Well, my friends, this has indeed been a strange yet wonderful month since I last wrote. Sometimes it is hard to know what to share when we have a diverse audience as well as a time of personal growth and spiritual progress in this newest chapter. So many of you are of my amazing global business family and your posts on the guest site continue bless me…THANK YOU! Don’t stop…they are “air” and I feel connected, and I read them all (often more than once). Many also pop in from the past, and certainly friends and family and those who, inexplicably, I am told are following diligently (and praying) although they do not know me at all; what a blessing indeed.
And I am always aware that many of my global teammates might read out of interest in me personally (humbling for sure, and a role I never take lightly), and might find some of our Christian beliefs puzzling or unacceptable still, I hope all remember that we Christians are called as believers to accept and love everyone regardless of their current beliefs and opinions….. as Christ did and does. He was sent to provide the way to eternity for ALL who are lost, and would simply accept this gift through faith…with all our imperfections and shortcomings. An open door, a gift, “good news”, all are welcome…not just a prophet, or guru, or cosmic “force”, but God the creator Himself come to save and forgive and restore and live through us…wow. Who wouldn’t want that? And as Andy Stanley says; “When it is all said and done, I think I am going with the only guy who has ever risen from the dead!”
Strange how so many know clearly that Jesus lived historically, and was crucified, and rose as witnessed by hundreds, and used a group of ordinary sinners and common men, empowered by the Spirit, to change the world through love and a simple, but new, message; a Relationship and not a Religion. He clearly always said who he was (the only Son of God)…. and yet so many people still relegate Him to a “good teacher”, healer, controversial Rabbi, etc…. when he never said that was who he was. When we really read what he said and did, and look at the way the movement grew after he was “gone”, and under immense persecution….one might need to take a deeper look it seems…… Just a thought…especially among us believers.
Perhaps we are the biggest reason some people are not excited about “Christianity” is that Christians, and the “Church”, need a wake up call and a deeper look at the promises and commands given so clearly. Knowing Him and His word brings great fruit. Grace and forgiveness release us, and empower us to grow more like Him over time. Knowing Him deeper and serving Him better, and recognizing our roles more clearly, and spreading His Gospel can be so very satisfying. And, our “Marketplace” is so diverse, and our values so strong, and our heart so hungry, that we see and have been given endless opportunities to do good with all God’s people.
Anyway, I have simply been led to share in this remarkable “Journey”, my personal pilgrimage to full health (that He promises to believers in faith)… and trust and pray that ALL those we love will find some measure of comfort and inspiration in this very personal journey. But again let me say how grateful I am that you would allow me to share in this way and grant me the grace to be more transparent when needed…. as it is designed for those who choose to read. I do even love the reports back from my dear friends of all faiths, for their desires and care for me and my family are genuine, and their hearts are extraordinary….and I love that we can connect somehow at this point. All of us on a journey.
So, what can I share now that is helpful? Basically, I experienced some new symptoms (very significant hearing loss at this time….grrr….. lying symptom) which led to an additional MRI of the brain and a subsequent visit to the experts at MD Anderson. Without bothering you all with “details” (as I know God has healed me already) the docs sent me back to ten days of “brain radiation”. I know…scary huh? Not really….. God is always bigger. (OK, I can’t remember my name or my PV …but that was true before the radiation). The funny thing is that the only real new side effect they warned me of (other than fatigue etc) is my hair…..what?! Unacceptable! Well, maybe that was pride (but you haven’t seen me bald…nor will you). Now my radiation finished a couple of weeks ago, and currently I am hanging on (“white knuckled”) to my thinning hair. Less photos will come? Or lots of funny hats maybe. Or, maybe it will turn red and curly. Whatever…a wig is out!
Then we are expected to wait 4-5 weeks until after Thanksgiving to return to MDA/Houston to get more MRIs and PETS etc (glow in the dark again), and see about further treatments for this insidious enemy invader. What we really need is an all-out prayer assault globally to reject the enemy’s hold still….he MUST leave!!… as God has promised it when two or more gather and ask and believe…..but he would really love to terrorize someone in my position….not gonna have it! Thanks for your continued, and much needed prayers and assault on the throne. He will be faithful I know. He always watches over His Word to perform it….. Lying symptoms aside!
I have been enjoying the time to deep-dive into God’s Word, learn scripture, understand His promises and His desire to heal as well as teach and draw…and stay involved with what I love which is leading, and adding value as much as possible to people I love. I have discovered and investigated all avenues revealed to me regarding my closer walk as I sure have the time (had it all along of course, but need to make it). The Lord has helped me revisit areas where I felt a need to ask forgiveness from people, and me to forgive any and all actions and people where such emotions might block my access to promises or authority given to me. A healthy exercise.
I even was directed to engage in a water baptism. This might seem unusual to some after so long as a believer, but wanted to be absolutely sure that I was obedient and humble in my willingness to publically proclaim my beliefs…. as our Lord Himself did. It has been interesting to me how God can even use such a simple sign of obedience to reveal another level of faith fruit that always comes when we do what he commands and models. Anyone else in my shoes? Anything left uncertain? Any small resistances for any reason? Healthy to explore. As a wonderful bonus, my action inspired my buddy Dave Ruelas to do the same with me, and we had a wonderful precious evening at our home with friends and family and our Pastor. It is actually quite cleansing and faith-building to look deep and see if God shows us anything we need to unwrap, unlearn, and/or recommit to. I recommend the process…before you “need it”. (Remember the digging of the well before you need the water?)
With that said, your highly dysfunctional leader and friend realized that I finished my radiation on the 19th of Oct and thought about my annual pilgrimage to Pebble Beach for my EQUIP fundraiser. Why not? So, we went the next day (no need to book a ticket) and figured whatever effects I discovered, I could discover over the waves of the Pacific and the Bagpipers around the fire pit and some amazing testimonies of God’s work through EQUIP. Glad we went! Great fellowship, new friends, memories….life in abundance.
We came to Florida to the beach this week as it got cold in Atlanta. Who has such options? Business is better than ever, spiritual life on hyper-drive, family growing and together more than ever, symptoms aside (and “medical facts” uninteresting). God is at work on all of us all the time. His timing is perfect and His ways are mysterious, but His love is unquestioned, and his desire to provide healing to all who ask in faith is clear. So, we live in the Journey and we await and expect and claim…right? Together!
As always, there were a few noteworthy activities also in this past month. I continue to reach out to the world I love with video messages for our large conferences and to personally congratulate the many dear partners that have moved ahead recently; so many this year again. New Emeralds and Diamonds in many countries (Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Italy, Thailand, China, India, Australia, Africa, Turkey….nearly everywhere….amazing). Even a new Crown here with Peter and Barbara Matz and the family….well earned, and a passion well served for so many years. We congratulate this great family for their pioneering work especially in regard to international expansion…..and are eternally grateful for the team we have been blessed with.
Dave and Jules were again asked to represent the Dornans at a special event in Washington DC where Amway Corp gathered some impressive people from government including the former Vice President of the US and a Secretary of Defense. Doug and Steve were there as was the Andrews family. Then, we hosted in Atlanta a few top leaders from Indonesia who were already in NYC for a Diamond incentive; Robert and Sonja Angkasa, Paul and Linda Agus, and Johannes and Roma Sumatupatang…two incredible Double Diamonds and a Founders Council Crown. Then, Paul and Linda visited our local BBS where they even had a new person of theirs (Plat) from Indonesia who moved to ATL join here. They and our newest local Sapphires spoke…we loved it all! (We sat in the back and marveled at “duplication”) What a business!
A few days ago we here in the USA had our “Halloween”…the Dornans are obviously not into the occult, or scary things of the enemy (bad idea in my mind to flirt with the enemy regardless of the current culture and fascination with such!), so we celebrate a “fall festival” and the kids love it. Even the office jumps in the fun with sweet costumes and a festive spirit. Flowers (Faith and Cassidy), and Bumble bees (Ella), and Even Winnie the Pooh! (don’t even ask who that is!)
One more thing regarding our life these past few weeks is the intensity around the US elections. The right to vote is such a privilege, as well as an obligation, here (and everywhere) that the Dornans do take it seriously. I hope you all do as well. It’s is really never about political parties, but really about what values we believe in, and who is the best leader for the time. You will each choose I am sure, but I will pray you think prayerfully and carefully, and that you surely do place your vote. Each is important.we were recently offered an opportunity to attend an event with one of the presidential candidates and loved getting this photo. I hope each of you remains passionate about these choices and thinks hard about what differences might occur if the wrong vision or values are applied. God taught us to honor and respect all leaders as they have been given authority…but we can also seek His Word to see what values line up and then vote prayerfully and carefully and not on just a personal pet issue. In a few days we will see where America decides to go
Now, as we all know, I continue to read on many levels and am always aware of the things we all deal with which are not the same as mine. Marriages, finances, goals, ambitions, children, etc. As I reflect and come across things I will pass on a few as they have blessed me and reminded me of so much that life requires we handle. The wisdom is all there to be dug out and understood as each needs it. Here are a few things that have struck me of late. May they lift you and provide greater faith and encouragement as we all keep growing:
ON THE POSITIVES OF PAIN
THE VALLEY OF BACA:
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion” (Ps 84:5-7).
There is a spiritual law in the Kingdom of God. Every great leader in the Kingdom will pass through the Valley of Baca. Baca means to weep. It comes from the Hebrew word, bakah (baw-kaw’); a primitive root; to weep; generally to bemoan.
However, Baca is also a place of springs. There is nothing better on a hot day when you’re thirsty and weary than to drink water from a mountain spring. It refreshes. It renews. It gives you a second wind to continue your journey. Those who commit themselves to a pilgrimage with God will experience the Valley of Baca. But in the midst of Baca they will discover that in this valley they will also drink from a very special spring that refreshes with a different kind of living water.
It becomes the source of “secret things in hidden places” described by the prophet Isaiah (Isa 45:3) reserved only for those willing to journey on the Great Pilgrimage with God. Once you drink from this spring you will be energized in your spiritual man from strength to strength. Each Valley of Baca will result in a new spiritual spring from which you will drink. It is handmade just for you by God. But know this…. it will be used to provide a refreshing drink for others you will encounter who are also on their pilgrimage.
Ultimately, Baca leads to the presence of God. There is something about being in a place with God that results in our weeping and crying out to Him. Do you find yourself in this place with God today? If so, know that His springs are also available to you. Ask him today to give you a drink from His spring only available in the Valley of Baca.
ON THE DANGERS OF COMPARISON:
“They measure themselves by themselves.” 2Co 10:12 NIV
A certain level of competitiveness is good. You need it. When children enter a spelling contest they study harder and learn more because they’re going to compete. They know their academic prowess is about to be challenged and they get ready for it because we all like to win. But when your competitiveness makes you feel “less than,” or “better than” another person, it’s gone too far. Paul writes: “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service…God has assigned to us” (vv.12-13 NIV). To evaluate your success accurately you must first understand your God-given purpose. When you play on a team your position determines your purpose. Attackers and defenders have different skills, but to win, the team needs both. The defender who keeps the opposing team from scoring is just as valuable as the attacker who scores. One may get more applause than the other, but victory belongs to them all. When you keep comparing yourself with others you’re denied a sense of accomplishment, because you’ve made the benchmark to be like somebody else. No, they are playing a different position. They have a different purpose. They have a different skill set designed to fulfill the role God has given them. God gives you everything you need for the position you play and the purpose you have. What a liberating truth! And God, who gave others the ability to excel at what they do, will do the same for you when you learn to focus on Him, not them.
ON THE BENEFITS OF FOCUS:
“Let us strip off every weight that slows us down.” Heb 12:1 NLT
The Bible says, “Let us strip off every weight that slows us down…And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” God has given you the two things needed to run and win your race in life: time and energy. And you can’t afford to waste them. Why do we have such a hard time saying no? Two of the most common reasons are: (1) Fear of rejection. Ultimately, you must ask yourself this question: “Whose approval am I seeking, God’s or people’s?” (2) Fear of missing out on good opportunities. We assume that whenever opportunity knocks, we must answer the door and say yes to whatever’s standing there. That’s a mistake. Opportunity doesn’t equal obligation. There will always be more opportunities than there is time to pursue them. So you must choose your opportunities prayerfully and wisely. Jim Collins, author of the book Good to Great, writes: “Most of us lead busy but undisciplined lives. We have ever expanding ‘to do’ lists, trying to build momentum by doing, doing, doing. But it rarely works. Those who built the good to great companies made as much use of ‘stop doing’ lists, as ‘to do’ lists. They displayed a remarkable discipline to unplug from all sorts of extraneous junk and channel their resources into only one or a few areas.” In his groundbreaking book, Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends on It, Al Ries adds, “Great leaders, in spite of a multitude of distractions, know how to keep things focused. They know how to inspire and motivate their followers to keep pushing ‘the main chance.’ They don’t let side issues overwhelm them.” So stay focused!
ABIDING IN THE LORD:
“He who abides in Me…bears much fruit.” Jn 15:5 NKJV
Some folks view the Christian life as a bed of roses, others see it as a battlefield. The first group says, “If I’ve enough faith I’ll never be sick, broke, or have problems.” The second group says, “I have more troubles than Job.” The truth is, your faith level is revealed by hard times. When your back is to the wall financially you need faith to believe that God is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides. When you’re battling illness you need faith to believe He’s Jehovah Rapha, the great physician who promises to heal. Jesus said, “He who abides in Me…bears much fruit.” Notice, the blessing comes from “abiding” and staying close to the Lord.
Getting excited about fruit before you’ve learned to sow seed means you end up serving God for what He does, instead of who He is to you.
And here’s another thought: Don’t use your faith to belittle others. Just because you have graduated, don’t burn down the school! Remember the tests you didn’t do so well in? But God brought you through, didn’t He? And He will bring them through too! Yes, the Christian life is a battlefield. And the level of attack is determined by the size of your God-given assignment and the rewards that await you beyond it. So in that sense, Satan’s attack is a compliment. The truth lies in the middle. You will be regularly pruned for greater fruitfulness. But that’s when it’s even more important to abide. So don’t give up, and don’t collapse, for beyond this test you’ll have a testimony to God’s goodness.
TRUSTING GOD….NOT WHAT WE SEE:
(being grateful and having joy and praising Him in all things)
Jesus said, “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of!” (John 10:10b, The Message)
Can we have an abundant life when our world is falling down around us? Can we experience abundant living in the following situations? When our husband loses his job and can’t seem to find another one. When our teenage son is arrested for drunk driving. When our house is foreclosed and we have no place to go. When we don’t share the same faith as our spouse. When our business or marriage struggles?
Corrie and Betsie TenBoom watched the only world they’d ever known crumble down around them. Their family was arrested for helping rescue Jews in wartime Holland. And years later, Corrie wrote about her experience in the book, The Hiding Place.
Corrie and Betsie were transferred from one place to another in their imprisonment but they finally end up in the worst place of all, Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. It was a place of horrible filth and degradation. As they moved into their new living quarters they were overwhelmed with their situation and the final straw came as they were settling into their bunks. Fleas bit them! Corrie turned to Betsie and said, “How can we live in a place like this?” Let’s take a look at Betsie’s response to Corrie:
‘Corrie!’ she said excitedly. ‘He’s given us the answer! Before we asked, as He always does! In the Bible this morning. Where was it? Read that part again!’
‘Oh yes, . . . To one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus . . .’
‘That’s it, Corrie! That’s His answer. Give thanks in all circumstances! That’s what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about [these] new barracks!’
I stared at her, then around me at the dark, foul-aired room.
‘Such as?’ I said.
‘Such as being assigned here together.’
I bit my lip, ‘Oh yes, Lord Jesus!’
‘Such as what you’re holding in your hands.’
I looked down at the Bible. ‘Yes! Thank you, dear Lord, that there was no inspection when we entered here! Thank you for all the women, here in this room, who will meet you in these pages.’
‘Yes,’ said Betsie. ‘Thank you for the very crowding here. Since we’re packed so close, that many more will hear!’ She looked at me expectantly. ‘Corrie!’ she prodded.
‘Oh, all right. Thank You for the jammed, crammed, stuffed, packed, suffocating crowds.’
‘Thank you,’ Betsie went on serenely, ‘for the fleas and for —’
The fleas! This was too much. ‘Betsie, there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.’
‘Give thanks in all circumstances,’ she quoted. ‘It doesn’t say, “in pleasant circumstances.” Fleas are a part of this place where God has put us.’
And so we stood between piers of bunks and gave thanks for the fleas. But this time I was sure Betsie was wrong . . .” (The Hiding Place, by Corrie TenBoom)
Corrie and Betsie chose to focus on God and to thank Him for where He had placed them. They were able to hold worship services in their barracks in complete freedom from the guards and they couldn’t help but wonder why they were allowed to do this. It wasn’t until days later that they discovered the reason. It was the fleas . . . the guards did not want to set foot in their dormitory because of the fleas!
These determined women, in spite of their circumstances, chose to live the life God had for them. In a place of incredible filth and pain they experienced the abundant life of a Christian who chose to take God at His Word and trust in Him. If Corrie were here today, I know that she would say it’s the only way to truly live!
Dear Heavenly Father, we pray that You would open the eyes of our hearts so that we may truly see You as You are. Lord, You are infinitely incredible and You are the real joy of our hearts. We pray for a divine eternal revelation of who You are and who we are as Your children, friends and bride. Lord, take away our complaining and help us to know that in You all things are possible and that it is a true joy to give thanks in all circumstances. Thank-You that You overcame this world with the blood of Your Son, and that He conquered all death, sin and Satan. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
So, we wait and pray and seek and have joy. November is our month of “Thanksgiving”. His promises and ways are always to bless and draw and fulfill His Word. What a remarkable gift, and how much more can we serve and be rewarded than by faith in this truth and obedience. It gets easier to see each day. Our Passions remain for what He has equipped me, and each of us, to do while we “occupy” and enjoy this life of purpose. (My vision is expanding daily). We have been so blessed to find a “vehicle” through N21 that allows for such a journey of hope and blessing and sharing of possibilities and principles. We have seen the BIG world, and it is indeed BIG and rich with God’s potential. It is also rich with deception. I pray that together we can all seek the truth, and make sure we do everything in love and His service. God’s number one commandment is still to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength…and love others, as we love ourselves”. I sure do love you critters and appreciate you more each day.
The Journey continues……..