NEW EACH DAY - DAILY DEVOTIONAL
THE CHRISTIAN PRESS
Most MONDAYs - THURSDAYs
DAILY VIDEO DEVOTIONAL
NEW EACH WEEK
Gary Miller's Outdoor Truths, Jan. 14, 2019
Guy Sheffield's But Anyway, Jan. 16, 2019
CF to present lecture on
portable biodiversity museum
Professor Sean Miller is seen with some of his portable biodiversity museum.
Story and Photo Provided
By The CF Marketing and Public Relations Department
Published Jan. 17, 2019 at 9:08 a.m.
OCALA -- The College of Central Florida’s Visual and Performing Arts Department is scheduled to present the lecture “Crude Life Portable Biodiversity Museum for the Gulf of Mexico” by Sean Miller on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 12:30 p.m. in the Webber Center, 3001 S.W. College Road, Ocala.
Miller, associate professor of sculpture at the University of Florida, will discuss his latest works, which include displays, paintings, sculptures, research and specimen collections for a portable pop-up museum.
Tickets are not required. Light refreshments will be served.
For more information, call the CF Box Office at 352-873-5810. To learn about other events at CF, visit http://www.cf.edu/.
More Below This Ad
Florida Gateway College
announces Nutrien Partnership
for summer camps
By Stephen Culotti, Public Information Specialist
Florida Gateway College
Published Jan. 16, 2019 at 4:48 p.m.
LAKE CITY – Florida Gateway College announces it has partnered with White Springs agricultural products manufacturer Nutrien to offer a larger variety of summer camps for youngsters this summer.
This year’s lineup will feature twelve camps for six weeks beginning in June. Each camp will cover a wide array of activities and disciplines for youth ages 8-16.
Last year, Nutrien sponsored the college’s Girl Power Leadership Camp and decided to expand their sponsorship to include all twelve camps.
"We feel that youth camps are helpful in the successful development of young people in our area and are more than happy to lend our assistance,” said Mike Williams, Issues Manager at Nutrien.
All camps run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. two days a week. The camps will begin the week of June 10 and will conclude with the last camps the week of July 22.
The price to attend will be $50 per student per camp.
The 2019 FGC Summer Camps (subject to change) are: Fishing Mission 2018; Leadership Camp; S.T.E.M.; Theater; FGC Volleyball Camp; FGC Basketball Camp; Dance/Cheer; Cross Country/Running; FGC Golf Camp; FGC Soccer Camp; Public Safety Training Camp; and Environmental Science.
Outstanding students recognized
The first student honored Monday night (Jan. 14) was Abby Claire Locke, seen here with Chiefland City Commissioner Tim West.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 16, 2019 at 9:08 a.m.
CHIEFLAND – Chiefland City Commissioner Tim West was the city leader on Monday night (Jan. 14) who bestowed upon three outstanding students, certificates and gift cards.
(from left) Tyler Hill, Abby Claire Locke, City Commissioner Tim West and Wyatt Hammond are seen moments after the commissioner gave the students the honors they earned by being outstanding students. The group accommodated a photographer who repositioned them to capture the American flag and the city’s symbol on the wall in the background, after other members of the press and public had taken the group’s picture.
Reading from the comments and information submitted by teachers at the various schools, Commissioner West told listeners about the reasons these students were named as Chiefland Students of the Month for December.
Abby Claire Locke, a second-grade student at Chiefland Elementary School was nominated by her teacher Torie Hardee.
The young Miss Locke is the daughter of Dallas and Emily Locke.
“Abby Claire Locke is kind, helpful and a hardworking student,” her teacher noted and Commissioner West read. “She helps out in the classroom any way she can, from helping the teachers to helping other students.
“She readily volunteers to help students when they need additional help and she does it with such kindness. She always has a smile on her face and kind words to say to everyone,” her teacher continued. “She is a true blessing and a wonderful representative for Chiefland Elementary’s Student of the Month.”
Tyler Hill, a seventh grader at Chiefland Middle School, was nominated by all of the seventh-grade teachers there.
The son of Dustin and Lynn Hill was noted to be hardworking and kind.
“He is prepared for class every day,” Commissioner West said, “and always comes in with a great attitude. He is a sweet boy who always wants to do his best. He is a joy to have in class.”
Wyatt Hammond, a senior at Chiefland High School, was nominated by all of the twelfth-grade teachers.
Like the other students honored Monday night, the son of Bill and Janet Hammond was noted to be a hardworking student.
Wyatt Hammond leads by example, the teachers noted.
“He is a leader on the football team and in the classroom,” the CHS teachers added. “Wyatt is ALWAYS polite and respectful to adults and other students. He led his football team to the third round of the playoffs, and earned six ‘A’s and one ‘B’ during the first nine weeks of school.”
Each of these three outstanding students also went home with a $20 Walmart gift certificate that was awarded to them by the Rotary Club of Chiefland.
Gilchrist Rotary gets energized
by three new members
Seen here (from left) are Rotarians Holly Creel, Dana Nicholson, Stephanie Barron, Jim Surrency, Stephanie Hunt, Damon Leggett and President Aaron Haynes
Photo and Story Provided
By Holly Creel, Rotarian
Published Jan. 15, 2019 at 9:08 a.m.
TRENTON -- The Rotary Club of Gilchrist County has really got some exciting momentum to start out our 2019 year!
We inducted three new members at our meeting on January 14th at the Woman's Club in Trenton! President Aaron Haynes was delighted by having such a surge of participation and leadership in our club and inspired all of us to serve with intentionality in our Service Above Self.
New members include Stephanie Barron, who was sponsored by Rotarian Dana Nicholson, a new member herself as she just joined us last month. Now that's inspiring to bring in another new member in your first month as a Rotarian! Stephanie is a successful real estate agent and is well-known to the Gilchrist community.
Jim Surrency, also well known to the Gilchrist community as an educator and prior member of the Gilchrist and Palatka Rotary Clubs was sponsored by Rotarian Rob Rankin.
And Stephanie Hunt, sponsored by Todd Gray, is a branch manager for Lafayette State Bank and is, yes, you guessed it, another leader and member of our Gilchrist community! Welcome to our three new Rotarians!
Rotarians enjoyed a luncheon catered by Chef Jason of Chef's Table Bistro. We dined on grilled pork chops, wild rice pilaf, seasoned green beans, garlic bread and fruit and pecan tartlets for dessert.
We also have another new member that will be inducted later this month so we are excited to have the ideas and enthusiasm of all our new members. Rotary is committed to serving our community both locally and globally. If you are interested in joining an organization that does so much good for others and has fun, please contact our Membership Chair Todd Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org and become a Rotarian!
Three Sisters Springs
draws tourists to Crystal River
Some of the many people floating peacefully in the water and looking through waterproof facemasks at manatees underwater, are seen in the outlet area from Three Sisters Springs in Citrus County on Saturday (Jan. 12). It was very good weather for visitors to the springs. At this point, between 10 a.m. and noon, it felt like about 71 degrees Fahrenheit.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 13, 2019 at 11:38 a.m.
Video By Sharon Hardison
CRYSTAL RIVER – With 150 manatees in one area reported by the tourist attraction known as Three Rivers Springs in the city of Crystal River, it’s no wonder the trams running every half-hour from City Hall were relatively full on Saturday (Jan. 12).
In this video, there is a panorama view of the springs with some of the many manatees in the springs.
Video by Sharon Hardison © Jan. 13, 2018
A very large manatee floats in the springs.
A manatee comes up for a breath of air. The red thing in the photo is a leaf floating on top of the water. Manatees are mammals and they breathe air and have warm blood.
Here are some of the 150 manatees counted in the Three Sisters Springs are on Saturday.
A big manatee takes a breath through its nose as it pokes up out of the calm spring water.
This view shows where the spring empties into another body of water, leading eventually to the Gulf of Mexico.
A relatively smaller manatee is seen near the surface as it gets a breath of air.
This picture gives a perspective of the size of the smaller, and probably younger manatee.
Kayakers are seen in the water near the outlet from the springs.
Here is a view of kayakers and a tour pontoon boat seen with beyond the shoulders of the many tourists at the site on Saturday.
This drone or unmanned aerial system is noticed above the park. If the park is within a certain distance from an airport, the operator may be violating federal law. However, there are methods to legally fly a UAS. Drone operators should communicate with the Federal Aviation Administration to learn the best flight methods.
This plant is among the various forms of flora found at the park on Saturday. It was sending its airborne seeds through the air – where they floated like many tiny parachutes, landing on land and water.
Here, the lovely and talented Sharon Hardison models next to a bluebird (of happiness) nesting box at the park. There are also bat boxes on the property.
The crystal-clear water of the springs allows viewers to see the fish in the area. Dust, pollen and other floating objects floating on the top of the water are not crystal clear.
One of the trolleys used to deliver visitors to the site departs to collect more people. The trams ran every 30 minutes, and there was even a shuttle van for express delivery to the City Hall parking lot, where the trolleys also offered stops at other tourist sites in the immediate area.
This red blooming plant was among the flora of the area.
It looks a little bit like a traffic jam in the river with the many people viewing manatees. However, no humans or manatees were reported to be hurt; and, a good time probably was had by all.
These are some of the manatees in the area closer to where the people in the water were located on Saturday.
The Three Sisters Springs Center is the official concessionaire for land access to Three Sisters Springs a unit of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.
Parking to get on the trolley is at City Hall for the City of Crystal River, and that address is 123 U.S. Highway 19 N. in that city. (That is on the east side of the highway, south of the mall and north of the turn to get on State Road 44 in the city of Crystal River).
In addition to trolley tours to Three Sisters Springs, there is walk-in/bike access at the front gates of the property. There is no vehicular parking at the site, though.
For the people with snorkels, masks, fins, as well as the canoeists and kayakers, Three Sisters Springs has open water access from April 1 through Nov. 14.
During this time of year, people can dive, snorkel, and kayak the springs as long as they enter from the water access. There is no access into the springs by land, ever.
During the colder times, like Saturday, there are limited methods to float near the manatees at the outlet from Three Sisters Springs.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, The Crystal River and Kings Bay area is the only area in Florida where swimmers are monitored around manatees.
The FWC notes the following:
The West Indian manatee is an imperiled species and is protected by state and federal law.
Avoid harassing or disturbing manatees whenever you discover that manatees are in the water near you. Harassment is defined as any activity that alters the animal's natural behavior.
By altering the manatee's natural behavior, you may create the likelihood of danger that is bad for the animal and against the law.
The FWC further notes:
BEING NEAR MANATEES
● Look, but don't touch manatees. Also, don't feed manatees or give them water. If manatees become accustomed to being around people, they can alter their behavior in the wild, perhaps causing them to lose their natural fear of boats and humans, which may make them more susceptible to harm.
● Do not pursue or chase a manatee if you see one while you are swimming, snorkeling, diving, paddling or operating a boat.
● Never poke, prod or stab a manatee with your hands, feet or any object.
● If a manatee avoids you, do not chase the animal for a closer view.
● Give manatees space to move. Avoid isolating or singling out an individual manatee from its group and do not separate a cow and her calf.
● Keep hands and objects to yourself. Don't attempt to snag, hook, hold, grab, pinch, hit or ride a manatee.
● Avoid excessive noise and splashing if a manatee appears nearby. The manatee may be resting and may surface without being aware of your presence. Noise and activity may startle the animal awake, which may put it in harm’s way if it is frightened and leaves the area.
● If the site you visit allows in-water activities near manatees, use snorkel gear and float at the surface of the water to passively observe manatees. The sound of bubbles from SCUBA gear or other devices may cause manatees to leave the area.
Highway 19 resurfacing project
to begin in Dixie County;
$8.9 million project set to start Jan. 24
By Troy Roberts, Communications Specialist
District Two, Northeast Florida
Florida Department of Transportation
Published Jan. 12, 2018 at 8:08 a.m.
CROSS CITY, FL – An $8.9 million Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) resurfacing project along U.S. 19/98 (State Road 55) in Dixie County is expected to begin later this month, weather and unforeseen circumstances permitting.
Anderson Columbia Co. of Lake City will complete the project for FDOT. Work, which will include milling and resurfacing, shoulder and drainage improvements, as well as other incidental construction, will take place between Cross City and Old Town.
Construction is expected to begin on Thursday, Jan. 24, and the project is expected to be completed in late 2019.
Daytime work is expected during the week, so motorists may experience delays during construction.
set to start on
U.S. 129 in Levy County;
Construction from U.S. 19
to the Gilchrist County line;
Start date planned for Jan. 25
By Troy Roberts, Communications Specialist
District Two, Northeast Florida
Florida Department of Transportation
Published Jan. 12, 2018 at 7:38 a.m.
CHIEFLAND -- The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is scheduled to begin a resurfacing project on U.S. Highway 129 in Levy County later this month, weather and unforeseen circumstances permitting.
The $2.8 million project will take place between U.S. Highway 19 north of Chiefland, to the Gilchrist County line.
FDOT has contracted with Preferred Materials Inc., to complete the work.
As part of the project, the road will be milled and resurfaced. Work also will include shoulder and drainage improvements, as well as other incidental construction.
Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin on Friday, Jan. 25, and the project is expected to be completed this summer.
Daytime work is expected during the week, so motorists may experience delays during construction.
However, no lane closures are allowed from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.
8th Annual Daddy-Daughter
Dance Camo Hop set for
Jan. 26 at Camp Anderson
By Anne Hodges of the Dixie County Rotary Club
Published Dec. 27, 2018 at 8:08 a.m.
DIXIE COUNTY -- Daddies and daughters, it is time to get ready for the 8th Annual Daddy-Daughter Dance at the Pavilion at Camp Anderson, set for Saturday, Jan. 26.
This event is for all girls and their fathers or special father figure in their life. The festivities at the Fantasy Castle begin at 6 p.m. with a complimentary buffet dinner. When the dance floor opens, Queens and Kings, and Princesses and Princes from prior years will be invited to the floor for the first dance.
Dancing with their dads, or line-dancing with their friends will continue, along with other activities, throughout the evening.
Finally, all of the girls will have a chance to become 2019 Queen or Princess. Those relaxing off the dance floor will enjoy watching the clips of camo hops from year’s gone by, and learn about the many business interests that financially support this year’s event.
Tickets are available at Drummond Community Bank in Cross City and Old Town; Badcock’s Home Furniture and More in Cross City; The Dixie County School District Finance Office in Old Town; the Dixie County Property Appraiser’s Office in the Dixie County Courthouse in Cross City; the office of Anne G. Hodges, CPA, in Cross City; and at the Dixie County Anti- Drug Coalition office located inside of Ameris Bank in Cross City.
Tickets purchased in advance are $25 per couple, or $30 if purchased at the door. (Additional daughters are just $5). The ticket includes dinner, dancing, party favors, activities during the event, and access (through Shutterfly.com) to photos taken during the event.
This is a special event for daddies and their daughters. Moms, you are NOT invited, but you can be involved in helping your daughter plan the perfect camo outfit-whether hunting camp attire or a camouflage gown with ruffles and lace!
And Moms can encourage Dads that this night will be a lifetime memory they will cherish. No tuxedoes are expected here. Dads can come comfy in camo attire, boots and jeans.
The Daddy-Daughter Camo Hop is an annual community project of the Dixie County Rotary Club, made possible with help from community partners, Camp Anderson, the Dixie County Historical Society and the Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition.
In addition, many community businesses recognize the importance of strong father-daughter relationships and provide financial support through annually sponsoring this event. They will be recognized throughout the evening.
Call 352-498-7067 days or 352-542-7135 (evenings) or 352-356-0306 for more information.
UF IFAS workshops offered
on Feb. 1 for stranded mammals
and seabird rescue efforts
Published Jan. 11, 2019 at 8:48 a.m.
CEDAR KEY -- The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is scheduled to host two free training workshops on Feb. 1 in Cedar Key for people interested learning more about appropriate responses to stranded marine mammals or injured seabirds.
These programs are open to any interested person, however, there registration is required. There are two different workshops and two registration connections listed below.
Attendees can discover more information about joining the marine mammal stranding network or the Cedar Key Bird Rescue programs as volunteers.
Attendees are not required to volunteer for either program, however volunteers must attend a training before participating.
This program is set for Feb. 1 (a Friday), at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Senator George Kirkpatrick Marine Laboratory in Cedar Key, which is located at 11350 S.W. 153rd Court, which is located on the left side of State Road 24 for drivers who are entering the island from the mainland.
The slated program shows the following schedule:
12:30 - 2:30 p.m. -- Marine Mammal Stranding Workshop: This is a training for anyone interested in volunteering for the University of Florida Marine Animal Rescue team, or anyone interested in simply learning about how we rescue marine mammals. Training will cover UFMAR personnel, marine mammal health information, Southeast Stranding Network organization, human health and safety, and procedures for assessing and assisting stranded marine mammals on the Gulf Coast of Florida. There will also be a practical portion where we will cover how to support a marine mammal and load and carry it in a stretcher for transport.
Registration is possible by clicking HERE.
2:30-3 p.m. – Break.
3-5 p.m. -- Bird Rescue Workshop: Attendees will learn about the Cedar Key Bird Rescue program, hear from a licensed wildlife rehabilitator about best bird handling practices, learn how to access rescue gear, and learn how to rescue an injured bird. This program primarily focuses on rescuing birds that have been tangled in fishing line, and the majority of birds rescued in this program are pelicans.
Registration is possible by clicking HERE.
Three $1,200 scholarships
available through the
Florida State Association of
Supervisors of Elections
Published Jan. 7, 2019 at 11:08 p.m.
BEONSON -- 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), a statewide, professional organization of 67 Supervisor of Elections in the State of Florida, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences.
FSASE will award three $1,200 scholarships this year to Political Science, Public or Business Administration or Journalism/Mass Communications majors 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 at https://www.votelevy.com/ or may be picked up at the Levy County Supervisor of Elections office, located at 421 S. Court St., in Bronson.
The completed FSASE scholarship application, resume and two letters of recommendations must be submitted by March 29 to the supervisor of elections of the county in which you are registered to
For more information, please contact the Levy County Supervisor of Elections Office at 352-486-5163 or email@example.com.
On Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section on The Life Page of HardisonInk.com started, about nine months after the start of the daily news website -- which officially 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan. 18, 2019 Friday at 6:28 a.m.
TO GREET THE MORN
Read Psalm 5:1–8
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
-- Psalm 5:3 (KJV)
Every Christian finds at least three suggestions in these words for his own practice of the presence of God—namely, a time, a manner and an attitude.
When the day is fresh and new, before the common cares have placed their burdens upon me, and before the daily temptations have lessened the sensitiveness of my soul, I come into the vitalizing atmosphere of the fellowship of the Father. “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning.”
It is a serious matter to come into the presence of God. Believers will organize their minds that they may be definite and exact as they present their petitions to the Creator of all. Careful selection should be made that their words may be well chosen. This is rifle work. The target must be clearly defined. They will not choose carelessly, but, “I will direct my prayer unto thee.”
My privilege does not end when I have chosen the morning hour and have directed my prayer to God. The answer is yet to come. With my heart full of confidence, “I will look up,” or, as the Revised Version gives it, “I will keep watch.” These three valuable suggestions will make my devotional moments most valuable. I am responsible for my time, my manner, and my attitude in the presence of God.
BLESSED LORD, may we remember that our prayers will avail when Thou art graciously willing to “consider my meditation.” Thou hast no pleasure in wickedness; therefore, we humbly repent of all sin. We are conscious of the multitude of Thy mercies; therefore, we express our gratitude. May the prayer we voice to Thee be definite; may we look up with expectation; and may we be guided in thy righteousness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
E. C. McCown
Mount Lebanon United Presbyterian 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)
Published Jan. 17, 2019 at 9:48 a.m.
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.
Pastor Christian will be focusing on what it takes to breaks down walls in our world. This is the theme through February.
In his four daily videos this week, Pastor Christian plans to share with people about breaking through barriers which keep us from unity.
The pastor provides insight today (Jan. 17) about how we can become free by being colorblind.
Click HERE to see and hear this pastor in this video
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Outdoor Truths Ministry
By Gary Miller © Jan. 14, 2019 at 8:08 a.m.
For many of us there is a lull in hunting right now. Deer season has closed except in the deep south and I’ve never been much of a predator hunter. I mostly rest this time of year, lick my wounds, and put most of my gear back in its place. A hog hunt may be in the near future, but otherwise I’m thinking about crappie and walleye, and even a big catfish. But none of these will require too much preparation or effort. I plan on coasting for the next little while, while I count down the days until Spring. The late Fall and Winter here has been really wet and dreary. I’m hoping the next few weeks will be unseasonably warm and dry. I’m not putting much faith in that, however. I’ve always tried not to complain too much about the weather, but that has been put to the test this year. Ugg! A week of sunshine would soothe my soul right now. Until then, I’ll have to imagine, or remember, the sun.
In more important areas of life, there are lengthy periods of time that seem to be unusually discouraging and depressing. Sometimes it comes from a chain of unfortunate events, and other times, it’s one bad occurrence that seems to linger on. During that season it seems as if both the power and presence of God has left our side. What was once near and vibrant has been lost to a continual feeling of abandonment and divine apathy. We feel we are left to ourselves. What do we do?
It’s at those dreary days that we must remember the sun of the former days – not to go back and linger with regret or to go back and live in the past. But we are to go back and remember several better and positive truths. We’re to remember that while the clouds may hide the sun, they cannot destroy it. It hasn’t moved, and neither has God. We are to remember there have been former days where we were extremely blessed by periods of unseasonable sunlight and warmth. And if God gives extended blessings, we must trust him when there are extended periods of difficulty. We are to remember, there were other times of dreariness, but eventually the sun broke through and consumed every drop of despair. These periods in our lives are actually not periods. They are not the end. They do signify the end. The periods of lengthy gloom are part of the sentence that is your life and mine. And as long as God has the final word, the Son will eventually break through every cloud and reveal He has never moved.
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/.
A Tangible Reflection Of God's Love
By Guy Sheffield © Jan. 16, 2019 at 11:48 a.m.
I went out on a hot date the other night, and boy was my wife Angie jealous. I hated leaving her out in the cold like that, but there’s just been a stirring in my soul lately. Sometimes a man has got to do what a man’s got to do!
It had been a long time since I’d done any courting, but let me tell you, this old dog still knows how to hunt. I slickered up real nice; put on my best Sunday go-to-meeting clothes, shaved, and sloshed myself with some of that fancy smelling water. I even ran over to the Kroger and picked up a dozen roses. I know, it all may sound old fashioned, but this was one pretty girl, and I wanted to make a lasting impression.
I punched the front door bell feeling like a young school boy. Without delay, the door whisk open and a vision of loveliness stood before me, smiling coyly. Her beauty nearly stole my breath. I paused for an instant to pray she would be mine forever. My heart fluttered as I gently took her by the hand. Then, out of nowhere, my wife Angie jumped up and ruined the whole moment. “Remember Romeo, get her home by nine. She’s got school in the morning.” “Oh momma,” my daughter Kailey huffed, “You’re just jealous because dad and I are going to Red Lobster!” It was true. Angie loves Red Lobster.
For a ten year old, Kailey is a wonderful conversationalist. Her quirky sense of humor kept me laughing all the way to the restaurant. I had the low down on almost every student in her fifth grade class by the time we arrived. Once there, I opened her car door and we strode hand in hand into that seafood lovers paradise. Kailey carried herself with such grace I was genuinely surprised when the waitress handed her a kid’s menu. “Mam,” I interrupted, “Could I get adult menu for my daughter?” It was the least I could do. Kailey deserved to have someone acknowledge the steps she had made toward maturity. However, being her first time to order off of the adult menu, we had to send the waitress back twice before I finally broke it down. “Do you like fish?” She shook her head no. “Do you like shrimp?” Still no… “Do you like seafood at all?” I implored. She crinkled her little nose and whispered, “I really just wanted to make mom jealous.” I had to laugh. That crazy girl! She ordered steak. It was good though. I should know. I ate most of it. Maybe we should wait a few more years before fully abandoning the kid’s menu.
After dinner we went for ice-cream and stopped to shop at some of her favorite girly stores. I believe she really enjoyed herself. I was glad. I wanted the whole night to be about her.
As we pulled into our drive I reached under the seat and pulled out a CD I had bought for her from an artist named Mark Harris. Along with it I had typed the lyrics to his song entitled “Find Your Wings”. It was framed nicely along with a picture of the two of us. The chorus reads:
‘I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things I’m here for you whatever this life brings
So let my love give you roots And help you find your wings’
Kailey hugged me like she never wanted to let go. I pray she knows she never has to.
But anyway - I realize it was the Lord Jesus who put that stirring in my soul. He just loves all of his little girls so much. If you ladies only knew how special you are to Him! I’m thankful He’s teaching me to be a godly dad who’s a tangible reflection of that love and care for my baby girl. Warning fellows, the bar will be set high for those of you who dare to one day come seeking my princess’ hand.
Guy Sheffield's website - But Anyway is located at http://www.butanyway.org/
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FRIDAY JAN. 18 6:28 a.m.
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