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Halloween and Christians

halloween

Manasseh made his sons pass through the fire in the valley of Ben-hinnom; and he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger. ~ 2 Chronicles 33:6

I’ll come clean and admit that I’ve never understood Halloween. Other than sending children out to beg candy from friends, neighbors, and total strangers, what’s the point? In this day and age where parents need to have their kids’ candy x-rayed before it’s deemed safe to eat … I really don’t get the point. But let’s explore it a bit anyway.

The rationale that it’s all fun and games is one I’ve heard often, from both Christians and non-Christians. Okay. But aren’t there better ways to have fun and games than sending children out into the night, dressed in costumes that often depict evil, to face decorations often glorifying evil? I hope so.

It’s just about the candy is another rational I’ve heard. Every grocery store in town sells candy. Every. One. There’s no need to send children out to beg for it. But that’s just my take.

If our children don’t participate, they’ll be made fun of. Yeah? Like Christ didn’t foresee that already? But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.”~ John 15:21 Halloween is a great opportunity to model this for children, not to deprive them of candy (available at every grocery store), but to emphasize that you believe they have been bought at a price. That price includes denying things that are against God. Trying to find anything spiritually redeeming about Halloween is like sitting in pigeon poop to view statue you can see better while standing. 

Manasseh messed up big time. He dabbled in evil. He angered God. Does dabbling in Halloween once a year put your children at risk? Maybe not. But what if it plants a seed you can’t unplant? What if it delivers that underlying message that Christ is for Sunday at church and the rest of the time … you can go along to get along? Is that worth a bag of x-rayed candy to you?

~ Pegg Thomas

Trooper and Pegg cropped

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on October 31, 2016 in devotion, Pegg Thomas, Scripture

 

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Success — or Failure?

scaleA mother woke up early one morning, feeling rested and refreshed. She started the laundry, dusted the furniture, washed the floor, had her devotions—and all before the kids woke up. She felt great. That feeling continued as no one fought at the breakfast table or cried into their cereal. The rest of the morning went smoothly, lunch was as peaceful as breakfast had been, and all the laundry was folded and put away before supper rolled around.

And she knew it. She’d finally gotten the hang of being a good wife and mother. She went to bed that night with a smile on her face.

The next morning, this same mother woke up ten minutes before school was to start—and to loud noises coming from the kitchen pantry. She skipped brushing her teeth and raced down the hall to find one child eating chocolate while the other two were still in the pantry, fighting over the last cookie. Breakfast was chaotic (no one wanted eggs for dessert), she forgot about laundry until lunch, didn’t have lunch planned so they had breakfast all over again, and quiet time afterward was anything but.

And she knew it. She was a failure as a wife and mother. She went to bed that night realizing she still hadn’t brushed her teeth.

It’s easy to measure one’s worth as a wife or mother by the things we have—or haven’t—accomplished. It’s with a thankful heart that I’m reminded that God’s love for us isn’t based on what kind of day we’re having, but on who He is. His love is unconditional, His mercies new each morning, and His grace sufficient always.

So if your kids had chocolate for breakfast this morning instead of eggs, have no fear. The scales are still tipped in your favor.

~Marge Wiebe

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2015 in devotion, Marge Wiebe, Parenting

 

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Time to Rest

A young woman trudged along a winding path, her shoulders slumped and her steps heavy. She was determined not to stop until she reached her destination, no matter how weary she became.

Soon, she passed an old man resting at the side of the path, but scarcely gave him a glance before continuing on.

“You look tired,” the old man called after her. “Why don’t you sit and rest awhile?”

“I can’t,” she said. “I have a long way to go.”

The woman continued on, and a short time later, she heard footsteps approaching from behind. It was the old man, and he smiled and tipped his hat as he caught up to her.

“Do you hear the birds singing?” he asked. “And isn’t that warm breeze comforting?”

The woman shook her head, realizing she hadn’t noticed the birds singing or given a single thought to the breeze.

“A little rest goes a long way.” The old man gave her a knowing look. “And it makes the journey more enjoyable.”

Every day is a new journey, filled with things to do and places to go, but if we don’t take time to rest every now and then, weariness will set in and we’ll be too tired to enjoy what we might otherwise appreciate.

Take a few minutes to simply be still. God’s goodness is all around us, and we might be surprised at what we’re missing in all our busy-ness.

Are you taking time to rest?

~Marge Wiebe

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2015 in devotion, Marge Wiebe

 

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Almost Homeless

We’re at the stage of moving where our house is being shown to total strangers. Today the second set of prospective buyers will walk through our front door. We won’t be here, we’ll leave them to wander about our abode in peace, but it feels like an invasion of our privacy, our personal space. It feels like … we’re almost homeless.

kitchen_east_sideFirst we had to de-clutter the house. That’s real estate agent speak for, “Hide everything that makes your house feel like your home.” The idea is that prospective buyers can picture their own homey clutter covering your space. The family photos are all packed in boxes. The treasured mementos are carefully wrapped and stored away. The counter tops are bare.

So this morning I’ll clean like a fiend, hide all aspects of our Easter celebration, and scrub the house of who we are. Then I’ll drive to town, maybe Subway for lunch, and try not to think about the people who are poking around in the space we’ve known as home these past 14.5 years.

It’s an odd feeling. Part of me hoping that the prospective buyers will fall in love with the house, the barns, and the land. Part of me hoping that they won’t because we don’t have another house to move into yet. Part of me just … well … very unsettled about the whole process.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ Matthew 6:19-21

I know, Lord. We should hold the things of this world loosely. But sometimes it’s just hard.

~ Pegg Thomas

 

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2015 in devotion, Pegg Thomas

 

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Got Milk?

Glass of Milk pic

Several years ago, my hubby and I were on our way home from a shopping trip. It was late, and we still had some distance to travel, so we stopped at a convenience store for snacks. I told hubby I’d love to try one of those specialty chocolate-flavored drinks.

He returned a few minutes later and said they didn’t have any chocolate so he’d bought vanilla instead. No problem, I said. We were both tired and at this point I wasn’t going to be picky.

I’d never had vanilla milk before and I was surprised at how good it was. Hubby said it was rather sweet and that the vanilla flavor was too strong, but I figured we were getting our money’s worth.

When we arrived home, hubby carried in the shopping bags while I cleaned up the snack wrappers and drink containers. It was then that I took a closer look at what we’d purchased, and made a startling discovery.

It wasn’t milk we’d had earlier. No, the two of us had emptied an entire carton of vanilla-flavored liquid coffee creamer.

We’d fooled ourselves, big time.

Have you ever been fooled in some way, or played a trick on someone else? Especially when the first of April rolls around? I’d love to hear about it!

Laughter is good medicine, especially when parties at either end of a joke can enjoy it together. Sometimes, like in our case, there’s no culprit at all. Here’s to hoping we start off the new month with a little fun—and a lot of laughter.

~Marge Wiebe

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2015 in devotion, Humor, Marge Wiebe

 

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Simple – Right?

custom_mouthguard

I’ve recently had to purchase a mouth guard because I grind my teeth at night. I thought it would be a simple fix… buy the thing, wash the thing, pop the thing into my mouth at night so I could sleep and not have an aching jaw and spasming nerve pain in my head.

Simple, right? (It even said “simple” on the box.) Tweet This

One look at the lengthy set of instructions, however, and I had the inkling all would not be well. This was confirmed a short time later amid boiling water, timers going off, wailing for hubby to help, a mad dash for the bathroom mirror, more wailing for hubby to please come now, and then a redo of the whole process, now with the added pressure that it could only be attempted twice. By the time it was all said and done, I was ready to swallow the thing whole.

Why, then, would I put myself through this ordeal?

The answer to that is the only really simple thing. Pain. The nerve pain in my head was unbearable. It felt as though electric currents were ripping along my scalp, sometimes every thirty seconds. (The boiling, wailing, etc., now seem a minimal problem, yes?)

Despite the pain, or perhaps because of it, I’m reminded of God’s goodness and how much He’s given me. It’s moments like these that I’m grateful, more than ever, for my wonderful husband who truly is my knight in shining armor, and for loving children who, every time I gasped and clutched my head, went racing for paper and crayons to make me get-well cards. Most of all, I’m grateful for my Heavenly Father whose love and mercy are never ending, and who sometimes allows a little discomfort so my eyes will be opened to just how richly He’s blessed me.

Marge Wiebe

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2015 in devotion, Marge Wiebe

 

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The Homestead

homesteadThe word homestead means different things to different people. To some it’s just a word connected with a tax deduction. To some it’s where their grandparents – or great-grandparents – settled when they came to this country. To some it’s a new wave of self-sufficiency living closer to the land. And to others, like me, it simply means home.

My husband and I have moved a number of times, mostly chasing employment. The last move, in 2000, was not only for employment, but employment where we really wanted to live. We were thrilled. We found a hobby farm we could afford and settled in to raise sheep, chickens, rabbits, and even a few pigs from time to time. We thought, “This is it.” Our square on this earth to call home. Our place to build the life we wanted to live.

Then in January of this year, my husband was given notice of layoff with no chance of recall to his position here where we live. We reeled under that sentence for several days. Then we got busy applying for jobs anywhere and everywhere. On his last day of employment, he was told he could have another job with the State of Michigan if we were willing to pack up and move clear across the state.

I can’t say it was a hard decision, because that was the easy part. You go where the paycheck is. But then the hard part hit, looking at everything we’ve poured over fourteen years of labor and love into, and knowing we’ll be leaving it all behind. Leaving the homestead.

It hurts. Change usually does. But from the hurt comes perseverance. And through that comes the hope that will not disappoint.

Twin Willows Farm

 

~ Pegg Thomas

 

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2015 in devotion, Pegg Thomas

 

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