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DAILY DEVOTIONALS
THE CHRISTIAN PRESS​


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WEEKLY COLUMNS

Below the Daily Devotionals

Gary Miller's Outdoor Truths,  May 21, 2018
HERE
Angie Land's Heart Matters, May 21, 2018
HERE
Guy Sheffield's But Anyway, May 22, 2018

HERE


Duke Helps Coalition

A $1,000 donation from Duke Energy to the Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition recently resulted in a note of appreciation from Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition Executive Director Katrina VanAernam. Seen here during the presentation are (from left) Matthew George, Katrina VanAernam, Denny George of Duke Energy and a Duke Energy representative. 'The Coalition would like to thank Duke Energy for their support of our mission!' VanAernam said. 'It is because of partners like them we are able to empower our youth to be drug free!'
Duke Energy recently made a donation to the Coalition at the Dixie County Chamber of Commerce's Fly-In and Expo held at the Cross City Airport.
Published May 22, 2018 at 8:18 p.m

Photo and Information Provided By Dixie County Anti-Drug Coalition Administration Coordinator Cale McCall

 

More Below This Ad


 


Chiefland city election slated

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

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


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


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


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

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


AmVets 422 elects and
installs officers,
and awards scholarships

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


Volunteers are needed for
food distribution event on June 9

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


Students Honored

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

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


Williston Hosts
National Day of Prayer Event


Williston Mayor Jerry Robinson speaks during the event.



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



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

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

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


Yankeetown-Inglis Woman's Club
Scholarship Winners Named

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

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

 


Gilchrist County Rotary Club
learns about property taxes


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

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

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


Tobacco Free Partners Recognized

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

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

 


South Levy Marketplace
finds a new home

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



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


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


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


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


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


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

 





     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 "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 hardisonink@gmail.com.


May 23, 2018  Tuesday at 6:48 a.m.

COURAGE IS NOT ENOUGH


Read Psalm 46

     Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
—Josh. 1:7 (KJV)


     Courage does not stand alone. It is an end result of other attitudes. Where the word is mentioned in the Bible it is usually linked with something else. Joshua is instructed to be obedient to the law which Moses taught. The psalmist relates it to a hope in God and a waiting for God. At the end of Paul’s journey to Rome it is recorded: “Whom (the brethren who welcomed him) when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.”
     Courage is not to be found in a life that has never faced risks. It is lacking when a life is unrelated to God, or is not related to a cause that is worthy. But when we stand facing some great need, aware that there is a “power not ourselves that makes for righteousness,” God works in us, and courage replaces insecurity and fear. Jesus prayed in a time of crisis; and, putting His life in the hands of God, He went out to meet adventure in the highest spirit of courage the world has ever known. We too can have courage if our life has other foundations.

Courage is armor
A blind man wears;
The calloused scar
Of outlived despairs;
Courage is Fear
That has said its prayers.
- Karle Wilson Baker (1878-1960)

     O GOD OF ALL COURAGEOUS MEN, grant that, being obedient to Thy laws and in harmony with those who seek Thy face, we may walk today in the spirit of courageous faith. Amen.
Joseph C. Cleveland
Community Church
Kansas City, Missouri

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

Pastor Alex Christian

Published May 23, 2018 at 4:38 p.m.

     Pastor Alex Christian of First United Methodist Church of Chiefland provides a daily devotional video each Monday through Thursday via the church's Facebook page.

     Click HERE to hear this pastor in this video
     Today's (Wednesday, May 23) video is a continuation on the theme of revival, which is planned to go for another two weeks. Today's message continues on the theme of being sent. Today's (May 23) message includes how Jesus sends us to help others learn about His message -- in a peaceful manner. Pastor Christian provides insight in this video.
     This message, includes Luke 10:1-9 New International Version (NIV).
Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two
     1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
     2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
     3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
     4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
     5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’
     6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.
     7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
     8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you.
     9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
    





Outdoor Truths Ministry
By Gary Miller © May 21, 2018 at 7:38 a.m.

     I just returned from Texas. It was 3 days of hanging around a neat bunch of guys, bookended by turkey hunts on each day. It’s true. While hunting was part of our trip, the real enjoyment came before, during, and after, meal times. We ate so good I thought I might have to book two seats on my flight back home. It was a trip I will never forget. I missed a hog, missed a tom, and then shot a tom, all in those same few days. And not just any tom, but my first Rio turkey. The men who had gathered there were from different walks of life. There were business owners, computer gurus, foremen, and even a judge. All these men not only brought something different to our conversations, they did so within an environment that made that activity more comfortable. Whether we were on the back patio or at the kitchen table, we were able to huddle around and talk, listen, and learn. And I think this way is best for men.
     I read one time that relationships are not made in rows but in circles. What a great truth! I think this not only goes for men, but for women as well. While there may be a certain teacher or leader in that circle, it seems we all do better when there is an equality of position. This means that while I may be teaching, I am not putting myself in a position of authority over another. I am simply facilitating a conversation. I may or may not know more about a subject, but neither makes place in the circle more or less important as any other. I have also read when men sit in rows, the first thought that goes through their head, is “How long am I going to be here.” Rows are about monologs. Circles are about dialogs. And while I think we need both, circles go deeper into all our lives.
     Are you finding a circle to get in? Men especially need them not only to help us grow but to hold us accountable. If you are a follower of Christ, these circles will not only prompt you to continue growing in your faith, they will also allow you to aid someone else’s growth as well. Just like we did in Texas.
~
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 © May 21, 2018 at 7:38 a.m.

     While standing in line at the grocery store recently, I noticed the cover of a national magazine warning about how our troubled economy is negatively affecting families and relationships. According to the headline, money is the number one relationship killer. On one hand, I have to agree: family members quarrel over money and go years without speaking. Friendships end over loans not given or not repaid, and marriages experience huge struggles when both sides aren’t working together toward a common financial goal. But on the other hand, let’s be careful to see the real problem here: money itself is amoral. Money can be a blessing or curse, depending on its use. It is the nature of the person using the money that determines its morality.
     The Bible speaks often to the issue of money because it is a fact of life: we need money to live. I Timothy 6:7-10 records some basic truths:
     “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil…”
     I once heard a joke about a greedy, miser of a man who hoarded money his entire life and was bound and determined to take it with him when he died. He instructed his wife to place his wealth in the casket when he passed away; he wanted no one else, including her, to enjoy his money after he was gone. After his funeral, friends and family were curious to know whether she carried out his wishes; “Of course”, she replied, “but instead of handling all that cash, it was much more convenient to write him a check!” For sure, you can’t take it with you!
     The word “content” is defined as “quietness of mind; satisfaction”. When we are struggling with financial issues, isn’t “quietness of mind” the first thing to go? Especially if the struggle includes other people? But notice the last part of this scripture; it tells us that the root of the problem is not money, but the love of money is where all kinds of problems begin. Constantly overextended on your budget? Continually arguing with your spouse over money? A workaholic with no time for your family? These are just a few of the “temptations and traps that plunge men into ruin.” One of the biggest traps here is to think that more money will solve these problems. In Luke 16:10 the Bible says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…” If the way we are handling the money we have is damaging the relationships in our lives, there is a good chance that more of it may make things even worse..
     In his book Money Answers, financial planner and best selling author Dave Ramsey agrees with God’s Word that contentment is the most important financial concept. He writes,
     “Happiness is sold to us as an event or thing, and consequently our finances have suffered. Fun can be bought with money, but happiness cannot.”
In other words, contentment is not found in gathering more “stuff”, but in our relationship with God and others. Changing our focus on how we pursue happiness will ultimately change our financial situation and our life for the better. After all, in the end it will not be our checkbook, but our hearts that matter.

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 angieland3@windstream.net. She notes that she would love to hear from people.





Letting Your
Light Shine For Christ

By Guy Sheffield © May 22, 2018 at 3:38 p.m.

     Those Mississippi delta stinger birds were as black an ominous as the moonless night, and pelting me like rain. The incessant biting and buzzing caused me to swat myself in the head with my own flashlight. “Dern Skeeters,” Dad said, “Half a can of bug spray ain’t done nothing but get em’ drunk.” I could tell my little brother Heath was waging a similar battle by the way his flashlight beam stabbed erratically into the thick night. I was seriously second guessing Dad’s plan by the time we slid that Jon boat down the slippery bank into the bayou’s murky water.
     “You got your shells boy?” dad asked pushing us off. I nodded and broke the breech on my little .410 shotgun and plugged one in. “Look-a-there,” he warned, shining his light across the thick swamp ahead. Several sets of eyes reflected back as they slithered across the black water, or hung from the low branches. I gulped. Heath’s face seemed frozen in a state of panic. Then a low belch erupted from down the bank, slowly dissipating behind the unceasing chorus of crickets. “There’s old Kermit,” dad grinned. “I’ve been after that big boy all year.”
     As we skimmed further down the bayou I took aim and blasted a steely eyed water snake swimming near the boat. The spray shot up high into the air and rained on us all. The snake barrel rolled, flopped, and sunk to the muddy bottom. “Boy, don’t be wasting your shells,” Dad barked. “Save em’ for the ones trying to get in the boat.” It was at that point I think little Heath may have gone into shock.
    Dad scanned the bank until he finally came across the big green croaker he was after. He laid his barbed poking pole across his lap and paddled toward it quietly. I expected the big old frog to leap away, but he sat, fascinated by our lights. Then, from out of nowhere, a huge black water moccasin slithered over coiling up right in front of Kermit. “I can’t get a shot. Turn back,” I whispered, “Dad… turn back…” He just kept paddling. As we drew closer that fat frog’s muscles tensed. He was about to leap! Dad noticed it and sprung to action. I guess the thought of letting old Kermit get away again was too much for him. In an instant he had leaned out over that hissing snake and thrust his spear into his fat little buddy with amazing precision. The snake immediately retaliated, lashing out with those long sharp fangs. Digging in, that old serpent spun wildly injecting his full load of venom. I screamed. Oh the horror of it all! “Hush boy,” Dad yelled. The snake had only latched on to his gigging stick. Dad shook him off, whacked him with the paddle, and slapped his prize frog Popsicle in poor little Heath’s quivering lap.
     But anyway - I reckon this old world can seem about as dark and violent as that old bayou many times. It almost makes you want to run and hide under a pew somewhere. Of course, as Christians we can’t. God cares too deeply about those froggy souls out there in the muck and mire that need hauling into the boat. Somebody has to take His light out into the darkness so that He can pluck them out. (But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people; that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9 KJV)
     Sometimes the mere contemplation of meandering outside my comfort zone for the cause of Christ triggers the enemy to pelt my mind with such a barrage of tormenting thoughts concerning my own inadequacies that I inevitably want to whack myself in the head with a flashlight. That nasty serpent just seems to be daring me to try. Well let him hiss. He’s just a liar. Besides, we don’t come in our own strength? God has given us the tools and the armor we need to work way beyond his reach. God will help us shake off that old serpent, whack him in the head, and leave out of there with the prize. It’s time we Christians began to think outside the boat! God may not need us all to walk on water, but He does need a Church at least willing to lean out every now and then. It always helps me to remember how Jesus sent people back into the darkness to rescue me. I say let’s stop second guessing Dad’s plan.

~
Guy Sheffield's website - But Anyway is located at http://www.butanyway.org/
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--UPDATED--
WEDNESDAY  MAY 23  4:38 p.m.
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