Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fall Favorites

Fall Favorites
This weekend we had the most amazing weather in my neck of the woods.  I actually got up on Saturday morning and decided to walk/job our neighborhood.  Once I left the house, I realized it was so cool that a long sleeve t-shirt might have felt good!!  My ears were even a little chilly when I got back home, but I didn't mind.  I'm so happy that Fall might really be on its way!  We are back up in the low 90s this week, but with this brief taste of cooler temps, I couldn't wait to talk about my five favorite Fall fashion picks!

Jessica from Raise.com emailed me last week about discussing my favorite Fall trends and after hearing about their company and what they do, I was excited to jump on board!  Have you ever found gift cards around the house that you forgot about or maybe received one as a gift and couldn't find the right thing to purchase at that retailer?  Well, Raise.com offers a place where you can sell your gift cards and buy discounted gift cards to other retailers.  What a neat concept!  I can't wait to try it.  In fact, I might have to buy some gift cards to put toward these Fall wardrobe must-haves!

  • Gap collared shirt  One of my favorite bloggers, Sheaffer, has been singing this gingham shirt's praises and I have wanted one for a while!  I think this navy gingham is the perfect shirt for Fall, especially in Texas where Mother Nature doesn't start turning down the thermostat until October if we are lucky. :)  It would be the perfect thing to wear to a pumpkin patch or on a hay ride before the cooler temps arrive.
  • Hunter boots  These boots are adorable -- form and function all rolled into one!  It looks like we might have some rain in the forecast this week and every time the weather turns rainy, I realize I need some boots just like this.  Hunters come in so many fun colors, but the green ones spoke to me, especially as football season is starting.  I think these would be the perfect footwear for cheering on my Bears if the weather gets a little drizzly.
  • Kate Spade earrings  I have these earrings in green and absolutely adore them.  When I saw that they came in tortoise, I knew they would be on my list -- the perfect neutral earring to accent so many outfits!
  • Tory Burch belt A leopard skinny belt is also on my list of Fall must-haves.  This Tory Burch model might be a little out of my fashion budget reach, but I thought it captured the look I would be going for.  I bought a pink sparkly skinny belt from Loft a few seasons ago and love it, so I thought I would check and see if they had a leopard one and lo and behold, look what I found!!  It's on sale for $20, too!  What a deal!! :)
  • OPI Lincoln Park After Dark My final two Fall favorites revolve around darker nail polish colors.  I love how nail polish is a great way to transition to a new season no matter what the weather.  For whatever reason, the photo in the collage looks a little different than the polish's true color, which is more of a deep purple, but I love the way this shade looks on short square nails.
  • OPI You Don't Know Jacques  Also, this shade of deep gray polish is another great trend for Fall.  It is the perfect neutral that goes with just about everything.  Now I can't wait to paint my nails for fall!  
What are your Fall fashion must-haves?  Hope you have a great week!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Jesus Before Pilate

Today, we return to Israel for another installment of our journey.  We had just left St. Anne's church and our next steps led us to two traditional sites thought to be where Christ stood trial before Pilate.

Here are a few images on our way to the church that now stands on one of the traditional sites.

Beautiful archways

Information regarding the Via Dolorosa renovation project

Herod's Ascent

Beautiful Street View

Entering the area where Jesus stood before Pilate.

A map outlining the different stations of the cross.

The Chapel of the Flagellation

A crown of thorns depicted on the interior ceiling to reflect the events traditionally thought to have occurred here.

Stained glass windows inside depict different scenes from the Passion narrative.

"Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?”  They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.”  Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.” The Jews replied, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.”  (This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.)

Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”  Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?”  Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?”  Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”  Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”  Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”

After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no case against him.  But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?”  They shouted in reply, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a bandit.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged.  And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe.  They kept coming up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and striking him on the face.  Pilate went out again and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.”  So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” 

 When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.”  The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.”

 Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever.  He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.  Pilate therefore said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?”  Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”  From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.”

 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha.  Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.” Then he handed him over to them to be crucified."

After our time in the chapel, we returned to the main street.

From the street level, we went down stairs to the original stonework to another traditional place of Jesus' trial.

Here, we read the text of Christ's trial and had opportunity to reflect.
For me, this time in this space, was one of the most emotional of the trip.
How deep is the love Christ has for all of us to endure such suffering on our behalf.

These marks on the stone floor are where Roman soldiers may have cast lots for Jesus' clothing.

A mosaic reflecting Christ taking up his cross.

"Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me."
John 9:23 NRSV

To read other posts about this trip, click here.