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 Yester Years brings a touch of old to the new Merry Christmas to you all North Adams Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners Peebles High School hosts Homecoming ceremonies Children in need receive gifts at PES Adams County Manor holds annual Door Decorating Contest WUHS celebrates with numerous Christmas activities Halftime lead quickly vanishes, Dragons fall to Northwest 73-62 in Saturday night non-conference match up Tammy S Scott Oscar Hilterbrandt Neil R Swayne Beulah M Daniels McDonald’s Classic begins Dec. 27 Letters to Santa Senior Profile: Tyler Swearingen Leadership Adams donates to local outreach programs North Adams student/athletes are part of Holiday Sharing Event Senior Profile: Kylie Lucas West Union Elementary holds Academic Fair on Dec. 2 WUES holds annual Spelling Bee NAHS Art students help out the Humane Society Peebles Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners CTC FCCLA / Culinary Arts class holds Cancer Awareness Drive Amen receives Distinguished Service Award ‘Tis the season for family-past, present, and future MHS Computer Class aces MOS Exam

A still small voice

Homer was admitted to hospice with end stage lung cancer. The best way to describe Homer is a graying Abraham Lincoln, tall, thin, his hair combed straight back with sharp chiseled facial features. Years ago, Homer’s wife left him with seven minor children, whom he raised on his own. He affirmed, “I’ve raised good kids” and he did. His sons recounted how he was both a father and mother and declared, “He stuck by us, so we are sticking by him.” and they did.

Homer had little formal education and was unpolished, but he was a deep thinking man. One day he shared, “I always felt like maybe God wanted me to be a preacher. But now I can’t get anywhere to preach to anybody anyway. I get up every morning and have a cup of coffee with God and talk with Him. Whole sermons have come to me, things I never thought of before or heard anybody else talk about. Once I wrote out a whole sermon and gave it to a preacher and he used it one Sunday.”

Homer paused for a few seconds and then concluded, “I’m convinced that God wants to speak to us more than we are wanting to listen.” Then he illustrated his point with a story. “About five years ago I stepped out on my front porch and God spoke to me. He told me, ‘There’s going to be a day of judgement, you better get ready.’ He told me I needed to get ready for myself and for my children’s benefit because I didn’t have any life insurance or money to pay for a funeral. I wasn’t sick or anything, so I ignored it. Then God spoke to me again about a year later, but I ignored it again. Then, a couple of years ago, God spoke to me a third time. He again told me, ‘You better get ready’, but this time he also told me I wouldn’t live to see my 70th birthday. This time I listened. I started making payments on a vault and cemetery lot. I have them paid for but my kids will still have to make payments on my funeral. Now I’m 69 and have cancer and it doesn’t look like I’m going to see 70. If only I’d listened to him the first time it would all be paid for by now. That’s why I’m convinced that God wants to speak to us much more than we want to listen.”

Homer’s story reminds me of the prophet Elijah (I Kings 17-19). I believe most of us can identify with Elijah. One minute he’s on the mountain top and the next minute he’s running for his life. He boldly confronted Ahab, the wickedest King of Israel. But when King Ahab’s wife Jezebel threatened Elijah, he ran south of the border. While hiding out in the wilderness he entered a cave to sleep for the night. Then God commanded Elijah, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord. And behold the Lord passed by and a great strong wind tore into the mountains but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”

Homer, like Elijah discovered that God usually speaks to us in “a still small voice.” Perhaps, so that only those who are really listening will hear. So let’s learn from Homer and Elijah. Let’s have “ears to hear” (Matthew 11:15) and hearts to obey. Perhaps then we won’t end up saying to ourselves, “If only I’d listened to him the first time.” And, by the way, Homer didn’t live to see his 70th birthday.

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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Straight Paths

Loren Hardin

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