MONDAY JAN. 24 8:11 a.m. Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties
NEW EACH DAY - DAILY DEVOTIONAL
CKS shares homecoming news
Cedar Key School Senior Class King and Queen candidates are (from left) Mark Noyes, Rebecca King, Xander Bago, Lexi Epperson, Chanler Beckham, Cadence Girdler, Lorenzo Sears, Melaina Eplee, Caden Mann, Lane Sharp, Isabelle Stephenson, Madison Slaughter, Trinity Boyle, Levi Brinkman, Alexis Lipscomb, Trinity Keller, Richard Bletcher, Taylor West, Mikey Beckham and Jessie Barrett (not pictured - Douglas Singleton-Rains, Matt McCall and William Knight).
Information and Photos Provided
By Jessica Crosby CKS High School English Teacher,
Middle School AVID Advisor and Student Government Sponsor
Published Jan. 19, 2022 at 8:11 a.m.
CEDAR KEY – Cedar Key School (CKS) holds its homecoming during basketball season rather than football season because it has basketball teams but no football team.
Kindergarten Representatives - Addison Rains and Rolen McNulty
Freshman Representatives - Emmy Everidge and Micah DeHaven
Sophomore Representatives - Alissa Beckham and Morgan Beckham
Junior Representatives - Audrey Collins and Alessio Di Bari
Like the other public high schools in Levy County, CKS has activities to celebrate homecoming, including the crowning of the king and queen, and the participation by the homecoming court.
The homecoming ceremony is scheduled to take place at halftime of the varsity boys' game, which is slated to begin at 7 p.m. on Friday (Jan. 28).
The schedule for CKS Homecoming Events starts with the parade set for Thursday (Jan. 27) at 4:30 p.m., and that night there is a bonfire scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m.
On Friday (Jan. 28) there is a pep rally at scheduled to begin at 2:05 p.m., followed by middle school girls’ basketball at 3:30, middle school boys’ basketball at 4:30 p.m., the varsity girls’ basketball game at 5:30 and, as noted, the varsity boys’ basketball game starting at 7 p.m., with the crowning of the king and queen set to happen at halftime for that game.
Charles Goodman explains
why he is running for mayor of Williston
Williston mayoral candidate Charles Goodman stands on the foundation of the future animal shelter in Williston. He said this took four pours of concrete. The retired carpenter and retired general contractor said it presented the most difficult concrete pour he has completed in 48 years. This floor, though, is now ready, including the 38-foot long drains that Goodman built at his home. The drains in the shelter allow for easier cleaning of kennels.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 18, 2022 at 8:11 a.m.
WILLISTON – There are three men running in the election to be the next mayor of Williston.
This closer view of the candidate for mayor of Williston is on the foundation of the future animal shelter. Goodman said he is proud of everyone who is helping with this project including Wayne Carson, J.B. Thompson and M&M Masonry. The list of individuals and other interests helping in the project is extensive.
Incumbent Williston Mayor Jerry Robinson faces Charles Goodman and Daniel Stewart as all three men want the job, and the people who vote in that election on March 1 will decide who takes the post.
Goodman is the first mayoral candidate interviewed for this race. A rare few other candidates chose in the past to be unresponsive when asked questions about why they should be elected. The only one from Williston who did that so far in the past is State Rep. Joe Harding (R-Williston, Dist. 22).
Goodman is a Vietnam veteran who earned the bronze star during that war. He is a combat wounded veteran of the United States Army. He is among the veterans who actually fought on behalf of the country, which is a democratic republic, where the country is civilized and people all live by the rule of law, and all people are equal under the law.
Goodman is a retired carpenter and retired general contractor, as well as being adjutant of the Disabled American Veterans chapter serving the Tri-County Area. He is currently volunteering his services in the construction of the new public dog and cat shelter near Williston Municipal Airport. He is known for being an active squirrel rehabilitation enthusiast as well.
Goodman served on the Williston City Council for eight years, where he was serving as president of the City Council when he resigned.
While Mayor Robinson resigned from City Council years ago for unstated “personal reasons,” Goodman has no qualms to share why he became so bothered by the current mayor that he resigned from City Council.
Goodman said he did not think at the time that he bailed out of municipal government that he would be running for mayor, however enough people approached Goodman for him to step into the race for mayor. It wasn’t until his wife Sue Ellen Goodman agreed with his plan to run for mayor, though, that he put the plan into action.
“I’m running for mayor to make a positive difference in the lives of our Williston community,” Goodman said.
Goodman said he seeks to be more like the late Williston Mayor Emeritus R. Gerald Hethcoat, who was a stalwart proponent of a positive unified city. The late Mayor Hethcoat was known far and wide and was seen as the embodiment of the City of Williston.
As for Mayor Robinson, his action while he was in office inspired Goodman to ask the voters to replace Robinson by voting for him.
“I’m running for mayor because I believe the current mayor has made statements that caused great division within our community,” Goodman said.
When the late Mayor Hethcoat was serving the residents and visitors, Goodman said, there were no protests in City Council chambers.
Goodman said it is his opinion that Mayor Robinson caused the relatively recent protests by making “unnecessary, easily misinterpreted, questionable comments that he didn’t need to make.”
Robinson incited unrest in the community, Goodman said as he continued sharing his opinion about how he will be a mayor who is better for Williston than Robinson.
The former elected city leader then shared details of his interactions with Robinson during the search for the person who would be the next city manager. It was then that Goodman said he witnessed Robinson attempting to exercise power he did not have, according to the city charter.
One of the candidates for the job of city manager back then was from Tennessee, Robinson’s home state, Goodman said. Goodman said in his conversation with that particular candidate, when then- City Council President Goodman spoke with that man seeking to be the next Williston city manager, he and Goodman could not reach an agreement on salary.
Then, Goodman said, Mayor Robinson offered the man an annual salary that the man accepted, without ever consulting the City Council president who was supposed to be working with the mayor in the search of the best candidate for the post.
Goodman said he found Robinson’s action in that search process to be unacceptable.
“I told the (City) Council that I could not condone his (Robinson’s) actions,” Goodman said. “I would not accept his actions, and if I didn’t oppose him, then he would get away with his actions.”
The City Council did not agree with Goodman. He said he could not serve under those conditions.
To put this search process for a new city manager in perspective, Goodman shared that he had spent the previous 18 months showing the City Council that the previous city manager had given himself raises without a vote by the City Council for those raises, Goodman said, as was required in the contract between the city and the previous city manager.
Goodman said former Councilwoman Nancy Wininger felt the previous city manager’s contract was confusing to her.
Eventually, the City Council voted 4-1 with Wininger opposing it, to reduce the previous city manager’s salary. City Manager Scott Lippmann accepted a different job and he resigned after that.
Jackie Gorman was then chosen as the city manager by the City Council.
Goodman said he will abide by the charter concerning the duties of the mayor, in contrast with what he sees as what the incumbent has done.
Current Mayor Robinson has exercised an overreach of his power by performing duties that he is not called upon to perform, according to the city charter, Goodman said. The mayoral candidate gave examples of what he saw in this regard.
“The mayor decided that he would interfere in the running of the airport,” Goodman said. “The mayor decided that he would get involved with the utilities department. The mayor intimidated the city clerk and the city manager.
“Those are not within his charter responsibilities,” Goodman continued. “It is a proven fact, not an allegation. I said, ‘This is wrong.’ It’s a simple statement. ‘This is wrong.’”
Goodman said he believes in the chain of command, like he saw when was in military service.
As an example, Goodman said this is as if Robinson was a general and he was telling infantry soldiers how to load a rifle. With Robinson acting like he does, Goodman said, the chain of command has been lost. Mayor Robinson is attempting to exercise authority where he does not have it, Goodman said.
There is nothing in the city charter, Goodman said, where the mayor is supposed to literally run the fire department or the police department. He is not the fire chief or the police chief, the candidate noted.
“In this city,” Goodman said, “you (currently) have someone who wants to be the general and to run everything.”
Goodman said he has seen this type of behavior by Robinson on several occasions.
If Goodman is elected mayor, he promises to return to the office of being a mayor as outlined in the city charter. One man trying to run the city from the mayor’s position, Goodman said, will be something that will halt if he is elected.
For instance, Goodman knows the City Council has the responsibility for the budget.
“I will not be voting on things and insisting that I have to be consulted when the City Council votes on things that are the City Council’s responsibility, as shown in the city charter. I will not, when interviewing someone, insist, when I (as mayor) have not authority to hire that person, to insist on giving input.”
Goodman said if the City Council asks for his input, then he will give it. However, he added, he will not evaluate the city clerk or the city manager on a numeric sheet, because that is not his job as mayor, according to the city charter.
As for what he will do, Goodman said that he will speak with the police chief to strive to foster even more of an atmosphere of trust with people in the minority community who may now feel intimidated by police officers, rather than seeing them as helpful public servants who enforce laws for the safety of everyone.
Likewise, while allowing officers to perform as they feel they should, Goodman wants them to trust him as mayor to keep him informed. Through a healthy continuing discourse, finding solutions to problems can result, the candidate said he believes.
He wants to help people find solutions and then fix issues themselves, too, through self-reliance, while knowing there are public resources available for all people.
Goodman said he will strive to return Williston to a point so that city workers no longer fear to share their ideas, as he believes they are now being silenced by bully tactics. The mayoral candidate wants to encourage people to speak up rather than seeking to instill fear in them so that they remain silent.
Goodman said his philosophy of life is to help people who are struggling rather than to crush them.
He believes that people in government should serve the people within their community, rather than serving their own self interests.
Goodman sees Williston as one community, with one government that serves all residents and visitors. He wants to focus on methods to help meet the needs of the people.
provides wealth of information
Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones prepares to start Candidate University on Thursday (Jan. 13) in the meeting area of the Levy County Supervisor of Elections Office in Bronson. The big thick binder on the table and seen in the lower right of this picture is full of information for Levy County candidates. Jones gives one to candidates to use as a reference book.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 14, 2022 at 4:11 p.m.
BRONSON – A number of people who wanted to learn about what it takes to become a candidate attended Candidate University on Thursday (Jan. 13) in Bronson.
Charles Goodman, one of three candidates for mayor of Williston, is seen at the Candidate University.
Jackson County Supervisor of Elections Carol A. Dunaway listens as Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones explains finer points that candidates need to know to succeed in properly running a campaign to be elected.
Williston City Clerk Latricia Wright, seen in the foreground wearing a facemask, is the supervisor of elections for municipal elections in Williston. Immediately behind her in the picture is Charles Goodman, a candidate for mayor of Williston and next to him is his wife Sue Ellen Goodman, his campaign treasurer. Rebecca Goodman, his daughter, is Charles Goodman's campaign manager.
The extensive program was hosted by Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones with help from Jordan Lindsey, assistant supervisor of elections. Jones told listeners that Lindsey is an extremely valuable member of her team.
Learners that morning saw that running for county office is not for the faint of heart. There are laws to obey, and every year there can be changes to the laws. There are details, details, details and fine points that must be understood.
Candidates must work within the bounds of the election laws of the federal, state, county and municipal governments. There are some rules for each set of candidates that are separate, such as for city office, county office, state office or federal office, but certain rules cover all candidates.
The laws apply to contributors, too. For instance, no contributor can give more than $1,000 to a candidate in a county election.
However, a candidate can contribute as much as he or she wants to his or her own campaign to be elected. Likewise, a spouse can contribute as much as he or she wants to their wife or husband who is running -- unless they have separate accounts. Then, the spouse faces the same $1,000 limit as everyone else.
As Supervisor of Elections Jones said, when there is a joint account, both the wife and the husband equally own all of the money in that account.
That $1,000 limit is the maximum per-person amount for each candidate. For instance, if Joe Donor gave Josephine Candidate $1,000 and then went to a fish-fry campaign fundraiser for Josephine Candidate where tickets cost $10 each, then Joe Donor could not buy a ticket to that dinner.
As to whether pies bought at school fundraiser auctions, or livestock bought at the Suwannee River Fair can be used as political campaign expenses, that is a personal decision to be decided by the candidates, Jones said. It is a gray area as far as the Florida Commission on Ethics, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Secretary of State Elections Office.
As for spending the money raised in a campaign, there can be no money raised five days before the election. Spending can happen as late as the day of the election.
The money and records part of elections races require focus by the candidates to deadlines for financial reporting as well as to accuracy, Jones said. Some candidates are their own campaign treasurers. Some candidates are their own campaign managers. When a candidate has a separate treasurer for their campaign, Jones advised the people to make sure they have very clear and correct communication.
During her program, Levy County Supervisor of Elections Jones went through each aspect of elections using a PowerPoint presentation. There are some key messages for all candidates. Jones and her staff want every candidate to succeed in their run for office.
As far as responsibility, the candidate is his or her own shepherd. For instance, as Jones said, she is not the residency police. Beyond that, she will review the information provided by candidates by looking at everything within the four corners of documents, as is her duty as the qualifier of candidates.
If a candidate is untruthful, then that will result in action from law enforcement agencies or other regulatory agencies, and can include fines and prison terms.
However, Jones and other elections qualifiers have specific duties that do not include tracking down where voters or candidates list as their residences. They are not law enforcement officers. They are elections officials.
Florida Statute Chapter 106, Jones said, is mandatory reading for candidates. She will help Levy County candidates understand any of the aspects of elections in Florida, however the ultimate responsibility of actions taken by each individual candidate are of those individual candidates.
Levy County Supervisor of Elections Jones helped all listeners understand the finer points of what it takes to properly operate a campaign for election.
Another interesting aspect this year is that in Levy County, this Florida county is among the first to redistrict voting precincts. Jones was pleased to let everyone know that now the five districts for the Levy County Board of County Commissioners match numerically those of the Levy County School Board.
No incumbent is losing any time in office, and the transition to have matching numbers worked out smoothly, she said.
Another impact of the redistricting in Levy County is that some district lines are smaller because there is a higher density of population within a district that happened in the past 10 years.
For instance, Williston is a municipal area that showed significant growth in the past 10 years, and therefore the district lines in the county for that area for representatives from the Levy County Commission and Levy County School Board there is geographically smaller.
The population numbers are the same in the five different districts. It’s just that one district will be a certain number of square miles and other will have fewer or more square miles, depending on how many people were counted in the most recent national census.
In Levy County, all County Commission members and all School Board members are elected countywide. Levy County is not a county with single-member districts. While the commissioner or School Board members must live inside the district they represent, all of the voters in the county choose who will be elected to those two boards.
The wealth of information provided by Levy County Supervisor of Elections Jones and Assistant Supervisor of Elections Lindsey is too extensive to include in one story.
For candidates, the single best advice is to confer with Jones before doing anything. Do not accept donations. Do not make announcements. Do not spend money or do other actions until conferring with Levy County Supervisor of Elections Jones. For candidates reading this in other Florida counties, they should confer with the elections qualifiers in their counties before taking action in their bid for election to office.
As for the would-be “surprise” candidate who wants to wait until the final Friday of qualifying to complete the process, that is not recommended. Jones said there are actions that must be taken before that final moment.
If the surprise candidate waits too long, until the final day for instance, then there may not be time to assure all of the actions required can be completed in time.
Another single bit of good advice for all would-be candidates is to use this resource. Jones and her staff want candidates to be successful in their run for election. Certainly, there can be only one winner in each race for a position.
If all candidates have the same correct information, however, then that makes the competition on a level playing field. As for Jones, she is well-versed in being fair to all candidates in any party, or in no political party.
Like every other elected county officials, Jones is a Republican. However, as the supervisor of elections, she treats all people the same regardless of political party affiliation as well as the people who affiliate themselves with no political party.
Jack Screws honored posthumously
Jack Screw’s widow Sherry (second from left) and his daughter Melissa Lewis are seen with WPD Cpl. David Moss’ widow Lori (third from left), as they stand with WPD Chief Dennis Strow and the 2020 David W. Moss Humanitarian Award.
Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 9, 2022 at 6:11 a.m.
WILLISTON – The Williston Police & Fire 2020-2021 Awards Banquet provided an opportunity for Williston Police Chief Dennis Strow and Williston Fire Chief Lamar Stegall to honor certain individuals as they have annually.
The difference in the 2021 annual banquet was that there was the recognition from people in two years of service merged into one.
The global COVID-19 pandemic resulted in no banquet last year. The banquet on Friday evening (Jan. 7) was scaled back from including many dignitaries in contrast with usual fanfare, and the awards were reduced from including spoof or funny awards to only recognition that is more traditional.
With the 2020 honorees not being recognized last year, both years were put into one event.
Coincidently, the Florida Press Club banquet slated for Jan. 22 in Daytona Beach and the gathering of representatives from 25 agencies serving the needy in the Tri-County Area of Dixie County, Gilchrist County and Levy County on Jan. 12 were both canceled to reduce the spread of the mutated forms of COVID-19.
2020 David W. Moss Humanitarian Award
One of the people honored at the banquet Friday night (Jan. 7) in the clubhouse of the Williston Crossing RV Resort was the late William Jack Screws Jr. (Sept. 13, 1955-Aug. 30, 2020).
Better known Jack Screws, this civic-minded man the earned 2020 David W. Moss Humanitarian Award. The annual award was initiated by former WPD Chief Dan Davis many years ago. Former Chief Davis was among the people in the audience that night. Former Deputy Police Chief Clay Connolly was another significant former WPD member in the audience too.
WPD Cpl. David W. Moss died July 30, 1988, in the line of duty while serving the Williston Police Department. He was 31 years old when he was murdered while checking a suspicious man who was armed with a pistol.
Cpl. Moss is the only WPD officer killed in the line of duty.
Chief Strow said Cpl. Moss was known for reaching out to the people in Williston, especially the children to try to make a difference in their lives.
“This award,” Chief Strow said, “actually has David’s fingerprint etched into it. That way, he still touches the City of Williston.”
Cpl. Moss’ widow Lori presented the award this year as she has for the years since this honor began.
The 202o David W. Moss Humanitarian Award recipient is the late Jack Screws, Chief Strow said. Screws was a native of Williston, who always gave of his time and talents to make the city an even better place to live.
Screws served on the Williston City Council. He was a true friend of the WPD, Strow said.
He did whatever he could to help the department, the chief said. This included jobs like frying fish, running cars around – and even parking cars at Crab Fest.
The chief said it is very unfortunate that the city lost this great man in 2020. Chief Strow considered Screws to be like a brother.
Jack Screw’s widow Sherry and his daughter Melissa Lewis accepted the acrylic award from Cpl. Moss’ widow Lori.
2021 David W. Moss Humanitarian Award
Alan Suggs was named as the man who earned the 2021 David W. Moss Humanitarian Award.
Suggs was unable to attend the banquet, Chief Strow said.
This man is a business owner who gives back to the city with his time, talent and money. He has donated everything from a motor to get a city truck back on the road, to the contribution of the very steaks enjoyed by banquet participants that night.
2021 R. Gerald Hethcoat Chiefs Award
2021 R. Gerald Hethcoat Chiefs Award recipient Brooke Willis (center) is seen with Assistant Fire Chief Jimmy Willis Jr. (left) Fire Chief Lamar Stegall (to the right in the photo of Chief Willis), Police Chief Dennis Strow and Deputy Police Chief Terry Bovaird (far right in photo).
Another award relevant to another man who has gone to Heaven is the R. Gerald Hethcoat Chiefs Award.
This award is named in memory of the late Williston Mayor Emeritus Hethcoat, who once was the fire chief of Williston, as well as being a past mayor, and very involved in what used to be a hospital in the city.
Mayor Hethcoat was a 47-year resident of Williston who passed away July 1st, 2020 at his home. He was 77.
Mayor Hethcoat set the bar for service to the city. The R. Gerald Hethcoat Community Room in the recently rebuilt Williston City Hall is named to memorialize the man whose contributions to the city earned that recognition.
After naming Brooke Willis as the recipient of the award, Chief Stegall mentioned that she proofread his comments for the night and helped him improve some parts of his grammar, including what he would be saying about her.
Brooke Willis is known for her strong work ethic as she helps both the WPD and WFR with administrative support services to an extremely significant degree.
This is a group picture of all the members of the Williston Police Department and Williston Fire Rescue after the banquet. While some people understand that all humans are brothers and sisters, people who work in public service as first responders to emergency calls have a bond as one family, too. Here is the family photo from the get-together on Friday night (Jan. 7) in Williston.
This is a group picture of all the members of the Williston Police Department after the banquet.
This is a group picture of all the members of the Williston Fire Rescue after the banquet. The WFR group photo was provided by a photographer that noted no photo credit was needed. She donated the picture because some of the people in the picture scattered very quickly after it was taken. This picture was being taken as the same time as the group shot of the WPD.
Yankeetown clerk resigns
By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 6, 2022 at 4:11 p.m.
YANKEETOWN – Sherri MacDonald gave her two weeks’ notice in writing on Jan. 3 of her intention to resign from her post in the Yankeetown city government.
She is the clerk-treasurer and city administrator until her last day on Jan. 19, according to the letter she sent to Yankeetown Mayor Jack Schofield, Vice Mayor Jean Holbrook and council members Jeffry “Jeff” St. John, Eddie "Buck" Redd and Daniel "Danny" Pearson.
A resident of Yankeetown for 25 years, MacDonald noted that her love for the town played a significant role in her public service on behalf of the residents and visitors of Yankeetown.
She started her salaried position with the town on July 2, 2018.
“Most days I worked over my eight hours, aways on call, always tried to resolve any issue or complaint that was brought to my attention,” MacDonald wrote. “It was important to me to make sure every resident’s needs were resolved or met.”
For more than a year now, however, she noted, “I have been dealing with a nefarious group of people that continue to spread false narratives about me, attaching my character, and harassing me almost on a daily basis.”
“I have been dealing with a nefarious group of people that continue to spread false narratives about me, attaching my character, and harassing me almost on a daily basis.”
-- Sherri MacDonald
MacDonald let the mayor and Council know that she was told that when a new mayor is elected on Feb. 22, she will not have a job anymore.
She accepted a job elsewhere.
The soon-to-be former clerk-treasurer-town administrator said she feels it has been an honor to serve the people of Yankeetown.
MacDonald noted that she feels privileged to have worked with “… an exceptionally dedicated group of council members.”
She knows the success of the government in Yankeetown results from the combined efforts of everyone who worked relentlessly for common goals for the betterment of the townspeople’s health, safety and welfare.
She noted her appreciation for having been allowed to serve the town for the past 3.5 years.
First Published Feb. 1, 2011 at 8 a.m.
On Feb. 1, 2011, HardisonInk.com came into existence on the Internet. On Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section on The Life Page of HardisonInk.com started, which was about nine months after the start of the daily news website -- which officially began 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 by the man about that journalist was incorrect and misplaced, the name sounded good. And 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 years. There were two days in 2018 when the daily devotional did not run due to a journalist requiring emergency orthopedic surgery on broken bones in his left arm and wrist. That surgically added metal, though, makes that part of that arm even more able to withstand forces. 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). The journalist who is the sole proprietor and owner of HardisonInk.com (Jeff M. Hardison) notes his appreciation for the use of those devotionals from that now-defunct publishing company, and for the many other contributors who have helped people over the past 11 years here now. That publication's daily devotionals include many from a time when the United States of America was a partner in a World War. This journalist welcomes contributions of daily devotionals. Daily devotional authors are asked to please send only their original works to email@example.com. Americans are reminded that all religions, having no religion and or being a person who endorses anti-religion are all protected as part of the freedoms from government intervention, as are other benefits from being an American.
Sunday, Jan. 24, 2022 at 9:11 a.m.
WHAT GOD KNOWS
Read John 4:1-42; 8:1-11; 1 Corinthians 15. 8-10
And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
-- John 2:25 (KJV)
Nothing written of Jesus is more significant than this verse. James Moffatt (1870-1944) gives it: “He required no evidence from anyone about human nature; well did he know what was in human nature.”
Yes, let us be sure, this is one thing Christ knows, or, if you please, God knows; He knows human nature. Jesus knew people, as a result of His own divine nature, and also as a result of His own struggle with life in His own temptations - a victorious struggle, to be sure, but nonetheless a struggle. Yes, God knows people. Perhaps Jesus had our base possibilities in mind when he said, “There will be wars and rumors of wars.” No doubt He had our spiritual possibilities in mind when He said, “Pray ... Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”
Many modern playwrights and novelists have written only of the base human nature. A few maintained the “Pollyanna” attitude toward it. But Jesus knew what was in us; He knew the depths to which we could sink, and He knew the heights to which we could rise. Let us be sure this present war is the result of our own thinking and living. God did not send this war (WWII). We brought it upon ourselves. Nevertheless, as long as we are human, there is still hope of a better world. For we are capable of goodness, mercy and sacrifice. There is still hope. Begin in yourself. Think highly; live nobly; carry no spirit of revenge toward your enemies. As one person, you may now begin to prepare for the world which is in the making.
OUR FATHER, Thou dost know what is in me. I cannot hide from thee. Forgive the sins which always separate me from Thee, and which betray my best self. Inspire in me the courage to be that which by Thy grace is possible for me. Amen.
The Rev. George R. Davis
First Christian Church
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)
As I type this, I’m also getting ready for my last deer hunt of the year. The South Alabama bucks are just now in the pre-rut phase, with the rut only a few days away. This sounds strange to most of the rest of the hunting world, because in most places even the secondary rut is over. But it’s true. Alabama is just getting started. For years, I made an annual trip there in January. I looked forward to it each year. The license was cheap. The deer were plentiful. And the harvest limits were the best in the nation. I’ve hunted that state from the rolling hills of the north to the hot and sandy farms near the beach. I’ve taken the trip alone and with friends. Most of the time I came home empty-handed. But I never came home without a unique story that made each trip memorable.
I’ve dodged alligators, ran up on old marijuana gardens, and have been kicked out of camp before daylight. I’ve hunted both public and private property and have met some of the best and worst people in the world. As I look back, the reason my experiences are so varied is simple. I couldn’t afford a guided hunt, so I had to depend on others for opportunities. Sometimes those opportunities were better than I could have imagined, and other times – most of the time- they were unpredictable and difficult. But regardless of the circumstances, I always arrived with overflowing anticipation and expectation. And most of the time I left with only great stories. Which as I look back now, were the real and timeless trophies. It’s true. My first hunt in Alabama was well over twenty years ago. I was young and willing to endure hotel floors and subzero temperatures. I was willing to go into the unknown for the sake of the unknown. But it was my only option unless I wanted to stay at home – and that was not an option. As an older guy now (I’m 39, plus shipping and handling) I don’t want uncertainty and the unknown. I prefer an itinerary with a well-thought-out plan b. I want to know what I’m going into before I get there. And now I can decide whether I want to stay home or not.
There’s only one problem with a predictable life. You run out of stories. The best ones anyway. And when you run out of stories, you run out of trophy laughs. And when you run out of trophy laughs, all you have left to show are dusty heads of deer on a wall.
-- Gary Miller firstname.lastname@example.org
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/.
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