NEW EACH DAY
DAILY DEVOTIONALS

THE CHRISTIAN PRESS​


NEW EACH WEEK
WEEKLY COLUMNS

Below the Daily Devotionals
Gary Miller's Outdoor Truths,  Aug. 14, 2017
Angie Land's Heart Matters, Aug. 14, 2017

Guy Sheffield's But Anyway, Aug. 15, 2017


Food event on Sept. 12 to help
Tri-Co. Comm. Resource Center

By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 12, 2017 at 1:07 p.m.
     CHIEFLAND --
A competitive fundraiser named "Taste of the Nature Coast," is where chefs are vying against each other to see who makes the best appetizer, main course and dessert.
     All proceeds from this event will help the Tri-County Community Resource Center (TCCRC).


More Below This Ad





     TCCRC is the Partnership for Strong Families' fourth resource center. It is the first full-time resource center established outside of Alachua County. The Tri-County Community Resource Center is located in Chiefland and serves residents of Levy, Gilchrist and Dixie counties residents.
     The center is staffed by a center manager employed by the Partnership for Strong Families, and aided by several volunteers. TCCRC provides an impressive array of free services and resources that residents and visitors of the communities served have indicated are a need.
     This fundraiser is being held at the Haven Hospice Community Room, 311 N.E. Ninth St., in Chiefland. It is scheduled to be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Tickets cost $25 each or two for $40.
     Ticket-buyers will be able to taste samples in three categories -- appetizer, main course and dessert.
     Tickets may be purchased at Tri-County Community Resource Center, 15 N. Main St., Chiefland, 352-507-4000; Dixie County Chamber of Commerce, 251 N.E. 210th Ave., Cross City, 352-498-5572; First United Methodist Church of Chiefland, 707 N. Main St., Chiefland, 352-493-4627; Levy County Prevention Coalition, 801 S. Main St., Williston, 352-328-3540; Cedar Key Chamber of Commerce, 420 Second St., Cedar Key, 352-543-5600.
     For more information, call the TCCRC at 352-507-4000.


CKS welcomes new and promoted employees
Information and Photos
Provided by Karen Voyles, CKS Journalism Teacher
Published Aug. 12, 2017 at 1:07 p.m.

     CEDAR KEY -- As Cedar Key School has begun its school year, the students in the journalism class are seeing a goal for them to produce stories, photos, and graphics to be submitted to the local news outlets on a weekly basis.
     Below are photos of new and promoted employees at Cedar Key School.


Amber Ryan is the new pre-K teacher, replacing Elaine Rains who retired at the end of the school year.


Coach John Miller is the new PE teacher and boys basketball coach, replacing Vance Dickey who resigned after the basketball season and Cris Beckham who filled in as PE teacher during April and May.


Nancy Pelham, director of CKS food services


The food service staff working with Nancy Pelham include new employee (from left) Nina Bingaman, returning employee Therese Hancock, and new employee Tina Jacono.


 
Young man honored

Bill Brown (left) of The Children’s Table speaks about Thomas Ruth to the County Commission.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 9, 2017 at 4:07 p.m.
      BRONSON --
Bill Brown, who with his wife Verna Brown, is a leader of The Children's Table (food distribution for needy people), presented an award Tuesday morning (Aug. 8) during the meeting of the Levy County Board of County Commissioners.


Bill Brown and Thomas Ruth are seen with the plaque.


Thomas Ruth shakes hands with Levy County Commission Chairman John Meeks. Ruth shook hands also with county commissioners Mike Joyner, Lilly Rooks and Rock Meeks. County Commissioner Matt Brooks was absent.


     The Children's Table distributes food in several counties from its home base, which is in Bronson. It brings food to people without any government support, Brown said.
     In July, Brown said, there were 7,767 people in Levy, Citrus, Alachua, Columbia, Dixie, Union, Bradford, and Gilchrist counties who received food from The Children's Table.
     The volunteers are what have made The Children's Table a success during the 21 years it has been in business, Brown said.
     Brown said The Children's Table intends to present an award each year to a young person who is from the Levy County School System who has done the most in the way of community service.
     The first award-winner, Brown said, is Thomas Edwin Ruth.
    Ruth has been active in several community-oriented events, Brown said. He has helped the homeless. He assists people with carrying their baskets of food, too, Brown said.
     He has helped at The Children’s Table home base in Bronson as well.
     During the Suwannee River Fair, Brown said, Ruth sold his swine at auction to Sanchez Farms, Tillis Farms, 83 Farms, Smith Farms of Bell and Baynard Law, for $840.
     “He (Ruth) didn’t hesitate one second,” Brown said. “He donated the entire amount to The Children’s Table.”
     Brown presented a plaque to Ruth in recognition for the youjng man’s service to the people of Levy County.

Florida Department of Health
in Levy County
reminds residents of the
importance of
Back-To-School vaccinations

By  Wesley Asbell of the Florida Department of Health
Published Aug. 8, 2017 at 4:07 p.m.
     BRONSON—
The Florida Department of Health in Levy County encourages parents to have their children immunized as the new school year approaches.
     Local county health departments statewide are providing free immunization services for eligible children who are entering school for the first time and those who are returning to class in the upcoming school year. Parents of kindergartners and 7th graders are encouraged to review their children’s immunization record to ensure they are ready for the upcoming school year.
     Students entering college are also encouraged to ensure their immunizations are up to date.
     Vaccines help develop immunity to many serious infectious diseases by enabling the body to recognize and fight vaccine-preventable diseases. The following vaccines are required for children entering preschool and grades K-12: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, mumps, rubella, polio, varicella (chickenpox) and hepatitis B. Students entering college should check with the health services at their college regarding immunization requirements.
     Florida SHOTS  is a free, statewide, centralized online immunization registry that helps health care providers, parents, and schools keep track of immunization records to ensure that patients of all ages receive the vaccinations needed to protect them from dangerous vaccine-preventable diseases. Florida SHOTS makes it easier to keep up with your child’s immunization history—even when moving or switching doctors. The registry is endorsed by the Florida Academy of Family Physicians, Florida Association of Health Plans, Inc., Florida Medical Association, Florida Osteopathic Medical Association, and the Florida Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics.
     If your child is due for a vaccine, please visit your family health care provider or one of our health department clinics. Visit ImmunizeFlorida.org to learn more about immunizations your child may need or call your local county health department to find out locations and times for immunization services available near you.
About the Florida Department of Health
     The department, which is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
     For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

Levy Litter Control keeps rolling

Bryan and Kathy are seen in their golf cart on Tuesday morning (Aug. 1) and late Tuesday afternoon. Levy Litter Control keeps on rolling.



Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Aug. 2, 2017 at 11:07 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY --
Kathy and Bryan saw so much litter along Levy County 347 that they officially started a campaign to remove the problem in February of 2015.
     They adopted 24 miles of CR 347 between Fowlers Bluff and Turkey Town (U.S. Alt. 27).
     The two litter-removing individuals went through the process so they could be permitted to do the volunteer work they wanted. The golf cart they use is even outfitted with blinking lights and sign to fit within the guidelines for them to perform their work.
     In August of 2015, they added a little art to go with the "Levy Litter Control" signage that is posted at the two ends and one other location along their stretch of road. Since then, one of the signs has been stolen.
     The painting is a Native American with a tear coming from one eye. And it says “Keep America Beautiful.”
     Iron Eyes Cody is the Native American featured in a 1971 ad to Keep America Beautiful.
    Keep America Beautiful is a U.S. based nonprofit organization founded in 1953. It is the largest community improvement organization in the United States, with approximately 589 affiliate organizations (similar to local chapters) and more than 1,000 community organizations that participate in their programs.
     In 1971, a new campaign was launched on Earth Day with the theme, "People Start Pollution. People can stop it." In what became known as the "Crying Indian ad," the television ad, narrated by actor William Conrad, featured actor Iron Eyes Cody, who portrayed a Native American man devastated to see the destruction of the earth's natural beauty caused by the thoughtless pollution and litter of a modern society.
     Bryan mentioned that he has Native America heritage.
     Why Bryan and Kathy started their patrol and retrieval of litter, the picked up 160 55-gallon bags on one trip. Forty-eight of those bags came from one area.
     They said they started their litter removal efforts after they “saw all that garbage on our road. It looked terrible.”
     So they adopted the 24-mile stretch, which is the longest piece of road adopted in Levy County. Most stretches are two miles long.
     They pick up litter about twice a week. They have been out in the storms on occasion, and they get wet.
     These two Levy County residents are in the 60s, but they work, work, work at their voluntary effort.
     “I want to say ‘Thanks’ to all of the people who support us,” Bryan said. “People wave, or honk and tell us they appreciate how we’ve cleaned up the road.
     “I’ve seen a difference since we stated,” he continued. “People are not littering on this road as much as they were.”
     Kathy said they picked up one feed bag’s worth of litter on Aug. 12. That a far cry less than 160 giant garbage bags.
     “We enjoy it,” Bryan said.
     They both said the satisfaction they get from seeing a road that used to be full of litter to seeing those miles much cleaner now is they payment for services.
     They collect the cans they find while picking up litter. That helps pay for the tires and battery for the golf cart.




     On Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section on The Life Page of HardisonInk.com, started, about nine months after the start of the daily news website -- which officially started Feb. 1, 2011. The name was derived from an encounter a decade earlier, where and when 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 sounds good.
     Since then, The Christian Press section of this page has run daily devotionals, and then within a relatively short time, weekly columns. 
     The Rev. Dr. Thomas "Tom" Farmer Jr. who retired from St. Paul's United Methodist Church of Largo several years ago is among the first contributors from 2011. There are several other individuals who contributed over the past seven years. Many daily devotionals have been 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.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 8:17 a.m.

THE POWER OF MINORITIES

Read John 1:1-18

     For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
-- John 3:16 (KJV)


     Dr. James Stewart says in his wonderful book, The Strong Name, “On one can look at the world today and observe the tragic disillusionments and rampant degradation without being driven to the conclusion that something in the organism of the human race has gone mysteriously and terribly wrong. … It is the glory and the doom of man to have been made for fellowship with God. Of all the faculties and capabilities which he possesses, incomparably is his capacity for God. … Reconciliation with God is, therefore, the cardinal issue, far and away the most crucial problem confronting the soul of man today.”
     These are staggering truths, particularly when one faces them in the light of the fact that our God is the person or thing to whom or to which we give our first allegiance. Yet why should we be overwhelmed when we realize that God has not only created us to have fellowship with Himself but He has given us in the Living Christ a power to make ourselves new creatures?
     My, what a challenge to realize that the normal life is the life that has fellowship with God! The abnormal life is the life that is separated from Him.
     ALMIGHTY GOD, my heavenly Father, help me now wholly and unreservedly surrender my will to Thee. May my faith in Thee never waiver, and may I give Thee always the maximum opportunity to work through me to bring in the day when Thy Kingdom shall be on earth even as it is in heaven. Amen.
A.J. “Dad” Elliott (1875-unknown)
Famous World War I “Y” Secretary
Secretary, Christian Evangelism Among Youth
Chicago, Illinois

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

 



Outdoor Truths Ministry
By Gary Miller © Aug. 14, 2017 at 8:07 a.m.

     I have to admit I can’t stand going too long without checking my trial cameras. This is true especially this time of year. Even though the experts tell me to leave them alone until hunting season, I know I’m probably not even going to hunt some of these spots until the November rut anyway. So, I check away.  I figure any buck that has gotten spooked by my presence now, will undoubtedly be dumbstruck early in the rut by a hot doe, forgetting all traces of human activity that I left in August.  So, I’ll wait a few weeks and make my way back to the camera to see if there are any surprises that might cause me to set up a stand early. This is especially helpful for me on my Kentucky property since only one buck is allowed for the whole year. I have two good eight pointers showing up right now but I’m not about to waste my only tag on one of these. They need one and maybe even two more years before they become a Kentucky trophy. For now, I will keep waiting and watching to see if a bigger deer shows up consistently or to see if I’ll just need to take my chances that a stray happens to make a visit during November or December.
     There have been several years when the tag I bought in September was still in my pocket in January – when the season ended. For some it was considered wasted. For me, it was not. That tag didn’t represent a deer but an opportunity for a deer. That’s all a hunting license is. It’s an opportunity to hunt within certain parameters. If I stay within those guidelines, I can harvest anything I want. But there are also other parameters that are self-imposed. We each have them. They involve anything from the size of deer to the time of year. For instance, I won’t shoot a doe if it has a fawn with it, or I’m not going to shoot a doe if it’s too late in the afternoon. I’m just not interested in being out at 10:00 processing deer. I prefer to home and even in bed by then.
     I find this a great picture of the Christian life and how we are meant to interact with each other. There are some things that are parameters for everyone and then there are some self-imposed convictions that others may not hold. These self-imposed ones are the grey areas that we sometimes disagree. Paul, the writer of most of the New Testament, dealt with how we are to live with fellow Christians who may not see things the same way we do. His overall admonition is to make every effort to live in harmony with each other. (Romans 14) And there is no doubt these words still ring true. In a world where there is so much disunity, Christians must strive to be the answer to Jesus’ last prayer. “May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” (John 17:23 NLT)

~
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/


Heart Matters
By Angie Land © Aug. 14, 2017 at 6:47 p.m.
     When someone is important to us, we will go to great lengths to be with them, see them or just hear their voice. A young man recently told me his girlfriend, who is not a morning person, came out at 7am to cheer him on in a 5K he was running. Going out of her way to be there was a loud and clear statement to him that he is valuable to her! A Samaritan Woman shared a similar experience as Jesus contradicted the cultural norm between the Jews and Samaritans to find her at the well:
~
     “So He (Jesus) came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to Him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) John 4:5-9
~
     As the writer of this gospel, John was inspired by the Holy Spirit to tell us of the prejudice between the Jews and Samaritans. Know that while the Scriptures do not condone prejudice in this passage, they do reflect the condition that was present. Even still, Jesus went out of His way to pursue her.
     The word prejudice means to pre-judge. This happens when we arrive at an opinion of a person, or a group of people, without any input on their part. Instead, the origins of prejudice can usually be traced to the past. In II Kings 17:21-24, the Old Testament records the Assyrian conquer and resettlement of the nation of Israel by bringing in people from many other countries. This mixture of people came to be known as Samaritans and was despised by the Jews, so much so that the typical travel routes involved going the long way around the region of Samaria, avoiding the area at all costs.
     Prejudice often evokes such strong emotions that it can be very difficult to discuss. However, since it is unlikely that any of us avoid stopping by the store for fear of bumping into a Samaritan, this passage can help us look at prejudice a little more objectively. Here are a few truths we can observe:
     • Prejudice is a waste of time and energy. Prejudice may not cause us to travel completely around an entire town, but it will never work for the building up of the kingdom of God. Sadly, we have all witnessed evidence of how it works against it.
     • Prejudice never travels alone; pride and fear are constant companions. Consider why prejudice demands segregation and isolation. If we get to know someone personally, those pre-judged ideas become harder to justify.
     • Walking with Christ will expose any prejudice in our thinking. In the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) Jesus pushed the issue of a Samaritan being the “neighbor” to the Jew.
     It is God’s desire that none should perish, but that all will have eternal life. Prejudice gets in the way by preventing the spread of the gospel to everyone. As we seek to walk with Christ, let’s make sure if we go out of our way, it is to pursue, not avoid, because every heart matters...

Blessings, Angie
~

     PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Heart Matters is a weekly 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 angieland3@windstream.net. She notes that she would love to hear from people.


Rising Out Of The Miry Clay
By Guy Sheffield © Aug. 15, 2017 at 10:57 p.m.

     Once, when I was a young teen, a line of thunderheads came through and belched enough rain on my street to float a Buick. Before the tornado sirens could wind down, my best friend Ray was at my stoop ranting about some six foot wall of rushing water he’d seen in the local drainage ditch. Apparently it’d thrown his epinephrine levels into a tizzy. I could tell he had one of his crazy plans brewing. Knowing Ray, he wouldn’t be dissuaded. It didn’t matter that the peak water sports season was long past, it being nigh onto February and all.
     We snuck out and hit the streets under the cover of the barking thunder. The poor gutters gurgled and gulped what little they could before sending the rest rippling on down the street. We splashed along shivering in the cold, cringing with each new flash of lightning. Something was telling me I shouldn’t be listening to Ray again, even before I heard the roar of the muddy torrent ahead.
     One look at that overwhelmed concrete canal justified all my apprehension. My well honed macho exterior imploded into its gooey center. “I ain’t for playing no frozen Tidy Bowl man!” I quipped from between clattering teeth. “What’s wrong,” Ray retorted, “You scared?” With that I bristled. He and I both knew those were fighting words in our neck of the woods. I was about to open up a can and fix him a knuckle sandwich when thankfully, for one of us, he changed the subject. Rattling off his idea, he finished by nodding towards a big log swirling around in a little eddy near a bridge pylon. “Alright Duck lip,” I jabbed back, “How are we going to get under that bridge with the waves scuffing its underside and all?” “The shear speed of the rushing water will pop us right on out the backside dummy,” he reasoned, adding under his breath, “One way or another.” I hoped he was right, because it was on now. I wasn’t going to have anybody calling me a chicken.
     We scaled the chain link fence, and on the count of three, leapt onto the log. There was a splash and two loud gasp as we each contemplated the biting chill of that frothing water. Ray kicked us free of the swirl and immediately we were whisk underneath the bridge and spit out on the other side, just like he’d predicted! We zipped on down that concrete tube at breakneck speed for miles, ducking one overpass after another. There were brief stints we might have actually enjoyed ourselves, if our legs wouldn’t have been so painfully numb. All hopes of that suddenly ended when the concrete unceremoniously ended. We were flushed out into a deep mud pit, spun around backwards, and eased off into a creek where wild undergrowth lined the ragged shores.
     By now the afternoon had grown increasingly dim. I could barely make out the soiled diaper that floated up against my neck, or the old tires and other assorted items strewn along the spooky banks. Everything seemed to be eerily veiled in dark shadows. Ray’s eyes bugged as a rusty old washing machine bobbed by.
     Soon our feet began to scrape the miry bottom and somehow we crawled out onto the bank, where we lay shivering for long minutes waiting for the feeling to return to our legs. Fueled by a strong desire to one day see our fourteenth birthdays, we hacked through the dense brush and clawed up the muddy levee. A quiet little neighborhood loomed above, oblivious to idiots in their midst. I didn’t know where we were, but it had to be better than where we’d just been. Ray forced his trademark grin, but I knew deep down he was just as happy as me to be alive.
     Maybe you’ve made some bad decisions too; taken some Duck lipped advice and leapt off into a ditch in your life? Maybe you’re feeling helpless and cold, floating through the valley of the shadow of death, spiraling out of control into an ever increasing darkness? I want to encourage you today. There is a way home.
     Jesus longs to pull you out of the miry clay and to set your feet upon solid ground. He offers you a warm robe of righteousness. Don’t be content to just grow numb in those cold filthy rags you’ve clothed yourself in. Listen to me. Reach out to Jesus. (He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. Psalms 40:2 KJV)
     But anyway - There will always be thunderheads somewhere on the horizon, but if you’ll trust the Lord and be determined to build your house upon the Rock, you’ll stand strong. Ray was right about some things. Each of us will be spit out the backside of this bridge called life, one way or another. I hope when your day comes you’ll find yourself in an eternally nice neighborhood.

 ~
Guy Sheffield's website - But Anyway is located at http://www.butanyway.org/
     All content on ButAnyway.org is copyrighted and all rights are reserved. Second serial rights can be available to print or grace online publications on a one-time or contract basis with proper consent.
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     Copyright information and a byline must be included on each feature emailed or published from this website, which is what is seen above this closing sentence.

--UPDATED--
WEDNESDAY Aug. 16  8:27 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties



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