Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

Today is Thanksgiving in the US and Canada.  We use this day to reflect on what we're thankful for and celebrate the blessings that we have.  It's a time for family, food, and preparing for the Black Friday sales.  Traditionally we spend a lot of time listing out the things we're thankful for and letting people know how they bless us.

But why limit it to today?

I try to remember to give thanks to God every day.  At least once daily I thank him for my wife, and try to thank him for my job at the end of the day, no matter how good or bad the day was.  I'm not successful at giving thanks as much as I should, but I try to keep it to the other 364 days of the year as much as I do on Thanksgiving Day.

We should be grateful for what we have every day of the year.  I certainly don't mind setting aside a day of special celebration just like we do for Christ's birthday and resurrection day.  But I think many of us forget to give thanks the rest of the year.

Make a pledge to find something to be thankful for every day of the year.  And thank God out loud so that you really make it known.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15 NIV

Monday, November 12, 2012

What's A Christian To Do About Magic?

I have a sad admission to make.  Many years ago I thought that Harry Potter was evil because it promoted "magic", and that's spoken against in the Bible.  As a Christian, I'm supposed to avoid those things and so I condemned those books and movies.  It even got to the point that my mother-in-law, a pastor's wife, got rid of her Harry Potter movies because of what I and my wife (her daughter) were saying.

I was wrong.  And ignorant.

After becoming involved in Fans For Christ I started getting to know people who loved Rowling's works.  Then I broke down and watched the first movie.  I loved it!  And I didn't see anything Satanic or evil in it.  My wife and I began watching the other ones, and then I started reading the novels.  I am now an official Potterhead, and have begun dressing up as characters from the movies and books (mostly myself as Professor Lupin and my wife as Tonks).  This past year at Dragon*Con I even gave a sermon with a Harry Potter theme and preached with my wand, dressed as Lupin.

So why the change?

I realized that the books didn't actually promote paganism or real-world evil spells. In those books you are either born a wizard or you aren't.  If you aren't one by birth, you can't learn how to become one.  It's a form or genetics as well as technology.  The Bible speaks against magic in the real world, but doesn't fully define it.  The idea usually comes about that any supernatural powers not from God are automatically from Satan.  In the real world I can't disagree.  But fiction follows different rules and settings than our own.  In these stories you either have deities other than our God, or you have something like Harry Potter where the power is innate and not reliant on a supernatural being.

That brings me to an article I recently read, surprisingly found on  It deals with this very issue, and states the topic in a way that I can't say any better.  So I'll just highly recommend that you go and check it out.  For any Christian it is an important read.