Halloween, A Personal Choice

It’s that time of year again – October – when you see the beauty of autumn colours and Halloween decorations abound. Halloween – grrrrr! This is one of those yearly festivities I am not happy to see.

As a wife, I’ve had lengthy disagreements over the years with my husband on whether or not we let our kids attend Halloween parties, to whether or not we allow our kids to go “Trick or Treating” with their besties (Hubby is ok with it, while I am not!), to explaining to them why as Christians we do not participate in Halloween (except the one time we took them to an “All Saints Day” alternative to Halloween), to the guilt of letting my kids go one year (I remember praying for forgiveness on blended knees!).

With their Auntie Joanne at an “All Saints” party

As a teacher, I’ve had to deal with this on a professional level in a school which raises funds by hosting a yearly Halloween costume dinner for all students and their families in a gym decked with witches, goblins, devils, ghosts and all the macabre. Incorporated into lesson plans for The Fall season and harvest time are “bricolage” activities of Jack-O-Lanterns and skeletons, along with grim ghostly other worldly storytelling – NOT my favourite time of the year (where’s my inner child?). Halloween is an official part of my job (and source of stress!). Most years I hide away from the maddening crowd and help out in the kitchen (donning on an apron instead of a costume).

Am I being silly? Am I being overly sensitive?

Yes, I know Halloween has Christian and pagan roots – and quite frankly I’m tired of people using this as an excuse to justify participating in Halloween. In my heart I know that what we see today as Halloween is total commercialization. That’s one side of the spectrum. On the other extreme, it’s also an excuse for all those who are participants of all things ungodly to rear their evil heads.

There is really no denying this. It can also be controversial for Christians as they bicker for and against it. It comes down to personal choice. For myself, Halloween is a great source of stress and anxiety – and personally – I think about this verse:

Ephesians 5:18-20: Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

No matter how it’s whitewashed in our society – I can’t accept Halloween as an innocent costume and candied festivities for children, when in reality there are real witches out there casting hex and spells on politicians and others. I can’t celebrate Halloween no matter how innocent it may seem when there exists real evil and darkness in this world:

1 Corinthians 10:20-21: No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.

Enough Said!

Advertisements

Coffee Time with God

My kids today communicate with me by texting – usually short sentences comprising of the subject and verb – “gym, back for dinner”, or emoticon (❤️💕👍😉😛). In fact on my side of the family we only text via WeChat or WhatsApp.

My husband refuses to adapt to this instant media, and insists they call him by the telephone. Any text messages they send are ignored.

At dinner time I insist on no devices at the table, and make a concerted effort to open dialogue and communication.

I’m not perfect, and I know for a fact my side of the family is infamous for sitting at a restaurant with our devices – scrolling through Instagram, texting, or browsing online. I know I’m guilty of this!

This month, I’ve made an effort every Thursday afternoon to go out for coffee and lunch with the girls (teachers) at work – no devices!

This means sharing tidbits of our daily and personal lives as we laugh, giggle, cry and support one another. As Jordan Peterson discusses in 12 Rules of Life, to be a good supportive friend.

Consciously making the effort weekly to spend time with friends also had me thinking coffee time with God. When was the last time I sat down with a coffee and meditated upon his words, and listen to Him? I was explaining this to a friend, and she in turn told me she talks to God often during the day. Yes, I recall answering, but how often do we take the time to actually sit down and have coffee with our Lord?

Yes, I’ve talked to him here and there during my hectic day, and like quick text messages I send them off. Taking the time to really chat with him over coffee, during a meal, and appreciating his presence is another story.

Since I always start my day with a Starbucks coffee,  I decided to have consciously organize my daily schedule so that I have 30 mins in the morning.  Bible apps makes it handy to spend a little time with God as I tuck myself into a cosy corner and meditate on His word – a verse or passage, as well as a prayer.

In our fast telecommunications world of instant texting, it’s easy to forget to communicate:)

1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, though whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Recovery

 

My life follows a path I often cannot comprehend.

Sometimes I’m full of questions, at other times I just flow with the current

Shaking my head and asking,

“Smooth sailing, they say?”   “No, not at all!”

  My life is always full of surprises  

And filled with many twist and turns.

With each sigh, tear, heartache, there is also laughter and abundant joy.

I follow this course deftly walking, running, stumbling, or cruising along

Breathlessly at times, but always trusting

I can pick myself up and keep on going.

“Be strong they tell me”, as I stop myself from letting the feelings of uncertainty

Fill my mind with fear when the road seems rocky.  

I reach within for inner

strength, to help me through when the path seems rough, knowing I have the support of

many whose paths have crossed with mine as I sit, chat and talk about this and that.

Each person, each experience, each serendipitous moment is precious,

The glow of my life made beautiful

As I am cocooned by their hope, love and faith.

pexels-photo-919587.jpeg

 

Your endless love

Your endless love pouring down on us

Affords us

the freedom to praise you anew

Even when

we are overwhelmed by the bustling

of our busy day,

with You as our starting point,

each day,

each step

is made is all the more

precious

Thank you Jesus ❤️

Travelling over  10 hours on the train from point A to B, has afforded me the time to worship – as well as spend time with each of my children and they with each other:)


***​​God never ceases to amaze me with His hand in our lives – sometimes He is subtle, sometimes it’s a whack over our head:)

😊

Untitled 


I lift my eyes 

heaven bound 

My stomach in knots 

Silently calling upon my Lord

Million and zillions of voices a heavenly din
Redeemed and set free of our sins

Me

Our journey is immensely personal, and our relationship with God even more so

You

I can only watch, and support your journey in prayer – myself walking closely with Christ with the guidance of the Holy Spirit

My journey in the Glow of the Holy Spirit is a personal one

Whether it be when I  first accepted Christ as a child with wide eyed trust

Or as a youth

Or as an adult when we’ve been broken in our life’s journey

Or it can be throughout our lives as live events draws us closer to God with each rift in our lives 

It is immensely unique and different for each of us

Just as we experience our relationships, lived experience and understanding differently from one another

There may be parallels or similarities and they can offer us a map of understanding our journey but in end each of us have a unique and personal experience with God

I wait upon the Jesus

To guard my heart and soul from repeating the mistakes of old

Where walking on my own has lead to a replay in technicolor

Despair and overwhelmed

Only when your descent upon me and guard me against acting out rashly can I stand strong

Grounded in the Spirit

Patience and maturity to make the right decision
You’ve walked a long and winding journey with me

Always faithful

Never abandoning a sinner like me

Your anchor always helping me weather the storm

Follow Me

There was a time when I thought myself unworthy 

as my soul moaned my lost of innocence 

my journey into the fringe drew me deeper into a dark journey

How can I explain to you that despite the shadows of death – there is hope
That with just a glimmer of faith

Jesus was right there with guiding me out of my misery

Like a tapestry with interweaving thread, a medley of people and circumstances intertwine and weaved their way into my life and guided me out of my self destructive path.

In hindsight, Jesus never forsaked me, and He watched over me and walked with me until my eyes could see him.

He is patient 

He is Grace

He loves me 

How can I explain that once I cried out to Him to be my Saviour – That all the bad decisions I’ve made in the past stays in the past – my life took a 180 turn away from my old life.

“Follow Me”, is all He asks of me.

Thank you Jesus for reminding me this past Easter weekend of your sacrifice for me❤️


Notes:

30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

Luke 24:30-32 | NIV
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 

Luke 9:23 | NIV

Your Love

Yeah sometimes it’s hard

when keeping my eyes on you

becomes a clouded and hazy mirror

and I lose sight of you

as I let the demands of my day

pile up so high I cannot see you

 

I find myself feeling overwhelmed

and just as I am about to crash

 

Your hands pull me back up

You gave me your love

You gave me your life

that day on the cross

You have not for a moment

forsaken a wayward sinner like me

__________________

 

I trust you Jesus to lift me up

not for a moment have you forgotten me

You know me better than I know myself

Jesus, I love you