• Barry and Jan Alsup Joyce celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary July 5. They were married in Milton at the Milton Baptist Church. They have been blessed with three children: Gretchen (Jon ) Mansfield, Matthew (Kimberly) Joyce, and Christopher (Angela) Joyce. They are the proud grandparents of 6 grandchildren: Kaitlyn, Ethan, Jackson, William, Braxton and Beckham.

  • Like a scene from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” the congregation of Pleasant View Baptist Church in Wises Landing went in convoy down to the Ohio River where they prayed and sang and witnessed the baptism of five new followers of Christ.

    On a beautiful Sunday morning following the worship service, Pastor Gregg Fisher and Deacon JR Sparkman baptized each one in the water.

    Afterwards each one received a certificate with the date recorded. 

  • This has been a crazy week and my thoughts have been scattered.

    So, here’s a scattering of things I’m thinking about this week:

    * In 2016, New York magazine ran an article on the science of disappointment. Apparently, when we have certain expectations for something good to happen, the anticipation causes our brain to produce dopamine, a feel-good hormone. And if that good thing happens, we get an extra dose of dopamine.

    But if that good thing doesn’t happen, our dopamine levels plummet.

  • I was puzzling over seed packets trying to determine what I was doing wrong. Every time my neighbor was working in his garden I felt he was mocking me with its vibrancy, I felt like throwing a rock at him in a fit of jealousy. I knew that my envy wasn’t justification for stoning him; I was simply monumentally exasperated by my horticultural mishaps.

  • Are you listening to all the white noise out there?

  • This summer my church is doing a sermon series on the beatitudes, the “blessed ares” that Jesus taught his disciples.

    He said things like, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” and “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

    “Blessed” means happy, and so to say happy are the poor, happy are the meek, happy are those who are persecuted because of righteousness – well, it doesn’t make sense.

    Or does it?

  • Several weeks ago, my pastor told a story that had people whispering, “Whoa.”

    It happened years ago when a young, pregnant woman came to our church and gave her life to Jesus.

    The baby had problems developing and had to undergo an extensive delicate surgery while still in the womb.

    Our whole church was praying and praying as this miracle unfolded in front of us.

    The baby girl was born prematurely with all kinds of physical problems and went through several more surgeries and was in the hospital for months.

  • Most people have a funny story or two about their blunders. These events are entertaining yet far between. They were humorous anecdotes to share with friends or family gatherings.

    Now imagine if you will a life plagued by unintentional physical comedy, pratfalls, verbal mishaps and the like. This is my life. It’s fortunate that I have a sense of humor. If I didn’t I would be dead of embarrassment.

  • Gregg and Mary Ann Fisher are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. The couple was married by the Rev. Richard DeBell at 7:45 p.m. on June 21, 1969. Their children are Stacy Pollock, Amy Fisher and Cassi Fisher.

  • File this under “stuff you should know” — If you visit the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, it’s highly frowned upon to take home pieces of petrified wood — and it’s illegal.

    However, that doesn’t stop people from doing it.

    Evidently, they’re not aware that these contraband souvenirs are cursed.

    As far back as the 1930s, people who pocketed these pieces of wood-turned-to-stone have reported that their sticky fingers have resulted in bad luck.


    Jefferson Community Technical College — Carrollton Campus, 1607 Hwy. 227, in Carrollton is pleased to announce the spring 2019 dean’s list for Trimble County.

    Students must maintain full-time (12 or more credit hours) status and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher to be included.

  • The recent wet, unsettled weather has caused me no end of heartache. My garden rots before my very eyes. My horses are up to their eyes in mud. The mosquitoes are the size of F-16 fighters and possess as deadly an arsenal. My sinuses are in an uproar and a particularly wicked migraine has been my faithful companion for most of this month.

  • I don’t now why I keep trying to grow a garden. I have some of the strangest mishaps known to horticulture. My gardens have produced mutated vegetables, disturbing slimy films, holes in the leaves with no insects in sight and much, much more too ghastly to name.

  • Last Saturday I went to a graduation unlike any other I’ve attended.

    No caps and gowns. No “Pomp and Circumstance.”

    Just a bunch of rag-tag kids with behavior problems.

    George Schmalstig, a local guy in the community who has spent most of his career working with juvenile offenders, heads up a nonprofit organization that takes at-risk kids and teaches them stuff they need to know to keep them from a lifetime in and out of jail.

    He uses dirt bikes to do it.

  • A few weeks ago, I was re-watching the first Marvel “Avengers” movie. They were airing it on television in preparation for the release of “Avengers: Endgame.” It was the first of the “Avengers” franchise and it was the first time all the major characters were together in one film. In one part of the film, Nick Fury has all of “the Earth’s mightiest heroes” together on an aircraft carrier to discuss their plan of action.

  • Back in 2010, on a warm Wednesday evening at a nearby lake, Minnie Sockman’s sins were washed away.

    She was 67 at the time and couldn’t remember ever being baptized, although she thought maybe she had been.

    As a kid, she was in church every Sunday, but then she took a 32-year hiatus from regular church attendance.

    When she started going again she wanted to make sure she was baptized, so, she invited a bunch of her friends to her baptism and me, the newspaper’s religion reporter.

  • I’m no expert at plumbing. Much like electricity I regard it with a mixture of dread and superstition. While I regard both entities with due respect I prefer to respect them across the room, out in the yard or through a conveniently placed window. Respect is one thing; unnecessary bodily damage quite another. I have nothing to prove in these areas and if I do I don’t care.

  • Cats are not the only animals attracted to me. I’ve diversified into reptiles. During the time I’ve walked this earth reptiles have appeared in the strangest places. I’ve poached the scaly catches of cats. Snakes have materialized in my upstairs closet and snakes have appeared on my kitchen floor.

  • A number of months ago, I hung a poster on the wall by my desk.

    The image is a flower that’s starting to bloom and the caption reads: “When you’re in a dark place, you sometimes tend to think you’ve been buried. Perhaps you’ve been planted.


    I’ve been studying that for all these months, thinking about the dark places every one of us has been in or will be in — or is in now.

    It happens to all of us who are human. We live in a fallen world, filled with dark places.

  • The writer of Hebrews 10:24-25 admonishes us “let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.”