Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Overwhelming Abundant Good Peaceful Contented Sweet - I could come up with a pageful of adjectives to express my prayers for this sacred season. Each year I feel a more intense pull to the holiness of this set-apart time -- that is, if we can permit it to be a "set-apart" time. What I mean is, a time to pull away, not into the swirl of busyness and stress. Oh thanks, Marie, how do we do that at Christmas? I think, for me, it's by concentrating on my inner life, by looking within. I may have more demands and pressures put on me than ever, but my mind is fixed on the words, "Peace I give you, not as the world gives..." and "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me..." (that includes being happy).

Christmas and Chanukah and all holidays ask a little more of us than everyday life. And they can be difficult to navigate through. If it's not stress, it's depression. That's why it's important to focus within.

We need to see ourselves as beautiful and cherished by God Almighty. We need to rest in that knowledge even while buzzing about doing our stuff. Money is always an issue, no matter how much we have or don't have. I go through some pretty lean sacred seasons and I handle the situation exactly as I handle all issues of my sacred life-- by proclaiming His Word into my spirit. I choose to "seek first the Kingdom of God," which means I live by faith, not by sight; which means I put on the "full armour," which means I take life to the full, Abundant, Good, Peaceful and Sweet. I suffer NO lack because I'm filled with His Spirit, all things working together for good, always prospering, always bearing fabulous fruit, always strengthened and chosen to prove Him and His glory.

Just like you!
Have a sweet Jesus Christmas and Chanukah -- know how loved you are!

Friday, November 25, 2011

What is Black Friday? Today, black Friday, people are rushing to hit the big sales. You’ve seen the photos, watched the News, and maybe you’re out there right now pulling in the bargains. People ask me where the name came from. Well, Black Friday is a good name because it means a day for businesses to try to get into the “black” and out of the “red.” So when you’re bringing home that $200 42” TV from Best Buy you’re helping them get out of the red at the same time you’re getting an amazing deal.

Me, I’m not into Black Friday. Not because I don’t want to help boost the economy or empty my own pockets, but because I honestly and truly don’t like shopping even on a day without crowds and bargains. It’s one of my weirdities. When my kids were growing up I’d take them to Macy’s or some other store with big expanses with racks of clothes and buy their clothes for the whole season. Clerks loved to see me coming. Heaps and heaps of clothes, whole outfits, shoes, accessories – all at once. The kids loved it, and I was thrilled to get it over with.

In her last years I bought my mom’s wardrobes and instead of giving her a sweater at Christmas or a new coat or whatever, I’d take her to Dayton’s (Minneapolis) and just buy for the whole year. Clerks loved to see us coming. My mother loved it. I loved it, and then we’d have lunch.

My daughter is the World’s Greatest Shopper (can we be related?) That girl can sniff out a bargain a mile away. Today, Black Friday, she’s not at Best Buy or Macy’s, she’s thrumming out the 50% off thrift stores. She’ll come home with designer dresses for 25 ¢ each. When we were in New York for my other daughter’s art opening, she bought so much stuff I didn’t think she’d get on the airplane with it all. Me, I think I bought one book at the MOCA museum store.

Books, yes, I’ll buy books. I’m a writer after all, I buy books. I don’t check out the best sellers from the library, I buy them. I buy non-best sellers; I buy books. I tell my writer-students, “Writers read. Writers buy books.” But when it comes time to get an outfit to speak in or a new pair of boots, I’ll do anything to put off shopping. “Heavens, I can’t go shopping. I’ve got to paint the garage.” Any excuse will do.

So imagine my anxieties at Christmas. I’ll never forget the time I did all my Christmas shopping at once at CostCo. I mean it, all of it, at once. I hauled this enormous dolly heaped with toys and food and clothes and electronics – I mean, heaped with stuff – I could hardly roll the thing to the check-out. The guy behind me in line was so shocked I could hear him muttering to himself, and I know he was thanking his lucky stars I wasn’t his wife. Finally, he said to me, “Girl, you are 86’d! You cannot buy another thing. Have you got that? You cannot buy another thing.”

(The term “86” means you’re done. You’re out of here.)

I laughed so hard. He had no idea that I covered every Christmas need in ONE trip, including the extension cord for the lights.

Enough about me. What are YOU doing today?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hello Winter

Did you stand at the edge of something green or flowering and wave bye-bye to summer? And then in the fallen leaves looking up through bare branches at a pale sky, did you wave bye-bye to autumn? Now here we are, with arms open wide welcoming winter. Oh, I know we don’t look forward to 20 below zero weather, ice storms and blizzards, but there’s certain majesty in all seasons, don’t you think? A certain integrity of the seasons themselves. I grew up in Minnesota where the winters were bitter, mean and furious. From the third through the sixth grade we lived in North Dakota and I still have dreams about those winters in Grand Forks. We walked to school atop mountainous icy snow banks – it was joyous! We built caves, igloos, and forts in the snow. We had to make our own hills if we wanted to go sliding – but we skated until our noses and toes almost fell off. I froze my hands and feet more than once in those winters. I live in California now and I can’t say I miss the harsh winters of my childhood, but I do miss the child who loved them.

Now when I’m traveling in severe winter weather I think of flights canceled, bad roads, traffic, shoveling, skidding on ice, car trouble … I’d like to find that girl with four sweaters under her snowsuit, two pairs of mittens on her hands, and with her little brother, plunk down in the perfect snow and stick out my tongue for the snowflakes to land. I’d like to squeal with laughter with my brother again as the snowflakes pool on our faces and tangle in our eyelashes— I’d like to love the world like that little girl who dreamed only in the present and worried about nothing.

Delight yourself in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).  Praise God.   Hello winter!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Day of Atonement

Heavens, I can't believe it's been three months since I've blogged.  I've been working around the clock and burning the midnight oil writing new books and though it's been an amazing time in the Lord, I've lost my sense of time.  Forgive me!  It's Yom Kippur, the most beautiful High Holiday -- To rejoice and celebrate with our Messiah Yeshuah is beyond glorious, isn't it?  This is such a vital moment in human history and if we are the Benjamin Generation, we're truly in a good place.
I had a dream two nights ago I want to tell you about.  My Father was showing me His fields and I just loved those fields, so beautiful and golden and rich.  He was talking to me about strategy to make them even more beautiful, and  it was the happiest, most loving dream!  When I awoke and thought it, I realized the fields my Father showed me were all ripe for harvest!  The wheat whsipering in the wind, all beautiful and perfect for harvesting. (Joel 3:13; Matthew 9:37)
The word I'm hearing for us is Be Brave.  We are in an appointed time to prosper, grow, be healed, restored and to go forth fearlessly shining as His reflection in this world as never before.  He's calling us to His ripe fields -- The fields are His, so we're in the right place, His fields just ready for harvest.  "Not by might and not by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts ..."  (Zechariah 4:6) He's giving us fresh strategies, direction and Holy Spirit anointing for this hour. Our job?  Be Brave.
Loved, Rejoicing, and His,

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I have this dream to live in the woods as a monastic -- at least for a few months.  Me, God, and the woods.  As soon as I finish the book I'm writing now, I think I'll head for the woods.
I live a contempletive life pretty much now anyhow, studying Benedict's Rule and living a life of prayer, contending for others, nations, etc. etc.. 
The book I'm writing now is with Miles McPherson, who's picture is posted on the sidebar of this blog-- Former NFL football player, he's an amazing man of God, full of zeal and a dynamic preacher.  He pastors the mega church here in San Diego called Rock Church.  I'm pretty much sealed into this book because of our deadline.  It's about IM AGE.  (Do you love it?)   My work days never end until the wee hours of the morning, and that's fine because the Benedictines rise at 3 a.m. for prayer and I can join them right here from my writing sudio. (does that count for discipline? eh eh)
The writing life is not very glamorous, but I consider the life truly blessed.  Just me, God and the computer (and in this case, just me, God, the computer and Miles McPherson -- haha)  
"Monastic spirituality calls us to see everything and everyone - including ourselves - as holy. The tools of the kitchen and the office are to be regarded as sacred vessels. The places in our heart where we wrestle are to be embraced with kindness. The person who irritates us or makes us feel fearful is a window into how God is at work in our lives. Being a monk in the world means that there are no more divisions between sacred and secular."

 Big Jesus hug,

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Well, not really.
 The therapy part, that is. Although every time I finish writing a book I'm in a duel state of exhaustion and exhileration.  Good thing Dr. Jesus has open hours day and night.  I just finished writing the book, THE OTHER SIDE OF SUFFERING, which is the John Ramsey story.  (At least I hope it's finished.) You may recall the name John Ramsey.  He's the father of the little girl, JonBene't Ramsey who was murdered on Christmas Day, 1996.

John is a wonderful Christian and the book is his story of how he has dealt with the huge, huge losses in his life.  I spent a year on the book, what with the miles and miles of research I did in order to write it.  It was a painful journey following his life-- but praise God, I see even more clearly now how the Lord holds onto His beloved ones.  It will be published in 2012 by Hachette Publishers. 

We had a fabulous time of ministry in Chicago.  Were you there?  The meetings were wonderful.  I especially love my  all-day seminars wherever I am, in any town.  A whole day to teach and pray and see God move is absolute heaven.   We see miracles of every kind.  We are now putting together the recordings to make them available on my website.

I now begin writing a book called I.M.A.G.E. IS EVRYTHING with the amazing Miles McPherson who pastors the mega ROCK CHURCH  of over 10,000 young people in San Diego.  I'm telling you, fifteen minutes in the presence of this man and you feel like you've been ignited by matches from your belly button to your eyebrows.  I've never met anyone with more energy.  He's all fire, and the great thing is, his fire is all Jesus. 

Pray for me & know I'm praying for you.
His grateful servant, Marie

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


     Here are some words that had a big influence on my spiritual walk: 
JOY NEEDS PAIN TO GIVE IT BIRTH.  I think of something D.L. Moody once said, too--   "How can one tell if a stick is straight?" He answered himself with, " Lay it beside a crooked one."  For me happiness is so much more rich when it comes to me after a period of hardship or trial.  I decided years ago to find joy in the trials.  The crooked stick beside the straight one is not the one to follow.  I don't want to waste pain no matter what form it comes.  I began sharing  in my conferences and meetings how not to waste our pain. (You can order the CD at my website
     Just to grit our teeth and hang on in times of deep suffering is exhausting, and it leads to frustration and despair.  I don't know about you, but I don't like despair. (Know anyone who does? haha)  When I'm depressed I know it's because I'm not hearing God in the situation; I'm not somehow cognizant of His role in my life-- mainly, I'm not fully in possesssion of the fact that my life is His.  Nothing is safer or smarter than self-abandonment in this God-walk of ours.  We live our "selfness" in Him, and sometimes that our "self" can get a bit obscured with our unruly thought habits.
     I think we're hard on ourselves.  I think we demand too much of ourselves.  I think we get all bamboozled with trying to achieve and produce and accomplish-- and we depress ourselves when we can't seem to do all we think we should be doing.    That might sound simplistic, but I know that when I have a thousand things I absolutely have to do I sometimes just lock up and can't do anything.  I tell my writers in my writing classes that the state called "writer's block" is usually when the task is just too big you lock up and can't write a thing. I have methods I teach to overcome this state, of course.
     But what about suffering?  What about the state of our souls when we're suffering?  Many of us just lock up and can't do a thing outside of the suffering itself. 
     God speaks to us in the moment.  He lives in the present moment, right now, right here.  We have to see Him as He is in this moment.  And He is always Love.  We have to understand that our suffering settles us in the divine furnace of His love, which is far greater than anything.
     We (I) need to commit every particle of our being in all things, down to the smallest deatails of our lives, eagerly and with perfect trust to our unfailing and most perfect, loving  Creator.  The most perfect act of our love for the Lord is to suffer with grace -- and with faith.  These two sublime elements produce a form of peace that baffles reason.  It attracts the favor of the angels and the Lord Himself, and healing and deliverance are ours.
     He loves it when we discard our complaints and our begging-- and His Holy Spirit rejoices with us as we rejoice in Him. 
     I just want to encourage you today to rejoice, rejoice, rejoice.  Thank Him for everything in your life because it's all for the purpose of making you strong and wise and like Jesus Himself.  We're made in His image.  I want to be thankful at all times, don't you?  Like Paul?  "I have learned in whatsoever state I'm in therewith to be content."
     See you in Chicago April 15-19.  I'll be at the Skokie Aglow on April 15 if you can make it.  I think the seminars may be full.  Contact

Monday, March 21, 2011


I'm someone who treasures old friendships. If you and I knew each other in grade school, I promise I'll be the most faithful friend ever. If we were pals twenty years ago and lost touch and we re-connect, I'm a pal forever.
Which reminds me of a funny story. I met a guy a while back who was born in the same hospital at the same time as I was. His mother and mine were in labor together. He insisted since we knew each other from the womb we were destined for each other. (There's a new line for you! Ha!)
I hold friendships very close to my heart, and it's probably because I'm a public person and people tend to come and go in my life. My dear friend Becky, for example, who was my best friend when we were raising our children will always be precious to my heart, and we're close to this day.  My dear friend Judy, who was my friend when I was in Bible college in Chicago, remains one of my closest friends, as well as so many others, like Doris, who has remained close through all the years, and Lorraine who I love like a sister ever since we met at Moody Bible Institute--  
And just yesterday I reuinited with a beloved friend from my days in New York City as an aspiring actress. Peggy was, and is, a jazz singer and we were best friends while we were working our way to the "top."  When I got married I decided to leave show business, and I lost touch with Peggy. What a fantastic blessing from God to bring us together again.  She loves the Lord and I feel so honored to have such a long-lasting and endearing friendship. 
I love new friendships too, of course-- and must warn you, if you're a new friend-- you better get used to me because I take friendship seriously.  If I call you "friend" you'll be forever important to me.
And by the way, the guy who said we knew each other from the womb? He married one of my best friends from high school.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I always tell my kids on the way to school or wherever, "Have a sweet Jesus day," and then at the end of the day I ask them, "Did you have a sweet Jesus day?"  In the morning, "Did you have a sweet Jesus sleep?"
Do you know, they have never, ever answered No.  It's always Yes.  Never No.
I've come to the conclusion it is just impossible to have a bad Jesus day.  I mean, when you've been blessed and prayed over and loved into the Kingdom, how can the day be "bad?"  Well, that's not to say we have no trials or troubles, but a sweet Jesus day takes the sting out of trouble, takes the ouch out of sorrow or pain.
I've just finished writing a book about the most extreme suffering I've ever heard of in an American family, and yet I can see the sweet Jesus day occuring in their lives through it all.  (I'll tell you more about this book in later blogs)  I'm also preparing "The Emancipation of Robert Sadler" for re-publication, and working on that book with its horrors of slavery is utterly wipe-outsville, and my tears are rusting out my keyboard-- yet again, through it all, there's a Sweet Jesus Day.  Victory, joy and the power of overcoming and prevailing in Christ Jesus.
So have a sweet Jesus day, dear one-- and when you sleep tonight have a sweet Jesus sleep.
You're very much loved.
Love, Marie

Friday, February 4, 2011


I read a survey taken recently to see which cities in the USA were the most well-read.  Guess what the two top cities were.  -- New York City and Minneapolis, Minnesota.  This just confirms my personal theory that when the weather is bad we tend to become more cerebral.  Blizzards and snow storms inspire us to read, to study, to learn something.  At least that's my thought. (I wonder if the bookstores and libraries are packed with readers now that these winter storms are hurtling about the nation.)  Me, a transplanted Minnesotan/New Yorker, to live in Southern California where it doesn't snow, I find it amazing at the huge number of readers I encounter.  With the beach calling and the surf boards glistening, there are still vast numbers of readers curled up in well-lighted corners with a book.  Granted, we're surrounded by colleges and universities and book clubs on every corner, but isn't it something that  in a part of the country known mainly for its year-round tans and Mexican food that people are reading?

I like to read after dinner and before bed.  The only problem with that is if I'm really engaged in a book, I'll read into the wee hours and my schedule will become skewed.  The other night I was re-reading THE EMANCIPATION OF ROBERT SADLER, and when I looked up, it was 5:30 in the morning!  (And it's not just because I wrote the book either!  Ha)  BTW, The book is coming out again next January, and I couldn't be happier. This story has to be heard again.

 As a writer, I read all the time, of course.  I read for the sheer love of words.  One book that kept me up late is THROUGH IT ALL HE WAS THERE by Sharon Libby, who writes about her life in a wheelchair as a post-polio victim.  She's a friend and a beautiful person, and I highly recommend her book.  You can order it directly from Sharon at 

I hope we meet in a book!  I love hearing from you.
Love, Marie

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Wow.  I just had arthoscopic knee surgery for a torn medial miniscus.  If you ever have to have surgery, this is the one to have.  I was on crutches one day and walking the next, taking stairs the next and out with the dogs in four days -- not without limitations, of course, nor some pain, and I did a lot of work in my Sofa Office.  haha -- but I'm pretty much back to normal and it hasn't been quite two weeks yet.  (No marathons this month.)
My only marathons are book deadlines.  I can't wait to tell you about the book I just finished, but since it takes a whole year before it comes out, I might as well wait.  Now I'm clearing my desk to begin the next deadline.Some people might not think it's all that thrilling to spend endless hours day and night alone in a room writing, but to me it's the most exciting life.  I've taught college fiction, poetry and screen writing for a number of years, and now I've taken off to concentrate soley on the books God has given me to write.
I sometimes miss the students, but then I also miss my former patients from when I was doing counseling full-time, too. 
Oh life is full of changes, isn't it?
Which brings me to the subject of change.  The number eleven, as in 2011, means transition, and that means change.  We are going to be making changes in our lives, in our choices, in our mindsets, and even in direction throughout the coming year.
We can be in charge of those changes by being aware, first of all, of what needs change in our lives.  Once we set our minds to make changes that honor God and His Kingdom, He will send angels and His Holy Spirit to make sure we succeed.  Also, we're going to see changes that God initiates, and they will be for our good and for His good.  The past is over and gone; we are on to new things in God.
"My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish My good pleasure..."
(Isaiah 46:10b)
A hundred million blessings,