Junior Fair BBQ again a big success Beulah B James Senior Profile: Josie Myers Lady Indians place second at Ohio Classic in Hillsboro MVCA dominates Greyhounds in 45-0 triumph For Lady Devils, SHAC streak goes to 55 matches 9/11: Sixteen years later Gertrude Gibson Defender Bowl coming Sept. 16 Joyce A Walker Virginia R Young Senior Profile: Abby Campton West Union hosts 2017 Dragon Run New gridiron history begins for Peebles Trout, fire, and blueberry fields forever Senior Profile: Baylee Justice Lady Devils win SHAC thriller at Eastern Brown From Blue Creek to the Beaneaters Tough loss for Greyhounds in season opener Turning tragedy into hope What we learn from failure Absolutely had to get the wrinkles out Frances S Kidder Leo Trotter 41st Bentonville Festival set to begin Sept. 8 Winchester celebrates its history during three-day street fair Cruisefest returning to streets of Peebles Blue Creek- a community in transition honors its history and heritage Cuteness Galore – Winchester Homecoming Festival Baby Show Ronnie L Day Cast your vote for the Adams County Fairgrounds Nelson E Atkinson Ryan L Colvin Richard Tackett William L Tadlock Penny Pollard Wendell Beasley West Union soccer drops pair at Mason County Lady Indians go down in straight sets Senior Profile: Michael Gill Senior Profile: Katie Sandlin Royals dominate in big win over North Adams Dragons continue County Cup domination Archaeology Day returns to Serpent Mound Hourglass Quilt Square is back up again Manchester family hosts International Guests History, farming, and family- the bedrock of Cherry Fork’s community Bus drivers, emergency responders prepare for coming school year Working up a real good sweat What’s behind the motive? Rondal R Bailey Jr Thelma J Yates She’s all grown up now Scott A Yeager Soccer talent on display at 2017 SHAC preview Baseball community mourns the loss of Gene Bennett Winchester Homecoming Festival is Aug 25-27 Eleanor P Tumbleson Felicity man killed in Ohio River boating accident WUHS golfers take Portsmouth Invitational It was pretty cold that day Volleyball kicks off with SHAC Preview Night Young awarded Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship One Mistake Senator Portman visits GE Test Facility in Peebles Adams County school districts facing some major challenges for the coming year Family, friends, and roots: the ties that bind residents of one Adams County village What is your strength? Just the chance to take a look back Ronnie L Wolford Dale J Marshall Herbert Purvis Great American Solar Eclipse coming Aug. 21 BREAKING NEWS: West Union wins fifth consecutive County Cup Wallace B Boden John L Fletcher Lady Indians golfers learning the links North Adams, West Union golfers open 2017 seasons This Labor Day, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Blanton announces candicacy for Court of Appeals Local student attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders MHS welcomes new principal Made in America When it feels like you’re spinning plates Bonfires and “building” a farm Lady Devils looking to take that next step 50 years of Bengal memories Ag Society delivers donation to Dragonfly Foundation Young Memorial Scholarship awarded to a pair of local seniors ‘Musical passion is in his blood’ Naylor named NAHS Principal Boldman retiring after 17 years as Homeless Shelter director Manchester concludes another River Days celebration Drug Treatment vs. Prison James R Brown Bobby Lawler Jr Adams County man charged with killing estranged girlfriend Lexie N Hopkins Volleyball, soccer previews coming this weekend Michael A Cheek

You’ll always be my horse

I believe Dee was in her mid 50’s when she was admitted to hospice, a prominent beautician who owned and managed a local salon. You have to love the name of her salon, “Dee’s Wigwam.” It’s been years since Dee died, so some of the details have faded. I can’t even recollect her illness, but I’ll never forget her elegance and grace. There was just something about her.

I was fortunate to have a one time brief encounter with Dee’s daughter Debi, who was in her mid 20’s and appeared mature and confident beyond her years. Dee had been admitted to the hospital and Debi and I sat in the lobby getting acquainted. Debi reflected on what a “wonderful mother” Dee had been. “Mom always told me, You’ll always be my horse even if you never win a race.”

What unconditional love and acceptance. No wonder Debi exuded such maturity and confidence beyond her years. This is the kind of unconditional love and acceptance that extinguishes the fear of failure and rejection and that frees a person to step out from behind their pretenses and defenses and risk becoming who and what they are designed to be. But stepping out from behind our pretenses and defenses takes more than courage, it requires trust. And the world doesn’t condition us to trust does it? Therefore, most of us have “trust issues,” especially me.

I am here to tell you that you can dare to trust God even when you don’t trust anyone else. I dared to trust Him over 40 years ago. I was disillusioned with myself and with life and I was desperately searching for God knows what to fill the void inside me. I thought, “I’ll read the Bible”, so I read from midnight to five o’clock in the morning, but no change. I asked, “God what do you expect from me? I give up. I can’t do it. If I’m going to be saved you’re gonna have to do it for me.” But still no epiphany.

I sighed and decided to open the Bible and give God “one more chance.” I flipped the Bible open to Matthew Chapter 7 and read, “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you. If you are being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him.” I thought, “Surely it can’t be as simple as just asking. Surely God expects me to clean my life up first. But even if I could, how could I undo the things I’d already done?” So I decided to take God at His word, “God, either you’re a liar or you’re telling the truth. And if it’s true for other people, then it’s true for me too. So I’m asking.”

There’s no way I can communicate the love and grace that filled my heart that morning. I couldn’t believe that anyone would accept and love me just the way I was. I didn’t even love or accept myself. That day I became his horse even if I never win a race. This is the kind of love we all long for. This is the kind of love a person will live and die for.

How about you? Do you long to be accepted just the way you are? Then dare to step out from behind your pretenses and defenses and stand naked before God, your Father, your Creator. But be forewarned, “God loves you just the way you are, but he loves you too much to let you stay that way.” (Author unknown)

“For he Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

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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Loren Hardin

Straight Paths

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