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Showing posts from January, 2008

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



Check it out

New blog post, "How much prejudice is too much?" at my other site ~ Equal Time . It's about something that happened to me today, however I thought it fit better with the theme of the Equal Time blog. For those of you junkies who just can't get enough of my writing, go get yourself a hot tea, and read your second helping today... (LOL) Also, there is an excellent post by my friend, Pastor Leanne Weber, on her blog today, that I want to direct everyone to. She's a great writer with insights out the wazoo and this post is no exception.

Eenie meenie miney moe, catch a president...

Today I voted in the primary election. I always vote. I feel strongly that to not vote is a slap in the face to everybody who worked so hard to get everyone the freedom to vote, especially women and minorities. That's a whole other post in itself, for another day. Although I vote because it's the right thing to do regardless, today's vote was rather anti-climactic. I'm not excited about anybody. Not that presidential candidates normally get my engine running or anything, but c'mon - have we ever before in history had this pathetic of an array of choices? As I have blogged about before , nothing would please me more than to have a woman president, or a president of color. But why for the love of God, when we finally get both a woman and a black candidate do they have to be those who are currently running? Just because I believe strongly in a qualified woman's equal right to lead, doesn't mean I will check my brain at the door and vote for anybody with XY chro

What secret thing are you dealing with?

It's my opinion that everyone deals with something in life that would be surprising to those around them if they only knew. Think of this as a "private handicap" if you will. By this I don't necessarily mean a secret life as in having moral issues or such. But simply a private difficulty you have to contend with on a regular basis that people would be surprised at. I have something like this in my life - something I will never be able to discuss with anyone, as a matter of ethics. Yet it's a very difficult challenge. I can't change it - because it's not within my control. We can only control ourselves (you know, that whole serenity prayer thing) and even with that, we can only control our response, not what happens to us. (you know, the whole rain falling on the just and the unjust thing...) In my case, I simply roll with it and do what it takes from day to day to simply handle what I have to handle through God's grace. Everyone has their own stuff

Stand on the Word

"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ." Colossians 3:23-24 Some days, a word like this just has to be enough.

What makes me love you?

What makes me love you, Teeby dear... daily decision to unconditionally love aside? Is it the fact that you sometimes bring me breakfast in bed, taking care to make my tea just like I like it? Is it the times you do a chore around the house without me having to mention it? Is it the times you say, "I have a surprise for you..." when you come home from the store? Is it because of your warm body pressed against mine in the middle of the night? Is it because of the times you are first to say I'm sorry, or when you've written me a letter that is more than just a few lines? Is it because you make the best spaghetti? Is it because you gave me a car I loved? Is it because you dance with me? Is it because you put all of the Amy Grant CD's on my computer for me to listen to? Is it because you tell me I'm beautiful...all the time? Is it because you like to take me on dates? Is it because you've given me three beautiful kids and given me the privilege of being a Mom

Great day with God's people...

Today was a FULL day, being with God's people and totally enjoying it! Fantastic morning at Northside...God was in the house, and we had our game on today too. The choir did a phenomenal job - I was so proud of them. Wowza! Larry preached on momentum. Good stuff. We've got it going on right now... After church we went out with a few families and enjoyed lunch at Hungry Harry's BBQ which is one of our favorite BBQ places. For those who don't live in Florida one thing you need to know about Florida is that it's known for it's BBQ. Did you know that the cattle/beef industry is bigger in Florida than in Texas? I never knew that before I moved here and was shocked to discover that! We've got some phenomenal BBQ here and Hungry Harry's is one of the local best. I love their pulled pork with sweet BBQ sauce, potato salad and baked beans and corn bread. Mmmm..... We went to lunch with the Stewarts, Garlands and Mackleys and took over a whole section of the p

Super-ific day and night

I love Saturdays when they are like today - a perfect mix of work and pleasure. It's very rare that I would have a whole Saturday off...I think it is that way with most pastors, at least the ones who work hard. :-) Larry and I generally work 6 days a week with Friday off. Saturday is only an "off" day if all the work is done, or we don't have any meetings - which rarely happens. But we at least try to manage to make it a "sleep in" day. It wasn't such for Lar today, but for me it was. Larry got up at the crack of dawn to go to Men's Breakfast. I slept in as late as I could possibly sleep. When I woke up, it was because Larry was back from Men's Breakfast and walked in our bedroom with a breakfast tray for me. When he does that for me it just screams, "I love you" at me all day long when I think about it. Our boys got up and headed to work at the church and then decided to spend the night at Stephen's. Savanna came in as I was eatin

One of my favorite nights of the year

It's almost 1 am and I'm just getting home from one of my all time favorite highlights of every year... I know, I know...I'm not that old (really, I'm not!) but I love the Gaither Homecoming. This is what I grew up on -- my heritage --the foundation of my learning to play and sing. I started out by listening to Happy Goodman records (33's - remember those?) and playing by ear. This music holds an incredibly special place in my heart. Pretty much anybody who has known me for any length of time knows this. I never miss a Homecoming and they come to Tampa every year the 3rd week in January. Unless I were hospitalized or deceased, I will always be there provided Bill and Gloria are still showing up. Pastor Lindsay blessed me with tickets to this year's show, as a Christmas gift. Originally it was just supposed to be me, Larry and Jordan going. This is normally a "mother/son" thing we do , Jordan and I, together. I always prayed, "Lord, just let one o

The research is in...

Found this today on the web and I'm still laughing...

"All Dressed Up and Somewhere to Go!"

I didn't post this two weeks ago when I had it in mind to, but I thought today I would share with you the outline of the message I preached at our first women's meeting for the 2008 year at Northside. If any of you speakers want to take it and preach it as your own, God bless you. All I have is yours...just give God the glory. I know it's a long post, but what can I say, I'm a long-winded preacher. (SMILE) Here we go... "All Dressed up and Somewhere to Go!" I believe God wants to take us to unbelievable places in Him this next year. Something great – something of incredible increase is in store as we seek Him. A key to success is being dressed for the occasion. How we are dressed for an occasion speaks of what we expect to happen. I love to dress up! Always have. As most of you know, I get excited about clothes. What we are wearing actually tells us something about what’s getting ready to happen. When I’m going to speak somewhere, I don’t show up in my workou

Counseling Session at Bealls

Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice. Mourn with those who mourn.” Yesterday I was shopping for some things at my favorite store and a lady was in front of me in line at the register ~ an absolutely adorable older woman who was dressed “just so.” We started talking and she told me she was 84. It was clear she had taken really good care of herself and she didn’t look nearly her age – I had pegged her to be much, much younger. We were engaging in some conversation as the cashier was scanning her items and then when she went to pay, she flipped open her wallet, and a photo of a beautiful young woman was right there on top when she did so. The cashier looked down and said, “Oh…is that a picture of when you were younger? How incredibly beautiful!” And right away the woman got a wistful look in her eyes and said, “No…no…that’s not me…that’s my daughter. She passed away…” Instantly the cashier looked horrified that she had said anything. The older woman got tears in her eyes. She sai

I got a set of balls

Aren't they stunning? Everybody should have a set of these! So these are my latest acquisition for my family room and sit on my favorite antique refinished coffee t able in th is gold bowl alongside my coffee table books and a candle. Lovely, huh? I got them at Bealls Outlet, my fav store of ALL TIME. I got them just today when I went over to get some frames for some photos that I'm putting up at the church this week. I've been planning this whole new coffee table thing, but today was just... the day. I worked from home today and got twelve initiatives done which is really good. Always love Tuesdays because I can zip through my work so easily without getting interrupted. My message is done for tomorrow night and a bunch of other projects which will make my Wed/Thurs at the office go much better and not quite as under pressure. (Plus give me a little breathing room for unexpected things that come up at the church.) After getting my work initiatives done, I went to work o

I had a dream...

(cause I slept in today!)

No, really. Not making light or fun of MLK day at all - as I honor Dr. King for all his accomplishments and his life, but since we were off today from work (because at Northside we honor MLK day) I did actually get to sleep in. And it was glorious! (I finally did get out of bed today by the way, and here's a photo that Jordan took of me in our back yard today.) Last night it was a cold night in Tampa and on those nights I sleep best. I do love Jan/Feb/Mar in Tampa. I call it "boot weather". I wear my boots almost every day and my leather jacket or one of my jean jackets. It's fun to do this for three months (or a little less) and then go back to flip flop weather. During these next months, there's nothing like waking up on a cold morning, being under my down comforter and pulling it tight around me. This morning I slept in and then Teeby brought me homemade pancakes in bed. Yes, it was a B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L morning! I spent the morning and early afternoon reading an

Too awesome

What a day we had in God's house - from a great worship service this morning (despite a few media glitches - God was so there...) I felt God's presence so much this morning I really didn't care that the DVD opener didn't work and we had a mic malfunction. But the rest of the service was so PRIMO that this was really small potatoes in comparison. And yes, we had a good time with "You are My Brother"... (see previous post below) Capped off the night with a great choir rehearsal. Anointed! Smokin' hot! We're ready to roll with 2008... Next week is going to be A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! You'd really have to be there to experience it for yourself, so if you are in Tampa, BE THERE...Sunday morning...10:30 am... PREPARE FOR THE ROOF TO COME OFF.

I AM YOUR BROTHER American Idol/Northside Assembly Edition

Many if not most of you probably saw the American Idol episode the other night with this guy singing his own original composition, "I am Your Brother" to Simon. It was just priceless. Well... here's my own funny story about it. In our household we were laughing hysterically as this guy sang the song. But I told Larry, "you know, the guy has a terrible voice but it wouldn't be THAT bad of a song if he right person were singing it, in fact it would kind of be a nice song." And he says, "WHAT?! You're crazy." So I (who have a decent singing voice)proceeded to sing it for him myself. Only I was laughing so hard I couldn't get through it properly and do it well. So instead, because my family was telling me it was still a stupid worthless song no matter who sang it, ran to the piano (I play pretty well by ear) and I said, "hold on, at least I can play it right while laughing and let you hear how it should really sound..." So I played it

Life is Beautiful

“Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards. When people ask me what really changed my life eight years ago, I tell them that absolutely the most important thing was changing what I demanded of myself. I wrote down all the things I would no longer accept in my life, all the things I would no longer tolerate, and all the things that I aspired to becoming.” ~ Anthony Robbins Right now I am acquainted with someone who, without a miracle of God, is going to die much sooner than what would be considered a normal life span. She's of middle age, and way too young and anointed to die. Seeing someone go through something like this, you gather a much greater appreciation for the life you live, no matter what your current circumstances. Coming back from Africa and experiencing what I did, and then finding out about this person's illness, has all added up to make me a lot more grateful these past few months. I came back from Afric

Obstacle or Opportunity?

"Life is hard. After all -- it kills you." ~ Katharine Hepburn What do we expect? Life is a glorious privilege but it is also a continuous challenging rollercoaster of events and emotions. Sometimes we are tempted to think we got an unfair shake in life but the truth is, no one's life is easy. We are so easily deceived into thinking some others have somehow escaped hard things in life. I have friends that appear outwardly to be relatively problem-free. They look so put together, it's pathetic. They dress to the nines every time you see them, every hair is in place, their homes are beautifully decorated and neat as a pin, their husbands are powerful men, and their children are delightful. But being their close friend, I happen to know the inside scoop... Their hair looks crappy when they roll out of bed in the morning (women's retreats - please don't get any weird ideas...) and underneath the Jones New York suit they wear on Sunday mornings, there is a lot of

The art of being happy...

a.k.a. dealing with the dumb and the divine

"Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.” I read this quote today and it grabbed me after dealing with the rollercoaster of the dumb and the divine. I got lots of great stuff done and moved forward on projects and was quite happy with the results. However, I also dealt with a few dumb things. Again, Christians continue to amaze me. It's never the unbelievers that shock me. They are really good at being...unbelievers. If only Christians were as good at being Christians as unbelievers are at being unbelievers! These are things every pastor deals with in the up and down life of pastoring. I guess it should really be no surprise ...we just had the "week of prayer". And with any surge forward you have to expect the counter attack of something out of left field that really makes no sense. (Thus the reason I have termed it dumb.) I have come to the point in my life where I realize, this is