Friday, September 30, 2011

The Coming King

How many of you know what Rosh Hashanah is?

I didn't know until I began studying some of the Jewish feasts and holy days. It is the Jewish version of the "New Year." Except that it falls on the first day of their 7th month. It is a holy day that the people of Israel were commanded by God in Leviticus 23:23-25 to celebrate, the feast of trumpets.

The trumpet they used is called a shofar and would be made of a ram's horn. According to the book "Feast," by Derek Leman that I've been reading through, "The shofar was used in various ways in ancient Israel: The trumpet was heard in God's appearance at Mt. Sinai (Ex. 19:16). The trumpet was used to gather armies to battle (Judges 3:27). The trumpet marked the special Jubilee year in which debts were remitted and slaves set free (Lev. 25:9). The trumpet was used at the coronation of kings (1 Kings 1:34)."

The sound of the trumpet always called for attention and signaled change was about to come.

So what did the trumpet mean in regards to Rosh Hashanah? It signaled the beginning of "The Ten Days of Awe," the period of self-reflection and repentance before another holy day, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, was to happen. On that day, a sacrifice would be made for the sins of the nation of Israel and they would wait to see if God accepted that sacrifice.

By now you may be thinking, "Blah, blah, what significance does any of this have to me, Dessa?"

Well a big thing that Derek Leman points out in his book is that, "Someday trumpets are going to blow. And when they do, they will mean a change is at hand. The trumpets will herald the King."

Scripture says:
"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

Someday soon the King of kings is coming for us. He will then reign on earth, bringing hope and joy to those who have accepted Him as Messiah and Savior, and bringing fear and wrath on those who haven't. This truth should lead believers to the importance of repentance and reflection in our daily lives. Not only do we personally need and want to be ready for His Second Coming by preparing our hearts and living lives that we won't be ashamed of, we must think about those who are not ready for His return. There are millions of souls in our world today that are not. Do our hearts break for them? Or are we hardened to that truth? Are you and I truly ready?

I personally need this time of repentance and reflection. I am participating in the "Ten Days of Awe" in my private walk with God. I want to be ready for my King whenever He comes back for me, a servant who needs not be ashamed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Meal Planning & "Plan It--Don't Panic" Week 1

A few weeks ago I was talking with an unmarried friend and she asked me what one of the hardest things I've had to learn while being married. I had to think about it for awhile, but then I realized that learning to be a better time manager has been a huge struggle for me! When you are single, disorganization doesn't wreak quite as much havoc on your life as when you are caring for another person who is depending on you. (I'm sure here in a few weeks I am going to find out how REALLY true that with the birth of our baby!)

I still have a long way to go, but one of the most helpful things I've done to keep life organized is plan out meals. I've tried both weekly and monthly meal plans. Neither totally matters, both are beneficial.

Here are some benefits I've found to making a meal plan:

1.) Knowing each day what your family will be eating. It prevents rushing around 30 minutes before you want to eat like a chicken with your head cut off. You can make nice meals because you've had time to prepare. It adds a peacefulness to cooking.
2.) Being able to plan nutritious meals. It helps me make the time to soak my grains, etc., things that don't happen if I don't plan ahead.
3.) It saves us money! Meal planning allows me to make out a monthly/weekly grocery list and stick to it. I try to only go to the store for food once a week. It has been proven that the more trips you make to the store, the more money gets spent on impulse shopping. It also helps me budget out how much money we might need for groceries that month.

So all that said here is my "Plan It--Don't Panic!" post for meals for the week of September 26th-October 2nd. I'm not sure if I will be able to participate in all 6 weeks because of the baby coming but I love that this is gathering women together to encourage this helpful practice! Plus it's given me some meal ideals already for next month. And usually I don't plan breakfasts but in honor of the challenge, I am trying it!

September 26th-October 2nd
Monday--Breakfast: eggs, toast, yogurt
Dinner: steaks w/pineapple chutney, baked potatoes, & coleslaw
Prep: soak 1 1/2 cups navy beans
Tuesday--Breakfast: smoothies & toast
Dinner: ham & navy bean soup
Prep: thaw hamburger
Wednesday--Breakfast: fried eggs, hash-browns w/onions & peppers
Dinner: hamburgers w/ frybread buns, fresh veggies
Prep: thaw hamburger
Thursday--Breakfast: scrambled eggs, leftover frybread, fruit
Dinner: lasagna
Friday--Breakfast: smoothies & toast
Dinner: potato soup
Prep: soak pinto/black bean mix; thaw stew meat
Saturday--Breakfast: pancakes & eggs
Dinner: Chili w/ cornbread
Prep: soak oatmeal & rice; thaw re-fried beans
Sunday--Breakfast: oatmeal w/fruit & nuts
Dinner: southwestern style casserole

To see more about the challenge, check out this link!