Hope is sweet in sowing…

I broke one of my bottom-left molars a couple years ago.

But instead of taking the time to consult a dental specialist and have the necessary work done to repair the problem, I shrugged my shoulders and leaned back into the grindstone. Such things, I reasoned to myself, are luxuries for those with more disposable income and less obligations.

There was only a trifling amount of irritation and no significant blemish in my appearance. I told myself that I could perhaps look into the matter at a later date, when circumstances made it more convenient — or even more of a priority.

An ache which, at first, only existed as a mild twinge in the back corner of my consciousness eventually became a rare but insistent interruption … especially when I would bite off more than I could chew.

In the last year or so, the problem has only become more apparent. The tooth has taken on an increasingly bruised discoloration and even the most incidental contact would send the synapses in my brain firing on all cylinders.

When I paid a visit to the emergency room Monday afternoon (after nearly passing out from how severe the pain had become) one of the first things asked of me was: “So, uh, when were you going to get around to getting this taken care of?”

“Eventually…” was all the wit I could muster in the throes of my misery.

“Well, it’s eventually now,” the doctor responded.

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Stones that the Builders have refused…

Last night I had the good pleasure of spending company once again with dear brethren and fellow laborers…  it was a delight and I came away refreshed, in spite of the weariness of a long day’s toil.

My heart swells within my chest and I am rapt with wonder at what I am beholding at the hands of the Father, how He is moving…  drawing…  binding…  building.

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The Last Boy Scout

Boy Scouts of America celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

Founded by Chicago publisher W. D. Boyce in 1910 after a trip to England, based upon the ideas set forth by Lord Robert Baden Powell, the motto for which is “Be Prepared.”

Rusk County native and Eagle Scout Johnny Sproles knows a thing or two about being prepared.

During a duck hunting trip with friend and mentor C.L. Hopson in December 1953, Sproles saved the lives of two men who had fallen into the frigid waters of the river.

Hopson immediately went to get help, cautioning young Sproles to keep his eye on the men and to not enter the freezing water himself. But when one of the men went under, Sproles was prepared.

Using the training and knowledge he gained through scouting, Sproles swam out to the man and eventually saved the lives of two men.

“‘Be prepared’ means to be prepared for anything,” Sproles said. “While you never know just what life is going to send your way, scouting teaches you that, wherever you are or whatever is happening, you need to look ahead and see things through […] with time it becomes a way of life.”

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RAIL: A Potential Gamechanger?

The long-term economic impact of the Henderson/Overton branch rail line and spur to the town was the main topic of discussion during Thursday night’s regular city council meeting.

John Cloutier, board president, Rusk County Rural Rail District, spoke with council members about the District’s goal to bring new businesses and jobs to the county – and safeguard existing ones.

“We believe that the city of Overton stands to gain a considerable tool in its toolbox of economic development, especially now that we’re preparing to begin operations,” Cloutier said.

“Having such direct access to both the rail spur that leads into Henderson, as well as the main line that runs the length of town, there’s no reason why Overton shouldn’t be able to bring companies and workers here […] the potential is limitless.”

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“…could I but teach the hundredth part…”

This weekend brings another holiday, the day set aside in our culture both to honor those fathers amongst us, as well as those fathers that came before us.

Not too many people of my generation are aware of this but it took an act of Congress to get Fathers Day recognized as a national holiday. Literally.

Despite the efforts of three U.S. presidents (Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge and Lyndon Johnson) over the course of more than 50 years, it was not until Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972 that Fathers Day became a national holiday.

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Overton Bluegrass Festival 2010

The 22nd annual Overton Bluegrass & Gospel Music Festival brought out one of the highest turnouts in event history, with more than 2,000 people participating over the weekend, festival committee chairman Don Eaves said.

Attendees traveled from as far away as Florida and Oregon to hear national touring artists The Lonesome River Band, Charlie Sizemore, Newfound Road, The Donna Hughes Band, Pine Mountain Railroad, as well as popular Texas bands Hickory Hill, Bowles Creek, Blue River and The Bluegrass Solution.

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The High Cost of Justice

The murder trial of Blaine Keith Milam was a monumental event for Rusk County citizens.

Milam, 20, was convicted of capital murder May 17 for killing 13-month-old Amora Carson, the daughter of his girlfriend, Jessica Carson. Milam, who was charged in December 2008, was convicted and sentenced to death last month.

While taxpayer costs, after more than a year’s span of time invested by local law enforcement agencies, have not yet been determined, the case has left a major imprint on this county of 47,372 people.

Nowhere is the emotional toll felt more than by those most directly involved, not least of which being the presiding judge.

State 4th District Judge J. Clay Gossett said that while attorneys, jury members and other staffers were working full-time at the Milam capital murder trial in Montgomery County, there were still responsibilities to be taken care of closer to home.

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