Thursday, January 23, 2020

Thankful Thursday - Happy New Year, Y'all



Happy New Year, Gail-Friends!

I took a long holiday vacation, didn't I?  We enjoyed a happy time celebrating both Hanukkah and Christmas, then welcoming in the new year.  Doesn't "2020" sound absolutely futuristic?  I'm thankful to have lived long enough to see it.  My prayer for the new year is to have 20/20 vision about what Adonai wants me to do. 

Our Hanukkah party was a lot of fun.  I always enjoy seeing all the families bring and light their menorahs.  The glowing candles make for a beautiful sight as we remember the miracle of the oil and Yeshua our Messiah as the light of the world.  Here are a few highlights of our celebration:




As always, we had lots of yummy foods - especially the traditional ones made with oil, aka DONUTS!
Like every year in the past, I made my Hanukkah menorah dip**   (scroll to the end of this post for the recipe)
After the Hanukkah lighting, we ate a great meal together


Some played dreidl and ate lots of chocolate gelt.

After we ate, we did something different.  We had a concert.

Rabbi played Christmas carols on his psaltry

Lisbet, one of our lovely ladies, sang the song, Mary Did You Know


Wendy, Holly, and Barry led us in singing Christmas carols.

Kevin played a Christmas carol on the violin

I'm glad to report that our doxie is doing much better now.  She's full of energy and doing her best to keep our cat baby in check.  That's not easy.  Toonie Woo, Esq. is a scamp when he's not napping. 

Toonie Woo, Esq. sunbathing

As Messianic believers, we are blessed to be able to combine Hanukkah and Christmas.  Haleluyah!

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I desire 20/20 vision for what Hashem wants me to do.  I'm praying for guidance as a wife and homemaker, a rebbetzin, a mother and grandmother, and as a writer, poet, and artist.  I'm feeling an urgency to compile my writing, both short, inspirational stories and poems, into books.

I'm grateful to have been able to publish Golden Musings, a collection of my poetic worship, and Golden Moments. a collection of lessons learned through prayer  I 've written so many other poems and stories over the years that I want to compile, so I have lots of work ahead of me, Gail-Friends.  One task is to go back through my journals (1984 - present). 

Oh, and by the way, Golden Moments is on sale right now.  You can save $2.00 on the print copy!

Prayers and blessings to you all, Gail-Friends, and have a great week.  I'll be posting on a more regular basis again, Lord willing. 

**You can find my recipe for the Hanukkah menorah dip HERE.

Whadda ya think Rabbi is thinking???


Sunday, December 29, 2019

8 Gifts of Chanukah - Day 8




This post is part of the series 8 Gifts of Chanukah.

Tonight the eighth candle is lit.

Gift #8 of Chanukah -YESHUA'S PRESENCE

It may surprise you to know that Yeshua observed Chanukah.  We know this from John 10:22: "Then came Chanukah in Yerushalayim. It was winter, and Yeshua was walking around inside the Temple area, in Shlomo’s Colonnade (Solomon's Porch).  

He also said this of Himself:  “I am the LIGHT of the world; whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the LIGHT which gives life.” (John 8:12)
Yeshua is the LIGHT.  He is the Holy One of Israel, Elohim, Adonai.  He is also the One who gave us the Torah, which is our road map for life here on Earth.  Look at this comparable verse :  

Adonai is my LIGHT and my salvation: whom should I fear?
(Psalm 27:1)

Let's don't miss the application of this.  Yeshua is the same LIGHT in the New Testament as in the Old Testament.  When we say we have decided to follow Yeshua, we are committing to follow the Torah.  Remember this verse:

Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8) 

If you believe, as I do, that Yeshua was G-d in the flesh, then He is the same G-d in both Testaments.  He has never changed.  

Recently I have read through the gospels, observing where Yeshua went, what he did and didn't do as a Jewish man.  He said to follow Him, and He left us an example to follow. I encourage you, Gail-Friends to do this, too.  He said this of His followers:


“You are light for the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Likewise, when people light a lamp, they don’t cover it with a bowl but put it on a lampstand, so that it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven."
 (Matthew 5:14-16)


Each week, our Sabbath prayers remind us that Yeshua is the LIGHT of the world, and we are to take that LIGHT to the world around us. I pray that I, my family and all followers of Yeshua will follow the LIGHT of the World.

Be blessed, and I hope you'll enjoy this song:





You can learn more about Chanukah in this series from last year:  8 Days of Chanukah
This is how we combine Chanukah with a celebration of Yeshua's birth:  Christmas Unplugged


Saturday, December 28, 2019

8 Gifts of Chanukah - Day 7



This post is part of the series 8 Gifts of Chanukah.

Tonight the seventh candle is lit.

Gift #7 of Chanukah -LIGHT

Imagine the magnificent sight of the giant menorah blazing from Mount Zion.  That light had been out for a long time, but now it could be seen for miles and miles.  It was a testament to the presence of the G-d of the Universe. 

The Temple of ADONAI sat on top of a big hill in the city of Jerusalem.  This is why Bible passages speak of going "up" to that place.  I've been to the Temple mount twice, and it is a unique experience.


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e7/Jerusalem_walls_night_3.JPG
photo from commons.wikipedia.com


The photo above is a current-day version of the Old City in Jerusalem at night. I like to imagine what is must have looked like back then, especially if seen from the Mount of Olives, just across the Kidron Valley. It must have been an inspiring sight to see that blazing menorah.

The Scriptures show us that the LIGHT in the Temple was to burn continually, not just at night. You can read this in Exodus 27:20-21 and Leviticus 24:1-4.  If ADONAI says something twice, it must be very important, right?  The LIGHT had to be maintained both morning and at night, with oil refilled and the wicks trimmed.  Plus, the holy oil had to be in production continually.  Maintaining the LIGHT in the Temple was an important responsibility.

Have you ever thought of what a gift LIGHT is?  In the first chapter of B'resheet (Genesis), we read that LIGHT was one of ADONAI's first creations.  Think about what life is like when your LIGHTS go out.  Everything stops, right? 
 

In the story of Chanukah, we are reminded that LIGHT is important to G-d.  He doesn't want us to live in darkness, physically or spiritually.  When the Temple was restored, He provided the LIGHT because it is central to worship of Him.  LIGHT drives out darkness.  LIGHT enables us to see clearly.   

LIGHT is a symbol, or type, of the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit).  Yeshua (Jesus) celebrated Chanukah, and while attending that celebration at the Temple in Jerusalem, declared Himself to be the LIGHT of the World.  I'll talk about that tomorrow and how this relates to Chanukah today, as well as the spiritual lessons of LIGHT in our lives.


You can learn more about Chanukah in this series from last year:  8 Days of Chanukah
This is how we combine Chanukah with a celebration of Yeshua's birth:  Christmas Unplugged

 

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