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



The story is told of the poet, Lowell, who on one occasion was vacationing in the White Mountain district. One day while strolling through the beautiful country he became absorbed in a conversation with a man in charge of a sawmill. They talked while the man fed the logs into the mill. Lowell said, "By the way, can you tell me where I could obtain the best view of the 'Old Man of the Mountain?"' The mill worker who had lived there all of his life said, "Sorry, I've never been there." Lowell replied, "I can't believe that you live so close and you've never seen it and people come from great distances to see it." The sawmill worker said, "And how far have you come?" Lowell said, "From Boston." "Oh," he said, "I'd like to see Boston.  I would love to stand on Bunker Hill. Do you go there often"? And James Lowell confessed with shame that he had never been there before.

How many of us living in this beautiful area of Tennessee have spent time on scenic Center Hill Lake?  Who has traveled a few miles to Cumberland Caverns to view the magnificent wonders underground? Have you taken the time to ever pull off at the scenic overlook on the way to Cookeville or any of the other hundreds of overlooks surrounding the lake? Or maybe you've gone to Short Mountain and spent time looking out across the miles of land with a sense of awe and wonder. When was the last time you've been to Burgess Falls or Fall Creek Falls? Many people who have lived here for a while or even all their lives have not seen these things. And yet, people drive for miles to visit these places that are right under our noses and we take for granted.

The same was true when Jesus walked this earth. They shrugged him off by saying, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Many of those who saw his miracles, heard his great teaching, went on about their business. They could have cared less about where he was born or where he sat to teach the great multitudes.  Now people come from all over the world to see where he was born, where he walked, where he taught, where he dies and where he rose. Tons of films and documentaries have been shot; yet those who live there today pay very little attention. Jesus said it best, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country."

Why is this true? One thing is this; things so close, so accessible, so easy often times seem unimportant. We assume we can go anytime and we will get around to it eventually. Others spend there time dreaming of the exotic and far away places.

Lift up your eyes and look at the glorious things about us: your beautiful  spouse, your beautiful children and grandchildren, that wonderful  house you live in, the friends who love you, this beautiful community where we live, this glorious church of which you are a member. How many will die dreaming of the far away places while never realizing the many wonderful things around us?

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward