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Showing posts from March, 2007

Why I won't sign up for a beating - Part I

It's a shame you don't figure some things out until you have lived half your life. Sometimes I find myself saying, 'WHY DIDN'T SOMEBODY TELL ME THAT LONG AGO?" This is one of them. So if you haven't figured this one out, allow me to be the one to set you free from your pain. One glorious thing I have figured out at this point is that I don't have to sign up for a beating from anyone. That's right, there is no need for us to endure, nor sign up for a physical nor verbal thrashing from anyone. God never asked anybody to do that! Amazing. The thought occurred to me that none of us really need to endure toxic conversations if we don't want to. Adults can just refuse to go there. Some of you reading this who are not in the ministry might think, 'of course that's true! What is the need for this blog??!" But, would you believe most pastors think they have to sign up for verbal beatings? It's true. Read further and I'll tell you why.

Jordan's 16th Birthday

Jordan's birthday was on March 18, however we didn't have his party that weekend for two reasons: 1) He was at pastor's kids retreat in Orlando til' Sunday night. 2) We had missions convention that weekend and... 3) The Lord must have known I'd be sick, because I was so down with the flu I could have never gone through with a party for him on that weekend. We planned his party for tonight. We allowed him to invite as many of his friends as he wanted. I had one of the little picture frame things to sign, with him on his skateboard in the picture. This is a little momento for his room. And we got him a drum set. Finally! He's really happy about that as you can imagine. I always wanted him to have his own set but I was dreading the constant banging. We had about 2 hours of constant banging but it hasn't been that bad.  His friends came over...played music, DDR, got in the hot tub, and just hung out. I made tea for the girls and Jordan...and coffee

Why I don't agree with "Purity Balls"

Why wouldn't I agree with something that encourages young people to wait until marriage for sex? I know the headline of this blog probably caught you by surprise! You're thinking, "oh my gosh, she really IS getting a bit controversial with this "WHY" blog series, and she's A LOT more liberal than we thought!" Okay, calm down. Of course I agree with young people pledging to wait until marriage for sex. Let's make that perfectly clear up front. There is no wavering with me about that. God ordained sex for marriage. First of all, please don't get these other ministries mixed up with the True Love Waits campaign/ministry. I think True Love Waits is great because the boys and girls take the same pledge. But I'm getting ahead of myself, so let me break it down here... What I do not agree with about these particular ministres (Passion & Purity/Purity Balls) and some like them are the way they portray the role of boys vs. girls, and in some

New Blog Series: "Why?"

The next few days... or as long as I feel like it, I am going to do a series of blogs entitled, "Why?" These are going to be about a few random topics that are on my mind, some rather controversial, and why I feel the way I do about those issues. Just remember as well, this blog is not an official communication of Northside Assembly of God...it's my personal blog. Keep reading this week if you dare!

Another week?

At least one more. Unfortunately there are not enough rational thinking adults to make up for the teenyboppers who have lost their minds but not their phones.

Ada's Myspace

I didn't post all day/night yesterday as you can see. I was working on a special project. My hairdresser, Ada Alfonso, (pictured above with her husband, Chris) is more than my hairdresser...she's my close friend. We share a very special friendship that to be honest, I'd be lost without in my life. When I started going to Ada to get my hair done a few years ago, I had no idea she would seriously change not only my hair, but my life. Each time I would leave Continental Hair after getting my hair done, not only did I feel more beautiful on the outside, but I felt enriched as a person on the inside by the conversation that we shared. There are people who lift you up to a higher level just by being around them. I hope I'm that type of person for people - that's my goal. But I can definitely tell you, Ada is that kind of person. There is so much that we have had to talk about concerning spiritual things, our families, church ministry, and more. The wisdom and love

Quote of the day

"Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths." - Lois Wyse Gosh, that's good.

Happy Sunday

Today was a good day in the house at Northside. It was so good to be back! Sunday, happy Sunday! I haven't gotten the stats on today yet from Tom (our head usher). He always takes the time to extremely carefully go over his count and gives it to me Monday if he has to to make sure he has it exactly right. But suffice it to say I'm sure it's way down, people wise. It was Royal Ranger Pow Wow this weekend, plus Hillsborough County Spring Break. I knew even before I got there this morning that many people would be gone. But, despite that, we had a fantastic day! We honored our staff pastors which was something near and dear to mine and Larry's heart. Words can't describe how awesome it is to be working with those we now work with and do life with. They are absolutely "our family." Having a staff of your choosing and one that is also in unity is not only a huge key to effectiveness in ministry as a senior pastor, but it has a whole lot to do with personal hap

Open up the sky

Well, I'm back. Although still focusing a lot on my private journal I felt it was okay to blog again. Toinght Dr. Rosemay and I went and spoke at a conference at First Baptist Church of College Hill here in Tampa, and I also sang. She spoke on health from a Biblical perspective and submitting not just your soul and spirit to God, but also your body. I was basically her "object lesson"...her "illustration" and I gave my testimony and sang. Now, if you would have told me even just a few years ago that I would be anyone's illustration on health or weight loss I would have thought you were a martian. This just goes to show, God is still a miracle working God. Who said miracles stopped with the apostles? Nope. I'm a walking miracle, thank you very much. The people seemed to be very blessed if their response was any indication. What a blessing it was. I was honored to be there with Rosemay and what a precious group of people at that church! Well, basica

I got it

Okay, so I finally got the message God was trying to teach me by the loneliness I felt the past two days, and the fact that my family was several feet away and could have done something about it, namely the person who I sleep with. I was struggling with the intense feelings I was having about it and getting beyond them and I said, "God what do you want to show me through this? Please teach and get on with it." I waited and finally at about 2 am last night He speaks to me. Deanna, how do you think I feel when you are so close to me yet so far away? I wait sometimes all day for you and something as insignificant as a TV show keeps you from talking to me. Then you go to bed and forget to connect with me sometimes. After the way I have pledged my love to you, do you realize how that makes me feel? I have laid my very life down for you. I gave my all so that every pain and hurt you have ever experienced (including the one you are experiencing now), can be healed. Yet, insign

10 things I learned from being in bed sick for 2 days

1) How much God loves me. 2) How easily I can feel His presence when things are quiet. 3) How messy the kitchen gets when I'm sick. 4) How one of the things I hate worst about being sick is cleaning the house the day I finally get well. Ey-yay-yay! It still makes me mad each time that it becomes such a wreck, even though after 20 years I should be used to it by now, I'm still not. And each time I ask myself, "Am I just not spiritual to feel this way?" 20 years later, I still do not have an answer to that question. 5) How immature some people are who are my age and beyond. I learn this from surfing the net and reading things I haven't had time to read for a long time, like people's myspace's and I go........and these people are.........how old??? (Not talking about people who are fun or enjoy contemporary things...I am talking other stuff - such as - babyfied head games you expect out of your 13 year old...) 6) How much I miss some people. 7)

A little lonely

I have to admit I am feeling a little lonely these past few days. Here I am (above) where I've been sitting for two days...(except for brief trips to the bathroom). In my bed, with the laptop. (Savanna came in and took this pic of me...) I know loneliness is "God's call to spend some time with Him..." that's how I've always tried to look at it. I've had plenty of time these past 2 days as I've been in bed recovering from the flu. I love solitude when I choose it. These past few days have been forced solitude. Forced to miss church. Forced to miss Missions Convention. Forced to miss staff meeting. Forced solitude is just not the same as chosen solitude. And then when Larry has come home, he hasn't spent much time with me at all. Hockey games are on a lot and he's been doing that the majority of his time when not working . Because I'm not feeling well I can't just do what I normally do when he does that. I normally don't c

This is where I spent my day

Well, I missed church ALL DAY. Today of all days. The missions convention with Robert Solomon . I can count the number of times I have missed Sunday church (aside from vacation) over the past 20 years on one hand. To my knowledge, as far back as I can remember...I've only missed once Sunday for each of the births of my kids, and then for my gallbladder operation. That was it. It's not just because I'm a pastor/pastor's wife, but as you can tell by my previous posts, I simply love the house of the Lord. Today was a miserable day. Just being honest. Prepare for my Psalm. My imprecatory Psalm...O LORD, HEAR FROM 5036 SPECTACULAR BID DRIVE, AND HEAL THY SERVANT...FOR I AM WEAK, AND EVEN MY STOMACH HURTETH AND THOU KNOWEST THAT MY INWARD PARTS ARE WRETCHED IN PAIN.............. :-) When my alarm rang this morning I felt dizzy. I went out to the kitchen to turn the coffee pot on, and things started spinning and suddenly I felt "chills." I called to Larry and sai

Peachy's Birthday

Today is Jordan's birthday! My little peach is 16! (I have called him "Peachy" among many other endearing names forever. This particular one since he was just a toddler and had a head that was like peach fuzz. Thus, the name 'Peachy".) He still doesn't mind when I call him that. Even though his head is ANYTHING but like a peach anymore as you can see here. Can you believe it? He's 16...has a driver's permit... Life is absolutely CRAZY right now. He's still at PK retreat right now but when he gets back, I'll kiss his sweet little face and tell him how much Momma loves him and is proud of him for just being alive this long. (You would have to know our history of how hard it's been to keep him alive and well for 16 years.) We're having a party for him later on this month since he was away at PK retreat on his birthday weekend.

20 personal but not so outrageously personal things about me...

Translation: My husband won't kill me for posting this, but it's something he'd just shake his head at, and go ..."but why?"   Answer: Because it's my day off and I just like laying in bed on my laptop posting mindless things like this. Speaking of that...  1) I would love to just live from my bed...working in it, playing, talking, have friends come sit with me and have conversations, you name it. I would never get out of it except to come to church if I didn't have to...not because I'm lazy. (hardly!) In fact one day I worked eight hours straight on my laptop from bed. It's just that I am comfy here and work well in solitude. But if I had my druthers... you know someday when I'm really old and might not be able to move around anymore, I could make some money just laying here writing. If anybody still wants to read what I say. (The counter on this blog indicates a lot of people do read this, even every single day or repeated times a da

Yielding

Last night I was reading in my devotional by Oswald Chambers and he said, "When you yield to something, you will soon realize the tremendous control it has over you. Even though you say, "Oh, I can give up that habit whenever I like," you will know you can’t. You will find that the habit absolutely dominates you because you willingly yielded to it. It is easy to sing, "He will break every fetter," while at the same time living a life of obvious slavery to yourself. But yielding to Jesus will break every kind of slavery in any person’s life."   It reminds me a lot of what I learned in weight watcher class this week...about the WHY of emotional eating. The longer I'm in this thing the more I realize, it's a spiritual battle, and not at all about food.  Something our new leader has been talking about a lot is... "PROGRESS - NOT PERFECTION." That is a truth that has REALLY impacted me a lot. You see, I've always been the type of per

10 things right about today

1) We cleaned A LOT. Our garage...getting rid of about 10 garbage bags of stuff from Savanna's room...and so much more. Areas that have needed some major attention that we just don't have time for on a regular basis. It feels good to have a lot of this conquered.  2) I rode my bike at sunset. Some new flowers have sprouted since my last time out there. Beautiful pink and red. 3) It was an absolutely beautiful day here in Tampa. Positively gorgeous.  4) My Mustang is clean inside and out (yeah, took time for that today too)...even went around to various little smudges and worked them out by hand. Now if I can just not park under trees so much. 5) I didn't overeat at all today. Not even this weekend for that matter.  6)I'm feeling stronger moment by moment. Thanks Jesus...thanks doc for the meds! 7) Tomorrow is church and we're expecting a great day in the house. Although a few key families have told me they'll be away...no matter...God will be in th

"Hold-over" Churches - Why I don't believe in the concept

I have coined a new phrase. While I've never heard anyone call it this before, every pastor out there has experienced it. At some point, you have been a "hold-over" church to somebody, and I guess in effect, that makes you their "hold-over pastor." What exactly do I mean by this? Allow me to explain. A hold-over church is one you go to until whatever you don't like about the church you call home is straightened out. (i.e. the pastor leaves and a new one comes) This is how it works... Your pastor does something you don't like. The church leadership does something you don't agree with. Instead of working it out, handling as Matthew 18 would have you to, or (gasp!) submitting...planting yourself and growing through whatever the challenge is that is presented to you, you head to somewhere else to worship. You are going to just use this as a "hold-over" until things change in your previous church, which you pray to God happens sooner rat

What's right with me

Well, my last post was what's wrong with me, so now it's time to talk about what's right with me! I have so many people who care about me...I am so blessed. Everybody from my church people to my pastoring partners on the web, to people I don't even know read my blog and write/call and say, "are you alright?" Yes, I'm more than alright! God is good. I have a great doctor and Dr. Jesus. Just to prove to you how alright I really am, I am posting this photo that I just took TODAY. Here, you can see how healthy I look. Larry took this photo just for all you friends who are wondering if I am still alive and kicking. YES! Here I am in my front yard, just loving life. Looks are not deceiving. I really am on the mend. Getting stronger every moment. THANK YOU, EVERYBODY WHO PRAYED. (Keep it up though because satan hates me and I'm always under attack of some sort. This happens when you are the devil's worst nightmare. Worst nightmares for him are people w

What's wrong with me...a dissertation...grab a Snickers, it might be a while

Well, my doc got down to the nitty gritty once again and discovered what's hurting me. The tests results are in...(at least half of them) and so far we've found it's a hiatal hernia (see photo at right to illustrate) and...anxiety. I know, I know, you're SHOCKED about the anxiety part. Ha! Ha! I try so hard not to be anxious, I really do. More about that in a minute... Anyway, she was so sure it was something like this (ulcer or hernia) that she already had me on medication for it a few days before I got the test for it so my symptoms already started improving some. (I've had an ulcer in the past. Sort of comes with the territory of ministry and dealing with difficult people sometimes I guess.) I needed to start getting some sleep and she had to put me on something to take the pain away so I could rest. Thankfully this can be treated with medication and most of all PRAYER, and so far it appears to be working quite well, and I'm not feeling like I'm havi

Working out...purse diversions...and lingerie

Well everybody keeps asking how I'm feeling and the answer is...better but not completely better. I'm on a lot of medicine so it sort of just keeps me floating throughout the day if you know what I mean...which is fine. I'd rather be floating kind of woozily through life than laying in bed clutching my chest for dear life in between working on the laptop. Sound like a no brainer there. Actually I think the staff might like me even better on drugs. Let's try it another week and see what they think. PD on drugs? Off? What lends itself to better pastoring? We'll let them decide. Since I had an EKG and everything's cool there, I got back on the elliptical and the treadmill today. I can't just balloon up and gain weight even if I do feel like a mack truck ran over me. I refuse to get out of shape and in fact I want to be in better shape. I still have to lose ten pounds. I'm on my way to that -- lost 5 more pounds last week. Now that I know that nothing

Maybe I should just get used to being sick

REALITY. That's what this blog is about. Welcome to my personal reality blog. Well, I had planned to take some time off today and tomorrow but it's just not to be. So I keep plowing forward. I went for another test this morning first thing, then went in to the office. I would have just had to work from the lap top at home and it wasn't worth it to drive all the way back home plus somebody needed to run the staff meeting since Larry could only be there for 30 minutes of it today. And it was a long one.  He left the staff mtg. and took Dustin for his senior project at 4:30, which by the way, Dustin totally rocked. He thinks he definitely got an A. So proud of him.  So I finished up in running the staff meeting, left at 5:30 or something like that, can't remember the exact time but left there and went major grocery shopping. All the while the kids are ringing my cell phone asking what's for supper. I said, "I'm buying it now." So, I come home, and th

Debriefing from Sunday...

Sunday in the house at Northside came right on the heels of the Inspire Conference and it was a GOOD DAY in the house today. Last week's service was (for me) disjointed, but that was largely due to the way I felt physically. Today things went great...and I attribute this most of all to the power of the Holy Ghost, and...MEDICATION!!! Yes, since some of my physical problems are now being treated, I was able to do better today. Tomorrow morning I go for some more tests and we will work toward defining exactly what the problems are and how to fix them. God is good. We cancelled leadership meeting tonight and I just stayed home and slept for 3 hours. Sunday morning was about all I could handle...even with drugs. :-) By next week I'm really hoping I'm back to my old self again. That's the game plan, at least. What a sweet spirit of God in the place today... I just so enjoyed it. Cathy and Tom ran interference for me today with being able to minister in the areas need

Inspire Conference Day Three

Vicki Yohe and me...at Inspire '07 Speakers from Inspire Conference '07 Well, Inspire Conference is officially over now and I’m back in Tampa. What a time. It was life changing for so many reasons, many of which people would never understand, unless they were walking in my shoes. It was a prophetic weekend to say the least, and is setting the next level for me into motion, and bringing me into Kingdom connections that are needed for that. Above you can see my photo with Vicky Yohe, who was the worship leader for the conference. Awesome. Of course I’ve known of her ministry before in fact we hosted her at Northside a few years ago. (And – surprise – she’s getting ready to come back! I’m in the midst of setting it up with her right now….) But we really got a chance to spend some time together this weekend, talking, eating, talking about “next levels” in all of our lives. Also pictured above was our speaker team for the weekend. Left to right are Missy Monokian, conference h

Day Two Inspire Conference

Well, my session was this morning and went well. I'm really hard on myself, so I'm always analyzing the heck out of whatever I do. Sometimes something can be a blockbuster and I don't even know it. They were responding well during the message and many talked to me afterwards to tell me how it impacted them. One group wants to buy the Intimate Woman books and make it study for their women's group. Always blesses me to hear that this is changing lives and marriages. Again, the whole morning was a class act from all these people working the Inspire Conference. They treat their guests like gold. You don't so much as have to carry your own Bible or even walk to your hotel room alone. Had lunch at a place called Salsa with Pastor Sandy and her leaders. And also Vicki and Teri Yohe. Had a WONDERFUL conversation about "next level" things that I'm going through right now and how to navigate these waters of growth and change. God knew I needed this, n