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Showing posts from April, 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

Nail emergency

Yesterday I had a "nail emergency." Yeah, I know, I know. Sounds ridiculous. Only women would understand. Speaking of church "for men only" I have been thinking - if we had church "for women only" we could provide an on site nail tech. People could get fills, mani's or pedi's while they are there. :-) (I know, that's about as ridiculous for men!) Anyway, yesterday I did have a nail emergency. My husband laughs at the thought but truly there is such a thing. When I woke up yesterday I noticed one of my nails was lifting off and a little water got underneath so I thought, "ugh, on a Sunday!" I made it through the morning service without doing anything about it but I thanked God I had extra time yesterday before evening service. After lunch I headed over to my nail place. You would have thought the second coming had arrived. "Deeeeeeena! Whachoo doooeen heeere? It Sundaaaeeee! Yoo nah ah churcsh?" I assured

End to a busy weekend...

Tonight we capped off a very busy weekend at Northside, with a concert with Vicki Yohe. We enjoy her so much. I've found she's not just an anointed singer, she's just a really personable and kind person. I love her sister Terri, too. Sweet just like her and she can sing to beat the band. Here are some photos of our time with them tonight...


This has been a good weekend but I can't wait to get back to my work week Monday at the church for some rest. :-) Really I am not kidding when I say that. It has been a good weekend but it's been a long time since I've had any hours off and when that happens I start getting antsy, like the walls are closing in. Although it will be a while til' my next day off at least I will have some evening hours to rest and regroup during the week...if I determine to take them. It's also a night to definitely get at least 7 hours sleep. We had fine arts this weekend and went to see all the kids compete. They did awesome! They are going to nationals and several placed in different categories, including Jordan for short sermon, and Dustin for web design and short story. I'm so proud of all of them. Today we had Lindsay's graduation and lunch, then came home to get all the loose ends tied up for tomorrow's service. In addition to getting all the remaining stuff set

Church for Men Only

After my reprint of my friend, Pastor Leanne Weber's blog on the Feminization of the Christian Church, I see that my friend Pastor Lisa Alexander also has a blog on the subject of a new church that is...for men only. She got her info from this article here . Things really get stranger day by day when it comes to this. Here's my take. There are just as many flowers in the church now as there were 100 years ago. Probably even less, in many cases. There are just as many kleenex boxes as there were years ago. Before that people took their hankies to church There has always been group signing in church. For as long as there has been church, singing has been part of worship. So why this current uprising that the church is too feminine becuase of this stuff? Seems to me that a few men are getting a little weak and whiney over something that men of previous generations just accepted as a part of most churches and didn't allow to hinder their participation. Quite truthf

The Feminization of the Christian Church

This blog was written a while back by my friend, Pastor Leanne Weber , on her daily blog . I'm copying it with her permission here. It's excellent. I rarely if ever print somebody else's entire blog post here on mine, but I make an exception when I find something, well...exceptional. And this is something I believe qualifies. It must have struck a chord out there because in short order, she had a comment from Brad Stine himself with a rebuttal about it, on her blog. Here are Pastor Leanne's thoughts on this topic... "The Feminization of the Christian Church"...   By Rev. Leanne Weber I hear that phrase thrown around quite a bit. That the church has become "feminized." That Christian men have become "sissified." But no one can really give me a clearcut definition of what that means. Are we talking about men who don't grunt, scratch, and watch every sport on TV known to man? Do we mean men who would rather spend a night at the op

Blessing #4

Today's blessing that I would like to bring to you is a friend, Pastor Lisa Alexander, co-pastor of Zion Tabernacle Church, Houston, Texas. Together with her husband, Pastor Elgin Alexander, she pastors this new and exploding church plant. AMAZING things are happening at their church. I get so excited when I hear the reports about it. I met Lisa through my pastoring partners ministry and she has become a true blessing to me. I appreciate her wisdom, her encouragement, her zeal. Pastor Lisa is a great writer and I enjoy reading her blogs , her Myspace , and also just the things she writes to me personally. She is my accountability partner now with exercise. I have appreciated Pastor Lisa for quite a while now but she's especially on my mind today because she called me. How can you put a value on a person who says, "I'm praying for you"? The answer is, you can't. Although Pastor Lisa and I are long distance friends, there is no distance in prayer. The

Can we please talk about what we're FOR, not what we're AGAINST?

I have developed a habit of listening to preaching podcasts while I’m getting ready in the mornings. Every day I listen to a sermon on line. I listen to people preach who are famous, some not so famous, some who are personal friends. Some challenge me, some bring change to my life, some refresh me, and some flat out irritate me. Although I like to look at the positive, today I do want to mention what irritates me. Because truly, it’s the fact that some preachers do not focus on the positive! Negativity is my complaint. Lately I’ve been listening to a preacher-acquaintance who has planted a church. He’s a great preacher and I enjoy listening to what he has to say, except for one thing. Each time he preaches, he casts a little vision for the church in each sermon. Now, I think that’s great. But the problem is the way in which he does that. Instead of talking about the positives of his church, he bashes everyone else “in comparison” to his new church. This is typically a paragraph out

Blessing #3

My son, Dustin Michael Shrodes (a.k.a. Chocki Wocki Souvlaki) is my third blessing I would like to talk about today. I have tons of nicknames for my kids. I have heard it said before that the more nicknames a person has, the more they are loved. (good intentioned nicknames of course!) Well, I have a ton of them for my kids. So they must really be loved. I appreciate my son so much because he has such a deep abiding love for God and His convictions are rock solid. He is just like his Daddy in the way that I know although he can sometimes be crazy, and is real humorous, he's got a great head on his shoulders. He will do great things in life but nothing kooky or unstable. He is one of those guys you just know is "a rock." He will grow to be a very solid man of God. I don't believe manhood is about a certain age such as 18 or 21, or that it is arrived at by marriage. I only believe you can call someone a man when they take complete responsibility and are faithful a

More stuff about me you might or might not care about

Sometimes I just do these questionnares friends send me on line to do something non-sensical besides work and give myself a little break at night before I talk to Lar and turn in for the night. Work can become consuming on my mind and I just need a break to shut my mind off from it for a while and here we go with another one of these that I got off of Pastor Leanne's blog... FIRST NAME? Deanna WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? No. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? About a month ago on a Wed night…a special friend helped me through it. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I used to like it a lot. But now that I type so much, my handwriting has gone down hill as I rarely do it except to sign things. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Roast beef IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? It depends on what I was looking for in a friendship. It takes a unique person to be friends with me and I realize that. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Yes, definitely. Keep me from going ins

Blessing #2

I really have the best women's team on the planet! I enjoy them so much. They are dedicated women who love the Lord, love the ladies, and love me. They are great supporters and armor bearers and I am more excited about our team and what God is doing than I have ever been. Tonight we had our women's leadership meeting and we are right in the thick of planning for our biggest outreach of the year. Our meeting tonight was at my house and I decided to start with high tea and then have our devotional, planning and prayer time together. First we had scones and I had made homemade devonshire cream to go with them. Then I made three kinds of tea sandwiches - my homemade chicken salad (which always gets rave reviews), egg salad, and parmesan pesto ham with provolone. Then we had three different desserts - mini cannoli's, chocolate filled tarts and strawberry filled tarts, all topped off with...Paris tea! Now doesn't THAT sound special? I just love doing things like this. I was h

Leanne's interview!

My friend, Pastor Leanne , who is a WONDERFUL children's pastor at an A/G church in Wisconsin, sent me this today to fill out, just for fun. I thought I would post it here to share with all of you friends who are reading and might be sitting on the edge of your seat wondering such things as..."would Deanna hide evidence for me?" and "does she eat with utensils?" Find out this fascinating info right here my friends. 1. Ever punch someone in the face? No. 2. How old are you? 40 and fabulous. 3. Are you single or taken? Taken. Very taken. 4. Eat with your hands or utensils? Utensils except for a few things like a sandwich. I even eat pizza most times with utensils. I don’t like to get dirty. I know food isn’t dirt, but I just don’t like messiness. I have even tried to eat hot wings with a fork and knife and...yes, I eat ribs with a fork and knife if I even bother to eat them. Most times I don't order them because I don't want that gooey sticky feeling on m

What's right with my world...

So many times we want to look at what's wrong with the world, particularly with our personal world. Like anyone else, I face trials and as a matter of fact I'm in the midst of one right now. But I've learned at times like this it's much more beneficial to look at all that's right rather than what is wrong. So right now I'm going to do that. What's right with my world? 1) God loves me. This is enough to get a person through anything, I've learned. 2) My husband loves God with a passion, but after that he gives me everything he's got. 3) My kids love God. 4) My home is a refuge for me. 5) I love our church. 6) I am so blessed with so many people I love in my life...who also love me. 7) My bed is REALLY comfortable. I mean it's so comfy it will put anyone to sleep in 2 seconds. 8) I am able to follow the plan of God for my life. 9) We are serving in a HEALTHY church. This makes up for most anything in the church I might get upset about at any given

Blessing #1

Today I begin a blog series on blessings. For how long, I dunno. But today is blessing #1 day. I'm actually going to talk about two blessings today. Not fair you say? It's my blog. Anything is fair here that I say is fair. Obviously my numero uno blessing is my relationship with Jesus. It should go without saying but for so many, it's not obvious so I'm not going to just assume the reader knows this. I'm blessed by His indescribable love for me. For some reason when I keep screwing up incessantly, He loves me infinitely. I'm so glad His love for me is so so great and His grace abounds in my life. My second blessing is my greatest earthly relationship - my husband Larry. He's not just the sexiest man I know, he's the most stable. In 22 years of being together, I've never once feared him doing anything off the deep end. While he lives a life totally abandoned to God, He's not flaky. I think there's a big difference between abandonment to God an

Growing up

Today is officially Savanna's 10th birthday. We celebrated it yesterday but today is the actual day. (Here are some pictures of her taken in our back yard this evening.) I'm so blessed to have a daughter. I waited six years for her and my whole life changed when she was born. She completed my family dreams. I always wanted to have two boys and a girl. Some people don't have those type of dreams come true in their lives and I realize how blessed I am to actually have mine. I'll never forget when she was born and the doctor said, "it's a girl!" I told him beforehand that if it was a girl he better step back because I might stand up and jump up and down on the bed, out of control crazy with happiness. I was doing that in my heart, but I was so tired from all night of labor that for once in my life I didn't have the energy to jump up and down. Savanna was my gift for my 30th birthday. Now I am even more thankful for her on my 40th. Nothing will ever take

More pictures from Savannie Bannanie's birthday!

Savanna's Birthday

Well, in just two hours at the stroke of midnight it will officially be Savanna's 10th birthday. We had our family celebration tonight at Kobe. It's become sort of a tradition the past few years that this is what we do as a family on birthdays even aside from the kids parties that we have. We had a good time. It was a fun evening and everyone came and sang to her and we had a cake and she had the hat and all that stuff that they do each time. The kids really do not get tired of it. Here are some pictures of our evening. Hard to believe "my baby" is 10 years old. I got her a set of earrings in different colors for each day of the week and took her to get an outfit tonight. She got a casual short set and she is going to wear it for her field trip on Monday. Jordan also gave her a present when we got home and Dustin is taking her on a special outing just the two of them. I can't believe my kids are getting this old. It's just amazing.

Quote for Today

"If you are not living on the edge, you take up too much room."   My prayer is that God will give me courage to live on the edge. I recently heard it said that courage is running from failure to failure with enthusiasm. I have more than enough of my share of failures, and most of the time keep my enthusiasm, so perhaps that means I am developing into a woman of courage. I hope so. I want to do something great, and I know it's impossible to do something great and worry about being safe or 100% right every time.  I am not ready to blog about details of this yet because they are not finalized, but in the coming months I am going to be embarking on something that quite honestly is not safe, is not predictable, and will put me in a situation I have never been in before. It's something completely new, and something that has the potential to be the most life changing thing I'v e ever experienced.  I'm not afraid. I'm ready to live even more on the edge.

The dark side of putting the Z in Zeal

"When a woman of many words says nothing, her silence is deafening." King Monkut, Anna and the King Okay, so today is my day off, a day I reflect more than any other, because it's the one day I have time to. And today my friends, I'm going to share with you one aspect of my personality that is both blessing and curse, and something I've never known quite how to deal with. Maybe if you make it all the way through this post and have an idea, you can tell me what you would do if you were me. (I know, I know it's totally scary to even consider being me for 2 seconds, but...) Remember when you were a kid and you were instructed by parents, teachers and other responsible adults, "if you don't have anything nice to say...don't say anything at all" ? Well, I try to live by that, but many times am vilified for doing so. Allow me to explain. I talk. I mean, I REALLY talk. I'm a communicator, both naturally and it's what I do for a liv

Lifetime Intimate Portrait ~ Debbie Winchester

The next person I would like to introduce you to is the Queen of Encouragement, Debbie Winchester. I have known Debbie for the majority of the time I've lived in Tampa. She became a member at Northside shortly after we began our pastorate here. Growing up in a pastor's home, I think she instinctively understands many things I go through. She is so positive and encouraging and someone I always love to be around. We have a funny story about our friendship that I just have to share with you before our interview with her... When Debbie first met me she invited me to lunch. I was glad to go with her and we met at Applebees. When we got there she was so nervous. I didn't know why she was acting so nervous and strange. I asked her why she was so anxious. She said, "I feel so honored to eat lunch with you and it makes me nervous, because I feel like I'm with the President of the United States or something..." Well, I thought that was so funny. I mean, ME? I couldn&

Quote of the day

"Quitters are governed by facts. Overcomers are governed by faith."

Outtakes from Church Life Cohorts

Just came back from CLR cohorts in Ft. Lauderdale. It was such an enriching time as usual. Best of all, it was the first time for a while that Larry and I have been able to really connect. I mean, we work together every day at the church and we spend time together but lately it hasn't been as quality as usual...for some reason. It's been this way about a month. I think we've just been under an attack of sorts. Not fighting...just...a little emotional disconnect and also a lot of pressure with the kids. But these past two days turned all that right side up just where we need to be. I love it when we are functioning like this. We really needed these two days. Then, today Pastor Max taught in the morning and Dr. Lee this afternoon. A few days ago, Doc felt in his spirit that Max needed to teach this morning. They never communicated about the topic, he left it up to Max. As much as we love Doc, the Lord had something different in store today with Max and it was so on with whe

Ft. Lauderdale

I'm in Ft. Lauderdale today and tomorrow for church life co-horts. Does anyone in Tampa miss me? I miss you, but I'm enjoying being here as usual. I got my customary 4 hours of uninterrupted work done on the laptop on my way here. Yeah! Had dinner with Pastor Greg and Tammy tonight and debriefed on our last two months in the church and how things are going for all of us. So glad to be here. It seems everyone needs a boost of encouragement right now, and this is the place to get it.

We don't need to know everything

Okay, I'm going to post something about the war in Iraq. Finally, I'm breaking down and doing this. Although it's a hot topic, I've tried to stay away from it as far as blogging goes, and just talk about it quietly with close friends. It's also not something I would ever bring up publicly at church, for obvious reasons. This is a very polarizing issue. But here I go with my humble opinion on this, my personal blog. Should we be there? Should we not be there? I don't know, but here's one thing I do know. The American people's "right to know" everything is taking our country into a downward spiral. Are there worse problems? Yes, I'm not here to debate which problem is worse. But the public's push to know every detail of everything is a huge problem. What has affected our recent wars more than anything, is THE MEDIA. Years ago, journalists were not granted the access they have now. Cameras were not there chronicling the war. And that w

So-So Day

Our youth did a really fantastic job on the service today at Northside. The fine arts entries they presented were just wonderful. Pastor Aaron did a great job speaking and the kids with worship, and all in all the service was very good. But the weather really did a number on us. Larry and I had an hour and a half sleep last night. We were really glad neither of us had to preach. Our central air went out, and in Florida, well...that's a big deal. It was a warm night last night so therefore we didn't really sleep well. Just a lot of tossing and turning and trying to get comfortable to no avail. Larry tried to figure out what was wrong but just couldn't get it running last night. So, we had very little rest. Then we awoke to heavy rain - I mean torrential rain - this morning. Down pours. Not only did that totally affect attendance particularly for Christian Education but it cancelled our annual picnic. This was a bummer. My class was better attended than I imagined it woul

Lifetime Intimate Portrait ~ Sue Flint

The next special person in my life that I want to introduce you to is Sue Flint. I have known Sue for probably about four years now...and she has been a God-send to my life and to our church. I first met Sue outside the church, actually. She was the boss of one of our members, at a radiology center here in Tampa. When I went to get some x-rays done there, the member of our church (Joel) said, "Hey, I want you to come meet my boss..." So I went with him down to her office, and the rest is history. Shortly after our meeting at her office, Sue came to a Princess Luncheon outreach at Northside, and we really got connected and pretty soon I asked her to lead one of our affinity groups for hurting women. She's born for this. God has really blessed it. And I'm blessed just having her in my life and on our team. She's someone I just enjoy doing lunch with and dreaming about how we can reach more women in Tampa Bay. In addition to being on the women's team and le