Kentucky is a most unique Commonwealth for many reasons.
First, our importance begins in geography and the forming of the nation. The Cumberland Gap was named for the Duke of Cumberland. The natural gap in the mountain created the only forgeable crossing for those earlier pioneers and settlers who traveled along the Appalachian route searching for a way to get over the mountains. In 1750, Dr. Thomas Walker discovered the Cumberland Gap, but it was Daniel Boone and all those who followed the Wilderness Road Trail that made it famous.
The month of May is unique in Kentucky because of events of the first weekend and the last weekend.
The first weekend in May hosts the Kentucky Derby. Hats, Horses and Hot Browns. Now you can see my ministerial training at work in the 3 H’s of the Derby.
The last weekend in May, the City of Pineville-Bell County, hosts the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival. The uniqueness continues as the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival Queen’s Coronation and Pageant concludes with the Crowning of a Queen at the Laurel Cove Amphitheater. The Queen Candidates represent the colleges and universities from across Kentucky. The festival also hosts a Princess Pageant with the Crowning of the Princess on Friday night of the Festival Weekend.
Locally representing our area high achools are: Barbourville – Courtney Leanne Mills; Corbin – Hayley Alaina Abbott; Knox Central – Hannah Brook Campbell; North Laurel – Taylor Hubbard; South Laurel – Courtney Paige Benfield; Whitley – Kari Raine Sears; Williamsburg – Julia Lauren Higginbotham.
The festival begins on Thursday evening, May 23rd at Bell County High School. Red Bow Records Recording Artist Joe Nichols will be the evening’s entertainment.
These ladies have assumed a great leadership role by participating in the festival. Their schools have placed a great deal of confidence in them by their selection to serve as representatives in this year’s event too.
I have been involved with the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival for many years, including services as a member of the Board of Directors. Each year witnessing the grace and beauty of the pageant Princess and Queen Candidates reminds me of what happens on the inside of each individual when we commit to a higher calling or service.
Each year, the festival welcomes many first time visitors to this Kentucky Tradition. For local Princess Candidates, the festival opportunity allows for them to see the city and its residents in a way probably never before experienced.
Here in the mountains we like to talk about putting your “best foot forward.” It is basically the idea that we want folks to see the best in us and we are striving to make sure they see it.
At the Laurel Cove Amphitheater each year, the park staff creates a beautiful reflecting pool. On Saturday afternoon during the Queen’s Coronation, the representatives all dressed in white dresses will line the rock edge of the reflecting pool. There is absolutely nothing prettier than that moment when the Queen Candidates stand and the radiant blue water reflects their images.
Seeing your own reflection is unique in life. Oftentimes we go to look in a mirror to see what we see. Having a clear view is important when considering what you are seeing. Understanding the value of the reflection can make all the difference in the world.
Seeing yourself as a beauty created in His image is a great starting point anytime. You may never be in a beauty pageant, wear a crown or have to present a curtsy before others. You may never walk across a stage or ride in a parade float.
But if you place your trust and faith in Jesus, you will one day walk on streets of gold and be surrounded by gates of pearl.
Kentucky is a most unique Commonwealth for many reasons.
SOAR-ing in Eastern Kentucky
By the time many of you read this, I’ll be traveling to southeastern Kentucky, on my way to the SOAR Summit scheduled for Monday in Pikeville (at least if the weather cooperates).
Saying ‘goodbye for now’ to Papaw
This past Sunday night, Heaven gained another angel. My grandfather, John DeBoard, or as I called him, “Papaw,” went to be with the Lord following a collapse at his house.
Love in a tweak or a bushel and a peck
On my lawn mower, string trimmer and leaf blower it only takes a fractional turn of a carburetor adjustment screw to get the small two-cycle engine to run smoothly; a tiny tweak for a perfect purr.
Why and what about America?
So if I were to ask you what defines a holiday, what answer would you give? How would you describe in words what or when a holiday occurs?
School-choice critics intimidate but won’t debate
Ken Wilber wrote: “Most of us are only willing to call 5% of our present information into question (at) any one point.” Then there is the closed-minded leadership of the Kentucky Education Association, Jefferson County Teachers Association, Kentucky School Boards Association and Kentucky Association of School Superintendents who, when it comes to school choice, won’t even question that much.
Be thankful, not greedy this season
I watched several videos from across the country showing feeding time at a zoo for starved, carniverous animals. At least, that’s what it looked like. What it was, in fact, was Black Friday, 2013.
Does Plan B exist for Kentucky’s declining economy?
Frustrated by intense opposition experienced by his ideological soul mate in the White House, Gov. Steve Beshear claims in a New York Times op-ed that Obamacare — the biggest expansion of government power and control in decades — is good for Kentuckians’ health and their pocketbooks.
Want the job done? Hire a woman
Robert Redford may have been on to something when he said during the recent government shutdown that women and young people are the answer to solving gridlock in Washington.
Out of the darkness and into the light
Back in mid-August, I went camping with my wife, Carmen, my mother-in-law, Linda, and our friend Donnie.
Thanksgiving - a daily duty
Over the years I have many times felt a grave disappointment, even a dismay, when attending a Thanksgiving meal in one place or another. It happened when hearing the blessing before the meal – the brief, inarticulate prayer that resounded with insincerity and lack of conviction.
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