Thursday, 30 October 2014

Thoughts on Halloween

I don't know about you but if there's one time of the year that I really hate, it's Halloween! Oh it's not the apples, nuts and pumpkins I hate. They are all part of the harvest that God gave us. I love the fresh assorted nuts and all the apple pies. In fact, I remember going potato-picking when I was a child and when the tea was brought to the field, I was thrilled to get the money inside the apple pie! But it is the dark evil side of Halloween that I hate and I cannot endorse it as a Christian.

Is it not all just a bit of innocent fun for children? Google 'Halloween' and discover for yourself its pagan origins, its history and the original meaning of various Halloween practices like trick-or-treat, pumpkin lanterns. But I'm not blogging about that. I look around me and see Halloween costumes for children to dress up as witches, wizards, demons, vampires and ghosts. This really grieves me because as I read God's Word I see very clearly that He hates all occultic satanic practices and has forbidden His people to have anything to do with them. I wonder if parents actually realize the significance of what their children dress up as.  I fail to see how it is fun to imitate and play with that which God hates and forbids. If children are given the impression that this is all innocent fun....who's to say that their 'childish fun' will not proceed to the 'youthful fun' of participating in seances, ouija boards, witchcraft, attending mediums, etc?

Halloween costumes
Is Halloween not just another pagan festival like Christmas and Easter? No it's not. There's a big difference, Christmas is a time of giving when we can remember the Birth of Christ, Easter is a time of new life when we can remember the Death and Resurrection of Christ. But while Halloween precedes All Saints Day (1st November), it is a time of revelry in satanic things. Satan is real. He is the arch-enemy of God. His powers are real and he will use them to destroy you. When people in the New Testament repented of their sins and turned to Christ for salvation, they renounced all sorts of satanic activity (eg Acts 19v18-19). They didn't play with it.

Did I not take part in any Halloween activities when I was a child? Well Halloween was not as big a thing back then, especially in the country. But here's the extent of my involvement: We made masks in school out of cereal boxes, cut holes in them for eyes, nose and mouth, stuck on a piece of egg cartoon for the nose, used elastic bands to attach them to our ears, and maybe even a bit of wool for hair. We ate nuts and apple pies and I remember my father letting off some fireworks for us once or twice. We were not allowed to trick-or treat. However, I do remember once taking the old tilley lamp and walking down the road to granny's. My grandfather was sitting sleeping, so we sat quietly wearing those masks we made. When he awoke he jumped, startled and we all had a great laugh.

Do I give to Trick-or-Treaters who come to my door? Yes I do. You may consider me hypocritical but the way I see it is that I will not be hard or unkind to any children who come to my door. Many of these children come from homes where they don't know the teaching of God's Word.  Last year I had a quick chat with kids who came to my door, gave them a few sweets and an invitation to Children's Hour.

Did my children take part in any Halloween kids activities? Yes they did but it was not with my blessing or encouragement. I never bought them Halloween costumes or took them to Halloween parties. I always made them aware of the evil satanic side to it. They were not allowed to watch scary movies that opened their minds to satanic practices or caused them to have nightmares. Halloween is becoming bigger every year and I understand that it's not easy guiding children right concerning it.

You may not agree with me but maybe you will spare a thought for God's Word before you dress your kids up as witches, demons, vampires etc. And don't forget that fireworks are dangerous if not handled correctly. Also, spare a thought for your poor pets as fireworks do scare them.

If this blog has been helpful to you perhaps you would share it for me please.
 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1v7 KJV

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Turn the Clock Back

Don't forget to turn your clocks back this weekend! British summertime ends. So that means the long, dark winter evenings are here. But for just this weekend it means I get an extra hour in bed. Yippee! Then, I must get up and get on with life this winter....and face whatever life throws at me this winter.

Turn the clock back!
I cannot help but think, as we turn our clocks back, about that old saying, 'If only I could turn the clock back....' But we all know very well that we cannot turn the clock of life back to relive certain events. Yes there's many things we would do differently if we could turn the clock back in our lives. But we can't, and even though there may be regrets or guilt, we've got to live with the consequences.
Maybe it's 'If only I hadn't got involved in that relationship that led to a broken heart.' Or maybe it's 'If only I hadn't taken that pathway that led to some addiction.' 'If only I hadn't said those cruel, unkind words.' 'If only I'd chosen a different career or a different place to live.' 'If only I hadn't got involved in some crooked dealing.' 'If only I'd listened instead of choosing a lifestyle that broke my mother's heart.' ' If only I'd studied harder in school.' 'If only I'd helped those people in need.' 'If only I'd said yes to God's call.' And so the list goes on and on....
And yet, sometimes we would just love to turn the clock back to relive some wonderful, lovely feel that young love again,,,,to hear the voice of a departed loved know that power and zeal that led to experience some joy and peace that enveloped our entire being.....etc.etc.
So as you turn your clocks back this weekend, remember the clock of your life is ticking away. You cannot turn it back, You cannot undo the past, no matter how much you'd like to. You may be wiser and on hindsight do things better. But you cannot relive happy experiences, no matter how much you enjoyed them. Start living in the present for the things that really matter. Take time to enjoy family and friends. Follow your dreams for good. But best of all follow the LORD and live for Him NOW!
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5v16 KJV

Friday, 17 October 2014

Knit Together with Love

I don't know if any of you are interested in knitting or not but when I think about knitting there's one scene that comes to my mind. Many years ago, when I was a little girl, my Great Aunt Lena used to come to visit my Granny Armstrong.  I will never forget the scene when Lena would pull her chair up real close to Granny's. These 2 old sisters would knit/crochet and talk about a host of other things.....and everyone in the vicinity of the house could hear what they said! They were sitting beside each other and shouting to each other for they were both hard of hearing. (Please excuse me for lovingly saying 'deaf and deafer'). To me, this was a comical picture of sisterly love.

However, they were both talented. Granny could knit and crochet.....socks, blankets, cushion covers and simple lace table mats. BUT wow you ought to have seen what Lena could do! She knit with special knitting thread some of the most fantastic lace tablecloths I have ever seen. I cannot recall her ever using a pattern. The pattern was a plan in her head and she was well able to knit it.
I cannot help but think that I am knit together with love. I'm not merely talking about my parents' love, although that is part of the overall pattern. I'm talking about God knitting me together with love according to His great pattern. God had a master-plan for my life. That plan originated with Him. He planned exactly what I would be like and even the very day that each of my body members would be fashioned. He wrote it in my DNA and then knit me together in my mother's womb. So the curl in dark hair, the thin feet, the strong voice, etc etc were all part of God's plan for me.

The pattern in a piece of knitting slowly becomes more evident as it gets larger. But the pattern isn't as clear on the wrong side. There appears to be loose ends of threads that don't make much sense. And so it is in life. There are a lot of loose ends in my life that I don't understand but as I grew up the pattern became a bit more clearer. I don't understand why I have bad eyesight, or why I inherited certain medical conditions, or why I wasn't born into a wealthy family. BUT one thing I do know is that these things have all helped me to depend more on my Creator. He didn't write these things into my DNA because He hated me. He didn't order my life to hurt me. No! He loves me and He's working His master-plan out in my life. One day the Lord will have His pattern finished on me and He'll show me the meaning of all those loose threads in my life. Then, I'll understand why and I'll be able to give Him all the glory.

"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." (Psalm 139v14 KJV)

Friday, 10 October 2014

The Seasons of Life

I walked through Windmill wood the other day on my way home from town. I took time to stop and admire the signs of autumn....and even managed to take a few photos. The trees are beginning to display a beautiful array of autumn shades and drop their leaves. Little squirrels are scurrying around searching for nuts. The air is cooler but I was engulfed in that feeling of autumn that is everywhere. 

However, while I can admire the beauties of autumn, it is not my favourite season of the year. It is leading down into winter when things look so bleak, cold, barren and dead. I love spring when everything is bursting into life....hedges and trees are getting greener, flowers are budding, farmers are planting seed, and beautiful baby animals are born. Next I love's warmer with bright mornings and light evenings, and that means day trips and holidays....time to enjoy and relax from routines.
I sometimes think of life as having 4 seasons....spring, summer, autumn and winter. Spring is our childhood when we are growing up and learning so much about life in the world around us. Summer is when we are in full bloom as young adults, 20, 30 or so and concerned with our career, marriage, having children. Autumn is middle age when the old body parts begin to wilt and just won't function as well as we'd like them to. Then, comes the wintertime of life when we go down into old age, failing health and eventually death.
As I reflect upon the seasons of life, I see myself as having a purpose to fulfil in each time of life. I accept that responsibility and recognize the wisdom of God's plan in it all for me. I'm in the autumn of life but I still have abilities that I can actively use for the Lord....and I've learnt a little bit through life's experiences which I hopefully can pass on to others. The old joints may not allow me to walk all the miles I did in the spring and summer of my life but I can still walk and talk and share God's love. I don't wish to whine or pine over the past or live in fear of the future. I'm content to live for God in the present.

When I consider the seasons, I think that the Almighty God who holds this planet Earth in His hand is spinning it around to give us day and night but He is tilting it to give us seasons. When He tilts it towards the sun we get summer. When He tilts it away from the sun we get winter. Spring and autumn are in between. This reminds me that God tilts our lives through different times....some we enjoy and others we endure BUT no matter what experience God tilts your life through, always remember He is in control and He will give you the strength you need to go through it. 

One final thought.....death can come in any season. The seedling, the sapling, and the fruit-bearing shrub can die as well as the old mature tree. So make sure you are ready to die for we all must meet our Maker one day.
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3v1 KJV)