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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Greenberg

Celebrating the Weekly Victories: Learning to Shabbat with your Family

I like to live my life full of God encounters!

When the God of Israel decided that we needed to rest every seventh day, He opened up time and space for us to relax and remember and rejoice! I hope you can find your way home to the Father of Eternity by letting Him teach you the way TIME works FOR your benefit. Time is a function of trusting God to move you toward His heart, not away from His best plan for your life.

Here is how I had the pleasure of His company last week.

I was invited by Rabbi Weiner of Shomair Israel to teach the adults and children and families about celebrating Shabbat both in the home and at their house of worship. I brought my treasure chest containing my traveling Shabbat candles, my silver blessing (kiddush) cup, and my tiny silver challah plate. I had bread and grape juice to bless and a small book of matches. We sang Hebrew blessings, prayed for people and blessed one another with Scripture verses that can turn any home celebration into a holy family altar! You can find those blessings in the helps section of your TLV Bible. And, all those blessings and passages can be HEARD on the TLV Bible app – it’s free!

Then, I took out my TLV home-made Bible picture books and explained how both Jewish and Christian children can find the whole journey of the Good News of God’s love for mankind in just the first few chapters of Genesis.

Then, I helped them find the clues for how God keeps telling the same story of salvation again and again from Genesis, to Deuteronomy, to Chronicles, to the Gospels, to John’s Revelation! The gift of Messiah Yeshua coming to walk among mankind and become our Passover Lamb is so exciting, so loving and kind, too. God loves us so much and He just keeps calling us back to His Garden to Shabbat with Him week after week, and generation after generation.

I was amazed at how well some people knew the Bible stories! And, I was just as shocked at how missing just one clue in one small paragraph can lead you to a totally different and dismal conclusion if you don’t read the Bible over and over and over again with your children. We all welcomed God into our hearts, into our marriages, into our families, and into our community together this weekend. With every prayer, we asked for God to inhabit more of our ‘space.’ And, we talked a lot about how God fills us full with his Breath and His Presence when we spend time thinking and talking and singing to Him.

Rabbi Weiner loves God so much, and so do the children that go to his synagogue. I know that because they were following me around offering to help me, and asking me some of the most fascinating questions about God. They wanted to know how to hear His voice for themselves. ‘Was this a message from God?’ one child asked. “Can you interpret a dream I had?’ another child asked.

Better yet, a mother asked me, “Can you show me how to read the Bible with my kids after dinner?’ Then, a husband responded, ‘Can you show my wife how to prepare for Shabbat and actually RELAX with us each week, first?’ We all chuckled because that precious father revealed why I came to visit with them after all. People, including children, are hungry to know God more.

These are the questions I LOVE to answer.

Yes! You can hear God’s voice talking to you when you read your Bible. Yes! You can relax with your own children and read the TLV Bible together each week. Yes! You can turn your dining room table into a sacred space for God to visit you all together. Yes! You can sing the blessings using the TLV Bible journey app! YES! Being a family of faith is easy – once you just decide to STOP the madness and chaos in this world by focusing on God’s words to us.

Please read the Bible TOGETHER and just talk about all the great ways that God showed up all week long! Shabbat is such a precious gift for your whole faith family.

This week, our family is rejoicing because: Simmy got a primo role in the local community theater. Mandie was invited to represent our Bible Society at a national conference. Our granddaughter just learned how to feed herself rice. My husband and I were able to travel together because a gracious lady donated the travel cost for us to be able to help the faith community in Knoxville. Kerah is going to be the producer for the second TLV music CD! Brittni is stoked about making challah covers for our #ShabbatLife followers. Joseph discovered another miraculous way to automate several mind-numbing daily tasks so we could free up people to minister to people instead of endlessly data mining for Bible help. Best yet… Alex and Lauri are now officially available for covering the phones for about 8 hours a day because our Bible Society family is growing around the world with over 3500 TLV Bible App active users in less than four months now! Halleluyah!

What do YOU have to rejoice about?

Because if you wait longer than six days to fill in your family ‘book of remembrance’ each week – you may find that your daily victories never get planted into your heart and instead turn into mush five years from now! People who read their Bible and love God and stop to remember His goodness in their lives have ‘bench’ marks they can return to and visit by reading them and passing them on to their children’s children. My family rejoices to share our victories and failures to be a living testimony of God’s love for families. We share what God has wrought through our growing pains because we KNOW FOR CERTAIN that God was the one who opened that door, brought that provision, healed our hurts, and helped us to let go of our mistakes by FILLING FULL the joy of His glorious Presence in our humdrum every day – miraculous lives.

Stop this week and make space for God – you will be glad you did!

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