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 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??


For more information on HE Reigns Ministries or to sign up for the newsletter, visit:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Is Your Walk Worthy?

Where do you find your encouragement and your examples for walking out a life worthy of being called a Christian? Don't tell me...the Bible, right? Good, that is always the best place to go. You know what I think is interesting--that back when Christ walked the earth...see HE had a walk it out too. HE encouraged others not to "just" be called Christians, but to go and make disciples, Matthew 28:19. I love how Francis Chan put it, "Some people believe that we can be Christians without being disciples. I wonder then why the last thing Jesus told us was to go into the world, making disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that HE commanded. You'll notice that HE didn't add, 'But hey, if that's to much to ask, tell them to just become Christians--you know, the people who get to go to heaven without having to commit to anything.' " MY, MY, MY, makes you think doesn't it?

What is a disciple? We will look at this definition based on what Jesus Himself says a disciple is. John 8:31: "Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you ABIDE in My word, you are My disciples indeed.' " So a disciple abides (to comply; to obey; to conform; to stay; to tolerate). This is an online dictionary definition. Basically, we are to imitate Christ and be a learner of Him. There is more involved in this as we search Scripture. We are also called to BEAR FRUIT, John 15:8: "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples." Hmm, what is fruit? I am going to assume that you know that it's not apples and oranges:) Fruit is the evidence of knowing someone or walking with them. I like to say, "That it is an undeniable evidence that you are connected.

Let's move on to the next criteria for being a disciple. If we LOVE ONE ANOTHER we are His disciples, John 13:35: "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." Do you show love to your family? Do those who attend your church receive love from you? Do the teachers and principal at your children's schools or a school you may be attending know you to be a loving person?

The last thing I want to mention is FEEDING HIS SHEEP, John 21:15-16. What does this mean? How do we feed Jesus' sheep? How about caring for other believers. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we do and don't have that we neglect the needs of others. Wouldn't it be great if more believer's would take God's Word seriously and stop trying to change it so that it fits and justifies our selfish, 'me centered' lives? There are no excuses for not giving to help others if the God you serve is really sovereign and good. Would HE ask you to do something that was not of benefit to you? In Acts 20:35 it says that it is better to give than receive. Think for a minute about the times you did give: Didn't you feel great joy? Weren't you happy to help someone? Didn't God bless you?

I want to share something with you. I haven't always understood the principles behind giving, so this blog is not to condemn but to inform and encourage. God has a sense of humor, HE really started working with my giving (not my tithe, because I have always done that), but giving to support other ministries, those less fortunate and those suffering for the sake of Christ in other countries....right when monies got tight in my own life. You know I had a moment but as I searched God's Word and looked at His principles and commands and the benefits...'cause you know we don't want to do nothing without benefits, what a shame:( I became more convicted that even in my financial state where ends were not meeting...they didn't know each other and couldn't even see each other...that I needed to give and watch what God said would happen unfold right before my eyes. I figured, ends don't meet now anyway, what do I have to lose!

I gave, even though rent was around the corner; I gave even though my car payment was on the horizon; I gave even though we needed groceries...and guess what happened? God showed up and showed out. Monies for rent came in from unexpected places; people who listen to God responded to His call on my behalf. WOW! I spent more time on this characteristic of a disciple because I think it is one of the hardest for most people to do...give and trust God.

So my question to you today is...Are others able to look at your life and see that you are a disciple of Christ? Do you have the characteristics of a disciple? Are others able to come to you and get biblical advice? Do others want to follow you because you are committed to making disciples for Christ? Can others look in the Bible at the disciples and say, "You know that is like Mrs. So and So or Mr. So and So?"

Does Christ have a disciple in you today? Do you abide or hide? Do you show fruit or has your fruit wilted? Do you love others or only love yourself and those that are lovable? Are you willing to feed Jesus' sheep, care for the poor and the less fortunate? Will you even care for those that are believers that are your brothers and sisters in the Lord or do you leave that up to someone else?

This is a lot to think about but it is really time for us to take a long hard look at ourselves. We need to compare our actions, commitments, convictions, attitudes, etc. to the Word and stop comparing ourselves to others who make us feel good because they do more ungodly stuff than we do. The truth that will set you free is available when you look at yourself in the mirror of the Word.

For more information on HE Reigns Ministries or to sign up for the newsletter, visit:

Friday, October 3, 2008

Leave It All Behind?

If God asked you to sell everything you had, right now, no time to think, just respond, what is your initial response. Are questions running through your mind, like, Why? When?, Is that really necessary?, How will I take care of myself or my family?, Pay the bills?, Where would I sleep?, Eat, etc? We might feel a bit queasy, huh? Up to this point it was somewhat easy to follow God or maybe we had nothing so nothing equals nothing so we could more easily see responding favorably to God's request. Maybe you were raised in a family that modeled a level of surrender to Christ so you by nature of the family you were raised in learned to submit and sacrifice to a degree. BUT what happens when God asks you for all you got? I have just recently been in a situation like that where I was feeling pretty good about my spiritual accomplishments and some sacrifices I have made as a result of getting closer to God.

On a day back in August, I will never forget the day because I had a moment like the young man in Luke 18:18-24 when Jesus spoke to a rich young man. The rich man wanted to know what he could do to inherit eternal life. This young man had it made financially. When I read it, it almost made me think that eternal life was going to just be another trophy this man wanted to claim to put on his mantle. Jesus knew what was in this man's heart so HE started off with some things the man had done successfully. I can picture this guy holding a clipboard in his mind saying, "check" after everything Jesus told him he must do to inherit eternal life.

I think we do that sometimes...I go to church faithfully, I attend Bible study in the middle of the week even though I am worn out, I serve in a ministry at the church that I know wouldn't make it without me, the neighbors' kids come to my door every other day asking if they can eat over, so that's helping the less fortunate, right? And the list goes on and on. We may even do all of this with a wonderful attitude and we feel pretty good about ourselves. Unfortunately, like the young rich man this is not going to cut it. Jesus said to the young man, "There is still one thing you haven't done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. THEN come follow me."

OUCH! That had to hurt. Sounds like Jesus is asking him to put something off to add something different on. Can you just feel how that cut so deep and how this guy instantly became sad. He didn't have to think about what Jesus said, he knew he was rich, he knew how to add and subtract and this was a big subtraction Jesus wanted him to make. I am not so sure that it would have mattered how much the man had.

As I look around my apartment, at my furniture, clothes and shoes, it could be a challenge to sell it all and walk away with what is on my back. Can any of you say it would not cause a pause in the conversation? I can hear us now, well, Lord, did I hear you right? I can't make my ends meet and you want me to give to the poor or help another believer out...what about me! Let me pray about this some more 'cause I would hate to be hasty in this decision, and so on. I can identify with the man's feelings.

God may not ask us to sell everything to follow Him but I do believe that if we are to follow Him our mindset should be more like Paul's when he says in Philippians 3:8, Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.(NLT) Praise God HE hasn't asked everyone to literally sell everything but my question to you today is...Can you let it all go? We try to take all of our "stuff" from our worldly success on the job, our bios in ministry, our accomplishments and who we know with us everywhere we go, to prove to others that we are somebody.

What is interesting is that just like us, this man was standing in the face of God and didn't even realize it. How do you ask God, who owns all, controls all, knows all, etc. what will I do and how will I get by. If HE asks us to give something up, HE's got us.

Anyway, my conversation with God led me down a path where I was willing to let go of all things. As I looked around my apartment I knew that I could let it go. I even talked to my girls about it and asked them if they could let go of what we have to follow Christ somewhere and we didn't know where. I gave specific details of what that would look like and they said yes...I tell you to love Christ like a child!

As time went on and I had prayed more, God said to me, ok now that you are willing to leave all the other "stuff" behind, there is one thing that you still have not done...YIKES! I was terrified at what was going to be said next. I, like the young man, knew what it took for me to die to self in these area and be willing to have to move in with someone, not have space for all the clothing and shoes and no privacy....WHEW! God said to me, I want you, all of you. I almost passed out, 'cause just as quickly as that young man became sad, I went there with Him. What more could God have wanted?? Things like… you still control "you", you have done great at not controlling others, I am proud of your growth but will you give me you? This meant all my personal preferences don't come into play anymore when HE asks me to do something.

Please tell me ya'll can feel me right now:) I have to be honest with you and tell you that I wasn't feeling this the slightest bit. Because for me this meant that HE could allow harm to come to my children, HE could allow a family member to die, HE could do all the things that God can do, to grow any of us. I acted like, if I don't say yes to God it was going to control what HE could and couldn't allow into my life. Silly me! I think I pouted for a while. Finally, I surrendered, I cried, I felt my wretchedness in the presence of a Holy God! Who am I! I let it go, I realized I wasn't capable of holding onto something myself anyway. Had I just committed idolatry...Yes. Had I just made myself equal to God...Yes. I was a mess.

I, like Paul, beg you today by the mercies of God (because of all His blessings) that you present yourselves as a living sacrifice (alive and doing His will daily, carrying your cross) holy (set apart for Him) and acceptable (living in right standing with Him) unto Him (for Him only), which is your reasonable (not considered extreme or excessive) service.

WOW! HE is not asking too much! You know how the enemy tricks us into believing it is so hard to do what God asks?? Now I am not going to blame it all on the enemy, actually, we play our part first. We don't keep good records of all God has done for us, our families, etc. Some of us were told we would never have a baby and here she/he came, some of us were told we would amount to nothing and here we are bigger and better than ever, some of us almost died or should have died and we are still alive and kickin'. You know what God has brought you through, saved you from, and kept in spite of. Because we don't keep clean, clear, updated records of who God has been is our lives we allow the enemy to minimize God's value in our hearts.

Take some time to think back over your life and see how God has shown His love to you and it will be much easier to surrender, ALL. Where else is there to go? Who else is greater to follow? Ask God what is standing between you and Him.

For more information on HE Reigns Newsletter or to sign up for the newsletter, visit: