The literary world has changed drastically since authors such as Tolkien and Lewis first published their manuscripts, and it hasn’t necessarily changed for the better.
As I look through book stores at the suggestive covers and careless content of popular books I’m filled with a sense of dread. This is what young people and adults alike are reading?
Have you ever stepped back and really looked at today’s modern fiction? Both Secular and Christian? Continue Reading
All posts tagged Christian
Posted by Laura Beals on April 11, 2013
I have returned from Kansas and the 2013 OYAN Winter Workshops.
It would seem I always feel like Frodo after coming back from an OYAN Workshop, wondering how I’m supposed to slip back into life after everything I’ve experienced. Then I realize… I can’t. I’m not the same, I can’t go back to how things use to be, too much has changed. But instead of a change that haunts the hero for the rest of his life, stealing away his peace and joy of victory, it’s an exciting change, a change that brings a thrill of anticipation for the future, a change that inspires another adventure.
Mr. S. is an amazing teaching. I always come away having learned something new and this workshop was no exception. I really felt God calling me once again to boldly stand up in a very controversial area among Christians. I won’t say what that area is yet, but it’s something He laid on my heart years ago and after this week, I feel like He just reiterated that conviction. I still have a lot to learn before I can take the steps in really stepping out, but I am clear about what God wants me to do, it won’t be easy, but I won’t be doing it alone, and for that I am so very grateful.
I plan on writing (maybe) a mini series of post about specific highlights from the Winter Workshops, but until then, here are some picture highlights from the week. 🙂
Posted by Laura Beals on January 10, 2013
Four years ago this past Tuesday I became a member of the One Year Adventure Novel online student forum…
Four years ago this week I became StoryGirl and joined the OYAN family… and my life has never been the same.
Little did I know what exactly I was getting myself into that first time I logged in. I had never been on an online forum before, and I really had no idea what it was or what to expect. There I was, seventeen going on eighteen, a senior in High School, just beginning to seriously dabble in the world of writing, and then WHAM! I suddenly found myself the world of OYAN. (And no worries, it was a good WHAM. 😉 )
I don’t think I had ever felt so at home in a new place before. It’s a weird thing to say about a forum on the internet, but that’s the best description for it I can come up with. I was welcomed in with open arms by people who were just like me! Writers, nerds, Tolkien fans! And best of all… people who understood completely my passion for stories and writing. Having a place where I could ask questions, seek help and encouragement, even sympathy, was like finding a slice of heaven. For those of you who are writers, you know that writing, being a writer is a very solitary thing. With OYAN, I suddenly discovered I wasn’t alone, and never had to be. We were all doing it together. Writing different stories, in different genres, but we were always there for each other when it got hard, and we still are. (We’re a force to be reckoned with. 😉 )
Over the past four years I have been so blessed through OYAN. I was given so much through one writing curriculum.
The tools I needed to become a great writer.
Fellowship with like-minded writers.
A place to be myself.
Crazy people who were just like me! 😉
Challenges I needed as a writer.
Help when I needed it.
Shoulders to lean on, (or even cry on).
An incredible second family.
And most of all…. love.
Yes, love. To me, OYAN means love.
My life has been changed so much through OYAN. God has used it to make me not only a better writer, but a better Christian who is closer to Him as well. He has used the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made through it to help and change me in more ways then I’m sure any of them realize. When I say it changed my life, I really mean it.
So, to all you OYANers reading this… Thank you. You have been such a blessing to me. You all have changed me, as a writer and as a person. Thank you.
And to Mr. and Mrs. S. Thank you. For creating the curriculum, for supporting us and being there for us. Just for everything you do. Thank you.
From the bottom of my heart…. Thank you.
God bless you all.
Posted by Laura Beals on September 9, 2012
One morning last week I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. You know those mornings. The alarm goes off and you feel as if you’ve only slept for a few minutes. It’s raining, everything just looks gray. You’re down, everything and everyone bothers you. You just feel down in the dumps for no apparent reason. The sad part was I didn’t want to feel better, I wanted to wallow in my own self-pity. Why? Did it make me feel any better? No, it just made me feel worse. So why? I had swallowed a lie created to ensnare my emotions.
When we are in a bad mood, our Flesh is at war with the Holy Spirit that indwells us. Satan feeds us the lie that we can’t changed how we’re feeling, it’s just part of life, part of human emotion, part of not getting enough sleep last night. But the Holy Spirit is telling us that we can changed how we feel. Emotions are just emotions, they don’t dictate how we are going to live. If we let ourselves be led by the swing of our emotions we surrender before the battle has even started. I know, when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed the last thing we feel like doing is trying to feel all happy. We forget that even though it might be raining, the sun is still shinning behind the clouds, and we feel too down to try and rise above them.
As I was sinking into this mindset, a little voice, the softest of whispers, spoke to my heart. A ray of sun, just a pin prick, found it’s way through the gray and illuminated the truth. I saw the lie I had accepted and what it was doing to me. It wasn’t just sapping my emotions, it was sapping my joy, my praise. Let’s face it, when we are down, do we want to praise God? Do we still feel His joy? No. But that doesn’t mean we can’t. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with who God is and what He had done, and was doing for me. His love, His mercy, His grace and His gift of Salvation. The task He had called me to, the mission He had given me. Every piece of Him in my life shone out to me in an instant.
In that moment I realized something; if God has given me His grace, loved me unconditionally, poured out His mercy on me and given me the gift of salvation through the death of His son, me, the chief of all sinners, if He has done all this and more, and continues to do so, then I have no right, no reason to be in a bad mood. That truth was so liberating, I had to laugh at myself and praise God for His grace. There I was, mopping around because life was so hard, or I just didn’t feel good, and there beside me, patiently waiting, was the God of all creating whispering in my ear, “I’m here, I love you, it really isn’t as bad as all that.”
Sure I have my moments and I know times of testing are just around the corner, but I know the truth now, no longer will I accept Satan’s lies and let him rob me of my joy or my desire to praise my awesome God. We are in a battle, every moment of every day. The last thing Satan wants is for us to be joyfully going about our lives and praising God and following Him even a midst tribulations. He wants to keep us from being joyful, from praising God, but we must fight him, we must not let him win. Our God is greater, our God is higher than any other. Our God has already won.
I finally understand another piece of the bigger picture of being a Christian. People think we’re suppose to be happy all the time. No, not “happy” as the world defines it, but joyful, praising our God. We might not be “happy” every moment of everyday, but we can choose what we are going to do when we’re not “happy”. Will we give into the lies of Satan? Or will we remember how amazing God is, how much He loves us and what He did for us?
God’s joy is ours, and if we remember Him when we’re feeling low, nothing can take that way. Next time you’re in a bad mood, choose to praise God despite how you are feeling, I assure you, if your heart is right, your emotions will follow.
My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. ~Psalm 57:7
Posted by Laura Beals on February 15, 2012
After some of the responses I received from part one, I feel there are some things I need to clear up before I go into the rest of this series.
First off: If you are a Christian, and you celebrate Halloween, I am not condemning you and claiming you are worshipping Satan by participating in Halloween. That’s not was I was saying. I was merely trying to show the truth and speak the message that God had laid on my heart. I’m not judging you or pointing fingers, I’m acting on my own convictions. These articles are meant to educate, not judge. My family use to celebrate Halloween, but once we learned the truth we quit and no longer participate. All I’m asking is that you conceder what I have to say and pray about it. I encourage you to research it for yourself. Search in your Bible, seek God’s guidance in this issue.
Second: I’m talking about the origins of Halloween, NOT Christmas, or any other holiday that originated from pagan traditions. Yes, I know Christmas sprang from the Roman celebration of Saturnalia, a pagan festival that stuck around even after Christmas was made Christian holiday. Here is the point I wanted to make. Halloween originated from the Druid’s summers end festival and was a high point in Satan worship. It STILL is that today. Christmas originated as a pagan festival of violence and crimes, but today, it is the time we celebrate the birth of Christ regardless of when he was actually born.
I bring you back to Philippians 4:8 – “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.”
Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth. Yes there are “pagan” elements involved in a modern cultural celebration, but it is still CHRISTmas, about Jesus Christ. This holiday, as a day set aside to remember Christ’s coming to earth as our savior, reflects the truth, virtue, purity and loveliness Philippians 4:8 talks about. Halloween may not be an open celebration to Satan, and if you don’t believe it is celebrating Satan at all, then look at what it is putting our focus on – zombies, witches, werewolves, vampires, death – there is nothing in this holiday that embodies Philippians 4:8. That detail in and of itself is a reason why Christians should not participate in Halloween.
All Hallows Day/All Saints Day
The name “Halloween” was not given to the day until the 16th century. It was a variation of the Scottish name “All-Hallows-Eve”, the night before “All Hallows Day”. All Hallows Day was also known as “Solemnity for the Saints”, or “All Saints Day”, the Roman Catholic holiday celebrated on November 1st in honor of the saints. Though these two holidays fall at the same time and even share a name; they are not to be confused.
In my opinion, putting All Saints Day on October 31st was an act by the Roman Catholic Church in an effort to cover up the Druid holiday with a “Christian” one, much like what they tried to do with putting another day for the saints (Saint Valentine’s Day) over a Roman festival (Lupercalia).
Reformation Day, the day Martin Luther pinned the 95 Theses to the church door also falls on October 31st. This has become a Christian substitute for the satanic themed Halloween.
Some might consider these holidays as “Christianized” versions of Halloween, but they have nothing in common.
For Christians looking for a clean, Christ centered substitute for the holiday of Halloween, I would encourage you to look into the history of Reformation Day and why Martin Luther wrote the 95 Theses and what it said.
In part 3 of this series I will be posting videos of a documentary made by Jeremiah Films called “Halloween: Trick or Treat.” In this film, they go into detail the history behind Halloween and Halloween today. They interview former Satanists who have become Christians, and Satanists who are still active in their cults and ask them about their own Halloween experiences. This film was made to show Christians the truth concerning Halloween with real people and their real life experiences on this day. NOTE: These videos are not for young viewers and are difficult to watch.
Here is the trailer for what’s up next. Take a look at their website. http://www.jeremiahfilms.com/beta/
Missed “Why Christians should not participate in Halloween: Part 1”? Click here to read.
Posted by Laura Beals on October 16, 2011
It’s October. We’re seeing costumes and creepy decorations in the stores. It’s that time of year again.
Witches, werewolves, spiders, tombstones, skeletons and ghosts, vampires, zombies, the undead, the scarier the better; what is it about day that is so attractive? Is it the candy? The costumes? Being allowed to stay out after dark? Shouldn’t we think very hard about the obvious theme of evil, death and horror before we decided to let young children participate? Shouldn’t we as Christians look at what the Bible says about such things and research for ourselves the history behind Halloween before choosing go trick-or-treating, carve ghoulish faces in pumpkins, and dress in terror themed costumes? The night of Halloween seems to be nothing but a night of costume parties, sugary goodies and fun, but how many Christian really know what this holiday is all about?
In the past, when I’ve spoken with Christians who participate in Halloween, most were surprised when I explained to them the meaning behind Jack-o-lanterns and trick-or-treating. It makse me sad how fellow Christians can overlook this holiday as mere fun for children. Even if you try and talk to some Christians about what Halloween really is, most won’t believe you and shrug it off, thinking what you are telling them to be exaggerated recollections of old traditions long dead. The origin of Halloween, plus the festivities that go on behind the scenes of this dark night might seem like mere ghosts of the past to some, but the reality of the holiday and what it truly is cannot, and must not be overlooked.
As you read this, please know that this was written from my heart. God has called me as a Christian to represent Him here on the earth and to shine the light of His truth in the darkest places. He has placed on my heart a deep desire to share this truth with you and it is by His grace alone that I write this. Even now I can feel the enemy laughing at me, mocking at my small effort to spread this truth that I feel so deeply. If you are one who disagrees with what I am about to say, please stop, pray, and ask for God to give you an open heart. This cannot be taken lightly. The presence of Halloween illustrates the hold that Satan has over this culture. But God is bigger, and it is in His name that I come before you.
Halloween originated as the Druid holiday of Samuin (pronounced sow-in or sow-an). It meant “Summer’s End”. It was believed by the Druids that on this day the divide between the world of the living and the world of the dead was at its thinnest. Halloween night was a night when spirits, damned souls of the dead, would leak into this world or could be called up by those who sought their power. On the eve of this day, pumpkins or skulls with candles in them would be placed by front doors to show the spirits who passed by that night, that those who lived within were sympathetic to Satan. (Jack-o-lanterns are a representation of demonic faces.) These symbols would protect the residents of the house and they would receive mercy from the spirits and trick-or-treaters on their Halloween rounds.
Trick-or-treating began in ancient Celtic practices. People would leave or give food (i.e. treats) in return for blessings from spirits of the dead. If they failed to supply those treats, the demon would curse them. Hence the term, “trick or treat”. The Druids also believed that black cats were reincarnations of evil spirits and possessed great powers.
Druids worship Satan. Halloween is the holiday of Satan. The night was (and still is) a very important night to the Druid cultist. Rituals that included sacrifices to Satan, meditation to contact spirits of the dead, and demonic encounters, were done as part of the Halloween customs.
This isn’t just a history on where Halloween came from; this is still what Halloween is today. The only thing that has changed is this; it’s now covered up. The cultists who celebrate Halloween want you to think that the old ways are all in the past. They don’t sacrifice, they don’t call up spirits, and today’s Halloween celebrations are all very friendly and non-violent. Not true! The practices of the past are the practices of today.
The Bible says:
“And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and the perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2
“Regard not them that have familiar spirits, [A spirit who acts as an assistant to a witch or wizard.] neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:31
“And the soul that turned after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring [seek] after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.” Leviticus 20:6
Halloween is NOT a fun kid’s holiday. The dressing up in ghoulish costumes, carving Jack-o-lanterns, and going trick-or-treating means allot more than people think it does. The “fun” is just a thin cover up for the satanic events that go on Halloween night. By participating in Halloween we as Christian are conforming to the traditions of the world and blinding ourselves to the truth behind the real celebrations. No, it’s not something we may like or even want to talk about, but it needs to be said. Halloween, in any form, is evil and should not be celebrated by Christians.
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.”
Halloween is definitely NOT true, honest, just, pure, lovely or of good report. It has no virtue or anything worth praising. In fact, it is the opposite of these, so, why are we celebrating it?
Posted by Laura Beals on October 7, 2011