Friends invited us to their farm on Saturday night to join their church family for a Harvest Party. Supper included the annual tradition of fresh French fries - cooked on-the-spot - with all the trimmings - ketchup, malt vinegar, and a big crockpot of cheese sauce. M. spent part of the evening helping various children crank part of the 100 lbs. (!) of potatoes through the cutter. You could smell those fries down the road! Besides that, there were crockpots of chili, hot dogs to roast over the campfire, a cream-cheese frosted pumpkin cake (a yellow cake mix with the addition of a small can of pumpkin and spices), and plenty of hot cocoa for the cold night.
The barn was the place to be - big kids and little kids scampered in and out of it all evening like bees to a hive. Its dim lighting made the straw maze extra fun for the kids - young and old alike. And I appreciated the devotional our friend and host presented in the barn while we all sat around on bales of straw.
He talked about how our society has a fascination with evil - he mentioned the current zombie phase, which followed a preoccupation with vampires - and how fear can take hold in hearts if that becomes the focus. I love how he recounted the tale of Jesus and the man from the Gadarenes who was possessed by demons. He reminded us of Jesus' power over those demons and how He changed the heart and life of the enslaved man. Our friend reminded us that we need not focus on fearful things for we have a Savior who is Master over all, including evil. And he gave a clear presentation of the Gospel message, that any might be saved from the darkness into the Light of Christ's love and forgiveness.
And then, of course, a hayride. For what's a Harvest Party without a hayride? The teens bided their time while the little ones took the first ride, and I drank yet another cup of cocoa. After the tractor pulled back in, we said our good-byes and piled into the van for the short ride home - cold and a little tired, but definitely happy.