What Do You See Over There?

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week 22

I have always looked at decades as milestones in life. I was too young to appreciate this when I turned ten years old, but every decade beginning with age twenty presented opportunity for a significant pause to look back to what God allowed me to accomplish and forward to what He held in store.

On July 8, 1985, I turned age twenty. There seemed more life ahead than there was behind. I was a high school graduate who had completed two of the four years of my bachelor’s degree. I was a student at Lincoln Memorial University, an institution that daily reminded me of my childhood and lifetime hero. I found it comforting that Ronald Reagan was President of the United States—even then I sensed he was the Lincoln of my lifetime, an idea that I have not changed over time. I was in love with my college sweetheart, and I looked forward to marrying her and entering the teaching profession. I went to my tenth high school reunion.

Ten years later, on July 8, 1995, I turned thirty. Bill Clinton was president, and though times seemed pretty good, I did not feel as comfortable with his presidency as I had Reagan’s. The college sweetheart and I had long since parted. I obtained my third college degree. I had ended my eighth year of teaching at Luttrell Elementary and was on the verge of becoming principal of Sharps Chapel Elementary. By then I owned a house. Since all I had originally set out to do was to graduate college, get a job, get tenure, marry, and buy a house, I had accomplished all my goals except marriage.

I felt very depressed the day of my thirtieth birthday because it seemed that a third or more of my life was over and nothing great and wonderful loomed on the horizon. There was no prospect for a Mrs. Ronnie Mincey, and since it was the only goal I had not accomplished, I set out to help God help me attain a wife, with almost disastrous consequences. It is never wise to rush God, but he saved me from myself just in time.

What was lacking at this point in my life was vision. In his book Who You Are When No One’s Looking: Choosing Consistency, Resisting Compromise, Bill Hybels identifies vision as the third of five endangered characteristics of true character.

I spent the decade of my thirties reaching a few more milestones and developing a new vision. During my thirties, I had a different job every year for four years. I spent seven of those years as principal of Sharps Chapel Elementary, one year as principal of Luttrell Elementary, one year as assistant principal at Maynardville Elementary, and one year as elementary curriculum supervisor for the Union County Public School System. (My college roommate came for a visit and asked me if I was just that good or if they couldn’t decide what to do with me. I told him I was just that darn good!) The decade of the thirties introduced me to my wife, though marriage was not to come until the next decade.

I began my forties on July 8, 2005. The second George Bush was president. Though I realized my life was possibly half or more over when I turned forty, I kept busy so I didn’t think about it any more than possible. I began the job I currently hold with the school system that summer, married the following year, became step-father to a handicapped young man, and obtained one more college degree in 2012. I attended my thirtieth high school reunion in 2013.

And then I turned fifty. If I live to be a hundred (which my family history shows to be unlikely), life was half over at that point. Now my goals are to work a few more years, then retire and enjoy life before, as my will says, the “final sickness” calls me to a higher realm than I have ever known.

I would be the last to call myself a “visionary.” On this issue I tend to side with Lincoln. In a letter to Albert G. Hodges from the “Executive Mansion” dated April 4, 1864, just one year and ten days before his assassination, Lincoln said, “I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.” (Reference—Google)

I have a Japanese proverb posted on my office door that I read every day: “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” There are those who dream great dreams and have great thoughts but never take action to make dreams come true.

Why do some never act on their great plans? Possibly it is the fear of taking a risk or being thought a failure. These people daydream of a future that will never exist because they do nothing to make it possible. If Thomas Edison had not kept trying after thousands of attempts to create the light bulb, we might possibly be using kerosene lamps today. Edison is quoted as having said to someone who told him he’d failed, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” (Reference—Google)

Conversely, there are those who impulsively do whatever first comes to mind, never stopping to think how their rash decisions will affect their and their loved ones’ futures. They act without a plan. In Alice in Wonderland, Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which way she should go. The Cat told her that depended a great deal on where she wanted to go. Alice said she didn’t much care where, and the Cat told her it didn’t matter which way she went. Alice just wanted to get somewhere, and the Cat told her she was sure to do that if only she walked long enough.

One thing’s for sure—those who act without plans for the future will get somewhere, but it might not be where they want to be. Like a roach motel, they might check in, but they won’t check out.

Without either vision or action, a person will get nowhere. That is the scientific law of inertia applied to human life: a body at rest tends to remain at rest. As the lyrics to “The River” sung by Garth Brooks state:

So don't you sit upon the shoreline
And say you're satisfied
Choose to chance the rapids
And dare to dance that tide

And I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry

Next week I’ll discuss yet another endangered character quality.




Sharps Chapel Quilters Honor a Legacy

Sharps Chapel Quilters work on a quilt started by a woman who passed away due to cancer.

A kind-hearted group of quilters in Sharps Chapel finished a true labor of love this summer. The Norris Lake Quilting Bee, who meet in Irwin's Chapel United Methodist Church, completed a quilt started by an Ohio woman who passed away due to cancer and returned the completed quilt to her husband, Jeff Sutherland.

I Am Not A Robot, I Create

"My Mothers Hands Made With Love" by Anne GlenSherrill Third Place, Three Dimensional

We are all unique with the capacity for creativity and artistic expression. Through purposeful creation we form physical manifestations of our uniqueness. Of course, there is not simply just one correct way to do anything and with that idea we find that there is infinite strength in individualism. What one person may envision and create given a blank canvas can be, and often is, vastly different from another person's creation. That was greatly displayed at the Union County Heritage Festival's Art Show on Saturday, October 6, 2018.

Talk about the Boogerman or Boogerwoman

By S. K. Hensley

With Halloween coming up, it is time for us to talk about the Boogerman/Boogerwoman.

At the time I was growing up, child psychologists were unheard of. In most cases, no one even got to a doctor unless they were seriously ill. I don’t remember any “cures” dealing with behavior. These were the common cures and most could be bought at local grocery stores:

In the World, Not of the World Part 4

Archie Wilson

Last time, we discussed the statement from 2 Corinthians 6:17 about being a separate people and how this separate means different. Christians are in the world but not of the world, so we are set apart in that we do not follow our own path but rather the path of our Savior. A Savior who purchased our sins and gave His Righteousness to us. (See Jerimiah 23:6) He had to do this because of our inability to keep God’s Law. Our sin nature made it impossible for us to make atonement for our failures. (See Romans 3:23, Isaiah 64:6)


Watch Out How You Use Those Words

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week Forty

I have for some time been writing down words that people use in “quirky” ways. I find it interesting the way people often misspeak words unintentionally, often rendering thought provoking meanings. A few examples follow.

A country woman had an opportunity to eat in a fancy restaurant. Trying to impress her companions, she ordered a “ward off” salad. Though that was not on the menu, the waiter directed the lady to the Waldorf salad as an excellent choice to ward off unwanted calories.

Truck Mating Calls

Brooke Cox

This zesty adventure started late one evening as I was walking in the dark by myself. I had just dug my cell phone out of the floorboard of my husband Tim’s truck. Being an old geek, I was gazing up at the stars. It dawned on me that I hadn’t locked Tim’s truck back after retrieving my phone. Without taking my eyes off of the night sky, I tossed my hand back and pressed the lock button on the clicker. Ka-Click. The truck beeped.

Ka-KAW Ka-KAW rang out.

I came to a dead stop and stood there alone in the darkness. Goose bumps ran up my arm.

Chiropractic Therapy for Back and Neck Pain in the Military

Chiropractic Therapy for Back and Neck Pain in the Military

Back pain, especially chronic back pain, can make life miserable; this condition is quite common in the military. Randomized trials have found that spinal manipulation can be effective for lower back pain. One 2013 study specifically compared chiropractic therapy to general medical care in military personnel, 18-35 years old. The results suggest reduced pain and improved physical wellbeing and function as compared to patients who only received the standard care.

Autumn Colors


After a long hot summer my favorite time of year is finally here, with its balmy days, cool nights, and eventual forest color display that everyone looks forward to. If you ever wonder why leaves change color, here’s the latest scoop.


Black Walnut Drops

Black Walnut Drops

Anyone who knows me knows of my taste for black walnuts. When my kids were small and money was tight, I would load the three youngest ones in the pickup. After a fall's hard freeze, we would head for my favorite walnut trees along country roads. Each child would have his or her own pail. “Pick 'em up as fast as you can,” I would yell.

Sometimes, neighbors took offense with our picking up the walnuts, even if the walnuts were out in the roadway. We did get run off occasionally, but it didn't take long to fill the pickup bed with the ones we could get.

Homemade Corn Salsa

Homemade Corn Salsa

I like corn salsa. It is best made in the summertime with fresh vegetables. Red tomatoes in the winter don't taste as good as tomatoes fresh from the garden. That goes for sweet corn, too. We like sweet corn freshly cut from the cob and fried with butter, salt and sugar. Oh well, that is another dish. For this salsa, canned whole kernel corn can be used as well. I learned to appreciate red onions while working at Arby's in Halls. I was introduced to jalapeno peppers when we moved to Tennessee. Before that, I only used the yellow hot banana peppers.


Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 07:30
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!" For more information please contact Kathy Chesney at 865-566-3289.

Union County Board Of Education

Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 18:00



1. Discuss School Trips

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

3. Discuss TSBA Recommended Changes to Board Policy (Due for Approval on Second Reading in October, 2018): School Bus Seat Restraint Systems —Lenny Holt

4. Discuss Capital Projects—Dr. Carter

5. Discuss Contracts—Lenny Holt

6. Discuss Teacher Tenure—Dr. Carter

Haunts & History

Friday, October 26, 2018 - 15:00
Museum of Appalachia

Haunts and History October 26-27 3pm- 9pm

Haunts and History will feature old-fashioned treats along the pioneer trail, with homemade and vintage candies, as well as local storytellers sharing true and inspired stories about our Appalachian ancestors. Guests can also enjoy hay rides, live music, blacksmithing, pumpkin carving demonstrations, and festive snacks.

For an additional charge, attendees can pick pumpkins from the patch or choose a pumpkin to paint and take home.

Advance Tickets may be purchased by October 15:


Glen thomas Kitts

Glenn Thomas Kitts, age 91, of Knoxville passed away on Thursday, October 18, 2018. He Served his County well as a United States Marine during World War II era. He retired from the Knoxville Transit Lines after 52 years. He coached little league at Fountain City Ball Park for ten plus years. Preceded in death by wife Barbara Jean Kitts; Sons Martin Thomas Kitts and Gary Steven Kitts; grandson T.J. Lewis and Chris Turner; parents Arlie and Jessie Kitts; four brothers; and four sisters.

Kenneth "Kenny" David Coffman

Kenneth “Kenny” David Coffman, age 48 of Luttrell, Tennessee went home to be with the Lord on October 18, 2018. He is preceded in death by his grandparents Maynard & Eva Coffman and Millard & Cora Munsey. He is survived by parents Rev. Donnie and Lola Coffman; brothers Ricky (Sharon) Coffman and Donnie (Sherry) Coffman; nieces Kayla (Jamie) Moore and Danielle (Matt) Tindell; nephews Brandon (Miriah) Coffman and Josh (Mary) Coffman; great nephews Brylan, Wesley, Brentley, Hudson, Branson and Bobby; great nieces Ellis and Emersyn. Also survived by uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends.

Dewey Keck

Dewey (Merl) Keck-age 74 of Corryton, born October 18, 1944 passed away Friday, October 19, 2018 at his home. Preceded in death by parents, George and Mary Keck.

Survivors: wife, Joyce Keck; daughters, Robin Carringer; Doris (Greg) Selvidge; grandchildren, Ashley White, Tiffany Grooms; great-grandchild, Brayden Chaney.

Rueben Scott Holloway

Rueben Scott Holloway-age 55 of Luttrell passed away Wednesday night, October 17, 2018 at Select Specialty Hospital at North Knoxville Medical Center. Preceded in death by parents, Bill and Sarah Holloway; wife Darla Holloway; children, Amber, Willie, Erin and Reanna Holloway.

Survived by best friend, Trusty; sisters, Jackie (Jerry) Clapp; Brenda (Tim) Wyrick; brothers, Russell (Mary) Holloway and Paul Holloway; friends, Linda Waggoner and Violet Ward. Special aunts, Brenda Stone, Beulah Hayes, Carolyn Langley and Susie Langley. Several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Catrina Kailynn Maggard

Catrina Kailynn Maggard-age 18 of Knoxville passed away Saturday morning, October 13, 2018 at U. T. Medical Center as the result of an automobile accident. She was a graduate of Gibbs High School, 2018 Class. She was a loving daughter and friend, full of life and always had a smile on her face. Preceded in death by grandfather, Frank Maggard; great-grandmother, Grace Lynn.

Deborah Marlene Lynch

Debra Marlene Lynch
April 26, 1959 – October 2, 2018
Debra Marlene Lynch was born in Detroit, Michigan to Helen and Nolan Graves on April 26, 1959. -Marlene’s parents meant the world to her. Her father, Nolan was her personal hero and her mother, Helen was her measuring stick for how a Christian woman should live. Marlene had one sibling, Keith Graves. She loved her younger brother very much and often spoke of Keith’s big heart.

Lowen Denver Foust

Lowen “Denver” Foust – age 82 of Maynardville, passed away at his home on October 16, 2018, surrounded by his family. He was a Korean War Veteran and served in the United States Navy. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Maynardville.

Glen Wayne Yadon

Glen Wayne Yadon of Luttrell was born on October 29, 1954 and went to be with Jesus on October 15, 2018 peacefully in his sleep. Glen was a member of Nave Hill Missionary Baptist Church. He loved big! He had a heart of gold, never met a stranger and would help anyone that he could.

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