Friday, January 30, 2009

Follow up to "The Choice"

Today's post was written in honor of Sanctity of Human Life Day a couple of weeks ago.
So many women have made a choice that has haunted them for years. But there is hope, healing and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

There is also help line for Post-Abortive women- 1-866-482-LIFE. A toll-free confidential call.
Website is www.conceptsoftruth.org

Our country has decided that abortion is a woman's "choice"- but that choice has come with a price, not just for the unborn child but for the abortive mother as well.

I have friends and family that have suffered from post-abortive syndrome. It is real. It is painful. It can effect the rest of a woman's life in negative ways.

But there IS help!
If you chose to have an abortion, I do not judge you. Only God is your judge and He says that sin is sin and He paid the price for all sins.

There is also emotional help. The confidential help from women who have recovered from the effects of abortion.

May you experience His love and forgiveness today!
blessings,
dorinda

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Choice




I am hosting Fiction Friday today! Please log on to Mr. Linky at the bottom to add a link to your Fiction Friday post. And as always, comments are welcome!


THE CHOICE

She sat straight up in bed!

There it was again!

With her heart pounding and perspiration pouring, she laid back on her pillow and let the tears flow. How long had it been since she had a full night's sleep without that sound screaming in her head?

Why did she have to go through with it? Why did she listen to him? Why didn't she just trust her heart?

If her family knew the truth, what would her life be like now?

She switched her pillow to the other side, because now it was soaked. Surely, anything would be better than this!

As usual, she fell asleep just a few minutes before the alarm rang.

Another day.

Another sleepless night.

Another nightmare.

Another day of regrets.

It was a vicious cycle that she couldn't find her way out.

On her way to work, she stopped by Starbucks and got her favorite mocha. Maybe the caffeine will keep me coherent today, she thought.

Chrissy, the new receptionist was a little too chipper this morning. Jan just looked at her when Chrissy announced, "Guess What!!!! You'll never guess! I'm so excited!!!"

"What is it Chrissy?", Jan asked as she placed her mocha carefully away from the "happy" girls expressive hands.

"It turned PINK!! The little line on the pregnancy test turned pink!!! I'm pregnant!!!!

In a sudden surge of emotion, regret, and grief, Jan felt as if she would vomit right then and there. Instead, her hands spilled the cappuccino all over the next client's file.

At least the commotion was a distraction from her awkward reaction.

Why did she always do this? This is a happy time for Chrissy. Why should her stupid decision from the past keep her from rejoicing with her friend?

Jan mustered the strength to congratulate her co-worker and plastered a smile on her face at the same time.

In the break room, she sat with her black coffee staring out the window.

She saw two teenagers arm in arm walking down the street.

How long ago was that her? Six years.

Six years since she was happy and carefree.

Now the "choice" of her past haunted her every thought, move, and dream.

Jimmy had long left her dreams. As soon as her "deed" was done, he dumped her like a lead balloon. Their last conversation included the words "slut" and "whore". Confused and heart broken, Jan left town to try and forget her past.

But it seemed the past wouldn't let go.

The break room door opened and Chrissy bounced in. Upon seeing Jan, her smile faded.

"You OK?", Chrissy asked.

"Sure, girlfriend! What's up?"

Chrissy sat opposite Jan and looked her straight in the eyes. "I want to tell you a story. It may not mean anything at all to you, but I think you need to hear this."

The next few minutes Jan sat and listened to Chrissy pour out her heart. They shared a box of tissue as Chrissy shared her story of "choice" and heartache. Jan could not believe her ears! Happy, chipper Chrissy! How come she didn't look like she had the nightmares like Jan?!

Chrissy's story took a turn now.

"I don't know how many tears I cried, how many sleepless nights or how many nightmares I had. I didn't think I could ever face my family or friends, until I met Him."

"Him? Who? Your husband?", Jan asked.

"No. He is Jesus! He gave me a peace because He forgave me for my choice - and everything else I ever did wrong. I had to realize that the abortion was not my only choice of wrong doing. I had committed many sins, and will continue to, but Jesus loved me enough to take my sins away by dieing on the cross for my sins. I just had to accept His forgiveness and allow His peace to flood my heart and soul."

The black coffee was now cold, but Jan's heart began to feel a warmth she had never felt.

Peace.

It was like a foreign word, yet something she craved with all her heart.

Jesus.

It sounded so simple, so warm. Her heart filled with hope as Chrissy told her more of Christ's love and forgiveness.

Maybe, just maybe, happiness wasn't impossible after all.

If Chrissy experienced His forgiveness, maybe she could too!

.................................................................................

Human Frailty

I am constantly reminded of my weaknesses. Whether it is because of my lack of planning, my ill-use of time, my big picture mentality 0r my head in the sand syndrome, I daily wish I were different.

I look at my wonderful husband, and he is so organized and meticulous and always has an answer for everything! I, on the other hand, am always looking for my keys, my purse, my glasses, or my shoes. (I am thankful I am not constantly looking for my kids!) My nine year old leaves me notes all the time that say, "Mommy, please do not forget to bring my book." Or "Mommy, please, please, do not forget to mail my birthday party invitations."

How sad is that?

I said all of that to say, God made us each unique and while those unique qualities have their idiosyncrasies, we must learn to minimize our weaknesses while maximizing our strengths.

2009 is my year to stretch myself in those weaknesses.

Ouch!

Did I just type that? Did I really put that out there to be held accountable for all those things?

Now, I know I AM crazy!

I thought of this because I have been trying for two weeks to work on my blog to get it ready to host Fiction Friday tomorrow. (I was supposed to host it last week, but my time-management skills crucified that plan!) So, I follow all of the instructions until I get to this page of detailed explanation. I just skim over it- because that really just overwhelms my poor little brain!
Then I get frustrated because it doesn't work.

So, in light of my 2009 Resolutions, I go back determined to read and comprehend every word, every syllable, and every detail.

Poof!

Nothing happened! I still couldn't comprehend it. But at least I know I tried and worked through that part of my personality.

I am working harder on my time management skills.
Don't laugh!

I really am.

My daughter has a doctor's appointment today at noon. I have given myself until 10:30 to finish this blog. "Live by the margin" Rusty says. "Create enough room in your schedule to plan for the unexpected." That is just what I have been doing, and so far- I have been on time much more than I have been late!

Yaaaay Me!

In my communication with others, I am continually learning. I want to be a better person, not the same person. I want others to feel valued, loved and accepted. I want to display the love of Christ at all times in all situations.

If I am "satisfied" with myself, then those goals won't be reached. This is the year where I get out of my comfort zone and get stronger, better and more like Christ!

So, let's make our Human Frailties smaller and our dependence on Christ stronger.

It is through HIM that we are and achieve!

Blessings to you today!
dorinda

Friday, January 23, 2009

Caught!


This week Fiction Friday is hosted Patty at Patterings . Stop by to read more Friday Fiction. We would love for you to join!

Sorry if you stopped by earlier to sign on to Mr. Linky. I think he is a little smarter than I am. I apologize for the confusion.

I wanted to write something today in honor of Sanctity of Life Sunday last week.... but I opted for a story from a previous post. This is the actual post I wrote in March of 2008. We all need to live in the abundance of His forgiveness and grace and run towards Him!
Blessings to each of you today!
.......................................................................................

Caught!

The slumbering city began to stir as the first beams of daylight filtered through the shadowed streets. She knew she had to leave soon or risk being caught.

Each time she met him in secret, she loathed herself that much more. How did she end up like this? This wasn't the way it was supposed to be. She had seen the contempt for her in his eyes just now. Did he hate her as much as she hated herself? How did it go so wrong?

Her pulse quickened and adrenaline shot through her as she heard the clambering footsteps reach the threshold! The voices were shouting angrily! That was her husband's voice! How- how did he find her? "Oh, God!” she thought, "They will stone me!!" "I will die!" They threw him against the wall and grabbed her. One of them caught her by the hair and pulled her out of the door causing pain to shoot from her scalp down through her shoulders. The pain was almost blinding. Another man had her arms in a vice grip that threatened to break the skin.

The next few minutes were surreal. This couldn't be happening to her. Not now! It was as if she were watching it all happen to someone else. The humiliation. The shame. The fear. The hate! She was dragged out of the house, out of the door, down the street. She couldn't even get her footing. Her loose garments were exposing her body to the bloodthirsty, lustful men who were taking her to who knew where.

As this little army paraded her down the streets, doors and windows began opening to see what all the commotion was about. She tried to hide her face. "Oh God!!! Why is this happening?!!" Fear kept the tears from flowing, but the sobs were stuck in her throat. Every few seconds she gasped for air - knowing this could be the final minutes of her pitiful life.

And then, they stopped. She was thrown down like a piece of trash and she landed in a heap, humiliated and bruised. Gathering her garments around her, she peered around to see she was at someone's feet. Was it the priest? Is this where she would die? Is this where she would be stoned for her blood to be on this man's sandals?

Looking up, she saw it wasn't the priest, but the teacher in town - the man with the kind eyes and gentle voice. She gazed up excpecting to see the same hate and contempt as the others had, but what she saw amazed her. His eyes were full of compassion, kindness, and a pure love! He must not know what she had done.

She was in the temple courts. People were already gathered to hear the teacher. All eyes were on her....no, they were on Him. What would he do? The Pharisees jerked her up and almost pushed her into the teacher.

"Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery." His very words betrayed the hate and venom in his heart.

Just hearing the word - adultery- made her cringe. They were speaking of her! The little girl who had had such big dreams. Here she was, being humiliated in the temple in front of people whom she had known her whole life. Her husband was in this bunch somewhere. And she was now known for what she was - an adulterous woman. The words carried the finality of the death she was about to experience.

"In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?"

Her every muscle tensed up expecting a stone to be hurled her way in an instant. She closed her eyes and waited for the blow. Instead she heard a soft stirring of sand. Cautiously, she opened her eyes. What she saw confused her more. The teacher was bent down writing in the sand. What was he writing? She couldn't see!

The Pharisess began with their accusations and pushing him for an answer - a verdict. The teacher stood up. He looked at the crowd. He was about to speak.

"If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." He bent down again and wrote again in the sand.

Once again, she closed her eyes tightly and waited for the pummeling of the stones.

Nothing.

Her heart was beating so fast, she felt sure everyone could hear it. Her worthless life flashed before her eyes- images of happy times, but mostly the sad. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to just die. Maybe then she would stop hurting the people she loved the most.

Still nothing.

After what seemed like an eternity she gathered the courage to open her eyes. They were all gone!

The teacher spoke to her. "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

She looked again to make sure. Where did they go? But no one was left! Just herself and the teacher. She swallowed to somehow muster the bravery to speak. Her mouth was so dry. Her heart beat even faster. Her hands were shaking.

Her voice betrayed her fear. It was crackling and shakey. "No one, sir," she replied.

"Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin."

He turned and walked away. She stood there all alone. Where would she go? She couldn't go home. She couldn't show up and expect her husband just to take her back. Her parents? No, she had caused them so much shame already.

Go and leave your life of sin......

The only place she knew that would let her in was..... NO! She couldn't! Not after what just happened! But where?! ...........

Whatever her future held, she knew she would never be the same. The Master had changed her life forever.



__________________________________________

What ending do you put there? What have you done with the words of escape and salvation from Jesus?

This story was taken from the Biblical account in John 8. I have added some possible details, but the fact is, we all relate to this woman.

No. I have never had an adulterous affair. I have never been caught in a "stoning worthy" sin, but I have sinned. You have sinned. We have all sinned and all have come short of the glory of God.

With our Holy God, there are no "big sins" and "little sins". All of it is sin. And sin separates us from His presence. I am no better than the woman in John 8. I am no better than you. I am a sinner! I have been saved by grace. I was on my way to an eternal hell- without Jesus!

Separation from God is not an option for me. I need Him- with every breath I breathe and every step I take. I need Him right beside me. So when, not "if" I sin, I throw myself at His feet and at His mercy. I cannot be separated from His presence!

But when He tells me to "Go now and leave your life of sin". I have a choice. Do I forge out into new and unfamiliar territory and leave the "life of sin" behind me in the dust. Or do I slowly crawl back to the familiar? the "safe"? the known?

What will you do? When you experience the wonderful cleansing power of His precious blood, do you bathe in its holiness, or do you carelessly spill it, stepping, trodding, stomping His blood under your feet and into the sand? Is His blood blotting out the handwriting in the sand?

There is still time. Turn your back on the sin that so easily entangles you and run with perseverance the race marked out for you. You don't have to go back to the house that entrapped you.

Run after the teacher!!!! Run! You can catch Him. Call His name- Jesus! He hears you! He will answer! Don't stop! Run! Be desperate for Him! He will show you where to go. He will give you a safe place. He will make a way of escape for you!

Run!!!!
I am running with you!
I don't want to stand here by myself.
If I stay here by myself. I know me. I will go back to the same old house.

I am running!
I am screaming His name!

Jeeeeeee- suuuuuuuus!!!!!! I need you!!!!!!!

Jeeeeeee- suuuuuusssss!!!!!!
Have mercy on me!!!!!

I feel the warmth of His presence!
His arms are embracing me!
His love fills my soul!

I never want to leave this place! His blood saves me. His grace sustains me. His spirit empowers me. His word cleanses me. His love changes me.
_________________________________________

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you TRUST in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Wow! God is awesome! I pray you Know Him.

love you all.
dorinda

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Letter to Former President George W. Bush

Dear Mr. Bush:

I am keenly aware that you will probably never read or even see this letter, but I feel I must express my sentiments, if for nothing else, my legacy to my children~ hopefully a legacy of expressing gratitude, appreciation and honor where it is due.

As I write this, I am watching the numerous inauguration coverages of President Barack Obama. I see the frenzy of people excited about what the next four years might possibly hold.

While others are looking to the future, I am thinking about the past eight years~ eight years that America has continued to enjoy freedom and safety within her borders.

On September 11, 2001, I watched in horror as terrorists attacked our country from within. Civilians- men, women, and children were killed and our level of comfort and security as Americans was changed forever. That morning, I sat on the edge of my bed with tears streaming down my face, clinging to my children. Fear gripped my heart. I was afraid~ afraid for the future, afraid for my children, and afraid for my country.

I do believe however, that you, President Bush, were placed in power under the direct sovereignty of God Almighty. Because of your strength of character and leadership, America stood strong and united during those first harrowing days. You spoke with a firm determination to find the hiding places of the cowardly terrorists. You spoke with resolve that we would remain secure. You, President Bush, led this country, not only to a place of safety, but also returned us to a mindset of security.

I want to thank you today for your courageous leadership for the past eight years. I want to thank you because there were over a million people today gathered in D.C. for the inauguration who enjoyed the safety and security that Americans have come to expect and take for granted- again.

Our brave troops, led by you- their Commander in Chief- have fought to keep our borders secure. Men and women have willingly pledged their lives to keep our freedom intact. You, President Bush, with strength of leadership, kept the hope alive, the we Americans do not have to live in fear or trepidation.

I do believe that in the years to come, you will be heralded in history, just as you are in the hearts of my family, as a hero~ a HERO who helped shape a nation in times of war and terrorism.

So, as you and Mrs. Bush retire to your farm in Texas, I hope you somehow will know and understand the depth of gratitude that one little family in Arkansas has for the Bush Administration.

On September 11, 2001, I was reminded of the story of Esther~
"But who knows that you came into the kingdom for such a time as this...."

With sincere gratitude, appreciation, and honor,

Dorinda Blann

Let Freedom Ring!

Ok. I know I have already posted today, but I just have to blog on this!

I am sitting in my living room working on my little computer while the Roto-Rooter guy is working on my kitchen sink.

The ABC newscast is dissecting President Obama's speech.

The reporter asks the director of the African American History Museum his thoughts on the speech.

The distinguished African American gentleman pauses. Looks at the camera and says, "Well, I must say that this is the first time I have ever truly heard 'freedom ring'. "

Wow!

As a white American, as much as I try to understand, I can never fathom the depth of emotion this day must hold for so many of my fellow Americans.

I remember the first time I took my children to the Lincoln Memorial.
They were 9, 6, and 3.
I took my son to the place where MLK Jr. gave his famous speech.
I shared with him and his six year old sister the atrocities of racism and prejudice.
I took them by the hand and looked them in the eye and told them why I felt Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the greatest American men who has ever lived.

Let Freedom Ring!

Freedom has taken a giant step. Freedom in our democracy has stepped from the slave ships, to the plantations, to the front of the bus, to the voter lines, to every segment of our American society. Freedom has now rung the bell of democracy loud and clear. The American people have let their voice be heard.

Although, I am a political conservative, I am a proud American today. Today history has been made and an event that Martin Luther King, Jr, dreamed about has come to pass.

Wow!
We do live in a great country. May we continue to pray for our leaders that the greatness of our country does not fall to the deception of liberal ideologies and agnostic persuasions.

blessings!
dorinda

So Help Me God

Today is a historical day.

I have sat this morning (while waiting on Mr. Roto-Rooter AGAIN!) watching the media frenzy revolving around today. The reporters have talked about everything from the ancient traditions to the clothes our President and his wife are wearing.

One phrase caught my attention.

The speculated on the trivia regarding the phrase in the inaugural oath "So help me God".

hmmmmm.

So - help me God.

It is my prayer today that our new President will lead our nation with the HELP from God - the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, the Creator of the Universe, the Lover of our souls.

It is my prayer today that our new President will be mindful of the fact that he is in power because GOD allowed him to be.

It is my prayer today that we, the people of the United States, remember to pray for this man who will utter these words today - "So help me God".

May our new President have a heart that prays something like this:

So help me God- may all of my help come from the Lord.
So help me - that I trust in You and You alone.
May You help me with wisdom from above.
May I be a leader influenced not by the media, not by the majority, but by the decrees, statutes and laws of Almighty God.
May I recognize Your Holiness, Your Justness, Your Mercy, and Your Amazing Grace.
May I daily rely on Your Truth to guide me in all matters.
May I trust in You and You alone.
~so help me God.

In the greatness of this moment~ that history is in the making ~ let us not forget to pray for the man who is now the leader of the most powerful nation on the face of this earth.

blessings to each of you,
dorinda

Friday, January 16, 2009

Create in Me a Clean Heart


This week Fiction Friday is hosted by Lynn at Faith, Fiction, Fun and Fanciful . Stop by to read more Friday Fiction. We would love for you to join!


Create in Me a Clean Heart

The words hit him with the force of a thousand warriors.

He was the man.
Immediately, he understood the parable.


He was the man.
It was his sin.
It was his covetousness.
He had taken what did not belong to him.


He deserved the punishment.
He deserved to die.


He went to his chambers and lay prostrate before his King.

He wept.

It wasn't the degree of sin that made him weep.
It was the seperation the sin had brought.


Separation from his God, his Creator, the Holy and Just Almighty.


How did he end up like this?

What happened to all of the sweet songs of adoration in the black of night?

Where did he take his first step away?

He wept with gutteral mumblings for hours.
The servants whispered among themselves. "Should they send word to her that he was going mad?"


Finally, when there were no tears left, he found his harp.

The moon light was streaming through the window with a soft breeze.

The first strum across the strings betrayed the amount of time since he had last used his instrument. A few adjustments and it was tuned.

A sob still hung dryly in his throat.

He must find a tune to the prayer in his heart.

The night stood still as if longing to hear the melody the musician would play.

The heavens waited.


It had been a long time.


The Creator's heart smiled as He realized the man was about to offer, once again, the sacrifice of praise ~ and repentance.

The music began and the musician's words floated through the still night air more glorious and honest than a million trumpets.

It was his honest response to the realization of sin.

The whole palace stood still, as they once again, heard the rich voice sing in humble praise and adoration:


........Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence
and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;
and uphold me with thy free spirit."........

He sang until the sun awakened from its slumber.

He sang with a clean heart and a renewed spirit.

He was a king.
He was a man who worshipped in spirit and in truth.
He had sinned.
He was forgiven.

_________________________________________
May the richness of Psalm 51 speak to your heart today.
Sin is sin.
It doesn't matter if it is murder, theft, or deception~ or simple disobedience.
Your sin separates you from the One who created you and loves you.
Ask Him to cleanse you ~ fresh and new ~ today.

blessings,
dorinda
Thank you all for continuing to remember my family ~ my daughter and her husband, my sister and her husband. Ronnie- my brother-in-law is having surgery today to remove the oral cancer. We are praying for a God sized miracle- because God sized is the only thing that will get it done!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Read my Son-in-laws Blog!

I haven't actually spoken with Brad or Glenda in a week. We have texted and emailed, but a full phone conversation -no.

I just read Brad's blog.

God has His own way of doing things, and it is a marvelous thing to sit back and watch His hand work.

If you read our blogs, you will see a pattern of His voice speaking of His provision~ even when the outlook is bleak.

So - read my blog on Disappointment below, and then click over to Brad's - (click here.)
Hmmmmmmm.....

God IS Good ALL the Time!

blessings!
dorinda

Monday, January 12, 2009

Disappointment

Disappointment


It seems to be such a sad word~ sometimes much sadder than at other times.

Sometimes we are disappointed in people.
Sometimes we are disappointed in situations.
Sometimes we are disappointed in God.
~ honestly.

Ooops! Did I just say that? Yes, I did.
I don’t like to admit it, but I have been disappointed in God before.

Like the time I was believing for money to buy groceries.
We ate oatmeal for a week instead.

Like the years I prayed for a baby.
I had to wait a while.

Like the time I prayed for a miraculous healing of a young single mother with two little boys.
She died holding my hand.

Disappointment

We don’t always get what we pray for when we want it.

Does that mean God has failed us?
Never!

Does that mean God doesn't care for us?
Never!

Does that mean that God doesn't love us?
Never!

Rusty and I have a saying:
Faith says “God can”.
Hope says “God will”.
Trust says “I will serve Him still”.


Even in my disappointment, I have to know that I know that I know that God is God.
Hee is a good God and “every good and perfect gift comes from Him.”
He has my best interest at heart and He knows ultimately what is best for me
~ in the small things and in the big things.

Trust
Trust should always be holding the hand of our disappointment.

If we face disappointment without the truthful face of Trust, we might find ourselves embracing bitterness.


Disappointment~Trust

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:1-4

To you, O LORD , I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. Psalm 25: 1-3


Blessings to you today!
dorinda

(Please continue to remember my daughter and family. They are DESPERATELY needing to find a renter for the house on Capitol Hill in D.C. We know God has a plan~ we just want His Way in His Time and His Will.)


Friday, January 9, 2009

Fiction Friday: God Sees


This week Fiction Friday is hosted by Catrina over at A Work in Progress. Stop by to read more Friday Fiction. We would love for you to join in!



God Sees


The father and son walked in silence for the most part.

The climb was rather difficult and the sun was baking them from the inside out it seemed. Sweat was a constant drip from the father’s forehead. Progress was impeded by the need for frequent stops to hydrate themselves.

The young boy watched his father. He helped him with his canteen. He made sure his walking stick was close by. He deliberately walked a little slower so that his father, well on in years, could set his own pace.

The servants watched the exchange of father and son from a distance. They wondered in silence why the old man had insisted on such a long trip at his age, but held silent approval for the devotion between the unlikely duos.

The sun climbed higher. The temperature became unbearable, but yet weary group trudged along. Two days and they were still working their way to the top of the mountain.

The father was silent, but inside, he was talking~ talking to His God, the navigator of this trip.

When the sun reached its highest point on the third day, the father stopped and told the servants to make camp. The two were more than happy to oblige. Retrieving water from the nearby stream at this point sounded like a gift from heaven.

But the father and son set out again to reach the mountain’s highest point.

The father began his silent communication again. After a few minutes by themselves, the son could not contain his curiosity any more. He had asked a few questions the first day, but only learned they were going to worship. But now, they were nearing their destination and still no lamb.

Had his father finally lost it? He was well on in years. In fact, he was decades older than the fathers of most kids his age. Had he become feeble in mind as well as body?

So, the boy, in step with his father, asked the question plaguing him for 3 days now.
“Father?”
“Yes, my son.”
“We have flint and wood, but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?”

Without missing a step, his father replied, “Son, God will see to it that we have what we need for this sacrifice.”

Nothing else!
But, his mind was a frenzy of activity.
“What was he thinking?” Surely God wouldn’t ask this of him!!!!”

But in his heart of hearts he knew. He knew because He knew his God’s voice.

Isaac well knew the events surrounding his birth, and he well knew that once his father had spoken to Yahweh, there was nothing else.

“Hmmmm,” Isaac thought, “Strange use of words from my father.” They had traveled three days to the Mountain that meant “to see”, and his father said, “God will see to it.”

Another half hour later and they were at the mountain’s height. In silence Abraham and Isaac stacked the wood for the burnt offering.

When the task was done, Abraham felt a pain in his chest like none he had ever known.

He held his hand to his forehead to scan the horizon, there could not be a mistake of missing anything. He strained to see what was not there with every fiber of his being. Every direction, methodically he looked and made a complete circle.

Nothing.

His steps heavy with remorse, Abraham went to his son. In an instant, the old man engulfed his son in an embrace that communicated the brevity of the situation.

Isaac now knew the purpose of the trip.

Panic set in at first, but then his father took his face in his hands and looked directly into his eyes. Not a word was said, but volumes were spoken.

It was Isaac’s first time to actually comprehend the faith of his aged father.
He was surprised his first instinct was not to run, but it wasn’t.

As Abraham embraced him and kissed his cheek, the son wanted nothing more than to please his father, but now, he wanted to please Jehovah also. He made a slight motion of his eyes toward the rope. Abraham slowly took the rope and began to tie it around his son. Tears of grief dripped as freely as the perspiration had previously.

Isaac shook a little with fear, but his resolve was strengthened by his new faith in his father’s God.

The previous words of his father echoed in his mind. “God will see to it.” He knew the phrase meant “God sees and knows what you need and He will take care of it”.

Isaac was afraid his faith was not as strong as his father’s because in that moment he felt as maybe God was missing something.

But the two prepared in silence, more so in their hearts than what they did with their hands.

The moment arrived.

Isaac was on the altar, bound, with eyes closed.

He was afraid to breathe.

Abraham’s chest tightened again. His love for his son screamed and begged him to stop this nonsense.

His faith was strong and silent.

Faith won.

He raised the dagger over his head.

In the millisecond before he was to plunge the knife into his beloved son, he heard the familiar voice. “Abraham! Abraham!”

In a flood of welcome relief, Abraham answered and lowered his hand, “Yes, I’m listening!”

Isaac opened his eyes. Together they saw it~ Yahweh’s provision. A ram was caught by its horns in a thicket.

Once again, the old man’s eyes were shedding tears freely.

His God, who spoke personally to Abraham, told him, “Don't lay a hand on that boy! Don't touch him! Now I know how fearlessly you fear God; you didn't hesitate to place your son, your dear son, on the altar for me.”

The father and son embraced again, but this time with floods of joy and relief.


Abraham named the place for Jehovah Jireh, the God who sees to it that our needs are provided for.

As the hot sun was easing down the two came to the camp where the servants waited. Food was prepared and the four made ready for bed.

Abraham’s steps were much lighter than the previous days. He was more confident in His God than ever. And now he knew that his son, the promised of God, had seen the wonder and majesty of his Creator as well.

He lay on his mat that night with only one concern, and that was “How do I tell Sarah?”


Isaac lay a few feet away from his father and smiled. His father had been right after all. God did see and provide what they needed.

God sees!
..............................................................

I wrote this today in faith, believing for my daughter and her family that God sees and He WILL provide for them because they have withheld nothing from Him.

love you all,
blessings,
dorinda

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Finding Treasure in Your Jar of Clay!

Ok! Here is the information for our Ladies Weekend!

2nd Annual Ladies Weekend:
Finding Treasure in Your Jar of Clay
Friday, February 20 - Sunday February 22

First Assembly of God
503 N. Missouri St.
West Memphis, AR 72301
Early Bird Registration: $20 (by Feb 15th)
On-site Registration: $35 (after Feb. 15th)
(includes Breakfast and Lunch Saturday)


We invite all women of all ages to join us for this very special weekend!
Last year was wonderful and we hope to have even more for you ladies this year!
Friday, February 20
7:00 pm
Evening Service
Speaker: Dorinda Blann
Fun, Food, and Fellowship will follow the Service in the Fellowship Hall


Saturday, February 21
8:30 am – 3:30 pm Featuring the Staff Wives of First Assembly
8:30........................Continental Breakfast
9:00........................Opening Session
9:30 - 11:30...........Sessions I, II
11:30.......................Lunch
12:30 – 2:30..........Session III, IV
2:30.........................Closing Service

Sunday, February 22
8:oo am and 10:30 am
Services w/ Sis. Vickie Smeya!
Evening Service 6:00 pm with Rev. Roy Smeya

The Smeya's have served as AG Missionaries for over 3 decades. The passion and devotion to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ will challenge you!

To register online- please send an email with your name, phone number and email to
wmfirstassembly @ yahoo. com
In the subject line please put: Ladies Weekend Registration.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Macy!


Today is Macy's Birthday.

I wrote her a little story.


I love you Macy!

.......................................................................................
Once upon a time there was a beautiful little girl named Glenda.
She was full of life and energy.

She liked her puppies.

She liked to play outside.

She liked running and laughing and all the things little kids like to do.

Glenda lived with her Grandma and Grandpa.

She especially loved spending time with her Grandpa.

He would hug her and kiss her and tell her all kinds of stories.


She dreamed of the day that she would have a little girl of her own. She wondered why she didn't live with a mommy and daddy like other kids, but that was ok. She had her grandma and grandpa.

Far away, in another state was a man and wife who loved each other very much.

They dreamed of having a child.
They waited.
And waited.
And waited.

But years went by, and still no baby.

The lady cried lots and lots of tears.

She saw other ladies with babies and she didn't understand why she couldn't have one.


She prayed to God and asked Him for a baby.

He said, "Just wait. When the time is just perfect, I will give you the most wonderful child."

So, she waited some more.

Back in Texas, little Glenda was growing up very quickly.
He Grandpa went to be with Jesus.
Glenda was very sad.

Then she had to move from her home in Texas to live with someone else.
Glenda dreamed about living in a home with a mom and dad who loved her very much.
She kept it a secret so that no one knew that her heart had become sad.

Glenda moved all the way to the state of Arkansas.

She went to church one Friday night with a friend.
That night Glenda met lots of new people.

But most important of all, Glenda met Jesus!
She was so excited!
He lived in her heart and she knew her life would be different from now on.

But she still dreamed of living in a home with a mom and dad who loved her.


Glenda also met the man and woman who wanted a child.
Then, God in His wonderful ways, stepped in to create a new family.

God loved the man and woman very, very much. He decided that the time was perfect for them to have a child.

He stood up in heaven and told the angels, "Watch this!"
And He introduced the man and woman to Glenda.

From the moment the couple laid eyes on her, they were in love with her.

They went home that night and couldn't stop thinking about her.
They asked her to come over to their house.
She ate with them.
She laughed with them.
She prayed with them.

In that moment a family was born!

The man and woman were happier than they had ever been! Glenda moved into their home and became their daughter!! They couldn't believe it. They finally had a beautiful child, their Glenda!

God answered their prayers in His perfect time with the perfect child!

As time went on, Glenda became a young lady and married her handsome prince.
She now wanted to have a baby of her own.
She prayed and asked God to give her a sweet baby.

He did!
He gave her a precious and beautiful little girl that she named Macy!

The man and lady could not wait to see Glenda's little baby.

The drove and drove a long way.

They walked in the room and saw her.
She was so beautiful!
Glenda placed the baby in the lady's arms.
And there was silence.

The lady realized she was holding a part of her precious daughter.
She never had the opportunity to Glenda when she was a baby.
But there she was, holding this precious bundle of love.

Tears streamed down her face.
She kissed and hugged and snuggled little Macy for a long time.


The lady, now a Noni, was so happy.

She was so thankful that God had her to wait for a baby.
She was so thankful that God gave her Glenda as a daughter.
She was so thankful that God gave her Macy as a grandaughter.

Thank you God for Macy!
...............................
blessings to all of you today!
And all you grandmas out there know how this Noni's heart loves her sweet Macy!!!
dorinda

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hope for the Broken Hearted

It all starts with the click of the light switch.

Click.

There it is.
The darkness.
The silence.

But it is so much more than that.
It is with the darkness that all of the sadness floods in.

With the steps of a broken heart, she quietly falls into the cold bed.
And again, a tear rolls down her cheek.
Followed by another.
And another.

The tears are nothing compared to the ache in her soul.

How did she end up like this?
What happened to all of those dream of a fun life?

The movie plays in her head again.

The happy little girl at a birthday party.
The giggles.
The snuggles.

And somewhere between the party and the prom, the music changed and her video life went from vibrant colors to black and white.

Her pillow is wet with the tears.
Her heart is dull from the pain.


Is there any way out?
Does anybody REALLY care?

"God, if you are Who they say You are, why can't You do something?"

Silence.
Darkness.

A tear.

But somewhere in her head she hears a little tune.

The video starts back up in her head.

The little girl again.
Happy music.

She's in a small Sunday School class.
The teacher is talking about the Good Shepherd.

Jesus.

He left the 99 to go find one lost lamb.

The teacher hands a stuffed lamb to the little hands.
One by one the children take turns hugging the white fur.


"Oh, how Jesus loves His little sheep! And Jesus loves YOU! He will leave everything to come find you! All you have to do is call out to Him."

The tune is louder now.
Its familiar chords ring in her heart.
An anthem long forgotten with the dust and cobwebs of broken dreams and raw emotions.

"Jesus loves me this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
We are weak, BUT He is strong!"

In the silent black of the night, a sliver of hope makes its way through the brokenness of her heart.

"Jesus loves me?"
But I am nothing.
All of my life is nothing.

"Jesus love me this I know?"
Why would He care about me?
How do I know He REALLY loves me?

"For the Bible tells me so."

The sliver of hope breaks into a dawning of possibilities.
Scriptures from long ago resurface through the mire of depression.

"For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you."

And what was that verse from that lady's retreat years ago???

She fumbles in the dark for the light.
Where was it?
With quickened steps, she rushes to the bookshelf.

How could she not know where it was?
Has it been that long?
Scanning the covers as if her life depended on it, she finally finds THE Book.

As she took it in her hands to find what she was looking for, that hope was now progressing into glorious light! The darkness and groping sadness was fading away.

She leafed through the pages.
Dust shot up as in protest of being awakened from a very long sleep.

Psalms.
No. New Testament.
Matthew.
No.
The pages fanned.
John.
Acts.
Romans.
Corinthians.

Corinthians.
And then there it was.
Highlighted.
Underlined.

And certain words circled.

A tear fell from her eyes to the page.
But this time, it was a waterworks of relief.

Hope was in full splendor in her heart. Pushing every thought, every heart beat, every breath to look to Him!

She traced the words with her finger.
Straining to comprehend its depth.

2 Corinthians 4:7

But (that word was circled)
we have
THIS (underlined)
treasure (circled and underlined)
in jars of clay (arrows pointing to the margin - Jars of clay = our bodies- our lives)
to show that this all-surpassing power is from God (all-surpassing = more than we can imagine)
and not from us.
We are hard-pressed on every side,
but NOT crushed; (things happen, but I won't be crushed!)
perplexed,
but not in despair; (I may be confused, but not all is lost!)
persecuted,
but not abandoned; (Bad things may happen, but I am not alone!)
struck down,
but not destroyed. (Life may really hurt, but I will NOT be destroyed!)

Her heart was beating so fast now, she had to remember to breathe. She suddenly felt as if God was in the very room with her.

She did as she had done as a small child.
She called to Him.

"Jesus!"
The moment she said His Name, His presence enveloped her with a love overwhelming.

"I'm so sorry! Please forgive me", she cried.

In the sweetness of His embrace, she felt the dirt and grime and bad choices of her life wash away in a cleansing tide.

Just like that, with a repentance of her heart, she felt like she had not in years.
She wiped a tear from her face.
A giggle erupted from somewhere in her soul.

Hmmm. She smiled as she realized how long it had been since she had felt this light.

Jesus.

He had been there the whole time ~ just waiting on her.
He had left the 99 and went looking for her.

Jesus.

She took the Bible with her to the bed and opened it once more.
She read.
And read.
She read until well after midnight.

Her soul was absorbing the Truth.
It had been so long.
She had believed all of the lies and had made all of those decisions based on lie after lie after lie.

At last, she was seeing His Truth.

When she finally turned out the light, she knew her life would be different from this night on.
Her circumstances had not changed.
But she had the Truth with which to take into all of her circumstances.

The Truth would make ALL the difference.

She fell asleep to the tune playing in her head:

"Jesus loves me this I know. For the Bible tells me so."
..............................................................

It is my sincere prayer that you know Jesus in a very intimate way in your life. He desires a personal relationship with each of you!

You may be in a rough place. God doesn't always change our circumstances. Sometimes He changes our heart and gives us strength to make it through the tough circumstances.

I pray for you today!

blessings!

dorinda

Please see my other post regarding our upcoming Ladies Weekend, February 20-22 at our church. The theme is "Finding Treasure in Your Jar of Clay". You are all invited!!!




Monday, January 5, 2009

In the Beginning.....

A new year.
A fresh start.
A chance to start over with all of those goals and resolutions that didn't happen last year.

My wonderful husband preached two sermons yesterday that challenged me ~ like REALLY challenged me. (It hasn't been uploaded to the website yet, but check back at the church's website later. You gotta hear it!)

So, I have been thinking.....

A new year is like a blank page.
My decisions are the pen.

The final story will depend upon my decisions and actions.

So, what story do I begin with?
Will it be one of happiness and fulfillment?
Will it be one of regrets and sorrow?

Circumstances matter little in the story of my life.

How?

Because I am given resources by my Creator to deal with each circumstance that comes my way!
So~ I must make decisions in each circumstance to write my story.

How do I deal with the unpleasant circumstances?
My decisions write the story.
How do I deal with the happy circumstances?
My decisions write the story.

Should Jesus wait another year to return, December 31, 2009, will reveal my story.

My prayer?
That Jesus says, "Well done my good and faithful servant!"

Lord, may my life please you today and all of my tomorrows.
May I live a life that reflects YOU in every decision, every word, and every thought.
May the hurting people around me, see YOU in me and want what I have~ which is YOU.
May the broken see that YOU alone can restore them.
May the seeking realize that YOU alone have what they are searching for.
May I be that light that points others to YOU.

At the end of my life's story, I hope each of you will be able to say, "I saw Jesus in her."

So, here I go......

"In the beginning....."

blessings!
dorinda

What story evolves depends on my decisions and my actions.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Fiction Friday: The Red Stone Mystery Part II


I will be traveling again today, so I don't know who is hosting Fiction Friday. But please follow the links from Patty's blog and visit our host today!

The following story is the conclusion to last week. It was my first try at a real fiction short story. It started out as something totally different..... but oh, well. (And by the way- this does not have a Christian theme.- Just a mystery. ) When I grow up and have more time to write, I will re-write this story the with the Christian truth- the way I wanted it to be in the beginning. :)

Part two of
The Red Stone Mystery:

Sleep was evasive – even with the valium she took.

She lay on the bed and painfully replayed the events of the infamous night from 10 years earlier. The answers to her questions had to be locked in her memories somewhere. She was determined to be the only detective solving the troubling puzzle.

Her trip to Paris for her 20th birthday had been a dream come true. Traveling with her sister had been the icing on the cake. They both shared a love for impressionist paintings, and when they discovered the story of the woman artist, Berthe Morisot, they were intrigued beyond limit!

Dear old Dad had planned the adventure for them down to the last detail. His final surprise for his daughters had been the private tour of the Manet collection at the home of an old acquaintance.

Adrienne sorted through every memory. The surprise tour. The excitement. The breathtaking view of the chateau. The warm reception from the homeowners. The intriguing history of Mademoiselle Morisot and her brother-in-law Edward Manet. The thrill of walking in the library. The viewing of the paintings.

She made herself switch her memories to slow motion at this point.

Adrienne remembered seeing it for the first time. She was puzzled as to why such a small gem was sitting on the rim of the largest painting’s frame. The light from the chandelier reflected it perfectly to highlight the vibrant colors of the masterpiece. When she had asked her host if the stone was placed there on purpose, his face had grimaced.

Instinctively Adrienne grabbed her pillow and hugged it close as she remembered the next events.

The lights had gone out leaving a thick darkness that frightened her and Suzenne. They were in an unfamiliar house, a foreign country, and with strangers. Adrienne remembered grabbing for her sister’s arm and not finding it. She vaguely remembered the painful blow to her head.

And that was it.

No matter how many times she tried or what methods, that was all she could put before her mind. Nothing more. Nothing less.

She forced herself to keep digging in to scars and hurts that she had tried to cover up for so long.

She remembered awaking in the basement of the chateau, head throbbing, disoriented and looking for her sister.
She remembered finding her sister’s body next to hers, cold and lifeless.
She remembered the lone stream of sunlight shining through the small pieces of wood boarding up the window.
She remembered the fear and the terror.
She remembered the grief of realizing her sister was dead.
She remembered every horrific detail of the days that followed.
The investigation
The accusations
The cold, dingy jail cell
Again, the fear and terror
The loneliness
The mystery of the stone

It had taken several years after the foreign court found her innocent of the murder and theft of that awful night for her to begin putting together the pieces of the puzzle. The most significant find being the story of the stolen gem.

_______________________________________________________
Before Adrienne knew it, the alarm was blaring in her ear. She must have fallen asleep while dissecting her memories of the stone.

She wasn’t surprised at the haggard reflection looking back at her. Tonight was her big date with Kent, but the circles under her eyes didn’t give any indication they would cooperate in any way.

She wanted this date to go well. She had secretly “eyed” Kent Green for the past year. The timing of the stone’s appearance and sudden disappearance couldn’t have been worse. Adrienne wondered how she would act normal with all the drama going on in her head and with the screaming question of “am I in danger?”

The day inched its way along with every mistake and blunder Adrienne made. Her employees had never seen their new manager ruffled, let alone make a mistake. Adrienne finally made the decision to head home after lunch before she botched any new accounts she was working on. This way, maybe she could do a disappearing magic trick with cucumbers for the bags under her eyes.

Obvious questions still nagged at her. Who put the gem on her painting? How did they find it in her hall closet? And the scariest question of all was would they try to kill her also?

Fear gripped her throat again. Could her sister’s murderer have found her? Was this monster playing games with her just like he did 10 years earlier? Did he finally plan to finish what he started?


The story of the little red gem was a beast to discover. Her persistence had paid off after 5 years of research and conniving detective work. She found an antique diary belonging to some Morisot family member. The unusual and sporadic journal entries were a key to the puzzle of the red stone, a puzzle that was most definitely not completed.

The first journal entry noted that the famous female impressionist artist, Morisot, and her sister had found the stone while studying art at the Louvre in Paris. They discovered the gem on the rim of a painting’s frame.

A second entry, dated a few months later, revealed that a close relative of the artist had mysteriously died a few days after the stone’s discovery. Details were sketchy, but Adrienne had decided that the journal’s author had grieved considerably over the family’s loss.

Entries three and four uncovered more of the drama and tangled stories relating to the stone and the mysterious death. Apparently, the murder resulted from a bungled robbery by a mentally deranged thief. The enormous value of the red stone, the mysterious murder, and babblings of a lunatic robber were the perfect ingredients for rumors and haunting stories for early 19th century Parisians.

Wading through all of the history while chasing after century old rumors had been exhausting to Adrienne, but she finally concluded that the Morisot murder somehow played an underlying part in her sister’s murder. She just couldn’t get all the dots connected.

No matter how many times Adrienne laid the pieces out in front of her, she still couldn’t decide why her sister had been killed. The “legend” of the red stone that was birthed from the Morisot murder held that if the stone appeared on a famous painting, someone would die from “unnatural” causes. Mysterious death was at the center of the Parisian legend. However, the author of her old diary believed consuming greed would drive the one in possession of the stone to insanity.

Adrienne shuddered and was thankful the corner of her closet was empty – even if she didn’t believe in mysterious legends.


The chime on the mantle clock startled Adrienne. Kent would be at her door in less than an hour. She threw off the cold cucumbers and surveyed the results in the bathroom mirror. The dark circles were just barely visible- a little makeup and she would be good to go.

Deciding on the ever-faithful “little black dress”, she was ready with time to spare. Rather than belaboring details from the past again, she chose to focus on happy thoughts for tonight. She tidied up her apartment with menial tasks to keep her mind off the past and her present problems.

Just as fear was about to once again come crashing in, the doorbell rang. Adrienne checked the peephole and opened the door for the handsome Kent. Butterflies turned in her stomach. She was determined to have a fun night without worries or concerns.

Kent was a nervous wreck on the inside while appearing smooth and collected on the surface. He had wanted this night to happen for so long, he wasn’t sure of what to do. How chivalrous should he be without offending her? He had done his research, for more reasons that one, on her likes and dislikes, but he could no help but wonder how this drama would end.

Kent and Adrienne enjoyed each other’s company. Their conversation drifted easily from one topic to the next, with most chatter revolving around work and their mutual love of the arts. The half-hour drive to the charming restaurant seemed like seconds to both.

Dinner was exquisite in Adrienne’s book. Her culinary taste buds were satisfied by the steak and lobster, not to mention the superb dessert. Her first, no second, date with Kent was like a dream. Only one time did her mind drift to the nightmares bombarding her private life. Kent was quickly endearing himself to her with each passing moment.

When the attendant whisked the empty plates away, Adrienne excused herself to “powder her nose”. It was then that Kent noticed the man he had seen in Adrienne’s apartment building. His adrenaline pumped profusely when he saw him follow her into the restroom.

Adrienne was admiring the d├ęcor of the women’s room when, for the third time in her life, she saw a little red stone perched on a painting’s frame. She felt her heart beat in her head and throat. The room was starting to spin when a de-ja-vous of the past haunted her, and the lights went out.

The next thing Adrienne knew, she was waking up staring into the eyes of Kent Green. He was holding her with one arm and gently stroking her face with his other hand, softly calling her name.

She started to speak when the commotion of the room caught her attention. There were several officers in the women’s room and two others were escorting two gentlemen and a lady out in handcuffs. One officer wearing gloves had a plastic baggy with the red stone in it.

Adrienne’s questioning eyes flew to Kent. He smiled a little sheepishly and told her he would explain on the way to her apartment. For the first time in over a decade, Adrienne surprisingly felt safe.

Once they were on the expressway, Kent cautiously began his story.

He started by telling Adrienne of the man in her apartment building. The man stood out to him because of his curious bow tie. He did not think anything of it until he saw him again at the restaurant. When he noticed the man following Adrienne into the restroom, Kent had gone into action.

At this point of his explanation, Kent carefully confessed his true identity. He was Kevin Grant, actually Agent Kevin Grant. He had been undercover for the past year working on the Miller murder case. It seemed Suzenne Miller’s murde, ten years before, had been at the center of an international art theft ring. The red stone had been a decoy to confuse the real motives of a fake robbery that night so long ago.

The FBI traced the moves of the international criminals and realized that sooner- or-later they would come after Adrienne as the key to the multi-million dollar art collection at her father’s estate- thus the purpose of Kevin Grant, a.k.a. Kent Green, Adrienne’s personal bodyguard for the last year.

Adrienne was dumbfounded. She had a thousand and one questions, but in typical Adrienne fashion, she sat quietly as Kent/Kevin told his story.

Kevin carefully gave professional details while weaving in his very real and very personal interest in Adrienne as a person, not only a client. He told her that when he learned the “hit man” had arrived in their city, he wanted to camp out on her doorstep. Instead, he slept in his car outside of her apartment building along with other agents posted all around the apartment complex.

Nigel Pearson and Claudia Bromavich were wanted in a string of countries for grand theft, assault and even arson. However, it was the man in the unusual bow tie that gave Kevin the creeps. Marlon Mason, a cold and calculating menace to society, had arrived from Spain last week. He undoubtedly had orders to take extreme measures to accomplish the goal of his greedy boss.

Adrienne let out a short gasp at this bit of information. A cold chill went over her spine as she realized how close she had been to the killer’s intentions. Kevin held her hand just a little more tightly.

Her new “knight in shining armor” went on to explain that Nigel and Claudia were the ones responsible for the perplexities of the red stone. They posed as her building’s new Supers to gain access to Adrienne’s apartment. The stone’s appearance and disappearance were all part of the greedy and twisted plot to uncover the secret location of her father’s multi-million dollar art collection.

Upon their arrest, Nigel and Claudia were quick to spill the truth. It seemed they didn’t want to face the attempted murder charges that the villainous Marlon Mason would soon encounter. The duo freely shared all they knew and sub sequentially divulged an enormous amount of shocking information, at least as far as Adrienne was concerned.

The mastermind behind the ten year ordeal was none other than her father’s “close friend”, Monsieur Pierre Manet – of Chateau du Manet and Manet Security Systems. He was secretly amassing a gigantic fortune of stolen masterpieces from around the world. He had hired his own little “army” of thieves and criminals to do his dirty work. Most recently, Nigel and Claudia confessed, the Monsieur Manet had, once again, contracted out the murder of a daughter of his long time “friend”, Edward Miller.

The global entrepreneur of Manet Security Systems had always coveted the mysterious art collection of Adrienne’s father. Pierre Manet was also intrigued by the “legend of the red stone” and the history of the Morisot family murder (which he learned by searching for valuable impressionist pieces). In his own twisted way, Monsieur Manet thought the red gem would confuse investigators and lead them away from his international theft ring. Sadly, he reminded Adrienne of the mentally unstable thief she read about from the century old diary.

Kevin continued unraveling the mystery for Adrienne. He told her that Monsieur Manet’s conniving plot failed ten years ago when Edward Miller did not invest in the high tech security of Manet Security Systems for his private art collection- thus informing Manet the collection’s hidden location. In his insane greed, Nigel had confessed, Manet would not give up his search for Miller’s stash – no matter what the cost.

Once again, Adrienne found herself piecing together a puzzle that just did not make sense. Why would someone take a life for the sake of owning a piece of art? Why would someone go to such lengths to for greed? Was their something to the madness of the red stone legend?

Adrienne stared out the window as Kevin parked the car in front of her apartment building. She thought about her sister. She thought about the red stone and beautiful impressionist paintings.

As a tear fell down her cheek, Kevin’s hand gently grasped hers again. Adrienne realized that finally the mystery of her sister’s death and the red stone was solved. No more night mares. No more fear filled nights. Suddenly a wave of relief and calm washed over her. The tranquility of closure engulfed her. She squeezed his warm hand as he walked her back to her apartment.

She smiled as she thought about Suzenne. How she wished she could tell her so many things. A small chuckle escaped her as she realized Suzenne and a little red stone had brought her and Kevin together.

Somehow, someway, everything was going to be okay again.