Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 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

Back to the real world

I called down to the desk this morning and asked them for a late check out which they gladly obliged. We slept as long as we wanted – I had my tea in bed one last time and we watched a movie together, shared a few more spectacular moments, then got ready to come home. Reality struck a short time later and I realized it in a big way that we were coming back into the routine. We stopped for a sandwich on the way home and Larry’s cell phone rang at least six or seven times just during lunch, dealing with work related stuff. I got sick of it and didn't even bother to try and hold a conversation anymore since every time I started to talk the phone rang. I stayed quiet most of the way home as the phone rang again... Then as soon as we got home, the phones were ringing here and Larry had to leave and take care of something. I felt like afternoon came today and everyone was just sitting by their phones doing a countdown saying, "this is it...five, four, three,, it's bomb

Coconut Point ~ Day 3

Well here we are on our final day/night in Naples and then tomorrow we will come home after as late a check-out as we can get. I plan to savor every last moment before getting on the road. One little detail I forgot about last Chops (the restaurant), the manager wanted to give us something for our anniversary so she gave us a box of Norman Love Chocolates . I thought that was so sweet. They had them on the menu - you could order them for dessert. I'm saving them for another day. This morning we slept in again and then I had my tea in bed... after a while we got up and went to Iguana Mia for lunch. We don't have that in Tampa, but we've been there before with the Coopers in Cape Coral. It's a yummy Mexican place that's real casual and, inexpensive. Then we went to the outlets here in Naples. Fila was having a huge sale - 90% off of everything in the store. We got sneakers for everyone in our family - these were normally expensive shoes, and we got all of t

Coconut Point - Day 2

Ahhh...what a day. We slept in until 11:30. Priceless. :-) Then Larry got up and got me some hot tea and brought me breakfast in bed. After watching a movie in bed for a few hours we went to lunch. We found a place called Montana Grill. It was really good. A outdoor shopping mall was right there. Spent some time looking around but there was nothing we wanted, we were just checking stuff out for fun. Came back to Hyatt and I headed out to the adult pool - operative word here - adult. It was glorious. No splashing. No squealing. No kids, period. Nobody bumping into me in an inner tube. Nobody spilling drinks or dripping popsicles. It w as completely quiet...everyone sitting on lounge chairs, reading books and others quietly swimming in th e pool. Larry doe sn't go out much due to his former skin cancer, but I go for a while when we go anywhere, while he reads or watches sports. We love being together but are content to be by ourselves for a little while too. So I had fun in the s

Coconut Point ~ Day 1

Here are some photos of this absolutely beautiful place where we are the next three days. I am so blessed to be here. I love everything about Hyatt…the d├ęcor, the beds (most comfortable sleep you will ever have in your life), the pool, the restaurants, etc. All just amazing. I thought I would put a chronicle of my days here...minus some of the details of course. :-) I got up this morning earlier than I wanted to – I was up late getting so many last minute things done, but I needed to get to my nail place first thing. I was shocked when I walked in to see Mai there. (She always does my pedi’s) I thought she was on her 1-month vacation in Vietnam, which was one reason I was kinda “ugh” about this time but there she was! I got her just in the nick of time. She is all packed and ready to leave for Vietnam but is working today. She was really so happy for me about my anniversary. Lisa did my fill as usual. She loved my ring. Couldn’t believe I’ve been married for 20 years – her and Mai w

It's been 20 years!

( To all my "cup of coffee" e-zine readers ~ this might look exactly like what you got in your e-mail box today, however is different from the devo I sent out today! This is the "expanded" edition, so enjoy!) Twenty years ago today at 1:30 pm in the afternoon, Larry and I took that momentous walk down the aisle and became Mr. and Mrs. In that moment, everything changed. We had no idea what the next twenty years would hold. The next few days we are in Naples at the Grand Hyatt in Coconut Point where we will celebrate together this incredible journey. Our eldest son is taking care of things while we are gone. My, how far we have come! To think we are married for 20 years, and have a son who has graduated from high school. Just realize folks, we are not THAT old, we did get married young! LOL Some of the past 20 years have been absolutely awesome, others more difficult but every one of them adventurous. Remember, we take our vows, “for better for worse, in good times

My Anniversary Gift

This is what Larry presented me with for our 20th anniversary, which is tomorrow. (Stay tuned for a special blog tomorrow about it!) His gift to me is a platinum diamond anniversary band. (This is a photo of the same one I got, at right). He wanted to wait until tomorrow to give it to me...but he couldn't. It's the same way with our engagement, or any other special thing Larry gets for me. Back in 1986 he wanted to propose to me on the 27th of June, but he got so beside himself with anticipation to propose and give me the ring...he did it two days before. I am so blessed with a man who loves to give...who loves to make me happy. Who loves to make me so happy I just can't stop smiling. Who loves to light my world. I'm sitting here crying as I write this so I'll stop with that train of thought. I would have posted a pic of it actually on my hand but I'm in serious need of a fill. I got a french manicure last time and it's kind of spotty by now, as I call it. I

This is going to be SO worth it!

Well, I'm really zonked - but cramming a week's worth of work into two days plus my 8 hour marathon book writing yesterday is going to be so worth it. Usually when we go away even on vacation, I always have my work with me. I usually commit not to do it during "family time" (when they are awake, or I try to keep it to just car rides when they are watching a movie or something anyway.) But my point is - my work is really never done. I've always got a briefcase and a laptop with me. It's just life. But for once, just once, I want to go away to celebrate our 20th anniversary on Wednesday and I don't want to take any work with me. I want to finish my very last initiative on the list, and forget about anything else but focusing on the one I love...and relaxing. What this basically means is that I'm not only cramming my church work but my "home" work into a little space of time, plus packing and all that jazz, to be able to be free for the next few

As Ross Perot would say, "Sheeer Genius!"

Don't laugh - I actually do this! It drives my husband crazy. I put my laptop up on the edge of my garden tub as I am taking a bath and check mail as I'm in there or write. I know, it's crazy. But when I say I love writing and reading, I mean it. Anyway, when I saw this pic I instantly thought of me. So anyway, guess what I just did? It's 1:21 am and I just finished a book! Not reading one...writing one - in one night. Don't believe me? It's true and it's not just a bunch of whooey or sloppy's pretty decent if I do say so myself. Can't say exactly what it is yet...too many Northsiders read my blog. :-) But I will say this - it's something extra special...coming up at the best kept secret in Tampa Bay............Northside Assembly of God! I had to finish this before we went on our 20th anniversary getaway this week. I simply don't want to take my work with me. This is way too special of a time for us and I don't want to

What is a blog?

Why blog? I'm a little confused. I recently looked up the Webster's definition of blog, and here's what it said: The term was coined in 1999, and today Webster’s dictionary defines a blog as a “diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page.” More importantly, it says that blogs are “typically updated daily” and that “blogs often reflect the personality of the author.” This was what I've always thought blogs were for, exactly as Webster's defines it. Most blogs I read fit this description. They are a diary - sometimes the daily happenings of a person, a pastor chronicling the "story" of their church, and most if not all reflect the unique personality of the writer. Even when a person is giving a devotional, sharing spiritual insight or knowledge from their secular job, they do so with the flair of their personality and give personal illustrations that hook the reader to keep coming back for more. Blogs give you insight about someon

Confessions of a weight watcher

It's really no shock to anybody who is a real friend to me that my weakness is food. Some people can claim that they are big boned. But when is the last time you saw a fat boned skeleton? Some people can claim they have a thyroid problem. Some people can say they have ballooned up because of anti-depressants or other drugs. Some people say it's in their genes. What do I have to say for myself? I'm an abuser at times, plain and simple. It is a result of stress, however it's MY response to stress, and not the stress's fault, it's mine. Because I have a choice as to how to handle it. Anyone who is in relationship with me knows, I've been doing Weight Watchers for almost three years now. I am a WW member and will always be. Even if I stayed right at goal, I will never stop going because I know my weakness and this is just something I need to stay on track. Since joining WW, I have lost 30 or 40 pounds, depending on what day of the week or month it is. This has b

Friday's Feast

To do Friday's Feast, (a buffet for your brain) each week go to . Appetizer Name a funny habit you have. Oh gosh, there are probably so many it's hard to pick just one. But... probably my habit of straightening all the stuff on a table at a restaurant - the salt and pepper shakers, sugar, menus, EVERYTHING has to be perfectly lined up. I know, it's OCD, and I don't care. Soup If you could instantly know how to play a musical instrument, which one would you pick? Guitar Salad How long is your hair? Right now it's a little shorter in back than usual and longer in front. I like it that way. Main Course When was the last time you forgave someone, and , and who was it? I have to forgive someone every single day. I believe this is just life for everybody at least those who want to live like Jesus. I'm either forgiving someone, just completing forgiving someone, or starting the process. Dessert What is your favorite kitchen applian

It's still quiet...can you say, "halleluiah"??!

Here is a chronicle of my day. Get yourself a snickers bar and a cup of tea if you care to listen to all the details. Larry and I wanted to sleep in on this, our day off, and the final moments before our children arrived home from youth camp. So we did. After completely savoring this whole morning in bed, I woke up to read the article on our women's ministries in the St. Pete Times, which ran today. It's good except in the actual print edition (not the online version) there is a huge picture of my face and I truly wish instead of that, they would have gotten a wide angle shot of the princess luncheon. They did add a photo of the guys serving, and that was good. Not that I'm saying they couldn't have included a pic of me, I'm just saying...I'm so much prouder of what the ladies have accomplished and all it takes to put that outreach on and would have loved to have seen a shot of a bunch of them or the room so everyone could see the work they did. The photographe

Savoring the silence

Our quiet week is about ready to come to a close. The boys come home tomorrow. And then we are going to hear everything from drums, guitar, earsplitting music on CD's to "I told you...just leave her alone! Stop antagonizing her... for the hundreth time..." Add to that,when the kids come home they are like aliens from another planet because they haven't had enough sleep all week and they are incredibly grumpy. I always say, "if God touched you so mightily at camp then why are you snapping at your parents like that?" I know they are always incredibly sleep deprived so I cut them some slack until they have slept for a night and caught up. Still it's always amazing to me how kids can cry their hearts out at an altar for a week straight and then come home acting like that. We'll see...maybe the Holy Ghost got ahold of them in a different kind of way this year - I can only hope! Larry finished all of the house stuff we were doing - in addition to the carpe

I love him...I mean, I REALLY love him

I always know that I love my husband. It's just a fact. But there are sometimes that something happens that just brings me so close to him, I would be content to just run away from the world with him, and live either in the mountains by ourselves somewhere, or on a tropical island. The problem with that is, Larry is such a people person he would never go for it. He can't deal with as much solitude as I can. I can deal with boatloads of it. But anyway, since we are not running away to the mountains nor a tropical island, it's a moot point. However, what I'm saying is that there are times...moments when only Jesus and Larry are in my world as if nothing else exists. Next week for three days it will just be us and all we are going to have to focus on is what fruity drink we want next, and I for one can't wait! Larry brought me such comfort and peace today with how he talked to me at my most upset moment. I was sitting in my chair crying and he literally got down on his

Gloria Gaither was right

It really won't rain always. The sun is peeking through on what was my bleak, dark horizon. Larry was so upset by the phone call from the bank about our mortage going up, that he got in the car and drove over to the bank and demanded to see the manager. The person on the phone had told him it was going up $379 a month. He argued with him for an hour about all the details. When they hung up Larry wasn't just going to take it lying down (that's my husband, and anybody who knows him knows what I"m talking about!). So he went over and talked to the manager and sure enough, Larry was right. It is not going up anymore than it is now. The guy on the phone was new and completely clueless. At the end of his phone conversation after all this arguing the guy gives him a little "exit interview" as to the quality of the phone call and went down this checklist and said, "Would you say I was clear and gave you excellent service?" Larry say, "uh, DUH...NO!


No pressure, no diamonds. The car is totaled...and paid off. But there's nothing left. (So much for the people who said, "Don't worry! God wants to bless you with a surplus after it's paid off...) Just got notice today that our homeowners insurance and taxes went up $369 a month. I realize everybody in FL is dealing with the same thing and with some it's worse but when it happens to you... Today while driving back from signing Joy Gratefulness over to Allstate for good, we saw a bumper sticker that said, "It can't rain always." Gloria Gaither wrote a song that said the same thing. I'm just doubting it right now. The only positive thing is...I'm on track to become a diamond.

In Memory

OBITUARY Joy Gratefulness Shrodes 2003 - 2007 Joy Gratefulness Shrodes was born in 2003 at the Ford Mustang Factory. She is survived by her owner, Deanna Doss Shrodes, and her co-owner, Larry E. Shrodes, both of Tampa, as well as their children, Dustin Michael, Jordan Andrew and Savanna Rose Shrodes. Joy Gratefulness became disabled on June 3, 2007 after a tragic accident on Lake Magdalene Blvd. in Tampa, at the Avila Entrance. She hung in the balance between life and death until June 19 when Master's Collision did all they could to help her, but the Allstate Corporation took her off of vehicular support, totaled her, and allowed her to pass on. She has donated her organs to a local junk yard, where other owners will be able to enjoy parts of Joy Gratefulness that will bring new life to their vehicles. Joy Gratefulness was named such because she gave her owner such joy after having waited for a car for 38 years after much financial sacrifice in the ministry. When her owner received

The sound of silence

Well, the kids have gone to youth camp. Yippee! And what are Larry and I doing? WHATEVER WE WANT! Great fun. Our anniversary is next week, but I guess you could call this week the sneak preview? (Only no sneaking involved, ha ha) Savanna is at the Harts. You know, she's our little Savanna Hart Shrodes. :-) Larry and I came home tonight for a quiet evening and never went out to walk or anything because we had a storm here. It was kind of nice just hearing the rain outside and peace and quiet in the house. I love that sound. Reading in I Timothy 2: 1-7 MSG tonight (I love reading I and II Timothy and Titus a few times a year because there are so many zingers in there for me as a leader and I receive so much out of it every time. So tonight's passage is this: "The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in hu