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Letters to the Editor
Soaking in prayer

Dear Editor,
What is soaking prayer? Well, it is “marinating with God.” It is a time of complete surrender to Jesus Christ and to be saturated by the presence of the Holy Spirit. This is one way of communion with God; others are worship service time, intercessory prayer time, and even our service to others.
Why should we have soaking prayer? First is to have more intimacy in your love for your heavenly Father. A quote says, “You will never know the Lord intimately until you discover that quiet and still place of God within you and practice His living presence inside of you in that very stillness until you have continual and unbroken fellowship with your Lord.” (Dr. Bill Stephenson)
If you are spiritually dry, soaking can revitalize your spirit. Soaking can help you hear God clearer. If you are looking for fresh vision and direction in live, soaking can bring it. If you are hurting inside, soaking can ease the pain. If you are starting something new and need the Lord’s strengthening, soaking can refresh you. If you are searching for an answer to a problem/situation, soaking can help you find the way. If you carry responsibilities, soaking can give you new resources of grace, patience and love. If you have someone placed upon your heart for healing, soaking will take that person into the presence of the Lord for His healing grace.
Is soaking prayer biblical? “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still water. He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:1-3)
“Meditate within your heart on your bed (pew) and be still.” (Psalm 4:4)
“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” (Psalm 37:7)
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
And of course, we know that Jesus gave us a model of quiet prayer as he should go often to a quiet place for prayer.
We are “tarrying” in the Lord as we soak. That is an old-time word: to tarry, but that is where we spend time waiting. The Lord desires to pour His spirit upon us. As we tarry or soak there is an emphasis on rest and receiving by faith, as opposed to striving and crying out to God. As we soak, we take on God’s flavor as we are saturated with Him, we are transformed. As we soak in His presence, we begin to behold Him; we become like Him. We are transformed to be more like Him.
“But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with winds like eagles they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) This verse reveals that something happens when we wait upon God. There is divine exchange of His strength for my weakness and His ability instead of my inadequacy.
In soaking prayer, we often play a worshipful or instrumental CD softly in the background. Those involved are encouraged to become comfortable in order to listen and to receive. It normally takes a few minutes to quiet your mind, focus on Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to bring a restful sense to your heart.
As you come into soaking prayer, pray and ask God to search your heart, surrender everything to Him and invite Him to be exalted in your worship as you focus on Him. Expect to receive, as your issues are put aside and you are open to His love and guidance for yourself or for those you have lifted up to God.
As you soak in His presence, scriptures or images may come to mind as He wants to renew areas in your life. Prayer ministers may also receive images or scriptures as they pray and may share with you those offerings.
In Romans 12:2, we are told not to conform to the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We are doing just this in the deepest part of our hearts as we sit and soak in prayer during this time.
Prayers are prayed in silence. Often, the result of soaking prayer is revelation. The Lord delights in revealing the secret counsel of His heart, dealing with issues that need to be addressed and bringing wisdom and healing to our situation and needs. Soaking prayer is an adventure that takes you deep into the realm of God’s heart – a place of communion where two devoted hearts, yours and His, meet.
To learn more or attend a service, call Brother Jerry Walker at (606) 789-9080 or e-mail

Jerry Walker

Letters to the Editor
Smith doing fine job

Dear Editor,
State Senator Brandon Smith is doing a fine job representing your region of the state. I know this personally because I had the opportunity to work with him in Frankfort the first week of the 2017 legislative session. Sen. Smith sponsored a bill to ban late-term abortions. You would think this was already outlawed. Sadly, it wasn’t. Sen. Smith was the lead sponsor of this bill. He was also the biggest target by pro-abortion groups and hostile media.
I testified on behalf of SB 5, the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act, with Sen. Smith in front of two legislative committees. He presented a compelling case as to why the law was needed. He spoke respectfully and persuasively to the issue and remained calm even while opponents rudely interrupted him. As a result of his leadership, the bill passed both the state House and Senate by wide margins and was signed into law by Gov. Bevin. I and my organization consider Sen. Smith a friend of life and a friend of the Commonwealth.

Sincerely yours,
Richard Nelson
Executive Director
The Commonwealth Policy Center

Letters to the Editor
Successful public school system

Dear Editor,
Our community is blessed. We have a successful public school system with incredibly engaged students in grades K through 12 and a team of professional teachers and administrators who strive daily to provide an excellent education to benefit this community for generations to come.
A vital component of the progress of our district – and thus our community – is the leadership provided by the members who make up the Paintsville Independent Schools Board of Education.
As superintendent, I am fortunate to regularly witness the selfless service of board members Ken Fuller, Eddie Hazelett, Joe Porter, Marvin “Butch” Walker and Matt Williams. But often, other community members see their work only at the regular and/or special meetings of the board.
You may not see the evenings they spend at our extracurricular events and academic team competitions. You may not be aware of the time spent preparing for decisions that may happen quickly at the meetings which take hours of study ahead of casting a vote. You may not know of the phone calls, at home and at work, early in the morning or late at night, from constituents seeking information about our district or raising a concern about a situation. All of these moments are a regular part of school board service outside the board meetings.
As our community joins others across the Commonwealth to mark January as School Board Recognition Month, I wanted to share these insights and ask you – when you see one of our board members – to offer a thank you for all they do for our children and our future.

Coy D. Samons, Superintendent
Paintsville Independent Schools

Distinguished school

Dear Editor,
As superintendent of a “Distinguished School District”, I do not wish to miss any opportunity to brag on the hard working students, outstanding teaching professionals, administrators and dedicated support staff who make up our educational system. But behind the scenes are also a group of men who strive daily to provide the communities of Johnson County the foundation for success.
A most important part of the Johnson County School System is the leadership of the Johnson County Board of Education members; Bob Hutchison, Melvin VanHoose, Bruce Aaron Davis, William Fraley and Brad Frisby. These men devote their time and energy to help mark this school district among the best in the state.
Board members are a voice for students, staff and community members. These gentlemen carry the burden of district leadership in both the good times, as well as the bad times. While most community members are only aware of board members as they conduct school business at monthly meetings, board members also spend time reviewing and studying reams of financial reports, agendas, proposals, contracts and other information prior to casting a vote. They must be knowledgeable about many complex educational and social issues and based on this knowledge and overall district goals, they must make decisions that are not always popular.
Designated as School Board Recognition Month, January is an optimum time to celebrate the service and dedication of those individuals.
I, along with the students and staff of Johnson County School System, wish to express appreciation to Bob Hutchison, Melvin VanHoose, Bruce Aaron Davis, William Fraley and Brad Frisby for their years of dedication and service and I invite all residents of Johnson County to assist us by conveying your thanks to these outstanding public officials as well.

Thomas Salyer

Letters to the Editor
Good Bye & Good Riddance, Obama

Dear Editor,
President Obama’s term in office is about to end, and I am glad to see him go. He has divided this nation more than ever along racial lines despite his originally campaigning as a post-racial figure. He has not been at all. For he has used race to win votes based on white guilt over slavery and the bad treatment of African Americans in the post-Civil War era, though that is now long past. I was opposed to his becoming president because I knew something of his leftist-liberal beliefs which are detrimental to our American way of life, but I hoped when he was elected he would actually help to move our country beyond that old wound. He has made it worse.
In addition, his attacks on our country as the most powerful and wealthy nation in the world with a way of life that gives the individual citizen the greatest freedom to own and create, has done absolute harm as I expected him to do. Leftists like Obama believe in an equal distribution of the wealth within the nation and among all peoples of the world. They believe that war can be ended by redistributing wealth and ending the greater power of a nation like ours by reducing national military power and placing that power in the hands of an international organization like the United Nations. To that end, Obama has weakened our military to a level not seen since before World War I in the navy and our land forces have been greatly reduced too. Our role in the world as the last peace keeping super-power has been jeopardized as a result, and Russia and China have been emboldened to expand along with Moslem extremists and Iran in the Middle East. Our allies like Israel have been undermined. The world is far more dangerous now than when Obama took office. There is not enough space to discuss his attacks on the coal economy of Kentucky or our medical system, both of which have been left in shambles. I am glad to see him go!

Donald Barlow, Ph.D.
Staffordsville, KY

Jan 11, 2017, 07:41

Letters to the Editor
Thank You

Dear Editor,
On behalf of the Johnson County School System, I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone in the Johnson County community who donated to our schools throughout the holidays. You may never realize how you made such a difference for our students and their families. The outpouring of generosity and kindness from everyone in our area would be hard to match anywhere else. From local businesses, churches, community agencies, hospitals, civic clubs and organizations, to private donations; it all made a huge impact on our children. New coats, shoes, clothes, toys and food made the holidays much brighter for many families in Johnson County. Hundreds of students benefitted from your love and your desire to give. Much appreciation goes out to everyone who contributed to making Christmas such a happy time for Johnson County’s kids.

Shauna L. Patton
FRYSC Liaison
Johnson County School System

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