Love’s Anointing

I often reflect on the story of when Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus, anointed Jesus with her costly spikenard.

Did she realize her act of love was the King of King’s prophetic anointing that day?

Jesus knew.

He said simply, “She did what she could.”

Powerful words.

Words I would like to hear Him say.

Here’s a bit of a poem I wrote in memory of what Mary did.

Do What You Can

Mary’s love in that hour, symbolically shown

Was much more than she could have known.

Anoint the Anointed—What a heavenly thought!

He was everything she had ever sought.

She began at the top of His head

And, pouring all, bent down at His feet.

Do it, dear Mary, please do it

Pour it all out on Him

Lavish your best, spare not a drop

Your love is the fragrance that gladdens His heart.

It’s love for love, so do what you can

Give the King the love He is due

And, Mary, you can fill the world with the scent of it too


Deep, Sweet Thoughts of Jesus

Not often enough do we turn our hearts to heaven for the sheer joy of seeing Jesus. We fill our days with trivial pursuits, do we not?

Drink from the fountain, the Life-giving fountain, and fill your thirsty soul with the wine of heaven.

That just bubbled up.

And here’s a practical approach.

Imagine the gospel scene of the wedding in Cana and how Jesus turned gallons and gallons of water into wine. Think deeply about what happened by imagining being there. This is a dynamic, creative way to pray, to turn and see Jesus. Notice everything about Him. Be there.

Our imaginations were made for God above all else. We should invite Him in more often.

Another way to experience being with Jesus is to be more aware of His company. We can converse with Him inwardly all day long.

Or, look closely at a flower and consider the miracle and beauty of it and that God made it. The wonder of creation is just a taste, a hint of the stunning, unimaginable wonders to come. This earth and life is a stage on which the Divine Drama is unfolding. Keeping this perspective helps us live through the horrors of evil as well as the boredom, stress, disappointments, and daily grind we all must endure.

A. W. Tozer wrote: “If you will narrow your interests, God will enlarge your heart. ‘Jesus only’ seems to the unconverted man to be a motto of death, but a great company of happy men and women can testify that it became to them a way into a world infinitely wider and richer than anything they had ever known before. To know Him in growing intimacy is to increase in appreciation of all things good and beautiful. The mansions of the heart will become larger when their doors are thrown open to Christ and closed against the world and sin. Try it.” -A.W. Tozer, The Size of the Soul.


Silencing Your Critics

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it” (Acts 4:13 NKJV).

Jesus shone through Peter and John just as He wants to do with each one of us. If we want to silence our critics, those who do not know God, then all we need to do is spend time with Jesus and let Him shine through everything we think, do, and say.

God is love and His love will prevail in this world. Saints, we are on the winning side.



When God does things and the timing is almost “scary” coincidental, best take notice. That’s God shouting and acting all excited.

Something amazing just happened to my friend and me.
Call it a coincidence or serendipity if you want. I say it’s Jesus.

We were inseparable BFs twenty years ago. I’ve since moved to another state. She’s moved on to other close relationships.

I know that special seasons and people grace our lives. But our time together was extraordinary because God so extravagantly favored us — enough so that I wrote an entire book about what we experienced with God during those years. We were “two peas in a pod” I used to say with a laugh. I’d ask God a question and He’d give her the answer, and vice versa.

We used to talk to each other four or five times a day. Now we communicate by email or a phone call maybe once every four or five months. Tonight she opened an email from me the very moment she finished reading the aforementioned book manuscript I’d sent to her six months ago. She had just finished reading it a moment before opening my email with this issue of FIRE.

Drum roll. Oh, Jesus, You are in this. No doubt about it. I believe He’s delighted in this little reunion of sorts.

She said she’d been thinking about Brother Lawrence, known for his intimacy with God “among pots and pans.” She’d like to emulate the way he “practiced the presence of God” in her workplace. She didn’t know the attached FIRE issue I’d just sent her features Brother Lawrence in the midst of his pots and pans, loving and delighting in God.

He’s so into us! He loves sharing in what we’re doing especially when it involves Him.

Click on the link below and you’ll soon realize this issue is all about being aware of His presence and doings (the coincidences and serendipities). I believe God’s showing us all, you included, His delight in these things.

FIRE – The Keeping Room.


One “Word” from God for Your Upcoming Year

I started a spiritual practice many years ago. Each January, I came up with a word that I’d like to experiece as a defining one for my upcoming year. Sometime along the way, I started asking God for my word, rather than choose my own. I  listened and reflected with Him every January 1st–which I habitually set apart as a retreat day with Him.

In recent years, my annual word has come around Christmas. It takes paying attention to notice when it comes, as well as discernment, and confirmation from God. I get all these things every year. By the time January 1st comes, I have the word and can plan and pray accordingly.

Last year’s word was “break-through” . . . Well, it might be two words in reality, but rules never seem to hinder God. He is into the”heart” and spirit of a rule, not the exact letter of the rule. 

I knew “break-through” was not something that would happen, Don’t we love when God gives us a breakthrough? Oh, yes! On this occasion, I heard this as direction. He told me to break through during my upcoming year.

As it turned out, I finished the manuscript of a book I’d wanted to write for over twenty years.  I envisioned and launched this online ministry and community – Burning Hearts for God. I helped my mother move into a retirement community after living with her all winter in MN.  I returned home to NC in time for the birth of my grand-daughter, literally the hour my daughter was taken by ambulance to the hospital due to complications. She’s needed me bigtime and we live together. God knows just where we need to be and when to be there.

Looking back, I am amazed by all that I accomplished (with God). It is stunning to me. When God speaks a word to us, it has creative power. Like, “Let there me light.” And there was light. 

This year’s word is “GRACE” and I am hearing it as lovingkindness and favor coming my way.  What a wonderful God! I am so in love with Him. My word is leaving me speechless. My heart fills with joy every time I think of the word. I cannot wait to see what happens in 2019. 

I encourage you  . . . ask God for your “word” for 2019. Then watch what happens. 

This blog is by Margaret Montreuil. For more information, please visit her author web site:  http://margaretmontreuil.com


Be Creatively You for God

My first writing mentor was author Madeleine L’Engle. I discovered her work at the library. Her book Walking on Water: Reflections of Faith and Art sent me off on a writing journey with God’s wisdom and blessing. Here’s my favorite quote:

To paint a picture or to write a story or to compose a song is an incarnational activity. The artist is a servant who is willing to be a birth giver. In a very real sense the artist should be like Mary who, when the angel told her that she was to bear the Messiah, was obedient to the command. I believe that each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius, or something very small, comes to the artist and says, “Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me.”

Whatever your creative passion is about, so will you find God in the midst of it.

Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians, “Each of us has been given his gift, his due portion of Christ’s bounty.”

God calls us to be true to ourselves and live in freedom, taking God’s gifts and running with them, with all of our heart and strength. This has nothing to do with qualifications and everything to do with who we are, what we’re passionate about, and what we carry within us.

Be free to be you. Your art is as unique as your fingerprints. Your specific call and promises God has given you are your portion from Him, from His bounty. If you are following the Lord with all of your heart, then your talents and skills, interests, fascinations, all such things that draw you and take up your attention, become part of God’s invitation to partner with Him.

Here are a few guidelines to help you realize and express the creative dreams God has for you. Be comfortable being you. Humility is being yourself in an unselfconscious way. Children are humble because they can run naked and free without a thought about themselves. Being naked isn’t the same as being humble, but being transparent is. Don’t hide yourself from God or anyone else. Be authentic.

Do not compare yourself to anyone else. Be thankful for being you. You have the fire of God’s love in you and it will be expressed your unique ways. Obey the Lord when He needs you, when He prompts you, when He corrects you, regardless of the consequences. Believe what He shows you, asks of you, imparts to you. Only believe.

Just as Jesus said so often to people in the Scriptures, so He says to you: “Be it done according you your faith.” Write to your heart’s content for God. He’s with you!


Lamps Burning with Oil

Jesus wants us to be close. “I am with you always,” he promised. Scripture says to “Pray without ceasing” and it doesn’t mean to talk to God continually. It simply means to be aware of, and present to, God—that is prayer. If only we would pay better attention to what God is doing all around us, for us, in us, through us—we just need to notice and be present to him.

God longs for us to live in his fire (love) and light (truth), not deceived, discouraged, distracted, disinterested, diverted, or distant. We are in communion and union with the Lord!

When we look around, we see evil running rampant in the world. Fear grips the hearts of people and nations. But not so with the beloveds of Jesus because we know that God’s Story is nearing its earthly climax and we know we are part of it. Our own stories lie within his.

Look what is happening in God’s Kingdom. We are not part of the world though we are in it. We are the Bride of the King of Kings, and we long for his return. Will it happen in our lifetime? Our love songs call to him to come and not tarry. Our books stir us on for more and more of his presence. Our prayers are filled with the poetry of longing, calling our Lord to come soon.

“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.  Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.  But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

“Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

What is the oil we carry in our lamps? Our own oil? Are we not carrying the Light within us? Are our hearts not on fire with  the love of God? We can’t borrow from anyone else because the oil we carry depends on our relationship with the Lord. Are you lit with the fire of God? Are you standing on tip-toes looking up. You know who you are. Your oil is burning bright.

Even better, Jesus knows you.


We’re Caught Up in a Love Story – A Memorial Day Tribute

Writers have mentors they look up to and one of mine is author Calvin Miller. I met him once. He sat across from me at a table for six at a writers conference. He was one of many presenters and guests that day. I was delightfully surprised to see an open place at his table during our lunch break. Conference attendees were encouraged to choose and join a featured guest, agent, editor, or speaker at their assigned table with the promise of engaging with him or her one-on-one. It was a chance to get advice, pitch your book idea, or make a connection with someone in the Christian publishing industry. I didn’t care to sit with an agent or an acquisitions editor, nor anyone else, not when Calvin Miller was in the room! Holy Moly!

He was such a humble soul, Calvin Miller. A deep thinker. A man who understood God’s “Story” and was a gifted artist at revealing God, especially the heart and mind of God, to others.

I wish I could tell you what we talked about. Our eyes locked while we discussed whatever it was and that was enough for me. I knew God had given me the favor.

Here’s a sample of the beauty and depth of a man who really knew God. This is an excerpt from A Requiem for Love, from The Singer Trilogy. (Here’s a link to this book from our book store.)

The setting is just outside the gates of the Garden of Eden. We’re in the middle of a scene with the Creator, whose name is Father-Spirit, and Slithe, the serpent.

“Welcome to your your Garden, Eminence,”

The rising reptile hissed.

Earthmaker turned,

“Slithe, once-loved, once crowned

Can this be you,

Self-damned, condemned to sand?”


Slithe laughed.

“Lock me from the green, it is only for a while.

Full well you know I will be in.”


“Once the entire universe was yours.

You chose these desert chains.”


“I chose a throne and got the chains,”

The serpent spewed his bitter grudge.


The Father-Spirit turned toward the gates

As they swung slowly open.

His old accuser blinked into the distant splendor.

“Will You succeed this time

In fashioning a lover?

Who will remain a lover?

Or, is Your new creation

Destined to betray You?

Why are You forever

Planting hope in high-walled gardens?”


The Father-Spirit looked away.

“Terra holds this Sanctuary as a dream

Where love abused by treachery

May mold a masterpiece of hope.

Today I crown all I have ever made

And honor Terra’s clay by stamping it Imago Mei,

A man, a prince–Regis, friend of spirit.

He shall wear the crown of love you cast aside.

But you will never see his coronation,

For only perfect love shall pass these gates.”


This, and the rest of their conversation, unveils more truth and depth of God’s Word, God’s heart, God’s purposes, in a short poetic story than if you were to study theology and philosophy all your life. Do your heart a favor, follow the link below and read the letter Calvin Miller wrote to you, as a member of the Church, before he passed on to heaven. This is an important reminder to all of us to focus on what is vital in life.

Calvin Miller’s Letter to the Church

This post is by author Margaret Montreuil, founder of burningheartsforGod.com. Her personal website is:  www.margaretmontreuil.com




Silence Needed

Beloved Saints,
Enjoy the beauty of silence. God says: “In quietness and confidence is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).
When life is hectic, a bit of silence can shine like sheaves of silver or gold. It’s surprising in a world where noise is blaring constantly. It’s so bad that we can’t even wait on hold in quiet when calling a business contact on the phone. We are forced to listen to piped-in music or ads all the time.
We’re so unused to silence that when we find ourselves in quietness, it sometimes feels uncomfortable. But we can welcome the stillness as an oasis in a dry, desert place. Our hearts can sense God in the quiet and know we are not alone.
Reflect on God in the silence, dear ones.
God, You are in the silence and I feel your touch. Thank You for enfolding me, and speaking to me. I revel in Your presence and Your still, small voice tells me that You love me.
This devotional is from Nancy Markworth Brown, graduate of UW-M and Luther Seminary. She's a teacher, artist, retreat leader, grief counselor, and a Christian spiritual director. Her family life in Minnesota includes a husband, four adult children, eighteen grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Desiring God

The word “love” has lost its power. We say we love ice cream and we love God, never mind that an unfathomable distance as wide as the universe separates the two. What a useless four-letter-word. We’d do better with an ancient one, the one Christian mystics have always used. They call God’s love fire.

God’s love is a love in and of itself.

Not until Jesus unveiled the burning heart of the Creator at Calvary could anyone imagine that kind of love. Solomon’s inspired lovesong penned the essence of it and spoke from God’s heart: “. . . for love is as strong as death, passion as cruel as Sh’ol; its flashes are flashes of fire, [as fierce as the] flame of Yah. No amount of water can quench love, torrents cannot drown it” (Song of Songs 8:6 & 7 CJB.

What we think about God is the most important thing about us. What we think comes from what we desire.



Margaret Montreuil is the founder of Burning Hearts for God and the author of several Christian books. Her author website is www.margaretmontreuil.com.