Monday, October 31, 2011

31 Days of Pumpkin: Day 31

Yes They're All Ours:31 Days


Today is the last day of my 31 Days of Pumpkin series!   I want to end this challenge by sharing something fun and something serious.


First of all, something fun -- here is a really cool gift idea for you from stephanielynn.com -- pumpkin spice sugar scrub!  This would make great hostess gifts to have on hand during the holiday season.  If you click on her link, she even has free printable labels, so your jars will look as professional as the one she has pictured below.  I think I would add some cute fall fabric as a jar topper and tie a piece of ribbon or some jute around it to make it look even more adorable!










This is really easy to make.  Here is the recipe:


Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub{use as a hand scrub or body scrub}
2 Cups of Brown Sugar
1 Cup of Granulated Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Cup + 1 Tablespoon of Sunflower, Safflower, or Vegetable Oil


I made this using coconut oil, because I don't even want vegetable oil on my skin, while coconut oil has many beneficial and healing properties for internal and external use.


Here's a funny story -- Luke saw my bowl of pumpkin spice sugar scrub on the counter, and hoping it was something yummy to eat, asked what it was.  When I told him that it was a sugar scrub used to rub on your hands or body to make your skin softer, he laughed loudly and said, "Do you think I'm that stupid??  I'm not falling for that one, Mom!"  :)  

Well, it's true!  I googled "Why use a sugar scrub?" and learned this --  "Sometimes just using a soap to cleanse skin is not enough to remove all the excess oil and dead skin cells – that’s where a sugar scrub can be extremely useful. Using a sugar scrub can help clean skin’s surface and unclogged pores which helps with cell turnover. By using a sugar scrub weekly, you will see a huge difference in the way your skin looks and feels." 

I tried it out myself in the shower, and it did make my skin feel very soft and smooth!  So, my last recipe for 31 Days of Pumpkin is totally calorie free and designed to make your skin smoother and softer, but not plumper!!!  ;)  Enjoy!







Now for something serious.


Although I love pumpkins for decorating, for cooking and baking, and for creating a fall atmosphere, I want you to know why none of my pumpkins will be carved into jack-o-lanterns . . . . 

Although modern jack-o-lanterns are usually carved out of pumpkins, did you know that the original jack-o-lanterns were potatoes or turnips carved and illuminated by Irish children and used to light Halloween gatherings as well as to ward off evil spirits? They commemorated Jack, an Irish villain so wicked that neither heaven nor hell wanted him. Rejected by both God and Satan, his spirit wandered the world endlessly looking for a place to rest.  Because he couldn't see in the utter darkness, folklore says that Satan tossed him a burning ember from hell that would never burn out to light his vegetable lantern, so he could find his way as he wandered the earth.    

Because of its pagan origins, and even more because of its present day association with the occult, witchcraft and demonism, our family has chosen not to observe, promote, or celebrate Halloween.

Of course, some people will find this to be extreme or fanatical.  However, God gives clear warnings about involvement in the occult in His Word.  In Exodus 22:18, the Mosaic law stated that a witch should not be permitted to live.  Then, in Deuteronomy 18:9-12, God commanded:

"When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD . . ."  --  NKJV version


God created us as both physical and spiritual beings.  Every person on earth eventually struggles with the same questions about how we got here and what happens to us after we die.  Satan knows that if he can deceive us here on earth and keep us from seeing and accepting the truth (that God is our Creator and our Eternal Judge and that Jesus is the only way to God), that he will have our souls for eternity. 


To this end, Satan has created a maze of alternate religions to keep as many people deceived and confused as possible.  Since time began, Satan has been in the business of deceiving men and women, by appealing to our fleshly lusts, our pride, and our desire to be like God.  These deceptive traps are the basis of many of the world’s false religions.  Satan is also the author of the lie that, “All roads lead to God”.   All roads do Not lead to God.  In John 14:6, Jesus clearly proclaimed, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."


Allowing our kids to participate in the "fun, harmless" activities of Halloween communicates to them a number of false ideas:
  1. The devil is a harmless, fictitious character.
  2. Dabbling in the occult is an exciting pursuit free from any real danger.
  3. Observing or joining in the deeds of darkness is acceptable for a Christian.
  4. Life is more about not missing out on the fun, than engaging in spiritual battle.
Think about it -- Halloween is all about Darkness -- both physical and spiritual darkness.  Christians are commanded in 2 Corinthians 6:14 and Ephesians 5:11 to have no fellowship with the darkness, but rather to reprove and expose those deeds done in darkness.  This is done by bringing them to the light!


This time of year, when we are surrounded by images of witches, demons, and other bone-chilling creatures, it is an excellent time to remind ourselves and our children that we are living in the midst of an ever-raging battle between good and evil, between light and darkness, a battle in which we cannot remain neutral.  If we haven't chosen to align ourselves with the forces of light, we are already (unknowingly) in the battle and on the side of darkness. 


"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." -- Ephesians 6:12

If you'd like to further explore this issue, you might want to read my article on A Biblical View of Halloween, which was published in October 2008.

7 comments:

Karen said...

I have enjoyed your pumpkin recipes. I will be trying some of them.

Thanks for sharing your view on halloween. Our family totally agrees. We have never celebrated with our kids. They actually do not like to look at the stuff at the stores. They try to avoid it at all cost! There is something to what the Bible says about to avoid all appearance of evil!

Blessings,
Karen

Rebecca's Refining said...

I must admit, I am a bit sad that there will be no more daily pumpkin recipe blogs to follow, print off, or try! I know your budget will be glad for the break though!

I will have to try your sugar scrub! Maybe I will send a batch to Amber to try! :)

Although our family does not participate in trick-or-treat, (my husband likes to call it "beggars night"), we do use that time as an opportunity to pass out tracts to our community! My children actually enjoy selecting tracts and handing them out with candy. (Of course, they probably like snitching candy bars out of the bowl the best!)

BJ said...

I've enjoyed reading along with your 31 days of pumpkin. I have to say, we also do not celebrate this day, but I would like to know your thoughts on Christmas? My husband & I have prayed about it, and feel comfortable with the traditions that we have in our home during the Christmas season. However, I find that if I say we don't celebrate halloween, a lot of Christian folks respond with, then you shouldn't be celebrating Christmas either. I realize that some of the traditions are possibly linked to ancient rituals of druids, but at the same time, I've read all kinds of things that make it "redeemed", as far as I'm concerned. Would love to hear your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Amen Elizabeth thank you for all information about pumpkins and halloween. The chocolate pumpkin cake with carmel frosting was a hit! Their 18 year old guessed it on first bite! So much for mystery!!

Beth said...

"Because of its pagan origins, and even more because of its present day association with the occult, witchcraft and demonism, our family has chosen not to observe, promote, or celebrate Halloween."

~~Amen~~

My thoughts exactly. Thank you for putting them to words!

busymomof10 said...

BJ,

I personally think there is no comparison between celebrating Christmas and celebrating Halloween! Yes, I've done some research and know that there are pagan origins to many of our holidays and traditions. However, the purpose of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ (even if we know he wasn't actually born in December). People are more open to us talking about Jesus at that time of the year than at any other, so I think we should use it to our advantage and try to share the gospel! I don't think the average person would even be able to comprehend why a Christian would not celebrate Christmas, and it would create more confusion and misunderstanding than anything. So, for us personally, we go all out and enjoy celebrating Christmas with many fun family traditions! Check out my blog posts from last December for more info~

BJ said...

I agree about Christmas. I have a friend who recently has felt "convicted" about observing Christmas. Which is fine. If the Lord is really asking her & her children to give it up, then they need to obey. But I must admit that I find it hard to respond properly when folks compare the two events. I so enjoy your blog - I have nearly half the kids you do, and I find so much encouragement in your writing. Makes me feel like I might survive (mine are currently 11-1 in ages). I feel like I could just sit and share a cup of something hot and just glean so much from you. So be encouraged as you encourage unaware. :)

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