Merry Christmas! Here is a gift for you to enjoy and share with your friends and family as you celebrate Christ’s birth!
Piano duet arranged and performed by Robert Staddon and Clayton Reedstrom. Recorded in 2009. For more Inspiration on the Ivories, visit our web store!
Ever wondered how landscape photographers find those “wow” shots? Want an insiders look behind the scenes at how beautiful pictures are created?
In the weeks before Christmas, I’ve been taking the time to write up the stories behind the pictures I chose for the 2015 Lenspiration Calendar. So far, I’ve written about the stories from January to June on the Lenspiration blog:
- January: Finding a beautiful shot despite rain and clouds all day.
- February: Only God could have set up this shot!
- March: Even in the beauty of creation, is it still true that “all that thrills my soul is Jesus”?
- April: Why the hymn “I Must Tell Jesus” complements the picture I chose for this month.
- May: How I found the “perfect picture” on a family vacation.
- June: When rising early pays off.
And more are coming! Stay in the loop when the next story is posted by subscribing to the Lenspiration blog updates: just click here and enter your email address for Step 2.
Hope you enjoy these glimpses into the adventures of a landscape photographer!
Believe it or not, I’m finding there is a pretty simple way to guarantee yourself a very merry Christmas this year. It just requires a lot of give and take …
- Give expectations to God. Don’t give up on your current plans and hopes, give them to God so that He is free to do with them what He wants to do this year, with or without your help. At your next prayer time go slowly through the biggest things on your wish list for Christmas and lay them down on God’s altar. If they die, they die, and if God gives them back as privileges you’ll be pleasantly surprised. God will always be God! This first decision is an anchor. It really helps in relationships with others too!
- Take responsibility for your part. While you may have freed others of the expectations you had for them, it doesn’t mean they will do the same for you. Look at your part as a special chance to serve. You don’t have to take responsibility to make sure everything goes well all the time. But you have been given a certain part. Do it well and when the wrapping paper settles you’ll be glad you did.
- Give, give and give again … and keep on giving and giving. Real giving hurts at first. But out of brokenness comes an ability to give with pure joy. That will come. For now give until you feel like a corpse in a trough. That’s the sign you’ve found Him.
- Take note of what God does. The day after Christmas get up early and write in your journal what you saw God do. Write down the things that seem unresolved too. Trust Him to take care of those but spend your time telling stories about what did work out. Share a testimony in church or tell those younger than you the ways the Christchild was born afresh in your Christmas.
With all the things that go on in the wonderful whirlwind weeks before Christmas, we hope it might make your gift giving easier by recommending some good things we have come across!—affordable things that support noble causes with a variety that can spark the joy and appreciation of anyone you still have on your list.
Messages of encouragement
Candles scented for the season
… or shaped like Christmas trees
Turkey-roasting & Egg Nog recipes
Things for healthy living
Soap from Vermont
The Family Christian Bookstore
and Calendars for 2015!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Between Veterans’ Day and Thanksgiving Day, in the midst of political change, climate change (weather change), and yes even the time change, here is a tribute to a veteran with unchanging character. First of all, we appreciate his natural awareness of others and their needs We appreciate his steadiness as a patriarch. We have benefited from his wise financial decisions. We want to follow his example of loyalty and dedication to nonnegotiable principle. We enjoy Sunday dinners with you and watching the West Virginia Mountaineers on occasion but we know that most of what we enjoy is built on sacrifices you chose to make long before we ever came on the scene. Thank you. By God’s grace we will know the challenge and fulfillment of sacrifice. We won’t forget that freedom and order and rest and security are not as free as they seem to be. We have a chance to build on those things today … thanks to a veteran. God bless you as you have blessed us.