Dear Girlfriend .

I am a grandmother now.  Halloween is coming upon us and I read an article you wrote about 10 years or more ago about celebrating Halloween that I would like to share with my children. They love your column and think your advice is always on point. Will you please re run it if you have it. I’m trying to handle this, Holiday Grandma.

Dear Holiday Grandma,

For years, I have dealt with the issue of indulging in Halloween and whether I should give out candy or not. For years I had come to the conclusion, I would, because I enjoyed making the kids happy and I love chocolate candy too.  I love receiving it and love giving it.  However, it has been said that, “When you know better, you do better.”  So now I don’t participate anymore. 

   I have always been told that Halloween was supposed to be the devil’s holiday.  However, since I did not worship the devil, I resolved in my spirit that it had nothing to do with me.  Thus,  I dressed my 4 kids in the cutest costumes I could find (nothing scary).  I bought the best candy I could afford, and I got about the business of making Halloween a positive holiday for my family.  What I didn’t realize was... I was making my children and other children love the holiday.  My actions helped them to grow up looking forward to dressing up, going out and partaking in the event willingly. 

   Indirectly, I was allowing the devil to use me.  My children were comfortable with the masks and secrecy of the evening and would excitedly make plans. Thus, making them susceptible to danger every year because   it’s easy for people with malicious intent to go undetected on that evening. 

    For years, I justified my actions, saying, “This makes my children  happy, and I don’t want to disappoint them.”   See, I did not want to give up our good times or good feelings, so I continued to do what was questionably wrong in my mind.  I would say, “I am not hurting anyone.”  

   However, the law of physics states that, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Lately, I have not liked the reactions to some of the actions I have been a part of.  So I have been checking myself on what I see as a good time. 

    After witnessing a sequence of personal life changing revelations, I became new and aware and I cannot justify my actions anymore. There is right and there is wrong. There is good and there is evil.

   In the comedy “Dogma” starring Chris Rock, the Latin Muse makes reference to another angel saying, You are either on one side or the other.  You have got to choose a side.  You cannot walk the middle line.   What side are you on?”

  Sometimes the devil uses us without us even realizing it’s being done.  As I’ve become older and wiser, I have begun to recognize how at different times in my life, I have been used and my so-called friends have been used too. No matter what has happened in the past, I want God, and only God, to use me.

   After the death of my father, back in March 2006, we were returning home to Tampa on 75 South from Memphis.  I was drained and grieving, sleeping in the back seat, when I awoke to Kirk Franklin on the radio hollering “SOLDIERS.” I immediately said out loud to my husband who was driving  “I want to be a soldier.” Confused at my outburst, he responded, “What?”  I repeated, “I want to be a soldier.” Then, I hastily retracted my statement and said, “No I don’t.... because soldiers have to fight. Soldiers are fighting while others don’t even know a war is going on. The enemy comes after soldiers. I don’t want the enemy coming after me.” My husband then told me “You’re already a soldier.” Realizing in my spirit he was right, I laid back down in the back seat and cried softly.  

  Now, I ask God daily to guide my steps. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I am still messing up every day, saying something I should not have said. But like Steve Harvey said in his BET comedy show, “He (God) ain’t through with me yet.”  I am still the same old flip at the mouth, fast-talking, wanting to have a good time Tampa Bay Tammy.  But I will not celebrate Halloween in any form or fashion. So don’t take it personal if I don’t come to your Halloween or masquerade party on Halloween.  

  Please don’t try to change my mind and I won’t try to change yours. My revelation is mine. I am not judging you, and please don’t you judge me. We all have to get there in our own time and seek knowledge for ourselves, so our change will be a permanent one.  More importantly, so we can protect our children and our children’s children. When you know better, you must do better, because then we are judged on a whole ‘nother level. When my time in this body is gone, I want my children to be at peace not worrying about my salvation.  Biblically speaking, I want my God to say “Well done, good and faithful servant.” 

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