Counting the Omer – most are familiar with the culmination of the count, which is Pentecost, also called the Festival of Weeks. “Weeks” is taken from the Hebrew word “shavuot” and refers to the seven weeks that precede Pentecost. Leviticus 23:15 tells us to count the weeks between the Feast of First Fruits and Pentecost:
“From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks.”
Olympic multi-gold medal swimmer, Michael Phelps started training at the age of 7, but his coach knew habits—not skills alone—would be the driver of his success. So, Phelps’s coach built a series of activities before every race designed to give him a sense of building victory. On the day of the race, he gets out of bed, eats certain things, does specific stretches and exercises, he thinks about certain things. By the time the race arrives, Phelps is already more than halfway through his unconscious habits and the pattern he lives by on a daily basis. That way, the race itself—and winning the race—is just another step in Phelps’s laundry list of things to do. He’s made winning a habit.
Wow – the mind is an amazing thing! But how do we transfer that to other parts of our lives? (more…)
Have you ever been in a situation in which you wondered what Yehovah was up to? You knew you were in a specific place for a reason, but not sure what it was. Or maybe you’ve felt you were meant for something more than you’re currently doing and have asked Yehovah to open new doors. You’ve prayed and waited on the Lord for your next assignment. But once you realize what it is he’s asking of you, it seems daunting, more or different than you had in mind. You might feel overwhelmed at the prospect, maybe reluctant or anxious.
Take heart, you’re in good company. Joseph, Moses, Noah, Gideon, even Yeshua – they’ve all been where you are.
Feast of Trumpets / Yom Teruah
Day of Atonement / Yom Kippur
Feast of Tabernacles/Shelters/Harvest / Sukkot
The Eighth Day / Shemini Atzeret
This year the Fall Feasts span the month of September. (For specific dates, visit this page.)
As a Christian seeking more intimacy in my walk with Yeshua, learning about, experiencing and keeping these feasts (including the Sabbath) brought me not only into deeper intimacy with him, but God has showered me with new understanding, unexpected blessings, strengthened faith and fresh excitement. I highly recommend it!
Following are my posts about the Fall Feasts.
First of all, this quick reference guide shows the 2021 Hebrew and Gregorian dates, the Hebrew names, the purpose of the Feasts and Biblical instructions for observing them from a Messianic understanding.
Although for me, the first time through the Feasts was more learning than experiencing, with each passing year, they grow in richness and revelation of Yeshua. In the following posts I’ve attempted to share some of those insights in the hopes that you will be encouraged to start or continue your pursuit of your own journey into intimacy with him.
- Why celebrate all these Jewish holidays? Haven’t those been done away with?
- The Feasts of the Lord: Going Through the Motions
- Preparing for Yom Kippur: 40 Days of Repentance – Part 1
- Preparing for Yom Kippur: 40 Days of Repentance – Part 2
- The Feast of Trumpets & the New Moon
- The Feast of Trumpets: “A day of complete rest for remembering”
- Yom Kippur/The Day of Atonement: Yeshua Already Paid for That
- Thank Goodness for the Feast of Tabernacles!
- The 8th Day – The Last Feast is Just the Beginning
There’s both a white vase and two black profiles, but one of them stands out depending on the way you see things.
This same principle applies when we read the Bible. We read it from a certain perspective. It may be a preconceived notion we have. It may be through a filter of how we’ve come to understand a certain passage. It may be a perspective we were taught. If we’d never read the Bible and pick it up one day, we’ll see things through our own experiences, sensitivities, fears, orientation to life and our notions of God.
Have you noticed that the enemy often increases his efforts just as we’re about to approach a victory? We don’t always perceive what’s happening in the moment, but we notice that things get very difficult. Then all of the sudden, there’s a breakthrough in an area where we’ve been struggling or praying for.
Weekly parsha #40 includes Numbers 22-25. Numbers 22 is the account of Bil’am and Balak. There are so many lessons that can be gleaned from this story and from this parsha.
A visual delight for the eyes and a respite for the soul, this book leads the reader deeper into Sabbath rest with the turn of every page. With 30 pages of inspiring nature photographs blended with Hebrew scriptures from the Old Testament, this book is appropriate for Jews, Christians or Messianics.
In my previous posts on this topic, I shared how Yehovah demonstrated his faithfulness to me by replacing my fear with faith and carrying my burdens, goals and plans for a year.
The next perspective he showed me, I call Ishmael and El Roi. These are two descriptions of God in the Bible. Yehovah revealed himself to me through these two names in such a way that it changed my whole perspective and empowered me to live continuously in a place of peace and righteousness.
But the instructions for this day are a bit vague – it is to be a Sabbath with a holy convocation and an offering – much the same as the weekly Sabbath. What’s the significance of this day? (more…)
In my last post on this topic, I shared how Yehovah demonstrated his faithfulness to me very specifically over one year’s time. He replaced my fears with faith and changed my perspective to one that allows me to stay in his peace and rest every day.
A couple of years later I was working on new projects and new goals. I still had my new perspective and was still trusting God for all of my provisions, but I was still striving. (more…)
In a separate blog post I discuss how the day of Pentecost/Shavuot kicks-off the new covenant, guarantees our eternal inheritance, and brings new life through the Holy Spirit – enabling us to fulfill our mission and destiny on earth.
Pentecost, Feast of Weeks, Shavuot – the culmination of the omer count, the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit – all on one day. This is certainly something to celebrate!
My dad was a pastor. One day he was speaking to another pastor and they got on the topic of the Holy Spirit, which was one of my dad’s favorite topics. At one point this pastor asked, “So, what’s the big deal about the Holy Spirit?”
Well, my dad was so flabbergasted, he ended up writing a book to answer the question. It’s called, The Holy Spirit…So What’s the Big Deal?
It IS a big deal! And…in my opinion, it’s a big deal in a whole series of big deals. (more…)
How often have you sought peace in nature? Stood awestruck by God’s earthly beauty? Or been inspired by a stunning scene? “The Peace of the Sabbath | Shabbat Shalom” reveals one stirring scene after another, all set to Bible scriptures recounting God’s peace.
A visual delight for the eyes and a respite for the soul, this book will lead you deeper into Sabbath rest with the turn of every page.
Appropriate for Jews, Christians, Messianics and others seeking and sharing peace, this is the gift book you’ll want to keep for yourself.
Jewish tradition has preserved the festival of Purim for nearly 2,500 years. While it’s not a festival commanded by Yehovah, it commemorates the victory recounted in the book of Esther of the deliverance of Yehovah’s people from persecution and destruction – a story repeated over and over in history and, indeed, continuing today.
Esther 9:26b-28 explains the original intent of the celebration: (more…)
In Part 1, we looked at not just the month of Nisan, but the season of Nisan, “The Abib” (called Aviv in Hebrew). We learned that it’s a time of:
- Moving from one place to another by the supernatural hand of Yehovah.
- The unrighteous becoming ripe for punishment and the righteous ripe to step into their future.
- Moving toward our destiny.
What is our role in all this? (more…)
Did you know the Bible mentions the name of the God of Israel 6,828 times? (Strong’s #H3068 & #H3069) Yet, if you ask most people the name of God, they can’t tell you. Many can name the gods of other countries, cultures and pagan religions, but not the name of the one and only true God – YHVH (יהוה in Hebrew).
Why is this? Why isn’t His name spelled out in our Bibles? And, what have we missed all these centuries by not using His actual name? (more…)
The following resources are provided as a guide for celebrating the eight days of Chanukah in your home.
Most people identify Hanukkah celebrations with being Jewish. And with eight days of lighting an extra-long menorah (chanukkiah), eating extra oily potatoes (latkes), playing a game using Hebrew letters (Dreidel), it’s no wonder.
But don’t let its Jewish symbols fool you. Hanukkah is the perfect celebration for anyone who’s ever wished for good to overcome evil, a minority of principled people to triumph over a powerful, oppressive empire, a restoration of crushed cultural traditions, a chance to clear out the bad memories and start anew, and recommit to living by their values and beliefs. (more…)
I hear this question a lot. In fact, I used to ask this question a lot. You may feel the pull of the Holy Spirit to observe the Sabbath. You may find that your heart and perspective toward the scriptures, the Israelites of old and the land of Israel today is different than those you currently worship with at church on Sunday.
But now what? You don’t know anyone else who is pursuing these things; there’s no gathering on the Sabbath that you can be part of. How can you keep the Sabbath on your own? What should you be doing? What about the command of assembling with others on the Sabbath? (more…)
On the Feast of Trumpets (also called Rosh Hashanah) we put aside our work and gather with other believers, share a meal, blow our shofar, present an offering and worship just as Yehovah commanded us in Leviticus 23.
But Leviticus 23:24 also tells us this is to be “a day of complete rest for remembering.” Remembering what, it doesn’t say. In fact none of the references to the Feast of Trumpets tell us what we’re remembering.
To get some perspective, let’s go back in time about 3,500 years when the observance of this day was first commanded. (more…)
In 2014, the Feast of Trumpets kicked off the Shemitah year. Nine days later was the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and just three days after that the second of four blood moons occurred. The Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, the Shemitah year, the tetrad of blood moons – what do all these have to do with each other? What do they have to do with us? And what can we do to participate in God’s plan? (more…)
In Part 1, we looked at the progressive revelation of God’s wrath, including the five primary acts of God’s wrath, the five elements common to each, and the three milestones marking where we are in the timeline. With that in mind, I want to overlay one more aspect that brings us to our current day.
The Shemitah & Blood Moons
How would you characterize the month of August? How about September? Or January? Just like the Gregorian calendar in which each month reminds us of the season and a mood, the Hebrew sages have determined the spiritual seasons of the year.
The Hebrew month of Elul is considered the start of the “Season of Repentance.” This season extends 40 days, from Elul 1 to Tishrei 10, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). (more…)