Monday, January 30, 2012

We Do Not Hide Them From Our Children

My people, give ear to my Torah, Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I open my mouth in a parable; I utter riddles of old,
Which we have heard and known, For our fathers have related them to us.
We do not hide them {His Torah and works} from their children,
Relating to the generation to come the praises of {YHVH}  יהוה,
And His strength and His wonders which He has done.
For He raised a witness in Yaʽaqoḇ, And set a Torah in Yisra’ĕl,
Which He commanded our fathers, To teach them to their children;
That it might be known to a generation to come, To children who would be born,
To rise up and relate them {His works, His Torah} to their children,
And place their trust in Elohim, And not forget the works of Ěl,
But watch {keep; guard; observe} over His commands,
And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation which did not prepare {set right} its heart,
Whose spirit was not steadfast to Ěl.
Psalm {Tehillim} 78:1-8

As I sat this morning with our children, reading from the Torah,
I thought of the above passage... about the command we have to teach our children
{found in various places throughout Scripture}...
and my heart filled with a renewed joy... and humility.
What a responsibility we have to teach them His instructions... His Torah...
and tell them of all His mighty works...
but, oh... what a blessing it is, as well...
to not hide His Torah from our children...
to raise up a generation that loves Him and keeps His ways...
returning to the old path, where the good way is {Jeremiah 6:16}.

Abba, help us to train them up in the way they should go.

May we give ear... listen...
and may we rise up... obey.


~ Christina

Friday, January 27, 2012

Setting Apart Shabbat

I love Shabbat. I look forward to it every week. It is such a delight!
My life has not been the same since Abba opened my eyes to His set-apart day of rest.

It has been about a year and a half since I began keeping Shabbat
and I suspect it will be a lifelong process of learning just how to set it apart.

Something we enjoy doing (though not a command) is Kiddush.
Kiddush, in Hebrew, means sanctification - to set apart.
We enjoy entering into (setting apart) His day of rest by 
breaking bread, enjoying the fruit of the vine, and blessing YHVH.

I hope that in years to come, our children will look back on this as a fond memory,
as they continue to walk in His ways into their adulthood and with their own families.

     Blessed is He and blessed is His Name.

And it shall come to pass that from one rosh chodesh to another,
and from one Shabbat to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me, says YHVH.{Isaiah 66:23}

YHVH is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?
YHVH is the refuge of my life; whom shall I dread? {Psalm 27:1}

For You Yourself light my lamp; YHVH my Elohim makes my darkness light. {Psalm 18:28}

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. {Psalm 119:105}

Therefore Yeshua spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world.
He who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but possess the light of life. {John 8:12}

He was the true Light, which enlightens every man, coming into the world. {John 1:9}

    - Blessed are You, YHVH, Eloheinu, King of the universe,
Who has set us apart by Your Word, commanded us to keep the Shabbat,
and to be a light unto the nations, and has given us Yeshua, our Messiah, the Light of the World.

Shabbat Shalom, Israel {His set-apart ones}!

~ Christina

Friday, January 13, 2012

Why I Observe the 7th Day Sabbath

Reason #1: My Creator did

"In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth."
Genesis 1:1 

"Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their array.
And on the seventh day Elohim completed His work which He had done, 

and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made.
And Elohim blessed the seventh day and set it apart

because on it He rested from all His work 
which Elohim in creating had made." Genesis 2:1-3

Our Father, our Creator, set the pattern, the example, the principle for us.
A time to cease from work, a time to review, acknowledge,
celebrate the beauty of the creation that He pronounced "good".

It belongs to Him from the very beginning.
The 7th day Sabbath honors, remembers, Elohim {God}, YHVH, as our Creator.
He blessed the 7th day and declared it holy, set apart to Himself.

The Sabbath distinguishes YHVH from false gods.
It identifies WHO we worship...
The Creator, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Reason #2: It was reaffirmed in the Ten Commandments

"Remember the Sabbath day, to set it apart.
Six days you labour, and shall do all your work,
but the seventh day is a Sabbath of {YHVH}  יהוה your Elohim

You do not do any work – you, nor your son, nor your daughter, 
nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, 
nor your stranger who is within your gates. 
For in six days יהוה made the heavens and the earth, the sea, 
and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day
Therefore {YHVH}  יהוה blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart."
Exodus 20:8-11 (Deuteronomy. 5:12, too)

The 7th day is the sabbath of YHVH, not the Jews... but of YHVH.
The cattle were not Jewish, neither were the strangers,
yet, He commands them all to remember the Sabbath.

"Guard the Sabbath day, to set it apart
as {YHVH}  יהוה your Elohim commanded you.
Six days you labour, and shall do all your work, 

but the seventh day is a Sabbath of יהוה your Elohim
You do not do any work – you, nor your son, nor your daughter, 
nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, 
nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, 
so that your male servant and your female servant rest as you do.  
And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Mitsrayim {Egypt}, 
and that יהוה your Elohim brought you out from there 
by a strong hand and by an outstretched arm. 
Therefore יהוה your Elohim commanded you to observe the Sabbath day. "
Deuteronomy 5:12-15

The Sabbath reminds of the Exodus from Egypt,
which is an example and picture of His salvation.

Reason #3: Blessed

"Jew", "NON-Jew", stranger alike... is blessed in keeping this command.

"Thus said {YHVH}  יהוה, “Guard right-ruling, and do righteousness, 
for near is My deliverance to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. 
Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it
guarding the Sabbath lest he profane it, 
and guarding his hand from doing any evil...
 ... Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to {YHVH}  יהוה, 
to serve Him, and to love the Name of {YHVH}  יהוה, to be His servants, 
all who guard the Sabbath, and not profane it, and hold fast to My covenant"
Isaiah 56:1-2, 6

If you do turn back your foot from the Sabbath, 
from doing your pleasure on My set-apart day, 
and shall call the Sabbath ‘a delight,’  
the set-apart day of {YHVH}  יהוה ‘esteemed,’ and shall esteem it
not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, 
nor speaking your own words,
then you shall delight yourself in {YHVH}  יהוה. 
And I shall cause you to ride on the heights of the earth, 
and feed you with the inheritance of Yaʽaqoḇ your father. 
For the mouth of {YHVH}  יהוה has spoken!
Isaiah 58:13-14

It's supposed to be a delight. It is His set apart day... esteemed/honored.

Reason #4: It will be observed in the time to come

"For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make stand before Me, 
declares {YHVH}  יהוה, so your seed and your name shall stand.
And it shall be that from New Moon to New Moon, 

and from Sabbath to Sabbath
all flesh shall come to worship before Me, declares {YHVH}  יהוה. "
Isaiah 66:22-23

Sabbath observance in the new heaven and earth...
... in the beginning... and in the end... what happened to in between?

Reason #5: It is a sign between Him and His people

"I am {YHVH}  יהוה your Elohim. Walk in My laws, and guard My right-rulings, and do them.
And set apart My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and you

to know that I am יהוה your Elohim."
Ezekiel 20:19-20

It is HIS Sabbath, not any particular people's.
It is a sign between Him and His people, that they/we will know HE is our God.

He ordained it, blessed it, set it apart, set the pattern for it,
commanded it, reminded of it, called it His, and blesses those that keep it.


And His Son? He came to do the Father's will...

"{Yeshua}  יהושע said to them, 
“My food is to do the desire {will} of Him who sent Me, 
and to accomplish His work." ~ John 4:34

Reason #6: The Son - The Messiah - kept the Sabbath.

"And He came to Natsareth {Nazareth}, where He had been brought up. 
And according to His practice, He went into the congregation  
on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read."
Luke 4:16

"And they went into Kephar Naḥum {Capernaum},
and immediately on the Sabbath He went into the congregation and taught."
Mark 1:21

"And Sabbath having come, He began to teach in the congregation."
Mark 6:2a

Not only did He keep the Sabbath but He is Master of the Sabbath...
"And He said to them, 
“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
So the Son of Aḏam is also Master of the Sabbath.
Mark 2:27-28

He was our example...walk as He walked...

"The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked."
1 John 2:6


His disciples, apostles?

They observed it...

Reason #7: His disciples observed it

"But passing through from Perge, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, 
and went into the congregation on the Sabbath day and sat down."
Acts 13:14

"And when the Yehuḏim {Jews} went out of the congregation, 
the gentiles begged to have these words spoken to them the next Sabbath...
... And on the next Sabbath almost all the city 
came together to hear the Word of Elohim."
Acts 13:42,44

"And on the Sabbath day we went outside the city by a river, where there used to be prayer."
Acts 16:13a

"And according to his practice, Sha’ul {Paul}went in unto them,
and for three Sabbaths was reasoning with them from the Scriptures"
Acts 17:2

"And he was reasoning in the congregation every Sabbath
and won over both Yehuḏim and Greeks."
Acts 18:4


Yeshua {the Messiah} said...

"Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets.
I did not come to destroy but to complete. 
For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, 
one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done.
Whoever, then, breaks one of the least of these commands, 

and teaches men so, shall be called least in the reign of the heavens; 
but whoever does and teaches them, 
he shall be called great in the reign of the heavens."
Matthew 5:17-19

John tells us...
"By this we know that we love the children of Elohim, 
when we love Elohim and guard His commands.
For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, 
and His commands are not heavy"
1 John 5:2-3

I love Him.

Enough to obey.
Enough to observe.
Enough to honor.
Enough to identify.
It is not grievous.

It is a delight!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Aaronic Blessing - Pictorial Meaning

The Aaronic/priestly blessing, found in Numbers 6:24-26, is fairly well-known.
Lesser known, however, is the deeper meaning found
in the pictorial language of the ancient Hebrew.
Do we "have" to know and search for "the deeper meaning"?
No. ... But... what additional, beautiful pieces of the picture we are able to see!

This past Shabbat, we enjoyed the pleasure of learning more
about the various pictures and meanings found in this blessing
through the ancient, pictorial Hebrew.
It was fascinating.

I am, surely, not a Hebrew scholar (in fact, I barely know the alef-bet, so far)
but I am excited to share what I did learn during our meeting.
In my excitement, I attempted to create flashcards, of sorts,
to help "paint the picture".
I know there are variations in the Hebrew language
so please forgive where there are mistakes.
But I hope that the general idea and the beautiful pictures still come through.

I hope that you will find it interesting and fascinating, as I did!


Aaronic blessing in Hebrew

The flashcards below present information in the following order:
Hebrew word(s)
English word
Ancient pictorial Hebrew language symbols
Name of the above symbols
Meaning found in the above symbols
Pictorial meaning of the word


May YHVH bless you...

and keep you...

YHVH make His face...


to you (upon you)...

and be gracious to you...

YHVH lift up...

His countenance...

to you...

and give you...


All together...
The Aaronic blessing, in pictorial meaning...

YHWH, the head of the house with His own work 
strengthens His own hand-
by His work He binds and overpowers the destroyer 
using the authority in His hand-
YHWH, the Chief Ruler, He secures life and order, 
His teaching strengthens,
His work secures the hedge of strengthening life-
YHWH's strong pressing hand lifts up, His work adds living utterance,
He strengthens authority, His hand destroys chaos,
His authority covers destroying the authority attached to chaos.

~ Christina

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Practice of Raising Children - A Blueprint

{a checklist, of sorts, from a book I am currently reading}

  • Accept that your children are both unique and ordinary
  • Teach them to honor their parents and to respect others - family, friends, community
  • Teach them to be resilient, self-reliant, and courageous
  • Teach them to be grateful for their blessings
  • Teach them the value of work
  • Teach them to make their table an altar - to approach food with an attitude of moderation, celebration, and sanctification
  • Teach them to accept rules and to exercise self-control
  • Teach them the preciousness of the present moment
  • Teach them about Elohim

... Some things to ponder.

Abba, grant us wisdom that we may train them up in they way they should go.

~ Christina

Monday, January 2, 2012

Reading Through the Scriptures

As a believer, I always knew it was important to read the Bible...
and I did try to commit myself to reading... though, as a "new testament christian",
the majority of my time was focused on reading the "new testament".
I am thankful for the many years I spent reading the "new testament" over and over, again.
I understand that YHVH had a plan then... just as He does now.

About a year or so before coming to a better understanding of Torah,
we began reading through the "Old Testament" for our homeschool history.
I knew many of the "Old Testament" stories, had read some of them,
heard them and various passages preached from the pulpit,
read articles and books sharing snippets and lessons from it,
and even saw my fair share of watered down animated and non-animated movies
depicting the beloved Bible heroes and stories.
But it was an amazing experience to read it all the way through, word for word, myself.
(that could be a blog post in itself!)

With understanding, now, that Torah directly applies to me,
it only makes sense that I really, REALLY need to know it better.
And with all our Father has done, Who He is, how He loves,
and how He has shared His heart with mankind,
my very being is compelled to read His precious words more and more.

Last year was my first year to read through a Torah portion schedule, which I loved.
And though it did go through all of the Torah {specifically the first 5 books}
and selections from the Prophets/Writings and the "New Testament",
it did not go through ALL of the Scriptures.

Recently, a facebook friend shared a Scripture reading schedule
for reading through the whole of Scripture in a year.
In addition, it includes reading through the Torah and the Gospels twice.

I've printed it out and look forward to using it in my personal reading time,
in addition to our Torah portion schedule for our homeschool,
and share the link with you here, just in case.

Read Through the Scriptures in a Year schedule

Blessings as you feast from His Word!

"...I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily portion."
~ Job 23:12