Celebrations · Easter · Jesus Changed My Life

We’re Celebrating Easter!

Easter weekend is my FAVORITE weekend in the whole year! It encapsulates the reason I can face tomorrow – Jesus is alive! No matter what we’re facing today – even with all the craziness, confusion, unrest, hatred and division, the truth that Christ arose from the tomb promises us all victory over sin, death and hell!

Because of that, I believe we should celebrate to the hilt!

Let’s magnify Christ!

Let’s share the Good News of eternal life that comes by placing our trust in Jesus alone for salvation!

Here are a few ways I’m celebrating Easter this weekend:

Reading the chapters in John about Jesus’ death and resurrection. I love to read the Scriptures early in the morning and think about the women at the tomb and the joy that filled their hearts to learn that their Savior was alive! Their joy is MY joy!

Resurrection Rolls – This treat is such a fun and delicious way to remind children of the elementary facts of Christ’s resurrection from the tomb. Here’s the idea –
A simple marshmallow is rolled in melted butter, then tossed in cinnamon and sugar, reminiscent of Jesus’ body being covered by spices before He was buried. The crescent roll is wrapped around the marshmallow, reminding us that Jesus body was wrapped in linen cloth. The roll is then placed in a muffin tin, reminding us of the tomb where Jesus was laid.
The pan is then put into the oven to bake, and in about 12 -14 minutes, the baked rolls can be eaten.

When you open the rolls up you find the inside (the tomb) is EMPTY! My grandsons loved this activity!

Resurrection Rolls

Ingredients

  • 8-ounce package refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 8 regular-sized marshmallows
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8 wells in a muffin tin with baking cups (for easier clean up) or spray the wells with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Unroll crescent dough and divide into 8 triangles at the perforations

3. Mix sugar and cinnamon together in shallow bowl.

4. Dip marshmallow in melted butter, then in cinnamon and sugar.

5. Place marshmallow in the middle of a crescent roll. Wrap dough tightly around the marshmallow, making sure there are no openings.

6. Place roll in muffin tin. Repeat with the rest of the rolls. Brush rolls with remaining butter and sugar.

7. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes. Cool sightly before serving.

Good Friday Service – Today is Good Friday and my church is having a Good Friday service at 3:00 in the afternoon. I always LOVE these afternoon services! We will be observing the Lord’s Supper, singing, reading Scripture, and being reminded of the sacrifice of Jesus’ death. If you’re in the area, we would love for you to join us. Here is the link to our website where you can find the address at the bottom of the Home Page.

Sunday service – Of course I’ll also be attending Easter service at church on Suinday. Remembering back to last year when we were unable to get together makes me doubly thankful to be able to meet together to worship and praise the Lord with other believers! Again, if you don’t have a church home, we welcome you to attend! Go here to learn the times of the services.

Cake – My family will also get together to enjoy an Easter dinner after church. It will include this traditional Coconut Cake with Lemon Filling! We’re all a little very excited about that!

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If you need something a whole lot simpler for your Easter dessert, here’s a cute little bunny sundae my dad always made for our family every year. Everyone could make their own and add what they like. You could even have a contest to see whose bunny is the “Best dressed!”

All this takes is a scoop of ice cream, some whipped topping, coconut, for whiskers Jelly beans, M&M’s or chocolate chips for his face, and some banana slices for ears.

I pray that your Easter weekend is filled with the joy of the risen Savior! He loves you and died in your place so you could have eternal life in Him. That’s the only thing that will truly refresh you for now and all eternity!

Happy Easter!

Easter · Eternity

Jesus’ Final Words To You

This week my husband pulled out a journal that he wrote in when his father was dying of cancer. On his death bed, my father-in-law spoke to each of us. With ears leaned down, straining and attentive, we wanted to hear every word he said to his family before he died. His words were precious. They were written down so we would not forget.

In John 17, we have Jesus’ final words to His disciples. This was His prayer for them as He was now facing the cross. But He didn’t just pray for those that followed Him during His time on earth, He also mentioned me and every other person who would trust Him and follow Him as their Savior! How amazing is that?!

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

Could we miss hearing His precious words? Would we turn away and not lean in to hear what He wanted to tell us before He died? Here’s what He prayed for us in His final hour:

  1. He wanted us to have unity as modeled by the Godhead. The Father and the Son were one. Unity among the Body of Christ is so important. Has the cross helped me to love others, or am I divisive in my spirit? Our love for others proves our love for God.
  2. He wanted us to be one in Christ. This is our position once we are saved – in Christ. We’re not one through church membership, good deeds, or our pastor, but in Christ. Is the cross work of Christ and my identification in Him my only hope of salvation? Nothing else will save me.
  3. He wanted us to be marked by glory. Jesus gave His glory to us through His presence, His Word, and His Spirit. It’s the manifestation of His presence. Can the world tell that I’ve been with the resurrected Christ?
  4. He is anxious to be with us! Jesus greatly desired for His people to be gathered to Him in heaven and to see His glory. Jesus longed for heaven’s completion of all things. Am I longing for heaven where I will be with my resurrected Savior and view His glory face-to-face?
  5. He wanted us to know the indwelling presence of Himself.I in them.” Am I abiding in Christ today?

One of the things my father-in-law said on his deathbed was, “I’m going to miss my family, but I get to see the Man I’ve been preaching about all my life!” It’s normal for us to think about our family members longing to see us, but to think that the Lord Jesus is anxious to see us in heaven is amazing, isn’t it?

Because of Easter, the celebration of our resurrected Savior – we can have the assurance that we can have Christ living in us now simply by putting our trust in Him alone for the forgiveness of our sins. Then, we have the solid assurance that we will see Him in all His glory one day when He brings us home, and we can see His glory by abiding in Him now.

If you’ve never read Jesus’ last words to His followers, or if it’s been a while, you can find them right here. Open your “journal” and be overwhelmed by what He wanted you to know before He died in your place!

Rejoice in His love letter to you,

dessert · Easter · Gluten-Free · Weight watchers

Crustless Mini Cheesecakes

I grew up in a home where most evenings we had dessert at the end of the meal. It wasn’t something huge like a triple-layered cake, but just a little something sweet. I still enjoy ending the meal with a taste of something sweet.

Small, individual desserts are perfect for a “just enough” serving size! Weight Watchers has a cheesecake recipe that I’ve tweaked a little to come up with a dessert we love!

I bake these individual cheesecakes in small tins I purchased on Amazon. They look like these…

They’re truly the perfect size if you’re wanting to watch your calories, but still enjoy something sweet. I bake them without any crust, then give my guests the option of sprinkling chocolate covered graham crackers on the top. It serves as an inverted crust! Then I top them with fruit, light Cool Whip and chocolate shavings. Wow. They are so good! Here’s the recipe:

Crustless Cheesecakes
3/4 Cup Plain low-fat yogurt
8 oz. Low-fat Cream Cheese
2 Eggs
2/3 Cup sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
Light Cool Whip
Fresh berries
Chocolate shavings
Chocolate Graham Crackers, crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place small baking tins on a baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray. You could also use a cupcake tin if you don’t have the tins. If you use the tin, line them with cupcake liners.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat together yogurt, cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Spoon evenly into baking tins. Bake until top is set, 15-20 minutes; let cool and then chill in refrigerator 2 hours (can make up to 2 days ahead).

3. To serve, slide a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and invert onto a serving plate. Serve with fresh berries, Cool whip and chocolate shavings on top. You can also add the chocolate covered graham crackers on top, if desired.

You could also serve these in their little tins for an easy “pick up and go” dessert. Here’s one just with Cool Whip and chocolate. Not a bad combo!

I’m not sure about the WW points on these, but the version with a crust are 7 points, so if you don’t add the crackers, I’d think it would be one or two points lower! I’ve eaten these in moderation with good success (no weight gain).

These make a great dessert for guests. They aren’t strange in any way with artificial sweeteners – they’re just lighter due to no crust and lightened cream cheese. These would be perfect for Easter, perhaps serving them with fresh blueberries and a little lemon zest on top! Give them a try and tell me if you loved them as much as we did!

Anyone else enjoy having dessert after dinner?

Easter · Eternity · Jesus Changed My Life

When Everything Else Is Stripped Away At Easter

Easter plans have changed this year.

Easter services are different than we would ever have imagined.

Easter traditions have been put aside.

But when everything else is stripped away, there is one thing that remains securely in tact and that is the reason why we celebrate Easter. 

It’s Jesus.  It’s His resurrection from the dead; the fact that He lives!

For me personally, you can hear in this video what I still have today on this Easter, even though everything else has been stripped away.

Thank you for listening to my story.  It’s the truth that makes me put my feet on the floor each morning.  It’s what gives me hope when everything around me seems hopeless.  It’s what energizes my speech and motivates my life.

If you have never received Jesus and seen what a change He can make, I am extending His invitation to you to come to Him today.  Don’t delay.

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13

There’s nothing you need to do first. He will fix the broken parts of you after He is your Savior. You don’t need to be better or try harder because Jesus did all the work for your salvation on the cross.

We won’t have beautiful church services, egg hunts, or family gatherings this year, but we still have Jesus, and He is all we need.

Happy Easter, my friends!

denise a