2021 Community Easter Event – Scavenger Hunt Clue #4

The Community Easter Event is returning this year! Saturday, April 3, 2021, from 11:30 AM – 1 PM at the Earl K. Long Park located at 1401 Maple St. in Winnfield. 

Don’t forget to bring an Easter Basket for the Easter egg hunt that begins at 11:30 AM. Other highlights of the event include a scavenger hunt (from now until the event) a free bagged lunch, inflatable obstacle courses, and a cakewalk.

This community event is sponsored by the Winn Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Winnfield City Council, Winnfield Rotary Club, Winn Parish Journal and area churches. 

Each edition of the Winn Parish Journal will feature a clue for the scavenger hunt that will take place from now until the event. Use the clues to figure out the location of the prize eggs. There will be six in all.

The bunny inside of an egg hidden at each location will reveal the prize information.  Please bring your prize-winning card to the Earl K. Long Park at 11:30 AM on Saturday, April 3rd to receive your gift!  If you are unable to attend the event please contact the Chamber of Commerce between the hours of 8:30 AM and noon at 318-628-4461.

Clue #1 – He stands in Washington DC, Baton Rouge & in Winnfield – Previous Clue (egg has been found)

Clue #2 – He is resting OK – Previous Clue (egg has been found)

Clue #3 – The Greyhounds were there – Previous Clue (egg has been found)

Clue #4 – He helped Laurel reach new Heights, was super in his intendant, wore a black robe for 31 years and is related to the current Mayor.

Check the Wednesday edition of the WPJ for clue #5!


Winnfield Police Department Arrest Report

City of Winnfield Police Department

Name: Temario A. Fobbs
Date: 3-22-2021
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 34
Charge: Failure to Appear Arraignment x 2, Resisting an Officer, Possession of Schedule II w/Intent to Distribute
Bond: Not Listed

Name: Edgar E. Rogers
Date: 3-23-2021
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 61
Charge: Failure to Appear
Bond: Not Listed

Name: Catterrius Latchie
Date: 3-23-2021
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Black 
Gender: Male
Age: 25
Charge: Bench Warrant
Bond: Not Listed

Name: Ricardo Brown
Date: 3-25-2021
Address: Homeless
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: N/A
Charge: Stalking, Criminal Trespass
Bond: Not Listed

Name: Edgar E. Rogers
Date: 3-26-2021
Address: Homeless
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Age: 61
Charge: Simple Criminal Damage to Property, Simple Burglary
Bond: Not Listed

Name: Henry Rodriguez
Date: 3-27-2021
Address: Winnfield, LA
Race: Hispanic
Gender: Male
Age: 27
Charge: Theft, Unauthorized Use of a Moveable, Battery of a Dating Partner, Simple Criminal Damage to Property, False Imprisonment, Unlawful Communication, Contempt of Court
Bond: Not Listed


Power UP YOUR CAREER WITH LOUISIANA CAT – Hydraulic Hose Assembly Technician Position Open in Winnfield

ARE YOU READY TO MAKE A POWERFUL IMPACT? 

THE OPPORTUNITY

We are looking for a Hydraulic Technician to join our growing operations at our Winnfield, Louisiana location.

YOU

The person in this role will be responsible for maintaining and overhauling hydraulics and related components.

YOUR CONTRIBUTION

  • You will repair, assemble and install components for hydraulic systems.
  • You will maintain and overhaul hydraulics and related components.
  • You will read and interpret equipment manuals, mechanical and electrical schematics, and other specifications to determine the repair method on failed components.
  • You will replace or repair defective components, using hand tools, gauges, and testing equipment.
  • You will assemble and install electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic equipment using hand or power tools.
  • You will rebuild install and align pump assemblies utilizing safe rigging methods using hand or power tools.
  • You will execute preventative maintenance and troubleshooting.
  • You will properly install repaired hydraulic components in the field if required.
  • You will perform electrical, electronic, mechanical, hydraulic system inspections.

YOUR VALUE

  • You will promote positive customer service according to Caterpillar and Louisiana CAT expectations
  • You will have the tools and building blocks to MAKE A CAREER here at Louisiana CAT. In walk through our Louisiana CAT doors…are the finest Caterpillar Heavy Equipment Service Technicians in the South.

MOST IMPORTANT QUALIFICATIONS

  • REQUIRED: High School Diploma or (GED) equivalent
  • REQUIRED: Minimum of 3 years of experience in Hydraulic Assembly
  • REQUIRED: Strong mechanical Aptitude
  • REQUIRED: Basic understanding of hand tools
  • REQUIRED: Strong attention to detail and problem solving skills
  • REQUIRED: Ability to work in a team environment
  • Must own required tool inventory. Louisiana Cat offers exclusive Tooling Program (specific discussed during interviews)
  • Strong customer service skills, mechanical aptitude, professional demeanor and always “safety-first” mentality every hour of every day

JOB FACTS

  • WORK SHIFT: 12 hour days / some weekend; variety of shifts (specifics will be discussed during interviews)
  • Will require physical movement as listed in the job description

SAFETY IN ALL WE DO

  • We require strict compliance with PPE (personal protective equipment) safety regulations
  • We maintain compliance with all Federal, State and Local safety and company regulations
  • All employees must follow all Company Health, Safety & Environmental (HSE) procedures
  • Louisiana Cat is a drug-free workplace

WHY PEOPLE JOIN LOUISIANA CAT

  • We are known for service quality and unsurpassed customer relationships guided by our strong company values, culture and safety standards
  • We have energy, focus and passion delivering results because what we do impacts our customers each and every day
  • We work across Construction, Electrical Power, Forestry, Governmental, Heavy Equipment, Industrial, Landscaping, Marine Engines and Oil & Gas industries
  • We invest in training and development programs for our employees to build their toolkit and career paths here at Louisiana CAT
  • We offer competitive pay and benefits, paid holidays and vacation, employee incentive programs and 401(k) company match programs to meet family and work lifestyles

Apply Here

WHO WE ARE

Louisiana CAT is the only authorized Caterpillar Dealer for the state of Louisiana. We provide Caterpillar Equipment, Service, Parts and Engines to customers across a wide range of industries. We are guided by our strong company culture, safety standards and activities in the communities in which we operate. We seek out employees who are inspired by our timeless values, thrive in growing company environment and want to become a part of a dynamic company backed by 85+ years of success. We have 23 locations across Louisiana and the Gulf South with Corporate HQ located in Reserve, LA and Power Systems HQ located in New Iberia, LA.

To BE The Best…We HIRE The Best. POWER UP and Click RED button “APPLY For This Position” on our Louisiana CAT Careers Page https://www.louisianacat.com/careers to be considered for open roles at Louisiana CAT and affiliate companies. #LouisianaCATCareers #NowHiring #HiringOurHeroes #HiringTheBest


Winter Storms’ Impact on Aquatic Vegetation Looks Promising

The prolonged sub-freezing temperatures that engulfed the state in February have had a significant impact on invasive aquatic weeds such as giant salvinia and water hyacinth. While the big chill didn’t eradicate the lake-choking plants, the good news from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is that giant salvinia coverage was reduced by more than 95%.

LDWF biologists, who continue evaluating vegetation coverage after the winter storms, have found varied results throughout the state. Smaller quantities of viable giant salvinia plants have been found in waterbodies where it was previously located.

In north Louisiana, waterbodies such as Turkey Creek Lake, Lake Darbonne and Caney Creek Reservoir are not yet showing signs of active vegetation growth – a positive indicator that there has been an extensive kill of giant salvinia. Other waterbodies like Caddo Lake, Lake Bistineau, Black Lake and Saline Lake, which had more extensive vegetation accumulations going into the winter, are already showing signs of active vegetation growth. However, much of the previously present giant salvinia has died and fallen out.

There is still some residual dead and dying plant material in some north Louisiana lakes, and it is expected that these aquatic weeds will continue to decompose and sink over the next several weeks.

In south Louisiana, minimal amounts of salvinia have been observed. However, it is likely that pockets of the plant remain hidden throughout the marsh and will grow as daily temperatures increase. Water hyacinth continues to be the biggest aquatic weed concern in south Louisiana. The winter storm in February burned the leaves off of most hyacinth plants, and it killed many; but the remainder have since leafed out and will likely grow substantially over the next two months.

LDWF biologists will continue to assess lakes statewide. LDWF herbicide spraying crews will target lakes with chronic giant salvinia issues. This will help to maximize the decreased plant coverage that resulted from the winter storms. In addition, the department will continue to use various methods to combat undesirable aquatic vegetation, including drawdowns, biological controls such as salvinia weevils, and private contractor spraying when it becomes necessary and as funding allows.

To report areas with concerning amounts of vegetation, please visit https://fs30.formsite.com/Jfroeba/form85/index.html


All Louisianans 16 or Older are Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine

All Louisianans 16 years old or older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning today, following news from the federal government that Louisiana’s allocation of vaccine doses will significantly increase this week, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday.

Since the start of the vaccination process, Louisiana’s weekly allocations of vaccine from the federal government have more than doubled, with Louisiana now slated to get more than 148,000 first doses directly next week, in addition to vaccine doses provided to partner pharmacies in a federal pharmacy program as well as the Federally Qualified Health Care Center program. More than one million Louisianans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. With the B.1.1.7., or U.K. variant, continuing to increase in Louisiana and neighboring states, it is essential to get Louisiana vaccinated as quickly and equitably as possible.

“Based on the doses that we will have available in the coming week, now is absolutely the time to expand vaccine eligibility as broadly as we possibly can, which is to everyone age 16 or older in Louisiana. This is an exciting development, but the hard work of making sure our family members, friends, coworkers and neighbors all have access to the vaccine will continue for months,” Gov. Edwards said. “Our goal has been to get vaccine doses we receive into someone’s arm within seven days of the doses arriving, because a shot sitting on a shelf doesn’t help us end this pandemic. All three available vaccines are safe and effective for every community and they represent our best hope of being able to Bring Louisiana Back.”

Until today, all people in Louisiana who are 65 and older, all health care workers, people ages 16 to 64 with certain health conditions and people 16 or older in certain essential jobs are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Louisiana. Starting today, March 29, all of the eligibility guidelines will be dropped in Louisiana and anyone who is 16 or older will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Appointments will still be required and providers may need time to update their scheduling systems, which means that people may have to wait a few days to schedule their appointments for next week. There are three authorized COVID-19 vaccines used in the United States: two-dose vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna and a one-dose shot from Johnson & Johnson. People ages 16 and 17 are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and they should consult their primary care doctor or vaccine provider to ensure the proper vaccine is administered.

“I am deeply grateful for Louisiana’s health care workers and vaccine providers who have worked tirelessly not only to treat sick patients, but now to vaccinate our people. This has been an absolutely unprecedented effort and Louisiana’s nurses, doctors and other health care workers have risen to the occasion each and every time they’ve been called upon. I hope people will be patient over the next few days as providers begin accepting appointments. Please know that there will be enough doses for everyone who wants a shot to get one eventually,” Gov. Edwards said.

Last week, the Louisiana Department of Health launched the Bring Back Louisiana grassroots campaign, which will bring COVID-19 vaccines to communities of concern through community events and targeted outreach. To sign up to volunteer for this effort, click here.

For information about where to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Louisiana and for more information, visit COVIDVaccine.la.gov.


Opportunity: NPSB – Guidance Counselor

POSITION AVAILABLE

JOB VACANCIES: Guidance Counselor

SITE LOCATION(S): Natchitoches Central High School

QUALIFICATIONS: Certification according to State Department of Education as a Guidance Counselor.

SALARY: Starting salary:  According to parish school salary schedule.

DEADLINE: Monday, March 29, 2021; 4:00 p.m.

WHERE TO APPLY:
Linda G. Page, Personnel Director
Natchitoches Parish School Board
P. O. Box 16
Natchitoches, LA 71458-0016
(318) 352-2358


Notice of Death March 28, 2021

WINN:
Larry Jack Casey
November 09, 1932 – March 19, 2021
Service: Tuesday, March 30 at 11 am at the Bandy family plot in the Atlanta Community Cemetery in Atlanta

Mary Lee Sproles Ortego
May 29, 1949 – March 18, 2021
Arrangements TBA

NATCHITOCHES:
Mildred Braden Anthony
March 27, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Mary Lee Bradford
March 25, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Sammy Jackson
September 24, 1958 – March 24, 2021
Service: Friday, March 26 at 2 pm at Memory Lawn Cemetery in Natchitoches

Garry Augustus Cole
October 14, 1942 – March 25, 2021
Service: Saturday, April 3 at 1 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis

Mike McCart
April 11, 1961 – March 21, 2021
Service: Monday, April 5 at 7 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Van Thomas Barker, Jr.
January 03, 1945 – December 26, 2020
Service: Friday, April 9 from 5-6:30 pm in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home


26th Annual Hog Dog Trials Underway at Winnfield Fairgrounds

 
Uncle Earl’s Hog Dog Trials is a yearly hog-dog baying event held in Winnfield, Winn Parish, Louisiana at the Winn Parish Fair Grounds involving big boars and, for the most part, Catahoula Leopard Dogs and Blackmouth Cur.

The event is named for Earl K. Long, “Uncle Earl” who was born in Winnfield in 1895. Long, brother of Gov. Huey P. Long was one of Louisiana’s most colorful politicians. He was governor three times between 1939 and 1960 and was an avid hog hunter.

In “hog baying” competitions, dogs are judged on their containment and control of a boar as well as their style of baying. The better “hog dogs” bay directly at the boar’s face to gain control of the boar. The sharpest voices are considered best. In the Two Dogs competition, the sharper or more shrill voice will be judged as having the better bay. If a boar runs from the dogs, they may nip the boar to make him stop but biting the hog is not permitted. The dog has 10 seconds to stop and contain the boar and begin baying again. The dog can lose a significant number of points if the boar is not contained within 10 seconds.

Hog baying involves dogs entering a pen and holding a feral hog “at bay” for a defined period of time, according to Jake Loiacano, the organizer of the event. Essentially, the dog’s goal is to focus, bark and contain the hog for the longest, without coming in contact with it, Loiacano said.

Louisiana bans hog-catching but permits this event after the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals worked on the law that exempted Uncle Earl’s.

Attendees and participants travel from as far away as Canada, England, and California to watch to attend.

“It’s the biggest event in Winnfield,” said Winnfield Mayor George Moss. This year’s event is setting entry records; the puppy class was the largest puppy class in Uncle Earl’s history with 85 entries, while the Old & Young competition had 135 entries breaking the previous record of 92 entries.

 
This weekend’s events are:
Friday 26th – 2 dog
Saturday 27th – 2 dog completion
Sunday 28th – Youth, Best of the Best, and High Point
 
Daily access wristbands cost $10

2021 Community Easter Event – Scavenger Hunt Clue #3

The Community Easter Event is returning this year! Saturday, April 3, 2021, from 11:30 AM – 1 PM at the Earl K. Long Park located at 1401 Maple St. in Winnfield. 

Don’t forget to bring an Easter Basket for the Easter egg hunt that begins at 11:30 AM. Other highlights of the event include a scavenger hunt (from now until the event) a free bagged lunch, inflatable obstacle courses, and a cakewalk.

This community event is sponsored by the Winn Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Winnfield City Council, Winnfield Rotary Club, Winn Parish Journal and area churches. 

Each edition of the Winn Parish Journal will feature a clue for the scavenger hunt that will take place from now until the event. Use the clues to figure out the location of the prize eggs. There will be six in all.

The bunny inside of an egg hidden at each location will reveal the prize information.  Please bring your prize-winning card to the Earl K. Long Park at 11:30 AM on Saturday, April 3rd to receive your gift!  If you are unable to attend the event please contact the Chamber of Commerce between the hours of 8:30 AM and noon at 318-628-4461.

Clue #1 – He stands in Washington DC, Baton Rouge & in Winnfield – Previous Clue (egg may have been found)

Clue #2 – He is resting OK – Previous Clue (egg may have been found)

Clue #3 – The Greyhounds were there 

Check Monday’s edition of the WPJ for clue #4!

Winn Parish Schools to Receive Grant from PSC Foster Campbell

Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell is awarding nearly $2.5 million in grants to local governments and parish school systems in Northwest Louisiana to promote energy efficiency.

The recipients of Campbell’s 2021 efficiency grants for Northwest Louisiana public institutions are:

• City of Shreveport: $250,000

• Caddo Parish Fire District 8: $50,000

• Town of Greenwood: $17,837

• Bossier Parish Community College: $500,000

• De Soto Parish School Board: $913,632

• De Soto Parish Police Jury: $220,893

• Webster Parish School Board: $385,000

• Red River Parish School Board: $165,947

• Bienville Parish School Board: $296,330

Winn Parish School Board: $57,571

The energy upgrades funded by the grants include high-efficiency LED lights in buildings operated by local public agencies.

The improvements will lower electric bills by thousands of dollars for the grant recipients, Campbell said.

The LPSC Energy Efficiency program for public entities and political subdivisions is an offshoot of the commission’s “Quick Start” Energy Efficiency program, which since 2013 has helped residential and commercial utility customers lower their electricity consumption across Louisiana.

Participating utilities are SWEPCO, Entergy and CLECO.

“Energy Efficiency is a cost-effective way to reduce energy costs, improve building comfort and preserve our environment,” Campbell said. He added that “every dollar that local governments and public bodies save on their electric bills is a dollar that can help them improve service to the public in other ways.”

The next round of LPSC District 5 grants will be awarded in 2022, with the application deadline set at Jan. 31, 2022.

Federal Money and Sales Tax Collection Among Issues Facing Lawmakers

Should Louisiana adopt a centralized system of collecting sales taxes, especially on purchases made on internet purchases? How do we effectively spend federal funds the state is getting as part of various COVID relief packages? And what changes are needed to deal with how property insurance is handled in the state? Those are some of the issues District 22 Representative Gabe Firment sees as top issues when the Louisiana Legislature convenes in a fiscal session next month.

Firment spoke with The Journal about these issues. He noted that Louisiana is one of the few states that do not have centralized sales tax collection. He said this is a top priority of House Speaker Clay Schexnayder. Firment said, “We are behind and desperately in need of reform of sales tax collection. I don’t know if the speaker can pull it together to get it passed.” Firment added that the speaker and the Senate President Page Cortez of Lafayette worked together last year on tort reform bills. And he hopes they can work together on sales tax collections.

“There are some concerns about centralizing the collection of sales taxes,” said Firment. He added, “Some sheriffs and school boards are concerned about administrative costs of doing it. And some are worried that they might miss out on some tax revenue.”

In the case of South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc, the US Supreme Court ruled that a state may charge tax on purchases made from out-of-state sellers. There has been discussion of the feasibility of each parish being able to collect sales tax on internet transactions, or would the collection have to be done by a centralized agency. Firment told The Journal, “Right now Louisiana and one other state do not have a centralized collection. Other states are doing it.”

Federal stimulus and COVID recovery bills will send billions of dollars into Louisiana. Firment said, “The state will be getting about 3-billion dollars, and the local governments will get another 2-billion dollars. I don’t favor the federal government spending as much as they are.” Firment added, “But if we get it, we should spend it wisely, and not spend it on recurring expenses. One time money should be spent on infrastructure repairs or building up the Unemployment Trust Fund. That was depleted with all of our citizens out of work due to the COVID outbreak and business shutdown. We borrowed from the federal government to keep the fund afloat. We also have some 1-billion in debt left over from the state borrowing federal money for Katrina’s recovery. We could pay off that.”

Firment said, “We have a unique opportunity to take care of some of these things. Other conservative legislators and I feel that when tough decisions have to be made, we need to make the fiscally responsible decision.”

He is drafting bills dealing with property insurance. Firment said, “I was an insurance claims adjuster for over 20 years. We had problems after Hurricane Laura with a shortage of claims adjusters. Many have been forced out because the insurance companies did not want to pay.”

Firment said, “The companies attempt to deny or drag out claims as long as possible. They want to hold onto premium money because they invest it. If they can give people who had losses the run-around or low-ball the estimate of damage, it delays paying a claim. These tactics give the insurance company longer to earn interest on that money.” The Journal asked what the answer is. Firment said, “We have to give the companies an incentive to do what’s right.”

The Legislature will convene on Monday, April 21st. The session will run until Thursday, June 10th.

McFarland Tanks Gas Tax

The latest bid to boost Louisiana’s gasoline tax has ended without a legislative vote.

Rep. Jack McFarland said Thursday he’s shelving the tax hike proposal ahead of the legislative session that starts April 12, as billions of dollars in federal coronavirus aid that could be used for road and bridge work is headed to Louisiana.

The Winnfield Republican, who spent months traveling the state to pitch the gas tax proposal to organizations and colleagues, said he’ll continue pushing legislation to rework financing for the transportation department, steer more money to projects and add more oversight of spending.

 
“I’m restructuring my bill. I’m going to take the revenue-raising measure out of it,” McFarland said.

The north Louisiana lawmaker faced significant opposition from within his own party for his phased-in, 22-cent tax hike, which eventually would have raised an extra $600 million-plus yearly by 2033. Both Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards and Republican Senate President Page Cortez said Wednesday that they didn’t see enough support to raise the gas tax this year.

Supporters of an increase point to Louisiana’s $15 billion backlog of road and bridge work and its list of $13 billion in projects to improve traffic flow and lessen gridlock. But critics, including the chairman of the state GOP, slammed the tax hike as unaffordable, particularly in a pandemic.

It would have taken a two-thirds vote to pass, a hurdle that has stalled previous gas tax hikes sponsored by other lawmakers in 2017 and 2019.

McFarland’s tax hike proposal was further undermined by an influx of federal coronavirus aid pushed by President Joe Biden and passed by Democrats in Congress earlier this month.

Louisiana state government expects to receive more than $3 billion from the federal package, and local government agencies are slated to get $1.8 billion. Those dollars could be steered to roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects.

“It is extremely hard to make the pitch to legislators and even the public when they see this much money coming to the state from the federal government,” McFarland said.

Motorists in Louisiana pay 38.4 cents in taxes per gallon of gasoline, including 20 cents in state taxes. The state rate hasn’t changed since 1990. Louisiana ranks 43rd in the nation for what it charges drivers to fuel vehicles, according to The Tax Foundation.

McFarland had proposed to raise the state tax 22 cents by 2033, starting with a 10-cent per gallon increase in 2021, then 2 additional cents every other year for the next 12 years. That was estimated to raise $300 million annually in the first year and grow to $660 million yearly by 2033. New fees also would have been charged on electric and hybrid vehicles.

Rather than the tax increase, McFarland said he’ll propose moving all the current gas tax revenue to projects and prohibiting it from being spent on transportation department administration — a shift that would require lawmakers to find other dollars to pay for agency operations. He’ll propose fee increases for the department to help cover some of those administrative costs and seek to earmark all vehicle sales taxes to the agency, stripping the dollars from other state spending areas.

Blessed – High Crimes and Misdemeanors

By Reba Phelps

During the late 1980s, my parents decided to relocate our family from the metropolis of Natchitoches to the rolling hills and salt mines of Goldonna. If you were at all familiar with technology and communications during this time you will know that it simply did not exist. We traded in our numbered housing for a Rural Route, white framed house, that was best described as, “About two miles past Mr. Pete’s store on the left and right before you get to the Loop Road.

We moved there just as the “Party Line” days were ending and you only needed to dial four digits to reach someone’s house phone. There was no social media and the only way to keep up with my small tribe of friends was to call Long Distance. Unbeknownst to me, Long Distance cost a lot of money and that was one thing my family was short on.

When the first BellSouth bill arrived, a family meeting was scheduled. Every child was called in and presented with the evidence. Pages upon pages that detailed misdemeanors. Each phone number that was called, the cities in which they were housed, and the number of minutes spent on said phone call was all there. In black and white. Being the middle child and the most street smart child in the home, I knew better than to plead guilty immediately. I needed to wait and see if any of the other siblings took the blame for their calls.

Luck was not on my side this day. Not one sibling of mine called one friend outside of the Goldonna City limits. How could this be? ALL of these calls were mine? This itemized list of sins cost me four weeks without phone privileges and not one red cent of allowance. I would love to report this was a one-and-done sin and that I learned my lesson.

That was not the case.

The fact of the matter is, we held this same family meeting for years without fail every single month. I was the perpetual abuser of phone privileges and dreaded when the phone bill arrived with the itemized misdemeanors. The punishment grew more severe with each passing month and I always tried to obey but I just really enjoyed talking to my pals from town. Even in the months where my long distance calls were few, I was still pegged as the perpetrator.

The madness finally stopped when phone companies introduced “Circle Dialing”. Even though the phone bills decreased it was almost as if my parents were not forgiving me for my crimes and constantly reminding me every time they saw a phone in my hand.

My parents were Bible believing people but they also were firm believers that the many scriptures about forgiving other’s transgressions did not apply to juvenile repeat offenders. They were less than impressed when I reminded them that they should forgive seventy times seven times. I am pretty sure I was grounded four hundred and ninety days for that one comment. Most of my youth was spent grounded for some reason or another. This was nothing new.

Forgive and forget were not in their vocabulary.

How blessed are we that we serve a God that does not keep an itemized list of our high crimes and misdemeanors? We serve a forgiving, loving and compassionate God. He shows grace and mercy even when we do not deserve it. Once we ask for forgiveness of our sins, he remembers them no more. Being a follower of Christ does not give you the freedom to go and sin as you wish, it only promises new mercies every morning.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteous”.
1John 1:9

“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for my own sake and I will not remember your sins.”