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Want to Live Longer?

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A study reported by The Washington Post notes people with the highest level of optimism live between 11 and 15 percent longer than those with a less optimistic perspective. 

Eating a healthy diet, staying physically active, refusing to smoke cigarettes, and learning to manage stress in a healthy manner contribute to longer lifespans 

(https://www.denisonforum.org/daily-article/why-do-optimists-live-longer-trusting-god-when-its-hard-to-trust-god/). 

Life is too short to see the cup half empty. Ask Chuck Cheeves, the self-appointed purveyor of positivity who brings a smile and encouragement to everyone he meets. Chuck, 62, a 60-year Milledgeville, Georgia, resident who retired from Baldwin County government last November, experienced a life-changing moment a decade ago that greatly reshaped his outlook.

“My friend Lester died unexpectantly in 2012 at age 53. His death had a profound impact on me, and I did some soul searching. I realized life is short and I wanted use what time I have left to impact lives in a positive way.

I decided from that point forward, nobody would ever again see anything negative on my Facebook page…

“I decided from that point forward, nobody would ever again see anything negative on my Facebook page. By posting inspirational quotes, encouraging stories and humor, I turned that page into a daily destination for many people needing a boost. I went from 50 followers to over 450. I love to encourage.”

Chuck’s theme is “life is good!” He carries a wooden sign six inches by 30 inches inscribed with that slogan. As he makes his way around Milledgeville and Middle Georgia, he takes pictures of people holding his sign and builds the person up with his positive post. He estimates he has taken over 800 pictures promoting “Life Is Good!”

Chuck loves to ramble around in his Chevy Trax dubbed the “Sparkle Wagon.” Visiting places like Camak, Bradley, Social Circle, Warthen, Mitchell, Homerville, Barnesville, Plains, Andersonville, Tullulah Falls and other spots with a railroad connection, Chuck posts beautiful pictures of small-town businesses, homes, cemeteries, and especially depots and all things related to trains. 

His Christian faith also influences him. He loves Proverbs 3:5-6; “Trust the Lord with all your heart and do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take” (NLT). 

Chuck is thankful for his Christian home and for parents who applied Proverbs 22:6: “Direct your children onto the right path and when they are older, they will not leave it” (NLT).  Chuck is living proof of that verse’s truth.

“My parents set a great example by bringing us to church even when my brother and I didn’t want to go and by serving in various ways. My grandfather was also involved in First Baptist. I haven’t always stayed on the righteous path, but I’m on track now and appreciate my church family so much. The camaraderie, the fellowship, and the positive reinforcement really help me.”

Chuck’s nickname is “the Mayor of Pendale,” named after the little neighborhood in north Milledgeville where Chuck lived for many years. One Milledgeville mayor stopped him in the courthouse one day and said, “I think more people think you’re the mayor than they do me.”

What word of advice does Chuck share for those needing a lift? 

“Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everybody messes up. God forgives, so don’t stay in the past. The past is past and there’s no future in it. Move forward!” 

For Chuck, life is good because:

  • Even though I fail Him daily, God still loves me.
  • My church family loves me.
  • I’m blessed my mom and dad are still alive and I continue to make memories with them.
  • My brother and his family are happy, healthy, and thriving.
  • I have many people who love me and care about me.
  • I was able to retire at 62 and now live life to the fullest.
  • I am healthy enough to enjoy each day and impact people in positive ways.
  • I am happier than I’ve ever been and still have the spirit of a teenager.
  • I have everything I need to live a happy life, especially Jesus.

With such an optimist outlook grounded in his faith, don’t be surprised if Chuck lives to 115. Why is life good for you?

(David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia. Join them Sunday at 10 a.m. for worship and 11:10 for small group Bible study. Visit www.mcdonoughroad.org for more information and for online viewing options. To see more of Chancey’s writings, visit www.davidchancey.com and watch for his new book to be released this Fall, Marvelous Faith: Pursuing the Faith that Makes Jesus Marvel). 

Dr. David L. Chancey
Dr. David L. Chanceyhttp://dchancey@mcdonoughroad.org
Dr. David L. Chancey is the pastor of McDonough Road Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Georgia. Pastor David grew up in Southwest Atlanta in his early years, then moved to Milledgeville, Georgia, when his father took a job transfer. He graduated from Baldwin County High School, attended Georgia College, graduated from Georgia Southern University with a BS in Journalism, graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity, and then from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Doctor of Ministry. As God's call upon his life evolved, he served in denominational communications, then as a BSU director, and finally in the pastorate, where he served Carmel Baptist Church, Carmel, Indiana; Cool Springs Baptist Church, Tate, Georgia; and currently McDonough Road Baptist Church (MRBC) since 1999. He describes the best thing to ever happen to him outside of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior is marrying Amy, an RN and neonatal intensive care unit nurse. He and Amy have four children (Rebecca, Rachel, Ruth and Jonathan), and, though he says he's not old enough to be a grandfather, six grandchildren. David loves to preach, but also loves pastoring. He enjoys "just hanging out" with his flock, especially if it involves eating. He is thrilled when he sees members "growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," and when people come to Christ. His desire is to lead MRBC to impact as many people as possible with the life-changing power of the Gospel. This desire to impact lives with the Gospel has led him to take an annual mission trip to Santa Catarina, Brazil, in recent years, where he has seen over 2100 persons come to Christ and new churches planted and strengthened. He is also leading MRBC to strive to new levels in missions going, giving, and praying. David enjoys spending time with family as often as possible, getting away with Amy, following the Atlanta Braves and University of Georgia Bulldogs, and writing a regular column for The Citizen, one of our local papers. He also enjoys running. Please visit him on the web or social media at the above links.

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