John P Sininger Jo Ann Hayslip Harvey U Schrock Eunice G. Burgess Senior Profile: Kaulen St Michael Cox Racing returns to Brushcreek on April 2 Southern Hills Athletic Conference holds Winter Sports Awards ceremony Adams County provides multiple walking venues Adams County parks are tobacco-free Rhoads Memorial 5K Run/Walk is April 9 Peebles Elem. Staff of the Month Floyd E Maddy Raymond A Holt Derrick Poe Spencer E McFarland Mintie F Rogers Roberta Eylar Big Time Wrestling coming to NAHS Carl Tomlin CTC students help with storm clean-up Opening the door for high-tech jobs Jack R Slyger Thomas Stratton Jr Eastern Lady Warriors headed to Final Four Senior Profile: Logan Rogers Southern Hills Athletic Conference names 2016-17 All-Conference Basketball Teams Winchester PD continues assault on drugs Alonso joins Defender staff Sheriff to set up outpost in Manchester Johnson named OEDA Membership Chairperson Sherman E Young Ruth Jackman ‘Kitten Season’ comes to Ohio Manchester Council votes to disband PD Olde Wayside Inn under new management Two overdose on heroin Senior Profile: Ethan Parrett Adams/Brown Youth League holds postseason tourney Three nights of pain Furious rally falls short, Lady Devils again eliminated in Div. III district finals, 45-42 Oscar Moore Barbara J Finnegan Ohio Senate and House honor Miss Ohio USA Michael Eldridge Frances Towner Thelma R Williamson BREAKING NEWS: Manchester council votes to eliminate police department Before all dogs go to heaven Adaptive Bikes delivered in Adams County Adams County Junior Fair Market Hog Identification plans announced for 2017 Local couple takes ownership of two local businesses Jo Hanson to retire after nearly 50 years in banking Sierra Club, hero or villain? Greyhounds, Devils are runners-up in SHAC Tournaments Harold L Purdin Senior Profile: Jacob Wickerham 98-year old author publishes first book Early March storm packs destructive punch Jeeps rally in second half to end the Peebles season How about some post season awards? Thanks for all the great sports coverage PHS Principal hopes to expand students’ world view When spring becomes a promise Greg Lorenz Clay shoots the lights out, shoots down Greyhounds’ season Senior Profile: Savannah McFarland Devils put up a good fight, but fall to Portsmouth in sectional final, 50-43 Second half comeback sends Lady Devils to district finals for third straight year Butts honored by Southeast District Athletic Board North Adams Elementary holds Random Acts of Kindness Week Chester W Eyre BREAKING NEWS: March makes its entrance with force WUES kicks off Right to Read Week with guest readers WUHS students see Aronoff show on the life of Edgar Allan Poe Local high school seniors winners of Wendy’s Heisman Awards The emotions of a senior year Market Hog Clinic scheduled for March 4 Venture Hawks fall to Scioto County Senior Profile : Colton Thornburg Lady Dragons’ season ends with sectional loss to Lynchburg Devils advance in tourney with convincing win over West Union, will face Portsmouth for sectional title Wenstrup selected as Vice Chairman of House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee Adams County 4-H Shooting Sports to hold fund raiser Linda M Howland Nellie B Hayslip Russell E Bailey Gladys M Perdue Commissioners meet in Columbus with DP&L CEO Tom Raga Missing the Dirtrollers The farms that aren’t forgotten Flora Hilderbran Commissioners to meet with DP&L officials New state graduation requirements called a ‘train wreck’ Catching up with Keller Senior Profile: Justin Knechtly Piketon size is too much for Lady Indians, Peebles falls in sectional finals Greyhounds grab Senior Night win Indians finish regular season riding six-game winning streak Harper, Hupp, Defense lead Lady Devils to fourth consecutive sectional championship West Union Elementary recognizes Students of the Month for January

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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