Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Interview with NFR Reads

Hey Friends,

Check out my latest author interview - it's at NFR reads. Here's the link: https://www.nfreads.com/interview-with-author-marlo-schalesky/ 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Exposing the Stinky Things in Life

Hi Friends,

This week I've been thinking about how God's light in our lives exposes and drives away the things of darkness - the things that want to stay hidden - the stinky things, and I was reminded of this story of skunks in the dark when were camping ...

Skunks in the Dark

The night shone clear and cool in the Santa Cruz mountains as I stepped from the camper. A cheery fire danced in the firepit. I grabbed a blanket, settled in a fold-out chair near the flames, and waited.
My daughter and a few of her friends took chairs on the other side of the fire. We roasted a few marshmallows, made a few s’mores, cooked a few hot dogs. The fire grew dimmer. The night grew darker.
Dimmer. Darker. Until there were only the glow of coals in the pit and the shine of stars in the sky.
Very dim. Very dark.
Then came the sounds of shuffling in the trees. Tiny feet, tiny snuffles, crackling leaves. 
“What is it?” My daughter whispered.
“I don’t know,” her friend answered.
We waited. The night grew silent. Our eyes grew heavy. 
Soon, I drifted into a light sleep. The sounds of snuffling mixed with strange dreams.
Then someone gasped. That wasn’t part of my dream. My eyes flew open.
“Mom, don’t move.” 
I held still. A moment later, the beam from a flashlight moved toward the now-dark fire. And there, illuminated in the beam, ten inches from me, waddled two fat, black and white skunks. 
I held my breath. So did everyone else.
The skunks moved away from the light. The light followed them. Again, they moved toward the darkness. Light, movement, darkness. Light, movement, darkness. 
I let out my breath, quietly. 
The skunks made their way under the picnic table. The light followed them. They puttered out from the other side. The light shone again. And then, finally, they scuttled back into the woods.
We all started breathing normally again.
“That was a close call.”
“Whew. That was scary.”
“Do you think they’ll come back?”
“We need more light.”
We turned on the lights outside the camper and stoked the fire. No more skunks came to visit that night. All we needed was more light.
It’s not so different from how stinky things come out in the other areas of our lives where we allow darkness to creep in. Pride, lust, disdain, despair … sin. They all start snuffling around when we let the light in our lives go out. In the darkness they flourish; they become bold and audacious. And if they catch us napping, they’ll spray us with a horrible stench.
John 3:20-21 (NIV) says, “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
In God’s sight, there is more than enough light to expose and chase away the skunks. Ephesians 5:13-14(NIV) tells us that it is Christ who shines to illumine our places of darkness. It says, “But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper,rise from the dead,and Christ will shine on you.’”

So, we rise from our sleeping spots near the dead fire. We trust God to renew the flames and reveal what is hidden in our darkness, because, “he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.”(1 Corinthians 4:5 (NIV))

When we hear the snuffling and shuffling of sin in the dark, it’s time to wake up, turn on the light, stoke the fire, and allow the light of Christ to shine on our dark places. That light is the only thing that will drive the skunks away. When our fire dims and the life becomes dark, we must recognize those shadowed places in our lives and shine light on them before us and everyone around us gets sprayed by the stink.

            All of us have skunks wandering in the woods around us. Night comes in all our lives. And sometimes the fire within dims for us all. But God provides flashlights. He provides more wood for the fire and camper lights that illuminate from afar. He provides the means by which what is stinky can be exposed and chased away. He freely gives of his light.
And that means we don’t need to have to be afraid of skunks in the darkness anymore.