What the?

If you came here for whatever reason, you're probably expecting content, and I'm not giving it. I'm sick. My son is sick. My wife is having contractions. Stuff is still happening, though. I'll fill you in at some point. JM



I hate feeling stressed. I am right now. I'm going to bed. I'll get back on schedule with posting tomorrow. JM


Working For The Weekend

Another day in the office - for the CATS!!

Here's Bob hard at work looking over this quarter's numbers. With a high-stress job like that, no wonder he has a good stiff drink at the ready!

And of course there's a Frank in every office - always on a break. Get back to work Mr. Silly Whiskers!! JM

The Basement

I used to wonder what Frank & Bob did in the basement. Now I know thanks to some intense photojournalism.

Here's Frank doing his evening workout. Evidently tonight was a "legs" night.

And of course, the ever-safety-conscious Bob is ready at the fire extinguisher. I sleep well at night knowing that Bob is always at the ready!! JM


Old House

Hopefully we'll be in a new house soon. The lady that looked at our house for the second time tonight said that she would like to write a contract on it. So she's going to get her pre-approval and maybe we'll have an offer come over fairly quickly. Now we need to pray that it's for enough money. JM

The Kids Room

So Noah and Ana share a room right now. Once we get into our own house, they'll probably still do that until Brooklyn gets old enough to share a room with Ana.
This is Ana's dresser and the kids closet. The fan is in there to generate white noise and help the kids sleep.

This is Ana's crib. We're debating moving her into the toddler bed that we have, but we'll probably hold off for a couple more weeks, especially if our house sells soon.

And here's Noah's dresser and bed. Really it's all the space we need. It's amazing how much space and stuff we think we need, when really you can get by with so much less. JM


Acts 14:1-7

Sometimes the best thing to do is run away. Yes, God can work a miracle and help you stand up against insurmountable odds, but if He's not in the fight, you're just going to be a needless martyr. The hard part is determining when to stand and fight and when to run away. JM

Prayer Request

Wednesday night someone is coming to look at my house for the second time. This person sounds very interested and they love the house. It sounds like they want to take their time on making the decision, though. Please pray that they still like the house when they come through again and that they will feel compelled to make an offer that we can accept.
Oh, and if you would like to buy a house in the Newnan, GA area, buy this one. JM

Family Room

So this is our family room. The only part not pictured is the toy closet and the TV. We chose not to have cable hooked up to the TV to save us a couple of bucks a month and because we mainly hang out downstairs.

This is part of the toy corner. The futon acts as our couch and the wicker chair is just uncomfortable additional seating. We store some toys under the futon so that it doesn't feel crazy cluttered in there.

This is the other corner of the room. The TV is to the right of the dollhouse. Underneath the futon you can see Noah's racetrack and Ana's doggie is sitting on the end of the futon. We're not in here a ton, but it's a nice little place to go if we need to get our family alone for a little while. JM


Acts 13:40-52

Any time we present the gospel we kind of have this expectation that the person will commit their life to Christ and if they don't, then we obviously failed. We leave no room for the Holy Spirit to invade someone's life. We want to see the results immediately.
I think that makes God feel like some guy who's doing tricks. We say the magic words, and then BOOM, the person gets saved. I'd rather take that conversation and build on it while I share life with somebody. To me, that seems like the better way to make disciples, to really care about them. The other way seems more like all I care about is myself and getting another tick mark on my salvation wall. JM

New House

Over the next couple of days, I'll post pictures of my current living situation. It's really not that bad since my in-laws live in a big house. We occupy three of the four bedrooms - one that Noah and Ana share, one that Eryn and I share, and one that we use as a family room.
This is our master bedroom. It's pretty much just a bed, a closet, and a dresser, but that's all you really need.

And this is the dresser in our bedroom. We went from a fairly large dresser and a large walk-in closet to a medium sized dresser and a regular sized closet with sliding doors, so it's a little bit tight, but it definitely works. It definitely forces us to be more organized because things can get messy quickly. JM

New Books

I'm going to order some books tomorrow. I haven't been reading, and it's definitely throwing off my creativity and inspiration. I would borrow books, but then I can't underline and use the book, because I have to give it back.
I'm already way behind on my book reading plan for the year. I should have already finished my second book, and I haven't even started my first. Time to do some catching up. JM

Acts 13:14-39

We don't like to wait. We're impatient people. We're an impatient society. The drive-thru lane at McDonald's isn't fast enough for us to get our food.
Then we translate this impatience over to our relationships. We don't want to wait. We want to get out of it what we're going to get out of it right then and there. Even if we want to help, we want to do it right then and there. We don't want to have to stick around. We will stay around, but only if it's by our choice, not by necessity.
But the biblical example seems to be to wait for the opportunity to share. To wait until we're asked. And you can't be asked to share if you don't wait around for people to do the asking. You have to wait for the awkward pause. For the tension to mount. For people to desire to have the spiritual conversation. But it's the waiting part that is so hard. JM



I live with two cats now. From time to time I'll document the amazingly cute (sarcasm) things they do. Here's cat number 1, Frank:

And here's cat number 2, Bob:

It's so cold here right now, Bob sat on the air vent. I bet he had some toasty buns!! JM

Being A Minister

Being a pastor is awesome, but it's such an immense responsibility. Tomorrow morning I will have 80 middle school students looking at me to show them how they can commune with the God who created them. Sure, most, if not all of them are there for other reasons, but it's my job to foster in them a passion for God. How cool is that?! How scary is that?! I love it. JM


I never see movies. Now there are two that I want to see. Cloverfield and this U23D thing. How could anybody not enjoy this, it's a U2 concert shot in 3D and thrown up on a massive screen. I'll have to check the IMAX schedule so I can get in there and hum along to the bassline. JM

Acts 13:4-13

In every spiritual conversation there is something pulling people away from truth. Whether it be their own selfish desires, the lies that they've been told, an emotional attachment to or detachment from something, etc. It's kind of the evangelist's (Christian's) job to call it like it is and make sure that the person sees the lies as lies and the truth as truth. We may not have to blind somebody to do it, but I bet Paul enjoyed dishing out what he had to endure. JM


Love Rediscovered

This seems like such a cool story to me. It's like so unbelievable that it could even happen. For 60 years this couple was separated in Russia, not knowing where the other was. Then they run into each other by chance.

When Anna Kozlov caught sight of the elderly man clambering out of a car in her home village of Borovlyanka in Siberia, she stopped dead in her tracks, convinced her eyes were playing tricks.

There, in front of her, was Boris, the man she had fallen in love with and married 60 years earlier. The last time she had seen him was three days after their wedding, when she kissed him goodbye and sent him off to rejoin his Red Army unit.

This would be a great movie. I'll take my wife to see it when it comes out. JM


It's really rare that I want to see a movie, but this one looks so cool to me, especially after reading what other people think about it.


Acts 13:1-3

God likes to speak to people who are worshipping him. I think that's one of the coolest things about worship. Not only do you get to serve your creator, you get to commune with him on an intimate level. I like to think of worship as a two-way conversation where we are showing God how much we love him and he is speaking his love and truth into us. That probably sounds kind of weird, but it's an awesome idea to think about. JM

Pet Hair Tumbleweeds

Not that I know anybody that has animals in their house that produce tumbleweeds that roll across their hardwood floors, but I saw this post on how to prevent them and thought of them. Animals should not be domiciled with humans. JM

Acts 12:12-25

It seems like one of the biggest mistakes a dude can make is to not give God proper credit. It's so easy, and yet we so rarely do it. Thankfully, God hasn't struck me down and had me eaten by worms. That would be embarrassing and disgusting. JM


HD DVD vs. Blu-Ray

Ran across this post talking about how the war between HD DVD and Blu-Ray is over with Blu-Ray being the champion after Warner Brothers switched to Blu-Ray. Then I saw something today saying that it's not yet certain because both Microsoft and the porn industry are embracing HD DVD and that the porn industry usually drives home media technology. Not that I'll be buying any kind of HD format player any time soon, or porn for that matter. JM


Every time I see an article about how innovative churches are it seems weird. The church seems to always lag behind secular life, and not just technologically. We're behind socially, culturally, artistically, etc. There are very few truly innovative churches. Love this post by Ben Arment expressing that sentiment. JM

Top 10 Colors

Here's a link to the top 10 fashion colors for spring 2008. I wonder how many of these I can incorporate into stuff that I'm designing. That blue is awesome, so I'll at least use that one. And my wife says I don't know fashion. JM


Acts 12:6-11

So much of what happens when you live a life of faith can't be explained. It doesn't make sense outside of the realm of faith. But it's amazing. JM


Be Realistic

It's great to have hope. World peace. Everybody liking you. Winning the lottery. But at some point you have to be realistic. Some things just won't happen. Evidently the Lakota Indians are unhappy with their treaty and are thinking of reestablishing themselves as an enclave country within the U.S. Here's the money quote:
Hand also expressed hope for ethnic solidarity among the non-European peoples of the world. "All the people of color in this world will go for unity and understanding and peace" if they overthrow the Europeans and establish their own governments, he said.
Never going to happen. JM

Acts 12:1-5

I wonder what the church's prayers were like for Peter. I wonder if they were filled with confidence and hope, or more just simple passionate prayers imploring God to intervene. It's cool to think about the church doing this too as they are spread throughout the city. A lot of times it seems like we think we need to all come together if we want to passionately pray about the same thing. But this group was almost certainly not together (due to persecution) yet they were all praying in concert for Peter. I love the thought that my prayers can have the power to bring God to act. Amazing. JM


Crippling Choices

I've seen this study before about how the more choices people have, the less they are willing to commit to any of them, but wanted to link to it here before I lost it again. I've heard the argument a lot of times that we should always offer more programs so that whatever people want, we offer. Seems kind of backwards to me. I'd rather offer programs that fit what we desire to produce. The goal is life-change not successful programs. JM


Love this post by Kem Meyer that contained this picture of some guys that boxed their work truck in their work area. Great analogy about how we need to evaluate where we are in our context and not just be impressed that we did the job. We can get so consumed with just finishing the job that we forget to evaluate overall progress. JM


I saw two instances of barcode type things being messaged to phones where they are scanned this week. That probably didn't make sense, so here's a link to a guy that did a mobile boarding pass, and a link to the announcement of iphone Starbucks ordering. In both instances you receive a barcode that can be scanned to deliver information, either what you ordered at Starbucks, or your flight information at the airport.
The boarding pass guy wonders how the church could use this for childcare check-in. Sounds cool and would probably be fairly efficient. I know the two things that I'm looking for in a check-in system are safety and efficiency. JM

Random Song

So tonight we went to a birthday party at this Chuck-E-Cheese type place. For some reason for the first 30 minutes we were there I had "God give us Christian homes" stuck in my head. In case your wondering, you sound really cool when you hum that catchy tune. JM

Acts 11:19-30

It's tough to share the spotlight. Especially when you are able to fully utilize the gift that God has given you. Paul and Barnabas were both strong leaders. Both were tremendous teachers and both were passionate about sharing the message Jesus had given. Typically what will happen when you have two people like this they won't work together. They'll appreciate each other, but they don't want to be right next to each other because it's easier if they don't have to share the spotlight. They don't have to work as hard to keep up and it's easy for them to sit back and coast.
One of the things that I love about where I work is that the high school guy is awesome. The kids love him, he speaks well, he's a strong leader, and he's relevant. So I can't just coast along and do as well as he does. God has gifted me in student ministry, but if I want to be successful comparatively, I'm going to have to work hard. It's challenging, but it's so much better. Sort of makes you feel alive. JM



Sorry. My last few days have been pretty busy. I'll catch up tomorrow night on posting. JM


Web Browsers

I hate Safari.  It locks up on me at least once every day.  I'm switching to Firefox tomorrow.  Ugh.  JM

New Shoes

I got new running shoes the other day.  I'm so pumped about trying them out.  I haven't run consistently in years.  I still love it immensely, but struggle to find the time to do it.  Hopefully having new, comfy, squishy shoes will help.  In case your curious, I got the New Balance 767's, my fifth generation of this shoe.  JM

Acts 11:1-18

I think the burden to explain change rests upon the one causing the changes.  A lot of times people who want to implement change just figure that they can go do it.  They think about it for a long time, embrace the idea, and then implement it.  The problem is that other people haven't had the benefit of having that much time.  They have this new information shoved on them all of a sudden and are forced to respond.  
Usually this response will be something like rejection of the change.  But if you take the time to explain the reasoning behind it, help them embrace the idea, and show them why it's happening, people will be much more supportive.  It's just harder to do it that way, but it's a whole lot more productive.  JM



Information is a powerful thing.  It can change our perception of something instantly.  You can be thinking one way about something, and then, all of a sudden, learn something new that completely shifts everything you thought you knew.  Sometimes it's cool.  Sometimes it sucks.  Right now it's the second one.  JM

Nanny 911

I love watching this Nanny 911 show. I think the only reason I like it though is because it shows me that I'm not the worst parent in all of America. I wish that Nanny would tell the parents to just whoop their kids sometimes though. Love this little post by Steve McCollum with the picture above. JM

Acts 10:34-48

Man, I hope I can always stay teachable.  A lot of times guys get into leadership and they lose the ability to learn.  They think they have it all figured out.  And if they don't think that, they act like they have it all figured out.  As if learning something or not knowing something makes them an impotent leader.  I hope I always stay vulnerable about what I don't know and always look to learn something from every relationship that I have.  JM


Defining Success

In life we like to measure our success by what we produce.  In ministry this means that we feel successful when our attendance goes up, or when we feel like everybody likes us, or if we get a raise.  Or we feel like a failure when the opposite of those happens.  
Unfortunately, that's a skewed reality.  Love this post by Craig Groeschel about how we need to view our success in Christ.  Good to remember when you're doing well, or when you're floundering along.  JM


Acts 10:30-33

I think it's interesting that God chose Cornelius because he heard his prayer and saw that he gave to the poor.  It's good to pray.  It's awesome to pray.  But when our prayers are merely requests we shout at God and we refuse to have a relationship with Him or live a life of obedience to Him, I bet he gets tired of granting those requests.  
I hope that God hears my prayers and sees that I'm living a life of obedience rather than just seeing me as some little kid going "gimme, gimme, gimme".  JM


I like to make a lot of resolutions.  Last year I think I made 8 and kept 2.  But that's better than not keeping any.  So:
1. Read 36 books.
2. Post at least 732 times to this blog.
3. Consume at least 2 servings of vegetables every day.
4. Weigh less than 140 pounds.
5. Go on at least one date per month with my wife.
6. Pray earnestly for at least one thing every day.
That's it for now.  JM


Acts 10:24-29

Man, people back in Peter's day had a messed up view of the Gospel.  I'm glad that got changed.  Like before Peter went to visit Cornelius, he thought he shouldn't associate with non-Jews.  It was against the Jewish law.  They were seen as unholy or unclean.  But Peter said God told him that he shouldn't call any person unholy or unclean.
Luckily we're way past that now.  The church accepts everyone.  I know as a Baptist that when we see people of other denominations and other religions and homosexuals and the homeless and people who drink that we don't see them as unholy or unclean.  (Paragraph 2 is sarcastic).
How sad is that.  The lesson Peter learned 2000 years ago we have completely forgotten.  How dare I look at someone as unholy or unclean.  I think only God can do that.  JM