Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Having a Thankful Heart

As I said yesterday, I am looking at "giving thanks in all things" in honor of our Thanksgiving Season.

I made my one millionth trip to my bathroom sink last night :) to wash some dishes (see yesterday's post) and I almost uttered some grumbling. Then I remembered-

"Give thanks in all Circumstances"......

So, I began thanking God for all things.

(Don't think I am super spiritual - just human and trying desperately to be obedient to God's Word.)

That process brought back some memories for me. It was then that the floodgates of my heart opened and praise and thankgsiving poured out of my spirit!

You see, years ago, when I was told I would never have children, God asked me to thank Him for that. Every month when I knew once again a child was not in my womb, God gently asked me to thank Him that I was not pregnant.

It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I felt like I was lying to God. But I eventually obeyed.

I didn't understand then, and I think I am just beginning to understand now.

God was asking me to :

Trust Him
Have Faith in His Will
Thank Him ahead of time that His will is better than mine

God wanted me to Trust Him.

He wanted me to Trust my deepest desires to Him.

He literally wanted me to throw my desires and longings away- put them in the trash heap of life.

It wasn't a bad desire. I just wanted a baby- a part of me and my husband - a baby to hold in my arms and love and cherish.

A baby.

God wanted me to trust Him whether I held an infant in my arms, as my own, or not.

God wanted me to have faith in HIS will for us.

He wanted me to have faith that He knew what was best for us- regardless of what we thought or desired.

His divine and perfect will is best for us.

What we couldn't see (in the future) was the beautiful teen aged daughter God had for us.

What we couldn't see was the fact that if we had a baby in our arms, would we have so readily brought a teen into our home.

God wanted me to thank Him in advance that His will was better than mine.

What I didn't know was that I was thanking Him for my daughter and her family in faith. I was thanking Him in faith for the blessings that I could not even imagine He was going to send our way.

Sure it would have been easier during my "barren" years if I could have seen into the future. If I could have a glimpse of my beautiful Glenda, if I could have felt Macy's arms around my neck, if I could have known the joy of holding Mia for the first time, - then thanking God would have been a breeze- BUT God wanted me to thank Him in advance and in faith- in Trust simply for knowing He is God and His ways are so much more above my ways! Faith is "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

See, I thought during my "barren" years I was to thank God in faith for the children He was going to give me. But God asked me to "thank Him that I was not pregnant each month."

Do you see the difference? Basically by thanking Him that my desire did not come to pass, I was able to thank Him that His will was being done in my life.

Thus- 1 Thess. 5:18

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

I said, "Thank you God that I am not pregnant."

I say, "Thank You God that I did not have a child in 1984, or in 1985, or in 1986, or in 1987, or in 1988, or in 1989 - because in 1990 you gave us the perfect daughter- in Your time, in Your way, in Your greatness!"

I say, "Thank You God for my precious grandaughters!"

I pray I always have a thankful heart.
I pray I always trust Him even when I can't see His plan.
I pray I always give Him my desires and my longings.

I pray I always have a thankful heart.

My prayer for you today is that you have a thankful heart.
God is so good and His love and mercy endure forever!

blessings to you my friends!
Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Give Thanks in ALL Things

This week in honor of Thanksgiving, I am looking at ways to be thankful.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "Give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Do you want to be smack dab in the center of God's will?

Then here you go! Give thanks in ALL circumstances!

Sometimes it takes a little creativity!

Sometimes things just don't go the way they are supposed to.

Sometimes our level of comfort is changed!

Sometimes we learn to be thankful for things we previously took for granted.

Today is that "some time".

This past summer our kitchen sink got clogged up and before it was over we had two or three different plumbers at our house. It was an inconvenience, but not enormously huge, because I just took the dishes in the back yard and washed them in a big tub. (I felt like a member of the Ingalls family!)

The Roto-Rooter guys came and did something that made my sink work again! Hallelujah! They also said that if this happened again, we might have serious problems and they would need to bust up my living room floor to find the problem.

Oh, nooooooooo!

Well, here we are six months later and we have a problem.


It is a little cold to wash dishes in the back yard. (Goodbye Ingalls!)

The plumber people haven't arrived yet, and I am looking for ways to be grateful.... and they are just popping out all over the place!

I am thankful that I have always had a sink! I never knew how much I used that thing!

I am thankful that I do NOT have to do dishes outside!

I am thankful for my garbage disposal.

I am thankful for my dishwasher. (Both of those are out of commission now, too!)

I am thankful for all of the modern conveniences that I take SO MUCH for granted!

I am thankful for my kitchen drain!

I honestly have never thought about how often I use my drain.

I pour out the watered down diet coke from my glass before I get some more diet coke. (Now that is a lot of uses right there!)

I put the scraps from our plates in the garbage disposal.

I run water to wet a towel to clean my counter tops and stove.

I run water to rinse dishes.

The first day my sink was stopped up, I was just sick. I probably was not the most thankful person then. I may have even griped a little.

Ok. Well, a lot!

But today, I am thinking, I know this isn't forever. There is someone out there who has the proper tools that can fix my sink. I don't have to live like this day in and day out. I will have my conveniences back again.

Wow! The fact that I have a clogged kitchen sink means I have a home to live in. For that I am TRULY thankful!

So, things may not be working the way they should. But I am blessed and very, very,





thankful that it is my kitchen sink stopped up and not all my toilets!!!




Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Birthday Blessings!

Today is my birthday. Woo hoo! I am 40 + and loving every second of it!

My life is wonderful!
My husband is amazing!
My family is wonderful!
My friends are the best!

and I am blessed beyond measure!
I feel I have the fairy tale!

I have this amazing husband who never ceases to amaze me. God has given me four precious children- 3 gorgeous daughters and 1 handsome son and a great son-in-law. Of course I must add - 2 absolutely adorable grandaughters! And to add to that- I am blessed with great in-laws- all of them. I love them dearly!

But my wonderful life started with my parents. 45 years ago today in a tiny doctor's office in Tennessee (Yes, TN - gasp! The only non Razorback native in my family!), my mother gave birth to me - and if I remember correctly, my dad passed out- or almost did! :)
The "wonderfulness" of my life started with these 2 amazing parents. I am so blessed. They have served God faithfully for the entirety of my life. Their prayers have benefited me more times than I will ever know. Their faith was instilled into me- for that I am eternally grateful.

If it wasn't for their loving guidance, I would not have been blessed with my awesome husband.

If it wasn't for their faith in God, I may not know my Savior now.

How do I began to thank God for allowing me to be brought up in such a wonderful love filled home? I don't even know where to start except to say from the depths of my being, "Thank You, God!"
I am also thankful that the lady who gave birth to me, is still with me today. Mom's birthday was last Thursday. When I was born, she had just turned 20 years old. Just a baby herself, yet she was already an amazing mother who had an incredible husband at her side- my dear, wonderful dad. (In June of 2009 they will celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary!)

In the spring of this year, we all felt mom's time with us was growing short. I honestly did not think that I would be able to celebrate another birthday with her. Yet, God in His great mercy has given us another birthday week to celebrate together!

I am sooooo blessed and full of thanksgiving for ALL of God's goodness to me!

Blessed beyond measure and living in His extravagant grace is the theme of my life!
May you know Him as your Savior and Redeemer today!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Creator of the Universe

I think God is AWESOME in all of His ways!

As I was driving to work this morning I noticed the beauty of my surroundings.

There was a light fog that hovered just above the road. The wind was gently blowing the trees, and instead of large amounts of the beautiful red and orange leaves falling, just one or two would swirl down gracefully one by one. It looked like the fog would reach out and try to catch the leaves. Then by the artistic nature of God, a single ray of sunshine filtered through the trees and shone on a fallen leaf.

It reminded me of my favorite name or reference to God - Creator of the Universe.

He is the Great Creator - the only Creator!

I am not a super smart person by any means but I do know that to create the universe required intelligent design, not just a big bang or evolution.

I read in Isaiah today:
"He sits enthroned above the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in..... Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing."
Yet that same powerful, creative God ends chapter 40 of Isaiah with,
"Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Wow! Even though He is powerful enough to create the ENTIRE universe, He is a personal God.

He is personal in His relationship with YOU!
If you haven't talked to Him lately, He misses YOU!
If you haven't desired time with Him, He longs for YOU!
If you shun His Holiness and Majesty, He knows.
He is not sitting in heaven waiting to bop you on the head when you mess up.
He is the perfect Father. His love is amazing and just. His grace is undeserving.

But above all, He LOVES YOU the way you are enough to give His Son for you to have eternal life.

He is the Creator of the Universe who loves YOU!

May you experience HIM in a personal way today! Seek Him and you will find Him!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Valley of Baca

In the almost two years I have had my blog, the posts that generate the most random hits are the ones on the Valley of Baca.

This little verse in Psalm 84:6 has intrigued many.

So, I did a little more research this morning. (I really want to write a story, but I don't have time - and that is killing my little soul!)

Valley of Baca:

It seems the scholars can't agree if this was a real valley or just a poetic use of words. It is agreed that the phrase was used to signify a valley of weeping.

The point that I have not mentioned before in my other posts on the Valley of Baca is that of considering the entire Psalm 84.

(Before you go any further, please bear in mind that I am NOT a scholar. :) In fact, although I was able to skip the majority of my college English classes, my weakness has always been when the ask: "What was the author trying to say in this paragraph?" I don't ever remember getting those questions right!)

But, to ME, this whole chapter is about being in the presence of God.

The Psalmist begins with "How lovely is Your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God."

Have you been like that lately? Have you just gotten so hungry to feel God's presence that nothing else matters?

If you have no clue what I am talking about, then, trust me, it is high time you did.

To experience the presence of the Creator of the Universe is like nothing you will ever experience anywhere! His love is overwhelming and His holiness is unmistakable.

And once you have encountered His Presence by knowing His Person, you will not be the same.

The psalmist also talks about wanting the presence of God so much that one is willing to go on the pilgrimage to find HIM.

I could go on, but I am going to stop here, and encourage you to read the entire chapter with that thought - "finding and experiencing God's Presence".

Going through the Valley of Baca is part of a journey- a journey that takes you to the feet of our God, a journey that leads you into His Presence.

Sure, there may be weeping, but how it is worth it!

Click on the links below to my other posts on Baca as well.

blessings to you as you enter His Presence!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Crossing Jordan

I have lived the majority of my life next to the mighty Mississippi River. Every time I cross the bridge and peer down into the boisterous water I think I am very glad to be crossing the river on the bridge rather than by boat.

I am not afraid of water by any means, but I do have a healthy respect for the dangers a strong current possesses.

My husband preached on "Five Reasons the Wall of Jericho Fell" last night. It was a wonderful message (as always) and it influenced my Bible reading this morning. (And I am working on a narrative about it.... but that comes at a later day!)

But the part that caught my eye this morning was the Jordan River crossing.

Okay. I am a mom and a grandmother. I can get just a liiiiiiitttle protective of my kids and grandkids. My husband laughs at me sometimes saying that I go overboard. But, hey! I have seen stuff - and want all my little chickens safe and accounted for.

My point? Can you imagine all of these moms (how many ever millions there were) crossing the Jordan River with their children?

"Eli!! I said stay right here! Rebekah, please stop crying. It will be okay. Yahweh will take care of us. Abram! Do NOT GO NEAR THAT WALL OF WATER!!!! Do you want the entire nation to be drowned!!? Honey, do you think you could please hold Eli's hand? I am afraid we might lose him. No, Abram. I don't know why there is no mud. Eli, please do not pick up the fish. Rebekah, it is ok. You are choking me. I promise I won't let you go. ABRAM! DO NOT THROW ROCKS AT THE WATER!!!"

And then, what if your husband or son was one of the priests carrying the ark?

They were the first in and the last out.

Or what about one of the leaders of the 12 tribes. After everyone crossed and the priests were still in the middle with the ark, Joshua tells the leaders to go back in and get rocks to make a memorial with.

I am thinking my response might have been......

"Sure! Have US go down and get the stones. Let us be drowned like a rotten Egyptian. You just stay up there on the dry ground and we'll go get the stones for your little memorial. You could have asked us on the way. We could have just carried it out with us the first time!"

Or what about Joshua......

"Yahweh, You told me not to fear or be terrified. I am trying. These people are looking to me to lead them safely to the other side. Please be faithful to us as you were to Moses and that stiffnecked generation. You promised and I am counting on You God."

Maybe there was excitement that they were experiencing the miraculous like their fathers had seen.

Maybe they were in complete awe of the omnipotence of their God.

Maybe they were in reverence of His majesty.

Was there a holy hush as they walked through on dry ground?

Were they thankful they weren't being chased by Egyptians like their ancestors were?

Were they scared spitless?

Was there an underlying excitement of expectation of the miraculous in entering the Promised Land?

Were the wives and mothers wondering if they would lose their husbands and sons in battle against the people of Jericho?

And my biggest question:

How would I have responded to walking across dry ground in the middle of a river -with the walls of water on both sides?

I only pray I would have responded in faith and trust in the God that I love so much.

How about you?

Something to think about!
(Read Joshua 1-4)


Thursday, November 6, 2008

To Know You is to Love You

I must really need to learn something in Philippians 1:9 because each morning after my daily Bible reading, God leads me back to this verse.

So, I looked at it a little more this morning. And "voila!" I saw some more meat!

Philippians 1:9 NIV - "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, ...."

What did my little eyes see this morning?

I saw the depth of these prepositional phrases.

Paul was praying for the Philippians. He prayed that their love would abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight....

Basically, he prayed, the more you get to know people, may your love abound!

Well, I take that to go two ways.

1) The more I know my husband, the more I love him. He is my rock and he never ceases to amaze me in his intelligence and wisdom. So I have found myself 25 years later, head over heels in love with Rusty Blann. Every day I love him a little more.

2) There are some people that the more I know them, well..... ahmmmm, the less I LIKE them, let alone LOVE them! Good googelly woo! They have so many annoying habits my instinct is to run when I see them. (none of you, of course!) :) But Paul prays that our love will abound more and more in knowledge. Not just when the knowledge is good.


So, I take it whether the "knowing" is good or not so good that my love should abound more and more.

And it doesn't stop there!
Not only is our love to abound more and more in knowledge, but also in depth of insight.

Whew!!! What was Paul thinking?
Has he met some of the people I have?

No, but he was in prison and was persecuted a little bit more than I have been.

So, depth of insight. What on earth does that mean?

My little word study from studylight.org shows me that this word means "perception, not only by the senses but by the intellect cognition, discernment; of moral discernment in ethical matters".

Allow me to give you the LAD version (life according to Dorinda):
This is what I pray for you and for me: that your love will grow and grow in all areas of your life and that the more you learn about God and His perfect love -the more you will love others. I pray your love for others will continue to grow as you get to know others. May your knowledge of others help you love them more and give you an insight into the needs and issues they have in their life.

Ok. Time to stop blogging and start praying - 'cause I've got some praying to do.

May you be blessed by His Word. I pray it is a seed in your heart that produces a hundred fold of Christlike qualities in your life!


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We're All in this Together

I took my youngest child to see the movie (along with every other parent of 9 year old girls in America) the week HSM3came out.

Since then, I hear this song, over and over in my head! But I don't know any more of the words. I should ask Taylor. I am sure she can sing every word.

But today, maybe we all need to be stuck on this phrase.

We are all in this together.
We are a GREAT country! Our forefathers gave us some wonderful democratic principles to govern by. Regardless of which party won, or which candidate succeeded, in January we will have a new president.

So, our task as Christian evangelicals, is to begin now praying for the new leader of our country. We must ask God to speak to his heart and give him wisdom and discernment. We must pray that President elect Obama will lead our country as God would have him to lead. We must pray for his family.

For the past eight years I have prayed for President and Mrs. Bush and their two daughters. I pledge to do the same for our new president.

I will pray that he knows Jesus Christ in a real and personal way. I will pray that he is an instrument of God's will for our nation and that he will continue our American legacy of protecting Israel.

I will fervently pray that President elect Obama will value the sacredness of human life, from conception to the grave. I will pray that he supports our troops and makes sure they have everything they need to keep our country safe.

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. Let's agree together to put our differences aside and stand behind the leader of this great nation in fervent prayer and intercession. We owe it to our future president to pray for him. We owe it to our children and their children.

One of the beautiful things about our country is that we can disagree and still live and work side by side with respect and harmony.

So, for my friends who voted for Obama, I say, "Congratulations! Now, let's work together to keep America great."

To my friends who were McCain and Palin supporters, I say, "What can we do now to keep life sacred in the womb? Our job is not finished."
We ARE all in this together!

Blessings to all of you this beautiful day!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

On Discernment and Leadership

I am very thoughtful today. I am very prayerful today.

Not only for this great country's election, but also for some dear friends who are in the valley of decision.

With all of this in mind, I have 3 main thoughts that bring these things together:

"Everything rises and falls on leadership." ~ John Maxwell

"Evil triumphs when good men do nothing." ~ Unknown, possibly Edmond Burke

And last, but certainly not least: Philippians 1:9-11

"9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God.


My middle daughter just devoured a book that raised numerous questions for her growing knowledge of history and faith. Her curiosity was piqued more when I reminded her that her father and I visited the setting of the book.

The book? Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli
The setting? The Ghetto in Warsaw, Poland
The plot? The Nazi invasion of Poland and the Holocaust of the Jews imprisoned in the Ghetto

Page after page she read. Question after question she asked.

One question in particular: Why did people let them (Nazis) get away with this?


I ask myself the same question.

History has a way of repeating itself.

I asked her a question in return.

"The Jewish people have been persecuted for centuries. When was the first attempt to wipe out the nation of God?"

She thought and thought.

With a few hints she came up with Pharoah in the book of Exodus murdering the Israelite baby boys.


I wonder, is there much difference in that and abortion?

I think not.

Abortion is a tool of the enemy to try to destroy God's purposes for precious human life.

"When we as a nation agree to murder innocent life, we align ourselves with the intentions of evil." ~ my quote. I said it and I believe it!

Now to bring all of these things together, not only regarding our country, but for life situations as well.

You may not consider yourself a leader. You may prefer to stay in the background and not be seen or heard.
But God wants His people to speak up for what is right. It is called justice.

Whether it is speaking out against abortion, the homosexual agenda, or standing up for what is right in a church, we must let our voice be heard.

But HOW do you know if what you stand for is right according to God's Word?

That is where Philippians 1:9-11 comes in.
Prayer for discernment. Allowing His love in us to abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.

If we are not people of the Word, we can be sure that we will be mislead and follow the wrong path.
If we meditate, read and daily saturate ourselves in His Word, then we will have that love that abounds more and more that leads to discernment, that leads to a sense of justice.

So, in all situations in life, I encourage you to stand up for what is right. I encourage you to let your voice be heard - AFTER you have saturated yourself in God's Word and allowed His Spirit to give you discernment. Your love will abound more and more for others. When that happens you know you are on the right track. If you are judgemental and are full of bitterness, then you know you are being deceived.

Ok. Oh, how I want to share so much more on this. My heart is full.

blessings to all of you!
Pray for our nation today!