January 16 2017

Encouragement For The Battle Weary

battleToday was a very difficult day for me. The minute I woke up I felt the pressure over my head squeezing me and began to pray. I tried to go through my normal morning routines, but before long my youngest two sons were out of control. They were screaming at each other, insulting each other, threatening violence against each each other, and even talking about wanting to die. I was barely able to hold it together. I was shaking on the inside, trying the best I could to not completely fall apart. I could get no discernment on why I felt so terrible, so all I could do was to hold on and say the name of Jesus.

It turns out that my household was under attack from a territorial spirit, who is on assignment, using generational blood rights through my husbands family line. I am no stranger to the war the devil has been waging against us. Some days I can stand up under the weight, but today I was being crushed.  The war was more than I could bear and I just wanted peace in my household, and in my soul.

As I cried out to God, I pleaded with Him to just make the war stop. Doesn’t He know I’m not strong enough to carry this load anymore? Doesn’t He understand that it is just too much for one person to bear? Tears stream down my cheeks as I pray to not feel like a pile of crap for one day. I don’t want to be this person anymore; I just want to be normal.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9

I do not tell you this because I am looking for sympathy. No, I am telling you this, so that you can know you are not alone. I know you feel like you are the only one fighting what seems like an endless battle; but you are not. You do not have to be strong enough. You were never made to carry the weight of this war on your own.

I have tried very hard to be strong enough, but I have always failed. I have tried very hard to carry myself through these difficult days, but I just cannot do it. I know there are many more just like me, holding our torches in the darkness. We are the light bearers, a beacon to the world, calling out to rise up in the midst of our pain and shame. Yet we have to remember one thing, we are not holding our own lights; we are holding the Light of The World. Jesus.

Imagine what it was like for Christ on His last day here in the flesh. He was betrayed by his friends. He was arrested and falsely accused. He was publicly humiliated, beaten to a bloody pulp, and forced to carry His own cross to His murder. He had His belongings stolen from Him, as He was mocked and laughed at. He was separated from God the Father and had to experience death and hell. And He did all of this for you.

Jesus saw your pain and your sins as He lay dying on that cross. He knew each burden we would have to bear, each shameful act that was perpetrated on us. That is why He chose to suffer as he did. Not because He had to, but because He loved you. So whatever we are going through right now, no matter how hard it is or how bad it feels, we can stand under the weight of it, because Jesus Christ is holding us up.

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

In this world we are blessed with the gift of a body and mind and emotions. These things make up our soul, which is an integral part of our experience here. However, it is not the compass that should guide us on this journey of life. Our souls are subject to many things in this world. Pain, suffering, abandonment, rejection, fear, terror, and so much more. It is through these many experiences of life that we begin to allow our souls to mold and shape who we are. We get lost, forgetting that we were not made as a soul, but as a spirit.

It is our spirits that reside in heavenly places with Christ right now. And it is our spirits that return to God after we depart from our bodies, leaving behind all of our earthly pains and problems. Once we are in heaven, we will not even remember what we struggled through on this earth. This are heavenly truths that God teaches us in His Word, and these are truths we must instill as deeply within our souls as possible.

We cannot allow our souls to dictate our lives, because when we do we are disconnecting from these important truths. We are one with God, who lives inside of us. We are spirit, created for eternity in communion with our Creator. We are children of the Most High, who calls us Beloved. We are are royal priesthood, called out of darkness to be the glory of God the Father.

We were created through Jesus and for Jesus, and when we try to remove Jesus from our lives, true suffering begins. We listen to the lies of the world: you are strong and independent. You don’t need anyone. You can do this on your own. You are a physical being in a physical world. Experience everything the flesh has to offer, and think of consequences later. Do as you please in every moment, and don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise.

This is why we have one of the most powerful tools in the world to use against the lies of the world and the deceit of our hearts. The Word of God. Jesus is the Word, and His word will always hold true. It will never change, nor will it ever fail us. When we hide God’s Word in our hearts, it can never be taken from us. God’s Truth is our key to renewing our minds daily and bring healing and transformation into our hearts.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4;16-18

Whatever lies we have believed, whatever pain has been inflicted upon us, can all be healed and soothed by the truths and promises given to us from our Heavenly Father. We need to begin to build up a firm foundation on the Rock of Jesus Christ, so that when everything around us becomes unstable or when we feel shaken to the very core, we can know that none of that matters in the scope of eternity.

Healing is a process and a journey, one that can feel slow and painful, but will always be rewarded in the end. No matter how we feel we need to set all of that aside, and dig in deeper to the heavenly hope that created us. While growing roots into Jesus Christ may not stop the war, it will certainly bring you strength that you otherwise would never have. We are not called to find safety in the midst of peace, but in the midst of the battle raging all around us. Safety is the presence of Jesus in our daily battles, not the absence of war.

Right now, Jesus is calling you out of your hiding place, and saying ‘Rise up Mighty Warrior!’. You have been laying on the threshing floor, waiting for your death to come, but it is time to rise up. You are not dead, but alive in Christ. Rise up and take your rightful place in God’s mighty Kingdom, as a rightful heir and son or daughter. Take up your sword and fight. You were not called to a life of fear, but to a life of courage and honor for the Lord.

I personally know how difficult this battle is. You are not alone in this fight. We are all in this together, and more importantly, Jesus is here with us in the midst of it all. No matter what we feel, no matter what we see, Jesus has promised us this. You are not here by accident or by mistake. You were chosen for such a time as this, and through the strength and might of our Lord and Savior, you will overcome and persevere.

So when the battle becomes more than you can bear, rise up in the knowledge of God’s Truth and love, and with faith continue the fight.

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

2 Timothy 4:6-8

 

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

November 23 2015

Is Christmas A Pagan Holiday?

ChristmasI grew up in a home where we celebrated a “traditional” Christmas every year. My parents and I would go into the hills and cut down a tree at a Christmas tree farm. We would bring it home and put it in the Christmas tree stand and then decorate it with glass ornaments, tinsel, colored lights, and a star at the top. We would meet with my grandparents and other extended family and share a meal and exchange gifts. My dad would put on a record of old Christmas music and I would sing along. My sister and I would wake up early on Christmas morning and wait for my dad to tell us we could come out of our room. We were giddy with excitement when we saw the beautifully wrapped presents under the tree, and the stockings filled to the brim with treats. I have many found memories of Christmas as a child. There is just something about the nostalgia of the traditions of Christmas that warm my heart.

It was not until I was a young adult and I became heavily involved in the occult and witchcraft that I changed some of my opinions about Christmas. I did not grow up as a Christian and I don’t remember talking about Jesus on Christmas very often. I remember a beautiful nativity scene my mother would set out every year, one that I would lovingly play with. I can’t really say whether I understood what the nativity was really all about. As a child there was more talk about the birth of baby Jesus being born on TV, so it was something that was a part of my small world. But I doubt the meaning of it registered with me, the way it does now.

As a pagan or witch, Christmas lost most of it’s meaning to me as I traded it in for Yule or Winter Solstice. As a pagan, most of the traditional holidays (except Halloween) were not celebrated or important. As I studied more about the ancient roots of paganism and the traditions that it brought into our world, I began to have more disdain for Christians. It turns out that Christians stole all of their holidays and celebrations from pagans. So the Roman Catholic church tried to take Winter Solstice celebrations, a deep and meaningful night of celebration, and tried to change it to celebrate their God instead. In doing so they hoped to convert the pagans to Christians. It wasn’t just Christmas/Winter Solstice they were trying to use to convert pagans, but also Easter. I was absolutely sickened by the audacity of these Christians. I had never liked them before because I found them judgmental hypocrites, but this just took the cake. As a pagan, the ancient roots of our ancestors were of the utmost importance to me. And I was determined to learn more about the truth of paganism so I could uphold these ancient traditions.

 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:21

Winter Solstice is not actually on December 25th, so I did end up celebrating both, because my parents still celebrated Christmas. It was hard to completely walk away from Christmas without pushing away my family during that season. So as angry as I was about the Christmas rip-off, I still celebrated it, but knowing the truth of where it came from at least. Winter Solstice is a few days before, and it is the longest night of the year. It was a time to celebrate the birth of the sun god and the changes in the earth. The nights are long and the days shorter up until the Solstice, but now the nights would be getting shorter and the days longer. It was symbolic when paired with the birth of the sun god and the changes he brought to the earth. You light a Yule log and let it burn all night long, to represent the rising of the sun god.

As I got older and my life changed, I stopped actively practicing witchcraft, but did not stop my beliefs. I still reminded myself about the ancient traditions and roots of paganism and studied them when I had time. I still added in some practices where I could. But as my life changed in many ways, I gravitated more towards traditional Christmas celebrations again, to give my children the same traditions I had while growing up. I did teach them about Winter Solstice and some of the origins of it, because it was important to me. I wanted them to have an understanding. I never taught them about Jesus or His birth, because it meant nothing to me, except a lie to trick pagans. So when my husband and I came into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, you can see why I had some conflict about celebrating Christmas. I understood the pagan roots of Christmas and I had never used Christmas to glorify any god except the ones I previously believed in.

My husband and I prayed a lot that first year and what we took away was a great lesson. Simplify what we had been doing for Christmas. Which for us was huge. Previously we were going broke giving our kids gifts that we could not afford and glorifying Santa. We started teaching our kids about giving instead of receiving by supporting ministries such as Operation Christmas Child and Angel Tree and spent much less on our children. I was worried that we were doing something wrong by celebrating Christmas, especially after being so convicted about Halloween. I prayed fervently along with my husband and felt that God indeed wanted us to continue to celebrate Christmas.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

I have heard many Christians say that it is wrong to celebrate Christmas, because it is a pagan holiday. This statement in itself is not accurate. Christmas was never a pagan holy day. Yes, it is derived from a pagan holy day, but Christmas was never celebrated by pagans. Christmas  does have many traditions that are from pagan practices. But so do many other things we do in this world. For instance, did you know wedding rings are pagan? There is nowhere in scripture that talks about wearing wedding rings. This tradition comes from ancient Rome, as do many of the other practices of weddings we use today. Funerals are also pagan, and come from the ancient Egyptians. Flowers for the grace, embalming and more, and based on the belief that the body was going on into the afterlife. Our U.S. money has pagan symbols on it. Some coins have the goddess Liberty on them. Calendars are also pagan, as well as the names of the days of the weeks and months. Church steeples are also pagan in origin, coming from the phallic obelisk of fertility gods from ancient Egypt. And don’t get me started on the pagan idol worship in the Catholic Church. I could keep writing pages about the many things that we have adopted from paganism. It started back in Rome when Constantine the first Christian Emperor in Rome came into power and gave Christians the rights to freely worship God and believe in Jesus openly. Many pagan customs and traditions were adopted into Christianity and have stuck for centuries.

If we stop celebrating Christmas, because it is pagan, then what else are you willing to stop participating in because it’s pagan or rooted in paganism? You would need to leave just about everything in this world behind  and go live outside of society in the woods if that were the case. It would be impossible to completely remove paganism from our lives. The point is not to remove paganism from our lives, but to walk with the Spirit of God, letting Him teach you what His will is. Yes, there are many things in this world we need to remove from our lives, such as TV and media that promotes violence and sexual immorality. That is truly more offense to the Spirit of God then celebrating Christmas. I have also seen the Hebraic Roots movement where they teach not to celebrate Christmas, but to celebrate Hanukkah instead. Hannukkah is not a Biblical mandate and we are not Jewish, so there is no reason that we need to trade in one for the other. If you want to celebrate Hannukkah over Christmas, that is your choice, but don’t do it with the idea that you are glorifying God in one more than the other. We are told to live as sacrifices to God, and to glorify Him in everything we do. We are also told not to make another brother stumble by our judgments of each other. If a Christian celebrates Christmas and glorifies our Lord Jesus in this way, then who are you to tell them they are wrong and practicing paganism? We are to live in unity and peace, and to encourage and love one another.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Romans 12:1

This brings me to the next argument from the opposite side, that it is OK to celebrate Halloween, because it is a perfectly innocent and fun day and it is no longer pagan. Please do not compare Christmas and Halloween. That is like comparing a murder to a birth. They are total opposites. Halloween is a not just rooted in paganism, it is actually a high holy day for Satanists and witches. Christmas is not a holy day for pagans, but simply another day on the calendar to them. Halloween is a time when witchcraft is at an all time high, and human sacrifices are being performed. It is a celebration of death and evil. Christmas is not about any of those things, and neither is it’s counterpart, Winter Solstice. Much like Christmas, winter solstice celebrates light, hope and joy – except it is just misconstrued into a celebration of false gods and earth worship. Although during December there is a higher level of witchcraft than some other times, because of the witches celebrations and rituals during this time.

So this begs the questions, is Christmas evil, and is it wrong to celebrate it? No, Christmas is not evil. There is nothing evil about the day of Christmas or any of the pagan traditions that come along with it. It is a day where families get together with love and gratitude and exchange presents. It is a season where people are geared toward serving others and are willing to open up their pocket books and give to the needy. Compassion is at an all time high and we open our doors to friends and neighbors who would otherwise be alone on Christmas. We spend an entire month focusing on doing good for others and spreading love and joy. Of course there is always the other side of commercialism, but that doesn’t take away from what you can do with Christmas. This isn’t the time to say, what can Christmas do for me, but instead, what can I do for Christmas? I can use Christmas to honor my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I can humble myself and serve those in need around me. I can reach out and give even when I have little. I can talk about the Good News of Jesus Christ, because Christmas is all about Him! I can bring light into the darkness of the winter by shining the light of the Holy Spirit inside of me.

treeI do not need to do these things with Santa Claus, stockings, reindeer and things that have little to nothing to do with Jesus. But giving gifts is a beautiful thing, and it is very appropriate I feel, because our Father is a good Father who loves to spoil His children. We deserve nothing from Him, yet He gives us so many blessings and gifts in abundance! The best gift of all being His one and only Son! Who came into this world as a helpless baby, making Himself nothing so He could give us an inheritance! Who wouldn’t want to spend an entire season focusing on the selflessness and humility of Christ and His birth? Who cares if He wasn’t born in December – we don’t really know for sure. But what I do know is that the entire world in one way or another is celebrating Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ, Savior of the World. So why should I shun Christmas because of paganism in the traditions and push away friends and family? That would cause a huge division in a time of hope and joy and unity.

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.  And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.

Mark 3:24-26

Division is not of God. Our God is a God of community. God Himself is community as the Holy Trinity. He wants us to partake in community and fellowship. The devil wants to divide us and keep us alone. If we stop celebrating Christmas we are dividing ourselves from the church as a whole, our friends and family that celebrate. for most of December, because that is how long Christmas is celebrated. It is an entire season. Wouldn’t the devil just love to keep Christians from celebrating a holiday that was all about Jesus Christ?? Of course he would! He can convince some Christians to celebrate a satanic holy day such as Halloween, and others to not celebrate a holiday for Jesus. That is absolutely backwards! Enjoy the Christmas season by first asking God how He wants you to celebrate it. You may need to strip some of the things from it that He is displeased with, or you may need to add in new traditions of serving others. The most important thing is to be in connection and intimacy with God, loving Him and honoring Him above all. I am going to continue to write about Christmas as the Spirit leads, as I feel there is more to be said on this subject. Be blessed brothers and sisters!

And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Matthew 2:11

 

 

October 26 2015

Is Halloween Evil?

halloween-72939_1280I have recently written a post about Halloween, and why I do not believe Christians should celebrate it. I have been blessed with this post being shared quite a bit over social media and have received many wonderful comments from readers. The Lord has done an amazing work spreading the Truth of His Word with my post on Halloween! Just last year I wrote about Halloween, and it did not get much attention. I tried very hard to post it around on social media sites. I also made a video on Youtube about Halloween. That got more interest, but not as much as it has gotten in the past couple of weeks. It is all due to the Lord, and not at all due to anything I have done. I praise His holy and mighty Name for that!

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

I normally would not write another post on Halloween with the fact that I just wrote one, but I have seen some comments that really bothered me. It is these comments that have inspired me to write another post. These are comments I have already heard from many people I already know from my church or that I have met in the past couple of years. The one that bothers me the most is that, Halloween is not right for me to celebrate because I used to be in the occult. Therefore, I cannot handle Halloween. But for others, who have never been involved in the occult, it is OK. They have not done anything wrong, and they are doing something perfectly innocent in celebrating Halloween. I have to say that hurts me in a deep place in my heart. God has not convicted me that Halloween is evil because I was in the occult. God has convicted me that Halloween is evil because God knows it is evil.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

There are some who would say that Halloween is a day that the Lord made. God has made all days, and we should celebrate each day and be joyful because of that. We should not hide in our houses and let the devil win. I have heard all these comments many times to give reasoning to celebrate Halloween. But I ask you this. Would you tell that to the thousands of humans who are going to endure being brutally murdered in a satanic ritual? Or what about the others who will be beaten and sexually abused in a satanic ritual? Would you look them in the eye and tell them that you are going to dress your children up and go out and have fun with friends because you are doing nothing wrong?

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

Ephesians 5:11

Can you imagine the horror of satanic ritual abuse survivors as they drive around their neighborhoods as Halloween draws near? They see yards decorated with witches, ghosts and other ghouls down every street. When they go to the neighborhood Wal-Mart they are confronted with mummies, demons and pumpkins carved to look scary. It brings back horrifying memories and searing pain into their lives as they try not to relive the hell they experienced. Then there are those who were not abused, but were forced to participate nonetheless.

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 1 Corinthians 10:21

The thought of people being tortured and killed in satanic rituals may seem like something to surreal for many people to grasp. It is not something often talked about in our culture. We can glorify death and violence in our mainstream horror movies and our Halloween fun, but thinking about satanic ritual abuse is to close to reality for us to deal with. We have been desensitized from a young age to violence and evil. It is everywhere on TV, music, cartoons, comic books, etc. that many children are exposed to on a daily basis. So we grow up thinking that witches, ghosts and vampires are all good fun. And as a child it is quite fun – especially when your parents are advocating it and turning it into a special family tradition.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9

I understand that not every family allows the scary costumes or decorations into their house for Halloween. So they are basically putting on a filter over Halloween, so that their family does not see the evil of it for what it is. It makes it very easy to see Halloween as a great family time to indulge a little. I often hear that families won’t give up celebrating Halloween because it is for the kids. The kids love candy and they wouldn’t understand if they couldn’t celebrate anymore. The problem with this is that you are not seeing Halloween for the evil it really is. Therefore you are teaching your children that it is not evil. And they will teach their children Halloween is not evil, and so on and so forth. It is a vicious cycle that is propagating the lies of the devil.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

It reminds me of the Israelites in Exodus and Deuteronomy where the fathers did not teach the children the ways of the Lord. Soon the next generation was not holding fast to the ways of the Lord and then not teaching their children about the Lord at all. God was forsaken and the Israelites were worshiping false gods (demons), sacrificing their own children and giving themselves over to sexual immorality. They always paid a high price because they were inviting the devil right in to their lives and they didn’t even know it. They began to follow the ways of the culture around them, and began to believe that there was nothing wrong with these practices. If everyone else is doing it, how can it be wrong? Why do you think God warns us so many times not to follow the pagan practices? Why do you think he has such harsh consequences to this? Because it is dangerous – we are opening our lives up to demonic activity and giving them legal rights to stay.

“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the Lord your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.”

Leviticus 18:2-5

So it is much the same with Halloween. We are forgetting the teachings of the Lord and going along with what culture dictates is right and good instead. We are to live our lives as set apart and holy, but often we find that isn’t convenient for what we want. God never said to live for Him when it was convenient, He said to love Him with all your heart, soul and mind. To do that you need to sometimes do things that are difficult and uncomfortable, like go against the grain of what is popular in our society. Even when you have already been completely immersed in it and have taught your children to follow it as well. But let me ask you this, do you want your children to grow up and stand firm against the devil, and follow Jesus Christ? I know I do.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Isaiah 5:20

Let us not take Halloween and use it to glorify ourselves, as we are accustomed to doing. Most people who celebrate Halloween are not doing it for the Lord, but for themselves. It is not a celebration that we are doing in honor of God. We are not thinking of God or using it to thank Him for anything. It is pure paganism at it’s finest. It is a day where we get attention for our costumes and get treats (and for many adults drink and party). How does this honor the Lord? Am I saying that you cannot have fun as a Christian? Absolutely not. What I am saying is we need to stop making excuses for why it is OK to celebrate Halloween. We are glorifying the devil by participating in a day that he uses to destroy people. Even Anton Levay, founder of the Church of Satan has this to say about Halloween. “I’m glad that Christian parents let their children worship the devil at least one night out of the year.” If the founder of the Church of Satan is happy we are celebrating Halloween, we should seriously rethink what we are doing with this day.

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?  What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God.

1 Corinthians 6:14-16

set apartOn Halloween I will wake up and thank the Lord for another beautiful day. I will thank Him for the many blessings He has given me in my life – my husband and family, my home and my church, and especially my salvation. I will have joy because I love the Lord and not feel as though I have somehow been defeated because I am not celebrating Halloween. I will spend time with my family and we will pray for the poor souls who are being tormented on this night, and for the lost souls who are witches and Satanists, worshiping the devil on this high holy holiday. I urge you to do the same. How can we reclaim this day from Satan? By not recognizing Halloween, and not participating in it. We can spread the truth of the evil of Halloween and urge our family and friends to not participate in it either. If more and more Christians stop celebrating Halloween, think of what a kick in the pants that would be to the devil! That would be a truly amazing way to honor the Lord!

“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations.  There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer  or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead,  for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you.  You shall be blameless before the Lord your God,  for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this.” Deuteronomy 18:9-14