Guest Post – I Am Mary

Today’s guest post, I Am Mary, written by Dave Peever first appeared on Live 4 Him.

I am Mary.

This is not my normal way of introducing myself. As a matter of fact I have never, until today, introduced myself by saying “I am Mary.” To clear up any misunderstandings that may come from this introduction; my name is Dave and I have no intention of going by the name Mary. However I must, if I intend to introduce myself fully, use the words, I am Mary.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

I had it all figured out. I knew what it would look like. Maybe not the exact details or the final destination but I knew where I was going, or at least I thought I did. I am Mary. Now I peer into a dark tomb expecting to see my dead hopes and dreams. I am ready to say goodbye to them. I have accepted that things did not turn out the way I thought they would.

I don’t see what I expect to see.

One more look at the one I trusted with my future. I know the last look will cause an overwhelming flood of emotion. I will be filled with the should have beens and could have beens but I need to take one more look. I need to bury my hopes and dreams with the one I thought would make them all come true. I look but I see nothing, well maybe I should rephrase that, I don’t see what I expect.

My desire to say goodbye, to move on, blinds me.

All hope is gone all dreams destroyed. I am ready to move on. All I need is one last goodbye. I will be at peace, not happy, not relieved but I will be at peace once I can say my final goodbye. They say accepting what has happened is the toughest part. I have done that. I have been able to come to grips with the fact that life will not end up the way I expected it to. I just want to make it official, pay my respects and get on with the grieving process.

I can’t do it, I can’t move on. The one who held all my hopes and dreams, the one who was but is no longer is gone and with him my chance to say goodbye. I don’t understand why anyone would unwrap a dead body and take it. I don’t know why these shiny beings are sitting where the author of my hopes and dreams should be lying. I really don’t care, I just want to say goodbye and move on.

“Sir, if you have carried him [the author of my hopes and dreams] away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him [I will go there and say my goodbyes and give the future a proper burial].”

I am Mary, hopelessly alone with my broken dreams trying to make sense of it all.

I have accepted what I once thought was impossible. I have faced what I never could have imagined. I have seen my future destroyed, my hopes and dreams decimated because the one who held them all, the one who could make them all come true is gone. I want to feel his presence once again. I want to experience the hope that only he could give. I want to dream dreams that only he could make happen.

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” John 20:10-15 (NIV)

I am the Mary of John 20:10-15 and I want to be the Mary of John 20:16.

Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

I want to hear Jesus call my name when all hope is gone, my dreams are destroyed and the only conclusion I can come to is that the author of my hope and dreams is no longer.

Who is Dave Peever? I am a follower of Jesus the Christ. My specific call is to creatively present various aspects of life as a Christ follower and as a member of a collective of Christ followers I use my background as an actor, director and playwright/writer as well as my music, preaching and leadership skills to assist churches in transition (between pastors) with their desire to be more effective.

I have been married for 31 years. We have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren all who currently reside in central Ontario Canada. I have been in ministry for 22 years.

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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Don’t Just Talk About It

If you’re going to write, don’t just talk about it, write.

That was the point a speaker made in one workshop I attended during the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in May.

The speaker mentioned a friend who talked about writing, attended writing conferences each year, and gathered writing resources but never wrote. His friend liked the idea of being a writer. Liked talking about being a writer. And especially liked having people think she was a writer. But the truth was, she never applied any of the knowledge she gathered to actually write. For her writing was fun to talk about. Hard to do.

Although I view the speaker’s words from a writer’s point of view I wonder, could the same thought be applied to those of us who call ourselves Christ followers? Don’t just talk about following Chris, live it out?

Like the speaker’s friend, do we like to talk about following Jesus, belonging to a church, and lining our shelves with books on spiritual development? Do we like for others to think we follow Jesus’ example without evidence of the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives?

Just as the speaker pointed out writers need to study the craft of writing, followers of Jesus need to study the ultimate how-to-guide book, the Bible. We need to understand what our lives should look like.

As the speaker also pointed out, all the studying in the world will do us little good if we don’t put it into practice and apply it to our lives.

Especially when it comes to following Jesus.

The book of James tells us if we only listen to God’s word without putting it into practice, we’re fooling ourselves. We have to do what the Bible says.

We fool ourselves when we say we follow Jesus without doing what he tells us to do.

Jesus said even the smallest thing we do for others we do for him. And the reverse. Whatever we neglect to do for others we neglect to do for him.

It’s one thing to say we’re writers and not write. It’s something completely different to say we follow Jesus and don’t.

Talk the talk and walk the walk, right?

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But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Held to the Flame

Skip Mathews flame painting a copper bracelet, Ozark Folk Center, Mountain View, AR.

Being held to the flame during times of trial or testing is no picnic. But what about having an oxyacetylene torch heated to around five thousand degrees Fahrenheit to pull hidden beauty from a piece of copper?

During a visit to the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas last spring, I was fascinated to watch as Skip Mathews, (no I didn’t spell his name incorrectly) copper colorist extraordinaire explained his flame painting technique.

Flame painting captures colors, shapes, and tone using only the very hot flame from the torch. It’s not how hot the flame is that creates the colors, it’s how hot the metal is.

As the copper heats, cool downs, heats up again, it goes through multiple color changes depending on the number of times it is held to the flame, how long the heat is applied, and whatever happens to be in the air that day.

The Bible tells us God purifies those who belong to him through trials and testing in our life, much like a refiner passes precious metal through the flame to remove the impurities that hide its beauty.

Similar to flame painting, being held to the flame draws out our true colors.

The Master Artist knows how long to hold us to the flame. He knows when to remove the flame and let us cool down. He also knows when to reapply heat. And God knows how many times to go over the same area to bring about the result he wants.

There are no surprises with God. He knows what pattern he’ll end up with; what unique, one of a kind creation we will become.

Depending on the intensity of the flame, and the number of times we’re held to it, some of us will hold more turquoise in our final product. Some more orange. Some more green or brown. Others will be in the red to pink range. Each life is distinct, fashioned and flame painted by the Master Colorist’s hand.

Have any of you seen a copper colorist in action? If you get the opportunity, why not stop by Skip and Racheal Mathews’ shop at the Craft Village in the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas?

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I will bring the third that remain through the fire and make them pure, as gold and silver are refined and purified by fire. They will call upon my name and I will hear them; I will say, ‘These are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’” Zechariah 13:9 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Skip and Racheal Mathews are flame painting copper colorists who live in Mountain View, Arkansas working at the Ozark Folk Center. Using an oxyacetylene torch, they use a skilled control of the flame to create shapes and colors with intentional design and composition. The end result is art. Check our their website and YouTube video.

Pause for Poetry I am Refreshed

courtesy unsplashWelcome to Pause for Poetry, featuring a poem, I Am Refreshed, written by my writer-friend, Frances Gregory Pasch.

I Am Refreshed

 

I am refreshed, dear Jesus,

By the little things you do.

You speak to me in different ways

And let me know it’s You.

Today I heard a serenade

When I awoke at dawn,

And I still felt Your presence

When all the birds were gone.

You often send me rainbows

When sun reflects on glass.

In troubling times, they speak to me,

“This too, My Child, shall pass.”

Sometimes a word pops off the page

While spending time with You.

It gives direction to my soul…

Confirms what I’m to do.

You always know what’s best for me

It’s all part of your plan.

I’m blessed that You’re my Shepherd,

The Awesome, Great I AM.

 

©Frances Gregory Pasch

Frances Gregory Pasch’s devotions and poems have been published hundreds of times in devotional booklets, magazines, and Sunday school papers since 1985. Her writing has also appeared in several dozen compilations. Her book, Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions and Poetry is available on Amazon. Frances has been leading a women’s Christian writers group since 1991 and makes her own holiday greeting cards incorporating her poetry. She and her husband, Jim, have been married since 1958. They have five sons and nine grandchildren. Contact her at http://www.francesgregorypasch.com.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Successful Mission

Fifty years ago this month the Apollo 11 lunar landing completed a successful mission to the moon. As Neil Armstrong said, one giant leap. Perhaps like me you watched the historic event on a black and white television.

Recently, I watched a real-time successful Space X launch on my phone. Quite a change from a black and white tv, wouldn’t you say?

In this successful Space X mission sixty satellites launched from a Falcon Heavy rocket into the blackness of space. The satellites left the rocket in a pack. Then one by one, dispersed on their individual mission. Fascinated, I watched as each of those tiny spots of light left the rocket and floated off into darkness.

While I watched those sixty satellites head out on their pre-determined mission, I thought of the words Christ spoke to his eleven remaining disciples before he returned to heaven following his resurrection.

The eleven received their commission together. Then one by one each Bearer of Light dispersed on his individual mission to spread the Good News throughout the whole world.

I’d have to say they completed a successful mission, wouldn’t you?

As Bearers of the Light of Jesus, followers of Christ are given the same mission today.  I wonder, how are we doing with that?

Did you watch Apollo 11 launch or see Neil Armstrong walk on the moon? Pilot’s dad was part of the Apollo launch team that day. Pilot and his family watched the launch first hand.

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Jesus drew near and said to them, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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