This is Halloween...

Welcome to our nightmares and fantastical dreams.

Each year for a few we've done something over the top in our garage on Halloween while tying in a snapshot of the story of God Himself from some pretty unique angles. Preachy? Not so much. Bizarre? Sure, why not?

I learned from the best long ago, generosity gets attention. (No matter where you lived in my neighborhood growing up, on the last day of October you visited the guy handing out Happy Apples.) We also know people love a show. So we try to go big with both.

Here you'll see what a classic rock couple with a taste for the creepy and strange can do with a regular garage, a little imagination and a lot of time.


2010: Shipwrecked Pirates!

This year, with Halloween falling on a Sunday, and thus a school night, we intended to scale things back a notch. Or so we thought.

While it may not have been quite the spectacle of years past, we actually created a shipwreck in the garage, complete with beach and real sand. A pirate flag waved alongside the house throughout the week before to give the neighbors a friendly teaser of what was to come.

> The Backstory
As a couple of cursed pirates, we had about 200 years or so to come up with a ditty explaining just a little of how we got stuck here.
Across the vast wide ocean
We sailed the stormy seas
'Til some other pirates found us
And they cut us to our knees

The ship she could not handle
The canon balls that flew
So we washed up on this shoreline
...And now I'm stuck here with you
And what was the only way to end the curse and get off the island? We had to give all our loot away. Good thing we suddenly had lots of visitors to our desert island on this night who were quite willing to take the goods off our hands.

Watch the slideshow. (A 404 may pop up, but it still plays.) On mobile, click "View all" below.:

> The Trick
We used our literally 100-year-old mandoletto to while away our time on the island, also entertaining guests with a modified version of the Styx tune "Boat on the River," or in our case, "Ship on the Ocean."

Ocean sounds and tropical bird noises filled the air, as one would expect on an island. And our rare and distant island peacock, that was my contribution to the soundtrack.

We certainly won't pretend "Pirates of the Caribbean" didn't have some influence here. The original may have been watched in it's entirety that very afternoon.

Freaky Fact: The coconut's real name is Stiney, on loan to us from our church youth pastor. We renamed him Wilson for the night, hearkening back to the film "Castaway." However, the skull's name really is Yorick, a reference to Shakespeare's "Hamlet."

> The Treat
This was our second year creating a themed treat bag. The loot we handed out included our standard candy and pretzels, as well as some gold chocolate coins, Lifesavers candy, faux Silly Bandz in piratey shapes and a pirate ducky. We topped this one off with a truly great treasure, tiny New Testament Bibles, the one book we'd want with us if we were trapped on a desert island. The following was then printed on parchment paper:

Card image returning soon... Until then, click here to view it in Google Docs.

As it turns out, obtaining those little books was a story all its own. I searched the internet high and low for these miniature ESV (English Standard Version) New Testaments. Unfortunately I learned they were out of print from Crossway, and sold out everywhere. I finally located some through Westminster Bookstore. They had just 65 remaining, and at an excellent rate, so I told them to ship 'em all. I hoped to create 100 bags just in case, but ended up purchasing some ESV Gospel of John booklets to pad the rest.

A few times after placing the order, I said, "Wouldn't it be crazy if we only gave away 65 bags that night?" Well, guess what. By the end of that night that is exactly the number of treat bags we gave away. Sixty five and no more. God provided in exact quantity.

As an additional treat, visitors to mini ministry's Halloween blog post were also given the opportunity this year to register to receive a free complete Bible if they didn't already own one.

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Thanks for stopping by. And, hey, go easy on the candy. ;-)