Today we had a very different type of day in ministry. It was a “working day” but quite different as we were invited to go to a pastor’s day at “The Holy Land Experience” in Orlando. They invited us to come for free, tour the place, eat lunch with them and hear a special speaker. We went with Gary & Tammy, our good friends who are the pastors at Evangel A/G in Orlando. We had a really good time together, as usual. On the way to Orlando this morning I got 2 hours of work done on the computer which was probably more than I would have gotten done had I been at the office because I had no interruptions. When Larry drives and I get on the laptop, I just whiz through my work and I love it!
We spent the day at the Holy Land Experience and then we had plans this evening afterwards to go to Keith & Joy’s in Lakeland on the way home. (Our friends who pastor Harvest A/G there) On the way there I returned a bunch of ministry phone calls that have been piling up the past two days. That taken care of, we went to the Conley’s and Joy had made us a home cooked meal which was so nice. We usually go out together in either Tampa or Lakeland and we eat dinner out but then come back to one of our homes for dessert. Being at the Holy Land Experience all day, I was feeling strange because it rained a lot of the day and I had gotten all wet and cold (even though it’s been hot here) but today was different. I felt yukky, wet, cold, just wanted to go home and put on socks and get under a blanket. With Joy cooking tonight at her house, I was just able to go there, get a pair of nice warm socks from her as soon as I got there, and get under a blanket in her rocking chair, sip on some hot tea and talk.
After dinner we talked for hours, laughed, solved all the world problems…as usual. :-) Oh how I need and love my friends.
I had left Dustin a special pizza in the freezer that I thought he would enjoy cooking up but he and Stephen decided of all things that they wanted “a feast”. They wanted to cook fried chicken and mashed potatoes. He called me for the instructions on how to do so several times and I was trying to coach him from Lakeland. Of all nights for him to try all this on his own… but he did good! It turned out well. He was excited when I got home tonight to show me his three shirts that he bought last night when he and Stephen went to the Format concert. Stephen's here spending the night as usual. This really is his home and we're so happy to have him. I treat him just like "one of my own".
Jordan and Savanna are at camp tonight…I’m praying that the Lord is touching their hearts and ministering to them. (Savanna is a camper, obviously – but Jordan is working the rec staff this week like he did last year. I still believe God will minister to him, though. Anything to get him in that environment where the Holy Spirit is moving.)
It will be quiet at my house this week. I am looking forward to hopefully sitting on my patio once again to have my devotions if the weather cools a bit. If not at least my house will be more conducive to time alone with God this week, inside. I love my children but I also love my quiet time with the Lord. Without it, I’m toast!
Speaking of that – I was reading today in the Secrets of the Secret Place about rest. I was tempted to skip where I was reading and go on to the next chapter. I really didn’t want to hear about rest right now since I’m in a season that is very difficult to rest with several heavy ministry projects going on in my life at once. When I saw the topic of the chapter I thought, Lord, it's impossible right now so don't go convicting me about this right now pleeeeease..." Last night I laid on my bed, stared at the ceiling, thought about my schedule right now and said, “NEVER AGAIN.” I have several huge preaching assignments that I am preparing for, including Africa. (plus all my regular church stuff) I’m not even thinking about writing proposals because that is out of the question for the next 3 or 4 months. With the way that I approach all of my speaking engagements, I do so with the guiding principal that absolutely every single one is given paramount attention. I don’t have one that is considered lesser - EVER. I treat a single booking at a ladies event with a handful of people in a little country church the same as I do several thousand people in Africa. My core value is that those people are no less important, and when I get up, every time it’s like I’m speaking to thousands no matter how many show up. So I approach everything with the same intensity, study, prayer, seeking God, etc. Sometimes I have more messages to prepare than others – but my point is, I do not relegate anything to lesser importance. Therefore right now, I am feeling a little weighty spiritually. I have the All Church Ministries Conference, Unstoppable Conference, Houston Conference and Africa Conference coming up, like bam, bam, bam and then keeping up with the church at the same time without missing a beat…well, it’s a bit of an order right now for me. But I am convinced that God ordered each one, so therefore I have to keep going and just…”do the next thing” as Dr. Debbi put it on Saturday.
Dr. Debbi said something on Saturday that rocked my world. She said, when you get saved, and somebody says, “Now that you’re saved, don't steal! It’s a sin!” nobody argues with that. Everyone can agree across the board, stealing is a sin. But she said, what about worry? God is saying to you: “Now that you’re saved, don't worry! Worry is a sin!” Why do we relegate worry to a lesser sin or somehow inconsequential? It is a sin to worry. Yet sometimes I still find myself staring at the ceiling…and worrying.