Peebles Elementary hosts PBIS showcase NAES student starting Christmas Card project Try and tell them that nobody cares Senior Profile: Ethan Thompson 15-point lead vanishes, Hounds fall in season opener Deer Gun Season results down all across Ohio Hometown Christmas in Peebles rings in the holiday season Manchester Elementary receives 2016 Momentum Award Drug bust in West Union Stephen C Foster Donna Rivers WUES students perform as part of Honor Choir Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak access completed Hall of Fame Christmas in Portsmouth Thyme to trim the Christmas Tree Junior High Lady Hounds get season-opening sweep Lady Devils roll past Paint Valley in season opener Senior Profile: Jessica Johnson Michael E Roberts Sr Evelyn L Jones Thomas M Calvert Ryan, Sowards lead Lady Indians to easy win in season opener, 57-36 over Felicity Senior Profile: Wes Hayslip Justice off to hot start at VSU County boys’ squads on display in annual SHAC Preview Night ‘Operation Christmas Child’ collects 1,707 shoe boxes for needy children Two animal cruelty cases investigated in Adams County DP&L considers closing power-generating plants in county Holiday spirit makes an early appearance in Adams County Chester A Mann Jeffrey A Daley Sr Michael G Tincher DAR sponsors Good Citizen Award Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season Senior Profile: Kayle Thomas Helen N Hiestand Rev Walter R Egnor Sr Betty Beam Jamie L Corrill Jeffrey L Heppard Edsel L Massey Jr It is time to stop and take time to give thanks on a special day Another year to be very thankful for Senior Profile: Savannah McCoy McCoy signs to continue golf career at SSU North Adams hosts SHAC Girls Preview DAR commemorates 50th anniversary of Vietnam War Historical Society honors veterans Star Wars routine leads Fancy Free Cloggers to ‘America’s Got Talent’ A Day at the Opera Eagle Creek draws community to Thanksgiving celebration Ward ekes out victory over Worley in county commissioner race Mary A Garman Ronald L Palmer Joseph S McClanahan II Emma O Hayslip Devils slip by Georgetown in Foundation Game Hupp, Hunter, Wolke named OSSCA Second Team All-State Senior Profile: Kain Turner Lady Devils romp in Foundation Game Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen What Became My Biggest Project Deer gun season set to begin ‘Trees to Textbooks’ shares revenues with local schools and communities BREAKING NEWS Winchester’s Baxter wins Miss Ohio USA 2017 pageant Genny Elkins Pauline S Stevenson Donald E Lewis Sr Charlotte R Seaman Ruth Prater Bennie Skaggs Gertrude Swayne West Union High School hosts impressive Veterans Day ceremonies Peebles Elementary hosts ceremony to honor local veterans Duke Energy exits Killen and Stuart Plants GE Aviation hosts annual Veterans Day celebration Senior Profile: Logan Gordley Jeffrey A Brown Sr Peebles Library welcomes local author and survivor on Nov. 19 Homer C Eldridge Robert W Schomberg One Commissioner race too close to call in unofficial count Voters approve majority of county levies on Tuesday’s election ballot NAES Sixth Graders practice the democratic process Honoring one who gave the ‘last full measure of devotion’ Overcoming adversity, veteran of Iraq War opens local business Senior Profile: Ben Figgins Senior Profile: Macy Mullenix SHAC Basketball Previews are set for Nov. 18 and 25 Trio of local golfers finish careers with trip to the highest level of high school competition Peebles sophomore Jenny Seas finishes sixth in OHSAA state cross-country meet Upset win sends Trump to the White House ACRMC awarded plaque for 50 years of service Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for First Nine Week Grading Period BREAKING ELECTION NEWS! Senior Profile: Jordyn Kell Orlie H Kirker Military homecoming at NAES
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Yes, I have a Father

This week I’m diverting from my usual hospice patient story to honor Father’s Day. And I’m personally stepping out; because some people, like “Doubting Thomas,”will never believe until they touch another’s wounds. (John 20:24-29)

I’ve never known my biological father. As a young boy, I longed for a father. The longing was so deep, so profound at times that I physically ached in my gut. I longed for a father to teach me, to believe in me and yes, even correct me. I longed for a father when grade school friends talked about what they did with their fathers over the weekend; and when I watched TV shows like “Father Knows Best” or “Leave it to Beaver.” I especially longed for a father during those dreaded, long, awkward walks across the football field on parent’s nights.

But there were men who, like an oasis in the desert, refreshed and encouraged me along my way. There was my uncle Don who walked the sidelines at my football games. I’d hear his voice above the crowd cheering me on. It didn’t matter if he was drunk; at least he was there; at least he was proud of me, he embraced me.

And there was Mr. Newberry, the father of my high school friend, Bill. Bill told me in study hall one day that his dad offered to pay for me to attend an expensive speed reading course. I asked Bill why and he replied, “Dad said he sees potential in you; that he sees you going to college some day.” College hadn’t entered my mind until that day. Mr. Newberry believed in and inspired me; and he gave me my only high school graduation present, a shirt that I wore until it became threadbare.

And there was Charlie. I worked for Charlie at his market from the sixth to the ninth grade. Charlie taught me how to work. As I proved myself he trusted me with increasing responsibilities. I thought I’d “arrived” when he allowed me to slice lunch meat behind the meat counter and work the cash register. And Charlie took me to Coney Island with his family. Charlie and his family included me.

And there was coach Pauley who pulled me aside in the tunnel of the old New Boston football stadium at halftime. He grabbed me by my shoulder pads as I was heading back to the field, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Loren, I know you can do better than that. I know what you’re capable of; now get out there and do it.” Coach Pauley challenged me.

You’d think that by the ripe old age of 30, married with a 5-year-old daughter, that I would have outgrown my longing for a father. It was about 30 years ago and I was going through some very trying times. I routinely started out each day at my old metal desk, in our dingy unfinished basement, praying and studying God’s word. That morning I prayed, “Lord, I don’t mean to whine and complain, but it sure would be nice to have a father to talk to about things from time to time.” God’s response was unexpected and immediate; that “still small voice” was loud and clear: “Who do you think it was who brought all those people your way? And I’ve given you my Spirit to lead you; and I’ve guided you by my word? You’ve gotten to know me in a way that some people never will. You’ve had me.”

I wept before my Father with praise and thanksgiving that morning; and since that day, Father’s Day has never been the same, and neither have I. The lyrics of the song, “I have a Maker,”express what I realized that day: “I have a Maker, He formed my heart. Before even time began my life was in his hand. He knows my name. He knows my every thought. He sees each tear that falls, and he hears me when I call. I have a Father, He calls me his own. He’ll never leave me no matter where I go…”

The daughter of one of our departed hospice patients once told me, “I feel like a 67-year-old orphan.” You see, we never outgrow the deep longing for a Father to talk to now and then. It’s scripted into our hearts and souls by our Maker. So if you’re longing for a Father to talk with now and then; I have some good news for you. There is a Father who knows your name, who knows your every thought, who hears you when you call, and who will never leave you no matter where you go.

“Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the LORD… Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God…” (Psalms 68:4-6, ESV) “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)

Loren Hardin is a social worker with Southern Ohio Medical Center – Hospice and can be reached by email at hardinl@somc.org or by phone at 740-356-2525.

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