What’s Sweeter than Jelly Beans?

Don’t you love a good Easter basket? It’s not the pinnacle of a holy celebration of course, but those colorful baskets filled with goodies sure can be part of the family fun. Chocolate, jelly beans, Peeps, oh my! As parents we love to watch our kiddos discover their special stash of treats. We treasure their smiles and giggles, which add a big dose of joy to an already joy-filled holiday.




Do our kids really need all that candy? No way. So lots of moms and dads opt to let the kids nosh on a few extra sweets Easter Day—in the spirit of festivity—but then? The rationing begins. We gather up the candy and stash it in the cupboard. We create rules around it. Only one piece per day! Only after you’ve eaten your broccoli! Only if you brush your teeth immediately, do you hear me??


Cruel parents! To give a gift and then to take it back! To limit it, cache it, demand our children to earn it!


Aren’t you glad God does not do that to us?


“For God so loved the world, he gave his one and only son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).


God loves us. So He gave us a sweet gift—Jesus. That’s the reason for those Easter baskets in the first place. Christ’s death and resurrection mean we have eternal life. And nothing can take it away from us.


“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38–39).


God’s love is so much better than chocolate. We can’t possibly consume too much of it. Chances are by the end of next week, our children will have mostly forgotten about their Easter candy. But they will still know our love. And they will still know that Jesus lived, died, and rose for them, long after we’ve wiped their sticky faces clean.


Isn’t that great news?


Happy Easter, everyone. May you know the sweet love of your Savior—and rejoice in His redemptive work on the cross for you.

“He Is Risen” Easter Banner

For some people, Easter is all about the bunny and the eggs. And who doesn’t love a good handful of jelly beans? But for the Christian family, some simple touches can proclaim the true story of Easter to all who enter your home. Try this lovely (and surprisingly simple) DIY banner, perfect for a mantle, large window, entryway or wall. He is risen indeed!


Supply List:

  • 6 sheets of cardstock paper
  • 6 different fabrics, at least 4 ½” by 9”
    A great way to use scraps, you can use 11 different fabrics (4 ½” square of each)
  • 2 sheets of white felt or cardstock
  • ½ yd fusible webbing
  • 3 yd ribbon or jute twine
  • Fabric glue


Create the pattern for this project using a computer and a printer. For this example, we used:

Microsoft Word

Landscape layout

“Cambri” Font in BOLD

Size: 400


Print the following letters for your pattern: H, E, I, S, R, N. You can fit two on a page.

For the crosses, choose one from free clipart and size it to approximately the same size as the letters (about 3 to 3 ½” tall).


Print each letter (cardstock works best) and one cross and then cut them out of the paper. Carefully cut out the letters/crosses and set them aside. (Hint: If you are picky about not seeing any pen marks on your letters, you can trace them right-side DOWN onto the felt. Then, when you cut them out you can flip them over and the “clean” side will be up.)

These are your patterns. Trace them on the felt until you have all the letters you need for the words, “HE IS RISEN” and two crosses.

Cut the card stock into (11) 5 ½” squares. Set aside.

Trace eleven 4 ½” squares onto the fusible webbing. The easiest way to do that is to cut a 4 ½” square out of cardboard or chipboard (cereal box). Then just trace 11 squares. Cut out squares, leaving a margin around your marks. You want to wait to trim it exactly until after you iron it onto the fabric.

Iron each square of webbing onto the fabric. Decide how many of each color you want and then iron on accordingly. THEN, trim around your 4 ½” square marks.

Peel off the paper backing and iron one fabric square onto one of the cardstock squares. Repeat until you have all 11 cards done.


Now the really fun part: shuffle your cards until they are in an order you like. Try laying the cards out in a long line, placing felt letters on as you go. When you’re satisfied with the arrangement, glue down the letters. If you are using cardstock, you have a lot of choices of glue, even Elmer’s. However, if you are using felt, you will need fabric glue. (Hot glue is not recommended. It can bleed onto the front.)

Determine where you plan to display the banner. Hang a piece of long ribbon and let it drape. Add about 1 ft. to tie hooks for hanging. This is approximately the length of your ribbon. (You can always trim later!)


Now fasten the letter cards to the ribbon. Place the first cross card about 6” from the end of your ribbon. Place each card in order— about 1” between the cards and about 3” for the spaces. You have two options:

Sew: Use your sewing machine and stitch about ¼” from the edge of the card, with the ribbon tucked underneath. Be sure to sew through both the card and the ribbon.

Glue: If you prefer (or if you don’t have a sewing machine), you can glue the ribbon to back.

To hang, make a loop on each end and tie a knot. Removable 3M hooks are great for hanging this project!

Now, stand back and enjoy your work. Each time you see it you can remember the cross, the cost and the celebration: HE IS RISEN

Why Sacrifice?

When I was a kid, I dreaded Lent. I knew my mom was going to expect me to give up something delicious like chocolate or popcorn or complaining about my sister. Six whole weeks of deprivation! Seriously? What torture! Back then I counted the days, the hours ‘til Easter—not because I was eager to celebrate Jesus but rather because woo hoo!! I could finally dig my teeth into a Cadbury egg.

Hmm. Is that how we want our kids to appreciate the resurrection?

I don’t think so.

This Ash Wednesday, rather than arbitrarily assigning your children—and yourself—the task of “giving up” some desired thing, why not have a meaningful discussion about the why? Why do we sacrifice? What’s the whole point? Is it really torture or could it be—gasp!—enjoyable?

Here are three valuable talking points to discuss around the dinner table tonight.

  1. Sacrifice is a good thing. I know it doesn’t always feel good to give up something you want. But it makes God happy. Why? Because the world is not all about “me.” God wants us to think about other people. He designed humans to be in relationships with each other, and every time we practice thinking less about “me” and “my wants” and more about God and others, we grow up. We become more spiritually mature.

“not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:4, NIV).

  1. Jesus sacrificed a whole lot more than we ever will. You think it’s hard to give up chocolate? Imagine giving up your life—on a cross. Making little sacrifices on Earth is one small way we can say “thank you” to Jesus for dying for us.

    God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—  he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:25–26, NIV).

  1. Sacrifice is not actually the point. God says there’s something more important than giving up a favorite candy or television show. Do you know what it is?

    Loving Him.

And how do we show God that we love Him? We obey Him (John 14:21).

But wait! How do we obey Him? Oh boy, this the fun part! The Bible is filled with ideas on how to obey God. We obey Him when we love other people (John 13:35), when we act kind and compassionate (Ephesians 4:32), when we’re honest (Ephesians 4:25), when we share (Luke 3:11), when we sing (Colossians 3:16), and so much more! Spend some time as a family this Lenten season exploring passages in the Bible that talk about the many ways we can love/obey God. That activity alone will keep you busy ‘til Easter.

To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” (Proverbs 21:3, NIV).

One final thought. This year for Lent, rather than “giving up” a treat, consider encouraging your children to share it instead. For example, let your daughter buy that pack of gum, but only if she gives half to her little sister. And when little sister receives her favorite magazine in the mail, let her older sis read it first. And so on. This will teach them the value of both sacrifice and giving simultaneously—two behaviors that grow Godly character and make life more interesting for everyone.

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16, NIV).




His perfect, unpredictable ways

His perfect, unpredictable ways

On Good Friday, a couple thousand years ago, hope was lost.

Maybe yours is today too.

God’s ways don’t always make perfect sense to us.

But they are always perfect.

Good Friday seemed like the end, but it wasn’t.

Sometimes God’s ways are mysterious, other times so clear.

Whether you’re in the dark, or walking in Resurrection Sunday clarity, you can trust our God.

For some reassurance that God is still at work, click here…

by Jennifer Ebenhack

Easter with Your Faithgirlz

Easter Blog

Easter is only a few days away!

If your household is at all similar to ours, we often struggle to think up a few last-minute crafts, decorations and recipes to make the day special and help impart the significance of this Holy Week to our kids. To assist in your scramble (Easter… eggs… scramble… get it?!), we’ve put together the list below to help get your creative juices flowing!

Enjoy this time with your family and develop traditions for years to come.



TRADITIONS (New takes on old favorites)

More on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/zkidzfaithgirlz/easter-creations/



After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”


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