Celebrating Halloween as a Christian

Now that we are safely past Halloween 2018, I have a true confession.

I struggled this year with what it means to celebrate Halloween as a Christian.

This is in part because of my own history with having celebrated Halloween as a Wiccan sabbath.  It’s also in part to articles, such as the one written by a former Satan worshipper, who contends that Christians should consider the spiritual implications of what Halloween represents.  I acknowledge this is a holiday that is celebrated by non-Christians as a holy day. Specifically, Satanists and Pagans, such as Wiccans, Druids, or Voodoo practitioners all believe that Halloween is a day where the veil is thinnest between the living and the dead. They believe it’s an opportunity to communicate with the dead, as well as become more in tune with nature and energy.

For the Christian, that is dangerous territory.  It is counter to how the Bible instructs us to live as followers of Christ.  Halloween provides the enemy an opportunity to tempt the Christian into thoughts and deeds that are not congruent with a Christian walk.

On the other hand, I recognize that the harvest festivals sponsored by churches and the trunk or treat events sponsored by small towns are an effort to keep kids safe and make this an enjoyable fun time for families.   I recognize that we could be celebrating the arrival of autumn and that our children don’t have to dress up as scary characters.  I recognize that one’s belief in the event is partially what drives the motives and intent behind the event.

However, I also take it very seriously that there is an expectation that the followers of Christ will give glory to the true living God.  Our words and deeds reflect that we are representing Jesus to the world.  We must be careful to not give any satisfaction to the devil.  And please believe, the devil is garnering satisfaction when the children of God are disobedient or tempted into sinful behavior.

All that to say, I struggled this year with what it means to be a Christian celebrating Halloween. I didn’t come up with any answers. I bought candy, I dressed up, and I took my child to Halloween and Harvest Festival events.

But I’m still thinking about it…and I’m still praying about it…and I’m still talking to God about it.  I’m grateful I have a relationship with God where I can question these types of scenarios and know that He is listening.

What thoughts do you have on Halloween as a Christian?

~Emily

Modern witches planning a hex and offer an invitation to join them

How often have I heard a modern Pagan claim that their religious beliefs “harm none”?  Self-proclaimed wiccans, witches and warlocks claim that theirs is a religion that worships nature.  They will cast spells and create space to conduct magic, but they classify these practices as “white magic.” They also claim to not “recruit” to this pagan path.

And yet, the boldness of the enemy has allowed this type of article.  The title alone should grab the attention of Christians:  “Modern-Day Witches are planning to hex Brett Kavanaugh—and you can join in.”

Not only does this violate their claim that they “harm none,” but it also blatantly advocates for others to “join in.”

This is a recruiting campaign designed to capitalize on individual feelings about sexual assault, due process, the selection process of the Supreme Court justices, political views or even the opinion of one man’s character.

Regardless of where you fall on each of those opinions, the enemy is utilizing those thoughts to lure the unsuspecting into dappling in a very dangerous practice.  Hexing is wishing and projecting negative energy and ulitmately ill will towards an individual or situtation.  The practice of believing that this is an innocent gesture of hexing or worse…that the hexing is justified…is extremely dangerous. Why is it dangerous?  Because it feeds the enemy’s agenda of pulling people away from Christ.

While Americans are often oblivious to the spiritual battles waged around them, the enemy is being anything but subtle.  How much more obvious is the recruiting to the dark side, than an invitation that states “join in”?

The Bible gives specific guidance on avoiding these scenarios. In James 4:7 we are told “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

In addition to submission to God and resistance of the devil, recognition of the enemy’s tactics is imperative.  Prayer must be utilized as a powerful weapon of protection and resistance.

Stand firm in Christ and know that the enemy is tireless.

~Emily

The Crooked Path: A Redemption Story

Until recently, I thought a childhood that included an introduction to Jesus seemed normal in America.  More often than not, individuals stray from a childhood relationship with Christ.  Perhaps we stray in High School or College with poor decisions.  Sometimes that straying is a conscious decision to pull away from God as a result of a life event.  In nearly every case, it’s a result of the enemy meddling in our thoughts and with our hearts.

It becomes a crooked path from Christ, away from Christ, and hopefully back to Christ.

In the book “Saving Me From Myself” by Brian “Head” Welch, the reader is taken through a biographical example of how a child accepts the gift of salvation and then crumples under the snare of Satan. The story of Brian, as the former lead guitarist for the metal band Korn, is fascinating from several levels.  It shows the long-term impact of evangelism. It illustrates the persistence of the enemy. It demonstrates how far we can veer from a righteous path. It shows the absolute beauty of grace and redemption.

I read this book, cover-to-cover, in one night. It was a story that kept me turning pages into the wee hours of the night…long after my typical bedtime.  My fascination with Brian’s story was driven by his return to Christ.  Our God loves us through thick and thin.  He loves us when we are disobedient.  He loves us when we make horrible decisions.  He loves us when we return.

Each of us has a story of the enemy trying to impact our lives.  Each of us has an even better story of that grace and redemption. Brian chose to share his story very publicly through total life style changes, through quitting the band, and by publishing multiple books.

Some thoughts to ponder:

  1. What is your story?
  2. How has the enemy meddled in your life?
  3. How have you persevered in your walk with Christ?
  4. Who are you telling as an example of God working in your life?

Remember that no matter what your story is and how you’ve traveled…God loves you.  Your crooked path has a chance at redemption.

~Emily

“In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” ~Ephesians 1:7

Save Me Cover

Bittersweet Last Day

Since 1983 and from CMSgt Wayne Fisk through 13 subsequent Chiefs, The Enlisted Heritage Hall has been a labor a love, creating a place of honor for our enlisted Airmen & their families. It’s the only enlisted-centric museum in the Air Force and it’s located in a humble builiding on Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex, Alabama…in an old 1940s segregated dining facility.  I have had the pleasure of working with some fantastic Airmen as we built displays, held huge events, and gave a gazillion tours.  I couldn’t imagine doing it with any other team…big thank yous to them.

On my 1stday in Feb 2015, I took the 1stphoto…essentially in awe that the Air Force would trust me with leading such a team.  They put me in charge of a 14K square foot museum!

It’s a humbling place to work. Airman and their families have trusted me…Trusted me to tell their stories, to preserve their artifacts, and take care of their memories.  Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force-past and present, Medal of Honor families, Khobar Tower Survivors, Families of Lima Site 85, POWs, 1st in their field, KIA, MIA…the list goes on and on, but I would be remise if I didn’t thank the Airmen and the families of these Airmen who shared their lives with me while we built displays.

It’s been over 3 years and this morning I took my “last day” photo.  It’s a bitter sweet day, as I leave my most rewarding assignment and walk away from 25 years of being Active Duty.

I hope that I was half the leader & visionary that CMSgt Fisk was and I hope I made a small impact on “Preserving yesterday, today, for tomorrow.”

~Emily

 

 

 

Satanic Statue In Arkansas

Overt Satanic Worshippers

While some in the country are worried about taking down historic statues that are perceieved as representing hatred, others are ensuring that new ones take their place.

Yahoo News reports that there is a Satanic Temple in Arkansas that recently brought a very large statue of Baphomet to the steps of the Capitol under the guise of religious freedom.

When I read this report, it truly shocked me to the core.  Gone are the days of secret, behind-closed-doors, cult-like worship of the enemy.

The fight is out in the open and at the doorsteps of our lives.

Prayer:  Father, cover this Nation with your Holy and Righteous hand.  We are in a time of blatant disrespect for the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Let us be examples of your light. Let those who are lost, find their way to you.  Let the innocent have shielded eyes to this deviance.  Father, protect us from the enemy.  In your Son’s name we pray. Amen.

 

 

Top 3 Things to Do When Liars Become a Distraction

The enemy engages with us when we are least expecting it.  Often the enemy uses those around us to “get into” our head.  Occasionally, the circumstances seem genuine. Sometimes red flags are raised.  That’s how spiritual warfare works…sometimes subtly and other times overtly.

Last week I had a “friend,” who I hadn’t heard from in years, contact me via social media. This is a woman who I have had a challenging past with.  It’s also someone who thinks she has a vested interest in knowing about my life. Furthermore, it’s a gal who is very much into pagan paths of spiritualism.

Despite that past and her religious thinking, I wanted to believe the best of her intentions.   I chatted via emails over the course of a couple days.  Then she wrote something about one of her recent accomplishments, but it just didn’t make any sense to me.  I asked several questions, to which she had some interesting answers that also didn’t sound right.

God bless my Spidey-senses…the gift of discernment. God bless the google-machine.  God bless a best friend who listened to my thoughts, helped investigate, and agreed with my assessment.  I reached a conclusion that her story was false. It was a farce. An untruth.

This seems like a fairly small and possibly benign daily encounter.  Except it interrupted my day. It took up space in my mind.  It made me question her motives.  And it frankly took time away from my family and my own endeavors.

Satan wants our minds to be cluttered with nonsense so that we lose focus on what is most important to us. I could have been reading with my son, exercising, cooking, or studying.  Instead, I was surfing the internet to investigate this woman’s claims.

A subtle form of spiritual warfare.

Exodus 23:1 (NIV) states, “Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.”

What can you do if there is a liar in your midst that is causing a distraction?

  1. Pray. There’s nothing better than prayer to calm a troubled heart or mind. Bring the situation to the Lord and allow Him to work on your behalf.  When we bring our angst to the Lord, He opens our eyes and our ears to truth.
  2. Create Distance. This may require a few days away from the individual. It may require a social media break. It may require a compete severing of the relationship. Distance allows us to evaluate a situation and it allows us time to spend with the Lord.
  3. Evaluate Yourself. Ensure that you reflect on your role in the situation or scenario. Have you encouraged or discouraged behavior?  Perhaps there is nothing you have done…perhaps there was.  God will help you with that self-reflection and the conclusions you come to.

I don’t need a false friend, nor do I want to condone untruths.  Yet, I didn’t want to assist the negativity by confronting her or escalating the situation.  I didn’t want to become a malicious witness.  I simply deleted the conversation.  I blocked the individual on social media.

This scenario is one small example of how we can discern if the interaction is glorifying to God.  Or if it’s one that the enemy is using to distract us.  I choose to be focused and undistracted.

I pray that God continues to allow the gift of discernment to work in my life. I pray it works in your life as well.

~Emily

Shhhhh

In the Morning…

Give me Jesus

In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus.

It’s the phrase that I woke up singing this morning.  A result of a happy heart after a night of finding out that the wolves in sheeps’ clothing are still running rampant.

On the spiritual warfare battlefield, Jesus is our great protector.

In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus.

~Emily