In 1997, Tim began sending out "HEM-Lines", a weekly e-mail devotional sent free of charge to anyone who requests it. In January of 2009 the name was changed to "LightGrams". Below is one of the more recent devotionals sent out. If you'd like to be added as a subscriber, write to Tim@GraceMine.org and request to be included.
May 16, 2013
Volume 17, Number 17
For the past 25 years my hikes in the woods have been accompanied by a
walking stick. The one I most often use is special to me; my father-
in-law (now deceased) made it. He was a carpenter by trade, and this
happens to be a sturdy and useful staff. But most of the time I
simply carried it. I put it to use mainly when going down steep
trails to help me keep my footing.
My two sons recently presented me with a gift I wasn't initially
convinced I would like: trekking poles. (These look somewhat like the
poles a snow skier would use.) I decided to give them a try on a
recent hike to Rocky Fork Falls in Unicoi County, TN. After
completing the hike, which involves a 1,200-foot elevation gain, I
realized I had a couple of new friends.
I confess I had previously regarding trekking poles as "geeky" (or
"dorky" as one of my sons said). But as I get older, I'm finding
myself to be not as agile as before, and stamina is more of a precious
commodity. These poles proved to be beneficial in a couple of ways on
this hike: (1) They utilized my arm strength to climb the steeper
parts of the train; (2) they also utilized my arms to take some of the
pressure off my knees coming down those steep sections; and (3) they
provided even more help in maintaining balance. That last benefit was
especially helpful when fording creeks.
I suppose there are some who might regard the glasses I wear as
"dorky", but I know I can't get far without them. Now I've made
acquaintance with two helpful friends who will give me similar
assistance when venturing into wilderness areas. (If you'd like to
see photos of the falls I just visited, go to
http://hikingbill.com/?p=511. This fellow has a very nice site.)
Hiking is not for everyone, but we're all trekking on a trail that is
leading us into eternity. Those who know God's word realize the
importance of having His guidance on this trail, for we don't want to
take the wrong fork in the road! We need all the help we can get to
make it to heaven.
The writer of the letter to the Hebrew Christians pointed to one
valuable resource we have in making this journey: "Therefore
strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make
straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be
dislocated, but rather be healed ... Looking carefully lest anyone
fall short of the grace of God ..." (Hebrews 12:12-13,15).
What that writer is describing is Christian fellowship. Think of
Christian companions as "living trekking poles", staying close by your
side as you travel. They're there to support you when you're weak, to
help you maintain your balance, to relieve the pressure when the
climbing is tough. It's one of the great gifts the Lord has given us.
Paul spoke often of this blessing. Consider this example: "Brethren,
if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore
such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you
also be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law
of Christ" (Galatians 6:1,2).
None of us are hiking on a level trail. Sometimes we encounter steep
hills to climb, and obstacles over which we must cross. Can we do it
alone? Maybe. But God promises His help as we travel, and He has
also given us Christian brethren to assist us. Get to know the
helpful friends near you.
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him
in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you'd like
to discuss these ideas further.
Copyright, 2013, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless
otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990,
Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
"LightGrams" is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland
Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall,
minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request
it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to
"Tim@GraceMine.org" (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address
above, or call (423) 282-1571.
Permission to reproduce and/or use the messages for noncommercial
purposes is freely granted provided the messages are not altered.