Bewitched

I looked up the word “bewitched” in the search section of e-sword, a digital Bible and reference site available online. There are three listings of verses in the New Testament, one in Galatians 3:1 and the other two are in the book of Acts.

I was thinking of the television show, “Bewitched” with Samantha and Darren and baby Tabitha as some of the main characters. Elizabeth Montgomery played the pretty mom, Dick York as the first actor to portray the dad, with Dick Sargent as the last, and Erin Murphy as the little one.

I was doing dishes and thinking that I didn’t dislike housekeeping as much as I did years ago.970617650-woman-washing-dishes-housewife-housework-comfort-retro-style ... (Photo from:  http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.zw__H3aWQZEZ0wVQ3YpDcQEUDi&pid=15.1&w=126&h=103&p=0 )

 

Suddenly an image of Samantha’s vacuum cleaner working around the house after she twitched her nose came to mind. I used to wish I was a witch so I could get my work done and go outside many years ago. Immediately, I’d negate that thought. I’d been brought up going to church on Sunday and I felt a love and respect for God from childhood on up. It just felt wrong to think I wanted to be a witch.

That television show introduced me to witches’ jargon I’d never been aware of. Possibly many in the country felt the same way. Such beautiful people with powers, and the nosey Gladys Kravitz–the neighbor, seemed annoying. She was played by Alice Pearce at first, and then Sandra Gould stepped in as one of the performers. She used to dress up with white gloves and wear a white hat, on occasion, probably on her way to a service to worship God, the foolish woman who was just seeing things, according to her husband’s point of view.

Initially remembering the show gave me a warm feeling inside, but as an adult it occurs to me that the normalization of witchcraft, which God abhors, is not a good thing.

It’s funny how as a child I instinctively knew that certain things were taboo. In the book of Acts, we hear of sorcery from God’s point of view.

Act 8:5, (ESV):  Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.

Act 8:6  And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did.

Act 8:7  For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.

Act 8:8  So there was much joy in that city.

Act 8:9  But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great.

Act 8:10  They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.”

Act 8:11  And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.

Act 8:12  But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Act 8:13  Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.

Act 8:14  Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,

Act 8:15  who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit,

Act 8:16  for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Act 8:17  Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

Act 8:18  Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,

Act 8:19  saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

Act 8:20  But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!

Act 8:21  You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.

Act 8:22  Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.

Act 8:23  For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.”

Act 8:24  And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

In the King James Version, it says Simon had bewitched them with sorceries.

Exo_22:18, (KJV):  Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

Deu_18:10, (KJV):  There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, (Practicing magic) or an enchanter, or a witch,

As I continued around the house I got thinking of Galatians 3:1, (ESV) and beyond:  Gal 3:1  O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.

Gal 3:2  Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?

Gal 3:3  Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Gal 3:4  Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?

Gal 3:5  Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—

Gal 3:6  just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

Gal 3:7  Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.

Gal 3:8  And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”

Gal 3:9  So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Gal 3:10  For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”

Gal 3:11  Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Gal 3:12  But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.”

Gal 3:13  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—

Gal 3:14  so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

“Satan is an accuser of the brethren,” it tells us in Rev_12:10, (KJV):  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

He works against all people in very subtle ways. As a writer, I’ve had the thought that Christian concepts could be boring to people. If that is not a thought from God’s enemy, I don’t know what is?

When I felt the power of God heal my left side a couple of Sundays ago, I was filled with joy. I had noticed a sharp-edged bone as I exercised and on Sunday I thought the still, small voice of the Lord asked me to go forward and pray for me and anyone else that needed healing. I did that in our small church and it wasn’t easy to take that step of faith. Warmth flooded me from the hip down to my ankle. After church a lady asked if I was getting physical therapy without having had an X-ray or an MRI. I admitted I hadn’t had one. So, my dr. sent me for an X-ray and all was well.

I can’t say that my muscles are completely better yet, but there is much improvement. God is far from boring and His Word delights and speaks to internal issues I need to deal with and relationship helps I should take advantage of, and so much more. Plus, after life, there is an awesome eternity that we can’t even imagine, it says in the New Testament.

I really went on a long time, and if you stayed with me, I pray God will bless you big time. Have a great day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Savoring the Magic

Today started like any day might, but it turned into a day of joyful encounters with unexpected friends at a family reunion picnic. My sister invited a good friend and her daughter to the event but didn’t let me know. What a delight!

Then within a half hour or so, my daughter and her four children arrived. She drove her brother, my second son, to the picnic as well. More joy. Seeing extended family and family-like friends, plus my sister, Barb, made my day.

My husband and I drove on a newly paved highway through the valleys of upstate New York. My youngest daughter and her boyfriend accompanied us and we discussed the hilly terrain. Are they small mountains or high hills? I tried to find out on the internet, but it was inconclusive, in my opinion. So, I’ll do more research. That’s what writers do. We care about details that others may find boring or a waste of time. Then we ponder the wonder of it all. Give it our perspective and possibly turn it into a poem or a children’s story or consider it for a setting in a novel. Sometimes I have to remember to live in the moment because my mind starts fashioning new worlds and pretend people and I realize I missed what someone was saying, or I didn’t glance at the stars when I went from the car to the house.

If I live in a fantasy land, the important can be neglected. I remembered saying I was going to read the book I bought at Montrose Christian Writers’ Conference, entitled, “The ABC’s of Who God Says I Am,” by Kolleen Lucariello. So, I read chapter one this week. I thought of the vulnerability she displayed as she described an incident in her high school years. Marlene Bagnull taught at a writers’ conference in Rochester, NY, possibly in 1991. My first writers’ conference. She told us that vulnerability in an author is a key component in good writing.

I look forward to reading more of Kolleen Lucariello’s book. It made me think. I left its pages feeling encouraged.

If you get a chance to spend time with family and friends, savoring their smiles and the sunshine on a creek, hoisting little ones to view the seaweed and the black and jade-colored dragonflies, do it. Live in the present, and if you’re a writer, capture the magic of life.

When the reality of life gets hard, a story can catapult me into another time and place. I return with renewed vigor and hopefully some nugget of truth I never appreciated or understood before. Life needs balance.

Tomorrow morning, I plan to go to church and sing songs that remind me of the goodness of God. I expect it’ll be as most of the Sundays that have come and gone, but one never knows what God may orchestrate. 🙂