by Joy Dunlap –


Going door to door in my suburban neighborhood to “Trick or Treat” was a moving party – candy, laughter and friends found along the way. Putting on a costume and seeing other kids dressed up was half the fun. Neighbors greeted us with smiles, exclaiming over our simple, sometimes homemade costumes.

If memory serves me right, I often wore a “recycled” dance recital outfit. One was a yellow and black bumblebee. At least once I dressed as a hippie – easy with bell bottoms and fake flowers. No one wore really scary or gruesome outfits – at least not in my neighborhood. A plastic pumpkin full of treats including lots of chocolate (yummy!) was my payoff for the night.

Back then, hyped-up scares of possible razor blades in apples cautioned TV news viewers, although no one ever tried to give me an apple. Trick-or-treaters quickly spread the word about which houses had the really good candy or multiple pieces. One house a couple of blocks over simply put out a bowl filled with candy and a note to “Take some.” One wonders today, what would have stopped someone from putting bad or poisoned candy in there?

Life is like “Trick or Treat.” It isn’t just with neighbors with we know, candy we love, and dressing up in a fantasy costume. It shouldn’t be about wearing masks for those who don’t know us or incessantly worrying about pain that could be lurking in something we might receive. But life is filled with dark nights and the need for flashlights.

Daily, the world tries to trick us that money, prestige and power are the most important indicators of a successful and full life. But, God wants to treat us with His unending love, forgiveness and peace for lasting fulfillment.

Daily, the world tries to trick us that looks and beauty are the gateways to happiness. But, God wants to treat us to inner loveliness that’s attractive to others with sincerity, gentleness and thoughtfulness.

Daily, the world tries to trick us into thinking we don’t have time to serve, or that our time needs to be spent only on personal pursuits. But God wants to treat us to the joy that comes from helping others in need.

Daily, the world tries to trick us into becoming complacent about values like honesty and integrity. But God wants to treat us to the confidence and strength that come with courage to stand up for the right things.

Daily, the world tries to trick us into choosing instant gratification even when it is against our moral and spiritual beliefs. God wants to treat us to a path full of pleasure, but in a way that protects our character, our values, and our souls.

Daily, the world tries to trick us that harsh words, contemptuous judging, and divisiveness are acceptable. But God wants to treat us to love, compassion and kindness, and He wants us to share that with others.

What ends up in our “Treat” bag of life when we hold our hands out to God?

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.                                                            But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

What is the best unexpected “treat” you ever received?

What “tricks” has life played on you lately?

Are you knocking on God’s door with your hands and heart open to accept the “treats” He has to give you?

For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:8

Live a Life that’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full!™

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