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Manchester, Georgia
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December 27, 2001     The Hogansville Herald
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December 27, 2001
 

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Opinions & Ideas THE HOGANSVILLE HOME NEWS USPS S2040 A 6rmts lialian Millard O. Grimes, President MI HAI PtmUSmR/ADvlaSmG Dm'rOR JOHN Kau. Assocta PtmUSHFMEDrrOR RoB IhCHUON ASSmTq" EDrroR JAYNE N BUSINESS MANAGER Phone (706) 846-3188. Fax (706) 846-2206 P. O. Box 426 Hogansvflle. Georgm 30230 Another Year Just Flew By It's hard to believe that we will soon be ringing in another year. Like everyone else, I've just been able to write 2001 on my checks and now I've got to begin writing 2002. Evidence that another year has flown by. This past year was one for the history books with a number of large stories around the nation. However, the one incident that will be most remembered and will go down in history is September 11. Even now, months later, we are still mourning the loses and a lit- tle worried that this might happen again. It will be well into 2002 before we really begin living life in America as we once did. However, even then we will remember September 11 and our hearts will sink as we remember those who died on that day for no reason or purpose at all. As we reflect on 2001 and begin making plans for 2002, it's easy to see how time has just flown. Much has hap- pened in personal life this past year, and a lot has hap- pened at the newspaper office. The thing that has affected me most this past year, I think, was losing two staff members and friends. Cleta Young and J. Dan Stout have been missed by myself and the entire staff. While thinking about all the things that happened in 2001, and realizing that these deaths have really had an effect on my life, I wanted to take time to remember them both, say how much they meant to me, and pass along some of the things I learned from them. Cleta is no doubt in heav- en today and the other angels are in awe of her beautiful smile. Cleta was always smil- ing. She never let things in Lord does not promise us a tomorrow, so we must live each day as if it were our last." most about him. He always had something witty to say and, although he had kind of a dry sense of humor, he was very comical. He liked mak- ing people laugh. He told me one time that when other peo- ple laughed, no matter what was bothering him, it made him feel better. Dan was a good friend as well. You could ask ham to do anything and he was always willing to help. Even if you didn't ask, he would volunteer to "help out." Dan was not one to com- plain. Just days before his passing, although he was not feeling well, he never com- plained. He went about his everyday life like always, making other laugh. I have a drawing at home Dan did of my grandson for me last Christmas. It will always serve as a reminder of his friendship. Another resolu- tion for 2002, try and be more like Dan and keep the world laughing. So, as 2002 begins with it comes closure for 2001. While 2001 has left us with some pretty painful memo- ries, it has taught us some pretty valuable lessons as well. With the September 11 her personal life affect how tragedies and the passing of she was viewed by others) mytwo friends, there is one When she was going through thing that I know to be true. a rough time, she would still ' The Lord does not prom- greet you with a.smile. She iusatomorrow, sowemust gave the best hugs. I had to have one of her hugs a week just to keep going. Cletaloved people and always found something good to say about everyone she knew. The fact is, she was the kindest, most caring and nurtering pgrsons I've ever met. One of my res- olutions for 2002 is to be more. like Cleta. I want to meet the " world head-on every day with smile on my face and joy and peace in my heart, just like Cleta Young. J. Dan was comedian. That's what I'll remember liveach day as if it were our last3.\\;We must cherish fami- ly, fr" iends and all the mem- ories that go along with them. Happy New Year to everyone. It is my hope that when I write my column for 2003, we will have happier memories to write about. Heck, I just hope that I have a column in January 2003. If I do, that means the Lord has seen fit to allow me survive another year, keep my health and most importantly, my job. See yall in 2002. 'IMI,- HOGAr.iSVIL HOME NEWS is published weekly by the Star-Mercury Publishing Company, a division of Grimes Publicatiolas, at 3051 Roosevelt Highway, Manchester, Georgia 31816, USPS 6204)40, Subscription rates by mail: $18 in Troup, Harris or Meriwether Counties; $26 a year elsewhere, Prices include all sales taxes. Periodical postage paid at Hogansville, Georgia 30230. FoR su'mgnor cMI (706) 846-3188 or write to Circulation Manager, Star Mercu D' Publications, P. O. Box 426, Manchester, Georgia 31816. PIMg,'TI: Send address changes to P. O. Box 426, Hogansvil!e, GA 30230. STr Publisher and Advertising Director ............................................................... Mike Hale Assttale Pubhsher and Editor ........................................................... John Kuykendall Business Manager ................................................................................ Jayne Goldston Assistam Editor ...................................................................................... Rob Richardson Staff Writers .......................................................................... Bryan Geter, Billy Bryant Assistant Advertising Manager. ................................................................. Laurie Lewis Advertising Sales ........................................................................................ Linda Lester Comtxing ........................................................................ Vaiinda lvery. Lauren King Legals ...................................................................................................... Jayne Goldston lssman .......................................................................................... Wayne Grochow,i Pressrtxm .......................................................................... David Boggs, Larry Colleges Coax Omc-xHs Preside, nt ............................................................................................. Millard B. Grinms j,. \\;tce President .................................................................................. Charlotte S. Grimes Sretary .......................................................................................... Laura Grimes Cofer Treasurer. ...................................................................................... Kathy Grimes Garrett Legal Counsel and Assistant Secretary .............................................. .James S. Grimes PAGE 4 - HOGANSVII2 HOME NEWS - DEC. 27, 2001 We Preach Our Own Funerals I went to a funeral serv- ice recently in Ashburn for one of our longtime employ- ees, Austin Saxon. Austin had worked for us almost 20 years and had been associ- ated with the Wiregrass Farmer for more than 50 years. He loved his news- paper, his friends, his com- munity and his church. Austin was a newspaper editor from the "old school." He could write hard news, features, sports, editorials, you name it. One year in Georgia Press Association competition he won first place for his personal col- umn in both the humorous and serious categories. One request Austin had when planning his funeral was that he be buried with a Wiregrass Farmer in one hand and a reporter's note- book in the other. That request was fulfilled. Austin was a Methodist. He taught Sunday School for years at First Methodist Church, and was also a leader in the MYF for about as many years. The Sunday School class he taught was named in his honor. Those in the church who had either been in Austin's Sunday School class or MYF group were asked to stand and it seemed that half of the packed sanctuary rose to their feet. Another request of Austin's was that his pastor "preach" during his serv- ice. Let me tell you, that Methodist preacher sound- ed like a Southern Baptist preacher as he laid out the plan of salvation for all those present. While driving back home after the service, I told myself that there must be a lesson to be learned from such a beautiful funer- al. And I am sad to say, there is a lesson to be learned, a parallel to be drawn. The lesson to be learned is that the only time a lot of people will consider Christ is at a funeral, at the pass- ing of a loved one. Then they want some poor ole preacher to stand and say some appropriate words over the dearly departed. And the preach- er is wanting to tell them that ole heathen busted Hell wide open and if they don't change, that's where they're going. Furthermore, the "We "fix the story ourselves. As the tree falls there must it lay." preacher wants to suggest to the family that they get the bartender to say a few words over their loved one, for the bartender knew him far better than he did. Rev. Bob Laws said at an evangelism conference sev- eral years ago that he was asked one day if he would conduct the funeral of a young man who had recent- ly passed away. The family had asked if they could have the funeral at the church. Brother Laws asked the family if the young man was a member of the church. The family replied, "No." He asked the family if the young man was a Christian. The family again replied, "No." Brother Laws then asked the family, "Well, why do y'all want to make him miserable by taking him in death where he did not want to go in life?" I think Brother Laws was a little bold in what he said, but I can understand where he was coming from. I would bet that he con- ducted the service, and that his sermon was on salva- tion. Let me close today by leaving you with this thought. Preachers do not preach funerals. But every day of our life we preach our own funeral. We "fix the story ourselves. As the tree falls there must it lay." Austin Saxon preached his own funeral by the life that he lived and the many good things he did for his community, his friends, his church, and for God's Kingdom. And you better believe we are doing the same. Happy Holidays! l! Curing After-Christmas Blues One of the most popular songs at Christmas time says, "It is the most wonderful time of the year." Most people would agree to the validity of those lyrics, but if those words are so right, why do experts say the day after Christmas is probably the most depressing day of the year? We can find the reason in why people deem this the most wonderful time of year. TO THOSE who only look forward to exchanging gifts and meeting with family, the day after Christmas can be most depressing. The gifts" have been opened, the family has gone home, and all that is left is the mess to clean up. When the angel said to the shepherds, "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy," the joy was meant to last more than just one day. THE REASON a lot of people suffer from post Christmas depression, is because their joy comes from the wrong source. The happiness that comes from things is only tempo- rary, while the joy promised by the angel is permanent. The joy that only lasts as long as there are presents and family is not the joy prom- ised the shepherds in Luke 2. Real abiding joy isn't based upon things or circum- stances. THE JOY that abides in the hearts of people does not have to be driven with the wind nor does it have to be tossed like a ship upon the sea. The joy that lasts is not based upon gifts that tear up or wear out, but on someone far more reliable and valu- able. In Luke 2, the angel went on to say in verse 11, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour which is Christ the Lord." True joy is based upon "The joy that lasts is not based upon gifts that tear up or wear out, but on someone far more reliable and valuable." Jesus and not jingling bells. The joy that Jesus can bring is as real on Christmas day as the day after. The cure for the after Christmas blues is realizing it is the Christ of Christmas, which brings joy, not the cus- toms of Christmas. Real joy is not dependent upon circumstances. THIS IS a lesson that Jesus had to instiU into the hearts of his very own disci- ples. After Jesus had sent his disciples into the ities and towns to preach "the good news of the kingdom, they returned with much joy because of the power and influence they exhibited. It is in the response of Jesus to that joy that the secret of true joy can be found. Jesus said in Luke 10:20, "Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but I rather rejoice, because you(_ names are written in Heaven." True joy does not depend upon what we will get on Christmas, but true joy depends upon what we have already been given in the birth of the Christ child. I ! A Blessing You Won't Soon Forget This year the Manchester Empty Stocking helped over 250 families in the area to have a much merrier Christmas. Thanks to the vol- unteer efforts and the gen- erosity of people, churches and businesses over the tri- county area, many little chil- dren awakened with squeals of delight, as their parents smiled with happier hearts. When I lived in the Manchester area, my famfl" y and I attended West End Church. One year my pastor, Brother Bill West, asked if I would like to help with the Empty Stocking deliveries. I hesitated, and he said, "Sylvia, I know that you want to be with your family on Christmas Eve, but if you will take just a couple of hours in the morning to help, I prom- ise you a blessing you won't soon forget!" Well, that was when I was still driving my old GMC pickup, Doozy II, so how could I refuse? And also, my good neighbors, Tommy and Nell McWilliams were the coordinators back then, and I knew it would be well organ- ized. Early on Christmas Eve morning, we all met at the church. My partner and I loaded up ole Doozy II with the clothing and goodies that our church had collected, then went to the pick-up point in downtown Manchester to get the Christmas boxes and food. And we were on our way. We made several deliver- ies, and it seemed to make the people very happy, and I was feeling pretty good about helping to do this. Then when we went for our last delivery, we drove up to a small ramshackled house, and knocked on the door. When no one answered, we knocked louder and called out. A weak, but pleasant, voice answered "Come in." As we walked into the house, we entered a cold darkened room, with very little furni- ture, like a couple of chairs and a table. And from a mat- tress on the floor, a very pret- ty and very pregnant young woman raised up on her elbow and smiled at us. Standing at the window was a cute little boy of about three. He was looking out and laugh- ing at a little bird scratching in the cold ground for food in the bright sunshine. The young woman smiled at us, and - as we women will do - asked us to excuse how things looked, that she had been sick, and that her hus- band had gone out to see if he could get the electricity turned on. We explained our mission, showed her the food and told her of the wrapped gifts for her little boy. With tears in her eyes, she thanked us, say- ing, "Oh, this is so sweet. We really do appreciate it. We just ain't been able to man- age this year." We talked a lit- fie while and left. My partner and I didn't talk much on the way back to the church, but we did hug, and expressed with smiles, "Aren't we glad we did this?" Then I drove back to the pick-up point to report in. Mr. Bob Tribble was still there. He always donated one of his buildings for the volunteers to use to organize and sort out the boxes. I told Mr. Tribble of our deliveries, and especially of our last stop. I turned to leave, and he called out to me. As I turned around, he said, "Sylvia, I have a couple of extra boxes here. Two ladies wouldn't take theirs; they said to give them to somebody who needed it more." He hesitated, then grinned and said, "Do you think you can find somebody who could use it?" Could I ever! I thanked him, he put the box in my truck, and I went back to my last stop. The husband was back by now, and he was unloading a used refrigerator. He was just as receptive as his young wife had been, and thanked me profusely. They definitely could use the extra food, and this box was marked for a lady, so she had some gifts of her own now[ And I left with a smile, and in my heart, a little more thankful for my own bless- ings. Brother Bill was right. Support Local Chan'ties THIS HOLIDAY SEASON 1 i-- *(