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WilliamPeter Blatty, the writer of The Exorcist never meant for it to be scary. He meant for it to help save souls. In an interview he is quoted as saying “… if an investigation were to prove that possession is real, what a help it would be to the struggling faith of possibly millions, for if there were demons, I reasoned, then why not angels? Why not God?” *
Who would have thought that a movie that scared a generation of people was supposed to bring people to faith? Do Christians cause a lot of the concern when there shouldn’t be? Take the celebration of Halloween. Ephesians 5:11 reads, Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
Is Halloween really a bad holiday to celebrate? According to History.com, “In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all
saints and martyrs.” The evening before, October 31, was All Hallow’s Eve and
later became known as Halloween. That sounds almost like a Catholic holiday to
me. Yet a lot of people seem to think of Halloween as a time for sorcery and
I think the problem with Halloween comes from the people who celebrate it. Years ago people dressed up in Raggedy Ann, Marilyn Monroe, and disco type costumes. Fun costumes. Now there’s Jason from Friday the 13th, Freddie from Nightmare on Elm’s Street, or prostitutes. In other words, costumes of people who kill, scare or are immoral. You can’t even send your kids out without a bodyguard because you no longer have elementary school kids trick or treating, you now have high school kids. Unfortunately, it’s the older kids that ruin it for the younger.
If you want to celebrate Halloween, go ahead. I don’t think it will hurt your chances of getting into Heaven. Of course, there are others who might disagree with me. Like all the movie watchers years ago who were scared by The Exorcist.
It was a busy weekend. We had our annual writer’s boot camp for Ancient City Romance Author’s in St. Augustine. I was in charge of getting the agent to and from the event, among other things. You can’t put on a workshop within a week. It takes months of planning and lots of participants helping. Once it’s over, it’s time to rest. I chose to rest on Sunday, which meant not going to church.
Genesis 2:2 reads, By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Granted what I did was nothing compared to creating the world, but at my age, any amount of work can be detrimental. Or so I’d like to think.
Some might find the thought of skipping church to be blasphemous. Others might find it lazy. But if God needed rest, then who am I that I don’t? Am I more energetic than God? Of course not. This scripture is God’s way of telling us that at times we need to slow down and take a break.
If you’ve been real busy, find yourself losing your cool because of stress, or you just need to get away from it all, I approve for you a “sick” day. It’s really a “sick and tired of being sick and tired” day, but I’ll allow you the day off. Just curl up in bed all day, read a book, or just veg in front of the television. Do whatever rejuvenates you and your spirit. It might not thrill your boss, but God will forgive you.
It’s that time of year when churches have their fall festivals to try to get visitors to their church. This year will be the first time in a while I’ll miss ours. A fun time is usually had by all, including the helpers.
However, every time our festival nears, I recall my then fifteen year old listening to a radio announcer upset that a large chain store was not going to use the words “Merry Christmas”, instead replacing it with Happy Holidays. The announcer said we celebrate December 25 because of Jesus Christ, thus it should be called “Christmas”. My daughter blurted out “We celebrate Halloween, yet we call it a fall festival.”
I was stunned into silence. I hadn’t thought of that before. Worse, she was right. Are we as Christians being hypocritical by calling our Halloween celebration a fall festival?
Bible verse 1 Corinthians 9:22 reads, To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. Does this verse mean that as Christians we should celebrate something we don’t feel is Christian to try to win people over to God?
I find it to be an interesting question. One I’m not sure I have the answer for. If we are to be in this world to bring people to Him, shouldn’t we call it a Halloween party? I know some Christians will be upset by the term, but do those people really go to the festival in the first place?
If Christians don’t want to use the term “Halloween” for their fall festivals, do we have a right to complain when people use the term Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas? I would love to hear your input on this. And whichever way you fall on this subject, I hope you have a good fall day, including Halloween, and that you have happy holidays, including a Merry Christmas.
How much baggage do you carry from your past? Is there anger toward someone? Shame for what you’ve done? Holding on to the past keeps you from moving forward with your walk with God.
Phillipians 3:13-14 reads, Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
By letting go of past pains, you free yourself to fully feel the joy of Jesus. God wants you to be happy so he sent his Son as a way for you to forgive yourself and others. If you’ve been holding on to hurt that someone else has caused you, ask God to help you forgive that person. Sometimes it might even be ourselves that we need to forgive. It’s all right if you’ve made mistakes. Everyone falls short of the glory of God. You need to top beating yourself up about it.
Don’t hold on to the anger or pain from something that happened in your past. Instead, grab hold of the glory of God. Hold on to His joy and forgiveness. Not only will you sleep better at night, but imagine what it will do to your blood pressure.
Do some days seem to drag on and on? You’re tired and overwhelmed and just want to get some rest but there’s too much to do. As a writer, I’m constantly writing, critiquing or thinking. It’s enough to drive a crazy man sane. This is time when we need to rest in Jesus. Our bodies are craving a break from the world. Filling ourselves with the spirit is the best way to energize. Bible verse 1 Peter 2 reads, Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.
When I need a break, I do a quick workout with God to rejuvenate myself. It’s easy, and guess what, no sore muscles from this routine.
First close your eyes and breathe in a deep breath of Jesus. Think about nothing but how much he has done for your life. Suck in the joy and greatness that is God. Imagine what your life would be without him. Release those shoulders from your ears. That’s right, let them relax. Another deep breath. Push up and out all those bad eelings. Another deep breath.
Ah, feel better? There’s no such thing as overtraining with this routine. You can do this workout anytime you need it, even if you’re stuck in traffic. There’s no where inaccessible to God. Just stretch your imagination to find time.
Drink in the wonder that is Jesus every time you feel like the world is crashing around you, and you’ll feel your anxiety cool down. The more you do this breathing exercise, the nearer you’ll feel to Jesus. It only takes seconds to rejuvenate yourself, and no shower is needed afterward.