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Outdoor Truths Ministry, Oct. 14, 2019
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Homosassa Game and Fish Club
gives to CF student scholarships
Emmett Donnelly, CF Foundation Director of Development Traci Mason; Jeff Garvin, CF Vice President of Regional Campuses Dr. Vernon Lawter and Butch Adair are seen with the big check.
Published Oct. 19, 2019 at 5:09 p.m.
OCALA— The Homosassa Game and Fish Club presented a check for $4,528 to the CF Foundation for student scholarships.
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In 2005, the club partnered with the CF Foundation to establish an endowed scholarship for CF students from Homosassa and Citrus County.
“We are so grateful to the Homosassa Game and Fish Club for their annual scholarship support,” said Dr. Vernon Lawter, vice president, Regional Campuses at the College of Central Florida. “Their donation from monies raised through their tournament each year creates opportunities for students to fulfill their dreams and helps build a stronger community.”
The funds presented this year came from the 35th annual Cobia “Big Fish” tournament held in June. The tournament is organized by a group of dedicated volunteers who not only wish to provide the Nature Coast with an exciting fishing tournament, but also want to raise funds to assist with various community needs and help local nonprofit organizations.
The CF Foundation, founded in 1959, is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation that enhances the college’s programs and services through the development and management of private contributions and community partnerships.
honors Ken Griner;
Korey Griner elected as president
Cooking Florida Ranchers Beef ribeye steaks on a big grill are Devin Whitehurst (left) and his brother Adam Whitehurst. The steaks were the delicious main entrée of a meal that included fresh green beans, baked potatoes and a large assortment of homemade desserts. Tea and lemonade were the drinks of the night.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Oct. 18, 2019 at 4:09 p.m.
WHITEHURST RANCH -- Several members of the Levy County Cattlemen's Association met Thursday evening (Oct. 17) at the Whitehurst Ranch in the Archer area for the fall meeting.
Shaking hands before the meeting starts are friends Pug Whitehurst and Leon Clyatt. The scores of members at the meeting all enjoyed visiting with one another as well as dining on steaks, and participating in making decisions related to Levy County cattle and Florida cattle.
Ken Griner and his son Korey Griner arrive at the meeting.
Seen here (from left) are 2019-2020 Levy County Cattlemen’s Association President Korey Griner, 2018-2019 Florida Fed Beef Championship Overall Winner Ken Griner and 2018-2019 Levy County Cattlemen’s Association President Lint Jerrels II.
Members of this Levy County cattle ranchers’ organization meet twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.
One Levy County cattle rancher this year stood out from among all of the cattlemen in Florida, and his friends in the association honored him that night.
Ken Griner is the 2018-2019 First Place Overall Winner of the Florida Fed Beef Challenge. Griner conducts cattle operations that are part of Usher Land and Timber. He is married to Lynetta Griner, a renowned leader in the forest industry in Florida.
As for the 2018-2019 Florida Fed Beef Challenge, data showed the 10 animals Ken Griner entered in this competition gained 3.82 pounds per day – 60 percent graded choice 14-inch ribeye.
Through years of Griner’s work in animal husbandry, this set of cattle also showed a conversion of 5.34:1 pounds per day.
Most cattle producers are familiar with the term "feed conversion." This is the amount of feed an animal consumes as compared to the amount of body weight gained, expressed as a ratio.
Feed conversion ratios in the neighborhood of 6:1 (6 pounds of feed per pound of gain) are common in modern beef cattle feedlots. Therefore, it is easy to understand that 5.34 is about two-thirds of one pound better than 6.
This means the cattle he raised in that group were able to gain more weight from eating less feed, which bodes well for humans who eat either grain or meat, or both.
Griner’s participation in the inaugural Florida Fed Beef Challenge in the Florida Cattlemen’s Association shows his results from the 10 steer he entered in the contest. All of the animals in this competition were fed, finished and harvested in Florida.
The University of Florida collected the data on performance and judged the animals.
Griner and other competitors were honored during the Florida Cattlemen’s Association meeting in Marco Island this summer.
Ken Griner earned the top title of Overall Winner as well as the title for First Place in Best Feed Lot.
This was the inaugural Florida Fed Beef Challenge in the Florida Cattlemen’s Association, and it promises to be an annual event.
In other news from the meeting Thursday night, Ken Griner’s son Korey Griner was elected as the 2019-2020 Levy County Cattlemen's Association president. Korey Griner accepted the responsibilities from outgoing LCCA President Lint Jerrels II.
Of Gilchrist County 4-H
With 4-H Week having been just recently completed, the annual creation of 4-H scarecrows by the Gilchrist County 4-H Clubs shows the tradition remains strong in that county. Located on the lawn on the east side of the Gilchrist County Courthouse in Trenton, these well-designed and well-placed works of scarecrow art survived the ravages of the sun, wind and rain for more than a week before these images were captured late Monday afternoon (Oct. 15).
To learn more about 4-H in Gilchrist County, call 352-463-3174 or send an email to email@example.com.
To learn more about 4-H in Levy County, call 352-486-5131 or send an email to levy4H@ifas.ufl.edu. To learn more about 4-H in Dixie County call 352-498-1237 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Jeff M. Hardison © Oct. 15, 2019 at 11:39 a.m. All copyrights reserved.
Emergency Home Energy
Assistance is available
for certain elderly people
Story By Elder Options
Published Oct. 8, 2019 at 9:09 a.m.
GAINESVILLE -- Energy Assistance is available for those individuals who are 60 years old and older, and who are having problems keeping their home warm during the winter or cool during the summer.
The Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program (EHEAEP) is available for this purpose.
What Assistance does EHEAEP provide?
● Electricity bill payment
● Purchase energy related supplies such as fuel, fans, space heaters, wood, air conditioners
● Repair heating and cooling systems
Who is Eligible?
Households with at least one person who is 60 years or older with an energy crisis.
An energy crisis is defined as a shut-off of electricity or impending cut-off, lack of fuel, fans, wood, blankets and heater, or a broken heating-cooling system.
To receive help, the participant must meet income guidelines by household size.
How do I Apply?
Call the ELDER HELPLINE for the EHEAEP Service Provider in your area 1-800-262-2243, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Voice mail is available after hours.
Elder Options is a non-profit agency that administers funds from the Florida Department of Elder Affairs for senior services in a 16-county area (Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee and Union counties).
Elder Options, mandated by the Federal Older Americans Act, exists to promote the independence, dignity, health, and well-being of elder citizens; to plan, fund and administer a coordinated continuum of services; and to advocate for the needs of older Americans.
Elder Options offers
one-day training on Oct. 30
for dementia support group
leadership and volunteers;
Free lunch - Register in Advance
Published Oct.12 , 2019 at 3:09 p.m.
GAINESVILLE -- In an effort to increase and improve services Elder Options will be offering a one-day training for those interested in volunteering as dementia support group leaders or co-leaders as well as those who are interested in volunteering with the Savvy Caregiver Program or other Caregiver Training and Support services.
The event will take place at Elder Options, 100 S.W. 75th St., in Gainesville, on Wednesday Oct. 30, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Free lunch is provided for participants. Please register in advance.
No prior experience is needed, and the training will equip attendees to launch or revitalize a local dementia support group. Those support groups will receive ongoing resources and support from Elder Options staff.
Anyone who has a passion for assisting caregivers of those living with dementia, or anyone who has experience that they would like to share can know this is their opportunity to help. Time commitments are flexible.
For more information, send an email to email@example.com or call 352-692-5277.
Click HERE to register.
Levy County Poll Worker
Orientation set for Nov. 7;
Deadline to RSVP is Oct. 31
By Jordan Lindsey, Assistant Supervisor of Elections
Published Oct. 1, 2019 at 4:19 p.m.
BRONSON -- The Levy County Supervisor of Elections Office is scheduled to hold Poll Worker Orientation on Nov. 7 at 10 a.m. in the Elections Office at 421 S. Court St., Bronson.
This is a mandatory orientation for anyone interested in becoming a Levy County Poll Worker. The purpose of this orientation is to provide details about requirements of being a Poll Worker.
Participants are asked to please use the side entrance of the Elections Office.
Anyone who plans to attend is asked to please email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP. The deadline to RSVP is Oct. 31. For more information, please call 352-486-5163.
Tri-County USMC Reserve
Toys for Tots program
starts for Christmas 2019
Published Oct. 2, 2019 at 2:39 p.m.
TRI-COUNTY AREA -- USMC Tri-County Toys for Tots Coordinator Bryan Chrisp and Assistant Coordinator Beverly Goodman recently announced that they are looking for support for the effort for Christmas 2019.
Yesterday (Tuesday, Oct. 1), the 2019 Tri-County USMC Reserve Toys for Tots Campaign kicked off.
How to Apply: Pre-registrations will be accepted online starting now. Applications close Nov. 1 (or sooner, if the program reaches capacity) Early application is encouraged.
There is no paper application this year.
The online application reserves a spot; however, in order for the application to be processed, applicants must also attend a verification day to provide required supporting documents.
To apply (pre-register), visit https://newberry-fl.toysfortots.org. Click on “Request a Toy” and follow the directions.
When pre-registering online, enter an ACTIVE EMAIL to receive the confirmation number that is required for verification day.
Applicants must pre-register online first in order to attend a verification day.
Verification dates for Dixie, Gilchrist, and Levy are as follows:
* Oct. 2 through Oct. 14 Mondays & Wednesdays ONLY (9 a.m.-12 p.m.; 1-4 p.m.) at Tri-County Community Resource Center, 15 N. Main St., Chiefland
* Oct. 29 (9A-12P) at Dixie County Public Library, 16328 S.E. U.S. Highway 19, Cross City
Nov. 1, Friday (9 a.m.-12 p.m.) at Gilchrist County Public Library, 105 N.E. 11th Ave., Trenton
Nov. 1, Friday (1-4 p.m.) at Williston Library, 10 S.E. First St., Williston
Required documentation to bring to Verification Day:
* Confirmation # (provided via email upon online pre-registration)
* Government issued photo ID
* Current utility bill/lease/current Access benefits verification/other residential identifying information, IF your current address differs from what is listed on your ID
* Copy of Children’s Birth Certificates or Court-Ordered Guardianship, if not parent (unless each child’s name and date of birth is listed on current Access benefits verification)
* Proof of current income or Gov't assistance, such as food stamps/unemployment income
Note: Food Stamp/Medicaid card is not sufficient. You must print, or be able to log in (we do not have public Wi-Fi) to show current benefits to include all household members’ names, including the children for whom you are applying.
To prevent delays for other applicants, we are UNABLE to help you log in and/or print this information at the time of verification. Please have this ready prior to your arrival at a verification day.
Distribution information will be provided when your application is verified/approved.
For everyone who is interested in sponsoring, donating or volunteering as part of the 2019 Tri-County USMC Reserve Toys for Tots Campaign, please know that the Tri-County Toys for Tots team works very hard to make the campaign a success, but we could never do it without the help of local residents,
businesses, churches and other community organizations.
We are a 100 percent volunteer-based campaign, which thrives solely on donations of toys, services and monetary gifts.
Last year, your Tri-County Toys for Tots program was able to make the holidays bright for more than 800 local children.
Here are areas we are currently looking for assistance:
• providing toy collections sites;
• sponsoring toy collection drives;
• assisting in the transportation and storage of toys;
• helping to promote Toys for Tots in the media;
• underwriting special events;
• assisting with critical services such as printing and other administrative functions
To help make the holidays bright for local children, visit our website https://newberry-fl.toysfortots.org
and click “Get Involved/Volunteer,” then choose your area of interest. We thank you in advance for your support, and we look forward to partnering with you this holiday season.
Williston library program
focuses on ‘Passion’
This display, created by Linda Rees Gurney, one of the presenters at the recent FOWL-sponsored program at the Williston Public Library, greets attendees as they walk into the library on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
By Lisa Statham Posteraro
Program Coordinator, Friends of the Williston Library
Published Oct. 11, 2019 at 9:09 a.m.
Updated Oct. 12, 2o19 at 3:09 p.m.
WILLISTON – Passion. Rod Stewart sang about it. We all have felt it. That “something” – be it a person, activity or whatever – which makes life worth living and living so much richer.
'Power of Passion' presenters (from left) Linda Rees Gurney, Jim Posteraro, Nellie Boyd and Ron ‘n’ Gail gather after an hour of sharing that about which they are very passionate: container gardening, traveling, crafts and yoga respectively.
Were you to think about your “passion,” what would you say it is? Recently a group of local folks shared what the “it” in their lives is about which they are passionate.
The Friends of the Williston Library (FOWL) hosted the first in a series of programs entitled “The Power of Passion.” On Tuesday, Oct. 1, Linda Rees Gurney shared her passion for container gardening; Nellie Boyd, her passion for crafts; Jim Posteraro, travel; and Ron ‘n’ Gail, their passion for yoga and self-realization.
Presenting first, Linda Gurney answers the questions presented to all the speakers: how did she become passionate about container gardening, how had it changed her life, what have been the benefits, what is needed for her to participate in her passion, what are the costs as well as other considerations and why would she recommend others to take up her passion?
Surrounded by an assortment of containers full of plants, Gurney explained that her initial introduction to plants occurred at her Aunt Carrie’s home where there were “beautiful flowers” everywhere…and she was hooked. Propagation of plants is a major part of her passion. As a Nature Coast Master Gardener, Gurney is spreading her love for plants, especially container gardening which, she says, has “improved my life” as well as nurtured her “appreciation for nature” and helped “preserve the natural habitat.”
She expressed the opinion that becoming involved with plants (gardening etc.) could do all of the above for everyone, (Because she lives in the sandhills, she had to resort to container gardening for obvious reasons…the soil is poor and water is limited.) The most important item to consider as a gardener is soil, and with containers it is much easier to control the quality of the soil.
There are so many benefits to gardening of all kinds, Gurney said.
“It’s great exercise…you make the world more beautiful…you’re in harmony with the environment…you learn how to conserve water and our natives (plants native to the area),” Gurney said.
And you can celebrate special events with loved ones with plants as gifts instead of items made of plastic.
“You can inspire others,” she concluded.
Nellie Boyd displays a handmade craft made of wine corks (donated by her friend Norma Lawrence). Boyd uses a variety of items to fashion her crafts but always incorporates material.
For years Nellie Boyd, current FOWL president and longtime member/officer/department chairman within the GFWC Williston Woman’s Club, has been identified as the “Queen of Crafts.” Even when working at the Williston Post Office, Boyd always found time for her crafts. Mostly she fashions her creations from materials of all sorts with her first creation being a cross-stitch piece in 1978, guided by fellow club member Linda Messaros. Her “homemade gifts” eventually morphed into a bonafide business. Boyd shows her clever creations at craft shows within a 50-mile radius: greeting cards, bookmarks, composition books, wreaths, sewing kits, items for children. Also, she has items on consignment at the Levy County Quilt Museum. (She has been known to fashion book bags which she gives gratis to children to transport the books they check out from their local library – Williston.)
The third presenter was Jim Posteraro, who shared his love of traveling. Posteraro described himself as a “very curious person who has always wondered what was ‘over there’.” Even during his years of working outside the home, he would take advantage of the opportunity to explore the places where he had to travel on business. (He has lived in nine different states, and his four children were born in four different states.) His love of travel includes cruising as well as touring via car, train, bus or air.
Posteraro began his presentation with a series of quotes about travel, including his favorite by Mark Twain, author of such famous works as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime,” hesaid .
Since he might never return to the place he’s visiting for the first time, he wants to learn as much as possible about it when he’s there. He brought a box full of travel brochures and pamphlets to share with attendees.
Completing the evening were Ron ‘n’ Gail, founders of “I Love My Body Yoga.” Their yoga studio is in Morriston, and classes are held Monday and Thursday mornings from 10:00-12:30. (They also teach classes in Marion County, including Marion Correctional.)
Gail Deckant shares her passion for yoga with the audience at the recent “Power of Passion” program held at the Williston Public Library. Deckant, along with husband Ron Clark, owns a yoga studio in Morriston.
Gail Deckant went first, explaining the definition of yoga: the union of body, mind and spirit. At 81, Deckant sat in half-lotus position in her chair as she chatted with the audience about some of her life experiences prior to returning to the area to live in her parents’ home and sharing her “passion” for yoga with Levy Countians. “Yoga is about self-realization,” said Deckant. “I want a body that still moves as long as I’m here.” She shared that “movement” had been a challenge for her since experiencing an unsuccessful surgery in her late 20s to correct scoliosis. Deckant encouraged the audience to believe that one didn’t have to be limber to practice yoga, but one must practice yoga to be limber.
Deckant’s partner, Ron Clark, brought the evening to a close. He shared that besides yoga, he is passionate about books and the wisdom they impart.
“We learn from various sources,” Clark said. He is also passionate about peace and that peace begins within each of us if the world can ever be at peace. Finally, he acknowledged his “Beloved,” Deckant, who showed him about love.
A question and answer session followed, then Deckant led the group in a short series of yogic poses and breathing exercises.
The next FOWL-sponsored FREE event at the library (10 S.E. First St., Williston) was on Friday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. Titled “Come to the Cabaret,” it featured Mandy Fugate, singing American Standards and songs by Sara Nussel, who accompanied Fugate.
If you are passionate about something you love to do and would love to share it with others at an upcoming FOWL program at the library, please contact Lisa Posteraro at 352-339-1201.
Rotarians learn about Cuffs & Collars
Seen here are Cuffs & Collar Volunteer Bob Vaughn with Taffy, Rotarian Mike Lakner, Lancaster Program Administrator Jon Reed, and Volunteers Lisa Shinneman and Al Rese.
Story and Photo
By Holly Creel, Rotarian
Published Oct. 10, 2019 at 6:39 p.m.
TRENTON -- Hot diggity dog! What a fun and entertaining presentation we enjoyed on October 7th learning about the Cuffs and Collars Program that is offered at Lancaster Correctional Institution. Thanks to Rotarian Mike Lakner for hosting this wonderful program on Monday (Oct. 7).
Rotary President Bob Clemons introduced Rotarian Mike Lakner, a retired Navy veteran who manages information technology processes at Suwannee Valley Feeds in Trenton. Mike introduced his guest speaker, Jon Reed, who oversees this innovative program at Lancaster. Jon introduced Cuffs & Collars volunteers Lisa Shinneman, Al Rese and Bob Vaughn.
Cuffs & Collars is a prison-based dog training program that will warm your heart! Adoptable dogs from Gilchrist Animal Services are paired with inmates from the Florida Department of Corrections. The dogs live with and are trained by inmates for 8 weeks and learn the basic skills necessary to pass the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen test. All dogs in the program are available for adoption for $50 and this includes spay/neuter, microchip and all vaccinations.
The program is designed to better prepare local shelter dogs for transition to permanent homes. Each 8 weeks a new group of dogs is selected from our local shelter. There are benefits to the dogs and to the inmates. The program is therapeutic for inmates in that it helps them to deal with anger, teaches them patience and responsibility, gives them unconditional love, gives them a sense of purpose and simply makes doing time easier. The inmates learn about daily dog care and positive dog training techniques from professional volunteer trainers. Benefits of adopting a dog are that you save the life of a shelter animal who may not have had a second chance and you gain the advantage of bringing a well-trained dog with basic obedience skills into your family.
Volunteer Bob Vaughn, a former Rotarian, introduced us to Taffy, a beautiful dog who is a graduate of the program. She showed off her skills in the commands of sit, down, shake paw, and high five. Rotarians loved this sweet canine girl!
The eighth graduating class ceremony was held on Oct. 10. Two of the graduates have already been accepted into the K9s for Warriors, a program dedicated to providing service canines to warriors suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injuries and other issues as a result of military service. You can visit their website at https://www.cuffs-and-collars.com/ to learn more about adoption or simply to just warm your heart by learning more about this creative program!
Chef Jason Fuchs of Spring Water Events served a wonderful turkey rollup with dressing and gravy, garden salad, mixed veggies, bread and butter and cupcakes and pecan tarts. The Gilchrist Rotary Club will not meet on Monday, October 14th in observance of Columbus Day. And, we hope to see you at our Poker Paddle this Saturday on the Santa Fe River. To learn more about this fundraiser for Interact students at Trenton and Bell High Schools please visit our website at http://gilchristrotary.org/
AmVets Post 42 Supports
Breast Cancer Awareness
AmVets Post 42 of Chiefland held a fundraiser related to the month of Breast Cancer Awareness on Saturday (Oct. 5) from 2 to 8 p.m.
More than 70 people came to the event, including the AmVets Ladies Auxiliary Department of Florida President Meltonia Presley of Orlando. As part of the day of fun, she won a one-night stay in Cedar Key by playing bra pong. AmVets Post 42 Commander Robert Cartagena and a handful of other men wore bras that were stuffed with money. Post 42 Canteen Manager Bill Scott won the contest because someone stuffed a $50 in his bra.
Ole Skool donated their time and wore pink shirts that said "Real Men Rock Pink." Many local businesses donated items for the Chinese auction. There was a ham dinner, raffles, Chinese auction, live music, games and more.
Published Oct. 10, 2019 at 9:39 a.m.
Story and Photos By Natalie Cartagena, AmVets 42 Secretary
On Feb. 1, 2011, HardisonInk.com came to exist on the Internet. On Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section on The Life Page of HardisonInk.com started, which was about nine months after the start of the daily news website -- which officially began Feb. 1, 2011. The name "The Christian Press" was derived from an encounter a decade earlier in 2001 in St. Petersburg, when and where a man mentioned to a journalist that this particular journalist must work for "The Christian Press." Although the presumption by the man about that journalist was incorrect and misplaced, the name sounded good. And the the journalist said that if he could work for The Christian Press, then that certainly would be the publication to serve.
Since Nov. 1, 2011, The Christian Press section of this page has run daily devotionals from several individuals who contributed over the past years. There were two days in 2018 when the daily devotional did not run due to a journalist requiring emergency orthopedic surgery on bones in his left arm and wrist. That added metal, though, makes that part of that arm even more able to withstand forces. Many daily devotionals are pulled from Strength for Service to God and Country (Whitmore & Stone © 1942; Renewed 1969 by Norman E. Nygaard; Second revised edition © 2002 Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, Providence House Publishers). I note my appreciation for the use of those devotionals from that now-defunct publishing company. I welcome contributions of daily devotionals. Daily devotional authors are asked to please send only their original works to email@example.com.
Oct. 19, 2019 Saturday at 9:09 a.m.
QUISLINGS AND SABOTEURS
Read Matthew 22:15-22
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
-- Matthew 6:24 (KJV)
The Norwegians who transferred their loyalty from their town government to that of the puppet regime set up by Adolph Hitler were called, after the name of their leader, “Quislings.” Those who willfully injure property or interfere with the activity of the government in time of emergency, or restrict production, are called saboteurs. In an all-out war, we must guard against those who might become Quislings or saboteurs.
So, in the Christian life, we must guard against giving comfort to the enemy. We must be on the alert lest by careless action or by doing nothing we slop up the work of Christ. If we love America so greatly that we would sacrifice, serve, and - if need be - die, even so for the Christ who died for us we should be willing to give our last full measure of devotion.
As soldiers of the cross, following Christ, the Captain of our salvation, we should be proud of our Leader, proud to wear His uniform. And, just as we are ready to fight our country’s battles, we should be prepared to gird ourselves to fight His battles.
Finally, we must remember that we cannot give a divided allegiance, being faithful to God and mammon, any more than a Quisling could be loyal to both Norway and Germany at the same time. As we must choose between terrorism or freedom, so must we divide between the claims of Christ and the lure of mammon - a personification of riches as an evil spirit or deity.
O GOD OUR FATHER, enable us to be active in Thy cause as soldiers. Keep us from being treasonable to Thee -- as we would not commit treason against the cause of our country. Bless us and make us a blessing to others, we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.
Pastor James Henry Hutchins
Lake Avenue Congregational Church
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 © Oct. 14, 2019 at 10:09 a.m.
I wrote about the lack of rain a few weeks ago. My little food plot needed a drink so bad. It still does, but the drought continues. And it’s probably too late now, anyway. Something growing in the middle of October seems unlikely. I did all that I could do. I needed God to send the rain. He hasn’t. I can only pray he does. I guess it’s that “thoughts and prayers” thing. But it looks like my food plot doesn’t lack the thoughts and prayers. It looks like, maybe, I’m being shown how bad it really would be without what God does during a normal year.
There are so many today who are bemoaning, criticizing, and even scoffing whenever someone offers “thoughts and prayers.” Their argument is that it is an excuse for inactivity. I completely understand what they mean, especially the “thought” part of the “thoughts and prayers” offering. What do my thoughts toward you, or anyone, actually accomplish? The “prayer” part is something altogether different, if prayer matters. But even in that, I understand the criticism. The thinking is this - just as I had to plant my field before God could water it, we all must do our part in other areas before God can do his part as well. For some reason, however, it doesn’t feel like the critics are looking for a partnership with God. It feels more as if they think prayer has very little, or no effect, on anything going on – like it hasn’t mattered in the past, and it doesn’t matter now, so, let’s forgo the prayer thing and just take action. I hope I’m wrong in my assessment. But have you ever thought that perhaps what is going on now is the result of people’s ongoing prayers? I mean have you ever thought that perhaps there would be more violence and more catastrophes, and more suffering, if not for those who bring these things before God each day, or if not for the ongoing mercies of God? Just ask it this way. Could things be worse? And if so, what (or who) keeps them from becoming that way? God has withheld the rain from my food plot – the rain I had come to expect, depend on, and yes, take for granted. He has shown me it could be worse.
Does praying make a difference? Is it important? I think the answer to both questions is yes. I also think I need to act as well. And if I want an example of doing both, I can look to Jesus. He acted and prayed. And now that I think about it, I’m glad he “thought” about me as well.
I’d love to speak at your next event. Contact me.
-- Gary Miller firstname.lastname@example.org
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/.