Deer Gun Season results down all across Ohio Hometown Christmas in Peebles rings in the holiday season Manchester Elementary receives 2016 Momentum Award Drug bust in West Union Stephen C Foster Donna Rivers WUES students perform as part of Honor Choir Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak access completed Hall of Fame Christmas in Portsmouth Thyme to trim the Christmas Tree Junior High Lady Hounds get season-opening sweep Lady Devils roll past Paint Valley in season opener Senior Profile: Jessica Johnson Michael E Roberts Sr Evelyn L Jones Thomas M Calvert Ryan, Sowards lead Lady Indians to easy win in season opener, 57-36 over Felicity Senior Profile: Wes Hayslip Justice off to hot start at VSU County boys’ squads on display in annual SHAC Preview Night ‘Operation Christmas Child’ collects 1,707 shoe boxes for needy children Two animal cruelty cases investigated in Adams County DP&L considers closing power-generating plants in county Holiday spirit makes an early appearance in Adams County Chester A Mann Jeffrey A Daley Sr Michael G Tincher DAR sponsors Good Citizen Award Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season Senior Profile: Kayle Thomas Helen N Hiestand Rev Walter R Egnor Sr Betty Beam Jamie L Corrill Jeffrey L Heppard Edsel L Massey Jr It is time to stop and take time to give thanks on a special day Another year to be very thankful for Senior Profile: Savannah McCoy McCoy signs to continue golf career at SSU North Adams hosts SHAC Girls Preview DAR commemorates 50th anniversary of Vietnam War Historical Society honors veterans Star Wars routine leads Fancy Free Cloggers to ‘America’s Got Talent’ A Day at the Opera Eagle Creek draws community to Thanksgiving celebration Ward ekes out victory over Worley in county commissioner race Mary A Garman Ronald L Palmer Joseph S McClanahan II Emma O Hayslip Devils slip by Georgetown in Foundation Game Hupp, Hunter, Wolke named OSSCA Second Team All-State Senior Profile: Kain Turner Lady Devils romp in Foundation Game Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen What Became My Biggest Project Deer gun season set to begin ‘Trees to Textbooks’ shares revenues with local schools and communities BREAKING NEWS Winchester’s Baxter wins Miss Ohio USA 2017 pageant Genny Elkins Pauline S Stevenson Donald E Lewis Sr Charlotte R Seaman Ruth Prater Bennie Skaggs Gertrude Swayne West Union High School hosts impressive Veterans Day ceremonies Peebles Elementary hosts ceremony to honor local veterans Duke Energy exits Killen and Stuart Plants GE Aviation hosts annual Veterans Day celebration Senior Profile: Logan Gordley Jeffrey A Brown Sr Peebles Library welcomes local author and survivor on Nov. 19 Homer C Eldridge Robert W Schomberg One Commissioner race too close to call in unofficial count Voters approve majority of county levies on Tuesday’s election ballot NAES Sixth Graders practice the democratic process Honoring one who gave the ‘last full measure of devotion’ Overcoming adversity, veteran of Iraq War opens local business Senior Profile: Ben Figgins Senior Profile: Macy Mullenix SHAC Basketball Previews are set for Nov. 18 and 25 Trio of local golfers finish careers with trip to the highest level of high school competition Peebles sophomore Jenny Seas finishes sixth in OHSAA state cross-country meet Upset win sends Trump to the White House ACRMC awarded plaque for 50 years of service Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for First Nine Week Grading Period BREAKING ELECTION NEWS! Senior Profile: Jordyn Kell Orlie H Kirker Military homecoming at NAES Second half spells doom as Greyhounds fall to Hillcrest 42-12 in finale Senior Profile: Sarah McFarland WU’s Horton will continue golf career at SSU Lady Devils’ season ends in heartbreak with 3-2 loss in District championship battle Christine R. Ritchey
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This isn’t what I signed up for

The year was 2004 and Dennis had just returned from a tour in Iraq as an Army National Guard platoon sergeant. Dennis and I attended a Saturday morning men’s Bible study together for a while. I looked forward to those Saturday mornings and I thank God for using those men to teach, challenge and inspire me, including Dennis.

Dennis always impressed me as being very deliberate and genuine, the type of person you could count on in the clutch, so I was always interested in what Dennis had to say. One morning our discussion was about how people turn to God to fix their lives, but later become disillusioned and desert when He doesn’t meet their expectations, or when they realize they are still responsible and accountable.

Dennis shared, “It reminds me of a situation in Iraq. I was 44 years old but there were some other guys there too who had been around for a while, but a lot of the guys were young. One day we experienced incoming fire and there was a lot of shouting, but I heard this young fellow say, “This isn’t what I signed up for. I signed up for the college tuition, for the GI Benefits.” Dennis continued, “I can’t remember if I said it directly to him or to the fellow right next to me, but I said, “This is exactly what you signed up for.”

I’ve never forgotten what Dennis shared that Saturday morning. Dennis’ story reminds me of Jesus’ exhortation to the “great multitudes” that followed him. “Whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it. Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? So likewise, whoever of you who does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:27-33)

I’m also reminded of the Biblical story about two brothers, James and John, who were apparently interested in the “fringe benefits. “Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him (Jesus) with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom… But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? Whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:17-28)

You might be asking, “What does this have to do with me?” I’m not a Christian and I’m not planning on forsaking all to be Jesus’ disciple. Well, there are some principles in life that are universal and inescapable. With every role, relationship, and position, there is a cup and a baptism, rights and responsibilities, sacrifices as well as fringe benefits.

So I suppose the moral of this story is that before signing on the dotted line make sure you understand what you’re signing up for. Sit down first and count the cost, and evaluate whether you have what it takes to finish it. Or according to Aesop’s fable, “The Two Frogs and the Well”, Think twice before you leap!

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

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Straight Paths

Loren Hardin

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