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Showing posts from May, 2007

Nobody has a clue how powerful prayer really is

This is probably the smoothest preparation for this outreach that we have EVER had. I believe it's due to the spirit and caliber of our leaders, and more so, the fact that God is faithful and His favor is awesome. It's going to be a good day Saturday. I'm winding down out here on the patio. It's a beautiful breezy night. I should have walked, but confess, I didn't. I worked at the office til' 7 pm on stuff for Saturday. Then Dustin came and drove Savanna and I to the grocery store. We shopped til' 8 and then I came home to my "second job" where I got some other things done. Finally I've finished cleaning the kitchen and I'm out here with the Lord. And it feels so good to be sitting here. Today was a good day. We got so much accomplished. Our staff really is amazing. With this particular outreach I am now to a point where there is no explaining to do, we just go about what needs to be done, knowing it like a well oiled machine, basically. S…

God is faithful

Tonight before bed I was reading Come Away and normally I'll print a portion of it, if it really spoke to me. But not this time. It was so precious...so intimate, I just want to cherish it between God and I. So I'll just leave it at the fact that He blessed me incredibly with a comforting word. I've learned from Bob Sorge's teaching that when we miss our time with God, He's not waiting to beat us over the head and discipline us. Instead, he's SAD for us. He knows what we are missing and He so wants to bless us. In getting alone with God and reading His Word, talking to Him and gleaning from other books, I AM SO BLESSED. God is faithful. No matter what I am going through He is so faithful to show up and speak to me when I give Him the time He deserves. A human being that blessed me today was Pastor T. It seemed the past few days nothing was coming together. So many things were stressing me out, some little - and some major. Today he wanted to show me the p…

The power of zingers

Well, I'm pretty much as real as you can get, so I'll just admit, it was a lousy day at the office today. The whole day just felt like a dark night, staring into space just kind of numb. Nothing to do with staff (thank God I don't deal with that anymore and haven't for ages!) Just other disappointing stuff. Some days all you have to hold on to is the call of God. I do hang on to that fact that I know I'm called beyond a shadow of a doubt, and in addition to that I am so grateful about my relationship with Larry, (it really is a rock when having days like this) and I treasure my family, friends and our faithful people who really partner with us. Some days when things are particularly difficult, I go stare at my "balcony board" (all the encouraging letters from people are posted on there), or call a friend like I did tonight (thanks, Randy!) or sit in my bathtub like I'm going to do in a few minutes... it gives me a respite from the darkness I'm go…

Don't put me in a box!

The following blog was written by my good friend, Pastor Tara Sloan. Tara and I have known each other since about 1999 (I think! It's been at least that long but I can't remember how long exactly.) We both enjoy Ruby Tuesday's salad bar, and Sara Groves Music. Our lives were never the same after attending a women in ministry conference in Springfield, MO together. We made a promise to each other on a bus that we'll never forget. (It's a secret, but when this ministry dream happens for us, we'll let you know!) She and her husband Craig are a dynamic duo. I enjoy hearing anything Tara or Craig preach or write. Anyway, Tara is a great pastor, great wife, Mother of five beautiful girls, leader, role model, etc. and you should check out her blog at www.tarasloan.blogspot.com. This is an exceptional blog she wrote about not being boxed into people's design for you, but to fulfill the unique call of God upon your life. I don't reprint things very often from an…

If not us, who?

We had a good day in the house yesterday at Northside. Memorial Day weekend is usually our lowest attendance of the year - and it was, however the effectiveness of the service was there and that's really what mattered. We had our ministry fair and also the "someday" drama that I wrote to go with the message and things came together well. I was so pleased with the amount of people who stayed, visited the displays and had lunch. Thankfully I have had a much needed respite the last 24 hours. We were supposed to have newcomers night last night but with so many away for Memorial Day we didn't end up having it. Therefore I had the night off. We went to the Garlands and fellowshipped with them and the Coopers for many hours, but then I got to just come home and rest. It was so nice. I had been so stressed going into the weekend with everything and desperately wanted some down time. Joy and Keith invited us over today and we were supposed to be at their house at 8 am this mo…

Stressed but blessed

Ever hear that saying, "'I'm too blessed to be stressed"? I've tried it but it didn't work for me. I say, "I'm not going to be stressed...I am not going to be stressed" and repeat that to myself. But, when I get into a crunch time no matter what I tell myself - whether I speak it, don't speak it, pray, don't pray, take a day off, or don't take a day off - just knowing I have the stuff going on that I have to deal with at the time puts stress on me whether consciously or subconciously. Even if I purposely tell myself I am not going to worry and I'm going to trust, somewhere in my brain I see what's ahead of me and it starts the acid churning inside of me... For instance I have been better at not worrying on purpose -- purposely praying instead of worrying, casting my cares upon the Lord. I honestly am getting better about that but I believe in the core of my inner being I know what's on my agenda and my body still react…

Dustin's Graduation

Today was Dustin's graduation. I can't believe my baby (actually my firstborn, however still in my eyes my little baby) has come to this point in his life. It's amazing to me. It seems like yesterday I was just putting him on the school bus for the first time. I remember laying beside his bed the night before he started school, just crying. Now, he's a graduate. He drives everywhere on his own. (that still scares me to death) It is a hard adjustment for me, quite honestly but I am managing. I told Lisa today that I think she and I should write a book about how to navigate this particular stage. She said..."that is, if we survive it..." I say we should write a book because I don't know anybody who has written specifically about some of the things we are dealing with and I'd really like some resources.

After the graduation we went to Olive Garden. The Currie's came as well as the Mackley's, Ashley and Pastor Matt. When we got home from Olive Gar…

"Please, just be yourself...we know you're human..."

Time after time over the past 20 years of pastoring I have had church people say things like, "we know you're human," or "you can be honest about how you feel...really..." or, "we want you to be yourself around us." But I have learned the hard way that church people, at least 99% of them who say that, do not really mean it. Our staff has had to learn a lot of lessons about this. Larry and I had already learned this lesson years ago but now we find ourselves explaining it to our staff pastors. They have been in ministry for a few years compared to our 20, and some of them just aren't used to this type of behavior from others yet.
Take for instance, things that are funny. There are times we have absolute crazy things happen. Take for instance, we are praying for someone and their wig falls off. If everyone else in the church laughs about it, it's expected. We pastors manage to hold it in until after service but if we laugh about it later, or jok…

Dustin's graduation party

Tonight was Dustin's graduation party at our house. He graduates Saturday but I didn't want his party to be rushed or to not be able to know exactly what time we would be home from the graduation, to know exactly what time the party would start, etc. so I planned it for another night. As all the kids are out of school tonight was a great night. We had the party from 7-11 pm and then they all took off to go to see the new Pirates movie. They are there now and I have a quiet house so here I am...

Dustin wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and also chocolate chip cookies. I made a homemade cake and decorated it with my pampered chef decorator and made a top for the cake that had Dustin's face in a cap and gown and "Dustin, we are proud of you" in scrabble letters. (He loves scrabble and is in the scrabble club...) I made dinner for the party - salad, baked rigatoni, garlic bread and dessert, plus his favorite punch. I had photos of him on stands on the table…

Favorite Songs

(I copied this from my friend Pastor Leanne Weber’s blog who copied it from our mutual friend Pastor Tara Sloan's blog - enjoy!) Favorite Song From Childhood: I think I love you by David Cassidy Favorite High School Dance Song: 1999 - Prince Senior Class Song: I can’t remember anymore but I think it was something by Journey, I would have to look it up in my yearbook again. Song That Makes You Think of College: Whole Unguarded album - Amy Grant Favorite Rock & Roll Song: Start me up – Rolling Stones Favorite Disco Song: Stayin Alive – Bee Gees Favorite Country Song: Man, I Feel Like a Woman – Shania Twain Favorite Pop Song: So Happy Together - Beatles Favorite All Time Love Song: Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion Favorite Break Up Song: I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor Favorite Slow Dance Song: The Way You Look Tonight - Sinatra Song That Always Makes You Cry: Fly Away with You Songs About Your Kid/s: Fly Away With You Song That Reminds You Of Your Husband: Still the One - Or…

Ebb and flow

Times like this week are what make the ebb and flow of mine and Larry's relationship. I'm so glad I spent the time with him in Miami that I did. I knew as soon as I got home things were going to go full speed ahead with a crazy schedule. We have everything from regular services and work days to preparing for Dustin's graduation, his party (this Thursday night), Princess Luncheon outreach and so much more. Basically my days are packed and in between that I'm trying to keep the house clean. What happens in these times is that sometimes we feel a disconnect in our relationship for a little bit (not an "I'm mad at you" type thing, just sort of an exhaustion...instead of talking to him for a long time before bed, I just...fall into bed, and go to sleep.) Then we come back together again and say, "I've missed you so much..." I don't like that but it's part of the rollercoaster of a week or two like this.


One thing I'm not doing is short…

Living in the full blessing of the Father's smile...

We had a great day in God's house today, with His Spirit speaking to us in a very special way drawing people to Him. Great worship, and I thought Larry's message was right on. We had one man saved today although there were many more God was speaking to who were wrestling a lot with their emotions and their will in surrendering to the Lord. Some things I knew about already, others just revealed to me by the Spirit of God, but in each case, something to pray about. I know God is doing a work.
The Lord helped me so much this morning. Both Larry and I were operating on three hours of sleep. I decided to unpack when I got home so by the time I unpacked my suitcase it left me with three hours. I didn't even keep hitting the snooze, I just got up on time, took a bath instead of a shower (I do that when I'm especially tired and don't want to stand up!) and then got in my robe and headed for the patio to drink my tea and center myself spiritually where I needed to be. Espec…

Winding down on the way home

Well, I said no more blogging til’ Sunday night but I forgot that I’d be on the road for four and a half hours home and just might have some time. :-) I’ve been working on some work projects during this time driving home however my mind really isn’t on them at all and it’s difficult to jump right into that type of work after a retreat/conference versus before. That’s because my head is so full of the memories of what just happened. GOD IS SO GOOD. So here I sit debriefing on this Miami trip on my computer while driving past the Port Lucie exit.


We had great services. The Lord really did something powerful in the lives of those women, and I believe we are going to hear some great reports in the months to come. My prayer has been that God would protect these women from going home and having ‘the cares of this life’ as the Words says, choke out the Word of God that has been planted within them. The anointing was there – God’s Word went forth and His power was available to these ladies to …

A woman after God's heart

Today began bright and early as I got up at 6 am to get ready for the service here this morning at the women's retreat in Miami. Their theme for the weekend is, "The Heart of a Woman." This morning I talked about what it means to be a woman after God's heart. The Lord really moved and although I was supposed to wind up the service at 10:30 (it started with a breakfast first at 8) to release them to the beach and the pool - many stayed to pray. I did end at 10:30 and dismissed anyone who wanted to go and everyone stayed at first. Whether they came forward for prayer or not, most people prayed in their seats. When we were done praying probably at least half to a third of them were still in the room and had not gone to the beach yet. I know God did a real work in hearts and lives - glory to God! I decided to come back and have lunch with Larry. He couldn't eat what the ladies were eating because of his fast. We walked down the boardwalk and he got a fru…

Shelter from the rain

Larry and I spent a few hours on the beach late this afternoon. I walked for about 45 minutes by myself and spent some time "in the zone" then came back and sat with him on lounge chairs on the sand while the sun went down. Finally one of the lifeguards came and asked for our chairs...we were some of the last people out there on the beach and they were collecting all the chairs and umbrellas. We came in and cleaned up and then headed to South Beach for dinner tonight. I love that area...the beauty, the energy, everything about it. We went to a place called the Waldorf Prime Time, and ate outside. It was really quite a beautiful spot. Right after we sat down, a massive storm started. I'm talking a torrential downpour. BUT...interestingly enough, it was like we were protected in a little cocoon. Although we were under a tent outside, most people under the tent still got very wet with water dripping down off of the sides, or blowing in. For some reason it was like we were i…

There really is a reason for caution stickers on candles

So here's where we're at...the Holiday Resort in Miami Beach. It's absolutely beautiful.

I'm here to preach for a women's retreat this weekend.  When I got to my room, the women from the church had a special beach bag for me with a beach towel, sunscreen, a good book, a Dove chocolate bar, chap stick, etc. They also gave me a candle. (More about candles in a moment...) This retreat is really amazing - the location, the gourmet meals they are serving and all kinds of stuff.   I don't always get to bring Larry with me when I travel and speak, but this time I really wanted to being that it's in one of my favorite places (Miami) and at this amazing hotel.  


In a few moments I'm getting ready to hit the beach again with Larry and then have dinner. I have to preach three times this weekend and  I will probably get back to Tampa at about 2 am right in time to sleep four hours and then get up for church at 6 am. I know, I know...it's a little crazy. But, …

From where I sit...

things are absolutely beautiful. Larry and I are in Miami for the women's retreat I'm preaching at this weekend. Due to the distance involved, I came in a night early and there is actually quite a lot of free time at this event. That mixed with the fact that the hotel we're at is literally right on Miami Beach (as they say here, "the hotel where the beachis your backyard...) it makes for a perfect time to spend some time with my man as well. I definitely wanted to try and work it out for him to be with me on this one and thankfully, everything gelled together.

Spent 4 and 1/2 hours on the road to get here and it was bliss for me to work all that time and get things done that have been hanging over my head. Although I've spent time with the Lord lately, the amount of projects I'm working on has sort of zapped my creativity and affected my clarity. There have been times I sit at my desk and just have a huge blank because I don't know where to start and just w…

Tune in Tuesday night

Set your Tivo for this Tuesday night (May 22) at 8 pm for CTN (Christian Television Network) if you have it, or Sky Angel 2, as I'll be the guest on Freshope TV! If you don't have CTN or Sky Angel, just go to www.ctnonline.com and you can watch the broadcast live at that time.

Packing up and heading out

I'm getting ready to leave for Miami for the women's retreat this weekend, and just getting loose ends tied up here in Tampa. Always so much to do, and the clock is running! Still not packed but I got things with church squared away...even made a video tonight for our upcoming women's outreach, with Pastor T. I believe he'll be able to edit miracles into it. I'm so appreciative of what he does. He has helped me so much with women's ministries and that just shows you what kind of staff member he is. He wouldn't have to give a rip about women's ministries, being a children's pastor but because his heart is for Larry and I, and for our vision - he is always helping me to make things better.


He helped me at the last minute to get some more CD's for the product table this weekend. We got a good clean copy of my Irresistible Woman message that I have preached at a few conferences. We burned it today on some CD's and Cathy made an insert and now I&#…

In the still of the night

Ending my day, on the patio, sitting on the swing in my Wonder Woman pajamas (thank you, Becky) and robe (thank you, Candy). My ladies are so good to me, always presenting me with special stuff like this. I tell them I appreciate it but I hope they really, really know it. By the way, Susan, I know you are reading my blog like you do every day and night so let me say I am also sitting here wearing the vanilla perfume you gave me last Wednesday night. :-) So, here I sit again in the stillness of the midnight hour, just reading Come Away My Beloved, by Frances Roberts. I have a warm and inviting man inside the house waiting for me, but first I want to spend some time with the One who loves me most...God Himself.

This grabbed me tonight ~ "Write those things I say to you. Write and hold back nothing of all I shall say to you. For I shall speak to you in the darkness and shall make your way a path of light. I will cry to you out of the confusion round about and you shall hear my voice …

Life on the patio

So much to do, but not so much that I'd break my "self promises". As my WW leader says, we make promises and keep them for everyone but ourselves. We are often not a good friend to ourself. I've worked hard on changing that these past few years. I'm really back on track with taking care of myself and making sure I'm at my optimum best to lead. Sometimes I just get a "wake up call" physically that I'm slipping and it's time to invest more time in maintaining me. Sunday was one such day as I had a worse headache than I have had in a long time and my friend Lisa Currie took care of me til' it got better. (She's a headache expert, seriously...since she struggles with them often.) I have so much to do for the Kingdom and I have to be well to do it. So I'm totally on track once again with being good to myself.. (Pastor Lisa Alexander-- my accountability partner -- I know you are reading this! So just know, I am keeping up with working …