Onion Honey Cough Syrup

Here’s a neat cough syrup that several of my mom friends swear by.  The cough syrup part begins at 1:50.

To summarize:

  • Dice an onion.
  • Layer onion with drizzled honey until you reach the top of a pint jar.
  • Cover and leave at room temperature up to 24 hours. (You can serve the syrup almost right away if you need to.)
  • After 24 hours, strain onions out and refrigerate.  The syrup will stay good indefinitely.
  • Give 1 tsp as many times per day as needed.



Videos About the Feast of Trumpets

We get to celebrate is Yom Teruah (translated to English as the Feast of Trumpets) tomorrow!  This is such an exciting feast, because it is the first feast of the year’s line-up that hasn’t yet been fulfilled.  We’re waiting on the fulfillment at the return of our King!

I’ve collected some neat teachings on this feast day here.

Each of these three teachers have slightly different interpretations of what exactly will happen on this feast day.  Given that its fulfillment is future, we only see dimly what might unfold.  So, I present these teachings for your consideration.  As in everything, we must test everything to the word and trust that our observance of this feast doesn’t require complete understanding, only a complete trust that His Word will prove to be perfect and true in the end.

First Fruits PT

I really enjoy this guy’s teachings.  They are short  (this one is only 5 minutes) and jam-packed with neat scriptural connections.  (Although sometimes he moves a bit too fast for me.)

In this teaching, he shows what trumpets are used for in the scriptures.  He draws an interesting conclusion about what the scriptures mean when they say that the Savior will return at the “last trumpet,” connecting the seven trumpet blasts of Revelation with the trumpet blasts that are to occur at the start of each month on the new moon.  He also shares some ideas about how the final fulfillment of the Day of Atonement will fall 1,000 years after the return of our Savior. I had never heard that theory until this video, but I think it could be a good one.

Jim Staley

Jim Staley is a great teacher for Christians who are just coming to learn about the feast days.

Here are some time-markers for this teaching

  • First 28 minutes are introduction.
  • Around the 28th minute mark he begins teaching on the fall feasts, specifically, Trumpets.

Mark Biltz

Mark Biltz does a great job of showing the connection between traditional Jewish understanding of the feast days and their actual fulfillment in Messiah. Our older brother Judah has some great insights into the scriptures!

Here are some time-markers for this teaching:

  • The first 12 minutes or so are a terrific recap of the prophetic nature of the spring and fall feasts.  He also gives some great information on God’s calendar as opposed to our Julian calendar.
  • Around the 13th minute he starts in on the specifics of the feast of Trumpets, making some really neat scriptural connections in relation to the blowing of trumpets.
  • Around the 3oth minute he brings to light serious warnings for the church.
  • Around the 38th minute he addresses the whole “no man knows the day or hour” issue.
  • At the 42nd minute he does a short teaching on how Song of Solomon relates to this feast. Contained in it is another serious warning for those who disregard the necessity of remembering the Biblical feast days.
  • Just before the 57th minute he makes a neat connection between our betrothal to the Savior and this feast.

No More Mosaic Law? Shadow/Substance (Colossians 2:16-17)

This is part of a series that began here.

Adjusted Colossians 2

“Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink,
or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.
These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.”

Colossians 2:16-17

What the Verse Seems to Say

Don’t let anyone judge you for eating foods that were once considered unclean or for not keeping feasts or Sabbaths.  They were merely a shadow of things to come.  Since the substance is Christ, if you have Him, you have all you need.

The Problems

This interpretation requires re-working lots of other scriptures where we see the apostles and new disciples adhering to the dietary law and keeping the feasts even after the Savior’s death.  It also makes Paul, who kept the feast days, even “hastening to be in Jerusalem” for them (Acts 20:16), seem a bit hypocritical.

Aside from being hypocritical, this understanding of Paul’s words makes him a heretic when we consider that the Father warned that only false prophets would speak against His commandments (Deut 13:1-5). For the sake of brevity, we’ll look only at a few of His commandments on the topic of His Sabbaths:

  • “Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you.” (Exodus 31:13)
  • “Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” (Isaiah 56:2, but the whole chapter highlights how important the Sabbath is to our heavenly Father.)
  • “Her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.” (Ezekiel 22:26)

By God’s own words, those who profane His Sabbaths profane Him.  This makes it all the more critical that we rightly understand Paul’s words here in Colossians.

The interpretation that God’s instructions are no longer important doesn’t fit with the larger context of the Bible.  It also doesn’t fit with the context of the second chapter of Colossians.

Context of Colossians

In Colossians 2:6, Paul begins by telling the Colossians not to be taken captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world.  He doesn’t want them to follow human traditions.

Are the feast days and Sabbath human traditions? Hardly.  In the verses quoted above, we saw God refer to “MY Sabbaths.”  In Leviticus 23, He clearly says, “these are MY appointed feasts.” They are our Father’s days.

So then what kind of human tradition is he warning the believers about? In verse 18 he tells us: asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind. In verse 23, he mentions asceticism again.


Merriam-Webster defines asceticism as “practicing strict self-denial as a measure of personal and especially spiritual discipline.” This definition precisely matches Paul’s warnings in this passage.

The ascetic philosophy and empty deceit says, “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!” (v 21).  These rules, based on severity to the body, are merely “human precepts and teachings” and “self-made religion,” not at all based on the word of God. They only have “an appearance of wisdom” (v 22-23).

Instead of walking in these ascetic ways, Paul wants the Colossians to walk in Christ, rooted and built up in Him (v 6-7). He wants them to hold fast to Christ, the Head (v 10, 19).

So, we have Paul warning about the danger of this ascetic philosophy and of not remaining rooted in Christ between verses 6 and 23.  In the middle, we’ve got verses 16-17 where Paul seems to be saying not to worry about keeping God’s days anymore.  But how exactly does asceticism fit with the feasts and Sabbath? Were the ascetics judging the Colossians because they weren’t keeping the dietary laws or because they weren’t keeping the feast days?

A closer look at the Greek

I am no Greek scholar, but when I watched this 15 minute lesson on the Greek construction of this passage and then tested it by looking at it for myself on interlinearbible.org, it made perfect sense why Paul was discussing being judged on the feasts and Sabbath in the middle of a discussion on wrong ascetic behavior.  And it all hinges on a couple of conjunctions.

Another Small, But Critical Word

Another point in the Greek that isn’t made in the video above is regarding the Greek conjunction “de” translated as “but” in verse 17. (These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.)  This word can also mean “yet,” “and,” “moreover,” “indeed now.”  So, instead of making the two parts of the sentence seem to contradict each other, the writer could very well have intended to show the connection of the two thoughts.

A Literal Translation

After looking closely at the Greek, this literal translation emerges:

Do not, therefore, let anyone judge you in eating and in drinking
either in part of a feast, or a new moon, or a Sabbath,
which are a shadow of the things to come, yet the body is of Christ.

The Greek is clear. The Sabbaths, new moons, and feast days are valuable because they point us to what is still to come. They are not a shadow of things that WERE to come. They are a shadow of what IS to come – future tense.  Just as Christ precisely and perfectly fulfilled each of the spring feast days during His first coming, He will also precisely and perfectly fulfill each of the fall feast days during His second coming.

The substance of the Sabbath, new moon, and feast days belong to Christ Himself.  He is the body of these appointed times, and Paul wants the believers to hold fast to Him. The Colossians had no reason to be ashamed of these God-given days. In fact, they should stay firmly connected to them.

The eating and drinking associated with these joyous days were not to be abandoned as the ascetics would lead them to believe.  The believers should not let anyone judge them for how they eat or drink, either in partaking of a feast or a new moon or Sabbaths.

Rich Symbols

It is true that the feast days are shadows and symbols that point to Christ.  Many symbols are made rich with Christ’s meaning, but this doesn’t negate the necessity of the symbol. Churches use the symbols of baptism and communion.  Just because we understand deeper meaning when we understand how the symbol points to Christ doesn’t mean we then toss the symbol.  We continue to use the symbol as we celebrate all meaning that God always intended.

Whole Wheat Challah

For the last several months, I’ve enjoyed making challah bread as part of our meal to welcome in the Sabbath.  After we bless our heavenly Father who alone brings forth bread from the earth, we pass the loaf around, each breaking off a piece and remembering that He provides for all of our needs.  This includes our most pressing need of a Savior.  Yeshua is our ultimate bread of life (John 6:48).

Unfortunately, I can’t find any pictures of the challah I’ve made, but I did find something that looks close:

This is a simple, easy recipe that I tried out early on and have stuck with because of its success. My version is closely based on the challah recipe in the book A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays.

Two Loaves

The following recipe will make a double-decker loaf that will feed 8-10 people.

The fact that there are two loaves reminds us that when the children of Israel were in the wilderness, the Father provided a double portion of manna on the sixth day so that his children would be able to enjoy rest on the Sabbath day (Exodus 16).

If you have a small family, and don’t want leftovers, you may want to halve the recipe.

The Recipe

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 packages of Rapid Rise yeast (or 1 1/2 Tbsp instant-active bulk yeast)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 2/3 cups very warm water (120 degrees to be exact.  If the water is too hot, the bread won’t rise.  If its too cool, it will take longer to rise.)
  • 1/4 cup oil (I like to use grapeseed oil – its healthy and neutral in flavor)
  • 1/4 cup honey

Here’s how to make it:

1) Put half the flour (1 cup whole wheat and 1 1/2 cups white), all the yeast and salt in a bowl.  Mix.

2) Add the water, oil, and honey.  Mix.

3) Add the other half of the flour (1 cup whole wheat and 1 1/2 cups white).  Mix well. The dough should feel soft like new play dough and should pull away from the sides of the bowl and stick to itself.  If it seems like you need a bit of extra flour, only add 1/4 cup at a time.  If you add too  much flour, the dough will be too hard, like clay, and will not rise as well.

4) Rest the dough for 10 minutes. During this rest, the dough will rise some.

5) At this point, you can pinch off a bit of dough to be given to the Lord as a contribution as our ancestors were commanded to do when they came into the Promised Land (Numbers 15:17-21).  Challah actually refers to the portion of the bread that was donated in Temple times to the priests. Even though we’re not in the land and don’t have the Levitical priesthood in tact, I think its a neat way to remember that the first of all we have is to be given back to our heavenly Father in gratitude for His provision.  You can either take an olive-sized piece and burn or discard it, OR you could take a larger portion and make a separate loaf to give to someone else as a gift.

6) Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle some flour on top and knead for several minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

7) Break off about one third of the dough.  (I like to use a wide spatula or dough cutter – like the one to the right – to do this.)  This will be the dough for the top braid.  Separate this ball into three equal parts and roll into approximately 8″ or 9″ ropes.  Don’t worry if the ropes are longer or shorter.  Longer ropes will make for a longer loaf, and the opposite will be true of shorter ropes.  Once you have the ropes made, braid them.

8) Now take the larger portion of dough, which will be for the bottom braid, and separate it into three equal parts.  Roll into approximately 14″ or 15″ ropes and braid.

9) Place the larger braid on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.  Lay the shorter braid on top of the larger one.

10) Allow to rise until double in size.  This will take 45 minute to an hour away from a draft.  I like to stick my loaf in the oven just so its out of the way.  Please  note that the oven should not be on if you decide to stick it there.

11) Once your dough has doubled in size, preheat the oven to 325 degrees, making sure to remove the loaf before the preheating process begins if you’ve allowed your loaf to rise there.

12) While the oven is preheating, you can brush one beaten egg white onto your loaf to add shine and color.

13) Bake on the middle rack for 45 to 55 minutes until nicely brown.

I like to try to time it so that the bread is coming out of the oven close to the time we are ready to eat it.  Warm challah is an incredible way to bring in Shabbat!

The Covering

While the bread is waiting on the table, it is traditionally covered.  Some people have a special challah covering while others (like myself) use a cloth napkin.  The covering symbolizes the dew that covered the ground.  When the dew had gone up, the manna was revealed (Exodus 16:13-15).  In the same way, when the cover is removed, the challah is revealed.

The Blessing

Here is the blessing typically recited before receiving the gift of bread.

Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the Universe
Who brings forth bread from the earth.

It’s been a part of the tradition of God’s people for a very long time.  Though it’s not a blessing specifically commanded in scripture, it does have its origins in scripture.  Psalm 104:14 says:

You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth.

In the following graphic from Hebrew4Christians.com,  you can see the Hebrew, how to pronounce the Hebrew, and the English.  (Note that Hebrew is read from right to left.)  To hear a recording of what the Hebrew actually sounds like, you can press the audio icon next to the blessing on this page.

Happy Challah-making!!!

Deuteronomy – Ten Commandments Fleshed Out

One of the books of the Bible we’ve been reading through as a family is Deuteronomy. For a long time it was one of those mysterious Old Testament books I didn’t know how to process in light of my present-day life as a believer.  But as I’ve come to study and understand more lately, it’s taken on new beauty and meaning. Now, it’s one of my favorite books in the Bible!

Overview Video

The other day as I was looking around online for something else, I ran into this video that does a five-minute overview of Deuteronomy. I appreciate the simplicity of his overview. I also appreciate how he captured much of the heart of this book – the words “love” and “remember” are two major themes.

For the record, I know nothing about Blackhawk Church. I simply came across this one video and found it helpful.

Also for the record, I disagree with the presenter’s distinction between the people of ancient Israel and the laws that applied only to them.  I think believers are far too quick to discard many of the laws given in the Torah.  Sure, many of the laws dealt with life in an agricultural society, but there are wise principles that are transferable to us even if we’ve never owned a literal field or cattle.  (For more about my take on how we, as believers, relate to Israel and to the instructions given to Israel, you can check out this post or this one.)

A few of the specific reasons I love Deuteronomy

  • Our Savior quoted from Deuteronomy more than He quoted from any other book in the Bible.  Of particular interest (to me, anyway) were the many times he used Deuteronomy to fight against the temptation of the Enemy during His time in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13).
  • The very words and heart of my God are shared in the book of Deuteronomy. If we want to love what He loves and hate what He hates, we must know these words. And if we want to be like King David who greatly desired to not sin against God, we must store up these words in our hearts (Psalm 119:11). The only Bible David had, after all, was the Torah – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.  The Torah, along with the other Old Testament writings, are what Paul referred to as the “sacred writings able to make [us] wise for salvation” and for “training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:14-17).  This stuff is important!
  • The book of Deuteronomy expounds upon the Ten Commandments is a very unique way. This is actually what I want to focus on for this post, so I’ll leave it at this for now. 🙂

How the 10 Commandments and the Rest of the Laws are Related

When God began speaking the commandments to His people at Mt. Sinai, He only spoke the Ten Commandments when the people begged Him to stop.  They saw the thunder and the flashes of lightening and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, and were afraid.  They asked Moses to be their intermediary (Exodus 20:1-21). So, God told Moses to tell the people to return to their tents. Then God said to Moses, “But you, stand here by me, and I will tell you the whole commandment and the statutes and the rules that you shall teach them…” (Deuteronomy 5:22-33)

Moses reviewed much of this whole commandment He received on their behalf before sending them into the Promised Land.

One of my favorite Messianic Torah teachers pointed out a remarkable thing about Deuteronomy in one of his teachings (starting at page nine): Chapters 6 through 25, actually connect with the Ten Commandments, expounding on each commandment in order with one exception! 

No, it’s not perfectly tidy.  There are things here and there that seem like they should be in another place, and there is definitely some overlap in themes.  But it is remarkable how the major themes of these chapters do follow the themes of the commandments. And in order, too!

So, for those of us who love the wisdom we see in the Ten Commandments, the book of Deuteronomy is an even greater treasure.

Here’s the breakdown.  (As another disclaimer, the themes and scripture divisions are mostly from the above quoted teaching. As I looked into his teaching more closely for myself, I noted the examples.)

Commandments 1 and 2 are fleshed out in Deuteronomy 6-11

I am Yahweh your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
out of the house of slavery.
You shall have no other gods before me.

Theme = Know the Lord, believe in Him, and remember what He has done

You shall not make for yourself a carved image,
or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above,
or that is in the earth beneath,
or that is in the water under the earth.
You shall not bow down to them or serve them,
for I Yahweh your Elohim am a jealous El,
visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children
to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,
but showing steadfast love
to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Theme = Idolatry is forbidden

These chapters are loaded with the themes of knowing, believing and remembering God’s love and avoiding idolatry.  I have pulled only a small sampling.

  • Fear Yahweh your Elohim, serve Him, and swear only by His name. Don’t go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you, for Yahweh is a jealous Elohim (6:13-15).
  • Take care lest you forget Yahweh your Elohim by not keeping His commandments and His rules and His statutes, which I command  you today.  Beware lest you forget who brought you out of Egypt, out of slavery, who led you and fed you. And if you forget, and go after other gods, you shall surely perish (8:11-20).
  • Remember the Golden Calf incident (9:13-29).
  • Remember that what Yahweh requires of you is to fear Him, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes I am commanding you today for your good (10:12-22.  By the way, this is one of my favorite passages in this book!)

Commandment 3 is fleshed out in Deuteronomy 12-14

You shall not take the name of Yahweh your Elohim in vain,
for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

Theme = Sanctification of Yahweh’s name

Though the themes of commandments 1 and 2 continue in these chapters, and though there is focus on Yahweh’s name in the previous chapters, this section has a strong focus on entering the land and destroying the name of the other gods so that Yahweh can place His name there.

  • The name of other gods is to be destroyed out of the land (12:3) so that Yahweh can place His name there (12:5, 11).

Commandment 4 is fleshed out in Deuteronomy 15-16

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days you shall labor, and do all your work,
but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your Elohim.
On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter,
your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock,
or the sojourner who is within your gates.
For in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them,
and rested on the seventh day.
Therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Theme = The number 7 and a time for rest

  • Every seventh year is to be a Sabbatical year, a year of release from debts (15:1-18).
  • Firstborn males of the herd and flock should do no work but shall be dedicated to Yahweh (15:19-23).
  • And every year, special Sabbath rests are to be observed during the pilgrimage festivals: Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles (16:1-17).  Though Moses doesn’t recount all of the specific Sabbath instructions here, they are laid out plainly in Leviticus 23: the first and last days of Unleavened Bread are special rest days (Lev 23:7-8), the day of Pentecost (aka Feast of Weeks) is a special day of rest (Lev 23:21), and the first and eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles are special days of rest (Lev 23:34-36).

Commandment 5 is fleshed out in Deuteronomy 16:18-18:22

Honor your father and your mother,
that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Theme = Respect for authority

  • Respectable judges are to be appointed (16:18-20).
  • If there are cases too hard for these judges to decide, they are to be brought to the Levitical priests and judge.  The decision reached by these men should be respected and carried out (17:8-13).
  • Instructions about what will be required of any future king of Israel are given (17:14-20).
  • The section ends with instructions to listen to the future Moses-like prophet, whom we know to be Yeshua, our Savior (18:15-22).

Commandment 6 is fleshed out in Deuteronomy 19-21

You shall not murder.

Theme = Sanctification of life

  • Cities of refuge are to be established so that a manslayer who has killed someone unintentionally may save his life and thus protect innocent blood (19:1-13).
  • Instructions about warfare are given, including how terms of peace are to be offered first, and how to respond if the offer of peace is not accepted (20:1-18).
  • Even the lives of trees in cities being besieged are given protection. They are not to be destroyed, unless they do not produce food and can be used to build siegeworks (20:19-20).
  • Instructions are given for how to atone for unsolved murders so that the guilt of innocent blood is purged from their midst (21:1-9).
  • The sanctity of life is also recognized for female captives taken in war.  They are given the right to mourn for the lives of their mothers and fathers before taking on the role of a wife (21:10-14).
  • The firstborn son is to receive the proper inheritance even if he is not the most loved son.  His life is set-apart because he was born first, and his rights must be protected (21:15-17).

Commandment 7 is fleshed out in Deuteronomy 22:13 – 23:18

You shall not commit adultery.

Theme = Sanctification of sexual intimacy

  • Accusing a woman of sexual misconduct where there is none brings discipline (22:13-19).
  • A woman who has whored outside of marriage is to be put to death (22:20-21).
  • If a man if found lying with the wife of another man or a woman betrothed to another man, both are to be put to death (22:22-24) [It is interesting to note that when the Pharisees brought the woman “caught in the act of adultery” in John 8, they didn’t bring the man.  They were breaking the law by only bringing the woman.  Both were to be put to death, and this penalty could only be enforced IF and only IF there were two or three witnesses to confirm the charge. These witnesses were to be the first to throw the stones (Deut 17:6-7).  But no one was willing to stand as a legitimate witness and cast the first stone. So, Yeshua was not offering a new form of grace or mercy. He was simply appropriately applying the scriptures to this case.]
  • Marriage relationships are to be protected in various other situations as well (22:25-30)
  • Cult prostitution is forbidden (23:17-18).

Commandment 8 is fleshed out in Deuteronomy 23:19-25

You shall not steal.

Theme = Sanctification of property

  • Interest shouldn’t be charged on loans to brothers (23:19-20).
  • Vows must be fulfilled without delay (23:21-23).
  • A neighbor’s grapes and grain may be eaten to satisfy hunger, but no more than that may be taken (23:24-25).

Commandment 9 fleshed out in Deuteronomy 19:15-21

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Theme = Sanctification of truth

  • Only evidence based on two or three witnesses is acceptable (19:15).
  • If, after diligent inquiry has been made, a witness is found to be false, that witness should bear the punishment he was seeking against his brother (19:16-21).

Commandment 10 fleshed out in Deuteronomy 24

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house;
you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant,
or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

Theme = Contentment

  • If a man divorces a wife, he can’t later remarry her if she married another after (24:1-4).
  • Greed regarding pledges (24:10-13, 17-18), the giving of wages (24:14-15), or reaping harvests (24:19-22), is forbidden.

Pretty cool, huh?!