A Saint from the Other Side

One thing I thought I would never do is talk to dead people. I often, not to anyone’s face of course, thought when relatives, co-workers and friends said someone from the other side had spoken or visited with them, that they were exaggerating or simply not telling the truth. After all, what sane person talks to dead people? But now I have another take on the entire matter. Having lost a dear friend, to me—a sister, a few months ago, every now and then I find myself out loud having a conversation with her. And, despite how crazy it sounds, it is very therapeutic. Now, I will say, while I was talking, I went between talking with her and Jesus—we were having a three-way! Now, when someone says they were visiting with a saint from the other side, who am I to say they aren’t.

Happy New Year!

Yes, I realize that my greeting is late; past the first quarter, past my birthday, past the crucifixion, past the resurrection, past winter and hopefully now spring. But it is a new year-already bursting with joy, happiness, and pain and lost. I am glad to be here, nevertheless the lost of love ones leave a void which cannot be filled. What became real to me this year is the scripture, though the outward man perishes, the inward man is being renewed day by day (2 Cor. 4:16). Only those of a certain age, and that are at peace with their age, can readily admit this.
Recently, my friend Pat Gray went home to be with Jesus. My soul and spirit felt the blow of this sudden and unexpected loss. To me in a sense this also embodies the outward man perishing. I miss Pat! I regret that I could not say goodbye. Pat was such a private person; and few people, ones we mutually knew, were allowed into her real secret chamber. Losing Pat makes me look at death in the eye, and that is okay. I know that only God and time will make the heart ache less.
Today, I must love more. I must be more patient. Compassion should be my best friend. Peace should be my amour bearer; listening should be my default; bearing other’s burdens should be my life.
We will talk later.


There are some friends, relationships and experiences, which are sometimes intended for only brief moments, and are not necessarily for a lifetime: but some of them are sorely missed, especially relationships that for one reason or other shined as a bright lights in dark places. One must glean from these experiences the treasures that God wants them to have. And be joyful and glad that these relationships were placed before them and are special to them. And whether lost through death, divorce, distance; or just mere busyness, greater responsibilities and priorities; or just end (never understanding why); just know that they are–and you are–richer for having experienced each another. So please, no sadness, no remorse; God is merely making room in your life for unexpected, unusual and greater blessings; received them with an open heart and mind. Bring forth the light. Hallelujah!

I am a songwriter, not an artist….really?

I have never considered myself a singer. A writer yes. An actress – perhaps – but a singer – unh-unh. Nevertheless, by default this is exactly where I am finding myself. Who would have known? Who could have known, save Jesus? As an artist there is so much more to consider, because you cannot hide behind anyone, you are out there on your own. I feel as though I really don’t want to be here, but if I leave then I will regret that I never tried. And I feel so awkward, uncomfortable, but that is how I understand success sometimes feel. However, I am asking myself, well aren’t you a little dated to be just getting started with  this? And all I can say is yes, but…I can do all things through Christ. Don’t you think you will appear a bit foolish for trying this now, but… God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. I decided if a song is never purchased or listened to, at least I did it. I left a legacy for my children, and my children’s children. I feel that somewhere down the line, after I am long gone, one of my daughters or sons will say, “Look what grandma Mat-Mat did.” And they will treasure it in their heart, and that will be very, very good!

I am quite geeked though because someone in UK purchased an MP3 of God’s song – Like You Jesus – WOW!!!!!!

Check it out! http://cdbaby.com/cd/madelynbanks


I have not been here in a minute!

We can make a decision to think upward versus downward. It is totally up to us. We can choose coping mechanisms for life difficulties and hiccups, that are positive versus negative. We can choose to accept that life is not necessarily fair, but God is. We can yell and scream and holla because the past threw us a few curve balls. But I believe that the suffering of the this present time are not worth comparing to the glory that one day shall be revealed in us. Isn’t God cool?

I cannot see tomorrow, only God can, but I proceed with great expectation by His grace!

Wow it has been a minute!

A lot has been going on. Well it seems like a lot! I am in school full time now, I have full time mom responsibilities, and all the other stuff! I have not written a term paper in like – what thirty years or something. So having three in front of me is a daunting task. Like give me a boring subject and expect me to write 3000 words? It’s been difficult, but I am getting it done.

I have been a little down and out, maybe it’s the dang Chicago weather! I need a little sunshine in my life. I am working to make life a little more interesting but it has been a challenge for me lately. I feel like I am a triangle lately, trying to fit into a square. I have been in back in Chicago for 5 plus years, and I am getting an itch to move someplace! Not back to LA, just someplace. Hummmmm

I had to put my book on hold, until I can get these term papers done – whew. But please folks hold me to getting it completed before the year ends. School is out in about 4 weeks, so I will get it done.

I cannot believe it is almost Christmas!!!! I purchased my first gift last week. So it’s real! It is after midnight so I gotta to.



I can’t believe it’s been so long since I have been here!

All that I can really say is this: After all that I have been through…I still have…

It’s been rough this last month. So many changes and responsibilities, and blessings! After each one I preached to myself and noted – After all that I have been through…I still have peace of mind, patience, endurance, long suffering…JOY!!!!!!!

I am happy to say the 2nd edition of my book “Just me…Discovering Life through Creative Expressions” will be ready soon! I will be looking for your support!

Friendship is so important. Do not take it lightly – real friends are hard to find. If you find them – keep them! Do not expect perfection in friendship, it is unrealistic and unavailable. Please take friends as they are, because they have to put up with you too! Me included. People tell me I say what I think and that it’s a little much.  So I am trying to speak little as not to offend anyone….pray my strength in the Lord. At least you will always know where I am at. I wear my heart on my sleeve, my face tells the whole story. I am not adept at hiding my feelings…the good thing is that I do not mean anyone harm…only good.

Let God be praised brothers and sisters.

Don’t get me wrong

I love Him more than anything…….Yet I desire more….I cannot exactly put my finger on it…but more! Most Ordinary Really Extraordinary – More!!! But I am relieved that He is the head of my life! The undisputable treasure of my life! Wow – I could not love Him more….I wish I could do better – be better. Impact the world better for Him. I see so many lost. It’s so interesting that the “world” makes that which (witch) is clearly wrong right, and that which is clearly right wrong. OMG!

Because of Love

Imagine losing someone dear to you in a horrific manner. Imagine as a tribute to them, every year on the anniversary of their death, the details were played out as a dramatic presentation, for all to see.

I would find that hard to bear. I would consider that a cruel and hurtful thing for someone to do. Instead, on the anniversary of the day I lost someone precious to me, I want to remember what they gave me, both intangible and tangible. I want to mimic some of their ways, and philosophies that I admired and treasured while they were with me.

This leads me to the question, how do you feel about Christians crucifying Jesus every Easter? Not only once, but probably several hundred times, and all over the world! They reenact the scene on the cross. And because of technology, and the fact that many actors are active members of their respective churches, the dramatization is very realistic. Almost too much so!

We are made in the image of God, our bodies are his temple. So put yourself in our Father’s place. While, I believe he wants us to remember and honor the cross and what it represents, does he want to see his dearly beloved Son, crucified over and over again, year after year?

 You see the problem is that we spend most of the Easter service reenacting the death of Jesus, and usually only the last few minutes are dedicated to the resurrection. I feel there is so much we are missing about the message of the Gospel of Jesus. Since we see this every year, my worry is that are we becoming desensitized to the real meaning of the cross. I am not saying that this is wrong. If God has truly place in your heart that this is the way to honor what Christ did, do what you do.

 But I say, let’s not put Jesus on the cross every year. We do that enough when we sin effortlessly every day. I think to honor Christ’s death is to remember his life.

 Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.

Still walkin’

Today went really well! I found this new way to make tacos! I take a romaine lettuce leaf, and Market Fresh Salsa brand from Walmart (only 5 calories per serving) and pan-fried tilapia fish (cooked in a non-stick skillet and sprayed with olive oil). I season the fish with a bit of salt, pepper and garlic powder. Once the fish is cooked, I spread out the lettuce and put in a piece of fish, and the salsa – roll it up like a taco and boy was it tasty! And low-calorie!

I am still moving, walked only a mile today though.  Want to dance to a really fun video!  Try Billy Blanks Jr., at Comcast – On Demand. He is a hoot!  I’ve lost 4 pounds so far!