I know this is a late-day greeting, but I would like to wish everyone a blessed memorial Day 2020, despite the worldwide pandemic we are dealing with at the present moment. With patience, perseverance and stick-to-it-ive-ness we will overcome this, too - together. Of this I am certain, because I know what a patriotic, stalwart, hard-working people Edmonson Countians are and always have been. I am SO proud to be an Edmonson Countian and to live here among you, my dearest friends and family.
And to our 2020 graduating class: Keep your head up; keep on keeping on, because this is what Edmonson Countians do. I know you will let this be but a small setback to your future success and enjoyment of life. My mother, an Edmonson Countian, could have no high school graduation ceremony because it was the spring of 193l and the Great Depression was in full swing. Yet, just two years later she was walking and riding horseback from the Capitol Hill (Pig) community of Edmonson County to teach at one-room schools in the Forks community and in what is now Mammoth Cave National Park.
She continued to do so until the late 1930's when she married my dad, who had gone to work for the Park after mustering out of a CC Camp there. In 1943, at the ages of 31 and 34, they volunteered to take her invalid mother into their home. For 11 long years, with Dad's support and help while he worked full-time and farmed on the side, she almost single-handedly took care of her AND myself and my younger brother, as we were born into their home two and five years into this task, respectively. We were ALWAYS at home, except that Dad NEVER failed to take J. C. and me to Sunday School and church at New Liberty, an old-time Methodist church in the Cedar Springs community.
After Grandmother passed away in 1954, Mom immediately re-entered the teaching profession and taught on one-year emergency certificates (renewable only by completing what is now WKU correspondence courses at night as she cooked, cleaned, gardened, made all our lunches and graded papers alongside her course work). In the mid-1960's, she returned to WKU in person, graduating alongside my brother, receiving her first permanent teachers' certificate. She retired from Brownsville Elementary School in the early 1970's on a partial retirement, not having completed enough years of teaching on her permanent certificate to draw a full-time retirement check. In retirement, she and Dad camped all over the United States and even into Mexico, always on a shoestring budget. She would can both veggies from the garden and carp she and Dad would catch together at Lock 6 each August, so they could take their food with them on these trips. They had tickets to go on the Trans-Siberian Railway in the late 1980's when the tour company refunded their money due to the break-up of the then Soviet Union.
At almost 91, she was widowed and living alone at home, still driving her car, and an active member of the very busy Capitol Hill Homemakers' Club, when she collapsed in her bathroom with a massive stroke - on her way to her weekly visit to her hairdresser's. She was not an extraordinary citizen of Edmonson County; she was just typical of her Strong Oak generation - a generation who lived through the Spanish flu epidemic, overcame multiple hardships, including the worst economic depression in our country's history up to that time, who fought and died in two World Wars, and who never, EVER gave up.
To our young citizens: You come from an extraordinarily remarkable heritage. You, too, are made of remarkably "good stuff," and you, too, I believe, will persevere; you WILL succeed. I just have one request: Please stay together; stay united in spirit and purpose, for as our commonwealth seal rightly declares: "United we stand; divided we fall." Attend church together; keep your families together; love and cherish one another and others, and remember that you cannot succeed alone, apart from the love and support of God, family and friends.
This is your heritage. Handle it carefully, and never ever forget where you come from or the extraordinary sacrifices your ancestors have made in tough times, so that you, too, may succeed.
Jo Etta Sanders Johnson
To The Edmonson Voice:
I would like to personally thank Darren Doyle of the Edmonson Voice for reaching out to not only me, but also others within the Christian community during this pandemic. He has asked some of us to respond to a questionnaire concerning impact of the Coronavirus on the church, its members, and community with regards to safety, functionality, and faith. I hope everyone understands that the opinions and thoughts given are solely those of myself and do not reflect upon the opinions of others. I do not speak on behalf of any church. I have tried to openly and sincerely address the matter to the best of my ability. While I don’t have the answers to all of the questions, I have tried to speak upon the matters/issues that I feel may be a help to anyone that may read this.
To all the brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus of the churches in Edmonson County or elsewhere: Grace and peace unto you.
There are many questions that are being asked in these uncertain days that I would love to able to answer, such as when will things be back to normal or how will services be conducted moving forward. The truth is I don’t know when we will be back to worshipping in our cherished customs of shaking hands and embracing in Godly love. Some may be already, while it may take others time to have that level of comfort. There isn’t a definitive answer that would please everyone and I’m not going to try. What I want to take this opportunity to do is encourage people to seek the Lord because even if I or someone else doesn’t have the answers, He will lead you right. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.
“If there ever was a time that God’s people need to be coming together, it’s in this day and hour that we’re living in today.” This is a quote that we have heard during many services but it’s one that’s very true for this situation that we face. If a person has been born again and saved by God’s amazing grace, then we are brothers and sisters in Christ and we are part of the same church that’s unseen with human eyes. Our names have been written in the same book in Heaven, which is the Lamb’s Book of Life. This county and the surrounding ones as well are blessed with a multitude of “Old Time” Baptist churches. We are many members but part of the same body, not because we belong to any certain association but because we share a common salvation. In the 12th chapter of 1st Corinthians we are taught that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. This doesn’t mean that we won’t have disagreements with each other because our customs and traditions vary from church to church, but we can come together and pray for one another in a time of need. Sometimes the Apostles had disagreements such as when John and James asked to be seated on either side of the Lord (Mark 10:35-45), when Paul withstood Peter to the face (Galatians 2:11-14), and when Paul wouldn’t travel with Mark (Acts 15:37-40).
You might think this doesn’t sound so encouraging but I want you to understand that those that got upset at John and James broke bread with them during the Lord’s Supper. Even though Paul withstood Peter to the face, Peter referred to Paul as a beloved brother and mentioned Paul’s epistle in his own letter (2nd Peter 3:15-16). Lastly there was a time when Paul didn’t travel with Mark but changed his mind and sent for him later, for he was profitable to Paul for the ministry (2 Timothy 4:11). We, too, can come together as they did to shine a light to a lost and dying world.
Satan would love to divide us so that he might accomplish scattering the power of the holy people, but remember that Jesus prayed for his disciples that they wouldn’t be taken out of this world but that they should be protected from the evil. He not only prayed for them but us also saying, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me.”
So brothers and sisters, let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works. If God has saved you, He has given you a gift to use, and I want to encourage everyone to be not afraid to use it. If you feel you need to assemble yourselves together as the manner of some is, then go and serve with all you heart as unto God. If you still feel the need to stay home and pray, then do as Mary, John Mark, and Rhoda did the book of Acts (12:12-13) and pray without ceasing with all your hearts. If you feel to pray out on a hillside, pray the prayer that God gives you with all your heart because that’s the only prayer that will work. If you feel to put a song on social media or send someone a text message, then I encourage you to serve with all your heart as unto God. Whatsoever you do, do all for the glory of God. Offer unto God thanksgiving and pay your vows to the Most High.
As things move forward in this unusual time, let us walk with patience with one another realizing that how you view things may not be how your brother/sister views it. This is demonstrated in Romans 14 as Paul says, “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth everyday alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.” I use this as an example because someone might question why would someone gather in a group of people and take a risk while others will wonder why people won’t come to church. My thought on the matter, to both sides, is because every man is full persuaded in his own mind, they are each doing what is right. Let’s remember that we are all part of the same body and pray in the place where God convicts us to be at.
We are no doubt in some troubled days, but the word says all things work together for good to them that love God and even though there are things I can’t answer, I do believe His word is true. There will be blessings for those that faint not.
God is still on the throne. He still has some people holding on and the lost still has a little more time to get ready. Church, let’s be of one mind and do all to stand and fight the good fight.
This pandemic has affected all of our churches and though our services stopped for a time, the good part is that our hope and faith in Jesus has never ceased. I have been uplifted during this time by things that I might not have expected to bring so much joy, such as hearing the church bells ring. There has been times that my heart would have broken to see only one or two show up for service, but over the last couple of months, when just a few came together on Sunday morning, it has sent thrills of joy to my soul. God is still good. Let us take comfort in knowing that He is near all of us when we call upon Him in truth.
As we move along, let’s hope for the day where we can see the house of God full but remember that, “for where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20).
May the Lord bless and keep you and may He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
In Christian Love,
Brother Joe Logan
To the editor:
The COVID-19 pandemic presents specific challenges for more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, their caregivers and the nonprofits serving these vulnerable populations. As a former caregiver for my grandmother, I’m writing today to urge Congressman Paul to include the critical needs of people living with dementia and their caregivers in the next legislative stimulus package.
Two critical issues include: The Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act, which would require the DOJ to develop materials covering best practices to assist professionals who support victims of abuse living with dementia. The Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act would increase the use of the care planning benefit in order to help more families by educating clinicians on care planning services available through Medicare.
Finally, during this crisis nonprofits are providing tremendous support to the communities they serve, despite facing economic hardships. Congress must establish an exclusive fund to support nonprofits with between 500 to 10,000 employees, including loan forgiveness to ensure charities like the Alzheimer’s Association can continue to effectively serve the communities that depend on them.
I humbly ask my Senator Rand Paul to make sure these three bipartisan measures are included in the next COVID-19 response legislation to help vulnerable populations living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Dear Edmonson Voice Editor:
Year after year, our Members of Congress are requested to support many issues. While Alzheimer’s is just one of the many causes they hear about, it’s personal to me. As some who was has lost two grandparents that were diagnosed with this disease, I am one of the millions of Americans who has experienced the emotional, physical, and financial heartache that dementia has on an individual and their family. I know there are more ways to help families like mine, and that’s why I work with Alzheimer’s association of Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter.
Thanks to my Senator Rand Paul, 2019 will always be a year to remember in our fight to end Alzheimer’s. On December 20, 2019, due to the bipartisan support of our congressional leaders, a $350 million increase for Alzheimer’s research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $10 million to the BOLD infrastructure for Alzheimer’s act was SIGNED INTO LAW! This HUGE milestone has brought our annual federal funding for Alzheimer’s to $2.8 billion a more than six fold increase since 2011. For me, this is more than just a bill passing in Congress- these additional dollars offer real hope to families like mine as we search for a cure for our nation’s most devastating and expensive disease.
This exciting news has left me feeling more energized and inspired to work with our elective officials in the year ahead, and I hope you feel the same way! Please join me in thanking Senator Paul for his leadership in prioritizing the eradication of Alzheimer’s in 2019. I look forward to continuing this momentum in 2020 with both Senator Paul and Senator McConnell, as well as our other Congressman representing Kentucky. Happy New Year!
Smiths Grove, KY
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For family members awaiting the end of a long road to the final goodbye, Alzheimer's is a terrible foe. Unlike so many terminal illnesses we face in life this antagonist seemingly refuses to let go.
My family and I have endured 5 years watching my wife's mother leave us behind bit by bit until only our precious memories of her remain. What a cruel assailant we have fought alongside her.
I've thanked the Lord many times for the Sunday morning in May 2014 when He sent our dear one His Grace as she prayed her own prayer of repentance along with my beloved Mother Church at her side. Thank God for the plan of salvation, that whosoever would could be saved.
Now we wait upon the Lord as our loved one lies in Hospice House care, unknowing and dreading when that last breath, that final heartbeat will come and she makes that leap across the Jordan river. God speed mother.
Odis and Debbi Allen