Monthly Archives: October 2012

Halloween – Should You Participate?

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****The following blog post is copied and pasted in it’s entirity (with no changes by me) from http://christiananswers.net/q-eden/halloween.html )  I just found it very interesting, and answers some of the hard questions many people ask this time of year****

Should Christians participate in Halloween?

Copyrighted photograph
Copyrighted photograph

The October 31st holiday that we today know as Halloween has strong roots in paganism and is closely connected with worship of the Enemy of this world, Satan. It is a holiday that generally glorifies the dark things of this world, rather than the light of Jesus Christ, The Truth.

Have you noticed how costumes and masks are getting generally more bloody, gory, and depraved each year? Unfortunately, the gruesome and grotesque and the occult are increasingly glorified in American society, not only on Halloween, but throughout the year in frequent horror movies and television programs.

My family does not celebrate it or participate in it. We do not believe that our children are “missing out,” and neither do they. Other days are used for costumes and parties. Happily, all of our children have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. We have found that Halloween provides an excellent time to remind our children that, as Christians, we are different, and not of this world (Heb. 11:13-16; 1 Pet. 2:11).

What about church “Harvest Festivals” held on October 31? Although we understand the rational and good intentions behind them, we don’t think they are the best approach. Our family tends to agree with the author of an article called “Are ‘Harvest Parties’ for Christians?” (written by a self-avowed former witch and now active Christian). Harvest parties on October 31 tend to assume that “our children need something to take the place of Halloween, since they won’t be participating in the secular and pagan celebrations. It suggests our kids are missing out on something. And indeed they are, if we allow them to spend Halloween in celebration.” There are better things to do on Halloween than partying.

Halloween costume (photo copyrighted)Also, we need to teach our children that “the fight isn’t against occultists, non-Christians, Christians who feel differently than we about Halloween, or institutions that promote Halloween, but” “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12, NKJV).

Relevant Scripture

<!–Bible Study–>Christian Answers® Web Bible™1 Thessalonians 5:21-22—“Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”

Philippians 4:8—think about pure, lovely, noble things

James 1:27—“keep oneself from being polluted by the world”

3 John 1:11—“do not imitate what is evil”

Romans 12:9—“abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”

Deuteronomy 18:9-14—do not learn to imitate detestable ways, including spiritists, sorcerers and witchcraft

Ephesians 5:11-12—“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness” / “live as children of light

1 Timothy 4:1—don’t ”follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons

2 Corinthians 6:14-17—“what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

1 Corinthians 11:1—“follow the example of Christ

1 Corinthians 10:31—“whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God”

James 4:7-8—submit yourselves to God, resist the devil, purify your hearts

Ezekiel 44:23—“…teach my people… to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.”

Proverbs 22:6—“train a child in the way he should go”

Matthew 18:6—“if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin…”

Hosea 4:6—“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

John 3:19-20fallen man loves darkness instead of light

Romans 13:12—“put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

Ephesians 6:11-18—“take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

2 Chronicles 7:14humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn away from wicked ways—and God will heal our land

 

Are October 31 “Harvest Parties” the best alternative for Christians?

Halloween - Jack-o-lanterns (photo copyrighted)“What are you doing for Halloween?” Ask a Christian parent this question, and be prepared to hear an answer like, “Nothing! We don’t celebrate Halloween.“ Thunder crashes, and you creep away, embarassed for even asking.

“What are you doing ON Halloween?” Ask the same parent this slightly altered question, and their whole manner and response brightens. “Why,” they begin, as birds begin to sing and sunshine breaks through the cumulus clouds. “We’re all going to the Harvest Party at church!” A choir sings. A trumpet sounds. You feel privileged just knowing these saints.

Let’s take a look at the typical Harvest Party.

  • It is a celebration.
  • It is chaperoned (usually).
  • It may have costumes.
  • Games are played.
  • Contests are held.
  • Food abounds.
  • Music blares.
  • Everyone enjoys themselves.

Certainly, nothing to get concerned about, right? The problem, however, lies in the billing. The Harvest Party is usually referred to as the Christian alternative to traditional Halloween hijinx. Alternative, however, implies substitute. It assumes our children need something to take the place of Halloween, since they won’t be participating in the secular and pagan celebrations. It suggests our kids are missing out on something. And indeed they are, if we allow them to spend Halloween in celebration.

If we are to train our children to be soldiers in the army of Christ, why would we sign a pass for them to go on leave when the battle is escalating on the front lines?

As a child of four, I contacted the first of many spirit guides (read: demons) while playing with a Kindergarten classmates’ ouija board at a chaperoned Halloween party. This spiritual assault ignited an intrigue with the supernatural that culminated in my lifestyle as a practicing witch: divination, necromancy, channeling, astrology, psychic ability, and spell working. It wasn’t until I was twenty that I met the real Jesus Christ, and was released from the trap that Satan had set for this young prisoner of war sixteen years earlier.

There are too many casualities on Halloween and far too few troops fighing the enemy. Instead of partying on Halloween, teach your children how to fight. Keep them aware that the fight isn’t against occultists, non-Christians, Christians who feel differently than we about Halloween, or institutions that promote Halloween, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers or darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

How do we teach our children to wrestle spiritually?

  • Discourage them from participating in traditional Halloween activities (2 Timothy 2:4). Then tell them why.
  • Encourage them to pray on a regular, daily basis (Ephesians 6:18). Let them know first hand the power that we have in prayer. All Christians should know how to fight on their knees.
  • Remind them to be alert and self-controlled (1 Corinthians 16:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:6). Give them the discipline of knowing it is their responsibility to keep watch. They, themselves, might also become casualties in the war.
  • Make certain they are prepared for battle (Ephesians 6:11). Do they know the truth? Stand on the Word of God? Have faith? Know the gospel? Are they righteous? Are they saved?…

Instead of celebrating, what’s a Christian to do on Satan’s feast day? PRAY! Intercession and spiritual warfare should be the first item on our agenda. It is NOT a last resort!

  • Join with other families in the church. Have the pastor announce a night of spiritual battle. Organize a group of Christians parents and students from your children’s school or homeschool group. As a family, designate the seven nights before October 31 as Family Prayer Outreach nights.
  • Pray for protection. Pray over both those who engage in prayer warfare and over those who will be out trick-or-treating or at Halloween parties. October 31 is a prime recruiting time for witches and Satanists… and a time for interested kids to experiment. Pray that the Lord keeps our kids from falling prey to those who worship the enemy.
  • Pray for discernment. Let the Holy Spirit direct you to specific prayer requests. Pray that the children who are “out there” will somehow “know” to keep away from certain activities.
  • Pray that the Lord hinder the occult rituals. For four years, I lived in a building which over looked a cemetery where occult ceremonial markings were often found. On certain occult feast days, usually between midnight and 3 a.m., I would look down into the darkness and kneel at my window binding the demons that controlled the ceremonies. I’ll never know this side of heaven what effect my prayers had. Maybe a potential sacrifice escaped. Maybe the occultists weren’t successful in summoning their demon. Maybe a new, young recruit decided that this was not the lifestyle he thought he wanted.
  • Pray for the salvation of the occultists. Jesus Christ died for those whom Satan holds captive and deceived, for those who mock Him, who deny His deity or His existence. He doesn’t want them to perish, but to come to Him calling Him Father, Lord. Pray the veil is lifted from their eyes, the Lord allows them to see clearly their spiritual condition and their only hope lies in Jesus Christ. Pray also, about whether the Lord would have you take a more active role in bringing the gospel to Satan’s servants.
  • Let your children know that this is effective warfare. They must know their prayers are heard and acted on by our Father. Let them know they can make a difference. Come October 31, they’ll know they have a job to do.

originally published in the Colorado Christian News, October 1995, author’s name not published

Resources for learning more about the issues involved

On-site links on related issues

  • The Occult—What does the Bible say about it? Answer
  • What is the Occult? Answer
  • Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer
  • Satan, devil and demons
  • MALEVOLENT SPIRITS—Where do these dangerous, hostile, and evil entities come from? Answer

Man and book (photo copyrighted)

Christian Books

  • The Facts on Halloween: What Christians Need to Know by John Ankerberg and John Weldon (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1996), 48 pp.
  • Mommy, Why Don’t We Celebrate Halloween by Linda Hacon Winwood (Shippensburg, Pennsylvania: Destiny Image Publishers, 1992), 17 pp.

Christian Motion Picture

Computer Woes

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I just wanted to share a little bit about why I have been absent the greater part of the past week or so.  I have had some pretty crazy computer woes.  Between one desktop getting updated and somehow removing the network drivers, and my other desktop which decided to adorn itself with a blue screen (AKA BSOD) because I decided it was time to upgrade and replace the router.  The list of (sometimes humorous) computer woes goes on and on, but I am guessing you get the idea!  So, we have been busy playing computer repair room.  Thank God, I do know my way around a computer, but this thing has been driving me nuts.  I just share because a handful of you saw I had gone missing in action and asked.  Thanks for that, by the way.  I appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read and connect as you’re able.

Be blessed everyone, and I’ll look forward to getting caught up and back into the swing of things!

Training For A Marathon

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Think of all the things that go into a marathon.  There is so much preparation – both mental and physical.  A marathon is many things.  In technical terms, it is a long distance running event with an official distance of 26 miles, 385 yards – otherwise measured as 42.195 kilometers.  A little known fact is that this road race is named after the Greek Battle of Marathon, which took place in 490 BC.

In preparation for a marathon, an athlete will undergo a very vigorous season of training to develop stamina and figure out his/her physical limitations.  Long distance running demands much of the human body.  Runners, in preparation, must have an extensive training program that mixes endurance running with rest as well – insuring that the body is not damaged.

We have talked about what a marathon IS – but, now let’s focus on something that a marathon IS NOT.  A marathon is not a sprint.

In contrast to the longer distance marathons, sprints are short distance runs.  Running a sprint can be one of the most challenging exercise routines available.  It’s categorized as such because it utilizes all your energy and muscle power for short, but intense bursts.  Generally, the benefits are worth the effort.  It is excellent cardiovascular exercise, and increases your anaerobic ability, and can burn a great deal of calories in a relatively short time.  People who choose to run came into this world equipped with everything needed to ultimately succeed in a marathon.  Training just exercises, builds on and develops the strengths and muscles we were born with.

In likening running to life – it can be said that life is not a sprint.  Life is more like a marathon, even though it doesn’t always feel like it.  You can be sure it won’t be easy.  It will be both mentally and physically challenging, and will require more of you  than you’ll be fond of giving.  There will be so many times along the course that you will feel like giving up – like it’s not worth it.  As you walk through life (train), and go through life’s struggles, you will be increasing your stamina and endurance.  The more you stretch and exercise your body by completing the trials you go through, the more strength you will build.

An overview of life will point towards life being more like a marathon rather than a sprint.  Your marathon will be made up of both long and short distance runs.  Remember that, just as in a marathon, you’re in this thing called life for the long haul.  The key to completing the race is not giving up in the mean time.  Instead, let the race strengthen you.  Don’t give up.

 

My Resignation From Adulthood

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<<In continuing the thought about how life is sometimes so complex, about truly living life, I’d like to offer the following writing…>>

I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an eight-year-old again.

I want to go to McDonald’s and think that it’s a four-star restaurant.

I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make a sidewalk with rocks.

I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them.

I want to run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer’s day.

I want to return to a time when life was simple, when all you knew were colors, multiplication tables and nursery rhymes, but that didn’t bother you because you didn’t know what you didn’t know and you didn’t care.

All you knew was to be happy, because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.

I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good.

I want to believe that anything is possible. I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.

I want to live simply again. I don’t want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive when there are more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness and loss of loved ones.

I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, mankind and making angels in the snow.

I want to play with my pets and my days of imagination to last forever

So here are my checkbook and my car keys, my credit card bills and my 401(k) statements. I am officially resigning from adulthood.

And if you want to discuss this further, you’ll have to catch me first because,“Tag! You’re it!”

Unknown Author

Are You A Fair-Weathered Fan??

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This time of year brings out many emotions in sports fans everywhere – especially baseball fans.  You see, we are right in the middle of league playoffs, with the teams fighting for a spot in the World Series.  Excitement in the air.  Every team has loyal fans who have watched many games, and who will support their team – win or lose.  Then, every team also has fair weathered fans who only care about their team if they’re winning.  Let me just say that this drives me crazy.  It irritates me to no end.  I suppose the reason is because I’m a loyal fan.  My team is arguably one of the best teams in baseball, but I’ll make no bones about it – they (in recent years) hold a great regular season.  They play great ball.  However, come post season, they seem to crumble.  However, I live in the middle of a rival teams territory and have first hand experience watching their fans in action.  I will say this – I haven’t seen more fair weathered fans congregated in one metro area before.  Time and time again, they will turn off their tv and proclaim how horrible this team is, etc when the team begins to lose…but when the winning streak hits, they rise up and are the worlds best fans.  Their team is the best in the world, and the feelings of any other team fans are pretty much trampled on.  I know it has to be like that in any city.  But, being that I live in this metro area, I can speak of what I know and/or have personally seen.

This is on my heart in a big way because it rings true with the body of Christ as well.  I’d like to use the previous baseball fan analogy to liken it to followers of Christ.  Do you find yourself to be a loyal follower of Christ, or are you more like a fair weathered fan?

Just as in baseball, Jesus has both.  Loyal followers of Christ look to Him during the good times, and the bad times alike.  They do not run for the wind at the first glimpse of hardships.  They take His word to the world, no matter the level of persecution.  They don’t want to see any other person not a follower of Christ.  They allow their hearts to be broken for others.  They love as Jesus loves.  Then you have fair weathered followers.  They are quick to proclaim themselves a Christian and quick to pray when things aren’t going well in the world.  They do not, however, remember Him when they don’t need something.  They follow Christ when it’s convenient, but not when it ruffles feathers.  They fear what others think, and aren’t concerned with the heart of God.

As annoying and irritating as fair weathered fans are to me personally, the same must be heartbreaking to Jesus.  The beautiful thing is that every human being is given free will.  God will not force anyone to follow Him, but He delights in those who do.  He loves us with an unwavering, relentless, crazy love.  Nothing any of us can do will or can ever make Him stop loving us.  Even still, so many people do not grab hold of that love.  They cling to whatever is familiar – jobs, family, things – however, if they were familiar with Jesus, they would cling to Him.

What kind of fan / follower are you??

No Matter Who Wins

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10 Predictions No Matter Who Wins the Election

1. The Bible will still have all the answers.

2. Prayer will still work.

3. The Holy Spirit will still move.

4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.

5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.

6. There will still be singing of praise to God.

7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.

8. There will still be room at the Cross.

9. Jesus will still love you.

10. Jesus will still save the lost.

ISN’T  IT GREAT TO  KNOW WHO  IS STILL  IN  CONTROL?

Bullying: It Has To Stop!!

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I would like to touch on something that has been in the headlines a great deal recently.  Bullying.  When you think of the word bully, you can most likely bring from your memory someone you know who was bullied as a child/youth, or a person who was a bully.  It didn’t have to be directed at you to have an impact on your life.  As I grew up, bullying was not unfamiliar to me.  Not only was I bullied, with an attempt at making me feel less of a person – I also knew many people who were in the same boat.  The point is this – it happens everywhere.

This generation, however, is even more susceptible to being tormented by bullying.  A new word was coined by journalist Neil Mar.  This word, bullycide, is a sad reality.  It speaks of children and teens who are teased with no mercy – made fun of because they are different, or because someone finds it funny to torment others.  Bullycide is a term used to describe suicide as a result of bullying.

Whichever the case, many people cannot handle this sort of verbal or physical bullying.  Depression becomes a very real aspect of their lives.  Some see suicide as the only option – the only way escape is possible.  To remove themselves from the situation, removes them from the pain.  As I mentioned, this generation is more susceptible.  This is the technology generation.  There is a new form of bullying: cyberbullying.  As social media grows, bullies have a larger pool to cast their net to find victims to terrorize.

The well know saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is such a lie.  Words can cut deep.  Words can build a person up, or in the instance of bullying – can tear a person down.

My entire point is this – choose your words and your actions carefully.  How you act, react and treat a person can make a lasting impression / difference in their life.  Be instrumental in sharing hope, not hate.  Don’t be a party to bullying of any kind. If you see it, stop it.  If you see someone being bullied, be a friend.  Let people know they aren’t alone, and that together people can stand and make a difference against bullying.

As a parent (or even as a friend trying to help another friend), take a proactive role in your childs life.  Take time to know them.  Worry less about being their best friend, and actually parent them.  You may just find that being a parent also means being the best friend and confidant they may ever have.  Know when things seem off.  Always have an open line of communication.  Care enough to ask and to be a part of their life.  If you have that nagging feeling that something just isn’t right, don’t ignore it.

If you or someone you know is being bullied, and you see no way out – do NOT give up.  Your life is worth fighting for.  I strongly urge you to reach out.  Seek help.  Talk to a friend, counselor at school, church leadership, or anyone you can trust.  Do not think yourself less of a person.  Instead, rise up.  Look in the mirror and see how beautiful you truly are.  Your life matters.  You are a living story – a story that is not finished being written yet.  Always remember – hope is real!