Sunday, October 31, 2010

So What About Halloween???

Several years ago ( boy, I hate to really think how long ago it was!!! LOL), my son was small and I was trying to decide how we were going to handle Halloween.  As a Christian, you got the whole array of advice from "it's no big deal" to "how can you be a Christian and participate in it?"....yeah, lots of help there!

But during that time, I went to assist at a women's retreat for pastor's wives.  I was working at a salon that went there to pamper those women on one of their evenings there.  As I was giving a hand/arm massage to one of the women who was very pregnant and shared that she had 3 other children at home....I asked her the question, "What do you do with Halloween?"  And she gave me the best advice that I have ever heard on this subject.

She shared with me that she and her husband had prayed about this and wanted to do something that would reflect something positive on this holiday.  She asked me, "What other holiday do people line up to come to your home to visit?"  This was so different than when you hand out tracts or go on visitation....people actually wanted to come to you.  So why not do something positive with that.

Each year they decide on a theme and the family dresses up in something fun and uplifting (no scary/horror stuff).  That year I remember that her daughters wanted to be princesses....and that she would dress as the queen and her husband as King.  Her husband was taking refrigerator boxes to make a castle for the front yard.  They purchased candy.....the best they could afford.....because as you do unto others, you do as unto Christ.....and what would they buy for His visit???  They made hot cocoa and apple cider to serve.  They made this something special and would have the opportunity to visit with friends, neighbors and strangers that would come to their door.  They found simple children's tracts to include in the children's treat bags. 

Who wouldn't want to visit them?  And what a positive message......and how open would people be to them sharing at some point about their faith.....or an invitation to church.......

So who would you be open to the darken cold house or the one that welcomed with warmth, friendship and joy?

Just some food for thought...... 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Can I Stand For You?

I was wanting to get something up on the blog.....and after a beautiful southern weekend, I was planning on posting pictures and info on our weekend.  But things change......

Sitting down this afternoon to do homework, I started flipping through some television shows that I had recorded and wanted to sift through to see if there were any I wanted to watch. There was a program about women vets.....I was astonished at how many of our women veterans are homeless, have had their children taken from them, and return to.....silence from us.

One of the vets shared how people will show up from miles around to attend the funeral of a returning soldier...but not show up for the ones that return to months in the hospital or needing other care.  As a woman and as a widow of a veteran, I hurt for these women.

There was a woman on the show that had lost both legs in an explosion.....she was in the hospital in excruciating pain and felt she was going to die.  She watched the clock, willing herself to make it through 60 seconds at a time.....even though she had been transfered back to the US, her hair was matted with blood, she was still covered  with dirt and sand from the combat area.  A soldier entered the room, took off her arm, and looked at her.  She told her she knew she was hurting and understood that, but she was going to make it....and could she "stand for her"?  This soldier washed the woman's hair...and for 5 days --through all her pain--when she looked around, this woman was there..."standing for her". 

The veteran situation needs our prayers and our voices....and action.

But it also made me many women do we come across in our lives that need someone just to "stand for her"......  There are women who are harshly judged and we don't know their stories....there are women who are angry and spew such ugliness, but we don't know their would their lives have been different if someone was willing to "stand for her"?  We have women who have, husbands, after the intial shock when people begin to drift away.....they just need to know that someone will "stand for them".

Such a simple, yet powerful thing......knowing someone is standing for you!!!  As Christians....what a powerful, amazing thing to be able to not only stand for someone, but to be able to place their hands into the hands of one that Stood For Them 2000 years ago.  Knowing Christ stood for us on the cross and took our place.....we as Christians are called to "stand"  for those around us.....

"For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son...."

Understand that "standing for" someone doesn't mean that we fix them, offer our opinions on what they could have done differently, how they is about loving them, praying for them, reaching out with compassion, and more than that not just lip service but putting feet to our concerns....finding ways to let them know that we truly do care.  For that soldier, the simple act of having someone care to just wash her sparked a change in how life looked around her. 

Do you have something that I can "stand with you" for?  Just email me or post your prayer request....  or just your thoughts on this.....