Passover Giveaway from Torah Sisters

Passover invites and cards giveaway | Land of Honey

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Hey hey, we've got a Passover giveaway! Amy from Torah Sisters just came out with a brand new set of Passover greeting cards and invitations and she is generously giving away a PDF set along with a Doodle Portions Coloring Book to a Land of Honey reader. Thanks Amy for the fun giveaway! Be sure to get entered at the bottom of this post. :)

I love that the Passover cards/invites are beautiful! These cards do justice to showcasing Passover as a set apart time of YHWH. Four designs are included with matzah and fresh flowers featured on each. Different wording is available for two of the designs, and she even included a blank option for you to write your own message if that works better for you.

Win Passover cards and a Torah Portions coloring book | Land of Honey

Not hosting a Passover gathering? These printables are multi purpose. Use them as cards to wish friends and family happy Passover or decorate around your home with them. As a child, receiving cards was always a marker of a special time for me, so I especially like the idea of putting these in the mail. It's a great way to communicate to others the significance of this time of year and that you're thinking of them. They are designed to be folded in half, so you can print them on regular 8 by 11 paper and end up with a blank card. I trimmed mine in more of a post card style, where you can put a note on the back.

The winner will also receive Torah Sisters' Doodle Portions coloring book! This would be the perfect way to occupy the littles at Seder or just a fun treat for yourself during Unleavened Bread week. Amy also created a free Passover busy book that will entertain the kids and teach them about the Passover story.

Giveaway: Greeting cards and invitations for Passover | Land of Honey

Get entered to win below! Just to be clear, both prizes are for digital files that you can print at home or take to a print shop. This ensures that you will receive them in plenty of time before Passover!

Be sure to visit Torah Sisters store and let us know what your favorite item is for extra entries! While you're there don't forget about the free Passover goodies Amy offers including the Passover busy book for kids, the Gospel Centered Haggadah, and omer counters!

Deadline to enter is March 22 at 12:00am eastern time. 

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Preparing Spiritually and Emotionally for Passover

How to prepare emotionally and spiritually for the Passover season | Land of Honey
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With Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits coming up I think we should take a moment to talk about preparing spiritually for these set apart times.

Since Matzah Week calls for a cleaning out of the leaven in our homes it's easy to get focused on that, and end up neglecting emotional and spiritual care in the busyness. But the point of cleaning our homes serves as a picture of what we should be doing internally. Cleaning out the fridge or cupboard let's us find what has gone bad or gotten stale, so that we can remove it before it attracts bugs or spreads it's rottenness to anything else. To make room for something fresh and wonderful. Same thing with evaluating where we are emotionally and with our faith. Get rid of the bad stuff and make room for something better.

How can we do this? Take a few minutes to honestly assess where you are right now, where you came from, and where you would like to be. The Passover season brings us back to the Israelites leaving a place of less (Egypt) and journeying to the Promised Land. Where is YHWH inviting you to if you leave behind what you've settled for? What steps can you take to get there? This time is a celebration of freedom with slaves being set free and that the sacrifice of the Messiah makes this possible for us.

I also recommend reading the story of Exodus and the accounts of the Last Supper to see what jumps out at you. I have no doubt that YHWH has much to speak to you through these parts of Scripture. How does what he is saying fit with your own journey or what steps is he asking you to take to follow him more?

The following are a few simple questions for you to help evaluate yourself. The goal is just to be honest and say what your past year (or so, you can pick how long) was like, and what you're hoping for the upcoming year. You can also do this with your spouse or your family. Pray about the state of your spiritual and emotional health, and then come up with a few doable steps you can take for more positive change in your life. 

Questions to Evaluate Spiritual and Emotional Health:

How was this past year for you? What changes did you go through?

In what ways have you grown recently?

In what ways have you seen YHWH move or be faithful this past year?

Some of your favorite moments from the past year were:

What changes have you made in the past year for spiritual, physical, and emotional health?

Are there changes that YHWH is asking you to make now?

Is there an area you would like to be quicker to turn to prayer in?

The time you most often pray is:

Your favorite time to read Scripture is:

You feel closest to YHWH when:

How do you handle and cope with stress, anxiety, anger, sadness, etc.?

What are three things you do for self care?

What aspect of self care do you need to get better at?

Three things you do for joy are:

Verses you turn to for comfort include:

What are your goals and hopes for the upcoming year? Spiritual or otherwise.

I'm also including this link so you can download and print these questions, so you can contemplate them somewhere other than a device. Asking myself questions like these help me to to have a better sense of the path I have walked on and where I am headed. This is a special part of the Passover season, to remember our own personal exodus and to praise YHWH for the work he has done in our lives. I hope you find this a helpful way to prepare!

Six Things You Can Do Now to Get Ready for the Spring Feasts

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Hey everyone, I wanted to call to your attention that we are just a little over a month away from the Spring feasts! As the days lengthen and the air loses a bit of its chill, anticipation builds for what Scripture calls the new year: when life starts all over again in the springtime. 

I don't think it's a coincidence that the first three of the Biblical feasts fall in this time. Right off the bat in the new year, at this time of fresh starts and hopeful beginnings, we are called to adjust our focus and turn back to YHWH and his ways. There's really not a better way to start things off than with a celebration of the life, death, and resurrection of the Messiah, is there? Each of us is invited to join in this time. Let's take some time to prepare for it.

On the Hebrew holidays survey a lot of you mentioned that you want to do a better job with celebrating this year. Take some time to consider what that would look like or what your goals are for this year's feast days. Maybe that's doing something for Passover for the first time ever. Maybe that's putting up decorations around your home. Maybe that's taking the week off from work. Maybe that's travelling to celebrate with a group of believers. Whatever your hopes, now is the time to prepare to make that happen.

Six steps you can take today to get ready for the Spring feasts:

Prepare your calendar. Different groups use different calendars, but Passover is coming up at the end of March or beginning of April. Find this year's dates here. And then be sure to free yourself up for them! Put in for time off work, don't schedule any major home projects for then, clear other commitments from your schedule if need be, let your children's teachers know they will be out of school, etc.

Make plans. Do you want to celebrate with a group of believers? If so, see about finding a group you can join, even if it's a little far. Getting to celebrate YHWH's festivals with others is very special. If you won't be joining a group, plan what you will do instead. Do you want to do a Passover supper with your family? Or have a time of communion and foot washing with a study group? Plan for special meals, times of Bible study, and different activities all week long. Here are some ideas.

Study to learn about the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Whether this is your first year celebrating or fiftieth there is something new to be learned this year. Read through the stories of Exodus and the crucifixion. You could also read a free resource from Eddie Chumney to learn more about these feasts. Studying Scripture always gives me fresh ideas and motivation for honoring YHWH's set apart times.

Do your shopping. Do you want to deck your house in crepe paper and balloons? Or give a Passover themed gift to family members? Do you need to order matzah? How about getting kosher for Passover groceries? Make a list of what you'll need for Passover and Matzah Week and get your items ordered or make it a point to go to the store so you don't have to rush at the last minute.

Start getting the leaven out of your house. Go through your cupboards and freezer and see what leavened items you have to use by Passover. Get those used up or donate anything you can't use to a food pantry. I have tortillas, a pie crust, a few boxes of crackers, and mayonnaise and mustard to get through. If you're not familiar with what is fit to eat during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, now is the time to get familiar with that.

Take time to spiritually prepare. This is such a big one that we are going to be talking about it more next week. But you know, removing the natural leaven from our homes is a picture of removing the spiritual leaven from our hearts. Has YHWH been speaking to you to let go of something or an area that hasn't been fully surrendered to him? Pray and ask to see what he wants to do and is doing in your life.

I'm excited that we are only about a month from Passover and the start of the spring feasts! The plus side is that we still have plenty of time to plan to keep these special holidays. What are you looking forward to this year? Have more questions or thoughts? Share with me here.

Hebrew School: Set Apart Times of YHWH

A brief overview of Scripture's set apart times | Land of Honey

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Back for class two of our Hebrew School! An integral part of the Hebrew lifestyle is keeping the festivals of YHWH, which are found in Leviticus 23. In addition to the weekly Sabbath, there are seven times of the year that YHWH tells us set apart. These times are special, and not only because we are told to celebrate them. Each holiday has significance historically, prophetically, and in the life of the Messiah. Paul wrote in Colossians that these times are a shadow of things to come. That means we have a lot to learn from these holidays.

The set apart times are:
Matzah Week / The Feast of Unleavened Bread
First Fruits
Shavuot / Pentecost / The Feast of Weeks
Yom Teruah / Feast of Trumpets
Yom Kippur / Day of Atonement
Sukkot / Feast of Tabernacles

While specific dates are given in Scripture, the Biblical calendar doesn't mesh perfectly with the Gregorian so the dates move a bit each year. You can see this year's here.

Needing clarification is the truth that these are not "Jewish holidays." No, no, no. These are part of Scripture, so if you are a Bible believer these are yours, regardless of nationality or bloodline or family traditions. While these have largely only been kept by Jewish people, YHWH never, ever says that only part of his people should celebrate them. Deuteronomy 16:14 expressly tells us that foreigners who join the community of YHWH's people should celebrate these days too, so no matter your background the Creator invites you to these times. He made them for his honor, but also for our enjoyment and erudition. Two of the greatest gifts ever bestowed on humanity - YHWH's instructions for living and the Holy Spirit - were given at Shavuot. The Messiah was born during the Fall Feasts and of course crucified on Passover and resurrected during Matzah Week. Perhaps the most joyous time in history will be on Yom Teruah at the returning of Yahusha. These times are stunning in their significance.

A little overview of the set apart times:

Passover: In the Biblical year Passover is the very first feast. We see the Israelites keep Passover just before the Egyptian exodus. They were instructed to brush the doors of their homes with blood from a lamb, we are reminded that the Messiah was the perfect sacrificial lamb. That's not just an allegory either, Yahusha was killed on Passover. 

The Feast of Unleavened Bread: This is a week long celebration that starts the day after Passover. Leavened/yeast bread and other products are forbidden this week. As yeast is a very small ingredient that rabidly transforms all the dough, we are reminded that the small things in our life make a huge impact. It was during this week when the Messiah rose from the dead.

First Fruits: This day happens during Matzah Week, but there is a lot of debate as to when. This is when the first of the barely harvest was to be presented before YHWH. First Fruits is the day the Messiah resurrected from the dead and presented himself to the Father. It is also when we are to start counting fifty days.

Shavuot: Fifty days after First Fruits we are to celebrate Shavuot. This is a day of great significance as the instructions on how to live were given at Mount Sinai and then shortly after Yahusha's ascension into heaven, the Holy Spirit was given on the day of Shavuot.

Yom Teruah: The first of the fall feasts, Yom Teruah means something like Day of Sounding. All those verses that talk about a trumpet sounding when the Messiah returns? It will happen on that day.

Yom Kippur: Under the Levitical priesthood this was a very significant day because it's the day that the priests made atonement for all of Israel's sin with the two goats. Today we can celebrate that the Messiah has atoned for our sins. Prophetically, it is thought that this will be the day that the earth is judged and the people who have been atoned for by Messiah will be separated from those who have not.

Sukkot: This is a beautiful look ahead to when YHWH will dwell or camp with us. With that in mind, it's no surprise that it is believed the Messiah was born during this time. This eight day celebration usually looks like a camping trip, with the commandment being to dwell in tents. Others build a temporary structure on their property and spend time there throughout Sukkot.

Why should we be keeping the feasts?

-We are told to keep these set apart times forever (Exodus 12:14). And you know what? This isn't a bad thing. These are times of joy. Thinking otherwise illustrates a lack of trust in our Creator, that we could think so negatively about him to believe he is hosting parties just so we can be miserable during them. This is not the case at all. Each set apart time is a gift from him; a time for celebration, rest, joy, thanksgiving, time with family and friends, delicious foods, and fun memories. I refuse to treat that like a burden.

-We see the Messiah celebrating these times in Scripture. He even hosts a Passover meal (also known as the last supper). And he is supposed to be our example, right? So one of the answers to those WWJD bracelets is, "celebrate the feasts!"

-Paul exhorts us to keep the feasts (1 Corinthians 5:8). Even after the Messiah was ascended into heaven we are told to keep these festivals.

-Scripture tells us not to let anyone judge us for doing this (Colossians 2:16). In his all knowing, YHWH knew we would be facing some peer pressure to not keep the feasts. I think that's why in Colossians he reminded us to not let other's opinions make our decisions for us. It's not man's choice. It's YHWH's instruction.

Are there benefits to celebrating YHWH's set apart times?

To quote Paul, "Much in every way." Most people keeping the cultural holidays do so because they feel like they are beneficial. The benefit could be that it's something fun to look forward to, or that it's an excuse to spend time with family and friends or to take a break from work, or that it's a way to celebrate love or show people you care. And these are for times that are man made or have very dark origins. How much more then can the Biblical holidays bring goodness into our lives? Here are a few of the opportunities you will have in keeping celebrating the Biblical holidays.

-Deeper relationship with the Messiah. Everything about the festivals points to him. We are going to get a a better understanding of who he is when we start celebrating the feasts. It gives us a closer look at his life (we know what he was doing at these times of year), and we can prophetically see what his return will be like.

-Taking ownership for faith in a concrete way. Believing and trusting can feel a little abstract at times. It is nice to do something tangible to grow in faith and relationship with YHWH. These are regular times to slow down and refocus on faith.

-Understanding Scripture in much more depth! The festivals are a significant part of both Old and New Testament Scripture. We are going to miss a lot of details if we aren't at least somewhat familiar with what these are. And we know that all of Scripture is useful for teaching, correcting mistakes, and training in character.

-Sharing experiences that those in the Bible had. Keeping Passover is something Moses did. And Miriam and Joshua. And the Messiah and the disciples. King Josiah and Apostle Paul too. How cool is it that we can relate to them in this way? These set apart times bring members of our faith together over thousands of years, and can make Scripture come alive to us.

-Building relationships with other believers. A Passover meal or Sukkot celebration is a great time to journey to be with others in the faith. Sharing these special times together can foster lasting friendships and meaningful relationships.

Obviously this is just a brief introduction to the feasts. There is so much more richness to each one! For more on individual feasts, go here.