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Hanukkah 2011

Hanukkah 2011

December 20-28, 2011

I believe this year Hanukkah spoke to me in a different way than ever before. This year I felt connected to the holiday by the similarity of circumstance.  Back in the time of Judah Maccabee, they lived in a country that did not worship YHWH (the God of Israel) in spirit and in truth. Many assimilated to the beliefs of the people with which they lived, even though the many times the word of YHWH says specifically not to do such.  However, there were a few brave souls who did not just “go with the flow” and go along with the crowd. They stood strong in their beliefs of following YHWH’s “instructions to live by”, called the Torah. The would NOT defile themselves with the worldly pagan things. They suffered persecution and ridicule and even death for standing strong against the oppression of the enemy, but they did not back down. I felt the strength of the story of Hanukkah for the first time this year. I too have been bashed for my beliefs to follow Torah, nowhere near to the extent of the Jewish people but enough to understand that if you walk (or attempt to walk) a path to righteousness, expect to be fought by the enemy. The story of Hanukkah inspired me to stand strong in the face of opposition.

Last year, Hanukkah was more of a “fun-filled week” but this year I just felt differently about it so we studied more and played less. I try my best to just follow where the Holy Spirit leads me but I have a tendency to try to plan everything too, which usually gets a divine “rewrite” before the day is over. That is just how HE works sometimes.

Each year I decorate with blue, silver, and white because it reminds me of winter. I love it because in Texas we rarely get any snow or any real “feel” of winter so the best I can do is recreate the “feel” inside my home by the decor.

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We did do a few fun things like bake cookies. I borrowed this “tradition” from my childhood holidays. We love making and decorating (not to mention eating) these cookies!

Scripture Scavenger Hunt Hike

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Scripture Scavenger Hunt Hike

February 26, 2011

We have been trying to find things to do on the Sabbath that is helpful to keep our life centered around things that give glory to GOD and also for it to be a delight. I believe that we are to keep the Friday to Saturday Sabbath and that if we can do what it says in the following scripture then we will receive the blessing that the Lord promised in that scripture “for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”

Isa 58:13-14  If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

We can not think of anything more delightful than hiking and being out in the awesome creation that GOD made for us to enjoy and take care of. We had invited my mom and sister and her kids to come with us on our hike so I wanted to look for something that would help keep it a little more Bible based and maybe help get the kids focused on seeing GOD in nature as we do.

I found on the internet a sight that suggested to have a Scripture Scavenger Hunt. I took a few minutes to adapt it with scriptures of common things we could find on a hike and we were ready.

We all load up into the car and head out to Boykin Springs Lake.

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We get our stuff together and begin our hike. CONTINUE READING…

Challah Bread

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Challah Bread

February 25, 2011

I personally love all things Jewish. Their traditions intrigue me and I feel most comfortable with their ways of worship. This is mainly because the Jewish traditions and feasts and such were meant to give glory to GOD in all they do. In many of the Jewish things I see JESUS just as the Bible said we would in:

Col 2:16  Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Col 2:17  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ
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I believe that the true Sabbath is Friday evening through Saturday evening (Gen 1:5, Gen 2:2-3) and I celebrate the feast days that are listed in the Leviticus 23 and I see their prophetic “shadow” of JESUS in them all. The Lord has been working on me about some of the traditions. I do not believe that the traditions that the priests made are bad, but I was brought to realize they are not all scriptural. Much of the traditions are from their “Oral Law” and not “Thus sayeth the Lord” written in my Bible.  My main desire is to follow my Bible to the best of my abilities and not to put the traditions of “men” higher than the Word of GOD. JESUS scolded many for doing that, like in:

Mark 7:9  And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

I flat out reject all things pagan therefore not taking on any of the more popular secular traditions and holidays that the United States is known for. With the Jewish customs, I need to know what is scripture and what is not. If I can feel the Lord in the Jewish tradition or see how it fits into the prophetic revelation of Christ and if it can be used as a teaching tool then I am all for it. Anything that brings a person closer to GOD or glorifies HIM is what I want to celebrate. I know GOD has put it on my heart that if anything becomes a mundane “ritual” and a burden or if I can not do these things with a delight for GOD in my heart, then I should not do them. So as with all things I am “testing the spirit” of the different Jewish traditions. I have learned if I do not understand or know why the tradition was done then it has no meaning and I feel nothing. So I must dig deeper and look for Jesus in all things or I have to quit doing it until it is revealed to me.

We keep the seventh day Sabbath (which is Biblical) along with some of the traditions (non-biblical). This past Sabbath I made a quick and easy version of the traditional braided bread called Challah. Now I have to admit, I do not have a clue as to why they do this or how it references to Jesus but I went ahead and did it because we like bread and we dip it in Velveeta Rotel dip and it is yummy.

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Take three rolls of Pillsbury French Loaf bread. CONTINUE READING…