And I will give them the understanding to acknowledge Me, for I am the LORD. And they shall be My people and I will be their God, when they turn back to me with all their heart.
It was so special to share Shabbat, poolside, with my family when I returned to the U.S. this summer! It was the first time in my life to celebrate Shabbat with my family, what a blessing it was to read the blessings together and welcome the Shabbat at my Dad`s house in Long Island. As you can see we made it in the colors of the summer, a turquoise blue setting.
Turquoise is also the color of the New Jerusalem, so it is a good color for Shabbat.
I ordered a set of travel Shabbat Shalom Candle Holders and a new challah cover, and sent them to my Dad`s house ahead of time to have them in time for Shabbat. Some of the guests (family members!) are vegetarian, so I made a vegan challah (even though they confirmed at the dinner they are not vegan, just to be sure I decided on this vegan challah!).
It was very wonderful to share the Shabbat with my family. Even though my family is Jewish, we never observed the Shabbat. Here`s what it took for me to come to observing Shabbat in recent years---It took for me to go to Japan, `run away` from my Jewish heritage, seek my spiritual identity in other `gods` , and finally, after not even knowing how far into the darkness that I was going, and without even looking for Him, here in a small city in southern Japan I was `found` by Yeshua!! He brought me back to our Heavenly Father, to repentance, and taught me to observe the Sabbath, which I have been doing for the past year and a half here in Japan!
So to be gathered together in my `hometown` of Long Island, and to be able to make a Shabbat meal for my family, was a wonderful summer gift from our Father in Heaven! It is something I have wanted to do since I began celebrating the Shabbat.
Thank you LORD for bringing me back to YOU through Yeshua. Thank you for my family, and that we could enjoy a special summer Shabbat and time together, and that you are bringing us all back to YOU!!
After I wrote a draft of this post, I was looking to find a scripture about `returning` to the LORD God Almighty, and this scripture from Nehemiah spoke to my soul. It begins with a letter and prayer of Nehemiah, who is seeking the LORD on behalf of Israel, for not honoring the commandments of God. As we are a Jewish family and did not observe the commandment to observe the Shabbat, and surely other commandments as well too, I feel as though this verse speaks to me.
It is amazing how it is written so many years ago, but through it, as with all Scripture, we see and know that the LORD has not changed. His commandments have not changed. And his mercy endures throughout the generations. Through Yeshua, His forgiveness will be granted once we seek Him and repent. As we are so close to the days of Awe and Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement on the Hebrew calendar, I am doubly moved to quote the whole scripture here. I am looking at the photos below and not sure how the photo and scripture go together, but as this is a `modern` story of repentence and return, I hope that the heart of what I am wanting to express in the post will come through . I will copy it now and see:
O LORD, God of Heaven, great and awesome God, who stays faithful to His covenant with those who love Him and keep His commandments! Let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to receive the prayer of your servant that I am praying to You now, day and night, on behalf of the Israelites, Your servants, confessing the sins that we Israelites have committed against You, sins that I and my father`s house have committed. We have offended you by not keeping the commandments, the laws, and the rules that You gave to Your servant Moses. Be mindful of the promise You gave to Your servant Moses: `If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, but if you turn back to Me, faithfully keep My commandments, even if your dispersed are at the ends of the earth, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place where I have chosen to establish My name. For they are Your servants and Your people whom You redeemed by Your great power and Your mighty hand. O Lord! Let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to hold Your name in awe. Grant Your servant success today, and dispose that man to be compassionate toward him!
|Shabbat Shalom everyone! |
Love and blessings,
|a poolside Shabbat, the challah board has an `anchor` to go with the theme|
|bonus photo ! meeting a family of deer near my Father`s house this summer!!|
Now, sons, listen to me;
Happy are they who keep my ways.