Just One Word

Just 1



Lora Parsons

The Ashland Beacon

If I were to guess, I’d say we all have a funny autocorrect story to tell. It’s a feature about smartphones that amazes me--so close to mind-reading at times. Until it isn’t. My own embarrassing autocorrect stories usually come down to a one-letter difference in a word that makes ALL the difference--“o” and “i” are just too close together! While these funny autocorrect moments make me smile, one repeated autocorrect really perplexes. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve intended to type “peace” but instead end up typing “leave.” Autocorrect and I have gotten it wrong more than we’ve gotten it right!  So, I’ve been mulling it over.

With words, sometimes looking at opposite meanings is insightful, focusing on what they’re not. Peace, for instance, is the absence of war at its most literal meaning, but there’s a more personal level to it that, yes, may include an absence of turmoil in our lives—a calm when things are just going smoothly. But, peace is more than just the negative circumstantial things in life being at rest. It’s more than a leave-ing of challenges or trials.



There may be others, but I know of at least this verse in the Bible that uses both the words “peace” and “leave.” John 14:27–“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (ESV). In context, Jesus is square in the midst of telling His followers that He’s about to be crucified; He’s about to die; He’s about to LEAVE them in a way that they can only understand to be a very permanent leaving. Their leader is telling them that He’s both going away and coming back. This doesn’t make sense to humans in bodies that live once and die once. One of the disciples asks Him to clarify—how are you going to manifest yourself to us after you physically leave this world? Their questions during this chapter-long conversation weren’t about not having enough faith. They were grappling to understand: “What do you mean you’re leaving us but you’ll somehow manifest yourself to us after leaving?” His answer is clear. He says first, you’ll have my Word (remember last month’s word?). You’ll be able to reference what I’ve taught you there. When you follow me to the Word and obey my teachings, then you’ll also walk through life knowing that your steps are ordered by a loving Father. You can trust that He’s working in your life out of love. Circumstances may not leave, but neither will He.  And, when we have the Word of God and the love of God, the third thing He says He’ll do to manifest Himself to them (to us) is leave behind His peace.  He has bequeathed to us, through His death and resurrection, peace. He goes on to explain that it won’t be a peace that the world can bring—it won’t be an absence of war, it won’t be an absence of pain, it won’t be an absence of want. It won’t be a life without the normal experiences that all humans have to face. But, it will be a life floating on a current of peace. It won’t matter how wild the winds blow, how bright the lightning flashes around us, or how loud the thunder booms overhead; we have peace despite the storms we face.

And, then Jesus does what I think is miraculous in this smidgen of time leading to His crucifixion. He demonstrates for us HOW He wants us to live in peace even in the midst of life’s storms--how we can face the adversities that come our way with the calm confidence of knowing God is in control.  He simply ends the conversation in verse 31 by saying, essentially, “And now let’s get up and LEAVE.” He had a job to do. Was it a job He looked forward to? Was it work that would elevate His status in some way, pay Him somehow in earthly terms? No, it would do the very opposite. His closest followers--His friends--those who He was intimately connected to--would betray Him. He knew He was facing such a horrific death that He sweat drops of blood in praying about that journey to the cross. He would suffer a crucifixion that He didn’t deserve. He knew what lay outside the walls of the room He was in--knew He was leaving safety behind, knew that on the other side of the door lay soldiers, a Roman scourge, spikes for His hands and feet, a spear for His side, a crown of thorns, a tomb, death, three days of darkness, separation from His Father…but He simply got up in peace to leave.  He knew all of what was to come, even on the other side of the storm He faced. He knew He would also leave the cross. He knew He would leave the grave. He knew He would leave the spikes, the ridicule, the betrayal.  He walked out of the room, able to leave in peace, because He knew the Father would take every step with Him.

Our eyes will look out and see turmoil from time to time. Our minds will feel confusion and conflict. Our families will experience the pain and separation of death. Our children will be hurt by a world that’s harsh and hateful. Our hearts will break. But, He overcame even death so that we could have His peace. An eternal, beyond-the-circumstances-of-this-world kind of peace. A lay-your-guilt-at-my-feet, leave-your-sin-right-here kind of peace.  A victory-over-death kind of peace. He says to us:  leave me all the things that make you human—your worries, your shame, your imperfections—and let me give you, in exchange, peace. We can’t do enough to make our own guilt leave. We can’t make our own shortcomings leave. We can’t make the troubles of this world leave. But, Jesus conquered them all. Our shame has to leave when He steps on the scene.  Confusion has to leave. The heaviness of this world has to leave when we focus on Jesus, because, ultimately, peace isn’t about leaving. It’s about Him. He chose to leave the room IN peace, AT peace, so we could live WITH--just one word--peace.

New Year’s Resolutions from Local Children

New Year’s Resolutions from Local Children

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon

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As we turn the page to a new year, individuals worldwide are setting their sights on fresh beginnings through the age-old tradition of New Year's resolutions. From health and wellness aspirations to career goals, the start of the new year brings with it a rekindled spirit of determination and optimism.

The act of making resolutions serves as a symbolic gesture of hope and resilience. In addition, making a New Year’s resolution also signifies a person’s willingness to not only welcome change but to embrace it along with the transformation that comes with it. New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for adults either. In fact, studies show that the start of a new year is a great time to help your children focus on forming good habits and meeting new goals, and more often than not children enjoy having a goal to work toward. Just check out these New Year’s resolutions from a few of our area’s children with some pretty big plans for 2024.



Trypp (Age: 6)- I want to ride in an airplane for the first time.

Lando (Age: 4)- I want to ride in the airplane with my brother Trypp.

Jack (Age: 9)- I want to keep my room clean.

Tristyn (Age: 11)- I want to save all of my money.

Grayson (Age:9)- I want to get all “A’s” in my classes.

Tyron (Age:4)- I want to keep my room clean and play lots of games this year.

Tailyn (Age:13)- My New Year’s resolution is to not spend as much time on electronics.

Erica (Age:8)- This year, I hope to move up to “pointe” shoes in my ballet class.

Bailey (Age:12)- My goal is to work hard and get better at softball.

Jaxson (Age:10)- I want to get the game-winning baseball and strike someone out this year.

Katie (Age:13)- I want to go to Disney this year.

Logan (Age:9)- My goal is to gain ten pounds this year.

Lauren (Age:8)- I want to buy all the Mini-Brands things that come out this year so I can have the entire collection.

Christopher (Age:11)- My goal for this year is to read one verse in the Bible every night before I go to bed.

Shawn (Age:14)- This year, my resolution is to get all “A’s” in all of my classes so I can get that four-wheeler at the end of the school year.

Abigail (Age:5)- I want to help my mommy out with the yard sale this summer.

Tiffany (Age:7)- My goal for this year is to become the best cheerleader so that I can be the one at point.

Brandon (Age: 13)- My New Year’s resolution is to do really good in all of my classes and read through the Bible. I also want to start taking boxing classes.

William (Age:16)- I want to pass my college classes with an “A,” and I want to try some new sports out.

Alicia (Age:6)- I want to make it on the Pride cheer team and go to nationals.

The Dainty Daisy Blooms: Local Boutique Shines

The Dainty Daisy Blooms: Local Boutique Shines

Gwen Akers

The Ashland Beacon

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A new boutique has made its way into the local limelight with its classy clothes, variety of pieces, and friendliness.

Headed by Jaime Bloss, who is a previous marketing director with 17 years of retail experience, and her daughter Emily Bloss who is a sophomore at the University of Kentucky, Dainty Daisy is a budding boutique that can be found online as well as at local pop-up events and vendor fairs.



“We, my daughter and I, it's something that we've always wanted to do. We came up with the name several years ago—one summer just kind of joking around about it. I love daisies; daisies are my favorite flowers, hence the name. We started last fall. I believe it was around August or so, and we just started to look into different vendors and so forth,” expressed Bloss.

After moving away for a time, Bloss moved back to the area and knew that she wanted to leap in becoming her own business owner and designer. Bloss has always loved small businesses and their ability to serve the community as well as the atmosphere of retail work, so she knew that Dainty Daisy was the next step for her.

“I love small businesses; I kind of have a passion for them. It’s just something I've always wanted to do,” explained Bloss, “I can tell you, with retail it's a learning experience. Something new every day. “

Owning a small business is certainly a family affair for Bloss, as both her son, husband, mom, sister-in-law, and daughter all help at events and with the store. Keeping on the same page, it is only together they can succeed. While strengthening their family bonds, owning Dainty Daisy has also allowed them to meet great customers and friends.

In the ancient language of flowers, daisies symbolize rebirth and new beginnings, alongside cheerfulness and love–which is exactly what the boutique is built upon. Their clothing seeks to bridge the generational trends of fashion to create something brand new. All of their pieces are hand-selected by Bloss and her daughter–always keeping the balance between style and reasonable price in mind.

“We try to find things in between my daughter, who's a college student, and myself as she says ‘mom-ish.’ We try to find the balance between the two, but we also try to be very reasonable with our pricing.”

Striking this balance has been an important part of the boutique’s journey, and they hope to continue this process. The Dainty Daisy has also recently begun selling chenille patch sweatshirts, which they press themselves, and can be customized for each individual.

Dainty Daisy has big plans for the future, hoping to eventually grow into a storefront, as well as a new website. Those interested in following Dainty Daisy should follow them on Facebook and Instagram, and keep an eye out for their newest events. As we head into the new year, make sure to keep an eye out for the beautiful blooms of the Dainty Daisy Boutique!

Blessing Box – Grassland Community Church

Blessing Box – Grassland Community Church

Brittany Hall

The Ashland Beacon

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                This time of year, people are more apt to give and be mindful of giving. We look for red buckets, angel trees, and other avenues to help someone or a family in need. We give an extra smile, buy an extra gift, volunteer around the community, and maybe even put a little extra in the plate at church. It’s those moments that we realize just how blessed we truly are and to be able to bless someone else in return – is just icing on the holiday cake! And, blessing someone who may be in need is exactly what the congregation of Grassland Community Church wanted to do.



                We’ve all seen them – stations around the community with food, personal items, and clothing for those who need a little extra help but want a discreet way of receiving. They’re called Blessing Boxes, and they have proven to be a great source for those who need them and those who may not know of another way to give. We mostly see them in the cities or areas where they will be better seen or have a higher homeless and in-need population. Grassland wanted to bring that same sentiment to a community that is more rural and may be unable to access those stations.

                It all began when Pastor Kyle Vanover challenged his congregation to “be on mission” throughout the year, back in January of 2023. What is the mission? Pastor Kyle stated, “The mission is to share the love of Jesus with as many people as possible.”  A small group was formed to discuss ideas after consulting a book called Across the Street and Around the World by Diana Davis and Autumn Wall. Through that small group, they decided that one of the best ways to tackle a need of food insecurity within their community was to build a Blessing Box on the grounds of the church. Two men from the church, Danny and Ben, volunteered to construct the box. They built, painted, and installed the box for the church. “I told the congregation that we needed nonperishable food items, personal hygiene items, seasonal appropriate clothing and anything that may be a blessing to someone else. We want the community to know that we are here for them, that we love them, and Christ does, too.”

                According to Pastor Kyle, the Blessing Box was one of many ideas the small group had, but once it was decided that this would be happening, he took it before the church and began a drive for donations for the box to be filled upon completion. “This isn’t just a seasonal or Christmas thing. The box will be up all through the year, and anyone will be able to use it – no charge, no judgment, nothing to sign up for. We just want to be a blessing to the community.” Pastor Kyle also mentioned that a special offering would be collected on Christmas Eve to build a pantry to stock items specifically for the Blessing Box. “Our Christmas Eve offering has always been missions-focused, and this year we chose our Blessing Box ministry as our missional focus. In the past, we have chosen to support ministries overseas and at other times, ministries in the U.S. But, our own backyard is a mission field, too.” The tag line written inside the Box says, “Take what you need, leave what you can, and know that you’re loved.”

                The Blessing Box at Grassland is available to anyone at any time. Pastor Kyle shared that you don’t even need to be a member of the church to add items. Grassland Community is located at 17839 Bear Creek Rd. Catlettsburg, KY 41129. They can be reached by phone at 606.928.9219 and even have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GrasslandChurch. Service times are as follows: Sunday School at 9 a.m., Sunday Morning Worship at 10 a.m., and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome.

                Statistically throughout Kentucky, there is an estimated 3,984 people who are suffering from homelessness according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in a 2022 article. In 2021, there was a poverty rate of 23% in Ashland alone, which was higher than the national average of 12.6% at the time. In the same year, all of Boyd County had a poverty rate of 17.6%. Even though there are fewer homeless in Ashland and Catlettsburg, the number of those in need of food and clothing is rising. Grassland is just one of many resources around the area available to those in need.

                If you or someone you know is in need, please contact the church or one of the following resources in the Ashland area:

CAReS – 2516 Carter Ave. Ashland, KY 41101 / 606.324.2949

The Neighborhood – 2516 Carter Ave. Ashland, KY 41101 / 606.327.5677

Shelter of Hope – 1625 Greenup Ave Ste 1. Ashland, KY 41101 /  606.324.6700

Salvation Army – 2212 Carter Ave. Ashland, KY 41101 / 606.329.2874

Ashland Community Kitchen – 2516 Carter Ave. Ashland, KY 41101 / 606.325.8144

River Cities Harvest – Same address as above / 606.324.3663

United Way of Northeast Kentucky – 2000 Carter Ave. Ste D. Ashland, Ky 41101 / 606.325.1810

Hillcrest-Bruce Mission – 1819 Eloise St. Ashland, KY 41101 / 606.324.5723

New Format for 97.9 The River Caters to the Forgotten Generation

New Format for 97.9 The River Caters to the Forgotten Generation

Pamela Hall

The Ashland Beacon


Kindred Communications has long been known for bringing great music and programming to the Tri-State through the six radio stations the company has. From New Country Music, Classic Country Music, Adult Contemporary, Rock, and Sports Talk, it seemed all genres were covered…except one, 60’s and 70’s Rock and Roll.

As of December 26, that is no longer the case. 97.9 The River has changed its format to cover that very popular genre, the music of the 60’s and 70’s. “The Greatest Hits of the Rock and Roll Generation” is the station’s new slogan.



Before deciding to change the format, Kindred Communications embarked on a six-month research campaign earlier this year, concerning the age demographics of the area. The results of the research found that nearly half of the population in the Tri-State, 47% percent to be exact, are over the age of 50. This is the generation known as Baby Boomers, and the music that the Baby Boomers love is 60’s and 70’s Rock and Roll.

“When discussing radio with members of the community,” Mike Kirtner, President and CEO of Kindred Communications, stated in a recent press release, “I found the phrase ‘Forgotten Generation’ to be repeated often.  I thought, our company has a way to remedy those feelings.”

So, began the process of changing the format to something that would accommodate the musical interest of about 121,500 people in the metro area of the Tri-State. This important segment of the population has tremendous buying power for those companies that advertise on 97.9 The River. Indeed, the Baby Boomers are the wealthiest generation in the history of the country with a spending power that is unmatched.

Yet, it often seems that mass media has ignored the Boomers when it comes to catering to their musical preferences. Kirtner suggested that the fault lies with those who work in the promotion and mass marketing industry.

“The group that buys advertising tends to be younger,” said Kirtner.  “They are especially young in their careers.  Consequently, they have forgotten where America’s wealth lies. The Boomers have the ability to purchase wants in addition to needs. If they want to travel, purchase a fun car, or even a getaway vacation home, they can.”

Although 97.9 The River has had an adult contemporary music format for the past several years, it has always changed to an all-Christmas music format during the holiday season. Thus, at midnight on Christmas night, the format changed to the ’60s and ’70s Rock and Roll format, with artists such as The Beach Boys, The Cowsills, The Four Tops, Bachman Turner Overdrive, The Monkees, The Beatles, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Elton John, The Bee Gees, and many others. It will also have various features such as Motown Monday, Woodstock Wednesday, the 60’s at 6, the 70’s at 7, a Saturday night program with Wolfman Jack, and much more.

As with all of the Kindred Communications stations, 97.9 The River can be accessed online by the app in the App Store, as well as tuning in on the radio. There is also a Facebook page and website, www.979theriver.com.

“As someone that grew up in the area during these decades, this format project became very personal for me,” Kirtner said.      “With 97.9 The River,” he added with a smile, “the Forgotten Generation is Forgotten no more. The Rock and Roll Generation now has a home!”