Wednesday, February 18, 2009

10,000 Visitor!

I want to do a little detective work.

I need to find out who my 10,000 visitor was.

They just visited my blog at about 2:23 my time. So- If you think it is you, leave a comment on my blog -with a name or email address and then I can match up your IP address.

Then you will win a goody bag from me- with some Bath and Body Works, stationary, and some Ecuadorian Jewelry!

I started my site meter count at 1 - and it doesn't register my visits- so someone out there is my 10,000 visitor!!!!

It could be you!

Let's find out!

Thanks to all of you for being such faithful readers!
love ya!

Ladies Retreat!

It is almost here!
Ladies Weekend '09 -
"Finding Treasure in YOUR Jar of Clay"

We have a great schedule lined up for you ladies and our very own
Karate Woman will be here!

She showed up for service Sunday to help us announce our Retreat!

It is not too late to sign up - and we have some generous donors who contributed some scholarship money. If you would like to attend and aren't sure about your finances, just call the church office (870-735-1907) for a registration form. After completing the form, write SCHOLARSHIP at the top. In order to receive the donor money, you need to have your form in the office by Thursday, February 19th.

I hope to see YOU this weekend!

Retreat information:

February 20th, 21st, and 22nd
First Assembly of God
513 N. Missouri St.
West Memphis, AR 72301
All Ladies are invited!

Sunday’s Special Guest Speakers:
Roy and Vickie Smeya with special music by their son, Shanon and Laura Smeya
Assemblies of God World Missionaries to Latin America

Saturday Sessions:
Saturday Speakers include Laurie Adams, Dorinda Blann, Kay Dragges, Jackie Harrel, Becky Harness and LaVaye Harness.

· A Taste of the Town: Encouragement for us all
· Be Anxious for Nothing: God’s treasures for us when we go through difficult times
· 40 Below: Bridging the gap in WM ministry for Ladies under 40
· Living in a Triage State of Mind: Making Life Enjoyable again after the Havoc of Life
· Five Treasures Every Child Should Have: Give them what they REALLY need.
· It's aPARENT You're Single: Being a Single Mom with the Help of the Heavenly Father
· Some Things are Worth Fighting For: Staying in the ring when life throws you a curve
· The M.O.T.L.E.Y. Crew: Moms of Teens Leading, Entrusting and Yielding to Christ

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


We are in the middle of the Daniel Fast. While I am not doing the "true" Daniel Fast, I am doing without some things that I easily crave and long for.

This morning I woke up thirsty.
My mouth was dry and parched and I wanted a drink.

I felt as if I had swallowed cotton balls in my sleep. There was a dry dessert in my body and I craved - craved-

.....not diet coke!

but ice, cold water!!!!

I went to the frig and grabbed the cold bottle and guzzled it down.

Thirst quenching.

To really understand the significance of this event, you would have to know me, and know that this is a MAJOR miracle. =)

Before this Daniel Fast I have had a Diet Coke in my hand - constantly.

Never drinking water.

Never drinking ANYTHING except.... Diet Coke.

As I was praying last week, I asked God to help this be a life style change, not just a Daniel Fast thing. I am not saying that I want to NEVER drink a Diet Coke again, I just want to be healthier.

I felt God give me some direction on how to achieve that, and His plan is working. I mean BIG TIME.... because we are going on a cruise next week, and last night, I didn't worry about having to pay big bucks for a Diet Coke (if I can't get the drink card) but I worried about not having a cold bottle of water every morning....

Ok..... now that I have shared all of that, let me share what His Spirit was speaking to me this morning. ....

Sometimes we get spiritually dry and parched.

We go through the motions of "spiritual" things, but there is no refreshing, there is no hydration of our spirits.

We get so busy with life and even "spiritual" activity that we deny ourselves the very thing we need the most-

Intimate relationship with Christ.

I'm not talking about religion. (Religion gets in the way SO VERY MUCH!!!!)
I'm not talking about a lay-m-down-to-sleep prayer.
I'm not talking about doing the right things.
yada yada yada......

I'm talking about INTIMATE time with Jesus.

If you have ever experienced it, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Thirsting for His presence.

Longing for time with just Him.

Knowing Him in such an intimate way that you feel His voice and sense His nearness. His breath is on your soul as a lover before a passionate kiss.

The honesty of that face to face passion is the intimacy our spirit craves in the deepest sense.

When that intimacy takes place, nothing in our lives compares.
We are drenched in His presence; soothed with His peace; bathed in His love.

His holiness becomes a focus.
Our humanity screams at it's frailty.

Then as we humble ourselves before Him, He covers us with righteousness.

I long for Him over and over again.

I get so frustrated at myself that I let life get in the way, that I shove Him to the side so many times in the name of religion.

I'm thirsty.

I want to drink of His righteousness and His saturating presence.

My prayer for you today is that you sit at His feet and breathe in Who He is, drink from His cup and be refreshed by His Spirit. May you KNOW Him as never before. May you long for Him and not be satisfied with the hum drum of religion- go for the real thing- the true, intimate relationship with the Savior!



Friday, February 13, 2009

A Wonderful Day!

Isn't she precious?

Looking at this picture, I feel I should whisper.
Today is her birthday. She is 10 years old today.

My how time flies.

Ten years ago right now I was in labor - led to totally believe I would deliver a baby I would never hear laugh, see cry, or see smile.

But God had other plans.

I am copying an pasting my blog post from last year on her birthday. Grab a tissue and be prepared to get a small picture of how BIG our God is!!!
I don't know how to say what is on my heart without sharing this personal story, so please bear with me. Most of you know the story of Taylor's birth, but for the sake of those who do not know, please allow me to briefly summarize.

I was 29 weeks into my pregnancy. Because Mackenzie had been premature and because I was over 35, I was in the weekly office visit stage. I weighed in and had gained 14 pounds in 6 days! They immediately scheduled an ultra sound to investigate. Literally 5 seconds into the ultra sound, they sent me to the hospital because of the mass amount of fluid in my womb and in Taylor's abdomen.

To make a long story short, Taylor was not expected to live. We had to make the decision to allow them to treat her in the womb or to induce labor and let them try to treat her out of the womb. After prayer we felt God wanted to her out of my womb so they could work on her. The doctor's words echoed in our head, "Your baby will die whether we treat her in the womb or induce labor. The was no chance of a live birth."

My unborn child was going to die??? I would never see her smile. Never hear her laugh. I would never know what her voice would sound like. I would never take her to her first day of school? Never buy her a pretty dress for a special day?

The room begin to spin and I reached for Rusty's hand. It was trembling. I looked in his eyes and saw the heartbreaking pain. The doctor left the room for us to have a few minutes. We clung to each other as if we were about to fall off of a cliff, both trying hard to be brave for the other one. We prayed a simple prayer and felt God's peace in allowing them to induce labor the next day.

The night before she was born, I had to make another decision. I had to decide where I stood with God regardless of the outcome. My heart was broken. I was scared. Rusty was scared. We were leaning with our whole hearts on our Mighty God. But before I sound like a "super spiritual saint", please know I battled that night.

I struggled with all of the normal questions. "Why?" "What have I done wrong?" "Why are you doing this to me?" "How could this be happening?" "I thought You would always take care of us?"

As tears streamed down my face and my heart breaking in two, feeling as if a giant elephant was sitting on my back, I heard God's gentle whisper, "Will you still love me passionately and worship me if Taylor dies?" "Will you trust me no matter what?" "Will you still serve me with your whole heart?"

I couldn't answer right away. I lay on the side of the bed. My heart was beating so hard I thought it would wake up Rusty next to me. My pillow and my hair were wet with the tears that had fallen continuously for over an hour.

I heard the question and I didn't know if I could take another breath. This was it! This was a climatic moment in my walk with God. I had served Him almost my whole life. I had "surrendered all" so many times in altar calls I couldn't even count them. I had promised to follow Him all of my days. BUT - what if the all powerful God I served chose not to intervene and not to heal my unborn child? Could I still passionately pursue that God? Would I?

The clock beside ticked seconds that seemed like eternity. I knew this was not a question that I could just raise my hand in the emotion of the moment and say, "Yes, Jesus!" This question my Creator posed before me was one that placed my faith at the ultimate crossroad.

I was afraid to breathe. My hand traced my swollen abdomen. This little heartbeat had been inside of me for seven months. How would I handle not bringing home a baby from the hospital? - not seeing her take her first steps. - not having to change the diapers I had already bought. - taking the infant car seat out of my car not having a need for it?

Would I still serve God passionately? I knew I would still serve Him, but would I always have a resentment in my heart?

I wish I could say I knew immediately that I would love God no matter what. But it didn't happen that way. I had to choose. I had to make a choice to love Him and worship and adore Him regardless of the outcome the next day. I had to choose to let go of what I thought was a happy, normal life in order to let God be in ultimate control.

With a coarse, breaking voice, I whispered, "Help me, Jesus!" At that moment the floodgates of heaven released a torrent of peace that swept through my very soul. In that moment I knew I would passionately adore my Jesus no matter what the outcome. I knew He would strengthen me and help me. I literally lay my wishes, hopes, desires, and my very soul in His arms. When I "died" to what I wanted to happen, I felt more alive than I ever had before.

You may be at a crossroad in your life. You may have financial struggles that are weighing so heavy you feel as if you can't move. You may have teenagers that are wringing the very joy from every part of your life.

The frustration and bitterness is beginning to build. "Why isn't God showing up?" "Why can't He just do one small miracle for me this time?" "Why is He not answering my prayers?"

Can you let go completely, and say truthfully in your heart -
"Even if I have to declare bankruptcy, I will gladly worship and adore my Savior!"
"Even if my child continues the path he has chosen, I will gladly worship and adore my Savior!"
"If I never get another answer to prayer again, I will passionately pursue and love my Jesus!"
And that my friends is when you really begin to live. John 10:10 says "....but I have come that they might have life and have if more abundantly."

So, the next day Taylor Danielle was born at 10:55pm. Here are the bare facts and details:

She somehow had developed chylous ascites in the uterus. The massive amount of fluid was damaging her organs. In a 2 hour long ultrasound the day before she was born,they found a sizeable tumor. After she was born they confirmed it was cancerous. Because of the acites with chyle in it, they believed she had hodgkins lymphoma.

Immediately after birth, they whisked her to the NICU unit to put her on breathing machines because her lungs could not function on their own. She was born at 29 weeks. Prematurity was not the issue - it was her internal organs being so cramped due to fluid during their important formative stages.

They did not think our baby would survive -let alone after birth. Day after day, the doctors would tell us something was wrong, then come back and say the problem disappeared. I remember one doctor finding us in the NICU waiting room, setting down and saying, "We have done all we can do. All I can say is 'keep praying', because that is what is saving your baby. I have never seen miracle after miracle as I have seen in your baby."

Wow! That is her story in a nut shell- We walked out of that hospital in 4 1/2 weeks with our sweet angel. The doctors and a couple of nurses walked us to the elevator because they were still in shock she lived and was going home. And this is such a short version. I could go on and on telling you of all the miracles God did.

The condition she had was so rare that the neo natal doctors were calling other children's hospitals all over the United States trying to find a course of action. The other hospitals all figuartively scratched their heads. Babies with chylous ascites such as Taylor had died in the uterus. So a live birth in and of itself was amazing.... Then the tumor disappeared, and the ascites was gone, and the organs all started functioning properly..... Do you get the picture???

Please know the He is Mighty and Powerful and Wonderful! He is still a miracle working God and He is Sovereign. May you trust wholly in Him and seek His face.

Have a wonderful day and thanks for those of you who prayed with us for our little girl 10 years ago! Thanks for rejoicing with us today for our little 10 year old miracle!

Happy Birthday Taylor!
I love you more than you will ever know!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

To tell the Truth.....

One of my favorite subjects to teach about is TRUTH.

In our culture, this absolute is fading into the fog of relevance in our society. But in our family and in our legacy I want to revive the spiritual necessity of praying for the revelation of TRUTH.

Truth -or its absence-has as much to do with our perception of the world around us as anything else we see, think, or know.

Think about it.
You are driving to work, and the little lady in front of you cuts you off.
You respond according to your "perception" of the truth that she is stupid and only thinking of her self.
The absolute TRUTH is that she just received a phone call that her teenage daughter is being rushed to the ER on life support because of an attempted suicide.

Your child keeps telling you about this teacher that is "soooo mean"- and "the teacher just hates me mom!!!"
The absolute TRUTH is the teacher sees the brilliant mind in your child and wants to help push him so that he can succeed in life.

I could go on.
But I guess I am trying to say that sometimes we accept our "perception" of situations as TRUTH, when actually we are being deceived or manipulated by those around us.

One of the greatest deceptions is the one concerning our own value.
The enemy of our souls desperately wants us to believe in the negative worth of our value. He deceives us and manipulates situations so that our perception agrees with his lie.
But when we pray for the brilliance of God's absolute TRUTH to shine through, we can see God's TRUTH concerning the value He has so lovingly placed in our lives.

That is why God's Word has such powerful scriptures as:
"You shall know the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall set you free."
"Guide me in Your TRUTH and teach me."

And that is why Jesus said so many times, "I tell you the TRUTH...."

My prayer is that each of us
KNOW HIS TRUTH- and you will gain the ultimate reality of HIS Kingdom.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Character or Carnality?

Last week was kind of a tough week in the Blann home.

Not anything of major proportions- no illnesses or major catastrophes, just those tough moments when you have to choose - character or carnality. And I'm talking about all 5 of us. It kind of all crescendoed on Thursday.

But~ I ~along with the rest of my family learned some lessons and I pray we grew in our faith as followers of Jesus Christ.

I learned that God is a much better parent than I ever hope to be.
I learn more about God by being a parent.

There are times - this past week was one of them - that I want to make everything easier for my kids. I want to go nose to nose with a coach, a teacher, or a peer and give them the "what for" because they cause pain or hurt to my children. But I know that my children will grow into better adults if I let them learn to face these issues themselves.

I have to say, I love and respect my kids a lot, but after this week, I think I have some pretty awesome kiddos! :)

Without sharing too much information about our personal lives let me say that we have all cried this past week. There have been hurt feelings and hurt pride. The ones who either unknowingly or knowingly hurt my children, I honestly wanted to simply BOP them upside their head!

But my children!..... What examples they have been to their carnal mom! I have been amazed that at their young ages they chose character over carnality.

I don't think I would have chosen that path when I was their age. As a matter of fact, I know that I didn't.

During one of our long talks with one of the kids, I heard God speak to my heart to share His wisdom. After I spoke the words, I knew they came from God and not me. I want to sum that conversation up for you and share His wisdom:

"YOU are the only one who determines your character.
God has already determined your value."

We choose our character by one choice at a time.
God chose our value by one choice for all time.

Character is built by attitudes, beliefs, circumstances and decisions.
Our value was determined by the sacrifice of God's only Son on our behalf.

When we choose to live by godly character we live up to the value He placed in us.

Everyone has character - rather good or bad.

We must choose what face our character will have.
Will it look like Jesus, or will it look like the world?

Character or Carnality?
Which do you choose?

Just some thoughts for you to think about on this Monday in February.....


Friday, February 6, 2009

Hand in Hand

Welcome to Fiction Friday! Today's host is Sherry at A Candid Thought! Be sure to join us there for links to more fun fiction! And if you're posting fiction with us, don't forget to add your link to Mr. Linky at the end of Sherry's post. See ya there!

Hand in Hand

The drive wasn't that long, but their destination seemed to run from them.

The miles were quiet with reflection and "what-ifs", but the blanketing silence didn't cover up the love they had for each other.

As she pulled into the right hand lane to exit, she instinctively grabbed his hand and gave him a little squeeze.

The small gesture was a thousand sentences rolled into a gentle touch....

"I love you more than you know."

"I am here for you."

"I won't leave you."
"You will make it through this."

"We will be strong together."
"I am praying for you."

and on and on.....

All the strength she could muster lingered with the soft brush of her fingertips.

Subconsciously they both tensed as she pulled into the parking lot.

There it was. The place neither thought they would ever be. The neon letters screaming at them, "YOU HAVE CANCER!"


Hand in hand they walked through the automatic doors. Side by side they stood at the receptionist desk filling out paper work.

"I'm sorry ma'am. I can't let you go back while the chemo is being administered. We will let you know how he is doing throughout the process."

She watched him go through the swinging door, watched him walk down the hallway behind the nurse, until he turned left to another door.

A quick glance around the room released the pent up emotions she had held at bay for the last 3 weeks. The frail bodies, the greying skin, the smooth heads.... all spoke the ominous words of sickness and death.

Quickly she gathered her things before she made a scene. She fumbled with the car keys and quickly closed the door behind her. Before the door even clicked shut, tears were streaming down her face and the sobs from her stomach were surfacing.

"No! No! No! This can't be!!!! God, Why?!"

Sob after sob, tear after tear. She cried until her energy was spent.

She had been so brave for her family- for her husband who needed her strength, for her little girl who needed her calm, for her older daughter who needed her wisdom......

Now, alone in the cold, quiet vehicle, she was just herself.




"God, just give me the strength to be what he needs me to be. Give me the strength to hold up and not fall apart. Give me the strength to trust You with everything. And please, God please, do a miracle in his life!"

Seconds turned into minutes.

Minutes turned into hours.

When there was nothing left, it was time.

Time to reapply her makeup and be brave and strong just like last week, just like last night, just like this morning.

She grabbed her purse and keys and walked back through the automatic doors.

The CARTI sign was looming overhead.

There was a home decorating magazine laying on the table. She picked it up and thumbed through the pages, looking, but not seeing.

A few minutes later she heard his voice and looked up with a pleasant smile. Within seconds she was back at his side- holding his hand.

She gave him a little squeeze of the hand.

Hand in hand they walked out the doors and back to the car.

Their home wasn't too far, but it seemed to run from them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Letter to Former President Bush on YouTube

On the day of President Obama's election I wrote a letter of appreciation to former President Bush.

Some friends of mine took the letter and made a video to post on YouTube.

Here is the result.

Maybe, just maybe, former President Bush will someday see this.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Daniel Fast - Take Two: Obedience or Submission

Most of you know that this is our church's second year to do the Daniel Fast.

I think it is safe to say that across the board, it is more difficult this year.

I texted a friend the other day to say that I believe it is harder this year because we already know how difficult it is. Last year there was excitement and the unknown. This year there is dread and more dread.

I have pondered all of this and questioned my spirituality. The truth is - sacrifice isn't sacrifice unless it hurts.

And.... I am even unable to do the complete fast because I am having issues with my blood sugar. I am cutting out things though that I REALLY REALLY don't like going without.

But my thoughts tonight are not on "my" sacrifice, or even on "my" desires. My thoughts, my introspection tonight is on my lack of submission.

You see, I have obedience, but at the moment I don't have submission.
I am being brutally honest.

I don't WANT to give up diet coke.
Today, I gave up diet coke only because I feel bad that I am not doing the complete fast.
I am sick of drinking water.
I don't like water.
And, I have battled a negative attitude about it all day.

Again, I am just being brutally honest.
Now, the shallowness of my spirituality is screaming through this blog.
I will wake up tomorrow morning and read this and think, "Yikes!!! Did I really put that on the web for the world to see?" Then I will remind myself, that I should be more worried what HE thinks...... He already sees these issues in my soul.

What do I want more?
Diet Coke or a more passionate relationship with Christ?

What do I want more?
Diet Coke or my friends' unsaved children returning to Christ?

What do I want more?
Diet Coke or miracles of healing for my family?

What do I want more?
Diet Coke or a financial miracle for our church to be on our new land?

When I type it like that, put it in black and white, I feel ashamed.
So, in my heart of hearts, I want the spiritual things.
But in my physical being, I still want a diet coke.

I guess I am getting at the whole point of a fast- doing without something-
Letting that carnal, fleshly side of our lives die so that the spiritual side has more voice, more influence, more strength!

I spent more time in prayer today. I knelt at my bed and shared my feelings with my Savior.
I didn't hear the "Well done my good and faithful servant", but I did feel His encouragement and strength.

I didn't drink a diet coke.
Sacrifice isn't fun.

But a cleansed, victorious spirit is refreshing.
I want THAT more than a Diet Coke.

I want HIM more than a Diet Coke.

I want a heart that pleases HIM more than a Diet Coke.

I want to want what He wants MORE than a Diet Coke.

So with that, I think I am beginning to move from obedience to submission
- just beginning.

blessings to each of you and you consider your life of obedience or submission.....

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Daniel Fast

Once again we at First Assembly in West Memphis are in the midst of a corporate Daniel Fast.

Once again I am reminded of my humanity and my dependence upon "things" other than God.

So, my prayer today is for TOTAL DEPENDENCE upon God - not on Diet Coke, or some sweet sumptuous chocolate.

Daniel refused to eat the delicacies from the king's table.

Hmmmmmm, in our culture, delicacies are commonplace to our diet. We take no thought of eating things that give us pleasure. We are blessed beyond our ability to even fathom the depth of those blessings.

During this fast I want to seek God with my whole heart. I want to know Him more than I ever have. I want Him to look at me and see His Son. I do want direction on some things and I do want to see Him move in a mighty way in our church. But more than anything, I want more of Him in EVERY area of my life. I want the passion. I want the anointing. I want the relationship. I want to want HIM more than anything else!

I want to "want" Him more than I want a diet coke right now - which is a pretty big "want". :0)

blessings to all of you as you seek His face!