Sunday, October 28, 2007

Medical Health: the Old Oxymoron

Minus the crude-ness, I'm glad to see these ideas on national T.V.
Have a laugh, then go eat a salad.

Thanks to WellTellMe and Mercola.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

For Mimi:

This is a new feature of Blogger- the video option. It might take a while to load, so if you aren't interested in getting a glimpse of my home life, you're better off moving on to the next blog...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

believers blacked out

Last Halloween we were caught off guard. We hadn't bought candy, we hadn't bought (new) dress-ups, and we hadn't thought of anywhere to go to celebrate. That's because we had chosen *not* to celebrate Halloween, as it's generally seen as a nod to evil, and evil we want no part in (see MacArthur's quote below).

About 6 o'clock, before it was even dark, our doorbell rang. I was surprised, as it doesn't ring very often, so I left my post at the stove wondering who wanted me to buy what. And boy was I surprised. It was kids! *Scary* looking kids. Teenagers, even. And they wanted me to give them candy. I sheepishly told them we didn't have any, and shut the door.

These first trick-or-treaters really scared my children. They didn't like scary looking people coming to our door, and the doorbell just kept ringing. My husband and I explained they were just dressed up for fun and wanted us to give them candy, but the children did not like it at all. We eventually turned out all the lights in the house, made a sign that said "trick-or-treating" in a "no" circle, and ate by candle light. Eventually they stopped coming. It was poorly planned and poorly executed, and I am not proud of it. I later read Tim Challies post titled Halloween Fast Approaches. He first quotes John MacArthur (a giant in the life of Challies) as having a typical view on the subject at hand:

“I think, it’s not a wise thing to have children go out trick or treating. I mean, I think it’s kind of dumb for Christian kids to dress up like ghosts and witches and weird things, and devil suits, and trouble-makers, and all that. I think, for example, you know, the whole thing of All Saints Day or All Hallows Eve has connotations, first of all of Roman Catholic tradition. It has connotations of demons and spirits. Plus the fact that little kids are exposed to screwballs as well as to cars, and all kinds of other things…What we do in our family is we have an alternative. Like you said, we do an alternative thing. We do something fun for the whole family. It varies from year to year, and our church has always done that, too, for the kids. Have parties and socials and things.”

After Tim states that whether or not you take part in Halloween festivities is completely a matter of conscience he goes on to make his compelling case:

My conviction is that it is a very poor witness to have the house of believers blacked out on Halloween. Halloween presents a unique opportunity to interact with neighbors, to meet their children and to prove that Christians are part of the community and not merely people who want only to interact with Christian friends or to only interact in our own way and on our own terms.

*snipping where he admits Halloween decorations do generally glorify evil*

Perhaps the greatest fallacy Christians believe about Halloween is that by refusing to participate in the day we are somehow taking a stand against Satan. And second to that, is that participation in the day is an endorsement of Satan and his evil holidays. The truth is that Halloween is not much different from any other day in this world where, at least for the time being, every day is Satan's day and a celebration of him and his power. A member of the discussion list wrote the following last year around this time: "Yeah... I've heard all of the 'pagan' reasons Christians should avoid Halloween. The question is whether we are actually participating in Samhain when we participate in Halloween? Who or what makes the 'Witch's League of Public Awareness' the definers of what Halloween is, either now or historically? Such a connection between Samhain and my daughter as a ladybug or my son as a Bengals Boy is highly dubious." And it is highly dubious at best.

I am guessing my neighbourhood is all-too-typical in that people typically arrive home from work and immediately drive their cars into the garage. More often than not they do not emerge again until the next morning when they leave for work once more. We are private, reclusive people who delight in our privacy. We rarely see our neighbors and rarely communicate with them. It would be a terrible breach of Canadian social etiquette for me to knock on a person's door and ask them for a small gift or even just to say "hello" to them. In the six years we have been living in this area, we have never once had a neighbor come to the door to ask for anything (except for this time). Yet on Halloween these barriers all come down. I have the opportunity to greet every person in the neighbourhood. I have the opportunity to introduce myself to the family who moved in just down the row a few weeks ago and to greet some other people I have not seen for weeks or months. At the same time, those people's children will come knocking on my door. We have two possible responses. We can turn the lights out and sit inside, seeking to shelter ourselves from the pagan influence of the little Harry Potters, Batmans and ballerinas, or we can greet them, gush over them, and make them feel welcome. We can prove ourselves to be the family who genuinely cares about our neighbours, or we can be the family who shows that we want to interact with them only on our terms. Most of our neighbors know of our faith and of our supposed concern for them. This is a chance to prove our love for them.

The same contributor to the email list concluded his defense of participating in Halloween with these words: "One night does not a neighbor make (and one night does not a pagan make), but Halloween is the one night of the year where the good neighborliness that flows from being in Christ is communicated and reinforced. We are citizens of another Kingdom where The Light is always on."

And on a light-er note, heres a picture I found of the two men I quoted today (thanks to the reformed evangelist):

(I think it's hilarious, and mean no malice by posting it here at all.)