Below the Daily Devotionals

Gary Miller's Outdoor Truths,  May 14, 2018
Angie Land's Heart Matters, May 14, 2018
Guy Sheffield's But Anyway, May 15, 2018


Chiefland city election slated

Seen here (from left) are Chiefland City Commission Teresa Barron, City Commissioner Rollin Hudson and Chiefland Mayor Betty Walker during the regular City Commission meeting on Monday (May 14).

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 19, 2018 at 8:38 a.m.
     CHIEFLAND -- The City of Chiefland is scheduled to conduct an election for the Group 2 seat currently held by City Commissioner Donald Lawrence and the Group 4 seat currently held by Teresa Barron, according to records.


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Vice Mayor Chris Jones (left) City Commissioner Donald Lawrence (standing) and City Manager Mary Ellzey are seen during the regular City Commission meeting on Monday (May 14).

     City Manager Mary Ellzey as the ex officio City Clerk serves as the supervisor of elections for this municipal election, and Levy County Supervisor of Elections Tammy Jones is anticipated to assist in any manner requested.
     To qualify as a candidate in these races, the person must reside in Levy County Precincts 5, 13 or 16, which are in the city limits. Only registered voters who reside within the city limits of Chiefland are allowed to vote.
     The fee to qualify in this race is $448.
     The qualifying period is June 11 through June 14 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
     The date, time and place of the election is Tuesday, Aug. 7 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., in the Hardy Dean Sr. Municipal Building, which is also known as Chiefland City Hall and is located at 214 E. Park Ave., in Chiefland.
     For more information about this election, please call Chiefland City Hall at 352-493-6711 during regular business hours.

Students Honored
Chiefland Florida Student of the Month
Coburn Hardee, an eighth grade student at Chiefland Middle School, is the April Student of the Month from CMS. He was honored Tuesday night (May 14) by a presentation of a certificate as Outstanding Student of the Month by Chiefland. City Councilman Donald Lawrence, a retired teacher, made the presentation. Coburn, the son of Jeff and Dorie Hardee, was nominated by the eighth grade teachers. It was noted that ‘Coburn is a kind, dedicated and respectful student. He always strives for excellence. He is always engaged, prepared and a hard worker. He is a great example of someone who makes the most of the time he has in the classroom. He is always on task. He is a great example to his peers. He is very well liked by his peers.’ Two other students who were noted as being students of the month, but who were not in attendance were Sheila Williams, a fourth grader at Chiefland Elementary School, and Jaycie Anderson, a 10th grader at Chiefland High School. All of the students of the month from Chiefland are presented with a certificate and a $20 gift card to Walmart. The gift cards are funded by the Rotary Club of Chiefland.

Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © May 15, 2018 at 2:08 p.m.

AmVets 422 elects and
installs officers,
and awards scholarships

Information Provided
By Lee Lane
Published May 13, 2018 at 9:28 p.m.
AmVets Suwannee River Riders Chapter 422 elected new officers for 2018-2019; and AmVets Suwannee River Post 422 installed officers; and AmVets Suwannee River Post 422 presented five (5) $1000 scholarships this school year.
     On Wednesday, May 2, AmVets Suwannee River Riders Chapter 422 elected and installed its new officers for the upcoming 2018-2019 year.
     Installed as its new President is Patrick Plemmons, 1st Vice Chairman-Eric Daniels; 2nd Vice Chairman-Fred Sabback; Treasurer-Lee Layne; Judge Advocate-Kenny Spillers; Sgt. At Arms-David Erhardt; Toni Plemmons-Secretary and Guye Daniels as Chaplain.  Congratulations to all the new Officers of AmVets Riders Chapter 422.
     On Wednesday, May 9, AmVets Suwannee River Post 422 elected and installed its new officers for the upcoming 2018-2019 year.
     Installed as its new Commander is Kenneth Spillers, 1st Vice Chairman-Patrick Plemmons; 2nd Vice Chairman-Mike Holeman; Judge Advocate-Joe Oxendine; Provost Marshal-David Moore; Finance Officer-Larry Hysell; David Tyrell as Trustee, and Patrick Plemmons as Chaplain.  Congratulations to all the new Officers of AmVets Suwannee River Post 422.
     AmVets Suwannee River Post 422 presented five $1,000 scholarships this school year.
     At Dixie County High School, Sydney Groom, Peyton Smith and Cade Thomas were each presented with a $1,000 scholarship.
     Sarah Lourcey and Jared Twombly of Chiefland High School were each presented with a $1,000 scholarship.
     Each student applying for a scholarship had to complete an essay on “What It Means to be an American” and they must have someone in the family who was or is a veteran or currently serving in the Armed Forces.
     All of these students are some of the brightest students in the Tri-County Area and the Post is proud to have presented them each with their $1,000 scholarship.

Volunteers are needed for
food distribution event on June 9

Published May 12, 2018 at 11:48 a.m.
At least 20 volunteers are needed, from 9 a.m. until noon on June 9, a Saturday, to help distribute a lot of food to many people.
     Tri-County Community Resource Center is scheduled to again host Farm Share food distribution, The Resource Center is located on U.S. Highway 19 just northwest of where it intersects with Park Avenue in Chiefland.
     In January, the TCCRS distributed in excess of 30,000 pounds of food that assisted more than 1,000 Tri-County Area residents. More than 50 volunteers from multiple community organizations pitched in to assist with this event, which was a huge success!
     Now there is a need for at least 20 volunteers to ensure that the June event runs smoothly and is successful. Any organization that would like to participate as a team, or if there are any individuals who are interested in volunteering, please send names and contact numbers to

Students Honored

Williston Mayor Jerry Robinson honored two Mayor's Students of the Month candidates Tuesday night (May 8) at the regular meeting of the Williston City Council. Seen here (from left) are Addyson Kidd, Mayor Robinson and Jon Kopecky. Jon Kopecky is a second grader at Joyce Bullock Elementary School and his teacher is Meredith Stone. He is the son of Renee Kopecky. Stone said the following about the student, which the mayor read as he presented a certificate to the boy. 'Over the last four years I have had the pleasure of watching Jon thrive. Each morning he gets up and comes to school and conquers every challenge I throw his way. He has grown so much academically and socially. Jon is a hard worker. He has an excellent personality and loves to make people laugh. He is polite, friendly, and a joy to have in class. We recently took our final i-Ready diagnostic in reading. Jon took his time, read and reread passages, and surpassed his goal by a landslide. I am incredibly proud of Jon and all of his accomplishments!' Addyson Kidd is a fifth grader at Williston Elementary School and her mother is Whitney Kasperski. Addyson Kidd's WES fifth grade teacher is Michelle Ruiz, and Addyson is on the Safety Patrol. This is what was noted about this Student of the Month. 'Addyson is a true role model student! She is an extremely hard worker and strives for perfection in all that she does. As a student and safety patrol, she goes above and beyond the high expectations that have been set for her. Our classroom community is better as a result of her willingness to help her classmates and teachers. As a self-motivated student, Addyson has created some amazing goals for her future and it is clear she will work diligently to achieve them. She has been a joy to teach and I look forward to seeing all that she will accomplish!'

Published May 11, 2018 at 11:48 a.m.
Photo and Information Provided on May 9 By Williston City Clerk Fran Taylor

Williston Hosts
National Day of Prayer Event

Williston Mayor Jerry Robinson speaks during the event.

People who believe in God gathered together in Williston at Heritage Park on Thursday (May 3) as they did all over the United States of America during the National Day of Prayer.

Williston Mayor Jerry Robinson and Williston Mayor Emeritus R. Gerald Hethcoat visit with each other before the event. In the background City Clerk Fran Taylor and City Councilman Justin Head are seen.

Dr. Ronnie Floyd, President of the National Day of Prayer, announced the theme of the 2018 observance will be 'Pray for America – Unity,' based upon Ephesians 4:3, which challenges believers to mobilize unified public prayer for America, ‘Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ (KJV)
Published May 4, 2018 at 3:08 p.m.

Photos by John Salmeier, Dispatcher/IT/Support, of the Williston Police Department
Provided as a courtesy (Thank you WPD and John Salmeier.)

Yankeetown-Inglis Woman's Club
Scholarship Winners Named

Yankeetown School Scholarhsip Winners
(from left) A couple of the six scholarship recipients -- Kelly LaPlante and Tiffany MacDonald, join YIWC Education Chair Lynne Tate for a photo opportunity. At the May Meeting of the Yankeetown-Inglis Woman’s Club, six area students received $1,000.00 scholarships. Those six are Matthew Delph, Tiffany MacDonald, Savannah Thompson, Alvara Thompson, Alexandra Wildey, and Sierra Williams. Kelly LaPlante received the 2018 Nancy Lou Miller Scholarship. Since 1969, Yankeetown-Inglis Woman's Club has awarded over $100,000 in scholarships to local students. Scholarships were first funded by Duplicate Bridge Players in 1969. In 1991, Bingo income took over as the funding stream. Scholarships are awarded in May each year. Next year, applications can be found at the Yankeetown Inglis Woman’s Club website:
Published May 3, 2018 at 4:48 p.m.

Information and Photo Provided by Poco French, Yankeetown Inglis Woman’s Club Media Relations


Gilchrist County Rotary Club
learns about property taxes

Gilchrist County Rotary Club President Bob Clemons, Rotary Past President and President Elect Aaron Haynes, Trenton High School student Alexis Haynes, THS student Nolan Frazier, Sheila Frazier, Rotarian John Frazier, Rotarian Damon Leggett

Story and Photo
By Holly Creel
Published May 1, 2018 at 8:08 a.m.

     The Gilchrist Rotary Club met on Monday afternoon (April 30) at the Woman's Club in Trenton.
     Rotarian and Gilchrist County Property Tax Appraiser Damon provided an overview of property tax information. Leggett explained the various homestead exemptions and how to read and understand property tax forms.
     Lastly, Leggett reminded listeners to read and check the TRIM (truth in millage) notice that is mailed preceding the actual tax bill to make sure it looks correct.
     Most people toss them in the trash without checking and Leggett reminded club members and guests how important it is to check the TRIM notice before receiving the actual property tax bill.
     Rotarians enjoyed a visit from Trenton High School students Alexis Haynes and Nolan Frazier, who both recently attended a RYLA camp in the Florida panhandle.
    RYLA stands for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and is an intensive leadership experience where students develop their skills as a leader while having fun and making connections with peers.
     Gilchrist County Rotary Club President-Elect Aaron Haynes asked the students questions about their experience.
     Their expectations of the weekend were to be exposed to lots of outdoor activities. The greatest fear or challenge was the ropes course for Nolan and meeting so many new people for Alexis.
     Favorite memories for both students was bonding with others and making new friends. Alexis and Nolan, both members of the Interact Club at THS, said they would recommend that other students apply to attend this experience next year as they learned so much and had lots of fun!
     The Rotarian in the Spotlight this week is Robert Moeller. Moeller opened his law practice in Trenton in March last year. He previously had worked as a pharmacist and attorney in Dixie County.
     He served as the Dixie County Rotary Club president twice, the Dixie County Chamber of Commerce president twice and was instrumental in building the Nature Coast Trail.
     Moeller, who graduated from the University of Florida pharmacy and law schools, runs a farm with his wife and has two adult children.
     Chef's Table Bistro catered the luncheon of fried chicken, rice pilaf, green beans, garden salad, garlic toast and sliced Bundt cake.

Tobacco Free Partners Recognized

On April 10, the Tobacco Free Partnership of Levy County held a special celebration meeting where community partners who have passed a tobacco free policy were recognized with awards. Among those honored were the Levy County Fair, the Cedar Key Old Florida Celebration of the Arts, the Tri-County Community Resources Center, Manatee Springs Apartments, and the College of Central Florida. Thank you to these community partners who are leading by example and showing support for a tobacco free Levy County! Seen here are (from left) Levy County Fair, represented by Sam Cuomo and Miss Levy County Fair, Misti Brice; Cedar Key Old Florida Celebration of the Arts, represented by Beverly Ringenberg; the Tri-County Community Resources Center, represented by Beverly Goodman; Manatee Springs Apartments, represented by Kimberly Zrowka; and the College of Central Florida, represented by Martha Chadburn.
Published April 30, 2018 at 3:38 p.m.

Photo and Information Provided by Kristina Zachry, MPH,
Community Health Advocate - Levy County QuitDoc Foundation


South Levy Marketplace
finds a new home

Jeff M. Hardison and Inglis Mayor Drinda Merritt
In this still shot taken from a video, Inglis Mayor Drinda Merritt (right) waves to a camera in the sky as she stands next to daily news website owner Jeff M. Hardison, who also waves on Saturday morning (April 28).
Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © April 29, 2018 at 4:38 p.m.
     INGLIS --
The South Levy Marketplace enjoyed its inaugural fourth Saturday (April 28) at its new location in the grassy field in front of the shopping center that is northwest of U.S. Highway 19 and Levy County Road 40 (Follow That Dream Parkway).

In this silent video, there is an aerial view of the South Levy Marketplace. Then Inglis Mayor Drinda Merritt is seen waving at the camera in the sky as she stands next to daily news website owner Jeff M. Hardison, who also waves. The view then goes up 300 feet and makes a relatively quick pan of 360 degrees, which includes a long-distance view of the Duke electric power plant at Crystal River.

Carlos Robledo cooks on the grill. He and his family own and operate the food truck that is known as Ladybug Snow Cones and Grill.

Inglis-Yankeetown Lions Club President Steve Norton (seated on the left) and incoming Vice President Rob French, who is membership chairman of the club, man the tent to provide free blood tests as diabetic screening.

Peter Weiss holds a begonia plant and a marigold plant. These were a couple of the many plants that he and his wife Debra Weiss were selling at the market. They own White Rock Farm. Peter Weiss said the name of the farm comes from Weiss, which is German for ‘White.’ There are a number of German words for ‘white’ and “Weiss’ is one of them. Peter is ‘The Rock’ from Jesus’ description – (Matthew 16:18 King James Version) – ‘And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ Here, Jesus used the Greek word ‘Petros’ for Simon and that means ‘small rock’ from the interpretation in Matthew. In regard to ‘Peter’ and ‘rock,’ -- ‘And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.’ (John 1:42 – KJV) The Aramaic translated to Greek for stone is not a small stone or a large stone, but is simply a stone. It is the Petros (the man) declaring the Petra (the foundational belief of the Christian Church). It is this belief that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the living God that will stand against hell and gives salvation to all souls who accept Him. Everything rests on these two points, and by Peter’s understanding that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that is why he became Peter when he was Simon. The name White Rock Farm, though, rests on Weiss as White and Peter as Rock being those two points.

Ellen Klee and Sally Douglass wear and hold attire that was, is and will be purchased to help support the Friends of the Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve. To learn about the WGP, please go to

     That shopping center includes Buddy and Fred's Hardware, which is the place where residents and visitors of southern Levy County and northern Citrus County buy hardware. And there is a big grocery store in that plaza as well as a store that sells guns and ammunition.
     The weather was picture perfect. As for the South Levy Marketplace, not only were those things seen above in the captions at the market, but also available to purchase there were other plants from other plant growers, fresh produce, stone crabs, jams, salsa, marmalade and art.
     There was blacksmithing being demonstrated. A Nature Coast Master Gardener volunteer was available to answer questions about plants. Drinda Merritt, artisan and owner of Custom Quilts and More, was on the scene, too. Paul and Anna Gipetto of Gipetto’s Cookies and Bakery were there, and Anna Gipetto said they plan to have env more delicious baked goods at the event next month. Also present was a representative of Heidi Beth Boutique of Inglis. That store is located at 14 Follow That Dream Parkway, in Inglis.
     In addition to the Lions Club, there were representatives from the Yankeetown Woman’s Club there too. They were selling 50-50 raffle tickets. This club helps the community in many ways. The A.F. Knotts Public Library is owned and maintained by the Yankeetown Woman’s Club to help the Levy County Public Library System so that it has a branch location in southern Levy County.
     The Yankeetown Woman’s Club supports Yankeetown School to a relatively extensive degree. Among this club’s most recent donations was a $900 gift this past week. At the end of the year, the Yankeetown Woman’s Club will present seven $1,000 scholarships ($7,000 total) to YTS graduates.
     And there were other people at the market selling goods and services, and of course there were the wonderful, friendly patrons who are helping this monthly happening continue to progress.
     The towns of Inglis and Yankeetown work together to hold the South Levy Marketplace on the fourth Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Everyone is invited to come and enjoy the local artisan handcrafted work, farm fresh fruits and vegetables, local food vendors, as well as educational exhibits on gardening, quilting and more.


Elected state leaders discuss
campus safety and gun reform

By Gregory Charlestin © April 23, 2018 at 4:08 p.m.
Special To
A "Town Hall" discussion at Santa Fe College included three state leaders who were on stage talking about recent shootings and gun violence, as well as answering questions pertaining to these topics.
      One elected leader who was a speaker at this event was state Rep. Charles Wesley "Chuck" Clemons Sr. (R-Newberry, Dist. 21). Other leaders on stage were state Sen. Keith Perry (R-Gainesville, Dist. 8); and state Rep. Clovis Watson Jr. (D-Gainesville, Dist. 20).
     Serving as a moderator between them was Dr. Jackson Sasser, who is known to be an innovator at Santa Fe College since becoming president in January 2002.
     Dr. Jackson started out by introducing and thanking the politicians and audience members for participating.
     Sen. Perry talked about mental health and the correlation of this with the recent shootings. Perry said he believes the youth are not getting the counseling they need.
     Rep. Watson shared his opinion about "open carry." In the United States, open carry refers to the practice of "openly carrying a firearm in public," as distinguished from earning a concealed carry permit, where firearms cannot be seen by the casual observer and the person carrying the weapon is allowed to do so.
     Rep. Watson said he thought that it is unsafe and inappropriate for the members of the general public of Florida to practice "open carry." Several times he mentioned how he voted against a bill on open carry on campus.
     Watson talked about how he was a former police officer for 20 years.
     "We must evaluate students on campus before allowing arms on campus,” Rep. Watson said.
     Rep. Clemons then made several statements on bills that he voted for and against.
     Dr. Jackson Sasser then began answering questions.
     The first question related to a point that police officers only hit one-third of their shots on suspects. Would more law enforcement make it safer?
     Rep. Watson decided to speak first on the matter by saying arming teachers would be difficult because it would require more training, while bringing up issues with the idea of arming teachers like where would the guns be placed?
     Watson said he believes there is a need to appropriately fund law enforcement, have more cameras, take more safety precautions, and not allow guns on campus except for uniformed law enforcement officers.
     Sen. Perry and Rep. Clemons commented on gun-free zones and that we should not be broadcasting these areas, because armed criminals can take advantage of that information.
     Should students run drills in schools for potential shooters? Sen. Perry said that seems like a good plan, but administrators will need to consider the time and other resources being allocated to those drills,
     After the Town Hall was over, many members of the audience were satisfied with the responses that the representatives made. For people with more questions, the state leaders gave their business cards to people so that they could contact them.
     PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Gregory Charlestin is a freshman at Santa Fe College. encourages student journalists to contact the owner -- Jeff M. Hardison at to learn about what it takes to become published. There is a potential for any freelance writer-photographer to earn up to $30 per each successfully completed assignment during the next six to eight weeks.

Scholarships offered to
Levy County high school grads

Published April 24, 2018 at 9:48 p.m.
The College of Central Florida is offering $1,000 merit scholarships to Levy County students graduating in May to attend the CF Jack Wilkinson Levy Campus.
     Scholarships awarded include $500 for fall 2018 and $500 for spring 2019. The scholarships are a one-time opportunity made available by funds raised from the Promise for the Future Campaign aimed at building and enrolling students in the first permanent higher education facility in Levy County.
     To be eligible, students must graduate from a Levy County high school in 2018 and enroll at the CF Levy Campus for the 2018 fall semester. Applicants must have a minimum high school GPA of 2.5 and enroll in at least six credit hours each semester with at least one on-site class held at the Levy Campus.
     The campus located at 15390 N.W. Highway 19, Chiefland, features a comprehensive student center with enrollment services, counseling and advising, financial aid, testing, computer stations, a campus bookstore, student lounge and student life office, a health and wellness area, five fully equipped multipurpose classrooms, a large multidiscipline science lab, and three state-of-the-art computer labs for college credit and corporate education courses.
     To learn more about the scholarships, call 352-658-4077. To learn more about the campus visit


     On Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section on The Life Page of, started, about nine months after the start of the daily news website -- which officially started Feb. 1, 2011. The name "The Christian Press" was derived from an encounter a decade earlier in 2001 in St. Petersburg, when and where a man mentioned to a journalist that this particular journalist must work for "The Christian Press." Although the presumption was incorrect and misplaced, the name sounded good. And the the journalist said that if he could work for The Christian Press, then that certainly would be the publication to serve.
     Since Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section of this page has run daily devotionals from several individuals who contributed over the past eight years. Many daily devotionals are pulled from Strength for Service to God and Country (Whitmore & Stone © 1942; Renewed 1969 by Norman E. Nygaard; Second revised edition © 2002 Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, Providence House Publishers). I note my appreciation for the use of those devotionals from that now-defunct publishing company. I welcome contributions of daily devotionals. Daily devotional authors are asked to please send only their original works to

May 20, 2018  Sunday at 7:08 a.m.


Read Psalm 23

     Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
-- Luke 12:6 (KJV)

     Does God care? Does He know my name? Does He love me, or am I lost in the crowd? If this question troubles you, you can be sure that it troubles everyone; but you need not wonder, for God does love you.
     The picture that made the deepest impression upon my early life is one that is familiar to you. There is a doctor sitting by the bedside of a little girl, praying, watching, and waiting hopefully for the crisis to pass. God is like that; Jesus is the Great Physician. Have you ever seen a shepherd out on the hillside caring for his sheep? He is one who knows, and leads, and guides his own flock. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
     My father is a pal to me. Some of my earliest recollections are of sitting on my father’s knee listening to his stories, or of walking through the meadows with him, holding his hand. I knew that my father would do anything for me. I knew that he loved and would protect me. God is like the best in our earthly fathers. God is like a mother. “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.”
     No matter what the world believes or knows about a person, no matter how low one has sunk, a mother will still believe and still find good in him or her. So, when the uncertainties of the world beset us – and they come to us all – let us never forget that short sentence that we learned as little children at our mother’s knee: “God is love.”
     O GOD, help me, that in the midst of all the perplexities and doubts that fill my mind, I may find perfect peace and confidence in the fact that Thou does love me. I make this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.
The Rev. Dr. James Robert Speer
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Bloomfield, New Jersey

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)


Pastor Alex Christian

Published May 17, 2018 at 12:18 p.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.
     Today's (Thursday, May 17) video is about being empowered. It is a continuation on the theme of revival. Today's message addresses relying on the power and presence of God actively working in our lives. Today's message, like yesterday's (May 16) message, includes John 20:19-22 New International Version (NIV).

Jesus Appears to His Disciples
     19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
     20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
     21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
     22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
     Click HERE to hear this pastor in this video.

Outdoor Truths Ministry
By Gary Miller © May 14, 2018 at 7:18 a.m.

     The older I get, the more I enjoy the small rivers around my area. I used to be the lake type. I used to look forward to the sport, and even the competition of fishing. That competition was not necessarily with other boats, but it was as much with me. It seemed each time I went fishing the score was zero to zero and each fish I caught or didn’t catch moved the score in one direction or another. I loved it, but it seems now that I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have. Don’t get me wrong, my most memorable trips are still the ones where I caught the most fish; except perhaps for those where thunder and lightening were involved. But for the most part the lake has provided some great memories. And I hope it has more to give.
     The river however, is another species. It calls for one to be good at multitasking. If you spend too much time thinking about catching a fish, you will soon be going through some rough water sideways, and then upside down. Old Man River, over the years, has collected from me, many anchors, a slew of baits, and a few expensive rods and reels. And rarely does he give any back. I can remember a few years ago, at nine-o’clock in the morning, having to dive in to retrieve another anchor that had come untied (it seems I lose about 3 of these each year). The river does however provide plenty of sights that do serve to feed the imagination. It’s commonplace to see deer wading out into the more shallow areas and turkey flying from one side to the other, and the ducks gathered into small pools. The river is a kaleidoscope of nature; each turn provides a different view; each view a different perspective, and each perspective a different you. There’s no doubt the older we get the more introspective we become. I somehow think men are particularly this way; at times to a fault. Thinking is good, but it shouldn’t replace conversation – only add to it. And for me, the river gives me the perfect environment for both.
     Maybe you are neither the lake nor the river type. Perhaps your activities take you in other directions. And perhaps they are so involved that you rarely have time to think about anything, much less something of substance. These are fine, but don’t let them keep you from dealing with the weightier matters of life. Just because we ignore them, doesn’t mean they will go away.

Gary Miller has three books that are compilations of the articles he has written for nearly 15 years. He also speaks at game dinners and men’s groups for churches and associations.

Gary Miller's website is located at

Heart Matters
By Angie Land © May 14, 2018 at 1:58 p.m.

     One of the things I enjoy about Facebook is reading different quotes, scriptures and song lyrics my friends post. What we feel compelled to share will often speak loud and clear about what is going on in life at the moment without having to share the gory details, which by the way, I highly recommend-a wise quote is highly preferable to the gory details! Anyway, a few days ago a young friend shared this thought: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” I do love new love and speculated that she had a new boyfriend, and at this point he can do no wrong-not yet anyway. Actually, this famous line originated in a popular 1970s movie named Love Story, and as romantic as this may sound, nothing could be further from the truth. Real love, between two real people, often means saying you’re sorry. Because real people make mistakes, are careless with words, and have bad days. This produces a need for real love to include apologies by the offender and forgiveness by the offended. Since the role of the offender will be played by either party at one time or another, it is critical for both to learn to forgive when they are the offended.
     In their book, The Five Languages of Apology, Dr. Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas declare that an apology is the only thing that can enable genuine forgiveness and reconciliation. Further, how that apology is presented is also significant to the offended being able to offer true forgiveness. Haven’t we all witnessed the less than heart-felt “sorry” mumbled between two siblings whose parents forced them to apologize? Come to think of it, haven’t we all offered a half-hearted apology just to keep the peace when we secretly fumed about not being wrong? These are not the kind of apologies that leads to strong, healthy relationships.
     When trying to overcome an offense, one of the biggest challenges couples face is realizing what they actually need from an apology. Some need to hear “I am sorry” from a spouse who has never uttered those words. To some, simply saying “I’m sorry” without asking for forgiveness or accepting responsibility is not a “real” apology. To others, the need for the offender to make things right is the only way they will feel like justice has been served. What do you need from an apology to offer real forgiveness? What does your spouse need from you when you are the offender?
     According to Chapman and Thomas, the five different languages of an apology make all the difference in how it is received. They include expressing regret (actually saying, “I am sorry”), accepting responsibility (“I was wrong”), making restitution (“What can I do to make things right?”), offering genuine repentance (“I will try not to do that again”) and finally requesting forgiveness (“Will you please forgive me?”). As you consider these five languages, realize that what you need and what your spouse needs may be different when it comes to apologies. Next, be willing to offer the kind of apology that will open the heart of your spouse toward forgiveness. You may just find past hurts being forgiven and your marriage growing stronger as you practice the art of a well-spoken apology, because every heart matters!
Blessings, Angie
     PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Heart Matters is a column written by Angie Land, Director of the Family Life Ministries of the Lafayette Baptist Association, where she teaches bible studies, leads marriage and family conferences and offers biblical counseling to individuals, couples and families. Please contact Angie with questions or comments at She notes that she would love to hear from people.

Living Life Outside The Limits
By Guy Sheffield © May 15, 2018 at 3:38 p.m.

     Until I was eight I’d never considered there might a world out beyond those "Welcome to Shaw Mississippi" signs. The 61 highway came in one end, and left the other. Where it led, I didn’t know. I guess that’s why it came as such a shock that day when my mom loaded us kids in her yellow Chevy Vega and put all we’d ever known in the rear view mirror. I was scared, but I can only imagine what she must’ve been feeling. I can look back now and say, for Mom it was just the beginning of a life to be lived outside the limits.
     We ran out of gas in Memphis, so that’s where we spent our savings on a two bedroom apartment and a loaf of bread. The next day Mom hit the pavement running. She found a job within the week. Soon our sleeping bags were replaced with real mattresses and our little apartment began to abound with other garage sale furnishings. The neighbors must’ve thought the pre-oil Beverly Hillbillies had moved to town! We took advantage of every freebee in the city, especially the apartment’s concrete swimming pond, and the silent version of the drive in picture shows. (The one you watch from across the street.)   We also spent a good many nights outside of Elvis’ gate. The day he died it about broke our hearts. We’d all set our sights on having him become our new step dad. Mom never did remarry.
     After several years Momma was able to climb up high enough on the secretarial ladder to see past our little apartment, and bought our first house. We were so happy! It was just a little old thing really. We were still in the ‘hood’, and dirt poor by most standards, but just dumb enough not to know it. I’m glad. To us it seemed like a castle.
     As I grew older I noticed Momma was counting down the days until my graduation. When it arrived she packed up and headed back to Shaw with my brother. I could almost hear the voice inside her saying, "There's more to life. There is greatness yet to be discovered!" Maybe she thought it was Mickey Mouse calling, because the day my brother left for college she loaded up her yellow Buick Century and took off for Orlando Florida.
     Mom made quite a splash in Orlando over the next 15 years. She fulfilled her dream of working at Disney, but promptly resigned after finding out the mouse was actually just a little guy in a suit. From there she pursued her life long passion of law enforcement. She hired on as a secretary at the Orlando Police Department. Mom also worked part time for many years as an usher at the Orlando O’rena. (She wanted to meet famous folks!) The O’rena turned out to be much more productive than Elvis’ gate. From then on she sent us a regular diet of photos she had taken with a host of sports superstars.
     In her private life Mom worked with so many charities she was twice given the City of Orlando's “Volunteer of the Year” award by the Mayor. She was also the first civilian to ever receive the “Chief’s Special Award” from the Chief of Police. A couple of years ago my brother and I went down for Mom’s early retirement. We also helped her pack to move back to Mississippi so she could be near the grandkids. While we were there she was given two huge going away parties, and honored with heart felt speeches by some of the top dignitaries of the city, including the Deputy Mayor. She left with such accolades I truly thought our Ryder truck might be escorted out with a motorcade! Not bad for a single mom from Shaw Mississippi.
     There are two lessons I have learned in the study of her truly extraordinary life. First, and most obvious, is that a person can reach their dreams with courage and persistence. We should never let the fear of failure or the fear of what others may think paralyze us. Second, and not intended in any way to diminish her accomplishments, are the weighty Words of Jesus in Mark 8:36. (For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?) You see, despite all my mother had achieved in this life, she still sat beside me in that Ryder truck that day with an unfulfilled heart. The same small voice was still speaking to her, “There's more to life! There is greatness yet to be discovered.”  Thankfully, the story does not end there. Momma went on to do something very rare for a person so successful and set in their ways. She humbly received the good news of the Gospel, and gave her life, and all of her glory, to Jesus. Yes, that’s right, that small voice had been the Holy Spirit leading her to Jesus the whole time. Jesus was the true greatness yet to be discovered in her life!
     But anyway - I doubt you’d be reading this column today if it weren’t for Mrs. Guy Ann Sheffield. You see, not long ago she decided she wanted to be a reporter, so she ran down to the newspaper and got hired as a photographer. One week later she’d wormed her way into that reporting job and subsequently got me hired on as a columnist. She doesn’t seem to take “No” very well.

Guy Sheffield's website - But Anyway is located at
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