Category Archives: Holidays

The Feast of Atonement & The Lamb’s Book of Life

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The Feast of Atonement & The Lamb’s Book of Life

“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20 NKJV

In case you have been hitting the snooze on God’s alarm clock and weren’t aware, it is the season of Teshuvah. Teshuvah is a Jewish word that means turning back (shuv) or repentance to God. It is celebrated over the month of Elul (Jewish calendar), all the way through to Yom Kippur (The Feast of Atonement). Teshuvah welcomes Rosh Hashanah, the “new year” of harvest, and one’s actions on these first ten days of the New Year (Days of Awe) determines one’s fate for the remainder. The Ten Days of Awe (I’ll explain this later), are completed on the 10th day of Tishri, the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur (Feast of Atonement), which is September 30th, 2017 on our calendar.

This year (2017), God sent up a flare to mark the first day of Teshuvah, using a total solar eclipse over the United States. It is generally thought that the nation experiencing a stellar phenomenon is the nation that needs to sit up and pay attention. Since it traversed our entire country from west to east, and happened at the beginning of the season of “turning back,” I don’t think we have to wonder what God is trying to tell us.

The path of eclipse pointed at the start of hurricane Harvey, a category 5 hurricane that pounded the Texas gulf coast with more rain than has ever fallen on America from a hurricane ever in history. Harvey caused devastating flooding.

Some quite clever sojourner of the faith even happened to notice that the eclipse (21st), plus Hurricane Harvey (25th thru the end of the month – 31st) goes pretty amazingly with Luke 21:25-31:

And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. [Soon] they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. Then He spoke to them a parable: Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.”

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The 21st of August was a pretty fantastical day. As a native of Casper, WY – one of the prime spots in America for witnessing the amazing phenomenon of totality, I had many friends, and family, living there who kept me abreast of all the happenings.

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When the day came, and as the dark shadow began falling across American soil, I felt in my spirit the story in Exodus where Father God placed Moses in the cleft of the rock and shielded his eyes with His hand as He passed by. God only allowed Moses to see His backside, but not His face. In a similar way millions of Americans (and visitors from around the world) were given a chance to see the bright shining rays of sunlight streaking out from behind the dark moon. The moon (like God’s hand), hid the brightness of the sun from their eyes briefly as it went by, allowing them a fleeting glance, and casting a shadow over them. This is the exact place in scripture where Yom Kippur is rooted out of. Moses was on the mountain making atonement for the people, who had corrupted themselves by making and worshipping a golden calf.

With all the dire warnings that we were given about protecting our eyes during the eclipse, I truly believe likewise, if we rebel against God in this season, ignoring His warnings to turn from our wicked ways and come back to Him, we will suffer dire consequences, and spiritual blindness down the road.

Blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’ Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved to the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” Romans 11:25-29 (NKJV)

This passage of scripture is the essence of Yom Kippur. It reveals that Father God has had a plan all along for His people. He is not slow in keeping His promise, as some count slowness, but is merciful, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. And I have a feeling that the times of the Gentiles is rapidly drawing to a close. The tares that have been sown into God’s wheat field are revealing themselves, and there are lots and lots of them. America has in every way exceeded the wickedness of those early Hebrew brothers and sisters who wandered in the desert, and we have corrupted ourselves with so much more than a measly golden calf.

Salt which has lost its saltiness is good for nothing but to be trampled underfoot (Matthew 5:13)

This country which was discovered by a “Christ bearer,” colonized by pilgrims seeking religious liberty, who wished to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, and then founded by brave men of tremendous courage, moral character, and wisdom, who labored in prayer and fortitude and faith to construct a government out of Christian principles, has since been ravaged, raped and pillaged by rulers, and principalities, and powers in high places who have no use for God.

It is troublesome to see such wickedness and deception, and very tempting to lay down our shields of faith for the persecution it brings. But while our hearts grow faint within us, let us remember that God is our refuge, and a very present help in times of trouble.

“Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; and you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’” Isaiah 58:6-9

Days of Awe

When I think of the word “awe” I think of being awe-stricken, and honestly, how can anyone not be awe-stricken watching the weather this last 31 days? Hurricane Harvey pounded Port Aransas, Galveston, Houston, Port Arthur and Lake Charles with record-breaking rainfall. Hurricane Irma, came right on his coat tails as another category 5 that battered the Caribbean Islands , and was so huge in mass that she completely covered Florida from south to north, ravaging it with flooding and power outages that lasted days. She was so big and so powerful that she sucked all the water away from the beaches so that people walked out on dry ground where waves once were. Now we have Jose (Joseph) and Maria (Mary) predicted to do a sort of dance in the Atlantic, but not before category 5 Maria slammed Puerto Rico and left her completely in the dark. I can’t think of a time when the oceans around us were so filled with hurricanes. And as if that wasn’t awesome enough, we are also hearing of earthquakes just about every day. Some fairly minor in Los Angeles and Illinois, but our neighbor Mexico got hit with an 8.1 on September 7th, a 5.6 on September 18th, and a 7.1 on September 19th. New Zealand got hit with a 6.1 on the 19th, and September 20th, Japan got hit with a 6.1, only 175 miles from Fukushima. I can only imagine how people’s hearts are nearly giving out on them for fear in all of those areas.

But this is not the AWE featured on the Jewish calendar. The Jewish days of awe are an annual time of repentance, having awe and reverance and fear of God. The Days begin with the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) and conclude with Yom Kippur (Atonement), which ends at sunset on September30th, 2017. Devout Jews will spend the days of awe rising while it is still dark in the morning and going to synagogue to pray, in sincere penitence (prayer, fasting, worship, and asking God’s forgiveness for every single sin in their lives committed through the year). They will also go and make things right with their fellow-man, settle legal matters, and right anything else they know someone has against them, asking forgiveness, making restitution, and trying (to the letter of the law) to make things right. This is where the portion of the Lord’s prayer comes into play, “and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Jesus also demonstrated the kingdom principle in the parable of the unmerciful servant.

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.

28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet[a] and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’[b] 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.

35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” Matthew 18:21-35 (NKJV)

While the devil is feverishly sowing discord among us right now, causing us to be at odds with one another, offended at every little thing, piercing our hearts with fiery darts of political hate, racial bigotry, accusations of so-called homophobia, class warfare, and religious hate mongering, I believe Jesus is asking that we pound our swords into plowshares and plant seeds of kindness and forgiveness. To turn away wrath from our midst, give up our wickedness and our sinful ways, and seek His face, as Moses did on the mountain.

With God, our Maker, our Creator, we have the freewill to choose to serve Him or not, and yet true freedom is found only in fulfilling the purposes we were designed for. When we kick against the goads and seek our own desires, God takes His hand away, and although unbearable to Him, He lets us do what we think is right and good in our own eyes until we are finally so miserable that we repent, or so hardened that blindness overtakes us. He doesn’t interfere with our choice. He desires that when we experience pain, disappointment, cruelty, hate, envy, betrayal, etc. that we’ll see Satan for who he really is and turn back from running after things that are not good for us. And amazingly He is always ready to take us back. Forgive us. And restore us. Nobody knows Satan and how he operates better than God. Nobody has known him for as long as God has. If we were smart we would trust God, and run to Him for safety and never give Satan the time of day. But Satan is a clever salesman and is a master at deception, convincing us that God is an ogre, the no-fun police, a harsh taskmaster, or that He doesn’t exist at all. It’s all lies.

How long will we listen to Satan’s “fake news” propaganda? How much proof do we need?

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The Lamb’s Book of Life

At the end of the days of awe, at sunset on the beginning of Yom Kippur, the custom of the Jews is to present themselves to the priest. The books are opened to see what disputes and legal matters are there, and what accusations have been brought (by two or three witnesses) against them during the past year. All secret sins are also to be confessed. Only the sins confessed are atoned for. Then, having righted all the wrongs with their neighbors, brothers, sisters, family, friends, and God himself, having cleared everything against themselves to the best of their ability, the priest then makes an atonement sacrifice for each, blots out all their sins from the books, and writes their names in the Book of Life. All the sins confessed and atoned for from the previous year are forgiven, never to be remembered again, as if they had never happened (revealing the wonderful plan of God from the beginning). When every single Jewish family has presented themselves before the priest, as the sun is setting on Yom Kippur, A HORN IS BLOWN, signaling that the ceremonies are completed. The slate (record of wrongs) is wiped clean…..until next year in Jerusalem!

Unfortunately, anyone who fails to appear before a priest out of laziness or rebellion, when that trumpet sounds, their sins remain. Anyone who refused to participate in the observance, their names are written in the book of death.

The Bible says, God has set before us, life and death, and implores us to choose life, but the choice is ours.

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God’s plan revealed: Jesus came to earth as our high priest. He made the atonement sacrifice Himself. The blood He shed on Calvary was sprinkled on the mercy seat in God’s Holy of Holies to atone for our sins.

“and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:5

Only the sins we’ve personally confessed to Him, and only the relationships we have reconciled, are under the blood (what we bind on earth is bound in heaven and what we loose on earth is loosed in heaven). When we turn from our sins and trust in Jesus, our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life forever after. All the other books (containing offenses) are wiped clean.

“For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14

When that trumpet sounds at the fulfillment of Yom Kippur, the door to heaven shall be closed forever, just as the doors to the ark of the covenant, where the mercy seat is, are also closed.

Jesus knew who would be His from the creation of the world (Revelation 17:8). He is the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world (Revelation 13:8 and 21:27). There was always a plan in place to redeem the people who would choose God. He has always known who we would be. And He has always known who would not choose Him. “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15

The Great White Throne of Judgment is a judgment for unbelievers. No one at that judgment has his name in the Book of Life; their punishment is sure.

(Read more at: GotQuestions.org)

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God’s Timing

I don’t have any divine revelation on God’s timing. I’m not making a prediction here. No man knows the day or the hour of Christ’s return. The Lord may come tomorrow, next week, later this month or a thousand years from now. I am also nobody special and don’t have a crystal ball, a phD, a seminary degree, or anything of that sort. I have no special education that you should even listen to me. I am a sinner saved by grace, and that is my only credential. I am far far far from perfect (just ask any member of my family). I haven’t seen visions or dreamt dreams. I haven’t heard God’s voice as a mighty wind or rushing waters. But I do love God’s word, and His still small voice whispers from the pages with scriptural warnings. Please go and read them for yourself, and then look around at this world we are living in. The earth all around us is suffering earthquakes, near “Biblical” floods, famines, record breaking hurricanes, unprecedented fires, poisoned waters, volcanoes, signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and wars and rumors of wars. Our earth appears to be in the throes of birth pains. Amazingly God has protected His word (the Bible) so that it should not perish for all these centuries until every jot and tittle is accomplished. That in itself is a miracle. God’s people, the Jews still exist, through all these millennia, despite every attempt of every other race to cleanse the planet of their existence. Another miracle.

This could very well be the last Yom Kippur to be celebrated on earth. Possibly the last chance to make things right with God before that door closes forever. It’s all in God’s timing. God’s timing is always perfect, and always a mystery to be revealed by Him and only Him. But there are three feasts to be fulfilled, and the trio are right on our doorstep. Remember that the wise virgins (parable) filled their lamps and were ready when the bridegroom appeared. Be ready!!!!

Do you have any unconfessed sin? Do you know someone who has something against you that you need to make right? Now is the time to take care of that. Be reconciled to God! Do it quickly!!!!

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Seek the Lord while He may be found:

  • Seek Him in the morning (pray and read the scriptures)

“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up” – Psalms 5:3

Visit this website for 12 Helpful Morning Prayers and verses

  • Seek Him during the day (pray and read the scriptures)

“We know that all creation groans and is in agony even until now. Not only that, but we ourselves, although we have the Spirit as first fruits, groan inwardly while we await the redemption of our bodies.”Romans 8:22-23

Visit this website for some beautiful daytime prayers and scripture readings iBreviary

  • Seek Him at meal times (pray and read the scriptures)

“Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts…”

Visit this website for some terrific mealtime scripture prayers Intoxicated on Life

  • Seek Him in the evening (pray and read the scriptures)

“At evening withhold not your hand.”Ecclesiastes 11:6

Visit this website for a great set of evening reflections Morning&Evening.org

  • Seek Him upon your bed (pray and read the scriptures)

“At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For when the earth experiences Your judgments The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.”Isaiah 26:9

Visit this website for cross references related to the above scripture BibleHub.com

  • Put on the whole armor of God, and pray continually with all kinds of prayers
  • Be watchful (pray and read the scriptures)
  • Keep seeking, keep knocking, keep asking (pray and read the scriptures)
  • Seek peace and pursue it (pray and read the scriptures)

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.Jesus

(Mathew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27; Deuteronomy 6:5)

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Before you go, may we have a prayer together?

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for my brothers and sisters, my spouse, my parents, my children, my friends, my family, and for myself, that You, O Lord will forgive us our sins, all of our sins, sweep our houses (body, soul, & spirit) clean and put our houses in order. I pray Your blood will cover ALL our transgressions and that You will write our names in the Lamb’s book of life forever. I pray that You will fill us with Your Holy Spirit, as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. I pray that You will tune our ears to hear what the Spirit tells us, and help us to remember everything You have told us in Your word. I pray that we will each grow stronger in Spirit every day. I pray that You will suit us up in the Spiritual Armor this day and every day, wash our feet of the heathen dust of the earth, and be attentive to our prayers. If the enemy asks to sift us as wheat I pray that you will tell him NO. I pray that You will bind our enemy, cast him as far from us as the east is from the west; cast out every fear, pull down every stronghold, and cast down every high thing that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. I pray that You will put a hedge of protection around us, place us under Your feathers and in Your shadow, surrounded by Your holy guardian angels who will intimidate and chase away every enemy, real or imagined. Set for us safe boundaries that the enemy cannot penetrate. I pray that You will put in us a desire to seek peace and pursue it with every person in our lives including You. When we are weak You are strong. I pray that You will give us clear minds, to this end, that we will forever worship You in Your kingdom, and forever be with You. We love and honor You. We worship You, O precious merciful LORD. We magnify Your name in all the earth. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses and we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

Next year in “New” Jerusalem!

(*Le-shanah ha-ba’ah bi-Yerushalayim)

* Closing toast for every Passover and every Yom Kippur observance, every year. Note that both feasts are about the blood, the Passover blood of the Lamb of God that takes away our sins, and the Atoning blood of our merciful High Priest that cleanses away our sins.

Please visit this website (Hebrew4Christians) for a more in-depth study of Yom Kippur, the fall feasts and High Holy Days, from a messianic Jewish perspective.

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“And they overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.” Revelation 12:11

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4th of July Sopapilla Cheesecake

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4th of July Sopapilla Cheesecake

Sopapilla Cheesecake is my go-to, super-fast-and-easy dessert after any Mexican dishes that I serve for supper (like “Taco Tuesday,” Taco Salad, Tamales, Chicken/Cheese/Beef Enchiladas, Chili Rellenos, Asada Street Tacos, Carnitas, Loaded Nachos, Quesadillas, etc.).  This year I decided it would be a perfect Red, White, and Blue sweet ending to our Independence Day meal, because of the colors, and because I had all the ingredients in my fridge!

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

 

2 (8-oz) pkgs Cream Cheese, softened (room temp)

1 cup sugar

½ tsp Mexican Vanilla (or, if you want to be fancy, you can scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean pod)

Mix together all three ingredients until smooth and thoroughly incorporated.  Set aside.

 

2  (8-oz) tubes Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (or, you can make your own croissant dough)

¾ cup sugar

1 tsp. Cinnamon

½ cup butter, softened (room temp)

¼ cup honey (warm in microwave for about 20 seconds, after baking cheesecake)

Lightly grease a large baking pan (or small high-sided cookie sheet) with a tablespoon of the softened butter.  Unroll one tube of crescent rolls and roll out to fit in the bottom of the greased baking pan/sheet, pinching the perforations together.  Spread the cream cheese mixture over the dough, leaving a small edge of the dough all the way around uncovered (like a pizza).  Unroll the second tube of dough and roll out to fit over the cream cheese layer.  Press down slightly around the edges.  Mix the sugar, cinnamon, and remaining softened butter together into a paste.  Spread over the top layer of dough. 

Bake in a preheated 350 degree (F) oven for about 30 minutes, until puffed and golden.  Remove from oven and drizzle the entire top of the cheesecake with warmed honey.

 

Strawberry Blueberry Compote

(This is what gives the dessert the RED and BLUE  on WHITE treatment)

¼ cup of cold water

Juice and zest of one lemon

½ cup sugar

2 Tbsp Cornstarch

1 pkg frozen strawberries

½ pkg frozen blueberries

Place water, lemon juice and zest, sugar, and cornstarch in a sauce pot on the stove.  Stir to mix the ingredients and then turn heat on medium high.  Add strawberries and bring to a boil, stirring until mixture is thick.  Remove from heat and add blueberries.  Set aside until ready to serve.

 

Cheesecake may be served warm or cold.  My son-in-law loves it warm and gooey.  I think it is delish the next morning after being refrigerated overnight, with a hot, creamy cup of coffee – like a cheese danish.  Mmmmmmm…don’t you?

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The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.

Proverbs 11:25 NKJV

 

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” 

Galatians 5:1

 

Feast of Trumpets

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Feast of Trumpets

fall-feasts

Four Feasts we’ve studied (Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Pentecost), three Feasts remain (Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles). The remaining three are fall Feasts, and all three take place at the last harvest of the year, the grape harvest, and within the span of about a month.

The Feast of Trumpets

This year (2017) the Feast of Trumpets, or Rosh Hashanah, arrives on the evening of Wednesday, September 20 and will end in the evening of Friday, September 22, of this Hebrew Year 5778.

This is how it got started:

Then God spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying:

“In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.” Leviticus 23:24-25

What was the offering to be made by fire to the Lord?

“… one young bull, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year. Be sure they are without blemish. (a blood offering). Their grain offering shall be of fine flour mixed with oil. (an unleavened bread offering). Also one kid of the goats as a sin offering, (scapegoat) besides the sin offering for atonement, the regular burnt offering with its grain offering, and their drink offerings.” Numbers 29:7-11

Rosh Hashanah is always observed on the first two days of Tishri, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. Why is a “New Year” celebrated in the middle of a year? Because it celebrates the end of one agricultural year/season and the beginning of another. It’s what we might call a fiscal new year, like the one when we have to choose our healthcare plans. In God’s kingdom it is all about the harvests, the harvest of crops and the harvest of souls. How many stories did Jesus tell where He used sowing seeds, watering plants, tending crops, and bringing in the harvests to describe His kingdom and our ministry on this earth?

The trumpet is often used to gather people. Trumpets, and shouts, were also used as a weapon of war, for example, to bring down the walls of Jericho. And in the same vein, “… I [Jesus] will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 (KJV). I believe that we who are His will hear the trump of the Lord one day very soon, and that it will gather us from the heavens and the earth, to protect us from some severely ugly times. I believe God will allow the ugly times to come to hopefully show the deceived who they are truly worshipping, and hopefully it will turn their hearts.

It was seventy years after the death and resurrection of our blessed Savior, that the Jewish people became a scattered people over the face of the earth, their temple destroyed, and their land taken over, but it was prophesied that in the last days God would gather them again to their promised land (Deuteronomy 28:58-67). After just under 1900 years it has happened as prophesied. In 1967 the Shofar blew in celebration in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount after the victory of the Six-Day War between returning Jews and the occupants of the promised land. Since that time Jews have been allowed to return to their homeland! Even so, it is still fearcely squabbled over, and hard to believe that such a tiny speck of a place on the globe could be the object of so much violent hostility. It seems there will never be peace in Israel.

The holiday though is also very relevant to Christians, as we also are a scattered people all over the globe – as God wanted us to be so that we could share the gospel with every tribe and tongue and race and nation; and we are also scattered between heaven and earth. (Please check out: Should Christians Celebrate Rosh Hashanah?).

“And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year… prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad” John 12:49-52

Clearly in the New Testament it is a trumpet that will summon and gather God’s people from all the places where we have been scattered:

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thessalonians 4:16-17)

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

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This picture of “gathering people” reminds me so much of something from the little town where I grew up. Atop of the hill, in the center of town stood a charming little log church with a steeple. The pews were each hewn of split logs, and even the pulpit and altar were hand-made of logs and hand cut boards. When the time for Sunday Service came one of the elders or deacons of the church would undo the bolt on the doors, turn the knob, and pull the front double doors open, and then He’d begin clanging that big brass church bell, taking grasp of the thick rope that hung down into the front foyer with his two strong hands and pulling with his body weight, then letting the rope rise back up, pulling it down again, and letting the rope rise back up. The sound would echo across the rooftops and down that lofty steeple, causing all the nesting birds to take flight.

Magically, at the clang-clang-clang of that bell, folks began bustling from their houses and vehicles, all dressed in their Sunday-best go-to-meeting clothes. Ladies in dresses, spritzed with perfume, curled hair in hats, wearing makeup and white gloves. Men, freshly shaven, in suits with stiff collars and ties, and hair neatly parted and combed into place. Children, bathed, with shining faces, coiffed and suited and well-mannered, as miniatures of their parents. They all strolled and shuffled up that hill, smiling and greeting one another, and gathering through the open doors, taking their places in the rustic hardwood pews for a sit-down spiritual feast. Oh how lovely it was on Sunday morning to hear those church bells ringing! The piano playing. And the choir singing.

In the same way as the church folks gathered in to satisfy their hungry souls, so similar was the practice on ranches all over my rugged cowboy state. When supper was ready it was common to hear the cook or the wife step outside and run the wand around on the triangle and holler, “COME AND GET IT!” and here they’d come. The hard-working, broke-back, famished ranch hands would wobble to their feet, swing a leg off their horses, toss their tools in a box, remove their hats to wipe the sweat from their brow, and knock the dust off their pants as they started the journey to the chow hall. They all came a hobblin’ from the far corners of the fields, some smiling, and some grunting, and all eager to fill their aching bellies, have a laugh (or a cry), share a story, and then call it a night.

Can you hear the church bells ringing? Can you hear the choir singing? Can you hear a little lady belting out, “COME AND GET IT! O weary sojourner, come and hear the word of the Lord!”

Our Savior is coming! The Landowner is coming to settle accounts, and gather His grapes into the winepress. I don’t want you to be taken by surprise.

Scripture says, two men will be in the field and one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be in the kitchen. One will be taken and one will be left (Matt.24 & Luke 17). The wise virgins will go with the bridegroom and the foolish virgins will be left behind (Matthew 25).

“For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking…until the flood came and took them all away…” Matthew 24:36-39

“You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.” John 14:28-29 (NKJV)

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24: 23-27) …for those who are HIS!

Have you ever wondered why we dream that we can fly?  Not fly like a bird, but rather float like a balloon, but with the ability to maneuver up and down and left and right with our arms and legs, like we can in water, but without any resistance.  In my dreams I am able to fly above my enemies, just out of their reach.  I can go farther and faster than them.

(Thank you Carleen Sabin for making and posting this beautiful You-Tube video)

The word of God says that some of us will fall asleep (die), and some will just fly away (like Elijah). The redeemed will be blessed to experience the Rapture, the magnificent fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets.  The defiant, who refuse to hear the word of God will be left behind.  If you’ve been riding the fence, please don’t wait until it is too late.  Get with a believer or a pastor today. Don’t let the trumpet of God surprise you. Come, while the door is open.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever will believe on Him shall have eternal life. John 3:16

Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 18:9-10

He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life: he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the son of God. 1 John 5:10-13

Behold I [Jesus] stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20

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Mrs. H’s Santa Fe Burger

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Mrs. H’s Santa Fe Burger

My husband and I discovered a little burger joint soon after moving to south Texas.  It’s not a fancy place.  In fact it’s kind of grimey looking on the outside.  A regular person might even drive right past it and not think twice about it.  It’s just a little dive of a place really, along the side of the road in Hondo, TX, but one day the old man and I cowboyed up and gave it a try … and I tell you … we absolutely fell in love with the Santa Fe burger that we ordered that first day.  We love it so much it’s all we can ever think about when we drive by.  We stop in regularly, on our way through town, just to indulge in its deliciousness.  We love it so much we haven’t even ever tried anything else on the menu.  You ever find a restaurant like that?  They are real sweet about adding a few extra things to our burgers, which is what puts the Santa Fe right over the top.  The next thing we know we’ve got it dripping down our arms, not saying a word, chewing as fast as we can to make our nagging tongues happy.

So, because of the couple of little extras I always ask for, I feel like its okay to give you my take on Billy Bobs lovely little sandwich of deliciousness.  My version by no means replaces theirs, but it’s a nice little appetizer between trips.  I’ll warn you up front that It’s a little bit of work to make, but baby it’s worth it!!!!  At least in my book.

Prepare the Green Chilies

For this recipe you’ll need about two green chilies per person, so about eight should do. I pick out the biggest and most firm Anaheim (Hatch, Fresno, New Mexico) green chilies available at the market (I also grow them in my garden).

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Wash them and dry them off, and then lay them out on a cookie sheet.

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Raise one of the oven racks to its highest position in the oven and turn the oven on to BROIL.  Allow the oven to warm up, and then put the cookie sheet of chilies in, just under the top heating element.

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I usually prop a wooden spoon in the door to hold it open a tad, so I can hear the chilies popping and crackling.

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I keep an eye on them, as it doesn’t take long.  When I see that they are pretty popped and blistered, and burned on that top side, I open the oven, slide the rack out, and use tongs to turn the chilies a quarter of a turn, and then put them back under the heat.  I continue broiling and turning until the chilies are popped and blistered, and charred on all sides.

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Quickly remove the chilies from the oven with tongs and immediately place them into a plastic Ziploc freezer back.  As soon as all the chilies are inside the bag, zip it up, and then let them sit and steam for several minutes, while you work on the rest of  your meal.

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green chilies

Back in Wyoming there was a certain time in the summer when the green chile trucks would show up in parking lots around town with heaping baskets full of green chilies and a barrel-type roaster that rotated over an open fire.  We could buy the amount of chilies we wanted and they would roast them, and then package them up for us to take home.  I often bought large amounts of those chilies, took them home and repackaged them (about six chilies to a bag) into plastic zip bags, with their blistered skins left on, but all the air squeezed out, and put them straight into my freezer.  Whenever I wanted to make something with green chilies I’d grab a bag and let it thaw for a little bit on the kitchen counter, peel the skins off in the sink, and sometimes remove the seeds and stems (depending upon what I was making), and either use them whole or chop them into pieces for whatever recipe I was doing.  SOooooo many ways to use green chilies!!!!  

Its unfortunate, but we don’t get those trucks in the little Texas town where I live now, and perhaps not where you live either.  The BBQ grill works, but I’m not a fan of standing over a hot grill to babysit chilies on a hot south Texas day.  But, in this instance, you’ll be grilling burgers out there anyways, so you may prefer just to do it all on the grill.  And maybe you have a hubby who is all about the grill and happy to do them for you!  Knuckle bump!!!!

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The Beef Patties

1 (1-pound) pkg of high quality ground beef plus 1 (1-pound) pkg of ground bison

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1 jalapeno, stem removed, seeds and flesh chopped finely

1/2 of a small red onion, chopped finely

1 tsp Salt Lick dry rub seasoning (this is mostly just cayenne and ground black pepper)

Sliced Pepper Jack cheese – to be placed on burgers at the end of grilling

Hamburger buns of choice (Sometimes all I can find are the regular, sesame seed buns, but when I can find a good, soft, ciabatta-type bun, I use that).

Mix together gently and form into four or five good-sized patties.  Set aside while you prepare the following ingredients, and then grill the burgers over hot coals on the BBQ.  Add the cheese during the last minute or so of grilling.

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Toppings

Bacon (2 slices per burger), the best is the thicker sliced applewood bacon, fried crispy  (but if I’m in a hurry and don’t have leftover bacon from breakfast, I’ll use the precooked bacon available at the grocery store and go with 3 or 4 slices per burger)

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Peel the skins off the green chilies, and remove seeds and stems, but leave whole

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Sliced jalapeno

Sliced red onion

Sliced heirloom tomatoes

Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried

Dill pickle slices

Garlic Mayonaise (mash 1 clove of garlic and mix into 2/3 cup of mayo, I often add a sprinkle of chili powder and a squeeze of lime, and sometimes some minced cilantro)

Dijon mustard

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To Assemble the Burger

Some like their buns toasted

Spread some mayo over the bun halves

Squirt on some mustard

Lay a whole slice of red onion down

Place a few slices of jalapeno on top of the onion

Then a freshly cooked beef pattie with melted cheese

Layer on two Green Chilies, two slices of cooked bacon, a slice of tomato, a folded leaf of lettuce, (and a couple slices of dill pickle if desired)

Place the top of bun in place

Mash down so you can fit it in your mouth and ENJOY!!!!!

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For this Memorial Day,

… I made these burgers and served them with my Jalapeno Potato Salad (from Cowboy Backyard BBQ), plus my latest favorite food: Mexican Street Corn, and sliced watermelon for dessert.

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Potato Salad

Mama’s POTATO SALAD 

Ingredients

6 large red potatoes cooked until tender and cubed, skins on or off as preferred

4 hard boiled eggs, cooled and chopped

1/2 large red onion diced

3 stalks of celery chopped

2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish

1 small sprig of dill weed, chopped

1 bunch of green onions chopped

1 or 2 large jalapenos, seeds and stems removed, diced

Sauce Ingredients:

1 cups Mayonnaise  (plus more or less, as you like it)

3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp Sea Salt  (plus more as desired)

2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp ground pepper

 Directions:

Put first eight ingredients in a very large bowl.  Mix up sauce ingredients and pour over the ingredients in the bowl.  Toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Optional additions:

Add a half-cup of blue cheese crumbles and a quarter cup of crispy crumbled bacon as a garnish on top of potato salad.

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Colleen’s Mexican Street Corn 

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  • 8 ears fresh sweet corn (leave the husks and stems on)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Mexican crema (my grocer carries two types, a sweet cream type,which tastes like heavy whipping cream, and a sour cream kind. Both have a slightly thicker consistency than whipping cream)
  • 1/2 cup finely crumbled cotija or Queso Fresco cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (I make my own blend, see recipe below)
  • 1 medium clove garlic, mashed and finely minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 or 5 limes, cut into wedges

I grilled my corn in the husks on the grill, turning about every 5 minutes until charred on all sides, and then I pulled the husks down over the stems (using oven mitt to protect my hands from burning) and returned the corn to the grill for a short time (about 3 minutes) to give the kernels that charred effect.  I left the husks attached for a decorative effect, but now as I look at these photos I’m thinking they might have been even cuter if I had tied something around each husk, like a piece of raffia or something, to bundle them together and anchor them to the stems, turning them into decorative “handles.”  NOTE: The corn can also be shucked and “grilled” in the oven at 425 degrees F, turning about every 7 minutes or so until cooked all the way around.  Once it is cooked on all sides and has some charred spots it’s time to dress it up.

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While the corn is grilling, mix together the mayo (please don’t use the fat-free stuff.  I know it may be healthier for you, but really, you must live a little!!!), crema, garlic, and add about 1/4 tsp of the chili powder.  Juice and zest a couple of the limes and then add the juice and zest to the mayo mixture.  Toss in about half of the crumbled cotija (Queso Fresco).  Mix well and keep in fridge until ready to use.  Cut the remaining limes into wedges and save for serving.

As soon as the corn is grilled, spread each cob with a generous amount of the mayo mix on all sides. Don’t be chincy.  Follow with a sprinkling all around of chili powder, and then cheese crumbles.  Sprinkle some cilantro on top, and a few extra sprinkles of the cheese.  Serve immediately with a wedge of lime for each cob!

You’ve died and gone to heaven, right?  I’m there with ya!!!!!!

 

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Colleen’s Homemade Chili Powder

  • 3 Ancho Chiles (dried), stemmed, seeded, and sliced
  • 3 Cascabel/Guajillo chiles (dried), stemmed, seeded, and sliced
  • 4 Arbol/Cayenne chiles (dried), stemmed, seeded, and sliced
  • 2 Pasilla chiles (dried), stemmed, seeded, and sliced
  • 2 New Mexico Red chiles (dried), stemmed, seeded, and sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon dried Mexican Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon hot Paprika

Place the chiles and cumin seeds in a saute pan or cast iron skillet and toast over medium heat about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and place in a glass bowl to cool completely.  Once cool, place in a blender, along with the other ingredients and process until a fine powder. Allow the powder to settle for several minutes before lifting the lid.  Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.  Use for making chili, to season corn, or in BBQ sauces and dry rubs.

 

Easter Fun and Games

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Easter Fun and Games

As a sequel to Easter Traditions … I present Easter Fun and Games!

Blah…blah…blah

My daughter says I write too much.  She just wants to get down to the nitty gritty and skip all the blah, blah, blah.  But I like to kind of open the door for you with a nice introduction and kind of ease you into my idea, before I just hit you with it.  Maybe some of you like the story part?  It’s the story part that knits our hearts to each other, right?  Okay, maybe not.  So here’s the deal.  If you like the blah, blah, blah, keep reading.  If not, please skip on down to the nitty gritty (labeled) and we’ll catch up with each other another time, when you’re in less of a hurry and we can chat a while.

So, I kind of questioned myself if I should just add this post to my other Easter post, or make this a whole new and separate one.  The thing is, THIS Easter was so far superior to all the others I’ve ever invented over the years, that I felt like it needed its own space.  Honestly, it feels almost inspired – like there is no way I could have come up with it on my own.  It turned out as a heavyweight title belt winning knockout of Easters.  A game four World Series winning home run of Easters.  A Super Bowl winning touchdown in overtime of Easters.  To think such a hit of a potlatch could have conceived in my frail noggin compelled me to blog about it.

It’s funny; I often wonder, somewhere in the middle of one of my writing fits, that with all the ideas  busting a move out here on Pinterest, Google, Etsy, and a millions blogs, if there is really anything new under the sun, and if by chance there might be, how on earth would anyone ever even know?  Click, click, click… scroll up, scroll down,  under and around, up and over, through the pin hole doors, down yonder a mile down on a psychedelic track with a million switchbacks, whoops, what was that, go back, to this one, lonely, little, secluded post in a random cul-de-sac of lower middle-class cyberspace-ville.  Boy!  It will make your brain hurt thinking about it, won’t it?  I guess this is why I decided that I just couldn’t start its young life buried in another old blog that nobody sees.

Oh well my dear reader, if you’ve happened to stumble upon this blog post today, it’s probably a miracle, and as such, I pray you know that it is my acquisitive aspiration to have a worthy offering for you.  Just imagining you and your sweet little family having the same blast in your home that my sweet little family had in mine is the most glorious daydream in the world.

May God shower His kindness upon you and me as we bless our families with fun and feasting, and may He bless our darling babies with dearly cherished memories to last their whole lives through, may He knit all our hearts together, and show us the Father’s extravagant love for His people … through FELLOWSHIP and FEASTING … by our callow human hands!

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More blah…blah…blah, but this is important

I keep calling it Easter, but you may call it Resurrection Sunday.  It’s the day Christians celebrate the empty tomb and our risen SAVIOR!  Why is that a big deal?  Well, because by Jesus rising from the dead, He proves that we all shall rise from the dead – some to eternal life, and others to eternal damnation (a second death).  The Lord Jesus rose from the grave to go into His heavenly kingdom, and to sprinkle the blood He shed here on earth onto the mercy-seat in heaven – the Holy of Holies.  His blood makes atonement for our sins in the Father’s eyes …  IF we accept Jesus as our Savior, and allow Him to be the King of our hearts and lives.

Allllllrighty then, finally, the “NITTY GRITTY!”

I like to start our Easter celebration the night before.  I have my little kiddos come just before dusk and plant “PROMISE SEEDS” all over in my yard. I usually just use jelly beans as the seeds, but this year I found this crazy perfect candy:

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I gave each kid several little bags of this candy, helped them open the packets, and as they were planting told them the Bible story about how when we sow gospel seeds (tell people about Jesus and the Easter story), some of those seeds will fall on rocky soil (which means the person has a hard heart and aren’t interested at all), some falls on the wayside (which could mean the person has friends that are a distracting influence, might tease them and talk them out of listening to us) , some falls among thorns and thistles (which means the person has too many other things on their mind to really pay attention to what we are saying), and some on good soil (which means they are happy to hear what we have to say and want to know more) (Matthew 13:3-8). The seeds are our words and actions, and the types of soils are the conditions of people’s hearts.  If the seed falls on good soil, the Bible says we will reap a harvest.  We also have to be careful with the words we use, because some of our words are life-giving and some kill.  If we sow the wind (which would be slander and gossip), the Bible says we shall reap the whirlwind (which is the same wind returning back on us with fury and without mercy).  We reap what we sow.

Once they’ve planted their seeds I let them take a watering can and go around and water each other’s seeds.  This is a good object lesson for the scripture that says, “One plants, another waters, but God gives the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6-8).

The next morning when our grandchildren arrived after church, I first took pictures of them in their beautiful Sunday best, and then I handed each child a basket to go gather in their harvests.  We walked to the back door, where voila, they discovered what happened to those seeds they sowed:

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Their little promise seeds grew into Easter eggs strewn everywhere – Just as little chicks burst forth from their eggs in the spring and leave an empty shell behind, so did Jesus burst forth from the grave, leaving it empty.  Eggs are the symbol we’ve chosen to tell the story of the resurrection of Christ. (Of course grandma and grandpa placed those eggs and we are happy to tell them so in a year or two).  

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After the kids gathered all the eggs that they could find outside, our family sat down to Sunday dinner.  The unopened plastic eggs were set to the side and saved for when we were finished eating.

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If you are interested…. every Easter dinner features the same menu: a glazed ham, some sort of potato casserole, a cold, crunchy, sweet pea salad, and dessert.  Click this link (Easter Traditions) for the recipes. This year dessert was a white coconut cake.  I always make plenty so we can pull out leftovers for later in the day.

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As our meal sat steaming before us, the grandchildren said the blessing, they also sang it, and it is always precious to behold.

“Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”  Mark 10:15 KJV

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Done Eating, Time for FUN!

Inside each of the plastic eggs were little slips of paper, and each slip was part of a game/activity for the kids and grown-ups to participate in.  After sharing our wonderful feast, we all gathered outside on the patio.  First we let one kid open one egg and do what their slip of paper instructed.  And then it was the next kid’s turn to pick an egg from their basket and do what it said.  The kids took turns back and forth opening eggs.  Sometimes the slips instructed them to do an activity alone, other times it involved both kids, and often times it involved the whole stinking lot of us.

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These are the Games contained in this year’s eggs: 

  • Resurrection Eggs: Twelve of the eggs contained a little trinket inside that corresponds to a part of the Easter story. They sell these egg sets at Christian stores, and online.  Whenever one of these eggs was opened, I read aloud the story from the book that corresponded to the trinket.
  • Guess the Picture: Several of the eggs contained a piece of paper folded up with a picture printed on it.  The picture was a close up of something familiar to them, but not immediately recognizable (you’ll see these a little further down on this page).  First the kids had to work together to figure out what it was a picture of … and then they had to dash off to find the objects hidden at that spot.  In each location tokens were hidden (a different colored token for each kid that matched the colors of their Easter Baskets – one kid had green, the other yellow, you could add pink, purple, blue, orange, etc.). (The tokens can be painted poker chips, buttons, play Monopoly money, painted clothespins, etc.).  When they found their tokens, and returned with them, they then were told they could use them to purchase one surprise each from grandmas prize bin (I had a stash for each kid of the normal kinds of things what would be featured in an Easter basket: candy, small toys, small games, cookies, coloring books, story books, stuffed animals, jewelry and hair things, etc. and as they gave me their tokens I pulled surprises out of each sack.).
  • Binoculars I-Spy: Inside four eggs were tiny plastic binoculars and a sticker of an object (dove, cross, empty tomb, Jesus fish).  When they got one of these, they had to use grandma’s binoculars to find the match for that object somewhere in the far parts of the yard.  I had the large-sized matching objects tacked up around the yard – a cardboard dove was tacked to a tree trunk in the far end of the yard, a Jesus cross was pinned to the fence on the far other end of the yard, a tomb cut-out was sitting on top of a big stone I have around in my front yard, and a Jesus fish was dangling from a fishing pole down by the river.  If they were having a tough time I gave them a hint:  Where would you find a bird?  Where would you find a fish?  What was rolled away from the tomb?  What was the cross made out of?  My grands love the binoculars soooo any excuse to get to use them makes them happy.  Once the child spotted the object, they had to run and get it.  On the backside was a little message that told what the special prize was for finding it (ie: coupon for lunch with granny at their school that week, or an ice cream treat to keep or give away).
  • Puzzle Pieces: I made two, four-piece puzzles, and placed the eight pieces in the eggs.  When a child opened one of these eggs, they needed to set aside the piece until they found all of them, and then tape the pieces together to complete a picture.  On the other side of the picture was a clue about the picture and what might be hidden there.  (For example, one puzzle was a photograph of the rear tire of my automobile, and the clue on the back of the completed puzzle told the kids they were looking for a key for a lock in that location.  Sure enough hidden behind the tire of my car was a box, with a key inside.  When they wondered what the key was for, I told them the other puzzle held that clue, and indeed the other puzzle when put together showed a treasure chest at the base of a tree.  The kids had to hunt to find the tree with the treasure chest, and then use the key to undo the lock to find out what was inside.
  • I-Pad Pictures: Inside some of the eggs were slips of paper that directed the kids to use the tablet camera to take pictures of specific things.  For example one slip asked them to take a picture of grandma and grandpa hugging one of the children really tight.  Another asked the child to take a picture of mom and dad making silly faces with one of the children.  Another asked the child to take a picture of all the grownups blowing bubbles, trying to do the splits in the yard, or showing their muscles, etc.  These pictures are a treasured keepsake of the day.
  • Silly Dares: These slips of paper instructed the kids or  often times the whole group to do some silly task, like doing six somersaults in the yard, or patting our heads and rubbing our tummies at the same time, or breaking a confetti egg on someone’s head, or eating a cracker and trying to whistle, or singing a song in a circle with each person singing just one word of it – we did Jesus Loves Me.  Some of the other things were: doing a one-minute crazy dance in the yard, running around front to wave at a car passing by on the road, grabbing water bottles and spraying solo cups down strings, I had set up, in a race with each other, laughing as loud as we could for 30 seconds, snapping our fingers as fast as we could, and so on.
  • Pencil puzzles: if your kids are older you can add in some pencil puzzles for them to figure out (secret codes, word searches, Jr. Jumble, connect the dots, etc.)

It could not have worked out more perfect for us that the last slip of paper to be gotten from an egg was the last piece to the puzzle that led the kids to the treasure chest hidden at the foot of one of the trees in our yard. Once they found it, they needed the key that they had found by my car tire to open the lock on the treasure box.  Inside they found some pretty jewelry and hair things to wear, and tokens to purchase the final grand prizes in grandmas prize bin – which were bunny mums that we planted in the yard after Easter.

Here are the FREE PRINTABLE paper slips and puzzles.  Just print them out (the puzzles should be printed front and back on one sheet of paper, and then cut into four pieces with a part of the picture on one side and a number or letter on the other), cut everything apart, fold everything up, and tuck each slip into your own set of plastic eggs.

 

Click this link: Easter Egg games 2017.

Below are the pictures I took for the Guess the Picture game.  They are of objects around my house, so of course they wont work for  you, but I thought you might like them for to give you ideas of what to photograph around your house.  Some, you’ll notice, were indoors, some were outdoors, and some were in my garage.

(L to R starting at top left: shower wall, bath mat, cow rug, wood stove, ash bucket by fireplace, inside dryer, bedside table, elliptical step, houseplant, water dispenser, fire pit, truck bumper, car wheel, garbage can, mailbox, spitoon, outside rock wishing well, target pallet, big rock, outside hosebib faucet, rock pile, oak tree, fig tree, flower-pot, and chiminea).

EASTER I SPY (2)

It will take the kids quite a while to open all of their eggs and complete all the little tasks, so plan on it killing most of the afternoon.  But believe me, everyone will have such a blast, and kind of not want it all to end.  Making memories.

I think the most memorable part of our fun was when one of the kids drew the slip that instructed everyone to run around front and wave at a car driving by.  There was absolutely no traffic at that moment.  We had to actually stand there for several minutes and just wait.  But then, finally, to our delight, here came a mini-van towards us.  We all started waving like the Beverly Hillbillies on moonshine, and I’ll never forget the guy’s face as he drove by.  He had his passenger window down, and smiled, and waved back at us like he knew us, but he didn’t, and then just drove on by without even slowing down.  I will wonder forever what he was thinking.  Bless his heart for playing along though and making our day!!!!

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Movie Time!

After we were all done with the plastic eggs and all those little activities, we refilled our beverages and the kids had their choice of either doing crafts or watching a movie.  They opted for the movie, which was nice.  It gave us grown-ups a chance to relax for a bit.  The choice for the kids was Lion of Judah animated movie (I’ve included the trailer below, in case you’ve never seen it).  I offered Son of God for the grown-ups, but it was my son-in-law’s childhood tradition to watch Charlton Heston’s Moses – The Ten Commandments every year at Easter.  I think it was on TV this last year too.

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Crafts

Marshmallows & Toothpicks: After the movie, I dumped a big bag of colored miniature marshmallows and a box of toothpicks out on the dining room table and just let the kids create whatever they wanted.  We made crosses, and houses, and weird little hooked together things.  Ha!  We got more snacks and beverages, and this kept us entertained for a good long time.

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Decorating Eggs:  We pushed the marshmallows aside and pulled out the eggs.  Wal-Mart this year had faux eggs in their Easter section that were perfect for decorating.  They were white and felt just like real eggs, without being real.  They even sold them by the dozen in paper egg cartons.  All the egg decorating kits worked perfectly on them.

 

Nail Cross Necklaces: This craft was a little too difficult for the little kids to do by themselves, but their mother and I helped, and we had a lot of fun with it.  Using regular construction nails and thin colored jute, we made “God’s Eye” crosses, and then attached a long string for a necklace.

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Wooooo….  is it bed time?  I’m pooped.   Praise the Lord!

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These are the things you will need to purchase for this celebration:

Large bag of Jelly Beans

2 dozen Colorful Confetti Eggs (these are colored eggs shells with confetti inside)

1 or 2 dozen faux eggs, plus some decorating kits of your choice

About 50 plastic Easter Eggs (unless you have them leftover from a previous year)

1 Resurrection Eggs kit with booklet

Prizes, approximately 25 small somethings per child (candy, toys, games, cookies, story books, stuffed animals, kid jewelry, hair clips, nail polish, lip balm, etc.) and then one big something for a grand prize per child

Nails (one longer type and two shorter type for each cross)

Yarn or colored string/jute

colored mini marshmallows (1 or 2 large bags)

toothpicks (a couple boxes)

Bubbles for each adult

groceries for the feast

movies (if you don’t already have them)

These are the things you will probably find around the house, to use for this celebration:

An I-pad or other Tablet that can take pictures with

binoculars

tape

crackers

a tool or tackle box to use as a treasure chest

a pad lock or combination lock, and chain

water guns, solo cups, and string

And these are the things you will need to make: 

Cardboard cutouts of a dove, a cross, a tomb, and a fish

 

I hope you have as much fun with this celebration as I and my family did.

The Lord liveth, and blessed be the Rock, and let the God of our Salvation be exhaulted!!!

 

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Daily Prompt: Festive

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Daily Prompt: Festive

via Daily Prompt: Festive

dscn7518Tis the season for TAMALES, fa la la la la la la la la…

What could be more festive than tamales?  Just the shear process of making them is by definition, FESTIVE!  All the women of the family, closest friends, and surrounding neighbors gathered together in one tiny house.  Cherished loved ones in aprons hovering over perfectly seasoned smoldering pork and stewing chicken.  Gifted hands dutifully chopping and cleaning jalapeños and onions.  Skilled hands making masa with lard, kneading it for an hour to get it just right, and washing and soaking corn husks.  Little hands scrubbing countertops and tables in preparation of the assembly process.  Pots of steaming water bubbling away furiously on the stove.  Music and chatter, mostly Spanish, lingering festively in the atmosphere.  Restless children bustling underfoot.  Moms and grandmoms hollering at them, and also sharing stories of Christmases past, faith, and Jesus and Mary and Joseph, women having babies, and the glory of God.  Aunts, cousins, and in-laws laughing, tasting, teasing, gossiping, squabbling, crying, and making merry with one another.   Everyone settling into their station to lovingly mass produce dozens upon dozens of these tasty little treats, for their grateful families…and ours.

 

Even the act of eating tamales is festive.  In fact, Christmas isn’t Christmas without tamales (especially if you’re in Texas)…freshly made, piping hot little packages of glistening gold, waiting to be unwrapped, and then decorated with red and green, and flocked with white.

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My very favorite tamales are savory pork with spicy jalapeno and dripping with bacon fat.  Mmmm.  Oh my goodness!  I love them hot and fresh from the steamer, buck naked, and so scorching that I can barely hold onto the wrapper to unwrap it, blowing and blowing, and deliriously addicted to its intoxicating aroma as it passes over my lips and melts on my tongue.  If that were the only way I could ever have them, it would be plenty enough for me, but a little hot sauce, red or green, makes them even better!  And, oh how I adore them dolled up Tex-Mex style, like a taco.  Three sleepy amigos laying on my plate, brought to life with green onions and lettuce and cheese and pico de gallo and black olives and sour cream with salsa mixed in it, spooned on top.  Or, how lovely they are dressed with green tomatillo salsa and some chopped green onion, or smothered in spicy New Mexico green chili, or Terlingua red chili.  Or swimming in a spicy, creamy pepper-jack cheese sauce and heaped with fresh pico on top. Or, my favorite way, decked out like a bowl of tortilla soup, sitting in their husks and splashed with a squeeze of lime, then slathered in red or green salsa, with a handful of chopped, fresh cilantro, chopped green onion, guacamole, and a generous crumble of queso fresco tossed on top.  (I’m seeing a Tamale Bar in my future; an Ugly Sweater Christmas party with a Tamale Bar and a house decorated in hot chili pepper lights – see how festive tamales are?).  Oh how I love them!!!!!!!  I love them sooooo much!   I feel almost guilty penning my intimate thoughts.  Fifty shades of GOLD.  Is it okay to lick the husks?  <blushing!>

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Just lift the lid and let the steam swirl up onto your face.  Gaze upon their golden deliciousness!  Decorate them with your favorite red and green, and white!  Serve them at parties or eat them on the street.  Give them to your family, or sneak a midnight treat!   Eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, every day of the week and the whole month of December.  I know all these tamales will lead to diet resolutions, but for now please let us savor our binomial distributions!  Muy fantástico!

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* feliz navidad *

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Feast of Booths

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Feast of Booths

Continuing with our study of the feasts of Israel is this, our final feast, the Feast of Tabernacles.  If you have missed the other studies, you may click the links here:

The Lord Our Passover (Passover & Unleavened Bread)

FIRSTFRUITS

Happy Firey Tongues Day (The Feast of Weeks – Pentecost)

Feast of Trumpets

Feast of Atonement & The Lamb’s Book of Life

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My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”  Ezekiel 37:27 (NKJV)

THE FIRST TABERNACLE

Do you remember the story in the Old Testament where Moses went on the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments from God, but returned only to find the Hebrew people had constructed a golden calf all that time he was gone, and were worshipping it?  Aaaargh!!!!  I think Moses was pretty much at his wits end with them.  He angrily tossed and broke those stone tablets, and went straight to burn their stupid idol (32:20).  In his frustration he went out and met with the Lord in a tent far away from the camp.  He called it the tabernacle of meeting (33:7) and there God and he talked things out.  The Lord asked Moses to come back up on the mountain and He would show him what to do.

When Moses returned to the mountain, God gave him instructions for building a Tabernacle of worship for the people, so that they could have Him with them in their wilderness wanderings.  God made Himself accessible to the people.

Later, on in the timeline of history, when David became king, he sought to build God a permanent dwelling place, where the Ark of the Covenant (from all the way back in Moses’ day) could be kept.  His son Solomon fulfilled his father’s vision, and the temple was built in Jerusalem.

Through the building of the tabernacle (Exodus 25:8; 29:45; Leviticus 26:11-12) and the construction of the temple (1 Kings 6:13, 14; 2 Chronicles 6:18), God demonstrated again and again an outward expression of His persistent desire to dwell with man. But we are to make no mistake… These tabernacles were only temporary provisions. God’s word tells us that He does not dwell “in temples made with hands.” (Isaiah 66:1-2; Acts 7:48-50; 17:24, 25 cp. Jeremiah 7:4; Matthew 24:1, 2) (*http://www.dianedew.com/habitatn.htm)

 

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house that I have builded?”    1 Kings 8:27 (NKJV)

 

God’s house on earth was regularly robbed and desecrated by evil kings throughout the Old Testament.  And even in the New Testament religious people of that day were using it in ways that God never intended.  Jesus overturned tables when He found that people were turning His Father’s house into a den of thieves.

In 70 AD God’s Tabernacle (Temple) on earth was finally destroyed for the last time when the Holy Land was conquered and God’s people were scattered over the face of the earth.  It has never been rebuilt.  All that remains is the western wall, where orthodox Jews and people from around the world go to pray and press their paper petitions into the cracks between the stones.

HISTORY OF THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES

Though God’s tabernacle on earth was misused and eventually destroyed, The Father never wanted His people to forget about His dwelling place, because it was after all a copy and shadow of things to come. The design that He showed to Moses on that mountain was and is a copy and shadow of His tabernacle in heaven (Hebrews chapter 8 and 9; Revelation 21).  The purpose of the tabernacle is to give man a place on his/her level to meet with our Maker, for the purpose of fellowship!  A place where we can remember the covenant God has made with us, lay down our sins, learn of His will and His ways, and sup with Him!  The ritual of “church” is a practice that, in it’s very best, gives us a picture of heaven.  Our modern “church” is rooted out of an ancient Hebrew practice ordained by God…

 

“You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.”

Deuteronomy 16:13-15 (NKJV)

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If you would like to have this coloring page, click the FREE PRINTABLE link below.

jewish-sukkah-free-printable

The Jewish Feast of Ingathering or Feast of Booths, as it is sometimes called, is the last of the yearly feasts of Israel.  It takes place in the fall, at the end (or ingathering) of the fruit harvest.

In modern Hebrew culture, The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) is celebrated by God’s children who first put up a Sukkah (like a gazebo with an open air roof) in the days leading up to the feast date.  It can be built on a porch (as long as the porch does not have a roof of any kind), or in a back yard (as long as its location is open to the sky and not sheltered under any tree cover).  The Sukkah can be made of an existing structure, as long as the roof is replaced entirely with “sechach,” which is vegetable matter that has not previously been used for any other purpose.  It must be four sided, with one side open for entering and exiting.  The roof cannot be premade – it must be newly constructed of twigs and branches of palms collected for that particular Sukkah that year.  Inside is a table, and all the family meals are taken in the Sukkah for the entire holiday.  Guests are invited and encouraged.

The week-long feast of Tabernacles is book-ended between two Sabbath days of rest – Leviticus 16:30-31; 23:34, 41.  On the first day of the feast the people of Israel were to “take the foliage of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and use them for the roof, and also offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, and rejoice before the Lord for seven days” (Leviticus 23:40,36).  All native Israelites were to go out and dwell in these booths for the seven days of the feast to remind them of their ancestors wandering in the wilderness.

(For more info please visit this terrific website!)

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EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US

As with all the feasts, Jesus is the pivotal point on which they all are hinged.  Each of the feasts are a copy and shadow of things to come.

The first four feasts (Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Pentecost) happen in the spring and summer, and each has been fulfilled by Jesus, our Passover Lamb without spot or blemish, the Resurrection and the Life, the Bridegroom of the church, our Messiah.

Three feasts remain: Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles.

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Click here for the fall-feasts-free-printable

The ultimate fulfillment of the last three feasts, as it appears, will be when Jesus sounds His trumpet at the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) and gathers His elect “from the peoples” (Eze. 11:17) – the rapture; atones for His chosen (Yom Kippur), taking the sacrifice from the cross and sprinkling the blood on the mercy seat in heaven (Lev.16:3, 14; Rom. 5:9-11), permanently penning the names of those atoned for in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  And then gathering us, His bride, the elect, and the church, from the heavens, from one end of heaven to the other, to gather us from the many mansions (Sukkot) He has built in His Father’s house (where we will be kept safe from the great tribulation to come)…

For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock. 

Psalm 27:5 (NKJV)

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…to His great Tabernacle in the New Jerusalem.

“And there we shall all ever be with Him…” (1 Thes. 4:17)

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The Wedding Feast

To understand the Feast of Tabernacles with a little more clarity, I feel like we need to understand the Jewish Wedding customs.  I see the two of them just so very intimately intertwined.

In the Old Testament, it was the custom for a son, or his family, to choose a bride.  Having made a choice, the son would then go to the father of the bride and negotiate a “bride price” or dowry.  Once the dowry was paid, the son would ask for the bride’s hand in marriage, seal the covenant with a sip of wine, and place a ring on her finger.  The two were engaged at this point, or in Jewish terms, betrothed.  It was a legally binding agreement.

The groom then left his bride and returned to his father’s house where he would begin building a home for the two of them.  This home was built in his father’s estate.  As you can imagine the groom was anxious to go back and get his bride and get the show on the road, but the son would not be allowed to go back until his father approved of the house that he had built.

When the house that the son built finally passed his father’s inspection and approval, the father would give the son permission to go back and get his bride.

When he went to retrieve his bride, while he was still a ways off, he and his groomsmen would begin shouting, and even blowing a trumpet to alert her.  The bride was supposed to be dressed, packed, and ready to depart at a moment’s notice.  She was to have an oil lamp ready, and all of her bride’s maids as well, in case he came at night.  In her time of waiting she was to remain consecrated, set apart, and bought with a price. And when the groom arrived with his groomsmen, they would then snatch the bride away and begin a joyous procession to the father’s house.  This would alert the townsfolk and bride’s families that the wedding was taking place, and they were all invited to come.

At the father’s house the bride and groom exchanged rings and vows were spoken.  Afterward, the two of them would disappear into the house he had made for them, and there they would remain for seven days.  They were not considered married until the marriage was consummated (John 3:29).  The bride and groom remained in the chamber and spent that time getting to know each other in every intimate way.  The wedding guests continued to celebrate with feasting and drinking wine and dancing until the seven days were finally ended and the bride and groom could share in a grand feast together.

If you are familiar with the scriptures it’s easy to see so many illustrations of Jesus and the church in this beautiful tradition.  If you are not familiar, I encourage you to seek the scriptures for yourself.

First, we are a chosen bride:

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”  1 Peter 2:9

“For I [Paul] am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.  2Corinthians 11:2

Jesus made a covenant with His apostles (Passover/Last Supper) that passed on to all who of us who have believed and received Christ as Lord.  At the Last Supper Jesus said, “This is my blood of the everlasting covenant, which is poured for many.”

The dowry He paid for His bride, the church, was His suffering and death on the cross (Unleavened Bread/Crucifixion/Passion of the Christ).  “But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot.”  1 Peter 1:19 (AMPC)   It was a high price, but greater love hath no man than this, that He lay down His life for His friends.

The figurative ring that Jesus placed on His bride’s finger is the deposit of the Holy Spirit into our hearts when we accept His proposal.  He set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.  And He has identified us as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts.  (2 Cor. 1:22 & Ephesians 1:13-14)

It is the seal, the promise, guaranteeing He will return for us someday.  Jesus told His disciples it was to their advantage that He go to heaven, because unless He went, the Holy Spirit could not come back.  The Holy Spirit is the betrothment, the signed contract.

When Jesus told his disciples that “in my Father’s house are many mansions” ( ) and “no man knows the day or the hour of my return, only the Father,” ( ) they understood the symbolism parallel with the wedding custom.

When the apostles preached that Jesus would return with a shout, and a trumpet (1 Thes) to gather up His bride, the Jewish people of that day HAD to have begun to see the mystery of the gospel, as I pray we do.

The feast of Trumpets is fulfilled by the rapture (gathering up and snatching away) of the church (all the believers of the earth) – the Bride of Christ.  And the feast of Tabernacles is fulfilled when the church dwells in heaven in our little sukkah’s (booths, tabernacles) that our Bridegroom has built for us, to keep us safe for the last seven of Daniel’s prophesy – the great tribulation.

Jesus was Jewish, and He used things familiar to Jews to teach kingdom principles; the Jewish people got their customs from the Father to begin with.  It is all patterned after things in heaven.  When we draw the veil back on those Jewish traditions, it gives light to our understanding of the scriptures and how Jesus fulfills all of them.  Oh how I would love to be adopted into a Messianic Jewish family and to know the ways and practices of the people of my Lord.  How I appreciate the knowledge of my Jewish brothers and sisters like Zola Levitt and others, whose wisdom I draw upon heavily in my understanding of the scriptures.

Who is the bride and who are the guests?  I believe I am interpreting Zola Levitt correctly that the bride is the raptured church (Christians and Messianic Jews), and the guests are the family of the Father (the people of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) who repent as a nation (at their feast of Atonement) of their rejection of their Messiah.

It’s maybe a little odd of me, but I am thankful for Israel’s unfaithfulness (the Father knew they would be – as Hosea’s wife was), because it allowed me, YOU (and all Gentiles), the blessed opportunity to be grafted into the promise, and a new covenant, and to share in that great feast in God’s tabernacle in the New Jerusalem at the end of the age.

 

The Lord’s Time Fully Come

jesuswaterintowineI’ve often wondered about the two places in scripture where Jesus draws back from participating in a certain activity, saying My time has not fully come. The first instance was at the wedding in Cana when Mary, His mother, asked Him to show His works and do something about the lack of wine. Jesus told her His time had not fully come, but obeyed His mother, and did His works in secret. I believe His reluctance to manifest a miracle with wine (especially the wine for a wedding banquet) was because He is saving himself for THE WINE that will be shared with us at THE WEDDING FEAST in heaven…the fulfillment of the Last Supper, which He told his disciples He would not drink of until we are all able to drink it with Him, at His table, in His kingdom.

sukkot_feast-of-tabernaclesThe second time Jesus made that statement (in John 7), His brothers were getting ready to go the Feast of Tabernacles and pushing Him to also go and show His works to the people. Jesus told them to go without Him, as His time had not fully come. Jesus did end up going, but secretly. Hebrews 8:2 tells us, the true tabernacle is with God and not men. Jesus was well aware of the many mansions (Sukkahs, tabernacles) that await us in His kingdom. Our Lord observed the feasts on earth knowing they have a fulfillment in heaven. He has slipped away to prepare our places, that where He is we may be also, and He is waiting for His Father’s command to return for us, His bride.

His time fully comes in that day, when we shall sup with Him in His tabernacle, and He with us.

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“Come away with Me…” Mark 6:31 (NKJV)

 

…is an invitation that Jesus continues to extend to anyone who can hear His voice.  It is the essence of “Tabernacles” to come out from the lives we’ve built for ourself and commune with God.

In Jesus the intent of God’s heart is fulfilled. “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt (or, tabernacled) among us…” (John 1:14) His name was called “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God With Us.” (Matthew 1:23) The tabernacle of Moses was only a type of “the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man…” (Hebrews 8:2, 5; 9:25) “… Behold, the tabernacle (the abode) of God is with man, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people …” (Revelation 21:3)

God’s ultimate intention, however, has been to make His abode within the heart of every believer (John 14:23). Jesus promised that the same Spirit that “dwelleth with you … shall be in you.” (John 14:17) His place of habitation is within His people: “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.” (Zechariah 2:10)

In Old Testament times the Spirit of God would “come and go” – His Presence would enter, bless, and depart (Numbers 9:15-23; 11:25; 2Chronicles 5:13-14). Yet the Lord longed for a place in which He might continually dwell, or make His abode. “For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation … here will I dwell; for I have desired it.” (Psalms 132:13, 14)  (*http://www.dianedew.com/habitatn.htm)

 

 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”  John 15:4-6 (NKJV)

 

 

 

“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”  John 15:2 (NKJV)

 

“And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I [John the Baptist] indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”   Matthew 3:10-12 (NKJV)

 

“And the fire will test each one’s work (our Firstfruits), of what sort it is.  If anyone’s work endures, he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.  Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?  If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”   1 Corinthians 3:13-17 (NKJV)

 

“Blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.’  Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved to the sake of the fathers.  For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable”  Romans 11:25-29 (NKJV)

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So while our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, gathered around tables inside their little outdoor huts, covered with palm branches, let us all remember, our bodies are the temple of the Lord, and let us eagerly look forward to the ingathering (harvest of souls) that shall take place, and the great supper that the Lord is preparing, where we will ALL share that communion cup with Jesus finally, after all this time.

 

‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’”

Revelation 19:9 (NKJV)

 

“Surely I am coming quickly.”  Revelation 22:20 (NKJV)