This World Is Not My Home

This World Is Not My Home (Statler Bros version!)
gospel song by Jim Reeves

This world is not my home
I’m just a-passin’ through
My treasures are laid up
Somewhere beyond the blue

The angels beckon me
From heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home
In this world any more


This was a song at my dad’s funeral. A friend played it on guitar live at the funeral home. I still love it. At the time it meant, my dad’s journey was over and he gets to go home. That was hope. It means something different now though. But still hope.

I don’t feel at home in this world. I have taken the red pill and I’m awake. I’ve been flushed out of my Matrix pod and I want to go back. Except. I can’t. After having been convinced of the need I see around the world, I can’t sit at home any more. I have to serve in some way. I can’t complain about injustice, I have to change it.

I give to the needy. Except I don’t tell you every time I do because you’re not supposed to, right? I buy or try to buy homeless guys tacos. I donate my very expensive bike to charity so that they can fix it up and sell it to benefit homeless vets. I give where I can. I give to local theaters. I volunteer my time at the local community theatre when they need hands. I am kind to children, small animals and jerks. I take care of neighbor dogs when the family goes to Disney World or to the opera (yes, I said the opera, I can’t pick neighbors’ activities). I remind myself to be patient when I’m stuck behind Grandpa Trumpsticker. I treat old people with dignity and kindness and slow down to remember their gifts. I open my eyes to those around me.

I walked into an assisted living facility one day to collect labs. I was walking down a long narrow, winding passageway and I heard the most beautiful piano music waving through the hall. I couldn’t tell if it was a fancy player piano in the lobby or an actual pianist. As I saw the piano and the old woman sitting at it, I was filled with emotion.

As I passed her, I said, “That is beautiful. Thank you.” And her face was shining from droopy lobe to droopy lobe. What I wanted to say, but didn’t, was, “I hear you. You’re beautiful. Thank you. Keep going!”

I had a job to do. I couldn’t stop and talk with her. But I wanted to.

I see you, Grandma. I see you. I long for the day that I can sit and watch you. Listen to you. Love you. Wait on you.

I have to love others. I have to provide for need when I see it. I have to reach out for poor people, dirty people, hard-to-love people who are entitled and snippy. I have to call out beauty when I see it. I have to love my enemies because if I can’t do that, God can have no part of me. I can have no part of him. I must live by grace.

Jesus loves us. Even when we don’t deserve it. Because we never deserve it. We mess up all the time and constantly need forgiveness. He has told us to go and love the people of the world and help where we can. To show his spirit.

“The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door.” But they are beckoning me to help now. Here. In this place. On this earth. To love the hardest to love.

That’s why I’m going to Israel. I am convinced of the need. I hope you will be, too.

GAiN for Martha Maggio


Many people of different ethnicity and faiths will benefit by the support provided. I am serving at a wheelchair and eyeglass clinic in several different ways. Please consider giving.

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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!

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?

Blessed

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”


It doesn’t say blessed are the poor in finance. It says poor in spirit.

Poor in spirit means that we ALL are spiritually bankrupt and are in need of spiritual currency. Not only bankrupt, because that would mean even, but DEEP in debt.
How many dollars have your parents given you to save your bacon before you could stand on your own two feet? Can you ever repay them?
That’s God’s love for us.
In Christianity, the currency is Jesus.
We all require Christ to know heaven. That’s what we believe.
All Christ means? All Christ stood for?
LOVE. Grace. Grace and love are the same thing.
Blessed are those who require LOVE, deal in LOVE, freely give LOVE. For they shall see heaven.
To forgive and be forgiven.
To live in peace.
We require grace because we continually get it wrong. Because we are human. Fallible.
We give grace because we want it and get it.
The whole of the law is LOVE.
I wanna be rich!

To Battle

I’m in The Grapes of Wrath right now and I wanted to look at this old song, Battle Hymn of the Republic. I mixed in some of my photography as well. Pictures from my home state, Missouri, and one from Amarillo, Texas! I’ll let you guess which one. 🙂


Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.church
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.
windmill-cropped
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps,
His day is marching on.
bw truck
I have read His fiery gospel writ in rows of burnished steel!
“As ye deal with my condemners, so with you My grace shall deal!
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel, ”
Since God is marching on.
silo
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him; be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
country road
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free!
While God is marching on.flowers
This song so perfectly sums up what Tom and the Joads are going through. I feel so honored, humbled and thankful to be able to tell this story. It truly is one of the most amazing experiences in theatre I’ve had. Already! We’re only one week into blocking.
The last show I did in Missouri, Women of Lockerbie, was amazing as well. I feel so lucky to be blessed with great actors, great direction and so much love and support. I don’t deserve such grace, but I’m over-the-moon to have it.trees fencetexassmall-e-cross

bw house
My mother’s Depression era home in Aullville, MO. The place she lived as a child. Still standing!
I don’t know that being in a play and being self-indulgent with acting is helping anyone. It certainly spurs me on to find ways to help others. It inspires me to keep going. It puts me in touch with my roots. It puts me in a caring community of strangers who have more love than I’ve seen in a while. Isn’t that a God thing?
I want to honor this very selfish, enjoyable experience by finding the depths of this character. It’s such a special opportunity. Plus, I want to take care of the people around me. Just like Ma. I want to be as generous as she was on and off stage.
I feel like I did when I used to act at church. Like I have a purpose and God-given usable talent. As sad as this play is, I’m having the time of my life.

Poor in Spirit

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom…”

I can’t have a bank account
From the First National Sermon on the Mount.
The beatitudes are all about attitude.
The first blessing that Christ’s addressing
Is the condition of my heart.

Do I understand
What God had planned?
Jesus bent for Hell and sent to tell
His sacrificial story of offered glory
For the entire planet.

Do I require
The rock that is higher?
The grace that I taste
Is paid by a price that is prised
By flesh.

The question is
Do I think I need it?

Poor in spirit
Refers to lack of wealth
Not in property or coins
But in spiritual health

The answer is:
Everyone’s sick.
Overcoming sin
Is more than just a trick.

No magic here.
Someone had to die.
Jesus was born
To bring King-dom nigh.

Accepting mercy
Is easy when I need it.
Giving up pride
Is hard when I feed it.

A beggar knows
Where his hope is born.
A sinner knows
How the curtain was torn.

A beggar asks
For what he needs to live.
The King with the riches
Is the one to give.

If I think I’m rich?
Never need excused?
Forgiveness is necessary.
All stand accused.

Coming to terms
With my own depravity
Is like an astronaut re-entering
Earthbound gravity.

All I have to lose
Is the illusion of control
I was never in charge
Of saving my own soul.

It’s really simple,
Not easily done.
Give up pretense.
In that, I’ve won.

There are no deposits.
I can’t act good.
I only withdraw
From the blood-soaked wood.

Thank God for His sacrifice.
Dying.
While we were still sinners.
The poor in spirit
Are the real winners
Of the kingdom.

If I’m on my knees, in dire need,
Then I appreciate the cost.
I can’t buy or bleed my way to heaven.
The price was paid for the lost
On the cross.

A poor man begs for help in street.
He knows he can’t stand on his own.
I wouldn’t want to kneel before God
Knowing I refused His loan.
I will show my receipt of divine restraint.

So. I’m poor. So poor.
In total need.
I have nothing to show.
Not one good deed.

So help me, God.
Send sweet Christ.
I accept and submit to
The Son Sacrificed.

Everyone is poor in SPIRIT before the throne of God.
All of us require the currency of Jesus.

options

Spittin’ mad rhymes
Collectin’ those crimes
You gonna drop those dimes
Or do hard times
In prison.

Not much you can do
Get shot comin’ thru
Ain’t nothin’ new
Y’all wish it wasn’t true
Somebody listen.

Poor people
Everywhere
Dyin’ in the streets
Dyin’ for care
God Bless America.

Where’s God in this?
Is He at the bottom line?
Did they leave Him out?
The last thing on their mind.
Is Charity.

Broken homes
Thrown stones
Bloody bones
Dead-eye drones
Killin’ us.

When you die
Is less of the concern
How you die
Is the screw they turn
Twisted.

Poison the water
Poison the food
Poison the thinking
And attitude
Of the very people you’re killin’.

Don’t play this game
Don’t hang that frame
Don’t take that name
Recalibrate your aim
Get out.

I did.