Tag Archives: easter

New Beginnings…

17880052_10154855786119270_7133823541196787549_oWednesday was my last official day in the office at Frontline. Thursday was a self-proclaimed rest day– a day to detox, refresh my spirit, renew my mind, regroup my passions, dream and drive. The day started over breakfast with Bryan and Kyle at Tandem in TR. Then Bryan took Kyle, and I took off for the mountains. Just before I left, Bryan wisely encouraged me to take the day to rest–not to plan or organize, but to rest, reminding me that God Himself rested. And Jesus rested, not necessarily because he needed to, but to set a precedent for us. It was just the reminder I needed.

I thinks it funny how you return to familiar places during times of rest. I found myself at a familiar coffee shop called “Quotations” in downtown Brevard–a place Bryan and I frequented a decade or more ago when we were getting to know each other and dating in that town. Then I headed over to Hendersonville for lunch at Life Leaf Thai Fusion restaurant, followed by a massage at YAM (for what it’s worth, I highly recommend both of these! The Crispy Fish with Red Curry Sauce still lingers on my palate). On my way home, I drove through Flat Rock. I tried to stop at the Carl Sandburg Home, but the parking lot was completely full, so I’ll have to stop there another day.

Finally, I met up with Bryan back at Tandem in TR for a Passover Feast to celebrate Christ with dear friends. It was my first Seder Feast, and it was perfect! Even the tables were decorated with candlesticks and fresh red and white flowers–perfectly symbolizing the blood of Christ and the cleansing only He can bring. Praise God for sending our Redeemer Messiah in Jesus! The hosts weaved in a book of readings, including traditions and explanations, Scripture, hymns and spiritual songs, as we washed our hands in a common bowl and shared a common Seder plate (unleavened bread, greens dipped in salt water, lamb shank, bitter herbs, sweet relish, eggs dipped in salt water), followed by a traditional Jewish Passover feast. What a great way to kickoff this Easter weekend! His blood has paid my ransom!


Friday, I met up with my “frientor” (mentor/friend) Annette in downtown Greenville. We strolled through parks and drank coffee as we rehearsed all God has done and what we see Him doing in and through our hearts and minds in recent months. Praise be to Jesus!

I’m excited for new opportunities, fresh starts, good friends, and much grace from our Savior! “For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1.16).

Journey Journal: Days 88-91

Day 88: Friday, March 29, 2013

An amazing Good Friday service tonight at church, beginning the celebration of our Great Savior Jesus Christ! So thankful that my sins–all of them–have been nailed to the cross!

Day 89: Saturday, March 30, 2013

Left early for our drive to Ohio to spend Easter weekend with my family. Thank goodness for granola bars, bananas, nuts, and…Starbucks. Of course, the real reason for the trip was to meet my newest niece…who is so sweet and adorable, especially when she coos!

Day 90: Sunday, March 31, 2013

Went to church with my brother and his family, then shared Easter dinner with the whole family (except for my brother in law). Mom made a delicious ham topped with cherry jam, mashed sweet potatoes with brown sugar and pecans, butter-dill red potatoes, and a beautiful mixed greens salad. After dinner, dad pulled out the projector and old slides and we had some good, nostalgic laughs from the 80s and 90s. Finished up with some coffee and pie.


Easter Dinner

Day 91: Monday, April 1, 2013

Bryan and I had breakfast with mom and dad at Bob Evans. I spent the morning with my mom and sister, while Bryan graciously watched the nephews. Then spent the afternoon with my sister in law and her new baby! Dinner with my folks, sister and her family, followed by more time with my brother and his family in the evening. I’m thankful for the time to get to know my sister in law better.

“Love to the Uttermost: Devotional Readings for Holy Week” from John Piper

Desiring God Ministries has a free download available of a new devotional by John Piper. “Love to the Uttermost” provides a devotional reading for each day beginning with Palm Sunday and going through Easter Sunday. I’m looking forward to reading this, and thought you might find it to be a helpful resource as well.

Click on the image above to link to Desiring God’s page, where you can download a free PDF, EPUB (for Nook and iBooks), or MOBI (for Kindle) file.

Note: As I have not read this resource yet, I should qualify that opinions and doctrine expressed in the materials do not necessarily reflect my own.

Happy Easter from My Journey to Lean!

He is risen indeed!


I Peter 1:3-9 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Acts 2:36 “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

“Forever etched upon my mind is the look of Him who died–The Lamb I crucified, and now my life will sing the praise of pure atoning grace” (words by John Newton, adaptation and music by Bob Kauflin, Sovereign Grace.)

Happy Easter!

Preparing My Heart for Easter

We’ve always celebrated the triumphal entry of Christ on Palm Sunday at our local church. Many people read through the Scriptures that walk us through the Passion Week, while others watch “The Passion of the Christ” movie that came out several years ago. Churches hold services on Good Fridays, either between 1 and 3 p.m. (the hour that Christ died) or in the evenings (just after Christ was buried). We have an evening communion service to remember the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. It’s always a good reminder. And then comes a weekend of reflection and worship, concluded with Easter morning, when Christ rose from the dead, conquering death and hell and sin on our behalf forever! And we rejoice!

I have a tradition that I started back in college of listening to “The Majesty and Glory of the Resurrection” CD by Billy Ray Hearn & Tom Fettke in preparation for Easter. I would play it in my dorm room as I read my Bible and got dressed for Easter service. It’s a wonderful reminder of God’s love for me and sacrifice for all of us. You can download the CD for $7.99 on Amazon.


Meanwhile, I’m reading an article my brother recommended to me: “Tim Keller on the Resurrection,” by RelevantMagazine.com. Check it out here. I love the part where Tim says, “The resurrection was God’s way of stamping PAID IN FULL right across history so that nobody could miss it” and “The joy of your glory will be that much greater for every scar you bear. So live in the light of the resurrection and renewal of this world, and of yourself, in a glorious, never-ending, joyful dance of grace.”

Happy Easter!

Easter Dinner: Take One!

My sister and her family are joining us for Easter dinner this year. I broke down and bought a leg of lamb. Yum! We did a sample run on Thursday night to make sure this is what we wanted to do. We used the Harvest Lamb Roast recipe that I posted earlier (it works with a shoulder roast, but was definitely better with the leg of lamb). The sides will be different for the actual day, but here’s how it turned out:

On Thursday, Bryan wanted a more “traditional” dinner (aka meat, rice, and veggies), so we had the lamb with Creamed Corn, Collard Greens with Bacon, and Rice. For Easter, we will be having Roasted Purple Yams, Onion, and Carrots (roasted with the lamb), Sauteed Asparagus, and little cupcakes that we’re going to let the boys decorate to look like baby chickens! So much fun! Check out the concept from Martha Stewart Living here (picture below courtesy of Martha Stewart Living).

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Easter Lily
Homemade Croutons
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade Breads

From back: covered, unbaked cinnamon rolls; baked cinnamon rolls; homemade croutons; garlic cheddar sourdough bread; 2 pans of garlic, feta, spinach, artichoke, and roasted red pepper sourdough (one white flour, one wheat flour).

Good Friday Service: Beneath the Cross

Each year, our church has a Good Friday service. It’s a way to celebrate Christ’s death for our sins and prepare for Resurrection Sunday, commonly referred to as Easter. As Pastor Brooks said tonight, for those of us who know Christ, it is not just Good Friday; it is a Great Friday! Here’s the order of worship for tonight’s service:

Welcome and Scripture Reading

I Peter 2:21-25: “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you as an example, so that you might follow in His steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth. When he was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” ESV

Choir: “Beneath the Cross,” Text by Keith & Kristyn Getty

Beneath the cross of Jesus I find a place to stand,
And wonder at such mercy that calls me as I am;
For hands that should discard me hold wounds which tell me, “Come.”
Beneath the cross of Jesus My unworthy soul is won.

Beneath the cross of Jesus His family is my own—
Once strangers chasing selfish dreams, Now one through grace alone.
How could I now dishonor the ones that You have loved?
Beneath the cross of Jesus see the children called by God.

Beneath the cross of Jesus—The path before the crown—
We follow in His footsteps where promised hope is found.
How great the joy before us to be His perfect bride;
Beneath the cross of Jesus we will gladly live our lives.

Hymn: “Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed,” Text by Isaac Watts

Alas! and did my Savior bleed and did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?

Was it for crimes that I had done He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide and shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died, for man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face while His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness, and melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay the debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away ’tis all that I can do.

Prayer & Sermon by Pastor Brooks, “It Is Finished!”

John 19:28-30 is a shout of victory: “28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said,“It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
Christ was triumphant in that He was fully knowledgeable of God’s plan; Christ knew all along what it would take to complete the Father’s will and still did it for us. (See Psalm 69:19-21; Jn. 19:28-29.)
Christ was triumphant in that He fulfilled every word written of Him. He sacrificed Himself as THE Pascal Lamb; no other lamb will ever be required again. He was the final sacrifice once and for all. Our debt of sin is paid; the new covenant is mediated; once for all, He perfected those who are being sanctified.
As you partake in the Lord’s supper, eat & drink with awe and joy and gratitude. Do you struggle to believe God can remove all of your sin? Doubt no more! What more can you possibly add to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ that would make it more perfect? It is finished! Set aside your doubt! Receive Him by faith as the free gift that He is.
Maybe you’ve already trusted Jesus as your Savior but you don’t feel you measure up to His standard. Be assured: when you trusted Christ, at that moment, a legal standing was pronounced upon you, an eternal declaration made over you: perfectly righteous! On the practical side of life, we still mess up and we still to choose to sin at times, and we ask forgiveness and move on; that’s part of sanctification, God growing us to be more like Himself. But our position never once shakes or changes: we are justified, declared righteous, once and for all.

The Lord’s Table: The Bread

We remember Jesus’ body, broken for our sins, by breaking bread together.

Hymn: “His Robes for Mine,” Text by Chris Anderson

His robes for mine: O wonderful exchange!
Clothed in my sin, Christ suffered ‘neath God’s rage.
Draped in His righteousness, I’m justified.
In Christ I live, for in my place He died.


I cling to Christ, and marvel at the cost:
Jesus forsaken, God estranged from God.
Bought by such love, my life is not my own.
My praise-my all-shall be for Christ alone.

His robes for mine: what cause have I for dread?
God’s daunting Law Christ mastered in my stead.
Faultless I stand with righteous works not mine,
Saved by my Lord’s vicarious death and life.

His robes for mine: God’s justice is appeased.
Jesus is crushed, and thus the Father’s pleased.
Christ drank God’s wrath on sin, then cried “‘Tis done!”
Sin’s wage is paid; propitiation won.

His robes for mine: such anguish none can know.
Christ, God’s beloved, condemned as though His foe.
He, as though I, accursed and left alone;
I, as though He, embraced and welcomed home!

The Lord’s Table: The Cup

We remember Jesus’ blood, shed for our sins, by drinking the cup together.

Duet by Matt & Kate L.: “Here is Love,” Text by William Rees

Here is love vast as the ocean, loving kindness as the flood
When the Prince of life, our ransom, shed for us His precious blood
Who His love will not remember? Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten throughout Heaven’s eternal days.

On the Mount of Crucifixion, fountains opened deep and wide
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy, flowed a vast and gracious tide
Grace and love, like mighty rivers, poured incessant from above
And Heaven’s peace and perfect justice kissed a guilty world in love.

Let us all His love accepting, love Him ever all our days
Let us seek His Kingdom only and our lives be to His praise
He alone shall be our glory, nothing in the world we see
He has cleansed and sanctified us; He Himself has set us free.

In His truth He does direct me, by His Spirit through His Word
And His grace my need is meeting, as I trust in Him, my Lord
All His fullness He is pouring in His love and power in me
Without measure, full and boundless, as I yield myself to Thee.

Hymn: “The Power of the Cross,” Text by Stuart Townend

Oh, to see the dawn of the darkest day: Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men, Torn and beaten, then Nailed to a cross of wood.

This, the power of the cross: Christ became sin for us
Took the blame, bore the wrath—We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain written on Your face, bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Every bitter thought, every evil deed, crowning Your bloodstained brow.

Now the daylight flees, now the ground beneath quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two, dead are raised to life; “Finished!” the victory cry.

Oh, to see my name, written in the wounds, for through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death; Life is mine to live, won through Your selfless love.

This, the power of the cross: Son of God—slain for us.
What a love! What a cost! We stand forgiven at the cross.


Heritage Bible Church, Greer, SC, www.heritagebiblechurch.org.
Join us Sunday for Easter! Everyone welcome! Times and map at website link above.

Naturally Dyed Eggs

The following post comes from the Whole Foods Market blog:

How To Have An Egg-cellent Easter by Mercedes Vaughn,

March 27th, 2010

“The Do’s and Don’ts of Dyeing

There are two methods used when dyeing eggs: cold dipping and hot boiling. Cold dipping produces subtler, more translucent shades and is generally the preferred method for using multiple colors on the same egg. Hot boiling produces much more intense shades, but these eggs are for decoration only, not eating.

The instructions below are for dyeing using natural ingredients. This can be a fun project for the whole family but be warned that it can be messy and is quite involved if you want to create multiple colors. (If using premade dye, please follow the instructions on the packaging.)

For both methods, use four cups of the selected fruit or vegetable (or one tablespoon spice) to four cups of water and two tablespoons of vinegar to make the dye. Also, be sure to wash your uncooked eggs in mild soapy water to remove dirt or oil that might adversely affect the dye. Wear gloves so as not to stain your hands!

  • Cold Dipping – Boil eggs and refrigerate until ready to use. Bring dye ingredients to a boil and then simmer for 15-30 minutes. Strain dye and allow to cool to a comfortable warm temperature. Remove boiled eggs from refrigerator and dip for 5-10 minutes, until the egg has reached the desired color, then dry on paper towels or drying rack. Remember to rotate the eggs in the dye regularly to create even coloring. If overlapping shades, repeat after egg has dried.
  • Hot Boiling – Place both uncooked eggs and dye ingredients into a pot and bring to a rolling boil, then reduce to simmer for 20-30 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water and dry on paper towels or drying rack.

Creating Colors Naturally

Here are some ingredient suggestions to get you started. Have fun, experiment and be sure to cover your work area!

  • Yellow – Lemon or orange peels, carrots, celery seed
  • Gold – Turmeric
  • Orange – Paprika, cumin, chili powder, yellow onion skins
  • Red/Pink – Cranberries, beets, raspberries, radishes
  • Purple – Hibiscus tea
  • Blue/Lavender – Red cabbage, blueberries, blackberries, purple or red grape juice
  • Green – Spinach leaves
  • Brown/Beige – Coffee, tea, walnuts
  • Keeping Your Creations Edible

    If you’re anything like me, then you’ll not only be enjoying the visual beauty of these eggs, but also their sheer scrumptiousness! With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to enjoy these holiday treats safely.

    Keep uncooked eggs in the refrigerator until absolutely necessary in the preparation process. Eggs with visible cracks after boiling and/or dyeing may be eaten, but should be kept in the refrigerator and not used in an egg hunt or placed on display. Also, since eggs may have fine cracks you’re not able to see, it’s always a good idea to hide them in places protected from dirt and other sources of bacteria.

    Most importantly, remember to only keep cooked eggs you intend on eating out of the refrigerator for a maximum of two hours. That includes hiding and hunting. Any longer than that and the eggs are no longer safe to consume.

    Lastly, all eggs should be eaten within one week, so try not to dye any more than you can manage.”

    Check out the full article for links to egg recipes.

    Here’s another blog that shows how to naturally dye eggs: http://jeannewinters.blogspot.com/2009/03/jesus-easter-eggs.html. I can’t wait to try this out. Maybe we’ll bring the stuff in for our Sunday School class this week…if I’m brave enough.

    “Jesus!” Easter Egg Display