Joe L Easter William E Foster Margaret Belcher John M Cheatham Ronnie Simpson Under new management county hospital is thriving against all odds Historic fairground gazebo demolished One year later, still no arrests in Rhoden family murders There will be trouble in River City! Monna L Fitzgerald Jesse Carrington Janice M Sowards Rhoden family members make plea for tips in Pike Co murders of loved ones Quilting – the art that’s no longer just for Grandma Young is Adams County recipient of Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Award Wenstrup recognized as Community Health Advocate Ready, set, go! 25th annual Egg Hunt draws hundreds Applicants needed for Adams County Fair Queen Humane Society encourages responsible animal ownership ACCS holds annual Science Fair Peebles Elementary names March Students of the Month Pierce fires perfect game as Peebles blanks West Union Hunters preparing for 2017 Wild Turkey Season Lady Hounds fall 12-3 at Lynchburg Dragons lose early lead, drop SHAC match up with Fayetteville, 13-6 Senior Profile: Isaiah Anderson Devils roll to big SHAC win at Ripley Despite soggy night, WUHS hosts annual Invitational Meet Celebrities for a night George F Carr Jr Teresa S Hoskins Mary B McClure Richard B Collins Randall D Fetters Former Manchester officer indicted on five counts WUHS student wins state Beta Club Secretary’s seat OVCTC students part of state competition S.R. 73 closed for culvert replacement Peebles Lions Club holds first Easter Egg Hunt Weyrich graduates with honors from Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics North Adams Elementary releases Honor Roll for Third grading Period Scholarships available from Jefferson Alumni Olympic athlete speaks at April 6 SAAM event Venture Hawks end their basketball season with a victory at WUHS Devils baseball sweeps doubleheader from Northwest Greyhounds gain SHAC split, split twinbill with East England signs with Rio Grande golf Pierce fans 16, Lady Indians blank Eastern Brown 4-0 Maybe somebody on the river does have a plan Senior Profile: Ryan Dryden Enjoying the view Still a time for celebration Carl R Brown Lena R Staggs Adams County Crews Schedule Culvert Replacement Projects Merlan Shoemaker Dwayne E Thompson Help is on the line! West Union Elementary honors February Students of the Month WUHS hosts 2017 All-County Arts and Music Festival Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak Access Grand Opening set for April 20 Kasich cracks down on opiate-based prescriptions West Union High School students have successful trip to State Beta Convention North Adams Beta Club excels at State Convention ACRMC hosts annual Health Fair Robert H Bushman Senior Profile: Skylar Newman Nine-run inning leads Lady Hounds to run rule win over West Union WUHS foursome breaks school record First county baseball battle goes to the Greyhounds On the road, Lady Indians pick up two more SHAC victories Senior Profile: Christa Williams One more ‘shining moment’ for SHAC seniors at C103 All-Star Game Esie M Chandler Phyllis Adkins Former Manchester police deputy faces Grand Jury Indictments Cornell tosses no-hitter, Fenton goes deep, Dragons open season with 11-0 SHAC win over Whiteoak New Verizon store opening in West Union Stephen R Palmer Dual culvert replacements for SR 73 Deana P Grooms Tim Phipps Marcella Walker Alvin R Mitchum Senior Profile: Chase Darnell SHAC hoopsters shine at District 14 All-Star Game Greyhounds run rule St. Pat, 15-0 Indians drop SHAC opener West Union hosts early JH Track Meet North Adams student wins state Beta Club President’s seat Anna B Copas Charles A Nelson Nation’s #1 movie comes to stage Artectis hosts grand opening Waiting for the ax to fall, who’s to blame? WU Seniors going to State Sci. Fair Peebles Elem. releases Honor Roll Finding the strength to endure They fought for us Born and raised “free range”

The happiest days of my life

Joe was born to a mother he felt didn’t want him. His family told him that when he was born that his mother ordered the hospital staff to, “Get him away from me.” Joe commented, “She had children but didn’t want children. She treated children okay but she never really liked them.”

Joe admitted that he was different as a child. “I was sensitive, baby-faced and weak from rheumatic fever.” Joe also suffered from chronic mental illness, Bipolar Disorder, also known as Manic Depression. He experienced multiple psychiatric hospitalizations during exacerbations of his illness. (For those interested in better understanding Bipolar Disorder/Manic Depression, I suggest you read “An Unquiet Mind” and other books by Kay Redfield Jamison.)

Joe was artistic and creative, as many people with bipolar disorder, “manic-depression” are. Kay Redfield Jamison elaborates on this in her book, “Manic Depression and the Artistic Temperament: Touched by Fire.”

Joe declared, “My mind has been my best friend and my worst enemy.” He shared how he’d been ridiculed and rejected all his life for being different and stated, “I always wanted to be wanted, but I settled for being needed. So I’ve always tried to make myself needed and I went overboard trying to please others.”

When I met Joe he was in his late sixties. He’d been residing in a nursing home for a couple of months and had been battling cancer for two years. As Joe reflected on his illness it was as if a light came on and he concluded, “But do you know what? The last two years have been the happiest years of my life.”

I asked why and Joe replied, “You know, I’ve really never thought about it.” But after pondering for a while he surmised, “I think it’s because, for the past two years, I’ve been surrounded by a group of people who have accepted me for who I am instead of trying to change me. They pointed out my strengths and encouraged me to use them, and I did.”

Joe really isn’t that different, is he? Tim Keller, pastor and contemporary Christian author wrote, “Man is in search of redemption.” (“Counterfeit Gods”). We all want to be wanted and accepted for who we are, don’t we? We’re all searching for a sense of worth and significance. Joe finally found it in the hearts of his friends.

Emotional and psychological insults, injuries and rejection, especially during our childhoods, can lead us to live with a vengeance, with a goal of vindicating and redeeming ourselves. But self vindication and redemption are only illusions, because as Jesus said, “No one is good but One, and that is God” (Matthew 19:17). So I ask you, where does that leave the rest of us, including me and you? It leaves us in need of a redeemer.

So if you’re tired of living with a vengeance, if you’ve been shouldering the impossible burden of self redemption, I encourage you to turn to the “The Redeemer.” The days you spend loving and following Him will be the happiest days of your life. Jesus invites us: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28 – 30)

Loren Hardin is a social worker for Southern Ohio Medical Center Hospice and can be reached by email at hardinl@somc.org.

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Straight Paths

Loren Hardin

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