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.




The Balanced Budget

The Balanced Budget

Historians will record 2018 as the second year in a row of a balanced budget for Union County; likely the most significant legislative accomplishment of the County Commission in a generation. Union County’s budget is one of the most important pieces of public policy the Commission enacts every year.

A New Family Addition

Leyton Taylor Campbell

“God’s most beautiful gifts bloom into children.”

Jordan and Allison Campbell recently received a new blessing to their family. Their son, Leyton Taylor Campbell, was welcomed into the world on Saturday, July 7, 2018 at 12:42 pm at UT Medical Center.

Keepin' the Old Ways

Macedonia Methodist Church at Andersonville

In order to appreciate how it is or how it might be, our youth need a lesson in the “Old Ways.” Understanding what our ancestors endured will instill a greater respect for their survival and how they prospered.

Pounding Down the Well

Pounding Down the Well

My husband's widowed mother married her former brother-in-law in our living room. Uncle Charlie had hurt his leg putting down our well on the property of what was to be our new home, closer to my husband's work. The minister said it wasn't written anywhere that you had to stand to be married. We were all seated.

Back to the well. The water table was high at the new place. We didn't need to drill a well, Uncle Charlie said. He would help us pound down a well. It was cheaper to do than drilling a well. The three of us could do it.

Fearless Running

Fearless Running

Some spices I am privileged to experience from the side line.

That spring evening, my daughter Sara’s softball team was playing the number one, undefeated team in their league. The other team were all 12 years old whereas Sara’s teammates were barely 10. We went in with no illusions of victory. If we were lucky, we may get one run.

At the top of the third inning, Sara went up to bat. At this point, none of ours girls had made it to first base, which was no surprise. At least they looked cute in their red, white, and blue outfits.

The pitcher threw. Sara swung.

Chicken Biscuit Stew

Chicken Biscuit Stew

I remember when I worked full time in a sewing factory. My mind would wander while sewing. After you do the same stitching over and over, it doesn't take all your attention to do the job. My mind would wander to wondering what I would fix for supper that evening. My kids were in the lower grades in school and came home about the same time I did. They had a long bus ride.

Snake Bit


When you run across a snake, their normal reaction is to get away. But if they feel threatened enough all snakes will bite defensibly. If you are bitten, here are some recommended first aide treatments.

Try to determine if it’s venomous or not. If you’re confident it’s not you can treat the bite like you would a puncture wound. Check with your doctor to see if you might need a tetanus shot booster.



Music Jam

Music Jam ~Featuring Dixie Nicely & Wendal Sturgill Saturday, July 21, 6:30 -10:00 p.m.

Narrow Ridge invites our friends and neighbors to join us for our open music jam on Saturday, July 21 at our outdoor stage just up the road from our Mac Smith Resource Center at 1936 Liberty Hill Rd. We are happy to announce that local artists, Dixie Nicely and Wendal Sturgill, will kick off the festivities from 6:30 to 7:00 pm. 7:00 will begin the open mic/jam portion of the evening when we invite guests to share their talents in a forum that provides equal time to all who wish to participate.

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

Union County Board Of Education


The next regular workshop and meeting of the Union County Board of Education will be held on Thursday, July 26, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at Union County High School. The workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting immediately to follow.



1. Discuss School Trips

· None at Time of Publication

2. Budget Amendments and Transfers/Director’s Monthly Report—Ann Dyer

Community Worship & Revival

On February 22, 2018, A Call To Prayer was made in the Luttrell Community. Several community pastor agreed to go back to their respective churches and call on their members to pray for the Lord to guide in an effort to unite our churches with a common goal of a Community Worship & Revival leading folks to Jesus the only begotten son of God.


Benjamin "Benny" Reece King

Benny went to sit on the lap of his LORD and SAVIOR Saturday July 14, 2018 at children's hospital.

Benny our sweet angel is the son of April King. Grandson to Sherri and Matt Bridges. Benny was also a brother to Kyle King and Jesse Perry. Great Grandchild of Barbara Brown along with Ronnie and Tina Bridges. Benny was the nephew of Alley King, Jacob King, Ethan Muehliesen, Leah Bridges, Isaiah Bridges, Faith Bridges and Noah Bridges.

Proceeded in death by great grandfather W.L. Carmon Our love for our sweet Benny will forever be. Always our sweet Angel!!

Donald H. Norris

Donald H. Norris-age 64 of Maynardville passed away Monday morning, July 16, 2018 at his home. He was a member of Cedar Grove Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Roy and Maude E. Norris; brother, David Norris.

Barbara Kay "Momma" Burkhert

Barbara Kay “Momma” Burkhert, age 72, went to be with the Lord on July 15, 2018. She had 3 kids, John J. Viglasky, Liesa Canupp, and Greg Viglasky. She also had 3 grandkids Ashley Taylor, Stacey Canupp, Taylor Viglasky, as well as, 4 great-grandkids. Family will receive friends 5:00-7:00pm Thursday July 19, 2018 at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel with service to follow. Family and friends will meet 10:45am Friday July 20, 2018 at Fort Sumter Cemetery for and 11:00am interment. Please leave online condolences at www.mynattfh.com

LaVerne McLain Cummings

LaVerne McLain Cummings, of Knoxville, suddenly went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 at Parkwest Hospital. Preceded in death by parents Ed and Mildred McLain, grandson Chad Breeden, and sister Sandra Leach. Survived by loving husband Harlan J. Cummings, daughter Angelia (Bob) Love, son Brent Cox, grandson whom she raised Matthew (Amber) Cox, granddaughters Amanda Dykes and Brittney Russell, sisters Faye (Roger) Neff and Burlene Tolman, as well as 6 great grandkids. She was looking forward to seeing her great grandson Grantley expected in August.

Michael Ernest Smith

Michael Ernest Smith – age 53 of Maynardville, passed away suddenly Saturday, July 8, 2018.

Michael is preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Mary Smith; and sister, Barbara Smith. He is survived by his son, Daniel; sister, Debra (Stacy) Lynn; special niece, Emily; special nephews, Derrick and Aaron Lynn; several aunts, uncles and other nieces and nephews.

Barbara Carol Spradlen

Barbara Carol Spradlen, age 68, of Powell, passed away on July 8, 2018. She was preceded in death by father, Andrew M. Vanover and mother, Betty Ann Galloway; special great aunt, Bessie L. Galloway Johnson and her husband, Harrison "Hat" Johnson Jr., and their daughter Helen Jean Johnson York.

Jackie Owen Carpenter

Jackie Owen Carpenter, age 83, passed away at home on July 9, 2018. Jack was born October 28, 1934 in Claiborne County and graduated from Claiborne County High School in 1952. He served in the U.S. Army from 1957-1960. He earned his BA from University of California, Northridge in 1972. Jack accepted Christ at an early age and was a member of Salem Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday School for many years. He retired in 1998 from Harrison-Chihowee Baptist Academy (The Kings Academy) after 22 years of working as Business Manager.

Carolyn Lee England Underwood

Carolyn Lee Underwood-age 52 of Maynardville went to be with the Lord, Monday, July 9, 2018 at her home. She was a member of Grace Full Gospel Baptist Church. Preceded in death by husband, Richard Williams; grandson, Richard Dylangaddy.

Survivors: daughters, Alicia Williams, Chassitty Williams; son, Cory Underwood; husband, Randy Underwood; sisters, Charlene Gouldie, Sandra Bryant, parents, Alice and Robert England; two granddaughters, Mackenzie Mixon and Alyssa Gaddy; many nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

Steven James See

Steven James See, age 35 of Knoxville, went to be with the Lord July 6, 2018. He was a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Steven was always a friendly, outgoing young man and always had a smile on his face. He loved going to church and enjoyed fishing with his friends. He was a great uncle to his niece and nephews, as well as, a wonderful step-dad to Courtney and Austin. Preceded in death by father Steve See; grandmother, Bobbie Franklin; uncle Jack McClain.

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