Growing together in the Spirit of Jesus Christ...

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." - Hebrews 10:25 NIV

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas morning...

Christmas morning

It has always been a tradition
in our home to take a photograph
of our kids coming down the upstairs steps
to our living room.
The tree is lit surrounded by the presents.

"From Home to home, and heart to heart,
from one place to another.
The warmth and joy of Christmas,
brings us closer to each other."
- Emily Matthews

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas dreaming...

Christmas dreaming

Just now getting around to processing
some Christmas photos.
This is Kokomo dreaming of a
Christmas treat.


"May Peace be your gift at Christmas
and your blessing all year through!"
- Author Unknown

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

utter destruction...


Imagine a world after world-wide destruction.
Would your faith still hold strong?
Would you still honor and glorify God,
or would you curse Him?
Would you trust Him?
Would you count your blessings?
Remember God is God
and He is in control,
and He still loves us, come whatever.
Everything will be made right.

"That which should distinguish
the suffering of believers from unbelievers
is the confidence that our suffering
is under the control
of an all-powerful and all-loving God.
Our suffering has meaning and purpose
in God's eternal plan,
and He brings or allows
to come into our lives only that
which is for His glory and our good."
- Jerry Bridges

Monday, December 28, 2015

puzzle...

puzzle

The Room is a 2012 puzzle video game
developed by British-based Fireproof Games.
"The Room presents the player
with a series of strange boxes
that have a number of physical mechanisms on them.
The player is challenged to figure out
how to open each one
- typically by undoing a series of locks -
to access another puzzle box within it."
- Wikipedia

Our family, sometimes together,
try to solve the puzzles.
It is challenging and fun.
Life is a series of puzzles and choices.
Having the help of others
is essential to solving many of these puzzles,
but with God's direction and trust in Him,
we are assured of making what will
lead to the right choice.
Ultimately we must make a choice.

"Thus, and not otherwise, the world was made.
Either something or nothing
must depend on individual choices."
- C. S. Lewis

Sunday, December 27, 2015

joy...

photo by Erin Doyle

"The greatest joy is joy in God.
This is plain from Psalm 16:11:
'You [God] will make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence is fullness of joy;
in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.'
Fullness of joy and eternal joy cannot be improved.
Nothing is fuller than full, and nothing is longer than eternal.
And this joy is owing to the presence of God,
not the accomplishments of man.
Therefore, if God wants to love us infinitely
and delight us fully and eternally,
he must preserve for us the one thing
that will satisfy us totally and eternally;
namely, the presence and worth of his own glory.
He alone is the source of full and lasting pleasure."
- John Piper

Saturday, December 26, 2015

desolation...

desolation

"It always strikes me, and it is very peculiar,
that when we see the image
of indescribable and unutterable desolation -
of loneliness, of poverty and misery,
the end of all things, or their extreme -
then rises in our mind the thought of God."
- Vincent van Gogh

Friday, December 25, 2015

Son of God

Son of God

"Son of God, love's pure light;
radiant beams from thy holy face
with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth..."

- from Silent Night

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Holy Night

Holy Night

O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining,
it is the night of the dear Savior's birth.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Saving One...


Christ Jesus came to set us free
and He is coming again
to take us home.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

drive through Bethlehem...


At church we have a "Drive though Bethlehem"
for several nights, outside
through the cemetery.
This gentleman (Dwight Steinly,
a member of our church)
was one of the "actors".
He was sitting near the entrance to the inn
trying to keep warm...
it was rather cold (in the 40's)
and also a windy night.
The wind chill was such,
the electronics in my little carry camera,
was behaving a bit erratic.
Needless to say, by the time
I got all the photos taken,
I was a bit cold myself. :)

Monday, December 21, 2015

caught in the act...

Kokomo and his seasonal toys.

Mister, not so innocent, was caught in the act.
And just look at those evil glowing eyes.


"In the South, there was a gentle tradition
of 'it's only a crime if you get caught doing it.'
Sometimes it was known as the Eleventh Commandment.
Thou shall not get caught."

- C.L. Bevill

Sunday, December 20, 2015

immense God...

immense God

"If I wholly unleash my imagination
and forcefully stretch it out beyond its own edges,
even at such a point I can only imagine
a thin shard of this most immense God.
And even though it is but a thin shard,
it will nonetheless be mesmerizingly colossal."

- Craig D. Lounsbroug

Saturday, December 19, 2015

a safe place...

a safe place

"What is home?
My favorite definition is 'a safe place,'
a place where one is free from attack,
a place where one experiences
secure relationships and affirmation.
It's a place where people share
and understand each other.
Its relationships are nurturing.
The people in it do not need to be perfect;
instead, they need to be honest, loving,
supportive, recognizing a common humanity
that makes all of us vulnerable."
- Gladys M. Hunt

Friday, December 18, 2015

eternal hope...

eternal hope

"Symbolizing eternal hope,
the wreath goes 'round and 'round,
And where it starts or ends cannot be found.
Woven of things that grow - for life,
and hung for holiday delight
The wreath must be left in place
From Advent through Twelfth Night."

- Author Unknown

Thursday, December 17, 2015

sledding...

fun in the snow

"I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas:
It brings people together while time stands still.
Cozy couples lazily meandered the streets
and children trudged sleds and chased snowballs.
No one seemed to be in a rush
to experience anything other
than the glory of the day,
with each other,
whenever and however it happened."

- Rachel Cohn

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

special...


Sometimes we get to see
some really beautiful places.
And Christmas makes it
all the more special.

"We all make a beauty so wonderfully true.
We are special and different, and just the same, too!"

- Michael Tyler


God loves all of us.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

a good day...

a good day

Count no day lost
in which you waited your turn,
took only your share
and sought advantage over no one.”

- Robert Brault

Monday, December 14, 2015

billy goat's bluff...

billy goat's bluff
photo taken by Faye Doyle

Always keep your eyes open
(when driving a car, a good idea always)
you never know what you may see
that is photo worthy.
We saw this goat perched on this platform
at the side of the road next to a stream.
Have no idea how it got there
but we have seen him there
at least three times now.
I stopped the car
and my wife used my daughter's iPhone
to get the shot.

"But...that doesn't make any sense...!'
'It does if you're a goat."

- Linda Medley

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Immanuel

Immanuel

"She will give birth to a son,
and you are to give him the name Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:
'The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel'
(which means 'God with us')."

- Matthew 1:21-23 NIV

Saturday, December 12, 2015

life well lived...

life well lived


"Cemeteries are full of unfulfilled dreams...
countless echoes of 'could have' and 'should have'…
countless books unwritten… countless songs unsung...
I want to live my life in such a way
that when my body is laid to rest,
it will be a well needed rest from a life well lived,
a song well sung, a book well written,
opportunities well explored,
and a love well expressed."

- Steve Maraboli

Friday, December 11, 2015

crayola bomb...


"Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb
as our next secret weapon.
A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb.
And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one.
It would explode high in the air
... explode softly...
and send thousands, millions,
of little parachutes into the air.
Floating down to earth... boxes of Crayolas.
And we wouldn't go cheap, either...
not little boxes of eight.
Boxes of sixty-four,
with the sharpener built right in.
With silver and gold and copper,
magenta and peach and lime,
amber and umber and all the rest.
And people would smile
and get a little funny look on their faces
and cover the world with imagination."

- Robert Fulghum

Thursday, December 10, 2015

home...

coming home


"Winter is the time for comfort,
for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand
and for a talk beside the fire:
it is the time for home."

- Edith Sitwell

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

simplify...

simplify


"I do believe in simplicity.
It is astonishing as well as sad,
how many trivial affairs
even the wisest thinks
he must attend to in a day;
how singular an affair
he thinks he must omit.
When the mathematician
would solve a difficult problem,
he first frees the equation
of all encumbrances,
and reduces it to its simplest terms.
So simplify the problem of life,
distinguish the necessary and the real.
Probe the earth to see where your main roots run."

- Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Santa and lasting joy...


Santa may be a jolly old elf
that likes to bring temporary happiness
to all the children (young and old)
throughout the world.

However he cannot bring eternal
and lasting joy to anyone.


Fight for us, O God, that we not drift
numb and blind and foolish
into vain and empty excitements.
Life is too short, too precious,
too painful to waste
on worldly bubbles that burst.”

- John Piper

Monday, December 7, 2015

Aren't you coming too?

Aren't you coming too?
These animals seem to be traveling
toward the late afternoon sun.

The two sheep turned to look at me
as if asking, aren't you coming too?

Perhaps they heard of a child soon to be born...
or one returning real soon.

Sometimes I arrive just when God's ready
to have somone click the shutter.”
- Ansel Adams

Sunday, December 6, 2015

come and worship...

worship
Come and worship our Lord.


"Nothing teaches us about
the preciousness of the Creator
as much as when we learn
the emptiness of everything else."

- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Saturday, December 5, 2015

service...

service


"Everybody can be great...
because anybody can serve.
You don't have to have
a college degree to serve.
You don't have to make your subject
and verb agree to serve.
You only need a heart full of grace.
A soul generated by love."

- Martin Luther King Jr

Friday, December 4, 2015

solitude...

solitude


"We live, in fact,
in a world starved for solitude,
silence, and private:
and therefore starved
for meditation and true friendship."

- C.S. Lewis

Thursday, December 3, 2015

peace...

peace


Rest and be thankful.”
- William Wordsworth

the Christmas tree


There is magic in a lit
decorated Christmas tree.
A promise of gifts lie under the tree.
We can enjoy this.
There is no sin in it.
But we must not dwell on it
to the exclusion of of what
Christmas really means.
After all there is Christ
in Christmas.
Please remember and teach your children
the real meaning of Christmas.
Find a way to bring that joy
and peace into your life and theirs,
and let it remain permanently
in the forefront of all your thoughts.

Do not let the Christmas tree
or any other decoration
or gift, or tradition
supplant God's gift of salvation.


He who has not Christmas in his heart
will never find it under a tree.”
- Roy L. Smith

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

looking a lot like Christmas...

looking a lot like Christmas

If you are like us, Christmas
decorating has already begun.

It is fun decorating for Christmas
but we must not become so enamored
with the secular celebrating
that we ignore
the real meaning of Christmas.

"Then the Grinch thought of something
he hadn't before!
What if Christmas, he thought,
doesn't come from a store.
What if Christmas...perhaps...
means a little bit more!"

- Dr. Seuss

“The Son of God became a man
to enable men to become sons of God."

- C. S. Lewis