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 Harper, Hupp, Defense lead Lady Devils to fourth consecutive sectional championship West Union Elementary recognizes Students of the Month for January

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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