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DAILY DEVOTIONALS
THE CHRISTIAN PRESS​


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WEEKLY COLUMNS

Below the Daily Devotionals
Gary Miller's Outdoor Truths,  Sept. 25, 2017

Guy Sheffield's But Anyway, Sept. 19, 2017
Angie Land's Heart Matters, Sept. 18, 2017


National hospital group
with Williston roots
champions hurricane relief
effort for Puerto Rico


This map created by the National Weather Service's National Hurrican Center shows the historic trail from Hurricane Maria's wind path. It reflects that it crossed Puerto Rico with a direct hit just two weeks after Hurricane Irma also devastated that island. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States of America.

Story, Photo and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 24, 2017 at 10:17 a.m.
     WILLISTON –
A letter sent Saturday (Sept. 23) via email shows a national hospital group with Williston roots is championing an effort to send help to Puerto Rico.
     Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico just two weeks after Irma caused as much as $1 billion in damages on the island.


A still shot of the Lear Jet at Williston Municipal Airport, shows this is among the methods of transportation used by George Perez when he visits Regional General Hospital of Williston. Perez owns Regional General Hospital, and he is a leader in helping rural hospitals across America.



This video shows a jet landing at Williston Municipal Airport on Aug. 29 as Jorge Perez arrived to discuss National Alliance of Rural Hospitals business with attorneys via a telephone conference conducted at a conference room in Regional General Hospital of Williston. It was this same day when Dr. Charlene D’Acosta who is originally from Puerto Rico announced that she would be accepting new patients for general medicine in Williston.

     That hurricane crossed Puerto Rico on Tuesday (Sept. 19).
     Jorge Perez, the chairman of the National Alliance of Rural Hospitals (NARH), wrote on Saturday (Sept. 23), that “the past month has seen an unprecedented wave of natural disasters hitting our country and our hemisphere.
     “As is the spirit of our country,” Perez continued, “citizens gather together in order to find ways in which they can help their friends and neighbors in their time of crisis. The NARH and its members pray for all those in distress and we are doing what we can to offer assistance or resources.”
     As NARH chairman, Perez is among the leaders of the NARH, which includes President Michael P. Murtha of Tallahassee; and a board of directors comprised of Mark Blake Cadira, M.D., of Tampa; Robert Devrnja, M.D., of Knoxville; Christian Fletcher of Lifebrite Laboratories of Atlanta; Carolina Jarquin of Miami; Michael Layfield of Lauderdale Community Hospital of Ripley, Tenn.; Tilman Mears of Regional General Hospital of Williston; Paul Nusbaum of RCHA, of Charleston, W. Va.; and Greg Reece of Indianapolis.
     “The most recent catastrophe has been truly heartbreaking to all,” Perez wrote. “On September 19, Hurricane Maria laid a path of destruction across the Caribbean, slamming into the island of Puerto Rico, leaving it in ruins.
     “A native of the island, Dr. Charlene D’Acosta, in conjunction with Regional General Hospital in Williston, has led an effort to help. The NARH is actively conducting a relief mission to Puerto Rico which will leave within the next few days.”
     Perez noted that the NARH membership is collecting and aggregating, medical, healthcare and other supplies for the people of the island of Puerto Rico.
     They are being staged in storage facilities at airports in both Tampa and Miami.
     “We are working with FEMA and the Turrin Aviation Group, the entity officially designated to coordinate all civilian relief efforts into the island,” Perez wrote. “Aircraft donated on behalf of the NARH will load the supplies at the staging areas and deliver them to island.”
     Chairman Perez noted for interested persons that all supplies will be placed into the hands of those who can use them for the most good.
     “We are asking any who might want to participate in this critical mission to contact Dr. D’Acosta or NARH President Mike Murtha at mmurtha@ruralhospitalalliance.com,” he wrote. “Community is the cornerstone of the NARH, as every rural hospital in America was built by individuals giving of themselves and coming together for the greater good. Please participate, and please keep all those who are suffering in your prayers.”
     To see the most recent archived story with updated information about Regional General Hospital of Williston, click HERE.

 


CF to host Arts College Fair
for high school
and college students
on Wednesday (Sept. 27)

Reps from CF, UF, USF, FSU, UCF,
UNF and UM to be there

Information from CF Marketing and Public Relations
Published Sept. 17, 2017 at 7:47 a.m.
Updated Sept. 25, 2017 at 7:07 a.m.
     OCALA --
The College of Central Florida invites students, parents and community members to its Arts College Fair from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, in the Dassance Fine Arts Center Breezeway at the CF Ocala Campus, 3001 S.W. College Road.
     This free event is for college and high school students who plan to pursue a degree or career in the visual and performing arts: studio, digital media, music, theater or dance.
     Representatives from arts programs at the College of Central Florida, Florida State University, Stetson University, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, University of Miami, University of North Florida and University of South Florida will be on hand.
     “This really is a rare opportunity for students to speak in person with all of these colleges and universities at once,” said Dr. Jennifer Fryns, dean of CF Arts and Education. “Students can come to CF first and then transfer or they may choose to go directly into these four-year degree programs.”
     Students who plan to pursue a college degree in visual and performing arts must prepare themselves to gain admission to the state university programs by an audition or portfolio review. Learn what it takes to get accepted into a college limited-admissions arts program and increase your chances for talent-based scholarships.
     “The idea of the ‘starving artist’ is a myth we’d like to see disappear,” Dr. Fryns said. “Bachelor’s degrees in fields such as music or art education, technical theatre or digital media all have excellent employment prospects in the central Florida region. I encourage high school students to come with a parent or caregiver and find out more information about the degrees and careers available in the arts.”
     To learn more about CF, visit www.CF.edu.


FWC specialist helps students
learn about marine biology


Hannah Healey holds a bonnet shark for students to see.


Students touch the specimen.


Photos by Michael Smith, CKS Student Journalist

Story by Whitney Neal and Macy Ryan, CKS Student Journalists
Published Sept. 22, 2017 at 1:57 p.m.
     CEDAR KEY --
Journalism, speech and agriculture students at Cedar Key School enjoyed an opportunity to find out more about marine biology careers this week when Hannah Healey stopped by for the afternoon.
     Healey is an Education Specialist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. She met many of Cedar Key’s students during the summer program when she coordinated the program’s fishing trips.
     Healey’s interest in marine life began when her parents took her on a vacation trip where she got her first close-up look at stingrays and was hooked on learning more about sea creatures. After high school in Texas, Healey earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Southern Mississippi, and then worked in a variety of jobs, including on the Alaskan crab boats featured on the television show Deadliest Catch.
     She said she was once at sea for a month and now really appreciates Cedar Key’s warm weather.
     What also enthralls Healey about living and working in Cedar Key are the 700 fish species that surround Florida and she brought along a few examples to share. An octopus preserved in a jar, the head of a bonnet shark, and a 4-foot long frozen shark both thrilled and slightly awed the students as they passed the samples around.
     Among the questions Healey fielded was one about how long bonnet sharks can live.
     “Usually about 10 years,” Healy said.
     Following the presentation, the students said they would like to have Healey come back to school with more samples and stories.


Diet Coke and Mentos combine
for energetic experiment


Sue Penney teaches children scientific method.


Students enjoy seeing the reaction of soda pop and Mentos.

Story and Photos
By Josday Torres Rolon
CKS Student Journalist
Published Sept. 22, 2017 at 1:47 p.m.
     CEDAR KEY --
You know it’s going to be a good day at school when you can get something to explode!
     On Thursday (Sept. 21), the second and third grade media classes conducted a science experiment to figure out which type of soda creates the biggest explosion once it comes into contact with a Mento. After five tries, the students concluded that Diet Coke made the biggest explosion.
     Ms. Sue (Penney) got the idea to blow up soda by reading the book Ada Twist, Scientist. Students worked with Ms. Sue and information from the book to develop a hypothesis about how the soda with the highest level of carbon dioxide gases would create the biggest effect.
     What the classes learned was that the Mentos create energy to break the surface tension of the soda. The tiny pits on the surface of the Mentos become conduits to carbon dioxide bubbles that form as soon as the candy hits the soda. As the Mento hits the bottom of the bottle, the gas is released and pushes the soda up and out of the bottle.


Levy County issues proclamation
to honor CF's 60th Anniversary


CF President Dr. James D. Henningsen (left) stands at the microphone joined by CF Manager of College Relations Danielle Doty (center) and CF Vice President of Regional Campuses Vernon Lawter.

Story and Photos © Sept. 19, 2017 at 10:37 p.m.
     BRONSON --
Members of the Levy County Commission on Tuesday morning (Sept. 19) voted 5-0 to adopt a proclamation to recognize the 60th anniversary of the College of Central Florida.
     The unanimous vote came after a motion by Levy County Commissioner Rock Meeks was seconded by Commissioner Lilly Rooks.
     CF President Dr. James D. Henningsen opened his presentation by speaking about Hurricane Irma.
     He applauded Levy County for its efforts in preparing for the storm.
     Dr. Henningsen said he is thankful for the efforts of people in the Emergency Operations Centers in Citrus, Levy and Marion counties, as well as the first responders, linemen and others who helped the residents and visitors prepare for the pending hurricane, safely get through the storm and now to recover from it.
     “Great actions and the human spirit come forth when we are faced with a challenging tragedy like this,” Henningsen said. “We like to have that spirit every single day. And I think we have it here in Levy County. I am proud to be part of this community.”


CF Director of Marketing and Public Relations Lois Brauckmuller reviews a photograph from the event.

     He mentioned that students he spoke with the day before (Monday, Sept. 18) were still without electric power.’
     “We’re doing whatever we can at the college to help them out,” President Henningsen said.
     CF leaders chose to wait until Monday to restart classes, because even though all of the campuses were ready, there were students who could not make it due to obstacles in roads, downed trees and a lack of electricity at their homes.
      Dr. Henningsen and other administrators also helped pick up limbs and the like at all three campuses after the hurricane, as well as providing food to the grounds crew – many of whom did not have electricity at their homes while they cleaned up the campuses.
      The college president said the entire staff at CF work as one team.
     The event on Tuesday morning was to celebrate the successes of the college during the past 60 years.
     Levy County Commission Chairman John Meeks read the proclamation.
     It covered the progress of the college during the past six decades.
     It started as Central Florida Junior College (CFJC) in 1957 to serve the education needs of students in Marion, Citrus and Levy counties.
     Hampton Junior College, one of the first black junior colleges, was founded in 1958. In 1966, CFJC merged with Hampton Junior College to become the Central Florida Community College (CFCC).
     A free-standing CFCC campus opened in 1996 in Citrus County.
     The Bronson Center of CFCC opened in 1982, and classes were relocated to the Levy Center of CFCC in 1993.
     In 2010, CFCC became the College of Central Florida at the same time it began offering baccalaureate degrees.
     The college made history with the opening of the first permanent higher education facility in Levy County when it opened the Jack Wilkinson Levy Campus last month, the proclamation noted.
      “Whereas, the college has never lost sight of its mission through name changes and mergers to provide high quality education programs to the community; and
     “Whereas the college has been responsive to the needs of the community, adjusting it programming to meet the needs of a dynamic workforce; and
     “Whereas, the college is focused on providing educational opportunities that lead to high-skill, high-wage careers;” the proclamation noted in part.

     The proclamation noted this year is the 60th anniversary of the college, and the County Commission notes it is fitting to honor the college for providing higher education to the people of Levy County.”





     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.


Monday, September 25, 2017 at 7:07 a.m.

WORRY IS SIN

Read Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:4-13

     Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
-- Philippians 4:6 (KJV)


     Worry is fear of imaginary future ills. One scripture word for “worry” is “anxiety.” Worry is definitely forbidden. In Matthew 6:25, Jesus said “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” Jesus gives us two reasons why we should not worry. First, worrying is the practice of the heathen who know no heavenly Father. Second, your heavenly Father knows what you need. He sees the future farther than you. He knows the present better than you – even to the number of hairs on your head. You see, worry for a Christian is foolish.
     What then? What substitute? Prayer is the substitute. Here is something that is positive. It expels fear; and makes room for faith and peace to enter the heart. Never worry about anything says Paul. Instead, in all crises and fears, pray to God, thanking Him in advance for His help to come. Then, peace will spring to attention and stand guard at the heart’s door.
     Paul, although facing physical tortures and impending death, and suffering from a bodily defect, and although troubled by 30 years’ hostility of his Jewish compatriots, by constant backsliding among his converts, by misunderstanding by prominent Christians, never had a nervous breakdown. He had the secret. He often said so. He was content in any situation, because he took all his troubles to his Lord, and thus found release from inner fears.
     O FATHER, may our sin of worry be forgiven, for we have doubted Thy power and Thy goodness. We acknowledge Thee to help us get the victory over today’s foes as we seek to obey Thy will. Amen.
Paul L. Grove
Fairmount Avenue Methodist Church
St. Paul, Minnesota

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 © Sept. 25, 2017 at 7:07 a.m.

     One of the difficulties in hunting mountainous areas is that we not only have to set our stands up according to the wind directions but also according to what is called thermals. Thermals are normal wind currents that change as air cools down or heats up. In the evening the cool air falls and when the temperatures heat up in the morning, the warmer air rises. This means if you are hunting from a tree stand on the top of a ridge in the evening, your scent is most likely going to be carried into the valleys below. If this is the direction the deer are coming from, you’re likely to get busted. The rule of thumb is to set up high in the mornings and low in the evenings. But as you know, it is not always that simple. In my case the field I want to hunt is on a ridge and I only know what part of the field the deer are showing up at. I want to hunt on the edge of that field but the thermals are falling into the hollows below where, I assume, the deer are coming from. But since I don’t know exactly what path the deer are taking I’m unsure as to where to put my stand if I were to hunt below. I’ve thought about trying to get about thirty feet high and stay on the ridge, but something tells me it still won’t work. There is one other option. It is to put my tree stand on that ridge and wait for that one day when the wind is blowing pretty hard, carrying the thermals with it, out of the direction of the hollows and valleys. In my case it would be a southerly or southeasterly wind; which is totally against our normal northwesterly current. The question then would be; can I be patient, stay away from that stand, and wait until the conditions are right. That question applies to a lot of things in my life. What about yours?
     Most of my life can be described by the illustration “a bull in a china shop.” I have always intended to think that somehow I am immune to the normal currents of how things work. I thought since I had “good intentions,” I could charge into any situation, ignoring the certain, and have success. Boy was I wrong! I found out after a few of those blunders, I was not superman – just normal-man. I found out there are certain natural laws I had to work within, no matter how great my intentions were.
     Maybe some of you are thinking about a venture or are getting ready to jump into something that could either bring about great success or great failure. Just remember while faith always calls you to take a risk; it never asks you to do it simply according to your good intentions. It asks you only to be sure of the One who led you this far. Otherwise, the only difference in your failure will be that it happened to a great guy.

~
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 © Sept. 18, 2017 at 11:07 p.m.
     Just a few short weeks ago, Hurricane Katrina was the standard for major devastation caused by a natural disaster in recent history. Now that Irma has cut a path through our state, leaving many Floridians with homes and properties damaged and even more without electricity, we have a new name in the top slot. Traumatic experiences such as this tend to be sudden and overwhelming, and even if there are no signs of physical injury, there will often be an emotional toll. Understanding normal responses to these abnormal events can help us all cope with our feelings, thoughts and behaviors and regain a sense of control and recovery.
     After the storm, I was so thankful to learn that our community was spared the extent of damage that had been predicted. Most folks I talked to professed the same immense gratitude. However, days without power, limited access to gas and disrupted sleeping and eating patterns can still result in stress despite the relief of the storm’s end. Irritability, anxiousness and even depression are common in the wake of anticipated tragedy. Interpersonal relationships can easily become strained and result in frequent arguments with family and coworkers. Physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea and fatigue may appear with extreme stress as well as pre-existing conditions that worse.
     While these are all common reactions, it is important to note there is no one typical reaction to the stress of traumatic experiences. Because 1Timothy 1:7 reminds us that “God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and love and of a sound mind” here are a few things that can help us and those around us recover well:
     1) Give yourself time for your emotions to recover. Expect to have some stress reactions to a stressful situation.
     2) Avoid major life decisions until things settle down.
     3) Ask for support from people who care about you.
     4) Eating healthy meals, exercise, and getting plenty of rest are great ways to cope with stress. Avoid turning to alcohol and drugs. 
     5) If you are a parent, remember that your children will often go through tragedies based on their parent’s reactions. Taking care of yourself will enable you to better care for your children.
     Let’s access the power and love of God and use our sound mind to be intentional about recovering from the stress of Irma. May we count our blessings and thank the Lord for his protection…because 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 Ride The Raging Seas Alone
By Guy Sheffield © Sept. 19, 2017 at 2:47 p.m.

     My eleven year old daughter Kailey used to own the biggest pair of tonsils around. I’m talking about some real whoppers. She’d open her mouth and you’d swear she must be choking on a pair of pig knuckles. Sadly, those puppies are hospital property now. They were plucked out several years ago. I was there in the waiting room when they fired up the chainsaw up and yelled, “Timber!” I wish I would have thought to retain custody rights. The doctor’s probably got those babies listed in the ‘Ripley’s Believe or Not’ right now.
     Needless to say, my little Kailey was not feeling too spry after the procedure. Poor thing- she said it even hurt to talk. While that may seem like an answer to prayer, the truth is, I felt bad for her.  I remembered when I got mine out. It was one of the worst experiences of my life; and my tonsils were just average size. Of course I didn’t go under the knife until I was well into my twenties. They say it gets worse the longer you wait.
     It was a couple of nights after my surgery that my real troubles began. I guess I hadn’t been drinking enough fluids, because in the middle of the night I popped awake wondering why my mouth tasted funny, and why my pillow seemed so wet. Bolting to the bathroom I found myself covered in more blood than the cast of Pulp Fiction. My heart began beating all the more, causing me to drip double time. Finally, I grabbed a big plastic cup and sped off for the emergency room.
     Now your guess is as good as mine as to what actually constitutes an emergency at one of those places. The lady at the counter scanned my pale face with a look that warned, “Honey, you bed’ not bleed on my desk!” Then she handed me a clipboard full of paperwork to fill out, and went back to her phone call. In desperation I shoved that 44 ounce cup of blood under her nose and gurgled, “I bleeding to death.” She crinkled her nose, and looked down it like I was just trying to break line. Reluctantly, however, she did open the gate and lead me back. “Alright Mr. Sherfield,” she snipped, “Sit in there and I’ll see if I can’t finds you a doctor.”
     I emptied my cup in the sink and settled in for the wait. To my surprise a Doc appeared right off. He had a whole lot of questions- most sounding like things one might ask to prepare his defense in case of a malpractice lawsuit. Feeling as if I might pass out, I replied simply, “I had a tonsil-exit-me.” Then I handed him my cup and lay back on the stretcher to die. Next thing I recall Doc was helping me back to a sitting position, and he had this funny looking tool in his hand. “Open up,” he instructed, “We’re going to have to cauterize that bleeder.” Unfamiliar with a lot of medical jargon, and naively thinking I had nothing to lose… I obeyed. As he was about to maneuver that tool past my teeth I thought to ask, “What does quarter-eyes mean… AHHHH!”      
     Looking back I guess I’m glad I didn’t know what it meant. Otherwise, I might not be here to tell you this story. I didn’t have the Lord in my heart in those days to strengthen me, and I might’ve just chosen to lie back down instead. In fact, I had to remind my daughter Kailey that night, “Honey, I know it hurts, but you’ve got to drink something. You have to eat. You don’t have a choice if you want to live.” It really wasn’t what she wanted to hear.
     Have you noticed life is like that? Sometimes it just doesn’t give us a lot of options? We’re often put in situations where the only way out is through the pain. Maybe you’re facing a storm of your own right now? I want to encourage you, “Don’t give up!” More importantly, don’t try to navigate it alone. Reach out to Jesus. He’ll be your guide and your strength. Look to Him and have faith in His promises. The Apostle Paul, who faced more than his share of tribulation, concluded, (I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13 KJV) Paul had learned, like the disciples, Jesus is the best one to have in the boat if you’re facing raging seas.
     But anyway - After I told Kailey about my tonsil experiences her eyes goggled like a Broward County chad counter. She flew down stairs and commenced slurping down a whole bowl of chicken soup. God is good.
~

Guy Sheffield's website - But Anyway is located at http://www.butanyway.org/
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--UPDATED--
MONDAY  Sept. 25  7:07 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties



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