Saturday, August 19, 2017

Mt. Fuji report

Mt. Fuji from the airplane to Tokyo

Praise the God of heaven,
His steadfast love is eternal.

---Psalm 136:26

As many people who live in Japan, and others all over the world, I have a fascination with Mt. Fuji!
(You can probably tell by my blog, as I have posted a number of Mt. Fuji posts including a Mt Fuji Challah!)  When I go on an airplane to Tokyo and the travel agent asks what seat I would like, I always ask for a seat on the side where you can see Mt. Fuji.  The route from our city in the south of Japan to Tokyo always goes over Mt. Fuji, but its not always certain whether you can see the great mountain, depending on the cloud conditions.

Most recently, on a trip back to the U.S. for a family visit this summer, I flew on a plane to Tokyo to get to the plane to NY and as you can see in the photos, we saw Mt. Fuji.  Sometimes it is only the top peering out of a cloud covered heaven, and on rare times you can see the whole mountain.  Many people these days don`t even look out the window anymore on planes (have you noticed that?), but I still like to.  I am especially attentive on the part of the trip when we are nearing Tokyo!  On the first part of this trip, as the plane took off , we actually flew into a typhoon!  It looked like the flight might even have been cancelled, as my trip itinerary was on the same schedule as the typhoon, from South of Japan moving northward exactly on the same course,  but I believe God moved a typhoon for me to be able to make it home to see my family!*

The airplane pilot even announced that there would be a lot of shaky areas to fly through because of the typhoon, and warned us to fasten our seat belts tightly.  He politely asked for our cooperation as we fly through the typhoon!!

I watched out the window as the plane flew into white stormy clouds, and as I had been watching the storm maps on the news the past few days, I knew pretty much where we were and where the typhoon was, and that once we got near Tokyo we would already be through the storm.  Then I also realized that we would soon be over Mt. Fuji.  Surely today we would be able to see Mt. Fuji!! Indeed, once the white cloud cover gave way to blue sky and extremely fluffy summer cloud formations, there was the top of the mountain!!

As I believe in a living God, I really felt that He was orchestrating all this to reveal His awesome wonders and to show His Love to us!!!

Praise God!! His showing Mt. Fuji on this flight after the typhoon gave me so much peace of heart (Shalom!), and I was ready and strengthened for the next flight, which is the twelve hour flight  from Tokyo to New York!!

I took some pictures.  When I scrolled back on the camera to see them,  it was fun to discover that the last set of photos I had taken was of my Mt. Fuji Challah Cover.  Some of you probably know,  I have been drawing Mt. Fuji with the Ten Commandments and Torah on top as a recent `theme` in my drawings and challah.   It made me smile a big smile and thank the Holy Spirit for this connection with seeing the `real` Mt. Fuji after spending so much time drawing and baking about Mt. Fuji and the Torah of ADONAI.  How lovely on the mountains are the feet of those bringing good news!! I believe He will move mountains and bring them closer to us, and move typhoons for us, when we seek Him with all our hearts!

Can you see how the photos of the sky and Mt. Fuji came right after the photos of the Mt. Fuji Challah Cover?  I hope you enjoy the series as it unfolds  and as the mountain is revealed!!  Here goes, starting with the Challah cover!!!.....

Notice this transition!! From the photos above, sewing the white fabric onto the top of Mt. Fuji on the challah cover, to the next one in the camera, the clouds after the typhoon and before seeing the actual Mt. Fuji!! Orchestrated as only our Father in Heaven can!!!

Mt. Fuji from the airplane

Hope you are having a wonderful summer,

Blessings and Shalom,



Making Origami in the U.S. with my cousin!! #Lovin` Mt. Fuji, and being with family!!


*related scriptures about God moving mountains and Faith:  Mark 11:23, Matthew 17:20


Your God the Lord is in your midst,
A warrior who brings triumph.
He will rejoice over you and be glad,
He will shout over you with jubilation.
He will soothe with His Love

---Zephaniah 3:17

Morning Glory

For the earth shall be filled
With awe for the glory of the LORD
As water covers the sea.

---Habakkuk 2:14

Shabbat Shalom!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Shalom Fan

Seek Shalom and pursue it.

---Psalm 43:15

Shalom be upon Israel!

---Psalm 128

Blessings and ....


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Torah Journey---Finishing the Book of Numbers, Fourth Challah Cover-in-progress!!

In His hand are the depths of the earth, 
the mountain peaks are His also.
The sea is His--He made it,
and His hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before ADONAI our Maker.
For He is our God,
and we are the people of His pasture,
the flock of His hand.

---Psalm 95: 4〜7

In progress. Fourth Challah Cover.

In my first year of reading the Torah, I have been making one challah cover for each of the five books of the Torah.  

This week`s parsha is a double portion and the last readings in the Book of Numbers---  Tribes, and the Journey, Matot and Masai.

May what we are learning each week and each day in Torah become a part of the fabric of our lives of worship to our Maker!!  

Chazak! Chazak! V`nitchazek!*

Blessings and Shalom!



*Be strong! Be strong! And may we be strengthened.
This phrase is said after finishing each book of the Torah.
What does it mean and why do we say it?
This post on a blog I came across answers those very questions.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Roselike bounty

My Beloved is mine.  He fills all my needs and I seek from Him and none other.  He grazes me in roselike bounty.    --from Song of Songs, 2:16  ArtScroll Siddur version

I had an inspiration to make these rose cakes for dessert this Shabbat.
They are from a wonderful recipe HERE.  They are tarts made with dough for the `cups`,  filled with date paste,  rolled with sliced apples.  I made the recipe using challah dough in place of the sheet puff pastry for the `cups`.

After we delighted in a Shabbat meal with the rose cakes for dessert, I was reading the Song of Songs, and the verse above stood out because of the roses.

A prayer for today, from Song of Songs---- may we seek from Him and no other.  May He graze us in roselike bounty.
The roses look oh so bountiful and the tastes are delectable on Shabbat, even more so because it is Shabbat.

Delight in the Shabbat. 

Blessings and Love,


Link:  Apple Date Rose Tarts, recipe from Torey Avey.

Challah and Cherry Blossoms Variation:  I used challah dough to make the `cups` for the apple date roses, and rose hips tea for the `rosewater`.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Daily Bread Postcard

Shout for joy,
O daughter of Zion!

--Zephaniah 3:14 

Before Shabbat service, a little girl was dancing so freely and joyously with a scarf, throwing it up in the air as she danced.  She inspired this drawing, and together with the scripture from Zephaniah I offer this postcard for this week`s Daily Bread Postcard!

May we be nourished by the word of God and shout for Joy, 

Rejoice in His Salvation

sing His praises from all the nations!

Shabbat Shalom!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Post-card Challenge 2! ポストカードのチャレンジ2!

 In June, I posted a "Post Card Challenge", inviting readers to color in a choice of postcards as part of the Daily Bread Postcard feature on Challah and Cherry Blossoms.   This is Part 2!
Please click here and here for the story and background.
 From that time, K-san, one of the `challengers`, colored in another postcard and showed it to me just the other day. 

She added cherry blossoms and Japanese patterns, and gave the line drawing new life in the way she colored it.  She added new elements and scattered blossom petals around the scene!!

I asked K-san if she could comment on the way she added the color and designs like the cherry blossom petals.  She said that "Mt. Fuji and cherry blossoms are the things that Japanese people love.  They are the treasures of Japan,  and express the soul of Japan."

I love how she made the  additions of the Cherry Blossoms and creative changes to the people`s clothes,  patterns,  and details,  and attuned the drawing that I started by bringing it closer to the Japanese heart!!

Thank you K-san for what became a fun collaboration!!  Thank you readers for encouraging my postcards ministry!

Stay tuned for another Post-card Challenge again!! I look forward to everyone`s participation!

About the drawing:
(You might recognize the drawing  from an earlier post, of the receiving of the Ten Commandments at Mt. Fuji!  My expression of celebrating Shavuot here in Japan.  I even made a Challah  of the same theme!  See Ten Commandments Challah  ( Here ).  )


記事の内容は{ここ} にクリックをして、読んで下さい!

その後、もう一回 K−さんがポストカードに色を塗ってくれて、この間私に見せてくれました。


 是非、『ポストカードのチャレンジ』 に挑戦してね!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Prayer after the Storm and a Vegan Challah this Shabbat

There was a big storm in our area this past week.  We were safe in the city,  but  parts of the surrounding areas of our Prefecture had much damage.  Even homes and lives were lost, and I understand that as of writing this people were still missing.  Thank you for keeping in your prayers the people and region in southern Japan that was struck hard by the storm and flooding. 


This Shabbat, maybe because of the heat, or because of the storm, or just to keep things simple, I had an inspiration to make a Vegan Shabbat meal.  I made a Vegan challah using this RECIPE.  And then I chose the dishes for a meal that also had no meat or eggs.  Both dishes had nuts.  The nuts made it `meaty` but without the meat.

I found some surprises in the way the colors and the ingredients went together in unusual ways, and just wanted to share some of them and the menu from the Shabbat.

The colors of grapeseed oil and rose salt surprised me as ingredients in the challah. It was an unusual mix and different from other dough recipes I have made,  and struck me as being a beautiful combination of natural ingredients.  And as you know I love pink, so the rose salt also had echoes of the color of cherry blossoms.

In THIS side dish with roasted carrots, the orange of the carrots and the pale green pistachios also was striking for their natural colors and how they came together with another unusual ingredient for the sauce, which is tahini..

While I was finishing making dinner, the doorbell rang.  It was a neighbor from my building. She brought us a watermelon!  It was so sweet.  I mean, the gesture was sweet, and also the watermelon too was sweet!
I wonder if it was also because of the storm that a neighbor wanted to reach out to one another.

 It really blessed our table!

Did you know there is a special blessing to say before eating a fruit?   I always try to remember to say it, but sometimes I forget.  Upon receiving the gift of fruit this Shabbat, I wanted to be sure to say it.   You can say it for any fruit from a tree.  It is:

Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha`olam borei p`ri ha`eitz.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the tree.

I am inspired by THIS POST --- `Come to the Table`---- on "Piles of Smiles", about inviting guests to share your table with.  This week it was just me, so I invite you to share in some of the vegan bounty.   My daughter and I have been enjoying the watermelon all week, there is still more.   Thank you for visiting, and Shavu`a tov.  Have a blessed week!

`You shall love your neighbor as yourself`   ---from Matthew 22:39

Cashew nuts and tofu, I added `renkon`, a Japanese root vegatable to this RECIPE HERE

In everything give thanks,
for this is God`s will for you in Messiah Yeshua.

---1Thessalonians 5:18

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Daily Bread Postcard---Shabbat Shalom!

In the beginning was the Word.  The Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  All things were made through Him, and apart from Him nothing was made that has come into being.     ---John 1:1~3

Somehow what I wanted to express in this post-card was about how when I looked at the table and drew all the things on on it,  I was struck by how everything in the Shabbat observance points to Yeshua.    In the drawing, the Hebrew letters covering the challah spell Yeshua. 

All things were made through Him.  He was with God in the beginning, so too the Shabbat was made through Him.  

He is the Light!
He is the Vine! (we drink the grape juice, the fruit of the vine)
He is the Bread!
He is the Word!

 May we be imitators of Messiah Yeshua, walk as He walked, rest as He rested, heal how He healed, love as He loves!!  

Please LORD, teach us how to do all that, and may we be patient along the way as we learn what it means to do so!! May You touch the heart of someone who is  reading this , may Your presence be known to her, and may Your love and divine healing reach her.  May Your Light search deep into our hearts this Shabbat and  dissolve our dark places and as we rest in You.  All Glory to God, Hashem Yeshua, Amen!!
Blessings and Shabbat Shalom,



Monday, July 3, 2017

Mt. Fuji and Cherry Blossom patterned `Shalom`

S H A L O M !

Shalom =  平安 =  Peace


民数記 6:26

ADONAI turn His face toward you and grant you shalom!  --Numbers 6:26

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Shabbat Candles!

Friday Morning,
A delivery of Shabbat Candles!
Just in time!
Shabbat Shalom! 
 Let there be light!
 *Genesis 1:3
光があり。  Hikari ga ari. *創世紀1:3  in Japanese!
in Hebrew!   בראשית *  Yehi'or     ויהי אור

Love    ♡


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Daily Bread Postcard!

I was so intrigued with the blossoming staff of Aaron, as you can see in the two posts below, that I chose this scripture for today`s postcard!
This week, one postcard in three languages!
And just to share a discovery in this week--- from being intrigued by the staff and the almond blossoms, I ate a lot of almonds this past Shabbat!  The almond blossoms also led me to look up what an Almond tree in Israel looks like.

They `struck` me as being so similar to the Cherry Blossoms, that I am sure it will lead to a post sometime on Almond trees/blossoms and Cherry trees/Blossoms!  Israel/Japan!

Meanwhile, already well into the book of Numbers,
this weeks readings continue in Parsha Chukat.
If you would like to, please see link on Sidebar or click HERE and find this weeks Parsha Chukat in the list of weekly reading.  This week contains another intriguing connection about Aaron`s Staff.  I learned through teachings on this Torah portion, and then saw when I went back again to read it, that the staff that Moses uses to hit the rock, `The Staff` that ADONAI asked him to take,  was Aaron`s staff. 

Blessings and Shalom!


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Aaron`s Blossoming Staff Challah, Part 2, Setting the Table for Parsha Korach

The table is set as the story of this week`s Parsha Korach unfolds ---in Challah!---  to reveal almond flowers from Aaron`s Staff

On Shabbat, our table can become a place to tell the story of the weekly parsha reading, and a way to invite others to enter into the Torah in creative and fun ways.  And maybe even inspire others to read the Torah and hunger for the Word that it contains.
The Parsha this week inspired me to make a Challah to express Aaron`s Blossoming, Flowering  Staff.
 (see Post , Aaron`s Blossoming Staff Challah, Part 1 below )
In this post, I would like to set the table with the Challah and a little more of the story.

When Korach rebels against Moses, which is actually a rebellion against G-d, G-d tells Moses to have the twelve tribes line up their staffs (rods)  in front of the testimony of the Tent of Meeting.

ADONAI spoke to Moses saying, "Speak to Bnei-Yisrael and get a rod from each ancestral house, twelve staffs in all, from each prince according to his ancestral household.  ---Numbers 17:1

He then tells Moses that the staff of the man that He chooses will sprout, and this is how He was to do away with those who are grumbling and rebelling against Moses.  So Moses gathered the staffs and placed them before ADONAI in the Tent of Testimony.

Of course, Aaron's staff blossoms (see post below and read Numbers 17:1 - 12!).

 To keep the surprise for your Shabbat guests, I recommend keeping `Aaron`s Flowering Staff` Challah  covered at first.  This is fitting  because we keep the Challah covered while we recite the blessings over the candles and the wine (explained in a post HERE)!  I used my Second Challah Cover, with the Hebrew names of the Twelve Tribes.    

For a dramatic effect in the telling of the parsha, from under the Challah Cover, you can have the flowers and the top of the staff emerge!

As you tell the story of the Parsha to your Shabbat guests, and uncover the Challah it makes for a memorable surprise and teaching to see how only the staff of Aaron blossomed.  Have almonds scattered on the table, and if possible, use a blossom patterned cloth!

Behind the scenes note:

For the eleven `staffs` of the tribes,  I used `POCKY` sticks.  They are a popular kind of candy in Japan.  I used `almond` variety, and this colorful shower variety.  I bring your attention here to the back of the `Almond` Pocky box.  There were perforations where you could poke the arms out and move them into an embrace.  It just seemed perfect to put the flowering staff into the hands of the boy!  And  do you see how the background has blossoms all around!!

Don`t you find that as our lives get more and more focused on Torah, every little thing around us reflects it too!! Even a Pocky Box! Pocky sticks! And the origami paper that is full of blossoms.  Just roll it and tape it to make a little `flowering Staff` to remind us of Aaron in the story this week of Parsha Korach.

Aaron`s staff is a testimony in perpetuity to us all to NOT rebel like Korah, and to be obedient to the One who G-d chooses as His High Priest.  This story lives on.

ADONAI said to Moses, "Put Aaron's staff back in front of the Testimony to keep as a sign to the sons of rebellion, so that it may put an end to their grumblings against Me, and so they will not die. "  Moses did just as ADONAI commanded him.     --Numbers 17:12

Blessings and Shalom!



note:  I have been using the words `rod` and `staff` interchangeably through these two posts.