of me. God is the ultimate hero maker, and as I surrender to Him, I become available to be able to do extraordinary acts for Him. Finally, I could not help but go back to the phrase that caught my attention… “you are not a hero maker.” I realized that as a Christ follower…there is no such thing as a hero maker. He is the hero maker. God is the source of my wonder; God is the teacher that models and demonstrates a resilience that is so compelling it makes me want more. His resilient grace is attached to a wonder that is bathed in supernatural love. Every sunrise is a demonstration of wonder mixed with resilience. Every “act of God” is the same and; therefore, as we look forward to a new year, we too, surrender ourselves to the hero-maker. Stephan N. Tchividjian is the president and founder of the National Christian Foundation South Florida. Visit southflorida.ncfgiving.com to learn more. - Stephan N. Tchividjian - National Christian Foundation President Hero Maker
REFLECTION 10 JANUARY 2023 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition Are you excited about the coming 2023 new year? Thousands and thousands of people will gather all around the world to celebrate this moment, whether in Sydney, Australia, or in New York at the New Year’s Eve Times Square countdown. This tradition has been around for as long as I can remember. Caught in the frame of our hearts andmind, it is almost like a Disney moment. We wait so long for this one-minute countdown, and it goes by so quickly. People often go back to doing what they had been doing before, back to old habits. Just look back to January 1, 2022, and you still might see some of those old habits you had committed to change last year. Let’s call it, “Living on Someday Island.” If I ask most of the readers of this article, what would they like to change in 2023, the list would be extensive, too long to mention everything. Therefore, let’s talk about a few things that can help change your projection for 2023. Move off “Someday Island” In order to move off this island, it will require discipline. Most people like to kick the can down the road and hope it will go away by itself. Most of the time that will not happen. Why? Because we are creatures of habit. Themoment things are not going likewewant, we go back to the familiar: picking up the same can, the same habit, repeating the same mistakes. The funny thing about picking up the same can is that we feel we have no other choice. If only we would’ve held on to our new habits just a little bit longer and gone through the valley of our newmindset, we would have overcome and discovered new possibilities. Another way of getting off this island is to admit to ourselves that we need some help. So, try these helpful tips: 1. Remain constant in prayer when you are feeling weak. 2. Encourage yourself with the Word of God. 3. Talk with a family member or friend; it may not be good to be alone in these moments. Ask God to show you that person to talk to. 4. Mymother used to put a Bible under my pillow at night when I was afraid. It always worked, and to this very day I still do it. It may sound foolish to intelligent readers like yourself, but try it when you are unable to sleep at night. You might be surprised. I am sure there are many other ferries you can take to get off “Someday Island." However, what those tools (ferries) will have in common is self-discipline. This is most needed because often we don’t stay the course in trusting God, and we give up too easily. The habits we have developed over the years took time. They have become a part of our everyday life. It will also take some time for us to break away from these habits of our past. The greatest enemy of discipline is self. Are you willing to deny self? Discipline costs but is it worth it to you for the possibility of a different projection for 2023? The Bible tells us to “count the cost” (Luke 14:28, ESV). Lose a few pounds Garbage in equals garbage out. How many times have you told yourself: I have to lose a few pounds; I have to eat better; I have to exercise more? Our family history tells us that if we don’t do better in this area, some of our family history will repeat itself in our life. We commit to going or joining the gym. We remember how we used to look in our favorite suit or dress and now it no longer fits us, so we waste time looking in the mirror, wondering how I can get back into these clothes? Hope is alive and well in you. It is never too late to start doing the right thing. Do you ever notice how we make time to do the things we want to do? Here’s some motivation for losing a few pounds and eating right: Health is greater than wealth. It is never too late to start doing the right thing. When you want to give up, remember why you started. Lastly, you can pray all you want, but there are some things God has already given you control over. (2 Timothy 1:7, ESV) Control your thoughts What feeds your thoughts? Whatever you listen to the most will influence you the most. Your social media should not be the core of what feeds your thoughts. The most powerful influencer there ever was and ever will be is Jesus. He took 12 people and changed the world. He is the “Word in the flesh.” The ultimate change agent. Hebrews 4:12 (AMP) “For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged [a]sword, penetrating as far as the division of the [b]soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.” If you want to change your thoughts and actions in 2023, get into the driver seat of your mind. Program your actions and thoughts by the Word of God. We cannot help ourselves sometimes, and what got the best of you in 2022, will test you in 2023. We need a mental firewall and a battle plan, and it must be action focused. Most people know theWord, but they don’t use theWORD to capture those negative thoughts. Let me give you an example. What is that favorite song you used to sing and every time you hear it, it brings back memories of better days gone by? Those words never left you no matter where you were in your life. It takes you back, and the words are just as fresh as if you were listening to them for the first time. So it is with the Word of God. Those words are the language of the Holy Spirit that God uses to talk to you, to advise you, to counsel you. If you can just remember “The Lord’s Prayer,” it will work. It will become your permanent life raft in the time of trouble or peace. You will never know until you try it. You have the power, but you must use it. Or better yet activate it, as it’s in each of us. Philippians 4:8 (AMP) “Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].” In conclusion, 2023 is an opportunity to start again. All of us need a second chance. For this reason, aim high, put God first and follow His Word, consistently. Then watch the trajectory of your 2023 began to change. Newton Fairweather is the pastor of Faith and Joy Church and the CBMC Fort Lauderdale Board Chaplin. The Power of Self Control for 2023 Newton Fairweather Pastor, Faith and Joy Church, and CBMC Fort Lauderdale Board Chaplin
12 JANUARY 2023 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition PARENTING Have you ever felt like you are on a family reality show? That there are just too many family and parenting responsibilities, and it is impossible to get them all done? There must be a hidden camera somewhere in the house just waiting to film you as you crack under the pressure. In fact, by the way you hear your children talk to each other, it sounds as if they are about to vote each other off the island. “I can’t get my children to talk nicely to each other let alone take care of each other,” one mother confessed. “This whole dream of being a loving family seems so futile.” Why is family cohesiveness important? Creating a loving family environment doesn’t just happen. It’s something you do. The first question a parent or parents need to ask themselves is, “Why bother? Why is it so important to teach family cohesiveness?” Family is the environment that God has chosen to raise the next generation in. It’s not meant to be an elite boarding house where children and young people are fed and then transported to activities. Family is the first society a child interacts with. It is the place he or she will learn how to minister to people and their needs, and how to care about people other than self. When you look at the schedule of many families today you would think the primary goal is the accomplishment of as many activities as possible. It is as if we are all in a reality television show called “The Ultimate Family Marathon.” The goal being, how many activities can a family cram into one week and remain sane? Dropping children off at school, church, sports and music lessons does not build family, it builds individuality. Not that there is anything wrong with any of these activities, but there is something wrong with all of these activities. Life is not about performing. In fact, life is much more about relationship, and relationship building begins at home. Practicing relationship Children and teens need a place to practice relationship. They also need a safe environment to return to each day for unconditional love. Family needs to be a place where they can ask questions without being made to feel stupid. An environment where other family members will cheer their efforts, so that they are willing and motivated to continue risking the effort to become the person God created them to be. Children need to know that family is the place where they will not be judged, nor will they hear harsh or sarcastic words directed at them. The family motto needs to be, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29, NIV). I can hear the mom asking, “Yes! I agree! But how do I get my children to do that?” Create a team environment Children do not automatically encourage the people around them, and that goes double for siblings. There is jealousy and competition often within a family environment, so parents need to create a team atmosphere. Parents need to help children become excited about working together. What do you do as a family unit? To guide a family into becoming a team parents need to lead the way into activities that the family accomplishes together. Most activities today have divided families into two categories, participators, performers and spectators. What does your family do to get everyone in the family involved? Plan to play games together, go on family vacations where you spend time together, or do a family project around the home or in the community. These are family activities that begin to define who you are as a team. These are also projects that help children hear the parents compliment each other as everyone is working together. Our family relationships often boil down to little more than badgering that child who dawdles to get in the car or he’ll cause us to be late… again. That is the only “encouragement” they hear from us. Find things to do as a family unit. Activities that force your family to work or play together. Then use that time to verbally encourage all the participants. It is not the specific activity that you are trying to conquer. It’s the loving family environment that you are working on creating. As we start this new year, make this a parenting goal. Get off the “merry go round” of activities and create the atmosphere of family team. Make intentional time for fun and unity. Visit parentingonpurpose.org for more advice from Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts. - Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts - Sheridan House FamilyMinistries Avoiding The Ultimate Family Marathon
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FOSTER CARE 14 JANUARY 2023 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition Within the ministry of 4KIDS we often reflect on how every child we meet represents parents who chose life. Despite their current circumstances, whether they are in foster care or at risk of entering the foster care system, we have the chance to honor that life through compassionate, Christ-centered care. This approach to radically support families who are at risk of breaking down and kids who desperately need a stable home is the love of Jesus in action. Tom’s story Longtime 4KIDS leader and current VP of Engagement, Tom Lukasik, has a story that always comes to my mind as I think about the sanctity of life. In the 80’s Tom and his wife Linda were increasingly advocating in the prolife movement while living in Buffalo, NY. They felt a special calling from God to get involved in this work, but there was a moment where everything changed. While peacefully participating in an awareness campaign on a busy street corner in Buffalo, a young woman pulled up beside them and out of her car window she asked, “Will you be there for me if I choose to keep my baby?” She then motioned to the male driver of the car and said, “Will your church be there for us if we keep our baby?” Before they could respond, her car pulled away as traffic moved on. Stunned by her question, Tom and Linda put down their signs and chose to find a way to truly serve moms and babies. Their search ultimately led them to South Florida as house parents. Over the years, Tom and Linda went on to foster over 50 children and teens. The heart of prevention Hearing stories like Tom and Linda’s can prompt incredible reflection for each one of us. What more can we do to serve every life that we know God loves so deeply? How can our approach change to be even more effective and reach more lives? During the beginning of the COVID pandemic and shelter in place orders, we were initially seeing the number of children removed from their homes drop significantly. But with decreasing numbers of kids entering foster care, we also saw increasing stories of severe child abuse from emergency rooms and hospitals across the country. The reality is fewer kids coming into care can mean more desperate situations are going unnoticed and struggling families can fall apart all the more easily. This refueled our fire at 4KIDS to reflect on our mission: to provide hope to kids in crisis. We saw that the hope of prevention needed to become a top priority for kids and families. 4KIDS began partnering with CarePortal, an online platform that connects the church community to real-time child welfare needs. Meeting these needs can help to stabilize families and keep kids from entering the foster care system unnecessarily. As we approach the 2-year mark of mobilizing CarePortal, we can see that over 2,400 kids' lives have already been impacted with an over $700,000 economic impact across our community. This isn’t just one organization fueling this incredible work, it’s the work of over 70 churches across the 12 counties 4KIDS serves. The church is coming together like never before to reach kids and families in their times of need. Coming together We know it is God’s vision for His church to come together and link arms in these efforts, and we see it happening like never before. We recently hosted a Love Life Event at 4KIDS in October where over 14 ministries came together to dream, collaborate, and innovate deeper advocacy and care for kids and families. Uniting the church to become a part of the solution reflects the very heart of God. Being in the room at this event with so many different churches and organizations ignited our collective passion to continue to work together and seek more opportunities to gather. We know Jesus said in John 17:20-21, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me…” Honoring the sanctity of life can take on many forms, but none stronger than the body of Christ coming together to bring the love of Jesus to precious lives longing for hope. I look forward with great anticipation to continue to see all that God will do through us all as we pierce through the darkness and bring light and hope into these families and lives. If you would like to join our next gathering, please reach out to Ally Harrington at 4KIDS at [email protected] or Tom Walker at Love Life at [email protected] Learn More About CarePortal. Visit 4KIDS.us/CarePortal or Scan this QR Code. Learn More About Love Life. Visit LoveLife.org or Scan this QR Code. Coming Together for Life - Kevin Enders - 4KIDS President & CEO
16 JANUARY 2023 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition YOU ASK WHY Cast Off That Corpse and Take Up Your Cross! "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). How are you coming on those New Year’s resolutions? What did you promise yourself you were going to stop doing this year? Eating too much? Spending too much idle time? Running up too much debt? How about the things you resolved to start doing . . . or do more of? Exercising regularly? Maintaining a consistent devotional time? Getting out of debt? We all do it every year; we promise ourselves we are going to make changes. And that’s a good thing! We should be trying to improve. Sometimes we actually carry through on these resolutions and turn them into routines. I’d like to encourage you this year to resolve to do something far more profound . . . and far more rewarding. It’s time to cast off that corpse you’ve been carrying around for far too long! “Corpse?” you ask. “What corpse? What in the world are you talking about?” I’m so glad you asked! The stench of condemnation Centuries ago, Roman emperors were known to inflict the hideous punishment of lashing the corpse of a murder victim to the back of the murderer. Under penalty of death, no one was allowed to remove the body from the condemned man. The murderer would live out his last days carrying around the putrefying body of his victim, enduring the nauseating stench of the decomposing corpse, until eventually his own body would become infected and he would die a slow and dreadful death. We cannot say with certainty, but this practice might very well have influenced the words of the apostle Paul in Romans 7:24—“O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Paul found his own sin to be so loathsome that it was as if something dead and stinking was strapped to him, accompanying him wherever he went. Most of us are carrying some corpse from our past: an unhappy childhood experience: addiction or immorality we engaged in, a failed relationship or marriage or business, our dreadful mistakes as parents . . . the list goes on and on. We know where Paul found relief: “Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25). We know intellectually that forgiveness — this rescue from the corpses of our pastb—bwas granted to us the instant we trusted in Jesus Christ for our salvation, yet far too many of us still trudge through life with the guilt or bitterness from some past event clinging to us like a rotting corpse. The fragrance of forgiveness Forgiveness is the greatest need of every human heart, and that forgiveness has been granted to us by our Savior. But how many times do we pay more attention to the corpse than we do to the Christ? I long ago lost count of how many times someone has told me, “I know God has forgiven me, but I just can’t forgive myself!” They are carrying the stinking corpse of some past hurt, sin or failure, and they simply can’t smell the sweet fragrance of the forgiveness of Jesus. If that describes you, let me say something in love: Those of us who have trusted in Christ for salvation and believe we are eternally forgiven, yet say that “I cannot forgive myself,” are essentially insisting that our sense of right and wrong is more highly developed than God’s. Jesus says, “Forgive them, Father!” Who are we to say, “Not so, Lord! At least not in my case!” The apostle had a Word for that: “Who are you, O man, to talk back to God?” (Romans 9:20). God has spoken: His Son cried out from the cross, “It is finished!” Jesus paid your sin debt in full. God has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12); He has cast all our sins behind His back (Isaiah 38:17) and hurled them into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19); and He has promised that He will remember our sins no more (Jeremiah 31:34). Note that God does not say “I will forget your sins,” for that is impossible. God is omniscient; He knows all things. If He were to actually forget something, the way you and I forget where we left the car keys, there would be something He does not know. No, God has deliberately chosen not to call our past sins to mind. Isn’t it time for you to do the same? Should we make New Year’s resolutions?Absolutely! Let us resolve together, you and I, to deny ourselves, as Jesus said, and put off anything that is keeping us from following Him wholeheartedly and joyfully. Cast off that corpse you’ve been carrying around for—how long has it been now? — and bury it. The God of the universe loves you freely and fully and unconditionally, and He has called you to cast off that corpse, finally and forever, and take up your cross and follow Him. There is no more important resolution that you could possibly make this day! “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16). This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN! Happy New Year! - Tommy Boland - Cross Community Church Pastor
MARRIAGE 18 JANUARY 2023 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition For the last two years, I've started the year with something to commit to for the coming year. Every year many of us make New Year’s Resolutions, and we make a list of goals for the year. We've already started in my family with a goal to do something we've never done in South Florida once a month as a family. The girls are thinking of going to Peanut Island, Flamingo Gardens, or a restaurant we've yet to visit. The guys are thinking along the lines of axe throwing and a shooting range. These are our family goals. So, what’s the difference between a goal and a resolution?Agoal is the object of our ambition or effort, an aim or desired result.Aresolution is a firmdecision to do or not to do something. Last year I encouraged us to Resolve to Obey; the year before was to Resolve to Forgive. For 2023, I'm asking us to Resolve to Count our Blessings. As a child, I grew up singing the hymn Count your Blessings. It goes, count your blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings, see what God has done. Never has this been more poignant to me than my recent trip to India. India has always been a place I dreamed of going to, and the opportunity presented itself very unexpectantly. I was invited to join Doug Stephens, the Regional Director of the Live the Life North Florida andASHAMissions, to train 236 Indian pastors and their wives in our Adventures in Marriage curriculum. Calvary Chapel made it a reality. We trained groups in Calcutta, Odisha and New Delhi. When people ask me about the trip, my first response is to be speechless. It's a country of extremes. Much of what we experienced was utterly foreign to us as Americans.Acountry a quarter the size of the United States with four times the people, primarily Hindu andMuslim.Acountry wheremany areas look war-torn, a country where people are pouring out their trash on the road, where cows and feral dogs roam the streets, and where makeshift tents line the streets where you purchase your food. I thought this must be the slums we hear about until I went to the slums. There is no poverty like that anywhere in America. Our homeless population lives much better than the Indians in the slums. I was so humbled by what I saw that I hesitated to take a picture. I felt I was being disrespectful, exploiting their circumstances; women plucking a chicken and cooking it on the ground with four bricks and two pieces of coal. Acountry where Christianity is allowed as long as you don't evangelize, where women tattoo their faces in hopes they won't be found attractive so no one would rape them.Acountry where in 2008, 200 Christians weremurdered in the forest because a Hindu was killed, and a Bible was left by the body. I was struck by the difference betweenAmerica, founded on Christianity, versus a nation based primarily on Hindu beliefs. The contrast is staggering. I was struck by the difference between the Indian Christians and their wholehearted worship and praise versus mine. I was struck by their joy of Jesus versus mine. I was struck by their gratitude for our presence and teaching versus mine when I freely sit in a house of worship and hear God's word proclaimed with no fear. In India, it was easy to count my blessings because the contrast is so significant. I’ve often wondered why there are so many verses telling us to express gratitude to God, but I believe if we don't, we will grow dull. The more intimately I know him, and the longer He allows me to walk with Him, the less I believe He needs gratitude. He tells us to be grateful for two reasons: First, it’s the guardian of our souls. It’s a reminder that He continues to be faithful, trustworthy, sovereign, and intimately involved in our life. It's a reminder that allows us to see life through our relationship with Christ. Secondly, gratitude has social, physical and psychological benefits. What science reveals Neuroscience always catches up to the Bible, and it continues to reveal the why of God’s instructions. Research shows psychological benefits. A recent study documents that five minutes per day of sincere gratitude journaling can increase dopamine and serotonin levels leading to an increase in your well-being over six months by 10 percent. This is the same impact as doubling your income. The latest brain research shows that gratitude can change the brain's blood flow to the hypothalamus. Six doses of experiencing gratitude for 30 seconds a day will enable our neurons to fire together and wire together within two weeks. This allows us to more quickly and more frequently access the feeling of gratitude. Themore your brain sees the positive, the more it will look for the positive. What we focus on grows. The active practice of gratitude increases neuron density and leads to higher emotional intelligence, stronger interpersonal relationships, better communication, and increased empathy. It causes us to be less self-centered andmore others-centered. Neuroscientist Dr. Antonio Damasio is quoted as saying, "We are not thinkingmachines that feel, but emotional machines that think." Physically, a steady diet of heartfelt gratitude produces a more robust immune system, fewer aches and pains, better sleep-wake cycles, and optimumblood pressure and cardiac functioning. So, why does God instruct us to count all the blessings we have to be grateful for? Because it expands us psychologically, socially, physically and spiritually. My prayer for you and your family this new year is that you’ll set aside some time and begin to consider and give voice to all that you have to be grateful for and that we'll count our blessings. Practical steps to counting our blessings 1. Begin a gratitude journal recording of 3-5 things you're thankful/grateful for daily. 2. Verbalize a minimum of one thing per day you can sincerely express to your spouse and children that you’re grateful for as it relates to them. 3. Stop for 5 seconds, five times a day, to think about what you're grateful for concerning your spouse. Generally, the way we think about our spouse during the day is how we treat them in the evening. 4. Talk to God every day. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Colossians 1:3). 5. Read Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. 6. Go on a mission trip. As is usually the case, I was much more blessed by the people I served in India than they were for my service. They cause me to want to fall down on my face and worship Jesus for His birth and sacrifice of His life for me, my children, those I love, you and our country. Let’s resolve to count our blessings and be grateful in 2023. 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 havemany in the South Florida community. We'd be honored to provide you a list of highly qualified and reputable individuals. Visit livethelifesoflo.org - Lisa May - Executive Director, Live the Life South Florida Resolve to Count Your Blessings
HEART AND SOUL 20 JANUARY 2023 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition Quoting Galileo, the last line of Dr. Marsha Guntharp’s email signature declares, “Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.” To that, one recipient responded, “Well if that’s so, I’m afraid I’m illiterate.” Self-proclaimed math phobics are everywhere. It’s too bad they couldn’t have studied math under Marsha, or under a teacher whom Marsha had instructed. This veteran professor points to the learning process in infants as she explains an approach that can help students struggling in any field. “If you think about howbabies learn to crawl, learn towalk, learn to talk,” she said, “they’re very creative. So you have tomake your teaching not too prescriptive and allow students to figure things out for themselves.” As an example, a very “prescriptive” approach to math or physics instruction might mean you stress having the student memorize formulas and then plug numbers into those formulas as needed. And yes, all math and physics students must learn some formulas, but at Palm Beach Atlantic University, we want students to go way beyondmemorizing and using such tools. We want to instruct and lead students and coach them as they think deeply, explore and collaborate with their classmates. Academic journal shared this success story In the Spring 2022 issue of the journal Dimensions inMathematics, Marsha celebrated how this process worked gloriously one day in one of her classes. She had everybody in the class working on this problem: Hiker “a” was walking at a rate of 3 mph. Hiker “b” left 2 hours after Hiker “a” walking at a rate of 4mph. At what time and after what distance did Hiker “b” catch up to Hiker “a”? Now hold on, math phobics: Stay with me, please. I’m not going to take you through solving the problem; let’s just learn about the process Marsha used with her class.As students came up with solutions, Marsha had each of themexplain the answer and themethod they used to reach the answer. The class included a struggling student Marsha called “Rosa” (not her real name). Marsha had the class turn to graphing calculators to test the method Rosa explained. (Marsha has long been a big fan of technology in the classroom, often using graphing calculators and robots.) That day, when the class tried different numbers using Rosa’s strategy, the method didn’t always succeed. But as the class worked through those examples, Rosa came up with a new strategy to be tested. The class tried the new method, and a student called “Nan” said, “Oh, I understand.” Nan explained it to the class. Another student chimed in, “I see what Rosa did, and I took her ideas and did the problemmy way.” “Note the communication that was taking place in the classroom,” Marsha wrote in her journal article. “Students were explaining to other students, and then those students were explaining the thinking of their fellow classmates. As a teacher, I loved it!” Searching and collaborating, the class dug deep As a university president, I love it too! At the end of the class, Marsha had the students analyze what had happened. They discussed looking for patterns, looking for relationships, making conjecture, testing the conjecture and modifying it. Marsha had coached the class through free and open collaboration, and deep and memorable learning took place. Marsha titled her journal article “When a Struggling Student Thrived,” and she concluded the article saying, “It was a great day, indeed.” Most of us would have a hard time remembering any single day in a math class from our college years, unless it was a day that ended terribly. But I bet the student called Rosa will long remember and celebrate the encouraging result of her part in the class discussion. The Apostle Paul says there are varieties of gifts and varieties of service, but one God who empowers us all. Paul was talking about spiritual gifts, but I believe this godly gifting also applies to our natural strengths in different areas. Mathematics comes easily to some of us, while reading and writing come easily to others. Here at PBA, I’m grateful for faculty like Marsha Guntharp: professors who lead lively class sessions as they work hard to lift up the struggling students and challenge the gifted students. Marsha enjoys collaborating with other professors, such as Dr. Michael Kolta in computer science and Dr. Fred Browning in physics. “She’s always been really good at bringing in ideas like real world physics examples for our math classes,” said Fred. “So that’s a lot of fun.” Finally, calling your attention to the photo of Marsha with an electric bass guitar, I note that Marsha loves music. She plays her bass at church, and also occasionally at PBA summer chapel services. She sees many direct links between math and music. “When you talk about harmonics, or pitch or frequencies,” she said, “it’s all mathematical.” As a physician scientist who plays violin, I agree withMarsha. I wonder: If all our elementary school teachers had played Bach in the background of our math classes, wouldn’t we have fewer math phobics? But that’s a subject for another time. Marsha, you and I must talk. Dr. Debra A. Schwinn, a physician, researcher and innovator, is president of Palm Beach Atlantic University. (www.pba.edu) - Dr. Debra A. Schwinn - Palm Beach Atlantic University President Professor Sets the Stage for a Struggling Student to Thrive Professor of Mathematics Dr. Marsha Guntharp enjoys music and also technology in the classroom.
THE CODE 22 JANUARY 2023 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you” (James 5:1–6 NKJV). “Come now, you rich!” In other words, “Listen up, you rich people!” With these attention-grabbing words, James began this paragraph of his letter, which many people simply skip over! They wrongly think it doesn’t really apply to them. Instead, they think it’s directed to those rich folks living behind the iron gates protecting their mansion, and they’re glad the Lord is giving it to them! Let me just say that I’ve seen two basic reactions to James 5:1–6. Some people without money sometimes feel they’re a bit more spiritual than those who have it. Well, they aren’t. On the other hand, some people with money somehow feel defensive, as though they have to apologize for having money. Well, they don’t. These verses from James apply to every one of us, for being rich is relative. Compared with the overwhelming majority of the world’s people, everyone reading these words is wealthy. Think about it. You probably own an automobile — with air conditioning, power windows, and power steering. Many in the world have never even sat in an automobile. You can afford a hamburger for lunch. Most of the world can’t. Over the decades of ministry, I have been privileged to preach around the world. I have been in the slums of Mumbai, journeyed through the African bush, sat with refugees in the Middle East, and have been the dinner guest in the most remote and humble homes you can imagine. If those people were reading James 5 today, they would be thinking of people in America who they perceive as wealthy. Does money possess us? The reality is, no matter how much money we may have, someone else has a lot more. No matter how little money we may have, someone else has far less. So, we can be sure that James’s words are directed to each one of us. No one is exempt. Wealth is, above all things, relative. I have known people without much money who were actually more preoccupied with possessing it than some who have large estates. The real issue is not whether we have money, but whether our money has us! James was touching a sensitive nerve regarding the danger of materialism, the danger of being possessed and obsessed with stuff. One problem in our affluent Western culture is that too many politicians — and too many individuals — think that most of our problems can be solved with money. So, they raise taxes, redistribute the wealth and create a dependent and entitled mentality in the process. Also, it seems, the more money we have, the more money we think we need. The more we make, the more we spend. Too many salary raises have simply created more personal debt. Money is deceptive. Very subtly, it can become the object of our worship. When we begin to possess significant amounts of money, it has a way of attempting to possess us. That said, know that there is certainly no condemnation of wealth in these verses. Many of our heroes in the Bible were very wealthy individuals. Take Abraham: “Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold” (Genesis 13:2). King David was certainly not in the welfare line himself: “He died in a good old age, full of days and riches and honor” (1 Chronicles 29:28). And his son Solomon accumulated more than Abraham and David put together. Joseph of Arimathea, in whose tomb Jesus was laid is identified as a “rich man” (Matthew 27:57). And Barnabas, the wealthy landowner, made possible the expansion of the early church when he sold a valuable piece of real estate on the island of Cyprus and gave the money to the apostles (Acts 4:36–37). So, if there is nothing wrong with wealth in and of itself, then why these words of waning from James? As he explains in James 5, the real issue with wealth is not in having it, but in how we get it, how we guard it and how we give it. The way we manage our money can bring — to use James’s words — “miseries” upon us. The underlying idea of the word conveys that money may bring joy temporarily, but that joy is followed by misery. If our money is accumulated by ungodly means, it will bring misery sooner or later. It always does. If we hoard our wealth, it does no good for anyone, and we will be of all men most miserable in the end. Also, if we simply give our money to all types of self-indulgence, the result is also misery. Money reveals our hearts Don’t misunderstand James here. The point he was making is that how we get money, how we guard it, and how we give it will reveal what is truly in our hearts. Your money talks. In fact, it speaks volumes about what you think is important in life. It is so much a reflection of what is inside us that Jesus spoke often about it. In one of out of every three of His sermons, He spoke about money. He told thirty-eight parables, and one-third of them deal with our possessions. One of Jesus’ most poignant statements is, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Jesus knew your treasure would not follow your heart, but that your heart would follow where you put your money. Thus, there is a real possibility that the accountant who prepares your annual income tax returns knows more about your spiritual condition than your pastor or even your prayer partners. Yes, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” So be careful about how you get your money, how you guard it and how you give it. Taken from The James Code by O.S. Hawkins. Copyright © 2015 by Dr. O.S. Hawkins. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. O. S. Hawkins has served pastorates, including the First Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, for more than 25 years. A native of Fort Worth, Texas, he has a BBA from Texas Christian University and his MDiv and Ph.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. For almost a quarter of a century, he served as president of GuideStone Financial Resources, with assets under management of $20 billion, serving 250,000 pastors, church staff members, missionaries, doctors, university professors, and other workers in various Christian organizations with their investment, retirement and benefit service needs. He is the author of more than 40 books, and regularly speaks to business groups and churches all across the nation. All of the author’s royalties and proceeds from the entire Code series go to support Mission:Dignity. You can learn more about Mission:Dignity by visiting MissionDignity.org. - Dr. O.S. Hawkins - President, Guidestone Financial Resources Your Money Talks…What Does it Say?www.goodnewsfl.org