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!

Christmas · Family life · memories

The Gift of Christmas 2020

The last of the laundry has been folded and put away. Beds are neatly made, bathrooms have been cleaned and the floors are swept and mopped, but still there is much that lingers in the corners of my home from our recent Family Christmas. The traces that are left from the past holiday will remain in the deepest part of my heart, I pray until the day I leave this world and enter the next. I share my memories with you now, more for my own heart to press each detail into my memory for its long-term preservation.

Photo credit goes to Whitney Pendell!

After this long year of severed plans, pandemic panic and so much isolation, I had held very lightly our family’s hopes for gathering together at Christmas. Proverbs reminds us that man’s goings are of the Lord. I know I can trust Him, whether what I plan comes to fruition or not. But we did make plans, and asked the Lord for His will to be done. In His grace and kindness, the Lord allowed our plans to not only come to pass, but also to surpass what we had ever imagined! Here’s how I saw that happen…

Everyone was well and able to come. No one was sick or quarantined! We were all well and able to gather together!

The Lord gave us a white Christmas that began after we were all together under our roof! The snow began to fall on Christmas Eve and left us with a few inches of fluffy snow that covered the hillsides and made the holiday so festive that even a Hallmark movie couldn’t have matched the setting (now that’s saying something!).

We created a new tradition and fun memory. The Lord brought an idea to my mind to have a cookie decorating contest. I wanted something that was easy enough for even my four-year old grandsons to participate in, so I baked snowflake-shaped cookies ahead of time, and then had the counter filled with colored icings, and a plethora of sprinkles. Everyone had been informed before they arrived what they would be given two cookies to decorate so they could gather an idea on Pinterest, or bring any aid with them, if they desired. Then in order to also include other family members in another state, we made a Facetime call to my mom so she could see the cookies on the counter and be our judge for first and second place winners! I had simple treat bags for each of the two winners. My younger daughter came in first place and my husband was second place! Everyone really put their heart into the creations and we had so much fun together!

First and Second place winners!

We shared our traditional foods our family loves. I asked everyone what they felt like was important that we have for our meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I made sure those things were provided. We enjoyed yummy sweets, but also savory soups and sides.

Holiday dinners at our house MUST end with Kentucky Derby Pie!

We had a family sleep-over! Christmas Day continued to bring more snow, so even our local family decided to bring things so they could just pack it in at our house for the night! Pallets were made on the floor for the twins, a couch was utelized, as well as both the day bed and our guest room. The next morning as everyone arose, it was so sweet to sit near the fireplace in the living room, cups of steaming coffee warming our chilled bodies, while our sleepy eyes slowly took in the new day with dimmed lights and hushed voices.
Breakfast of French Toast was made for the whole family by my husband – the King of Breakfast! No one seemed in a hurry for the day to move forward; this was our last morning together and it was another gift from our Father’s kind hand.

Sweet moments of tenderness –
Gifts – Watching four-year old’s at Christmas is a gift in itself. They were so thankful and so excited!
My grandsons gave me an oven mitt with their hand prints on it. A card included the tearful reminder that their prints would last while their hands continued to grow up and one day move away.
I received a beautiful hand-painted picture of our house! This home is a grace gift from the Lord and such a gift, so this painting is a precious reminder of how God answered my ten year prayer!
Music – My daughters are both very musical, so Whitney played the piano and Alli played her violin so we could sing carols and hymns. How wonderful to enjoy this blessing, especially after missing church for so many weeks this year!
Conversations – One of my grandsons was asking about the baby Jesus and the grown up Jesus. I had the blessing of telling him how that Baby Jesus grew up, just like he was growing up. He loved us so much that He took the punishment for our sins on the cross. I could see him processing it all in his mind. Little light bulbs are coming on, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share the Gospel with him again!
One of the boys called, “Gigi, Gigi, come see! The sun is going to bed!” He took me by the hand to show me the sun setting over the hillside. Indeed, the sun was going to bed.
Chats at the table, prayers uttered as a family, Scriptures were read, hearts were shared…all these conversations are such a gift.

I’m reminded of the Scripture that says,

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

This Christmas, our Father gave us so many good gifts, and my heart is so full of thanks. I know many who were alone. Some are suffering. Some are grieving. I don’t deserve all that the Lord did for us this Christmas, that’s why they are grace gifts. I am thankful, and give praise to my loving Father for His lavish kindness that He poured out on us this Christmas of 2020.

Come back on Friday for some photos of these memories.

Thankful and refreshed,

Uncategorized

Practical Ways to Have a Simple Christmas

I’m joining up with Whitney at Come Home for Comfort to share a video concerning  practical ways to have a simple Christmas.  After watching my video, you can check out Whitney’s Christmas video here.  There are lots of others who have contributed their videos with fun ideas for Christmas!  Be sure to look at this list and see what these ladies have to share – this is going to be tons of fun!

 

Wishing you a Simple Christmas,

Denise Signature 150 px

 

Easter · Family life · Uncategorized

Should A Christian’s Easter Be Fun?

 

Easter Chalkboard 1.jpg

Have you ever felt guilty about or slightly worried that maybe all the “fun” activities of Easter should be avoided by Christians – those who celebrate Easter as the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead?  My own heart’s answer to that is that I believe our fun should be  a reflection of the joy of the occasion!   Easter is the most joyous of days for those of us who love Christ!  So, this day should demonstrate that!

Another guideline  is that as with anything we do, it should glorify God -we must give the right opinion of Who He is.  That will determine what  I do. I wouldn’t want to participate in something that would be giving a false meaning of this wonderful day.  Let me illustrate:

The Easter Bunny has nothing to do with why we celebrate Easter, Resurrection Day, so I personally, have never been a fan.  However, an egg hunt, Chocolate treats, jelly beans and chicks are just fun (and delicious!).  They can even be used to represent new life in Christ – the whole meaning of the resurrection!

I’ve shared this in years past, but we tried to do all those kinds of things on Easter Saturday.  I mean, think about it – if you’re taking your child to Sunday school and church right after they’ve received a basket full of sugar, you’re only asking for trouble.  Your child will want to partake.  The sugar will make them hyper.  The chocolate will destroy their clothes, and then your whole Sunday will have started off on the wrong foot!  Saturday gives these activities a time to be enjoyed.  This is a great day for some family traditions – the egg hunt, the basket distribution, a special treat.

Reserving Sunday for worship and talk of Christ’s resurrection makes it a special day. This is also a great day for traditions!  Why not serve a special breakfast early that morning and read the resurrection story from the Bible?  I love these Resurrection Rolls.  They show what happened on that early Sunday morning! You could read the Scripture as you’re making the rolls together. Serve them with boiled eggs that you colored earlier in the week.

PicMonkey CollageEasterrolls
The roll is empty after you bake it, representing the empty tomb. They’re also a delicious treat!

Easter Sunday  could include inviting lost neighbors to the  church services and dinner.  What a blessing to get to share the Gospel with them!  Make a special traditional cake or treat every year.  Make it special because this is a super-special day!!!

So the answer to “Should a Christian’s Easter be Fun?” is, absolutely!  

  • Plan it out wisely.
  • Make much of Christ.
  • Take your family to a Bible preaching church where the Truth will be given.
  • Give the right opinion of God and this day in all you do.

We have so much to be joyous about, so let’s celebrate our risen Savior in a way that will reflect the delight in our hearts!

Easter Chalkboard.jpg

He lives! Rejoice!

 

 

Bread · breakfast · Easter

Freshen Up Friday

Easter weekend is here!  This is my FAVORITE holiday.  Because Christ lives, I have purpose for today and hope (assurance) for tomorrow!  I trust you have that same confidence in Him!

Easter 019

Yesterday in my Bible Club, we made Resurrection rolls.  These help tell the story of the burial and resurrection of Jesus.  If you have children, this would be a fun activity to do with them as you tell the account of what happened after Jesus was placed in the tomb.  At the end of the lesson, you have a delicious treat to share together.

PicMonkey CollageEasterrolls

 

As we made the rolls I retold the story. Rather than making the marshmallow represent Jesus, I chose to just say, “This can help us remember…”

Pictures 1, 2 –  We used a toothpick to ease rolling the marshmallow in the butter then sugar and cinnamon.  As we put the toothpick inside, my youngest student said, “This reminds me of the thorns they put on Jesus’ head!”  Good point!  It could also remind us of the nails that pierced his hands and feet.

As we rolled the marshmallow in the spices we talked about how the women came to the tomb to place spices on Jesus’ body.

Picture 3 – When we put the marshmallow in the crescent roll dough we remembered that Joseph took Jesus’ body down from the cross and wrapped it in cloth and placed His body in his own tomb.

Picture 4 – It helps to put foil on the cookie sheet because the marshmallow will seep out and create quite a sticky mess.

Picture 5 – The roll is empty inside!  When the ladies came to the tomb on Sunday morning, it was empty! Jesus wasn’t there!  The angel reminded them that He had risen, as he said!

It would be a great tradition to serve these on Easter Saturday or Sunday morning before church!  Not only do they make a great teaching tool, they are super good!

Christ lives!  Stay refreshed,

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