bring on the candy!!

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. – Oscar Wilde

Today is the day we (in America) celebrate all things scary and many things candy. Does this mean it is a bad thing for those of us who believe in a Benevolent God and Savior to our souls? Like with anything else, it depends on the viewpoint.


Some people love to be scared – there is an adrenaline rush associated with being scared that can be addicting. But as with all addictions you eventually need more and more to satisfy the need. Which may mean more intense (read: violent) scary movies, games or books. But think about this – what is all that fear doing to your mind, soul and spirit? What is the constant adrenaline rush doing to your body?


For me, I spent most of my childhood being scared and I have no use for it now. I don’t want to be scared – ever again. I don’t like feeling unsafe or threatened. I don’t like feeling like someone may come through my window at any moment and hurt me. And I don’t like the feelings I have when I see it happen to someone else even if it is just a movie. As violence has been done to me I have an aversion to seeing it done to other people or creatures.


I have nothing against vampires, werewolves, ghosts, goblins and the like. They are all creatures fabricated to help people cope with things that are out of their control. What I am against (and I say this only for myself, for I have no wish to force anyone to believe the way I do) is the violence those creatures are depicted as doing. And with each succeeding generation of creatures the more violent they are created as becoming. What I am also against is the potential for inspiration to commit violent acts. I understand that if a person is going to kill another person they will do so regardless of the inspiration, but to constantly put negative thoughts and energies out into the ether, into the Universe, those negative energies have an effect on people and how they handle conflict.


So on this night of all nights, this scary holiday, it does well to remember that the God of Love and Light is not scary. Nor does He want His children to be afraid. Be circumspect, alert, and aware of your surroundings but be not fearful.


Enjoy the candy, enjoy the little kids trick or treating and enjoy the costumes. But above all, Fear not, for the God of Light is with you and will always be with you whether you want Him there or not, whether you believe in Him or not, and whether or not you choose to put your trust in the unseen. God simply Is. He is Light and Life and Love.

 

 

Trick or Treat! by liselotte-eriksson

Trick or Treat by lisolette-eriksson

last words

A thing said walks in immortality if it has been said well.
–Pindar

Recently there has been a death in my family which has gotten me to thinking about gravestones. Have you ever thought what you would want your gravestone to read? “Rest in peace?” “Beloved ___?___” Or maybe just your name and dates. When I see gravestones like that I think that the family either didn’t care enough to think of something creative or they were grieving so deeply that they just wanted to get the task over with because it hurt so much. Either way it is too bad that one life can be boiled down to 3 or 4 words that half a billion other people have used.


I’m going to be cremated so no gravestone for me. However, I have already planned my funeral (which I hope doesn’t have to be used for many decades to come) and while I want to have my ashes spread over the New River in Virginia, I would like some sort of memorial stone or plaque somewhere, I just haven’t figured out where yet.


There have been so many anonymous deaths in this world – mass graves and the like – it is kind of frightening to come into this world, live a life, no matter how long it is and then die without leaving some sort of mark. Yet billions of people have done it and maybe not even thought about it. Usually it is only people with money who are able to leave their names emblazoned on a slab of granite or marble. The soul’s who have no money or little to spare are unknown but to God. Buried in unmarked graves they are lost to history and that makes me a little sad.


As I said earlier, there has recently been a death in my family and my aunt was one of the last three of her generation still living. Now there is only my mom and my uncle and that makes me very sad. It is sad to see a generation slowly die off even if that is the way of life.


When my grandmother died she was the last of her generation and I felt adrift in the sea of time. An orphan, but not quite since mom is still on this side of the veil. But I wonder about the people who have gone on before me, the ones in my family I never knew and the unknown ones who died without markers. Who were they? How did they live their lives? Were they happy? Are they at peace now? All those people…


It is mind boggling to me when I try to think about it. Sometimes I start thinking about all the people in the world today living their lives, crying, laughing, sharing, working – and my brain sort of shuts down from the overload.


I really don’t know where I am going with all of this except to say I am grateful not to be a deity. I would not make a very good god. I am also grateful that the One who is God is able to handle the enormity of human existence. He is able to know every individual, each and every soul that has existed, is currently alive and those that are yet to be born. And that is really mind-blowing!

 

In the Crowd by Francesca Bifulco

loving, waiting, and patient

What I do know is that it is impossible to read the words,
in some cases centuries old, of fellow human beings entreating, praising, and
questioning the Divine entity of their understanding
without being moved – even profoundly changed.
– Maggie Oman

One of the reasons the Bible has remained the biggest selling book of all time may be its appeal to so many people. Believers and nonbelievers alike are able to see themselves in the writing, how the biblical characters struggle with themselves and with God and how it mirrors our own lives. To know we are not alone in our struggles, to know others have trod the same path before us and survived, and to know God will help me as He helped others is a foundation stone in our understanding of who and what we are.


When someone struggles alone over problems, the solution seems so far away and near impossible to achieve. It is then that suicide becomes a long-term solution for some, or alcohol/drug abuse becomes a short-term option for others. When you struggle alone, it is hard to see a way out.


If you are able, lift up your head from the pillow and see the light in the far distance. Do you see it? It is hope. Latch on to that hope and begin to move slowly toward it. Along the way see how God wants to lighten your load, to share your burden. See how He has placed people in your path to offer unsolicited words of encouragement and wisdom.


See the Bible lying there on the floor where you threw it and stepped over it. Or is it in the closet where it lies hidden. Pick it up, open it and read of the men and women who have been where you are. They, too, had doubts. They, too, didn’t believe, didn’t trust, didn’t understand why God was making them go through all this pain.


You say you don’t have a Bible? Can’t afford one? If you truly want one, one will be provided to you. Some thrift stores will give you one for free (those run by faith based organizations). But you have to do your part. If you want to live, if you want to hold on, if you want to make it through, a way will be made but only if you want it.


God loves you but He will not force his Will or Love on you. He will never abandon you, it just seems like He has because the pain in your own heart and head is too loud to hear Him.


So take comfort in the words of the saints who have gone before. It doesn’t matter if their words were written yesterday, last year, or last millennia. The words are still powerful and hold meaning that provides courage, strength and the will to live. If you are unable to hear God, then read of God. He is there in the words and in the lives of men and women who have suffered as you are suffering.


Take comfort in knowing that God loves you, whether you want Him to or not. God is there with you whether you are aware of Him or not. Nothing you can say or do can chase Him away. When you are done with your ranting and tantrums, He is there, loving, waiting and patient.

 

Lost Faith by Michael Ryan