Tag Archives: Easter

I Pray That…

“O Lamb of God, for sinners slain.
Redemption’s price, Your sacrifice, my ransom paid.
O Bread of Life, broken now for me.
Your blood, the cup poured out in love has set me free.”
– Travis Cottrell / O Sacred Head Now Wounded (O Lamb of God)

i pray that

Today, as we continue to reflect on the power of Christ in us made possible only by the cross, by His selfless and loving sacrifice…

I pray that we would remember the fullness of His suffering on the cross with the hope and assurance that comes from knowing that on this coming Lord’s Day, we will proclaim with boldness that He is risen, just as He said.

I pray that we would know the truth of that reality in the depths of our being, whether for the first time or for the hundredth time.

And I pray that we would come near to this Lamb of God who gave Himself up and poured Himself out for each one of us … because of His holy sacrifice, as the perfect and blameless and spotless Lamb, we are free.

Have a blessed Easter!

Reflecting on The Messiah

As the day approaches, knowing that I hope to somehow express the weight and the glory of this holiest of days, I find myself humbled by my own emptiness.

As I sit with the Lord, pouring out the thoughts and emotions that run deep, I boldly ask Him to clarify the message that He would have me write in this space. I ask that it would be loud and obvious … yet instantly, I know that’s not right.

Today is not a loud day. It is quiet.

“Easter is for shouting. But Good Friday is for not much talking.” – Jon Bloom (Desiring God Blog)

And as I reflect on Christ’s sacrifice in the quietness, all I have is not enough.

Christ gave all. ALL. On that cross.

And in return, all I have is emptiness and brokenness and not enough. Even all of me seems inadequate.

So as I’ve spent a considerable amount of time listening to Handel’s Messiah this week, reflecting on the beauty of the music, but much more so reflecting on the beauty, the weight, the glory of the message, I urge you to reflect with me on HIS words:

Part One

“Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low; the crooked straight, and the rough places plain.” (#3 – Isaiah 40:4)

“And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” (#4 – Isaiah 40:5)

“Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, God with us.” (#8 – Isaiah 7:14)

“His yoke is easy and His burden is light.” (#21 – Matthew 11:30)

Part Two

“Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world.” (#22 – John 1:29)

“He was despised and rejected of men: a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” (#23  – Isaiah 53:3)

“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.” (#24 – Isaiah 53:4-5)

“And with His stripes we are healed.” (#25 – Isaiah 53:5)

Part Three

“Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (#46 – 1 Corinthians 15:21-22)

Jesus Christ came … Emmanuel, God with us … as a servant and humbled himself to death on a cross. The ultimate sacrifice. For You. For Me. For All.

He knew the cross would be His cup and He chose it anyway. Because He knew it was the only way.

“The Cross did not happen to Jesus: He came on purpose for it. He is ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.’ The whole meaning of the Incarnation is the Cross.” – Oswald Chambers

And so although we know that Sunday is near, that the victory has already been won, and that great rejoicing will soon commence, in the quietness of this Good Friday, with a sense of both great hope and deep sorrow, we reflect on The Messiah and on His sacrificial death on the cross … in our place, to cover the sins of this world – our sins – once for all, leaving a veil torn, granting us access to the Father, for our salvation, that through Him we might have life eternal.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

As is fairly well documented by this coconut cake (which happens to be the cake I made for Easter last year) and this strawberry pie (one of two pies I made for Father’s Day), when my family gathers for holidays or special occasions, I typically bring the dessert.

 This Easter was no different.

 When I first approached my mom about bringing a dessert for Easter dinner this year, I had no clue what I wanted to make.  I typically enjoy making cakes, but as I searched through some of my favorite recipe sites and blogs, finding several cakes that looked great and very Easter-appropriate, I ultimately discovered that I had a taste for something different this year.

I kept coming back to this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie.

But every time I considered it I thought, “Peanut butter pie doesn’t seem very Easter-y. And who makes pie on Easter anyways?  The flavors aren’t right.  And it’s too rich.  My parents are NOT going to think this is a good idea.”

But I still wanted it.

So on the Thursday before Easter, I called my mom to see if she might possibly be sorta interested in peanut butter pie for dessert. And much to my surprise, our conversation went something like this:

 Me: So I’ve been thinking about Sunday. Could I maybe make peanut butter pie for dessert…?

Mom: Em! I just told your Dad that I had a craving for peanut butter pie! That sounds perfect!

Me: Really?  Weird.  Are you sure? I mean, peanut butter pie doesn’t seem like a very Easter-worthy dessert?

Mom: Why not? We think of Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs around Easter.

Me: Good point. Peanut butter pie it is.

So, peanut butter pie it was…

Ingredients for Crust:

25 whole oreos

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Ingredients for Filling:

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 package (8oz.) softened cream cheese

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 package (80z.) cool whip, thawed

Instructions:

  1. For the crust, crush oreos until fine (a food processor is preferable for this process…if you don’t have one, go search in your parents garage and they may have one they’re not using!). Pour melted butter over crumbs and stir with fork to combine. Press into pie pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes (just until set). Cool completely.
  2. For the filling, beat the peanut butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Then add the cool whip and beat until smooth.
  3. Pour filling into crust and chill for at least an hour (longer is better…overnight is perfect).

(I have no idea what happened here…ha! Enjoy!)

He Is Risen!

 

“But the angel said to the women,

‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.

Come, see the place where he lay.'”

Matthew 28:5-6 (ESV – emphasis added)

 

He is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Aunt Sarah’s Coconut Cake

I like to make cakes.  Whenever a family gathering calls for a cake (birthdays, holidays, etc.), I rather eagerly volunteer to make it happen. 

Last year for Easter, I decided that I wanted to make a coconut cake, so I called my MeMaw to track down my Great-Aunt Sarah’s recipe (rumor had it the cake was good).  An hour later, we were caught up on life and I had the recipe…and bonus, three additional recipes as well!

The rumor was correct – the cake was good!  So I made it again this year…with a few changes of my own.

 

Ingredients:

Butter flavor cake mix

2 cups sugar

16oz. carton sour cream

12oz. pkg. coconut

12oz. tub cool whip

Instructions:

  1. Prepare cake mix according to package directions.  (Aunt Sarah’s recipe calls for 2 round 8” cake layers split in half when cooled, but I cheat and use 3 round 9” layers instead.)
  2. Combine sugar, sour cream, and coconut, blending well.  Chill.  Reserve 1.5 cups of mixture for frosting.  Spread remainder between cake layers.
  3. Combine reserved sour cream mixture and cool whip for frosting.  (Aunt Sarah’s recipe says to spread on top and sides of cake, but this year, I used it in between layers as well – on top of the sour cream mixture.)
  4. Seal cake in air tight container and refrigerate for 3 days before serving.

 Trust me; the 3 day wait is totally worth it!  Enjoy!

Prepare to be Amazed!

Amidst the hurriedness of the practical preparations for this coming Easter weekend, have you taken the time to prepare your heart to be amazed by Jesus Christ?

“A voice cries:

‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;

make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be lifted up;

and every mountain and hill be made low;

the uneven ground shall become level,

and the rough places a plain.

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,

and all flesh shall see it together,

for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.'”

Isaiah 40:3-5 (English Standard Version)

 

 

Why Prepare?  Why be Amazed?

Because Jesus Christ humbled himself on the cross!

“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:8 (ESV)

Because Jesus Christ didn’t stay in the tomb!

“You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  He has risen; he is not here.  See the place where they laid Him.” Mark 16:6 (ESV)

[Just for fun, try cross referencing this passage in the other Gospels.]

Because Jesus Christ has won the victory over sin and death!

“Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him.  We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him.  For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God.  So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:8-11 (ESV)

Because Jesus Christ is coming again!

“Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:30-31 (ESV)

 

“The King is coming; the King is coming,

I just heard the trumpet sounding

and now His face I see.

The King is coming; the King is coming,

Praise God, He’s coming for me!”

(The King is Coming – Bill & Gloria Gaither)

 

Are you prepared to meet the Risen Christ this Easter?

Are you prepared to be amazed?!?

He is ALIVE!  He is RISEN!