Below the Daily Devotionals

Gary Miller's Outdoor Truths,  Feb. 19, 2018
Angie Land's Heart Matters, Feb. 20, 2018
Guy Sheffield's But Anyway, Feb. 20, 2018


People with special needs
are reminded
to prepare for disasters now

Published Feb. 20, 2018 at 11:18 a.m,.
People who have the potential to require the use of a special needs shelter in Levy County are reminded to prepare for that right now - before disaster strikes.

More Below This Ad

     The Levy County Emergency Management department in coordination with the Florida Department of Health's Levy County Unit wants every family to be fully prepared before a disaster hits.
     With that in mind, these agencies want to help the residents and visitors of Levy County understand exactly what a Special Needs Shelter is, how to determine eligibility for use, and show how to register for a Levy County Special Needs Shelter.
     A Special Needs Shelter is a place to stay when an individual has no other sheltering option.
     It should only be used as a back-up to any other personal sheltering plan. Special Needs Shelters provide more care and supervision than a general shelter.
     However, it is vital to remember that a Special Needs Shelter is not equipped with advanced medical equipment, and are not staffed to provide advanced levels of care. Individuals who require advanced care should discuss other sheltering arrangements with their caregiver, health care provider, or physician.
     Special Needs Shelters do not provide the comfort or convenience of a home or hotel, nor do they provide the level of care found in a medical facility. Local Special Needs Shelters are located in public schools and will most likely be crowded and noisy. Special Needs Shelters are equipped with an emergency generator to supply power to medical equipment; however, there may be times when air-conditioning may not be available in order to conserve power.
Am I eligible for a Special Needs Shelter?
     A Special Needs Shelter client may be used by:
     • A person with a stable medical condition who requires periodic observation.
     • A person requiring periodic wound care assistance.
     • A person who is medically dependent on electricity for oxygen, nebulizers, or feeding tubes.
     • A person with limitations that require assistance with daily living activities.
     • A person with mental or cognitive limitations requiring assistance (example: Alzheimer’s-related conditions).
How do I register?
     Pre-registration is very important. It allows Levy County Emergency Management and the Florida Department of Health staff to properly plan and prepare for the disaster. It allows them to ensure that all proper supplies are on hand and ready to go.
     Registration is easy. Simply visit to register.
     For individuals who lack computer or Internet access, they can contact Levy County Emergency Management at 352-486-5213 or the Levy County Department of Health at 352-486-5300. 
How do I learn more?
     Any person who wants any additional questions or concerns, or who seeks help in signing up, is asked to contact the Levy County Department of Emergency Management at 352-486-5213 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Through With Chew Week
started Feb. 18;

While cigarette use declines,
smokeless products remain an issue

By Kristina Zachry, MPH
of the Tobacco Free Partnership of Levy County
Published Feb. 17, 2018 at 3:08 p.m.
Updated Feb. 20, 2018 at 11:18 a.m.
The QuitDoc Foundation and the Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida Program are raising awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco – like chew and dip, during Through With Chew Week.
     This public awareness campaign was created to reduce the use of smokeless tobacco among young people and help combat this deadly addiction. This year’s Through With Chew Week takes place Feb. 18-24.
     To raise awareness about the dangers of smokeless tobacco use, the Levy County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) program will be hosting school-based events all week to educate middle and high school students. The Bronson Middle High School SWAT team will be hosting a Valentine’s Day themed message, “Chew Sweets, Instead of Dip,” which they will display on posters throughout the school and on messages handed out on the National Spit Out Day, on Thursday.
     Cedar Key SWAT will be sharing information about the dangers of smokeless tobacco use with class members by hanging posters throughout school and sharing facts with their peers displayed on t-shirts they will be wearing throughout the week. Additionally, the Levy County Tobacco Free Partnership and SWAT members will be sharing messages on social media to raise awareness throughout the remainder of February.
     Although smokeless tobacco use is low, the rate has fluctuated and disproportionately affects certain areas:
     ● In 2012, the rate of adult smokeless tobacco use was 3.2 percent. In 2016, the rate was at 3.0 percent. This decrease is minimal compared to the rate at which cigarette use has dropped (17.7 percent to 15.5 percent).
     ● Rural communities in particular have experienced challenges in battling smokeless tobacco use. Individuals living in these areas are more likely to use tobacco – particularly smokeless tobacco.
     “While we are proud that youth smokeless use is at an all-time low, the number of adult Floridians using smokeless tobacco is still an issue,” said Dr. Kellie O’Dare, Tobacco Free Florida Bureau Chief. "We want to remind smokeless tobacco users that our cessation services are for everyone – not just smokers.”
     At least 28 cancer-causing chemicals have been identified in smokeless tobacco. Smokeless tobacco users have an 80 percent higher risk of oral cancer and a 60 percent higher risk of esophageal cancer and pancreatic cancer compared to non-users. 
     There is no scientific or medical evidence that proves smokeless tobacco use is an effective method to help people quit smoking. Floridians who want to quit any form of tobacco have access to the state’s free and proven-effective resources.
     To connect with the Tobacco Free Florida, please click HERE. There is a tab at the top of the page to use for helping a person quit using tobacco.

Students Honored

Chiefland City Commissioner Teresa Barron (left) presented the city's January Students of the Month during the regular City Commission meeting on Monday night (Feb. 12). Claire Horne (center) is a sixth-grade student at Chiefland Middle School. She is the daughter of Todd and Brandy Horne and was nominated by the CMS Sixth Grade Teachers. City Commissioner Barron mentioned that the teachers noted Claire Horne is kind, dedicated and respectful. She is always engaged in her academic pursuits as well as being prepared and a hard-working student. 'She always does what she is supposed to do. She is a peace-maker. She is a very pleasant student., She is a great example for her peers,' Barron said as she read what the teachers noted about the young Miss Horne.

Laci Acevedo (right), a ninth-grade student nominated by the Chiefland High School teachers, is the daughter of Angela Acevedo. ‘Laci is a conscientious student with a bubbly and positive personality,’ the CHS teachers noted. ‘She is always willing to help her teachers and her peers. In addition, Laci is involved in extracurricular activities at school, and also volunteers in our Chiefland community.’ The student who was nominated by Chiefland Elementary School was not present for the meeting Monday night. All of the students were presented with certificates in honor of their success and they were given a gift certificate to Walmart from the Chiefland Rotary Club.

Photos by Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 14, 2018 at 9:08 a.m.


CF graduates recognized at
Public Education Golden Apple Gala

Seen here are (from left) Ashley Stockel, Kelly Besser (CF Teacher Education Advisor) Rachel Burrage and Katie Sellers.

Photo Provided
Published Feb. 14, 2018 at 8:48 a.m.

     OCALA --
Six College of Central Florida graduates were recognized at the Public Education Foundation Golden Apple Gala event in January, with the rookie teacher of the year distinction at each of their respective schools.
     The graduates received their Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and were individually honored at the annual event where each school selects their teacher of the year, who then participates in the selection process. Each year five outstanding teachers are named Golden Apple Teachers and become members of the Golden Apple Academy, a growing association of exceptional educators. Of the Golden Apples, one is named as Marion County’s Teacher of the Year at the Golden Apple Gala. The Public Education Foundation also selects the Rookie Teacher of the Year representing the newest educators in the Marion County school district.
     The following graduates were recognized as rookie teacher of the year: Rachel Burrage, Eighth Street Elementary School;
Brittany Danielson, Dunnellon Elementary School; Katie Sellers, East Marion Elementary School; Ashley Stockel, Belleview Elementary School; Latisha Valentine, Evergreen Elementary School; and Chandra Wiebe, Stanton-Weirsdale Elementary School.

CF students recognized at
Fla. College Music Symposium

Christopher Patti (left) and John Miller are statewide first place winners.

Photo and Information Provided
Published Feb. 12, 2018 at 1:18p.m.
     OCALA --
John Miller and Christopher Patti, College of Central Florida Visual and Performing Arts students, were awarded first place statewide in the Concerto Competition at the Florida College System Activities Association Winter Music Symposium held at Jacksonville University in January.
     Miller was awarded first place in the Brass category and Patti received first place in the Male Vocalist category. Both students received a $2,000 scholarship to continue their studies at a state university in Florida. Students earned the nomination to enter the competition after a competitive selection process at CF. Both students were accompanied by CF piano instructor Marie Jo, and judges included faculty from music programs at various state universities.
     “I could not be more proud of John,” said CF Associate Professor John Ash. “His dedication to music is inspiring to me and all the students in our department. He is a wonderful representation of the students here at the college.”
     Jason Longtin, associate professor at CF said, “Christopher did a wonderful job representing the CF vocal department. I am thrilled for him and his accomplishment.”
     Other students nominated to participate in the event were Landon Blackburn, Dylan Coulson, Elizabeth Gerace, Tyler Kozsey, Emily Mosely, Stephanie Nottke and Hailey Welch.

Florida 4-H program gives
high schoolers
a crash course in real life

By Samantha Grenrock, Public Relations Specialist
UF/IFAS Communications
Published Feb. 12, 2018 at 11:08 a.m.
     GAINESVILLE, Fla. --
The Florida 4-H Life Ready program is preparing students at one Alachua County high school for adult life after graduation today (Monday, Feb. 12) and another Alachua County high school on Feb. 20.

     Hawthorne and Newberry high schools were chosen as schools for the pilot programs.
     So far, 76 students have participated in the weekly lunchtime sessions, where participants practice the lost arts of balancing checkbooks, crafting resumes and conserving energy in the home. Other sessions feature professionals in various fields who talk about how they chose their careers.
     A final three-hour activity called “Living on My Own” puts students through an interactive simulation where they’re challenged to make smart financial and professional decisions as a 25-year-old avatar.
     The new program is the result of a partnership between the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida 4-H Youth Development Program, which is part of the University of Florida’s (UF) Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension (IFAS).
      Newberry High School's (400 S.W. 258th St., Newberry) program is today (Feb. 12) from 3 to 5:20 p.m. and Hawthorne High School's (21403 S.E. 69th Ave., Hawthorne,) program is from 2:15 to 5:15 p.m. on Feb. 20.
     “When will I ever use this in real life?”
     It’s a question many teenagers have asked at some point in their academic careers. But it’s not one you’ll likely hear in Lauren Corley’s class, where students practice the lost arts of balancing checkbooks, crafting resumes and conserving energy in the home.
     Part of the Florida 4-H Life Ready program, the class is preparing students at two Alachua County high schools for adult life after graduation.
     The new program is the result of a partnership between the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida 4-H Youth Development Program, which is part of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.
     “Both parties sought to reach students slipping through the cracks to help better prepare them for success after high school. They felt positive and preventative youth development could come together to help these students,” said Corley, a 4-H program assistant with UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County.
     “Some of the students plan to go to college, others want to go right into the workforce and some need a little help figuring out which direction they want to go in. This kind of training is important to them — not many high schoolers easily give up lunchtime with friends to spend more time in the classroom,” Corley added.
     Tierra Cleckley, an 11th-grader at Hawthorne High School, said she started attending Life Ready classes because she wanted to learn more about personal finances, and get tips on pursuing a career in the hospitality industry. 
     “Some things I learned that I thought were important were time management skills and transferable skills,” Cleckley said. “I'm really bad with time management, but after the class I started using some of the techniques they taught us, and I noticed improvement.”
     Though she already knew what kind of job she wanted to have after high school, Life Ready helped Cleckley make decisions about her path to a college degree.
     “Hopefully I'll be dual enrolling next semester at Santa Fe College, and by the time I graduate high school, I'll have an associate’s degree in hospitality management. I will be transferring to a university to get my bachelor's in hospitality management and another bachelor's degree in culinary arts, most likely at the University of Central Florida, but I have other options in mind. I also want to minor in computer technology,” she said.
     Corley hopes the Life Ready program will be adopted by other UF/IFAS Extension county 4-H programs and reach more students like Cleckley.

Cedar Key Woman's Club
celebrates its
32nd Annual Spaghetti Dinner

Cedar Key Woman’s Club President Jane Moore welcomes guests to the dinner.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Feb. 11, 2018 @ 7:58 p.m.
     CEDAR KEY --
Every seat was filled Saturday night (Feb. 10) when the Cedar Key Woman’s Club celebrated its 32nd Annual Spaghetti Dinner at the Cedar Key Community Center.

Janet Ramsey sells tickets for chances to win the quilt. Proceeds go to the Fisher House in Gainesville.

Susan Rosenthal cooks her delicious spaghetti sauce.

Preparing to serve diners are (from left) Jan Hendrix, Linda Kimball and Esta Johnston.

Serving drinks are (from left) Eileen Senecal, Judy Duvall, Paula Westcott and Rose Malinowski.

Each table was decorated.

Some of the many dessert choices are seen here.

     At least 250 diners enjoyed the meals there, or they ate them outdoors at nearby locations they chose – looking out at the water at sunset, or they took them back to their residences on the island and off of the island.
     The dozens of members who prepared meals and helped in many different ways helped the hundreds of guests enjoy another perfect spaghetti dinner fundraiser.
     The dine-in or take-out dinners of wonderful homemade spaghetti, included the club’s big dose of community spirit and love for people. Again the dinner went beyond the highest notch for excellence.
     Certainly, the salads, Italian bread, an extraordinary selection of homemade desserts and iced tea or coffee are key ingredients, which added to the spaghetti sauce and pasta to please the patrons' palates. The choice for wine this year was yet an improvement that added still another dimension to the fun of the night.
     This year, diners enjoyed the opportunity to have wine with their meal.
     And for the second consecutive year, there was the offer of vegan spaghetti sauce – which was enjoyed by those individuals with that dietary preference.
     Cedar Key Woman’s Club President Jane Moore welcomed guests to the event as they came in the front door. Many people had forgotten that they put the tickets into the little box at the serving window rather than present them at the door. But that is OK, because the Cedar Key Woman’s Club members all guided newcomers and repeat diners with the kindhearted words and kid gloves everyone might anticipate from this group.
     Woman’s Club Member Janet Ramsey manned the table to provide chances for people to donate to the Fisher House of Gainesville by purchasing a ticket to win a quilt.
     For the fifth consecutive year, Susan Rosenthal, one of the past presidents of the Cedar Key Woman’s Club, was the chef who made the sauce. Year after year, this is the sauce that everyone loves.
     This year, the six top spaghetti cooks were Cedar Key Woman’s Club members Karen Dean, Lynn Silvers, Joan Selby, Chris Black, Gini Barss and Donna Bushnell. Cedar Key Woman’s Club Member Rosemary Danesi joined Chef Rosenthal in recooking and heating the 36 pounds of pasta – because spaghetti sauce does need pasta no matter how great it is on its own.
     The ambiance in the Community Center was divine for the in-house diners. Authentic Italian-themed music, like Volare and Santa Lucia, played gently in the background. Some part of the CKWC membership decorated each of the many tables, where each table could seat several individuals.
     The CKWC assured each tabletop was adorned by artifacts of a festive motif, which was reflexive of Italy. They thoughtfully placed everything from tablecloths to wine bottles with melted candle wax to add to the décor of the Community Center to make it into a “bistro” for the night.
     The salad crew created perfectly tossed salads with traditional ingredients. Even the freshly baked bread was also freshly buttered by a set of club volunteers.
     There must have been many CKWC donors to create the impressively vast array of homemade desserts.
     Angel food cake, brownies, carrot cake, cheesecake with cherries, and German chocolate cake are just a very few of the many, many different desserts. Two long tables were filled from end-to-end with the several assorted desserts.
    Among the servers of coffee, tea, water and wine were Eileen Senecal, Judy Duvall, Paula Westcott and Rose Malinowski.
     And with so many members participating, there are some number of unnamed individuals who gallantly put forth the effort and yet remained in the hallowed halls of anonymity.
     There really is a point beyond the food and ambiance for this spaghetti dinner. There is the camaraderie among the members that extends to their hundreds of guests as well. And table partners who may have started the evening as strangers left the dinner as newfound friends, or at least as fundraising acquaintances.
     Surely the buffet-style meal service might cause some old soldiers to harken back to chow halls, but while this style of delivery becomes mechanical for some troops, the grace and style shown by the female servers on Saturday evening makes any machinery concept disappear.
     While the Cedar Key Woman’s Club Annual Spaghetti Dinner was the event of the night on Saturday night at the Community Center, the Empty Bowls Event on Wednesday night (Feb. 7) was a winner as well.
     That event heralded its first time in the Community Center this year, having outgrown its previous church location.
     Headed by Marie Lewis, the event this year generated about $4,000 to help the Cedar Key Food Pantry. Local potter Amy Gernhardt and her husband Henry Gernhardt are the community leaders who created this event and made it flourish over the years.
    An upcoming event at the Cedar Key Community Center is the Cedar Key Lions Club Valentine’s Night (Feb. 14) Dance. There are no tickets being sold at the door. Only Lions Club members are selling the tickets.
     The next big fundraiser for the Cedar Key Woman’s Club is the relatively famous Annual Fashion Show and Luncheon -- on March 8 at the Cedar Key Community Center. Tickets for the Annual Fashion Show and Luncheon cost $15 and are available from any Cedar Key Woman's Club member or from the Cedar Key Chamber of Commerce at its Welcome Center on Second Street in downtown Cedar Key.
     The Cedar Key Woman’s Club was formed in 1960, and members volunteer at various community events, with proceeds from fundraising that helps to support Cedar Key at places like the Cedar Key School, the Cedar Key Public Library, the Food Pantry, Another Way, and the Cedar Key Volunteer Fire Department. This club is also active in Support for Troops, and in raising funds for Fisher House.

Rotarians Hear About
Music In Gilchrist County

Seen here are (from left) Gilchrist County Rotary Club President Bob Clemons, and Rotarian John Frazier, and musicians-educators Jennifer Wingate, Laura Beard and Chris Dunn.
Feel the beat! Feel the rhythm! That's what Gilchrist Elementary Music Specialist Laura Beard told the Gilchrist Rotarians as she led members and guests in a musical exercise involving clapping, tapping, clicking fingers and other movements to the beat of a fun and catchy song on Monday afternoon (Feb. 5). Beard serves both Trenton and Bell elementary schools. She said this is how she starts and ends every class. Participating in music helps build confidence. Bell Middle High School Music Director Chris Dunn led participants on Monday in breathing exercises. He said that being a musician is a physical activity in which the breath plays a key role. Dunn said his music students are well-rounded and often are involved in other activities in school, such as sports and service clubs. Trenton Music Director Jennifer Wingate has been with Gilchrist County for two years. Wingate said the students are involved year-round in competition, marching, community events, parades and other forms of entertainment and support. Members of the Rotary Club of Gilchrist County acknowledged that they believe they are fortunate to have these three music leaders inspiring students – with the support of Gilchrist County Superintendent of Schools Rob Rankin. Rotarian John Frazier provided this fun and entertaining program. Rotarian Andrew Nguyen, a very talented musician himself, played piano for listeners at the meeting on Monday afternoon. The luncheon of pork tacos with all the fixings was catered by Chef's Table Bistro.
Published Feb. 7, 2018 at 10:58 a.m.

Photo and Information submitted by Holly Creel

Tri-County Area scores in Top 10
in five categories during 2017

Donors from here save
5,000-plus lives in one year

LifeSouth Director of District Operations J.D. Pettyjohn (left) presents owner Jeff M. Hardison with the 'Oscar' for being a media outlet to help attract blood donors to saves lives in 2016. This file photo was taken during the 2017 LifeSouth Annual Media/Chairperson Appreciation Luncheon last year. Although he wanted to go this year, the daily news website owner was otherwise engaged during the event that happened on Friday (Feb. 2, 2018).

2017 Photo By LifeSouth Regional Manager Trish Andress
© republished Feb. 6, 2018 at 10:48 a.m.

Published Feb. 6, 2018 at 10:48 a.m.
Blood drive chairpersons and members of the media were thanked Friday (Feb. 2) at the LifeSouth Annual Media/Chairperson Appreciation Luncheon held in Gainesville.

     There are several categories for competition in this life-saving enterprise, and groups in the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties placed in the Top 10 in five categories, including placing fourth highest of all competitors in the Overall Blood Drives. That is where people who donated at the Walmart in Chiefland, and they came from all over to donate there, brought that to be #4 in the Top 10 Overall Blood Drives category.
     Community and Government are two Blood Drives, too, where Tri-County Area interests came in #1.
     With three lives potentially saved per each one donor, just from this list of Top 10 donor categories ALONE, the people of the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties saved an estimated 5,340 lives. There were many more donations where people from these three counties save lives in 2017 too.
     Following are all of the Top 10 wins from Tri-County Area interests.

Top 10 Overall Blood Drives
#4 Walmart in Chiefland  408 donations in 2017 = 1,224 lives saved

Top 10 Community Blood Drives
#1 Chiefland Community Walmart 408 donations in 2017 = 1,224 lives saved
#4 Bronson Community 118 donations in 2017 = 354 lives saved
#6 Cedar Key Community 117 donations in 2017 = 351 lives saved
#7 Dixie County Rotary 78 donations in 2017 = 234 lives saved
#9 Williston Community 70 donations in 2017 = 210 lives saved

Top 10 Government Blood Drives
#1 Lancaster Correctional Institution 109 donations in 2017 = 327 lives saved
#6 Cross City Correctional Institution 77 donations in 2017 = 231 lives saved
#10 Gilchrist County Courthouse 43 donations in 2017 = 129 lives saved

Top 10 High School Blood Drives
#6 Bronson High School 94 donations in 2017 = 282 lives saved
#7 Bell High School 65 donations in 2017 = 195 lives saved
#9 Williston Middle High School 56 donations in 2017 = 168 lives saved

Top 10 Business Blood Drives
#6 Suwannee Lumber 82 donations in 2017 = 246 lives saved

Top 10 Church Blood Drives
#8 Williston First Baptist Church 43 donations in 2017 = 129 lives saved
#9 Faith Baptist Church-Old Town 42 donations in 2017 = 126 lives saved

     "Thank you to for their tireless work in informing the public when local blood supplies are low, posting stories and pictures of blood drives and for listing our community and special event blood drives on their calendar," a LifeSouth Community Blood Centers representative noted. "One hundred percent of the blood used in local hospitals is supplied by LifeSouth Community Blood Centers. Every donation matters to those patients; who may be our family members, neighbors, friends or coworkers. Our sincere appreciation goes out to our donor chairpersons and our community media."
     LifeSouth Community Blood Centers is mailing the certificate of appreciation this year to due to the owner being called to other service and hence being unable to accept the award in Gainesville as he had planned.
    "It's a great day to save a life!" publisher Jeff Hardison exclaimed as he read that comment from the LifeSouth representative who sent the email with information about the impact of blood donors from the Tri-County Area in 2017.


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, 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
     To learn more about CF, visit

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


     On Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section on The Life Page of, started, about nine months after the start of the daily news website -- which officially started Feb. 1, 2011. The name "The Christian Press" was derived from an encounter a decade earlier in 2001 in St. Petersburg, Florida, when and where 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 sounded good. And the the journalist who was working for a publisher said that if he could work for The Christian Press, then that certainly would be the publication to serve as a journalist.
     Since Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section of this page has run daily devotionals every day, and then within a relatively short time after Nov. 1, 2011, weekly columns have been added. 
     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

Feb. 20, 2018  Tuesday at 6:38 a.m.


Read Psalm 46

     For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
-- 1 John 5:4 (KJV)

     The apostle Paul expended himself in tireless exertions for the Christ whom he had seen on the road to Damascus, and for His sake endured hardships, shipwrecks, imprisonments and, at the last, death itself. His dauntless spirit was that of the conqueror who allowed nothing to down him. “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” Christ was the unseen Companion of his way, and Paul’s faith never wavered.
     Paul’s faith was practical, enlisting head, heart, hand and will. It was a faith by which to live, giving him singleness of purpose, songs in the night of prison, courage in the face of danger and death. His last word was one of victory, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.”
     A worthwhile life is never easy. To conquer oneself, to win spiritual victory, to maintain courage and cheer in the face of disappointment, discouragement and danger is not easy. But such victory can be won through faith in the sustaining presence of Christ, “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” He will never leave you nor forsake you. Keep the faith, for that is victory.
     DEAR LORD, may I not be one who says, “Lord, Lord,” and then fails to obey Thy command. Strengthen my faith that I may win the victory over temptation. Help me to live for Thee “a life that is true, striving to please Thee in all that I do.” Bless my loved ones, and provide all things needful for them. Amen.
Pastor A.W. Webster
First United Presbyterian Church
Pasadena, 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 © Feb. 19, 2018 at 6:08 a.m.

     One of the obstacles that most hunters and fishermen dread is the wind. A light wind is not a factor – it’s even helpful, but a windy day is burdensome to the fishermen and causes most game to stay out of sight. Most of the time I complain about the wind like everyone else, but there are a few circumstances where the wind actually adds excitement to the hunt and gives me the edge. One of those circumstances is when I’m turkey hunting.  As you turkey hunters know, this particular bird has excellent sight and can distinguish colors as well. The least movement will turn an otherwise successful hunt into a what-if story. When the wind is still, I’m still, but when the wind blows, I use the opportunity to do a little stalking. One morning I was able to crawl within fifteen yards of nine jakes without ever calling. After they recognized something was not right, they came closer for some investigation. I could almost touch them with the end of my gun. Now that was exciting!
     Many times, we assume the worst when the wind is involved. We use clichés like the “winds of change” or we offer encouragement by saying “keep the wind to your back,” as if a headwind is a negative thing. The truth is most of our growth happens when the winds are against us. These gusts challenge our normal and comfortable way of doing things. They make us decide whether we will curse our circumstances or use them to find another way. They reveal to us our fears and our ability to adapt and overcome. They show us who or what is controlling our life. Perhaps the winds of difficulty are blowing against you right now. Perhaps it seems they are so strong that your boat is standing still. It may be that God is simply causing you to move in another direction. Or it may be that He is using these gusts to reveal to you a fear that you need to relinquish. The wind can be your friend if you will always remember that God is at its helm. He will determine its length and strength. He will use it to bring you new successes in different ways. And in doing this, He will cause you to have a greater trust in Him.

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 © Feb. 20, 2018 at 6:38 a.m.

     I had the best time last week, paying attention to how folks were preparing for Valentine’s Day: I watched flowers being delivered, men struggling to find just the right card, and sweethearts enjoying dinner out. Like I said a few weeks ago, I love love and I so enjoy seeing how couples celebrate being together.
Over the years, Alton and I have enjoyed lots of Valentine’s dates: dinners out, trips and sweet gifts. For the past several years, we have attended a marriage conference so that we could intentionally work on our relationship. Couples sometimes shy away from this kind of thing but one thing that we have learned during our years of marriage is that we still have a lot to learn! It seems about the time we think we have some things figured out, life throws a curve and the season of life we are in changes. We then find ourselves asking, “What do we do about this?”
     It is a mystery to me why our first reaction to the curves of life is often to push each other away, when what we need most is to come together. In Genesis 2:18, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” I can’t help but think if God had left man alone, he would never have found anything. Can’t you just hear Adam: “Eve, have you seen my fig leaf?” A funny thought, but I think we miss God’s intention if we read into this verse the idea that a helper is someone of inferior status or skill just helping out or being an assistant.
      According to Bible scholar Joseph Coleson, in our English language a helper refers to someone who assists the master tradesman, such as a “mason’s helper or a carpenter’s helper.” However, in the Hebrew Scriptures, it means just the opposite. The Hebrew word “ezer” translates as helper and it usually refers to God the Helper and Rescuer of those who cannot help themselves. In the context of this verse, helper means that God intended to make someone who would rescue Adam from solitude. It was not good for Adam to be alone, but that was not a problem he could fix on his own. He needed a rescuer, so God designed one in His image. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible supports this interpretation.
     So here we are learning something new! Your wife is much more than just your helper; she is the one who rescued you from solitude. Honor and cherish her as your life long partner and watch God bless your marriage! 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 She notes that she would love to hear from people.

What's Got Your Focus?
By Guy Sheffield © Feb. 20, 2018 at 1:3 p.m.

     The jockeying for position began even before they entered the Arena; their grim faces etched with such determination that their intense focus was almost palatable. The faint hearted had long since given way and fallen back. All the pre-game hype meant nothing now. It had faded like a cheap perfume upon the neck of this epic struggle. The finish loomed just ahead. It would be an up or down call, with many lives hanging in the balance.
     I will never forget the last few moments; the agony wrought in my boy’s face as he clung desperately to his sister’s pant leg, intent on staving off his inevitable defeat, refusing to admit the speed and strength accompanying her five year age advantage had proven insurmountable. With only a few feet left she lunged for the prize, determined to see new doors opened for us all. It was at that very moment that the boy’s grip on her pants paid off and her jeans did the plumbers slide. She hesitated. It was the only break he needed. He climbed up her back and slapped that little elevator button before she could even blush. A warm magical light appeared. A resounding “Ding” filled the hall. David had slain Goliath! 
     To my surprise several adults were crowded inside the elevator playing another game. They cautiously guarded their little corners and stared at the little display panel like their elevation depended on their concentration. No one dared break focus to acknowledge us. I thought to myself, “What’s with those silly elevator buttons?”
     A better question might be, “What’s with us silly people?” Could it be sometimes we get so caught up in our own little challenges that we forget to run the bigger race God has called us to? I’ll admit, elevator buttons do have a certain magnetic appeal, but surely we could tear away for just a few seconds to say hello to that living soul next to us. You know, the one Jesus died for?
     I’ve been guilty myself. At times I’ve just lumped people into categories based on whatever criteria I have handy, and overlook the fact there are real people in those sacks of skin. Yes, somewhere in there is a real person, thinking thoughts, making plans, feeling pain, facing struggles just like me. If only I could see people the way God does! Maybe I’d have a little more compassion on that rude person at the cash register, especially if I knew what they had just gone through. Surely I’d be more willing to offer a smile if I realized it might be the only thing that will pull them through the day. The truth is I should just do it anyway.
     Someone might say, “Why should I risk any part of myself for a rude stranger?” It’s much easier to just crawl up with an “us four and no more” attitude. Have you considered what a huge chance God took on us? The Bible says, (But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NKJV) Jesus took a great risk in extending His love to me when I didn’t deserve it, and it has cost Him dearly. I don’t know why He did it. Love is just what He does. It’s who He is. In the end, Love is all that matters.
     But anyway, one day God will punch that great elevator button in the sky for the final up or down call. I pray we’ll all be ready with hearts that have accepted and given His unconditional love; hearts that have weathered the risks and that are still glowing brighter than any old elevator button. I also pray we’ll each be taking something with us on this last ride, the souls His love has won for Christ through us. Yes, I hope things will be looking up for us all that day.      
Guy Sheffield's website - But Anyway is located at
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