Future looking grim for county’s coal-fired power plants Lady Hounds grab win number two, downing Augusta 51-35 Greyhounds down North Adams in SHAC action, 61-50 PHS inducts pair of girls’ squads into Athletic Hall of Fame Michael G Rogers Local business donates shotguns to WUPD Senior Profile: Shannon Runyan Reds employees recognize Dr. King’s ‘Spirit of Service’ Saving Adams County’s power plants North Adams High School announces annual Science Fair Winners Board of Developmentally Disabled holds Jan. 11 swearing-in ceremony Peebles Elementary honors December Students of the Month Adams County villages receive Bike Racks and Fix-it Stations College Credit Plus Program available to high school students Wenstrup selected as Chairman of Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health 2017 Manchester Homecoming is ‘Super’ Lions put damper on Manchester Homecoming West Union athletes honored by OSSCA Senior Profile: Story Kremin Bickett, Runyan lead Lady Dragons to victory in Manchester Indians improve to 8-3 with Saturday night rout of Portsmouth West Farm Bureau scholarships available to HS seniors Wilbur named to the Wilmington College Dean’s List Opal Van Hoose Ruby Yazell Chris Volk North Adams High School holds annual Homecoming ceremonies Six workers injured in power plant explosion Commissioners hold proclamation ceremony for 4-H Week Senior Profile: Shyanne Tucker Coach Young Classic is Saturday at NAHS Helen Kerr Anna L DeMint The garden that got us through the winter months Virginia L Fricker JV Devils top Northwest 51-34 Senior Profile: Caitlin Young North Adams moves to 7-5 with 16-point Homecoming win over Northwest Held to a higher standard Claudia J Purtee Shaylee E Prewitt Questions still linger in Stuart explosion Richard Holsinger J Ruth Madden Frank E Swayne Robert Bechdolt Sara D Hatfield Barbara Goodwin Jeffrey Frederick Grace E Myers Johnny A Sullender Sr. Senator Joe Uecker sworn-in for second term Wenstrup sworn in for third term in House Ronald L Chochard Patrick P Clift Samuel W Freeland Senior Profile: Casey Mullenix Lady Dragons win ugly, taking Classic consolation game over Manchester, 48-45 Greyhounds roll by West Union to take Classic consolation game, 82-58 History made as Ward takes oath of office Peter A Bennington Tangela R King McDonald’s Classic crowns 2016 champions MVP Arey leads Peebles to McDonald’s Classic title, Indians outlast North Adams 82-76 in double overtime thriller Lady Devils get Classic three-peat, make it 10 of 11, 14 titles for Coach Davis Senior Profile: Raegan Dick Teaching students the power of giving Kids at Children’s Home gifted with shopping spree Marion Liming Dorothy Huff John R Murphy Michael L McAninch Rita Rogers Edward L Combs Ronald W Staggs Mary H Grooms Gladys Wilson Donald Barnhill Monda Van Vorren Deborah Spires Senior Profile: Andre Wolke Indians pull away in second half, get past Manchester 71-58 in Classic semis On home floor, Lady Indians move to Classic title game North Adams handles West Union, Devils move to Classic finals with 68-53 victory Lady Devils roll into Classic championship Beth E Rowley Leatrice Lewis Senior Profile: Justin Aldridge Mary Helterbridle Wanda Huffman PES Performing Arts entertains at Hometown Christmas Adams County Manor sends holiday wishes Peebles Lions Club hosts Christmas breakfast Elusive Elf on a Shelf makes a return visit to PES Santas in blue spread Christmas cheer in a very special way Senior Profile: Aubrey McFarland WUHS holds Hall of Fame induction ceremonies WUHS Academic Team has undefeated season Serving those who served their country From Pearl Harbor to ‘America’s Got Talent’, 93-year-old WWII vet is still going strong

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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