Monday, December 17, 2012


This week, innocent women and children were brutally slaughtered by a madman. How can a just God, how can a loving God, how can an omnipotent God allow such a thing?  How can we trust such a God, or even believe in such a Being?  We cry to God, "How can You allow this to happen?"  And He answers, "I did not do this, you did.  I gave you free will.  You created a society where guns are easily secured. You created a civilization where graphic, violent videos and movies are everywhere and called entertainment.  You allow all manner of hatred and hostility to pour into homes through the internet in the name of freedom of speech.  You support a culture so dedicated to individual rights that mention of My Name is all but forbidden from public discourse."  God gave us all free will rather than create a world of puppets with no evil. So, we suffer with violence, hatred, and unthinkable crime because we have the power to choose, and many choose evil. But God knows the pain of those parents who lost their precious children far more than we do. He not only watched his only Son be tortured and murdered, He planned it. God ordered the execution of the only Innocent Man to ever walk this earth, His own Son.  God planned the solution for our evil, at His own expense, so that all who believe in Him have far more than a pitiful 5 or 50 or 90 years, but have all of eternity to live in the midst of true love.  Such a guarantee of life does not lessen the pain for those parents, but it opens the door to peace and the promise of being reunited. And that is exactly what Christmas brings, not sentimental carols and happy faces, but the cross. A baby born to die so that we may live. God breaking into our world to rescue us from ourselves and our own destruction.  Christmas, after all, is an awesome miracle of a loving Creator, a very somber plan of sacrifice of His own Son.  God coming to us.  ~ I pray, not that your Christmas be merry, but holy, and His. JBM

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


'Tis the season of busyness, when try as I might to be spiritually focused, my mind races over my to-do list, even as I lie in bed trying to sleep.  Changing jobs in January has only added to my anxiety.  I remember the words of a dear friend several years ago: "Everyone needs a half hour with God every day, unless you are really, really busy,......  then you need an hour."  Truer words were never spoken!  I had begun to use an Advent devotional book over breakfast to help calm and focus me, one that Melissa had used.  Then a friend gave me two more Advent devotionals as a gift. Now there's a message from heaven if ever I saw one!  I now have three devotionals to read over breakfast, stopping my ruminating and focusing on the miracle of God bursting into our human history to save us from ourselves.  So, each day, I will remind myself three times that God waits to burst into my life with miracles, I only have to invite Him in...  Blessings to you this Advent season! - JBM

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Spreading Joy

Yesterday, I picked up a book on my shelf that a student had given me, Addie Johnson's The Little Book of Thank You's.  I wasn't looking for a thank you, but a pick-me-up.  In this book, I had tucked the thank you note that this student had included with the gift: a hand-written treasure far more precious than the price of any book.  She described my impact on the class in such positive terms that reading it again and again puts fuel in my tank to keep nourishing and giving to the world.  Such is the power of sincere, specific, positive affirmation.  Telling someone exactly what you appreciate about them gives the best kind of energy and joy for living, a precious gift of confirmation of their worth and value, a concrete expression of Christian love. Such words take time, effort, careful thought and emotional energy--all precious and scarce resources, making the gift that much  more priceless!  But I can think of no better way to spend my time and energy than spreading such joy!  Melissa  knew this precious talent and left me many wonderful cards and even an "Ode to Mom", now framed on my wall.  These are forever gifts, for they touch our self-esteem, our very souls. So, next time a positive thought crosses your mind about someone, be sure to share the joy with them.  Maybe this blog made you think of someone special in your life?  Write them a note, so they can pull it out and read it again and again to refuel and spread more joy into a hurting world.  Have a great day! -  JBM

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Melissa starts her Prayer Journal  explaining to God: " You need to be my priority because You are the key to the fruitfulness of my life, the preservance of my well-being, and, most of all, the closest to heaven I can get to on earth.....I would be lost without you, and somehow that can slip my mind.  So it's time to prioritize. Come into my heart and stay." Melissa's Prayer Journal, p.4   Melissa knew how much God loved her, how well God cared for her, and how thoroughly God's presence turned her life from suffering to joy.  That full knowledge only came after she really gave her life to God, the night she was diagnoses with cancer and cried out to Him.  We have to take that first step of faith, then we have to prioritize to reap all the abundance in life that God wants to pour out on us!  God is good, all the time. So, spend some time with Him today, and feel real love straight from heaven. Blessings, JBM

Monday, September 17, 2012


Transition is painful.  Change is hard.  We quickly get used to things they way they are and only discomfort will prompt us to make a move.  Fall is a season of transitions, which always make me more anxious. My security gets shaken by change.  I unconsiously worry about my ability to handle new situations.  Melissa had the answer to feeling so threatened: "Lord, let me gaze upon you as I glance at my circumstances." (Melissa's Prayer Journal, p.62.)  I have an index card posted on my kitchen cabinet with a Bible verse: "Set your mind on the things above, not on the things on earth."  (Col 3:2).  Melissa knew that the more we place our security in God's provision and love for us, the less rattled we will be by the white water churning under our feet!  I need a lot of reminders to channel my thoughts in the right direction, but remembering ALL the ways God has provided in the past and continues to bless me every day, helps to really calm me down. So, if you have some threatening clouds over your head or waves crashing around you, keep your eyes on Jesus. Blessings always- JBM   

Friday, July 20, 2012

Who's Making You Crazy?

I have been listening to a series on how to deal with the "crazy-makers" in your life.  Mind you, I consider myself reasonable skilled at interpersonal relations, and actually have decades of evaluations as evidence for that statement, but this series of classes are amazing.  So, I emailed almost everyone I know to tell them about it.  The feedback from everyone who has viewed these free online classes has been widely enthusiastic and overwhelmingly positive.  The series can be found on my favorite online spiritual nourishment source: Saddleback Church.  (If this link doesn't work for you, go to,  click on "media", click on "archived services", and click on the "all" tab. Also available through a free app for iPhone or iPad).  Take a look at the topic titles and start with one that hits you, like "resolving conflict".  But they are all well done, excellent mental health and relational health solid content with a spiritual foundation.  No one asked me to plug this series, by the way. I honestly just want to share valuable resources with everyone. So far the content most helpful to me has been: how to handle people who manipulate you with their anger, expressing my anger in healthy and helpful ways rather than destructive ways, and setting clear boundaries.  Melissa was amazing at her ability to practice these things.   She writes in her Prayer Journal how she handled a difficult conversation tactfully and the response was perfect, which she attributed to being prayerful before the conversation and asking for God's help!  And the Lord came through for her, as her joy in the entry describes!  So, even if you don't take the time to listen or watch these helpful videos, stay prayerful, like Melissa did!  The Lord comes through every time!! - Blessings - JBM

Friday, June 8, 2012

One Minute

I was avoiding God yesterday.  I actually do that quite often, but rarely admit to myself that I am neglecting the Creator and my Savior.  I just make other things more important.  Fortunately for me, the Holy Spirit got through to my brain, and I picked up one of my favorite devotionals, My Utmost for His Highest.  In this short message, I was challenged to take one minute out of an hour to focus on Jesus, and doing so would give me power to do His will.  One minute!  And it's true!  God is so forgiving, so gracious, so eager to meet with us, that even if we just shove Him into one small minute, He is there to strengthen, encourage, and love us.  Awesome.  So, I'm trying to work on that avoidance tendency and fit a 30 second prayer into my day.  I need reminders!  Melissa had a Bible verse posted on her mirror, which is just what I need: visual reminders.  I also need routine!  Prayer with my first cup of tea in the morning.  Prayer as I climb into bed at night.  Living with Jesus has to be part of my daily routine, like brushing my teeth, which is another great time to pray (silently, of course, or the toothpaste gets all over). I feel more happy just thinking about it- taking Jesus with me today.  Hope you have a good day with the Lord at your side, too.  Blessings - JBM

Friday, April 13, 2012


I woke up grumpy yesterday, complaining in my mind of all the chores ahead of me that day and even blaming others that I had to do them.  It was not pretty.  I managed to pray, "Lord, help me to stop whining!"  But the cloud over my head persisted as I entered the kitchen for my tea.  I saw the iPad and grabbed it for a quick spiritual fix:
 40 Days In The Word 
I signed into this series of 10 minute sermons and went to Day 29. The Pastor talked about storms, and how they are suppose to be  in our lives!!  Rain is meant to fall.  You'd think I'd know that by now, right?  But I needed to hear it again. The speaker explained that God's Word is the firm foundation that keeps us upright in floods, the roof that keeps us dry in rain, and the walls that keeps us secure in winds. And by time my dear husband walked into the room, I was smiling. I still had the chores to do, but they were God-ordained, and that made all the difference.  God is building me into His person and giving me His work, which may seem menial to me, but could be changing lives without me even knowing it. I am called to be an  ambassador  for Christ, showing His loving kindness to every person I meet by my reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit.  Without Christ, I'm just my grumpy old self!!  People have no idea how lucky they are that Jesus is in my life!!  So, if you are running into rain today, look for the shelter of God's word and the strength of His presence. Just as Melissa illustrated every day of her fight with cancer, with God, you can handle anything! - Blessings - JBM