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Monthly Archives: October 2013

7 Great Reasons Christians Can and Should Celebrate Hallowe’en

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We are getting to that stage of year where Christians suddenly turn into pagans.  Not because they are dressing up, getting some free sweets, and enjoying Hallowe’en – that’s not pagan.  But because some Christians actually believe that demons get more powerful based on a day of the year!  That’s paganism, not Christianity.  Being scared of demons is utterly incompatible with being a child of the living God.

So, in honour of the season, here are 7 great reasons Christians should celebration Hallowe’en:

1.  Hallowe’en has never been about evil.  In Victorian times, children dressed up as tramps, as burglars, as pirates.  It was creativity, it was escapism, it was using our imagination.  So much of success in life depends on our imagination, and our ability to conceive a future above and beyond what we are doing right now, realizing we have a God who is above and beyond anything we have right now and can conceive naturally.  Let your children practice and rehearse using theirs!  If you are uncomfortable with them going door to door alone that is nothing to do with Hallowe’en, that’s just good parenting.  Take your children out – spend some time with them!  Enjoy “guising” with them.  Or take them to a party.  Let this day be a day you invest in your children!

2.  Don’t let the pagan past of the day bother you.  Colossians 2.16 says not to let anyone judge you on the day you keep – we are free to observe or not observe days.  Both the dates of Easter and Christmas in this country are pagan in history – so are the days of the week: Thursday is Thor’s Day, Friday is Frei Day.  They are the names of pagan gods.  January is named after a two-faced god called Janus.  So – if you feel bad about celebrating Hallowe’en because it is “pagan” then don’t give anyone a Christmas card, don’t celebrate your pagan birthday in pagan January, and certainly don’t go to church on the day named by people who worship the Sun!

3.  Get a grip on rumours and conjecture.  Here is the truth: no one actually knows what Wiccans and pagans did during the ancient festival of Samhain.  What we do know is the Pope moved All Saint’s Day to November 1st so that people had something to celebrate at this time of year.  If that sounds familiar it should – that’s how we have the current dates for Christmas. 

4.  Realize that satan has been utterly and completely and totally and irreversibly defeated.  I mean seriously – if I dress up as a dog I am eating at the table of the devil, falling into the devil’s pit and walking into the devil’s trap?  Did you forget about Calvary?  Did you forget that the devil has a squished head.  Did you forget that Jesus beat him once and for all for all eternity?  If you think the devil is so powerful that he can demonize someone for dressing up or eating candy, or bob for apples, or carving a face into a pumpkin, then you don’t have a Biblical paradigm, you have a pagan one.

5. This wonderful quote from Martin Luther: The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.  Have a good laugh at the devil.  Here is this day that some Christians are scared of, some Christians will hate you for embracing, some Christians will not sleep at night because of the imaginary extra demon activity – you may even hear stories of witches praying and fasting – here is this scary, scary day and you are getting time with your children, you are getting free sweets, you are oblivious to him and his ridiculous fear-tactics.  Have a good laugh about now, because that’s awesome.   Don’t spend the night concerned and worried – that’s not the fruit of redemption.  Have some fun and have a laugh at the no-powered, flat-headed, wannabe that tried so hard to give you the heebie jeebies.

6. All Saint’s Day (November 1st) is a really important thing.  I know some people think that you have to be really really special to be a saint.  Nah!  Every single born again Christian is a saint – is a holy one.  You were made holy by Jesus the moment you accepted his life into yourself.  Your spirit was transformed into righteousness and your life changed so significantly Jesus called it being born again.  It’s great to take some time to remember all the saints who have influenced you, helped you, mentored you, inspired you with their books and biographies.  It’s important to remember that generation after generation the church has grown, survived and helped people and that you are currently where you are only because you are standing on the shoulders of giants.  Hallowe’en is from “Hallow’s eve” which is the night before All Hallow’s or All Saint’s day – the day of remembering the saints.

7.  Hallowe’en is a great day to smash a stereotype.  Some people think Christians are a bunch of frail-minded, superstitious fools who see a devil in every corner.  They think you are sitting under your covers rebuking the devil, warding them off with your HOLY Bible and separating yourself from people.  Get out there, smile at the neighbours as they go round the streets.  Get boxes full of sweets and hand them out.  Be the most generous giver of sweets on your street.  I would say don’t dare stick a tract in the bag unless you know that bag has the most sweets in it of anyone in your street.  Get yourself talked about – get the whole street talking about your generosity, which is spelled L O V E.   Then when someone asks why give an answer about the love and life of God inside you.

5 Things You Will Never Learn at College

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1.  Talent is vastly overrated.  Every single human being has talent.  It’s what you do with it that matters.  Rehearsing, practising, training, learning… that’s what really matters.  Don’t leave expecting doors to open just because of your brilliance… expect to have to develop personally, academically and in character for the rest of your life.

2. Networking is not overrated.  You need mentors, you need good friends, you need patrons.  It is about who you know.  IQ is important, but in this generation your RQ is what will make the difference in your life.  Ministers in particular leave Bible colleges knowing a hundred things ABOUT grace but not knowing how to show grace.  An hour of seeing something modelled is worth 6 months of education.

3.  Technology is overrated.  If the internet is down don’t ask your boss to go home!  Get on the phone.  Business is still done face to face and person to person. Technology is an awesome tool but a lousy boss.  Make sure you use technology but are never owned by it.  Get in front of people.

4.  Experience is not overrated.  I just heard a young bible school graduate who applied for a senior pastors job.  When experience was brought up he (rather foolishly) said that college gave him all the experience he needed.  It takes 3 years to become an expert in a skill or job, so if you are fresh from college have a little humility.  It is also a good idea, depending on profession, to ensure you find a company you can stay three years with.  Not only will it help you it will help your CV.

5.  You are overrated.  Or more accurately you learn to rate yourself on things in college that the real world does not care about.  Be aware that you are going to get into a place where things are different.  Go humbly, go flexible, go with a learning attitude.  You haven’t ended your learning process by finishing college, you have only just begun.

10 Ways to Destroy a Church

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10.  Never be willing to do anything to help.  See the church as a provider of a service, not a community you are part of.  Never step up to taking responsibility, always see yourself as a tenant not an owner!

9.  Expect everyone to notice you and what you contribute.  If they fail to notice you, get stroppy with them for being so selfish and not noticing all you do to make things happen.  If they still fail, withdraw from the group until someone contacts you and asks how you are and makes a big fuss over you.

8.  Always speak to the people you know.  Never speak to new people in case they find us friendly and then decide they want to hang around – then where would we be?

7.  Be very intolerant of people who don’t know how we do things around here.  Our unspoken dress code, our order of service, even how we make a cup of tea and coffee, where cables go at the end of the church.  Make sure these people are told in no uncertain terms that they have done something really foolish and that everyone thinks they look ridiculous.

6.  Make sure you put other people down and criticize their contributions, their ideas, their style.  Otherwise how else is anyone going to know how amazing you are?  Your candle will surely burn brighter if you blow everyone elses’ candles out. 

5.  Be unpunctual.  It’s only 5 minutes of your time – so don’t ever think that if 20 people are waiting for you to arrive that’s 100 minutes you have wasted.  it is important not to think of other people here, but only yourself – otherwise you might stop being selfish, arrive on time and actually contribute to moving things forward.

4. Always take on more than you cope with – and when you serve be like Martha – rush about, get upset at people not serving, get bitter and angry and then boom – you lose your relationship with the Lord, and make other people feel guilty.  It might not help the community grow, but it will make you feel better and superior too.  That’s what it’s all about – that’s the only reason to serve.

3. Look for things to criticize.  You will find them.  In any church, you will find them.  Make sure you don’t look at all the work the church is doing, all the exciting things that are happening, all the good that is being done.  Look for the crack in the wall, don’t praise God for the wall.  When your looking at the cracks, you don’t get inspired and challenged by the wall.  You don’t get excited by all the things happening in the building.  You keep focused on the cracks.  But the good news is that you get a reputation in the church as the crack expert.  When people want to know what is going wrong, they come to you.  You get a lot of admiration being the crack expert and the great news is this – it’s the easiest job in the church.  Getting involved in the building, mixing cement, laying bricks, working as a team – that’s too much like hard work.  No – watch the builders build, notice when they get it wrong and let others know (loudly).  That is an easy job and an easy pathway to making friends and having a following.  (NOTE: please don’t take the time to ever consider that if you choose this path all your friends are backstabbing gossips.  Just be glad that they are listening to you and feed your power base).

2.  Make sure you tip the church.  About £1 per service is about right, maybe £2 or £3 if the message is amazing.  That way you dull the feeling inside that you should contribute to the financial health of the church, and that giving to the church is part of being significant.  There are a whole bunch of internet sites, mostly written by people who don’t go to church about how the tithe is obsolete, giving to churches is wrong and you should keep your money and spend it on yourself.  Spend lots of time reading these sites in case you start giving significant amounts so the church can blaze forward and impact the world.  Every time the preacher gets a new suit or car, think all about your suits and cars that you don’t have and hold back on your giving.  Remember – it’s someone elses’ job!

1.  Never, ever be disciplined about going.  It’s been a busy weekend?  Skip church on Sunday.  Stay in bed.  Play a board game with your children – tell yourself that you are doing it for them (don’t consider that you are training them to skip church when you are tired, and that might not be a good habit to instill in a child).  It’s been a hard day at work?  Don’t go to Living Church.  They won’t miss you.  You can read the Bible yourself (don’t consider that you never do during those times).  You don’t need fellowship to advice.  Go when you feel like – and tell yourself it what Jesus wants.  Again, there are loads of websites written by people about how church is institutional, sets you back in your Christian faith and a whole host of other things.  Start to see church as an optional extra that fits into your life, not the bedrock of your Christian life.  

moozi.cc – Create a FREE band website! The social networking hub for your music!

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moozi.cc – Create a FREE band website! The social networking hub for your music!.

DIG for Tuesday the 1st of October…..want peace; follow the “Philippians model” then, well almost……Philippians 4 v 7

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DIG for Tuesday the 1st of October…..want peace; follow the “Philippians model” then, well almost……Philippians 4 v 7.

Great post on peace by a great pastor and good friend from Scotland.  Enjoy!

Loyalty 3: An Analysis of Loyalty

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Loyalty 3: An Analysis of Loyalty.

10 Scriptures that Can be used in nearly every mess

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We often learn lists of healing Scriptures, finance Scriptures, family Scriptures, etc. so that in specific crises we know what the Word says.  But if you are a new Christian or if you don’t know the Word as well as you should, or if you are facing multiple battles at once it is great to know that there are some Scriptures that will apply to EVERY situation.  These Scriptures should be learned, considered, meditated and declared in every mess you find yourself in.

10.  Greater is He that is in you, than He that is in the world. (1 John 4.4)

9.  My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory (Php. 4.19)

8. If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8.31)

7. He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8.32)

6. We are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8.37)

5. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. (Gal. 3.9)

4.  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (Gal. 3.13)

3. Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (1 John 3.1)

2. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  (Romans 5.1-2)

1. Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. (2 Cor. 2.14)

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