Tuesday, October 28, 2014

All Saint's Day on November 1st... an Alternative to Halloween


Our family doesn't care too much for Halloween. While at seminary, we lived near Salem, MA where we saw the reality of Wicca and witchcraft being celebrated as the historic city filled up with people each year on this day.

Halloween marks the Samhain festival in the Wicca calendar year, a festival of darkness where Wiccans invite the spirits of the dead to their festivities and believe that the separation of this world to the afterlife is at its thinnest point. The reality of Satan, spiritual darkness, and the spiritual world has turned us, as a family, away from such a real, serious "holiday."

Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. Ephesians 5:7-11

I've found that many Christian families do not know about All Saints Day, a Christian holiday that falls one day after Halloween on November 1st. We choose to celebrate this day, remembering all the saints (all ordinary believers, set apart in the Lord by His Spirit) who have gone before us and praying for all the saints living today and yet to come.

"...to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ..." 1 Corinthians 1:2


We started this tradition last year, simply celebrating by going out for ice cream with our kids and teaching them about who are saints from a biblical perspective. As they get older, we'll probably incorporate further study into the lives of specific saints throughout history into our day and do a variety of exciting outings. For us, it's a meaningful and fun alternative to celebrating Halloween.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My morning cup


"But Zion said, 'The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.'

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you!

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands...."
Isaiah 49:15-16a

My Morning Cup is where I post little sips of God's word for you and for myself, knowing it is His words that change us, that show us Truth in a chaotic world, that correct our perspective, that make the Enemy flee, and that last forever.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Anyone can give, anyone can keep.


Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:43-44
 
We make so many excuses in our daily lives on why we cannot afford to give. It's really a heart matter. I started this blog while my husband was in seminary and we were living on a part time income, I was expecting our first child, and we had medical bills coming in from my recent cancer surgery. Anyone can give.

"In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people." 2 Corinthians 8:2-4

Fru-Gal is a blog that exists to foster the heart of giving. If we intentionally live on less and are content with what we have, refusing the urge to spend more on ourselves and refusing to accept the lie that, "I'm not in a position to give," we will have more money to give to those in need. It's a constant practice.

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

No, I do not need a cup of $4 coffee on my way to the grocery store. No, I do not need that adorable scarecrow decoration that's half off right now at Michael's and would look really cute on my front stoop. There's a gazillion ways the "I need more" lie creeps into my mind as I'm out and about or browsing deals in my inbox.

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." Matthew 6:24


All those little purchases add up and I'm reminded of those who are starving right now. Those who are fleeing for their lives in Erbil. Those who lost their entire families to Ebola in Liberia. Those without the word of God in so many dark places. Suddenly, overpriced coffee and cute scarecrows sound pretty dumb and pointless.

"But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving." 2 Corinthians 8:7

Frugal living for the grace of giving. Anyone can give and anyone can keep. You're either left with eternal reward or scarecrows at the end of the day.


October 15th - National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day


Did you know that today, October 15th, is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day? Praying for all those who lost a little one too soon (we remember three babies ourselves, lost in January 2011, April 2011, and August 2013). 

 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

Friday, October 10, 2014

Resident toads

Each with their toad friends.
We have some resident toads that live in a window well in our front yard. Personally, I think they picked the wrong house to reside at... the poor creatures have become one of our kids' favorite play things. I find the kids touring the toads around the yard, making rock houses for them, and performing a variety of other toad games. I remind them to be gentle with the toads, that the toads probably do not like going for rides in David's monster trucks, and that they should probably abstain from kissing the toads! Here's to some frugal toad fun on a cool fall morning... and some good hand washing afterwards!