Today is Mark's 29th birthday! Last night we went with our best friends in New Olreans to Superior Grill, Mark's favorite restaurant. Then some friends came back to the house for cake. Today we went to the bakery down the street for a cream danish and sticky bun and coffee. The people there are awesome. It's like having a old-time bakery in a bedroom community where everyone knows each other. Mark got a guitar, bag, tuner, etc. and a lion statue for his birthday. He's planning on learning to play the guitar this year. He already sounds pretty good and he's only had it for 15 minutes! That's the way Mark is...full of many hidden talents. You might wonder why I would get Mark a lion statue...There was something that grabbed us about the lions in Venice, Italy. They are winged and they hold open books representing the power and knowledge of the Venitian Empire. It is also representative of the apostle, Mark. He was stolen from Venice, found and returned, so the wings represent "coming up from the waves" of the ocean and back to Venice. When Napolean conquored Venice, he had all the books closed, which symbolized Venitian defeat. It's sad to think of a powerful empire being overcome that way. Later, Around the same time that we went to Italy, The Chronicles of Narnia film came out. Since then, we have been captivated with the image of Christ as a Lion, as Revelation 5:5 calls Him (And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. ) It's so amazing to think of the power, majesty, authority, strength, and courage of Christ in that way! When we think we are defeated, He "opens the book". Thus...the lion statue.