Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Retiring "to" Ministry

Green Waterfall Personal Update: I finally did it! After several years of declarations, promises, postponements, threats, reversals and other false starts, I finally retired from my position at a major international engineering company. I had been working from home the past 8-10 years.

I was never classified as an official tele-worker, just stopped going into the office. My transition from office to home didn’t happen overnight but was more of a gradual process. I was assigned to the Dallas office Water Group, but most of my work came from the Ports and Maritime Division of the Transportation Group. I primarily designed electrical substations, infrastructure and facilities for ports up and down the East Coast of North America from New England to Costa Rico. I also did a fair amount of work for the Power Group in the Middle East, where I designed electrical substations and facilities for privately owned industrial cities.

But, enough of the boring stuff. Let’s talk about “retirement”. The best advice that I ever got regarding retirement was “don’t retire from something, retire to something”. That is, your primary reason for retiring should not be to stop doing what you’re currently doing, but to do something better. In 2006, I began my website ministry, ad Dei Gloriam Ministries but was often frustrated due to the lack of available time for it. Sometimes I would even go months without working on the site. So, I finally put in my retirement papers to the engineering company and retired to devote much more time to my research and writing ministry.

I would also like to greatly thank all the excellent guest authors that have contributed to this blog the past few years. My input has been minimal, so you kept the blog from going almost completely dormant. Finally, a huge “thank you” to our loyal readers of our website and blog that have continued to “tune in” over the past few lean years. Finally, I thank God for His blessings and this opportunity, and hope to continue working as long as He allows. Soli Deo Gloria.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day Tribute to our Brave Heroes 2023

Today, we pause from our barbeques and other typical holiday routines to pay honor to those who ultimate sacrifices set aside a special Memorial Day each year to remember and pay a special tribute in honor of those who have selflessly made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the freedoms and privileges that we enjoy daily. As a very small token of gratitude to those who we can never fully repay, we've created our latest annual tribute page at 2023 Memorial Day Tribute.

May God continue to Bless our Brave Troups and their families!

Monday, July 4, 2022

Lost After the Loss of a Loved One? It May Be Time For a Move

Guest Post by Camille Johnson from The Bereaver Blog. The views and opinions expressed in the article and associated links are those of the author, and may or may not necessarily reflect those of ad Dei Gloriam Ministries. We have no relationship with any of the organizations linked within the article.

Image Source: Unsplash
Man Grieving on Couch Grieving the loss of a loved one or thing brings deep sorrow, and it can seem impossible in some cases. But by drawing close to God and taking practical steps each day to maintain your health, you can grieve healthily and come out stronger than ever.

While it’s reassuring to know this is all in God’s plan, and your church community can be the best support you can find at times like these, it may not feel that way in the moment. Suddenly finding yourself alone can be terrifying. Factor in the many changes that you’ll have to deal with at this time, and it may seem like an unbearable challenge. While it may seem drastic, after weighing the pros and cons, sometimes the best way to move on is to actually move.

Take good care of yourself

When the person you’ve shared your life with has passed away, even meeting daily needs can seem overwhelming. Take care of the body first–you’ll need to eat well, to exercise (even a walk around the block), and to try to get good sleep. It’s easy to fall into a funk, skipping the dishes and laundry, skipping meals. Make contact with friends and family who you won’t be embarrassed when they see that way, but who will also motivate you to get back up again. Even just calling someone sometimes can give you the perspective you need to take better care of yourself.

When you’re between houses, or if you’ve decided to move to a new town, don’t let your wellness visits lapse. Because you’re grieving you might miss some of the warning signs when it comes to your own health. If you haven’t been sleeping or eating well, this can exacerbate any health concerns.

Fortunately, you can book a virtual doc visit online if you have yet to establish care with a doctor in your new town. Simply search for "online doctors" or "online medical care" in your favorite internet browser. Online platforms make telehealth an easy option so you get the care you need. And whether you have insurance or not, you can still meet with an online physician to discuss your needs. Look for an option with same-day appointments.

Lighten possessions

Memories of your life partner will linger on, especially at home where you’re surrounded by their earthly belongings. You’ll undoubtedly go through a myriad of emotions, running the gamut from sadness to guilt. However, dealing with your late spouse’s possessions is a crucial part of letting go and moving on, and an unavoidable one at that.

In truth, this is an opportune time to declutter your own belongings and downsize. As this is an emotionally-charged task, it’s wise to enlist the help of a trusted friend or loved one, not just to do the heavy lifting, but also to give you comfort in the process. You might even find it’s an empowering part of the healing process.

As a rule of thumb, sort belongings into piles. While emotions may dictate that you hold on to collections and meaningful keepsakes, you also have to assess whether these will serve you or just add to clutter. It’s good practice to take photos of meaningful items or pass them on to loved ones, as well as keep what’s useful and truly priceless. The rest can be sold, donated, or thrown away.

Give yourself permission to start anew

Sometimes moving away mitigates grief. After all, it’s painful to return to an empty household that’s now devoid of a presence that was once constant. As daunting a decision as moving to a new home may be, it’s one that will save you money in the long run as living expenses decrease, which you can put forward for your future or use to offset the impact of a lost income.

It’s necessary to follow a few steps to ensure a financially sound decision. Take into account how much you’re likely to make in the sale of your home. Next, look at the costs involved in selling your home, buying a new one, moving expenses, and so forth. And while it’s a good idea to get help from people you trust or consult a professional like a financial advisor, remember that the decision is ultimately yours to make.

Prioritize your needs

Know that your safety and comfort are of the essence, especially if you depended on your late spouse for care. With that in mind, seniors sometimes do best in independent living. This option can mean less work because many facilities handle housekeeping and some health support. Independent living can also include a senior-friendly environment and social life. You may want to search the internet for more information regarding the advantages and disadvantages of assisted living.

The death of your spouse may give you a sense of an ending, but it’s undeniably also the start of a new chapter. There’s nowhere to go but forward. Let grief run its course and in due time, you’ll find the right decisions for your own future.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

How Goal-Setting Can Move You Through Grief

Guest Post by Lucille Rosetti from The Bereaver Blog. The views and opinions expressed in the article and associated links are those of the author, and may or may not necessarily reflect those of ad Dei Gloriam Ministries. We have no relationship with any of the organizations linked within the article.

Image Source: Unsplash
open Bible with notes Grieving the loss of a loved one or thing brings deep sorrow, and it can seem impossible in some cases. But by drawing close to God and taking practical steps each day to maintain your health, you can grieve healthily and come out stronger than ever.

Whether you're grieving the death of a loved one, the end of a friendship, or a shattered dream, there are no shortcuts through the pain. However, seeking God's presence can strengthen your faith because you rely on something bigger than your crushed spirit. And setting healthy goals can help you heal while boosting your confidence in the process. Here are some some practical tips for navigating grief.

Prioritize Quiet Time

First of all, as critical as it is to spend time with friends and family while grieving, no one can provide you with the comfort, grace, and wisdom that God can. Make sure you are making time to spend in His presence every day.

Devote time to prayer, and don't hold back your feelings or thoughts. Read the Bible at various points in your day for truth and wisdom for your situation. And consider keeping a journal where you write your most honest thoughts and emotions. No one ever has to read what you write, which means you can be raw. And you can also use your journal to set goals and track your progress.

Make Career Moves

Grief has a way of reminding us how short life is. If you are stuck in an overwhelming or unfulfilling job, this could be your chance to make a major change. Why not establish a path for a career you can be passionate about?

One practical step is to return to school for a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate. These days, many online programs allow you to earn a degree while still tending to your full-time job and other responsibilities.

Whether you are interested in business management, IT management, accounting, or any other field, you can earn an online business degree without leaving your house. Besides boosting your career prospects, achieving this goal could be a boon for your mental health.

Eat Whole Foods

It can be challenging to maintain a decent diet when you're grieving. Not only do anxiety and depression have a way of suppressing the appetite, but the physical symptoms of grief can sometimes make it hard to eat. When you have a craving, it might be for empty carbs and other comfort foods.

However, you must feed your body essential minerals and vitamins to function and keep up with grief's emotional and physical demands. Stick to lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods that will provide you with much-needed energy and benefit your long-term health.

Build a Fitness Routine

Regular exercise will not eliminate your grief, but it's a critical coping tool that can reduce depression, anxiety, and loneliness symptoms. The health benefits of maintaining a fitness routine are as broad and deep. Exercising can also provide opportunities to interact with others and keep your mind off of your grief for short moments. Fortunately, there are countless physical activities to try, including:
  • Walking
  • Running
  • Weightlifting
  • High intensity interval training (HIIT)
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Recreational sports
The key is to find one or more activities that you enjoy and commit to doing them at least five days a week. Your mind, body, and soul will thank you for it.

Listen to More Music

Listening to music can help you battle anxiety, stress, depression, and other common grief symptoms. Immerse yourself in worship music throughout the day. Listen to it on your morning commute, as you relax at home, and while you go through your daily workouts. It will boost your mood and help you keep your mind on heavenly things.

If you are experiencing heavy grief, don't rely on yourself to get through it. And don't depend solely on your friends and family either. Seek God with everything you have, set healthy goals you can attain, and ask God for grace to move your life in the right direction. He will respond because He is faithful!

3 Tips for Organizing an Overseas Church Mission

Guest Post by Camille Johnson from The Bereaver Blog. The views and opinions expressed in the article and associated links are those of the author, and although we strongly agree with the premise of the article, all specific details may or may not necessarily reflect those of ad Dei Gloriam Ministries. We have no relationship with any of the organizations linked within the article.

Image Source: Unsplash

Organizing a church mission to another country is a wonderful way to bring a congregation closer together and show young members of the church how to spread God’s love around the world. This is a big undertaking, but if you're feeling overwhelmed, take a business-like approach. Establish steps for reaching your goals and get as many people on board as possible, taking into account each individual’s needs and finding out what motivates them.

Baptist Press notes that preparing for a successful journey involves a great deal of work and planning, including consideration of some of the challenges that are involved in traveling overseas with a group of teenagers. These three tips will make organizing an overseas church mission more manageable.

1. Involve Church Youth in Fundraising Efforts

Mission trips are more successful when participants feel comfortable around one another and have invested time and effort in preparing for the trip. That’s why you should involve your church youth from the very beginning by including them in fundraising efforts. The trip will hold more meaning for them when they have worked for it.

Popular youth fundraisers include selling faith-based candles, using church scratch cards, selling cookies and cookie dough. Your young church members also may hold car washes, bake sales, yard sales, or other community events to raise money for their trip.

Because you will involve the community in your fundraising events, you should advertise in your church bulletin, on your church sign, and in local newspapers. If your church has a social media page, put a few of your youth in charge of creating and sharing fundraising events because it is an inexpensive way to reach a larger audience.

If you plan to stand in front of local stores with cans to collect donations, design matching T-shirts for your mission participants to make them more visible and credible when they are out and about in the community. Of course, everyone should pack their shirts and wear them on the mission itself when the time comes.

Another important fundraising tool you could use is marketing via email. Email marketing has a very high return on investment, so you should leverage it for raising funds and awareness for your mission trip. If you can use the email list of your whole church’s congregation, then you should have no problem reaching your fundraising goals.

2. Make Sure Everyone is Onboard with the Mission’s Purpose

When organizing a mission trip overseas, the church’s mission should be first and foremost in everyone’s minds. Operate under the understanding that you are representing your church and are traveling to do public service and be the face of your church in another part of the world. It’s important for you to share the purpose of the mission with your young participants and their families so everyone understands the trip is not a vacation. You should create a mission itinerary, a daily schedule, and a list of mission goals and share them at the first informational meeting.

3. Clearly State Your Rules and Get Signatures Early in the Planning Process

You also should clearly state your expectations and team rules from the beginning so church members know the do’s and don’ts of the trip and can agree to them well ahead of time. State and explain the rules to parents at the introductory meeting but also invite mission participants to attend so you can spend the evening answering questions and assuaging parents’ fears.

For more ideas on when to hold meetings, which information to share when, and which forms you will need, check out the numerous resource-rich websites like YouthWorks and Faithward. Keep in mind that if you are traveling to a country that allows people younger than 21 to drink or has a reputation for heavy recreational drug use, you should make it very clear that your youth will not be participating even though the laws differ. Studies show that exposing teens to alcohol at an early age puts them at a greater risk of developing drug and alcohol problems later in life, as noted in TIME magazine.

Similarly, experimenting with drugs early in life or using them socially as teens also leads to a high risk of becoming dependent and affects brain development. Alcohol and drugs have no place in a church mission, and you should reiterate these points at your introductory meeting.

Lastly, you may want to clearly state what items they can and cannot bring. It’s also important to give them reminders of important items to bring, such as medications they take daily, clothes that suit the climate, and chargers or power banks for devices they’re bringing along.

Planning an overseas church mission trip requires a great deal of time and organization. But, if you involve church youth and parents early in fundraising and informational sessions and clearly state your purpose and rules early on, you will have a much more successful and meaningful trip.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Memorial Day Tribute to our Fallen Heroes

Although we should remember our fallen heroes each day of the year, we set aside a special Memorial Day each year to remember and pay a special tribute in honor of those who have selflessly made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the freedoms we enjoy daily. As a very small token of gratitude, we've created our latest annual tribute page at 2021 Memorial Day Tribute.

This past week, we received an email from Mikey's Funnies that I wanted to pass along to our readers. It was written by a local friend of his, Diane L Penrose, in 2005. Permission has been given to share with others, with attribution, but commercial use is strictly forbidden. It is simply entitled "Memorial Day":

It's not about the parties
Or picnics on the beach
It's in memory of those who have fallen
Just now beyond our reach

The men and women of past
Who gave of life and limb
To protect the freedoms that we enjoy
Our right to believe in Him

From our forefathers of yesteryear
To Grandpa in "forty-one"
Dad in Korea and Vietnam
A brother in Desert Storm

As you lounge beside the pool
Or stroll along the shore
Take a moment to reflect upon
Those that are no more

Take a look around you
At the life you hold so dear
Just a moment to remember
And you'll find that they're still here
May God continue to Bless our Brave Troups!

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Thanksgiving Hand

Guest Post by Jim Beatty – a fellow Servant of Jesus Christ

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart ~ Proverbs 3:3 KJV

The editors of Reader’s Digest wrote a touching story about Mrs Klein’s classroom of first graders. Mrs Klein asked her students to draw pictures showing what Thanksgiving meant to them. She didn’t think the kids would have much to be thankful for being as they lived in a deteriorating neighborhood. So she expected to get drawings of turkeys, thanksgiving dinner spreads and the like.

When the children turned in their drawings, Mrs Klein was taken aback when she saw Douglas’s drawing of a hand. Douglas was typically so forlorn and likely to be found in her shadow when they went to recess. When she asked the class what they thought this hand represented, one kid said, “the hand of God that brings us food”, another said “the farmer that raises the turkeys” and another said “I think it’s all the hands that help us, but Douglas could only draw one of them”.

In her pleasure at the class’s response, Mrs Klein started the class on another project when she realized she had almost forgotten to ask Douglas what the picture was actually about. So, so she leaned over his desk and asked him whose hand it was, and the boy replied, “it’s yours, teacher”.

It seems Mrs Klein had taken Douglas by the hand from time to time, as she had done with many of her students, but it had meant so much to Douglas and it turned out to be her thanksgiving.

The editors of Reader’s Digest didn’t explain in the story why this small gesture had meant so much to Douglas, and they never explained why he was “forlorn and likely to be found in her shadow at recess”.

I have to think of people I’ve known in my own life, while in school, working various jobs, at social gatherings and even just in daily life who seemed out of place, didn’t fit in and sometimes just seemed a bit forlorn. The ones I have helped along the way and the ones who, in my own selfishness, pride and arrogance, I didn’t.

This story applies to adults and senior citizens as well as to school kids and it shows how sometimes the smallest of deeds can make a big impact on someone. Sometimes all a person wants is a friend. In a verse that comes to mind, Jesus said in Matthew 10:42 “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”

I remember a good friend of mine saying that she instructed her kids, “if you see someone at school who sits alone and doesn’t have any friends, you be their friend!”

The bible has numerous examples of kindness to strangers and acquaintances alike, such as David’s kindness toward Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan in 2nd Samuel chapter 9, the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, Paul’s shipwreck in Acts 27 and 28 where the islanders showed them unusual kindness. There are endless examples in scripture of God’s grace and kindness toward us, even though we don’t deserve it.

As people celebrate the national Thanksgiving Day holiday this year, let’s remember that thanksgiving isn’t all about us.

Quoting from Acts 20:35, “remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Let’s also remember Paul’s words in Colossians 3:12-13 “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbeareing one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”

Being a friend, being kind and giving someone a hand could mean so much to someone who is forlorn.

The Book of Daniel Trilogy

Back in 2011, I wrote a series of three articles on Bible Prophecy called Are We Living in the Last Days?, The Study of Prophecy – in Perspective, and Present Living in Light of Prophecy.

Recently, I completed another trilogy on the Book of the Prophet Daniel. The first was an Introduction to the Book of Daniel. This led to two additional spin-off articles, the first being Interpretations and Fulfillment of the Visions and Prophecies of Daniel. For this article, I spent a few weeks combing through various commentaries and other resources such as the Encyclopedia Britannica to determine the various persons and events that fulfilled many of the prophecies from the seventh through the second century BC. I also attempted to explore the prophecies still to be fulfilled in our future. If you've always wondered about many of the strange images and predictions within the book, hopefully this article will shed some light on the subject. A knowledge of Daniel is essential to understanding almost all aspects of future prophecy, including the prophetic portions of the New Testament.

The Book of Daniel contains more prophecies that have since been fulfilled than any other book in the Bible. As I was researching the meanings, I couldn't help but be amazed at the detail and precision by which each phrophecy was fulfilled. Thus, the fulfillments have a strong apologetics application. Because we have so many prophetic visions that have already been precisely fulfilled in the past, we would expect the same accuracy for those visions concerning the future.

The final article in the trilogy was entitled The Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9 – Four Interpretations. In this article, I examined various interpretations and timelines for this prophecy from an Old Testament (Maccabean) view, a Preterist (Reformed Historical) view, a Covenantal (Reformed Futurist) view and from a Dispensational (Futurist) view, pointing out the similarities and the divergences of each view. The Seventy Weeks of Daniel is the key to helping us understand the basic timeline of historical and future events prophesized in both the Old and New Testament.

I initially didn’t set out to do another prophecy-themed trilogy, but it just happened that way. Incidentally, I’m now working on the Introduction to the Book of the Revelation and, wouldn’t you know it, I currently have two spin-off articles in progress on it as well. The first spin-off considers how various events (and their timelines) are interpreted from a Preterist, a Historicist, an Idealist (Allegorical), and a Futuristic view. The final article will discuss four major interpretive views of the Millennial Kingdom of Revelation 20.

I’ll add the links to the Revelation articles in a new post when finished. To God be the glory…

Saturday, November 14, 2020

When the Skies of November Turn Gloomy

Guest Post by Jim Beatty – a fellow Servant of Jesus Christ… a sinner who has turned away from a sinful lifestyle… writing in hopes of throwing somebody a life ring.

Webmaster Note: This past week marked the 45th anniversary of the event of which Jim writes. He sent the article late last year, but we saved it until now for posting. The image below comes from the US Corps of Engineers and is in the public domain.

Most of us know about Veteran’s Day and I’m sure everyone knows when Thanksgiving is. Those dates are usually marked right on the calendar for us, because they are important days that we should remember. But there’s another important day in November that’s not generally marked on our calendar, and that is November 10th, the anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975.

The Fitzgerald wasn’t one of the thousand foot “super tankers”, but a pretty big ship on the Great Lakes, with a length of almost 750 feet. Being what’s known as a “straight decker”, the Fitzgerald was perfect for hauling iron ore pellets, as she was that fateful night. Gordon Lightfoot took poetic liberties when he sang “They left fully loaded for Cleveland” when in fact, they left fully loaded for Zug Island, which is near Detroit, but I suppose you just can’t make Zug Island rhyme.

Captain McSorley was a veteran sailor with over 40 years experience and had taken command of the Fitzgerald only a few years earlier. It’s ironic that this was scheduled to be his final journey before retirement.

Lake Superior that night had waves of 35’, and the wind was about 60 miles per hour. The weather was so bad that the Soo Locks had been closed and the Coast Guard had issued a warning for all vessels to take safe harbor and to remain at anchor until the storm had passed.

The Captain of the Fitzgerald radioed that his ship was listing. They were taking water across the deck and both radars were out. The Steamship Arthur Anderson was following some distance behind, trying to guide them by radio to the safety of Whitefish Bay.

We know how the story ends. The Fitzgerald sunk suddenly... very suddenly in about 600 feet of water and all the men on board died.

I was working on the freighters in those days. In fact, we were safely at anchor in the lee of a small island on Lake Huron. But I remember from our lifeboat training that we were told, “There’s no need to panic, there’s no hurry, you don’t have to rush, it takes at least 45 minutes for a ship to sink. There’s plenty of time to get the lifeboats ready.”

But that’s not how it happened on the Fitzgerald that night. In fact, about a year later, I met a man who said he was working on the Arthur Anderson that night. He said it happened so quickly that with one sweep of the radar screen she was there, and the next sweep she was gone.

Gordon Lightfoot hit it square on when he sang, “The lake it is said... never gives up her dead... when the skies of November turn gloomy”.

You know, I have to wonder how many, if any, of those men had come to Christ at some time before that final journey. And I have to wonder how many of those men cried out to Christ with their last breath as they sank into that icy water.

Sometimes we get so caught up with the cares of the world and our own “stormy situations” that we forget about our relationship with God.

“Oh, you don’t understand! I’ve got to work a lot of overtime to pay off my student loans... or whatever. I don’t have time for that religious stuff right now”, or so we reason.

Others may be caught up in a lascivious lifestyle. Drinking and carousing, carelessly singing, “eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die!” Those poor spirits never even see the need to change their course, much less to get the lifeboats ready!

Others may think they can just put it off, “Oh, I’m a good guy and people like me. I mean, I go to church, you know... or at least sometimes. It’s not like you have to really follow all that stuff. Besides, I can always repent on my death bed. Certainly Jesus will wait for ME, won’t he?”

The trouble is, as the Edmund Fitzgerald shows us, sometimes the calamities of life happen so suddenly that we don’t always have time to even LOOK for the lifeboats. Proverbs 27:1 says, “Don’t boast about tomorrow, for a man doesn’t know what a day might bring”.

So the question is, “When should I change my course... when should I get my lifeboat ready?” Paul tells us in 2nd Corinthians 6:2, “And he said, in the favorable time, I listened in the favorable day, you needed salvation and I helped. Behold, THIS is the favorable time. Behold, THIS is the day of salvation”.

If there is anyone reading this message and has come to a point in your life where you see the need to change your course, you see that it’s time to get the lifeboat ready. I urge you to seek out competent biblical teaching, believe in the Word and repent from the world. Be baptized and receive the free gift of the Holy Spirit.

I urge you to seek out and build your relationship with the One who can calm the stormy sea. And I urge you to do this while it is still the favorable day, before one of life’s calamities can strike!

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Things That Go Bump In the Night

Guest Post by Jim Beatty – a fellow Servant of Jesus Christ

Witches, demons, fortune tellers, skeletons, ghosts, monsters and the like are common themes in October!

halloween no funSamhain was celebrated on the night of October 31 when the Druids believed the boundary between the world of the dead and the world of the living was blurred and demons would visit. These spirits played tricks and caused havoc, so the Druids would offer sacrifices to appease these spirits, hence the modern holiday question: “trick or treat?”

The Druids dressed in costumes to look like demons in attempt to befriend them and celebrated the holiday with drunkenness, psychoactive plants and debauchery. They believed that by communing with the nether world, they could tell fortunes, cast spells and speak with the dead.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Pope Boniface IV created All Saints day, celebrated November 1st, around AD 600. This holiday was called “All-hallows” and the night before it, “Samhain”. Later, it became known as “All-Hallows Eve” and eventually, “Halloween”.

Most people today believe such celebrations are just good, clean fun. Kids get to dress up and get candy while going house to house giving each one a choice, “trick or treat?” I mean after all, demons, witches, ghosts and goblins aren't real, are they?

If demons, astrology, divination, necromancy, sorcery and idols don't exist, why did God forbid these practices in the Law of Moses and again through Paul in 1st Corinthians 6 and Galatians 5, among other places in the bible?

There are at least a dozen Hebrew names for demons in the Old Testament and demons are mentioned by every writer in the New Testament, with exception of the unknown author of Hebrews; but he did mention their ruler, Satan. Jesus taught in many passages that demons do exist, and many instances are recorded of Jesus and his Apostles casting them out of people that had been possessed. Demons are the fallen angels and can take on various physical forms.

People of many faiths celebrate Halloween and the bible does say, “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” (Romans 14:5)

However, our bible also clearly says in 1 Corinthians 10:20-21 “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.”

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but rather than putting on a ghost, devil, witch or monster costume, why not put on "the whole armor of God; the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, as shoes put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace; the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”? (Ephesians 6:13-20)