Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jonah 1:3

"But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD."
Jonah 1:3

(found this here, not recommending site, haven't read it)

Noticed "rose." Was Jonah just sitting around waiting for HaShem to tell him to do something?

What does Tarshish mean? Can't really find a good definition. Seems to be a town that they aren't sure of the location exactly. The jist of what I'm reading is that it was possibly the furthest Jonah could go in his day and age.

Where is it? Right up there on the map :0) In Spain or Turkey or India from what I'm reading.

Where was Jonah at the time? Oh, somewhere near Joppa and above Joppa because he went "down." In other words, who knows?

What does Joppa mean? Beauty and comeliness, also called Yafo or Jaffa. Thought to be one of the oldest ports. Was given to the tribe of Dan.

Where is it? Between Caesarea and Gaza, south of Tel Aviv

Did he really think he could flee the presence of the LORD? Would he have heard Psalms by then? He didn't have a copy sitting on his shelf, so maybe not.

O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

Psalm 139:1-7

But also, genesis 4:16 says "Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD." The above verse from Psalms seems to contradict that idea, that Cain could physically walk away from HaShem. I don't believe the bible contradicts itself, so there must be a different way to look at it. We obviously can't flee from Hashem, He is always watching over us, but it doesn't mean we can't turn our back on God's presence in our life. He might be everywhere, but we can and do ignore Him. So maybe it is not that Jonah thought he could get away from God Himself, but wanted to show that he was definitely NOT going to do what He asked.

I'll never know, but I wonder how much it cost to get on the ship. What did Jonah do that allowed him to have money to buy a fare?

I noticed it is all about going away, getting away, going down, getting away! Away! Away!

Meals: Congo Squares

Okay, these aren't a meal, but if you leave them out on the counter, they might end up being so!

(okay, I'm no photographer, but they taste better then they look)

Two days ago, I made Congo Squares under the watchful eye of my MIL. I learn so much better and work so much faster if I have someone I can ask questions of the whole time! This is a recipe that was lost for years and is recently been found. I asked her where it came from and she said her mother made for them growing up, but she doesn't know where it came from before that. Great Grandma M sometimes made them with dates, Oma said, which was horribly disappointing. Anyway, with chocolate chips, this is a very rich, irresistible dessert that is really easy. Easy to eat too, so again, don't leave them on the counter.

Congo Squares

2 3/4 c flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 c shortening/butter
2 1/4 c brown sugar or 1 lb box
3 eggs
1 c nuts (opt)
1 12 oz pkg or 2 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Melt shortening. Add to brown sugar. Stir to mix. Allow to cool slightly. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each one. Add dry ingredients. Then add nuts and chips. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Bake 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.
We made these in her microwave that is also an oven. Preheats really fast and is big enough for a 9x13 pan to rotate!

Taking them to Sukkot service tonight, so we shall see how they are received. UPDATE: The middle ones are DELICIOUS, but gooey, so we didn't take them all. Darn, we'll have to eat them ourselves. Of what we did take, there was only one left.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jonah 1:2

Here are my notes on the next verse:

"Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me."
Jonah 1:2

Noticed "arise" (Pastor's wife mentioned verbs like this being something to notice :0)

What does Nineveh mean? Found this at

Nineveh = "abode of Ninus" Definition: Capital of the ancient kingdom of Assyria; located on the east bank of the Tigris river, 550 miles (880 km) from its mouth and 250 miles (400 km) north of Babylon
Who is Ninus?
According to Wikipedia "he does not seem to represent any one personage known to modern history, and is more likely a conflation of several real and/or fictional figures of antiquity, as seen to the Greeks through the mists of time...He has sometimes been thought to be connected with the figure identified in the Torah as Nimrod the hunter", son of Cush (see Genesis 10:6-12). In some interpretations of the Hebrew text of Genesis 10, it is Nimrod who founded Nineveh, but this too is ambiguous: other translators render the same Torah verse as naming Ashur, son of Shem as the founder of Nineveh."
Where is Nineveh? Found it on this map and this map. Wow, Ninevah is quite a way from Joppa. Wonder how long it took Jonah to get there? It would help to know where the fish threw him up!

How big was it at the time? Well, it was the capital of Assiriya, so couldn't have been small.

Do we know what their evil was? Nineveh is mentioned 11 times outside the book of Jonah. Genesis 10:11, 12; 2 Kings 19:36, Isaiah 37:37, Nahum 1:1; 2:8; 3:7, Zephaniah 2:13, Matthew 12:41, Luke 11:30, 32. Nahum was a prophet to Nineveh, but a century later and not with the same results as Jonah. I gather, from what I've read, that being against God's Holy Nation, Israel, did not put them on His blessing side. I'm not sure what they were doing during Jonah's time, but Nahum shows them being very violent and enticing people (I'm assuming Israel) away as a prostitute would. Nahum 1:11 says "From you came one who plotted evil against the LORD..." 3:1 "...bloody city, all full of lies and plunder - no end to the prey!" 3:3 "...dead bodies without end..." So, I'm guessing their original sin was similar, although their heart purer as they repented after Jonah, but not after Nahum.

What does it mean for their evil to come up before Him? From the following verses, I deduce it simply means their ways are known to HaShem, they have made their evil ways known in the presence of the Lord.
The verses:

"Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus." Esther 1:19
"Let my cry come before you, O LORD" Psalms 119:169
"When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts?" Isa 1:12

Of course, Proverbs 15:3 says "the eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good," so He always knows what we are doing. On one hand, Jonah 4:2 shows that HaShem is "a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and relenting from disaster." On the other hand, Nahum 1:3 reminds us that "the LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty." He is patient, but He is just and avenging and will not let evil prevail forever.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Meals: Beet Green Gratin

My Favorite found this recipe, I think, last year. We ate it so many times in a row we didn't like it anymore. But I thought we might give it a try again. It's all about grace isn't it? Even for those poor beet greens. This is Alton Brown's recipe, a family favorite (the show/chef, not necessarily the dish).

(before mixed or in pan)
Beet Green Gratin

1 tablespoon butter
12 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound beet greens, cleaned and picked
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 cups ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup crumbled crackers (recommended: Ritz crackers)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sweat. Add the beet greens and mix well. Remove pan from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and salt. Combine everything and put into a lightly oiled 9 by 11-inch baking dish. Top with the crumbled crackers and bake for 30 minutes covered. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
I couldn't remember what it meant to sweat the veggies, so here is what I found:

Sweating means to cook vegetables in a fat without them turning brown. With high heat, vegetables began to carmalize and turn brown. This mean that the heat is releasing the sugars within the vegetables. The heat has to be rather high to do this. Sweating is done on a very low heat and does not cause the sugars to be released.

Step #1 Add oil or butter to a sauce pan. Add the vegtables.

Step #2 COVER WITH A LID. Turn on a very low heat and let the vegetables cook without turning brown. If you notice them browning, then lower the heat even more. They will cook completely through and release their flavors into whatever you are cooking. Onions and celery will become soft and translucent when done. Carrots will become soft.
Really this is a very easy recipe. I got it all done while Teeny and My Favorite were at the store. It does take a while to bake, but as long as you don't have my lack-of-time-organization issues, it is great. Teeny ate the mushrooms out of hers, until she accidentally got some beet greens... what a lemon face! I liked it, so grace wins again. Doesn't reheat pretty, but I ate two servings just now and num!


The recipe doesn't mention the stems, in or out. I would definitely advise o-u-t, they are really bitter. And I needed way more crackers to cover the dish then suggested.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Meals: Pot Roast

Like I mentioned in the previous post, we eat mostly vegetarian dishes. A year and a half after Teeny Tiny started eating solids, and we are having to rethink that conviction. Why? She hasn't eaten a dinner I have made EVER. Outside of pancakes or eggs, and the odd black bean and sesame spinach salad (huh? Yeah, I don't get it) I made once. That is, until last Shabbat.

(from a really creative site)

I had some chard to use up. I don't like chard, but I wanted to give it another chance. But all the recipes I had were for side dishes, and I had Beet Green Gratin planned for dinner. Beet greens with a side of chard? Yuck.

(from, don't know anything about it)

My Favorite suggested I cook one of the roasts we had just recently received from his side of the family. They got a half a cow sometime last year, and were kind enough to share with us when we realized Teeny needed to eat something more then quesadillas.

So I made a roast. I had to chop off 3 corners of it to get it in the dutch oven I have (from my wonderful MIL), but I got it in, all by myself. Praise God for serated knives.

Here's the recipe, if it can be considered that:

The "Thank You Nor" Roast

Cook time: 3 hours

Worcestershire sauce
Seasoning (I used Jonny's)
Veggies, cut up (We had potatoes and carrots)

Set oven on 350 degrees.Take roast out of freezer 3 hours and 5 minutes before you want dinner done. Cover bottom of dutch oven with 1 inch water (don't measure, just guess). Place roast in dutch oven, still frozen. If it doesn't fit, cut off some pieces and throw them in too. Watch out for bones. Douse roast with Worcestershire sauce (pronounced worst-eh-shire around here) to keep the seasoning on. Add as much seasoning as you'd like. Once oven is heated up, put the roast in and set timer for 2 hours.

Prep your veggies while you wait if you haven't already. (We used some very small potatoes, some which didn't get cut up they were small enough. Carrots were pretty small too, so those went straight in, skin and all) When 2 hours is up, pull dutch oven out, take lid off and dump veggies in. There will be a lot more water now because your roast was frozen. Place covered roast back in the oven and set timer for 1 hour more. Eat and enjoy. Save bones for The Pup.
Delicious! All of it, meat and veggies. The meat was moist and I thought it had enough seasoning. Veggies were done perfectly, the carrots were even sweet (more the farm's doing then ours). My MIL was over and she didn't spit it out. And yes, even Teeny Tiny ate it. Challah was higher on her list of things to love about dinner but, she ate!

I don't know how big the roast was, but it looked huge and fed 3 adults and one picky eater with plenty left over for another meal.

Can't think of any, it really worked well. The side dish of chard went in the garbage though. Yuck.

Meals: The Background Story

I don't have a lot of confidence in my cooking abilities. Part of that is I haven't done much. Before Teeny Tiny was born, My Favorite did all the cooking. When she was a year old, God blessed him with a new job, and I started my cooking career. At the same time, we also felt convicted to eat a vegetarian diet as often as possible (something we are still figuring out since Teeny Tiny is obviously a carnivore and dislikes "wapables" of any kind). So any previous cooking experience I had, which wasn't much, wasn't very helpful.

The other part is I have a fear of failure. I want it to work the right way, the first time, and for it to be something people (ie. my family) likes. And I'm slow. But I want to overcome this. I know learning is a process, with lots of trial and error, and I don't want to pass on my throw-in-the-towel, stomp-my-feet attitude to my girls when something goes slightly amiss.

So I thought maybe it would help to chronicle my trials and errors here, so I can improve and see that I'm improving. We shall see!

Look in the Hebrew

Lord, I thank You that You, the King of the universe, would offer me such connections and teachings that lay in Your word and eyes to see its deep richness.

Here is the verse I was reading today:

My son, keep your father’s
and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
Bind them on your heart always;
tie them around your neck.
When you walk, they will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
to preserve you from the evil woman,
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
Proverbs 6:20-24

Here it is again, with the word "commandment" and "teaching" written, and marked in orange, as they are in Hebrew, "mitzvah" and "Torah" respectively. Also, I saw in the notes of my English Standard Version that the word "them" is actually "it" in Hebrew. (green explained later)

"My son, keep your father’s mitzvah,
and forsake not your mother’s torah.
Bind it on your heart always;
tie it around your neck.
When you walk, it will lead you;
when you lie down, it will watch over you;
and when you awake, it will talk with you.
For the mitzvah is a lamp and the torah a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
to preserve you from the evil woman,
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress."
Proverbs 6:20-24

I love this! King Solomon (if this is his proverb) is telling his son, or HaShem is telling us, to hold tightly to His word. And anyone who is familiar with the Shema probably has noticed this before, but the green marks out the spots that show the author of this Proverb was probably quoting Deuteronomy 6:4-9. See below ("awake" in proverbs is sometimes translated "rise"):

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:4-9

As a mama, this reminds me that if I teach my children Torah, God's word and ways, then His word will be with them always. As Yeshua is the living word, He will lead them, He will watch over them, and He will talk with them. Even when I can't. Even better then I can. What an awesome God we serve!

He is the Light of the world

"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world." John 8:12

The Torah of the world

"For the mitzvah is a lamp and the torah a light." Proverbs 6:23

He is the Torah, the Word

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1

The Word is living...

"For the word of God is living and active." Hebrews 4:12 He is living
and walking and guiding and teaching

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Yom Kippur and His provision

The economy took another huge dive today. I wouldn't have known except my ever diligent husband pays attention to these things. I feel like I am doing well in trusting HaShem, vs. worrying. My brain is, however, trying to figure out if there is anything I can do right now, as well as imagine what the future brings. My friend and I came up with a stress-relieving plan that we agreed not to tell our husbands until things were REALLY bad. Hehehe, praise HaShem for friends!

Anyway, in looking for the meaning of Jonah's name, I came across this paragraph on a site for an English speaking Israeli radio show. I have not looked at the site at all, but this paragraph was a great reminder in light of the times:

This Yom Kippur, as we stand in synagogue in fasting and prayer for this next year, let us not look to presidents, friends or allies to protect us. Let us take our eyes away from the White House, the International Community, or the Knesset to save us. Instead, let us look UP. To the only ONE, the Master of the Universe, the only one who we can trust in, the only one who has, and can, save us.

May we gird ourselves with the knowledge and strength that G-d is there, if only we call upon Him, and may we not feel defeatism. May we gird ourselves with trust, not fear. Truth, not convenient lies. May we appoint G-d, the KING of all kings, over us. And may we walk in righteousness to do His will, bring justice to this world, and improve our ways on the personal and more general levels. from here

Jonah 1:1

The moms' group I attend at a local church (not Messianic) started going through the book of Jonah today. Which is a fun thing really, because today is Yom Kippur and Jonah is the traditional book read this day. HaShem even gave me the strength to bring that bit of knowledge up during the meeting. (I get sweaty-nervous to bring up Messianic things, or anything that my brain feels will be controversial. I had to pray for HaShem to provide an opening, and He did! As always! And they didn't throw me out!)

Anyway, the pastor's wife challenged us to go verse by verse and write out our observations. So here we go! Some of the questions below she brought up while explaining what she did when she went through it. This might get updated as I find the answers to my questions.

"Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying..."
Jonah 1:1

How did the word come to Jonah? It came in "saying" form, so to me that implies some audible form. She wondered, so now do I, if this was the first time Jonah was given a word from HaShem?

The name of HaShem is, in the English, written as LORD. I know a bit about this, but good to note. This is capitalized because it is, in Hebrew, the actual name of God. This is the name of God the Jews chose never to say in order avoid useing His name in an unholy way. It is not made of the English letters YHWH, but the Hebrew letters yod, hei, vod and another hei. Go here to see what those letters can look like.

What does Jonah mean? All I can find right now is "dove" but I'm sure there is more depth to it.

Who is Amittai? In my very brief google search, I found nothing more then the two places Jonah is mentioned in scripture. Jonah 1:1 and 2 Kings 14:25.

We shall see how many verses I get through before the next meeting! I'd be willing to bet this is the only post I do on it :0) Let us pray it isn't so.

Note: When I took His open door moment to mention that this is the book traditionally read on Yom Kippur, someone immediately came back with the question, "Why?" I was thinking about that as I wrote this, and realized that I simply answered. I am not entirely sure what I said, and I can't remember even looking at her. Baruch HaShem for His provision of words!

Does anyone have any more insite? I love input and tolearate correction :0)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

So dissapointing

I am so frustrated by this! Maybe if I write it out I won't struggle with it as much.

I love reading. I could do it all day and I can do it fast. I don't see words, but pictures in my mind. That is, until I get to scripture.

Suddenly, I find myself skipping over the scripture verse to get to the author's thoughts on it. Not good! What they say means nothing, but God's word - everything! (although the post used above is quite nice)

I have to physically force myself to read each word, and go back and start again if my mind's eye glasses over. And I love His word! And I don't know it nearly as well as I could if I had read all those passages instead of skipping them. ARrrgh!

* Thanks Tavita's Purse for the blog to take a screen shot of :0) I was reading this wonderful post when I finally got fed up with this struggle of mine.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

No time!

I didn't start being a housewife, as in taking care of our home, until I had been married 2 years and had a 1 month old daughter. So I've had to learn a lot these last two years, and I constantly feel behind. Behind what I'm not sure, but behind something that is ahead of me and driving me crazy!

I am also very slow. It seems to take me longer then most to do even simple things. Part of it is what I grew up around, I think, and part of it is my day dream mindset. I find myself changing a diaper and I can't tell you how long I was standing there doing it.

Which all translates to me not getting much done. Or feeling like i'm not getting much done. So there are not a lot of posts here. But in the scheme of getting the things done HaShem has for me to do in a day, that might not be a bad thing!

Rosh HaShanah 2008

This was the first Rosh HaShanah, or Yom Teruah, that I tried to do something with Teeny Tiny and our little family. Nothing worked the way I hoped. Nothing ever does, so I'm not sure why I was so surprised. But there were some fun moments too, not to get too Eeyore about it.

The day before our Trumpet festival I set up our new learning poster (more later) with its new theme: Rosh Hashana! The letter of the week was R, the shape an apple, the color gold, the foreign word shofar. I had fun coloring the R and the apple gold, hehehe. The little pleasures in life. Anyway, Teeny Tiny thought it was fun enough. Shofar comes out sounding like "so-far" which is pretty darling.

As far as activities, we tried reading the two books I found our library had, but they were just a bit too old for her. Then I saw this cool idea to use an apple as a stamp for Rosh Hashana cards. Cool for someone older then 2. I had thought it would be fun to give to our home group family. She thought it was fun to dip the apple in paint and use it as a paint brush though, so really it was a hit, just not what I expected.I had hoped My Favorite would be able to take the day off as a sabbath, but having just been gone for 3 days the week before (1 for work) and leaving for a conference this coming week, that wasn't possible. So that left me looking at driving 1/2 hour by myself on little sleep with a 2 year old and a 7 week old. A bit daunting, but I so wanted to go! I hadn't ever been.

The day of, a Tuesday, I set my mind that not only did I want to go, I needed to take me and my oldest daughter. In case nothing else happened related to Rosh HaShanah, and because holding a holy convocation is part of keeping HaShem's festival. So we went, and it was a success. Without the help of almost everyone at the service, it would have been a disaster. What a wonderful group! But when they brought out the "so-fars" Teeny Tiny looked at me all excited and whispered "So-far! In my room!" (the poster had a pic of a shofar). Hey, we learned something! I totally didn't get to concentrate on the liturgy at all, but my little girl connected on some level. And I ate two plates full of food at Oneg, plus dessert. Nursing makes me HUNGRY!

I also had it in my head to make this apple cake that I'd run across. We weren't able to have the festival dinner as a family that I hoped, but Teeny and I did make the cake together. Which almost made us late to the house we had dinner at. But it turned out pretty good. We just finished it up for Shabbat breakfast this morning *grin*