WWII veteran honored in banner raising ceremony Veteran of three wars honored for volunteer work Charlotte Evans Jason A Barr Why we celebrate Manchester man killed in single-car accident Adams County Election Results – 2017 Hubert Knauff To keep or not to keep Time again for the changing of the seasons November proclaimed as Adoption Recognition and Recruitment Month Local business is seven decades old and counting Local student gets Nashville call Senior Profile: Gabe Grooms Lady Indians fall in districts Quest For The Cup complete for Dragons Meeting a true sports hero WU’s McCarty named District Player of the Year With regional run, Pennywitt completes memorable career West Union eighth grade volleyball finishes as SHAC runner-up Senior Profile: Tray Brand Greyhounds drop home finale, finish at 4-6 Lady Devils fall in district semis Devils go down in district finals Matt Seas headed back to State XC Meet Senior Profile: Charlee Louden Lady Indians ousted in sectional final Lady Devils down Minford 4-1 in district semis North Adams volleyball claims fourth consecutive sectional crown Senior Profile: Brooklyn Howlett Afterschool fun begins at NAES Wearing it pink in October Kenneth L Austin Jay E Minnich Reuben E Hershberger Bobby L Williams 18 years just isn’t long enough Emotional, historic, and victorious Taking action against addiction Utilities commission approves DP&L electric security plan What matters and what doesn’t Oh dear, is that a deer? Junior Gaffin Charlotte J Thatcher Matthew D Miller Megan R Phillips Ralph M Swearingen Linda C Ackley Robert Ralston Shelly Seaman Increased access to treatment, Improving economic opportunity keys to combating Ohio’s Opioid Crisis Seas siblings are again SHAC Cross-Country Champions Lady Hounds cruise to sectional victory Senior Profile: Alyssa Hoskins 101 and another sectional championship Lady Indians claim sectional title North Adams tops Peebles for sectional soccer crown Senior Profile: Shay Boldman 13.5 seconds, heartbreak for West Union PHS JV Volleyball completes unbeaten season On the course that Nicklaus helped design On the ballot: Meigs Township Trustees West Union Christian Church will again be collection center for Operation Christmas Child Peebles voters will choose council members in upcoming election Seven candidates seek seats on ACOVSD school board A time for transformation What will future generations say? Finding all those treasures Janet K Campbell Robert D Hill Lady Devils blank West Union 7-0 in SHAC soccer finale Vikings invade and conquer the Greyhounds Outpouring of community support for local business woman with cancer Manchester mourns teen killed in single-car crash Kylie S Lucas Sharon R Grooms Steven L Wootten Forest J McDaniel Ralph O Grooms Adams County teenager dies in auto accident Charles N Vance Wesley M Baldwin James Kennedy Tom A Mihalovich Brand hat trick leads North Adams past West Union 5-2 in SHAC soccer action Senior Profile: Bryant Lung Lady Hounds pull off thrilling Senior Night win Volleyball milestones continue to pile up at North Adams Banner season for Lady Indians soccer SHAC holds Junior High Volleyball Tournament Tournament match ups set for volleyball and soccer Senior Profile: Morgan Edmisten Hounds dominate, improve to 3-4 Is this not the best time of the year? Volley For The Cure is another big success Getting everything we ask for Oh, that dreaded leaf project Manchester: Adams County’s oldest community looks to the future with hope Congressman visits Manchester’s newest business Six candidates vie for MLSD School Board

Listening with your heart

This is part four of a series about Tom, a 68- year old hospice patient with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). As I wrote in part one of this series, “Ten foot tall and Bullet Proof,” according to Tom’s wife, Faye, Tom is a modern day renaissance man. Faye, recounted, “He always said he wanted to try everything.” They’ve moved 25 times during their 50 years of marriage. Tom is a skilled mechanic and he owned and operated tractor trailer rigs, was a minister and pastor, rode motorcycles, and was an excellent tennis player, causing Faye to claim, “He even could have been a professional bowler.”

Faye continued, “We’ve lived in the best of houses and worn the best of clothes.” But their lives are much different now. Tom’s chronic illness has exhausted them financially. Now they barely survive from month to month. They don’t have transportation because they can’t afford to repair their van. And they financially can’t keep up with basic home maintenance and repairs. Faye stated that for a few years their living room ceiling leaked during heavy rains, “We placed buckets all around the room and imagined we were being serenaded by the rain hitting the buckets. We still had a sense of humor and we are more thankful now than ever. We are happier here than anywhere.”

I started out viewing Tom as a patient, then a fellow pilgrim, and now as a friend and spiritual brother. And my relationship with Tom has proven the following proverb to be true, “As iron sharpens iron so does a man his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)

In case you haven’t been following Tom’s story, I’ll summarize. Tom has shared insights about humility, stating, “You have to see who you are and who God is”. He’s shared about patience, that “God can make something good come out of everything, but for some things you may have to wait an eternity.” And lastly, Tom shared about the importance of being a discriminating listener, a “man of understanding”.

I thought I’d completed this series until I visited Tom yesterday and he shared, “God’s been telling me, ‘You’ve listened to me with your ears. Now I want you to listen to Me with your heart.’” I asked Tom what the difference was and he explained, “When you listen with your ears you use your mind. When you listen with your heart you use your spirit. Your mind tries to justify itself. Your mind judges, but your heart loves. And out of the abundance of your heart your mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) Tom pointed out how we can misuse our minds to filter or censor God and how we can rationalize and intellectualize to justify our positions, to prove we’re right.”

I confessed to Tom that I’m not worthy to “cast the first stone” (John 8:7); because I stand guilty myself. Tom responded, “You and about five billion other people. We all are.” Then it got real and personal, in both directions. I won’t share Tom’s part, but I will mine. I told Tom about how my friend, Gregg and I mutually committed to praying more for our wives and to hold one another accountable. After our men’s meeting at church last Saturday I complained to Gregg about some disappointments in our marriage. Gregg’s response reflected his commitment to hold me accountable; “Loren, when you get right down to it, love is always in spite of something isn’t it?” Immediately I realized that all differences don’t have to be worked out, They can be understood, accepted, respected and even appreciated. Immediately I realized how selfish and self righteous I’ve been and that I’ve only been listening with my ears and not with my heart.

I’m reminded of Jesus’ discourse with the notoriously self righteous Scribes and Pharisees, “Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith.” (Matthew 23:3) Apparently they too only listened with their ears and not with their hearts.

When we only listen with our ears to justify ourselves, we end up with self righteousness. When we listen to God with our hearts and obey, we end up with holiness and godliness. In conclusion I’ll leave you with a nugget from my friend, Jerry, “Sometimes it’s better to be kind than it is to be right?”

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. He invites you to share your comments and testimonials with him and to contact him if you would like copies of the first three parts of this series.

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Loren Hardin

Straight Paths

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