Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A little humor




I have taught our children, after the example of Reb Bradley's wife,
to call me "mother most beautiful among all women".
(All in jest, of course!)
The way Jonathan says it, though
changes the whole meaning . . .
"Mother, most beautiful bug woman".
Sigh.

(Serves me right.)


The other day,
Jonathan was passing out our family worship folders
but couldn't read the names on them.
We could tell that he felt self-conscious at not being able to read,
so we made a game out of it:
whose ever folder you got, that's who you got to be for the morning.
Daddy got to be David, I got to be Emily, Annie got to be Molly and so on.
We were all laughing and enjoying it.

Then he handed Molly a folder and she squealed,
"Yay, I get to be Jonathan!"
He smiled (kind of) and started to walk away,

then changed his mind and very seriously turned around,
took back the folder and said,
"No, I want to be him
."
We all burst out laughing!

The other day I was sipping a blended coffee that I made at home.

Jonathan kept bugging me,

"Can I have a little of that?
Can I just have a little of that?
I want a little of that"
on and on.
Finally I let him have a little sip.

And without missing a beat
and very seriously (he wasn't trying to be funny) he said,
"Can I have a lot of that?"



The other day, while helping Molly with her bath,

we were talking about what a good mom she will make one day
and how fun she'll be.
Somewhere in the midst of the conversation,

she mentioned that her husband "won't be a pastor".
My heart sank.
"Oh no! Is it happening already?
Could she really somehow resent being a PK
and has vowed never to marry a pastor?"

Despite my fear and questions, I
responded calmly,
"So, you're not going to marry a pastor?"

She looked at me with the innocence of a 7 year old and said,
"Well, Mom . . . we'll be going to your church."
Duh!
Never assume . . . .(smile)



Monday, November 03, 2008

Who Besides God is a Rock?



Regardless of who wins the election tomorrow
and which measures pass or fail . . .

Our God is still King of kings
and Lord of lords.

He still holds our future and
He is still committed to our good.

We are still only pilgrims in this world
and are pressing on toward the goal of the upward prize.

Jesus still reigns over the hearts of men
and turns them where He wishes.

We will still worship only Him
and look to Him to be our hope and salvation,

while living responsibly among His creation here on earth.

We will still hold fast to His word as our source of life and satisfaction,
seeking to please Him in all we do.

Yes, God is enthroned in the heavens,
and He changeth not!


Who besides God is a rock?
Psalm 18:31




We will vote in the morning,
and our eyes will
"look to the Lord our God,
till He has mercy upon us."
Psalm 123:2

Friday, October 17, 2008

Raising Boys



I never had brothers.
Boys are new to me.
At least they were until I gave birth to one.
(Yes, I'm making a distinction between MEN and BOYS . . . getting "used" to Earl was so easy!).
I remember when I was a teacher's aide, watching the boys in the classroom and being fascinated by them.
I wanted to have a little boy.
(Said in the whiney voice of that girl from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory who wanted everything).
Every once in a while something happens to remind me that
I DO have boys.
I even have a ten-year old boy.

David loves to read.
When I take the kids to Barnes and Noble,
it's funny . . .
Emily turns left (to the fiction),
and David turns right (to the non-fiction).
It's almost like they are on auto-pilot.

I took David the other night to spend a gift card he got for his birthday.
He bought a book.
Since then I have learned things that I never knew before,
or that I even knew I needed to know.

Did you know . . .

* If you live in the desert (and don't leave it), you have a 100% chance of never being eaten by a shark. It's true!

*
If you drink water from shallow pools in central Africa, you could get a guinea worm that eventually will begin to wiggle it's way through your skin (or eyeball!). It takes weeks for it to come out, so you have to carry a stick around with you with the front part of the worm wrapped around it. Wow! How do those African women do dishes or laundry with having to hold onto those sticks??

* If you are lucky enough to go swimming in the Amazon (my kids have recently just been prohibited from doing this!), you may come in contact with a Toothpick Fish that may take up residence inside of you. That's all I'm going to say on that one. Ewww!

*
I learned that if ever I am being chased by an alligator, their jaws are really hard to open (weak muscles), so I would easily be able to hold them shut with my hands. Just jump on their back and hold them tight. If I felt I could do it with just one hand, a good punch in the eye with the other one would probably do the trick in deterring the beast from continuing his pursuit.

I have been entertained by all kinds of fascinating facts.
It has truly been amazing.
And if you don't already have one,
I would highly recommend
getting one of these . . .

a ten year old boy.
They are so much fun!

Friday, October 10, 2008

autumn




It hasn't felt much like fall lately.
Until today.
It actually felt "fallish".
Slight breeze in the air.
Leaves floating to the ground.

Fortunately, I had decided to take this morning
and get some "outdoor" shots of the kids,
hoping for a better group shot than what I got inside last month.


The above shot turned out nicely and I think we'll print that one.
Then we just had fun goofing off,
while Mom "practiced".











A friend loaned me a book by Annabel Williams
and it is so practical and helpful.
I've been trying to practice some of what I've "learned".

Here are a few of the "entry way" shots we took.

(This one is a little out of focus though . . . not unusual for shots of Jonathan!)





I liked this one in black and white.
I've entitled it, "The Thinker".
(That actually is a natural pose for him.)





After our outing today,
I've decided what I REALLY NEED to take my photography to the next level.

I need one of these GREAT photographers whose photographs I love looking at and that inspire me to go out and keep learning,
to come spend a day with me and my children
and follow me and my camera around
whispering in my ear
all their secrets
and all their tips
and all their thoughts on how to make "this" a better shot.
I want to be able to have a "photographic mentor", if you will,
to travel along with me for a day,
whom I can ask questions of.

It doesn't hurt to ask . . . (smile)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Charis Photography


Download the full sized flyer here.


Well, after much encouragement,
and with dependence on the Lord to actually use us
to bless His Body and others,

we are officially starting . . .

Charis Photography
a Miles Family Ministry


Our mission is to use the gifts and desires that the Lord has given us
to capture His glory and individuality
as displayed in His creation and
in their relationships with each other.
We desire to offer to other families the opportunity
to "capture the seasons"
and to have affordable portraits
with which to proclaim their family's love and uniqueness.
Beautiful memories are hard to afford at times
when you figure in the cost of the printing
along with beautiful framing to accent with.
We'd like to make your cost for the photos themselves
as low as possible
while still giving you that "studio feel".

Why "Charis Photography"?
Charis is the Greek word for "grace".
The biblical reality is that each one of us
is an expression of God's unmeasurable grace!
He gives grace to us in so many common ways . . .
each new day, another opportunity to be alive on this beautiful planet.
He gives abundant grace as we learn to live with and love each other.
He grants grace to His children to become more and more like Him.
When we look at each other . . . we see grace.
Charis.

We are kicking off our ministry with two days of portrait shoots.
October 18
and
November 1.

We will be taking appointments for 30-45 minute sessions
starting at 9:30 a.m.

$35 will cover the "sitting fee",
all photos taken on a CD (100+), and
25+ of those photos retouched/edited at our discretion.

These will be ready for you to use before the holidays.
This resource will be great for you to use in those Christmas newsletters,
or to make prints for family and friends,
or to frame for the grandparents.
Craft ideas are endless: calendars, refrigerator magnets,
photo mugs, stationary, etc. etc.
The CD will be for you to keep and use however you want!

So contact us today.
ejmilesfamily@verizon.net

Note: The above price does not apply to members of Coast Community Church, or our family. There is no charge for your portraits. Just contact us to set up a time!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

His Eye is on the Sparrow


This past Sunday morning
as the children and I were leaving for church,
we found this sweet bird who had died, lying on our driveway.

The lesson from God was not lost on us.

We recalled Jesus' words in Matthew 10 and talked about them.

We leaned on them throughout the day.

Earl was gone on our church's men's retreat and the kids and I were braving the drive alone up to John MacArthur's church for some good preaching, since we couldn't hear Dad.

We made good time . . . His eye is on the sparrow, and He watches over me.

Parking was incredible but we found a spot in the neighborhood 2 blocks away and the children all kept their adventuring attitudes and trekked in to the church parking lot without complaint . . . . His eye is on the sparrow, and He watches over me.

I gave everyone the option of going into worship with me, or checking out their age-appropriate classes. The four older ones opted to stay with me (yeah!!) and David was especially interested in hearing John MacArthur. Jonathan made his decision to go into the 3 year old's class (wise son). But my other children were hesitant for me to let him go in. After talking with them privately and hearing their "fears", I reminded them . . . His eye is on the sparrow, guys. He's watching over us. Jonathan will be fine. (I didn't add, but wanted to . . . he's much braver than you all were at this age!)

However, during the service we were told that after 40 years of services, this was only the 4th time that pastor MacArthur was sick. His eye is on the sparrow and He watches over us . . . . we can trust Him for what He has for us today.

The sermon was on James 1 . . . the place of suffering in the life of a Christian. One of the pastor's points was that we need to focus on getting a proper perspective about trials before we get into them. As I was listening, I was assaulted by thoughts of my Jonathan being taken from his class by a stranger and not being there when I went to pick him up. I had to do some battle . . . His eye is on the sparrow, and He watches over me (and mine)!

We hit some traffic driving through LA (a wreck) . .. His eye is on the sparrow, and He watches over me. (I had thankfully thought to throw in some juice drinks and cereal bars to tide us over until lunch since we had a ways to drive home).

I plan on printing up the above photo and passage for each of my children to put over their beds.
It seems like a very practical way of storing up knowledge
leading to a biblical perspective when those trials come . . .
and they will.
(In fact, we do this for other passages we want them to commit to memory . . .
and it has proven VERY effective.)

I want our kids to know that God cares very much about them
and because He cares so much about them,
they need not fear, but can trust Him . . .
with their lives.

(I think I'll print one up to put over my bed too!)


"His Eye Is on the Sparrow"

Why should I feel discouraged?
Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart be lonely
And long for heav'n and home
When Jesus is my portion?
My constant friend is He;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

"Let not your heart be troubled,"
His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness,
I lose my doubts and fears;
Tho' by the path He leadeth,
But one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted,
Whenever clouds arise,
When song gives place to sighing,
When hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him;
From care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

I sing because I'm happy;
I sing because I'm free;
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Quiz Results and Answers.

Hey, ya'll.
Sorry I haven't gotten back to you in such a long time.
Blogging was way down my long list of priorities.
Thank you all for taking the time to read the post
and then send me your answers.
So here are the results.

Mrs. Prescott, pretty good! Your correct answers added up to 6.

Mrs. Patterson, your correct answers added up to 4.

Ruth, your correct answers came to 5.

Hannah, you got 3 right.

Mrs. Rachel, I think you got 3 right.

You all did very well and passed the "test" (man, I almost said pasted!) -smile-!


Here are the correct answers:


My middle name is Grace.
My dad "wanted" to call me "Sparky" (as a joke).
My favorite song is "Create in Me" by Sovereign Grace.
I love the Muppet Treasure Island movie. So goofy!
I'm fascinated by C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia.
I came into this wonderful world on May 18.
My favorite color is green.
I love dogs and horses . . . though I own neither. Sigh.


Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Perfect Pair

This mother and daughter were such a delight
to photograph a few weeks ago!


(Getting photos like these really energizes me!!)




Motherhood is such a wonderful privilege!
And though the homes look so variously different,
there is a motherly bond that looks/feels so very familiar
to any of us who have had the privilege of
experiencing it.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Further Up and Further In!

The kids are clean and asleep in bed.
The house is clean and ready to be shut down for the night.

The bags and Bibles are waiting by the front door.
The clothes are laid out waiting to be ironed and laid on the ends of beds.
The cooler is standing empty on the kitchen counter, waiting to be filled in the morning.


Tonight is Saturday.
Tomorrow is Sunday!
Our most favoritist day of the week!

Why is it our favorite day?
Because it is the Lord's Day!

As I was doing dishes tonight, I was thinking about Sunday.
Many moms get frustrated because their children only seem interested in going to church to see their friends.
Mine are no different.
Their favorite part of Sunday is getting to play all afternoon with their friends.
Is that wrong?
I don't believe God has regenerated their hearts yet, but even if He had, would that be wrong? I'm thinking . . . .

We as a family have been listening to the Focus on the Family Radio Drama of The Chronicles of Narnia. We read through them a few years back, and now have been enjoying "listening" to them all over again in a new way. I always cry at the parts where Aslan is speaking (it generates such longing in my heart!).
This past Wednesday was no exception, as we found ourselves driving around in the car listening to The Last Battle. The characters had all "gone through the door" and were in the real Narnia. They were traveling on together "further up and further in" laughing and talking about all that they were seeing and experiencing. Their fellowship was so sweet! The sounds were inviting as they laughed, teased, talked, squealed, delighted, etc. etc.
I thought of all of my friendships that I enjoy. I thought of all of my children enjoying their friends and realizing that part of heaven is being able to enjoy those friendships for eternity. Yes, Aslan was the best part of Narnia, and Jesus will be the center of heaven and the greatest treasure. But it's His presence and His love for me and His delight in me and His provision for me, etc. etc. that enables me so to delight and enjoy and cherish the friends that He puts in my life.
I love looking forward to the fellowship on Sundays. No, it doesn't meet all my needs. I sometimes leave lonely and discouraged. But that's because this isn't heaven yet. God is using my friendships to expose where He is still working in me to fit me for heaven to really love perfectly and to be perfectly loved.
I love Sundays and being able to hear the Word preached and applied to my life experiences. I love being able to worship in song around the Truth of all that God is and what He has done and is doing and will do. And then I love having the opportunity to go and walk out the truth that I've just heard and applied and sung about.
The worship of Jesus is undeniably tied to the people that make up His Body! And many of those I happen to be friends with.
How convenient!

So, I don't fret when my children look forward to playing with their friends more than sitting through the sermon. 'Cause I know that their friendships in this fallen world are going to be used to expose their weaknesses and their need for Jesus and then I'll have the privilege of pointing them to the gospel and to Jesus who has promised to supply all their needs and to be to them all that they will ever need or desire! And their love for their friends is a God-given gift. And I'm trusting Him to refine it to bring Him glory as He works in their hearts to make them like Christ. Right now,
it's just planting time.

Quiz!



I know a lot of you think you know a lot about me,:) (Emily)
So here is a test.
If you want to see how close you came to gaining that name we all want "The Know-it-all",
you can either email me the
answers using my family's email address (I do not have my own),
post them
in a comment (for example, 1.c.,2.d. etc.),
or figure out some other creative way.:)


Here it comes:

1. What is my middle name?

a. Maria b. Cassia c. Alexandria d. Grace

2. If I had been a boy, Dad would have suggested (he never would have named me this for real:)

a. Giant Jack b. Microscopic Mike c. Sparky d. Dilly

3. What is one of my favorite songs?

a. Create in Me (Sovereign Grace)

b. Praise You With the Dance (Casting Crowns)

c. Overjoyed (Avalon)

d. Made to Love (Toby Mac)

4. What is one of my favorite movies?

a. Sound of Music b. Muppet Treasure Island c. Princess Bride d. Anne of Green Gables


5. What is one of my favorite books/series?


a. Betsy-Tacy (Maude Hart Lovelace)

b. The Hobbit (J.R. Tolkien)

c. The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis)

d. Grandma's Attic Series (Arleta Richardson)

6. When is my birthday?

a. June 9

b. May 18

c. August 7

d. January 1

7. What is my favorite color?

a. blue

b. purple

c. green

d. white

8. Which two are my favorite animals?

a. cats and mice

b. dogs and horses

c. spiders and snakes

d. mice and hamsters



Well, do you feel confident that you got it all right? I sure want to know how well known I am out there (wicked laughing).
Well, we'll find out soon, won't we?:)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Orthodontic Nightmare

Beware . . .
The following image can be very disturbing.

David was given a "functional appliance" last month
to help reshape his bite
before proceeding with full-blown braces.

To our horror,
we didn't realize HOW much it would affect his appearance,
and we certainly didn't expect it to happen so quickly.

If this is what he looks like after a few weeks,
what will my sweet boy look like in six months??!!



Oh . . if I only knew!!
I will never go to this orthodontist again.
Oh, my sweet babies!!






Alright,
my silly children MADE me write this post for them.
They have just discovered the "fish eye" function on our
photo editing software and boy are they having fun.
If your image somehow ends up in any of our cameras . . .
BEWARE!!!

More Pictures!

So, Team Miles got ready to take
family portraits for another family in our church
this past Saturday.


We prepared our "studio",

and Emily and I worked to get a simple lunch ready.

The boys also got "dressed up"
and helped me get my settings all ready as they posed.






I love black and white and don't use the Sepia tones much,
but for these cowboy shots,
it just seemed PERFECT!


This next shot, was one
I wanted to take,
but Jonathan didn't want to take off
the cowboy stuff.
Notice the "mood".



Here is one I got of Emily.
I think this will do nicely for her "school" photo.
Though she does look/act mature for her age,
she still looks WAY TOO old in this photo.
(And I'm still amazed that I ended up with such a blond daughter!)




Molly can struggle at times with "relaxing" while we're taking pictures.
I finally discovered the trick with her.
"Molly, make your silliest faces."



Then she relaxes,
and I get a very natural "Molly". (smile)



And then . . .
here is my oldest boy (nearly man?).
Where does time go?
When did he grow up?
Wait a minute . . .
he's still only 9 . . .soon to be 10.
He's still my "boy".
It's amazing what editing software can do, eh?
He still likes to play with Leggos and Playmobil and tease his sisters
and throw things on the roof.
I can still enjoy this season . . .
whew . . .
it hasn't flown by yet!




Man, I love these kids!
Thank You, Father, for your abundant blessings!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

12 Years in Love

Celebrating 12 years of marriage today!


"This is the Lord's doing and it is marvelous in our eyes."
Psalm 118:23


"Come let us worship the Lord, and let us magnify His name together."
Psalm 34:3
Isn't it good how God can be sometimes?
Just rejoicing and basking
in His exceedingly abundant grace and goodness to us.
Our "secret"?
During our wedding ceremony,
we had sung a song by Steven Curtis Chapman:
"My Redeemer is Faithful and True".

It was the perfect song for us
as we started on our grand adventure,
and continues to be
our favorite "love song".

We had both walked many years with the Lord separately,
and now were leaning on His proved faithfulness to each us over.
We knew that our success as a couple
was not going to be dependent
on our love for each other
or the things we did or didn't do.
But our success lay solely on the shoulders of our Redeemer
who has promised to be for us all that we would ever need,
who has promised to redeem us from who we were and
make us into the image of the Son with each passing day.

Our marriage prayer is that we would continue to
look to Jesus in all things and not look to
each other for what only our Redeemer can and will provide.

The lyrics:
As I look back on this road I've traveled,
I see so many times He carried me through.
If there's one thing I've learned in my life,
My Redeemer is faithful and True.

My Redeemer is faithful and True,
everything He has said He will do,
and every morning His mercies are new.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

My heart rejoices when I read the promise
"there is a place that I'm preparing for you",
I know someday I'll see my Lord face to face,
'cause my Redeemer is faithful and true.

My Redeemer is faithful and true,
everything He has said he will do,
and every morning His mercies are new.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

And in every situation,
He has proved His love for me.
When I lack the understanding, He gives more grace to me.

My Redeemer is faithful and true,
every thing He has said he will do,
and every morning His mercies are new.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

Last night, my honey surprised me (Jan) and took me to dinner on the Queen Mary with another couple who share our same anniversary. We went to a dinner theater called "Tibbie's" and had a very fun time. Lots of laughing.

Also, last weekend, our children with the help of my mother planned a surprise party for us with a few of our friends. We spent a very fun Saturday afternoon hanging out with each other and playing games and eating delicious food.

Life just doesn't get much better.

All this and Jesus too!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Annual School Pictures


We took pictures this morning,
hoping to get some good "school" pictures of each of the children
as well as a good group shot.

This was the first good one I've gotten of Jonathan
since he was born!
My how grown up he looked to me this morning!


Our Annie takes naturally beautiful photos.
I rarely have to retouch any of her photos, beyond cropping.



This one of Molly and Annie was sweet.
Such giggly girls.
They have sure enjoyed playing and playing and playing together this past year.
It's good to have a best friend who lives in your same house!


I always like to take one of the girls by themselves.
Every year, it turns out differently.
They are growing so quickly.


This is the one of "the boys".
I am partial to black and white photos.
Just something about them strikes a chord with me.
Not sure what or why.


This one just happened
while I was trying to take Emily's portrait.

Jonathan just kind of stuck himself in and Emily went with it.
My kids enjoy picture taking and for the most part
seem very natural.


This was another one that just happened.
My favorite part of picture day is capturing
all of the candid shots that aren't contrived.
Not sure what we were about to do here,
but Annie and Jonathan were perfectly "posed".
They just happen to suck the very same fingers -
a habit we are desperately trying to break (help!)


After a LOT of shots,

(sneezing!)


"Come on, just 25 more!"
(notice Molly's face . . .
she always takes me seriously,
not sure why.)


We finally got a good one.
I think it will work.



Friday, August 15, 2008

He Speaks!


Earl is the intelligent one in this family.
He has the gift of discernment and can most accurately help us to stay biblically ordered in our family.
I have tried to get him to blog on here all his deep and wonderful thoughts, but he just doesn't have the time when he's "home" from work.
I'm grateful for that,
as there are so many other important things he wants to do with his time . . . like spend time with his wife and children (contented smile).
But I have tried lately to share some of what he has taught on Sundays
with all you millions who read this blog (dripping sarcastic tone intended).

I'd like to share a story
that was very entertaining to us as a body a few weeks ago,
yet also very convicting and thought-provoking.
He wrote it himself.


The Story of the Three Little Theologians


I've been preaching through Romans

and the last few weeks we've been focusing on Romans 1:16-17

and the heart of the good news of Jesus:

a righteousness freely given to us by God.

As I was preparing to preach one week,

this story came to my mind.


Once upon a time there were three little theologians who left home to start their own lives. The first little theologian built a house. He made the foundation out of “desiring” clay, the walls out of “doing” bamboo, and the roof out of “looking” stone. One day a big, bad wolf came along and knocked on his door, saying, “Little theologian, little theologian, let me come in.” The first little theologian said, “Not by the hair of my chinny, chin-chin.” The wolf retorted, “Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.” So the wolf huffed and he puffed and he blew the first little theologian’s house down and the stone roof fell and crushed the little theologian to death. Then the wolf had a nice bowl of “wishy-washy soup.”


The second little theologian built a house too. He made the foundation out of “doing” bamboo, the walls out of “looking” stone, and the roof out of “desiring” clay. One day a big, bad wolf came along and knocked on his door, saying, “Little theologian, little theologian, let me come in.” The second little theologian said, “Not by the hair of my chinny, chin-chin.” The wolf retorted, “Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.” So the wolf huffed and he puffed and he blew the second little theologian’s house down and the stone walls fell and crushed the little theologian to death. Then the wolf had a nice little “BLT” – Bible, Legalism, and Torture sandwich.


Lastly, the third little theologian built a house. He made the foundation out of “looking” stone, the walls out of “desiring” clay, and the roof out of “doing” bamboo. One day a big, bad wolf came along and knocked on his door, saying, “Little theologian, little theologian, let me come in.” The third little theologian said, “Not by the hair of my chinny, chin-chin.” The wolf retorted, “Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.” So the wolf huffed and he puffed and he puffed and he huffed, but he could not blow the little theologian’s house down. When the wolf sat down and cried, the little theologian invited him inside for coffee and some “humble pie.” Many hours later, the wolf left the little theologian’s house no longer a wolf, but a sheep, and this little theologian’s house continued to stand.


The Point of This Parable (Reader's Digest Version)

Our spiritual lives are often compared to the building of a house in Scripture (for example, Matthew 7:24-27). We can try to build our spiritual houses with materials that are Biblical or with materials that are un-Biblical. These "materials" are truths we are to believe and act upon. Three of the Biblical "materials" or truths that are to be a part of our spiritual houses are: (1) "desiring clay" which is the truth that believers in Jesus should desire God above all things; (2) "doing bamboo" which is the truth that believers in Jesus should submit to the Lordship of Christ and obey His Word; and (3) "looking stone" which is the truth that the gospel calls us to look outside of ourselves to Jesus and His righteousness alone for our acceptance before God. All three of these "materials" or truths must be a part of our lives as Christians to one degree or another, but only one of these truths or "materials" was intended to be the foundation for our spiritual house: "looking stone." If we base our assurance of salvation on anything we do or desire, our foundation will not stand. But if we base our assurance of salvation on what Jesus has done for us and desired in our place, then we have a foundation that can stand the test of any temptation or trial.

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. ... not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

(Philippians 3:7-9)

Well, the good news is that now you can actually read Earl's thoughts, as he has entered the "blog world" and will be putting all his wonderful and ponderous musings on-line. You may read his blog here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Scenes of Summer

Ahhhh . . . Summer!

Summer is over.
For us.

We went "back to school" in August
after taking 6 weeks off.

But it was a fun summer.



Though we did do lots of fun things,
I guess my 9 year old son got bored.

This was his idea of "fun".
A new decor for our ceiling out of pony tail holders. I was amazed at how long those suckers stuck up there! And I think he was too!!


(I came home from a conference and found the new decor.
Lovely.
Even a saleslady commented on it,
since it is right in our foyer.
Sigh.)
It eventually came down,
after he was "threatened" with a shrinking wallet.



But otherwise,
we kept very busy with spending Fridays at
Grandma's pool
(oftentimes with friends),



experimenting with bubbles ,




reading lots of books in comfortable places,


having friends over for picnics under the trampoline,


and waging water fights while Dad was washing the cars!


Jonathan doesn't care much for water fights so here is where I found him, hiding amidst the laundry basket set out to dry.
(I loved his serious little expression!)


We also amused ourselves by going on a "treasure hunt"
complete with clues,




and a treasure at the end!! (chocolate coins!)



The kids all took swimming lessons for one week and did quite well.
(Jonathan still didn't want to blow bubbles
and would tell his teacher,
"today isn't bubble day", or
"not yet".)




We have loved the summer God gave us.
We have enjoyed the memories and
the days of rest.
We are looking forward to the next "season"
and seeing what God has in store for us.

Blessings on the rest of ya'lls summers!


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