Halloween: Hung Up on What to Do?

Halloween what to do?

Much like politics, Halloween causes passionate responses. There are those who feel complete freedom to partake in Halloween festivities along with the pagan symbolism of witches, ghosts, goblins, and black cats.   Then there are those who regard the day as evil and want nothing to do with it.  While others boycott and ignore it completely. Some folks find a happy medium by choosing to take advantage of the evangelistic opportunities in sharing about Jesus to those who come to their door seeking candy. Personally, my family has flipped flopped over the past 25 years concerning our observation of Halloween for various reasons. This year we plan to enjoy a funny movie and family meal to find a happy medium :-) for our daughters who are 25 and 13.

My goal in writing this post is to share information helping those who may be hung up on what to do.

1Peter 3:15 “Worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.” So why do you choose to celebrate or not celebrate Halloween? The very next verse 1Peter 3:16 tell us to explain our reasons with gentleness and respect.

Below are some of my frustrations regarding Halloween these days.

  1. According to Forbes, the total for Halloween expenditures is expected to be around $11.3 billion this year. That’s insane!
  2. Seriously, do children need a bag of miscellaneous candy, AKA sugar?  There is no perceived value in giving children sugar, just saying.  Americans will spend $2.2 billion on candy this year according the NRF (National Retail Federation). Considering how much sugar the average American eats daily, is it fair to describe candy as a treat anymore?  Did you know that the average American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar daily which is 75 pounds of sugar yearly, three times more than we need, this according to MSNBC? Unbelievable, right?
    1. According to the CDC, in 2012, more than one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Sugar activates our brains like cocaine according to Fed Up.  Have you seen the documentary Fed Up? Oh my gosh, you must watch this eye opening documentary.
  3. According to Tsh Oxenreider at the Art of Simple, the majority of the chocolate candy that will end up in your kid’s Halloween goodie bag will be because of child labor, and often child slavery. To learn more, watch the documentary, The Dark Side of Chocolate.

However, the common disagreement regarding the observation of Halloween for many Christians revolves around whether it is a celebration of evil thereby having no place in the life of a believer. Again my goal is not to advocate how your family should observe Halloween, however DO educate yourself and participate accordingly.

Let’s begin with the origins of Halloween and below are several helpful articles when

There is a lot of fear surrounding Halloween, but consider 1 John 4:18, “perfect love casts out all fear.”  On the other hand, perfect fear cast out all love.

Christ followers have nothing to fear as we are living in complete victory since Jesus is seated at the right hand of God in Heaven while ruling His kingdom on earth.  Jesus took away the sting of death when He defeated death on the cross, so we have no reason to fear death as His followers. Look at 1 John 4:4  We belong to God. The Spirit, who lives in you, is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.  Nothing can separate us from God’s love and presence!!! This is the good news of God’s love.

However, the bible is very clear in regards to believers having NOTHING to do with the occult, that which is hidden.  Christians should avoid any practice used in an attempt to gain supernatural power or knowledge apart for God’s word.

Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry defines occult as, “that which covers practices that are not approved by God such as:

Occult practices that should be avoided:  Ouija boards, tarot cards, Wicca, astrology charts, contacting the dead, séances, etc.,

Therefore, is dressing up like beloved characters, animals, or icons and going door to door collecting candy partaking in evil?  Of course not. Those walking in freedom have the power of the Holy Spirit to guide them like King David, who prayed, “Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe your commandments.” (Psalm 119:66) We will not be tempted beyond what you can bear. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Could our antagonism toward Halloween alienate those we desire to reach? Is it possible to be in the world, but nor of the world? Christ followers have a unique opportunity if they choose to use Halloween as an outreach.  What other single event brings kids and families to your front door?  Be neighborly, Love your neighbor; turn on the front porch light, to be a light  Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

I understand and respect the viewpoint of believers choosing to avoid Halloween. They feel they as Christians are different from the world and are obeying God’s Word. See Ephesians 5:11, “Have nothing to do with the evil deeds of darkness, but rather expose them;” and 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

My daughter’s believing English teacher was a former witch, so I sought her perspective. She was very adamant that she no longer has anything to do with Halloween and suggested that it would be best for believers to meet and pray together on Halloween. Perhaps refraining from Halloween and its activities is the safest and most appropriate response for her and those who have past associations with the occult, witchcraft, and sorcery.  1 Corinthians 8:9-11, Romans 14:1-3

Let’s not get hung up judging one another.  Isn’t that what we are doing? How can we accurately judge the motives or intentions of another person’s’ heart? Bottom line, God’s word tells us, do not judge.

With no direct references to Halloween in the Bible, resolving this debate can be a challenge. Romans 14 address what to do when the Bible lacks clear and specific direction. Romans 14:1 in The Message says, “Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions, but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their history. Treat them gently.”

ephesians 5,8

Let’s use Halloween along with all it’s imagery—death, darkness, superstition, expressions of debauched revelry to understand truth for ourselves and equip those we love. Ephesians 5:8 “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”

Whatever level of Halloween participation you choose, I pray you will walk in love having a safe and family fun filled evening.

Halloween, What’s a Believer To Do?

Photos for Social Media 2

Halloween is an event that often causes a passionate response from believers. Many wonder whether or not they should observe this holiday but the responses are divided. There are those who feel complete freedom to partake in Halloween festivities along with the pagan symbolism such as witches, ghosts and goblins. Then, there are others that regard this day as evil and choose to have nothing to do with it. Some folks find a happy medium, choosing to take advantage of the evangelistic opportunities by sharing about Jesus to those who come to their door seeking candy. Personally, my family has ….

Join me over at The Art of Domesticity to read more ;-)

Come back next week for a more in-depth study regarding Halloween.

Mothering, Impacts the Life of Others

Over fifty years ago God ordained my time, place, and gave me a Mother as seen in Psalm 139: 13 You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb

I am extremely grateful for the bravery of my mom who chose life as today I realize her decision created a difficult road for her.  Her choice allowed me to have a place in this world.

Abraham Lincoln said, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” These are my sentiments as I know the road I’ve traveled has allowed me to be who I am today.  

When one spells mom upside down, it spells wow.  Indeed being a mother is wowful ;-) I am thrilled to have my mom here in Austin this week so I can celebrate Mother’s Day with her. Grateful for her love and support in my life.  It beautiful how our relationship has grown over the years. I love you dearly.

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Happy Mother’s Day Mom. Thank you for being here so we can celebrate with you.

I have one biological sister and a step sister.  I appreciate how God has knitted our hearts closer together as we have grown and matured.  My mother’s mom in the generational photo is no longer with us but is not forgotten on this day of remembrance as without her, well there would be no mom or me.

July 12, 2012 I became a spiritual mother to my sister ;-) when she accepted Christ. It’s been a blast to watch her love for Christ increase. I’m so proud of her.

As a family normal is totally overrated.

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My mother, sisters (Francois & Alyce) and four generations shown.

When I met my husband, the unexpected gift I was given was an incredibly generous, accepting mother-in-law.  I am madly in love with her only child, my husband, Jon. Thank you for always being there and for loving me like your own. If you weren’t my mother-in-law I’d choose you as my friend.

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Thank you for raising the man of my dreams and accepting me into your life.

One of my greatest callings and blessings has been being a mother to Cayley, Courtney, & Caryn.  Indeed children are a gift from the Lord and I am so thankful for my gifts.

Having two independent adults I am amazed that they have become my best friends. I only wish they lived in closer.  I have learned so many truths from Caryn and Courtney as their lives are a living example of what it truly looks like to have a thriving relationship with Jesus.  3 John 1:4 puts it this way, “I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.”

Motherhood has been the most incredible job that God gave me to do. It has been through the task of bringing up my daughters that I have matured and learned to love abundantly, to be selfless, and gracious. Oh I still have much to learn as my youngest reminds me ;-)

I thank God that He knew I was far from ready for the empty nest by blessing us ten years later with our Cayley.

I am so proud of who my daughters have become, are becoming, and how they make the world a better place to be. To the world, a child is only one person, but to a mother, her child is the world. 

It’s because of my daughters I have the greatest privledge of being called “Mother.”

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It’s because of my daughters I have the greatest privledge of being called “Mother.”

There have been many women who have graciously, laboriously, and lovingly invested in my life and for this I say thank you.  I am unable to adequately pay them back but I pay it forward by following your example of investing in others.

Me with some of my spiritual moms and those I am blessed to be a spiritual mom to.

From my experience, there are many who do not have a mother due to death or abandonment. Others have strained relationships or are geographically separated from their mothers.  Regardless, it has been my privledge to pour into the lives of women that God has brought into my life. I am grateful for the many ways God had made me a spiritual mother. It is a privilege to nurture and invest in the relationships of many college students, friends, and others over the years. I am in awe of those who have made significant steps toward Jesus as a result of God using me in their lives. It is an unspeakable joy to journey alongside others, helping them nurture their relationship with the Lord and experiencing more of his love in the process. The blessing of spiritual motherhood is the reminder that you are making a difference in the lives of others and they are loving and following Him. Romans 15:13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

As women, we are called to both mother and to be mothered regardless of our age or what season of life we are in. 

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Our love to God is measured by everyday fellowship with others and the love it displays.

It’s been said “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring: all of which have the potential to impact the life of others.”

May we all desire to deeply invest in others.