My Storytelling Dream

If you’ve been following my blog, you will know that I love to tell stories.  I began a year ago, when I joined a brilliant storytelling club called, ‘The Success Stories Club’.  There is a page for it, right here, on WordPress The Success Stories Club

Last weekend, I performed at a fundraiser, for ‘Maggie’s Place’, which is a wonderful venue in Manchester, situated near the famous Christie Hospital, that is dedicated to helping, and supporting, people with Cancer, and their families and friends.  The picture I’ve posted, taken at Maggie’s, doesn’t show me, very well, but I am the third lady on the left.  The other people are members of our storytelling club.  The lady who is first on the left, is the club’s founder, Sharon Richards.

I really enjoyed performing at the fundraiser, and it reinforced a dream I have been having, about becoming a professional storyteller.

Once again, if you have been reading my blog, you will know that I have medical conditions which restrict me in many ways.  I cannot recognize faces and the reason I know who Sharon is, in the picture, is because she wears glasses, and I know that she posed for the picture.  I have all kinds of ways of recognizing people, but they are not foolproof, and it is always a strain for me, when I am interracting with other people.

In my last blog post, I told you of other medical problems I have, because of my Tuberous Sclerosis and Fibromyalgia.  Including confusion, memory-lapses, short term memory problems and Chronic Fatigue, so a conventional job is impossible for me.  I could not man a shop’s till all day (or even half a day) take money, give change, and talk to the customer.  I have tried, and it’s impossible.  I also, couldn’t type on a computer all day.  It would be too exhausting

A few years ago, I thought of setting up a jewellery business.  I make jewellery as a hobby and thought that I could sell it online.  Needless to say, it did not work out.  Some websites are free, but they are not good ones.  To have a website which people can find out about, you need to advertise it, and have a good domain name.  To set up a suitable site was all too expensive, for someone who doesn’t have much money in the first place, and no one visited my pathetic free site.

I tried hiring stalls, at various events, but did not make the money back that I had paid out.  So although I tried to become self-employed, so that I could come off the benefits, I could not succeed.  Hosting jewellery workshops is not an option, because I experimented, by holding a free one once, to see if I could manage to do it.  About 15 women showed up and I tried to show the clients what to do, answer them when they shouted to me for help.  Then go and help them.  The brain-fog descended within half an hour.  Workshops are a no no for me, I’m afraid.

But I am good at storytelling!  I can also sing.  I was trained to sing by an opera singer, when I was a teenager.  When I was young, I performed in armature operatic societies, and when I atended church, I always itched to perform.  It is something that seems to be in my blood.  People have always said that I am good at it, and I know I come to life on a stage.  My sister called me an attention seeker because I love to perform, but she didn’t realize that when I am on a stage, I am living.  Otherwise, I am just existing.

I think that, one reason I can tell stories, or sing, to an audience, is that the interaction is not the same, as talking to them directly.  I look into the audience, I make eye contact, but while I am talking to them, I do not have to answer questions, or perform a complex physical task, while I am talking.  I am just standing there, telling my tale.

So, I am now dreaming of becoming a professional storyteller.  Once I can get a story into my long-term memory, it stays put.  The difficulty, is getting it there.  But since I write my own stories (I never look up something online, or perform one that someone else has told) I have an advantage.  It is my tale.  I can practice it in the peace and quiet of my own home, until I know it by heart.

A few weeks ago, I told a story round a campfire.   I wasn’t paid as it was a club event.  But it showed me that I can perform to different audiences.  While I was telling my story, there were motorbikes outside the venue, and I carried on telling, even though I almost lost my place.  I was really proud of myself and it gave me such confidence.  At Maggie’s Place, I told the same story twice, in two rooms.  One lady complimented me, and others said they liked my story about a pregnant woman, her unsympathetic hubby, and a hypnotist.

Soon, our club will begin making videos.  When I have videos of myself, I will post them on here, and you can hear me tell stories.  Including the one mentioned above.  Hopefully, the YouTube videos will get some exposure and hits.  It’s one way I can get myself promoted and (hopefully) begin getting bookings.  It would be wonderful if, someday, I can call myself a professional storyteller, and no longer be classed as a sick woman on benefits.  That is my dream.

I will post again soon.

Love to all my followers, from Marilyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Invisible Disabilities

When I began this blog, I mentioned that I am disabled.  But it’s not the kind of disability you can see.  It is the kind that people can’t tell you have, so it causes all sorts of problems.

The biggest problem for me, is that I can’t work, much as I would like to, but when you are relying on the benefit system, for your financial security, it is a tentative situation, to say the least.

My husband also became disabled, after working hard for 40 years, and destroying his body with heavy lifting.  Recently, because we don’t have much money coming in, he contacted The Works and Pensions, because we had been advised, by Welfare Rights, that I could be included on his claim and that we might get a bit more money than the £109 per week we were getting.  But when we contacted the DWP, I bet none of you would guess what they asked us to do!  They insisted that we send bank statements, dating back to 2014, with an itemized listing of what we had spent our cash withdrawals on.  This is because, since 2014, our savings had dipped, well below £16,000, and they wanted to know why that was?

It is obvious to anyone who isn’t a moron (so what does that say about the DWP) that our savings had decreased, because, the small amount of savings we had when Alan came off work, were accrued while Alan was working.  Since he’s been ill, we have never been able to add any money to the two ISAs, but we have had to replace broken items in the house, also, we have gradually replaced our single-glazed windows with double-glazing, and we have had to spend money on anything else that crops up in a normal household, like repairs to the house etc.

We feel that The Works And Pensions have behaved diabolically, for even asking us to account for money that they never gave us in the first place, and we did not spend everything at once.  We still have some savings left, because have been careful with our spending over the years, knowing that there is no way to re-replenish our money and that the savings have to last us all of our lives.

If things had stayed the way they used to be, before David Cameron and Nick Clegg made things so hard for disabled people, I would have been on my old age pension now, as I am 63 years old.  Because of their meddling, which seems even worse under Theresa May, I can’t get it until I am 66 years old.  Alan will actually get his pension before I do.

“So why not just go to work”.  That’s what people might say to me.  My answer is, ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’.  Now this doesn’t sound like much when you say it, but it is one of the most debilitating things you can have, and the problem is, no one can see it.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not a condition in it’s own right.  It is a symptom of many other conditions.  The ones I know of are:  Fibromyalgia (which is, itself, a misunderstood condition) M.E. (another misunderstood condition)  Lupus and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex.  I am sure there are other illnesses, which have this condition as a problematic symptom.

Anyone with Chronic Fatigue will recognise the metaphoric analogy, of the daily cup of liquid, which runs out during the day as we drink from it, and can never be refilled until the next day.  First of all, we wake up exhausted, despite the amount of sleep we have had the night before.  During the day, as we attempt to do our normal things, we get even more exhausted.  We have to sit down regularly because dizziness and feeling faint, overtakes us.  We feel like we have just built a motorway, even after just a short walk.

We have very bad memory and concentration problems, because our brains are working, as though through thick sludge.  Speaking for myself, I even forget how things work, like the oven or the microwave.  Even typing out this blog, I have had to plan it in my day, because when I have finished, I will be spent and will have to rest.

The other thing I have to mention to you is, we can not get used to a busier schedule, as people without Chronic Fatigue can do.  It is not a case of, getting used to going out to work, so that you get better at it.  Believe me, I have tried.  I even undertook volunteer work to test how I would be.  I really gave it my all, but I started to get bad tempered with the customers at the charity shop where I worked.  There was one particular time, when I had tilled up a lady’s items, she suddenly went away and grabbed something else.  She took me off my train of thought.  I had to re-adjust and till up another item.  This doesn’t sound hard to most people, but anyone with concentration problems will understand how I felt.  I am completely unable to multi-task, or deal with unexpected situations.  I just become so confused.  That day, I just panicked and had to finally admit that I could not do a normal job.

I love to go out and perform and tell stories.  It is something that I do, occasionally, and it gives my life meaning.  It means that I can achieve something despite my limitations.  However, on the days when I tell a story, or sing a song, I have to do nothing else for the whole of that day, otherwise I would just become confused and would be unable to think straight when I am performing.  I have to save my daily cup of liquid, for that moment.  I have to practice during the times I feel able to do so, and it can take me a month to learn something off-by-heart.  so you can plainly see, I could not go to work every day.  I would not even last the week.  Believe me, I only wish that I could.  As well as Chronic Fatigue, I have problems with my balance now. It’s not good, but at least it is something that people can see.

This blog today, is dedicated to all of those with invisible disabilities, whom others dismiss as hypochondriacs, or simply, do not believe.  I have Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, which I have had all of my life, and when I was about 50, I was also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  If you have an invisible disability, I know precisely how you feel.  I know you are not “putting it on”.  I wish to tell you, you are not alone.

 

 

 

Watch Your Step, At Sale Water Park

Hello again!

I want you to know that I am usually a pleasant person.  I don’t always complain about things.  I know a woman who complains at the slightest little thing.  For example, she ordered tea in a cafe, and complained that it didn’t come in a china cup!  Me…  I don’t care what kind of cup the tea is in, as long as the cup is clean, and has no cracks.

But I have, very recently, had cause to complain, and my complaint is about the tourist attraction, Sale Water Park.

It is a beautiful place.  There is a lake, a Visitors Centre with a cafe, and a nice restaurant halfway down the side of the lake, called The Boathouse.

Anyway, the Manchester Metrolink Trams, now run to the Water Park, so yesterday, because the writing group I attend (Sale Scribblers) was cancelled, I suggested to my husband, that we go on the tram to the park, for a day out in the sunshine.

Well, the first bad thing that happened was that the toilet at the Visitors Centre, was blocked up.  The woman in the cafe was apologetic, but, even though I have a walking stick, she refused to let me use the staff toilet.

“We’re not allowed to let customers through the kitchen, because of the hot pans.”

but who was to know? I certainly wouldn’t have said anything to anyone, and her boss wasn’t there to object! Besides, there should not be just one toilet in a busy tourist place!  She could have just let me use the loo, instead of telling me to walk down to the restaurant, and use the one in the water sports centre, attached to the restaurant.  But that was just what she told me to do!

So I had to walk to the next loo.  It’s actually not that far.  I followed the path to the lake and into the wooded area.  It’s the only footpath there is, and then… I came upon the stepping-stones!

Just as I said, there is no other way to go.  In order to proceed towards the restaurant area, you are forced to go across the stepping-stones.  Now I know that many people do not have a problem, but I do, because my balance is bad and that’s the main reason I always use a walking stick.  I managed the first two steps, with some difficulty, but the third was a step too far.  The space between the stones was too much.  I lost my nerve and was truly afraid.  My husband tried to help me, and a passer by did too, but I couldn’t cross the water.  I managed to get back the way I had come.  Then, the only way to get to the toilet, was to re-trace my steps to the Visitors Centre, and then walk along the road.

The road is dangerous!  It has no footpath, and the cars are coming along all the time, both ways.  So that was another nerve wracking moment in time.  But I got to the toilets eventually, although my day was ruined.

The Water Park is not ‘disabled friendly’.  Because it is a country place, it’s not flat, but there are no ramps anywhere, only steps, that is bad enough.  But the stepping-stones are lethal.  They are often wet, and anyone who is bad on their legs could not cross them, neither could anyone with a pram or pushchair, and if you were in a wheelchair…  Forget it!

This is not good enough, in this day and age.  I am no carpenter, yet even I can see that you only need a thick plank of wood, placed across the existing stones and secured at either end, then you would have a bridge, which would be much safer than those stones!

Where there are steps in the park, there also needs to be ramps, to allow access for wheelchairs and people pushing babies in prams or buggies.

And before anyone says, you can drive along the road, to the restaurant and toilets, let me remind people that not everyone is fortunate enough, to posses a car.  Alan and I don’t have one.  We have to walk or use public transport, so when we used the road to get to the restaurant, we had no choice, but to walk along it, and hope that the cars would not hit us.

Once again.  This is not good enough.  The Water Park could be a great place to visit, if it was accessible to everyone, but it is not.  The problem is, that people just do not speak out, when there is a problem facing people with disability, or people with young children who need to be pushed in prams or pushchairs.  If more people did, I am sure something would be done.  It is a shame that the park is not a better place, for those of us who are physically disabled.

So I have complained, and am trying to get the word out there.  I know this blog is a bit more downbeat today, but I hope you all understand why.

I wish you all a lovely day

I will post again soon

Best wishes from Mari

 

 

Nana Mary’s Story

Hello again!  I’ve got something badly wrong with the bottom of my back!  I had an x ray last Friday and they told me I would have to wait 7-10 days for the result, but the Surgery called me this morning (Tuesday) to get me to make an appointment, so I have done.  They must have got a result.

I’m writing a new blog post, to take my mind off my pain.  I promised to tell the story of my Irish Nana.  I shared that story, last time I was at the Storytellers Club, but for people who haven’t heard it.  here it is.

My Nana’s name was Mary.  When I was born, she was already bedridden, and it was she, who taught me my prayers, and told me about God.  I always think of her as my first Christian influence.

she was Roman Catholic.  I was also brought up in that faith, but did not remain a Roman Catholic.  I think of myself as a Christian, but of no particular denomination.  Previous posts, explain my views.

But the Church was Nana’s life.  Even when she was unable to leave the house, the priest used to come once a week, and she would make confession, and receive Holy Communion.  I remember her, with her rosary beads in her slim fingers, mouthing her prayers, with the relics of her faith, all around her.

Nana came to England, from Dublin, in 1902, and within weeks of arriving in Manchester, she had met the man she was to marry.

Granddad’s name was Samuel Bradshaw.  He was crippled, because of a fall from a tree, when he was a child.  His broken leg did not set right, and never grew, so one of his legs was just half the size of an adult leg.

When he was 21 years old, he met Nana, who was walking down the street.  Because he was carrying crutches, she was not afraid, when he spoke to her.  They talked, and he asked to see her again.  She agreed, and they began to meet regularly.

It wasn’t long before they fell in-love and wanted to get married, but Nana’s parents didn’t approve.  He was disabled, he was English, and he was a Protestant, so she was forbidden to marry him, or even see him again.

Nana wasn’t having any of that!  she disobeyed her parents, and eloped with Sam.  Her future husband was a bespoke tailor, and he actually made the lovely two-piece suite, which she got married in.  He also married her in the R.C. Church, as he knew how much her faith meant to her.

He also knew that she would need her family around her, so he made the decision to convert to Catholicism, for her.  He also proved to be a good provider, so eventually, her family came round, and got to love her new husband.

Mary and Sam Bradshaw, had eight children.  The eldest boy was also named Sam.  When he grew up, he met a wonderful, down-to-Earth woman named Vera Warrington.  They married, and three years later, their eldest daughter was born.  Because Vera liked the actress, Marilyn Monroe, she called her eldest daughter Marilyn.

And here I am.  Now aged 62, writing about my family, on by blog.

There is something good, on the radio tonight, to take my mind off my bad back.  My wonderful Mika.  My favorite singer-songwriter, has another episode of his occasional radio show, The Art of Song, broadcasting tonight on BBC Radio 2.  My ears cannot wait.  The episode is about the work of Carole King.  It should be wonderful.

But I love Mika’s own work!  I think he is peerless.  Here’s one of his songs.  I sang this at a previous Storytellers night.  It’s a beautiful song called ‘Hurts’

I will post again soon

 

 

Girl On Film!

It was a brilliant night, last night at The Success Stories Club  There were cameras in the room, because a group from Altrincham were filming us, for a documentary.  Sharon, who runs the club, did ask if anyone would prefer not to be filmed.  I don’t know how many put their hands up, but I certainly didn’t.  All my life I have wanted be on film.

I really enjoyed the experience of having a mic, and knowing the cameras were rolling.  Norma Desmond has nothing on me.

Actually, a few years ago, when I was looking into, perhaps, being able to work again, I was volunteering at an organisation in Altrincham, called, The Family Contact Line.  I was working as a receptionist/admin.  They wanted a commercial made for their organisation, which would be shown on a local TV station (not one of the big stations unfortunately) anyway, I jumped at the chance to be in the advert.  I played a client, who was going for their counselling service.  I had to meet the counselor, and then pretend to be having therapy (not much acting needed for that, in my case, ha ha)

The ad was made, and shown in places like, hospitals and libraries.  Several people recognized me and mentioned to me that they had seen me on TV.  I was made-up.  I also saw the ad, one day, when I was waiting in a hospital waiting room.

Sadly, I never did get a job from my volunteering efforts.  It might have helped if I had been younger, but I was 51, and had not worked for many years.  I also had disabilities which, I think, stopped the prospective employers.  They didn’t admit that though, they just said I didn’t have the relevant experience.  They would not have been allowed to refuse me because of disability, so they made something up that they could get away with.  A receptionist job would have suited me, and I could have been earning money again, but it was not to be.  I tried for two years and was rejected by employers, every time.  Then, when the government started to clamp down on the benefits, they picked on the disabled, and I lost my benefit, so Alan and I exist on very little money.  My husband Alan worked hard as a binman.  It wrecked his body in the end and he developed Asthma from all of the dust he breathed in, yet he hardly gets anything for us to live on.  We think it is grossly unfair.

This is one reason why I will take any opportunity I can get, to put myself out there as a performer.  I am a trained singer and actress, not only that, I am bloody good at both those things.  I don’t say that to be boastful.  Someone who has taken the knock-backs I have, is not able to be boastful, but I hope that, maybe, just maybe, even at my age, there may be chances for me to be a professional, and earn some money.  Therefore, bring-it-on.  I’ll put myself out there, with any chance I can get in the hopes that opportunities might come my way.

However, having said that, there is another difficulty I face, if I want a professional career.  I have no transport.  Last night, to go to the club, Alan and I got a taxi.  That was okay, but we couldn’t make a habit of it, for the reasons mentioned above.  So if I did work professionally, I would have to earn enough to pay for the taxis to where I needed to go.  It’s such a pain in the butt!

Last night, the winner of the evening was a lady called Sue.  She writes the most lovely poetry and was a worthy winner.  I took a picture of her on my phone, but I don’t know how to transfer images from my phone, to the computer.  If I had taken the picture on my tablet I could have transferred it, but for some reason, my phone won’t allow me to use a USB, and I don’t know how to use Bluetooth.  My phone is capable of accessing the internet, but it’s only on a PAYG card, because I can’t afford a contract, so I can’t share photos by the internet.

I will take any advice I can get.  I am better with technology than I used to be.  For the first time I have figured out how to add a link to this blog.  All hail Marilyn!  So I am capable of learning new things, even at my age.

The next story night is about a tricky situation.  I think I know what I am going to do.  I think it will be another song.  More on that in another post.

I did promise to write the story of my grandparents on this blog.  It is the story I shared last night, but I got side-tracked today because of the filming, so I’ll share it in a later blog.  For now, I’ll sign off.  Enjoy the post and I will post again soon.  Love from Mari

 

Spring Is Nearly Sprung!

I really like this time of year.  It is still the Winter, but the nights are drawing out and everything starts to look brighter.  The snowdrops and crocuses begin to appear, and we start to think that Spring is just around the corner.

This Winter, I have been so glad I live in Manchester.  We have had much better weather than many areas of the UK.  We have had only had a slight dusting of snow, which didn’t last long, and no ice.  I hate the ice, because I don’t have good balance at the best of times, and the ice makes me too afraid to venture outside.

I had an Auntie, named Betty, who I always remember at this time of year.  Auntie Betty loved the sunshine.  I think if she could have lived in a hot country, she would have.  When February came along, she would go out to her garden and look for buds on the hedge.  When she spotted them, she would be so happy.  But Betty could not go and live in the sunshine, because she looked after her aged mother.  Her mother was an Irish woman whom we all called Nana.  Nana died in 1974, aged 91, and she had never lost her Irish accent, or her love of that green isle.

This brings me neatly onto the storyteller’s club which I go to.  We meet again on the 13th of February, and the theme will be “Tales From The Emerald Isle”.  I don’t know any Irish folk tales, or anything like that, but my Nana’s story, of being a young Irish immigrant and what happened to her after she came England, is a fascinating story, and I will share that story on the night.  It’s actually very romantic.  I will write the story on here, after I have told it at storytellers.

One aspect of the story, which I will share on here today, is about my Nana’s father, William Wright.  He was a sailor, until he decided to give up the sea for the sake of his family.  That is when he moved them all to England, as there were better job prospects here, for him.  However, when he was a merchant sailor, he actually served on the famous clipper ship, ‘The Cutty Sark’, so there is important history in my family of which I am very proud.  In the house where I grew up, we actually had Great Granddad’s old sea chest in our spare room.  My mum used to hide, mine and my sister’s Christmas Presents in it when we were children.

So I hope you have found this interesting.  I will post again soon.  Love from Marilyn (I call myself by my full name, Marilyn Mastin, as a storyteller)

Life Begins at 60+

No one should worry about getting older.  It’s something I used to worry about, but not anymore.

When I was twenty, I was a lonely girl.  I had a good family, but no friends.  I could not keep up with people my own age, and I was not a pretty girl.  I was, what people would describe as, “plain”.  I could not grow my hair, as it was affected by all my medication.  I used to have it permed, so that it looked like there was more of it than there was, but because it was so thin, if I tried to grow it, it looked like rat’s tails.

All of the handsome boys who worked in the same place as me, used to make a bee-line for the pretty girls, with lustrous long locks.  They ignored me and I used to feel so upset.  When I occasionally, did have a date, they would take me out once, and then not ask me again.  They would never give me an explanation.  I think that, maybe, they had taken me out for a bet.

But there is someone for everyone, and as it is nearly Valentine’s Day, I want to say that, even though I never thought I would meet someone, I did!  I have a wonderful husband and we have a fantastic son, who is a credit to both of us.

I met Alan when I joined a Singles Club in Altrincham.  In the old days, if you wanted to meet someone, you had to go out and meet them.  You did not join dating websites or facebook, you joined Singles Clubs.  This particular club, met in a pub called the Moss Trooper, and it was there, that I met Alan.  He had been very lonely too.  He had lost both his parents and lived alone.  We needed each other, and soon realized that we were each other’s soulmate.  We were married in 1981.

Another reason to not fear getting older, is that you never know what is around the corner.  This time last year I was doing nothing except staying in the house, but I began to go out and I joined a craft group, then a creative writing group, and from the creative writing group, I had an opportunity to join a Storyteller’s club.  I mentioned this in a previous post.  I began to perform, which is something I have always loved to do.

Last month I won the heat.  I was ‘Storyteller of the Month’ and I won an engraved keyring.  I will be headlining at the next Storyteller’s meeting, next Monday Night.  I have a story to tell, and will sing a Mika song, called ‘Hurts’, which fits in well with the Love and Hate theme.

As well as all of these new things which I am enjoying in my later life, I have also made some wonderful friends.  I have a confidence which I never had before, and I feel that my life is definitely worth living.

So no matter how old we are, we can still have wonderful surprises and we can still enjoy great new experiences.

And for anyone who is alone, this Valentine’s Day.  There is someone for everyone, so don’t despair.  Love to everyone, from Mari

Don’t Mind The Gap

When I started this blog, I thought of it as an adventure.  Not just for me, but for anyone reading it.  I don’t really plan what I’m going to write about.  As a disabled person, maybe I will write about my struggles with rare disabling conditions.  As an older woman, maybe I will post about something from my past.  As a Christian and a woman of deep faith, I might talk about the things of faith that matter to me.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you will know that my husband and I don’t adhere to the teachings of the church on Earth, as corrupted by man.  For example, Alan and I celebrate the Sabbath on a Saturday (as Jesus did) and we maintain that Jesus died on a Wednesday, to conform with the fact that he was in the tomb for three whole days.

So now I have heard God’s voice in my heart.  I believe he wants me to share something else.  It is something I found out, by chance (or design) some time ago, and it answered some questions which had always puzzled me, about the creation story, told in Genesis.

The first puzzling thing, is something that puzzles many people.  The Bible only goes back a few thousand years, yet the Earth is supposed to be millions of years old.  Science proves this, but whenever I have questioned this in the past, I have received one of two replies.  The first reply states that, yes, the Earth is very old, so the six days of creation are not to be taken literally.  They always quote the “a thousand years is but a day to God”, idea, and say that the writer just simplified things for the reader.

The second reply I always got is that the Bible speaks the absolute truth, and that God took just six days to make the Earth.  They maintain that it’s the science which is wrong.  Some people even go so far as to suggest that if dinosaurs roamed the Earth, they were here at the same time as man, which goes against everything in the fossil record.

So which answer is right?  Well, The Bible does speak the truth, but neither of those answers explains what actually happened.

Another thing which always puzzled me about the story, is the appearance of Satan.  When he appears to Eve in Genesis, Chapter 3, he is already a bad guy, yet in Isaiah 14: 12-20, we read that he was in Heaven, but he wanted to become higher than God, so God cast him out of Heaven, but if the universe, and the Earth itself, were still brand new, at that point, when did that happen?  It makes no sense.

One day I was reading something in a pamphlet, just flicking through, and something caught my eye.  I began to read, and have you ever experienced a feeling when, you find something out, and a light comes on in your head?  It illuminates your thoughts and joins them together , and suddenly everything makes sense?

I had such an experience.

So here is what I found out.  Yes, the Earth is millions of years old.  Verse 1 of Genesis states that God created the heavens and the Earth.

Yet, verse 2 goes on to say that the Earth was formless and empty.  Darkness was over the surface of the deep and God was hovering over the waters.

Christians are always taught that those two verses run concurrently, but if they do they make no sense.  If God created the Earth, as it clearly states, in verse 1, then why is it not a viable planet in verse 2?  Why is it without form or void (as some versions of The Bible State)?

The answer is simple.  The verses do not run concurrently, they are millions of years apart.  There is a gap of an indeterminable size between the two verses.  The Hebrew word for “was”, is the same as for, “became”, so if the Earth “became” without form or void, that indicates that the Earth was there, perfectly fine, supporting dinosaurs and other living things, until something terrible happened which destroyed it again.

Basically, what God did, during the six days, was repair a broken planet and get it ready to receive life again.  So when the Bible says that God took six days to make the Earth, it is true.  The Earth as we know it was completed, and all living things were in place, within six days.

So what of Satan?  It’s quite simple really.  The war between Satan and his followers, and God and his angels, was a cataclysmic event.  It is the event which destroyed The Earth between the first two verses, and left it without form or void..

Some people say that this theory, which is known as, ‘The Gap Theory’, or ‘Ruin-Restoration-Creationism’, isn’t true,because if it was, it would have been mentioned in The Bible.  But very often, The Bible leaves out details of a story, such as the childhoods of Jesus and Moses.  We don’t know why some things are included and others aren’t.  The other argument against it says that sin entered the world with the fall of Adam and Eve, but if the earth was already there, sin would have entered with the fall of Satan.  But I suggest that, as Satan is a spirit being, he doesn’t count as a physical person.  I also think that when God re-made the Earth, he chose to give it a completely fresh start.  He hoped mankind would not be tempted by Satan.  When mankind did become corrupt, he considered destroying The Earth again with a flood, but in the end, he left a few survivors to begin again.  This proves to me that God did want our planet to exist and thrive.  He knows we are not perfect, but he did have a plan in mind for our salvation.  His own son Jesus.

So I hope you have found this post interesting.  Here is something for you to look at, about what I have touched upon in this post.  Until next time, may God bless you all.  Love from Mari

http://www.divinerevelations.info/gap/

 

 

The Sound of Memories

Hello, and a very Happy New Year to anyone who reads this blog.  It was a quiet Christmastime in our house, but even so, it is good to be getting back to normal, and to try and shed the pounds I have, no doubt, put on over Christmas.

Last evening, I was looking on Sky Movies, for something to watch for a few hours, and I found, The Sound of Music.  The thing about this film, for me, is that it is full of memories.  I would like to share them with you.

The movie came out, I think, in 1965, when I was eleven years old.  I know I was still eleven when I went to see it for the first time, because I came out singing

“I am eleven, going on twelve.”

At the time, we did not have colour TV at home, and I had only been to the pictures once before.  My mum and Dad, you see, did not have much money, and did not believe in wasting it on going to the pictures.  They preferred to take us out in the fresh air, but I always longed to go to the pictures.

An auntie of mine, called Betty, took me to see The Beatles first movie, ‘A Hard Days Night’, and I loved it, but the film was in black and white, so I didn’t see much colour at all.

When I heard about The Sound of Music, I longed to see it.  I had a cousin called Angela, who was married to a wonderful man called Norman.  One day they came to Auntie Betty’s home, while I was there, and invited her, and me, to go and see the film.  I was ecstatic!  I would be going out at night, in Norman’s car, to see a film I longed to see.  I felt wonderful.

It was a magical experience.  From the first shots of the mountains as the helicopter sweeps across the landscape, getting lower all the time until it zooms towards Julie Andrews, singing the title song, to the final shot of the family escaping over the mountains, to Switzerland, I was enthralled.  I remember hating The Baroness, who tried to come between The Captain and Maria, and I was really glad when she left and The Captain and Maria got married.  I was really excited when they were hiding from The Germans, and happy when they got away.

But the memory, for me, is bitter-sweet.  My lovely cousin-in-law, Norman, died about a year afterwards, of a sudden heart attack, so I always think of him, when I watch the film.

The second time I saw it was with my mum and sister, after Norman had died.  I loved seeing the film again, and this time, I had a bit more sympathy for The Baroness.  Despite her wealth, she was really a lonely woman, who thought she had met the man who would end her loneliness.  She loved him truly, and then had to watch him fall passionately for a younger woman.  I could, at last, see her point of view.  How she tried to get rid of her rival, and when she knew her cause was lost, she left with grace and dignity.  Over the years of watching the film. I grew to think that, maybe, she was the character who was the most real of all of them.

I saw The Sound of Music again, on a date when I was nineteen.  Once again it was magical, but the relationship with that particular guy, proved to be less so.  We didn’t stay together.

When I was twenty, myself, my sister and Auntie Betty, went to Austria, and actually saw many of the locations where the film was made, so now when I see the film, I can say that I have been there.

I have seen the movie many more times with Alan and other members of my family, on the television.  It still holds great power, and I always love it.  When I see it, I am once again with Norman, Angela and Betty, all deceased now, and I always feel that God is also in the movie.  It is one I know he would approve of.

I hope you have enjoyed this latest post.

Potterness is not against Godliness

Hello again.  For those of you who have been keeping up with my blog, you will know I am a Christian.  Therefore, you may be surprised to learn that I am really looking forward to tomorrow.  I am going to see the new Harry Potter spin-off movie, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’.

Alan and I have been to several churches, as I mentioned in a previous post, and we never fitted in anywhere.  I remember the pastor of one such church, breaking a DVD of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by jumping on it. I kid you not.  The sharp bits of the DVD were flying everywhere and could have easily gone into someone’s eyes!  I’d say that was more dangerous than Harry Potter is.

Why do Christians have such a problem with the Harry Potter phenomenon?

Well in my opinion, they see how popular it is, and they think it is spreading the idea of The Devil’s Black Magic around the world.  But like so many fundamental ideas, they judge it, without looking into what Harry Potter is really all about.  If they really studied the magical universe created by the visionary author, J.K. Rowling, they wouldn’t see so many differences, they would see many similarities.

From the very start of the first story, ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, we are introduced to a world of magic, which exists alongside our own.  Non magical people, known as ‘Muggles’, do not know this magical world exists.  They don’t have the combination, to make the bricks part, so they can enter the alleyway, where all the magical shops are.  They can’t enter The Ministry of Magic and they can’t get onto Platform 9&3/4 to board the Hogwarts Express.  They don’t understand that there are good magical people, fighting the forces of evil, which is happening all around them.

To me, this seems very similar to the relationship we have with the spirit world.  The world beyond this one.

Children have always been taught that Heaven is in the sky, however, people who return from the brink of death, and talk about entering the tunnel and the light, often say things like…

“I looked one way, and there was the beautiful meadow.  I looked back, and saw my relatives around the bed.”

When they return, they often say that the spirit world is just another dimension which actually exists alongside our own world.

I believe that too.  I think that the spirit world is in exactly the same place as this world, but because we are trapped, at the moment, inside our physical bodies, we cannot access the spirit dimension.  We walk this world, mostly unaware of the spirits who are all around us, and we don’t see how they, and Christ himself, are guiding and protecting us.  So in a way, there is a magical world out there, which is not too dissimilar to the magical world in the Potter books and movies.

There are also many people who believe they have had encounters with angels.  Maybe someone has suddenly appeared and pushed them out of the way of a speeding car, or helped them escape from a burning building.  The helper then disappears, never to be seen by that person again.  They are not wearing tutus and wings.  They don’t have halos, but people are convinced they were angels.  I also believe that they were.

When J.K. Rowling first thought up the world of Harry Potter, I don’t think she was trying to start any kind of religion.  I don’t think she thought of it that way, she just wanted to tell a great story.  That is all it is, a great story about a fictitious world and made-up characters.  But I don’t think her brilliant work deserves to be thought of as unholy, just because the characters are witches and wizards.  I think that that is very unfair.  The good characters always win against the evil ones, and if people are going to say that Harry Potter is evil, then, in my view, so are movies and books about made-up serial killers and thieves, for aren’t murderers and thieves also sinners?  Couldn’t those films also be promoting evil?  Yet, when we read those books or watch those films, it doesn’t make us into a serial killer of a thief, we just enjoy the story.

At the end of the day, a story is a story, and in J.K. Rowling’s case, she created something very special (in my opinion) with the Harry Potter franchise.  It’s a lot of fun, and fans often say it’s about love, and tolerance, about not judging someone because they are different.  I agree with that, and if such positive vibes are created by the world of Harry Potter, how can it possibly be evil?  My own opinion is that God would not be against it.

So this is why I love everything to do with Harry Potter and have read all the books and always go and see the movies when they are in the cinema.  I am 62, but I get just as exited as a young girl when I see the films.  I am really pleased that there are more ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movies to come.

Will post again soon.  God bless you all.