What do I do about Halloween? A Guide for Christian Understanding

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST IS WRITTEN FROM MY PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW ACCORDING TO THE HOLY BIBLE AND MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE SCRIPTURES AND HISTORY ON THE SUBJECT MATTER. All scripture is from the Amplified Bible for better understanding.

I arrived at the local dollar tree to purchase a few new fall decorations while we are still experiencing 100-degree weather.  I love decorating for each season, and quite honestly I need Fall to kick Summer’s butt out of here!  All our stores are getting beautiful sweaters, long sleeve t-shirts, and hoodies, yet you can hardly breathe from the humidity when you step outside.  Nevertheless, I was determined to get in the mood for Autumn, one way or the other.  I transferred my sweltering body behind where two women stood in deep conversation in front of the fall leaves and pumpkin signs.

I could not help but overhear.  The discussion was Halloween.  One woman celebrated.  The other woman did not.  Now in this wonderful country that we live in where we have many freedoms, the lady who celebrated endeavored to convince the non-celebrator why she should be celebrating.  The conversation ended abruptly, with the non-celebrator responding by saying, “I know what I believe.  And I do not celebrate it.  Love you. Gotta go.”

Now because I overthink things too much that moment, obviously, has not left my mind.  I have my beliefs and I adhere to them.  If someone asks me, I will share with them what I believe.  But I have never been one to demand that others believe like me.  I will explain the reasons why I feel like I do, and allow you to make your own decisions.  1 Corinthians 6:12 is always a good way to begin, Everything is permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything [and brought under its power, allowing it to control me].

That being said, I will share my personal views and what the Word of God says about this holiday that is called Halloween.  You know the name is even a bit strange.  The Catholic Church deemed Nov. 1 as All Saints Day, the day before became known as All Hallows Eve, and because humans are lazy it soon became Halloween.  Now, in the other communities lesser known to us, October 31 is called Samhain Eve, (pronounced SOW-in, SAH-in, or SAM-Hayne).  Samhain is the end of Harvest time, celebrating the end of summer and the beginning of the winter, or the darker time of the year.  Samhain is a time to remember those who have passed on or Feast of the dead and even Day of the Dead. The Druids and the Celtics would have made sacrifices to the Celtic gods of death, with both animals and humans thrown into huge firepits as offerings. It is also believed that the ancient Druids ate their firstborn children on Samhain, or collected the blood of their sacrificial humans in cauldrons and drank it.

Samhain is considered the Witch’s New Year. It is said that today feasting and drinking of the harvest/all natural items top the celebration.  It is a night that is believed that the curtain between the afterlife and life is the thinnest, and spirits return.  Most Samhain celebrations come complete with tarot cards, palm reading, and communication with the dead and other forms of divination.

Leviticus 19:31, ‘Do not turn to mediums [who pretend to consult the dead] or to spiritists [who have spirits of divination]; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.

Well, as the old adage goes no matter how you slice it, it is appearing to be a holiday for the dark side.  Today’s witches and warlocks, yes there are real people practicing, are often a part of Wiccan.  It is a group that teaches what they call “white” magic. They claim to only create spells that are good and will not harm someone. They do not believe in heaven, hell, or the like. I like you to note here, Isaiah 5: 20,  “Woe (judgment is coming) to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

2 Corinthians 6:15, What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial (Satan)? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 

Now, I learned a long time ago, the just because someone does or does not believe the truth does not keep the truth from being fact.  It may not be a fact to you, but it still exists as truth.  You may not believe that on a sunny day the sky is blue because you have only been outside on dark, rainy days.  This still does not alter the fact that the beautiful, blue sky is outside waiting to be discovered.  Just because you were ignorant to it, did not change it from being real.  I believe that whether or not to participate in Halloween is the same way.  I have read a bunch of articles, several of them saying that it was a personal decision, and up to the parent. I agree in as much as the scripture says in Philippians 2:12,  “So then, my dear ones, just as you have always obeyed [my instructions with enthusiasm], not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ].” 

With this scripture in our minds let us touch on a few more symbols that were and are pertinent to Halloween.  Let me begin this section by telling a quick story.  I went into my local store looking for some pumpkins.  I have purchased them in years past and wanted them for some arrangements.  I asked the sales lady if she was going to get any in this year, and she assured me that she would have them out the next day.  I go in the next day to find not pumpkins but glittery jack-o-lanterns and skulls.  First and foremost, all jack-o-lanterns are pumpkins, BUT ALL PUMPKINS ARE NOT JACK-O-LANTERNS.

A bit of history here.  As I said before, it was believed that on that night the spirit world would eek over into the regular world.  Food was placed on the porches as offerings to the good spirits, turnips were carved with faces and a candle was placed inside.  This was a place for a spirit that had no place to go could fill the turnip and not harm people. In other words, it was a symbol of or for, if you will, a damned soul. Druid stories are more gruesome claiming that hollowed out pumpkins and turnips would be filled with fat from previous human sacrifices and lit. Today pumpkin jack-o-lanterns are primarily all we see.

Jack-O-Lantern.  Where did that name even come from?  It is from an old Irish folktale about a guy name Stingy Jack.  The short of the story is that Jack tricked the Devil and trapped him inside a tree with a cross on it.  Once he freed the Devil and he died, Hell did not want him because he tricked Satan, and Heaven did not want him because he was such a mean trickster.  The devil gave Jack a lump of burning coal so he could see to wander, and jack hollowed out a turnip and placed the coal inside to light his way.  He became known as Jack of the Lantern, and eventually Jack-O-Lantern.  So we can see that these hollowed-out pumpkins with faces symbolize in many ways a damned soul. My heart just breaks every time I see a small child holding this symbol.  Just seems so horrible for an innocent to cling to that horrible figure.

But test all things carefully [so you can recognize what is good]. Hold firmly to that which is good. Abstain from every form of evil [withdraw and keep away from it],  Thessalonians 5: 21-22.

Costumes originally were worn to protect one’s self from evil spirits.  The people believed that the costumes would confuse the spirit into thinking that the human was one of them and not haunt them. Personally, that is not giving much intelligence to the spirits, but I digress.

Costumes today vary in style and price.  From the very simple to the very elaborate.  The costumes are created for every age and every size.  You may be thinking that if your little man goes to a church party dressed as Captain America you are in a good place, but does it matter WHAT you dress up as, or the fact that you dress up on an evil day?  

Romans 12:2, And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

Black cats are a symbol we see this time of year. It was believed that cats had/have magical powers and could/can carry evil spirits.  I have also read of them being used in rituals and blood sacrifices in Satanist circles.  As a matter, of fact, in most major cities a black cat cannot be adopted on Oct. 31.  Even if it is not a written policy in some cases they will still adhere to this as an unspoken policy.  

Skeletons/skulls are seen a lot during the Halloween celebration.  After all, it IS the celebration of the DEAD.  What better way to show that skeletons and skulls?  Our culture uses skulls and skeletons all the time in graphics and decorations.  Why have we accepted a symbol of death so readily?  I wonder if the enemy of our souls just laughs at the way he sneaks in at every turn?

And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness], Ephesians 4:27.

Yes, it is hard when this holiday is so widely accepted to separate ourselves. However, it is not impossible.  I believe that when it comes to our souls and eternity it suddenly becomes an easier decision.   I remember the dilemma for how to handle the situation for my children in school.  I went to their teachers early on and explained that we did not celebrate Halloween and that I did not want my children participating in anything having to do with it or it’s symbols.  Most of the time there was no issue.  I simply explained that it was against our religion to participate.  Children are resilient, and I explained the reasons to them from early on.  Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good, Romans 12:9.

I understand that the kids love dressing up.  So have a dress-up birthday party or a block party with a costume theme.  We do not want to deprive the kids of fun, but we DO WANT TO DEPRIVE SATAN of any glory or worship. And we moms are aware of the candy aisle and even know what kind they like!  The kids will get their candy.

Do not participate in the worthless and unproductive deeds of darkness, but instead expose them [by exemplifying personal integrity, moral courage, and godly character], Ephesians 5:11.

James 4: 4, You adulteresses [disloyal sinners–flirting with the world and breaking your vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend [that is, loving the things of the world] is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

So I present before you these facts.  You are no longer ignorant of this information. The decision is up to you. Earnestly pray and seek God about your decision.  Comments are welcome.

God Bless!

The Giant that David Killed

 

Towering over nine feet tall, this Philistine champion was quite menacing.  The shear strength of this giant is explained by the massive amount of weight he carried with ease as armor on his body.  He wore a helmet of bronze that was about 150 pounds.  He also donned a coat of mail, overlapped to look like fish scales, that weighed 125 pounds.  He wore bronze leg protection and he harnessed a bronze javelin over his back.  The shaft of his spear was extraordinarily stout made and from hardwood and about 16 feet long, topped with an iron spearhead that weighed fifteen pounds. Altogether he carried way over 500 pounds on his body for protection.

His boisterous voice abounded mockingly across the valley to the Israelites.  “Do you need a whole army to fight for you?  Send me one man.  If he wins we will surrender and be your slaves, but if I win the Israelites will surrender and be our slaves.  I defy the armies of Israel! Send me a man!”

The Israelite army and King Saul was terrified. They could see the size and strength of this giant.  They knew that they could not beat him. They were completely dismayed and grievously afraid.  They did not want to become slaves of the Philistines.  So quietly they sat. Barely moving. Wondering what to do.

 

Now, David’s older brothers were serving in King Saul’s army.  Dad wanted to send a care package to them via little brother.  David woke up early in the morning and headed out.  Just as he reached the edge of the camp, he could hear Goliath shouting out against God’s people.  He began to ask questions of the men in Saul’s army.  “What are you going to do about this fool?”  Most of them responded by going to hide.  “This guy is defying the army of the living God!”  David said as he began to get a bit more zealous, “We can not allow this uncircumcised heathen continue to declare war on God’s people!”

David marched into King Saul and announced that he himself would take on the champion.  Saul was a bit unsure, but happy to have someone finally to accept the herculean’s challenge.  He offered David his own armor which was too cumbersome and heavy for the shepherd boy to use. On the way to meet the giant David picked up 5 smooth stones and placed them in his pocket. So, David went out to face the giant armed with what he had used before. A slingshot and a shepherd’s staff.

David arrived in the monstrous shadow and stopped.  Goliath looked down on the tiny little figure before him that was holding a staff.

“Am I a dog that you come at me with a stick?” Goliath questioned emphatically.  He cursed David by his gods.  The Philistine said, “Come here and I will feed you to the birds and the wild animals.”

Then David spoke, “You come against me with a spear and a sword, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty! Today the Lord will conquer you and I will kill you and cut off your head.  Then I will give the dead bodies of your army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel!  God does not need a weapon to rescue His people! It is His battle, not ours.  The Lord will give you to us!”

The mammoth figure moved forward to attack and David hurridly ran to meet him.  David reached in his shepherd’s bag and retrieved a smooth stone which he hurled from his slingshot and hit Goliath in the forehead. The stone sank in, Goliath stumbled and he fell face first to the ground.  David took Goliath’s sword and cut off the giant’s head.

It was known all over the land and all over the world that God took care of His Chosen People that day.

Now let us look at this situation more carefully. How does this story apply to today? Think about who David was.  A young shepherd boy who loved and served God.  He knew who he was in God.  Do you know who you are in God?

David put all of his faith in God.  Do you have all your faith in God?  What’s that?  You don’t have any faith?  Romans 12:3, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith God has given you.”  You have been given the measure of faith when you became a child of God. Now the scripture doesn’t say how large or small the measuring cup is, but it a measure.  We all receive a measure.  It is important to note that Faith is no good if it is not used.  Like a muscle that never gets used, it gets weak. It will wither away to nothing if it remains not used. However, if it is used regularly it will get stronger and stronger.

Thinking back to the measure of faith. Knowing that we all have the measure of faith.  Let’s read the words of Jesus in Matthew 17:20, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Faith as small as a mustard seed.  A teeny tiny mustard seed sized faith can move a mountain. WOAH!

Do not miss this. Think about that measure of faith, and about that mustard seed faith.

Notice in the picture below: The wood spoon is the measure of faith. We are going to say that the mustard seed IS the faith.  Now Jesus said faith the size of a mustard seed could move a mountain. How many does it take to move a giant?

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   A measure of mustard seeds.

David, when he prepared to go, face Goliath stopped and gathered five smooth stones.  He used one to take down the giant.  4 more remained in his pocket.  Have you ever heard the phrase, you mess with one, you mess with them all? Hopefully, that’s not just a southern saying, but basically, it means that family looks out for each other.  Well, Goliath had four other gigantic family members at home.  This was common knowledge, so David was ready with a stone for each and every one of them.

So was it really the stone that took out the Giant that day?  The answer is no.  That little rock flung from the sling of that small young man did not.  Faith took out Goliath.  David put ALL his faith in God, did his part and God took care of the rest.

Faith can move a mountain and Faith can conquer a defiant giant.  Since this has been proven over and over not only in my own life but in the lives of others, why do I still have so many enormous obstacles taunting me?  I have the measure of faith.  You have the measure of faith.  It only takes a little bit to do great things, then we need to start cutting off some heads and leveling some mountains. Build up your faith. Don’t know how? Romans 10:17,” So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Read God’s word.  Share God’s Word. Live God’s Word.

Once you start using your faith you will feel it grow.  You will be able to speak as freely as David did about what God is going to do because you will be more intuned to hie will.  But it all begins with that tiny bit of faith put to good use.  Before long they will be talking about the giants that YOU and faith killed.

 

 

How to Create a Good Understanding Between You and Your Furniture (DIY XL Coasters)

Nothing is better than a tall glass of your favorite beverage on a hot day!   We southerners love sweet tea over ice!  Now almost every container you drink from has a tendency to form condensation and that can make a mess on the table or desk.  Grab a coaster?  Is that what you were thinking?  That does not exactly work well in my house.  People move them and if they should get knocked off onto the floor, the dog thinks it is his toy and will chew them up to nothing.

I have recently created myself a work area including the addition of a small desk.  Now creativity makes me thirsty.  There is always something with me.  Hence my dilemma.  I do not want to wreck my desk area, but I do want a chew marked coaster sitting on my lovely desk.  So I started digging and here’s what I found to work with…

 

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Felt, Adhesive Fur, Trim, ribbon, and a stamp

 

I decided what size to make my coaster.  I used a lid from a 44oz fountain drink, 4.5 inches.  I also located a cardboard.  Something with a bit of plastic on one side is a little tougher, but even an old cereal box will do.  It will not show so color does not matter.

Cut 2 rounds of felt by your pattern.  Then cut 2 rounds of cardboard slightly smaller than the felt.

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2 cardboard rounds cut slightly smaller than the original pattern.

You will notice right away that my cardboard is NOT straight, because I decided to freehand it so it would just be slightly smaller than the outside.

Nevertheless, I used it because you will not see it anyways. Besides, it is mine and until now I was the only one who knew.  (Gulp)

Well anyway, let us move on to the good part…assembly and decoration.

 

 

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Bird stamp and ink pad

Now since my website is while I empty the nest and nest can make you think of birds, I am using a bird.

I pulled out my ink pad and inked up my bird stamp really well.  Then on the adhesive backing of the fur, I made my stamp.

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Dove stamped in black

I made the executive decision to leave off the olive branch.  Using my Fabric Scissors I slowly and carefully cut out my bird. Once it was cut out I used the scissors and worked with the front a bit.  It is fur, and I needed it to look more feather like.

 

With all that cutting out of the way, we are ready to assemble.

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2 seafoam circles 2 smaller while cardboard circles 1 baby-blue bird

 

Using hot glue- glue the 2 cardboard rounds together.  It is very important that you keep glue smooth.  I placed most of my glue around the outside of the circle.  You do not want a glass tilting over.  

Sandwich the cardboard between the 2 felt rounds.  Be sure you place the cardboard in the center.  Now you may decorate to your heart’s desire.  This is what makes the coaster look finished and customized.

Here is what I did to mine.  I started with some kinda retro looking ribbon. I glued it in a cross pattern and then added ribbon give it a polished look.

 

 

 

 

It’s a hashtag!!!  #CoastersRock #Createyourowncoater #HOWCOOLISTHIS

Oh, sorry, got a bit carried away.  I placed my bird at the center of the hashtag.  ON TO THE TRIM…

Hot glue is your best friend here.  But work slowly here.  You do not want big gobs of glue or strings hanging on at the end.  You want it as nice and neat as you can.

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My finished coaster for my desk: I Love it!

I think it makes a beautiful addition to my desk and everyone knows who it belongs to and dares not take it.  It looked so nice mt Dad wanted one.  You can see his design in the picture at the very top and the very bottom.  Simple but just right.

So to recap here are the things you actually need.

  • Decide what size you desire and cut pattern
  • 1 piece of felt
  • Cardboard for 2 patterns
  • Trim of your liking
  • Hot glue

Remember not to decorate where the glass or cup will sit with anything bulky.  That would be disastrous.

 

I will be making more I am sure of it.  I would love to see yours once you are complete.  Feel free to comment here and also find us on Pinterest!

 

Cheers to you all with my glass of sweet tea and my desk and I now have a great understanding of one another.

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Pretty coasters

 

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Frozen Lemon-Lime Pie

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The summer of 2018 has been a brutal one here on the Florida gulf coast. Heat index can and regularly is even worse actual temperature. On a particular afternoon, I decided to create a cool dessert for everyone.  Of course, you never have exactly what you want when you want it, but here is what I came up with.  They all enjoyed it right away and the next day as well. So, here we go Frozen Lemon-lime Pie.

INGREDIENTS:

1-pkg lemon gelatin, 1-pkg lime gelatin, 2 small containers of whipped topping, 1 premade Graham cracker crust, Sprinkles as desired for garnish.

HOW TO MAKE:

Let whipped toppings sit out on the counter for about 30 minutes to soften.

Mix lemon gelatin with one container of whipped topping.  Mix the lime gelatin with the other container of whipped topping.  Now, in your crust place your lemon mixture into the bottom right on top of the graham cracker.  Smooth gently and place into the freezer for 5 minutes.

Pull out the crust from the freezer and top the lemon with the lime mixture. Make it as pretty as you wish on top with your spreader.  Top the entire thing with sprinkles or as you wish.  Fresh fruit would be beautiful!  I just did not have any that day.

Freeze entire pie for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving.

 

ENJOY!!

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Coolin'

 

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