Thursday, October 31, 2013


There are always questions this time of year as to whether Christians should celebrate Halloween. In my mind, the day only takes on evil connotations if we allow it to. I can say, with no embarrassment, that the Youth of our church always throw a Halloween Party for the children. We will have a special theme...i.e. a magician, a bounce house, an old fashioned carnival, a hay ride...along with food, fellowship and Trunk or Treat. The children are allowed a night of fun within the confines of our community of faith.

But, if we look at the history of the day, it isn't as evil as one might think. In the 8th century a chapel dedicated to the memory of all the holy martyrs in Rome was built. This feast, which happened to coincide with other pagan festivals such as the Gaelic samhain (pronounced “souwain”) which celebrated the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter, became a Catholic celebration (remember! At that time all Christians were Catholic!). The evening before a holy day is typically referred to as the “eve” of that day and in church liturgy, solemnities or major feasts are considered to begin at sundown on the night before. The evening of October 31 would therefore be All Saints Evening or All Hallows Eve. Over the years this has been shortened to Hallow e’en or Halloween. So, the church took the day celebrating all the saints and martyrs and placed it near a pagan holiday. Since the liturgy extended the celebration to the night before it was not surprising that certain elements of that pagan day were bound to crossover to the religious day. After all, the common folk had few things to celebrate, why would the church want to take away one of their festivals when we could just change it instead?  

Our modern practice of sending the little ones begging for candy has a connection to the celebration of the saints. There was, in the Middle Ages, a custom of “souling” in which the poor would go through neighborhoods begging for food in exchange for prayers for the dead. This souling took place on November 1, and the prayers would be offered on the following day, All Souls Day, which is a day of remembrance and prayers for all the faithful departed. 

For other Halloween traditions, such as carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, the historical path is easier to trace. Once again, those crafty Celts found a way to turn turnips into lanterns by hollowing them out, In this country, the pumpkin was more plentiful than the turnip and so it proved a worthy replacement.

Any day can be good or bad, depending on how we choose to live it. Let's have fun today!

Everyday gifts...

This edition of Chuck Knows Church is about everyday gifts...great one to post this week!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It's supposed to be about LOVE people!

A waiter in Kansas found this note written on the bottom of a check he picked up from one of his patrons...

Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. Queers do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours. We hope you will see the tip your fag choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD’S love, but none shall be spared for fags. May GOD have mercy on you. 

As the writer notes, this is just wrong on so many levels but I will let him tell you why...he said it much nicer than I would have. And Christians wonder why others will not listen to us.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What are you?

Now tell the truth, you've just been dying to find out what your "Animal Personality Type" go here and find out. Answer the (4) questions at the top and then note the letters associated.

What's yours? Turns out I am an Owl...who knew?

Monday, October 28, 2013

A future king...

The future king of England, Prince George was baptized recently. 

In keeping with tradition he was brought to the altar to have the words spoken, the water poured and his name pronounced. These actions mean the child has been received into the Christian church, he has taken his place within the sacred tradition.

As far as the baptism goes, it matters not that he will one day sit upon the throne and actually be looked to as the head of the Anglican church. One doesn't have to be rich, famous or even successful to claim this heritage. The child needs only to be surrounded by family that knows the importance this act can / may have on his life. It can be a source of strength that is open and available for anyone. The act says that a child has been born and his/her parents choose to bring them up with faith traditions witnessed by friends and family who share the same values.

Every time this happens, it is awesomely significant. The child becomes part of a tradition spanning 2,000 years which makes them part of a whole, larger than themselves. No matter how cynical society has or will become, these great moments give our lifetime it's punctuation marks.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lest we forget

...there are others around us who are carrying heavier burdens than we are...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Painting and life...

As a child and teenager, in other words before the days of cable TV, I spent many hours watching Bob Ross paint on PBS. From the first episode I watched until the last, he never ceased to amaze. The uplifting commentary spoke not only to putting paint on canvas, but to life itself.

In honor of the joy and knowledge he brought to me, I'd like to share this...

The man was truly an artist!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Where do you belong...

Americas Mood Map

For a country that features the word United so prominently in its name, the U.S. is a pretty fractious place. We splinter along fault lines of income, education, religion, race, hyphenated origin, age and politics. Then too there’s temperament. We’re coarse or courtly, traditionalist or rebel, amped up or laid-back. And it’s no secret that a lot of that seems to be determined by — or at least associated with — where we live.

Now a multinational team of researchers led by psychologist and American expat Jason Rentfrow of the University of Cambridge in the U.K. has sought to draw the regional lines more clearly, literally mapping the American mood, with state-by-state ratings of personality and temperament.

Go to the link above and see if you're living in the state that matches your mood!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I'm beginning to believe Hollywood has run out of ideas. 
They are starting a disturbing trend in "re-making" movies...some of which should never even be considered. How can you truly use the word "re-make" in a sentence with "Red Dawn",

 "The Bishop's Wife"

Remade under the name "The Preacher's Wife"...I mean, who could possibly play the angel Dudley better than Cary Grant? or 

"True Grit
(I'm sorry, no one but John Wayne can play Rooster!) or 

(and this is one of the most horrible of all...) "The Women". 
The 1939 classic starring Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Rosalind yourself a favor and spend a couple of hours with these wonderful, catty women!

I am not belittling the efforts of today's actors but please, are they going to start re-making Humphrey Bogart, Orson Wells and Steve McQueen movies now? Some things are better left alone.

  Imagine my heartbreak when I hear of the latest remake...The Sound of Music

Now I do know that this movie is a "love it" or "hate it" affair (there is no middle ground!), once again...Carrie Underwood (good as she is) playing Julie Andrew's role? It's depressing to say the least!

I realize I cannot stop the trend. All I can do is protest in my own way by NOT EVER watching the remakes...take that Hollywood! Too bad we cannot reason with the bosses at the studios and remind them that there are thousands of wonderful books and stories out there just dying to make it to the big screen...Keep on bringing us ever new works and we'll continue to watch and enjoy...but leave the classics alone!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

More on problems...

Leading the world!

"From making babies to being struck by lightning, a new map has revealed the surprising things that countries are best at.

The map is based on statistics gathered from across the internet - ranging from sources as diverse as the World Bank to the Guinness World Records.

Created by online comic and website DogHouse Diaries, the map shows what each country leads the rest of the world in and the words picked - which are written across the country's geographical territory - are in many cases surprising."

I must admit I was surprised with the words chosen for the USA!

Just in case you have trouble reading the whole map...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

'Tis a...

cold and dreary day in our part of the world...

Being positive!

I've been out of pocket lately visiting my newest grandchild. It was a wonderful and much needed vacation...

Our thoughts are not simply pieces of information that enter our minds and then disappear. The words and ideas that we think can shape our lives and drive us toward success and happiness or failure and distress. How you think and feel can have a profound effect on your ability to recognize opportunity, how well you perform, and the outcome of the goals that you’ve set for yourself. When you maintain an optimistic outlook and make an effort to harbor only positive thoughts, you begin to create the circumstances to help you achieve what you desire. Being optimistic does not mean that you ignore difficulties or disregard limitations. Instead, it means that you try and focus only on the thoughts that lift you up.

When you focus on the positive aspects of your life and your future, it helps maintain the feeling that you are worthy of your achievements. In turn, you will start to relax and look for solutions rather than dwelling on problems. What the mind expects, it finds. If you anticipate joy, good health, happiness, and accomplishment, you will tend to experience them. 

Staying positive may not have an immediate effect on your situation, but it will likely have a profound and instantaneous effect on your mood and the quality of your experiences. In order for positive thinking to change your life, it must become your predominant mind-set. It is within your grasp to become as happy, content, or successful as you make up your mind to be.

Friday, October 11, 2013

A knock at the door...

Fidelity to commitment in the face of doubts and fears is a very spiritual thing. I don’t suggest it for the weak of heart or if you are in a hurry. An old preacher once said, “Until you’ve stood at the door for years and knocked until your knuckles bleed, you don’t know what prayer is.”

I don't know what preacher wrote this although I suspect that many of them could have...just like many of us could. 

I can only relate it to my ministry with the young people...for the times I have what I think is the perfect lesson, and I can tell by the zoned out look in their eyes they just don't get it, or don't hear it, or just don't want to try...perhaps it's too hard for where they are at that particular moment.

And for the other times when I'm "flying by the seat of my pants" has crowded me too much and I haven't spent enough (or what I feel is enough) time developing what I need to say. On these days I pray as I drive..."Lord my words are so inadequate, I'm just not ready to speak to them tonight, please, please loan me your words. Please give me the strength to open my mouth with the confidence that you know what they need."
These are the times when I can tell, He has spoken and they have heard. It seems so easy. But then God is in the word business..."And the Word was with God and the Word was God..."

But I know He doesn't intend for me to never prepare. As I prepare, He is ministering to me as well as the young people in my charge. And a huge part of that preparation is knocking on the door until my knuckles bleed...

One of these days I'll get it right. I will prepare, I will open my mouth, and then I'll get out of the way...for His words are always the right ones. And a knock on the door never truly goes unanswered.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cricket Choir....

Listen to the crickets....(you have to click up top for it to play)

According to the article, this is two played at regular speed and one slowed waaayyy sounds like a heavenly choir...such a meditative quality!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Leaving the church...

I read an article lately written about the reasons people leave a particular church. Perhaps they don't leave the denomination but they do decide to leave "their church". What amazed me beyond measure was the number of reasons given that could not be termed as anything but petty. Seems it takes just one minor mistake to make them stomp out in a huff with the door slamming behind them.

It is every persons right to worship in a place that makes them feel comfortable and which teaches doctrine as they believe it to be. But how can it happen that they leave a church they have attended for most of their lives over an insignificant incident?

I have to believe that those who choose to move from one place to the other under these ccircumstances are not being those they are leaving but more importantly to themselves. If we make such a life altering decision without prayerfully and honestly looking at the reasons, we are leaving ourselves open to be disappointed again, and again.

These situations are heartbreaking and unhealthy. The person leaving is separating themselves from a group that has known and loved them for years. Through good times and bad, they break away from the very ones to whom they should be turning. If something has happened to cause trauma or even just hurt feelings, are we not better off to gather with the support group who knows us best?

This is not aimed at any particular person, group or is just a response to what I've read and is really no more than "stream of consciousness". An attempt to help me understand. 

The bottom line is, how can we minister to a dark and hurting world if we cannot see any farther than the end of our own noses?

Friday, October 4, 2013


My Youth Group would tell you they've heard this...more than once!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


In life, we tend to have an easier time acquiring possessions than we do getting rid of them. Just as we harbor emotional baggage that is difficult to let go of, our lives can tend to be filled with material objects that we may feel compelled to hold on to. Most people are not conscious of how much they own and how many of their possessions are no longer adding value to their life. They fiercely hold on to material objects because this makes them feel secure or comfortable. While it’s true that the ownership of “stuff” can make you feel good for awhile, it seldom satisfies the deep inner longings that nearly everyone has for fulfillment and satisfaction. It is only when we are ready to let go of our baggage and be vulnerable that it becomes possible to recognize the emotional hold that our possessions can have on us.