Mabel Chamblin Michael R Jones Marie I Simmons Ray Johnson One thing to remember this President’s Day Adams County Deer Harvest down over 21% MLSD amends five-year budget, prepares for future with power plant closings Lady Dragons triumph in sectional opener Lady Hounds eighth graders capture SHAC Tournament title Gary L Fetters Sr Boys Sectional brackets released ‘We’re only as good as the way we treat others’ Another round of smiles Adams County Board of DD members recognized Terry L Unger 8th Grade Lady Devils ousted in tourney semis WU’s McCarty signs with Ohio Christian Joyce A Huddleson Carolyn Spires BREAKING NEWS: Peebles police search for man accused of selling marijuana-laced sweets Decision Time BBN Senior Profile: Summer Grundy Lady Devils fall to Southeastern, 56-48 Devils outlast Manchester 47-44 in double overtime Peebles holds second Hall of Fame Ceremony Senior Profile: Patrick England Sowards hits 1,000, ties PHS three-point mark County agencies prepare for sweeping budget cuts Manchester Council votes to cut police chief’s hours Wrestling debuts in Adams County Peebles Library hosts book signing As plants power down, community must step up Raymond P Dryden Alva Palmer Billie L Shoemaker Judith Long Brent A Arn Girls basketball sectional pairings announced WU’s Weeks will continue gridiron career at next level West Union JH Boys drop pair at Ripley Eighth Grade Lady Hounds roll into SHAC semi-finals Janet A Kennedy DP&L moving ahead with plans to close power plants Outreach Center in Peebles is a hub of giving River Sweep contest winners announced Gordley hits 1,000 mark, but Indians drop crucial SHAC contest to Lynchburg Manchester lifters compete at Piketon Senior Profile: Madelyn Sanders Charles L Hurd Randy Casto Bobby Strunk Dorothy J Scott Chester A Lanter Coach David Smalley picks up 500th career win at Rio Grande Dustin Holbrook Senior Profile: Camron Gordley As usual, optimism abounds on 2017 Reds Caravan Breeze, Beasley newest members of NAHS Athletic HOF Two humble men Adams County Manor Home Health Care makes road to recovery easier Don and Venita Bowles named as Outstanding Fair Supporters ‘Tip off For Tammy’ is a huge success, joint effort by two schools Husted campaign makes stop in Peebles Benefit held for double-lung transplant recipient I loved that muddy water, building in the creek Margaret E Broughton Larry A Hanson DP&L press release confirms closing of power plants Eighth grade girls showdown lives up to hype, North Adams wins in overtime, 45-43 Senior Profile: Raeanna Stamm North Adams Football sign-ups coming soon North Adams JV girls go 11-4 with win over Peebles Harper wins MaxPreps/JJHuddle Athlete of the Week West Union duo headed to the college gridiron Lady Devils make it 11 straight with win at Peebles Adams County residents attend Trump Inauguration A Look back at our Archives Peebles native comes home to film documentary Ohio Valley Wrestling Cub hosting home match on Jan. 31 Ruth A Branscome Velma Hughes Carol L Lewis Betty L Greiner Devils top New Boston 63-53 in finale of Coach Young Classic Lady Devils rout Eastern Pike in Young Classic Indians bounce back with 67-59 win over East OHSAA Baseball Pitch Count Regulation approved for 2017 At the buzzer, Rothwell gives Dragons an overtime win Greyhounds fall to Portsmouth Lady Indians roll past West Union 80-29 From Division II to the Senior Bowl COSI On Wheels visits West Union Elementary News from the Peebles PTO NAJH Basketball hosting ‘Play For The Cure’ Jan. 28 North Adams Elementary recognizes Students and Staff Members of the Month for December Honoring a coaching legend Benefit will assist double-lung transplant patient Peebles to be featured in new documentary Cleaning the stables-the worst job on the farm Wenstrup reselected to serve on House Intelligence Committee

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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2016 People's Defender