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Delighting in my God, I desire to dwell in His pleasure and to help others experience true delight.

"Delight Yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.  
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;..." Ps 37:4-7a

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Master's Lead

I don’t know how to dance.  I can’t dance with you.  I stop and pray.  I will dance with my Lord.  I submit to His lead.  It is jerky at first, but His gentle pressure guides me.  I submit to His lead.  I am awkward and I don’t do well.  Oh, I step on His toe.  Will I learn to dance?
My Lord, my Father, my Master, He is patient.  He guides me, then twirls me.  I am learning to relax under His leadership.  I submit to His lead.  I smile and glide.  He is a master, the Master. 
He knows how to dance and He teaches me.  I submit to His lead.  I am learning to dance.  It is becoming more natural and comfortable as I rest in His lead.  
I can dance with you; I have been taught.  I go to the Master for lessons.  He is gentle; He is passionate; He knows what He is doing.  He is making a dancer of me as I submit to His lead.  I delight in His lead.  I delight in the dance.

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's About Relationships

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Life is about relationships.  How does evolution explain that?  The relationship between male and female to propagate the species, ok, that would be necessary, but relationships with emotions, encouragement, laughter,   connectedness with      friends, frustration, challenges, hurt, emoting of any kind, well, that makes no sense at all in the evolutionary model.  We were made for relationship by a loving God who created us first and foremost to have relationship with Him.  God knows about relationships since He was in relationship in the context of the Trinity before the creation of the world.  Relationship, then, is part of the innate character of who God is.  When thought of in this context, relationship makes perfect sense; it is an expression of the character of God.
The kind of relationship that reflects the character of God is relationship of commitment.  God is committed within the Trinity, and He is committed to us, His fallen creatures who He has created in His image, to reflect His character and dwell in His pleasure.  It is the fallen part that makes relating and commitment so hard.  We find it hard to love, hard to forgive, hard to just get along.  However, if we will work through the challenges, delight in the God who made us, submit to the Holy Spirit given to us to help us as we struggle through relating, we will find richness, growth, and joy by standing firm in our committed relationships.  “It is of Jehovah's lovingkindness that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.  Jehovah is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him.”  (Lamentations 3:22-24)  God is loving and faithful to put up with us and see us through to the end.  Will we reflect that loving faithfulness in our approach to those whom God has given us in relationship, whether they deserve it or not?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Risk - Five Minute Friday

I'm still figuring out this blogging thing, and one thing I just figured out is that the five minute Friday gal actually posts the prompt for the day.  So since that is a new insight for me, I thought I would do a second five minute Friday for today.  I still haven't figured out how to link to the actual site and become part of the five minute friday gang, but each day brings new lessons.  Today's prompt is risk so here goes...

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There’s an elephant in the room and no one, including me will address it.  Is it because I think it belongs here?  Or maybe I think it will stomp all over me if I try to take it on.  Perhaps I am just afraid that I won’t handle the elephant correctly and then who knows what it might do.  I have been with this elephant before and it is difficult to take risks around it.  I have been with similar elephants before.  They always make me uncomfortable but I just don’st seem to know what to do with them.  Why won’t I take the risk to deal with these animals?  They cause so much stress having them around, but they are there prancing around like nobody’s business.  And perhaps that is the reason I won’t risk it.  Is it really my business.  Who is this nobody anyway?  If it is nobody’s business, this elephant, then why can’t this nobody come and take him away?  Why does this elephant so often show up to make relationships uncomfortable when the elephant belongs to nobody.  Somebody should take a risk and come deal with this nobody character.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kindness revisted - Five Minute Friday

I can’t seem to get the definition of kindness out of my mind.  The definition I found said kindness was being friendly, generous, and considerate.  It seems to me that that is backward.  One might not be especially friendly and yet not be unkind.  One can be not necessarily generous and still not be unkind.  However, it is difficult not to be considerate without simultaneously being unkind.  One might have to go out of one’s way to be friendly and generous, but being considerate ought to be just a product of our regular dealings with one another.  When you are done eating, put your own dish in the dishwasher instead of leaving it on the table.  As you get back from the pool or taking a shower, hang up your towel instead of leaving it on the floor for someone else to pick up.  Use words like please and thank you.  These are just basics of being considerate and to be otherwise is inconsiderate and unkind.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Simple Acts of Kindness

A friend gave me a copy of the Good Housekeeping, July 2012 issue when he was done with it.  Right away an article listed on the cover caught my eye, “Little Acts of Kindness, that will change your life.”  Since our typical diet of news is replete with the negative happenings around us, I always appreciate articles like this that add more nourishing energy to our psyche.  Beginning with a quote by Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get.  We make a life by what we give,”  author Katy McColl discusses some of the fruitful benefits of giving for the giver, as she offers plenty of ideas on simple acts that any of us can implement to give a boost to our lives. 
My children seem to come up with similar simple wisdom to Churchill.   My son, Kipp, observed recently, “Do you know that there are billions of people in the world, Mom?  Why is it with billions of people in the world and so much time in our lives, that we let little things in little moments by just a few people cause us so much grief?” 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Healing Crisis - Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday at http://thegypsymama.com/category/five-minute-friday/ 

What is a healing crisis?  Within my limited knowledge,the best way I can describe it is a healing crisis is the way the body deals with the unloading of toxins, whether they be pollutants or microbes.  As your body goes through the process of cleansing when you oil pull, change your diet to one of healthier choices, or choose some cleansing process, you can experience events which are very much like sickness or like other ailments you have had in the past.  I have read that these can often be a reliving of what you have experienced in reverse order even back to childhood.  So that if you most recently had a cold and last year you had a swollen ankle, for instance, you might have cold symptoms again and after that at some point you may re-experience the swollen ankle.
I haven’t quite figured out how that might work if say you have had a heart attack, but I hope my research will provide further insight.  That’s brief, but we are out of time.  The point is, if cleansing, don’t run to the medicine closet if you feel sick; rejoice that you are getting healthier with each cough.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Storms Come. Be Ready.

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“Mom, I heard a quote the other day that I know you would like.  ‘Storms will come in life, but without rain, we’d have a drought.’”
As part of a Bible Study assignment, we were discussing the oft repeated one-liners spoken in our home over the years.  The exercise was to consider the things you have heard in your home, and then evaluate those thoughts from a Biblical perspective.
We listed several of the ones we could think of that had become part of the family mantras: 
Dunns are different.
Make good choices.
Nothing good happens after midnight.
It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do with it.
Attitude ‘A’ everyday!
Be a blessing and be blessed.
Leave a place better than you found it.
Be part of the solution not the problem.
Remember, you are an ambassador for Christ.
What you practice you become.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Health Journal

In early May I decided to start something that is often recommended by doctors, nutritionists, and friends, a health journal.  In my quest for better health, I thought it would be a good way to track changes I was making as well as changes in my condition.  It is already rather fun to look back and see how I began this adventure - yes, at my age everything is an adventure.  
As I go through the process of writing things down, I have become more aware of what I am doing, what I am consuming, and the slight changes in my own wellness.  Journaling does help to motivate and keep me accountable; so I become my own accountability partner.  I am looking forward to what I will learn and to seeing how I will change over the course of the coming year.  For now little changes seem to be reaping positive health-rewards, and I am delighting in the process.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Accountability and Discipleship Prayer-Partners

I have been working on developing a pamphlet or leaflet for women desiring to establish accountability and discipleship relationships.  Here's my first draft and I welcome input.  God bless, Maria

Accountability and Discipleship Prayer-Partners

We are called In Scripture to love one another in the Lord, to come together, support one another, and hold each other accountable as we encourage one another to good works and to walk by the Spirit.  Even in the church it can be difficult to connect to one another as we are either holed away in our homes or too busy with our day-to-day lives and work or simply unable to make the connections when we do meet with others. 

This is a tool to assist accountability partners in building a relationship with one another that is biblical, meaningful, and fruitful. 

 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love, give preference to one another in honor, not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.”  Romans 12:10-11

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.”  John 15:12

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”  Colossians 3:16

Seek to be specific with each other in your answers to each of the questions to help you to be able to better verbalize your faith walk.   This will also help each of you do what the Scriptures call us to do for one another.  You may not address all of them each time you meet.  This is a tool, a guide to help you build your relationship in a Christ-honoring direction through which you can both get to know each other on a deeper level in order to stand firm in the Lord when and where you face storms and to encourage each other’s growth in Christ.

Determine a regular time to meet, preferably in person, but if that isn’t always practical, then you can skype or talk on the phone, but do meet regularly, once a week or once or twice a month.  Find a schedule that works and allows you to develop a bond of love.

“Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is within you, yet with gentleness and reverence;” 1 Peter 3:15

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us , an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”  Ephesians 5:1-2

1.  Open by reviewing the Gospel together.  Jesus Christ should be the center of our lives, and we do not give enough legitimate focus to Him, and what He has done and does for us.  Beginning with Jesus reminds us of what is really important and central.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefined and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,” 1 Peter 1:3-4

“For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners againsht Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.”  Hebrews 12:3

“Therefore gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. “  1Peter 1:13

2.   How are you doing with your personal time and relationship with God, devotions, Bible study, prayer?

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. “ James 4:8

“Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,”  1 Peter 2:2

“Pray without ceasing.”  1 Thessalonians 5:17

3.  What is God teaching you?  

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction for training in righteousness; that the man (woman) of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:16-17

“But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.”  1 Timothy 6:6

4.  How is He challenging you, stretching you, growing you?

“You are my friends if you do what I command you.” John15:14

“…the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22-23

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  James 1:2-4

5.  How are you using your gifts for Kingdom purposes?

“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many are one body in Christ, and individually members one f another.  And since we have gifs that differ according to the grace given to us, let each ecercise them accordingly…” Romans 12:4-6

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”  Colossians 3:17

 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”  Galatians 5:25

6.  How are you involved in God’s mission, sharing the Gospel and/or discipleship?

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:  19-20

“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”  Romans 12:1

“Preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”  2 Timothy 4:2

7.  With what are you struggling and how can I encourage you?

“Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.“  Galatians 6:2

 “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.  James 1:12

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.  The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”  James 5:16

“But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”  Hebrews 3:13

8.  Do you have relationships that need repairing?

Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no which no one will see the Lord.”  Hebrews 12:14

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God for Christ sake has forgive you.  Ephesians 4:22

9.  What thoughts do you need to change and replace?

“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”  2Corinthians 10:5

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”  Philippians 4:8

10.  What are you thankful for and rejoicing in?

“Give thanks in everything.”  1Thessalonians 5:18

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice!”  Philippians 4:4

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear it and rejoice.  O magnify the Lord  with me, and let us exalt His name together.”  Psalm 34:1-3

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  Psalm 37:4

11.  What other prayer requests and concerns do you have that you would like to share with me?  How else can I pray for you?

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”  Philippians 4:6

“These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”  Acts 1:14

“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,” 1 Timothy 2:1

Friday, June 1, 2012


 Each morning I oil pull as a part of my daily oral hygiene an health regimen.  I take a tablespoon of food oil, usually coconut, swish it around in my mouth for 20 minutes, and then spit it out.  I do this before I brush my teeth.  Coconut oil is hard below 76 degrees, and so usually needs to be softened.  Recently I took to softening by placing in a cup and that into a pot or bowl of hot water.  As I was going through this process one morning, I placed the scooping spoon into the hot water.  Immediately the oil left on the spoon was released into the water as it too became soft.
Being the frugal person I am, I took hold of that oil with two fingers and smoothed it onto my hands.  I found that it absorbed more easily than using the oil directly and hydrated my hands at the same time.  They were less greasy as well.  My husband commented how that must have been such a delight for me, oil, no waste, and soft hands all in one, and of my own discovery.  Oh yes, quite the delight.