Future looking grim for county’s coal-fired power plants Lady Hounds grab win number two, downing Augusta 51-35 Greyhounds down North Adams in SHAC action, 61-50 PHS inducts pair of girls’ squads into Athletic Hall of Fame Michael G Rogers Local business donates shotguns to WUPD Senior Profile: Shannon Runyan Reds employees recognize Dr. King’s ‘Spirit of Service’ Saving Adams County’s power plants North Adams High School announces annual Science Fair Winners Board of Developmentally Disabled holds Jan. 11 swearing-in ceremony Peebles Elementary honors December Students of the Month Adams County villages receive Bike Racks and Fix-it Stations College Credit Plus Program available to high school students Wenstrup selected as Chairman of Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health 2017 Manchester Homecoming is ‘Super’ Lions put damper on Manchester Homecoming West Union athletes honored by OSSCA Senior Profile: Story Kremin Bickett, Runyan lead Lady Dragons to victory in Manchester Indians improve to 8-3 with Saturday night rout of Portsmouth West Farm Bureau scholarships available to HS seniors Wilbur named to the Wilmington College Dean’s List 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

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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