Archivo para 31 octubre 2015

31
Oct
15

Halloween, All Souls’ Day, or Reformation Day

Excerpts from “The Connection Between Halloween and Reformation Day”

“There’s a curious connection between Halloween and Reformation Day, and it’s more than just proximity on the calendar. Why did Martin Luther nail his famous 95 Theses to the Wittenberg church door on October 31, 1517? He was confronting two religious observances that promoted false saintliness and exploited people’s fear of judgment and purgatory.”
On Halloween

Its origin is Celtic and has to do with summer sacrifices to appease Samhain, the lord of death, and evil spirits. Those doing the pagan rituals believed that Samhain sent evil spirits abroad to attack humans, who could escape only by assuming disguises and looking like evil spirits themselves.

Regarding All Souls’ Day
“People pray for the souls of the dead, in an effort to hasten their transition from purgatory to heaven by being purged and cleansed from their sins.”

“Instead of the treasury of merit that was for sale, Luther protested,

The true treasure of the Church is the Most Holy Gospel of the glory and the grace of God” (Thesis 62).

This was Luther’s desire for Reformation day.”

For the complete article from The Connection Between Halloween & Reformation Day

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30
Oct
15

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween

Rose Publishing feels they can. (The opinions expressed by Rose Publishing are strictly their own and do not reflect those of Fundacion Efrain.)

We want to hear what you think..

“Christian Origins of Halloween”

This is designed to be used alongside Rose’s Christian Origins of conservation and to brainstorm effective ways to respond to Halloween. Includes discussion and reflection questions to help you dig deeper into Christian Origins of Halloween.
Discussion Questions

1
(Halloween and All Saints Day). Reflect on how your family responded to Halloween or All
Saints Day when you were a child. Were you taught about the “heroes of the faith” at home or in Sunday school? Who are some heroes of the faith you could celebrate?

Are the origins of Halloween Christian, pagan, or Wiccan?

Are the origins of Halloween Christian, pagan, or Wiccan?

2
(History of Samhain). There’s a common misconception that All Saints Day was

created to Christianize a pagan holiday. How would you explain what experts

have found to a friend? Does this change the way you view Halloween? Explain.

About Halloween 2

3
(Misunderstanding the Afterlife). How did Christians in the

Middle Ages view the afterlife? As believers, we do not have to fear the afterlife.

Consider these verses: John 11:25; John 5:24; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18;

Romans 8:38-39; 1 Corinthians 15:54.

4
(Reformation Day). Why did Martin Luther post his Ninety-Five Theses on the

door of All Saint’s Church on October 31, 1517? Reflect on the gospel and what

Jesus has done for you on the cross. Then, think about the concept of

indulgences. In your own words, what are the shortcomings of indulgences
compared to the cross?

5
(The Light of the World). Review the 3 creative ways you can shine during the

darkness of Halloween. Which one are you mostly likely to try this year? Are

there any other ways you can shine during this time?

6
(Afterlife in the Protestant View). Re-read Luke 23:43 about Jesus and the

criminal on the cross and Psalm 103:10-12. How does the concept of purgatory

differ from what these verses say?

7
(Halloween Symbols and Traditions). Why do you think there is such a

fascination with communicating with the dead? What are some promises in the

Bible that we can share with those seeking answers about life and death?

8
(Trick or Treating). When you were a child, did you go trick-or-treating? How

was trick-or-treating originally connected to a misunderstanding of the afterlife?

Do you think children should still go trick-or-treating? Explain.

9
(Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?). How does your church or community

respond to Halloween? Share some of these ideas with your pastors or leaders

and start a new Halloween tradition in your neighborhood.

Discussion Questions (For Personal Use or Small Groups) Refer to Rose’s

Christian Origins of Halloween Pamphlet

Many Christians dread the coming of Halloween, trying to shield their children from every part of it, and wishing it would go away. However, there are many ways that Christians can re-claim Halloween as a Christian celebration. Learn ways to turn Halloween into something positive in your family and neighborhood!

Pamphlet…………………9781596365353……………..$3.99

Also available PDF. Quantity discounts available.

http://www.rose-publishing.com; info@rose-publishing.com or call (310) 353-2100
Rose Publishing, Inc., publishes full-color, easy-to-use Bible reference materials, including charts, maps, time lines and biblical reference pamphlets for pastors, Bible study leaders, new member classes & small groups.

29
Oct
15

Pre-Maintenance Testing Today

As we are preparing for my maintenance program to start next week with Avastin, another Cat scan was scheduled for my doctor to have the up-to-date information she needs to organize treatment in this next phase. We are anticipating its results will confirm all the positive indications received so far.

This last desensitized chemo was the easiest, freest stay in the hospital, but bouncing back to normal has been the slowest. My digestive system was sluggish for an abnormal (to me) amount of time after coming home. Additionally, the neuropathy I experienced extended farther than previously. At the same time, the lack of sensitivity was less acute than the most intense occurence. Also, some of the new hair growth has vanished. We’ll see in the next day or two if there’s another bout of “shedding.” At any rate the temperature drop hasn’t helped my head stay warm!

“Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name. You are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, and flame will not scorch you.” Isa 43:1, 2 (WEB)

This is the passage the Lord emphasized to me concerning this illness when I was initially hospitalized in January. These are the main verses I was standing on as I passed through the pre-op chemo to shrink the cancer, through the river of surgery to remove all visible signs, and walking through the fire of the follow-up chemo to destroy the microscopic cells that could be scattered somewhere in my body. Now, entering the maintenance program designed to reduce the projected percentage rate of recurrence, I will rest on the last phrase.

Every day, for the rest of my life, I need to stand on that. Be alert. Be vigilant!

Stand with me…

See more about staying on guard in my 12 Step Prayer Plan post and YouTube video. 

As the song and the Scripture go,

Neither shall the flame kindle upon you…

Amen??!!!

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28
Oct
15

Seed of Patience

The minute the words are out of your mouth, you are sure something you can’t handle is going to loom over your horizon!!! And you are convinced that you are not equipped for it…

I’m here to tell you, you are. And, I’ve got proof.

Ga 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, (WEB)

However small, the seed is there inside you, just like the seed of faith. God planted it there by His Spirit and it will grow. You must exercise it.

But, I caaaaan’t.

(Don’t whine.)

Take a deep breath.

This includes the jerk who just cut you off…

1Co 10:13 No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (WEB)

We are not responsible for growing the seed. It is our job to exercise it. Build up that spiritual muscle by working it.

1Co 13:4

Love <agape> is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, (WEB)

I started reading a book about pleasing the Father and discovered the primary theme was Agape. Ugh, not again! The author made an interesting point about Eros, which we normally interpret as a sexual desire. Perhaps, better said, it is a fleshly “love.” We can eros our car. We can eros food. We can eros ourselves!!! Which means we selfishly prefer ourselves above any body or any thing.

But, when we agape someone, like God, we see them through His eyes and His love and are patient with them, looking beyond their humanness. Using agape, we cultivate our patience plant so it will grow.

Let’s exercise our patience muscle today! I had to use it last night…

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27
Oct
15

#moved.w/Compassion

Because I could no longer in good conscience work within the religious system I was then subject to, I spent three months in earnest prayer seeking the Lord for direction. The vision of a parachurch organization was born in which El Shaddai would become the source of supply for His people in a socialist nation.

Scripture leaped out at me highlighting the motivation in Jesus’ heart as He walked among the people.

Mt 9:36

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd. (WEB)

Mt 14:14

Jesus went out, and he saw a great multitude. He had compassion on them, and healed their sick. (WEB)

Mt 20:34

Jesus, being moved with compassion, touched their eyes; and immediately their eyes received their sight, and they followed him. (WEB)

Mr 1:41

Being moved with compassion, he stretched out his hand, and touched him, and said to him, “I want to. Be made clean.” (WEB)

Mr 6:34

Jesus came out, saw a great multitude, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he began to teach them many things. (WEB)

Lu 7:13

When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said to her, “Don’t cry.” (WEB)

Mr 8:2

“I have compassion on the multitude, because they have stayed with me now three days, and have nothing to eat. (WEB)

Heb 5:2 The high priest [Jesus] can deal gently [have compassion, metriopatheo] with those who are ignorant and going astray, because he himself is also surrounded with weakness. (WEB)

Strong’s Concordance: 3356. metriopayew metriopatheo 

from a compound of the base of 3357 and 3806; to be moderate in passion, i.e. gentle (to treat indulgently):–have compassion.

You would have thought “the Church” would be thrilled at a testimony of God’s provision in a foreign land….but, alas, no! I came under attack and severe criticism from some leaders. One even went so far as to say that anyone who aligned themselves with or cooperated with Fundacion Efrain VZW was going against him personally!

Flying Under the Wire…

Jg 6:11 The angel of Yahweh came, and sat under the oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained to Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. (WEB)

Like Gideon, I worked alone with a rag tag bunch of marginalized believers supplying food and selling second hand household items to help the needy foreigners integrate in Belgium and acquire funds for the ministry to operate. Today, with that same inclination as a good steward of God’s resources, I think it’s such a shame to throw away perfectly good and useful items! To that end…

Please Take a Look at:

To Exhort You

1Pe 3:8 Finally, be all like-minded, compassionate, loving as brothers, tenderhearted, courteous, (WEB)

1Jo 3:17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and closes his heart of compassion against him, how does the love of God remain in him? (WEB)

Be on the lookout for more in the Saga of FE‘s beginnings!

If you’ve been blessed, why not repost this on Facebook (below) or share it with a friend??!!!

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26
Oct
15

#FundacionEfrainRecommends – First Broadcast on YouTube

As promised last week, here it is…

the first Fundacion Efrain video on YouTube

Symposium on Prayer with Patricia DiVirgilio

The session explaining the Dick Eastman 12 Step Prayer Plan lasts approximately 25 minutes. Please give us your feedback and testimony of experiencing it during your devotional time.

To study the prayer wheel, you can use this Sept. 26 post

or ask us to send a copy of your own.

Don’t forget to share it with a friend!

Look for our upcoming broadcast on the Lord’s Supper ~ a common denominator for all Christian denominations

24
Oct
15

{koinonia} fellowship in The Way

As I inspected several doctor’s ofiices, I was pondering life in the old days when I was a young Christian. Looking back, I remember a camaraderie, building the kingdom together. There was no sense of us/they. No distinction between the elders of the “church” and the “congregants.” We experienced what is little understood nor felt in this present age, the word fellowship or <koinonia>.

Strong’s concordance defines it:

from 2844; partnership, i.e. (literally) participation, or (social) intercourse, or (pecuniary) benefaction:–(to) communicate(-ation), communion, (contri-)distribution, fellowship.

Notice that in the beginning chapters of the Book of Acts, the early church had all things in commons and continued in one another’s houses daily eating and sharing God’s Word together with one accord…

Ac 1:14

All these with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer and supplication, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (WEB)

Ac 2:42

They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayer. (WEB)

Ac 2:46

Day by day, continuing steadfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, (WEB)

Ac 5:42

Every day, in the temple and at home, they never stopped teaching and preaching Jesus, the Christ. (WEB)

Encountering some of the brothers and sisters who walked that kingdom road with me renewed genially affable feelings that I associated with our coming together in those bygone years. And I wondered how we drifted so far. Where was the gathering in unity around our common faith? How had we separated the spiritual seeking from everyday life? Were we now so mature that our childlike simpleness and faith has been lost? What produced the schism so commonly experienced in the “Body” of Christ today? Was it really so important to be right?

1Co 6:7

Therefore it is already altogether a defect in you, that you have lawsuits one with another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? (WEB)

1Pe 4:8

And above all things be earnest in your love among yourselves, for love covers a multitude of sins. (WEB)

At the risk of being an archaic, outdated, fossil of the old school to those of you who never knew The Way, let me encourage you!

In the face of being offended or even a strong spiritual conviction, what can we conclude is the proper action in sight of the Lord?

…walking in love….

Mt 23:11

But he who is greatest among you will be your servant. (WEB)

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