Manchester grad enjoys a “Super” Experience Taking Adams County patriotism to the state capitol 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

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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