Tender is the Love That Sometimes Walks in Hard Boots

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week Twenty-Four

It is so often easy to see faults in others, but often how difficult to recognize our own. Sometimes those of us who have done the greatest wrong are the first to pass judgement and be blind to justice.

Take for example the story of King David in the Bible. David, though a man after God’s own heart, succumbed to the sin of adultery with Bathsheba. His sin resulted in an unwanted pregnancy and a complicated plot that resulted in the murder of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah the Hittite. The King tried to make everything right by marrying the woman carrying his illicit child.

Sometime later, Nathan the Prophet went to King David and told him of a poor man who had one little lamb which he dearly loved. A rich man who had a visitor would not sacrifice one of his own lambs but killed the poor man’s only lamb and prepared it as a meal for the visitor. King David was very angry and pronounced judgement on the rich man, until Nathan told David that DAVID himself was the man that had taken Uriah the Hittite’s wife and spoiled her for his own.

This story is found in II Samuel 11-12. It is hard to understand how a blessed King such as David could not see the grievous nature of his own sin but could so easily judge others. Bill Hybels suggests in his book (Who You Are When No One’s Looking: Choosing Consistency, Resisting Compromise) that such lapses in judgement are due to a lack of the fifth of five endangered characteristics of true character—love.

There are so many interpretations of the meaning of love that the word has become marginalized in recent years. People love everything from pets to ice cream to cars while the most important thing of all so often is left out—love for other people.

There is an episode of Leave It to Beaver in which Beaver’s friend Larry Mondello(?) gets his feelings hurt. He wanders around singing, “You only hurt. . .the ones you love.” How often this is true. Hybels identifies two types of love that are paradoxically and ironically visible in some people’s lives.

First, Hybels discussed the tender love that needs development in the lives of hardhearted people. Children raised in the same family often have very different character traits. One child loves to go deer hunting and bring home the prize buck, while the other cries because one of God’s most beautiful creatures has been slaughtered not for food for survival but just to hang a trophy on the wall. One child in a family almost wrecks his car to keep from killing a squirrel or dog in the road, while his sibling tries his best to make the animals a target for his automobile tires, rationalizing that the animals shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

Once on my way to work I passed a girl waiting for the school bus. Her dog was racing down the hill from the opposite side of the road, and I ran over it and killed it before her very eyes. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the girl getting on the bus, though I couldn’t see the dog anywhere. I turned around and went back, secretly glad the girl was safely on the bus on her way to school so I wouldn’t have to deal with her hysterics. I knocked on the door of the girl’s house and got no answer. I left a note with my phone number asking her parents to call me so I could make restitution for the dog.

A coworker told me that I was out of my mind, that the dog was on an obvious suicide mission. The parents called me and asked if I could pay for the girl to get another dog. I was not overjoyed to fork over the dough, but at least I could rest in peace knowing that I had done the right thing.

In this example, I exercised tender love for a girl I didn’t even know and wouldn’t recognize if I saw her today and she looked as she did then. But there are many other times that I have been hardhearted with the very ones who love(d) me most. I remember the times I caused my mother to cry just by being hardhearted. With the true, unconditional love of a mother, she would chalk it up to my being “just like my daddy.” Many times the cares of the job and the worries of the world get taken out on my poor wife; though she bears the brunt of my frustrations and insecurities, everything is not her fault, and I actually often feel sorry for her having decided to chain herself in matrimony to a man who is sometimes so selfish and hardhearted.

Being hardhearted is in all of us. It surfaces when we tease others, then say when their feelings get hurt that it was all in fun, just a joke. It surfaces when others are trying to talk to us, and we are wrapped up in our own thoughts and worries and don’t give a sympathetic ear. It surfaces when we think we are better than others. It surfaces when we play favorites and ignore those who most need our attention.

But also in most of us is tenderness. I’ve seen it in the man who bursts into tears when a song reminds him of the mother he mistreated in his youth who is now beyond the weak apology. I’ve also seen it in the man who tortured kittens in his youth, only to have his favorite creature at the end of his life be a cat. It’s there in the supervisor who has compassion on an employee who has made mistakes and poor decisions, remembering the times he did similar unwise things in the early years on the job.

Sometimes we get too busy trying to get ahead to help those around us rise with us. As Old Fezziwig told a young Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1984 movie A Christmas Carol, “What a difference it makes, Ebenezer, to travel the rough road of life with the right female to help bear the burden. . .” In many instances, the word “female” could be substituted with “mentor”, “adviser”, “friend,” “confidant”, and the list could go on and on.

How easy it is to recite, but so hard to carry out, the words of the Golden Rule found in Matthew 7:12: “. . . whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do you even so to them. . .” This is what we must do to evidence the second type of love that is often paradoxically visible in people’s lives, the topic of next week’s discussion.



Get Your Morning Mojo at Liquid Lightning

Liquid Lightning

It is a great time to be a coffee drinker in Maynardville. Whether you are waking up early headed to work, finishing up the morning school drop offs, or just plain love to guzzle coffee all day, with one sip you will be sure to add a new stop to your daily route. Liquid Lightning, a local veteran owned and operated coffee shop, has opened their doors and put the go-juice on to brew with a goal of bringing delicious coffee, lots of laughs, and a sense of joy and comfort to the community.

Win for Author Kaye George

Kaye George

Knoxville TN: Local author Kaye George took home a second place win from BOULD (Bizarre, Outrageous, Unfettered, Limitless, Daring) for her short story Dream Girl. The story is published in BOULD Awards Short Story Anthology and is now available on Amazon.

Shirleys Bread

Shirley's Bread

I got a call from Aaron Russell the other day. He was checking to see how I was doing. He hadn't talked with me in a while. During the conversation, he mentions that he likes to bake bread. Not just any bread, but salt-rising bread. He described the process as well as how good the bread tastes. That got me thinking.

Ambulance Selfie

Ambulance Selfie

“Well, you always want an adventure!” Lynda locked the car doors.

It’s an interesting story how we had gotten to that point. Lynda is my best friend and cousin. We played ball together, ran around together, and went to the same middle and high school.

George Washington Cherry Treat

George Washington Cherry Treat

Fresh pie cherries aren't available in February. That's okay. Food City does my canning for me these days. They have one pound cans of red tart cherries on the shelf every day. I call them sour cherries.

Do you really think George cut down a cherry tree? Do you really think he fested up to the deed? Naw. George was known as a ladies man. I wouldn't be surprised if he did tell a lie now and then.

Science versus Faith

Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal once said, “The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing… We know truth, not only by reason, but also by the heart.”

Pascal was a genius and a genuine polymath who lived in the 17th century. To cover his accomplishments and body of work would require volumes, which have already been written. I want to focus on the concept he so poetically illustrated above – the ever-present battle between the head and the heart. Specifically,

Cherry Creme Fudge

Cherry Creme Fudge

Here is a fudge recipe I made a long time ago, that is, if you call 1981 a long time ago. Fudge recipes have evolved over the years. They are easier to make now. Just cook up some sugar and evaporated milk. Add chocolate and marshmallow cream and you have fudge. But it is not the same as the old fashioned variety. Oldsters will agree with me. (I will share one of those recipes at a later date.).

Failed Back Surgery Is Relatively Common

Failed Back Surgery Is Relatively Common

Failed back surgery (continued low back and leg pain after surgery) is relatively common according to a new report from the Boston University School of Medicine. With each reoperation, success, as defined by pain reduction, becomes less likely and most patients do not improve. However, preliminary studies using a simple procedure to remove scar tissue or adhesions suggests a new treatment could help those with post-surgical, chronic low back pain.

The German Beer Stein

German Beer Stein

I have had a beautiful beer stein since World War II. My brother, Rodney, sent it back from Germany. He was part of a Navy goodwill tour that started at England then went on to Germany. He sent back two beer steins and a Black Forest coo coo clock from there.

When he returned home, Rod took back the coo coo clock and one beer stein. That left me with one beer stein. I have placed that beautiful beer stein in a prominent place in my home as I moved around the country. It is time to give it a permanent home while I am still here to do so.


Interested in Homeschooling?

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 18:00

Join us for our annual Mom's night out. Monday, February 25, at six pm when April Shepherd, from the Smoky Mountain Home Education Association will be speaking at Hardees. April, a proponent of country living and a successful homeschooling Mother, will be speaking on using everyday living to teach fundamentals and life skills. She has titled her talk, "Little House on the Prairie Schooling". Sponsored by the local support group of homeschooling families, more information can be obtained by contacting Connie Dickey @ 865-992-3629

Mens Conference

Friday, March 1, 2019 - 19:00
Alder Springs Missionary Baptist Church

Alder Springs Missionary Baptist Church will be hosting a Men’s Conference on Friday, March 1st at 7:00 P.M. and Saturday, March 2nd at 9:30 A.M.
Evangelists will be Rev. Jerry Vittatoe and Rev. Mike Viles. Pastor, Rev. Jimmy Davidson extends a hearty welcome to all men.

4-H County Baking Contest

Monday, March 18, 2019 - 17:00

After youth have participated in school during February, they will be awarded a blue ribbon to move forward to the county contest. The entries at the county will be due for judging on March 18 then displayed with awards at the Extension Month Open House on March 19 for sampling.


Janice Ann Beeler Fields

Janice Ann Beeler Fields-age 66 of Corbin, Kentucky passed away suddenly Monday morning, February 18, 2019 at her home. She was a loving mother, nana, sister and friend. She will be sadly missed by all. Janice was a member of Nave Hill Baptist Church and was a former co-owner of Fields Apparel in Monticello, Kentucky. She was recently employed at SEKRI, Corbin, Kentucky for 22 years. Preceded in death by parents, James Aubrey and Lillie Beeler, two brothers, Gary and Terry Beeler; nephew, Adam Beeler.

Robert Bradley Douglas

Robert Bradley Douglas, known as Brad Douglas, was born October 12th, 1978. Brad spent his life in the Knoxville area embracing the Tennessee Volunteers, fishing and hiking. Brad's favorite thing to do was to take him and his family exploring. It is with great sadness that the family of Brad Douglas announces his passing at the age of 40. His spirit, enthusiasm and willingness to put other's needs above his own will be missed but not forgotten.

Robert Bruce Kezer

R. Bruce Kezer-age 84 of Knoxville departed this world for heaven on February 15 from his home. His family was at his side. Born in Jersey City, NJ, on September 30, 1934 to Edwin and Ruth (Adams) Kezer, Bruce graduated from the University of Vermont in 1957. He then entered the US Army and served, in peacetime, for three years until being honorably discharged at the rank of Lieutenant. Bruce loved Jesus with all his heart, and worked to live instead of the other way around.

Thomas Michael McLaughlin

Thomas M. McLaughlin age 57 currently of Maynardville TN, formerly of Edison NJ, passed away on February 8th 2019 at UT Hospital following an exhausting battle with cancer. Preceded in death by father, Thomas W, and brother Michael W McLaughlin.

Survived by wife Kathie, daughter and son-in-law Jennifer McLaughlin and Josh Lamb, son TJ, mother Elaine, sister and brother-in-law Lori and Gary Yurchak, grandchildren Chris and Michael, as well as a host of other relatives and friends.

Judson "Juddy" Bailey

Judson “Juddy“ Bailey - age 79 of Washburn, was born on February 27, 1939 and passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 10, 2019. We all called him Pap. He was a member of Nave Hill Baptist Church. He loved his family, hunting, playing cards, dogs and driving around. He spent his last few months putting on his shoes and saying “I believe I will go home”. He is finally “home“, peacefully in the arms of Jesus.

Frances Jane Nichols

Frances Jane Nichols “Janey”, age 61, of Rockford, went to be with the Lord on February 8, 2019, surrounded by her loved ones. She was a beloved mom, sister, and granny. Preceded in death by parents Jack Huggins and Bernice Van Dyke, brother Jackie Huggins, sisters Sarah Munsey, Sandy Huggins, and Darlene Dunaway.

Raymond Scott Brock

Raymond Scott Brock-age 84 of Washburn passed away Friday evening, February 8, 2019 at his home. He was a member of Salem Primitive Baptist Church. Preceded in death by wife, Barbara Brock; parents, Walter and Lois (Atkins) Brock; sister, Ruby Idol; son-in-law, Henry Paul McGinnis.

The opinions expressed by columnists and those providing comments are theirs alone, and may not reflect the opinions of Russell Computer Systems, Inc or any employee thereof.