Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Feast of Tabernacles

Our first Feast of Tabernacles was an amazing blessing to both our family and the family we shared the celebration. What is the Feast of Tabernacles? And why did we celebrate?

God commanded Moses to instruct the Israelites to keep the Feast of Tabernacles:

You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 23:40-43

The Jewish people still celebrate this feast in Jerusalem. We are not native Israelites, but we are grafted in and wanted to build a booth (Sukkot Sue-coat) and celebrate this feast so our children would remember God’s mighty hand during the Exodus and wanderings in the Wilderness. The timeliness of this feast fit perfectly into this year’s Biblical history studies. My dear friend and I collaborated ideas from suggestions we read on how Christians can celebrate this Feast.

I did not take a lot of pictures during the festivities as I wanted to focus on the events, prayers and blessings. I did take a picture of our Sukkot.

We all said a prayer and blessing to God before entering our Sukkot. My friend and I took turns lighting the candles on the table. One candle represents creation and the other represents redemption. Then we all had a seat and began eating our traditional American Thanksgiving feast. We had turkey, gravy, dressing, potatoes, squash, bread, cranberries, bread, and milk and honey cake for dessert.

And a yummy fruit platter! It was so beautiful I had to take a picture of it. Notice the Star Fruit! This was the first time we all had this fruit.

After our meal we had a prayer and blessing for God’s bountiful provisions.

The next part of our ceremony was the water offering. Three-year-old Mikey poured out a picture of water onto the ground and Sweetness recited this scripture.

And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of Salvation. Isaiah 12:1-3

We offered a blessing of thanks to God for the rain that causes seedtime and harvest and then we each told God what we are thankful for.

Lastly the children took their Lulav’s ...

And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. Leviticus 23:40

… and ran jubilantly around the Sukkot seven times. I was so blessed by their joyful inhibited praise before the Lord. I think King David would have been delighted. We asked them to sing a song afterwards in which they breathlessly complied.

Our final blessing and scripture was recited before calling it an evening.

Zechariah 14:16
And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of host, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Shaken Up

This school year began with a shaky start. Literally. Everyone was asking, “Where were you when the earth shook?” Our story is not quite as interesting as my friend who was on an amusement park ride and had no clue an earthquake occured until after they closed the park down. The East Coast earthquake on August 23, 2011, was the third yet strongest quake I have felt thus far.

Sweetness was upstairs talking to a friend on the phone. Cutie Pie and I were downstairs playing board games. When the rumbling began I thought, "Is that a low flying helicopter or thunder or is Sweetness dancing, or jumping upstairs?" But the rumble became louder then the shake, rattle and roll. Cutie Pie asked, “What’s happening mama?”

When I realized it was a significant earthquake I cried out to the Lord, “I love you Lord, and I know you’re in control.” My mind's eye replayed the footage I viewed of the Haiti earthquake and how the walls and roofs caved in on the helpless people and realized, “We need to get outside.” In the meantime Sweetness was ascending down the trembling stairs loudly asking her friend, “Are you ok?” Her friend was feeling the quake too and was trying to get her dog outside with the rest of her family.

I calmly led the children to the door, opened it to exit when our dog darted inside. Of course I had to make her go back out and once we were all outside the earthquake subsided. We walked around the house to see if there was any damage to the foundation and waited a few minutes before entering our house again. Whew...

The phone started ringing. Within seconds we knew it was a 5.9 earthquake centered in Mineral, Virginia. Treasure Hunter, who was driving, did not feel the earthquake. But he had the pleasure of feeling some pretty good aftershocks.

It wasn’t until a month later that I found some knick-knacks that had fallen off a mantle shelf downstairs. Other than that I am so very thankful that we are safe and our home is sound. And regardless of what the USG website says, I do believe that earthquakes are increasing in frequency and intensity. A sign Jesus told us to look for when the days of His return would approach. In that case, rock on earth!

The hail storm that occurred just two days later had us running to the basement! Ping Pong ball size hail pelted our house for several minutes! I wonder what kind of winter we'll have this year?

I'm almost up to speed on this blog and hope to have some exciting and interesting events to blog this weekend. So before I go let me say,

We love Nags Head for more reasons than one!