Friday, October 29, 2010

Do you know the history of Halloween?

As European immigrants came to America, they brought their varied Halloween customs with them. Because of the rigid Protestant belief systems that characterized early New England, celebration of Halloween in colonial times was extremely limited there.

It was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies. As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups, as well as the American Indians, meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included "play parties," public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other's fortunes, dance, and sing. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the nineteenth century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing Ireland's potato famine of 1846, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally. Taking from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today's "trick-or-treat" tradition. Young women believed that, on Halloween, they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings, or mirrors.

In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers, than about ghosts, pranks, and witchcraft.

At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season, and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything "frightening" or "grotesque" out of Halloween celebrations. Because of their efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.

By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular, but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague Halloween celebrations in many communities during this time. By the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be more easily accommodated. Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6.9 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country's second largest commercial holiday.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Friends............and then Real Friends!

Have you ever looked at your friends and stepped back to evaluate the status. You know we have different levels of friends. Here is my view of the levels.

1. Life long friends-No matter when, where, why, or how you can pick up like you never missed a day of speaking to each other. They know when you are happy, mad, sad, telling a story,or dodging a tuff conversation. A friend that is there when it all goes south and someone that you can share your deepest thoughts.

2. Your every day friend- the person you can grab lunch with, watch a game with, talk about work, and someone that you can just go below surface level with. These can be great friends but hard for one to share your deepest secrets.

3. The how are you doing friend- the friend you have and the conversation starts and ends with how are you doing.

If you pulled in all of your friends what category would they fall into? I have found as you get older the number in each category changes. The number of life long friends become less and the number of how are you doing friends increase. Why is this?

One, our issues increase and we are less likely to share with others creating hurdles between friendships. I think this can easily be over came, but my second reason is the hardest. We allow our lives to come so busy and full of busy activities we miss out on relationship
building. We miss out on times where you can actually communicate. Real texting, emails, or face booking. We get stuck being busy and unable to just relax long enough to enjoy a real relationship.

My goal for the next month is to "unbusy" myself to a point where I could enjoy a relationship. Do you need to unbusy your life so that you can fill your life with meaningful relationships.

Your meaningful relationship will only go as deep as you are willing to allow it to go!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Good News

Good News......what does that mean? Does it mean Fox News covered the weather well, does it mean your best friend just purchased a new car, does it mean today someone had a child, or ............? How would you rank the good news in your life this year?

Defining Good News can be difficult because our ability to define it varies from person to person. Why so hard? Because over time our view of Good News has changed.

Paul writes about him being filled with the joy to spread the Good News. He said "Good News" seven times in the first 17 versus of chapter 1 of Romans. When you say the same thing over and over it must carry some type of value. So what was the Good News? Good News to Paul was the amazing opportunity he had to teach the gospel. Good News was the gospel that he could share with others. Romans 1:12 I mean that I want us to help each other with faith we have. Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you. Paul wanted us to know that having faith in God and putting our trust in God allows God to use his power save us. teach the gospel, that seems so far from winning the lottery and never having to work again. That sounds like work, so how is that good news?

The power of God to save me........that is Good News.

So I ask you, how do you define good news? Romans 1:17 states the good news shows how God makes people right with himself- that it begins and ends with faith.

Has your ranking of good news changed?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Ok I am watching Teen Mom on MTV tonight. I think teens should watch this show. Why? Because this is the life of those that have babies to early. It is hard, you get tired, you have no sleep, and it is a struggle. A baby at 16 limits your chance of finishing high school, going to college, finding your forever mate, and obtaining that post college life changing job. I am not saying those things want happen but having a child at 16 makes it much harder.

Outside of the above things think about the differences between a teen parent and a teenager.
1. Going to the movies without taking a new born or worrying about a babysitter.
2. Paying for the babysitter.
3. Getting up several times a night to feed the baby and change diapers.
4. Spending money on diapers vs. Buying new jeans.
5. Getting baby fat vs. Beach ripped and tan

Ok this list could go on and on.

Make wise calls, parenthood isn't easy. If you can't handle being a parent back up from sex.