As promised, here's a little longer recap of the past few days and all the fun (and craziness) we've had!
Monica was busy making purses last week in order to get ready for a craft show up in Round Lake Beach, IL - about an hour and ten minute drive north of us (and close to the WI border). For those who don't know, my crafty wife has been making her own line of designer, handmade purses for several months now. She even has an online shop (click here to visit the shop). At her first craft show a few months ago, we sat next to a couple who make adorable baby products (well, the wife, Rhyah makes them!). We all hit it off immediately as we're all similar in age, life-stage, etc. Well, Rhyah found this next craft show and asked Monica if she'd like to share a booth. And that's the story.
[On an aside, Rhyah's business is called BabyTopia. It's worth checking out! Click here to go to her store. Below are some pictures of her products.]
The first day of the fair, the ladies were crammed into a darker corner that lacked much traffic. It's probably an understatement to say that no sales the first day was rather discouraging. But Monica and Rhyah found out that another booth in a great spot was open, so they moved there the next day.
The Old Spot:
The New Spot:
What a difference! Monica ended up selling 5 bags on Sunday! Even so, the conversations from both days were a lot of fun and totally worth the trip. Oh, the gyros that we found at a place called Papagus on the way home on Saturday made it worth it, too!
After those two exhausting days, we came home and have been scrambling to get things ready for our vacation (we leave tomorrow!). In the midst of that, a lady called who had gotten Monica's card from Joann's Fabric Store. She needed some emergency embroidery for a craft project. Monica accepted the work and we were both up late last night working on the project. That was fun, too, but we were definitely exhausted today! Exhaustion aside, God has blessed us with these extra side jobs, and it's fun to see how he is using them!
So that's a longer recap of the weekend and early week. Now we're off to South Haven, Michigan for our vacay, and we are praying for some much needed rest and a good battery recharge for both of us. We'd love your prayers along those lines, too. Have a good week!
It's been a whirlwind of a weekend and beginning on the week. We're getting ready for our vacation (we leave tomorrow!), but everything have been really crazy leading up to it! Hopefully I'll post a few pics from the last few days before we leave, but pray that all of the preparations and everything that needs to get done will get done in the next day or so. Thanks all!
Justin Taylor just posted a link to an interview of N.T. Wright by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report. That interview is both funny and interesting (it's around the 10th minute or so), so I'd also recommend checking it out. But if you rewind a bit, there's a hilarious skit on the less-than-spiritual side with Sesame Street's Cookie Monster around the 7th minute. It's also worth the time :)
Here's the link: http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/full-episodes/index.jhtml?episodeId=173610.
ht: Justin Taylor
This is a bumper sticker that came in an advertisement mailing for a local insurance company. Not sure what they were thinking, but if you actually put this on the back of your car, it sort of strikes me as a flashing billboard for cops to pull you over and actually check your insurance. Sheer genius.
In other news, Monica has a craft show this weekend, so she's been busy crafting new purses for the event. I've been trying to finish all the work on my plate b/f we leave for vacation next week. But, time permitting, I'm hoping to have the next gallery up on the website: Nikki and Jake 2.0! For now, here's a couple samples of their re-edited and textured pictures that will appear in their gallery. Oh, and perhaps another textured image of Emily that I did last night...Oh how I love textures! Have a great friday!
I've been thinking a lot about the meaning of the cross over the last couple of months. Spurred on by messages given at the Together for the Gospel conference as well as subsequent conversations with friends, I've been challenged to view the cross as something sweet in and of itself. Not as an object of worship or reverance, but for what it stands for - something much greater than just death.
The cross is a cosmic crossroad. It is at the cross that God's love met God's wrath most powerfully. There was no more glorifying and loving thing that God could do on that day than to pour out his wrath upon his Son. And there is no greater obedience and trust and love for the Father than when Jesus cried out "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" The cross is no form of abuse. As Packer writes in In My Place Condemned He Stood, "[T]he three distinct persons within the divine unity - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - always work inseparably together, as in creation, so in providence and in every aspect of the work of redemption...[A]ll this was planned by the holy Three in their eternal solidarity of mutual love...[T]he Father's central purpose in it all was and is to glorify and exalt the Son as Savior and Head of a new humanity," [emphasis mine]. Redemption was planned from eternity past in order to glorify the Son as Savior and the Father through the Son.
What's more (and the aspect that really has me excited), the cross itself is not a means to an end when it comes to God revealing his character. It is the end. In all of human history, there was never intended to be and will never be again a more magnificent display of God's glory and the love of Father for Son and Son for Father than on the cross. The cross is the point to look to see God's glory most fully displayed. We look nowhere else. Do you want to see God's magnificent glory? Look to the cross. Though his glory is manifested in other ways, the cross is the summation and capstone and end and greatest display of God's glory. As my friend Chris McGarvey wrote in an e-mail,
"The Fall was ordained by God because the Cross was ordained by God because the purpose of God in creation (and new creation – which was also ordained from before the foundations of the world) was the fullness of the beauty of God made visible, magnified, and thus able to be apprehended and enjoyed in its full range. This is the most loving purpose conceivable. For God to communicate and translate his holiness to us his creatures, he must make it visible."
And it was made visible that day on calvary. Christ hung on a cross. God poured out his wrath. Yes, wrath was not averted for us. It was put on Christ, and he felt every bit of it to the depth of his soul. Our victory is really Christ's victory, and it has been won once and for all. So never turn your eyes from the cross, because if (or more likely when) we do, we lose sight of the greatest display of God's glory ever put forth upon the earth. "Still be my vision, O Ruler of All."
So I've just received a product for fine art photo editing called "Textures" by Melissa Squires (click on the blog title for the link to her website). I got so excited that I had to try one out immediately. And I absolutely love the results! I've been wanting to try these out forever, but until Melissa's stuff came along, it was all way too expensive. But as you can see, the results are amazing and totally worth the $45 Melissa charges. I won't have much time over the next couple of weeks to do much more with them as I have a lot of other work to finish before Monica and I go on vacation the middle of next week, but I can't wait to get back and try out more! For now, enjoy the one above!
Today I had the pleasure of getting outside and shooting some senior portraits for Emily. The weather couldn't have been better (a rare thing for Northern Illinois!), and we spent a good deal of time laughing throughout the shoot. Congrats on officially being a senior, Emily, and I hope you enjoy your pics as much as I enjoyed taking them. Here's a sampling of the shots!