Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Book Review: 52 Weekly Devotions for Families Called to Serve

One thing I say often is, “God bless the nurses!”  I mean it with all of my heart because they do a masterful job of serving us in times of illness and crisis. 

Where would we be without those who serve us? 

Think about what your community would be like without policemen, firemen, doctors, nurses and other first responders.

And now, imagine a country without a strong military for protection.

Rabbis and pastors are also our servants.  They are first responders in times of crisis, illness, and death.

It’s important to recognize the dedication and sacrifice of these people who serve us so faithfully.  They deserve our honor, recognition, and gratitude. 

Their families deserve our gratitude, too.  They're a part of their loved one’s calling and face great challenges due to long hours, extended periods of service during emergencies, and many times have to spend long periods of time away from their loved ones.

Karen Whiting’s book, 52 Weekly Devotions for Families Called to Serve is a great resource if your family is called to serve.  But – it’s not just for those families.  The book is valuable for parents, grandparents, and synagogue and church libraries. 

The book helps children understand why their family is called to serve and teaches lessons to help the family bond and support each other through the special challenges they face.  But it can be used by any family, synagogue, or church to understand and appreciate their first responders and their families.

Karen uses Bible verses, stories, and tactile activities such as arts and crafts, charts, scrap-booking, and letter writing to help those lessons stick. I love the fun, colorful illustrations, too.

The book is divided into fifty-two weekly sections.  Each section focuses on a particular aspect of service. For example, the lesson for week six, Time for Family, centers on enjoying family togetherness.  Every family needs this lesson, right?

Each lesson has:
·        a family beatitude
·        a weekly Bible verse
·        suggested activities to reinforce the lesson
·        a short story that includes the lesson (2 minutes)
·        a Bible story connection to the lesson (3-4 minutes)
·        chat prompts (these are great to get children to talk about the lesson)
·        scrapbook/prayer journal options (I love these)
·        frontline tips (example: send care packages to absent family members)
·        prayer
·        Wrap-up (example: talk about what you do to stay connected as a family)

Families can pick and choose what options to include as time allows.  

The book is being added to our synagogue’s collection of resources for parents.  I highly recommend it as a gift for families of first responders and for every family with children.  I say this because the book’s will assist in developing a closeness to God, to family, and to the community.

You can read a short portion of the book (free) at this LINK and then purchase it from

You can also purchase Karen's book on at this LINK

Karen Whiting has written twenty-six books. Be sure to visit her website  to see them.

Her blog, Family Faith and Food has a wealth of resources, tips, and encouragement for your family,  Be sure to visit.

You can also find Karen Whiting on:


Friday, October 11, 2019

Sabbath Music - Ani Ma'amin / I Believe


I hope your Yom Kippur observance was a blessing.   As always, I am thanking Yeshua for his blood that atones for our sins. Each year, this set apart day reminds us that He is holy - and that we are to be holy, too. I'm so thankful for His mercy.

I'm also thinking about Yeshua's return.  That's what today's song is about:  Ani Ma'amin (I Believe) is a statement of faith in His second coming.  I'd previously used this song in a different version which was very upbeat and makes my feet want to dance.  This version by Michael ben David is slow and contemplative.  I like both versions of the song. The beginning of the song is in Hebrew, but he also sings it in English.


Are you preparing for Sukkot? Are you getting your sukkah ready?  The holiday begins on Sunday at sun-down.  I'm looking forward to some sukkah time.  If you're not familiar with the feasts and festivals of Adonai, click on the subject list on the right of this blog.  The subjects Sukkot, Feast of Tabernacles, and Feasts and Festivals have some good stuff for you learn from and to use for your celebration.

Have a good Shabbos, dear Gail-Friends, and a blessed holiday week ahead.

**graphic used by permission - A Little Perspective on Facebook

Friday, October 4, 2019

Sabbath Music - Hine Bati

This is one of my dear husband's (who is also my personal rabbi) favorite songs.  I love it, too, and I love the video which shows scenes from Israel.    The songs lyrics are taken from Psalm 40:8-9


 Hine Bati (translated Here I Come) is today's song for your Sabbath meditation and worship.  The YouTube video says this about Michael ben David:

"Shot in the Qumran and at the Dead Sea, this latest Music Video invites the Viewer to experience Micha'el's Discovery Journey of TORAH TRUTH that has set Him FREE to worship the Holy One of Israel in Spirit & in Truth as He encountered HaKadosh Baruch Hu/The Holy One Blessed Be He, in Israel over a decade ago in a deeper Way than Micha'el had even known before and since then he has entered the Narrow & Difficult Road to God's Calling on his life, his Destiny and Purpose in the Kingdom of YHVH! "Broad is the way that leads to destruction" therefore Micha'el upon being called to break away from the norm and the cold routine of the religious worlds infiltrated with falsehood and doctrines of Satan, did not hesitate to walk purposefully and face to Face with the One Who is altogether Lovely and HOLY; and it has NOT been easy at all. Micha'el encountered much opposition from fellow believers and non-believers alike along the Way! Despite all the challenges and difficulties and misunderstandings coming from every direction, Micha'el remains STRONG and determined for the Good Hand of YHVH is upon Him to be as "a Repairer of the Breach and a Restorer of the Ways to dwell in" to build the Wall just as Nehemiah and Ezra of old and to stand in the Gap as Ezekiel for the Generation of Jacob who will praise HIM in Spirit & in Truth~the Full Counsel of YHVH!

Born and Destined to be a Voice in the Wilderness as He prepares the WAY of the Coming of the LORD with His Songs of Zion, Micha'el has set his face like flint! He will NOT turn to the left or the the right of His Calling! His Aim is first and foremost to please His Heavenly Father and NOT to please men! Let He who has Ears to hear take heed and understand and consider the wonders and mysteries of YHVH and turn and be saved! Oh the JOY of doing the Will of our Creator and of embracing His Full Counsel, the Commandments of YHVH and Faith in YESHUA HAMASHIACH.... Micha'el unashamedly proclaims God's Righteousness and is a Voice to our Generation! For this is the Generation of Jacob who will praise YHVH!

From Tehilim/Psalm 40:8-9 (Hebrew) "Then I said: 'Behold I come; in the Scroll of the Book written of Me. Elohai I delight to do your will and Your TORAH is deep within Me!"

This Video was shot at Qumran and at the Dead Sea where Bible Scrolls were found! Reenacting the fact that God's Voice is still to be heard and discovered in the Midbar/Desert Wilderness of Life! It is there that we can receive His Torah, His Instructions for LIFE! And say YES to His Will! May you too delight in doing His Will!"

A point to ponder on this Sabbath day -- Do I delight to do His will?