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Exactly As You Are

My heart is grieving. This joyous Jesus who I came to broken down by life is one many will never know. In people’s zeal they maybe forget how they came to know Him. Or maybe they never had that experience.
Before I knew God, I seriously thought gay people weren’t allowed to come to church. 
 From the encounters I had, it was only perfect people allowed in the churches. 
Wow I had it wrong. God is for you. All of you! Whatever you think, feel, love, hate, act, smoke, do drugs, abused, weary from the fight? God loves you. 
And he wants you! Right now, exactly as you are! 
  I was sharing with a friend how before I met God and had a relationship with Him, I loved the Oliver Stone movie, “Natural Born Killers.” Loved it! I went to the theatre at least three times to see it. I couldn’t get enough.
Years later after being saved, I saw the movie on television. I couldn’t stomach getting through the opening credits. 
It wasn’t me. I hadn’t changed. I  didn’t have anyone telling me it was awful. I didn't have anyone scream at me or picket the theatre. I just was simply changed by Him.
  Have you ever truly been convicted of a sin or something you thought was fine and suddenly you were sure it wasn’t ok anymore?
I ask God. He leads me. A friend I visited with said, “More of Him, less of me.”
I am so glad so many of you are standing up for your beliefs and what you believe God wants. 
But how are you presenting it? 
Are you demanding others do what you think is right? Is it getting someone closer to God? 
I don’t respond well to someone in my face telling me what God wants. 
I can honestly tell you that I have failed in more ways than I ever have won. 
 And thank God, He didn’t show me all my sins at once or I would have been crushed. 
No, His love is gentle and kind and merciful. 
It says in the Bible, Matthew 18:21-22 - Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone* who sins against me? Seven times?”
22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!* 
I don’t know about you but after the second time of letting someone off the hook, I am pretty close to done.
I can’t give that kind of forgiveness without Him.
  And more importantly I forget how much He has forgiven me. 
Is that what you bring to the table when you tell others about the goodness of God?
From many social media posts, it doesn’t seem that way.
There seems more a “Let me tell you what” attitude.
People are watching us. Are they wanting what you have or are they running away?
The Jesus I met on the side of the road was pure unconditional love.
There were no demands. There was no conditions. It was a beautiful warm love that changed me. 
It made me softer, kinder, more filled with grace and mercy. All at once? Nope. But slowly. 
 Zach Williams song lyrics speak to me in Less Like Me -

“Somebody with a hurt that I could have helped
Somebody with a hand that I could have held
When I just can’t see past myself
Lord, help me be
A little more like mercy, a little more like grace
A little more like kindness, goodness, love, and faith
A little more like patience, a little more like peace
A little more like Jesus, a little less like me”

OPINIONS

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A SUNSET

How’s your life going? Some of you are still in summer. We started back to school here this week. The summer sped by faster than I ever remember a summer going by.    Life is moving faster and faster and all the things I need to do are falling behind.  I... [More]

One Of The Greatest Lies Ever Told

One of my first columns a couple years ago discussed “have to” vs “get to.”   Well last weekend I missed a family camping trip to put together the fair edition. I barely left my chair for days. And then after a short break I had to put another paper... [More]

The County Fair

What memories do you have of childhood summers? Are they centered around family? Fun? County fairs?    We just completed anothercounty fair. My daughter did well. And I am proud of her hard work. But as I am wiped out exhausted, recovering, getting ready for the next... [More]

Raise Someone Up Today

Right now my world is consumed by the county fair. I literally eat sleep and breathe it.  When people ask if we are ready for school, my answer is after the fair we can think about it. When my daughter asks about some future event, my answer is after the fair we will discuss... [More]

One Child At A Time

Last week I mentioned how sometimes life can throw us good surprises.  Well last week I had an opportunity to volunteer with poultry testing in our county. The veterinarian showed up and I mentioned how much my daughter wants to become a vet. And could she watch her work. ... [More]

A Little Joy

Hard work. It’s what I grew up with and it’s what I believe in. It’s what  we teach our daughter. You want things, it takes hard work. Yes, once in a while you will be given a gift and that is wonderful and be grateful. But the grit and the sweat is what... [More]

Kindness Matters

Here I am less than an hour from deadline trying to come up with something to write about.  Many newspapers have begun to remove or lessen their opinion section. With social media and daily news outlets opinions, people have grown weary of more opinion. At least according... [More]

It's the good stuff

I am sitting in my hotel room finishing up the paper. My daughter is at basketball camp and I just got a 1.5 mile walk in.  After the paper goes out I will get to watch a little of her camp and then grab some lunch.  We are about 100 miles from home but it feels like... [More]

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SPORTS

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LADY BULLDOGS BORDER WARS CHAMPIONS!!

The Lady Bulldogs were undefeated during the Border Wars, defeating Eads on Friday, 42-7 and Walsh on Saturday 62-5, bringing their record to 3-1. But the winner wasn’t announced until Tuesday evening. Syracuse Athletic Director Josh Johnson explained, “It came down... [More]

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JH Basketball Season Underway with JH Boys sweeping Lakin

Monday night at home at the Herndon Gym, the Junior High boys swept Lakin! Head coach Vance Keller said, “We’re a young team with only six eighth graders and 12 seventh graders. We’ve had six total that started the season with injuries so we haven’t had... [More]

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Senior Night Volleyball

Three Syracuse High School volleyball seniors were honored on Tuesday, October 5, during the volleyball tournament at Syracuse.  Kaetlin Thomeczek, daughter of Joe and Dami Thomeczek has played volleyball since the third grade, playing with Syracuse Youth Activities Association... [More]

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HS Track

Head coach Steve Navarro said, “The coaching staff has really enjoyed working with this group of kids this year. They have been putting in hard work despite some less than stellar conditions for practice and meets. We are excited to see what they can do now that we are... [More]

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SHS SPORTS WRAP UP

Baseball: The Bulldogs faced the Goodland Cowboys at home on Thursday, April 8, losing game one, 2-22 and game two, 1-17. Head Coach Dustin Doze said the Bulldogs really struggled throwing strikes again and they had too many errors. We need to clean things up if we want to... [More]

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Spring Sports Start

One year ago, athletes and coaches were beginning practice for their spring sport, some practicing during spring break, others enjoying the break from school. Soon they found out their break was extended a week, some with great joy, others with apprehension. Then came the unfortunate... [More]

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SUBSTATE HEARTACHE

Substate began and ended quickly but these Varsity teams left it all out on the court. In heartbreaking last second baskets, our basketball season was over. The boys lost by two points in the last five seconds and the girls lost by three. A wrap up of the season will come in... [More]

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HEADING TO SUBSTATE

The SHS Bulldogs faced the 4-A Holcomb Longhorns for the final home game of the season, with the varsity teams unable to win. The boys will be the number three seed in first sub state match up at home, Monday, March 1, against the number 6 seed, Stanton County. This will be the... [More]

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NEWS

City of Syracuse Weeds Notice

Thankful for the rain but the weeds have grown! Let's clean them up Syracuse!   Notice City of Syracuse The City of Syracuse will be enforcing Ordinance No. 592   ​SECTION 1.​WEEDS TO BE REMOVED.  It shall be unlawful for any owner, agent, lessee,... [More]

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Back to School: New Teachers at USD 494

Introducing the new teachers at USD 494. In visiting with the new teachers, a common denominator is their impression of the staff and especially the community who is supportive of the school, but also their admiration of the facility and all it has to offer.   High school... [More]

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Gracie's Cafe Opens

Gracie’s Café, formerly Western Trail Café in Coolidge, is now open under new ownership and management. The Donaldson family from Bristol, Colo. has purchased the restaurant from Ken and Patty Jordan who operated it for the past ten years. Coolidge Mayor,... [More]

Do You Want To Become A US Citizen

  Do You Want to Become a U.S. Citizen? Catholic Charities Offering Free Naturalization Consultation Clinic LIBERAL, KS, AUGUST 2, 2022 --- Naturalization is the process by which people who were born outside of the United States can become a U.S. citizen. For individuals... [More]

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS OF THE AUGUST 2, 2022 PRIMARY ELECTION FOR HAMILTON COUNTY

With 34% of the voters turning out plus 13 provisional ballots, here are the results from Hamilton County. Constitutional Amendment YES              244 NO              195   For United States Senate... [More]

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God's Hand on Highway 27

If you were down at the Demolition Derby on Saturday night, sheets of rain and pea size hail caused concern.  Many left, others hunkered in their vehicles wondering if it would pass.  Information came in waves. The stoplight was out. The railroad lights weren’t... [More]

What Kansans Need to Know about Voting on August 2

WICHITA, KS – July 15, 2022 – On August 2, Kansas holds a Primary Election for political parties to select their candidates for the November 2022 General Election and a Special Election to amend the Kansas Constitution.             ... [More]

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A Hero

It was a dramatic few weeks and one of the bigger moments got missed. Dakira Limon is a lifeguard at the Hamilton County pool and a hero.  An SHS graduate headed to Colby Community college for the animal science program. It is her fourth year as a lifeguard at the Hamilton... [More]

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OBITUARIES

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Terry Ogden Herndon

Terry Ogden Herndon, 88, of Carlisle, died peacefully at Care Dimensions Hospice House in Lincoln on Saturday, August 6, 2022, after a full and wonderful life.  He was the beloved husband for 66 years of Eva (Warmbrunn) Herndon. Born in Syracuse, Kansas on March 15, 1934,... [More]

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Irvin Henry (Junior) Lewis, Jr.

Irvin Henry Lewis, Jr. always known as “Junior” Junior was born in a little country house in Stanton County Kansas on January 26, 1932.  He was the youngest of 3 children born to Irvin H. Lewis and Effie (Mae) Hardin.  The eldest a sister Ethel Lorraine... [More]

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 Darrell D. Markley

Darrell D. Markley passed away on Sunday August 7, 2022, at the age of 95 at the Hamilton County Hospital ISB in Syracuse, Kansas. He was born on September 23, 1926, in Enterprise, Kansas the son of Oscar Markley and Nellie (Richards) Markley. Darrell was raised in Abilene, Kansas... [More]

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Dale Lee Simmons

A Memorial Service for Dale Simmons will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 6, 2022, at the Hartman School Gymnasium in Hartman, Colorado,with Pastor Jason Kirkpatrick officiating.  Inurnment will follow in the Hartman Cemetery.  Per Dale’s request, cremation has taken place and there will be no visitation.

Dale Lee Simmons passed away on July 30, 2022, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the age of 81.  He was born on February 23, 1941, in Pratt, Kansas, to John and Theda (Carr) Simmons.

Dale grew up in Pratt, Kansas until he was seven years old.  The family then moved to Hartman, Colorado,where he played basketball for the Hartman Bears.  Dale graduated with the class of 1959, the last class to graduate from Hartman.  He was united in marriage to Frances Leah Dennis on August 30, 1959.  To this union, four children were born.  

When Dale was only seven years old, he began driving a tractor.  After his father’s death, Dale took over the family farm at the age of 15.  He farmed until partially retiring in 2017.  Dale continued to swath hay and operate a grain cart until his passing.  Dale served on the Fire and Ambulance Board, Hartman Town Council, and as mayor for several years.

Dale is survived by his wife, Frances Simmons of the home; four children, Denise (Bob) Fazzino of Canon City, Colorado, Dennis (Jackie) Simmons of Hartman, Colorado, Dean (Jessie) Simmons of Hartman, Colorado, and Donna (David) Woodward of Port Orchard, Washington; eight grandchildren, Melissa Swope Woodward, Jeremy (Lindsey) Woodward, Dustin (Grace) Simmons, Kayla (Jason) Kirkpatrick, Dawn (Sean) Kelley, Sean (Krissy) Woodward, Gayle (Clay) Tatum, and Erin (Burley) Jerina; 18 great grandchildren; brother, Robert (Mary Rita) Simmons of Lamar, Colorado; sister, Ginger (Andy) Pittman of Arkansas; many other relatives and a host of friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Karen Cook; and stepfather, Herschel Melton.

Memorial contributions may be made to Holly Fire and Ambulance or the Town of Hartman in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, Colorado 81052.  To leave online condolences, please visit www.valleymemorialfc.com.

 

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Kris Elaine (Jost) Jantz 

Kris Elaine (Jost) Jantz  March 20, 1957 - July 27, 2022 A Funeral Service for Kris Jantz will be held at 9:30 a.m. MST, Friday, August 5, 2022, at the Syracuse Wesleyan Church in Syracuse, KS. Interment will follow in the Syracuse Cemetery. Kris Elaine (Jost) Jantz passed... [More]

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Barbara Laureen Fanshier-Phillips

Barbara Laureen Fanshier-Phillips (Daniels), age 83, of The Villages, FL, passed away on July 19, 2022 with her daughter, Shawn Fanshier, by her side. Born January 25, 1939 on the family farm in Kinsley, KS. Barb was a life-long learner with a passion for following her dreams.... [More]

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Justin Van Trussell

Justin Van Trussell passed away on Friday, July 1, 2022 at the age of 57 from a motorcycle accident near North Platte, Nebraska. He was born on September 22, 1964 in Germany the son of Ronald V. Trussell and Mona Rae (Alexander) Trussell. Justin began his life in Germany. They... [More]

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Dalene Fecht Lewis

Dalene May (Fecht) Lewis passed away on Tuesday, July 5, 2022 at the age of 71 at the Hamilton County Hospital in Syracuse, Kansas. She was born on December 15, 1950 in Garden City, Kansas the daughter of Albert Dale Fecht and Pauline (Finkenbinder) Fecht.  Dalene was... [More]

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