Monday, August 20, 2012

Being the Church to the Community Around Us

For years the Church has gotten a bad rap for building a grandiose cathedral and expecting the lost and hurting to come to them. When the lost and hurting does not respond, committees are formed to try to figure out why. And when the Church contemplated service, they looked overseas – raised money, bought plane tickets and travelled thousands of miles away completely overlooking the hurting in the community that surrounded them.

I am guest writing at The Assembling of the Church, the weblog of Alan Knox. You can read this rest of this post there. Read More...

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Wine Country North Georgia

Between work, school, and our nonprofit, it has been really busy this year and several mornings I have awoken tired. The lesson I have learned over the years is that at times like these, it is very important to find a respite however brief to remove my mind from current events - a temporary distraction from deadlines and responsibilities and an opportunity to refocus. While sleep is important, it is also important to take sometime to relieve my mind of all of the details, spend sometime with my wife, and simply enjoy the handy work of the Creator.

Photo by the Author


Saturday we awoke to overcast skies and predictions of rain. This seemed like as good of a chance as any to take a day off and unwind. I have lived in North Georgia for 12 years and have ventured out to some of the points of interest, winding roads built with motorcycles in mind and quaint little towns built during the gold rush. For longer than I can recall, I have been aware that there were vineyards in North Georgia, but I never knew how many. This day, we elected to visit a couple. Apparently there are a dozen vineyards surrounding Dahlonega, Georgia a short drive from our home.

Photo by the Author


The low clouds and North Georgia Mountains captured my attention. The longer I stood and gazed on the horizon, the more relaxed and peaceful I felt. Acres and acres of rolling hills covered in grapevines cover the area. Lush green grass and grape leaves against a grey sky and a blue mountain range. One would think you would have to travel to California to see scenery like this, but it is right here in North Georgia begging to be explored.



Photos by the Author

One of these vineyards covers 18 acres of an 184 acre farm - pretty impressive. All of these vineyards operate a tasting room open to the public usually Thursday through Saturday (some even Sunday).

After a few hours of taking in the scenery and the impressive selections of wine that each winery produces, we ambled down to Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge, paid the $5 parking fee and drove to the top of the 729 feet tall falls and to the Lodge for the buffet lunch.

Amicalola Falls Lodge
(Photo Courtesy: www.gastateparks.org )

Amicalola Falls Lodge
(Photo Courtesy: www.gastateparks.org )

As always, we requested a seat by the window so we could enjoy the mountain view over lunch. On a clear day, the view is like the picture above. But on this particular day a fog was rolling in shrouding the mountains from view. Before long, a tree twenty feet away almost disappeared from sight into the fog.


The low key morning and filling lunch in the North Georgia Mountains was just what I needed to rest my mind and relax. I believe an occasional day like this is good for the soul. 



A few North Georgia Vineyards worth checking out: