Hello and Welcome!
Life is tough, but God is good. God’s Word is a strong foundation that is indeed practical and relevant in our world today. Scripture surely molds and changes us as we integrate it into our hearts and lives. Paul’s example in I Thessalonians demonstrates spiritual fruit that remains. I want these same elements to characterize my life to:
A personal relationship with Christ is the most exciting element for daily living. He came to give us an abundant life! (John 10: 10). He loves us and wants us to experience the fullness of His grace, joy, and peace. A joyful heart is good medicine (Proverbs 15: 13). I pray that you’ll find encouragement and hope through my writings and that God will bless you abundantly as you seek His face.
THIS MONTH'S MESSAGE
Sunrise and Son Rise
By Fran Caffey Sandin
The aroma of bacon and eggs wafted through the air at Uncle Charlie’s cabin that chilly day. Chirping birds and croaking frogs accompanied our voices as we sang hymns and watched the sun rising above the tree-lined lake. Our church’s annual Easter sunrise service for youth included the biblical account of Christ’s Resurrection, a prayer, and a hymn—“Christ Arose!”A tasty breakfast topped off the morning. As a teenager I was enthralled with the event, but it took thoughtful meditation and more time for me to fully understand the meaning of Easter. Why did Jesus die? I wondered as a primitive wooden cross cast its shadow along the peaceful water.
Through subsequent study I learned that the Old Testament Levitical priests sacrificed animals, but the blood of animals did not remove the guilty consciences of the people. God desired the devotion of people with faithful and loving hearts more than sacrifice, but the purpose of sacrifices was to provide a way for people to live in holiness. However, it was only a temporary measure to prepare them for a greater sacrifice. It was a shadow of the real thing.
The priests stood while making the sacrifices. Blood flowed again and again, but his offerings did not take away sin. Once a year the priest entered the Holy of Holies separated by a thick, heavy curtain or veil. When Jesus died on the cross, the veil was ripped from top to bottom eliminating separation. Jesus, by sacrificing His body and shedding His blood, opened the way for us to enter the Holy of Holies. Jesus became our High Priest. We can now boldly enter God’s presence (the Holy of Holies) with confidence because Jesus’ blood has cleansed us once for all. Our High Priest (Jesus) now sits at the right hand of God the Father because His work on earth was finished. He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us to comfort, guide, and encourage us. And He is preparing a place for us in Heaven when our work on earth is done.
Jesus’ death had to occur before we could celebrate His Resurrection. God’s Word is clear that we have all sinned and missed the mark of moral purity—none of us is righteous on our own. In other words, we are all guilty. But GOD loved us so much that He sent His son, Jesus, to bear our sins in His body. Jesus died on a cross and was buried in a stone-secured tomb, but on the third day, the stone had rolled away to reveal an empty tomb. Christ had risen from the dead! Rejoice! Jesus has defeated the darkness of death. His resurrection gives us HOPE.
We could spend a lifetime meditating on the miraculous gift God has given and His great love, grace, mercy, and longsuffering. Our response is to trust God’s Word, to receive His gift, to confess and forsake our sins, and walk in obedience.
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22).
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for loving us so much. Each day when the sun rises, help us remember that Your Son rose from the dead. He Lives! God does not want anyone to perish, but rather, to receive the gift of eternal life through believing His Word and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Joyfully in Jesus’ name. Amen.
THIS MONTH'S RECIPE
Hearty Wholegrain Coffee Cake
2 cups Bisquick (all purpose biscuit mix)
2/3 cup milk
½ cup oats (uncooked, Old Fashioned or Quick)
2 Tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Combine all ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are moistened
2/3 cup oats (uncooked, Old Fashioned or Quick)
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup chopped nuts
¼ cup melted butter
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Mix all ingredients
Spread half of coffee cake batter into an 8” square baking dish.
Sprinkle half of topping over batter.
Layer remaining batter and topping.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean.
Serve warm with your choice of fruit. Enjoy!