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OPINION PAGE - DECEMBER 22, 1999 - HOMER, GA

Editorial
The Banks County News
December 22, 1999

One life
The imagery of the Christ Child being born in a stable beneath a bright star surrounded by both learned Wise Men and humble shepherds is one of the most powerful pictures in human history. Humble by birth, He became a shepherd of men, a king of kings and the light of humankind.
Yet, for all His impact on this world, little is known about the man we call Jesus. Relative to others of his era, his known words are few. And virtually nothing is known of His childhood after the birth in Bethlehem.
Some of that may change. One archaeologist in Israel believes he has found the site of an ancient wine press in Nazareth, the tiny village that was Jesus' boyhood home. Excavations could yield further clues as to the nature of the village 2,000 years ago and perhaps shed some light on how the boy Jesus would have lived.
Many of Jesus' parables revolve around the common things He observed, and it isn't too much to imagine that those well-known stories may have come from the things he saw as a child, say scholars who wish to study the area.
Perhaps it is by design that we know so little about His childhood. But what we know of His later life was destined to change the world.
One unknown writer said it best:
He was born in an obscure village.
He worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30.
He then became an itinerant preacher.
He never held an office.
He never had a family or owned a house.
He didn't go to college.
He had no credentials but himself.
He was only 33 when the public turned against him.
His friends ran away.
He was turned over to enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth.
He was laid in a borrowed grave.
Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race.
All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned have not affected the life of man of this earth as much as that One Solitary Life.



Letter
The Banks County News
December 22, 1999

Time to celebrate millennium
Dear Editor:
As we approach the year 2000, some people are becoming confused and thinking that the 2000th year and the year 2000 are one and the same. Let's get it straight. 1999 is the 2000th year, and when it's over, the millennium is over. The year 2000 is a part of the 21st Century.
Let's say you order 2000 bricks. The truck arrives in your front yard, and you count the bricks one by one as you take them off the truck. When you lay the 1999th brick on the ground, there will be only one brick remaining on the truck. That was our situation last New Year's Day. 1999 years had been accrued, and we had only 12 months to go in the second millennium.
Don't think there is anything premature about your new millennium celebration. This really is it!
Sincerely,
Theron Ragsdale

Column
By Sherry Lewis
The Banks County News
December 22, 1999

Time for giving
While the Christmas season is a time for joy and laughter, I can't help but think of those less fortunate. At the same time, I'm glad to be a part of a community that is willing to lend a helping hand. Over the past few days, I've heard about businesses, individuals and civic organizations joining together to make sure children and adults alike have a happy holiday.
My children gave me a wish list and I have worked over the past few months to fulfill it. Now I wish I could put on my red suit or wave my magic wand and give some gifts to other people in our community.
Here are just a few of the presents I'd put on the doorsteps of Banks Countians:
·Deborah White, being named superintendent of the Banks County school system. I'll be the first to admit that I was not so sure about moving Mrs. White from her job as assistant superintendent and I expressed my opinion to Mrs. White. "You seem so knowledgeable in your current position, I have reservations about your becoming superintendent," I said. I changed my mind when I attended a recent board meeting and found out that she can "talk shop" no matter what the subject.
·Charles Chapman, being re-elected as sheriff. Days, nights, weekends and holidays, he is on the job. Over the past few years, as the county has grown, so has the crime rate. This year we've had a murder, a bank robbery, two home invasions and a murder-for-hire scheme. But crime still doesn't pay because Chapman and his team have been successful in making arrests in all those incidents and the people involved are either in jail or awaiting trial.
·For the county employees, you have just been given a raise. Granted there are always "slackers" in every crowd, but for the most part, we have a fine group of people who serve us in all areas. It is a known fact that there are some people who are underpaid and I believe it's time start paying them what they're worth. From what I understand, help is really and truly on the way in the next budget year.
·For Sam and Georgia Thurmond, you feel safe and secure in your own home. Since that harrowing ordeal on April 8, I wouldn't be afraid to say that their "good night's sleep" have been few and far between. If that's not enough, the Thurmonds spent last week being scrutinized by defense attorneys in a last-ditch effort to exonerate their clients. Justice did prevail and I hope the Thurmonds can rest a little easier.
·For my son, Ben, you can dye your hair and get an earring. While I spent most of my teenage life pledging to be a "cool" parent, I've changed my mind over the last few years. He took a trip with the 4-H Club to the Mall of Georgia and spent the first part of his trip looking for a salon. Next, he found out you've got to be 14 years old to get your ear pierced.
So while I don't have a red suit or a magic wand, I can wish each of you a Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.
Sherry Lewis is news editor of The Banks County News.


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