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Thankful Thursday: Freedom

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Faith's Firm Foundation: Thankful Thursday: Freedom

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Freedom

This past week I have participated in two activities which have made me so thankful for the freedoms we still enjoy in this country.  Before I tell you what those two activities were, let me remind you that it's Thankful Thursday and I hope that you'll avail yourself of the opportunity to read and write thankful thoughts today by heading over to Women Taking a Stand and participating in this meme. Thank you, Laurie, for hosting this month!  I'm also grateful to be back today participating in Thankful Thursday after being away for awhile, among other things, on vacation to Washington, DC, and out of the country.  I really appreciate this encouragement to be thankful, and I hope you do, too.

Last Sunday was October 31, which in our country is the day commonly known and celebrated as Halloween.  Many years ago, our family stopped "celebrating" Halloween, believing that it is a satanic holiday in its essence, and we, as Christians and Americans, are making light of and reducing to a myth the invisible spiritual enemies, the spirits of darkness, and the warfare that we fight in the spiritual realm.  Looking for an alternative to Halloween celebration, not wanting to be part of that anymore, we weren't sure what to do on that night, and we have tried a few different things.

At first, we went out and did something as a family together, such as going out to dinner and shopping.  It was a fun night of just being together as a family, and something I, personally, looked forward to each year.  Talking, planning, laughing, taking time from our busy schedule to just have a relaxing evening together.  Families don't do this often enough.  Then, as "ghosts, goblins and witches" and people trying to entice our children with candy appeared in the shopping malls and restaurants, we avoided that by staying home, where we spent a quiet time together in the lower level of our home, sometimes playing a game, and keeping the lights off upstairs. (This was an attempt to discourage any who might stop, though we never did have anyone ringing our doorbell).

In recent years, we have gotten together with one other family and had pizza and watched a movie together, and again, left the lights off on the main level. However, we've added an activity which I've probably mentioned before, but which is the theme of my thankfulness today.  For the last few years, my daughter and I have gone out to pass out gospel tracts on Halloween. We tape a small candy bar to the back of each tract, fill a gift bag full of the tracts, and head out to the local Outlet Mall.  We also take a big bag of extra tracts and candy along, in case we need to put more together on the road. We customarily order tracts ahead of time from Chick Tracts and Living Waters, and this year I bought a huge bag of hundreds of small candies from Sams Club.  Our experience is that usually the Outlet Mall is not busy with trick-or-treaters, but rather is the location of lonely store clerks, who are more than accepting of our visit, and something to read (and a sweet to eat besides)!  "Here's something sweet to eat and something you need to read!"  or "Here's something fun to read with a good message inside and something sweet to eat besides!"  This year, as we handed out tracts at the Outlet Mall, something different happened.  Trick-or-treaters began arriving by the dozens!  I'm not sure why, except that it was a beautiful day, weather-wise.  But, we actually ran out of tracts, handing out (I'm guessing) a hundred or so, and we were wishing that we'd had a dozen other people with us to spread out and help! Have I mentioned that handing out tracts like this is one of the hardest things for me to do, and there is such a spiritual battle to keep me from doing it?  But, I always come home so exhilarated!  It is thrilling to think that God working through the truth in that tract may produce faith in a person who I will someday meet again in heaven!  Because of this small act, someone may get saved!  It is such a wonderful freedom to be able to do this! And one I don't take for granted.

The second activity, I think that you can guess, was enjoying on Tuesday the freedom to vote.  We are so blessed in America to have elections which are non-violent, orderly, and fair.  I am so grateful for such a great privilege and freedom.

Freedom.  I'm so thankful that we are FREE to share the gospel, hand out Biblical information, talk about God and to communicate the Truth of the gospel in America at this time!!  Let us never take for granted and let us praise the Lord for the freedom in America to witness and to vote! Let us thank God, and also those who have fought for our freedoms.  Indeed, freedom isn't free. And, as we approach Veterans Day, let us remember that, we are the "Land of the Free, because of the brave"!
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Blogger Harter said...

What a great way to handle the holiday! We are still trying to think of an alternative for us, but this is a wonderful idea!

Happy Thankful Thursday!

November 4, 2010 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Toia said...

What a great way to take authority over the holiday so that God can still get the glory!!! Blessings to you!!!

November 4, 2010 at 3:40 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thanks! Pray and the Lord will lead you to what you should do, but we have definitely found this is the one time of the year people are very receptive to being given something--they almost expect it! And they're sometimes excited, even without knowing this could be the best thing they'll ever receive!

November 4, 2010 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thanks, Toia! That's a great way to put it--I like that!

November 4, 2010 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Mel Cole said...

My husband and I are religious and we still celebrate Halloween in a different way of costume. Not the scary ones though. We didn't go house to house to strangers but to our friends only. Nice to hear that your family had a great time together.

My Thankful Thursday post here

November 4, 2010 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thanks for sharing! I always appreciate hearing what others do in their families. God doesn't always lead us the same way and certainly not at the same time. I'd be interested to know if you've done reading about the origins of Halloween, talked to others or studies and prayed about it, or what led you to your choices. Did you used to do it differently? How old are your children? Thanks again for sharing!

November 5, 2010 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger Jamie~ said...

Oh, it's so good to hear (or read, I guess) of others who don't "do" Halloween. We have never done it with our kids, and although there are times with our eldest that we have to go over again why we don't celebrate it, I'm so thankful we've taken that stand. We always do something else as a family and this year our daughter looked at me and said she wouldn't have wanted to do anything else!
Yay!! It's working. Thanks for sharing what you're thankful for this week!

November 5, 2010 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Hey! Haven't heard from you for awhile! How've you been? Isn't it good when your kids say something that says they "get it" and (especially) that they're grateful for the decisions you've made and direction you've gone? Aahhh, makes it all worthwhile.

November 5, 2010 at 5:37 PM  

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