Thursday, August 28, 2008
The occult is an umbrella term which includes many practices and belief systems. These beliefs are usually based on the idea that everything is or contains energy…, and one can access, change, channel and/or manipulate this energy (or force) for the purposes of gaining information, healing, or bringing a desired situation or thing into material reality. (Marcia Montenegro, “The Occult: Brief Explanations of Various Terms and Concepts,” cana.userworld.com)
Marcia Montenegro, herself a former occultist, says that spirit contact, divination and sorcery are major forms of occultism. We have documented in another article that each of these are practices that God has condemned.
The Occult and Harry Potter
Many critics have said that no actual occult practices or teachings can be found in the Harry Potter books. Others have said that, while there may be things that resemble actual occult practices, they are harmless.
We believe that both statements are incorrect. We believe that readers, including children, are finding out about genuine occult rituals and, in fact, are being shown that these practices have actual power they can learn to use in their own lives.
Furthermore, should the reader’s curiosity be aroused, there is readily available information on the Internet, in bookstores or in the public library where one can learn more. In doing research for this magazine, we checked a local branch library and found literally dozens of books about witchcraft that were written especially for children!
Below we have selected a few terms and practices regularly associated with the occult. With each one we have given a brief definition from Marcia Montenegro. (More complete definitions, along with other terms can be found in “The Occult: Brief Explanations of Various Terms and Concepts” at cana.userworld.com.)
We also give examples—by no means exhaustive—of how these practices are woven into J.K. Rowling’s stories about Harry Potter and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Animism—A spirit(s) or life force inhabits all creatures & nature, sometimes inanimate objects as well.
Book 1 p. 85—”Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember….”
p. 206—The hairs on the back of Harry’s neck prickled. Maybe he was imagining it, maybe not, but he thought a faint whispering was coming from the books, as though they knew someone was there who shouldn’t be…. A piercing, bloodcurdling shriek split the silence—the book was screaming!
Book 2 p. 312—”I decided to leave behind a diary, preserving my sixteen-year-old self in its pages…”
Book 3 p. 193—It was a map showing every detail of the Hogwarts castle and grounds. But the truly remarkable thing were the tiny ink dots moving around it, each labeled with a name in miniscule writing.
Book 4 p. 70—”For those who don’t want to Apparate, or can’t, we use Portkeys. They’re object that are used to transport wizards from one spot to another at a prearranged time.”
“What sort of objects are Portkeys?” said Harry curiously.
“Well, they can be anything,” said Mr. Weasley. “unobtrusive things, obviously, so Muggles don’t go picking them up and playing with them….”
p. 255—Dumbledore reached inside it and pulled out a large, roughly hewn wooden cup. It would have been entirely unremarkable had it not been full to the brim with dancing blue-white flames.
Dualism and Polarity—The belief in two equal, opposing forces; or a belief in two forces which appear opposite but are actually complementary.… The belief that opposing forces are complementary and necessary to each other is sometimes termed polarity. …Good and evil, or other opposites, may also be seen as part of each other, or as mirrors of each other.
Book 1 p. 85—”It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave another feather—just one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother—why, its brother gave you that scar… .I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter…. After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things—terrible, yes, but great.”
Book 2 p. 332—”Riddle [Lord Voldemort] said I’m like him. Strange likenesses, he said….”
Book 4 p. 697—”Harry’s wand and Voldemort’s wand share cores. Each of them contains a feather from the tail of the same phoenix….”
“So what happens when a wand meets its brother?” said Sirius.
“They will not work properly against each other,” said Dumbledore. “If, however, the owners of the wands force the wands to do battle…a very rare effect will take place. One of the wands will force the other to regurgitate spells it has performed—in reverse. …”
Altered State of Consciousness—A trance or light hypnosis brought about through…meditation; chanting; drugs; dancing…; breathing techniques; sensory deprivation; repetitive movement (pendulum); focusing on one point; suggestion; guided visualization….
Book 1 p. 137—”I don’t expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses….”
Book 2 p. 310—”Of course, she didn’t know what she was doing at first. It was very amusing. I wish you could have seen her new diary entries… ‘Dear Tom…I think I’m losing my memory. There are rooster feathers all over my robes and I don’t know how they got there…. I think I’m going mad….’”
Book 3 pp. 83-84—Harry’s eyes rolled up into his head. He couldn’t see. He was drowning in cold. There was a rushing in his ears as though of water. He was being dragged downward, the roaring growing louder….
And then, from far away, he heard screaming, terrible, terrified, pleading screams. He wanted to help whoever it was, he tried to move his arms, but couldn’t…a thick fog was swirling around him, inside him—
Book 4 p. 145—Mr. Roberts had a strange, dazed look about him, and he waved them off with a vague “Merry Christmas.”
“He’ll be all right,” said Mr. Weasley quietly… “Sometimes, when a person’s memory’s modified, it makes him a bit disorientated for a while…and that was a big thing they had to make him forget.”
Amulet—A charm (object, drawing, word, or symbol) believed to contain special powers or magick which is worn or carried as protection against misfortune.
Book 1 p. 134—His classroom smelled strongly of garlic, which everyone said was to ward off a vampire he’d met in Romania….
Book 2 p. 142—”I remember something very similar happening in Ouagadogou,…a series of attacks,…I was able to provide the townsfolk with various amulets, which cleared the matter up at once….”
Astral Travel—Also known as out-of-body experience (OBE), this is a practice in which a person believes their astral self separates from the body and travels to other physical locations or possibly to an astral realm.
Book 2 pp. 48-9—Harry took a pinch of Floo powder and walked to the edge of the fire. He took a deep breath, scattered the powder into the flames, and stepped forward; the fire felt like a warm breeze; he opened his mouth and immediately swallowed a lot of hot ash. “D-Dia-gon Alley,” he coughed.
It felt as though he was being sucked down a giant drain. He seemed to be spinning very fast—the roaring in his ears was deafening—he tried to keep his eyes open but the whirl of green flames made him feel sick—something hard knocked his elbow and he tucked it in tightly, still spinning and spinning—now it felt as though cold hands were slapping his face—squinting through his glasses he saw a blurred stream of fireplaces and snatched glimpses of the rooms beyond—…he closed his eyes again wishing it would stop, and then—He fell, face forward, onto cold stone and felt the bridge of his glasses snap.
Book 3 p. 287—He strode across to his fire, seized a fistful of glittering powder from a jar on the fireplace, and threw it into the flames.
“Lupin!” Snape called into the fire. “I want a word!”
Utterly bewildered, Harry stared at the fire. A large shape had appeared in it, revolving very fast. Seconds later, Professor Lupin was clambering out of the fireplace, brushing ash off his shabby robes.
Book 4 p. 73—With difficulty, owing to their bulky backpacks, the nine of them crowded around the old boot held out by Amos Diggory….
“Three…” muttered Mr. Weasley, one eye still on his watch, “two…one…”
It happened immediately: Harry felt as though a hook just behind his navel had been suddenly jerked irresistibly forward. His feet left the ground; he could feel Ron and Hermione on either side of him, their shoulders banging into his; they were all speeding forward in a howl of wind and swirling color; his forefinger was stuck to the boot as though it was pulling him magnetically onward….
Astral Projection—used by those calling themselves psychic vampires, who believe they can leave their body and in astral form secretly feed off the spirit or energy of another person.
Book 2 p. 310—”So Ginny poured out her soul to me, and her soul happened to be exactly what I wanted…. I grew stronger and stronger on a diet of her deepest fears, her darkest secrets. I grew powerful, far more powerful than little Miss Weasley. Powerful enough to start feeding Miss Weasley a few of my secrets, to start pouring a little of my soul back into her….”
Book 3 p. 371—”Dementors can’t see, you know…” He swallowed. “They feel their way toward people by feeding off their emotions….”
Book 4 p. 703—”The moment that—that thing entered the room,” she screamed, pointing at Fudge, trembling allover, “it swooped down on Crouch and—and—”
Harry felt a chill in his stomach…. He knew what the dementor must have done. It had administered its fatal kiss to Barty Crouch. It had sucked his soul out through his mouth….
Astrology—The belief that the planets, sun, and moon are external and internal signposts for individuals or society to follow in order to understand themselves and choose the best options.
Book 1 p. 257—Remember, Firenze, we are sworn not to set ourselves against the heavens. Have we not read what is to come in the movement of the planets?
Automatic writing—A method of spirit communication and/or divination. Many who practice this believe they are communicating with the dead or evolved spirit beings.
Book 2 p. 240—Harry sat on his four-poster and flicked through the blank pages, not one of which had a trace of scarlet ink on it. Then he pulled a new bottle out of his bedside cabinet, dipped his quill into it, and dropped a blot onto the first page of the diary. Ink shown brightly on the paper for a second and then, as though it was being sucked into the page, vanished. Excited, Harry loaded up his quill a second time and wrote, “My name is Harry Potter.” The words shown momentarily on the page and they, too, sank without trace. Then, at last, something happened. Oozing back out of the page, in his very own ink, came words Harry had never written. “Hello, Harry Potter. My name is Tom Riddle. How did you come by my diary?”
Black Magick—The use of sorcery or magickal powers for evil intentions or selfish gain.
Book 2 pp. 51-52—”Can I have that?” interrupted Draco, pointing at the withered hand on its cushion. “Ah, the Hand of Glory!” said Mr. Borgin, abandoning Mr. Malfoy’s list and scurrying over to Draco. “Insert a candle and it gives light only to the holder! Best friend of thieves and plunderers! Your son has fine taste, sir.”
Book 3 p. 29—[After Aunt Marge insults Harry’s mother, he puts a swelling curse on her] She seemed to be swelling with inexpressible anger—but the swelling didn’t stop. Her great red face started to expand, her tiny eyes bulged, and her mouth stretched too tightly for speech…she was inflating like a monstrous balloon, her stomach bursting free of her tweed waistband, each of her fingers blowing up like a salami—
Book 4 p. 655—”She told me many things…but the means I used to break the Memory Charm upon her were powerful, and when I had extracted all useful information from her, her mind and body were both damaged beyond repair. She had now served her purpose. I could not possess her. I disposed of her.”
Channeling, Spiritism—Contact with spirits through methods such as summoning, channeling, evoking or invoking, using a spirit guide, using drugs, using a Ouija Board, worshipping spirits, or various rituals.
Book 1 p. 122—Harry sat down opposite the ghost in the ruff he’d seen earlier. The ghost patted his arm, giving Harry the sudden, horrible feeling he’d just plunged it into a bucket of ice-cold water.
Book 2 Harry hesitated, his quill suspended over the diary. What did Riddle mean? How could he be taken inside somebody else’s memory? He glanced nervously at the door to the dormitory, which was growing dark. When he looked back at the diary, he saw fresh words forming. “Let me show you.” Harry paused for a fraction of a second and then wrote two letters. “OK.”
Book 3 p. 324—Harry got up, picked up his bag and turned to go, but then a loud, harsh voice spoke behind him.
“It will happen tonight.”
Harry wheeled around. Professor Trelawney had gone rigid in her armchair; her eyes were unfocused and her mouth sagging.
“S-sorry?” said Harry.
But Professor Trelawney didn’t seem to hear him. Her eyes started to roll. Harry sat there in a panic. She looked as though she was about to have some sort of seizure. He hesitated, thinking of running to the hospital wing—and then Professor Trelawney spoke again, in the same harsh voice, quite unlike her own: “The Dark Lord lies alone and friendless….”
Book 4 p. 654—”A wizard—young, foolish, and gullible—wandered across my path in the forest I had made my home…. He was easy to bend to my will…. I took possession of his body, to supervise him closely as he carried out my orders.”
p. 698—”He spoke to me,” Harry said. He was suddenly shaking again. “The …the ghost Cedric, or whatever he was, spoke.”
Clairvoyance, ESP— a way in which one perceives or receives information beyond the five physical senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. The information can be about the past, present or future. (includes telepathy, precognition, and clairvoyance). This is sometimes called the “sixth sense” or “the third eye.”
Book 2 p. 120—And then he heard something—something quite apart from the spitting of the dying candles and Lockhart’s prattle about his fans. It was a voice, a voice to chill the bone marrow, a voice of breathtaking, ice-cold venom. “Come…come to me…. Let me rip you…. Let me tear you…. Let me kill you….”
Book 3 p. 297—”Crystal gazing is a particularly refined art,” she said dreamily. “I do not expect any of you to See when first you peer into the Orb’s infinite depths. We shall start by practicing relaxing the conscious mind and external eyes… so as to clear the Inner Eye and the superconscious. Perhaps, if we are lucky, some of you will See before the end of the class.”
p. 323—”My boy, you may well be seeing the outcome of poor Hagrid’s trouble….Does the hippogriff appear to …have its head?”
“Yes,” said Harry firmly…. “it looks fine, it’s—flying away…”
Book 4 pp. 15, 17—Two hundred miles away, the boy called Harry Potter woke with a start.
Harry tried to recall what he had been dreaming about before he had awoken….
The dim picture of a darkened room came to him…. There had been a snake on a hearth rug…a small man called Peter, nicknamed Wormtail… and a cold, high voice…the voice of Lord Voldemort…..
Divination—Also called “fortunetelling;” the art of retrieving information about the past, present or future using psychic or occult techniques, or spirit contact.
Book 1 p. 209—They just looked at him, smiling. And slowly, Harry looked into the faces of the other people in the mirror, and saw other pairs of green eyes like his, other noses like his…—Harry was looking at his family, for the first time in his life. The Potters smiled and waved at Harry and he stared hungrily back at them, his hands pressed flat against the glass as though he was hoping to fall right through it and reach them.
Book 2 p. 252—”Depends where you want to go, Harry,” he said. “It’s never too early to think about the future, so I’d recommend Divination.”
Book 3 p. 104—”Now, I want you all to divide into pairs. Collect a teacup from the shelf, come to me, and I will fill it. Then sit down and drink, drink until only the dregs remain. Swill those around the cup three times with the left hand, then turn the cup upside down on its saucer, wait for the last of the tea to drain away, then give your cup to your partner to read. You will interpret the patterns using pages five and six of Unfogging the Future.”
Energy healing— form of healing based on accessing, channeling, balancing and/or manipulating energy
Book 1 p. 147, 156—”Broken wrist,” Harry heard her mutter.”…
“How’s your arm?” said Harry. “Fine,” said Neville, showing them. “Madam Pomfrey mended it in about a minute.”
Book 2 p. 173-4—Madam Pomfrey wasn’t at all pleased.
“You should have come straight to me!” she raged, holding up the sad, limp remainder of what, half an hour before, had been a working arm. “I can mend bones in a second—but growing them back—”
“You will be able to, won’t you?” said Harry desperately.
“I’ll be able to, certainly, but it will be painful,” said Madam Pomfrey grimly, throwing Harry a pair of pajamas. “You’ll have to stay the night….”
p. 321—Harry gave his head a little shake and there was Fawkes, still resting his head on Harry’s arm. A pearly patch of tears was shining all around the wound—except that there was no wound—…
“Phoenix tears…” said Riddle quietly, staring at Harry’s arm. “Of course…healing powers…I forgot….”
Book 4 p. 698—The phoenix had fluttered to the floor. It was resting its beautiful head against Harry’s injured leg, and thick, pearly tears were falling form its eyes onto the wound left by the spider. The pain vanished. The skin mended. His leg was repaired.
Familiar(s)—A spirit often assuming the form of an animal, or an actual animal used as a helper for sorcerers or witches. A familiar can also be conjured by a sorcerer for protection or aid; sometimes this is called a thought-form and has a quasi-independent existence.
Book 1 p. 81—”I’ll get yer an owl. All the kids want owls, they’re dead useful, carry yer mail an’ everythin’.”
Book 2 p. 315—A crimson bird the size of a swan had appeared, piping its weird music to the vaulted ceiling…. A second later, the bird was flying straight at Harry. It dropped the ragged thing it was carrying at his feet, then landed heavily on his shoulder. “That’s a phoenix…” said Riddle.
Book 3 pp. 237, 411—”The Patronus is a kind of positive force, a projection of the very things that the dementor feeds upon—hope, happiness, the desire to survive—but it cannot feel despair, as real humans can, so the dementors can’t hurt it.”
The Patronus turned. It was cantering back toward Harry across the still surface of the water…. It was a stag.
Magick—Practices which may include casting spells, using or summoning energy for a desired end, invoking forces or spirits, and/or calling on spiritual entities for aid. Occultists differentiate between black and white magick, claiming that black magickis the use of magick for bad while white magickis the use of magick for good.
Book 1 p. 273—Hermione stepped forward. “Neville,” she said, “I’m really, really sorry about this.” She raised her wand. “Petrificus Totalus!” she cried, pointing it at Neville. Neville’s arms snapped to his sides. His legs sprang together. His whole body rigid, he swayed where he stood and then fell flat on his face, stiff as a board.
Book 2 pp. 263-64—”However,” said Dumbledore, speaking very slowly and clearly so that none of them could miss a word, “you will find that I will only truly have left this school when none here are loyal to me. You will also find that help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.”
Book 3 p. 9—”It’s amazing here in Egypt. Bill’s taken us around all the tombs and you wouldn’t believe the curses those old Egyptians wizards put on them. Mum wouldn’t let Ginny come in the last one. There were all these mutant skeletons in there, of Muggles who’d broken in and grown extra heads and stuff.”
Book 4 p. 214—Moody raised his wand again, pointed it at the spider, and muttered, “Crucio!”
At once the spider’s legs bent in upon its body; it rolled over and began to twitch horribly, rocking from side to side. No sound came from it, but Harry was sure that if it could have given voice, it would have been screaming.
pp. 215-16—Moody raised his wand, and Harry felt a sudden thrill of foreboding.
“Avada Kedavra!” Moody roared.
There was a flash of blinding green light and a rushing sound, as though a vast, invisible something was soaring through the air—instantaneously the spider rolled over onto its back, unmarked, but unmistakably dead.
Neo-paganism—Umbrella term for contemporary revival of pagan nature worship; practices include some or all of the following: revering nature, polytheism (belief in many gods), divination, magick and casting spells. Neo-paganism views life as cyclical, not linear.
Book 1 p. 297—”To one as young as you, I’m sure it seems incredible, but to Nicolas and Perenelle, it really is like going to bed after a very, very long day. After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
Book 3 p. 205—”An extremely complex spell…involving the magical concealment of a secret inside a single, living soul. The information is hidden inside the chosen person, or Secret-Keeper, and is henceforth impossible to find—unless, of course, the Secret-Keeper chooses to divulge it.”
Psychokinesis—Considered a power of the mind allowing one to move objects with one’s mind, or otherwise influence things and events in the material world through the mind. This includes the alleged ability to materialize and dematerialize and to levitate.
Book 1 p. 146—”Stick out your right hand over your broom,” called Madam Hooch at the front, “and say ‘Up!’” “UP” everyone shouted. Harry’s broom jumped into his hand at once….
Book 2 pp. 319-20—Help me—help me—Harry thought, his eyes screwed tight under the hat. Please help me—…Something very hard and heavy thudded onto the top of Harry’s head, almost knocking him out. Stars winking in front of his eyes, he grabbed the top of the hat to pull it off and felt something long and hard beneath it. A gleaming silver sword had appeared inside the hat….
Book 3 p. 181—”Then he magicked you onto a stretcher,” said Ron. “And walked up to school with you floating on it. Everyone thought you were…”
Book 4 pp. 344-45—”That’s right,” said Moody, staring at him very hard, his magical eye barely moving at all. “You’re a damn good flier from what I’ve heard.”
“Yeah, but…” Harry stared at him. “I’m not allowed a broom, I’ve only got my wand—”
“My second piece of general advice,” said Moody loudly, interrupting him, “is to use a nice, simple spell that will enable you to get what you need.”…
“Hermione, I need to learn how to do a Summoning Charm properly by tomorrow afternoon.”
Reincarnation—Generally speaking, the belief that one lives many lives, returning after death to life in another body, time, and place.
Book 2 p. 207—”Fawkes is a phoenix, Harry. Phoenixes burst into flame when it is time for them to die and are reborn from the ashes. Watch him….” Harry looked down in time to see a tiny, wrinkled, newborn bird poke its head out of the ashes. It was quite as ugly as the old one.
Book 4 p. 653—”I was ripped from my body, I was less than spirit, less than the meanest ghost…but still, I was alive. What I was, even I do not know…I, who have gone further than anybody along the path that leads to immortality. You know my goal—to conquer death.”
Scrying—A form of divination by gazing into an opaque surface such as a crystal, glass, water surface, or dark mirror.
Book 1 p. 213—”[The Mirror of Erised] shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts.”
Book 4 pp. 583-84—The surface of the silvery stuff inside the basin began to swirl very fast.
Harry bent close, his head right inside the cabinet. The silvery substance had become transparent; it looked like glass. He looked down into it, expecting to see the stone bottom of the basin—and saw instead an enormous room below the surface of the mysterious substance, a room into which he seemed to be looking though a circular window in the ceiling.
Sorcery—Manipulation of energy or forces to bring about a desired end through visualization; invocation or summoning of powers/spirits; ritual;
Book 1 p. 123—”Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!”…. Harry’s mouth fell open. The dishes in front of him were now piled with food.
Book 2 p. 279—Ron didn’t touch the accelerator but the car didn’t need him; the engine roared and they were off…
Book 3 p. 108—He hardly heard what Professor McGonagall was telling them about Animagi (wizards who could transform at will into animals), and wasn’t even watching when she transformed herself in front of their eyes into a tabby cat with spectacle markings around her eyes.
Book 4 [CAUTION: This excerpt may be too graphic for younger children.]
pp. 640-643—Wormtail lowered the creature into the cauldron; there was a hiss, and it vanished below the surface;…
Wormtail was speaking. His voice shook; he seemed frightened beyond his wits. He raised his wand, closed his eyes, and spoke to the night.
“Bone of the father, unknowingly given, you will renew your son!”
[Fragments of bone from the grave are taken and placed into the cauldron.]
And now Wormtail was whimpering. He pulled a long, thin, shining silver dagger from inside his cloak. His voice broke into petrified sobs.
“Flesh—of the servant—w-willingly given—you will—revive—your master.”
[Wormtail cuts off his right hand and places it into the cauldron.]
Wormtail was gasping and moaning with agony. Not until Harry felt Wormtail’s anguished breath on his face did he realize that Wormtail was right in front of him.
“B-blood of the enemy…forcibly taken…you will…resurrect your foe.”
[Wormtail pricks Harry’s arm and collects drops of blood.]
He staggered back to the cauldron with Harry’s blood. He poured it inside. The liquid within turned, instantly, a blinding white. …
But then, through the mist in front of him, he saw, with an icy surge of terror, the dark outline of a man, tall and skeletally thin, rising slowly from inside the cauldron….
The thin man stepped out of the cauldron, staring at Harry. And Harry stared back into the face that had haunted his nightmares for three years. Whiter than a skull, with wide, livid scarlet eyes and a nose that was flat as a snake’s with slits for nostrils…
Lord Voldemort had risen again.
Talisman—An object, drawing or symbol which is believed to confer power on the owner for a specific purpose through magickal or supernatural means. It may also attract good luck health, love, or power. Used in magickal practices. Whereas an amulet is passive, a talisman is seen as possessing an active force.
k 1 p. 145—”It’s a Remembrall!” he explained. “…this tells you if there’s something you’ve forgotten to do. Look, you hold it tight like this and if it turns red—oh…” His face fell, because the Remembrall had suddenly glowed scarlet, “…you’ve forgotten something….”
p. 220—”A stone that makes gold and stops you from ever dying!” said Harry. “No wonder Snape’s after it! Anyone would want it.”
Book 2 p. 319—Help me—help me—Harry thought, his eyes screwed tight under the hat. Please help me—There was no answering voice. Instead, the hat contracted, as though an invisible hand was squeezing it very tightly.
Book 3 pp. 394-95—She was holding the chain out. He saw a tiny, sparkling hourglass hanging from it….
Hermione turned the hourglass over three times….
“We’ve gone back in time,” Hermione whispered, lifting the chain off Harry’s neck in the darkness. “Three hours back…”
Telekinesis or Teleportation—A form of psychokinesis in which physical bodies or objects are moved over distances, and in which solid objects are materialized and dematerialized in order to pass through matter.
Book 1 p. 71—He tapped the wall three times with the point of his umbrella. The brick he had touched quivered—it wiggled—in the middle, a small hole appeared—it grew wider and wider—a second later they were facing an archway….
p. 92—Now the third brother was walking briskly toward the barrier—he was almost there—and then, quite suddenly, he wasn’t anywhere.
Book 2 p. 325—Harry reached out and took hold of Fawkes’s strangely hot tail feathers. An extraordinary lightness seemed to spread through his whole body and the next second, in a rush of wings, they were flying upward through the pipe.
Book 3 p. 33—”Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard. Just stick out your wand hand, step on board, and we can take you anywhere you want to go. My name is Stan Shunpike, and I will be your conductor this eve—…”
Book 4 p. 669—Harry’s hand had closed on Cedric’s wrist; one tombstone stood between him and Voldemort, but Cedric was too heavy to carry, and the cup was out of reach—…
“Accio!” Harry yelled, pointing his wand at the Triwizard Cup.
It flew into the air and soared toward him. Harry caught it by the handle—
He heard Voldemort’s scream of fury at the same moment that he felt the jerk behind his navel that meant the Portkey had worked—it was speeding him away in a whirl of wind and color, and Cedric along with him…. They were going back.
Is this merely children’s fantasy? NO. Witchcraft is a sinful reality in our world.
“J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, has gone through an awful lot of research. She is very accurate (otherwise we would have witches all over the country and the world saying ‘this is not a true representation of our religion’.) This is a true representation of witchcraft, and the black arts, and black magic. And yet we have people that say this is merely fantasy and harmless reading for our children. Actually, what makes this more dangerous is that it is couched in fantasy language, and children’s literature, and made to be humorous, and beautifully written and extremely provocative reading. and it just opens up children to want to have the next one. This is what is so harmful.”
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
About a month ago we had a mission team come from Sacremento to help us with some building projects and did some outreaches. We were basically on our feet all week. Long days, late nights and early mornings. Still, it was worth it! I made some great friends and I believe we were all able to encourage eachother in our walks with Christ. During the time the team was here I was able to experience some of the weight of leadership. It was difficult. It made me appreciate all the efforts leaders put in to directing there teams and making sure everything goes through without a problem. I felt pulled in a thousand directions once or twice (or perhaps better said whenever someone needed a translator), but it was a wonderful week. Even though I didn't once get enough sleep and no of us really got a break, I felt more spiritually alive than I had in a quite awhile. Or should I say that because I had no spare time for the devil to use, the time was all God's!
Also while the team was here I had a chance to translate some testimonies. I was kind of nervous, but God gave me grace and I only made a few minor mistakes. I'm learning!!! Now I just have to get to the point where I can do it in French! lol :^)
One of the main outreaches we did was a VBS at the church. We had an average of about 30 kids each day. We were expecting a lot more, but I was thankful we had so few. With only a limited number of translators it would have been more stressful. As it was, it went very well.
Their last night here we went down to the beach with them and most of the Mexicans from our church. It was neat to spend theat last night hanging out with everyone. When we got back to the apartment where we were staying, some of the youth and I decided to try and stay up all night. Needless to say we didn't make it very long. Everyone started to fall asleep! I was the last one though. I think I would have been able to make it if they hadn't all gone to sleep. I'm kind of a night person, but not at all a morning person! Unfortunatelly, because I went to bed so late, I didn't wake up when they left. ;( Amazing, huh? Even with the noise of 15 people moving bags and shutting doors! Oh well.
Well, I hope you guys are now a little more enlightedned. And for anyone from the team who is reading this, we miss you guys and we're praying for you! Come back soon!
God bless you and guide all your ways!
One of our favorite things to do to pass the time (other than crocheting) was playing scrabble. I actually beat her! The final score stood 1 to 3
Monday, August 18, 2008
As of right now, it's hot and I'm tired of sweating. Unfortunately, the only thing I can do to avoid it is sit in front of the fan and do nothing. But, even if my disposition allowed me to do that, you can't avoid the daily routine (you know, wash laundry, wash dishes, clean the living room, etc...). So, I sweat. It does make you appreciate a good shower though!
What else? Oh, I know. This last Sunday we went to our sister church for their evening service. It was really nice to see everyone again. Unfortunately (I love that word, it seems to spell misfortune. I would use it all the time except for the fact that my Mom has drilled me to much on writing good paragraphs), I was very tired and I actually fell asleep in my chair during the music service! I felt really bad and I was mostly just hoping that no one had noticed. I don't think they did...?
Well, reading back over what I wrote I think I sound tired and kind of silly, but there you guys have it! I hope I didn't bore you too horribly much. God bless you guys and have a nice day. I'm going to try and put up some new pictures soon.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Recently I've begun reading a book called "David". As soon as I picked it up the book proved that it would be a definate "meal" and not a snack. From the first I felt strongly convicted in many different areas of my life, but not nearly so much as this one. So, what exactly is this feeling we call "revenge"? Simply put, it means that you feel as though you have been mistreated and now want your persecuter to feel the same (or worse) than you do. Now, of course we have, over the years, changed what we call this "feeling". We now call it "standing up for our rights", in other words, justified retaliation. Whatever we call it, God calls it revenge. And He does not tolerate it in the slightest:
Romans 12:17-19 (see also Deut. 32:35-36)
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it concerns you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay" says the Lord.
We can't make anyone live in peace with us, but we can make sure that the path to peace is clear on our side. Regardless of how others respond to us, God tells us to "Never take your own revenge"
Revenge may be sweet, but it sours the soul. It starts with an injury- someone hurts or offends us. Silently we let the anger burn inside of us, gaining heat and intensity, looking for an area of vulnerability. A place we can strike. We can see an example of this as far back in history as the first chapters of Genesis: Cain and Abel. God accepted Abel's sacrifice but rejected Cain's- which Cain interpreted as an injury to himself. Cain waited until he found Abel alone in the field- vulnerability- and killed him. Violent evidence of the fall and our resulting depravity. Since we are not all-seeing or all-knowing, we must leave the vengeance to our just and holy God.
1 Samuel 24
Now we come to our example in David. Before we get into it, lets get a little bit of background on the story...
We come into this story at a point when the entire kingdom is in turmoil. David has been anointed king, Saul (who is the present king) knows it and is, right now, doing everything he can to ensure David's death. David is on the run with a few hundred men who are loyal to him, but, for the time at least, it seems as though they have found somewhere to hide. But not for very long...
001: And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.
002: Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats.
003: And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.
It would seem that David has now been given a perfect chance for revenge. There's no one around and God couldn't fault him could He? On top of this, even his men are urging him on. Can David resist such a strong temptation???004: And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee...
David knows what he should do, but even still, he can't completely give up this chance to get even.
...Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily (secretly).
Even before he has returned his knife to it's sheath, God pricks his concience.
005: And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt.
006: And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD'S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.
Because of David's refusal to get even with Saul, God blesses him. We see that in Proverbs it tells us.
When a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Let's see what happens to David because of his obedience. We see David coming out to Saul in humility and with respect, wanting to prove his integrity.
008: David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself.
009: And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men's words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt?
010: Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD'S anointed.
011: Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it.
David's honesty and respect soften Saul's hardened heart.
016: And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept.
017: And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.
018: And thou hast showed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the LORD had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst me not.
019: For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? wherefore the LORD reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this day.
020: And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand.
021: Swear now therefore unto me by the LORD, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my father's house.
022: And David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men went up unto their srong-hold.
Revenge is as old as human nature. And, while not all vengeance creates a tragedy as bitter as Cain and Abel's, it all makes a travesty of God's plan for our lives. If you're plotting revenge, however small and insignificant you may think it to be, surrender it now. Release your grip on your get-even scheme, and place the control into God's hands.
So, how do we keep from falling into this trap of revenge? There are some key priciples to remember that will help us to relinquish our desire for vengeance;
Since humanity is sinful, expect to be mistreated.
The same human nature that took over Saul's heart can take over all of our hearts. Trouble cames when we expect, and then demand, too much from others. People are fallible; feelings will get hurt.
Since mistreatments are inevitable, we can anticipate our desires for revenge.
Temptation to retaliate is not the same as retaliation. Rather, when we are aware of what is going on inside, we have time to feel and pray and think and then choose a course of action that reflects our trust in God.
Since the temptation toward revenge is inevitable, refuse to fight in the flesh.
We can make up our minds ahead of time to leave things in God's hands, which will make us less like to impulsively lash back when we're wronged. We're not responsible for how others behave, just how we respond.
004: Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.
005: He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth.
006: I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good.
007: For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
(sorry, still no pictures)
The last morning at my Grandparents’ house was about like every other day. I got up late ;), ate breakfast and then just sat around until it was time to go to town and do some last minute shopping. That done (btw Grandma bought me three big bags of candy for my trip, yummmmm!!) we went back to the house to pick up Grandpa and my stuff (just as a side note, my bag was packed tighter than I thought was possible. When I checked my bag it weighed 49.5 lb. Talk about close) and headed out toward Kansas city. As a special (as if they hadn’t done enough already), my Grandparents took me out to Olive Garden, my all-time favorite restaurant. In case you want to know I ordered Chicken Scampi… I know, I know, not all that interesting. Anyway, on with the story. On the drive to KC I read a book I had brought and, by and by, we arrived at the airport. Since we’d gotten there an hour or so early we had some time to kill. We walked around a bit and then sat down and waited… and waited…and waited. Finally! It was time to board. I was kind of nervously excited as I walked through the corridor leading on to the plane. I chose a window seat (which I recommend for anyone who’s planning on traveling) and waited… and waited… and waited… tired of waiting yet? I sure was. Well, I’m not sure how long it was (felt like hours) but eventually we were off. Take-off was everything I’d been told. You know what it reminded me of? You know, when you’re driving on the road and you suddenly drop down, like a small hill? That’s what it felt like. For some reason it gave a wild desire to giggle uncontrollably. It took a serious effort not to do so. I ended up sitting next to a middle-aged woman, and I actually got to share some with her. By her accounts she’s a Christian. But the Bible says that actions speak louder than words, and her actions were not saying what she’d claimed. I hope, for her sake, that she was telling the truth.
Two hours after take-off we came into the Las Vegas airport. But man, for how hot it was outside it was freezing inside. And I’d forgotten to bring a jacket. I had a three and a half hour layover there before my next flight (it wasn’t to depart until 9:45 p.m.). I didn’t really do much. Everything was overpriced. I mean, I went to Burger King to buy a soda and ended up spending $3 for a medium, no refill! What’s that about? They wouldn’t even let me take my water onto the plane.
My second flight was much more enjoyable. I got onto a row by myself and I was seated behind two adorable little girls who had obviously been traveling wayyyy too long. Now, some of you might want to know how that would be enjoyable, but if you knew me and how much I love children, you wouldn’t be surprised at all! As I was getting off the plane, the father of the children said something that made up for all the discomfort and lack of sleep. As I was passing by their seat I commented that he had beautiful girls. He said thank you and then thanked me for keeping them entertained during part of the flight. I said it had been my pleasure, and then he said that I must be a Christian because only a Christain would have such a beautiful personality. I told him that I most definitely was and then I had to move. But, I guess that’s another example of actions speaking louder than words!
Now we get to the part where I see my family again. Since I got into Tucson so late the airport was nearly deserted and it was fairly easy to find my parents (who, btw, had just gotten there. Perfect timing :) . Anyway, so as not to bore you any more than you already are, I'll just tell you that we arrived to the house they were staying without any problems. The next day we left late, drove a lot more than I would have liked and arrived home around 11 p.m. Richard (our pastor) was there to meet us (as were the mosquitos) and after a quick goodbye we all headed off to bed. And, that's about it. So, here we are in Mexico!
Time to let you go (finally!!). But... Before you go,
- God provided a new airconditioning system for our car
- God provided new tires for our car
- There were no problems at our house while we were gone.
- We didn't get stopped at the border. Praise God!
- God provided places for my family to stay the entire time they were in Tucson
- We had a wonderful trip and, though it's hot, we're finally home!!
- That our financial needs would be met
- For our house in Oregon to sell
- Continued peace in our home
- A continual increase of faith in my life
- For my friends around the world!!!
- For the young girls group I've been put in charge of, that God would give me the words to say and the wisdom to lead these girls
Thanks guys!! May God bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you! In Christ~