Afikomen

Happy Pasech! I hope you are not craving bagels and lox too bad yet. Today mid morning I was excited when I realized I hadn’t had any leavening! Then I realized that I hadn’t eaten anything since the Seder that I went to last night.

When I was a young girl the best part of the Seder was searching for the afikomen. I don’t think that I have ever found it. I was always dainty when I was looking. Even now that I’m a “big girl” watching the children search with all their heart for the afikomen is encouraging and fun.

If you have been to a Messianic Jewish Passover Seder it was most likely alluded to that the afikomen represents Yeshua. After the afikomen is found the third cup is taken and this cup specifically is meant for communion. When communion taken we are remembering Yeshua ‘s blood sacrifice. The afikomen is a remembernce of the flesh and the third cup is remembering the blood.

When the afikomen is found typically the child who finds it will receive a prize and, depending on the seder, the other children who searched for it also get a prize but usually a smaller prize.

I have been reflecting on the afikomen this Pasech. What if I eagerly searched for Yeshua the way children eagerly search for the matzo? What the entire church searched for Yeshua this way? I do a lot of volunteer work with children of many ages. What I have found is that the younger they are the more passion for God there is. When they grow older the passion that was once there dissolves. By the time they are teenagers little sets them apart from the world.

How can the innocence and passion for God of a young Christian stay with them when they are older? It is by staying on the path of righteousness and fleeing from evil ways.

The next time you have an opportunity to share with anyone about your faith, I challenge you to rush to the opportunity the way young child rush to the afikomen during Passover.

Leftover Crumbs

Passover is on its way! I have to admit that I am loading up on carbs this week. People who don’t observe Passover don’t truly understand the struggle of avoiding bagels for a week, especially because we are around items with levening.

Passover has many traditions and rituals. One of them is to completely clean your house before the festival and take out all items that have leavening in them, but you leave a small part of the crumbs and the parents hide it. Once it is hidden the children find it, and then the family proceeds to burn it. This is a standard tradition in Jewish homes.

As Pesach is only a few days away I thought it would be fitting to talk about the physical and spiritual preparation of this feast. I have been touched over the past week by the amount of people who are hurting. Several have expressed to me that they are struggling with different things, but are not exactly being open about it to many. It has been concerning to me. Although none whom I’ve talked to are a Messianic, orthodox, or hasidic Jew, and they will not even be thinking about Passover, there are still things that they can learn from it. But I’m sure someone reading this is struggling with the same thing and will be observing Passover.

Around Easter Christians tend to reflect on their sin nature. Well… I’m not actually positive about that, but I imagine they do something like that. I’ve had to go to enough Easter related things that I kinda get that idea. There’s times that repentance is emphasized usually before salvation is adressed.

We all have areas in our lives that need to be cleaned out. Honestly, that is uncomfortable to do. I have to check myself on a regular basis because I fall into sin all the time. It’s easy to get rid of the stuff that is  comfortable enough to adress with God and get rid of; it’s nice and easy to hide things from God, but in reality it doesn’t do any good. He already knows what you are involved in but if you keep your hidden parts from God you will have heartache eventually.

As you clean your home for Passover, I challenge you to exam your heart. When the crumbs are left in your house, think about the sin that you have left in your spiritual house.

If We Took Worship Songs Seriously …

Shabbat Shalom! I hope that you have had shalom with God this weekend. I have been disturbed with a phenomenon going on in the church. This is not a new trend by any means. The phenomenon is worship music! Sounds kinda strange and off beat, right? Well, in some ways it is.

I sit in synagogue, chapel, or Bible study and witness the same thing over and over again: myself and my siblings in Christ sing songs with lyrics they don’t truly desire. Songs that invite the Rauch HaKodesh in the room and ask Him to challenge our faith but with no comprehension of what that means.

When you truly invite the Rauch HaKodesh in your presence many events can happen that requires a lot of responsibility. Sometimes a special apearance from the Holy Spirit happens and He will ask you to do certain tasks that deep down you may not truly believe that you can accomplish.

Songs about faith are similar. I think that sometimes we want amazing things to happen when we are finished with the song. Sometimes that does happen! Many times God allows your faith to be tried in ways we don’t want it to be, then blame God for it when in reality we asked for it. You may be joyously singing about faith on a Sunday morning at Church, then when you are ready to go home and car won’t start, it becomes a little uncomfortable. It’s a test of faith that you don’t want. 

I’ll tell you a little story about my own experiences singing about faith. About two years ago I thought that I wanted to become a missionary in the entertainment industry. I prayed for God to open doors. Less than five minutes after praying for this He gave me an opportunity for an audition. I had a month until the audition and I didn’t truly know what song I was suppose to sing until about a day before my audition. The song was about calling on God when you are in danger. Well, by the grace of God I received a call back and I needed to have another song prepared. The song “Oceans” by Hillsong United was one of the top Christian songs on the charts at the time. I began working on it and practiced any chance I got (the car, doing homework, and any spare time I ever had). The lyrics of part of the song goes, “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.” I thought this was perfect because I thought I was being called to be in this field at that particular time in my life. I was praying secretly, “Spirit, lead me to a runway show, or a stage to perform on for You.” I was asking for the faith for God to send me to Los Angeles. I thought that’s were I was suppose to be heading. I went to the call back and had the time of my life. I created memories with others who were also auditioning and the topic of bullying came up and I had the opportunity to share a little bit about my story of being bullied. It was really the first time I was emotionally strong enough to talk about it. I cried but I healed some that day. Well, that day I didn’t make the cut. They did tell me that I did have an opportunity to work with them, however, that season was not my time. There were many tears that day. I still believe that I will be called into some aspect of the entertainment industry, however, I do not know when.

I sang to God for faith to do amazing things but instead he gave me the strength to have faith to heal. It’s not what I was expecting — not at all. It wasn’t what I wanted but it was so much more.  I challenge you to consider the lyrics the next time you are worshipping through music because sometimes what you may image God is going to do, He won’t allow at the moment. 

Bring A Little Color Everywhere You Go

“Bring a little color everywhere you go.”

Doesn’t that just sound fun? Well, I (unintentionally) did just that today. About a month ago my friend asked me if I wanted to try a cultural experience. I’m always up for trying new things so I eagerly agreed. My friend took me to a Mennonite German fundraiser. She told me that she’d introduce me to German food. I was excited. This morning when I was selecting a outfit my mindset was to pick something conservative. What I ended up finding was a pair of colorful tie-dye-style high waisted loose pants, a crop top with a cami underneath (you couldn’t tell it was a crop top because my pants were so high waisted), black sandals, and to complete it a hippie headband. I was proud of myself for finding a modest but yet stylish outfit. I wear outfits simular to this to school and I go to a conservative Christian school so I thought this was socially appropriate.

When my friend came and picked me up she made a little comment, “You may stick out a little.” Oh, I sure did! I forget that when you get out of the city fashion isn’t a big deal anymore. We drove an hour out of town but the social atmosphere changes as if we were in a different country. Suddenly, wearing jeans and a t-shirt was fashionably acceptable. One of my first thoughts was a line from the theme song from the television show, “The Nanny.” The line goes, “She’s the lady in red when everyone else is wearing tan.” But my song would’ve gone, “She’s the lady in a hippie headband when everyone else is wearing sneakers” or something like that, but, of course, it would rhyme. 😉

Although I was overdressed I didn’t feel out of place. I dressed in my own style even though I got a few funny looks. I wouldn’t have changed my clothes even if I had the chance. Ironically, the verse of the day on my Bible app was Romans 12:2; this verse states the following:

“In other words, do not let yourself be conformed to the standards of ‘olam hazeh. Instead, keep letting yourselves be transformed by the renewing of your minds; so that you will agree that what God wants and will agree that what he wants is good, satisfying and able to succeed.”

Don’t let others preferences change who you are or make you be uncomfortable.

Don’t be conformed.
Stand out.
And leave color everywhere you go.

Express – Go!

Hump day! If you’re having a bad week I have good news — it’s almost over! Soon enough it will be Shabbat.

During the course of this school year I had to take personality tests to learn what my love language is. When I reviewed my answers and added up the score, I realized that my love language is coffee. Well, not really, my love language is touch; but if coffee was an option that’s what I would have gotten. This week I had a lot to get done for school, on top of extracurricular activities, and I’ve been stressed. Yesterday despite not having the time I went to a coffee shop that has wonderful reviews and I had not yet tried. The coffee was amazing and the atmosphere was even better. It had a welcoming and artistic atmosphere. What makes this particular coffee shop special is how there is no specific type of people who drink coffee there. Elderly, teenagers, artists, business people — they all congregate here. If you know me, I love diversity and different cultures, so I immediately fell in love with this coffee shop.

When I was getting ready to leave some musicians were setting up to play their music. While they were getting ready they played some of their recorded music. A particular man, who was maybe a manager of the group, started dancing with the music. I thought this was amazing! These days people don’t just let loose. This man could have had a little too much coffee and was extra energetic, but no matter what his reasons where, it was still cool. There was over two dozen other coffee drinkers in the store and that didn’t matter.

In certain situations I’m that person and in fact I almost joined him. However, I didn’t because I was insecure and embarrassed. Now that I think about it, what really did I have to be embarrassed about? I let others determine how much I do to have fun. Why does it have to be that way? I’m guessing that everyone reading this has let others determine how much they let loose at one time or another because really what do you have to lose?

This post was light-hearted and short, but as always I have a challenge for you! The next open mic night at a coffee shop or karaoke at a bar, participate! Don’t let your insecurities bring you down. You only live once so what’s stopping you from having fun and doing things that you wouldn’t normally do? Dance like nobody is watching!

Lama Leah: The Reason Behind The Name

Happy weekend everyone! May you be blessed.

I have writers block. By nature I’m not someone who plans things out. I didn’t really know what to address this week and so I decided to tell you more about what Lamaleahblog is really about and why I named it this.

A llama is protective by nature. If you haven’t been able to tell, I am protective. I am protective of the not-so-popular point of view. I am especially protective of the messianic Jewish movement. I see the Jews go through persicution daily even from so-called Christians. I believe that social change can happen if we get rid of stereo types and begin treating those who are different from you as people.

Llamas don’t fit in, neither do I. I have a vast variety of interests and I don’t solely fit in at any one place. Llamas are put into farms to protect animals and they don’t look like they belong there, but they continue to do their job. I do the same. I’m a city girl with social just and I go to a small private Christian school and students have sports on there minds. I’m a intellect but I’m not academically smart, and I have deep thoughts but no one would expect it.

I can’t tell you how many times people have me that I can’t do something. I’m not typically respected because of who I am. I’m not a good orator and I’m not confident to share my thoughts. After many deep thoughts I was sitting in class I thought to myself, “Why don’t I actually share these thoughts?!?” Nobody will ever know what I’m thinking if I don’t actually express them! I found a journal that I had written in when I was in elementary school. When I read it, it was basically a Lama-Leah post just on paper with the same format and everything. I look back now and think, “Where would my writings be now if I started sharing them when I started deep thinking?”

I know not everyone appreciates what I write about. I have gotten my fair share of “Hate mail.” I’ve also been overwhelmed by the amount of postive feedback that I’ve received. As far as the hateful words, at least someone is reading and thinking about what I’m saying. I eventually want to take Lamaleahblog and do more public speaking with it. I rely on God as to how far this project is going to go. If you have any ideas for content please let me know! Blessings to you.