Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Hanukkah 2013

Somebody's First Hanukkah!
Meet "Yoshi" (short for Yoshebel)!  She's the newest member of our little family.  Our prayers are that your "Festival of Lights" will be as bright as her eyes!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Every Journey Has A Destination........Or Does It?

There's one road that leads to Homer, AK -  one way in and one way out - unless you have a boat, of course.  

When we drove down that road almost two years ago, we had no idea how long we would stay in Homer and looking back, there were so many times when we wondered why we were staying in Homer.  We came here seemingly almost by accident and we stayed here always thinking "why?".

We've been through so many thoughts, ideas and misconceptions about our time here over the last two years that it would take far too many words to even try to begin to explain the unexplainable.  One thought that I've struggled with over the course of our RV journey has been "when does it all to come an end and where will that be".  It has always grieved me to see RV's tied to lots and parking spaces with underpinning and decks built up around them and yet, here we were - "tied to the ground".

The "hitch itch" has been almost unbearable and the urge to be "On The Road Again" has never gone away.  We're gypsies!  It's in our hearts and in our blood and looking out the window of our truck with that open road before us is the one thing that can always bring a smile to my heart and a song to my lips.  

So, the time has come for us to break away from the ties and bonds that have held us to Homer and move on down the road always looking for that road that will take us "home" - wherever that may be........

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Shauvuot, aka The Day of Proclamation

We have come to the end of the counting of the omer and thus, it is Shauvuot, or the Day of Proclamation.  It is customary to do two things on this day.  The first is a mikvah which basically translates to "take a bath".  

This is the  idea behind baptisms in the church today.  This custom originated at Mount Sinai and was commanded by Elohim as the children of Israel prepared themselves to meet their Savior face to face.  

We were commanded to wash our clothes and ourselves that we might present ourselves before HIM cleansed of our outside filth.  This was not a one-time event in the life of the Israelites.  This was a continual practice that was performed every time someone wanted to visit either the Tabernacle in the wilderness or the Temples in Jerusalem.  

The second thing that we are supposed to do today is to make a public proclamation of our faith in Yeshua, our Messiah and Savior.  In the past, we have made this proclamation on the beach or at our campsite with the hope that anyone within earshot would hear us and know us as believers.  

Today, I thought it would be even more public to make this proclamation here on our blog which has been viewed over 20,000 times by someone or something.  So, without further ado, here is our proclamation:  

We, DannyLee ben Israel (aka Daniel Lee Whittle) and SueJean, do hereby proclaim that we believe in, adhere to and rely on Yeshua Hamashiach, the Blessed Son of YHVH Elohim as our Messiah and Savior.  We declare that HE is our GOD and that our faith and trust is in HIM and HIM alone.  We have given our lives and all that HE has given us to serve HIM as simple bondservants .  

We, willingly and fully out of love and respect for HIM commit ourselves to walk according to HIS WORD and to keep HIS commandments as given to us through the teachings of Moses in the Torah and as expanded through HIS teachings in the Brit Chadesha as best as we are able to understand and carry them out in this world with an eye towards eternity when HE will bring us into a more perfect understanding in HIS Kingdom.  

May HE preserve and uphold us with HIS strength to keep us in all of HIS ways and have mercy upon us when we fall short.  


            SueJean & DannyLee





Wednesday, April 3, 2013

After Pesach and "Lotsa Matza", What Comes Next........It's Time To Count The Omer!!

The celebration of Pesach is always a milestone to us.  Each year, we see this as a renewal of our commitment to walk out the ways of our Creator and Lord YHVH ELOHIM.  Our Seder was wonderful even though it was just the two of us.  As the saying goes at the end of the Seder, "Maybe next year....."

For our Passover meal, I used last year's recipe for the lamb with lots of extra garlic thrown in for good measure and also last year's Haggadah as we stepped through the traditions that our Lord YESHUA portrayed for us at HIS last meal.  I added sweet potatoes and some other vegetables to complete our table with lots of matzo and grape juice.

During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, I found that eating whole wheat matzo takes away some of my holiday joy but "Matza Pizza" and Chocolate Covered Matzo are a quick and easy antidote. I once again briefly considered making my own matzo, but maybe next year........ the task just seems beyond my tiny little kitchen counter space.  For now, we're happy with the basic matzo from a box.  

The picture of our bay above was taken last week.  I was trying to catch the furious nature of the waves crashing on the shore but my little camera isn't really up to the scale of what we were experiencing that day.  Many people gathered at the shore to watch the ocean raging in vain against the shore.  The waves were pounding in all during the day but settled down to quiet by evening.  It's funny to see how many people are drawn to the beach on days like this.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Winter Wanes - Pesach (Passover) Comes!

Winter's Worst - January 2013
Our second winter in Alaska was not in many ways like the first.  The first tested our physical and mental endurance in excess with the worst winter conditions in the recorded history of Alaska.  One has to wonder why we would ever consider facing a second winter after such an experience.  I confess that the answer to that question ofttimes eludes us too.  

Our second winter will be recorded as one of the mildest winters ever in stark contrast to the first.  The picture here is of one of the "heaviest" snowfalls of the whole winter and as you can see, it just put a "smile" on our "faces" and as swiftly as it came, it quickly melted away within a day or so.  The snowfall was so much less this year throughout Alaska that it threatened to ruin a much-loved signature Alaskan event - the Iditarod race.  All turned out well in the end though and the race is on.  

Our "race" continues also, albeit, at a snail's pace, it seems.  As we seek to live out our FATHER's will in all things and in all of our ways, we have to admit that it's sometimes the greater struggle to be confident that we are clearly and distinctly doing it "right".  Our most basic affirmation comes perhaps, in the simplicity of each new morning that we are given to get out of bed and face another day with a renewed hope and chance to get it right this time.  In our efforts to "get it right", we once again face the task of preparing for Pesach.  

Yes, it's THAT special time again!  The beginning of the Spring feasts that reminds us to look back at the ancient Exodus of our ancestors from Egypt as we also look to making preparations for a greater Exodus that will lead to the glorious return of our Savior and King Yeshua.  This will open the door to that future Pesach where HE will fulfill HIS Word to drink the final cup of Pesach with us once again.  We can't help but feel excited to once again enter into the cycle of HIS divine appointed times.  Nothing makes us feel as much a part of HIS plans and purposes as keeping HIS feasts.  

Each Pesach brings a fresh start to the cycle of our lives in HIM and a renewed hope that this year will see us moving closer in our walk with HIM.  We feel ourselves to be a part of all that has come before way back to the time of our Patriarchs Avram, Yitzak, and Ya'akov as we continue the traditions established by Mosheh and the Children of Y'srael.  

We begin our preparations with a series of "searches".  Our first search comes in looking for matza!  All of the other components needed for the special Pesach meal are easily found or already procured.  Matza is not so easy.  The local store that carried it last year hasn't gotten any so far this year and it's best not to wait until the last minute this far off the beaten path.  

Our next hope to find matza lay 80+ miles to the north.  My backup plan was to make my own.  I confess that I was REALLY hoping that the big Fred Meyer's store in Soldotna was not going to disappoint us.  Of major concern is, as always, the weather and we watched the weather reports carefully in order to schedule a safe and uneventful drive north on the Sterling Highway.  Finally, our schedules and weather came together and we headed north in our search.  

Success!  We found several boxes of whole wheat matza on the shelf - not our first choice, as I like the garlic variety the best, but not having to make my own made this a happy day indeed!  It seems as if our timing was perfect in this, as our purchase left only 3 boxes on the shelf and the only other choice for those coming later would be onion matza - YUCK!  Thank YOU ADONAI!!

Our next search will be far more consuming as we are now in the time of searching our "home" and our "hearts" for leaven.  What things/thoughts/distractions have we allowed to creep into our lives over the past year that are serving to keep us from the fullness of our relationship with our Creator and Master that we desire?  We have tried to stay focused on our love for HIM and our struggles to learn and live by HIS TORAH, but it's clear that our hearts have grown weary in the day to day struggle to survive in a world that's gone mad.  The temptation to drown it all out with idle distractions is ever present.  This search will not be so easy.  

Our simple Hagadah from last year worked well for us so we will use it again and the slow roasted lamb recipe delighted us with a wonderful meal so it's a "keeper" too.  Here is the link for anyone looking for a simple way to prepare their lamb or beef:  Leg of Lamb - Slow Roasted Recipe - RecipeTips.com

We will be celebrating Pesach on the evening of Tuesday, March 26th according to our lunar reckoning.  I've given up any efforts to look at the timing of other celebrations so if we're out of step here, oh well.  Our hearts are turned to our FATHER and HIS leading.  We've given up on trying to explain or rationalize where HIS leading has led us in our lives.