Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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Jim Hughes

Ps. 25:4-5 Show me the path where I should walk, O LORD, point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.

This is a prayer that the Lord will answer every time. The Lord wants us to know the way to Him. He wants us to stay on the path to Him. He wants what is best for us and for us to be on the path that gets us there. He wants us to clearly know the truth. He wants us to learn the things we need to know in order to live holy lives.

The path that leads to the Lord is a rugged path because it is not worn down by many travelers. It is rugged because we are constantly battling Satan along the way to stay on it. It is rugged because it requires much determination, commitment, and work on our part. It is rugged because it’s the only way we will ever develop our spiritual muscles to sustain us in life. It is rugged because sometimes it’s a very lonely road since most do not travel on it.

We must be careful that we don’t get on the wrong road. Only one road leads us to Christ and it is the road of Mount Calvary. We have to ask the Lord to help us because it’s so easy to get off track and start traveling on the wrong path. One thing to look out for is if everything is easy with no struggles along the way, you are traveling on the wrong road. On Calvary’s road, we must pick up our cross and carry it along with us daily.

As we travel this journey of life we must always be led by God’s Word if we want to see Jesus. We must make it a priority in our lives to learn God’s truth and live it. We must never be satisfied with what we know, or think we know. We must always remain teachable. We must never get out from underneath its teachings.

Only the Lord our God can save us. He alone is the only hope we have for making it to heaven. Let us stay the course and always follow in the footprints of Jesus, the author and finisher of our salvation.
C Through Marriage
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Author Interview by Judy Davis

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Our interview today is with Judy Davis. Thank you Judy for being here and agreeing to do this interview.

Judy Davis

Question #1 What is the best thing about being an author?

Writing inspirational words to help others.

Question #2 What are some of the challenges of being an author?

Marketing.

Question #3 Describe a Typical Day for You Prayer.

Bible reading and devotionals, writing, Exercise class, cleaning house, cooking, and piano lessons.

Question #4 What genre(s) do you write? And why or how did you chose them?

Nonfiction. Took a writing course on nonfiction from Writer’s Digest.

Question #5 Do you read the same genre that you write? Why or why not?

Yes I read the same genre as I write. I usually am inspired with new ideas, concepts and insight.

Question #6 What is something that readers would be surprised to know about you?

I am a great grandmother…

Question #7 When and how did the writing bug bite you?

After praying and seeking Godly wisdom I asked God “What can I do for you, you have done so much for me.” I turned to Jeremiah 30:2 and read “Write every word I have spoken to you in a book.”

Question #8 When you write, do you plot everything out or not? Why does that work for you?

I usually write an outline as this helps guide me through the project.

Question #9 What is the best thing a reader or reviewer has ever said about you?

Judy truly reflects the character of a servant, because she loves people and she writes to change lives.

Question #10 What is the worst thing a reader or reviewer ever said about you? How did you handle that?

A reviewer wrote about my book Women in the Bible, “I was looking for specific information which required an index and there wasn’t one so I leafed through the book to find what I was looking for. Only select women were discussed and I was looking for “all” the women“. I felt she bought the wrong book as there are plenty of other books that have all the women in the Bible.

Question #11 If you could go to one place and write, where would it be and why?

Israel. I have visited Israel before and loved seeing the different places Jesus walked. I know this would inspire my writing.

Question #12 If you could have one experience back to do over again, what would it be and why?

Go back to Israel and visit the Sea of Galilee, Gethsemane, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, etc. The inspiration would be awesome!

Question #13 Who do you consider a mentor in your life? What did that person teach you?

The late Dick Champion, editor of Pentecostal Evangel. He taught me to “Write the vision and make it plain.”

Question #14 Is writing your only job? If not, tell us a little about your “day” job.

I consider writing a ministry. I have been retired from my career as a government employee since 2004.

Question #15 If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

Piano lessons

Question #16 What is your favorite verse in the Bible? Why?

Proverbs 3:5-6 It is my life verse…

Question #17 What is your favorite quote? Why?

If ever there was a time this country needed the intervention of God, it is now. We can and should pray for America as a whole, but remember that when God sets out to change a nation, He begins by changing people. It starts with individuals.” Billy Graham A powerful quote that our country needs especially at this time.

Question #18 What is your favorite book? Why?

The Bible . Another favorite is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Question #19 What other hobbies do you have?

Reading, playing keyboard, bowling

Question #20 What is your workspace like? Clean or chaos?

My office is clean as I enjoy having it organized so I can find supplies quickly.

Question #21 How did you break into writing?

I started writing by renting a typewriter back in 1985. I then took my first writing course on How to Write Nonfiction from Writers Digest. This led to my writing a column for the local newspaper.

Question #22 Where can people find you on the Internet?

http://judypdavis.wordpress.com      http://inspirationalthoughtsthatmatter.blogspot.com

Question #23 What advice do you have for other authors?

Pray and seek Godly wisdom and write as you are inspired.

Question #24 Tell us about your book.

Happy New You

Happy New You is a 365-day devotional. It seeks to encourage and inspire you to read the Bible through each year. It is filled with the Word of God, real-life revelations, dreams, and the wonder of the greatest gift of all, Jesus.

Question #25 Tell us about the characters in your book.

Nonfiction

Question #26 Do you include your own life in your books? Why or why not?

I write occasionally about my own life in my books. The reason is to help others through a situation they may be facing.

Question #27 What is special to you about this book?

It is faith-building and has spiritually enriching testimonials.

Question #28 What do you hope readers take away from this book?

I hope the readers will be stirred in their spirit and have a life changing experience.

Question #29 What’s your favorite “treat”?

Nuts

Question #30 Morning or night, which is the best and why?

Morning! Love the early morning to write as my mind is clear.

Question #31 Favorite season and why?

Fall as in October my husband and I celebrate our anniversary and also my birthday.

Question #32 Favorite sport and why?

Bowling…love bowling on a league and meeting new friends.

Question #33 Least favorite household or yard chore?

Yard work

Question #34 Least favorite thing to do?

Pulling weeds

Question #35 Favorite thing to do?

Writing

Question #36 You have a whole day to go anywhere and do anything. What would that be and why?

Barnes and Noble. Love that bookstore and looking at all the books.

Question #37 Pose a question for our readers to answer.

What is your favorite place to write?

Author Bio:

Judy Davis has been writing for Christian publications for 30 years. Her latest Happy New You is a 365 day devotional. When she is not writing, she enjoys her grandchildren and traveling with her husband of 48 years.

How to contact Judy:

Website http://judypdavis.wordpress.com
Twitter Handle JPDavis (@JPDavis7) Twitter
FaceBook Page

https://www.facebook.com/judypdavis?fref=ts

 

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Weird Things Christians Argue About by Parker J. Cole

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Parker J. Cole

There’s a video making its way on social media called “Weird Things Couples Fight About”. A humorous thing, I thought I’d do my own version but along a different line.

Recently the International Society of Women Apologists had an online apologetics conference and several of my friends were there. These women are smart, beautiful, and answer the questions of faith and the heart with vim and vigor. Yet, it got me to thinking about my own forays into the arguments I’ve discussed over the years as a lay apologist and I’ve come to a conclusion.

There are some weird things Christians argue about.

I’ll be the first to say that there’s nothing wrong with a vigorous debate about the complex things of the faith. After all, we’re called to a reasonable faith in our Lord as well as the love we have for Him and He for us.

With that being said…I’m mentioning some of them not for the sake of ridicule but to postulate the point there’s a bigger picture involved.

The argument: Adam and Eve did/did not have belly buttons.
The bigger picture: Adam and Eve were real regardless if they had belly buttons or not. What if our first parents had outies???

The argument: Jesus was black not white. (Apparently there is no other ethnicity – eyeroll)
The bigger picture: Jesus was a Jew and is the Son of God. His divinity is not dependent on ethnicity.

The argument: You should only pray in Jesus’ /Father, Son, and Holy Ghost name.
The bigger picture: We can pray to our Father and He will hear us.

The argument: You should only read (insert version here) of the Bible.
The bigger picture: We have the Bible. That is all.

The argument: Jesus died on (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
The bigger picture: He rose.

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Risk By Laura J. Marshall

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Recently I saw a picture of a former marine who was surfing. What was unusual about the picture was that he was surfing on his hands and … he had no legs. He had been injured in war. To say “injured” is putting it lightly.

The depth of pain and suffering this man must have gone through both emotionally and physically could have debilitated and devastated him for the rest of his life.

Yet, he chooses to live bravely.

However we live, whether in the throes of emotional and physical trials or circumstances, we do have a choice of where our mindset lies and what we risk.

Our lives still have value.

In my story, A Christmas Coffee, Sarah struggles to find joy and move on since her husband’s untimely death two years prior.

Does a change in location help as she travels to a dreamed of vacation in Sicily?

Or rather, must she consciously choose to face the risk of pain again by investing more of herself in those around her?

Christmas is a very tough time of year for many people who have lost loved ones, jobs, homes, and are still struggling with wayward children or financial difficulties. I pray Sarah and Parker’s story encourages you to take a little bit more risk, if only with your heart to love and be more fully loved by those around you.

Ecclesiastes 3
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

A Christmas Coffee is Laura J. Marshall’s newest release through Astraea Press Publishers. See the book on Amazon here http://amzn.com/B00P8F7XP2 or at other fine EBook retailers.

Christmas Coffee

Villa Bellissimo along with Master Chef Antonio Coronado invite you to Sicily where you will be immersed in the art and passion of Italian culinary delights.

Sarah Cooper is still trying to find her place in the world after her husband died two years ago on Christmas Day. When her parents give her an early holiday gift, it may be just the opportunity she needs.

Parker Matrone is the founder and CEO of the billion dollar company, Coffee Grounds. There’s something about Sarah he can’t resist, but he’s been burned before and is now raising his two young sons alone.

Will they decide loving again is worth the risk? And what of the antique Christmas quilt beneath which Sarah dreams of Christmas’ past, present, and future?

Come explore Italy in this Christian Christmas romance where dreams do come true and life begins anew.

***

Laura J. Marshall

Laura J. Marshall is a full-time mom of five boys. When not on active duty, she is the best-selling author of Christian romance, nonfiction, and Archibald’s Bible Adventure series for kids. Visit Laura’s website at http://www.LauraJMarshall.com or visit her on Facebook or Twitter.

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CrossReads Book Blast for John Avery

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Avery-NameQuest CVR

The Name Quest – explore the names of God to grow in faith and get to know Him better
By John Avery

About the Book:

Take an insightful journey into deeper relationship with God through the biblical names of God. Beginning in Babel and ending with a burning Babylon, The Name Quest builds faith and encourages spiritual growth.

The names of God are like a rainbow—each name expresses part of the spectrum of the character and attributes of God. God is a personality with a multifaceted character too integrated and dynamic to compartmentalize. God’s names are best examined in clusters, around common themes. So that is how the chapters are organized.

Along the way, the author tenderly answers tough questions:
Which of the Hebrew names of God is His personal name—Yahweh or Jehovah?
What does it mean to pray in Jesus’ name?
How can we relate to the Holy God and the Judge?
Why is a God of love called the “Jealous God”?
What does it mean to call Jesus the Messiah?

The Name Quest mentions all the names of God in the Bible while explaining their significance in ordinary language. The author weaves together fifteen years of Bible study research with plentiful illustrations and humorous anecdotes. These include lessons learned as a pastor on a Caribbean island. A visit to a Welsh hill farm introduces a chapter about the Good Shepherd. The story of a Hungarian political prisoner illustrates the meaning of Immanuel (or is it Emmanuel?) A rescue from the slopes of an active volcano helps explain salvation and the meaning of Jesus’ Hebrew name, Yeshua. Even the clever advertisement on a packet of potato chips offers a lesson about how to grow in faith in God.

Unlike chasing rainbows, the spiritual journey has an end. The Name Quest is a road map for every Christian’s spiritual journey and it points to the destination—being formed into the image of Jesus Christ.

Start exploring!

LINK to KINDLE | LINK to PAPERBACK | LINK to HARDCOVER


237A7617John Avery
is the author of “The Name Quest – explore the names of God to grow in faith and get to know Him better” (Morgan James Publishing, 2014). He is a trained teacher with over thirty years experience as a Bible teaching pastor, small group leader, and missionary. He has lived in England, Israel, Africa, and the Caribbean, ministering with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and local churches. He and his wife, Janet, now make their home in Oregon. John likes to hike, snowshoe, and cross country ski. John writes a regular Bible devotional on www.BibleMaturity.com and maintains a comprehensive resource for all the names of God at www.NamesForGod.net.

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The Candy Cane Lane Caper Copyright 1999 by Paula Rose Michelson

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Paula Rose Michelson

 

I’m calling this “The Candy Cane Lane Caper” not because it tastes good, but because the place where we always went after dark to check out the holiday lights…The place that could tare us away from our favorite TV show to bundle up, get into our car, and drive to…namely Candy Cane Lane was on the news. Vandals had torn down displays, broken decoration and written graffiti all over the holiday magic we loved. That’s right! The people who lived in this magical place that only existed for six weeks and vanished like Brigadoon did until it was that time of year again, were demoralized. Instead of spreading the holiday spirit as they always had, they were scrubbing of graffiti and picking up broken decoration many of which had been in their families for generations.

As we would be angels watched the news we discover that the place, which cheered people up and caused them to wave hello and run across the street to deliver homemade pies and cookies to people they hardly knew was in a bad way. In fact, the people who lived on that street had turned off the electricity that made their 20-foot Snoopy rotate.

We angels; Cheryl, Danae, Mom and Dad wondered what we could do when we realized that the street that had remained as it had while the decorations got better and bigger each year because each family that lived there followed in the Candy Cane Lane tradition seemed to have breathed its last holiday well wishes. We fondly remembered the residence telling us that when a home on that street was for sale a son, daughter, niece, or nephew bought it. But the sale was only finalized after they pledged to keep Candy Cane Lane and the spirit of Christmas alive.

Years before families that lived on that street had gotten permission to change its name for six weeks. Now, as we watched the news and saw the devastation and how upset everyone was we knew we had to do something and do it fast! Of course, if you’d gone looking for the street sign for Candy Cane Lane at any other time of year you would never have found it because this magical street was much a part of Christmas as Santa is and everyone knows you only see or hear Santa when it’s getting to look a lot like Christmas. And we were sure if we didn’t do something our magical Candy Cane Lane would disappear for good!

So adding up what we had until next payday, we knew we’d have to scrounge around after…eager to find some Christmas cheer we headed to the five and dime returning home with poster board ribbon and glue. So eager were we to bestow a blessing that dinner was skipped as we wrote in crayon ‘WE LOVE YOU CANDIE CANE LANE’ in red and green letters and stapled ribbon around the words. At midnight we hung the signs up hopeful that they would be seen.

And the next day we discovered they were, for the lead story on the 6 o’clock news was our posters and smiling homeowners thanking their unseen Santa’s Helpers, who only now are sharing this Candy Cane Lane Caper tail! If you’d enjoyed this read, pass the blessing along whether in hugs, coco, smiles, or song this holiday season as we did back then, and don’t forget to tell everyone that Jesus is the reason for this season because it’s his birthday we celebrating, so be of good cheer!

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Taking Risks by Suzanne D. Williams

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I have long said to write what makes you uncomfortable. If it affects you, the writer, then it will also affect the reader, and that’s the goal. Isn’t it? To make people think.

There is, however, always a line you shouldn’t cross. In Christian fiction, it seems this line gets pushed about by the whims of others. Some prefer it way back where there’s no doubt of their intentions when they were writing. Others move it forward to stir the thoughts of the reader. I believe both mindsets serve a purpose.

It all comes down to who you are writing for and, again, there are two camps. Some authors write for a completely Christian audience, often, in a particular faith. Others write as a witness, a draw, to the unsaved. Both sides are needed.

Frankly, when I was a teen, I went to church, made good grades, never broke any “rules” given to me. I showed up where I was told when I was told. I never missed school or youth group. But neither did I care two whits about Christian things, and my mother was a Bible teacher. I was deeply engrained in the world, reading and listening to secular things and happy, I thought, doing so. My grandmother, who I loved dearly, read Janette Oke, who (personal opinion) I can’t read to this day. No one out there tried to offer me anything that even remotely appealed to a girl like me.

Thinking of that, I have to ask myself two important questions. If I felt that way, then what of people living in much different situations from mine? Who exactly do I want to reach?

I was approached by a lady the other day on this very issue, and I told her what I’m writing here. God died for “whosoever”. (Jn 3:16) He didn’t discriminate because this one does drugs or that one has tattoos or she’s been living with someone for three years. He loves the unwed, the homeless, the person deep in their sins, just as much as He loves the church person, like me, who at age sixteen simply didn’t get the need to be so “clean” all the time.

Jesus mingled with lepers, Samaritans, a woman taken in adultery. Think of that and read the oft-repeated phrase, “What would Jesus do?” Yes, what would He do? He’d love those people right where they’re at with no condemnation. He’d say, “No matter what you look like or what you’ve done, I will help you.”

That is what motivates me to keep writing. I love that I can share my faith in a way that helps others. But it requires having stiff shoulders and a lot of gumption because there will always be those who draw their line of faith differently. I have to draw mine where I believe God has placed me, to the readers I believe He wants me to reach. As long as I obey that, the book will sell, even if it’s only one copy to one person who needed to read it.

About the Author:

Suzanne D. Williams

Best-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes a monthly column for Steves-Digicams.com on the subject of digital photography, as well as devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalogue of stories, visit http://suzanne-williams-photography.blogspot.com/ or link with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor.

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What a Woman Needs

In association withThe Edge Books.
http://theedgebooks.blogspot.com/

His gaze seemed made for her alone, the curve of his mouth fashioned solely to bring her enjoyment, and for a moment in time, she melted into it, lost to the war and the frayed edges of her life.

—–

Caught up in an adulterous love affair, Charlotte Lake can only blame herself for how miserable it’s become. After all, she chose to become the “other woman” and with that choice, betrayed everything holy about marriage.

When her secret threatens to emerge, however, she finds her only salvation in the kind, gentle hands of sailor, Nashville Jaeger. If she’ll trust him, he knows a way out.

But the biggest thing he brings into her life is perhaps the greatest gift of all – forgiveness – and with it, a piece of his heart.

A story of God’s willingness to heal any heart by best-selling author, SUZANNE D. WILLIAMS.

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My Gift!!! By Lorieen D. Henry

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Lorieen Henry
I received revelation through John 6:1-15 known as “Jesus Feeds the 5000”. When you read the story, Jesus was in the mountains with the disciples when a crowd gathered. Jesus asked Philip about buying food already knowing the miracle He was about to perform. Philip responded that it would take more than 8 months wages for each person to have a bite. Andrew, on the other hand, found a boy with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread but he knew it wasn’t enough. Verse 11 says, Jesus took the food and gave thanks. Then He proceeded to distribute as much as the people wanted. After everyone had eaten, Jesus told the disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost”.

#1 The boy gave what he had. It didn’t meet the need, but it was a start.

#2 Jesus gave thanks for that which wasn’t enough and it became enough. Actually, it was more than enough.

#3 Jesus distributed the food to the masses.

When it comes to my gift (using this parable as inspiration), I must:

#1 Surrender my ALL to God!

#2 Give thanks to God for my gift.

#3 Share my gift for the glory of God.

The boy’s gift was just 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. It was nowhere near what was needed, but God is a problem solver…a multiplier when we trust Him.

I extracted this from the story:

#1 Know the Word! Study it! This gives us confidence.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.

#2 Have a childlike spirit! – A willing and humble heart.
Matthew 18:2-4 2And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

#3 Give Thanks/Praise!
Psalm 106:1 Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

There are many messages that can be taken from “Jesus Feeds the 5000”. I wanted to share what I saw. It doesn’t matter who you are nor what the situation looks like…GOD can use You. It is my prayer that God ministers to your heart that you might use your gift (big or small in your eyes) for His glory.

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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes for 10/28/2014

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Jim Hughes

Ps. 25:10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all those who keep his covenant and obey his decrees.

Many of us today believe that once we are saved, the rest is up to God. We can rest and not worry about it if we sin because grace covers our sins. Yet, the Word declares over and over again that we have an active role to play in our salvation. We must keep His covenant and decrees. We must obey the Lord. We must not allow sin to take hold of us. We must work out our salvation. Transformation takes place at Calvary that is life changing. We get rid of our sinful ways of living and take on the righteous living of Christ. The fact that we are indeed saved is seen in how we live.

If we don’t allow this transformation to take hold of our souls, we have no right to expect God to continue to pour out His love on us and faithfully keep us safe from sin and its consequences. For a believer to continue to freely sin is a mockery of what Jesus did for us at Calvary. The Lord is our righteousness and holiness from God and He cannot dwell in a sinner’s heart.

Our works cannot save us nor can they keep us safe in the arms of Jesus, but they are an essential part of our Christian walk. Our obedience and submission to Christ is measured by what we do and don’t do. The meat and bones of holiness is our living.

The Lord never fails to lead His children faithfully in love. He will never take us in a direction that will lead us away from Him. He will never ask us to do anything that He knows we can’t do or is not best for us. He will never stop working in us and on us as we walk humbly before Him. The Lord always has His children on His mind and heart. He will never leave or forsake those walking with Him.

The Lord will lead us, but He won’t drag us against our will.
C Through Marriage
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This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.
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Halloween is upon us and I wonder if… by Tina Webb

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Tina Webb
I am the only mother that doesn’t let their kids trick or treat?

Yes, I loved dressing up and trick-or-treating as a child, but as a college student my views changed. I discovered that the many things that I thought were fun and harmless weren’t necessarily fun and harmless to God. It was a rude awakening to my half Christian and half secular worldview.

I owe that awakening to a scripture, a bible study and loved one that did more than dabble in the occult.

One of the first scriptures that I learned was Hosea 4:2, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”.

After reading this scripture, I went on a marathon of learning for several years. During one bible study on fear, the leader pointed out the number of times that the phrase “Fear not” is written. It made sense to me that if God so opposed fear, then He must oppose anything that causes fear. So I stopped watching horror movies. Was I going overboard? Maybe, but I was just trying to let my revived conscience lead the way.

Years later, my husband and I decided that our kids could go to church Harvest parties on October 31. These parties were a way to let the church kids avoid the door bell ringing of trick or treaters. The kids played non-themed games led by area college volunteers. It was a nice time to socialize with other parents too.

The decision to abandon Halloween really wasn’t that big a deal for me. When I was around eight years old, someone put needles in candy bars and as a result my mother chopped up all of our candy to make sure there were neither needles nor fragments of glass. Trick or treating became eating crushed fragments of Three Musketeers or Reeses cups. Not fun.

When I found out that a loved one had been involved in the occult as a teenager, I was shocked. I’d never heard of such things. However, the reality of spiritual warfare and the demonic realm became more real for me than the average Western Christian will ever know. This person learned to levitate things. How? He was told by his “psychic occult teacher” to invite his spirit guides to help him. They certainly did! It took months of special ministry to help him overcome this oppression. The demonic realm is a reality that Jesus contended with regularly and he admonished us to do the same.

My husband and I learned the origin of Halloween from a local pastor and decided that while we didn’t have to let our kids wear ‘scary” costumes or be entertained by scary themes; merely participating was getting too close to entertainment that glorified darkness rather than God. Each Halloween, we prayed for the safety of runaways, delinquents and other probably victims… after all we had learned that the Black Sabbath was real. Satanists do participate in human sacrifice even today.

Sometimes I continue to wrestle with our decision. It’s so much easier to let my kids join their friends in group fun. Peer pressure for parents is a reality. But I have to remind myself that according to Ephesians 6:12, there is a very real and evil world that I cannot see. Tradition and contemporary culture cannot define our decisions. The reality of Jesus’ teachings must supply that definition.

“Parenting, while daunting, is easier when we ask ourselves: how does the Father parent us?” (Selah, Daily Quotes for Daily Meditation)

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