MONDAY  MAY 17  3:11 p.m.  Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties


Gary Miller's
Outdoor Truths Ministry,  May 17, 2021


Dixie Education Foundation
helps students

Dixie County Florida Chamber of Commerce
Carol West, one of the charter members of the Dixie County Education Foundation and its current president, speaks to members and guests of the Dixie County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday (May 13).

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 14, 2021 at 7:11 p.m.
The main program Thursday (May 13) at the Dixie County Chamber of Commerce meeting was Carol West telling Chamber members and guests about the Dixie Education Foundation (DEF).


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Dixie County Florida Chamber of Commerce
(from left) Bob Leichner, Richard Balog and Carol West speak with one another at the meeting. These are three members of the Dixie County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. President Andrew Rains, Vice President Debbie DeWeese, Treasurer Debbie Dembo and Secretary Melanie Anderson, and Directors – Cindy Bellot, John Cherry, Terry Dembo, Kyle Felty, Rebecca Fusco, Robbie Lee, Beverly Pivacek and Christie Zander are the other leaders of this Chamber. Like the Dixie Education Foundation, all of the leaders and workers at the Chamber are volunteers. They will be putting up American flags along U.S. Highway 19 on May 22 to fly them through Memorial Day.

     The top leaders of the DEF are President West, Vice President Jessica Swails, Secretary Christine Smith and Treasurer Christina Barber.
     A significant donation to the DEF happened Jan. 8, 2019, when the Dixie Education Foundation was one four charitable organizations in Dixie County that each accepted $50,000 as an investment firm started a five-year plan of donations that will total $1 million during that five-year span of time.
     There have been three of those $50,000 donations from Blue Wolf Suwannee Lumber Co. Holdings made to the DEF and others so far. That $150,000 worth of donations to DEF to-date is slated to be followed for another two $50,000 donations in the next two years.
     During part of her presentation, West reminded people to thank Blue Wolf Suwannee Lumber Co. Holdings, and the people from that group, including are Michael “Mike” Ranson, Charles “Charlie” Miller, Frank “Bump” Faircloth and Robert “Bob” McKagen.
     In addition to the DEF, Blue Wolf has donated and will donate to the Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition, the Dixie County High School AVID Program, and the DCHS Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
     The year 2020 heralded the third of five years of the DEF offering its Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), West said. Most recently 12 students were awarded tuition packages totaling $42,300, she said.
     The grand total for DEF giving scholarships this year was $87,300, she added.
     While the Blue Wolf donations to this group and others is the crown jewel of many donations in Dixie County over the past 100 years, the DEF has quite a story over its years of service since it was incorporated in 1998.
     The DEF is a not-for-profit, community-based organization with a purpose of securing and distributing contributions and to assists with other resources to help Dixie County.
     During the meeting Thursday afternoon, West pointed out some founding DEF board members present, including Dr. Linda Stoddard, DVM, Katherine McGinnis and West herself.
     The DEF has operated only with volunteers, she mentioned, never hiring a paid employee.
     Volunteers have put forth their time, their money, their energy and other resources, West said, because education is important.
     Education is a key for Dixie County and the world now, she said, because we all live in a global economy. Students need different skills, different ways of learning than in decades past, West said.
     “We have to adapt,” West said. “whether we want to or not, we have to adept to what fits them and what’s going to help them in their careers.”
     West said the TAP program, made possible by Blue Wolf, has impacted Dixie County students going into trades in a positive manner toward preparing them for their future.
     Young people going into welding, cosmetology, law enforcement, business management, HVAC, computer technology, certain agricultural fields, healthcare and other programs are benefiting from DEF helping them.
     Certification in biotechnology costs about $6,000 to complete, West said. Most of the businesses in the world that have anything to do with food products, West said, need a person with biotechnology certification.
     She continued by sharing success stories of different students.
     Dixie County children and young adults continuing their education, including at the University of Florida, the College of Central Florida and Florida Gateway College, West said, often need help. Beyond tuition and books, there are living expenses.
     It is not only the DEF and family members who help fund the meeting of these needs, she said. Students work to earn money to pay for the schooling as well.
     The proverbial bottom line for the DEF is that they will accept contributions of money and they want volunteers. To learn more about the DEF, visit the website https://mydcef.org/.
     Among the other scholarships, the Chamber provided were four, $2,000 scholarships from the Our Heroes Flag Program that went to Seth LaChance, Lauren Dixon, Carmen Wimberly and Lee Allen. And a $1,000 scholarship from the Chamber to Madison Johnson.
     To read the story and see photos from the January 2019 event where the investors promised $1 million in donations to four groups, click HERE.


AmVets and Masons are among scholarship presenters
Information Provided
By Lee Layne of AmVets Post 422
Published May 12, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
Suwannee River AmVets Post 422 of Fanning Springs and Joppa Lodge No. 4 of the Grand Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Florida are two of the many presenters of scholarships in 2021.
     The City of Fanning Springs is the most centrally located municipality in the Tri-County Area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties with parts of that city’s borders being in Levy County and Gilchrist County, and with it being on the south side of the Joe H. Anderson Sr. Bridge over the Suwannee River -- between Dixie County and Levy County.
     AmVets Post 422 gave four $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors.
     On Saturday (May 1), Dixie County High School held its annual Scholarship Night.
     AmVets Suwannee River Post 422 presented two $1,000 scholarships to Gabrielle Weaver and Christopher “Scott” Hysmith. The post congratulates all the DCHS seniors for their hard work and dedication.
     AmVets Post 422 is proud to support the seniors of Dixie County in furthering their education and becoming men and women that their community can be proud of.
     On Tuesday, May 4, Chiefland Middle High School held its annual Scholarship Night. AmVets Suwannee River Post 422 presented two $1,000 scholarships to Madison Cannon and Bryana Martinez.
     The post congratulates all the CHS graduating seniors for their hard work and dedication.
     The Joppa Lodge No. 4 of the Grand Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Florida, on Saturday (May 1), was among the many presenters at the Dixie County High School Annual Scholarship Night. Joppa Lodge No. 4.
     The Joppa Lodge No. 4 presented a $500 scholarship to Zachary Markham and the Ladies of Joppa presented a $500 Scholarship to Kyleigh Landrum. The Lodge congratulates all the DCHS seniors for their hard work and dedication.


Levy County Prevention Coalition
meets at Williston Elementary School

By Jeff M. Hardison © May 9, 2021 at 7:11 a.m.
The Levy County Prevention Coalition met Friday afternoon (May 7) in a portable at Williston Elementary School.
     Attendees heard from LCPC Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Lewis and others.
     Among the information shared with attendees were reports and pictures from some of the many activities the LCPC is providing in Levy County, especially in the schools, to help reduce the problems from abuse of alcohol and other drugs.
     A March 15 trip by students to Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales was shown as one of the success stories.
     During the summer of 2020, children in the LCPC mentoring program were provided with a weekend packet of materials the included emotional support materials, candy and games.
     This summer, the LCPC is scheduled to operate the Achieve Summer Camp at all Levy County School District schools. The theme this summer will provide participants with opportunities to discover the unique cultures of people on several different continents of the globe.
     Since the advent of the LCPC more than a decade ago, the Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition was formed and the Gilchrist (County) Prevention Coalition was formed.
     For at least a few years now, the LCPC has had a portable for use at WES. The Dixie County group has an office in a bank in Cross City, and the coalition with Gilchrist County roots has been conducting meetings.


FWC releases 2020 boating accident stats
By FWC Communications
Published May 7, 2021 at 5:11 p.m.
With the release of the 2020 Boating Accident Statistical Report, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages boaters to focus on taking the necessary steps for a safer boating experience.
     “A leading contributor to boating accidents is the operator’s inattention or failure to maintain a proper lookout, said Lt. Seth Wagner, FWC Boating and Waterways Section. “Many operators believe they are looking around but they are not recognizing potential hazards or are distracted by dividing their attention between things like electronic devices or other occupants in the boat.”
     In 2020, 402 boating accidents involved collisions and 44 percent of them were due to the operator’s inattention or failing to maintain a proper lookout.
     “It is important for boaters to keep in mind that a vessel should be treated with the same responsibility as a car or truck so everyone can enjoy Florida’s beautiful waters,” Wagner said.
     Florida had 836 boating accidents in 2020, which is 113 more accidents than in 2019, a 16 percent increase.
     A total of 79 people lost their lives last year in boating accidents, 14 more than the previous year. Since 2003, falling overboard has been the leading type of fatal accident with drowning as the leading cause of death. Of the drowning victims, 88 percent were not wearing a life jacket.
     Today’s boaters can choose from several models of light and comfortable, inflatable belt-pack or over-the-shoulder life jackets that can be worn while fishing or enjoying the sun. Events can happen quickly and unexpectedly, and boaters might not have time to grab their life jacket before finding themselves in the water. The message is clear, “Life Jackets Save Lives.”
     The FWC is responsible for reviewing, analyzing and compiling boating accident data for the state. Its statistical report details boating accidents and their causes. FWC officers want to help keep Florida’s beautiful waterways a safe place to boat.


CF releases summer hours of operation
By CF Marketing and Public Relations
Published May 7, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
     OCALA --
The College of Central Florida has implemented summer operating hours.
     The college is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and closed on Fridays through July 30.
     The college will be closed Monday, May 31, for Memorial Day and Monday, July 5, in observance of Independence Day.
     For more information, call the Ocala Campus at 352-873-5800, Citrus Campus at 352-746-6721, or Levy Campus at 352-658-4077.


County commissioner helps
in effort to clear ditches next to CR 358;
Auction coming for surplus equipment

Mike Cassidy and Ryan Parker of Dixie County
Mike Cassidy (left) and Ryan Parker speak to the County Commission on Thursday (May 6) about the condition of ditches and culverts next to Dixie County Road 358. Hope seems to be building for that ditch-clearing, culvert-replacing project to start relatively soon, although possible machinery, manpower and money deficits are obstacles to be overcome.
Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 7, 2021 at 9:11 a.m.
     OLD TOWN –
Dixie County Commission Vice Chairman W.C. Mills offered to let the road department use his eight-foot wide bucket to be put on a front-end loader to help clear ditches.

Dixie County Florida Board of County Commissioners
The Dixie County Board of County Commissioners present Thursday morning (May 6) are (from left) County Commissioner James Valentine (Dist. 5), County Commissioner Mark Hatch (Dist. 3), Commission Chairman Jamie Storey (Dist. 4), Commission Vice Chairman W.C. Mills (Dist. 2) and County Commissioner Jody Stephenson (Dist. 1). They are meeting in the Dixie County School Board meeting area in Old Town because it is bigger than the County Commission meeting room in the courthouse in Cross City. Also on this day, they met at 1:30 p.m. in a workshop that was open to the public regarding the future rates for assessments to pay for fire service and solid waste disposal (garbage in the dump). The clock on the wall shows 9:05 a.m., but it was really 10:05 a.m., because Old Town, like most of Florida is in the Eastern Daylight Saving Time zone. March 14 was the date when clocks were moved forward one hour at most places in the United States.

     Mills’ offer on Thursday (May 6) is not an end-all to the dilemma the county faces with waterflow through those ditches. The cost of culvert pipes, and concrete, and the vacancies for workers on the road department are factors that are continuing to stall progress on resolving this issue.
     Mike Cassidy and Ryan Parker spoke with the five County Commission members Thursday about what appears to be a longstanding problem, according to what was said. When Cassidy mentioned that the County Commission should have money to take care of the problem, Commissioner Jody Stephenson said these leaders are uncertain about how much money is in the budget. The relative uncertainty about available funds appears to be due to what can be viewed as inept bookkeeping by the former Dixie County Clerk Dana Johnson.
     Among the duties of county clerks in Florida is being a clerk to the county commission, which includes keeping financial records and other records.
     Dixie County Clerk Barbie Higginbotham was elected in November of 2020 and began her service in January of this year. She and her staff, with help from independent contractors, are setting the records straight.
     Higginbotham is untangling years of bookwork to make the records accurately reflect reality.
     Meanwhile, Dixie County Road Superintendent Steve Hutchison is working with a crew that is shy of workers and not fully equipped to meet all the demands of residents and visitors for roads, ditches and other infrastructure-oriented services that Hutchison and his team strive to provide.
     During the request from Cassidy and Parker to improve the Dixie County Road 358 dilemma, the cost of culverts needed for that project alone is seen in the $20,000-plus range. One, 50-foot by 48-inch diameter corrugated galvanized culvert pipes is showing an estimated cost in the range of $5,300 now. Four of those at that price would be $21,200.
     A Gradall excavator for road, highway and heavy construction was mentioned as costing in the $250,000 range, although that was not being discussed Thursday for purchase by Dixie County.
     A bucket needed for the current equipment at the road department is seen in the estimated $30,000 range.
     Commissioner Mills offered Hutchison use of Mills’ eight-foot bucket, which is believed to be able to be attached to county equipment that is active now.
     Clearing the ditches, even without replacing the dilapidated culverts is seen as an option to start now.
     As for the road department clearing the ditches and replacing the culverts, that job appears to be moving closer to reaching fruition; however, there is no solid start date yet for that project – even the ditch-clearing part.
     On a more comprehensive matter, Commissioner Stephenson recommended Superintendent Hutchison take inventory of the machinery and equipment at the road department, and to declare as surplus the items not needed or used, to have an auction of those items. By selling excess equipment, Stephenson said, the road department can buy engines or other parts needed for the machinery that is actively used now.
     Stephenson moved to have the road superintendent take inventory and list surplus items for an auction. Commissioner Mark Hatch seconded the motion.
     Commissioner Mills mentioned to Stephenson that keeping some machines for parts would be wise, because the value of some parts is so high that it merits keeping old machines for parts – like how a salvage yard keeps old cars to sell for parts.
     “One piece off one of them graders is worth more than all you’re going to get from (auctioning) all that (sales of surplus equipment),” Mills said.
     There was general agreement voiced with Mills’ declaration.
     Hutchison let the commission know that when he prepares for this auction, the items to be sold will need to be able to be viewed by potential buyers. Commissioner Hatch said that after Hutchison makes a list, the County Commission will approve the items that are to be declared surplus and open for auctioning, and then a date, time and place will be established for the sales.
     Dixie County Attorney M. Michael O’Steen mentioned the County Commission may want to consider using an online auction method as well.
     The commission voted 5-0 in favor of Hutchison creating the list of surplus items in the road department. Joining in the positive vote on that Stephenson-Hatch motion were, County Commission Chairman Jamie Storey, Vice Chairman W.C. Mills and County Commissioner James Valentine.   


Teachers honored
Cameron Asbell of Bronson Florida
Levy County School Board Chairman Cameron Asbell speaks to the Levy County Commission Tuesday (May 4).

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 5, 2021 at 3:11 p.m.
     BRONSON –
The Levy County Board of County Commissioners Tuesday (May 4) proclaimed the week of May 3-7 as Teachers Appreciation Week by a 5-0 vote.
     Participating in the proclamation was Levy County School Board Chairman Cameron Asbell, who at the conclusion of the event, invited Levy County Commission Chairman John Meeks to visit at the School Board meeting which is the next week.
     Chairman Meeks introduced Chairman Asbell as his neighbor and friend. Both men are graduates of Bronson High School.
     As Asbell opened his part of the program, he said he is proud to be a BHS Eagle; proud to be a member of the School Board and as its chairman; and he is proud to be the father of children graduating from the Florida Public School system in Levy County.
     As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which started just over a year ago, Asbell said “the whole world changed, especially the education system.”
     Teachers were forced to revise teaching methods, to include distance learning and using pandemic hygiene methods.
     Despite the teachers needing to work more, Asbell said, they never balked for one minute. Levy County was among a few places in the United States, Asbell said, where children were able to return to school in August.
     Children are the greatest asset, and the greatest treasure, in Levy County, Asbell said.
     Teachers in Levy County, he continued, stepped up and did what they were called to do. They taught the children, despite all obstacles facing them, including the deadly virus that has killed more than 35,000 Floridians so far – including the 54 deaths reported for Levy County from COVID-19.
     Following is the proclamation.
     Whereas, the Board of County Commissioners and the Levy County School Board through their dedicated efforts to ensure our children learn the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in college, careers, and life, Levy County teachers are vital in their communities and in building the future; and
     Whereas, because of the increasing diversity of students, teachers must be constantly learning so they adapt to meet the ever-changing needs of young people in our schools; and
     Whereas, teachers play a crucial role in shaping our children into the people they will become, supporting them through their youth and teaching lessons that have an impact that will carry through life; and
     Whereas, the teaching profession benefits from educators who are empowered to lead within and beyond the classroom, allowing them to best prepare young people to become contributing members of our community, thereby strengthening our democracy; and
     Whereas, there are hundreds of dedicated educators working in Levy County public schools, putting in countless hours and extra effort to help students achieve, preparing them for further education, the workforce, and their civic duties.
     Therefore, the Levy County Board of County Commissioners of and the Levy County School Board proclaim that the week of May 3-7, 2021, shall be known in Levy County as: Teacher Appreciation Week."


Gilchrist County 4-H to get new van
Jessica Cooper Gilchrist County Extension Director
Gilchrist County Extension Director Jessica Altum Cooper speaks with the Gilchrist County Commission on Monday evening (May 3) about the need for a new van to transport 4-H members.

Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 4, 2021 at 6:11 p.m.
Gilchrist County Extension Director Jessica Altum Cooper succeeded Monday evening (May 3) in convincing the County Commission members about the need for a new van to transport 4-H members.
     In Gilchrist County, Cooper is also the 4-H agent as well as being the coach for the livestock judging team. The Gilchrist County 4-H program serves children ages 5-to-18 years old, through community clubs, summer camps and school enrichment programs.
     Almost half of the van cost was covered by a UF/IFAS Extension grant, that was combined with fundraising by the Gilchrist County 4-H.
     The $15,350 provided by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension, which is from the grant and fundraising, toward the purchase of the 15-passenger van helped Cooper make her case.
     The $33,100 2021 Ford Transit Passenger Van will be bought from Duval Ford through a state contract. Gilchrist County will contribute $17,750 toward the purchase. County Manager Bobby Crosby reminded the County Commission members that while UF/IFAS Extension is contributing to the purchase, this van will be County Commission property.
     There were some finer points about dates for logging the purchase. County Clerk Todd Newton and his staff will follow the law.
     As for the County Commission budget, this unanticipated cost will come from the General Fund part of the budget. It was noted, too, however, that Gilchrist County Extension is below its percentage of spending its budgeted funds for this point in the year.
     The state budget year is July 1 through June 30. The county budget year is Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.
     This new van replaces the 2003 model that has broken down before on trips, County Manager Crosby said during part of his speech where he recommended approval of the purchase.
     For many of the 4-H activities, Director Cooper said, the county transports the participants. The purchase of this van will provide a safer alternative for traveling with 4-Hers due to its added safety features, added ventilation with more windows, and easier sanitation and cleaning with the vinyl seats and WeatherTech flooring.
     The van can serve other purposes, too, she added, including taking visiting dignitaries on visits to farms.
     Extension Director Cooper provided the Gilchrist County Commission with a report on the benefits of Extension and 4-H in the county.
     She mentioned, too, that six high school students from Gilchrist County are potentially having the opportunity to go to Missouri in October. Four of the six qualified at the state level for livestock judging to compete at the national level.
     Director-Agent-Coach Cooper said the six have competed together through the state level, and so while four qualified for the national competition, all six will have the opportunity to go to Kansas City in October.
     With the ever-evolving issues from the global COVID-19 pandemic, Cooper said, she is noting now that they may have the opportunity. The University of Florida ultimately will decide about whether the 4-Hers can take that trip in October.
     Progress in the effort against the virus in the United States, though, does show promise so far.
     If the students go to the national competition, as currently seems probable, Cooper said, there will be two adults in the van. 


Young Mocker
Mockingbird in Levy County Florida
This young Mockingbird is seen in Chiefland on Sunday afternoon (April 25). The Mockingbird is Florida’s state bird. It is protected in Florida. According to the Audubon Field Guide to North American Birds, This species was often captured for sale as a pet from the late 1700s to the early 1900s, Audubon notes. After the cagebird trade was stopped, Audubon notes, the Mockingbird again became common in many areas. This bird's famous song, with its varied repetitions and artful imitations, is heard all day during nesting season (and often all night as well), Audubon notes. It is very common in towns and cities, especially in southern areas. The Mockingbird often seeks insects on open lawns. When running in the open it may stop every few feet and partly spread its wings, flashing the white wing patches. Mockingbirds are bold in defense of their nests, attacking cats and even humans that venture too close.

Photo By Jeff M. Hardison © April 28, 2021 at 9:11 a.m.



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 hardisonink@gmail.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.


Monday, May 17, 2021 at 7:11 a.m.

Read Ephesians 6:1-8

     But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
-- Daniel 1:8 (KJV)

     Daniel is one of the most inspiring characters in the Bible. He is a symbolic man who is loyal to his convictions and firm in his resolve to be true to what he believes to be right. There is nothing weak or vacillating about him. He did not fall an easy prey to the temptations by which he was surrounded.
     Transported from his home and carried off to a strange land where people’s habits and ideas were different from his own, “he purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.”
     He lived the same clean, honest life in Babylon that he had lived in Jerusalem. He showed courage of a high order. For the highest form of courage is not being brave in a moment of danger but resisting the constant appeals to dishonor.
     How was Daniel able to do this? By opening his window toward Jerusalem; by remembering his home, his family and the traditions in which he had been reared; above all, by looking to God for strength in a daily prayer that he might be faithful to the end. Daniel won a great victory.
    May God help each one of us to win a victory like that, while we too are away from our home.
     ALMIGHTY GOD, who sees that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves, keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body and from evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul. We make this prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Rev. Raymond Calkins
Pastor at First Congregational Church (1912-1940)
Cambridge, Massachusetts

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


Outdoor Truths Ministry

By Gary Miller © May 17, 2021 at 3:11 p.m.

     There’s nothing like barreling down the lake in the spring or summer at 5 in the morning. The cool mist will wake up anyone. But it’s not really the air that is alarming, it’s the possibility of a big bass that is ready for breakfast – buzz bait style. To see the calm water come to life with a massive explosion is fishing at its finest. There is, however, a technique to this type of fishing. Most people set the hook when they see the bass strike. That is a big mistake. You just missed another one. The art to catching bass on a buzz bait is not to set the hook when you see the bass strike but to wait until you feel the tug. The time between the two may only be a second but it’s the difference between success and failure. It is a hard discipline for some because we are so used to responding immediately to sight. It looks like a strike. It looks like I’ve got him. It looks like he’s on. But he’s not. Not until you feel the tug.
     This is a great lesson for life. Most of the time, we live our lives according to what we see. And we react accordingly. We think whatever the circumstances look like, that is what they must be. If it looks hopeless, it must be. If it looks like the end, it must be. If it looks like there is no way out, there must not be. And we react accordingly. There is, however, a mechanism that God has placed within us. It’s a tug. It’s the voice of God saying, don’t walk by sight, but by faith.  It is him saying don’t ever count the situation hopeless until I have been added to the equation. It is him saying, no matter how bleak the circumstance is, I will have the last word. Friend, don’t set the hook on your circumstances at the first sight of trouble. Wait on the tug of God and he will turn every situation into one that is worth keeping.

 -- Gary Miller  gary@outdoortruths.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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