Saturday, April 29, 2017

Fruit of the Ume Tree and Psalm 1 Tenugui

(This is the third post in what became a `series` of posts on  Psalm 1 expressed in a tenugui!*
see two posts below! Blessings and thank you for visiting)

On this Shabbat,  I received a wonderful and playful gift from the Ruach HaKodesh.
The Holy Spirit of God. Yes! I believe He speaks to us in ways that are unique to each person and often with surprises.  He knows our hearts and  finds the way to express something in a language we understand.  I find that on Shabbat when we open our hearts He speaks new life into things and shows us something new.

He will even speak through a tenugui (a Japanese long rectangular cloth used traditionally as a hand towel and in recent years for many other uses) if we have ears to hear and eyes to see!

First I just saw in it the pattern the Tree planted in streams of living water.  
An expression of Psalm 1 (*see this post below!)

Then as the Shabbat went on,   I heard the other lines of the Psalm, and the Psalm seemed to come to life around me...

The streams of water!!
He will be like a planted tree over streams of water, 

see, the fruit!
producing its fruit during it`s season.   ---Psalm 1:3

Fruit of the Ume tree and `Psalm 1` Tenugui

The Torah is a Tree of Life when we grasp hold of it.  
It doesn`t unfold all at once. It is like in the Psalm.   It is something we meditate on day and night.  And then more and more we see it reflected in the world around us.  

I asked a woman that I met recently if she has a Bible. She said no.
We talked and she was distressed, so I asked her if I could pray for her, and she said, yes, please.  After we prayed,  she seemed much lighter.  We talked a little more.   I recommended that she get a Bible and that she spend time reading it.  She said she would.  I really hope she did.
It is life changing when we encounter the living word of G-d.

My prayer today is that many souls will receive Salvation and know Messiah Yeshua in this new season we are entering, where everything is green and new.  Here in Japan,  and in Israel and all the world, and even someone reading this! 
If you don`t have a copy of the Holy Scriptures, I do hope you too will grasp a hold of one.  It is a Tree of Life for those who take hold of it.  Its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace...*

(from Proverbs3:18)

God Bless you!
Shavu`a Tov.
Have a Blessed week!

Psalm 1!

The heart of entrance into this week`s  Shabbat!
The light of the Havdallah candle, marks the separation between Shabbat and the new first day of the week
A wonder-ous end to the Shabbat this week.  The wax from the Havdallah candle made a heart shape in the drips!!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Shabbat Shalom♡

 Come my Beloved

Come my beloved to greet the bride--
We will welcome the Shabbat

"Guard" and "remember" in a single utterance
let us hear the special kind
God is one and his name is one
for his name for glory and praise

Come my beloved...

 Let`s greet the Shabbat

as it is the source of blessing
it is spread over from ancient times
every deed is resulted after a thought first

Come my beloved...

Welcoming the Shabbat

a  16th C.  Hebrew song to Welcome the Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom!

Links:  an article about Welcoming the Shabbat and reference to this song, on the Chabad website,
enjoy if you would like to read it HERE

Preparing our hearts & Psalm 1 Tenugui!

Rearranging birthday balloons into a heart shape!  Rye Challah is in its second rise
Thinking about `arranging` our seek to enter His tents...

I just re-arranged the birthday balloons, it was my daughter`s birthday last week, and we had them all up in the room but they started to come down,  so I re-arranged them a little and made them into a heart.  A welcoming arrangement for Shabbat!          

As I was making them into the heart shape and wanting to get a good shape, it also made me think about...How do we prepare our hearts for Shabbat?
Today, I like to think of it like the Israelites entering the Tent of Meeting, the Tabernacle.
In the Parashiot readings we are in the book of Leviticus.
It is not easy reading, but even if we don`t understand all of it, the way that the Torah of cleanliness is set up makes us look at our hearts and ask what it means to be `clean` in all ways---eating, thinking, speaking, obeying, living.

Speaking of preparations, the challah is in it`s second rise.
It`s a Whole Wheat Challah, with rye flour instead of whole wheat in this recipe.  Today I got a new `tenugui`(photo above and detail below!) for the Shabbat.  A tenugui is a Japanese hand towel, that has many other uses including wrapping things, or can be used as a decoration.  I like to use them also as challah covers.  It`s nice to change them for the seasons.  In Japan the seasons are celebrated and you can see many wonderful designs and patterns reflecting the seasons in the tenugui.    The spring green echoes the amazing green in this season.  As the cherry blossoms have all turned to spring green!! I loved that the design seemed to be a perfect illustration of Psalm 1!!  As we meditate on the Torah of ADONAI, the things around us reflect His Word more and more.   Look how the tree is planted over streams of Living Water!!

God Bless you!
Shabbat Shalom!

Happy is the one
who has not walked in
the advice of the wicked,
nor stood in the way of sinners,
nor sat in the seat of scoffers.
But his delight is in the Torah of ADONAI,
and on His Torah he meditates 
day and night.
He will be like a planted tree 
over streams of water,
producing its fruit during its season.
Its leaf never droops---
but in all he does, he succeeds.

---Psalm 1: 1~3 

Torah reflected in a Japanese Tenugui--can you see Psalm 1 with the tree planted in streams of living water!  Hallelujah!  Praise ADONAI in the tenugui design, in every aspect of our life!!*

* notice the "Y" in the shape of the tree, for "Yeshua!" 
A tenugui and a view outside perfectly illustrating Psalm 1 today on this afternoon before Shabbat! Love and blessings, Shabbat Shalom!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Daily Bread Post-card!

Trying out a new feature just off the press at Challah and Cherry Blossoms.
On Thursdays, I will post a Daily Bread Post-card!!

Today`s postcard is from:
John 6:35

Peace to you
Shayndel@Challah and Cherry Blossoms

PS and I just added a challenge for myself, I printed "7"* to start, and will set out to give them to people in my days.  If you would like to receive one in earnest, please let me know and I will find a way to send one to you!

Blessings and Shalom!

*first Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes:
Matthew 14:13~21,Mark 6:31~44, Luke 9:12~17, John 6:1~14

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sakura Rolls and Counting the Omer

He brought me to the banquet house
and his banner over me is love.

--Song of Songs 2:4

Passover has `pass`-ed, but one thing I am learning about the celebration and observance of the Kingdom feasts, they are not `over`.  Rather, the days that we observe on the Kingdom calendar make up an ongoing cycle and each one brings us closer and closer to learning about the heart of our Creator.  Each one seems to roll open an opening to the next.  That is what the counting of the omer seemed like this year.   Counting the omer is not a feast, but rather it is the days between one feast, Passover, and the next, Shavuot.  As part of my `diary` of this first year of studying Torah and the biblical Feasts and observances, I will just share a little of what I am learning!

 Well, first of all what I am learning in this year of celebrating the Kingdom feasts, is how much we learn about His heart of Love when we enter into each appointed day.  What happens next, is the counting of the Omer which started during the first days of Passover.  It is my first year of counting the days of the omer.

Today is the 12th day, that is, one week and five days in the omer.

Then you are to count from the morrow after the Shabbat, from the day that you brought the omer of the wave offering, seven complete Shabbatot.  Until the morrow after the seventh Shabbat you are to count fifty days, and then present a new grain offering to ADONAI.     ---Leviticus 23:15
This refers to the 49-day period from the second night of Passover to Shavuot, and marks a period of the first grain offerings, as well as spiritually a counting up to when the Children of Israel were to receive the Torah at Mt. Sinai. 

This period marks the beginning of the barley harvest when, in biblical times, the Children of Israel would bring the first sheaves to the Temple as a means of thanking God for the harvest. The word omer literally means “sheaf” and refers to these early offerings.   ---paraphrased definition 

All G-d`s feasts are expressions of His perfect plan.  As we count the days from Passover to the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, we remember the continuity from what transpired long ago with our ancestors at Passover and continue to mark the days through this counting and blessing.  We experience that same anticipation when counting them today.  The omer is counted in the evenings.  The 49 days also correspond to the days just after Yeshua`s death and resurrection to the receiving of the Holy Spirit by His disciples.  They extend into each other, and we learn more about the Spring Feasts,  of what is in His Heart, and draw closer to Him.

In terms of our observance of these days, we can see how all preparation and the `clearing` that we did at Passover continue in the counting of the Omer as we desire to be more and more `clean`, and holy as in anticipation of receiving His Torah.

For I am ADONAI your God.  Therefore, sanctify yourselves, and be holy, for I am holy.

--Leviticus 11:44 

Before I received Salvation in Yeshua, I never thought of  holiness.
I also never thought of sin.  I had no concept of either.   I lived my life having no idea how deep I was in sin, from the smallest behaviors and thoughts to the outright obvious ones.  The first time I read in Scripture, `Be holy as I am holy`,  I couldn`t imagine it.  Me, holy?  The two didn`t go together.  But amazing as it is true,  He has taken our sin as the Passover Lamb, and through His blood we receive atonement.  This is what the Resurrection and the Passover are about, the deliverance and redemption and atonement that we experience in the freedom of the Exodus and ultimately in Yeshua.  In Him, we become new, and only through Him can we begin to see that we can be holy as He is holy.  Not only can we, but we must!  It goes together with obedience, and the first Commandment to Love the Lord thy G-d with all our hearts and all our souls and all our strength.
We begin to see His commandments as wonderful, joy-filled, delight-full.

Oh, how I love your Torah!     ---Psalm 119:97

 I love you!

Oh,  speaking of delight-full I know you are curious about the sakura rolls in the post title!
When the Passover ended and we were able to eat `hametz` again, i.e. bread and things with leaven,
I wasn`t sure what to eat.  Somehow to go back to leaven seemed like ...uggh! I was feeling so clean and  leaven-free.  To eat something with leaven just didn`t seem so desirable, and so I asked the L-rd to show me to the right moment to break the fast,  so it wouldn`t just be any old leaven, but something that would keep the meaning of the fast and be a good transition....

And guess what He brought to the banquet table! Well, yes! I gave it away in the title!

Cherry blossom rolls!  note:  Sakura = Cherry Blossoms

After my Passover week of rolling in the delight of the Cherry Blossoms and their connection with birth and death and Resurrection (see Passover posts below!),  He brought me to the banquet table and served a basket of all you can eat Cherry Blossom Rolls!!

 I couldn`t have made it up myself, it was that perfect!  Simple and subtle, tinged with pink... fluffy and full of essence of the Holy Spirit who knows our hearts and leads us to taste in His goodness...

Thank you Father for the way your Feasts nourish us.  Thank You for the blessings that you bestow upon us when we are obedient to your commands, and the loving ways in which you reveal your Love and your Holy Spirit.  Father, I continue to pray that someone reading this will desire to know You more and know the life changing power of the Resurrection power of Yeshua, and moving from a life on the `world`s` calendar to living on Your Kingdom calendar.

Please continue to bring us closer to you and make our hearts cleaner in anticipation of the day of Shavuot, also known as Pentecost.  May we be humble as we rejoice and delight in your Torah and the giving of the Ruach Kodesh, the Holy Spirit.
Blessings and Shalom!
A few links:  
For further reading on the Counting of the Omer: Here (Hebrew4Christians ) and Here (Chabad)

An excellent post on the same topic on a friend`s blog Here

For a highly recommended book about the Kingdom Calendar and observing the Feasts of ADONAI, this book was transformational for me:   Touching the Heart of God, by by Paul Wilbur

A sweet song taken from You Tube, enjoy !  His Banner over me is Love

Monday, April 17, 2017

Shalom Aleichem--Peace to you!

Like the shadow of the blossoms on the wall of the Castle, it is something I learned this year how the Exodus from Egypt and all the events that we remember in the re-telling of the Passover story, are all a shadow of the Salvation that came through Messiah Yeshua!!
Even the shape of the Cherry Tree speaks His name, can you see it there, a big `Y` for Yeshua!
Yeshua is our Inochi no pan, The Bread of Life

Sharing Matzah with a family who was out admiring the blossoms.
Cherry blossoms landing on an open page of the Good News
It was evening on that day, the first of the week.  When the doors were locked where the disciples were, for fear of the Judean leaders, Yeshua came and stood in their midst!  And he said to them,
"Shalom aleichem!"   ---John 20:19

After He said this, He showed them His hands and His side.  Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.  Yeshua said to them again, "Shalom aleichem!  As the Father has sent Me, I also send you."   ---John 20:20

As we can see in the above two scriptures, Shalom Aleichem, which means `Peace to you`,  are the first words Yeshua said when he appeared to his disciples after he had risen from the dead.

These words seem so alive in the end of this week of Passover.
Yeshua has risen, and we hear His words through the scriptures and in our hearts, His presence so near as we are nearing the end of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
He is in our midst.
Shalom aleichem!

`Shalom aleichem!`, he says again.
As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.

          Thank you Abba, Father for this Passover and Feast of Unleavened bread.   And for all the wonderful surprises and miracles and revelations and new friendship that blossomed in this week.  Abba, I feel like a child at the end of this Passover, just waking up to to feeling in a new way the Truth of Yeshua, and a deeper knowledge of  He who lives in me.  May we do good for you Father, as He sends us to do.  I pray that someone reading this who has not experienced the Passover or Salvation in Yeshua will be moved to want to know You, and to seek You with all his or her heart and soul and strength.  That more and more people in Japan will know You and come to celebrate and honor Your Feasts.   May we find Matzah on  the shelves of our local food shops next Passover, and may we drink together in a new Messianic gathering all over Japan from the cup of Salvation and eat the bread in remembrance of Yeshua, and in anticipation of His return.

Baruch Haba B`shem ADONAI--  Blessed is He who comes in the name of ADONAI.
                                                                                     ----Psalm 119:26
Shalom Aleichem!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Passover Dance for Yeshua

My lips will shout for joy
---when I sing praises to You---
and my soul, which You have redeemed.

---Psalm 71:23

Sharing some moments of praise under the blossoms, and a little Passover story that unfolded.

As the blossoms begin to scatter into the wind, making a pink carpet on the ground...
wishing you blessoms (blessings and blossoms, that word just emerged) and SHALOM

Friday, April 14, 2017

Shabbat Shalom, Sabbath of the Festival

Creation speaks of His Resurrection.

May the world see the Light of Salvation.

Much Love and Blessings

Shabbat Shalom
Shabbat Chol HaMoed, Sabbath of the Festival

Amen! Come, Lord Yeshua!
May the grace of the Lord Yeshua be with all!

Revelation 22:20~21

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Seder Plate, some foods we ate...

Matzah Ball Soup!
Shayndel`s cooking tip:  use Japanese dashi for the soup base, it`s light and harmonizes with the density of the Matzah Ball

In the posts below I mentioned about the Passover Seder and how Seder means `order`.  
It is a very living experience to go through each part, and the Passover seder is like no other meal or experience, it is very special. There is a lot of fun in the re-telling and at the same time great and deep remembering of the bitter times and then the rejoicing of the sweetness of freedom.

 I hope you all are having a wonderful and blessed week of Passover.  The Feast of Unleavened bread continues until April 18th.

Blessings and Shalom!


Psalm 117

Leader:  Praise the L-RD, all you nations!

Together:  Praise Him, all you peoples.

Leader:  For great is His lovingkindness toward us,

Together:  And the L-RD`s truth endures forever.  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


We break the middle Matzah into two pieces and wrap one piece in linen. This is called the Afikomen.  Afikomen is from Greek and means `He who comes` or `I came`, or it may also mean `hidden`.

Wrapping the Afikomen.  I used a Cherry Blossoms patterned Tenugui, as the cloth to wrap it.  Since the Afikomen represents Yeshua, the cherry blossoms tenugui is fitting for the theme of His Resurrection that we celebrate in this season.

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by His stripes we are healed."       ---Isaiah 53:5

"And when He had taken matzah and offered the b`rachah, He broke it and gave it to them saying, `This is My body, given for you.  Do this in memory of Me. `"

---Luke 22:19

   Blessed are you, O  L-RD our G-d, King of the Universe, 
Who brings forth the True Bread from heaven.  Amen.

(All eat the Afikomen)