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“Just One Touch…”

published 6/12/2019

 

As I drove down the road the other day, there stood a little squirrel in the road. He turned his head frantically to the right and to the left, as if he was looking for cars. Then he stopped and lowered his body and head to his little friend who lay on the road not moving. He nudged his little friend, but he did not move. He nudged him again harder, but he still not move. He stood up again and looked right and then left and then frantically tried to tug on his little friend as if to say, “the cars are gone now; come on get up, before another car comes.” To watch this unselfish act of love of another creature as he earnestly tried to help his little mate and friend, moved my heart with compassion. We cannot know, how a simple act of kindness can impact a life forever; one kind smile, one encouraging word, one touch of understanding. I visit and speak at many prisons, rehabs, re-entries and recovery centers. Sometimes, I feel like that little squirrel. I just want to nudge them one more time to get up, before it is too late. But sometimes they just don’t or can’t respond. We must never give up to reaching out to those who need our help; that one kind smile, that one encouraging word, that one touch of understanding can change a life forever. It did mine. I visited and spoke at Teen Challenge-Week 2 of the series, “Going from Victim to Victor.” 
“But the Master comes, And the foolish crowd, never can quite understand, The worth of a soul, and the change that is wrought, By just one touch of the Masters’ Hand.”( Myra Brooks Welch)

copyright marsha barth 2019

 

Beautiful Bouquets……

published 6/2/2019

They started by bringing me the clover flowers. It wasn’t intended to be a bouquet. They picked them not by beauty but by the ones that had the sweetest aroma. One pink petunia, that shouldn’t have been picked from their yard, was added and brightened the bouquet. And then the flowers from the Dogwood, well, they were just there, and had to be added, and they were allowed to pick these. Whether it is sitting on the grassy bank and watching my older grandchildren play hockey together, or teaching them how to make blades of grass whistle, or collecting flowers with the younger ones, these are the beautiful bouquets of life. Bouquets that make the heart smile. When we say a kind word to someone who doesn’t deserve it, when we give a smile to the elderly sitting in the mall, when we give up the right to be right because it benefits no one, when we help others with love and there is nothing for us to gain, oh, these are the beautiful bouquets of life. May someone shower you with some beautiful bouquets today. And may you shower someone with beautiful bouquets today also. Will visit and speak at Teen Challenge on Tuesday, June 4. This is a closed event.

copyright marsha barth 2019

Ouch! That Hurts!

published 5/28/2019

Years ago, when we had our Garden Center, we had a beautiful wisteria that bloomed this time of year. It was so dynamic that people would stop in, just to ask what it was. Every spring it would bloom its large weeping cluster of purple blooms and scream with its vibrant colors-”Spring is here”. Every year, my husband pruned it until I thought for sure, he’d kill it. It was continually fed and watered throughout the year, and every spring it would reward us with this beautiful shower of blooms, filling the air with its fragrance. I happened to drive past there not long ago, and glanced to see its flowers, but there were hardly any. The foliage had gone crazy, but there were few flowers and they looked lost and forlorn in the tangled mass of green. It got me to thinking that this is what happens when things aren’t pruned, fed,or taken care of. All things need to be pruned and fed to grow and produce flowers and fruit. We need pruned too. “Every branch in me that bears not fruit God takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, God purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” John 15:2 We don’t like to be pruned. We like to enjoy our pleasures and never feel pain. We live in a society that seems to proclaim that we should never suffer or feel pain. We have a pill for every ache. And, although, I don’t enjoy pain at all, I have learned that pain is not our enemy. Pain, whether physical or emotional, is a warning sign to us that there is something wrong and that we need to take care of the source of the pain. Even as believers, we do not get a free pass on pain. We will be pruned, sometimes severely. And we must be fed the right food. We cannot be left to our own devices and go our own way-numbing the pain, and never dealing with its cause. The beauty of it all, is that the more we are pruned, the more fruit we produce. And if we have a wise “Gardener”, He knows exactly how much to prune from us without it killing us. Roses still bloom again, after a harsh winter, and a heavy pruning, and we do too. We have to deal, to heal, to feel again. Visited women at Lebanon County Correctional Center with Theresa Johnson.

copyright marsha barth 2019

I Don’t Want to Forgive…

published 5/20/2019

My grandchildren love the sour patch candies, so for Easter I bought them Sour Patch Jellybeans. Personally, they are too sour for me. But there is something that bids us taste that which is sweet and sour. So it is with the subject of forgiveness, or rather unforgiveness. Often, when I talk on the importance of forgiveness, whether it be at a prison, a rehab, or at a church, I get the look. When people think that I do not understand or that I have no right to tell them this—I share my own story. (“The Shattering” and “The Shattering II”) What is forgiveness??? Forgiveness by definition is–a CHOICE to stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake. It also means to release a debt. Forgiveness is simply a CHOICE. The problem is that by RIGHT, we often do not want to forgive. By RIGHT, the person who wronged you probably does not deserve your forgiveness. But the hardest thing about forgiving others is that so often we think that if we forgive them, we are saying it is okay in what they did to us. And this is not true. Forgiving someone is choosing to stop feeling angry or resentful towards them for what they did to you. You release them of the debt that they owe you for what they did to you. BUT, they are still accountable for what they have done. They are still accountable for the hurt and pain that they have caused you. Matthew 3:8-”Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.” Mercy and Accountability walk hand in hand. So what do you choose today to do???? Do you choose to remain feeling angry and resentful towards the person that hurt you?? Or do you choose to give your hurt and pain and anger that they caused you to Jesus, and release them of the debt that they owe you? As long as you hang onto your hurt, pain, and anger, you will never be able to release forgiveness. See it always our choice– to remain in bondage—or to be set free. Taught at PAATC (Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge) Do you want to forgive?????? Re: “The Shattering” and “The Shattering II”

copyright marsha barth 2019

Bringing Wholeness to the Hopeless…

published 5/9/2019

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” Helen Keller
The sun was brightly shining today and there was a soft breeze as I walked up the steep hill at PAATC (Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge). I had to get out my WV legs to climb it. I couldn’t help marvel at the beautiful setting that encompasses this organization’s campus. PAATC is a faith-centered organization committed to restoring wholeness to individuals and hope to families and communities impacted by substance abuse. I count it a pleasure to visit and speak to the clients. I am teaching a four-week study that I developed~~”Going from Victim to Victor” and will be teaching it to the clients there. PAATC’s Vision of Hope states it all…”Bringing Wholeness to the Hopeless.”

copyright marsha barth 2019

Mercy and Accountability Walk Hand in Hand….

published 5/3/2019

 http://www.wfmz.com/…/south-heidelberg-holds-hea…/1073659364

As many of you know, I speak at many different venues. I have spoken for our state at various events. I have spoken for the University of Hawaii several times and to other college Criminology and Psychology students, for Child Advocacy centers, to the Maryland state’s Social Service Department, to foster parents and advocates. I only mention these because my favorite venues of all has always been to meet and talk to those in prisons, re-entry, maximum security facilities, re-hab and addiction recovery. Here I get to meet people and take them the healing message of hope and God’s love. But every so often, I run into a situation that demands ADVOCACY. And lately, there have been several situations. I find it unusual that so often I have to jump fences. On the one hand, my heart reaches out to those hurting and broken-whether in rehab or incarcerated. But then, I find myself on the other side of the fence, advocating for those who are adversely affected, and horribly impacted, by the crimes of those who are incarcerated. I found myself in that situation last night. I have spoken to those incarcerated across the country for the last 15 years, but never have I seen any facility set up and operated the way that the Wernersville Community Correctional Center is done. First of all, who in their right mind, would ever consider placing offenders, (violent offenders, sexual offenders and all others included) on the same campus with the mentally ill? I am talking about a campus, where last night, it was stated that 70% of the patients are allowed to go outside on the campus unsupervised, while residents from the Correctional Facility are also allowed to have free discourse outside, unsupervised on the same campus, and unsupervised off the campus. Remember these include all offenders, sexual offenders, violent offenders. There are no fences to separate them. The incidents and violations of the “Universal Code of Rules” are too many to list here, and yet nothing changes. What was originally instituted to be a safe release program and a parole violator center that would include “NO violent offenders, NO sexual offenders, NO violation that involved assaultive behavior or possession of a gun, and there could not exist any identifiable threat to public safety from any such parolee. Also offenders were not permitted to leave the center without an official escort.” This is quoted directly from their website as of November of 2016, which since then they have taken down. There is now no website for us to obtain information. Please note that these safeguards were still in place after the 2012 Act 122 was passed. The outcry of the community has went forth from the day that WCCC was first proposed, initiated, and set up in 2009. Every proclamation and promise that was ever given to the community has been rescinded or not followed through. They say they want to be a “good neighbor” and in the same breath say, but we are the state and “we are preempted by state law” which would give them the means to control over township law and preclude the township from enacting their laws. If at the very least this would assist, aid or help the offender it would merit a discussion. But it does not. Anyone who has worked with offenders can tell you that to set this facility up without sound structure and accountability only enables the offender, and sets him up for failure. No one wins in this type of situation. Everyone loses—the mental health patients, the offenders at the facility, the residents in the community. They are all being put at great risk and danger. WCCC is a powder keg just waiting to be ignited. We must always remember—that mercy and accountability must walk hand in hand. 
http://www.wfmz.com/…/south-heidelberg-holds-hea…/1073659364

copyright marsha barth 2019

Unconditional Love….

published 4/27/2019

When my oldest grandson was young, he went to school one day and told his teacher that his grandma was going to prison. I wanted my grandson to understand that prison was not just full of bad people, but that it also had many broken people too; people that were lost and sad, hopeless and shattered. So after church one day, on the way home, I pointed out to him the prison that I visited. He asked why I went there and I explained that though all of them had done wrong, they still needed to know that Jesus loved them and that Jesus could forgive them and change their lives. He probably thought it was a nice thing to share with his teacher, “that his gramma, was going to prison.” Fortunately, most of the teachers knew us at that time, from our business. Most of them were customers of ours. The teacher mentioned it to my daughter with a smile, and she explained, that I “visited” the prisons. She did tell me later though, “Mom, you got to quit telling him you’re going to prison.” But all of my grandchildren know now that I go into the prisons. And all of them have a pretty good idea why. You see—God’s unconditional love can change a life forever. None of us are ever the same again when the Savior first touches us with His love. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without someone to tell them?” Romans 10:14. Visited and spoke with our team on Monday, April 22, at the Lebanon County Correctional Center.

copyright marsha barth 2019

 

“Laughy Daffys”…..

published 4/19/2019

I love “Laughy Daffys, as my husband calls them. They seem to scream, “Spring is here”! They can be covered with snow and yet their yellow heads will bob up, laughing at winter as it tries to hang on. Daffodils are the true smiley faces of all the flowers, I do believe. How can you look at a daffodil and not smile? They are a reflection of hope that winter season is truly past. They bring promise that a new season has begun. They are as sure as the rainbow that appears after a cloudy stormy day. And so are the promises of God. They are not mere words given to just encourage us, but they are words that are sure and steadfast. Have you ever received a promise from God that required you to stand on it even when all of your circumstances screamed out at you that it was impossible for it to come true? God wants to do just that for you. He has given me many promises.

One of my favorites is the promise He gave me when I was pregnant with my son. I had fallen down the steps, and thought for sure that I’d lose him. A few days later, I fell again and the cramps increased. I had gotten prayed for but the next day on the way to work our little Chevy Chevette was hit by a truck. I went home with the cramps increasing, sure that after five long years of waiting that I would lose this child. So, I went to my Bible and asked God to give me a promise and I opened up to Isaiah 44…. “Thus says the Lord that made you….I will help you, fear not…for I will pour my spirit upon your seed, and my blessings upon your offspring…and they shall spring up among the grass, as willows by the water courses.”

And truly God fulfilled this promise, and my son, my first born, my only son was born. But four years later, almost to the day, we were dealing with another situation. My son had quit breathing, he had been miraculously revived, but no one knew if he would suffer brain damage as they rushed him in an ambulance to the hospital. I had jumped in the back of the ambulance and watched his little body breathing slowly. But he went into another episode and the paramedic panicked as once again she tried to revive him with no response. I did not remember the promise that God had given me those years before, but I did feel His loving presence come over me as I watched, frozen in the moment. The most loving voice spoke to my heart as my mind refused to think… “Will you still serve me, if I take him home?” I felt like I was in a trance, like I wasn’t really there, because he still was not breathing. And then a peace came over me, and my heart spoke because my mind couldn’t. “He was yours Lord, before He was mine.” Instantly, he took a breath and began to breath again. It wasn’t until the next day that we learned that he had no brain damage as he sat on the hospital bed and put together a 100 piece Mickey Mouse puzzle that his daddy had given him. And yet, I still did not remember the promise that God had given me those years before. It wasn’t until he was scheduled to go to the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital shortly thereafter for more follow-up tests, that I went out to the rocking chair one night after everyone was asleep and cried out to God, “I need a promise”. I reached for my Bible and opened it up at random, and my eyes fell on a scripture that I had underlined four years before. It was the date that I had written in my Bible beside it, that caught my eye. It was dated almost four years to the date. I began to read the scriptures and the tears poured out of my eyes and down my cheeks. “Thus says the Lord that made you….I will help you, fear not…for I will pour my spirit upon your seed, and my blessings upon your offspring…and they shall spring up among the grass, as willows by the water courses.” Isaiah 44. And in the stillness of the night, I heard His sweet voice in my heart say, “The promise still stands. It has not changed from the day that I gave it to you. He will grow up as the willows by the water ways.” As we went through this journey-everything screamed out against that promise. Medical wanted to put him on medicine that would have caused him to become sterile. We thought it was too extreme and refused. But they threatened us that if it happened again, they would make the state make us give him the medicine. But he got well. And he grew up to be a fine young man. And now he has six beautiful sons and one beautiful daughter. Satan said, “I will take your son, your only son.” And God said, “I will bless your offspring and they shall spring up among the grass, as willows by the water ways. There is nothing more beautiful than the promises of God, steadfast and sure. They cannot fail or fall short. They always usher in another season of our lives—just like the “Laughy Daffys”.

copyright marsha barth 2019

Remembering Gracie Packer…..

published 4/13/2019

I have been told by people that they cannot read my books because it gives them nightmares. This only astounds me because we cannot change what we won’t confront; both as a society and as individuals. I’m asking everyone to read the below—This was Gracie’s nightmare—you wake up from yours—she never did. April is National Child Abuse Prevention month-Please read this in remembrance of Gracie: 

Gracie was 2½ years old when she was removed from her family’s home and placed in foster care in Berks County, Pa. She was 3, when she was put in foster care with Sara and David Packer. Sara was Supervisor at Northampton County’s Youth and Family Division. In 2006, when Gracie is 5 years old, David Packer causes indecent assault on Gracie. Gracie was 5½ years old when the Packers adopted her in 2007. By 2008, David Packer, Gracie’s adoptive father was investigated by Scranton CYF for physically abusing Gracie-now 6 years old. NO CHARGES are filed. In 2010 when Gracie is 8½ years old, Lehigh County initiates a criminal investigation into David Packer. On July of 2010, David Packer, is charged with indecent assault on Gracie from the 2006 incident. 4 years after the fact, he is charged. Gracie lives in this household these 4 years. It is important to note that the sexual assault was in 2006 and Gracie was adopted by the Packers in 2007. On June of 2011, David Packer pleads guilty to indecent assault in Gracie’s case and statutory sexual assault in another case on one of his other foster children. He is sentenced to ONLY 18 months-to 5 years, and goes to jail. Sara Packer is not charged but is “indicted” in an abuse case, meaning her name is placed on Childline-she had since been terminated from her job. Gracie is 9 and 10 years old when she goes through this ordeal. She continues to live with Sara Packer until at 12 years old she is placed in a residential treatment facility, Warwick House near Doylestown, PA in Bucks County. She goes back to her home with Sara Packer after that and finishes 7th grade at Vantage Academy, a Montgomery County alternative school. Shortly, thereafter she once again is placed back in Warwick House. She is now 13 years old. In 2015 Gracie is sent to North Carolina to live with a Packer cousin and attends part of 8th and 9th grades there. Sadly, in November of 2015, when Gracie is now just 14 years old she is returned to Pennsylvania to live with her adoptive mother-Sara Packer and her boyfriend-Jacob Sullivan. It is at this time according to court records that both Sarah Packer and Jacob Sullivan begin to plan how to kill Gracie. On July 4, 2016 Gracie attends a family picnic in Laury’s Station. On July 8, 2016, Sara Packer and Jacob Sullivan take Gracie to a home in Richland Township. They take her to the hot attic of the house where they bind, gag, and drug Gracie. Sullivan rapes her as Sara Packer watches and listens to Gracie’s screams and pleadings for her mom to stop him. They then leave her in a hot attic closet to die. Somehow, Gracie’s strong spirit survives the ordeal. She is miraculously able to free herself from the plastic ties. But she is unable to get out of the attic. When Sullivan and Sara return 12 hours later, they find Gracie still alive. Sullivan strangles her, and they place her body in cat liter and leave it there. Sara Packer then reports Gracie missing to Abington Township Police, Montgomery County. Sara buys a bow saw and 2 blades in Bucks County and dismembers Gracie’s body and disperses it in Luzerne County where it is soon found by hunters. 

I write this, because Gracie’s voice deserves to be heard. Her story deserves to be read. We talk so strongly about giving a child a VOICE. But what happens when that child finds their voice and they speak out and yet no one hears, and the system fails them. The course of Gracie’s life spanned Berks County, Northampton County, Lackawanna County, Lehigh County, Bucks County, Montgomery County. That is 6 counties in PA, that had a chance to intervene for Gracie. Not 6 times but 6 counties, and she fell through the cracks of every single one of them. Sadly, Gracie’s story is not rare, or in many cases even less severe. You see, it is not enough to give a child a voice, if we are not going to be there to hear their cry for help. The child thinks they are going to be rescued and so often, so many times, they end up back in the home with their perpetrators. We gave Gracie a voice-she spoke up-but her cries fell on death ears. She fell through the cracks of a very fractured system. The question today is not so much why don’t children speak up—but are we going to hear their voice??? It is not enough to look at how far we have come. We need to look at how far we need to go. Marsha Barth 

Remembering Gracie at the Crime Victims Rally in Harrisburg, Monday April 8, 2019.

copyright 2019 Marsha Barth

“The Shattering II” and “The Shattering”….

published 4/5/2019

Had another great blog interview with Lena Nelson Dooley on “A Christian Writer’s World.” This interview was for my second book–“The Shattering II-‘Breaking the Silence'”. Visit this link and enter the contest for a free book- https://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com/2019/04/the-shattering-ii-marsha-barth-one-free.html

Lena Nelson Dooley’s blog interview and talk show reaches approximately 65,000 people per month.

 

How Far Can You See????

published 3/30/2019

I love a quote that Winston Churchill said years ago, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” To go forward, we need to see clearly. And so often our vision is clouded or blocked unknowingly by the shadows of our past.The Bible says it this way, “…that we are to lay aside the weight and sin that so easily besets us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Heb. 12:1 And that “we are a new creature in Christ: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Cor. 5:17 Truly, “the farther backward we can look, the farther forward we will be likely to see.” Will be speaking at St. Daniel’s Lutheran Church located at 480 Big Spring Rd, Robesonia, PA 19551 on March 31, this Sunday, at 10:15 a.m for the Adult Bible Study on “Going from Victim to Victor”. All are welcome-Sunday worship begins at 9:00 a.m. My thanks to Terry Williams and Pastor George Detweiler for arranging this. Book signing also-“The Shattering” and “The Shattering II”

copyright Marsha Barth 2019

The Smiling Angel….

published 3/28/2019

I have an angel that sits at the entrance of my driveway. It is a realistic angel with a pure round cherub face. I have seen it many times as I enter, but only a few weeks ago when it was covered with snow did I take a closer look. I brushed the snow off of its head and shoulders and kind of said, “There you go little fellow.” As, I looked at him, I smiled. He had a smile on his face. I had never noticed that. Not a corny smile, but a faint Mona Lisa smile. He sits there every day, welcoming us home with that gentle smile, through the rain, in the storms, the snow and ice, and in the darkest night. Kind of sad, I had never noticed this. Even more so, what if we could see the Savior’s face, with that same gentle smile, bidding us to draw near Him, to rest upon His breast, welcoming us home, through the storms, in the snow and ice, in our darkest night. So often we miss His smile…..His tender touch, His loving presence… We are the children of God. “Come unto me you that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 Visited and spoke at the Lebanon County Correctional Center with our great team the other night.

copyright 2019 marsha barth

“The Shattering”

published 3/20/2019

Great blog interview with Lena Nelson Dooley on “A Christian Writer’s World ~~ Characters Who Grip Your Heart.” Visit    https://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com/
to read the interview and to enter for a chance to win a free copy of “The Shattering”.Lena Nelson Dooley is an award-winning, multi-published Christian novelist, screenwriter, and hosts The Lena Nelson Dooley Show on the “Along Came a Writer” network on Blog Talk Radio which reaches approximately 65,000 people per month. Thank you Lena for the opportunity to interview with you and to share this message of Hope. Enter now while contest is still open. Scroll down to the bottom of the article and push comment button to enter the contest.

The Nightingale’s Song….

published 3/4/2019

I walk outside and the chill of winter goes right through me. I grab the snow shovel and feel the cold wind on my face. Everything around me screams that it is winter. I hear the snowplow coming down the road. I feel my fingers begin to ache with the numbness from the cold. It is winter. Or is it? As I pause for a minute to take my breath, I hear the most pleasant sound. It is the sound of song birds. They are singing loudly and earnestly, as if to say, “it is no longer winter”. Their song echos through the mountainside in a chorus of melody, singing, “it is spring, it is spring”. It makes me smile. Yes, these are the spring birds, already singing their song. It makes no difference what I am seeing, or what I am feeling, what I am hearing is that it is spring. Do you feel you are in the depth of a cold winter season? Does everything you see and feel tell you that your winter will never end? Stop and listen. What do you hear? Can you hear the spring birds singing their song? Sometimes, we cannot go by what we see, or even what we feel. We cannot determine by today’s circumstances what our tomorrow will bring. Sometimes, we must listen to that still small voice of God that says, “roses will bloom again”. Do not proclaim tomorrow’s despair by today’s circumstances. To do this is to proclaim death and to lose hope and to forsake love. Even in our deepest sorrows, there is still love. It is the love that comforts us and is ever binding and lets us know that there are some things that never pass away. It is the love that brings us joy in the morning. And it is love that is the faintest flickering light in our darkest hour. The flickering light of love is so faint that in our darkness, often we can not see or feel it. It is then that we hear the sweetness of the nightingale who sings his purest song in our midnight hour. Listen carefully and you will see that even in our darkness our heart can hear a song. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness”. Colossians 1:13 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”Rev. 21:4 “Love never fails. Love never ends. Love conquers all”. 1 Corinthians 13:8 God’s love is the nightingale’s song in our night letting us know that morning is nigh.
I WILL BE A GUEST SPEAKER FOR CELEBRATION RECOVERY ON FRIDAY MARCH 8, 2019, at Faith Fellowship Church-Rt. 422-Cleona (Lebanon) PA. ALL ARE WELCOME — WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING THAT WE NEED TO RECOVER FROM–HURT, PAIN, LIFE. Fellowship meal at 6:30. Topic will be -“Going from Victim to Victor”. For more information please contact Nate Johnson at 717-507-9314

copyright 2019 

Satan Has No Hold on You!

published 2/28/2019

Years ago, when my oldest grandchild was small, he mentioned in grade school, and to his teacher, that Gramma was going to prison. Fortunately, most of the community knew my husband and I from the business we ran for 27 years and they knew that I wasn’t really going to prison. But, I wanted my grandchildren to know the plight of others. We had always passed by the prison on our way home from church and I had pointed it out to him on several occasions. It had made an impression on his young heart. Though, God has opened many opportunities for me to speak at many venues, for the state of PA, to College Criminology and Psychology students, for the University of Hawaii, and Child Advocacy, and many other venues across the country, my heartfelt venues to speak at has always been the prisons, re-entry, rehabs and recovery. I was thankful last night for the opportunity to visit and speak at Teen Challenge. This is a phenomenal Christian based recovery center founded by David Wilkerson. In sharing with a client afterwards, I told him that Satan has no hold on you. What a wonderful facility that allows me to proclaim this to those that are in bondage and who want to be set free. And, Satan has no hold on you. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 “Casting all your cares upon him; for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 Satan has no hold on you!

copyright 2019

 

He’s Always in Our Midst….

published 2/26/19

I was driving down the highway the other day to be with a friend who was gravely ill. My heart was troubled on every side. As I glanced up at the back of a tractor trailer, I saw the words, “Trust in God”. Three simple words, that brought my heart immediate peace. God is always in our midst. I wonder how often we miss the signs of His presence. Went in to the Lebanon County Prison last evening with our team. When asking the inmates, what do they do with their hurt, pain, and anger, the most common answer was, “numb it”. We have to deal, to heal, to feel again. Rather than numb it, why not give our hurt, pain, and anger to God? “A broken and a contrite heart, God will not refuse.” Psalm 51:17. Many of us today are not behind prison walls; and yet we are imprisoned just as assuredly as those who are– in our hearts, and souls, and spirit, by the weights, sins and hurts of this world. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 He’s always in our midst……

copyright 2019

The Child Within….

published 2/13/2019

I love the stillness of the night where there is no noise, and the quietness penetrates into my being. There, I can sort out the heaviness of life and hear the Lord’s still small voice speak to my heart. Here, I can dwell in “the secret place”, and “abide under the shadow” of the One who loves me most. “Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children,” Walt Disney once said. I can’t help think of his statement every time that I go into the prisons, rehabs, and recovery programs. Every time that I speak and look deep into the eyes of those that are captive or broken. They were once all children. Sometimes, when I look into their eyes, that are fixed on every word that I am saying, I get a glimpse of the lost child within. I wait, as I speak, for that moment, when I see God’s love and reality touch their soul and then see what the hand of God can do for the lost and broken. As the tears flow down their cheeks, their eyes begin to fill with Hope. This Hope is not a mere wish, but “The Hope”. The love of a Jesus, touching their heart, sometimes for the first time in their lives. This is the Hope “that is steadfast and sure, an anchor of the soul.” It is a new beginning for them, a new season. “Behold all things are become new, behold old things are passed away.” I was blessed to speak to the women at the Orlando Community Release Center, in Orlando, Florida. My sincere thanks to Assistant Warden Carol Casimir, Officer Elaine Richmond and Lieutenant Betty Starks and the many others that made this visit possible.

copyright Marsha Barth 2019

A Still Small Voice….

published 1/18/2019

I was on my way to an advocacy meeting the other day and was pondering many things as I drove the long drive. Anyone who works in this field knows the heartbreaking statistics and the sorrow of doing too little too late. But, I am continually reminded that “Evil can only prevail, when good people do nothing.”The question is not only, how we prevent and bring awareness of abuse, but how do we also reach the broken and shattered and let them know that they truly can take a healing journey and be made whole again. As, I was driving and concentrating on the heavy traffic, I had an unusual thing happen. It was only for a fleeting second, but impossible to miss. Truly, things have to hit me right on sometime to get my full attention, and this did. Out of nowhere a big white bird flew right in front of my vehicle. What struck me, was his beautiful wingspan that spread before me majestically. With one quick fleeting moment, he swooped down in front of my vehicle and then just as quickly, gracefully flew away, his white wings spread beautifully, and then he just disappeared. I can’t explain it, because such moments are mysteries to our soul, but my spirit lifted immediately. As if, God’s redeeming peace and love on the wings of a white dove assured me, that He is in our midst always. Sometimes it is the still small voice that awakens our heart. “But the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire, and after the fire, a still small voice. 1 Kings 19:11-12

copyright Marsha Barth 2019

Prisoner of the Heart~~~

published 1/10/2019

The other evening, as our team went to visit in the Lebanon Correctional Facility, the atmosphere did not change much from the dismal rain outside, to the clouds of heaviness that hang over those in prison. We signed in and listened for the buzzer to open the heavy iron door. We waited for it to clang shut, before hearing the buzzer to open the next door. This is prison. We greeted the women that entered, happy to see some of them light up at our presence. I looked into the depths of each women’s eyes as I spoke and saw so many things—hurt, pain, sorrow, sadness, loneliness, brokenness, remorse, hopelessness, anger, hardness, resentment, frustration, discouragement. Long gone or buried too deep to see, is the joy, hope, peace, love, happiness, trust, goodness, laughter, and comfort that they might have once known, or maybe that they have never truly known. I realize, as I speak to them, that the prison that that they are in is not the windowless concrete walls that surround us, but the prison of their own heart. I see God chisel at these prison walls, as each member of our team, gets up and speaks to them. You see the chains of their prison begin to fall as their eyes glisten with tears, and a new Hope begins to rise in those same eyes. What prison are you in? There are so many. The prison of grief, loneliness, hurt, pain, anger and so many more. Jesus came to set the captives free. “Bring my soul out of prison,” Psalm 142:7 is the cry of all of our hearts. If we are to live in any prison—let us be prisoners of HOPE. “Turn you to the strong hold, you prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee” Zechariah 9:12

copyright Marsha Barth 2019

What Did Christmas Mean to You?….

published 1/7/2019

Now that some of the frenzied duties of Christmas have settled, maybe once again, we can take a look at what Christmas means to us. Sitting with a cup of warm tea or coffee and looking at the Christmas cards sent from those who love us and truly care, or sitting back and smiling at the new memories and lives we are touching, as well as remembering those that we miss so very much. Christmas is so much more than a day, or even a season. Christmas is the birth of Hope Himself, born not only in a manger, but in the depths of our heart. It gives me so much joy watching all of my eight grandchildren enjoy and learn of what Christmas truly is. This year, it was our Matthew, who is three years old, who seemed to grasp this truth. He had a great learning experience this year. He seemed to soak every detail of Christmas in this year. He helped me make paper colored chains. And he enjoyed making gingerbread houses with his mommy and brothers and sister. But waiting until Christmas to eat them was a little more trying than he could bear. He did listen, and didn’t eat his gingerbread house. But that didn’t stop him from eating some of his brother Colin’s gingerbread house. Of course, with six of them, no one knew who had brought in the demolition crew to Colin’s house. So Colin diligently fixed it back up again, none too happy though. That night, when things got just a little too quiet, and you count and there is one missing, my son went to investigate. There they found Matthew, sitting in the dark, and yes, eating Colin’s gingerbread house again. This time, mommy and daddy made sure he knew the error of his ways, and Colin forgave him. When tucking them in to bed that night, Matthew voiced his revelation of the season. “Daddy, I know the true meaning of Christmas!” His Daddy smiled and waited. Matthew continued on excitedly, “The true meaning of Christmas is that it is Jesus’ Birthday and….. you don’t eat other people’s gingerbread houses.” As we pass another Christmas season, we ponder the joys and the sorrows that have come to us this year. “You that are weary and heavy laden, come unto Him, and He will give you rest.” We are entering a new year—we do not know what lies ahead, but like the old song says…. “Because, He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because, I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living, just because He lives.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES!!!!

copyright Marsha Barth 2019

Where is Christmas Found???

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published 12/20/18

The other day, we were driving down the highway. A light mist hung in the air, coating everything with a heavy gray mantle. The trees stripped of their leaves, stood bleak and lifeless, casting a dismal portrait, of where not long ago, the scenery had danced in vivid colors of red, orange and yellow, vibrant and full of beauty. The music filling the car seemed in deep contrast to this scene, a contradiction, a paradox of sorts. I turned to one of my grandsons in the back seat and said, “This is your favorite Christmas song, sing it with me.” His young voice, gleefully began to fill the air, with “Jingle Bell Rock”. My heart smiled and filled with joy. These precious unexpected moments, where you know the simplest things of life are etching a permanent joy on your heart forever. As we continued to drive, we passed orange cones set in the middle of the road. They were marked in dark black print—“funeral”. My heart ached at the impact and image that this one word invoked. Immediately, I thought of so many dear souls that are spending their Christmas without someone they loved dearly. A pain that is so great that it creates a gap in the heart, and drains the very soul of life and happiness. Where does one find Christmas when everything is stripped of the vibrancy of life and joy that once was? Where do we find the light that will show us the way? Christmas can only be found in our hearts. It cannot be found in the festivities of the season, or in Christmas’ past. Only in the depths of our heart, can Christmas be found. In our heart, where all the pain lingers and rents our very soul, where grief is born, and loss is irreplaceable, where peace and joy have been ripped from our very being~~this is where Christmas is truly found. For it is here, that the Comforter abides, if we will let Him come in. So often, there is still no room for Him in the inn. The inn of our heart. So often, He is kept afar, at an arm’s distance~~as if, lest His great comfort in relieving our pain, somehow would assuage the memory and presence of the loved one that we have lost. But in reality, as our grief heals, through this great Comforter, their presence and memory becomes more alive, because they are no longer cloaked with the grief of what was lost, but are cloaked in the joy of who they were. There is a Comforter who was born that Christmas day. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any person will hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him…” “they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the Light shined.” “For You have broken the yoke of their burden,” “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given:… and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Rev. 3:20, Isaiah 9

copyright Marsha Barth 2018

What Would You Do?

published 12/2/18

A person, I know dearly, shared with me a story the other day. They were in a store and a little boy got lost. He had blond hair and was only four years old. The store was amazing and went into full shut down, securing all the doors and initiating an immediate search. They looked everywhere for over 20 minutes and could not find him. Suddenly, a person heard a small voice in the distance, calling out, “Mommy, Mommy.” Following the sound of his voice, they called back to him, but he became silent. The search continued and they heard his small voice again, “Mommy, Mommy,” he cried out desperately. But as soon as the men called back to him, he became silent. The last time that he called out, a customer heard him before he became silent again, and found him hiding in a bin. Everyone was so happy and excited. The customer picked up the little boy to comfort him. No one knew where the mother was, but the father came and took the boy. He then began to yell at the boy fiercely, telling him that he was going to be really punished when he got home for causing all of this trouble. The boy cried uncontrollably as the police left and the father took the boy home. We can often know more of what is being said, by what is not said. We can often see more of what is going on, by what we do not seeing gone. I have grandsons that very age. I know how adventurous my boys are-but this story did not add up. Believing in discipline ourselves, I know how my husband and myself would have responded differently. First of all, as a mother, wild horses could not have dragged me from that store, in a disappearing act, without my child. And second, my husband would’ve been the first one to sweep our son up and hug him until through tears he would release his embrace. Surely, we would talk to him and explain the dangers later. But who would not rejoice that your child was lost and now is found. Why did the little boy cry out to be found, only to recoil in silence when he heard a man’s voice? Why did he remain hidden when he wanted so bad to be found? Why was he not glad to see his daddy? Was it adventure that led him to hide or was it fear? What would you do???? I don’t know what is sadder, or more discouraging-the boy crying as he left the store, or the point that others seemed to dismiss it as a simple child’s prank. See, until we start looking at what is happening right before our eyes, things can never change. But, others say, maybe he was just being a little boy. Do little boys cry in fear when they are found? Don’t little boys hug their daddy when found? Wouldn’t daddy’s hug their little boys when found? Do little boys get yelled at and told they are going to be really punished when they get home when found? Remember, he was four years old. Is this the way you would have reacted if your child was lost and then found? We are all different, even as parents. But one thing remains constant in all good parenting—we love our children and they love us. When red flags arise-and something does not seem right, we need to act. We may say-but wonder if I’m wrong? The bigger question is-but wonder if you are right???? Call ChildLine 1-800-932-0313 to report suspected child abuse or general child well-being concerns. Childline takes all calls anonymously. You do not have to give your name or any identifying information. Also, please note-you do not have to prove abuse, you only report what you suspect and your concerns. Childline will respond to your call and have an investigation done. If there are no problems, the parents are not harmed or discredited in any way. If a problem is found, you change a life forever. Never look the other way. We all can make a difference. What would you do???? CHILDLINE: 1-800-932-0313

copyright Marsha Barth 2018

Setting the Captives Free…

published 11/27/2018

We hear the loud clank as the large iron door unlocks before us. We enter, and then hear the door shut behind us with another loud bang. The next door is the same and we enter through it and walk down the long hallway hearing once again the door clang loudly as it shuts behind us. Later that evening, one woman cries that she has lost everything and that she prays, but feels that God does not hear her. I don’t know what rings louder in my ears; the sound of the iron doors closing with finality, or the earnest cry from a broken heart. This is the sad reality of prison and it’s hopelessness. I spoke to them on how we overcome by the “blood of the lamb”. My friend spoke on “knowing your identity in Christ”. We have such a short time to bring to them–Hope, Truth, and the Love of a Savior who truly cares for them amidst these prison walls. To tell them about a Jesus, Who can set them free from the bondage of sin and the prison of their hearts and minds. And then, as we are playing the song “You Say, by Lauren Daigle”–my eyes meet directly with one of the young women. She smiles and gently nods as she looks deep into my eyes and receives the words of the song into her heart. We close in prayer asking any who want to pray to come forward. “Come unto Me, you that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest…” Visited the Lebanon Correctional Facility last night. “a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

copyright Marsha Barth 2018

“A Wok in a Weary Wand”…

published 11/20/18

My son loved to sing when he was little. He actually began singing not long after he started talking. He had such a good memory, even then, that he amazed me in that he not only knew the words to the songs but the exact melodies. We lived in NJ at the time. It was a beautiful season of our life. But like all seasons of life, there were hard times too. I stood at the sink one day doing dishes and looked outside the window. The picnic table sat under the little maple tree. Across the way, I could see the lake in the distance. My heart was weary, though, and I could not shake it. I wanted to, but the weariness just hung over me like a dark cloud. My grandma had just passed away, and my heart was troubled. Her death, brought back many memories of my childhood, both good and bad. God was beginning to tug at my heart for me to deal with my past. But it was too painful, and I didn’t see the need to confront it. I felt it was best left behind. But we never leave un-dealt with pain behind. It stays buried in a broken heart. We have to deal with what has caused the pain. We would never think twice if we cut ourselves, to just wipe away the blood and brush it off. We would wash the cut, nurture it, and treat it with antiseptic and put a bandaid on it. We would get stitches for it to heal, if it needed it. When we are hurt emotionally, we don’t do this, we try to just brush it aside, forget and ignore the pain. But we do not heal that way. We deal, to heal, to feel again. As, I stood there looking out the window, I felt a deep sorrow. My family that I loved was eight hours away and I was missing them and felt all alone. I felt God’s love call to my heart, for me to draw near to Him, so that He could give me comfort. I then heard a lovely sound coming from the dining room. It was my son singing. I still remember the words of the song to this day. “Je-sus is a Wok in a weary wand, a weary wand, a weary wand. Je-sus is a Wok in a weary wand, a selter in da time of storm.” As I turned to listen more carefully, he came into the kitchen, singing it again. I looked down at that little face, with those big blue eyes, with that big smile on his face, and my heart just lit up with joy. Yes, Jesus is the rock in a weary land. A shelter in the time of storm. And we must go forth and sing this new song to those who do not know this. While in Hawaii a few weeks ago, I was so blessed to be able to go to “The Aloha House”, a co-residential treatment facility for addiction and recovery. My heart is always touched by the sincerity and hunger of the people who grab onto this wonderful truth and hope—that Jesus is the rock in a weary land, in the time of the storms of our life. I was just sent this link on an article published yesterday in “The Maui News” concerning my visit there. God’s healing and delivering power are greater than our brokenness. “Come unto me, you that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

http://www.mauinews.com/news/community-news/2018/11/victim-of-childhood-sexual-abuse-shares-powerful-message/

 

“The Aloha House”….

published 11/5/2018

The Aloha House was my last event while on Maui. “The Aloha House”, is a residential recovery house that enables men and women to have a safe place to heal and recover from addiction. Years ago, when I started to do this work, I told my husband Mike what I have experienced every time I visit venues such as the prisons, recovery, and re-entry. When I go in to speak, no one knows me, nor me them. I understand the look that says, “you are all cleaned up, how can you know my life and what I feel, what can you tell me…” And then, as I talk with them, God moves on their heart, because He is the One, who does know their life, hurt, pain, and feelings of hopelessness. To experience this every single time–to see a broken and shattered heart be touched by the love and reality of a God that truly loves them and to see many for the first time experience the Hope– that maybe they really do matter–brings my heart to tears and inspires me to go forward with God’s message of love and hope through every open door, as He leads the way. My sincere thanks for the hospitality, kindness, and support from all the clients and staff, Jud Cunningham, Michele Navarro Ishiki, Frances Duberstein, and Jamee Howell. In the last picture, the clients made me the lei, that I am wearing, in their appreciation for me coming. Below is a link to their article on the visit.

October 26, 2018 — Inspirational Speaker Brings Hope to Aloha House

“Mahalo”….

published 11/4/18

We don’t have a lot of bookstores left these days across our country, but at Barnes and Noble in Kahului, HI you will find the kindest staff and the greatest assortment. I cannot thank everyone enough for your kindness, hospitality and support. Last year Barnes and Noble donated $282.00 from the Book Fair to “The Malama Family Recovery”. This year they will donate to “The Aloha House Recovery” in support of these worthy causes. Had a great book signing! My thanks to Cindy, Jenifer, Max, Keilani, Jordan, and the whole gang for your support and making it a very special day. “Mahalo” …Thank you. 

Lokomaikaʻi~~

published 10/27/18

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Lokomaika’i~~
To always act with generosity and kindness…. I could not help but sit on my balcony one day and look at the island of Molokai in the distance. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is when Paul hears the Macedonia Call. For me, it was the Molokai call. The Hawaiian people are some of the nicest people that I have ever met and yet the statistics of abuse run higher on the islands than the national average and there is a real need for people to know the power of love, the promise of hope and the joy of knowing that they really do matter to a God who truly loves them. When we first got to Maui, Mike had went to the store to pick up a few things. Strangely, as he was checking out, the cashier said softly to him, “You have a quiet voice.” Mike smiled, but was a little puzzled.Then she said, “Your wife doesn’t have to worry about you yelling at her.” It brought tears to our eyes. My heart was touched when Kelley Dudoit of the University of Hawaii, and Elizabeth Fujii-Director the MCAPP (Molokai Child Abuse Protection Pathways) teamed together and asked if I would come over and speak on Molokai. My thanks (Mahalo) to everyone that made this a very special visit in every way.

Kuleana~~

published  10/25/18

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This beautiful Hawaiian word was posted on the wall of the one recovery center that I had spoken at. It means, “responsibility”. I had a beautiful experience at the Maui Community Correctional Center, as I was blessed to be able to speak to five different groups on two separate days, both men and women. Their hearts were so responsive to the love and mercy of a God who truly does care for them, and who touches their hearts with the reality of His presence. Mercy and accountability truly do walk hand in hand. As I opened it up to questions one day, one inmate said, “I heard you speak before at one of the recovery houses.” I gave him a big smile, and walked over towards where he was sitting, and then put my hands on my sides and answered back with another big smile, “Then what are you doing in here?” He smiled to, and the others kind of laughed, as he said, “I’m not coming back here again.” I felt a warmth in my heart and said back smiling, “I better not find you here next year.” You have to see the heart of the matter. “..Out of the heart comes all the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23. Statistics show and estimate that approximately 80% of all people incarcerated have been sexually abused in some way. Though we never minimize or justify the incarceration, this truly gives a better understanding to the brokenness that led them to this life. “Kuleana”, yes responsibility; but also “Ke Akua, ka mea i aloha ai”, God’s Love . My thanks to my friend Francis Zabinski, Liane Endo, Warden Deborah Taylor and Patricia King-Foley.

 

 

Malama~~

published 10/24/2018

The Hawaiian language is one of the prettiest languages I have ever heard. When it is spoken in its native tongue it sounds like a melody being sung. Malama in Hawaiian means (Care and Protect). “Am I my brothers’ keeper?” Yes. Everyone of us are our brother and sisters’ keeper. One smile, one kind word, one caring moment, one act of letting someone know that they really do matter, can change a life forever. Was blessed to speak at the “Malama Family Recovery Center”. We can go from Victim to Victor. My thanks to Jud Cunningham, Anthea Iuorno and Lisa Ponichtera.

 

Book Fair~~Book Fair~~Book Fair

Support “The Aloha House”. Now is your chance to support a wonderful facility that works to help those who are fighting addiction and encourages and helps their clients to create and engage with active support networks to ensure long-term recovery. Please see the attached flier. 15% of any purchase of any item from any Barnes and Noble direct or on-line, from Wednesday October 10–Wednesday October 17 will be donated to “The Aloha House.” My sincere thanks to Barnes and Noble for working with me to sponsor this worthy cause. Please just use and present the #12442554 on any purchase of sale, for credit to be applied to this donation.

Promises~~

I look to the left and everything is gray, dismal and forlorn. Then I look to the right, and there are white puffy clouds with bright rays of sunshine piercing through the baby blue sky. And then there it was, out of nowhere, right in front of me, this beautiful rainbow of promise. A rainbow is always present in our midst, but we don’t always see it. The conditions that we are in often reveal it. Sometimes in life when we are surrounded by the dark clouds of life, we have to look at the bigger picture that surrounds us. Often, if we turn slightly to the right, we will see the sun shining through with bright rays of Hope. And if we look in front of us, so often we will find a beautiful promise of God that will light our path. “Though the promise tarry, it shall surely come.” “His ear is not heavy that He cannot hear, His arm short that He cannot save.” Link for recent interview on I Heart Radio, AMFM247 is https://www.iheart.com/…/spiritually-speaking-with-tamala-…/ Interview will play again on Sunday, September 30 at 9:00 a.m EST. My thanks to Tamala Coleman for this great interview.

Do You Want to be Free????

published 9/17/18

One day, when my daughter was a little girl, she tried to rescue a little mouse from a glue trap. The problem was that either the mouse didn’t know he was in bondage, didn’t care that he was in bondage, or was too afraid to get out of his bondage. Regardless, he did not want my daughter’s help. He would have preferred to stay in his trap, or die trying to escape on his own, than to have someone rescue him; so much that he bit her as she tried to rescue him. Despite this, Jen continued, until she had freed him. The story of redemption is a beautiful story of hope. So often, today, we don’t want to be redeemed from our bondage. Often, it is because we deny that we are even in bondage, and find it more comfortable to stay in this bondage and to accept it. In our society today, we have done away with what is right and what is wrong and have proclaimed that whatever we want to do is okay. According to today’s society, there is no wrong or right. And anyone stating any different is condemned as judgmental and condemning. But there is a right, and there is a wrong. The problem in us denying what is wrong is that we stay in bondage. We deny that we are even in any type of bondage because we have accepted that what is wrong is not wrong and it is okay. And then, we wonder why we are so unhappy and struggling so much. There is something very precious in being set free. There is nothing more empowering. There is nothing more fulfilling. We can be redeemed. “Once, I was bound but now I am free.” “Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 Do you want to be free?
Interviewed with Tamala Coleman on “Spiritually Speaking” on AM 24/7 FM on “I Heart Radio” Tamala is a gifted interviewer with a listening audience of over 80,000 people. My thanks to Tamala for this opportunity. Will post link at a later date.

A Journey of Victory~~~

published 9/10/18

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I have a magnet that says, “Lord, I want patience, but I want it right now.” We live in such a microwave generation and society that wants everything right away. But life is a journey, not a destination. And as we walk it, we can know the joy of overcoming and walk a journey of victory. We had the most beautiful seminar yesterday. What a wonderful turnout. My thanks to Theresa Johnson our coordinator, leader, and friend, and to all of the dear women who came. Toni Stewart, Rosemary Alvarez and Marsha (Marty) Barth were speakers.

 

Walking in Victory~~~

published 9/3/18

What do you do when you are in despair? Where do you turn when you are hurt and broken? Who do you run to when you have no hope? We can walk in Victory!!

Accountability and Mercy~~

published 8/23/18

Tired of reading all the articles on the Child Sexual Abuse cases in Pennsylvania? We shouldn’t be. We cannot change what we will not acknowledge. Why did this go on so long? Because people refused to hear the cry of the shattered. And those who heard the cry- stifled and ignored that cry instead of rescuing the child. So even now, do we within ourselves, each individual, skim over these articles, turn the channel, ignore this cry? Or do we join in with the cry and make it a loud voice that can now be heard? How long will our society remain quiet and look the other way? When will we rise up? Each of us have a voice that can make a difference. Some may say–”What about forgiveness?” Accountability and mercy walk hand-in-hand. I believe strongly in forgiveness. One cannot be free without forgiving others. Forgiveness does not do away with accountability. Matthew 3:8 and Acts 26:20 both state that true repentance requires us to bring forth fruit worthy of repentance. It is important to note that fruit is a product that is produced after much labor, and fruit is not free. It comes with a price. The Catholic Church, (and we must note that we have only touched the surface—that there are many denominations and organizations where child sexual abuse has been committed) cannot just say they are sorry on one hand and then be the biggest opponent against the proposed law to remove the “statue of limitations”. There are no “statue of limitations” against murder. There can be no “statue of limitations” against the murder of a soul of a child. What should grieve us as much as this appalling news of such assault on our children, is that the very ones that caused it, allowed it, silenced it, are now considering what it will “cost them” if they are required to bear the accountability of their actions. Still, after all of these years of intentional negligence, because of weighing the cost of what would happen to them, over what had happened to the child; they are still weighing the cost of what it will cost them and not what it has cost the child that was horrifically abused and left to grow up as a shattered and broken adult. It is time—It is time!!!! If any one is truly sorry for all that has happened and for not stepping up to the plate, then step up now. The very least you can do, the very least, is to bring forth fruits of repentance for your actions and not only don’t fight the “statue of limitations” bill, but actually come out in support of it. Then we will know, truly know, that you are sorry. Accountability and Mercy walk hand-in-hand.

Good News~~

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkotkXIi0bQ

Often, when you present the sadder issues of life–people skip over it–“not now”. But we all have a story. We all have hurts and pains to overcome. We deal, to heal, to feel again. “His ear is not heavy that it cannot hear…His arm is not shortened that He cannot save.” Isaiah 59:1 His word is Good News. Song Credit–Good News–Mandisahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKDrg8qPt70

Beauty in the Desert~~

published 7/27/2018

I cannot think of a more “desert” place than that of a prison. Or as one girl once corrected me and said, “it is a correctional institution.” The other girls actually laughed and agreed, “it is a prison.” Whatever, name we label it as, it is a “desert”, a dry place. Cactus grows” in the desert. They are not much to look at, and no one dares or desires to touch them. They are prickly, leaving their conversational topic. But what about the cactus that grows there in this dry desert place. Every time that I have visited the prisons—every time—I find a wonderful treasure. Always, in the midst of this dry barren ground, I find a blooming cactus. I was outside, not long ago, on my patio, and to my surprise there it was. It branched off the prickly spine and hung in radiant beauty. Who would have ever thought that something so beautiful could come from such a horrid plant? And yet out of dry and barren ground—a beautiful flower blooms. “Dry bones can rise again.”(Ezekiel 37). We went into the Lebanon Correctional Facility on Monday. There I was blessed to see many beautiful flowers blooming in their desert. God is a restorer, a Savior, a very present help in the time of trouble. What desert are you in? Come unto Him all you that are weary and heavy laden, and He will give you rest. Be Blessed my friends~~

 

Mrs. Dawson~~

published 7/19/2018

When I was a little girl, I was so unaware of how unfair life was, how cruel people could be, and how much Jesus loved me. Life has a way of teaching us all of these things. I went to a little country church that sat on the top of a hill in our valley. Every Sunday, my brothers and I would walk the dirt road up this hill to go to Sunday School. Our little Cocker Spaniel would follow us, lay down at the door of the church, and wait for us to come out. There was one woman who always sat in the same pew and who always came to every service. There was something different about her. She was a quiet woman, but something seemed to radiate from her. Often my eyes would lock on hers and she would give me a big smile. It was one of those smiles that made her eyes twinkle and you could tell she was looking into your very soul, and you knew that somehow for some unknown reason that you mattered to her. As the years passed, and I grew older into a young teen, her hair became grayer until it faded into a soft white glow. Her walk became slower and she bent a little lower, but she never wavered. The strength and gentleness in her hand when she took mine into hers always amazed me and I had grown fond of this woman of love and inspiration and never tired of her encouraging smiles. We never really spoke; I was just a kid, and her, an adult. I wonder what she knew of my life, my situations and circumstances. I’m sure she had heard a lot through those years. But her love never faltered. One evening as I was leaving the church, Mrs. Dawson was there. She took my hand in hers with that same smile and twinkle in her eyes that had always touched my heart and she said, “How are you old faithful?” I wanted to cry. Her love and true concern had touched my life all those years. I smiled back. I like to think there was a twinkle in my eye this time for her, and said, “I’m good, Mrs. Dawson.” No other words were needed. Her love was genuine. I often wonder how often she prayed for me and lifted me up. She believed in me, and I knew it. I learned more from this woman of faith about the love of God than I could have learned from a 100 sermons.

I continue to visit the prisons, do interviews, and advocacy and let God open the doors before me. To learn more or to order my books, contact me here, or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/The-Shattering-215752548593960/ or any of my social medias. Maybe we can all have a smile to give someone today. God Bless~~

 

The Light Still Shines….

published 6/29/2018

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I love to see the sunlight dance. Have you ever seen it? You walk into a room and prisms of light dance across the floor. Sometimes they dance on the ceiling or across the kitchen wall. Doesn’t it make your heart smile to see this—to hear the birds sing in perfect harmony at the breaking of dawn, ushering in a new day—or to hear the hum of a lawnmower in the distance—or the low rumble of a train echoing through the valley? All the beauty of the joy of life, so often taken for granted in the hurry of living. So often too, we can miss that still small voice and that tender touch of a God who is so real. A God who is not wrapped in the cloaks of religiosity, but One who is real and desires to wrap His love and forgiveness around us. “Come unto me you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Our team visited the Lebanon County Correctional Facility the other night. The inmates were so attentive, their hearts heavy, and yet receptive. They need to know, like so many of us need to know—that behind every dark cloud, the Light still shines…..

 

“Where Love Lives….”

published 6/24/2018

 

Seemed strange to me the other day as I walked across the parking lot at the Virginia Correctional Facility to see this logo on a license plate. It caused me to pause and think right before I entered the facility. Where does love live? Love lives in our hearts if we want it to. But so often, we harden our hearts, afraid to love again, afraid to trust again, afraid to hope again. I am moved every time I go into a facility. So often, there is an atmosphere of hopelessness. I share and talk with them of my story and how that the God of Hope can fill us with joy and peace, even so, that we can abound in Hope-Romans 15:13. I get the privilege of watching God take the hopelessness, and see the tears that follow, as some, for the first time in their lives, feel the touch of a God, that they did not know existed and did not know that they even mattered to Him. “Where Love Lives”—and touches just one heart–we are never the same again. My sincere thanks to Sgt. Deanna Harvey, Cpl. Kidd, Lt. Thompson, Cpl. Jane, and Ms. Simpson for their support and kind welcome, and for making this visit possible.

What Does It Take to Touch a Heart???

published 6/15/2018

Her name means “Consecrated to God”. Often, when I do a one-on-one in the prisons, I like to look the person’s name up and see what it means. I like to ask them while we’re talking if they know what their name means? They are often surprised. I remind them that this is who they are. That they are not defined by what has happened to them, or where they are in their life at this time. Sometimes they seem surprised and hesitant to believe that they can be whole and have a good life. I know many have chosen evil and they belong there. But there are those who are not evil and want to do right. I wish you could know their stories. It would surprise you. You would find them unbelievable. It would give you a different perspective. I’ve been doing this for 15 years and I am still taken aback, every time, as they share their stories with me. Amazingly, the ones I’ve visited do not use their stories as an excuse, they just want to know how they can go forward.Romans 10:14 “…. how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without someone to tell them?” Will visit the Virginia Beach Correctional Facility next Thursday. What does it take to touch a heart???? Just the touch, of the reality of a God, that does love them and lets them know that they do matter.

 

What Is In Your Heart???

published 6/7/2018

I am always amazed at the story of Jephthah. The son of a prostitute, raised by his stepmother and half brothers. Despised in all of their eyes, until he runs from them when he is of age. He has no one to speak of his character, except that he walks with God and is referred to as a mighty warrior. Judges 11. As I was entering the Lebanon Correctional Center the other night, there was a young woman walking ahead of me. She had her pink, orange, blue, blonde and green hair pinned up in braids. On her hip she carried the sweetest little baby who hung on to her blanket in her tiny hands. She entered, and as I approached, she held the door for me and then with a big smile, said, “I remember you. You’re from that church group.” I stopped and talked with her, and the baby gave me a big smile. She told me they were visiting the baby’s father who was incarcerated, she was about six months pregnant. I could see the sorrow on her face. Etched in that sorrow, was the reminder of what she had learned when our group had visited her while in prison. It’s easy to see people in the wrong light. It’s easy to say simply—choices, it’s all about choices-could’ve, would’ve, should’ve. But God’s not done yet! He’s still working on this life. He still sees her heart. He still knows what issues of life smacked her silly and drove her to this point in her life. So many of the people we meet are Jephthah’s. But let the love and reality of God enter their hearts and they can become a mighty warrior. A warrior that others come to for help as Jephthah’s brothers later did. So often the question is, not, “What is your problem?” As it is, “What is in your heart?”

 

A Sign Along the Way…

published 5/17/18

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So often in life we are so focused on where we are going that we can miss the signs along the way. Signs that can lead us to the right or left, to speed up or slow down. We can forget that life is not a destination to travel, but a journey to enjoy. Coming home from a trip to West Virginia, I saw a sign out of the corner of my eye. The words really didn’t register until I was past. I almost missed it. It made me smile. It read, “In Despair, Jesus is the Hope.” God is always in our midst, working for our good, wanting to love us, and lift the heavy burden that we insist on carrying by ourselves.He is a very present help in the time of trouble. “We are troubled on every side, but not distressed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8

 

A Message of Hope…..

published 4/29/18

So often we hope, merely as a wish, and when it fails, we give up on hope.”We ask, and receive not, because we ask amiss,” James 4:3 “There is a Hope that we can have as anchor of our soul, both sure and stedfast. Heb. 6:19 This is a 10 minute interview with WMAP Radio’s “World’s Most Amazing People”. 30 second delay before it starts–-WMAP reaches into 83 countries. My sincere thanks to everyone at WMAP for this opportunity to bring a message of hope….

Show Me the Way…..

published 4/24/18

Bringing God’s Hope to the Broken and Shattered

Show Me the Way byDarlene Zschech – Hillsong
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGp3VCKkjaU

 

Is Silence Golden?…..

published 4/20/18

Live Interview with KC Armstrong on WMAP Radio, “World’s Most Amazing People” at 3:00 P.M. EST on April 20, 2018 at https://www.wmapradio.com/
I love to hear the laughter of my grandchildren, the sweet song of a robin ushering in a new and beautiful day, my momma’s sweet voice, the rushing water of a babbling brook, church bells ringing as they echo through the valley. Love is never silent, even if expressed in quietness. We hear with our hearts as well as with our ears. May we all hear the voice of those who touch our lives each day, even if, they do not say a word. Is “Silence Golden?” I don’t think so.

Accountability Ensures Rights…

published 4/13/18


Three years ago, I went to an advocate rally at the Capitol in Harrisburg. I had an opportunity to give Governor Tom Wolf a copy of my first book, “The Shattering”. On Monday, I attended once again, this years Crime Victim’s Rally. On the forefront is the attempt to pass Marsy’s Law. This law would make an amendment to our Constitution here in PA that would ensure rights to all victims of crimes and would enforce an accountability to all involved that these rights are not thwarted during the process. “We have no rights, if there is no accountability to enforce those rights.” mlb

Do You Hear The Cry?…

published 4/8/2018

Every time you listen, and don’t turn away.
Every time you speak up, and believe what they say
Every time you reach out, to those broken and torn
You hear their cry in the night. (mlb)
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and National Crime Victim’s Week-April 8-14. This is a link to an interview I did last year with WHTM ABC TV 27 

http://www.abc27.com/good-day-pa/author-spotlight/author-spotlight-marsha-barths-the-shattering-ii/1037017999

National Crime Victim’s Rally, Monday April 9th at 11:00 a.m,
Capitol Rotunda Bldg, Harrisburg, PA. All welcome.

 

Repairer Of  The Breach……

published 3/27/18

Years ago, when my oldest grandson was very young, he mentioned to his teacher that his gramma was going to prison.  Often when we passed by the local prison that I “visit”, I had shared with him how there are so many hurting, broken, and yes, guilty people there. We are a small community, so I can only wonder what his teacher thought when she heard this. I visited the Lebanon County Correctional Center last evening with our team. I always leave there with many mixed emotions–joy of the hope that I see them grab hold of, sorrow for the brokenness that I see, sadness for what could have been, and Victory in seeing God make a difference. Later, after I had left, I received a phone call. I put the phone on speaker and smiled as the phone vibrated with one of the loudest renditions of singing– “Happy Birthday MeMaw” that I have ever heard. My heart just overflowed, as the voices of my grandsons sang so earnestly, emphasizing every word with their love. I look back at my own life. We can be “repairers of the breach.” We can bring others to the “Restorer of paths to dwell in.” Isa. 58:12. We all can make a difference in the lives we touch each day, if we want to. A little kindness goes a long way. We are repairers of the breach.

Spread Your Wings~~

published 3/21/18

I have an Amazon Parrot. Gizmo is quite a character. Years ago, a previous owner used to have his wings clipped regularly to prevent him from flying. As the years passed, we didn’t get his wings clipped and they grew back; long, beautiful and colorful. The amazing thing is, that he could now fly if he wanted to. He could take off at any given moment and fulfill a destiny, explore heights unknown, and soar freely above all his cares. The problem is, he doesn’t know that he can fly. He is content in the life he has, even though he lives in bondage. One day, he may discover that he can fly again. When he does, Mike and I will have quite a time trying to catch him. I couldn’t help thinking of how many of us are living in bondage, when really we could fly, and we do not know it. Spread your wings, my friend. Today is the day of salvation. Today is the day that you can start your healing journey. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and a snack, and join me in this interview. My sincere thanks to Dr. Donna Ghanney for this Interview.

https://youtu.be/rM2JwKt3sIo

http://www.keifm.com/p/keitv.html

A New Season….

published 3/16/18

Winter is finally breaking, Easter is coming, flowers are pushing through, buds are just waiting for nature to give the call that Spring has come. So often in our lives, we enter a new season of life. It is full, of a new hope, a new beginning, and new dreams. Amidst this new season, so often, a healing journey begins. All we have to do, is to take that one step and our life can change forever. Sometimes, it helps, if we could just know that we don’t have to take this step alone. There is a God, Who beckons you to take His hand, and He will walk you into that new season. Both books–The Shattering, “A Child’s Innocence Betrayed” and The Shattering II-“Breaking the Silence” can be purchased on this site by contacting me here on Facebook, through my website http://marshabarth.com through Amazon, or ordered from bookstores/or publisher Robert D. Reed. To order the book and to receive a signed copy and a free copy of the audio of the video “A Shattered Vessel” written by Michael Barth and a narration by myself, please contact me personally on one of these sites. God Bless ~~

 

Laughter in the Darkness….

published 3/5/2018

I have a very dear friend. She is everything lovely and a true lady. She is one of the most caring and loving people that I know. Years ago, when we owned our business, we were flooded with over 500,000 gallons of water. It required me to get down in the muck in water up to my hips to keep a hose unclogged that was pumping us out. This friend and her husband concerned for us had come down to help us. Without a thought, this friend climbed down into the muddy murky water with me. She doesn’t like dirty or slimy. Her very presence and words calmed my heart. She jumped once when something slimy slid past her. I assured her it was probably a stray fish. I quietly tried to assure myself it was a stray fish. I kid her about it today. She laughs, because normally, nothing would have ever gotten her down into that water. And yet, her love and concern for us made her act without a single thought to herself. She brought laughter into the darkness. I have heard the sound of laughter at the bedside of a sick loved one as I held their hand. I have heard laughter at a funeral as memories of that loved one were shared. Laughter in the darkness….Bringing a light of Hope to a dark place. “Who will enter into the dark places and pull back the curtains to reveal God’s Light and set the captives free??” (mlb) Visited the Lebanon County Correctional Facility with our group and spoke with the women. God’s love and truth truly does set the captives free.

True Rest~~

Image may contain: tree, outdoor and nature

published 2/19/18

It’s amazing what you can see when there’s nothing to see. I looked out the window. The snow floated down lightly, beautiful, soft white powdery flakes. I am always mesmerized watching snow fall. I always feel like I am in one of those enchanting water globes that you turn upside down. The trees were already covered, the trail in the woods had disappeared. You could actually feel the silence, the peacefulness. I saw a flicker in the snow, and then another. I rubbed my eyes. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There they stood, right outside my window. They seemed oblivious to the snow falling around them but looked keenly at the house as they nibbled on the ivy beside our patio. The birds ceased their singing and chatter. All was still, as if in awe, all of nature paused to watch the master artist paint this scene. The beauty of it all took my breath away. Can a God who takes the drabness of a brown and gray winter and paints it anew, fresh and pure before us, creating a whole new scene of life in radiant beauty, not able to do the same with our lives? Can a God, with one gentle touch of His brush, paint a sunset that stops us in our tracks, and not be God enough to care for the very children that He calls His own? Sometimes it’s just a matter of seeing, when we think there is nothing to see. Sometimes we just need to enter into that secret place of the most High and abide under the Shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91) For it is here that we find true rest.

copyright Marsha Barth 2018

Hold Me….

published 2/16/18

Not long ago, I took a walk with my grandsons to see the ducks. My youngest grandson who is only two-and-a-half, did not like to walk on the planks that led to the pond. While the others seemed fascinated with the beauty of the walk, young Matthew was focused mostly on his feet and the unsurety of the path that he was walking on. As we approached the pond, the older boys ran across the walkway that crossed over the water anxiously to see the ducks, herring and even a proud peacock. But that is where Matthew decided to not go any further. “Hold me,” his sweet voice called out to me. I looked down at those sweet blue eyes filled with emotion–doubt, fear, and apprehension. “Hold me,” he said again, more earnestly. It was not a question, but a plea of desperation. I reached down and picked him up and held him close to me. Once secure, we walked together across the walkway. Then and only then, did his focus change from the plankway to the beauty around him. So often, we lose our focus along the way of life. Sometimes our unsurety of the path that God is leading us on distracts us from all the beauty that is surrounding us. It is okay to reach out to the One who loves us most and say, “Hold me.” He will carry us through our uncertainty, doubts and fears and never lead us on a pathway where He will not hear our cry, “Hold me.”
Psalm 142–”I cried unto the Lord with my voice; unto the Lord did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before Him; I showed before Him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path.”

 

He Cared~~~

published 1/27/18

     I got really yelled at the other day. Fiercely. I was on my way to an appointment and he stood right in the middle of the road. I slowed down as he boldly approached my car. He was totally unabashed and continued to let me know how very unhappy that he was. I came to a complete stop and started to laugh out loud.

     I said, “So you made it past Thanksgiving, did you?” And then, “You know this isn’t the best place for you to be hanging out.”

     But he stood firm, squawking at me in pure turkey lingo. “How dare you not slow down sooner. Can’t you see I have an important job to do here?” He continued to squawk as his guarded flock crossed the road. They were chickens; all shapes, sizes and colors, but they were his flock. He marched right up to the hood of my car and popped his head up above it, looked me square in the eyes, and squawked some more. He walked around the side of the car, raised his long neck and peered into my side window and said his last words of reproof. I gave him a nod and a gentle smile to let him know that I understood, and then slowly drove away.

     Isn’t it so amazing? He didn’t care that his friends were different. He didn’t care that they were a totally different bird than he was. He didn’t care that one was orangish red, one white, one black, another brown, and others multicolored. He didn’t care that their feathers were different than his, their beaks smaller. All that mattered to him was that he cared for them. He cared because they were his friends and he was going to be there for them and protect every single one of them. Oh how much we can learn from God’s simplest creatures. So why can’t we do the same thing? Why can’t we reach past the things that make us different and grab onto the things that make us one? Love always deserves a chance.

     Visited the Lebanon County Correctional Center last night with the team. We were blessed as one of the girls stood up and sang an amazing song with her whole heart about the love that God had for her. Sometimes, I have to wonder who really gets the greater blessings from these visits. God’s richest blessings to all of you~~~

Interview on TLBTV.com

published 1/18/18

on twitter at http://wp.me/p9hZLK-psI
Marsha Barth interviews on TV WITH REBECCA MAHAN ON TLBTV.COM
Many have asked me to let them know when I speak somewhere. Out of the many interviews that I’ve done, this is one of my favorites. My sincere thanks to Rebecca for this interview. Books can be purchased by contacting me here on Facebook, or contacting me on my web site http:marshabarth.com or through Amazon or my publisher Robert D. Reed Publishers. May you always know that you do not have to walk this journey alone, and that God has carved you in the palm of His hand. YOU DO MATTER!

 

Love Never Ages~~

published 1/14/18

The beauty of love is that it never ages. It never dissipates or fades away. Once written on your heart, it is etched there forever. How precious is this treasure that God has given us to receive and to give. I cannot remember ever a Sunday morning growing up, that my three brothers and I did not get up, clumsily dress ourselves, eat some cereal, and then walk up the dirt road that led to the country church at the top of the hill. There we would trudge, often my brothers shirts would be hanging half in and half out, and my scuffed up shoes dusty, as I kicked rocks along the way. We reached the top, and entered the small building. Here we learned every Sunday about a God who loved us, cared for us, and Who asked only that we give our hearts to Him. At twelve years old, I was facing a lot of crisis situations in my life. But I had grabbed hold of that Love, and He had grabbed hold of me. It was then that He said to my heart, “If you will put me first in your life, I will give you the desires of your heart.” I had two desires of my heart at that point in my life. I wanted to go to college, which seemed impossible. And, I already knew that I wanted to marry a Christian man, which in my situation, also seemed impossible. But, I believed this promise from God. One day, when I had just turned 18 years old, I was called into my principal’s office. I nervously fidgeted, and could only wonder what I had done to be called into his office. I went in and sat down at the chair in front of his large desk. He sit behind the desk, leafing through papers, his glasses hanging on his nose, seeming oblivious to my being there. Shortly, he looked up and gave me a smile. I had never seen him smile before. It was a kind smile. He asked me if I was going to go to college? I said, “I wanted to.” He asked me if I knew where I was going, if they were accredited, if I had the money to go, and more questions, to which I answered most of his questions with, “I don’t know.” Again, he smiled. I had never seen this side of my principal. He offered to help me. He and his wife took me to their home, let me stay over at their house, drove me to a college 100 miles away, took me as part of their family to visit their friends, and in the end, got me full scholarship. This college that I attended is where I met Mike, my husband. This one act of love and kindness changed my life forever. Through this kind man and his wife, God used them to fulfill both of the promises He had given me as a child. Today, this very day, 45 years later, I was able to personally thank him for all that he had done for me. He is now 92 years old, and he graced me with his time today, as I shared with him all that God had done through his one act of kindness. Love never ages, dissipates, or fades away. Once written on your heart, it is etched there forever.
Tomorrow I will interview on TLB T.V.com with Rebecca Mahan on her show “Rebecca Sounds Reveille”. I will post the link for this interview at a later date.

Finding Christmas….

published 12/8/17 

 

Many of you know that I have 7 grandsons, and one granddaughter, all under the age of 12 years old. They are my joy, my sunshine. They can brighten the darkest day by just their smile, their very presence, or by a simple childlike statement. Not long ago, I felt adventurous, and decided while visiting with 6 of them that we would make a surprise cake for their mommy’s birthday. Even though having to stop and pick out a few eggshells from the batter, overall it was going really good. During the process, my one grandson, who will not surprise me if he becomes the lawyer of our family, had a few ideas. I explained to him in detail why we couldn’t do this but he still had a plan. He really could sell sand in the desert. I smiled and told him that Memaw was not going to change her mind on this. He left out, a not quite defeated sigh. I said, “You’ll just have to chuck it up to the mean old Memaw.” Before he could answer, his brother interjected, “And,…. she’s not a mean old MeMaw, she’s a nice old MeMaw.” I almost busted out laughing except for the sincerity of his statement. But amazingly, that ended the debate. Love has a way of doing that. Christmas is such a beautiful time of love. A time for sharing, giving, and cherishing the wonderful people that have been, and are a beautiful part of our lives. But, I am always touched and reminded that it can be a very sorrowful and difficult time for those who are struggling in life, have lost a loved one, or cannot seem to find Christmas. I was in the store the other day and a woman was at the photo machine. It was clanking out pictures at a pretty steady pace. I don’t know why, but I felt led to talk to her. I said, “Are you doing Christmas cards?” She was a pleasant woman, and hesitated for a moment as if in thought, and then said softly, “No, I’m making memories.” I stopped and just waited a moment. She continued and then said, “I’m copying pictures of my son.” I could feel a spirit of sorrow as she spoke the words. She picked one of the pictures up from the machine that was still clanking and said, “this is me when I was pregnant with him” and then, “This is one he took on a hunting trip. He loved to take pictures of landscape. And, slowly, with an endearing mother’s smile, she pulled one from the pile, this is my favorite one. It was taken while he was on a mission trip. It so personifies who he really was.” It was the “was” that caught my heart. For some reason, she opened up to me. She paused, still sorting the pictures, as if miles away, and yet present with me, she spoke again. “He passed away.” I reached out to her, and gently asked more about him. She told me that he was 24 years old and had passed just 2 months ago. I wanted to hug her, but before I could, out of no where, a woman who worked there, who I knew, came up to her and said, “Can I give you a hug?” The woman broke down with tears and nodded yes. I asked her then if I could give her one too. As I embraced her I prayed God would somehow carry this courageous woman. She shared a few more pictures with me and I felt that I had entered a very private part of her precious heart. I said, “He was a Christian?” And she proudly answered, “Yes.” She said, “As much as I wish that I could talk to him one more time, I would never bring him back for a second from where he is.” I told her that my prayer would be that for Christmas, God would let her somehow feel his presence. The pictures were already doing this. Oh, the beautiful love that flowed from this soul. The faith in her darkest hour, that God was a good God, and that she would not want to take back her son from the arms he now rested in. In the midst of her great pain, she found Christmas. I was humbled in her presence by her anguished, yet sweet spirit. When, I later went to pay at the cashier, the woman who had hugged her, checked me out. As she rang me up, she spoke and said, “I had overheard you both talking and I had to give her a hug.” I thanked her for reaching out and hugging her. She then gave me a tender smile and said, “And, there was no way, I was going to let her pay for those pictures. She insisted that she pay, but I refused to let her.” I wanted to hug this dear soul too. Christmas, oh that tender time of year. Where even in our darkest hour, we can find Him, the Child that was born, the Son that was given, the Counselor, the Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6.

Seasons of Life

published 11/29/17

Image may contain: people sitting, plant, tree, flower, outdoor and nature

When I was a little girl, I used to love to roam through the woods, sometimes with my brothers and other times by myself. Here, I would walk up through the uncut trails, over the knoll, and down into the vale where the rhododendrons grew wildly and bloomed endlessly in the spring, creating a hedge of protection for the deer that sought refuge. I too, sought refuge here in this beautiful sanctuary. I would climb the steep peak that led out of the vale to cross over to the other side of the steep cliff to what was called the “Devil’s Slide.” Here I would sit down and let my troubled thoughts run free.
Seasons of life—each bringing us new revelation, healing and purpose. Time is actually our friend, not our enemy. What season of life are you in right now?
Do you long for the winter? The ambiance of the freshly fallen snow, with Christmas carols playing in the background, the fireplace radiating its warmth to our very souls.
Do you long for spring? The breaking forth of life itself, flowers pushing up, birds singing and echoing in a new song of hope.
Do you long for summer? The warmth of the sun beating down upon us, the air filled with a mixed fragrance of every bloom imaginable, the comfort of never wanting to feel cold again.
Do you long for the fall? Oh, the splendor of colors, bursting forth as nature’s fireworks in one final spectacular display of beauty. The smell of harvest as the wind brushes past us soothing our very soul.
So, what season of life are you in? What season would you like to be in?

Before you decide, consider this. Winter has sleet and ice, cold rain, dampness and snow shoveling too. Spring takes a while for the flowers to come forth. There is a lot of rain, more than sunshine, and often it is colder and more barren than we remember. Summer can be unbearably hot, chasing us indoors to the air conditioning, and there is grass cutting and lots of labor. Fall, lets us know that winter is coming, leaves us with a barrenness and lots of leaves to rake.

It is all in perspective. In every season of our life there is barrenness, heartaches, rain and storms. There are hardships and sorrows and labor of heart and mind. But there is also “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness…..” There is a fresh hope, a warm comfort, a new beginning, a bright tomorrow.

But how you may ask. You may say–you don’t know where I’m at right now. You don’t know my sorrows, my brokenness, my hurt and pain. And you are right. But there is a God who does know your every heartache. You say, if He cared, where has He been in my life? He has always been there, waiting for you to believe in Him. Crying when you cried, maybe just once, wishing He could take back man’s power of choice that has caused so much havoc in your life, in my life, and shattered the hearts of so many. God is not the cause of our pain and suffering, but the solution. Calvary is more than a cross that we wear around our neck. God loves you and wants to bring you into a new season of your life. What season are you in???? What season do you want God to bring you into?
Visited and spoke with our team at the Lebanon County Prison last night. God gives us a new season. “Behold, old things are passed away, behold all things become new.”
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven………Eccl. 3:1-8

 

A Thankful Turkey….

published 11/24/17

Happy Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends and loved ones.

The other day while hurrying to an appointment, I met a new friend. Unfortunately, he was not in a hurry. As you can see by the picture, he was very unabashed while walking down the middle of the road. He turned and looked at me as if to say, “Go around me,” but yet he took up the whole road. I began to chuckle to myself as he walked gallantly down the road, oblivious to the white Nissan monster following him. I didn’t have the heart to beep at him as he seemed to trust me. I thought this was a little fool-hearty on his part being we were nearing the Thanksgiving Holiday. He continued on, as if he did not have a care in the world. He did not know where his next meal would come from. As a matter-of-fact, he didn’t even know if he’d be the next meal. He was all alone and walking down a strange path of life full of unknown and danger. And yet, he was happy, thankful for his life. Thankful for the moment. Thankful for today without worrying about tomorrow. I learned a lot from my new friend, that day. Happy Thanksgiving and may God richly bless you and carrying you with His love.

A Promise in the Night~~

published 11/8/2017

I love the Fall season. The splendor of colors erupt on the mountain sides ushering in a new season. There is an earthy smell in the cool brisk air that can only be described as an aroma of harvest. Our lives are like the seasons, beckoning us to leave one season behind as we are drawn into the beauty of a new one. I love this season of my life. It is a season that I did not plan and that drew me into its grasp as gradually as the changing colors of Fall. Anyone, who has ever tried to reach out to help others, will understand when I say, that there are times that you are “slaying dragons”. There is an enemy of the soul that will oppose your labor, hinder your path, and put every obstacle possible in your way. We must never be of a faint heart as we push onward, reaching into the depths, to pull even just one, from that gulf of darkness, into God’s wondrous love and light. But, we do get tired, and sometimes after a “dragon slaying” period, we can feel very exhausted. The joy of seeing God’s hand move and touching a heart, and feeling His precious presence and anointing, make the journey all worthwhile. But we do get tired sometimes. While in Hawaii, I spoke to nine different groups. There were some “dragon slaying” times. I have come to recognize them now and I knew to continue forward and God would prevail, and He did. One night after a week of “dragon slaying”, as I began to unwind, I felt a thankfulness for all that God had done, but I asked Him, “God, I want to see you in the midst.” We can ask God that, you know? He does love it when we seek His presence. And then I let it rest. It was around 9:00 p.m and the time change of six hours, had already knocked Mike out-it was 3:00 a.m PA time. I went out on the patio for just a second to do something. I stopped dead in my tracks and rubbed my eyes. I blinked, and then rubbed my eyes again. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The sight before me had caught me completely off guard. There spread before me, in the night sky, was the most beautiful and full rainbow that I have ever seen. It stretched from the island of Lanai across the ocean to the island of Molokai. There was a light mist and the full moon shone bright in the sky. I ran in to Mike and woke him. I told him that he had to come see the rainbow. He rubbed his eyes, and then still half asleep, but seeing it was still night, said, “Mart, it’s dark outside, there can’t be a rainbow.” I said, “I know, come see it.” We looked at this wonder for over 20 minutes. As I stood watching it, God spoke to my heart, “this rainbow of promise is just for you.” I turned to Mike and said, “You know this is my rainbow.” “You’re rainbow?” he asked with a smile. “Yes,” I said, “God made it just for me.” Mike just gave me a big smile back. You see, there is always a “promise in the night.” This promise is ours, to claim and to know that He is always in our midst “slaying our dragons.”
Continued the journey, this weekend. Enjoyed a wonderful conference in York, Pa at the Providence Presbyterian Church. My thanks to Pastor Vince Wood and Delilah Rumburg for doing this conference on abuse, and their invitation to me to be a part of it and to have a book signing. Their kindness and support are so greatly appreciated.

The Love Rose….

published 10/31/17

My husband picked me this last rose. It will be the last one to bloom this year as the cold winds of fall and winter rush in. No more will I see the tiny buds appear, unfold, and usher in each individual petal displaying the distinct characteristics and unique beauty of each flower. It is called “The Love Rose”. Its fragrance is as sweet, as its colors are vibrant. All that is left is the ragged bush. It is faded and bare, the leaves are mostly gone, enhanced only by the sharp thorns that now protrude on its branches. There is nothing pretty about this bush. There is no fragrance. If one did not know the potential of this thorny specimen, it could easily be considered a nuisance, a problem, a source of great pain and deserving to be cut down. And yet it would be worth keeping, if it were for this one last rose alone. I go to the Lebanon County Correctional Center once a month here locally with our team. We just went in to visit last week. Actually, I visited it twice last week. Every time I visit, somewhere in the midst, I see one last rose. I can see past the thorns and the bare stems that bare no buds because I know that they are in the winter season of their life. But wonder if the “Rose of Sharon” could touch their lives and usher them into a new season? Wonder if they themselves could behold what really lay in their bosom instead of just those nasty thorns? And so we go to tell them, that once we were blind but now we see, that we will stand our ground where Hope can be found, and we share with them the Love of a God, that before we leave, they will know that they matter to Him. He truly is the Lily of the Valley, the Rose of Sharon, and definitely our precious Love Rose.

 

Abuse Impacts Lives…..

published 10/27/17

 

I spoke at the University Of Hawaii in Maui on “Domestic Violence’s Impact on the Child.” The need for awareness and prevention on this topic cannot be underestimated. We cannot push this under the rug; of society, of education, or even our own hearts. We must deal, to heal, to feel. My thanks to Aris Banaag for arranging this event. My thanks also to the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Maui for their generous support in what I am doing. I am reminded in Proverbs 4:7 “….get wisdom and with all your getting, get understanding.” It is impossible to learn without understanding. And it is impossible to understand without hearing. May there always be a voice to be heard for the broken and shattered.

 

Are You Free?

published 10/27/17

Free from what, you may ask? Anything that has you bound, anything that causes you to stumble, anything that weighs on you so heavily that you can’t find release. We can be free. Do we want to be free? Do we want to become whole? Seems like a silly question but we can become content in our bondage, not happy, but accepting. “If the Son, makes you free, you are free indeed.” John 8:36. A friend of mine, whom I love dearly, always says, “It’s time to get your big girl, (big boy) pants on. So much price has been paid for this freedom. Seems like a waste for us to not to reach out and grab it and share it with others. “Go you into all the world…..” Mark 16:15 Had a wonderful book signing at Barnes and Noble in Maui, HI. My thanks to Jenifer and all of the staff who supported both of my books “The Shattering” and “The Shattering II” and made me feel so welcomed. My thanks to Barnes and Noble also for their wonderful support and generous donation to the Malama Family Recovery Center.

 

Are You Weary?

published 10/26/17

Have you ever noticed in your day’s journey the weariness that people are carrying–behind the facade of smiles, the cliches of ‘How are you?’ ‘I’m fine.’ ‘How are you?’ What would really happen if we looked behind the veil of those facades and dared to reach out to those who are hurting? The need is so great in a world that has lost its way. Wonder if people could feel the love of Jesus instead of hear about the love of Jesus? Wonder if for the first time in their life, they could feel that they really mattered? We can do that. Every day that we walk through our daily lives, we have the potential to reach a heart,–it may be through an encouraging word, a helping hand, a patient act, or just a simple smile. We serve a God, who is touched by our infirmities and has traveled this road of weariness. Hebrews 4:15. Are you weary? Now He wants to carry you. Spoke at the Malama Family Recovery House. A wonderful organization that gives women with children the opportunity to come and get help for their addictions and lead them to recovery. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.

 

What Do We Do With The Hardened, Broken and Shattered?

published 10/25/17

“That you may say to the prisoners, ‘Go forth’–to them that are in darkness,”.” Isaiah 49:9. I spoke to five groups at the Maui Correctional Center on two different days while there. You will find no darker place than when you enter any correctional center. We all have had to pay a price in our lives at sometime for the bad choices that we have made and the wrong that we have done. Mercy is given not to okay us in our sin, but to deliver us from our sin. Mercy does not relieve us of the accountability of what we have done wrong, but it leads us to a path where we can bear the accountability and chose a path that can make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others. I am forever touched when I see God touch the heart of the hardened, broken and shattered. My thanks to Brian Cade, Francis Zabinski and Alexa for arranging these visits.

 

Rainbows of Promise~~

published 10/24/2017

You turn unexpectedly and there it is. A beautiful promise piercing through the darkest of clouds, shooting its brilliant colors like streams of hope for all to see. No matter how dark the clouds, the rainbow promises us that the sun still shines. When life’s dark clouds cover us let us always remember that the sun still shines. You have to look up to see a rainbow. If you look down you will miss it every time. The rainbow is a covenant from God. God whopromised cannot fail.
I spoke at the Aloha House in Makawao, HI. The many clients met me with a beautiful lei and a warm Aloha welcome. I count it a joy and privilege to be able to share the promise of God’s great love, hope and healing. Salvation is Hope, Hope is Redemption, and Redemption brings Restoration. Share the promise…..
My sincere thanks to Tony Arcuria and Nic Baca.

 Cry in the Night ~~

published 10/17/2017

 
If we could hear a child’s cry in the night would we do something?  If we could see the pain in the eyes of a child would we do something?  If the child grew up and hardened their heart would we still reach out to save them?  If the child got lost in addiction would we rescue them?  Some say that the subject of abuse is too deep. But we are drowning in this deepness. Who will throw out the lifeline? Who will care enough to venture into this darkness and shine the LIGHT?  “Let your light so shine before men…. Matthew 5:16.  Will be speaking at the University of Hawaii on “Domestic Violence’s Impact on the Child.”

You Can Make a Difference~~

published 10/11/17

 There are pathways in life, crossroads, that often catch us unprepared. Who is the person that can say that they have always made the right choices? Who has never taken a right on these pathways when they should have gone left? Knowing this, can we reach out to others and help them find their way? Can we lead them to the Rock that is higher than us, to the Hope that can change their lives forever?
I am happy and honored that Barnes and Noble is supporting and promoting my books, “The Shattering” and “The Shattering II”, and that they are also doing a Book Fair in support of the Malama Recovery Center from October 14-October 21. Mike and I will be doing a joint signing together at Barnes and Noble, Saturday October 14, from 2:00-6:00. Mike will be signing his new CD, Tranquil Moments, and I will be signing “The Shattering” and “The Shattering II”. Barnes and Noble is located at 325 Keawe St. #101, Lahaina, Maui. Part of the proceeds from all sales that present this CODE # 12234928, will go as a donation to the Malama Recovery Center. The great news is that you can be a part of supporting this great facility that is a refuge for many families fighting addiction. If you purchase ANYTHING during the week of October 14-October 21 from any Barnes and Noble across the country, in any city, in any store, or place any order using this CODE #12234928, a portion of your total purchases will go to The Malama Recovery Center. You must give them the Code # 12234928. We can make a difference.🤗 Thank you for this support.

 

This Journey of Life….

published 9/22/2017
We are all on a journey of life and every single one of us has a message to take to the world. It is a message and gift that God has given you, and you alone to deliver. I was so touched not long ago by my seven-year old grandson as we drove together in the car. He started to whistle, nothing in particularly, just a happy whistle. He whistles all the time. I love it. It makes my heart smile. People don’t whistle much anymore. I told him how special it was to hear someone whistle and that the only other person that I know that whistles is his great-Uncle Pat. Many may share their gift in a song, some in an encouraging word, some in their smile alone. Some may build it with their hands, carve it with a kind heart, reach a broken soul, a shattered spirit. Some may paint it on canvas, play it with an instrument, some in a happy whistle. Some may even fight a battle, take a stand, speak out for the lost, or help others find their way. We all have something we can give to others, a helping hand, a kind gesture, a prayer, our time, our love, our heart. No matter how small or unseen, or how great and admired, this gift of God is yours to find and it is yours to give. Will you share your gift today?
Many events coming up in October. God is opening so many doors. Will post soon.

How Far Are You Going?…..

 

I was driving the other day to an advocacy meeting and like so many of us do while we are driving, I began to think. I thought of my children and grandchildren, life itself, the list in my head of things I needed to get done and how tired I felt. I had been burning the candle at both ends the last few weeks and I asked God if He would just speak to my heart. I love to hear His still small voice amidst the hurry and scurry of life. Shortly, after I had prayed, a big truck passed by me. On the back of the truck were the words– “How far are you going today? Restful nights up ahead.” It made my heart smile. How far was I going today? It was time to rest. The next sign I saw was “Rest Area Ahead”, and then “Rest Area”. In the rush of our lives and the many distractions that pound us from every side, even the good distractions, it is sometimes important to see God’s signs, to hear His still small voice, to pull off the exit of life and take a rest. …A rest in Him. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Rest area up ahead—how far are you going?
I was so blessed to be a part of the team that spoke at the women’s retreat last weekend at Kenbrook Christian Retreat–”Dealing With Conflict God’s Way.” Thank you Theresa Johnson, Toni Stewart and all the wonderful women who attended.

Dealing With Conflict God’s Way….

published 9/2/2017

We still have a long way to go yet before we reach heaven’s shore. We live in a fallen world, troubled by many issues and situations that come our way daily. Situations that we have no control over. So what do we do when problems come our way? How do we deal with conflict in our life? How do we deal with it God’s way? Still time to sign up. Don’t miss this time of refreshing and fellowship…..

Are You Angry?

published 8/31/2017

Ouch! What a subject. No one gets angry right? We are never angry. We’re just a little bothered, a little sad. We’re tired. We’re frustrated. We’re irritated. But we are never angry, right? We don’t want to be called an angry person. I have a very dear friend. I say have, because she is still my very dear friend. We grew up together in those hills of West Virginia. She would not mind me telling this story as we are very close. One day as we were talking on a sad subject that we often discussed, I could hear her pain and hurt go to anger. I hesitated, and then trusted the love we shared. I said, “You have got to let go of the anger that you feel towards that person or it will destroy you.” I then politely ducked. She then answered in her “not angry voice”. That was a joke, in case you didn’t get that. That is why I ducked. Being the good Christian that she truly is, she continued…”I’m not angry. It’s righteous indignation.” We laugh about that today. And she actually thanks me for being honest with her. I do remind her that I ducked when I said it. None of us want to admit to being angry. But we must. You can not confront, what you won’t admit. Anger is a strong emotional feeling of being bothered, sad, frustrated, annoyed, or irritated. We excuse anger, by stating, “I have a right to be angry!” And maybe we do. But the question is–”Do you want to stay angry?” Anger is an emotion that we use to try to take control and fight back against hurt, pain, injustice, wrong and turmoil. But it is a two-edged sword and destroys from without and within. Anger stops the healing process. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you,” Ephesians 4:31. Do you want to be free, happy and whole again? Time to let go of anger.

Was glad to visit the Lebanon County Correctional Institute with the team Monday night and speak a message of God’s love and hope. The women were so receptive. A new day. A new season. “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinth. 5:17

copyright 2017 Marsha Barth

Set Free….

published 8/22/2017

Do you want to be free??? That seems like such a foolish question, like asking a blind man, would he like to see or asking a person with cancer if they want to be healed. But being free is more than a mere hope, it is a declaration against what has us bound. It is a battle, it doesn’t come easy, and it cannot be fought alone. So the question still remains, do you really want to be free? Or maybe the real question is, “Will you fight the fight?”
The battle is really in the heart. They say the battle is in the mind and it is, but only secondary to the battle in the heart. What issues of the heart do you battle to be set free? What pain is shoved under the rug of your life, out of sight for all to see, even yourself? And yet, everyday you stumble over that lumpy carpet pretending it is not there and long to be free. Maybe you have tried to set yourself free and are too tired to try again. Maybe this time you could ask for help? Maybe this time you could run to the Rock that is higher? “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”Psalm 61:2. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”John 8:36 Do you want to be free????

 

The Three Little Kittens…

published 8/5/2017

What a beautiful morning. The chimes sang in the distance as a light breeze carried their melody to me. The trees rustled above me and sang their own song. I sat on the patio, enjoying my breakfast and a cup of coffee, soaking in this peaceful moment until three of my friends showed up. These are the cute, furry, little friends that forever find our home as a shelter. The “Three Little Kittens.” Mike tried, with a smile, to convince me that they had come to visit me. But, I gave him the Marty look that said, “No, I think it’s the food.”As they approached, I gently led them away. I didn’t want to scare them. I wanted to teach them to wait until we were done eating, without feeling I was rejecting them. They waited for a short period and then went off to find their own way. Shortly, I called out to them. One came right away. I fed him, breaking the food into small pieces while continuing to call the other two. Finally, the second one came and gleefully joined in eating. I continued to call the third one, but he was in his own world chasing a leaf, lost in his own pleasure. I couldn’t help but see the similarities of how we act. We run to God when we want something. When He tells us to wait, often we go off on our own believing the lie that He doesn’t hear us, isn’t answering us, or that we aren’t important or good enough to matter to Him. And yet, He knows what is best for us, that sometimes no answer is the answer, or that if we just learn to wait and trust and lean on Him instead of our understanding and devices that He will hear our cry and supply our needs. So often, some will hear His voice and return, “Oh, He really did hear my cry.” And sometimes, some will linger, caught up in their own paths and almost miss hearing that tug on their heart, until suddenly they hear that voice and come running, “I do matter, I’m not forgotten.” But then sadly, some never hear or come back to the voice that is calling them. I am reminded of an old song that runs dear to my heart. “Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.” You do matter…..

Love Crosses All Barriers…

published 8/2/2017

 

My West Virginia is as beautiful as the many friends and loved ones that inhabit it. You will never find a part of this USA as beautiful, or the people any kinder. …”If or sea or land I roam, still I’ll think of happy home, and my friends among those West Virginia hills..” Abuse crosses all barriers, every ethic group, every culture, every state, every age, but so does God’s love. No matter where you live, there is a need for the broken and shattered to heal. I am reminded of the kind words that God spoke to my heart so long ago…”Am I a God that can deliver you out of your past and not a God who can heal you from it.” May you be blessed as you take this healing journey. Had a wonderful book signing at “The Truth That Rocks” bookstore in Northfield, NJ for “The Shattering” and “The Shattering II”. My sincere thanks to Bill Link for his great support.

A Journey With Hope…..

published 8/1/2017

There is a place where I grew up, commonly referred to back home, as the “Devil’s Slide”. Many of my childhood friends do not know that I lived in a little house beside my Grandma’s house on this cliff until I was six years old and then we moved down into the valley. It is properly called the “Devil’s Slide”, I do believe, as it is a slide down a steep cliff that there is no return. So often, many of us have begun to spiral down such slides and cliffs in our lives in despair and may feel we can never return again. But there is a HOPE. Such a blessed HOPE, that reaches down His eternal hand and rescues and saves us. All we have to do is call out and take that hand. Can there be a greater hope than that? Be encouraged, dear friend, in Christ, we always rise again. It is a Journey with HOPE. Had a great interview with Taylor Brannon at the “Truth That Rocks Radio Station” in Ocean City, NJ. My sincere thanks to Taylor, and Bill Link. Here is a short part of the live interview….

https://www.facebook.com/The-Shattering-215752548593960/notifications/

copyright Marsha Barth 2017

 

Shared from “Healing Waters Recordings

THIS IS WHERE IT ALL BEGAN…FALL OF 1972

 

 

We thank all for your continued support. Marty will be interviewed on Radio Stations 90.5 WXGN, 101.1 WXRM and 107.7 WRWL in Ocean City, NJ at 10:30 a.m on this Saturday, July 22. We will then have a book signing and CD sale together at “The Truth That Rocks Bookstore” located at 1100 New Road, Northfield, NJ from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m also on Saturday, July 22. WE ARE HAPPY TO SHARE THAT THE ATLANTIC CITY PRESS will also be there to conduct an interview for a story. Every purchase of “The Shattering II” will receive a FREE CD of “A Shattered Vessel”, a song which I wrote exclusively for this book. Marty also speaks a narrative on this CD. All purchases go directly to support the ministry. Again, thank you for your support and looking forward to seeing everyone.

published 7/21/2017

How Big is Your God….

published 7/19/2017

Looking forward to seeing everyone. Thank you Bill for this opportunity and your support. God is a Sustainer through our hard times, a Deliverer from every chain that has ever had us bound, and what most people miss with our emotional being, is a marvelous Healer. God said to my heart those many years ago–“Am I God enough to bring you out of your past and not God enough to heal you from it?” He who God has set free is free indeed. 

Breaking The Silence….

published 7/19/2017

 

One of my favorite quotes from the new book “The Shattering II ‘Breaking the Silence'”, is “If we can be brave enough to enter into the dark shadows of the unspeakable and pull back the curtains, we not only reveal the light but we also set the captives free. It is God’s desire to take you from lost to found, from victim to victor, from death to life.” Will be in my ole home ground of New Jersey and will have a book signing on Saturday, July 22, from 12:00-2:00 at the “Truth That Rocks Bookstore” located at 1100 New Road in Northfield, NJ 08225. Also, prior to this book signing, I will have a live interview at 10:30 a.m on Saturday on “Truth That Rocks” radio station, 90.5 WXGN, 101.1 WXRM and 107.7 WRWL at 801 Asbury Ave. Ocean City, NJ. All welcome 

A Touch of Love….

published 7/2/2017

There are few things more precious in life, than a small child taking a hold of your hand. Their tiny hand wiggling, until it grasps tightly, feels secure, and then rests peacefully in yours. This touch of love…
Not long ago, I was walking in a parking lot with one of my young grandsons. I asked him, “I know you are a big boy now, but can you still take Gramma’s hand. He looked up at me with a twinkle in those rich blue eyes, and a warm smile, and said, “Sure, MeMaw.” I smiled back and said, “You know someday, Gramma will be “older” and I may need you to hold my hand. Will you still hold it then?” “I will, Me Maw,” he stated without a moment’s hesitation. That look of determination as he grasped my hand tight, said more than his words. I was reminded of this again this week, as I spent some time with my older grandsons. As we crossed the busy streets, I asked for their hands. I was surprised, to not have them protest, as they are older. Once again, I couldn’t help but think, that those still small hands in mine would someday and not many years from now, be big. There is something precious in moments like this. Love is captured and etched in our hearts.
A touch of love…in the smallest gestures; a kind smile, a gentle word. When was the last time you reached out to others instead of waiting for them to reach out to you? Such power we possess to touch a heart, to change a life.
I visited with the women at the Virginia Beach Correctional Facility. I couldn’t help wonder as I spoke, what each of them looked like as a little girl. What happens to that little girl? What happens when a child is broken and shattered? A child does not plan to grow up and go to jail. A touch of love, God’s love, can make such a difference. “Is it that simple, ‘Marty’?” “Yes, I see it on their faces every time, I visit.”
My sincere thanks to Corporal Harvey, Sgt. Holas and Ms. Simmons for making this visit possible.

copyright 2017 Marsha Barth

 

A Shattered Vessel….

published 6/22/17

This inspirational new song, “A Shattered Vessel” is written and sung by Michael Barth. It was written and inspired from the book “The Shattering II” written by Marsha Barth. “A Shattered Vessel” can be downloaded at http://cdbaby.com/cd/michaelbarth3 and will soon be available on Amazon and all media sources. The Shattering II is available at Amazon, all book stores, and can be ordered directly from the author from this site or by contacting her at http://marshabarth.com Book is personalized and CD is free when book is ordered directly from the author. “Joy comes in the morning.” https://youtu.be/YWpv8SeLdHA

copyright Marsha Barth 2017

I Found Hope….

published 6/21/17

The other day I saw something under the couchThe other day I saw something under the couch. Having 7 grandchildren under 11 years old, I figured it was a toy that had gotten lost in the shuffle. I bent down and reached under the couch and pulled it out. To my surprise, I found Hope. It was one of my coasters. I had lost Hope. I held the coaster in my hand and studied it. It said, “HOPE with God, everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26. It made me smile.

I wonder, how many times have you lost HOPE? So often we don’t find it, because we are looking in all the wrong places. We use hope like a wish list. I hope things get better, I hope things will work out, I hope I get the new job, the new car, the new house. We grab for facades of hope, anything that we think might work, money, drugs, alcohol… Anything that we think might satisfy us or numb our problems and feelings. But what about HOPE? “Hope is tangible and breathes life and passion into every human soul that dares to reach out, grab it and believe.” “Looking for that ‘blessed hope’.” Titus 2:13.
I found that ‘blessed hope’ so long ago as that lost little girl. Ironically, it was not lost, I was. Now I count it all joy to be able to go into the prisons and help others find that “blessed Hope”. I’m so glad that Jesus is that Hope and that He is more than a dusty coaster under the couch.


Will visit and speak at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center on June 28.

copyright Marsha Barth 2017

 

A Shattered Vessel no more….

published 6/4/17

I wanted to share this from “Healing Waters Recordings”…….

To everyone who have so graciously supported us,

My new song “A Shattered Vessel” is currently in production and my publisher will be releasing it shortly worldwide. This is a ten minute single which we will include, no charge, with every purchase of Marty’s book, “The Shattering II”. It will also be available for download on all sites worldwide. The beginning of this piece is sung about a broken vessel, which is normally thrown away, yet there is a God WHO can put the pieces back together again, without the cracks, into a new one. In the center we hear Marty (Marsha Barth) personally speak, which is a very touching testimony to all. The ending is an uplifitng version of “A Shattered Vessel.”

Thanking all of you again, for your support! I am attaching again, by request, the music player for “Tranquil Moments”. This CD is currently now being used in some of our local therapy offices. It is also available for download or purchase worldwide on all media sources or through us personally.

Just click on this link for “Tranquil Moments”…   http://widget.cdbaby.com/a3529794-ce29-43dc-b596-b75baf4a3053/mini/light/opaque

The Light Still Shines…..

published 5/26/17

I am always amazed that in the darkest of night, the sun is still shining. Just because the earth has turned from its rays does not mean that it has ceased to shine. The sun will shine, whether we see it or not, whether we believe it or not, whether we turn from it, or whether we want it to or not. It is a reality that cannot cease. So it is with God’s love. His rays of Love and Hope may be hidden behind the dark clouds of your circumstances, behind the darkest of your nights. You may not believe His Love and Hope are there because you do not see it or feel the warmth of its rays on your heart and soul. But maybe it is because you have moved in another direction, rotated on your axis, made your own choices, hardened your heart, and turned away, refusing to believe that you could dare matter to God. And yet you do! The “Light” still shines. Can you see it now?

Visited the Lebanon County Correctional Facility in Lebanon, PA with our team on Monday night. The “Light” still shines.

copyright marsha barth 2017

 

Going Back…..

published 5/19/2017

It was the most beautiful day. The sun was shining, the birds singing and the sky was bluer than I had seen it for a long time. Every winding road welcomed me back. I went in to WV to visit my mom for Mother’s Day and was blessed to be with her and her sister-My Aunt Joanie. What a lovely time we had. They are 82 and 84 years old, and meaning this in the most positive way, more like 22 and 24. I love that they are still so alive, vibrant, and inspiring.

Sometimes when we are a child, we don’t always realize or look at our moms as having had it difficult. Sometimes there are no answers. Sometimes, the questions have not been asked.
It is sometimes hard for me to visit back home. As much as I love those WV hills, and the wonderful memories that I have with my family, there are often times, some darker corners that I end up visiting as well. We must always go back to our past as Victors and never as Victims. So why do we go back to those darker corners? To take The Light. The Light and The Hope that can pierce the darkness. But if it is so painful, why go to those places? We don’t go back to stir it all up and to feel pain. We go back to heal from it. We are more than…..You are more than…. You are an Overcomer… You are a Conqueror…You are a Victor…..


Will have a Book Signing tomorrow at this wonderful event. Sponsored by Overcoming Powerlessness (Founder and Director) Bonnie Wilt will have guest speaker Delilah Rumburg (CEO of PCAR) speak tomorrow Saturday May 20. Overcoming Powerlessness deals with overcoming emotional abuse. For more information visit www.ICanBreakFree.com

copyright marsha barth 2017

But There is Hope…. 

published 5/1/2017

If you have a special cup and the handle gets broken, you can glue it back together. You don’t mind the crack. But, if you drop it and it shatters in a million pieces, you reluctantly and sadly sweep it up and throw it away. Broken can be fixed, but shattered can’t. “All the kings horses and all the kings men, couldn’t put Humpty together again.” This is what happens to shattered hearts. But we have a Hope, “steadfast and sure, an anchor of the soul.” Jesus is our Hope. He is more than a Humpty Dumpty God who puts us back together again…But a God who makes us a “new creature in Him.” It is that Hope that takes us from Victim to Victor!

What an honor and privilege to take this message of Hope to others. Was the guest speaker for Luzerne County’s Child Advocacy Center in Wilkes-Barre, PA. My sincere thanks to Shannon Peduto and her staff for inviting me and for all that they do for the children. My sincere thanks also to my wonderful husband who is my friend, my love, and my strongest supporter.

copyright 2017 Marsha Barth

From Victim to Victor

published 4/27/17

                    

I count it an honor to have the opportunity to speak for the Luzerne County Child Advocacy Center at their 3rd annual Fundraising Gala on Saturday April 29, 2017 in Wilkes-Barre, PA. This large event is to support the Advocacy’s Center in their great work that they do for the awareness, prevention and intervention for our greatest heritage…our children, in the fight against child abuse. We cannot change what we are not aware of and we cannot heal from what we won’t acknowledge. We can go from Victim to Victor!

copyright 2017 Marsha Barth

 

We Have an Anchor…

published 4/24/17

I was surprised the other day. Children make our heart smile. Their laughter is like a breath of fresh air. They personify all that is good and precious. In the path I have chosen, I get to interact a lot with children. The other day, I heard two of them talking. They were discussing how they wanted to do something together but because of their age difference would have to tell a little white lie. I just listened. We learn so much by listening. I waited and then said…giving them a different option. As they considered it, I said, “We can’t lie, even a little white lie.” Since they were listening, I grabbed the moment and continued, “Do you know why?” I didn’t want to lose them on this point. “When we lie, even a little lie, even for a good reason, we allow that spirit in our heart. And then when we are sad or discouraged because we’ve allowed it to be part of our lives, it lies to us. It tells us that we don’t matter, that we are not important, that no one loves us.” To my surprise, they both answered, “I think that all the time.” We don’t think that children ever feel this way. We actually, don’t consider that people as a whole can think and feel this way at any given time in their life. I said, “The enemy of your soul desires for you to think that, to destroy you.” They wanted to know who. I said, “Satan.” I then continued. The Bible says, “He seeks to kill, steal and destroy.” I paused to let it sink in and then said, “But…Jesus said, ‘I have come that you might have life and more abundantly.'” There is a need to let our children and people know that they do matter. There is a need to let others know that there is an enemy of our soul, Satan, who seeks to sift us as wheat, but that we have a HOPE (Jesus) who gives us life, joy, and love, more abundantly. We hold back on stating the name of our enemy and we hold back on stating the name of our redeemer. We have this HOPE. “Which Hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast,” Hebrews 6:19. At such a time as this….know you are loved….know that you matter,— to God, to others.
Will visit and speak to the inmates at Lebanon County Prison tonight with the team.

copyright 2017 Marsha Barth

The Hope…..

published 4/16/17

“Christ in You, THE HOPE of GLORY!” Colossians 1:27

He is that thread of hope that fills our heart and leads us from Victim to Victor~~

Live Interview…

http://abc27.com/2017/04/14/author-spotlight-marsha-barths-the-shattering-ii/

 

Because He Lives…..

published 4/14/17

Because He lives—We live also..

Because He rose again—We rise again too….

Interviewed Live with Amy Kehm on ABC TV Good Day PA

http://abc27.com/2017/04/14/author-spotlight-marsha-barths-the-shattering-ii/

copyright Marsha Barth 2017

He Has Risen….

published 4/13/17

I can think of no better day than tomorrow to interview LIVE on “ABC’C WHTM Good Day PA” with Amy Kehm. Tomorrow is Good Friday. As a child, I could never understand why they called the day that Jesus died–GOOD. But in His dying, He gave us EVERYTHING good–a new life, an eternal life, a new hope. He arose from the bondage of pain, sorrow, death and hell. He conquered these. And when He arose–He brought us with Him. How can we ask for more?

Will interview with the new sequel just released–“The Shattering II”
Interview airs LIVE at 12:30 p.m., April 14, 2017. Will post link at a later date.

We Live because He died……

copyright Marsha Barth 2017

 

Never Give Up~~

published 4/6/17

Marsha Barth & PA Senator Lisa Baker   Marsha Barth speaking at  PA State Capitol

Ah…It was there. I saw it for the first time today as I looked out the window. Ever so slightly, but it was there. That slight brush of green, just beginning to pop out. It is Spring. I know we thought that was two weeks ago, but it wasn’t there then. It was buried under the 18 inches of snow that had hit us. There is something breathtaking, when a new season breaks forth. Everything is so fresh, so new, and alive. It is often that way with our lives. We wait for the long winter season to be past. And then one day, when we least expect it, we look, and there it is. A new hope springs forth. The sky is bluer, the birds sing sweeter, and the flowers begin to break forth, promising the breakthrough that we have waited for so long. “Though it tarry, it shall surely come.” Never give up. “Do not be weary in well doing, for in due season, you shall reap if you faint not.”
I spoke at the Capitol this week in Harrisburg for National Crime Victim’s Rights Week. My heart was moved by the stories of others who have come through horrific ordeals in their life, still waiting for their Spring to break forth, waiting for healing to come, and justice to be served. As we stand in the gap, let us always remember with compassion, the loss of others. Let us always reach out a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on and a word of hope and promise, that others may find their way…..
My sincere thanks to CVAP for this opportunity to speak. My thanks to all of our Senators and Representatives who fight so hard for this cause to make a difference.

532 Pinwheels……

published 4/5/17 

I have always loved pinwheels. Oh the magic of an invisible force moving and spinning the wheel. To hold one is to become a child again. There were 532 pinwheels spinning magically on Friday at the Luzerne County Courthouse. Each pinwheel represented a brave child in 2016, who had the courage to speak up about being abused. We cannot prevent what we are not aware of and we cannot heal from what we won’t acknowledge. I was blessed to be a guest speaker for the Luzerne County Child’s Advocacy Center on Friday. My sincere thanks to Shannon and her staff, their kindness and hospitality, and for the amazing work that they do. To hear the presentation please visit….
https://www.facebook.com/Luzerne-County-Child-Advocacy-Center-296425397192771/

Copyright Marsha Barth 2017

 

We Can Make a Difference…

published 3/30/17

 My children and grandchildren were up Sunday to celebrate my birthday. There are seven under eleven these days. As I heard the front door open, I heard the actual soft voice of my Colin-“Hi MeMaw”, he called. I met him at the landing and received the biggest hug ever. Benjamin followed next. Rather than stop my hug with Colin, I just pulled Benjamin into the hug. Next was Isaac and then Jadon. It was a great group hug. I found our little Matthew off to the side taking it all in shyly. But then he came running into my arms and I ate him up as he laid his head on my shoulder. My heart smiles at the blessings that God has given me. He promised me all of this when I was twelve years old and living in a very dark period of my young life. He showed me then that I mattered and has kept every word of His promises to me. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. We can’t prevent what we are not aware of and we can’t heal from what we won’t acknowledge. God has so much in store for all of us. Joy does come in the morning. I will be a guest speaker for the Lucerne County Child Advocacy Center tomorrow in Wilkes-Barre. Everyone welcome. New book has arrived! Both books will be available at this special event and book signing. We can make a difference!

 

copyright 2017 Marsha Barth 

Dealing with Conflict God’s Way

published 3/30/17

There is a sweetness that fills my heart when I think about the God who created everything, reached down to this little WV girl and changed my life forever. There is a hope that radiates from His presence when we experience the reality of His love for us. He sees every tear that falls. He knows the depths of your heart. He sees the hurt that you hide from everyone. May He hide you in the cleft of the rock, ’til the storm passes by’. So enjoyed being a part of this conference. What a wonderful presence of God. My thanks to everyone who joined us. Special thanks to Toni Cipolla Stewart, and Theresa Johnson for all they do.

copyright 2017 Marsha Barth

published 3/22/2017

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. We cannot prevent what we won’t deal with. Will be a guest speaker for the Luzerne County Child Advocacy Center on March 31st. This event is open to all who want to come and support this worthy cause. It will be held in the Rotunda at the Luzerne County Courthouse, 200 N River St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711 and starts at 11:00. It is estimated that there are 60,000,000 survivors of child sexual abuse alone. We will all know a loved one that has been affected by some type of abuse at sometime in our life. Will you know how to help them, love them and show them that they are more than what has happened to them? Come join us. Books available-Signing event-The Shattering and The Shattering II. Marsha Barth-Author, Advocate, Speaker. For more information please contact Shannon Peduto at 570-208-2895 ext 302

copyright 2017 Marsha Barth

Dealing with Conflict God’s Way

published 3/17/2017

“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us.” Hebrews 12:1. How do you deal with the conflicts in your life? Is it with anger, fear, guilt, shame, blame, denial, justification, minimization, manipulation, intimidation….? What tools do you go into battle with? How are they working? You can never resolve conflict through your emotions. So how do we deal with conflict God’s way? Come to this great conference on March 25 and find out more.
Author/Speaker/Advocate—-Marsha Barth

 

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, text

copyright Marsha Barth 2017

 

Setting the Captives Free

published 3/14/2017

If we can be brave enough to enter into the dark
shadows of the unspeakable and pull back the curtains,
we not only reveal the light but we also set the captives
free. It is God’s desire to take you from lost to found,
from victim to victor, from death to life.” Excerpt from the sequel “The Shattering II”, to be released April 1, 2017. Healing is a journey, a worthwhile one. We were never meant to stay in the pangs of hurt, pain, and anger. We serve a God who cares. He is a God who not only delivers us out of our past but heals us from it. Both of the books will take you on a healing journey-from victim to victor. More than a victimization story, they are both stories of the the promise of hope, the power of love and the joy of overcoming.

Copyright Marsha Barth 2017

The Pain is Gone

published 3/4/2017

Visited the Lebanon County Prison on Monday evening with the team. What does it take to be set free???
Often in my childhood, the issue of child abuse is the focus, but there were good memories too. I think that is what I treasure the most with the books that I have written. More than the victimization and sorrow, there was also a Hope. Many of you know that my husband and I had a business for 27 years. We shared a lifetime of memories there–with our children, customers who became forever friends, and the joy of starting and running a successful business. But there were also hard times too. There were floods, pumping out 500,000 gallons of water, battles, and many dragons to slay also. I drive past there in traveling many times a week. Amazingly, though, it doesn’t trouble me to ride past it. There is no drawing back, regrets, or pain. Like my childhood, I can go back. Often, I am asked why go back, to my childhood, isn’t it painful? We don’t go back to re-feel the pain, we go back to heal from it. We have to deal, to heal, to feel again. Healing is a journey, a worthwhile one. When God delivers us out from the circumstances that have affected us in our life, He can also make us whole. Is He God enough to bring us out of the pain and not God enough to heal us from it? He that has set us free, is free indeed! We can go back. We can heal. The pain is gone. And it is a new day! Healing is a journey. Will you start yours today? Visit me at https://www.facebook.com/The-Shattering-215752548593960/

copyright 2017 Marsha Barth

 

“MeMaw’s here. It’s okay.” 

published 2/17/2017

Great Interview with Paul Johnson from The God Zone Show!
http://traffic.libsyn.com/go…/Episode_040_-_Marsha_Barth.mp3

We got hit with a tornado the other day up here on the mountain; took down lots of trees and knocked our electric out for 24 hours. I just so happened to have three of my six grandsons staying overnight. The little ones, ages three and one were a little baffled. They thought as long as the sunlight was still coming in that the lights worked. It wasn’t until nighttime that they began to wonder. To make it fun, we had a picnic indoors with candlelight for dinner. They liked that. Then my little Isaac says, “I don’t want to sleep upstairs, Me Maw.” I said, “No, you don’t have to, we’re all going to have a “camp out” in the living room tonight together.” It became a fun thing. During the night, though, from time to time, one of them would cry out in their sleep, sometimes a little wimper, then a cry, or a groan. I didn’t want them to wake up, so I said softly, “It’s okay, MeMaw is here.” All through the night when they would become restless, I would just say, “It’s okay, MeMaw is here.” I lay there and thought of that as I heard them go back to sleep. How soothing is the voice of someone we love and trust. How comforting and assuring to hear the sound of a voice or feel the simple touch of someone that we know loves and cares for us and to have that simple faith that they will not let anything happen to us. This simple faith, that I learned from my grandsons, applies so much to our trust in our loving God and Savior. Can you hear him say to you right now? “It’s okay, Jesus is here.” Can you feel His gentle loving touch as he tucks you in and comforts you amidst your anguished moments that you are facing right now? Can you hear His still small voice as He whispers lovingly to you? “It’s okay, I am here.” Can you believe that He loves you that much? Can you believe that you really do matter to Him? In case you can’t, remember, “It’s okay. Jesus is here.”

copyright 2017 Marsha Barth

 

We Can Slay Our Giants!

published 2/17/17

I have a favorite flower that I love to see when I go to Hawaii. It is called “Ginger”. It is usually a large red pine cone looking flower. If you go to smell it, it really has no smell. It feels like soft rubber when you touch it. I learned that you can take it in both of your hands and squeeze it real hard and it will not hurt it at all but pressing it will cause it to release the most beautiful fragrance you have ever smelled. People see me do this in the gardens and think I am killing the flower or that I have gone a little wacky. It is only in pressing hard the flower that its purpose is fulfilled. So often issues of our lives press us sore. We feel that surely we will be crushed and destroyed by the problems of our lives sometimes. But this is when the sweet fragrance of our purpose can flow forth. We are not destroyed. We can slay our “Giants”. “We are troubled on every side and not distressed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8. We can go forth in Victory, knowing that we are not defeated, just pressed, and let God raise us up with a sweet fragrance, overcoming, and “Slaying our Giants.” Was blessed to be a guest speaker at the Orlando Community Release Center. My sincere thanks to Major Gisela Budet, Sgt. Jeaneen Gomolinski, and Assistant Warden-David Colon.

copyright 2017 Marsha Barth

Why Do These Things Happen?

published 2/15/17
 

 “Don’t leave me daddy.” I hear these words echo through my mind. We never know what will happen and unfold in a day. We have been taking the family to Disney for the last 27 years. I never heard the loud thump on the concrete, Mike and Missy did. I only heard the agony of a cry that went straight through me. It pierced through the laughter of families enjoying each other, the hustle of people pressing through crowds and the crying of babies. “Help me, please, someone please help.” It was not a quiet plea, but an earnest cry of desperation that stopped everything and everyone in that small circle of surrounding people. Some of us stood frozen, not knowing how to respond. You want to run and do something but your mind just stops and your legs don’t move, at least for a second. Mike dialed 911. I ran to the woman and the fallen man. I am not a nurse or a paramedic. I am a Christian. I knelt down beside the man and took his head gently in my hands to steady him as he struggled to breathe and began to pray earnestly. There is power in prayer. There is a power at the very mention of the name of Jesus. You can feel the presence of God even when your mind still refuses to grasp the moment. The spirit in us responds one way while our emotions and mind react another. The woman continued to cry out for help. I continued to pray as two women in the crowd rushed in to help. They had medical backgrounds and started CPR. There are no coincidences when God has us at a given place at a given time. I saw the look on the man’s face as he grasped for life. I’ve seen this look before. The man looks into my eyes but they are blank, fixed and fading. I continue to speak Jesus. They rip his shirt and began CPR. “Lord you have the keys to death and hell. Lord help him. Jesus help him,” I prayed. I hear his wife frantically scream- “Stay with us David!” “Stay with us!” They hook the pads we all get back and then we resume what we were doing. Only then did I realize that my hands were covered in blood from his head injury. We don’t know if it is a heart attack or a stroke. I continue to pray, they continue to work on David. I feel the presence of God. We can’t know what happens during a traumatic moment. We can’t know what is happening physically as this father, husband, fights for his life. We can’t know what is happening spiritually to this man as God’s spirit is moving and dealing with his heart and soul. Just because the body does not respond does not mean that nothing is happening-spiritually or physically. I hear the young daughter slightly in the distance cry out– “Don’t leave me daddy!”–this precious soul, this daddy so loved, this husband endeared. The paramedics come and take over and take him away as he still fights for that precious gift of life. You wonder what God did, because you know His presence was there. You wonder if he will make it or pass over. You wonder if he had a relationship with God, his salvation, his eternity, his life. There is a peace that settles on you not because of anything that you’ve done, but because you know the presence of God was there and angels were encamped around us. All that was seen can never compare to what was unseen. I cannot take for granted this gift of life that God has given us. I cannot take for granted this salvation that is always before us. Will we reach out and grab it right where we are right now, or will we wait for another time, a convenient season? Why would we wait? What does hinder us from surrendering our whole heart and soul to this Jesus who stands at the door of our heart and knocks? There are no coincidences–even that you are reading this. “Today is the day of salvation. Choose this day who you will serve. For what is our life, it is even a vapor that appears for a little while and then is gone.” Something happened in the fight for this precious soul. I don’t know the outcome physically or spiritually. But I know that God loved this soul, took the time from heaven to come to his side, to touch his soul to show him His love. Can you dare believe—He loves you the same? As we left the park that night, my eye caught the glint and shimmer of a small object rising slowly up to the sky. A balloon, floated slowly upwards, blowing gently side to side, swaying in the breezes as it rose majestically above the buildings until it was free–free to spiral upward, free to claim all that lies before it, free to find a new hope, whether in this life or the one to come. In the end, the question is not so much—why do these things happen—but what is God doing when they do.

copyright 2017 Marsha Barth

Does Anyone “Really” Care?

published 1/25/17

I saw a sign yesterday that said, “God really cares for you.” I liked the emphasis on “really”. Visited the Lebanon County Prison on Monday evening with the team.The inmates don’t know that God “REALLY” cares for them. They don’t even know that God cares for them. They are sitting in prison, where they see no way out, feel like a failure, and don’t know how to turn their lives around. How could a good God love them, they wonder. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” Rom.10:14 Who is in “their” prison right now and does not know that God “REALLY CARES” for “you”? Been slaying dragons lately and felt God took the time to give that sign just for me–but I just had to share it with you. Be blessed–He loves you right where you are.

copyright 2017 Marsha Barth

Going from “Victim to “Victor”

published 1/20/17

Salvation is Hope–Hope is Redemption–Redemption brings Restoration. Interviewed with Donna Ghanney. Visit and listen at the below links…..

Full Surrender~~Full Victory!

published 1/17/17

 

 Was blessed to interview with Paul Johnson today on the God Zone Show. Will post link as soon as available. Salvation can only come by full surrender.
“We give Christ our Hurt~~~He gives us Relief
We give Him our Anger~~~~He gives us Joy
We give Him our Pain~~~~~ He gives us Rest
We give Him our Unforgiveness~~~~He gives us Peace
We give Him our Control~~~~He gives us Power
We give Him our Surrender~~~~ He gives us Victory
We give Him Death~~~~~He gives us Life” (mlb)
Salvation is Hope~~Hope is Redemption~~Redemption brings Restoration!

copyright 2017 Marsha Barth

 

Do You Have Hope?

published 1/10/17

Hope is the soul’s breath of life. We cannot live without it.
Where is your hope? What is your hope? Have you lost hope? Have you given up hope? Do you believe in hope? So often we say-I’ve lost hope, or I give up hope. Interesting how losing hope is unintentional, but giving up hope is a choice. “Hope is tangible and breathes life and passion into every human soul that dares to reach out, grab it, and believe.” (mlb) “If we can be brave enough to enter into the dark shadows of the unspeakable and pull back the curtains, we not only reveal the light but we also set the captives free. It is God’s desire to take us from lost to found, from “Victim to Victor”, from death to life.”(mlb) He is that Hope! Interviewed with Donna Ghanney on KEITV 12-Kingdom-Hour. Will post link at a later date.There is an old song that we used to sing–” My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand. If you’ve lost hope, maybe what you lost wasn’t hope. Maybe you’ve never known a true hope. Instead of looking for a hope you feel you have lost and maybe have never had, why not reach out to that God of Hope and let that hope fill you with joy and peace, that you may ABOUND in a real and true HOPE. Romans 15:13 This is a new year, a new season, a new hope. “I will not forget you, for I have carved you on my hands.” Isaiah 49:15-16

copyright 2017 Marsha Barth

 

A Tribute to Love

 
published 12/29/16

 

The snow crunched beneath our feet as we began to trudge up the hill to gramma’s house that day. I glanced at my three brothers. We looked like snow dolls. The freshly falling snow clung on our eyelashes and our cheeks were a rosy glow. There was a hush, a quietness that is only known during those first few hours that snow falls. Our laughter echoed through the valley breaking the stillness that surrounded us.
Gramma’s house was quaint, but the security and love it represented had always been a refuge for us. The big oak in gramma’s front yard towered before us as we approached her house. We were almost there and I paused for a few moments to get my breath. My thoughts wandered. Mom and Dad had just gotten divorced. Everything had changed and a great sorrow had filled my heart. I was eight years old and life had suddenly became very complicated as I discovered that the world is not always a wonderful and perfect place. The thud of a snowball hitting my shoulder and two more soaring past my head brought my thoughts back to the present. Grabbing a handful of the freshly fallen snow, I tried to pack a snowball to throw back at my brothers but the snow powdered through my fingers as I threw it and the remnant missed them completely as they ran ahead.
“Wait up you guys,” I yelled, as we all headed for the door to gramma’s house. We barged gleefully into the house, letting the door slam behind us. We yanked off our coats and threw them on the three-foot heap of coats already piled upon grandpap’s old stereo. Gramma and our aunts were all busy cooking dinner. Some were stirring, some were mashing and all were talking. There was nothing fancy at Gramma’s house. There was no wreath on the door, no garland draped around the stairs, no silver or china on the table. There was just a warmth that engulfed the soul and gave a security that only the love of Christmas can bring.
I saw that the table would soon need to be set, so I darted up the steps quickly before I was seen. I rounded the corner, past the old piano and into the living room that was full of the chatter of my brothers and cousins.
In the corner was gramma’s Christmas tree. It was a little pine that my uncle had cut down out of the woods a few days before. The tiny tree was trimmed and twinkled in the dim light. I stood watching the bubble lights. These were my favorites. I became oblivious to the laughter of my cousins and brothers as I gazed into the reflections of those same ornaments that gramma placed on the tree each year.
I knew that later we would eat dinner and then all of us would gather in this tiny room and gramma would give us our presents. The room would burst with the voices of so many loved ones. I can still hear them in my heart to this day.
Somehow Christmas was different after that year. All are so precious. They come together now as a collage of memories filled with love; more an era of my life than separate events.
Christmas was no longer presents under the tree. It was love and family. For the first time, I began to see the real meaning that was represented in the Saviour’s birth. It was the gift of love.
Copywright 2003—Marty Barth

 

He Sets the Captives Free~~

published 11/30/16

You never get used to the sounds as you walk through prison doors–the clank of the iron door as the guards let you in, the moment of silence as you wait for it to close and the next door to open with the same loud clank, the quiet walk down the corridor, then the noise of the heavy iron gate as it slowly rattles and slides across the floor with a loud grind, only to hear the loud rumble of it echoing through the walkway as it slowly begins to close, and then with one loud clank of finality, you hear it slam shut tight behind you. It is a great peace to my heart in knowing that in two hours, I will walk back through these doors. It is a great sorrow for me in knowing that the people I visit, will not. We are to bring good tidings to those who have lost their way, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. Isaiah 61. Visited the women at Lebanon County Correctional Center last night with our great team to bring them the hope of a God that is real and cares for them right where they are. He sets the captives free!

copyright 2016 Marsha Barth

 

More Abundantly~~

published 11/7/2016

Driving today, I saw three vultures perched high in a tree. What caught my attention was that there were other trees around, beautiful trees, with fall foliage. But they chose the one that was half dead. They didn’t even perch on the part that was alive. They had to sit on the dead side, sitting there, waiting for death, longing to devour and destroy. I couldn’t help think of a verse that I so often hear quoted. “The (enemy) comes but to steal, kill, and destroy.” So often that is all we hear of that verse. It goes on to say the words of our Jesus–“I am come that they may have LIFE and MORE ABUNDANTLY!” We were never meant to be victims. We were never meant to remain victims. We were meant to be Victors! We go from Victim to Victor– from Death to Life, from Despair to Hope, from Brokenness to Wholeness, from Sorrow to Joy and not only in part, but “MORE ABUNDANTLY” I was so blessed to speak at Providence Presbyterian Church for their weekend retreat. My sincere thanks to Pastor Vince, Delilah Rumburg, and the precious committee and staff that made this all possible.

copyright 2016 Marsha Barth

A Rainbow of Promise~~

published 10/19/16

The thing that surprises me the most in what I am doing is seeing the transformation that God can make in a life. It is like watching a beautiful butterfly emerge from its dark world into a new life, a new hope, a new season. I was blessed to speak to the women at The Family Recovery Center. They are rainbows of promise. My thanks to Lisa and Anthea for arranging this.

 
The Shattering's photo.
copyright 2016 Marsha Barth
 

Calling the Sad and Brokenhearted~~

published 10/19/16

“A broken heart and a contrite spirit, God will not refuse.” I used to struggle every night to climb up on the foot of my bed rail. In my hand, I held a small worn piece of cardboard. As I managed to balance myself, I would reach quickly for the cord that turned my light on. If I missed it, I ended up on the floor. If I grabbed it, the light would come on as I yanked the cord inadvertently, more to catch my balance, than to turn the light

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Copyright © 2016 Marsha Barth

 

How Can A Life Change?

published 10/19/16

Except a seed of hope is planted in a heart, except that seed fall on fertile ground, except that soul see their need, except that heart knows the reality of a God that truly does care, a life cannot change. Sometimes the words are patient and kind. Sometimes the words are straight forward in truth. But always a word in season cannot fall short of its purpose. I was able to speak to the women inmates Monday at Maui Correctional Center and then later spoke to the men inmates. My thanks to Francis Zabinski and Andy Tong for arranging this and the kind and aloha welcome from all the MCCC inmates. On Tuesday, I was a guest speaker to a sexual offender group. This cannot surprise others any more than it surprised me. But, it is necessary. The messages are always different for every venue. There is an accountability that will never be obtained by offenders unless they realize the devastation that they have caused to others. And so we go forward…..
“…….and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear …unless someone tells them.” Romans 10:14

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Copyright © 2016 Marsha Barth

A New Hope~~

published 9/29/16

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We live in a world today whose cliches are without compassion– from “Get over it”, to “Whatever”, to “Get a Life”. When did we become such a heartless society? When we lost hope, seized to know that we mattered, and failed to realize the love and reality of a God who truly loves us and cares for us. My heart is always touched when I see souls touched with a new Hope. “This Hope we have as an anchor of the Soul, a Hope both sure and stedfast…” Hebrews 6:19 Was a guest speaker at the Aloha House on Thursday. My thanks to Daryl Selman, Tony and Jo for their warm welcome and support.

Copyright © 2016 Marsha Barth

 

From Victim to Victor…

published 9/21/2016

We can heal.  God can take us from Victim to Victor.  Are you ready to go on a healing journey?  There is joy in overcoming.  All are welcome.

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Marsha Barth Keynote Speaker

In her recent book “The Shattering Marsha tells her true life story of overcoming child sexual abuse.  More than another story of victimization, it is a story of “the power of love, the promise of hope and the inspiration of knowing that what has happened to us does not define who we are”.  Marsha’s powerful story will enable the reader to understand abuse from a child’s perspective.  She draws from her life experiences and  brings forth the message to the broken, hopeless, abused and shattered, to let them know that they do matter so that every soul may know the reality of a God who truly loves and cares for them.

Friday night will be open to the public to learn about the impact of family abuse.

Saturday will be an event for women who have suffered from abuse or those who wish to support them. There will be testimonies from a number of people, featuring  Marsha Barth.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/voices-moving-from-victim-to-survivor-tickets-25389924949?aff=efbneb

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth
Finding Normal….
published 9/21/2016

I often said that once we sold our business, I would try to find normal. Life always finds ways to spin us-round and round as we are trying to get where we are going and not always sure of where we are coming from. But the other day, I got a glimpse of normal and it made my heart smile. The hum of the stove fan, Mike playing music in the background, the smell of supper cooking and the aroma filling the house, my grandchildren’s voices resounding joyfully as they played in the next room, with tinker toys, no less, stopped me from my busy routine. I stirred supper and looked around and my heart was full of thankfulness. Maybe finding normal isn’t really that hard. We just have to take the time to actually see the joy that is in our lives daily. I see the broken and shattered at almost every event that I speak at. I am so aware of the hurts and pain that others are carrying, ever so tucked so far down within themselves and buried under denial and minimization. Now is the time to be free…”casting all of your care upon Him for He cares for you.” Be encouraged my friend, it cannot rain forever. God’s rainbow of promise and love awaits for you to come to Him. Be Blessed.

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth

We Are More Than….

Published 8/29/2016

Fall Retreat-2016

Mr. Waggely was my seventh grade teacher. He had a crew cut of salt and pepper hair, liked to sit at his desk and rub hand cream to his hands and absolutely loved to slam the paddle down on his desk and scream in his high pitched voice, “All right you birds, settle down.” After jumping nearly out of our chairs and regaining our heart beat back to normal, he would proceed to call out our test score grades to the class. I remember the first time that he did this. I was scared to death of this man but not of my test scores. He went down alphabetically. When he got to my name, he said, “Layton”, 98% and then gave a long pause. I waited for him to continue. I waited for him to finish, to say something nice. I waited for the paddle to come down on the desk, anything. But there was just this pause, and then he said something that I have never forgotten, ” ‘Layton’, you must have either studied hard or lucked out!” I just sat there, letting his words smack me. I said nothing out loud. I just sat there twitching nervously in my seat. But inside, I was screaming out loud, “You just watch me, you ole buzzard, I’ll show you!” I purposed in my heart that I would ace every test, just to show him that I could. Why? Because, God had gotten a hold of my heart that had been really crushed that year, and He fortified me and took me under His wing and He taught me a lesson that I have never forgotten…. “I was more than……”
All welcome to attend this Women’s Retreat. Expecting a great move of God’s presence, a time of refreshing, sharing and fellowship.

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth

You Don’t Need Wings to Fly~~

Published 8/23/2016

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I visited the Lebanon County Correctional Facility last night with our team. We all need to be reminded that we don’t need wings to fly, only a hope in a God who is real, who loves you more than you have ever known, who will carry you through the storm, help you to mount up on eagle’s wings, run and not be weary, and walk and not faint. The other day, while outside, I was startled as a small figure caught my eye as it rustled through the treetops. The tree was at least fifty feet high. How was it possible that anything but a bird could be perched so agile up that high? I strained my eyes to get a better look. The small creature had stopped to rest. I still could not make out what it was, but it had no wings. Then it leaped and I saw the bushy tail swing in the air. Ten feet it lunged to another treetop, unafraid of falling. He had no wings. He then scurried down the tree totally unaware of the danger of falling. How confident he was, never hesitating and sure of his path, he raced to the ground in leaps and bounds; never daunted by the obstacles, the height of his dream, or the fear of falling. Why??? Because his path had been made sure. He had learned that he didn’t need wings to fly, only a hope in a God who is real and who would carry him…..

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth

“Bearing Precious Seed….”

Published 8/21/2016

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“He that goes forth and weeps, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing..” Psalm 126:6. Visited the Va. Beach Correctional Center and spoke to some of the women inmates. It breaks my heart every time I visit these facilities, and yet I know that there is precious seed that can change their lives. They are so much “more than…” what others think of them and of what they even think of themselves. Oh, for just a “seed” of hope, the knowledge that their lives can change, the inspiration to even know that they do matter. The other week I was at the Lebanon Fair with my family. A woman approached me and called me by name. I turned and recognized the woman, but was trying to place her when she reminded me that we had met in the Lebanon County Correctional Facility. I gave her a big hug and told her that she looked wonderful out of green. She laughed and proudly pointed out her children and shared with me her life. A new season….a new hope… …So truly we shall “doubtless come again with rejoicing”… My heart smiles. Thanks to Corporal D. Harvey and Sergeant A. Holas for their time, effort and support in making this visit possible.

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth
 

“We Can Make A Difference”

published 8/12/2016

Va. Beach Correctional Center

All of us have had seasons in our life that we wish could have been different. Choices that we make can ricochet through our life leading us either forward or knocking us backward. How do we go forward and find direction without a helping hand, an encouraging word, or the knowledge of knowing that we even matter? Yes, there is always an accountability, and rightly so, but as this accountability is borne, thank God for mercy and grace. Can one of us, any of us, have walked so in our lives, that we have never needed or asked for “Mercy” and “Grace”? Will visit and speak at the Va. Correctional Facility in Virginia Beach. My thanks to Sgt. Holas for arranging this. “…. that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb. 4:16

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth

 

“It Makes Me Smile”

published 8/11/2016

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There are many things in life that makes me smile—
A hug from any one of my grandsons,
A twinkle in Mike’s eye that is mine alone,
The cat chasing a fly in the window,
The smile from an elderly man sitting alone at the mall,
A lovely melody that makes my heart rest,
The voice of my mamma,
A call from a treasured friend,
A card for no reason,
Pictures of loved ones,
Sweet memories of the past,
Bright hopes for tomorrow,
Birds singing their happy songs,
A cloudless day,
Sunshine beating down on me, warming my body,
Laughter warming my soul,
The sound of children playing,
The promises of God,
The……….
What makes you smile?

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth

 

WILL YOU READ THIS…..

published 8/6/2016

A few weeks ago, I posted an article-“Can you Read This?” Now I have to ask you—Will you read this? We don’t like to read stories like this, but please read it for the sake of the two little girls. If they can suffer this horrendous act of abuse-the fear, shame, guilt, and blame for 7 years, if they can have the courage to speak up, then surely we can read the article that may make us feel uncomfortable. Please if anyone ever suspects any child of being abused in any matter, call CHILDLINE—1-800-932-0313. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GIVE YOUR NAME OR PERSONAL INFORMATION. YOU CAN REQUEST TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS. I am posting this information because many people are unaware of the phone number, unaware that they can report any suspicion of child abuse, and that they can report it anonymously. I am asked all the time at events and interviews what to do if you suspect a child of being abused. REPORT IT! The biggest reflection I get from people, is that they are afraid that they may be wrong. I tell them it is always better to err in favor of the child than for the perpetrator. If you are wrong, the person will be vindicated. If you are right, you save a child. If you do not report the suspicion, and you are right, the perpetrator continues for years to victimize and the child is shattered beyond what you can imagine. You may ask, why doesn’t the child speak up? Most don’t, and when they do, read the article and see what happens. We can make a difference! “Evil can only prevail when good men do nothing!” We must become aware, act, intervene, and protect our most treasured gift–our children. My thanks to Carl Reidler for his posting, concern and support. Please feel free to share this information so that others may be aware of how to help. Visit me at  https://www.facebook.com/The-Shattering-215752548593960/?fref=ts

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth

The Shattering's photo.

The Shattering's photo.

 

 

“HOPE REIGNS”

published 7/26/2016

Peace in the storm…
Hope in despair…..
Comfort in the night…
Joy in the morning.

Visited the Lebanon County Prison last night. Always enjoy going in with our team and joining with friend and Chaplain Marilyn Nolte.
“How can they call on Him who they do not believe? And how can they believe in Him if they have not heard? And how can they hear unless someone tells them?” Romans 10:14   They want to hear. They want their lives to change. Most just don’t know how, and more often they are trapped in a world that they don’t know how to break the stronghold. That’s where we can make a difference.
     “Return you to the stronghold, you prisoners of HOPE.” Zechariah 9:12. He is the Stronghold where we can find rest, where our life can change, where HOPE reigns. Only return, only return….

https://www.facebook.com/The-Shattering-215752548593960/notifications/?section=activity_feed&subsection

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth

Can You Read This?….

published 7/17/2016

1st grade

Can You Read This?….

Awareness brings Prevention
Caring brings Healing
Doing brings Changes
Changing a life, changes the world….
I recently heard of a man who frequented a public place in a town near to where I live. He mingled with the patrons, store owners and the children. He was well-liked. Behind the mask of normal, he watched and waited for his prey. He was arrested for his deviant behavior when caught. We think that it can’t happen in our neighborhood, our community, our church, our family, our school….but it does. Every 2 minutes in America someone is sexually assaulted. Too depressing, you say. Can you read this? For the sake of those who have lived it. For the unseen child who has not yet spoken up–to learn and to grow in awareness. Only awareness can bring prevention. One child said, “the man had offered them candy. They had grown to know this man as a “friend”. As they gathered to get the candy, the man said, “You have to earn it.” They ran away. One child said, “it was the look on the man’s face when he said it.” Another said, “it just didn’t feel right.” These children were under 10 years old. Remember, it isn’t usually the stranger. 93% of the perpetrators, are known to the child. Only 7% are strangers. One-third of all perpetrators today, are juveniles themselves. Do we live fearfully? No. Mindful and watchful? Yes. Do we see ghosts in the closet? No. Are we aware of what truly can lurk there? Yes. We all want our children to live in a carefree world where danger doesn’t lurk around the dark corners. We want them to be able to jump on their bikes and ride through the countryside, dauntless, in the arms of their innocent childhood. And they can, but only under our watchful eyes and our awareness of what does hide around those dark corners, under the mask of normal. Rise up, oh generation of denial. Can you read this? Pass it on.

https://www.facebook.com/The-Shattering-215752548593960/?fref=ts

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth

 

~~Giving Our Children a Hope~~

published 6/30/2016

“In all that we strive to give our children today, the greatest gift we can give them is the true ‘HOPE’.”

Phenomenal Interview with Jed Doherty on his program “We Choose Respect Parent Cast” Interview starts at # point 13:00.

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The song that plays following the interview brought me to tears. It is called “The Lion” and is sung by Kim Krenik. My most grateful thanks to Jed Doherty for his love of children and doing this interview and to Kim Krenik’s song “The Lion”.

Copyright © 2016 Marsha Barth

 Never Give Up!!

published 6/29/2016
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     “Go to the ant…..; consider her ways, and be wise.” Proverbs 6:6

     I was in a deep study the other day. For about thirty minutes I sat on my patio and watched a single ant. His fortitude and strength amazed me and he entranced me with his perseverance. I watched as he drug a parcel which was to be his families’ food. It was at least four times bigger than his body. I couldn’t imagine carrying such a load. It was curved and continually it would get snagged on a rock, a twig, or the edge of a patio stone. He would stop, study the situation, travel forward as if he had given up and then return and tackle his task once again with a new fervor. He was only trying to find direction. I watched as one time he tried to pull his load up over the patio stone. He had already researched the surrounding area and there was no easier way. At least six times in his effort to pull it up over the cliff, he dropped it and had to start all over again. He never gave up and moved it with such vigor and passion that it exhausted me just watching him. I was tempted to reach down and help him a few times but didn’t know if my attempt would spoil his effort.

     I kept thinking that surely some other ants would join him and assist him, but none came. I only noticed once during the whole ordeal that he stopped to truly rest. He didn’t search ahead this time, but cuddled tight with his prey. I waited and waited thinking he had given up totally, but shortly he began to proceed once again. He came to another gap in the patio stones and he shifted a twig or two that I thought was once again impeding his efforts, but then he disappeared and so did his prize. I watched and waited but nothing happened. I soon saw sporadically an ant or two continue to the same spot and learned that they all disappeared into the same unseen crevice. He never gave up!

     So often we get weary. We feel so all alone. There may be no one who comes to help us carry our burden or load. Maybe no one else will ever see the effort that is behind all that you try to do. Maybe you feel unloved or unappreciated. Maybe the battle seems too long, or the storm too rough, the pain too great, the hurt too deep. Stop, if you must, to rest. Go forward and search for direction before you choose your next path. But never give up! Never give up!

     “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31.

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth

Deal to Heal to Feel

published 6/2/2016

Womelsdorf Library

 “The farther backward you can look the farther forward you will see.” Winston Churchill. We were never meant to go back and pitch a tent and live in our past but we were meant to deal with our past, heal and know the joy of overcoming, and begin to truly feel again. Guest Speaker/Book Signing–June 11, 2016, 10:00-11:30 at Womelsdorf Library, 203 W. High St., Womelsdorf, PA 19567 610-589-1424. All welcome-refreshments.  “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…and a time to heal.”

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth

 “More Than..”

published 6/2/2016

St. Daniels Church

We are so very much “More than…”  You are so much more than… what you think of yourself.  More than… what others think of you.  You are the “apple of God’s eye”.  You are forever carved in the palm of God’s hand.  You are loved and you do matter.  You are more than… a conqueror through Christ who loves you.   God wants you to know that He is the Power of Love, the Promise of Hope, and the Joy of Overcoming.  Will be a guest Speaker–June 12, 2016, 10:15 a.m at St. Daniel’s Lutheran Church, 480 Big Spring Road, Robesonia, PA 19551. 610-693-5145. All welcome. God bless, lead and bring you strength in His healing.

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth

A Message of Hope

published 5/24/2016

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Hope is tangible and breathes life and passion into every human soul that dares to reach out, grab it, and believe.” (mlb)

This picture and quote are actually an excerpt from the new book–”The Shattering—Breaking the Silence”. The message of hope cannot be lost. I went into “Lebanon County Prison” last night with our team and interviewed today with Jed Doherty on his “We Choose Respect Parent Cast” show. As I looked into the eyes of the women last night, it struck my heart wondering who they were as a child. Were they raised in a good home and just sidetracked with the wrong crowd? Did they ever know a home life? Did they suffer from abuse? Did they feel they didn’t matter anymore-to themselves, to others, to anyone? There is always an accountability for what we have done and in serving that accountability it not only renders justice to those who were offended, but it renders a turning point to those who have offended. As we live our lives in the surety, or uncertainty, of purpose, let us not forget–the message of hope. “Return to the stronghold (Jesus), You prisoners of HOPE. (Zechariah 9:12) From whence comes my HOPE, my HOPE is the Lord.

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth

A Matter of Trust~~

published 5/19/16

Will interview on “The We Choose Respect ParentCast” on Tuesday May 24, with Jed Doherty and post link at a later date.

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We have feral cats that have adopted us. They are smart. They are quick. They are terrified of people. And yet, they are hungry. Hungry for food. Hungry for affection. Hungry for trust. The other day, the original momma stopped by. She rules still over the grown cats. When she shows up, she alone gets the food. She does not share. When the other cats come near, she hisses at them. If they dare come closer, she whacks them upside the head. The thing that struck me as I watched them intermingle in their relationship, was that they trusted the momma. No matter how many times they approached her in trust, no matter how many times they got whacked upside the head, they returned for more. When, I approached to give them some food of their own, they ran away. They would inch back only so far to me and then would turn and run away again. As I stood there, I found that instead of coming to me and approaching the food that I had given them, they preferred to go to momma. They were convinced that she loved them. They were convinced that sooner or later, she would not hiss at them, control them, or even whack them upside the head. But they were wrong. Momma was never going to change. Because she had no desire to. So why would they go to someone who they knew would hiss and whack them upside the head instead of going to the gentle hand that would feed them, pet them, love and nurture them? It’s a matter of trust. They are like so many people that I know today. Trust—a belief that someone is reliable, good, honest, loving and caring. The abused person, the abused child, all react the same. Why, we ask? Why will an abused child stay silent? Why will a domestic abused adult stay in a relationship? Like the kittens—it is a matter of trust. So how do we reach them? “If we can be brave enough to enter the dark shadows of the unspeakable and pull back the shades, we not only reveal the Light, but we set the captives free.” There is an old song that I love to share with the broken and shattered— “Standing somewhere in the shadows you will find Him. He’s the only one who cares and understands. Standing somewhere in the shadows, you will find Him. And you’ll know Him by the nail scars in His hand. Herein lies true love. It is a matter of trust.

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth

 Do You Want to Be Whole?

published 5/8/2016

We can be free from our hurt and pain. The question then becomes do we want to be whole? Hurt and pain shatters our spirit, breaks our heart, and destroys our identity. That is why abuse of any kind is so devastating. Join me today with James Miller in this powerful interview. There is a healing journey that awaits you or those you love. Please join me at any of these links. God Bless~~
BlogTalkRadio: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/…/28-the-purpose-of-forgivenes…

JamesMillerLifeology: http://www.jamesmillerlifeology.com/…/episode-28-purpose-f…/

“I am Lost….”

published 4/27/16

I’m Lost….” When is the last time someone said to you that they were lost? Has anyone ever said to you that they were lost? Ironically, I do not mean lost in traffic or in need of a map or GPS. I can honestly say that though I see the broken and hurting often in what I do, I can’t recall anyone ever saying to me that, “they were lost”. I went into our local prison on Monday. I was blessed to be able to go in with our team. We each spoke to the two different groups of women. Some we have seen before, some of the faces were new. At the end, the women were invited to come up front for prayer for anything that was on their hearts. We do not always have the opportunity to do this as we are on a very timed schedule and everything is often done impromptu. As the different ones came up, we took the girls and prayed openly with them for their requests. It is amazing to see God move on hearts. It is never what you expect. One woman who had sat listening throughout particularly touched my heart. You see, as she listened she had seemed a little aloft, hardened per say. That’s what we see. But God sees the heart, and when she prayed, her heart broke and she cried like a child. I always ask the person, what they want to pray about. I wasn’t prepared for the answer of one young woman. She was a quiet person and it seemed to have taken probably all that she had, to have the courage to come up to get prayed for. She looked up at me with a total desperation and brokenness in her eyes, and simply answered–“I’m lost….” “My family is lost.” “We are lost.” There was no need for her to try to explain. It was just time to pray. To take the broken and lost into the arms of a loving Savior, that is real, who cares, and will let her know by His presence, that she does matter. “I once was lost, but now I am found!”

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth

We Are More Than Conquerors

We are More Than Conquerors

 published 4/24/2016

“We are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us”. Romans 8:37.  We are more than survivors.  We are able in Christ to fight our Goliaths and not only survive, but conquer. Conquer–what an empowering word–to successfully overcome and take control. This is what Christ has made us.  We are dragon slayers.  Our past does not define us–our future leads us gallantly forward.  We are blessed in that we get to go forward in Christ and destroy the very things that tried to destroy us. “Victory Is Not By Accident!”  Come join us at this seminar and Workshop at Faith Fellowship Church, 721 East Penn Ave., Cleona, PA on April 30th, 9 a.m thru 2 p.m. Speakers are Marsha Barth (Including Book Signing of “The Shattering”) Theresa Johnson and Toni Stewart.  Lunch will be provided. Contact Theresa Johnson at 717-813-9546 for more information.  All are welcome.

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth 

You Do Matter

published 4/17/2016

Have you ever felt broken, discouraged, hopeless? It is important that you know that you do matter? “A broken heart and a shattered spirit, He will not refuse.” Psalm 51:17. Without a hope, we perish. “Hope is tangible and breathes life and passion into every human soul that will dare to reach out, grab it and believe.” (mlb) I will interview with James Miller/Lifeology on Tuesday April 19 at 1:00 p.m EST. Will post a link for this interview at a later date. God Bless~~

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth 

 

 

Harden Not Your Hearts….

Published 4/17/16

When we cease to feel pain that is afflicted on us, we cease to feel pain that we inflict on others. We go from ceasing to feel, to losing the capacity to feel; for others, or ourselves. We cease to care. Accountability and mercy do walk hand in hand. “We must deal, to heal, to feel”. This is one of the points that I made to the inmates on Wednesday at Coal Township State Correctional Institute. This week was National Victims’ Rights Week. I was touched by this memento that Judy Letcavage, gave to me, that was made by the inmates. I will treasure it, as for me, it symbolizes and reminds me of all of those faces that I have seen in all the prisons that I have visited. My many thanks to Karen Laird, Director of Victim Services (Office of the Victim Advocate) and Judy Letcavage (ABE Teacher Department of Corrections) for inviting me to come speak, and for their kindness and support. God is more than a “Humpty Dumpty” God who puts the pieces of our lives back together—He instead makes us a brand new creature. “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:1

 copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth 

 

I Was in Prison…

published 4/8/2016

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“I was in prison, and you came unto me.” Mathew 25:36. Will be visiting the State Correctional Institute in Coal Township on Wednesday to speak with the inmates. My topic will be “Mercy and Accountability Walk Hand in Hand”. Your prayers and support are always greatly appreciated.

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth 

Touching Hearts

published 4/1/2016

One of my precious hearts, my two-year old grandson, likes to disappear and go on his own adventures. It is not unusual for him to be found under a blanket munching on his older brother’s candy or mommy’s chewing gum. When caught, his blue eyes twinkle and he has this absolutely precious grin and the cutest dimple, that melts your heart. But, he will hang his head then, because even at two-years old, he knows that he is guilty, that he has done wrong.

I visited with our team on Monday at the Lebanon County Prison and shared this story. I asked the women what were they hiding under their blanket? Anything that we have to hide to do is wrong.

There is an impression that is made on you when you hear the iron doors of a prison, clang behind you. There is something permanent about it that gives you a perspective of what prison really is. When the women enter for our meeting, often you can see the sorrow and brokenness on their faces. It is an amazing thing to see that lift as God touches their hearts and to see them leave with a fresh hope; a hope that they can change, that their lives can be different, that they can have a future. Touching hearts~~they touch ours every time.

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth 

 

I Am Free

published 3/20/16

I hear a sweet melody. Its quietness resounds softly, drifting up to my ears and into my heart, filling me with a quietness, a peacefulness. Its sweetness calms my soul. I snuggle into it like a warm blanket on a cold day, and let my spirit rest, letting its sweet refrain bathe me with God’s presence.

Oh this refreshing. Where does it come from? “As the deer pants after the water, so pants my soul for thee…”

Peace begins with forgiveness. What is forgiveness? Why forgive? How do we forgive? How can I be forgiven?

To simply answer the above– What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is releasing a debt that is owed to us. Why forgive? We forgive, to be free. How do we forgive? We choose to forgive. How can I be forgiven? We ask to be forgiven.

Forgiveness is probably a touchier subject to talk with people than abuse. People do not know what forgiveness really is. Forgiveness is not okaying what the person has done to you. Forgiveness is not allowing what the person has done to you, and forgiveness does not release the person from the accountability that they must take responsibility for. It just releases you from carrying the horrific burden of trying to get them to make it right and to deal with what they did to you. You release it. It is a purposed choice.

I find it is impossible to forgive as long as we are angry. Anger too, is a choice. “I have a right to be angry!” And you do. But do you want to stay angry? Do you want to continue to carry that load on your back? In your soul? Do you enjoy being angry? Has anger set you free? Anger is a false sense of power and control and very dangerous to hold onto. It ricochets through us like an unleashed bullet tearing us internally asunder. It can also, strangely enough, become a false cloak of comfort because we feel falsely empowered.

The question really is, not so much, do I forgive, as it is, do I want to be free?

I was asked the other day to explain how we can forgive and still hold people to an accountability. The key is, we don’t hold them accountable, God does. But oh, the question then becomes, can I trust God to hold them accountable for all they did? See we do not know the heart of God. We mete His heart with ours, our understanding with His and we get so tired of trying to figure it all out that we just throw our hands up and don’t deal with it. And we stay bound and broken, angry and unforgiving.

As a parent, grandparent, a child goes to do wrong. They go for our favorite vase. We say no. We correct them. Give them a time out. We forgive them. We love them. But now the child is angry. We still love them. Now they get up, go to the vase, pick it up, look us in the eye and slam it to the ground, shattering it. A long pause—Do we hate what the child did, do we forgive the child, do we love the child, do we hold the child accountable? All of the above. Now the child must bear the responsibility of what they did. There goes the piggy bank. They work to earn money. They pay for a new vase. They lose their privileges, they don’t go anywhere, watch TV, play video games, talk on the phone. More than that, they have to learn what the vase really was. More than a possession. A treasure that cannot be replaced. Do we forgive them? Yes. Do we hold them accountable? Yes, Simplified, I know.

I was that shattered vase. God is our father. This God of mercy, is also a God of justice. Mercy and accountability do walk hand in hand.

I will address this more on a personal level in my new book to soon to be published, the sequel to “The Shattering”.

Do you want to be Free? Healing is a journey…….

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth 

Why??????

published 3/8/2016

   There is a question that I am often asked. Why do child sexual abuse, rape, domestic abuse, child abuse and other horrific crimes continue in such epidemic numbers? “Evil can only prevail, when good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke ( 1729-1797)

   I hesitated to write this article but find I must. Many of you know me as the mild speaking one, a few of you know me as the fiery dragon. Sadly, or triumphantly, I believe that I am both. I am an advocate, author, and speaker against child sexual abuse. More than that, I believe in going forth and letting all that are broken and shattered know that they can be made whole and know the joy of overcoming. Because of this platform, I take the leadership of our country and the conditions of our society, very seriously. This is not to be detrimental or promotional of any political status, however, I will never live in the “political correct” as it conflicts with my heartfelt beliefs.

    We are at a turning point in America, and this year as many rise and fall in an effort to lead this great nation, it is so important that we look at the heart and integrity of what made this country so great. I am gravely concerned about the integrity of those who want to lead us. I do not want to start a political debate, but I do want to address any of the candidates, whether Democrat or Republican, that concern the issues of child sexual abuse.

People make mistakes, they do change and they do go forward. As they go forward though, the proof of their change is in their integrity that follows them.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/06/hillary-clinton-dogged-by-1975-rape-case/

Yes, Hillary Clinton was young, ambitious and this was a long time ago. It is her heartlessness, that bothers me. She laughs about getting the rapist off on a lighter sentence, even though she believed he was guilty. She was able to get a forensic’s expert to “cast doubt on the evidentiary value of semen and blood samples.” “Her defense strategy consisted of impugning the credibility of the victim, suggesting that the victim needed a psychiatric examination and without referring to any other sources, alleged that the victim sought older men.” Her client was 41 years old—-the victim—was 12 years old. There was semen evidence. Her job to defend, did not entitle her to destroy the life of a child and to set a precedent.

There are others running, also. Those who wrote what a fantasy rape is. http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/05/29/410606045/the-bernie-sanders-rape-fantasy-essay-explained

There is nothing funny about rape. There is nothing laughable about the molestation of a child. To answer the above question—Why? Because we cannot live in a state of denial, minimization, justification, manipulation and intimidation. We must cease to excuse, and demand accountability, if we are to ever see things change, if we are to ever make a difference.

We are to not lean to our own understanding, we are to strive for wisdom and in all of our getting things, we are to get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7) (Proverbs 3:5-6) I can’t help wonder who God wants to lead this great country, based on His will and purpose, and not my thinking, needs and wants? So, I will pray and will continue to research, and to get understanding. As we approach this critical turning point in our country, we can make a difference.

https://www.facebook.com/The-Shattering-215752548593960/

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth 

 What Season of Life are You In?

published 2/21/16

     I stood at the window this morning and looked out my back door. There were still piles of snow and only the beginning patches of grass coming through. The little stray cats meandered at the door playing pat-a-cake with me through the glass and then spoofing themselves, they ran away. Another winter is truly passing. More snow may come, but truly the birds, and returning geese, tell us that a new season will be breaking forth soon. The warm breezes will flow over us, bathing us in the fragrance of spring as the flowers push their heads up from a sleepy winter and buds of life turn the brown landscape into an array of color.

     Oh the seasons of life, sometimes troubling us with storms and sorrow and at other times plunging us into sunshine and joy. Paul said that we are to be content in whatever state we are in. This is not always easy. What season of life are you in? Maybe, if those who are in sunshine and joy can reach to those who are in storms and sorrow, we can walk together, bearing one another’s burdens, sharing the load, lighting the way and bringing a smile to someone’s heart.

     I am finishing the sequel to “The Shattering”, doing some final edits. Have had a lot of requests for this and hope to make progress on getting it published this year. Will be visiting the women at the Lebanon County Prison tomorrow. We are our brother’s/sister’s keepers. Thank all of you for your love, prayers and support. God Bless~~

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth 

What is Life Worth?

published 2/8/2016

Orlando-2016

What is a life worth? Can people change? “The LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.” Never give up Hope. Never. Statistics are high in showing that many who are incarcerated have suffered from abuse. Does this excuse them or release them from their accountability and responsibility? No. But can we not tell them that they matter? Can we show them a path to healing? Can we lead them to the Hope that is higher than us? Can we let them know that they are loved and that God still has a plan for their lives? I believe this more and more, every time I visit a Correctional Facility. Spoke to the women for two hours. Took them through ‘The Healing Journey ‘. My sincere thanks to all of the staff at the Orlando Community Release Center for their support, and time in setting this up. Thank you for the warm welcome and invitation to come back. Visit me at https://www.facebook.com/The-Shattering-215752548593960/

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth 

 

The Miracle of Hope!

Marty Barth email (2)

Will be speaking to the woman at the Orlando Community Release Center on Thursday. My thanks to Mr. Conner, Assistant Warden for having me back. I spoke there last year and am excited to visit again. People often ask me why I go to the prisons. So often when I go in, rightfully so, the inmates seem to wonder, what is this woman, all cleaned up, going to tell us that we haven’t already heard. But then God always shows up. I tell them simply my story; the brokenness, the hopelessness, the fear and shame, guilt and blame. And then I tell them how everything changes when the “HOPE” comes into our lives. Nothing may seem to change and yet everything changes. Once, they taste of hope, the reality that their lives can be different, that they are not defined by what has happened to them, and that there really is a God that loves them and that they do matter to Him; the look in their eyes totally changes. To see this awesome miracle transform before me, makes my heart overflow. 

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth 

 

Children are True Heroes

published 1/17/2016

My brother told me a story this past Christmas about me when I was three years old. I did not recall the memory as I was too young, and yet in my spirit I sensed it. I hesitated to post this picture. Why? For the same reason so many of us hide the inner child of our soul. We do not want to reveal the broken, ragged or tattered image of our being. We want to present an image that portrays an identity of what people want to see instead of our true identity. I had locked that little girl up for a long time in the depths of my soul. And yet, though so often, I reflect how very much my three brothers were my heroes growing up, more and more, I realize that this little girl that I had locked away was really my true hero. In the story that my brother told me, I stood up to a situation that I marvel at now, in light that I was only three years old. I credit this only to the fact that it was the little Sunday school that I attended at such a young age, that taught me the love and courage of a Savior, who changed my life forever, and fortified that little girl to stand and fight and to become what I am today. No more, no less.

I will be visiting the Orlando Correctional Facility in Orlando as a guest speaker. I wish that I had a childhood picture of every one of those that I visit; before the world crushed and broke them, before they learned to hide that child for all to see, even themselves. For we see the adult, God sees the child. We see the raggedness, God sees them made whole. We see the evil and mayhem, God sees the redeemed. We see the wretchedness and evil, God sees the purified and saved.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinth. 5:17.

Is there evil in the world? Yes. Will all be redeemed? No! Do some desire to be evil? Yes. Do some desire to be made whole? Yes! So what do we do? Every person, even those who have done horrid and evil things and aren’t physically incarcerated, must always bear the accountability of what they have done. They must not only take the responsibility for what they have done but bear the responsibility for what they have done. Healing is a journey. We take it one step at a time. We can change. We can heal. We can make a difference!

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth 

 

3 years old

 

Show Me the Way

published 1/5/2016

“Our lives should be a beacon, so that even after we are gone, our light still helps others find their way.”

Visited the Lebanon County Prison last night. We go in once a month. We go to shed a ray of hope, a word of truth, a promise of a new day. We never release them of the accountability for what they have done, but teach them to accept the responsibility of their choices. We teach them of a God that is real, who has a better plan for their lives, and that they do matter.

I wish you could have heard the young woman’s revelation of what had happened to her at 14 years of age. How it shattered her whole being. Did she justify herself or excuse her accountability? No. Did she deserve more? Yes. Does she deserve a chance? Yes. Would you give up on them if they were your son, daughter? Would you hold them accountable? Yes.

“Mercy there was great and grace was free. Pardon there was multiplied to me. There my burdened soul found liberty. At Calvary.”

Pictured here with some of our team. Marilyn Nolte (Chaplain-Lebanon County Prison), Marty(Marsha) Barth(Author, Advocate,Speaker), Theresa Johnson (Leader of Prison Team, Faith Fellowship Church)

 

Event-Chaplain Marilyn Nolte, Marsha Barth, Theresa Johnson-Lebanon Prison Ministry

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth 

Spread Your Wings~~And Fly

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Published 1/3/2016

Wings trimmed in gold, surrounding his royal coat of black velvet, he stood in majesty, sovereignty, unabashed at what others might think. He knew the mockery of his beginning, a slimy larvae on his own, destined to wrap himself in a mesh of debris, and wait for he does not know what. How he had wondered what would become of his life, as he waited restlessly in his prison, not knowing what he would become. He could not move. All was dark and hopeless. Why could he not be nurtured in a nest and kept warm by a parent’s feathers, or cuddle close to parents with soft fur? But alas, it was not to be so. Little did he know that through his transformation and resurrection he would become all that God meant for him to be. And so now he stood perched; sure of his destiny, purpose and the life before him. With great fury he fanned his wings and was gone before I could catch him on his triumphant take off as he soared upwards and disappeared.

The amazing thing is that he was out of his season. Like the lone blooming rose in my garden. It was January 1st and I have butterflies and roses. What does this all seem to say?

The circumstances of your life do not define who you are and when you will bloom. God has a plan and a purpose for your life. Whatever season of your life you are in or are going into, lift your head high, stand royal, know who you are and spread your wings. You are God’s chosen, “a peculiar people” “a royal priesthood”. But how you may ask, as the larvae of the butterfly once wondered, “How do I become what I was created to be?” As the caterpillar yields to his creator, surrendering all that he thinks, proposes, determines and desires, something beautiful happens during this harsh period of true surrender. He does not die, but emerges in God’s time to become all that he was created to be. He does not force himself to come out too soon, but he yields and waits. It is during this time, that God transforms him, makes him a new creature, and resurrects him from his past, bringing him into a new season. A season that others may chide is wrong for him, a beauty that others may not have been able to see in him as the slimy larvae, or the dead like pupae. But oh, left in the “Master’s” hands, there is no denying the beauty of his royal diadem as he goes forward.

This is a new year. A new beginning. It is not by our might or power. Tired of trying? Why not try Jesus? Not a religion. But a relationship with the God, who as Jeremiah says, “before you were in the womb, I knew you.”

A mentor song that touched my heart many years ago says, “Something beautiful, something good. All of my confusions, He understood. All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife. But He made something beautiful out of my life.” (Bill Gaither)

“Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinth. 5:17.

Come out of your cocoon my friend. It is a new season. It is a new year. A new beginning. God has so much in store for you. Be blessed my friend.
visit my blog page at http://marshabarth.com

copyright 2016 Marsha Lynn Barth 

 

Children are God’s Greatest Gifts

Marty @7

Children are God’s Greatest Gifts

published 12/23/2015

     I was sitting with family the other day at the food court in the mall enjoying the festivity of the season when we noticed that a mother sit her little boy at the table beside us with his pizza. The table was only about three feet away and the little boy was approximately five years old. We were more than a little surprised when she walked about 30 or more feet away to go get food for herself. The little boy sit there enjoying his pizza as he looked around at all the hustle and bustle of everyone around him. The mother was gone for over fifteen minutes. She never came back to the table once to check on him.

Could she see him from where she was at? If at all, not much, and she surely couldn’t see him when she turned to place her order, pay, and gather her food up. When she came back to the table, she hurriedly sat down and said to the little boy, “Sorry, boopy, it took so long.”

We had determined to sit there and watch the little boy until she came back. The stairwell and elevator were only about ten feet from his table. We couldn’t imagine that on one of the busiest shopping days of the year and hundreds of people filling the food court, that this little boy had been left alone. We commented of how easy it would be for any person to slip in, promise the little boy a toy, tell him his mommy said he could go, and that he’d bring him back when she got her food. The little boy would have went, no questions asked.

Once, I felt my unbelief of this situation settle down, I felt my anger and frustration rise. The longer she hadn’t come back, the more my anger had risen. When she sat down and made the casual statement to her son, I could take no more. I had promised God a long time ago that I would never look the other way or be silent again, for myself and definitely for others.

Fortunately, my family knows me and have long outgrown being embarrassed by me. To be honest, I said a quick prayer to calm my anger before I spoke and then turned slowly in my chair to face the mom. She had been oblivious to us sitting right next to her. She had been oblivious to a lot of things that day. I kindly said to her, “Excuse me.” She turned to face me. I simply said, “Please don’t ever do that again.”

She looked at me surprised. Not totally sure of what I was asking but I could see that it was sinking in as I paused for her to understand. I braced myself for her to explode and possibly say, “Mind your own business.” Or to say, “What are you talking about.” And even possibly, “I don’t think this is any concern of yours and I don’t need you to tell me how to parent.” But she did not reply. She actually, hung her head and had a hard time looking me in the eyes. I said softly, “Please don’t ever leave him alone like that again.”

With her head still hung down and barely looking at me, she said, “I won’t.”

The strange thing is, there is no doubt that this mom loved her child, but she was totally unaware of the reality of the danger that she had placed him in. Would she had left a $100 bill on the table and walked away and kept an eye on it? Would she had left a $50, $10 or even a $1 bill on the table and walked away? Probably not. And yet??????

It is often implied or said to me, “Marty you just always see ‘ghosts in the closet’”. Wherein, I usually reply back, “But you haven’t been in my closet.”

I have been advocating with some members of the community to our local school board for the change of a bus stop. There are two issues. One is that there is not enough site clearance to allow enough time for an approaching vehicle to adequately stop in time. The other issue is that there is a “violent” sexual predator in close proximity of the bus stop. Both merit the change of this bus stop. But if there was just this one issue of the “violent” sexual offender being too close to this stop, this reason in itself would be sufficient to change the bus stop. But, again, the perspective of the school board has been about the same as the woman with the little boy, they refuse to see the reality of the danger that is right before their eyes.

Some say, “Marty, the man has served his time, you shouldn’t persecute him.” There is no persecution or discrimination here, only accountability. I have gone into the prisons for over 10 years and care very much for the inmates that I speak to. But I have never excused the accountability that they must bear for their actions, especially when this affects the safety of our children.

I know of no other law in place, where state police will go door to door and make every resident in a neighborhood aware of the presence of a sexual predator. Persecution, no. Accountability, yes. The statistics are very clear on the rescind rate of pedophiles and predators. If we are to ever err, it must be on the side for the safety of our children.

Children are the greatest gifts of God. We must shelter them, love them, advocate and stand in the gap for them. “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” They are our greatest treasure!

copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

Seasons of Life

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published 11/28/2015

     When I was a little girl, I used to love to roam through the woods, sometimes with my brothers and other times by myself. Here, I would walk up through the uncut trails, over the knoll, and down into the vale where the rhododendrons grew wildly and bloomed endlessly in the spring, creating a hedge of protection for the deer that sought refuge. I too, sought refuge here in this beautiful sanctuary. I would climb the steep peak that led out of the vale to cross over to the other side of the steep cliff to what was called the “Devil’s Slide.” Here I would sit down and let my troubled thoughts run free.

     Seasons of life—each bringing us new revelation, healing and purpose. Time is actually our friend, not our enemy. What season of life are you in right now?

     Do you long for the winter? The ambiance of the freshly fallen snow, with Christmas carols playing in the background, the fireplace radiating its warmth to our very souls.

     Do you long for spring? The breaking forth of life itself, flowers pushing up, birds singing and echoing in a new song of hope.

     Do you long for summer? The warmth of the sun beating down upon us, the air filled with a mixed fragrance of every bloom imaginable, the comfort of never wanting to feel cold again.

     Do you long for the fall? Oh, the splendor of colors, bursting forth as nature’s fireworks in one final spectacular display of beauty. The smell of harvest as the wind brushes past us soothing our very soul.

     So, what season of life are you in? What season would you like to be in?

     Before you decide, consider this. Winter has sleet and ice, cold rain, dampness and snow shoveling too. Spring takes a while for the flowers to come forth. There is a lot of rain, more than sunshine, and often it is colder and more barren than we remember. Summer can be unbearably hot, chasing us indoors to the air conditioning, and there is grass cutting and lots of labor. Fall, lets us know that winter is coming, leaves us with a barrenness and lots of leaves to rake.

     It is all in perspective. In every season of our life there is barrenness, heartaches, rain and storms. There are hardships and sorrows and labor of heart and mind. But there is also “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness…..” There is a fresh hope, a warm comfort, a new beginning, a bright tomorrow.

     But how you may ask. You may say–you don’t know where I’m at right now. You don’t know my sorrows, my brokenness, my hurt and pain. And you are right. But there is a God who does know your every heartache. You say, if He cared, where has He been in my life? He has always been there, waiting for you to believe in Him. Crying when you cried, maybe just once, wishing He could take back man’s power of choice that has caused so much havoc in your life, in my life, and shattered the hearts of so many. God is not the cause of our pain and suffering, but the solution. Calvary is more than a cross that we wear around our neck. God loves you and wants to bring you into a new season of your life. What season are you in???? What season do you want God to bring you into?

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven………Eccl. 3:1-8

copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

We Are New Creatures 

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Book Signing at Barnes and Noble in Maui, HI

published 10/25/15

Sometimes we think that we are too broken or shattered to ever be of any value, to ourselves or others.  We think that surely even if we could go forth that everyone would see all of our cracks and brokenness. There is nothing shattered that God cannot make whole.  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  2 Corinthians 5:17   But when the one who created us, takes our shattered being and touches us with His love, He makes us a new creature in Him.  Healing is a journey. For more help and information, please read the following blogs and listen to the interviews.  God Bless you on this healing journey!

copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

 All the Kings Horses…..

published 9/23/15

“All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again.”  This is how the old nursery rhyme goes and it is true.  No matter how broken or shattered we are, when we try to put the pieces of our life back together again, we still seem to see all the brokenness, the cracked pieces, and wonder if we can ever be whole.  But that is because we are not the healer; God is.  2 Corinthians 5:17–“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” I spoke to a woman on Sunday who wanted desperately to know how she could be made whole.  Such hunger.  I had met her in prison.  She had been out for four days.  I told her that Jesus only wanted one thing from her—One thing from me.  That He only asks us for one thing.  I told her that I ask Him for hundreds of things every day.  But that all of my life, He has only ever asked me for one thing–To give Him my heart.  To surrender my life to Him.  I told her that it is not a hard thing to do.  And then we prayed. Such a beautiful thing—to watch God make a new creature.  No Humpty Dumpties.  No cracked and shattered beings, glued back together, but a new creature.  Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new.

Will have a book signing at Barnes and Noble 325 Keawe St, Lahaina, HI 96761 Phone:(808) 662-1300 on Saturday October 3, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  A warm welcome to any of my in friends in Maui during that time to join me.  “The Shattering” is my true story of overcoming childhood sexual abuse.  Written in novel form, it is an inspirational story of the joy of overcoming.  It is a story of the power of love, the promise of hope and the inspiration of knowing that what has happened to any of us does not define who we are.  Be blessed.

copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

 

 

“Keep Fighting the Good Fight!”

published September 18, 2015

Song preceding interview–“Keep Fighting the Good Fight.” “…. I’m never going to leave you, always going to see you through. Keep fighting the good fight.” Live Interview with Bill Link from WXGN at 90.5 out of Ocean City, New Jersey. Contact me at  It is estimated that there are over 60,000,000 survivors of child sexual abuse. This is based on a 40% report rate. It is also estimated that less than 10% of childhood sexual abuse is ever reported. The message—We can heal! We do not need to continue to carry the hurt and pain of our past. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  Listen to this live interview at ~~

https://www.facebook.com/The-Shattering-215752548593960/timeline/

 

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copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

Reaching Hearts~~Signing Books

published September 13, 2015

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Truth That Rocks Book Signing - Copy

I thank God every time I have an event, speaking engagement, or book signing; but it really is not about signing books.  It is about reaching the hearts of those that have been shattered along the way; by life, by people, by the one who has desired to sift them as wheat. How appropriate that Jesus answered this with His words- “But I have prayed for you.”  The enemy of our souls comes to steal, kill and destroy.  But again, our Lord states–“But I have come to give you life and more abundantly.”  I encourage everyone who reads my blogs–God has a plan for your life.  He loves you. You do matter to Him.  And God is more than a Humpty Dumpty God who puts us back together again.  He makes us a new creation in Him.  Today, if we harden not our hearts–He is waiting to come into your heart, take your pain away, and to heal you from your brokenness. Choose this day, answer that knock at your heart’s door.  Let the tears come down. It is His love and presence that you feel.  Today—Choose Jesus!  Please read on~~

copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

 Accountability and Mercy, Can Walk Hand in Hand!

published August 22, 2015

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Spoke with four different groups at the Va. Correctional Facility in Virginia Beach; from Substance Abuse to Re-entry on Monday August 17 and Tuesday August 18. Each visit and each group are always different, but one thing always remains constant–How beautiful it is to see God transform a life with His presence and to see even the slightest spark of hope come into their eyes and hearts. This does not mean that they are ever to be excused for what they have done. There is always an accountability for sin and for crime. Do the crime, and regardless, you do the time. But we do need to know and remember that Jesus came to save the lost’s soul, not condemn them. God’s mercy is given not to justify us in our sins but to deliver us from our sins. He that is without sin is always welcome to throw the first stone. I like the old song–“Mercy there was great and grace was free. Pardon there was multiplied to me. There my burdened soul found liberty. At Calvary!” My sincere thanks to Sgt. Holas and Lt. Jameson for taking the time to make this venue possible. Thanks again also Sgt. Holas for the cookies from the cafeteria. Who would’ve thought that the best cookies I ever ate would be from a correctional institute. smile emoticon Please continue to keep me in your prayers as I go forward as God leads.

copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

 

 

We Must Deal, to Heal, to Feel

Published August 14, 2015

We must deal, to heal, to feel.  We all want to heal.  We all want restoration. But none of us usually like the process.  Healing is a journey.  “Am I God to bring you out of your past and not God enough to heal you from it?”  Join me today at this link http://www.talkzone.com/episodes/199/DBI081215.html  This is probably one of the most poignant and powerful interviews that God has ever had me do.The interviewer asked me a lot of questions that I’ve never been asked directly in an interview. Please feel free to share this link with others. Blessings~~ Marty  Please feel free to contact me for help, information, input, or to arrange speaking engagements.

copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

 

Making a Difference

Published August 2, 2015

State Gala-lower resolution

 

Was happy to be a guest speaker at PCAR’s “Vision of Hope” Gala and Auction. Nearly $176,000 was raised to help the prevention of child sexual abuse, and to support and celebrate the hope and healing that is offered to survivors through victim service agencies.

copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

Do You Want to Heal?

Published August 2, 2015

“I will never forget you for I have carved you in the palm of my hand.” Isaiah 49:15-16.  Do you want to heal?  Every time you cry, God cries with you.  Every time you cry, your angels cry with you.  “Harden not your heart in the day of provocation.” Hebrews 3:8 Join me in this live interview with Rebecca L. Mahan from V.O.T.E (Victims Overcoming Traumatic Trauma) at this https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Shattering/215752548593960   You can heal.  Start the healing journey today.  Read on for more help or contact me on this site.

copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

How Do You Heal a Broken Heart?

 “The LORD is near unto them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a crushed spirit.”Psalm 34:18    Interviewed with Rebecca L. Mahan from V.O.T.E. (Victims Overcoming Traumatic Events) Will post link at a later date. How do we overcome? How do we heal from a broken heart? Continue to read the blogs below. Listen to the interviews.  Know that you can heal, that joy does come in the morning and that You do matter!

copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

A Message of Hope

Published June 29, 2015

Hope shines through the dark clouds of our life.  No matter how dark the night, or how hopeless our day, the rays of hope shine through. So often when I fly, I am always amazed at how dark and dismal and pouring down rain it may be when I step onto the plane, only to find minutes later that I am high above those same clouds and there is no rain and the sun shines so bright that I have to squint my eyes.  How can this be??  We have to rise above the clouds that shadow our lives.  But how do we do this we may ask?  One must find a means to fly above them, soar to heights where the sun shines.  Many years ago, as a little girl, I dreamed of such a place.  A place where I could go like Dorothy on the Wizard of Oz, somewhere over a rainbow.  And then one day, in a small country church, in a basement Sunday School, I heard a teacher tell me of a God who loved me.  ‘How could that be?’, I thought.  I can understand how God could love Debbie with her pretty bows and patent leather shiny shoes.  I could understand how He could love Vicki, with her kind blue eyes and friendly smile.  But how could God love me?  He knew my dark secrets.  He knew my fears and shame, my guilt and pain.  He saw my tangled curls, my dusty shoes, my angry heart. How could this God possibly love me.  But He did.  And this day, I believed the teacher when she told me this and I reached out to take the hand of this One who I was told loved even me.  It is instantly that we soar past the clouds of our life when we come into His presence.  He lifts us up on eagle’s wings far above the clouds of life. “….they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

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“A Message of Hope” Just posted:
http://createmoregood.co/…/moving-beyond-darkness-towards-…/
Join me in this great Interview with David Yarde; thorough and complete-We can heal! Going from Victim to Victor!
Buy the book “The Shattering” at http://marshabarth.com

copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

Sharing the Good News

Published June 25, 2015

Words are powerful, love is healing. Everyday is an opportunity to meet new people, share a new hope, and touch lives. Oh, that we can grab the moment and never miss an opportunity to show God’s love. My thanks to Barnes and Noble of Myrtle Beach for welcoming me to their store.  “The Shattering” is a story of the power of love, the promise of hope and the inspiration of knowing that what has happened to us does not define who we are. If you are lonely, broken and discouraged please continue to read my blogs, listen to the interviews and contact me if you have a question.  Jeremiah 29:11DSC_0405

 copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

Do You Want to Laugh Again?

 Published May 27, 2015

Have you ever just wanted to laugh?  Have you ever had days, weeks, or years that you can’t remember when you’ve had a really good laugh?  You know what I mean.  One of those, down deep, fall to the ground, laughing times when you can hardly catch your breath.  Don’t you sometimes just miss laughing?  Proverbs 17:22 – “A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones.”

The other day, my husband called me outside to smell this beautiful flower.

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This plant is commonly referred to as “The Devil’s Tongue”.  How could I  have been fooled?

Can you even begin to imagine how anything this beautiful would smell?  So I bent down to smell it.  He said, “No, smell down deep into the flower.”  So, I did. I inhaled and took in a very deep breath expecting my whole being to be exhilarated with the sweetest of aromas.  I nearly gagged on the putrid smell.  It smelled like something had died. My husband and brother stood beside me, roaring in laughter.  I thought they’d fall to the ground laughing.  As soon as I could breathe again, I began to laugh just as hard.

Laughter changes us; physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Often, in our journey of living, life can beat us down; the death of a loved one, loss of a job, sickness, financial, a family break-up, abuse.  Life is often full of sadness, heartache, and pain.  But we can rise again.  We need to have a hope.  1 Corinthians 15:19-“If in this life only we have hope….we are of all men most miserable.” Proverbs 13:12–“Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”

Hope again, my friend.  I do not make light of your pain. Take it to the One who loves you best. 1 Peter 5:7–“Casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you.”  You can heal. Life does get better.  You do matter!  Laugh again, my friend.

Please read on down for more blogs that might help you. Be blessed my friend.

copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

 “Children are our Heritage”

Published April 24, 2015

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Met and talked with the Governor of Pa-Tom Wolf at an event sponsored by Office of the Victim Advocate(OVA). Was able to pass on a copy of “The Shattering” to him. My sincere thanks for his receptiveness and for sincerely listening.

If we are to make a difference, we must never hang our head in shame.  Children are our inheritance, given to us by God.  We are to speak up for them, support, love, and protect them.  As God opens the doors for us to step up, He will fortify us to go forward.  We must bring an unawareness to the epidemic of child sexual abuse, speak out for the prevention of this abuse against our children and proclaim the message to the broken and shattered that what has happened to us does not define who we are. We can rise again!  We can HEAL!  For more help, please read the earlier blogs and feel free to contact me through this website.

“But who shall offend one of these little ones…. it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea..Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” Mathew 18:6,10. “Children are our heritage…” Psalms 127:3

copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

“Where Shall I Cause My Shame to Go?”

Published April 19, 2015

http://youtu.be/lZNM3bj1iRM

We must know that we are not alone.  It is estimated that there are over 60,000,000 survivors of childhood sexual abuse.  We were never meant to carry the pain and sorrow from this abuse.  We can heal.  “O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.” Psalm 30:2.  Tamar was the daughter of David and was raped by her brother Amnon. 2 Samuel 13:1-14.  She cries out and says, “Where shall I cause my shame to go?”

This is the cry of so many of us that have been sexually abused.  Where do we cause our shame to go?  What do we do with the fear and shame and guilt and blame?  Where do we cause these to go? “O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.”  Healing is a journey.

When we are abused in any way, it shatters us.  It shatters our hope and dreams, our love and trust.  We try to pick up the pieces and put them back together again but we can not find all of the pieces and the pieces that we do find and try to put back together, riddle us with scars. So how do we go forward?  How can we heal?

God is more than a Humpty Dumpty God.  He is more than a religious figure that watches from afar.  He is an ever present presence that cares what has happened to us.  He is the solution to our pain and hurt, not the cause.  If we call out to Him, He is faithful and just and will hear our cry, and will reach down and make us a new creature in Him.  When God heals us, He finds all of the pieces and puts them back together again.  We are not left with all the nasty scars for the world to see.  He gives us our identity.  The identity that He had purposed for us. Jeremiah 1:5–Before we were in the womb He knew us.

Let me point out here, that it is not God’s fault nor His choices that caused our pain, but the perpetrator, the abuser. We can actually give God our pain, sorrow, brokenness, fear, shame, guilt and blame and He will lift these from our heart.  It is a journey, but in the process of time, we heal.  Please visit and read my other blogs where more of this journey is explained.  And please contact me if I can be of any help through the contact page on this site.  May you feel His gentle tug on your heart right now.  May you feel His presence hold you in His arms.  Let His love wipe away your tears.  Enter into a new season of your life, a new beginning, a new hope. He waits for you there.

Live interview on Good Day Pa ABC 27 with Amy Kehm

It is estimated that there are over 60,000,000 childhood sexual survivors…

Posted by The Shattering on Sunday, April 19, 2015

http://youtu.be/lZNM3bj1iRM

or

abc27.com/2015/04/17/author-spotlight-marshabarth/

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copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

You Are Not Alone….

Published 3/31/2015

DSC_0976 (640x426)Marsha Barth, author of “The Shattering” is a guest speaker at the Vision of Hope Gala. “We can make a difference.” — in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

DSC_0977 (640x426)Marsha Barth explains the devastating effects of childhood sexual abuse and what it does to a child. — in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

 DSC_0978 (640x426)Marsha Barth shares her own story–offering the promise of hope, the power of love, and the inspiration of knowing that what has happened to you does not define who you are. — in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

 DSC_0979 (640x426)Representative Mauree Gingrich and Marsha Barth at the Vision of Hope Gala. Mauree Gingrich represents Lebanon County’s 101st Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She has focused significant attention on protecting the interests of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens – children, the elderly, disabled, and victims of domestic abuse –— in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

 DSC_0984 (640x426)Delilah Rumburg, Chief Executive Officer of PCAR and Marsha Barth at the 9th Annual Vision of Hope Gala. Vision of Hope is a campaign aimed at protecting our children from the devastation of sexual abuse. — inHershey, Pennsylvania.

 DSC_0985 (640x426)Marsha Barth and former PA First Lady Michele M. Ridge at the 9th Annual Vision of Hope Gala and Fund Raiser for the prevention of childhood sexual abuse. — in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

Do You Want to be Free????

Published 3/19/2015

Are you in a prison? In your mind? In your heart? In your past?  We can be free. God never meant for us to carry and be imprisoned by our pain and sorrow.  I visited the Western Maryland Correctional Facility.  Whether the prison is physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, Christ died to set us free.  He is a God that delivers, heals and brings us into full restoration.  “He that the Son has set free, is free indeed..” John 8:36   DSC_0951

I never speak at a prison that my heart is not moved. I never excuse, justify, or minimize why they are there. I do believe that even in our darkest prisons, God wants to be there. Isaiah 61:1-3 “…to set the captives free, the opening of prison doors….” “…to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness… That God might be known and glorified as a real God. A Father who truly cares, and brings hope on the wings of love….

copyright 2015 Marsha Lynn Barth 

What Do You Do with Your Hurt?

Published February 18, 2015

What do you do with your hurt?  So often in our lives we bury our hurt.  We put it under the rug where we think it is gone.  Then something as simple as a song, a smell, a thought; triggers all the old memories, and the hurts that we thought were long gone resurface causing an avalanche of problems.  We must deal with the issues of our past if we are to heal.  Join me on this healing journey in my interview on Suzanne Strisower’s show, “Living Life on Purpose” on Blog Talk Radio at this link

goo.gl/BM9so9

Wait for show to load. Click bar that is between Blog Talk Radio and Living Life on Purpose.  Click at 47:00. Interview begins here. God Bless~~

4 years old - Copy - Copy

Copyright © Marsha Barth

Hope Renews the Heart

Had a phenomenal meeting with the women at the Orlando Correctional Release Center. People often ask me why I visit. When you see hope replace despair and see the chains of brokenness drop off of a heart, there is no greater joy. Something happens to a heart when they realize that there really is a God, that He truly loves and cares for them and that they really do matter.  We must never underestimate the power of hope.  It only takes a flicker to renew a heart.  Please be encouraged.  If you need hope; know that you are not alone, that you can heal, and that you do matter. Please read the earlier blogs on this page and follow the links to the interviews.  There is a lot of detailed information in these interviews that may be helpful to you.  May you be richly blessed and know that healing is a journey.1795653_406415556194324_8857270404183978408_n 

 Copyright © Marsha Barth

Who am I???

Please join me in this interview….

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/toughtalkradionetwork/2015/01/20/life-changing-insigths–shattering-lifestyles-choices-1

At the site on this interview, wait until it loads and then move the cursor (hand) to 32:15.  This is where the interview will begin.

I was surprised one time when a person asked me, “Why is this abuse so devastating to people?” The woman was sincere though her friend gave her a look as if she wanted to kick her for asking. I told her that it is because when this happens, the person and their identity is shattered and their soul is raped. So often this lost soul cannot find their way, nor do they know that they can heal. As you listen to this interview, may it be the start of a new beginning for you as you enter into a new season, a season of healing. Do not give up and know that you are important to God and that you do matter.  May you know the power of His love, the promise of His hope, and the fact that was has happened to you in your life does not define who you are.

Please know that God wants you to know the joy of overcoming and that you can heal.  Contact me and feel free to share your comments.

God Bless~~ Marsha (Marty) Barth

Copyright © Marsha Barth

“You Do Matter!”

Always know that you matter.  You are a gift to this world.  You are not an accident.  Come join in this healing journey.  May God richly bless you as you take His hand.  We were never meant to walk this journey alone.  Please contact me if you have any questions.

“You Do Matter!”  Interview with Alfredo Love

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/fredalove/2014/12/20/marsha-barth-the-author-and-speaker-of-prison-ministry-that-you-always

Copyright © Marsha Barth

We do not need to remain the victim but can become the Victor!   You may ask the question.  ”How?”   Healing is a journey.  It begins with knowing that “YOU” matter.  Listen to this live interview:

http://youtu.be/kZZVs38FPDA

Copyright © Marsha Barth

You Can Make a Difference

Midtown Scholar Bookstore Signing

Met some wonderful people at Saturday’s Book Signing at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore. One even voiced to me concern of an abuse situation that she was aware of.  After talking, she said that she would get more involved with the situation and try to help the abused.

We live in a world where whether we like it or not statistics show that abuse is bound to touch our lives in some way.  Whether, it is on the evening news, or a coworker, a family member, a friend, abuse will enter our lives in some shape or form.  What do we do when we are unexpectedly confronted with this subject.  Do we look the other way?  Do we say to ourselves, “It is none of my business?”  ”Wonder if I’m wrong?”  The bigger question to ask ourselves is “Wonder if I’m right?” “What will happen if I do nothing?”  ”Can I really make a difference?”  The answer is “Yes you can make a difference!”

I often think back at my life and wonder what would have happened, if just one person who even suspected that I was abused would have come forward.  Things were different back then. Things were shoved under the rug more and the subject of abuse of any kind was not a topic to be discussed.  But we live in different times, where there are means to help the abused and more than ever we need to come forward and make a difference.

We are our “brothers” and “sisters” keepers.   We can heal!  Let us join together, hand in hand, and go forward.  We can make a difference!

Copyright © Marsha Barth

Are you in a prison?

  “I was in prison, and you came unto me.” Mathew 25:36

There are so many kinds of prison.  Which makes me ask the questions, “Are you trapped in a prison? Which prison are you trapped in?  Are you in a physical prison, emotional prison, or a spiritual prison?” God never intended for us to be trapped in the prisons of hopelessness, despair, sorrow, loneliness, poverty, brokenness, sickness, abuse, condemnation, persecution, sin and bondage.

  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Jeremiah 29:11

I visit the prisons once a month.  People often ask me why?

Often when the girls come into the room ushered by the armed guards, they typically are the same, no matter what prison I visit.  Usually, they present with a tough veneer and they read you.  You can see their reaction and wonder as to, “Why is she here?”  Their expressions seem to ask, “What could this person standing before me, all cleaned up, possibly know about my pain and suffering and what I have experienced in my life?  And then I share with them my story, “The Shattering”.  I tell them that they can heal and that God has a purpose for their lives.  I tell them how my life changed.  And then I see it unfold before me, every time.  The veneer begins to crack, tears begin to come to their eyes, and try as they may, they cannot stop them.  And then the miracle happens.  God touches their hearts.  This God of religion becomes a God of reality and relationship and something happens.  You see in their eyes that a flicker of hope is born. It sparkles like a precious diamond and they grab hold of it and a new life begins.

And so it is with all of us, regardless of our prison, we can be free!

  “Turn you to the stronghold, you Prisoners of Hope: even today do I declare that I will render double unto you.”  Zechariah 9:12.

Marsha Barth and Carol Haupa (Chaplain) at the Maui Correctional Center in Maui, HI.

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Copyright © Marsha Barth

 

Your Victory Lies Between Your Agony of Defeat and Your Joy of Overcoming

Retreat and Book Signing on September 5, 2014

Now is the time to start your healing journey.  The only thing more painful than an injury to the soul is to leave it unattended to get infected.  So often we throw a band-aid on our hurt when it needs stitches, disinfected, love and care.  At other times we pick and pick at the hurt, right when it is about to heal.  Is it painful to heal? Yes.  Is the journey worth it? Always.  God wants us to be free of the pain that we carry.  He is more than a God who puts Humpty Dumpty back together again.  He is a God who makes us a new creature in Him.  Oh the joy, love and peace He desires to give us and to take away all of our hurt, pain, and anguish.  Can you heal from your past??  Yes.  Healing is a journey.  Start your journey today.  Please feel free to contact me at any time.  Never give up.  God is never far from your heart and He wants to help you today.  Be Blessed~~

Copyright © Marsha Barth

Abuse Affects All of Us

Abuse will affect everyone of us at sometime in our life; either us personally or those we love and work with.  It may be a co-worker, a family member, a neighbor, someone at church, or us personally.  How do we heal?  We must deal to heal to feel again.  Please know that we can heal.  God is the solution to our problems and not the cause.  Your responses are greatly appreciated. Contact me.

Live interview with Tracey Schavone @ KKCR in Princeville, Kauai, HI

http://youtu.be/k1–GPu1nqA

Copyright © Marsha Barth

Interview with Dr. Ravi

Sometimes we have to understand the abuse we have suffered from to be able to deal with this abuse.  Please visit this link to see and hear my skype interview with Dr. Ravi.

 
We have to deal with our past, to heal from our past, to begin to truly feel again.
Please know that what has happened to you does not define who you are and please know that you can heal.
 
My love and prayers~~
“Marty”
 
 

Copyright © Marsha Barth

You Can Heal

Do you want to be free?
Free from hurt, pain, anger, frustration and disappointment?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJVi84cCHA8

You can heal! Take the first step on this healing journey.
“The Shattering” is a book of inspiration and the joy of overcoming.

Interview with Marsha Barth on the Michael Dresser Show

Copyright © Marsha Barth

The Healing Journey Continues

So often the question becomes how much do we want to heal? Healing is a painful process but it is the only way to become whole. The thing to remember is that we don’t have to take this journey alone. Like so many things in life that leave us empty, sad and broken and feeling alone, healing,though painful,leads us forward to restoration, joy, hope and overcoming. God Bless you with the strength to take that first step-”dealing”. We have to deal, to heal, to be able to feel again. May you know that there is a God who truly cares, and that He is the solution to our pain and sorrow and not the cause.

Please join me at this link-Marsha Barth interview with Stuart Vener.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzT_sKWgWks

Copyright © Marsha Barth

 

“Journey of Hope”

Visit this link to hear the interview of Marsha Barth on Rodney Mathers Show–”Journey of Hope.”

http://youtu.be/ZX_PTFVt_ns

Welcome to “The Healing Journey”. It all begins by taking the first step. We have to deal to heal to feel. The question becomes, do you want to be whole? Is healing painful? Yes, all healing is painful. But what a great joy to be free from the pain and sorrow, of the issues that hold us captive; to be free from the fear and shame, guilt and blame. We were not meant to walk this journey alone. We are our brother and sisters’ keeper. And the One who loves us most, knows us the best. The first step is reaching out and taking His hand. Contact me with your questions.

Copyright © Marsha Barth

If Her Tears Were Stars

I want to give tribute and honor to the wonderful writer, Colleen Laylon who has written the words and music to this beautiful healing song.   Also to the wonderful artist, Vickie Raye who sings this song.  If Her Tears Were Stars  If  you have been abused or if you have never been abused, this song will move you to a better understanding of childhood sexual abuse.

The statistics of childhood sexual abuse are staggering and grossly unreported.  I wanted to list them below.  For the “shattered” souls let it comfort your heart and the child within you.  For those affected by sexual abuse and trying to understand it better, let it move your heart.  We can make a difference.

Abuse Statistics

Statistics show:

—Every 2 minutes in America-someone is sexually assaulted.

237,868 cases a year of child sexual abuse are reported in children 12 and over.  It is estimated at 90,000 cases for children under 12.

It is hard to get statistics for children under 12 years old.

—Child molestation like rape is one of the most unreported of crimes. Less than 10% are ever reported.  So the 90,000 is more like 900,000 children a year that are sexually abused based on the 10% that is reported and the 90% that is not reported.

—1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before age 18.

—3 out of 4 children are abused by someone they know well.

–93% of victims knew their attacker.So the stranger talk helps protect our children from 7% of child molesters.

—1/3 of the offenders are themselves Juveniles

—30% of child sexual assault were between 4 and 7 years old

—29% of forcible rapes occurred when the victim was under 11 years old

—44% of sex. Assault and rape victims are under the age of 18

—80% are under 30

—50% of all victims of forcible sodomy, sex assault with an object and forcible fondling of children are under the age of 12 years old.

—117 victims, the number a child molester will have assaulted before being caught

–60% of sexual assaults are not reported to police

–97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail. Only 3% ever go to jail.

Copyright © Marsha Barth

Under the Rug

When I was a young girl and we cleaned the house, I always hated shaking the rugs.  It seemed okay to sweep around them.  It was even easier, if no one was looking, to sweep it under the rug.  The only problem with this is that after awhile the dirt piles up and the rug becomes very lumpy.  It is really hard to walk across the rug and continue on your destination when you constantly stumble over the carpet.  Isn’t it really easier to just shake the rug?

This is what we do in our life.  Through the many hardships, hurts, pain, abuse, sorrow and loss; we just shove it under the rug of life and pretend that it is no longer there.  “I don’t want to talk about it,” we tell our friends and loved ones.  “That was a long time ago.”  “That’s in the past.”  “It doesn’t bother me anymore.”  We shove it so far under the rug so that not only others will not see it, but that we will not see it either.  If we are Christians, we do even a better job of it.  We say it is “under the blood.”  But in reality we have shoved it under the rug.  We put it under the rug of justification and denial.  As we walk through this life, we then wonder why are we continually stumbling.  Stumbling in our relationships, our problems, our emotional distress, anger, control, sorrow, depression.  We pretend that everything is clean, neat and in order.

And then one day, if we let Him, God shakes our carpet.  The dust flies everywhere.  It blinds us with a cloud and we try to close our eyes.  It is too much for us to see.  It takes our breath away.  We want to run away but we can’t.  We cry out to God and say “Why God?”  “What is going on?”  “I gave all of that to you.”  “I thought, I was past all of that.”  And God says, “Am I God only enough to bring you out of your past and not God enough to heal you from it?”  Is He God only of our present and future?  Can He not take the pain of our past away?  Why not?  Do we accept that we are destined to live in pain and sorrow?  Do we accept the cloak of shame? No! No! A thousand times No!

God has so much more for us.  He wants us to take His hand.  Hold on to it tight.  He will not only lead us into our destiny and purpose.  He will not only keep and protect us on our journey.  But He has an even greater plan.  He will take us back to our past.  He will not let us camp there, but He will take us back from time to time to visit.  Not to revisit our pain, though it is there; swept under our carpet so long ago.  He takes us there to heal us from our pain.  He takes us there to confront and deal with the issues of our life that broke us.  He picks up the shattered pieces.  The shards of glass that no one could ever put back together again.  And He makes us a “new creature”.  He makes us whole.  Joy does come in the morning.

We enter a new hope, a new season.  Winter is past.  The birds sing again.  The flowers bloom and new life begins afresh.  A beautiful thing begins in our life when God shakes our rug.  Will you let Him?

Love~~

Marsha (Marty) Barth   “The Shattering”

Copyright © Marsha Barth

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May God Bless You on your
“Healing Journey”

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Copyright © Marsha Barth

Prisoners of Hope

Here in Pennsylvania it is cold.  They are calling for a big snow storm to hit tomorrow.  And so it seems a long time since we’ve had the warm days of summer and fall.  Already, I hear people saying they wish it was spring.  And yet in this wintery bliss of white there is a beauty and a stillness of this season that no other encompasses.  Even the birds hush their singing as we are blanketed in white.  It is the only time of year when you stop to listen and actually can hear nothing but quiet.  There is an awesomeness to this season.

“To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Eccles. 3:1.   What season of your life are you in?  What time and purpose of your life is being fulfilled?  There is a time for every purpose in our lives.  A time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to receive, a time to give, a time to heal…….

“I have seen the travail which God has given to the sons and daughters of men…. And He does make everything beautiful in His time….” Eccles. 3

God wants you to heal.  Now is the accepted time.  Now is the time for this purpose in your life.  But do you want to heal???

There is a story from Dr. Allender’s book “The Wounded Heart” that I often like to paraphrase in my own words….

A person had a crushed arm from childhood and because of this it was greatly mangled.  So much to the point that the person had adapted so well with the other arm that the loss didn’t seem so great.  Years passed and the person went on with their life hardly noticing the helpless limb.

One day a group of surgeons notified the person that they could now with technology fix the mangled arm.  It would take a lot of surgeries, a lot of rehab and it would be very very painful.  But in the end the arm would be mended.  It would heal and for the first time in many years the arm would be whole.

The person became very excited and for the first time took a good look at the limp arm that hung from their side.  They opened their mouth to accept the offer but the head surgeon gently raised his hand and interjected.  Before you make this decision you have to know that it will be a painful process but in the end you will be made whole.

“I think I will wait,” came the soft reply.  They looked at their limp arm and said, “It’s not really that bad.  I manage okay, really.  I have learned to cope and live a good life.  I’m okay the way I am.”

“But why?” the doctors all asked.  “Don’t you want to be whole?  Why wouldn’t you want to have your arm fixed?  Think of all the things that you could do.  Think of how much more you could accomplish.”

“I’m fine the way I am,” came the reply.

“But why?” they pressed.

“It will be too painful,” came the answer.  “Why go through all that pain when I’m fine just the way that I am?”

“Are you?” They asked.  “Are you?”

And so it is so often with us.  We travel through our lives with all of its hurts and pain.  We hide our broken hearts and our shattered spirits.  People ask “How are you today?”
And we answer, “I’m fine.”  Never do we unveil the brokenness from within us.  We don’t answer and tell them the times that we’ve cried ourselves to sleep, or when loneliness has overcome us, or even dare to mention the brokenness of our past.  Why would we?  In a world that is so full of cliches’  such as “Get over it” “Whatever” “Get a life” and even the simple “What’s your problem!?”

But God wants us to heal.  But we say, “No God, I’m okay.  It’s not that bad.  That was in the past, a long time ago.  I’m okay.”  But are you?  Are you?  We cannot heal from what we won’t confront.  God want us to be whole, to be happy.  The healing journey can be painful but there is no greater joy than overcoming.

“Turn you to the stronghold, you Prisoners of Hope: even today do I declare that I will render double unto you.”  Zechariah 9:12.  Come join me–”You Prisoners of HOPE” on this wonderful Healing Journey.

Love~~

Copyright © Marsha Barth

One Response to Prisoners of Hope

  • One of my favorite scriptures is in Luke 4:18 & 19 when Jesus reads from the scripture to explain why He has come. Too often when we accept salvation, we think that is the end, but actually, it is only the beginning. Praise the Lord!

    “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
    Because He has anointed Me
    To preach the gospel to the poor;
    He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
    To proclaim liberty to the captives
    And recovery of sight to the blind,
    To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
    To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

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