Time for Christ: Carol in my heart

Carola folksong with religious meaning usually sung at Christmas, a familiar tune to welcome and celebrate the spirit of Christmastime


My friend Carol. She’s a wonderful lady. I met her several years ago, before 2012, at Shoal Creek Community Church, back in Missouri. Carol is soft in voice and features, hard to know. Blonde. Statuesque. She could be a secret, delicate ballerina that only dances for God. Full of passion. A deep river of heart and love, running fast, yet soundless. And at the bottom of all, a Christ-centered human. She is generous of spirit, kind and, in a way, mysterious. If she were a song (carol)–Silent Night. Awe-filled, yet restrained and humble. I admire her quiet dignity, beauty, strength and grace.

After I mentioned (several times online, sorry!) about my upcoming trip to Israel, I recently discovered that Carol volunteers at Habitat for Humanity and I couldn’t wait to interview her about her service. Thank you, Carol, for answering my questions with such thoughtful responses! Thank you for sharing your heart and being comfortable enough to do that! You’re a good writer, Lady!


What is the name of the organization that you volunteer with?

Habitat for Humanity RV Care-a-Vanners

What is their mission?

It supports Habitat for Humanity’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

How long have you been serving with this group?

3 years

Where did you go this summer on your mission?

Brookings, SD

What did you do on this mission?

It’s usually a two-week period of helping to build a house. We do whatever we are capable of doing, at whatever stage of building they are when we arrive. We have started from slab, framing walls and have gotten there at the stage of putting on siding, putting in windows and painting.

How do you feel you’ve grown as a Christian or person after this trip?

As a person, I’ve learned skills I never thought I would ever know. People are willing to teach. All you have to do is ask. Also, I’ve become more aware and accepting of other cultures and religions. Habitat for Humanity is a Christian organization, but they don’t discriminate on the basis of religion, age, gender or lifestyle. Morning devotionals are a regular part of every site build. It helps us keep our minds focused on why we do what we do. It doesn’t have to be a prayer. It can be a story or poem or quotes to inspire. We do usually close with a prayer and then hold hands and speak the Habitat motto:

“Habitat’s not a hand out but a hand UP!”

I now feel more comfortable sharing about my faith than I used to, so I feel I’ve grown some in that regard.

Why do you serve?

We like it because we love to travel, camp, meet new people and share God’s love by giving to those who are less fortunate. It’s a way we can do all of that and also work on keeping ourselves somewhat fit in our retirement. We love the camaraderie and being part of a group of like-minded individuals coming together to work towards a goal for the betterment of a family’s life. The thankfulness of the family shines through to return God’s love back to us.

Additional details:

Once you join the group you can go online to sign up. There is a schedule of locations and dates and number of spots available. Usually it’s free or reduced cost camping for the two-week period of the build.


Thank you, Carol! For your service to H for H! And for donating to my trip. I truly value our friendship, even if we can’t sip coffee together. Wouldn’t that be great?! If you’re ever in SW Florida, please do stay a while and we’d love to entertain you. I hope to serve one day with you and Steve! That would be so fun. H for H is a wonderful organization and it’s so inspiring to see our former president, Mr. Carter, still such an active participant. The organization and people like you give families dignity and hope. I admire you and your husband. You’re good, good folks with big hearts! ❤

Prayers for you and your family!

I get to do some Carol-ing of my own soon in Israel. 😀

Habitat for Humanity has many opportunities for those who own an RV or anyone who just wants to help, even locally. The have ReStore (local donation centers, maybe even in your town or nearby) and countless ways to serve. H for H is a nationwide organization that focuses on providing housing for all, no matter who they are or what they believe.

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Good Advice

Some of the best advice I ever heard was indirectly. That’s the best kind. Simply an illustration, manifestation, of good sense. Or proverbial wisdom. Sharing an overlooked or misunderstood or obscure nugget without harsh or pointed intent.

It came through our friends, Richard and Tracy Potter. Haven’t seen or talked to them in quite a while. I hope Richard sees this and nods.

Their child had a tough choice. A good, tough choice. Go to a local prestigious university or halfway across state? The child was bright, talented and earned her way to either school. The differences in benefits of each school were minute. It was pretty much an equal choice aside from distance. So they asked this incredibly bright child, with no other information to weigh, “Which choice will make you more dependent on God?”

Woah.

I didn’t even think to ask that. My question would have been, “Which one’s easier?” My question for my daughter? No question. You’re living with Mommie until you’re 37. LOL

But this is the question, the one they asked of their girl, we should be asking of our children, of our spouses, our family, ourselves. What choice is going to make me focus on God the most?

I have to say, I feel somewhat guilty, leaving on a missions trip. I’m going to help others, but those motherly/wifey twinges of paranoia-guilt tug at my emotional heart. Will they survive without me? Will things, bodies, hearts be the same when I come back in two weeks? Will they feel forsaken?

But when I ask the Potters’ question, “What will make us depend most on God?” Going to Israel will bring all of us to the foot of the cross. Lilli will have to pray more. Guy will have to ask for help. They will have to seek each other for comfort and necessity. I will be completely alone emotionally and have to turn to God through all of it. That’s a good place to be.

I’m sure our family does much codepending all too often. We can’t help it. We like each other.

So I guess going is okay. I don’t have to feel guilty. I just have to trust God. And talk to him. Lift my family up to him. Make room to grow.


Good news! I’m going! I reached my immediate goal of $500 and then some. Thanks to all who helped. Now I will tackle those big Venetian fish and ask local churches if they have any discretionary mission funds. Pray, if you’re the praying kind. 😉 Or give if you can.

Crazy White Lady

I am a middle-aged white woman who has every advantage a person could have. I was born in America. I’m white. I’ve never hungered a day in my life. In fact, I was super morbidly obese for 10 years of my life. Just morbidly obese for the other 35.

I’ve never been so poor that I couldn’t buy food. Only one day did I wonder about dinner. No food. No paycheck. And the long weekend to make it to money. And even at that low point, my husband went to our local food pantry and got enough to fix dinner for a few days. A friendly, benevolent nun gave us pasta and sauce. Humiliating as that was, we ate dinner with our school-age daughter. And we were so very thankful. We were full on grace.

I’ve been struggling this week. Last Friday, I was accepted for a mission trip to Israel. I rejoiced at being chosen, but immediately became worried after the joy subsided. I would have to raise the money for my trip.

I’ve never been good about asking others for money. I struggled with paying my medical bills, but hesitated in asking others outside of my family for help. So crowdfunding made me squeamish, but missions are something that I’ve wanted to do since I was 16. Go to another part of the world and help those in need.

I know you might say, “Martha, we have need in this country.” And I would say yes. But we also have overweight poor people. The need in this country is real. But even our poor people live better than most in other parts of the world. Even our poor people are among the 1 percent. THAT’s the truth. Being poor in America doesn’t automatically mean death. Being poor in other countries can mean starvation. Being poor can mean a violent or untimely death.

I need to raise ~$3500. The supplies for this trip are already provided for, but I need to get myself there, to help. But first, by Monday, I need to raise $500 to reserve my spot. GAiN is supporting me and encouraging me to keep trying, they want and need me there. I can serve in so many ways on this trip. But I need that $500 to reserve my travel. If I don’t have it, this journey ends here.

At 4:10 am, Tuesday morning, just this past week, I woke up in a NyQuil/Benadryl-induced fog because I’ve been very sick. Trying to write, work and raise money for a trip has been tricky. At 4:10 am, I didn’t want to be awake, but my eyes popped open. And a realization washed over me. It was God’s voice because there’s no way that I would have this thought.

God, carefully pulling me close, grasping my attention and pajama collars, whispered softly into my stinging eyes, “Martha. You’ve been worried. Terrified. About money. You don’t know how you will provide for this trip halfway around the world. You’re scared. You feel alone. You feel forgotten. Forsaken. You’ve only experienced that for a few days. NOW, my dear child, you have some small understanding of what these people I want you to care about face every single day of their lives.”

And I fell back into my dreamy, warm covers. Broken and blown away.

I can’t tell you why this crazy white lady wants to go to the Holy Land. I can’t justify it. Other than to say, I’m following God’s heart. And that plane is going with or without me.

If this trip dies here, it dies here. I don’t want it to though.

God, if you want it to happen, you will provide. I know that. Thank you for opening my tired, sick American eyes, at the very least. I’m going to run after you, every chance I get.


Please consider giving. GAiN for Martha Maggio. There’s more info about my trip and who we’ll be serving. If every one of my followers gave even $1, I could meet my immediate goal. Thanks!

Your Face Here

Your face goes here.
Doing what you fear.
Healing an injured ear.
Wiping every tear.
Making the most of years.
Keeping faith near.
Sweeping the path clear.
Changing this whole sphere.
Shouting for the back to hear.
Ready for God to appear.

Your face goes here.

martha jesus


Galatians 2:20 NIV

20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…

End of the (this) World

I am not a conspiracy theorist. I am not a Bible fanatic. I’m rather a passionate-in-ideals, but lukewarm-in-action Christian who has very progressive notions. (Don’t be like me.)

But I would like to talk about Revelation 13 for just a moment. The first part of it.

Revelation 13 NIV

The Beast out of the Sea

13 The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?”

The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
Whoever has ears, let them hear.
10 “If anyone is to go into captivity,
    into captivity they will go.
If anyone is to be killed with the sword,
    with the sword they will be killed.”

This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.


I have my opinions about what this means, but I won’t bore or frighten you with the details. Plus, I don’t want you to think I’m totally batshit crazy. I will say–many people believe the beast is a multi-national organization that will rule the world given its power (funding) by China (the dragon). Nations that might be part of the multi-headed beast: Russia, sounds like the USA, and possibly old English territories such as Hong Kong or others. The lion, the bear, etc. The part that really jumped out at me:

The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months.

If this ain’t Trump, then I’d hate to see the beast John’s talking about.

This is just shy of a full presidential term. 42 months. 3 1/2 years. If charges are brought against Trump, it will probably take the rest of this year (to elect new officials willing to impeach him) and next (an entire year to prepare and try a case in the House and Senate) to bring him to justice.

This guy. This freakin’ guy. He cheats on his wife. He’s cheated on all of his wives. He steals. He lies. He has no concept of morality. He’s been handed money and acts like a spoiled child. He’s never had to answer for anything in his whole, horrible life. He breaks the backs of poor people, sues at the drop of a hat, hires people and never pays them, and takes advantage of anyone who will let him. And now that anyone is our country. Next? The world. He doesn’t show anyone respect except for Putin. He meets in secret. He takes dirty, stolen money. He whines and bitches about persecution, but makes fun of women, the disabled and anyone who is different. He taunts foreign leaders with Twitter. He is the face of America. He represents us and I am disgusted. We do not bow to him. He serves us. Or should.

Look for his resignation in July-ish of 2020. Let’s hope. Let’s hope he doesn’t incite war by then. He’s a cornered beast, lashing out while struggling for air.


Another thing that jumped out at me:

This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.


I have no idea what the future will bring. I’m not even sure that John’s dream/vision in the first century can be interpreted by mere humans, or has any meaning at all on this current world stage. But I am paying attention. I am trying to live my life as if Jesus could return at any moment. Even if there is no return. I have the hope of going home. I am trying to live by Jesus’ command–LOVE.

But this life is wonderful, too. I am loved here, too.

I am the better for striving for Heaven. The world is the better for my fear of God. So I will continue to live this way. I have no reason not to.

I hate the world sometimes, but I’m doing my best to love the people in it.

Government is not Religion or: Gross Misconduct

Jesus did not come as Caesar. What makes you think you change the world through politics?


Jesus wasn’t president. He didn’t get anywhere near the White House. He came through poor people who were refugees. He built things out of wood, a manual laborer. Oh, and he saved the world.
Donald Trump would have hired him and never paid the man.


The practice of Christianity is not a concern for what other people do. It is a concern for how you treat others. Jesus did not come to judge the world. He came to save it.


The purpose of law is love. (The Bible)


Try to rule others,
You fail. Love other people?
You will never lose.


It does not matter
If they wash away the spatter
There’s blood on their hands
And we watch from the stands
As Congress is getting fatter

Born in the USA

I used to think it was a blessing to live in America. That I was one of the luckiest citizens of the planet to be born in such a country. An almost pre-ordained, God-given birthright. That I was blessed. That our nation was blessed. But I am a product of this environment. What else would I believe? Almost a century of “work hard, buy a house, use credit.” But it doesn’t work for everyone.

And what does that get you? America has become the abhorrent opposite of Christianity. Christianity is about sharing, loving, caring for the least, the poor, the fatherless, the widows. America is about securing your own property and power. And the difference between poor and rich is growing out of control.

I don’t know what it’s like to be anywhere else. Rugged individualism is only a value if you are raised in such a world. I was shown the commercial for America. I believed it. “Shut up and take my money.” I believed it was the best because that’s what we tell the world. The ideal is to live here. Immigrants pouring across the border for safety and wealth.

I don’t want to trade places, but I don’t mind sharing. I need healthcare, clean water, access to schools and freedom to move. Protection for my child. So do they.

If we can’t evolve as a society/country to accommodate those in need, then we have no business to point to our manifest destiny. We have become corrupt and require modification. Our entire country was formed on the crushing of Native Americans. There is still sentiment in this country, of those in power, that we can take what we want, benefit ourselves in the present, with no concern for the future. That should change.

We need to move/evolve from deregulated capitalism to something towards socialism. Not socialism, but at least universal healthcare. Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. First one is life.

I wish I knew what to do. I’m paying attention. I’m watching the money. I’m voting. I’m participating. It’s not clear that the Dems will do any better. God help us.

I love America. Mostly the people in it. But I am growing more and more discouraged by the few in power who abuse the poor.

Born in the USA

This is America


Also. When do we drop the American dream and start living as God intended? Without borders. Without walls. Loving and caring for the world. God doesn’t care if we are safe, air-conditioned and pampered. He doesn’t care how big our house is or what we have in the cupboards if any of his people are starving. He has asked us to move into an uncomfortable place. I am still content to be comfortable. When does that change? What’s the breaking point? To move from comfort with one’s life to fighting for change for others? He’s waiting for us to be the hands and feet of his body. That’s our earthly purpose. When do we embrace that?

I can’t let my family down. Run off to South America, risk life and limb, risk my daughter’s life. My husband and daughter are counting on me. What are the little things I can do for the least of these?

Responsible

What I’m about to type is a very conservative, fundamental, controversial viewpoint about the state of confusion in which we find ourselves. If you have factual evidence to contradict me, you can comment peacefully below. Thanks.


We are in the clean-up stages of yet another school shooting. The media is competing for your viewership/readership with breaking details about why this happened. We all know why this happened. A crazy person with a GUN, a crazy person without a fully developed frontal lobe shot multiple other human beings because they lost (or never had) the ability to respect life. And we are responsible. Everyone. Every single person who touched this boy’s life is responsible.

That would include: the media, video game designers, his CHURCH, parents who don’t store their guns properly, gun manufacturers, fellow students, teachers, parents of peers, social media, t-shirt manufacturers, school administration, the girl who let four months of harassment culminate in an explosive humiliation of her peer, anyone who saw something and didn’t say something, magazine manufacturers (publications and bullet-holders), pornography of all kinds, mental health counselors. The whole damn confusing world is responsible for this bullshit.

Oh. Not you?

Really?

In a culture that allows women to strip, or pretend to strip, for money? We are responsible. We allow teens, even accidentally, access to guns? Responsible. We do not love others unconditionally? Responsible. We have turned away from modesty, decency, restraint and community? Responsible. We have turned from God or love to love of money, guns or beauty? Responsible.

We teach young men to look at the height of beauty, to desire an image, but we ask them to control their biological impulses. Look, but don’t touch. Unless I want you to. #metoo Confusion!

Magazines today are the cock-tease of the world. Without modesty, we are definitely confusing those males who are underdeveloped and ill-equipped to sort out boundaries. We tease them with beauty, love and acceptance. We sell fantasy. Then reject them. Then we allow them access to a gun.

It’s easy to point to the parents, the teachers in that school district, to guns. But what are we actually doing about loving others? Not tempting our brother? Reaching out for the least of these and not humiliating them, getting them help? How can we pursue our personal freedom if someone else is being shot, struggling to eat, or threatening to end their life or the life of others? What are we teaching our young daughters? How to conduct themselves with modesty and kindness or get what they want at any cost?

Before we crucify another boy for mental illness and murder, should we not ask ourselves what needs to change in addition to stricter gun laws? How can I change what’s happening? How can I conduct myself in a safe, respectable, responsible way to impact the world? If I am continually harassed, what can I do to change that? If I don’t want to be thought of in a certain way, if I want to be honored for something other than my body am I offering the world my mind OR my tits, ass, and latest makeup tips? Am I projecting an image to the world that helps or hurts? What makes girls or women of any age think they receive love for showing their body?

Unfortunately, the people that ask these questions aren’t the ones picking up a gun to solve their problems. The world is lost. We are lost until we are loved. Who loved that boy enough to keep him and others from harm?

You can howl at the government and gun makers to reform, but what about our own God-forsaken communities that allow this shit to happen? It takes a village, right? It takes a village to humiliate a murderer. It takes a village to reject a human being. It takes a village to let another boy slip through the cracks. It takes a village to stop this insanity. It takes a village to save another batch of students from slaughter.

We have sold and sacrificed our youth on the altar of money, lust and greed. And it will keep happening until we love everyone. Even the killers. He wasn’t a killer, until he killed.

It will keep happening as long as we are confused, distracted and obsessed with things/power rather than people. God help us.

From 2015: So You Got a Little Damp

BB–before blog 🙂


so, i’m standing outside in the rain this morning, waiting for the bus with Lil. we only have one umbrella. so i give it to her. i can get wet, but if she got soaked, she’d be miserable all day. at least i can come in and dry off. it’s cold and a little breezy, but not too bad. it was chilly, but if just a tad warmer, not at all terrible. it made me think of when i was somewhere between the age of 5-8. for the life of me, i can’t remember how old i was. but it was an experience i would never forget.

it’s raining outside and my sister and i come up with a great idea. let’s put on our bathing suits and go stand in the rain on the porch. what would mom say? OMG! she said yes. what?? so we put on our bathing suits and we go outside. all i can see is about 3 feet in front of me. it’s raining hard. no lightning and it’s quite warm. a warm summer soaker. it’s so hard to see. so we start pretending that we are waterskiers on the back of a boat and hold on for dear life. i think we even had a rope that we tied around the railing of the deck and that was our tow rope. we leaned back and ski’d like pros. i even had the sensation of bobbing up and down on the water, making jumps and doing tricks. what a powerful experience. my sister and i squealed and frolicked in the downpour and literally danced in the rain. i didn’t worry about getting hurt, i just enjoyed the rare delight of getting completely wet on purpose.

well, as adults we lose that ability to enjoy the storm. we think about our things that get wet, our basements, our stuff, our cars. we think about that leaky roof that we want to hold for one more storm. we think about how the storm might damage our flowers and plants. we wonder if the wind and rain will claim our possessions, houses, lives even, if it gets really bad. we wonder if the power will go out and if we will be left in darkness. we fear the thunder and lightning because we don’t know what will come. i can’t think of a time as an adult that i enjoyed the actual storm. maybe if i was inside, under a blanket and the rain was light. but i would never willingly stand in the rain.

i did get caught in the rain with my husband on the huzzah (pronounced hoo-za) river one year, in a canoe. it hailed on us and lightning all around. hail. and we were in a metal canoe. with lightning. i was scared to death and all i could think was to paddle like hell. we made great time after the hail started. never paddled so hard in my life. Guy was humming “Ride of the Valkyries” from the back. for a minute, even while paddling, i thought, “maybe we should stop.” but where was there to go to escape the rain? the banks were small, no trees really, no shelter. the people on the sides of the river were being rained/hailed on just the same. might as well keep going. just keep paddling. we’ll make it through or die trying. i’d rather be struck by lightning trying to get to where i need to go instead of waiting around on the side of a river and be struck by lightning. we were the very last team among our friends to make it to the end. worst experience canoeing ever. ever. many mishaps on the river that year. but we made it through and i can laugh about it now. at least we had a boat to float it out! and a dry ride back to camp.

but this morning i stood in the rain. and it wasn’t so bad. i can get wet and it’ll be okay. this is life. with God. he’s my umbrella. and while i may not dance around like i did when i was a child, i can still smile through the storm and know, it’ll be over soon and He’s got this. I don’t have to worry or be afraid. there will always be storms. there will always be rain. it makes things grow. like me. be thankful for the rain and don’t worry.

James 1:2-3
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

boy, does it.


If you’re going through hell, keep going.
Winston Churchill

Truth Panties

I wrote this a while ago and i guess i never published?


full armor of god

  1. truth-gird your loins!

nobody really has to gird their loins anymore. we have underwear for that. sorry. is it too weird to talk about underwear and God for you? sorry.

in ephesians 6, paul talks about the full armor of god. he begins with the most basic foundation. protecting the most sensitive, valuable bits. ur loins! sorry. i’ll stop saying loins.

most guys would say the most important part to protect of your body is the nether regions. if guys had to choose one piece of armor, this would be it. Kacey Moe​, am i right?? gun to ur head, only one piece, what would u pick??? lol

but the significance here is important. God is telling us, protect the inmost part of yourself. the most sensitive part of your being, protect that. and protect that with truth. start with the truth. the most important thing, the first thing we base our whole outfit on. underwear goes on first. has to. or we are all walking around like Madonna Miley Cyrus.

and here’s where it’s really important to me. this doesn’t mean telling the world where to go or what to do, this means reminding yourself of truth. the truth.

when our inner dialogue turns to cynicism and defeat, we can’t listen to that. that is not what God would tell us. we can’t protect our inmost parts with lies.

here are some lies we all tell ourselves everyday:

  1. i’m not good enough.
  2. i don’t have enough things.
  3. i’m not special.
  4. i will fail.
  5. no one loves me.
  6. i don’t have all that i need or want.
  7. people, husband, mother, child, job will fill me up and i will be fulfilled by those relationships. and if i’m not, it’s because i failed somehow.
  8. God can’t help me or love me because i’m too gross. poor. ugly. mean. wicked. addicted. messed up. sinful. insert negative personal opinion here.
  9. i don’t need God.

the truth is…

you are good enough.

if you can read this? you have enough.

you are special because if you believe in God, he made you and he’s trying to save you. he put you before his own son. before himself. to save you. you are really special.

you can’t fail because all of the things that God wants for you have already happened. he has already climbed that mountain for you.

people will never fill you up, only God can do that. you will always be disappointed by man-made things, ideas, relationships. always. you will never be fulfilled by earthly things for any long period of time. it’s the human condition.

God can help you and he does love you. all the time. yes, even when you are gross!

you do need God. every day. all the time. yes, even now!

these are the garments we should clothe ourselves in, every day. truth clothes. truth panties. sorry.

the thoughts you think should be protected. and they should be guarded with truth! God’s truth. what does that mean??

simply…stop telling yourself you can’t. start telling yourself you can do anything. with God. or. if you don’t believe in God? at least believe in yourself.

hey, Martha.

yes, Martha?

i love you. and i love God.

thanks, Me. that’s enough.

(and yes, i am pretty weird, crazy and perhaps legally bonkers. but you know you tell yourself all kinds of things that are bad. start saying good things. every day.)