Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gifts from Heaven

I was blessed with a chance to honor Melissa in a dedication ceremony for a terrace in her honor. The whole occasion, although casual and brief, was a big deal in my life.  I crave the chance to talk about my child and hold on to those precious memories, which make her feel closer.  At the same time, the chance to honor her memory brought back to my conscious the pain of not having her here in person.  I found myself back in mild grief: a bit distracted and sad.  When I'm feeling the loss of my precious Princess, God sends me just the encouragement I need.  He is SO faithful!!  This time, the comfort came in the form of a comment by one of the Gordon College professors.  I had recently sent her a copy of Melissa's Prayer JournalShe had replied with a lovely note, but I didn't  really understand her message in writing.   I had to hear her explain in person how much this book helped her in the past two months in order for me to comprehend the power of her gift to me.  She had just lost a family member to cancer.  Melissa's prayers, , Melissa's positive focus, and  Melissa's faith showed her how to deal positively with this horrific loss.  She had read  Melissa's Prayer Journal  several times, because it was so helpful to her.  I was so deeply touched!  Even I under-estimate the power of Melissa's prayers!  But God knows just how He wants to use each of us to touch the lives of others and bring them closer to Him.  My Gracious Lord gave me this encouragement that Melissa's prayers are continuing to touch lives and help people, and the message came just when I needed it: when I was hurting and missing my daughter.  Thank you, Dear God, for all your mercy and grace and love!  Just as Melissa said, "I'd be lost without You.".  Praise our Gracious God! - JB

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Role Model

I had a precious opportunity to honor Melissa in a brief ceremony dedicating a terrace in her memory.  As her friends shared their memories of her, I was struck again by how much she reached out to others, even in the last months and days of her life.  She had a clear mission: to support other people and to share God's love.  She lived this mission at every opportunity until her last breath.  When time gets short, our priorities become more clear, as did Melissa's.  I tend to get so caught up in my own concerns, my own "to-do" list, making it so difficulty to focus on others.  When God places a need in my path, I get frustrated at the interruption of my plans, rather than seeing this opportunity as God's provision for my ministry to others.  Melissa had no such cloudy vision.  She knew every interaction was another chance to give God's love to others, and she made each contact count.... every day she lived. She coped with her lungs filling with cancer by making every day count to bring God's love to a hurting world.  I want my focus to be the same.  I want to realize petty, little worries have no place in my life.  Each day is a precious opportunity to give comfort and love to every person we meet.  I pray for that razor-sharp focus on being an Ambassador for Christ, which only possible through constant connection with the Holy Spirit. So, I'll keep trying to stay connected with prayer, renewed by God's Word, and focused on what really matters: sharing God's love.  Blessings-  JB

Friday, August 5, 2011


I've been struggling with God...... again.  I've actually found myself arguing with Him.  I argue with God fairly often. It gets me nowhere.  I don't recommend it.  This time the struggle is over time.... again.  I want time to do what I want to do.  I fail to recognize His sovereignty in my life to give me time I need to do His will, not mine.  Of course, my failure to acknowledge God's control over my circumstances is just another form of rebellion that I don't want to admit to.  I know in my head that He will provide what I need to do His will.  The hard part is submitting to His plan, not mine!!  I want to accomplish what I want to accomplish and then I'll be glad to do His bidding as well.  The Lord doesn't work that way.  I have to get my head in line with His.  How do I do this?  How do I let go of precious goals and hand them over?   First I choose to obey, secondly, I pray out loud and hand my goals to God and, lastly, I ask for His help with my feelings to follow: His help letting go.  I actually got to a place of peace this week by following that three-step recipe.  Of course,  I have to repeat these steps over and over, because I'm so stubborn and have such a hard time giving things over to the Lord.  I am happy to report that prayer works, again and again.  This is how Melissa was able to give over her entire life,-- how long she had to live, -- even when she had her whole life ahead of her.  Prayer. Asking God to help us to trust.  And He does. So, I'll keep praying.  Hope you do, too!  Blessings - JB