Halloween: A Curse for the Nyctophobic

afraid-of-the-dark-copy21Some people love the night and its darkness, and there are others who are petrified of the dark. If you have a strong aversion to the night, you might have nyctophobia—the fear of night or darkness.

When you consider the biblical contrast between light and darkness, you can see that it might make good sense to be nyctophobic spiritually–to hate the darkness:

• Jesus said some people love the darkness than the light because their deeds are evil (John 3:19-21).
• In John 8:12, you can find one of the “I Am” statements of Jesus: I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.
• In Romans 13:11-13, Paul said we need to be aware of the time and be ready to discard the deeds of darkness.
• When he wrote to the church at Ephesus, Paul encouraged them to “Walk as children of the light (Ephesians 5:7-9, 11).”
• In a time of horrible persecution, Peter reminded believers that God has “called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (I Peter 2:9-10).”
• According to John, loving the light and shunning the darkness is the key to walking with God: “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (I John 1:4-6).”

The opposite of nyctophobia is photophobia—a symptom of intolerance to the visual perception of light. Are you more tolerant spiritually to the dark or to the light? Because they are polar opposites, light and darkness cannot coexist.

Jesus discussed the issue of light and darkness with his disciples: “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).”

I encourage you to be the light in this world of darkness.

Advice: Is It a Trick or a Treat?

adviceLike many of you, the internet has become my go-to-source for information. My most recent search for an answer involved this question: How much money will Americans spend on Halloween?

The answer was a surprise to me. It’s the number 7 followed by 9 zeroes. That’s right, $7,000,000,000. Evidently tricking and treating is the serious business of tricking the American public into treating retailers to the tune of $7 billion.

Dumbfounded that people can be found so dumb, I searched a little more, and I discovered that the National Retail Federation released an interesting survey that studied how consumers seek advice before they make a purchase. The top four items on the survey are revealing. Before making the decision to purchase an item, respondents used the following methods:

• 75.5% would seek Face to Face advice
• 30.8% would Read Product Reviews
• 25.9% would use Email as a resource
• 22.6% would send Text Messaging to get information

As I thought about the findings above, it occurred to me that many people use the same methodology before they decide to follow Jesus. The Face to Face method is one that John thought was important, and his Gospel lists several life-changing face to face encounters:

 Jesus and Nicodemus (John 3:1-21)
 Jesus and the Woman at the Well (John 4:1-42)
 Jesus and the Man born Blind (John 9:1-41)

Paul and Silas were adept at giving product reviews: “On arrival, they went into the synagogue of the Jews, and the people there were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Consequently, many of them believed (Acts 17:10-12).”

When people within your circle of influence seek advice concerning Christianity, is your life a convincing testimony of who Jesus is? After they investigate the claims of the Gospel based on their observation of you, are they willing to invest their lives?

Kind of a scary thought isn’t it?

The Book of Boo

pumpkin-carving-05-slOctober is associated with the Fall Season and the time of year called autumn. You may notice its appearance at bedtime when you add a blanket to your bed; cooler temperatures greet you of a morning; leaves begin to fall; and you move your short sleeved shirts to the back of the closet and start dressing a little warmer.

October is also the trick or treat time of year. Children dress in costumes and practice their “boos” as part of the observance of Halloween.

I have some questions about the business of boo:

• If “boo” frightens a person are they scared twice as much if you shout “boo-boo!”
• If you were going to write a book about scaring people, would you call it a Boobook?

In the USA and other parts of the world, Boobook might be a good name for a book that is read around Halloween; however, in Australia it might not work due to a brown spotted owl from the land down under known as the Boobook.boobook

The Good Book is much different than what a Boo Book would be. The Bible is a book of comfort, and encouragement and the book of Psalms is proof of this:

• The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom should I be afraid (Ps. 27:1-2)?”
• “When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not fear. What can man do to me (Ps. 56:3-4)?”
• The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
He Himself will deliver you from the hunter’s net, from the destructive plague. Because you have made the Lord—my refuge, the Most High—your dwelling place, no harm will come to you; no plague will come near your tent. For He will give His angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways (Ps. 91).”

Whether it is a season of the year or a specific situation in your life, the Bible offers promises to help you with the boo moments you encounter.