I'm blogging at www.melaniedorsey.com . Please join me there.

Oct 3, 2011

Time for Change


After much consideration, I've started a blog on Wordpress. 
I'll be moving The Bella Mella content to a new domain name. It's not quite ready yet but I hope that sometime this week it will be ready enough!


Like the Brady Bunch sang, "When it's time to change, you've got to rearrange." 
So that's what I've been doing. 
For those who read my running blog, www.seemymomrun.com, it will remain where it is for now.


Moving to Wordpress will enable me to offer some resources I've been wanting to make available. 
Also, it will be a better landing page for my eBook - Run, Pray, Breathe. 
I'm not sure how smoothly the export of this blog to Wordpress will go, but in the meantime, you can always check out my running blog - See My Mom Run. I've been posting more regularly there as I'm training for a half marathon. 
In fact, go visit now and read my latest post, The Color of Your Shorts."
Thanks!

Sep 29, 2011

Life is Unfair - excerpt from Run, Pray, Breathe

An excerpt from my eBook: 
Run, Pray, Breathe - Going the Distance in Prayer
This excerpt is from part one
"The Reason I Run."

With determined resolve, I continued down the road. My throat tightened as I 
 walked past the home of Andrew’s skateboarding buddy. 
“Life is unfair,” I thought as I walked. Another thought emerged, “But God is good.”  
I passed a few more of my neighbors’ homes and began to run. The teardrops fell faster than the turnover of my feet.
I revisited twelve years of images on these roads - bike riding, rollerblading, skateboarding, dog walking, and the day Audra, Andrew and I were surprised by a sudden thunder storm. We raced back home, laughing the entire way. Dannie took a picture of the three of us - drenched, rain dripping from our hair, and Andrew clowning for the camera. 

Run, Pray, Breathe - Going the Distance in Prayer is an inspirational guidebook for anyone at any fitness level who wants to combine a run or walk with focused prayer.  Using the six topics of the Lord's Prayer, I teach my readers to incorporate scriptural meditation as they pray the living and powerful Word of God. This focused plan of prayer works for one mile and more and has the power to transform body, soul and spirit. 
The 3 main sections are:
RUN 
"The Reason I Run"
"Run 101"

PRAY
"I Was a Prayer Drop Out."
"Teach Me to Pray."

BREATHE
"The Fragrance of Christ"
"Inhale - Exhale"
I can hardly wait to finish writing it and make it available in eBook form.

Sep 26, 2011

Excerpt from Run, Pray, Breathe - How To Go the Distance in Prayer

This is an excerpt from the eBook I am writing Run, Pray, Breathe - How to Go the Distance in Prayer.

The book has 3 main sections. 
RUN 
The Reason I Run
Run 101 


PRAY
I Was a Prayer Drop Out.
Teach Me to Pray.


BREATHE
The Fragrance of Christ
Inhale - Exhale

From RUN - The Reason I Run


So many things every day had the potential of bringing me to utter despair. One day I stood before Andrew’s closet and drew a deep breath hoping to inhale a familiar scent. I touched the sleeves of the shirt he had last worn to church. Unbelievable to think he had worn it on a Sunday as he sat next to me on the pew and less than twenty-four hours later, he lay unconscious in a hospital bed. Holding my breath, I checked the pockets of his favorite pair of jeans. Empty. My eyes fell on his last pair of Nike athletic shoes. He had barely worn them as the tumors in his brain affected the left side of his body causing partial paralysis. I slipped my feet into his shoes. They were too big for me. Still I tightened the laces and walked through the quiet house. I cried aloud, “Andrew, I wish I could have stood in your place and taken the pain for you. I would have given my life for yours but I didn’t have that choice.” 

Linking to  Soli Deo Gloria ~

Sep 21, 2011

Run, Pray, Breathe

We all have them.
Seasons of little to say.
Weeks when words are few.
Days when ideas jump but don't settle.
Running for Team Andrew

One discipline in my life that has remained constant is running.
The other discipline that has taken a beating has been prayer.
For what is the greatest obstacle to prayer?
Unanswered prayer. 
Oh I know the common response: "God answers every prayer with either a 'Yes,' a 'No' or a 'Wait.' "
Well, let me give you my honest reply to that one. It doesn't feel like a good enough answer when your child dies.


And so I began to run. Not away. But to. To God. 
And in the running, I found Him to be greater than an unanswered prayer. Greater than "No." Greater than "Wait."
When I run, He speaks to me. He inspires me. He runs with me. 
Last week I began training to run a 1/2 marathon in January - my second one. This takes time. And prayer takes time. 
I have come to believe that the effectiveness of short prayers hinge on the foundation of longer ones. Since we lost our son Andrew, I have been guilty of being a short prayer. But the Holy Spirit is convicting me to pray longer.
As a runner I know the discipline of running parallels that of praying. And that is my inspiration for an eBook on combining running (or walking) with a prayer plan. The book is Run, Pray, Breathe and it's powerful plan that
  • is always fresh
  • improves your endurance
  • you can do alone
  • you can do with a friend
  • works for a mile or more
  • helps you go the distance
If you are a runner or if you prefer to walk your workout, this "power plan" has the potential to transform your life! I'll let you know how and when you can order it. 
 
"Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!"
Hebrews 12:1-3 The Message Bible

Sep 15, 2011

Update

I'll be taking some time away from blogging so that I can fully focus on a new Bible study that I am preparing on "Womanhood." I want to give myself plenty of time to really do the subject justice as I study the Word.

In the meantime, my daughter and I are recording podcasts or PANTScast as we've started calling them for our new endeavor "Big Girls Pants Productions."


Each new PANTScast will be available in my sidebar. You can just click "play" and listen. We are keeping them around 10 minutes and our goal is to "lift you up & make you smile" with our mother/daughter take on life.

Sep 13, 2011

MomDar ~ He's Not For You (podcast)

Melanie Dorsey & Audra Dorsey ~ Big Girl Pants Productions
(Click the title link to listen or listen from sidebar.)

On this PANTScast, we talk about MomDar ~ Mom's radar and give dating advice.

Sep 10, 2011

The Big Girl Pants Production Premiere

 Audra Dorsey & Melanie Dorsey present Big Girl Pants Productions.

Listen to our first "PANTScast" brought to you by Big Girl Pants Productions. It's a 6 minute podcast in which we discuss the meaning behind "Big Girl Pants" and the DNA of a dream job. We have redefined DNA.

                               
   
Podcast Powered By Podbean
   
   "We're puttin' our Big Girl Pants on one leg at a time!"

Sep 8, 2011

True Womanhood ~ video?

As I prepare for my upcoming teaching series on True Womanhood...Fully HIS Finally Me, I'd like to know if you would view a weekly video about 3 minutes in length. My idea is to have 2 -3 posts per week with one being a short video on the subject. 

Also please see the top right sidebar and place your vote. Thanks!

Sep 2, 2011

Womanhood ~ new series


I'm in the planning stages of a new blog series on "Womanhood." Any topics you would like to see covered? I'm no feminist but I'm all for what God has for women. As a woman, I believe He's purposed and designed me to be "Fully His & Finally Me". I believe the same for every woman who calls Christ Lord.

Please respond to my poll in the top right sidebar. Thanks!

Aug 23, 2011

Part 2 Excerpt "Long Nights & Empty Nets"


To view the part one excerpt of "Long Nights & Empty Nets": click on link below.

http://www.thebellamella.com/2011/08/video-excerpt-long-nights-empty-nets.html

Aug 22, 2011

Pass the Peas

 Last Saturday I created a page on facebook called "Pass the Peas." It's inspiration to answer the daily question, "What's for dinner?"

On Pass the Peas, you'll find dinner menu ideas, recipes, cooking tips, links, and pictures, too. 


You'll also find inspiration from the 81 member (and growing) community of women (and a few men) who prepare dinner for their families (almost) every single day.


If you're on facebook and you'd like to check out Pass the Peas, just type Pass the Peas in the searchbox on facebook. Then "like" the page. That's it and you're golden. Just like buttermilk cornbread.



Aug 6, 2011

Are You a Woman in Ministry?

A few days ago, I created a group on facebook called "WINGS ~ Women In God's Service" (speak, write, lead). Each week there will be a task to work on for either speaking, writing or leadership. Some tasks will cross over regardless of which you feel is your primary focus. Task #1 - Establishing Expertise & Value.
Read the introduction, purpose and guidelines below. If you are on facebook and would like to join the group, send me a friend request (badge in sidebar) with a message referencing WINGS.

Welcome to WINGS (purpose & guidelines) 

As women in ministry, I believe we need the support of one another and as I like to say, "Life is best traveled in the company of friends." Many of us have attended some type of ministry conference whether it be the P31 She Speaks conference or a conference just for writers.
We get lots of great information but often leave overwhelmed with a long list of things to do.

Why not create a community of "women in God's service" who each feel the call to speak, write and lead? And why not share the things that are working for us and the things that are not? Let's support one another as we explore new ways (for some of us) of doing things and offer encouragement and practical help as a ministry to one another.

If you are like me, then you have felt a kind of "tension" between waiting on God to open doors for ministry while not neglecting the responsibility to steward your gifts well. Finding that balance and place of confidence as we pursue with excellence God's purpose for our lives is worth the hard work. Oswald Chambers writes, "Keep paying the price. Let God see that you are willing to live up to the vision."

Let's face it. There are times in which being faithful to the call and "living up to the vision" means plain old hard work and sometimes even loneliness.
So let's support the call of God in other women through prayer, encouragement and practical helps.
And now for a few guidelines:

  • Stay on task. As a certified teacher who has taught in public school, private school and home school, I know if you want to meet your objectives, you must stay on task. Let's keep this group on task by posting only those things that apply to our ministries of speaking, writing and leading.
  • Request prayer only when it is ministry related. If you are preparing for an upcoming speaking engagement, submitting an article, pitching a proposal or planning a women's event or activity, we want to pray for you. For any other prayer needs, please direct your request in another direction. 
  • Introduce yourself with a short post that describes who you are and what you're about in ministry. You may use your bio and tag line and link your blog for this first introduction. If you have a facebook ministry page, your initial introduction is the place to request "likes." Otherwise, let's not post a "like" request.
  • Link a blog, thereafter, only if the post you wish to link pertains to speaking, writing and leadership topics we are discussing on WINGS.
Thanks!
Melanie Dorsey

Aug 2, 2011

Iron Girls Bible Study ~ John 19 - 21 Notes

                                          "Fulfilled, Blessed & Full"
John 19:5

“Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, ‘Behold the Man!’”

There is something so humbling about this verse, that had I been witness to the scene, I would have looked away.
Our Savior, a man of sorrows, exhibited such veiled strength in this moment. He had left his rightful place in the Heavenlies for us – for each of us as individuals. He took upon Himself the form of man so that we might be reformed in Him.
I imagine that as he wore the symbols of mockery on His shoulders and His head– the robe and the thorny crown – He wore His heart of love for humanity on His sleeve.
Pierced in His side, the blood and water flowed…symbols of redemption and a fulfillment of prophecy - the fulfillment of God’s plan.
Jesus fulfilled God's plan and finished the work.
For God so loved the world that He sent His Son to wear a purple robe and a crown of thorns so that we might be robed in righteousness and crowned with loving kindness.

John 20:29
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

This has become a life verse for me. In the spring of 2010, I had begun running again. I usually ran in the evening and it was a season in which I wrestled with many things. I remember the night that I was returning home from a 3 mile run in the dark. As I turned the corner of my street, I told God, “Even though Andrew did not receive healing in our present time, I still believe You are the Healer.” Tears mixed with my sweat as I neared home and as I was almost to my mailbox, I heard this word gently whispered to my heart, “Blessed are those who have NOT seen and YET have believed.”
Healing began.

John 21:5-6

Simon Peter and company fished all night in the Sea of Tiberias and "that night they caught nothing." But with the morning sun, came the Son of the morning standing on the shore.

“Then said Jesus, ‘Children, have you any food?’ They answered Him, ‘No.’ And He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.” (verses 5,6)

Sometimes even seasoned fishermen come up empty. But when God gives the command, the fish start jumping! This verse ‘jumped’ out at me this morning.
You see, my nets have been empty for a while. And I’ve gotten discouraged. Perhaps you, too, have experienced a "night of empty nets.” Be encouraged that when Jesus “shows Himself” (v. 1), and speaks in your season of emptiness, the fish will start jumping and your nets will be full!
And just to further convince you that God is in the details, verse 11 records the exact number of how many fish filled the nets – 153!

What a picture to end my personal study of Jesus in The Gospel According to John.
Because Jesus Christ fulfilled God's plan, I am blessed and my nets will be full.

Know Jesus more and better and carry on

Jul 31, 2011

Iron Girls Bible Study ~ John 18 Notes

                                                    "Tried & Found Faithful"
 (John 18 Notes)
 
The trials (6) of Jesus, 3 before the Jewish religious authorities and 3 before the civil authorities were a mockery. There was no truth seeking in them. And they were all illegal according to the Jewish document called the Mishnah. These laws were governed by the Jewish ruling council, the Sanhedrin.

It was illegal to:
  • hold a trial at night
  • have no witnesses (needed 2)
  • abuse the accused during the trial
  • bring no charges
  • have an improper vote
  • to keep someone in custody after having been found "not guilty"
  • to be questioned in order to testify against oneself
  • to be declared "not guilty" and yet condemned

Yet we know that God uses the decisions of man to carry out His sovereign plans.
When Jesus responds to the soldiers come to arrest Him, his reply, "I am He," holds his unleashed power. And in that moment when Divine Power meets Divinely Ordained Destiny, that small army lead by Judas, can do nothing but fall to the ground.
And one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. He is the I Am.

These words of Jesus encourage my own heart as I seek to do God's will:
"Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?"  (v. 11)

Regardless of the illegal circumstances of the arrest and trial of Jesus, His life is not taken, He willingly lays it down. For you. For me. Bless His Holy Name.

Follow His plan and carry on!

Jul 27, 2011

Iron Girls Bible Study ~ John 17 Notes

Chapter 17 is such a beautiful portrayal of the character and passion of Christ for the Father and for us!

Verse 3
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

According to Jesus Christ, knowing God through Himself, is eternal life.

Paul wrote to the Philippians, “…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings...” (3:10)

In John 17:1-5, Jesus prays for three things:
  • That He might be glorified
  • That the apostles may be sanctified
  • That the church may be unified
 The footnotes in my Bible suggest that verses 1- 5 might be better named The Lord’s Prayer, rather than the passage in Matthew 6:9-13.

Jesus went on to pray this way, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word: that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You: that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (20-21).

I am challenged in this passage to be a seeker of unity within the body of Christ. Personal differences in style, approach and practice of non-essentials, should not affect my support of my spiritual brothers and sisters. If my aim and your aim is to know Christ and make him known in the world, I must not give into the temptation for separation and division based on the petty stuff.

My failure comes when I cease to pursue peace and unity. But I don’t plan to stop the pursuit and therefore fail. I choose to participate in the fulfillment of Christ’s prayer for me:
“And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me” (22-23).

My desire remains to “know Jesus more and better,” and the results of that are:
  • Jesus is glorified.
  • We, as individuals, are sanctified.
  • And the church is unified.
Walk in unity and carry on!

Jul 26, 2011

She Speaks (the meme)





 I am participating in Chatty Kelly's She Speaks meme. Click on the picture to read more from other She Speakers, or to participate yourself.

1. What was the best advice you got at She Speaks?
2. What was the best lesson you learned in a session?
3. What are you going to do with what you learned/what is your next goal?
4. Anything else you want to share? (Good, bad or ugly?)


1. The best advice I got was not directly related to the conference. It came from my friend, Alisa. She and I have been the best of friends for several years and she and her family now live in the Charlotte area. She drove over to pick me up Friday morning so we could have breakfast together. Alisa loves me and knows me and will not allow me to give up or give in. Our conversation is personal but I received the best advice and encouragement from her before I even stepped foot into the conference.

2. In the Marketing for More Bookings session led by Rob Eagar:

  • Sending out media kits is a waste of time.

I was glad to have this reinforced because I do not send out promotional material through the mail. The irony of this is that some of my friends and family who are not in a speaking ministry usually suggest I do this.

  • Invest in colorful print newsletters to be mailed every 90 days to leaders.

This sounds like opposite advice from the point on mailing media kits. However, the newsletter is much less about you and much more about adding value to the leader who receives it. 75% of the contents of a newsletter should be audience-focused and only 25% sales/booking focused. The bottom line for your readers or audience is always, “What’s in it for me?” When you provide value to your audience, you answer that question.

  • Check the schedule of other speakers (on their “My Schedule” page), to get contact information. Send the print newsletter to the contact person.

I had a “duh” moment on this one. While I often check other speakers’ schedules, I have never thought to use the information to form a contact list for myself.



3. My next goal is to tighten up my focus so that my main message comes across in everything I speak and write. It’s the “expert factor” I plan to work on. Also, I would like to create a print newsletter, however, the cost is definitely a consideration.

4. My ugly is the same old issue that’s reared its head all summer.  Suffice it to say, I need to cultivate more and better fruit – the Fruit of the Spirit. When an unkind, not good or non-gentle attitude seeks words on my tongue for expression, I want to put that attitude down. That is the worm that rots my fruit. 

I must add that meeting Kelly in person was a highlight for me! She is one of the women who supported, encouraged and prayed for Andrew, for me and for our family. I love Kelly.

Jul 21, 2011

Iron Girls Bible Study ~ John 16

                                      "Grapes, Olives & Peace"

Verse 33

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Tribulation, thlipsis; Strong’s #2347: Pressure, oppression, stress, anguish, tribulation, adversity, affliction, crushing, squashing, squeezing, distress.
The word is used of crushing grapes or olives in a press.

There is nothing worse than spiritual darkness. Its result is spiritual death.
Without relationship to and in Christ, we are hopeless. As Jesus prepares the disciples for his physical absence from them, He senses their impending anguish and despair. After all He knows what it’s like to feel forsaken, alone. It was on the cross, he cried out to the Father, “My God, My God, Why have You forsaken Me?”

And so Jesus provides the answer for the disciples' approaching distress when His hour is about to come.
“Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy” (v. 20).
“Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you” (v.22).

Have your hopes ever been crushed? Been squeezed lately?
Have your tears run out like oil pressed from the olive?

Jesus tells us that we will have tribulation. That is a fact. But then He leaves us with Truth. “…In Me you may have peace.”

Though pressure, anguish and affliction are a reality in this life, the Truth speaks of peace in the person of Jesus Christ and that is cause for some good cheer.

Cheer Up and Carry On!



Jul 19, 2011

Iron Girls Bible Study ~ John 15 Notes

        "The Purpose of Pruning"

John 15 Notes

“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away (lifts up); and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

Pruning is to cut or lop off superfluous (unnecessary or excessive) or undesired twigs, branches, or roots.

While a tree may not experience pain during the pruning process, a person certainly does.
At is lowest level, pruning is uncomfortable and at the opposite end of the spectrum, the pain is at a “10.”

Pruning:
  • shapes the growth of a tree
  • allows for more fruit to be produced
  • takes care of the rogue branches that threaten the health, purpose and beauty of the tree
God created us in His image and it remains His intent that we be formed into the image of His Son (Genesis 1:26, Romans 8:29).
When He created us, He formed and He built us. And then He breathed life into us (Genesis 2:7)
As He continues to mold and form us into the image of His Son, we feel the pressure from without and within, yet still the breath of the Spirit revives and restores life.

Breathe in; Breath out and carry on!

Jul 17, 2011

Iron Girls Bible Study ~ John 14 Notes

                       "HE IS Peace"


Verse 1
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”

Let not, “Do not yield.”
“let” Strong’s #863 carries the idea of “not yielding”

Heart, kardia, Strong’s #2588: The physical organ for the body, but also the center of one’s personality and contains both rational and emotional elements. It is the seat of feelings, desires, joy, pain, and love. It is also the center for thought, understanding, and will. The human heart is the dwelling place of the Lord and the Holy Spirit.
The Lord sees into the innermost being where all decisions concerning Him are made.

Troubled, tarasso (tar-as-so); Strong’s #5015: To unsettle, stir up, agitate, disturb, trouble. The word is used in a physical sense (John 5:7), but its primary use in the NT is metaphorical. It denotes mental agitation from fear or perplexity (Matt. 2:3; 14:26); an upheaval in the spirit (John 11:33; 13:21); stirring up a crowd (Acts 17:8, 13); confusion, resulting from false doctrine (Acts 15:24; Gal. 1:7; 5:10).

Do not yield your thinking and feeling to upheaval. Believe in Jesus.

In the midst of turmoil, testing or tragedy, "Let not your heart be troubled" is easy to say. Harder to practice. I believe it takes discipline. I am living out this disciplining of the mind and the emotions and also the body.

Verse 27
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

The Peace Christ Jesus gives to us is Himself – every aspect of Who He Is.
That is why we can have peace in the midst of turmoil. We have Christ. He is not just a feeling. He is Almighty God – the One who keeps His promises and He promised us His Peace. “…My peace I give to you…” (v 27).

Peace and carry on!

Jul 14, 2011

Iron Girls Bible Study ~ John 13



Peter’s immaturity is highlighted in this chapter.

  • Impulsive “You shall never wash my feet!” (v. 8)
  • Dramatic “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” (v. 9)
  • Impatient  “Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke.” (v. 24)
  • Self-focused “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.” (v. 37)

While I would not consider myself as having a “Peter Personality,” I can relate to each of these descriptive adjectives.

What I am learning about being:

  • Impulsive – When in an emotionally charged state of mind, beware the “nevers.”
  • Dramatic –  Resist allowing the drama of a moment to overshadow the truth.
  • Impatient – God is never in a hurry. However we are often hurried, if not in the outward physical sense, then in an interior way.
  • Self-focused   God often hints at what is possible and if we are not careful, we charge full speed ahead to take it in our own strength.
 Oswald Chambers writes, “We always have visions, before a thing is made real. God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision...”

We know from the passage in Luke 22, that Satan asks to sift Peter. Jesus prays that Peter’s faith should not fail. And although Peter gives into temptation and three times denies the Lord, we also know that unlike Judas, Peter repents and is restored. Peter’s faith matures and he grows:

·        Determined
·        Disciplined
·        Dedicated
·        God-focused