Archive for March, 2018

It’s A Furniture Thing

For years, my pal, Rooster, and I worked together and lived in the same area. During those twenty-plus years, we spent many hours debating the various topics of the day. Well, not so much debating as discussing in what was typically a humorous vein. We’d hash things out quite thoroughly, until at some point one or the other of us would say, “But you know what?” To which the other would always respond, with a knowing nod, “It doesn’t matter.”

And usually, it doesn’t. In the overall scheme of things, we (people in general) tend to get all riled up about things that usually… well… just don’t matter. Or, at best, if they do matter, there’s not a doggone thing we can do about them.

rv couchThe point of this non-mattering diatribe is this; I’ve changed my response from, “It doesn’t matter”, to, “It’s a furniture thing.” I did this after a recent conversation with Sherry. We were talking about our upcoming move to our new-to-us house, and at some point the topic of furniture came up. We discussed it for a bit, her telling me what she wanted, me agreeing some, disagreeing some, until I finally ended the conversation with this statement; “You know. I have an opinion about furniture, and I like furniture, but in the overall scheme of things, I don’t really care about furniture, so whatever you want is cool with me.” What I was saying was, furniture doesn’t matter to me.

So, since that conversation I’ve stopped saying, “It doesn’t matter, and I’ve replaced the statement with, “It’s a furniture thing.”

Now… just between you, me, and the post turtle, I don’t expect my little saying to catch on but, hey, Rooster likes it, the Duck likes it, and … it’s a furniture thing.


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A Fidget Spinner Samich!

pbjIt’s not anything like the Tide Pod thing, so don’t even go there, but I ate a fidget spinner samich for lunch today. Sort of. Actually, it was a grilled peanut butter and jam sandwich, the eating of which spun out of control. We were down to the bottom of the jar of peanut butter, you see. There was more than enough for the sandwich, but so little was left in the jar, I figured, why not and just put it all on the sandwich. I saw it as a challenge, and it was! You know how it is. You take a bite, and the jam and peanut butter squish out everywhere. So, what do you do? Well, me, I spin it around and take a bite where the most stuff is squishing out, then repeat the process. Sure, some fell onto my plate, but that just made me spin it faster, and by the time I got finished, I was quite calm and satisfied. I never put much stock in the fidget spinner craze, but now… I’m thinking they might be onto something.

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Peace Like a River

Why do we find it so difficult to love the Lord and pay attention to His commands? His commands are not hard to pay attention to, loving Him is certainly no chore, and the reward is great. Why then is it so difficult?

woman in riverGod offers to each of us

His unconditional love

And when we heed His commands

His abundant peace

Like a river flowing full

And steadily to the sea

Is ours

I suppose we could coin the phrase, “if it were easy, everyone could do it.” But it is easy. I can think of nothing easier than loving God, who loves us and chose us to be His. I believe everyone can do it, and the rewards are fantastic!

When we accept these gifts

His righteousness returns to us

Washing over us

In powerful and never-ending waves

As we wade

In the calm waters

Of His peace

If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:18

 Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

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A Soft Knocking

A Soft Knocking” was originally a rather long short story, which I whittled down to just under 500 words for a contest a few years back. Every time I come across it, I can’t resist toying with it, and on one of those occasions I re-wrote it in poem form. It’s rather long for a poem but give it a read if you’ve got the time. I think you will find it quite entertaining.

A Soft Knocking

In my very bones I could feel the morning dampness

   My dark and dreary world having steeped in slow rain

      Throughout the long and silent night

writer at desk 

The lamp flickering on my desk

   cast a warm glow upon my work

      But did nothing to ease the chill in the room


A faint ringing in the distance

   A carriage bell

      Not something I often heard

         Rushed a chill through my veins


Then a woman’s scream sliced the cold morning air


I moved quickly to my window

   And with trembling hand eased the curtain aside


A coffin-like visage approached

   The light snap of a whip sounded

        The steed… paying whip no mind

            Continued at a slow trot then fought the bit with turn of head

                 When the driver pulled back on rein and brake sliding the coach to a stop


I turned away

   Knowing with sick dread the carriage had come for me

      Then… wishing not to see, yet knowing I must

         I turned back to the window


The driver stared forward

   Face hidden by shadow of brim

      The stallion looked over its shoulder

         Eyes wild and gleaming

            Snorting steam from black nostrils



The door swung slowly wide

   And a slender leg clad in white silk stocking

      Appeared at the coach door then fell to the muddy road   

         A river of blood flowed from the severed limb


Again, I turned away

   An angry fist squeezing my heart

      And I knew with instant dread

         Never more…

            Would my pen scratch the page


I heard the “Yaw” of the driver

   A crack of the knotted whip

      The scream of the beaten steed piercing the damp air

         Like an ice pick

            Through a warm beating heart

And then…

   There came at my door…

      A soft knocking


My aged eyes watered as one icy tear trickled

   Slowly… down my rugged cheek


   Not knowing how I’d arrived there

      I stood looking at the great door

         My mind fighting to stay my hands

             As they moved toward the bolt


And … once again… there came…

   A soft knocking


Of its own accord

   The door swung slowly open

      And from behind me

         A small hand gently pushed


I tumbled into the deep blackness outside my castle door

   Light had fled my world

      Tumbling… tumbling…

         I floated through the darkness

            Lungs burning as I breathed

               The vile substance in which I flew



   I knew with solemn certainty

      It was the taste

         The smell

               The feel…

                  Of ink


I knew, too…

   Who it was had come to fetch me

      ‘Twas all those of whom I had written

            In my years at the desk

               Those whose lives I had created

                  Then… taken

                      Oft in brutal fashion

                          In the dark stories I’d told


But the cruelest of my acts

   Was the shunning of the one in white silk stockings

      Who wanted naught from the world but my ungiven love

 For this sin

   I will forever hear

      As I tumble through my madness

         … a soft knocking


Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

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Butterfly Kisses

It came quietly—a small aching pain—and I ignored it, thinking I’d probably had worse pains, and they all went away on their own. But this one didn’t. I fought on, never doubting I could defeat whatever it was with sheer determination, exercise, and stubbornness. But the pain got worse, and my dogged resistance began to wane. When I couldn’t walk without excruciating pain, I told myself it was the dark before the dawn, and I would wake up one day soon and wonder where the pain had vanished to. And I did. The walls behind her were a pale green, but everything else seemed whiter than white, except the tubes and gadgets that seemed to be everywhere.

She wore a blue dress that looked strangely familiar but in a way that seemed distant—like a memory that chases along the edge of your mind but won’t let you fully grasp it. She smiled, and there was no fear in her eyes, so I figured I was going to live. I smiled back at her, then suddenly realized the pain was gone. My smile slipped into a frown as I thought, meds… they’ve got me all doped up. Her smile remained, and I could see so much love in her beautiful brown eyes. I wanted to be angry about the drugs, about being in a hospital, but her eyes wouldn’t let me. I hadn’t even noticed she was holding my hand until she squeezed it ever so gently and said, “I’ll leave you two to talk.” She leaned in and gave me a quick kiss on the lips, and when she raised up her eyes glistened with tears, but her smile never faltered. “You’re anointed,” she whispered; something we’d been telling each other every morning for more years than I could remember. When she turned and walked toward the door, He was standing there.

He had a lopsided grin on his face and in His eyes was something I’d never seen before but knew in an instant was the greatest love I would ever know. And, somehow, I could almost fathom the deepness of it but not quite. It was so close, but yet, not close enough to touch.

Jesus kissing childI spoke quietly. “Are you going to heal me?” His expression—the grin—never changed and in an instant, He was leaning over me. His lips touched my forehead and it was like a butterfly lighting for a split second then floating away on the breeze. But it wasn’t a butterfly floating, it was me.

Love, joy and peace washed over me like a million of His butterfly kisses, and pain was but a vague memory. Yes… like a memory that chases along the edge of your mind but won’t let you fully remember it.

In a while that had no length we stood before a brilliant light that glowed in every direction. It filled all time and space and seemed to have within it every color imaginable. And then Jesus spoke. “Father, Charles is here.”

I was home.

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The Rest of the Story

Okay, it was a beautiful day, and playing golf was almost a necessity. I love to take pictures while I golf and share them on Facebook with all my friends and family. Some of them—mostly those that work during the day—aren’t as appreciative of the beautiful pictures and funny quips attached to them as others but, hey, you can’t please everybody all the time.

orange ballSo yesterday, I posted this picture of the brightest orange golf ball I’ve ever seen (the picture doesn’t do it justice) and said some funny things about it. It’s a good thing I took the picture, because I put the ball in a water hazard a few holes later. (It would have stayed in the fairway if it hadn’t hit that tree.) Anyhow… here’s the rest of the story:

I found the orange ball behind the third tee box, which happens to have a major thoroughfare running behind it. The ball surprisingly was inside a bank bag. Yep. One of those big ones that looks like a canvas trash bag. I’m sure you’ve seen them in a movie—or cartoon—on TV. It had the name of a local bank on it, so after I finished my round (by the way, there wasn’t any money in it) I drove down the street behind said third tee box to see if there was a branch of the bank nearby. Sure enough, at the first big intersection, there it was.

So… being the upstanding citizen I am, I pulled in and walked into the bank with the bag. They must’ve all thought I was somebody important, because every teller and two guys sitting at desks immediately began to stare at me. A couple of the gals looked scared, which I could not make sense of. I’m not the handsomest fella you’ll run into but jeez, y’all.

I didn’t notice the security guard when I went in, but he was suddenly behind me, and had a gun in my back. “Don’t move,” he said. I moved.

Not only did I move, I yelled, “Bank robbery!” then turned and slapped the gun out of his hand. He lost all his nerve at that and ran out the front door waving his arms. My first thought was he wasn’t much of a bank robber, and then I grinned, thinking, what kind of idiot wears a rent-a-cop uniform to rob a bank. Amazingly—much to my delight—a police car slid to a stop in front of the bank, and two cops jumped out. Nice! I thought. They got him before he could get away. Imagine my confusion when the cops ran right past the robber and busted in the door pointing their guns at me. I thought maybe they’d seen another robber behind me, so I turned and looked toward the teller windows. Everybody was gone. I found out a few minutes later they were still there, but they’d ducked down behind the counter, and the two guys at their desks had crawled under them.

One of the cops yelled, “Freeze!” The other one shouted, “Don’t move!” Then the first one said, “Drop the bag!” And the second one said, “Put your hands in the air!” Seemed they might’ve done this before. They were very well rehearsed.

I turned around to face them and said, “You talkin ta me?” In what I thought was a good Italian accent. They were not amused.

It took some doing, but I finally convinced them I wasn’t a bank robber, and after a trip to the station where they fingerprinted me and told me not to leave town, they let me go. So… if you want some good advice; If you find a bank bag on the golf course—anywhere for that matter—leave it there.

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The Day Will Come

Walking with JesusIn the early first hours of the day God speaks to me silently from His heart to mine.  In those precious moments I feel like a child on my Father’s knee, my head against His chest, listening to the sound of His loving heart. And as I go into the day, where I’m often quickly swallowed by the cares and turmoil of this world we live in, I hold tight to His hand, as a toddler holds his father’s hand. I feel His presence—His hand on my shoulder—every minute of every day.

The day will come when all this is true. Perhaps not while I inhabit this body and dwell on this earth, but it will come. He tells me this in the morning and it causes me to sing for joy and be glad all my days.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14

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Life is Hard… then… You Die

I put this was post on my blog four years ago, and for reasons I can’t explain five people have visited it today. This happens now and then, and I always wonder why. In any case, I thought this one worth reposting. Because… like each of you… it matters.

Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still... and know that I am God"

Billions and billions of men and women have passed their time on this earth with no distinction, living lives of quiet desperation. They exist, with all their passions and loves, dreams and pains, and then…

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All These Things

Jesus hugGod wants us to be at peace with Him and each other, and to be so, we must first seek His wisdom and heart. Matthew Chapter 5—often referred to as the beatitudes—seems designed to guide us to the wisdom that comes from knowing and loving God. God desires for us to be in Him, Him in us, being loved by Him, and loving Him.

In Matthew 6:33, Jesus says, “But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  The emphasis in those words should be on the word “all”. When we seek God, He will make us all He intends us to be, and we’ll become peacemakers, not because we desire peace, but because He desires it.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9

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Run For Cover!

chickenWhen danger or inclement weather is near, baby chicks run to the shelter of their mother’s protective wings, where she keeps them safe from harm. A mother hen would never consider leaving her chicks unprotected, and God, too, is faithful to cover us, provide us refuge, and be our shield and fortress.

God is faithful to protect and shield us, but He can’t do so if we don’t let Him. Too many times, we retreat within our problems, trying to solve them on our own. Like baby chicks when a storm gathers, we should run to Him at the first sign of trouble.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4

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