Category Archives: Celebrate
The old testament commands a list of sacrificial offering to be given on this day but like I discussed in my earlier posts Keeping the Feast Days of the Bible & What is the Feast of Trumpets, there is no need for a blood sacrifice because Yeshua (Jesus) paid that price once and for all. And the Bible has no set of rules on HOW to celebrate the feast days since Messiah’s arrival over 2000 years ago. With no rules you have freedom to “keep the feast” pretty much however you feel draws you closer to God on His appointed days!
Have you ever heard of the holiday “Feast of Trumpets” or maybe its Hebrew name “Yom Teruah?” Maybe you have never heard of this holiday? Maybe you have but had no idea what it was even referring too? Maybe you have heard of it as Rosh Hashanah” a Jewish holiday. Whatever the case may be, I want to tell you a little bit about this Biblical Feast day!!
Biblical feast day? You mean it is somewhere in the Bible? Our Christian Bible? Yep!! It sure is!!!
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New Years Eve Party For the Family
New Years Eve has never been a big celebration in my family. Even as a child, I remember one year I wanted to make it a big deal and cut out cheese slices in the shape of numbers and put them on crackers I thought that was awesome, granted I was four. Sometimes we had a few small fireworks but most the time not really much happened as the years ticked on by. Once we had kids, we did a little better and tried to have fireworks (money and weather permitting) or maybe go to a “watch night service” at church or stay up late watching a movie then pray the New Year but nothing I would consider a big celebration. As I see my kids growing older, I realize that I am losing precious time to make memories and traditions with them so I am stepping up my “game.”
This year we are wanting to have our first “count down party”. We are doing this with just us and our tween-teen children (so it is older kid focused) but you can easily add more people to the party!
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I would love to tell you all that we had some huge profound spiritual Hanukkah, but we didn’t. This has been a rough year for our family and the holiday season was just “off kilter.”
Instead of digging deep this year, we tried to just enjoy a family week. We did take time one night to read the story of Hanukkah but, sadly, there was no real deep spiritualness to the week. But we did have fun!
Here is how the week went.
We went about our day as always and around 6 PM one of the kids would turn on the electric Hanukkiah ( 9 branched Hanukkah menorah) twist in the bulb for that day and read the nights event from the Hanukkah Surprise Keepers.
Hanukkah Surprise Keepers
Hanukkah (which means dedication) is an eight night celebration about when the Maccabees (a small band of Jews) defeated the Greeks and tore down the pagan idle that was in the temple of YHVH (God). The Jews had to clean the temple and rededicate it before it could be used to worship YHVH again. The legend has it that they only found one days worth of pure oil that they could use to light the menorah. Rather than wait for new oil to be made, they lit the menorah on faith and the one day’s worth of oil lasted eight days!! (You can read the story of Hanukkah HERE) Even if the legend is not true it is quite marvelous that a small band of Jews defeated the Greek army and stood strong against paganism and valiantly stood up for God’s Torah!!
The story of the Maccabees inspire us to want to be strong and courageous like they were, to stand up against things that oppress us. We use this time to rededicate ourselves back to God (1 Corinthians 3:16) So many times in our lives we have things that could be idles pop up. We have to stay vigilant and tear them down as soon as we notice them. Hanukkah is a time we take to really look for the “idles” in our life. Maybe it is money, the computer, our job, our friends. Anything that takes your focus and time away from YHVH can become an idle.
What we do as a family is read the story of Hanukkah and have eight days of introspection so we can identify what “idles” need to be “torn down” so we can be a clean vessel for the Almighty. We rededicate ourselves back to doing Bible things in Bible ways! It seems like a perfect time of year to get refocused since the New Year begins in just a few weeks after Hanukkah!
Along with the spiritual aspect of Hanukkah we like to enjoy this time with our children and enjoy some traditions from our brothers Judah (The Jews) along with making some of our own traditions. Traditions are memories in the making and special memories are important for families. For Hanukkah we try to do something special to do with our kids each night of Hanukkah. It is hard to think of something special to do for eight nights! So I decided to make a list of things we could to do each night. But a list seemed kind of boring to just go down a list, so I decided to get creative!!! I created a new tradition… Hanukkah Surprise Keepers!! The idea is to let the kids open up one box a day each day of Hanukkah and a note inside tells what fun thing we get to do that night! Now you can get as fancy or as simple as you like, have fun with it and use your imagination!!