The Greatest Gift

A friend gave me a small purple purse this evening. It was wrapped beautifully and was accompanied by a sweet note in a card. She told me the bag is for collecting blessings—things I’m thankful for, Scripture verses that are special to me, memories of answered prayers, or evidence of God’s working in my life. The whole family can get involved, and then we can read the notes we’ve collected when we celebrate Thanksgiving.

Each day, I’m grateful to see the beauty of nature behind our house, hear the melody of birds, and enjoy the glory that accompanies the setting sun. Each day I marvel at all the ways God has blessed me. But lately, I’ve been especially thankful for the best gift of all—the gift of Jesus and His salvation that He offers freely to all who believe in Him and ask Him to live inside them and be Lord of their lives.

To me, Easter—or Resurrection Day, which is coming up soon—is the most joyous day of the year, because it means we can live eternally with the One who loves us best. This month our online TV shows focus on this wonderful truth: we serve a risen Savior—God manifested in the flesh in Jesus Christ.

What are you thankful for? Is Easter just another holiday for eating sweets and having fun? Or is it, as it is meant to be, the glorious commemoration of God’s power that raised Jesus from the dead, of His mercy that doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, and of His grace that gives believers hope and the promise of heaven? I hope this year, it will be for you a celebration of the best gift of all.

Patty Makes Panorama Eggs, Part 1

Panorama Eggs

Patty shows us how to make Panorama eggs for our Resurrection Day celebrations. This would be a fun family craft any time of the year. for other occasions, use different shapes and decorate accordingly. This is part one, where Patty demonstrates how to make the sugar shell for the decorative eggs. The recipe can be found here. Part 2 can be found here.

A Baby Needing a Heart Transplant

Our church is praying for a four-month-old baby who needs a heart transplant. As I prayed for that little one and her parents, I couldn’t help but cry inside, for no matter what the outcome, one family will have to experience a painful loss. If the child doesn’t receive a transplant she could die, and if she does, then another child will have died.

We might wonder why God would allow such pain, why little ones have to suffer at all. Yet as believers, we know His wisdom extends far beyond anything we could imagine. He promises in His Word, the Bible, that all things—not some, but all—work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). If we have been Christians long, we realize (and have probably experienced) that God uses pain to help us grow. The Bible tells us He uses everything we go through to make us more like Jesus (Rom. 8:29).

Believers who experience intense emotional or even great physical pain will reach the point where we can genuinely thank God for it—if we lean on Him instead of blaming Him. Who are we to question the Almighty anyway? His ways are not our ways. We are mortal. He is immortal. He knows and understands all—past, present, and future. Our understanding equals next to nothing in comparison. Yet in His incredible love, He uses our pain to draw us closer to His heart.

The world we live in has been tainted because of sin. There will always be troubles in life, some much worse than others. The only solution still remains to go to the cross where we find the One who suffered unfathomable pain as He gave His all for us. As we draw near to Him, He draws us closer to Himself. And just as it did for the disciples on that Resurrection morning, our joy will return—even in the midst of pain. Then no one will be able to take away our joy (John 16:22), because it will be founded not in our circumstances, but in Him.