Friday, October 19, 2018

Sabbath Music - L'Chaim (To Life)

photo used by permission of A Little Perspective
Yesterday I wrote about choosing life by being grateful.  The Hebrew expression "L'Chaim" which means "To Life" is a lovely saying in the Jewish world.

This song was performed in the Broadway play, Fiddler On the Roof, and is a favorite of mine.  You can't feel sad when listening to this song, and it always makes my dancing feet perk up.  I hope you enjoy it as you enjoy your Sabbath rest - and I hope you dance.  L'Chaim with lyrics.


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Thankful Thursday - L'Chaim



In my reading of Proverbs 23 this morning, the word "discipline" was repeated several times.  I'll admit that is not my strongest suit.  One thing I am very disciplined about, however, is gratitude.  That word, too, is an oft-repeated word in the Scriptures. There are 106 verses with the word thanks referenced in the Complete Jewish Bible.   The two words are tied together for me because it is a discipline to be thankful

.I will admit that gratitude was difficult in my younger days.  I remember learning Ephesians 5:20, "In everything give thanks," and often felt like a hypocrite when I thanked Hashem for the hard and painful things in my life.  That discipline trained me to be able to be thankful, though, when the tests became more difficult. Hashem, in His wisdom, knows that gratitude is good for us, and He's been so kind in bringing me what I call "gratitude mentors".  I wrote about three of them HERE.

He knows that an attitude of gratitude helps us spiritually, mentally, and physically because it is life giving.  Praising Him, instead of dwelling on my problems, lifts me above my circumstances.  I love the Scripture, "Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."  It works every time.

We Jews have a saying, "L'Chaim" which means "To Life". It's based on this Scripture:

“I call on heaven and earth to witness against you today
 that I have presented you with life and death, 
the blessing and the curse. 
Therefore, choose life, 
so that you will live, 
you and your descendants...
 (Deuteronomy 30:19)


You might remember the song by the same name in the movie Fiddler on the Roof. If you've not seen that movie, you must!  It's one of my all-time favorites and I've seen it many times.  We even had a sing-along night at the synagogue where we watched the movie together. I provided the lyrics and we all sang (and sometimes danced) through every song.  Rabbi Jem even did the bottle dance!  We had so much fun!
 

So, dear Gail-Friends, choosing life includes being thank-FULL and we are blessed when we do.   That's why I do this post each week -- to remind myself to be thank-FULL.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Sabbath Music - O Give Thanks



Yesterday, I did some writing about the discipline of giving thanks, and this song has come to mind to share for your Sabbath worship.  It's such a worship-FULL song.  Just close your eyes and listen to the words.  I know your spirit will rejoice and be lifted.      O Give Thanks by Paul Wilbur

The video includes a beautiful dance, and I do hope you dance, Gail-Friends.  He loves it when we praise him with dancing. 

Let them praise His Name with dancing.
 Let them sing praises to Him with tambourine and harp.  
(Psalm 149:3)

Good Shabbos to you, Gail-Friends.  May your rest be sweet.

~graphic by MiYah Music, used by permission

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Thankful Thursday - The Ministry of Books


I'm so thankful for the books that have ministered to me over the years.  I've written about books before on my blog, but have never made a list of those most dear to me. So, here you go, dear Gail-Friends.

In my childhood, I was a total bookworm:

The Bible
365 Bedtime Stories
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Heidi
The Boxcar Children
Tom Sawyer
Huckleberry Finn
The Biography of Julliet Lowe (I was a Girl Scout)
The Biography of Florence Nightingale (I wanted to be a nurse after reading this one.)
The Secret Garden

As A Teenager, (I didn't read as much):

The Bible
Christian Girls' Problems (This book is ridiculed today.)
Little Women
The Diary of Anne Frank
Mrs. Mike

As an Adult:

Non-Fiction (my favorite reading material)

The Bible
Streams in the Desert
The Biography of George Mueller
Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman
Silver Boxes
See You  At The Top
Come Away, My Beloved
God Calling
A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23
Walking Through the Fire
The Hiding Place
One Day At A Time in Al-Anon (I grew up in alcoholism.)
The Big Book of AA
Codependent No More
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life 
Liberated Through Submission: God's Design for Freedom in All Relationships
Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith
The Genesis Diet
How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture 
100 Days of Blessings Vol. 1 and 2
The Artists Way 

Fiction:
Redeeming Love
The Zion Chronicles
The Anne of Green Gables Series
The Help

The graphic below is just so totally me.  At Golden Cottage, we have books in ever room.  I like it that way because books minister to me just by sitting on the shelf.  I love seeing them.


I'd love to hear about your favorite books.



Friday, October 5, 2018

Sabbath Music - Simchat Torah Songs


Oh, so TRUE!  This is Simchat Torah celebration week. Tonight, in combination with our weekly Erev Shabbat service, we'll be singing, dancing with the Torah, worshipping, (eating, of course) and studying Torah all night long.

This week, I'm sharing some YouTube videos of some Simchat Torah celebrations. You can see some of our synagogue's past celebrations by clicking on this LINK.

Parading and dancing with the Torah reminds us that we have the responsibility and JOY of taking the Torah to those who don't know it.  I love these videos because they show the happiness and JOY of those who love His Torah:

Dancing with the Torah 
Oh, by the way, dancing with the Torah is NOT easy because it is HEAVY!  I have a hard time picking ours up.

Simchat Torah by MiYAH 

This one is in Jerusalem  - just look at all of those Torah scrolls.
Simchat Torah at the Wailing Wall 

Do you find JOY in His Torah?  I do and am blessed to have learned to obey it.


For Our Families' Sake - Please!




FOR OUR FAMILIES’ SAKE
PLEASE!
By Nancy Campbell (used by permission)

Dear wives and mothers, I know that many of you are so busy in your homes that you often don’t know what’s going on in the country politically You’re not even interested in politics. I don’t want Above Rubies to be political either. It is totally for encouraging wives, mothers, and homemakers in their God-given mandate.

However, I realize the seriousness of the situation in our nation currently and need to encourage you to become political for a little while—for the sake of your families. This goes beyond politics. This is about FAMILY! What we do now determines the future of our children, our grandchildren, and our greatgrandchildren. Future generations. Do you think about the future of your precious children and what kind of environment they will live in?

PREPARE!
It is time to become a voice to count for righteousness. To protect our children. Therefore, we must get ready. Are you registered to vote for the coming mid-term elections on November 6? If not, get registered right away. You must register before 9 October, so there’s not much time. You can do it locally or online.

Do you have children 18 years and over? Make sure they are registered. Please don’t waste their vote. Your young people can help turn the tide. Every single vote counts. It’s a priority.

PROACTIVE!
Why am I encouraging you to vote? Because this is no longer a choice between political parties, between Democrat and Republican. There was a time when people could choose between. But now the current Democrat party has moved far beyond where they used to be. They are now the party of extreme socialism and fascism. They want communism back.

Already we live in a nation that is completely unbiblical. This party advocates homosexuality which is now is condoned by law of our land and yet it is an abomination in the eyes of God. They are desperate to keep the laws of abortion which allow babies to be murdered up to the third trimester. They do not want to protect our nation but want open borders. They want sanctuary cities, so we can harbor terrorists and criminals.

This is only the beginning. They are no longer subtly working but FIGHTING TOOTH AND NAIL! Screaming and yelling. They hate God and hate Christians and if they get in persecution will begin. They are supposedly intelligent people, but their thinking is ridiculous. Because they don’t want God in their lives or decisions, He gives them over to a “reprobate mind,” undiscerning and void of judgment (Romans 1:28).

Years back the rhetoric of the feminists was to say they didn’t need men. Now they have gone further. They want to castrate them. They want to eradicate their role in society. Did you hear the senator from Hawaii state publicly: “All white men, SHUT UP!”
We don’t want this environment for our precious children and grandchildren, do we?
Therefore, we must be proactive and do something. The most important thing is to VOTE IN THESE MID-TERM ELECTIONS. Even if you’ve never done it before, do it this time.

PRAY!
And of course, pray. I am sure you are praying. Praying with your children morning and evening for our nation and for God to save us from this fascism coming into our nation. Pray against the liberal media that daily fills our nation with lies, deception, and propaganda.

Pray for the youth in our colleges who are being dumbed down and propagandized with all this nonsense by their liberal professors. Pray for a mighty move of God amongst our high schools and colleges. These youth are the future of our nation. What they believe determines the future of our country.

We can’t pray effectively if we don’t know who to pray for. We must pray for our president daily and those surrounding him. Do you know the name of the Secretary of State? Secretary of Defense, The Senate Leader? National Security Advisor? And so on. Do your children know who they are?
1 Timothy 2:1-4: “I exhort therefore, that FIRST OF ALL, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For KINGS, and for ALL THAT ARE IN AUTHORITY: that we may lead a quiet and peace le life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

We have a prayer box which we use at our prayer times in our home called OUR NATION-CHANGING PRAYER BOX. We include the names of our national leaders and the important issues to pray for in our nation. That way, we don’t forget.

We notice that when the righteous get into authority there is more opportunity for people to come to Jesus and the truth. Let ’s pray for the right environment in our nation.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION.
Love and blessings to you today, Nancy

Please visit Nancy's website Above Rubies and on Facebook.  She is a great encourager of women of all ages.



Thursday, October 4, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Golden Rain


My view from the sukkah, with golden rain on the table
The golden rain was really falling heavily during Sukkot this year.  I'll share more about it (and my epiphany) later in this post.

Sukkot has come and gone, and we're celebrating Simchat Torah this week.  Here are a few photos of our sweet time in the sukkah.


Rabbi Jem and Zoe enjoying the sukkah
Rabbi Jem makes his Pampered Princess breakfast for me on Sundays.  So good.
Fans are important in the sukkah here in Florida.  So is mosquito repellant.  We had an army of ants attack the table, too.
I had to cover my cofee cup because the Golden Rain kept falling into it.
 We always cover the top of the sukkah with bamboo branches.  It's a reminder of how the Israelites traveled through the wilderness and camped in flimsy booths (sukkahs).  At night, you can look through the branches and see the stars. All of this is to reinforce that Adonai is our provider.  Just as he provided for the millions of the Jews, He will provide for us.

Golden Rain like manna from Heaven.
Golden Rain trees in the Golden Garden at Golden Cottage - and they are covered with bumblebees.

We got so much Golden Rain, we tried to cover the sukkah to keep it from falling in our food.

Amanda and family came over to help us put up the sukkah.  Then, we celebrated our grandson's 9th birthday.  He wanted a chocolate chip cake, so his GiGi made it to his specifications.  White cake with chocolate chips, white icing with chocolate chips, and vanilla chocolate chip ice cream.  Everybody said it was really, really good.

I love to see this precious face.

I'm so thankful for my daughters, their fine husbands, and my grandson.  This boy has brought us so much JOY!  I can't believe he's nine years old already.  Time flies the older I get.  The plate I'm holding says, "Thankful" and I have a heart overflowing with gratitude for these blessings.

After we eat, he always comes over and gives the cook (me) a kiss. 

I had such a sweet time in the sukkah this week.  I enjoyed it most in the early morning.  Just sitting there listening to the birds singing, the cicadas fiddling, and the bees buzzing was pure bliss.  Speaking of the bees, we have so many that it sounds like a jet taking off.  They love the golden rain trees.  As I sat in the sukkah, the sun came through the bamboo covering and made beautiful shadows on my journal page.


My daily reading in Streams In The Desert was so appropriate and encouraged my faith.  The golden rain was falling onto my page and it reminded me of the manna that Adonai provided daily.  If you look closely at the photo below, you can see a carpet of golden rain covering the grass.


My psalm of the day was Psalm 112 - and it was an answer to a prayer that very morning.

 Halleluyah!
How happy is anyone who fears Adonai,
who greatly delights in his mitzvot.
His descendants will be powerful on earth,
a blessed generation of upright people.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness stands forever.
To the upright he shines like a light in the dark,
merciful, compassionate and righteous.
Things go well with the person who is merciful and lends,
who conducts his affairs with fairness;
for he will never be moved.
The righteous will be remembered forever.
He will not be frightened by bad news;
he remains steady, trusting in Adonai.
His heart is set firm, he will not be afraid,
till finally he looks in triumph at his enemies.
He distributes freely, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness stands forever.
His power will be increased honorably.
10 The wicked will be angry when they see this;
they will gnash their teeth and waste away,
the desires of the wicked will come to nothing.
(CJB)

Oh, how I love it when Adonai speaks directly to me in this way.  As I was reading it and marveling, more golden rain began to fall.  It thrilled me!  And even more exciting was that a mockingbird began to sing . . . and then another!  I always say, "Mockingbirds sing at my epiphanies."  Having two of my favorite birds confirm God's message was so wonderful.



The High Holy Days have brought abundant blessings for me this year, and I'd love to hear about your celebrations.



Blessings to you, dear Gail-Friends.

**


Monday, October 1, 2018

Another "Comment" Apology





To anyone who has left a comment over the last month or so:

For some reason, Blogger is not allowing me to respond to your comments, so please don't think I'm ignoring you.  I've been trying to find a solution, but so far, unable to do so.

Please accept my apology, and please do continue to comment.  I can see your comments now, so progress has been made.

I will continue to work toward a solution.

I value you as my readers and hope you will pray with me that this problem will be resolved soon.

Shalom and blessings to you all, dear Gail-Friends.

Gail

***Update - after hours of searching Google Help and trying all kinds of tricks, I finally fixed it.  It's not functioning as it did before, but it is workable.  So, thank you for your prayers, Gail-Friends, and praises to our Heavenly Father for his guidance and provision.  Blessings to you all.