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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



Many people have come and gone through Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. Unfortunately, many never see much more than the hotels, restaurants, candy stores, miniature golf courses, etc. etc. They never get to see the beautiful scenery that surrounds Gatlinburg.

Having said that, let me tell you that last October our family went to the Smoky Mountains. I was determined to strike a balance between the fun things to do as well as the enjoying the things of nature, such as fishing and hiking. My number one priority was to get a glimpse of a bear. Well, things went pretty well as we did the fan things toward the first of the week. Then came time for the stuff I wanted to do. We headed to Cades Cove. We drove a little. We got out and looked a little. Then we came to the trail that led to Abrams Falls. I saw a sign that said Abrams Falls Trail 2.1 miles. A nice stroll, I thought. I didn't realized until it was too late that the 2.1 miles was one way.

When we started out on the walk the kids were all over the place with more energy than a college football team. Before we got to the falls THE question was being asked. You know the question. "How much further till we get there?" After some 40 minutes we arrived at the falls and what a magnificent view it was! We enjoyed the scenery and playing around the water and just listening to the power of the water. They had forgotten that we had to go back the same way we came. Then the moment came. I said, "Are you ready to start back?" You can imagine the response.

About half way back to the van Cynthia was the first to say, "I'm tired." To which I would reply, "We're getting closer all the time." Soon she wanted to hold my hand as though that would somehow lessen the load. Then she wanted me to carry her. Well, at 10 years old you can imagine how far I lasted as I said, "We're not far away now, why don't you walk?" I sat her down and she clung to my Ieg and with an Academy award performance said, "I'm too tired to walk. Drag me, Daddy, please!" As I looked down at those blue eyes and that facial expression, I scooped her up and we finished the hike back.

As I look back on some special family times such as this, I think how many times have I thrown myself down at God's feet and cried, "God, I'm too tired to go on. Drag me, please." Yes, God's a good Father. He doesn't desire that I get tired and worn out, He longs to scoop me into His arms and carry me when I'm tired. And when I let Him, I can safely rest.

For His Cause,

P.S. I did get to see a bear!!