About a week ago I started getting ready for Passover, Pesach, 2017.
I know, I know.
It's still 2 months away, but, I'm not the only one out there doing this so early.
I received an email the other day from a very prominent lady in the Messianic community and in her video she was talking about how NOW is the time to start planning for Passover.
Justified in my craziness.
All from a YouTube video message.
Last year we led 2 different seders. One was at our home (photos in this blog post are from that one) and one at our local Bible Study Group/Congregation. It seems like either my hubby or I "rewrite" a Haggadah every year to fit where we are and what we've learned lately. Last year was no exception. The home haggadah was strictly based on scripture. I got the idea from Kevin Geoffrey at Perfect Word Ministries. He has a wonderful little Haggadah that only uses the elements we see given in the original Passover account in Exodus. I expanded a little on his idea and came up with probably one of my favorite Haggadahs. If you are a stickler about tradition, then Kevin's book is not for you. But if you are ok with stepping outside the box, or if you are just new to this whole Passover idea, then I highly suggest Behold the Lamb Hagaddah. You won't find an Afikomen or Dayenu there, but there is still lots of scripture and sound Biblical teaching.
a Jewish ritual service and ceremonial dinner for the first night or first two nights of Passover.
Above is me getting the table all set for the seder meal. Notice the blurred hands. That's me being frantic.
Our second seder (although I think that one actually took place first...) was beautiful too in its own way. Most everything was disposable but elegant, I thought. However, as usual, I forgot to get anyone to take pictures.
The story of my life.
If it wasn't for my sister, Rie, I probably wouldn't have very many photos of my children growing up. Especially ones at any family function.
I would, however, have plenty of photos like these because I love to sneak into my children's rooms at night to get them:
But I'm getting off topic.
I loved the flowers Susan and I found for the center piece.
Notice the blurred hand with the sparkling grape juice bottle...the children got a little silly
trying to divide up the last of the yummy juice!
Two really neat things Susan and I did for the first time last year was an edible 10 Plagues plate and a little sacrificial lamb.
The edible plagues were Susan's idea...probably spurred on by something on Pinterest. I do know that we came up with our own ideas for each plague because I very well remember scouring the internet for exactly what we were looking for. We wanted them to be something that wouldn't be necessarily "delicious." Overall, we were very pleased with the edible plagues but do plan to tweak them a little this year.
This photo combines our plagues with the horseradish for the seder elements.
Don't you just LOVE my seder plate?
My whole color scheme last year revolved around getting to use it for the first time.
You can find it here, but don't judge me for spending so much on it.
It is one of the few splurges Chris and I have done in a REALLY long time.
Frogs: see below
Bugs/Gnats/Lice: shredded coconut
Flies: black olives with slits cut for sliced almonds to be inserted as wings
Disease on Livestock: cow gummies (Stonyfield Farms or Annie's Organics)
Boils: shredded cheese melted to a crisp on matzah crackers
Hail/Fire: crushed ice
Locust: green pea crisps
Darkness: dark unsweetened chocolate squares
Death of the Firstborn: mummied baby carrots
We heated strips of white cheese laid over baby carrots to "mummify" our first-born baby carrots.
Then Susan painted little eyes on the carrots with ranch dressing.
The frog was a bit more difficult and I am working on a new idea for this year's edible plagues. Stay tuned for that. But for now, I'll try to explain what we did. Try to ignore that one of the eyeballs had fallen out in the photo.
We used a large dill pickle for the body and baby gershwins for the legs. I don't know if you can tell but Susan cut the ends to make it look like webbed feet. The eyes were the ends of Peperoncini peppers and inserted with a toothpick into the dill pickle. The eyeballs are whole cloves. When it came time to eat the frog plague we just all took a piece of the legs to eat.
A side note on the cow gummies: I looked for the Stonyfield ones since they are all cows but could not find them in my area. We ended up buying the Annie Bernie's Farm Fruit Snacks. They were DELICIOUS but only one or two out of every pack was a cow so we almost didn't have enough for our family seder. I am hoping to find the all cow ones this year.
Also, I suggest making the flies at the last minute. We made them early that morning and by the time the seder came around the olives had softened the almonds significantly.
The second neat thing we incorporated last year was this little sacrificial lamb. If you purchase the Behold the Lamb Hagaddah from Perfect Word Ministries there are instructions to how to make it. I do not want to spoil the awesomeness of this project but trust me when I say that it was the highlight of the evening. The photo below is a little hint to why...
A big thank you to my mother-in-law for letting me borrow plates, goblets, and extra silverware to add to my wedding china set. Of course, I couldn't have done it all without my sons helping me with the cleaning and Susan being my right hand lady with most everything else! And definitely my hubby for being patient with my crazy planning.
Well, now that I have revisited last years Passover Seder, I can move onto finishing my plans for this year. I've already been working on tweaking my frog plague, choosing a color scheme, and menu ideas. I know we will be repeating the lamb again this year, even if it did leave a small stain on my tablecloth. Kinda reminds me of a song. I'll end the post with that.
With my job requiring more and more of my time lately, I was afraid I would have to give up my book reviews. Thankfully, my mama has taken on the role of book reviewer for a little while. Seasons come and seasons go...books will be back in my life again soon, I hope!
Seeing Jesus is a small book measuring only 6.5" x 4.5" x .5" and is adapted from the longer The One Year Book of Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament also by Nancy Guthrie. It is really nice in appearance...tan leather cover with gold embossed title...a perfect little gift for someone special. There are 60 short devotionals contained within, each about 4 pages long. Each "lesson" or "devotional" begins with a scripture reference from both the Old and the New Testaments and has several more sprinkled throughout the text. (These scriptures are in the New Living Translation unless otherwise indicated.)
I choose this book because, being Messianic in faith, I enjoy finding something to read that emphasizes the importance of the OLD and the NEW Testaments together. Neither are complete without the other and it is wonderful to come across something that points out this fact. I would like to have seen more coverage for the topics, however, I do realize that it is difficult to pour a lot of depth into such a short writing. And for someone not previously attuned to this idea, it would probably be just the right amount to wet his appetite to study more.
One problem I did have with this book is one I have with many others. I am not a fan of taking a single scripture or even a part of a scripture reference to make a point in a devotional. (I do admit to having done this myself before, sadly.) I noticed that Ms. Guthrie does this in some of her "lessons" and while the practice may result in a correct presentation, things can be twisted when given out of context. Scripture, in my opinion, needs to be read in context of, at a minimum of several verses, an entire chapter for better understanding, or best of all, the entire book! Once again, I realize that the size of the entries limits how much coverage can be given to a topic.
Overall, I think the book is a nice presentation of an underutilized topic. No one book, outside of The Bible (the Holy Scriptures themselves) will ever be perfect. Keeping that in mind, I believe this could be a handy reference and quick encouragement for many people.
I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House.
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