Saturday, April 12, 2008

Great day of ministry



Cathy (my assistant) and I left this morning for Ruskin where I spoke today at a fantastic church... Destiny Church, pastored by Jerry and Linda Lubrano. I just love them to pieces, and their women's director, Wendy Ranney is a delight.

Their women's ministries (called the Women of Destiny) had a ladies tea today with the largest turnout ever, and it was wonderful. The tables were absolutely exquisive, and they asked Cathy and I to judge the tables and select a winner. Oh my! I did not want to do that, because the choice was so difficult. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt anyone's feelings who had worked so hard to do a table. But they really wanted two impartial judges and since Cathy and I do not know the women, they asked us. We did judge the tables but the did not announce who the judges were, which was nice. :-) (Anyone who may be reading this from Destiny church...shhhhhhhhhhhh....the secret's ours!)

Linda (Lubrano - pastor's wife) wore a tiara during the event. Apparently a few months ago at an event, her ladies "crowned her a queen". I thought that was so cute!!! She's originally from England. I never knew that before today. I love learning new things about the wonderful creatures known as pastor's wives. :-) They are all so uniquely gifted. Linda is a super pastor's wife. You can tell that by spending, oh...about 5 minutes with her. :-)

Obviously Cathy and I are on the 50 day Daniel Fast so we couldn't have any of these absolute culinary delights they had but they graciously provided us each with a fresh fruit plate. The chicken salad was calling my name (or maybe it was Satan?) but I was a good girl and rebuked it/him.

Their theme for the day was "Jesus is More Than Enough" and this is what I preached on. Linda came up to dismiss at the end and was so emotional over what had just been shared. She could hardly get herself together. She said, "I'm sorry ladies, I'm just getting so emotional right now..." but she managed to get through it and close in prayer. She said she just didn't want it to end. It was all good - just reacting to the message and what had been shared. It was my honor to pray with some precious women. I love days like this. What could be better?

I have to tell you about Destiny's church sign. We noticed when we pulled into the church parking lot that the sign said, "Great Sex - Sunday, April 13". That's what Pastor Jerry's preaching on this Sunday! You can read about it by going to his blog. When Linda introduced me to preach this morning, I started out by saying, "Well ladies, I see out on the sign that tomorrow morning at Destiny Church you're having great sex! Wow, I'm kinda sad that I can't come to church here in Ruskin in the morning. Maybe my husband and I will have to stop by after our service in Tampa!" The ladies roared with laughter and started clapping. What a fun church. Some of them have heard me speak on marriage at the Pen-FL conference in Orlando so they know what I teach on that subject...a few told me today, "hey, I read your book!" and I said, "awesome! but are you putting it into practice?!" (LOL)

As soon as Larry and I are off of our fast, we're going down to Ruskin to have dinner with the Lubrano's at By the Bay Cafe. I can hardly wait! Not only that but Cathy said to me today..."PD, as soon as we're done with this fast let's come back down here and eat..." (great minds think alike.) Not that we're not loving the spiritual results of this fast, but some days it does get challenging. Today was one.

Cathy and I were starving by the time we left Ruskin so we stopped for lunch at Applebees in Apollo Beach on the way home and had some vegetables together and talked a while before we had to hit the road to get home and get all in order for Sunday. We told the young boy who waited on us to bring us mashed potatoes, with no gravy. He brought them out smothered with asiago cheese. What was he trying to do, throw me into an emotional meltdown? Egads! We had to explain to the poor dear why we couldn't eat cheese or gravy right now. He was terribly confused at why two normal looking women like us would not like something smothered in cheese. We sent it back for him to get us some plain potatoes. (Man, that cheese sure did look good...just sayin'...) I know right now Pastor Lindsay has been having a cheese crisis of sorts. She has been fantasizing over cheese cubes. Dear Lord, what are things coming to around here when the staff members are dreaming about CHEESE? These are desperate times Lord, we need you to move! :-) All kidding aside, the fast has been a great blessing. This is day 21! (It ends on Mother's Day - Pentecost Sunday)

Cathy and I just love making these speaking trips together...it's fun for us to spend extra time together outside the office but also we just love seeing what God does in women's lives. I am so thankful for His power, His anointing that brings the breakthrough.

Came home today and it was back to the real world of cleaning the house and preparing for our newcomer's night tomorrow night. I did take time for my fitness walk (I'm doing 50 minutes a day now) and did it at my favorite time - sunset. Nothing better than Florida sunsets, I tell ya. The sights, sounds and smells in my neighborhood are very nice at dusk. Truly I am blessed to live where I do. Walking home and seeing the light between the trees at dusk is just exhiliarating for me sometimes. (Here's a photo I took at right during one of my recent walks before my camera broke.) I just take a big breath of air, and smell the mixure of the smell of freshly cut grass, steaks on the grill, pine trees, flower blossoms...it's all just great all except I don't like to smell the steaks right now...) and I thank God for all His many blessings while I walk. Just being in the quiet or listening to a good podcast while I walk sets me right side up again when I need it.


Yes, it's great to be alive and doing His work.

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