This weekend, Chad and I had a unique opportunity to get together with our friends Devin and Tia Tharp, who live a little ways from us in the Carolinas and who run the new nonprofit ministry, Bright Side Youth Ranch. We were all invited to a wedding for mutual friends in WI, so we road tripped up north together. While we were there, a fundraising event was held for Bright Side and Chad & I were honored to capture this night of celebration for what God has been doing through it.Read More
Every designer has a "top 5 projects" list that they absolutely loved working on in their career. For me, creating an identity system for some of my closest friends so they can live out their God-given dream has easily made my list.
Bright Side Youth Ranch is run by Devin and Tia Tharp. We've gotten to know each other over the past five years through an adult small group, three mission trips, many youth retreats, various projects and countless meal times. We've seen firsthand how God has used them in their jobs, ministries, relationships with others, their marriage, and even in the raising of their two awesome children—Leyton and Brynley. Amber and I were truly honored to help them create the visual identity for their greatest adventure yet.
Read all about their organization and our design process for coming up with their logo and identity...Read More
Running. It can be causal or it can be extreme. I have friends who participate in 3ks, 5ks, 10ks, half-marathons, full marathons, Tough Mudders and I'm pretty sure one of my friends is planning to do a Zombie Run where there are people dressed up as zombies and they try to eat you by tearing off flags that you have around your waste. All of my running friends have tried to get me to go on these runs. For me though, running is very casual, like "only a mile on Wednesday mornings because it's good for me" type of casual. That's about it.
Read more about why I'm talking about running and how it is linked to the race that really counts.Read More
Words sometimes can't describe the AWE of God. We try our best to create words but the words that we invent—like AWEsomeness—don't even scratch the surface of God's character and mystery. Amber and I have had the privilege to go on mission trips through our church's Youth Group for a handfull of years. We've served in the hills of Kentucky (2009), the streets of Washington, D.C. (2010), and the tent cities of Haiti (2011). When we returned from Haiti, God told us that it was time to transition out of youth ministry and into something new—Young Adult Ministry. We were a little nervous at first because we had been in youth ministry for 10 years, but we continued to understand that it was time for a new season. We’ve had unique opportunities to see God working firsthand and we wanted other young adults to be able to experience that too! We started asking God what we should do...Read More
We are so excited to be a part of the Young Adults Ministry movement at Evangelical United Methodist Church (EUM). God truly breathed life into this new ministry with an amazing staff leader—Mitch Buenger—and some amazing Young Adult volunteers. It has been really cool to work with Mitch and EUM to create an identity for this ministry from the ground up.
Read all about the creative process and this new ministry that we love...Read More
Our church has a wonderful youth ministry that is lead by amazing leaders. We had the honor to partner with them to help give a new look to a great tradition at Evangelical United Methodist Church (EUM). In the past, EUM's Dessert Derby was held after church and was crammed into a 2 hour event with dinner, bid items and youth stories. Well, EUM started to grow, rapidly and the staff at EUM had to make a decision that instead of two services on Sunday there would be three. With the new Sunday schedule, Dessert Derby need to find a new time and even a new date.Read More
Amber and I had the honor and the privilege to work with an amazing church from Alabama on their website. St. Mark United Methodist Church (SMUMC) is a growing church that has a heart full of love for their members, community and for the people around the world. We were able to connect with SMUMC through a fantastic couple—Jacob and Ashlee Tucker—that we met at Passion earlier this year in Atlanta. They asked us to help them out with their church's website once they found out that we that we specialize in design for churches, ministries and small businesses. With some great phone conversation and a weekend spent together, all four of us were ready for the creative process.
A couple of days ago, SMUMC went live with their brand new website at smumchurch.com!
Read all about the creative process and take a look at the final product....Read More
This was my view of the sunrise over Lake Michigan on April 19. Gorgeous, right?
Makes me think... There's a sunrise every morning. We never wonder, "Do you think the sun will come up tomorrow morning? I'm not sure, but I really hope it does!" No, it just happens like clockwork. God orchestrates that, you know. How amazing is that? God is SO faithful. His perfect creation is beautiful and his mercies are new each morning.
Then I got to thinking... What are the mercies I have experienced lately? How has God been moving in my life and in the lives around me? Well, here are a few of the recent highlights that I'm grateful for:
This got me realizing something... Yes, Chad is particularly good at leaping. But more than that, this IS a leap year for me and Chad—a year in which we are taking leaps. Leaps in our business, in our lives, and in our ministries. I want to fill you in on one of those recent leaps.
I want to thank you for joining me on this journey in my blog. I hope you have enjoyed the last 8 posts. It has been a joy, really, for me to re-hash the memories, experiences and lessons. I'm so glad I kept a journal while in Haiti, as most of our group did. It's surprising what you can begin to forget even after just a month and a half!
You may think I'm crazy after reading this one. That's ok. Maybe I am. I've read countless stories from the Bible of ordinary people who lived out their faith in God and had seemingly impossible events occur around them—plenty of people thought they were crazy, too. I mean, really…in Numbers 22:21, Balaam's donkey started talking to him! Try explaining that one. Remember Noah and Moses? And even Jesus made a reputation for himself because people thought he was crazy—they even killed him because of it.
We definitely experienced some "crazy" things while we were in Haiti. God truly moved in some unexplainable ways that left a big impact on all of us. You can believe me. Or not. That's up to you. But I can't even contain my excitement over some of the mind-blowing displays of God's power that unfolded before our eyes. These a just a handful of the "crazy" highlights…
Everyone has a story. A way in which you got to your current point in life. A series of events—and reactions to those events—that shape you into the person you are today. While visiting an orphanage in Carrefour, Haiti on Wednesday, August 3, I couldn't help but wonder what the stories were that surrounded each of the 70 precious children who lived there. It was surprisingly an extremely happy environment for toddlers all the way through 18-year-olds, filled with love, joy and respect. But you don't generally end up in an orphanage because of a string of uplifting memories. What lead each of these children to smile in this place? To laugh and sing praises together to the Lord?
There was another man that Devin and a couple others had met earlier in the week as well. This man too left quite an impression on them and they wanted to reconnect with him on that Thursday morning. After meeting him, I could instantly see why… Baptiste was easily the most selfless person I have ever met.
The 5 of us who were out meeting with people in Carrefour were invited right into Baptiste's home as soon as he saw us. Amongst a neighborhood that had been quite affected by the destruction of the earthquake, his home was standing strong. It was actually the nicest home we had been in all week and was seemingly most "house-like" (in comparison to our American culture).
On Thursday morning, all 20 of us (plus the AIM leaders) had a time of singing, prayer and worship where we asked God what we should do that day. Some people felt lead to go hang out with children, some people wanted to continue splitting up rice and beans at the house, and some wanted to go out into Carrefour to meet people. I wasn't quite sure at first which direction I should go…
Before going to Haiti, I felt God was encouraging me to use my photography as a tool in some way. I had been following some of my favorite photographers' work and interviews. Jeremy Cowart's Voices of Haiti was especially inspirational, as well as the work of Esther Havens, a humanitarian photographer who loves the Lord. In an interview she did with Matt Brandon, I was really compelled by her words and her story.