Friday, October 16, 2015

Why I don't celebrate halloween or all hallows eve

Believe me, I already know this will NOT be a popular post.  In fact, some readers may decide not to follow me because of my convictions, but I am ok with that.

[Eph 5:8 ESV] 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light

[Mat 10:33 ESV] 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

Years ago, as a young mother, I was on the fence about this holiday called halloween. Christians I knew had at least two schools of thought and so it was hard to know what to do.  Then one year, I was fortunate enough to hear a local radio station do a broadcast on the topic AND post the commentary online, which I then copied.  I have referred to it every year since to refresh my memory and reinforce the information with my own children.

One thing I really noticed was this:  when some non-Christians would ask what the church does and found out about the "harvest festivals" they said, Oh, so you still celebrate halloween, just at church.  It's basically the same thing, right?  The world does not perceive a big difference in these harvest fests.  However, when we were asked why we do not celebrate halloween (after I took a stand), and we were able to explain this holiday does not give glory to God in any way, suddenly we were able to open a dialogue and truly be a light in the darkness.  I could personally see a difference, especially when my children were the ones being the light.

If you are the ONE Christian who reads this in its entirety and is blessed, this is for you.  If you are a Christian who is bothered by this post, please pray about it before commenting.  I am doing what God has directed of me and I recognize every Christian must be led by the Spirit and do what God calls them to do.

By Pastor Greg DeWolf - 2003

It's October 1st: Children, teenagers, and adults are all getting ready for that special "trick or treat" day when they can dress up in costumes and go to the neighborhood Halloween party. For years the veil had been drawn across the true origins of Halloween, Harvest festivals, and All Saints Day. This short presentation of the facts was put together to help you decide if you want your church, school, or children playing in Satan's backyard.

We will first look at the history of Halloween, which dates back some 2000 years before the days of Christianity, and see how this festival has evolved into today's modern celebration. Halloween is believed to have evolved from a people known as the Celts. The Celts followed religious beliefs that focused on pastoral deities and seasonal transitions. November 1st is when the Celtic winter and New Year begins. The feast, celebrated on October 31st, was for their god of death, known as Samhain. "Samhain marked the end of preparation for winter when the flocks had to be secured and harvested crops stored."1 This particular night brought excitement and fear. "The herds that were raised during the year were too plentiful for their primitive agriculture. Keeping the herd alive all winter wasn't possible, so only minimum breeding stock was kept. The rest were slain and salted to preserve the meat. Also, on Samhain the crops had to be gathered and anything unharvested was abandoned because Pooka, a nocturnal, shape-changing hobgoblin who delighted in tormenting humans, was believed to spend Samhain night destroying or contaminating whatever remained unreaped."2 This part of the festival has survived as today's Harvest Festival. This was just the beginning of the growing anxiety within the masses on this occasion. "The eve and day of Samhain were characterized as a time when the barrier between human and supernatural worlds were broken. Fiery tributes and sacrifices of animals, crops, and possibly human sacrifices were made to appease supernatural powers that controlled the fertility of the land. Samhain acknowledged the entire spectrum of non-human forces that roamed the earth during that period."

The overseers of the religious activities of the Celts were known as Druids. The Druids "were the religious sect of the Celtic people of Gaul and the British Isles. The Druids were the learned class of the day. They had independent hierarchy, regulating everything including the appointment of the high king, and all kings, nobles, and chiefs. They acted as priests, judges, physicians, educators, poets, astrologers, and magicians."4 The training to become a Druid was lengthy and is estimated to have taken some twenty years. Grades of initiation consisted of three classes: prophets, bards, and priests. The Druids taught and held the following beliefs: reincarnation, astrology, magic, divination, power of the circle, mysterious powers of plants and animals, worship of the sun, animal and human torture and sacrifice. The Druid's cruelty and magic were well known with the people of the day, being used as sacrifices, or being beaten, tortured, and sexually molested before they were killed by having their hearts torn out while they were still alive. A striking link between the Druids and witchcraft "is the fact that the Great Sabbats of the witches are identical with the four great yearly festivals of the Druids in Celtic countries; namely Beltane (30th April), Lughnessadh (1st August), Samhain (31st October), and Imbolcor Oimelc (2nd February)."5 The pagans were celebrating so well that the Catholic Church figured they would attempt to Christianize the celebration. Therefore, "in the 12th century, May 13th disappeared from the liturgical books,"6 as the day of All Saints and was moved to November 1st making October 31st All Hallows Eve or, as we know it today, Halloween. "The attempts to discourage the pagan celebrations were so unavailing that the festival was eventually banned from the church calendar. It was not until 1928 that the Church of England formally restored All Hallows to it's calendar, on the assumption that the old pagan associations of Halloween were, at last, really dead and forgotten; a supposition that was certainly premature."7 Halloween was also known as a great fire festival of the Celts. The Druids "had the people put out their hearth fires. The Druids built huge new years bonfires of oak branches, which they considered sacred. They burned animals, crops, and possibly human beings as scarifices."8 The customs we associate with Halloween today come from Irish immigrants in the 1800's and these activities have directly descended from the Celtic customs.

Halloween was, on the lighter side, "the most favorable time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes."9

Now that we've seen the background of the Halloween celebration you're probably saying, "well, we don't practice any of those things, so why not celebrate this day and let the kids have some fun?"

I trust that after this next section you won't have those same questions. Let us now look into the symbols of today's Halloween and trace them back through history to see their origins: Bobbing for Apples: This part of the pagan festival was used for divination. In fact, the first person that caught an apple would have the blessings of the best crops. Apple bobbing was also used to predict future marriages and the assurance of that persons love.

Roasting Nuts: Nuts were thrown into the fire in hopes of finding the one you would marry.

Costumes: The use of costumes was part of the Festival of the Dead. The people would wear masks to be a visible representation of ghosts, goblins, or dead loved ones that lurked about on Halloween night.

Pumpkins: The Druids carried with them hollowed out turnips with a candle lit inside which is believed to have been made with human fat. This turnip was believed to contain the Druids personal evil spirit. This evil spirit was released upon any house that didn't participate in the giving of food to the Druids. Another way the turnip was used is this. The Druids would go house to house asking for food or for a virgin. If the house participated, the Druids would leave behind their turnip, which contained their evil spirit, and when the demons rose from the grave they would see the turnip on the front step and bypass that house, saving it from destruction. When Halloween came to the United States, the turnip was dropped for the much larger pumpkin, which is still in use today.

Trick or Treat: The Druids would go house to house and ask for food or a virgin for the sacrifice. If the people didn't give them what they wanted then the Druids would play a trick on the household. Another practice was the spirits would rise from the grave on October 31st and go to the home of their origins. If there weren't food offerings left, then the spirits would play a trick upon the house (burn down the house, poison the well, cause disease in the household or in the herds). Today, "trick or treat" is still being practiced with kids doing destruction to personal property if there is no treat.

Today, these past-times are handed down to our children as harmless games, but are they really harmless?

Now you can see how Halloween, All Saints Day, and Harvest Festival are tied into the occult. But you say, "That's still not enough!" Okay, lets look at Halloween today! Halloween is still the witches and Satanists most powerful day. In fact, records show us that murders, suicides, rapes, fires, graveyard desecrations, and all out chaos happens more on Halloween than any other night of the year. Newspapers explode with articles starting about a week before Halloween and continuing for weeks afterwards. Public schools start the Halloween propaganda on October 1st, getting more and more information to the children on or before this occultic day. In fact, some schools have taken children out of the classroom to see mock rituals performed where the teachers pretend to be witches right before the children's eyes. By the way witchcraft and Satanism are legal religions and enjoy tax-exempt status. What else takes place on Halloween? Witchcraft and satanic covens get together and prepare for their rituals. These rituals come in many different forms, from the Great Rite, animal and human sacrifice, to the practice of modern divination. The sacrifices come in many different ways, from ritual murder, to the poisoning and tampering with candy or fruit. Also, on this night there is an increase of abducted children, teenagers and adults, who are believed to be used in the coven rituals.

What then should the response of the Christian be? We should stick to God's Word!

Deuteronomy 18:9-14 / 9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in {10 Or who makes his son or daughter pass through} the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the LORD your God. 14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so.

This scripture makes it quite clear that we are to stay away from these practices.

Deuteronomy 29:26, 27 / They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. Therefore the LORD's anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book.

This verse shows us to stay away from other false gods.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 Avoid every kind of evil.

1 Corinthians 8:9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.

God's Word is quite clear what our stand is to be, and that brings up the point of, what are we to do on Halloween? Empty the churches on this occultic day. Get to the streets to witness the salvation of Jesus Christ. Stay at home and have another family over for dinner and fellowship. Hand out tracts instead of candy that could be tampered with. Petition your school that this religious day should not be recognized. Contact your pastor and express your concerns over Harvest Festivals and their celebration.

1) The Encyclopedia of Religion, Macmillian Publishing 1987
2) The Witches Bible Vol. 1. Janet and Stewart Farrar 1984, Magickal Childe Publishing Page 121
3) The Encyclopedia of Religion, Macmillian Publishing 1987, 
4) Witchcraft, Magic, and Occultism, W.B. Brow 1979, Wilshire Book Company, Page 100
5) An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present, Doreen Valiente 1984
Phoenix Publishing Company Page 97, 98
6) New Catholic Encyclopedia, McGraw-Hill Volume 1 1967, The Catholic University of America Page 318
7) An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present, Doreen Valiente 1984, Phoenix Publishing Company Page 165
8) The New Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 5 1986, Page 646
9) The World Book Encyclopedia. World Book Inc. Volume 9 1986, Page 24-26
All Bible Quotations taken from New International Version Bible.
~Close Article: By Pastor Greg DeWolf - 2003


Click here to purchase: 
Mommy, Why Don't We Celebrate Halloween?  -     By: Linda Winwood

For me, I have chosen to stay home and have family game night or movie night on Oct. 31st.  My former pastor did not observe this holiday at our church and I greatly respected him for taking a stance. However, after he moved away, the new pastor changed that.  Now, every church in my city has a harvest festival. They all claim it is an outreach to the city.  Last year I decided to go and SEE if maybe I was wrong and things were different than I thought.

I observed people dressed inappropriately in skimpy costumes or scary costumes, that now, church kiddos were being exposed to.  I observed greedy folks dragging their kids through the lines more than once to get as much candy as they could.  People smoked and cursed because they had no respect for kids or church folks.  I felt yucky in my spirit and knew I did not want to be a part of something that really gave NO glory to Christ.  We are called to be in the world, and not of the world. This year I will stay home.

By the way, God made pumpkins and all of the seasons.  I decorate with non-carved pumpkins and acorns and autumn leaves, etc. to give glory to Him and His creations.  Autumn is actually my favorite season, and I pray that you have a blessed one and enjoy some Autumn teas with good friends and family as well.

~Heather Elizabeth

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tea Cup & Mug Exchange ERS7

Today is the link up party for Stephanie's Enchanting Rose Swap 7 !!!
For me this has been a while in the making because I mailed out my swap goodies so quickly & in turn received my box quickly as well.  I am very happy to finally get to share this all with you today!  So, let's get to it!
Here is my package arriving on my porch!  I created the above hashtag so others on Instagram could join in the fun if desired!

I received the MOST FANTASTICALLY personalized bucket of goodies!
I was blessed to have Erika from Alabama send to me.  She really did her homework browsing my blog to find out just what I would like!  I do not think I have ever had such a wonderfully customized gift!

She saw that I like mugs that speak to my spirit & chose this one featuring Ecclesiastes 3:1.  It features a tree for each season.  The handle is awesome because you can get all your fingers in it!  She also found one of my favorite seasonal teas; Harney & Sons Pumpkin Spice (herbal).  If you don't already know it, you can also find this tea in a bright orange tin at Trader Joe's.  It is EXACTLY the same tea (repackaged for TJs) & slightly more affordable if you are lucky enough to have a TJs near you!
This tea just evokes feelings of Autumn for me, and since we So Cal girls don't get much Autumn in true season, we make due "pretending".  BTW, 2 sachets make a whole pot, so it's very economical. 

Here is a closeup of three other items in the cute Autumn tin.  A selection of my favorite color writing sticks from Crayola.  I have never seen anything like this before, and I literally squealed with delight!  Next, some charming tea themed note cards - be still my heart.  And 3rd, some orchard peach artisan tea from a local dealer in her area.  I have yet to slow down long enough to brew this, but I CAN tell you it smells heavenly. The business card is so unique, as it is made out of wood.

Lovely Lady Stephanie instructed us to each send a thank you note to our shippers.  I had every intention of doing so, but then I spotted a gorgeous mug with feminine curves featuring an E & just had to send that along to Erika.  I included a couple of bags of the pumpkin spice tea in case she had not gotten any for herself, and some cranberry biscuit tea cookies.

Here is the box I shipped out.  Can you tell I had fun decorating it?  It was all I could do to not spoil the surprise and say, Hey, expect a box on your front porch!

Here is Erika's Instagram picture (printed with her permission), featuring her thank you mug!

We have become Instagram friends and I am enjoying getting to know her better thanks to this swap!!

The person I was assigned to ship to is Lynn over at Quaker Hill Farm blog.  Because I had THREE different swaps I was participating in, I mailed my boxes post-haste which was super fun to take to the post office!  Who doesn't love sending Happy Mail?

Here is what I put in Lynn's box.  I decided to decorate the inside flaps of the lid with printed pictures of happiness.  Thinking outside the box, I sent her a giant soup mug with lid, and I included some soup as well.

Here is a quick little craft I came up with to dress up the candle I sent to her (Febreze candle, seasonal duct tape, fabric circle, rubber band). Try it! ;)

Lynn didn't just send me a simple thank you... oh, no! She sent me a fun video!!  I hope it works so you can see it, but if not, here is a link to her blog post featuring her own post about all of this :)
Quaker Hill Farm Mug Exchange

This sure has been fun!  Be sure to follow Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose where I am linking up today.  Her next swap is slated for the spring.  She is such a treasure and an inspiration. 

Thanks for joining me today!
Blessings and a cup of tea,
Heather Elizabeth