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 Christianbook.com.

You can also purchase Karen's book on Amazon.com 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:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest










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.

I BELIEVE, WITH COMPLETE FAITH,
IN THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH / THE COMING OF YESHUA 
AND THOUGH HE MAY DELAY,
NEVERTHELESS, I WILL WAIT EVERYDAY UNTIL HE COMES.

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

 "HERE I COME, O MY LORD, FROM THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK THAT'S WRITTEN OF ME. TO DO YOUR WILL, MY GOD, IS MY DELIGHT AND YOUR TORAH IS DEEP WITHIN ME."

 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?

Got Your Armor on?



America is standing at a crossroads, my friends.  It's time to pray like never before.  The forces of evil are fighting hard to destroy our country.  We have to fight back -- with our spiritual weapons.  They are found in our handbook aka The Holy Bible:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:12-20)

 The following article, written by Joseph Parker of the American Family Association, reminds me and spurs me on to do my duty in this fight. 

"Now more than ever, our leaders are embroiled in spiritual warfare.  There are so many things going on in Washington D.C. that are clearly spiritual battles that play themselves out in the lives and actions of those persons in leadership in our nation’s capital.

One of the best and most accurate descriptions of what we see happening in Washington D.C. is extremely intense and relentless spiritual warfare.  We see that in the political theater of our government, there is much wrestling between the kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness.

More than ever we need to be praying for the President of the United States.  President Donald Trump has thus far in his presidency done many things to promote values that line up with the Word of God. He has been extremely courageous in his seeking to do things that are in the best interest of the United States of America.

Sadly, those who oppose him have been vicious and relentless. And because he has sought to do things that line up with the Word God, the Devil has targeted him like he has rarely if ever targeted any other president in the history of our nation.

The church of Jesus Christ is clearly called to pray for leaders and those in government and positions of authority. And it is critical that the church take this task and work from the Lord very seriously.  

Why is this so important?  There are a number of reasons.  One reason is in 1 Timothy 2 as we are clearly and directly told to pray for “all men, for kings and all who are in authority…” (v. 2).  Donald Trump is the President of the United States.  We need to pray faithfully for him every day in obedience to the Word of God.  If many believers spent just a portion of the time praying for him that they spend complaining about and criticizing the president, there would be a lot more prayers being lifted up and much more good would be accomplished.

The opposition to this president is very intense and much of it doesn’t even make a lot of sense – at least not in the natural.  The media, the opposing political party, the political party that he is in, - it appears that opposition is coming against him from almost every side.  It seems that there are those who don’t like him no matter what he does. 

But when you look at it for what it is, it makes a lot of sense.  From a spiritual perspective and from a spiritual warfare perspective, it makes plenty of sense.

President Trump has made it a point to carry out certain mandates – a number of which line up with the counsel from the Word of God.

He has taken a strong stand against abortion - in word and in deed which is consistent with the commandment “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).  He has officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital showing adherence to the words: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper that love thee” (Psalm 122:6).

Time and time again, he has and continues to make decisions that are genuinely in the best interest of our nation.  Some might say “Well that’s what our leaders are supposed to do.”

That statement is true.  Yet sadly we live in a world where so many times leaders make decisions that actually seem to be detrimental to our nation.  And too often it appears they do this with no negative consequences that follow their actions.

These are the kinds of accomplishments that make President Trump very unpopular with the Devil and the kingdom of darkness.  So the onslaught of opposition continues.

Yet the work of the church is clear.  We are called to pray for our president and other leaders in authority.  We need to be consistent, fervent and persevering in prayer.  The success of the president is directly connected to how faithfully the church is praying for him (see Exodus 17:8-13).

Let’s keep the president and all the rest of our leaders lifted up in intense prayer and intercession every day.  That’s the way we can see victory."

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Thankful Thursday - Birds, A New Recipe, and a Tip



So much to be thankful for this week.  Cooler weather for one thing.  Now cool in Florida is quite different than most places.  Cooler here in central Florida is 80-90 degrees.  Nights are in the '70s.  It is wonder-full, Gail-Friends.  I can spend time on my porch in the mornings without two fans blowing on me.  I'm loving it!

This morning, I saw my first male painted bunting of the season.  October 3 is way early, so it must already be getting cold where this little snowbird lives.   Sorry for the bad (phone) photo.  Hopefully, I'll get more in the days ahead.


We had a great Rosh Hashanah celebration to welcome in the new year 5780.  Lots of shofar blowing:


food and fellowship:




Round challah is a tradition for Rosh Hashanah - and we had this beauty-full one made by our Miss Barbara


I made this hummus dish and it was a big hit with everybody.  I found it on a website and changed it up a bit.  Here's my version:

Ingredients:

2 containers of plain hummus
olives - whatever type you like
cherry tomatoes
baby carrots
Cumin
Paprika
Dried parsley flakes
Salt and pepper

 Preheat the oven to 350

Split the tomatoes in half and cut the carrots to small pieces.  Toss in olive oil, then roast until veggies are tender to your liking.  I did mine for about 45 minutes.

Let veggies cool, then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Empty the hummus onto a plate and use a spoon to spread it into a big circle.

Sprinkle cumin and paprika over the hummus.
Sprinkle the olives and tomatoes on top of the hummus
Place the carrots around the edges of the dish
Sprinkle all with the parsley flakes.

VWA-LA!!!  Refrigerate.

Serve with crackers or pita wedges.  SO GOOD!

I also made a sugar-free, gluten-free apple dessert.  It did not turn out good.  I figured out why later...I forgot to add the butter to the crumble topping.  (Martha Stewart I'm NOT!)  I must admit, the topping tasted like sawdust.  But the filling was fabulous!  I used glucomannan to thicken the apple juice.  That part was perfect.  It's a Trim Healthy Mama recipe if anybody's interested in making it, let me know and I'll give you the info.

Also, I'm thankful for a great tip I found this week.  I learned how to keep apples from turning brown.  It's so simple.  Core and slice the apples, cover them with water, and then add a tablespoon of plain old table salt.   I made these apples way ahead of time, stored them in the frig, and they stayed perfectly white  as you can see below:


I love getting to use my little bumblebee honey dipper.  Isn't it cute?

Minnie Blue met a new friend at the library this week.  She's thank-ful.


Well, that's all for this week, Gail-Friends.  I hope you have a great week ahead.  Shalom and blessings to you.