Monthly Archives: October 2011

Week 33: All Hallow’s Eve

I once read somewhere that parents shouldn’t allow their children to dress up on October 31st. Yes, I understand that there are evils that lie within the context of that holiday, but why not let the kids dress up for the fun of it? I did when I was a kid and didn’t officially “celebrate” Halloween.

Halloween is one of the world’s oldest holidays and is celebrated differently in a number of countries around the globe. In Latin American communities, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) honors deceased loved ones and ancestors. It’s a three day celebration that starts on October 31st and ends on November 2nd.

Halloween originated in Ireland nearly 2000 years ago. When Christianity spread to the Celtic isles of Ireland, higher officials declared the holiday evil and sought ways of making the festivities more Christian-oriented. In the 7th century, Pope Boniface IV proclaimed November 1 All Saints Day, which is known as All Hallows. From there, we get All Hallows Eve…a.k.a Halloween.

Cultures around the world celebrate Halloween much like it is in the United States. Children dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating. Adults throw parties with neighbors and friends. Spooky stories are told in an effort to scare each other.

But what harm is there in Halloween? To some, the holiday emphasizes violence, death, horror and fear. To others, it’s Satan’s holiday.

I agree whole-heartedly with Anderson M. Rearick III in his article Matters of Opinion: Hallowing Halloween – Why Christians should embrace the devilish holiday with gusto – and laughter in Christianity Today (found here).

In his article, he states how he’s is “reluctant to give up what was one of the highlights” of his childhood to the “Great Imposter and Chief of Liars for no reason except that some of his servants claim it as his.” I tend to agree with him.

Halloween was a fun time for me as a child. It was the highlight of the fall some years. I remember being a clown (personally, the costume itself scared me and probably shaved about 10 years off my life), a princess (3 years in a row), Pocahontas, and a witch. I even went as roadkill one year. Now that was a fun costume. There may have been a vampire in there somewhere too…my obsession with the gothic was a bit much when I was a teen.

I have a friend in Brookings who designs his own costume every year. Two years ago, he was Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and boy, did he look just like him! And last year…Iron Man. Sweet…Should his creativity be taken away? No!

Halloween was a day to celebrate my imagination. I looked forward to concocting my own outfit from things around the home. We didn’t have the money to purchase a new costume every year. Why not be creative?

Rearick also argues that with the coming of Christ, came a “great light that reclaimed not only individuals but also the holidays they celebrated.” He goes on to use quotes from C.S. Lewis (one of my all-time faves) and Thomas More, stating that Satan hates to be mocked.

He also points to what I mentioned in my post about yoga, if the person redeemed has been saved from the occult, then they shouldn’t have to celebrate Halloween. Just like in Corinthians, when Paul clarifies the eating of meat offered to idols…you may recall.

Christians should instead celebrate Halloween with humor. If we have a good time at Satan’s expense, he flees.

Rearick closes with the following, and I agree with him: “If we give up All Hallows Eve, we lose the delight of God’s gift of imagination and we condemn the rest of society to a darker Halloween because our laughter will not be there to make the devil run.”

What are your thoughts on All Hallow’s Eve?

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Week 32: Friends Make Life Sweeter

Friends.

We all need them.

Some are a bit nutty. Others may be a tad cracked. But we love them anyway.

I’m not talking about the number of friends you have according to your Facebook account. The majority of them are acquaintances any way. Take mine for example. I currently have 623 Facebook friends and eight followers on Twitter. Of those, five of them may be my closest befriends and another twenty in my main circle of friends.

One of my best friends came up to visit me last week and we had a great time catching up and laughing over some of the dumbest things…conversation topics or something we just randomly did…it was a great time.

We all need moments like that. Friends truly make life sweet.

Week 31: My Big Back Yard

A friend of mine recently paid me a visit. It had been quite some time since she had been up to visit and she commented on my large backyard. I hadn’t quite thought of it that way before, but I guess she’s right. Check it out:

 

Quite the view, don’t you think?

Minneapolis Skyline by AjB
Beauty and majesty
Can be found
In forms unnatural 

From the ideas of man
And creativity from above
Great works in design

Glass and steel
Standing tall
They almost seem surreal 

Scraping the sky
And rising high
Enough to sigh: oh my…

Week 30: Insecurities

But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.”

I’m currently hashing through So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore with one of my best friends and church mate. We’ve been at it since the beginning of September and we’re still on chapter 2. I’m all for taking it slow since this book is seriously messing with me. That and the combination of God’s Word and His still voice seeping strength and peace into my soul. Boy, am I a mess!

Our society teaches us from that if you wear this, do that or have a man on your arm that will be secure…not matter what. The norm is to be defined by the people or the things we strive for in our lives not finding out identity in our Creator.

Below is an excerpt from Rev. Billy Graham (source found here). Also enjoy the video from Beth Moore regarding her book So Long, Insecurity.

On campus the quickest way to security is through the crowd. Precisely where students talk about being independent and on their own, you will find them practicing the most rigid conformity in dress, in speech, in moral attitudes, and in thinking. Sometimes they follow fashion at the expense of integrity. They dread to be alone. They do not want to stand out or be different. They want to conform.

After they graduate from college, many of these young people want nothing more than a good job with a big firm, and a home somewhere in suburbia. But they don’t find security then either. Only Jesus Christ can give you the security that you are looking for.

Beth Moore’s So Long, Insecurity

Rest in knowing that you are secure in Christ.

Week 29: Reminiscence

Talk about a big word! But that’s what I’ve found myself doing the past couple of days. I’m still in the midst of change. I am now living in my own apartment with access to free WiFi – thanks to my amazing landlord.

I’m writing this from my balcony; enjoying the view that is my backyard, four stories up. It’s nice to finally have more than 100 square feet all to myself. I can finally close my eyes…write like mad and…

Breathe…

I’ve written quite a bit this past year and I suddenly remember doing this a lot as a kid. I wrote a small, unknown newspaper called the Dairy Herald when I was 9/10 years old. It contained stories about life on the farm, the latest addition to the herd and it even had an obituary section in it. I know the items on the computer are forever lost as it was before back-up drives and the thing crashed long ago, but I wonder if my parents ever kept any copies that were printed.  

Amazing what the mind can recall at a moment’s notice.

Week 28: A Resolution to Be Courageous

I recently caught the latest release to hit the box office by the Kendrick brothers, Courageous. Overall, an incredible movie and I left feeling emotion rung out and thinking I should have brought a box of Kleenex since the sleeves of my sweatshirt had been left damp due to the amount of tears that had been shed.

Although the movie was geared more towards fathers and men in general, I felt the call in my own life as woman and the following was revamped by another woman to be applied to our lives:

 Resolution for Women

  1. I do solemnly resolve to embrace my current season of life and will maximize my time in it. I will resist the urge to hurry through or circumvent any portion of my journey but will live with a spirit of contentment.
  2. I will champion God’s model for womanhood in the face of a post feminist culture. I will teach it to my daughters and encourage its support by my sons.
  3. I will accept and celebrate my uniqueness, and will esteem and encourage the distinctions I admire in others.
  4. I will live as a woman answerable to God and faithfully committed to His Word.
  5. I will seek to devote the best of myself, my time, and my talents to the primary roles the Lord has entrusted to me in this phase of my life.
  6. I will be a woman who is quick to listen and slow to speak. I will care about the concerns of others and esteem them more highly than myself.
  7. I will forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.
  8. I will not tolerate evil influences even in the most justifiable form, in myself r my home, but will embrace and encourage a life of purity.
  9. I will pursue justice, love mercy, and extend compassion toward others.
  10. I will be faithful to my husband and honor him in my conduct and conversation in order to bring glory to the name of the Lord. I will aspire to be a suitable partner for him to help him reach his God-given potential.
  11. I will demonstrate to my children how to love God with all their hearts, minds, and strength, and will train them to respect authority and live responsibility.
  12. I will cultivate a peaceful home where everyone can sense God’s presence not only through acts of love and service but also through the pleasant and grateful attitude with which I perform them.
  13. I fully resolve to make today’s decisions with tomorrow’s impact in mind. I will consider my current choices in light of those who will come after me.

I also recently picked up a book called The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer. It was inspired by the movie and really looks at the heart of us girls. I’ll be writing up a few things based on what I discover about myself and God as I go through this book, paired with Scripture. Be sure to watch for those! Enjoy!