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Showing posts from January, 2007

What To Do First to Make a Profit

The PF Women Team at our Annual Team Retreat  ~ 2018 Today on Seth Godin's blog, he said: It's tempting to decide to make a profit first, then invest in training, people, facilities, promotion, customer service and most of all, doing important work. In general, though, it goes the other way. Yes, it does. If you are waiting to make a profit before you do these things, in my experience you're  not going to make a profit. So many organizations, ministries and churches are struggling with financial issues. I know your pain. As anyone who follows our story knows, our ministry was in a ton of debt four years ago when I came on as director.  Since that time, we've gotten out of debt and turned a profit every year.  God has done amazing things through out team, for which we give Him the glory! I find that what Seth is saying here is absolutely true, with one disclaimer. For Christian leaders, spiritual disciplines must always be first. Before we started inve

Where helmets don't make sense

There's a lot to be said for going the extra mile with "being above reproach." Does it take work? Is it sometimes inconvenient? Oh yes. A lot of times I am tempted to get sloppy with it. I'm sure Larry is too. Ensuring that we aren't alone with the opposite sex (even when it's a good friend who we trust), is a real commitment that you have to determine to keep in order to safeguard your marriage. It's not that I am tempted to be sloppy because I have an attraction to anyone. I am tempted to be sloppy because at times I am just so convinced nothing would ever happen. I begin to feel a little bit invincible. Since I have stayed true to my marriage for 20 years I just take for granted I'm exempt from failing in this area sometimes. I start to think..."oh, nothing would ever happen, what's the big deal..?" And I begin to trust in myself too much. That is one of the first signs of trouble...when we trust in the arm o

Two compliments a day

Of maintaining a great marriage through all stages of life, Author Elizabeth Pantley says, "Now that you’ve committed to seeing the good in your partner, it’s time to say it! This is a golden key to your mate’s heart. Our world is so full of negative input, and we so rarely get compliments from other people. When we do get a compliment, it not only makes us feel great about ourselves, it actually makes us feel great about the person giving the compliment! Think about it! When your honey says, “You’re the best. I’m so glad I married you.” It not only makes you feel loved, it makes you feel more loving ." Pantley suggests giving your marriage partner at least two compliments each day. I'll go the extra mile tonight by giving my man five compliments. 1) Larry, you are the best snuggler in the world. I love how warm you are when I come back to bed after getting Savanna ready, and snuggle up to you for a while. Nuzzling up to your neck, the scent is amazing. It makes me

Anonymous Letters

One blog that I really enjoy is Pastor Paul Grabill's blog, Beside the Point . (He's an A/G pastor in State College, PA.) He just posted something that I enjoyed so much I am copying the blog post here for my readers. Those of you who are pastors who read my blog will absolutely love this. It is about those "anonymous letters" we all receive from time to time in our ministry. Enjoy!!! Pastor Grabill says: Today I gave counsel by phone to a dear pastor friend who received a nasty anonymous letter. Usually, it's best not to read something that has no name at the end. But it's hard to resist knowing what people think of us, even though we know it's probably going to be ugly.It reminds me of the story of the famous New England preacher, Henry Ward Beecher, upon ascending into the ornate pulpit found a note with one word, "FOOL." He held it up to the congregation and said, "This is odd. I've known of people who have written a letter and

Power Packed Weekend

What a busy weekend, yet it's all good. First, we welcomed Kidzturn back this weekend and it's so good to see all of them again. We just love them to pieces...the Lussier family. If you've never heard of this ministry click here and you'll learn more about it. They really are the greatest children's ministries in existence on the planet. I have told many friends about them but always get afraid that I'll tell too many people and then they would get too busy and not have time to come back to Tampa anymore! They really are the best kept secret. Sort of like my hairdresser. Everybody I tell about her goes to her and then falls in love with her just like I did and the rest is history. I've told them, "look, just remember, I had her first so my appointment is forever and ever, amen." :-) Anyhoo... They arrived Fri and set up and we had our first meeting with them today which will go through Wednesday night. We're expecting a great week and we a


I was born in Virginia, and given to the Children's Home Society and then adopted. I grew up in Baltimore, basically spent my childhood there til' I went away to college and got married. Choir and drama were basically my life in high school, and oh yeah, church too. I married Larry when he was 19, and I was 20. We had Dustin at 22, Jordan at 23, Savanna at 30. Mine and Larry's first dog, together was Smitty but he ran away. My dog when I was a kid was a golden retriever named Kelly. My cat was named Grizabella. I have been married almost 20 years. Anybody who knows me for more than five minutes knows this. I like my husband.  I think he's the funniest, smartest, sexiest man in the world. I had to drop out of kindergarten. I was too sick to finish. This really has not affected my life. I love mashed potatoes. They are my favorite food. Lazy people drive me crazy. If I am around them for too long I start shaking. I n


Perhaps there is nothing besides a personal relationship with God that is more stabilizing than women friends in our lives. The fact is, you can do it without them, but you'll be very lonely. Not to mention you'll have about a million words cooped up inside your head that have absolutely no where to go unless you have a woman friend to share them with. The fact is just don't listen like women do. Even when they do, they really don't want to, at least for that long. Nor do they typically find the things we find earth shattering all that much of a big deal. That used to drive me crazy til' I realized, it's just the way it is. " It is what it is" as my husband says.  I think anybody reading this blog for more than five minutes knows that I am crazy about my husband. I truly am.And we spend a lot of time (so much more time than most couples) do communicating. In fact, at least an hour a day of undivided communication, outside of our wo

Enjoying my sabbath day

Today is my day off. My sabbath day. What a wonderful thing. You know I didn't used to be able to enjoy days off years ago. In fact I hated them! I couldn't wait for them to be over. This is because I honestly did not know how to enjoy relaxation. I think part of it was - I didn't see how it benefited me or got me ahead, so to speak. I felt like it was a waste of time. I thought that way until about 1999. Then some thing happened which necessitated me taking a step back and getting in touch with the "relaxation" or "sabbath" side of myself, if you will. It was either that or...continue on the crash and burn way I was headed. I had to come to the realization that relaxation DOES get me ahead, because it makes me better for the other 6 days a week and without it, everything suffers. I also realized at that time, that if I didn't develop some things outside the church, even as simple as learning to relax at least one day a week, I would have no

Today's core value manifesto

Well a few months ago in a blog post I promised more of the "core values" that define who I am. Here we go...since I'm in a "core value mood" tonight. (you didn't know there was such a thing, did you?) My very own core value manifesto for today, January 25, 2007. To change a situation - simply change yourself. That way something is guaranteed to change - the very thing you CAN control - You! Don't be afraid to go to the wall for things you really believe in, such as...your core values. I did that just today with somebody, and I'm so glad I did. Otherwise I'd be sitting here stewing and fuming over what I didn't say. Let everything that comes to you from someone go through the filter of the Word of God. If it's scummy and doesn't make it through the filter, don't take it into your spirit. Let it wash away. Determine to be a different person - for the better - every single year. Never make excuses for som


Tonight Savanna was looking at my earlier blog with the wedding photo and she said, "what's that picture? It's someone with Dad at a wedding..." Wow, I've really changed THAT MUCH? Oh well, most of my friends say it's an IMPROVEMENT, so I'll take it that way...not as a regression. I'm am unrecognizingly...better. :-) Just a word about kissing. Did you know it's good for you? Get this... MEN WHO ARE KISSED BEFORE GOING TO WORK EVERY MORNING: Have fewer accidents! Live five years longer! Make 15 percent more money! Wow! Start puckering up! But wait, THERE'S MORE! (And it's not a Ginsu knife!) Yes, that's right, there are even more reasons for you to kiss to your heart's content... Kissing is GOOD FOR YOU! ........ 1) It helps prevent tooth decay. Dr. Peter Gorden, Dental Advisor at the British Dental Association, explains: “Kissing is nature’s own cleaning process. It brings plaque levels down

Our baby's baptism

No, we haven't started believing in infant baptism at the church. It's just "the baby" (our baby, as I call her) got baptized tonight. With baptizing Savanna Rose Larry has now baptized our last other Shrodes kids to baptize until we are grandparents...which will be...a very long time! 

A walk to remember

A recent study showed a significant increase in divorces in those marriages of people who fall in the 40-60 age range. The survey didn't say WHY these people have a greater increase in divorce, but I have my ideas on why... Career building, stress with kids, financial issues, mid-life crisis, and much more. Despite all that, divorce DOES NOT have to be imminent in your relationship! You really can make it. I just turned 40 this year, and I have been married 20 years. I am headed into the next 20 (just for starters) with all the vim and vigor I can muster. It's going to be a great couple decades ahead of me and I can't wait. There are things that are a given in life...stress for one! Nobody gets a pass when it comes to stresses in life. We all have situations, circumstances, and challenges. With that, we can choose to put ourselves in position to see our marriage succeed. One of the ways Larry and I do that is by spending time together. We have three kids who drive u

Somebody stop the pressure...

Today on AOL there's an article about kids birthday parties getting out of control and parents rising up to do something about it. To see it, click here . I couldn't agree more with the parents that have started this group, "birthdays without pressure." When the kids were little I had a few of these kind of birthday parties where I felt like I had to half kill myself to put them on and then I realized in many instances the kids could not care less and in fact would not even remember them. I freaked out about Jordan putting his hand in the middle of his cake when he was two years old (I think that was the b'day that happened at least...can't remember now, that shows you how crucial it was!) Anyway, I freaked out about all the work I put into this cake and ran out to buy a perfect one. You know, these two year olds did not even care that he put his hand in the center of the cake. It was no biggie to them. I was the one with the problem. Parenting is more dif

Did I mention?

We had a great day all day today. Continuing our series on "When the Church Prays." Today's service was smoother than things have run in a long time. Not that other weeks were's just that today I thought was exceptionally smooth.  Worship was great, and everything from prayer to video announcements to special music to you name it flowed. I preached on Elijah and changing the atmosphere through prayer. We had a good time of prayer at the close. Bernie held the small group meeting today and had many many more than he expected. In fact he ran out of food because he just hadn't expected so many people to have interest as they did! What a great problem to have. They had a good meeting. Larry stayed for it but I came home to get things in order for vision meeting tonight. By the way, did I mention that we have some really great friends who love us? Last night the some church folk asked us over for dinner. Well, we really were pressed for time with getti

Podcasting with PD

 Campus Crusade for Christ interviewed me a while back about several things and I just became aware that some portions of our interviews were made into podcasts on their website. Cool, huh? Thought you might be interested in hearing it so if so, just click here! Once you get to the site, go to where it says, "Dolly" and also "Ice Cream Sunday." Both are clips of interviews with me. Click listen or download, and there you go...

Five Reasons to Keep Dating

Well, we were practically kid-less last night. Dustin ended up spending the night at Steven's and Savanna at Molly's. Larry said, "let's go on a date." So we did! Jordan played Guitar Hero while we were gone and then we came home after our date and watched American Idol with him. (We always Tivo.)  We laughed ourselves silly. At one point I laughed until I cried. I wonder sometimes, "If I couldn't sing, would I still find these people funny?" It just boggles my mind that they do not know they can't sing. I mean, I know I can't play softball to save my life. I'm terrible at it as I am with most team sports. I like things like skating, dancing, aerobics, walking, biking, etc. to stay in shape. But I have zippo talent as far as team sports. Trust me, if you are playing sports, you do not want me on your team. I was always the last one picked in gym and there is a good reason why. Do not try to patronize me, don't think you are doi

Change up the playlist!

Today in reading AOL news I came across one of their front page articles, "Four Reasons Why Men Cheat." I found it interesting. As I teach on marriage a lot both in our church and outside of it, have written a book on the subject, and Larry and I are in fact preparing to do three marriage conferences right now, these are issues I often study and read up on. Here are the four reasons the AOL article gave for cheating, with my thoughts afterward.  1) To fulfill his biology - to "spread his seed".  The article says, "A man's main job, besides killing the saber-tooth, is to spread his seed in order to ensure the survival of his genetic legacy."  Personally I don't understand what cheating has to do with that. He can ensure the survival of his genetic legacy by fathering many children with his wife if that is his desire. Isn't it amazing what excuses some people come up with to do wrong? If you need to have kids to feel like a man, by all m

Friends and Lobster = Unbeatable Combo

We got back into Tampa at 4 pm, unloaded, unpacked, got cleaned up and turned around and headed immediately to Orlando to meet our dear friends Duane and Kym Langenfeld who were visiting from Maryland. We were so tired from traveling however we really wanted to see them. We wouldn't have missed the opportunity for the world.  We met and enjoyed an all you can eat lobster was so good. We ended up staying with them til 2 am. Just didn't want to leave. What special friends. We really miss them.  Once again there is no place like home. Larry and I were so glad to get back to our house, our bed, our life. It's so good to be home.

We're on the way back now...

For any of you blog junkies who are keeping track of where I am I'm just letting you know we are officially on the road back. We drove about 7 hours this afternoon/this evening before stopping in Savannah, GA. As we were coming  through South Carolina we got a call that they had a fantastic service back home. I'm so glad!!! I'm at the Days Inn and getting ready to get a great night's sleep. Kids are already conked out and it's almost 1 am but I decided to post these pictures and a few thoughts.

Just the Shrodes

Okay, here we have just us Shrodes...minus Dustin...miss you, chocolat...wocki souvlaki...gooby gubba, Dustin Bustin, and all that jazz.  Uh, by the way... Savanna wore a black dress for the funeral but by the time they were taking photos at the dinner I had already let her change into her little pink sweatsuit mainly because her legs were cold. :-) It was 29 degrees today.

The Stevenson's

Here we are… the Stevenson family after Papa’s funeral. (Larry’s mom was Lydia Stevenson, now Shrodes, so this is that side of our family). In fact, if Savanna would have been a boy the name we were going to give the baby would have been Stevenson Shrodes. But alas, we had our dear Savanna Rose. Anyhoo… here we are. And the family truly is representative of the goodness of Papa and Mama. They are nothing but a pleasure to be with. There is not one person in the family that I think, “uh, do we have to see so and so or deal with this one irritating family member?” (you know how every family normally has at least one person who drives the rest crazy?) They are all just kind, loving people. Savanna had a good time playing with cousins Holly, Olivia and Cooper. Jordan isn’t really into the kiddie scene anymore and he enjoyed just hanging out with the Stevenson men and talking. We all missed Dustin.

The Tabernacle

This is Papa and Mama Stevenson’s church, the Richlands Tabernacle. (and just for the record, in this picture above, that's Kathy Stevenson, our "cousin in law" standing in the center aisle taking a photo herself...) It's a fantastic church with a pastoral family that has gone from generation to generation…the Horton family. The pastors (the Horton brothers) spoke of their growing up years…their mother had 11 children and was often overwhelmed with being a wife, mother and the pastor’s wife of a busy and growing church. The boys (now the pastor and assistant pastor) talked of how Papa and Mama often took the children in for days at a time and took care of them to give Sis. Horton a break. They said they had no greater friend or anyone they respected more than Papa Stevenson. And they spoke of how much he had helped their parents in serving in the church. They tirelessly served the pastors both in whatever their family needed and then in the ministries of the churc

I don't think I've ever been this cold...

It is so cold here, it's unbelieveable! I don't think I have EVER been this cold. This morning we slept in and then I went to the workout room while Savanna swam and I watched her through the window (in the indoor heated pool, of course!) Looking outside I noticed, it was snowing. The kids were so excited. It has continued to flurry all day. Tonight it's a light blanket of snow, and it's in the 20's. We went to the viewing tonight. We saw a lot of family we haven't seen for a long time, and we met Papa's pastors here in Richlands. What nice people. Great people. They talked to us for a long time, old stories about Papa, and then just some things about ministry. Everyone has only fantastic memories of Papa...he was such a Godly man, a true Godly man. He never got to the stage of being one of those fussy old people. (You know, the kind that get critical and crochety and give some elderly people a bad rap! Ha ha! And threaten to give their pastor a breakd

Blue Ridge Mountains

We got to Richlands at about 7 pm tonight. Left at 6 am this morning...and it took us 12 hours to get here, plus an hour for lunch. The blue ridge mountains are so beautiful. In the past few weeks I have been in the mountains more than not! And it's been nice. Maybe that goes with God's theme in my life this month of being the mountain moving momma! :-) We had dinner with Larry's parents tonight at an Italian restaurant. It was nice - the only thing missing was Dustin. But I know he's fine, we talked to him several times today. I got a ton of work done today with being able to have 12 hours uninterrupted on the laptop. Also caught up on some reading. I read Sheila Walsh's "Come As You Are" today. Love it! Tomorrow is the viewing...Wednesday is the funeral. By the way, it's cold here. Tonight it's going to get down to 15 degrees outside...count 'em, 15. That's what we just heard on the news in our hotel room. I'm glad I'm

The next level

God gave us a very good day in the house. Still holding at our record attendance...same level the past weeks...waiting to break our next attendance barrier. It's just a matter of months. I believe it won't be long. I figured it out the other night, we have grown exactly 66% this past year. God is amazing. I'm am expecting such huge things this coming year. Larry tore it up this morning preaching...quite a number of people talked to me about how the morning service really ministered to them in a powerful way.  Tonight we had a phenomenal vision casting. (Check out the women's leadership team above...the most brilliant and fun women in the world.) How blessed I am!!! I am extremely happy with the vision casting results and so excited about what God has in store for this year. What a team we have! I preached tonight on "The next level...more than you can imagine." The message was about Abram and God giving him a fresh perspective of his destiny. I am just