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Guest Columns

  • April receipts may help state end budget year in great shape

    After weathering several tough budget cycles, the state is on track to end the current fiscal year next month with much better news to report.
    Two weeks ago, the Office of State Budget Director said that April’s General Fund receipts – which drive the budget – brought in a little more than $1 billion, a high-water mark that had never happened in a single month before.

  • Grace and roller skating

    By Rev. Chris Kazee
    I have never been good at roller skating (or anything that requires balance for that matter).  However, when I was a children’s pastor in another part of the state, I did take a group of church kids to the local roller rink. One of the boys who went was named Will, and he skated like I remember skating.  He probably fell at least ten times and when he hit the ground, he hit hard. In fact, he fell so hard that the tops of his shins, right below his knees, were completely bruised.  

  • Memorial Day a time to remember the debt we owe

    It may not be the official start of the season, but for most of us, the upcoming three-day weekend is when summer arrives.
    This time is about much more than that, of course. More importantly, it’s when our nation pays tribute to those who died defending our country.
    That list now has more than 1.2 million names, about half of which were added during the four years of the Civil War.

  • Optimize your energy

    If an individual lives in a continual state of stressful emotion, the body systems break down. Patterns of chronic environmental pressures result in ulcers, high blood pressure, neurosis and depression to name a few. Changes take place in the body’s chemical balance resulting in lower brain and organ function. We are each in control of the world we create by the choices we make. Choosing to focus on positive aspects that are self-supportive lead the individual to set boundaries and build harmonious bridges in relationships.

  • Admiration for those magnificent flowers

    By Dr. James L. Snyder
    The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were sitting on the back porch admiring the close of the day. Nothing is more relaxing than sitting together drinking coffee, glad that another day has quietly slipped by.
    Out of the clear blue sky my wife said, “Aren’t those flowers just magnificent?”
    I grunted a little grunt of satisfaction to which she replied, “Which do you like? The roses or the tulips?”

  • State’s tourism industry loaded with attractions

    Next year, Kentucky’s tourism industry will mark a major milestone when Mammoth Cave celebrates the 200th anniversary of its first commercial tour.
    The world’s longest cave is our country’s second-oldest paid attraction, trailing only Niagara Falls, and it and the surrounding national park have since become a major destination. It draws more than two million visitors a year aboveground, and about a fourth of those tour the sights below.

  • Miscellaneous musings and random scribbles

    Once again, after going through my column ideas folder of scribbled notes on church bulletins, saved emails and starts of columns I haven’t finished, I’m turning these random bits of miscellany into today’s column.
    I hope some of these thoughts will be helpful to someone reading this.
    * “How could a thorn ever be grace?” That’s from a song, “Strong,” that I heard at a church recently. Thorns hurt, and I was hurting that day.

  • House Speaker: ‘right to work wrong for Kentucky’

    Over the last four months, there has unfortunately been a renewed effort to breathe life into a proposal that most economists declared dead long ago. Supporters call it “right to work”; the rest of us, with the facts on our side, call it “right to work for less.”
    Those backing the concept claim it will cure everything but the common cold. Not embracing it, they say, has cost Kentucky countless jobs and limited worker choice.
    They’re wrong on both counts.

  • The joy of being a sinner

    Thanks to my daughter, Alison, I’ve been listening to Chris Rosebrough, a Lutheran pastor in North Dakota who has a daily podcast, “Fighting for the Faith.”
    He critiques sermons by a number of superstar Christian pastors and speakers who have become more enamored with themselves than with Jesus. Among other things, Rosebrough points out how they mangle or water down scripture, or ignore it altogether.

  • Energy a state focus

    Even before it became a state in 1792, Kentucky’s energy potential was well-known.
    It all began in 1750, when Dr. Thomas Walker, one of Kentucky’s early explorers, discovered coal here, and our profile began expanding significantly 40 years later, when the first commercial coal mine opened in what is now Lee County.