Isaiah seems to be one of those books of the Bible that is chock full of gems and treasure. Unfortunately, many of us don’t spend that much time reading and studying it. This month, for our Scripture copywork, I journeyed through Isaiah and found some wonderful, encouraging passages to read, copy, and study. There are plenty more in this amazing book, but I kept it to short passages for 30 days. Enjoy!
I have been reading Revelation a lot lately. It seems that students of the Scriptures have been debating the identity of Mystery Babylon for centuries. I don’t think anyone was going to be able to identify it until it was right in our faces. I firmly believe that time is now. I want to give you fair warning that I will be addressing some of the sins of Babylon and I do not feel this post is appropriate for children. I will not be including pictures, but the subject matter is for adults only. Also, keep in mind that this post is designed as a starting point, and I encourage you to do your own research and study.
Who is Babylon?
After these things, I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his glory. He cried with a mighty voice, saying: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a den for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit and for every unclean bird and for every unclean and detestable beast. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the fury of her immorality. The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich off the power of her self-indulgence.”Revelation 18:1-3 TLV
Babylon extends back through history all the way to Nimrod and the Tower of Babel. We see it continue through history as Judah was exiled to Babylon for 70 years. We see King Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, and the story of the fiery furnace. Babylon still exists today, and it hasn’t changed much from its roots. Babylon is not a single city or a single country. It is a system. The Babylon system worships Satan and Molech. In modern society, it is harder to see because it went underground, literally. Please research underground cities, D.U.M.B.S., tunnels and the other things I mention in this article. (google has removed much of this information, so be sure to use an alternative search engine) The Satanic worship found in the Babylon system is involved in human trafficking, sexual immorality, cannibalism, child abuse and murder, human sacrifice, demon possession, and other evil atrocities. How did we not see it? They hid in plain sight. They infiltrated all parts of our society, including our media, entertainment, governments, businesses, banking, religious systems, pharmaceuticals, and education. We now call them the Deep State or the Cabal. This evil system can be found in nearly every country on earth.
And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, because no one buys their merchandise anymore- shipments of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; all kinds of citron wood; all kinds of ivory products; all kinds of products made of costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble; cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine, oil, fine flour, and wheat; cattle, sheep, horses, and chariots; and slaves- that is, human souls.Revelation 18:11-13 TLV
When we look at this description of Babylon’s wares, we can get several clues on where to look. Obviously, they deal in great riches. Look at the elite, you know, the ones with all the money, all the resources. There is more than enough food, wealth, and resources in this world for everyone to be well taken care of. Yet, the top 1% have 99% of the wealth. Hmmm….sounds like Babylon.
The most important clue in this passage is the last one. It is also the reason I have great hope that the complete fall of Babylon is imminent.
“and slaves- that is, human souls”
Human trafficking has to be the most vile sin ever to pollute this earth. Those who worship Satan think that they have the right, even the obligation, to treat their fellow humans as a crop to be harvested. Israel was warned many times to avoid idolatry, human sacrifice, and the rituals of their pagan neighbors. This warning is for us today! Worship of Ba’al, Molech, and Satan is still happening today! YHVH forgive us for not seeing it! Babylon is being exposed right before our eyes, and we no longer have the excuse of not knowing. So, let’s talk about how we can come out of her.
Come out of her
Come out of her, my people, lest you participate in her sins and receive her plagues! For her sins have piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. Pay her back just as she has paid out, and give her back double for her deeds! In the cup she has mixed- mix a double dose for her! As she has exalted herself and indulged herself in luxury, so give her the same measure of torment and grief! For in her heart she says, ‘I sit a queen- I am no widow; I shall never see grief.’ For this reason her plagues will arrive in a single day- death and grief and famine- and she shall be burned down with fire. For mighty is Adonai Elohim who judges her!Revelation 18:4-8 TLV
For the first time in centuries, we can see Babylon for what she really is. She has been hiding in the shadows and underground. But, the time is come for her sins to be laid bare. When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, they cried out to YHVH for deliverance, and He heard them and came to deliver them in a mighty way. Today, His people have been crying out. As each individual began learning about the atrocities of human trafficking, child abuse, and sexual corruption, they cried out to YHVH for justice. He heard those cries.
It is no accident that one of the first things President Trump tackled after he was elected was human trafficking. He vowed that he would not stop until this horrific practice was wiped off the face of the earth. YHVH has been raising up people in key places to bring down the Cabal, the Deep State, which Revelation calls Babylon. Every day, more trafficking and drug rings are broken, children are rescued, and criminals are going to jail. People in high government positions are openly recognizing that we have One God and One Creator Who we must answer to. You see, the fall of Babylon is bigger than individual countries and elections. It is also the most important fight that human history has ever seen. Good and evil are at war, and we know that good wins.
How do we “come out?”
Let’s talk about specific things that we can do as YHVH’s people to separate ourselves from the Babylonian system. The time to act is now, because YHVH will bring them down in flames. We don’t want to be in the way. Keep in mind that the Babylonian system is worldwide. There is nowhere to physically run, like the pilgrims did. Rather, we must separate ourselves from their system.
- Start with prayer. Actively confess your sins and look for more areas where you need to follow His commands. Pray for protection for those who are actively attacking the cabal. They are rescuing children from traffickers. They are uncovering secret plots. They are calling out evil people for what they really are. They need YHVH’s divine protection. Pray for YHVH to bring complete justice. Pray for wisdom to find truth and share it with others.
- Keep yourself grounded in the Word. The Scriptures are our ultimate source of truth. They keep us on the straight path. Fill your heart and mind with truth every day.
- If you aren’t already, work on finding a way to homeschool your children. The public education system is designed to teach our children the ways of Satan. Why do you think they are getting sex education in elementary school? Why are they being taught evolution? Satan wants your children. Don’t let him have them.
- Get rid of mainstream media. It is full of lies designed to program you in the ways of the cabal. It is full of lies, staged news events, and false flags. Just walk away.
- Big tech has been infiltrated, too. This includes amazon, google, facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube, etc. These companies are not even pretending anymore. Posts that do not fit their evil narrative are blocked immediately. We have to cut off the money. Social media is run on ads. Every time you see an ad on their platforms, you are funding their evil schemes. Yes, you are funding human trafficking. There are now plenty of alternatives, thanks to people who started recognizing Babylon and started “coming out of her.” I realize the extensive reach of these companies. It is hard to make a clean break. I am still trying to get my business completely off of amazon. The important thing is to start.
- If you run a business, start evaluating the companies that you do business with. Look at your payment processor, your material sources, your advertising campaigns. Are you depending on evil social media platforms for traffic? Pray and ask YHVH to show you alternatives. I and several other business owners have begun making changes in our businesses to disconnect from Babylon. We would be happy to help you with decision making. Start asking questions about what these companies support. For example, companies like wayfair, etsy, and walmart have been or are suspected of being used as fronts for human trafficking. Do some research and find alternatives.
- Don’t get vaccinated.
- Kick Hollywood out of your home. In my research, Hollywood is home to the most disgusting, evil people on earth. You might want to replace movie time with book time. I have some great classic literature available. 😉 Seriously, carefully evaluate the entertainment in your home.
- Draw ever closer to YHVH and His ways. Keep His feasts and Shabbat. Fill your home with His truth. Run to Him and ask for wisdom. He promises that when you seek Him, you will find Him.
We live in scary and exciting times. If you look at only the surface and the information that mainstream media dishes out, it is mostly scary. But, if you fill your mind with truth, and look for YHVH’s hand, we are in the most exciting time in human history. YHVH promised that Babylon would fall. I believe firmly that we are seeing Babylon exposed so that we can come out of her, and YHVH can bring her crashing to the ground. Be quick! Don’t delay! I can’t wait to see His judgment complete. How exciting to be so close to a world where YHVH is honored as the One True God!
If you are relatively new to keeping Torah, you may have heard of Torah portions, but aren’t really sure what they are. This post will give you a basic understanding of Torah portions, and how you can use them to build a solid spiritual foundation in your home.
What are Torah portions?
The Torah consists of the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Moses directed Israel to read the entire Torah out loud during the fall feasts every seven years. As time went on, and Israel was exiled, they came up with a system to study the Torah in smaller parts each week. This way, they would read a few chapters out loud in the synagogue every Shabbat. It started as a three year cycle, and eventually led to a one year cycle, which we use today.
In our current Torah reading cycle, the Torah is divided into 54 portions (parsha in Hebrew) and the reading begins in Genesis every year after Sukkot. The names of the Torah portions are taken from the Hebrew for the first few words of each Torah portion. For example, the first portion in Genesis is called Beresheet, which means “in the beginning” in Hebrew. Because 54 is not the number of weeks in a year, on our modern calendar or the Hebrew calendar, some Torah portions are bundled together into a single Shabbat, making them a double Torah portion. Vayakhel and Pekudei are often bundled together into a double portion, for example. We also use double portions because the Torah reading cycle is paused on feast days to read special passages related to the feast.
Haftarah portions are often listed with the references for the Torah portions. They consist of Old Testament passages that connect to the topics in the Torah portion for that week. Reading them enables you to get familiar with the prophets and writings which many of us glossed over in the past.
Why should we use Torah portions?
- The Torah cycle is used by believers worldwide, and allows us to all be reading and studying the same passages at the same time.
- Following an annual reading cycle enables us to learn the Torah very well, building each year on the foundation of knowledge from previous years. (The Torah portions journal is a great way to record your studies from year to year.)
- If you were previously in the church where the New Testament is heavily studied at the expense of the Old Testament, the Torah portions are a great way to fill in your knowledge gaps.
- All of Scripture is like a house. Torah is the solid foundation that the rest of the house is built on. Yeshua taught this in a parable in Matthew 7:24-29.
- Most Torah teachings are organized by Torah portion, giving us an easy way to find teachings and learn more about a specific passage.
Torah portion resources
- There are countless resources available to help you learn more about Torah. I will just list a few to get you started.
- Torah portion teachings – list of websites with teachings, printables, and more
- Torah portion archive – I have made a post for each Torah portion designed to help you teach each portion to your children.
- Establishing a Torah time – how we set up a special time each Shabbat to teach Torah to our children
Torah Family Living paid resources
- My First Torah – an illustrated beginning reader version of each of the Torah portions (Also available as a PDF)
- Torah portions journal – a PDF printable designed to help you record your Torah studies from year to year
- Torah portion copywork books – have your child copy passages from each Torah portion as part of their schoolwork
I think I will start by simply saying that I have believed in a flat earth for many years. I have kept it to myself, even though I have studied the topic extensively and am very committed in my belief. As I was talking to my husband the other evening, I realized that I often hide behind the Biblical teaching that there is wisdom in silence, not to be wise, but out of fear. Hot topics and controversy scare me. Yet, throughout Scripture, we are taught to be bold, stand strong, etc. So, today, I am choosing to be bold and write about a topic that I see very clearly in Scripture. It will likely be followed by other topics.
Why does it matter?
The shape of the earth is seen by many as inconsequential. Who cares whether it is flat or round or held up by a turtle? We should care because creation is discussed extensively in Scripture. If a topic is in my Bible, especially frequently, then I need to care about it. Often, a subject will come up in our lives, and if we are wise, we will check Scripture to find the truth.
When my sister started talking about a seventh day Sabbath over 14 years ago, I went to my Bible to prove her wrong. It took ten minutes of study to realize that the Sabbath had never been changed to Sunday, and I needed to be obeying this command. Our family started keeping the Sabbath shortly afterwards.
When a friend of mine shared several Scriptures on the nature of Earth, I did my due diligence to see what my Bible actually said. I discovered that the Earth was described as a flat circle, a fixed body on a solid foundation, and a stationary system. At first, I didn’t know what to think. I had seen a globe on a stand in the classroom when I was little. I had taught my children about the rotation of the celestial bodies. But, as I pondered and prayed, I came to a different conclusion.
Flat earth shows a loving Creator
My husband’s first tongue in cheek description of a flat earth model was basically, “So, we’re living in a petrie dish.” He wasn’t terribly fond of the idea at first. There are two sides to every coin, however. My husband, for example, decided to go beyond his Bachelors of Science, and trust what the Bible says. As we studied together, we discovered how a flat earth demonstrates a loving Creator.
A closed system means that we are safe and protected within the home that our Heavenly Father lovingly created for us. His throne is just above, and yes, hell is far beneath our feet. We will never fear an alien attack. We are literally and figuratively safe beneath the shadow of His wings. In fact, creation is described as a tent, a gigantic sukkah for us to live in and learn more about our Creator. We are not spinning at crazy speeds hurling through space. We are settled at the feet of our Father.
Why the controversy?
I will be sharing a video below which I found to be a great blessing. He talks about how odd it is that Bible believers and creation advocates suddenly summon tremendous anger and hate when facing a “flat earther.” Why is that? If we are on a journey to learn all we can about Scripture and follow YHVH as we learn more, why would we confront an idea founded in Scripture with such contempt?
We are now all too familiar with “fact checkers.” They have actually begun to serve as a gauge for truth. If a post gets slapped with a “fact check,” it is almost certainly true. Is that what we are seeing when people talk about a flat earth? Have we been so engrained with a particular way of thinking that any concept of creation that counters it is immediately considered a threat?
Start asking questions
I am not writing this post to force you to believe in a flat earth. I am personally feeling that YHVH wants me to be more brave and speak truth, even when it comes across as controversial. Rather, I want you to ask yourself some questions.
- What does the Bible say about this?
- What can I observe around me?
- What would change about my faith or my spiritual maturity if I looked at a different view of earth?
- If I am feeling aggressive and hostile about this topic, why?
I can’t answer these questions for you. I had to spend hours and hours in prayer and study to come to my own conclusions. I want the same for you. Even if you come to different conclusions, I pray that you can say you own your beliefs after thoroughly testing, studying, and praying for yourself.
This is just one topic of many that we need to bring under the microscope. We have lived in a predominantly evil world. We have been taught lies, deceptions, and acceptance of whatever we are presented. It is time that we, as YHVH’s set-apart people, test each of our beliefs to see if they hold up when compared to Scripture. Are we brave enough to be honest with ourselves? Are we brave enough to set aside our long-held beliefs that fail the litmus test of Scripture?
Here is a free PDF with hundreds of verses to help you get started with your studies. Please take the time to study so that you can come to your own solid conclusions.
Again, I bring up your view of the Earth as a starting point. If you are more than a casual visitor of this site, you have likely already realized that the whole Bible applies. You are probably keeping Sabbath and the feasts, eating kosher, caring for widows and orphans, reading the Torah portions, etc. As believers, our journey must also include sifting our beliefs about such varied topics as family, economics, charity, and yes, even our view of creation.
As you will see in the video below, the pastor talks about people who were brought to faith through a flat earth view of creation. If I can help even one person either come to faith in Yeshua, or strengthen their faith, then I will be glad that I chose to be brave.
In closing, you are most welcome to ask questions in the comments. Many people have documented their research on youtube and other places. If you are just in a mood to be nasty, I am asking you to refrain. I have tried very hard to present this topic in a spirit of love and I ask you to comment in that same spirit.
We just finished celebrating Purim, and are journeying towards Passover. The feast seasons are always exciting times, but my husband and I both agree that there is something special about this year. YHVH is working in the world right now like we have never seen in our lifetimes. We are seeing people of great faith in high positions. We are seeing prayer groups of thousands. Trafficking rings are going down on a daily basis. YHVH is righteous and good. He brings down Pharaohs. He delivers His people. We are certainly living in exciting times! Keep praying! Keep believing in YHVH’s righteous judgment and compassion for His people. Keep filling your heart and mind with truth from His Word. Below you will find this month’s verse list. We will take the Exodus story all the way through Passover. Enjoy!
This month, as we copy Scripture, I want us to be looking forward to Passover. It’s less than two months away! We will be spending February and March copying from the book of Exodus. We will cover Moses and Aaron telling the people about YHVH’s plan of deliverance, all the way to the Passover celebration. I want to encourage you to look for patterns, details, and insight that we usually glaze over as we read through. For example, do you know how many times Pharaoh said no, or denied the people? (HINT: it’s not 10.)
Enjoy this up close look at the Exodus story. It will span two months of copywork. The download includes the verse list as well as two matching journal pages.
Please note there are sometimes discrepancies in verse numbers between translations. The printable matches the Tree of Life version. If you are using another translation, make the following notes.
Chapter 7:26-29 TLV = Chapter 8:1-4
Chapter 8:1-4 TLV = Chapter 8:5-8
The rest of chapter 8 is 4 verses off, just keep copying the number of verses listed.
It’s that time again! Are you ready for another month of verses for reading, studying, and copying? You can download the free printable verse list along with matching journal pages by clicking on the image or the button below. I hope you enjoy the graphics. I thought we could all use a bit of green in the middle of January.
Here are some products you may find helpful during your Bible study time.
I know it’s the last day of the month, but I finished just in time! Here is the Scripture printable for December. My six-year-old helped me pick the graphics for this month, and I think he did a great job of capitalizing on the adorable.
I’ll let you get right to it, so here is this month’s printable, with two matching journal pages. Enjoy! You can click on the image or the button below.
Curious how I do what I do on this website? Thinking about starting your own blog? Check out my list of tools that help me run this website.
Planners can be an indispensable part of your daily life. Here are 10 creative ways to use your planner that you might not have thought of yet.
In Leviticus 15:19-24, we are instructed to count seven days for our monthly cycle. I was taught as a teenager to track my monthly cycle for several reasons, the most obvious being able to predict the start of the next cycle. I track my cycle in my planner on the monthly pages by circling the start date and the next six days. No matter how you observe the details of niddah, this simple step allows you to identify those seven days. It also comes in super handy when you are in your childbearing years.
Remove extra pages
If you have discs on your planner, it is easy to adjust how many pages you actually carry around. For example, the weekly section has 52 weekly spreads totaling 106 pages. You don’t need access to all 106 pages all the time. It is easy to remove a large chunk of the blank ones, keep them in a desk drawer, and add them back in when needed. You can also remove previously used pages, but I recommend you do this with caution. I have a habit of writing down recipes, phone numbers, order dates, etc. on the weekly pages, and I do refer back to this info later. I will remove old weekly pages if all they had was a grocery and chore list. I don’t need to keep that around. In case you wondered, I do keep my old planners. Because I write info in them, I often pull out old planners to calculate when an important event happened, or pull a phone number.
You can also rearrange pages in a disc planner. You may want to move a feast day planning page, for example.
Use monthly pages for non-negotiables
In my planner, the monthly layout is strictly guarded and only used for hard and fast appointments. On my monthly pages, you will find doctor appointments, car service appointments, parties, trips, that blasted time change thing, etc. Each Friday, I turn to the next weekly layout and put the dates in. I then turn to my monthly pages and copy over any appointments into the weekly pages. Then I can fill in the rest of the week around them.
Plan your menu
I plan my weekly dinner menu on Friday the week before. On several days of the week, I use a set menu. For example, Monday is burgers, Tuesday is stir-fry, Thursday is pizza, Friday is burritos. Those get filled in first because they rarely change. Then, I only have three days to figure out. If I know I will be very busy on a certain day, I definitely would choose an easy dinner. My weekly menu fits very nicely at the bottom of each day’s column on the weekly pages.
Plan bigger projects
I recently added new pages to the notes section of the Torah planners. It is specifically designed to help you plan out multi-step projects. You could use them for home improvement projects, big cleaning jobs, crafts, etc. I use them mainly for designing new products to sell. I have room to plan out the idea, list tasks, track details, and keep track of my progress. These pages are included in the notes section of both styles of planner, alongside a new page for maintaining a master to-do list.
Look forward to the next feast day
The highlights of our year are the feast days! I’ll admit, though, planning parties is not my strength. I will go to great lengths to avoid them, in fact. My children really look forward to the feast days, and I want them to see YHVH’s feasts as special, so I work hard to overcome my weakness and give them a memorable day.
That is why I use the feast day planning pages. I collect ideas from my children, like special foods. I make note of possible craft projects, verses to read, games, etc. I also look for feast related decorations when I shop at the dollar store. I have a string of twinkle lights between the living and dining room, and that is where I hang decorations. I put autumn leaf garlands for the fall feasts, snowflakes for Hanukah, gold beads and purple decorations for Purim, red fabric for Passover. You get the idea. It’s a way for me to decorate for the feasts, but keep it at a level I can maintain.
There are so many ways to copy Scripture in your planner. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Use the notes section to copy verses from the list you can find at the beginning of your planner.
- Copy single verses on your weekly pages.
- If you have a discbound planner, you can print, cut, and add my monthly verse pages to your planner. Each month, I publish a free verse list of 30 passages, along with matching journal pages. It’s a great way to add Scripture to your planner.
Budget with a variable income
We had a paycheck for many years, and that makes budgeting much more straightforward. You can often anticipate what each paycheck will be within a few dollars, and that makes planning ahead much easier. Now that we are self-employed, income is much more variable. It took me awhile to figure out how to effectively budget a variable income, but I have developed a system that works well. Here are the steps I take each month.
- During the month, any income that comes in is logged on the next month’s income list. You can see that box in the picture below.
- On the 29th or 30th of each month, I sit down to plan out the budget for the next month. I transfer my income for the month out of my Paypal account. Thirty percent gets transferred to my business bank account for taxes and business expenses. Seventy percent is my paycheck for the month. It gets transferred to our personal bank account. Those amounts are logged under income.
- Then, I decide where all the money needs to be. I have several bank accounts to separate our money into categories. (Savings 1- Rainy day savings, Savings 2- Annual expenses such as insurance, Savings 3- All money not designated elsewhere, Money market account- Emergency fund, Savings 4- Medical expenses, Checking- The money needed for the next month)
- On the expenses page, I list all bills for the next month and total them at the bottom of the page. I include an amount for purchases such as gas or groceries. This is the total that will end up in my checking account.
- On my budget planning day, I pay all the bills due in the first half of the month.
- Halfway through the month, I pay all remaining bills.
I hope my method will help you get thinking on how you can budget, whether your income is pretty steady, or variable like ours.
Record daily lessons in your homeschool
If you are a homeschool mom, it is imperative that you have some sort of system to record your children’s work. I have tried several things over the years, including software programs. As with many things, it turned out that simple is best. I have gridded pages in the homeschool section of my planner with 180 boxes. When they complete a lesson, I mark it off. Language arts and math already have lesson numbers, so it’s very easy to track. For subject like history and science, I write in topics for study and write in the various activities (craft, copywork, documentary, project, etc.) to record what we have done. I explain this a bit more in the video below.
Add tabs to important pages
I write “all the things” in my planner, including reference things like my childrens’ current clothing sizes. I use a glue-on tab to mark those pages for easy reference. You can glue them on the side of your page, or as I prefer, along the top edge of the page. I use a simple glue stick and write with a pen. Then I use a small piece of packing tape wrapped over the tab to secure and protect it. I also use a tab for each of my monthly budget pages, verse lists, and current projects.
What are some creative ways that you use your planner? Please share them in the comments below.
You can get your own customized planner by clicking on one of the buttons below. They have all the same features and layout. The only difference is the style. The Torah Family Living planner is bright and floral. The Torah Life planner is minimalist with little quilt blocks in the corners.
A year ago, I thought I understood finances. Then, my husband switched jobs and didn’t get added to the payroll for two months. When he finally started getting paid, they found a lame excuse to let him go. In the months since then, the only thing I know for sure is that YHVH has provided for us. We have paid all our bills, have plenty of food, and all this has happened on my blogging income. I have learned that there are two very important financial principles that you don’t find in the money books. Nobody talks about them in a podcast. But, they are critical for you to grasp and understand.
So I say to you, do not worry about your life- what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your father in heaven feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. Now if in this way God clothes the grass- which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow- will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the pagans eagerly pursue all these things; yet your Father in heaven knows that you need all these. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”Matthew 6:25-34TLV
The two principles I want to share with you today are simple, but mind-blowing at the same time. I find myself repeating them whenever I am tempted to worry. Yah is faithful, and these two truths do not change.
YHVH is my provider
We are commanded to work six days, and rest on the Sabbath. We are expected to show up for whatever our duties are and do our very best.
Remember Yom Shabbat, to keep it holy. You are to work six days, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Shabbat to Adonai your God. In it you shall not do any work- not you, nor your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, your cattle, nor the outsider that is within your gates. For in six days Adonai made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Thus Adonai blessed Yom Shabbat, and made it holy.Exodus 20:8-11 TLV
It is quite simple. If we do not work, we do not eat. Working a garden is equally as important as working a job. Both provide the things we need to live. I want to be clear that we are to show up and do our part. Laziness will never be rewarded.
The mind blowing part of this principle is realizing that YHVH is the One who blesses our efforts and ultimately provides all that we need. When you study the book of Deuteronomy, you will see Moses explain again and again that the Children of Israel would go into the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey. They would grow fat with the abundance, and then promptly forget that YHVH was the One all along Who provided that abundance. When they did forget, YHVH promised that they would be cursed by working hard and never seeing a return for their labor.
Knowing this, we need to guard against complacency. We need to daily recognize where our bread comes from. We are commanded to work hard. But we must recognize that Yah is our provider. We are to trust Him for what we need. We are to thank Him for what He provides. To me, this provides great relief. I work hard to do my job, but at the end of the day, I know that the outcome is up to Him, and I know that He promised to provide what I need.
What YHVH provides is sufficient
We are taught that the love of money is the root of all evil. Money is an integral part of our lives, without which we cannot function. But, if our goal each day becomes simply to make more money, we have moved dangerously into love of money territory.
This is why the second important financial principle is to remember that Yah’s provision is always sufficient. He promised to provide what we need. He didn’t promised piles of riches. The best way to truly learn this principle is to get into the habit of counting your blessings. Look around. Do you have food to eat? Do you have shelter? Do you have enough to pay for what you need today? This helps you to see that Yah has provided for you.
This can be a hard concept to grasp because we want to be provided for five years into the future. While we want to do our best to put money aside for the future, and make sure our children are provided for, we need to learn to recognize His provisions today. When we pray with the Lord’s prayer as our model, we are asking for our daily bread, not our retirement plan. This is an important balance to learn. We are to plan for the future, but always look at the present blessings.
How has Yah provided for you? What are your blessings today? Please share His goodness with us in the comments!
There are several circumstances in life that can result in not getting a paycheck, from job loss, to severe injuries, to the death of a spouse. For us, it was the transition to a new job that left us without a paycheck for two months. Just when I thought I knew something about finances, I suddenly found myself back in Personal Finances 101. Here are some lessons I learned.
Our God never abandons us
My husband was offered an amazing job flying people, instead of the boxes he has been flying in the freight business for almost 25 years. He desperately needed a change, for his mental and emotional health. We prayed and felt very confident that this was a good move. But, because he was sent immediately to training instead of to the company’s indoc program, he did not get put on the payroll.
For the first time in my life, I really started to understand prayer. Funny how necessity can teach you important lessons. In that two months, God never let us down. His timing wasn’t always our timing, but He never abandoned us. He never left us to starve. We never missed a bill. Even when my checking account was getting really low, and I wasn’t sure how to pay the electric bill, money would come from somewhere. Gifts came when we needed them, like a fifty pound bag of potatoes. Our faith was stretched, and even when we thought all was lost, we were amazed that our honest response was that we would continue to trust God.
Sometimes life gets very scary. But, nothing catches our Father off guard. He knows, and His response is neither late nor early. Trust that you are safe within His hands.
Never lose your generous spirit
Even when you are struggling, someone else is struggling more. Don’t forget about them! I wasn’t able to do much for those less fortunate, but I could drop pocket change in the Salvation Army bucket. I could rake my neighbor’s yard when she broke her leg. I never wanted to develop the mindset that I couldn’t help others. Even the widow in Scripture with a single coin in her possession chose to give it away. When Elijah came upon the widow and her son, they were ready to eat their last two cakes and die. But, they chose to feed Elijah first, and were blessed for doing so as they watched their flour and oil last and last.
Look for ways to help others when you are struggling. It blesses those who really need it, and it blesses you with a less self-centered mindset.
Priorities become clear
When you don’t know where or when the next income will find you, you learn to make important choices. When I had more than enough money coming in, it was easy to get sloppy. I’ll admit that I did. With no paycheck, however, I looked at the next bill, and set aside the exact amount needed. I cooked meals with beans and rice and macaroni and cheese. Wants were not even a temptation when I needed the money to pay for gas to keep the house warm.
If you are in a tight position, embrace the fact that you now know what is really important!
Preparation pays off
I’ve talked about emergency funds before. If you don’t have one yet, start one. My efforts to prepare for the future helped us immensely. I have an emergency fund in a separate bank that requires a two day wire transfer to access. When we entered this uncomfortable transition period with no paycheck, I was determined to make things work without touching that money. As of right now, I haven’t had to touch it, and I’m so grateful for that. I don’t know what the next year will bring, and I’m glad that our emergency fund is still there if we need it. I also felt better during these two months knowing that I could dip into it if I had to. Get an emergency fund! You don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
Another important preparation is having a second source of income. I have a blog that bring in an income. I was able to pay some smaller bills like the propane bill with my income. Having a second source of income, no matter how small, can help you bridge the gap when life throws you a curve ball. It’s even better if your secondary income is not dependent on an employer.
- Sell some items you don’t need. We plan to sell my husband’s motorcycle, for example.
- Save money with apps on your phone like Getupside, which saves you money when you fill your car’s gas tank. (Use the code: HEIDI2433 when you download the app to get 15 cents a gallon discount on your first fill-up.)
- Sell homemade items online.
- Use a skill you have as a freelancer. Examples could include proofreading, bookkeeping, writing, housecleaning, babysitting, etc.
What could you do to bring in a little extra income? Every little bit counts when you don’t have a main income.
Have you gone through a period with no paycheck? What lessons did you learn?
It’s time for some more verses to copy! I was just having a conversation with my husband the other day about how I can help other women. I can’t come in your homes and have encouraging chats with you, or give you a magic button to help you grow spiritually. But, I can do one thing of infinite importance. I can encourage you to get in your Bible as often as possible. I know that if you get in that book, and read it honestly, you will learn to love the Author. You will begin to want what He wants. You will love His ways. If I can help you do that, then I have succeeded.
With that in mind, here is this month’s verse printable! I am excited about the passages this month. I implore you to get in your Bible, and make sure that you read and copy it with the intention of changing your ways to match His. Please don’t read your Bible to try to prove your own opinions. We are to change our beliefs and ways to match YHVH’s ways. Otherwise, we are trying to make Him into our own image.
As always, just click on the image or the link below it to download the monthly verses as well as two matching journal pages. Tell me in the comments if you are enjoying reading and copying the passages each month! I would love to hear how you are doing. Also, please share this post with your friends. Let’s help each other along on this spiritual journey.
Are you ready to really jumpstart your spiritual growth? It’s important to make time each day to build your relationship with your Creator. That’s why I created a beautiful tool to help you. It’s called the ‘My Time with Adonai Journal’ and it is designed to help you with your Bible study, prayer time, thanksgiving, praise, and even your reading list.
Money seems to be one of the biggest pain points in marriage. In other subjects, we are the epitomy of grace and cordiality, but when talking finances, we may fight like cats and dogs, or avoid the topic entirely. Neither approach gets things done. Today, I’d like to share with you a few tips for getting the conversation started and keeping it nice. My husband and I have our issues, but thankfully communication has never been one of them. I hope our tips will help you and your spouse to begin working as a team to start working together towards your financial goals.
What is holding you back?
Before you can start having productive conversations with your spouse, you need to identify what is holding you back. Have you had bad experiences with money in the past? Do you lack experience with handling money? Did you miss a few payments and have to pay late fees? Take some time to look within and “deal with your financial issues.” I can help you with financial education, but you are the one who needs to face past difficulties and either take responsibility for your mistakes, or forgive those who made mistakes that affected you.
Use “I” statements
“You forgot to pay that bill!”
“You spent all our money!”
“Do you even care about us?”
Notice that in all these statements, the attention and blame has all been conveniently placed on the other person. I have never responded well to a personal attack, and I’m sure you don’t either. We immediately get defensive and either attack back, or dig in our heels. This may be satisfying for our ego, but it doesn’t encourage conversation. In order for you and your spouse to productively talk about your finances, you need to use “I” statements instead. For example:
“I feel terrible when we pay a bill late.”
“I get nervous when you spend extra money, because I’m afraid we won’t have enough for the important stuff.”
“I want more say on what gets purchased, because I’m in this boat, too.”
“I” statements help you communicate to your spouse where you are coming from, without attacking them. If you haven’t had good money conversations in the past, they may honestly be completely in the dark about your frustrations. “But I’ve told them a million times!” If your tellings were in the form of a personal attack, I can guarantee that they tuned you out. It’s not that they don’t care. It’s just that they entered self-defense mode a long time ago.
Have your attempts at talking finances been driven by accusations? Start using I instead of you and see if that helps bring down the walls and open up communication.
Remember you are on the same team
I’m speaking to married couples today, so yes, you are on the same team. There is no him and her, just us. You vowed to stay together and work together til death do you part. Working together on your finances is part of that vow. When you remember that you are traveling through life together, it’s easier to see that your decisions affect each other.
When one spouse spends money without consulting the other, the other spouse must live with the decision. This is why it is always best to talk over purchases, especially the big ones, realizing that neither of you are an island on to yourself. With smaller purchases, it’s often a good idea to at least have a discussion. For example, does one spouse prefer the name brand of a certain food, even though it is more expensive? Saving money on toilet paper to allow extra money for your spouse’s favorite crackers shows them you care. Knowing how the other one feels about little things like food purchases is a great way to show honor to your spouse.
Split and define the work
Jordan Paige from www.funcheaporfree.com has an excellent video on how to start budgeting as a couple and define who is responsible for what.
It is so important to be on the same page as a couple when it comes to money. I hope these tips will get you started in the right direction on talking finances with your spouse. Are you ready to start talking money? What are you still struggling with? Tell me about it in the comments!
It is fun to watch how children work with cash differently as they grow older. I was recently at the video game store with my 14-year-old son. He was certain he had enough to pay for his game and nerf gun without help. So, he flung, yes flung, his money on the counter. To his dismay, the store clerk announced that he was $1.66 short. Thankfully, I was close by and suggested he switch out the small bills for a $10, and all was well.
Even in our credit heavy society, we all still need to be able to navigate cash. Just recently, I have discovered at least three local businesses who have started charging an extra 3% if you pay with a credit card. That’s a charge I’d rather avoid, so I need to have cash for places like the pet store. That’s one reason we should teach our children how to use cash. If you have ever watched awkwardly as a cashier fumbled to make change, you know the other reason. Cash is still part of doing business, and could be well into the future, so let’s talk about some fun ways we can give our children confidence with coins and bills.
Teach preschoolers about coins
When children are little, the more hands-on the better. Real coins and cash are great if your child is old enough to not swallow or lose them. Until then, math manipulatives are a great choice. My five-year-old loves his math matching game from With the Huddlestons. With some laminating sheets and velcro dots, you can make a fun matching math book. My son has learned counting, shapes, and identifying coins.
Be sure to interact with your child while they play with their “coins.” Simple phrases like, “Can you hand me the nickel?” while pointing at a nickel will help them learn the names. Then you can begin teaching them the value of each coin.
Play store at home
This is such a cool activity for your kids. Have them collect all their stuffed animals and toys, or if you are feeling adventurous, let them borrow some canned goods from the pantry. Then, turn them loose to set up a store. You can use post-its for price tags. My children have enjoyed making their own money, but play money from a board game would also work. Then, they can take turns purchasing and working the check-out counter.
This game will stretch their adding skills, and help them with basic social skills. If they are still math beginners, I would keep the money simple. Only work with pennies, for example. Then, they are simply counting pennies and no change back is required. As they get more advanced, you can introduce more currency, and show them how to make change.
Play board games
If you played Monopoly as a child, you are probably pretty good with cash as an adult. Though landing on Park Place with a hotel was always painful, it definitely helped you with counting money, and reinforced the inescapable truth that you were running out. Playing with board games is a great way to sneak in money practice. It may also help them learn to be more financially savvy, and learn the balance between playing it safe and taking risks. We can only hope!
Give them wallets
When my children were very little, I kept their birthday money safe for them. Now that I’m older and hopefully wiser (seven children ages 5-17) I make sure they have a wallet and put them in charge of their own money. Has money gotten lost? Yep! And I let them feel the pain and frustration, and I rejoiced with them when they found it again. Learning to keep track of their own money is a valuable skill. When you are an adult, no one is going to give you a $20 bill because you misplaced yours. As much as it pains me to see my children frustrated over a loss, I need them to learn to be responsible, and lectures aren’t going to accomplish that. On the bright side, though we’ve had a couple lost and found incidents, for the most part, my children have learned to keep track of their wallets and feel very grown up when they can pay for their own items at the store.
Take them to thrift stores
Our local second hand store is probably our favorite place to shop. I can keep all of us in clothes for great prices, and my children can pick out little treasures and pay for them with their own money. Thrift stores can be a great place for your children to start learning to pay for their own purchases. We go in our store often enough that the clerks know us well, and are particularly patient as my children count out their bills. I am always at hand to help if they get stumped.
Our store is a St. Vincent dePaul, and does a great job of giving back to the community. So, my children know that when we donate or purchase from them, we are also helping people who need food or clothing. It is never too early to teach our children to be generous and help others in need. Not all thrift stores are created equal, so do some checking. How does your store help the community? This information should be readily available for the asking.
Now, get going…
What idea do you think would be the most helpful in teaching your children about cash? How comfortable are you with cash?
This post may contain affiliate links. Your cost remains the same, while I receive a small percentage of any sale.
A new month is almost here! Are you ready for a fresh list of verses to copy or read or study? This month’s verses are an average of 6 verses long, so you can easily find the time to read and copy them. The printable has a cute autumn and animals theme, which makes me think of Sukkot! Don’t forget to use the matching journal pages to copy your verses.
Have you been working through the Torah portions? It is so exciting to learn new things, and so frustrating when we forget them. If this is you, the Torah portions journal will help you to organize and record your studies and “aha moments.” Plus, it’s pretty!
Happy Scripture study!
Do you have any empty shelves in your kitchen cabinets right now? The answer is a big – probably not! Do you know why? Because it’s human nature for us to fill containers up, and when we fill a container, we tend to get another container. That’s why we tend to fill our cabinets, our closets, and our homes. It takes a great bit of discipline to leave space in the container, or at least limit ourselves to one container.
What does this have to do with money?
When looking at this container principle in the money world, your income is the container, and your expenses get put in the container. The idea is to make sure your expenses take up less space than the income provides. In simple terms, spend less than you make. This one principle will allow you to finally get ahead on your finances. You will see your money begin to grow, even without investing. This is why keeping track of your spending is so important. If you know that you get paid $500, you need to track your spending to make sure that you spend less than $500.
Why should I leave space?
When you are able to exercise enough self-discipline with your spending, you will begin to see some extra space in your money container. This is where we can reduce money-induced stress. It’s a great feeling to know that you can cover your bills. It’s an even better feeling when you don’t need to panic when a money emergency arises. When my van broke down and left us on the side of the road, it was frustrating! But I was thankful for my emergency fund to pay the bill without having to go into debt.
The only way to get over money stress is to keep space in your income container. This extra space not only provides for your money emergencies, it also allows you to provide for other peoples’ emergencies. Sometimes, dear friends or family run into a crisis and could really use help. It feels good to pass on our extra to relieve their burden. Providing for widows and orphans is a high priority to us, since it is a Biblical principle. (see James 1:27) Our extra space enables us to do that regularly. The most obvious way to make this space is to keep your spending under control. What else can you do?
How do I leave space?
The first step in Dave Ramsey’s financial plan (author of several financial books) is to get together an emergency fund of $1000. This step was what turned our finances around. We worked hard to get an emergency fund together, and it has helped us many times. The key, once you have an emergency fund, is to only use it for emergencies. Our fund has helped us pay for unexpected car repairs, cover a higher than expected propane bill, and occasionally, a medical bill. Once we tap into our emergency fund, the first order of business is to build it back up again. I am working on that right now. If you are just beginning the work of allowing extra space in your finances, start by building up a $1000 emergency fund.
Another great way to create extra financial space is to secure a side income. I have a small business selling books and planners. This income is variable, so I don’t include it in our regular income. It is kept in a separate account. This enables me to pay for business expenses, like paper and website fees, without touching our household income. It also provides extra money when we need it. I was grateful for this extra income when I had two surgeries in 10 months. I was able to pay for both of them largely out of my side income. With some creativity, setting up a side income can be well worth the effort.
The easiest, or perhaps the hardest, way to create extra space, is to say no to purchases. It’s easy to do in theory, but not always easy to do when you really want that item! How do you learn how to say no in an instant gratification society? Here’s some tips.
- Ask if it’s a need or a want. This post can help.
- Make yourself wait a certain period of time, such as 2 weeks. If you still want it, then go ahead and purchase it. If not, you just created some money space!
- Get an accountability partner. If you are married, work with your spouse to create checkpoints on purchases. Ask each other about purchases, since you are in this boat together. A reliable friend can also be called when you need help saying no.
It’s your turn!
Not sure how much is in your money container? Be sure to download my budget worksheet to get a clear picture of your finances. Today is the best day to start making money space.
How do you plan to start making space in your income container? Comment below with your ideas!
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
My teenagers see me use a credit card all the time, but when I asked, they don’t really know how they work. So, we are going to square one and exploring how credit cards work. If you already understand credit cards, and can use them responsibly, great! But, perhaps you are struggling a bit with your credit card, or know someone who could use a better understanding. If so, please read on.
Credit cards are not money.
I think this is the single biggest misconception about credit cards. That little piece of plastic is not a dispenser of funds. Credit cards are a tool for spending. When you have a credit card, you are given a line of credit. Perhaps you have a limit of $5,000. That does not mean you have access to $5,000. It means you can put $5,000 of purchases on your account before you will be blocked from spending.
Let’s take a pretend trip to the store to see how the credit card does work. When I go to the grocery store, I put all the groceries in my cart. When I check out, the total comes to $84.67. I put my credit card in the machine, and my purchase is approved. From the store’s perspective, I am paid in full. But, instead of owing money to the store, I now owe money to the credit card company. The credit card simply allowed me to defer payment for a few days. When my credit card bill arrives, all purchases I made in the last month will be due at the same time. If I have planned for this and only made purchases with money I already knew I had, then this is very convenient. If I spent carelessly with my card, this is a deathblow. Because, if I don’t pay the full amount each month, I will be charged interest on those purchases. Now, my groceries didn’t cost $84.67; they cost $95.48. If I continue to not pay, the price for those groceries will keep going up.
Credit cards make it easy to overspend.
When you make a purchase at a store, and have to count out those dollars and cents, you have an emotional response to that purchase. You see the money leaving your hand. You see that there is less money left in your wallet. With a credit card, however, you put the card in the machine, and then you put it back in your wallet. You didn’t give anything up to make the purchase. Physically speaking, there was no exchange, and you can get tricked into thinking that the item cost nothing. Without a proper understanding of how credit cards work, it is too easy to hand that card over and spend more money than you have.
Bills must be paid on time.
Credit card companies provide a service, convenience, but it does have a price tag. If you pay the full amount due on your card each month, you can avoid the credit card price tag. If, however, you don’t pay the full amount, and only pay the mimimum payment, you will be charged interest on your balance. Considering that credit card interest rates can run anywhere from 13-22%, depending on the card type, this can be a big pill to swallow. If you don’t pay anything at all on your bill, you will also be charged fees, which can be $30 or more. While the convenience of credit cards is amazing, if you don’t plan and pay the bill when due, the convenience will cost you a world of trouble.
I have missed a due date a few times, and had to pay the fees, so I try to make multiple payments in a month to avoid that. I find that if I double check my purchases and pay the bill in full every 1-2 weeks, I am never caught off guard.
Many financial experts will recommend that you cut up all your credit cards and use only cash. This is wise advice, except for a few problems. The biggest problem for me is that I live in a rural area and depend on online purchases to fill in the gaps in my local stores. I can’t pay for items online with cash. The idea of a debit card doesn’t thrill me, so I use a credit card. To keep it in check, I have only one card to keep track of, and as I mentioned before, I pay it off at least once a month, and try to pay multiple times a month.
Torah Life Planner
The Torah Life Planner will not only help you keep track of life, but it will help you stay focused on your Torah journey.
Good records are essential.
Obviously, to be able to use a credit card, you must keep good records. You need to know how much money you actually have, and you need to keep track of all purchases made with your card. Your due date needs to be marked clearly on your calendar, as well.
I will be showing you how I keep track of my purchases in another post. If you don’t have a system, start by keeping a running list of purchases so that you won’t be surprised when the bill arrives. You can also take advantage of credit card apps that give you access to your account anytime, anywhere. I also highly recommend that if you choose to have a credit card, you limit yourself to only one. Any more than that is too hard to maintain and track.
- Limit yourself to one card.
- Mark your due date on your calendar.
- Keep a running list of purchases.
- Aim to pay in full every month, ideally more than once a month.
Therefore, pray in this way:
‘Our Father in heaven, sanctified be Your name.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’Matthew 6:9-13 TLV
Have you ever started to pray, and didn’t know what to say? When things get scary in the world, I find that sometimes I don’t know what is best to pray for. I find myself simply praying, “Yah, I don’t understand! Can you please take care of it?”
Have you ever felt this way?
It’s in moments just like this that we can turn to “The Lord’s prayer.” Yeshua taught this prayer to His disciples as a model, a template. We can use it as a guide to know how to pray, especially when we don’t know what to pray. Let’s take a look at it!
Our Father in heaven, sanctified be Your name
Any time we pray, we should start with acknowledging our God, and how truly amazing He is. Knowing our God is actually the first command.
I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.Exodus 20:2
When we are worried or anxious about the problems in our life, or the problems we see on a larger scale, there is no greater comfort than to know Who our God is. He is the God over storms. He speaks and the wind and the waves are calm. After all, Yeshua instructed Peter to stop looking at the storm, and look instead at Him. When we turn our gaze to YHVH, the storm doesn’t seem so big or scary anymore.
When we begin to pray, we need to turn our gaze to Yah, and remember Who He is.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
This has been my most favorite and most eye-opening phrase in this prayer. I think the implications never sunk in because of how we tend to break it up. Think about it!
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
See how we tend to pause after the word ‘done?’ ‘On earth as it is in heaven’ just ends up sounding like some vague part of a poem. But, if we read it as one sentence, it sounds very different.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
In heaven, in YHVH’s throne room, His will is always done. He is praised 24/7. Yeshua is teaching us to pray that YHVH’s will be carried out just as faithfully here on earth. Imagine a world where everyone follows YHVH, and cherishes His commands. Imagine a world where people default to peace and kindness and value human life. Imagine a world where people choose to do what is right regardless of the consequences. That is what you are praying for.
Now, remember Who your God is, and believe that He can truly answer this prayer! Sometimes, our faith may feel too small for such a big prayer, but Yeshua also taught us that if our faith was even as big as a mustard seed, it could move mountains. Is your faith even that big? Than Yah hears your prayer.
Give us this day our daily bread
This phrase alone needs to be its own blog post. We are asking Yah to provide what we need today. We are not asking Him to take care of tomorrow or next year, but only today. We must live by faith and trust Him with tomorrow and next year. His promise and provision is for today.
As you pray and ask Him to give you your daily bread, look around. Do you have food to eat today? Do you have a place to live today? Count your blessings today and notice how YHVH has given you your daily bread. Taking the time to be grateful makes it easier to trust Him with tomorrow.
And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Any time we enter Yah’s throne through prayer, we need to clean ourselves first, just like the priests washed before entering the temple. We need to actively search our souls and repent when we find any wrongdoing. Is it a wrong attitude, or a secret pleasure that YHVH hates? To approach His presence, the sin has to go.
The first sin to confess is pride, you know, the voice who tells you that you have nothing to confess. If you feel that way, perhaps a list will help. This prayer for Yom Kippur is incredibly helpful.
Once you have a clean heart, then you can confidently approach YHVH’s throne and petition Him with your requests.
Therefore, since we have a great Kohen Gadol who has passed through the heavens, Yeshua Ben-Elohim, let us hold firmly to our confessed allegiance. For we do not have a kohen gadol who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all the same ways, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near to the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help in time of need.Hebrews 4:14-16
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Sometimes, when we see evil around us, we feel incredibly powerless to do anything about it. I often lie in bed at night in tears, looking at the current state of affairs. What am I to do? How can I affect change? What even is the most desirable change? But, the problem is that I am trying to bring about the change. My power lies in realizing that I have no power, but I know Who does.
We don’t fight with physical weapons, in physical ways. We fight against evil on our knees. We fight by asking for YHVH to deliver us from evil. He fights for us, and recognizing that fact is where our true power lies. In this model prayer, we have already asked for YHVH’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. At this moment in our prayer, we are asking Him to face evil head-on, and protect us from it. Since we already reminded ourselves of Who our God is, we believe Him to answer our prayer.
How should we pray?
As I wrote this post, I realized that it is rare for myself and others to truly pray this prayer with all our hearts. I want to call each of you, myself included, to truly pray this prayer. We live in a very scary world, and sometimes it is very overwhelming. Will you join me in praying this prayer as Yeshua intended us to do? We can come to YHVH with great boldness, but have we done it? I fear that we have not, but it is not too late. Let’s get on our knees and fight the battles in front of us by recognizing that YHVH is the One who fights.
And He wins!
Therefore, first of all I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all people- for kings and all who are in authority- so we may live a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and respectfulness. This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior. He desires all men to be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and there is one Mediator between God and men- a human, Messiah Yeshua, who gave Himself as a ransom for all- the testimony at the proper time. For this I was appointed a herald and an emissary (I am telling the truth; I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faithfulness and truth. So I desire all men to pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without anger and argument.1 Timothy 2:1-8 TLV
Looking for a simple way to incorporate some Scripture and simple learning into your homeschool? These worksheets and resources are just the thing. The worksheets can be downloaded by simply clicking on the button under the worksheet heading. They have a verse for copywork, and some simple science or history related activities to go with the verse. I have also included links to additional coloring pages, videos, and activities that will go along with the verse. Today’s lesson is all about Proverbs 6:6-11.
All verses are from the Webster Bible, translated by Noah Webster in 1833, and part of the public domain.
Go to the ant, you slacker- consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler. Yet it prepares its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, slacker? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep- and your poverty comes like a bandit and your need like an armed man.Proverbs 6:6-11 TLV
We are taught to go to the ant to learn a very important lesson, the value of independent, hard work. An ant gets to work without being told, and would never be caught sitting around doing nothing. They work hard to prepare for the future.
We need to follow the fourth commandment which instructs us to work hard for six days and rest on the seventh day. (Shabbat) Children can learn how to work hard from a young age. They can contribute a lot to keeping a home running smoothly. Just like the ant, you can help with fixing meals, growing vegetables, and cleaning up.
What chores do you have? What could you do to help your parents more, and be more like the hard-working ant?
As you may have guessed, today we will be learning about ants! They are amazing creatures that live on 6 out of 7 continents and outnumber us by a long shot.
The worksheet will give you copywork from our Scripture passage today, as well as help you learn more about ants.
Watch the story of the ant and the grasshopper. Talk about the importance of working hard first before play. Also discuss how preparing for the future enables us to help others in need.
The following website, Pest world for kids, has lots of fun info about ants, including species facts, printable ID cards, videos, crafts, and more.
This video is a neat look inside an anthill with a tiny camera!
My brain is a very active place. It buzzes with ideas, chews on recent events, even occasionally worries about the future. I don’t know if it’s because I’m an introvert, or if everyone’s brain is like a beehive. I’m very happy most days living in my head, but on Shabbat, it can be hard to let my mind rest along with my body. I may be physically resting, but it can be a constant struggle to not fill Shabbat with plans for the following week, details about business ideas, and any number of thoughts that are not in keeping with the whole point of the day, which is to rest and spend time with my Creator. Let’s talk about what we can do to rest our bodies and our minds on Shabbat.
Part of the reason many of us struggle to put our minds to rest on Shabbat is because we are trying to remember all the things we are supposed to be doing. This is why I am such a strong advocate for using a planner. We need to empty our heads of our to-do list, and then take action to do those things. Preparation day exists to help us get our lists done, as much as possible, so that we can rest on Shabbat.
A set Friday list is a great tool to help you get all the things out of the way in a hopefully orderly fashion, so that you can rest at the end of the day. Knowing that your list is taken care of helps your mind to rest.
Here’s an example of a Friday list.
- Get all dishes washed.
- Have food prepared for Shabbat meals. (A standard Shabbat menu really helps with this. For example, we always have cheese, crackers, pickles, fruit, etc. for Shabbat lunch. All I have to do is make sure those items are in stock in my fridge.)
- Pay upcoming bills. (Big mental issue here! I know because I have forgotten a bill and remembered it lying in bed on Friday night. Check your bills!)
- Make sure all laundry is at least dried, if not put away.
- Wrap up jobs like gardening, lawn care, watering plants, etc. before Shabbat. Pick vegetables that would grow too much if left til Sunday. You may be in a position where animal care can be done as well, or at least minimized. For example, we use a feeder in our barn to feed the sheep. Since the feeder slows down how much hay they have access to at a time, we can feed them double on Friday, and it feeds them til Sunday.
Your Friday list may be a bit different, but be sure to sit down and think out your list. What jobs would haunt you if they were forgotten? What jobs can be doubled up so they can be skipped on Shabbat? In your mind, what jobs really need to be done in order for you to rest?
Once you have thought this through, write it down in your planner and use it as a guide each preparation day to help you be truly prepared for Shabbat. Being prepared for Shabbat will help you to rest your mind.
Learn to just be
This is a skill I am still working on. We learn the importance of just being from Mary and Martha.
Now while they were traveling, Yeshua entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. She had a sister called Miriam, who was seated at the Master’s feet, listening to His teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving; so she approached Yeshua and said, “Master, doesn’t it concern you that my sister has left me to serve alone? Then tell her to help me!” But answering her, the Lord said, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and bothered about many things; but only one thing is necessary. For Miriam has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.”Luke 10:38-42
We can learn much from both Mary and Martha. We are told to exercise the Martha persona six days a week, when we are commanded to work six days. (Exodus 20:9) But, on Shabbat, we are to set aside our work and take on the Mary persona. We are to rest from our labors and learn to just “be” at the Master’s feet. How do we do this?
- Practice unplugging. The constant influx of information and social contact that we have access to with our electronics is the opposite of “being.”
- Teach yourself to just sit still. I struggle with this, so I take time to sit on my porch and just listen to the birds, look at the sky, and not allow myself to think deep or productive thoughts. It’s a discipline that is helping me learn to just “be.”
- Listen to music, and I don’t mean just any music. Select songs that help you to focus on your Creator: who He is, and how you can obey and build your relationship with Him. This is a great tool when your mind is humming on Shabbat.
- Color a picture. The act of coloring is a delightful way to keep your mind in check. I like to combine this activity with being out in nature. The Torah portions coloring books from Torah Sisters are a great fit.
Plan your time with your Creator
Having at least a rough plan for your Shabbat helps you to set aside the mental cares of the world, and truly enter into the Shabbat rest. I don’t want your plan to just consist of busyness, for that is the opposite of rest. I want you to look forward to Shabbat and the time reconnecting with YHVH.
- Have a to-study list. My husband will have me add topics to our list. This week we plan to look at salt in Scripture.
- Set up a Torah time with your family. Even if you meet with others on Shabbat, having a family Torah time is very special. I wrote a whole post about it here.
- Keep some activities only for Shabbat, such as listening to teachings, coloring with your children, watching a Bible movie, etc. Keep them special and look forward to them.
- Have special treats for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
Use a journal
This tip is two-fold. We want to rest our minds from stewing on the cares of the world on Shabbat, and focus instead on YHVH and His ways. A journal can help with both.
First, use a journal sometime on Friday to empty your head. Many people call it a brain dump, and I am a huge supporter. Sit down with your notebook or journal (planner not required for this) and write down everything floating around in your brain. I like to use something simple like a composition notebook. It doesn’t have to be pretty or organized, which is why I just use a notebook. Include anything niggling around in your brain.
- make orthodontist appointment
- figure out how to dehydrate tomatoes
- why do I feel tired when I wake up?
- order ink
- this house feels messy, I need to organize more
Get the idea? Just get all those thoughts down on paper so you don’t have to waste brain power trying to remember them. Then, you can just keep your brain dump as is, or take the actionable items and add them to your planner.
I also recommend that you lay out the following week in your planner on Friday, rather than waiting til Sunday morning. I find that if I don’t plan out the next week before Shabbat, I am trying to do it mentally on Shabbat, and I want to be focusing on Scripture instead. In my planner, I keep all my fixed appointments on the monthly layout. On Fridays, I move those appointments over to the next weekly layout. Then, I can add in meal plans, shopping trips, etc. The point, though, is to do this before Shabbat. I want to go into this special day able to focus on YHVH and truly rest my mind. Knowing that I have planned my next week really helps.
The second use for a journal is to copy Scripture, take notes on teachings, journal about my application from a certain passage, etc. I have had people tell me to stop promoting writing Scripture on Shabbat because the Rabbis forbid it, but I’m going to continue to stand behind it. Shabbat is a day to set aside the cares of the world, and spend the day with my Creator. I work hard for six days, and I purposely take the steps I have shared in this post to help me rest my mind from thinking about “all the things.” I copy and write about Scripture on Shabbat to bring my mind into the proper focus, which is on YHVH. Otherwise, I am leaving my mind in a vacuum, and that is not going to end well. I present the following Scripture passages so that you can make up your own mind.
- Exodus 20:8-11
- Leviticus 23:3
- Deuteronomy 5:12-15
- Nehemiah 10:32
- Psalm 92
- Isaiah 56:4-8
- Isaiah 58:13-14
- Jeremiah 17:19-27
- Ezekiel 46:1-3
- Matthew 12:1-14
- Mark 3:1-6
These verses, and plenty more I didn’t list, show a pattern of setting aside our work and choosing to keep a sacred appointment with YHVH. I believe this is the spirit and principle of “Remember the Sabbath Day.” I see no command forbidding writing Scripture on Shabbat. I do see the command to set aside work, which for me includes household tasks, cooking, anything related to my business, buying and selling, financial transactions, etc. Then I am to obey the command to focus on YHVH.
How to rest your mind on Shabbat
Let’s recap, since this post got a little long. Here are some tips to help you rest your mind and truly rest on Shabbat.
- Make a Friday job list
- Practice just existing. Sit outside. Learn to turn your mind off by unplugging.
- Have a plan for activities on Shabbat, such as a Torah time, to-study list, or activities with your kids.
- Do a brain dump on Friday.
- Get your next week’s planning done on Friday.
- Copy Scripture to keep your focus on YHVH.
I hope these tips will help you as you endeavor to truly enter into Shabbat rest, physically and mentally. What tips help you to keep your focus in the right place on Shabbat? What tips from the above list do you think would be most helpful to you?