Grounded Podcast

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Sharing the Light of Christ on a Dark Holiday, with Kelly Needham

Whether you're stocking up on candy or planning to turn off the porch lights this Halloween, guest Kelly Needham will challenge you to shape your traditions to honor Christ. Let this conversation remind you that each day is an opportunity to put Jesus on display. Plus, get a bonus history lesson about October 31.

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Episode Notes

“Redeem Halloween: Being Missional on Fright Night” by Kelly Needham

“A Light in the Darkness: An Update on Redeem Halloween” by Kelly Needham

“Why Does the Reformation Matter Today?” video

“Keeping Christ at the Center of Your Holidays, with Barbara Rainey” series

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Dannah Gresh: Welcome to the candy corn edition of Grounded. I'm your host Dannah Gresh.

Erin Davis: I think you mean the Reese's edition Dannah; we could have a candy face off. I'm your other host, Erin Davis, and our cohost Portia Collins is of course is standing by this morning,

Dannah: Okay, I'm not a big fan of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in my house. 

Erin: I know. You've told me. I just can't believe it!

Dannah: I know. But I'll tell you what. If you're talking about Reese's Pieces, I'm in because those things are to die amazing. 

Erin: Highly addictive. That's my movie theater candy of choice.

Dannah: Why are we suddenly obsessed with candy this week? 

Erin: Well, I always like candy. But we are obsessed this week.

Dannah: I know that your true favorite is Milk Duds.

Erin: That's right. That is my true favorite.

Dannah: Do you know my true favorite?

Erin: I don't think I do. What is it? Peach O’s?

Dannah: Peachy Rings. 

Erin: Peachy Rings I didn't know. Which are good. 

Dannah: The reason we're obsessed with candy a little extra this week and spending copious amounts of dollars on it is because I hate to use the word holiday, but it's a holiday observance week. Halloween is coming up.

Erin: Halloween is a something.

Dannah: Let's talk about how we feel about that. We just said the word Halloween on Grounded, and some of our sisters went, “Uh! They did not say that!”

Erin: Yeah, people are if we thought people were opinionated about candy corn, they definitely are opinionated about Halloween. And that's okay. I think we understand some of that.

Dannah: Well, because honestly, I don't like the darkness. 

Erin: I don’t either.

Dannah: Listen, this morning was straight up out of a Halloween movie at my farm. I had to go out there at O.30 because I have an injured peacock. I also have very unhappy goats in the barn because we've had coyotes on our farm. So they’ve been locked up every night. 

Erin: You’ve had your own haunted experience going on, on the farm. 

Dannah: There was fog. The moon was full. I was sure the coyotes were going to just jump out at me, and I'm going out to the barn this morning. “The light shines in the darkness, the darkness has not ever come at it; the light shines the darkness the dark has not overcome it.” I just know I feel about Halloween when those skeletons are in the grocery store, I don't like it. Dannah is going down a different aisle. 

Erin: Yeah, we took our kids to Grant's Farm this weekend which is like this very family friendly animal experience except for there were like creepy clowns and things hanging from the trees.

Dannah: Now, clowns are the worst.

Erin: I didn't like that I didn't like that at a family friendly place that we had to have darkness and evil and death. But I think we can all agree on that. However at the Davis household, my kids do dress up, and we go visit some friends. All four of my boys chose to be dinosaurs, so we're having a very Jurassic Halloween this year. 

Dannah: I load up on free candy that will rot and go stale in the back of your boys’ beds.

Erin: You know, we started several years ago, we started candy buyback. We'll pay them a penny for all the candy that they will sell back to us. And we take Reese's right off the top. We turn it into an economic lesson of sorts. 

Dannah: I like that. On the other end are people like me who will gladly open their homes, not because I like Halloween, but because I want to be a light for Jesus and a safe place for my neighbors. 

But at the same time, I know we have a lot of international Grounded sisters. 

Erin: We do.

Dannah: And so for a little international perspective when we're talking about this episode, one of our cohosts, Alejandra, who's not with us today said that in Latin America, Halloween is known as the “Day of the Dead” and a very dark thing. There's no light in that. Nobody's doing trunk or treat in Latin America on the Day of the Dead. So, we just want to share that we know that there are those of you who live in a culture or a space where it's not good to observe. And it's not something you choose to participate in. We know that.

Erin: Absolutely. But we still think you're going to get a lot of out of this episode. Dannah, tell the story about the year you had buckets full of candy.

Dannah: Which buckets full?

Erin: Remember you moved from the city to the country? 

Dannah: When we moved to the country, I thought it was going to be like the neighborhood. So, I bought my $250 of candy, literally. And then Bob and I had $249 of the candy at the end of the night. 

Erin: Nobody showed up. 

Dannah: Yeah, nobody came. 

Erin: Same here on my farm. So, I don't know if you are stocking up on candy this week . . . By the way, if you are, you probably should get to the stores. Those shelves are going to be clearing out. Maybe you're going to be spending late nights with hot glue and things on kids costumes. This week I bought my new cutest little dinosaur. 

Dannah: You are a smart woman.

Erin: But maybe you are choosing not to participate because of the emphasis on death and darkness that we see this week. Either way, wherever you are on that spectrum. I hope that at the end of this episode, you're going to be thinking about all of your traditions, not just the traditions we'll see this week in a brand-new way.

Dannah: Yeah, Kelly Needham is with us. I love me some Kelly Needham anytime I can get them. She and her family have been very intentional about using this dark holiday to showcase the light of Christ to their neighbors. They are redeeming Halloween on their street. I know their story is going to inspire you not just to redeem Halloween, but also to just learn and be reminded to express a biblical view of neighboring, loving your neighbors.

Erin: A biblical view of neighboring I can't wait to hear what she has to say. 

Hey, we count on you to share Grounded. Not everybody knows Grounded is on, not everybody knows. So would you hit that share button? Let other people know about this episode. And also, we want to hear from you. 

Dannah: I'm gonna have a sugar high at the end of this episode. But you know what I'm thinking, they could share with us how they redeem Halloween, Erin. Tell us in the comments.

Erin: That’s right. I love to hear those stories. You probably are going to have some creative ideas we haven't even thought of. I hope at the end of this episode, we're all gonna want to implement those. We have time; it's only Monday. Halloween is not till Sunday. So, let's be a brain trust here and share. We want to hear your stories of how you redeem this event. Well, it's Monday morning. That means we need a big dose of good news to start a week. Portia what's the good news this morning?

Good News on October 31

Portia Collins: Girl, I got to start with some bad news first. Why is Dannah over here eating this candy corn? That has to be like the worst (gags). Nobody likes candy corn . . . well, Dannah does. 

Dannah: What was that sound you just made? What was it? I don’t think you should put that in the podcast. 

Erin: Portia, how do you really feel about candy corn? How do you feel about it? 

Portia: (gags) It’s terrible.

Okay, I’m glad to know you girls are my people. I need to know your favorites, and I'm just gonna cross candy corn off the list for Portia. Give me a Mr. Goodbar or something, because I do not . . .

Dannah: She’s an expensive trick or treater.

Portia: You can get the mini-Mr. Goodbars. Look, I was just sitting here watching her eating that and I was like, I just cannot, that's like eating a candle like wax. 

Dannah: A very sweet candle.

Erin: A candy candle.

Portia: So, that’s the bad news out of the way first, but now I want everybody to take out your number two pencils. I had one over here, and I think Emmy swiped it. Oh, no, here it is. Take out your number two pencils. It is time for a history lesson. Church history that is. Y'all know I love me some church history. It’s one of my favorite subjects, because guess what? Halloween isn't the only reason that October 31 has significance. Grounded hosts are you there? 

Erin: We’re here.

Portia: Does anyone know what else happened on October 31?

Erin: I actually do know the answer. 

Portia: Okay. 

Erin: But I don't want to be that girl that's like, “Oh, pick me. I know the answer. I know the answer.”

Portia: Okay, go Erin, go.

Erin: It's Reformation Day.

Portia: Yes. Reformation Day. No candy corn for you; I'm throwing you a Mr. Goodbar.

Dannah: I once attended a Reformation party where they made a saying. I don't know if you know, but in the state of Pennsylvania, we have this thing called the Pennsylvania Polka. They rewrote the words, and we had to sing the Reformation polka. It was good. 

Erin: I was gonna recap. Okay, somebody missed it. You went to a Reformation Day party, and sang the Reformation polka? 

Dannah: Yes, that’s right, and I will never do it again.

Portia: Oh, Dannah is batting 1,000 today.

Dannah: Okay, what's good news?

Portia: Alright so before the first Halloween, as we know it, Martin Luther took a hammer and a nail and he turned the world upside down. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door. And you know, the bishops and priests of Luther’s day, they had stopped teaching something super important, something that we find all throughout the Scriptures. What is that? Grace. And so, Luther took a stand for the gospel, and that led to all kinds of important reforms. 

And ultimately, it put the Bible into the hands of the people. We can celebrate Reformation Day as a day when the gospel and the value of God's Word for all of us was held high. And that is good news. And we love you, Martin Luther. Thank you. Thank you. 

Now, check this out. Maybe you've heard that Halloween is rooted in something called All Saints Day. Do you know what that is? You type in the chat y'all I want to know. Well, I'm going to go ahead and tell you, but I want you to tell them to. It's a holiday originating in 609 AD, and it comes to follow All Hallows Eve, aka Halloween. And the goal, basically, of All Saints today isn't to celebrate darkness and death, but to remember those who have given their lives for the cause of Christ. And so, here's the really good news that God has used a date and a holiday that can sometimes get distorted to do some amazing things. And He is always at work every day of the year. And that, my friends, is good news.

Get Grounded with Kelly Needham: Redeeming Halloween

Dannah: That is very good news. Thanks for sharing that with us this morning, Portia. All right, it's time to get Grounded with God's people. Kelly Needham is with us. She's married to singer, songwriter, and speaker Jimmy Needham. She first began writing and speaking to his fan base when she was traveling with him on tour in 2008. But since then, she has garnered a much wider platform. Kelly is a regular contributor to the Revive Our Hearts blog, and is author of the book Friend-ish: Reclaiming Real Friendship in A Culture of Confusion. Welcome, Kelly. I just recommended that book to a friend just a few days ago.

Kelly Needham: Oh, that's great. Well, thanks for having me, Dannah. I'm glad to be here.

Dannah: Hey, listen, we love you. We are Jimmy fans, too. We are Kelly and Jimmy Needham fans at the Gresh house. In fact, every Monday night we have an online Bible study through my ministry, True Girl, for teens and tweens. And last Monday, it was Jimmy Needham week, I think, because we use his worship songs to bring teenagers to the throne of God. 

I think in the spiritual kingdom, you guys are just a power couple. Jesus is the power in you. But you guys are dynamite. I love it. I love following you on social media. You have these . . . what are the kind of pictures you do called? I'm too old to do them. Lifestyle photography, is that what it's called? 

Kelly: Yes.

Dannah: Like, you make laundry look glamorous. And you say wonderful gospel-driven things about laundry when you post. But my favorite time to follow you on social media is this week, because of Halloween. You do it in a very special way. So, your street is a favorite place or treat. Tell us why.

Kelly: Well, it is absolutely the most popular street in our city for kids to come trick or treating. We have hundreds and hundreds of kids who are here. I mean, it is packed. And that's because we live on Sleepy Hollow. We have all these overhanging trees. And we have not a lot of street lights. It's got kind of a creepy vibe and a bunch of neighbors who love going big for Halloween. We did not know that when we moved into this house. But we found out very quickly. When the neighbors across the street about a month into our move into this house said, you know about your house and you know about this street, right? We're like, I don't know what you're about to tell me. The former owners of this house did a massive haunted house and in the front yard. And so that's really how this all started. Our house had a reputation in the community, and we did not know that. And so, it really challenged us to think, how can we leverage that for the Kingdom?

Dannah: So your house had a reputation essentially for darkness? I'm not haunted Halloween or haunted hayride fan. I think you probably heard me say if there's a skeleton in the grocery aisle, even if it's white and clean and not that scary or shrieking, I am going the other way. So, when you realized your home had this reputation for darkness, what was the idea that God brought into your heart so that you could redeem Halloween in your home?

Kelly: We knew we wanted to distance ourselves from darkness. We did not want any remnant of the celebration of death, which is a product of sin, right? Death exists because of sin. So, we do not want to celebrate the effects of sin in any way. We really struggled with that. We didn't want to be the Christians who just shut the blinds and closed the door because our community would have wondered who moved in, or the Christians moved in. Lame, you know, but we didn't want to celebrate that. 

And so, we asked ourselves, “What kind of reputation, what a gospel-centered home . . .?” We decided we would be an open-hearted one. Jesus received sinners and ate with them. We wanted to be receivers of our community. And we wanted to be generous, because that really is the gospel. We have been given the free gift of Christ of being set free from sin. 

And so, we decided to be the generous house and decided if we are going to hand out candy, then let’s hand out big candy. And let's try to point people to the reason we do that is because we serve a really generous God. And so, we started handing out king-sized candy bars the first year to our neighborhood and offering prayer. We had a prayer table and had people helping us pray all through the night for the prayer requests of our neighborhood. So that has been really neat. We've been here over ten year and people know. We have stories that have just accumulated and kids who want to come to our house every year. And there's no other home I'd rather them be hanging out at than ours where they're gonna have more chances to hear the gospel and be prayed over. So, it's been a real sweet joy to do that.

Dannah: I love that you give out the king-sized candy bars, so that King Jesus can be pointed to. That's beautiful. Okay, so we have an idea, how many king-size candy bars do you think you'll give out this year?

Kelly: Well, it's hard to tell because you know, COVID kind of changed our numbers last year for the first time in a long time. But our average is around 1,300 to 1,400 candy bars that we have our house. I've got 1,500 downstairs in my dining room, just ready to go.

Dannah: Wow! I'm coming over this afternoon after I finish off my dish of candy corn. Certainly, some people might be listening to this and say I don't like this dark holiday. I know you and your husband are very biblically driven. You guide your decisions and your life by God's Word. So, did you take some time to think through what the Scriptures say before you decided to open your home and have this way that you would redeem Halloween?

Kelly: Yeah, definitely. You know, there's a few passages that come to mind. One of them I referenced earlier, which is from the from the book of Luke, where the Pharisees and Scribes grumbled at Jesus, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them. And really, the people who are out on Halloween many of them are not church going families, you know?

These are the very people that God has put before us to love. We are called to love God and then love our neighbor as ourselves. I don't think that means we hand select our neighbors. They are the people that God has placed in our communities right around as He's called us to love. 

And the other verse that I love to think about on Halloween is from Hebrews chapter 2 where it is talking of Jesus. It says that through death, Jesus might destroy the one who had the power of death, that is the devil. He can deliver all those who through fear of death are subject to lifelong slavery, that Jesus destroyed the darkness of death through death. 

And that’s some of what's happening, I think, on Halloween. We have this dark holiday, but yet we're called the light of the world. Light is meant for darkness, right? That is where it shines the brightest. And through this dark holiday, we are really hoping and praying that people who would never come to the doors of a church, that they may come to our front doorstep to get king-sized candy bars. If their life is stressed, a wreck that year, they know we have a prayer table, and that we're going to pray for them. They can come and ask for prayer. Some of those prayer requests that we get each year are just heart wrenching. I mean, there are people who just would never say that. But they write these things on there that their lives are falling apart. 

And we get to pray for God to move in their life and, and let our community know we are a home that loves Christ. We’re generous. We will receive you as you are. You don't need to get cleaned up to come. And we are intentional about distancing ourselves from the celebration of death. We have one Bible verse that we have on signs on the way up and down from our home that we hope those kids that come each year if they know no other scripture that from coming to the house with the big candy bars will know Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life.” But then ultimately, we would know our community would know us for those things and those to be a safe house that they can come to.

Dannah: I love that. I've been reading Rosaria Butterfield's book on hospitality. She says in that book, the strength of our words . . . She's speaking of our theology and our gospel words, that they must be matched by the strength of our relationship. And in our neighborhoods, it's so important that we're taking opportunities like this to build relationship so that when we have the opportunity to share gospel words, they have something solid for them to trust in. Because they can't trust in Jesus until they can trust in us. We have to be that conduit for them to believe and trust in Him. 

I want to know what kind of fruit you've seen through this missional Halloween experience. Tell us one story of someone who maybe not on October 31, but on another day of the year, you saw fruitfulness from this decision?

Kelly: Well, my favorite story is a couple of years ago. We got a knock on the door probably May or June, sometime like that. We open the door to see a family that we've never seen before, it didn't register for us. And this woman said, I know you might not remember me or know me, but I came to your house on Halloween, and I didn't know where else to go, but I knew I could come here. She was in a place of financial strain. Her lights had been shut off. She didn't have enough money and just was going, “Is there any way you can help us?”

We invited her into her home; she was with her daughter. We started to build a relationship with them. We were able to meet some actual needs. They just live a quarter of a mile down the street from us, we would have never known, but they did. They came midway through the year. We were able to help her daughter later who had a pregnancy that she needed help with. We were able to step into those needs. And also, at the same time, we invited them to come join us for worship on Sundays and they were able to come a few times. But that's always been our hope for our home throughout the year. This will be a way we could let our community know that this is a safe place to come.

Dannah: You'll never know how God waters those seeds that you and Jimmy have planted in their lives in the years to come. I love it. Kelly, thank you for reminding us how to redeem Halloween. Check out KellyNeedham.com for some great blogs, and also two blogs on her biblical thoughts about Halloween. We're going to drop the link to those in the comments right now so you can see them. Love you, Kelly. 

Kelly: Love you too, Dannah:

Dannah: And thank you, for being a light on a dark night. Portia?

Portia: That was so good. Oh, I needed that. I need those tips as a young mama to a three-year-old. That was perfect. Well, I'm still thinking about Martin Luther guys. I want to rebrand this holiday. If we can start wearing the brown robes with the little hat. Check out this short video that we have with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Dr. Erwin Lutzer. It's about why the Reformation matters today. That's what why should

Video: Nancy and Erwin Lutzer on the Reformation

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Why should we be talking about something that happened 500 years ago? Sure. It matters to historians and scholars. But why should it matter to us today? 

Dr. Erwin Lutzer: Many reasons. For example, the seeds of freedom of religionstarted with Luther at the Diet of Worms. I mean, I just almost still get chills thinking about what happened there and how different history would have been if he had recanted. But that actually planted a seed. There was no freedom of religion back in those days. He was supposed to be put to death. King Charles wanted to put them to death and regretted that he didn't, but he didn't.

So, you have the seeds of freedom of religion. You have the whole idea of direct access to God. The fact that now you don't have to go to a priest in order to confess your sins or in order to pray because you are a priest before God. And we all come on the same basis. 

Nancy: And this was revolutionary. 

Dr. Lutzer: Oh, absolutely. I mean, in those days, if you wanted to get to God, you went to a priest who could get to God for you. And now, suddenly, you have the priesthood of the believer. You'll also find the great emphasis on Scripture. Later on, we'll introduce you to the five solas of the Reformation. But the first one (the word sola means only or alone), the Bible alone. 

This becomes the dividing point, this becomes the break with the church of the day. Now, suddenly, the Bible alone is going to be above the Pope, and so forth. And the whole issue of even Church / State relations, which gets very complicated . . . But I will say this, the most important thing that the Reformation did is it recovered the gospel and answered this question: how does a sinner stand justified in the presence of a God who is so holy that you can never appease Him? That's actually the question. And that's the thing that we'll keep coming back to—the gospel itself.

Nancy: And that's the question that every person in the whole world has to face and has to answer.

Grounded in God’s Word: Isaiah 9:2

Erin: It's only on Grounded that you can get a heated debate on candy corn, followed by some practical ideas for how to love your neighbors, and a history lesson from Erwin Lutzer on the value of the Reformation. 

Well, it's time to get grounded in God's Word. I hope you have your Bibles with you. I'd love for you to turn to the book of Isaiah, chapter 9, verse 2. It says this, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.”

Did I just read a Christmas verse in our Halloween edition of Grounded? I did. Because we focus on this often during the Christmas season. But during the Christmas season, we focus on the light, and we should. Jesus is that great light; He's the light of the world. When He was born as Emmanuel, God with us, truly an amazing light dawned on humanity, and that light will never again go away. We have Jesus with us forever. 

But for just a moment this morning, I want us to consider the darkness that's described, the contrast in this verse. The prophet described a people walking in darkness, and those who are without Jesus today. People without Jesus are still a people walking in darkness. 

And the prophet also described that they were living in the land of darkness. Don't we feel that? Don't we feel the pressures, the oppression of living in a land of darkness? There's that worship song that's so popular right now, “Do you feel the darkness growing?” “We do.” But we do. And so what Isaiah described all those years ago is still true of so many people. 

And what we're really going to see this week, if you live somewhere where Halloween is celebrated, you're going to get glimpses of that spiritual reality. We're going to see it with our physical eyes as we see darkness celebrated—darkness and death. Oh, they're always with us. They're going to be a lot more visible this week. We can hide from them, and we might need some discernment as to what we expose ourselves to, what we expose our children to. But we could also see all of those celebrations of death as a poignant, in our face reminder of the lost. Those who don't know Jesus right now today are a people still walking in darkness. 

Even though the Light of the world has come, our world is still a land of darkness. If I’ve said it once in the past couple months, I've said it a million times: the enemy is busy. He is wreaking havoc in the hearts and lives of those who do not know, Jesus. 

As I was thinking about this episode, I thought of this story. We had a woman come to our church several weeks ago, and she hadn't been there before (t least I hadn't seen her there before). And it was clear from looking at her and her behavior that she was a woman with some substance abuse, addiction issues. She sat right there on the front row, and she was she was making a lot of noise during the sermon. She was doing some strange things during the sermon. And a friend of mine and I, we just moved up. We sat on either side of her, rubbed her back, whispered to her a little bit, tried to talk to her about Jesus. 

And partway through the sermon, she pulled some whiskey out of her purse and started taking shots. That was new to me. But we just kept talking to her and loving on her. And after the sermon was over, we got her a Bible. And for days after that, I kept thinking about her. I kept thinking, She and I came to church for the exact same reasonbecause we both need Jesus so much. 

And so, one of the things I'm hoping this episode does in your heart, is that it inflames your love for the lost, the people walking in darkness, who may have seen the great light in Jesus, but don't yet recognize it. They're still wandering around in this land of darkness blind without Jesus. And as we live in the light as children of the light, sometimes we can forget what it was like to be children walking in darkness. We can forget that darkness is oppressive, that darkness is scary, that darkness is overwhelming, that darkness is disorienting. 

The darkness can make it feel like I don't know where to go with my life. I can't find the way. Nobody wants to live in perpetual spiritual darkness. And so, Kelly's story was such a beautiful reminder, and I want you to take it home and apply it. We're going to interact with some friends with some neighbors this week that we might not see on other days of the year. Those friends and neighbors need the light of Christ. And who are the bearers of the light? We are. 

Scripture gives us a really straightforward and powerful mission. In the book of Ephesians 5:8 it says this, “You were once darkness but now you are light in the Lord walk as children of the light. Jesus himself called us the light of the world a city on the hill. Remember, we were in darkness once. But now not only do we know the Light of the world, we are the light of the world. And we've been given this mission, this applies to how we approach this Halloween. Walk as children of the Light. 

So, there's your Monday morning marching orders Grounded family . . . walk. As children of the light, the world is shrouded in darkness. You will rub shoulders with people this week who walk in that darkness 365 days of the year. But we have the light. So, our commissioning for you Grounded family is to look for ways to share that light. Maybe it's king-sized candy bars. Maybe it's offering to pray. Maybe you put smiley faces on your jack-o-lanterns and are warm to people as they come to your door. Maybe you participate in something at your church. Our church has a special needs carnival just for families with special needs children. Our family plans to participate in that; I'm really excited about it. So, look for ways to walk as children of the light this week . . . and every week. Portia.

Portia: Oh, Erin, you know I love it when you teach me the Bible. And you know, as you were teaching, especially the last verse that you highlighted from Ephesians, I think that's a huge dose of humility for many of us, because there's a temptation to look almost arrogant among others who are still in the darkness and walk in the darkness. But when you say according to God's Word that we were once in the darkness and because of the Lord that we're not, that gives me such a strong urging or sense of humility. What I want to do in response is, well, Lord, use Your light to help me to be able to share with others so that they can come out of the darkness too. 

Erin: Amen.

Tools to Help You This Halloween Season

Portia: So, thank you for that. Well, we're not handing out candy this morning, especially not candy corn. But You know what we are always giving away and that is the tools to help you stay grounded. Alright, as you know, Halloween is just the first of many of special days during the holiday season. We've got Thanksgiving and then Christmas, and then New Year's Day. And guess, what every holiday is an opportunity to worship Christ and to put Him on display. 

So, if you want some help in being more intentional with holidays, we recommend a Revive OurHearts podcast series, called Keeping Christ at the Center of Your Holidays. It is with Barbara Rainey. And we're going to drop a link to it.

Dannah: I love that. I love Barbara Rainey’s approach on the holidays. They are always encouraging to me. Hey, Erin and Portia, I was just checking out the comments on Facebook and YouTube. And I have to say, I don't think we intended to, but we may have just produced one of the most controversial episodes of Grounded in the history of ever. 

Erin: Candy corn?

Dannah: It's not about candy corn. It's about the concept of should we celebrate or should we not? So, I want to point out, we're not celebrating the darkness. Kelly's Halloween, the way she's redeeming Halloween is with Bible verses on her stairsteps, with giving out king-sized candy bars, and pointing to King Jesus, and having a prayer room in her house. You can see pictures on her website of people praying over prayer requests that people have written out. And that's the kind of thing we're talking about. One of the one of our Grounded sisters said, “What do you mean by redeemed?” Well, the word redeemed means I'm going to read this definition, “gain or regain possession of something in exchange for a payment.”

That's exactly what Jesus did for our life. We think Kelly's doing that—regaining possession of that space in her neighborhood for Jesus when for so many years, it was a place of darkness. So, we encourage you to do that. 

Remember, we share that Alejandra said in Latin America, something like that would never work, because it's just such a dark holiday. So, use your discernment sisters. Talk with other people in your congregation and fight for a peaceful biblical solution that helps us redeem every single day of the calendar.

Erin: I’m so glad we can have the conversation here. We don't have to say it is black, it is white, but we can open our Bibles together and be grounded.

Dannah: Sometimes it’s orange, right?

Erin: Right 

Portia: And you know that’s what we do. 

Dannah: Right. Which speaking of orange, it's time to announce the winner of our Grounded pumpkin carving contest. 

Portia: I don't like pumpkins either. 

Dannah: That's okay. We only had one entry. Kelly's husband Jimmy, see what I mean by different opinions. We have different opinions. Portia has all kinds of them this morning. Kelly's husband Jimmy entered a contest. Actually, he carves a pumpkin into the image of a reformer every year. Check this out. This is a photograph. You can see it in the show notes if you're watching the podcast version. Some carving skills there right.

Portia: Oh wow, he just redeemed pumpkins for me.

Erin: He took possession of the pumpkin for Portia right there.

Dannah: This is for you Portia. Here is Martin Luther in all his garbed glory.

Portia: Spurgeon and oh, it's awesome. I love this.

Erin: All you had to do is commemorate those guys in squash. I don't know how we're gonna redeem candy corn for you, girl, but we'll try. Well, it's time for me. I've wanted to open this bag the whole episode, but I didn't want you guys to hear the noise. For sure I’m having some of it. It's the breakfast of second place finishers, right? It is the breakfast of champions. 

It's time for you to put a reminder on your phone to tell friends about Grounded and to join us right back here next week. We're here every Monday morning—rain, shine, candy corn. We're always here. Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal are going to be with us next week, some other Grounded favorites. We're gonna be talking about what happens when life does not go according to plan. So, let's wake up with hope together next week on Grounded. 

Grounded is a production of Revive Our Hearts calling women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ. 

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About the Hosts

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

When Dannah Gresh was eight years old, she began praying that God would use her as a Bible teacher for “the nations.” When she sees the flags of many countries waving at a Revive Our Hearts event, it feels like an answer to her prayer.

Dannah is the founder of True Girl which provides tools for moms and grandmothers to disciple their 7–12 year-old girls. On Monday nights, you’ll find Dannah hosting them in her online Bible study. She has authored over twenty-eight books, including Ruth: Becoming a Girl of Loyalty, Lies Girls Believe, and a Bible study for adult women based on the book of Habakkuk. She and her husband, Bob, live on a hobby farm in central Pennsylvania.

Portia Collins

Portia Collins

Portia Collins is a Christian Bible teacher and writer/blogger who enjoys studying and teaching Scripture.  Portia is the founder of "She Shall Be Called" (SSBC), a women’s ministry centered on helping women understand and embrace true biblical womanhood through solid study of God's Word. To learn more about SSBC, visit www.sheshallbecalled.com.  Portia and her husband, Mikhail, have a daughter and currently live in the Mississippi Delta. 

About the Guest

Kelly Needham

Kelly Needham

Kelly Needham is married to singer/songwriter and speaker Jimmy Needham. She first began writing and speaking to his fan base in 2008 as they traveled together and has since garnered a much wider platform. Kelly is a regular contributor for the True Woman blog and is author of the book Friendish: Reclaiming Real Friendship in a Culture of Confusion. She has been on staff at two different churches, serving in youth, college, and women's ministry. Whether writing or speaking, Kelly’s aim is to convince as many people as possible that nothing compares to knowing Jesus. She and Jimmy live in the Dallas area with their three children, Lively, Sophia, and Benjamin. You can find more of her writing and speaking at kellyneedham.com or follow her on social media.