Saturday, December 10, 2016

Hanukkah in a Nutshell

Dec. 24-31, 2016

Judas Maccabeus, the Temple Menorah,
and Mattathias the High Priest

And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 

John 10:22

Hanukkah is not one of the original seven holy days that God gave to Israel in Leviticus 23, but both Hanukkah and Purim were added later and are Biblical Jewish holidays. Jesus Himself celebrated Hanukkah as mentioned in John chapter 10:22.  Here the term 'feast of dedication' is used.  Hanukkah ( חֲנֻכָּה) is a Hebrew word which actually means 'dedication'.  

Rededication of the Temple

Judah Maccabee (Hebrew: יהודה המכבי)   was a priest ( - kohen) and a son of the High priest Mattathias. He led the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire (167-160 BCE). Hanukkah commemorates the restoration rededication of the temple in Jerusalem in 164 BCE, after Judah Maccabee removed the Hellenistic statues that Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Greek ruler, had placed in the Temple. Antiochus had suspended all freedom of Religion. The prophet Daniel wrote about this time period in Daniel ch. 11 (remember Daniel wrote this several hundred years BEFORE it happened!) Antiochus is a type of the anti-Christ who will rule the earth during the Tribulation period who will persecute the Jewish people just as Antiochus did, but on a much WORSE scale! Just as Antiochus desecrated the Temple, Jesus Himself prophesied that the anti-Christ will desecrated the Temple during the Tribulation period (Matthew 24:15).  This is how we know that a new Temple will be built - since it is standing during the Tribulation period. 

God raised up the Maccabee's during what is sometimes called the intertestamental period - the approximate 400 + year period between the Old and New Testaments. Archaeologists call this time the Second Temple Period. Antiochus was a cruel tyrant who desecrated the Temple, destroyed the Torah scrolls and tried to destroy the Jewish people. As the song says, God sent the Maccabees as hero's to defeat Antiochus and once again, the Jewish people were preserved. It is often stated that if it was not for the miracle of Hanukkah, there would not have been a Christmas story 160 years later

The Miracle of the Oil  

At the time of the cleansing and re-dedication of the Temple, the priests only found enough of the kosher oil for the Temple Menorah to burn for one day.  According to Exodus 25:31, the Golden Menorah (translated as 'candlestick' in the KJV) was to never go out.  The great miracle was that once the priests re-lit the Golden Menorah, it burned for eight days (with oil for only one day) until the priests could make more of the special kosher oil. Thus on Hanukkah, favorite foods include potato pancakes (latkes) fried in oil and doughnuts (which are fried in oil). Yum!


By Jacki Powell            http://hebrewnuggets.org/



Friday, December 9, 2016


Great Grandchild depiction of Fred Osgood  
Frederick Osgood
1926-2016


Ancestral 

Love & Honor

"Changing of the Guard"





"Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." Ephesians 6:2,3

Frederick Osgood a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of WWII passed away Dec.7 of 2016 on Pearl Harbor Memorial Day. With his passing on this day, you could say that he gave his last "salute" to the brave ones that died and those that survived Pearl Harbor. He honored his country with his service and his country honored him with the "Distinguished Service Medal" for 25 years of service. (see link below)

Link:
http://www.unionleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20150816/NEWS18/150819457/1029/news22

Recently he received the greatest honor of all when his great grandchildren visited him and spent time with him. Because of these visits the love between the old and new generation was fostered and the hand drawing (top right) is the demonstration of that love. The drawing was made by his great grandchild Kaylin.  

This is how the baton is passed from one generation to the next, with Love and Honor.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Antorchas De La Vida Cristiana



Antorchas De La Vida Cristiana
Por Rev. José Espada Marrero


Con las antorchas encendidas
por mi camino he de ir,
quitando sombras de las almas,
afán y pena haciendo huir.
Con las antorchas de la vida
que tienen llama singular,
podre alumbrar la senda toda,
a otros con gozo podre guiar.
Lámpara excelsa es la Palabra,
lámpara eterna mi Señor,
lámparas bellas de Conciencia,
la Fe, la Iglesia y el Amor.
Lámpara útil cada día,
en todo tiempo, bien se ve,
es la Oración que a Dios nos une,
es la oración que trae poder.
Antorcha santa es la voz tuya
cuando le presto mi atención…
¡Cuando me hablas tiernamente,
como me enciende el corazón!
Es necesario que conserve
estas antorchas encendidas,
y no permitir que otras luces
me muestren vías corrompidas.
Mis luminarias quiere Cristo
que ardan y alumbren hasta el fin…
¡Feliz mi vida, hermosa, buena
libre de todo que es ruin!

Monday, December 21, 2015


Lucas 2:25 
"Y he aquí había en Jerusalén un hombre llamado Simeón, y este hombre, justo y piadoso, esperaba la consolación de Israel; y el Espíritu Santo estaba sobre él."  

La Esperanza de Simeón 
José Espada Marrero
1944

Una vez más percibo gloria de la esperanza
pues sé que la promesa de Dios no fallará;
mirando al Invisible, de pie, con mi confianza,
inconmovible mi alma, el hecho la hallará.
  
He leído y meditado lo que dice el Dios bueno
acerca del Caudillo del pueblo de Israel:
"He aquí que la virgen concebirá en su seno,
y un Hijo dará al mundo que se dirá Emanuel".

¿Ha hablado Jehová en vano? ¿Ha dicho una mentira?
¡El no es hombre que mienta ni trate de engañar!
¿No parlan los profetas cuando el Señor inspira?
¿No podemos con ellos gozarnos y confiar?

El relevó el propósito cuando Adán en el huerto
borro de la conciencia la faz de su Hacedor;
y a todos los videntes y patriarcas, por cierto,
les fué manifestado el plan del Redentor.

Jacob miro su Estrella, Moisés le hirió en la Roca; 
David le vio humillado, y en la cruz Isaías;
Abrahám en un Cordero como tipo le toca;
Pimpollo de justicia le llama Jeremías. 

Hay nieve en mis cabellos, mi cuerpo ya no es fuerte;
comprendo que mis años van pronto a terminar;
más me ha dicho el Espíritu que no veré la muerte
hasta que haya logrado al Príncipe besar.

Avivado en la fe de que el Padre ha empeñado
su palabra, y que luego le veremos cumplir,
sobre el monte de Sion mi altar he levantado,
y allí estaré adorando, velando el porvenir.

Bendigo la promesa que corre por la Biblia
como un hilo de grana que guía la visión; 
no camino en tinieblas, pues la gracia me auxilia,
y como testimonio da paz al corazón.

Los santos del pasado me inspiran con su ejemplo;
su actitud comunica amor a la Verdad;
yo espero ver al Santo entrar un día a su templo;
yo sé que entre mis brazos tendré su Majestad.

Aguardo aquí al Mesías que nos es prometido;
vendrá antes que llegue mi hora de partir;
el Cristo de mi patria, en niño convertido,
veré, y con esta boca le habré de bendecir. 
--------------- 0 ---------------
Que la Paz del divino Creador este con ustedes siempre.

¡FELIZ NAVIDAD
¡PROSPERO AÑO NUEVO!



Tuesday, December 8, 2015





Happy Hanukkah

Feliz Hanukkah
חנוכה שמח


This year Hanukkah fell on December 7, Hanukkah eve December 6. The first of eight candles on the Hanukkah Menorah was light Sunday December 6 at sunset.

This year the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii and the Feast of Lights coincided on our calendar. Though the attack on our freedom on December 7, 1941 is a somber memory to us all and we honor and respect all the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice to safeguard our freedom and our nation; we are thankful for their commitment and sacrifice which has allowed us the freedom to commemorate this Christmas season and the Feast of Lights.  

Likewise, in world history another event took place which liberated a smaller country from the tyranny of a much larger empire. The event is known as the Maccabean revolt against the Greek King Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Religious freedom was the cause for this revolt. The Israelis gain their freedom to worship the only and true living G_d. Part of that struggle for religious freedom was another event, Jewish tradition has it that upon purifying the altar and temple to initiate worship, the priest discovered there was only enough oil to keep the temple menorah light for one day but according to tradition the menorah stayed light for eight days hence allowing time to gather enough oil to keep it light going forward, they thank G_d for this small miracle by celebrating the feast of lights, Hanukkah. We light one of the candles every day incrementally as we commemorate the miracle of the oil for one day last for eight days, hence the eight days of Hanukkah.

Scripture (Bible): Jesus is the light.
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world…
Joh_1:4  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Joh_1:5  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Let us allow the light of Jesus Christ shine in and through us in this season of Christmas and Hanukkah.

Merry Christmas / Feliz Navidad
Happy Hanukkah / Feliz Hanukkah
חנוכה שמח



     

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Delonix regia plant



Delonix regia is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, subfamily Caesalpinioideae. It is noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of flowers. In many tropical parts of the world it is grown as an ornamental tree and in English it is given the name Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant. It is also one of several trees known as Flame tree..Wikipedia

In Puerto Rico it is commonly known as Flamboyan. This tree blooms during the summer months. The picture shown above was taken August 5, 2015.

The Flamboyan has inspired painters and poets alike. It has engraved itself into the fabric of our culture just like the Coquí. And what is a Coquí you ask? See for yourself in these pictures below. You say its a frog, a tinny one and we say noooo it is not a frog, its a Coquí. Remember I said that it is engraved in our culture. So don't call it a frog or tinny frog, its a Coquí.

Where were we... a yes the Flamboyan. Sorry for the not so small side track. Yes the Flamboyan is a beautiful tree. So why am I talking about it? Because this morning during my walk exercise I came upon the Flamboyan and it was in full bloom just like the picture posted in the beginning of this article. Beautiful! After my walk I got my camera and snapped a picture of this inspiring tree. And I remember the passage in the bible, Exodus 12. Its the passage that talks about the sacrificing of a lamb and placing blood on the two door posts and the top door post. And those that did had to remain in the house til morning. For God promised that he would pass over that house when he saw the blood. So when I was walking this morning this passage came to mind.

Yes the beautiful Flamboyan with its flaming branches spread out like wings brought such a powerful image to mind. That I too enjoy the promise of redemption given that day to Israel and whomever believed God's word of redemption from slavery to sin.

Here in Puerto Rico we say "Yo soy Boricua como el Coquí". I am Puerto Rican, "Boricua" like the Coquí". The Flamboyan and the Coquí thrive in tropical climates. Right now in Puerto Rico and other parts of Latin America we are enduring a drought. Here the half eastern part of the island is under a sever drought not so the western half.

Yet the Flamboyan is in full bloom. The Coquí has been quiet in the evenings, when usually you can hear their serenade, coquí, coquí, coquí....(to hear the Coquí click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54-FzuE-w0U )

At the time of this posting the drought has began subside and the dams are filling up to healthy capacity.

Bless be God for he gives the later and early rains. Amen!

















































Saturday, August 1, 2015

Time of Drought / Tiempo de Sequía

 
Picture of The Negev, Israel by Kelvin E. Morales 2007

PSALM 1

Psa 1:1  Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
Psa 1:2  but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Psa 1:3  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
Psa 1:4  The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Psa 1:5  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
Psa 1:6  for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

SALMO 1
Psa 1:1  Bienaventurado el varón que no anduvo en consejo de malos, ni estuvo en camino de pecadores, ni en silla de escarnecedores se ha sentado;
Psa 1:2  antes en la ley de Jehová está su delicia, y en su ley medita de día y de noche.
Psa 1:3  Y será como árbol plantado junto a corrientes de aguas, que da su fruto en su tiempo, y su hoja no cae; y todo lo que hace, prosperará.
Psa 1:4  No así los malos, que son como el tamo que arrebata el viento.
Psa 1:5  Por tanto, no se levantarán los malos en el juicio, ni los pecadores en la congregación de los justos.
Psa 1:6  Porque Jehová conoce el camino de los justos; mas la senda de los malos perecerá.