Writing this week from high on the mountain

Published 1:55 pm Friday, December 21, 2018

This week we write and send greetings to you from the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

In fact, at this moment we’re looking out over the smoldering smoky ridges just a little-ways in the distance. Each December the amazin’ blonde and I fly to Atlanta and spend a few days back home in LaGrange before we trek up to these Tennessee hills. Coming home to LaGrange, obviously, elevates your spirit unlike anything else, something that hasn’t changed since we left in October 1973. 

On this trip, the amazin’ blonde and I were blessed to worship for the first time in the new building of the Four Oaks Church of Christ off of the Roanoke Road – which, of course, is the re-located Murphy Avenue Church.

We were more than pleased to see the church in extra-high spirits this trip, perhaps rivaling the spirit in the old days when Preacher Miller stood tall in her pulpit.

Many of you LaGrange friends know many who have long-attended church there, from the youthful Kaitlyn Anderson — whom I consider sort of a LHS scholar — to our spirited older friend Ms. Nina Lawrence who defines enthusiasm to a tee. In addition, my old Southwest Elementary and LaGrange High friend Tony Pippen came to see us with his own good spirit and big smile. A newfound Georgia friend — Howard Glover — was also there. Howard renewed his acquaintance with his LHS classmate and my sister Jean some time back; and I first met him when he traveled out to visit her in Texas. We developed a quick friendship, especially since he desired to study the Bible with us and then desired to be baptized while out in Texas. When two worlds meet that way, it reminds us that bridging two great states is like skipping a rock over the Chattahoochee until it bounces off of the Mississippi and lands in the lone star state.

This trip marked the first time we were able to stand behind the new building’s beautiful white pulpit, reminiscent of the first church building built at Murphy Avenue. It was not like Preacher Miller’s standing there, but it would have to do.

Scanning that lovely building and those familiar faces on Sunday, I could not help but remember the apostle’s own exclamation in that latter book, where he says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” Looking back at the last few days from this special vantage point in these venerable, smoky mountains, I have to say that I am a bit in the Spirit myself these days.