Should Christians participate in Halloween? That's certainly not a new question or debate.
Many have said we should not be a part of a holiday based on paganism, mysticism, witchcraft, and evil.
Others might say that Halloween is just a fun time for kids to dress up and get candy, and nothing more.
OK, I get all that. But I have another reason why I'm not big on Halloween, and here it is:
The real world is a scary enough place already - we've got more evil going on right now than we know what to do with (well, we know what to do with it, but you get me). So, why would I want to indulge in horror for the purpose of entertainment? Frankly, I'm just "tricked out". You?
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Ok. I'm a "liberated woman". Liberated by the blood of Jesus. But, even in the world's terms, I'm a pretty modern chick. I'm educated, a professional, fairly smart, financially independent, blah blah blah. Yet, there are some things I don't understand about the current state of females in our society.
Lingerie and underwear are worn as clothes
Dance moves are, let's just say, "provocative"
Selfies look like ads for pornography
Mouths, as my mama would say, are "filthy"
But...... I want you to respect me and "love me for my mind".
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Our Pastor has been on a theme lately, saying more than once that "God is not going to give you B until you've done A". He's mentioned this several times in recent sermons, and it's kind of turned into a 'preaching directly to me' moment. You know, those times when you sit there in the pew, heart thumping, sweating, and hoping to avoid eye contact with the preacher and everybody else in the room.
Well, I've taken to heart this "A before B" insight. In fact, writing this blog is one of my A's. I fought it pretty hard for a long time. "I don't have time to write a blog right now, God. You know how busy I am at work. Besides, Lord, I'm not qualified to write a Christian anything". Meanwhile, I've been praying like a mama on prom night about some current 'life stuff' (my "B"), and I just don't understand why nothing's happening!
Hmmm, OK..... Well, I guess it can't hurt to go ahead and try the A, the blog. I love to write. I'm OK at it, I guess. Lord knows, I certainly have some 'life material' to write about! So, here I am, doing the A. And you know what? Faith By Dummy has been in print for about 6 months now, and I am starting to see some signs of B! And that's a beautiful thing.
But, before we pass the plate and sing the invitation hymn, I want to be clear on something: This A for B thing is NOT some kind of BOGO, get-rich-quick deal with God. What it is, is a matter of a) getting a little uncomfortable and inconvenienced for what I believe in. It's about b) surrendering to what I know (through prayer) God has called me to do right now. And, c) it's about trust and obedience. THESE are why my B is showing up.
So, I gotta ask..... What's your B? More importantly, what's your A? Starting a ministry? Dedicating your finances? Upping your church attendance? Forgiving somebody that doesn't deserve it? Whatever it is, I hope you'll do it, and do it soon. 1 out of 1 Bloggers at Faith By Dummy highly recommend it.
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Here at the peak of summer, it seems I have chatted with several people getting prepared to launch their grown kids off into life as they enter college, join the military, get married, move out on their own - in other words, 'leave the nest' for the first time. Many parents I talk to are really struggling emotionally with their 'baby' growing up and moving on into adult life.
As a mom of 2 grown sons - and as a grown child having left my parents (yes, many years ago, but still) - these recent encounters with parents 'losing' their kids have compelled me to reflect a bit on my own experiences with nest-leaving.
First, my reflections as the Grown Child Flying the Coop - some things I would have wanted my parents to know as I entered my adult life:
1. You taught me stuff I will never forget. And I still want to learn more from you, no matter how old I get.
2. I do still need you. You, my parents, are a key part of my OK-ness as an adult.
3. I also need you to be OK - really OK - now that I'm grown. Don't just tell me you are, but let me see you being OK. I do worry about and care about you, no matter what else becomes priority in my life.
4. You were successful in raising me - don't ever think otherwise.
Then, my thoughts as the Mom of Grown Kids entering their adult life - things I (still) want my sons to know:
1. Your life gives me life. And that's why it's so hard to let you go. I wonder if I will find a new source of energy, of life and breath, with you not around.
2. There was so much I wanted to tell you and teach you. I'm afraid, now that you're out on your own, I won't have any more chances.
3. I'm scared I won't be important to you anymore, now that you're grown. I don't have to be the center of your life now, but I would like to be a key part of it.
Wouldn't it be cool if we all actually said what we feel, out loud to each other? Moms (and dads) would probably still cry when their kids leave home, but at least we would understand each other a whole lot better.
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Don't quit! This Screwtape Letter reading ain't no joke - deep stuff! I'm on Letters 5 and 6 now and, I can't lie, I started thinking maybe I was just not 'smart enough' to read this. But, a thought like that just means the enemy is trying to keep me from reading on cause there's something he doesn't want me to learn. Ha! We'll see about that. If you're having trouble hanging in there on the reading, I encourage you to continue on, also. We (with God) can do this! Letters 5 and 6 commentary coming soon.
Been taking care of the grandkids this summer. Based on my self-reflection of the past few weeks, I wanted to publicly share some of the 'warning signs' you might be a grandparent:
1. You take great personal satisfaction in being the only one able to get grass stains out of baseball uniform pants.
2. You sit through an entire ballgame and never once think about what you have to do at work tomorrow.
3. You can't stop preparing buffet meals, even though you've been eating just a bagel and coffee for dinner for the last 20 years.
4. Suddenly, it's OK to eat on the new couch "if you're careful".
5. You deem chocolate cake an acceptable breakfast food option.
6. You determine that swimming counts as a bath.
7. Bedtimes are only suggested times.
8. If something gets broken, just buy a new one.
9. You become keenly aware that the ability to sleep with one eye open all night is a life skill never lost.
Pray for me.