Thoughts on Halloween…

October 31, 2005

FYI…this comes from The History Channel.

Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints’ Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints’, All Saints’, and All Souls’, were called Hallowmas.

So…in closing…Halloween as some celebrate it today was put into place by a Pope as a replacement or substitute for the paganism of the day, where they sacrificed animals and crops to their “deities,” or their gods with a very small g.

Doesn’t sound very Christian-like to me at all. As we should recall, Christ was the ultimate sacrifice for ALL of us, when He gave His life at Calvary for our sins. There is no reason to celebrate an “All Souls Day” or “All Saints Day” or any other day that puts the emphasis on death…rather, we should celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who took away the very sting of death.

Sure, I went trick-or-treating when I was a kid; but when I came to know and accept Jesus, I put away those childish things and started living as He would want me to live. Sure, I still sin and make boneheaded mistakes, but along the path I am learning and growing.

We, as Christians, need to teach our kids about the true meaning of Halloween and Christmas and other holidays and let our children make informed, Christian decisions with our loving guidance. It’s time we make a stand against ungodly and worldly things and make a stand for Jesus.

OK, there’s my two cents worth. Got a comment?

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In The News…Why Are We Morbidly Fascinated By Evil?

October 30, 2005

Seems that news nowadays keeps getting worse and worse.

From partisan, bickering politicians on either side, to killer storms that wipe out entire communities, to the never-ending War on Terrorism…we get dragged down more and more by the negative side of things. The media, in all its hyped-up glory, seems to focus on what is bad and evil in today’s world (and a lot of it is, to be honest), instead of trying to at least have some kind of optimism about the things that are good, and right. Guts and blood take the forefront over morals and peace.

Take, for instance, the number 1 movie at the box office this weekend – “Saw 2.” It’s about a maniac who devises all sorts of methods for the people that he captures to kill themselves. I supposed you can’t classify him as a killer, per se, because HE isn’t the one who actually is doing the murdering. But the intent is there on his part; he just happens to give them neat and tidy methods of disposing of themselves. And this movie makes $30 million plus at the theaters.

Once again, we are fascinated by blood and gore and the evil nature of people.

Yet, we have to remember that this IS human nature; it has been this way since the beginning of man, when God reached down and formed Adam out of the dust of the earth. Even in all his “perfect” nature, Adam still chose to sin before God when he took of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and ate. And, since then, we’ve been on a crash course of trying to destroy our fellow brother and sister, aunt and uncle, father and mother, husband and wife…times change, but man’s sinful mature never does.

Only through Christ can we be forgiven, and begin anew. Satan is still there trying to tempt us, but with God, all things are possible. We can lean on Him when times are tough and the enemy whispers his conniving lies to us.

Like the Bible says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)

Nothing is impossible with God.


Nothing Like A Good Snooze

October 30, 2005

To make oneself feel better…and to top it off, we GAINED an hour of sleep last night!

Woohoo!

Still being lazy today…took the wife out to eat this morning; gonna be working on some websites later on. Just a chillin’.

If you get a chance, read your Daily Bread for today….it talks about taking a break to spiritually recharge. Weird how God works things out, isn’t it? 🙂


A long, lazy and restful weekend

October 28, 2005

Not too much going on here for the weekend…just resting, relaxing, and recharging.

The three “R’s” sound good; really good. It’s been a long time since I was able to actually take a few days and spend some good, quality time with my beautiful and adorable wife Jeannie.

Turned in the monthly newspaper column today; God really gave me some cool insight into stuff. Can’t give it away, but it was a doozy of an article that deals with forgotten things. ‘Nuff said; you’ll be able to read it soon, in the Linn County Leader and also here online.

I’ll be on from time to time this weekend with updates on the house hunting for my brother Bob and his family; my thoughts on the latest news from around the world; and tidbits from Marceline and beyond.

Enjoy your weekend, my friends!


Ever Got Stuck With About 60 Needles?

October 27, 2005

Not the most pleasant experience in the world, lemme tell you.

So, after the long-awaited and dreaded allergy testing was completed this morning, I have found out that I am allergic to most grasses, dogs, lots of tree pollens, molds, etc. etc etc. In other words, I get the wonderful news that for the next two years, I will get to take allergy shots every week. I already feel like a pin cushion!

And, to top it all off, the deviated nasal septum that was repaired after my car accident in 1989 is even more deviated on the left side now, and will most likely require invasive surgery in the very near future. Doc says that it will help me breathe better and perhaps lessen the recurring sinus infections…may even straighten out my nose some more. LOL. I go for a CT of my sinuses early next month to find out more.

So, all in all, a fairly decent day except for my left arm looking like I got attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes. If that’s the price to pay for getting healthier, then so be it. Anything to clear up my nose and reduce the swelling in the lymph nodes around my throat.

Could have been worse. Could have been better.


Discipleship II Class

October 25, 2005

An update on our DS II class, being held at Pastor Mike and his wife Linda’s house every Monday night:

Delightful group; lively banter; thought-provoking discussions. This is the same group that took DS1 in 2003-2004, with the addition of two others to the mix. We are like a family, sharing our thoughts, our hearts, and our lives. As we learn Gods Word, we also learn about ourselves, and how we can become more loving, and serving, Christians.

There have been two babies born into our group; one marriage (Jeannie and I); two cancer treatments; and numerous other joys since the first time. Now, we look forward to another 34 weeks of love, laughter, and learning. Lives will be changed again, no doubt. Hearts will be renewed, it is safe to say. And, overall, this tight knit group will draw even closer together in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We all look forward to this adventure. It’ll be exciting, to say the least.


Monday, Monday

October 23, 2005

Another weekend has gone by; 2005 is quickly winding down as we look forward to a new year with lots of challenges and fresh adventures for the Lord ahead.

Next year is also my 25th class reunion from Brookfield High School. It seems like yesterday when I walked across the stage at the middle school auditorium/gymnasium to receive that piece of paper heralding the wondrous event known as adult life; much water has flowed under the bridges of my journey since that day, and, like Forrest Gump, “I’ve worn LOTS of shoes.” From being a radio announcer to being homeless for a stretch of time due to drug and alcohol abuse to being the executive V.P. of a telephone/Internet service provider…well, it seems that I’ve did a lot of things in my life.

The proudest moment, though, was when I gave my life to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I know my Daddy was so proud of me then, because even through my knuckheadedness He was ever-so-patient with me, and He knew that one day I would understand who He was and who He is.

Thanks, Jesus, for your Sacrifice; thanks, Holy Spirit, for your prompting; and thank you, Father…for everything that is so blessed in my life now.