He Is Risen!

In the span of one week, Jesus rewrote the story of man and what an awesome story it still is!

The words of one of my favorite hymns puts it into perspective in the best way possible:

Because He Lives, I can face tomorrow.

Because He Lives, all fear is gone.

Because I know He holds the future.

And life is worth the living just because He lives!

Easter has always been a special time for me and my family. As a young child, we celebrated Easter by attending sunrise service and enjoying a time of fellowship with our church family during an early morning breakfast and Sunday school. We got up extra early on Easter Sunday so that we could make it to church before sunrise. It was always interesting to see the ladies and young girls arriving in their beautiful Easter dresses as well as the young boys and men arriving in colorful shirts and ties. A few of the older ladies of the church would wear gorgeous hats and gloves that coordinated with their outfits. I always loved to see them walk in!

As folks arrived, they would make their way to the area outside near cemetery and the old wooden crosses where the service was held. It was serene. No noise. No cell phones. No chatter. In the background, you could hear the sound of birds, but even they seemed to have reverence and all was peaceful during this time of worship. Our pastor would share the story of the cross and how on the third day, Jesus rose again. The message of the resurrection is a powerful one and once a person truly understands the meaning of it and takes it to heart, their lives are never the same.

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Easter weekend at our church included several activities. It all began the day before Easter with the Annual Easter Egg Hunt. This was such an exciting day because who doesn’t like to hunt Easter eggs in an old cemetery? Shortly after the egg hunt, we were served lunch and then there were cupcakes and cookies, my favorite part! Those were fun times!

Phyllis and Darrell - Circa 1980 something

Easter at Deep Creek was a bit like homecoming because folks came out of the woodwork to attend sunrise service and breakfast. Members of the fellowship committee arrived by 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. to begin cooking up one of the best meals of the entire year. It was always a feast! Bacon, sausage, eggs, grits, homemade biscuits, jelly, fruit, you name it!

As soon as sunrise service was over, we would head inside the church. The second we entered the doors, we would get a whiff of the scents coming from the kitchen. There is nothing quite like the combined smell of bacon, sausage and coffee at 6:00 in the morning! I am getting excited just thinking about it!

My mama and her brother.

Not sure what year this is, but do you see the Easter baskets?

Things at church would wrap up pretty early on Easter Sunday, so we always went home and took a nap! Once we caught up on our sleep, we would begin preparing our family’s Easter meal. Of course, ham was on the menu, along with potato salad, green beans and rolls. Dessert was usually something that contained spring time flavors such as lemon, banana or strawberry.

Strawberries are my favorite fruit and I can eat them plain, drenched in milk, sliced in juice, baked in a cake or covered in chocolate! As a matter of fact, I really don’t know how to mess up strawberries. I just like them.

This strawberry cake is very moist, and so easy to make. The base of it begins with a cake mix. Yes, I said a cake mix! What makes this cake really awesome, however, are the fresh strawberries and buttermilk added to the mix to create a rich, velvety cake. No one will know it came from a box unless YOU tell them!

This is called a half-naked cake because the outside edges are not covered with icing. Of course, you can cover it, if you wish, but I chose not to because I love the fresh flavor of the strawberries in the cake and the buttercream on top is just enough that it does not overpower the cake and creamy filling. The filling is made from cream cheese, butter and whipped topping, so it provides a light and fluffy texture to the center of the cake. One bite and you will be hooked!

Happy Easter!

Half-Naked Strawberry Cake

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