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Hello Metro family and friends! I hope you are having a good February. I don't know about you, but between the cold and snow of Michigan and the pandemic, I am ready for the warmth of spring, and getting out of the house.

Thanks to those who voted in our 16th Annual McCarty Metro Awards over the past month. Although the voting was light, I think all of our winners are very deserving. Congratulations to all of our winners including 2 newest entrants in our Hall of Fame, 'Happy Hair Productions' and 'UHY Cares'!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who competed in our 10th NFL Pigskin Pickem challenge. It was a lot of fun. It took time (5 months from start to finish) and commitment, so I commend the 34 players who made it all the way. Congratulations to our winner, Big Frank from Pittsburg, PA who has won this year and will have obvious bragging rights at this years' Gull Lake (if it happens).

My sons Austin and Brad, along with myself, had a great time in Vegas. It wasn't the same without my brothers though. You know the pandemic has canceled a lot this past year including St. Patrick's Day, Tiger opening day, 4th of July fireworks, or just going out with other people and having a good time as a group. I'm hopeful we will be back to 'normal' sooner than later, and can have gatherings together again.

Thank you for taking the time to submit material this month, or just reading and participating in this issue. Our next edition of the McCarty Metro be out in May, so I would like to wish you all a Happy St. Patrick's day, a blessed Easter, and a (there's a spider on the wall) April Fools! I leave you this month with a story about how one man filled up the empty chair. Enjoy...

A man's daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her father. When the minister arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside his bed. The minister assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. "I guess you were expecting me," he said. "No, who are you?" said the father.

The minister told him his name and then remarked, "I see the empty chair; I figured you knew I was going to show up." "Oh yeah, the chair," said the bedridden man. "Would you mind closing the door?"

Puzzled, the minister shut the door. "I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter," said the man. But all of my life I never knew how to pray. At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer, but it went right over my head."

"I abandoned any attempt at prayer," the old man continued, "until one day about four years ago my best friend said to me, "Johnny, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest." "Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus on the chair. It's not spooky because he promised, "I'll be with you always." "Then just speak to him in the same way you're doing with me right now."

"So, I tried it and I've liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I'm careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she'd either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm."

The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old man to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him, anointed him with oil, and returned to the church.

Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her daddy had died that afternoon. "Did he die in peace?" he asked. "Yes, when I left the house about two o' clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead.

But there was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?"

The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, "I wish we could all go like that." 

Here's to having that personal relationship to Jesus and hoping you have a Happy Easter.


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