The Apostle Paul – Who Was He?

Coastlands Covenant, Paul, Questions, Torah 7 Comments

Let’s be real for a moment.  Whether you realize it or not, Paul is arguably the most misunderstood person in all of the Scriptures. However, you may find that assessment quite odd.  The reason for this is, generally, we as believers read our views, our culture, how we think and act, into the Scriptures when we read them.  In addition we’ve had a Paul preached and taught to us that we accept without question more often than not.
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Impress Them On Your Children…Torah Study Resources for Kids

Christine Mancuso Kids 4 Comments

69ee41a79cf6e5ce76f354e474cb27fa As parents, we are commanded to teach our children the instructions of YHWH, His Torah. Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us that we are to impress His Word on our children. What does this word “impress” imply? The Hebrew word for impress is “shanan” and is often translated as sharpen when used elsewhere in Scripture.

If you think like I do, the first thing that came to mind when you thought of the word “sharpened” was a pencil. Am I right? What is unique about a pencil is that it is an instrument or tool that is used to express oneself that requires consistent sharpening. Sharpening is essential to performance.  What is dull, rough, and appears to have little life left in it goes through the process of being formed into something that is refined, smoothed, and ready to perform at it’s fullest potential.

So it is with mankind. We are to be an instrument in which God’s justice, righteousness, love, mercy, and grace is expressed to the world. We are in critical need of His Word throughout the day. The Word teaches, corrects, rebukes, and disciplines us (2 Timothy 3:16).  When we permit the Holy Spirit to sharpen us through the Word of YHWH, we are daily being refined and fashioned into our fullest potential, one that bears true witness of our Savior, Y’shua.

pencilOur children need sharpening as well. It is not the obligation of society or the educational system to teach our children right and wrong. It is our responsibility as parents to train our children in the ways of YHWH, daily instructing them how to be good citizens of the Kingdom by teaching them the King’s commandments. Our children need to learn how to show loving kindness to those in need, how to share the good news of redemption and restoration that comes through faith in Y’shua, how to express love to the Father and our neighbor, how to recognize what is false, how extend mercy and forgiveness, how to pray, how to serve, how to repent, how to walk in holiness, and much more.  To acquire knowledge and understanding of the above, the Word needs to be the foundation of our family life. It should guide our decisions and discussions from morning to evening, home and away.

Proverbs 22:6 (ISR), “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he turns not away from it.”

 Proverbs 6:23 (ISR), “For the command is a lamp, And the Torah a light, And reproofs of discipline a way of life.”

The command to train up our children should not be taken lightly. Our children are a gift that YHWH has entrusted into our care. We have the ability to put the next generation on the right path at an early age, a path that is illuminated by the light of Torah and Y’shua and leads to everlasting life in the Kingdom. The Word is an essential tool needed for the journey that lies ahead.

torah reading

Weekly, our families each have the privilege of learning the beautiful ways of the Torah and Y’shua. Torah Babies Kids is excited to provide you, the parents, with a list of Torah study resources developed with young ones in mind that will help you impress the Word in a fun and exciting manner.  Visit the ministry links below for studies specific to each Torah portion. And since most of the materials come at no cost, you can print out what you need and start using it today or the next Sabbath. (*Please note that endorsement of these sites does not necessarily imply that Torah Babies and Torah Babies Kids agrees with all doctrinal views held by these ministries.)

TORAH STUDY RESOURCES FOR KIDS

logoShomer Ministry Project Shabbat School Materials/Shoresh David Messianic Congregation Children’s Ministry, San Antonio, TX

Restoration_of_Torah_Logo_FinalRestoration of Torah Ministries Study Series for Kids

531330_260182130760939_1588006098_nOne Torah for All Children’s Parashot

11659495_525854474231213_6080978630357986530_nL’dor V’dor from Generation to Generation Kids Ministry English/Spanish (NEW)

10491199_10154253733345006_5843998927737154272_nFirst Fruits of Zion Children’s Torah Club (*fee)

Deuteronomy 5:29 (NIV)

“Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!”

WWJD? What DID Yeshua (Jesus) Do?

Coastlands Uncategorized 0 Comments

Do you remember the “WWJD” craze of the 90’s? Sometimes it felt like everywhere you turned (especially in a church setting) you were confronted with it.  Even non-believers were proudly sporting bracelets, shirts, book covers and who knows what else that was adorned with those fascinating four letters (well, really three), ‘WWJD.’  As we look back and reflect on those times and take a hard look at what we believed and why we believed it we found that there is a corresponding question that has to go hand in hand with it.  Without asking this question it’s rather difficult to say with any certainty that the answer we would come up with to the question “WWJD” is the right one.  The question that must follow is, “What DID Yeshua (Jesus) Do?”

Walk like Yeshua

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Celebrating Shavuot as a Family

Christine Mancuso Kids 3 Comments

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Leviticus 23: 15-22 (HCSB)

“You are to count seven complete weeks, starting from the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the presentation offering. You are to count 50 days until the day after the seventh Sabbath and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD. Bring two loaves of bread from your settlements as a presentation offering, each of them made from four quarts of fine flour, baked with yeast, as firstfruits to the LORD. You are to present with the bread seven unblemished male lambs a year old, one young bull, and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the LORD, with their grain offerings and drink offerings, a fire offering of pleasing aroma to the LORD. You are also to prepare one male goat as a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a fellowship sacrifice. The priest will wave the lambs with the bread of firstfruits as a presentation offering before the LORD; the bread and the two lambs will be holy to the LORD for the priest. On that same day you are to make a proclamation and hold a sacred assembly. You are not to do any daily work. This is to be a permanent statute wherever you live throughout your generations. When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap all the way to the edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the foreign resident; I am Yahweh your God.”

Shavuot, also commonly referred to as the Feast of Weeks, is one of our Creator’s appointed times that is to be observed by those in covenant with Him, young and old alike.  In mainstream Christianity, Shavuot is popularly known as Pentecost. It is the closing festival of the Passover season and occurs 50 days after the feast of First Fruits. A feast to be observed as a time of remembering, giving, and rejoicing, Shavuot has both historical and agricultural significance.

shearfShavuot marked the end of the barley harvest and the beginning of the wheat harvest, a new agricultural season. In addition to wheat and barley, worshipers also brought the firstfruits of their grapes, figs, dates, pomegranates, and olives to the temple. These foods are referred to as the seven species of Israel.  Loving kindness was also extended to the poor and foreigners as residents were instructed to leave a portion of their crops for provision of those less fortunate.

toral scrollHistorically, Shavuot is known for two events that are of utmost importance to every believer; the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai and the giving of the Holy Spirit as recorded in Acts 2. Fifty days after their redemption from Egypt, Israel, consisting of native-born and a mixed multitude, camped at the base of Mt Sinai and entered into a covenant with YHWH. The words spoken by our Creator that day were written on tablets of stone.  YHWH’S instructions, known as Torah, were to be a source of life and blessing to those that walk in obedience to them. Israel was to be light to the nations declaring His justice and righteousness. Parents were to diligently teach these eternal truths to their children. Fast-forward to the days of our Messiah, who through the shedding of his blood and resurrection, confirmed the Renewed Covenant. Fifty days following Messiah’s resurrection, believers were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Shavuot. As they were gathered together, the Holy Spirit, as promised by Messiah, was given. The Holy Spirit enables believers to walk in obedience to the Torah, God’s truth. Also, the Holy Spirit empowers believers to bring the good news to the world. Today, we are blessed to have both the Spirit and the Truth. Scripture tells us the Father is seeking such worshipers.

Families can make Shavuot a memorable event year after year. As it is written, it is “to be a permanent statute wherever you live throughout your generations.” The feast should be a time to draw close to YHWH and strengthen your relationship with Him while delighting in fun times with loved ones. Although Shavuot cannot be observed in its entirety, there are several aspects of the commandment that can and should be obeyed.

  • Bring two loaves of bread from your settlements as a presentation offering: 

    Moms and dads get your children involved in baking two homemade loaves of bread. During the evening, wave the two loaves before YHWH and offer thanks for all He has blessed you with this year. You may even want to go around the room and allow each person the opportunity to share what they are thankful for. The two leavened loaves are said to be symbolic of Jews (The House of Judah) and Gentiles (The House of Ephraim), both divided, and guilty of transgressing God’s instructions (sin). Despite the shortcomings of both groups, each in their own respective ways has maintained the message of Torah and Messiah, the Word of God.  We are to eagerly desire to eat of the bread of life. In addition to the grain offering, you may choose to display grapes, figs, pomegranates, dates, and olives on your table in a decorative display.

  • Make a proclamation: 

    The Hebrew word for proclamation is qara (Strong’s 7121) which means to call, proclaim, read. At Sinai, the commandments were proclaimed for all to hear. Following the giving of the Holy Spirit, the apostles proclaimed the gospel and thousands were saved. As a family, seek out opportunities to share the good news of Torah and Messiah with family and friends. Use this time to rededicate your life and family to YHWH and to the study and implementation of His Word. Just as Israel proclaimed, “We will do all that YHWH has spoken,” as a family or congregation take the time to read the commandments and declare your obedience.  Shavuot is about covenant renewal. This may also be the perfect time to be baptized, if you or members of your family have not already done so, or honor those that have confessed faith in Messiah and entered into covenant with YHWH this past year. You may also want to speak a blessing over your children and your spouse.  Children may get creative and design posters and banners with scriptures and pictures significant to Shavuot and display them around the home. Read aloud as a family or congregation Psalm 113 and praise our awesome King!

  • Hold a sacred assembly: 

    YHWH instructs his children to gather together and celebrate this feast as an assembly or congregation. If you are not part of a congregation, seek out other like-minded believers, families, and fellowships through social media and locator maps such as those found at 119 Ministries. As a group, worship with your voices, instruments, and dancing. Study, eat and even take part in some of the traditions associated with the feast. It is customary to invite guests.  Moms and dads help your children make homemade invitations to pass out to family, friends, and neighbors.

  • You are not to do any daily work: 

    Shavuot is to be honored as a Shabbat, a Sabbath day of rest.  YHWH commands His children that no work be done on this day. In preparation for this day, give the kids chores (i.e. clean rooms, vacuum, do the laundry, mow the lawn) to perform around the home in the days preceding the feast as well as have them actively participate in any errands, such as shopping for food and supplies, that are needed to make your feast special. Enjoy the gift of rest and celebration that accompanies the feast of Shavuot.

  • Provide for the poor: 

    The weeks preceding the feast, talk with your children and congregation about extending loving kindness to the poor, the widow, and the orphan. As a family and/or congregation, determine how YHWH can use you to meet the needs of people in your congregation, neighborhood, community, and around the globe. You may choose to donate food, clothing, or monetary funds as well as dedicate your time in performing a helpful service. Extend an invitation to these individuals and welcome them to your feast.

traditions_WA-300x61Traditions have been carried down throughout the generations that help to make the feast even more memorable. Traditions are a wonderful thing as long as they don’t detract from the original commandment. Children love tradition, so do adults.

The following are some of the most well-known traditions associated with Shavuot.

  • Read the story of Ruth:

    The book of Ruth takes place during the Shavuot agricultural season. The story offers us a clear illustration of how the widows and poor were provided for as we read of Ruth, a poor widow, gleaning the leftovers of Boaz’s field. Just like the two loaves of bread, Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, are representative of both Jews and Gentiles being welcomed into a covenant relationship with YHWH.

  • Stay up all night: 

    It is customary to stay up all night, using the time to meet with YHWH through study and prayer. As parents, we know that our kids certainly need their rest; however, make Shavuot a special event and extend your child’s bedtime. Older children may be permitted to stay up until 1 or 2 AM, while younger children will need to get to bed earlier. Use this special family time to watch one or more of the recommended movies below, play games, make a craft, read the Bible or book about Shavuot, and enjoy special snacks.  You may even like to set up a tent and use this experience as a way to teach your kids about how Israel camped out at Mt. Sinai.

  • Eat foods made from dairy products: 

    There are many reasons offered for enjoying dairy during Shavuot. Some say it is because Israel was promised a land flowing with milk and honey. Others say it is because the Torah, which was given at Shavuot, is likened to nourishing milk. Still, others claim that due to the dietary instructions given to Israel as Sinai, that they did not have time to prepare items in a “kosher” manner so instead, they consumed only dairy. Cheese blintzes and cheesecakes are very popular menu items during Shavuot. Most children enjoy helping in the kitchen so get them involved in making some of the dairy dishes you will be feasting on during this special day. Below you will find links to recipes that can be made and enjoyed together. We also recommend Pinterest, it is a wonderful resource for recipes. To make your feast even extra special, consider hosting an ice cream party or set up a yogurt bar. Offer a variety of flavors and toppings, and set out special bowls, spoons, and napkins.

  • Decorate the home with flowers, greenery, and fruit:

    Decorating the home with flowers, greenery, and fruit reminds us of the beautiful world God has made and His blessings. Depending on your budget, decorations can be kept simple or be more elaborate. Kid’s love decorations, especially making them. Bowls of fruit, vases of fresh or homemade flowers, green vines, bundles of tied wheat or barley, are just some of the items you can use to decorate your home. Make decorating a family activity. Pinterest is a great website to browse and find decoration ideas that will fit your budget, style, and skill level.

  • Give:

    In addition to performing acts of charity and providing for the poor, orphan, and widow, Shavuot is also an opportunity to give back to those from whom you have harvested your spiritual food. This should include your congregation as well as other ministries you have been blessed by. Determine what you are able to give and enclose the gift in a thank-you card. You may choose to have your children make a homemade card that they can decorate with their own personal drawings, stickers, as well as glitter and gems. Add a personal message that expresses your appreciation.

There is an additional instruction given to the children of God to follow during Shavuot, and it is found in Deuteronomy 16:11 (HCSB).

rj“Rejoice before Yahweh your God in the place where He chooses to have His name dwell–you, your son and daughter, your male and female slave, the Levite within your gates, as well as the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow among you.”

We are commanded, both young and old, to rejoice before YHWH!  No matter our status, no matter our role, no matter our circumstances, we are to have a joyous celebration in the presence of our God; a time of gladness for all.

The following resources are provided to help you and your family have a joyful Shavuot! (Please note this is not an exhaustive list. Coastlands does not endorse or agree with all of the religious views held by the parties that we have borrowed ideas from.)

books and childrenBook Recommendations

“A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays” by Robin Sampson and Linda Pierce

“The Littlest Mountainby Barn Rosenstock

“A Mountain of Blintzes” by Barbara Diamond Goldin

“Sadie and the Big Mountain” by Jamie Korngold

“Sammy Spider’s First Shavuot” by Sylvia A. Rouss

“No Rules for Michael” by Sylvia A. Rouss

“A Dozen Daisies for Raizy: A Shavuos Story” by Rebecca Klempner

“Cheesecake for Shavuot” by Allison Ofanansky

“The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Path to Follow” by Dennis Prager

tv computerMovie/Video Recommendations

The Ten Commandments (Animated)

The Ten Commandments (1956)

Book of Ruth: Journey of Faith (2010)

Day of Pentecost from Acts of the Apostles

Pentecost (Animated)

Shalom Sesame

children and craftsCraft and Activity Recommendations

Ten Commandments Scavenger Hunt

Mt. Sinai Camp Out-Camp In

Shavuot Ice Cream Party

Yogurt Bar

Silky Snuggly Challah Bread Loaf

Fruit Ripening Contest

Loving Kindness Ruth Awards

Pentecost Windsock

Tongues of Fire Headband

Coffee Filter Flower

Baskets of Flowers

Wheat-Wrapped Vase Centerpiece

Harvest Votive

Candy Torah Scrolls

Ten Commandments Bookmarks

Scroll Craft

Ten Commandments Hopscotch

Shavuot Game (Similar to Candyland)

Ten Commandments Matching Activity Page

Shavuot Maze

Ruth Maze

Shavuot Word Search

Ten Commandments Poster Card

Create Newspaper that Highlights Shavuot Feast

Shavuot Coloring Pages from Torah Tots

Shavuot Coloring Pages from Aish

Happy Shavuot Coloring Page

Day of Pentecost Coloring Page

Pentecost Coloring Pages

Seven Species Coloring Page

child eatingRecipe Recommendations

Bible Cake

Mt. Sinai

Scroll Snack

Shavuot Recipes from Chabad.org including cheese blintzes, cheesecakes, and more

Shavuot Recipes from Joy of Kosher

 

Imagine

Coastlands Uncategorized 0 Comments

Imagine if King David were alive today.
He said there was ONE thing that gave him and advantage over his enemies which made him wiser than them. What was this one thing? Was it some hidden knowledge protected by only the elite? A secret formula perhaps?

King David

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Got TORAH? Got KIDS? Got QUESTIONS?

Christine Mancuso Kids 0 Comments

If your family is anything like ours, being new to Torah as followers of Messiah, a vast amount of questions begin to overwhelm you, many of them in regards to how to begin to walk this out as a family with children. The following are just a few of the questions we needed to confront early on.

classroom

  • How do we talk to our kids about the changes we feel God is wanting us to make in our lives?
  • How do we teach our kids to answer questions or comments from family and friends not in agreement?
  • How do we get our kids to understand that giving up the ways of the world, specifically in regards to not celebrating certain holidays and giving up certain foods, that they are not “missing out” on something but gaining something?
  • How do we go about helping our kids unlearn the doctrine and teaching they were exposed to in the Christian faith that doesn’t line up with our new understanding of the Scriptures?
  • How can we teach our children the instructions of our God in a fun manner?
  • How do we get our kids to delight in keeping the Lord’s instructions?

I will be very honest and admit that my husband and I don’t have everything figured out, and we will never pretend to. We came into this journey in the fall of 2013 and even after a year and a half, we are still Torah babies ourselves. There is so much to learn and unlearn and our children, now ages 10 and 7, have been part of that process from the starting gate.

No matter the age of your children, the essential ingredient to answering all of the above questions is honesty. We have found that being truthful with our children has helped them to embrace this walk with us, and has provided an environment where they are comfortable asking questions and expressing their thoughts and emotions.

honesty3

Setting aside time to talk to your children about the new journey you are embarking on should be one of your first priorities. You will need to explain things in a manner that is easy for them to understand. Remain truthful. Affirm your love for them, and affirm your faith in Messiah. Don’t overwhelm them with everything at once. Allow time for your children to process what is being explained and come to you with questions. And yes, they will have many questions. Answer them the best that you can using the Scriptures as your guidebook. If you are not sure how to answer a specific question, explain that this is new for you and that you will learn together.

The scripture we found to be most helpful in guiding our discussion with our own children is I John 2:6,

“Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.”

My husband and I explained to our son and daughter what Messiah’s walk looked like, and in what areas we ourselves fell short. We opened our hearts before our precious little ones and explained to them our desire to love and please Messiah by following the commandments. We shared how we repented of our shortcomings and how Messiah is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. We talked about “mirroring Messiah” and being a “copycat” of Messiah to help them better understand the concept of “walking as He walked.”

Furthermore, we explained our responsibility as their parents to teach them the Father’s instructions as it is stated in Deuteronomy 6:6-7, “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up.” Guarding the commandments as a family is of utmost importance, as is delighting in obedience to them. The Lord’s instructions should be at the forefront of all decision making and help guide your child rearing.

“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up.”

Guarding the commandments as a family is of utmost importance, as is delighting in obedience to them. The Lord’s instructions should be at the forefront of all decision making and help guide your child rearing.

training1

Finally, your children should be able to see your commitment to the commandments, as well as your zeal and excitement in pleasing the Father. This undoubtedly will trickle down to them. Make learning and doing the Word fun. There are some great resources out there to help you engage your children in this process; videos, worksheets, music, crafts, recipes, Facebook groups, conferences, etc. Torah Babies Kids will be highlighting these resources in the coming weeks.

This is truly an exciting time that we live in. We have been given the opportunity to raise our children according to the Words of our Creator and bring honor to His Name and be a light to others. This was what our Creator desired from the beginning. There will be questions, lot of questions. What to say and when to say it will vary from family to family as you are directed and counseled by the Holy Spirit. Pray and ask for guidance, the Lord is faithful and will answer. Be truthful. Be encouraged that there are many other families all over the globe that at different stages in this walk with you. Finally, don’t underestimate the faith of a child. By far, this is what has surprised my and husband and I the most.

let children 3 crop

 

This Is Yeshua

Coastlands Uncategorized 0 Comments

He became a servant made in human likeness.
He is clothed with garments of righteousness.
The One we have not seen, but yet believe.
The Way, the Truth and the Life.
He showed us how to walk; what true love really is.
He is the perfect shepherd who leaves none behind.
He is the one friend that will stick closer than a brother.
He is the One who willingly laid down His life as the perfect sacrifice.

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