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Build Your House

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Why I DON’T celebrate Halloween!!!

Let me begin by saying I intend to be offensive in this post. I intend to offend and unmask a lie. A lie that leads to compromise. I know this is unpopular in culture and in some Christian circles. In fact the majority of people who will struggle with this concept are going to be my peers. But there are times where the Lord quickens an individual to do something counter cultural, unpopular and to raise a new standard.

I understand that some Christians participate in Halloween because either they do not know or the do not believe it to be harmful. But Halloween is the celebration of darkness- and 1 John tells me that in light there can be no darkness. It is impossible. Even if it is harmless fun…if it is darkness it cannot exist in light.

But here are some practical reasons I DON’T celebrate Halloween.

It goes contrary to my testimony- The testimony I walk in is that death has no power- it has lost its ability to harm because of the work of Jesus on the cross. Why would I subject myself to celebrating a holiday that gives death its power back- that’s backwards thinking! My testimony is life giving. It is one of redemption…of reconciliation. Jesus is better than darkness!

It doesn’t line up with my family mission statement- Our family mission statement is We want to be a family that brings hope and healing to a hurting world. Nothing about Halloween produces hope- in fact it commemorates despair. This is unacceptable for me to let into my family. So as the husband and the father- I chose to be a vessel of hope and healing not of despair and pain.

I don’t want to open the door to fear– Halloween prides itself on invoking fear into the lives of it’s celebrants. I am working as a husband, father and Pastor to show people that perfect Love cast out all fear. Fear is a dangerous beast that cripples individuals from achieving everything God has for them. I allow no door to this beast to be open in my family- no compromise.

It confuses my teaching– Why would I teach my kids and others that Ghost and Spirits are scary and that we should run from them. Then turn around and with the same mouth try to teach them about the power, person and work of the Holy Spirit. It makes no sense.

It is demonic– Halloween as a holiday is the celebration of darkness. I believe without doubt, with all boldness and unashamedly that Halloween is demonic. The day October 31 is not demonic and can in fact be redeemed- but Halloween in its history and practice are demonic.

I want to set a new standard– I don’t celebrate Halloween. I don’t event sit at home and use it as an evangelism moment. Here is why- I should be inviting my neighbors and community into my life outside of Halloween. If I have candy and open the door- it might give the idea that I approve of the practice and celebration of Halloween- I do not. Therefore I plan Halloween alternative events for parents to take part in. We have a family environment where families can come together and celebrate life and light and everything God is doing in their life. Plus my kids get 5 hours of laser tag and unlimited candy (yes I love candy…I just don’t like Halloween).

I am not opposed to getting together and celebrating life on October 31. I am simply against Halloween- its celebration of darkness and the work of the enemy. Why would you want to give a foothold to the enemy?

Here are some simple solutions:

  1. Go to Trinity Family Night- or if you don’t live in Lubbock go to a church Fall Festival- a family event.
  2. Begin a new family tradition
  3. Read a good book

Many will wonder why I wrote this. I read Ephesians 5:11- Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

 

If you chose to engage in a dialogue or comment on this blog- remember I reserve the right to respond or delete…be respectful.

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The Disclaimer

 

Before I post a blog on why I DON’T celebrate Halloween it is important to set the table. This is to ensure you the reader of a couple of items that I know you will want to bring to my attention. You should know there is nothing new you are going to bring to the conversation with me. Here are some disclaimers I must make you aware of before posting.

 

I do not hate candy- this is not an attack on candy. In fact I love candy. I don’t need one day a year to celebrate the joys of candy- I eat it regularly and come to my house any other day of the year- I’ll give you candy.

 

I am not against dressing up- I have three kids. Every other day is dress up day at my house. We love using our imagination and pretending- but as I see it there is nothing neither imaginative nor pretend about Halloween.

 

I pass no judgment- I am going to be using some absolutes and direct language in my  upcoming blog post about Halloween. Before I get criticized for being judgmental or pompous understand that I would love to have coffee with you and talk through my convictions… in fact I will even buy the coffee.

 

I know the history- I already know the history of Oct 31 as Reformation and All Saints Eve. Frankly I don’t care. I am talking from the contextualized day Halloween is today. If we can’t look at it in line with the culture it sits in why look at it. Also, I am not going to use reformation day or All Saints Eve be an excuse to celebrate Halloween.

 

There are probably more disclaimers but this should at least be a good starting point. If you chose to engage in a dialogue or comment on this blog- remember I reserve the right to respond or delete…be respectful.

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I need a SOAPBOX

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Often times in life I feel as if I am in a stand off. It’s a “US v.s. the world” standoff. Where Christians violently voice everything we are against. Shouting on our soapbox and beating our chest, claiming WE are against this, We are against that…

A thought hit me recently and a challenge arose from the thought. I am not against the soapbox. I love a good soapbox. But with if our message is saying something to the world, we really don’t mean to say- “We are against YOU!”

What if our soapbox was more about what we stand for rather than what we stand against? This thought began to spring a million thoughts in my head. I would much rather the world to know that:

 I am about grace, more than that I am against ______________ (insert hot social topic here).

I am about the Love of God more than I am against ______________ (insert hot social topic here).

I am about Jesusdeath, burial and resurrection more than I am against ______________ (insert hot social topic here)

It seems like people would be more inclined to listen to me if they knew what I stood for than what I stood against. Who knows…maybe in their listening a heart might be changed- then we would be “for” the same things.

Keep the soapbox…change the message.

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Beauty of Simplicity

The Gospel Message is a simple message. We try to make things complicated…learn more by watching here.

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Adoption Update: Pervasive Hope

In a whisper, God spoke; I listened.  I heard the voice of the Lord and was instantly connected to His heart.

“You are going to adopt a daughter from Cambodia.”

I felt a surge of joy explode within me.  The dream was planted, and I confidently began down the journey God laid out.

My research began.  I have to educate myself.  I need to make a plan. I must be prepared for this incredible next step.

Then… it happened.

The wind completely removed from my sails.

Inter-country adoptions from Cambodia are closed.  The U.S. State Department is not accepting any applications for adoptions until the Cambodian government can comply with The Hague Adoption Convention.  Their date to reopen adoptions, January 2012, had come and gone.

I listened, and stepped out in obedience.  It was over before it even started.

Then the still, small voice resurfaced, “Jesus Christ in you, the hope of glory… CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory.”

It seemed there was another perspective for my circumstance: God’s perspective.

This perspective stood on truth: His word.

It was grounded in faith: belief in Jesus.

And its propellant was hope: the power of the resurrection.

Ok, adoptions are closed.  Does that matter right now?  Are we adopting immediately?  Is this a deal breaker or a mere pause to better position myself for this journey?

At that moment, hope took hold of my heart.  Hope reignited the flame that has now begun to burn so bright, even the darkest night cannot hide it. Hope is the catalyst that will move this dream forward.  My hopeexists because Christ saves.  It now lives and breathes in me, to accomplish the work of the Father.  This hope can’t be stopped!  God IS going to fulfill His words to me.

Who hasn’t experienced something similar?  You hear the Lord, you act on it.  Then, abruptly, the road ends.  The looming defeat enables self-pity to make an appearance while your faith level plummets.  All of the sudden, the dream dies.

Then God graciously reminds us, that when we hit a roadblock, we must persevere with the audacious fuel of hope.  When you face a detour, it doesn’t mean your trip has ended.

It simply means you have to muster more faith.

You garner your weapons: the Word and prayer.

And you hold on to the hope that we have, because Christ dwells in us.

So, we are praying A LOT!  Praying for the Cambodian government to upgrade their internal child welfare systems, for the U.S. State Department to begin accepting applications, and for our beautiful daughter who is already set apart as a Winkler.


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A Father’s Heart

I felt it. For the first time in my life, I actually felt it. I have prayed for it before, and thought I had felt itBut this time it was different – my prayer had been answered, my life changed. IT: the prayer “break my heart for what breaks Yours.”  I saw the bondage of sin. I witnessed the abuse of the innocent.  And in that moment, I felt my heart physically, emotionally, and spiritually break.

I now have a clearer picture of the Father heart of God. As Deborah and I sat there watching Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, I had asked God to speak to me during the documentary. The film focused in on Cambodia. In Cambodia some parents sell their daughters into the slavery- not for food, water or shelter, but instead for iPods, TV’s, and computers. As they were telling this story, a picture of a beautiful 2 year-old Cambodian girl came onto the screen. That is when it happened. That is when my heart broke for a country, and I accepted the call.

My mind began to race. What could I do? How could I help? Then through the clouds of my own thoughts, the light came bursting through in clear, convicting fashion:

 Adoption 

The picture became all too clear. A little girl bound for slavery. Deborah and I run quickly to the battlefield to rescue her. We adopt her, and appoint her an heir. She takes on a new identity. She is no longer destined to slavery, but instead to live as our daughter; to take on our name and our family calling. It’s the story of hope, and the message of Christ played out in her life. 

This idea was BIG – and then confirmation happened. God led Deborah and I to Galatians 4:4-7.

But when the set time had fully come,God sent his Son,born of a woman,born under the law,to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,Father.”So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Our family mission is to bring hope and healing through the message of Christ.

Imagine what this little girl…our little girl will do for the kingdom of God with her new heritage!!!

How you can get involved:

       1. Pray for our family

        2. Participate in Running to Rescue June 9

        3. Continue to join us in this incredible journey of redemption, restoration and hope.