Below the Daily Devotionals
Gary Miller's Outdoor Truths,  June 26, 2017
Angie Land's Heart Matters, June 26, 2017

Guy Sheffield's But Anyway, June 27, 2017

BHS AJROTC cadets participate
in Leadership Challenge

Bell JROTC cadets attending JCLC included Cameron Castner, Michael Birchfield, Wayne Burney, Michael Reyes, Sidney Johnson, Vincent Cangelosi, Stephen Dragon, Brianna Marangoni, Lauren Byers, Chevy Stevens, Joseph Riordan and Derek Perez-Roman.

Story and Photo
By United States Army Lt. Col. (Ret.) Jim Duthu
Published June 21, 2017 at 3:37 p.m.
     BELL --
Cadets from the Bell High School unit of the United States Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program traveled to Camp Shands in Melrose to participate in the JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge (JCLC) Camp from June 10 through June 16.
     JCLC challenges cadets both physically and mentally by providing hands-on training designed to develop leadership, discipline, teamwork and self-confidence.
     Bell cadets were joined by in excess of 350 cadets from 20 high schools located in North and Central Florida.
     Camp training included rappelling, high and low ropes courses, confidence obstacle course, archery, outdoor and water survival skills, land navigation, and rope bridge construction and crossing.
     Bell JROTC cadets attending JCLC included Cameron Castner, Michael Birchfield, Wayne Burney, Michael Reyes, Sidney Johnson, Vincent Cangelosi, Stephen Dragon, Brianna Marangoni, Lauren Byers, Chevy Stevens, Joseph Riordan and Derek Perez-Roman.
     All cadets earned the Adventure Training ribbon, Orienteering Ribbon, Physical Fitness Ribbon and JCLC Ribbon.



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Meter Replacements Approved

Levy County Construction and Maintenance Director Jim Jones speaks to the County Commission on Tuesday morning (June 20) and receives unanimous approval of his request to purchase 170 water meters, boxes and other material needed for the county-owned water utility. County Commissioner Mike Joyner's motion to approve was seconded by County Commissioner Rock Meeks. County Attorney Anne Bast Brown asked and recieved a caveat to the request, given that the purchase from HD Supply Waterworks included a contract. Before making his motion, Commissioner Joyner asked Jones if this was budgeted for already in the current fiscal year, and if the department had the money. Jones responded 'Yes' to both questions. County Commission Chairman John Meeks on Wednesday afternoon (June 21) answered some questions, because the supporting documents had not been submitted in time for the book that the general public can review at the meeting. The cost of the meters is $48,163, although the county had budgeted $64,000 for it, Chairman Meeks said. These replacement meters to the University Oaks Subdivision Water system, which the county had to take over, are a maintenance issue rather than a capital improvement, Meeks said. The county is working on a grant proposal, though, for that system. The replacement of these meters, Jones told the County Commission, is needed because the meteres have far outlived their normal lifespans, having registered millions of gallons of water. By replacing the outdated meters, the consumers and the utility provider both will have more accurate readings now.

Photo By Jeff M. Hardison © June 21, 2017 at 2:57 p.m.


Chiefland Students Honored

(from left) Payton Gulledge, Chiefland City Commissioner Rollin Hudson and Rylie Gibson pause for a photo opportunity Monday evening (June 12). Commissioner Hudson read the statements for the city's Student of the Month presentations. Payton Gulledge is the son of John and Tasha Gulledge. Chiefland Elementary School third grade teacher Aimee Watkins nominated the student and noted he is a role model in the classroom. He is always polite to classmates and adults. Payton is friendly, and helps those who need help, Watkins noted. 'He is smart and always works to do his best. He is a pleasure and we are proud of him," his teacher noted. Rylie Gibson is the daughter of Bobby and Amanda Gibson. She was nominated by the seventh grade teachers at Chiefland Middle School. Commissioner Hudson read the comments 'Rylie is an excellent choice for May Student of the Month. Rylie is always attentive. She pays attention, absorbs what is being taught in class, and if she has any questions, she asks. She studies hard, and she has a good disposition. She always has a smile on her face, and she is always polite. She is focused on her studies and is always willing to help others succeed.’ Both students were given the certificates and $20 gift cards were added to use at Walmart, as a gift from the Rotary Club of Chiefland.

Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © June 14, 2017 at 3:27 p.m.

Lightning, Leaves, Bird Lands,
Mockingbird Sings, Bunny Hops,
and Inky's Eyes Light Up

In this one-minute and 39-seconds video, people will see one dramatic lightning bolt streak across the sky, then there is a flash of lightning, then there are leaves falling, then a small bird lands and takes off next to a stealth camera, then there is a nice period of a mockingbird singing on a wire (some of the songs may be mocking car alarms), then there is a brief view of a bunny running in front of a dashboard camera in a news vehicle and finally there is Inky the cat Hardison (the junior mascot of as she looks at a camera in the dark and her eyes light up.
Video Clips by Jeff M. Hardison © June 13, 2017 at 8:47 p.m.
All Rights Reserved

Praise In The Pavilion launches

Theresa Miller of The Lighthouse Word Church sings during the morning service meant to being area Christian churches together for fellowship and praise.
Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © June 10, 2017 at 4:47 p.m.
People from the Lighthouse Word Church were the first to join the worshippers from First United Methodist of Chiefland on Saturday for the "Praise in the Pavilion" event.
     Pastor Tony Rennett of First United Methodist of Chiefland was among the many faithful worshippers who enjoyed the music and sang at the Coach C. Doyle McCall Pavilion, which is located on the church's property behind the sanctuary, fellowship hall, and offices and meeting rooms at 707 N. Main St. in Chiefland.

In this video, people can see and listen to one part of the song I Never Shall Forget The Day, which is by Iris DeMent. Here, the First United Methodist of Chiefland Choir sings it. The whole set of lyrics of the song are:
Long years ago when out in sin
I had no hope no peace within
Down on my knees in agony
I prayed to Jesus and He gladly set me free
I never shall forget the day
And all the burdens of my soul were rolled away
It made me happy, be glad and free
I'll sing and shout it, God means everything to me
Now I can feel, Him at my side
My fewer steps, He comes to guide
When trials come, He comforts me
To faith in Him or sin I have a victory
I never shall forget the day
And all the burdens of my soul were rolled away
It made me happy, be glad and free
I'll sing and shout it, God means everything to me.
Oh, sinner come to Jesus now
At His dear feet just humbly bow
Confess to Him your every sin
He'll save and cleanse you, give you peace and joy within
I never shall forget the day
And all the burdens of my soul were rolled away
It made me happy, be glad and free
I'll sing and shout it, God means everything to me

The Chiefland First United Methodist Church Choir sings as Amy Brodahl leads the group. At this moment, Bill Roberson is singing a solo part of Sweeter As The Days Go By.

     First UMC of Chiefland Director of Music Amy Brodahl led the local Methodist choir. First UMC of Chiefland Administrative Assistant Diana Child organized the event and operated the electronic music machinery.
     This was the first "Praise in the Pavilion" event.
     The morning of praise music, fellowship, and community awareness provided a chance for people of all denominations to join together and enjoy Christian music for a few hours on Saturday.
     Every church with a choir, praise team, or soloist that wanted to perform was invited. Many were called, but few chose to praise God in that manner at that place and time.
     There were a couple of charitable groups present.
     Bill Brown of The Children’s Table was present and he provided a handout that showed 21 food distribution points on every day of the week except Sunday.
     In addition to The Children’s Table, which has provided food for a $5 donation to tens of thousands of people over the years, there was a group that offers supportive services for veterans and their families.

Larissa O’Neal and Robert Wells, both of whom are assistant support service specialists, are seen ready to help people learn about Meridian.

     Larissa O’Neal and Robert Wells, both of whom are assistant support service specialists, were present to help people learn about Meridian Behavioral Healthcare Inc. – Supporting Services For Veteran Families.
     When people hear Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, they generally think of the mental health services or the drug rehabilitation services.
     Another aspect of Meridian Behavioral Healthcare is one that finds houses for homeless veterans.
     This particular part of the group has helped about 400 homeless veterans to find places to live in 11 counties – Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Putnam, Suwannee and Union.
     This first venture into "Praise in the Pavilion" started a bit more slowly than some folks had hoped, and it ended a bit before the 1 p.m. completion time advertised earlier; however, for those who attended, they enjoyed the morning of praise music and fellowship as everyone present worshipped God in spirit and in truth.

Some of the first worshippers at the event on Saturday morning (June 10).

County Commission honors EMT

Levy County Commissioner Matt Brooks (left) reads a statement to congratulate LCDPS Firefighter-EMT Hunter Kline (right) as County Commission Chairman John Meeks (center) listens. The audience gave Kline a standing ovation, too, in recognition of the EMT saving a life when he off duty.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © June 7, 2017 at 9:37 a.m., All Rights Reserved
     BRONSON --
The Levy County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday morning (June 6) honored Levy County Department of Public Safety Firefighter-EMT Hunter Kline with a certificate of appreciation for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Levy County Commissioner Matt Brooks (left) shakes hands with LCDPS Firefighter-EMT Hunter Kline as County Commission Chairman John Meeks and County Commissioner Lilly Rooks (background) are among the people who applaud the man who saved a life.

As part of the honor bestowed upon the firefighter-EMT, the Levy County Board of County Commissioners pose with him. Seen here (from left) are County Commissioner Matt Brooks, Chairman John Meeks, LCDPS Firefighter-EMT Hunter Kline, Commissioner Lilly Rooks, Commissioner Rock Meeks and Commissioner Mike Joyner.

     Levy County Commissioner Matt Brooks brought the matter to the attention of the County Commission.
     Kline has been with the LCDPS since 2009, Commissioner Brooks said.
     LCDPS Chief Mitch Harrell noted that Kline exemplifies the core values of all of the members of the department, Commissioner Brooks mentioned as he congratulated Kline on saving a life while he was off duty.
     While at a local establishment and off duty, Kline noticed another patron there had become unresponsive.
     “Hunter quickly recognized the severity of the situation,” Brooks said, “reacted quickly and performed CPR, achieving spontaneous return of circulation. It is reported that the patron is alive and doing well as a result of Hunter’s quick action.”
     Brooks spoke about the first responders in Levy County.
     “Our first responders have a really tough job,” Brooks said. “Even when they are off duty, they are caring about others’ lives, and quickly going into action, and exemplifying their training and really doing our county proud.”
     The five County Commissioners – Chairman John Meeks, Commissioner Rock Meeks, Commissioner Brooks, Commissioner Lilly Rooks and Commissioner Mike Joyner – posed with Kline for a photo opportunity after Brooks presented the certificate.

CF summer hours
of operation in effect

Published May 20, 2017 at 4:57 p.m.
Updated June 2, 2017 at 7:07 a.m.
— The College of Central Florida has implemented summer operating hours.
     The college is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and closed on Fridays through Aug. 4.
     Several CF departments have extended hours Monday-Thursday to better serve students through the summer.
     The Bryant Student Union, Student Affairs, Admissions, Academic Advising, Cashier, Financial Aid and Registrar, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
     Ocala Learning Resources Center, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
     Citrus Learning Resources Center, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
     Ocala Campus Bookstore, through May 19, 9 a.m.-5:30p.m. and Fridays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and May 22 through Aug. 9, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
     Citrus Campus Bookstore, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
     CF Postal Services, Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
     The college will be closed Monday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.

     On Nov. 1, 2010, The Christian Press section on The Life Page of, started. The name was derived from an encounter a decade earlier, where and when a man mentioned to a journalist that this particular journalist must work for "The Christian Press." Although the presumption was incorrect and misplaced, the name sounds good.
     Since then, The Christian Press section of this page has run daily devotionals, and then within a relatively short time, weekly columns. 
     The Rev. Dr. Thomas "Tom" Farmer Jr. of St. Paul's United Methodist Church of Largo retired several years ago from that church. He is among the first contributors from way back. There are several other individuals who contributed over the past seven years. There are a lot of daily devotionals pulled from Strength for Service to God and Country (Whitmore & Stone © 1942; Renewed 1969 by Norman E. Nygaard; Second revised edition © 2002 Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, Providence House Publishers). I note my appreciation for the use of those devotionals from that now-defunct publishing company. I welcome contributions of daily devotionals.  Daily devotional authors are asked to please send only their own original works to

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 10:47 a.m.


Read Philippians 3:7-14

     But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
-- 1 Corinthians 9:27 (KJV)

     “How many young men have I not hailed at the commencement of their career, glowing with enthusiasm and full of the poetry of great enterprises, whom I see today as precocious old men, with the wrinkles of cold calculation on their brow; calling themselves free from illusions when they are only disheartened; and practical when they are only commonplace.”
-- Giuseppe Mazzini (June 22, 1805-March 10, 1872)
     Jesus was a young man who was just a little more than 30 years old when He was crucified. His inner circle of followers, were young men, most of them younger than Himself. In choosing them, He realized the value of the devotion and clear-sightedness of youth; and at the last, He entrusted to this group of young men the high task of carrying on the work He had begun.
     In our own day, as His, He is the leader of young people, young men and women alive with that idealism that is in youth the only realism, the realism of Christ. The crude selfishness and cynicism of life too often dampens the enthusiasm of our earlier years. Young people may wisely “gamble on the future, belonging to Christ” and jealously cultivate and nourish the ideals that He has aroused in them.
      His words, to his most impetuous disciple, come to us through the centuries and under whatsoever conditions may exist. “What is that to thee? Follow thou me.”
     O GOOD JESUS, enlighten me with the brightness of internal light, and cast out all darkness from the dwelling of my heart. Restrain my wandering thoughts and crush the temptations which violently assail me. Join me to Thyself with the inseparable bond of love. Amen.
Edwin P. Ryland
Los Angeles, California
Altoona, Pennsylvania

Strength for Service to God and Country
(Whitmore & Stone © 1942; Renewed 1969 by Norman E. Nygaard; Second revised edition © 2002 Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, Providence House Publishers)


Outdoor Truths Ministry
By Gary Miller © June 26, 2017 at 8:07 a.m.

     I’ve noticed lately how the lake levels are at peak summer height. For dock operators and recreational lake lovers, this makes for a great summer; for fisherman not so much. It’s far easier to catch fish when there are fewer places to look for them. During the end of summer and into the fall, the local lake levels begin to drop and that makes for great fishing. For many years when the lake is at its lowest level I have taken this opportunity to forgo a boat and simply wade. It is the most productive fishing I have ever done. The stories and memories of these types of fishing trips are numerous. I think about the times I would take my young son on one of these trips.
     It was a great opportunity for him to play in the water as well as catch fish. The water was always warm and the slope of the bank never caused a concern over him falling off of a steep ledge. There were, however, some instructions that I would always give. He was to follow in my footsteps. Even though there were no steep places, there were occasional rocks and stumps that must be maneuvered successfully in order to keep from falling. That was my job. I would look, feel, and slowly move ahead, charting a safe path for my child. To him, it may have looked like I was taking a longer or more difficult path, but I was simply leading him around the obstacles that he never knew laid ahead. His obedience and joy proved that he trusted his father. As I watched him I was given the picture of what it really meant to trust God with a child-like faith.
     Many times I have not understood the paths that I have been led down. I have even wondered why His path seemed so “out of the way.”  But it has been those times that I have lost the joy of the journey and the excitement of the destination. My son was not concerned about obstacles. He was simply obedient. He knew and I knew that I would never lead him where I could not keep him. That is exactly the kind of relationship God wants to have with me. One that recognizes that my job is to trust Him by following in His footsteps knowing He too will never, never, never, lead me where He cannot keep me.

Gary Miller has three books that are compilations of the articles he has written for nearly 15 years. He also speaks at game dinners and men’s groups for churches and associations.

Gary Miller's website is located at

Heart Matters
By Angie Land © June 26, 2017 at 8:07 a.m.
     Happy Birthday America!
     As we watch the fireworks explode, let’s celebrate our country by considering the freedom we enjoy as citizens. Freedom is a powerful thing, and like anything powerful, it comes with a measure of risk and uncertainty. Having freedom means that no one makes our choices for us, but it also means the liability of those choices are ours whether they produce blessing or suffering.
Given that the driving force behind America’s birth was religious freedom, it is strange that while our country is associated with independence, Christians have long convinced the world that we are anything but free. It is the common perception that Christians have a long list of impossible rules to live by, (hence a sour disposition!) In his book “A Scandalous Freedom”, author Steve Brown tells the following story:

     Abraham Lincoln went to a slave market. There he noted a young, beautiful African-American woman being auctioned off to the highest offer. He bid on her and won. He could see the anger in her eyes and could imagine what she was thinking, “Another white man who will buy me, use me, and then discard me.” As Lincoln walked off with his “property”, he turned to the woman and said, “You’re free.”
     “Yeah. What does that mean?” she replied.
     “It means that you’re free.”
     “Does that mean I can say whatever I want to say?”
     “Yes,” replied Lincoln, smiling, “it means that you can say whatever you want to say.”
     “Does it mean,” she asked incredulously, “that I can be whatever I want to be?”
     “Yes, you can be whatever you want to be.”
     “Does it mean,” the young woman asked hesitantly “that I can go wherever I want to go?”
     “Yes, it means you are free and can go wherever you want to go.”
     “Then,” said the young woman with tears welling up in her eyes, “I think I’ll go with you.”
     Picture this newly freed young woman living and perhaps even serving in Lincoln’s home, not because she must, but because she chooses, out of gratitude and for her own protection. In her world, there would always be one waiting to take her back to slavery. No, she would not stay free on her own and neither will we. Our culture and our own desires will lay the same trap for us, so if we want to stay free, we too will stay close under the protection of the One who grants our freedom! Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” God gives us freedom because He wants us to choose Him.
     God is after a relationship with you and me…not a list of rules. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17) Healthy relationships always reflect freedom rather than bondage. Freedom is our choice…because your heart matters
Blessings, Angie

     PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Heart Matters is a weekly column written by Angie Land, Director of the Family Life Ministries of the Lafayette Baptist Association, where she teaches bible studies, leads marriage and family conferences and offers biblical counseling to individuals, couples and families. Please contact Angie with questions or comments at She notes that she would love to hear from people.


Escaping The Vortex Of Death
By Guy Sheffield © June 27, 2017 at 1:17 p.m.
     A colorful swarm of relentless jet skis shredded the brown water, crinkling its surface like a cheap pair of scissors through dollar store gift paper. Beyond their banal buzzing loomed the laughter of children splashing about in the reluctant little waves that rolled lazily into the shallows. I'd gamely ventured out of the conditioned air myself, fueled by the acquisition of my new ski boat.
     My wife Angie hadn’t wanted to come, at least not until I mentioned my little brother Heath was bringing his new fiancé Mindy. Then she got on board. (No pun intended.) She said it'd be a good way to get to know our future sister in-law. Boy was she right.
     Heath shoved us off, and I cranked that boisterous new150 horsepower Mercury outboard. Its roar instinctively caused me to shoot a cavalier wink to no one in particular, and slam down the throttle. We jumped out of the water faster than Shamu after a bucket of fried penguin. Soon we were skimming the surface so fast the only thing getting wet was the prop, and the host of Jet skiers skirting for cover. A crowd watched anxiously from the shore, probably hoping for that sudden gust of wind which would've sent us into a phenomenal display of aerial acrobatics. Right off Angie’s elbow found its way to my calloused ribs. Heath shot me a familiar scowl. Then I remember how they'd both asked me not to show myself as a complete jerk right off. I didn’t know why they wanted me to wait? In my defense, that Mindy girl had a frozen smile placarded across her face the whole time. It looked like she was enjoying herself to me. However, in an effort to be more amiable, I pulled to a stop, where I commenced barking orders about rigging up the ski rope and inner tube. I declared Heath would be the first volunteer to ride since he was strutting around like a banny rooster. I couldn’t take any more of his muscle flexing and courting rituals. The boat wasn’t big enough for another ego. I determined to give him a ride to remember.
     Heath certainly held on longer than I thought possible. I had to crank him up to almost forty miles-an-hour to finally throw him. Even then I had to yank a sharp left turn and sent him whipping around out in front of us until the shear G-forces finally pried him loose. His ensuing crash reminded me of the one that caused them to spend six million on that bionic fellow. That's when I noticed that feisty Mindy girl glaring at me.    “What,” I asked, “We can rebuild him, better, stronger, faster.”
     After collecting what was left of Heath I commenced laying a heavy guilt trip on Angie. “Come on sweetie. Don’t be scared. Just give it a try. I’ll go easy on you.” She responded with a look that said flatly, “Homey don’t play that!” I was about to get mad when that feisty Mindy girl spoke up, “I’ll take a turn.” I raised my brow, somewhat surprised. Heath furrowed his over the top of his makeshift neck brace.
     With Heath over my shoulder I resolved to behave and kept it at low speeds. Then something took us both by great surprise. Feisty Mindy gave the ‘thumbs up’ sign. That meant she wanted to go faster! I looked at Heath. He nodded his approval. So I bumped it up. Next thing you know she gives another ‘thumbs up’! My eyes went wide. Angie snickered. Heath gave the go ahead. This routine went on until she was riding rougher than any regular ole’ fellow! Obviously this was becoming a direct challenge to our manhood. Then, without actually uttering a self incriminating word, Heath sort of indicated with his eyes that maybe it was okay to take her down a peg or two. At least that’s the way I read it. Of course, he denies it to this day, his marriage being at stake and all. With the green light, however, I began to put her into what I like to call the ‘Vortex of Death’. Turning tight circles I began to stir the pot. Soon I had churned up the wave to beat all waves, almost of tsunami proportions. Subsequently I slung feisty Mindy right into it at full speed.
     I reckon the tube itself was propelled seven or eight feet high, and poor Mindy, as she is now known, had a vantage point from well above that. I must admit, she pulled off some pretty phenomenal aerial acrobatics for the crowd on the way down. We'd already circled back before she finally landed with a giant belly flop. She just laid there bobbing like an old cork as we hauled her in. She was alive, but she didn’t say a word. In fact, it was several years later before she finally said one to me!
     I reckon poor ole’ feisty Mindy, bionic Heath, and my homey Angie would all want to share some valuable information with you- If you find yourself on board with a cocky self seeking, bossy, guilt trip laying, deranged, psycho, nut case at the helm, be looking for a way to get your feet back on solid ground! Certainly don’t give him any indication that you agree with him, or be sucked into participating in any of his maniacal little games. Jesus showed us how to deal with satan. (“Get out of here, satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.’” Matthew 4:10 NLT). What? You didn’t think I was talking about me did you?
     But anyway - God has created the only Ark that will carry you safely through the eternal ‘Vortex of Death’. His name is JESUS. All Aboard!

Guy Sheffield's website - But Anyway is located at


TUESDAY  JUNE 27  1:17 p.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties


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