My Yearly Fast, Being Mad at God, a Crisis of Faith, and My Sexual Healing Journey by @NowWithNicole

“I believe; help my unbelief.”

Each year, I go on a spiritual fast to refresh, refocus, and connect more deeply with Yah. Though I typically do this particular fast during September, this year, He had me do it in February. Before the prompting by His Spirit to enter into a fast sooner rather than later, I knew something life altering was going to happen. It always does during my fasts. 100% of the time. It never fails that He affects my life in a dramatic way. At first, I thought He was going to speak to me about my business. There were some current matters for which I had been seeking Him in prayer. Some were material, but most were spiritual and mental. I needed a serious mind shift. Additionally, there were other things things happening in my life- one I had been struggling with for years- that had managed to bring me to the point where I was experiencing a crisis of faith.

At the beginning of the year. I was beginning to get very disillusioned. I started to believe that I had prayed for so long for a number of things and they never happened. Those things I prayed for had nothing to do with natural matters but peace in my Spirit. That peace seemed to elude me. At the end of last year, I had taken to praying Mark 9:24, “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” I was at a really low place. I was in the midst of what seemed like 100 storms, plus I was down on myself for having to pray that prayer. After all, real believers have big faith at all times, about all things- right? At least that is what many in the buildings teach.

I began to think God was not listening. Why did He not care about the spiritual pain that started to express itself physically?  I prayed for years, more than a decade, that He would take away this thorn I had. Although many events have happened to me over the years, there was a specific part of my sexual abuse healing journey that had been a thorn in my side, and I did not know why. I had been healed in all of the other areas. I was able to minister and help many people with their healing in those areas where I had been healed. So, why did I keep experiencing this one side-effect that would not go away? Why, LORD? Why?! I cried, pleaded, fasted, everything, for over 10 years, and nothing happened.

I was tight with God…

Not tight as in close, but as in boiling ,white hot mad. It’s okay. I can say it out loud, because He already knows. I felt that I had already suffered the abuse; why did I have to keep suffering this one particular consequence of another person’s depravity? I was angry and hurt. I felt abandoned. I was reeling from discontent and hopelessness. I began to doubt He cared or that prayer worked. My feelings were so strong and palpable. Just as the father cried out with tears to the Father, I cried out to He who is named Faithful. It was my belief that He was who He says He is that allowed me to keep going and not lose my faith, even though I had doubts.

Finally, it was a couple of days before the fast actually started when He revealed to me the purpose. I was in shock, because I had given up hope and decided to stop praying for a healing. I had resigned myself to having to live out the rest of my days dealing with the aftermath of my abuse. However, God said, “It is not so.” The thing He wanted me to fast over was the exact thing that had plagued me all of these years. For the first time in year, I felt hopeful. I have fasted at least once a year for many years, for many reasons, but something told me that this one was going to be different. That may end up being the understatement of my life.

The Removing of My Thorn

First, it was one of my more intense fasts. I had not followed these guidelines since going through my big storm of 2008- seven years ago. It’s interesting that seven is also the number of completion. Second, I knew He was going to make a huge revelation. That is more than what happened. I started to see with fresh eyes as I moved through the book He brought into my life almost 2 years ago, “The Sexual Healing Journey” by Wendy Maltz. In 2003, I was not ready for the totality of what He wanted to show me about my healing journey through the book. In 2015, He decided that it was time to use it to reveal why He had not removed this one pesky thorn. He kept it there for my protection and growth.

He used it to deepen my love for Him, for my family, and my calling. My thorn was not just about me, it was about His ministry He has for me. He could not remove it before time, because I would not have been ready to fulfill his purpose for that thorn. The ultimate reason for my thorn was for His glory. It was not for my pain. God was not mad at me and punishing me. By not revealing some things about my sexual abuse history and stopping some of the side effects of this past crime at an earlier point, He was both protecting me and training me. He used those years to prepare my spirit for the truth and broaden my ministry territory. I was relieved, but it gets better.

Not only did He show me the reason for the thorn, He also revealed to me things my conscious mind had not been ready to handle before this fast. Over the last two years, there were shady glimmers of past events, but I put them out of my head. I was not ready to accept those things were apart of my story. I had already dealt with enough. I did not want another thing with which I had to face. I did not want to know that those events were the reasons for my Decades of Tears. Nevertheless, the Lord said otherwise. He decided I was ready for this piece of my sexual abuse history and healing to fall into place. Though the memories that came and the process undergone during the fast was painful, it didn’t break me. It made me feel stronger. I no longer had that feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. I thank God that He waited.

I am grateful that He took His time and protected my tender spirit until I could handle the ugly truths. I am grateful that He made me live “yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow death, I shall fear no evil.” The past decade- really my entire life- has been difficult. Many times, I felt it was unbearable. But, God. He is faithful and He used the pain felt during the fast to set me free. Pain has a purpose. He turns our ashes into beauty.

Follow Nicole on Twitter at @NowWithNicole

Christian Entrepreneurs, Vision Boards, and The Law of Attraction- Part 2

But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

Part one of Christian Entrepreneurs, Vision Boards, and The Law of Attraction was written in response to a question on an unrelated message board.  The question was, “Are vision boards demonic?”  My answer was, “It depends….” The article proceeded to address popular Scriptures used by proponents of using vision boards and The Law of Attraction to achieve success.  It also discussed the alternative of a Scripture Board for those who are followers of Christ.  The video, “Christians, Vision Boards, and the Law of Attraction,” digs deeper into this topic and touches upon a few Scriptures that give Christians instructions on how to view material wealth.

Christians, Vision Boards, and the Law of Attraction

Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest…

In addition to the Scriptures referenced in the video, when it comes to on what things we should meditate, Philippians 4:8 tells us

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Material wealth, perceived needs, and our desires did not make the list.  If you are interested in learning more about how to put The Vision (Christ) back into your vision board, please contact us.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:33 

Christian Entrepreneurs, Vision Boards and The Law of Attraction- Part 1

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage- Part 3 Notes By @NowWithNicole

Are You Jealous for Your Name?

During the month of February, The Worthy Project Ministry and Now With Nicole will be hosting a series of events in honor of Relationship Wellness Month. One of our events includes a study on God, jealousy, and how it applies to how we treat our spouses. This is the second blog post in our “Jealousy” series notes. It continues our exploration into what the Bible says about God and jealousy. As with Part 1 and Part 2, I am sharing the notes as a precursor to our forthcoming celebration. All notes in this series will be referenced during the official events in February. Just as the notes in the previous posts, these are raw and unedited. I will continue to share my rough drafts throughout my studies and invite you to follow along. I would love to hear your thoughts.  Don’t forget to join us in February for our Google Hangouts, Twitter chats, and other events designed to encourage us to protect our marriages.

You may follow me on Twitter at @NowWithNicole.

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage Part 3 Notes

7.) I Kings 19:10

KJV- And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

NASB- He said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

Strong’s Reference- 7065- See Notes Part 1

Thoughts- Zealousness /jealousy brings about faithfulness. Elijah’s zeal caused him to be faithful to the LORD. We should have this type of zeal, this steadfastness for our spouses. This type of zeal is giving of loyalty, not demanding of it. This type of zeal makes us want to do right by the person for whom we are jealous.

8.) I Kings 19:14- Also see I Kings 19:10

KJV- And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

NASB- Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

Strong’s Reference- 7065- See Notes Part 1

Thoughts- Zeal for the object of your affection helps you to stay faithful. It caused Elijah not to stray and go after other gods- even when “everyone else was doing it.” In the marital context, zeal for our spouses causes us to be faithful and not go after things that will destroy our relationship with our spouses.

9.) Ezekiel 39:25

KVJ- Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;

NLT- “So now, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will end the captivity of my people; I will have mercy on all Israel, for I jealously guard my holy reputation!

Strong’s Reference- 7065- See Notes Part 1

Thoughts- As with Elijah’s jealousy, this type of jealousy/zealousness causes us to do the right thing. God restored His people, because he wanted to protect His holy name. He jealously guarded his name. He believed in integrity. Likewise, our zeal for our name, for our integrity, should cause us to do those things that are right in His sight. Furthermore, as His sons and daughter, our number one goal should be to not make His name look bad while we are out doing things that do not look like they are of God. When we care about His name and our name, we are careful to protect it. We are jealous over our name. Applying to marriage, if you are jealous over your name, this should result in you not wanting to do anything that taints it. This should cause you to walk circumspectly and not want to even risk getting ensnared by your flesh. This speaks to me that jealousy isn’t just some “silly” emotion felt by an insecure person, but jealousy is something that helps us live our lives as God’s Spirit leads us to live. Jealousy is so much deeper than what the world tries to sell. It’s not merely a trifling emotion. Jealousy is a part of God’s protective character, and we should desire this trait in our relationship with Him and our spouses.

End of Part 3

Follow the Series:

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage- Part 1 Notes By @NowWithNicole

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do with Marriage- Part 2 Notes By @NowWithNicole

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What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage- Part 2 Notes By @NowWithNicole

Protecting Our Husbands and Wives

*Formerly Part 1b*

During the month of February, The Worthy Project Ministry and Now With Nicole will be hosting a series of events in honor of Relationship Wellness Month. One of our events includes a study on God, jealousy, and how it applies to how we treat our spouses. This is the second blog post in our “Jealousy” series notes. It continues our exploration into what the Bible says about God and jealousy. As with Part 1, I am sharing the notes as a precursor to our forthcoming celebration. All notes in this series will be referenced during the official events in February. Just as the notes in Part 1, these are raw and unedited. I will continue to share my rough drafts throughout my studies and invite you to follow along. I would love to hear your thoughts.  Don’t forget to join us in February for our Google Hangouts, Twitter chats, and other events designed to encourage us to protect our marriages.

You may follow me on Twitter at @NowWithNicole.

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage- Part 2

4.) Deuteronomy 5:9- Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,….

Strong’s Reference- 7067- See Notes Part 1 

Thoughts- Yah is very serious about us not falling to idol worship. He warns us about this many times. This shows His concern; care for our relationship and for our safety.

5.) Deuteronomy 6:15- (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

Strong’s Reference- 7067- See Notes Part 1

Thoughts- Once again, we are warned not to worship other idols. In verses 1-14, Moses is telling about all the good things that the Israelites had because God gave them to them. He told them not to forget Egypt. Don’t forget the slavery from where He has taken you. He gave them all of these good things. These were not things they would have had on their own. Was it too much to act that they be faithful? Is it too much to ask that after He blesses us with so much that we be faithful? This passage warns us not to provoke the Lord to anger. Traipsing around with other gods, playing with fire is an example of provocation. The Bible tells us in other Scriptures not to provoke people. In society, there are laws about provocation in criminal law matters. Provocation can be a defense to lessen the penalty of a crime that was committed.

6.) Joshua 24:19- And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

Strong’s Reference- 7072- See Notes Part 1

Thoughts- Reading in context, we should not say that we want to be in fellowship with Yah if we want to serve or continue serving other gods. We should not say that we want to worship Him and keep these idols. By doing so, we are provoking Him to anger and the consequences will be our fault. This is interesting because often we want to do what we want to do. We make ourselves our own idols by following our ways instead of God’s ways. Then, we get mad when we suffer the consequences of not remembering that He is a jealous God. Why are we provoking Him? Why do we put ourselves into situations that He warns us against hoping that He will save us? The saving part comes from the warning before the path to destruction.

End of Part 2

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What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage- Part 1 Notes By @NowWithNicole

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do with Marriage- Part 3 Notes By @NowWithNicole

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Homeschooling From Love and Faith Instead of Fear and Ego

This past weekend, I was telling my husband that I was considering giving Jam a break this week. He’s been working really hard. More importantly, I am in constant prayer that the Lord guide me in our homeschooling and that I do it out of love- not fear. The truth is, a part of me does walk in fear because the only time his father and I are usually on the same page is when it comes to caring for him. While I have wanted to homeschool since day one, life events took us down the path  of Christian education. I decided that since I was then a co-parent, if I could not educate him the best place was a private school.

In August of 2014, God told me it was time to pull him out. It was a scary proposition given that it required me really staying away from my former corporate job instead of waffling and going back ever so often for a quick economic boost to my entrepreneurship endeavors. Further, I dreadfully thought about a father’s response whose attitude about most things is so different than mine. I was pleasantly surprised when he agreed without a fight. I know it was a move of God. Nevertheless, I worried.

“Above all else, my goal is to train up this disciple. That is a mission that is bigger than any school subject or passing a test.”

Never mind that God has seen me through so many trials and battles, I walked in constant fear that things would change. I can tell myself it was because of our history, or I could tell myself the truth- it was about my lack of faith. Due to this lack of faith, I spent the first close to six months schooling in out of my ego. I wanted to make sure he had tons of written “proof” that he was learning and he did need to be in an institutionalized school. Since I’m being honest, I needed proof that I had made the right decision by suggesting we pull him out of the private school. All the work- and extra work- we did was to show that homeschooling was the right choice. In my pursuit of home education excellence, I would sometimes forget why God led me down this path in the first place. It was not to compete with an institutional school. It was not to show that I was “better” in human eyes than formal school educators. The purpose was for discipleship. Homeschooling is a ministry that is bigger than me. 

Above all else, my goal is to train up this disciple. That is a mission that is bigger than any school subject or passing a test. I recently read the 2012 article “Why I (Almost) Gave Up Homeschooling” by, Edie Wadsworth, who was contemplating quitting at the time. What God showed her in this low moment was that homeschooling was foremost about a parent’s repentance and openness to learning from Him. It is not until we are ready to die to ourselves and be the student as well as the teacher will we be able to give our kids what God wants them to have.

While I am nowhere near the point of quitting, today my son told me that I work him too hard and he needs a break. I reflected back to what I told my husband, I read the above mentioned article, and I thanked God for confirmation that I can let go of ego (fear) and homeschool from the heart. I am thankful that he stopped me before Jam started to “hate” school like he started to feel before we began this ministry journey.

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage- Part 1 Notes By @NowWithNicole

Protecting Our Husbands and Wives

During the month of February, The Worthy Project Ministry will be hosting a series of events designed to start a conversation. First, a conversation with God and second, a conversation with our spouse. Part of the series includes taking a deeper look at the concept of jealousy. The Bible tells us that “God is a jealous God.” If this is true about our relationship with God, and our marital relationship is meant to be a reflection of our spiritual relationship, what does it tell us about how we should conduct ourselves in marriage?

This post contains the notes I have so far during the study. They are raw and unedited for grammar. I will be sharing my rough drafts throughout my studies and invite you to follow along. I would love to hear your thoughts.  Don’t forget to join us in February for our Google Hangouts, Twitter chats, and other events designed to encourage us to protect our marriages.

You may follow me on Twitter at @NowWithNicole.

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage- Part 1 Notes

Using God’s Jealousy as an Example in Christian Marriage

*These are rough notes that will be used during February’s Relationship Wellness Month Activities. This is raw, unpolished material.*

1.) Exodus 20:5- I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Strong’s Reference- 7067- qanna (ken-aw’); from 7065; jealous. Comp. 7072.

7065- qana (kaw-naw’) prim. Root; to be (caus. make) zealous, i.e. (in a bad sense) jealous or envious:- (be) envy (ious), be (move, to provoke to) jealous (-y), x very, (be) zeal (-ous).

7072- qannow (kanno’) for 7067; jealous or angry:- jealous.

Thoughts- Yah telling Isralites not to bow down to serve other gods “idols” before Him. An idol is anything you put before God, before what He tells you to do. You can be your own idol. Your relationship with other people can be an idol.

2.) Exodus 34:14- For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

Strong’s Reference- 7065

Thoughts- Looking at the surrounding Scriptures, Yah is jealous because He does not want us to get caught up with the ungodly. He does not want us whoring after other gods (idols, people we should not be with, etc). He warns us to stay away from them. He tells us to not go after them so that you will not make a covenant with the people who are not of Him. Play with fire and get burned. Why not just stay away from those things that will cause us to stumble? Why do we still pursue unholy alliances thinking that we are strong enough to withstand the temptation to fall into idolatry? An idols is much more than a graven image. You can make yourself an idol when you choose to follow your ways before God’s.

3.) Deuteronmy 4:24- For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.

Strong’s Reference- 7067

Thoughts- In context of surrounding Scriptures, Yah’s jealousy, once again is to warn us away from danger; to protect us from idolatry. Idolatry is unfaithfulness, putting anything before God. It’s more than making or worshiping a graven image.

End of Part 1

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What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do With Marriage- Part 2 Notes By @NowWithNicole

What Does God’s Jealousy Have to Do with Marriage- Part 3 Notes By @NowWithNicole

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Christian Entrepreneurs, Vision Boards, and The Law of Attraction

Sunrise

“Write the Vision and Make it Plain”

I was recently conducting some unrelated, online research when I happened upon a message board asking whether vision boards were demonic.  Given what I have observed among Christian entrepreneurs lately, I was surprised that there were people on both sides of this issue.  I thought everyone was in love with attracting and envisioning material wealth.  After reading the message board and reading other articles on this topic, I have concluded that the problem is not the vision board.  The problem is what people put on the vision board and the Scriptures they use to back-up the activity.

My primary concern is whether people are actually reading these Scriptures they are quoting to support what they are doing.  If they are reading them, are they reading the entire verse?  Are they reading the verses around it?  Have they read other Scriptures addressing the topic, because Scripture verifies Scripture?  In other words, are they studying the Scriptures are merely proof-texting and taking verses out of context to justify their choices?   Moreover, if they have read the Scripture, did they seek the Holy Spirit for wisdom and understanding?  If you are going to make a vision board or follow the Law of Attraction, that is your free will choice, just do not misuse Scripture to support it.

The following are a few of the most popular verses I have heard used by Christian entrepreneurs regarding this issue.

And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

Habakkuk 2:2

The vision (prophesy) was first and foremost about Jesus.  It was not about a Ferrari, exotic vacation or a McMansion.  Secondly, a simple reading of the Scripture shows that the vision that was to be written was not meant for the prophet but was meant as a warning to others.  Third, were verses one, three, and four read before deciding this was Scripture to use to support creating a vision board with visions of everything but Jesus?  Is your vision board about warning others of what’s to come or is it only about what you want or think you need?  If it’s the latter, you should not be using Habakkuk to support your position.  Moreover, all prophetic books are about telling people what is to come- Jesus- so they may repent.  The vision in Habakkuk was about warning people so they could repent.  It is problematic when this Scripture is watered down to say that the vision entails putting glossy pictures of material items on a piece of cardboard.

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Psalm 37:4

This Scripture says that God will give us the desires He wants us to have.  It does not say He will give us our heart’s desire.  These are two very different things.  The desires we receive are God’s, they are not our own.  In light of  Jeremiah 17:9 telling us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?,” we should be glad that He does not give us everything our heart wants.

Click here to read the rest of the article on Breath of Life Daily

“Christian Entrepreneurs, Vision Boards, and The Law of Attraction- Part 2″

Letting Go of Temporary Relationships (and Jobs) to Receive Permanent Ones

There Is a Season for Everything Under the Sun

In today’s episode of Now With Nicole we discuss letting go of dead or dying relationships (and careers) to make room for ones that breathe life into you. I talk about the day I discovered I was a back-up friend and my response. Also discussed is what happens when we hang on to “in the meantime” jobs past the “meantime.”

Listen here.

A Holiday Story Part 1: Christians, Christmas, and Paganism Debate

“To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.”

Rev. 2:7

As God has me taking a look at what He put inside of me to believe about holidays, a few thoughts have come to mind:

1.) There is a difference between something being pagan or having pagan roots and something being a response to paganism.

2.) How do people who talk about the meaning of the evergreen at Christmas know what the tree means to everyone who has one? How do they know if that Christmas tree in another person’s house is not a reminder to that person about Christ- the Tree of Life- instead of an ode to tree worshippers?

3.) You can’t celebrate- or not- because your pastor says so, because you want to fit in with your family (including in-laws) or because you have something to prove. You do what He has led you to do.

Next month, I will be posting My Christmas story and I cannot wait to share what He is having me do this year. It is so different than anything I have ever done- even before I stopped celebrating over 10 years ago. During the time that I have been researching the history of holidays and not celebrating, it has been an off-and-on struggle when it came to Christmas. I wanted to participate in the family gatherings, however, I did not want to get caught up in the unfortunate tradition of greed and competition that has found its way into the Christmas celebration.

When my son came along 9 years ago, many thought I would abandon my Christmas ban because he “had” to learn about Santa Claus and gifts. Nevertheless, I persisted in not participating in the gift-giving and that included my son. He has not received a Christmas gift from me to this day. There was not just my son, however, I also constantly battled to give or not to give when my family would give me gifts after being told not to do so. This was especially difficult when it came to my nieces, because they were kids and they simply wanted to give something to their aunt. It was harder with them than my son not to give them anything, and on two occasions, I was able to convince myself that giving is always right. Nonetheless, I was never at ease to give in to the hype- even when I caved and purchased something for them in return for their generosity. I still had a back-and-forth, tug-of-war going on in my spirit because the matter had not been settled. A couple of months ago, however, God flipped on the switch and started talking to me about this matter.

He made me realize that everything I do should be for Him and it had to be done on my terms as led by Him. I could not do it to appease my family, a pastor, my nieces, my son, my in-laws, or anyone else. The same thing I was teaching my son about holidays- follow your own convictions- He has used it to teach me. I had to be determined either way in my own mind. Now that my mind has been freed from the outside influence of others, I have been led to celebrate in a way that is authentic to who I am. A celebration that will not be about about me, or gifts, or eating with family, it will be about Christ. Whether it is Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, or any other day, every day should be a “holy-day” and there is never anything wrong with celebrating Christ on it.

Featured image photo credit: Ian Sane via photopin cc

Anti-Halloween But Pro-Christmas and Easter: When Christians Pick and Choose Which Holidays Should Not Be Celebrated

Do It As If You Are Doing It Unto the Lord…

This October 31st marked the first time in over a decade that God- yes GOD- led me to celebrate. Initially, I was shocked by the changes that He had me going through in regards to celebrating certain days, however, I accepted that it was not for me to understand. After having not participated in something for so long, and being required to talk t others about my decision, I wondered if it would come across as hypocritical if I made a change. Nevertheless, I made it because He was leading me through it for more reasons than I could have imagined. It is because of this new season and moving from glory to glory in Him, I give present my holiday celebration story.

Over 10 years ago, I was a member of an institutional church that celebrated neither Halloween or Christmas. The reasoning given was because they were pagan holidays that Christians tried to hijack for religious purposes. Although he never told anyone they could not celebrate these holidays, he gave sermons and provided historical resources that were intentional in swaying people away from these celebrations. As a member of this church, I felt it only proper to follow the pastor’s guidance. After all, why would I be attending an assembly where I did not have blind obedience?

Listen to the latest Now With Nicole Radio Show if you would like to hear more about my story and where the Lord is taking me in terms of this topic.

Now With Nicole: Halloween, Christmas, Domestic Violence, and Christians

After being taught about the reported origins of Halloween and Christmas, I did my own research of Scripture and historical literature and went in full-force against these “traditions.” I was not alone there were many other Christians who had varying views about not recognizing holidays. What I found most interesting, however, is those who pick and choose what they will or will not celebrate.

Outside of the Holy Days that are mentioned in the Bible, there is a lot of discussion in the Christian community about celebrating calendar holidays. Typically, the talk centers around Halloween and Christmas. The problem arises when one holiday is said to be worse than the other based upon the non-Christian argument, because ALL of the traditional big holidays were started as a response to the worldly holidays that were being celebrated- allegedly.

What No Christmas Gifts?

Fall Festival, Hallelujah Night, All Hallow’s Eve- Some traditional Christian alternatives to Halloween.

Christmas- The traditional Christian alternative to the Winter Solstice celebration of the sun god.

Resurrection Sunday- The traditional Christian alternative to the polytheistic celebration of Easter.

Thanksgiving- Though not usually taught to be pagan, comes with its own issues given the history between the Native Americans and those who came later to settle in America.

Given this information, it is puzzling that some Christians denounce others for celebrating a holiday with “pagan” roots, yet, they still celebrate other holidays with allegedly the same history- Christmas being the primary one. It is one thing to not honor any of the days, but it is another to point fingers at those who choose alternative celebrations to those that you do not celebrate while you comfortably celebrate your favorite ones. Why is one better than the other if they all “allegedly,” come from non-Christian roots? How did you come to decide which was bad and which was good? Did God lead you to that conclusion?

Whether or not you decide to acknowledge a certain day, Colossians 3:23 tells us that in everything you do, do it as if you are doing it unto the Lord and not man. Thus we do not celebrate- or not celebrate- because it is tradition, family pressure, or your pastor says so. Do it because that is how He leads you. This past October 31st, I decided to bring participate in my family’s Fall Festival. It was hands down the best holiday celebration I have ever had. It was a lot more fun than where I was in ministry the last 12 years being called to speak about the history of how these celebrations were started. It was not about demons or candy. It was about family, community, and feeding (real food) the children and adults who stopped by to visit the home. It was not about us, our needs, our wants, our gifts, it was about giving of our time and resources to others. That is the most beautiful way to enjoy any day, because there is never anything wrong with showing His love through the act of giving. Furthermore, as the Spirit has been showing me lately, there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving children raised in Christ an alternative option to the festivals you dislike.

A Note for Divorced, Never Married, or Separated Co-Parents

Moreover, if your children have parents who do not live together and one celebrates while the other does not, this gives the parent who does not recognize the day an opportunity to minister to his or her child and let the child know there is a better way. Please join me in December for an update on my Christmas story.

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