Gig Line: What does Easter really mean to you?

Published 8:52 am Saturday, March 30, 2024

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Easter weekend … the time of year we are reminded of our world’s history when the story of divine sacrifice and resurrection became front and center and where it remains to this day. With that, I ask that you consider the recordation of the events leading up to the time of Good Friday and Easter found in the Bible.

I set out to write this Gig Line two different times prior to the deadline for submission to the office of The Coastland Times for Easter Sunday. As usual I have a LOT to write about and easily surpass 1,200-word compilations each week. This time my desire is to focus on the most important topic that I feel takes precedence – true and totally from my heart. And before I end this writing, I will share something with you that only very few people know about.

Hands down, our world has changed, unfortunately our absolute “freedom” seems now more within the confines of our minds and our hearts. Because so much fear has overtaken and diminished honest, bold spoken thoughts that many have allowed the woke culture to dampen their approach to serious topics that matter. We all see it, hear it and feel it whether we will admit it or not and while at this moment you may be thinking, “Oh boy, here we go … Marsha’s on a roll … a religious kick … she’s going to Bible thump, wave her hands and probably dance in the spirit insisting that everybody think like her in order to be righteous.” If you do think that way, you are wrong, so very wrong and I am far from “righteous.”  If anything, I am stubborn but faithful and loyal to my beliefs and what I know to be true or have personally experienced and nothing would ever change that.

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But if you would look upon me or my words and consider that I am a sinner, you would be right because I am. I’ve never stolen from anyone, I do not lie and I love with all of my being be it for the Lord, the husband I adored for almost 50 years together, or my family and friends, I am far from what I want to be, yet in all these years I have been so richly blessed, abundantly blessed and given so very much to be thankful for.

I found out who and what God was when I was seven years old. It was after I was molested by an old man – a relative of our neighbors at that time. I never told my parents about what he had done to me, holding me down and threatening me not to tell. It only happened once, but that was enough. But after attending a tent church meeting with my Mama I knew there was this big, big man in Heaven who loved me, and it was only through Him that I had someone I could talk to about it. I thought if I told Mama or Daddy he might hurt (or worse) that perverted dirty old man and I was afraid he would go to jail and even at seven, I wanted to protect Daddy, so the secret stayed within me. From that time God stayed with me; he was my Lord but also my friend.

As I became older, I dedicated my heart to the Lord at the end of a week’s revival at church. The very next day I was in a horrific accident and my best friend was killed. I was 17 and about to graduate from Manteo High School. It was the first time in my life that I had experienced such a dramatic and horrible loss. Soon after the accident God brought the most wonderful man in the world into my life and we fell in love and got married in 55 days, not because we had to – I had never slept with anyone until our wedding night. And from July 1968 until his passing in July 2016 we were never apart; unless our professions took us out of town for classes, etc. were we not at home to kiss each other and say, “I love you” every night.

They say God works in mysterious ways and I can attest. One year and 20 days after our wedding, we had a baby boy we named after Billy and three years after that a baby girl we named after my best friend who had died in the accident. I used to wonder why God loved me so much to have blessed me with my husband, Billy then Bill and then Bonnie. Four grandchildren followed in the years to follow; two boys and two girls and they have all blessed me beyond measure.

Spiritually, God has shown me, helped me, healed me (and our family) in times of illness or injury; comforted me in times of grief and lifted me in joyous times of triumph; He has picked me up, set me down, pushed me forward and pulled me back when needed; He taught me valuable lessons and the “talks” we have shared (I do most of the talking and He mostly listens) have been real … really real. Things have happened spiritually between the Father and me that would make you stare into my eyes and wonder if my stories could really be true. I can assure you they are.

God is no joke people. He is everything and more than what you read about, and perhaps question at times. He and his Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit have been with me in the best and worst of times. Each morning, I thank Him for hearing my prayers, really listening to them and then, in His time answering them according to His will. I am grateful to Him, and I truly wish for everyone a personal relationship with Him because He wants that with all of us. No matter what we have done, or what mistakes we have made, none are unforgiveable in God’s eyes. He does want us to acknowledge Him and have enough respect to tell Him we are sorry for the blunders we have made and ask for His forgiveness. I mean, is that really too much to ask? Hardly!

This world has unfortunately become so focused on hate, destruction of decency and values that it reaches beyond the pale. However, as someone who tries to live the way the Lord wants me to, I have decided to pray not only for those who stand up for the cross, for churches, for our little babies, our military, our veterans, our law enforcement, our honest politicians and law makers and for all who truly love America, but now I am making it a point to pray really hard for all who hate someone, who wish to destroy them by every means possible. And to be honest folks, I have not wanted to (I told you I was a sinner) because I have found it difficult to pray for mean spirited, hateful people with agendas that are destructive, not good for anyone, and that hurt innocent people; it is just plain wrong. I am asking God to open the eyes of those who are determined to let greed, corruption and ill doings over-take them at the expense of all of us. I pray they fall on their knees and ask God to help them and that they are blessed as a result.

A few days ago, I was thinking of this beautiful time of year, when Christ showed the masses exactly who He was when he rose from the dead and left the tomb empty. I considered that with all the horrible things going on in the world today how wonderful it would be if the brilliant minds of dedicated Americans on both sides prayed for each other and honestly worked together to safeguard America and her people like never before.

I love the Lord and I love you all too, even if we do not always see eye-to-eye. It is okay, we can agree to disagree and still love each other!

Ten years ago, while Billy and I sat in our favorite pew at church, our Pastor Steve Smith at the time (I always called him “Preacher Steve”) was giving a message. All our heads were bowed, and I could hear him talking until all of a sudden, his voice faded out and a familiar masculine voice replaced it. Just out of the blue, I knew it was the voice of the Lord. He said to me “Your Bibles will become threatened, hear what I say. The day is coming when your Bibles will be in jeopardy.” I sat there kind of stunned but I had heard that distinct voice before. After church that night, I told Billy about it saying, “Babe I wasn’t asking God about our Bibles or anything, I was listening to Preacher Steve, why do you think God told me that?” Billy was a Christian man who loved and respected the Lord throughout his life, especially during his service in Vietnam. He just responded to me by saying, “I don’t know Marsha, but I’m sure He had a reason.”

About two weeks ago while watching the news I heard that Washington State (I think it was) had ruled to disallow the Gideons from placing the King James Version of the Bible in hotel rooms. Now mind you, hotel, motel and other facilities no longer allowed to have Bibles placed in the bedside table for travelers to access if they wanted to? Have you ever heard the testimonies of men and women who occupied a room struggling with drug, sex, gambling, pornography addictions who were at their wits end and on the verge of suicide but reached in the drawer, took out the Bible and through reading scripture decided they wanted to live after all? He (God) said it would happen; we are not in the Germany Holocaust or Russia or China.

Gideon is referred to as warrior and if you research in Wikipedia, it describes that “we can be a strong leader if we are willing to take one (very small) step of faith at a time.” God is good. That reference also gives a suggestion to read about Gideon in the Book of Judges. I remember sweet Mr. Edison Midgett (Manteo) who spoke at church one night about his support of the Gideons and the devotion they had toward everyone distributing Bibles.

No matter what we own now, have had, lost or need in this day and time, we are equally yoked in the eyes of the Lord. He loves us all … each and every one. And no doubt I am a far cry from where God wants me to be in my life, so I just thank Him for his patience!

This Easter when you look at the cross, remember the courage Jesus had and what He went through for all of us.

Until next time, I wish you and your loved ones’ good health, safety, happiness and an incredibly special and memorable Easter Sunday. Pray for our servicemembers wherever they may be and love each other like it is your last day. You are welcomed to call/text me at 252-202-2058 or email me at God bless you all! Stay tuned!