Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween: One Christian's Opinion

     It's that time of the year again. A time for children of all ages to dress up and either go trick or treating or to a party or maybe both.

     For those of you who may not know, I am a Christian. That word brings with it many positive and negative connotations. For me, personally, it means that I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, was born a man and led a life that was to be an example to all of us as to how we are to lead our lives. I also believe that he died willingly, not because the Jews or Romans were responsible. He died in order that our sins which kept us from having a relationship with God would die with him. I further believe that he rose from the dead, sinless, just as we will someday when we are born into the kingdom of heaven.

     Don't leave me yet. There is a reason for all this "religious" stuff, and I promise to get to the point. I have found the growing trend that Christians will not use the term Halloween, nor will they let their children partake in the traditions of the holiday. Instead they have a Fall Festival, where their kids still dress up and still get candy, it's just not Halloween. "Huh?" I'm I missing something?

     From my time in many Christian churches, I have found that Christians have come to believe that Halloween is Satan's day. A day that is high on the Wiccan calendar. A day when human sacrifice occurs. This made me do a little research into the roots of Halloween. I don't want to bore you with all the facts, but I do think a few are necessary. Halloween's origins date back over 2000 years ago to the Celtic festival of Samhain, which was held on October 31, the day before the New Year, November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and ushered in the cold dark winter, a time known for its many deaths
     The Celts believed that on the night before the New Year the boundaries between life and death were blurred and that the ghosts of the dead came back to life. To ward off the ghosts, the Druids or Celts would wear costumes of animal heads and skins and light bonfires. Let's jump ahead...Pope Gregory III (731-741) moved the observance of all Saints and Martyrs from May 31 to November 1 to coincide with the Celtic festival whom many were now Catholic. All Saints Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with bonfires, parades and dressing up in costume, especially, saints, angels, and devils. All Saints Day was also know as All Hallomas (from Middle English alhalomesse, meaning All Saint's Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain, began to be called All Hallows Eve and eventually Halloween.

     Moving ahead to the second half of the Nineteenth Century when there was a great European immigration into the United States, the Irish and English traditions came with the people. Americans began dressing up in costumes and going door to door asking for food or money. This tradition eventually became "trick or treat".

     So, getting back to the subject of this post. In my research of the true holiday, I did not find Satanism, nor any holiday in the Wiccan religious calender. I am not saying that I may not have missed something, but the point is, today Halloween is just a day when children of all ages can play dress up and pretend to be something or someone they are not and have a little fun for a few hours. Don't we all need a little escapism?

     If we as Christians want Christmas called "Christmas" and not a "Winter Holiday" then don't we have to bestow the same attitude on those holidays that we may or may not agree with?

     Christ told us to treat everyone as He has treated us. Just a thought.

     Happy Halloween,


Tuesday, October 18, 2011


As I promised over the weekend, I have the pleasure of introducing you to a great young author, Ms. Stephanie Campbell.

A Guide to Dreams—and Why the Bigger the BetterBy Stephanie Campbell

I’m a young writer, only twenty, and ever since I was twelve years old, I have wanted to be a writer. I see myself in the limelight, waving “hello” at the camera on the Today Show and posing sexily for the New York Times. When I was younger, people called me crazy constantly, even my own friends.

At the time, I had been hurt and embarrassed and learned to keep my big dreams to myself, but I never gave up on them. I wrote everyday, no matter what. My friends would go off to parties and I would reject invitations, writing at my computer. Once again, I was crazy.

I wrote my first book, six hundred pages worth, at the age of sixteen and sent query letter after query letter. I got enough rejections to wallpaper my room with. I cried a lot. It was a very painful experience, and sometimes I wonder how my soft adolescent heart ever got through it.

When I was seventeen, I published my first novel, Until We Meet Again. I got my first copy just in time for graduation. I was proud of that book, editorial mistakes and all.

Fast forward time three years and you get where I am now. I have yet to stand on the set of the Today Show and I’ve never even been to New York, but I am a lot farther today than I was then. I have many publishers, over six books in production in the next couple of months alone, and I am in the middle of interning with a publisher so I can start my own publishing house.

Nobody calls me crazy anymore.

Maybe I’ll never get my big dreams, but I will never give up on them no matter what. My dreams taught me how to live. I grew stronger with every rejection, I learned the meaning of the word persistence after the first hundred query letters, and I give one hundred and ten percent every single day.

Dreaming isn’t a crime. It doesn’t matter if you want to be a burger flipper or a rock star. The biggest stars in the world started as a regular human being. The bigger the dreams the better, because they teach you how to live.

You can find my guest blog on her site at 

Saturday, October 15, 2011


     In the past week, I have sensed the change of seasons starting to happen. Living in South Florida, this can sometimes be a subtle change. There is no changing of the color of the leaves. The mornings aren't brisk. Clothing doesn't change; well not for most of us. More on that in a moment. No, the changes aren't that overt. I wish they were. As a male member of our species, I don't do well with subtle. It takes us a while to catch on.
     That being said, I have sensed the changes that go along with summer morphing into fall. The temperature has dropped from 90 to a cool 85. The meteorologists have lost some of their zeal for putting the word tropical in front of every breeze that blows or rain drop that falls. We used to have showers or thunder storms, now we have tropical disturbances. Sorry about that. Where was I? Oh yeah...changes in the seasons. Other signs that fall is here can be seen in the stores. The Halloween costumes are on display next to the Christmas decorations. Is there really any doubt why more 'sane' people seem to go postal as the holidays approach? By the time December 25th has finally arrived, the sensationalism and commercialism of Christmas has been shoved down our throats for so long, that one more version of "I Wish You a Merry Christmas" or "My Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer" could turn anyone into a raging wacko.
     Sorry, there I go again. Back to the signs of fall. One of the biggest signs that the seasons have changed is that the humidity is no longer 90 percent or above and finally the biggest sign in South Florida that the fall has arrived...the elderly have multiplied and they are wearing jackets, hats and gloves because the temperatures have dipped below 90... brrr!
     Now that I have gotten that off my chest, I have some exciting news. On this coming Wednesday, you will find a guest blog from a very talented young author on "Phantom Phrases." So please check the blog on the 19th or soon after to learn more about Stephanie Campbell.