December 20 2015

Merry Christmas!

background-1088632_1280Hello! I am taking a two week break from posting, for the holidays. Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year! I will see you again in 2016! My next post is scheduled for Jan 4th, in which I talk about my journey of inner healing! God bless you!

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December 14 2015

Witchcraft In Mainstream Media

witchcraftIn my pre-Christian life, I had a fascination with witchcraft and vampires and horror for a long time. I remember being a teen and loving the Dracula movie and the Vampire Lestat books. Witchcraft seemed so romantic and exciting! I often fantasized about meeting a vampire and living forever or becoming a witch. A life of witchcraft and romance sounded amazing, and from the books and movies I saw, it was. This fascination never left me, and even as an adult, the shows on my DVR were shows like The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries and The Following (about a serial killer). I loved these shows and they were the highlight of my week. It wasn’t just TV shows that filled my life, but a general fascination with witchcraft, fantasy and darkness. Our culture has a never-ending stream of shows, movies, books, etc to feed these kind of fantasy worlds. It starts with our children. Disney is a huge proponent of magic, but their magic is safe and innocent because it’s a cartoon. I mean, who doesn’t love Disney? They have been number one for kids movies since they began making movies for kids. And almost every single Disney movie has witchcraft of one form or another in it.

We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

1 John 5:19

It’s not just Disney that brings witchcraft into our children’s lives. Harry Potter, Monster High, Pokemon, My Little Pony, Every Witch Way, Adventure Time, Percy Jackson, and Mike the Knight are just a few of the programs that is popular right now for kids. These shows all openly have witchcraft in them as a normal part of life. I know I have always had shows about witchraft to watch through the years: Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Game of Thrones, True Blood to name just a few. I never thought much about watching these kinds of shows or letting my kids watch them before I became Christian. After all, I was a witch for a season in my life, and I was pulled in to the lies of  the new age movement and the occult. Magic is good, fun, enchanting and exciting. Who isn’t attracted to it? Witchcraft opens up new worlds to us and new possibilities. Yet when I became a Christian I began to see the world in a whole new way. The veil had been lifted from before my eyes, and the evil hidden in all the world that we see as normal, became exposed for what it was.

It didn’t take long for me to feel very wrong about watching these shows, and let me kids watch them also. Once the Holy Spirit invaded my soul, everything changed for me. I could not watch my favorite show about vampires that I had been following for years without feeling very wrong. I did try quite a few times, but I knew in my spirit that it was wrong and displeased God. Yet everywhere I would go, Christians loved Harry Potter and other shows with drugs, murder and sexual immorality. Honestly that was one thing that baffled me completely. I had lived in the world for so long, and here I was removing myself from it many of the Christians around me were completely immersed in it.

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

2 Corinthians 11:13

It was a process to really understand how much witchcraft I was letting into my home. It took even longer to realize how much witchcraft I was bringing in just with Disney alone. We bought Frozen and Brave and watched them half a dozen times, not even thinking about the fact that the whole premise of these movies was about spells being cast on people and the effects of the magic, (usually harmful). It was visually pleasing, we were drawn into the characters and the plot was suspenseful and moving. The witchcraft just sneaked right past me! I know a lot of people don’t think that this type of magic is relevant to witchcraft and the occult. After all it doesn’t look real and it doesn’t seem to be based on reality. It’s just fantasy and entertainment and therefore should not be a problem. That is why it is so deceptive! We are not carefully guarding our hearts and minds, but instead just exposing them to whatever the world throws at us. The more we see other Christians watching Harry Potter or Frozen, the more we feel that it must be OK. Witchcraft becomes normal and acceptable, and just innocent magic that is for fun.

Satan will always be there tempting us with something pleasing and delicious, just as he was in the Garden of Eden. He did not tempt them with something awful that would be easy to detect as evil, but instead with something forbidden and alluring. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The next thing you know, Eve was questioning what God had told her, and giving in to that sweet moment of satisfaction. She could have never known that by eating that fruit she would cause her own death, as well as every generation under her. If she could have foreseen how fatal this decision would have been, she would surely have not done it. And it is the same way for us now. Satan is holding out shows and movies full of all sorts of witchcraft, sexual perversion, murder, and the like to our us and our children and asking us “Did God really say not to have anything to do with witchcraft? Surely he did not mean this magic. It is harmless fun!” And we bite into the apple, believing the lies once again.

Magic is a term often used by witches when describing spells they cast. Magic is indeed the same thing as witchcraft. All magic is witchcraft. What exactly is witchcraft? Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary describes witchcraft as the use of magic or sorcery. Witchcraft includes, but is not limited to: harnessing the power of demons to effect change in people, or to gain material possessions; gaining power or wealth; gaining knowledge; reaching or accessing higher levels of consciousness; achieving powers to become like God; hurting other people or hurting animals; getting revenge; spying; protection; and much more.

There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.

Deuteronomy 18:10-11

All magic is of Satan, no matter which way you slice it. Whether it is a witch in a Disney movie, a character in a Harry Potter story, a cute teen witch or a sexy vampire, it is all of the devil. I know that can be a hard pill to swallow! Believe me, I fed myself on this stuff and much, much more for many years. God does not do magic or make magic. No matter how cute or innocent or fun or sexy the character wielding the magic is, it does not make the magic innocent or unreal. It is a portal into your home for the demonic to enter. It is a subliminal message in your mind that magic is good and right. It is letting in the lie that God did not say it was wrong. It is dangerous.

The things that we expose ourselves to on a daily basis are defining and shaping factors of who we are. Even more so for our children, who are so young and impressionable. If we spend more time filling up on the ways of the world, instead of God’s Word, that is how we start to shape the way we think and see things around us. We begin to forget the Truths of the Bible as we feed ourselves the lies of the world. We must be diligent to hold fast to what is good and right and true, according to the Word of God. Even when it is hard, and even when it means being set apart from those around us. I know how hard it is to be set apart and feel different. Yet I am willing to go down the narrow path in order to be closer to my Lord Jesus. What I have found in Him is worth more than anything in this world I have ever had. I have seen and done many things seeking pleasure and entertainment, but none has been as satisfying, as wonderful and as delightful as God Himself.

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 34:7

childGod does not look down on you for exposing your children to Disney movies or for watching Harry Potter. He does not hate you because you have let witchcraft into your home inadvertently. It is a work in progress as you learn to navigate the world and all the illusions it throws at us daily. But once you are exposed to the truth, you are responsible to take ownership of the decisions you are making. Don’t let the devil continue to have a foothold in your home and teach your children what he values in this world. Do not be conformed to the world, but test everything instead, to see if it is of God. God didn’t tell us not to participate in witchcraft because He wants to steal our fun, but because He cares about us and He knows the hidden danger in magic. The Bible has story after story of His children who became lost into a world of witchcraft, because they were led astray by other cultures and religions of the day. That is why He is so adamant in His warnings on witchcraft.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

Colossians 2:8

Pray for God to give you insight and wisdom into witchcraft you have let into your home without realizing it. Repent and ask Him to forgive you for allowing witchcraft into your home, and then be willing to give Jesus access to bring healing and restoration into your home and your relationship with Him. Allow Him to show you what He wants you to remove from your home and why. He loves you so dearly and only wants the very best for you. Jesus died for each one of you, so that you could experience freedom by His blood. You can experience so much more than what you have been, if you tear down the strongholds in your life and bring them before the Lord Jesus Christ.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

December 7 2015

The Magic of Christmas

christmasI have to admit, I love Christmas and I always have. I have many nostalgic memories of growing up and spending time with my family; which has always been my favorite part.  I always felt Christmas was a magical time and I wanted very much to believe that Santa and his reindeer were real. I was completely enchanted by the magic of Christmas: Santa travelling the whole world in one night to deliver presents, reindeer that could fly, waking up to a Christmas tree with presents spilling from underneath it and stockings full of candy, that magically appeared over night. Everything I knew about Christmas was magical – I knew very little of the story of Jesus and His birth because my family did not talk about it. I always saw the beautiful nativity scenes, but it meant nothing to me because it was not a story I knew well.

Christmas continued to be a magical and enchanting time for me, even as an adult. I continued the traditions of Santa Claus and an abundance of presents for my own children. I had to make sure that there were no presents under the tree until Christmas morning, as to recreate the tale that Santa actually came during the night. It was so important for me that they believe that it was Santa who brought the presents (with the exception of 1 or 2 special ones from my husband and I). I had them put out cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, and reindeer food on the front lawn. I wanted to make the magic real for them, as it was for me. In my heart I wished still, that Santa was real, because how wonderful it would be if it was true. To me there was nothing like the magical tale of Santa on Christmas and the romance and grandeur of it all.

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

Luke 2:13-14

I loved everything about Christmas – the decorations, the lights, Christmas cards,  cutting down our tree and putting up stockings, Christmas carols, baked goods and pumpkin pie. What’s not to love, right? Only a Grinch doesn’t love Christmas! The traditions of Christmas were very important to keep up with my own children. The best movies were the ones that really showcased the magic of Christmas: Santa. Santa is a magical figure. He is all-seeing and all-knowing. He is able to make enough presents for every girl and boy in the entire world at his secret workshop hidden by magic. He has little elves who are also magical creatures to do his bidding for him. He has reindeer and a sleigh that can fly around the world. He can defy space and time. He never ages and never dies. Not to mention he can go up and down a chimney with little effort, and if there is no chimney he can still get into a house to deliver presents. You might even say Santa is god-like. Of course I never thought of Santa that way. I just loved the magic of it. Now that I have been exposed to the spiritual realm and the truths of God, I can’t help but see Santa in a whole new light.

When my husband and I became Christian, almost 3 years ago, I realized how wrong I had been about Christmas for all of my life. There is no magic in Christmas. That is a lie from the devil to turn us away from hearing about the beautiful love story that Christmas really is. God sent His only son into the world as a helpless infant. Jesus came into the world, not as God, but as a nobody, and chose to die to save us from death and hell. Satan wants to keep us from celebrating this wonderful miracle of unconditional love, and keep us focused on magic and greed. I taught my children to be very self-centered when it came to Christmas. It was all about how much they could get and if it was good enough. They didn’t care about anything else. I did them a huge disservice by keeping the focus on Santa and what he will give them, and they still struggle with it today.

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Galatians 4:4-5

It is so hard because the world bombards children with messages that feed the gimme, gimme, gimme attitude. Toy ads come in the mail full of all the great things kids “need”, TV shows are all about getting presents for Christmas, commercials are more toy ads. And Santa is just another symbol of what presents kids will get, which fuels the greedy fires inside. It’s just as bad for adults. Adults are rushing around giving, doing, serving. Giving to the point where it hurts, even when they have nothing left to give. Taking on more and more service projects and tasks without time to stop and rest or take care of their own families. Buying more and more presents for friends and family even when they can’t afford it, because it’s the thing to do. The world takes something beautiful like generosity, and twists it to make it a counterfeit of God’s loving kindness. People are stressed out, exhausted and angry by the time Christmas is over, because they have burnt themselves out over doing for others in an unhealthy way.

The world sends a message about a Christmas that is about indulging yourselves and getting swept away in magic. But the spirit of Christmas is so much more simple. It’s all about Jesus. Jesus is the ultimate gift. A gift that far surpasses anything I will ever see under a Christmas tree. Our Father in Heaven is a good Father, and He loves to give good gifts. He loves us so much, that He was willing to part with His one and only Son, Jesus, who was living a wonderful life in heaven. Yet God asked Jesus to forsake all He had known and come down to earth to be with His children for a season. Then, at the end of that time, Jesus died a criminal’s death on a cross. What love is this, that would die for us? Love that would suffer and be humiliated, despised and rejected by his own people, all for us? That is True Love.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.

Isaiah 9:6-7

And who are we that we deserved Jesus to come to earth as a helpless baby? No one. We do not deserve anything from Jesus, not one shed tear, not one drop of blood. Yet Jesus gave it all, because in His eyes, we are worthy. Yes, to our loving God, we are worthy to be loved. What an amazing miracle. What a beautiful picture of grace and mercy. You see Christmas is not just a story of Jesus being born; it is a story of our perfect redemption and salvation from the God who created us. I stand in awe and amazement at our God. His perfect love has bought us for all eternity. That is what Christmas really means.

It is just like the devil to lie. He steals, kills and destroys, and that is his goal for Christmas. It has worked pretty well for many people. I see many Christians, who are caught up in the magic of Christmas and Santa. It is a long-standing family tradition brought in by the world. They see no harm in the fun that Santa and magic bring into Christmas. After all, magic isn’t real, and neither is Santa. It is just a wonderful tale and all in good fun. No, God does not hate Christmas or trees or people who celebrate Santa, but He does grieve His children getting lost in the magic that Satan has turned Christmas into.  This is a counterfeit of the True Spirit of Christmas: Jesus.

Magic is real and it is a part of Satan’s grand plan to bring his realm into our homes. It harms our children, by teaching them that Santa can compete with Jesus for their affections. Santa is more tangible – you see him at the mall, on TV, on wrapping paper, decorations, and just about everywhere during December. Jesus is Spirit and often times children only hear about Him at church. Santa brings presents, magic, and fun. He has a magical tale being told year after year. Jesus story isn’t magical and can even seem quite ordinary to those who don’t understand  the deeper meaning of what Jesus has done for us. Children may hear the story of Jesus birth year after year and become desensitized to how valuable the message is, while the story of Santa can be told 101 ways and never grow old.

Magic is seductive because it appeals to our senses and our desire to escape into a world that dulls the pain and boredom we face. When we teach children that magic is OK, we are teaching them to explore a world that turns us away from God and towards pleasure and sensuality. Magic is very real, and all around us. People are turning towards it daily, through the occult and new age practices that are so prevalent. If we are not careful to lead our children towards Christ and value Him above all, then they are in danger of being led astray by the many lies the world has to offer. Satan does not come dressed as a scary devil with horns, but instead wrapped up as everything you ever wanted. Let us not forget the Israelite’s and how they stopped teaching their children about God, and the following generations all fell away and into idol worship and paganism. It is an important example to use now, as we celebrate Christmas.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17

wisemenChristmas is a beautiful reflection of God the Father and His love and generosity. If we can keep the true Gift of Christmas in our hearts, I don’t believe it will offend God if you give your children gifts or put up a Christmas tree. I do think He would be hurt if you completely removed Him from Christmas, but Jesus is not so easily offended as we may think. He did not come and die so He could judge us, He came to give us freedom from sin and death and hell. The day will come when we are all judged before the throne of God. I would worry more about your heart and where you stand with Christ, then whether or not you celebrate Christmas. If you keep your intimacy with Him, the you will be right where He wants you to be. That is the deepest desire your heart so longs for. Come to God and give Him your life, your thanksgiving, your heart. Let Him show you His truth and cleanse you from whatever lies about Christmas you have been holding on to. He loves you dearly, and I pray this Christmas you are able to give Jesus all of you.

Christmas has a special place in my heart and I hope to be able to teach my children to see it the way I see it. For me Christmas is the light in the darkness. It is Jesus, the Light of the World. It is hope, freedom, redemption, love, peace, joy, generosity, and family. These are all things that describe our Lord Jesus. I have taught my children in the past that Christmas is all about getting and pleasure and magic. Slowly I am trying to rectify this and bring Truth into our home. For our family, Christmas has been redeemed, and it is all in thanks to Jesus for saving us. Thank you Lord, for bringing us out of darkness and into light!

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

1 John 5:11