Dear Family and Friends,
Though there has been a lot of snow around the country in the past week, including here in North Carolina, we are in awe that Spring has arrived. We are down to less than four months before Dennis retires from the school system and we move to Franklin, NC, to begin our next assignment. So moving is not such a huge job, Jeannie has vowed to pack five boxes a week and she is on track with that. The house is looking pretty bare! We turned our second bedroom into a second storage unit. Dennis was using that room as home recording studio, but we recently moved his equipment to our bedroom to make room for more boxes. He continues to write songs, so we will leave his pianos and microphone up until the last minute.
Along with the recording equipment, Jeannie's computer will stay hooked up until the lights go out in our Hickory house. She has the first two tales of Book III in her Tresia series finished, and she should have the writing portion done by moving day, July 1. She will edit and work with her illustrator and publisher over the summer and fall, to add the finishing touches. If you remember the free ebook we told you about in our Christmas newsletter, "The Truly Excellent Scepter," you will be glad to know that a print version of that short ebook will be placed at the beginning of Book III. Jeannie knows that many people still like a real book or don't have the hardware to download books, and she didn't want them to miss out on that story. Especially since it is a bridge between Book II and Book III. So both will be available in late fall, 2018.
If you received this newsletter, you are on that mailing list, but if you would like to receive Jeannie's weekly blog posts also, sign up for that on the blog page. Check out the Ministry Page for more photos of our ministry property, like this one. Our camper will sit at the top of that hill! We will be at the campground in Franklin for a while after we move from Hickory, but hope to take the camper to the property this fall. We will have updated contact info for you by our next edition of MountainView Moments.
Dennis finished up his last basketball season and has begun baseball season. This will be his second year as the Firebird baseball coach. He enjoys being involved again in a fun childhood pastime, but basketball will always be his favorite sport. Whether it's coaching or watching, he is happy, especially during March Madness! He started over with his bracket already, as did most folks. Lots of surprises in the early rounds.
Dennis has begun the process of packing up his office at school. Lots of memories from both Challenger Early College High School here in Hickory, NC, and Shawnee Heights High School in Tecumseh, KS. He has enjoyed his assignments as vocal music teacher, counselor, and coach, but is excited about pursuing the recording studio dream the Lord has given him. His new songs are stacking up as well, and we will see what God has in mind for our music. As always, we listen for His leading and instructions, but we realize he gives us words and music to share. We aren't ready to tell you everything we want to do at Macs MountainView Ministries, but we (and the Holy Spirit) are working on the list. Our slogan gives you the best hint at the direction God is taking us, "A Resting Place Where Books and Songs are Born and Shared." Not only a place for us, but a place to help others who are working on their own assignments. Please pray with us that God's purposes for this ministry will be revealed, pursued, and fulfilled. We can't wait to get started! We'd love to hear from you and find out what God is doing in your lives.
Dennis and Jeannie
Merry Christmas to all our family and friends!
At times, this year has gone agonizingly slow waiting for Dennis to retire, yet here we are in December, counting down the days until we again celebrate the birth of Jesus. We enjoy everything that goes along with the holiday season, but Christmas is especially dear to Jeannie as it is also her spiritual birthday. This year marks 54 years since she knelt in front of the family Christmas tree on Central Park Street in Topeka, KS, and asked the Lord Jesus to come into her heart. The Macs used to sing the song, "I Came to Love You Early." That truly was our testimony. Dennis came to know the Lord at a young age, and Stacie was only four when she said the prayer of salvation. To us, Jesus is truly the Reason for the Season.
Though we enjoyed our time at the camp in TN, it has been wonderful to stay in NC, getting to know our new town and surrounding area. Jeannie is already stocking two "Little Libraries" in the neighborhood, and Dennis has enjoyed getting to know our new neighbors as they have helped to clear our land. We look forward to being close to our new "home" every weekend (when Dennis doesn't have a Friday night game, or the temps don't fall below freezing too far.) We are anxious to explore southwestern NC, and the North Georgia mountains which are only twenty minutes away. These elk, who live near the entrance to Smoky
Jeannie would like to announce a few Christmas sales on her Tresia books. As you can see from the banner, her short eBook, A Glimpse: The Truly Excellent Scepter, is FREE again on Amazon, December 1-5. She is currently working on Book III, but took time out to write this short story. It is for those who have read the first two books, and for those who haven't, but wonder about her imaginary Tresia universe. By reading this free eBook, you can see what it is all about, without committing to buying the books first. But hopefully that's exactly what you will want to do after reading it! You may find that Tresia is very familiar in many ways to the world in which we live. Middle-graders through senior adults have enjoyed Trinity Tales of Tresia. Also, the eBook editions of Books I and II will only be $1.99 each from December 15-22. If you have been thinking about a new Kindle, Nook, or other e-reader for yourself, your kids, or grandkids, this Christmas would be the time to buy one and download these three books for Christmas giving! Of course, if you are like Jeannie and still love the feel of a real book in your hands, she will have a print edition giveaway on Facebook before Christmas. If you are on Facebook, check out her author page at www.facebook.com/jamcphailbooks so you don't miss out. (And please "Like" her page.) Or if you aren't a Facebook person, you can go to her website, click on Links, then Alliteration Alerts, and read all her weekly Facebook posts. Then email her that you visited the website, and she will include you in the drawing for free books! (Please forward this newsletter to anyone in your address book, especially those who know us, or may be interested in our books and songs, so they can subscribe to the newsletter on the website. Word of mouth is our best promotional tool and we appreciate your help to spread the word so much.)
Dennis is in the middle of basketball season, and as counselor, will be busy with end of semester testing soon. This week, he will also conduct the Firebird Chorale in the Winter Concert at Challenger Early College High School. He has enjoyed all the "hats" he wears, coach, counselor, and vocal music director, but he is looking forward to more time for songwriting and developing his recording studio. Macs Music is his dream, and he is already spending as much time as he can in the home studio in our spare bedroom. It's even how he winds down from a basketball game! God gave him a love for teaching and kids, but his love of writing and recording music is growing every day. Now, if Jeannie can just talk him in to making a CD with the Music of Tresia...! The video book trailer that he did for her earlier is updated and posted on her website. Dennis wrote the background music for the video and if you haven't seen it yet, or want to again, take a look and listen.
It's been quite a year for the Macs, as we PREPARE, (my 2017 word of the year,) for all that comes next. We are daily amazed at the Blessings God has given. Not surprised, just amazed. Christmas brings many memories, and we wanted to share these two photos of our last Christmas together at Dollywood five years ago. Stacie had no hair under that fuzzy cap, but she certainly rocked her hats!
This old song comes to mind more and more:
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
in the light of His Glory and Grace."
We pray your Christmas and New Year be filled with God's never-ending love, peace, and joy.
Dennis and Jeannie
Dear Family and Friends,
Since our first Summer Edition of MountainView Moments was sent out in June, Dennis has become quite adept at technical artistry. In our Special Edition earlier this month, you saw his efforts on Jeannie's behalf to create a video book trailer for her new ebook. Now we have a brand new digitally created logo for Macs MountainView Ministries. You may recognize both the "M" mountain view that God created on our future ministry property in Franklin, NC, as well as the McPhail tartan in the foreground. The Macs used this tartan for the cover on our product table. Stacie discovered it at a local Scottish shop and it was her idea to buy the material and use it for our singing ministry table. We chose the Old English font to embroider our name on the tartan. Jeannie has continued to use the tartan in promotional tools for her writing, and recently Dennis taught himself how to incorporate it into our logo using a graphics program on his computer. We are thrilled with the result of combining the old with the new for our new ministry logo.
Jeannie wants to thank everyone who downloaded her newest ebook, "A Glimpse: The Truly Excellent Scepter," during the free Amazon promotion at the beginning of September. If you missed it, you can still get it for $.99. There will be future free promotions and we will let you know when those are available. She has begun the writing process on Book III. Jeannie is looking forward to this last installment in the Trinity Tales of Tresia trilogy which will be available in 2018. Now, she has a favor to ask those of you who have read any of her books. If you would take a few minutes to submit a review on Amazon, it would be much appreciated. Reviews are what regulate the rankings and how much Amazon will help promote a book, so the more reviews the better. Even "I liked it!" will work. Thanks in advance for your help with this. Here is the link to J.A.'s Amazon Author Page where all five of her books are listed: Visit J.A's Amazon Author Page
Dennis is gearing up for his last basketball season at Challenger Early College High School by holding a few open gyms for potential team members. He is excited for the season to begin, and though he hasn't said it will be the end of his coaching career, Coach McPhail is looking forward to a 2018 retirement from full-time teaching, counseling, and coaching in the public schools. His main interest and God-given assignment for retirement in Franklin, is to keep writing new songs, which he has been doing a LOT lately! Along with writing, he will establish his own recording studio where he will be able to record demos for his own original songs, provide an outlet for others to record their music, and even help authors make audio recordings of their books. Lots of possibilities for Macs Music Publishing and Recording Studio! And if he has a summer basketball camp or helps out a local team somewhere close, it will be icing on the cake.
Our ministry verse is Jeremiah 29:11. A favorite writer, Rick Renner, shed some light into the Greek meaning of the word "plans" in this well-known and beloved verse of scripture. In the Greek, it's more than just ideas or possibilities God has planned for us. It means His unique and intricately woven pathways created individually for his children. Knowing that, how could we do anything else but follow Him?
Dennis and Jeannie