Friday, March 28, 2008

A Double Portion: Is that Enough?

I have a ritual before I go to sleep. Every night it is the same- just some nights are quicker than others. :)
I tuck in each of my 3 kids that are at home. I kiss them. I pray over them and their futures. I pray that they will always Seek His Face, Know His Truth, Imitate His Ways, Love His Word, and Live His Will. I tell them how wonderful I think they are and that I believe they can do anything they set their minds to - as long as it is in God's plan for their life. I then get in bed, kiss my darling husband, tell him I love him with all of my heart. As I go to sleep I pray for my oldest daughter and her family, praying the same things over them as I just have the other three. I then close with praying for my dear missionary friends and their families.

I said all of that to lead up to this. God has really been stirring something in my heart for the last three weeks. It started out as a simple thought, but it has grown and grown to be more of a consuming mindset.

For years I have claimed Isaiah 59:21 for my children and grandchildren. It says, "As for me, this is my covenant with them," says the Lord. "My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever," says the Lord.
Do you see how powerful that verse is? But that is not the consuming mindset that has set up residence in my thought life. This growing thought is taken from 2 Kings 2:9. You know - that familiar passage of scripture where Elisha asks to inherit a double portion of Elijah's spirit.

Hmmmmmmm. If my kids inherit a double portion of my spirit, what will they get? Will it be enough to sustain them in an ever-increasing evil world? Do I have enough of God for my children and their children and their children to receive enough from my double portion?

In case I have ever been complacent and become satisfied with the status quo on my relationship with Jesus Christ, I know have reason enough to stay on my knees until Jesus returns!

When Elisha requested that of Elijah, he had seen miracles of provision and restoration. He knew God heard Elijah's prayers. What legacy am I leaving my children? Is it enough for them to even ask for a double portion? Does my life make them thirst for Jesus? Do they look at me and want what I have? Is there enough stirring in their spirits to make them hunger for God's Word?

I am so humbled today, not condemned- just stirred. I want my children to do greater things for God than I have ever even imagined! In the KJV, Daniel 11:32 says "..... but the people who know their God shall be strong and do exploits." Wow!

So, my question for you is, if your children inherit a double portion of your spirit, what will they get?

Will they get more manipulation, more greed, more lust? Will they get more humility, more kindness, more love, or more anointing?

Determine in your heart right now, that God will reign supreme. Determine that He is the most important One in your life. Give Him everything! Be willing to lose everything for Him! (That's a whole new blog!) But - it is not too late to start building those spiritual fortunes for our kids and grandkids to inherit. Invest your time wisely- in the Word and in prayer. The returns are out of this world!

love you all!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

War Games

For spring break, we have been in a cabin in the middle of nowhere - no cell phone, no internet.... no blog! So, I have a thousand - no a million thoughts running through my little head.

On a last minute thought, we found an empty cabin at a nearby state park. I never dreamed anything so pretty could be found in the middle of the mosquito infested flat lands! We also discovered that some dear friends were staying at a nearby cabin. That is when the war started!
The battle lines were drawn and the boundaries clearly marked- or as much as could be in the dark of the night. The adrenaline was pumping through each warrior's veins. Some felt the cold wave of raw fear. Others just wanted it to begin so they could carry out their well planned battle strategy.
Each team had their precious "flag". The object: Bury your flag and defend it. Mission: Find the other team's flag and take it back to the central command station - aka - the bonfire where the mom's were.

Jackie and I were the central command station officers. Our job was to maintain the fire and nourish the troops with roasted marshmallows and s'mores as they were "imprisoned" for the required one minute sentence after being tagged by the enemy's flashlight. It was cold out and we volunteered for the job since rolling around in the woods playing war games was not on our list of one million things to do before we die! :)

Sitting by the crackling fire, I had a perfect view of my kid's war base. I watched them cleverly hide and defend their flag. If the enemy (my husband's team) approached, one brave warrior was responsible for sounding the alarm and tagging the intruder with the flashlight. I was quite impressed with their strategy. One tagger, one defender, and two spies who went in search of the enemy's flag. They also were successful in targeting the "enemy's weakness" - two who would not venture far from the fire or from a "dad".

Sometimes the warriors were loud and could be heard by every cabin in the park I am sure. Other times, they operated like stealthy agents. It was quite entertaining to watch both sides maneuver around to outwit the enemy. Just as the fire was dying down and the s'mores supply was dwindling, a flag was captured and the war games ended.

As I went to bed that night, I was replaying the War Games in my mind. Although, our scenario was all fun and games, it was eerily reminiscent of warfare I have experienced - not in the physical, but in the spiritual realm.

Some people would think I am crazy. Others, experienced warriors themselves, know that spiritual warfare is not a tale for literary works only. Spiritual warfare is real and there is much more at stake than a flag - or even a country. At the heart of spiritual warfare is the welfare of eternal souls.

Our enemy, is none other than Satan and his legions of demons. His primary weapon? Deception. My Commander in Chief is Jesus Christ Himself! He is Truth. He doesn't hide his banner afraid the enemy will find it and take it away. Truth itself shreds the deception of the enemy to pieces. That is why He says, "Then you will know the TRUTH and the TRUTH will set you free!"

I posted a week or so ago about being handed an introduction to a prayer warrior mentality on a silver platter by my parents and grandmother. Prayer. So simple, yet so powerful. We win the battle by simply crying out to our Lord and Savior- because He has already won the War!

But spiritual warfare is war waged daily against the enemy of our souls. Paul tells us in Ephesians to "be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power." (Ephesians 6:10 -19) He tells us our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities, the powers of this dark world, - against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Do not get me wrong- Satan IS defeated! But this real enemy desires to drag with him to the eternal flames of hell as many souls as he can. How does he do it- through deception! Every wonderful and beautiful thing God has planned for us, the enemy finds an evil and ugly counterfeit. He deceives God's creation into believing that the evil and ugly is good, thereby rejecting the Holy One who loves with a perfect love.

So, how does one wage "spiritual warfare"? By taking God's Word, the Truth, and quoting it in prayer. In January I posted on "Spiritual Warfare". In December of last year, my husband wrote a blog on "The Power of Speaking God's Word". (Both of these are tools to utilize if you are unfamiliar with the subject of spiritual warfare.)

There is so much I could write on this subject, but that would take a lot longer than you are willing to read. But please allow me to encourage you to be a prayer warrior. Pray daily to God in heaven, through the power of the blood of Jesus and in the wonderful name of Jesus! Lift up to Him the names of those who need deliverance from the strongholds of the enemy. Intercede on behalf of those who do not know Christ! Bind the enemy and release Truth in those situations. Ask the Great Comforter, the Holy Spirit to teach you about spiritual warfare. Above all, READ GOD'S WORD- daily! You cannot even think of being a prayer warrior with out knowing how to use your "sword".

I love you all! And I missed blogging! I am glad to be back in the loop of cyberspace!

Out of My Treasure Chest:
The Invisible War by Chip Ingram
Spiritual Warfare for Every Christian by Dean Sherman
and of course-
A Good Old Fashioned game of Capture the Flag!- a must for every family! :)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

He's Alive!

No death could defeat Him.
No grave could hold Him.
He is alive
today and forevermore!
May you seek Him with all your heart
and know it is His blood
that saves you from your sin!
May you have a blessed and glorious Resurrection Day!
I visited a blog post today that really ministered to me. The title was "Though our Sins be as Scarlet". Wow! Please visit it by clicking here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Jesus Paid it All

Today is the day we remember our Lord and Saviour's sacrifice on the cross.

Each night this week, over 100 people have gathered to practice for our annual Easter Drama for Saturday and Sunday. The crowd of people go from praising and singing "Hosannahs" to yelling "Crucify Him" and "Let Him Die".

As we go through the hustle and bustle of the busy activity getting sets ready, finding the right costumes, making sure everyone knows their lines..... etc, there is this undertone, that we are witnessing the re-enactment of one of the most sacred events of all time.

Jesus- who was perfect in every way, laid down His life for MY sins. He suffered great pain and anguish through the scourging and the crucifixion, but I think His greatest pain was when His Father has to turn His back on His Son. To be separated from the very presence of God was something He had never experienced. Jesus did that for us! Jesus took on ALL of our sin. He bore it. He bore the shame.
Each year as I think about that fact, I am so humbled to think that the Creator of this vast universe, would do that for me!
I have heard it all of my life. There have been times when I have treated that knowledge carelessly and flippantly. There have been times when I did not value the fact the He sacrificed EVERYTHING for me. Because I have "always" known it, I have not always reverenced it.
I do not have to spend eternity without God, because Jesus chose to die for me on a cross over 2,000 years ago. Eternity! I cannot even grasp the depth of love that took for Jesus to do that.
God's Word says that to even begin to grasp the depth of His love we have to have His supernatural power! (Ephesians 4:14-19)
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Wow! What love! What sacrifice!
I pray you dwell on the fact that it takes power, together will all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.

So, if you are struggling today with something, know He loves YOU! He is the lifter of your head! Sometimes when we live with shame or defeat or insecurities we go through life with our heads down. But Jesus took the shame! He took the defeat! He took your insecurities and he nailed them to a cross. He looks at you with that great love. He gently takes your chin in His hand and He lifts up your head and looks into your eyes and says,
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Oh, my goodness! Do you see your worth in Him today? This is a day of sacrifice, a day of victory for you and me!
My prayer for you today is that you KNOW the Savior. I pray your eyes will be opened to Truth as never before. May you be able to comprehend His great love for you and may you live according to His purposes for your life. You don't have to live beneath His promises! Stand up and allow Him to lift up your head! Your shame is gone because He paid the price for you to walk in grace and strength and dignity!
I love you all!
Have a wonderful and glorious Resurrection weekend!


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Road Map for the Vally of Baca- The Valley of Adversity and Weeping

Whenever we go somewhere on a trip, I am the navigator. I have this weird sense of direction. I like to know where the sun is, so I can know if I am going East, West, North or South. I like to look at maps ahead of time in order to have a feel for the layout of the city or town. I cannot stand not knowing where I am. (I could tell a very funny story on my sister right now and her sense of direction - or rather, lack thereof! But I will save that for another time.)

I can't get away from this whole Valley of Baca thing. I have pondering in my little head for the past 2 days about this. I have walked down memory lane of my journey through the valley and "stumbled" upon my old road map. I thought I would share it with you today.

I didn't recognized it as a road map during my journey, but upon reflection, I see that as a child I was handed the road map and told to store it in my heart to have a feel for the layout of the valley when I got there. Of course, I didn't get the map all in one piece. I got most of the pieces at home, from mom and dad. Other pieces I received in children's church, Sunday School, and Missionettes. Hmmmm...... (I am replaying a Dorinda version of "National Treasure" in my head.)

So, today, I dug out my road map. Again, I am amazed at the planning of my Savior, the lover of my soul, at how He orchestrates the revelation of this map for the journey through the Valley of Baca, known to us as the Valley of Adversity and Weeping. (I liked the comment about it sometimes being Big Baca- or Big Valley.... :) )

If you click here, you will see a copy of the map I used through the Valley of Adversity and Weeping. It is the book of Philippians. Yep, that's right. God lined it all out for us through the life of Paul.

Think about Paul's life for a moment. The book of Philippians was written while he was in prison. The theme of the book of Philippians is "rejoice" or "joy". Well, I have to say, as wonderful as a Christian as I think I am (oh, yeah, right!), I'm just not quite so sure, I would be able to author a letter to my dear friends about rejoicing while I was chained to a wall in a cesspool of mire and waste. Mine would probably sound more like~ "Gloom, despair, and agony on me.... Oooohhhhh". But Paul, a devout and passionate follower of Jesus Christ, pens a letter to the believers at Philippi, telling them to rejoice. Sixteen times in this book he is talking about joy and rejoicing. Well, you go, Paul!

But, that is exactly how you find your way out of the Valley of Adversity and Weeping. I have highlighted the "tourist spots" on this road map.

Chapter 1 starts with a pray for the Philippians - a prayer that we can claim as a promise!
"...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ." I don't know about you, but to me, that means, God is not going to leave me to rot in the Valley of Weeping! Hallelujah!

Not too far down the road, we get another pit stop, which happens to be another prayer. I would say these help us read the map for the rest of the trip. The prayers help us put everything else into focus.

"This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God."

If you have a magnifying glass out looking at the road map, center it in on "that you may be able to discern what is best". How do you discern? -By love abounding more and more in knowledge and depth of insight. Okay, that is deep. Take a minute and let that digest in your spirit.

The very next stop is verse 12. A divine discernment. "Now, I want you to know brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel". He continues with the God view of his troubles. Something we should really consider on our journey.

Look with me now at verse 20. (I love this guy!) "I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death."

I want you to picture the vast expanse of the desert Valley. You are traveling through and you just can't see the end. You feel hopeless and very much so like giving up. But- take out your road map- and you get a feel for the whole layout of the valley! You know that someone else has been here, survived, and put the landmarks down on a map! - Why? Because in verse 19 Paul said "...... what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance."

With that boost of information, you can go a little further. You look down at your map and you have some encouragement. Paul gives us a little warning about some detours that he warns us not to take. Chapter 2, verses 3 and 4 encourage us not to take the road marked "Self Absorbed". It doesn't look as difficult. The path seems easier, and it looks as if there is even an oasis down that road! But Paul encourages, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Well, that should be a big warning sign for us.

If we can't take that road, where do we go from here? Referring again to the map, we see the path highlighted for us. It looks extremely difficult and rough. Surely Paul was mistaken! But there it is, in black and white. "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant...."

Paul's side notes say that the road "Servant hood" is the way to go. Hmmmmm....... Lest we forget our promise at the other side, Paul reminds us: "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose."

"Do everything without complaining or arguing..." Now I know the scriptures are inspired, because Paul couldn't know what was just about to come out of my mouth...."But God, why can't I take that easy path. Why do I have to walk so long and so far? Why does it have to be so hard? Why can't I just fly over there?" whine whine, whine whine whine. (That's me- How many times have I sounded like a good little Israelite?)

The trip is long and hard, as I mentioned the other day. We must look to our Savior and find our strength and our joy and nourishment from Him. It is the only way. We are starting to lose things on the journey. Things that before, we thought we couldn't live with out. Things are lost that are weighing us down. For the sake of the trip, we cast it aside without a second thought. Just when we feel like we can't go any further, we start to see the purpose and the meaning of it all.

Philippians 3:7-9 starts shedding light on the formation of our character and integrity during the journey. "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ- the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

Suddenly, we find our purpose has changed! No longer is it just about getting through to the other side taking the easiest path- it is about getting to the Savior! Seeking His face. Sitting at His feet. Wrapped in His embrace. Breathing in His presence. Basking in His love. It's all about HIM!!!

"I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his suffering, becoming like him in his death."

I notice a quickness in my step- not to get out of the valley. No. The hurry, the anticipation is there, just to be near Him! It doesn't matter if I have to stay here a little longer, as long as He is here! I drink in the nearness of His Spirit! My feet begin to run. My heart is pounding. He is here! In the midst of my pain and suffering, in the depth of my sorrow, I run, I leap, I throw myself at His feet! He is in the Valley of Adversity and Weeping!

In His presence I find fullness of joy! I don't have to drag it out of my heart. It overflows. "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" I am shouting my joy in the midst of my valley of adversity and weeping. Oh, I am not joyful at my circumstance. I am sure Paul was not just thrilled either to be in prison and chained. But - we live in the flesh but walk in the spirit.

See it right there, tucked in between these well known verses? Right there in verse 5: "Let your gentleness be evident to all. THE LORD IS NEAR!" (I have read Philippians over and over again, and have never seen that verse!)

Verse 6: "Do not be anxious about anything...... with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Paul's last major set of instructions for our map are in the remainder of Chapter 4. Please, please take time to meditate on these powerful scriptures! Don't just read this and discard.

Our "mantra" in 4:8 Things we are to think about - always at all times!
Our "motto" in 4:12 Attitude we are to live with - always at all times!
Our "might" in 4:13 Strength we are to draw from - always at all times!
Our "measure" in 4:19 Provision to live by - always at all times!

I pray for you today! I pray that you will find Him in your valley. I pray you are able to discern His truth as opposed to the deception of the enemies of your soul. I pray you know Him in depth and understanding. I pray you rejoice in all situations. I pray you find your strength in Him and trust in Him. May you call upon Him and rest in His arms. Allow Him to flood your soul with His amazing love and grace, mercy and compassion. I pray these things in that Precious Name of Jesus- that at the mention of that name the demons in hell will tremble. I plead the blood of Jesus over your body, your soul and your spirit. Amen.

I pray in my heart of hearts that you use this "Road Map" for your journey through the Valley of Adversity and Weeping. As always, if you know of someone who needs this today, click on the little envelope below and email it to them!

I love you all!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What does Treasures in Jars of Clay mean to Me?

Have you ever had one of those days where you are fine, but you feel that someone else is breaking in two with the weight of their world?

That is how I feel today. I don't know who you are or what you are going through, but I think God is just wanting some ladies out there to know just how much He loves you and how much He cares for you!
My heart went back today to the theme verse for this blog site: 2 Corinthians 4:7 "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

Sometimes circumstances in life take us through The Valley of Baca- The Valley of Adversity and Weeping, but God has promised to sustain you if you simply trust in Him. Sometimes that journey can be so overwhelming it seems to consume us.
  • Betrayal of a spouse

  • Financial hardships

  • Rebellious children

  • Family crises

  • Death of loved ones

  • Sickness and Disease

  • Abuse

  • Consequences of our own choices

  • Depression

These are all things that are hard to bear- and that is just the tip of the iceberg! But God wants you to know that He has hidden a treasure inside of you! If you have Jesus in your heart, oh my! What power and authority you have in Christ!!!

I encourage you today to stand strong! Stand firm in your trust of Christ! Give your situation completely to Him. Lay it at His feet. Simply trust in Him. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is ~nothing.

He is sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding on your behalf - right now! He sees your loneliness, your fears, your every care and He is asking, imploring the Creator of Heaven and Earth to meet your every need and your every desire! Just look to Him! Trust Him!

Give Him your heart completely today. You have a treasure in your jar of clay. A treasure that is beyond anything your mind can comprehend!

You may be as verse 8 in 2 Corinthians says: "Hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down, but not destroyed!!"

Stand on that verse and remind Satan of that verse out loud. Yell it if you have to! The all-surpassing power is from God and not from us! God is able to lift you up and set your feet on solid ground.

I feel a "preach" coming on! :) He is the "lifter up of your head". You don't have to hang your head in shame or disgrace. He is the lover of your soul. He has taken all shame to the cross with Him. So, my sister, hold your head up high, because the Redeemer of all mankind has anointed you and has called you by name and has placed His Resurrection power inside of you!!!!

Wow! I just pray that whoever needs this today is able to comprehend the love God has for you today. ~ Because Romans 8:35-39 says:

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

And that my friend is what "treasures in jars of clay" means. What a treasure!
I love you all!

p.s.: If you have a friend that needs to hear this today, please click on the little envelope below and forward this link to their email address.
Out of my Treasure Box:
Beauty for Ashes by Joyce Meyer
The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O'Martian

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Valley of Baca - or The Valley of Adversity and Weeping

I am in a hurry this morning. I want to get this post done before lunch, but it's not going to happen. This is Friday. (See you are not reading this until Monday- as usual, Dorinda is a little late. ha!)

My Daniel Fast Journal scripture today (Friday) is from Psalm 84:11. I read the whole chapter and just really received an encouragement from my Savior today.

My sweet and wonderful husband preached a sermon one time on the the Valley of Baca mentioned in verse 6. He said the word Baca is adversity. Hmmmmmm....

That is as far as I got Friday before the demands of the day caught up with me and I had to abandon my blogging. But, I have been pondering these thoughts all weekend. My heart is full and my mind is going in a thousand different directions this morning. I am not sure even where I should start!

I think, I know, that someone is going to read this post that really needs to hear what God is trying to speak to them. I pray the anointing of Joshua as you read. Joshua was told he would be given every where he set his foot. I pray every where I have typed a stroke on my computer would be battle ground taken back from the enemy of our souls.

Psalm 84. That is where I will start. Please read it.
1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! 2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD ; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. 3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young- a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Selah 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. 7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion. 8 Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty; listen to me, O God of Jacob. Selah 9 Look upon our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one. 10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. 11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. 12 O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.

Baca-a word, a place. The Valley of Baca is described by Holman's Bible dictionary as-

Hebrew - Baca BACA
(bay' cuh) Place name meaning, “Balsam tree” or “weeping.” A valley in
Psalms 84:6 which reflects a poetic play on words describing a person forced to go through a time of weeping who found God turned tears into a well, providing water.

Some of you are in a time of weeping, a time of adversity. Maybe your pain is so private that no one knows you are hurting. Maybe you feel trapped. Our adversities may have different situations, different hurts, different events, but it is very much so the same valley.

The literal Valley of Baca is thousands of miles away in a land that most of us have never traveled to. The spiritual Valley of Baca is very familiar. We all know the road and have probably all been down it many times.

The Valley of Baca. I picture a desolate place. A place that sane people avoid at all costs. It is dry and barren. Isolated. The heat of the valley drains the weary travelers quickly. Hope is waning and despair quietly takes its place.

I went through the Valley of Baca. As I entered, I was afraid. But I knew that I had to pass through the Valley, because on the other side was what I needed, what I had been promised. I set my heart on my journey. My strength begin to fail me. Hope was disappearing. It wasn't supposed to be like this! I just wanted to get to the other side - to my promise. But, it seemed that each step I took, added ten more to my journey's end! How would I make it! I was dry. I was thirsty! My soul was parched! There seemed no end in sight. I became full of despair. Was this what the end would be like? Would I die in this condition? Where had my strength gone?

In utter desperation I cried out to God- my Redeemer, my Savior! I weeped before my God. My tears mirrored the agony of my heart. Once again, I set my heart on my journey. He would be my strength. He would sustain me! He provided me with water for my soul. I refreshed myself in Him. My circumstance didn't change. It wouldn't. This was Baca, the place of adversity where weeping and anguish would accompany me until I reached the end of my pilgrimage. But God! He was there! He held me when I cried. He wiped the tears. He comforted me when I was bruised. He replaced despair with His Presence.

I still couldn't see the end of the Valley of Baca, but He was my strength. If I could just trust in Him, all would be well. Each time I felt I couldn't go on and was thirsting to death, He provided nourishment from the springs. He watered my soul from His cup.

It seemed as if an eternity passed. I reached the end of the Valley of Baca. I was not defeated! I was stronger! I had learned lessons of wisdom and strength. It wasn't the Valley of the Shadow of Death- it was Baca. The Valley of Adversity, the valley of weeping.


There is a God who sees you in your hurt, your frustration, and your pain. He knows what you are going through. He longs for you to call upon His Name and seek His face with all of your heart. Don't listen to the lies of the one who despises you. Listen to the Creator's gentle whisper of love for you. Find your strength in Him. Don't turn from the Valley of Baca, because your promise is on the other side. Set your heart on your pilgrimage, find your strength in Him and be blessed!

I know this is different today but I just wanted to be obedient. My friend, you are a treasure. Stay steadfast and He will not abandon you. Meditate on His Word and His goodness. Look to Him. As always, I pray you:

Seek His Face. Pursue an intimate relationship with the Savior.

Know His Truth. Gain ultimate reality about His Kingdom.

Love His Word. Desire passionate revelation of His Nature.

Live His Will. Submit daily to His Purpose

Have a blessed and wonderful day as you pursue the Lover of your soul.


p.s. If you need help or encouragement through the Valley of Baca, please leave your email address and I will be glad to contact you and pray with you.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

This is the Heritage of the Servants of the Lord

Isaiah 54:17 says....."This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me, declares the Lord." After a conversation with someone at church last night, I began thanking God for the heritage that I have been given.

I am a very blessed to have been raised in an awesome Christian home by two perfectly wonderful parents. They have always been a godly example to me and my sister. I also had great grandparents. I am a third generation A/G on my mom's side. My paternal grandparents were wonderful Christians as well.

My maternal grandmother lived in a small town in Eastern Arkansas - the flat lands where the mosquitoes rule. She had a huge influence on my prayer life. My sister and I would go stay a week with her and grandpa during the summer months. The intellectual side of my brain tells me we never stayed more than a week or two, but my childhood memories tell me we spent our entire summers there. I will share some of those "memories" with you....

The old porch door squeaked before the thud of it's slam broke the evening silence. Silence - other than the drones of the hoards of mosquitoes in the air. Thus, the reason for the "thud"- you had to let the door slam behind you quickly so mosquitoes wouldn't get in the house. If they got in the house, then they would suck all your blood out at night while you slept! :)

It was the aroma coming from grandma's kitchen that brought me in. Mmmmmmm- It must be chicken-n-dumplins! Of course there would also be the freshly picked tomatoes from grandpa's garden and other wonderful goodies from the ground.

After supper was the traditional grandpa and granddaughter time on the swing- on the screened in porch, away from mosquitoes. But- if any of them, by any chance got in, grandpa zapped 'em with his rusted old can of mosquito spray. He whistles as he fiddles with his knife. "Time for you girls to learn how to whistle!" The lessons go on for a while.

As the sun starts to set, grandma announces it is bath time, then bed time. I don't know why we have to take baths, we just sweat all over again as soon as we get out. The humidity is like its own shower. For some reason, it just seems quiter at grandma and grandpa's house, except for the buzz of the mosquitoes!

I like it when it gets dark, because the house gets cooler. The blue room is where we sleep. The blue walls and the white bedspread are so peaceful, it is easy to go to sleep even though it is still very humid and my hair sticks to my head.

It's not long until grandpa is snoring, and that's when I know I get to hear her! I try to stay awake so I can listen. There she goes. The bathroom door quietly opens and closes. Then grandma begins her nightly ritual of interceding on behalf of all of her loved ones.

She starts with her oldest daughter and her boys. She prays over everything! Next is my favorite part, because that's my mom and us! She talks to Jesus like He is right there with her. I know exactly where she is, because I tiptoed the night before to peek. She kneels over the closed toilet, with her face to the wall, so she won't wake up grandpa. She's praying for me and Tammie, my sister. She prays for our schooling, our walk with Jesus, that we will love the Bible, that we will always be good girls. Then she starts the part I like - my future! She prays for the man I will marry, that he will be good to me and love the Lord, that he will be a good worker and take care of me. She prays for my kids that I will one day have that they will also love Jesus.

She moves on the her youngest daughter and I drift off to sleep wondering what my life will be like. Who is this man grandma prays for? Why does she think it is so important to pray for all off this stuff when I am only 8?!!!!

Hmmmmm.... That is just a small portion of my heritage. How rich and wonderful!
Revelation 5:8 ".....Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls ful of incense, which are the prayers of the saints."
Revelation 8:3 "Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. 4. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand. 5. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire frfom the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake."

I didn't realize it then, but I was being handed on a silver platter an in-depth training on "how to pray". My grandmother didn't learn how to read until she was over 60 years old, but she was more knowledgable about God's Word than I could ever hope to be. My other grandmother was a lover of God's Word. She was a great inspiration also. Of course, I am not including here, my heritage of my parent's continually taking us before the throne of God in prayer. I am blessed! I thank God for my parents and my grandparents.

I pray for my children Isaiah 59:21 "As for me, this is my covenant with them," says the Lord. "My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever,"says the Lord."

May you all have a blessed and wonderful day as you seek the face of your Savior!

Love you all!

(Make sure you take time to teach your children and grandchildren how to pray.) :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Thoughts today on the Daniel Fast

So we are on this Daniel Fast at the church. I love the spiritual side of it. I am growing closer to my Savior and seeing things in His Word. I love it!

(That is the sound of brakes grinding to a sudden halt!)

Ok. The rest of the story? My flesh wakes up screaming and whining and begging every single stinking day! I would have thought that by now, I would have the hang of this and be well on my merry little way! Oh, but no! Dorinda has to crave the Cocoa Pebbles in the cabinet and the Corn Pops and m&ms! Oh my goodness! Just typing it makes my mouth water.

Call me crazy, but I have some m&ms in my desk drawer at the office. I didn't want to get rid of them because I wanted to prove to myself that I could master my cravings. I open the drawer and I see them. It's like faces magically appear and they are calling to me, "I know you want to eat me! Come on! Nobody will know. It will be our little secret!"


I shut the door! Cause those things are getting in my head!

But- I said all of that to say this! I am learning through the help of the Holy Spirit, that just because my flesh wants an m&m- doesn't mean I have to give my flesh and m&m! I don't have to eat the Corn Pops and the Cocoa Pebbles. And........ get this, I don't have to have a diet coke to make it through the day!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

I keep reading Isaiah 58 - to keep my focus on the right things. I don't want to just "deny" my self of these wonderful tasting and smelling foods. I want to grant access to more of God. I want to hunger for Him more than I ever have before. I want to hunger for His Holiness. I want to have an obedient and submissive heart before Him at all times.

These are just my thoughts for the day. I hope you have a great day!

love you all!

Out of my Treasure Chest:
The Detox Diet by Dr. Elson Haas- This book is written from a medical viewpoint
and is not Christian based - but it sure backs up God's Word on health from our diet. It has opened my eyes to a lot of stuff!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Teen Hitch Hikers on the Internet Highway

Today my heart is breaking.

A friend of mine called last night crying. She went into her daughter's room and found she had left town with a male acquaintence from the internet.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Here is what I am asking each of my readers to do TODAY- right now. I want you to pray for TM. I want you to put something on your desk that every time you see it, you will breathe a prayer for TM. I want you to pray for her like you would want someone to pray if it were your child.

As I was praying for TM last night, I began praying very specific things for her. Please agree with me in prayer for these things:

Dear Heavenly Father,
I come to you now in the Name of Your precious Son, Jesus Christ. It is only through His blood that I can even come before You, and I do that now- through the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
I lift up TM before You now. You know where she is. You know her situation. You know all things. I ask that You protect her and keep her safe in the Name of Jesus.
As for the man she is with, I ask in the Name of Jesus, that he can only do what is in the best interest of TM. I ask that if he has any perverse or wicked intentions, that they be thwarted right now in the Name of Jesus. If he has mal-intent for TM, may he be confused and not be able to carry out a single plan!
Lord, Your Word says that "No Weapon formed against us shall prosper... this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord". That Word goes for our children! TMs mother is Your daughter Father, and she calls upon You and trusts in Your Name. So we use the double-edged sword of Your Word and claim now that no weapon formed against TM will prosper!
I ask also that the deception of the enemy will be revealed to TM. May she see her situation in the Light of Your Truth, God. May she see the love of her mother and the futility of empty relationships. May she clearly understand that "what" she is looking for is a real relationship with you Lord.
Father, as law enforcement officials are searching for TM, I pray that You guide and direct their every move. I ask that a divine "spotlight" would shine from the heavens to allow TM to be found. I ask in the Name of Jesus that godly Christian people would come across TMs path and that You give them discernment to know that she is not where You want her. Lead law enforcement officers to the right people who remember the needed information to help find TM. May anyone who comes in contact with TM and this man remember them and be able to recount the correct information that would help officials find her.
I ask Father that You dispatch Your angels from heaven to put a hedge around her and protect her from ALL harm.
I lift up her mother before You. In the midst of this trying storm, please give her a peace that only You can give. Hold her up with your strength, physically, emotionally and spiritually. May she feel the peace and presence of God that passes all understanding. Thank You that this mom knows on Whom to call in the time of trouble. She relies upon You and You alone for strength.
Lord God in heaven, I pray Psalms 91 over TM. I ask that through this situation, all the seed of the Word of God that has been planted in heart would come to fruition. May Your Word not return void, but accomplish what You have sent it to accomplish! May she know that she can call on the Name of the Lord and be delivered!
May You give her the understanding to realize she needs to escape. May You give her the knowledge to know how to escape, and may You give her Your guiding hand. Direct her every footstep.
I ask these things in the Name of Jesus Christ and through the power of His blood.

I ask you, beg you, plead with you to pray for TM as you would want people praying for your child.
And in case you are wondering, TMs mother has taught her daughter all of the dangers of internet chat and messaging and how to avoid situations like this..... You know, how God told Adam and Eve NOT to eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden.... Sometimes, even the children of the best parents make decisions that grieve their parents.

Thank you! Thank you!

Teen Hitch Hikers on the Internet Highway

Today's society is so vastly different from days gone by. Our culture has changed so quickly and vastly with the rush of the communication/techno age, that our heads spin.
Our life is more comfortable because of our communication devices. What would we do with out these little gadgets?
I put cell phones in the hands of each of my children so they may call me if they need me. I take comfort in that.
I give them access to computers so they can gain knowledge and succeed in life. I feel good about that.

But, I cannot be with them at all times and monitor every thing they do. This internet highway that runs right through my living room is there. My husband and I do everything within our power to make sure there are no "rest stops" for passers by on this highway. But I am reminded today, that "things" happen.

So therefore, as a parent, I will not give in to the fear of the enemy, but I will continue to wage war against the enemy of my soul and the enemy of the souls of my children. I will ever be on guard, just as my friend has been. I am reminded that we must be vigilant. We must be tough and ever watching. I am reminded that I am only a human, and that my trust MUST be in my Almighty, Omnipotent, Omniscient Creator and Lord! I place my children in His hands. If they happen to get on the Internet Highway, I pray they remember to put on their seat belts and lock the doors and follow the road map that their father and I have given them. I pray they don't get in the "car" with out our permission. And I pray they never, ever decide to hitch hike.

Thanks for praying for TM. Hugs your children today and sit down and talk with them one more time about internet safety.

Love you all!

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Little More of my thoughts on Adoption

Last week I started a series on The Beauty of Adoption. Today's post is a continuation.....

Our life before Glenda was full of ministry and more ministry. We loved each other. We loved the ministry, but we were missing the child element from our lives. When we were told by doctors that having children was not going to happen outside of a miracle, we went after the miracle, only to be disappointed time and time again.

In 1990 when our paths crossed with a vibrant and precious 15 year old, our lives changed forever and became more full of happiness than we ever dreamed. I remember people saying to us, "Oh, my! You chose to start with a teenager? You must be special people!" I know they meant well, and I appreciated the "complement", but in all honesty, we aren't special people. We simply fell in love with a wonderful young lady who just happened to need a home.

We didn't then, and never have felt like, we were this benevolent couple who had pity on a teenaged girl. We were a couple who needed Glenda. She brought so much joy to our lives, that in retrospect, I honestly believe we needed her more than she ever needed us.

So, the "Beauty of the Spirit of Adoption" for us, is about a remarkable young lady who transformed the lives of a young couple who desperately needed her.

Let me fast forward a few years to the birth of Glenda's first baby, Macy. Oh, my. Just saying her name brings a smile to my heart and to my face. So many times I have heard grandparents say things like, "Look! She looks just like her mom when she was born", or "I've never seen a baby look more like his daddy!" I wondered when my first grand child was born what I would say, because I never had the pleasure of holding Glenda when she was a baby. I missed those sweet tender moments of rocking her to sleep. Neither Rusty or myself got to hold her hands as she took her first steps. I wasn't there when she lost her first tooth, or many of the firsts, but we were there when she re-dedicated her life to God, when she received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. We had the privilege of being there every night when she went to bed, and every morning when she woke up. But - we did miss those baby days. To say I was ecstatic when Macy was born would be the understatement of the century.

When they placed baby Macy in my arms, I felt like the world suddenly melted and everything was this warm, fuzzy halo of pure bliss. It was as if I was holding Glenda- because I was holding a part of her. I was never able to cradle a baby Glenda in my arms and look into those big brown eyes, but there I was, holding a part of her! I had the pleasure of staying with them the first two weeks of Macy's life- loving on her, changing her, feeding her, waking up with her. It didn't matter how little sleep I got, because I was "Noni"! - Macy's grandmother. What a treasure to always remember!

I don't want to even think of our lives had we not had the opportunity to choose Glenda as our daughter. It is like up to that point every memory was in black and white and the moment she came into our home, we were suddenly living in beautiful and vibrant colors!

Now, we are so blessed to have Glenda and Brad, precious Macy, and now our second generation of adoption bliss, Mia!

I guess I just wanted to preface my upcoming journal entries on our trip to China with letting all my blogger buddies knowing how special and beautiful it is to have our Glenda! She is a wonderful daughter, devoted and compassionate mother, and an awesome minister and woman of God! She is such an inspiration to her mother who absolutely adores her!

I will do a post on "A Noni's Journey to Mia Grace" about once a week, so stay tuned!

Love you all!


Out of my Treasure Box:
Here are some great reads:
  • Boundaries by Drs. Cloud and Townsend
  • Boundaries with Kids by Cloud and Townsend
  • Boundaries with Teens by Cloud and Townsend
  • Raising Great Kids by Cloud and Townsend
  • See all of their books here.

~This Treasure chest find has one of my highest recommendations!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Freeze Frame Obsessions

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and picked up a magazine that caught my eye. As I was flipping through the pages I saw an article I knew I had to read - "Confessions of a Mommy Blogger".
Reading the article, I almost jumped in my chair in the waiting room and said, "This is me!!! I feel just like this!!! I am not crazy! She is saying here what I think everyday!" But- being the shy, quite person that I am (ha ha), I refrained from any outbreak of emotion.

I did begin to think though. Since I have started blogging from my heart, I go through the day journaling in my head every little thing that happens. For years I have felt like a video editor. I make movies in my head and replay the memories that I like and edit or cut away the yucky ones. My husband calls it "sticking my head in the sand". :)
Blogging has brought a new dimension to my "video editing". Instead of a rolling movie in my head, I now have a "freeze frame" picture that I want to capture, not with a camera, but with my words. An experience, an emotion, a action... things that can't necessarily be filmed with a camera, I want to record with my writing.

The obsession part has got to go! Thus the reason for no post yesterday. Oh, I wrote alright, but you didn't see it. Even though I think this blog is a good thing, I must still find a balance in the midst of all of my responsibilities. I don't want to miss the beauty of a moment because I am blogging it in my head!

I believe with all of my heart that God put this desire inside of me to be used for Him, someway, somehow- but all with His balance and His control and His timing. I am being very honest with you about things God is working on in me.
In my contemplation of this whole matter, my heart was once again turned to Psalm 51. Verse 6 says, "Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place."

Oh, my, how that verse spoke to me this morning. I want to share with you my "freeze frame" moments.
You see, I store things in my heart, some good, and some not so good - even bad. I carry on in my life like those secret little closets are for me and me alone. My Lord, my Savior, wants in to every closet and every little corner of my heart, so He can clean it for me.

But I don't want Him to see my dirty closet in my heart!!!!!!! He can't go in there! It's where I put that bitterness from so-n-so!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!

He desires truth in the inner parts- truth with Him means trusting Him with all things in my life. Trusting Him with the key to my closets.

Then, when I allow Him access to every part of my heart, He teaches me wisdom in my inmost place.

Do you see how important it is, even in good things and even in ministry, to allow the Savior in to every aspect? I let Him in a secret closet today, and He found things I didn't even know were there! Things that I couldn't believe were there!
I was reminded of how our family goes through closets and discards things we don't need anymore. Sometimes it is painful to let go of something because of the sentimental value or we just really liked it- but the if the item is no longer serving its purpose, it must go.
Sometimes we find things we had totally forgotten about.
Bare with me just a moment and let me share a story with you:
In 1998 I was carrying our last child- the pregnancy had been difficult with a 5 year old and a 2 year old at home. I had been put on bed rest a couple of times and to be honest, I was just bone tired and quite lethargic. I went somewhere with a few ladies from the church. I think it was a WM retreat or something like that and my sweet, wonderful husband was going to help me out.

I had been talking about making room for the baby's stuff in my daughter's room, since they would be sharing a room. We needed to clean out, throw away and organize. He wanted to surprise me before I came home. So, he busily began the tedious job. There were MANY toys that the kids did not play with anymore and we desperately needed the room. He spent about 5 hours going through both children's closets and tidying up. (Yes, they were that bad!)

I walked in to a spotless organized home. I couldn't believe it! How on earth did he get so much done with two little ones underfoot?? (For one, he wasn't 6 months pregnant! ha!) I went to my 2 year old's closet and toy box and couldn't believe the difference clutter free could make. The collector of special things that I am, I began to ask, "Where's the giant Elmo? Where's the Tickle-me-Elmo we paid way too much money for that year? Where's the moses basket KiKi slept in til she was 1 yr old?"

The painful reality of letting clutter go began to sink in. Things I didn't need anymore were gone- never to be retrieved. I would like to share a "freeze frame" picture that did not happen, because the one that I dug out is not very complimentary.... but reality. I was not a happy mama! I let my unhappiness be known in no uncertain terms. (Remember- I was hormonal!) Things that I wanted to treasure, that we did not have room for we gone. GONE!!!! You may think I am about as loony as they come, but I grieved! I grieved over the Toy Story figurines, the Elmos, the baby dolls, the cars, all the little momentos of my children's baby years. Oh, I knew we couldn't keep everything, but I still grieved. It was hard to let go of things I thought I needed. But my husband in his wisdom, knew we needed the clutter gone and room for new and better things that were coming our way.

I think we are like that in our lives. We know we need things gone, but sometimes it is just too hard to let go. Our little earthly treasures pale in comparison to what God has in store for us!

How about getting along with God and allowing Him access to all of your inner parts - your hidden closets? Let Him search you and organize your heart. He is a loving Savior and will not throw away anything that you need. Give Him access to every corner, every closet, every little piece of your heart and He will prove to you that He is trustworthy and wonderful, holy and merciful.

I pray you have a wonderful day and have fun letting God "spring clean" your heart!

love you all!

Out of My Treasure Chest:
For your physical being:
  • Life Organizers - I just stumbled upon this wealth of information! You need to check this one out!
  • Fly Lady - One of my old favorites! Good philosophy on organizing.

For your spiritual being:

  • A Heart Like His by Beth Moore
  • Psalm 51 Click to read the chapter

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Beauty of The Spirit of Adoption

The Journey to Mia Grace

As most of you know we finally brought home our Mia Grace (our second granddaughter) last year. My daughter Glenda, her husband Brad, four year old Macy, and I departed from the United States on May 2, 2007. While the air travel was long and grueling, the journey to Mia Grace did not start in this Mid-South City, Fayetteville, or even from Chicago. The journey to Mia started almost seventeen years ago for the our family.
Our journey to Mia began in August of 1990 when a tiny 15 year old walked the aisle of Warner Spur Assembly of God in Camden, Arkansas to give her heart to Jesus Christ. It was a warm summer night. It was the perfect kind of night for the start of the football season. The 5th Quarter had been advertised with fun, games, food, and a service. The church was full of hungry teenagers who had just come from the scrimmage football game of the Harmony Grove High School.
It was that night that the minister preached a simple message and many students responded to turn their lives over to Jesus Christ. One of them was Glenda. She knelt at the altar with tears streaming down her face. There was a sincerity and humility before God that touched our hearts.
To make a long story short, that night was the beginning of a beautiful connection to Glenda. God placed in our hearts the “spirit of adoption”. The longing to make this child that was not biologically ours, a part of our family. Glenda needed a place to live and the rest is history. She became our child, our daughter, a descendant and an heir of Rusty and Dorinda.
She was our little girl, our “chickadee” as we nicknamed her. It was the spirit of adoption that made it so. It was not so much by court papers or legal documents, but a connection in our hearts.
As Glenda matured into the beautiful woman of God she is now, God began placing in her heart the “spirit of adoption”. She wanted her own biological children, but she also wanted a child that was not from her womb. We have our sweet, precious Macy, Brad and Glenda’s biological child; and now we have Mia in our arms, as well as in our hearts.

The whole “Journey to Mia” reminds me of the spiritual teaching about our salvation mentioned in Romans 8:15 – “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship (adoption in KJV). And by Him we cry, Abba, Father.” I love the commentary on this passage from John MacArthur below. His study gives insight into what Paul was thinking when he used the word adoption.
When the Bible says we have become the adopted sons of God, it doesn't mean God picked us up off the street just to care for us. It does mean He has chosen us to bear His name and inherit His estate. We don't become children of God through a process of natural birth; we become His children because He sovereignly chose us. That's the essence of the biblical concept of adoption.
The Spirit of Adoption
In Roman society, there were four consequences to being adopted.
1. The adopted person lost all ties to his old family
An adopted person gained all the rights of the natural children in his new family. That's a beautiful picture of what happens at salvation.
2. The adopted person became an heir of his new father
The existence of natural-born children did not affect the adopted child's rights. He was a co-heir--and sometimes the sole heir--if that's what the father wanted. The adopted child was considered as real a child as any natural-born children.
3. The adopted person's past was forgotten
When a person was adopted, all his legal debts were cancelled. He was given a new name, as if he had just been born. The same thing happened when you came to Christ: you were adopted into God's family, all your past debts were cancelled, and you became a co-heir of all the Son possesses.
All those things happened when we were adopted into God's family. We are legally and eternally the sons of God.
Although the word adoption is beautiful and rich in meaning, it is insufficient to explain all that happens to us when we become Christians. We are not only adopted, but also regenerated (2 Cor. 5:17). Both adoption and regeneration explain how God brings us to Himself. As adopted people, we are named "sons of God" and given title to an inheritance. Regeneration gives us the nature of sons and makes us fit for our inheritance.
We are under no condemnation because we have been adopted into God's family. All our former debts have been cancelled. Since He has made us His children and established our right to be in His presence, no one can condemn us because there is no higher court than God's court.
Taken from the Bible Bulletin Board; [Tony Capoccia;ible Bulletin BoardBox 119Columbus, New Jersey, USA, 08022Websites: and www.gospelgems.comEmail: tony@biblebb.comOnline since 1986 ]

The last paragraph says it all! We are His children, His descendants, and His heirs, whom He loves and adores! Wow!
I love you all and I pray you contemplate the richness of our relationship to the heavenly Father. It is His “spirit of adoption” for you makes you an heir and a descendant of all His eternal blessings! It is His desire for us that has made us His children. We were chosen! What a wonderful thought for today! He chose YOU as His very own child to love and hold, my sister!

In the days to come, I hope to share some of my journal entries from while I was in China.


Out of my Treasure Chest:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Spiritual Act of Worship

As we were going about our hustle and bustle of our normal school day routine, excitement filled our house the moment a small four letter word was yelled:

The kids were screaming and giggling! [Well, Jordan wasn't giggling.... He would die to think I wrote that... =)] Everyone was rushing to the window to see how "big" the flakes were. Another wave of excitement rolled through the kids when they witnessed the size of the flakes. Even my husband's reality check of: "You know it won't stick because it was 75 degrees yesterday," did not dampen the mood. We were all astonished that yesterday we were almost sweltering, (well, not really, but in comparison to today!) - and today it is snowing! Only in the Mid-South!

Something else happened this morning. As soon as I returned to the house from dropping the kids off, I rushed to my Bible to see what it was that was stirring in my spirit. I flipped through the pages of my favorite study Bible, and there it was, the chapter I was looking for. Psalm 51. I skimmed down through the verses and I found it. The whole time I was thinking about this blog post. But, in the midst of my rush my creator gently said, "Slow down, and read it all."

Talk about a whisper! Hmmmmmmmmmm. So, the smart girl that I am (ha!), I slowed down, and read the entire chapter, savoring every word. My heart began to weep. The feelings of why this chapter is so dear to me returned. His love. His mercy. His justice. His goodness. His holiness. OH, what a wonderful Savior we have!

As most of you know, we are in the beginning of a 21 day Daniel Fast at our church. Everyone who knows me has just wondered, "How on earth is Dorinda going to do without diet coke and m&ms?" And I am thinking, "How are me and my girls going to do without diet coke and chocolate!" Because my children have followed in my footsteps in these bad habits.

I have said all of the above to get to this point. And just so you will know, tears are streaming down my face as I am typing this. This morning my youngest child walked in the kitchen and announced quite loudly, "I want a diet coke SOOOOO BADDDDD!!" She is not doing the complete Daniel Fast, but did say she wanted to give up diet coke for Jesus. She is 9.

I stopped what I was doing and said, "Well, baby, you can have one if you want, but remember you said that is what you wanted to give up to be closer to Jesus."

The moment of decision had arrived and it showed on her scrunched up nose and face. I felt I had one of those moments in my hand that I wouldn't have again, so I pressed on. "You know what I did the other night? I wanted a diet coke really bad, and I remembered that every time I want something I have decided to give up, it is a chance to worship Jesus and tell Him how much I love Him. So I poured out a diet coke I had and told Him I loved Him more than diet coke as it was going down the drain."

I turned around to finishing cooking breakfast. The kitchen was quite except for the sounds of the food gurgling on the stove. Behind me I hear a "swoosh" of a coke bottle being opened up, and the next sound ushered in the very presence of God. It was the bubbly sound of the last bottle of diet coke being poured down the drain. I know you might think I am crazy, but it was if I could the smell the aroma of a sweet smelling sacrifice. I turned around to a very somber faced and determined 9 year old.

I knew I had just witnessed one of the most precious moments ever! You would have to be her mom to understand the depth of her "sacrifice". She had just given one of her first "Spiritual Acts of Worship". (Romans 12:1) So, I was drawn to Psalm 51.

In the NIV, verse 7 says, "Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow."
Verses 16 and 17 say, "You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."

What I learned from this today is that sometimes it takes a sacrifice for us to get a broken and contrite heart. When we give up something we REALLY want or think we REALLY need, then our hearts become broken and pliable so that God can get in there and do some deep cleaning. Then we will be "whiter than snow"!

There is so much more on my heart about this, but I have a staff meeting to attend.

I love you all, and I pray you have a broken and contrite heart today!

Out of my Treasure Chest:

Monday, March 3, 2008

Celebrating Easter with My Children

When my son was little and the only child at home, I wanted to make sure He understood what a wonderful day we celebrated on Easter. I thought and thought and prayed. He was only 2 or 3. Finally, I got an idea. I went to the store and bought a "Ken" doll. I found some scraps of material and other items throughout the house. For about a week or so preceding Easter our home Bible story times were about Jesus and His miracles and the good things He did. We used the "Jesus" doll.

I remember finding a toy horse and we re-enacted Palm Sunday. My child laughed and enjoyed the stories and his new hero. When it came time for the crucifixion, he was not happy. We had found some small pieces of wood. We "beat" Jesus and crucified him on the wood. (I had searched for a tomb and found a toy mountain that went to a train set of his. It was the perfect size. )

Sadly, we buried Jesus in his mountain tomb. Jordan was not happy. He wanted to get Jesus out. But I told him we had to follow the word of God. We would get his toddler Bible out and look at the story. We counted the days. One. Two. and finally it was almost Sunday! That Saturday night, after I put my little prince to bed, I had gone to the moutain tomb to get Jesus. I cleaned up the food coloring blood. I took off his ragged, "blood" stained robe, and dressed Him in the white cloth I had. I combed his hair and "hid" Jesus.

Sunday morning I awakened with a mission. My husband and I went through the house shouting, "He's Alive! He's Alive! Jesus is alive!" Our sleepy eyed toddler woke up and new it was time to finish the story. As he slowly woke up, he went to the tomb looking for Jesus. He was shocked to find Jesus wasn't there. He looked at me and wanted to know where Jesus was! I told him he must find him. So we began searching the house until Jesus was found- all clean and royal looking in his white robe and purple sash. We finished our Easter story with an age level admonition to always seek Jesus- because He was our God who was alive and not dead.

I don't know if you have children or not - or maybe grandchildren, but I hope you someway, somehow, make this story real to your kids. I haven't done this with my girls, because we have always done with Easter dramas since they have been born.

One year when my Kiki was about 2, I whined to God saying, "I did all of this neat stuff when Jordan was little. How is my baby girl going to get that same excitement about your resurrection. We're always so busy at the church. I feel as if I'm cheating my precious princess of some great teaching moments." God was silent. I was slightly offended.

At the end of a very busy Easter Sunday, after people had seen our drama and many came to know Jesus, a very "silent" God spoke through the voice of a 2 year old. We were about to lay down for a much need Sunday afternoon nap, when I heard my 2 year old run through the house, "He's awive! He's awive!!" I jumped up to see what she was doing. I asked her what was wrong. She looked up at me with her big blue eyes and said, "Jesus is awive!!!!"

With tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, I thanked God because I may not have dressed up a "Ken" doll to be Jesus, but my baby got the message through the Easter drama. Jesus IS alive!

Easter is quickly approaching! It is he Sunday that we celebrate our Savior's resurrection! How awesome it is to know we serve a risen Savior! He's not dead and in a tomb- He is alive and sitting at the right hand of the Father! However, whatever, and whenever, please take time to teach your children the Truth! We serve a risen Savior! He is alive and is powerful= and cares about your every need. And if you go to our church, sign your children and yourself up for the drama! It is an awesome way for your kids to see and "experience" the Easter story!

If you do not know Him, I dare you to ask Him to reveal Himself to you! He loves you and wants to spend eternity with you!


Out of my Treasure Chest:
(This is my new resource label. I will try to give you a "treasure" I have found on each of my posts.)
  • Here is a website that has a do-it-yourself version of the Resurrection Eggs. Click Here
  • Another "treasure" I had when my kids were little - (and there in lies the problem - with the word "HAD") was the animated videos by the Christian company that used Disney animators. I know someone out there knows the name and information on these. I don't hear a lot about these anymore, maybe because my kids are older, but they are great!
  • I would love to hear some of your Treasures on this subject!