Tuesday, January 19, 2016

PBS, CC shows, & The Bluebird....

Hi Friends!            Jan. 19th, 2016

I am sitting in Austin, Tx tonight after a long, but FUN day of rehearsals for the upcoming PBS special, "Christopher Cross and Friends", which we are taping tomorrow night at The Moody Theatre.  I'll let you know when it airs... I heard today it is supposed to air in some markets on March 17th, but I'll try to keep you updated with more info. 

 

I've been really looking forward to this show, getting to sing with not only CC, but Michael McDonald and Mike Love as well... but unfortunately my voice decided it needed a vacation this week, which REALLY has me bummed out.  Laryngitis is NOT something you want to get on a week like this!!   SO... if you're reading this on Jan. 19th or 20th, I'd appreciate a few prayers going up for me!  

In other news.... we have some fun shows coming up with CC in Feb... Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, CA, -  The Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, - Sycuan Casino in El Cajon, CA -- and the Moody Blues Cruise!!  


I'm pretty sure some fun in the sun will be much appreciated by our gang by the end of February!  I hope some of you made plans to join us on the boat!  It's gonna be a BLAST!

AND in March... I'll be joining the FABULOUS Kaci Bolls in-the-round at the BlueBird Cafe on March 12th... also with us will be two amazing and talented guys, Jay Knowles and Fred Wilhelm.   This will be a special night of stories and songs, so please join us if you can!   You can get tickets here:  www.bluebirdcafe.com   


That's about it for now.  I hope you are all having a wonderful start to this new year.  And always remember,  there isn't anyone out there who isn't struggling with something, so when in doubt.. be kind.  

Love and Blessings,
M




Saturday, January 2, 2016

Grey Days.....

Jan. 2nd, 2016 

The sky is a beautiful blue this morning in Nashville..... but we’ve had a lot of gray days lately.  As I look at the dark branches of the trees, stripped of all  their leaves, they stand out to me against the grey skies in a way that I never noticed until February 2013.  That was the month I sat by my mother in hospice as she lived out her last few days. It was grey like this.  And as I stared out her window, I noticed the dark branches against the grey skies.  Sometimes they looked like paintings instead of a real landscape. 

They appeared again in March 2015, as I once again sat looking out a hospice window, this time with my Father.   Now, on grey days, I feel at bit melancholy.  Missing my parents and remembering the trauma of their passing can sometimes still make me stop and catch my breath.  But I’ve also come to feel a peace about their passing.  I believe I’ll see them again and that gives me comfort.  

This was a weird Christmas for me, as it was the first one I ever had without Dad.  But all three of the kids were able to come be here and that helped keep me from feeling too sad and letting the grey engulf me.   As I was driving my husband to the airport on NYE to fly out for a gig in Miami (at 5:30am - #GoodWife), we were discussing the upcoming year and what might be in store for us.   I said, “I wonder what will change?  What will stay the same?   What will we lose?  WHO will we lose?  What will we get?  WHO will we get?”   And I realized that one of the keys to life is being able to GET or LOSE with grace.  Not hanging on too tight to what we have, and accepting what comes our way with gratefulness, no matter what that might look like.  

It’s really hard to believe we are entering the year 2016, but here we are.  I don’t really make “New Year’s Resolutions”, but one thing I AM going to try to do this year is to be more intentional with what I do with my time.  That way I hope I can be more present in the moment with whatever I’m doing and quit constantly multi-tasking.  Cutting back from social media time is one of the things I’m doing, and in my effort to do that, I’m basically shutting down my Instagram account.  I’ll still use it to post pics now and then, but I won’t follow anyone so I won’t be tempted to spend time going through my feed.    That may not sound like a big change, but I believe little changes like that will help more than you think.  One less social media feed I feel I need to check.  And I have learned that for ME, making little changes helps me get to a goal better/quicker than trying to do something radical.  

Been reading Brennan Manning’s “Abba’s Child”.  My good friend Julia Ferrell gave it to me one day and I’ll be forever grateful.  As I go into 2016 I know I’ll be holding on to many truths revealed in this book.   My Dad used to read every day, and I believe it kept his brain sharp right up until he passed last year at 91 yrs of age.  SO….. more reading for ME in 2016!  My brain needs exercise….

2015 was a tough year for me.  But coming through a year like that only gives me confidence to know that I can take on just about anything and get through it.  Adversity does breed strength.  And I’m feeling pretty strong heading into 2016.   I am so grateful to friends and family who stay by my side no matter what…. and for a God who goes before me, walks beside me, and carries me all at the same time.  

Matthew 28:20 - “Know that I am with you always….”   

I believe it.  I know it.  I feel it.  Even on those grey days.  

May you all feel God’s presence guiding you, lifting you, and loving you unconditionally as only He can in 2016.

Much love,
M


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Christmas time's a comin'... and Twelve Against Nature is BACK!

Hi friends....          Dec. 4th, 2015

Last month, I could hardly write my monthly update because of the horrible Paris attacks that were weighing on me.  Now, this month, I'm reeling from the mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA.   Yes, we are living in scary times folks.  If I didn't have my deep faith that God is in control, even though we seem to be out-of-control, and that GOOD will trump over evil in the end, I'd be curled up in a ball in the basement of my home, refusing to come out and see the light of day.   

However, as a Christian, it’s my belief that we are not supposed to live in a spirit of fear.  We are to be bold and brave.   I wake up every day and intentionally choose to have HOPE and JOY even in the midst of world chaos.  I try to find ways to bring that HOPE and JOY into the lives of those around me, and then pray for our world leaders, that they might have their hearts guided to do the right thing. 

As this Christmas season approaches, I hope you can all find ways to enjoy the peace of the season.  Many are dealing with grief this year.  That is in our family as well, with us celebrating the first Christmas without my dear Father.   There will be sad moments and I’m ready for tears to hit at any time.  But as I recall our last Christmas, sitting in the ER with my poor Dad on Christmas Eve and then spending Christmas Day in the hospital, I realize that he truly IS in a much better place this year.  He is pain-free, reunited with my Mom, and walking with our Lord!  How can I be sad about that???   I will raise a glass of wine to toast him this year…. he and Mom will be with us in spirit… and we will be happy for whatever blessings come our way.   And we ARE a blessed family. That I know.

I’ve seen many people complaining on social media lately about people saying they are “praying” for those who are going through hard times, or being affected by tragedy.  Many think it’s a hollow statement.  I guess if someone says it and doesn’t really MEAN it, then yes, it’s hollow.  But I covet prayers from my family and friends.  I know that the Lord hears those prayers and I have felt lifted up… in times when I know I should have been crumpled up in a ball….and I know it’s because people were praying for me and God answered those prayers by giving me peace that passes all understanding.  When you find yourself in those moments, you can’t help but realize there is a greater force out there lifting you up.  It’s powerful.  It’s real.   And I thank each of you that have been praying for me and my family throughout this difficult year of grieving.

I have one more show this year… our annual “Twelve Against Nature”/ “Make Me Smile” holiday extravaganza at 3rd and Lindsley this Thursday, December 10th.


  You can get tickets here:  Twelve Against Nature/MMS tickets  If you love the music of the bands “Chicago” and “Steely Dan”, you won’t want to miss this fantastic annual show!  

After that show, I'm going to shut it down until January and relax a bit with my family and friends.  I truly hope everyone also makes time to slow down and enjoy family and friends this holiday season.  Relationships are what life is all about.  There is nothing more important.
I am grateful for you all…. have a Merry, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  

Much love,
M



Saturday, November 14, 2015

I'm at a total loss.....

Hi friends....          

It's hard for me to gather my thoughts this morning as I have the tv on, listening to the latest information about the horrible terrorist attacks in Paris.   It's hard to really fathom how so much hatred can be harbored in the hearts of those terrorists.  All I know is that we CAN'T hate back.  We can't let FEAR control our emotions to the point that we become like them; People filled with hate for other people who think and act different than us.  I love this Martin Luther King quote: 


Most of you know that I am a Christ-follower.  We are called to be the LIGHT of the world.  We are called to LOVE our enemies.  We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those that are hurting.  And that means ACTION.  Yes, we need to PRAY for those that are being hurt by these horrible acts of terrorism, but we should also find ways to HELP in more tangible ways.  What can we DO?  How can we BE THE LIGHT right now in the midst of this darkness?  What does that truly LOOK LIKE?   ---   The truth is, right now, I have NO IDEA.  I'm at a total loss.  I'm sitting here in my comfy favorite chair, drinking my high-end coffee and watching the horror unfold on my high-def tv and feeling like a schmuck.  I can write about my outrage and anger here on my little blog, and feel like I'm doing something, but I know that it's not enough.  It's a scary, scary situation and it's made even more scary by my lack of ways to stop it or help.  So...for now.... I will pray.  

... and I will pray that God shows me what I can do.  And I will pray that when God shows me what to do, I will have the courage to do it.  And I will remember that God never sleeps... and He IS in the middle of this madness, somewhere.  Amen. 

My friend and current favorite boss, CC is over in France in the middle of this mess.  I am praying he gets out of there ASAP and back home safe and sound.  I would appreciate you joining me in prayer for him... and for all of the people in France who are scared and hurting.  And pray for all the world leaders as they make important decisions on how to move forward today.  

   That's about it for now.... we have some shows coming up, but it seems trivial to talk about those today.  You can always check my calendar for shows that are coming up over at my main website:  www.marciaramirez.com 

Love to you all.... 
M

Sunday, October 11, 2015

October news....

Hi friends....
It's OCTOBER!  My favorite month of the year!  I love everything about this time of year.  Fall, Football, Foliage, Pumpkins and Chili!  What's not to love, right??  

My touring has slowed down and I'm happy to be home for awhile.  Trying to do a little remodel at our house (oh no, THAT'S not stressful AT ALL...ha) AND get some writing done for my long-put-off new CD.  I'm also doing quite a bit of home recording so if you need some bgv's done on your projects, I'm home and happy to do it!  

I'm heading up to Gatlinburg, TN later this month for a weekend writing retreat, and hopefully I'll come off that mountain with a pocket full of new songs to record.  I'm really getting excited about getting back in the studio and sharing some new tunes with you.  I've had a lot on my heart lately, and I figure that writing songs about it is the best way to get my feelings out... so look out world!  HA!

In other news... I recently attended the Chris Tomlin, "Love Ran Red" concert when it came through Nashville!  What an amazing night!  If that tour comes in your neck of the woods... GO!  And prepare yourself for an amazing night of worship.  It was so lovely!

  That's about it for now.... always check my calendar for any new dates that might pop up over at marciaramirez.com  

Love to you all.... 
M

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Christian Bully crisis....

Dear non-believing friends,

I have to start out by apologizing for all the Christian bullies that are being such loud gongs and clanging cymbals right now in America.  (1 Corinthians 13:1 - "If I speak in the tongues of men or angels, but I do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or clanging cymbal.")

 It is genuinely disturbing what is going on.  I can assure you that not all Christ-followers are big bullies.  I have been so hurt by the things I have been seeing on Facebook, and even personally hearing from the mouths of some of my Christian brothers and sisters that I had to take a break from Facebook for a few days.  I was planning to stay off for much longer than I did, but a non-related event got me back on sooner that I wanted to, and actually I'm glad I'm back on.  I missed seeing the sweet life-updates from so many of my friends, and realized that I don't want to let the bullies keep me from missing the good status updates that I love about FB.   Anyway, if these awful attacks I'm seeing on FB towards my non-believing friends are hurting ME, I can only imagine how it must affect them.

I have many non-Christian friends in my life.  The sad realization I have come to recently is that I see more "fruits of the spirit" being shown on a daily basis from them than I do people in my "Christian" circles.  (Galatians 5:22 - "But the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and faithfulness")   I honestly don't know why this is proving to be true, but it is.  Without a doubt.

So again, I apologize for all the Christian bullies out there.  I think they have good intentions, but are using misguided tactics.  
--------------------------------------------------------

Dear Christian friends,

  I beg of you.  Please try to think before you post things on Facebook (or even worse, say things in person) that make non-Christians feel like they are too much of a "sinner" to be invited to Christ's table.  NO ONE is too much of a sinner to get to experience what Jesus is offering.  I am doing my best to try and convince them of Jesus' love, grace and mercy... and you aren't HELPING.  When you post things like:

 "You can be gay, and you can be a Christian... but you can't be gay AND be a Christian!"

You have no idea how that might feel to a gay person who is on the verge of reaching out to Jesus.   I guarantee, you certainly didn't "close the deal" with THAT remark.  EVEN if you believe with all your heart that that statement is true, how can that possibly help win someone over to the kingdom of God that might be struggling with sexual-identity issues?  I guarantee you just shoved them away... and I mean SHOVED HARD.  Now, I'm not saying that you can't post your beliefs on your FB page... but there is a big difference between standing up for what you belief in and attacking someone who doesn't see things like you do or doesn't believe like you do..... big difference.   

When Jesus called on people to follow him, he didn't say "Change first, then follow me"  He just said, "Follow Me".   Jesus knew that when they got to know him, they would understand.  He knew that changes in their hearts would come AFTER they got to know him.   Changing someone's heart is The Holy Spirit's job.  I just want to introduce people to the Jesus that has saved me and changed my life.... and I'd appreciate it if you guys would stop making it harder for me to convince the skeptics that this is a safe place.

I once heard it said that before you speak, you should ask yourself:

1. Is it truthful?
2. Is it necessary?
3. Is it approriate?
4. Is it kind?

Because words can hurt.  Words can heal or they can scar.  It's your choice.  But I guarantee, I know what Jesus chose.  Every single time.  Jesus came to heal.   

So for heaven's sake (literally) Christians... stop bullying my friends!  The bullying I see around me is getting to be of crisis proportions!   You're making it hard for me to convince them that you are someone they would like to get to know.  And you might be the only "face" of Jesus they get to see... so please, please, please....  PLAY NICE and BE KIND.

Thank you....
Love,
M

P.S. -   For more information on how to not be a Christian Bully -- READ THIS. THIS. THIS!  -  "The Sacred Act of Not Being A Jerk."   --- thank you!   :-)