Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hanukkah Happenings

A lot of Hanukkah happenings to report! 

Hanukkah begins the at sundown, the evening of December 20.  The last candle is lit on the evening of December 27, with Hanukkah ending at sundown on the 28th.  Our congregation, Messianic House of Prayer, is planning our annual Hanukkah party for the second night of Hanukkah, December 21, at 5:30.  You are invited.  Let us know if you plan to come.  If you do, you will see in real life many of the things that the book, Hanukkah is Great, was based on. 

To help you prepare for the Hanukkah season, we will be displaying our congregation's book table in our home the week of December 10 through the 17th.  If you have ever seen our book table displayed at Temple Shalom Yisrael, you should know that the items we bring are just one tenth or one twentieth of the items we have for sale.  We can't carry everything with us, so we just take a few samples each time.  We  have some excellent fiction and historical fiction books for young people, books for adults on Messianic Judaism, the feasts, etc., as well as materials on Creation Science, Homeschooling, Messianic Jewish CD's, jewelry, and Judaica.  We will also have some Hanukkah music in limited supply.  Shop early if you want a CD with great Hanukkah songs.  Besides using the profits to re-stock our booktable, some of the profits will be used to help in the publishing of our next children's book. If you plan to come by to shop, please call in advance to set up a time so we can be there - 708 534-8026. 

And finally, an update on the Hanukkah children's book.  Our wonderful artist, Christine McParland, put up an article on her blogsite about Hanukkah is Great.  You can see a sample of one of the pictures and part of the text that will accompany that page, at

Our layout man will be out of town for a few more weeks, so we are using the time to complete the final editing.  We've had people pre-order one case, plus 4 individual copies of the book.  They are still available at a big discount if you pre-order.  A case of 20 books (at 12.50 per book) can be gotten for $250.00.  And individual books can be pre-ordered for $15 a book. (Add $4 for shipping, if you will need it mailed out.)  Your check should be made out to Shalom Ministries, and mailed to Messianic Family Publishing, 553 Irving Place, University Park, IL 60484.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Progress on Hanukkah Children's Book

The scanning of the paintings should be completed this week, and then on to our layout man.  When the pages are laid out, complete with text and pictures, we will send sample pages to a few Messianic leaders asking for endorsements.  We'd appreciate your prayers that we'd have favor with these leaders and they'd be able to take the time to review our work and write an endorsement.  This could help greatly with the marketing and sales of the books.

Pre-orders of the book are slowly coming in, and our fund for printing the book is beginning to build up. We still have quite a ways to go, so if you want to pre-order a copy of the book, Hanukkah is Great, we'd sure appreciate it.  The books will be sold for a price between $18 and $20 once they are printed.  But we are offering big discounts for anyone who pre-orders the books.

You can get a case of 20 books for $250, which comes to $12.50 per book.   You can also pre-order one copy for $15, (or $20 if you want it shipped out to you).  Right now we are accepting checks through the mail. Please make any checks out to Shalom Ministries.  Mail to Messianic Family Publishing, 553 Irving Place, University Park IL 60484.  If you want to make a donation over and above the pre-order price, we will gratefully accept it.  Shalom Ministries is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization.

Soon we hope to make the pre-orders available on our website, where you can pay with Paypal.

We have been invited to speak about this project at Temple Shalom Yisrael, Rolling Meadows, IL, at the Sabbath Service on November 12.  Dave will talk about the mulit-generational vision, and the importance that good books play in this vision.  We will also share about the process of putting together this Hanukkah children's book. You are certainly invited to attend if you can (meeting at the Community Church of Rolling Meadows; the service begins at 10:30 a.m., with a half hour prayer time before that).


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tashlich and Upcoming Feasts

It was Chaim Weinberger's first Rosh Hashana, and we wheeled him along with us to a nearby pond to do tashlich.  Tashlich is the traditional activity done on the Feast of Trumpets day, where we gather stones to represent our sins and throw them as far as we can into the water.  This symbolizes how far God puts our sins away from us, as far as the east is from the west, and into the depths of the sea.  Each feast has such wonderful object lessons for children!  And though Chaim didn't understand what we were doing, he did enjoy being there with us and trying to blow the shofar for the very first time!   That's his Daddy's hand in the picture, Lael.

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, begins the evening of October 7.  It's a day to fast, as the Lord leads, and pray for Israel, unsaved Jewish people, and unsaved family and friends.  If you live close by, join us at Messianic House of Prayer for a Yom Kippur service on Friday, October 7, at 7 p.m.

Then comes the Feast of Tabernacles!  These days of rejoicing before the Lord begin on the evening of October 12 and continue on through October 20. We will have services on Oct. 12, Wednesday at 7 p.m.; Oct. 14, our usual Shabbat service, at 7 p.m.; and the "last, great day of the feast" on Oct.19, Wednesday at 7 p.m.  We hope you enjoy celebrating the holidays, God's "appointed times" with His people - see Leviticus 23, a great listing and summary about His holidays!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Feast of Trumpets Coming Soon!

The evening of Sept. 28 will usher in the new year, 5772, with the exciting Feast of Trumpets/Rosh Hashana celebrations.  Feast of Trumpets is also the 19th anniversary of the congregation that meets in our home, Messianic House of Prayer.  We are a Spirit-filled, Messianic Jewish congregation supervised by a larger Messianic congregation in Rolling Meadows, IL, named Temple Shalom Yisrael.  If any of you, our readers, are in the area, we invite you to join us for the Feast of Trumpets service, held at 7 pm, at 553 Irving Place, University Park, IL.  Here's how we celebrate.

If it's a nice, clear evening we often go outside and try to spot the new moon.  This is the only feast scheduled at the time of the new moon.  Since we know approximately when it will appear (as predicted on our calendars), we see if we can actually spot it on the western horizon at sunset.  It's so appropriate to have this uncertainty, because the Feast of Trumpets points ahead to the day Yeshua (Jesus) will return with the sound of the trumpet and a shout.  We know approximately when He will return, but not exactly. 

Then whether we spot the new moon or not, we commence our celebrations. (With everyone's work schedules and to be in sync with the rest of the Jewish community around the world, we celebrate on the exact day the Feast is scheduled, even though it may be a day or so off, according to the sighting of the moon.)  We sing many songs about Yeshua's return and many songs are accompanied by the blasts of the shofar.  We also hear the shofar blown (by lay pastor David Weinberger) in all the traditional patterns for the Feast of Trumpets service.  Dave also gives a short message about the Feast and leads in prayers.  Afterwards we share some of the traditional foods for the holiday, as sweet and sour cabbage soup, challah bread, and apples and honey.

Studying about the feast is great, and you can read more about it in our book Celebrating the Feasts of the Lord, available at the best way to really know about the feast is to actually celebrate it, and to do it every year that you can.  Hearing the shofar is so powerful, the Lord had a lot to say about blowing the shofar when you go to war, when you want to issue a warning to the people, when you announce a great event, or for the coronation of a king. All these reasons are so crucial for us today to blow the shofar and pray about. There's a war raging in the spirtiual as well as physical world involving Israel, America, the state of our culture, world terrorism, and the body of believers.  We definitely need to warn people of God's judgment and standards.  We definitely want to bring hope and announce salvation to a dying world and culture.  And we definitely want to long for His coming and blow the shofar to remind ourselves to be prepared for the coronation of King Jesus (Yeshua) when He returns for His bride. 

What a holiday!  Serious, solemn, but joyful! Find somewhere to celebrate this year and a very Happy Feast of Trumpets to you and your family!

To find other Chicagoland Messianic Jewish congregations to celebrate with, go to

Monday, August 22, 2011

Update on Hanukkah book

We are working on our next Messianic children's picture book, Hanukkah is Great. All the paintings for Hanukkah is Great are now completed!  Wow, did our artist, Christine McParland, do a great job on them!  The next step is getting each of the 19 paintings scanned and put on a disc.  Each scan must be done in two steps, due to the size of the paintings, and will cost $55 each.  But once we get this done, our layout person can actually lay out the text and pictures on the pages and we will have a sample book to send to a few people who might consider endorsing it.  Perhaps we will be able to market it better if we have some very reputable Messianic leaders to endorse it.

There is such a need for Godly picture books for children!  When our sons were young, we noticed how the secular, well-done picture books would usually outshine the simpler Christian picture books out there.  Now that we are doing books, we have a clue why.  The upfront costs of getting beautiful, detailed paintings for each scene (involving fees for the artist and scanners, including much time and work for the people working on the book to coordinate and oversee these processes) are very high, and it's very hard to sell the books at a reasonable price and still break even.  That's why we need to fund-raise, sell advance copies, etc.  As far as we know, we are the only publishers of Messianic children's picture books.  We appreciate your prayers and possibly your support, that this project would be funded so all the steps can be taken to get 1,000 copies printed (another $6,000 approximately).

Donations can be sent to the Messianic Family Publishing, 553 Irving Place, University Park IL 60484.  Please make any checks out to Shalom Ministries - this is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization.

We are also offering a big sale for anyone who buys an advance order of a case of 20 books. We would sell a case for $250, which is only $12.50 a book.

Here's a picture of the artist, Christine McParland, with a few of the beautiful expressive paintings! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Welcome to AMHE Blog!

Dave and Betty Weinberger, founders of Association of Messianic Home Educators in 2004, have been so appreciative of the help of our two sons through the years.  But as many of you know, our oldest son Lael graduated law school in 2010, and got married to Sarah last summer.  They moved to Idaho, as Lael was offered a one year clerkship for the Idaho Supreme Court.  It's been a blessing to them, but we have dearly missed the help of Lael and Sarah. Meanwhile on the homefront, Joel is approaching his senior year at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, majoring in violin performance.  He has been super busy studying, practicing, teaching, and conducting.

And now two blessed weeks of this summer have arrived. Joel is home with most of his summer commitments done.  Lael and Sarah and baby Chaim (hurray!) are back in Illinois so Lael can now continue with graduate school.  They are waiting for their apartment to become available and are living right in the area for two weeks!  Needless to say, we've been very happy to enlist their help again.  And that's how this new blog has been born. Thanks, Lael!   It will make it easier for us to keep you informed on Messianic, Homeschool, and Israel happenings.  It will also make it easier for us to keep you informed and involved in the continuing drama of publishing  of our next children's picture book, Hanukkah is Great.

We hope you enjoy the blog and welcome! Stay tuned for more entries!