Below the Daily Devotionals

Gary Miller's Outdoor Truths,  Sept. 24, 2018
Angie Land's Heart Matters, Sept. 24, 2018
Guy Sheffield's But Anyway, Sept. 18, 2018


Free, local assistance for
Medicare plan shoppers
is available via SHINE;

Free help navigating Medicare health
and drug plan options for 2019

Published Sept. 24, 2018 at 4:08 p.m.
The Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program is available to provide free, unbiased help for Florida Medicare beneficiaries as they carefully evaluate their health care options during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period.
     During the Open Enrollment Period, which runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to make changes to their Medicare Prescription Drug or Medicare Advantage plans.
     SHINE encourages beneficiaries to review their benefits each year for a variety of reasons. Individuals often experience subtle changes in their health over the course of the year, and these changes may alter the kind of care they need. This could directly affect their need for more or less health insurance, the types of prescription drugs they require or their access to particular doctors or pharmacies. Health changes can also increase costs, which can be particularly critical for Medicare beneficiaries on fixed incomes.
     SHINE volunteer counselors through Elder Options provide free, unbiased one-on-one insurance counseling and information on Medicare options and prescription drug assistance for elders, their families, and caregivers. SHINE also educates beneficiaries to protect, detect, and report potential errors, fraud, and abuse with their Medicare coverage.
     Beneficiaries are encouraged to act quickly to assure a smooth transition into the 2019 benefit year. To receive help from SHINE to review and enroll in a plan, individuals may visit designated SHINE counseling sites, attend enrollment events in their local communities, or contact trained SHINE volunteer counselors, call 1-800-262-2243.
     For a listing of SHINE counseling sites and enrollment events, visit


Rotarians learn about CFEC

Seen here (from left) are CFEC Vice President Member Services Tony Wasson; Rotarian Justin Jones - CFEC Financial Accounts; CFEC Vice President Human Resources Kim Baxley; Gilchrist County Rotary Club Secretary John Frazier; CFEC General Manager Denny George; and Rotarian Matthew Vun Cannon.
Story and Photo
By Holly Creel, Rotarian

Published Sept. 17, 2018 at 8:38 p.m.
     TRENTON –
Central Florida Electric Cooperative General Manager Denny George was the keynote speaker Monday afternoon (Sept. 17), when the Rotary Club of Gilchrist County met in the Trenton Woman's Club.


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     George was introduced by Rotarian Matthew Vun Cannon who explained that Denny moved to Trenton 13 years ago, and that the CFEC general manager was previously employed by Duke Energy (and Progress Energy Florida before that) as an electrical engineer.
     George is an active member of First Baptist Church of Chiefland.
     The general manager of CFEC shared interesting historical data, in which he described that it wasn't until 1953 that 90 percent of the farmers in the United States had electric power to their homes and farms.
     He went on to explain the differences between electric cooperatives and other types of electric utilities such as investor-owned utilities and electric service provided by municipalities.
     Not-for-profit electric cooperatives, such as CFEC are member-owned and have no shareholders and are governed by an elected a Board of Trustees.
     CFEC is a member-driven organization. The members to elect their own representative to the CFEC Board of Trustees. To facilitate this election process this rural electric co-op has divided its service area into nine districts. Each of these districts have one trustee as its representative.
     The nine members of the CFEC Board of Trustees are President Barbara Townsend, District 9; Vice President Randy Mikell, District 8; Treasurer Alan Mikell, District 6; James McCain, District 1; Carl Roof, District 2; Tony Weeks, District 3; Kyle Quincey, District 4; Ronald Lane, District 5; and Kenneth Osteen, District 7.
     Rural electric cooperatives first came into existence as part of the Rural Electrification Administration, which was created in 1935 by the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration to encourage farmers to create electricity cooperative companies.
     Duke Energy is an example of an investor-owned utility.    George explained how the three different utilities are different in terms of density, taxes, profits, margins, governance and their allegiance and priorities.
     He also described the residential rate cost breakdown and explained that 65 percent of expenses goes to Seminole Electric Cooperative for the power purchased from that power-generating cooperative.
     Seminole Electric is a not-for-profit electric cooperative serving approximately 1.7 million consumers in 42 of Florida’s 67 counties. It purchases power as well as owning and operating power plants to serve its member cooperatives.
     As for the other 35 percent of expenses, George said that goes to cover the CFEC workforce, equipment, billing and employee benefits.
     CFEC currently has about 95 employees and has slightly less than 1 percent annual growth.  He noted that the average home has reduced usage because of the use of LED lighting, and that appliances and electronics are more efficient than they used to be.
     As Gilchrist County Rotary Club members and guest have become accustomed to, Chef Jason Fuchs of Springwater Events again served a fun lunch. On Monday, everyone enjoyed meatball pizza bowls, cold orzo pasta salad and apple spice cake. 
     The Gilchrist Rotary Club is gearing up for its Annual Poker Paddle on Sept. 29 at Ellie Rays Campground.
     Proceeds will go to fund Interact Service Clubs at Bell High School and Trenton High School, and proceeds will help fund the Backpacks 4 Kids program.
     Participants can register for this fun kayaking event at It's not too late to register. Please join the fun and support a good cause - our youth!

Haven Salutes United States Navy Veteran

Seen here are (from left) Melinda Elliott, Carolyn Elliott, Gene Elliott, Heather Casano and Haven Veteran Volunteer Robin McCracken of the Tri-County Detachment of the Marine Corps League and Ladies Auxiliary. Newberry resident Gene Elliott was recognized recenlty for his military service by Haven Volunteer Robin McCracken of the Tri-County Detachment of the Marine Corps League and Ladies Auxiliary. Elliott served for four years in the United States Navy where he spent time on submarines and played in the Navy Band. A native of West Virginia, Elliott was a local musician who played the drums in a band called the C-Notes, which featured a 12-year-old front man named Brad Paisley. Paisley mentioned Elliott in his book titled Diary of a Player: How my Musical Heroes Made a Guitar Man Out of Me. In the book, Paisley describes the C-Notes, a band assembled by his mentor Clarence “Hank” Goddard, as “a 12-year-old front man and three AARP members backing him up, Gene Elliott, Tom Berisford and Hank, a semi-retired world class lead guitarist who had played in the military, in Europe and countless jazz and country bands over the years and then in mine. I look back now at my luck and I can’t believe it.” Elliott also worked in coal mines and power plants after his time in the service before moving to Florida in 1991. He and his wife, Carolyn, recently celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary. The Haven Pinning Ceremony for veteran patients also includes a veteran pin, a thank you card signed by the staff and a certificate of appreciation from Haven which are all presented by volunteer veterans. Veterans also are presented with a red, white and blue blanket knitted by a volunteer and donated to Haven. The presentation ends with a salute to honor the veteran’s service. Are you a veteran in the Newberry or Gainesville area that is interested in helping Haven honor our veteran patients? If so, please contact Haven Gainesville Volunteer Coordinator Susie Finfrock at 352.379.6244 or visit to learn more.
Published Sept. 17, 2018 at 2:28 p.m.

Information And Photo Submitted By Joey Martinez

Lions Club Helps Children

Fun was had by all of the sixth through ninth grade Yankeetown School students attending the Inglis Yankeetown Lions Club Social on Friday (Sept. 14). The Lions plan to support the school by providing a place for children to enjoy music, games, food and fellowship every six weeks during the school year.
Published Sept. 16, 2018 at 9:08 a.m.

Information and Photo Provided By Lynne Tate

Elder Options works
to end older adult falls;

Falls Prevention Awareness Day - Sept. 22
Published Sept. 13, 2018 at 3:08 p.m.
One day every year, across the country, thousands of educators, caregivers, health and aging professionals, and older adults focus their efforts on one goal: preventing falls.
     That’s why Elder Options is partnering with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the Falls Free® Coalition to celebrate Falls Prevention Awareness Day on Sept. 22.
     Falls are a leading cause of injury for people aged 65 and older, but they are not an inevitable part of aging and there are proven ways to prevent them. Elder Options’ fun community event will empower older adults to stay active, independent, and safe in their homes and communities.
     Activities will include a Fall Prevention Awareness Expo, Sept. 20, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at One Health Center, 1714 S.W. 17th St., Ocala, FL 34471. Registration is required. Contact Brenda Williams at 352-812-2059. Dr. Adam Hunt, Injury Prevention Coordinator at Ocala Health, is scheduled to speak about Lifestyle and Injury Prevention. Free Fall Screenings will be provided.  Lunch will be served.
     “If falls prevention isn’t something that you’re thinking about now, I promise there is someone in your life who’s worried about it,” said Administrator Betty Flagg of the Division of Community Outreach and Healthy Aging, Elder Options. “This kind of education can change a community, and that’s why we’re proud to support NCOA’s Falls Prevention Awareness Day efforts as part of our year-round commitment to supporting older adults.” 
     “Falls prevention is a team effort that takes a balance of education, intervention, and community support,” Senior Director of NCOA’s National Falls Prevention Resource Center Kathleen Cameron said. “This annual coordinated celebration is an opportunity to look at the world around us, be aware of falls hazards, and take action to stay safe from falls.”
     In addition to the event at Elder Options, NCOA is hosting a Falls Prevention Awareness Day national photo contest, a Twitter chat about medication management and falls prevention on Sept. 25 at 2:30 p.m. ET, and a Facebook Live discussion with a pharmacist about the importance of medication management in reducing falls on Sept. 20 at 3 p.m. ET.
     To find out more about Falls Prevention Awareness Day, click HERE

About Elder Options
     Elder Options is a non-profit agency that administers funds from the Florida Department of Elder Affairs for senior services in a 16-county area (Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee and Union counties).
     Elder Options, mandated by the Federal Older Americans Act, exists to promote the independence, dignity, health, and well-being of our elder citizens; to plan, fund and administer a coordinated continuum of services; and to advocate for the needs of older Americans.

About NCOA
     The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person’s right to age well. NCOA empowers individuals with trusted solutions to improve their own health and economic security—and protects and strengthens federal programs that people depend on as they age.
     Working with a nationwide network of partners, NCOA’s goal is to improve the lives of 10 million older adults by 2020. Learn more at
About the Falls Free Initiative
     Led by the National Council on Aging, the Falls Free Initiative includes 43 states and 70 national organizations, professional associations, and federal agencies working collaboratively to bring education, awareness, and evidence-based solutions to local communities.


Autographed guitar
helps raise funds for education

Dott holds Josh Turner guitar
Dotti Leichner holds the autographed Ibanez acoustic guitar.

Story and Photo
By Bob Leichner
Published Aug. 26, 2018 at 7:38 p.m.
     OLD TOWN --
One lucky Dixie County education supporter will be awarded an Ibanez acoustic guitar autographed by MCA Nashville multi-platinum recording artist, Josh Turner.
     This multiple award-winning performer has had four #1 singles, with three of those achieving platinum or double platinum sales. Three of his six studio album releases have hit #1 nationwide on the U.S. Country charts, with the other three reaching #2 or #3.
     Long Black Train was his breakthrough release in 2003. His latest, Deep South, was released last year.
     Dixie Music Center, serving the Tri-County Area since 1991, has donated an Ibanez acoustic guitar which is autographed by Josh Turner.
     Dixie Music Center's owners Bob and Dotti Leichner are good friends with Riq Lazurus, who generously arranged for the instrument signing.
     Lazurus is stage and production manager for Turner (as well as being the drum technician) and lives in Franklin, Tenn., with his wife Victoria and their two boys -- when Lazurus is not on tour.
     The guitar is to be raffled at Dixie Music Center's 27th Anniversary Bash to be held Saturday, Oct. 6 on the nicely wooded acreage adjacent to the Dixie Music Center store at 26626 S.E. U.S. Highway 19 in Old Town.
     The winner of this guitar need not be present to win. Raffle entry is by donation of $5 per ticket, or three for $10.
     As if the autographed guitar was not enough, Turner helped make the offer even more appealing by donating not one, but two different Josh Turner T-shirts for the lucky winner.
     Pee Wee Melton was a renowned session guitarist, instructor and producer from Greenville, S.C. He and his wife Alma retired to Steinhatchee around 1990.
     While Pee Wee Melton hadn't planned on continuing teaching, Bob and Dotti Leichner convinced him to teaching just one day a week. Melton realized that he missed it, and once-a-week he filled that need.
     There are many local and area folk who had the honor and pleasure of studying with this fine tutor. One of his students, who started with him as a teenager, has gone on to great nationwide success as a country music performer.
     Multiple award-winning recording artist Easton Corbin began his musical journey with Pee Wee Melton at Dixie Music Center.
     Another former student who began with Melton and is enjoying very good area-wide success as a singing performer is Jamey M. King. King also worked with his band, Memphis Belle, a few years back performing for packed houses at some of Nashville's world-famous Lower Broadway honkytonks, such as Tootsies, Legends, and several others.
     It is in Pee Wee Melton's honor that Dixie Music Center proudly presents the Pee Wee Melton Memorial Scholarship. 
     Only 250 tickets have been printed for this fundraiser, so a sellout is easily expected before the drawing date of Oct. 6.
     The scholarship is to be awarded by the Dixie Education Foundation to a graduating Dixie County senior in May of 2019 at the annual Dixie County High School Scholarship Night.
     Tickets are available at Dixie Music Center in Old Town, which is located across from the weigh station on U.S. 19.
     For more information, please call the Dixie Music Center at 352-542-3001 or write to

AARP Celebrates

Celebrating the day's theme of Nifty '50s are Sharon Reynolds, Drollene Brown, Mignon Craig and Betty Fender at the September meeting of Williston Area AARP Chapter 912. Held on Sept. 10, the meeting featured a program offered by LeAF, Levy Animal Friends.
Published Sept. 12, 2018 at 8:38 p.m.

Photo and Information Provided by Drollene Brown


Two City Commissioners
Take The Oath Of Office

Chiefland City Commissioner Donald Lawrence (left) and Tim West take the oath of office Monday night (Sept. 10). Levy County Judge Tim Browning administered the oath to the two men. Lawrence was reelected without opposition. West won in a tie-vote election with former City Commissioner Teresa Barron after West selected the long straw, as Florida law prescribes the method for deciding a tie vote in a municipal election when there is no ordinance specifically calling for another election to break the tie.

Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 12, 2018 at 12:18 p.m.


Outgoing Chiefland City
commissioner is awarded
a plaque for 14 years of service
Incoming Chiefland City Commissioner Tim West and outgoing City Commissioner Teresa Barron hug after West took the oath of office.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 12, 2018 at 11:38 a.m.
After City Commissioner Tim West took the oath of office Monday night (Sept. 10), now former Chiefland City Commissioner Teresa Barron was presented with a plaque for her 14 years of service to the people of Chiefland.

Teresa Barron Betty Walker
Mayor Betty Walker (in yellow blouse) reads from the plaque as Teresa Barron (left) and others listen. 

Teresa Barron Betty Walker
Mayor Betty Walker and Teresa Barron hug after the presentation.

Teresa Barron Betty Walker
After the presentation of the plaque to former City Commissioner Teresa Barron, the group poses for a photo opportunity. Seen here are (from left) Vice Mayor Chris Jones, City Commissioner Donald Lawrence, City Commissioner Rollin Hudson, Barron and Mayor Betty Walker.


     Mayor Betty Walker made the presentation.
     Walker mentioned that during that time, from 2004 through 2018, Barron had served as a city commissioner, vice mayor and mayor.
     “It’s been a long 14 years,” Barron said, “but I have enjoyed every bit of it. There are some good people in this community. We love this community. And all of the staff and all of the commissioners are good people.”
     Barron added that she is thankful for having the opportunity to serve the people of Chiefland for 14 years.

Edward Jones invites people
to Walk to End Alzheimer's

Published Sept. 12, 2018 at 9:08
Sheila K. Smith and Nancy Henry, the financial advisor and senior branch office administrator of the Edward Jones office in Newberry respectively, are inviting people to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer's.     "At Edward Jones, we live and work in the communities we serve," they noted. "We want to make a difference in people's lives, both in and out of the office. Many of us have witnessed the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease firsthand. That's why Edward Jones is proud to serve as National Presenting Sponsor of the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's."
     This event is scheduled for Saturday Oct. 20, at 8 a.m., at Trinity United Methodist Church 4000 N.W. 53rd Ave., in Gainesville.
     Anyone who would like to support the Newberry office of Edward Jones team as a walker, or as volunteer or as a donor, is asked to please contact the office at 352-472-2776 or visit
     At the website of, please
     1. Click Join a Team
     2. Enter the Team ID, EJ-REG031-NewberryAmblers
     3. Click Search
     4. When the team name EJ-REG031-NewberryAmblers appears below Search, click Join Team
     From here, a person can join the Newberry Amblers team by clicking “Register,” or a person can donate by clicking “Donate.”
     Those individuals who participate in the walk will receive a free T-shirt. To reserve a T-shirt, please contact the office at 352-472-2776 by Oct. 1.
     Edward Jones and the Alzheimer's Association have established a special hotline for individuals, friends and family members affected by Alzheimer's disease. Call 844-440-6600 to learn more about resources in the community.
     Edward Jones itself cannot accept gift cards, cash or checks as donations.

Levy County Animal Services
connects people with pets;
Four dogs and two cats adopted

Levy County Animal Services
David Weatherford kneels next to some of the dogs that were available for adoption on Saturday (Sept. 8). Levy County Animal Services Director Weatherford is seen here just a few days after suffering a heart attack, getting two stints placed in his heart, and now he is back on active duty with Levy County. He just left the hospital on Tuesday (Sept. 4).

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Sept. 8, 2018 at 11:08 p.m.
* Updated Sept. 10, 2018 at 8:18 a.m.
Levy County Animal Services provided people with an opportunity to add a cat or dog to their family Saturday (Sept. 8) at a special adoption event held at Tractor Supply Co. in Chiefland.

Levy County Animal Services
Levy County Veterinarian Dr. Darlene Esler holds an approximately 1-year-old cat named John. This cat is very friendly toward people, Dr. Esler said, and he is ready to be adopted – unless someone already adopted him from the event on Saturday.

Levy County Animal Services
Animal Control Officer Nathan Mercer holds Deborah the dog before taking her for a walk during the event on Saturday. Joining Mercer here is Crystal Pruitt of Levy County Animal Services.

Levy County Animal Services
This is Queen. She is among the most adoptable dogs as of Saturday afternoon. This medium-sized Labrador retriever -bulldog mix is approximately three years old. She has been at the LCAS shelter since June 19.

*   By the conclusion of the event, there were four dogs and two cats adopted.

     Levy County Animal Services (LCAS) Director David Weatherford, Levy County Veterinarian Dr. Darlene Esler, and LCAS staff members Crystal Pruitt, Nathan Mercer and Lamar Sears took cats and dogs from the main LCAS holding area to the shopping center where Winn-Dixie is an anchor.
     Tractor Supply Co. is the anchor store on the southern end of that shopping center in Chiefland, and that is the host site for this most recent pet adoption event by the county – separate from its five-days-a-week adoptions.
     Director Weatherford was looking as spry as ever, despite him just being released from the hospital on Tuesday (Sept. 4) after suffering a heart attack on Sunday (Sept. 2). Weatherford said his heart was 80 percent blocked until two stints were added. Now that issue has been resolved.
     The leader of Levy County Animal Services said his doctor authorized him to be at the adoption event on Saturday. Also present was Levy County Commissioner Lilly Rooks, who has been very active in helping people adopt cats and dogs from the county over the past several years.
     Weatherford said he is very appreciative of the people at Tractor Supply Co., who have allowed the county to conduct adoption events there over and over again. He added that most recently Tractor Supply Co. showed how it is always very generous in the effort to help people adopt pets in Levy County.
     Tractor Supply Co. sold LCAS $800 worth of kennels for $400, Weatherford said.
     Levy County Animal Services is a very comprehensive county service. It even has started a trap-neuter-release program for cats.
     As of Saturday, there were 43 dogs and 15 cats available for people to take home as pets from the LCAS location near the solid waste transfer station between Bronson and Williston.
     To learn more about LCAS, please click HERE
     To see the available dogs and cats at LCAS, please click HERE.

AmVets Hold Ice Cream Social
AmVets 422 Ice Cream Social

The Ladies Auxiliary of AmVets Post 422, Fanning Springs, hosted an Ice Cream Social on Sunday (Sept. 9).

AmVets 422 Ice Cream Social 

AmVets 422 Ice Cream Social

Several Post members and guests enjoyed homemade waffle cones by Wendy and Allen Luzader, and built their own ice cream sundaes from a vast list of toppings. Root beer floats were also enjoyed by a few.
Published Sept. 10, 2018 at 7:38 a.m.

Information and Photos by AmVets Ladies Auxiliary 422 Secretary Toni Plemmons






CF’s AFC chapter donates
school supplies to
College Park Elementary School

CF helps children
College of Central Florida employees donate school supplies to business partner, College Park Elementary School. Seen here are (from left) 
Kelley Besser, College Park Elementary School Principal Teresa Forsyth, Mark Ross, Shena Grant, Sarah David and Victoria Colleli
Photo by CF Marketing and Public Relations

Published Sept. 7, 2018 at 8:38 a.m.
     OCALA --
The College of Central Florida’s Association of Florida Colleges (AFC) chapter donated more than 700 school supply items to College Park Elementary School, estimated to be valued between $1,500 and $2,000.
     Employees collected the items throughout the month of August in preparation for the new school year.
     “College Park Elementary (1330 S.W. 33rd Ave, Ocala) has a student population with approximately 80 percent of families living in poverty. As a partner, we have a unique opportunity to serve these children and provide school supplies so that they are prepared for class,” said Kelly Besser, AFC member and business partner liaison. “AFC holds an important role in organizing the supply drive; one of the values of AFC is service and we’re pleased to include this in our service opportunities.”
     The CF AFC chapter has 282 members and has been hosting the school supply drive annually as part of the partnership it has with College Park Elementary School.
     AFC represents employees, presidents and trustees associated with the Florida College System, and actively promotes, represents and supports members and institutions as they prepare students for the future. AFC has chapters throughout the state of Florida.

CF to host Arts College Fair
for high school, college students
on Tuesday, Sept. 25

Published Sept. 3, 2018 at 7:38 a.m.
     OCALA —
The College of Central Florida invites students, parents and community members to its Arts College Fair from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, in the Dassance Fine Arts Center at the CF Ocala Campus, 3001 S.W. College Road. 
     This free event is for area college and high school students who plan to pursue a degree or career in the visual and performing arts: studio, digital media, music, theatre or dance. Representatives from arts programs at the College of Central Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida State University, Southeastern 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,” Dr. Jennifer Fryns, dean of 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,” 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.”
     Immediately following the Arts College Fair at 7 p.m. in the Dassance Fine Arts Center, the (F)Actor Theatre Company in collaboration with CF Theatre will present a staged reading of “The Humans” by Stephen Karam directed by CF adjunct theatre professor Janet Shelley.
     To learn more about CF, visit

Williston FFA Leaders Attend Conference

Williston FFA sent leadership representatives to Florida FFA’s Chapter Presidents Conference (CPC) in Orlando on Aug. 24. These students currently serve in leadership positions at the chapter, sub-district and district level within Williston FFA and the Florida FFA Association. While attending the CPC, these student leaders reflected on their own leadership styles, developed new strategies to better themselves, set goals for Williston FFA and networked with other FFA officers from around the state. Williston Middle FFA President Grace Dola expressed her excitement at the conclusion of the conference by saying 'Working with the Florida FFA state officers was really cool.' She and the other attendees returned to Williston Middle High School ready for another remarkable year in Williston FFA.
Published Sept. 2, 2018 at 1:38 p.m.

Information and Photo by WMHS Agri-science Instructor Natalie Couey


     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, 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 said that if he could work for The Christian Press, then that certainly would be the publication to serve.
     Since Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section of this page has run daily devotionals from several individuals who contributed over the past eight years. Many daily devotionals are 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

Sept. 24, 2018  Monday at 7:38 a.m.


Read 1 Kings 19:1-18; Acts 2:43-47

     Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
-- Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)

     There are often times when we feel as though we are alone in our struggle to uphold the clean life. Elijah once thought that he was the only man serving God. All others had deserted to Baal. He wanted, as we might think, to quit and die.
     There is a sure cure for despondency: seek out others who possess like purposes. The first Christians did this, asserting regularly, with one accord in one place. The first missionaries did not go into the pagan world alone. On the first mission went Barnabas, Paul and Mark; on the second Paul, Silas and Timothy. Even Jesus did not attempt the heroic life alone. He soon had His disciples about Him. Their presence was an actual aid to His divine living. Some experiences of healing, the Transfiguration and Gethsemane, He could not face alone. He must have at least Peter, James and John with Him.
     When I left home, my father’s best advice was: “Seek out some church at once. There you will find those best able to uphold you in the Master’s way.” That can always be done. High-souled people are always accessible. Not too far off is a really lively church of believers in the Way, the Truth and the Life. Within reach are the chaplain, and other Christian soldiers, who are bravely holding fast to that which is good. You need never strive alone. So Elijah learned; so Paul experienced; and so may you find if you are in earnest.
     GRACIOUS MASTER, we thank Thee for those companions close about us whose clean lives and loyal faith strengthen ours. We praise Thee that Thou dost never leave us nor forsake us. Make us worthy of these, our true companions, who uplift us and believe in us. Hold Thou us fast that we may never fail them, ourselves or Thee. Amen.
Pastor Chester Warren Quimby
Methodist Church
Mifflin, Pennsylvania

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


Published Sept. 24, 2018 at 9:58 a.m.

First UMC CHiefland Pastor Alex Christian Connections

     Pastor Alex Christian of First United Methodist Church of Chiefland provides a daily devotional video each Monday through Thursday via the church's Facebook page.
     Pastor Christian (or Pastor Alex as some people call him) in this video offers insight as well as other as aspects that may be inspirational to individuals.
     Throughout September, Pastor Christian will be focusing on the gifts we receive and share as part of a faith community. In his four daily videos this week, Pastor Christian plans to share with people about the gift of service.

     The pastor provides insight today (Sept. 24) about the gifts we receive from God.
     Click HERE to see and hear this pastor in this video.

-- 1 Peter 4:10-11 New International Version (NIV)

     10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.


Outdoor Truths Ministry
By Gary Miller © Sept. 24, 2018 at 7:38 a.m.

     Within the next couple of weeks, just about every state will have opened their bow season for deer. These weeks are always some of the most exciting times for those of us who are anxious to get back into the tree stand after several months off. It is also the part of the season where many hunters’ goal is to add meat to the freezer. The doe are fair game and it’s good to get that first shot under your belt knowing that in a few more weeks the waiting may be longer as you look for that big buck. Taking doe from the herd is also important for deer management. Since a tract of land can only hold so many deer, one needs to make sure the doe-to-buck ratio is healthy. And one way you can tell it’s not, is if you see doe that have no fawns. This means they are either unable to have a fawn or they have not been bred. Either way, they are simply taking up room which could be used for a more productive doe or for a buck. The comparison to cattle farmers would be like having a cow on your farm that never has a calf. It wouldn’t take long to figure out that that cow is eating grass and is not helping the farmer make money. The principle is the same and these types of doe are prime candidates for early bow season. I hope to not only put one in my freezer but also in some other folks as well.
     Perhaps more than I should, I look at my own Christian life in terms like these. I simply ask myself if I am productive or just taking up space. Am I just feeding on God’s goodness and grace without ever producing something besides my spiritual fatness? Is there something to show, outside of myself, for what God has placed into my life? Am I making a positive, fruitful, and spiritual impact on the lives of others? I think all these questions are important, but I also know that, many times, they cannot be answered by me, but only by God. Only He sees the full picture and only He knows what is fully transpiring in my life right now. This means while sometimes I may feel I am not making an impact, I actually am. Or while I may think I am not going anywhere, God is actually working all around me, getting things ready for the time when He sets me down into my perfect place.
     So how do I know which is right? I can know I am being all God wants me to be by getting up each morning and simply presenting myself to Him for His will and work. After that, my responsibility is over until I receive His orders. Today it may be I simply write an article. Tomorrow it may be that I speak to thousands – the next day just one. But the contentment for me will be knowing I am a fruitful member of the herd and not just feasting from the field of His blessings.

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 © Sept. 24, 2018 at 9:38 a.m.

     Who are some of your favorite people? If you made a list, it would likely include those who make you laugh, who listen when you need to talk and who are there when you need them. Some on the list stay constant while some may change. This past weekend, I attended my nephew’s wedding and felt so grateful to officially add his new wife to this list! As you can guess, my grandkids have a secure spot at the top of this list, as do my kids. And I have to laugh at how many times over 30 years of marriage my husband’s name has been temporarily erased, and then quickly added back to this list!
     The word "favor" is one that will become important to us as we see God use it to carry out His purposes for Esther’s life. Last week, we left King Ahasuerus in a bad mood, having just sent Queen Vashti permanently out of his presence. Eventually, the King becomes lonely and those around him suggested it may be time to find a new queen. So, Persia implemented their own archaic version of The Bachelor (the TV show). This is the circumstance that allows us to meet Esther. After bringing all the beautiful virgins in the land to the palace, a year-long beauty regime began. According to verse 8, Esther was one of the young women taken to the King’s palace. Prior verses tell us that “she had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at,” and that she was an orphan, being raised by her cousin Mordecai.
     Esther was placed under the custody of Hegai, who was in charge of the women. Here in verse 9 we find the first mention of favor: “And the young woman pleased him and won his favor.” Verse 15 contains the second mention: “Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her.” Finally, in verse 17, we find that “the king loved Esther more than all the women and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.”
     Notice that all of these verses indicate that Esther “won” favor. Often in Scripture we see the phrase, “found favor,” but this offers a different perspective. Winning favor implies an activeness on her part. In other words, winning favor is something she was doing rather than something that was done to her. If we look at the big picture, something had to stand out about Esther beyond her physical appearance. After all, all the beauties in the land were gathered in the same place! What was so special about Esther?
     Scripture identifies a few things for us: she was obedient to Mordecai (vs 10). This implies that she was not rebellious and thankful for all he had provided for her. She also sought Hegai’s advice about what to take with her to the King (vs 15). This suggests that she was not wise in her own eyes (Proverbs 3:7) but humbly sought his counsel. These two verses tell us plenty about our girl Esther: she respected authority, had a grateful attitude, wasn’t a “know-it-all” and possessed some people skills.
     This is good news for those of us who would like to find favor with others: all of these skills can be developed! We can ask God to help us not only find favor with others, but also to get better at “gaining favor” by offering respect and treating others with kindness and humility.
      Practicing our manners and brushing up on our people skills are sure to honor God in our lives as He uses us to point people toward His Son. And who knows but that we may find our names on a few favorites’ lists along the way?
Because Every Heart Matters!
, Angie
     PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Heart Matters is a 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.

The Zeal
Jesus Asked,
'Who Do You Say I AM?'

By Guy Sheffield © Sept. 18, 2018 at 3:18 p.m.

     An 11-year-old boy can get a mite fidgety out in the woods with a big 12-gauge layed across his knobby knees, especially when it’s loaded to the gills with double-aught buck. For me, the enormity of the moment had been a long time coming. I’d endured my BB gun years with only occasional window breakage. Shucks, my little brother Heath still had both eyes, and I hadn’t shot him at all after I’d moved up to my .410 single-shot. Still, I had to concede my promotion was mostly due to the fact we were out of .410 shells. Dad wasn’t going to miss the last day of the season to babysit me.
     Dad had hallowed me out a place in the leaves under an old oak, and encouraged me he’d be back before dark this time. He gave me a gun safety lecture, though my mind wouldn’t slow down enough to catch most of it. It must’ve been all that black coffee I’d snuck out of his thermos. Anyway, I do remember asking, “Why you got on so much orange today dad?” He replied you could never be too careful with all those rookie hunters out in the woods. I smugly agreed.
     Dad had no sooner headed off to his stand than I’d whipped that worn walnut stock up to my cheek and threatened every squirrel in the woods. I pitied the poor deer fool enough to walk past me. Looking back, I needn’t have.
     Sometime later that afternoon, after my caffeine crash, I jerked awake with several questions immediately coming to mind; like how did those deer tracks get there? I also began to question whether dad had said the gun’s safety should be poked in or out. It began to worry me to no end. If dad came back and I didn’t have the gun on safety he’d whomp me good. The more I thought on it, the more confused I became. If the red on the button was showing, did it mean stop? Or fire?
     After much reasoning I convinced myself I must’ve knocked the safety off during my nap. Everyone knows red means stop. So I reached down and clicked it back on. I slid my finger in that trigger housing to give her a little pull just to prove I was right when “BOOM”! The gun jarred clean out of my lap, and the blast nearly felled a big neighboring tree. I quickly gathered it back up, along with my eyeballs, and clicked that little button back the other way. I could’ve sworn I heard the sound of squirrels chuckling.
     But anyway - Like a recent commercial said, “Life comes at you fast.” I’ve noticed it could leave you pretty quick too! I could’ve been killed. Maybe that’s why I’m compelled to ask, “Who do you say that Jesus is?” I ask because it’s a question dealing with eternal Life, and another case in which there’s only one way to properly operate the safety.
     A lot of religions acknowledge Jesus as part of their false teachings. They admit He was a great prophet, or say He was a good man. (They wouldn’t want to be so ignorant as to belittle the impact His teachings have had on the world. After all, loosely tying in with the Truth often causes a lie to become somewhat more palatable.) Inevitably, however, upon closer study, you will find almost all cults and false religions refuse to acknowledge Jesus’ deity, and deny His position as LORD. Can you walk in a gray area on this matter? Is there one? Would you really want to pull the trigger at this point? In merely accepting Jesus as a good man many have already discredited themselves, and proven they cannot possess absolute truth. (Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6 KJV.) This passage came from Jesus’ own lips. Either these are the ravings of a lunatic, or Jesus is actually who he claims to be. He cannot be a good man and a lunatic! Who is He? The Bible further says of Jesus, (For it stands in scripture: “See, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” To you then who believe, he is precious; but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner,” and “A stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall. 1 Peter 2:6-8 NRSV)
     So I ask again, “Who do you say Jesus is?” Is He your solid rock, or the rock you’re stumbling over? I hope you’re not sitting there fiddling with that trigger while you’re staring down this barrel of indecision. Let me help you. Jesus is who He claimed to be! He is the Messiah. He is the son of God, and He is God! He is our only safety, and unless you confess Him as your Lord and believe in your heart He was raised from the dead you will one day die and spend all eternity in hell. BOOM! There it is. The squirrel’s out of the bag. The buckshot stops here. I hope this blast jars you to your senses.

Guy Sheffield's website - But Anyway is located at
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