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Showing posts from October, 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

Notes from Transformational Leadership Workshop

We had a several hour workshop this afternoon with Dr. Lori O'Dea on Transformational Leadership. It was excellent. I've heard her speak before and appreciate her insight so much. I'm glad to share it here with you for all of you friends who couldn't come to the conference. This is not every single thing she said (I have about 10 pages of notes) but I am going to try to condense. The whole thing was based on I and II Timothy. Here we go: Real change will not occur without the presence of women. Paul never "hedges" in his encouragement to Timothy...always communicates, "you can do it!" There are options in ministry. And, God has NO LIMITS! There are obstacles already in ministry -- don't add more! Stop negative self talk. Transformational leadership occurs when people and organizations are changed in form and character to reflect the nature of Christ and the church. "Our transformation is never for ourselves alone. It is always for the sake o

Notes from this morning's sesson

Can't wait to share with you these notes from the two sessions this morning! Get ready to receive these nuggets of wisdom from the Conversations Conference in Phoenix! "Overcoming Disappointment or Giving up the Dream? Darlene McCarty - Co-Pastor and International Evangelist Darlene began by sharing her story of their church split at their current church in TN. Amazing story of what they went through and how God helped them not only survive that time but ultimately thrive. Here are her pearls of wisdom on surviving disappointment/heartbreak/betrayal, etc. in ministry: The enemy doesn't fight you if you're not valuable. Praise God if he fights you because you know you're headed somewhere! When people load their weapons against you, they always multiply. They will always be there. However, if people hold on to their weapons and keep them long enough, they will turn on them and destroy them. People will blame pastors for things you didn't create and can't con

Bullet notes from yesterday's sessions...

I'm up early this morning - way before the first session and have some time, so I do want to share some bullet points from everything except Beth's message (because it's so deep and would take forever to explain right now...) but here are some things we talked about yesterday... Taking the Plunge or Sidelined by Fear? Presenter: Robyn Wilkerson, Trinity Church, Miami, FL Poverty begins in the heart. We don't take the plunge because of fear of people and fear of failure. We don't take the plunge because of fear of loss of prestige. To take the plunge, you must DO SOMETHING. Deuteronomy 27:2-5 ("ON THE DAY WHEN YOU CROSS...) You must be willing to compete! You can't wait anymore. The place God is calling you may not be what you envision. Elevate your thinking and you elevate your life. See in the Spirit that which doesn't exist. Cut all griping and emotional breakdowns out. Faith is a substance. God is not ever moved by need, only by faith. Definition of

So deep

I usually do "bullet points" from conferences to detail what is being shared but wow, I don't even know where to start. The teaching by Beth Grant tonight was so deep, I have six pages of notes and can't begin to dissect it here. I'll just say, it was on community and was EXCELLENT. This morning we had a teaching entitled, "Taking the Plunge, or Sidelined by Fear?" and the second was "Managing Relationships or Sidelined by Fear?" I was the group facilitator for discussion for our group and thoroughly enjoyed it! I had some heavy hitters as my table...some awesome women of God like our district WM director, Marsha Woolley and also Sis. Martha Tennyson! We had a fantastic group discussion and all of us related so much to the teachings. Have had such a fantastic time spending sharing time and meals with Dawn and Sheri, and we have been so blessed. So much to talk about especially after these fantastic sessions! Got to go...morning comes early with

Live from Arizona...

Hello my friends in blogland... I didn't blog yesterday -- too much going on. We left the house at 7 am Tampa time and flew to Atlanta and then on to Phoenix. We arrived at 1:30 AZ time (that's 4:30 FL time) and Randy picked us up and took me to what he knows is my favorite place to eat here -- Jack in the Box! Seriously. I'm crazy about it. I have always been and we don't have them in FL. Then he took us to his favorite ice cream place -- the Golden Spoon. It was really good and had a ton of low fat and sugar free options. I loved it! We came home and talked for a few hours and set Randy up on a facebook (so much fun! No one can believe he's actually on there!) and then Dawn had to go teach her Financial Peace class at the church. She was going to be gone til' late so later on we all went to On the Border, another place I don't get to go to in FL either. Fun!! We stayed up late talking until I couldn't keep me eyes open anymore and then I got an incredi

News from Shrodesville

Dustin is 19 today! He took the day off of work. I'm so glad...he needs a break. He is consumed with working and going to school and it was nice that he had the day off. He went out last night after work with his friends to Starbucks. This morning he slept in real late. (Chip off the ol' block!) And then he...went to the movies! The management at the Cobb remark that he 'lives' there as well as works there. He absolutely LOVES working there!!! He asked me for his favorite meal tonight so I made Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, broccoli with cheese, and biscuits. I also made a very special birthday cake. His favorite is chocolate cake with chocolate icing. (Yep, a chip off the ol' block with that too!) I decided to do a variation of the white chocolate cake (Lucretia Noble's recipe) that I made last week. I made that same cake but just switched all of the chocolate ingredients dark chocolate instead. Yum! In other news, Savanna made the ho

Fantastic day!

Way too tired right now to blog anything major...I'm headed in a million different directions getting ready for both of my trips this month. So much to do yet, and so little time. But I just wanted to stop in at blogland and tell everyone - we had an awesome Sunday! The good weeks just keep right on coming! I'm so grateful. Please keep me in prayer that I get everything done in due time to leave for Phoenix. I've got two more messages to finish for Africa. I'm almost there...

Let your pastor's wife be who she is and don't try to silence her voice!

Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.” ~ William Orville Douglas On Thursday the mail came at the church office, and there was a very heartfelt two page letter for me from a blog friend, Aaron, from Iron Sharpens Iron . (Some of you read his blog too. What a blessing he is.) Upon opening the envelope two gift cards fell out onto my desk. I was so touched when I saw what they were . They were Carrabbas gift cards so that Larry and I could go on a date. Anyone who has read my blog for long knows that is my favorite place to eat. I was so blown away by this special gift and more than the gift - the precious letter that accompanied it. He was giving appreciation for some things I had written on this blog and how they had blessed him. (I'm writing this with his permission by the way.) I have something I want to share with you about Aaron's letter. He said, "Thank you

A woman's work is never done

Can't really call this a typical fun Friday because aside from taking some extra time to sleep after the kids were off to school, I worked 90% of the day, trying to get things ready to leave for Phoenix, and beyond that to Africa. I'll only be home for a few days from Arizona and then leave for Africa. To be gone this much I have to work waaaay ahead. This week I had to get six messages done (not all for Africa, some for church and other events.) Plus all kinds of other paperwork that I normally take care of... I'm making real headway with it, it's just a long process if I'm going to do it right particularly with messages. I put my whole heart and soul into them, and don't make exceptions to that even if I'm having to do them in advance. Tonight as I was finishing my second message Larry made his spaghetti for dinner. He makes THE BEST in the world. I've bragged on it here many times. We all just love it. It was a bright spot in my day of plowing throu

I got an award today from my gynecologist! (Disclaimer: post for women! Men, read at your own risk...)

Today was my yearly exam with the OBGYN. I go every October around the 15th, like clockwork. When the doctor enters the room he says his usual..."My, my my, time flies when we're talkin' about pap smears, doesn't it?" We laugh and get on with the inevitable. After my exam today he said, "Deanna, I want to give you an award!" (I'm wondering what in the heck for...) and he puts the clipboard with my chart on the counter, flips open the pages and slaps each one as he files through, exclaiming, "2002! 2003! 2004! 2005! 2006! 2007! 2008! This is an UNBELIEVABLE record!" I said, "how so?" and he said, "in all my years I don't think I've had another patient this diligent. You are in here every single year like clock work! If I could get every woman to do that we'd have a whole lot of healthy patients..." Then he asked why I've always been so faithful, and I said, "Doc, I have a lot of people counting on m

Update on Jedidiah

Readers ~ I asked you in this post on Saturday to pray for one of our precious Northside babies, Jedidiah Lilly, who was born with two holes in his heart. He has spent most of his 4 months of life in the hospital. After his last operation he was not supposed to have any more for a few years, however he took a turn for the worst a few weeks ago and had another procedure and things weren't looking good. I asked you to pray Saturday and just four days later I just got this letter: Pastor Deanna, I hope you are having a good day. I just wanted to let you know that Scott took Jedidiah to the doctor yesterday and they ran an EKG on him and they said his heart looks really good and they even took him off the oxygen that he had to have once a week. They also said that he won't need another surgery till he is 3 years old. I was so excited to hear that. He's still in alot of pain but he's doing good. Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement. I LOVE YOU, Susan. PRAISE


My dear friend/mentor, Sis. June Coker, just sent me this and I think it's really important for us to pray these over this election. Whether we pray this exact outline or not seems not to be the important thing here; what is important is that we PRAY. The scripture references, however, are wonderful. It is critical that Christians pray for the coming elections. There is amazing power in united prayer. Please print out this prayer guide and pray daily until the election. Pray with others whenever possible. The power of prayer can overcome any obstacle or ungodly influence and, indeed, do great things! Psalm 86:14-17 - Pray that the Lord would defeat those who have no regard for Him in this election. 2 Cor. 12:9 - Pray that the Lord would empower and enable his man in any area of weakness. II Kings 13:16 - Pray that the Lord would put His hands on the man of His choice for president (and his team) and guide them in this election. Proverbs 1:5-6 - Pray that God's man will listen

This should be on Africa's funniest videos...

I will soon be in my beloved Africa in just a few more weeks. Can't believe it's actually this close! I just got my malaria meds the other day and it really made it reality! I saw this video today and it served to do three things: 1) Remind me how beautiful parts of Africa are! 2) Reminded me how beautiful the animals there are. Yes, I saw lots of them up close and took pictures! Last year I saw them in Nairobi, but this year I'm going to see them in Nakuru. 3) This really gave me a laugh. You aren't going to believe this video. Watch and remember to watch where you're going!

Pastor Appreciation

Okay, so I'm a little bit stoked! Sunday the board of directors came to the platform and announced the plan to the church for Pastor Appreciation. They are sending us on a vacation --just Larry and I! A romantic's going to be awesome. And that's not all...they are also going to be taking an offering to do some special projects in our home. Yippee! We're also going to dinner with the board. Very excited...I love spending time with all of them, always. Can't get enough of it. You know a lot of pastors have the worst problem in the world with their board and I thank God that's not the case with us, in fact it's the opposite. We just love hanging out with them as much as possible. The vacation and special project thing are going to be presented to us on Sunday night, November 23 at our annual Thanksgiving dinner and they are also celebrating the 7 year mark of us being the lead pastors here. Seven is a year of completion and I believe we have completed

Conversation with my daughter this morning

Pasco County schools are off today so I'm home with my kids. This morning after she woke up my daughter Savanna came in and climbed in bed with me and snuggled up. She said, "Momma, why do you have so many nicknames for us?" I said, "Well, I've heard it said the more nicknames a person has the more you know they're loved. So that's why I give you kids lots of them." "Well I don't understand some of them. Like, "what's a beeber?" "I made that up," I said." She answers, "well what's a teeber?" "I made that up too," I said. "Momma, don't you have to get permission from the government to make things up?" "Well honey, we might if some people have their way..." Let's hope that no matter who wins this election that FREE ENTERPRISE will continue! May all Americans see the light of the dangers of socialism. Let freedom ring!

Slam dunk!

That's what this morning was! The Holy Spirit absolutely took us into overtime. Seriously. What a service!!! Worship was amazing. We did Freedom Reigns with a bridge that I found online that another church did (haven't heard it anywhere else) but it says, "We shout to every wall come down! We shout to every wall come down! We shout to every wall! We shout to every wall there is freedom!" It was time to declare it today...any remaining wall was coming down! Great worship and special music time. I did a song right before Larry preached and the majority of the church jumped to their feet and were singing and dancing to it and the place just erupted. I couldn't help it -- started preaching a few minutes as the people were shouting and the song ended...just went into a powerful exhortation but it was time for Larry to take the pulpit so then when I came off the platform, Debbie handed me a paper she had written on and it said, 'WE ARE IN A BREAKTHROUGH!!!!!!!!!!&q

I love babies!

If I can't have another one, I'm at least going to hold everyone else's and enjoy them as much as I can! I especially love this baby...He's an extra special miracle. I'd like to introduce to you Jedidiah Scott Lilly! He is Susan's nephew, and he's 4 months old. We have been praying for Jedidiah even before he was born. He was born with two holes in his heart. He has spent most of his life in the hospital, hooked up to machines, unable to be held. Last week he had just been out of the hospital for a few days and his dad, Scott, brought him to church. Right away I said, "ooooohhhh let me have him!" Susan said, "Scott, I told you this was going to happen...Pastor Deanna will take that baby from you in a second!" And with that, somebody promptly pulled out one of the rocking chairs out of the nursery, and brought it outside where we were having our friends day lunch and I rocked the baby while Scott got a chance to eat, uninterrupted. Oh jo

Friend's Day Decor

Now you know why Cathy and I were so excited about what we found and put together! We're leaving it up for a while til' the next season... This was what we put in our breezeway ... We also had a huge mum in a basket out at our entrance with a little sign that said happy harvest but we didn't get a photo of that...maybe next time! I will share more pics of our friends day over the next week! *Special thanks to Lourdes Manners for taking these pictures!


It was exactly three months ago today that I wrote this post to my blog readers, asking you to pray for me. I chronicled each day of my darkness for three months here on the blog. I shared the veil of hopelessness that seemed to be draped over me. Not all the details, just the overwhelming sadness in my heart. It has been a rough season in ministry and I have been pretty transparent here about it on the blog. I thank God for the strength of my family - my husband, children, my sister and mother in law in particular. Without them, I never would have stayed sane. My husband was going through his own pain but he was always there for me. I went to the office and worked, and of course I was at church services. However, any moment I wasn't doing that I stayed in my bed. If I wasn't such a responsible and committed person by nature, I would have just quit. I did delve into God's word, prayer and worship like never before. Aside from those three things, I just wanted to sleep

Shout now, somebody!

I can't remember the last time I saw gas for under $3.00!! I was so excited when we stopped for gas on the way home from work, I had to take this photo to celebrate!

This was the day to get poked with a needle and pee in a cup...YEAH!!!

To all of you who posted a comment or emailed me yesterday, you're life is springing forth. I'm flourishing, and that's what I wanted you to know by my picture post yesterday. Not to drag this out or anything but there are about five people I have needed to personally email or call to give the 411 before I post anything else. My close friends who have stood by me so faithfully day and night, and hashing out the details of my life deserve not to read it in a blog post. Just like I posted on August 1, God had something to teach me about pruning and flourishing. For three months I was waiting for the plant (and my life) to flourish again. I have two more people to e-mail or talk to and then I'll post more...I promise! In today's news, I got a blood test this morning. This is pretty significant. Hang on and you'll understand why. I would rather have a baby than a blood test. Each time I've had my children, I asked the nurses, "do I have to have

What might this mean?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If you are a regular reader of my blog you might have a hint as to what this means... If you are a new reader you'll have no clue, but this post might help you a bit. Like I said, a "report" is on the way! Stay tuned!

Yes it's ladies night, and the feelin's right oh yes it's ladies night oh what a night!

Tonight was ladies night at my home and what a time we had! My goal was to make it a more intimate gathering at my house for dinner and a movie...everyone was invited but with schedules and such I knew many would not be able to be here. We have many women who, with their own work issues and many going back to school and child care, etc. couldn't make it. But 20 ladies gathered at my home last night and we shared dinner and I had a movie planned but played it by ear, (I thought they'd probably want to talk instead) and that was right. T he noise at my house was so loud you could barely hear yourself talk at times! I'm serious. From the second everyone got there they were so immersed in talking I had to quiet them down to pray before we ate. So cool that they were connecting that much. Some of my precious new ladies came such as Yisenia, Elizabeth, Rebecca and Shelley. These are women who have been coming to church regularly for about 2 months now and it feels like they'v