My thoughts on Halloween

My thoughts on Halloween

Because I have been asked by many people:

The origins of Halloween are Celtic in tradition and have to do with observing the end of summer sacrifices to gods in Druidic tradition. In what is now Britain and France, it was the beginning of the Celtic year, and they believed Samhain, the lord of death, sent evil spirits abroad to attack humans, who could escape only by assuming disguises and looking like evil spirits themselves.

The waning of the sun and the approach of dark winter made the evil spirits rejoice and play nasty tricks. Believe it or not, most of our Halloween practices can be traced back to these old pagan rites and superstitions. But what about today? Perhaps we can still learn from history. In the fourth century, Christians attempted to co-opt the holiday by celebrating the lives of faithful Christian saints the day before Halloween. This was a conscious attempt to provide an alternative and re-focus the day away from ghouls, goblins, ghosts, witches and other “haunted” experiences. Since that time many Christians have decided to allow their children to dress in more “innocent” costumes of pumpkins, princesses, Superman or as a cowboy. Part of this is due to the simple reality that in today’s Western culture it is nearly impossible to “avoid” Halloween.

Just before reaching a conclusion on the subject, I was struck with the thought that I ought to further my search and find out what Wicca, the official religion of witchcraft, has to say about Halloween. Perhaps they viewed the day as a simple fun and innocent neighborhood activity? “Shock” is the only word to describe what I found. Halloween is a real, sacred day for those who follow Wicca. In fact, it is one of two high and holy days for them. The Celtic belief of spirits being released is current, along with the worship of Samhain (the lord of death) – both are promoted as something to embrace on that day. There is no question in my mind that to those who believe and follow the practices of witchcraft, Halloween represents an opportunity to embrace the evil, devilish, dark side of the spiritual world. So after discovering this, what is a reasonable conclusion? As Christians you and I are placed in this world to be a light in a world of darkness.

There is no lasting benefit to ignore a holiday that exists around us, but it also does harm to celebrate Halloween as it has originated and grown over the centuries. My suggestion? Christians should be teaching their children (age appropriately) that: 1. There is a spiritual world filled with goodness from God and evil from Satan (Eph. 2:1-10); 2. Life with Christ has power over darkness (I John 4:4); and 3. Those who celebrate Halloween either are unaware of its roots, or are intentionally promoting a world where evil is lauded and viewed as an ultimate power.

To counter the evil influence of Halloween, we need to join together and celebrate the reality of the heroic efforts of Christian saints over the evil in their day. Many leaders in the past — and present — have fulfilled the mandate of destroying the works of the devil through their sacrificial commitment to Christ and His Kingdom. Too, rather than “hide” in the face of evil, we should unabashedly and boldly create an alternative that is positive and uplifting; that celebrates good over evil and the triumph of God over Satan. We need to provide an environment that also makes room for heaps of fun while using the day as a “teachable moment” to celebrate God’s protection, provision and purpose for our lives.

Many thanks to Eric Wyatt for letting me use his thoughts, as they are completely in line with mine.

A Waste of Time…

Okay…so I have also been wasting some serious time here.
Try it out and see what your best time is. It says if you can get to 18, it says you are really good.
Post your best score here for everyone to see! (and to see mine…leave a comment)

Stupid Man

My first inclination is to begin this entry with a rant regarding how incredibly stupid people in general can be (myself included), but instead I’ll just tell you what happened.
Cell phone rings…
Husband answers, “Hello!”
Stupid man, “Uhh….this is A___. Um…I…uh…we’ve decided not to go with your company’s policy…we’re going to just stick with what we’ve got.”
Husband replies, “So you’re going to stick with what you’ve got?”
Stupid man, “Y-y-yes. We’re going to stick with what we’ve got.”
Husband, “Help me understand this for a minute…we can give you three times the coverage for half the cost….your other policy is going to be VOID in under 10 years if you don’t pay higher than normal premiums,by that time, there’s a good possibility you won’t even be insurable later, PLUS your cash value will be surrendered back to X company, leaving your wife and kids without anything when and if you should die prematurely, and you want to stick with what you’ve got?!”
Stupid man, “Yes. Um…well…I know that if I die, C____ and the kids may not have anything, I policy may not be worth anything…but we’re gonna stick with what we’ve got.”
Okay, people…help ME out here…of the 68% of Americans that have life insurance, 86% have the WRONG kind. This man has the WRONG kind. He has whole life or cash value…something that builds up cash and was sold to him as an “investment vehicle” for his retirement. What his insurance agent (his uncle) DIDN’T bother to tell him was that the cash that has been building up in his account for the last 20 years would be “surrendered” back to the insurance company when he dies and his wife would only get the face value (which is very low and will not cover her actual needs), if that.
See…he has a “paid up policy”…what that means is that after 20 years, he doesn’t have to pay his premiums anymore…it’s “paid up”. Well, folks…let me tell you something…”paid up” is just another term for (and please excuse the expression, but it’s the only one that fits) “screw-job”.
It means that you don’t have to pay premiums anymore! Yea! Right? WRONG. You tell me…what company in the WORLD do you know of that can afford to do that? NONE, thank you. Is your auto insurance ever paid up? What about your health insurance? Nope….gee…I wonder why? Well, on a life, it’s because the cost to insure as you grow older goes UP.
All that poor man’s cash value will go towards paying his policy when he stops making his payment, hence the “surrender” part. YES…the insurance company will RAID his cash value to pay the premiums…and once that is gone? The policy lapses and he is notified that it is no longer of any value. So then the face amount will be gone…as well as the cash. It’s a horrendous situation and we see it everyday with folks that have life insurance.
Please don’t think I don’t care about this man. I do…he’s been a close friend of ours for 8 years. He started out as ignorant as to how it all worked…then, once we educated him and he made the decision to continue down the wrong path, he became stupid. I believe in what we do for families…and the life insurance is only a small part, but it’s the foundation of the house.
For those of you that have policies…please READ them. If you don’t understand what they are saying, I will be happy to help you translate. If you don’t have life insurance and own a home, have a family, etc…please consider buying survivor protection – but do me a favor…buy term and invest the difference so you’ll have something to show for it when you get old….I can hardly bear seeing people being misled by insurance companies who want to make a profit and couldn’t care less about the little man.
Thanks for letting me vent…this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart – my dad had a whole life policy when he died (it was supposed to be for $50K back in 1979) but my mom never saw a penny of it because it was “paid up” and had already been raided by the insurance company and was worthless. I look back to how we lost everything and had to live with my aunt in Alaska and my mom HAD to remarry in order to make it….I just don’t want my friends to go through that. I don’t want ANYONE else to ever have to go through that.

A Positive Mental Attitude

So I’ve been somewhat busy this week…trying to expand my mind and learn more. I am spending more time reading behind really great business minds (Tom Hopkins, David Bach, etc) so that I can grow as a person.

Lack of preparation in business is only about 20% of why people fail…the other 80% is due to the fact that they never have any personal growth. Most people operate basically on what they can see – they have to see it before they can believe it. It’s what’s underground that creates what is above ground…like planting a seed. It has to be watered, fed, and nurtured.

That’s what I’m doing…I’m in the growth stage…

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