I’m thankful to live in East Tennessee

Published 11:24 am Wednesday, November 22, 2023

BY MICHAEL KLAUS
SENIOR MINISTER
FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH
Here in East Tennessee, specifically in Carter County and Elizabethton, we are unique in the ways we do things and the everyday occurrences that seem to be exclusive to this area.
One day, as I was driving down the road where I live, I spotted a calf in my neighbor’s yard. I didn’t worry because I had seen this before, and I knew the farmer from up the road would soon come by to take care of him.
During a trip to the grocery store, someone held the door open for me. It’s odd when someone doesn’t, and what a blessing it is to experience such simple acts of kindness, especially as we head into the Christmas season. Another unique aspect of living here is being able to drive one county over to get a beautiful live Christmas tree and having someone strap it to the roof of your car.
While we have the same challenges that all towns face, such as crime and people taking advantage of others, for the most part, we have a community that cares for one another. People stop to help when your car breaks down, and they bring you a meal when you’re sick or grieving.
Witnessing a parade put together for the World Series champion and hometown hero Evan Carter was a wonderful experience. The parade wasn’t a massive event with 100,000 people, but it was heartfelt and genuine. Evan, the hero of the parade, remained humble, allowing his hometown to make a fuss over him.
As we enter the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, take a moment to reflect on what we have here. Will there be a cardinal in the snow outside your window this season? Will you exchange recipes at church soon? Will you drive through downtown and see a sign that says Merry Christmas? These are just a few of the hundreds of things we can be thankful for as we nestle into the mountains of East Tennessee. Looking up to the mountains, we see steeples with crosses and sunrises that come a little later over the mountains God has made. Are you thankful? I am.
“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” – Psalm 90:2

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