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I read a blog recently and the 22 year old blogger requested readers write a letter offering advice to the younger you, a 20 year old you. I tried to think of how many times I’ve heard people, my dad in particular, say, “If only I could go back and do this (or that or the other thing) differently my life would be better.” We’ve all said it. But most of us, if given the chance wouldn’t take it. Because we know that cutting out some of the poor choices, embarrassing moments or just plain awful experiences of life would most likely mean cutting out the breathtaking, lesson learning and indescribable moments as well. 

The reason the blogger made this request of readers was so that she and other 20 something’s might learn more about the bumpy road us older folk had already traveled. 

So just for the heck of it, here’s a letter to my 20 year old self. 

Dearest Becky,

Start wearing sunscreen. You’ll be glad you did. When you hit 30, those cute little freckles are referred to as ‘age spots.’ 

If the opportunity comes along to travel cross country and live on the west coast for a few months, take it. Don’t think about it so much before you finally say yes. You might be a little lonely at first since you’ve never lived alone but trust me; you dodged a bullet by not moving in with that girl from Nevada! On your way back to Tennessee with your little sister, make a stop in the Grand Canyon and take a lot of pictures.

Stop obsessing about your weight for crying out loud! And stop buying fat free cookies. They’re disgusting and you just let them go bad! You’ll learn one day that the female body is capable of doing some amazing things that have absolutely nothing to do with weight or cup size.

Don’t be afraid of embracing your uniqueness. Being different is one of the things that make you so uniquely you. Finding humor under the most unusual circumstances is a good quality that will serve you well. 

Don’t agree with someone just because you’re afraid they won’t like you. The right people respect you more when you give your concerns a voice.    

SAVE YOUR MONEY! 

Volunteer as much as possible. Not enough people your age do this.

Don’t let the false teachings of a certain religion keep you from getting to know God. He’s pretty cool and loves everyone no matter what they look like, how much money they have or what person they fall in love with.  

Believe it or not, you’re going to get married. I’m not even going to spoil the surprise. Let me just tell you this, he’s closer than you think and yes, you’ve met him. He’s a keeper. He knows you better than anyone and your abnormally large big toe doesn’t bother him at all. He loves you because of- not in spite- of all your little idiosyncrasies.

Visit your mother more and don’t ignore her phone calls. You may think she doesn’t really have anything important to say but trust me one day you’ll look back and wish you could hear her talk about how she didn’t ever think you would stop sucking your thumb. You’ll be glad she taught you the importance of washing down a doughnut, brownie or piece of cake with a Diet Dr. Pepper. You’re more like her than you think. Where do you think you got that wicked sense of humor? Ask her more questions. She has a lot of stories to tell.  Your children will want to know all about their Nanny. 

I probably shocked you with the “C” word. I know you think you don’t want children. I know you think after being raised in houseful of kids in a mildly dysfunctional home, you just want your adulthood to be quiet and clean and all about you and your job. You’ll enjoy that… for a while. But then one day, dear one, if you do find yourself wiping snotty noses, potty training, helping your son with his homework or listening to that son say his prayers at night, on that day you’ll know that just because you might not be where you thought you’d be at 35 years old, you are exactly where you were meant to be.

To reach the 35 year old Becky Andrews email her, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Posted by on in Reflections From An Old Friend

One of my favorite quotes is: Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. How true! And sense that’s the case, from this point forward, I am asking everyone to try their very best at doing unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

One example includes littering. Littering costs everyone. It takes a toll on our resources, our property values, our wallets, and is an insult to our great community and country. Littering is simply passing the buck. When you pass the buck, the rest of us are left with the bill, the bill of cleaning up the mess left behind. 

Another example is respect: Respect is when you speak kindly of others or say nothing at all, respect is when you open a door for your wife, family member or a complete stranger who has their hands full, respect is when you don’t endanger the lives of others by driving under the influence, speeding, tailgating, respect is not telling lies, cheating, hurting, murdering and so on. 

Life is so very short when you really think about it. We all have hurts, sorrows, worries, highs, lows, concerns, deadlines, aggravations and feelings that can be offended, hurt or damaged. With that being the case, let’s all start being more civil, kind, understanding, forgiving, helpful and loving to one another.

In closing, nothing is ever accomplished without sincere effort and a positive attitude. Good will always prevails over indifference and divisiveness. Please do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

Kenny Martin

754-2552

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Posted by on in Religion

In Mark 11:22, Jesus tells his disciples to, …. “Have faith in God.”  Another translation of that verse says to have the God kind of faith.  In Hebrews 10:38 the Word instructs us to “…live by faith…”  Then in chapter 11 and verse 6 of that same book it says that, “… without faith it is impossible to please Him.  …”

From these three verses one can see that faith is important in the life of a believer and that it involves more than our just believing that there is a God.  Jesus said we are to have the faith of God.   In Hebrews we see we are to live by this faith and in so doing be pleasing to Him.  Then it is important to me as a believer to know three things.  One, what is the God kind of faith?  Two, how do I obtain this faith? and three, how do I use this faith so that I can live by it and be pleasing to God?  Let’s look at each one of these from the scriptures.

First, in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus went on to explain what the God kind of faith was in verses 23 and 24 of the eleventh chapter.  From the New King James version it says, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.  Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them.”  Jesus was teaching his disciples here that this kind of faith says with the mouth what is believed in the heart.  This is done both by speaking to a situation or circumstance in our lives (represented by the word mountain in this verse) or as we pray to believe that we receive from God that which we are praying for and we shall have it.  Again, it is by saying or praying what we believe in our hearts and this is the God kind of faith.  Second, the Word tells us that faith, the God kind, comes to us by hearing and hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).   Thirdly, faith is an act.  It is always released in the life of a believer by what we say and what we do.  James 2:20 reads “…that faith without works is dead.”  The word works here means corresponding action and the word dead means useless.  So faith in God is useless in my life unless I have actions that are in line with what I say I believe.  When I live in this way then I am pleasing to God and I have the Faith of God operating in my life.

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Have you ever wished you were someone else? If you have, you aren’t alone and you shouldn’t. We are all who we are and that is what makes each of us so special. If we all looked alike, acted alike, dressed alike and sounded alike, life would be dull and boring. 

For example, there may be times in our lives when we feel as if we are complete failures. Please don’t fret; this feeling is natural and it happens to almost everyone. We all go through what are called peaks and valleys in our lifetime. Think about it, one of our natural human tendencies is to be hard on ourselves. We are not built to go around bragging about what we do and how great and wonderful we are. We don’t normally go around going look how tall, handsome, smart and fast I am. As a matter of fact, if we did that, most people would either laugh at us or refuse to have anything to do with us. As a result of being hard on ourselves, we can sometimes be guilty of hurting our very own self esteem, which can then make us feel downright miserable at times. We have all felt at some point that we weren’t tall enough, thin enough, smart enough or pretty enough. Which begs the question; who are the so called experts when it comes to what is smart, tall, thin and pretty and how do you become an expert in these fields? Is there a college or school you attend for this? I know that it’s certainly not the media, magazines and television shows that we should be learning this from. 

So here’s the deal. Life isn’t easy. We all know that? However, we can not make life any harder for ourselves than it already is. Please remember that God doesn’t make any junk. We need to have more pride in ourselves. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying I’m a great dad, husband, father, worker, Christian and so on. There is also nothing wrong with bragging on those around you and giving credit where credit is due. We all love to be bragged on. 

In closing, please remember that we are all survivors. We all have worries, trials, tribulations, highs and lows. That is just part of life and that will never change. So please keep your chin up, take more pride in who you are and never forget that God doesn’t make any Junk.

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I wanted to take a moment to thank all the wonderful residents of the great City of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee for your efforts in making our city one of the finest in the nation. 

I have watched our city blossom from a small rural community to a cutting edge city. Not a day of the week goes by that I don’t find more and more reasons to love our great city. Watching the residents of Mt. Juliet and their commitment to this community and their neighbors is awesome. It truly shows the power of teamwork, love for community, your neighbors, our country and passion for doing for other before yourself. I have fortunately been a part of this city for many years now and couldn’t be more proud to call it my home.

Sure, we have our own share of problems, but the way we handle our problems is yet another reason why we are unique. During tough times our city and residents have stood strong and looked for ways to prosper and grow. 

They say attitude is a big part of what makes a person or community stand the test of time and prosper. Well, I think our attitude speaks for itself. Our attitude is hard work, dedication, teamwork, diligence, love for your neighbor and taking pride in your community.

Call this article cheesy, over the top or mushy if you will, but it’s true. I think there is good in giving credit where credit is due and I wanted to take time to tell each of you how proud I am of you and our community. With that in mind please keep up the great work. We will need to stay diligent in our efforts.

So please continue to support your neighbors, your local businesses and Mt. Juliet.  So when you look in the mirror next time please know your efforts in making our community a better place is working and without you we couldn’t do it. Keep up the great work my friends. 

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Posted by on in Religion

I had never bought crickets before.

I decided to take a half day off last Thursday. Ory and I headed out to Ray and Linda’s to do some fishing. On our way to the lake, Ray called and asked me to pick up some crickets to use as bait.  

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Posted by on in Religion

The 4th of July is a day when we think about the power of freedom.  As Americans we experience every day the benefits of freedom, but the 4th gives us opportunity to pause and reflect upon the freedoms we enjoy. 

The 4th of July and other holidays give us the chance for much needed rest, recreation, and time with our families.  We cook out, shoot fireworks, and play in the pool on a day when we usually would be working.  I have often wondered, though, what would be the best way to thank and be thankful for those who serve to make this freedom possible?

Recently I asked some of my church members who serve in the military what they would desire for us to do on these set aside days of patriotism.  On a day when we say we want to acknowledge and thank those in the military, what would they want us to do?  One former Marine said, “take time to thank someone who is serving or has served.”  Another active Army officer said that we “should take time to thank God.”  Another I asked was the father of a soldier who died in combat.  He said, “remember that each man and woman who serves is someone’s son or daughter.”  

I am thankful for my opportunity to write regularly in this section of the Chronicle.  This week I would like to take this advice that I received from my friends and say thank you.  Thank you to the men and women who are away from their families this 4th of July so that I can enjoy the freedom of being with my family.  Thank you to the dads and moms who miss their sons and daughters while I get the opportunity to be with mine.  Thank you for the sacrifices you have made and are making so life can be better for many.  I thank God for you and your courageous decision to serve your country in an honorable way.  

We thank God for you and pray for you today.  

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Posted by on in Reflections From An Old Friend

With summer now upon us and temperatures in the triple digits, there is no time like the present to remind everyone of the importance of not leaving any child, senior citizen or pet unattended in an automobile. There have been countless deaths and injuries all across or nation and these all could have been avoided. Temperatures inside an automobile can reach temperatures up to 140 degrees and higher in a matter of minutes.

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Posted by on in Religion

One day Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee when He came upon two brothers, Peter and Andrew, who were fishermen, casting their nets into the water. He issued a call to them that if they would leave their nets and follow Him, He would teach them how to become fishers of men. Nearby, He saw James and John, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He issued the same call to them as He had Peter and Andrew. All four immediately left their nets behind (and in the case of James and John, their father as well) and began to follow Jesus.

While it might appear so upon first examination, this was not their first encounter with this amazing man. Approximately one year earlier, these gentlemen had met the Savior. When John the Baptist identified Jesus as the Lamb of God, Andrew, Peter, and John followed Jesus home and spent the day with Him. We are not told how much time the brothers spent with our Lord, but it was significant enough for them to have an immediate response to His call. One would not expect a man to immediately, without warning or explanation, leave everything behind and follow someone, unless they already knew something about that someone.

I recall this story to make this point. There is a difference between knowing and following Jesus. These men had known Him for approximately a year, and yet it wasn’t until the moment Jesus issued the call by the sea that they actually began to follow Him. It is good to know Jesus…it is better to follow Him. Following the Messiah meant they would need to leave that which was familiar and comfortable to them. They had to leave behind what had worked for them in the past and what they had grown up with. We do the same thing when we choose to follow Jesus in total discipleship and give our lives to serve Him and His kingdom.

I ask you, are you following Jesus, or are you satisfied with simply knowing Him or knowing about Him? Is God an important part of your life? Then you know Him, but you are most likely not following Him. God can’t be an important part of your life – He must be all of your life. Another sign of knowing but not following is when you are satisfied with just attending church, but not being the church in the earth. Jesus identified the conditions of following Him when He said, “deny yourself and follow Me.” Give yourself totally to Him today, leave your nets behind, and your great adventure will be underway.

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Posted by on in Guest Columns

“Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer”! 

Great things are on the calendar for the next three months at the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center starting with the annual Membership Drive. 

Beginning July 1, every member will receive a Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center T-shirt when they sign up. 

Dues are still just $20 per person, per year and almost all programs are free or low cost!

Are you a worker bee? 

There are plenty of volunteer committees and projects. 

From the “Let’s Build a Park” committee to special event committees. 

We need you!

Are your funds limited and a vacation is out of the question? 

July is packed full of activities from music and art to socials and games. 

There are day trips and even a trip to San Antonio this fall. 

There is never a dull moment at your senior center. 

Whether it’s exercise, learning a new skill or just relaxing with a game of cards or bingo….you are sure to have a good time on any given day.  

Spend the summer with us at the place, “where friends meet”.

For more information on programs, events, volunteering, sponsorships or membership call: (615) 758-9114

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Posted by on in Reflections From An Old Friend

Even no older than I am, I can remember when folks spoke to one another as they passed on the streets, waived at complete strangers as they drove down the road, opened doors for the ladies or offered them a chair when none were available and just had respect for one another. Oh how times have changed, and not necessarily for the better. Now if you throw your hand up and wave at a passing motorists you might just get a bit of road rage directed your way, or even have someone mistake your kind gesture as an inappropriate hand gesture, thus, receiving one in return. 

Don’t get me wrong; there are still lots of great people who do lots of good deeds. The problem is, that number seems to be dwindling. And from all accounts, there is no apparent reason for the reduction to be found. As a small boy I can remember more yes sirs and no sirs, yes ma’am and no ma’am, please, pardon me and excuse me. Now we seem to hear huh, what, and what about me more and more.

There was nothing wrong with sitting on your front porch. We knew our neighbors and they knew us. All you needed to seal a deal was a person’s word and a handshake. Now instead of sitting on our front porch so we can see our neighbors, get to know them and see what’s going on in our communities, we sit behind our house on a thing called a deck or patio surrounded with a six foot privacy fence. And for the most part, we might know a couple of our neighbors. Also, in order to seal a deal today we need four attorneys, a notary public and a witness. Oh, how I miss the good ole days.  

If clothes, music, fashion, dance styles, cars and hairstyles can come back in style, so can the manners and innocence of the good ole days. We have the best country in the world and we didn’t get that way by accident. Let’s bring back a little bit of yesteryear by having more house warming events, block parties, patience and getting to know our neighbors. Who knows, we might just make another friend or two if we try. God Bless the U.S.A.    

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Posted by on in Religion

The average American likes new things.  If it says new on it then it greatly interests us.  Sometimes we feel that certain new things will be the answer to problems we are experiencing in our lives or will give us the good feelings for which we are desperately searching.  We are even willing to go into tremendous debt to have new things.  Someone has said that when we buy a new home in the suburbs, by the time we pay it off, it is not a home in the suburbs any longer.

How many people do not want a new car, a new house, a new and better job, or better yet, how about stacks and stacks of new money!?

One of the catch-phrases that has become part of our culture and catches our attention is:  “New and improved”.  I have never understood this phrase.  If it is “new” then it could not have been improved.  If it is “improved” then it could not be new.  Yet we continue to use it.

God likes new things.  He doesn’t just improve them.  He makes them brand new!  Here is what He has promised us for the future. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.  Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.”  (Revelation 5:1,5)

But new things from God are not just for the future.  He makes things new now!  Most importantly, He makes people new!  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”  (2 Corinthians 5:17)  

A person who trusts Jesus is not the same person refreshed or renovated, but he is a new creation with a new family, new future, new values, new possessions, new passion, and a new way of life that arises from the transforming Spirit of God now living in him!

New things can be costly.  These are new things that could not be bought with any amount of new money, but could only be purchased with the blood of Christ.  “For you were bought at a price . . .” (1 Corinthians 6:20a) He paid a price we could not pay for things we need but could not have – except through Him.

You can experience new life in Christ today!  Trust Him to make all things new!

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Life brings lots of both easy and tough decisions and choices. Some decisions are very easy to make and can be made without much thought, while other decisions require lots of thought, examination and questioning. What we choose to do or not do for the most part is up to the individual. For example: A criminal can decide to go straight and stop being a criminal. An intoxicated person can decide to call a cab and not drink and drive. Such simple decisions based on easy to understand right and wrong choices that really shouldn’t require much thought at all. Stealing, committing crimes or drinking and driving should be very easy decisions to make. Simply don’t do it!

Doing the right thing is something most of us are taught as children. However, some children because of harsh and misleading influences and upbringings, are led astray from the get go. But, that still doesn’t excuse wrongdoings and criminal behavior. We are still responsible for who we are and who we become. It doesn’t take rocket science to realize right from wrong. There are plenty of people around us at all times to give us good examples of the right thing. Using the excuse, “I was exposed to this or that” will not cut it, nor, should it be a cop out, loophole or excuse for being responsible for ones actions. 

Decisions are not always ours. We can’t control the temperature, weather, clouds and season, but we can control our attitudes. An attitude can be what you make it. It’s sort of like a home; your home can be modest and clean or extravagant and dirty, it’s your choice. Attitude is entirely up to you. Each day can be perceived as a gift or as a burden. It’s your call. I personally awake each day and thank God for allowing me another day with the people I love. Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time.

A small house is a castle to the man who lives in a cardboard box on the street. A rainy day to a farmer can at times be a blessing, while at other times a burden. Attitude is everything. Life is what you make it. As mentioned many times before, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade, not excuses.

You can either control your attitude and actions or your attitude and actions will control you. Maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve had. 

In closing, Attitude is everything, please make the right decisions in life and all will be well.

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Have you ever really thought about the health benefits of smiling and laughing? 

There’s one thing for sure, smiling and laughing is a lot more fun and healthier than frowning and fussing.

With that in mind, I would like to encourage more smiling and laughter in our community. 

You may ask yourself, what in the world does smiling and laughing have to do with better health? 

Well, for starters it will definitely make you feel and look better. 

Many medical studies have proven that smiling and laughing is good for your overall health.

Laughing is one of the finest, most economical and easy to practice anti-stress measures. 

Laughter relaxes muscles, expands bloods vessels and sends more blood to the extremities and other muscles all over the body. 

Laughing reduces the level of stress hormones and increases endorphins in our bodies which is a natural pain killer.

Laughter also increases the overall immune system which helps to fend off illnesses and viruses. 

When you’re overrun by stress and don’t take time to smile and laugh you can actually lose the ability or forget how to laugh. 

Imagine for just one moment how tragic that would be. 

As you can tell, smiling and laughing is very good and beneficial to your health and overall attitude.

As the old saying goes, it takes much more energy to frown than it does to smile. 

Our bodies endure enough natural stress by themselves without us adding more through failure to smile and laugh. 

Smiling and laughing is an all natural way to improve ones health and reduce overall stress levels in the body. 

So please do yourself and your health a big favor and smile and laugh every chance you get.

In closing, smiling and laughing is also contagious and is one of the few things you can get and share for free. 

You deserve to be happy, so laugh and smile every chance you get.  

Sincerely, 

Kenny Martin

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Posted by on in Guest Columns

Are you a senior aged 55 or older, newly retired, new to our area or just looking for new friendships and opportunities to learn something new? 

There is something for everyone at the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center.

The mission of the Mt. Juliet Senior Activity Center is to provide a place for older adults to gather for social, educational and recreational activities and to alleviate isolation and loneliness among the elderly. 

Over 80 programs and events are currently offered in Arts & Crafts, Drama & Music, Recreation, Education, Wellness, Socials, Special Events and Community Services. 

Membership is just $20 per year for adults 55 and older. 

The very active center is the heartbeat of the city. 

It is embraced by our community’s service clubs, volunteer groups, businesses, churches, schools and families. 

Many activities are offered for all ages such as; the Thursday fundraiser lunch and music jam for just $5, the monthly concerts, monthly karaoke, volunteer opportunities and all special events. 

The most current volunteer community project is the creation of a Senior Serenity Park. 

The space has been cleared and the layout of the park will soon begin. 

The park will include; beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees, a water feature, a pergola, benches, a picnic table, a raised herb garden and more. 

All projects, supplies and services have been pledged and donated by the Mt. Juliet businesses, churches, service clubs and volunteers. 

All contributors will be recognized on a permanent thank you board in the park. 

If you would like to be a part of the, “Let’s build a park” committee call us today.

Stop by the center any day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Join us for a cup of coffee, a tour and a free newsletter. 

For more information call 758-9114.

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Posted by on in Guest Columns

People often ask Becky and I if we are sisters. To which Becky always responds, 

“Yes, I’m the much younger, nicer sister.”

But no, we are not sisters. (And fyi - she is older than you might think)

Becky and I met years ago when our children attended school together. As you know, there are mothers you click with and those you don’t. I knew Becky and I were going to be fast friends when one day we were chatting in the school parking lot. As she opened her van door, to let her children out, a bunch of junk just fell out. It didn’t faze her one bit, she just kept on talking…even though her child, who was standing right beside her, was now five minutes late for school.  I knew then and there she was a keeper!

Those who meet Becky instantly like her. She is always smiling, always running somewhere, always willing to give a hand or hug. I tend to be a “tad” more reserved. I think people who smile all the time are secretly insane. My goal when I wake up in the morning is to get home as soon as I possibly can. And I will go out of my way to avoid an oncoming  - public display of affection.   

And yet, Becky and I remain the best of friends.  Only problem is that for years, Becky has been trying to make me more like her. 

“Come work out with me.” 

“No. I might see someone I know.” 

“Come to a Metallica concert with me.”

“No. I might get mugged.”

“Come give me a hug.”

“No. Do we need to review our rules about ‘boundaries’ again?”

So a few weeks ago, as I was preparing for a trip, Becky arrived with some clothes for me to borrow. I perused through what she had brought. 

“No way - I can’t wear any of these. Do you really wear these hippi clothes?”  

Exasperated, she said, “You need to get out of your box!”

“Hey, I like my box. My box has a pool, tivo, unlimited caramelos and a weekly subscription to People Magazine.  People would kill to be in my box.”

Could this friendship be saved?  

“Fine, wear your usual funeral clothes. Now, let’s make up - I’m coming in for a hug - brace yourself!”  

To read more of Angel and Becky’s columns go to www.wilsonpost.com and hit Columns & Blogs. Angel Kane can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Posted by on in Religion

Someone has defined religion as man’s attempt to reach God. This is exampled in the story of the Tower of Babel. The endeavor by mankind to build a tower to reach into the heavens was met with resistance by God. Our attempts to use some physical means to reach or satisfy God are also met with resistance and leave us empty and unfulfilled.

Contrasted with this, the good news about Jesus Christ is that God became a human being and came to live among us so we could eventually live where He lives. He did this by reuniting mankind and Himself through His Son, Jesus. There may be numerous “religions” available to us, but there is only one Jesus the Son of God. And as we approach the Easter season, it is incumbent to observe that Jesus is the only leader of a “religion” who actually walked out of His grave, having come back to life after being certified as dead. Therefore we have a living hope.

The question we have to ask ourselves is, are we practicing religion or are we seeking a relationship with the living God in the form of Jesus the Son? It is an easy thing for us to get so involved in the things and works of God, that we lose sight of the God of the things and works. Jesus seeks a relationship with each and every one of us. He used the metaphor of a vine to describe to His disciples that true life comes when we reside in a communicating, personal relationship with the True Vine. And of course, He said, “I am the Vine and you are the branches.”

It is possible to get consumed with doing religious things and participating in religious activities as an attempt to legitimize ourselves to God. This was the issue with the older brother in the story Jesus told of the prodigal son. He was so occupied with trying to please his father with all the good things he was doing, he lost sight of the fact he had an inheritance from his father simply because of his relationship with him. As Johnny Lee sang many years ago, we might just be “looking for love in all the wrong places.”

So I ask you, are you hiding in the midst of your religious works, or do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Himself? Obviously, if we have a true relationship with Jesus, good works will follow. Remember we are not Christians because we do good works; we do good works because we are Christians.

Religion or relationship? Choose relationship with Jesus!

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Posted by on in Reflections From An Old Friend

Most doctors say there is about 18 inches between your heart and your head, which got me to thinking about life and the decisions we are faced with each and every day. Throughout my entire life I really never noticed or thought much about how I made my daily decisions. I just seemed to make the decision and move on. After hearing of the 18 inches between the heart and brain, I got to thinking about the process I went about when making decisions and was somewhat alarmed by my findings. Upon reflection, I immediately could think of many times when I made decisions out of anger, frustration or pure old simple haste. 

This told me the majority of time I made my decisions from the head and not the heart. The more I thought about this the more I realized how many times I had made bad decisions when I used only my head.

The more I thought about my heart the more I realized that I would always make the right decision if I used my heart over my head, or at least a combination of the two. 

For example, let’s say you are a male awaiting a table in a busy restaurant waiting area. You are sitting with your family waiting for your name to be called so that you can be seated for dinner. All around the waiting room there are many men and women standing because all of the seats are taken. As a male you were taught that when a lady is standing you offer her your seat so that she doesn’t have to stand. This is called being and gentleman and doing the right thing. One of two things will happen here. If you think with your head and not your heart you will let the lady stand and say to your self she can stand just like me, I was here first. If you are thinking with your heart over your head you will stand and offer the lady your seat. If she declines look around the room and see if there are any other ladies, senior citizens or those with disabilities and offer them your seat. If they all decline your offer then you are free to retain your seat.

The morale of this story is that if we think with our hearts instead of our heads we will do the right thing the majority of the time. 

Sincerely, 

Kenny Martin

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Posted by on in Religion

I absolutely love my ‘66 Chevy Pick Up.  It sure is “purdy!”

Not only is it “purdy”, but it purrs like a kitten.  However, as I advance in my state of mechanical know how, I have come to realize that even though my truck is huge, the smallest little issue can cause problems.  For example, brakes are really a small part of my truck, but without them, my truck does not want to stop.  Another small thing on my truck is the windshield wipers.  They seem so small, but without them, my truck does not want to drive straight – especially when it is raining outside.  

As of late, this small lid has been causing me issues.  

A lid covers the air filter, but it has a tendency to pop off because the small nut and the small metal rod -- that holds it on -- are missing.  When the lid pops off, the engine makes such loud and painful noises.  The other morning, as I was taking my son Ory to school, the small lid once again popped off and fell to the ground, and a line of cars behind me ran over it again, and again, and again.  

I almost felt sorry for it.  This small lid was once arched, but now it was as flat as a pancake.

It is amazing how small things can make such a huge difference.  Prayer and fasting are sure not small things, but at times, God’s people treat them as if they are.  

Is it any wonder why the enemy wants us distracted by petty things?

John Knox was the founder of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland. Queen Mary, the Queen of Scotland during that time period, once said that she feared the prayers of John Knox more than an army of ten thousand men.

The devil is in that same boat! 

He fears your prayers! He does not fear your pony or your new pajamas, but he fears your prayers!  He fears our prayers!

Celebrate with me today these very famous words found in 2nd Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.”

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Posted by on in Reflections From An Old Friend

Just wanted to tell all the wonderful residents of Mt. Juliet well done! Because of your efforts our sales tax numbers continue to climb. With 2012 now upon us and 2013 just around the corner I’d love to see all residents adopt a Buy and Shop Mt. Juliet Businesses First motto. With our economy seeing some tough times, there is no better time than 2012 and beyond to support your local business community by buying and shopping Mt. Juliet first. The more we spend in our own community the more our community benefits, and so do we.

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