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 Discover Ohio’s Ancient Cultures during Archaeology Day at Serpent Mound Summer Reading Program ends as new school year approaches Lady Hounds preparing for 2017 volleyball campaign, looking for more improvement A servant’s hands Oh my, nothing better than a sweet tooth Rec Park hosts All-Star Sunday A Saturday night peek at a gridiron future McDowell, McCarty awarded Farm Bureau Scholarships Adams County Medical Foundation awards Dr. Bruce Ashley Legacy Scholarships Your kid on heroin Jerry W Olinger Douglas R Burchett Wayne Cowles Shirley Collins Jack L Yates Wayne Grooms Sr Adams County Building and Loan merging with Southern Hills Community Bank Ahead of Sales Tax Holiday, Attorney General DeWine offers tips for consumers Delores L Cook Harold L Smith Pell, Seas have high hopes for new SSCC campus ‘We prayed and believed it was going to happen’ 4-H Scholarships awarded during Fair Week Showmanship Sweepstakes concludes Junior Fair Competitions Junior Fair Crops are a Premium Show Southern Ohio’s only blackberry farmer wants to make berry pickin’ fun again Challenges ahead for new MLSD Superintendent SAY Soccer celebrating 50 years North Adams hosts Youth Football Mini-Camp Lady Dragons host Soccer Shootout 38 years later, Indians football returns It’s time Ten years and twenty goats later When nobody is watching When a blackberry wasn’t just a cell phone, but delicious Heroin user’s mom says addiction is a disease, not a choice Mary A Wallingford Rickey L Vincent Pauline Ertel William Bryant ACOVSD announces 2017-18 policy for free and reduced lunches What we are made of When summer really arrived Horse project 4-H members head to Ohio State Fair Defender hosts annual Cornhole Tournament George’s Brave Shave’ benefits other Year of planning, work pays off for 2017 fair Local teen opens new business Why can’t you stop? Camp first step in preparation for 2018 Greyhounds on the gridiron Young awarded SEDAB Scholarship Fair hosts Hall of Fame broadcaster Peebles goes back-to-back at the Barnyard The sport of goats

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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