Friday, October 31, 2008
I came across this verse last night at our bible study and to me, it seemed to apply to this discussion and some of the comments. It is Romans 12:2
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is---his good pleasing and perfect will."
People, let's get something clear right now! I am in no way claiming that I do everything right! I don't! I'm human and I fail because sometimes I choose what my flesh wants instead of what God wants. Sometimes I choose what's easy instead of what might be right, but hard. This discussion is meant to be an exhortation to make you think about something that maybe you've really never stopped to think about before. Some of you have, I know. But I'm also willing to bet that some of you haven't ever really thought about or looked into the history and true meaning of halloween. I did this post to bring awareness to the topic and to also share how God was working on me in regards to it and changing the way I have been addressing it with my family.
I feel like the above scripture really applies here. Now, are there things in my life where I conform. YES! I'm not gonna lie. But I'm here to take the plank out of my own eye. After hearing that scripture I came home last night and erased recordings of a few shows that I've been watching over the last few years. Shows that I knew had content that I don't need to be watching. (nothing crazy...just mainstream shows on the regular stations) So I erased them, and I won't be watching any of the upcoming episodes either. I desire to renew my mind. I want to see God's will. In order to do that, I can't conform to the patterns of this world. Are there other areas I need to look at. Yes! Who doesn't. But that's where God spoke to me as of last night.
I shared what I was letting go of because I think sometimes we too often use other peoples failures as our own justification for the choices we make. Other people should not be the standard. The Bible should be.
Just wanted to share something that's been on my mind this week....
My family does not celebrate Halloween in anyway. We don't do harvest parties, go trick or treating, etc. We have always totally ignored it basically. I was pointed in the direction of this article and it's made me think a bit.....
Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
By Pastor Eric WattGuest Writer
CBN.com – What about Halloween?
Should you and I be involved in the celebration of Halloween?
Finding the answer to this question has been an interesting journey in itself. I interviewed several people and then researched what many leading Christian writers, authors and spokesmen have written about the subject. I also searched various websites like www.christianitytoday.com, www.focusonthefamily.org, and www.cbn.com to read what others might be saying. What I found was an agreement on the origins of Halloween, but a mixture of recommendations about allowing our children to participate in this super-charged media driven holiday.
The origins of Halloween are Celtic in tradition and have to do with observing the end of summer sacrifices to gods in Druidic tradition. In what is now Britain and France, it was the beginning of the Celtic year, and they believed Samhain, the lord of death, sent evil spirits abroad to attack humans, who could escape only by assuming disguises and looking like evil spirits themselves. The waning of the sun and the approach of dark winter made the evil spirits rejoice and play nasty tricks. Believe it or not, most of our Halloween practices can be traced back to these old pagan rites and superstitions.
But what about today? Perhaps we can still learn from history. In the fourth century, Christians attempted to co-opt the holiday by celebrating the lives of faithful Christian saints the day before Halloween. This was a conscious attempt to provide an alternative and re-focus the day away from ghouls, goblins, ghosts, witches and other “haunted” experiences. Since that time many Christians have decided to allow their children to dress in more “innocent” costumes of pumpkins, princesses, Superman or as a cowboy. Part of this is due to the simple reality that in today’s Western culture it is nearly impossible to “avoid” Halloween.
Just before reaching a conclusion on the subject, I was struck with the thought that I ought to further my search and find out what Wicca, the official religion of witchcraft, has to say about Halloween. Perhaps they viewed the day as a simple fun and innocent neighborhood activity?
“Shock” is the only word to describe what I found. Halloween is a real, sacred day for those who follow Wicca. In fact, it is one of two high and holy days for them. The Celtic belief of spirits being released is current, along with the worship of Samhain (the lord of death) – both are promoted as something to embrace on that day. There is no question in my mind that to those who believe and follow the practices of witchcraft, Halloween represents an opportunity to embrace the evil, devilish, dark side of the spiritual world.
So after discovering this, what is a reasonable conclusion? As Christians you and I are placed in this world to be a light in a world of darkness. There is no lasting benefit to ignore a holiday that exists around us, but it also does harm to celebrate Halloween as it has originated and grown over the centuries.
My suggestion? Christians should be teaching their children (age appropriately) that:
there is a spiritual world filled with goodness from God and evil from Satan (Eph. 2:1-10);
life with Christ has power over darkness (I John 4:4); and
those who celebrate Halloween either are unaware of its roots, or are intentionally promoting a world where evil is lauded and viewed as an ultimate power.
To counter the evil influence of Halloween, we need to join together and celebrate the reality of the heroic efforts of Christian saints over the evil in their day. Many leaders in the past -- and present -- have fulfilled the mandate of destroying the works of the devil through their sacrificial commitment to Christ and His Kingdom.
Too, rather than “hide” in the face of evil, we should unabashedly and boldly create an alternative that is positive and uplifting; that celebrates good over evil and the triumph of God over Satan. We need to provide an environment that also makes room for heaps of fun while using the day as a “teachable moment” to celebrate God’s protection, provision and purpose for our lives.
When I say that it's made me think....no it hasn't made me reconsider my decision to participate in trick our treating or that kind of stuff. It made me think about the fact that I'm totally ignoring it and not taking the opportunity to use it as a teachable moment with my kids. I've got some ideas stirring around in my head for next year on how to approach it in a more teachable way with my kids. I want to come up with an idea that will teach them about the scriptural perspective of spiritual warfare, and to celebrate God's power! I've got a year! If anybody has any ideas and wants to join in next year let me know. I'm excited to take this in a new direction and claim this day for God rather than ignoring it and just giving it to Satan.
Part of the reason this has all come up is because my daughter for the first year is feeling left out. And trying to teach her just the plain old history facts isn't really cutting it for her. I tried to explain it this way..... "Ok, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. But there are people all over the world who don't really believe in Jesus, but they still celebrate Christmas. In their mind it is just a fun holiday where they get to give and get gifts. But just because they aren't acknowledging the fact that it's really about the birth of Christ doesn't change the fact that it IS about the birth of Christ! So halloween is the same. Millions of people all over the world celebrate halloween as a fun holiday where they get to give and get candy. But just because they aren't acknowledging the satanistic history and meaning of it doesn't change the fact that that IS the real meaning of halloween." That helped a little!! =)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The other tooth right next to it is loose too...they plyers will be needed again soon! Oh and the bonus is that we always go out for ice cream when someone looses a tooth!
Monday, October 27, 2008
We went to the Tennessee Aquarium today and I took lots of pics there! It was fun. We ate at this restaurant called Sticky Fingers. OH MY GOODNESS! It was soooooo yummy! FANTABULOUS BBQ ribs and their whisky flavord BBQ sauce is to die for! The drive from Murfreesboro to Chattanooga was really pretty with all the rolling hills. I'm kind of bummed out though because the tree colors still haven't totally popped yet. I guess it's been a bit warmer than usual lately or something. I really wanted my kids to see the fall colors at their best. I saw them years ago up in the Northeast and they are spectacular! Tomorrow we will drive through the smokey mtns to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge with our ultimate destination being Dollywood.
Right now I'm just sitting by the pool at the hotel while the kids swim. My hubby is back in the room watching Monday Night football. The local team, The Tennessee Titans is playing.
Well, I'm off to blog hop. I don't get much time at home to do that...cuz I'm usually designing blogs rather than looking at them.
see ya'll later!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
We landed in Nashville and then took the 30 minute drive to Murfreesboro where we are stying for a couple nights with my hubby's Aunt's house. We had a nice visit last night and then this morning we got up and went to church with her. She goes to a large church here in Murfreesboro called World Outreach Church. I gotta say, he was a great speaker and it was SOLID teaching! My hubby's cousins are coming over in a bit for a BBQ. The kids are excited to meet their cousins! It should be fun!
We drove into town today and saw the campus of Middle Tennessee State. It was very pretty and all the old historical homes on main street surrounding the old town square were amazingly beautiful! I hope to post pics ...maybe in a day or two.
I hope to keep ya'll posted on our trip, so keep checking back!
hey....at least the airport experience allowed me to get a workout in while on vacation!!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
This comes to me today via a daily newsletter that I receive from a woman in Israel who has lived there for years and has dual American/Israeli citizenship. Thought it was interesting....M
During a visit to Bahrain, Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani (shown here with Ahmadinejad) said Wednesday, Oct. 22, that Tehran would prefer Democratic senator Barack Obama in the White House next year.
He also ruled out any US attack on his country. "The risk was low before, but now I am 100 percent certain that the United States will not unleash a war against Iran," he said at a new conference in Manama.
"We lean more in favor of Obama because he is more flexible and rational, even through we know American policy will not change that much."
It must be noted that Larijani is one of the most powerful voices in Tehran's conservative camp and a close confidant of supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He would not have spoken out in favor of Obama without top-level sanction.
The location Larijani chose for his statement is also significant: Bahrain is one of America's greatest friends in the Gulf region, host to the US 5th Fleet headquarters. Tehran was laying claim to a foothold in the Gulf region.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Moviemaker's goal: Real life imitating art
Homeschoolers, production company depict challenge to Roe v. Wade
Posted: October 10, 2008
10:25 pm Eastern
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
Debate teams representing the 300 students at Patrick Henry College have won the Moot Court national debate crown twice in the school's eight-year existence, and they've defeated debating bastion Oxford twice, including once in England using UK laws, but now they're reaching higher.
They are hoping that real life will imitate their art.
Combining with Advent Film Group, the Virginia evangelical school's debaters are featured in a new film presenting arguments that one day could be used to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that found a right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution.
"Come What May," which already has been shown to packed houses in Grants Pass, Ore., and Harrisonburg, Va., is expected to be available for screening online later this month.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I found the site very helpful and wanted to pass it along to ya'll. I wish that it was as detailed at www.pluggedinonline.com is for movies and tv. Have you seen this site? It's fab and plugged in is also from a christian perspective so they cover moral and spiritual content as well. If anybody knows of a book review site that does that please let me know! On plugged in they don't just say "mild to moderate language with swearing" they actually tell you each word and how many times it is used. I want a book review site which is that detailed, but for now Common Sense was very helpful.
I'm sure someone is going to ask the question "what book was it?" so I will just tell you that it was Inkspell from the Inkheart trilogy. She never even read the first book..so I'm not sure why she wanted to read this one, but the bottom line is that she won't be reading it after all. I'm not trying to start a debate about the book. So let's stay away from that. I'm just sharing my experience about having to be aware and to get informed about what my kids are reading, and I'm thankful that I found a helpful and informative website to help!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Then I did a professional blogsite for Jenny from the Picky Palate. She has several FABULOUS looking recipes for you to check out!
Are you looking for Christmas gifts yet? Laurie from Tip Junkie is hosting a shop-a-thon where mom-preneurs from all over the country are selling fabulous items. check it out by clicking on the image below!
Friday, October 17, 2008
I'm trying to get some extra work done because we decided to take a trip with the kids at the end of the month. So I need to work ahead on my schedule a bit so I don't get behind. Where are we going..TENNESSEE! We are going to go visit some family that's there and we are even going to hit DOLLYWOOD! It looks like lots of fun.
So this week I've been trying to plan the trip....get ahead with work....dealing with my power being out one of the days (which was actually good because I got some boxes unpacked)....my daughter getting strep AGAIN because she had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics....which of course means being stuck at home...so errands did not get ran! All the while I totally neglected my blog posting!
I'm really looking forward to going to Tennessee. I've never been there. I've been to Atlanta before (5 years ago for Girls Getaway Weekend) but we spend most of our time together hanging as family and shopping. I'm excited to see the South and experience some Southern Hospitality! It doesn't look like we are going to make it to Memphis....so no Elvis for us! I must confess that I really had to get out a map and get my bearings as far as that part of the country goes. I can't believe how many states border TN. Honestly if I had to fill out a blank US map I don't think I would get it right! Would you? Too bad we can't actually remember all the stuff they taught us in school!
I will try to do better next week with posting! Thanks for coming back and checking in!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Here are a few more blog designs I've done recently....
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I love competition and so of course I said yes! (as I was sitting here at my desk eating chips and salsa when she called!) Then she told me, I had to go to the neighbors right then to weigh in! We had to all weigh in in front of each other. That was fun!!! LOL! So we all pitched in $50 bucks. $200 total. $50 of it will go towards little rewards along the way and the other $150 is the grand prize! The competition goes until the end of January. We were all in a hurry on Friday, so we still have some details to work out, but now the journey begins! WE will be weighing in weekly.
None of these ladies read my blog.....but many of my locals know who my neighbors are...so you can give them this message...."GAME ON LADIES!!!!" (skinny jeans here I come!)
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
The pathways are covered in seashells instead of gravel......who knew!
Of course the front porch is adorned with white rocking chairs.
This hutch in the dining area was to die for....
The front room is so charming....
Check out those hand stitched pillow of the mermaids....
Artwork in the guest bedroom....
A place to hang towels in the bathroom.....
The upstairs loft.....
Sunday, October 5, 2008
This is my cousin Allison (no it's not the Allison listed in my friends list) Isn't she totally gorgeous and adorable!!!
We all think so! These pics don't show it the best, but she has the most amazing blue eyes and the longest real eyelashes you have ever seen. Take a good look at her face because she is gonna be famous someday! She is currently finishing up her senior year of college then in the summer she is off to California to persue her dreams!
A couple years ago an artist was introduced to her and the artist, Margaret Morrison, did a series of paintings using my cousin as a model. I've included the paintings below and then beneath the paintings is part of an article from athensonline.com that gives a brief overview of the artists perspective for the paintings. Margaret Morrison is featured artist at the Woodward Gallery
In contrast, a woman with full waves of golden hair stars in two carnival-themed paintings. In "Girl in White/All American," she smirks over her shoulder, holding eggshell white balloons, a fluffy Mardi Gras-style mask and an opulent feather boa. In spite of her party-ready mood, she stands in front of a ripped tarp that only partially obscures the view of a damaged and foreboding landscape.
We see her again in "Carnival," this time with a jaunty blue and orange party hat and surrounded by balloons, festive flags, and an abandoned bucket ride. Three elephants gamely try to balance on top of each other, but there's no crowd to witness; the carnival tent is in subdued colors of rust and gold, and in absolute tatters. Again, there's the battered, gray and smoking city behind her.
That girl, says Morrison, is America.
The work came from "that crazy year we had when Katrina and the tsunami hit," she says. "I found myself riveted to the television, watching every second of coverage, as well as the war in Iraq.
"As human beings, we are captivated by calamity," she continues. "In a way it's become like a carnival sideshow."
And as for the oblivious girl representing our country, Morrison explains: "We're a little bit removed from what's going on around us ... our party is merrily going on, while the rest of the world - we get from snippets of news - is spinning out of control."
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
But my sister did two really great posts about the trip, so head on over to my sister's blog to check out more about our trip!