These thoughts came to me while I was driving to London alone on Monday. With the absolutely beautiful mixture of colors with which we in this part of the country are blessed right now, I simply cannot imagine how anyone can think there is not a God. God is not only an artist, he is a scientist, mechanic, inventor, writer, cook, doctor, preacher and friend plus an unnumbered total of other things.
We here in Eastern Kentucky have so much for which to be proud and thankful. I don’t know where one could go and see the variety of scenery we have right here in our own front door. We are also surrounded by friends and neighbors whose number one concern is the wellbeing of their friends and neighbors. That too is a rarity in this fast moving world in which we live.
In doing the two interviews I did for this week’s special section, “Women In Business,” I found the comments from Hazard Schools Superintendent Sandra Johnson about the local system’s being dependant upon the community as a whole to “set the bar” for the school system to be so realistic and refreshing. Ms. Johnson did not try to hide the fact that the town’s schools depends upon the town for interest, support and guidance.
Please do not think that those remarks are saying that John Paul Amis’s thoughts do not parallel those of Ms. Johnson. For the “Women In Business” section, my interviews were limited to those with females. In what little I know about the community of Buckhorn, no one could hail from that part of the county without knowing full well much depends on the concerns of the public.
In my meeting with Kathryn McAllister, also for the “Women In Business” section, it was so good to hear that she felt that God had given her the talent to play the piano, and she was going to use that talent when and wherever it was and is needed. Some people would say such thinking is just the mountain way, but I think if more people thought that way, we would all enjoy a much better world in which to live.
There are several people who think of our part of the world as remote, but as far as I am concerned, we are “the center” of the universe. For those who had the opportunity to watch the debate between the two candidates for our next Lt. Governor, it was most obvious Hazard’s Dr. Daniel Mongiardo showed he had a very solid educational and family background. I am not trying to say his opponent in the debate did not do a good job, but since we are thinking about this area, that is the reason Dr. Mongiardo’s thoughts were pointed out.
While thinking about the positives we have here, we cannot afford to sit back and think we are at the “top of the hill.” We must continue to work for good jobs in the area, the keeping of our environment clean, the better of educational advantages and the know how to be grateful for what we have. Neither can we forget the urgent need to teach our young people the dangers of drugs, and while we are on that subject, we also need to learn ways to get those already hooked on drugs and drink to get them clean.
I don’t pretend to be a scholar of the Bible, but it’s my thinking that when one is blessed with something, he owes it to himself or herself as well as to the provider of whatever the subject might be to take care of that gift or blessing. If my knowledge of the Bible were anywhere near that of Daddy or Grandpa Keith, each of whom had read the Bible through several times and studied it on a daily basis, I could quote you “chapter and verse” about which I am thinking, but since I do not have the knowledge of the scriptures many people have, I cannot quote you the basis of my thinking. When thinking about the Bible, I often think about what the late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale said about preaching, and that it was the easiest work one could do, because he only had to quote from the Bible. We all know the ministry is much more involved than that, and certainly Dr. Peale’s work has been an example that will be referred to for many generations to come, but he showed his human side in such comments as that. To end this week’s thoughts back on a local note, if I have not mentioned it before, you might be interested to know that Dr. Peale’s son-in-law, John Allen, who died from cancer a few years ago, was the son of the late Margaret Belknap Allen, a long time music teacher at Berea College. Mrs. Allen was not only generous to the College with her teaching abilities, she was also most generous with her money. She gave the pipe organ for Berea College’s Gray Auditorium.
I will end this column so you can put down your paper and enjoy all the beauty of the nature surrounding us here in Eastern Kentucky.