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The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s

The Gift of Years

By Linda H. Barnette

To have reached such an old age boggles my mind!!  It’s like crossing some invisible line that puts people in a new category of elderly. Let me assure you that 80 is nothing like 65, which is the official start of our elderly years.

My age comes as a shock because of my many medical problems through the years caused me not to have the expectation of old age. My dad died at 72 and Mother at 80, unlike some of the other ancestors who lived extraordinarily long lives.

I recall being amazed when Ted Kennedy did the eulogy for his nephew, John Kennedy, Jr, at his funeral in 1999.  One thing that stuck in my memory was the quote that follows: “He had every gift except the gift of years.” At this time I can really relate to that quote because I have been given the gift of years.

In addition to the years, I was blessed with a long teaching career, which I enjoyed.  At 93 John is still with me.  My son, his wife, and my grandson are my greatest gifts as are my very special friends and cousins.

In these last few years, I have developed hobbies such as writing and genealogy, and I still read several books each week. My volunteer work at the library is fulfilling as are my writing groups and the friends who are in those groups. I am very thankful for the modern technology that allows me to keep in touch with others.

In retrospect, there have been many, many blessings in my 80 years, and I am thankful for all of them.  God is good.

Bighorn Sheep

By N.R. Tucker

I’ve always wanted to capture a picture of bighorn sheep in the wild. Though I’ve hiked extensively in the western states, my only physical encounter occurred in the neighborhood behind my office in Colorado. These were wild bighorns, but not really. The herd occasionally passed through the area, and I would see them when I walked at lunch. They were accustomed to humans and wouldn’t charge unless you did something to draw their attention. The sheep lay on or near a walking trail when resting. I suspect anyone who bothered the herd discovered that a 300-pound sheep with massive circular horns did not impact the body with the gentle plop of a nerf ball. While I don’t remember anyone in the local news suffering from such a headbutt, I suspect anyone foolish enough to garner their attention was too ashamed to admit to it. This was before cell phones with cameras and social media took over our lives, so the foolish were spared public embarrassment.

Yellowstone is considered one of the most accessible places to see bighorns as well as other wildlife. Four times I hiked in Yellowstone and never saw a bighorn. Grizzlies, moose, bison, and all matter of other creatures, including mountain goats, but no bighorns. On a school trip to Yellowstone, my daughter’s class encountered a herd of bighorn sheep in the road. She knew of my desire and used an entire roll of film to make a collage for me that hangs in my home to this day.

During a train trip across the Canadian Rockies, I finally captured my prize… a picture from a moving train with the bighorns standing on the rocks above the tracks. Not exactly the image I envisioned, but I have it. Or at least I did. The picture was digital. Due to a disastrous incident involving my digital picture library and both backups, I lost those pictures.

At least I have the memories.

Subordination of the Spirit

By Stephanie Williams Dean

For this writing, I will use the definition of the word, subordinate, as being under the authority of another as per the dictionary.  Additional definitions – inferior to, less important, or lower in position – add confusion and controversy relating to a subordinate Spirit.

Scripture teaches us that although the Holy Spirit is a divine person, He is subordinate to, or acts under the authority of the Father and the Son. It is clear that it is Jesus who sends the Spirit from the Father. Just as Jesus Christ was sent by the Father, the Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus Christ.

The subordination and “acting under the authority” of the Holy Spirit to the Son is apparent when speaking. The Spirit speaks “not from himself but speaks the words which he hears.”

John 16:13 reads, “But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; He will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (NIV) Jesus made clear that his teachings were not his but came from the one who sent him – the Father.

The subordination of the Spirit is clearly revealed when the Holy Spirit glorifies Christ and not Himself. In John 16:14, Jesus says, “He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” (NIV)  Much like this, Christ didn’t seek His own glory but sought glory for He who sent Him – the Father.

The Holy Spirit came to convict the world of the need for Jesus Christ. The Spirit has a unique ministry to fulfil that role – just like Jesus had ministry to fully and perfectly follow the fathers will. Jesus had a mission from the Father, and the Holy Spirit had a mission from Jesus. But they are all divine and equal. Jesus served the Father, was obedient and is directed by the Father. In the same way, Jesus seems to direct the Holy Spirit, saying “when I go away, I will send him, and He will remind you.” They fully cooperated with what one wanted the other to do, but they have different roles. When Jesus was on earth in the flesh, He had to pray, “Your will be done.” Jesus was willing to cooperate with the Father – not my will but your will be done.

This doesn’t mean one is inferior to another, but rather, each knows His purpose and acts under authority.

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