Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This was written by Sandra Levitt, the wife of Zola Levitt. This is such a beautiful teaching to know....

"Shalom From Sandra

A favorite gift to a newly engaged couple is the booklet, Christian Love Story, the story of a Jewish man proposing to his beloved. I am a hopeless romantic. I love a good love story. And what better love story than that of Yeshua, our Jewish bridegroom and us, His chosen. Remember, Yeshua is Jewish, so it makes sense that His proposal to us would follow the custom of his day—the centuries-old tradition practiced by Jewish couples all over the world.

Typically, the two people involved were in their teens. Shorter lifespans and the agrarian society meant when you were old enough to work, you did. Leisure time was rare. Zola used to say, “There were children and married people. We invented teenagers standing around with nothing to do.”

Zola would start this teaching, “When the young man saw the girl he wanted, or the girl his father said he wanted….” He always got a laugh from the audience.Anyway, when the young man found his intended, he would go to her house, taking a contract, wine, and money. After knocking on her door, he’d enter and display his gifts. The contract spelled out each marriage partner’s responsibility exactly. The wine sealed the contract. When the young man put the cup of wine in front of the young woman, she had about 10 seconds to decide if she wanted to spend the rest of her life with this man.

To be fair, he was probably already known in the community. She even may have flirted with him at the well or in the fields. But, arranged marriages were also common.The money was the “bride price.” Sons were prized for fieldwork, but when it came time to marry, daughters benefited their parents.The young man would present a large sum, usually his life savings. He wanted this girl. She would count the money, read the contract,and either pick up the wine or leave the table. By picking up the wine, she said “yes” and the bridegroom would say, “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2-4).

The young woman would cover her face with a veil, symbolizing her consecration and her separation from the available young women.A veil, not an engagement ring, told other men she was spoken for. Off the young man went to his father’s house to prepare a room for his bride-to-be. It took about a year to prepare a room properly. Only the young man’s father could declare the room finished, lest the anxious young man build a jiffy lean-to and rush back to get the girl.

The engagement period tested their resolve to be true to each other. They had no idea when the wedding would be. Yeshua says in Mark 13:32, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the son, but only the Father.” While the bride waited, she gathered her trousseau and kept her oil lamp filled, ready in case her bridegroom came for her at night, which was often the case. Walking down the uneven stone streets of Israel at night is difficult without a light, even today.

Matthew 25:1-13 speaks about being ready for the bridegroom’s arrival in the night. Not a night should pass when we don’t expect our bridegroom to appear.Just before he arrived, the bridegroom would call out or sound a trumpet so as not to catch her with cold cream on her face. Then off they’d go to the bridegroom’s father’s house for the bridal night and banquet. They’d enter the bridal chamber, and when the marriage was consummated, the friend of the bridegroom announced it.

John 3:29 says, “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice.” The bride and groom emerged from the bridal chamber seven days later as husband and wife.

The banquet gave time for rejoicing that the bride and groom were now one, before they set off for their own place.Our Jewish bridegroom, Yeshua, enacted this same tradition for us: He came from His Father’s house (Heaven), brought the contract (the New Testament), presented the wine (blood), and paid the “bride price” for us (His life, the highest price ever paid for a bride). He has gone to prepare a place and will come back for us (John 14:3).We are sanctified, set apart by the veil of Believers. He will call us up with a shout and trumpet (Rapture) and after seven days/years we will have the marriage supper with our Lord. We will live with Him forever.

The ultimate love story. "

Monday, September 29, 2008

I've been tagged by Jennifer at http://mom2mycutekids.blogspot.com/, and since I've not yet typed up a riveting account of my weekend (I went to the store! And bought socks!), I figured that I would do this today.

Here are the rules.
Link to the person who tagged you.
Mention the rules on your blog.
Tell about six quirks of yours.
Tag six fellow bloggers to do the same.
Leave a comment to let them know.

Okey dokey. Just six. Hmmm.

1. I am a crazed baby name addict. Even though I can no longer have children, I still buy baby name books and haunt baby name websites. In May, when the Social Security Administration puts out the top baby names of the previous year, I print up the entire list of the top 1000 names (for boys AND girls). Then I devour it for a couple of hours until it bothers me immensely that they don't group the names by spelling, because honestly...what if someone named their child Aidan thinking that it was not that popular, and then found out when it was too late that if you combine all of the myriad Aidan spellings, the name is actually number one? Who is looking out for those people? Does no one care? So, in a fit of helpiness for all of those people that might be confused by all of the 189 spellings of Kaitlyn and who might, out of desperation, decide to name their child Nevaeh (Heaven spelled backwards)...only to find out later that Nevaeh is very popular also, I sit down and make up a list combining all of the spellings into one list. And now, all of those people that name their children Nevaeh can be warned of it's popularity in advance, and not be blindsided by those people that love the sound of Nevaeh but cannot spell Heaven or are perhaps dyslexic, so they name their child Neveah instead. Do you not agree with me that the world needs my insight? So I make up the list, with the intention of using it to help mankind, but end up with it sitting on my desk because I don't know anyone who actually cares. I do this every year. So in May? When I don't blog for eons and you think I'm possibly dead? Do not worry your pretty little heads. I'm just obsessing over whether Mia and Mya are technically the same name, or if the people that named their babies Unique were offered psychiatric help. I'll be back when the obsession passes.

2. I hate making phone calls. If someone calls me, that is fine. I can cope with that. But really, making phone calls is fraught with uncertainty. What if you call someone and they are eating? Or sleeping? Or composing a symphony? Or using the bathroom? What then, internet? They might be disturbed, and I hate disturbing people worse than I hate lima beans, and that is a lot.

3. If I am reading a book, and the plot gets really intense, and I think I might pass out from all the anxiety and nervousness...I just skip to the end and make sure that it all turns out okay. Once I know that, I can continue the book in peace. I do not understand people that do not do this. Why waste minutes of your life worrying when the end of the book is right there? Do you just LIKE giving yourself high blood-pressure?

4. Household items, including furniture and curtains, need to match or at least be harmonious when grouped together. If they clash or do not somehow balance, I get all twitchy. You know that insanity they keep spouting on HGTV about how your dining room chairs don't have to match? Are they trying to kill me? (Now, you would think that after saying this, that my house would look like something out of a magazine, but you would be mistaken. There's a lot of twitchiness going on around here.)

5. I still cut the crusts off of my sandwiches. Because I am actually four years old.

6. Bugs and spiders completely freak me out. Also mice. And hummingbirds. Oh, and possibly bats, but I've never actually seen one in real life. The IDEA of bats is definitely upsetting, though. Then there are centipedes. Really, the entire worm-like family is terrifying. And don't even get me started on opossums because, really, what is the point? Everybody is afraid of opossums. And giraffes. ::::::Shudder:::::

I have to stop now. It's far too nerve-wracking.

Okay. I'm going to cheat and not tag anyone, because I am feeling all rebellious today. If you feel the need to bare your quirkiness for all the world to see, consider yourselves tagged. However, I am making an exception for my little sister because I want to see if any of the craziness is hereditary or if I can blame it all on global warming.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The temperatures have dipped below eighty here in Georgia, and my husband and children have lost their minds.

Last night, when it was still a good seventy degrees, they were cuddling up in comforters with their lips turning blue. They even had the audacity to ask me to turn off the air conditioning, as if that is something that you do here in the south before Halloween. Can you imagine? Turn off the air conditioning...oh, how that makes me laugh! Silly people. I could still break into a sweat in seventy degree weather if I did anything strenuous. Not that I was planning to or anything, but the potential is always there. We have to be prepared for anything after all, and sweating is evil. Just ask my sister-in-law, whose air conditioning has been broken for several weeks. Don't you think that if she could avoid sweating, she would? Does it not follow that we should avoid all pretense of sweating in honor of her suffering? I just knew that you would agree with me.

In other news, my sons have bunk beds now. We traded beds with my nephew, because he had bunk beds and didn't need them, and my boys were sleeping on a captain's bed with a trundle that, when opened, took up most of the bedroom. So we traded, and now they are thrilled beyond words. The only problem is that they have a ceiling fan in their room and now I am horribly afraid that one of them is going to climb onto the top bunk and get his head chopped off. Ben assures me that this is impossible, and he knows this because "Myth Busters" did a show about that once. ("Myth Busters" is one step below the Bible as an authority in my house. Don't you wish you lived here?) But I am still worried. Thankfully, they are far too frozen to have the ceiling fan on right now, so maybe I won't have to fear much for their heads until spring. I'm going to have to figure something out by then, though. The Easter pictures would just look weird if half of my children were headless.

Hmm. What else was I going to tell you? Josie and Grace spent all night last night working on campaign posters because Grace is running for Student Council Vice-President. We have to come up with a speech for her to give on Friday, and I am stumped. What exactly does one say in a speech when you are in forth grade and running for an office and you actually have no idea what that office entails? Are campaign promises appropriate, and if so, which ones? I somehow think that promising to end world hunger and lower gas prices won't work in this particular situation. Perhaps she could promise more than ten minutes to eat lunch and lower ice-cream prices? And what about her opponents? I suppose I should prepare her that they will probably try to dig up any skeletons that she has in her closet. Goodness knows, at nine she has had more than enough time for scandalous activities. There was that time when she was seven and I walked in to find her meticulously feeding pieces of construction paper to the paper shredder. She said that they were just old pictures of houses and flowers, but that's what they all say. Who knows what to believe anymore?

Homeschooling was never this complicated.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Last night I walked in to find Owen licking his arm. Since I have learned by now that certain things are best not asked about I didn't comment, but he caught me looking at him.

"I taste horrible." He informed me.

I searched my mind for an appropriate response to that, but came up empty. Finally, sensing that he was waiting for me to answer, I said the only thing that I could think of to say. "Really?"

"Yes." He answered, very seriously. "But that's good. Because now, if anyone eats me, they will spit me out. So instead of getting eaten, I will just be wet."

And then he left the room.

Allrightythen. I guess I should be thankful that I can now cross Owen getting eaten off of my list of immediate concerns. That's a load off of my mind, I can assure you.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My youngest son has always called his...um...private parts... by an interesting name. As soon as he could talk, he referred to it as his "pirate", because he could not say "private" and we are SO not politically correct enough to teach him what it is actually called. Actually, this has saved us from numerous embarassing situations, such as when he was two and we were in the grocery store, and he went on a long tangent about how his pirate was itchy and had a rash, and the other shoppers just thought that he was discussing an unfortunate imaginary friend.

Anyway, the reason that I am telling you this is that a couple of days ago Ben ran over Owen's stuffed Superman doll with the lawnmower. (Don't look at me like that. It will make sense in a minute.) He didn't mean to run over it, but the children had left it in the yard and he didn't see it until it was too late. Owen, far from being traumatized, was fascinated by the carnage. He ran around for ages yesterday afternoon searching for the amputated body parts, calling out joyfully "Look, Mama! Here's his head! And his feet are all the way over by the mailbox!" I just nodded at the appropriate moments, not really paying attention because one of our cats was trying to climb up on top of my head, when he called out for all to hear, "MAMA! LOOK AT THIS LITTLE PIECE I JUST FOUND! IT MUST BE HIS PIRATE!"

My neighbor looked up from his yard work. Our eyes met, and I laughed a shrill, embarassed laugh. "Yes, Owen!" I called, "His pirate! Superman's little pirate buddy! How wonderful that you found him!" And then I called him in quickly before he could finish insisting "No, Mama! I mean it's his PIRATE, like on his BODY....." and I shut the door as fast as I could. I may have even burried my head in my hands and mumbled "Oh my word I am SO EMBARASSED!", but I can't be positive.

Why did no one warn me that parenthood was so fraught with mortification? If I had known, I would at least have practiced blushing.
To any of you who are confused: This is a new blog that looks the same as my other new blog, but it is different because my other new blog got somehow deleted and no one knows why. If you followed that sentence, then you should also know that the only explanation I can come up with is that gnomes invaded my house while I slept and decided to play really mean tricks on me. Either that, or Owen did it while typing his "letter" yesterday. You decide which explantion makes more sense. (I'm sticking with the gnome theory, myself.)

Wordless Wednesday~ Attack of the puppet people