As a child growing up in a pastor’s home, Church, God and The Bible were always topics of conversations and a way of life. I can remember, maybe being 13 years old, and one summer a project our church undertook was creating & giving Christmas gifts to missionaries who served in various occupations & locations globally. This was a fun time for all of us and it got us all thinking about people around the world who may celebrate Christmas at different times than we would in America. What a great teaching lesson.
As a believer in Christ, I am aware that Christmas is more than just a day on the calendar. Christmas is more than gifts under a tree decorated with lights & colored ornaments. Christmas, to me, is not just a day full of partying or feasting. Christmas is about a God who loved His people on earth so much, He gave us His son Jesus. Christmas IS Jesus and He is the GIFT of Christmas. With this gift of the birth of Jesus, there comes a bright hope for living today and tomorrow; if we choose to believe in who Jesus claims to be.
So, for me, Christmas in July is a great reminder that Gods’ promises, in His Word The Bible, is true. God’s character can be seen in one of the many names that define Him for us ; Emmanuel, God with us. What does Christmas in July mean to you? Is there any hope or joy in the meaning of this to you? For more answers read, John 3:16, The Holy Bible.
Oct 31st can mean a number of things to anyone in our world. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ you definitely have options on how to celebrate this day. Some of us will find ourselves enjoying a Fall Festival of some kind or we may be cruising through a local Trunk or Treat. If you have children then, dressing up as funny, silly or scary characters may be a part of your plans for that day as well. This day may include lots of sweet treats for certain; for children young and old. We will surely see lots of fall colors and decorations on this day too.
Others in our world may choose a more sinister or even evil practices as they desire to worship in ways that blaspheme God. But, there are many, many different ways to enjoy this holiday and it can mean so much more than ringing doors and saying, “trick or treat.”
If we return our thoughts back to history for a moment we may be surprised to find something of significance that occurred on Oct 31st of 1517 in Germany.
Martin Luther was a theologian, German monk, and a reformer of the early church. Luther became known among his peers, in the Middle Ages, who had a different point of view on faith than some of his colleagues who sought to worship in the Catholic faith. To summarize briefly, Luther sought to bring changes to the Catholic church that, in his lifetime, were creating many questions about the fundamentals of faith in God. More information about his tenets of faith and the events of his life can be found online in many places. Two places where I researched for this blog were; https://www.biography.com/ and https://www.christianitytoday.com
My main point in writing this blog is simply this; in our culture today, Oct 31st can be a day of worship and can provide us time to celebrate the freedom to practice our faith in God. Halloween can be so much more than candy corn, costumes, scary movies, and/or jack o lanterns with crazy faces carved in them.
If I choose to, I can take time to breathe a prayer of thanks to God for men (and women) like, Martin Luther, who shared his own ideas about faith and in so doing, helped create a time of reform for the church. This reformation helped the Bible to be translated into languages so people could read the scriptural texts for themselves. The reformation gave us all the chance to have a different point of view about God and about His grace for us. In having these differences, we can now fear no persecution because of those differences in our faith and belief in God. What a great day Halloween/Oct 31st really is; historically speaking.
What is Halloween to you? How do you celebrate this day? Does Oct 31 hold any times of worship for you & your family? After this blog post, what changes, if any, do you need to make as you enjoy the many options of events and activities?
I am creating a very brief blog post today due to personal reasons and personal obligations. I hope this song reminds you of the time and place you chose Jesus as your Savior. If you have a moment, leave a response and share when you decided to follow Christ.
I made this life changing choice during a youth retreat around age 16. I believe it was the month of June. After several teachers in church and in school as well as parents and a few friends, I made this decision for myself. As a preacher’s kid, I grew up in a Christian home. Knowing about God, The Bible, and Jesus were as common as breathing in my family. 🙂 This was and is a blessing! But, choosing to make Jesus my own friend and savior was something my parents taught us is something that everyone must decide on their own at some point in life.
Even being over 5o years old now, this is still the greatest choice and the greatest joy in my life. What about you?
Anita M. Heath is a new author for me and I truly enjoyed her tale of Ivory, Ben, and Gerrit. These lovely characters have such an amazing story of survival and of what it means to “love your neighbor as yourself” amidst a town full of some pretty suspicious and prejudice people. What I admire most about this novel is that this is historical fiction with stories of librarians on horseback during the 1930’s. These brave ladies who loved books and education more than themselves, brought such understanding to those they served. As one who is a book worm and loves words, it was no problem to stay up and read this book until I got to the last page! I found myself wanting to ride along with the lady librarians as they delivered books to locals who lived in those tough times of the depression in the 1930’s. I wanted to cheer for Ivory as she struggled to make friends with the towns people; they were so superstitious of her. What challenges she faced in just coming to their town. If you are looking for a story to refresh your soul and one that may make you laugh and even sniffle some then, this book might be for you!
This is a stand alone novel that is in a series of others books that include stories of librarians on horseback. I received an ARC from the author to help provide an honest opinion about her narrative. My thoughts, as typed here, are my own.