Autumn traditions for 2014 – 2 Summersend and mansend

Death, fossils and pumpkins

National Fossil Day, established to promote the scientific and educational values of fossils, on Wednesday of the second full week in October may perhaps been overlooked by many, though they would love to look into the death beings this and the coming month. there was in some countries even a Chucky, the Notorious Killer Doll Day (celebrated annually on October 25).

In many countries October is also the month of the pumpkin. In America it is even one of America’s favourite dessert which gives it it’s own special day.  October 21 annually celebrates National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day and fall is the perfect season to enjoy this delightful and delicious dessert.

In certain countries at the end of the month there is a “National Knock Knock Joke Day.” Annually celebrated on October 31, it is a holiday for jokesters of all ages to share their knock knock jokes throughout the day. But at night many go out to bring ‘ogre’ jokes. The want to bring the shudder onto others. Several people on the 31st of October love to get the creeps for fun. In Belgium such ‘fun’ started already this weekend in the amusement parks. This year some people were a little bit disillusioned or undeceived because since 1921 we had the warmest October weekend and the sun was present for a longer time than usual. On television we could see the many special attractions for ‘Halloween‘.

Ancient Celtic feast still popular today

An ancient Celtic feast gets a lot of attention also by people who call themselves Christians. They do not seem to bother that they join in such a heathen or pagan festival. Coming from the time people were frightened of evil spirits, strange animals and strange natural effects, they would dress up in costumes and make noise in the streets in order to make the spirits go away. When Catholicism was brought into our regions the church had to face a very strong traditional holy day. In fear not getting the people to their religion they took over a lot of the Celtic festivals in their religion and gave them an other name. The Spanish and French explorers brought Roman Catholicism to what is now the United States in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and took with them those pagan rites, imposing them on the local population. Later many Irish people settling in the North of America brought their end of Summer festival tradition with them.

English: Saint Patrick stained glass window fr...

Saint Patrick stained glass window from Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Ireland and Scotland the inhabitants celebrated the end of Summer on the 31st of October and called it Samhain or Calan Gaeaf.  The 31st of October was also the eve of the new year in both Celtic and Anglo­Saxon times and was the occasion for one of the ancient fire festivals when huge bonfires were set on hilltops to frighten away evil spir­its. The date was connected with the return of herds from pasture, and laws and land tenures were renewed. The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on this day, and the autumnal festival acquired sinister sig­nificance, with ghosts, witches, hobgoblins, black cats, fairies, and demons of all kinds said to be roaming about. It was the time to placate the supernatural powers controlling the processes of nature. In addition, Hal­loween was thought to be the most favour­able time for divinations concerning marriage, luck, health, and death. It was the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes.

In about the year 388, the devil was said to be so enraged at the piety of St. Patrick that he assailed the saint with a whole band of witches in Scotland. The story goes that St. Patrick fled to the river Clyde, embarking in a small boat for Ireland. As witches cannot pursue their victims over running water, they flung a huge rock after the escaping saint, which fell harmlessly to the ground, and which tradition says now forms Dumbarton Rock. {Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology: Scotland}

The belief in magic which appears to have been common in Scotland until a late period was taken with the sailors to other regions far away from the homeland. In the pages of Adamnan, Abbot of Iona (ca. 625-704C.E.), St. Columba and his priest regarded the Druids as magicians, and he countered their sorcery with what was believed to be a superior celestial magic of his own. The actions of Druids was kept alive and they continued to make up stories which many people believed.

In the 17th century while education and even scholarship were comparatively common at this date in Scotland (more common in fact than they were in contemporary England ), the great mass of Scottish people shared abundantly their sovereign’s dread of witches and sorcery. Protestant reformer John Knox, who was accused by the Roman Catholic Church for having by sorcery raised up saints in the churchyard of St. Andrews, when Satan himself was said to have appeared and so terrified Knox’s secretary that he became insane and died. Knox was also charged with using his magical arts in his old age to persuade the beautiful young daughter of Lord Ochiltree to marry him.

The efforts of Knox and his associates had brought about momentous changes in Scottish life, but if the Reformation rejected certain popular beliefs, Presbyterianism (the particular form of Protestant Christianity that came to power in Scotland) undoubtedly tended to introduce others. For that stern Calvinistic faith that now began to take root in Scotland nourished the idea that sickness and accident were a mark of divine anger. This theory did not cease to be common in the north till long after King James’ day. {Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology: Scotland}

Three boys on porch steps cutting faces in pum...

Three boys on porch steps cutting faces in pumpkins. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Immigrants to the U.S., Scots and Irish liking to control the witches and ghosts, introduced the Halloween customs that became popular in the late 19th century. Mischief-making on this occasion by boys and young men included overturning sheds and outhouses and breaking windows, and damage to property was sometimes severe. In later years, the occasion has come to be observed mainly by small children, who go from to house, often in costume, demanding “trick or treat” (the treat, often candy, is gene given and the trick rarely played).

A common symbol of Halloween is the jacko’-lantern (the name possibly was derived from that for a night watchman). It is a hollowed-out pumpkin carved in the appearance of a demonic face and with a lighted candle inside. In Scotland a turnip was used, but the native pumpkin was substituted in the U.S.

The tradition to pull grotesque faces or grin (Scottish verb, “to girn”), may find its origin in the name of a medieval fiend, the last shadow of some Teutonic or Celtic deity of unlovable attributes.

All Hallows’ Eve

Pomona who scorned the love of the woodland gods Silvanus and Picus, but married Vertumnus after he tricked her, disguised as an old woman. – Nicolas Fouché, c. 1700

All Hallows’ Eve (the evening before All Hallows’ Day) may even found its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds and wood nymph, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain“, which comes from the Old Irish for “summer’s end”. It is thought that in this liminal time the spirits or fairies (the Aos Sí) can more easily come into our world and be particularly active. {Monaghan, p.41; O’Halpin, Andy. Ireland: An Oxford Archaeological Guide. Oxford University Press, 2006. p.236}

In Druidism, and/or Wicca picked the belief of Samhaim being a Celtic Death God was accepted as valid, but this is one of the most tenacious errors associated with Halloween. No such God ever existed.

Witchcraft and, more commonly, sorcery, malevolent magic, appear to have been practiced in the earliest historical and traditional times in Scotland. It is related that during the reign of Natholocus in the second century there lived in Iona a witch of great renown, so celebrated for her marvelous power that the king sent one of his captains to consult her regarding the issue of a rebellion then troubling his kingdom. The witch declared that within a short period the king would be murdered, not by his open enemies but by one of his most favored friends, in whom he had most special trust. The messenger inquired the assassin’s name. “Even by thine own hands as shall be well known within these few days,” replied the witch.

The pagan observances influenced the Chris­tian festival of All Hallows’ Eve, celebrated on the same date. By the late 1990’s many secular sources such as newspapers and television programs had picked up the error of the Samhaim god and propagated it widely. It is now a nearly universal belief, particularly among conservative Protestants.

Gradually, Halloween became a secular observance, and many cus­toms and practices developed. In Scotland young people assembled for games to ascer­tain which of them would marry, during the year and in what order the marriages would occur. Many Halloween customs have become games played by children, but the last few years adults are again participating more.

Modern-day Samhain

Modern-day Samhain is the day when many Wiccans believe that their god dies, later to be reborn. [Wicca is a Neo-pagan, Earth-centered religion.] For those witchcraft practitioners and for many Satanists Samhain is not a god of death; it actually began as a yearly observance of the death of a god.

There may have been a little known character named Samain or Sawan who played the role of a very minor hero in Celtic mythology. His main claim to fame was that Balor of the Evil Eye stole his magical cow. His existence is little known, even among Celtic historians. He was a hero, not a god. It is likely that he was named after the end of summer celebration rather than vice-versa. {Isaac Bonewits, W.J, Bethancourt III, a.o.}

The Irish English Dictionary, published by the Irish Texts Society, defines Samhain as follows:

“Samhain, All Hallowtide, the feast of the dead in Pagan and Christian times, signalizing the close of harvest and the initiation of the winter season, lasting till May, during which troops (esp. the Fiann) were quartered.” {Patrick Dineen, “An Irish English Dictionary” (Dublin, 1927), Page 937}

Scottish Radiance writes about Samhain:

“The Celtics believed, that during the winter, the sun god was taken prisoner by Samhain, the Lord of the Dead and Prince of Darkness…On the eve before their new year (October 31), it was believed that Samhain called together all the dead people.” {Scottish Radiance, “The Story of Halloween,” at: http://www.scottishradiance.com/}

Ignorance around Halloween

Most people are ignorant of what Halloween is all about and for that matter don’t care. They often excuse their childish attitude of going up so much in this festival, by saying it is just for fun for the kids. Strangely enough they try to frighten their kids and later when their child is afraid of a spider, of the dark or something else, they say to it not to be silly, though they forget they created the fear for such things.

College students dressed up for Halloween.

College students dressed up for Halloween. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several Americans have grown up trick or treating, not knowing exactly what it means ‘to shoot some one’ ‘or ‘to kill some one’ and not knowing what it was all about, like many in Europe do not know it any more. In several countries there are also church communities which do not mind having haunted houses even in the attic of their little country church or in their parish hall.

In Belgium lots of kids go from door to door, like on the evening preceding Epiphany (twelve days after Christmas) or on ‘three kings’ (January 6 feast of Epiphany) wanting to get as much candy as they can get. This time they say “Trick or treat”. You can wonder why their parents learned them the “trick” as a (usually idle) threat to perform mischief on the home-owners or their property if no treat is given to them.

Practice of souling

This practice of going from door to door came from the “practice of souling” – going from door to door on or about All Souls Day to solicit gifts of food in return for prayers for the dead – evolved from a pagan ritual that was practised all over Europe, possibly as early as the 10th century. In the 14th century it was mentioned by Chaucer as a common Christian tradition. It is still commonplace in many Catholic countries, notably Ireland, where soul-cakes are left out for the departed. In several southern and northern European countries also food and candles are left on the graves to please the dead.

The first reference to the practice under that name in England is John Brand’s Popular Antiquities of Great Britain, 1779:

“On All Saints Day, the poor people go from parish to parish a Souling, as they call it.”

The tradition is that the dead could come out of their graves when they would not find enough for them to live decently in their underworld. If the living would forget them or not give them enough they would come to punish the living. So the living would avoid such punishment by the dead by buying themselves out.

Dressing up and pleasing the dead

In modern times people like to dress up for Halloween and All Hallows’ Day in all sorts of frightening figures with preference to the darker figures and in characters from the underworld, like all sorts of devils. Children and adults alike are made afraid that the devils will catch them and bring them to an underworld where they shall be tortured for ever and burn in hell.

On the night of the last day of October many wear a most evil, horrible, grotesque, rubber mask and have in their hands a pitchfork. Then they go round willing to have the visited home-owners to believe the souls of the dead returned to their original homes, there to be entertained with food. If food and shelter were not provided, these evil spirits would cast spells and cause havoc toward those failing to fulfil their requests.

In the past centuries sacrifices were offered on this night to the dead spirits because it was thought they visited their earthly dwellings and former friends. But seeing it still happening in the 21st century we only can wonder if they really would not believe such a thing, why do they still do it?

It is known that there was a prevailing belief among all nations that at death the souls of the good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise. Likewise the souls of the wicked men were left to wonder in the space between the earth and the moon, or consigned to the unseen world, underneath the earth, where unending fire was waiting for them. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living… But there were means by which ghosts might be exorcised.

To exorcise these ghosts, that is to free yourself from their evil sway, you would have to set out food and provide shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your offerings, they would leave you in peace. If not, they were believed to cast an evil spell on you.

Fellowship with the devils

In modern day Satanism and Witchcraft covens, the 31st of October is the day when Satan himself comes to “fellowship” with his followers.

Central to Satanism was the idea of magic and that extraordinary miracles, if not performed by God in answer to the prayer of one of his servants (i.e., a Christian), had to be accomplished by the devil in cooperation with someone who had made a pact with the devil. On the 31st of October those going around from house to house want to let the other believe they have a pact with that devil so they can arrange thing with the devil for the good but also for the bad.

Once the idea of the pact became commonplace, it was but a short step to the notion of an organized community of devil-worshippers. Some substance was provided by the small pockets of paganism that had not succumbed to the church’s evangelical efforts. {Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology: Satanism)

Satanism had plainly declined by the end of the 1970s; however, in the mid 1980s reports that it had merely gone underground began to surface and the last two years in our village and in some other places in Flanders ritual meetings where the ‘Books of Satan’ (Satanic Bible) were read by ‘clergymen of Satan’ and a sort of Black Mass (a parody of the Roman Catholic Mass) was celebrated in the fields and in the woods. No real infant was been offered, but the sacrifice of an infant-puppet on the bonfires, and the invocation of Satan for the purpose of working malevolent magic (sorcery) was presented in many places.

Throughout the ages many changes may have occurred, but one thing has stayed the same, the practice of giving an “offering” is still kept. Many may say they do it under the name of fun but what is the real meaning for them deep in their heart? Is it so different a practice than in the previous centuries? We do not believe so.  It is still the same as in the old days.

In many parts of the world it is true that even Christian religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, but is it not high time that Christians do think about it seriously?

It may well be that these solemn customs are less pronounced in favour of a more commercialized and secularized celebration in other regions, this also should not have Christians taking part in it.

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 Preceding article:  Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

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Find also to read:

  1. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  2. The imaginational war against Christmas
  3. Halloween custom of the nations
  4. The Soul not a ghost

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Remember the day

We are convinced that after the Winter season we shall be able to look at Spring. After the darker days some Sunshine may lighten more the day. People with Winter depression find new hope. Others do think it is getting time to get rid of the old stories and older things still in the house.

Winter

Winter (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

In Wintertime we did have lots of time to think about matters from the past. It sometimes even did look like our memories did not want us alone. They, for some people did follow them, as in a nightmare. The good memories going with us would not be to bad, but having bad memories trying to haunt us every day is not so nice.

We all have memories; bad things we try to shut out of our memory, good things we try to retain and bring to the fore.

In today’s reading of the Bible we read how Moses told the people to look back on

“all the days of your life (that) you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 16:3).

Second Seder at 92YTribeca, 4/19/11

Second Seder at 92YTribeca, 4/19/11 (Photo credit: 92YTribeca)

The Passover Feast was set up to aid that memory, to cement it into their consciousness. Most of the generation that had experienced the miraculous deliverance had failed to do that and had died in the wilderness because of their faithlessness. Now Moses is delivering the message to the next generation; whose leaders had been teenagers and children at that time.

Today’s chapter details the feasts they are to keep when they start living in the promised land. As well as remembering the actual deliverance, through the Passover feast, there are 3 other feasts associated with farming the land and the reward of harvesting. This they would experience for the first time in their lives. The key lesson is they are not to “appear before the LORD empty handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD” (verses 16,17).

Deuteronomy 16:15-17 The Scriptures 1998+  (15)  “For seven days you shall observe a festival to  יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim in the place which יהוה {Jehovah} chooses, because  יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim does bless you in all your increase and in all the work of your hands, and you shall be only rejoicing!  (16)  “Three times a year all your males appear before  יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim in the place which He chooses: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and at the Festival of Weeks, and at the Festival of Booths. And none should appear before  יהוה {Jehovah} empty-handed,  (17)  but each one with the gift of his hand, according to the blessing of  יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim which He has given you.

Verse 20 has another blunt ‘punch line’ message,

Deuteronomy 16:20 The Scriptures 1998+  (20)  “Follow righteousness, righteousness alone, so that you live and inherit the land which יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim is giving you.

In this world, when we look around us we see a lot of injustice. In the Wintertime many people stay more in their own home and do not so much go out to see and meet people, except for the Christmas and New Year period. Facing the New Religious Year many may make new promises and look forward to see more “Justice, and only justice,” others to follow and they wanting to follow. For Christians this is much important because they too want to belong to the people which may live and inherit the land that the Most High God is giving the world.

Now we consider our own journey in life, how close are we to the climax of all that God has prepared for all those who truly believe in and love Him? Is the crossing of the Jordan close at hand for us?

Passover, 1724, from Juedisches Ceremoniel

Passover, 1724, from Juedisches Ceremoniel (Photo credit: Center for Jewish History, NYC)

We must face up to today’s challenges and make sure we “escape all the things that are going to take place” (Luke 21:36) as the Almighty prepares to cleanse the earth of its’ evil. Let us “remember the day” when we made the commitment to join the Lord’s side and accepted his “deliverance” by being baptised. If you have not yet experienced such a day – ask yourself – very seriously – why? Don’t let “that day come upon you suddenly like a trap” (Luke 21:34) so that you fail to enter a far greater “promised land”.

Several people may have celebrated the end of the Winter with the Chag HaMatzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread), remembered how the People of God was liberated, and remember how those who were not looking for God also did get salvation onto them, by the Ransom offer of the Nazarene Jeshua, Jesus Christ, who died at the wooden stake. Several people all over the world looked at the amazing thing which happened some two thousand years ago. The world had been for a long time in darkness, and now a man had brought light into the world.

John 9:29-41 The Scriptures 1998+  (29)  “We know that Elohim has spoken to Mosheh, but this One, we do not know where He is from.”  (30)  The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a wonder! You do not know where He is from, yet He opened my eyes!  (31)  “And we know that Elohim does not hear sinners. But if anyone fears Elohim and does His desire, He hears him.  (32)  “From of old it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind.  (33)  “If this One were not from Elohim, He could have done none at all.”  (34)  They answered and said to him, “You were completely born in sins – and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out.  (35)  יהושע {Jeshua} heard that they had cast him out, and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of Elohim?”  (36)  He answered and said, “Who is He, Master, that I might believe in Him?”  (37)  And יהושע {Jeshua} said to him, “You have both seen Him and He who speaks with you is He.”  (38)  And he said, “Master, I believe,” and bowed before Him.  (39)  And יהושע {Jeshua} said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those not seeing might see, and those seeing might become blind.”  (40)  And those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind, too?”  (41)  יהושע {Jeshua} said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin, but now you say, ‘We see,’ therefore your sin remains.

From old times we should remember this Jeshua who asked the blind man “Believest thou on the Son of Alaha?” (Murdock; John 9:35)  The blind man who was healed believed. He listened to the preacher who told him that he had come for the judgement of this world, “that they who see not, might see; and that they who see, might become blind.”

Many do know things, have learned a lot of things, have enough brains to think, and should know certain things. The Pharisees who were with Jesus and the blind man, heard the things Jesus said. It did not keep them for asking questions, like many people ask similar questions to Christians. Those asking questions should not worry when they would not know better and if they were really (figuratively?) blind. Many of them are not blind, and do as if they can not see certain matters. Their brains present them with a lot of ideas, but to many they do not want to adhere. In such a way it comes to what is called sin in the Holy Scriptures, which becomes established.

It is never too late to put away sin, to get rid of old, wrong and adverse ideas. Like many start Spring-cleaning, now it is a time we all can do some Spring cleaning in our mind. when we take the brush and soap, scrubbing the deck of our habitat, we should muse or contemplate on those last days of that Nazarene man, who celebrated the Passover and presented himself as a new Passover Lamb.

When we remember how God helped His Chosen People and guided them to their new country, we shall come to understand that He has given the world a fresh new guide to replace, or better, to follow up, Moses, to become a guide for all of the world, not only for Israel. This guide also assures us that al that his (heavenly) Father has given him, will come to him; and him, that cometh to him, Jesus will not cast out.

John 6:37-40 The Scriptures 1998+  (37)  “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I shall by no means cast out.  (38)  “Because I have come down out of the heaven, not to do My own desire, but the desire of Him who sent Me.  (39)  “This is the desire of the Father who sent Me, that all He has given Me I should not lose of it, but should raise it in the last day.  (40)  “And this is the desire of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him should possess everlasting life. And I shall raise him up in the last day.”

Jesus has come figuratively, as bread, the manna of life, and all people are invited to come and eat of it. They may ignore Jesus or they take him for any other man or for the one who is sent by God, his Holy Father. He never wanted to do his own will, though mostly that is one of the characteristics of most people. He was a man who managed to keep faithful to the Will and to the Law of God.

We should remember the day God had given His People, Israel, the opportunity to get out of slavery, but later how he gave all people the opportunity to liberate themselves from the curse of death, by accepting Jesus Christ his Ransom offering.

By God taking His son out of death a New Time had started, a New Spring had come into the world. That Spring of the New Creation we should never forget.

Are you also now and then look back on the days when you came out of the darkness and did find the light? Are you sharing that experience with others?

Did you express your hope that you might maybe liberate yourself this Passover? Where you depressed this Winter or did you feel fine. You should be feeling fine and you should be pleased you have something positive to look forward to. How many people do not see the light which can bring them better times? Those who can see that light should also show it to others, and should bring the Good Tidings also to other people around them and far in the world.

Those having ‘Faith‘ should know there is an ocean because you have seen a brook and be encouragers bringing Good News to the world and showing to others it is worthwile to do everything by this hope. They should know they can help to move mountains. All those who have the hope in the return of Christ, should tell others which good things could come over the world and how we shall be able to live together in peace. We all should work to come to that world of peace, sharing the same hope.

Lets work on it, always remembering the works God has done in the past and the works He still shall accomplish!

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Preceding articles:

Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2

Shabbat Pesach service reading 2/2

3 Reasons the Resurrection Matters

Springtime!

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Read also:

  1. Hope
  2. Hope for the future
  3. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  4. Commemorating the escape from slavery
  5. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  6. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  7. Seven days of Passover
  8. Passover and Liberation Theology
  9. High Holidays not only for Israel
  10. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  11. Easter: Origins in a pagan Christ
  12. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  13. Being sure of their deliverance
  14. Deliverance and establishment of a theocracy
  15. A Single Seder, and Around the World
  16. Observance of a day to Remember
  17. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  18. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  19. About a man who changed history of humankind
  20. Jesus memorial
  21. A Messiah to die
  22. On the first day for matzah
  23. Days of Nisan, Pesach, Pasach, Pascha and Easter
  24. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  25. Servant of his Father
  26. Servant for the truth of God
  27. For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
  28. Bread and Wine
  29. This Passover maybe we can liberate ourselves
  30. Heed of the Saviour
  31. Faithful to the listening ear
  32. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  33. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  34. Not making a runner
  35. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  36. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  37. God’s Light
  38. Not all Christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  39. From Winterdarkness into light of Spring
  40. Darkness, light, burning fire, Truth and people in it
  41. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  42. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  43. Words in the world
  44. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  45. We should use the Bible every day
  46. Written to recognise the Promised One
  47. People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life
  48. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  49. What is life?
  50. The business of this life
  51. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  52. A Living Faith #8 Change
  53. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  54. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  55. Power in the life of certain
  56. Created to live in relation with God
  57. Life and attitude of a Christian
  58. Your life the sum total of all your choices
  59. The high calling of God in Christ Jesus
  60. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope

+++

  • Why I Don’t Celebrate Easter (and still love God… and still believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah) (christinachronicles.com)
    Often, talking about the origins of anything can be a very touchy subject …
    but it is one that should not be so easily avoided, ignored, rationalized or even spiritualized…
    particularly, when it pertains to worshiping and having a relationship with The One True God.
  • Our Plans for Passover 5850 (2014) (segulah.wordpress.com)
    The people who are walking in covenant with Yahuah Elohim (the LORD God) are awaiting the declaration of the New Year still, as it is Yahuah and Yahuah alone who declares the days, weeks, months, and years.
    +
    The main important thing is to prove to Yahuah that we listen to Him and follow Him – regardless of what everyone else is doing.
    +
    last Passover, some things began to become a little clearer as we listened to God’s counsel and had removed many of the confusing voices coming from all the different directions. That is when it occurred to me what was going on in the unseen realm concerning these matters. By removing all the “voices” I began wondering if perhaps “the voices” were the leaven. Hmmm, perhaps God was doing for us what we were unable at the time to understand to do for ourselves. He does know the deep desires of our hearts and even knows what we need before we ask.
  • His name… (mylife4yah.wordpress.com)
    I went through life comfortable calling Yahweh the titles that replace His name in the Bible. I found out that His name is Yahweh through the dictionary in the back of my Bible. Once I knew His name I decided to use it and I have been blessed ever since. The choice is yours but I feel closer to Him when I use His name. Here are some scriptures that prove His name is: …
  • The Atonement and the Passover: Exodus 12 by Matt Capps (christianitytoday.com)
    The Pharaoh-god refused to let Israel go free from slavery despite the Living God’s demands through Moses. Pharaoh wanted to keep Israel under his power. God’s response to Pharaoh’s obstinate defiance in Exodus 7-10 is breathtaking. The one true God of the universe unleashes His power in acts of un-doing creation throughout Pharaoh’s land. Order turns into chaos. Light is consumed by darkness. The water becomes a source of death rather than life. The beasts swarm the people and their crops rather than serve them. Finally, just as Pharaoh attempted to destroy God’s firstborn son (Ex. 4:22), God now destroys Egypt’s with a final plague.
    +
    The movement of the Israelites from slaves of Pharaoh to servants of the Lord involves divine redemption; it also involves the obedient response of God’s people to His word. The Passover is both bloody and beautiful. God’s judgment and salvation are clearly displayed in God’s actions and in the symbolism of the Passover ritual.
    +
    The Passover is an event both meaningful to the Israelites in its immediate context and for Christians in its canonical context. The New Testament writers make the connection between Jesus’ crucifixion and the Passover explicit in order to highlight the redemptive nature of His atonement. In the New Testament we see that Jesus is the Lamb of God (John 1:29,36; 1 Cor. 5:7) whose ‘once for all’ sacrifice sanctifies God’s people (Heb. 10:12-14). Jesus’ death atones for the sins of the people (1 John 2:2), His blood purifies and cleanses (Rev. 7:14), and partaking of His body sanctifies (John 6:53-56). Because the Last Supper is overtly linked to the Passover (Matt. 26:17-29; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-20), we understand that Christ’s death and resurrection inaugurate a new exodus.
  • Mark 14: Maundy Thursday (t2pneuma.net)
    Holy Week as we know it is often celebrated at the same time as the Jewish Feast of Unleavened Bread (Festival of Matzos) often called Passover.  Dates differ because of differences in the calendar rules.  In Jesus’ time, Passover was one of three festivals that required the faithful to travel to Jerusalem.  The other festival familiar to Christians is the Feast of Weeks commonly known as Pentecost.  The Feast of Booths is a harvest festival in the fall.
    +
    The word, covenant, found in v. 24 appears nowhere else in Mark’s Gospel and alludes to the covenant meal that Moses and the Elders of Israel shared with God on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:9-11).  The grim symbolism of the wine as the blood of Christ is an allusion to the blood of the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:7) which alerted the angel of death to pass over households displaying the blood.  In this sense, as Christians we are (like the door posts) covered by the blood of Christ.  By Jesus’ blood our sins are forgiven (Hebrews 9:11-28).
  • Interpretations of Passover: Judaism and Christianity (russiarobinson.wordpress.com)
    Although Jesus himself celebrated Passover, he encouraged his followers to observe this holiday through the bread that represents his body and the wine that represents his blood. By feasting on these things, Jesus lives within the person making them whole and remembrance of his life and his death. Aside from Jesus, Apostle Paul also encouraged others to observe Passover through Christ. “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come” (Corinthians 11:26). Jesus and Paul encourage Christians to celebrate the Passover in his remembrance. By celebrating his resurrection, they are also celebrating the life, belief, and teachings of Jesus Christ. They believe that he was the living Son of God. By believing this, they believe in his life. It brings us to John and also Luke where it tells us that Jesus is to represent the Passover, passing over the sins of the people for their faith and belief in him. Passover is a symbol of this as he and the disciples eat the bread of his body and wine of his blood at the specific hour that has come (Luke 22:14; John 13:1-2).
  • Passover Blessings – April 15th through 22nd, 2014 (jscotthusted.wordpress.com)
    At this season God promises in His word to pour out seven specific and very powerful blessings. When we honor and observe God’s ways, we also reap God’s blessings. This specifically applies in scripture to the observance of God’s calendar. We don’t follow God or His ways out of blind obedience, or religious devotion to a set of regulations. We follow the ways of God as New Creatures out of love for Jesus, and joyful devotion to “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” — the words that God has given us for our benefit!
    +
    Jesus lived and died as God’s perfect Passover sacrifice: as the true Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world once and for all! But did you know that Jesus observed the Passover? Did you know that the Apostles observed it year by year, and taught every Christian to observe it? Paul encourages it in his letters, and God commands it. God commands His people to live in His ways because He wants His people to live in abundant blessings! In Exodus 23 God promises seven blessings that we are to be heir to as His people through the observance of Passover:1.  God will assign an angel to prepare the way for you.  “Behold I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared” (v. 20) and “For My Angel will go before you” (v. 23). — the Blessing of Divine guidance!
  • Lord’s Feasts # 3 Passover (cfcspn.com)
    The feasts are to be proclaimed in their seasons, the clue to their importance, because in each season God has planned to fulfill his word, and to bring completeness to his work. The Passover was the first feasts to be declared representing salvation, it was also the mark of the first day of the year.As commanded by God, these feasts are to be a memorial, the Passover is a look back at what God had done for us in Egypt. But although it seems as if it was an accomplish mission, it was not complete, for the first mission of the Passover was to deliver the flesh creating a symbol of its purpose. The second mission; however, was to give it power delivering the soul.
    +A close look at the death of the lamb and that of Jesus Christ, has revealed he was the fulfillment of the Passover. A look back at the Passover ritual and its symbolism should have strike a chord with the nation. But because of stubbornness, the nation crucify Christ, and rejecting him they are left with the rituals of the Passover, yet lost in the forest of sin.Jesus came not to destroy the law or the prophets, his mission was and is to fulfill the law and the prophets, and according to the stories of scripture, he has and will yet fulfill those to be accomplished. “
    +
    Now that Christ has died according to the law, and according to the instructions of God revealed through the rituals of the Passover, we can clearly see that he came not to do away with the law, but to fulfill the law.
  • 4 Things to Get Liberated From This Passover (pjmedia.com)
    Passover coincides this year with a dramatic political event—the crisis and possible demise of yet another Israeli-Palestinian “peace process,” this one shepherded earnestly, passionately, and futilely by U.S. secretary of state John Kerry. We are now at a juncture that offers two options: to remain enslaved to the same flawed assumptions that lead again and again to failure; or to finally get liberated from them and reach a Promised Land of understanding and rational policy.
    +
    It is important to note that Jesus Himself observed and kept the Passover. Whenever we partake in Holy Communion, we are acknowledging Jesus’ blood sacrifice – in fact, communion is an act of ‘remembrance’ requested by Jesus of His disciples during the Passover feast that we now call the Last Supper
  • Passover: Why We Should Be Celebrating It As Christians (worldeventsandthebible.com)
    Many Christians are not aware, but the Highest Holy Day in Christianity is Passover. Not the pagan festival of Easter. The word Passover comes from the time of Moses and the last plague that consumed Egypt. When Christ died on the cross He became our Passover. In order to reveal this fact, we must search the scriptures where we can find light and remove the darkness that has clouded this topic for so man.

Springtime!

In Belgium this year they did not see a real Winter. Though the Christadelphian community encountered a harsh cold time. Trying to find the right manure to build up the Christian community, they got hit in face and stomach, thrown over by a harsh storm. a man from the North brought less enjoyable moments in their community. Like any cold and like any virus it spread fast and ‘killed’ many.

.

Now they look forward to the renewal time of Spring in the hope they too shall be able to continuously grow, bloom and bear fruit. For this they trust in God.

*

Let us also take a new direction and forget the past, reminding:

.
“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong.
Why not try and see positive things,
to just touch those things and make them bloom.”
~Nhat Hanh

+

Read also:

Trust God to shelter, safety and security

  • Its Springtime in the Midwest (vote29.com)
    The Rock River iced over this Winter. The other day the ice started to break up and the river sent sheets of ice down stream toward the Mississippi.
  • springtime 1 (honoredabove.wordpress.com)
    This is the time of dancing. I redeem all things. As I orchestrate the cosmos, so I am involved in your life. My pleasure is to see you live: life, and life abundant. You are not here to suffer without hope, but to overcome. Victory is Mine, and I give it to you. Victory is yours!
  • 8 Reasons We’re Looking Forward to Springtime Photography (sarasotatim.wordpress.com)
    For us photographers, most seasonal changes bring about opportunities to take great photos under differing conditions, and usually no change is more dramatic than the transition from winter to spring.  The world thaws into a new and color-dripped landscape, ripe for capturing its natural beauty through springtime photography.
  • Springtime (alicehocker.com)
    We should welcome change into our lives, allowing as nature does.  Giving ourselves permission to blossom, enjoying life to the fullest.
  • It’s Springtime again… (staciawrightbreel.wordpress.com)
    Some of my closest professional friend/confidants keep telling me I need to start a blog.  So… Okay, here I am.  It’s Spring.
  • Find some nice photos on Springtime (hjsphoto.wordpress.com)
    After nearly one week of high feverish virus infection I am back, slowly…
  • Springtime in Bloom (benspark.com)
    For me, one of the official start to Spring is when our two backyard trees are in bloom. I took a photo of the flowers blooming on the tree as I walked to the car to go to work tonight.
  • Walter Russell Mead: Springtime in Kiev, or Just Another Winter Storm? (ivoter.com)
    With a revolution on, the chances that events in Ukraine could provoke a dangerous confrontation between Russia and the West may be increasing. Walter Russell Mead writes: For the third time in a generation, there is revolution in Ukraine. For the second time in a decade, Viktor Yanukovych has been overthrown in Kiev.
  • Spring flowers bring color to Baltimore (darkroom.baltimoresun.com)
    Sun photojournalist Karl Merton Ferron was walking with his family one morning in March and noticed hints of color from early spring flowers contrasted against an otherwise brown-and-gray winter.With the anticipation of springtime, he photographed the renewed colors and vibrancy of emerging blossoms. Some may consider a number of the images to be mere weeds, but weeds are only those plants people choose to remove, rather than cultivate.
  • Springtime walk with the dogs (unniewmartinsen.com)
    A few weeks ago, the winter finally released it’s grip of Copenhagen, and things started to look a bit brighter… and warmer. Now almost everything has bloomed, even though the temperature is not what it usually would be.
  • For The Love Of Spring, By By Georgina Harrington, 1st Year (paperclipsmagazine.wordpress.com)
    I love the three months February, March and April of spring each year
    because it is the start of all things new and all things bright and beautiful.
    There are new baby animals and birds being born.  Flowers, plants and
    trees are budding and growing.  GMT Summertime is getting closer as it
    starts this year on Easter Sunday 31 to the bright mornings and longer evenings.
    +
    Springtime represents new beginnings in our lives.  We are all on a
    similar journey but at different stage.  Springtime gives us a chance to
    rethink what we do for ourselves and our surroundings.
  • Springtime thoughts (missjayhawk.wordpress.com)
    Spring is the time when everything just seems to go right. Hopefully that won’t be true for just me.
  • Spring Quotables (and a Poem) (writingisfun-damental.com)
    secretly adoring shyly
    tiny winging darting floating
    merry in the blossoming
    always joyful selves are singing
  • April’s Springtime = Joy!!!! (redbyrdorchardcider.com)
    i wish i could take a sound recording of the orchard this morning and post it here for you, but alas, photos will have to suffice.  Birds galore…mocking birds singing through their playlist, woodthrush whistling, redwing blackbirds and robins flying from row to row.  It’s a cacophony of the best kind. Ahhhh, Spring!  Sunshine warming me through my sweatshirt, trees showing green tips, and luckily no blossoms yet.  Quite a change from last year’s spring.
  • It’s Spring!! (11elevennyc.com)
    Come springtime in NY you begin to notice the beauties that have been hidden for months by Winter. Not just because in Winter leaves and flowers don’t exist and trees become things of Tim Burton’s imagination but because it is just too cold to be out long enough to take notice of much of anything beyond the visibility of your own breath.
  • Springtime! (jogginginthesunshine.wordpress.com)
    The dead is brought back to life and everything seems so balanced and good again. I don’t know about anyone else, but once spring comes, I cannot help but be happy and so joyful! The depressing, seemingly endless cold has gone. No more dreariness, no more dullness, no more runny noses and red cheeks, and no more layers of leggings underneath pants and multiple socks inside boots. Spring brings a new beginning, new opportunities, and new experiences.
    +
    Don’t we all wish we could have this renewal year-round!? Good news. We can. God provides for us this renewal anytime we want, we just have to ask for it. Everyone goes through plateaus or valleys in their spiritual life. In those times, we need some renewal, some new life, a little pep in our step. God has already brought our dead selves to life, just as the spring does for all the flowers, but now we have to continuously grow, bloom, and bear fruit. This is no easy job. There are days with no sunshine. There are days with too much sunshine, and not enough rain.  We get stuck, dull, and weary, without bloom. We feel defeated and need something, anything.
  • Springtime in Vancouver (emigratebc.wordpress.com)
    I stare at the new Community Garden which has sprung up on an abandoned parking lot near Science World – raised beds which a month ago were barely filled with soil, now a patchwork of shades of green .  The grass and wildflower roof of the Convention Centre is dazzling and busy with the bees from the Centre’s own hives.  The snow on the mountains, which look so close on a clear day, is almost too bright to look at.I find myself running late for meetings as I am distracted by all the new cleanness around me.  Buildings and signs and people I have ignored over the winter are suddenly too bright and interesting not to stop and watch.  This is a city where people take cherry blossom very seriously; so seriously that it is a weekend and evening pastime to go for a Japanese-style Cherry Blossom walk.
  • Spring is here! (mondaywritingclub.wordpress.com)
    April showers bring May flowers!! / Spring is here and we know it!
  • The Voice of Coming Spring (joeyphoenix.com)
    The winter is often a cruel mistress. She’ll tease you with sunshine then gift you with gale force winds. You’ll see a bright warm day, followed by a snowstorm. You’ll fight the urge to sink further and further into yourself, because you’re cold and exhausted and tired of traipsing through the ice.
  • Spring Sunshine (myfanwyfox.wordpress.com)
    I’ll welcome you,
    fling open doors,
    shuck off vesty layers,
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Jogging In The Sunshine

"No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow." hopefully soon as I'm ready to take a flamethrower to all of this snow and ice....

It is (almost) my favorite time of the year: spring! Only a few more days of cold to survive, and spring will officially be here to stay (I hope)! Especially after this long, cold, tundra-like winter, I am pumped for spring. There is just something about spring. The flowers blooming, the birds chirping, the sun shining; there is just so much change. The dead is brought back to life and everything seems so balanced and good again. I don’t know about anyone else, but once spring comes, I cannot help but be happy and so joyful! The depressing, seemingly endless cold has gone. No more dreariness, no more dullness, no more runny noses and red cheeks, and no more layers of leggings underneath pants and multiple socks inside boots. Spring brings a new beginning, new opportunities, and new experiences.

I know for me, personally, this change is so refreshing. Sometimes…

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