John M Cheatham Ronnie Simpson Under new management county hospital is thriving against all odds Historic fairground gazebo demolished One year later, still no arrests in Rhoden family murders There will be trouble in River City! Monna L Fitzgerald test pdf viewer Jesse Carrington Janice M Sowards Rhoden family members make plea for tips in Pike Co murders of loved ones Quilting – the art that’s no longer just for Grandma Young is Adams County recipient of Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Award Wenstrup recognized as Community Health Advocate Ready, set, go! 25th annual Egg Hunt draws hundreds Applicants needed for Adams County Fair Queen Humane Society encourages responsible animal ownership ACCS holds annual Science Fair Peebles Elementary names March Students of the Month Pierce fires perfect game as Peebles blanks West Union Hunters preparing for 2017 Wild Turkey Season Lady Hounds fall 12-3 at Lynchburg Dragons lose early lead, drop SHAC match up with Fayetteville, 13-6 Senior Profile: Isaiah Anderson Devils roll to big SHAC win at Ripley Despite soggy night, WUHS hosts annual Invitational Meet Celebrities for a night George F Carr Jr Teresa S Hoskins Mary B McClure Richard B Collins Randall D Fetters Former Manchester officer indicted on five counts WUHS student wins state Beta Club Secretary’s seat OVCTC students part of state competition S.R. 73 closed for culvert replacement Peebles Lions Club holds first Easter Egg Hunt Weyrich graduates with honors from Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics North Adams Elementary releases Honor Roll for Third grading Period Scholarships available from Jefferson Alumni Olympic athlete speaks at April 6 SAAM event Venture Hawks end their basketball season with a victory at WUHS Devils baseball sweeps doubleheader from Northwest Greyhounds gain SHAC split, split twinbill with East England signs with Rio Grande golf Pierce fans 16, Lady Indians blank Eastern Brown 4-0 Maybe somebody on the river does have a plan Senior Profile: Ryan Dryden Enjoying the view Still a time for celebration Carl R Brown Lena R Staggs Adams County Crews Schedule Culvert Replacement Projects Merlan Shoemaker Dwayne E Thompson Help is on the line! West Union Elementary honors February Students of the Month WUHS hosts 2017 All-County Arts and Music Festival Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak Access Grand Opening set for April 20 Kasich cracks down on opiate-based prescriptions West Union High School students have successful trip to State Beta Convention North Adams Beta Club excels at State Convention ACRMC hosts annual Health Fair Robert H Bushman Senior Profile: Skylar Newman Nine-run inning leads Lady Hounds to run rule win over West Union WUHS foursome breaks school record First county baseball battle goes to the Greyhounds On the road, Lady Indians pick up two more SHAC victories Senior Profile: Christa Williams One more ‘shining moment’ for SHAC seniors at C103 All-Star Game Esie M Chandler Phyllis Adkins Former Manchester police deputy faces Grand Jury Indictments Cornell tosses no-hitter, Fenton goes deep, Dragons open season with 11-0 SHAC win over Whiteoak New Verizon store opening in West Union Stephen R Palmer Dual culvert replacements for SR 73 Deana P Grooms Tim Phipps Marcella Walker Alvin R Mitchum Senior Profile: Chase Darnell SHAC hoopsters shine at District 14 All-Star Game Greyhounds run rule St. Pat, 15-0 Indians drop SHAC opener West Union hosts early JH Track Meet North Adams student wins state Beta Club President’s seat Anna B Copas Charles A Nelson Nation’s #1 movie comes to stage Artectis hosts grand opening Waiting for the ax to fall, who’s to blame? WU Seniors going to State Sci. Fair Peebles Elem. releases Honor Roll Finding the strength to endure They fought for us Born and raised “free range” Senior Profile: Jordan Crum Big Time Wrestling slams the county

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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