Thursday, November 2, 2017

A few photos from the week...

Halloween, Bushido Karate, and testing out camera lighting on my hair stylist has kept my camera a little busy this week!  
Clara learning about Halloween trick-or-treating.

Gabriel punching at Bushido Karate.

Kara from the Omaet Salon testing out a ring light.



Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Chili, Candy, and Christ

Sunday evening services were a little different yesterday as we enjoyed a worship time followed by food and festivities. We are grateful for Chief Young and our local firefighters (who better to judge hot things?) coming to judge our chili contest. Congrats to Vanessa ONeal for second place and Jennifer Ruth Jones Howard achieving grand champion chili status!

Thanks also to Shirley Scott for sharing your photos with me. 


See the whole photo archive here: 
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Dtf0sVapOSlA1Cqi2












"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” - Numbers 6:24-26


See the whole photo archive here:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Dtf0sVapOSlA1Cqi2


Friday, October 20, 2017

Sunrise Sunflowers

The Wiles family has a deep love for the Page family. We were blessed to catch them shining bright in a field of sunflowers. I like this annual tradition! To see the entire high resolution photos in my Google folder, click here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/FmOuxlz1mR9sMpD43

"Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." - Luke 12:27





To see the entire high resolution photos in my Google folder, click here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/FmOuxlz1mR9sMpD43

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Wiles New Address

While we enjoyed our two weeks at Ragland Bottom Campground, we are now located at a little more permanent dwelling in Bear Cove, southeast of Sparta.  We are still keeping our PO Box in Sparta for mailing, but our living address is:
257 Swift Rd
Sparta, TN 38583

Here's a list of steps to drive from the church building to our address:
  • Head south on N Main St toward E Rhea St (south) - for 456 ft
  • Turn left onto Bockman Way (east) - for 0.3 mi
  • Turn right onto Gaines St (southeast) - for 0.7 mi
  • Gaines St turns slightly right and becomes Country Club Rd (east) - for 1.5 mi
  • Turn right on Swift Rd. (east) - for 827 ft
  • Turn left (north) into Christopher & Ashley's driveway where the motorhome is located.  Congratulations, you're here!

It may not show up in Google maps, so here is the best information I can give you.
View it's information on a map here: https://goo.gl/maps/nLYYQrGPS8r

Here it is again: 

Here's a link to the directions from the Central Church of Christ.
https://goo.gl/maps/x4zQVhjprr62

Here's the map of directions itself.



Here's a list of steps to drive from the church building to our address:
  • Head south on N Main St toward E Rhea St (south) - for 456 ft
  • Turn left onto Bockman Way (east) - for 0.3 mi
  • Turn right onto Gaines St (southeast) - for 0.7 mi
  • Gaines St turns slightly right and becomes Country Club Rd (east) - for 1.5 mi
  • Turn right on Swift Rd. (east) - for 827 ft
  • Turn left (north) into Christopher & Ashley's driveway where the motorhome is located.  Congratulations, you're here!


Monday, September 25, 2017

150th and More!

Here's celebrating 150 years of faith at Central Church of Christ. Unless the Lord comes again, I'm looking forward to 150 more! With over three hundred people to meet and encourage, I barely made time to break out the big camera. Here's a couple of encouraging photos from the day. Soon we'll had more from the other photographers on site.
I definitely appreciate, even more now, the professors that I enjoyed at Lipscomb University. Dr. Phillip Glenn Camp was a blessing to be with yesterday. I'm glad he, Amy, and the kids joined us. Friends, God has been good to us and He deserves our thanks!
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." - Colossians 3:15





Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Many Perspectives in California

Good morning Max & Donna, 

We hope Irma isn't dumping too much rain your direction.  If it is a little cloudy and gloomy your way, then it might brighten your day to see a few faces from California!  We uploaded 105 photos across 4 days to a single Album.  The basic descriptions are below.

Click here to see all 105 photos:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Awx15IyvTdtOY4t82

Set #1 - Crab hunting at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve in CA.

Set #2 - Tallest and Oldest Trees in the World at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park - Coastal Redwood Trees are tall!


Set #3 - Playing around at The Wharf of Santa Cruz 


Set #4 - Swimming at the Beach BoardWalk of Santa Cruz 


Set #5 - Playing with the Frank Collier family at the Children's Museum in Sacramento


Set #6 - Lots of Fun shooting God's beautiful Creation in Yosemite National Park! We also found the Biggest trees in Tuolumne Grove Giant Sequoia's, cousins to the Coastal Redwoods at Henry Cowell SP. 



"Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy." - Psalm 96:11-12

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Nevada Update

Vacation update. Friends, we're doing well and on the way to California. Nevada is gorgeous and it is so big! We've seen snow on several Peaks as we've traveled along Interstate 80. The kids are still getting along great and we're riding well in the motorhome. We've traveled enough mountains now that I'm not near as scared of overheating this 1994 Fleetwood Bounder we purchased. God has blessed us, and we're loving our trip as a family together. Thank you for your prayers and your encouragement. So far we are only five days into our 3 week trip, and from what I've seen so far, I recommend this type of trip to anyone!  We hope to show you more of God's Beauty and Wiles family fun over the next couple of weeks!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Quick Updates Plus Photos

It's 1:46am Eastern time, so I'm sapped and heading to bed soon.  Before I hit the hay, I did want to let my friends and family see the kids through my eyes in the last couple of days.  I've taken many photos from my cell phone, and just a few from the big camera.  We are getting a family photo in every new state we come to, and we'll share that later.  These photos were taken in two places that were off the beaten path, and there has been extra adventures with each one.  For right now, you need to know that we loved visiting Monument Rock about 30 miles outside of Oakley, KS.  It is seriously out in the middle of no where, down a long and dusty gravel road.   Then there's the Devil's Backbone, just north of Denver, CO that was in the Rockies foothills.  Both were wonderful to us.  I haven't taken any photos in Wyoming, although it has been the most majestic part of the trip yet.  I am in awe of what God has created and displayed before my eyes.  I also feel so small and humble in comparison.  Tomorrow, we descend from the Rockies through Salt Lake City, then across the desert, then up more mountains.  Big driving days are exciting in the motorhome, right?  Rawlins, Wyoming was good to us tonight as we stay in an RV park to rest up for tomorrow's big drive.  Lord willing, we'll make it to Bible Camp Thursday night or Friday morning!








Monday, August 28, 2017

Tomorrow's plan

Captain's log: Star Date: 082717 at 11:41pm CST.

Check out our vacation photos here: https://goo.gl/photos/UUEjkKe9jByv5iFP6

Everyone's asleep and I'm fading fast.  Driving through Kansas City, MO staring at a gorgeous red sunset was a highlight today. So was frozen yogurt toppings at Yogurtini, fountain finding near Kansas City, worship at Twin City CofC, and watching the boys balance on the front bumper to squeegie the front motorhome window.  We knocked out 562 miles today of our approximately 2,000 mile trek to Daybreak Camp in Felton, CA.  The goal tomorrow is to travel at least 421 miles to the mile high city of Denver, CO. Anything past that is just gravy. After that we slow down a little bit to sight see in God's beautiful creation. God has blessed us so far with a calm trip and kids who are getting along well. You'll start seeing more photos tomorrow!

Onward we go!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Godly men at Twin City Church of Christ

Day two of our trip. We were blessed as we honor God and be encouraged by people at the Twin City Church of Christ in Festus, MO, just south of St Louis. This beautiful group of people made us smile and feel right at home on our trip. We hope to get to visit again one day! Pictured here are brothers in Christ, Patrick Adams, and Michael Walden, two men that I love deeply from Spring Mill Bible Camp.  Now we continue our trip West. California here we come!

Thanks for a good nights sleep!

With the exception of having a little girl kicking me in the back, last night was a pretty good night asleep. Thanks to the Mount Vernon Walmart for letting so many vehicles use their parking lot overnight! Now let's hit the road!

Night #1 - Walmart is Busy!

Captain's Log: Star Date 082617
The first mate and I have gotten all the crew to their quarters after a short 2 hour jaunt from Washington, IN to Mount Vernon, IL.  It was pretty uneventful so far as I listened to Latino Reggaeton while muching on sunflower seeds while everyone else dozed, even the first mate!  Since we traveled west, I enjoyed an hour an a half of a red crescent  moon as it gradually set below the horizon. The outside temp will drop into the 50's, but we're ok with leaving the furnace off and snuggling under an extra blanket.  While everything is quiet in my motorhome, outside sounds like a drag strip and a car show. Plus, the number of semi's pulled in ahead of us is astounding!  Ashley did see a little pull behind trailer complete with generator and gas tank. Ashley said, "Thats what we need when its just the two of us traveling between states to visot the grandkids ."  Tomorrow is as far ahead as I'm looking, which takes us into St. Louis and church somwhere close.
End  Log - Too sleepy

Good night and God bless.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Taking a little break from posting because we're moving!

We'll be taking a little break from posting for a few weeks as our family is investing our time directly in people and tasks as we transition the Wiles' family life from Indiana, to California, then to Tennessee!
 

The faces in the photo (family photos rock don't they?) describe our mixed emotions as we prepare to move from service in Washington Church of Christ in Washington, IN to serve as a part of Central Church of Christ in Sparta, TN. We're experiencing bitter sweet emotions during our last full week in Washington. It is a challenge to leave faithful family in Christ, friends in the community, and a city that saw a lot of the Wiles family joys, laughs, and tears over the past 6 years. The sweet emotions we experience come from looking ahead to the new chapters of adventures that will be written with those striving to honor God, desiring to love people, and making White County, TN a better place to live.

My last day of preaching in Washington will be this coming Sunday, August 20th. We'll be road-tripping a vacation for three weeks in California before we move to Sparta, with my first Sunday of service being September 24th, Central Church of Christ's 150th anniversary!

There are many of you in southern Indiana that we wish to see before we travel. If we don't get to talk to all of you, we want to encourage you to continue to grow in faith in our good God above, to love Him, and honor Him; so that in the end, we get to have a sweet reunion in Heaven. If you are ever in the middle TN area, we'd love you to stop by!

You can always follow our adventures at http://www.topherwiles.com
For service times this Sunday in Washington, visit http://www.washingtoncoc.org/
For more info about where we're moving to, visit http://spartacoc.com/

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Study Starter: Do We Teach Children Faith?

Study Starter: Do We Teach Children Faith?
by: Christopher Wiles

     Last week I introduced you to the Hebrew concept of “Chaos” through our children’s Sunday school songs. Today, let’s get better acquainted with the Hebrew concept of “Faith” through the exact same vehicle.  So begin listing your kids’ Sunday School songs that talk about the word “faith.”  Hmmm, Jesus Loves Me?  Nope.  Deep N Wide? Nuh uh.  Father Abraham? Nada.  Arky Arky?  Zip.  Lord’s Army? Zero.  Jesus Loves The Little Children?  Zilch. 
     I can’t find any mention of faith in my searches of children’s Sunday School Songs.  Why aren’t we teaching our children about FAITH?!?!
     Ahhh, but an understanding of Faith from a Hebrew perspective may help us out.  For starters, today, we tend to view faith as a cognitive activity, similar to belief.  Therefore if we simply jump through the cognitive hurdles to believe that Jesus came, died, and rose again, then we have faith, right?  Not quite. 
Exodus 17:12 "EMUNAH" is a steadying action!
     Faith in the Old Testament is a much more active and volitional word than our modern world teaches. “EMUNAH” shows up as a noun 49 times in the OT, but mostly in the book of Psalms (see Vines Expository Dictionary for more).  The first time we’re introduced to it is in Exodus 17:12 when Moses’ hands were heavy, but Aaron and Hur held up his hands until sundown. What they did was made Moses’ hands “steady” (KJV) or faithful.  Thus we have a good foundation for what faith really is.  It is a steadying force in our lives.  That jives well with the Bible.com devotional on Hebrew faith that states, “But the Hebrew word for 'faith' - emunah - is less about KNOWING, and more about DOING.  'Emunah' literally means ‘to take firm action’, so to have faith is to act.”
     This abstract concept that combines our beliefs, our decisions, and our actions is tough to understand, which is why James tries to help followers of Christ by writing, 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” – James 2:14-17
     So, are we teaching our kids about faith, even though we don’t actually sing about the word “faith” with them?  Well, “Jesus Loves Me” does work on a fundamental belief“I’m in the Lord’s Army” encourages them to declare a position. “This Little Light of Mine” encourages children to admit that they are going to DO something about their beliefs as they sing “All around the neighborhood, I’m gonna let it shine…”
     So yes, we are teaching children about faith in the songs that we sing because faith is so much more than simply a word or a belief; it is believing, deciding, and acting.  Due to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, let’s strive to live faithfully the truth spoken in our children’s songs and in our Holy Scripture.


I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

Living Lessons & Study Starters are articles written for the weekly Washington Church of Christ bulletin.  You can find more by clicking HERE or searching for "Study Starter" in the right sidebar search.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Study Starter: Along Came Jesus Walking on the Chaos

Study Starter: Along Came Jesus Walking on the Chaos
by: Christopher Wiles

Along came Jesus walking on the water
Along came Jesus walking on the water
Along came Jesus walking on the water
Out on the deep blue sea. 

We have fun singing this little ditty to the kids as we teach them Bible histories, don’t we?  We make up hand motions.  We sing it with smiles on our faces. We may even get up and dance or mimic the gentle waves of the ocean.  While we tone it down to make it palatable for children, the Bible history recording Jesus walking on the water in Matthew 14 was anything but palatable for the disciples, it was CHAOS.

Let’s walk through a little bit of Hebrew history to understand the chaos.  First let’s travel through the primary Hebrew word for “water” which is “mayim”.  It’s used 580 times in the Old Testament and it occurs in every period of biblical Hebrew.  The word, “mayim” is actually a plural of the basic Hebrew letter for “M” pronounced “MEM.”  That letter was made, using what looks like waves of water.   Check out the letter in early, middle, late, and modern Hebrew writings:  

The letter “mem” and the word “mayim” get their basic meaning from something that is troubled, stirred, choppy, or wavy.  You can see that usage in passages such as 2 Samuel 22:17 where David writes about the Lord rescuing him from his enemies in which he says, “He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters.”  David is referring not to actual water, but to the Chaos that water represents.  These are the same chaotic and troubled “waters” found in Genesis 1:2 “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

In the beginning, in God’s effort to bring order to “mem” or chaos, God put light, stars, plants, animals, and mankind.  Just like David, when “mem” or chaos rises to the surface of our lives, we realize that God intervenes to bring calm.  When the “mem” or chaos gets so bad like when the disciples in Matthew 14 who were in a boat being buffeted in the middle of the chaos, God walks right across the “mem” to save us.  Just as He did for Peter, our Lord and Savior invites us to have faith and join Him, as we conquer all the “mem”, “mayim”, and “chaos” in our life.  

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b)

Along came Jesus walking on the water, out on the deep blue sea. 

Living Lessons & Study Starters are articles written for the weekly Washington Church of Christ bulletin.  You can find more by clicking HERE or searching for "Study Starter" in the right sidebar search.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Solar Eclipse - Glad it's temporary!

Click "Play" to hear a Message Minute.
Download the Podcast here: Google MusiciTunesStitcherPlayerFM, mp3

Good morning, this is Topher from Washington Church of Christ bringing you a positive message minute.

In just a little over 5 weeks, 3% of the United States will get the opportunity to see a truly rare event in our lifetime, a total solar eclipse.  From what I understand from friends in Tennessee, Kentucky, and southern Illinois, this is going to be a crazy time.  Schools are closing.  Governments are shutting down for the day.  Police are ramping up to handle the amount of traffic influx  they expect for this momentous occasion.  Hotels are already booked solid, campgrounds are maxed out, and  pieces of farmland are going for $125 a night just for someone to pitch a tent
Map Credit: http://www.eclipse2017.org

People are really excited to experience this short moment in time where we can feel the temperatures drop during those few minutes where most of the sun's light is blocked, all but the edges.  Aren't you glad it doesn't last forever?  If the darkness blotted out the light forever, the results on earth would me the end of life as we know it. 

In John 1:5, we are told, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."  I take comfort in knowing that the darkness in this world, you know, the tough times, the evil moments, the trials of life, are only temporary.  I'm so glad that all the those times are really like a solar eclipse, they really only last a relatively short period of time because the light continues to shine, and the darkness will not overcome it.


If you're struggling with dark times in life, try hard to look for God's light shining around the edges and remember that it is only temporary, for the darkness cannot overcome the light.   You'll be glad you did. 

Click the logo below and subscribe to automatically receive these Podcasts every weekday morning on Google Play Music or iTunes. 
Listen on Google Play Music

  Message Minutes are sponsored by  Washington Church of Christ and recorded for the public 107.9 The Memories WAMW morning radio program.  They air at approximately 7:35am on Weekday Mornings.
To find more of the Message Minutes that have been uploaded to this blog CLICK HERE.  

To subscribe to a Message Minute podcast feed on iTunes or other podcast player, copy the following URL into your subscription list.

Monday, July 10, 2017

There's No Place Like Home

Click "Play" to hear a Message Minute.
Download the Podcast here: Google MusiciTunesStitcherPlayerFM, mp3



"My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?" - John 14:2

Good morning, this is Topher from Washington Church of Christ, bringing you a positive Message Minute. 

Dorothy returned from her whirlwind journey to appreciate the simple pleasures of home.  Yes, her life may have been black and white.  Yes, her life may have lacked a little adventure.  Yes, all she had were simple family that loved her and a dog that followed her around. 

Yet, she couldn't return to that humble abode in Kansas until she finally understood and said, "There's no place like home.  There's no place like home." 

Ashley and I have spent the last couple weeks traveling, camping, and guest speaking in various locations.  While all the family time was nice, and the camping weather was wonderful, we finally had to admit the words that echo that feeling when you walk in the front door after  along time away, "Ahhh, there's no place like home."

I believe we'll receive that same relieved and relaxed feeling when we finally travel from this life to the next.  When Jesus finally meets us with that key at the front door of our mansion in heaven, I think we'll simply say, "There's no place like home." 


Today, why not spend a little time thanking God for the blessings of home.  You'll be glad you did. 

Click the logo below and subscribe to automatically receive these Podcasts every weekday morning on Google Play Music or iTunes. 
Listen on Google Play Music

  Message Minutes are sponsored by  Washington Church of Christ and recorded for the public 107.9 The Memories WAMW morning radio program.  They air at approximately 7:35am on Weekday Mornings.
To find more of the Message Minutes that have been uploaded to this blog CLICK HERE.  

To subscribe to a Message Minute podcast feed on iTunes or other podcast player, copy the following URL into your subscription list.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Water Fun in the Sun!

We loved visiting family and friends in Middle Tennessee this past week. Yet, one of the highlights for the kids is playing with mom and dad at the riverfront park in Owensboro, KY at the end of our voyages. Here's a just a few photos. We were too busy to take a bunch. Enjoy some Wiles family smiles!
Local friends, I highly recommend a drive down to Owensboro to play and eat pizza on the riverfront!
http://www.owensboroparks.org/?page_id=82

You can find the entire album by following this link: https://goo.gl/photos/fZ4MVDbDRxS9TXGs7