Friday, March 29

Agony and Ecstasy and Easter

 Artists and decorators will tell you that using colors opposite to one another on the color wheel gives you maximum impact.  Have you ever noticed this is true emotionally as well?  When you are crying at a funeral, and someone shares a funny story about the deceased, you tend to laugh harder.  When you are all worked up with some fear, and suddenly blessed relief appears, you can burst into sobs as the emotions overlap before the calm of acceptance sets in.

The cross combines the most intense emotions of any other event in history--agony and ecstasy.  There is a terrible, piercing grief in knowing that it is my sin that forced Jesus to endure the punishment I deserve.  The beatings, the spitting, the mocking, the crown of thorns, the shredded back slammed down on a rough wooden cross, the enormous nails pounded through innocent flesh, the cross lifted and dropped into a prepared hole and braced with hammered supports as his wrists and feet bore the impact of every thud--all my fault.  Agony to know his agony was because of me.  

And then there is the ecstasy of knowing I'm saved, guilt-free because the penalty has been paid and perfect justice rendered.  The  ecstasy of being lavished with an indescribable love by the true God and the guarantee of eternal life with him in heaven--this is joy beyond all imagination!
Perhaps only a parent can begin to understand the agony of a Father who refrained from intervention while his child was being mercilously tortured.   It is beyond understanding that God found that the cross also held ecstasy because of his love for us and the triumph over Satan.

Ephesians 1:7-9
In him we have  redemption through his blood,the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us.  With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ....

"Grace that he lavished on us..."--what an understatement!  There are simply no words to describe!  This is ecstasy for us!  And for God?  "...according to his good pleasure....:  How can it be?

The Bible records no cry of pain for the excruciating physical torture he endured, which is contrary to every human instinct.  Perhaps he did cry out--some piercing animal wail as the nails were driven into his flesh, but the Bible only records one sound of agony.  In the story of the cross in Matthew 27:46  it says, "About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, '....My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'"  His greatest agony was a break in his connection with the Father because he had embodied my sins.

I Peter 2:24
He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

Surely doing the will of God brought Jesus fulfillment, but it also brought him joy.

Hebrews 12:2
For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus was happy to die for us.  What he accomplished by dying on the cross supersedes every other divine act, every miracle from creation on.  That it was worth  it to him, that he was happy to do it in spite of dreading it to the point of sweating drops of blood (Luke 22:44), is incomprehensible.
There is an agony, a brokenness when you fall in love with Jesus and then accept as fully as you can the price he had to pay for your sins.  But there is great ecstasy in accepting his forgiveness and friendship!  This is ecstasy:

Colossians 1 19, 20
For God was pleased  to have all his fullness dwell in him [Jesus], and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

It is great that a holiday forces awareness on a skeptical world that we believe Jesus lived and died on this earth to free us from the penalty of our sins.  Certainly the heart of every individual Christian celebrates this fact daily.  We have the blessing of celebrating together every time we share communion.  And now we have a yearly reminder that reaches beyond our private devotions and beyond the fellowship we share because of his death.  Happy Easter! 

This article was written by my friend Linda Brumley and is posted on her Beggar's Purse website... she is an incredible woman of God and I am so encouraged always by her teachings, her insight and her wisdom.....Thank you Linda... you are a gift from God!

Thursday, March 28

Another Birthday Boy Tribute...

 Humble... ok maybe humorous is more like it.

Outstanding... hummmm.. that, or ornery!

Wise... wink wink or would that be wise-crack?

Ambitious... especially when it comes to prank phone calls or complimenting the cook (when she burns the bread)

Remarkable.... now that's more like it......

Devoted.... definitely... a devoted friend and we love you so much!

Happy Birthday  HOWARD !!!  
Can't wait to celebrate with you!

Wednesday, March 27

HB Bubba!

Today's the real day to celebrate....  To Infinity and Beyond!!!

You know who you are....

Tuesday, March 26

Sweet Sneak Peek

So my next Stamp-a-Stack is April 6th... class is almost filled up and I'm so excited!

Because so often I hear the girls say that they just can't bare to give away some of the cards, this time instead of 10 individual cards, they'll be making two designs each of 5 cards... so they still end up with 10 cards to take home... just will have one to keep and one to give away! Of course to keep it unique, I'm still going to change the colors on many of them so they all won't be exactly alike.... you know me... variety is the spice of life, right??

So here's the first card the gals will be making.. this from the All Dressed Up set tht everyone's going ga-ga over!!

You see it's the same layout of the card... but done in two different color combos.... so they'll get to make one of each.

That's right.... Imagine.... the possibilities!!!

Monday, March 25

This & That - it's an Epic Day!

It's an Epic Day!!  Stampin' Up! has done it again!....

Your life is: Awesome. Quirky. Exciting. Perfectly messy. And happening really fast. So we're happy to introduce our newest product line that lets you capture it all on-the-go. This and That will debut in the 2013-2014 annual catalog, but we're giving you and everybody else the chance to get it now at a discounted Bundle rate until April 30th. You can get This & That products separately... but why would you do that when you can get all five together and save 15%  now????

1) Epic Day This and That Journal $10.95  #131268 
Capture your moments, thoughts, plans, ideas, sketches, hopes, dreams - anything and everything! Debossed chipboard cover. Personalize or keep as is. 6-3/8" x 8-1/16". 60 total printed sheets (30 coordinated spreads).

2) Epic Day This and That Designer Series Paper$10.95  #130814 
So versatile. So epic.So this and that. 12 sheets: 2 ea. of 6 double-sided designs. Acid-and lignin-free. 12” x 12”. Basic Gray, Calypso Coral, Crumb Cake, Daffodil Delight, Gumball Green, Pool Party

3) Remember This and That Rotary Stamp $5.95  #130133 
Nostalgia meets journaling. Classic rotary date stamp with 12 clever and useful phrases for all of life's events. Turn dial to change phrase and date.

4) Epic Day This and That Designer Stickers $4.95  #131271 
Designer stickers to coordinate with your This and That Journal. 4 sheets with a variety of designs on semigloss paper. Thinner design to fit well with your journal. Basic Gray, Calypso Coral, Crumb Cake, Daffodil Delight, Gumball Green, Pool Party

5) Epic Day This and That Designer Washi Tape $4.95  #131269 
Attach ticket stubs, photos, anything in your This and That Journal! Color coordination with the journal pages. 3 designs in 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8” Basic Gray, Calypso Coral, Crumb Cake, Pool Party

*** The Best Deal *** Epic Day This and That Bundle $32.08  #133350 
Includes the five This and That products for 15% off.  Bundle only available through April 30!

Let me know when you're ready to order!!!
Or you can always go on-line at Stampin' Up and 
place an order using my name as your Demonstrator!

Friday, March 22

Paper Pumpkin Peeps Club

I'm excited about the new little monthly promotion Stampin' Up has started.. it's called Paper Pumpkin! Not sure how they came up with that name... I seem to relate "pumpkins" to Fall don't you??? ... but someone somewhere apparently got their say and the name stuck!

Several of my wonderful stamping friends signed up to have these darling little Paper Pumpkin Kits automatically delivered to their door step each month... thus I began my own Paper Pumpkin Peeps Club.... hee hee hee!!  We're going to meet at the end of each month after we receive our Kits so we can just play together and be creative with the items in the Kit. We just received our first Kit this week, so we'll start our official monthly gathering next month now that we know the shipping and delivery time of the Kits....

Anywho, I received my Kit and wanted to show you the contents... for those of you who didn't sign up, it's never too late... you can hop in any time... and hop out too whenever you want (instructions and link below)...... The Kits are very basic and intended for simple stamping (great for beginners) and also intended for quick creations because they're sooo easy to put together; much like the Simply Stampin' sticker kits.  Check it out:

Here's my box delivered to my doorstep 
(ok so it was in the mailbox).....

A little Welcome note card....

Your first Kit will also include a free acrylic block 
as they want to be sure you have one to go with 
the clear rubber stamps you will be receiving in the Kit...

This month's Kit is called "Hey There".... 
and came with Four pre-scored 
cards in Basic Gray, one Basic Gray Inkspot, 
four Tempting Turquoise buttons, and four 
decorative stickers and background paper 
in Daffodil Delight and Lucky Limeade, along with four white envelopes.

Of course it came with instructions and sample photo of the finished product...

So I spent about an hour playing with the Kit and 
came up with making the cards here... 
of course I wanted to enhance them slightly... so used 
Embossing Folders on the background paper (hard to see here) 
as well as on the stickers.... tied a bow of linen thread 
through the buttons and backed everything with 
matching cardstock before I put it on the Basic Gray card.

All four are slightly different.... yet keep that consistent matching theme....

You can see here too that I stamped 
the words and punched them out with the 
oval punch, sponged the edges in Daffodil Delight and 
popped it up on the card, giving it a little more dimension.

Was such a fun quick project!!

Now for my challenge to the Peeps.... 
first, have some fun making your cards... 
then, send me a picture of your finished product 
and I'll post them all on my Blog... 
Do that and at our next "meeting" you will 
receive a surprise thank you gift from me!!!  
Ya snooze ya loose.... better get to it!

Happy Stampin' Paper Pumpkin Peeps!


 Have you signed up to receive your Paper Pumpkin delivered right to your home each month?  I have and would like you to join me.  Click HERE for all the Paper Pumpkin details and please choose me, Gail Reed, Poway CA as your demonstrator.  

Remember just sign up by the 10th of each month in order to get that months kit in the mail.... 
what a fun little gift to yourself!!!

Thursday, March 21

And Even More....

And here's the rest of the cards from Saturday... I super appreciate the more "masculine" line of birthday cards.. which is great because it's always more difficult to come up with the ones for the guys....

We had a ton of fun making these...
(a little whale pun there) hee hee hee!

Wednesday, March 20

Birthday Bundle!

Speaking of Pam's SAS... here's some of the awesome cards we made on Saturday.. a bundle of Birthday cards!!

Awesome cards Pam... thanks so much for such a great day!

Tuesday, March 19

SAB Ends this Week!

Seems like all I've been doing lately is celebrating... and that's a good thing... so how appropriate it was that Saturday when I was at Pam's SAS, I won the Celebration packet she made as door prize.... pretty sweet!

And don't forget the only way you can get this Stamp Set is from the Sale-a-Bration promotion... which ends this Friday March 22nd... so don't miss out...

Think the ferris wheel is my favorite..
well that's probably cuz I still have Disney on the brain!

Monday, March 18

Day at Disney!!

Well last Wednesday we ambushed Noah.... at about o'dark thirty I showed up at their house and boldly went where no one dared... into his bedroom while sound asleep.... Of course I was armed with our traditional box of mini powdered donuts... which represents our traditional trek to Disney... ya have to know the story from years gone by!

Anywho.... Noah was pretty surprised to find out, that instead of going to school that day, he was going to Disneyland to celebrate his birthday! Woo Hoo!!  We finally hit the road and again surprise #2 stopped to pick up Caleb and Rebekah who were in on the surprise attack....

Here's our first "ride"... well, ok it was just the tram from the parking lot to the gate.... think Mr. Cool  is still just waking up...

We kept so busy I forgot to take pictures...
at least got a great Banner family pic in front
of Sleeping Beauty's Castle...

And just one more at our very favorite ride...
yep... Pirates of the Caribbean!
Yo Ho Ho... it's a Pirate's Life for Me!

Later in the afternoon we buzzed over to
California Adventure... and saw the new
Radiator Springs Cars Land...
just adorable!!!

We waited in line to ride the Speed Cars..
Here's one of the cars buzzing past us...
so we got to see what we were in for...

They were all out of Fast Passes for this one 
so we had to wait 90 minutes to get in....
 and so worth the wait!

Just as sun was setting the boys and Rebekah went over 
to ride California Screemin' Roller Coaster..
Claire and I rode The Little Mermaid.. kinda like Small World...
much more our speed!

It really is a magical place.... especially after dark!

We decided to go to Downtown Disney for dinner before we hit the road...
On the way Noah wanted to stop into his very favorite store... Lego's!
The statues they had all made out of Legos of course were incredible!
Woody and Buzz... my favorites!

Noah selected the Rainforest Cafe for Dinner... 
and that it was.. inside just like you're sitting in the rain forest..
complete with elephants and gorillas...
along with thunder and lightening storms every few minutes!

Of course we couldn't pass up getting the "Volcano" for dessert...
complete with sparkles and candles.. and a little birthday song to embarrass Noah...
here's our waiter lighting the candles...

Of course we all got to share and enjoy it together...

Somehow just didn't look as good after the fact...

A Great Time was had by all!
Happy Birthday  Noah!!!