Kehilat Yeshua

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This blog has been rather quiet this year, hasn’t it? I had envisioned spending this year blogging about the fun projects I have been working on in our new house, but I’ve realized that there are only so many hours in the day, and blogging just didn’t make the cut!

But it has been a fun year, full of adventures and changes as we have settled into our new home and new town. We have done a lot of decorating, and I’ve really enjoyed that as a creative outlet. We’re still working on plans for the landscaping, so other than planting some baby trees, our land is still rather barren. Last fall we had the fun adventure of “chicken-sitting” our friends’ chicken flock. They were loads of fun to watch roam around looking for treats. And we’ve brought in another kitty to keep our Simba company – Stella is a sweet friend to him.

But the biggest change this year was the transition from helping to lead worship at our church to moving forward with the dream God gave us to plant a Messianic community here in the Treasure Valley.

Last summer, we hosted a Bible study in our home on Saturday afternoons, and had a lovely time making friends.

On the Shabbat before Rosh HaShannah, Mark and I were in prayer and felt God clearly tell us it was time to step out in faith to start a Messianic Fellowship. Within a few days, this calling was confirmed through another couple that God told to reconnect with us. And so we began with 2 couples last October.

Since then, we have been joined by many more people who share our heart and dream. It has been an exciting honor to see how the Lord is placing people in our group, which we call Kehilat Yeshua.

If you have stumbled on this blog and are interested in learning more about our community, please check out our website or come join us for a Shabbat morning service!

Blessings!
Judy

Interested in the Jewish Roots of Your Faith?

Have you ever wondered about the Jewish roots of Christianity?  Are you interested in learning about the land, people, and culture of ancient Israel – the land that Jesus came to over 2000 years ago?  Do you wonder what relevance it has to your life today?

We are super excited to be starting up an in-depth, well-researched Bible study about our Jewish roots!  It is called HaYesod, which means “The Foundation.” From www.hayesod.org:

“The HaYesod discipleship program attempts to educate believers on their relationship with the Promised Land, the historic people of God, and the Scriptures of the Jewish people. Knowing the Jewish foundation of Christianity deepens the faith of the believer, clarifies the meaning of the Bible, and reveals God’s purpose for all of His people.”

HaYesod will run for 10 weeks, beginning Saturday evening, September 8th.  It is open to believers from all backgrounds, and will be located at our home in Meridian, Idaho.  Families are welcome!  Cost is $35/single or $60/couple and includes a gorgeous, in-depth (3/4″ thick!) student workbook for each registered student.

Watch the video preview below, and if you’d like a longer preview, click here!

After watching, if you are interested in signing up, please contact me at judyrich04{at}gmail{dot}com.  Thanks!!

Uncomplicating My Life a Bit

After a wonderful date with my beloved hubby last night, I took some time to re-assess my priorities.  I tend to over-complicate my life with massive to-do lists, projects that I take on without considering the ramifications, and unrealistic expectations for myself and others around me.

So I decided to figure out what my top priorities are right now, and put the rest in a “closet” for the time being.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Top Priorities:

  1.  Foster an environment for our family that is God-centered, peaceful, and joyful.

I’m going to do this by praying with my children daily, focusing on maintaining a right attitude in myself throughout the day, and modelling godliness for my children.

  2.  Develop and implement a routine for myself and our children, and support Mark in his own routine.

To do this, I’m going to create a routine chart for my kids (and stick by it!).  Major focuses will be our start-of-the-day routines, focusing on school when we’re doing it, and getting to bed on time.

  3.  Develop local relationships!

This might be challenging (especially for my introverted self), but we’re going to do our best to reach out and meet people.  I will hopefully be able to get our Mom Heart group started up soon (if you live locally, please contact me if your interested!), and we will be starting a weekly HaYesod group to study the foundations of the Christian faith on September 8th (again, if you’re interested, let me know!).  I’m also going to connect with a local homeschooling group as well as La Leche League.

  4.  Finish my associate’s degree

I will be taking CLEP tests in US History, Sociology, and Human Growth/Development over the next couple of months, as well as probably enrolling for a science course at BSU.  I’m planning to graduate in May 2013.

I think the hardest thing about all of this is all of the things that I have to put away in the “closet” for the time being.  I have so many goals that I am working towards that I need to set aside in order to make this happen.  It’s so hard to admit to myself that I can’t do everything, but I know that it is for the best.  Hopefully in a few months, I will be able to dig a few of those long-term goals out of the closet again and tell you about them!

~ Judy

Home-Churching & Leadership

Although my blogging has slowed down a bit lately, our lives sure haven’t! We have had a wonderful summer so far – filled with gorgeous sunny days spent riding bikes, playing at the park, running in the sprinklers, and playing at the pool. Our kids have been growing and developing by leaps and bounds! In the span of one week, Eliza & Judah both learned to ride their bikes without training wheels, and Avigail started walking. Caleb’s speech has been taking off too – so many changes!

The biggest thing that I wanted to mention is that after much prayer, Mark and I have made a pretty big decision: We are going to be home-churching! For anyone who may not be familiar with that term, it basically means doing “church” at home. You may be wondering why, and the answer is both simple and complex. The simple answer is that God told us to. The complex answer is that God has used a series of life experiences (in both of us) to guide us, has been gently speaking to us about this topic for years (warming us up to it, I believe), and had given us complete peace about it.

So what does this look like for our family? Shabbat starts on Friday night as it always has, with dinner, candles, and blessings. On Saturday, we get a slow, relaxing start with breakfast and our personal quiet times in preparation for hearing God’s word. Then, at 11:30am, we hook up our computer to our tv and stream the entire service live from Beit Tikvah! This is the highlight of our week. 🙂  We sing along, pray, and encourage our kids to join in too. When BT breaks for announcements, etc, I get lunch started. Then we sit and listen to the message, and our kids can stay and listen and/or color, or go play. When service is over (around 1:45pm), we have lunch. In the afternoon, we have family time! It’s relaxed and centered on God and family.

In addition to our own family Shabbat, we are planning on starting a Saturday evening home Bible study in the weeks to come. We are still trying to figure out the details, but we are going to be going through a program called “Ha Yesod”, which is a study of the Jewish roots of Christianity. (For more information, please visit hayesod.org)

Mark and I really believe that God is calling us to step up to the plate, so to speak. We both were heavily involved in ministry for many years before getting married, and when God called us to Beit Tikvah, we knew that it was to be a time of being poured into, a time of growth, and a time of developing a firm foundation for the rest of our lives to be built on. We knew that when we left BT, we were supposed to get back into reaching out to the world around us. Now were here, and we feel called to the area of helping the Christian church to better understand their relationship with God through their roots in their Jewish Messiah.

So if you think of it, pray for us! We still have so much change ahead of us and we want to make sure that we are clearly hearing and following God’s voice all along the way!

~ Judy

* By the way, if you have a free Saturday morning, check out Beit Tikvah’s service yourself! Go to ustream.com and search for Beit Tikvah. It streams Saturdays at 10:30 PST. Enjoy!