halloween-orange-moon-cemetry-31000Today is Halloween.

That means there are thousands of Christian families who aren’t sure what they are supposed to be feeling. Some feel it’s all fun and games, while others feel it’s an invitation to demon-possession and the occult.

Which inevitably leads most Christians to…

Fall Festival.

A safe, Christian alternative rife with candy and treats, but without the threat of Ouija boards and witches.

But here’s the thing: Halloween is already Fall Festival.

Let me explain.

Pagans had a number of festivals they celebrated throughout the year, one of which was Samhain, which means “Summer’s End.” Depending on who you ask, it was somewhere between a harvest celebration and a day to glorify satan and sacrifice your children to appease evil demon spirits.

As Christianity grew around the world, Christians found themselves in a predicament. The culture around them celebrated death and darkness, but they were children of light. They need a response. An alternative. A fall festival of sorts.

They called it “All Saints’ Day.”

Whereas the rest of the world was afraid of death, so they tried to appease it by glorifying it, the Christian had no fear of death.

O Death, where is your sting?

O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)

So rather than celebrate death, they mocked it. They laughed at it. They made a joke out of the power of the devil, because the devil had absolutely no power over them. He had been defeated, stripped of any and all authority, and was basically the laughingstock of the church. 

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19)

And on this “All Saints’ Day,” Christians were encouraged to remember and celebrate the lives of mighty men and women of God who had lived and died. They were celebrated because, although their physical bodies had died, they were alive in Christ, and thus were seated in heaven with Christ, alive as can be.

Death had absolutely no power over the church.

And that’s how the church took a day of celebrating darkness and death, and changed it into a day to mock darkness in death and instead celebrate light and life.

“All Saints’ Day” eventually became “All Hallows’ Day.” And historically, Christians have loved to party, so they’d start the celebration the night before: “All Hallows’ Eve.” And it eventually became “Halloween.”

Should you perform a séance on Halloween? No.

Should you glorify the Occult on Halloween? No.

Should you be afraid of October 31st? No.

For God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Halloween is just a day, one of 365 of ‘em. And just like every other day of the year, my family is going to give glory to the King of kings and the Lord of lords, the One who does all things well and has redeemed me from the power of death and given me eternal life.

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” (Colossians 1:13)


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The UCLA Flood, and God


(Warning: Math to follow)

Last Tuesday at around 3:30 pm, a 93-year old water main under Sunset Boulevard ruptured, spewing as much as 75,000 gallons of water PER MINUTE into the air. The millions of gallons have flooded the surrounding areas, including UCLA and their newly renovated Pauley Pavilion. Video footage of the event is spectacular, with the geyser of water skyrocketed over thirty feet into the air and capsizing the street into an ever-growing sinkhole.

And surprise, surprise, hearing about this made me think of God and the bible.

“’Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.’ And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.” (Exodus 17:6)

“Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.” (Numbers 20:11)

In both of these episodes, the children of Israel are wandering the desert and complaining (an apt description of most of the Old Testament), so God graciously and miraculously provides water for them from a nearby boulder. We typically imagine a gentle stream softly flowing towards the people, as if it were a calm summer day and we were in the latest Nicholas Sparks flick.

But how much water was actually flowing?

Most estimates place the population of Israel at this point between 2 million to 7 million men, women, and children. We are also told that they took all of their flocks and herds when they left (Exodus 12:30-32). Furthermore, Psalm 105:37 says that the Israelites left rich with silver and gold, them and their cattle in good shape. We don’t know how much cattle they had, but it doesn’t seem to be a small amount.

And God provided water for this entire crew, from a single rock.

Current estimates on daily water use around the world are as follows:

Germany = 33 gallons/day/person

France = 29 gallons/day/person

Denmark = 21 gallons/day/person

Britain = 40 gallons/day/person

United States = (I didn’t include, because I don’t want to make the hippies angry)

Applying the lowest of these numbers to the 5,000,000 person population of desert-wandering Israel, there would be 72,912 gallons of water per minute flowing from that rock. It’d be a sight comparable to the Sunset Boulevard geyser.

Of course, we don’t use water like they used to. We waste water on frivolous things like dishes and gardening. Surely the Israelites didn’t require as much as we do. Can we get a more accurate number?

The average person needs three liters of drinking water a day, or about 0.8 gallons a day. For 5,000,000 people, that’d be 3,961,500 gallons a day, or 2,751 gallons a minute.

While today we use about 25 gallons of water per shower, the lowest estimates I was able to find for necessary bathing water was 3 gallons per shower (it’s called a Navy shower, and I think it’s applicable; after all, soldiers in the desert probably use as little water as possible). And whereas we shower daily, I read on some hippy website that the healthiest way to bathe is to bathe only once a week. Assuming that’s true, 5,000,000 people bathing only once a week with no more than 3 gallons of water per scrub would be 2,142,857 gallons per day, or 1,488 gallons per minute.

Now what about the animals?

First, how many animals were there? The text doesn’t tell us. However, using some creative reasoning, we can make an educated guess for the number of animals they needed to water.

Job 1:3 tells us that Job has 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke (or pairs) of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, for a total of 11,500 animals. Proportionally, his animals consisted of 61% sheep, 26% camels, 8.7% oxen, and 4.3% donkeys. Sheep require 2 gallons of drinking water a day, while camels need 30 gallons, oxen need 40 gallons, and donkeys need 10 gallons. That means the average Israelite animal needed about 13 gallons of fresh water a day.

We know that the Israelites left richly with not only their own possessions but with many possessions given to them by the fearful and defeated Egyptians. The biblically rich had animals numbering in the thousands, but to be extremely conservative, let’s assume the average family of four had four animals. That’d be five million animals roaming around the wilderness with them, each needing an average of 13 gallons of water per day. (If you think this is an overestimate, I assumed 9 cows for every 100 Israelites; in the US, there are 12 cows for every 100 Americans. Seems like a fair estimate). That would amount to a staggering 65 million gallons a day, or 45,139 gallons per minute.

Finally, it’s worthy mentioning that the Israelites wouldn’t’ve used every single drop of water that erupted from that rock. How could they? It was flowing through the desert sands like a river. Much of the water would be too dirty to drink. In fact, estimates on the efficiency of a modern drinking fountain are pitifully low. Chances are that at least half of the water provided remained unused.

All things considered, we are looking at about 98,756 gallons of water per minute flowing from the rock to the thirsty Israelites. That is a conservative estimate, and it doesn’t include any water the Israelites would’ve collected for later use.

No wonder Moses described the waters as flowing out “abundantly,” no wonder the psalmist later wrote that the waters “gushed” forth! In fact, the Hebrew word for “gushed” in Psalm 105:41, when transliterated into Greek, is quite similar to the New Testament word used to describe violent torrential floods which threatened to flood houses along the river.

My whole point is we should consider how silly it is to think that God isn’t big enough to meet our needs or answer our prayers. Whatever you need, God invented it! He described Himself as El Shaddai, the God who is more than enough!

This busted water main is making national headlines. A bunch of water is flowing out of water pipes in one of America’s most prestigious and well-manicured college campuses. Compare that to God, who had the power to make an even greatest amount of water flow out of a giant stone wall in one of the driest and dustiest corners of the planet. And He did it multiple times.

I think God’s big enough to put dinner on your plate tonight.

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13 Biblical Lessons Superman Can Teach You





1. You may be in this world, but you certainly aren’t of it. (John 17:16, Philippians 3:20)

Superman flying

2. Without a knowledge of your true heritage, you will inevitably live a bleak life of confusion. (Colossians 1:9-14)

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3. However, upon discovering who you really are, you can become the hero you were born to become. (Mark 16:15-20)


4. Your heavenly Dad saved you from the eminent destruction of your former world. (Ephesians 2:1-4)giphy (5) 5. As a child of God, you have a seemingly unending arsenal of superhuman powers and abilities. (Mark 16:16, Philippians 4:13)


6. Your true destiny lies in using those God-given abilities to rescue others from evil. (Matthew 10:8, Mark 16:15)

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7. While enemies may rise up against you, they will never be able to stop you.  Punch you, stab you, shoot you, run you over, blow you up… you are indestructible. (Isaiah 54:17, Luke 10:19)

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8. To be quite honest, though, living a righteous life for God can sometimes get lonely.  You might feel the pressure to change who you are to blend in. (Romans 12:1-2)


9. But don’t let your merely human alter ego get in the way of your true heritage.  Your identity as the son of El (albeit, El Shaddai, not Jor El) is what makes you great. (1 Corinthians 3:3, Galatians 4:7)

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10. That’s not to say you can’t hold a steady nine-to-five and still have time to save the world. (Acts 20:35, Proverbs 12:11, Colossians 3:17)


11. Just don’t let your emotions get in the way.  Being led by your emotions is truly your greatest weakness. (1 Peter 5:8, Titus 2:6)

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12. All in all, continue spending time in solitude with your Father, and you will do unimaginable things.  (Mark 1:35, Matthew 14:23, Luke 6:12)


13. And remember, it may not always seem like it, but the world is in desperate need of salvation.  And you’re the one to bring it to them. (Romans 10:14-15)

giphy (4)So go, Man of God. Go and change the world.



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