Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Israel has been on my heart lately.  

This week, there has been numerous attacks against God’s Holy land.  In response to protecting their land,  Israel has also struck back.  It’s so hard to imagine sirens continuously sounding off with only a 15 second warning to run for safety.  The feelings of uncertainty rise in the air.  The air is thick, my friend.  My people are constantly being bombarded with warnings, terror and fear.  It saddens me and makes me feel so helpless.   However, I am not hopeless, because I can pray.  

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper who love thee.  Psalm 122: 6 

As a believer in Jesus,  you and I have a mandate to pray for Israel.  

It’s easy to deny it.  It’s also easy to look the other way and go along with your everyday life. 

However, we must not relent! 

We must respond with prayer.  

Genesis 12:1-3 says, 

We must bless Israel and continue to lift up of Israel in prayer for God’s protection in these days.  

No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.  
Isaiah 54: 17 

Pray for the salvation of Israel.  Pray that the blinders on their eyes will be opened to see Yeshua Jesus as their Messiah.  

Jesus spoke, “Yerushalayim! Yerushalayim! You kill the prophets! You stone those who are sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children, just as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you refused!  Look! God is abandoning your house to you! I tell you, you will not see me again until you say,‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of Adonai!’”  Luke 13: 34-35
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved

Pray for the nations that are coming against Israel.   
For Jesus says to pray for our enemies.  Yes, even the enemies of Israel need salvation. 

You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ 44“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. . . “.  Matthew 5: 43-44

As a mother, I think about those sweet precious Israeli mamas at this time.  The mamas who are doing their best to take care of their children and husbands in the midst of turmoil.  

How do they remain strong?  How would I remain strong if I were in their situation? 

Do you ever think like this?   

How do you remain hopeful in a dangerous situation? 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Here is a short video clip to gain an understanding of how challenging a 15 second warning is for an Israeli mom.  Click Here to see video:

Although, this is a dangerous time, there is hope.  

 For I know what plans I have in mind for you,’ says Adonai,‘plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future.  
Jeremiah 29: 11

We don’t have to fear!  For our Lord our God is with His people who love Him. 

For His name is called Immanuel- God is with us.  

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7 

Turn your eyes upon Adonai,  keep your focus on Him.  

Focus your minds on the things above, not on things here on earth.  
Colossians 3:2 

A year ago, my family and I were going through a hard time when our faith was being tested.  One morning, I sat down at the computer and wrote a blog post entitled, “20 Bible Verses For Trusting God in Hard Times“.   

That day, I also created a printable that I framed and placed in my living room and office to remind me to trust Jesus everyday, no matter what! 

Trust in ADONAI with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.”Proverbs 3:5  

I’m sharing this printable with you today as an encouragement to place in your home.  

I love the name of Jesus and His Hebrew name is Yeshua.   

On this printable, I used His name Yeshua which means the Lord of salvation.   

May it remind you to pray for Israel and to keep your trust in Yeshua always.  

Thank you for letting me share my heart with you today.  

May you have a restful sabbath weekend.  

The Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.  May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.  Numbers 6: 24-26 

Blessings and Shalom

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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Celebrating Sukkot With Your Children

Keep your face to the sunshine
and you cannot see the shadow.
It’s what sunflowers do.”
by Helen Keller

Feast of Tabernacles

This week our family prepared for and celebrated a special time called the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot.  It’s a joyful feast that begins four days after Yom Kippur and that lasts eight days. God told the Jewish people to live in booths for seven days each year, starting on 15 Tishri (September-October) to remember that the Lord brought us out of Egypt.  This holiday is like our harvest festival and we also thank God for the good harvest and all the good things he has provided.  God takes care of His people.  We should thank Him for what He gives us.  Psalm 118:29 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good”.

The booth we build is called a sukkah.  It is a temporary structure built of wood and canvas to represent the booths the Israelites lived in during the forty years of wilderness wanderings on their journey from Egypt to the promised land of Israel.  This year, we used our patio and decorated it with autumn leaves, apples, and grapes that hung from the ceiling.  Princess colored and made her own decorations and we hung them on some lace across the patio.  We invited our family over and ate dinner outside in our sukkah while looking up at the stars.  We taught our family about the holiday and how important it is for Believers in Jesus to understand what Sukkot means for us too.

Sukkot also teaches a lot about the Messiah Jesus.  The prophet Zechariah pointed to the day when the Messiah will dwell (same root word as tabernacle or sukkah) on the earth and all the people of the earth and all the people will know Him.  In the Messianic kingdom, the feast of Sukkot will be an important holiday on which to worship God (Zechariah 14:16-19).

How exciting!  I can’t wait!  Come Lord Jesus come!

Even on the last day of Sukkot which is called Hoshannah Rabbah, Jesus said of himself, “I am the light of the world” and “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him” (John 8:12; 7:37-38). Taken from the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029.

Celebrations of the Bible
A Messianic Children`s Curriculum
I’d like to share with you where we got our lessons. We use a great curriculum that teaches all of the feasts of the Lord.  It is so easy to follow, simple and gives everything you need for each lesson-primary, junior and for a chidren’s worship of mixed ages.  Plus it’s affordable.  
Click here to find out more!  

I challenge you if you have never studied the Jewish roots of the Christian faith in your homeschool, to do it!  There is so much more for us to learn!  

How are you celebrating the beginning of Autumn with your family?  

Do you also celebrate Sukkot?   I’d love to hear from you! 

Blessings and Shalom,