In the midst of the spiritual warfare that's been going on in our home the past few days, I've had a lot of time to reflect on the long road to where I am today. Truth be told, I am still so far from where I want to be, but I know that God has the beginning from the end so perfectly wrapped in His hands. I think back to when I first met my beautiful Messiah at age 13 and how He captured my heart with the depths of His love for me. I realize that at that age, I needed nurturing in that area of my life, to have the truth of the word engaged in my life and engrained in my mind. I always had one toe in the darkness that masqueraded itself as light and one toe trying to dip itself into the truth of God, but because you can not drink from both cups, I eventually fell to one side. Those of you who know my testimony know that I walked away from my Savior when the lure of the New Age world became louder than the Voice of Truth. Once you allow a little lie into the door of your heart, the enemy takes more and more of a foothold with his twisting and whispers and counterfeit truths and eventually deception becomes the sand that your life is being built on. If I had known the reality of the word of God and how stepping out from under it's protection would lead to so much pain, I may have walked a different path. However, I see my life now, and it is proof that Yahweh truly makes beauty from ashes. God has been able to use my missteps and mistakes to point others to the kingdom of heaven, and when you see the majesty of the work of His hand in the darkness of what seemed to be a lost life, you realize nothing was in vain. Even when I finally fell on my face and came back to the Lord, it was a long challenging process of sanctification and breaking down to be molded into the pot I am today. I praise God for this journey, because I can look at others with compassion, always remembering where I came from so as not to fall into the pit of self-righteousness (a battle we all face from time to time.) It's so important to remember that we should use our growth to inspire and encourage others and even to warn them of impending danger rather then to see ourselves as higher than any other. We have ALL sinned and fallen short of the glory of God... and thank the Lord for His blood that saved my silly behind. I spent many a Halloween dressing like a slutty cat or bunny or some other foolish dumb idea I had at the time. So, when I first came back to the Lord I wasn't convicted about a bunch of things. It took time, reading scripture, researching, and being knocked on my butt to wake me up to many realities. To be honest, it took total surrender of me. Over the last few years, I have changed, and not just a little bit, a lot a bit, and I know it was hard at first for some of the people in my life. God did an extreme temple makeover and it wasn't easy the whole way through. If I'm being honest, I fought, kicked, cried, whined, but then I surrendered, and peace followed.... and I don't mean a peaceful moment or fleeting happiness... I mean that solid rock of peace that surpasses ALL understanding. Giving things up for the Lord isn't that hard anymore; it's actually rather exciting. Now I'm like YES, let's do this YOUR way because my way always get me messed up. When we are finally ready to let the word of God (which is in essence Jesus)
- In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.... the word became flesh and dwelt with man-
When we are finally ready to let it become the ultimate, only, and final authority of everything in our lives, He will replace everything that we thought we ever needed or wanted with something BETTER. If we apply the truth of the word to Halloween and our faith, there is no way in which to justify being a part of it in any regard, but we have to be willing to see the truth, and then the truth will set us free. I pray you receive this blog post in love and know that it is my hearts desire to see you live in the peace and the freedom (real freedom of the word) afforded to us through the sacrifice of Christ and His shed blood. With love,
Your sister in Messiah
Some Realities About Halloween...
Concerning Halloween The Encyclopedia of Religion continues: “On this occasion, it was believed that a gathering of supernatural forces occurred as during no other period of the year. The eve and day of Samhain were characterized as a time when the barriers between the human and supernatural worlds were broken. Otherworldly entities, such as the souls of the dead, were able to visit earthly inhabitants, and humans could take the opportunity to penetrate the domains of the gods and supernatural creatures. “Fiery tributes and sacrifices of animals, crops, and possibly human beings were made to appease supernatural powers who controlled the fertility of the land … Samhain acknowledged the entire spectrum of nonhuman forces that roamed the earth during the period” (pp. 176-177).On this holiday “huge bonfires were set on hilltops to frighten away evil spirits … The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired sinister significance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature. In addition, Halloween was thought to be the most favourable time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes” ( Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, Micropaedia, Vol. 4, p. 862, “Halloween”).Ancient practices continued todayAs with Christmas and Easter, church leaders adopted this ancient celebration to serve their own purposes. “Samhain remained a popular festival among the Celtic people throughout the christianization of Great Britain. The British church attempted to divert this interest in pagan customs by adding a Christian celebration to the calendar on the same date as Samhain. The Christian festival, the Feast of All Saints, commemorates the known and unknown saints of the Christian religion just as Samhain had acknowledged and paid tribute to the Celtic deities” ( The Encyclopedia of Religion, p. 177, “Halloween”). Several ancient Halloween practices still exist in modern observances. Bobbing for apples was originally a form of divination (fortune telling) to learn of future marriages. The first person to bite an apple was predicted to be the first to marry in the coming year … The jack-o-lantern … represent[ed] a watchman on Halloween night or a man caught between earth and the supernatural world” (Jack Santino, All Around the Year: Holidays &Celebrations in American Life, 1994, p. 26).
The Bible condemns the occult
Although some may dismiss the demonic symbolism and divination associated with Halloween as harmless fun, the Bible reveals the existence of evil spirits, led by Satan the devil, whom God holds responsible for great suffering and sorrow inflicted on the human race. Revelation 12:9 speaks of “the great dragon … that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan … [who] deceives the whole world …”The name given him in the Bible, Satan, means adversary or enemy. The apostle John tells us that “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Satan and the other fallen angels (demons) constantly try to keep humanity spiritually blinded, turning them aside from their awesome destiny as part of the family of God. As a loving Father, God commands us to avoid things that can harm us. Concerning the spirit world, notice what God says to His people: “Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:31). In addition to this command to avoid practices that pertain to evil spirits, God warned ancient Israel to avoid any kind of occult practices: “There shall not be found among you anyone who … practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord ” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). God has called His people to a different standard. Instead of superstitions and myths, God tells us to look to Him for our blessings, direction and future. Modern celebrations of Halloween may appear on the surface to be quite harmless, but the spiritual implications of dabbling with the spirit world are extremely serious. Fortune-telling, Ouija boards, astrology, voodoo, clairvoyance, black magic and the like can all be related to occult, satanic forces or the worship of natural phenomena and are forbidden in Scripture. Jesus Christ tells us that “the first and greatest commandment” is to love our Creator “with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37-38). God alone is the giver of life and all good things. To give recognition to false gods, and to imitate practices that honored them, is unacceptable and idolatrous.
If Witches are the Queen of Halloween, the smiling jack-o’-lantern is the King. The demonic jack-o’-lantern leaves most historians baffled tracing its spooky origin. One popular tale, tells of Jack who tricked the devil in a deal for his soul. But the origin of the jack-o’-lantern is much more sinister. It arrives from the Druid’s ghastly reverence of the severed human head! They proudly decorated their houses and temples with bloody severed heads. The Druids believed the head housed the soul, hence the light or candle in the skull. The original jack-o’-lantern was not a pumpkin or turnip, but a severed human head! Trophy, charm, or ornament, the human head figured prominently in Celtic life. Warriors hung enemy heads on their houses as a show of prowess, and Druids, believing that the head harbored the soul, placed skulls in sanctuaries to ward off evil. (National Geographic, May 1977, p. 603). . . they hang the heads of their enemies from the necks of their horses, and, when they have brought them home, nail the spectacle to the entrances of their homes. . .(Strabo, Geography) It is believed that faces, rather than other images or symbols, were originally carved onto the pumpkin because they gave the jack-o’-lantern the look of a head. The Celts of ancient times believed that the head was the most sacred part of the human body, for it housed a person’s immortal soul. (Dunwich, Gerina. The Pagan Book of Halloween, p. 32) . . . the jack-o’-lantern is generally presented in its traditional form as a festive euphemism for the death’s-head, the triangular nose hole and rictus grin being the "dead" giveaways. (Skal, David J. Death Makes a Holiday: The Cultural History of Halloween, p. 38) Carved and illuminated by a candle, they are symbolic of death and the spirit world. (Thompson, Sue Ellen. Holiday Symbols and Customs, p. 256)is another Druid inspired custom. Every year on Halloween, many children throughout the world dress up in costumes and go door to door in a ritual known as trick or treating . . . unaware that their innocent masquerade is actually the remnants of a Druidic religious practice from times most ancient. (Dunwich, Gerina. The Pagan Book of Halloween, p. 11) Whatever the wrinkles, the root assumption is the same: trick or treat had its beginning in the Celtic dawn. (Santino, Jack. Halloween and Other Festivals of Death and Life, p. 82) Masks and costumes carry a long history in the occult and demon possession. Masks are contacts to the spirit world to invite the spirit to "possess" them. In rituals, a person wearing a mask of a god or spirit often feels possessed by the supernatural being. . . (World Book 2005, p. 263) The person wearing the mask feels internally transformed and takes on temporarily the qualities of the god or demon represented by the mask. (Biedermann, Hans. Dictionary of Symbolism, p. 218)
I'm supposed to tell you that this remedy is not intended to treat, prevent, or cure any illness or disease (insert eye roll here)
Non-FDA approved possible benefits: Taking this home remedy may help boost your immune system, lower blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol. It may reduce the number of colds and infections you catch. This remedy may be helpful against gout, arthritis, pain, and joint aches. These are a small list of the awesome (potential) benefits of using this mixture as a preventative drink.
Settling into this season of simplicity has brought so much joy into my life. As I sit here, I think back to every varied and crazy up and down, and often upside down season that I have walked through. I spent a good decade of my life living amongst people drowning in wealth, prestige, power, decadence, and every material desire one could acquire. I sat VIP, dined with celebrities, wore the most expensive gowns in the world, conversed with business moguls and experienced things most only dream of. I do not share these things to brag but rather to point out that in the midst of a life that most looked in on and coveted, was a girl with a deep sadness inside and a longing to find peace. I searched for the fulfillment in my career, in the new age, in boys, in events, in "friends", in moving my location every 12 months (not kidding). Still, there I was, broken and brokenhearted surrounded by the kind of lifestyle that people sell their souls for. A true wanderer I had become, like a ship with no captain bouncing around in the sea.
And then my Jesus.... He came and rescued me.
God has remade me from the inside out, and drowned me in His oceans of love and mercy; I am made free. He broke me and then built me back up in one of the most challenging time periods of my life but I knew that He was putting back the broken pieces and that sometimes it hurts in the process of mending.
So, here I am, in the role that God created for me ... surely a far cry from anything I ever got myself into. He spoke to me about 7 months ago as I had been crying out to finally be set free from my wandering heart and to feel the peace I had been searching for my whole adult life. He said to me ... I have called you to be a servant.... To serve your husband, your parents, and the ministry. Having learned at this point in my life not to question Abba, I said... Okay, Lord, Have it be done to me as You will. And I'm telling you guys, our God is so faithful... as I embraced the calling on my life and made the changes in faith to accommodate it, God gave me what I had cried out for. I now have joy, peace, and true fulfillment. My heart is no longer wandering but feels at home right here in His presence... in the simplicity of this little life on the mountain. No one cheers for me when I make a stew or do the dishes for the 4th time everyday. There are no VIP lists, or invites, or flashing lights.... but there is peace.... there is true, deep, lasting, amazing, peace that surpasses all my understanding.
Thank you Abba for showing me the joy of having a servants heart. Thank you all for allowing me to share my journey with you.
Fall is my favorite time of year for many reasons... chilly air, orange leaves, bonfires, crisp apples, but most of all warm filling recipes like this one! All summer, I look forward to cranking up the heat in the kitchen...baking apples and pears, making muffins, and stirring up big pots of soups, stews, and chiles. I am so excited to share some of my favorite healthy, budget friendly, and delicious recipes with you this season.
Please let me know in the comments what types of recipes you would like to see or what your favorite thing to eat in the fall is. If you haven't checked out my Day in the Life series on YouTube yet, please head to our youtube channel and subscribe!
For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good
Chilly Day Chile
One of my favorite things about these recipes is how they can suit a variety of dinner guests. This recipe can easily become vegetarian by removing the chicken and using veggie broth or water. These meals can also feed a lot of people on a little budget and can easily be stored as freezer meals. If you want to add a carb, you can chop sweet or regular potatoes or make rice on the side!
Saute pepper, onion, garlic and celery in oil until tender.
Add ground chicken and cook until browned. Add sauce or tomatoes. (Add beans If dry)
Add spices, salt, and pepper. Add water or broth.. Allow to come to a bubbling simmer for 45 mins
Stir in the beans If not dried, then simmer another 15 mins. For a soupier chili, you can add additional water or broth. For a thicker chili, simmer uncovered until desired consistency is reached. Taste and add more salt and spices if necessary. When it is finished you can top with cheese, scallions, avocado, or sour cream. Enjoy and be warm!
Lea from James and Lea D chats all about life as a wife in pursuance of the Father's heart. Follow my faith walk journey and all that it involves. Faith, family, food, and fellowship. Come, relax, and have some tea with Lea. Shalom & Blessings!