As soon as the F4 tornado struck the town of Mayfield, KY, population 10K, the wheels were in motion to bring Tackle the Storm Foundation trailers to the children of the devastated community.
“It matters not where they live, what language they speak, or income or education level. The only thing that matters is that 'the magic wand of childhood’, a fishing rod and reel, has been taken from them through the storm in their lives, could be weather-related, could be otherwise, we will be there for them.” This is the purpose of the 501(c) (3) federal charity that started providing rods and reels to children, big and small, in 2011.
Don Barone, a columnist at Bassmaster, started posting about how to help the children of western Kentucky on his Facebook page Saturday morning, December 11, one day after the catastrophic tornado flattened much of Mayfield, KY. He said, “I don’t know if I’ve ever been to this town, but I’ve been in that area many, many times.”
Barone’s plan is to secure an area of distribution for Tuesday, December 21, to hand out Christmas presents to the kids that include everything you need to catch a fish…rod, reel, lures, tackle…the works. He said they’re going to clear out the warehouse and as it stands, there are 1,750 kids combos. Barrone would like to see 2,000 complete packages on the truck for those that have lost so much.
After the initial post, Barone stated he would reach out to Kentucky ‘bait and tackle folks’ to buy additional tackle. For now, a team is packing up the trailer while another works on logistics. It’s only a matter of time before they announce the planned event. The foundation is keeping the project under wraps, to some degree, while cleanup is going on in the affected area.
If you’re unfamiliar with Tackle the Storm, it’s a foundation built for children. Since 2011, the non-profit organization has put ‘the magic wands of childhood’ in the hands of over 1,000 children. They have a website: tacklethestormfoundation.com with additional information and a link to donate money directly to this project for the children of Mayfield, KY.
As cleanup continues in Mayfield, Dawson Springs, Cambridge Shores, Bowling Green, and other Kentucky counties and small towns, it’s people like Tackle the Storm Foundation that will make the children’s Christmas brighter and more hopeful.
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.
First Christian Church located at 415 Audubon Dr. in Paducah is hosting an American Red Cross Blood Drive today, December 6, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. According to Red Cross officials, the life-saving organization is heading into the holiday season with the lowest blood supply in more than 10 years. It’s estimated that since the pandemic, donations are down 34% due to fewer blood drives at schools and colleges.
More than any time of year, there’s a critical need for blood donations due to a drop in donor gifts attributed to holiday travel and fewer blood drives. The need for blood products like plasma, platelets, and red blood cell donations is in high demand because of accidents, burn victims' needs, heart surgeries, organ transplants, and those receiving treatments for cancer and sickle cell disease.
Only 37% of the U.S. population is eligible to give blood and less than 10% or 6.8 million people actually donate annually. According to the redcrossblood.org, Type O positive blood is given to patients more than any other blood type, which is why it's considered the most needed blood type. 38% of the population has O positive blood, making it the most common blood type.
There are certain criteria that blood donors must meet. A person doesn’t need to know their blood type to donate blood; that will be determined during the testing process. Once a person gives blood, the screening process begins. The Red Cross conducts extensive testing on blood donations to study additional components to best match the donation to a patient’s needs.
The Paducah Red Cross Blood and Platelet Center located at Falconcrest Drive specializes in platelet donations that help cancer patients. Whole blood is also collected at the Paducah location. Typical blood drives in the surrounding area collect whole blood donations.
Donors are encouraged to go online to register for blood donation. Appointments can also be made using their app. By entering the zip code either online or by using the app, available times will appear and the location for donation. https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/donation-time
The Paducah Red Cross is open everyday except Wednesdays. It accepts donors from 11:45 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. Monday and Thursdays, 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays, 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. on Saturdays, and 7:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Lone Oak Church of Christ located on Lone Oak Rd. will host a blood drive on December 15.
The Paducah Christmas Parade will take place on December 4 in downtown Paducah.
Not since the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918 has an illness like the coronavirus rained on our parade as voraciously and expediently as it has in 2020. The worldwide pandemic touched so many through loss of life, unemployment, product shortages (remember the toilet paper debacle), and so much more. And this year, Santa Claus may even experience a shortage of children's toys and possibly 'big boy toys' too due to supply chain issues.
It seems there's very little that's been untouched by Covid-19. Christmas 2021 will mark 22 months since the shuttering of businesses caused by uncertainty and fear. Fear of getting Covid. Fear of spreading Covid. Fear of the unknown due to Covid. In fact, the Paducah Christmas Parade 2020, and many parades across the US, created socially-distanced events. Paducah opted for an inverted parade. Spectators took to their cars to drive-thru Bob Noble Park while the decorated floats complete with Christmas carols and bright lights remained stationary.
This year's plan is to spread joy and Christmas spirit, not a virus, on the first Saturday in December. The 2021 Paducah Christmas Parade will be a traditional parade with over-the-top decorated floats making their way down Broadway in downtown Paducah on December 4 at 5 p.m. This year's theme is It’s a SUPER Christmas! Participants will have the opportunity to celebrate their favorite superheroes, hometown or make-believe. Social distancing is encouraged as you view the parade.
The parade units will begin lining up at 3 p.m. in the marshaling area on Broadway between 13th and 17th Streets and nearby. The parade route begins at 14th and Broadway and will proceed down Broadway to 2nd Street where it will turn left on 2nd and continue to Monroe Street where it will disband at the Farmers' Market parking lot.
For more information, go to paducahky.gov, click on the calendar of events for December 4.
Local college-bound students receive $500 grants from the Rev. Lawrence Milliken scholarship program
Pictured in front of Whitehaven Welcome Center in Paducah, KY are the 2021 Rev. Lawrence Milliken scholarship winners and representatives of the Upsilon Iota Iota Fraternity. From left to right is Anniyah Shelley, Trinity Patterson, Sycilia Titsworh, co-chair of the scholarship Ms. Millette Milliken, Chair Omega brother Terrance Adams, Omega Social Action Chair brother Ronald Clemons, and Omega Basileus brother Kenneth B. Hurt, Sr.
Recently, the Upsilon Iota Iota Fraternity's Rev. Lawrence Milliken Scholarship winners were announced for 2021. The scholarship, named in honor of the late Rev. Lawrence B. Milliken of Paducah, had its first recipient in 2019. The recipient, Rachel Kelley, received a $100 college supply scholarship. This year's winners each received a $500 grant.
To be eligible for the scholarship, students had to write a 500 word essay on the importance of service and community, carry a 2.5 GPA, have plans to attend college, and be a resident of McCracken County.
This year's winners included Anniyah Shelley, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Annissa and Miles Shelley. Shelley graduated from Paducah Tilghman High School this year with a 3.60 GPA with plans to attend WKCTC in the fall.
Trinity Patterson is the daughter of Ms. Je'Na Patterson and Mr. Tony Cole. She graduated from PTHS with a 3.321 GPA and will attend WKU in Bowling Green.
Sycilia Titsworh is the daughter of Ms. Rochell Cotton, wife of Mr. Gregory Titsworh. Titsworh will return to WKU in Bowling Green this fall as a senior with an overall GPA of 3.01. This summer, she worked as an E911 Operator in Paducah.
The scholarship was named in honor of the late Rev. Milliken B. Lawrence who served our country. community, and students. As a member of the local chapter Upsilon Iota Iota of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Milliken was a man worthy of celebration.
Rev. Milliken matriculated from Kentucky State College in Frankfort in 1954 with a bachelor's degree in heath and physical education. He served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957. After receiving an honorable discharge, Milliken went back to school earning a master's degree in guidance in 1972, followed by another master's degree in vocational technical education from Murray State University in 1977. While at MSU, he completed a course in industrial supervision and received Certification for Administrative, Supervision and Coordination of Vocational Education and a Rank I Certification.
Milliken formerly taught for the Graves County Board of Education, Murray City Board of Education and the Paducah City Board of Education. His counseling career began as a part-time Juvenile Counselor at the McCracken County Juvenile Court in 1967. He went on to hold several positions at West Kentucky State Vocational-Technical School until his retirement in 1989.
Milliken served as pastor at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, McKenzie, TN, Second Christian Church, Mayfield, KY, Mt. Moriah M.B. Church, Paducah, KY, and Unity Missionary Baptist Church, Brookport, IL. He was a member of the Baptist Ministers and Deacons Alliance, Mayor's Minister's Committee for Social Relations and Executive Director of the Ecumenical Ministry for Unity and Progress.
Formerly, Milliken served as chairman of the Paducah Human Rights Commission. Also, he was a member of Citizens Advisory Community-Paducah Board of Education, the Board of Directors of the Oscar Cross Boys' Club of Paducah and the Advisory Committee at Paducah Community College.
Milliken was appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky to a three-year term as a member of the State Advisory Council for Vocational Education. He was past vice president for guidance of the Kentucky Vocational Association and a member of State Student Financial Aid Training Project Steering Committee of Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority. He was also a member of the American Vocational Association, West Kentucky Vocational Association, West Kentucky Association for Counseling and Development, and Kentucky Association for Student Financial Aid Administrators.
Rev. Milliken was married to the late Rosetta Dismukes Milliken and the parents of George (deceased), Mark (deceased), Millette and Jonessa Milliken, and five grandchildren. Rev. Milliken passed away on November 1, 2005.
By Minister Millette Milliken
“He is not here; He has risen!” Luke 24:6 (NIV)
Easter Sunday has traditionally been a day of celebration with packed churches, crisp new outfits, speeches, chocolate bunnies and Easter egg hunts. These celebrations have now been scaled back due to the pandemic. The disappointment for some is yet another opportunity for those of us who believe, to share the true meaning of the resurrection.
In Luke’s account (Luke 24:1-53), two angels appeared to Mary Magdalene and the other women who had gone to the tomb with their spices. They announced, “He is not here; He has risen!” What joyous news to share with the disciples only to be met with disbelief. How disappointing! Two of the disciples ran to see for themselves. Having viewed the empty tomb, they still did not believe what was told to them before.
Two believers were walking and encountered Jesus but did not recognize Him. Jesus would go on to masterfully share who He was, “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:27, NIV)
What does He share with us? That He conquered death on our behalf! That our sins are forgiven if we would believe that He suffered, bled, died and eternally lives again, seated at the right hand of the Father.
I encourage you to study this entire passage for yourselves. Don’t allow your disappointments cause you to miss the blessings in front of you as the two believers did. Look up! He’s alive!
Today’s message at Lone Oak First Baptist Church in Paducah, KY was about The Last Supper. The Last Supper, also called Lord's Supper, in the New Testament, was the final meal shared by Jesus and his disciples in an upper room in Jerusalem.
The time is the Passover, the major Jewish spring festival which commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. Jesus knows he’s about to be crucified. He’s the sacrificial lamb.
When Pharaoh refused to let God’s people go, one of the curses was the death of the first born. In order to be ‘passed over’ by the angel of death, believers were to take the blood of a lamb and smear it over the doorway to the house, and once you walked under the blood, the angel of death would ‘pass over.’
During the Festival of Unleavened Bread, Jesus came to Jerusalem. At this time, 1,000’s came to the city to celebrate. Jesus asked the disciples to find a man in the city to prepare his home for Jesus and the disciples to eat the Passover meal. While the disciples and Jesus were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
The disciples were shocked. They were in celebration mode at this time, and they wondered why Jesus was saying this. They start to ponder, is it Peter? He’s betrayed Jesus before. Maybe it’s Philip? He brought the Greeks to Jesus. Or, could it be James and John? They gave up the most. They gave up their business. Matthew? He was a tax collector and worked for the Romans. Or maybe Simon the Zealot? He could be dangerous, even violent.
The Apostles asked, “Surely, not I, Is it me? Why would they think it’s them? Somehow, over the last three years, they all thought about it. If an accusation is made, and you thought about it. There’s a reaction. If you didn’t think about it, there’s no reaction.
Jesus' teachings are hard. Turn the other cheek. Go on a dangerous journey, yet with no weapons or money. Love your enemy. Be the last, not the first.
What about you? Have you ever thought about Not following Jesus?
We betray Jesus by doing one of the following:
Ask yourself? Have I betrayed Jesus? The Lord’s Supper is our rooster that crows in our lives. The Great News is we can be forgiven. How are we forgiven?
The Last Supper
Matthew 26: 17 - 30 17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”
23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”
Jesus answered, “You have said so.”
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[b] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
A woman from the well came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink."
The sermon today at Lone Oak First Baptist Church in Paducah was about witnessing. Pastor Dr. Dan Summerlin said there are two uncomfortable topics that he covers; one is tithing and the other is witnessing.
Scripture was taken from the Book of John Chapter 4 versus 3 through 27. The story was about the Samaritan woman at the well. Many of us have heard this Bible story before. The story begins with Jesus traveling from Judaea to Galilee and wanting to go by way of Samaria.
In case you didn't know, Samaritans and Jews have a long history of bad blood. To say that they didn't like each other was an understatement. For this reason, the disciples didn't understand why Jesus wanted to go 'through' Samaria as opposed to going around it. Jesus' plan was to speak with the woman at the well.
You see, the woman had been divorced five times and was considered immoral. Jesus' goal was to save 'the one'.
Why should we tell others about Jesus? For our spiritual health...to be more like Jesus. If you want to be more like Christ, you've got to take care of your spiritual health daily; part of taking care of your spiritual health is telling others about Jesus.
When reading John Chapter 4 versus 3 through 27, you'll find Jesus working his conversational miracles. He begins speaking with the woman about wanting a drink of water...liquid water. By the end of the conversation, he's speaking about everlasting water and never being thirsty again.
Witnessing to others isn't an easy thing. Dr. Summerlin said there are three key points to this passage that will help us build our spiritual health.
1. We need a plan for all, but a passion for one. Going after 'that one' could make all the difference in the world. Think about your husband, wife, children, brothers, sisters, if they were in danger, would you not do all you could to save 'that one'? It's the same with Jesus, he'll do all he can to save 'that one'.
2. Turn everyday conversations into Gospel conversations. Again, that's what Jesus did with the woman at the well. He turned a conversation about liquid water into one about everlasting water and never thirsting again.
3. We need to focus on obedience and not outcomes. Being spiritually healthy means trying everyday. That's what God expects; us to try everyday. Don't worry if your witnessing doesn't always result in 'saving' someone. The plan is to try everyday to do so.
Take the time to read John Chapter 4. Remind yourself that sharing your story with others doesn't have to be a Hollywood production...it's telling your story, using your words, with God's direction. An easy way to be prepared, if ever the ,opportunity presents itself, is to remember the ABC's; Admit, Believe, Confess.
One seemingly harmless bite opened the portal for every type of sin known to man.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die. 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Pandora's box was opened. Continue with daily Bible reading Genesis 3: 7-24
“To be grateful is to recognize the love of God and what he has given us. And he has given us everything.”
There are only three days left of the 30 days of gratitude. Josie Robinson and her son Lucas have been engaged in the activity for 27 days. Coming up with new 'thankful things' is getting harder for the four year old. He’s started to be thankful for his headboard and now the wooden balls at the end of the bed. Josie tries to reel him in. She begins to discuss what she’s thankful for.
“I’m thankful for Daddy,” said Josie. “Because of daddy, I have you and baby Davis.” Lucas said, “That’s very, very good Mommy.”
As the 30 days is nearing the end, Josie starts to get nervous. She wonders if she’ll fall back into the black hole again. Though, she believes it probably wouldn’t happen, there's still that fear. But by all accounts, she’s joyous, content, and alive.
She begins to reflect on the journey. Thinking back to when she fell down on her knees and prayed for God’s intervention. She thought back to how she used to feel. But now, she has gratitude for everything. “God answered my prayers with a psychic, a jar, and a four year old,” said Josie.
Day 27: Lucas is thankful for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And, he really likes PB&J. Josie said, “It’s good to be thankful for food. Tonight I’m thankful for mother earth because she brings us food.” Josie made a notation that she’s often thankful for food. Sometimes when she’s having trouble thinking of a ‘thankful thing’ food will come up.
There were two major shifts, other than showing basic gratitude, that happened over the past several weeks. Josie’s taken the time to notice earth. Something she’d taken for granted. The beauty of it all. Something she had noticed after the first slip of paper landed in the gratitude jar. She was seeing earth as never before. Sometimes she would pull the car over on the side of the road to sit and marvel at the glistening water on the lake or a tree blowing in the wind.
The second shift she felt was the presence of God. He was with her all of the time. She was touched by a presence greater than herself. “This is the day the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:24.
Josie found that saying ‘thank you’ to God was easier than the way she used to pray. Before the gratitude jar she would always pray for help or ask God to fix it. “Love God not for what he can do for me but what he simply was.”
“I would spend the rest of my life thanking God. I was free of myself at last,” said Josie.
Day 30: “What are you thankful for today?” asked Lucas. “I’m thankful for this awesome Easter Sunday,” said Josie.
The 30 days of gratitude is the perfect amount of time to turn a practice into a habit. A few minutes everyday is all the required time to rid yourself of destructive thinking. “A little goes a long way,” said Josie. It’s best to choose the same time everyday...to schedule it in. Are you ready to change your life?
T Think about what you’re grateful for (have a daily routine. Same time every day)
H Have an open mind (Let yourself be free. Don’t judge what comes up)
A Allow yourself to feel gratitude (discuss reasons why you chose it)
N Note your gratitude (Send it into the world and the world will send it back)
K Keep it in a jar (find a prominent place to see the slips of paper)
S Share it with someone else (happiness shared is happiness doubled)
Sharing this activity is what makes it different than most other exercises. Share it with a child, make a phone call with your mom, put it by your bedside and share it with your partner, try mealtime, during church group, the book club, a team building exercise...just find someone to share it with.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38.
“Thinking about and giving thanks for what you want produces more of it. While thinking and complaining about what you don’t want produces more of it.”
Life for Josie Robinson was looking up. Emotionally she felt better. Her relationships were improving. There was still one area that ‘desperately needed improving’ thought Robinson. Money needed fixing NOW.
There was a perpetual knot in Robinson’s stomach due to financial stress. As the CEO of the household, she was doing everything she could to cut the budget. Some of the cuts included cable television, eating out, buying new clothes (second-hand only), and wearing sweaters and covering with blankets in the colder months to save on energy cost (the family lived in Minnesota and the winters were brutal).
No matter what she did, the family would come up short every month. At the time, the country was in the middle of a recession. The couple even considered walking away from the mortgage payment until they found out their monthly payment was lower than any of the rentals in the tri-cities.
Robinson couldn’t tell you the number of times she looked at the grocery budget trying to find ways to spend less. She finally resolved to let go of meat and cheese. She would get out her cookbooks and try to create as many dishes as she could out of potatoes and pasta. No one complained.
As a part-time school counselor, Robinson’s hours had been cut to one day a week. The savings had been depleted and it became clear that she was going to have to look for another part-time job. The family couldn’t afford for Robinson to work full time because the cost of daycare was outrageous in Minnesota. Sean’s mom, Robinson’s husband, made herself available for part-time babysitting as opposed to having the children go to daycare.
The more she applied for jobs, the more she was turned away. The family needed money NOW. Giving thanks and faithfully committing to the gratitude jar concept helped improve Robinson’s anxiety, however, because of the financial stress, it was starting to kick in again.
Robinson and Lucas (her four year old) were in the middle of the 30 days of gratitude. She decided that it was time to quit complaining and start showing gratitude. As she and Lucas sat down to share, Robinson said, “I’m thankful both your daddy and I have jobs. It gives us money for the house, food, and clothes..” Typically, Robinson was really negative about money and her job. She said it felt weird to give thanks for these things.
The gratitude statements continued. “I’m thankful for having jobs that help kids feel better and do better.” Sean was a teacher and Robinson a school counselor. Lucas chimed in, “I’m thankful because I’m a nice kid and being a nice kid I can help people too.”
It was time to turn that frown upside down. Time to turn it around and make negatives into positives. Instead of thinking there’s not enough money to buy groceries, she started being thankful for the skills she learned from being frugal, growing her own vegetables, and making her own products. The thing Robinson realized is that she was having these thoughts all day long. It seemed like every five minutes she was having to turn a negative into a positive.
Day 22 of the gratitude jar. Both she and Lucas sat in silence for a minute to think of ‘thankful things’ as Lucas called it. Lucas started, “I’m thankful for doors. You get to go in places. Some places are in my house.” Robinson said, “I’m thankful that we’re all healthy.”
As a few weeks passed, turning negatives into positives helped to relieve Robinson’s anxiety even more. While attending a school staff meeting, Robinson had a gratitude explosion. She became overwhelmed with love for the people around her and those at work.
Suddenly, miraculously, Robinson started saying “I love my job.” I have a house, clothes, food and no more anxiety attacks.
Then, it was as if the universe opened up and asked Robinson exactly what she wanted. Things started to happen. Her boss offered her more hours, more money, and a better opportunity. The hours she was going to get would help feed her family. She went out and celebrated by bringing home meat and cheese.
The act of being thankful for what you have instead of complaining about it really started to change Robinson’s life. Robinson said she’s come a long way from the person that used to stair at the ceiling dreading the day’s events.
God knows we have trials and tribulations. When we’re in the middle of a storm, it’s important to seek God’s help. I realize that calling out to God only when there’s a storm isn’t ideal, but knowing when we need him the most that He will be there is very comforting. It’s important to remember that no matter what happens in our lives, we can be confident that God is in COMPLETE control.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” James 1:2
“Now this is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to HIs will, He hears us.” John 5:14
So be at peace. Be positive. God will be with you. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:7