Below the Daily Devotionals
Gary Miller's Outdoor Truths,  June 19, 2017
Angie Land's Heart Matters, June 19, 2017

Guy Sheffield's But Anyway, June 20, 2017

BHS AJROTC cadets participate
in Leadership Challenge

Bell JROTC cadets attending JCLC included Cameron Castner, Michael Birchfield, Wayne Burney, Michael Reyes, Sidney Johnson, Vincent Cangelosi, Stephen Dragon, Brianna Marangoni, Lauren Byers, Chevy Stevens, Joseph Riordan and Derek Perez-Roman.

Story and Photo
By United States Army Lt. Col. (Ret.) Jim Duthu
Published June 21, 2017 at 3:37 p.m.
     BELL --
Cadets from the Bell High School unit of the United States Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program traveled to Camp Shands in Melrose to participate in the JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge (JCLC) Camp from June 10 through June 16.
     JCLC challenges cadets both physically and mentally by providing hands-on training designed to develop leadership, discipline, teamwork and self-confidence.
     Bell cadets were joined by in excess of 350 cadets from 20 high schools located in North and Central Florida.
     Camp training included rappelling, high and low ropes courses, confidence obstacle course, archery, outdoor and water survival skills, land navigation, and rope bridge construction and crossing.
     Bell JROTC cadets attending JCLC included Cameron Castner, Michael Birchfield, Wayne Burney, Michael Reyes, Sidney Johnson, Vincent Cangelosi, Stephen Dragon, Brianna Marangoni, Lauren Byers, Chevy Stevens, Joseph Riordan and Derek Perez-Roman.
     All cadets earned the Adventure Training ribbon, Orienteering Ribbon, Physical Fitness Ribbon and JCLC Ribbon.



More Below This Ad

Meter Replacements Approved

Levy County Construction and Maintenance Director Jim Jones speaks to the County Commission on Tuesday morning (June 20) and receives unanimous approval of his request to purchase 170 water meters, boxes and other material needed for the county-owned water utility. County Commissioner Mike Joyner's motion to approve was seconded by County Commissioner Rock Meeks. County Attorney Anne Bast Brown asked and recieved a caveat to the request, given that the purchase from HD Supply Waterworks included a contract. Before making his motion, Commissioner Joyner asked Jones if this was budgeted for already in the current fiscal year, and if the department had the money. Jones responded 'Yes' to both questions. County Commission Chairman John Meeks on Wednesday afternoon (June 21) answered some questions, because the supporting documents had not been submitted in time for the book that the general public can review at the meeting. The cost of the meters is $48,163, although the county had budgeted $64,000 for it, Chairman Meeks said. These replacement meters to the University Oaks Subdivision Water system, which the county had to take over, are a maintenance issue rather than a capital improvement, Meeks said. The county is working on a grant proposal, though, for that system. The replacement of these meters, Jones told the County Commission, is needed because the meteres have far outlived their normal lifespans, having registered millions of gallons of water. By replacing the outdated meters, the consumers and the utility provider both will have more accurate readings now.

Photo By Jeff M. Hardison © June 21, 2017 at 2:57 p.m.


Chiefland Students Honored

(from left) Payton Gulledge, Chiefland City Commissioner Rollin Hudson and Rylie Gibson pause for a photo opportunity Monday evening (June 12). Commissioner Hudson read the statements for the city's Student of the Month presentations. Payton Gulledge is the son of John and Tasha Gulledge. Chiefland Elementary School third grade teacher Aimee Watkins nominated the student and noted he is a role model in the classroom. He is always polite to classmates and adults. Payton is friendly, and helps those who need help, Watkins noted. 'He is smart and always works to do his best. He is a pleasure and we are proud of him," his teacher noted. Rylie Gibson is the daughter of Bobby and Amanda Gibson. She was nominated by the seventh grade teachers at Chiefland Middle School. Commissioner Hudson read the comments 'Rylie is an excellent choice for May Student of the Month. Rylie is always attentive. She pays attention, absorbs what is being taught in class, and if she has any questions, she asks. She studies hard, and she has a good disposition. She always has a smile on her face, and she is always polite. She is focused on her studies and is always willing to help others succeed.’ Both students were given the certificates and $20 gift cards were added to use at Walmart, as a gift from the Rotary Club of Chiefland.

Photo by Jeff M. Hardison © June 14, 2017 at 3:27 p.m.

Lightning, Leaves, Bird Lands,
Mockingbird Sings, Bunny Hops,
and Inky's Eyes Light Up

In this one-minute and 39-seconds video, people will see one dramatic lightning bolt streak across the sky, then there is a flash of lightning, then there are leaves falling, then a small bird lands and takes off next to a stealth camera, then there is a nice period of a mockingbird singing on a wire (some of the songs may be mocking car alarms), then there is a brief view of a bunny running in front of a dashboard camera in a news vehicle and finally there is Inky the cat Hardison (the junior mascot of as she looks at a camera in the dark and her eyes light up.
Video Clips by Jeff M. Hardison © June 13, 2017 at 8:47 p.m.
All Rights Reserved

Praise In The Pavilion launches

Theresa Miller of The Lighthouse Word Church sings during the morning service meant to being area Christian churches together for fellowship and praise.
Story, Photos and Video
By Jeff M. Hardison © June 10, 2017 at 4:47 p.m.
People from the Lighthouse Word Church were the first to join the worshippers from First United Methodist of Chiefland on Saturday for the "Praise in the Pavilion" event.
     Pastor Tony Rennett of First United Methodist of Chiefland was among the many faithful worshippers who enjoyed the music and sang at the Coach C. Doyle McCall Pavilion, which is located on the church's property behind the sanctuary, fellowship hall, and offices and meeting rooms at 707 N. Main St. in Chiefland.

In this video, people can see and listen to one part of the song I Never Shall Forget The Day, which is by Iris DeMent. Here, the First United Methodist of Chiefland Choir sings it. The whole set of lyrics of the song are:
Long years ago when out in sin
I had no hope no peace within
Down on my knees in agony
I prayed to Jesus and He gladly set me free
I never shall forget the day
And all the burdens of my soul were rolled away
It made me happy, be glad and free
I'll sing and shout it, God means everything to me
Now I can feel, Him at my side
My fewer steps, He comes to guide
When trials come, He comforts me
To faith in Him or sin I have a victory
I never shall forget the day
And all the burdens of my soul were rolled away
It made me happy, be glad and free
I'll sing and shout it, God means everything to me.
Oh, sinner come to Jesus now
At His dear feet just humbly bow
Confess to Him your every sin
He'll save and cleanse you, give you peace and joy within
I never shall forget the day
And all the burdens of my soul were rolled away
It made me happy, be glad and free
I'll sing and shout it, God means everything to me

The Chiefland First United Methodist Church Choir sings as Amy Brodahl leads the group. At this moment, Bill Roberson is singing a solo part of Sweeter As The Days Go By.

     First UMC of Chiefland Director of Music Amy Brodahl led the local Methodist choir. First UMC of Chiefland Administrative Assistant Diana Child organized the event and operated the electronic music machinery.
     This was the first "Praise in the Pavilion" event.
     The morning of praise music, fellowship, and community awareness provided a chance for people of all denominations to join together and enjoy Christian music for a few hours on Saturday.
     Every church with a choir, praise team, or soloist that wanted to perform was invited. Many were called, but few chose to praise God in that manner at that place and time.
     There were a couple of charitable groups present.
     Bill Brown of The Children’s Table was present and he provided a handout that showed 21 food distribution points on every day of the week except Sunday.
     In addition to The Children’s Table, which has provided food for a $5 donation to tens of thousands of people over the years, there was a group that offers supportive services for veterans and their families.

Larissa O’Neal and Robert Wells, both of whom are assistant support service specialists, are seen ready to help people learn about Meridian.

     Larissa O’Neal and Robert Wells, both of whom are assistant support service specialists, were present to help people learn about Meridian Behavioral Healthcare Inc. – Supporting Services For Veteran Families.
     When people hear Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, they generally think of the mental health services or the drug rehabilitation services.
     Another aspect of Meridian Behavioral Healthcare is one that finds houses for homeless veterans.
     This particular part of the group has helped about 400 homeless veterans to find places to live in 11 counties – Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Putnam, Suwannee and Union.
     This first venture into "Praise in the Pavilion" started a bit more slowly than some folks had hoped, and it ended a bit before the 1 p.m. completion time advertised earlier; however, for those who attended, they enjoyed the morning of praise music and fellowship as everyone present worshipped God in spirit and in truth.

Some of the first worshippers at the event on Saturday morning (June 10).

County Commission honors EMT

Levy County Commissioner Matt Brooks (left) reads a statement to congratulate LCDPS Firefighter-EMT Hunter Kline (right) as County Commission Chairman John Meeks (center) listens. The audience gave Kline a standing ovation, too, in recognition of the EMT saving a life when he off duty.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © June 7, 2017 at 9:37 a.m., All Rights Reserved
     BRONSON --
The Levy County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday morning (June 6) honored Levy County Department of Public Safety Firefighter-EMT Hunter Kline with a certificate of appreciation for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Levy County Commissioner Matt Brooks (left) shakes hands with LCDPS Firefighter-EMT Hunter Kline as County Commission Chairman John Meeks and County Commissioner Lilly Rooks (background) are among the people who applaud the man who saved a life.

As part of the honor bestowed upon the firefighter-EMT, the Levy County Board of County Commissioners pose with him. Seen here (from left) are County Commissioner Matt Brooks, Chairman John Meeks, LCDPS Firefighter-EMT Hunter Kline, Commissioner Lilly Rooks, Commissioner Rock Meeks and Commissioner Mike Joyner.

     Levy County Commissioner Matt Brooks brought the matter to the attention of the County Commission.
     Kline has been with the LCDPS since 2009, Commissioner Brooks said.
     LCDPS Chief Mitch Harrell noted that Kline exemplifies the core values of all of the members of the department, Commissioner Brooks mentioned as he congratulated Kline on saving a life while he was off duty.
     While at a local establishment and off duty, Kline noticed another patron there had become unresponsive.
     “Hunter quickly recognized the severity of the situation,” Brooks said, “reacted quickly and performed CPR, achieving spontaneous return of circulation. It is reported that the patron is alive and doing well as a result of Hunter’s quick action.”
     Brooks spoke about the first responders in Levy County.
     “Our first responders have a really tough job,” Brooks said. “Even when they are off duty, they are caring about others’ lives, and quickly going into action, and exemplifying their training and really doing our county proud.”
     The five County Commissioners – Chairman John Meeks, Commissioner Rock Meeks, Commissioner Brooks, Commissioner Lilly Rooks and Commissioner Mike Joyner – posed with Kline for a photo opportunity after Brooks presented the certificate.

CF summer hours
of operation in effect

Published May 20, 2017 at 4:57 p.m.
Updated June 2, 2017 at 7:07 a.m.
— The College of Central Florida has implemented summer operating hours.
     The college is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and closed on Fridays through Aug. 4.
     Several CF departments have extended hours Monday-Thursday to better serve students through the summer.
     The Bryant Student Union, Student Affairs, Admissions, Academic Advising, Cashier, Financial Aid and Registrar, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
     Ocala Learning Resources Center, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
     Citrus Learning Resources Center, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
     Ocala Campus Bookstore, through May 19, 9 a.m.-5:30p.m. and Fridays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and May 22 through Aug. 9, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
     Citrus Campus Bookstore, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
     CF Postal Services, Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
     The college will be closed Monday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.

     On Nov. 1, 2010, The Christian Press section on The Life Page of, started. 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. of St. Paul's United Methodist Church of Largo retired several years ago from that church. He is among the first contributors from way back. There are several other individuals who contributed over the past seven years. There are a lot of daily devotionals 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 own original works to

Friday, June 23, 2017 at 4:07 p.m.


Read Luke 24:13-32

     And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
-- Luke 24:15 (KJV)

     Walking is almost a lost art, but there are wonderful fellowships with a walking companion. Let us put ourselves in step with the walk of Jesus. Through the poetess Susan Coolidge we see:
    But as we meet and touch each day
    The many travelers on our way,
     Let every such brief contact be
    A glorious, helpful ministry.
     Jesus walked with many a willing person on the road. He still walks with willing, though tired and hungry, souls.
     Robert Falcon Scott, the South Pole explorer, with his fellows, devout men, trudged the snow and ice, apparently alone. When at length they rested, each reported, “I thought somebody else was with us.” Jesus was with them, but they almost did not see Him and hence somewhat doubted His presence.
     What wonders are missed because eyes are not focused to see! With eyes closed by blatant selfishness, dimmed by the dust of despair and doubts, blinded by false or foolish notions, shut by the pressure of conflicting ideals, we limp along, failing to see who it is that burns our hearts as we walk. Scott’s men, who walked with Jesus had sorrow which does not need to be repeated. We may walk with Him and know Him.
     O FATHER IN HEAVEN, open Thou my eyes. So much I have not seen. Let me now see. Help me always to remember that the pure in heart see God. Purify me that I may see Jesus, who is willing to walk with me. In His name. Amen.
Professor Edgar H. Stranahan
William Penn College
Oskaloosa, Iowa

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 © June 12, 2017 at 8:37 a.m.

     (This is one of my favorite stories from a few years ago. I thought I’d share it again.)
     In the outdoor world, not every lesson has to come from hunting and fishing. Take the recent events in Major League Baseball. Just last week Armando Galarraga was pitching the perfect game. He had retired the first 26 batters and when the final man hit an infield grounder, everyone was certain the perfect game was intact. Then came the call at first. The call was “safe” – even though the runner was clearly out. The pitcher looked in disbelief at what had just happened. It was not until he looked at the replay did he realize how bad the call was missed. And after looking at that same replay, the umpire, Jim Joyce, understood that he had made the wrong call and had taken a once-in-a-lifetime chance away from a young pitcher. What happened next is a lesson for all of us. After acknowledging his mistake, Joyce made his way to the Detroit Tiger’s locker room. There he met Galarraga and apologized with tears for his error. Instead of meeting that heartfelt confession with animosity, the pitcher hugged the umpire and told him, “We all make mistakes.” Because of how Galarraga responded to Joyce, the rest of the baseball world followed suit and welcomed the repentant umpire back with open arms, understanding, and forgiveness.
     It is truly amazing what can happen when one party is willing to say “I’m sorry” and the other is willing to respond; “I forgive you.” It takes both parties being willing to shed the chest protector of pride and the mask of arrogance and face each other with humility and consideration.
     Can you imagine what the outcry would have been if Galarraga “demanded his rights,” or if Joyce would have stood unflinchingly by his call? The baseball community would have been in an uproar. But because two individuals took the high road, the rest of the sports world has taken notice of true sportsmanship. Because two individuals took the high road, perhaps the rest of us will be reminded of just how important it is to say “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you.” 

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 © June 19, 2017 at 3:37 p.m.
     Recently I was encouraging a young engaged couple through a pre-marriage curriculum. As we began talking about conflict resolution and communication struggles, they shared with me the strategy they planned to use in order to have a successful marriage: “Since we are Christians, instead of worrying about how to solve relationship problems, we are just going to pray and trust God that we won’t have any!”
     Did I mention this couple was very young? Any of us who have lived more than a few years already know how this strategy will work, yet we may still struggle to understand the reason. The Bible records the words of Jesus on this matter in John 16:33, “…in this world, you will have trouble.” No getting around it- trouble is here.
     In the original Greek language of the New Testament, this word trouble means “pressure”. Daily we face the pressure to measure up to the world’s standards, pressure to achieve and accomplish and succeed. We also deal with pressure within our relationships: the pressure of wanting our own way, of living up to another’s expectations, and the pressure of getting our own needs met. These are real issues that we face in real relationships. James 1:2-4 speaks of this struggle from a new perspective:
      “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
     According to these verses, our struggles are opportunities for us to mature, for our character to be shaped, and for us to be transformed into the person that God intended us to be. Perseverance means to be steadfast, and in the New Testament it represents the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith by even the greatest trials and sufferings. This deliberate purpose in our lives and in our relationships, should always be to honor God, and we accomplish this by being the proof that doing life His way works! When the pressure is great to be selfish, we can choose to give; when the pressure is great to fight for our own way, we can opt what is best for the relationship. These are the tests that develop steadfastness. Rarely does God call us to passively sit by while He works in our life, but rather He gives us opportunities to participate with Him in the work He is doing. In order to make the most of these opportunities, we would all do well to develop some basic relationship skills!
     In response to the young couples’ strategy, of course we can pray that bad things won’t happen, and sometimes God will answer “yes”, but when we see how God uses the struggles in our lives, we can better understand why He allows them. It is because our hearts matter!

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 She notes that she would love to hear from people.


Sounding The Trumpet
Of God's Faithfulness

By Guy Sheffield © June 20, 2017 at 12:47 p.m.
     Many people who’ve heard our loud Christian rock band Soulfood can’t believe we also play a couple of nursing homes regularly. In fact, you’d probably look at me sideways too if I told you we even bring our drums; albeit we switch to the electronic kind with a handy dandy volume control. We also switch to acoustic guitars, yet not for a minute have we held back one ounce of enthusiasm for praising the Lord. We still rock the same up-tempo worship grooves we might do at any big festival. You see, no one in Soulfood was fortunate enough to grow up in church, so we don’t know any of the old hymns. I reckon even if we did, we still wouldn’t play them. The patients already get a steady diet of those. We feel the Lord wants us to give them the very best of what He has given us. They can always back their hearing aids down a notch if need be.
     We do try to be careful and notice if a new patient seems a bit wary after being wheeled in. They're always the ones eyeballing our speakers, almost thinking aloud, “Oh Lord! Who are these Whipper-Snappers?” I'll shoot them a reassuring smile and a word of encouragement. If I can get them to relax, I know they’ll soon taste the loving presence of the Holy Spirit and let their guard down. Soon they’ll be clapping and shouting along with the rest of us. By God’s grace, we haven’t run across a patient or staff member yet we haven’t been able to win over after a few songs.
     As you may know, heaviness can prevail at times in a nursing home. Suffering and loneliness are not strangers in those long hallways. They can meet you at the door and haunt your soul if you’re not prepared. It was difficult for us to deal with at first, but since our mission was to bring the joy and hope of Jesus, we pressed on. We found that when people are praising God those dark forces make themselves scarcer than a field mouse at a Tanzanian tomcat training camp!
    I’m ashamed to admit that when we first started visiting nursing homes we thought we had something new to share.  RIGHT!!! Some of these saints were serving the Lord back before the ink had dried good on the Old Testament! It’s Soulfood that has learned a thing or two, and we’ve been the major recipient of the joy and encouragement involved in this endeavor. I can’t tell you how many dear saints I’ve met who’ve blessed my soul. During our prayer times they share with me such unbelievably encouraging testimonies of God’s faithfulness. Some may be suffering greatly the ravages of age and illness in their bodies, but spiritually they are absolute giants.
     Just last Sunday a dear little lady patted my hand and confided that though she has no one to visit her, she has never been more fulfilled. An indescribable gleam graced her eyes as she added, “Jesus is always with me. I wouldn’t trade my lot in life with anyone!” She was simply beside herself. Can you believe that? In this place where so many strive to simply endure, she has found an oasis with the Lord. I gazed into her countenance and found myself envious. I was staring into the Truth of God’s promises found in Psalms 139. All my agendas suddenly seemed so small. She had found the Pearl of a great price; the reason for life itself.
     I must admit, we’ve been doing this for years now and I’ve been woefully resistant to share the experience. I've been worried people might find out what a great time there is to be had down at the nursing home and book up all the prime dates. We just couldn’t stand being bumped out of this good thing we’ve found. For me and the boys, this is it; the most pure and unadulterated example of why we do what we do. 
     I sorely wish someone could get in there and find a way to get these incredible testimonies out to the world though. I know there are restrictions and sensitivities because of regulations written to protect patients, but it would be so awesome for someone to sound this trumpet of God’s faithfulness. These dear saints are like nothing I’ve ever seen or heard. You simply can’t take in the fullness of what they have to express and go on denying God is real, or that He is Love.
     But anyway- I double dog dare you to drive down to your local nursing home and spend some time making friends. Chances are you’ll agree these saints are a much overlooked treasure in the body of Christ.

Guy Sheffield's website - But Anyway is located at


FRIDAY  JUNE 23  4:07 p.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties


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