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AmVets Post 422 presents
$4,000 in scholarships
to four students at three schools

Information Provided
By Lee Layne, Adjutant AmVets Post 422
Published May 17, 2019 at 2:09 p.m.
     TRI-COUNTY AREA --
Suwannee River AmVets Post 422 presents $4,000 in scholarships to four students recently at Scholarship Night events at three schools.

 

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     On Monday (May 13), Chiefland High School held its annual Scholarship Night. AmVets Suwannee River Post 422 presented two $1,000 scholarships – one to Macie Adams and one to De’Shamar Shepherd.
     On Tuesday (May 21), Bell High School held its annual Scholarship Night. AmVets Suwannee River Post 422 presented a $1,000 scholarship to Kylee Barry.
     Also, on Tuesday (May 21), Trenton High School held its annual Scholarship Night. AmVets Suwannee River Post 422 presented a $1,000 scholarship to Christopher Ellis-Driggers.
     The post notes its congratulations to all of the seniors for their hard work and dedication, and the post’s members noted thy are especially proud of these four scholarship recipients.

 


Cross City group encourages
graduates, gives love offerings
and awards a scholarship

Cross City On the Move HardisonInk.com
Caroline Walker speaks as other leaders present for the Cross City On The Move – Making Things Happen event -- Angela Carter, Heddie Johnson, Florence Carter and Elsie Carter listen.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison May 15, 2019 at 3:29 p.m.
     CROSS CITY
– A celebration of high school graduates at the Woman’s Club in Cross City on Tuesday night (May 14) mirrors some of the positive impact of the group named Cross City On The Move – Making Things Happen.



Cross City On the Move HardisonInk.com
Graduates (from left) Tyron Calhoun, Richard Bowers, Mareena Carter, Elicia Carter, Denesha McDowell, Derrick Charboneau, Kania Brown, Precious Aiken, and Lara Medlin pause a moment before starting the dining and socialization part of the event. Carlos Williams, Blake Watson and Kewanna Thompson are graduates who were invited but did not attend. Williams’ mother Veronica Williams was present to represent her son.

     Leaders of the group present to celebrate the graduation of high school by of 10 particular young people were Caroline Walker, Angela Carter, Heddie Johnson, Florence Carter and Elsie Carter.
     Cross City On The Move – Making Things Happen is a few years old, although many of the members have long been involved in community improvement efforts.
     Each of the 10 graduates accepted a $25 token of love, and one of the grads was awarded a $250 scholarship called the Overcoming The Odds Scholarship. This was the very first time that scholarship was awarded.
     The 10 graduates honored by Cross City On The Move – Making Things Happen are Tyron Calhoun, Richard Bowers, Mareena Carter, Elicia Carter, Denesha McDowell, Derrick Charboneau, Kania Brown, Precious Aiken, Lara Medlin, Carlos Williams, Blake Watson and Kewanna Thompson.
     Williams’ mother Veronica Williams was present to represent her son. Watson and Thompson were absent.
     Cross City On The Move – Making Things Happen, Walker said as she welcomed everyone, wants to congratulate these young people for their accomplishment.
     She encouraged all of the graduates to either continue their education in academics or in a trade, or to seek gainful employment, where they will be honest, productive, contributing members of society. Whatever they feel God is calling them to do, is where they should set their focus.
     “We want you to go into the world knowing you are unique,” Walker said. “We want you to know God made you the way you are, so that you don’t have to follow the pattern of anyone else.”
     Like any person, she said, each one is bound to make mistakes. The prayer of Cross City On The Move – Making Things Happen is that lessons are learned by mistakes.
     Walker told each graduate to do what is in their heart, as to why God created them.
     Among her sage advice was for each person to conduct herself or himself as a young lady or as a young man. She reminded them that social media is viewed by anyone – including a potential future employer.
      “You never know who is watching you,” she said. “Be careful what you are putting out there.”
     Now, she added, they are high school graduates. Therefore, they need to act like that.
     Cross City On The Move – Making Things Happen is seeking to build itself to help the community even more, Walker said. Anyone who wants to join in this effort is invited to contact any of them.
     There is a rally planned for June 29 at 11 a.m. in front of the Dixie County Courthouse, she said. As Cross City On The Move – Making Things Happen works to improve conditions, it wants to help everyone know about the many resources available to build things in a positive manner.
     She congratulated the graduates, and asked them to “go out there and make us proud.”
     The $250 scholarship named the Overcoming The Odds Scholarship was awarded to Elicia Carter. Walker said that seeing her work ethic, and her success in overcoming all obstacles was the reason for that choice.
     When this graduate lets Cross City On The Move – Making Things Happen know her choice of a college or trade school, the check will be given to that institution in her name to help with tuition costs.
      Each graduate told the group about their plans now that they have graduated. Each one of the leaders shared their best wishes and advice with the graduates.
     They were reminded to set goals and to meet them. They were reminded several times to be careful – always being attentive to their surroundings.
     The young people present were reminded to be prayerful in their lives, seeking traveling mercies when they go places, and to give thanks for all of the blessings God bestows upon them.
     After the ceremony, everyone enjoyed a bountiful selection of food and drinks.


Chiefland students honored
Chiefland Students of the Month HardisonInk.com
Seen here after the certificate presentation are (from left) Kaydon Brady, J.C. Fisher, Devin Jones and Vice Mayor Tim West.

Story and photo
By Jeff M Hardison © May 15, 2019 at 10:39 a.m.
     CHIEFLAND –
Three Chiefland students were honored Monday night (May 13) during the regular Chiefland City Commission meeting.
     Vice Mayor Tim West presented the students of the month award to students, one of whom is the son of Chiefland Mayor Chris Jones.
     The first student Vice Mayor West recognized was John “J.C.” Fisher, a fifth-grade student at Chiefland Elementary School. His teacher April Rogers noted that this young man is honest and trustworthy, helpful, kind, a great friend and has great moral character. The boy is the son of Spencer and Emily Fisher.
     The next student honored was Kaydon Brady, an eighth grader at Chiefland Middle School. He was nominated by the entire set of eighth grade teachers. He is the son of Vanessa Herrera.
     Brady’s list of achievements are noted as including him being an incredibly hardworking young man. He’s always conscientious and cares about his grades. He’s a very kind young man. He’s very knowledgeable; he is a deep thinker and a great communicator. He always makes discussion time meaningful.
     The third student honored is a senior at Chiefland High School.  Devin Jones the son of Chris and Amy Jones.
     Nominated by all of the high school teachers, they noted, “Devin always creates a positive atmosphere, welcomes new students and works hard to make every everyone’s day a little brighter. Devin is a polite young man and definitely gives everyone he meets their daily dose of laughter. He’s a hard worker and strives to do well academically.”
     All of the students received a certificate as well as a $20 Walmart gift card. The gift cards are funded by the Rotary Club of Chiefland.


Rural substance abuse and
mental health summit
set for May 23 in Gainesville;

Free event is especially inviting
for community faith leaders;

Deadline to RSVP is 5 p.m. on May 22

By Jeff M. Hardison © April 25, 2019 at 12:29 p.m.
     GAINESVILLE –
A free event for mental health caregivers and community faith leaders promises to provide a plethora of insight to help people deal with drug abuse in rural Florida.
     Scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 23 at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 2505 N.E. Eighth Ave., in Gainesville, this summit is to specifically address the challenges and strengths unique to rural communities.
     Kay Warren is the keynote speaker.
     As a writer, speaker and wife of Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, Kay is a tireless advocate for those living with mental illness. She founded Saddleback's Hope for Mental Health Initiative and is a board member of the National Action
Alliance for Suicide Prevention.
     Lesley Hersey, a community engagement specialist at Lutheran Services Florida Health Systems in Gainesville, said this summit is not only going to have a behavioral health track for those working in the field, but it also is providing information, tools and support in a faith track for the faith communities.
     Kay Warren will be flying in from California to share her experience with mental illness as well as her son’s death by suicide after living with mental illness.
     “We are super excited about this event and are expecting upwards of 300 people,” Hersey said.
     People who are part of rural communities, Hersey said, are faced with challenges different than those of more urban areas.
     Resources are limited, especially when it comes to programs for substance abuse recovery and mental health services. However, rural communities possess qualities and hidden gems that other areas do not, she added.
     This summit will focus on discovering those hidden gems and enhancing the strengths which these rural communities contain to improve services for those struggling with substance abuse, mental health problems or suicidal thoughts.
     These gems of rural Florida, include the role that the local church plays in the health of the community.
     In addition to Kay Warren, presentations and speakers include: Building Resilient Communities – Trauma-Informed Conversations by Dr. Jenenne Valentino-Bottaro of LifeStream Behavioral Health; Starting a Recovery Ministry in Your Rural Church by Andy Reynolds, child welfare specialist of Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health; TeleHealth - Bridging Access to Care by Don Savoie, chief operating officer of Meridian Behavioral Health; and Mental Health and the Bible by Pastor Lenny Cote of  The Springs Church.
      This is free and sponsored by Lutheran Services Florida Health Systems, the Florida Department of Children and Families, Meridian Behavioral Healthcare and Mount Carmel Baptist Church.

Deadline to RSVP is 5 p.m. on May 22
     Register FREE today: http://bit.ly/LSFHealth.
     For more information contact: Lesley Hersey via email at Lesley.hersey@lsfnet.org.
     In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, persons needing special accommodations to participate in any meeting/hearing should contact Fatou Mbaye at 904-900-1075 for assistance.

 


Haven Hospice of the
Tri-Counties awards
volunteers for service

Story and Photos Provided By
Marketing and Communications Manager Jeremy Haupt
Published May 13, 2019 at 9:19 a.m.
     CHIEFLAND --
The month of April was very eventful for the Haven Hospice volunteers in the tri-county area. On April 5, 2019, Haven recognized its volunteers for their outstanding, selfless service throughout the year.
     The volunteer luncheon, which had 75 people in attendance at Haven’s community building, honored all local volunteers. Haven’s president Gayle Mattson and several members of Haven’s leadership team joined to thank the wonderful volunteers for the great work they accomplished.

Haven Hospice 2019 volunteers HardisonInk.com
Patricia Ellwood (seen above) was selected for the Dr. Raymond Fitzpatrick award, which is named after Haven Hospice’s founder and volunteer medical director from 1979 to 1984. The award recognizes a special individual or individuals who have shown outstanding leadership and serve as a role model to other volunteers.

     Additional awards were given to the following volunteers:

Haven Hospice 2019 volunteers HardisonInk.com
Babara Stieve, Chiefland – The Harry Coleman Attic Award

Haven Hospice 2019 volunteers HardisonInk.com
Peggy Mitchell, Trenton – The Arnold Dittenber Community Outreach Award


Gloria Jones (not pictured), Chiefland, – The Patient and Caregiver Award

Haven Hospice 2019 volunteers HardisonInk.com
Nancy Davis, Chiefland – The Administrative Award

Haven Hospice 2019 volunteers HardisonInk.com
Betty Edwards, Suwannee – The Mike Harrell Special Programs Award


     The Haven volunteers closed out the year 2018 donating a total of 21,300 volunteer hours with a cost savings to Haven of $525,897. Great door prizes were given out, for which Haven would like to thank the local merchants In Chiefland, Bell, Trenton and Cross City for their generosity.
     Any person who is interested in becoming a volunteer for Haven in the Dixie County, Gilchrist County or Levy County areas, is asked to please call Vondla Sullivan at 352-493-8084 or 800-677-5428.

 


AmVets Suwannee River
Post 422 Elects New Officers

AmVets Post 422 Fanning Springs Officers HardisonInk.com
Seen here are (seated) Karen Bolin and Michele Minton; standing. From left) Past Commander Kenny Spillers; Commander J.D. Ditullio, Larry Hysell, Pat Plemmons, David Tyrell, Frank Gilderson, David Moore and Chuck Reynolds. On Wednesday, May 8, AmVets Suwannee Rive Post 422 elected and installed its new officers for the 2019-2020 year. Installed as its new Commander is James D. DiTullio, 1st Vice Commander-Patrick Plemmons; 2nd Vice Commander-Michele Minton; Finance Officer-Karen Bolin; Judge Advocate-Joe Oxendine; Provost Marshal-David Moore; Trustees-David Tyrell, Larry Hysell, Chuck Reynolds and Frank Gilderson. Mary Lee Layne was appointed as Adjutant and Patrick Plemmons as Chaplain. Congratulations to all the new Officers of AmVets Post 422.
Published May 13, 2019 at 7:39 a.m.

Photo and Information Provided By Lee Layne, Adjutant AmVets Post 422

 


Williston Students Honored
Williston Students of the Month HardisonInk.com
Mayor Jerry Robinson honored four students Tuesday night (May 7) in Williston City Hall.  These were the students of the month for May. This is the last set for this school year. They are (from left) Williston Elementary School second grader Carlos Garcia; Joyce Bullock Elementary School second grader Moises Mendoza; Williston Central Christian Academy seventh grader Alexis Weflen; and Williston Middle School seventh grader Aubrey Sierens. Each student received an Outstanding Student certificate, a set of flag pins (American and Florida combined) and a certificate for free pizza.
Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © May 9, 2019 at 6:49 p.m.

 


Scholarships offered to 2019
Levy County high school grads

Story Provided By CF Marketing and Public Relations
Published May 1 2019 at 11:09 a.m.
     CHIEFLAND —
The College of Central Florida is offering 40 $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 2019 and $500 for spring 2020. The scholarships are made available by funds raised for 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 2019 and enroll at the CF Levy Campus for the 2019 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. U.S. Highway 19, (north of) 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 https://www.cf.edu/Levy.

 

 


Rotarians can help
children in El Salvador;

Ayers Health & Rehabilitation Center wins;
Fishing Tournament on Saturday
Branford Rotary Gilchrist Rotary HardisonInk.com
Seen here are Branford Rotarians John and Trannie Lacquey, Gilchrist Rotarians Joanna Buckles and President-Elect Bob Clemons.

Story and Photo
By Holly Creel, Rotarian
Published May 1, 2019 at 9:09 a.m.
     TRENTON --
Rotarians are busy and on the move!
     John and Trannie Lacquey from the Branford Rotary Club visited the Gilchrist County Rotary Club on Monday (April 29) to present an exciting opportunity to partner with them and other Rotary Clubs in our 6940 District to support disabled children in El Salvador.
     The project entails provided the youngsters with wheelchairs and medical assistance. Funds would primarily come from a Rotary District Grant but individual clubs also can support this project through club donations.
     John and Trannie are quite an inspiring couple. As Rotarians, they have traveled around the world doing good deeds to help others in need. Stay tuned regarding more about this innovative idea!
     Rotarian Joanna Buckles shared an honor that Ayers Health & Rehabilitation Center received as Center of the Year awarded by Health Services Management Inc. Those of us in Gilchrist County hold Ayers Health & Rehabilitation Center dearly in our hearts and appreciate all of the fine work Joanna and her dedicated team provide for their patients and families. Congratulations on this well-deserved award!
     And, Gilchrist Rotarians are busy this week getting ready for our annual fishing tournament this weekend in Suwannee.
     The Captains' Dinner and Calcutta will be held at the Salt Creek Restaurant on Friday (May 3) and inshore and bass anglers will head out at first safe light on Saturday morning to do their best to catch some fine fish and enjoy a great day on the water.
     Proceeds from this fundraiser support our youth, primarily through the Suwannee League. Please come out and buy raffle tickets for a chance to win some great prizes, bet on your favorite angler in the Calcutta, fish, or just enjoy being a part of this fun event with such positive energy! We hope to see you there!
     Rotarians enjoyed a delicious luncheon of fried chicken, corn on the cob, green beans, garden salad, bread and butter and cake served by Chef Jason Fuchs of Spring Water Events.

 


Gilchrist County Rotarians
learn about
Meridian Behavioral Healthcare

Gilchrist County Rotary Club Meridian Behavioral Health HardisonInk.com
Seen here are (from left) Rotary Past President and President-Elect Bob Clemons, guest speaker David Kranson of Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, and Rotarians Pat Knight, John Johnson and Natasha Allen.

Story and photo
By Holly Creel
Published April 23, 2019 at 9:49 a.m.
     TRENTON --
Rotarian Natasha Allen hosted an informative meeting for members and guests of the Gilchrist County Rotary Club on Monday afternoon (April 22) at the Woman's Club in Trenton.
     The guest speaker she invited was David Kranson, Meridian Behavioral Healthcare's director of outpatient services for the Tri-County Area of Dixie, Levy and Gilchrist counties.
     Kranson, who has worked for Meridian for the past eight years, spoke about the many diverse community mental health and substance-abuse disorder treatments, which Meridian has used to help almost 20,000 individuals from Meridian's core service area and neighboring counties.
     Meridian's region is primarily rural, covering 7,400 square-miles -- with Lafayette County as the smallest county and Alachua County as the largest county in population.
     Levy County, the ninth largest county geographically in Florida, is the largest geographic county in the Meridian region.
     This North Central Florida has a relatively high poverty rate and many health issues including smoking-related illnesses, obesity and related metabolic syndromes, cancer, suicide, opioid deaths and young people being involved with substance abuse.
     Meridian serves the entire spectrum of ages ranging from infants to geriatric and provides acute care, outpatient care, residential, and telehealth services.
     Governed by a volunteer Board of Directors (Rotarians Pat Knight and Natasha Allen serve on the Board) and with almost 800 employees, Meridian provided almost $1.6 million of uncompensated care to individuals with no payer for services once indigent care funds from the state and county were exhausted in the past fiscal year.
     The anticipated revenue for 2019 is $47.4 million.
     Thank you to Natasha and David for such an interesting presentation!
     Rotarian John Johnston reported to the Club on his service this past Saturday (April 20) to the Veterans Home Center in Gainesville. Johnston is a veteran in addition to being a loyal Rotarian, and the story about his volunteer work is planned to be highlighted in the Gilchrist County Rotary Club news story in the first week of May.
     Chef Jason Fuchs of Spring Water Events catered a unique and delicious luncheon of chicken and traditional gyros, Greek salad and Ravani, a delectable Greek dessert on Monday afternoon.

 


Live Oak CRA plans
Freedom Festival to honor
World War II vets and current
first responders on July 4

By Gabrielle Redfern
published April 20, 2019 at 8:09 a.m.

     LIVE OAK — The City of Live Oak Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), along with all City Departments have begun planning the 2019 Freedom Festival to be held in Downtown Live Oak Florida on Thursday, The Fourth of July 2019.
     The Community Partnership Street Fair begins at 5 p.m., centered at Festival Park with entertainment and recognition on the Millennium Stage set to start at 6 p.m. Fireworks are scheduled to light the sky behind the Historic Suwannee County Courthouse at approximately 9:30 p.m.
     “Freedom requires heroes,” said Live Oak Police Chief Buddy Williams, chairman of this year's Honors Committee, “We want to honor and recognize those men and women of Suwannee County who served in World War II, as well as those who work as first responders locally and continue to serve and protect us worldwide.”
     Suwannee County residents who are a WWII veteran, or the family member of a WWII hero, are asked to please contact Chief Williams at 386-362-7436.

 


Interact students
visit host Rotarians

Interact of Gilchrist County and others HardisonInk.com
Seen here (from left) are Bell High School's Ty Powell, Teacher-Sponsor Bill Martin, Sahara Henderson, Rebekah Floyd, Teacher-Sponsor Jon Meinholz, Caitlin Anthony, Rotary President Aaron Haynesa, and Trenton High School's Rylee Pevey, Teacher-Sponsor Taven Bennett, Kaitlyn Schultz, Alexis Haynes, Nolan Frazier, Richard Hendricks and Abby Howell.

Story and Photo
By Holly Creel, Rotarian
Published April 16, 2019 at 2:49 p.m.
     TRENTON --
The Interact Service Club students from Bell High School and Trenton High School came to the Gilchrist Rotary Club on Monday (April 15) to update our members on this fabulous first year of service in our community.
     And what a terrific year it has been - chock full of fun and doing good deeds for others! Interact Clubs are challenged by Rotary to perform at least one community service project and one global or international project each year. And our Gilchrist County students far exceeded that challenge!
     Taven Bennett, Interact Teacher-Sponsor for Trenton High School told us that it has been so refreshing to work with this group of students in the past year. She went on to say these students were given the opportunity to do positive things and be a good person in this world and that's exactly what they did! For projects they set everything up, organized it and carried out their ideas and she is honored to be part of their good work.
     Each student described their favorite activities in which they participated in this past year.  Students told us about participating in the Homecoming Parade to raise their school's awareness of what the Interact Club is and does. During Red Ribbon Week they raised awareness about bullying with a project known as #InteractNicely (isn't that clever?) and for Christmas they adopted a child from the Guardian Ad Litem program. Students also talked about what new ideas they would like to implement in the upcoming year.
     Bell Teacher-Sponsors Jon Meinholz and Bill Martin described how amazed they are at these Interact Students because they are all so involved in other clubs and activities and yet they still find the time to do the good work of Interact and Rotary. The Bell High School Interactors (that is the term for Interact students) created a creative and heartwarming video that portrayed the accomplishments of their past year. Highlights included holding an essay contest for the character trait of the month for middle school students and collecting and transporting food, medical and personal items for our friends in the panhandle after Hurricane Michael devastated that area. The Bell students explained that they divided into three areas focusing on local/global issues, history and promoting social activities.
     Both high schools’ Interact students participated in the Rotary Poker Paddle this past September - a fun-filled day kayaking and canoeing on the Santa Fe River that raised monies to support the club's operating expenses for the coming year. Both THS and BHS Interact students participated in the Rotary Purple Pinkie as their global-international project to raise funds to eradicate polio in the countries where this dreaded disease still exists.
     Rotarians congratulated the students on their very successful inaugural year and thanked them and the teacher-sponsors for their hard work and support in making our community and world a better place to live. And, for exemplifying the Rotarian motto of "Service Above Self." Rotarian Jo Buckles reminded us that these students are the future of Rotary!
     Past President Bob Clemons specifically thanked the teacher-sponsors for their work in guiding the past year's activities. We are so proud of our Interact students! Thank you for making this first year so commendable and fun!

 


Elder Options seeks
board and advisory members

Published April 10, 2019 at 10:39 a.m.
     GAINESVILLE --
Elder Options is seeking representatives for its Board of Directors in Levy County and Suwannee County, and Advisory Council members and Gilchrist, Lafayette, to Lake, Marion, Suwannee and Union counties.
     Elder Options’ mission is to ensure that communities have a trusted and unbiased place to turn for information, resources and assistance. This group advocates for, and cooperatively works with, communities to strengthen support systems and create new and innovative service options that focus on personal choice and independence.
     The Mid-Florida Area Agency on Aging Inc. (doing business as Elder Options) was established in 1977 as a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.
     Elder Options is the state-designated area agency on aging, Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), and 1-800 Elder Helpline (1-800-963-5337).
     The agency is charged with administering state and federal grant-funded programs and providing direct services to benefit elders, people with disabilities, and their informal caregivers in a 16-county Planning and Service Area (PSA) in North Central Florida, which includes Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee, and Union counties.
     Elder Options is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors who represent the organization and provide oversight. The Board is supported by the agency’s Advisory Council, which includes seniors and community representatives from across the Planning Service Area of 16 counties.
     Elder Options’ Executive Director Kristen Griffis has served in this key leadership position since 2006.
     Elder Options has a well-established and strong infrastructure, experienced and dedicated leadership and staff, and an extensive network of partners. The agency has more than 35 years of experience developing and administering programs, and providing support and direct services.  In 2012, Elder Options was designated as an ADRC.  As such, it expanded its support system for people with disabilities and partnership with their service providers.
     Meetings are quarterly and travel is reimbursed.
     Any person willing to volunteer to be on the Board of Directors representing Levy or Suwannee counties or on the Advisory Council from Gilchrist, Lafayette, to Lake, Marion, Suwannee and Union counties, is asked to visit https://agingresources.org/ for an application or call 352-692-5214 to indicate his or her interest in giving that service to help the elderly or disabled.

 





     On Feb. 1, 2011, HardisonInk.com came to exist 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 byt he man about that journalist 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 years. There were two days in 2018 when the daily devotional did not run due to a journalist requiring emeregency orthopedic surgery on bones in his left arm and wrist. That 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). 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 hardisonink@gmail.com.


May 21, 2019  Tuesday at 7:19 a.m.

GOD'S INSTRUMENTS

Read Isaiah 6:1-8

     Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
-- Isaiah 6:8 (KJV)


    The other evening, I attended a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was a rare experience, for here are redeemed men and women with more real Christianity than you find in some churches. They have rediscovered their faith in God and have put it to work. They have learned anew to pray.
     They have a missionary zeal that sends them out, as one chap said, “In every spare minute that I have. As soon as I get home from work I begin my AA work. There are just not enough hours in the day for all that I want to do. This is the greatest thing that I have found.” One mother of eight said, “I would like to get on the housetops and shout how much this has meant to me. Since February, the children and I have had a new daddy.”
     Now most of us are glad that we don’t have to experience chronic alcoholism to develop faith in God. But the fact is that all too often we get struck on a plateau halfway between, content in our half-existence. Those people at the meeting positively sparkled with their enthusiasm and power. When they quoted Jesus as saying, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly," they knew what they meant.
     This movement actually possesses what a lot of churches have only in theory. And yet all churches can have it actually as well. One of the alcoholics said, “We are merely God’s instruments, doing work that is effective because He gives us power.”
     Isaiah’s vision was not phantasm; it was not an exercise of a diseased imagination. It led to the consecration of life, to the settlement of a divine purpose, to the warming of the heart into sympathetic obedience toward all things Divine, and therefore largely human.
     O GOD, consecrate me to Thy purposes, that I may see Thy way and have power to do Thy work. Amen.
Pastor James M. Davis
First Congregational Church
Ravenna, Ohio

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)

 

 



CONNECTIONS
Published May 16, 2019 at 4:29 p.m.

First UMC CHiefland Pastor Alex Christian   HardisonInk.com Connections


     Pastor Alex Christian of First United Methodist Church of Chiefland provides a daily devotional video each Monday through Thursday via the church's Facebook page.
     Pastor Christian (or Pastor Alex as some people call him) in this video offers insight as well as other as aspects that may be inspirational to individuals.
      From now through the beginning of June Pastor Christian will be focusing on how we are all called.
     In his four daily videos this week (May 13, 14, 15 and 16), Pastor Christian plans to share with people about how to keep moving forward in our calling thru the story of Elisha’s calling.
   
  The pastor provides insight today (May 16) about how we can remain faithful to our calling.
     Click HERE to see and hear this pastor in this video
.




The Lord Appears to Elijah
1 Kings 19:9-18  New International Version

     9 There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel - all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

 




Outdoor Truths Ministry
By Gary Miller © May 20, 2019 at 8:09 a.m.

     It won’t be too long until farmers will begin cutting hay. On a normal year, most fields will be cut twice. The amount of rainfall, however, always determines whether there is a lack or an abundance. The first cutting is usually in late May or June. This gives the grass another opportunity to produce before the drought of summer stunts it for the year. One of the tragedies that always happens is the death of newborn fawns. Unfortunately, these young deer lay in the field, thinking they are hiding, and are killed by the farmer’s tractor or the hay implements. It happens every year.
     There’s a mechanism and trait that nature has given these new-born deer. They are scent free and the white dots on their sides act as a visual camouflage as well. If these fawns cannot be smelled or seen, they are most likely not going to be discovered by a predator. This is also the reason they refuse to move when unusual activity happens around them. Again, they have the built-in mechanism to remain still in order to not be detected. Unfortunately, if they are hidden in a hay field, this same trait that is supposed to protect them, instead causes their death.
     All of nature is uniquely balanced in the same way. If this balance is maintained, there is harmony, and creation moves as God intended. When the balance moves in an extreme direction one way or the other, this harmony is lost. And in the case of nature, something usually dies. Look at any scenario and you will see that extremes are always lacking, and balance is always more complete and less fragile. I find this true also with human nature. I find it equally important for Christians. Extremism in Christianity produces division and fosters hatred. It has no choice but to be legalistic and by default judgmental. It can be prideful and exclusive. And none of these characteristics describe the grace of God that was given to us, nor the grace of God that we are to give to others. Grace is messy. Its parameters are not easily defined. Its rules are not easily understood. I believe God wanted it that way. That way, when we don’t know the answer or what to do, we will always default to “I will love my neighbor as myself.”

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/.

 




Filling that Hole in Your Dash
By Guy Sheffield © May 14, 2019 at 11:19 a.m.

     My first car was a toxic green Datsun B-210 with some very interesting upgrades. For example, a discarded pickle slice had hardened to the front fender making for a stylish emblem. Also, a trendy trailer hitch spot-welded to the bumper enabled you to take full advantage of its 120lb towing capacity. Broken hinges on the driver’s door kept me hopping along, especially since the door always plunked out onto my ankle! If that didn’t send me dancing a jig, the shower of sparks that shot across my socks when I swung it open would. The removable stereo unit was a big hit with the local thugs too. Just clip a few wires and you’re upgraded to a nice storage hole in your dash. Other innovative designs included the coat hanger operated windshield wipers. Those always went over real big on a date. Overall the B-210 was quite a steal, though not everyone agreed. One guy stole it and brought it back! Boy that made me mad. But those are all stories for another day. Today’s B-210 tale begins with one drive in particular.
     I was on the interstate and had the petal to the metal, enjoying the occasional honks and interesting finger configurations people used to rush me along, when what through my cracked windshield should arise; a sudden stirring in the western skies. The concoction of clouds grew and grew, until they were swirling into a devilish brew; dangerously dark, and as quick to unsettle, as a mess of ripe prunes stewing in a black kettle. But let’s not get poetic. In short, a menacing squall ran down the embankment and lifted my car until I almost had to add “Involuntary Lane Changes” to my repertoire of annoying driving habits. Alertly I tossed my crossword puzzle aside and came up off my gangster lean. With a pair of channel locks I hastily rolled my window down. (Okay, that sounds odd, but getting wet was another unfortunate design flaw associated with the manual wipers solution.) Soon I found myself facing right into the eye of the beast. I should’ve just pulled over. However, it’s never been my policy to back off, so I just kept pumping that coat hanger until out of nowhere- “BLAM”. My heart almost jumped out of my chest and took off swimming across the floorboard! All I could see was a putrid green haze. “What in the world,” I cried. Then I realized. My hood had blown back against the windshield.
     I couldn’t see a thing, so I alertly slammed on my brakes in the rush hour traffic and wiggled my way through the maze of blaring horns until I found the emergency lane. There I unhinging my door and squished out into the stinging rain to examine the situation. The hood was creased and wrapped back over the top of the car. Thankfully, the Datsun engineers had planned ahead for just such an event. The lightweight hood design made it possible for just about anyone to bend it right back into shape.
     Never being one to back off, I experienced two more BLAMS before making it home. It’s not like I didn’t learn a lesson though. I wisely noticed there were little vents in the hood you can see through if you slide back down into your gangster lean during an episode.
     I’m embarrassed to say I kept that old car several more years, never once thinking of tying the hood down. Of course I stayed jumpier than a Rat Terrier traipsing through a mine field every time I topped 50mph. Nevertheless, I just went right on pumping that coat hanger from one storm to the next. I went through a lot of different cars after that, but deep down I was always feeling the depth of that hole in my dash. Secretly I began to wish I could just trade my whole life in for a newer model. “Man,” I thought, “If I could just explain to those Datsun engineers what I’m looking for.” Then one day I heard about Jesus. Word on the street was He was offering quite a deal. (God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV) It sounded fishy to me. “Let me get this straight,” I asked, “I give my raggedy old putrid green life to Jesus, and He gives me a brand new one?” The preacher man smiled, reached in his gloved box, and showed it to me right there in his driver’s manual, the Bible.
     But anyway- needless to say, I came up off my gangster lean for good. I gave my heart to Jesus. With the new deal there’d be no more staring into the eyes of the beast. I had traded my B-210 in for a golden chariot with an eternal warranty! Why don’t you go ahead and tie your salvation down? How many “BLAMS” do you reckon your heart can stand before you meet eternity head on?

~
Guy Sheffield's website - But Anyway is located at http://www.butanyway.org/
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--UPDATED--
MONDAY  MAY 20   8:09 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties



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