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Outdoor Truths Ministry, Jan. 18, 2020
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Gilchrist County leaders
guide growth with action
Gilchrist County Administrator Bobby Crosby (foreground) and Gilchrist County Attorney David M. Lang Jr. are among the professionals helping to advise the elected commissioners about the best action for the County Commission to take to help the residents, visitors and business interests in Gilchrist County.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 22, 2021 at 9:10 a.m.
TRENTON – The five-member Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners took action late Thursday afternoon (Jan. 21) as they steered the county through the ongoing business of local government.
Gilchrist County Commission Chairman Sharon A. Langford, and county commissioners Marion Poitevint, Kenrick Thomas, Darrell Smith and Bill Martin worked together and listened to counsel, paid attention to recommendations and took advice from County Administrator Bobby Crosby, County Attorney David M. Lang Jr. and County Clerk Todd Newton.
Among the many significant accomplishments completed that late afternoon was the hiring a county building official.
Other success stories for the Gilchrist County Commission included agreeing to buy a road grader it is currently leasing, advertising to hire a person as a county service technician, approving one variance from zoning regulations and delaying the decision on a different variance request for another six months.
Gene Stockman listens to the Gilchrist County Commission as the five elected leaders accept the recommendation of County Administrator Bobby Crosby regarding who to hire as the next building official in the county.
GENE STOCKMAN HIRED AS BUILDING OFFICIAL
County Administrator Crosby recommended that the County Commission hire Gene Stockman as the building official for Gilchrist County. Stockman’s $80,000 starting annual salary is complimented with benefits and a $6,500 budget for automobile expenses to equal $108,449.71. Crosby mentioned that the normal starting salary for a person in this post is $80,000 to $85,000 now.
The motion to hire Stockman effective Feb. 1 was made by Commissioner Thomas and seconded by Commissioner Poitevint and met with a unanimous affirmation.
Crosby noted the county would spend an estimated $225,810 this year if it continued using Universal Engineering for building official services. Therefore, this hiring is significantly saves money.
Crosby mentioned that county staff, including County Attorney Lang, have enjoyed working with Stockman.
Clerk Newton said he concurs with Crosby regarding hiring Stockman to save the county money. As the county clerk, Newton is the comptroller to the County Commission.
County Administrator Crosby mentioned that Stockman has been working for Universal Engineering in performing the building inspections in Gilchrist County for the past five months. His connection with the independent contractor, Crosby mentioned, helps the county and that contractor as the transition unfolds and if there is a need for assistance to Stockman with the volume of work to be completed.
During 2020, Crosby said, there were 996 permits issued for building in Gilchrist County. Of those, 194 were for new residences. This is an indicator that not only is Gilchrist County growing with new residents, but there are more business interests and visitors coming to the county.
Crosby added that 996 permits is not 996 visits by a building inspector to a site under construction or in the planning stage. He said there is an average of five trips to a building site by an inspector, an sometimes things go differently than anticipated – causing even more visitors by the county building official.
Commissioner Smith said he has spoken with property owners who have said Stockman will keep them in line with the codes, while at the same time being able to relate with people as individuals. Smith said he is grateful to Crosby and Newton for their work and success at helping the County Commission find the best return on investment.
COUNTY SERVICE TECHNICIAN
In another employee-related matter, the County Commission unanimously accepted Gilchrist County Administrator Crosby’s recommendation to advertise for and hire a county service technician. This person will be paid $17.50 an hour, with a total budgeted cost of $50,633, Crosby said.
The county service technician will deal with code enforcement, animal control violations and community development.
BUYING A ROAD GRADER
Regarding the county’s fleet of leased or owned road-grading machines, the County Commission agreed with County Administrator Crosby on the matter of whether to buy a machine it is leasing now.
The county has been leasing a 2019 John Deere 620G Motor Grader.
New operators being trained on the grader caused some “cosmetic” damage, Crosby said, during training operations. If Gilchrist County returns that John Deere grader to the company leasing it to the county, then the county would have to pay $45,786.37 for the damage done during training exercises.
Crosby said the grader works fine, although it will need repair on its exhaust pipe. Nevertheless, he added, if the county returned it to the lessor, then the county would have to pay for “cosmetic” damage.
The company will sell this leased machine to Gilchrist County for $143,829.56, Crosby said, and the county can pay for the purchase during a four-year (48 months) span with zero percent interest.
On a motion by Commissioner Martin, seconded by Commissioner Poitevint, the County Commission agreed with Crosby’s recommendation. County Clerk Newton confirmed after the discussion that the county is going to sell the older Caterpillar grader it owns for an estimated $30,000.
Commissioners confirmed that plan to sell one of the graders in the fleet. Details for that sale process will be finalized at a subsequent County Commission meeting.
As for the damage to the leased grader, this was a very unusual occurrence, according to people who have seen the graders in use in the county for 16 or more years. Generally, road graders have remained undamaged because workers take care with county equipment, it was intimated.
Regarding another road matter in Gilchrist County, Crosby provided the commissioners with an update on roads the county would like help from the Florida Department of Transportation to improve. He asked commissioners to bring suggestions for discussion at the first meeting in February, so that he can finalize the next request to FDOT.
COVID-19 IN GILCHRIST COUNTY
Commissioners learned about scheduling for COVID-19 vaccines in Gilchrist County, and they adopted a countywide COVID-19 policy.
None of the commissioners or county staff on Thursday, however, appeared to believe scientists and doctors, or the Florida Department of Health, regarding the use of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Most people – including county commissioners, the county administrator, the county attorney, the county clerk and the deputy county clerk -- did not wear masks at the meeting, although free masks were available at the entrance to the meeting room.
There was no designated seating at least six feet apart, as there has been for meetings of the Levy County Board of County Commissioners and the Dixie County Board of County Commissioners.
There have been 28 people from Gilchrist County who have died from COVID-19 as of Jan. 21, according to the Florida Department of Health. Another 62 people from Gilchrist County have been forced to seek help at hospitals, the FDOH has noted as of Jan. 21, due to COVID-19 symptoms being that severe.
There have been more than 400,000 Americans killed by COVID-19 since March.
Some people continue to practice behavior that doctors and scientists could assert demonstrates a reckless disregard for public health, considering that the Florida Department of Health has well-publicized its PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY – “Residents are advised to wear masks in public and to socially distance. Avoid crowds, closed spaces and close contact.”
Some people who have been released from hospitals continue to suffer symptoms such as shortness of breath, and can no longer walk as far as they could before catching the disease, or to perform other physical activity as they did immediately prior to being so stricken by the disease.
As for the scheduling of vaccinations, within three hours after being made available in Gilchrist County, the 100 most recent doses for the vaccine were scheduled to be administered, Gilchrist County Emergency Management Director Ralph Smith said. He said Levy County’s 150 vaccines were snapped up for scheduling within hours as well.
Scheduling for vaccines in Gilchrist County, Levy County and Dixie County is stalled for an indeterminate time.
The current vaccination shortage to help stop COVID-19 is nationwide. President Joe Biden has enacted federal authority to increase the ability of the nation to act in unison in what he has called a war against COVID-19.
One variance related to a violation of setback distance was approved and another applicant for a similar yet more intense variance found the County Commission delaying a decision on that more stark request for six months.
County Attorney Lang led the two quasi-judicial hearings, providing a recommendation to approve one and a recommendation to deny the other.
The first variance sought approval from the County Commission because a 25-foot setback from one property line was six inches shy of being 25 feet. After a thorough discussion, including the attorney explaining how this variance is justifiable, according to the guidelines of the County Commission to award such a variance, that request met with a 5-0 vote of approval.
Among the statements Lang made before this variance was approved was that a surveyor could find that rather than the residence being 24-feet and six-inches from the property line on that five-acre parcel, it was in fact at the 25-foot mark on the dot.
The variance sought for another alleged setback violation was much more convoluted and showed far less discrepancy regarding the rules the County Commission is guided by in allowing variances from distance setbacks regarding adjoining properties in Gilchrist County.
This half-acre parcel next to the Suwannee River in the Bell area of Gilchrist County has a singlewide trailer on stilts as a residential unit. It is one foot away from the property line rather than 10 feet from that line, which is required by code.
The structure is too close to property on one side that is owned by the Suwannee River Water Management District, according to the rules that all property owners in Gilchrist County are supposed to follow. Rather than deny the request for a variance as the attorney recommended, the County Commission chose to delay deciding for six months.
In the meantime, the applicants were advised by Lang and the County Commission to seek a letter from the SRWMD stating that the district has no objection to the structure being one foot from the environmentally sensitive property the district owns adjacent to the singlewide mobile home on stilts, rather than the 10-foot setback required by code.
The applicants inherited the property from its previous owner. They wanted to sell it. A buyer could not get financing, however, due to the setback violation. Commissioners mentioned to the applicants that they could sell it for cash, rather than having the buyer use financing.
Commission Chairman Langford said she does not see the County Commission requiring applicants for this variance to attempt to move the singlewide mobile home on stilts nine feet farther away from the property line the applicants share with the water management district.
This code violation has gone without enforcement since sometime between 2001 and 2007 up until now – 2021, according to discussion, and it was only unveiled after a possible buyer tried to obtain financing to make the purchase.
Among the reasons Lang noted for the County Commission to not approve this variance is because it sets a precedent for any property owner who wants to put a structure one foot inside a property line rather than having at least a 10-foot setback. As seen from the variance of six-inches out of 25-feet in the five-acre parcel, per code, bigger plats of land require more feet as a setback from the property line.
Six inches out of 25 feet in contrast with nine feet out of 10 feet is one difference between the two variance requests made Thursday in Gilchrist County.
speaks to fellow Rotarians
Gilchrist County Clerk Todd Newton is seen in action here as the clerk to the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners on Jan. 4. As the county clerk, he is the comptroller for the County Commission as well as being the clerk of the Gilchrist County Court and the clerk of the Gilchrist County unit of the Eighth Judicial Circuit, which includes Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy, and Union counties.
Photo By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 12, 2021
By Rosemary McDaniel, Rotarian
Published Jan. 12, 2021 at 9:10 a.m.
TRENTON -- Our very own Rotary Club member Todd Newton, clerk of the court in Gilchrist County, addressed the subject of the county budget and how revenue to support it is derived and the expenditures are determined during the regular meeting of the Gilchrist County Rotary Club on Monday (Jan. 11).
Some expenditures are required by state law, including some that are unfunded mandates by the Florida Legislature, the body that creates state law.
Revenue is derived from property taxes, federal and state revenue sharing, federal and state grants, and user fees such as those from the solar farm, the pipeline, and the new hotel in Fanning Springs.
The largest and most necessary expense is for public safety, namely the Sheriff’s Office, fire departments, EMS and Emergency Management.
While there was a large increase in building construction in 2020, there is no way to predict whether the trend will continue in 2021 and the impact will be on next year’s budget.
Chef Jason offered a delicious lunch of beef stroganoff, green beans, a BLT wedge salad, dinner rolls, chocolate cake, and sweet and unsweet tea as the drink of the day.
Barbara Locke Honored
In Gilchrist County
Barbara Locke, the retired administrator of the Florida Department of Health units for Dixie, Gilchrist and Levy counties is seen here as the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners honored her with a proclamation on Monday afternoon (Jan. 4).
In this photo members of the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners and Barbara Locke pose for the weekly newspaper of Gilchrist County and for the daily news website that covers the Tri-County Area. Seen here are (from left) Kenrick Thomas, Judy Poitevint, Sharon Akins Langford, Barbara Locke, Darrell Smith and Bill Martin. To see the story and photos of how the Levy County Commission honored Locke for her 44 years of service can click HERE.
Photos and Information By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 6, 2021 7:10 p.m.
Another Rotarian Added
The Rotary Club of Gilchrist County inducted a new member on Monday (Jan. 4) during its weekly meeting in Trenton. Welcome to Eddy Scott who was sponsored by Rotarian Todd Gray, the club’s membership chair. Seen here (from left) are Rotarians Todd Gray, John Frazier, Eddy Scott and President Lowell Chesborough.
Published Jan. 5, 2021 at 7:10 p.m.
Photo By Holly Creel, a Rotarian
Publisher looks back
- 10 years after
A bull rider shows his talent during one of the fundraisers at Carter’s Arena during the past 10 years. The Chiefland FFA Alumni Association and breast cancer awareness are the beneficiaries of these bull-riding events held there and covered by HardisonInk.com in the past decade.
By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 1, 2021 at 5:10 p.m.
LEVY COUNTY – I start the 11th year of HardisonInk.com next month on Feb. 1.
Last year, there were many festivals and other community events cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. I did what I could as a professional journalist and as an individual to help reduce the illness and death from that virus.
During the first decade of the existence of this daily news website, it has had a positive impact on the Tri-County Area and beyond. In 2021, that trend will continue.
In the final quarter of 2020, I enjoyed the privilege of being the business owner selected by Katie Trimm to be the subject of a project required in one of her classes at Santa Fe College, helping her finish earning credits from SFC to graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree.
Gary W. Boulware, Ph.D., chair of the SFC Business Programs Department, sent me a letter of thanks for being a local business sponsor who participated in the SFC Senior Capstone Project during the Fall 2020 Semester.
Trimm’s project is leading to some probable improvement to the daily news website to increase traffic. These revisions are currently in the pre-creation mode.
Being involved in the process gave me the chance to note for her the mission of HardisonInk.com, which I had not put in writing before her questions. Her research and subsequent suggestion show the probability of people enjoying even more ease for viewing HardisonInk.com on mobile devices than currently exists, given the concept reaches fruition.
Mission Statement of HardisonInk.com
The mission of HardisonInk.com is to provide the world with news and human interest stories that will inform, educate and entertain people.
Furthermore, the mission is to accurately, concisely yet completely share facts to benefit all of humanity, starting with the Tri-County area of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties and then going out to the four corners of the globe (and into space on occasion) from there.
Here is a picture of the partners of A&M Manufacturing (from left) Marketing Sales Manager Tory Brodahl, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer Amy Brodahl, and Chief Executive Officer John Hemken. A&M Manufacturing was among the biggest business news stories in Levy County for the past couple of years. Hardison covers business news better than any other media in this market.
The extent of involvement of the daily news website over the past 10 years has gone beyond just coverage of news and human interest stories.
As the sole proprietor of this small business, I have been hosting contests, sponsoring sports and other activities for people in the Tri-County Area, and helping to support community interests of education, the arts, local business and more.
I am Jeff M. Hardison, doing business as HardisonInk.com. This daily news website is more than just me, though. There are many people, organizations, agencies, businesses and communities that make it thrive.
HardisonInk.com has been hosting contests for our readers since 2012. Prizes included tickets to plays, tickets to fairs, evenings out at local restaurants, gift certificates to retail and grocery stores, gas cards, a Kindle Fire tablet and cold, hard cash.
With the help of my wife, we are sponsoring seven contests in 2021.
In regard to helping youth, HardisonInk.com has sponsored the Suwannee River Fair - Youth Livestock Show and Sale with free ad promotion, purchasing SRF booklet advertisements and we helped individual youths in events, as well as covering the SRF.
HardisonInk.com has sponsored local sports, like The Ink Spots soccer team that was part of the sports activities of the Chiefland Area Athletic Association (CAAA) in November of 2016.
Sharon and I led the effort with help from Wayne and Lena Weatherford, and other coaches and parents, to let the Chiefland High School Varsity Girls Softball Team to be recognized as they crossed the playing field at the Rays’ Tropicana Field on Sept. 27, 2016 in St. Petersburg.
HardisonInk.com has sponsored local pageant contestants as well as judged other contests such as chili and Christmas baked goods contests.
Located somewhere on the golf course at Chiefland Golf and Country Club, this was a hole sponsored by HardisonInk.com in a fundraiser there over the past 10 years.
HardisonInk.com has been among the business interests to sponsor golf tournament holes, auctions and rodeos for charities and local service clubs and organizations including the CAAA Halloween fundraisers, back when the CAAA had phenomenal Halloween festivals.
HardisonInk.com promoted the Epic End of Summer Bash events conducted first by the First United Methodist Church of Chiefland, and then adopted into the set of services by the Tri-County Community Resource Center.
Jeff M. Hardison stands next to a banner showing his daily news website being among the sponsors of the annual Levy County Fair.
HardisonInk.com covered the annual Levy County Fairs better than any other media, as well as being among the sponsors for that event. Likewise, the Ride-to-Provide motorcycle events that used to exist were best promoted and covered by HardisonInk.com.
The back part of a PT cruiser decorated for Trunk-n-Treat in Bronson in 2014 is one of the years captured where the business participated in this activity in Levy County.
Since 2012, HardisonInk.com has not only covered Trunk N Treats, but has given away thousands of pieces of candy and Halloween stickers in Levy County.
HardisonInk.com has sponsored the Wild Hog Canoe Race every year for more than seven years.
Jeff M. Hardison (left) accepts one of the seven paddles Keith Maynard of the Wild Hog Canoe and Kayak Race has presented over the years to Hardison as a sponsor. This canoe race helps fund the Levy Association for Retarded Citizens facility in the Town of Otter Creek. HardisonInk.com has been among the sponsors for as long as the Maynard family has run the race, and even before.
The Ink Spots coaches and soccer team from 2016 pose for a photo. This soccer team was sponsored by HardisonInk.com at the Chiefland Area Athletic Association that season.
Girls and coaches of the Chiefland High School Varsity Softball Team walk on the field for recognition at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, in 2016. Coach Wayne Weatherford led the softball team that earned the most annual state championships of all sports at CHS so far.
Jeff M. Hardison dressed in cowpoke gear stands next to a sign created to show HardisonInk.com among the sponsors as part of the Williston Chamber of Commerce’s annual party on Jan. 25, 2014.
This banner flew in 2013 next to the building that was once the office of the Levy County Journal. It is now a structure that houses the expansion of Vickie and Fred’s Furniture on U.S. Highway 19, just south of East Park Avenue in beautiful downtown Chiefland.
HardisonInk.com has been a member of local area chambers of commerce and participated in their events like their scarecrow contest, parades, trade shows and the Chiefland sesquicentennial.
Jeff M. Hardison sits at a table in 2014 as he attends the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce’s Trade Show.
HardisonInk.com is among the business interests that bought a banner to fly during that celebration of Chiefland’s 150th anniversary, and there is still a brick attesting to the daily news website’s 2013 purchasing of that brick for that celebration.
HardisonInk.com always has been a friend to local businesses, touting the successes of area entrepreneurs as well as writing in-depth stories about new businesses in the area.
Jeff M. Hardison is on the scene at Bronson Speedway in 2011, helping promote the restart of that sports business in Levy County.
This vast effort includes covering business from the reopening of the Bronson Speedway in 2011 through A&M Manufacturing as being one of the top 50 companies in Florida (2020).
Sharon and Jeff Hardison pose for a picture taken by Sharon McCall. Here the Hardisons are preparing to be in the 2019 Independence Day Parade in Williston.
Jeff M. Hardison is shown with some of the many thank-you items presented during the past 10 years, including from The Clyatt House Learning Center, the 2020 Census and LifeSouth Community Blood Services.
I have appreciated the many certificates, letters and trophies sent to me or presented to me by people and organizations for the work and participation in the community of HardisonInk.com.
These include a card that was sent to me by the children in one of the classes at the Clyatt House Learning Center after I covered the school's 20th anniversary celebration.
The United States Census sent me a certificate for promotion of the 2020 Census. LifeSouth Community Blood Centers has repeatedly honored me with the many other media and other interests that help that noble effort over the past 10 years.
Most recently, I received a letter of thanks for participating in the Capstone project by helping Katie Trimm finish her project at Santa Fe College.
As for the arts, including the performing arts in the old Chiefland Theater, I continue doing what I can for the arts.
Sharon asked me if I was doing a “Year In Review” for 2020. Given the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the Tri-County Area, I chose instead to look back and write this 10 years after column.
I have an extensive background as a professional reporter and editor at weekly, bi-weekly and daily newspapers before starting this daily news website.
A good newspaper, or daily news website, is a part of the community, while still maintaining the ability to objectively cover news. For me, all of these decades, I thank God for being able to do this to a relatively high degree. Like other humans, I am not perfect.
One of the reasons to support sponsors and advertisers who fund this venture is because HardisonInk.com is a daily news website owned by one man rather than any corporation of conglomerated media group.
This was a stroll through the past 10 years touching only on a bit of the direct positive community impact of this enterprise on the Tri-County Area, and then rippling out across the planet (and into space on occasion).
And while many have thanked me for my service over the past decades, I thank all people who let me help them and our communities. Above all, I thank God for giving me the ability to do what I can in this regard.
Lap blankets & shawls embody
the spirit of love for others
Betty Galloway and Betty Hiers
Story and Photos
By Lavonia Luke
Published Dec. 22, 2020 at 11:10 p.m.
CHIEFLAND – Works by a Chiefland woman who heralds her 97th birthday next month, and by her friend who passed away earlier this year, reflect the spirit of giving without measure, and of loving others.
This story begins almost two years ago, when two good friends decided to crochet lap blankets and shawls to donate to local nursing homes.
Betty Hiers and Betty Galloway of Chiefland, then got busy with putting their idea into action. In December of 2019, they donated more than 40 lap blankets and in excess of 30 shawls to Ayers Nursing Home in Trenton and Tri-County Nursing Home in the City of Fanning Springs.
Unfortunately, Betty Hiers passed away Jan. 28, 2020, at the age of 88. She is still missed by her friends and family.
Betty Galloway brings her handmade gifts to a nursing home.
Betty Galloway continued to crochet after her friend passed away, and she has made 20 more lap blankets and 20 shawls this year. They were donated to the nursing home in Williston (Williston Care Center) on Friday, Dec. 18.
Mrs. Galloway will be 97 years old on Jan. 3, 2021 and she is still going strong.
Mrs. Hiers and Mrs. Galloway respectively were and still are very gifted people. Mrs. Galloway hopes to continue to crochet and donate to the Nursing Home in Cross City next year, too.
Cliff Stearns’ $269,919 gift
establishes speaker series at CF
(from left) CF Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Mark Paugh, the Honorable Cliff Stearns, CF President Dr. Jim Henningsen, and Dr. Tammi Viviano-Broderick, dean of E-Learning and Academic Services stand with the check for $269,919.01 during the Dec. 16 presentation of the gift.
Story and Photo Provided
By CF Marketing, Public and Community Relations
Published Dec. 17, 2020 at 5:10 p.m.
OCALA -- The Honorable Cliff Stearns has made a $269,919.01 gift to the College of Central Florida Foundation.
This gift establishes the Friends of Cliff Stearns Endowed Chair to support an annual speaker series event to be held in the Learning Resources Center at the college.
“I am delighted to support the CF Foundation with this gift toward developing a speaker series to bring notable persons to the college’s Learning Resources Center,” Stearns said. “The speaker series will provide an opportunity for the college community and citizens in Marion and the surrounding counties to meet and hear from distinguished Americans.”
The endowed chair will allow the college to bring in national and regional speakers on topics such as history, political science and technology. The speaker series would be open to all students, faculty, staff and the public.
“Research shows that students engaged with faculty, staff and peers who attend college events and presentations by guest speakers are more likely to be successful in their academic endeavors,” said Dr. Mark Paugh, vice president for Academic Affairs. “This new endowment will contribute significantly to CF’s student engagement plan.”
Stearns is an executive director with APCO Worldwide, based out of Washington, D.C., and he serves on APCO’s International Advisory Council. He is a former member of Congress for Florida’s Sixth District (1989 to 2013). Stearn’s wife, Joan, retired from the college in 2013.
“I can’t say enough about the Honorable Cliff Stearns” said Dr. Jim Henningsen, college president. “Both he and his wife, Joan, have been huge supporters of the college. We are grateful for their generous gift, which will advance the learning environment for students at CF.”
The CF Foundation, founded in 1959, is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation that enhances the college’s programs and services through the development and management of private contributions and community partnerships.
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 a 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 10 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.
Friday, January 22, 2021 at 9:10 a.m.
FAITH FOR OUR TIMES
Read Luke 22:39-46
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
-- Luke 22:42 (KJV)
There are three ways to meet the experiences ahead of you. First, you can experience it in a dull stupor, letting apprehension wear you down. "He came unto the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow." You can steel yourselves until you have no feeling toward anything that comes your way.
Or, you can run away from unpleasantness; like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, you can say in each crisis, “I will not think of this today; I will think of it tomorrow.” “Then all of the disciples left him, and fled.” Fear is the most devastating of emotions. It makes the pit of the stomach hollow; it drives sleep from our eyes; it exhausts us like a fever.
There is a third way to meet life, however difficult it may be: you can pray that it may be as pleasant as possible. “Father … let this cup pass from me.” Then you can take each event in faith – “not my will, but thine, be done.” And make it an instrument of discipline to bring out the best in you, like a hard workout on the parade ground. You can say in all honesty, “I would not deliberately choose this way; but since it has come, I will be its master and not its slave. I will let God do something for me in it.” The Lord of life can turn floods into fertility and storms into refreshment for dry and thirsty ground.
Faith is the secret of this third way, which is the way Christ followed, and by which He turned His cross into a throne from which He rules in our Hearts.
HEAVENLY FATHER, Thou canst strengthen me for every experience; I am resolved to rely upon Thee, to believe even where I cannot see, to say, “Thy will be done,” and in that prayer to be content. Amen.
The Rev. Charles Gerlinger
First Congregational Church
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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 © Jan. 18, 2021 at 7:10 a.m.
I have figured out that men will do just about anything in order to feed their need for risk and adventure. Of course, many women will do this as well but overall it really is men who seem to what to test the limits of normality. With just a quick online search, one can find examples of those who are doing things from bungee jumping from bridges to those who are using flying suits to soar through a deep valley like a bird. As many of you know, there is even the Olympic venue called the X (extreme) Games. These are made up of men and women once again testing the limits of man and machine. It really does make you wonder who the first to try some of these things was, and is he/she even around any longer to see it come to fruition. They remind me of the teacher who leads the course in suicide bombing. He looks at his students and says, “Now watch close, I’m only going to do this once.” In the hunting and fishing world we have these individuals as well. For instance, who decided that hog hunting would be a lot more exciting if we rushed in on the hog when the dogs had it cornered and stuck it with a knife? And how much was he drinking when he came to this conclusion. The same goes with the fisherman who decided that anyone can catch a catfish with rod and reel. Instead, he decides to reach in the hole where they live and bring them out by hand. All of these are simply examples of those believe that if you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room.
Is this normal? I actually think it is. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think it’s normal to catch fish by hand and hunt hogs with knives, but I do think the desire to live on the edge is. In fact, I believe God made men this way and He wants us to live that way in areas that have an eternal impact. It can be something as extreme as flying Bibles into a communist country or as extreme as taking your paycheck that you depend on and giving it to a homeless individual. Both of these put you in a riskier place. Would God ever ask us to do something like that? Well, the Bible is full of examples when He did. The questions then are these. If God did it in the past, is there a possibility he would do it today? And, if he would do it today, is it possible he would ask me to do it? As you can see, the answer to both of these questions is yes. So, the next time you sense God asking you to do something strange, realize it’s just like God to ask and it’s just like you to say okay.
-- 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/.
FRIDAY JAN. 22 9:10 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties
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