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Author Mark Johnson

Our faith is always on the move.   Abraham is told to “go,” without first knowing where he was going.   Moses bounces back and forth between the wilderness and Egypt until he is finally commissioned and empowered to lead the Israelites to their new home.   David is a refugee on the run long […] Read More

A member of the congregation recently complimented our hosting a first ever joint Thanksgiving service with Muslims, Jews and Christians for the Lexington, Ky., community (7 p.m. on Nov. 21).   She noticed how the Jews and, more particularly, the Muslims she knew personally were not the stereotyped image of a group of whom to […] Read More

Senate Bill 142 is making its way through the Kentucky legislature. More popularly known as the “Bible bill,” it follows the success of a Texas initiative to allow the teaching of the Bible as literature, with a special focus on tracing its influence in Western civilization through an elective course offered to high school students. […] Read More

Why would Baptists practice Lent?   Isn’t it too close to an idea of “works righteousness,” trying to earn the salvation that we teach is a gift of God’s grace to be received only by faith? Shouldn’t our time be focused on sharing this message through gospel proclamation and service to a lost and unbelieving […] Read More

I spent last week in Arizona for a short vacation. It was a needed and welcome break from winter – highs in the low 70s with cloudless skies and stunning sunrises dancing over the mountains and across the valleys.   A journey deep into the 25,000 acres of Fort McDowell Indian Reservation outside of Phoenix […] Read More

The end of October marked a little controversy for the good people of the commonwealth of Kentucky. While sending inquiries about the possibility of someone donating the large evergreen tree used to decorate the state capitol grounds each season, as had been done in the past, the Office of the Secretary for the Finance and […] Read More

For the past several months, a refugee family from Asia has been visiting our church. Despite the obvious cultural and language barriers, many of our members have been gracious, accommodating and often very generous in the gifts of their time and resources for this family’s many needs.   A part of our desire to minister […] Read More

Frequently, I am asked about how our church handles suggestions from health organizations to help stem the tide of infectious diseases, particularly during occasions of “passing the peace” and celebrating communion in public worship. Here’s what I think.   Wash your hands frequently. There are more than 40 sinks in our building, not including the […] Read More

One of my ministerial friends is on a “silent retreat.” At face value, it sounds pretty attractive, with no looming distractions, no interruptions and no pressing deadlines.   The needed rest it promises is particularly appealing for those, like me, who struggle to keep the principle of the Sabbath while constantly being stretched thin with […] Read More

Torture is not only cruel. It is also ineffective and unreliable, according to a leading neuroscientist studying the effects of the brain under conditions of extreme, repeated and prolonged stress.   Writing in the journal Trends in Cognitive Science, Shane O’Mara of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience in Dublin points to studies showing that […] Read More