Easter Giveaway & Blogging Break :-)

If you took part in the Facebook fun of my Spring Cleaning Week of giveaways, hop over to my page to see the winners announced. If you aren’t my FB friend, I’d love for you to be! Just click on the FB icon in my sidebar and send me a friend request!

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Hey bloggy sisters~

I’m posting today, offering an Easter giveaway and then I’m going to take a much-needed blogging break to focus on Holy Week with my family.

I want to slow down and savor the moments. I wasn’t sure if I’d have anyone who wanted to color eggs, but I do have one taker. (Thought I was going to need to grab some neighborhood kids!)

I can’t wait for our church’s resurrection celebration. We are trusting many hear about a new life with Jesus, because of the cross.

When we first began attending this church last spring, attendance was around 350. In one year, we’ve witnessed literally dozens of people decide to follow Christ and be baptized.

Homemakers, skeptical husbands, a woman who was a drug dealer, men addicted to pornography, indifferent middle-agers, sweet grandmas and searching teens. Now we are running over 700 each week and anticipate over 1,000 for Easter since that is how many we had at Christmas!!!

As our lead teaching pastor said yesterday, it is NEVER to be about the numbers but about the fact that many will hear about Jesus, the cross and the resurrection and as a result, lives will be changed for eternity! And what a humbling thought that God uses us as He changes lives—ours included!

And of course, I can’t forget my extended family get-together with all the aunts, uncles and cousins where my mom hosts her annual egg-hunt, now turned trivia contest with other whacky games for the teens that are excuses for her to love on her grandkids and load them up with candy!

Yes, I love Easter week.

I have been blessed with a man who is intentional in creatively teaching his kids about God. We’ve had M & M races, a lesson on the persecuted church given on a cold, hard cement floor in the dark by flashlight, & much more.

This week, our yard sports a large, wooden cross.

Passersby will see a sign change each day announcing just what happened on that particular day of Holy Week. From Palm Sunday (Jesus enters Jerusalem) to Maundy Thursday (Jesus shares the last supper with his 12 closest friends) to the darkness of Good Friday, the silence of Saturday & the glory of Resurrection Sunday.

The signs not only change, but a cloth draping the shoulders of the cross goes from red to black to royal purple. And spot-lights illuminate the scene at night.

I pray you too are being intentional to focus on the glorious unfolding of Holy Week. Don’t take it for granted! Read the accounts in the gospels. Thank God for His wonderful plan!

Now, as an Easter gift to one of you, this week I’ll be giving away the following to one gal who comments:

~ An NIV thinline compact Bible. No better Easter gift than God’s word!!! It is a great, portable size for your purse or car. (pictured out of the box for you to see the color)

~ Some bags of chocolate-hazelnut & Raspberry white tea (all decaf) for you to enjoy hot or cold while you read your new Bible!

~ A fresh linen candle. Because Jesus’ blood makes us clean!

~ A dark chocolate-sea salt bar. (Hey….there is sea salt in the Holy Land, right?)

Okay—so leave us a comment letting us know your favorite Easter memory.

Mine is when our kids were small and we made a paper-mache’ “tomb” scene complete with three crosses. They would use an action-figure guy to be Jesus, wrap him in strips of white cloth, place him in the tomb and voila’—-He wasn’t there on Sunday morning….but their Easter baskets were!

What is your favorite Easter memory from adulthood or childhood?

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121 Comments

  1. I always loved coloring eggs with my kids! We even did it when they were college age!. Now my daughter has little ones of her own to decorate with and my son lives too far away, so I color the eggs alone. . .(sigh)!

  2. Oh my favorite memory (growing up and still today) is attending sunservice at the lake. Beautiful to watch the sunrise while reflecting on the Sonrise.

  3. Oh how I wish I lived in your neighborhood! What a beautiful message you’re sharing each day with all of the passersby. I just love it. Growing up, my favorite memories are of the egg hunts w/ my sisters at my grandparents.

  4. This year I am so excited because we will be going home for Easter. I’m sure it has been over 11 years and maybe longer since I’ve been home (400 miles from where we live now). It will be so good to spend the weekend with family. One of my favorite memories is making Resurrection Cookies with my children. Each ingredient and process includes a scripture and represents some part of the crucifixion story. The oven warms up while the ingredients are mixed. Then you place the cookies in the oven, turn it off, tape it shut (like the stone being placed in front of the tomb), and wait for morning. It was so neat to hear my beginning readers reading out of an actual Bible for the first time.

  5. I remember when the kids were little we were down in North Carolina for Easter. Our family had an Easter egg hunt, and we took pictures of the kids in their shorts and t-shirts finding the hidden eggs. The very next year we decided to do our own Easter egg hunt with our kids in our back yard way up here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We took pictures that year of our kids dressed up in their snow suits with hats and mittens, finding Easter eggs in 18 inches of snow! The comparison pictures have always amused us, and made us sigh. :)

  6. My fondest memories of Easter is when I was a little girl. My mother would dress my big sister and me in identical dresses(usually white or pink) and shiny black dress shoes. Easter service at the little Baptist church that we attended sticks out most in my mind. I remember the pastor speaking of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice that he gave for us( thank you, Lord), hunting easter eggs of multi-colors on the somewhat grown-up grassy side of the church (happy times), and Easter potluck with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and tons of desserts (yum). When I think of all the love that poured out of that tiny church, I smile.

  7. My favorite Easter memory would have to be practicing and singing in an Easter cantata. Those times shared together were always so very sweet and the messages of the cantata really bring home the message of the Easter week. I would agree with you that the most important part of Easter is that others would hear what our precious Savior suffered and endured for them.

  8. The Easter I received a new Bible, I promptly grabbed a pen and filled in all the pertinent information especially the from: The Easter Bunny! Mom had a cow! I just read your post and my seven year old ran to get GI Joe. He said we have to do the same thing to him!

  9. I’m not sure I can think of one favorite memory but I have enjoyed making ressurection rolls with my kids and one of my favorite hymns is Christ the Lord is Risen Today!

    Have a Blessed Easter,
    Rebecca Ann

  10. My favorite Easter memory was when I was 12 years old. My parents had seperated due to my father’s alcoholism. We were such a broken family. My father came to our house that Easter morning and had a corsage for both me and my sister and one for my mother too! He made us a promise to never drink again. He took us all to church and rededicated his life to Jesus! It was a beautiful Easter Day! One that I had hoped and prayed for!

  11. My favorite Easter memory is an annual tradition. We start with 7 a.m. sunrise service and then head home to egg casserole, fruit and rolls before we all take a nap. After everyone recuperates, my daughters search for their Easter baskets and we go to Mom and Dad’s for the egg hunt and dinner with extended family. There is always one adult who can’t find their eggs and the kids think it’s hilarious. It’s just a great family day that starts with our Lord!

  12. Favorite Easter memory – my husband coming to me last year to apologize and saying he wanted our family back together again.

  13. I have two favorite memories. The first was a sunrise service years ago when a bird perched on the edge of the church’s roof and sang with us. It was just so neat to hear him.

    My favorite memories is the Good Friday Service that was held April 9, 2004. It was just awesome. Our church had had special speakers Monday thru Wednesday, Maundy Thursday service, but I’ve never attended a Good Friday service. It was just so powerful.

    Someday I hope to be able to attend another one, but haven’t found any church having one where I live now.

  14. I can’t think of one specific memory, but I enjoyed coloring eggs and waking up Easter Sunday to my Easter basket filled with candy and especially, chocolate! lol There will be start to be more and better and more meaningful memories now that I have my own family…soon to be two young daughters (3 1/2 and unborn at this point). I am due mid June (7-8 weeks left depending on type of delivery…might be another c-section).

  15. I just want to share another memory of Easter. I facilitate a teen girl small group in my home each week and one year ( about 4 years ago) I decided to do an Easter Scavenger Hunt. Basically it was a walk through the Gospel of Holy Week with the girls reading from Scriptures- finding clues and doing things like– making a crown out whatever they find in my garden, or going to neighbors house to “break bread” with each other, ripping a thick purple cloth in 2, etc. The first year, I had about 15 girls– 2 teams– and they were giggly, and silly and they weren’t taking it as serious as I had hoped. My partner and I both kept looking at each other with worry that it wasn’t going so well. Midway through the Hunt, there was a part in the Scavenger Hunt where the girls had to hammer 3 nails into a small piece of wood then later write down 3 things they have done to deny Christ in their lives recently and carry that note with them… right after that, they had to find these big big branches and rope and make a cross and carry it the rest of the Hunt… something totally shifted when the girls were nailing the nails in the wood and them mvoing to making the cross… their was a silence, a calmness as I watched them help each other lift the cross and carry it all through our neighborhood. The rest of the Scavenger Hunt went beautifully and with less silliness and at the end, the girls tacked their “3 sins” onto their cross for Jesus to forgive– we even had some girls accept Christ that night! I asked my partner if anything changed for her as she did the Hunt with her team, and she said immediately.. it was when they were hammering the nails and making the cross, — it was like, just as I had felt– something shifted. It was an extrememly special time. I’ve done the same Scavenger Hunt over the next several years, and it is always so special, but I will never ever forget that first year when the hearts of the girls ( and mine!) were changed as they experienced the story of Easter.

  16. I too love Easter! It’s my favorite holiday. After our middle daughter went to Heaven, Easter to me means that because of our Heavenly Father, we have a hope and a future with Him.

    When all of our kids were little, we used to have Easter Egg Hunts with all of the cousins. It was a blast watching the kids scurry to find their eggs.

  17. Happy Easter and a special week for all! I have so many favorite memories of Easter, too hard to pick just one. I especially love thesee recent years as we talk to my young boys about Jesus!
    what a Holy week this is!
    thank you God!

  18. Hmm, hard to choose a favorite Easter memory. Very happy time to be with family…What popped into my head, though, was last year. My sister and her husband were in a terrible car accident December 2009, and she was released from rehab March of ’10. The fact that she came to church on Easter was nothing short of a miracle. (Her injuries were more severe than her husbands’). I had such a hard time containing my emotions. Tears of joy. Praise to God!

  19. My favorite Easter memory happened 11 years ago. My son ( and my family ) received the greatest gift one Good Friday.. My son was 10 and had undergone some serious surgery on his leg to correct a birth defect. There were complications, and we were told that he may lose the use of his leg. I was pretty new ( 5 years old) in my faith/life with Jesus, but I prayed like crazy!! The doctors finally came up with a solution— injections of an experimental drug into his leg that would cost over $2000. Insurance would not pay for it I had just lost my job months prior. Needless to say, we were desparate. My son was in so much pain at the time as well and each day brought on new frustrations and dwindling hope. As we headed into Holy Week that year, I spent every minute on thephones with pharmacists, doctors and insurance companies. I barely knew it was Easter time.
    For the first time in my life however, , I went to the Good Friday serivce. A friend invited me ( ok forced me to go) I was weary, bleary eyed from crying so much, and felt numb inside. As I watched the video/movie of Jesus’s last hours– it was like I was seeing it all for the first time. So much pain, so much suffereing for US. Somehow I kept thinking about my own son in so much pain, so young to lose the ability to walk…. but it was nothing in comparison to what my Savior had endured for me.– what he had given me and my son– LIFE. I felt peace in my heart for the first time in a long time.
    At the end of the movie, I was ready to leave when the pastor stopped me. He lead to the front of the church and handed me an envelope. In it was $2000 cash. He said someone in the church just gave it to him to give to me anonymously. I can barely type these next words… It still amazes me just how God works. We were given the greatest blessing of hope and healing that Easter season, and there isn’t a Good Friday/Holy Week since that time that my family and I don’t praise God for that miracle!!

    P.S. my son had the injections, endured 10 more surgeries in 4 years, and went on to be a State Champion Cross Country Runner. Praise God!

  20. I remember one Easter when I was a teen the youth group did a modern interpretive dance for morning service. While the name of the song slips me, I do recollect that it was an awesome worship and rejoicing song, that started with Jesus’ death and moved to the Resurrection. The reason I remember it so much is because we had all decided we would wear jeans and t-shirts and go barefoot to symbolize new life, and my mother had a fit that we were going to be dressing like that in church! We reassured her that it was only for the dance and that we would change right back into our Easter finery as soon as we were done. It was an awesome experience and the congregation really enjoyed the efforts we teens put forth to help express the joy of the empty tomb on Easter morning. That Easter had a special significance for me for many, many years.

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