Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Gatlinburg was beautiful!

Last week Jackie and I visited beautiful Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and the Great Smoky Mountains. For twelve years we had longed to see the vacation spot that everyone else had seen (including our children at one time or another). At last, my love and I traveled four hours to see the sights.

We saw nine deer (four bucks and five does), several turkey, and the bear in the picture. This picture was taken just outside our cabin. We were about 40 feet away from him. He looked at us like, "What do you want?", turned around and sauntered off into the woods. We were so excited to see him, we didn't have time to get scared. Jackie and I got very close to some of the deer. Jackie got within 15 feet of this buck, who ignored her and kept eating.

We saw several waterfalls and went up to Clingman's Dome, a hard half-mile walk up the hill.

It was a great experience to be by ourselves for a whole week and not answer the phone, see a computer, or get up early. Jackie and I worshiped at the Gatlinburg Church of Christ, where Rod Rutherford preaches. He is a kind man and had a meaningful lesson. I was glad I got to sit and hear this good man. John and Teresa Rutledge sat beside us (John is a deacon at Concord Rd., and they are dear friends. It was their anniversary!).

We went on quiet walks, soaked our feet in the shallow and rocky streams, read the Bible, prayed, sang a few hymns, and soaked in with great thanksgiving the world God had made.

We are glad to be home, but the eight days will remain with us forever.



john dobbs said...

My favorite vacation spot! And I've never seen a bear. Good for you guys ... glad you enjoyed some time away. We hope to go back in October ... it's Gospel Music month at Dollywood. We took our kids earlier this year...so we want to go just the two of us. Great pics!

Brandee said...

Gatlinburg is beautiful. We visited it on our vacation for the first time. I wish we could've stayed longer to see all there is to see. We will definitely return. I'm glad you had a wonderful time.

Phil Sanders said...


We didn't go to Dollywood or to any of the many, many shows in Pigeon Forge. I had wanted to see the Ripley's Believe It or Not museum, till I got there.

What I most enjoyed was what God made: the mountains, trees, streams, and wildlife. It was a marvelous experience. Jackie and I are making a CD Powerpoint of the pictures we took for family.

Though I live within a few miles (I live in Franklin and preach in Brentwood) of where 90 percent of the Christian music industry records its work, I have pretty much ignored it.

I want my worship to be Biblical and to come from my heart. I think the Christian music industry warps worship. I don't believe the commercialism of star-studded Christian music exalts my Lord. I believe it makes stars and money. I really want no part of that.


Phil Sanders said...

You came to Tennessee and didn't stop in?


Brandee said...

Oh I know...I'm a very bad niece for not stopping. I wanted to so bad but we were on a drive through visit basically. We only spent a quick night in Nashville to sleep (and see the Titan's stadium). We only got to spend one day in Gatlinburg too. I thought maybe we could see you guys on the way back as we planned to stop back in Nashville for rest but we were so ready to come home we drove the entire 20 hours without stopping. I'm not sure I want to do that again! LOL But we enjoyed it so much we will definitely be returning and spending some more time there.