Sunday, November 8, 2009

Evil Eye

Throughout Turkey, you'll see a blue, yellow, and white ornament which looks roughly like an eye. They are often displayed in shops, houses, and even on vehicles. It's believed that some people have power in their looks that can harm other people, domestic animals, goods, and properties. To have the "evil eye" is not the person's fault, it can come upon anyone. Once a person has the "evil eye" he or she can unintentionally bring harm to whoever or whatever he or she looks at. It's also believed that this power comes from the eyes, the two exit points of the soul. This ornament is worn or displayed as a protector from that "evil eye."

The history of the evil eye goes back before the Muslim religion's emergence in the Middle East, and is seen among the Arabs, Iranians, Greeks, Indians, and even in Ancient Egypt. Blue bead eyes are attached to children, to valuable animals, houses, vehicles, and properties. A chain of blue-bead eyes is attached to the forehead of larger animals. Lovers also give each other blue-beads with the hope that these beads will protect their loved ones. In addition to blue beads, some other objects are also used for that purpose. To protect fruit trees and fields from the evil eye, an animal skull is placed by the tree or field. Horseshoes, garlic, and children's shoes can also be seen hanging in trucks, buses, and houses. Eggshells are also used as protection from the evil-eye, but they're only used for beautiful flowers.

Some framed inscriptions hanging in houses and painted on large trucks and other vehicles are used to avert evil eyes from the houses and vehicles, or to bring the protection of God. Of those inscriptions "Masallah" means "what (wonders) God has willed," "Allah Korusun" means "may God protect from all evil."

As a Christian, I do not put faith in "The Evil Eye." Yes, I believe that spiritual forces of darkness exist, but I also believ that my God, the Lord God Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth is the One True God. He IS stronger than any "Evil Eye." He protects and provides. I do not need a man made amulet to protect me from evil forces. I need the Lord Jesus Christ, as we all do.

I urge you to pray for those people throughout the world who are in bondage because of this type of practice. Pray that God would send people to form relationships and share their faith with others so they can be delivered from this type of bondage. And, pray that once delivered and partakers of the new life in Christ, they would share with others the freedom that they have found in Christ Jesus.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Advice for "Running the Race"

I have been part of a small group that has been studying Charles Swindoll's book, A Man of Grit and Grace: Paul. The last chapter is on 2 Timothy. In it, Swindoll gives a list on how to run the race as a person of grit and grace as written by Paul in 2 Timothy 2. Here is the advice that I know I could definitely use:
  • Be strong in grace (2:1)
  • Be faithful to entrust truth (v.2)
  • Be as brave as a soldier (v. 4)
  • Be as disciplined as an athlete (v. 5)
  • Be as hardworking as a farmer (v. 6)
  • Be as diligent as a workman (v.15)
  • Be as gentle as a servant (vv. 24-25)

Isn't this what we all aim to do be in life? It's all in one small chapter! I pray that I can take this advice and apply it to my life!