March 28 2016

Easter And Paganism

easterAs I write this, it is Easter 2016. I came into the Easter season with very little excitement this year. Before I was a Christian, I quite enjoyed Easter. I loved to hide plastic eggs filled with candy for my kids in our backyard. We would spend time the night before filling the eggs and hiding them for the kids, so they would believe the Easter bunny brought them. The kids were always so excited to wake up and see their Easter baskets waiting for them, filled with little goodies and candy. We also put out the night before so it would like as if the Easter bunny brought them. Then, later in the morning we would dye eggs and do yet another Easter egg hunt, this time the kids would hide them for each other. We would usually have family over for an early dinner, and then spend a relaxing evening at home, trying to wind the kids down from all the sugar.

There was no church service or talk of Jesus Christ or His resurrection during these years before we became Christian. We could care less about Jesus at that point really. During this time of year I also reflected on the spring festivals and holy days of witches, the Spring Equinox,  which reminded me of the Goddess and Mother Earth. I did not celebrate those things on Easter itself, because they were separate events.  Most of all, Easter has always been a time of family for me. I really enjoy family and spending time together, and that always makes a a holiday special for me.

This year there was nothing particularly special about Easter for me. Two years ago we ditched all of our Easter baskets, plastic eggs, bunny decorations and things of that nature. My husband and I decided that we did not want to teach the kids about the Easter bunny and celebrating with eggs and baskets and things of that nature anymore. The reason behind this is because those things have nothing to do with Jesus and do not glorify Him in any way. They are more about the pagan rituals of fertility and sexuality than Jesus, but we have adopted them and changed them to be cute and fun. I have nothing against these practices, we just don’t see the point in doing them anymore. It was fun for many years, but utterly meaningless. Coming into a relationship with Jesus Christ is what gave real meaning to Easter for us. Thinking about His sacrifice and His resurrection. That in itself was enough to throw out the baskets and eggs for us. Jesus is a far better trade off in my opinion.

Saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

Revelation 5:12-13

This year I have really lost all joy in Easter whatsoever. I just do not see Easter the same way anymore. I could try to view it with the same child like innocence that I always have before, but my life and the way I see the world is just not the same anymore. For one, I recently found out about severe abuse in my child hood, perpetrated by my family and the Mormon Church. This has completely rocked my world. A part of this abuse has been satanic rituals, done in the Mormon church. It has opened my eyes to a whole new understanding of our world and the spiritual realm, even greater than I had before. I am also living in a lot of pain on a day to day basis. Some days are not too bad, others are unbearable. I have learned more than I ever thought there was to know about witchcraft, and it’s effects in this world.

There is a pretty big movement of Christians who are completely against Easter. They say it is a pagan holiday and it is wrong for Christians to celebrate it. They say that we are doing something offensive to God and trying to take something wrong and put a Christian spin on it to make it right. I can understand the stance and where it came from, but I cannot agree with this movement at all. The problem is, the devil is having a field day distracting these Christians with the “evils of paganism” and then using them to turn other Christians away from Easter and Christmas. Christians who hate these so called pagan holy days are full of anger and make very negative statements in which they throw Bible verses at others, with their claims of righteousness in abstaining from them. This is not the work of God, who is not the author of confusion, nor division.

I have spent a lot of time going over the facts of what paganism is and what makes a pagan holy day, so I am not going to do that again. If you are interested in those, please read my post on paganism, and also on Christmas and paganism. I think that people have lost the real focus in their fight when they start to throw stones at paganism. Paganism is merely a distraction of the enemy to lead people astray from the real problem prevalent in our society. Witchcraft. Witchcraft is very dangerous and very real. It is seductive and has lasting effects that run deep on those who choose to participate in it. I know, because I am still removing the hooks, over 3 years after I gave my life to Christ. I too have been led down that rabbit trail of paganism, condemning everything that looked pagan to me, and feeling very self righteous in the process. It took me these 3 years to begin to see that paganism is simply a part of our society, ingrained in every part of it in ways we don’t even realize. That does not make paganism evil, nor does it make it inherently wrong either.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

John 3:17

Can we glorify God through customs that are pagan in their roots? Can we take days that were once holy to the pagans in the ancient days of the Romans and Greeks, and recycle them into something for God? In a short answer, no. We as people cannot do take something as big as this and change it for good; but God can. Nothing is too big or great for God. Can we glorify God through practicing Easter customs of dying eggs and chocolate bunnies? Probably not. But God will be glorified regardless of these things, because He is much greater than the sum of our pagan parts, all mish-mashed together. It may not be through the eggs and bunnies, but it will be through us – His children, and through His Son, Jesus Christ.

I do not think Easter is wrong, nor do I think Christians should abstain from it. I certainly do not think that Easter offends God, nor does God get mad at Christians for celebrating it. I do not think it is wrong to not celebrate it either, if you choose not too. What I believe is wrong about Easter is those who decide that they should not celebrate it, and then use the Bible to condemn those who do. Or these same people who say they are trying to teach others about the truth. The truth is that Easter is not a pagan holiday, and that is a fact. It is a Catholic holiday, adopted by Christians and the U.S at large. It is derived from a pagan holiday and includes some customs that are based on pagan rites and rituals. To make it a pagan holy day, it would have to currently be a day set aside by witches or satanists to be used in observance to their gods and for rituals. This is simply not the case.

There are however, holy days for witches and satanists that are observed in this same season that we celebrate Lent and Easter. This does not make Easter pagan, and the fact that we focus on Easter and paganism is pretty ironic, considering at this very same time of year human lives are being sacrificed to Lucifer. I do not hear one single Christian standing up for the rights of the poor human beings who have their lives taken from them in the name of Lucifer and other gods. There are four different sacrificial rituals in April alone, in which human lives are used. Where is the outcry for these people? Who stands up to rally against satanism and rituals where witchcraft is being sent out everywhere? Who even realizes that the mass witchcraft done in rituals by people all over the world on the same days actually has a huge effect on the rest of us in this world? Not many. No, we are safe in our own little worlds, being distracted by bunnies and eggs, or the hatred of them.

Let me get back to my Easter day today. We slept in, as we decided to go to the late service at church. We picked up my father in law, who my husband is not close too, but lives in an assisted living place. We wanted to give him a nice time regardless of our own feelings. We got to church about 40 minutes before service for the deacons pancake breakfast. We ate and then moved into the worship center to get a seat. The worship service was nice – songs that glorified Jesus Christ and His resurrection on the cross. I always love worship, and love to sing to my Lord and God. Yet this year I could not bring myself to focus on the death and resurrection of Christ. I did not want to spend weeks or even the day reflecting on the work Jesus has done for us on the cross. Why? Because I have already spent a long season of my life doing so, and I believe that for me, it is time to move on.

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,  and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.

Hebrews 6:1-2

I do not want to take time once a year to think about Jesus and His death and resurrection. I do not believe that it is effective in moving me closer to Jesus. I do believe for some people it is, and I think that is wonderful. I have no issues with that whatsoever. But for me, it is time to move forward. I do not believe life should be a circle that we keep going around and around again. That is actually a pagan idea in itself. The witches wheel of the year, in which they have their holy days they observe. Well we are living much in the same way. We go year in and year out, marking the seasons with holidays to remember and reflect. But I do not want to crucify Christ again, year after year. He is not a man living on earth, being beaten and murdered anymore. He is God in heaven, glorified and seated at the right hand of God the Father. That is how I want to think about Him, every day.

heart-on-doorIt is very important to know about and understand what Jesus has done. It is impossible to know Him and His amazing love for us without knowing about the crucifixion. But I believe in order to grow and to know who we are in Christ and what God has for us here during this time we have on earth, we need to move forward, away from the cross and into God’s plan. You see, I believe God has called each one of us, before the beginning of time. I believe we knew God before we were ever born, and that God gave us His plan for us; a plan that included us doing something amazing for His Kingdom here on earth. We should remember the cross, but that should be something that is a part of our hearts and who we are, not a holiday once a year. We need to stop going back over and over again, marveling at the empty grave, as if it is something new to be rejoiced about. Instead we need to take the work on the cross and let it shape and transform us as we move through this world, bringing His light into it.

I do not want to loose the wonder of who Jesus Christ is in my life, by relegating him to a couple of holidays every year, or even to once a week at church. Jesus Christ has given me something more wonderful than any person could give. It is something so amazing I could never portion it out to a single day or hour of my year. He has given me love. Not just any love, but true love. Unconditional love. Love that heals wounds, changes hearts, brings the dead back to life, and sets the world on fire. I have always wished for a love so pure and so deep that it would complete me. I have finally found it, in my wonderful savior. Are you ready to run after Him with that same passionate love, and see what more there is in your relationship?

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:6-7

 

February 15 2016

Occult Hidden In Our Society

occult

I know many people who believe that the world of the occult is limited to those who do witchcraft or magic, such as witches and satanists. They believe that they are not influenced by the occult in any way, and are safe from it. They celebrate satanic holy days such as Halloween, believing there is no harm in it. They watch television shows about witches and read books about magic and feel there is no involvement with the occult in these practices. However, the fact is that the occult is actually hidden in so much of the media and movies that you almost cannot help but be exposed to it.

Before we go into the occult in our world today, we must first define what the occult means. Here is the definition from Dictionary.com:

Occult1) of or relating to magic, astrology, or any system claiming use or knowledge of secret or supernatural powers or agencies. 

2) beyond the range of ordinary knowledge or understanding; mysterious.

3) secret; disclosed or communicated only to the initiated. 

4) hidden from view.

As you can see, the occult is the use or practice of witchcraft or supernatural powers, and it is secret or hidden. Let’s look at some examples of practices of the occult so we can get a better understanding of how to recognize it around us. These are all things also mentioned in the Bible.

contacting dead ancestors through mediums, predicting or telling the future through psychics or fortune tellers, knowing the future, astrology and horoscopes, magic charms, astral projection, calling on the dead, channeling spirits or dead ancestors, seeing or speaking to the dead, Ouija boards, palm reading, chakras, energy reading or moving energy around or aligning energy, spirit guides or spiritists, tarot cards, crystals, yoga, I Ching, automatic writing, white magic, incantations, chanting.

Then there is anything that is included in witchcraft and Wicca, and Satanism, as well as many practices of cults, secret societies and other religions that worship false gods, such as animal sacrifice, baptizing the dead, casting spells, doing rituals, cursing people or objects, worshiping idols, summoning demons, seeing and speaking with demons.

This is just a short list of the many things that are practiced in the occult. The occult is a creation of the devil. The devil uses things that look good and helpful to us to deceive us into stepping into them and then getting caught in his trap. Most people who get involved with the occult do so either by force or by deception. There are few (in my opinion) who knowingly step into worshiping darkness. There are those who also get forced or tricked into involvement, but then willingly decide to commit themselves to darkness.

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

1 Timothy 4:1

What makes the occult so dangerous? The occult is a gateway to the demonic. Once you open up the door to your soul through occult practices, you are giving the devil and his demons rights to you. Theses rights allow them to come inside you (not possess you if you are Christian), to mess with the way you think, what you believe, how you see the world and God, and your physical being and emotional/mental state. Some believe that only doing astrology or yoga or reading books is not dangerous. You are not really involved or it is not really too bad, because you are not actually practicing magic. You are involved and you are practicing magic. What about those who are just passively watching while it happens? Are they really participating or involved. Very much yes. You are right there open and allowing the demonic to enter in to you. Even just watching is a form of submission and acceptance to what is happening and is opening you up to evil. Even if you are just watching it on TV or a movie.

Now some things in our society are pretty obvious in showing magic – they are about witches, vampires and things of that nature. Other things are not so obvious to those who don’t have an understanding of the occult and how it works. That is why it is so deceptive, because it is hidden in plain sight. So you may be watching one of your favorite movies, such as Star Wars, Maleficent,  or The Matrix, or one of your favorite TV shows, such as the Super Bowl, Big Bang Theory or Game of Thrones which are laden with occult activity and symbolism and be involved in the occult. That is a pretty heavy statement to make I realize, and there are many who will shut down and not be able to hear this. I completely understand that. I lived most of my life involved in the occult and half the time had no idea. That is because as the definition says, it is a secret hidden from the uninitiated.

Nobody wants to think they are being indoctrinated into the occult or the belief systems held by the occult without their knowledge. That is something that is too shocking and upsetting to even consider for most people. And the truth is that the media that has the occult weaved throughout it, is de-sensitizing us to the occult and witchcraft in the movies and music, etc. It is hiding the occult in these things, so that the occult is normal and acceptable, not something bad or evil. More than that even, it is just unnoticed and therefore nonexistent to us. But our minds and souls are taking it all in, integrating it into our thoughts and actions subconsciously.

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:3

 It is not limited to TV or movies either. It is in music, books, commercials and more. The occult is deeply immersed into our culture, in every way possible. Why? Because the devil runs the show on earth. It is his domain. He is prince of the earth, and does what he wants, which is to fill each of us up with as much evil as he possible can. That way he can steal us away from God, kill our souls, and destroy ever shred of hope we have to go to heaven and to know Jesus. He has succeeded many times in destroying souls and bringing them into darkness with him. I am living proof of what the devil tries to do – but God is greater! He has redeemed me from a life in the occult and witchcraft, even when I thought I wasn’t a part of it anymore. The occult gets so deep into your soul that you cannot just renounce it and walk away. It takes time and work to cut all of the ties that bind you in. That is the way it was designed. The devil is not stupid. He gets you started as a child – just look at the cartoons for children now days – Gravity Falls, The Lego Movie, Frozen – they are all rife with magic. Children as young as 2 and 3 are obsessed with Frozen and have it on everything they own; clothes, bedding, lunch boxes, toys, toothbrushes. Frozen does a wonderful job at making magic look good. After all, the sister who has the magic powers has suffered and is really just a good girl. It is not her fault. And in the end she can use her magic powers for good. Children sing the theme song, which is a tribute to the occult. Just read the lyrics.

So as children we begin our descent into the occult, without ever realizing it. The devil is very sneaky. As we get older we naturally gravitate towards the things of the occult. Again they seem harmless and fun. Things like yoga, astrology, psychics, and movies about witchcraft (Harry Potter, etc), crystals, karma, numerology, Ouija boards, Reiki, auras, meditation, therapeutic touch and much more. These are things that are acceptable in our society, and many Christians participate in them or watch them on a regular basis without realizing that it is a practice of the occult. All of these things are tapping in to the power of the demonic and harnessing the energy of said demons. All of these things open a gateway for the devil into your heart and mind. There is nothing more dangerous in this world than inadvertently opening yourself up to demonic oppression, because you don’t even know you have done it. Then the devil has an in and you are completely unaware.

Once the devil gets a way in, he begins to cause problems first with our beliefs and thoughts about the world and God. We slowly start moving away from the Biblical mindset and start moving into a worldly mindset. Remember, the world is the devil’s domain and the opposite of the Truths of God. Once we began to believe the lies that he implants, we stop listening to the convictions of the Holy Spirit. We go back to the same place as Adam and Eve, when the devil tempted them in the Garden. “Did God really say?” he asks you. And you question whether or not God said not to watch movies about witchcraft or whether Frozen really has witchcraft. You question whether or not visiting a psychic is really harmful, or if getting healing in a Reiki session is wrong. The Bible doesn’t actually list any of those things specifically. And if I am hurting and haven’t found an answer, then why not give it a try.

 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

But guess what – part of the reason you are hurting and searching is because the devil has already done a job of causing a rift between you and God. He has also gotten into your body to cause you pain, infirmity, sickness, disease, depression, anger, despair, and many, many other problems. If you want to walk through life believing your problems are just due to having a bad season or bad circumstances, etc, then you are not remembering the Truths of the Bible. You have an enemy who wants to destroy you. Only one enemy – and you have to stop giving him the power in your life to wreak havoc. You have to open your eyes to what you are allowing into your home, your heart, your mind, your children. God has warned us countless times in the Bible to not fall prey to the ways of the devil, but we keep ignoring Him, and falling into the ways of the world, just like the Israelites did.

JesusGod is not angry with you for letting the occult into your life. He understands the ways of the devil and knows that we are weak and fall prey to temptation easily. But God always gives us a way out. God gives us strength in our weakness. He is here with us, every day, for all of our lives on earth, to help us learn more about Him, so we can rely on Him to do this thing. Once you become aware and know the Truth, you are now responsible for acting on it. If you do not, you will be held accountable for your choices. God wants to help you, but you must draw closer to Him. There is not condemnation in Christ Jesus. He loves you, and He wants only the best for you. He knows how difficult life can be, but He also knows how a deep intimacy with Jesus can bring you the greatest joy and freedom you have ever experienced. There is nothing more exciting and satisfying in this world than Jesus Christ!

If you are struggling and feel like you are addicted or obsessed or have no control over things like watching Harry Potter, or the Ouija board, or anything else I have listed (or maybe didn’t list) then you are in very deep and need help. God will free you and send help for you, if you just cry out to Him. You are not alone!! Jesus will never, never leave you – no matter what choices you are making, or have made. Just know that God has the most amazing plan for you! Bigger than any dream you could even imagine for yourself. You just have to begin a trust walk with Him, to move closer to Him, and let His light bring you healing and redemption. The occult is not bigger than God. Jesus has defeated the devil, and he will not win. No matter how bad the state of the world looks, this Truth will never change. So step out in trust and see what God has for you! You have an amazing journey ahead my dear brothers and sisters! It is time to persevere!

 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

January 18 2016

Paganism Is Not The Real Enemy

paganismWhen I first became a Christian I was walking away from a life of what I called paganism. To me, I identified as a pagan, because I worshiped the earth, was at one with the universe and practiced ‘magik’. I was also completely against organized religion, so I did not align myself to any one pagan religion, such as Wicca. So I was just a pagan, or a witch. I associated paganism with witchcraft, because to me it was one and the same. What I didn’t understand was that paganism and witchcraft were not the same thing. This is simply how I chose to identify myself so as not to be indoctrinated into a religion. The truth is not all pagans do witchcraft.

It is a common misconception that paganism is inherently evil. It actually is not. Let’s look at the definition of the word pagan, according to dictionary.com:

Pagan: 1) one of a people or community observing polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans and Greeks. 2) a member of a religious, spiritual, or cultural community based on the worship of nature or the earth; neopagans. 3) a person who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim; a heathen.

So as you can see a pagan is not someone who practices witchcraft, but someone who subscribes to a religion that is polytheistic or don’t believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, who died to save the world from sin. Now let’s look at the definition of paganism:

Paganism: 1) pagan spirit or attitude in religious or moral questions. 2) the beliefs or practices of pagans.

Paganism is not related to witchcraft. I have researched what the Bible says about pagans or paganism, and these words are not found. The words commonly used are idolaters and unbelievers or gentiles. Let’s look at the definition of these words as well:

Idolaters: 1) a worshiper of idols:  2) a person that admires intensely and often blindly one that is not usually a subject of worship.

Unbeliever: a person who does not believe something; especially : a person who does not believe in a particular religious faith

Gentile: 1) a person of a non-Jewish nation or of non-Jewish faith; especially :  a Christian as distinguished from a Jew.  2) heathen, pagan

So a pagan is basically the same as someone who is not Christian, and who has other religious beliefs that include worship to gods other than the One True Living God. This does not mean that a pagan is practicing witchcraft. So this bears the question, why is paganism so wrong and bad in the eyes of so many Christians? The argument is that  paganism is a problem because it leads us away from the One True Living God. The problem with this argument is that our entire culture in America is pagan, even our Christianity. Christianity is rooted in Judaism, but then took on many pagan practices over time. Our society is filled with paganism, and incorporated into most everything there is. Let’s take a look at some of the examples of paganism in our society today:

The Church Building – There is nothing in scripture that tells us to create buildings for the purpose of meeting together and talking about God. The first Christians met together in homes. Churches began to be built during the reign of Constantine, and they were not called church, but temples. Temples were in all the big cities in that time, but they were dedicated to various gods and goddesses. People would go to meet and worship their gods and goddesses in their temples daily. The very idea of a church is pagan in origin.

Weddings – Almost every wedding practice we have today is based in pagan roots. There is no place weddings are commanded in scripture, nor the use of wedding rings. The bridal veil, flower bouquet, wedding cake, and much more are all practices from the Romans and Greeks and symbolic of their polytheistic beliefs and superstitions. None of these things is Biblical.

Makeup – Ancient Egyptians used makeup because they believed the powders contained magic powers and believed green paint around the eyes protected them from evil spirits. They also used the dark eyeliner to make the almond shape around their eye, because it represented the Eye of Horus. Horus was their patron god and his eye was a symbol of restoration and sacrifice.

Calendars – The Gregorian calendar that we typically use is completely pagan. It is based on the sun, not on the moon as the calendar of God and the Jews. The sun-god was one of the most important gods in Roman and Greek society, so their based their calendar on this, so it would revolve around their holy days. The names of the days of the week and the months are all based on gods and goddesses.

Thanksgiving – Celebration of the harvest has been around since ancient times, and is not something new created by Americans. While the first Thanksgiving was reportedly done by Puritans, it was a custom taken from pagan practices. Other religions commonly offer their first crops to their gods and goddesses in thanks, so as to assure continued prosperity. Thanksgiving is not in the Bible as a mandated festival, and neither are any holidays we celebrate for that matter.

Birthday Celebrations – There is no mention of celebrating your day of birth in the Bible. It is said that the first birthdays were celebrated by ancient kings, who executed people as part of the festivities, as well as drunken orgies and the like.  Did you know that the most important Satanic holy day is one’s own birthday?

This is just a short list of the many practices that are pagan in origin that we do or use on a regular basis. The bottom line is we live in a broken world full of sin, in which the devil has his playground. There has never been a time when paganism wasn’t predominant. If we try to escape paganism, we become legalistic, using the idea that paganism is evil to fight against people we see in the midst of practicing paganism. It become a vicious cycle, in which we lash out with hate and pride, instead of loving people into the arms of Jesus. Am I condoning paganism? No. What I am saying is, paganism is not the real problem or the enemy we should focus our fight against.

When I first began my research two years ago into Christmas and whether or not it was right to celebrate, I came to realize that not only is Christmas full of pagan roots and origins, but so are most things we incorporate into our daily existence. I became despondent, as all I wanted was to remove myself from paganism after coming out of it, and yet here I was still in the midst of it. It is true that other religious beliefs, practices and customs can lead us away from God, but more importantly it is witchcraft that leads us away from God, and into danger. Paganism in itself is not evil, and I propose to you that the real problem is witchcraft. What exactly is witchcraft?

Let’s look at what the Merriam-Webster has to say about witchcraft:

Witchcraft1)  the use of sorcery or magic 2)  communication with the devil or with a familiar (spirit)

Witchcraft by definition in the Bible: worshiping idols (demons), necromancy (contacting dead ancestors), mediums (contacting the dead, seances), divination or fortune-tellers or omen interpreters (predicting the future), human sacrifice, animal sacrifice to idols (demons) sorcerers, wise men, enchanters, magicians, astrologers, drinking blood, cutting your body for the dead or marking your body i.e. tattoos (blood rituals), curses, spells, magic charms (cursed items), soul selling.

And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.

2 Kings 17:17

As you can see, this is quite a comprehensive list I have found, through researching scripture. The reason God hates witchcraft, is because it is the practice of using the power of demons to either harm others for self gain, or to seek to find power, blessing or fortune from demons by worshiping them and giving them rights into our bodies, souls and minds through blood covenants, etc. Opening yourself up to witchcraft can kill your spirit, destroy your relationship with God, and you can potentially give yourself to Satan for life. God does not want to see His children falling prey to the evil devices of the devil. The devil lures many, many people in with promises of fame, fortune, power and more, as they give over their lives, or even the lives of those they love in order to gain these things. In exchange for these things they give the devil the control of their free will and the keys to generations to come.

Magic or witchcraft is extremely dangerous, yet it is also very seductive and deceptive. It comes wrapped up in a pretty package as everything you ever wanted, and more. It comes in the form of music, tv shows, movies, religion, and charms (crystals and other new age trinkets). It draws you in pretending to know your future or give you insight into life or a higher spiritual awakening. It disguises itself as fun and games, and it is the most deadly weapon the enemy has in his hands right now. Witchcraft is everywhere in our society, and just about everyone I know enjoys it in one form or another. Yet they do not label it as witchcraft, but rather their favorite book or movie they love (are obsessed with). I have experienced the danger of witchcraft first hand, and I know how deadly it truly is.

God’s warnings to us in the Bible are not to stay away from paganism, but rather to stay away from magic in all of its forms. In ancient times it was quite common to sacrifice your child to your “god” which was really a demon. It was also quite common to perform sexual rituals or blood rituals to make a sacrifice to your “god”. It was also believed to be necessary in order to appease to gods and receive whatever gain you are hoping to achieve. These gods often were represented by idols or statues which made people feel that their gods were more tangible and real, while the One True Living God was inaccessible. These sacrifices and rituals are witchcraft. Practicing witchcraft is akin to selling your soul to the devil.

No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.

1 Corinthians 10:20

The devil is very busy distracting many Christians with the bait of paganism. He tells us how evil paganism is, how much God hates it, and how we need to fight against it with all of our might. Meanwhile we are being completely blinded to the depth and level that witchcraft has pervaded the entire world. Take Christmas for example. There is a group of Christians who believe that God hates Christmas, the Christmas tree, and thinks the whole thing is evil and pagan. Yet the rest of the world is using this as a time of peace, joy, giving, and sharing Jesus Christ. These Christians are actually at war with other Christians yet they believe in their hearts they are being righteous. Pitting yourself against other Christians never brings righteousness. Human anger does not bring on righteousness. We are called to love one another and lift them up to the One who has the power to transform lives. Not condemn them for what we believe is wrong. The devil has a heyday watching Christians fight among each other, whether it be over Christmas, the rapture or whether or not you can lose your salvation.

That is why I say paganism is not the real enemy. We need to stop focusing on paganism because it is only causing us to judge and condemn others, spreading hate and self-righteousness. It is causing us to turn away from God, and make ourselves our own Gods. Paganism is a part of this world, and as long as Satan has free rein here, paganism will prevail. You cannot stop it, but you can love others right where they are, even in the midst of paganism. You can accept them for who they are and love them with the love of Christ. Only Christ can bring these people where He wants Him to be. We have no say in where people need to be with their walk with Christ and we cannot try to control them through our own beliefs. Focus yourself on Jesus Christ, and through Him alone great things will happen.

Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;

Romans 14:10

I can say all this because I have spent the last two years judging everyone around me for their involvement in paganism. Everywhere I looked Christians were getting drunk, dressing provocatively, watching television shows about sex and drugs, watching movies about death and destruction, etc., etc. I was painfully aware of every single person being involved in things ungodly and unrighteous, meanwhile unknowingly lifting myself up onto a pedestal above them all. If God convicted me not to do any of those things, if He showed me the Truth of the wrong in those things, then they must be lying to themselves. I was on my way to becoming holy in my own mind, but in reality I was only becoming holier than thou. It was never my intention, nor my heart, but it was only a symptom of something greater.

What I failed to recognize is that people who are involved in paganism are doing so out of pain. Paganism at the core is all about pleasure and self fulfillment. It seems to be an instant remedy to pain, misguided as it may be. And while many people cannot even recognize nor admit their own pain, many are still operating out of it nonetheless. The devil has done a great work in this world to cause us more pain than we can even bear, and then try to numb ourselves to it as we bury it as deep as we can. Paganism is just another symptom of a broken world run by the devil. Witchcraft is the real enemy. Witchcraft will destroy your very soul. Witchcraft can take you straight to hell and you won’t even realize it until it’s far too late

God does not hate anyone who has been involved in paganism or witchcraft. He loves every single person that has ever been, or will ever be. He loves them no matter what – whether they are trying to find righteousness based on the law, or turning completely against Him. God’s love knows no bounds, no constraints, no matter what you have done. Even if you have knowingly chosen to practice witchcraft God does not hate you. He loves you more than you can ever know and wants to save you and bring you home with Him forever. We need to cast of our own constraints of religious thinking and find the truth in God’s own heart. His heart is for all of His people – to save them and bring them restoration. Come to Him now, and see what miracles He has waiting in His storehouse for you!

Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.

Romans 14:13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

August 3 2015

Identity Crisis

identityMy whole life I have been asking the question “Who am I?”. Even from the earliest years in my life, I have struggled to find an answer to this question. I think many of us spend a good portion of our lives trying to find our identities. As children we don’t worry as much about where are identity lies, because we find it in being a son or daughter. Yet as we enter in to our teen years that question of identity begins to loom over us, to take a stand about who we are.

As I look back now I see so much of my life was spent searching. I was so unsure of who I was. I tried to find identity wherever I could. As a teen I found my identity in being a “rocker” (someone who listens to rock music). I dressed for the part and my life revolved around the music I listened to. It was as simple as that as I let rock music shape who I was. As I got older I could no longer be defined by a simple genre of music. I was more complicated than that. So again I was searching, trying to figure out who I was and where I fit in this big wide world. Or if I even really fit in at all.

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. 1 John 2:16

Then when I became involved in the occult and witch craft, I found my identity in being a witch. I fully embraced being a witch and loved it. It was exciting, dark, mystical, romantic, sensual, fun and much more. I was proud to be a witch for many years, until I suddenly found myself pregnant. I have to admit I was in denial for a bit about the fact that I was going to have a baby. I wasn’t ready. I had been playing and having fun and I wasn’t prepared to grow up and be responsible for another human life. But once I gave birth to my son, my life radically shifted, and so did my views on life. I was still very much into witch craft and the occult, but now my son came first.

So once again my identity made a huge shift as I began to see myself primarily as a mother. I was responsible for a tiny little baby and had very little help. My husband at the time worked two jobs and we had no family that was willing to help us out. My whole life revolved around him. How could my identity not solely rest in being a mother? Soon I was eager to get pregnant and have another baby. I adored my son and loved being a mother. I was willing to do anything for him. But when my relationship dissolved a few months into my next pregnancy, my whole world collapsed.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lordthe fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3

I had no stability in my life now. The only thing that was constant were my children and their need for me. It was the only thing that kept me going at all – taking care of them. So it further solidified my identity in motherhood. What more was there to life than just being there for my children, raising them and trying to provide a good life for them? For me, there was nothing. As I got remarried and had more children I also began to home school. So not only did my identity lie in being a mom, but now my identity became a home school mom.

I know many moms get caught up in the identity of being a mom. It often can trump all other roles we play in our lives – wife, daughter, co-worker, friend. For me being a home school mom elevated me to a new level of pride and self-righteousness. I loathe to admit this now, but God has really spoken to me about this in the past few weeks. I have began to believe many lies, such as public school is an evil place where my children will be taught everything immoral and end up doing drugs and having sex. Therefore I also believed that homeschooling is superior to any other form of schooling. That parents that home school care more about their children and that home school children are smarter. I know these are really awful things and it pains me to even type them out.

As a home school mom I was also a bit of an elitist. It was hard to hang out with other moms because they tend to have an attitude of awe towards me, which I never have deserved. I am completely flawed and broken like everyone else. I am not special because I home school, and I will continue to declare that any parent can home school, if they let God led them through it. Homeschooling is for the weak and under educated, because only then can we realize our great need for a Savior to help us through the process. As a home school mom I felt so much pressure to “get it right” because my kids education was on the line. Yet in my heart I knew homeschooling was right. And if parents didn’t feel awe towards my ability to home school, they would scoff at me, because they would never even want to do such a thing. They want a break every day from their children. I guess this just made it easier to feel set apart and different from the majority and that elitist attitude only grew.

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Galatians 6:3

It is very dangerous to find your identity in any thing or any person. We were not made to find ourselves this way. We were made to find our identity in God. We were made to seek Him with all of our hearts and find ourselves through Jesus. When we start to try to find our identity in things or people we get very lost. We often find ourselves dissatisfied, unhappy and even feeling alone. I know this is true for me. It was not until recently, when my husband and I begin to discuss sending our kids to school, did the light begin to shine into the depths of my home school mom identity. Cracks starting to show in the facade that I had so skillfully hid behind for so many years. Yet the light was a wonderful thing, bringing truth and love into a place that was lying in darkness.

Jesus has spoken so sweetly and so lovingly to me these past few weeks. I am not to find my identity in being a mom, or even a home school mom. I have been walking a path that has taken me away from God, in that area of my life, even though I strived so hard to give it to Him. It was my beliefs that have been hindering me, and these beliefs took root many years ago, long before I began to home school. I am not the only one who loves my children, and who cares for them and watches over them. My Father God loves them so much more than I am even capable of. And He has promised me time and time again that He will never leave them or forsake them. That He will watch over them and uplift them with His righteous right hand, and that He has plans for them that will prosper them. Yet all this time I was so busy trying to do His job, thinking that all the weight of how my children will turn out is completely dependent on me, and the choices I make for them.

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:15-16

Yet Jesus is so much bigger than that. He is so much bigger than what type of education my kids get, or what mistakes I may make, or how well I manage my house, or what kind of mom I am. Not that those things are not important, but that I need to realize what amazing freedom I live in as a daughter of the One True King! I do not have to do it all alone. I need to soak in His Truths. I was not made to be a mom, nor a wife, but a daughter of The Almighty! And that is where I need to rest my head, and my identity. That is where I need to seek the answers to “who am I?” and why am I here? I am here to love God, to love others, and to glorify Him with my life. I am not here to raise children and then what? My life is over when they move out? I gave every good thing to them and now I am left with nothing? No! I am to give every good thing I have to Jesus, and let Him take care of the rest.

christ_as_kingWhat a wonderful freedom I have in Christ. What joy soars in my heart at the thought of being able to begin to let go of my children and the fate of their lives. It is not up to me how they will turn out, or if they will even become followers of Jesus. It is up to me to love Jesus with all my heart, soul and mind, and let that glorify Him. Through that I will be able to accomplish more than I can ever imagine, in His strength. I no longer need to be in slavery to my identity. I can just rest and be a truly loved daughter of the King of Kings. Hallelujah!

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

 

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