Exit Right

Hope small floral redemption art

If I were to entitle this message…

Just kidding. If you grew up going to church, as I did, you probably heard that introduction to the preacher’s message a time or twenty.

However…since I do need a title for this blog post, let’s just call it Exit Right.

For a while I tried to build a platform through blogging and Facebook to grow a speaking ministry. I had some results. But then I just got tired of it. Tired of the push. Tired of strategizing. Tired of how it made me feel. Even though I felt, and still feel, that I have insight to offer, more “teach” and more “preach”  in me, I backed away from promoting it.

The day I made the decision to stop building a platform in hopes of developing a speaking ministry was not a day. It took place on many days over the course of months in which, little by little, I laid it down. It took letting it go over and again until I felt with sure conviction it was surrendered, white flag and all.

Today marks six years that we got the diagnosis of stage 4 brain cancer in our son. In my determination to follow the leading of the Lord in what I’ve been calling August Redemption, I shared in a live broadcast on Periscope how there is hope in Christ even in child loss and grief. It was raw and unpolished. There are no do-overs on Persicope. It just is what it is. From a “speaking ministry platform,” it was a train wreck. In fact, I almost deleted it but I didn’t because the ONLY reason I did it was a prompting from the Lord.

You can watch the replay here. 

Afterwards I went for a run. I  prayed and cried and told the Lord, “It’s over. It’s done. I officially lay the “speaking” down. In effect I walked off the platform and exited right.  Immediately I heard a word in my spirit.


“Yes, Lord.”

I am no longer a Speaker. I am a testifier – a testifier of God’s goodness. A testifier of Who He Is and what He has done for me.

A testifier – one who has been in the flood and the fire yet alive and well to tell of God’s great love and grace that is my strength! And it’s just now in writing this that I realize my sharing on Periscope today was not what a “speaker” might do but exactly what a “testifier” does. Amen. In fact, you might even call me an expert witness. Amen and Amen.

When God redeems and frees you from what has tried to stop you, He brings you out with more than what you went in with – more strength, more anointing, more purpose and more power!

In my pain…he has given me the power of testimony.


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The Consciousness of “Influence”

“Who are the people who have influenced us most? Certainly not the ones who thought they did, but those who did not have even the slightest idea that they were influencing us.

In the Christian life, Godly influence is never conscious of itself. If we are conscious of our influence, it ceases to have the genuine loveliness which is characteristic of the touch of Jesus.”

- Oswald Chambers


In a culture of self-promotion, the idea that godly influence is never conscious of itself is refreshing as well as convicting. I’ve blogged since October 2008 and almost shut it down in 2009 but then my son was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer and I was grateful for my blog in which I could use it to plead for prayer. Many who read my pleas added their prayers to mine and I was, and am, so very moved and grateful for the outpouring of support.

With the growth of social media: blogs, Facebook, Instragram, Pinterest, Twitter and the new kids on the block: Meerkat and Periscope, I’ve seen a scramble to be noticed. Follow me. Like me. Pin me. Re-tweet me. Give me some hearts.

I understand that if you believe you have a God given message of hope and encouragement, you want to expand your reach so many (and more) are impacted for the Kingdom of God. I agree with that. I say, More Power to You and I mean that sincerely.

As a Bible teacher, I have studied spiritual gifts including the five fold ministry gifts of Ephesians 4:11: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors (or “shepherds”) and teachers. I have the gift of teaching. No boast to that. Just an honest acceptance and realization of the responsibility to steward well the gift. I’ve had some opportunity to teach and speak at a few women’s events and local churches. I’ve also utilized social media to do a little Bible teaching as well as what I hope has been encouragement and support to bereaved parents.

For a while I tried to build a platform through blogging and Facebook to grow a speaking ministry. I had some results. But then I just got tired of it. Tired of the push. Tired of strategizing. Tired of how it made me feel. Even though I felt, and still feel, that I have insight to offer, more “teach” and more “preach”  in me, I backed away from promoting it.

The business of ministry leaves a bad taste in my mouthIt exists. Sometimes it’s pretty ugly and other times simply off putting. But I’m not suggesting it NOT exist. I guess it has to.  

For two years I’ve sold my artwork on Facebook as well as in my Etsy Shop. If I do not promote my work, I do not sell my work. Selling my work allows me to contribute to the finances of our household. Therefore, I plan to continue to promote my art work on Facebook (my largest audience, so to speak).

Yet I realize, even as I promote my art in order to sell it and contribute financially to my family, those who promote their ministries are also contributing to the finances of their households. I know this. I get this. I am a pastor’s daughter whose dad (and thus our family) was supported by the tithe of the church.

But I cringe when I see how we are guilty of making superstars of Christians who lead, speak, teach and write. Please hear me…I said we. 

Let’s honor folks. Let’s listen well when they are speaking and writing and LIVING truth that builds the individual and the kingdom of God. But let’s stop making celebrities of jars of clay.

In a culture of self-promotion, Dear God…give me a heart content with an ever decreasing awareness of any godly influence I may have and an ever increasing awareness of YOU. 


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Fresh Today

Yeah…I don’t know what’s going on either. Third blog post in less than a week. What in the world?!

Let’s get right to it then.

Yesterday my friend and pastor’s wife (one and the same) gave the Sunday morning message which was an interactive participation in praying The Lord’s Prayer. It was powerful and just what I needed.

As we prayed it through and came to this part: Give us our daily bread…I was struck by this thought.

We never have to eat stale bread. 

You could. But you don’t have to. Eating stale bread – spiritually speaking – is akin to living in the present on a revelation meant for yesteryear or settling for a day old relationship with Jesus when you could be feasting on fresh baked!

What is your current revelation (think promise, direction or word from the Lord here) and what is your present relationship status with THE BREAD OF LIFE – Jesus Christ?

Is it “complicated?” It really doesn’t have to be. :)

Are you trying to get by TODAY on a crouton or a crumb when you could have a thick slice from a fresh loaf of LIFE?

What’s keeping you from fresh bread today?




Don’t feel you have to flog yourself and work your way back into God’s good graces.

Just have a seat at the table and say, “Please pass the bread.”


And the aroma of that fresh baked loaf (or pone of cornbread!) will draw you into prayer or praise or repentance (if need be) but know this: You never have to live on stale bread!

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. The one who comes to me will never go hungry, and the one who believes in me will never be thirsty. – John 6:35 NET

Peace & Love!


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You Don’t Need A New Path

How crazy is this?

I haven’t written anything here in weeks and now two posts in two days?! What?!!!

HowEVER, I want to share two things with you:

1. I did my first scope on Periscope today. It was not as scary as I thought. I am more comfortable speaking in front of a live audience but just a camera? That was a bit nerve wracking until I actually started talking and then I think it was okay. Not bad for my very first scope – that’s live broadcasting! LIVE. Did you hear that? LIVE.

What I will change next time: I’ll broadcast a shorter scope. My first one was about 25 minutes and that’s probably 10 minutes too long. But, I did it and now I feel like I can do it again without quite as much preliminary angst.

If you were watching today…THANK YOU! And thanks for thefree-svg-file-heart-1

love. I really appreciate that.


What’s the heart about, you ask? When you are watching a live broadcast OR the replay, if you like what you hear or just want to show support, you simply tap your phone screen and a heart flies up! It’s the equivalent of a facebook “like.” The more hearts a Periscope broadcaster has in their profile, the higher their ranking is on Periscope. I don’t care about the ranking but the live support sure is sweet.

If you’re interested in learning more about Periscope, Cindy Bultema wrote a blog post about Periscope.

2. I’m still running although I took a nearly three week break from any and all exercise…oh boy…but I DID get back to it last week and my feet have paid the price. I’ve been wearing a pair of running shoes that were months past their prime. When I woke up this morning and felt like my big toe was broken (it’s not), I decided today was the day to shop for new shoes.

As I stood at the checkout, I believe the Lord spoke a word to my heart, “It’s not a new path you need…just a fresh pair of shoes.” As soon as I heard that, I knew right away the Holy Spirit was speaking to me in a metaphor. Sometimes He does that. He takes the common place, the ordinary, the touchable, tactile thing you are holding in your hands and He delivers a spiritual…whoa! kind of message straight to your heart, mind and spirit. I got the message, alright. I got the message.

In fact this morning in my broadcast, I said something along these lines, “I’m in a new season of life with more freedom than I’ve had in a while and I feel like I could fly! But I want to be careful that I don’t jump into or out of anything without prayerful consideration.” 

Translate that to: I’m thinking about changing directions…changing paths.

But I believe that the Lord stepped into my rainy Thursday afternoon as I stood chitchatting with the young woman ringing up my shoes to let me know this:

Don’t change paths. You’re on the right path. You just need a fresh anointing for the path you’re already on!

5thdecade pin fresh shoes

Well, alright and amen!

See, sometimes a new path – a change in direction – is exactly what you need. But sometimes it’s not. Maybe right now all you need is to trade in your worn out shoes for a fresh, new pair (with really cute hot pink laces).

new shoes


And then stay the course! Stay on the path you’re already on. But expect that as you’re walking (or running), the Lord is about to load you up with some fresh oil. He knows what’s just ahead and He knows you need some strong feet that will get you there.

He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. -Psalm 18:33 NIV


He gives me the agility of a deer; he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain. – Psalm 18:33 NET

So, GO! Get a new pair of shoes because a new and fresh anointing requires a fresh pair of shoes!

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.”

- Mark 2:22 NLT


See? I told you. The Holy Spirit likes using metaphors!


As you lace them up, know…KNOW that the wind is stirring on the path you’re already on and you don’t want to miss that, do you?!

I wouldn’t miss it for the world!

If this spoke to you, leave a comment and let me know. Thanks!

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This may be my last blog post. Honestly, I’m not sure. I’ve toyed with the idea of shutting down my blog because for the past several months it’s felt like more of a chore to log in and write. Life has a way of changing, hasn’t it? I could never have envisioned six years ago that my life would be what it is today.

Most of my readers know that losing my son at the end of 2009 was a life changer for me.

Everything changed.

Some of you know that a couple of years ago I began painting and now sell my acrylic and watercolor art on facebook and in my Etsy Shop. It’s so weird to me how my desires have shifted. For a long time, I just wanted to be a Bible teacher, speaker and author and now I mostly have art on my mind! Seasons…I’m tellin’ ya. Maybe it’ll all change again in a few months or years. Who knows?! Well…of course, God knows. I trust Him with all of me and my times are in His hands.

What did I think my life would look like 6 years ago? For one thing, I thought I’d have a speaking ministry and possibly a published book but neither of those things have come to be. And you know what? It’s okay. I’ve grieved the speaking ministry but it’s OKAY.

So, what am I doing these days?

After nine months of being the primary caregiver for my dad, I’m in a new season. Dad  lived with us off and on for two years and then “permanently” for the past nine months. Just two weeks ago I moved him into an assisted living community five minutes from my home. It’s a faith based facility and he is leading a Bible study twice a week. It’s been a good thing overall. Not much in life is perfect, is it? Even when he lived in my home, that wasn’t a perfect arrangement so we are satisfied with the current situation. He likes the food there so that’s a huge plus!

I’m painting a lot! You can see my art on Etsy or on facebook. I rarely post my work here although I probably should, huh?

big leaves

bday flowers with floral 15 x 30

palette knife bird

fox wc

bunny wc

two bunnies wc


The top ones are all acrylic on canvas and the bottom three are watercolors.

I post more on Instagram so if you’re there, you can find me at Melanie Clark Dorsey and recently I’ve jumped on periscope (@MelanieDorseyDesigns) but have yet to scope. I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this decade I’m in – the #5thdecade is how I’m referring to it on Instagram (and eventually on periscope). I may write a bit about the challenges those of us in our 50′s face and scope about that.



I realize this has been a little of this and a little of that but…hey, my life has been a lot like that lately!

Meanwhile…here’s my favorite song these days.




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Art of Redemption

Last week I spoke with Amy Bennett on her Feathers…Faith In Flight podcast. Amy has an ongoing series in which she talks with women around the world about taking leaps of faith.

I talked about honoring the process, the power of Christ in you and the art of redemption. I hope you’ll listen and if you do, please let me know. May you be blessed and encouraged.

mel feathers podcast pic


You can click here to listen.

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Be Brave – Jump First

“You’re very brave.”

The banker sat across from me and told me for the second time in an hour how brave he thought I was for putting myself and my art out there.  We sat, two strangers, and talked about small business trends, the latest in banking technology and art. He, who was raised in a different culture than I, confided it was not the norm where he was from to steer a child into a creative field. “All business,” he said. Then he added that recently, he too, had begun dabbling in art with charcoal sketches and how much he enjoyed it.

“But how do you stare at a blank canvas and know what to do?” he asked me.

“Pray,” I said. “I pray and ask God to give me inspiration.”

Little does he know just how much I pray and not only for inspiration, but for skill! I’m greedy with God like that. I ask for more and more. And then a little more.

We talked a bit about my Etsy Shop and the local museums. He shared his interest in the Dali Museum’s architecture. I told him about visiting the Smithsonian American Art Museum in D.C.

As he escorted me out, the word “brave” again entered the parting conversation, and I said, “You know, I’m not sure if I’m simply overconfident in my abilities or what…but I’m just not afraid to look dumb.”


Jump first pin


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I Don’t Deserve It

You know those moments when a word from God stops you in your tracks?

I had one of those yesterday. I was thinking about someone and how I did not feel  very generous toward them. I thought of what I could do…of what I could say…of how I  could be…and my very next thought (I’m ashamed to say) was, “They don’t deserve it.”

But then that voice – That Unmistakable Voice – asked me a question, “When did it become about deserving?”

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

I heard that. And there I stood in the middle of my kitchen all naked and ashamed and wanting to hide. 

That was yesterday.

I had forgotten about it until late today, when something happened. Something unnerving. Something that could send anyone into panic mode. But God spoke to me about refusing panic and remaining in peace. And I did. And I am. But I also cried as I prayed and asked God to intervene, “Please intervene. Have mercy. I know I don’t deserve it…” 

And once again I stopped short. Once again I stood in the middle of my kitchen. And I remembered yesterday.

I’m so glad it’s not about deserving.

Because I don’t. And you don’t. And none of us do.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 NIV


With that kind of love…love I could not earn and mercy I don’t deserve, peace is a part of the package. So instead of giving into panic, I’m going into peace. Because panic suffocates but peace resuscitates.

peace panic pin



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