Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Can Life Be More than This?

Hi Friends,

I'm working hard (all prayers very much appreciated!) on my new book, Reaching for Wonder. This week, I'm hoping to finish the chapter on the Samaritan woman who encounters Jesus by the well of her ancestor, Jacob. Below is the longing of my heart as I read her story. Maybe it's your longing too? In Christ can there be more than, "Is it what it is"?  Pray for me, please, as I delve deeper into the wonder of this story that is resonating inside me this week!

Here's an except from my work-in-progress ...

“Come and see a man who has told me everything I’ve done!”
John 4:4-42

         It is what it is. I’ve said the phrase many times, but never with hope. Never with joy. It is an expression of deep resignation. Sometimes, it’s a saying that secretly breaks my heart.
         Does it always have to be this way? Is it really too late? Is the life I have all that life will ever become? Are my pain, my shame, iron bars of a prison cell? Or perhaps, in the hands of the Messiah, might they be the strange keys to escape?
         I bring my helplessness, my hopelessness, to the well with the Samaritan woman. I search for a thirsty man sitting by its side. I come with bucket empty and heart not daring to hope. But I come. I listen.
         I encounter my Christ in the story of another woman whose heart beat like mine, whose doubts and fears and shame had made her believe that life could never be anything more.

         And I wonder … will this stranger by Jacob’s well free me too?  Will he see me for who I truly am and still make me whole? Can my life be more than it is what it is?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Facing the Impossible? Consider this ...

Hi Friends,

For all those facing the impossible today, here's a bit of truth, a bit of hope:

Excerpt from Waiting for Wonder:

Our God is the God of the impossible. He is the God of impossible promises.
            This is the God who said to a virgin through the angel Gabriel, “Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus” (Luke 1:31), and Mary conceived a son without ever having been with a man. Jesus was born.
            This is the God who provided a boatload of fish after a night when not a single one was caught (Luke 5; John 21), who calmed the storm when the disciples were certain they would drown (Mark 4), who healed a man born blind when no one had ever heard of that (John 9), who healed the incurable and drove out demons (Matt 8; Luke 17), who raised the dead (Mark 5; Luke 7; John 11).
            This is the God who promised he would “suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and the legal experts, and be killed, and then, after three days, rise from the dead” (Mark 8:31) And he did.
            He rose! He rose from the dead to defeat death. He rose so that every other impossible promise could come true. He rose and now nothing else can ever be impossible. Now we can live in these impossible promises:

·      I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age. (Matt 28:20)
·      I will never leave you or abandon you. (Heb 13:5)
·      The one who started a good work in you will stay with you to complete the job by the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil 1:6)
·      My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light. (Matt 11:30)
·      Whoever drinks from the water that I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life. (John 14:4)
·      Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. (Matt 7:7)
·      When I go to prepare a place for you, I will return and take you to be with me so that where I am you will be too. (John 14:3)
·      And all who have left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children, or farms because of my name will receive one hundred times more and will inherit eternal life. (Matt 19:29)
·      God is faithful. He won’t allow you to be tempted beyond your abilities. Instead, with the temptation, God will also supply a way out so that you will be able to endure it. (1 Cor 10:13)
·      I assure you, whoever believes has eternal life. (John 6:47)
And so many, many more.
            Go ahead and laugh. It’s okay. But it’s even better to step out of your tent and go to him with your doubts, your discouragement, your fear of being disappointed yet again.
            Come, and believe this God of the impossible.

Jesus looked at them carefully and said,
“It’s impossible for human beings. But all things are possible for God.”

Matthew 19:26