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Counting the Omer

Today is the Feast of First Fruits (Leviticus 23:9-13), which also means that today we start counting up to Pentecost, or Shavuot, the “Feast of Weeks.” It’s called that because there are seven weeks (50 days) between these two feasts.

These Are the Days of Elijah… (a post for mothers)

In the excellent parenting book, “Don’t Make Me Count to Three!”, author Ginger Plowman compares my job as a parent with John the Baptist. (She calls us “Joan the Baptist,” LOL!) Why does she do that?

Jesus says, in Matthew 11:14, that John was “the Elijah who was to come.” Who was Elijah the prophet?

Celebrating Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication

Thanks to reader Shoshanna for writing this for us!

Hanukkah means dedication, so it is known as the Feast of Dedication (or re-dedication), and it is also known as the Festival of Lights.  It is not a commanded feast, but it is fun, and there is a lot to learn from it as well, so why not celebrate it? 

Passover Teaching Ideas

Passover is next week, and I wanted to share some of the fun ideas our family uses to prepare for and celebrate this biblical holiday. Exodus 12:24-27 tells us that one of the reasons we are to celebrate this feast is so that we can teach our children.

Simchat Torah

This coming week, our family will be joining in on the traditional Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, which means “Rejoicing in the Torah.”

As Wikipedia explains, this holiday celebrates the completion of another year of reading through the Torah.

Activities for the Day of Atonement

Here is a fun study on the biblical Day of Atonement! In our house, we took one week to do this study.

Memory Verses – “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Christian Education in the Home

The following is a quote from the introduction to a wonderful book, Celebrate the Feasts of the Old Testament in Your Own Home or Church, by Martha Zimmerman. I thought it was very good…

“Hey, Mom! You’re right! Habakkuk is in the Bible.”

Sure that I was hearing things, I called back to our twelve-year-old son, “What did you say?” His response was a surprise.

The Month of Preparation

Just as the sixth day of the week is the preparation for the seventh, the Sabbath, so also the sixth month of the year is the preparation for the seventh, the month of the fall feasts.  Well, we’ve just started Elul, the sixth month of the year. 

Telling Our Children Why

When God tells us to remember the Sabbath day, He gives us the command to “remember” and “observe.”  These words give us the reasons behind His command.  They also give me two great ideas for parenting.

First, while not all my commands to my children will contain the reason, it’s helpful to be sure that I don’t exclude the reason completely. 

Friday Night

We’ve been enjoying a special dinner together as a family on Friday nights.  I found a really nice song, written by Martha Zimmerman in her book, Celebrating the Feasts, and we sing it as our blessing over the food on Friday nights:

(to the tune of “Edelweiss”)
Bless our home, bless our food;
Come, O Lord, and sit with us;
May our talk glow with peace,
May your love surround us;
Friendship and love, may they bloom and grow,
Bloom and grow forever;
Bless our home, bless our food;
Come, O Lord, and sit with us.