For “Scripture Sunday”:
Hurricane Michael decimated flowers and other bee food sources for miles along the Florida panhandle. Over a billion bees will starve to death if we don't act now. Join the #BillionBeeChallenge by making a donation today.
The strongest storm to ever hit the Florida panhandle has left an ecological disaster in its wake. In addition to the homes and business the hurricane destroyed, Michael's 150 mile per hour winds ripped trees, bushes, and flowers from the ground. What's left is a true emergency for the state's bee population. With no natural food sources, a temporary replacement source is necessary to keep an estimated 50,000 colonies from starving and collapsing. Losing these bees would be a tragedy, and would permanently wreak havoc on our country's citrus supply.
GreaterGood.org is working with the Florida State Beekeepers Association and the Florida State Department of Agriculture to send in an emergency supply of sugar syrup to keep bee colonies sustained while bee forage material regrows, a process that is estimated to take at least a month. There are 5 tankers ready to be filled and dispatched, and the government is not providing funding for this mission. We need your help urgently.
You can help. Every dollar helps, and a gift of $15 will keep over a million bees (25 colonies) fed for a day. Your gift will go directly to providing food for bees before they starve — donate today.
100% of your Gift That Gives More™ donation will go as a charitable gift to GreaterGood.org. GreaterGood stores pay the credit card transaction fee, so every cent of your donation goes to charity.
Choose Your Donation
$4 – Feed 1 Bee Colony for a Week $15 – Feed 25 Bee Colonies for a Day $45 – Feed 25 Bee Colonies for 3 Days – $100 Feeds 25 Bee Colonies for a Week
A Halloween Story
Following is an imaginary dialogue on the reasons responsible people might wonder whether they should participate in the customs, and don the costumes, of Halloween.
000 PhotoDisc, Inc
Where did the strange customs of Halloween originate? How did such symbols as witches, ghosts, devils and monsters become associated with a supposedly religious holiday?
It’s Oct. 31. Daylight begins to surrender to dusky darkness. A biting wind blusters at windows. The doorbell rings in the home of a widowed grandmother. She swings open the door to two young children costumed as cheerful cartoon characters, each carrying a large paper shopping bag.
“Trick or treat!” they call out in unison with sweet voices through happy smiles as they extend their bags in eager anticipation. Their weary mother, standing several steps away, shivers against the wind and chill of the approaching darkness.
The neighborhood grandmother has nothing to contribute to the already-bulging bags, but she offers the trio some hot chocolate and a comfortable place to rest from the cold for a few minutes. They are puzzled by her lack of Halloween treats, but they gladly accept her offer to come inside and warm up. Neighborhood Grandmother: “Oh, you look so cold! This hot chocolate should warm you right up. I have to compliment you [she says to the children’s mother] on how responsible you seem about the children’s safety. It’s a good idea to accompany them. You can never know what dangers lurk even in this neighborhood.”
Mother of the children: “Oh, yes, I would never let them go out alone. The children don’t necessarily appreciate Mom’s watchful eye, but there are too many dangers to ignore. Children are harder for drivers to spot at this time of night, and there is also the worry of tampered candy and fruit. Even without those fears, it’s always a challenge to keep them from eating so many sweets that they get sick the next day.”
Grandmother: “Why, may I ask, did you choose those cartoon-character costumes instead of ghosts, goblins and such?”
Mother: “We don’t like the emphasis on death and violence, so we purposefully avoid those types of costumes. And we don’t want the children to remember this holiday as one in which acts of vandalism are considered fun. I have unpleasant childhood memories of children throwing rocks at cars and windows of houses, setting fires and deliberately terrorizing senior citizens.”
Grandmother: “It sounds like you’ve obviously given some thought to this.”
Mother: “Well, we go out of our way to make this a fun holiday for our children. Our goal is to fill their memories with good experiences. We are parents with high standards.
“May I ask you a question? You’re such a kind neighbor, always greeting my children cheerfully as they walk by your house on their way to and from school. I don’t know if you realize it, but you have a reputation as the neighborhood grandma.
“But you obviously haven’t decorated your home for Halloween, and you don’t have candy or treats for the children who come trick-or-treating. That seems out of character for you. Is there a reason?”
Grandmother: “I guess I must seem a bit different by not getting into the spirit of things on Halloween. I’d be happy to explain why. “My thinking is actually quite similar to yours. Like you, I’m troubled by the vandalism and violence associated with Halloween. More than once I have seen some of those acts aimed at senior citizens. Then there is the awful emphasis on death and dying and disembodied spirits.”
Mother: “Oh, I know. Some of the costumes I see, along with the horror movies aired on television this time of year, are downright repulsive. I don’t know why Halloween seems to give people an excuse to set aside their normal values and to revel in things they really don’t care for at other times. That’s why our family stays clear of the horror costumes and any association with death. We make Halloween a fun time.”
Grandmother: “I am all for making life fun for the children. But, even so, some years ago I made a decision to withdraw from Halloween activities. My personal conviction is that I could not dress up—pardon the pun—the traditions of something so truly wicked in its origins to make it into a children’s holiday.
“I thought long and hard about it, and it just doesn’t make sense. People who want to teach their children values like honesty, respect for others, kindness and generosity, and who want to instill in their children a positive outlook on life, take those same children and have them disguise themselves as the dead or as evil monsters or beings so they can go from house to house to ask for treats.
“I know that ‘trick-or-treat’ has a real catchy sound to it, but it doesn’t come from pleasant roots. It’s based on the idea that a mean trick will be played on you if you don’t give treats to any stranger who approaches you. Is it too harsh to say that taking treats with threats makes me think of a kind of extortion?
“I’m not trying to criticize you or hurt your feelings. You’re obviously a responsible mother. But this is a personal choice. I cannot in good conscience participate in something that runs so completely contrary to what I really would like to see for our children.”
Mother: “There’s no need to apologize. We’ve discussed these same things. Those are the very reasons we avoid the horrible costumes. But we chose to continue with the holiday because of its religious roots. You are so well informed that you must know the religious background of Halloween. Since it is closely allied with religion, we felt we could, as you put it, dress up this holiday in a way that would be in line with the values we want to instill in our children.” Grandmother: “Yes, I’m aware that Halloween comes from ‘All Saints’ Eve’ and that the word itself is an abbreviation of ‘hallowed evening.’ That fact also caused me to hang onto the holiday longer than I would have otherwise. I suspect that long ago religious people attempted to dress up an ugly, uncivilized and unchristian holiday, perhaps for the same reasons that we have been discussing—to try to make it acceptable.
“That rationale hasn’t been enough to convince me that Halloween was healthy for my family and community for two reasons. First, I learned that the word saint is used in the Bible simply to mean a believer, or member of the Church. There is no biblical example of celebrating one saint or believer above another and certainly no precedent for a holiday in honor of any supposed saint.
“The second reason—and I’ve really looked into this because I believe God and sincerely want His guidance—is that I’ve researched the history of people who honored God who were challenged with similar questions. When they came in contact with different cultures, they were confronted with unholy customs and holidays.
“How did they react? Did they dress up those offensive customs with customs of worship given them by God? I found the clearest possible answer in the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 12. It’s found in the last four verses. In essence, God told the people not to attempt to make the unacceptable acceptable. Rather, they were to avoid evil and build their customs on a clean foundation.
“Once I read that, my mind was settled. From then on I determined to provide fun for my children and grandchildren—and the neighborhood children—in positive ways, steering clear of Halloween.”
Mother: “Well, you’ve really piqued my curiosity. Thanks for your kind hospitality and especially for your insight. It’s time for us to be on our way. It looks like I have some reading and thinking to do.”
How did Halloween come to be considered a "Christian" celebration?
“Does the Bible say anything about All Hallows' or All Saints' Day?
Originally Halloween was a pagan festival oriented around fire, the dead and the powers of darkness. How did it become accepted in the "Christian" world?
Pagan festivals have had a curious way of worming their way into Christianity over the centuries.
Most people know that Halloween takes place on Oct. 31. Far fewer understand the connection between Halloween and the next day on the calendar, the festival of All Hallows’ or All Saints’ Day, celebrated by some churches and denominations Nov. 1.
One author concludes that All Saints’ Day was established to commemorate the saints and martyrs of the Roman Catholic Church and was first introduced in the seventh century (Man, Myth, and Magic, Vol. 1, 1983, p. 109). Oddly enough, history shows that Halloween—this ancient, thoroughly pagan holiday with its trappings of death and demonism—is inseparably tied to All Saints’ Day. Continued at:
For more understanding, please read the booklet Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Observe?
It could have been a frustrating week without a vehicle, but I didn’t let it get to me. The van spent nearly a week at the mechanics, they drove it around several times, and couldn’t find anything wrong with it, but the “battery” light was still on. I had had it tested the Sunday before it broke down at O’Reilly’s and they said my alternator and everything was OK. So Chris and I picked it up and I stopped at O’Reilly’s again. Same person checked it, and everything checked out until it got to “Voltage Regulator, and it showed weak. They tried to sell me an alternator as the voltage regulators are inside the alternators now. I was running on battery only, because it wasn’t charging, so I put a charger on it when I got it home. I have a bad-looking negative battery cable and had ordered it before, but it never came in. So I thought I had better start there. If the cable is bad it won’t charge anyway. Then found out that cable is part of the main wiring harness, and is no longer available.
So I bought a work-around cable splicer with about 8” of cable with the terminal end and pigtails on it. The retired mechanic down my road, the one with the bad back, said that he would install it, but he had a lot of trouble with it and ended up making up a cable and pigtail, but then couldn’t get the van to start. Yesterday, a friend brought a mechanic over here and he found out that it wasn’t grounded right, so the van is starting now as long as the battery is charged up, BUT I still need an alternator! So I still can’t go very far.
There was no cooking needed for the Day of Atonement on Friday as it was a fast day, so it was a lot easier getting into Lauri’s car without the big insulated bag of food. Service started at 11 am as usual, but no potluck afterwards. The Bible readings were Psa. 51, Lev. 16:1-34, Isa.57:14-58:14. and Heb. 9:1-14. The Teaching was about Atonement:
- satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends.
- (sometimes initial capital letter) Theology. the doctrine concerningthe reconciliation of God and humankind, especially as accomplished through the life, suffering, and death of Christ.
It is the most solemn of Holy Days when we should be fasting, repenting and asking forgiveness of sins. The symbol of the “scapegoat” comes from The Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement and the Gospel YouTube: https://youtu.be/VDoQ2TxgNdY
A Chicken and Brown Rice Salad was made for the Sabbath. I had made a salad because I hadn’t intended to go to the morning church, but visit some people with my friend and then go to the afternoon church with them. It is easier to keep a cold dish cool with some dry ice than keeping a hot dish safe while my friend and I had the other visiting to do. Then found out that they had to work, so I went to the morning church after all. Hans was going to take me, then Lauri showed up so I went with her.
The Bible readings were Deut. 32:1-52, 2 Sam. 22:1-51, and Rom. 10:14-11:12 and the Teaching was about the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Booths. Yes, I know, many have already celebrated this, but it depends which new moon they are using in their calculations. We are starting it on the 24th. October, this Wednesday.