Good News - May 2024

Largest Christian Newspaper in America • • May 2024 • Volume 26, Issue 2

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I have so many questions; an endless list with more being added by the hour. I think of the pain, injustice and uncertainty of so many. Many of us sit in the safety of our home with comfort but we are consumed nonetheless with the visuals of anguish. We pray. Lifetime struggles are well articulated in Bible passages. We read, we discuss, we analyze, and then we get in our air-conditioned cars and drive to comfy homes to deal with life and the challenges that affect tomorrow. We sometimes feel there must be a better, easier way and sometimes, why me? God, why me? In a moment of clarity, I reflect that I didn’t personally wander the desert for 40 years. I wasn’t enslaved in chains. Physical pain and suffering is just as debilitating as mental torture. What were they going through? Seriously not to be ambivalent; what were they going through? God only knows. I am equally consumed by the effect of modern-day story tellers that take a thought and weave a story many times from life’s joy or struggles, similar to the hymn's sung in church services. I ponder the lyrics and default most times to why? I am influenced by greatness and groundbreaking accomplishments as well as simple inspiring acts of perseverance. Whether it’s the words of acknowledged and often quoted visionaries or equally respected luminaries, I pay respect. Music has been a driving force in my life, and I’m inspired by how many incredible songs have been written and recorded that I never before associated with how they moved the lyricist, and that GOD has embedded those lyrics and rhythms into our subconscious and only when He winked them into the conversation, like now? The biggest selling song in recorded history with over 50 million copies is the Irving Berlin (who was born Israel Blaine) the son of a Jewish Cantor “White Christmas” sung by Bing Crosby and covered over 500 times by other artists for an additional 50 million in sales. I’m moved by the Academy Award song from the iconic movie “Wizard of Oz”; “Somewhere over the Rainbow” was written, not about the mythical Land of Oz, but the homeland of the Jews-Israel. The song's music was written by Harold Arlen, also a Jewish Cantor’s son. The song was voted the 20th century’s number #1 song by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. I am often reminded that God knows, and His time is the ruling to all of my “Why’s.” So, I’m particularly alert when some of the all-time greats; Paul McCartney among the many, say “it’s the greatest song ever written,” and we’ve all no doubt hummed along with this catchy tune a zillion times…. “God Only Knows” The Beach Boys Songwriters: Brian Douglas Wilson / Tony Asher “I may not always love you But long as there are stars above you You never need to doubt it I'll make you so sure about it God only knows what I'd be without you If you should ever leave me Though life would still go on believe me The world could show nothing to me So what good would living do me God only knows what I'd be without you God only knows what I'd be without you If you should ever leave me Well life would still go on believe me The world could show nothing to me So what good would living do me God only knows what I'd be without you God only knows what I'd be without you God only knows” Hope. We have hope. Thank God. -Les PUBLISHER 6 May 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition South Florida Edition • Good News • May 2024 • Volume 26, Issue 2 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 Gates – by Stephan N. Tchividjian IN THE WORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Franklin Graham: Repentance Brings Revival – by Franklin Graham PARENTING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Learning How to Make the Right Decisions – by Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts MARRIAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 What’s Your Balance? – by Lisa May YOU ASK WHY? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 No Blind Faith For Believers – by Dr. Tommy Boland HEART AND SOUL . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Commissioning the Next Generation of Believers– by Dr. Debra Schwinn FOSTER CARE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Homes Needed for Busloads of Children Entering Foster Care Each Week – by Kevin Enders THE CODE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Rebuilders Finish Strong – by Dr. O.S. Hawkins COVER STORY . . . . . . . . . . . .24 - 27 Good News Celebrates Women of Distinction 2024 – by Shelly Pond ENCOURAGEMENT . . . . . . . . . .28 Heaven Can Wait - by Omar Aleman GOOD NEWS WANTS TO KNOW . . . . . . . . .30-32 What decision or opportunity did you have in the past that you passed, but now would choose differently? PHOTO RECAP South Florida Easter Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34-35 LEGAL Q&A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Own A Small Business? You Need to Know About the Corporate Transparency Act – by William “Bill” C. Davell and Marianna Seiler DeJager FROM THE PULPIT . . . . . . . . . . .38 Right Bible – Wrong Gospel? – by Larry Lacy INSIGHT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Perfectly Imperfect – by Rob Hoskins WE GET LETTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 COMMUNITY NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 – 50 CALENDAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 CLASSIFIEDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 - 55 God Only Knows On The Cover Good News Celebrates Women of Distinction 2024 with a front cover photo shoot at the prestigious Coral Ridge Country Club, located on Bayview Drive in Fort Lauderdale. Pictured from Top Left to Right: Brigitte Sylvestre, Christine Auker, Melissa Elswick, Sue Trombino, Kathy Ireland Mitchell and Dr. Jessica Vera; Front Left to Right: Margaret Whiddon, Stephanie Chen and Dr. Germaine Smith Baugh. A special thanks to our host, Coral Ridge Country Club Managing Partner JJ Sehlke and his gracious and accommodating team. Photo Credit: Justus Martin, CONTENTS Good News • May • Volume 26 Issue 2

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PERSPECTIVE 8 May 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition The first eight years of my life I had the privilege of living in many different places, some of them exotic, some beautiful, some cold, some strange, some familiar. Perhaps you had a similar upbringing. I cherish those experiences. One of the places I lived at was a small town in North Carolina called Montreat. Montreat was a great place to grow up as a child because we were able to explore the streams, mountain paths, forests and allow our imagination to run wild in what could easily be the land that time forgot. Additionally, Montreat was the place where my grandparents lived, surrounded by retired missionaries who told their epic stories. I was never bored and grew up believing that serving God would lead to a life of great adventure. One thing unique about this town was that it had a gate as you drove in and as you drove out. Everyone had to drive through the gate, and everyone had to drive out the gate. There was no other way to access this little slice of Heaven. Occasionally you would hear of a story where someone did not maneuver the gate too well, and the gate and driver had to be restored. I have fond memories of that gate. To this day it exists, and every time I go back to this town, the journey through the gate is a journey through time. Passing through the gate I have been thinking about gates and how often they exist in our lives. A gate represents a passage from one place to another and seems to bring everything into focus for just a few seconds. I remember as a child going through the gates at Walt Disney World, and with great excitement, being transported from one world to another. I think about other gates as well, for example, when I board an airplane, attend a concert or a sporting event. Gates are not always made of bricks, stone or turnstiles. Sometimes gates can be symbolic, more emotional than physical. I think of a wedding, a graduation, a funeral, a divorce, a new job and the like. There are very similar patterns that we experience as we go through these gates. Every gate has a focal point, every gate has a purpose, and every gate seems to send a message. Gates also tend to serve a portfolio of different experiences and emotions each time you go through one. For example, as a traveler coming home, a gate is a welcome site, yet if you have just said your goodbyes to your loved ones, a gate may make you sad. A gate invokes a different emotion based upon which direction you are going through it. Sometimes there is a sense of excitement, sometimes a sense of dread. Rarely do you experience the same emotion as you journey through a gate. One particular emotion you experience going through a gate is a sense of loneliness. Sometimes you experience it for just a brief second, like the green flash of a Florida summer sunset. Other times it lingers like a damp and foggy mountain mist. Either way, loneliness makes its appearance. I wonder why? My best guess is that to go through the gate, there is a moment where you must go through it alone. That moment, again ever so brief or not, is monumental for you. You are making a statement, a decision, and a committed transition from one reality to another. Gates in the Bible Think about how this is demonstrated in the many glorious stories we find in the Bible. Take a moment and imagine your favorite story and find the gate or gates. When Moses decides to obey God’s calling on his life, when Naaman decides to bathe in the dirty river Jordan, when Joseph decides to not divorce Mary, when David decides to face Goliath, when Cain decides to kill Abel, when Lot decides to choose the “better land,” when Peter decides to deny Jesus, when Judas decides to betray Jesus, when Jesus ascends to Heaven, and the list goes on and on and on. Take time to see the lonely moment too. I find that when I meet loneliness, it does a few things for me. I am reminded how vulnerable I am. I don’t necessarily like that, but it is a good reminder. It keeps me humble. I know that many people battle significant loneliness, and the experience can be debilitating. Sometimes loneliness appears for “just a brief second, like the green flash of a Florida summer sunset, and other times it lingers like a damp and foggy mountain mist.” Loneliness is real yet it can serve a purpose. I find that additionally, loneliness compels me to yearn for more of God, drawing me closer to Him. Do you remember that amazing promise that God makes when He says to Joshua (Moses’ heir apparent), “I will never leave your nor forsake you”? That proclamation is shared at a time when Joshua is getting ready to enter his God promise. The promise is as true today as it was then. God says much more to Joshua in that conversation. He also says to “not be afraid or discouraged.” I think that when God makes that promise, He is alluding to the gates that He knows Joshua will pass through, and similarly, we will pass through. Sometimes we will be afraid or discouraged, sometimes we will falter or second-guess the gate. We will experience loneliness and we may hesitate to proceed. However, we are reminded of those amazing promises of God. What is your gate? Therefore, what gate are you going through today? Have you stopped long enough to relish the emotions that you are experiencing as you go through the gate? What is God trying to reveal to you about His character and His promise as you go through the gate? I am sure that when my grandparents passed through that gate in Montreat, North Carolina, they experienced the same emotions you feel as you pass through your gate. My grandfather traveled a lot and when he had said his goodbyes and was heading to some foreign country, knowing the travel would be difficult and the work nonstop, he knew God was always with him. Additionally, when he was returning from a long stay away and looking forward to the loving embrace of his wife and children, some good home cooked food and a comfortable bed, he acknowledged that God had indeed been so very faithful. Today, we acknowledge that we are vulnerable, lonely, and can easily default to our anxious thoughts and fears as we travel through our gates. Therefore, we are to desperately draw close to our loving Father, who walks with us through the gate. One quick last note, I mentioned above that occasionally someone going through the gate of Montreat would not maneuver it too well and have an accident. The gate and the person needed to be restored. Therefore, if you have not maneuvered a gate very well, give yourself some grace. God is good at restoring our gates and our lives. 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 Gates

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10 May 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition IN THE WORD I recently had the privilege of preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in one of the largest cities in the world, Mexico City, and then in 10 cities and towns near the southern border of the United States. By God’s grace and by His power, thousands came forward to make decisions to follow Christ as their Savior and Lord. We boast only in what Almighty God does by the working of His Spirit in the hearts and souls of men, women and children. Like other cities and towns where I have proclaimed Jesus as “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6), many people in the crowds felt like failures — failures at home, failures at work, failures at life. Many didn’t believe the Lord would forgive them, cleanse them and work afresh in them. Their past mistakes completely clouded their vision of the redeeming, transforming love of God. One Biblical character that I preached about should give all of us hope. In 2 Kings, the Bible mentions numerous kings of Israel and Judah in the order of their reign. There are some bright spots, especially in Judah, which remained faithful to the Lord longer than Israel. Hezekiah, Jehoshaphat and Josiah come quickly to mind. They all instituted godly reforms that, for a season, saw God’s hand of favor come once again upon the rebellious people. However, the list of wicked kings is far longer, and their ungodly reigns only brought God’s judgment and wrath. Their hearts were far removed from the Lord, and they set up idols that God abhorred across the land. How tragic was their fall from the mighty hand of God, who had taken the people out of the land of Egypt and planted them in the Promised Land. Few were worse than King Manasseh, the son of righteous King Hezekiah. His 55-year reign was marked by great wickedness and evil. He did evil in the sight of the Lord. He built altars to false gods. He practiced sorcery and divination, and even sacrificed his very own son in the fire. He also shed much innocent blood (2 Kings 21:1-18). Can you even imagine such evil? The compiler of the Chronicles, however, pens a wonderfully encouraging addition to the distressing narrative of the kings that should give hope to all who feel they are unworthy of God’s reconciling love, even those who have committed great sin in their lives. Taken prisoner to Babylon with a hook in his nose, Manasseh has an incredible change of heart. “Now when he was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers” (2 Chronicles 33:12). God heard his repentant plea and allowed him to return to Judah as king. He got rid of the foreign gods he had previously worshipped, restored the altar of the Lord and commanded the people to worship the one, true, living God. Not only did Manasseh return to the Lord, but his example of repentance and humility affected the entire nation. Though there were still sacrifices on high places of worship (places other than the temple), the people sacrificed “only to the Lord their God” (2 Chronicles 33:17). It’s never too late to come before God, repent of your sins and ask for His forgiveness. Our failures and faults can still be cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, if we will but humble ourselves, pray and turn to the Lord. Manasseh’s life certainly demonstrates that — not only for individuals, but also for a nation. Remember what the chronicler had said earlier in the book. “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Our nation, once a stronghold of Biblical truth, has strayed so far. Abortion, same-sex marriage and other wicked practices have spread through the culture like wildfire. Sometimes, I hardly recognize the country that I grew up in. We have failed as a nation when it comes to standing on Biblical truth. In this election season, there will be thousands of people running for local, state and national offices. We should always examine the candidates carefully and support those whose policies best align with Biblical principles. But the most important thing we can do as God’s people is start with humbling our own selves before our Holy God and repenting of our own failures. True revival, which I firmly believe is our nation’s only hope, begins when God’s people are moved by the Holy Spirit to repent of sins and live holy lives. We have to examine our own hearts and ask the Lord to show us any grievous ways and lead us in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:24). “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17). Manasseh’s life is a great illustration of how repentance and renewed faith in Almighty God can transform people, and even a nation. Let us get on our knees, pray, confess our sins and ask God to heal us and our wayward land. He can do it. ©2024 BGEA Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version. Decision magazine, April 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: Repentance Brings Revival True revival, which I firmly believe is our nation’s only hope, begins when God’s people are moved by the Holy Spirit to repent of sins and live holy lives.” “

12 May 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition PARENTING “But how do you know how to make the right decision?” was the question from a thirteen-yearold boy living at Sheridan House. He had just made yet another bad decision with some friends at school. His consequence was to cut grass that afternoon, rather than play racquetball with the other boys. That was a great question. And that is why we do not only give kids the discipline to follow through with their decisions. We also give them the template for how to make those decisions. In the past we have discussed the need for parents to make their “No” mean no. It is important for the child to learn he must obey rather than argue. A consistent disciplinary plan will help a child learn this and also help the child become self-disciplined. We don’t ever want to just discipline the children. Discipline is something you slowly pass on to the person (in this case the child) you are training. The goal: to train a person to eventually become personally self-disciplined. The goal is to train a person to be able to say “No” to self. Developing a Philosophy of Life The boy was right. It’s one thing to be disciplined enough to be able to follow through on what I want or need to do, but it is quite another thing to know how to make those decisions. Where does one go for the answers to right and wrong? Initially, a child or immature person goes to one of two places when making decisions about their behaviors. They cave into their personal desires and lusts, or they cave into their peers and culture. The training assignment of the parent is to help the child know where to go for the answers to life’s decisions. This is called a Philosophy of Life. Everyone has a personal Philosophy of Life. This is the guidance mechanism by which a person makes his or her decisions. Win at all cost, money will make you happy, education is the key to life, it’s okay just as long as you don’t get caught…these are some of the philosophies that people live by. In this very challenging culture, the Philosophy of Life every child needs is a faith in Jesus Christ. Faith grows out of a personal relationship with Christ. The relationship develops as parents decide that this is indeed a primary focus for parenting. In Deuteronomy 6:7-8 parents are told to love God and then… Impress them (the principles for loving God) on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (New International Version). In other words, living a life for Christ and teaching the children about Christ needs to be an overwhelming part of the family’s lifestyle. It needs to be so frequent and natural that it leaves an impression. Practical steps One of the ways we worked at accomplishing this task in our own home was to read the Bible every morning at the breakfast table. The fact we lived a fortyfive minutes drive from the school our children attended meant we had to get up earlier to be able to sit at the table. While the children ate, I read five or six verses from the Bible, starting with the Gospel of John. After reading, I put a marker in the Bible so I knew where to start the next day and then I always asked the question, “Does anyone have any thoughts about what I just read?” During those two decades of reading, they almost never had any thoughts or comments to share. So I tried to talk about the verse I read for a few moments and then we prayed. This was just one way we worked at giving our children an intact Philosophy of Life… the ability to make decisions. Decisions they would have to make when we weren’t around to guide them. It’s one thing to give them the personal discipline, but what good is discipline if you do not know what to be disciplined about. Philosophy of Life is the why we make a decision. Personal discipline is the ability to follow through with the decision. Philosophy of Life is the core to every decision a child will make. How to handle sex, how to handle money, how to handle peers, how to handle the internet…the answer: What Would Jesus Do? If a child leaves home without an intact faith in God, he or she is going out like a lamb to the cultural slaughter. Nothing is more important than this lesson. In the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, “We cannot always build the future for our youth but we can build our youth for the future.” Visit for more advice from Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts. - Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts - Sheridan House Family Ministries Learning How to Make the Right Decisions

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MARRIAGE 14 May 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition Our core expectations for close relationships are affected by all of our previous close relationships, whether with parents, siblings, former spouses, lovers or friends. At certain periods in our life significant people, or even life itself through specific events that affected us, ran up a series of debits or credits in terms of what you needed. Time passes, we walk through life's revolving door, marry and hand our bill balance over to our spouse. Our spouse gets a credit or a debit for what others did or did not do. If my account has many positive experiences from the past full of love and pleasure, then my ledger has a positive balance. If you experienced a healthy married home with loving parents and a stable family life, you'd carry a credit balance into your current relationships. Sadly, it's very likely that our life ledger has many experiences of pain, fear and anger. If so, you may carry a debit balance into your relationships, and unknowingly, you may expect your spouse to make up the difference for all the debts. Most of the time, we're not aware of our life ledger; we simply act upon it. The decisions we make based on our ledger surface in our current relationships when we discover that what we hoped for isn't happening. We often end up treating our spouse as an enemy, and we punish them for hurts in our past. We can't expect our loved ones to be the father or the mother or the friend we wish we had growing up. We can’t expect our spouse to make up for what we didn’t get growing up, yet we transfer our expectations to our spouse and often feel disappointed and betrayed when they fall short. The spouse usually has no idea about the life ledger balance, doesn't know the expectations exist, and doesn't expect to make up for what someone else did or didn't do. Emotional allergy Based on our ledger, we develop what Dr. Lori Gordon called an “emotional allergy.” An emotional allergy is an intense reaction to a situation that is similar to an event that was painful in our past, but that is not the same situation in the present. I’ll give you an example: you grew up in a home where your father was unfaithful to your mother. You go to the movies with your husband, and a scene shows a father telling his wife he's going to be late coming home one night. You remember how your father used to arrive home late, and now you know it was because he was unfaithful. After the movie, you stop for coffee and dessert and your husband tells you he's going to be late coming home next week because he's working on a particular project. Your response is anger, blame and suspicion. Your husband is confused with no idea why you're responding so irrationally. The movie scene triggered a painful memory that is similar to the past but not the same in the present. It's a debit in your life ledger, causing an intense reaction to a situation. If my partner acts in any way similar to someone I once cared about or was dependent on who hurt me, that one similarity in behavior can trigger an intense emotional reaction, and we overreact. The fear in our current relationship is that all those things that ever went wrong before MIGHT happen again. It’s an emotional reaction, not a cognitive reaction; it’s an emotional allergy. The ability to identify and interrupt the dynamic of our life ledger is crucial to sustaining a loving relationship. The willingness to confide vulnerable feelings, be listened to with empathy and be responded to with caring and empathy determine the course of the relationship. In intimate relationships, it's easy to drown in misunderstanding. We don't understand what is going on, and we react rather than ask and listen. Ask Life Ledger Questions • Am I punishing my spouse for what someone else did? • Am I expecting my spouse to make up for what I missed? • How and when do I do this? • Can you determine what "life ledger balances" from your past you might be bringing forward? • Can you pinpoint the person from your past whom your partner may represent in the particular situation? • When you have an argument with or partner, does he or she tell you, "I'm not your mother," or “I'm not your father"? Choose your reaction In order to disrupt the cycle, two critical ingredients are needed: Choosing your Reaction and Confiding. You don't control the external circumstances, but you do control your thoughts that control your reaction. Engage in productive thinking. When your buttons are pushed and you react, remember that it's your button being pushed and your trigger being pulled – they are yours, and you're responsible for them. It's your job to understand where your reactions come from, what they're about and how you react. Ask yourself why you respond that way; where is that coming from? Lastly, confide in your spouse how you feel, the emotions behind the feelings causing the reaction. Very often our spouse sees the behavior and the response but not the beliefs and emotions behind the reaction. If we become more aware of our spouses' fears, we move to understanding and empathy for our partner. Confiding accrues emotional intimacy, which most often leaves our ledger balance with a positive balance. Lisa May is the Executive Director of Live the Life South Florida etc. She can be reached at [email protected] or by mail at 5110 N. Federal Hwy. Suite 102, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308 - Lisa May - Executive Director, Live the Life South Florida What’s Your Balance?

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16 May 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition YOU ASK WHY No Blind Faith for Believers “Abraham said to his servants, ‘Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you’” (Genesis 22:5). If you are familiar with the story of Abraham and Isaac, you will remember that God called Abraham to do the unimaginable . . . the indescribable . . . the inconceivable . . . the unthinkable: To sacrifice his son Isaac on a mountain in Moriah. Here’s a question for you: Did Abraham simply head out and blindly do what God commanded? Not at all! Abraham knew God. He knew God’s person, His promise, and His power, and he trusted that God would do what was right and true (Genesis 18:25), even in issuing this heart-wrenching, inexplicable command to offer his beloved son Isaac as a sacrifice. God had promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation (Genesis 12:2) and that his wife Sarah would bear him a son. Both Abraham and Sarah were childless at the time and Sarah was well beyond child-bearing age, but Genesis 15:6 tells us that Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. And when Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90, Sarah did give birth to the child of the promise: Isaac. What might seem at first glance like blind faith in obeying God’s command wasn't blind faith at all, and Abraham's assertion in Genesis 22:5 makes that clear. He told his servants that "We [that is, Abraham and Isaac] will come back to you." The testimony given in what has come to be known as the "Hall of Faith" chapter in the book of Hebrews explains Abraham's confidence:“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. (Hebrews 11:17-19) Wisdom, reason and logic Abraham acted on reason, not blind faith. He remembered God’s promise regarding his son Isaac, and because Abraham knew that God can be taken at His Word, he acted accordingly. All throughout the Scriptures, we are instructed to operate by faith, a faith that is rooted in wisdom, reason and logic, and founded on the promises of God. God gave us the ability to think and reason, which means our faith is not blind, but a firm reliance on the One who can be trusted no matter what, even when we do not fully understand His plan. As Hebrews 11:1 tells us, "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Experience Where does this message find you today? Whether the sun is shining brightly or storm winds are rocking your world, let me encourage you to act in faith on all of the promises of God. I have been a pastor for many years, and experience has taught me that growing and maturing in our faith is marked by growing in our ability to trust God in all things . . . even those things that really hurt. Abraham followed God faithfully, holding fast to God’s gracious promise, and we are to do the same. You’ve probably already thought of this divine instruction from Proverbs: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Foreshadowing We don’t need to know the future. We just need to know the One who holds all eternity in His nail-scarred hands. And those scars are there to give you the faith—the confident assurance—to trust God even when you cannot trace Him. You see, the story of Abraham and Isaac is a divine foreshadowing of an event that would take place some 2,000 years later, when God the Father willingly sacrificed His beloved Son for the atonement of sin for all those who will believe in Jesus by grace through faith. Jesus Christ is a descendent of Abraham. God spared Isaac and kept His promise that Abraham was clinging to as he and Isaac walked toward the place of sacrifice: “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (Genesis 22:8) God did provide the substitute lamb to take the place of Isaac, but He did not spare His one and only Son, who died on a cruel cross as an atoning sacrifice for your sins and mine: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). Regardless of where this message finds you today, you can live with the confident expectation of a brighter tomorrow. God spared Abraham from the pain and grief of sacrificing his son, but when the moment of truth came, God the Father turned His face away from God the Son so that He would become the sacrificial Lamb who bore the full wrath of the Father’s just judgment against sin. Abraham had it right: God Himself provided the Lamb . . . for you and for me. Are you trusting in that truth today? Your sin debt – all of your sins, past, present, and still to come – were paid for in full at Calvary’s cross. Believe that truth, and it will be credited to you as righteousness. “We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 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 5:20-21). 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 Abraham Sacrificing Isaac

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HEART AND SOUL 18 May 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition Springtime at Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) is one of my favorite times of the year. As we approach commencement, the campus buzzes with excitement for what’s to come. For many, it’s a quickly approaching summer break. For the 760 eligible graduates in the Class of 2024, it’s the next chapter as they embrace their full potential as new leaders in the workforce or advance their career plans through further studies. An investment in the future Despite the busyness of the season, I take time to reflect on the past two semesters. Each academic year, our faculty, staff and campus leadership invest their hearts, minds, talents and energy into our student body — preparing the servant leaders of the future. We don’t take our job lightly. We embrace it with immense dedication and humility. Today, we have a unique opportunity to pour into tomorrow’s leaders — especially as we expand our campus to better meet the needs of our record-breaking student body and the growing, flourishing community of Palm Beach County. As we prepare to honor the Class of 2024, it's remarkable to acknowledge that this cohort has already exhibited the quintessential traits we seek in the leaders of both today and tomorrow. These students, who have navigated the COVID-19 pandemic throughout their academic studies at PBA, have shown remarkable resilience and unwavering determination. Their journey, marked by unexpected turns and the need to adjust and adapt, has only emboldened their spirits and honed their ability to lead with compassion and empathy. Their trust in God has been a beacon, guiding them through challenges and reinforcing their faith. Prepared for a complex job market Each graduate is a living, breathing reflection of our Christ-centered institution. Our graduates represent 72 areas of study. Many will graduate from PBA’s legacy programs, such as business, public relations, biology and nursing. Others are inaugural graduates of our new, innovative undergraduate and graduate programs — including Christian community development, health science, digital storytelling, gaming and interactive media design and computer science. These graduates will soon enter a complex global job market, a socially turbulent world and uncharted waters as they navigate the purpose to which they have been called. These challenges aren’t just issues facing young North American professionals. We have earned the trust of many worldwide to prepare them for these challenges. Our graduating class spans four generations, ages 19 to 73, representing 40 countries across five continents. We are confident that regardless of age, nationality or background, our graduates at PBA are prepared to meet the challenges of the day. They join a rich network of alumni worldwide who embody and exude the Judeo-Christian values we teach and have excelled in taking their place in the world. I am grateful that PBA plays an important role in cultivating well-rounded business, health care and civic leaders who can shine a light in an ever-changing world. This mission-fueled work is not always easy, but it is necessary, and there’s no other place I’d rather be. Ready to serve As we approach graduation day on May 4, I am confident that our spring Class of 2024 will finish their final exams strong, walk across that stage with boldness and go out into this world ready to serve God and others boldly. And after the tassels turn, the beautiful cycle will repeat. Our focus will shift toward the fall as we eagerly anticipate a new cohort of students and continue our essential work of shaping the next generation. I am proud to be a Sailfish. 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 Commissioning the Next Generation of Leaders Dr. Debra Schwinn at Palm Beach Atlantic University’s 2023 Commencement Ceremony

FOSTER CARE 20 May 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition I remember one of the first times I heard about 4KIDS I was at my home church over 17 years ago. The pastor was showing us visuals of school buses and how the number of children coming into foster care was equivalent to multiple bus loads every month. At the time, my wife and I were completely unaware of the dire situation kids were facing in the foster care system. We had no idea that kids were being separated from their siblings, sent to live in other counties, or going to shelters because no one would take them in. The reality of foster care today Today, I am all too familiar with the realities that kids in our backyards are facing in foster care, but it still stops me in my tracks. In fact, in the 13 Florida counties 4KIDS serves, nearly 1,700 kids have been removed from their homes since July of last year. 1,700 kids is hard to even fathom, so instead try to picture just over 200 kids every month, or even 50 kids per week. 50 babies, children, and teens could fill a school bus every week, all with their own stories, needs, and broken dreams. Every single one of those lives is precious, and this National Foster Care Month, I encourage you to pray and reflect on what you can do for even just one of those lives in crisis. God’s calling I love how clearly God lines this out for us in James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Our community’s modern-day widows and orphans are the children and families breaking down and entering the foster care system every day. It can feel like perhaps an insurmountable problem to tackle, but with each “yes” from a 4KIDS foster parent, a life is being touched with the love of Christ and eternally changed. Some of my good friends and 4KIDS co-workers, Mark and Donna Churchill said “yes” to fostering in an unexpected season. Their kids were now teenagers and for many that time is a welcomed break from the diapers and round-the-clock care of little ones. Instead, Mark and Donna opened their home to babies who had nowhere else to go. Mark shared with me, “Fostering has taught us how to lead by example for our own biological children. We spent years telling them to be good people, serve others, serve God, etc… but we weren’t doing it ourselves. When we began fostering, we started SHOWING them how to serve rather than telling them.” Blessings abound I see it in my own life and in the lives of hundreds of other 4KIDS Foster Families, that even though we begin this journey with a heart to bless these kids, in the end our lives are incredibly blessed in the process. I think about how Mark shared the example he’s able to set for his own teens, and I see God granting so many unexpected blessings along the way. Mark went on to share, “[Fostering] has taught us that no matter their background or race, they want love and just want to be kids. We have had five kids in our home over the past seven years, and we can honestly say that there has never been a day where we wished we didn’t have them.” Right now, based on the number of kids coming into care so far this year, 4KIDS needs at least 33 more foster homes in Broward County, 23 in Palm Beach County, and 10 in the Treasure Coast this month to ensure every child can have a loving family. These numbers are attainable, and they have the power to radically impact the lives of kids in their most vulnerable time. Matthew 18:5 says, “And whoever welcomes one such child in My name welcomes Me.” We know that saying “yes” to these children is Kingdom work, going far beyond their life or ours and replicating the gospel. I pray that you would consider what saying “yes” might look like for you and your family. Hope, Homes, and Healing run far deeper than service offerings, they are living reflections of God’s heart and His gospel here on earth. I know that however you can be a part of that will change your life for the better. Foster Care Interest Hope, Homes, and Healing - Kevin Enders - 4KIDS President & CEO Homes Needed for Busloads of Children Entering Foster Care Weekly

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THE CODE 22 May 2024 Good News • South Florida Edition Two of evangelicalism’s most revered and respected men were Billy Graham and Chuck Colson. Billy Graham’s entire life can be summed up with two words — character and integrity. After years in the public eye and throughout his life, his character remained beyond reproach, and his reputation spotless. He never got off on a side street or spent time on the sidelines. Conversely, however, Chuck Colson’s life came crashing down like Jerusalem’s wall. He wandered off down several side streets and found himself on the sidelines in a prison cell. But then he came back and rebuilt a life of character and conviction. He left a legacy through his ministry of Prison Fellowship that served as Christ’s own hand extended, giving help and eternal hope to thousands of prisoners and their families. Colson and Graham have this in common — they both finished strong. Starting strong For decades, Billy Graham was one of the most recognized names in the entire English-speaking world. His preaching ministry burst onto the American scene while he was still a young man in the 1940s. However, he had two contemporaries, who, at the time, were much better known and promised to be much brighter stars on the national scene. But strangely, few people today have ever even heard of Chuck Templeton or Bron Clifford. In William Martin’s biography of Billy Graham, he related that Chuck Templeton was the most gifted and talented young preacher of his era. Billy Graham, Chuck Templeton, and Bron Clifford were all greatly sought-after young preachers. IN 1946, the National Association of Evangelicals published an article entitled “The Best-Used Men of God.” That article highlighted the ministry of Chuck Templeton but made no mention of Billy Graham. Today, we have heard of Billy Graham, but whatever happened to Chuck Templeton and Bron Clifford? Bron Clifford started out in the ministry at a young age. When he was only twentyfive, he was already preaching to massive crowds that numbered in the thousands. Met by overflow crowds everywhere he went, it was said that he had touched more lives and broke more attendance records than any evangelist in American history. He was tall and handsome, intelligent and eloquent. He soon caught the attention of Hollywood producers seeking to entice him to play significant roles in movies. That turned out to be a disastrous side street for him. By the mid-1950s, Clifford had lost his health and his family, and he was plagued by alcoholism. At the age of thirty-five, this great preacher died alone in a rundown motel room on the outskirts of Amarillo, Texas. Chuck Templeton also left the ministry but to pursue a career in journalism. Sadly, by the early 1950s, this once-gifted preacher of the Gospel was reported to no longer believe in Christ in the orthodox sense. The moral? No matter how gifted one may or may not be, rebuilders have at least one characteristic in common: they finish strong. They don’t detour off onto side streets or allow themselves to be relegated to the sidelines. Rebuilding what was broken Chuck Colson, however, was the epitome of a rebuilder. Caught up in the coverup of his own Watergate crimes, his walls collapsed and his gates burned down. He detoured off onto side streets and was relegated to the sidelines of prison. But he didn’t stay there; he came back. Years after his death, his presence was felt in Prison Fellowship gatherings around the world, giving hope and help to thousands who are also battling to rebuild their lives. In the book of Nehemiah, chapter six, many of us are like him, seeking to rebuild something that has been broken. It has been a long journey for Nehemiah — from Persia, where he first heard the report of Jerusalem’s broken wall, to his leaving the comforts and security of his life as the king’s cupbearer, to becoming the rebuilder of the broken wall of Jerusalem. Much has changed since he made that solitary midnight ride to review the ruins. The wall was up, and Nehemiah had the finish line in sight. All that remained was to hang the gates (Nehemiah 6:1). Seeing the finish line At last, the goal was in sight — the finish line. “Mission Accomplished” is just ahead. But be warned: this is the most dangerous point in any rebuilding process. This is when the enemy comes along with one final attempt to divert us from our goal. The enemy first tried to detour Nehemiah onto a side street. But Nehemiah kept his focus and replied to that temptation with a question: “Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” (6:30. So then his enemies tried to relegate Nehemiah to the sidelines. But he remained faithful and fired off another question instead: “Should such a man as I flee?” (6:11)/ Of all the wonderful things one could say about Nehemiah, the best is this: he finished strong. And, before he steps off the scene of Scripture, he leaves us with a valuable lesson on how we can do the same. It is not so much how long our personal race may be, nor even how difficult the obstacles we face along the way, but it is how we finish that matters most. Seeing the finish line ahead, Nehemiah sprinted toward the tape while shouting two important principles to us that keep echoing down through the corridors of the centuries: “Stay off the side streets. Keep focused! Stay off the sidelines. Keep faithful!” He wanted to ensure that it might be said of you and me, “So the wall was finished” (6:15). After all, it’s never too late for a new beginning.” Taken from The Nehemiah Code by O.S. Hawkins. Copyright © 2018 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 Rebuilders Finish Strong Rev. Billy Graham Chuck Colson