Friday, December 28, 2018

Sabbath Music - I Have Seen the Light

Greetings Gail-Friends.  I hope you had a worship-full celebration of Yeshua's birth.  We did.  Last Shabbat, we enjoyed a Christmas carol sing-along.  Our congregation members Barry and Wendy led us in signing the old carols that lift up praise to our Savior and King.

It really was JOY-full to focus on Yeshua.  Rabbi talked about how this holiday is not about the tree, the gifts, the food, and the other secular songs about Santa, Frosty, and Rudolph.

Every week, as women light the Shabbat candles, we are reminded of this as we say this prayer:

Blessed are you, oh Lord our God, King of the Universe,
 who has sanctified us in Your word,
 and given us Yeshua our Messiah, 
and commanded us to be Light to the world. Amen

We speak this prayer as we pull the light toward us with our hands:

I hope you'll listen closely to the lyrics of this song and remember it's all about Him, and focus on sharing The Light in the year ahead.  I Have Seen The Light.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Sabbath Music - Choral Christmas Carols

Shabbat Shalom and Merry Christmas

During this season, Christmas songs play endlessly on the radio.  I love hearing the ones that lift up praises to our Messiah Yeshua, but those are few and far between these days. So, I enjoy listening to choral music on YouTube.  This year, I've especially enjoyed listening to selections from Kings College.  I hope this collection will bless you, Gail-Friends.

Choral Christmas Carols

Jem and I hope you have a wonder-full, worship-full Christmas FULL of focus on our Savior, The Light Of The World.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Sabbath Music - Joy to the World

JOY to you, Gail-Friends, and Shabbat Shalom!  Are you experiencing JOY this holiday season?  Are you focusing on HIM or the madness that accompanies what the world says you have to do?  

You know you don't have to go along with the world.  You don't have to buy presents, decorate, put up a tree**, have parties, cook special food, and especially spend tons of money during this time.  

What would you do if all of that was not a part of the picture?  Would you be content to just be still and sit at His feet and worship Him?  Would you praise God for sending His Son for your salvation and your JOY?  Would you sing?  Dance?  Most of all, would you give Him your the gift of your of obedience to His Word?  That's what He wants, Gail-Friends.  That's your gift to Him.  

Listening to music and worshiping Him are what brings me (and Him) overflowing JOY during the holidays.  Let's remember that this word holiday means "holy days."

This is my favorite song for this season - Joy to the World by the Bach Choir.
The video has the lyrics, and I hope you'll read them and meditate on them as you celebrate the Sabbath.  I pray you will feel that overflowing JOY in your heart - not the crazy, stressful, rush that the world gives at Christmas time.

Let's also remember that Yeshua did not set up a new holiday.  He was born, lived, died, and rose again as a Torah observant Jew. He observed Adonai's holy days - the Feasts and Festivals listed in the Torah.  

Also, if you look into the historical record, which includes the Bible as well as other sources, Yeshua was not born in winter.  The observance of Christmas on December 25 is cultural more than anything else.  The date was set by the Roman Catholic Church to coincide with a pagan holiday.  God is not pleased when we replace His holiness with paganism. 

I celebrate His birth during this season because He is worthy of praise and worship.  I treasure the fact that the world pauses to remember His birth, and I find JOY because His Name is lifted up.  May that always be so until He returns.  And may His returning be soon is my prayer. 

I have another JOY song for you, Gail-Friends.  I always en-JOY this one.  The movie from which it came is a good one for the holiday season, too.  
JOY by Whitney Houston in the Preacher's Wife 

I pray that you Unplug the World's Christmas Machine and en-JOY this season. 

** Read Jerimiah 10:1-5 to see what Adonai thinks of a Christmas tree.  

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Our Chanukah Celebration

What a wonderful time we had this year.  Eight days of light, fun, family, friends, food, and fellowship.  Here is our beautiful menorah at home on the eighth night:

Our grandson came over and we had fun making cookies for the synagogue's Chanukah party:

He wanted to toss the cookie dough like a pizza, so I gave him a tortilla.  LOL!  We enjoyed that.
If it falls on the floor, does the five-second rule apply? 

He's posing as if it fell on his head.  That's why I call him Jona-FUN.

He's talking up a storm - mostly about science and math.  PawPaw got involved, too.  Mostly as a taste-tester.
He loved doing this and did a great job.  He's very meticulous.
 Here are a few photos from our synagogue celebration:

Each family brings their menorah and all are lit at the same time.  It's always so beautiful.  A time of rededication to observing Torah.

Some of my loves.
My annual menorah salmon dip was a big hit.

Jonathan's cookies were, too.  And the donuts.  And the latkes. And the yummy sandwiches. 

We played dreidel and had lots of gelt to enjoy.

During the eight days, we visited a family's home to put a mezuzah on their door.  Rabbi Jem prayed a blessing over their home and family.

The mezuzah is a Jewish tradition.**

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner with the family and afterward we all attended the community menorah lighting/party in Viera.   Don't you love that "Stay Golden" shirt? 

Lots of singing, dancing, food, and entertainment at this parking lot party.

There was a drawing to win this blow-up menorah.
and this blow-up dreidl, too.

They had a snow slide that looked like lots of fun.  Rabbi Jem was going to go down it, but the snow was melting due to the warm weather that day.

We had a wonderful time, and I'm so thankful for the joy of celebrating Adonai's special holidays.  I'm especially thankful for the time we spent with family (both kinds).

I'd love to hear about your Chanukah celebration and what you're thankful for this week.

** To learn about the mezuzah, click HERE. and  HERE 

~ ~ ~

Monday, December 3, 2018

Happy Chanukah

I'll be taking a break from blogging during Chanukah this year.  I hope you have a blessed, JOY-full holiday.  Here are a few posts from years past that you might enjoy this week.  I'll be back when the eight days of light are over.

8 Days of Chanukah

8 Gifts of Chanukah

Christmas Unplugged

Friday, November 30, 2018

Sabbath Music - Happy Hanukkah Songs

Such overflowing blessings!  Shabbat tonight, and Hanukkah* begins on Sunday night.  Time to get those menorahs polished and gather all your candles.  I hope your Sabbath is rest-full, and your Hanukkah is JOY-full.  We'll be remembering the story of the holy oil that lasted for eight days, and celebrating Yeshua, the Light of the World. 

Blessings to you and enjoy this playlist of Hanukkah songs.

**Did you know that Yeshua (Jesus the Messiah) observed Hanukkah? Just click the link to learn about that little-known fact.  To learn more about the Festival of Dedication, click on the subject list on the right of this page.   Subjects are Feast of Dedication, Festival of Lights, Chanukah, and Hanukkah.  I've written quite a few posts about this holiday.   I hope you enjoy eight days of light, love, and JOY.

Good Shabbos, Happy Hanukkah, and JOY-full blessings to you all, dear Gail-Friends.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Mountain Vacation

I promised to share about our October trip to the mountains, so here ya go:

First stop was, of course, Jacksonville to visit my happy place.  On the way, we go over a bridge that has a beauty-full view of downtown.  This happy bridge makes me happy because it means I'm almost to my happy place.

which is, you guessed it, the Chamblin Book Mine.  Just look at that -- books from floor to ceiling, as far as the eye can see.  See why that makes me happy?

 See how happy I am?

Next stop was to visit Mama and Daddy's grave in Lakeland, GA and put some new flowers for them in honor of their anniversary.  They would have been married 69 years.

I have a lot of relatives in this cemetery.  As we were cleaning up around the plot, I was attacked by ants and got some awful bites.  Next time, I'll be prepared and bring some bug spray and some clippers.  Pulling at the grass got the ants all aggravated.  Lesson learned.

Then we headed for Hiawassee to visit my friend, Linda.  We've been friends for over 50 years. On the way, I saw this lovely tree.  I wish I knew what kind it is.

 As we got close to Hiawassee, I saw my first glimpse of the mountains.  I was so excited!

Linda and her husband live in an idyllic spot in Hiawassee.  The house sits near a creek and we sat on the porch, chatting, listening to the birds, and drinking hot coffee.  So lovely and peace-full.

I was having a wonder-full time, but I was freezing to death.  This Florida girl gets chills and stays inside when it gets below seventy degrees.  So my kind hostess brought me a blanket.  Note that she's wearing capris and flip-flops . . .

We visited a local diner, and I saw these signs on the wall.  Had to take pictures 'cause I agree with this one:
fits me to a "T"

This one is kind of fuzzy, but I like it.  "Farm living is the life for me" is part of a song that was played on the old TV show, Green Acres.  When I moved to central Florida, I felt like Lisa when her husband moved her to the Green Acres farm.  My first thought was, "Where are the shopping malls?"  The country lacks the artistic and cultural experiences of life in the big city, but I grew to love it much more than city life.  I don't even like to visit the city unless it's absolutely necessary. . .like when I need more books.  

I just had to take a pic of this one because . . . well, I know a few drama queens. (You know who you are . . .)

Here are a few more pics of Linda's pretty yard.  I'm so glad we stopped by to see her because we had a great time.

Linda owns and operates a wonderful gift shop in Hiawassee called Creekside General Store.  I bought some very nice gifts there, and I highly recommend it if you're ever near Hiawassee or Helen, GA.  Tell her Gail Golden sent you.  Here's a pic of a lovely scarf clip that I love, love, love. I've been looking for something like this for ages.  It's perfect.

We spent one night with them and I wish we could have stayed longer, but we had a lot of miles to cover during this one week vacation. I'll write more about it next week.

My birthday was last month, and I was so thankful to celebrate it with Linda.  Also visited with my friend Carlleen in Myrtle Beach, and my daughter, Melissa, on our way back to Florida. I'll write more about that later, too.  But, I have to show you my favorite birthday present, given to me by my sweet husband.  I've been wanting a Yeti cup for a long, long time, but hated to spend the big bucks.  It's wonderful because it keeps beverages hot or cold for hours.  I (big, puffy heart) LOVE it.  The cup holds a big thirty ounces, and I drink it full of water every day.

We went to our favorite waterside restaurant to celebrate and saw a beauty-full rainbow.  I was so thankful for my birthday rainbow.

Some other things I'm thankful for:

 Birthday flowers.

 And for friends who make me laugh.  LaVonne sent me this pic of mop that has a bad attitude.

And for this wonder-ful dog who made me feel so happy.  We had to catch up with him so we could take pics.

I'll have to stop for today, but I'll share more about our trip and some other happenings over the past month.  My dream-come-true office is almost finished, so I'll be sharing about that soon.

What are you thank-full for this week, Gail-Friends.  I'd love to hear about it.