NEW EACH DAY
DAILY DEVOTIONALS
THE CHRISTIAN PRESS​


NEW EACH WEEK
WEEKLY COLUMNS

Below the Daily Devotionals

Gary Miller's Outdoor Truths,  Jan. 15, 2018
HERE
Angie Land's Heart Matters, Jan. 15, 2018
HERE
Guy Sheffield's But Anyway, Jan. 9, 2018
HERE


13th Annual MLK Parade
and Festival overcomes the cold;

Warmth of love conquers all

The crowd begins to form for the festival soon after the parade. There was a bounce house in the parking lot, and there was a variety of tasty treats available too.

Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 15, 2018 10:37 p.m.
Updated Jan. 16, 2018 at 5:07 p.m.
     CROSS CITY –
The 13th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Festival in Cross City showed the people were undaunted by cold weather and they came out in full force on Monday (Jan. 15).
 
More Below This Ad



     That day would have been Dr. King’s 89th birthday, (Jan. 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968 {age 39}).
     Always a strong event, this year’s parade and festival again provided people with speeches, songs and dance as well as the fun of the parade. There was also an assortment of food, including free hotdogs, and for sale -- barbecue ribs, barbecue chicken, boiled peanuts, sweet potatoes, brownies and other baked goods.


In this set of video clips, members of the Boys and Girls Club of North Central Florida, from Perry, leave after marching the entire parade route from Dixie County High School to the Dixie County Courthouse in Cross City. The drummers and flag corps performed in the parking lot of the courthouse, as well as along the parade route. After that, there is the ceremonial releasing of balloons. The final part of this set of three video clips is 9-year-old Tiffany Braswell giving her speech about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



Caroline Walker opens the program as she begins to speak from atop the steps of the Dixie County Courthouse on Martin Luther King Day (Monday, Jan. 15).


Cross City Correctional Institution Officer Recruiter Paul Bloom (left) and CCCI Sgt. Sean Morris man a table where they showed people reasons to take a job with the Florida Department of Corrections. There are openings, including 50 open jobs at CCCI.


(from left) Caroline Walker, Katrina VanAernam and Mary Spencer stand near the Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition banner.


Larry Walker stands next to the barbecue area where he is cooking ribs and chicken.

 





Smokey Bear waves from inside a Florida Forest Service tractor used to create fire breaks.


Some of the drummers from the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Central Florida (Perry) perform in the parade.


One piece of candy in the upper left of this frame and a heart-shaped lollipop are among candy thrown by members of the Dixie County Chamber of Commerce.


Katrina VanAernam, Rebecca Dion Fusco and others ride in the Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition vehicle in the parade.





Dixie County High School musicians march during holiday for students.


Cub Scout Pack 24 had a unit in the parade. Some of the adults and other members are out of frame in this shot, but they were active.











     Eleven of the 12 volunteers on the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office Citizens On Patrol (COP) were kept busy with handling traffic. The DCSO COP members always give of themselves freely to help the community remain safe as they direct traffic.
     Leading the parade was a cruiser from the Cross City Police Department.
     Among the other participants in the parade were the Dixie County Fire Services – with an engine; Dixie County Emergency Services – with an ambulance; Central Florida Electric Cooperative – with a boom truck; the Florida Forestry Service – with Smokey Bear riding in a tractor that was placed on a trailer pulled by a semi tractor-trailer.
     People came from Perry and Chiefland.
     The North Central Florida Boys and Girls Clubs sent a contingent of drummers and flag girls from Perry. The Dance Divas and Swag Boys of Chiefland were in the parade as well.
     Dixie County Superintendent of Schools Mike Thomas and the Dixie County School Board were represented, as was the Dixie County Board of County Commissioners. The Cross City Town Council was on board with representation in the parade as well.
     The Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition and the Dixie County Chamber of Commerce were among the many organizations throwing candy to children and adults.
     Other units in the parade included the Dixie County High School Redcoat Regiment Marching Band; Cub Scout Pack 24; the Dixie County Retired Educators; and the Dixie County Education Foundation.
     The parade not only had a marching band and floats, but there were big and small horses, as well as child-sized motorcycles and scooters.
~~
THE FESTIVAL

     As is the tradition, the festival lasted for a few hours after the parade.
     Caroline Walker opened the program by welcoming everyone.
     The 50-year-old woman served as emcee this year.
     She said every person has a dream, and that everyone is part of the dream to be united as one people.


These are placards that were on one float. They are five concisely worded thoughts from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Bob Leichner of Dixie Music Center of Old Town notices a photographer watching him prepare the sound equipment for the event.


Dotti Leichner is seen moments after being asked to again test the microphone. She had minutes before been helping her husband Bob prepare the sound system.


Bob Leichner brings the microphone lower to let Tiffany Braswell share her essay with the crowd. In the background on drums and keyboard are Trevor Atkins of Williston and Harry Bell of Cross City respectively. They are the B U Band, and during the day they performed gospel music for singers.


     Each person can decide what their contribution to society will be.
     “We are encouraged to be the change that we want to see,” Walker said. “It’s easy for us to sit back and say ‘Well, Sally should do it or Suzy should do it.’ Even if you just show up here and sell sodas for a dollar, we all have something we can do.”
     Since 2018 is the 50th year since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she is encouraging people to do something in that regard – whether it is 50 acts of kindness, or anything that can be seen as a contribution to the community.
     King was among the individuals who in the 1960s helped Americans remember the concepts of equality and freedom.
     In 1963, as part of a speech, he told people about an idea – a dream he had for the future.
     “I have a dream,” Dr. King told the crowd stretching from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument on Aug. 28, 1963, “that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”
     The late Felita Carter of Dixie County had a dream, Walker said, and 13 years ago she started a tradition of releasing some helium-filled balloons.
     “She (the late Felita Carter) had a dream with Teeva Tyson,” Walker said, “to do something positive for her community, for their community.
     “Since then,” Walker continued, “Angela (Carter) and her family has attempted to keep that dream going.”
     Walker reminded listeners that God has not given His people the spirit of fear, but instead He has given people the power of love and a sound mind.
     “Fear is what keeps so many of us from doing that which we are called to do,” Walker said. “Don’t let fear stop you from being the change that you want to see.”
      With that Angela Carter released black and white balloons in honor of the late Felita Carter and Teeva Tyson in absentia.
     Tiffany Braswell, 9, of Gainesville was among the talented people at the event. She recited a short essay she had composed about Dr. King.
     The young Miss Braswell said her dream is to inspire others to go after their own dreams, and to never concede defeat on a goal.
     “No matter what happens in your life,” she said, “remember God is with you.”
     She said Dr. King brought people together. He was among the American leaders who helped bring equal rights to people regardless of their race, color or gender.
     Now, she said, it is up to future generations to continue to strive for equality, freedom and greatness.
    Among the musical performers were the B U Band comprised of Harry Bell of Cross City on keyboard and Trevor Atkins of Williston on Drums.
      Josh Hage played guitar and his sister Hannah Hage sang during the program as well.
     Life Gate Ministries was among the dance performers.
~
For people who want to read about the 2017 event in Cross City, please click HERE.

CKS Homecoming Week
Below are pictures of the 2018 Cedar Key School Homecoming Court. Below the pictures is a listing of events at CKS this upcoming Homecoming Week of Jan. 16 through 19.


Seniors King and Queen Court

(front row, from left) Dakota Phillips, Hadley Williams, Mackenzie Kirkbride, Emilie Lavoie-Ingram, Whitney Neal; and (back row, from left) Grayson Yearty, Tyler Wynans, Austin Minehart, Jacob Pitts, Corey Sikes, Trevor Ryan, Joey Lewandowski, Devin Stottlemyre


Class Representatives:
(from left) Ty Winfield, Jadyn Beckham, 10th Grade Zander Stanley, Amanda Robinson, 11th Grade Kris Burns, Cassie Lozier


Kindergarten Representatives
Crown Bearers - Clayton Hodge (left) and Wren Adams

Shark Week Dress-Up Days
Tuesday - Pajama Day - Must be school appropriate!
Wacky Wednesday - Come with crazy hair and a wild outfit!
Thursday - Jock vs. Nerd - Come dressed as a jock, nerd or both!
Friday - Shark Pride - Come covered in PURPLE & GOLD!


Shark Week Events
Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. - Homecoming Parade
Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. - Bonfire (weather & wood permitting)
Friday
Pep Rally 1:30
Homecoming Basketball Games start at 3 p.m.
JV Girls - JV Boys - Varsity Girls - Varsity Boys
Homecoming Court & Crowning is at Varsity Boys Halftime
Middle/High School Homecoming Dance - Following the last game
Published Jan. 13, 2018 at 10:47 a.m.

Information and Photos Provided
By CKS Teacher Jessica Sloan


Bell JROTC Academic Leadership Team
Advances To National Semi-Finals


Congratulations to the Bell High School Jr. Reserve Officer Training Corps Academic Leadership Bowl Team for advancing to the Level 2 competition in February. The team competed against in excess of 1,300 teams across the nation, and finished in the top third to advance to the National Semi-Finals. Team members pictured (from left) include Derek Perez-Roman, Wyatt Duthu, Emma Boyette and Joseph Riordan.
Published Jan. 11, 2018 at 9:37 a.m.

Information and Photo Provided by
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Jim Duthu, Senior Army Instructor, BHS JROTC

 


Student Honored

Allison Britt-Piatt, a fifth grade student at Williston Elementary School, held the distinction of being honored a second time as the Williston Mayor's Student of the Month when she accepted her certificate Tuesday night at the regular meeting of the Williston City Council. She is the daughter of Lonnie and Bobby Piatt. WES Teacher Jessica McMichen presented the young Miss Britt-Piatt for the recognition via the teacher's notations of the girl's accomplishments and traits. Williston Mayor R. Gerald Hethcoat spoke with the Outstanding Student of the Month, asking her questions as he read what her teacher had noted.

 

'Allison is a responsible student,’ her teacher noted. ‘She is always on task and quick to begin daily assignments as part of her daily routine. She is a leader in the classroom, and a student role-model. She has a positive attitude on learning and helps peers to understand expectations. Rather in whole group or individually working, Allison is neatly organized, allowing for maximum productivity during instruction. She is a pleasure to have in the classroom, and is kind to her peers. She demonstrates patience and kindness when working collaboratively with peers. Allison is well prepared for her future as a middle school student, and on a clear path to success.' Mayor Hethcoat presented the student with a certificate for academic excellence, good grades, leadership, citizenship and attendance at Williston Elementary School. After the mayor asked her if she liked pizza, and she confirmed that she did, Mayor Hethcoat gave her a certificate for one 14-inch, two-item pizza from Angelina Mia’s Pizzeria. City Council President Charles Goodman urged City Clerk Fran Taylor to take even stronger methods than she is currently utilizing to encourage the school principals in Williston to submit information so that the city can honor students of the month. President Goodman and Mayor Hethcoat both expressed their belief that there are deserving students in the city. The Williston Student of the Month count for 2018 is relatively low in contrast with previous years.
Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 11, 2018 at 9:17 a.m.

 


Fire management officer
to explain on Jan. 19, the value
from controlled burns


Photo Provided

By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 9, 2018 at 10:27 a.m.
     TOWN OF SUWANNEE --
A fire management officer who also is a wildlife biologist for the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge is scheduled to present a program to show benefits from controlled burns, according to a press release.

     Vic Doig has been serving in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for the past 14 years at the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, and on Jan. 19 at 4 p.m. in the Suwannee Library Technical Center (21340 Highway 349 -- just east of the Town of Suwannee), he is scheduled to present a program titled Fire Management at Lower Suwannee NWR: Burning for Critters.
     Fire plays a crucial role in shaping most of the natural communities of Florida.
     It is an essential process upon which many plant and animal species thrive, Doig has said.
     "We will discuss local wildfires, the valuable natural role of fire in the woods, prescribed burning, and how the Refuge applies this management tool to improve wildlife habitat," Doig is noted as having said.
     Prior to his assignment at Lower Suwannee NWR, Doig worked for the State of Florida for 15 years -- seven years with the state park system as a biologist and land manager, and eight years for the state in what used to be named the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission as a biologist and land management supervisor.
     Everyone is invited to this free program on Friday, Jan. 19 at 4 p.m. in the Suwannee Library Technical Center (21340 Highway 349 -- just east of the Town of Suwannee).


Free financial aid workshops
to be at CF Citrus Campus;

Space is limited - RSVP now
Published Jan. 5, 2017 at 12:17 p.m.
     LECANTO --
The College of Central Florida TRIO program is scheduled to offer workshops to help current and future college students complete the 2018-2019 FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

     The workshops are set to be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 7, March 7 and May 16, in the Citrus Learning and Conference Center, Room 110, at the CF Citrus Campus, 3800 S. Lecanto Highway, Lecanto.
     To complete the FAFSA, the following documents will be needed:
     • Student’s photo identification
     • Student’s 2016 tax returns
     • Student’s 2016 W-2s
     • Records of untaxed income
     • If the student is younger than 24 years old, then the above information also is needed for parents.
     • If the student is married, the tax return and W-2 also are needed for the spouse.
      Due to TRIO program guidelines, parents are not permitted to complete the FAFSA without the student being present.
     Space is limited. To register, contact Rebecca York-Alcom at 352-249-1215 or yorkr@cf.edu.
     To learn more about CF, visit www.CF.edu.


Three $1,200 scholarships
are available through the
Florida State Association
of Supervisors of Elections

By Jordan Lindsey, Assistant Supervisor of Elections, Levy County
Published Jan. 5, 2018 at 10:07 a.m.
     BRONSON --
Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones is pleased to announce the opportunity for local college or university students to apply for a $1,200 scholarship through the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections (FSASE).

     The FSASE is a statewide, professional organization of the 67 supervisors of elections in Florida, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences.
     FSASE will award three $1,200 scholarships this year to students who are majoring in Political Science, Public or Business Administration or Journalism/Mass Communication – and who have finished TWO YEARS of JUNIOR COLLEGE or UNDERGRADUATE WORK. Applicants must be enrolled or accepted as full-time students in a senior college or university in Florida.
     Guidelines and applications for the FSASE scholarships are available by clicking HERE or may be picked up at the Levy County Supervisor of Elections office, located at 421 S. Court Street, in Bronson. The Levy County Supervisor of Elections office is next to the Levy County Courthouse on the right side if a person is entering the courthouse from Court Street.
     The completed FSASE scholarship application, résumé and two letters of recommendations must be submitted by March 29 to the Supervisor of Elections of the county in which the applicant is registered to vote. For more information, please contact the Levy County Supervisor of Elections Office at 352-486-5163 or via email at tammy@votelevy.com.

 





     On Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section on The Life Page of HardisonInk.com, started, about nine months after the start of the daily news website -- which officially started Feb. 1, 2011. 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. who retired from St. Paul's United Methodist Church of Largo several years ago is among the first contributors from 2011. There are several other individuals who contributed over the past seven years. Many daily devotionals have been 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 original works to hardisonink@gmail.com.


January 16, 2018  Tuesday at 8:37 a.m.

OUR CONFIDENCE IN GOD


Read Joshua 1:1-9

     Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
-- Joshua 1:9 (KJV)


     These words came to Joshua in a crucial hour. Command: “Have not I commanded thee?” Joshua was entrusted with a great mission. God commanded him to face the perils and opportunities of the present, to go forward and possess the land. He was told to read the bible, meditate daily upon its truth and “to do according to all that is written therein.”
     Courage: “Be strong and of a good courage.” God gives courage. Moral courage and spiritual intrepidity are even more important than physical bravery. Such courage is rooted in faith in God. The person who has committed his soul, his sins, his life, his destiny into the keeping of Jesus Christ, the Captain of his salvation, has a fighting courage, a Christian optimism, and a victorious faith. Christ will give us courage to confess Him to do our duty, and overcome ourselves and the world.
     Companionship: “For the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever though goest.” Jesus said: “I am with you always.” He is above us - to guard. He is underneath us - to support. He is before us - to lead. He is at our right hand - to protect. He is within us - as Companion and Comforter. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He is faithful who promised. “He is here. I know Him. He knows me. It’s the realest thing in the world.”
     ALMIGHTY GOD, our heavenly Father, we thank Thee for life, and that in Jesus Christ, Thy Son, we have spiritual life, abundant and eternal. Help us to put our whole trust in Thee. Forgive our sins and make us more than conquerors. Grant us courage to do Thy will, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The Rev. Dr. Francis Shunk Downs (1885-1960)
First Presbyterian Church
Berkeley, California

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 © Jan. 15, 2017 at 8:07 a.m.

     The fishermen around here are coming out of their hibernation. The walleye and crappie will soon ring the dinner bell and the bass will be getting more active as well. The stories will soon be plentiful. I hope the filets will as well. Even though there are many different stimuli that cause a fish to do certain things; one of those is temperature. In a lake, most fish are more active when the water is neither too hot nor too cold. This time of year, when the sun begins to warm the surface of the water, fish soak in that warmth and become more active. This activity creates the need for food which you and I are glad to provide – at a cost of course. And sometimes that cost is dear! While fish are becoming more active, the approach for catching them still requires a slow presentation. That is, most bass fishermen right now prefer to slowly fish a jig or a crankbait. Anything too fast will most likely cause that bass to stay sunning next to that rock. As the temperature rises, those same fish will be more apt to react to faster moving baits.
     A pastor once told me to never make any decision when I am either too high or too low. If I do, I will most likely make the wrong decision. He was so right! What he was saying was that the temperature of my temperament must be neither too hot nor too cold when making major decisions. I must make sure that I am in my best thinking weather when it’s time act.   
     Some of you right now are contemplating something that you may regret. You may have just been scathed by your boss and you are planning your “take this job and shove it” speech. Or it may be you have just gotten a big raise and as a result you are close to buying a red Corvette. For the sake of every member of your family, let me beg you to stop! Don’t make a move! Step away from the computer, or the car lot, or even the ledge! Wait until your temperature and temperament is back to normal-functioning mode. When it is, you may still want to fire your boss or buy that Corvette, but you will do so with a clear head. Otherwise, there may be an unwanted hook embedded in a bad decision.

~
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 http://www.outdoortruths.org/.



Heart Matters
By Angie Land © Jan. 15, 2018 at 7:57 p.m.

     According to a report I heard on the radio last week, the third week in January is labeled the most depressing week of the year. The report indicated this depression is due to shorter daylight hours, no upcoming vacation plans, and the likelihood of New Year’s Resolutions already being broken. Even though I was having a great day-not the least bit depressed, and pretty excited about some upcoming family plans, I must admit that I struggle with the broken resolution statistic. My resolution every year is to drink more water. I wish I would reach for water instead of coffee, tea or my favorite, coke zero, but I admit to struggling when faced with the choice. I know water is better for me, but other choices just taste so much better.
     The Bible records a conversation between a Samaritan Woman and Jesus at a well, and it appears she had some difficulty making the choice for water as well-or at least the right kind of water:
     “Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water…Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.’” (John 4:10, 13-15)
     From her response, it seems the Samaritan Woman was confused about what Jesus was offering. I wonder if she thought He was a con artist, promising the impossible: a never-empty water pot that would mean no more trips to the well in the hot sun! That was certainly too good to be true, right?
     How often we do the same thing? We assume the only answers to our problems are the ones we can come up with. Jeremiah 2:13 puts it this way: “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Instead of asking for God to teach us His ways, we try to figure out on our own how to live with our messes. Never having to collect water from the well again would certainly make the Samaritan Woman’s life easier: not having to carry the water every day sounded wonderful! But what Jesus offered was so much better: forgiveness of sins and restoration of her relationship with God, so that she no longer had to live in shame and regret over past mistakes. Way down deep, don’t we all long for that?
     I guess this is a little like choosing water over coke zero. It may seem like the harder choice to begin with, but to be honest, water satisfies our thirst when nothing else will. Jesus is the Living Water that satisfies our deepest need. And to Him, every 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 angieland3@windstream.net. She notes that she would love to hear from people.




Don't Build Your Life
On The Loose Gravel

By Guy Sheffield © Jan. 9, 2018 at 11:47 a.m.
     A friend of mine asked me the other day if I thought it was a good idea for him to buy his son a dirt bike. Before he was even finished asking, I was already setting about to put a halt to that nonsense. If he was thinking I’d endorse such a plan in front of his wife, he was sadly mistaken. Before he could safely drag her off beyond earshot I’d barraged them with at least a half dozen tales of the near death encounters I’d experienced as a kid on my little Honda XR-75.
     The one that finally caused her to gasp and give him ‘the look’ was the story of the time I was scooting along on a loose Mississippi gravel road with my little brother Heath on back. The following re-telling brings shivers up my spine too:
     Heath had been whining that morning about having to wear his head protection. He complained he looked goofy in my old football helmet- said the mouthpiece tasted funny. (Maybe I'd called him hard-headed so long he was starting to believe it.) Anyway, I had to end up agreeing to wear my helmet too before he’d hush. Within minutes we were cruising miles from home; way too far out really, considering we’d been told to stay in the yard. It’s not like we had any place to be either. Of course, we had that little engine wound out on the off chance we might need to get there quick. (People had always told us we were headed nowhere fast.)
     Despite the squirrelly handling the motorcycle was exhibiting on the fresh gravel, we couldn’t bring ourselves to slow down. We loved to feel the wind on our faces, even if we were collecting more bugs in our teeth than a voracious Venus fly-trap on vacation in the Everglades. Everything was peachy, at least until we rolled up on that sudden ninety degree turn! I screamed, and stomped the brake. The bike screamed, and began to hydroplane. Heath screamed, and squeezed my breakfast clear back up to my tonsils. I fought a power slide for the next forty or fifty feet, and then made the executive decision to lay it over. Our only alternative was to hit the oncoming ditch at full speed.
     We left the road sideways, and both tires slammed into the far bank at the same time. The resulting jolt catapulted us like we’d been shot out of a giant slingshot. I’m not sure how far we actually flew, but I reckon it probably rivaled some of the previous man-flight records of the day.
     We came down with a heavy plop in a muddy soybean field, side by side, face down. When I came to I was spitting mud and spitting mad. I looked at Heath and my first thought was, “Why is that dummy wearing his chin strap across his forehead?” Heath had this big blank stare on his face like he was in shock. I followed his gaze and found we were both staring right into the business end of a rusty old plow. Its razor sharp disks mere inches from our foreheads. Helmets or not, another foot and our hard heads would’ve been sliced thinner than a honey baked ham! 
     But anyway - I believe if some of you'd take the time you might see yourself in this story. Maybe you’ve rejected the firm foundation of God’s Word and built your life on loose gravel? Now you find yourself far from home and headed nowhere fast. Your life is hydroplaning out of control. Stop being so hard-headed! Get off that squirrelly path before you run into the sudden 90 degree turn of judgment and reap what you’ve been sowing. Turn to the Lord. He is merciful and will show you a better way. (I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. Psalms 40:1-2 NLT)
     Take some advice from a guy who’s seen the blades of the reaper up close. Put on the helmet of God’s salvation offered through His son Jesus Christ. Now… before it’s too late. 

~
Guy Sheffield's website - But Anyway is located at http://www.butanyway.org/
     All content on ButAnyway.org is copyrighted and all rights are reserved. Second serial rights can be available to print or grace online publications on a one-time or contract basis with proper consent.
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     Copyright information and a byline must be included on each feature emailed or published from this website, which is what is seen above this closing sentence.

--UPDATED--
TUESDAY   Jan. 16   5:07 p.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties



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