Good News - October 2023

Largest Christian Newspaper in America • • October 2023 • Volume 25, Issue 7

First, Polyana found a lump. Then she found hope. At 40 years old, Polyana was getting ready to schedule her first mammogram when she discovered a lump in her left breast. With no health insurance, and three young daughters to raise, she wasn’t sure where to turn when she was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. Her faith brought her to Holy Cross. Thanks to our team approach to cancer diagnosis and treatment, Polyana is now cancer free, and on a mission to spread the word about the importance of self-exams and annual mammograms. As a lifelong beach lover, Polyana knows that the tides always turn, and after some rough seas, she cherishes every moment of calmer waters with her family. Learn more and request an appointment at

PUBLISHER 6 OctOber 2023 Good News • South Florida edition This month we cover feature the 20th Anniversary of the National Christian Foundation of South Florida, known simply as “NCF.” Good News Editor, Shelly Pond covers the ascension, vital growth and importance of those two decades on pages 20 and 21. I’ll let the fascinating story speak for itself. I no longer consider myself a new believer, and my old friends curiously ask me two questions: why? And, am I no longer a Jew? With my new friends I find myself being asked two questions: Do you know Jesus? And, do you know Stephan? I first met NCFSF Co-Founder Stephan Tchividjian sometime in 2011 when I began my Jesus journey through his weekly Bible Study. The lessons have spanned continents as well as the essential ninemonth Lifework Leadership course, and everything in between and after. We have a respectfully close relationship with constant interaction; he usually calls me “Bud” either an endearing southern charm type of thing or he doesn’t remember my name? I sometimes sign my texts “Bud” so as to not confuse him. Stephan, simply put, is the go-to guy. Rarely does anything engage forward movement in our village without the behind-the-scenes prayerful and respectful blessings; after you consult Stephan. Wisdom, grace and respect are the leadership traits of Jesus. In an exhibit of elegant grace, Stephan rarely answers a question directly without first suggesting, “what does that mean to you?” And then the dialogue commences. A trait he credits to lessons learned as a young child when he would exhibit curiosity in discussions with his late grandfather Billy Graham. I was blessed to be baptized by Stephan, a seminal day in my rebirth. After years of passing on many opportunities to be baptized in ocean settings, I considered it my grace to not put an ocean full of fish species in danger, fearing they would wash up dead on shore. Many years ago, my Bible study brothers trekked to my West Broward home pool, a safer confine to witness my baptism. Albeit my fear of the pool water turning black did not occur, a month later my pool did spring a leak in the structure and ficus tree roots did punch through to begin the growth of a tree in the middle of my pool. Of course, they had to dig up my pool deck first to make pool repairs. He is watching me. I’m sure thousands have ”Stephan” memorable moments and stories; events, initiatives, triumphs and very personal family issues. Our region is fortunate to have NCF guided by Co-Founders: Stephan Tchividjian and Brett Stepelton. NCFSF is just one of the many hats Stephan Tchividjian wears: son, nephew, husband, father, grandfather, Pastor, CEO, leader and friend. We get to share his brilliant writing talents as a master storyteller of God’s Word, but none more important than faithful servant. Prayers for another twenty and then another twenty. We are grateful. -Les South Florida Edition • Good News • October 2023 • Volume 25, Issue 7 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 in more 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 • Publisher: Leslie J. Feldman Editor: Shelly Pond Advertising & Marketing: Robert “Buddy” Helland Jr. V.P. Sr. Marketing Manager Art Director: Milton McPherson Associate Art Director: Joseph Sammaritano Social Media Manager: Ariel Feldman Editorial Assistant: Eric Solomon Cover Photography: Justus Martin Leslie J. Feldman IN THE WORD . . . . . . . . .8 Franklin Graham: Courts Are Crucial, but God Is Supreme – by Franklin Graham PERSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . .10 Crumbs, Milk and Honey - by Stephan N. Tchividjian MARRIAGE . . . . . . . . . . .12 How Well Do You Know Yourself? - by Lisa May PARENTING . . . . . . . . . .14 Turn Your Family Time Back On – by Dr. Bob Barnes & Torrey Roberts YOU ASK WHY? . . . . . . 16 God’s Glory or My Gain? – by Dr. Tommy Boland FOSTER CARE . . . . . . . . .18 The Power of Collaboration – by Kevin Enders COVER ARTICLE . .20 - 21 National Christian Foundation South Florida Celebrates 20 Years – by Shelly Pond THE CODE . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Make Proper Adjustments – by Dr. O.S. Hawkins GOOD NEWS WANTS TO KNOW . . . . . . . . .24 - 26 What cool existing invention do you wish you had thought of to invent yourself? HEART AND SOUL . . . .28 55 Years of God-Sized Dreams at Palm Beach Atlantic University – by Dr. Debra Schwinn LEGAL Q&A . . . . . . . . . .30 What Should I Consider When Choosing a Contractor? – by William “Bill” C. Davell and Rob Meacham FAITH AND VOCATION . .32 Fruit of the Spirit in the Public School – by Kim Bryan, Ed.D ENCOURAGEMENT . . .34 Blowin’ In The Wind – by Omar Aleman WE GET LETTERS . . . . .36 NEWS . . . . . . . . . . .38 - 40 OUT AND ABOUT . . . .41 CALENDAR . . . . . .42 – 43 Congratulations NCF on Your First 20 On The Cover The National Christian Foundation South Florida marks 20 years with snapshots from significant community events they’ve hosted over the years. Pictured in photos clockwise from upper left: Fort Lauderdale BeachFest in April 2003; the inaugural Class of 2007 for Lifework Leadership; Stephan Tchividjian (right) introduces Elise Warner, of Walmart, during a Lifework Leadership Class; Don Campion, President, Banyan Air Service; Wayne Huizenga, Jr. and Fonda Huizenga; H. Collins Forman, Jr., Jennifer Forman, Eddie Copeland, Nicky Gumbal, Pippa Gumbal, Mindy Caliguire, Laurie Farquhar and UNKN; Eddie Copeland, Pastor Pedro Villegas, Pastor Frank Lopez, Pastor Doug Sauder and Pastor Virgil Sierra at a Church United Event; Dr. Jessica Vera, Ginger Martin, and Wendy Elliott; Mart Green, Hobby Lobby Board Chair; and Tony Evans, Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas. Photos courtesy NCFSF Baptism (Left to Right) Stephan Tchividjian, Les Feldman, Bob Coy CONTENTS Good News • October • Volume 25 Issue 7

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8 OctOber 2023 Good News • South Florida edition IN THE WORD The 2024 elections are still more than a year away, but the historic Supreme Court decisions from this past June remind us just how far-reaching election results can be. In a landmark 6-3 decision, the justices ruled in favor of Colorado Christian graphic designer Lorie Smith, who did not want to use her design skills to promote same-sex weddings. This has struck a tremendous blow to the LGBTQ lobby, which seeks to force its immoral lifestyle on any who disagree, particularly, Bible-believing Christians who stand on God’s Word, which does not condone any form of homosexual or transgender behavior. This historic ruling in favor of personal religious liberty rights was made possible primarily through the appointment of three conservative justices—Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh—by President Donald Trump, who had promised to do exactly that during the 2016 presidential race. I couldn’t agree more with Justice Gorsuch, who wrote in the majority opinion, “The First Amendment envisions the United States as a rich and complex place where all persons are free to think and speak as they wish, not as the government demands. Because Colorado seeks to deny that promise, the judgment is reversed.” Before and after the ruling for Creative 303, Smith continues to be harassed viciously online, including death threats and more than 10 million cyberattacks on her website, by evil, hateful people. We need to pray for her, and others like Colorado Christian baker Jack Phillips, who has been mired in court challenges with the state of Colorado ever since he declined to create a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding in 2012. And while I am grateful to God for the Supreme Court’s favorable ruling, let’s always remember that over all of the governments, all of the courts, all of the nations, Almighty God reigns and rules. He alone is Supreme. The Bible says, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will” (Proverbs 21:1). The Prophet Isaiah frequently references how God would use Cyrus, king of Persia, as His instrument in conquering much of the ancient world. Daniel explicitly writes how God humbled the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar until he recognized that God’s “dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation” (Daniel 4:34). Ezra proclaimed how God “turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel’ (Ezra 6:22). And we know that in God alone rests true freedom. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can set a person free from the burden and bondage of their sin. Jesus’ sacrificial death on a cross paid your sin debt and my sin debt in full. And when God raised His Son on the third day, sin lost its power over those in Christ, and death became simply a prelude to eternal life. That’s why the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin isdeath, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Now more than ever in my lifetime, people are obsessed with their identity. Race, gender and sexuality have become the throne to which our culture bends the knee. Humanity worships the created instead of the Creator. But God’s grace and forgiveness offers more than freedom from slavery to sin. His life-transforming power enables those who love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength to be in the world but not conformed to it. That’s why the Apostle Paul encouraged God’s people in Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” There is nowhere on the face of the Earth where freedom is experienced any greater than in the center of God’s will. Moses obeyed God even while under Pharaoh’s rule in Egypt. Noah worshipped on an ark tossed about in a global flood. Daniel worshipped in a lion’s den. Joseph served God while a slave to Potiphar. David praised God before a towering giant named Goliath. Paul freely worshipped God while in prison, shipwrecked, and while being beaten nearly to death. Freedom in Christ is what empowered Jesus’ disciples, following His ascension to Heaven, to evangelize much of Asia, Africa and Europe. In the face of ruthless governments and hostile religious leaders, Christ’s ambassadors persevered for God’s glory even unto death. No court ruling, laws passed by Congress, king’s edict, presidential veto or executive order will ever override God’s Great Commission to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:18-19). That is why the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will never retreat or relent in taking the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the world. Jesus promises in Scripture “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. …So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:31-32, 36). So, until our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ parts the eastern sky and returns with a shout by the archangel, may His church—the Bride of Christ—be found faithful to worship God freely and serve others for His glory. ©2023 BGEA Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Decision magazine, September 2023; ©2023 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; used by permission, all rights reserved. Remember that over all of the governments, all of the courts, all of the nations, Almighty God reigns and rules. He alone is Supreme. - Franklin Graham - President and CEO Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Franklin Graham: Courts Are Crucial, but God Is Supreme ” “

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PERSPECTIVE 10 OctOber 2023 Good News • South Florida edition There is a saying we have all heard: “Is the glass half full or half empty?” The beauty of that saying is that it hinges on perspective. The essence of the word picture is that a glass, filled halfway with water, can be perceived as almost full or almost empty. There are times in my life that I see things from both perspectives. Half empty triggers in me a sense of scarcity, implying that things will get progressively more challenging with less available resources. Half full triggers a sense of abundance, implying that things will get progressively better because resources are abundant. I believe that these crossroads appear more often than not when problems arise. We face problems every day, some large and some small. Sometimes the problems we face are extremely difficult to maneuver, perhaps even life threating, and other times a problem is hardly noticed and a mere inconvenience. A problem (my own definition) is “something that displaces my current sense of understanding.” For example, a glass of spilt milk at the breakfast table is a problem because my “sense of understanding” is that milk belongs in a glass where it can easily be consumed and not make a mess. Milk that falls out of a tipped glass can no longer be consumed and creates a mess. However, what about problems that arise that are significant? Problems around our ability to provide for ourselves and those that depend upon us. Problems that threaten our very life such as a significant health issue. Perhaps we face relational problems; we had assumed that our marriage would be happy and life giving, our children would forever love us and not rebel, that our best friend would be that forever. Problems can be internal, a struggle with anxiety, depression, self-worth or a stubborn habit. Additionally, problems can be societal as we have experienced recently with the exposure of injustice, divisiveness, deception and the like. Therefore, when facing these small or large problems, do we face them with a sense of scarcity (half empty) or plenty (half full)? I tend to define whatever I face by defaulting to measuring my own capacity (do I have enough?) and/or my own capability (do I have what it takes?), which is influenced by my own perspective. The loaves and fishes I reflect on a famous story in the New Testament where Jesus and His interns (disciples) are managing a very large crowd, upwards of twenty thousand people, when the day begins to wane, and the crowd is hungry. The problem that is brought to Jesus’s attention is the fact that the crowd is getting hungry, and the suggested solution is to conclude the event and dismiss everyone to fend for themselves. The solution is logical and demonstrates a sense of concern for those who are hungry and timely. However, it does approach the problem from a scarcity mentality. The crowd is large and the visible resources available are not enough. Jesus, however, seems to always be moving with the sense of abundance, even when it makes no sense to the watchful eye. Jesus made aware of this problem (frankly knew it all along) by the interns responds not with an understandably scarcity approach (again, the most logical in light of the circumstances) but shocks his interns with a solution that is wholly dependent on a perspective of abundance. He takes what little bit they do have, in this case five loaves of bread and two fish, and works with it. The result, without a lot of fanfare, is everyone including the interns are satisfied. The solution to the very real problem is vastly different when approached from a perspective of abundance than scarcity. The Promised Land I am also reminded of a story in the Old Testament where God instructs Moses to send out 12 spies to look at the land that God had already promised He was going to deliver to the Hebrew nation (Children of Israel). The spies return after a forty-day excursion with some unbelievable reports of the abundance of the land “flowing with milk and honey” but quickly pivot to a discussion around the observable challenges that they will face in taking possession of the God-promised land. However, two spies who acknowledge these observations, approach the decision from a perspective of abundance… meaning, “God said He was going to give us this land and fight for us. What are we waiting for? Why so much discussion? Let’s go!” Again, the difference between a perspective of scarcity and abundance. Unfortunately, like in many of our lives, scarcity prevailed, and the Hebrew nation abandoned the effort to acquire the God-promised land and spent forty plus years in the desert, many never experiencing this blessing. Capacity and Capability I have been thinking a lot lately about the relationship between proximity and capacity. I am thinking I will be writing a separate article about that someday. However, in the meantime, I am reminded that my default continues to be centered around my own sense of capacity and capability. I realize how limiting that is and therefore tend to settle by wrapping myself in the so-called security of scarcity. I play it safe and assume the worst. Unfortunately, this never produces any answers, is wholly self-reliant and leads to greater discomfort and disappointment. Perhaps if I stop long enough to see what God sees and hear what He hears, I will have a different understanding. My proximity to Him will shed light on the capacity He affords me by His strength. I do acknowledge that when it comes to my own abilities, I only have some crumbs to offer, but that is the point. God takes whatever little I have (scarcity) and maximizes it (abundance). He alone does that. I take my situation and/or problem, present Him with what little I have (in many cases a few crumbs of hope and faith) and see what He does with it. The act of removing my perspective and replacing it with His only comes from spending more time with Him… more on that later. I have noticed that when I live life from His abundance and perspective, my capacity and capability increase. I am more capable of grace, mercy, love and compassion. I find that I am more patient, less anxious, less combative and quicker to say, “I am sorry.” Today, let’s ask God to graciously let us see things from His perspective, and perhaps we will begin to live from a perspective of abundance rather than scarcity. Stephan N. Tchividjian is the CEO and co-founder of the National Christian Foundation South Florida. Visit to learn more. - Stephan N. Tchividjian - CEO and Co-Founder National Christian Foundation Crumbs, milk and honey

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MARRIAGE 12 OctOber 2023 Good News • South Florida edition Working with marriages and families over the past twenty-plus years has been illuminating for me. I've found that most of us don't know ourselves well. Like others, we know things about ourselves, our favorite colors, our taste in food, where we were born, what we like to do, who we hang out with, what we do for work, and what our talents are, but if someone asks us what our core beliefs and values are, we might have to pause. As a Christian, I could answer without hesitation that I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born of a virgin, died on the cross for my sins, He rose on the third day, and my belief and acceptance of Him allows me to spend eternity in heaven. I attend a church where a pastor asks, "Church, what do you believe?" every Sunday. We all stand together and recite the Apostle's Creed. It's one of my favorite moments of worship. I truly believe what it states, reminding me of what I believe. Why do I need to be reminded? Because my deeply held beliefs should frame how I live my life, the decisions I make, how I spend my time, etc. It doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes and missteps, but it's my true north, my compass, and I often need to realign. My faith is the centerpiece of all my core values. What about you? Have you ever seriously considered what you believe and whether your core values and behavior flow from that belief? How does this impact marriage? It’s not unusual to meet with couples that have different beliefs. An example of this in marriage would be a Christian marrying a Jew. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the Christian or the Jew. But if we genuinely believe that Jesus is the only way to be saved, and without acceptance of Him, I’m going to spend eternity in hell, should we marry? Do we believe what we proclaim, or is it just an inherited ritual with no real root? Do our choices and behavior align with our beliefs? Many of us haven’t taken the step to dig in and ask ourselves what we believe at our core and where that leads us. Beliefs drive values Someone recently asked about Christian couples living together before marriage. It’s increasingly common in the Christian churches. Wonderful people, some of our family members, people we would die for, me, you, making decisions that we know contradict God's design. I responded, “There’s often a chasm between believing and following. Satan believes.” There are many reasons we say one thing and do another, and our spiritual journey is sometimes sidetracked with detours. In Romans 7, Paul is questioning why he does the things he knows not to do. We all do it, and the reasons are many: lack of spiritual maturity, courage, pride, fear, the list could go on and on. Often, it's because we don't know ourselves; we don't know what we believe about some things. We have yet to give it much thought or question ourselves, and we mindlessly drift into behaviors. We’ve allowed culture to transform and dull our thinking rather than our beliefs and values transforming culture. Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." We have to make a study of ourselves. Ultimately, our belief drives our values. How do we define a core value? A value is a fundamental belief, a principle we ascribe to that we won’t compromise, a nonnegotiable. The challenge is connecting the belief with the value, giving them a name, putting a stake in the ground, and placing a guardrail around them. You may believe marriage is a monogamous relationship between a man and a woman. A core value might be faithfulness. It's more than necessary; it's a non-negotiable line in the sand. It's the internal compass that drives our decisions and our behaviors. So if the core belief is marriage is a monogamous commitment between a man and a woman, and the core value is faithfulness, we know that adultery would be forbidden, an absolute NO. How does that impact our behavior? Values drive behavior To live by your beliefs and core values, your behavior choices must be examined and realigned occasionally. In the marriage example above, guardrails may need to be built to help us keep those non-negotiables safe. It might be that you don’t go out after work with friends, that you don’t have lunch with the opposite sex unless other people are joining you, that you spend quality time with your spouse every day. A gentleman recently shared that he created a list of his core values and revisited it once a week. One of his core values was faithfulness to his wife, so when he travels, he commits that he will be in his hotel room for the night by 8 p.m. and will call his wife. They have examined themselves and shared their beliefs, core values and behavior plans, providing a solid foundation and emotional connection for their marriage and family. What can you do? I often ask myself, is my behavior reflecting my core values based on my beliefs? Does my behavior demonstrate what I value most, and does it align with God's Word? Some days I fail, but with Jesus and the Bible as my true north and my core values as my compass, I can reset and realign my behavior. It's challenging but critical to dig deep and develop a deeper understanding and knowledge of ourselves. I encourage you to begin the process of self-assessment. There's a plethora of materials online, but I recommend an organization that's walked me through this process: This exercise is an opportunity for your marriage, family and relationships to reflect one of my favorite verses, something I aspire to. Psalms 1:2-3… “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, and its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.” Lastly, if you need to know what you believe about Jesus or eternity, I hope you will reach out to anyone at the GoodNews or to me at 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 How Well Do You Know Yourself?

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14 OctOber 2023 Good News • South Florida edition PARENTING Recently, while waiting for a traffic light to turn green, I glanced over at the car next to me and noticed an incredibly sad scene. A mom was driving with three kids. It had the potential to be a great family outing, but for one thing, each person in the van was engaged in his or her own electronic activity. Each except the youngest, who was glued to something on the ceiling. Only after the light turned green did I see that he too was into his own electronics. He was focused on his own iPad screen. Mom was on her phone and the teen texting on her phone. One child with headphones listening to something and the youngest glued to an iPad. This was a family so close to each other in proximity yet miles apart in relationship building. Affirmation As I pulled away, I was reminded of a Father's Day television interview my son and I did together years ago. The talk show host asked Robey what he thought made us so close as father and son. One of his answers surprised me. Robey began, "One of the reasons my whole family is close is probably because we have spent so much time in the car together. We lived forty-five minutes from school, and we talked all the way to and from school each day. We never even car-pooled like other parents. It was just us." When Robey and I walked out of that interview, I asked him about his comment. He never seemed to enjoy those conversations in the car. In fact, I remember him looking totally bored or asleep. Now, years after those drives to school, he was talking like they were life changing. "Sometimes I did sleep,” he said, "but sometimes I just shut my eyes, so I didn't have to talk. I sometimes wondered why we didn't carpool like other kids, but after a while I was glad it was just us. It was just our family time where I could talk or just listen. I needed those times, especially in middle school." Years after those drives to school, I was getting a little affirmation for fighting the battle to keep interruptions out of our family time together. Back then I wondered if it was a total waste of time when we decided to turn off everything and talk as we drove to school. Information But there was more than this affirmation a few years later. There’s also information. A recent study from the University of Michigan found that people actually learn better after periods of being cut off from outside interruption. Staying in constant contact even while standing in lines or riding on busses could hamper a person’s ability to process information and new ideas. Our children need time unplugged in order to learn to think. They also need this time so they can actually plug into family relationships rather than developing the habit of being distracted from these much need relationships. Turn off distractions In order to turn your family time on you've got to turn the distractions off... even the good ones... even the ones that have become habitual parts of your personal lifestyle. For some reason we have taught our children that it's a good thing to be constantly available or entertained. Contact with anyone who calls, texts or scrolling is a diversion from what our children really need: a relationship with family members. Be intentional As leaders we need to become intentional about the way we use our precious minutes when family members are together. Time spent in the same room or car doesn't necessarily mean time spent together unless the leader gets intentional about it. There are things busy people have to do such as driving to different venues. But there are things we don't have to do such as allow interruptions to distract us from becoming the family we all want to be. Years ago I was meeting with a family in my office. I had forgotten to turn my phone off, and it rang. I immediately turned it off and apologized to the family. “I’m very sorry I let this interrupt our time together.” Should I do any less for my own family? Visit for more advice from Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts. - Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts - Sheridan House Family Ministries Turn Your Family Time Back On!

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16 OctOber 2023 Good News • South Florida edition YOU ASK WHY God’s Glory or My Gain? “Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name” (Isaiah 25:1). There are only two reasons to do anything in life. One is for personal gain and the other is for God’s glory. One is to serve the self and the other is to serve our Savior. One is to advance the cause of our little kingdom and the other is to advance the cause of the Kingdom of God. The Scriptures are full of examples of both, and it is always a good idea to inventory our hearts from time to time to see just what the motivations are behind the things we are doing. As the wise preacher tells us, “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighted by the Lord” (Proverbs 16:2). Remember, because our hearts are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9), we can easily misalign our motives, making life all about us rather than all about God. We can sum it all up this way: are we using God as a means to attain an end or is the end God Himself. The first has us pursuing God for personal gain, the second for God’s glory. And often we can be sailing through life without ever noticing the difference until the storm winds begin to blow and when they do, we will know the true motive of the heart by either shrinking back or standing firm. Storms have a way of revealing what we actually believe deep down inside about our relationship with Jesus. Two categories Let’s take a brief look at these two categories of professing Christians. The person working for personal gain thinks about their relationship with Jesus rooted in the great gifts He can give to them. They come for hope. They come for help. They come for happiness. They come for health. They come for healing. They come for a better home life. They come to escape the terrors of hell. These are just a few of the personal gain reasons which makes it clear that Jesus is not their Messiah, but rather, He is their means to their desired ends. However, the person working for God’s glory looks to Jesus as the end itself. Jesus is not the vehicle to victory He is our victory. Jesus is not the way to wealth He is our wealth. Jesus is not the path to peace He is our peace. Jesus is not the means to meaning He is our meaning. The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks the important question, “What is the chief end of man?” While the answer is not a particular passage of sacred Scripture, it surely is the all-encompassing meaning of our very existence – “Man’s chief end is to glorify, and to enjoy him forever.” So, how would you describe your walk with Jesus right now? Is your relationship with Jesus a means to a desired end or is Jesus the end Himself? What is the chief end of your life, right now, right where this finds you? Relationship vs. rewards What we need to remember is we were created for relationship with Jesus not for the rewards we get from Him. Perhaps there is no better book in all the Bible where we see this truth lived out than Job. God allows His servant Job to suffer unimaginable loss – health, wealth and all ten of his children. Even his wife ridicules him for staying committed to God. In essence, Job loses every reason to stay in a right relationship with God expect God Himself. It is clear from this story that Job loved God more than all the good gifts God had given to him. Yes, Job loved his wealth. Yes, job loved his health. And of course, Job loved all ten of his children. But He loved God more. For Job, God was not a means to a desired end. God was the end Himself, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. (Job 1:21-22). When Jesus was teaching the cost of being His disciple, he said this: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even their own live – such a person cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26-27). Now we know Jesus was not telling us to hate our families and our lives if we are to be His disciples. Jesus was telling us that our love for our families and our lives should look like hate compared to our love for Him. We are to love all of the good gifts Jesus has given us, but we are to love Jesus more. Remember, keeping Jesus on the throne of our lives will keep us from falling into the trap of looking to Him as a means to a desired end. Jesus is the end we are after in every area of life. We love Jesus for Himself. We look to Jesus not because of anything we hope to get, but because of everything we have already been given. And his name is Jesus. May this be the confession of our lives that our relationship with God is built solely upon the goal of His glory and not our gain, because ultimately His glory is our greatest gain. This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN! Dr. Tommy Boland is senior pastor of Cross Community Church in Deerfield Beach ( He blogs regularly at - Dr. Tommy Boland - Cross Community Church Pastor

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FOSTER CARE 18 OctOber 2023 Good News • South Florida edition Do you ever have a luncheon or a conference to go to that you find yourself dragging your heels toward? Maybe you think nothing new will come of a seemingly ordinary opportunity, and I have been tempted to think the same way especially in the busyness of life. But what I have learned in a powerful way these past few years is that being where God wants you to be, whether that is a lunch or a conference, and being receptive to what God might have for you there can lead to incredible outcomes. Being spiritually sensitive to the people God is putting in your path can open doors and build friendships that quite literally change lives. That is exactly what happened with a few of my friends who lead remarkable ministries. I met them at unexpected times, and in ways I couldn’t have imagined, our partnerships have expanded the Kingdom in unique ways. Hope for prevention I met Scott Platter a couple of years ago and immediately connected with him. He serves as the Executive Director of CarePortal. At the time I couldn’t have dreamed of the kind of collaboration 4KIDS and CarePortal could have. Launching CarePortal in 2020, in the midst of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, wasn’t exactly what I had in mind either, but none of this could stop God’s perfect plan. In the three years since our launch, over 100 churches and 900 individual responders have been trained to collectively impact over 5,800 lives through preventative care. Because of this, 4KIDS is positioned to be the convener of amazing organizations by training lead agencies, child protective investigators, ĒMA, Prevention Central, Hope Navigators from each circuit, and more. To think this all began through a connection, the power of unity and God ordained meetings can propel unimaginable work. Homes for kids Another unexpected, divine meeting was with Bob Bruder-Mattson, the President & CEO of FaithBridge Foster Care in Georgia. I met Bob years ago at a Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit he almost didn’t attend. After a great conversation, we agreed to a follow up phone call, which turned into a monthly call, and now a day-to-day friendship. I often find myself texting Bob right before big 4KIDS events asking for prayer, and he does the same with me. What was unique about 4KIDS’ and FaithBridge’s collaboration is we each had different areas of strength where we could offer the other insight and support. FaithBridge had incredibly robust data and research to help target foster family recruitment efforts. We still use so much of their strategy especially in our new regions. At 4KIDS we had a strong communications team that extended their expertise to help FaithBridge with essential fundraising. In addition, we were able to share our EPIC Therapeutic resources and virtual trainings to bless their families and spread this powerful trauma-informed approach. We never know what will spring out of a friendship with two collaborative hearts. God is using Bob and FaithBridge to impact lives through 4KIDS and beyond. Healing for all 4KIDS’ EPIC Therapeutic Approach offers local, national and even international impact opportunities through strategic partnerships and collaboration. Just this past summer the EPIC Clinical Team trained Parkridge Christian Academy and Atlantic Christian Academy teachers impacting over 140 teachers and in turn 1,400 students. EPIC Training is offered virtually to families across the country with partnerships like FaithBridge and is even offered internationally in South Africa, Romania and Peru. HopeConnect is another digital resource created by 4KIDS that puts Everyday Moment activities right in the hands of parents. These activities strengthen a child’s identity in Christ while infusing the Hope of God’s Word into their lives. Eight unique organizations across the country are already sharing HopeConnect, with over 1,350 families impacted. All of these pathways for impact were forged through collaboration. These partnerships often come at unexpected times or in unexpected forms. They also may experience bumps along the road, but we know God promises us in Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” I pray that you would enter into each day looking for the people God has put in your path, open to the ways He can use you and those around you to make an eternal difference. Kevin Enders is the President and CEO of 4KIDS. To learn more, visit The Power of Collaboration - Kevin Enders - 4KIDS President & CEO

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COVER STORY 20 OctOber 2023 Good News • South Florida edition In March of 2003, Fort Lauderdale community leaders and hundreds of churches joined forces during Spring Break to host BeachFest, led by the late Evangelist Luis Palau, which attracted hundreds of thousands of attendees and resulted in more than 5,000 decisions for Christ. As this unprecedented event reached its crescendo after years of planning, Stephan Tchividjian, CEO and Co-Founder of the National Christian Foundation, said, “We began to ask, what has this started and how could we carry this momentum on?” That conversation led to the founding of what is now the National Christian Foundation of South Florida (NCFSF), a nonprofit organization that encourages whole-life generosity through donor advised funds. Collectively, NCFSF givers have donated more than $363.4 million to primarily Christian charities through individual donor advised funds since its inception 20 years ago. It’s the donor that advises NCFSF where and when to send the funds. Perhaps its biggest contribution, however, has been the building of relationships and collaboration among Christians within all sectors of our community that has allowed it to meet overwhelming needs and cultivate creative solutions together. The idea was prompted by Brett Stepelton, NCFSF CoFounder and a Stacy Foundation trustee, who was impressed by how a local community foundation had been able to rally top business leaders around secular causes and thought it would be great if there was a Christian community foundation that could do the same. “If you can bring together the churches and donors, cast vision and create unity, you can accomplish a lot and become a change agent or catalyst in the community,” said Stepelton. The Stacy Foundation brought in Bill High, from one of the largest and most successful NCF affiliates in Kansas City, as a consultant, and he helped build the original steering committee for the Community Christian Foundation of South Florida, which is now NCF South Florida. Tchividjian said some of the people who helped shape NCF South Florida in the early years include Scott Barrett, Mark Davis, Collins Forman, Wayne Huizenga Jr., Dr. Daniel Kanell, Chip Lafferty, Mark Mansour, John Offerdahl, Gita Santangelo, Tom Shelton, Steve Shelton, Mike Pappas, Luis Chiappy and Wayne Cotton, to name a few. The NCF model From this original vision, NCF South Florida has developed into an ecosystem designed to unleash whole-life generosity based on three interconnected pillars they call Invest, Equip, Unite. Through Invest, NCF South Florida builds relationships with generous givers who invest their assets into vetted nonprofit organizations through a donor advised fund that utilizes a variety of strategic giving solutions designed to maximize the dollars given to charity while reducing personal tax burdens. And 2021 was their largest grant year ever, with over 10,000 grants sent out from the South Florida family of givers to 1,260 charities. On average, each charity received $33,500 with an average grant amount of $4,200. Equip engages business leaders in personal and professional growth opportunities through Lifework Leadership and Convene to help them use their calling for God’s glory and the flourishing of our community. A 9-month class that inspires leaders to integrate their faith and work alongside other like-minded professionals, Lifework Leadership helps to bring greater meaning and purpose to their life’s work, and an abbreviated Lifework Journey meets one evening a month, making bite-sized versions of the content available to busy professionals. One of their newest programs, Convene offers a space for peer-topeer and executive coaching from a Christian perspective to connect, equip and inspire Christian CEOs and business owners to grow exceptional businesses and become higher-impact leaders who honor God and enrich our community. Also soon to be launched, Amplify will be a business accelerator designed to help young businesses accelerate their growth aligned to biblical principals Unite encourages collaboration through Church United and Mission Increase, inspiring church and nonprofit leaders to serve our community in creative ways together. Church United connects local churches together to foster evangelistic collaboration, provide for the soul care of pastors and change the perception of the Church in our communities to grow God’s Kingdom. Likewise, Mission Increase cultivates well-run nonprofits by providing professional content, coaching and consulting at no cost to ministries in an effort to strengthen local ministries and catalyze mutually beneficial relationships. NCF South Florida has also grown to include offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach and Southwest Florida, spreading their impact in the state coast to coast. Community impact H. Collins Forman, Jr., Esq. has served on the board of NCFSF since it was founded and feels one of the things it has brought to South Florida is a smarter giving community. National Christian Foundation South Florida Reflects on 20 Years of Impact Shelly Pond Good News Editor The NCFSF team and board members in Switzerland. Front row (ground): Darlene Wooldridge, Christine Auker, Susan Kassing, John Kassing, Laurie Farquhar, Stephan Tchividjian, Blesi Tchividjian, Lisa Tchividjian, Jennifer Forman, Sharon French, Ben Ross; Back row (standing on wall): Amanda Forman, Scott Auker, Emily Kreisel, Collins Forman, and Steve French Pastor Bill Mitchell

COVER STORY 21 OctOber 2023 Good News • South Florida edition g r d “I think people are thinking more creatively about giving, and they've been exposed to some giving strategies that allow them to be more generous. For instance, giving out of appreciated assets as opposed to giving out of cash, which has tax advantages, puts more money to work, helps the donors and helps the charities,” said Forman. “Through Equip we’ve come alongside the local church to help disciple their people in generosity and develop leadership skills and with Unite, now all of a sudden we have pastors meeting together and they're viewing each other as co laborers in the mission of the gospel as opposed to competitors.” Cooperation is also being cultivated among nonprofits. Lisa May, executive director of Live the Life South Florida, a ministry that strengthens marriages and families through relationship education, said her involvement in a Convene group for nonprofits has provided opportunities to work together with other ministries that serve children and families, such as First Priority and 4KIDS. Boca Raton Community Church Pastor Bill Mitchell, who led a real estate business for 25 years and founded CityLead, facilitates separate Convene groups for CEOs and nonprofits. “It's really an incredible cohort of peers that comes together,” he said. While there is a spiritual element of prayer and devotion, Mitchell said the real genius of Convene is the presentation of an opportunity or challenge. As leaders share with the group, the other participants act as a board of directors giving recommendations to help them make good decisions in a godly way. “We’re all working together with some of the common issues and learning from each other, and it's going fantastic!” Mitchell added. As a pastor, Mitchell has also been involved in Church United, and said he feels NCF South Florida has had the most impact as a connector. “I talk to my friends and colleagues in other parts of the country, and they don’t have this collegiality; everybody kind of stays in their own lane, but we're saying, no, we're here to change the entire community. Maybe I can only do this part and you're doing that part, but let's all lock arms and do it together. And I think NCF is the impetus to put some wind under our wings and make it happen.” Susan Kassing, a current NCFSF Board Member, said she initially became involved after watching her husband John Kassing go through the Lifework Leadership class in 2014. “John would come home and tell me about the speakers and the motivation they left, how God was working in their lives and they were bold in their witness in the workplace and community, and sometimes he would be moved to tears, so I thought, I’ve just got to take this class. He was a living testimony to the power of Lifework.” Disaster response Since she became involved with NCFSF, Kassing said she has also seen a unity that has resulted in a cohesive response to disasters and financial needs, particularly after hurricanes and the recent 100-year flood. Early on Stepelton said, NCFSF established an angel relief fund that was instrumental in helping with hurricane relief in New Orleans that remains ongoing. For example, When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and people were suffering from poor health, lost jobs, financial and emotional strain, the relationships developed with NCF givers, Church United, Lifework, and Mission Increase allowed them to hear of and respond to needs both within our community and abroad. In addition, three restaurant owners worked together to provide meals for those in need. After the Surfside condo collapse in 2021, NCF’s Disaster Relief and Crisis Fund was activated and over $100,000 was quickly raised and deployed to relief and recovery efforts for the victims’ families and first responders. Ministry partnerships provided a chaplaincy hub, meals and hydration for first responders as well as on-going trauma counseling for the victims’ families. Creative initiatives NCF South Florida has also inspired individuals to begin new ministries. For example, Former Miami Dolphins All-Pro Linebacker John Offerdahl went through Lifework Leadership in 2004 and served on the board of NCFSF from 2009 -2014. His involvement helped plant the seed for development of the Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine and Music Festival that has raised funds to assist with foster care and family homelessness through the Offerdahl Handoff Foundation and its subsidiary Home Team Advantage Restorative Housing. Lifework Leadership alum and former NCF relationship manager JoAnne Daudt, Esq. founded StrikeForce 421 with other women she met through Lifework Leadership. A community of pledge partners who pool their resources in order to have a greater impact, StrikeForce 421 is a giving circle whose partners believe in radical, life-changing generosity. Last year, StrikeForce 421 reached their God-sized goal of giving away their 1 Millionth Dollar to Christian ministries in South Florida, shining the light of Christ a little brighter in our region. Laurie Farquhar, who is a StrikeForce 421 board member and NCFSF President, said StrikeForce 421 also has an impact on the women personally. “They are experiencing the joy of giving in a whole new way…In some cases they’re volunteering at the ministry, there’s a sense of community, and it’s transformed their lives as well as the ministries they’re benefitting.” The impact of NCF South Florida is immeasurable. Their mission is mobilizing resources by inspiring biblical generosity so that ultimately every person is reached and restored through the love of Christ. Tchividjian illustrated that well when he said, “The wise men of old, at the apex of their God-sized adventure, presented their precious gifts to our Lord Jesus as an act of worship. Generosity is more than making a grant. Generosity is a response to our understanding of God’s greatest gift to us, His Son.” That’s the heart of NCF South Florida. Stephan Tchvidjian and John Offerdahl Lifework Leadership coaches Ed Kobel, President and COO, DeBartolo Development