Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas!

Sadly, last night was the end of Chanukah-8th day.  My family looks forward to celebrating this feast of the Lord every year.  This past week has been a time of reflection, dedication and a celebration of miracles.  Also, it’s been a special time of family traditions, noshing on latkes and jelly donuts as the kiddies play dreidel and sing songs.  Oh, and a small gift is opened every night too!   It’s been a week long party!  
Watch my Chanukah 2014 highlight video here.  

Today is Christmas Eve.  Do you think it’s a coincidence that Chanukah, the Feast of Dedication occurs during the Christmas season?  In John 10: 22,  Jesus celebrated the feast in the temple with His fellow kinsmen.  It’s mind blowing to think that Jesus the light of the world is standing in the midst of His Jewish people in the temple during this festival of lights.   Jesus is standing among the people as the ultimate light of the world.  Wow!  He fulfilled the feast of the Lord.  According to John 8:12.  Jesus said, ” He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life”.   The New Testament book of John is the only reference to Chanukah and also full of references of Jesus as the “light”.   Yet many could not see Him as the ultimate light.  Sounds familiar with the way it is today.  Although the temple was lit by the menorah, Jesus lights of the hearts and souls of men.  Yeshua’s the light!  The Light who drives out the darkness.  

During this season, my family likes to drive around and look at the pretty lights that adorn neighborhoods and shopping malls.   I also love to watch the glow of the flickering candle lights dance on the menorah.   As each night passes, one more candle is lit and more light illuminates our home.   Light is a beautiful thing.  Yet, it is more noticeable in the darkness.  It glows softly, yet with glorious power.  As believers and followers of Christ, let us remember to shine our light to others in this manner.  May our words and actions be loving and gentle, yet bold and powerful.  May our lives be lived in a way that the light of Jesus in us can shine bright to others and wake up a dying world.  Through the darkness there is light.  


Chanukah is also a time to remember the miracles of God.  Throughout the Bible, God shows His miracles in various ways.  The Lord shows us that He is faithful.  He may not come when you want Him, BUT He comes right on time.  Jesus came to us right on time.  Joy to the world, for the Lord has come.  The birth of Messiah was a perfect plan, ordered and designed by the Father.  Perfect Timing.   The world had to wait many years for it’s Redeemer to be born.  O Come O Come Immanuel.  The good news is that He came, and He is coming again.  Jesus, the light of the world will reign once again on this earth.  Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!   

May your family be blessed with joy and love this Christmas season.  We are thankful for all your support and encouragement you’ve given us this year.  If I could reach out and hug every one of you, I would.  You are simply the best!  With love, from our Little Pink Casa to your casa, Merry Christmas!  

Blessings and Shalom, 




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Celebrating Chanukah Study Part 2

Welcome back!  Today is Thanksgivikkah Eve.  Are you are prepared for tomorrow?  I still need to buy a few last minute items for the feast.  Our family will be celebrating both Thanksgiving and Chanukah at my mother’s home with all the familia!  I’m looking forward to noshing on some latkes! 

So, are you ready to step back into history and dive into part two of my Celebrating Chanukah Study?  Yesterday, we learned what Chanukah is and the meaning of the menorah or hanukkiyah. 

 {Click Here to read Part 1:  Celebrating Chanukah Study:  What is Chanukah?}

Today, I am going to teach you about the history of Chanukah and how it relates to Jesus Yeshua our Messiah. 

Hebrew Lesson (Bonus)
Yeshua or Yehoshua– Jesus’ name in Hebrew
Yeshua-Ha-Mashiach- Jesus the Messiah 

Where is Chanukah found? 
Although there are no recorded writings of Chanukah in the Old Testament, the history is found in the book of the Macabees. The book of Macabees is a Jewish history book.  It is not found in the Tanach or Old Testament, however we know that Chanukah existed because it is recorded in the New Testament when Jesus observed this Biblical Feast of Dedication according to John 10:22.   This is very important, because Jesus observed Chanukah as being the ultimate fulfillment – the light of the world as it says in John 8:12.  Jesus said, “he who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life”.  The New Testament book of John is the only reference to Chanukah and also full of references of Jesus Yeshua as the “light”.     


Rededication of the temple in 165 BC 
Why?  In 242 B.C. King of Syria, Antiochus Ephiphanes invaded and conquered Jerusalem.  Two years later, Antiochus returned to Jerusalem with his army and placed great persecution on the Jewish people.  He tried forcing his Greco-Roman pagan religion and ideas on them.  He started with their place of worship- the temple and stole all the treasures and stopped all Jewish sacrifice and worship.  The most disgraceful thing is that he defiled the altar by sacrificing a pig on it and erected an altar to Zeus in the temple.  He defiled the temple and destroyed it by pagan ways.  All Jews were forced to stop practicing in religious acts and those who did not comply were tortured, mutilated, crucified and hung.  


The Jewish people knew they had to fight back!  They did this with their leader, Judah Maccabee.   They rebelled against the Syrian army and soon they won the war and returned to take back what the enemy had stolen.  They returned to Jerusalem to re-purify and cleanse the temple.  When the people went to light the menorah which were the oil lamp stands, there was only enough oil to last 1 day.   


They stood on the faith of the Lord.   Miraculously the lamp stand stayed lit for 8 days until  new oil could be prepared.  The number 8 in Hebrew means “new beginnings”.  That miracle which God gave to his people started the 8 day Miracle of Lights or Feast of Dedication.   Since then, Jewish people celebrate Chanukah as a remembrance of the Great miracle and the rededication of the temple.  

How does this relate to Jesus?  
At Chanukah, we remember how the temple was cleaned up and rededicated.  Jesus came to fulfill the law and He was the ultimate sacrifice.  That is why we don’t need a physical temple to sacrifice a lamb anymore because Jesus Yeshua was the atonement for our sins.  He is the lamb that was slain.  However,  as believers in Jesus,  we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  We can focus on rededication.  We can clean up our temple of all unrighteousness only through Jesus.  We can celebrate Chanukah as a time to rededicate our hearts and to walk in the light of the Lord.  May we shine our light to the world, for all to see!  

For you used to be darkness; but now, united with the Lord, you are light. Live like children of light, for the fruit of the light is in every kind of goodness, rightness and truth — try to determine what will please the Lord.   Have nothing to do with the deeds produced by darkness, but instead expose them, for it is shameful even to speak of the things these people do in secret.   But everything exposed to the light is revealed clearly for what it is, since anything revealed is a light. This is why it says,“Get up sleeper! Arise from the dead,and the Messiah will shine on you!”       Ephesians 5:8-11

Are there pagan things that are defiling our temples? 
Are there babylonian ways which we admire or entertain above our Lord and King?  These can be the worldly treasures of this world.  Our walk with Jesus must be all that we can be in Him.  Things that may be keeping us from getting closer to Him are an idol.  

Our goal is to be Holy as He is Holy.  We should desire and crave Holiness. This is a great time that we can use the Feast of Dedication to rededicate ourselves to the Lord.  Let us say, my life is in you Lord, everything is yours!  I dedicate myself to you. 


5 Bible Verses to Walk in Holiness

  1. 1 Corinthians 6: 19– Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?                                                           
  2. 2 Corinthians 7:1Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
  3. 1 Thessalonians 4:7– For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 
  4. Hebrews 12:10For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness
  5. Revelation 22: 11Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.”

I want to finish this study with a time for us to reflect on our Lord Jesus, the ultimate Miracle Maker and Light Giver!   As we hear this song by Marty Goetz, let us evaluate our lives, our temples and rededicate ourselves totally to Him.  


May you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving and Happy Chanukah!  
Blessings and Shalom, 

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Celebrating Chanukah Study: What is Chanukah? {Part One}


Menorahs, latkes, dreydl, oh vey!  What do all of these have in common?  Chanukah, you might say?  Did you know Chanukah is this week?  I was so excited overjoyed about sharing this post with you because I love to teach about the Jewish roots of the faith.  We started to study the Jewish roots of the faith 15 years ago when we found out our families have Sephardic Jewish roots.  At that time, Ruben and I were led to observe the Biblical feasts and teach others about the Jewish roots of the faith.   Chanukah is a wonderful time for us to reflect on God’s miracles, Jesus as the light of the world and for rededication to the Lord.  

It’s so exciting that this year both Thanksgiving and Chanukah will fall on the same day.  This will be a special holiday…since the next time these two holidays will converge will not take place for another 79,000 years!  Wow!  The first day of Chanukah begins at sunset this Wed. night till Thurs night completing the first night. Our family is looking forward to Thanksgivikah.   The day will definitely be a feast that’s for sure!  


In this series leading up to Chanukah, we will learn about the importance of this holiday for us as believers in the Lord Jesus Yeshua.   I promise you, you will come away with a new understanding like never before. 

Here are four things you’ll learn about Chanukah:    
  1. What is Chanukah? 
  2. The symbolism of the Menorah.
  3. The history of Chanukah.
  4. How Chanukah relates to Jesus and our faith walk with Him.  
In today’s post, I will give you a better understanding about “What is Chanukah?” and the symbolism of the Menorah.  Are you ready?  Let’s go! 

What is Chanukah?  

Chanukah is a minor holiday on the Jewish calendar, but popular among gentiles(non Jewish people) because it usually takes place in December.  For some, it may be thought of as the Jewish Christmas since a gift is usually given for 8 days.   I want to clear this up as a myth.  It wasn’t until many years later when the holiday became commercialized to parallel with the gentiles gift giving at Christmas.


The Hebrew word for Chanukah is “dedication”.  

Chanukah is also known as the Feast of Dedication or Festival of lights.  Lights, because it includes the lighting of the candles for eight days on the menorah.  The menorah or lamp stand has nine lamps.   The middle lamp or the Shamash in Hebrew, is the servant lamp or candle.  The servant lamp lights all the rest of the lamps each night.  This makes a total of nine.  Symbolically, Jesus is like the Shamash.  Jesus came to serve and not to be served.  He is our giver of light.  As children of God, through Jesus we shine our light to the world.  He is shining through us.  

So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.  While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.” These things Jesus spoke, and He went away and hid Himself from them.  John 12:35-36
No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.  Luke 11:33 

Did you Know Jesus observed Chanukah, the feast of dedication?  
Although there are no recorded writings of Chanukah in the Old Testament, the history is found in the book of the Macabees. The book of Macabees is a Jewish history book.  It is not found in the Tanach or Old Testament, however we know that Chanukah existed because it is recorded in the New Testament when Jesus observed this Biblical feast in John 10: 22.   This is very important, because Jesus observed Chanukah as being the ultimate fulfillment – the light of the world as it says in John 8:12.  Jesus said, ” he who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.  The New Testament book of John is the only reference to Chanukah and also full of references of Jesus as the “light”.   

As followers of Jesus, his light shines through us to the dark world.  Through Jesus, we have life, and not just religion.  He is the light of the world.    

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.  Matthew 5:16 

Today, let us reflect and ponder this question. . . 

How are you shining your light to the world?  
Are you shining your light or are you hiding it? 
Lately, this is something that I’m compelled to pursue.  I can get so consumed with my own life, and be so selfish.  However, I love to be an encourager and that is one way I shine my light, hopefully more as the days go on.
I’m looking forward to being with you for tomorrow’s post about The History of Chanukah and how it relates to Jesus and our faith walk with Him.  I also have some more surprise goodies coming up in the next post so come back again!  


Blessings and Shalom, 

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