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.

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

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.


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!!

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 . . .

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!

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