Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Cookies

Our family has enjoyed making these the past few is interactive, provides another opportunity to talk together about the sacrifice of our Savior, His amazing love for us, and His call for us to follow Him.  I share them today because if you are interested in doing them, you start them tonight (waking up to the empty tomb cookies in the morning).  

Rejoicing in the One who not only died, but rose again...He is risen, He is risen indeed!  Thanks for stopping by ;-).

You Need:      
1- cup whole pecans
1-teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1-cup sugar
zipper baggie
wooden spoon

Preheat the oven to 300 (this is important-don't wait 'til you're half-done with the recipe)
1. Place the pecans in the baggie and let the kids beat them with the wooden spoon to break them into pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
Read John 19:1-3

2. Put the vinegar into a mixing bowl. Let each child smell the vinegar. Explain that when Jesus was on the cross and He became thirsty, He was offered vinegar to drink.
Read John 19:28-30

3. Add the egg whites to the vinegar. The eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life so that we could have life.
Read John 10:10-11

4. Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand and let them taste it. Put the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read Luke 23:27

5. So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup of sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.
Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16

6. Beat the egg whites with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Read Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3

7. Fold in the broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto a wax paper cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus body was laid to rest.
Read Matt. 27:57-60

8. Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven off.

9. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the door. Explain that Jesus tomb was sealed.
Read Matt. 27:65-66

10. Go to bed. Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight and that Jesus followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.
Read John 16:20-22

11. On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. the cookies are hollow! ON THE FIRST EASTER, Jesus' followers were amazed to find His tomb empty.
Read Matt. 28: 1-9

Friday, April 15, 2011

A foundation, not an eraser

Imagine a target with "loss" as the may be the loss of a job or loss of a loved one or some other painful loss, but how many of us would take our arrows and shoot at this target voluntarily?  Yet we all experience grievous situations, though we never aim for those seasons.  Sometimes those come directly related to carelessness or sin on our part (loving to sleep in conflicts with getting to work on time just one too many times!).  Sometimes we experience what we might call a victim's pain (a drunk driver T-boned you, leaving you disabled).  There are a gazillion scenarios being worked out in our lives ranging from stubbed toe sorts of pain to heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, soul-searching varieties.  And somehow God is working all of these together for the good of those who call upon His name...and somehow believing this doesn't erase the pain, but it gives us a foundation to rest upon so that our circumstances do not crush us as we take the next step of faith, holding tight to His hand, trusting Him to draw us ever closer to Himself either in the pain or by delivering us from it.

This past few weeks it seems like loss and painful situations are swirling around like a hurricane...miscarriages, facing much "ugly" in pursuit of a daughter, loss of work, life-flight emergency, serious illness, private struggles and so much more!  This morning as I was talking with one of my girls about a very real loss she is wrestling with, we both came to the place in the midst of hugs and tears of knowing that the pains God gives us are never wasted. We're thankful He is totally trustworthy as He sends us these "gifts"; thankful that He sets the limits and carries us through; thankful He is our Father who loves us and gives us His all-sufficient grace every day.

Clinging to Him,