As I mentioned yesterday, I'm in Orlando Thursday through Saturday for the Inspire Conference. It's being held at the Florida Mall Hotel and Conference Center - one of the greatest places in the world to stay and shop! Many awesome women of God are gathered here for these three days to seek the Lord and rest, renew, and grow in all areas of their life. The conference host, Pastor Sandy Phinazee asked me to speak again this year on marriage. I spoke last year and she said so many lives were changed through it they asked me to come and do the same this year. Women come to this conference from other places besides Florida. Just this morning I met a sweet older woman from Birmingham, AL who came and fell into my arms crying after my message and said, "thank you, thank you...you'll never know what a God-send this has been..." We sold out of my "Above Average Woman" books already. One lady came racing over to the product table and said to another lady w
Pastor Craig Sloan , ( Pastor Tara's husband) has a great blog called " Positioned for Greatness ." I want to share for a minute today about being positioned. I have had people say to me before, "you're so lucky" about certain things in my life. I've been told I'm lucky to have the husband I have. No, I'm not. He's great, but it has nothing to do with luck. I don't believe in luck. I do believe in divine appointment but also in WISDOM. I didn't just pick him out and go, eenie, meenie, miney moe, catch a husband by his toe... (if he hollers let him go, ha ha!) Um, no...this was a serious decision made with prayerful consideration. You know how the pastor gets up in front of the congregation at a wedding and gives the typical "speech" before the vows and says, "marriage is not something to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly..."? Well, guess what -- I didn't enter into it unadvisedly or lightly, so there'
Today I have my monthly appointment with my dear friend and hairdresser, Ada Alfonso (pictured here with me) at Continental Hair. She's going to give me fresh highlights and make me feel beautiful as I prepare to go and speak at the Inspire Conference in Orlando Thurs-Sat. I promised yesterday that I would share the "divine appointment" of how I started going to my hairdresser. I also told you it was a testimony that might set some of you free! Sit back, get a cup of coffee, listen, learn and be blessed. When I came to Tampa, I was having my hair done by someone, we'll call her "Linda" at a place we'll call "Hair Connection" (both made up names for the sake of her anonymity). Linda was a Christian, even attended our church at one time, but was very critical, and therefore - draining. She had a negative word to say about church stuff and people and seemed to always see the glass half empty. Everytime I'd leave Hair Connection I had a hea
at the St. Pete Pier yesterday... Yep, I took Savanna out of school to spend the day with us. Sometimes ya gotta let the kids play hooky on special occasions. :-) And besides that, it WAS educational! (She and Jordan Tunzi toured the aquarium there...) Before anyone wonders why the boys weren't there; 1) Jordan has missed too many days (which I haven't been happy with him about) and though he wanted to go, it was not wise. 2) Dustin had college and couldn't afford to miss. 3) Savanna hasn't really missed any school up til' now. By the way, do you notice how tall my "baby" is getting? She's almost as tall as me!!! And almost up to her Daddy's shoulder! And she's only 10. Would you believe she wears my shoe size and we share some of the same clothes, shoes and jewelry? AMAZING. One day she came to me and said, "Mom, I'll stop eating my vegetables." I said, "honey, why would you want to do that?" S
Today I got Savanna off to school and started working like there was no tomorrow, busting through my work while drinking a steady amount of hot tea. Tuesday is my day to work at home on church work. I always hate it when people say, "oh, Tuesday's your day to have off at home?" No, I'm not off. On the contrary, it's my hardest working day usually. I take it at home because if I am at church everyday I am too distracted by everything around me and it is difficult especially to "create". I get the bulk of my work done this day because I have no walk ins, phone calls, interruptions, or sounds around me. I work in the quiet at home and it is my main day to get anything that involves writing done. As I have to speak at the Inspire Conference this weekend, I really need to get everything done by tomorrow that can possibly be done before I leave. Today was crucial. I've gotten almost everything wrapped up by working at a steady clip. Tonight there is a tor
This is one of the coolest things you've ever seen. These people (207 of them, I think) got together and decided to go places together and "freeze" on cue for five minutes. They did it in Grand Central Station on this video. Watch it, it's so funny. Anybody wanna join me? Let's get a bunch of people together and go do this at Clearwater Beach or Raymond James Stadium or at least the mall...c'mon, who's up for it? That would be SO funny.
1 Corinthians 4:1-2, "Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful." How many of you leaders out there have somebody cancel on you for something... or not show up... or be late constantly... and you think, "...why do people do that?" "and if they do why don't they at least call to warn you?..." "How do they live so last minute?" "How do they hold down a job?" and then you think, "I don't do that...I've never done that..." And you start getting irritated and mulling over in your mind the reasons why people do those things and how you would have to have to be on your death bed or at least have a heart attack before you did that. Well, I found myself sliding into that thought pattern I've had so often, on Sunday. And as quick as I began to digress into that line of thinking, the Lord said to me, "but y
I'm sitting out on my patio blogging tonight for the first time in eons. I just haven't been out here for so long by myself, and I miss it. So here I am on my swing, to give update on today's happenings. We took off work today and went with our friends for their final day here, to St. Petersburg. (Just a hop, skip and jump over from Tampa.) We went to the shops at the Pier and ate at a place there high up overlooking the water. We had a good time of fun, food and conversation but they had to leave around 4 pm because their plane took off at 6:00 tonight. We will miss them... but plans are to come back sooner rather than later. Being that Vito does various real estate and construction things down here he comes on business sometimes and we get a chance to meet up. Here are some more pictures of our time together. First, one of Savanna with my friends, Cherie and Cathy - in front of our house. Second, a photo of Savanna with Vito and Cherie's son Jordan, in our jacu
Today was a good day in the house at Northside - everything went pretty smoothly (I had a few things to tweak here and there but for the most part it went smoothly.) With the few things that didn't go as smooth, I got a revelation from God on it and it was suddenly all good! It's amazing what a Word from God will do for you. I'll share it sometime soon in a blog, more than likely. The revelation is one I'm calling the "I am special" revelation and so be looking for a possible blog post on this from me soon. In addition to our friends from Maryland being here with us, the highlight of my day was having Bobby walk in the doors right before Sunday School. He has now quit his job that had him working Sundays. Yee ha!!!! He wanted to surprise us with this today. I have always known, if we could just get Bobby to have Sundays off and be at church on a regular basis, it will create not only a huge change in HIS life, but the lives of everyone around him. Talk about
Today we started our day by getting the finishing touches of cleaning done on our home and going to pick up our friends at the airport. We have friends/members from our former church in Maryland, Vito and Cherie Tunzi, and their son Jordan, and Drew and Cathy Gertz, here with us for the weekend. It's so wonderful having them here! The best part of all is we have TWO MORE DAYS together! Yeah! This is Drew and Cathy's first time to see us since we've been in Florida but Vito and Ch erie have been here several times. We always have an amazing time. To say I enjoy hosting people in my home is the understatement. I am positively crazy about it! We picked the Tunzi's up from the airport and it was lunchtime and we went right to LaTerasita and had lunch. I consider this the best Cuban place in Tampa and it's also the most economical. The lamb stew was so good today it was amazing. I have heard that when Jennifer Lopez comes to Tampa she eats at LaTerasita. I believe it
Stay tuned to find out just WHY I love going... Well, I do brush my teeth but I still got into this fix. At least it's over. My three hour ordeal of getting my tooth done is complete. Halleluiah. I feel so much better now. I have a temporary crown and in two weeks they put the permanent one on which is painless and only take a few seconds. Although I brush my teeth a lot I did miss my six month cleaning with all else going on and it caught up with me. Other than that I've been really good at 2 checkups a year but I still seem to have a lot of cavities since I moved to FL. So, I made a decision today. I'm getting four cleanings a year. My insurance pays for two, and even though I'll pay for the other 2 out of pocket it will be worth it, especially since they are only going to charge me $22 for them. I asked today and my dentist has a policy that if you have insurance and you get additional procedures they don't cover - they only charge you what they would have charg
Pastor Craig Sloan (Pastor Tara's husband) has a fantastic writing at his blog today. It goes along with some of my theme from the past week and I so enjoyed it. Check it out. I'm getting ready in a few minutes to go get the work done on my tooth. I'm looking forward to this as much as getting a hole in the head. Oh yeah, that's right...I do have a hole in my head...that's the problem... (LOL) Thanks for your prayers, those of you who read this in time. It's very untimely as I have 4,629,603 things to do before our friends get here from Maryland in the morning. But it was the time slot the dentist had open to get all this done today, which will take several hours. Toodles.
This post is dedicated to all my friends in ministry who may be feeling opposed in some way. God has given me a word for you today. Get ready. I'm feeling a passion in my spirit about this and I may just have a halleluiah breakdown before this post is over. I had a stack of phone calls to return today and finally got around to making one to a pastor's wife friend of mine who shall be unnamed for her own privacy. (Since I talk to umpteen pastor's wives in a week's time you'd never figure it out!) When I returned her call she commented about my ezine and blog this week. She said one line stood out to her more than any other and it was in my writing on criticism when I said, "It’s amazing to me how many people criticize others whose own lives are a mess." She said, "Deanna, we've been under a lot of attack here and you are so right, I never stopped to think about it til' you said it but it's amazing that every single person who is attacki
Larry preached a message on Sunday about parenting as a part of our February family series, and he shared a mind-blowing statistic with our church. I want to share it with everyone I can, particularly other pastors because their people need to know this information. This particular statistic that Larry shared came from the resource, "Preaching Today", and a message called "Introducing Your Child to Christ." An elder statesman of the Christian church devoted himself to a fifty-year study of Christian and non-Christian families. He says that in American culture today, most young adults following Jesus Christ either come from non-Christian homes where they were converted to Christ in their teenage years through a dynamic youth ministry, or they come from homes where they grew up in love with Jesus because Mom and Dad were so radically in love with Jesus. These "radically in love with Jesus" families were extremely involved in the Kingdom of God on a consis
Just want to share a few with you... My friend, Joy Conley (pastor's wife, Harvest A/G Lakeland ) What a JOY she is, in my life and so many others...sh e literally lives up t o her name. We met she and Keith for dinner Monday night and like every other time (except that one where we stayed til 1 in the morning or somethin' like that) it felt way too short. I am so grateful for their friendship and support. (These pics are of Joy and I when we were both speaking at the All Church Ministries Conference and then having coffee after...) Susan, Susan, Susan. She always just seems to "know." Not only does the woman show up early to set up whatever I need but on certain days she has something special for me that just makes my day. She's a "noticer." Tonight she met me in the choir room before service and had a box for me...you guessed it...a watch. Amazingly last night I forgot mine (I never do that, not sure why I did) but she had a beautiful new one fo
Well, I won't exactly say it as eloquently as Perry Noble, but here are my thoughts on criticism that I shared with our Northside women today in my weekly "cup of coffee" devotional ezine. I thought I'd share it here with my readers, too: A former president of Yale said: "If this man is elected we shall surely see our wives and daughters reduced to prostitutes, sobriety dishonored, and decency in our land will become an outcast!" Who is this being said of? Barack Obama? John McCain? No, try Thomas Jefferson! Can you believe that? The day after Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, a reporter wrote: "The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat, and dish-watery utterance of a man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as President of the United States." Sometimes criticism can indeed be so unwarranted. I’ve been told that with the customer comment cards at Disney they supposedly keep all the ones that are
My friend Pastor Leanne posted this today on her Myspace blog and I thought it was excellent and so timely. It's a blog post from Pastor Perry Noble , about criticism. I think it's perfect for the pastors at Relevant Church right now, as well as any other person going through this. I would like to note that when he says, "when God begins to move" it wouldn't necessarily just pertain to your church but to your life, your family, your marriage, anything that concerns you. I have found that the greater God does things in my life and the more He blessed me the more I should expect it. This teaching is good, so good I was almost wavin' a hanky in my office. Okay, here we go... You Will Be Criticized When God Begins To Move–Expect It And Get Over It. (Pastor Perry Noble at http://www.perrynoble.com/ ) I've never met a devil worshiper–to my knowledge that is. When I first became a Christian I was convinced that I needed to do all that I could to be ready to c