Marvin Setty Richard G Waldron Grand Marshals selected for West Union Fourth of July Parade Adams County, Maysville Vet team up to save injured dog Michael S Knauff Victor P Price Success builds from the bottom up Finalists named for 2017 Fair Queen Contest William Glenn DeWine, Reader Call For Tips in Rhoden Murder Investigation MHS principal to take superintendent post Peebles Skate Park now a reality 2017-18 Fur and Feather Ambassadors named Caley Grooms is Cattlemen’s Beef Ambassador Dr. Mueller leaving Health Department’s free clinic Hourglass Quilt Barn returning to Adams County Lung, Thornburg are First Team All-District selections North Adams hosts annual Boys Basketball Camps Walk-off winner Wanda Hill George D Johnson Life can be a juggling act My favorite thing to do on the farm Wolves in Adams County! Ronald L Wedmore Three lessons from Dad Donald D Morgan Wenstrup uninjured in Virginia shooting Portman staff to hold grant funding workshop Raymond E Applegate Keeping the Peebles tradition alive Back on the hardwood, local hoops squads compete in Monday Night League Seven county athletes recognized as All-SHAC Baseball honorees Stepping to the podium Lady Hounds host Youth Volleyball Camp Senior Profile: Bryan Young Junior Deputy Boot Camps kick off in Manchester Hayes pleads “not guilty” to 109 counts Six-year-old girl finds long-lost class ring Jefferson Alumni awards annual scholarships Paul Tate Jr Marcus I Cox Jewell Gill James M Hill Jr Jeffrey S Jones Samuel A Disher Jack Sterling BREAKING NEWS: Parents face charges after son overdoses on opiate License Hikes and Tall Turkey Tales Danger under every rock Reigning Miss Ohio USA will judge 2017 Adams County Fair Queen Pageant Gordley’s hoops career will continue at Mount St. Joseph Russell C Newman Kenneth C Thurman George Uebel Summer Reading Program underway Honor Flight carries local veteran to DC When rescuers become victims Passing the torch, West Union hosts week-long basketball camp for future Dragons SENIOR PROFILE: Sara Knechtly Terry L Powell Willie Shreffler James C Fitzpatrick Senior Profile: Austin Parks Six countians named to All-SHAC Softball squad Lady Indians get summer camp season underway Memorial Day services pay tribute to local veterans WUHS Steel Band will perform at Bogart’s SSCC announces Honors Lists for spring semester Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for final nine weeks West Union Elementary announces Honor Roll for fourth nine weeks Back to State! Mom calls daughter “living proof” seat belts save lives Rent-2-Own donation means new soccer scoreboard at WUHS NAHS student selected for Engineering Summer Camp Southern Hills Athletic Conferences honors Spring Sports athletes Senior Profile: Kailyn Boyd Madison Welch receives Riffle Scholarship Junior Achievement Volunteers visit county’s seventh graders Marcella J Abbott James Ratliff Gladys Davitz Harry G Shupert Memories on Memorial Day A soldier’s story, a family’s grief Thank You for your sacrifice Seaman community honors local veterans with special tribute Former PES teacher dies in tragic accident All County Senior Citizens Day celebrated Parks signs with SSCC Soccer Senior Profile: Lexie Bunn Jessie Rodgers Memorial Day services set for county Truly our greatest generation Bertha Lashley Maia Swartz Jessie Rodgers Errors spell the end of Devils’ baseball season Senior Profile: Carry Hayslip Lady Hounds’ season ends with tourney loss to Paint Valley

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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