How Do We Know?

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week Nineteen

My pastor recently asked me to teach the adult Vacation Bible School class at our church this summer. I asked him if there was a book or specific topic he wished me to address. He said that he could get me a book or that I could choose one of my own.

I came home and examined my bookshelves. I found a book by Bill Hybels entitled Who You Are When No One’s Looking: Choosing Consistency, Resisting Compromise. What a fascinating subject, I thought.

My pastor asked me last evening if I had come up with a topic. I told him about this book, and he said, “The secret life.” I was given the stamp of approval.

I have several acquaintances and a few friends. One of my best friends in this world was Mark Martin, but until he died I didn’t realize how little I knew about him. His mother gave me the opportunity to deliver a eulogy at his funeral, and people in his home town were amazed at how different my friendship with him was than his relationship with his friends and family back home. I did not know where he kept the key to his house, nor did I know his mother’s name, but his family did not know the extent of his well-developed sense of humor. It amazed me how the one and only Mr. Martin shared different aspects of his personality in his hometown and in Union County.

We have discussed in Sunday School how that many times we only know people in the context in which we see them. How do other church folks and I act when we are away from church? How differently do we act at home, at school, or at work? How do we interact with our families and friends in different situations?

There was once a student in the fourth grade. To his teachers, he was a well behaved student who made good grades. He had good attendance. He was not a good looking kid (some would have called him downright ugly) and therefore not the most popular child in school. He was scrawny, wore glasses, and his clothes were not exactly ever in style at the same time.

There came a day when this child was absent from school on the first and only day of his fourth grade year. When he returned to school the next day, he never told any of his classmates why he had been absent. He cried not because of why he was absent but because his teacher had taught long division that day and he was lost when he returned. The teacher paired him with another student who caught him up to speed.

Why did this child miss school? The boy’s father was an alcoholic, and he had come home drunk on the previous night. The boy saw his father point a pistol to his mother’s head. In terror, the boy ran out the back door. About the time he reached the bottom of the steps, he heard a shot. For a few moments he thought his father had killed his mother, until the back door flung open and his mother came sailing down the steps. He and his mother snuck to a neighbor’s house. The neighbor took them to spend the night with one of the mother’s cousins. They had left in haste with only the clothes on their bodies, but the mother borrowed a Bible from her cousin so she could conduct her nightly devotion. Before she went to bed, she found a chip of paint in her hair that fell when her husband shot into the ceiling.

The next morning, the two returned home to find a sick husband and father in bed. Remembering little if anything of the night before, the father wanted to know why his son was not in school. He allowed he would drive the boy to school, but a massive hangover and accompanying sickness prevented the father from possibly killing his son and himself in a drunk driving accident.

Few if any of his teachers knew much about this boy’s home life. The child told his teacher part of the reason he had been absent, but not all, only that he had missed school because his father was drunk. To many people the father was a serious natured man (some would have even said “sober” without recognizing the irony). He was honest, hardworking, and paid his bills. Nevertheless, he had an addiction and “a secret life” of which many were unaware.

The moral of the story—people are not always what they seem, and many children and adults live under the shadow of addictions other than their own.
Next week I’ll discuss the meaning of character, and how our good character can help us overcome the shortfalls we sometimes find in others.




Meet Diane Black

Gubernatorial candidate Diane Black

U. S. Representative Diane Black says that hard work and accountability are Tennessee values she learned from her parents. Black, a registered nurse, small businesswoman, and former educator, is a candidate in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

Black recently took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for Historic Union County. Below are our questions with her direct and unedited responses.

Book Signing

Book Signing

Sheri Hensley, my daughter, and I had a great book signing Saturday at Okie’s in Maynardville.

Sheri did the cover illustration for More Tales. Look for us next Saturday, May 19, 2018 at the Plainview Spring Festival. The festival is being held at the Plainview Community Center from 9 am until 6 pm. We’ll plan to be there signing from 10 am until 1pm. We’ll be at the west end of the building near the deserts. If the deserts are anything like last year you won’t want to miss the opportunity to sample more than one.

Shag Rugs

Shag Rugs

Name the hardest rug to clean. Did you say shag? If you did, you are right. Shag rugs are a bugger to clean. Eating supper in the living room while watching TV on your portable TV tray? Did some baked beans roll off your plate and onto the rug? Sorry. The pile will instantly snap them up. Watch where you step. Smashed baked beans are hard to find and hard to remove.

Do You Believe You Have a Destiny or a Calling?

East Tennessee Hospital for the Insane

Do you believe that you have a destiny or a calling? One of the greatest reformers in U.S. History, left a legacy in word and action that continues to inspire me today. Of her motivation, she explained “In a world where there is so much to be done, I felt strongly impressed that there must be something for me to do.”

Can We Get There From Here?

Can We Get There From Here?

Since Mother’s Day was Sunday, I want to pay tribute to my feisty mom who tries to get a laugh whenever she can. It’s part of her charm.

Before GPS, Google Maps, and cell phones, if you were lost, you stopped and asked a stranger for directions. My mom had her own unique and humorous (in her mind) way of doing that: “Can we get there from here?”

Let There Be Light

Sun Beams

Light is something we don’t think about much, but almost everything that’s alive on the planet needs light for sight and energy. Human eats cow, cow eats grass, grass grows on light… you get the picture. Scientists have studied light for centuries, but still don’t fully understand it.


31 Million Americans Experience Low-Back Pain at Any Given Time

31 million americanS experience low-back pain at any given time.

A few interesting facts about back pain: low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the global Burden of disease 2010. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year. Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.



We have been studying God’s Covenant with mankind, in particular the “Terms and Conditions.” In the previous two editions of this subject we first examined the “Verbal Agreement” between God and man. Next, we examined the “Terms and Conditions” of the “Written Agreement”. This written agreement is commonly known as the “Ten Commandments.” Nearly every Christian is familiar with the Ten Commandments; however, most don’t know or have conveniently forgotten that there are “Terms and Conditions” attached to God’s Law.

Deep Fried Catfish

Deep Fried Catfish

Catfish? That's not a panfish. I grew up eating sunfish, bluegills and such, really whatever Dad could catch. The closest we came to catfish were bullheads and suckers. There would be sucker runs in the spring near where we lived. As a fish, they left a lot to be desired with tiny barbed bones throughout the flesh making them difficult to eat. I didn't much care for bullheads, either. They looked like small catfish, same whiskers and skin. Yeah, skin. They had to be skinned. Dad had a flare for doing that. I never did get the hang of it. I preferred bluegills.


Need A Ride To Church

Need A Ride To Church

Fellowship Christian Church located at 746 Tazewell Pike Luttrell TN 37779 will pickup anyone in the local area needing a ride to church. Call Sam at 865-607-3741 to schedule a ride.

Worship Services

Sunday School 10:00 AM
Sunday Worship Service 11:00 A.M
Sunday Evening Service 6:30 P.M
Wednesday Service 7:00 P.M


Please join us as we celebrate "Older Americans Month" at Union County Senior Center. Live music, lunch & door prizes will be provided. We will recognize ALL of our Union County Senior Center volunteers and elect a new Senior King & Queen! This is for ALL senior citizens!....... 10:00-1:00 .........Call Melanie at 992-3292 for more info!

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

"We invite all area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders to come together on the last Thursday of each month at Hardee's at 7:30 am. This is to be a time of fellowship, prayer, and discussion about how we as a community of Faith can work together to have a positive impact on our county. All are welcome!" Margaret Chesney


Robert Wilson Johnson

Robert Wilson Johnson – was born on August 12, 1930 and passed away on May 16, 2018. He was a member of Church Street United Methodist Church of Knoxville and a graduate of Central High School. Robert was a veteran of the United States Air Force. He received a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Agriculture Economics from the University of Tennessee and was retired from the United States Department of Agriculture after 29 years of service.

Edna Kidwell Keen

Edna Kidwell Keen-age 81 of Maynardville passed away Thursday, May 17, 2018 at her home. She was a member of Milan Baptist Church and was a very active member of the Union County Senior Citizens. Preceded in death by husband, Dewey Keen; parents, Ervon and Opal Kidwell; brothers, Tom and John Kidwell; sisters, Marie, Mae, Lillia and Twila Kidwell.

Survivors: brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Rosemary Kidwell of Knoxville; sisters, Ineal Kidwell of Knoxville, Doris Abbott of Sevierville. Several nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

John J. Ridenour

John J. Ridenour, Sr.-age 73 of Knoxville went to be with the Lord Wednesday, May 16, 2018. Preceded in death by wife, Charlotte Alana Ridenour; son, Randy; parents, Elzie and Tishie Ridenour.

Elizabeth Ann Vitatoe

Elizabeth Ann Vitatoe-age 76 of Maynardville passed away Thursday evening, May 10, 2018 at North Knoxville Medical Center.
Graveside service and interment were held 6 P.M. Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at the Narrow Ridge Cemetery, Washburn. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.

Lawrence Bruner

Lawrence Monroe Bruner – age 86 of Maynardville, went home to be with his Heavenly Father on Friday, May 11, 2018. He was a member of Free Fellowship Pentecostal Church. Lawrence was a United States Marine Veteran and was retired from the United Iron Workers Local #384.

Douglas Lee Hensley

Douglas Lee Hensley-age 37 of Knoxville passed away Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at U.T. Medical Center. He was of the Baptist faith and attended Fairview Baptist Church, Corryton. Preceded in death by grandparents, Verlin and Ruth Hensley; Geneva Powell Dyer; aunt, Rhonda Kay Powell Leeper.

Virgie Asher

Virgie Asher-age 75 of Sharps Chapel, formerly of Hazard, Kentucky went home to be with her Heavenly Father Monday afternoon, May 7, 2018 at Physicians Regional Medical Center. She was retired employee of Clayton Homes of Maynardville. Preceded in death by father, Thomas Stacey; mother, Pauline Stacey.

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