Good News - January 2024

Largest Christian Newspaper in America • goodnewsfl.org • January 2024 • Volume 25, Issue 10

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J JANUAR CRO RY SSBRIDGE CHURCH with optional lunch Saturday General A 9 AM–5:30 PM SATURDAY, JAN 20 6–9 PM Y, JAN 19 Sabbath Dinner: $3 On October 7, 2023, Hamas terrorists brutally attacked Israel, slaughtering 1,400 than 200 hostages. As Israel defends herself against further attack, many across condemning and demonizing Israel. Some even sympathize with Hamas, a terror g Israel’s destruction. Antisemitic incidents around the world have skyrocketed. It is vitally important for the body of Christ—the church—to stand with Israel dur People Ministries and CrossBridge Church are hosting a conference: “Standing wi DMiss, William Washington, PhD, and Rich Freeman, DMin, will be the keynote sp Boca Raton, January 19–20, 2024. The conference will include a live broadcast of with Dr. Michael Rydelnik on Saturday morning. Register on our website at: / www.chosenpeople.com/standing-with-isr 10101 JUDGE WINIKOFF BOCA RATON, FL 33428 JANUARY 19-20, 2024 FRIDA EVENT SCHEDULE C h for $15 Attendee: Free 30 (space is limited!) people and taking more the global community are group openly calling for ring this time. Chosen ith Israel.” Michael Rydelnik, peakers for this event in f Moody Radio’s Open Line rael-florida ROAD COST

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I often ponder; where do I start? That’s how I start most days, setting priorities. My reflex response when asked “how am I today?” or “what’s new?” You know, greetings people exchange with one another. My response is generally, “Another day of opportunity!” I’ve been saying that for decades. Why is that? Is it honest, or is it boastful some may think? Should I care? Each day is another opportunity. God allowed me another day of rest and another day to begin again. I feel accountable. This is how I approach life. We start off life learning how to walk and learning how to talk, how to count, how to read, and we progress to do more and better each day. That’s life. We are measured. How much did we grow? How much did we learn? It’s exciting, and we feel accomplishment. Children get excited when we talk of their daily accomplishments. We enter formalized school and again we are measured by our age. We get report cards; we then learn excitement or something new: fear. Life should be exciting, filled with opportunities and challenges. We can embrace or reject. Early learned reflexes of excitement and accomplishment are opportunities accepted, and fears generally reject opportunity as too risky and unrewarding. Why? Being judged? The Church can be like that. Do people grow in faith or stay away out of fear of commitment or is it rejection? I submit people flourish by being challenged to be better, to do more and to feel the joy of accomplishment. Young children who learn to give up or to be content to say “I can’t do that” sometimes lack the encouragement to just make progress. The Good News has Media platforms: The Monthly printed edition has 710 locations, providing stacks of free copies; about half of the locations are within churches with approximately 80,000 monthly readers. The Good News Social media platforms: The Good News digital edition at GoodNewsFl.org with the entire monthly copy is available free on-line to approximately Thirty to Fifty-Thousand readers monthly who access us on-line. The Good News weekly newsletter is sent out to more than 11,254 “requested” subscribers via email. It features upcoming events, presents a selection of articles from the print edition, and adds additional news events that may have missed deadline or features that did not make the print edition due to lack of space. The Good News Facebook Page shares multiple daily posts to over 17,700 Good News followers, and growing daily. The Good News connects to over 1444 business followers on LinkedIn and 3,370 followers on Instagram. We endeavor to do more and do it better, each day. Why do I mention this? In review and analysis of 2023, we looked at the analytics of the Good News social media instant responses. On July 19, 2023, we posted one of our daily posts, which generally features something mildly thought provoking or words of encouragement such as “Bible scripture” or similar passages. The post pictured here in blue and white (our logo brand colors) went viral with over 8,500 people who reshared it to their friends list and a whopping 621,331 people engaged in some manner, so said the detailed analytics; and it was our top 2023 engagement. For the record, I will mention we had over 255 daily posts and 17 had over 45,000 people reached with a few in the 100,000 range. What is the actual significance? Read the words in the post, please. This is what the Good News “followers” resonated with: The Church. This post is resonating; If you Google search this post and statement it’s now being used in church sermons throughout the country since we posted in July, 2023. We can do more. We can be more inclusive. We can be more encouraging. We can provide more opportunities for engagement. “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every Opportunity” (Colossians 4:5 NIV). Let’s get started with 2024. I’m excited for the opportunity that lies ahead. -Les PUBLISHER 6 JANUARY 2024 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition South Florida Edition • Good News • January 2024 • Volume 25, 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 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 2024. 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 LJF@goodnewsfl.org Editor: Shelly Pond ShellyP@goodnewsfl.org Advertising & Marketing: Robert “Buddy” Helland Jr. V.P. Sr. Marketing Manager BuddyH@goodnewsfl.org Art Director: Milton McPherson milton@goodnewsfl.org Associate Art Director: Joseph Sammaritano joesam@joelogoart.com Social Media Manager: Ariel Feldman ariel@goodnewsfl.org Editorial Assistant: Eric Solomon Eric@goodnewsfl.org Cover Photography: Justus Martin Justus@justusmartinphoto.com Leslie J. Feldman PERSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . . . .8 Prutention - by Stephan N. Tchividjian IN THE WORD . . . . . . . . .10 Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem – by Franklin Graham PARENTING . . . . . . . . . . .12 Teaching the Discipline of Self Improvement - by Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts HEART AND SOUL . . . . .14 Palm Beach Atlantic University Students Serve Those Impacted by Crisis in Israel – by Dr. Debra Schwinn FOSTER CARE . . . . . . . . . .16 A Paradigm for Redemption – by Kevin Enders FROM THE PULPIT . . . . .18 AI and You - by Alex Umole THE CODE . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Finding Jesus in Jonah – by Dr. O.S. Hawkins ENCOURAGEMENT . . . .22 New Year’s Solution – by Omar Aleman COVER STORY . . . . .24 – 26 How Christians Are Helping Israel – by Karen Engle Rising Antisemitism in America – by Susan Michael GOOD NEWS WANTS TO KNOW . . 27 - 29 Now that 2023 has come to a close, Good News Wants to Know... What are three things that have brought you joy this year? YOU ASK WHY? . . . . . . . 30 Don’t Be Afraid – by Dr. Tommy Boland FAITH AND VOCATION 32 The Great Faithfulness of Our God – Susie Cohen, PhD COMMUNITY NEWS .34 - 40 CALENDAR . . . . . . . . . . 42 - 43 CLASSIFIEDS . . . . . . . . . 44 - 47 We Can Do More And Better On The Cover Jews and Christians standing together in solidarity during the November 14, 2023, Rally for Israel in Washington, D.C. Pictured from left to right: Dr. Linda Smith, Executive Vice President, National Religious Broadcasters; Shelley Neese, President, Jerusalem Connection; Jordanna McMillan, US Director, Israel Allies Foundation, and Dr. Susan Michael, USA Director, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. Read the cover article on pages 24-26. (Photos courtesy, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem) 4.5K 191 8.5K 621,331 Likes Comments Shares People reached CONTENTS Good News • January • Volume 25 Issue 10

PERSPECTIVE 8 JANUARY 2024 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition I have grown a deep fondness for words and their meaning. I have found that when I savor words and understand their context, their origin and their usage, the impact is thought provoking, moving and sometimes very revealing. I find the mystery can be worthwhile. Words make us laugh, cry, think, rethink, learn, become angry, grow and act. We must also be very careful with words. Sometimes what one person believes to be the meaning of a word can be very different for another person. Disagreements can erupt from the misuse or misunderstanding of words. Words can be used to build, heal and reveal, and they can also be used to destroy, harm and conceal. I have had a tradition for several years to simply ask God, each year, to reveal a word or words that can act as a compass heading for all that I do during that year. I learned this from hearing the author/speaker John Maxwell talk about his tradition. I thought to myself that it was a great idea, and I should try it. I wish I had done this earlier. Last year, for example, I had two words. Wonder and Resilience served as my Batman and Robin, Lewis and Clark, or Bono and The Edge. I appreciated how these two words worked together and provided clarity and understanding to my circumstance and situation. I often said that “wonder was the why of resilience” and that if I lost my wonder then the resilience that I endured could become laborious and overwhelming. In reflecting over the past year, I have had my moments of wonder and I certainly have had my moments of resilience. I specifically remember a long day hike that I took this summer. The experience provided me with a flurry of both wonder and resilience as I fondly reflect on that experience. My hike was mixed with beauty, rest, pain, endurance and breathtaking views, a great metaphor of life. I found that this year was challenging on so many fronts, and I found myself sometimes overlooking the wonder amid my resilience…the whole “hamster on a wheel” feeling. I found myself more exposed to the pain, burdens and sufferings of those around me. I am incredibly grateful that those words were part of my vocabulary for the year and eagerly have been awaiting my words for next year. Finding a word The process of finding a “word” for the year is quite simple for me. I become alert to words during the fourth quarter of the year and then when I hear a word that grabs my attention, I simply note it. I begin to think about it, learn more about it and see how it resonates. Sometimes people will give me words, since they know I am on the hunt. I note them as well. I try to weave the thought process into my current state of being, asking myself questions like, “how do I feel?”, “what am I seeing?”, “what am I hearing?” etc. Additionally, I make it a matter of conversation with God; it’s a topic He and I speak of regularly. There is no rush to the process, outside of the fact that I want to have it by the end of year. The entire experience is enjoyable. I suggest you try it. My word for this year My word for this year is a made-up word (yep, that’s allowed) and yes, you guessed it, prutention. Two words have surfaced for this next year and when combined create my word for the year. The word prudence and its accomplice, attention. Webster defines prudence as “the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason, shrewdness in the management of affairs, skill and good judgment in the use of resources and caution as to danger or risk.” Additionally, Webster defines attention as “the act or state of applying the mind to something, a condition of readiness, selective focus and receptivity, observation, notice.” I have much to consider with these words as I begin the New Year. My wife asked me if she thought it was a warning. Good question. My thought is that we live in challenging times on all fronts. I don’t have to remind you of these challenges, some of them global, others regional, many personal, some spiritual, others economical, physical, political, philosophical and the list goes on. I know many people that are dealing with significant responsibilities that, at times, appear unrelenting and overwhelming. Sometimes we consider giving up. I was recently speaking to a dear friend of mine who is the CEO of a large family business. He told me that he spent the weekend looking at homes to buy in the English countryside, considering giving it up and living with his family away from all the “noise”. Have you ever done that? I have (though it’s the Swiss Alps). However, God has a better plan. C.S. Lewis is quoted saying, “All we do know, and that to a large extent by direct experience, is that evil labors with vast power and perpetual success - in vain: preparing always only the soil for unexpected, good to sprout in.” Therefore, how am I to interpret these two words of prudence and attention…prutention? In closing, my belief is that these words are not simply for me, but perhaps they are for us (you be the judge of that). Perhaps what God is saying is that in the midst of these challenging times He is unphased in the sense that you and I may be phased. He is not anxious, He is not afraid, He is not looking to escape or abandon mission, but He is present, and He is at peace, and He is powerful. Do you remember the wonderful story of Jesus in the boat with His disciples asleep in the storm? When Jesus was awakened His response was, “why are you so afraid, where is your faith?” I pray that I take these words to heart. I believe God is saying that in the midst of these times He will equip us/me to navigate and govern the pathway He is before us and He is simply asking us/me to be obedient, attentive, alert, disciplined, aware, present and incredibly close to Him. Therefore, as I enter this next year, I pray that I will do so with Godly prutention. Stephan N. Tchividjian is the CEO and co-founder of the National Christian Foundation South Florida. Visit southflorida.ncfgiving.com to learn more. - Stephan Tchividjian - CEO and Co-Founder, National Christian Foundation South Florida Prutention

n At Palm Beach Atlantic University, you will find endless opportunities to shape who you are chosen to become. Our location gives us a wealth of resources for field experience. Business students have access to Fortune 500 companies in thriving downtown West Palm Beach. Biology students have the opportunity to easily explore the Everglades, Florida Keys and the Gulf Stream. While students in Ministry and Cultural Studies work with diverse populations throughout South Florida and beyond. pba.edu | 561.803.2100 Explore with us who God has called you to be. A WORLD TO explore nearby

10 JANUARY 2024 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition IN THE WORD The world is on edge. Following the slaughter of more than 1,400 Israelis—including women and children—by savage Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7, the state of Israel launched retaliatory strikes across the Gaza Strip to destroy the entrenchments of militants who butchered unsuspecting civilians and carried off more than 200 hostages, including Americans and Brits. The conflict threatened to escalate, as the United States sent carrier strike groups to the eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf and warned against intervention by Iran — who supplies arms to Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists. It should come as no surprise that the Middle East — specifically focused on the nation of Israel — is once again the world’s tipping point. Modern Israel was born in 1948, and in my lifetime, tensions between Arabs and Israelis have erupted into battle at least seven times, including the Six-Day War in 1967. The Bible is clear that in the days before the return of Christ, the end-time battle of Armageddon will happen on the plains of Megiddo in Israel, as the anti-Christ and his evil forces seek to destroy Jerusalem, literally the “City of Peace.” International conflict has defined Israel’s history since the reign of King David and his son Solomon. The people of Israel endured captivity and exile from a succession of hostile world powers, including the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans. The Roman general Pompey conquered Jerusalem in 63 B.C., so it was under the oppressive thumb of the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus that a Jewish King, Jesus Christ, God’s Son, was born in the small village of Bethlehem to a poor Jewish couple from Nazareth. They came to take part in a worldwide census ordered by Augustus. God moved the entire world in order to get two small people to travel 70 miles to fulfill His Word given to the Prophet Micah 500 years prior: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:2, NIV). God has given me a heart for Israel. When I was 19, I helped lead Christian tours in the little town of Bethlehem. Six miles south of Jerusalem, Bethlehem is in a zone now called the West Bank, which today is governed by the Palestinians. The birth of Christ was the fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies, in which God promised a Jewish Messiah, a Savior, a coming King whose rule would extend worldwide. “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7). Those promises were misunderstood by some who believed the Messiah would be a military king, delivering Israel from despised Roman rule. But of course, Jesus’ Messianic reign wasn’t about political change. He was sent by the Father to set mankind free by saving souls from the tyranny and slavery of sin, dying on a Roman cross to pay the penalty for our sins, and rising from the dead on the third day! The Prophet Isaiah foretold the Suffering Servant’s true mission in perhaps the most well-known of the Messianic prophecies: “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5-6). God the Son won the most important battle ever fought, the victory of the cross where our Savior endured the wrath of God for sin, so we might receive forgiveness and the gift of everlasting life. For the past 2,000 years, His rule and reign has extended into the hearts of an untold multitude of people. We know the Lord will continue to patiently wait for repentant sinners until His return: “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8-9). When that day comes, Israel will be front and center. Revelation 14:1 tells us there will be a special role for 144,000 Jewish people, 12,000 from each tribe, as the Lord prepares to return and establish His Kingdom on Earth, judging the wicked and delivering the righteous. As Jesus’ millennial reign on Earth comes to its conclusion, ready to usher in the new Heavens and the new Earth, world powers will come together for one last battle to destroy the city of Jerusalem. But of course, it fails. “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:7-10). In the meantime, we are instructed to intercede for the Jewish people: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). ©2023 BGEA Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version. The Scripture quotation marked NIV is taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version. Decision magazine, December 2023; ©2023 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; used by permission, all rights reserved. - Franklin Graham - President and CEO Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Franklin Graham: Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem God the Son won the most important battle ever fought, the victory of the cross where our Savior endured the wrath of God for sin, so we might receive forgiveness and the gift of everlasting life.” “

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12 JANUARY 2024 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition PARENTING The start of a new year usually begins with a few resolutions. Whether they actually follow through on the resolutions or not is a separate issue. The thought of self-improvement and the discipline involved is a great training lesson for children and teens. The fact that I actually have in me the discipline to improve myself is an understanding that has been totally lost. When you ask today’s child, teen, or young adult what they would like to change this next year, they will almost always talk about a possession. Instead of changing themselves or improving themselves as a person, they immediately think of improving their things. “This next year I want to upgrade my iPhone.” Talk about New Year’s Resolutions Taking time during the month of January to talk about New Year’s Resolutions is a great training exercise. The discussion alone teaches our children that they can indeed make personal decisions to make improvements in their lives. Make it a discussion but make it fun. Growing up, during the first week of the new year, our family played a game at the dinner table. A big round cabbage was placed in the middle of the table with toothpicks sticking out. On each tooth pick was an item to be skewered and placed in a fondue pot. Also on each tooth pick was a small piece of paper with a question. Each person pulled the toothpick out of the cabbage, and while cooking the food they answered the question that was also on the toothpick. Questions like “What was the best part of your year this past year?” or “What was the way you saw God working in your life last year?” filled the first part of the meal. Asking questions about setting goals for next year was next: “What would you like to change about yourself next year?” These types of questions open doors for our children to see that you actually can make decisions to change or improve yourself. Today’s child only changes or improves himself because a parent chooses to force change. What happens when today’s child becomes an adult and move away from home? Help making changes Talking to your children and teens about New Year’s resolutions helps them to begin thinking about making personal improvements to their lives. That’s the beginning. Next, comes the power to make those changes. Asking questions like “Do you think this change is something Jesus would want you to do?” The next step is one of the great training steps. “If Jesus wants you to make this change in your life, don’t you think He will help you make the change?” Teaching a child that he or she can make these changes or improvements is very important. Even more important is for them to learn that they are not alone in the process “because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 NIV). Once a child identifies an area they would like to improve in their lives, then comes the prayer and personal discipline. Let’s say a child says, “I’d just like to be more organized in the mornings, so I don’t always leave for school in a bad mood.” This gives a parent the opportunity to help a child think through ways to do things the night before or put things in order the night before, etc. Then comes the prayer; the time of asking God for help to maintain the discipline to accomplish this self-improvement task. The process of admitting a personal need and planning for self-improvement is much more important than getting organized in the morning before school. This process is teaching tomorrow’s adults that they are not victims. That they can make changes in their lives and, most important, that they are never alone in their self-improvement projects. It’s all about teaching the process so that they are able when they are adults. Visit parentingonpurpose.org for more advice from Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts. - Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts - Sheridan House Family Ministries Teaching the Discipline of Self Improvement

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HEART AND SOUL 14 JANUARY 2024 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition As we confront challenges in our world, it can be disheartening. Despite this, we must remember that light shines brightest in darkness. In this month's article, read about the selfless efforts of two Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) students as they assist a family in Israel affected by the Middle East Crisis. In 2014, AnnaMae Predtechenskis attended Camp Shoshanah, a conference, retreat and Bible camp in northern New York. There, she met Liel, a nonverbal and autistic 13-year-old born and raised in Israel. AnnaMae was immediately drawn to how Liel interacted with others. “My first instinct after meeting her was, ‘I don’t fully understand how you see the world, but I want to understand,’” AnnaMae shared. Fast friends The two became fast friends, and eventually, AnnaMae met Liel’s family. In 2017, AnnaMae saw the family’s request for a caregiver at camp, and she and her sister Claire volunteered to care for Liel. Ever since their days at Camp Shoshanah, AnnaMae and Claire have stayed in touch with the family. When Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, 2023, Claire and AnnaMae immediately contacted Liel’s family. They offered their home to Liel, whose bed was moved to a bomb shelter because of the attacks. In a few hours, Liel’s parents formulated a plan to help her escape to the United States. They wrote a notarized letter to the Israeli government giving Claire and AnnaMae temporary, legal guardianship of Liel, and continued to pray. After overcoming several logistical obstacles, Liel’s parents drove her to the airport, unsure of when they would see their daughter next. AnnaMae works at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, and is currently working on her Master of Science in Nursing at PBA. Claire is finishing her undergraduate nursing classes at PBA and works at the St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach. Despite their chaotic schedules, they welcomed Liel with open arms. After Liel arrived in Florida, AnnaMae and Claire had to navigate their new life as students, nurses and now caretakers. Still, they have seen God’s hand at work. “…By being obedient to The Lord, not only have my sister and I just been so blessed by Liel, but her parents have been able to minister to a lot of grieving people in Israel,” Claire said. “To do the smallest act of obedience and then see the domino effect of it has been incredible.” Community support They have also been encouraged by the overwhelming support of people who want to help. Liel competed on the Special Olympics swimming team in Israel. When she arrived in Florida, Claire and AnnaMae reached out to the Adolph and Rose Jewish Community Center in Boca Raton, which agreed to fully fund Liel’s participation in their after-school program. “Navigating school and work and now caring for Liel has been challenging, but there is so much comfort in knowing that God is a good Father who sees me and loves me and is never going to let me go,” AnnaMae explained. “I fully trust that God will provide a way through whatever storm comes our way.” Learn more about this incredible story, which has been highlighted in the news at bit.ly/Israel-Liel 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 Palm Beach Atlantic University Students Serve Those Impacted by Crisis in Israel Claire Predtechenskis, Liel, and AnnaMae Predtechenskis - courtesy PBAU

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FOSTER CARE 16 JANUARY 2024 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition We all have a brand new year ahead – and for most of us that looks like new goals, dreams and plans. Come January we are all envisioning what the New Year could be like, but what if I told you that right now, even in the midst of a new year, you have a neighbor who is hurt and abandoned in a ditch. It’s easy to overlook this neighbor, and after all you are busy and on your way to planning a big, new year ahead. Does this story sound familiar? Your neighbor The parable of the Good Samaritan gives us a powerful illustration for how we should be responding to our neighbors in need. After others passed by this man who was left injured by robbers in a ditch, Luke 10:33 tells us that “a certain Samaritan” had compassion for the man. The Samaritan saw this man needed Hope and he did something incredibly powerful. The Samaritan took the man to an inn, providing him with a temporary Home, and he paid for his stay until he was fully Healed. When Jesus told this story in the book of Luke He said, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You go, and do likewise.’” An invitation In our immediate community, we may not see men left to die by robbers along our path, but we certainly encounter destitute and broken people all around us. The at-risk families and kids in our communities and in the foster care system aren’t always easy to see but they are right here in our backyards. Much like the Good Samaritan we have the ability to extend Hope even in a seemingly hopeless situation, we can provide a Home even if it is just a temporary one, and we can offer Healing for kids and families in need. The heart of redemption It’s easy to see how we have the chance to be like the Good Samaritan – to be like the neighbor Jesus commands us to be. The harder thing to see is how we too have been like the man in the ditch. Though we have not literally been attacked by robbers, we all know the pain of hopelessness, the longing for our heavenly home, and deep desire for healing. This work of Hope, Homes and Healing isn’t only invitational for all of us to extend out into the community, but it’s also a living picture of what God has done in each and every one of our lives. It’s what makes our 4KIDS paradigm of Hope, Homes and Healing filled with redemption. Hope is experienced through preventative-based outreach and care, homes are extended to children in foster care, and healing is offered through trauma-informed therapy, training and digital resources. We see the power of this paradigm over and over again in God’s Word, and we feel it in our own lives and stories of restoration. This year I pray you set not only goals and plans, but intention and prayer to propel hope, homes and healing in our community. Let us not be like the priest and Levite in this parable who chose to look the other way, but instead recognize moments like these as an opportunity to display the selfless love of Christ. Like the Good Samaritan, let’s mirror the same compassion we’ve been given to make redemption possible for even more people who are waiting. “Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37). A Paradigm for Redemption - Kevin Enders - 4KIDS President & CEO

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FROM THE PULPIT 18 JANUARY 2024 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition Envision a society where machines can think, evolve and adapt — a world where artificial intelligence (AI) not just enhances work and life but augments, transforms and controls our very existence. The future we imagined yesterday has arrived, and it carries with it a profound question and concern: Are you ready for advanced Artificial intelligence (AI), and perhaps more importantly, is AI ready for you? Today, AI development is progressing at a remarkable pace, with an array of prominent companies at the helm of innovation. These include household names like Google, OpenAI, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Tesla and a host of others. These pioneering entities are actively shaping the landscape of AI technology, with tools such as ChatGPT-3 and 4, BERT, Rasa, Wit.ai, Snips.ai, Claude and so on. It is without doubt that technology and AI will shape and transform the way we behave and communicate; this was even more recently highlighted in Mark Zuckerberg’s first interview in the Metaverse using high-definition photorealistic avatars. Yes, we are at a crossroads where artificial intelligence intersects with the fabric of human behavior and ideas including faith-based ideals. AI at church We are beginning to see Churches venture into the uncharted territory of artificial intelligence. Thus, the convergence of technology and theology has recently captured the attention of news outlets. A notable report featured on Fox News in September 2023 shed light on a groundbreaking experiment conducted by the Violet Crown City Church in Texas. This church harnessed the capabilities of ChatGPT to create an AI-generated church service/liturgy that included worship, sermon and even the composition of an original worship song. Similarly, AP News carried the story of an event on June 10, 2023, where St. Paul's church, located in the Bavarian town of Fürth, Germany, hosted an unconventional church service. Over 300 congregants actively participated in an AI-driven church service powered by ChatGPT. These stories highlight the developing interest of faith-based organizations, and the interplay of cutting-edge technology vis-a-vis age-old religious practices. The boundaries of spiritual experience and technology have also expanded with the advent of emerging tools such as Virtual Reality (VR) services, and now we have so-called metaverse church elders stepping into the virtual ecclesiastical landscape, embracing innovative ways to foster a sense of community and spiritual growth. These emerging technologies offer a unique approach to worship, a fusion of tradition and innovation that sparks curiosity, and enthusiasm. Furthermore, Christian Post, in an insightful article published on May 29, 2022, recounted the first-hand experiences of a reporter who embarked on a journey into the world of AI-driven church services. He attended services in not one, but three virtual reality churches and shared vivid accounts of his immersive encounters within these virtual sanctuaries. These churches appear to be on a quest to embody what George Fox Seminary researcher Daniel Passini called, "techno-theology," aiming to merge the realms of technology and theology to illuminate a greater understanding of faith. Unlocking potential These stories unveil the unique challenge that modern faith-based organizations face — navigating the intricate intersection of faith and technology. No doubt, these organizations seek to harness the potential of AI to make a meaningful impact while staying grounded in their moral, ethical and theological principles. This challenge is not new, for faith and technology have often found themselves on the same ship, sailing through the vast seas of human progress. The transformative potential of AI is undeniable, and its impact extends across numerous industries. In faith-based spaces, AI can revolutionize the way we learn, allowing research and ministry content to be tailored to specific demographics and individual preferences. Leaders can experience the benefits of AI in personalized learning, aiding in speech planning, care and scheduling, and offering tools that enhance faith work. Every day, we interact with smart assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. With AI's continued evolution, these tools are poised to become even more efficient, assisting with day-to-day tasks and improving the overall organizational goals. Yuval Noah Harari in his book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century stated, “AI is not even near its full potential: it’s just in its infancy…” His opinion is corroborated by a biblical perspective on the possibilities that knowledge will bring in the last days, as Daniel 12:4 states, “But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Expressed concerns However, AI's vast possibilities and potential impact are met with significant concerns, from concerns expressed by the United States government and legislators to those of AI Pioneers such as Geoffrey Hinton. Using the adage popularized in modern times by Spider-Man, “With great power comes great responsibility,” AI concerns in faith-based spaces are also real. These include the potential for bias in AI algorithms that minimize biblical truth where AI is used for sermon research, ethical dilemmas, the loss of Spirit-led inspiration and human judgment, privacy risks, and the potential for AI to provide information that challenges biblical beliefs in faith communities. What should we do now? I believe that as we stand at the precipice of this AIdriven era, it becomes imperative to find the right balance. Embracing technology and innovation while upholding biblical, moral and ethical values is a task that requires careful consideration, intentionality and responsibility. We must navigate today’s reality which involves examining AI with deliberateness, staying informed about developments and encouraging governmental regulations that ensure ethical technology use and the right values. As we venture into an AI-driven future, we all are entrusted with the responsibility of shaping a future that is not only intelligent but also compassionate, using all available tools to spread the message of Christ and embracing a future filled with hope. It is a journey that invites us to explore the uncharted territories of technology and spirituality, where Christian tradition and AI innovation converge to illuminate a path toward a broader understanding of Jesus in the age of technological possibilities. Alex Umole is a pastor at Christian Life Center. He holds a Doctorate degree in Semiotics from George Fox Seminary and is an Adjunct Professor at Southeastern University. https://clcftl.org/sunrise/ AI And You: Navigating The Intersection of Technology And Theology Dr. Alex Umole Campus Pastor, Christian Life Center, Sunrise

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THE CODE 20 JANUARY 2024 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition “Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.’ So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord” (Jonah 3:1–3 NKJV). The pages of history are replete with the heartwarming stories of men and women who have been down and came back to take advantage of the second chance. Abraham Lincoln is a prime example. Defeated for the state legislature in 1832, defeated for Congress in 1843, again in 1848, defeated for the Senate in 1854, then again in 1858, he was elected president of the United States in 1860. In the field of literature, there is John Bunyan who, when thrown into prison, could have easily given up. From his dungeon cell he penned the words of The Pilgrim’s Progress, which have blessed millions across the generations. We all love a comeback story. There is something about the human spirit that loves to see people come through when there seems to be no way. Jonah Most of us have heard Jonah’s saga from childhood. God instructed him to go to the city of Nineveh and preach. Instead, he boarded a ship headed in the opposite direction, found himself in a violent storm, was cast overboard, and was swallowed by a great fish. For three days and three nights, he tossed in the belly of that monster as it journeyed through the depths of the sea. Then God commanded the fish, and it “vomited Jonah onto dry land” (Jonah 2:10). And “the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time” (Jonah 3:1). He took advantage of it, got up, and headed straight for Nineveh and the second chance. Second chances in life are not only possible, but they can also be profitable. Jesus But the ultimate comeback story of all time took place two thousand years ago in the city of Jerusalem. The Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on a Roman cross and placed in a borrowed tomb. He was dead. Some of His closest followers, dejected and defeated even exclaimed, “We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). They fled the scene, leaving their hope buried in the tomb. But on the third day Jesus came back. He burst forth from the tomb to live forevermore. Earlier, when Jesus predicted His future resurrection, He pointed back in time to the prophet Jonah, as if to say, “I was there with Jonah. Those were My words that came to him a second time.” Once earlier, when asked for some sign of His authenticity, He replied, “No sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:39–40). Jonah was the sign of our Lord’s own death and resurrection. Our Lord was showing us that He was the One greater than Jonah who would “come back” from the grave, the living Lord and Savior, still offering the second chance today. It is never too late for a new beginning with Him. The bottom line Standing at the grave of Lazarus, Jesus proclaimed, “I am the resurrection and the life. HE who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live… Do you believe this?” (Johnn 11:25–26). I often wonder where our Lord inflected this question. I think He may have asked it like this—“Do you, you, and you only, you and no one else, do you, believe this?” After all, this is life’s bottom-line question. Our personal faith is the only acceptable response to the Christian gospel. Jesus was not inquiring about intellectual assent here. It is one thing to know the gospel on an intellectual level. It is one thing to try to conform to a set of moral standards. But life’s bottom-line question begs to know if you have personally transferred your trust from your own human efforts to Christ and His finished work for your eternal salvation., Do you believe this? If we look deep enough, we can find Jesus in every book of the Bible. He is here in the midst of the book of Jonah. He is that “word of the Lord” that came to Jonah a second time. He is the God of the second chance to any and all who will believe. You can begin your own comeback story today… by faith… in Him. Taken from The Bible Code by O.S. Hawkins. Copyright © 2020 by Dr. O.S. Hawkins. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. O. S. Hawkins is the chancellor of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He 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 nationwide. All of the author’s royalties and proceeds from the Code series support Mission:Dignity. You can learn more about Mission:Dignity by visiting MissionDignity.org. - Dr. O.S. Hawkins - Chancellor, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Finding Jesus in Jonah

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ENCOURAGEMENT 22 JANUARY 2024 www.goodnewsfl.org Good News • South Florida Edition The late Walter Matthau acted in or produced 62 movies in his 45-year career. These included "A Face in the Crowd", "Hello, Dolly", "The Sunshine Boys" and "Fortune Cookie", with which he won the Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor. A man of multiple talents, he is best known in his later years for work such as "Grumpy Old Men", "The Odd Couple" and "Dennis the Menace", in which he played a curmudgeonly, cantankerous, ill-tempered sourpuss. For many of us, the movie that encapsulated this carefully crafted persona was "The Bad News Bears", where he became Morris Buttermaker, an alcoholic pool cleaner and former baseball player who accepts money to coach a dysfunctional little league team. He embodies the worst of humanity, both in speech and action, yet makes the case for late repentance. The name of this fictional team was simply The Bears; the adjective is provided due to the personality of their leader and most of the misfit members of the club. They included a thug, a bully and the no-nonsense daughter of the coach's girlfriend, who are indeed bad news up to the championship game. In essence, they are The Bad News Bears that bear bad news. Whether by hook or crook, inheritance or choice, we have spent our lives, wittingly or unwittingly, participating in group activity. And as we look back, how many of those "teams" turned out to be bad news, leading us to the bad choices that have permeated our lives? There is a famous Spanish saying that states "tell me who you hang with, and I will tell you who you are." Whether the cleanup hitter or the benchwarmer, we make the team, and the team makes us. Be nonconformists Solo life then seems to be the antidote for such a malady. After all, had God not provided Adam the companion who "induced" him to sin, he would still be hanging around Eden alive and well, and "perfect." Of course, that would have taken all of us out of the picture and so the perfect alternative was put in place. And then, given we come out of our mother's womb with a sinful nature, our association with bad news teams is sealed from the beginning. Given this inevitability, should we join them if we can't beat them? As Christians, we are reminded not to conform ourselves to this world given Jesus chose us out of it, and not to love the things of the world but to be transformed by the renewal of our minds as we await our eternal citizenship in Heaven... what to do? The Great Commission advises us to go make disciples of all nations, in other words, leave the comfort zone and impact the bad news without them impacting us; unfortunately, in some cases, this is better said than done. Time after time we send our children to college with the expectation that they will impact their fellow students with Kingdom news only to find that the opposite occurs. We must then realize that these attacks were put in place from the beginning, and that it is impossible to tackle bad news in the flesh. We are specifically told that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against the rulers of the darkness of this world." Thus, in order to fight the good fight we must understand that the opposite of bad news is not better news but rather The Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our daily armor It is not by happenstance that this newspaper is so aptly named. Month after month the publisher and his staff work diligently to put a product out with the hopes of assisting the readers in facing the ugliness of the day. Try juxtaposing the front-page articles of the New York Times with the articles of this newspaper... bad news vs. good news. If we are to faithfully conduct the Great Commission, we must put on the armor of God daily by reading and doing the Word while having direct conversation with Our Lord. And I might add, after doing so, it may behoove us to read one of the articles contained in this periodical to further equip us to confront the bad with the good, while not allowing the latter to contaminate us. As a community, we are blessed to have this holy instrument at our fingertips. One hundred years ago, in 1924, the Fascists took over Italy. There were huge riots in India. We invaded the Dominican Republic. The west recognized the Soviet Union. There were revolts and massacres in Lithuania, Bulgaria, Spain, Korea and Bavaria, among others, and astronomical inflation gripped Germany while Adolf Hitler was released from prison thus catapulting the nations into World War II. That is a lot of bad news. This, however, pales in comparison to the expert's forecast for 2024 which calls for the collapse of the dollar and the stock market, artificial intelligence becoming the norm, Christianity being attacked on all fronts, the continuing strife in Israel and Ukraine, and the circus atmosphere of an election year as our national debt spirals out of control. And let us not forget, which we have totally done, the cruel and devastating genocide and famine in Sudan. That sounds like a terrible forecast with many unsolvable problems. But in the midst of despair there is great news. The biggest problem of all was solved when Our Savior came to us and relinquished his life in our behalf twenty centuries ago, thereby affording us salvation for the taking. That single acts of kindness trumps all the chaos that surrounds us. Do not let the negativity of the world impact your walk this year. You are in good hands with the Almighty; nothing can separate us from the love of God....that's Good News. New Year’s Solution - Omar Aleman - Aleman and Associates Carlos Beltran, Cast of the Bad News Bears" on location for Bad News Bears Batting Practice, Harlem RBI Baseball Field in Manhattan, New York, July 19, 2005

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