ב BETH – A HEART IS A HOUSE FOR GOD’S WORD

INTRODUCING TODAY’S SPECIAL TREAT

Welcome to THE HOUSE DOCTOR section of The IN SEASON Lifestyle Blog.  Today we have a very special treat for you!

It gives me great pleasure to introduce our guest blogger:

ELAINE ETHRIDGE

If you have a heart that beats with passion for the task of making a house into a home, Elaine’s featured article brings forth some interesting points to consider.  She gives some great advice for a way to let our homes become the nesting ground for God’s fruit in our lives.

Thank you Elaine for sharing the beautiful words of your heart in the blog today.  I know everyone will also enjoy the awesome photos from your yard that were the inspiration for this article that follows:

ב BETH

(Writing and Photography by Elaine Ethridge)

While reading the verse of the day this week, the LORD led me to dig deeper into Psalms 119. 

I found that this Psalm is divided by eight Hebrew consonants.

ב BETH is the consonant that precedes verses 9-16.

To my delight I discovered that ב BETH is the picture or symbol of a house, a house not so different in appearance from my bluebird house. 

As I read the passage, it occurred to me that it is all about housing, or making our heart a home for God’s word. 

These verses talk about hiding these words from the Psalm in our heart:

 Following them.

 Recounting them aloud.

 Meditating on them.

 Contemplating them.

 Delighting in them.

 Remembering them. 

KEY QUESTION:

How could we not know God and His character when doing these things?

(Here are the words from the passage of Psalm 119:9-16: NIV; “How can a young person stay on the path of purity?  By living according to your word.  I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.  Praise be to you, LORD; teach me your decrees.  With my lips I recount all the laws that came from your mouth.  I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.  I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.  I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.”)

This IS how we know what we should do and when it is appropriate to do so!

This is how He leads us into purity, washes our thought life and confirms us to His image. 

Our heart, as a home for His word, becomes the nesting ground of God’s fruit in our lives.

God would have that fruit to mature and to take flight, bringing life to a lost and dying world.

A PRAYER OF THANKS AND A REQUEST FOR A CHANGED HEART

Oh God, thank you for your word!

Thank you Holy Spirit for writing it on my heart.

Thank you Jesus that you stand at my heart’s door and knock.  Your desire is to sup with me!  How amazing is that?

Lord, give me a heart completely open to you and your word.  Give me a desire to feast on it daily and fellowship with you. 

God I confess that I fast more often than feast.  Change this in me.  Come deposit your word in my heart!  Enable me to raise the cups of commitment highlighted in this passage and say “I will rejoice in following your statues.  I will meditate on your precepts.  I will consider your ways.  I will remember and not neglect your word.”    

In Jesus Name.  Amen.

 

A FATHER IS BORN – A POEM BY KIRK SYNYARD

Best Dad Ever

The IN SEASON Lifestyle held a FATHER’S DAY POETRY CONTEST in June of 2017 

And the winner is:  

Mr. KIRK SYNYARD of Toronto Ontario Canada!  

Once the winner was decided I asked Kirk to share a few words with me about why he wrote the winning poem which he titled:  A FATHER IS BORN. 

 I wanted to know a little more about his own experiences as a father.  

These are the words he used to explain:

“I became a father early on in life and it was a struggle to balance my life at school and at work.  

Some days were harder to manage as we tried to make ends meet financially.  But through it all; I stand proudly to say that I would do it all over again.

I am a proud father of four beautiful children, two boys and two girls; and they are my inspiration to persevere and endure the obstacles in life.”

Kirk's Four Children

Of course I asked to see a photo of the kids, and he quickly produced one right away.

Aren’t they beautiful?

I asked Kirk what he enjoyed most about his time of raising them and here is his reply:

“A benefit of being a young father many years ago was that I felt I could relate easier to them.  The latest fads, the music, toys and video games were all fun to get engrossed in and enjoy with my children.  I could sing a Britney Spears song or Backstreet Boys song if I heard it play on the radio.”

Funny how those types of memories never go away.  We can always recall them in an instant when certain things happen to trigger the past.

I asked Kirk to explain why he wrote this particular poem which he called A FATHER IS BORN.  Again here is the answer in his exact words:

“I wrote this poem many, many years ago and have held it close to my heart.  The poem is what every father aspires to accomplish with their children.  It speaks of the desire to become a father, a teacher, a friend.  The words express the warmth of teaching your child and guiding them through each phase in life; hoping that everything you’ve ever wanted for them comes to fruition. 

I had similar relationships with each of my children, but have understood that boys like rugged play, fighting and building things.  Girls are delicate but more inquisitive and want to learn and absorb information.  I have enjoyed every aspect of fatherhood and have always felt that everyone needs to experience parenthood for all of its amazing adventures.  As my children finish high school and university I will have more time to write some new poetry.”

We will be looking forward to reading those new poems too Kirk!

Congratulations on finishing this one well and winning our Father’s Day Poetry Contest for 2017.

Good luck on your future adventures and blessings to you and your beautiful family.

KIRK SYNYARD

So, finally; here is Kirk’s beautiful poem for your reading pleasure:

A FATHER IS BORN 

(Written By Kirk Synyard) 

Tears run down my cheeks
I looked up and I gazed
Through blurry little eyes
I was instantly amazed

A scruff manly chin
And a smile of pure joy
I think he’s my father
He’s happy; a boy

He held me so close
Kept me safe and so warm
My protector and influence
From the day I was born

He teaches and is taught
On how to be a dad
I can ride a bike now
He yells, ”Hey not too bad”

Dad works on his car
He is always a mess
I pass him his tools
He says I’m the best

Some nights I can’t sleep
Dad; he’s always up
I cuddle into him
Like a cute little pup

The years they will pass
Summers; winters will fade
I keep growing older
Lots of memories we’ve made

I did it! I’m great!
I finished high school
Time to hit college
I’ll be leaving home soon

September it comes
The days turn to nights
We sit on the porch
We’ve always been tight

You’re my best friend son
Always trying my best
There was no book to read
Learned from trials and tests

My Dad smiles and knows
The time it has come
Tears run down his cheeks
Good Luck to you son

I’m all grown up now
Working steady and hard
A wife and new house
And a dog in the yard

Good news we are blessed
He’s a cute little lad
He looks up at me
My turn to be dad

 

 

FATHER’S DAY DECORATING – THE HOUSE DOCTOR

Father's Day decor

FATHER’S DAY IS FAST APPROACHING!

Are you  ready?

The best way I know to turn a house into a happy home is to honor and respect the father/father’s who live, love and visit there.

I refuse to let Father’s Day be a downer for me because my Father is no longer with us.  I know he is having a great time in heaven and he would not want me to be sad.  

Instead I choose to make it a day to remember and honor all the wonderful ways he was a good father to me.  Thanks again Dad!  I hope I told you in a million ways while you were alive.

There are also a whole wonderful bunch of loving family members and friends left here living all around me that need to celebrate the great God-given position of fatherhood.  

Our family has been blessed with many awesome fathers.  

I’ve cherished the honor of being a small part of helping my husband be a good father; and I’ve adored the honor of watching my son-in-laws step into the happy place of becoming loving fathers too.

 

 

Father’s day is a good day for counting all of your blessings; both past, present and future.  What a wonderful way to officially begin the summer festivities,

So; let’s all have a wonderful Father’s Day celebration this year!

It is time to decorate the house in an honorable and festive way.

I want our house to have some elements of surprise, however;  I’m not changing too much of the color scheme that we used for Memorial Day and Pentecost.

Father's Day Sofa Pillows - by Sheila Gail Landgraf

The red,white and blue will be great through Father’s Day.    As a matter of fact; I’m leaving that color scheme in place until after Independence Day.

America’s colors are so flexible!

They blend with so many of our seasons. I love the bright cheerful look they present; so I’m going to plan my Father’s Day festivities around these patriotic colors.

Still – we need SOME changes; just a few little elements of surprise here and there.

Speaking of little surprises; I love Henri Nouwen’s way of welcoming a day into our lives.  He says:

“Each day holds a surprise., but only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy, it will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.“

Red White and Blue In A Baket by Sheila Gail Landgraf

Celebrating Father’s Day is certainly a way of bringing this type of celebration into our lives.  

Celebrations From the Past - by Sheila Gail Landgraf

Father’s Day is always a great time for remembering the good times we’ve had with our Fathers in the past; and a perfect time for beginning to look forward to and be thankful for the good things that are still ahead with the youngest generations who are quickly taking their place in the busy and bustling world.

Men of the Future by Sheila Gail Landgraf

REMEMBERING THE DAY BY SHEILA GAIL LANDGRAF

The first element of surprise for Father’s Day will start at the entry door. The red, white and blue banner that says “Welcome to our home” will greet all the Dad’s who enter for our celebration.

Welcome Banner by Sheila Gail Landgraf

I’ve gathered some red, white and blue photo frames for pics of our grand children to put on the couch table in the entry.

I’ve found a cute little red, white and blue fireplace screen that is made up of little row-house bird houses. It gives the fireplace area more of a cheerful summer look.

USING THE FAMILY TREE TO CELEBRATE AND HONOR OUR FATHERS

To give the decorating theme that little element of surprise; I’ll add some navy blue stars to the family tree in my kitchen window. On those stars will be some candid black and white photos of all of the Dad’s in our family.

I did this same  sort of project (in a different and appropriate way) for Mother’s Day,  and it was a great hit!  I hope all of the family’s fathers love it as well.

I’m sure the guys won’t be expecting their version of the family tree for Father’s Day, and it will be a novel conversational center in the room when we gather.

Everyone will love looking over the memories of all of our family’s Father’s in action.   This is sure to spark some interesting conversations, plus this little extra effort will truly surprise them.

I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

 

 

For the dining room area I’m going to continue this festive approach and drape a string of red, white and blue wooden stars in the window between the open draperies.

The table will carry on the patriotic look with its array of red, white and blue dishes and place-mats and napkins; and I’ll also add a little country flair to this occasion with a row of mason jars filled with  short little stems of pretty navy blue and/or red carnations at the center of the table.  This will make things feel a little less formal and produce more of a jazzed-up-casual type of atmosphere that I think our Father’s will enjoy.

I’ll set out the old, well-used red, white and blue picnic basket with it’s starred napkins for a focus accent in the dining room.picnic basket by Sheila Gail LandgrafThe kitchen table has it’s larger flags inside a tall narrow glass jar which has a place for a chalkboard message. I’ll write Happy Father’s Day on the chalk board message section and just let the flags bring the color to this location.Table Flags

FlagsTo accent the family tree whenever I get it filled with pics of our family’s Dads I’ll put two more rows of small mason jars filled with small flags on each side.Flads in the WindowI’ll keep my large red wing-backed chairs out in the corners of my kitchen just a while longer.  They will be flanked with pretty navy blue pillows that contain white stars.

The chairs accent each side of the table holding the family tree.Patriotic KitchenI think some of our time together may be spent outside on the deck; even though our deck is still being remodeled.   Since that is the case I think I’ll flank the tables on the deck with bright red table cloths and add some mason jars and flags here and there along with some bright, pretty red, white and blue hanging baskets strategically located in different places along the deck.Cross with FlagThings are really beginning to look festive and I think it is all shaping up for a lovely Father’s Day celebration.

ELIMINATE ALL THE STRESS FACTORS AHEAD OF TIME

Father’s day is another of those stressful scheduling times.

I try to eliminate the stress factor for everyone  by not even having a schedule. We will be home all day for whoever wants to wonder over.   The door will be open.  There will be food and festivity for whoever can join us. No pressure.

One of our children and her family will be in another state and they will be holding our two grandsons hostage in their home; so we will be missing them from our ranks this year.

Their pics will be with us though and we will be getting phone calls I’m sure.

The other married daughter will be spending time with her husband’s father too; so I’m not pressuring them with a firm schedule.  She and her husband will be scheduled to work (I know because we are babysitting their daughter.)  At least we will get a few minutes in with them when they drop her off and pick her up!  My granddaughter’s Dad will also be enjoying the day with his daughter; so that is another understanding moment on our part. Our little granddaughter should be having her Father’s Day time with just her own Dad too!

Our other daughter could also be working retail-crazy-hours and our son often has logistic problems.

It could be a full house or an empty house; and I never know, so I just don’t worry and am thankful for whatever God brings our way.   I try to keep our home schedules simple and “off-the-cuff.”  The world gives us enough schedules!  I’m not dealing with that in our celebrations and down time, nor am I harassing or rushing anyone else.   I simply prepare whatever I’ve planned for whoever shows up whenever; and have low expectations on keeping a firm schedule. Whatever unfolds; unfolds as it does.

It is always good and NEVER boring!

This is all the more reason for having the house festive and the food in order. You never know when someone could decide to drop in. We can be ready to celebrate with either just a few or a crowd at the drop of a hat.

This year I’m planning an  easy-to-prepare Father’s Day menu.  I’ll try to post it with this series of Father’s Day articles soon.

The finishing touch to all the patriotic and traditional decorating is simply knowing the truth of that one little trick that utilizes the words of Max Eastman:

“A smile is the universal welcome!”

NOTE TO THE READER:  THIS IS JUST ONE OF SEVERAL ARTICLES ON FATHER’S DAY.  IF YOU ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY:  https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/fathers-day/https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/contest/.

JUNE NEWSLETTER For The IN SEASON Lifestyle

Hello Everyone!

Can you believe we are well into June?

So much is happening in The IN SEASON Lifestyle that it is hard to know where to start with blog updates!

I think I will start with the big announcement that we will be hosting a monthly newsletter!  June will be our first official month for hosting The IN SEASON Lifestyle Newsletter; so consider this moment a part of history! 

Here is your own personal June First Edition Newsletter:

We have certainly been busy this past month of May; just living life upside-down and inside-out.  

With the inception of this blog we have started many new traditions!  

LOOKING AT THE PAST, THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE

THE PAST – THE BUSY AND SEASONAL MONTH OF MAY

May was one awesome moment after another.  

We added our first Newsletter and our first Contest.  

We were also busy creating a new section to bring you some of the The IN SEASON Lifestyle related products.  Keep checking the PRODUCTS section of the blog for the updates that are coming.  You are going to love each one!

With the publication of this Newsletter every month we will be giving you a summarized glimpse of THE PAST, THE PRESENT and THE FUTURE of this blog and The IN SEASON Lifestyle happenings and news!  

CELEBRATING MOTHER’S DAY

We began the month of May by having a week-long series of  Mother’s Day articles under the SEASON’S section of the blog.  I hope you enjoyed every one and that maybe these articles were helpful to you in your own Mother’s Day Planning.  If you missed them; you may read them here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/seasons-menu-mothers-day-luncheon/

As promised; here is a pic of my family celebration showing my own beautiful Mom with our lovely daughter and her daughter (my adorable granddaughter.)

I loved the fact that we had four generations of women from the family at our house on that day.  I should have made my husband take a pic with me in it just for that reason; but alas and as usual; I was behind the camera.  

Here are their lovely smiling faces:

MOMS
MY MOTHER’S DAY CREW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOTHER’S DAY PHOTO CONTEST

This May The IN SEASON Lifestyle launched our first Mother’s Day Photo Contest and all the entries are now in!

There was a slight problem though:

We had a tie!

Two photos hit the top of the charts for our judges!  Now it is going to be up to our readers to break the tie.

Here are the entries:

ENTRY NUMBER ONE:

E Ethridge
MD contest

In case you can’t make them out, or haven’t memorized the words to The Velveteen Rabbit (like some of us) here are the words framed in the photo:

“‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” – The Velveteen Rabbit

These two entries are by one single photographer and they go together as a pair for one entry.  The photographer is bringing the same message with both photos.

Both photographs relate to the aspect of how Motherhood makes our lives become “real.”  That is why this photographer’s children used a framed copy of the quote from The Velveteen Rabbit to bring this fact home.

The exact words submitted from the artist taking the photos were:

“A dozen fading roses beside a picture penned and framed by my oldest from The Velveteen Rabbit.  A perfect Mother’s Day story!  Our children do so much to make us “Real”.  We moms’ pour ourselves into our children as they love us into velveteen.”

ENTRY NUMBER TWO

T KIMOLL

LOVING MOM

There were no words to post to this Entry Number Two; but that is totally appropriate; because I think this photo speaks volumes.  When a photo tells a story without words; you know it is special!  This photo shows the love that the boys have for their Mother; and it also shows the love the Mom has for her boys.  Just beautiful!

SO IT IS UP TO YOU; THE READER’S OF THIS BLOG TO BREAK THIS TIE!!!!!!!!!!

Please pick your favorite and send your vote in to wordcastlepublications@gmail.com.  Simply say either ENTRY NUMBER ONE or ENTRY NUMBER TWO.  

We will tally up the final votes in about seven days and make the winning announcement.  

The winner will receive a free “first draft” copy of THE SEASONS OF LANDGRAF CASTLE (Volume One)  (my family cookbook that I hope to have in publication and offer for sale on the blog soon.)

A great big THANK YOU to all of the other beautiful Mother’s
Day Photo Contest entries we received.  They were all amazing!

P.S.  I can’t let this Mother’s Day Photo contest go by without sharing a photo wrapped in kind words from our daughter Erin; who just happens to be one of the most talented photographers I know.  

Of course she didn’t qualify for the contest; but she gave me the gift of a lovely Mother’s Day photo (also a great lunch date.)  It brought tears to my eyes and I just have to share the story with my readers here:

Here is the photo:

Here are the words from her note:

“I’ve managed to build my dish collection around the plates you gave me years ago. When I finished my breakfast this morning it occurred to me that it’s kind of the same with everything you’ve given me: love, guidance, plates…they’ve all been a really solid foundation. Thanks for all you do and Happy Mothers Day!”

What more could any Mom ask for?  I feel truly blessed!  She blogs too; and since all bloggers love to share their joy with the world; I know she wouldn’t mind me sharing my joy with you.

FLAG BY SHEILA GAIL LANDGRAF
FLAG

MEMORIAL DAY

We celebrated the lives of all veterans who died during their service to our country on Memorial Day.  Here is a pic of my husband walking down a Memorial Day decorated highway.    

One way to honor people is through poetic words that pay a deserving tribute to the truth of the amazing stories behind the noble service that was given.  I wrote a poem to share in the PEN ART section of the blog.  If you missed it; here is the link:  https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/soldiers/  

I would like to dedicate my poem called, Pilgrims, Soldiers and Memorials After Pentecost, which we published in May to these brave men who served in the wars of our country.  My own Father is included in this loving dedication.  He served in the Navy during the Korean War, and I spent a lot of time thinking of him on this holiday.  It was also his birthday.  He always enjoyed Memorial Day and it was fitting that his birthday fell on the same day this year.  He is truly missed.  My Mother gave me a great gift not too long ago of the little pocket-sized navy blue bible that he carried while in the service.  It was issued by the Navy during the time of the Korean war.  I will always cherish that gift.

My husband and I were fortunate enough to be traveling during the Memorial Day weekend.  We saw lots of parades and road-side tributes; and we traveled down many sections of memorial highways flanked with flags and crosses that contained honored names.  I hope to be posting a few of those photos here from time to time when appropriate.  

One place we visited had a flag behind a sword stuck into a stone.  I had to venture closer to see what the plaque said at this monument.  

I was surprised to read the words written:

“On this site in 1897 nothing happened here.”  

How I wish that could be the saying we post on all monuments in the future!

it would mean that all the people of planet earth were living in peace and harmony.  I pray that we let all of our wars of the past teach us this goal; if they teach us nothing else!

I offer a big sincere “Thank You” to all veterans for your faithful and dedicated service and your willingness to lay down your life to defend the rights of your brothers and sisters.  We will forever be in debt to your love and devotion to liberty and freedom.

FLAGS ON A BUILDING

FLAG BEHIND THE SWORD IN THE STONE

THE END OF ALL WARS

TRAVELING DURING PENTECOST BY SHEILA GAIL LANDGRAF

THE DAY OF PENTECOST  

What celebration could top Memorial Day honors?  

I think it is very safe to say the The Day of Pentecost was one of the most significant days in the history of mankind!  I’ve had many things to say in the SEASONS section of the blog on Pentecost.  If you missed the article; just click this link to read:  https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/pentecost/

I hope you celebrated this day with all of your heart.  Our God has certainly kept His promises to us; and our Savior, Jesus Christ has made it possible for us to come closer to God and worship Him with all of our hearts.  We have Torah and we have God’s Holy Spirit.  Together they have shown us the way to find the love of God in our hearts.  These two elements working in our lives are the secret keys to living by God’s commandments every day.

My husband and  I were in the midst of traveling on this great day.  We paused in our travels and worshiped The Great God of Heaven and Earth and gave Him thanks.  

I don’t think it was much of a coincidence that we found ourselves so close to the home of the great Billy Graham on this day.   We saw so much evidence of God at work all around the land as we visited the little mountain cities of the Black Mountains and noticed that they still honor God.  

We dodged a tornado that went through Charlotte N.C. on this visit.  Later in the hotel we had a chance to worship and pray with a couple (both of them in their late 80’s) who had been right in the center of the storm and God brought them safely on toward the destination of their granddaughter’s wedding day.   We were originally scheduled to be in that same spot at that same time and for some really odd coincidences, we changed our minds and went in another direction.  I know it was simply God looking after us on our journey.  I also give God the credit for leading this beautiful couple to safety in spite of the storm.  No matter where life leads you; God is there!

 How wonderful it was to be on the road with God’s people on this special day.  God’s people are certainly still out there all across our great land! You won’t hear it in the news; but they are there.  

The greatest freedom ever won happened AFTER Memorial Day; it was called Pentecost!

 

 

 

 

THE PRESENT – THE AWESOME BEGINNINGS OF SUMMER IN JUNE

Today I can tell you we are coming to some new and wonderful times in The IN SEASON Lifestyle.  

Stay with us and see what exciting things are in store this month.  I hope you will send your contact information to Wordcastlepublications@gmail.com so that you can be added to our monthly mailing list.  Your contact information will never be sold or used for gain.  Please feel free to send us your comments and suggestions.  Just click our CONTACT tab and/or use this link to contact us:  https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/find-us/

Look forward to many summer greetings as our current season begins to change and the days become longer and brighter.   We will ponder some summer music in the PEN ART section of the blog; and we will be looking at home decor that will take us to the seashore; even if we are just on a stay-cation in our living rooms! Keep watching for it in THE HOUSE DOCTOR section of the blog.

THE FUTURE – THE AWESOME MONTH OF JUNE

The future holds a lot for us to explore over the next month in The IN SEASON Lifestyle.

Some of the most exciting news is that we have our first guest blog post and it will be offered under THE HOUSE DOCTOR section of the blog.  This section is always about making a house a home.  Our guest author has found an interesting take on how some of God’s creation have built their homes and exactly what that means in Hebrew.  Do you know this author personally?  Be reading to find out.  Look for it soon!

We also have some very interesting things coming in June about the season of summer.  We will be adding some recipes gathered from Low-country South Carolina  for MONDAY NIGHT MENUS, and we will have some great new destinations for off-the-beaten-path travel in  OH THE PLACES WE SHOULD GO.

We will be increasing our PRODUCTS search for things that are The IN SEASON Lifestyle related products.  You may find a few summer things you fall in love with.  Seasonal decor will be one of our focus points.

It would not be June without a terrific FATHER’S DAY celebration to top off the middle of the month.  Keep looking in the SEASONS section for those up-coming articles.

We will also offer a Father’s Day poetry contest.  The prize will be $50 offered by Wordcastle Publications to the best poem describing a father.  Please look for the details in upcoming blog posts!  You don’t want to miss the chance to win; and the winner will be published in this blog under the PEN ART section of The IN SEASON Lifestyle.

The COME AS A CHILD Bible Study missed a week in May, and I’m sorry I did not post that article ahead of time before embarking on our 25th Anniversary trip.  I did the healthy thing and took my annual off-the-grid break.  I will be making up for lost time in that column by posting five articles in June instead of four!  Keep watching the blog on Thursdays for COME AS A CHILD and the trip through Exodus.

There are also some very interesting columns coming for AN APPLE A DAY – 365 DAYS TOWARD A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE.  I’ll keep you guessing as to the content; i can’t share it all yet!  

I’ve also felt prompted to add a new section of the blog called GROW OLD WITH ME.  It will be an unusual twist on old age; as it will highlight the benefits of being older and wiser instead of playing down the joys that we experience with ageing.  I’m pleased to tell you that the world has this theory all backwards.  This new blog section will set the record straight.

We have so much to look forward to!

See you on the next post and/or our JULY newsletter!

Many Blessings to Everyone!

Sheila Gail  Landgraf

ME BEING NATURAL
ME BEING NATURAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE DAY OF PENTECOST – SEASONS

Pentecost

 

It is almost time for Pentecost!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 31, 2017  IS THE ANNUAL DAY OF PENTECOST

If you have been counting the Omer with me, you are realizing that the 49th day comes on Tuesday, and that means that Pentecost happens on Wednesday, May 31st.

Of course many churches in the area are celebrating Pentecost on Sunday.  That is why they call it “Pentecost Sunday.”    They won’t get to their full celebrations until June 4th, which is the Sunday following after the actual Day of Pentecost.

OUR CELEBRATION WILL BE VERY INTERESTING THIS YEAR

As I’ve already mentioned, we usually observe the actual Day of Pentecost  at our house, since we keep Sabbath on Saturdays; but this year we get to celebrate in a very unusual fashion.  My husband and I will be on the road celebrating our 25th  wedding anniversary.  We will stop wherever we are at the time and celebrate the day!

A TIME OF SEASONAL FULLNESS

All of this fullness of life happening between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and right after Memorial Day is going to create an extra lot of festivity at the end of May and the first of June.   What a blessing it is to be celebrating so many seasons of life all at once.

NO GIFT COULD BE GREATER

If I had to choose only one occasion to celebrate over all the others; I would have to choose The Day of Pentecost.

What greater gift was ever given than the blessing of God’s People with the receiving of God’s Holy Spirit?  The only thing comparable or greater would be  the gift of Christ who sacrificed His life for us to made this very special day possible.

THERE IS SO MUCH ANCIENT HISTORY BEHIND THIS DAY

This day has been celebrated by the faithful since ancient times.

The very first faithful did not even understand the full meaning of the day.

One concept runs through The Day of Pentecost for all generations the same; the concept of God’s provision and the fact that we should be thankful and offer praise to God for the abundance of life He has given to us.

LOOKING BACK AND LOOKING FORWARD

On the Day of Pentecost today, we offer up our thanks for the gift of God’s Holy Spirit living within us; making our lives rich and full.

In ancient times they offered thanks for God’s provision of the harvest that made their lives rich and full.

By the Day of Pentecost in ancient times; the people of God had been bringing early first-fruits offerings to God’s altar for seven weeks; starting right after Passover and continuing right up to the season of Pentecost.  On this Day of Pentecost, they were to move on from the giving of the earlier barley harvest offerings and begin bringing the best and the first of the wheat offerings.  This was known as latter first-fruits.  It came to be called Pentecost.

The later first-fruits harvest was the time for the most cherished crops to be offered up to God in Thanksgiving; then the rest of the wheat could be happily consumed by the people in the meals at the tables of their daily lives.

THE PATTERN FROM THE DAYS OF NOAH

The pattern set in place actually goes all the way back to the days of Noah.  He was very familiar with the offerings of Pentecost.

At the end of the flood God caused a great wind to blow over the earth and the waters receded.  (Does that sound familiar?  “It was like the sound of a mighty rushing wind.”)

Noah sent out three separate doves to see if the waters were low enough for his family to leave the ark.

THE PATTERN OF THE FIRST DOVE

The first dove returned with no place to rest it’s head; and Noah took it back into the boat.

This dove is symbolic of the people living without the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit.

THE PATTERN OF THE SECOND DOVE

The second dove Noah released returned in the evening with an olive branch within its beak.

This dove was symbolic of today’s Christians, living with a portion of God’s Holy Spirit residing within their hearts.  The olive leaf represented food and nourishment for the spirit.

THE PATTERN OF THE THIRD DOVE

Noah waited seven days after the return of the second dove; and then he sent out the third one.

The third dove never returned.

This is symbolic of the day when God will give man immortality.  It is a time when God will breathe the breath of eternal life into all of mankind who have followed Christ and they will live forever more inside God’s Kingdom.  This will be the last flood; a complete pouring out (flooding) of God’s Spirit to mankind.  On that day those who already contain a portion of God’s Holy Spirit will be completely filled up; and they will live forever in a world made new by God.

CHRIST’S CAREFUL CONCERN FOR HIS FOLLOWERS

Jesus knew after His Resurrection and Ascension that we would all feel lost without Him.

The Holy Spirit resolved that problem, connecting heaven and earth similar to Jacob’s ladder in the story of Jacob at Bethel.  God’s Holy Spirit connects the Messiah and His Bride (The Church) even when they are separated by time and space.

LEARNING AND WAITING ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST

For fifty days in that time between Passover and Pentecost; God has been teaching us just like He taught our ancestors wandering in the wilderness.

The ancient harvest offerings were only physical in nature; but today those who are faithful observe the custom by bringing and offering the first and the best of their spiritual as well as physical offerings on the day of Pentecost.

PASSING THROUGH SEVEN WEEKS

From the day of our early first-fruits offerings and the beginning of the latter-first-fruits offering we have been counting through seven weeks; passing through seven holy Sabbaths, and trying to open our eyes wider to the will of God in our daily lives.

We’ve spent seven times seven days of counting while waiting for God’s appointed sacred time of Pentecost, or the day our Jewish brothers call  “Shavuot.”

Each day of our counting we studied the attributes of God and attempted to apply His goodness to our own lives.

We sought after His holy traits and His holy character and imitated them as best we could.  It was our own form and type of the journey of our ancestors through the wilderness.

OUR OWN PERSONAL JOURNEY THROUGH THE WILDERNESS OF THE WORLD

The whole time, we were listening for God’s voice, and remembering that HE IS GOD.

We pondered the fact that we came from dust of the ground and realized that we must depend solely on God for our sustenance and life.

Our souls, like the ancients, celebrated the giving of Torah; and we wrote more of its words inside our hearts as we waited on the day of God’s fulfillment and the giving of His Holy Spirit.

We pondered the fact that while in the wilderness God’s people had received the best ways to live directly from God the Father.

RECEIVING THE WAY TO MAKE TORAH WORK

In the Holy City of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost after Jesus had Ascended into the Heavens; God’s people received the way to make Torah work inside their hearts; through God’s Holy Spirit living within.

These two precious wedding gifts of The Bride of Christ have been received and opened with thanksgiving!

With the progression of God’s appointed Holy Days from Passover to Pentecost; The Bride now has received salvation and a whole new supply of all she needs for sanctification.

WITNESSING THE REVERSAL OF BABEL

The gift of God’s Holy Spirit at Pentecost has reversed the damage that was done at the Tower of Babel.  With the gift of tongues people who had always spoken different languages and never understood each other are now able to communicate with, love and understand one another.

The language of love from the heart of God is allowing God’s people to communicate like they have never communicated before.  It will break down the divisions that Bable put up.  The knowledge of The LORD will one day fill the earth.

TRADITIONS

In modern times some people wear red to remember the appearance of the flames of fire above the heads of the disciples of Jesus on the first day that this amazing blessing occurred.

Many also use the symbol of the dove for Pentecost because God’s people know (just like Noah knew) that a dove always returns for its mate, and it takes its mate back to their first home together.

When Noah released his dove from the ark; he knew it would be searching for their original home where they lived before the flood.

THE HEART OF MANKIND IS ALWAYS DESIRING TO GO BACK TO THE GARDEN OF EDEN; THE FIRST HOME WITH GOD

When God gave His Holy Spirit to mankind on the Day of Pentecost; God knew mankind would always be searching in his heart for his first home; the time in the garden when man lived with God in peace and abundance; before evil and sin covered the earth.

Like Noah’s dove searching for home and a place to land; God’s Holy Spirit is always searching for a place to land within our hearts.   He will search and search until we find Him.

ENTERING INTO NEW LIFE AFTER BAPTISM

When God’s Holy Spirit takes up residence inside our hearts; we are cleansed and refreshed and renewed just as the earth after the flood in the days of Noah.  We step out after our Baptism and we enter into a whole new way of life.

After the flood; the earth had to start anew with producing green growing things.  It did not have an immediate offering to God for that year at early first-fruits.

We are like that new earth after we receive salvation and are baptised.

We are starting a whole new process of becoming fruitful.  Good fruit takes time to grow.  This “growing” time is the time of sanctification that one goes through in this life.

STAYING FAITHFUL, BEING PATIENT AND GROWING

The fifty days that we count every year from Passover till Pentecost remind us to stay faithful and be patient and keep growing.

They remind us to prepare and to keep pursuing the One we love with all our heart.  We should never give up!

CHRIST WILL COME AGAIN

One day, like the dove’s mate waiting patiently in the ark of Noah, we will look up and see our Beloved coming in the clouds of glory.

He will be coming to tell us that our heavenly home has been prepared and it now ready.  He will take us away with him.

LIKE A BRIDE WAITING ON A GROOM

The fourth, fifth and sixth weeks of the counting of the omer are huge growing times as we are approaching the end of waiting on the Day of Pentecost.

We begin to feel a sense of urgency.

The reality of our meditations sink in and we begin to act and think like a bride who is seeing the calendar days right before her wedding unfold.

She gets to begin to put more and more into practice from the things she has learned and planned for her Groom.

She knows in her heart that the time for thinking and planning are drawing to a close; she is much closer to reaching the time for DOING.

By the end of the seventh week of the waiting; it is exactly time to be responding to the One we love.

GO OUT OF THE ARK

And so it happened in the second month and the twenty-seventh day that God spoke to Noah and said “Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your son’s wives with you.”

God was giving them the gift of a clean, new world.

Jesus has given us a portion of such a gift called The Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is an engagement present that says “Keep this until I come for you.  It is to remind you that I am close; and I am coming again!  It is to help you to know that you have my heart at all times.”

A SPECIAL DELIVERY PACKAGE FOR THE BRIDE

So at the end of all the counting of the days Pentecost arrives like a special delivery wedding gift from our Groom in Heaven.

This day from God, one that He appointed and planned so long ago; is like an official invitation for mankind to leave the world and come inside the ark of Heaven where he will find rest with God forever.

The Messiah will be waiting (like Noah at the bow of the great ship);  looking for and seeking the Bride.

KEEPING OUR TEMPORARY SHELTERS UNTIL THE WEDDING

When God’s Holy Spirit comes to live within us; our bodies become temporary shelters; little temples or tabernacles designed to house The Holy Spirit of God.

We take Him with us wherever we go.

A NEW BEGINNING FOR GOD’S CHURCH

With Pentecost accomplished, just like that new world that Noah’s family stepped into; a whole new beginning comes to God’s Church.

My favorite quote from the lips of Jesus can be applied here:

“I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW.”

Praise to Almighty God for The Sacred Appointed Day of Pentecost that draws us ever closer to our Father in Heaven.

NOTE TO THE READER:  This is just one of many articles in this blog about God’s Holy Days.  If you enjoyed reading this one; you might enjoy:  https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/seasons-coming-into-the-spring-holy-days-counting-the-omer-part-three/https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/seasons-coming-into-the-spring-holy-days-counting-the-omer-part-two/https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/sacred-appointed-times-and-seasons/

A CAKE AND A TREE – THE HOUSE DOCTOR – A FEW DAYS BEFORE MOTHER’S DAY

FLOWERS AND SONGS
flowers
Yes….I planted a few more flowers; but they are not pink!

Last night was a lot of fun at my house; especially in my kitchen.  I put together a Mother’s Day Family Tree and a delicious Mother’s Day Lemon Blueberry Cake.

 LET THE CAKE BAKING BEGIN

cake
All you need to bake a lemon blueberry cake.

GETTING A FEW THINGS READY AHEAD OF TIME

I’m getting ready for Mother’s Day; just a simple after-church lunch/tea with my Mom and husband (my brother told me he couldn’t make it) and a few possible visits from some of our four grown children, their spouses and the grands in the afternoon. 

A FEW HANDY BAKING TIPS:

cake
Yum!

I’ve been really busy gathering the things for Mom and the luncheon; and as of this moment I have completed baking the lemon/blueberry cake ahead of time.  

The cake  now rests safely inside my freezer.  Did you know that homemade cakes ice much better when they have been frozen first?

I’ve also discovered that there is something magical that happens to the taste buds when the cake has been frozen before it is iced.  Go figure!  All I can tell you is that it works.  I’m not real sure of the scientific explanation.  The pre-frozen cakes always taste especially fresh and moist; as if they just came out of the oven, only cooler.  It never taste dried out or overcooked.

Another little “tip” is to throw a couple of extra lightly beaten eggs and a small box of white cake mix into the mix along with the rest of the recipe.  This just makes the cake rise better and higher and it keeps the layers from sinking in or cracking as they are cooling off in the baking pans.  

I LOVE IT WHEN A PLAN COMES TOGETHER

This little heart-shaped cake did just what I wanted it to do; thanks to those little extra tips.  

It came out pretty and fluffy and extra fresh and delicious.

 

Just to be safe; I made an extra  little loaf cake for my husband so he would not be tempted to sneak a few pinches from the heart-shaped one I’m going to serve on Sunday.  (He has been known to do that in the past!)

WHATEVER IS GOOD FOR THE GANDER IS GOOD FOR THE GOOSE:

READY TO ICE
READY TO ICE (BUT I’M FREEZING FIRST)

You know I DID cook the loaf cake JUST for my husband to snack on for the next few days; but I didn’t think he would mind if I took a little to the office.  I’m also really glad it wasn’t iced yet; that might have been detrimental to my diet.

snacking
snacking

Here are some scenes from the whole happy mess in the kitchen.

I’ll ice the cake on Sunday morning and hopefully have time to take a photo of the finished product to share in the June Newsletter with the photos of the person who wins the MOTHER’S DAY PHOTO CONTEST.  

REMEMBER TO ENTER OUR MOTHER’S DAY PHOTO CONTEST

If you want to enter our contest just click here:  https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/home/ and fill out the form to receive our Newsletter.  

Also send an e-mail message with a photo of you and your Mom celebrating Mother’s Day together to wordcastlepublicaitons@gmail.com.  Give me a brief description of your day.  

If your Mom has already graduated to Heaven; I would love to see a photo of you with your children, or an old photo of you and your Mom together.  

If you are not a Mom at the present moment; I would love to see how you are interacting and being remembered for your “aunt” or “friend” talents on this day.  

If your day resembles Mother’s Day in any shape, form or fashion; please send a photo our way.

OUR READERS WILL JUDGE THE CONTEST

I’ll let the readers of this blog vote on the winner.  That lucky person will win a free autographed copy of my cookbook called THE SEASONS OF LANDGRAF CASTLE.  

I’m very excited about this contest!  I am looking forward to sharing the results of our day together.  I hope you will decide to enter.  

MAKING THE MOTHER’S DAY FAMILY TREE FOR MY KITCHEN 

 What I’m really excited about RIGHT NOW though is how CUTE my little family tree turned out for decorating the kitchen!

KITCHEN TREE
MY MOTHER’S DAY KITCHEN TREE

famly photos
Family photos

 I printed some black and white photos of our family’s Moms-in-action and pinned them on the tree using some pretty pink flags for backdrops.   Very easy and simple; but so novel and fun.

PICKING OUT THE PHOTOS TO USE WAS A HARD DECISION

When it came time to choose, I had gathered so many great photos of our Moms that I could not decide on which photos to leave out!  I only had eleven pink flags.  Finally; I decided to scatter the rest of the photos among the flowers on the table under the tree.  

I love how it all worked out.

ANOTHER STEP TO MAKE A GOOD IDEA GO EVEN FURTHER 

I’m planning to buy a little pink photo album and give it to my Mom when she sees the tree.  Then I will let her take home all the photos on the tree for her little pink book. 

(I’ll probably make her wait a few days to collect them though; because I’m LOVING how happy this tree makes me feel while I’m busy working in the kitchen.)

Seeing so many beautiful, loving, Mothers smiling in the room where I’m cooking our meals just makes this chore seem a whole lot easier.    

 I know I promised to post some recipes and my menu for a Mother’s Day Luncheon/Tea; but I don’t want to give you Mother’s Day overload!  

This will be something to look forward to tomorrow.  Yes; I promise the Lemon-Blueberry Cake recipe will be included along with the others.

 

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

NOTE TO THE READER:  This is just one of a series of articles on Mother’s Day.  If you enjoyed reading this; you might also enjoy reading: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/miracles-and-metamorphasis/ and https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/mothers-day-gifts/ and https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/mothers-day/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEASONS – CREATIVE GIFT IDEAS FOR MOTHER’S DAY

letter

THE “IT IS ALMOST MOTHER’S DAY” PANIC

Here it is almost Mother’s Day and you are still in a frantic panic over what you will do for Mom this year.  You do not even know what you want to give her for a gift.

First; don’t panic.

Second; keep reading.

Are you perhaps a visual thinker?  Most of the world seems to think that way today.  We often need a photo to get our creative juices flowing and working in the right direction.  If that is the case you are in luck.  This blog post was created just for you.

MY BEST SUGGESTIONS:

Perhaps you might like to browse through these suggestions and see if any of them fit your mom.  Here are a few very happy visual ideas:

ONE

 

letter
All Mom’s love a letter writeen from their child! A perfect gift!

All Mom’s love a letter written from their child.   Just say how much you appreciate all the things she has done for you over the years and how significant she has been in your life.  Nothing could please her more!

TWO

You could take her to an outdoor concert to hear her favorite band playing.  One of my fondest memories was with one of our daughters listening to Zac Brown Band belt out tunes into the open South Carolina air.  Even when we got caught in a thunder-storm right in the middle of the concert; it was awesome!

 

 

 

outdoor concert
Outdoor Concerts can be so much fun!  A perfect gift!
toes-sand
Toes in the sand; a perfect gift.

THREE

Plan a beach vacation with your family and invite her to join you.  Put her ticket into a nice little card and give it to her on Mother’s Day.  She will love sticking her toes into the sand with you and her grandchildren at her side.

FOUR

Take her a nice potted plant that will fit into that empty corner of the living room.  Put a big pink bow in the pretty container.  That will be a gift she can enjoy for a long, long time.  Be sure to tell her the best way to care for that particular plant.

plant
Pretty Potted Plants make perfect gifts.

FIVE

Put your creativity into a nice handmade card.  She will love that you did it yourself and you can be so specific and original with your design.

card
Make a nice handmade card.  It will be a perfect gift.

SIX

If you are still thinking hard about that beach vacation; just remember she likes the mountains too; or any other range of interesting places.  Invite her to a vacation where the whole family can gather together under one roof.  Call it a family reunion; but make planning it with you her Mother’s Day surprise.  Set 

vacation
Family Vacations are a perfect gift.

aside planning dates on your calendar so you can get together over lunch and brainstorm good ideas.

SEVEN

Invite her to a train ride.  Maybe through a vineyard.  Some of these excursions offer wine tasting and /or dinner with the ride.  There are lots of towns where these are still available if you do your research ahead of time.

EIGHT

Does she garden?  Why not buy her a big floppy hat and lots of bulbs?

Hat
Hat and bulbs make an amazing gift.

 

NINE

Baskets are awesome; especially baskets full of pretty fresh-cut flowers.  What are her favorites?  Roses, tulips, daisys, what is her pleasure?  Then fill up the basket with those.

basket
Basket of Flowers make a pretty gift.

TEN

Take her on a picnic.  Make it a nice peaceful place where there will be plenty of time for casual conversation and laughter.  Pack a thoughtful lunch and take a quilt to spread over the picnic table.

picnic
Picnics are a wonderful gift.

ELEVEN

Take her to look at the most fantastic view you have ever seen.  Let her stand there and drink it in.  Take a selfie of the two of you with your favorite place in the background.  Have a frame wrapped and ready to give her for when you bring her a copy of the selfie.

view
Fantastic Views are some of the best gifts.

TWELVE

Invite her to a carriage ride.  There are lots of towns where these are still available if you do your research ahead of time.

THIRTEEN

Take her on a riverboat cruise.  Many river towns offer such fun for the whole family.  Some of them serve up delicious food.

FOURTEEN

Fly a kite together.  When is the last memory you have of this?  Make a new one.

FIFTEEN

Take her to an arts and crafts festival.  I’ve enjoyed this experience many times with my twin daughters.  One took me one year and the other picked that same idea the next (probably because I enjoyed it so much. )  I have great photos of those two very pretty days as reminders; and a silver charm bracelet made out of spoons and a pretty necklace by a local artist.  I hope you get lucky like I did and go somewhere where they are serving apple dumplings!

SIXTEEN

Make reservations at her favorite restaurant; or take her to one of your favorites that she hasn’t discovered yet.  Make sure she orders dessert!

 

Restaurant
Restaurants are nice gifts!

SEVENTEEN

Take her for a stroll around one of your favorite parks.  There are so many botanical walking trails in town.  They can be truly amazing to walk through and the sunshine will join in with you to make the day complete.  Bring a thermos full of cold lemonade for afterwards.  Point out the vegetation that surrounds you and surprise her with your knowledge of the world of nature.

Park
Strolls In The Park make nice gifts.

EIGHTEEN

Does she love horses?  Take her on a trail ride or a weekend riding camp retreat.

NINETEEN

Is she a camper?  Pack up the tent and head for a weekend of hiking and climbing; just make sure she is as up to it as you.

Camping
Camping is a fun gift.

TWENTY

Are books her treasures?  Give her a gift card from her favorite book store and take her there to pick out what she wants.  Have coffee and treats at the bookstore sweet shop.  Or you could take her to a storytelling festival – those are great fun!

books
Books are cherished gifts.

TWENTY-ONE

Craft a gift made from photos.  Use your imagination.  Below are some awesome examples that I’ve personally cherished over the years.  These are gifts that last year after year and always bring a smile and the memory of your thoughtfulness.  

TWENTY-TWO

Does she sew?  Pack a basket full of material and sewing supplies.

TWENTY-THREE

Go mountain climbing just  for the day.  Be sure it ends at a waterfall!

TWENTY-FOUR

Does she love music?  Take her to an old record store that sells real vinyl and spin the hits that you pick out together afterward.

record store
Record Store Outings can be an awesome gift that keeps on giving.

TWENTY-FIVE

Is she crafty?  Fill a basket full of craft items and surprise her with them.

TWENTY-SIX

Is she a writer or a techy?  Find some accessories that she has been wanting for her laptop or her desk.

computer
Computer Supplies make very nice gifts.

TWENTY-SEVEN

Homemade treats are the best.  Cake pops are always great gifts.  Pick a design that you know she will relate to and wrap it up in pretty little bags with pink ribbons and a card.

cake pops
Cake Pops are a really sweet gift.

TWENTY-EIGHT

Give her a brunch/lunch or tea.  Get creative with your menus and decorate the house around them.  She will never forget it!

Tea
Teas/luncheons and dinners by you make amazing gifts.

TWENTY-NINE

Are you an artist?  Surprise her with some of your artwork.  Nothing could be better!

THIRTY

Does she love scones?  What Mom doesn’t?  Take her a few from her favorite bakery and make her a special cup of coffee to go with them.  Savor the moment outside on the patio and chat awhile before the day starts to own you both.

scones
Scones, crafts and flowers are a perfect gift combination!  Along with sweet smiles.

THIRTY-ONE

Go to church with her.  Attend where SHE usually goes.  These people have heard about you for years and she would love nothing better than to introduce you to all of those that have prayed over you every week with her!

THIRTY-TWO

Take a family portrait and promise to give her a copy on canvas.  She will cherish it forever.

THIRTY-THREE

Is entertaining on the patio her thing?  Bake her a cake and serve it up with some homemade ice cream from the ice cream freezer you are giving her as a present, or consider giving her a brightly colored outdoor set of dishes.

THIRTY-FOUR

Does she love going to plays?  Buy her a season’s pass and attend one of the functions with her.

It doesn’t really matter what you give her; as long as you tell her you love her and give her your love and devotion all through the year.

I hope whatever you decide to do; that the day is full of blessings and memories that will last a lifetime for both you and your Mom!

NOTE TO READER:  This is just one of a series of articles on Mother’s Day.  If you liked this article you might also like:  https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/mothers-day/

SEASONS – PASSOVER

Observing the stories of Passover

PASSOVER SCHEDULE FOR 2017

Tonight at sunset begins Passover week.  From sunset to sunset we observe the holiest day of the year.  Such observance will continue for one whole week.

Tonight Christian families with Hebraic hearts from all over the world will be celebrating a Seder meal inside their homes.

We will spend the next seven days eating unleavened bread.  During the days of eating unleavened bread we will celebrate the day of Early First Fruits (the 2nd Day of Unleavened Bread.)  For more about the time of unleavened bread please click here:  https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/seasons-why-do-we-keep-the-seven-days-of-unleavened-bread/

THE IMPORTANCE OF PREPARATION

The very devout have spent a lot of time preparing for this day; They have done their spring cleaning and removed the leaven from their homes.

Removing the leaven is symbolic of putting all sinful things out of our lives.

God does not want us living in sin; and if we truly love our Heavenly Father; we do the work and put the sin outside of our lives.

We replace the old things with the new things.

As we put the sin away; we fill the new and empty spaces with prayer and meditation and worship.  We honor the holy scriptures and follow the instructions of our Father in Heaven.  The symbolic food we eat helps us to remember Christ as our deliverer.

THE EMPHASIS IS ON PUTTING MORE OF CHRIST INTO OUR LIVES

Just as the leaven is symbolic of sin; the unleavened bread is symbolic of the love of Christ.  It is even more important to put more of Christ into our lives than it is to remove the leaven and concentrate on removing our sins.

When you are filled up with the good things of The Bread from Heaven you become satisfied.  It is easy to not live in sin.  The matzoh that we put on our tables this week is symbolic of this fact.

THE FOOD WE EAT IS SYMBOLIC OF SPIRITUAL THINGS

We can look at the matzoh and see it is pierced and stripped; just as Jesus was pierced and stripped when He hung on the cross for the sake of our salvation.

Taking the matzoh from a white linen cloth and breaking it in half; we remember how Christ’s body was broken for us.  We know that the matzoh is totally leaven free; just as Christ was totally sin-free when He willingly gave his life for us and became our Passover Lamb.

We eat the matzoh at the Seder meal and serve it in our homes all week.  It is served in place of leavened bread.  Bringing out our very best for this meal is appropriate.  It is appropriate to use white linen table clothes and fine china set aside only for this sacred occasion.

WE ARE EXPECTING A SPECIAL GUEST TO ARRIVE

There is always an extra plate for Elijah; and we watch the door to see if he returns this year.

We are reminded every time we eat the Seder meal that Christ was the Bread of Heaven. We know the extra place is really for Him, as Elijah told us about the Messiah to come.  Christ was the message of Elijah.

We wait for Christ and we remember on this sacred night.  We fill our bodies and our souls with the Bread of Heaven and thank God for the ability that He gives us for removing the unwanted sins of our days.  These are some of the ways that we honor God The Father in this holy, sacred week and on this night of our Seder meal.

We read the scriptures that explain how God asked us to do this.

One place is found in Exodus; Chapter 12; verse 24:  “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. 

When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as He promised, observe the ceremony. 

And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when He struck down the Egyptians.”

OBSERVING THE CEREMONY

So it is that we show honor to God the Father and Christ The Son by “observing the ceremony” of the Passover Seder meal on this first night of The Passover; the night that the story of God’s people began.

On this most sacred night God formed a nation from a people who were not a people.  He separated them out from the rest of the world and called them His own.

Anyone who eats of the Bread of Heaven and trusts Christ to remove their sins is considered a member of this Holy family that God began forming on that first Passover when He led the ancient Israelites out of Egypt with a mighty hand.

GOD FORMED HIS FAMILY FROM A PEOPLE WHO WERE NOT A NATION

With the Passover Seder we remember how our Father reached down from Heaven and began all the things that make us a family today.  God removed us from the bondage of sin and took us on a journey to a land flowing with milk and honey.

All that time He fed us and kept us clothed.   He showed us mighty miracles; miracles that no pagan god could ever come close to performing; such as the time water came from a rock.

Our Father proved to us that He was God; and He taught us how to worship Him.  We worship Him with our Seder meal and we remember.

THE DEEP MEANING OF THE SYMBOLS FROM THE WILDERNESS JOURNEY

The food in our meal is symbolic of all the things that the first members of our great family experienced in the wilderness.

As we have already mentioned the matzoh that symbolizes Christ; as the Lamb of God.

We have parsley, called “karpus” and it reminds us of how the Hebrew people were prosperous before they sinned and God had to turn His back away from them; this sin lead them into a life of bondage and slavery in Egypt.  Dipping the parsley into salt water helps us to remember the tears of slavery.

We eat horseradish on our matzoh to remember the bitterness of slavery.

Tasting the haroset, a mixture of sweet red wine, raisins, nuts and apples, reminds us of the mortar the slaves used to lay bricks in Egypt.

There is a shank bone on the table to symbolize the Passover sacrifice, and we drink four glasses of wine to remember certain things.

There is an egg on the Seder plate which symbolizes the new life that God brought by bringing the people out of Egypt and forming a new nation called Israel, and eventually forming the Church of God in Christ as Messiah.  This is the miracle of the forming and evolution of God’s Holy Family.

We dip our fingers into our wine and we remember the ten plagues that came upon the people who refused to listen to God.

THE TELLING OF THE STORY IS MOST IMPORTANT

We always remember by telling the story with the celebration of this meal.

The telling of the story is actually the most important part of the night.

We tell the story of redemption from slavery in a million different ways; by speech, by symbolism, by the food we eat, by the way we prepare, by poetry, by drama, by song, by prayer, by scripture reading.

All of us love the story and the telling of it never becomes too old or boring.  God shows us something new every time we hear it; and by the telling we pass on the story to our children and to their children to come.

WE ALWAYS HEAR SOMETHING NEW IN THE STORY

We must never stop telling the story.

Remembering all the parts of the story is important.; the way God saved Moses as a child and brought him to lead a nation out of slavery; how all of  that was symbolic of Christ; thinking about the way the people were enslaved in a pagan nation and how God delivered them by sending 10 plagues; the way God told them to prepare by placing the blood of an innocent lamb over their doorposts; and how those who did not obey God with this sacrificial act lost their firstborn.

Those who honored God kept their families intact and were delivered from the bondage of slavery.

We remember how God parted the sea and let the people cross on dry land, and how He protected them from Pharaoh’s army.

God fed and clothed and blessed the people in the wilderness and we do not forget this. The wilderness was the place where God taught them how to become His family and it was the route God used to bring them into a land of milk and honey.  We must remember all of these things.

WE SEE THE LAMB OF GOD IN THE DELIVERANCE STORY

After we remember all of this with story and symbolic food and with the wine that is symbolic of Christ; we speak of how all of these things symbolized the way of life that Christ provided for us as He became The Lamb of God.

OUR OBSERVANCE CONTINUES FOR SEVEN DAYS

Passover isn’t just one day; this is a period of time lasting seven days.  For seven days we observe unleavened bread; the symbolic act of leaving the leaven out of our lives and we eat the matzoh that is symbolic of putting more of Christ into our lives.

And the most holy night of the year begins the most holy week of the year.

I pray that your Passover is blessed with the presence of God and that your family can celebrate together and rejoice in Christ our Savior.

SEASONS – CELEBRATING A SERIES OF SUMMER ARTICLES FOR THE IN SEASON LIFESTYLE

windowboxes by sheila gail landgraf

“THE SUMMER SERIES”  

Here at The IN SEASON Lifestyle we blinked and suddenly found ourselves right in the middle of the beginning of summer!

WE JUST PASSED THE LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR

The Summer Solstice occurred a few days ago.  On my tiny little part of the planet; it rained and stormed and scattered tornadoes around all day; but that is all now over and I’m determined not to let that be the way that the rest of the summer goes.

We are about to put this stormy first week of summer behind us and sail on out to a wonderful celebration of a beautiful Summer Season for 2017.

So get ready to enjoy some great summer articles from The IN SEASON Lifestyle this summer!

summer front porch by sheila gail landgraf

DO YOU HAVE A SUMMER PLAN?

What defines your summer?

My “fairy blog-mother” Ruth Soukup asked a similar question and I am still pondering my answer.  She asked:  “What is the one thing you would do this summer if nothing stood in your way?”

This loaded question is certainly worth an answer!

What would you say?

yellow summer flowers by sheila gail landgraf

OUR DEFINITION OF A BEAUTIFUL SUMMER

There are lots of things that make life full of summer fun here at The IN SEASON Lifestyle.  I’ll list a few and you can add to my list from your own list.

 

summer with small town talk by sheila gail landgrafTHE IN SEASON LIFESTYLE JULY NEWSLETTER

We plan to publish our second monthly NEWSLETTER on July 5th

Be watching for it. 

We will look at the past, present and future of The IN SEASON Lifestyle and remember and plan together.

THE ALABAMA SUMMER MARKETS

Do you have any outdoor markets to enjoy in your neck of the woods? 

The IN SEASON Lifestyle loves the fun outdoor markets of Alabama. 

Keep reading to get all the details and some lovely scenic photos of the Alabama Outdoor Markets.

 

SUMMER TRAVELING – A SERIES JUST FOR KIDS

The kids are out of school now.  You will be faced with the task of making just the right decisions to fill their summer childhood memories with wonderful, lazy summer days. 

We have a lot of suggestions for places for kids to be traveling to this summer with their parents and/or their Grandparents. 

Just go ahead and put your young face on and join in all the fun with them.  Childhood has no age limitations.  These are adventures every family will cherish.  They are happening in July with our OH THE PLACES WE SHOULD GO – SUMMER TRAVELING WITH KIDS SERIES.

SUMMER TRAVELING – A SERIES JUST FOR ADULTS

No kids this summer? 

Looking for some fun off-the-beaten path travel ideas for adults to enjoy?

You will love our July series we are planning to post in our OH THE PLACES WE SHOULD GO – SUMMER TRAVELING FOR ADULTS TO ENJOY.  Keep looking for it.

SUMMER CONCERTS

Do you have fond memories of summer, open-air concerts?  We do too. 

Be looking for our The Music of Summer 2017 Series and check out what we have found for this summer.

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS

We have had some bumpy roads in America over the last few years; but she is still the land of the free and the home of the brave. 

The whole country will be celebrating this fact on July 4th

Look into our INDEPENDENCE DAY SERIES of articles under our SEASONS tab.  You might find many areas that interest you and spark some Independence Day celebration ideas at your own house.

fig cake by sheila gail landgraf

LAZY DAYS OF SUMMER RECIPES

It is time to bring out those special summer recipes.  We have plenty of them for your to enjoy during this month of July. 

Don’t forget to be checking under the MONDAY NIGHT MENUS tab; especially if ice cream is on your mind!

So go on now; find your sun glasses and your bathing suit and your beach towel. 

Grab the kids and let’s go! 

Summer is taking off and we are finding special new ways to enjoy the IN SEASON Lifestyle for this season. 

All of this fun-packed summer is wholesome, good and based on our philosophy of living “inside-out and up-side down.”  Our COME AS A CHILD Thursday posts will keep you informed about the happenings in Exodus. 

I’ll promise you that we are happily discovering that God loves the Summer He created; and He is happy for us to celebrate the season while we worship Him with our whole hearts as we join in with The IN SEASON Lifestyle.

See you at the pool!

at the pool by sheila gail landgraf
At the pool

 

CONTESTS FOR JUNE

A FATHER'S LOVE BY SHEILA GAIL LANDGRAF

ANNOUNCING A FATHER’S DAY POETRY CONTEST

So glad you clicked into this new CONTEST section of The IN SEASON Lifestyle blog.  You can check here for continuous updates of the results of any previous contests and also hear the upcoming news for any new contests we are offering.

MAY CONTEST RESULTS:

MOTHER’S DAY PHOTO CONTEST – HELP TO BREAK THE TIE

The Mother’s Day Photo Contest is tied right now!  I hope everyone will read the details for voting to break the tie in our JUNE NEWSLETTER.  Just click on that tab of the blog or click right here to read it:  https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/june-newsletter/   Send your votes in to wordcastlepublications@gmail.com as soon as possible and keep reading this blog for the winning announcement; it should be available by June 19th.  YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO VOTE.

ENTRY NUMBER ONE

Mother's becoming REAL
Mother’s Becoming REAL

ENTRY NUMBER TWO

T KIMOLL

LOVING MOM

NEW CONTEST BEING OFFERED IN JUNE:

A FATHER'S LOVE BY SHEILA GAIL LANDGRAF

ANNOUNCING THE FATHER’S DAY POETRY CONTEST

What is more refreshing than a father’s sincere love for his child?  If this photo evokes such memories for you; you  understand the important role a father can play in the formation of a child’s character.  Our nation rises and falls with the integrity of our fathers.  On June 18th this year we are allowed to pay tribute to that fact.

Today The IN SEASON Lifestyle begins to publish  a series of FATHER’S DAY articles in the SEASON’S section of the blog.   I hope you will enjoy these articles as much as we enjoyed the Mother’s Day Series.  You will get ideas for gifts, ideas for celebrating, ideas for how to decorate for the big day and ideas on how to entertain your Father with a wonderful outdoor luncheon.

We also want to honor our Fathers with the written word in poems.  Please send any original poetry pertaining to Fatherhood to wordcastlepublications@gmail.com.  Include your name, address, phone number and e-mail address.

If our judges pick your poem as the winning Father’s Day poem for 2017 we will publish your poem in our PEN ART column in July and you will win a $50 cash award.  

Not to mention how pleased your father might be to read your thoughts in print!  You can frame your poem as a gift and give it to him on the big day.

So get those minds to turning and those pens to writing!

The only rule is that the poem must pertain to Fatherhood.

We look forward to hearing all of your poetic expressions!

A FATHER IS BORN – A POEM BY KIRK SYNYARD

Dad Quote

Tears run down my cheeks

I looked up and I gazed

Through blurry little eyes

I was instantly amazed

 

A scruff manly chin

And a smile of pure joy

I think he’s my father

He’s happy; a boy

 

He held me so close

Kept me safe and so warm

My protector and influence

From the day I was born

 

He teaches and is taught

On how to be a dad

I can ride a bike now

He yells, “Hey not too bad”

 

Dad works on his car

He’s always a mess

I pass him his tools

He says I’m the best

 

Some nights I can’t sleep

Dad; he’s always up

I cuddle into him

Like a cute little pup

 

The years they will pass

Summers; winters will fade

I keep growing older

Lots of memories we’ve made

 

I did it!  I’m great!

I finished high school

Time to hit college

I’ll be leaving home soon

 

September it comes

The days turn to nights

We sit on the porch

We’ve always been tight

 

You’re my best friend son

Always trying my best

There was no book to read

Learned from trials and tests

 

My dad smiles and knows

The time it has come

Tears run down his cheeks

Good Luck to you son

 

I’m all grown up now

Working steady and hard

A wife and new house

And a dog in the yard

 

Good news we are blessed

He’s a cute little lad

He looks up at me

My turn to be dad

 

NOTE TO THE READER:  This poem was the winner of The IN SEASON Lifestyle’s 2017 Father’s Day Poetry Contest.  To read more about the author please click here:  https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/a-father-is-born/

THE DRESS CODE OF GOD (PART ONE) – COME AS A CHILD LESSON 165

clothes for the sunflower

WHY DID GOD CREATE A DRESS CODE WHEN HE DESIGNED THE CLOTHES FOR THE PRIEST OF ISRAEL?

Most decent-minded, kind-hearted people living in today’s world; tend to think that dress, or the clothes that a person wears, should not be important.  It is the person INSIDE the clothes that matters.

Right?

I believe this is an accurate thought and my heart tells me that God thinks this way too.

God looks at our hearts and not our wardrobes; right?

That is why it may seem a little out of character when I bring up the fact that God looked down upon the people of Israel and picked out the people He wanted to serve as priests in His Wilderness Tabernacle.

After picking out certain specific individuals for service, and for many reasons that will become much more apparent to us later; God chose to clothe them in specific garments that were specially made to provide them with a certain respect, honor and dignity for their task.

These priests of Israel were clothed in a designer wardrobe fit for a king at God’s command.

IT WASN’T ABOUT SINGLING OUT INDIVIDUALS

Why do you think God made this distinction of singling out and clothing the priests in a certain way when we know He does not favor one man over another?

Perhaps that particular fact (that the priests together made up a particular people group) might be part of the very reason for this unusual decision.

As we examine this aspect of the holy priesthood further we will begin to see the priests clothing wasn’t about individuality at all; but about the nation as a whole; or about a particular type of people as a whole; a people God was setting aside as His own.

IT WAS ALL ABOUT SETTING APART A PECULIAR PEOPLE

It seems that upon forming the first elements of this Hebraic holy priesthood, God was looking upon His followers as a whole group that would be moving in unison together.

God takes Israel out of the world by bringing them into the wilderness.  Then He takes a holy priesthood out of the people there and sets them apart from the others during the time they are serving in the wilderness tabernacle.

Alone and individually each priest was totally imperfect; but moving as a member of a whole set-apart group that had God’s Holy Spirit working among them; the priests became godly men who were very well equipped for holy service.

THE PRIESTLY GARMENTS SPOKE OF A GROUP SET APART

The sacred clothes that Moses had the skilled craftsmen to design spoke of a type of sacred power and might that God imputed to a chosen group of men.

When each man put on his holy garments this signified that he was  to become a part of a set apart group in service to God.  This wasn’t something to be taken lightly; it mattered very much.  This matter was of great significance to everyone, both those participating and everyone looking on from the outside.  Most of all; It seemed to be of extreme importance to God.

IF YOU ARE JUST JOINING IN ON THIS STUDY OR IF YOU NEED TO CATCH UP ON PAST LESSONS

Thank you for joining us today for this ongoing, on-line, chronological bible study which is posted every Thursday.

We have named this bible study COME AS A CHILD because it is our desire to come before God with the same eager, curious and enthusiastic passion for learning that can be found in the heart of a young child.  We know this is how Christ told us to come to Him.

Children are curious and they always ask questions.

Today we come asking many questions about how and why God designed the priestly garments for service in the wilderness tabernacle in the particular way that they were designed.

FORMALITY AND RITUAL

What should we read into all of this formality and ancient ritual?

Is it relevant to us today?

These are the answers we are seeking to find.

So it was that last week we began this discussion of the making of the garments for the High Priest and the Ordinary Priests serving the People of Israel in the Wilderness Tabernacle.

If you missed or wish to review last week’s lesson you may find it here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/garments-of-the-priests-of-israel/.

This week we will continue with that same discussion which spun from the scriptures found in Exodus, Chapter 28.

SPECIFIC CLOTHING OF THE PRIESTS

Verses 4 – 5 of Exodus 28 explain the pieces of clothing God said the priest were to wear:

“These are the garments they are to make:  a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a woven tunic, a turban and a sash.  They are to make these sacred garments for your brother Aaron and his sons, so they may serve me as priests.  Have them use gold, and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and fine linen.”

We have discussed the significance of these colors and the making of the fine linen in lessons of the past.  To refresh your memory on the symbolism of the colors and the white linen you might want to review these lessons:  https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/httpwp-mep8woph-mo/ and https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/curtains-and-clasps/ and https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/white-linen-curtains-on-the-inside/.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BREAST-PIECE

Today we wish to discuss the significance of the specially designed breast-piece, as the breast-piece was the first piece of clothing mentioned in the above scripture verses.

Every piece of clothing that the priests were to wear is mentioned in this scripture, and each of these items could be compared to what makes up a spiritual suit of armor.

THE FIRST PART OF A SPIRITUAL SUIT OF ARMOR

The breast-piece can be likened unto the character trait of righteousness.

In much later times than what we speak of today, the Apostle Paul spoke of the breast-piece and also likened it unto righteousness.  We read of this in Ephesians 6:14;

“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place.” 

As the breast-piece lays over and/or protects the heart and the lungs giving the body its normal, vital operations; so too righteousness protects the spiritual being of a person; giving them vital spiritual energy and life.

At this much later date and time in which the Apostle Paul speaks, he was referring to the armor of a Roman soldier instead of the clothing of a priest; but the analogy still holds true in both situations.

The basis for Paul’s theory and this very popular and widely used analogy of the Roman soldier’s clothing actually first began to take shape way back in the wilderness tabernacle in the days of Moses; long before Roman soldiers ever existed.

This same manner of putting on certain elements of clothing was to be the physical and spiritual way that the priests of Israel were to dress.

THE BREAST-PIECE SYMBOLIZED PUTTING ON RIGHTEOUSNESS

It all started with putting on the breast-piece.

Physically putting on the breast-piece symbolized clothing themselves with righteousness.

DO YOU PUT ON RIGHTEOUSNESS EVERY MORNING?

How do you dress every morning?

When you put on the garment that covers your heart and lungs do you think of the life-giving elements of a close walk with God that covers your heart with righteousness?

When you breath in that first breath of fresh air after you have covered your body with clothes and begin to start the duties of your day; do you think of the life-giving power of God?

WE MUST LEARN FROM THE ANCIENT PRIESTHOOD

I think this is something that God intended for these priests to do/and consider daily.

I also think as “a holy nation of priests” that God’s people are to do the same today.

We all must learn to pay attention to how we dress ourselves spiritually.

If you are walking around in the armor of God you are shielded and protected from the wiles of the enemy; and you are representing God’s glory in all that you do.

TO PUT ON RIGHTEOUSNESS IS TO PUT ON CHRIST

Here again we can see yet another example in the elements of the wilderness tabernacle that speak to us of Christ; for He IS our righteousness.

His blood covers our sins as our clothes cover our bodies.

It is His cloak over us that makes us into the Bride of Christ.

God let these early priests represent this fact day after day in their service in the wilderness tabernacle.  They might not have been aware of the painting they were creating and presenting to those who would come after them.  They were symbolically painting a picture  of the sacrifice of Christ and His holy love for His church.

Everything started with their daily activities and their blind faith toward following God and carrying out His specific instructions to Moses.

WE MUST GUARD OUR HEARTS

The priest was to put on the breast-piece and when he did this, it lay over his heart as if in defense of the area of the heart; or as if he were doing this in order to guard his heart.

The spiritual aspect of “putting on righteousness” is to be living a life that is pure and holy before God.  We place the things that are sacred of God over our hearts in order to be reminded to follow all the ways of God in our daily lives.

FASHIONING THE DETAILS OF THE BREAST-PIECE

God goes on in explaining the making of the breast-piece to Moses.  In Exodus Chapter 28 verses 15 – 21 we read of the details of this garment:

“Fashion a breastpiece for making decisions – the work of skilled hands.  Make it like the ephod:  of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen.  It is to be square – a span long and a span wide – and folded double.  Then mount four rows of precious stones on it.  The first row shall be carnelian, chrysolite and beryl; the second row shall be turquoise, lapis lazuli and emerald; the third row shall be Jacinto, agate and amethyst; the fourth row shall be topaz, onyx and jasper.  Mount them in gold filigree settings.  There are to be twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.”

IT WAS TO BE MADE OF BEAUTIFUL STONES

Can you imagine the beauty of this breast-piece?

Do you see the symbolism that this breast-piece contains?

The physical beauty of the breast-piece brings forth the even greater beauty; the significance of the symbolism of this breast-piece that is worn directly over the heart of the righteous.

TWELVE STONES REPRESENTING THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL

We will be discussing the ephod in a forthcoming lesson.

One quality of the ephod is that it was made of stones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel.

When the priest put on the breast-piece and laid it over his heart the cloth it was made of resembled the ephod in nature.

Each piece of the breast-piece represented a stone from the tribe of Israel and that setting for each stone was surrounded by gold filigree on the breast-piece.

THE GOLD FILIGREE REPRESENTED DIVINE LOVE

This could be comparable to and symbolic of God keeping each of the tribes of Israel close to his heart and surrounding them with His love.

The priest was to imitate God in all that he did in the tabernacle.  He wore the symbols of the twelve tribes over his heart too; and he too was to surround the people of Israel with love and careful care.

THE BREAST-PIECE OF THE HIGH PRIEST CONTAINED A PLACE FOR THE URIM AND THE THUMMIM

As we continue to read in Exodus 28:30 we see that Aaron’s breast plate had a place that contained the Urim and the Thummim.

We will be studying the Urim and Thummim in a later lesson too.

Basically, these items worn over Aaron’s heart inside the clothing of the breast-piece were put there and given by God to help him to make godly decisions concerning the care and preservation of the people of Israel.

“Also put the Urim and the Thummim in the breastpiece, so they may be over Aaron’s heart whenever he enters the presence of the LORD.  Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the LORD.”

ARE YOUR DECISIONS GUIDED BY GOD?

How is the decision process of your life going?

Do you have the Word of God engraved over your heart to help you in that process?

Are you stopping first thing every morning to talk to God about the many decisions that you will be making as you go through your day-to-day walk through this life?

NOW THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO GUIDE GOD’S PEOPLE’S DECISIONS

The Urim and Thummim were given before Christ was crucified; before The Holy Spirit came to take up permanent residence inside of God’s people’s hearts.

Today we use God’s Holy Spirit to guide and direct us; but we must first look inside our hearts to find the answers that The Holy Spirit is whispering to us.

We must consciously seek out the answers through prayer and study of God’s Word and we must follow God’s directions; just as the ancient priesthood did with the use of these elements that were placed inside the breast-piece that they very faithfully put on at the beginning of every day of their service in the tabernacle.

WE MUST UNDERSTAND HOW TO DRESS FOR OUR SERVICE TO GOD

There is so much more to know about the breast-piece and the other articles of clothing for the priestly garments.

Every child of God should know and understand what they represent and how to dress properly for service to God every day.

Keep reading these lessons in COME AS A CHILD to see what article of clothing we will be discussing next and how it should be applied to our lives today.

Until then; blessings for a wonderful week full of God’s love and grace!

 

CHERUBIM, COLORS AND CLASPS OF GOLD – COME AS A CHILD LESSON 153

curtains and clasps

THE CHERUBIM, THE COLORS AND THE GOLDEN CLASPS

Can you imagine walking unexpectedly upon a temporarily settled camp of multitudes of people living out of tents in the middle of the wilderness with an amazing tabernacle being constructed piece by piece and transported in their midst?

What would be your first thought?

THE CHERUBIM

A beautiful design of cherubim was woven inside each white linen panel of the walls of the inside of the tabernacle.

Cherubim are the celestial angels who live in the spiritual realm of the heavenly places.

When Adam sinned and had to be cast out of the Garden of Eden, God placed cherubim in front of Eden to guard it with swords.

More than just guarding the garden; they were there to guard the way to The Tree of Life.

These angels represent the righteous government of God and they are God’s officials who execute and carry out His judgments.

REMINDERS OF THE HOLINESS OF GOD

The blue, purple and scarlet designs of these cherubim that were woven inside the linen curtains which covered the holy place and the most holy place, were visual reminders to the priest of how holy God is.

This reminded them of how careful they should be in their actions and their thoughts and their worship before God in order to be able to carry out the duties of their ministry with purity.

They were expected to look to the holiness of God and imitate His perfect holiness in all that they did.

FIFTY GOLDEN CLASPS

Fifty golden clasps allowed the ten curtains to be brought together and made into one.  This action of how they came together is a perfect picture of how Christ prayed to the Father for us to be One in Him; and for All to be One in God.

We can read the words of Christ in John 17:20-22  and as we listen to the sincere loving words of this prayer for unity of God’s people into one body, we can also think of the symbolism of how intricate the ten white linen curtains of the tabernacle formed together into one curtain.

John 17:20-22; I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me and the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one. 

ALL VISION MUST COME FROM WITHIN THE HEART

One could not see any of these things, (the white linen curtains with the beautiful cherubim and the blue loops of the curtains with the gold clasps that held them all in place) from the outside; it could only be seen from a certain place inside the tabernacle.

Until one repents and believes on the name of Jesus and accepts Him as their Savior; one cannot always see the things of God or the inside of the Kingdom of God.

You must look for God from inside your body (your tabernacle) from the place of your heart in order to find Him.

You can try using your mind, your eyes, your hands, your feet; but your search will be incomplete until you have found a way to see God through the eyes of your heart.

God’s dwelling among the people of Israel reflected this.

Those who believed and acted on their unseen faith could sometimes begin to see with the eyes of their hearts the purposes for mankind that God was beginning to accomplish with the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness.

SYMBOLISM OF CERTAIN COLORS

The colors also spoke symbolic languages.

The colors that made up the cherubim design were blue, red, and purple.

BLUE

The sky blue, resembling the color of the sky, was to remind people of the heavenly; the high and lofty and holy things unseen by the world that are only visible to one who has been shown the invisible world of God’s Kingdom.

This comes to us through The Holy Spirit who works in a similar fashion as the white linen curtains and the golden clasps; forming many pieces into one unified body of worship before God’s throne, represented in The Holy of Holies as The Mercy Seat.

The cherubim, again were acting as something invisible, something that someone with no knowledge or covering of God’s atonement would ever be allowed to see. You could only see these from the inside rooms of the tabernacle, from the holy place where only the Israelite priests could enter.

RED

The finely woven linen threads dyed the color of red were symbolic of the blood of atonement; the sacrificial covering of Christ.

We see the suffering servant aspect of the life of Christ when we look upon the red colors worn by the cherubim in the deepest inside room of the tabernacle.

We can also see this aspect of Christ when we look out from the inside room of our heart that resides from within the living tabernacle of our own body, from which we are blessed to walk and live and breathe surrounded by the love of God.

PURPLE

We look upon the purple color died into the twisted threads of fine linen within the design of the cherubim and we think of royalty.

This rich color is symbolic of the Kingship of Christ.

The time is fast approaching when every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is King.  He will come again and reign forever and ever.

WHITE LINEN CURTAINS

This mystery is hidden deep inside the folds of the white linen curtains in the inner walls of the wilderness tabernacle.

The curtains are teaching us lessons we need to know in order to live within the laws and grace and mercy of God’s kingdom.

They speak of Christ’s purity, His holiness and they speak of His coming for His Bride; the Church.

FIFTY CLASPS OF GOLD

God told Moses to make the fifty clasps of gold and to couple the curtains together with the clasps so that it would be one tabernacle.

Immediately we are reminded of Ephesians 4:16;

“From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

EACH MUST DO THEIR PART

Each little golden clasp must do its part to hold the pieces of linen cloth together.

Each one holds a piece of the inside and each one holds a piece of the covering. When each piece holds its part; the walls of the inside of the tabernacle work well.  Together they achieve functionality and beauty.

If one clasp breaks; they all fail; but the others hold the weight of the one until it can be mended and restored, keeping complete failure from happening to anyone.

If all clasps succeed; they all succeed together in doing the job that God designed for them to do.

The simple job of each individual clasp seems insignificant at first; but let one little part be broken and all of the very holy inside places of the tabernacle are affected and disturbed.

WE EACH MUST PLAY OUR PART

Each clasp is individually important in doing a very effective, yet unseen, job in the tabernacle.

OUR LIVES ARE LIKE THESE FIFTY CLASPS OF GOLD

Our lives are like this.

God gives us quiet, unseen jobs that the world will not notice; yet they are still very important to the body as a whole.

When we all work together and follow God’s design the holiness of God is protected in this world, and we are blessed with His Presence that desires to dwell among us.

For the tabernacle to work correctly, each individual clasp must do the job that they have been designed and equipped by God to do.

One clasp not working creates a great strain on all the other clasps.

TWO DIVINE SETS OF FIVE

So you must think of the ten curtains as two divine sets of five, one facing the holy, and one making this possible because it is a covering.

Each set of five being fitly joined together with fifty loops of gold; making the two act simultaneously as one.

I have spoken of how the golden clasps sometimes act like the believers of our churches today, in that what each of them does affects the whole witness of the church.

FIFTIETH YEAR OF JUBILEE

Others have noticed that the fifty gold loops could also stand for the fiftieth year, the year of Jubilee, in which all captives are set free and all debts forgiven in Israel.

I can see that analogy too; since everything about the tabernacle symbolizes Christ and He has provided our freedom and brought forgiveness for our sins.

He has paid our debts.  He has brought us to our Year of Jubilee.

It is a golden time for rejoicing together!   We owe our Jubilee of freedom to Him and Him alone.

FIFTY DAYS LEADING UP TO PENTECOST

I can also see how the fifty golden clasps work like the fifty days leading up to Pentecost when God’s Holy Spirit came and united the body of Christ, bringing all together in unity.

Fifty is a very significant number.

REFLECTING UPON THE HOLY

Let’s stay inside the tabernacle for a while; let’s sit quietly reflecting upon the holy place.

Later we will discuss the outside, and then go even deeper within the inside to see what God told Moses about The Holy of Holies.

Right now let’s reflect on these first instructions that God gave to Moses for building the inside of The Holy Place.

Can you imagine being Moses and hoping to please God with all of this?

WHAT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR MANKIND IS POSSIBLE WITH GOD

For Moses to act in expediency must have required a great amount of trust and total obedience and courage.

He had learned over the course of the time of leaving Egypt and coming into the wilderness that what seems impossible with human beings is always  possible when God is at the root of the project.

All things are possible with God.  There is nothing too hard or too complicated.

Knowing this helps us to understand how such a magnificent structure could come to be designed, built and carried on a long winding journey through the rough, lonely, deserted and dangerous parts of the wilderness.

THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE TABERNACLE CONTINUES

We will talk in the days to come of how God helped Moses to properly organize the people to achieve all of this; but there are still more instructions about exact construction to absorb.

An awesome plan for a magnificent tabernacle is coming together into one amazing blueprint right in the very heart of the wilderness.

Who would have ever imagined such an event?

Only God could have planned such a thing.

TEN CURTAINS OF FINE WHITE LINEN – COME AS A CHILD LESSON 152

heart

 

UNDERSTANDING THE SYMBOLISM OF THE WILDERNESS TABERNACLE

Wouldn’t you have loved to have been in on the conversation when God was  telling Moses how He wanted him to construct the wilderness tabernacle?

Can you imagine the excitement that the two shared?

GOD’S DREAM FOR MANKIND

It must have been amazing.

God was putting together his dream for mankind and Moses was getting to participate.

These instructions are all spelled out in your bible in Exodus Chapter 26.

TEN CURTAINS OF FINE-TWINED LINEN

Moses learned that the inside of the tabernacle should be made of ten curtains of fine-twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet; with cherubim handmade by expert craftsmen.

God’s description of these items to Moses started with the inside of the tabernacle first, and then progressed slowly toward the explanation of the outside of the tabernacle.

Most humans would have given these instructions in the opposite order; outside to inside; but this is not how God works.  He always starts with the inside and works His way out.

FROM THE INSIDE OUT – THE SPECIAL PATTERN THAT GOD USES FOR CHANGE

This spiritual pattern also shadows the way God changes a person’s heart. He starts on the inside first.  When the inside is right; the outside seems to make the proper adjustments.

So it was that God revealed the building of the tabernacle to Moses from the inside out.

IF THE INSIDE IS NOT PERFECT; THE OUTSIDE CAN NEVER BE PERFECT

This is the amazing wisdom of a Mighty God; if the inside is not perfect the outside can never be perfect.  This is true of people; and it was also true of God’s dwelling place among the people.

We, in our humanity, tend to see from the outside in; but God in His divinity, sees from the inside out.  He looks upon the spirit and the heart of a person first; not the physical appearance.  This is one of the factors that separates divinity from humanity; this ability to see from the inside out.

The tabernacle was of such a pattern.

Can you see the way that God showed Moses to start building?

Can you see the pattern that is set for constructing our own lives and purifying our own bodies?

God wants us to be as pure and clean as those white linen curtains hanging on the very inside of the wilderness tabernacle.

We must begin on the inside and take care of the matters of the heart and everything else will conform to fit around that pattern.

Our hearts should reflect the white linen curtains of the wilderness tabernacle.

THE MATTERS OF THE HEART COME FIRST

Are there matters of the heart that you must be taking care of?

This is where God wants you to start building your tabernacle as you walk through the wilderness of this world.

That is God’s first instruction to you.  Begin from the inside and work your way out.  Take care of the most important matter first; your heart.

That is how the world will begin to see that very special person that God designed to be you.

That is when the gifts and talents that God gave you at birth will come forth.

Next week we will speak more of these curtains of white linen that were being carefully designed, and skillfully made and placed inside the wilderness tabernacle.

There are many more interesting features that we can use to mirror our own characters by as we worship the wise and mighty God who still dwells among us today.

FATHER’S DAY MENU SUGGESTIONS – MONDAY NIGHT MENUS

Dad Quote
Dad quote

WHAT’S FOR DINNER ON FATHER’S DAY?

Well, here it is the day before Father’s Day!

I’ve got the house all festive now and I had a lot of fun making it that way!

father's day tree

I have to admit though; I got a little carried away with the photos for the Family Tree.  Some went on the tree, some went on the kitchen table, some went on the dining room table, some went on the coffee table…..yes; the photos of our family’s fathers now seem to be all over the house!  That is just the way it winds up when you can’t decide which of the favorite memories need to be displayed the most.  I want them all!

My decor may not be Pinterest perfect this time; but you know what?  My family is going to love getting to shuffle through all the great old photos.  Who cares if House Beautiful comes by or not?  It is a day for honoring fathers, not creating designer magazine covers.

So let’s get on with the fun!

It is time to think about our menu for the big day.

If you checked in here for a terrific new approach for cooking a totally unique and up-beat father’s day feast; one like no one has ever done before; again, you may be a little disappointed in my advice this time.

The reason:

Because; I’m going to suggest you take it easy and go traditional.

I know there are ten different ways to BBQ with Habanero sauce this year; and if that is what your Dad wants; please go for it!

I could also give you a million different ways to roast tasty and healthy Brussels sprouts and/or asparagus.  If that is what your Dad craves; you should do that.

After a lifetime of preparing Father’s Day luncheons and/or dinners for the men in my family though; I have finally learned that they are pretty down-to-earth and traditional with the foods they want to eat on a special occasion.  Why do I know that?  Because every time I go fancy they tell me they would rather have plain old simple cooking!

So this year I have finally become a reformist and I’m going to listen and honor their wishes.

On all the other holidays I let my imagination run wild and free; but for Father’s day I’ve found  from trial and error that it is just best to keep our plans simple and traditional.

For that reason I’m not even going to include any new recipes in this post.  I’ll simply make a few suggestions as to what some good, simple menu combinations might be.

Suggestion Number One:  You could do the grilling for a change instead of making Dad sweat over the grill.  Why not fix him a big juicy steak cooked just the way he likes with mushrooms in butter sauce for a topping?  You could add a baked potato with all the trimmings and a nice fresh green salad.  This never fails at our house.

If the budget doesn’t fit steak; try pork chops marinated in a sauce he likes best.  Or even grill some burgers with all the fixings.  Dads love burgers!  Make a few extra and they will all disappear too.

Suggestion Number Two:  Pick up a few pounds of BBQ from his favorite BBQ restaurant.  Get plenty of his favorite sauce and some fresh buns.  While you are there go ahead and get a quart of potato salad and a quart of baked beans and some cheese rolls.  Make a chocolate or lemon ice box pie to serve for dessert.  You will have plenty of time to spend with Dad; no slaving over a stove all day and I promise you he will enjoy this as much as anything you could cook .

Suggestion Number Three:  Is there a farmer’s market close by, or even better do you have a garden that is beginning to be fruitful this summer?  I’ve never seen anyone’s Dad turn down a table full of fresh home-cooked vegetables.  Add some homemade cornbread or biscuits and a fresh fruit salad and you are set.  Slice some of those juicy red tomatoes to go with everything you serve.  You could even top this off with homemade yellow cake with fudge icing for dessert.  Add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and you’ll win his heart forever.

Suggestion Number Four:  Does your Dad enjoy saucy Italian dishes?  Make him your favorite recipe of Lasagna and add some yeast rolls and a good Greek salad on the side.  Have a good banana pudding for desert.  This menu is always delicious.

If you keep things simple, but nice and you just sit and talk and enjoy each other’s company with whatever meal you decide to make; the day will end on a perfect note.

Now wasn’t that so simple and enjoyable?

Just the kind of day your Dad would pick himself!  That is the goal here isn’t it?

Life is not complicated; neither is love.

Love is easy; just be kind and make the day about listening to the heart of your Dad.  He has certainly spent a lifetime listening to your heart.

Ask questions and forget your own little circle for a few hours.

Let him travel back down memory lane as many times as he wants, and if you have heard the story a million times before; listen again.  You never know when you might discover a treasure you had over looked.

So go celebrate Father’s Day and be blessed!

Make another special memory to cherish and keep forever.

If you are like me; you will run out of tables before you run out of memories; and you won’t want to give up even one of them.

I guess I SHOULD try to make these piles of photos a littler neater though.  Hmmmmmm…….a bright blue box on the coffee table that everyone can shuffle through at their leisure; and simply leaving those on the tree up in the kitchen?  Oh….okay; I’ll conform again.

What’s that my husband is saying?  He has been reading my Tupelo Honey Cafe cookbook.

“This is the best cookbook ever!  You could spend the rest of your life making all of these great recipes and I would never be happier!  Hey; how about trying a few of these tomorrow?”

Oh dear; 

I’ve got to run to the grocery store!  Who said women were famous for changing their minds?

Suggestion Number Five:  Don’t listen when people tell you what they want – just do whatever you had planned all along!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!

NOTE TO THE READER:  This is just one of several articles about Father’s day.  If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy:  https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/fathers-day/,https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/contest/https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/fathers-day-decor/

ANNOUNCING THE WINNER TO THE MOTHER’S DAY PHOTO CONTEST

T KIMOLL

WE HAVE A WINNER!

Just in time before Father’s Day appears; we have an announcement for the winner of THE MOTHER’S DAY PHOTO CONTEST offered by The IN SEASON Lifestyle.

I’m so excited to bring this great news!

We have all waited with great curiosity to see who the winner would be.  The tie between two top entries has made this contest’s winning announcement much later than anticipated.

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO SENT IN AN ENTRY

Before announcing the winner of The IN SEASON Lifestyle  MOTHER’S DAY PHOTO CONTEST FOR 2017; I would like to thank each and every one who entered the contest.

The judges truly had a very hard job; and even after that decision; then there was a tie that had to be broken!

THE TIE HAS FINALLY BEEN BROKEN

We put the two photos that were tied to win out for votes from all of our readers.

Both entries were so well-loved.

ANNOUNCING THE TWO WHO TIED

Many thanks to the two final place winners who tied for first place. They  are Elaine Ethridge of Alabaster, Alabama and Theresa Decker of Peachtree City, Georgia.  Now we must announce the FINAL WINNER for the great photography presented in these two tied entries.

Both entries were wonderful and  it truly makes me wish there were two prizes!

The final tally for the winning announcement tells us that the votes are once again very close; but we DO have a final winner!

ARE YOU READY…..????????

Our MOTHER’S DAY PHOTO CONTEST WINNER is Theresa Decker!!!!!

In case you haven’t already guessed this; Theresa is the lovely Mom in the photo she entered.  She has a thriving photography studio in Peachtree City, Georgia called TKD Photography.  If you wish to use her services for your next special event you can find her beautiful photography website here:  http://www.tkdphotography.com/.

Congratulations Theresa!

Here is the winning photo that everyone loved so much:

T KIMOLL

Theresa; your copy of THE SEASONS OF LANDGRAF CASTLE COOKBOOK; VOLUME ONE will reach you in a few weeks!  It is still a first draft and not yet published; but you will have one of the first copies.  I do hope to offer it for sale electronically on this blog one day soon.

I hope you enjoy using our old favorite family recipes.  You will probably get a kick out of seeing some of the family photos I’ve included in this cookbook.  They could never do justice to your beautiful photography!

Please keep up the good work and thank you once again for your beautiful entry.

Sheila Gail Landgraf/The IN SEASON Lifestyle