Good News - June 2024

Largest Christian Newspaper in America • • June 2024 • Volume 26, Issue 3

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Admittedly, I’m a curious guy. I read a few books here and there. I have conversations with my Brother buddies. I intently listen to the scholars. But having my quiet time in conversation with Jesus? I feel like I’m really having a conversation with myself… Then I ponder… what would it really be like if I had a Time Machine? Lamborghini, Yacht or Time Machine, hmm? Let’s try out the Time Machine. Can I actually have a face-to-face with Jesus? Would I be predictably awestruck and speechless, or would I blabber on with a few what abouts? Let’s try it out… dial me up. Dude, I mean Mr. Jesus, sir …what about those Angels? Really, I visualize a “Tinkerbell” but level with me: what about those Angels? Leslie, can I call you Les? Angels have never been human like you, Les, and humans do not become angels when they die. Angels are not fat babies with wings or beautiful women with an ethereal glow. Angels are spirit beings, created by my Father God to serve Him and humanity (Hebrews 1:14). Go ahead, read about it in the Book (Bible); during their visits to earth, angels always appear as men (Daniel 9:21; Luke 1:26; Matthew 28:1–7). The Bible never describes a female angel. Some questions arise: is there a set number of angels? Is it possible for angels to reproduce? Les, the Bible never directly says whether angels reproduce. Whoa, Jesus I didn’t mean to get that personal… but if you offer, I’m listening. Les, I touched on a related subject when asked about human marriage in eternity. I replied, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30). The fact that there is no marriage among angels has led some to believe that angels are “sexless” or genderless. Of course, if angels are genderless, then a safe assumption is that they do not reproduce — but that conclusion cannot be proved from the text. The fact that there is no marriage among angels does not necessarily mean there is no gender and no procreation. Angels do not marry, but we can’t make the leap from “no marriage” to “no gender” or “no reproduction,” however logical such a leap would seem… Ok, Jesus you know I’m gonna ask about walking on water, right? People talk about that as a “miracle”, and it took place when apostle Peter jumps out of a boat and walks on turbulent water to meet me on the sea. The account, which follows on the heels of another illuminating “miracle,” the feeding of the 5,000, is recorded in Matthew 14:22–36. Not only do I walk on the Sea of Galilee here, but Peter walks on the water as well! Several valuable lessons here, Les — some obvious and some not so apparent — are introduced in the account of when Peter walks on water. I had just finished feeding a crowd of thousands with two fish and a few loaves of bread (he smiles) my disciples are beginning to see who they say I am, but their faith in Him still has room for growth. Directly following that “miracle” (That Jesus is a humble guy) I launch into His next lesson. By now it’s evening, and I had not yet had time to get alone with My Father — the very reason I had come to this isolated place near the sea. So I send His disciples on ahead in a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee. Then I (Jesus) make room for time alone with My Father God. This is the first important lesson I felt we can take from the account to help us weather the storms of life. I send the disciples away so I can be alone on the mountain to pray. Even with the needs of so many people pressing, solitary time with Father God my priority. As the disciples are crossing the sea, a fierce and frightening storm kicks up. Very early in the morning, I come walking towards them walking on the water. Thinking I’m a ghost, my disciples are terrified. Even though they have been with me for a long time, they don’t recognize Me as I approach the storm. Les, sometimes we fail to recognize the Lord (they say I Am) when He comes alongside us during our own personal storms. But I, (Jesus) understands the immaturity of our faith. To my disciples, the Lord speaks these words of comfort: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27). Well, Les, I’m sure you have many more questions, so I suggest we meet regularly: make the time to look me up, please? I do have more, and I will. Time Machine…. Hummm, he was taller than I thought he’d be. -Les Playing the part of Jesus was assisted by excerpts from PUBLISHER 6 JUNE 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition South Florida Edition • Good News • June 2024 • Volume 26, Issue 3 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 • Publisher: Leslie J. Feldman [email protected] Editor: Shelly Pond [email protected] Advertising & Marketing: Robert “Buddy” Helland Jr. V.P. Sr. Marketing Manager [email protected] Art Director: Milton McPherson [email protected] Associate Art Director: Joseph Sammaritano [email protected] Social Media Manager: Ariel Feldman [email protected] Editorial Assistant: Eric Solomon [email protected] Cover Photography: Justus Martin [email protected] Leslie J. Feldman PERSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 The Houseguest – by Stephan N. Tchividjian IN THE WORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Jesus — The Way, the Truth and the Life – by Franklin Graham PARENTING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Graduation Season Reminds Us Time Marches On – by Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts FOSTER CARE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Healthy Reunification is the Heart of Foster Care – by Tom Lukasik YOU ASK WHY? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Have You Received Your Divine Degree? s– by Dr. Tommy Boland HEART AND SOUL . . . . . . . . . . . .18 From Local Student to Global Scholar: The Transformative Power of a Christian Education– by Dr. Debra Schwinn THE CODE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Crossing the Rubicon of Relationships – by Dr. O.S. Hawkins INSIGHT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 6 Ways to Engage Your Teen in Healthy Spiritual Rhythms – by Rob Hoskins ENCOURAGEMENT . . . . . . . . . .24 The Gospel Truth – by Omar Aleman GOOD NEWS HONORS OUTSTANDING GRADUATES 25 - 40 Class of 2024 Graduates with Expectancy for A Bright Future – by Shelly Pond GOOD NEWS WANTS TO KNOW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 - 44 What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? LEGAL Q&A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Does Your Business Employ Noncompete Agreements? You Need to Know About a New Federal Rule– by William “Bill” C. Davell and Paul Lopez WE GET LETTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 COMMUNITY NEWS . . . . .50 – 58 CALENDAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59 CLASSIFIEDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 - 63 A Couple of Questions with Jesus On The Cover Featured on the front cover are 13 Valedictorians and Salutatorians - the best of the best from some of South Florida's top Christian Schools, pictured at Fort Lauderdale Beach. The photo was shot at BrandStar Studio in Deerfield Beach thanks to their willingness to partner with us by making their state-of-the-art facility available to serve the community. Special thanks to Co-Founders Doug Campbell and Mark Alfieri; Deborah, Diaz, Chief Operating Officer; Sam Baloff, production manager; Duane Vaiani, VAD/VFX Supervisor; and their talented team for their creative assistance. Photo Credit: Justus Martin CONTENTS Good News • June • Volume 26 Issue 3

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PERSPECTIVE 8 JUNE 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition I came across this story that got me thinking… A mysterious letter A small family, known as the Harts, living in an average suburban community, received an unusual letter from an unknown distant relative. The letter stated that within the next several weeks they were planning to visit and were appreciative (nice way of saying expectant) of their willingness to provide accommodations. There was no contact information, only a black and white photograph with the grainy picture of an old man. You can only imagine their apprehension, confusion and curiosity. The Harts were a young couple, married less than ten years. They both worked to make sure the bills were covered yet enjoyed a relatively comfortable but busy life. The couple had two children and were expecting their third. The couple’s marriage was healthy, though their busy and crowded lives put them into a place where they felt somewhat unfulfilled… you know that sense where you feel like you may be missing out on what is supposed to be? They had that. However, they managed their family, despite the challenges. The letter was received the old-fashioned way, in the mailbox. Upon opening it up and reading its contents there was an overwhelming sense of bad timing. The last thing this family needed right now was a visitor, who was showing up unannounced, staying for an indefinite amount of time and intruding in what was already a crowded life. The letter was odd to say the least. Questions began to cascade the longer they thought about the visit. How were they related? Was this claim even true? Is this person dangerous? What are we exposing ourselves to, especially our children? Did this person want something? Why were they visiting in the first place? Do we have to accept this “request”? The questions and levels of anxiety continued to grow the closer the impending visit drew. The guest arrives The story moves rather rapidly towards the day that the visitor finally arrives and continues in great detail, describing the initial encounter. The sense of awkwardness, trepidation and some humor can be sensed as the storyteller unpacks the encounter. The story is well written. The visitor turned out to be an elderly gentleman who had lost his spouse several years earlier. The connection, if I remember right, was through a distant cousin, perhaps a second or third. Therefore, the relationship was not a strong connection, but a very loose affiliation. The primary reason this elderly gentleman wanted to visit this family was, in his own words, “he was told to.” The gentlemen ended up staying for several weeks, and the awkwardness quickly faded, and a genuine love began to grow between this young busy family and this elderly unscheduled man. The mystery of the visit coupled with the ensuing relationship encompasses the final chapters of the story. The story has a warmth to it that makes it a compelling read. However, what intrigued me was not the details of the story but the effect that this visit had on this family. Compassion and empathy I could not help but run the parallels that this unexpected visit from an unknown person had with how compassion and empathy visit our lives. Many of us lead somewhat normal lives, that if observed by an outsider would look quite familiar to their own lives. We have our routines, our responsibilities, our rest and our recreation. Additionally, we tend to be busy with limited margin and capacity for more. We tend to live with a sense of guilt or regret that we are not maximizing the things that are important… a constant theme at many of our funerals. Compassion and empathy are often unannounced. They tend to come at the most inconvenient times and cause our minds to flood with all kinds of very legitimate and seemingly mature questions and responses. My own experiences with compassion and empathy are usually received in much the same way the Harts received their letter. I don’t tend to react well. I see it as an intrusion, rarely do I think about how the story ends, only why it’s even a story in the first place. We are in a season that seems to heighten our awareness for the need of compassion and empathy. We are in great need of a very heavy dose of compassion and empathy. I am astonished at how much of our rhetoric, news, feeds, messaging, time, energy and focus is on that which seems to divide and categorize us and leaving very little room for the “still small voice” of compassion and empathy. My selfishness has a different cadence than my selflessness, and I tend to default to the former. One interesting thing I noted in the Harts’ story was how this elder relative of theirs affected the pace and perspective of this family. A precious outcome of the story was that when he left, mission accomplished, they were a different family. Their responsibilities didn’t change, just their perspective. Therefore, as we move into the summer season, my prayer for myself is that I don’t see compassion and empathy as a temporary visitor, an experience, an event or an activity, but rather I see them as dear friends and part of the family, always having a seat at the table and always having a voice that is heard. Stephan N. Tchividjian is the CEO and co-founder of the National Christian Foundation South Florida. Visit to learn more. - Stephan Tchividjian - CEO and Co-Founder, National Christian Foundation South Florida The Houseguest

10 JUNE 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition IN THE WORD The tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore in late March sadly claimed the lives of at least six people, including construction workers who had been repairing potholes on the bridge. Since it opened in 1977, the 1.6-mile bridge along I-695 had become a critical link for more than 30,000 vehicles traveling daily to places like Washington, Philadelphia and New York. The four-lane bridge, an architectural marvel, stretched across the Baltimore Harbor and its bustling shipping channels. Had the 985-foot-long cargo ship struck the bridge during rush hour or midday instead of the wee hours of the morning, the human carnage would have been unthinkable. As it is, this maritime disaster at the 20th largest port in the nation could have severe economic and supply chain implications for years to come. As I think about the ripple effect of consequences for local commuters in Maryland and the transportation industry at large, I’m reminded how some strategically placed bridges are an economy’s lifeline, both globally and domestically. If you think about it, it could be said that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is in the bridge-building business — connecting people to Almighty God exclusively through repentance and faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, every person who makes a decision for Christ at one of our Festivals, Celebrations or Tour events receives our Living in Christ discipleship booklet, which includes a diagram that illustrates how the cross of Christ bridges the vast chasm between us and God, and how we can cross the bridge through repentance and faith. Although Baltimore transportation has been rerouted, albeit at a snail’s pace, following the collapse of the bridge, BGEA’s mission has no alternate route. After all, Jesus declared in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” And like the emergency responders who warned drivers to turn away from the impending doom of the collapsed bridge, I am compelled by God’s love to warn and encourage people across the U.S. and around the globe to repent of their sins by turning from the wide path that leads to destruction and instead follow Christ’s narrow path to God’s forgiveness and healing. I praise God for the thousands of people along the U.S. southern border who responded to the proclamation of the life-saving Gospel during our recent 10-city God Loves You Frontera Tour. As of the writing of this column, I’m preparing to preach in Krakow, Poland, about the Good News of Jesus coming to Earth on a rescue mission for those drowning in a sea of hopelessness under the weight of their sin. By late April, my son Will will have returned from preaching in Portugal that the cross of Christ is humanity’s one and only bridge to God and life everlasting. And in June, I will be preaching in England and Scotland “ …that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). I was amazed by the video footage of how the bridge in Baltimore, forged with tons of steel and concrete, crumpled like a piece of paper in a matter of seconds when the container ship collided with one of its massive support columns. Unlike man-made bridges that collapse under extreme forces, Jesus bore the weight of humanity’s sins — past, present and future. The Son of God, who never once sinned, shed His blood and died for every single one of our trespasses — “for the wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23). Yet the grave could not hold our Savior and Lord, whose resurrection power remains alive and well. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). While longstanding pillars of civilization become increasingly unsteady with society’s rejection of God’s Word as absolute truth, people are longing for an unshakable foundation. That’s why the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will not relent or retreat in declaring “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10). As our country observed the annual National Day of Prayer on May 2, may we continue to faithfully intercede daily on behalf of our nation, its leaders and lost souls everywhere. I still believe that God longs to fulfill His promise and answer the prayers of His people if they are willing to humble themselves, and pray and seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways (2 Chronicles 7:14). If you need prayer or would like to speak with someone about Jesus, call the Billy Graham 24/7 Prayer Line, toll-free, at (855) 255-PRAY. Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version. Decision magazine, May 2024; ©2024 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: Jesus — The Way, the Truth and the Life Unlike man-made bridges that collapse under extreme forces, Jesus bore the weight of humanity’s sins — past, present and future.” “ The cross of Christ bridges the chasm between us and God, and we can cross the bridge through repentance and faith. Illustration: ©BGEA

12 JUNE 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition PARENTING It’s that time again…Graduation season. The close of another school year and time marches on. If you were on social media at all during the last month, your feed is flooded with caps and gowns but also it seems moments of reminiscence from all parents. There has been many a lament for time moving too quickly. Take stock As I feel those same feelings, I am forcing myself to remember a few things. First, am I taking stock of the time that I have left. Whether this is preschool graduation, or you are looking at the college season, we need to ask… what am I doing with my time left? We have said all along we need to be intentional with our time as parents. It always feels like this time of year is a harsh wake up call to how quickly our time with our children truly moves. We should use that emotion as a motivator to think through our parenting goals. Evaluate how we are doing with those goals and process through what we are going to do with our time remaining. Objectives If you are heading into elementary school, maybe this is the summer we are going to focus on chores and learning how to follow through on tasks. If your child is heading into middle school, this is the summer to really pour into making wise choices in friends and pouring into your relationship with them. If you have a high schooler, maybe this is the summer to evaluate what “life skills” they are still needing to master. Things like budgeting, credit cards, even simple things like laundry and cooking are tools our kids need to know before heading to adulthood. Relationships There are two very important areas that we can focus on especially during the summer are our child’s relationship with God and their relationships within the family. We all want our children to leave home with a strong sense of both who they are and “Whose” they are. This is achieved by focusing on these two relationships. A sense of belonging in a family happens by intentionally pouring in relationally. As we have said many times, make time for fun! Turn off the screens, you too mom and dad, and have fun together. Game nights, dinner on the beach, camp outs on your living room floor (air full blast), whatever fun looks like to your family. Pouring into your kids spiritually isn’t as daunting as it sounds. For younger kids, buy a new fun family devotional to read this summer. For big kids, maybe you find a Bible study that you all do together. Most importantly, one of the truths we talk a lot about at Sheridan House is it’s never too late. We can always be better tomorrow than we are today. Even if you are looking at the final summer before college, it’s not too late. Take stock of what you want your child to know before leaving your home and be intentional about it. Visit for more advice from Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts. - Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts - Sheridan House Family Ministries Graduation Season Reminds Us Time Marches On

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FOSTER CARE 14 JUNE 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition It was 30 years ago this April that God used an ad in the Buffalo News to change our lives. My wife Linda and I saw an ad reading, “House Parents, Wanted” – 1,371 miles away from our home in Buffalo. We sold our house, sold our cars, left comfortable jobs, and took off on a new, half-time life adventure. What really made that ad stand out to us was a verse our pastor had shared a few years prior, James 1:22, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” We set out to be “doers” of the word, and 30 years later, I like to say it’s been a long obedience in the same direction. A heart for home These days when I look around and see the Hope, Homes, and Healing that is being extended to kids and families through 4KIDS I see God’s hand in every detail and in every life’s story. The Homes part of what we do is such a deep and integral part of my own life, it was how we got started in this work. That advertisement led Linda and I to first serve as house parents to six girls, all between six and 12 years old. We learned so much in that first home and continued to learn more and more over the years as we went on to foster 57 different children. Each of them had different stories and needs, and the amazing thing about getting to look back on their lives is having the advantage of time to see how God fulfills all of their stories exactly as He designed. Restoration through reunification For the majority of those 57 kids, their journey in foster care came to a conclusion by being reunified with their biological family. June is National Reunification Month, and with it comes a time to reflect on the very heart of foster care – healthy reunification. The last kids we fostered were two siblings, a teenage boy named *Kyle and his little sister. Throughout their time in our home, we advocated for their dad to help restore their family – we could see his effort and desire to be the parent they needed. In time they went back to live with their dad, but as a teenager it was still hard to imagine how Kyle would continue to grow up. I couldn’t believe the voice on the other end of the phone recently when Kyle called after Marine Corp boot camp. He was filled with purpose, determination and excitement for his new life. Today, Kyle is serving in Japan, something I couldn’t have pictured years ago but a testament to God’s ability to write stories far better than our own. Kyle is just one of the countless stories we saw taking shape in our home. There is also Rachel, who we also fostered, who today is about to be a mom of four working a job at TD bank. Linda and I love hearing updates from the kids we got to love who are now adults and forging their way in the world. We see God’s faithfulness all over their lives today – so many of them are parents, and they are able to be the kind of safe, reliable parents who their own kids can depend on. They are breaking generational cycles and in many cases going back to their families to shine a light. As Christians we can get so familiarized with the story of adoption; it is modeled all around us and in God’s love for us. It can make walking the road of reunification feel uncertain or unknown, but it is still filled with so much beauty. So many of our 4KIDS families are living out stories of reunification in ways that are changing not just the lives of kids but the lives of their parents as well. I encourage you to scan the QR code below and see a 4KIDS family sharing their own story of reunification. In it you’ll see how God expanded their heart and their impact in a profound way. We know that Psalm 68:6 tells us that, “God places the lonely in families,” and sometimes that can look like God mending and restoring a family that was once broken. God’s calling It’s amazing to see how God had Linda and I play a part in these stories. The fact that He would use me in this way has brought me more joy and gratitude than I could have ever known otherwise. God is writing incredible stories in these kids’ lives, and He wants you to be a part of it! My encouragement to my fellow believers is to step out of your comfort zone and experience the adventure God has for you. Sharing Hope, Homes, and Healing with our neighbors is something everyone can be a part of, and my prayer for you is that you discover your part in this movement for kids and families. *Names were changed to protect confidentiality of the children we serve. Scan to view Johnson Family Video. Scan for more information on Hope, Homes, and Healing. - Tom Lukasik - 4KIDS VP of Engagement Healthy Reunification is the Heart of Foster Care Tom and Linda Lukasik

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16 JUNE 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition YOU ASK WHY Have You Received Your Divine Degree? “You must be born again” (John 3:7). Every year graduating high school seniors head off to college in search of a degree that will help open doors of opportunity and pathways of possibility in their chosen field of study. Some pick a particular course of study and pursue it to completion. Others change direction along the way until they find where they fit. But did you know that there is a degree that is available to everyone of any age that transcends what is offered by any college or university? It’s a B.A. from the College of Christ – Born Again! John 3:7 is taken from the classic passage in the New Testament when Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader, came to Jesus under the cover of darkness (“Nic at night”) to ask some deep questions. Nicodemus could have sent one of his assistants, but he wanted to meet Jesus personally in order to separate fact from fiction. During that encounter, Jesus uttered those famous words, “You must be born again!” Nicodemus’ puzzled response made it clear that he didn’t understand what Jesus was saying. “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” (John 3:4). Clearly, Nicodemus did not understand what it meant to be born again. And if he didn’t understand what it meant, he definitely did not understand why it is needed. Let’s take a look at both of these issues. The College of Christ The phrase “born again” means to be born from above by the Almighty. In the College of Christ, everyone who believes that Jesus Christ is Lord and trusts in His sinless life, atoning death and supernatural resurrection is born again. Eternal life is not earned through behavior, but rather received by faith in the One who offers it. No one enters the Kingdom of God by living a better life; they enter by believing in the One who is life and gives it freely to all who believe. “Why?” you might ask. “Why don’t I have anything to do with it? Surely if I live a good life, do more good things than bad things, surely God will let me into His heaven!” That may seem logical, but such thinking reveals a profound ignorance of the righteousness and justice of God. Habakkuk 1:13 warns us that God’s eyes are too pure to look on evil; He cannot tolerate wrong. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne” (Psalm 97:2). It is impossible to be “good enough” for God, because His standard is perfection! You don’t believe that? Jesus flatly said that we must “Be perfect . . . as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Have you been perfect lately? Ever? If you think you’re even remotely close to perfect, allow me to show you what God thinks. “The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time” (Genesis 6:5). “If God places no trust in his holy ones, if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes, how much less man, who is vile and corrupt, who drinks up evil like water!” (Job 15:15-16). “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “You were dead in your transgressions and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). Theologians refer to the sinful state of men and women as our “guilty inability” to be righteous before God on our own merits. Apart from Christ, we are objects of God’s wrath because of our innate propensity to sin. When we recognize this — when we fully comprehend our condemned condition — we may raise our eyes to heaven and utter the same despairing cry as Peter did when he began to sink beneath the waves: “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30). How to get your degree And just as Jesus reached out His hand to rescue Peter, He reaches out to you and me, offering us His Divine Degree: [Jesus said,] “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy” (Titus 3:5). Of all the degrees we might pursue through higher education, the only one that truly matters, the “highest” one of all, comes from the College of Christ. But here is the best news of all: Unlike every other degree, which is earned through your financial commitment and disciplined effort, your B.A. from the College of Christ is not earned, but bestowed on us by the grace of God alone, through faith in Jesus Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. That is the most important degree in the world – your B.A. – Born Again! If you have never surrendered your life to Christ, are you ready to do so now? Jesus told Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). To believe is more than giving intellectual assent that Jesus is God. It is putting your complete confidence in the fact that Jesus is who He says He is and has done what He said He has done. When Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), He meant what He said. He paid the price in full for all your sins — past, present, and future. Have you received this truth through faith? If you have, then you are born again! 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 - Pastor, Cross Community Church

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HEART AND SOUL 18 JUNE 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) has a distinguished track record of fostering international scholars, exemplified by its continued success in prestigious global scholarship programs. In the last seven years alone, PBA alumni have received 17 Fulbright awards. This year, three exceptional graduates — Brody Eldridge, Niang Thang and Kyla Gates — earned the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) award. Their achievements will enable them to serve as cultural ambassadors in various countries during the 2024-25 academic year. Additionally, Dr. Ariel Viale, a professor of finance at PBA, received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to conduct research and teach in Vietnam for the same academic year. Moreover, Amy Scarborough recently won the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, marking her as the fourth PBA recipient in the last three years. This consistent recognition underscores PBA's commitment to equipping students to lead with wisdom, serve boldly, and excel internationally. As we celebrate these graduates and faculty on their accomplishments, I’m reminded of the power of education to instill change. Among the 2024-25 Fulbright recipients is Niang Thang, a second-generation college student who pursued a major in psychology and a minor in chemistry. She was also accepted into the PBA Frederick M. Supper Honors Program, received a 2024 Woman of Distinction Scholarship and was the Class of 2024 Outstanding Graduate for the psychology department. Thang overcame numerous obstacles, including academic and mental health challenges in high school to get where she is today. She is a testimony of how a Christian higher education, mentorship and the transformative power of belief can help someone feeling stuck receive the support to live out their calling. Finding academic renewal at PBA Thang heard about PBA from her friend’s sister, who attended the university. She entered PBA as a freshman in fall 2020, all while navigating college life during the COVID-19 pandemic. She says her past experiences of learning how to manage her mental health in high school helped her thrive in college during the pandemic. Thang also credits her success to PBA’s supportive community. She was particularly moved by the genuine care that faculty and staff demonstrated, especially as she entered PBA with an undeclared major. Thang added that she could focus on her academic and career goals thanks to the scholarships she received, including the 2024 Women of Distinction Scholarship, which gives funds to female students who excel in academics, service and leadership, and the Johnson Scholarship, which is distributed to PBA students with demonstrated financial need. Looking ahead: Fulbright and future goal This summer, Thang will embark on a year-long English teaching assistantship to Taiwan under the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Though she wasn’t initially planning to apply, a professor urged her to consider it, and she took a leap of faith. Guided by Dr. Carl Miller, associate professor of English and PBA faculty coordinator for the Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships, Thang prepared her application last semester while also applying to graduate programs. Last month, she learned that she received the Fulbright award. “Tears started flowing; I was in utter shock. I could not believe it,” Thang said, adding that these moments remind her to believe in herself. “People would think I was a failure with no future, but there was something in me that said I knew better.” After her teaching assistantship, Thang wants to continue her education and become a clinical psychologist. “PBA is something special — I’ve never encountered people like this,” she reflected. “These professors are investing in our lives, and their belief in me [reminded me] that I can thrive. I don’t think I would have done as well as I did if I attended another school.” Stories like Thang’s demonstrate the value of a Christ-centered education. I truly believe PBA is helping students make a difference in their communities, in the country, and in the world, and Niang Thang’s story is an example of that. Dr. Debra A. Schwinn, a physician, researcher and innovator, is president of Palm Beach Atlantic University. ( - Dr. Debra A. Schwinn - Palm Beach Atlantic University President From Local Student to Global Scholar: The Transformative Power of a Christian Education

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THE CODE 20 JUNE 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition “If then you count me as a partner, receive him as you would me. But if he has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account. I, Paul, am writing with my own hand. I will repay—not to mention to you that you owe me even your own self besides. Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in the Lord. Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say” (Philemon vv. 17-21 NKJV). The year was 49 BC. The order came down to Julius Caesar to disband his army and give up his struggle. He stood on the banks of the Rubicon River and pondered his immediate dilemma. If he continued his march and crossed the river, there could be no turning back. He gathered his troops, tore up his orders, and led his dedicated legion across the Rubicon to march against Rome. This act of total commitment to the cause brought about a declaration of war against the Senate, and for Caesar, it paved the way to his becoming ruler of the expanding Roman world. Since that moment, the phrase “crossing the Rubicon” has been used to signify total commitment to a cause from which there can be no turning back. There should be a “Rubicon” in close interpersonal relationships, a line of commitment we cross in which we are “in” for the duration. The word commitment is one that gets a lot of wear today but needs a more definitive expression. Some are committed — but only to their own happiness. Thus, they tend to move from one relationship to another while being virtually void of commitment. Commitment is one of the missing elements in modern relationships. The secret to ongoing connections is to cross the Rubicon of relationships by making a commitment to one another that lasts a lifetime. Commitment No treatise on the art of building positive and productive relationships would be complete without a word about commitment. Paul, having already addressed in his letter to Philemon such vital principles as affirmation of one another, accommodation of one another, and acceptance of one another, next turned his attention to the importance of allegiance to one another. He expressed his commitment to Onesimus by writing, “If then you count me as a partner, receive him as you would me. But if he has wronged you or owes you anything, put that on my account” (Philemon vv. 17–18). When Philemon read that, he knew Pual was unconditionally committed to Onesimus. Then Paul sent a definitive word to assure Philemon that he was just as committed to him as well by writing, “Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say” (v. 21). Four steps Relationships that last over time are those that are built upon loyalty and commitment to one another. Crossing the Rubicon in relationships takes four steps. Paul articulately and accurately pointed each of them out as he continued his letter to Philemon. The first step is openness. And this is often the most difficult step, especially since any long journey always begins with the first step. Committed friends have no agendas hidden from each other. They are open in their relationships with each other. The second step is obligation. Committed friends sense a responsibility for one another. They always stick up for each other and rush to the other’s defense when the need arises. The third step in crossing this river is objectivity. They get the big picture. They return favors. They always see past themselves to the importance of reciprocation. The final step is optimism. Committed friends believe the best about each other, stay positive, and always do more than is expected in their relationship. They bring out the best in each other. It only takes a little to be above average in this respect. There is a river to cross in our relationships with one another. It may be that some of you stand on its bank, in a similar way that Julius Caesar did. It is time to commit — to the point you realize there will be no turning back. Every relationship has its own Rubicon. Taken from The Connection Code by O.S. Hawkins. Copyright © 2023 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 - Dr. O.S. Hawkins - Chancellor, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Crossing the Rubicon of Relationships

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INSIGHT 22 JUNE 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition With the school bells dismissing kids for summer, the break in normal routine begs the question — how can we, as parents, grandparents, guardians and mentors, use this time strategically to encourage the next generation to engage in healthy spiritual habits in every season? In OneHope’s Global Youth Culture study, when focusing on data from North America, more than half of surveyed teens said they were Christians, but only 8% displayed traits of engaging in healthy spiritual formation habits, like regularly reading the Bible. The formative teenage years usher in challenging questions as young people wrestle with direction for their lives, what they think about God and the Church, and where they ‘fit in’ with their current reality. They see the expansive choices ahead of them as exciting yet weighty. As believers, we can walk alongside teens as they navigate these pivotal years. Here are some ideas for strategically planting spiritually healthy seeds into the next generation: • Engage them in Scripture – it is not our words, but God’s that can challenge young hearts and spark new life and fervor that will set them on a path leading them to affect the destiny of others. • Take them with you – serve together in your community and take them on mission trips allowing them to see firsthand the impact God’s word can have on lives. • Invite them into the story - cast the vision for the role they are to play in God’s Big Story, reminding them that God has given each one of us a gift to use for the furtherance of His kingdom. • Set up programs that allow them to give, whether it’s time stuffing bags of food, talent decorating backpacks with beautiful renditions of God’s love, earning money to support a missional cause or praying regularly for people groups across the globe. • Allow them opportunities to use their gifts – my father had the ministry that he did because a pastor shared a pulpit with him at the tender age of seven. Know that our Father has plans that are grander than the scope of our imaginations. • Share God stories to inspire them – our heritage is rich in stories of God’s Word reaching the unreached and changing lives no matter the impossible circumstances, whether in big cities, far-off jungles, and in the best or worst of times. Everyone has a story, and every story is important to God and for us to hear to bolster our own faith. Although teenagers may seem to have boundless energy, Scripture shows that even the youngest among us have their limits, making it vital for us to turn to God. “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:30-31). The next generation has great potential! Let’s intentionally instill healthy spiritual practices in the next generation and invite them to affect destiny in their neighborhood, broader community, city and world. - Rob Hoskins - OneHope President Engage Your Teen in Healthy Spiritual Rhythms Corporate & Private Event Photography

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ENCOURAGEMENT 24 JUNE 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition Septuagenarians remember exactly where they were when they heard the news; JFK had been assassinated and with him the country's Camelot empire. Quadragenerians remember where they were when they heard the verdict of "The Trial of the Century" and with it the questioning of our country's criminal justice system. The lone gunman theory gave way to "if the glove don't fit, you must acquit." Both events damaged our national psyche and laid predicate to the adversarial atmosphere we now endure. Although John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby and OJ Simpson have left for other pastures, their legacies remain and haunt us in many ways; the concept of "truth" is now a personal item... my "truth", your "truth, their "truth"...they are all true. The whole truth A long, long time ago, while I was still playing "cops and robbers" for the feds, I became involved in an intricate drug case which involved dozens of major players from throughout the world. Many pled guilty both here and abroad, but some of the leaders decided to go to trial. I was assigned as case agent in one of these legal procedures, which meant close daily coordination with the Assistant U.S. Attorneys as well sitting with them throughout the trial as part of the prosecutorial team. In due time, I was called to testify, and the clerk dutifully read me the oath as I lifted my right hand..."Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?" I had responded to this question dozens of times during my career, yet on this particular day it sounded invalid. What is the difference between the truth and the whole truth? What does "nothing but the truth" really mean? Now, my approach to being part of the prosecutorial team was a tad different than most. I truly was not interested in the verdict; my job was to investigate and present...period. It was up to the jury to do their job. Which meant that I testified specifically to what I really knew, no shortcuts, no embellishments. Once the jury began deliberations, I left the courthouse and went home, much to the chagrin of the prosecutors. They wanted me around to await the verdict...sorry, not my job! So when the clerk asked me the question, my first reaction was not to answer "I do," but rather to inquire if she had been in the courtroom with us all these days? Couldn't she tell that a good portion of the witnesses that took that same oath couldn't tell the truth if their lives depended on it? And she wanted me to tell "the truth?" I took very few things seriously at that juncture in my life, but testifying as to only what I knew to be true was one of my few attributes. Perception is reality At the turn of the century, I was invited to address a criminal justice convention in San Diego, California. Arriving early for my presentation, I was able to witness the remarks from the speaker slated before me. His presentation was entitled "Perception is Reality," and as a successful attorney he began to unravel his theory about perception being the driving force behind most legal proceedings. He mentioned that "my truth" was a non-negotiable personal opinion; thus, people may contradict your opinion but not your "truth." Many years have passed since then, but my basic take from the speech was that we should not only respect differing opinions, but we should disdain from challenging them for fear of disrespecting or hurting the individual. When my turn came to face the audience, I discarded my original planned remarks and spent the first few minutes discussing how could humans achieve any growth if they got stuck in "their truth." Relativism or truth Today's balancing act, it seems to me, is the juxtaposing of absolute relativism with absolute truth. Relativism is absolute because it rules every principle. However, the measuring stick should be how it stands relative to God's truth. We as humans can never achieve total truth, yet EVERYTHING about Him is true, for He represents absolute truth. Christ himself reminded us in the Gospel according to John that "He is the way, the truth and the life and that NO ONE comes to the Father except through Him." It is nothing novel to reject the truth of God. As Jesus stood before Pilate, Our Redeemer told him, "For this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." The Roman prefect responded for himself and for every non-believer by asking the Messiah, "What is truth?" Half-truths Moreover, given our sinful nature and the consequences of truthful behavior, we find ourselves surrounded by half-truths, not sure which half to believe. Halftruths avoid what is actually meant and live in technicalities and portions of truth. Our spiritual enemy is named "the deceiver" for a very good reason, and his repertoire is filled with these incomplete "facts." Satan approached Eve in Eden and enticed her to eat the fruit by telling her that "God knows that the day you eat it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." The devil concocted a cocktail with a hint of truth and lots of sinful ingredients, for although her eyes were opened, her experience of knowing good from evil would be far removed from that of her Maker. The tempter is not only the father of lies but the grandfather of half-truths. John 4:24 tells us to "worship God in spirit and truth," which is hard to accomplish utilizing only partial veracity. If we are to serve Our Lord faithfully, we must adhere to all His Word, not only those portions of Scripture that comport to our worldview. Federal investigators charged with the responsibility of investigating counterfeit currency must first become experts in identifying the marks of legal notes. By thoroughly knowing what real bills look like, they can easily identify the bogus ones. By immersing ourselves in Scripture reading, supplication and prayer, we are much more prone to understanding God's truth and thus identifying when we are confronted with forgery. Thus, all we need to take to the bank is that He is the way and the truth...a lifetime investment that leads to everlasting life. - Omar Aleman - Aleman and Associates The Gospel Truth