Sunday, October 11, 2020

Sukkot 5781 Reflections

 

 

The golden rain is falling at Golden Cottage.  So appropriate for Sukkot -- the time of our rejoicing.  I love this holiday and I love sitting in the sukkah and watching the golden rain fall around me. The photo below shows the heavy "rainfall".  It covers the ground -- and it reminds me of the manna that fell daily for the children of Israel when they left Egypt.  Here's some music about this holiday for your enjoyment as you read:  Sukkot Song by Steve McConnell

Jem and I love to sit in the sukkah and remember all the blessings that fall on us daily.  We're blessed to have family nearby and enjoyed celebrating our grandson's birthday in the sukkah this year.  It's hard to believe he's already eleven!  Where did the years go?  He's such a sweet boy, and he's such a joy!



This year, Jem used elephant ear leaves and palm fronds to cover the top of the sukkah.  This was a great idea because not so much golden rain fell inside. But we had some blossoms get through -- and we could still see the stars through the roof.   I love seeing the little flowers fall on my journal .

It rained a lot last week, so I spent more time on the porch than in the sukkah.  I had some wonderful times of stillness as I looked out over Golden Pond, watching and listening to the birds, butterflies, and bees.  I'm so blessed.


As I was still, reflecting, and praying, I felt Adonai encouraging me to leave the sukkah up for a while, so we will.  He also impressed on me to use it as a prayer place. 

Adonai showed me some other things about the days ahead, and I'll share those in a post later this week.

Blessings and shalom to you, Gail-Friends

*** If you're not familiar with Sukkot, just click on Sukkot in the labels area to the right





Monday, September 28, 2020

Yom Kippur 5781 Reflections

 

Greetings, Gail-Friends: 

I'm writing this post at the end of the fast for Yom Kippur.  Our service last night was so wonderful.  



Our observance was serious and solemn and yet joyful at the same time.  We reflected on and confessed our sins and then rejoiced in the redemption of Yeshua Ha Mashiach through His blood sacrifice.  I'm so grateful that we don't have to bring a sacrifice to be burned (see the graphic at the top of this post).  We also rejoiced in the Torah, God's wonderful gift to us! 

Each year we do this.  It's always convicting to read the list of sins and to be reminded of how sin can sneak in so easily.  I confess that murmuring and complaining are still my besetting sins.  Most of this happens when I watch the news. 

I pray to be like my husband, Rabbi Jem, who laughs at the things they say.  He laughs because he knows that Hashem says their time is coming.  I have to remember that and pray for Him to bring the evil ones to justice.  My part is to pray.  God has allowed all of this to happen - the plague, the attack on our country, the horrible murders and violence in the streets, the attacks on police, and the attacks on our president. 

Yom Kippur tells me to take a whole day to seek God's face and to fast and pray.  I not only fasted from food, but also the internet and television.  As I did this today, I read the Proverb of the day.  These verses stood out to me:

 He who conceals his sins will not succeed;
    he who confesses and abandons them will gain mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)

Oh, how I praise Adonai for his patience and mercy with me as I've journeyed through this earth.  I would be so lost without Him.

As I reflected on the evil in the world lately, this verse encouraged me:

 Those who abandon Torah praise the wicked,
    but those who keep Torah fight them. (Proverbs 28:4)

I'm reminded that my obedience to Torah is a weapon that brings power to my prayers. 

And this verse humbles me in my prayer life:

 If a person will not listen to Torah,
    even his prayer is an abomination. (Proverbs 28:13)

During our Torah service, we always parade the Torah as a reminder that His Word is important.  It has been preserved for thousands of years by faithful men and women who treasured it and protected it and most important obeyed it.  


As the scroll passes by, we touch it (with our siddurs) and then touch our lips -- a reminder that His Word is sweet, like honey to our lips.  

 

We follow the scroll with our eyes and bodies, not turning our backs on it.  This is a physical reminder that we are to follow it, obey it, and never turn away from it.



While the scroll is being paraded, we sing this song.  I hope you'll listen and read the words as they are very moving.:  Ancient Words

Another song I reflect on during Yom Kippur is Teshuvah, which means to repent / return to Torah.  I hope you'll listen and reflect on the words of the song:  Teshuvah

To learn more about Yom Kippur, just click on the label on the right of the blog.

We're going on now to Sukkot - our holiday of JOY!  We'll be building the sukkah on Wednesday and I'll show you how it turned out!  I'll also show you our celebrations during the eight days of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Blessings and shalom to you all, dear Gail-Friends!


** image used by permission from A Little Perspective.com

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Promises Made - Promises Kept

 

 Good Morning Dear Gail-Friends!

I'm sure that, like me, you are praying for our country and especially for the upcoming election.  We are at a crossroads in America, friends.  We have a choice of going forward as free people or bowing to a Socialist, Communist, New-World Order that rejects our Constitution.  

If you only listen to or watch the mainstream media, you will not know the following things about our current president, Donald J. Trump.  He has made promises to us and he has kept those promises.  Here's a list of his accomplishments:

President Donald J. Trump's Accomplishments 
(please note -- this is "only" within the last six months of 2020.  For a full list, visit the website Promises Kept.)

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that 42 states and one U.S. territory signed the PREVENTS state proclamation pledging to prioritize suicide prevention for Veterans and all citizens.09.11.20
 
President Trump announced that Bahrain struck a deal to normalize relations with Israel, further reshaping alliances in the Middle East.09.11.20
 
The Trump administration issued guidance to allow state-licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 vaccines expanding convenient access to Americans.09.09.20
 
President Trump signed an executive order to ban oil drilling off the coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, safeguarding the State’s shores and protecting critical jobs.09.08.20
Job growth marked the 4th largest gain in American history, 2.5 times better than any month under the Obama-Biden administration.09.04.20
 
The Administration announced the first comprehensive cybersecurity policy for systems used in outer space and near space, enhancing the nation’s cyber defenses in space.09.04.20
 
President Trump announced that Serbia and Kosovo have committed to economic normalization due to the Administration’s action.09.04.20
 
The Trump administration awarded $10 million to Copan Industries Inc, to expand the domestic production capacity of flock tip swabs to 14.4 million per month in support of COVID-19 testing.09.02.20
 
The Trump Administration announced foreclosure protection for displaced families and those affected by Hurricane Laura.09.01.20
 
The Trump Administration announced the award of nearly $72 million in support of carbon capture technologies.09.01.20
 
The United Arab Emirates formally abolished its 40-year boycott of Israel law, allowing UAE companies and individuals to trade directly with Israel.08.31.20
 
The Trump Administration extended the summer free meal program through the end of December, ensuring that all children have access to nutritious food as the U.S. recovers from the pandemic.08.31.20
 
The Trump Administration announced the OneRD Guarantee Loan Initiative to encourage private investments in rural communities across the United States.08.31.20
 
The Trump administration announced that the Military Spouse Employment Partnership rose by more than 22%, with 175,000 military spouses securing jobs through the program.08.27.20
 
The Administration awarded a $760 million contract to Abbott for delivery of 150 million rapid tests in the United States and potentially deploy testing to schools and other populations.08.27.20
 
The Administration announced an additional $1 billion for the Farmers to Families Food Box program to help farmers, distributors, and American families from the impacts from the coronavirus.08.25.20
 
President Trump signed an executive order to revitalize communities and invest federal resources in distressed areas, including opportunity zones which will save taxpayer dollars.08.25.20
 
The Trump administration announced the release of 1.5 million N95 respirators to 3,336 nursing home facilities, and the distribution of about $2.5 billion to increase testing, staffing, and PPE.08.25.20
 
The Trump administration announced that the USDA is investing $46 million to improve critical community facilities to benefit 363,000 rural residents.08.24.20
 
The Trump administration provided $15 million in funding opportunities to support socially disadvantaged veteran farmers and ranchers in an effort to help them successfully own and operate farms.08.21.20
 
The Trump administration announced the use of the Defense Production Act to apply priority rate order for contracts with Becton Dickinson and Quidel Corporation.08.20.20
 
Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, announced a new grant program that will assist higher education emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and provide expanded educational opportunities for students.08.19.20
 
The Trump administration announced their partnership with OnStar’s emergency services to improve access to current suicide prevention resources for Veterans.08.17.20
 
The Trump administration entered a $750,000 agreement with Plasma Technologies, LLC, to develop and optimize a process to produce higher yielding anti-COVID-19 immune serum for manufacturing.08.17.20
 
The Trump administration announced that they will be distributing $1.4 billion in relief funds to certain children’s hospitals to assist with the coronavirus impact.08.14.20
 
The Trump administration announced that the McKesson Corporation will be a central distributor for the future COVID-19 vaccines and related supplies needed to administer the vaccine.08.14.20
 
Due to the Trump administration’s coronavirus response, the fatality rate for Americans over the age of 70 has declined by about 85%.08.13.20
 
President Trump announced that Israel and the United Arab Emirates will fully normalize their diplomatic relations as part of a historic deal called the Abraham Accord, led by Trump’s Administration.08.13.20
 
The Trump administration announced a $371 million investment to improve rural electric infrastructure across 11 states.08.13.20
 
President Trump signed four executive orders to provide coronavirus relief including $400-per-week to out-of-work Americans, student loan relief, and eviction protection for renters and homeowners.08.08.20
 
The Trump administration has awarded more than $400 million in grants to end Veteran homelessness.08.07.20
 
President Trump signed an executive order increasing American Production for essential medical supplies and reducing the U.S. reliance on foreign producers of medicines.08.06.20
 
President Trump signed an executive order expanding access to telehealth services in order to ensure rural Americans access to healthcare.08.03.20
 
President Trump signed an executive order to prevent Americans from being displaced by foreign workers and offshore labor by using federal action to put American workers first. 08.03.20
 
The Department of Homeland Security announced an extension of its partnership with national pharmacy and grocery retail chains to continue to provide access to COVID-19 testing.07.30.20
 
The Trump Administration announced that the Department of Veteran Affairs has successfully reduced prescription opioid use in patients within the VA health care system by 64%.07.30.20
 
President Trump announced that export authorizations for liquefied natural will go through 2050 and signed four permits for pipeline and rail transport of fossil fuels.07.29.20
 
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy released its 2020 Drug-Free Communities report finding that the Trump administration’s Drug-Free Communities Program lowered youth substance use.07.27.20
 
President Trump signed four executive orders to ensure that Americans are receiving the lowest price possible for their prescription drugs.07.24.20
 
The Department of Defense awarded a $4.9 million contract to Pall Corporation to increase industrial base expansion for medical ventilator components.07.23.20
 
The Trump administration’s agreement with U.S. based Pfizer will produce 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine, and once developed, the government can acquire an additional 500 million doses.07.22.20
 
The Department of Health and Human Services announced it will distribute $10 billion in a second round of high impact COVID-19 area funding to hospitals.07.17.20
 
The Environmental Protection Agency finalized 64 deregulatory actions, saving around $94 billion while combined emissions of criteria pollutants and their precursors dropped 7% under President Trump.07.16.20
 
The Trump administration announced it has saved $90 billion in regulatory costs to the economy and consumers. 07.16.20
 
The Administration allocated $400 million in coronavirus funding to enhance the VA’s emergency relief response for homeless Veterans or those at risk of homelessness during the coronavirus pandemic.07.16.20
 
The Administration announced an initiative to distribute faster COVID-19 testing to nursing homes in hotspots in the United States to help nursing home residents and staff. 07.14.20
 
President Trump enacted an executive order on the White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative to improve access to education, training, and economic opportunities for Hispanic American students.07.09.20
 
The Trump administration announced a $1.6 billion agreement with Novavax Inc. to demonstrate commercial-scale manufacturing of the company’s COVID-19 investigational vaccine.07.07.20
 
The Trump administration announced the launch of the REACH program, a national public health campaign aimed to empower all Americans to play a critical role in preventing suicide.07.07.20
 
The Trump administration announced that 20 U.S. small businesses in 14 states will receive more than $3 million to research and develop innovative solutions to our nation’s transportation challenges.07.06.20
 
President Trump’s United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement trade deal will potentially add up to 588,000 jobs and grow U.S. GDP by $235 billion.07.01.20
 
The Trump administration launched a $3 million public safety campaign to combat child vehicular heatstroke deaths across the country.07.01.20
 
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Homeland Security and the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency distributed over 346 million masks for critical workers.06.29.20
 
President Trump ordered testing of more than 500,000 Americans each day which will soon be equivalent to 30 million people in the United States.06.25.20
 
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid announced guidelines for states on how to adopt a payment design and implement determinants for health beneficiaries, especially for those dually-eligible.06.22.20
 
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a new commission, the Independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes aimed to review the impact of the virus.06.19.20
 
The Trump administration announced plans to invest $906 million in the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America discretionary grant program to improve communities and safety, and support economic growth.06.18.20
 
The Administration awarded $107.2 million to increase the health workforce in underserved communities to improve the quality, distribution, and diversity of health professionals in the United States.06.18.20
 
The Trump administration extended contracts from the first round of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program to help fill the hunger gap in communities across the country.06.17.20
 
The Department of Health and Human Services awarded $8 million to 73 organizations that will expand coronavirus training and technical assistance to federally funded health centers nationwide.06.11.20
 
The Trump Administration announced a nationwide extension allowing local partners who served free meals to kids during the health crisis to continue this summer, regardless of where the kids live.06.10.20
 
President Trump enacted an executive order delegating authority under the Defense Production Act to make meat packing facilities operate at more than 95% capacity, compared to 2019.06.09.20
 
President Trump’s efforts to save jobs and reopen the economy led to the U.S. labor market adding 2.5 million jobs in May, including 225,000 manufacturing jobs and 464,000 construction jobs.06.05.20
 
The Trump administration distributed more than 5 million food boxes in an effort to support American farmers and families who have been affected by the coronavirus.06.04.20
The Trump administration approved more than $545 million in payments to producers who applied for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.06.04.20
 
The Department of Health and Human Services announced a task order to provide $628 million to contract with Emergent BioSolutions advancing capabilities for a potential coronavirus vaccine.06.01.20
 
The Trump Administration announced that 15.5 million cloth facial coverings would be sent to the transportation workforce.05.28.20
 
The Federal Communications Commission’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program approved funding for 185 health care providers in 38 states and Washington, D.C.05.28.20
 
The USDA announced $1 billion in loan guarantees available to rural businesses to meet working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic.05.22.20
 
The USDA provided assistance to producers of agriculture commodities who suffered a 5% or greater price decline due to the coronavirus.05.22.20
 
The Department of Health and Human Services announced $225 million in funding for Rural Health Clinics to support coronavirus testing efforts.05.20.20
 
The Trump Administration announced the framework and leadership for “Operation Warp Speed” in effort to accelerate the development of a coronavirus vaccine.05.15.20
 
The Department of Health and Human Services announced $5 million in new funding to support coronavirus research related activities.05.14.20
 
The Department of Health and Human Services awarded $15 million to 159 organizations across five health workforce programs increasing telehealth capabilities during the coronavirus pandemic.05.13.20
 
The Department of Health and Human Services announced the process to deliver the drug Remdesivir, which will be used to treat coronavirus patients in areas that have been hit hardest.05.09.20
 
The Department of Health and Human Services awarded $583 million to 1,385 HRSA funded health centers in all 50 states, DC, and eight territories, aimed to expand coronavirus testing.05.07.20
 
The USDA and the CDC worked with state and local officials to ensure the availability of a stable supply of protein for American consumers, while keeping employees safe.05.06.20
 
The Trump administration initiated the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program worth $175 billion, reaching 2.2 million small businesses.05.03.20
 
The Trump administration announced that the Office of Minority Health would invest up to $40 million in state and local organizations, strengthening efforts to test for COVID-19 and provide services.05.01.20
 
The Trump administration announced that the Department of Health and Human Services processed payments from the Provider Relief Fund for hospitals and rural providers responding to COVID-19.05.01.20
 
The Trump administration announced the launch of a new COVID-19 Uninsured Program Portal in an effort to cover testing and treatment for uninsured individuals.04.27.20
 
The USDA announced a 40% increase in SNAP benefits to ensure that low-income families have enough food during the COVID-19 pandemic.04.22.20
 
President Trump directed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response to release a toolkit, maximizing resources based on each state’s needs.04.22.20T
 
The Department of Education announced an additional $6.2 billion in funding for higher education institutions during the COVID-19 crisis.04.21.20The Department of Health and Human Services announced an expedited process to release emergency grants for treatment of substance use disorders and mental illnesses during the COVID-19 crisis.04.20.20
 
The Department of Transportation announced an additional $10 billion for commercial and general aviation airports, funding operations and saving workers’ jobs during the COVID-19 crisis.04.14.20 
 
The U.S. Border Patrol Chief announced 158 miles of the wall completed, 192 miles under construction, and 403 miles in pre-construction, fulfilling the President’s promise to secure the border.04.13.20
 
The USDA released a resource guide with programs that can provide assistance to rural communities affected by COVID-19, fulfilling the President’s promise to support rural America.04.13.20
 
The Department of Education announced a new process, providing funding flexibilities to states to best meet the needs of students and educators during the COVID-19 pandemic.04.06.20
 
The Department of Health and Human Services announced that the CDC is providing $186 million to fund resources to state and local jurisdictions to combat COVID-19.04.06.20
 
The Department of Health and Human Services announced that state, tribal, and territorial health labs will have access to ID Now, providing COVID-19 test results in under 13 minutes.04.06.20
 
The Small Business Administration launched the Paycheck Protection Program, a $349 billion emergency loan program, created after President Trump’s signature on the CARES Act.04.03.20
 
Directed by the Trump Administration, the USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship, arrived in New York City, providing up to 1,000 beds and freeing up beds at hospitals focused on combating COVID-19.03.30.20
 
President Trump signed a relief bill to mitigate the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. economy and aid areas in the U.S. that have been the most affected by the virus.03.27.20
 
Under the direction of the Trump Administration, the U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Mercy arrived In Los Angeles to help relieve local hospitals that have been overburdened by COVID-19.03.27.20
 
The Department of Education announced the halt of collection and wage garnishments, providing flexibility for “at least 60 days” due to the COVID-19 national emergency.03.25.20
 
President Trump ordered the National Guard to mobilize under Title-32 in three states hit hard by COVID-19, allowing the Federal Government to pay for the troops with direction from state governors.03.22.20
 
The Department of Homeland Security announced restrictions of all non- essential travel across the U.S.- Mexico border due to the mitigating of COVID-19.03.20.20
 
The Department of Homeland Security announced the restriction of all non-essential travel across the U.S.- Canada border to “exercise caution” to prevent further spread of COVID-19.03.20.20
 
 President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, expanding the SNAP and WIC programs by adding $500 million, helping pregnant women and those who lost their jobs due to COVID-19.03.18.20