Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Prince of Peace

Prince of Peace, by Akiane Kramarik
I recently discovered this painting while reading Heaven is for Real, by Todd Burpo. This portrait of Jesus Christ was painted by an 8-year-old girl. I am awed and inspired by her talent and her faith. If you'd like to know more, I recommend reading the book. Sarah and I went to see the film on Friday. It was good movie, and I do recommend it, but in some ways I feel it lost some of the message shared by the Burpo family in their book, based on their experiences.
Reading the book, seeing the movie, and finding this painting during the week before Easter was a timely reminder to me of our focus for the Easter holiday. I am so grateful for the sacrifice of a perfect man, a Savior, who knows me by name, feels my sorrows, lifts me during the dark times, and loves me enough that He willingly suffered and died for me.
Because of Him, I have hope for peace in this life and a fullness of joy in the next.

Easter Morning, 20 April 2014

On Sunday morning we attended a spiritually rich stake conference in church. Most of the speakers addressed the example set by our Savior and encouraged us to follow in His footsteps, learning to love and serve as He did. All of God's children need to feel loved and accepted, whatever their challenges. We each need to know we are worthwhile and precious in His sight.

Dylan, age 16

And, of course, after being spiritually fed and lifted, we enjoyed the traditional Easter fun and family time that makes the holiday a bonding experience!

Jacob, age 22

Sarah, age 24, and Chris, age 36

Shera, age 30

Ryan, age 29

On Sunday evening we were thrilled to be joined by Danielle's family for Easter dinner. Her dad was out of town and her brother Stirling has just a few weeks left before he returns from his missionary service, but the rest of the crew was there! We enjoyed visiting with her mom Julie, her 18-year-old sister Jordan, and her 25-year-old brother Nathan. Together, we chowed down on a traditional ham dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, green salad, macaroni and cheese, and peach beverage.

Left to right: Ryan, Jacob, Danielle, Nathan, Jordan, Julie, Dylan, Sarah, and Chris.
Poor Shera slept through dinner!

We had a memorable day, filled with uplifting messages, family, food, and fun. And that's what it's all about!

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