Below the Daily Devotionals

Gary Miller's Outdoor Truths,  Nov. 12, 2018
Angie Land's Heart Matters, Nov. 12, 2018
Guy Sheffield's But Anyway, Nov. 6, 2018


Camp Of Champions;
Christmas At Camp Anderson Is Coming

Camp Anderson
The recent ‘Camp of Champions’ child welfare event at Camp Anderson with Pastor R.V. Brown was a resounding success. This was an outreach to needy kids. It was an incredible experience! There were 24 students who gave their lives to Christ and 22 of them decided to be baptized in the Suwannee River on Sunday morning (Oct. 29). The next outreach event is ‘Christmas at Camp Anderson’ that is scheduled for Dec. 28 through 31. The pavilion will be a giant living room and there will be a family-style Christmas with 225 needy kids. Click HERE for Christmas at Camp Anderson.
Published Nov. 10, 2018 at 8:08 a.m.

Photo and Information
Provided By Camp Anderson Camp Director William Bloodworth


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Community effort
restores home after fire;

Kindness and love shine brightly in Inglis
Heroic Angels In Inglis  Restore From Fire
The initial team of workers on Thursday morning included Paramedic Jon Gilbert, Capt. Katie Salter, and the following individuals Alfred Rios, Alex Whitmer, Jeff Norton, Presless Salter, Johnny MacDonald II, Ken Kotas, Hunter Kline, Levi McFarland, Jennifer Elshoff and Josh Hicks. These volunteers are not listed in a particular order because they were able to stand together for about one minute, before they had to return their mission of the day – repairing a mobile home for fire victims. Capt. Katie Salter is the third person from the left in the front row, with Inglis Fire on a sleeve.


Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 9, 2018 at 12:38 p.m.
     INGLIS –
More than a dozen firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, members of the United States Coast Guard and others joined forces Thursday for a one-day mission Thursday (Nov. 8) that restored a home for a woman in her 90s and her 61-year-old son.


Heroic Angels In Inglis  Restore From Fire
Among the many workers are this brother and sister team – EMT-Firefighter Crystal Jordan and EMT-Firefighter Hunter Kline

Heroic Angels In Inglis  Restore From Fire
This is one part of the area devastated by the blaze that leveled a singlewide mobile home on Saturday (Nov. 3) in eastern Inglis.

The neighboring singlewide mobile home suffered damage, but with the restoration and repair work by a strong set of volunteers, this home was saved for the Taylor family.

     Hazel Taylor, 90-something, and Wayne Taylor, 61, live on East Cason Boulevard in Inglis. They used to live in two separate single-wide mobile homes that were near each other at a 90-degree angle.
     On Saturday (Nov. 3), Wayne Taylor was cooking and a grease fire quickly got out of control. He was able to escape from the burning mobile home and all of his pet cats survived as well.
     The fire spread to his mother’s mobile home, however, as well as destroying other property in the immediate vicinity.
     Every piece of the man’s clothing except what he was wearing, and all of his other belongings were lost in the fire.
     On Sunday (Nov. 9), Levy County Department of Public Safety Paramedic-Firefighter Jon Gilbert responded to a medical call at the address where the fire had forced Wayne Taylor to move into his mother’s neighboring home.
     Paramedic Gilbert, who has been in the lifesaving profession for 30 years, saw the plight of the Taylors, including the immediate need for clothes and toiletries for Wayne Taylor, who was taken to a Gainesville hospital for surgery.
     Gilbert contacted Inglis Fire-Rescue Capt. Captain Kelly A. Salter, an EMT and firefighter who also works for LCDPS, and Crystal Jordan, another multi-agency EMT-firefighter.
     “Kelly Salter exploded on this,” Gilbert said. “She found people and local businesses that wanted to help immediately. Crystal Jordan also took the reins and donated her time to make this succeed.”
     Gilbert, who is in the midst of remodeling his home, spoke with Josh Hicks, owner of Handy Hicks-Insured Handyman of Inverness. Hicks and his principles agreed to donate whatever they could to make this project happen.
     The volunteers all decided to do what was needed to repair and restore Hazel Taylor’s singlewide mobile home. The fire had taken parts of the roof and some wall areas.
     Another part of the project was clearing the extensive debris field that was left by the inferno.
     Gilbert set the goal of doing the whole project in one day – Thursday (Nov. 8).
     The team began recruiting other workers and they visited at least 20 business interests to seek donations of material and services. Some interests donated completely, others provided discounts.
     The team of volunteers put their needs aside and focused on one mission, which came together with precision like a Swiss watch. Well, there may have been a couple of rough or quirky moments, but the people all put their hearts and souls into the task at hand.
     Capt. Salter said this was not a project of Inglis Fire Rescue, or the LCDPS. This was action by people who wanted to help a woman in her 90s, whose son had lost all of his belongings.
     The fire was an accident, but there was no insurance to cover any of the losses, Paramedic Gilbert said.
      The initial team of workers on Thursday morning included Paramedic Gilbert, Capt. Salter, and the following individuals Alfred Rios, Alex Whitmer, Jeff Norton, Presless Salter, Johnny MacDonald II, Ken Kotas, Hunter Kline, Levi McFarland, Jennifer Elshoff and Josh Hicks. Others showed up throughout the day.
     Capt. Salter said she greatly appreciates the work by people who helped repair and restore the mobile home for the Taylors.
     Capt. Salter she especially wants to note the assistance provided by the following business interests: Buddy and Fred's Hardware of Inglis; Handy Hicks Insured Handyman; Nichols Lumber; Beasley's Auto; W. Soule (a company in Florida); Pioneer Precision Metal & Powder Coating of Inglis; Tri-County Metals of Trenton; Carl Roof Land Clearing; Quality Painting; Curry's Roofing; the No. 324 F&AM Masonic Lodge of Inglis; Lowe's; Home Depot; Rural King; Little Caesar Pizza of Inglis; Kangaroo/Marathon gas station in Inglis; Shrimp Landing Restaurant of Inglis; Citrus Custom Cabinets; and Quality Paint and Pressure Washing.
     Paramedic Gilbert and Capt. Salter said they hope to be able to help the Taylor family a bit more in their time of need. They said people who want to donate money for this extended effort can contact Capt. Salter at

Tobacco Free Florida highlights
benefits of supporting
employees in quitting smoking
on Great American Smokeout

Published Nov. 6, 2018 at 3:28 p.m.
In observance of the Great American Smokeout (GASO), Tobacco Free Florida is encouraging employers across the state to support their employees to quit smoking on Thursday, Nov. 15.
     The Great American Smokeout raises awareness about the dangers of smoking and the many effective resources available to help smokers successfully quit.
     While it is common knowledge that smoking is bad for the smoker, not many consider the effect this addiction has on local businesses. In Florida alone, the annual direct costs to the economy attributable to smoking exceed of $19.6 billion, including: workplace productivity losses of $4.4 billion; premature death losses of $7.9 billion; and direct medical expenditures of $7.2 billion.
     Between both the additional healthcare costs and losses in productivity, an employee who smokes could cost a business more than $6,000 every year. For each employee that quits, a business can save as much as $2,000 per year through reduced insurance costs.
     In Levy County, the College of Central Florida and the School Board of Levy County have implemented tobacco free worksites with success.
     The College of Central Florida will be hosting an informational day for the Great American Smokeout on Tuesday, Nov. 13 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. to educate staff and students about the Quit Your Way Resources that are available in Florida, the health risks and concerns of using tobacco products and e-cigarettes, and the benefits of being a tobacco free worksite.
     The Tobacco Free Partnership of Levy County is seeking local worksites who are interested in implementing tobacco free grounds policies.
     If you are interested in working with the partnership to discuss the resources available, please contact Kristina Zachry at or 352-577-4309.
     Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Florida and the United States. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. Smoking can also cost individuals a lot more than just their health. A pack-a-day smoker in Florida can spend more than $2,000 in just one year and more than $10,000 in five years on cigarettes.
     Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way program makes it easier than ever for tobacco users to access evidence-based, free tools and services to help them quit tobacco. For more information, please click HERE.
     People can also access Tobacco Free Florida’s online Cost Calculator to find out how much money they could save by quitting smoking -- by clicking HERE.

Cookies and other items
help church's missions

First UMC Cookie Walk
Pastor Alex Christian stands on a trailer that had tools and many other items available for purchase Saturday.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 4, 2018 at 4:18 p.m.
First United Methodist Church’s Youth Group, Sunshine Disciples (women’s group) and the United Methodist Men consolidated fundraising efforts Saturday (Nov. 3) for the many missions of the church.

First UMC Cookie Walk
Dot Remington (left) sells her handcrafted jewelry made from antique silverware. Among the many patrons looking at Remington’s items was Gerry Jesk, a member of The Sunshine Disciples of the First United Methodist Church of Chiefland.

First UMC Cookie Walk
Edith Brown, an avid volunteer for The Children’s Table, shows some of the amazing peanut brittle she sells. This particular batch is in a plastic zip-lock bag, however there were also Mason jars full of the peanut brittle for the consumers who may not eat it as quickly as some other consumers – because the Mason jars keep it fresh longer.

First UMC Cookie Walk
A long view of cookies, homemade candies, pies and other baked goods are seen here. The First UMC of Chiefland’s Annual Cookie Walk is a tradition with a long history. This church is more than 150 years old. This year, there were hundreds of cookies made and the range of different types of cookies covered a very broad spectrum.

First UMC Cookie Walk
Kay Putchaven holds up one of the cookies she selected to put into the cookie tin she bought. Patrons were able to donate depending on the size of the tin they bought and they could fill the tin with cookies.

This view from the front of the church shows many people gathered and buying, selling and socializing. Among the many people here are some number of the young people who are part of First UMC Chiefland.

First UMC Cookie Walk
The First UMC Chiefland United Methodist Men meet each second Saturday of the month in the Fellowship Hall (basement) of the church. The UMM would like to see more men join them. They perform various jobs to help people and the church. The gentlemen seen here who are part of the United Methodist Men are (from left) Reid Granger, Bill Dosreis, Ken Dietrich and UMM President Gene Pollock. The men are sitting under the cover of the C. Doyle McCall Pavilion, which was built primarily by UMM members. It is covered, has a concrete floor and there are electric outlets.

Flu shot vaccinations
recommended for people
in the Tri-County Area

Published Oct. 30, 2018 at 8:48 a.m.
The health professionals at the Florida Department of Health units in Levy County, Dixie County and Gilchrist County are reminding all residents to get their flu shot before the height of the upcoming flu season.
     According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), last year’s record-breaking flu season resulted in 80,000 deaths in the United States, which is the highest number of deaths from the flu in more than 30 years.
     "Protect yourself and those you love this season by getting by getting your flu shot soon," said Wesley Asbell of the Florida Department of Health’s environmental health units in the Tri-County Area.
     According to Barbara Locke, Administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Levy County, Dixie County and Gilchrist County, getting the flu shot annually is one of the best ways to reduce the odds of contracting the flu virus -- which circulates every year.
     The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone who is six months and older, including pregnant women. It can take up to two weeks after the vaccination for the recipient's body to develop protection against the flu.
     The CDC recommend getting a flu vaccine every year as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza and its potentially serious complications.
     There are different flu vaccine options this season, which include high dose and adjuvanted vaccine for adults aged 65 years and older.
     The CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine every year, because flu viruses evolve quickly. Last year’s vaccine may not protect against the current year’s flu strain. Even if the flu vaccine does not fully protect against the flu, it may reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of complications.
     People at higher risk for flu-related complications, such as death, include children who are younger than 5 years old, adults who are 65 years old and older, people with compromised immune systems, pregnant women and people who have existing medical conditions, such as asthma and obesity.
     Click HERE to visit Flu Free Florida for more information on how to be a part of #FluFreeFL.


     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

Nov. 12, 2018  Monday at 7:38 a.m.


Read Job 1:13-22; Matthew 16:24-26

     Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
-- Matthew 7:21 (KJV)

     “Thy will be done.” Twice Jesus used these words. On that last night when He prayed alone in Gethsemane, He saw ahead the scorn, the suffering and the inevitable death. To be sure, He had followed courageously the road that led to this very hour. But now in the final moment of testing, it seemed too much. There was still an opportunity to slip out and escape. But this would be a cowardly denial of all that He had lived for, and with unwavering confidence in the goodness and wisdom, and ultimate triumph of God, He cried, “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” And He set for us the supreme example of submission to God’s will.
     But life is not merely passive submission. When He gave His disciples the model prayer, Jesus taught them to say, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” How often have we repeated the familiar words? Yet, if we would pray them right, they are a call to self-dedication to a glorious task.
     The Kingdom comes on Earth when we learn to devote ourselves without reserve to the causes of justice and mercy, of uprightness and goodwill, of unity and love. Is this an impossible ideal? Jesus did not think so. He showed the way Himself in tireless effort to bring in that Kingdom and challenged all the faith in us to follow Him in doing God’s will.
     HOLY GOD, we have seen the matchless courage of Jesus, who, seemingly alone, faced the impossible task of bringing Thy Kingdom to an evil world, believing with Thee that all things are possible. His challenge comes to us in a troubled hour, bidding us to follow Him. Lord, make us strong to do Thy will when we see it, and help us to be patient to wait on Thy will where yet we cannot see it. We make this prayer in His name. Amen.
Pastor Frederick W. Stewart
Denison University
Granville, 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)


Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018
Veterans Day – 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day

Read John 14:15-31

     And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
-- Micah 4:3 (KJV)

     To most in the armed forces, the time visualized by Micah seems a long way off. Even the end of the present war seems very distant. Yet it will come, and it’s good to prepare spiritually for the letdown that the armistice will bring.
     I was in France about eight kilometers behind the front lines when World War I stopped (on Nov. 11, 1911). My brother and I took a walk out into the countryside in the Argonne Forest. We came upon a bonfire about two miles out of town, there being no further need for a blackout. The boys around the fire were singing hymns. The chaplain led in prayer and then gave a short message telling the soldiers what peace could mean. We left that scene of peace and good fellowship with “Blest be the tie that binds” ringing in our ears.
     Back in town, the cafés were full, and drunken soldiers were spewed out on the sidewalk. We saw one man with his head cut open – not by an enemy bullet, but by a beer bottle in the hands of an inebriated friend. Perhaps the pattern for the ensuing peace was from the fabric of that celebration.
     When peace comes, it will be either a prayer-meeting peace or a drunken peace. It will either have in it the elements of goodwill and understanding of the needs of all people, or it will be stupid and bestial. The latter will result in a brief armistice; the former may result in a world wherein dwelleth righteousness.
     OUR FATHER, although now we be people at war, Thou knowest that we would rather be people of peace. Help us learn those principles upon which a lasting peace may be built. Help us to learn to love one another. Help us to walk in the footsteps of our unity-loving Prince of Peace. We make this prayer in His name. Amen.
Chaplain Norman E. Nygaard (Nov. 13, 1925-Oct. 8, 2012)
Lockheed Overseas
Strength for Service to God and Country
(Whitmore & Stone © 1942; Renewed 1969 by Norman E. Nygaard; Second revised edition © 2002 Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, Providence House Publishers)




Published Nov. 8, 2018 at 3:48 p.m.

First UMC CHiefland Pastor Alex Christian 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.
     Pastor Christian has been focusing on praying like Jesus prayed through the example of The Lord’s Prayer. He is spending four weeks on this.
     In his four daily videos this week, Pastor Christian plans to share with people about changing the world through immersion.

     The pastor provides insight today about how we can influence people.
     Click HERE to see and hear this pastor in this video


John 17:15-19 New International Version (NIV)

     15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.



Outdoor Truths Ministry
By Gary Miller © Nov. 12, 2018 at 7:38 a.m.

     While November usually can’t compare to the colder days of January and February, it can still get cold. But if one is to have the best opportunity at a big buck, he has to get out in it. He just better be prepared. What I have noticed over the years, however, is that I seem to manage the cold pretty well, but what I am never ready for is the wind that may accompany those cold temperatures. I had rather hunt in 20 degree weather with no wind than 30 degree weather with the wind. And no matter what the weather lady says the wind chill is, it is always colder than her predictions. When I hunt in the Midwest, it is especially bad. I’ve also noticed there is really no wind that is ever comfortable. I have sat for days with a cold wind blowing directly in my face. My chapped lips and wind-burned face are proof of those days. And I hate it when it blows from behind because it seems that I can never keep my neck warm. During the cold days, the wind determines my ability to stay in the stand more than anything else. It is the greatest motivation to move. If it continues to blow, one gets so uncomfortable that moving is the only option.
     It is no coincidence that Jesus compared the Holy Spirit to a wind. And when the Spirit first came on the scene, Luke, a gospel writer, said it sounded like a violent wind. Again, this is no coincidence. While the Holy Spirit lives within all believers, there are times when His activity is especially felt. You may not see it or even know at first what it is, but before too long you will recognize an uneasiness or an uncomfortableness. And with a gentle inaudible voice, He will let you know it is Him and that the Heavenly Father wants your attention. He has a word about something in your life. It may be a word concerning a move He wants you to make or something He wants out of your life. You can try to resist, and sometimes you can, but the price to stay and ignore this nudging will be one you will never recoup.
     So, are you feeling that nudge right now? Is the Wind making it uncomfortable to sit where you are? Have you been uneasy and wondered why? Don’t take it lightly. If it is important enough to God to get your attention, then He must have something very important He wants to do in your life. And remember, He always wants what is good and best.

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 © Nov. 12, 2018 at 11:08 p.m.

     Have you ever struggled with good things happening to other people? As much as we hate to admit it, it can really get under our skin when someone else gets the promotion, wins the award, or is recognized for an accomplishment, and never more so than when we were hoping for that very thing for ourselves. Like nothing else, this actually exposes our internal battle with pride, the very root of our sin nature. It takes great maturity to be rejoice when others are celebrated, and I am convinced this is nearly impossible without God working in our hearts.
     Last week we tossed and turned with King Xerxes through a sleepless night and listened as a servant read from historical records hoping to make him drowsy. Instead, the King discovered that someone who had saved his life had not been properly rewarded. (This account is found in Esther 2:19-23, of Esther’s Uncle Mordecai discovering a plot to assassinate the king) So the King sets out to make things right and honor Mordecai. Look closely at Esther 6:6:
     “So Haman came in, and the king said to him, ‘What should be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?’ And Haman said to himself, ‘Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?’”
     We can already know this is not going to end well! Haman is clueless to what the King is really thinking, and proceeds to give a list of all that should be done to honor someone. We can almost see him rubbing his hands together in anticipation of receiving this honor. Wouldn’t we all pay the price of a ticket to see his face when the king agreed with the list and told him in verse 10: “Hurry, take the robes and the horse, as you have said, and do so to Mordecai the Jew…” Can you even imagine Haman’s thoughts at that moment? Or as he led Mordecai through the city proclaiming, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.” Verse 12 tells us exactly: “…but Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered.” Haman tried to use his position and power to destroy Mordecai. Instead, he was ordered to honor him.
     Before we leave this part of the story, shaking our heads at Haman’s huge ego, I think God wants us to learn something here. Look again at the account of Mordecai’s discovery of the plot against the King’s life, (Esther 2:19-23). Verse 23 says that the “affair was investigated and found to be so…” and chapter 3, verse 1 says: “After these things, King Xerxes promoted Haman the Agagite…” In the original writings, Scripture contained no chapters or verses. These were added later for easier reading. Many Bible scholars believe that the promotion Haman received could have been the result of his being the investigator in the plot against the king’s life. This seems a plausible explanation since no other reason for his promotion is indicated. It also seems that this could have been Haman’s opportunity to do things a little differently. Instead of demanding that Mordecai bow to him, what if he had expressed gratitude? After all, if Haman did receive his promotion in this way, then Mordecai was partly responsible. My point is that rarely does anyone achieve anything worth being recognized for on our own. In all of our accomplishments, others have made contributions along the way. Being thankful is the key to maturity and humility, and the way that we can truly celebrate with others when they are rewarded. Recognize those who have contributed to your success in any way and learn to celebrate when those contributions are rewarded. Even better, be the one to give honor for those contributions. What a great way to usher in the Thanksgiving season! 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.

Becoming The Master's Negotiator
By Guy Sheffield © Nov. 6, 2018 at 2:38 p.m.

     I had no idea a boat would go that fast. I guess you could say it was quite an eye opener. In fact, my eyelids were pinned back until I was wearing them like a skull cap! I could hardly muster up a good squeal of delight without the slobber blowing clean out of my mouth. The guy selling this rocket had that150HP Mercury screaming, taking full advantage of his chance to make a first impression. He finally sat her down and crowed, “Not bad huh?” My brother Heath and I must’ve looked like ‘dumb and dumber’ sitting there with those frozen grins. Personally, I was thinking, “Unless this thing sinks before we get back to the dock, it’s mine.” Nevertheless, I knew better than to let this cocky little boat fellow know how excited I was before we settled on a price. So I wiped the tears from my cheeks and casually admitted, “Yeah, I reckon it’s alright.” 
     Meanwhile, nosey ole’ Heath jumped up and started poking around on all the fancy gadgets. Soon he was besieging the poor fellow with a litany of ignorant questions. I shot Heath a glare that all but branded the word “IDIOT” on his forehead. Of course, I didn’t stop him. I wanted to know too. Heath had always been good at playing the dufus. So I just let him go. Besides, I was the one who’d be forking out the dough and it was important I keep an aloof appearance before the start of the dickering process. To my credit, this all happened before I had learned the Bible says, (Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive. Proverbs 17:28 NKJV)
     I was just about to throw out my ridiculous low-ball offer when Heath flipped a switch that caused a huge gush of water to start shooting out of the boat. “Whoa,” I said, “What’s that?” The seller kind of lost his swagger, and sheepishly commenced biting his nails before muttering, “Oh that? That’s what you call a bilge pump.” “What does it do?” Heath inquired. “It uhhh… It pumps out all the water out of the boat.” “Hmmm,” I said, suddenly in deep thought. There was a long moment of awkward silence. I had to think over this new development. I finally spoke. “You mean you don’t have to dip it out by hand?” The guy just kind of stared at me. “That’s awesome,” Heath yelled, “Look at that thing go!” We jumped up and gave each other a big high five. I whipped out my checkbook. “How much you say you want for it?” It wasn’t until the second or third trip in my new boat I began wondering why there was always so much water to bilge. That just happened to be the same day it almost sank.
     There were times in my history I’d actually come out on the good end of a deal, though they were few and far between. I’d grown up with little money and big taste, and that left a lot of play in the middle. I began to think it a necessity to out-slicker somebody. I guess I kind of went overboard from there, because soon it didn’t matter whether they had anything I needed or not. (I’d have probably been the only guy in Mississippi with a snow mobile if there’d have ever been one listed in the classifieds cheap.) I’d become addicted to the thrill of the deal, and the rush of the kill. Surely I ought to hold some sort of copyright on the phrase, “Deal, or no deal”.
     Thankfully, since Jesus has come into my life, I’ve lost interest in always getting one over on somebody. Nowadays I seem to find more pleasure in finding those win/win situations; the ones equally fair for the guy across the table. God likes it that way too. (Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight. Proverbs 11:1 KJV) The Lord’s peace is much too nice to be muddling it up with things that cause my conscience to always be raking on me. Ironically, do you know what I’ve found? Most people are happy to bless me with much more than I’d have ever been able to snooker out of them anyhow! Go figure. It’s just God’s way.
But anyway- Don’t get me wrong. Not everything has changed. I still like letting Heath play the dufus.

Guy Sheffield's website - But Anyway is located at
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MONDAY  NOV. 12  11:08 a.m.
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