--Thich Nhat Hanh (b.1926) Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher and author.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Friday, March 20, 2015
--Jawaharial Nehru (1889-1964) Prime Minister of India.
Above: On the Pinnacle Mountain Trail in Unicoi County, TN.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Sunday, March 15, 2015
--William Osler (1849-1919) Canadian Physician.
Friday, March 13, 2015
--Margaret Cho (b.1968) American Comedian.
I love the sound of a waterfall in spring when the water roars with full force. This is Laurel Fork Falls outside of Hampton, TN, a 55-foot beauty and one of the most popular hikes in our region. Click here for directions and information. Listen to the roar in this short video:
Thursday, March 12, 2015
The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.
This past October, a new bridge was completed on the Appalachian Trail leading to Laurel Fork Falls from Dennis Cove Road. The new "Koonford Bridge" is in the same location as the older, narrow bridge in the Laurel Fork Gorge. Though considerably wider, I'm glad they kept the handrails on just one side, just like the older bridge. This wasn't just a replacement project -- in order to accommodate the new, wider bridge, volunteers had to first widen and raise the stone support piers. Here is a link to a series of videos showing the dedicated volunteers who made this happen. The new bridge is very impressive both in its scale and craftsmanship. Sixty-six feet in length, it took about two months to complete.
quickly replaced by a crew of volunteers. That 'quick fix' held up really well for 16 years.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American writer and philosopher.
Saturday, March 7, 2015
If you are asking me how to find peace of mind, I would say to you: Let God find you. After all you're not the only one searching. You're searching for God, that's true, but God is searching for you. That is also true.
When our parents, Adam and Eve, left the garden of Eden, God whispered in their ear, 'I will come for you.' They didn't understand that as a promise; they thought it was a threat and so they ran. And they've been running ever since, hiding in the midst of tears, hiding under running laughter, hiding in shopping sprees, hiding in travel, hiding in the upward spiral of strength and power, hiding in bad relationships. Sometimes even hiding in churches. ... Let God find you. ...
[T]he life you seek is not in knowing but in being known, not in seeking but in being sought, not in finding but in being found."
--Dr. Fred Craddock (1928-2015) Minister, Professor and Author (From his sermon, "Seek and You Shall be Found").
I never met him. Never attended his church in Georgia, but I've been profoundly influenced by his work. Hardly a week goes by that a story or a lesson from him isn't called to mind. When I go for long drives, I often will listen to a sermon or two of his. Dr. Fred Craddock has influenced two generations of Christian ministers with his work and writings, and will no doubt continue to do so for years to come. His books on preaching remain required reading in seminaries. He didn't fill stadiums or have prime time TV specials or meetings with heads of state. He didn't lead a mega church or a worldwide movement. He preached. He taught. He wrote. Though only 5'5", he was a giant. The power of his influence was in his quiet example, his humble living, his serious scholarship and in his powerful stories. His sermons were profound and simple, eloquent and folksy, hilarious and touching. You'd be hard pressed to find any sermon of his that followed the typical 'three point' sermon. No, he respected his audience and his craft more than that. His sermons pulled you in, and made you wrestle with faith and scripture. His most effective method was to tell stories. Funny stories, serious stories, sometimes strange stories. People will forget the bullet points, but tell them a story and now your message has a handle that people can grab hold of and carry with them. You didn't get a lot of 'The five steps to effective ministry or to a successful marriage or to find happiness.' The advice and admonition were there, but he didn't brow beat or bible thump. It wasn't a laundry list of imperatives, oughts, musts and shoulds. Weaving scripture and story, Craddock led his listener to the edge of conclusion, but didn't force it. He trusted that his listener would reflect, wrestle and make application, and that in that space, the Holy Spirit would work and speak and intercede.
Here's a sermon of his from back in 1986, "Though One Rise from the Dead." (Luke 16:19-31)
The next video is a good demonstration of how he could take a seemingly boring list of names from scripture (Romans 16) and bring it to life.
Here's another one, delivered late in his life in 2011, in which he gives advice on sharing one's faith, "Tell It".
Here's one even more recent, a reflection on "The God of Hope."
Finally, here's a wonderful article written about Dr. Craddock soon after his retirement from full time preaching in October of 2011.
Rest in peace, Dr. Craddock. You will be missed.
Photo Above: The Appalachian Trail on Roan Mountain after a snow.
Sunday, March 1, 2015
–John Muir (1838-1914) Naturalist and Conservationist.
Above: The view from Roan Mountain.
Saturday, February 28, 2015
--Helen Keller (1880-1968) American Author who was blind and deaf.
Above: A tree stretches out over the Watauga River at Sycamore Shoals State Park in Elizabethton, TN.
Friday, February 27, 2015
In winter we lead a more inward life. Our hearts are warm and cheery, like cottages under drifts, whose windows and doors are half concealed, but from whose chimneys the smoke cheerfully ascends...
--Henry David Thoreau, 1842.
Stopped by Wilbur Dam yesterday and found Little Laurel Branch Falls (left) nearly frozen over. The hills and trees are beautiful covered in snow. The road to Watauga Dam is gated in case anybody was wondering.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Monday, February 16, 2015
--Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) English writer and humorist.
The Covered Bridge at the Farmhouse Gallery and Gardens in Unicoi, TN (taken last February).