COLUMN: It Sounds To Easy

Like Ebola or AIDS, the man was battling a terrible illness. A teenage girl told him about a man of God who had great miracles associated with his ministry. The sick man's name was Naaman. He was a commander of the Syrian army. His reputation was that of a mighty warrior who gained the respect of those under his command. Naaman sought out the prophet Elisha in the expectation of a miracle healing of his leprosy.

Naaman made his way to Elisha's house and was instructed to go dip himself 7 times in the Jordan River. Naaman became furious with these instructions. He had it all figured out how the process should go. His expectation was for the man of God to meet with him and wave his hand over the leprosy and call out to God. He was expecting an event to take place which would identify God responding to a pretty impressive need. For God to meet this awesome need there would need to be some "hand waving" and "shouting out to God". He got mad when he was instructed to do something so simple.

The next thing Naaman did was to discredit the instruction by comparison. He declared how superior the rivers of Syria was to the rivers of Israel. For him the Abanah and the Pharpar rivers of Damascus contained far better waters than that of anything in Israel. (2 Kings 5:12) In this comparison game his answer from God was discredited and abandoned. His need was of the magnitude that if dipping in water was going to help, the water needed to be more impressive than that in Israel.

For Naaman it all sounded just too easy! The answer had no display from the man of God. There was no magnificent water to dip in. The answer of privately, without fanfare, dipping into the narrow, non-impressive Jordan River seemed just too trivial for his need.

This same attitude towards God's answer is played out over and over. To be completely forgiven of any and every sin all you must do is confess it as sin and ask for forgiveness. It is not complicated. It is not difficult. Some respond, "That sounds just too Easy." And yes, it is easy for us. But it was not easy for Jesus. Jesus died for your sins. He paid the price so you can receive forgiveness freely. There is no sin the blood of Jesus Christ cannot cleanse. You can be cleansed of sin. You can be holy, righteous, and pure in the eyes of a holy God. All because of Jesus.

Naaman finally yielded and obeyed God's process to healing, and he dipped 7 times in the Jordan River. On the 7th dip he came up out of the water with his flesh restored like the flesh of a little child, he was completely clean. The same can happen for you. You can be as clean as a little child through the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

I prayed for you, PG

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CV Tech names Students of the Quarter, Coining Award winners for first nine weeks

Canadian Valley Technology Center recently honored outstanding students with "Student of the Quarter" and "Coining" awards for the first nine weeks period.

Students of the Quarter are chosen based on outstanding grades and regular attendance and exemplary classroom behavior. Coining awards are unique in that they are given at the discretion of the instructor.

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Annual Hall of Trees set for Nov. 15

The Chickasha Chapter of Altrusa International will hold their 22nd Annual Altrusa Hall of Trees on Saturday, Nov. 15th at the USAO Ballroom. The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with a silent auction and hors d'oevres, followed by dinner with live pianist.

This year's event, themed "Merry and Bright", is underwritten by two corporate sponsors, The First National Bank and Waste Connections. The event will benefit Altrusa's two primary recipients: Chickasha Mobile Meals, and The Grady County Historical Society, as well as support other local projects. Those include the third grade dictionary project, scholarships for GED students, a reception for GED graduates and their families, and donations of books to children.

The evening culminates with the live auction featuring a trip for two to San Francisco. Auctioneer Paul Lewis will also auction five trees and three large wreaths decorated by Altrusa members.

The trees have varying themes:

* "Frozen" sponsored by Bank SNB, features a pale blue flocked tree with snowball and snowflake decorations.

*"Polar Express" sponsored by Arvest Bank, features several large polar bears frolicking around and throughout a seven and a half foot tree.

* "Candy Delight" sponsored by KOOL 105, is a seven foot white tree covered in over-sized red and white candy.

* "Merry and White" sponsored by Standley's Systems, is a nine foot pencil tree covered in glass pearlized ornaments with hints of gold.

* "Merry and Bright" a six foot red and lime green decorated tree featuring Santas, and sponsored by MidFirst Bank.

Our wreath sponsors are Thome Cook Insurance, Liberty Drug, and Seasonal Living.

Tickets are $40 per person and may be purchased by calling Mary at 779-0279 by Nov. 7th. This event has raised over $36,000 for local charities over the past three years thanks to the generosity of Chickasha area businesses and their contributions to this event.

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Special events planned for National Friends of Libraries week

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Book drive continues

Children's Book Drive for the three and four year old children at Washita Valley CAC Head Start is currently underway.

Books may be donated at the library and monetary donations to purchase children's books are to be mailed to the Friends of the Chickasha Public Library, PO Box 285, Chickasha, OK 73023.

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P.E.O. Chapter FV to meet October 20

Members of P.E.O. Chapter FV will meet on Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 in the Parlor at Epworth Church, 4th and Iowa, Chickasha.

Hostess is Beverly Sorrels with Kacey Wallace and Sallie Pittman serving as co-hostesses.

Social time begins at 6:30 p.m. with the business meeting starting at 7 p.m.

The theme for the evening is The Many Facets of Literature with Jana Dabney serving as program leader.

Members will be finalizing plans for Chapter FV's annual Make, Bake and Grow Auction Fundraiser. It will be held on Monday, Nov. 17, at 6:30 p.m. in the Life Center of Epworth Church. The community and all members of area P.E.O. Chapters are invited to attend.

A report by the P.E.O. Cottey College Committee will be given. Members include Diana White, Suzan Colvin, Carol Allen-Reyes and Linda Adams.

P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women; educate women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans and stewardship of Cottey College; and motivate each other to achieve their highest aspirations.

The theme for 2014-15 is The Many Facets of P.E.O.

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Weber debuts compositions at upcoming concert Nov. 3

CHICKASHA - Celebrating nearly three decades as a composer, Dr. Stephen Weber will present a concert of his works featuring faculty, staff and alumni from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Weber's Composition Concert is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 3 in the Alumni Chapel.

The event is free and open to the public.

The concert will feature the debut of three new works from Weber and demonstrate his eclectic approach to composition.

While publishers have placed more than 80 of Weber's original compositions into print over the years, he says that the urge to compose is impossible for him to ignore.

"I compose because I need a creative outlet," Weber said. "Though my compositions are rooted in the form and structure of classicism, my ears remain constantly open to new sounds and I hope my work reflects that admiration for the current."

Mendon is one of three organ preludes that will open the program. Concordia Publishing House commissioned the piece from Weber and it will be included in its 12-volume Concordia Organ Prelude Series.

Weber will present also for the first time Three Pieces for Classical Guitar. Matthew Denman, instructor of guitar at Oklahoma City University, will perform the pieces that represent Weber's first compositions for classical guitar.

Denman, who also serves as director of education for the Guitar Foundation of America as well as the Celedonio Romero Guitar Institute, has received the 2013 GFA Augustine Award for excellence in guitar education, the Images of Excellence Award, and the Classen School of Advanced Studies' Teacher of the Year award.

Elizabeth York, the electronic resources librarian at USAO's Nash Library, will join Weber for the premiere of "Movement II" from Sonatine for Alto Saxophone and Piano.

York earned her bachelor's of music in oboe performance from the University of Tulsa before completing a master's degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2014.

York will also perform on "Tabula Rasa" from a larger work titled Philosophical Sketches for Violin and Piano.

Others joining Weber for the concert include: Dr. Dan Hanson, professor of music, who will perform a piece for multiple percussion instruments; alumni Steven Sanders and Rhenada Finch; as well as Lindsay Robbins, a senior music major from Moore.

Sanders is a USAO alum, currently on the vocal music faculty at Oklahoma State University, and Finch, also an alum, formerly served as staff accompanist at USAO.

Weber is a professor of music, chair of the division of arts and humanities and the Mary Jo Ragan Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Weber earned a bachelor of music education degree from Concordia University-Chicago, a master of arts degree in music (piano performance) from The College of New Jersey and the interdisciplinary doctorate in Fine Arts (composition and piano pedagogy) from Texas Tech University.

His compositions have been published by Warner Brothers, Zalo Publishers, Permus Publications, H.W. Gray, Voice of the Rockies Music Publishers, and Concordia Publishing House.

He recorded his Eight Etudes for Piano and Eclectic Set for Percussion Quartet on the Opus One label.

Weber was a winning composer in the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy Composition Competition in 1994. He received annual Standard Awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers from 1994 through 2007.

He has presented research at conferences, performed, or had his works performed in various locales in the United States as well as Greece, Switzerland, Hungary and Poland.

Weber has been awarded the USAO Board of Regents Award for Scholarly Activity three times as well as the Superior Teaching Award.

He was recently recognized as a finalist for the 2014 Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in Teaching and Administration by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.

More information about the concert can be obtained by calling 574-1295 or by visiting the university's event section at usao.edu/events.

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Baser to be inducted into USAO Alumni Hall of Fame

CHICKASHA -- He was once the "voice of the Drovers" - serving as announcer at USAO Basketball games. Today, you can call him "college president, " and this year Dr. Ric Baser will be inducted into the USAO Alumni Hall of Fame.

Baser, a 1979 drama graduate from USAO, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during Alumni Homecoming Nov. 10.

Registrations are being accepted at the USAO Alumni Development Office, (405) 574-1290. An all-inclusive registration package is available for $65 per person through Oct. 25, which includes all meals.

Additional information, including registration, is available online at usao.edu/alumni.

He was named president of Northwest Vista College in San Antonio on Aug. 15.

"I am overwhelmed and honored by the selection into this prestigious group of alumni," Baser said. "I am a proud graduate, lifetime alumni member and former employee of this institution that has been instrumental in my success and 33-year career in higher education."

Baser was the vice president and chief academic officer at Tulsa Community College, where he led and provided fiscal guidance to six of the president's cabinet members including campus provosts, associate vice presidents, deans and directors. He worked alongside 1,500 academic and student affairs employees.

His prior experience also includes serving as vice president for academic affairs at Rose State College and Seminole State College, instructor at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University and two positions at USAO - director of alumni and school relations and director of school relations and student activities.

Baser holds a master of arts in speech from Oklahoma State University and a doctor of education in higher education administration from Oklahoma State University.

He was the 2013 recipient of the Service Award from the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges as "The Golden Voice" of the All Oklahoma Team Luncheon, and the 2008 recipient of the Phi Theta Kappa Hallmark Award for Distinguished College Administrator. Baser was the first recipient of the Young Alumni Hall of Fame Award (Rising Star Award) from Oklahoma State University in 1999.

He was listed on the National Deans' List in 1991-92, was named to the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society at Oklahoma State University and received the Robert B. Kamm Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, Educational Administration and Higher Education Department, Oklahoma State University in 1991.

Baser has served with numerous college and community service organizations including the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, Tulsa Area Workforce Investment Board, Vision 2 Grassroots Committee, Tulsa County Area Superintendent's Association, Theatre Tulsa Advisory Board, Tulsa CAP Neighborhood Promise Advisory Committee and many others. He is a graduate of Leadership Tulsa.

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Bedroom Farce opens Nov. 7 in Davis Hall Little Theatre

CHICKASHA - Armed with a new box office and an able cast of performers, the theatre arts department at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is ready to delight campus, community and alumni attendees with its production of Alan Ayckbourn's Bedroom Farce.

The box office for the "vintage" British comedy opens at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7 and 8 in the Davis Hall Little Theater with the curtain going up at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for the general public. USAO students, faculty and staff may attend for free.

The two-act play, which coincides with USAO's Alumni homecoming weekend, is also free to paid members of the Alumni Association. Alumni guests may attend for half-price.

Katie Davis, associate professor of theatre arts and production director, described the play's author as "the British Neil Simon."

"Critics are divided on Ayckbourn's place in the theatre canon because his plays are popular and entertaining," Davis said. "He is the second-most produced playwright in British history, second only to Shakespeare."

The play, which debuted in 1978, is a playful but biting examination of marriage. The story focuses on the conflict within and between three married couples attending a housewarming party that descends into a serious of farcical situations.

Davis characterized it as "a comedy about romance that is not a romantic comedy."

"Ayckbourn's work as a whole deals with how we communicate and Bedroom Farce is no exception," Davis said. "In an atmosphere of hot debate about marriage in Oklahoma, it's a fun story that reminds us of the truths about relationships we can all agree on."

The cast is composed of a mixture of department veterans and actors new to the company.

The cast includes: Cord Courtney, a junior theatre arts major from Blanchard; Olen Cox, a 2014 USAO graduate from Hugo with a bachelor of arts degree in music; Corryn Englerth, a junior theatre arts major from Abilene, Texas; Daniella Jimenez, a senior theatre arts major from Newalla; Brandon Nalley, a senior theatre arts major from Duncan; Emma Rose Kraus, a freshman theatre arts major from Tulsa; Ian Shofner, a freshman from Edmond with an undeclared major; and Alicia Working, a senior communication major from Mustang.

Carrie Chavers, adjunct instructor, is the stage designer and Martin Reding, theatre facilities manager, is the technical director.

The Davis Hall Little Theater lobby has been renovated this fall, with a new box office added along with an adjoining play library accessible to students.

The company is poised to stage the golden age Broadway musical Guys and Dolls in conjunction with the university's music department in the spring.

More information about the play can be obtained by calling Davis at 574-1310 or visiting the university's event section online at usao.edu/events.

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Friend students receive a fire safety demonstration

Grady County Fire Department, Friend Station, held a fire safety information demonstration for all of the Friend School children and asked the Grady County Sheriff's Office to join them. The children had a great time and learned a lot about fire prevention!

The Grady County Sheriff's Office enjoyed working hand in hand with the Grady County Fire Department teaching children about public safety.

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