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 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

They come in, look around, see and do

It’s been several years since Tom died of cancer, but he’s been on my mind again lately. He was a good old country boy, a retired railroader. He and his wife had several adult children who lived nearby. Tom’s house was situated on about an acre lot. The deep back yard gently sloped down to a small creek, bordered by a steep hill on the far side. The yard was spotted with ceramic animals, a bird bath, a wishing well and a wagon wheel amidst some mature trees. Hanging from an old metal children’s swing set frame was a wooden porch swing, where Tom and I had some good conversation.

Tom’s immediate transparency surprised me. Within the first minutes of my initial visit he admitted to episodes of discouragement. But he also quickly pointed to his source of encouragement. He handed me a copy of, “The Healing of the Mind and Soul in the Twenty-Third Psalm,” by Charles Allen. It was a small pamphlet, about four by six inches and 22 pages. Tom shared, “Whenever I start getting discouraged I read this pamphlet. When you break down the 23rd Psalm and really understand what it means for us to be sheep and for God to be our shepherd, you get a lot of comfort from it.” It was obvious that Tom not only knew the Psalm, he also knew the Shepherd.

As I do with all our hospice patients, I asked Tom and his wife if they had enough help. Tom replied, “If my children waited for me to ask for help, that grass out there would be up to my rear end by now. I don’t have to ask. My kids come in, look around, see and do.”

The day Tom died I shared with his children what he’d told me about their love and support. I also admitted to them that their examples were not only inspiring but also convicting. Do I, “Come in, look around, see, and do”? Or do I wait to be called?

What if we awoke each morning and made it our primary goal to be benevolently responsive to the world around us? I believe that to do so would be to encounter God Himself. For, we don’t find God by escaping responsibilities, but by embracing them. I believe that we would experience exhilaration, a renewed sense of adventure and spiritual quickening that comes only from being caught up in a purpose greater than ourselves! We would experience deliverance from our self-centeredness, our self-pity and become what the author, John Eldridge, terms “Wild at Heart”.

Oh to be benevolently responsive and to live a life of benevolent responsibility Are you ready? Then let’s, “Come in, look around, see and do? After all, doesn’t love go without saying.

“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)

Loren Hardin is a social worker for Southern Ohio Medical Center – Hospice and can be reached at hardil@somc.org or 740-356-2525.

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Straight Paths

Loren Hardin

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2016 People's Defender