Tuesday, December 23, 2008

See You Next Year!

I just wanted to wish you the best during this season and want to remind everyone that in the midst of the gift giving, visiting and traveling...please remember that the celebration is that God's word was fulfilled and a son was born and they called Him Jesus. This is the LIVE manifestation of the progression to the cross that Christ walked to redeem our lost souls with the shedding of His blood...HE had to be born in order to die. So we celebrate His birth because... God so loved the world that HE gave His only begotten Son, that whoever would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16)

Please share Christ with others during this holiday time and tell your kids the truth that there is no Santa Claus. God has provided your monies for you to bless your children and to give the credit to a man in a red suit ain't cute or godly:) Just thought I would throw that in there. Give God the credit and the glory for ALL HE has done for you!!!!

I am on vacation and will be back to writing in the beginning of the new year, please stop by then to visit....Thank you and many blessing!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Once Was Lost

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now am found twas blind but now I see.

Have you ever set out on a trip or looked up directions on mapquest and got lost? Maybe a friend gave you really bad directions? Maybe you are just someone who thinks you know everything and how to get everywhere without direction and find yourself lost often....I know, I know, you eventually find your way:) Have you ever been in a car with someone who wouldn't admit they were lost? But everyone else in the car knew it because they were dizzy from going in circles? LOL.

What does life feel like when you are lost? A bit helpless? A bit embarrassed? Maybe scary if you are lost in a bad neighborhood? Fear of running out of gas before you are safely at your destination? Unsure of whether it is safe to roll down your window to ask for directions (depending on where you are lost). Has it ever been dark and you couldn't see the street signs clearly?

Have you ever asked for directions and not used them and got lost? I know I am asking a lot of questions but hang in there with me, I am going somewhere...and I have the directions...LOL.

Matthew 7:14 says, But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.(NLT)

The challenge today is not for those who are lost but to those who have been found. We who are believer's who made it through the narrow gate are not very tolerant of those who still find themselves lost. When you were lost did you really know or have a sense or feel that you were lost at all? NO. Then why is it that when we cross paths with others who have no clue they are even lost we get upset with, we fuss at them, we says negative things about them (behind their back), like they just don't have a clue, why are they so bent on doing wrong, why can't they just see how bad that decision is, don't they know they are drinking themselves into the ground, why are they so hard headed, and didn't they learn from my life? Whew! That's a lot:)

To answer all those questions really quickly...NO, they don't have a clue and cannot see clearly. They have been blinded by Satan who seeks to kill, steal and destroy and once so were we blinded. That is the part we forget...that once we were the same way and people were talking to us till they were blue in the face, invited us to church and we turned that down over and over again.

I am pretty good at following directions to get to my destination but what happens with me is, I like to look at pretty houses, so I could turn down a street and just keep going and going until I have turned so many times I have no clue how to get out from where I am and don't let it be dark.....LOL. This is similar to those who have tried to find their way to happiness, peace and joy by trying all manner of religion, sex, drugs, alcohol, etc. They remain lost and go deeper into the darkness the harder they look. Have you ever had someone try to lead you somewhere by the hand when you have blindfolds on and they don't? They can see clearly and walk confidently to lead you but you pull and resist a bit thinking they just might lead you into a tree or off a curb, right? I know that is how I felt, so it is no wonder why they resist when we try to show them the way while they are stuck in darkness. Only God can remove the blindfold from their minds eyes so they can see that HE is the way, the truth and the life. So we must pray for our friends, family, co-workers and bosses. This does not mean that if God gives you an opportunity to witness that you say, no I will just pray...noooooo, you speak up and share, even if all you know to do is share your testimony and then you let God do the rest...and don't get mad!

When someone is that lost, it is God who has to come and take the blinders off their eyes so that they can see clearly. It is God who has to draw them to Him. Think about where you were when HE found you, maybe in a club, in a jail cell, deep in depression, lonely, broke, homeless, etc. So you ask well what can I do if it is all up to God? You know I like when you ask me questions:)

Why not be a light along the way, hold a hand, lend a shoulder, share your testimony and sometimes God gives you the privilege of pointing the way once HE has opened their eyes and you get to experience a miracle in the life of a friend, co-worker, boss or family member.

You don't want to fuss at the lost...talk to them.
You don't want to judge the lost...pray for their eyes to be opened.
You don't want to throw your hands up in the air in frustration...wrap your arms around them and display God's love for them.

We always think that the lost have to be at the end of their rope or hit rock bottom, lose a leg, almost lose their life (and some do) to come to Christ, BUT what if God decided to love them to Him instead...through you? Would HE be able to count on His love in your life to win a soul for Him???

If it weren't for God's grace we would still be lost! Praise God for being found!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

WHERE IS THE LOVE...During The Holidays??

I believe God allows us to experience and go through things sometimes to open our eyes, to move us from where we are and sometimes to share it with others. In what I share below, I believe all three are true for me (I am included and have found myself lacking as well).

WOW! It is another holiday season, the perfect time for all of us to neglect and show how much we do not care about each other. The perfect time of year to really show the people in our lives that our love for them is not genuine at all but really very superficial. It is a time to come together with family, leaving all others behind to fend for themselves while thinking nothing of the single mother, the widow, the poor or less fortunate that are in your circle of friends or acquaintances, not to mention those outside of it. If those in our circles are not being cared for then you know we are not considering those in the world that need a love touch from God through us. This doesn't quite sound like a holiday card I would want to receive, what about you? Thanks Guys for not remembering me during the holidays, thanks for not calling and for thinking about you and only you. Have a blessed day, Happy Thanksgiving! NOT! Oh, silly me, I forgot, we are too busy cooking and making plans for an exciting holiday for ourselves.

I was sitting at the dining room table thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's when a thought hit me like a ton of bricks. What are me and the girls going to do for Thanksgiving? My parents are in Florida every year at Thanksgiving so they are excluded from this scenario:) My grandparents are away this year too. Suddenly I felt unloved and lonely because we had no one to spend the holiday with. I heard many people making plans, but they didn't include us, as a matter of fact only 2 friends asked what I was going to do for Thanksgiving and when I said I have no plans they rushed on to share there plans and then said good-bye.

My heart was greatly saddened. I felt a couple of things. One was how we rush around and make our plans and don't invite God into them. I now, have a small glimpse of what that might feel like to Him. Two, that we as believer's have lost what is most important in our lives according to God--LOVE.

Personally, I have many people who call me friend and sistergirl but year after year, holiday after holiday no one thinks about checking to see if we have some place to be for the holidays and open their home to us or invite us to tag along with them. I even have family within a 6-10 mile radius and they do not check on us and ask us whether we have plans or invite us to share a meal with them. Shame on all of us when we can't think past our own agenda to see God's agenda. I ask you...WHERE IS THE LOVE?

Do we even ask God who HE wants us to spend some holiday time with...of course not, we spend it with who we want to spend it with, I know you are probably saying, come on Michelle...It's not that deep. I beg to differ. Everything about God and His love is deep, maybe we are just too shallow to tread in the deep waters of God's kind of love. Yes, the pun was intended:)

No wonder people have trouble believing in our God, the One True God whose claim to fame is a love that would put His own son on the cross to die for our sins, yet His people won't stretch a bit to invite someone into their well organized plans for the holiday. No wonder Christ is laughed at, no wonder people don't believe. We are doing a less than acceptable job as a people of being a lamp unto the world of God's love.

What are you doing this holiday season that shows the love of Christ to a dying world of lost souls. Are you leaving them to fend for themselves? Lonely and depressed because no one thinks highly enough of them to show them some love. What greater gift of love can be given than a man lay down his life for a friend? Christ was the ultimate example. The sad part of this story is that we as believer's lack the love of Christ in our lives. His love is not selfish or self seeking, His love has spoken from the cross, a sinless man dying in our place, His love has embraced us and called us His own even when we were a terrible mess...and the truth is we are still a mess but HE does not leave us alone and does not have us fend for ourselves.

Who do you call friend? Have you extended yourself to include them in your holiday plans? I have only been asked two times this Thanksgiving what my holiday plans are. Hmm, could it be that people are to absorbed with their own lives that they don't think about another? Who do we serve? Was not His life, is not His life from the cross to the grave from the grave to the sky all an true manifestation of His love for us? So I ask you...WHERE IS THE LOVE?

BTW (by the way)- there are no excuses that God will accept for us as believer's not making room for others. We who have been forgiven much....should be overflowing with love. I just don't get it...the great commandment is Love one another...where is God in you if you are too busy to show love to others?

CONFESSION - Since I wasn't included in anyones plans (no hard feelings:)) I am having a friend over for Thanksgiving dinner. She was not able to travel home to visit her family for the holiday. NO APPLAUSE! I blew it big time. She is coming over because she invited herself. This is not a bad thing. I should have been the one to invite her. This was a wake up call for me. I heard God loud and clear!!

Let's all get a jump start on Christmas, check out our inner circle of friends and let's not stop there, let's take a look at our acquaintances, etc. If you are not making dinner, not a problem, most families don't mind a stray person, just think about that boyfriend or girlfriend you invited everywhere, who are not even with now, they let him/her come over on the holiday. You know I am right!

Let's give the love of Christ this Christmas 2008!You know what...If we don't first love God this way, to invite Him into every area of our lives it will be nearly impossible for us to involuntarily (knee jerk reaction) love others as HE does.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Who Are You...REALLY?

Mark 8:38 "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

This question came to mind for me when I was drinking my coffee and having my quiet time this morning. When someone asks you, "So who is Michelle," (fill in your name in place of mine). Do you say, "I am the founder, owner, lawyer of such and such place? I am a mother of "X" number of children? I am a single parent or married, blah, blah, blah. Or do I say, "I am a born again believer, a Christian, a Sunday School teacher, Pastor or Deacon of my church...and then follow up with your worldly position? Or do you tell everyone who you are according to what they are looking to hear or what impresses you most about yourself? I am guilty of this same thing. We tend to give people what they want and what we know they are looking for instead of leading with who we really are. We act as if our lives having been transformed is a useless piece of information. If our relationship with Christ is priority then we should lead with what is most important to us, right?

If we, in real life were the children of a king or the children of the President, hmmm, might we lead with that. That is rather impressive, I would say and most would probably agree. We who have been washed by the blood that Christ shed on the cross for the redemption of our sins....are truly children of THE KING! Why then do we tell everyone everything else about ourselves and exclude or delay that HUGE fact? Does it embarrass us? Do we not want to be questioned or looked at as differently? Do we think it is not important? You tell me. My answer is that I simply didn't even think about it like that until this morning. Praise God for His faithfulness to reveal areas of idolatry (putting myself before Him). You might not have thought about it either because most people introduce themselves the same way. Usually we are looking for the answer ourselves of what position they hold, whether they are married and have children, etc. But wouldn't it be a great way to open the door for conversation about the Lord and possibly lead to a possible conversion? If nothing more they will know you have boundaries (hopefully) and that you are a "safe person (hopefully) and that you are open to talk to them about private matters of the heart (hopefully).

I kept saying hopefully because not everyone carries themselves like a child of the King. If you are going to lead with this, let your "walk it out" be evident, let's not give God or Christianity a bad reputation.

If you have a ministry, You must have a bio. When the bio is constructed it is usually listing all your accomplishments first and all the schools you studies at, all the awards you received, etc. THEN, last but not least....it mentions that you are a woman or man of God, a loving father of a number of children and an loving husband or wife to your spouse. WOW! It kind of sounds like we are ALL THAT all by yourself with no focus or praise to God. We close our introduction of ourselves with last but not least...."I am a Christian." From today on, let's start with what matter most to God, that is who we are in Him.

I have to go change my bio after I finish this blog:) Could it possibly be that because we have our priorities out of order, our life follows in it's footsteps and is also somewhat out of order? I wonder what would happen if we lead with our relationship to the Almighty King of heaven and earth, who rules and REIGNS over everything and everyone. Oh, and don't get His sovereignty twisted, if you are not a child of the king, HE still rules and REIGNS over your life as well. You just don't acknowledge that fact nor do you acknowledge Him.

Can you just imagine how much your witnessing/evangelizing efforts would multiply? After all we are here and have been given the Great Commission to win souls for Christ and make disciples. If you don't witness at all this would be a great way to start.

I encourage those of you who have a ministry to start out with Christ and end with Christ by saying that all that you have accomplished or been awarded is because your Heavenly Father has said well done and that it is ONLY because of Him that you have done and accomplished all you have.

I encourage you to put God first in EVERYTHING, including your bio or your introduction of yourself to anyone. The only way this would be impossible for you to do is if you really are not a child of the King or that you are not proud to be a Kings kid. There is one other reason you might struggle with this and that would be that you are prideful and looking for kudos for yourself. God knows who is sitting on the throne in your life.

Could you really have become who you are without Him, His love, His guidance, His discipline, His favor, His grace or His mercy? NO.



Sunday, November 2, 2008

Keep Running!

I was already in the process of writing my blog "Keep Running,” when a friend handed me a dvd to listen to of a young preacher, age seventeen named Reggie Shaw. The topic of his message was “Running The Race.” I decided to incorporate some of his points, which are in quotations in my blog along with my own points:)

Hebrews 12:1-3, Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

I ask you as my running partners for Christ, do you ever get tired? Be honest. Do you serve till you feel like you have no serve left in you? Does it seem like every time you pick up the phone it is another counseling session? Are you constantly trying to help people who don't seem to want to help themselves? Does it seem sometimes that it would just be easier to look out for you and leave everyone else to fend for themselves? I believe that most people who have been running the Christian race have felt this way at one time or another. But don't stop running.

Let me encourage you today that it is not all up to you. Reggie convinced me when he said, "That we are not called to run a 100 yard dash race for the Lord because the Bible says, the race is not given to the swift. We are not called to run a long distance race because many have been born and not lived long but have made a tremendous impact on the world for Christ. We have not even been called to run a marathon race because a marathon race is only about our self, how well we do, how long we can run, about me crossing the finish line, etc." He says, "I believe God has called us to run a RELAY RACE. Here is the proof...someone was running before you and me and they ran hard for the Lord, whether it was our mom/dad, grandparents, etc., and they passed the baton down to us. Someone else served and died to self before us. So we must run to endure and be able to pass the baton on down to our children."

If you aren't in the race or decided you were worn out, I encourage you to get up. The Bible also says that God is capable to have us mount up with wings as eagles, to run and not grow weary, walk and not faint.

You know what our problem is? We are too busy trying to be the star of the track team instead of a team player. Everyone is trying to perform so they can get a leadership role in the church, in the ministry, on the choir, on the Deacon Board, etc. Too many chiefs and not enough disciples of Christ--who was a servant and content to serve. Even if you can be a chief, sometimes God puts you in the relay in His choice of order. Some people are starters, some take the second leg or third leg and some bring it on home. Can you serve God without getting a pat on the back or a leadership role? Hmmm.

In Hebrews chapter 12, God gave us a race to run. Reggie also said, "You may be wondering, if Jesus set us free when HE died on the cross and redeemed us over 2,000 years ago and we are already saved, why we still have to run?" As always, I am so glad you asked. He gives this example. "Let's think about baseball for a moment. Did you ever wonder why a player who hits a home run that is knocked clear out the ballpark has to still run the bases? Personally I would be thinking that if I can hit a home run, then I should be able to go sit down. So I asked my granddad and he said, "They have to run all the bases to complete the play."

Did you hear that?

"What Jesus did was knock the ball out of the park on sin when HE died on the cross but Jesus said you got to go around first, second, third base and slide into home someday to complete the play." WOW!

No matter how bad things are in your life you have to keep on running. Praise God for the people in the faith hall of fame who can encourage us when we get tired, and weary, when we get a cramp that has us stop for a moment, like a wayward child, a health issue, a death in the family... get up and keep on running. Job was attacked in every way and kept on running. Paul was imprisoned and kept on running. Daniel was in a lion’s den and kept on running. Meshach, Shadrach & Abednigo were in the fiery furnace and they came out running. Joseph was falsely accused, put in prison and he came out running. Others have run the race and won; we are not the only one who has struggled.

Let's look at how this passage tells us to run a race. First, we must look at our crowd of witnesses in verse 1. The "therefore" takes us back to Hebrews chapter 11, which is the hall of faith. Those that I mentioned above are there along with Abraham, Rahab, Moses, Isaac, Jacob and many others. We need to look at their stories and be encouraged to keep running. Next, we need to remove all weights that so easily entangle us. Think about people who run professionally in the Olympics. They wear tight clothes when they run, not to show off their bodies but so they so they can run and not get entangled by the wind--the wind holds back a runner. What is holding you back from running your race for Jesus? Do you have too much stuff on you and in your life?

Reggie says, "Some things can be weights that are not sin. It is not a sin to have a boyfriend but is your boyfriend a weight? It is not a sin to have a cell phone but if you talk more on your cell phone than you talk to God, it can become a weight. If you spend more money on your shoes than you put in an offering plate, it could become a weight."

What are the weights holding you from running? Attitude, gossiping, pornography? Maybe a lack of patience or perseverance is your weight? We cannot represent God with a whole bunch of stuff on us.

Last point; remember who already won the victory. We may get cramps, we may sweat, and get tired but I encourage you to look to God who is the author and finisher of our faith. Don't look at your circumstances. I like how Reggie said it, he said, "Take your eyes off your reality and put your eyes on Jesus!"

I encourage you to choose friends that are committed to the race. Wrong friends may have values and participate in activities that hold you back in the race. Much of our own weight may be from the crowd of people we hang with. If you have an addiction to alcohol, pornography or gambling, admit it and get help with it, don't let pride come before your destruction. We must give up whatever endangers our relationship with God so we can run with endurance through the power of the Holy Spirit.

My question to you today is whatever your circumstance, no matter how tired you are in this race.... Will you keep on running to complete the play?

For more information about HE Reigns Ministries or to sign up for the newsletter, visit: http:www.hereignsministries.org/

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Check in soon!

Hello Friends,

I will be back to writing in a couple of days, I have been facing some real challenges in my life right now. Don't be alarmed HE still Reigns! God is showing me more and more about Himself. I will have some exciting stuff to share when I get back on my blogging so check back in a couple of days, I already see the light at the end of the tunnel (no scipture reference for that quote:))

Be Blessed!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

To Halloween OR Not To Halloween?

Halloween Is More Than Candy And Costumes!

Dear Friends,

God has placed it upon my heart to share with you some things regarding Halloween. I have discovered in the past few years that many Christian are unaware of the origin and history of Halloween and therefore celebrate this pagan holiday. We are to be watchful about everything so that the enemy can't slip stuff past us. What does God's Word have to say on the subject?

First, let me say that you will not find anywhere in the Bible where a command (an explicit, authorized, non-negotiable instruction in accordance with the Word of God) is given that reads thou shall not participate in Halloween, but there are many principles (implied, general truth that is to be used as a basis for reasoning and conduct) in the Word of God that would strongly point to a believer not participating in Halloween activities. Some scriptures you can look up to see how God feels about the underlying activities that are apart of Halloween are: Deuteronomy 18:9-14, Exodus 22:18, Acts 19:11-16, Ephesians 6:10-18, Ephesians 5:1-14.

I was encouraged at our church service last night that we should respond to Halloween with gospel compassion, meaning that we are painfully aware that those who do not have a relationship with Christ face a great terror, which is God's wrath, on Judgement Day if they have not accepted Him.

In my article below you will see what I have done regarding Halloween for my family. At the same time, celebrating Halloween is a matter of conscience before God, so you need to make your own, informed, decision. I pray that after you have checked out the history, read my article below, and prayed about it yourself that you will be fully persuaded not to participate in Halloween activities knowing that each person individually will stand and give an account to God of ourselves.

HE Reigns!

QUESTION? As a Christian, how do you feel about Halloween? Have you ever thought about how God might feel about it? Do you care? We get so caught up in the hype--candy in every store is tempting each one of us to dive in. Halloween stores are stocked up with costumes and trick-or-treat bags for carrying all the candy. Lots of people have their homes decorated. Haunted houses are sending out invitations and posting signs everywhere, and those ever-famous hay rides are being packed with hay for the ride of your life on a night celebrating pagan worship. OUCH! Did anyone just fall off the wagon:)? What I am really asking is has it never crossed your mind that ghosts, goblins, witches, and skeletons are characters from the "dark" side? So have you just gone along with Halloween because it is a holiday on the calendar and everyone seems to celebrate it? I know, I know, you don't let your children dress up in "bad" costumes; instead they are angels and princesses and camels, etc. BUT my question is, when God looks down on earth on Halloween night will HE wonder why His children are participating, in any way?

As believer's we cannot afford to have an "If you can't beat them, join them" attitude.

Ephesians 4:17-24 says, With the Lord's authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. But that isn't what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God-truly righteous and holy.

I encourage you to search out information about Halloween, its history and origin, although the history and origin hasn't changed--I was shocked to see how many articles from "believer-based" sites had changed their minds about Halloween and that permission was actually being given for Christians to participate in all the activities of Halloween and live it up! I was outdone by the compromise and justification, and in some cases denial, as I read page after page telling believers to just go ahead and do as the world does. I am not talking about the believers and churches that offer a Harvest time or an alternative to the traditional Halloween festivities. I am addressing those that would rather find a way to make a way and make room for Halloween in their Christian lives. To be honest, the excuses I have heard personally were that most parents really don't want the challenge or seeming aggravation it will cause to tell their children--NO. Not even for the redeemed blood of Christ. WOW!

Calling all Saints!--Let's wake up and smell the coffee! Does the Bible change? I don't care about the philosophy of all the human people that change their minds like we change our underwear, on a day-to-day basis. I am talking about God's Word being the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. How will they hear without a witness and what kind of witness can we be if we are doing what they do, dressing how they dress and marching to the same beat as those caught up in the world? Where is the salt? Where is the Light? We are citizens of Heaven not of earth!

Now I am not suggesting that the whole Christian community shut down on October 31st. What I am suggesting is that you pray about what God would have you do, that HE might get the glory. If your whole office is dressing up or you were voted best costume last year, maybe you would choose not to dress up this year and when they ask you why, use it as an opportunity to mention Christ. Or maybe you hosted the last Halloween party for children or adults and everyone wants to come again, so you tell them you will not be the host this year and again use this as opportunity to witness. Maybe you led the parade of costumed children through the halls of their school for their Halloween parade and this year you decline and when they ask why, you use it as an opportunity to mention God.

I personally go many steps further. My children do not color Halloween pictures, dress up like a witch or an angel or a cowboy or a princess, they do not sing Halloween songs in music class and do not read Halloween stories. Of course, they do not walk in the parade, even dressed in regular clothing. You might think this is a bit extreme, BUT I have shared with my children the history and origin of Halloween and they have been able to handle themselves well when other children ask them why they are not participating.

What is interesting to me is that I think it is harder for parents to say 'no' than for children to accept 'no.' You can use Halloween night to plan a family outing that they look forward to. One year during school time I found out what time the parade and festivities were going to be and I made dental and doctor appointments for my children so they could be excused from school. Parents, we cannot be lazy when it comes to teaching our children and living by principles and not preferences!

For anyone who has made it this far down into the article--bless you! Maybe God has made your heart tender to Him and maybe you just never thought about this at all or never researched it for yourself so you could make biblical decisions. You can ask God for forgiveness and you still have time to make new decisions before October 31st. I know it can be hard to make these life-changing decisions. Sometimes you just have to stop and ask yourself--Me or God? This will also tell you who is in control of your life and who you seek to please--OUCH! Ask yourself this question too--Is it worth the cost to find out when you stand before God on Judgment Day that you were wrong about your full or partial participation in Halloween, that you sold out and compromised? Is it too much to sacrifice for the One you say you love?

This challenge is not coming from someone that never participated in Halloween. My mom used to sew Halloween costumes for me when I was about 2 years old, and boy were they the cutest things. I was the hit of the neighborhood. I was a pumpkin with a green stem hat, you couldn't find a better outfit in the stores. I have also been on my share of hayrides and been to many haunted houses in my teenage life. (My parents had stopped Halloween for us when we were younger).

But, I have grown up and have my own children now. God has entrusted them to me and it is my responsibility to make God-honoring decisions for them. I have talked to them about Halloween and they have been making a stand in school ever since. One of my daughters was supposed to color witches and ghosts and she told her teacher, very politely, "I cannot do that." The teacher said ok. My other daughter was in music class and they were singing Halloween songs and she did not open her mouth to sing. I did not see this as defiance anymore than Daniel and his friends not bowing to the king's statue. She did not get into trouble. Of course I talked to their teachers first and then had the girls--STAND! They both asked what would happen if the teachers insisted that they participate. I told them that if the teachers decided to sit them down or take away recess or send them to the principal's office, they were to say--'I understand,' and then go. I told them they would not be in trouble with me. If you could see the look on their faces when they came home--excited about some stands they made for the Lord. Ya'll, although my girls are 7 and 9 years old, I am raising them to be like Daniel, Meshack, Shadarack and Abednigo.

Can God count on you as well? Is there room for Halloween in pursuing holiness...in your "walk it out"?

When it is all said and done, your decision is between you and God. I just ask you to do your reasonable service and pray about your family's involvement in Halloween and see what God speaks to your heart. Not all things are listed in the Bible as DO & DON'T DO, but God never changes and neither does His character.

Michelle says, "Hmm"Honestly, I just don't see why there has to be an alternative--period. Why do we always have to match the world 1 for 1? Don't get me wrong I am not saying anything is wrong at all with the events themselves that we plan. All I am saying is that we still try to allow children to have the same experiences that the world has... we just make it more clean. How does this teach our children to stand up and stand out for God??? Don't bow down.

Having soft Halloween events prior to Halloween or after does not deter parents from taking their children out on Halloween as well. I guess it reminds me of a Christian movie I saw called, "Time Changers." In this movie the main point from the very beginning was--we offer an alternative but with no message of Christ, what good is that? People must know that there is an authority in our world that we follow.

What might be more productive and this is JUST A SUGGESTION--That we as congregations should hook up with surrounding churches and hold a prayer meeting (kind of) since we are to witness everyday anyway, pulling together to pray against any pagan stuff or forces of darkness-it might be "community" effective. Wouldn't God's church stand out that way and give Him glory? If churches didn't want to come together they could have prayer meeting at their own church and or a mini service to give members an opt out from the pressures of the trick or treat craze. NO candy allowed. (There are times when we all know the best we can do for some people is pray, especially if we know they are going to do what they want to do anyway.) I am just interested in how we as believers can make the biggest difference--and there are many ways, not just my one little suggestion. We have services for all our other major holidays but not Halloween, isn't that odd??


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