Wednesday 1 November 2017

Trees or no trees, candy or no candy - an explanation of where Stacie Schulz is at

Stacie Schulz writes
Grace for those who do👑and Grace for those who don't👑
It's that time of year again on FB--seeing posts advocating reasons why one is for/against celebrating Halloween, Christmas, Easter--some arguing these holidays are of pagan origin & others arguing there is nothing pagan about them-nor is it wrong to celebrate them. (I want to be clear--I purposefully haven't scrolled my newsfeed--so please don't think this is directed towards any particular person/post, because it's not---just sharing my thoughts on the subject of grace & traditions✌🏼)
I honestly see both sides. Why? Because we too have taken both sides in our journey of growing up & knowing Christ...interestingly, the Lord has led our family full circle, from death into life....leading to even more grace and freedom in every season. Let me explain what I mean by full circle.
When Cade & Ava were toddlers we celebrated Halloween, dressed them up & took them trick or treating...we also celebrated Christmas, we celebrated the birth of Christ, decorated a tree, enjoyed Christmas morning with the children....(but to be honest even back then we chose to teach them that Santa wasn't real, we instructed them that while our family doesn't believe in Santa, there are other families who do & we don't want you to say anything to other children about Santa not being real *unless they ask you* & only then is when you are to tell them what you believe) & at Easter we would take the children egg hunting & go to church afterwards to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.
Every person has their own individual journey with the Lord and it will look different for each person and yet the lessons learned on the journey will be similar and distinct for everyone. For our family, the journey of coming to know the Lord in a deeper way began by the Lord leading us to seperate ourselves from the traditions of man for a very long season. The Holy Spirit was doing a deep work in both Kai & I...of separating us from the Spirit of the world BY separating us UNTO Himself....this was followed by Him calling us out of the church SYSTEM (not out of the Body of Christ). The Lord saw our hunger & thirst for righteousness -that our only desire was to *do* everything to please the Father--& at that particular time in our lives, this for us included: keeping the literal Sabbath from sundown Fri. to sundown Sat., keeping the Feast days, keeping the dietary laws, abstaining from all things pagan, dressing very modestly by not wearing pants but wearing long skirts, etc.
We went from celebrating all the traditions of man TO keeping every jot & tittle of the law....but BOTH were void of the essence & substance of Christ.
Both realms --traditions & laws--are of the SHADOW....matters not if one has its origin in paganism & the other has its origin in the letter of the law, BOTH are OF DEATH and both spiritually profit nothing.
Wow! What a journey it has been!
The motive of the heart is always what the Lord looks upon. He sees each person through the lens of perfection, of perfect love & grace....and He sees why we make the choices we make & why we are motivated to do the things we do.
The wonderful thing about our Lord is that He never wastes anything...everything we go through is to teach us....and He will use everything to purge of the FALSE & EMPTY in order to give us the REAL AND TRUE.
This brings me to where He has led our family today.
"We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him...So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus....For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace."(Rom.6:9;11;14)
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me....But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."(Gal.2:20;6:14)
Hear that! Halleluyah! I'm a new creation in Christ! Gloryyyyy!
I'm dead to the world! I'm dead to the traditions of the world...I'm dead to the DEAD letter.... D E A D.
I'm alive in Christ!
I'm led by His Spirit...I'm in the world but not of it.
So what does that look like for our family TODAY?
We are dead to Halloween....we are in the world but not of it...we are free to love our neighbors and enjoy this season of their lives WITH them, blessing them, giving candy, dressing up, loving everyone & having fun. We are DEAD to the world YET love all those in the world.
What does Christmas look like NOW for us? After going 12 years without having & decorating a tree in our home---this year we will probably be putting one up...decorating our home in beautiful white lights & giving gifts (we've always given gifts to the children but have never made it a big deal about Christmas).
We are FREE TO BE.
Jesus is born IN US.
Emmanuel resides every second of every day WITHIN US, not only on Christmas.
What about Easter? Our very lives are RESURRECTED! We live, move, have our beings in Christ, THE RESURRECTION AND LIFE.
And for us, Sabbath is no longer a day of the is WHO WE ARE.
We are HIS REST....and by His grace we bring His rest into the lives of all He gives to us.
We no longer concentrate on *doing* or *going* His glorious grace we know only of BEING....and all of our doing flows from our being IN HIM.
Grace upon Grace to you all!❤️👑

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