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.




Falling for Fall in Tennessee

Falling for Fall in Tennessee

October may be gone but with the colors of fall hanging around a bit longer this year why not head out for a day trip to one of Tennessee’s well-loved local areas or a beautiful state or national park. While the Great Smoky Mountains are a forever favorite, locals can bypass many of the crowds for other beauty within a day’s drive.

Decorate the Town

Decorate the Town

The cool air is wisping through Union County as November peeps around the corner. With the cool air and festivities surrounding the town, excitement for the upcoming holidays begins. As lights are strewn up in window seals and trees become aglow, the county will glisten with Christmas spirit. Opportunities will arise for a car ride through town with the family, Christmas carols on the radio and hot peppermint cocoa in hand to gaze at the town through the frosty windows and admire the holiday decorations.

When Blood Runs Thicker than Water

Jay Ricketts and John Cabage standing near the burial site of Alfred Gallatin Rickets in Cabbage Cemetery

The Bonds of Brotherhood
(When Blood Runs Thicker than Water)

The Civil War was raging and Albert Gallatin Ricketts, aka Gallie, of Cabell County, West Virginia, had turned 18. He felt compelled to join the Confederate Army. I’m sure he felt strongly that if he didn’t join he would most likely be conscripted under less desirable circumstances.

Chiropractic Treatments for Degenerative Disc Disease

Chiropractic Treatments for Degenerative Disc Disease

The goal of chiropractic care for degenerative disc disease (DDD) is to improve joint mechanics by improving spinal motion and reducing inflammation. The chiropractor may also work on improving the function of the intervertebral discs—but that’s only if you do not have advanced disc degeneration.

Baking with Cocoa

Baking with Cocoa

These days, there are a number of types of chocolate to use in our dessert making. For instance, we use Baker's Sweet Chocolate for making German Chocolate Cakes. A variety of chocolate chips find their way into our candy and cookie recipes. But I like baking with cocoa.

Back in the day, cocoa was cheaper than chocolate baking squares. On a limited budget, cost was everything: almost. I could get more mileage from a box of cocoa than I could from those skimpy chocolate squares. It had a longer shelf life as well. That made cocoa a winner for me.

Corn Producers VOTE!

Corn Producers VOTE!

The Tennessee Corn Referendum will be held on Wednesday, November 28 and Thursday, November 29 from 8am - 5pm. The question on the referendum ballot will be “shall the producers of corn assess themselves at the rate of one cent ($0.01) per bushel of corn sold”. If passed, the funds will be paid over to the Tennessee Corn Promotion Board to finance programs of research, education, market development, marketing, advertising and other methods to promote the increased production, consumption, use and sale of corn products.

Armistice Day

Armistice Day

What a difference a generation makes. I grew up thinking of November 11th as Armistice Day. After all, it celebrated the end of the Great War, World War 1, as signed on that date at Versailles in that boxcar in France. I still think of it that way.

Deer Hunting Weather

Deer Hunting Weather

In order to survive, animals have instinctive reactions to the weather, migrating birds being just one example. By knowing how game animals react in differing weather conditions can up a hunter’s chances of a successful kill.

Deer depend heavily on scent to protect themselves from predators. They usually respond to a strange scent by bugging out before hunters get close. Deer move into the wind to better pick up scents. To take advantage of this, a hunter must move and stay downwind of his prey. This can be determined by the old wet finger trick.


Green Eyed Monster

Brooke Cox

It’s amazing how other people’s words can hit us with such force.

I was out with some lady friends and we were discussing prayer. One friend was one of those people who was as beautiful inside as she was on the outside.

She told us about an experience she had a few years ago. God told her to spend a day in prayer with Him. He didn’t want her to ask Him for anything. All He wanted her to do was to worship Him in prayer. She did and she was so blessed by it. It was an uplifting experience that changed her life. Every woman at that table was touched by her story.



Back before television, when you only needed your ears and imagination to follow a story on the radio, there were card games. Some were played alone, but others needed more players. I remember when we were first married in the late forties, when my husband and I were part of a Pinochle Card Club. There were six couples in our club. We met once a month on a Friday night at one of the group member's home. We were all young couples, most newly married, trying to get started in life. Money was in short supply. We needed a way to entertain ourselves that we could afford.


UCBPA Meeting

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 12:00

UCBPA meets the second Tuesday of each month for approximately one hour. Membership is $25 annually. The meeting begins at noon at Hardee's in Maynardville. Anyone interested in making Union County a better place to live, work, worship, or play may attend.

Lego Club

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 16:00

Kids school age and up can enjoy a movie and the fun of playing with Lego's and making friends! We usually have a theme or specific thing to build as well as a movie to watch while building!

Facebook 101 for Direct Farmers

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 08:00

Taught by UT Extension Marketing Specialist, Megan Bruch Leffew, and Area Information Technology Specialist, David Yates, the workshops will be held:

• November 14 in Kingsport
• November 15 in Knoxville
• November 28 in Jackson
• November 29 in Nashville
• December 5 in McMinnville

Exact location information will be emailed to registered participants the week prior to workshops. Participants can bring their own laptop or tablet or use a tablet provided by the instructors. Because of the hands-on nature of the workshop, space is limited.


Richard Lewis 'Bud' Richardson

Richard Lewis “Bud” Richardson-age 57 of Maynardville, born October 16, 1961 passed away suddenly Saturday morning, November 10, 2018 at North Knoxville Medical Center. Preceded in death by parents, E. R. and Mary (Anderson) Richardson; brother, Eddie Richardson.

Survivors: children, Jason, David and April; four grandchildren. Sisters, Patsy (Billy) Humphrey, Vickie Shope; brothers, Jeff and Jessie (Jessica) Richardson. Several other family members and a host of friends.

Wanda Lee Eldridge

Wanda Lee Eldridge-age 77 of Luttrell passed away Friday evening, November 9, 2018 at her home. She along with her late husband were the owners of the former Mark’s Market in Luttrell. Preceded in death by husband, Alvin A. “Mountain Man” Eldridge; daughter, Robbin Fortenberry; granddaughter, Misty Leann Childress, parents, Samuel and Nana Lane Seivers; brothers, Robert and Bobby Seivers

Curtis Nathan Case

It is with great sadness that the family of Curtis Nathan Case announces he was received into the arms of the Lord after a brief illness Friday, November 9, 2018 at the age of 53 years. Curtis was preceded in death by his father, James Edward Case, mother, Dorothy Ann Case, brother, Michael Case, father-in-law, Ross Miller Sr., brother-in-law, Ross Miller Jr.

Lucy M. Grigsby

Lucy M. Grigsby – age 93 of Luttrell, went home to be with Jesus on Monday, November 12, 2018. She was a lifelong member of Cedar Ford Baptist Church. Lucy made an impact on the community through her service to Luttrell Elementary School and her church.

Rev. William Darrell Brewer

Rev. William Darrell Brewer-age 77 of Maynardville went to be with the Lord Friday, November 9, 2018 at his home. Preceded in death by parents, William O. Brewer and Imogene Sherritze Brewer; sister, Janice Robins.

Survivors: wife, Jean M. Brewer; daughters, Charlotte (Robert) Jones, Elaine (Tim) Smith, Sandra (Rich) Griffith; step-children, Boyd (Mindy) Peters, Eric (Connie) Peters, Kelly (Donnie) Wiggins, 15 Grandchildren, 20 Great-Grandchildren. Brother, Mike; sisters, Kay, Sue and Kathy. Special friend and caregiver, Rebecca Collins.

Linda Sue Wilkerson

Linda Sue Wilkerson-age 71 of Corryton passed away Thursday morning, November 8, 2018. She was a member of Hoitt Avenue Baptist Church. Preceded in death by husband, Harold G. Wilkerson; daughter, Deborah Atkins.

Survivors: children, Mark, Denise, Lonnie and Gabriel; ten grandchildren, Josh Atkins; Suzanne, Amber, Dexter and Steven Bolden; Jake, Riley, Maddy, Jackson and Delilah Wilkerson; six great-grandchildren, Hayden, Hayley, Haylynn, Hadley, Jasper and Emilee. Special aunt, Hettie Paul; special cousin, Ricky Vance.

Evelyn Grace Helton

Evelyn Grace Helton of Knoxville went to be with Jesus on November 6, 2018. She was the newborn daughter of Cynthia Helton and granddaughter of Jo Ellen Helton and Fred Anderson Helton; niece of Kristen Boisbert. Service will be private. Mynatt Funeral Home of Fountain City is honored to serve the Helton Family. Online condolences may be left at www.mynattfh.com.

DeAnna Alexi

DeAnna Alexi, age 47, of Knoxville TN, daughter of Tony and Margo Alexi, of Knoxville, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, under the care of the amazing staff at UT Medical Center, with her family holding her hands at her bedside. DeAnna had been under the care of UT Hospice at home prior to hospitalization. She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Gertrude and Herman Cruze of Knoxville TN and her paternal grandparents Anthony and Betty Oleksy of New York. She was born in Silver Springs, MD on January 30, 1971. Survivors are her husband Christopher L.

Betty Jean Cross Rutherford

Betty Jean Cross Rutherford-age 76 of Luttrell passed away peacefully 5 a.m. Thursday, November 8, 2018 at her home with her husband, Jim by her side. She was a member of Hudson Grove Church of God. Preceded in death by her parents, Harvey and Edith McBee; brother, Sonny McBee and wife, Edna; sister, Carolyn Gibson.

Joseph "Joe" Smith Jr.

Joseph “Joe” Smith, Jr., age 88 of Knoxville, went to be with the lord on November 6, 2018. He was a member of Texas Valley Baptist Church. He is a veteran of the United States Army and served in the Korean War. He is preceded in death by daughter, Jo Ann Smith; wife, Roxie Ann Smith; brother, Robert Smith; sisters, Edith Grattis, Sarah Smith and Margaret Gray. He is survived by his brother, Bill Smith (Wanda); niece, Wanda Mulligan; great-nephew, Tyler Mulligan; many extended family and friends.

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