Dear Family and Friends,
Greetings from our camper in Franklin, NC, our new home! We purposely skipped over the first day of summer to send this edition of MountainView Moments, so we could give you a better update on all that has happened over the last month. It has been a whirlwind of activity with lots of work, endings, good-byes, and new beginnings. But we are so BLESSED to have it all behind us and are thrilled to be starting on our next assignment. REFIREMENT! (That’s not a typo. We are fired up!)
We won’t go into all the moving details, but we did it mostly ourselves, so lots of stories! We hired help to clean out the last of the furniture, boxes, and bins at the Hickory house. It took them two hours. It took us eight hours to unload the 20-foot U-haul, plus we had a locking the keys in the U-haul incident besides. The glitch was we couldn’t get everything in the 20-footer. So after unloading the U-haul to storage in Franklin, we took Sunday off and returned with another U-haul trailer to get the rest on Monday. Our house in Hickory is up for sale, so please pray with us for a quick and easy sale. Since we took our time unloading, Jeannie knows where everything is in storage, so that is a good thing, though it was a very long day! The trailer took less time, and no keys to worry about, just HEAVY bins from our basement. After a week, almost everything is in its place here and in storage. Thanks to our friend from Cherokee Bible Church, Robert, our new to us GMC Sierra truck, which was such a God-send for our move, and our Macs trailer are now parked in the lot next door to our camper. The trailer is our walk-in closet! We still have Stacie’s KIA Sportage for touring around the mountains and it fits in front of the camper. Our campground owner, Erin, has been wonderful allowing us to use two spaces. If you are ever in the Franklin, NC, area, Mi Mountain Campground is a great place to stay, and we can be neighbors for a while!
As draining physically as the move from Hickory to Franklin was, we kept these two scriptures in our minds and mouths and they made all the difference! "The joy of the Lord is my strength,"; and "I shall run and not be weary and walk and not faint."; Every time we felt like we couldn’t lift one more bin or box or piece of furniture, out came those verses and we carried on. We proved that if you work the Word, the Word works!
He's enjoyed reading comments and cards sent by former faculty and students that testify to that fact. Since leaving his school office for the last time, he has kept busy helping Jeannie organize the storage and things around camp and cleaning the camper from three years of weekend use. We still have to move things from our first smaller storage unit, so that will keep us busy for a while. They will be divided between a bigger and newer unit and our new barn, the first building on our property!
Jeannie finished writing Book III in her Tresia series before she packed up her computer. We now have internet at camp, her laptop is set up, and she will be working with her illustrator and has begun the editing process needed before sending it to her publisher. The plan is for The Perfectly Magnificent Cane to be released in late October or early November. This is the final book in the Trinity Tales of Tresia series. The next issue of MountainView Moments will give you release information, or you can always check her website for updates and much more. And please know that though this series is for upper middle-grade, many adults have read and enjoyed it, especially those who have kids or grandkids that they pray for.
Jeannie has curtailed her blog, Alliteration A la Mode, (which is in the same format as her former Facebook posts, but now available to anyone on the website,) to once a month instead of once a week. So if you want to have her blog delivered to your email once a month, as well as this newsletter twice a year, (a Spring/Summer Edition and a Harvest/Holiday Edition,) you can sign up for either or both on the website. You must sign up separately for her blog, even if this edition of the MM newsletter came to your inbox because you are already on that mailing list.
Speaking of MM, now you know what our email address stands for, Macs MountianView Ministries. Thanks to the generous help of one of Jeannie's writer friends, Gwen, we were able to keep our email addresses even though Charter does not reach Franklin. So, the only thing that has changed is our mailing address, and we have no home phone now. Be sure to make note of the contact info below. We want to stay in touch. And we are always happy to hear back from you when you read the newsletter.
We aren't sure how long we will be here at the campground, but we are looking forward to our next and final earthly address on the property of our new ministry. We couldn't get a house number until we obtain a building permit, so the campground address is temporary. Phase I of our vision is moving the camper to the land as soon as the driveway, electric, well, and septic, is in place. And there will be a second RV spot for guests! Phase II is Ruby Cabin, a ministry cabin where we will live for a while, but will still be available for guests. We will just move back to the camper for spell if you visit! The walk-out basement under Ruby Cabin will become Macs Music Recording Studio. Dennis is really looking forward to this new assignment and working toward it by writing new songs and studying the recording business. In the mean time he has decided to put coaching on hold, and go into officiating basketball and volleyball to keep up with his love of sports and kids.
Phase III is our new home, Sapphire Lodge. We'll save the details of what else this home will be for another edition. If you have read Jeannie's Tresia books, you will recognize the names Ruby Cabin and Sapphire Lodge. She wrote those into her story before we knew that our property would be on Ruby Mine Creek. We believe it was a God-thing. He cares about every detail of our lives, and we stand on the promise that they "work together for our good when we are called according to his purpose"; God gave us this vision for Macs MountainView Ministries, and He is bringing it to pass step by step. To God be the Glory!
Love and prayers,
Dennis and Jeannie
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