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Featuring “Featurette”!

clapboard1I thought I’d try something new here.  Seein as I’ve been a bit out of sorts with writing lately, I’m feeling the need to…how do you say?…mix it up a bit.

So, every now and then, I’m going to post a “Featurette”.  Did you hear the effective echo in there when I said the word Featurette?

Anyway, Wikipedia defines a featurette as a film whose length is approximately three quarters of a reel, or about 20-44 minutes of running time, thus midway between a short subject and a feature film.  In other words, a “small feature”.  Thus, Featurette.

Now that we are all clear on what a featurette is, you can be assured that I won’t be showing a short film here.  Instead, I’ll be Featuretting a blog or website, hand selected by me, from my very own blogroll.  Yes, that’s right.  The blogroll over there on the right side of the page…and down a bit.

I have to wonder what people think of the sites I have listed on my blogroll.  It’s an interesting collection.  Yet, there’s reason and a story behind them all.  Whenever I lurk around a blog site, I check out the blogroll and the links.  I have to say that sometimes I have questions, and I do wonder why this or that site was chosen to have a special place in the listing.  In a “Featurette” post, we’ll take a bit of a closer look at the people and the websites that make up my blogroll.

I do know this.  I’ve found many wonderful blogs by checking out someones blogroll.  So, maybe this new “Featurette” will connect us bloggers a little closer together.

That was just the introduction.  My next post will be the first “Featurette”.  Aren’t you excited?  I know I am.

Stay tuned

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Fight to write

writers_block_400It’s difficult to write when I feel as though there is nothing inside my mind and heart that’s just dying to come out.

This is how I’ve felt for months.  I mean it;  literally months.  It’s as though I’ve said to myself, “Self, if you don’t have anything good to say, then why say anything at all?”

Sometimes I question my intentions for blogging.  I don’t like to only talk about me, my life, my feelings.  Yet my life, and that of my family has been majorly impacted by life changing events over this last year.  My daughters wedding and the death of my mother-in-law…just to mention two.  These certainly are worthy subjects, deserving of record.

But is that my intention here?

I never intended this to be a “Day in the life” sort of blog. I do enjoy throwing posts like that in here and there though.  Seriously folks.  I can’t imagine anyone who might stumble upon this site being the least bit interested in what I did today.   Ummm, let’s see.  Today I woke up and had a cup of coffee.  I left the house for a while, came home, did the dishes and the laundry.  I think I answered the phone somewhere in there…

No offence to those who faithfully blog the ins and outs of their daily lives.  I salute you all.

I’m just not sure that’s where I want to go here…on this blog.

And, I ramble on…without a clue as to what I should write today.

I will say this, though…for this is true, and relevant, real, and worthy of saying.  God is good.

This last year has been challenging on so many levels.  Yet He remains faithful and true…and good

Through a joyful wedding, and the sorrow of the death of loved ones (4 in one year)…He is good.

Through fear of the unknown, and even of the known…God is good.

When those we love the most turn their backs on Him…He remains good.

Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.

That is absolutely worth writing about.

hoping I don’t stay blocked,

Mary~

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I’m Back!

And I’ve moved.  I’ve decided to break away from Blogger and move my site on over to WordPress.  Yippee!  It’s taken a while…but now it’s done.  Hopefully the user friendliness of this blog site will be just the encouragement I need to write more.  If you’ve subscribed to my posts, you will continue to receive email updates whenever I post.  Yep…I’m excited.

Natalie and Justin’s wedding was absolutely beautiful, amazing, and dreamy with yummy food and wonderful friends and family to share it with.  It’s crazy how so much blood, sweat, and literal tears go into planning this one day event.  But, it was more than worth it.  Our prayers, as well as the prayers of so many people, were answered above and beyond what we could ever ask or think.  We continue to hear reports of how hearts were touched and lives even changed by being a part of the day.  That was Chris’ and my prayer.  We wanted people to leave having encountered our Lord, Jesus.  And they did.  God is so good. 

So, now that the wedding has passed, and our lives seem to be moving on a more…shall I say, less hecktic path, I will try, try, try, to write more.

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Quote for today…

“Christ died for men precisely because men are not worth dying for:
to make them worth it.”
C.S. Lewis

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Seeing The Invisible – Part 2

Just wanted to share another “eye opener”. This is another truth that I know I’ve known, yet for whatever reason, for me, I’ve only been experiencing it through cloudy eyes.
This next quote is taken from Major Ian’s book, The Indwelling Life Of Christ

“Salvation is so much more than a change of destination from hell to heaven! The true spiritual content of our gospel is not just heaven one day, but Christ here and now. In the economy of God, conversion is only an essential preliminary to discipleship, which is a lifetime of allowing Christ to live in you and do His work through you.

“Your salvation is also a million times more than simply knowing your sins are forgiven. As a forgiven sinner you are to be reinhabited by your Maker, reinvaded by Deity, so that your humanity becomes intelligently available to an intelligent God for the intelligent purpose for which He intelligently created you. That is the true sanctification, as the Bible explains it.”


“And this is eternal life: It means to know, to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand You, the only true and real God, and likewise to know Him, Jesus as the Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, Whom You have sent.”

John 17:3, AMP


What do you think? Maybe it’s time we open our eyes and start experiencing heaven today!

Heavenly Father…Thank you for making me “intelligently available” for Your “intelligent purpose” in my life.

Intelligently seeking Him,

MB

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When it rains, it pours…

It rained again today. It’s been raining for a few days now, but today…it really rained.

It didn’t just rain though. The bad stuff started at about 1:00A.M.. Hard, continuous, down pouring rain, as well as hurricane force winds. I heard they were clocked somewhere around 90mph in some areas. The noise during the night was so loud, I had to sleep with ear plugs in. But I slept none the less, in spite of the noise, and in spite of the fact that Chris was out of town. After 21 years of marriage it can still be hard for me to sleep when he’s away.

I was pulled out of sleep early in the morning by the sound of yelling. I could hear it, even through the ear plugs. I got up to look out our bedroom window. The neighbor behind us, and the other neighbor next to them, were standing at their fences in the torrential rain and wind trying to talk, or rather yell to one another over the fence. This caused me to look down into our side yard. To my surprise it was filling with water and just about coming over the walkway. Thankfully, I had left our back gate open to allow water to flow out during the storm. None the less, for the water to be that high…ummm..not a good sign.

I threw on some jeans and a sweatshirt, put on my shoes and stuck a beanie on my head, then made my way out the front door. I knew what I would see as I rounded the corner to the drive way, I just didn’t look forward to seeing it. Sure enough, the street from our house, all the way down to Old Redwood Hwy, was under water…and I mean under water. The creek across the street was pouring over it’s banks. Water was running out of our backyard, and our neighbors backyard like a rushing river. Our neighbors front yard two doors down was completely under water up to their front porch. I stood out there in the pouring rain, simply dumbfounded, and still half asleep. I thought to myself, “Man, if I hadn’t slept with earplugs in I would have woken up sooner.” I don’t know what good that would have done though. The rain still would have come. Kind of reminds me of that Sunday school song about Noah with that verse that says, “The rains came down and the floods came up, the rains came down and the floods came up”…they sure did.

Once again, my God, who knows I need visuals in order to learn and retain information, teaches me in the rain and the flood. Ya see, ever since Chris’ emergency Appendectomy we seem to be getting hit with one rain storm after another. When Chris was in the hospital, we received some news about his mom’s health which was hard to hear. She had battled lung cancer a few years ago. We were really hoping she was over it. Then, after he came home from the hospital, Roby Duke had a massive heart attack and went home to be with Jesus. We were so stunned by this news as we had plans to hear him play on New Years eve. Next, my grandma was hospitalized with Pneumonia and congestive heart failure. She’s hooked up to life support machines as my mother struggles to make all the “right” decisions. My older sister is also having health issues that are weighing on her heart, as she also has had cancer in the past.

It wasn’t but a couple days ago I was sharing with someone about all these issues. They responded with that all too familiar phrase, “When it rains, it pours.” As they said it, I remembered a day back when Chris was still in the hospital recovering from his surgery. We were on one of his many “around the ward” walks. They told him the more he walked, the sooner he could go home. Anyway, during this trek, I grabbed a hold of his hand and said,

“Hon, why does it seem like bad things like this always happen around the holidays?”

His response was so simple, so perfect, and so what I needed to hear at the time,

“They don’t always happen around the holidays. They happen all the time.”

My inward focus caused me to miss the fact that stuff like this happens everyday to all people, everywhere. The Lord isn’t selective on who he chooses to pour rain on.

“..for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 4:45b

And He’s certainly not selective on who, how, or when He allows trials to come. He is a sovereign, all knowing, and just God. He knows when the ground of my heart is dry or lacking root and depth in Him.

And so…He brings the rain.

There’s a song that I love, and therefore listen to over and over, especially when I’m going through trials. It’s called, In You. It’s by Shane and Shane and is off their Pages CD. The first verse of the song says this,

“I sing for joy in my remorse
A well within prosperity’s curse
That drowns the mighty oak of pride
But feeds the root of God inside

So, I’m not necessarily eager for the flood. But rain is good.

Resting in His arms

Mary

“It is always in the midst, in the epicenter, of your troubles that you find serenity.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Wartime Writings 1939-1944

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Who Stole Baby Jesus?

This story just in. Baby Jesus was stolen right out of the manger. It happened right in front of Joseph and Mary, and the entire city of Healdsburg for that matter.

This is a true story folks. In fact, it happened at the church right across the street from our little chapel in Healdsburg. You can read all about it in the Press Democrat.

Here’s the skinny. The doll that was being used for Baby Jesus in the manger was removed. In it’s place was left…now are you ready for this? In it’s place was a yellow, stuffed duck with a red nose and blinking light. There was also a second “devil duck” painted black with horns.

Why on earth would anyone want to steal Baby Jesus out of the manger, and replace Him with two demonic ducks? Yes, I know. This was probably just another hoodlum prank. No big deal, right? But still, the thought of “stealing Jesus” really got me thinking.

A couple days before I read this story I experienced another incident.

I needed to run to Walmart to pick up a few things. Now, whenever I go to Walmart,I try to psych myself out a bit, knowing that it will probably be a crazy experience. Crowded parking lot. Wobbly wheeled cart that sticks and squeals. Screaming kids and angry moms. Long lines, and ultimately buying so much more than what I came in for.

On this particular outing, I pulled into the parking lot and much to my surprise, found a place to park rather quickly. I jump out of my car, running over my list in my mind and thinking to myself, “The faster I get in, the faster I get out.”

As I’m approaching the entrance I notice a man, probably in his late 30’s, leaning against the brick wall, smoking a cigarette. Not an uncommon sight in front of any American Walmart. Just then, a young mom walks past him. Her cart is laden with Christmas gifts…A rather large box slid in on the lower part of the cart. A bicycle hanging on the front. Odds and ends in the basket, and a crying toddler in the child seat. Just as she passed the “smoking man”, the large box slides forward and crashes to the ground with a thud. The toddler cries even louder and the mom, speaking loud enough for anyone standing close by to hear says,(expletives removed)

“Why does this have to be so stinkin hard?!?”

Now, here’s the crazy part. People just keep walking by. No one stops to help her. And the smoking man? Well, he just stands there watching her, puffing away, with a look on his face that says, “She’s crazy”.

I too walk on by, completely angered by what I’ve just seen. I’m thinking, “Chivalry really is dead!”

That man could have dropped the cig, run over to the poor mom, and at least picked up the box for her. Maybe even said a few kind words as well like, “Are you alright, mam? Here, let me help you…or, Merry Christmas”

But, nothing.

I hurried past the Salvation Army bell ringer, and in through the front entrance. I got in fast, and out even faster.

Both these incidences troubled me considerably. I mean, what is going on here? Where is Jesus? Stolen out of the manger, devil ducks in His place. He certainly wasn’t at Walmart that day. I even heard that the phrase “Merry Christmas” isn’t allowed to be used in some stores by employees anymore. Who wants to go Christmas shopping with this kind of stuff going on? Isn’t it just much easier to stay home? We can shop online in the comfort of a chair. No long lines, no screaming, no…

Then it hit me. I mean the conviction of the Holy Spirit that is. Loud and clear it came to me, as though the Lord were saying,

“What are you doing? I wasn’t really stolen out of the manger. That was a doll. I’m real, and still very much alive. I am ever powerful, and ever present, and living inside of you, Mary. So take Me with you wherever you go. Even to Walmart.”

Oh dear. It’s true. Even I walked right by that helpless mom. I didn’t run to go help her, or to say, “Are you alright, mam?” I just rushed on by, glaring at the smoking man. No smiles or Merry Christmas’s from me.

Don’t you just love how the Lord is so faithful to take everyday experiences and use them to mold us into His image?

I have to say that since then, I have done much better with my shopping outings. I think I’m more aware of my surroundings, especially the people. I look at faces and try to catch eyes. I smile and try to allow Jesus to shine through. I want to wish everyone a great big Merry Christmas, as though to leave a lingering fragrance of Who this season is truly about.

I actually want to go shopping now.

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