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Showing posts from May, 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

Prayer and Pancakes again...

I'm beyond tired but it's a good tired. There is nothing like the power of prayer!! We had "Prayer and Pancakes" last night at Northside. For those who read my blog who aren't NS attenders, just to clue you in, we have late night prayer Friday night from 11 pm - 1 am, followed by fellowship at IHOP. It's a huge hit! Our people LOVE it. The worship team is there the entire evening and plays the whole 2 hours and we keep worship going as a backdrop the whole time and prayer during prayer. (And sometimes we stop praying and enter into worship for a while in between having different prayer focuses.) Last night we had the lights out in the sanctuary, and a bunch of candles lit the whole time, and all of our posters and such up for Missions Convention, so people were able to go and pray at different "stations" and pray for various countries and ministries. Man, it was powerful. We take over the local IHOP afterwards and it takes forever to get the food

The economy:
Obstacle or opportunity?

Yesterday I read a news story about a married couple who recently committed suicide together because their home was foreclosed on. According to this article suicides are up with the state of our current economy as well as other indicators of mental anxiety and stress. I believe we Christians need to realize this is an opportunity for us to brightly shine the light of Christ in this time of economic darkness our country is experiencing. We can view this as an obstacle or an opportunity. We must share the love of Jesus with others and let them see that while money or lack of it can create some discomfort in our lives, it's not the way to happiness even if one has lots of it. If we think money is the answer and brings joy and peace all we have to think about are all the famous people who have overdosed and killed themselves. Are we sharing with those we come into contact with on a daily basis that Jesus is the only true way to peace? We Christians must be about God's business and

Prophetic preview becomes reality

"Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible." ~ T.E. Lawrence Most of you know about my experience on my Africa trip last year, preaching at the national AG women's conference in Nairobi. I have never been the same to this day. I still get in my shower each day and say, "thank you Jesus." I still wear my Africa dress at least a few times a month and get a little emotional when I put it on. Yup. Still. I drink my Kenya tea and coffee and smile when I sip it. I pray for my friends there daily. I support them financially. I think of them all the time. The wonder of the place and the people never ever leaves me. Yes I do realize I am called to pastor in Tampa and I love my home and church and am committed first and foremost to it. But a part of my heart is in Africa! I knew I'd be going b

God has been so good to me...

INCREDIBLE new doors of ministry have flung open in the last week. Confirmation came today. I am going back to Africa MUCH sooner than expected!!! (Not to live...just to visit.) SHOUT NOW, EVERYBODY! Details coming soon. Right now I'm just having an HG breakdown. God is soooooooooooo good! p.s. I do need help getting there. The bill has not been paid yet, but praise God, I'm on my way with God's help through my wonderful family and friends who believe in me and support me. Thank you so much for your prayers. Details forthcoming!

My interview over at Deborah's Encouragement

Deborah over at "Between Dollas ~ Deborah's Encouragement" is doing a new blog series on Women of the Word. I'm honored to be her first woman interviewed! Go here to read all about it. Deborah is a wonderful woman of God living in South Africa. Part of me is jealous! Yes, I blogged yesterday about living in paradise and she called me "Paradise Dweller" today and I just realized the initials PD could signify Pastor Deanna OR Paradise Dweller! How cool is THAT? LOL Anyway, I'm a little jealous that she's also living in one of my fav places. Many of you know, a piece of my heart is in Africa. Deborah has been one of those people the last few years on the web who HAS truly been an encouragement to me...a real woman who opens her heart and shares openly and loves extravagantly so much you can feel it across the thousands of miles that separate us. I love you, dolla!

Just another day in paradise...

Tampa Sunset I just took a bike ride in my neighborhood as the sun was getting ready to set and once again I'm tellin' you folks that Florida is a breathtaking place to be! I like it. I love it! I want some more of it! Good thing I live here and can have more anytime my little heart desires. I know the economy's bad right now and moving is not exactly popular right now. But once this financial squeeze passes, if there are any of you that feel so inclined to move to paradise and help Larry and I to win souls here in Tampa, Florida, just c'mon down. We'll have a blast on a quest for souls in paradise. Halleluiah! I am SERIOUS for those who may wonder. I didn't move here to Florida for the reasons many do (the beauty, the sunshine, the weather, the beaches, the tourist spots, etc.) I did move here because I was called to the harvest. We had only been to Florida twice (once to the Brownsville Revival and once to General Council in Orlando - both on "ministry t

What men and women need to know before having sex

Straight talk with my kids has always come rather easy for me. Maybe it's because I started having an open and honest dialogue on all of life's topics with them early on. If you've been reading my blog for very long you know I'm a big proponent of this. One post about why I believe this is so important can be found here , in case you missed it. I do believe that God's plan is to wait for sex until marriage and I base that upon what the Bible says. I share Biblical truth with my children first and foremost. But I also talk about the myriad of other consequences, about making not only a sinful but an unwise choice. Many people focus only on the spiritual ramifications. Those are real, but not exclusive. Because of this, I have chosen to also discuss other subjects as well with my kids and show them the whole picture of what can go wrong when they make a sinful choice. I don't believe enough parents share on practical matters like this with their children, until it

Sunday Wrap Up

Good morning to all of you who are getting your coffee and checking in with my blog after the weekend. (According to my blog stats a ton of you are checked out on the weekends and come back on Monday mornings to catch up.) I realize a lot of people may still not come back to the blogosphere this week til' Tuesday since Monday's a holiday. Lots has happened this weekend as usual so have fun looking back on the last few days if you have time. We had a good Sunday...way down in attendance with the holiday weekend, but good spiritually. God is continuing to do something in His church. We had Sarah with us as a guest player on the worship team today. Wow. She's totally amazing. Lar and I brought a tag team message today...had a great lunch with the Powell's...I managed to get a 1 hour and 15 minute nap before getting up and pulling things together for leadership meeting at our house. Afterwards we had another meeting with Sean who now heads up our greeters/first impressions.

The story continues...

with my new Muslim friends

Yes! They are Muslim. Wow. God has set me up. (And them too!) I went on my bike ride tonight and sure enough there they were. This evening was our fourth conversation. (I'm simply calling them husband/wife from now on here on the blog since I've discovered this couple seems to be sorta well connected in their nation and apparently maybe ours too and I don't want to do anything to jeopardize them by blogging with their names.) Husband: "Deanna! Where have you been?" Me: "Oh, my schedule has been different the last few days with having my day off and stuff going on so I walked or biked at a different time than you. I'm sorry we didn't meet up the last few days. Hopefully you didn't think something was wrong." Husband: "Well, we missed you." Me: "I missed you too! In fact, I want to invite you to dinner at our home." Husband: "And you to ours! We accept. Let us do both." [Me inside going, "yiipppeeee!" ]

Preparing the WORD, the House, my heart...for tomorrow.

If you are a Pentecostal pastor you definitely get this cartoon if you're up on some current events right now. (Hey, I'm just providing a laugh to my fellow peeps out there who are endeavoring like Larry and I are to bring the full counsel of God's Word --or to even open the Bible in our service in the first place...ahem ahem...) That's all I'll say about that. Really. Not commenting other than that, publicly. (To any of you pastors/pw's who have no idea what I mean or do know and want to talk to me about it, e-mail me privately...thanks.) Today was a full Saturday but a good one. I got up to take Savanna to the JAM walk-a-thon this morning and go teach my women's life coaching class. Good times. I like life coaching. I think those in the class do too. :-) (An excited teacher tends to make for an excited class.) Opening God's Word and breaking it down in a way that people can apply it to everyday practical life? AMAZING FUN. Savanna and I came home and

After the Rain

I had one of the best days off today, ever. Nothing earthshatteringly different about it, but just doing stuff I love to do. I had an appointment that was cancelled today last minute and nothing could have made me happier. I got Jordan up for school at 6 am, went back to bed. Got Savanna up at 8 am, went back to bed. Slept until 12. Yes!!! Noon! Whoever said when you "grow up" that you don't like to sleep in like you did when you were a teen? I'm tellin ya, I have never ever lost my love for sleep and on my day off it's my fav thing to do more than ANYTHING. I sat up in bed at noon, ate a Bagelfull (have you had them yet? They're great! 4 pts. each) and laid in bed and read while it thunderstormed outside. I love sitting in my room while it's raining and dark, just reading. I waited for the rain to end, got up and dressed and went out on a several mile bike ride. Just as the ride was really refreshing yesterday in the rain so it was awesome today after t

What Dreams May Come

"You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one..." John Lennon Last night I had a dream. It was so vivid and I woke up remembering the entire thing. Several times in my life the Lord has spoken to me through a dream. Perhaps I shouldn't brag on this as the Bible says the old people will have dreams and the young people will see visions. (Acts 2:17) Most of the time when we dream, it's simply like breathing - another function God created us for. According to medical science, everyone dreams about 100 minutes per night; we just have difficulty remembering our dreams. One hundred minutes is over an hour and a half per night of dreams—longer than most movies or TV programs we see. Also according to doctors and scientists, dreams are representations of thoughts, feelings, and awarenesses that have been occupying our mind—usually for the day or two prior to the dream. Sometimes nightmares or negative dreams occur because our focus has been on the negative f

Singing in the Rain (or biking)

"A man's health can be judged by which he takes two at a time - pills or stairs." Joan Welsh Continuing on in my "weight loss journey" blog series... One thing I've discovered I have to talk to myself a lot about on this journey is exercise. I don't love exercise in and of itself, but I do love what it does for me. My worst days for exercise are Mondays and Thursdays. And on those days I must push myself harder and talk to myself all the more to convince myself of what is right. To lose or maintain I personally have to exercise at least 5 days a week, preferably 6. (I always take Sunday off.) Mondays are a horrible day because I'm slammed at work with a million things to do, plus it's our late day to work because of staff meeting and sometimes after coming home, cooking supper and eating it's 8 pm or thereafter once all that is wrapped up. The last thing I want to do is go work out. I just want to lay down. Thursdays is another day where I&

This is a good day for a miracle

Well my friends, you will notice I did not post yesterday. I wasn't up to it. It was a heaven and hell day for me, as I call it. I was overwrought with emotion and in no shape to write for public consumption. Actually I wrote a brief post to tell you that and then deleted it because it sounded goofy to me. Or maybe it just sounded like a Psalm I don't know. Didn't wanna take a chance though so I zapped the delete key. Sometimes I get out of sorts when I'm emotionally overcome, which is not often. I am not one who cries a lot. I am very passionate all the time..."effervescent" as Dr. Sherry Lee calls me. (I will never forget when she called me that one day. I considered it such a high compliment and never forgot it. It means "high spirited", "bubbly" and "animated." When Sherry Lee compliments you, you remember it. ) I may be effervescent, but given to crying jags? Demonstrative for no reason? No. There's always a reason. Yeste


Without a doubt, my favorite Weight Watchers "tool for living" is anchoring. I said in my last post in this weight loss series that I'd talk more about the tools for living, and of all of them this is the one I relied on most, and still do. Of course, as a Christian, my ultimate "anchor" is Jesus Christ. Whether in weight loss or anything I do in my life. In addition, the WW program taught me about using milestones in my life as anchors. The WW program says the following about what they call "anchoring"... When sticking to the plan is tough, that's when you need Anchoring, a process for creating cues and triggers to remind yourself of your weight goal and the inner resources you have to achieve it. You use Anchoring every day. When you hear a song that makes you smile because you associate it with a certain memory, that's an anchor to that memory. Anchoring can help you achieve your "Winning Outcome" by reminding you of a particular

So proud of my girl

Today "Coach" Michele blogged about Savanna over at her blog. I came home from work, walked a few miles and then settled down for some reading. Savanna was laying down next to me as I was reading Michele's blog and I read it to her...and started crying. No, I'm not typically an overly emotional sap or anything but when it comes to my kids I sometimes do get emotional particularly if it's something about their spiritual growth. You got me, Michele. (GRIN) Savanna had an ear to ear grin the whole time we were reading the blog. Just to show how much she's grown since we came to Northside... Here's a photo of her when we came, and then one of her more recently. She was only 5 when we came here...can you believe it? In case you don't know it already, I'm a HUGE supporter of Sunday School/Christian Education. I'm always beating this drum with our Northsiders. I have been teaching SS for 25 years (since I was 16) and I really believe in the importanc

I'm beat!

Very tired right now... Long day of rehearsals, teaching, worship service, lunch meeting, and more. I would love a break right now but it's not coming til' the end of the week. Oh well... such is life of us "special" (translation: called & faithful) people. Here's a pic of Susie Q and I at choir practice. :-)

We "SURVIVED" Joel's birthday party! :-)

I'll pick up on the weight loss blog series on Monday but for tonight and tomorrow I want to write all about my weekend. Larry took the guys of the church on a camping trip this weekend to Camp Oklawaha. They had a phenomenal time canoeing and such. I have watched a few short videos and it looks like a blast. While he and Jordan were away (Dustin was working) Savanna and I worked ourselves to pieces here at the house. Larry was amazed when h e got home at all that we got done. I did a lot of deep cleaning including our walk in closet, the van, our bedroom, Savanna's bedroom, and did about 6 loads of clothes, plus had a crockpot of one of his fav things -- hot sausage, peppers and onions on for him when he got home. Unfortunately he came home stuffed from the campout, so it went in the fridge for him for tomorrow. That's one thing he'll eat as leftovers. (As a general rule my husband hates leftovers except for stuff like spaghetti or hot sausage, etc..) I worked until