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 Yester Years brings a touch of old to the new Merry Christmas to you all North Adams Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners Peebles High School hosts Homecoming ceremonies Children in need receive gifts at PES Adams County Manor holds annual Door Decorating Contest WUHS celebrates with numerous Christmas activities Halftime lead quickly vanishes, Dragons fall to Northwest 73-62 in Saturday night non-conference match up Tammy S Scott Oscar Hilterbrandt Neil R Swayne Beulah M Daniels McDonald’s Classic begins Dec. 27 Letters to Santa Senior Profile: Tyler Swearingen Leadership Adams donates to local outreach programs North Adams student/athletes are part of Holiday Sharing Event Senior Profile: Kylie Lucas West Union Elementary holds Academic Fair on Dec. 2 WUES holds annual Spelling Bee NAHS Art students help out the Humane Society Peebles Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners

I want to be just like Mr. Pinson

This is part two of a series about Jim Pinson and his wife, Henrietta. Jim is an 84- year old retired mail carrier who was admitted to hospice for congestive heart failure. Jim sees others through eyes of grace, mercy and respect. He thanks God for his “wonderful” children, “precious” grandchildren and great grandchildren, and for his wife,” the best woman in the world.” Jim has helped me see more clearly that, “The lamp of the body” truly is the eye and that if your eye is good, “your whole body will be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22-23).

Jim used a unique approach when he proposed to Henrietta. I think he wanted to minimize the risk of rejection. He and Henrietta recounted, “We walked over on the levee to the flood wall and I asked her to walk out on the flood wall ahead of me. When I got her out there, there was no way back but through me. So I asked her to marry me or I’d throw her in the brink.” Henrietta explained, ”I looked to the right and then to the left and the water was really swirling. I could swim, but not that good. So I agreed to marry him.”

Jim’s approach to breaking his smoking habit was also pretty unique. Jim reflected, “I smoked for 40 years, Pal Malls, the long ones. I was delivering mail to a house and a lady I knew was sitting on her front porch. She asked me, ‘Do you have a minute?’ I said, ‘Sure!’ And she said, ‘I’m really proud of my boy (age nine or 10). I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up and he told me, ‘I want to be just like Mr. Pinson.’ Jim added, “And there I was delivering mail with a cigarette in my mouth. I didn’t realize how it was working on me until I got home. I started smoking one cigarette after another in defiance and I told my wife that I didn’t think I’d go to church that night. She said that if I didn’t go that she and the kids weren’t going either. My dad always told me, ‘Don’t send your kids to church, take them to church.’ So I went to church.

I smoked a cigarette on the way. When I got to the church door I inhaled real big, flicked the cigarette out, stepped into the church and blew out the smoke. One of the deacons said, ‘Hey, you can’t do that in here!’ I told him, “There isn’t anyone in this church big enough to stop me.” Now that’s defiance, isn’t it? I wiggled in my seat all through the service. The preacher asked if there were any unspoken prayer requests and I raised my hand up. I told the Lord, ‘If you take this habit away from me I’ll never hold another cigarette in my hand.’ I’d asked before, but never in earnest, not in desperation. You have to mean it. God knows if you really mean it.”

Self-righteous, self-centered, selfishly ambitious goals are frequently not sufficient to motivate us to change. Sometimes it takes seeing how our actions affect those we love. We’re just fooling ourselves when we say, “It’s not hurting anyone but me.” All of our actions and inactions have ripple effects. And true change isn’t psychological, intellectual or even constitutional, it’s attitudinal, positional, and spiritual. That’s why King David said, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart. These, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17) and, “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” (Psalm 34: 18)

The first two steps of the “Twelve Steps” of Alcoholic’s Anonymous state, “We admitted we were powerless and “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” So if you’ve been unsuccessfully struggling to change yourself, you might consider simply and earnestly praying, “God help me!”

John Bunyan, the 17th century English writer and preacher wrote his classic book, “Pilgrims Progress” from a prison cell. He was imprisoned for 12 years simply because he refused to stop preaching the gospel. And while in prison he also wrote, “I’ve found that it’s not a bad thing to be on your knees before God with your arms around Jesus.” (“Grace Abounding to the Greatest of Sinners”) I would agree.

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

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Straight Paths

Loren Hardin

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2016 People's Defender