From Christmas to Christmas

12-25-10_0279“Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary . . . Praise Him for His mighty acts: praise Him according to His excellent greatness. . . . Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. 12-26-10_9940Praise ye the Lord” (Psalm 150:1,2 and 6).

This is a passage from our Wisdom Search this morning, December 30, 2010. We look back to just over a year ago, when we were winding our 12-26-10_9910way through a blinding snow storm on the way to Florida for Christmas. The surprising weather change, the awareness of God’s protection and our loooong time in the car together strengthened us as 12-25-10_0326a family. At the time it seemed to be a meaningless interruption and yet it became a year-long reminder of God’s ways at work in our lives and a story for everyone we visited on that trip.

Since then have come many more valleys and mountains and unexpected turns, each one making us more grateful for God’s faithfulness and for friends He calls to walk the path with us.


And what better way to end the year than with another trip to the South! At the Stelzls’ and Neelys’ we rejoiced at the opportunity to share with those of like heart and hear of God’s ways at work—friends and neighbors being given vision for their families, young people turning towards lasting things, and most of all being a part of real life which comes from acknowledging the Lord and rejoicing in what he brings in each new day.

12-25-10_0289Some of the most memorable activities included participating in the showing of The Bethlehem Star, m12-28-10_9979aking gingerbread houses, spending 12-25-10_0306Christmas morning with the Stelzl Family, shoveling a neighbor’s driveway 12-28-10_000112-28-10_9977with the Neely 12-25-10_0433Team, hearing their new CD, having snowball fights, and singing together 12-28-10_997612-28-10_9983the 12-25-10_0415great songs of the faith.




Now that we are back home and looking forward to 2011, we are grateful for the examples the Lord has given us from others who praise Him, who have His joy as their chief source of strength. Let us praise th12-29-10_0013e Lord with our life year by year and day by day!



  1. Daniel Staddon January 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    Thank you Neelys and Stelzls! You made the time so relaxing and enjoyable for all of us. We still can’t stop talking about all the great memories that were made. Happy New Year!

  2. Robert Staddon January 2, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    I love the pictures!! They successfully captured the emotion of some very enjoyable memories.

  3. Michael January 3, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    My, what a time we had! It was a joy to see both of your families pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. You’ve been examples for the world to follow, demonstrating the rewards of faith toward God.

  4. Elizabeth January 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    🙂 Totally awesome! I loved the idea of blowing up the gingerbread house!
    Esther, seeing the pictures of you make me want the months between now and June to fly by so I can see you sooner!

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