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Katherine Johnston




Seen any pumpkins, lately?


This past month my little guy has been to Fall Festivals galore!  Pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins as far as the eye can see! Go into any store in our area and there are pumpkins and candy and spooky stuffy galore. That's for Halloween.


Just for the record we're not into spooky stuff,...or gore,...it's not our idea of fun. Sorry, but it's kinda hard to equate,..."Love one another,...be kind to one another,"--- with horror houses and such.  It's a tough holiday to navigate for a believer. Who wants to be a wet blanket? Yet toeing the line on wholesome and horror is a tricky dance step.


Lots of folks in our area really, really, REALLY like Halloween. It's "Happy Halloween this, and Happy Halloween that," and that's fine,...the kids are cute,...giving out candy or goodies is fun,...and who doesn't like to dress up as a favorite character or hero for the evening? It's the other side of Halloween,...the dark side,...dabbling in the 'other world,' which really isn't the 'other world' because if folks really saw what the 'other world' was truly about they'd freak out worse than the Witch of Endor - in the Bible. Remember: Saul commanded that she summon the departed Samuel,...and hocus pocus, the LORD allowed Samuel to supernaturally arise from the dead and the woman became unglued to the nth degree, (1 Samuel 28) - THAT'S SPOOKY stuff!!! -- Yet, never fear, "...the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4. 


My real beef with October 31st,...is that you rarely, but rarely ever hear, "HAPPY REFORMATION DAY!" 




Reformation,...the Protestant Reformation begun in 1517 when Martin Luther literally nailed his 95 Theses to the Twitter of the Sixteenth Century,...being the door of the All Saint's Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The biggest beef, Martin Luther detailed in his 95 Theses was the selling of 'indulgences',...in other words the unscrupulous were shaking money boxes, "Give x-amount and your sins are FORGIVEN,..." -- which totally goes against Ephesians 2:8" For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God,..."


Think,...Bibles like the Gutenberg Bible, which was first published 1450's were extremely rare, only 150-180 copies were reportedly printed all together, and no doubt would have been beyond the cost of most minor dukes and duchesses, much less commoners. Also literacy wasn't advanced much beyond the wealthy. So if some important looking dude tells you, "Hand it over,...if you want to get to heaven," - how are these hard working people suppose to know different?


So thanks, Martin Luther for putting a bulls-eye on your back. Those money boxes folks were not a bit happy with this professor-priest,...and the rest of the resulting ruckus is Church history,...and important World History. Hello,...the pilgrims crossing the ocean blue to the New Land in 1620 were (Protestant) Puritans fleeing religious persecution,...a butterfly effect that was set in motion with the pounding of that hammer as it drove those nails through the thick sheets of parchment on that wooden door in Wittenberg.


What future impact do you think your life might have? Most likely we'll never know. I am sure Martin Luther had no idea,...he'd be the subject of a blog post 501 years later,...yet it is something to consider.


"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God." - 2 Corinthians 5: 17-20




Can't help think of Calvary,...Jesus's sacrifice to bring us reconciliation. There on the cross our sins were paid for,...a free gift.


Did Martin Luther think of the nails nailed into Jesus's flesh as he was nailing those nails into that wooden door? Just wondering,...both those nails have shaped my life,...eternally and here on earth,...as I live in the United States,...and as an American, we trace our country's history to the pilgrims,...who were inspired by the Reformation, begun by Martin Luther,...who, of course,...was inspired by Jesus Christ's death and resurrection.


Butterfly effect? Or just the fact our lives are all more intertwined than we realize.


So last year was the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Did you know that? It's a big deal when you think of the cultural and historical significance, but there was nary a blip in our local news. No parades, firework displays, or at least none that were advertised and promoted. Germany did give it a nod, as well they should,...hello 500th anniversary is something to celebrate, but the rest of the world was pretty mute,...which is mind boggling even when you set the PC stuff aside. October 31, 1517 had a HUGE impact upon world history.


Our poor upside down world.


Oh well,...stepping off soapbox. We'll still be celebrating Reformation Day on the 31st in tandem with that local thing that's going on with the pumpkins. When we offer Reformation Day greetings to others,...we well understand the reaction will be,..."Happy,...What?"


God Bless!




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When our kids were around 11, 7, and 4, we stopped dressing the kids up and sending them out for Halloween. It was not something we wanted to celebrate and the kids understood and agreed. We don't even give anything to kids. We turn the light out and no one comes. The kids don't really come down our street anyway for we live on a very quiet cul-de-sac. We do have some little ones now in two houses across the street. So they may make the rounds of the street.


I knew about the 500th celebration. A much better event to celebrate. :)

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Katherine, I just received this email...


We’re just days away from the five-hundred-and-first anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. This Reformation Week, are you listening to RefNet?

Short for “Reformation Network,” RefNet is streaming trustworthy teaching committed to the biblical truths rediscovered by the Reformers in the sixteenth century. With messages from R.C. Sproul, the Ligonier Teaching Fellows, and other trusted teachers, our aim is to help ground today’s believers in the historic Christian faith. Tune in twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for preaching, Scripture reading, audiobooks, news, music, and more.


Here's their link to listen.



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