Saturday, November 24, 2012

Liturgical Year, Re-Meet Messianic Jewish Traditions

Dear Liturgical Church Year Events,

I wish to formally reintroduce to to Messianic Jewish Calendar Events.

I know you knew each other back in the day, but it doesn't seem that you mix company very much any more. If you recall, Liturgical Year, many of your events have their roots in (Messianic) Jewish Traditions.

Passover and Easter are always tied together, for Jesus and His disciples were observing Passover before He was crucified. It was at Passover that communion was started. Paul makes references to the feasts and their customs, but you, Liturgical Year, don't seem to delve into the Jewish traditions.

You seem to forget that Pentecost occurred during the Jewish Feast of Weeks (Shavuot), which occurred 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits.

Even though you two (Liturgical Year and Messianic Jewish Traditions) currently aren't very close, I just wanted to remind you of the common history and friendship that you have shared in years past. Rest assured, that I'm also contacting Messianic Jewish Traditions with a similar note. I think both of you will benefit from a closer friendship. Please put any arguments behind you for the good of your church families.

Someone who tracks Liturgical, Messianic, and Other Christian Events.

Liturgical Year
Messianic Jewish Events
Spring ‘13-Fall ‘13
Dec. 2-23
Jewish Year: 5774

Dec. 25

12 Days
Dec. 26-Jan. 6

Jan. 6

Feb. 2

Transfiguration Sunday
Feb. 10

Ash Wednesday
Feb. 13

Feb. 13-Mar. 30

Holy Week
Mar. 24-30
Ta’anit Bechorim
Mar. 25

Mar. 26

Feast of Unleavened Bread
Mar. 27-Apr. 2

Feast of Firstfruits
Mar. 28
Mar. 31

Mar. 30-May 18

Ascension Day
May 10

Feast of Weeks (Shavuot)
May 15
May 19

Ordinary Time
May 20-Nov. 23

4th month fast: Tzom Tammuz
June 25

5th month fast: Tishah B’Av
July 16

Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah)
Sept. 5

Days of Awe
Between Trumpets and Atonement

7th month fast: Tzom Gedoliah
Sept. 8

Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
Sept. 14

Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)
Sept. 19
Reformation Sunday
Oct. 27/31

All Saints’ Day
Nov. 2/1

Christ the King Sunday
Nov. 24

Nov. 28-Dec. 5
Dec. 1-22
10th month fast: Asarah B’Tevet
Dec. 13
Dec. 25

12 Days
Dec. 26-Jan. 6

Jan. 6

Feb. 2

Transfiguration Sunday
Mar. 2

Ash Wednesday
Mar. 5

Mar. 5-Apr. 19

Ta’anit Esther
Mar. 13

Mar. 16-17
Holy Week
Apr. 13-Apr. 18

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Feast Worth Attending

What does a feast consist of?

Lots of food, alcohol, scantily-cladness, and gluttony? No, thank you.

Fellowship, special food, and prayer? When's the feast?

In Jewish life, there are about 7 major festivals: Passover, festival of unleavened bread, offering of firstfruits, festival of weeks, festivals of trumpets, day of atonement, and the festival of tabernacles. (Details about these feasts can be found in Leviticus 23.)

In Christian life, there's Christmas dinner, Easter breakfast, and Thanksgiving day.

Feasts should have fellowship. In my mind, a one-person feast is so lonely. People living alone sometimes have trouble with leftover portions to meals going bad before they eat it. It's hard to cook only what one person needs. When I'm home alone, I don't break out special dishes or plates. I eat simply; typically in front of a tv.

Feasts should have special food. If we made a Thanksgiving dinner once a week, it wouldn't be so special and wouldn't be so anticipated. Feasts are a time for special foods, that aren't typically made, or classics that never lose favor.

Feasts should have joy. Feasts shouldn't be sad, mournful occasions. Laugh. Giggle. Chuckle. Rejoice in the Lord and the friends He has blessed you with!!

Feasts shouldn't forget the VIP guest. Feasts should have prayer. If you can have a feast, you can thank God for how He has blessed you.

I challenge you to have a feast. Invite others over to celebrate what God has done in your life. Don't go into debt to have a feast, but kill the fattened calf. Break out the special dishes, the special food, and the special tablecloths. Share stories. Ask questions. Share in laughter and prayer.

Have a feast.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Law of the Lord

Psalm 19 paints an odd picture. The law of the Lord is refreshing? It gives joy to the heart? It gives light to the eyes? It is more precious than gold and sweeter than honey? The law??

Psalm 1 calls the person who delights in the law of the Lord blessed. Delighting in law?

My hubby talks about using Strong's Exhaustive Concordance to trace words through the Bible. I can select a verse that talks about the law and see what the original Hebrew or Greek words were and find all the other verses that use the same original word. I did two searches, to get the N.T. and O.T. references.

The original Hebrew word (according to Strong's Concordance) is Towrah (Torah) (Strong's number 8451).
This word has been translated, in the Bible, as custom (1), instruction (10), instructions (1), Law (1), law (188), laws (10), ruling (1), teaching (7), teachings (1). It appears in the O.T. 220 times

The original Greek word (according to Strong's Concordance) is Nomos (Strong's number 3551). It has been translated as Law 193, laws 2, principle 1. It appears in the Bible (N.T.) 196 times. It is defined as anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, a command.

Non-Hebrew Bibles typically show Torah as Law. People in individualistic countries have issues with authority sometimes. In the Messianic Jewish tradition, Torah is translated as "instruction," "teaching," "guidance," and "to aim/point," in addition to Law. My individualistic side has less of an issue with these terms, even if they amount to the same. God had them written to guide me, to point me in the right direction, not to hassle or subdue me.

May I come to view the law as a thing to delight in and may it give my heart joy. May it do the same for you!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Managing Time

Time is an awfully important thing to manage correctly.

And time does not discriminate between nationality or wealth, but everyone gets the same hours, minutes, and seconds in a day.

Sometimes I'm productive with my time.

Other times...not so much. Such as the day when I spent 2+ hours reading comic strips online.

I've started applying a new principle to my time. "If I have time for _____, then I have time for ______."

For instance, if I have time to devote on facebook, then I have time to pack my husband's lunch.

If I have time to fix a dessert, then I have time to make supper.

If I have time to bake, then I have time to do the dishes after.

Apparently, as I type this, I'm hungry, since all my examples involve food.

But if I have time to craft for pleasure, then I also have time to clean my toilet.

I admire that my hubby can work hard all day and then relax at home for 30+ minutes before tackling a chore. I come home from work (a shorter work day) and dive into chores to earn free time at the end of the night. So it's a big deal for me to relax my plan and take time for something fun first...but if I have time for the fun, I need to make time for the necessities.

For a while, I was spending so much time on facebook that I wouldn't have the energy to pack my hubby's lunch before bedtime. Now I can spend time on facebook, but before I can get in bed, I need to pack lunches. That provides enough mental motivation to get me away from the computer after my bout of relaxation.

What are your strategies for managing time? What works for you? What doesn't work?

Friday, November 9, 2012

How To Entertain Your Nerdy Husband

Step 1: Remember a fun experiment you did in high school, after seeing a pintrest video (shown here).
Step 2: Research the ratio needed for the experiment (corn starch and water). 2 parts corn starch to 1 part water.
Step 3: Show the video to nerdy husband.
Step 4: Mix up your own gloop/oobleck.
Step 5: Bring him in and let him play!!

Gloop/oobleck is a colloid. It has some properties of a solid and some properties of a liquid. If you strike the surface, it's hard (like a solid). If you rest your hand on top, it sinks (through a liquid). If you grab some, it's like a solid, but if you hold it, it flows out.

Like A Solid
Like A Liquid

Handsome Hubby is Experimenting

Yet Solid

It was a hit. Plus the concoction washes off really well (as soon as you add enough water, the mixture dissolves). You can color the concoction, but it'll color your hands.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Crafty Liz

I love a good craft.

Crocheting in movie theaters.
Cross-stitching watching tv.
My First Ever Cross-Stitch

Latch-hooking to music.
My Orca Latch-hook

Sewing in silence.
My pixie skirt!!

To me, crafts are tied to community. Who taught you how to do a craft?
  • Crafts are homey. Crafts turn a house into a home.
  • Crafts are clever. Crafts call forth creativity.
  • Crafts are inspirational. Crafty people see a cute thing at a store and think "I can make that!"
  • Crafts are engaging. Sometimes I fidget. Crafts help me to channel fidget-ness into a scarf. Nifty, right?
  • Crafts are relaxing. There's nothing like unwinding to a craft you love after a long day.
  • Crafts are unique. Buy a person a tie and they might wear it. Make them a cross-stitch and frame it and its beautiful-uniqueness might make it into their decor. Crafts make great gifts and bring forth fond thoughts of the one I'm making the gift for.

What are crafts you enjoy?
Who taught you how to do it?
Why do you like crafts?

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Place of the Old...Testament That Is

Sometimes the Old Testament is ignored in churches. We forget that the Jews are the olive tree that Christians are grafted into. We forget that Jesus was a Jew and followed Jewish customs.

Jesus was a Jewish rabbi, who read from the Jewish Bible (i.e. Old Testament-O.T.), in Jewish synagogues, to a mostly Jewish audience. The New Testament cannot stand alone from the Old Testament. Jesus fulfilled the Jewish prophecies about the Messiah. Jesus quoted the Old Testament scripture and prayed verses from the Psalms. Flip through your New Testament and note all the Old Testament references cited at the bottom.

But Liz, the O.T. is outdated and we don't have to obey its laws. Is that actually accurate? God released us from dietary restrictions, but are we released from the law? Jesus came to fulfill, not abolish, the law. But Paul wrote on freedom from the law. If I understand his writings correctly, we don't *have* to follow the law, because we have salvation, but we ought to *want* to follow the law, out of love.

30 of the 39 O.T. books are quoted in the N.T. And now I'm thinking of a footnote scavenger hunt where people are instructed to check off O.T. verses quoted in N.T. (Also, this handy dandy chart at this site with the one chart shows that 16 of the 27 N.T. books quote the O.T.) Ruth is mentioned by default (in Jesus´ genealogy), but Joshua, Ruth, Esther, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Ezra, Lamentations, Obadiah, and Zephaniah aren´t quoted directly.

Some things can only be seen clearly through the lens of the O.T. Like Passover. Jesus and his disciples were eating Passover on the night he was betrayed. The same Passover mandated to Moses by God in Egypt.

So what's my point? The O.T. still is relevant to Christians. The O.T. adds depth to our faith. It shows God working throughout history. It gives Jesus' life a context. It can explain some confusing things about the N.T. Both should be studied and taught regularly.

In the Messianic synagogue I sometimes attend, each week, part of the Torah (1st 5 books), Prophets, Psalms, and N.T. are read and a sermon is given weaving the passages together. It's a thing of beauty and challenges my understanding of God.

Article on The Importance of the O.T.
Article on the Relevance of the O.T.
O.T. and N.T. connection article