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Mitchell County Man Urges People ot Look Up

By Doug Harrell

Mitchell CountyDoug Harrell Mitchell County


For me, August has always been a big month.  I have a birthday in August, eighty this year.  School usually starts in August and that was the time that we began to look at harvesting the farm crops.  As I think back on all the years and the events and changes that have taken place, I realize that the years are a continuing journey, if we are fortunate enough at this age to still be around.  Today I was looking at some pictures that a classmate had posted of the girl’s basketball team for 1961 and I thought back on those times.  At least they were all biological females and there was no question of that at all.  I am not sure that transgender was even a word that would have been recognized.

I don’t claim to be able to see the future and am not into end-of-times prophecy.  That said, when I read what the Bible has to say it sure seems that we must be drawing close to that time frame.  When we read 2 Timothy 3, it seems as if we are reading a description of today’s world.  At my age, I am pretty well set in my ways and am glad I have my wild oats days behind me rather than in front of me.  The scary parts to me now are the future of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, how they will be able to navigate the stage they will be walking on and be able to have some semblance of faith and a stable relationship in their lives.  I realize more and more how important it is for those that are up in age to still be teaching and setting an example for them to follow.

I know that we all face challenges and trials every day of our lives and our descendants will be having the same valleys and mountains in their lives as well.  May we strive to prepare them for the potholes in the road that they will be facing.  I wrote a devotion about learning to look up in times of trouble.  We need to be impressing that thought in the minds of our loved ones wherever they are and whenever we can.  I am going to include that devotion in this month’s Life Lessons.

What challenges are you facing today?  I bet if you asked that question to a hundred people at least ninety of them would answer you.  Some would be major situations, and others may be minor to some but huge to the one describing the challenge.

Life is always a series of ups and downs, valleys so deep and rivers so wide, mountains so high.  The challenge is to face each step with an attitude of gratitude!  Being able to stand up to the stress of life comes when you are looking up into the face of Jesus, not looking down at the ground with fear and anxiety!  The story of Stephen really gives an example of that!  While being stoned to death, Stephen was looking up.

“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”  Acts 7:55-59 KJV

As you think on these things today think about the words in the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”:

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.

    • Refrain:
      It is well with my soul,
      It is well, it is well with my soul.

As long as we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, it will be well with our souls.  Keep looking up and giving thanks each day.

As the children are headed back to the school rooms, really work on instilling in their hearts and minds the words of Jesus, do everything in your power to make sure that they are grounded in the Christian Faith and that they have the words of Jesus planted firmly.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”  Deuteronomy 6:4-9 KJV


Doug Harrell is a lifelong resident of Mitchell County, Owner of Harrell Hill Farms, a member of Bear Creek Baptist Church, and former publisher of Blue Ridge Christian News. You can find him on Facebook at

You can read more good Christian News from Doug Harrell HERE