Monday, June 30, 2008

Ever wondered why




God asked you to do something when it doesn't turn out favorably?

Why would God ask you to invest yourself in something or someone that didn't have a huge ROI??

Take for example, why would God ask you to mentor when the results lack despite your efforts poured into a person's life?

The answer is found in one simple word: obedience.

One thing I am learning is that what I do or do not do is not based whatsoever on outcome but upon obedience to God's call.

We've got to hear His voice in our ear and follow it unquestionably even when the outcome is less than stellar.

Why do we do things? Simply because He's asked us to. And that needs to be enough.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Wrap Up

Very tired after a long day in ministry, but it's A/G ~ all good!

Today's service went well. The Lord spoke to us through a Word of knowledge/prophecy about repentance and holiness. And God is just all over me on this issue right now and I'm seeking Him in this way as never before. Recently I heard a preacher make the statement, "Imagine what God would do in our lives and churches if we were half as concerned about holiness as we are about relevance." (Ouch!)

We ate lunch with a few families which is one of my all time fav things to do - connect, connect, connect with those I love. :-)

We topped it off with newcomer's night at our home tonight and it was in-SANE-ly good with SO many new people. Our house was PACKED and incredibly NOISY! (Good noise) We had 20 newcomers at our house tonight. Plus the staff & families, and a few stray youth who hang at my house all the time. :-)

God is good. He loves me! I love Him! I love the people He has entrusted me with! I am pursuing Him more every single day.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

On being famous



Do you want to be famous?

Or do you want to make a difference?

I know one can do both. Quite a number of people have throughout history. But I'm not sure about how many do it effectively or at least without a TON of ramifications in their personal lives. How many people do you know besides Billy Graham and a very few others?

Some don't walk worthy of the calling and are associated with all kinds of questionable things.

Others do walk worthy of the calling but are constantly beat up in exchange for all the notariety they have.

Some people say, "I'd gladly go through that," but nobody really understands what those people go through unless they are them. I have had many people say to me, "I'd love to be a pastor or pastor's wife and I'd gladly go through whatever to live the life you do..." but honestly unless you have lived the life you really can't say with any degree of certainty whether you could handle it or not.

As for me, sometimes being the pastor of a few hundred member church gives me all the fishbowl existence that I need.

I have thought this through and truly, I want to make a difference. And if in some way I would ever become famous I guess I would have to have a huge amount of help from others close to me to navigate through those waters. But I don't thirst for it. I think if a person becomes famous it's almost better that they do after they are gone (being remembered for something great) rather than going through the negative consequences of fame while they are alive. What do you think?

Today I googled a few famous pastor's names that I really admire. Then I saw all of the websites and blogs dedicated solely to speaking against them and trying to discredit them. And I thought, "hmmm. no thanks."

Being a spiritual mother up close and personal really appeals to me, not to mention it's what I'm called to do. I'll just make a difference.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Anniversary Dinner at Roy's


Here are some photos from our anniversary dinner at Roy's.

When making the reservation Larry told them it was our 21st anniversary. Upon receiving menus from the host, we opened them to find they had printed, "Happy Anniversary" at the top of the menu. That reminded me of Hyatt. (They do that too...so cool!) Nothing like the personal touch...

The waiter remarked he was amazed we had been married for 21 years. He said, "you look so young..." followed by a comment about hair club for men or something like that. (ha ha! Actually Teeb has all his own hair...) Anyway we just explained we started young...actually married when Larry was still a teenager if you can believe that! Seriously. He was 19. We were just young'uns who somehow not only married but basically raised each other to adulthood, actually.

So at Roy's, I ordered their special trio of fish ~ Hawaiian butterfish, salmon and tuna. It came on little plates and each had a special sauce. I also had risotto with asparagus. Larry got a steak. We split it and shared it all. Really good!

Then we topped it off with a chocolate lava cake. Look...they even wrote Happy Anniversary in chocolate sauce on it. The waiter also came out and took our photo with both our camera and the restaurant camera. They gave us a framed photo to take home.

Good times.

We came home and Savanna had been really hard at work cleaning. No kidding, she did about 20 jobs around the house. I was UH-MAYZED!!! She had been working on laundry, mopping, cleaning, even straightened up our bedroom and left a special card she made us on the bed. Her card said this:

Mommy & Daddy

I L-O-V-E You!!!
Happy 21st Anniversary
You guys rock! D + L = 21 years!
I hope you had a great day! I know you did. Thank you for letting me live and providing me with food, shelter and money. You are so awesome. Happy anniversary. I love
you.
Much Love,
Savanna xoxo

I was really touched by her work and her little card although the "thank you for letting me live" part really threw me a little. I mean, we never thought about not letting her live. I guess she is just thanking us for cooperating with the Lord to plan to bring her into this world and nurture and raise her? (GRIN)

It was a good night...and the best is yet to come.

The Story of Dove


I shared this story in my Sunday School class this past week. I wish I could take credit for it but I can't. I'm not sure who originally wrote it, but I did not. I got it from a sermon illustration site. Wow, did this ever hit home with quite a few people! Thought I would share it here. One young lady came to me after class and said, "I am Dove. I need help." Another couple said, "our daughter was Dove." This story hits very close to home for many reasons. (None having to do with my husband and I and our relationship, however we have helped many Dove's.)

The story is told of a wise owl and a beautiful little dove.

Dove had wonderful parents that provided for her. They taught Dove how to fly, and how important it is to keep a good clean nest. They taught Dove a good healthy diet and what was good and what was bad. The Wise Old Owl had often preached and taught Dove many lessons of life. The wise old Owl had seen many other birds associate with the wrong crowd and seen the scars they had incurred. Dove was taught properly and knew what was right.

Dove noticed this Buzzard flying around. She saw Buzzard who was always around rotten, maggot infested meat.

But Dove was attracted to Buzzard. He was different. Different appealed to Dove.

Dove started getting closer and closer to Buzzard. She would come into church after being with Buzzard and everyone could see the deterioration of Dove's life. She was quickly getting fleas and lice. The wise old Owl tried to warn the young beautiful Dove. Owl saw Dove’s potential and wanted to help her develop within God’s plan. Owl also could see the motive of Buzzard. Buzzard was a bird who had been around.

Dove got very mad at Owl. Why couldn’t Owl see that no one had ever given Buzzard a chance? All the Wise Old Owl and her parents saw was Buzzard’s past! Buzzard never had a chance. Everybody at school had picked on Buzzard; if only he was just given a fair chance. Dove knew her love could change Buzzard! Dove knew she could teach him to change, she could clean him up. She could make him rise to his full potential! His old habits weren’t his fault. It was his environment. The young and beautiful Dove thought, “ I will make a "Love Nest" and he will become a new Buzzard.”

Dove set out to show her parents and the Wise Old Owl how wrong they were! Meanwhile, Buzzard just laughed at everything.

So, one day Dove ran away with Buzzard. To show her love and commitment she got a tattoo proclaiming their love. Dove set about building a nest just like momma had taught her. It wasn’t too long until there were some new eggs in the nest. Dove warmed the eggs with love. She knew that Buzzard would change now that there were some babies to make Buzzard responsible. Buzzard started flying farther and farther from the nest. When Buzzard would come home, his breath smelled rotten. Dove asked “Buzzard, where have you been?” He got very defensive and said, “you are just like all the other birds and you don’t trust me!”

So Dove just sat there in lonely silence.The baby birds hatched, and poor Dove was left alone to feed and care for the babies. Buzzard was flying around, as he didn’t want to be tied down. The Wise Old Owl came by the nest to help Dove and told her, “Dove, you are precious – you are special and, you don’t need to allow this to continue.”Again, Buzzard flew off and was gone.

When Buzzard came home after being with his other birds, he smelled of fleas and lice. Poor little Dove soon got a disease from Buzzard. Dove wanted to make things work at all costs. She got a baby sitter and went out with Buzzard, trying to do whatever to change things. She decided…”I’ll try to become like Buzzard. I'll try to understand him and get into his world.” Dove sat high on her perch and looked on a decaying carcass, and got sick to her stomach. She thought, “I am better than this. How did I ever get myself into this mess?”

Dove thought of Owl and her parents, and of returning home. But in her mind she was convinced that they would laugh and mock her. She couldn't bear to hear the words, “I told you so!"

So Dove’s nest became nasty and infested. She hurt desperately. Buzzard told Dove, “It is your fault I fly around! If you were a better bird this wouldn’t happen. If you were just different, I could accept you. If you just cooked better. If you just provided better for me, I wouldn’t have to fly around like I do…”

Now Dove was broken. She accepted his words. She felt like a complete failure. She actually becomes convinced that she is the one who needs to change! She takes all the responsibility on herself. All of this is evidently her fault. Dove’s children now begin flying around to the maggot piles. She sheds many tears, now she sees WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN. If her choices were only different! If she just had listened to the Owl.

She now sees, Owl and her parents weren’t dumb. They weren’t picking on Buzzard. They only loved Dove and wanted her to be all she could be.

One night Dove’s oldest bird never came home, Dove paced the floor. Dove quit hiding Buzzard’s behavior from Owl and her parents. Dove brought the broken pieces of her nest to the altar and asked everyone to help her.

Failure is not final. You can fail and not be a failure. Dove might be used now to be able to warn others.

Experience is a very costly teacher.

Happy Anniversary to us


Today is 21 years for Teeby and me.

We've made it!

Here's a pic of us the first month we were married...

Tonight we are headed out to celebrate with dinner for two at Roy's in Tampa...... a really nice place. One of our wonderful Northsiders gave us a gift certificate to enjoy this night together. The cool thing is, it's Hawaiian fusion cuisine and 21 years ago we went on our honeymoon to Hawaii. Good memories.

Dustin will hold down the home front and take care of things so Momma and Daddy can celebrate our night.

Thanks Teeb, (and thanks Lord...) for another year. Here's to at least another 21......

Thursday, June 26, 2008

For women in ministry...a gentle reminder


Just a reminder to all you wonderful women who are pastor's wives, missionaries, pastors, evangelists or wanna be...........

Early bird pre-registration for the Unstoppable Conference is coming to an end on Monday, June 30th.

Of course you can still register during the regular registration or even late registration but just thought I'd give a gentle reminder to register now and save!

I can't wait to spend this time with the most wonderful women in the world. Pastor Tara Sloan is also one of the speakers for this year's conference! You are going to be SO BLESSED. Do not miss this incredible time. I would encourage you to register and don't come alone if you can help it! Bring a friend or two...three would be ideal -- the four of you can share a room and experience the conference together here in beautiful Tampa Bay! Go here for all the details and a registration form that you can download.

Please note if you bring a friend who registers, you can also have a product/ministry table at no charge, and advertise and share your ministry with those present. It's a great place to NETWORK! Most of all a great place to find those who UNDERSTAND. Relationships are formed at Unstoppable that will last forever! Just today, I spent time talking to Jennifer, a youth pastor I met at Unstoppable last year. We are now helping one another in our respective ministries. In fact, Jennifer is hosting a conference for youth girls that I am helping her to promote. I know other women who have made connections through the conference last year who have linked together to help one another. It's my joy and my vision to provide a place for women to meet and support one another.

We have some surprises this year up our sleeve and I can't wait to unveil them!!! The women who attend are going to be so refreshed, renewed, restored, refocused, and ready for the next level!!!!

Can't wait to share coffee and our hearts.....in person!

Be sure to come tomorrow because I'm preaching about you...



Ever felt like the preacher was talking directly to you?

Ever been mad because you're convinced they planned that message just for you, to correct you, or point out the error of your ways?

Ever thought, "I just knoooow he/she's talking about ME?"

Well, one person in my church KNEW for sure that was the case last week. Why? Because Saturday night I called them and said, "Hey, I'm going to be teaching a message in my class on Sunday straight to you tomorrow, about you, so make sure you come out and hear it!"

No kidding. I really did that!

I figured, why beat around the bush? If you're going to preach something about somebody, just tell them beforehand so they can be sure not to miss it since you are strategically talking about it for their benefit. God forbid they miss it. (GRIN)

I was genuinely trying to help this woman -- and had her on my heart. My intent was never to make her uncomfortable or upset. And honestly, others pastors I know don't strive to do that either. They are just trying to lead people into the fullness of God and they pray about their messages and preach them and they are not directing missles toward the congregants all the time as some may be led to think. The thing is, if you have circumstances in your life that your pastor knows one iota about, you are probably led to think they are talking about you from time to time because practically anything could be twisted for you to think that. But the fact is, they aren't doing that, I assure you. They are simply trying to hear from God and preach what He tells them, in the vast majority of cases.

But last Sunday, I had a certain lady on my heart. As I was preparing my teaching message for my adult sanctuary class, I thought, "this applies perfectly to her. It's where she's at. It's what she needs to hear." I knew it would the others too, but I knew for her.......this was a strategic message for such a time as this. And I didn't want her to miss it. So I called her up and said, "come to church tomorrow...I'm teaching about you!"

I know this is an unorthodox method of pastoring, but hey, I am not exactly your traditional pastor.

The person did come and in fact they were there on time!

After service she came up to me with tears streaming down her face and said, "you're right, I needed to hear that..." and we had a heart to heart talk.

I know God is working in her and I'm so proud of her.

Let this be a notice to anyone I pastor or who hears me preach on a regular basis...I honestly don't preach anything directed at you. But if I ever do, I'll call you up and let you know the night before so you can be sure not to miss it, ok? (SMILE)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Things I definitely know to be true


When I first started blogging publicly, I said I would blog about things I'm learning, and some stuff I haven't figured out yet and am not sure I ever will. Along my life's journey, I have learned a few things to be definitely true so far. Here are a few:


I am definitely sure that Jesus is everything. Just had to say that up front although it should go without saying.

A few other things...

I definitely know we find meaning and purpose in learning to serve Jesus and others.

I definitely know I was created to be a Wonder Woman. (I believe everybody is created to be a Wonder Woman or Superman, but many don't go for it, it's that simple.)

I definitely know the joy of the Lord must be one's strength to succeed.

I definitely know all it takes to be above average is to serve. Really. It's that simple.

I definitely know there's nothing like the affection of those important to you.

I definitely know the value of loyalty.

I definitely know that time really DOES fly when you're having fun.


I definitely know that when people can't keep up with you, the thing they most quickly do is criticize you.

I definitely know there is something about maturity through life experience that can't be faked.

I definitely know the power of the Holy Ghost is so important.

I definitely know the value of a good friend you can pour your heart out to without explaining.

I definitely know how important my role is in my kid's lives. If I screw up, it really will affect them, for a really long time - possibly forever. That doesn't mean I don't make mistakes or have faults but I've learned the most important thing when that happens is to own the mistakes - apologize - admit failure when I need to.

I definitely know that if you don't know who you are somebody will be glad to tell you who they think you should be.

I definitely know that the more you hoard the less you have.

I definitely know that eagles are rare - and they don't flock - as someone once said, you have to find them one at a time.

I definitely know that destiny is not just "somewhere in the future" but God intended destiny to be lived out TODAY. I am making my destiny today by the everyday small choices I make. Destiny is right now, IN THIS MOMENT. Right here.

I definitely know the call of God is irrevocable.

I definitely know that wisdom must be sought, it doesn't just come to you.

I definitely know that Proverbs telling us to get wisdom above all else, is surely there for a great reason.

I definitely know that God allows wrong decisions to be painful for a reason.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why I ride my bike everyday


I just came back from my daily bike ride. How exhiliarating. I thought I'd share with you 10 reasons I love doing this everyday and make time for it. (If I don't bike, I walk.) Okeey dokey, here we go...

1) Fat loves to stick to me. I have to ride it off. No kidding if I eat a piece of candy I might as well tape it to my butt because that's where it's going to show up anyway. If I didn't ride my bike I'd be twice as big.

2) I love to feel the wind on my face.

3) I love to be by myself and ride and think.

4) God meets me on the bike. We talk.

5) I love to pedal fast but I also like to coast and just check out the sights. Trees. Flowers. Lakes. The Sky. Sprinklers. Clouds. The Sunset. Rain. You name it, I love it!

6) I love to work my legs and make them stronger. Might come in handy if I have to kick any unruly people. LOL Just kidding. Honestly, I do like toning my legs as much as possible. And Larry? He really likes it. :-)

7) Although I like walking, it's more fun than walking.

8) I like to pick up speed and go fast down hills.

9) It makes me feel like a kid again. (I loved riding my bike growing up.)

10) My neighborhood is great for bike riding and I take advantage of it.

Try it sometime if you haven't done it in a while - you'll enjoy biking, I can almost guarantee it!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sheltered


Friday afternoon I decided to go out for a few miles on my bike. It was getting ready to storm and the clouds were gathering. I thought I could beat the storm and get back in time so I headed out. It was such a great ride. The wind was gently blowing the entire time, not too hard, but just right...like a lovely natural air conditioning of sorts. It was actually quite beautiful.

I realized I was going to indeed make it home just before it started pouring. It was timed pretty perfectly. And the Lord reminded me that when it storms hard and I'm inside I'm really never scared or anything. Most of the time we can be relatively unaffected by the storm if we are under cover somewhere. I actually kind of enjoy it and usually light candles and settle in with a good book in bed or my favorite chair. In the comfort of my home I feel entirely safe as long as I am sheltered there.

God reminded me that storms would continue to come and go spiritually and emotionally in my life but as long as I made provisions to stay in the Psalm 91 "shelter" I will be fine and have no occasion to worry. It's when I get out of that place that I need to concern myself. As an older preacher once said, "if you don't pray, maybe you should worry!"

Storms are going to kick up in our lives but if we live in the secret place, we don't have to fear or get ourselves all worked up.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

THE most interesting day EVER, in the house!



Just gotta tell you about the last 24 hours of my life.

Last night I worked on some projects til' late. Larry and I were up quite a while because we got a call from our son Dustin (who was working at the church late last night) telling us the electricity was out at the church. Larry asked Tom to go up and call TECO (thank God for Tom!) and they promised to have it back on by 2 am, which they did.

The interesting thing is, in the six years we have been pastoring this church when the electricity goes out in the sanctuary, it ALWAYS happens on Saturday night or Sunday morning. I am not a mystical person but I assure you I think this is more than coincidence. It's spiritual warfare. Especially when the Lord is doing major things - healings, salvations, etc., we seem to go through this. What better way to shut down what God wants to do than try to take away our ability to have lights/sound? It's not an issue with our building that we can fix. It has to do with the power lines outside and TECO (Tampa Electric Company) has to come. So Lar and I were up late dealing with that - him on the phone with Tom, Dustin and TECO -- and me praying. I knew it was just one of the enemy's stupid stall tactics to try to halt the impending thing God had in store.

I did some reading and praying and went to sleep about 1 am. I didn't get to sleep long. About 2 hours later, Savanna came into our room, sick and throwing up everywhere. And I do mean everywhere! She tried to make it to our bathroom but never did make it there. So, we got up, helped clean her up, made her a fresh place to sleep on, got her settled (after several bouts of throwing up), cleaned up the carpet as well as possible (had to shampoo today), cleaned up the tile with Clorox spray, yada yada.

Around 4 am, Larry says, "honey, you're going to have to preach." I had figured that already. It's easier for him to have me preach on Sunday mornings if one of the kids is sick, and have him be the one to stay home with them. It's harder for him to find anyone to cover all my responsibilities between worship and Sunday School and what not. And I'm pretty much a person who can flow and do whatever is needed at the time, instant in season and out.

I never went back to sleep. Just stayed up and sought the Lord as to what He had for the people today. No, I don't just preach Larry's notes - I find it too hard to follow them, honestly. Not that he's not a good preacher. It's just that we have two completely different styles and when we plan a tag team message we work together to blend those styles, but to just take his sermon...no, I can't do it. Plus I can't preach somethin' I'm not feeling. I also wanted to stay within the current series topic we're on - "The Presence Driven Church."

By 6 am this morning I had the full message prepared. It was from Romans 8:26,27 - the spirit praying through us. I called it, "Get in the Groan Zone." :-) Good stuff. What a morning we had. Check this out...

We picked up in worship where we left off last week. At the close of last week we were singing, "God is Moving" and indeed it was true. Healing was flowing at the altar, and the Lord was doing stuff. This morning I announced, "we're picking up where we left off..." We started out with "God is Moving" and just kept going. Our last song in worship was "Let it Rain". Midway through the song it started to rain, and it rained so hard you could hardly hear anything even over the microphones. It was a full blown, lightening and thunder deal, totally rockin' the house.

A few minutes later, Pastor Lindsay was leading us in the church pledge and midway through it, all the electricity goes out. Poof! Gone!

And something so awesome happened. Instead of freaking out, everybody just started saying the pledge louder, more resolutely. I mean, by the end, some were shouting the pledge! And the close, she tried to talk to give announcements, but her voice was just swallowed up in the auditorium. No one could hear her. She comes back to me and says, "what do I do"?

Meanwhile someone (I think it was Dustin) went and grabbed the megaphone... (yes I'm serious!) in the sound booth and brought it to the front. Bernie was doing the offering today and I asked him to go ahead as best as possible. He just flowed with it. The thing is, the people were not put off by this outage of electricity at all ...in fact it added sort of a wild element to the service. People kept cheering and clapping, (no, not making fun or saying, "let's get out of here") but cheering and clapping as if to say, "hey, the lights are out but we are still going to have an awesome time in God today! We're hanging on for the ride!"

So Bernie and Tom were figuring out the megaphone with Dustin's help and some ladies had already run over to the Sanctuary B room and gotten candles and put them all out on the altar and lit them. Interesting thing is - we ran out of candles this past Wednesday. (We have a candlelight worship service every Wed night.) So this weekend, Susan had just purchased all new candles for Wednesday night service. She was going to wait and bring them Wednesday, but this morning the Lord told her to bring them. Awesome, huh? I love it when God's people are in tune!!!

Well it was kinda comical... the guys went to turn the megaphone on and instead of just being on so they could talk in it, the siren started going off! Right during the offering. "wreeeeeeeeeee! wrrreeeeeeeee!" went the piercing sound. Instead of being put off by this, the people found it another reason to cheer profusely in the house of God! They found this cause for celebration. I guess you could call it our own personal Northside version of a shofar. Only at Northside Assembly! It was hysterical! So cool. After two times of the "siren" going off and the people wildly cheering with joy, the megaphone came on and Bernie took the offering and did a great job indeed. The people were still pumped. Onward we went with the offering and mid-way through Bernie talking all the lights and stuff came back on. He announced, if it happened again for everyone to move as close as possible to the front.

Then I came up to preach and told the people, "we've been through so much to get to this moment, and be assurred, God has something great in store for His people...so just hang on cause' God's getting ready to do something major here... "

He sure did! We had one lady saved, two rededications, and a few baptisms in the Holy Spirit! Praise God! You know the enemy was trying profusely to prevent all this, but he didn't!!! Our God is greater!!! The enemy is not going to stop what God is going to do, as long as His people stay faithful to press in and not give up!

We did not give up. We went for the whole enchilada in God this morning. At the end of the message I was praying for people at the altar. Mallory led worship at the keyboard and went into "Let it Rain" again and "From the Inside Out". Powerful, powerful. The Lord was present to do such a powerful work.

I came home with the boys and Larry had made lunch. The princess was feeling better...up and eating toast and giving Mommy lots of hugs and love when I came home, asking about all her friends and what happened at church. She missed it so much. (Ya gotta love when your kids love church and hate to miss it! Wonderful problem to have.)

As for me, I ate some of that delicious lunch and crashed for 3 hours in my bed. We cancelled choir tonight because I wanted to rest and care for Savanna. She's doing much better but still taking it easy. I just made her some chicken noodle soup and ginger ale.

It was an eventful day to say the least and I can't wait to see what God has in store for His people next as we stay faithful to press in and not give up no matter what!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Life Coaching Reflections


This morning was my women's life coaching meeting. Earlier this week I decided we were going to do a full breakfast this morning, not just beverages and snack as we normally do. What a perfect morning! It was a God-plan.


It was pouring down rain. We had to really push through the weather to get here. Some of the ladies had gone through much in their personal lives this week. Coming in out of our personal situations and the pouring rain, into this beautiful breakfast was such a refuge! It was such an enjoyable morning of sharing a meal together ~ sharing our hearts ~ growing together.

I had some of the women bring fresh fruit, danish and juice and I made a quiche recipe. I had gotten it off of a bed & breakfast website and it looked great however, when I got to the store I discovered I had forgotten the paper with the ingredients. So I had to do it by memory! Well...when I got home I discovered I was wrong on some of the ingredients and if I used the ones I purchased, the recipe would change a bit -- but I decided to go for it and do it my way. I wondered how it would turn out, and I must say it was FABULOUS! I made two pans of it "just in case" and they liked it so much there was not one bite left! Here's the recipe for any who are interested. I would highly recommend it! (I have printed it here with my changes, the way I made it.) If you Google Hash Brown Quiche you will get a million other variations too, fyi.

Hash Brown Quiche

Ingredients:

3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
1/4 cup butter, melted, divided
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup diced fully cooked ham
2 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. onion powder
tiny dash of cayenne pepper

Directions:

Thaw hash browns completely. Press hash browns between paper towels to remove excess moisture. Grease a 9-in. pie plate with 2 teaspoons softened butter. Press hash browns onto the bottom and up the sides of plate. Drizzle with remaining butter. Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 25 minutes or until edges are browned. Combine cheeses and ham; spoon into the crust. In a bowl, beat the eggs, cream and seasonings; pour over ham and cheese. Reduce heat to 350°. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Yield: 8 servings.

Last night we had our sectional minister's meeting. It was really good. I am excited about the new changes! Afterwards we spent time with Pastor T & Misty in some more fellowship before he had to get to the airport to get Nate. I came home and got all the ingredients lined up to make the quiche this morning before leaving for life coaching. I had never made this recipe before but it all went super smoothly. I called Susan on the way to the church and asked her to meet me out front to unload the car since I had so much stuff. She was faithful as always to help.

Like I said, what a beautiful morning we had. I taught on the subject of relationships - Jesus style. Great conversation. Fantastic insight from groups members to others in the group. Awesome growth that I am seeing in several of them. We are excited about our retreat next month.

Lots going on with the church today. I went down the street to the store to pick up some things and headed back to the church to work for a few hours today and when I returned the Royal Rangers were leaving for laser tag. I will work at the church today for a number of hours and then take Savanna home when she gets home from Mpact Girls retreat.

Then I'll go home to my "2nd job" and start ironing clothes for in the morning and cleaning house. A woman's work is never done...but how blessed I am -- how blessed all of us are -- to serve our families and to serve Jesus and His people. The joy of the Lord is our strength.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tag, I'm it!


Danella over at Beyond Microbursts tagged me today with this meme, so here I go:

1) What were you doing ten years ago?

Here's a pic of me with my family ten years ago. I was Larry's wife of 11 years, co-pastor of our church in Maryland and Mom of a 1 year old baby girl and two elementary school age boys. I was tired a lot of the time, but faithful to all that the Lord called me to do.

2) Name five things on today's "to do" list:

Clean the kitchen
Rest a bit (supposed to be my day off)
Go to sectional minister's meeting (unfortunately it fell on my day off)
Go on a bike ride
Do a load of laundry

3) Things I'd do if I was a billionnaire...

So much! I'd bless and give to my children, my church, friends, missionaries, and I would publish and give many books away for free to those who could not otherwise afford them.

4) Three bad habits:

Emotional eating at times
Procrastinating with my 2 least fav household chores
Raising voice when I'm angry at times

5) Five places I've lived:

Baltimore, MD
Phoenixville, PA
Newark, NJ
Pennsauken, NJ
Dayton, OH

6) Five jobs I've had:

Dish washer
Waitress
Administrative Asst.
Music Pastor
Co-Pastor

7) Five people I'm tagging:

Tara
Leanne
Michele
Kerry
Deborah

Such a good quote



Cassandra a friend of mine who writes over at Tripping Around the Sun, sent me this quote today that she thought I'd appreciate, and she's right... I love it:


"If a writer is so cautious that he never writes anything that cannot be criticized, he will never write anything that can be read. If you want to help other people you have to make up your mind to write things that some men will condemn."

~ Thomas Merton


Absolutely.

Hurt by a pair of panties!


Today's my day off and I started it by reading ABC news online. Imagine my amazement to find a woman in Los Angeles claims to have been seriously harmed by a pair of panties and she's suing! Lawsuits today amaze me. It would be nothing but laughable if it didn't cost us so much. I say "us" because you do realize when somebody wins one of these million dollar lawsuits, such as for spilling hot coffee on themselves at McDonalds - it's us, the consumers that get that cost passed on to us as prices get raised to cover the cost of their legal battles. Anyway...


The latest in a string (pardon the pun) of frivolous lawsuits is a woman who now claims she was injured by a thong at Victoria's Secret. No kidding. Read it here. And no, this isn't being reported by tabloids, you can read it in the NY Times, Fox News, ABC News, etc.

This lady claims she was trying on a thong and a little metallic decoration flew off and hit her in the eye. Okay, so maybe that's possible, but the disturbing thing, in my opinion that nobody is commenting on is...WHY WAS SHE TRYING ON A THONG?

This is so gross to me, it's unthinkable. No, not the issue of wearing thongs - I mean, I have no problem with that, but my point is, no one should be TRYING THEM ON. The last I checked, women aren't supposed to "try out" panties at the store. We know our size, we buy them, and hopefully they fit. I have never in my life tried on underwear before buying it, and don't plan to start. And, I certainly hope no one's trying mine on before I buy it! Yeeecck!

I am just totally amazed not just at this lady's lawsuit but the fact that nobody is asking, "why were you trying them on in the first place?" All the comments on the web about this focus on whether she was really hurt, the woman's size (evidently she's not in perfect shape, but who cares? Neither are the majority of women out there myself included), how the metal thingy could fling up and hit her from the angle the panties should have been when she tried them on...yada yada yada. Who gives a rip (again, pardon the pun! lol!), all I care about is, why were those panties being tried on?

For those who say, "what about a swimsuit?" -- usually they provide those protective coverings in the bathing suit bottoms, but I never trust those and always put something in there to try them on or most times I just leave my underwear on. I know that might be TMI for some, but I'm just sayin'...

WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS THIS LADY DOING TRYING THIS ON AT THE STORE? MR. OR MS. PROSECUTOR, PLEASE ASK HER! And I'm sure I can get a bunch of friends to come testify on the stand that right thinking women do not try panties on before we buy them.

Somebody needs to testify on behalf of right thinking women because if not...the price of our panties at VS are about to go WAY UP! First gas prices, now panties. What's the world coming to?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Meme that doesn't require a lotta brain power...



Savanna is headed to Missionette Stars retreat today. She's all excited and I'm excited for her. She's still a little sore today, from immunizations. She had her well check up Tuesday and her arms is still sore. But she'll be alright. This is her last year at Missionette retreat...kinda nostalgic. Lots of "lasts" this year as she moves up into this next phase. It's surreal sometimes and yes, challenging for me as a Mom! I mean, I'm really blessed...she's a great kid. The issue is, she's my baby, and that the difficulty for me...letting go.

As for me I worked today and God is giving me fresh vision and dreams for a lot of things. Nothing deep to share yet...I've been working on so much and my brain is a little fried, so I'm just going for an easy meme tonight that I got from Pastor Leanne.

1) What is your favorite day of the week?

I'm with Leanne on this one. Friday. I love what I do, however - I love to sleep!

2) How do you usually do your hair?

I put a lot of product on it and blow dry it out straight.

3) What is your favorite item of clothing?

My African dress.

4) Where would your dream vacation be?

London with my husband.

5) Who is your favorite author? book?

Besides the Bible, too impossible to narrow down.

6) How often do you log on?

I am usually constantly logged on either at home or the office although I am not always sitting down at my computer.

7) What is one of your favorite internet sites to visit?

So many. But my favorite one right now is Perry Noble's.

8) Coke or Pepsi?

Coke, absolutely.

9) Healthy snacks or junk food?

Along with Leanne, I am a WW member. Obviously I have a problem with the junk and have to try to stay away from it. I "prefer" the junk but it's not good for me. So it's a never ending challenge to choose what is right for me. My favorite junk food -- potato chips. My favorite healthy snack -- low fat cheese.

10) Are yo a morning person or a night owl?

Night owl. Totally. I am creative and do some of my best work at night, then crash and absolutely adore sleep...when I can.

I'm twittering

Yup. If you don't know what that is, don't worry it's nothing gross or inappropriate.

For those who know what Twitter is, you can follow me now if you are so inclined.

I told myself when Twitter first came out, "that's dumb, I'm not doing it" but alas I have succumed.

I can't help it. Sometimes I warm up to something after so many of my intelligent friends like Tara do it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Profound Celebration


Yesterday was Cathy's (mine & Larry's asst's) birthday but I wasn't in the office yesterday to celebrate it with her, so today was the day!


I don't have any "profound" thoughts today to share but trust me, Cathy's birthday is profound, because she's profound!


Side note: what's with my use of the word profound yesterday and today? Well, certain friends of mine are always saying that I come up with these "profound" things to say and quite honestly I don't see them as that - I just share "life" and "thoughts". But if somehow it ever comes out sounding profound, well, I'll take that! Praise God for it. That's grace...God's grace!

Back to Cathy...

She and her husband Tom have been with Larry and I from the beginning although she hasn't always been our assistant. But I knew in my heart for a long time that she would have this job. I think she did too. Well, although a job it's not really a job -- it's a ministry.

Cathy's heart is so tender and she loves the Lord immensely and it shows. She has a heart for Jesus, for people and for Larry and me. I do have to say that in all my years in ministry I have called some places and gotten a rather mean sounding church secretary or assistant who made you feel like you had just called some crap-o government agency and not a church. I'm sure some of you can relate. Why in the world some chose to work in a church I'll never know. And honestly, Larry and I have also had our own experiences like this with people we didn't hire but inherited at one time and oh dear Jesus... I'm sure those of you who are pw's can relate. There is absolutely nothing like a faithful, loyal assistant who truly has your back.

Anyway, today was our day to celebrate our loving, faithful and loyal assistant's birthday. She's not just my assistant, she's one of my closest friends. We love spending time together. But to show you how unassuming, humble and sweet she is -- when I came out of my office with a birthday present for her today she hugged me and and in a sweet little quiet voice said, "oh PD, I didn't expect you to do anything..." Well, we don't have to, but we want to. I'm so glad the good Lord chose to bring Cathy to the planet!

We went for lunch to celebrate her birthday at Mimi's Cafe. The other night I was on somebody's blog and they talked about the 5-way grilled cheese at Mimi's so I tried it. Yes, I do know it's a zillion WW points, but we'll make up for it. :-) It was really good. I didn't eat the whole thing. I gave Cathy a part of it and brought the other part home in a box.

In other good news, do the happy dance with me...I got offered a freelance writing job today...it's not much financially but every little bit adds up especially in these economic times! Best of all it's doing what I love to do best ~ writing about pastoring! What a blessing. This came out of the blue unexpectedly...I didn't ask for it or see it coming. I love when that happens. God is so good. I haven't wrapped up all the fine print details on it yet but when I do I'll make sure to let everyone know where to go to read the stuff I end up writing for this publication.


Savanna stayed at Morgan's today and the boys worked and came to church separately so Larry and I just never left working at the office today. Got lots done but still have more to wrap up tomorrow for the weekend. Hopefully we'll get it done so we can have another day off this Friday.

We have church tonight and then we are bringing Celeena (Pastor Trinity and Misty's daughter) home to spend the night with us. We've been promising her a sleepover. She gets so excited to come to our house and we just love her to pieces.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Profound shout outs


I had a good night's sleep after ministering last night but my mind is still kind of numb and tired and although I got a lot of work done today, I am really out of profound thoughts. When the Profound truck comes to my house and drops off my next box of Profound I'll be back with some thoughts in my unconventional style. (lol)

Seriously, I'm sorta just zoning out after getting my work done and reading others writings and I'd like to point my readers to some other people who are saying some great, profound things. Here are my shout outs for today:

At the top of my list is Perry Noble's blog (I read it everyday...fantastic stuff) and today is no exception. I know I'm only one of thousands of pastors who eat his blog up like candy every day. Not only is he one of the greatest pastors who teaches on leadership that I've ever heard, he is also one of the funniest. Today's blog on being pleasing is a winner. And I love his quote: "Opinions are like rear ends. And most of them are incredibly large and stink!" I'll have to tell Larry that one. He always says, "Opinions are like noses, everybody has one..." but I sorta like Perry's quote better.

Debbie Shank also had a great blog today about thorns. Specifically Paul's thorn in the flesh and how it relates to each of us. Awesome word.

And last but not least, Craig Sloan has been cranking out some incredible posts lately that have been so timely. His post today , "The Father is Proud of You" is no exception.

There is a lot of other great stuff being published on my fav blogs but these are just three I really noticed today. Enjoy.

Awesome night at Eagle Lake



Just getting in very late tonight from ministering at Eagle Lake…actually I’m rolling in early this morning. It's after 1 am right now. So technically I didn't get a chance to blog "yesterday" - which is a rarity.

Tuesday is my day to work from home. I’m getting home so late, and hitting the sack in a moment. I’m definitely going to sleep in before I get up and attack my church work. I'm so exhausted but God is sooo good! It’s a “worth it” exhausted. I believe if you’re gonna be exhausted, you need to be exhausted for Jesus!

We had a great time we had! God ministered so mightily in the altars through word of knowledge, wisdom, prophecy. Awesome stuff. I’m am totally drained, like I normally feel after a time in God like that. So good. Afterwards, Irene (pastor’s wife) said, “Wow, those ‘words’ were so on target, it was amazing!” God never ceases to blow my mind with how He works. He is an amazing God! And what a group of women who were hungry for the Lord! That makes all the difference. The proof of desire is in our pursuit.

Larry and Savanna were with me tonight as well. They normally don’t travel with me but wanted to go tonight. Savanna took care of the book and CD table. She loved doing it. I'm also so glad they were with me because we saw Sam and Tamara as well as Annelise tonight -- they came to the service. Such a blessing! (FYI to readers who don’t know - Sam is one of our former pastoral staff members who we still think very highly of and keep in touch with. He was a staffer that we could trust implicitly and we just appreciate he and Tamara to pieces. Their family was/is a real blessing to us. In fact, we helped them get the position at Eagle Lake and would help them anytime in the future as they were nothing but 100% loyal to us and still are. A pastor never forgets things like that, you know.)

We didn’t get out of the service til’ 10 pm but we went out afterwards with Pastor George and Irene and their girls. I say girls but they are young adult ‘20 something’ daughters, actually – one is the youth pastor at the church and the other works in their church school. We went out to Applebees. The girls convinced me to try the boneless wings as they raved about the honey ones. We had a good time talking, laughing, joking with their family as usual. They are such a fun family and we had loved getting to know them and spending time with them over the past few years. I love Bethany’s sweetness and sincerety and Becca’s boldness and humor. Both of them love the Lord so much and it’s so evident.

I am extremely blessed by what the Lord did but will be so glad to be having a good night’s rest in my bed. I need it so much. I would just be overjoyed if it rained while I was sleeping. We are in rainy season and the past 3 days it has rained and when it does that while I sleep I just love it. I get such good rest. Maybe it will happen tonight, who knows.

One thing I do know, the Lord rained upon us at church by His Spirit and we had a time. I wore my highest heels (probably a mistake!) but just kicked ‘em off at the end there in the altars, and kept going. I love those kind of times!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A day of blessing


Today was really a great day in the house @ Northside! You could feel the spirit of the God mightily in the place. Mallory led in worship and always does a great job. Lar and I tag teamed it today in preaching, continuing in our series, "The Presence Driven Church." At the close, we had a great worship time and at least one healing -- Willie came up to the microphone and testified at the end of the service, how he had been touched by the Lord. Wow, God really did a work, which we are not surprised by at all, for we come to church expecting Him to do it. I felt a new freedom in worship there at the end, which one of my sons also commented on ...again, no surprise, we were expecting it! (Church is always much better when you come EXPECTING!) Expectancy is indeed the breeding ground for a miracle! Truly, I sense some new and wonderful things about to unfold.

Larry finally figured out where he wanted to go for Father's Day (lunch) and that was B.D.'s Mongolian Grill which is quite a ways away but we made the trek over there. He really enjoyed it. I'm glad! I am so blessed to have a Godly, faithful husband who deeply loves his children and is so committed to our family. My joy was all five of us being at the table together, which doesn't happen as much anymore with my boys working so much. It was good. We had good conversation and fun as a family. I was sad when we had to come home and the boys had to both get to work tonight, but that's just life. Dustin is closing tonight so won't be home til' real late, and Jordan worked for a few hours this evening.

We did go visit Jordan at work tonight. First Larry and I came home from B.D.'s and took a few hour nap and then Tom and Cathy called and wanted us to meet them for ice cream so we headed up to DQ with Savanna and the five of us met there and shared dessert and conversation as well as came and observed Jordan a few minutes. (He gets proud of seeing us watch him work. The drive through goes noticeably faster when he's working it. That's my boy! I get a charge just out of visiting my kids for a few minutes at work and watching them.)

Sitting on chairs for hours at DQ gets kind of monotonous after a while and we didn't want to end fellowship so we moved back to our house and I put on a pot of tea while we talked a while. Good times. :-)

I'm tired but it's a good tired. I have my usual list of "to do's" lined up for work in the morning and I'm preaching in Eagle Lake tomorrow night. It'll be a busy day tomorrow until real late night, so in addition to my nap today a full night's sleep is a serious must so I can be at my best and focused. I feel great about what God wants to do tomorrow night in this meeting. I feel more of a passion and fire than ever to share His Word!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Drama in Shrodesville


Lots happened today...some everyday mundane things but there's always a little drama in Shrodesville. We'll start with the drama...

Jordan was riding his bike to work and the chain popped off and he flipped over on his bike and hit his face, banging himself up pretty good on his face and leg. Thankfully his cell phone was in his pocket and when he was on the ground, he flipped it open and called us. We rode over in the car and when we got there he was laying on the ground and several cars were lined up next to him and people stopped who had gotten out to help him. He felt light headed and his face was all bloody. At first I thought we were going to have to take him to the ER. It just looked bad as far as the blood but once we wiped him down (I had grabbed cloths and ice on the way out the door) we saw it was a lot of blood on his face but just a lot of scraping and no deep cuts. It could all be handled with peroxide and bandages.

On the way home, I called his work and said he wouldn't be in. We took him home and Larry got him doctored up and upon doing that, he said, "I reallllly don't want to miss work! Can you pleeease take me?" He's a chip off the old block I guess! (SMILE) He insisted on going in to work even with his face looking like this. He was only about 30 minutes late at that time and he was insistent so Larry put him in the car and took him on up to work. This is one reason why his manager LOVES him. They know he is extremely faithful and works hard.

Jordan took the photo above and put it on his Myspace. Larry says, "you people are CRAZY! You blog EVERYTHING!" (hold on a sec...brb...I just need to use the bathroom...um, JUST KIDDING!!!) LOL

Other than that bit of drama on the Shrodes front today, I've been cleaning all day. I haven't had a lot of time to do that lately...the past few weeks have been really busy in ministry. I was busy with dusting, laundry, dishes, and decided to clean the oven today. It's one of those things you don't do every week (at least I don't) and always gets put off til' another time. Today was the day. I still have my bathroom to scrub down tonight before I go to bed. That's my least favorite chore and one I usually save for last.

Tonight at sunset I went on a bike ride. I took this photo above one day when I was out in our neighborhood on my bike. I get such joy out of my time out there. So peaceful. Lately I haven't taken my Mp3 with me at all because I really am enjoying uninterrupted time with God, except for when I choose to stop and talk with different people along the way at times. I find I don't even need music...things just come to me and I hear songs in my head sometimes and start worshipping the Lord, or I spend the time in prayer. Tonight it was so beautiful out, and the scenery mixed with the scent...wood chips, grass, fresh air, had me just taking it in with all my senses. The song, "You Make Everything Glorious" came into my head and I started humming it.

I can be doing mundane things like cleaning my oven or folding clothes, but no matter what, Jesus really does make everything glorious when you just dedicate it to Him. Whatever we do, we should do it to the glory of God.

I'm expecting a great day in the Lord tomorrow!

PJ Day Extraordinaire



The apostles then rendezvoused with Jesus and reported on all that they had done and taught. Jesus said, "Come off by yourselves; let's take a break and get a little rest." For there was constant coming and going. They didn't even have time to eat.

Mark 6:30-31 The Message

Well my friends, I have been seriously rendezvousing with Jesus and the peeps for the last few weeks. Not a "whole" day off in a long time. Snippets here and there, but always an event, or something happening where I had to have my game on. No time to just truly get a rest. Can I tell you how much I was looking forward to yesterday? Oh my, really I can't describe it. I was praying and hoping for no emergencies, and friends, we made it! (Thanks Susan, I know you were seriously praying with me. She even sent me a card saying, "lifting you up for no emergencies..." What a girl. Every pastor needs somebody like that, I'm tellin you.)

Well, just as Jesus told the disciples, I heard Him say to me, "come off by yourself and let's take a break and get a little rest." I believe Jesus was totally cool with me being in my PJ's, watching Lifetime yesterday and chilling. It's been so long since I've had a PJ day. I try to do it twice a year. This is when, on my day off, I don't even get out of bed except to go to the restroom or get something to eat. I lay down all day, read, watch movies, talk, snuggle with Teeb, sleep, but whatever I do it's done from my bed. Wonderful day. The kids have also gotten to the age where they are old enough to understand PJ day. And they roll with it.

My life has been a time of constant coming and going lately in ministry and keeping my home and family going. God was so gracious to give me rest yesterday. Of this I am eternally thankful!

Now, it's back to work. (I work most Saturdays at least 1/2 the day on church work and 1/2 the day on home work.) Lar and I are tag team preaching tomorrow. 3/4 of the message has been done but I've been having struggles finalizing the end, but today's the day to cap it off. I hate waiting til' Saturday to finish anything but some days you just don't have "it". Gotta have the "it factor", you know? Larry will do Men's Breakfast early this morning. Put the finishing touches on Father's Day. Get clothes ready for tomorrow. Clean the house. Make some calls.

It's back to work, but yesterday was so extraordinary. Thank you Jesus, for rest.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Does this woman look dangerous to you?


Look at this lady. She looks so normal.

I've seen hundreds like her as I've been shopping at Walmart, or walking in my neighborhood.

If I was standing in a checkout line with her she looks like somebody I'd strike up a conversation with.

She looks like many that I've thrown my arms around and hugged in our "hospitality room" at church.

Her look portrays that of thousands of women I've met at women's teas, luncheons and outreaches.

She's got the look of women I've pastored.

The look of women I sit in the nail or hair shop next to.

She looks so ordinary.

But she's not just an ordinary woman. She's not known for being an uncommon or extraordinary woman who is serving on the missionfield or helping people in some way. This is no Sunday School teacher.

This lady is Betty Neumar, and she is a murderer. Not just one time...but more than likely...five times.

No kidding.

This morning (P.J. day!) Larry and I were watching the news and eating breakfast. We saw this on Fox News and I just had to go look it up on my computer. Larry said, "Deanna, you need to blog this, it's unbelievable!" They showed her picture on TV and commented about how she just looks like a sweet older lady, and then relayed the news that she hired a hit man for the murder of her current husband. But wait, that's not all...she has four previous husbands who have all died under suspicious circumstances, now assumed to be murder! Yep, Betty Neumar is the "Woman At the Well", gone postal.

This will definitely be a future Lifetime movie. I feel sorry for Betty's former husbands and their families. But one thing is for sure, a lot of women like me are going to be watching the movie when it comes out and find it fascinating entertainment. Yep, I hate to admit it at times, but this is some of the stuff that fascinates me on Lifetime TV. My assistant, Cathy, loves it too. No, she doesn't love murder, of course! (LOL) She's like me in that she enjoys solving mysteries and true crime stories and stuff like that. We share a love of Forensic Files, Today's Detectives, and Lifetime TV. Now that I think of it, I don't know why Cathy and I haven't had a PJ day! Hey Cath, I know you are reading this right now so let's plan it sometime. I personally think Lisa should join us for our own "Lifetime Movie Marathon".

Well this whole Neumar story proves as the old saying goes, you cannot judge a book by it's cover.

I have especially learned this in being in the ministry as well. Everything, whether a sunset, a song or a Fox News story relates to my faith, and ministry to me. So as soon as I saw the Neumar story, I thought of various situations I've faced in ministry where something wasn't as it appeared. The discernment of the Holy Ghost is so important. Amen, pastors? pastor's wives? pastor's assistants? (tee hee!)

Also a question for those of you who like Lifetime TV...if there is anybody else out there who likes it like I do...what's your favorite movie? I'll share mine after a few of you dare to post.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's going...it's going...it's going...

it's gone!



Ladies and gentlemen, Pastor Craig Sloan has hit one out of the ballpark AGAIN today!

I'd like to direct you all to his blog for some great teaching. There are just certain seasons in my life where Craig Sloan has opened his mouth and preached, or e-mailed me a word, or they've called, or he's written something and it has been so on target like an arrow. The past few weeks, Craig has been cranking out some stuff on line that has just been like gold in the spirit. Of course his wife, Pastor Tara, has been my good friend for years and a blessing beyond measure.

Please go and read his latest post today.

Favorite parts of today's post, for me were...

  • When you are anointed and remain faithful in preparation and process, the Father will cause someone to point you out for greatness. As soon as Jesus received the affirmation of the father, he was driven into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
  • The first thing satan did was say "If you are the son of God?" In other words temptation, trials and testing are attacking your identity.
  • The war is always over your identity. But when you know who you are and whose you are, no devil in hell can stop you. You are unstoppable!
  • Result of Identity: They may take your coat of favor, but the favor is not on you, it is you (Joseph).
  • Every time they take your coat, God is fitting you for a better coat (Pharaoh's coat).

    I'm shouting Craig. Just keep knocking them out of the ballpark and we'll keep running around the bases shouting! :-)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Did I just say that?


I read a great post by Pastor Gary Lamb, about people hearing what they want to hear. This is so good, all of you who are in ministry HAVE to read it. Seriously. I am telling you, those of you who pastor a church are going to want to wave hankies when you read this, so just get one in your hand and get prepared.

I experience this too all the time, whether at my church or ministering elsewhere. And I think for us Pentecostals, it occurs even more, though I'm not going to give up on being Pentecostal over it or anything...lol.

It happens all the time to Lar and I. What about the rest of you in ministry...do you have a lot of moments where you wonder how in the world people got what they did out of what you just said?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Quotable Quote


Just read this on somebody's Myspace, and I love it...

"Caution has never moved a single mountain."

That is so good. So good. Giving me something to chew on in my spirit before bedtime...

Don't just put on your pot of coffee...ASK!



* This was my "cup of coffee" ezine devo to my Northside ladies last week and just thought I'd share it with you here on the blog...

John 5:1-8
“Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?" "Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me." Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.”


Do you believe that God is still in the miracle working, healing, restoring business today? I sure do!

A big key to getting what we need is asking. The Bible says in James 4 that we don’t have because we don’t ask. This is often the case with our relationship with God but also in our relationship with others. How many times do we just not think to ASK?

Consider this man who had been an invalid for 38 years. The scripture tells us here in verse 7 that he said, “I have no one to help me into the pool…” This had been his excuse, for all that time! You might say, “well, he was an invalid. Someone should have noticed!” Whatever the case, consider that he might not have been waiting so long for healing had he simply opened his mouth and said, “Um, could somebody give me a hand into the pool here?” But he didn’t. And therefore, until Jesus arrived on the scene 38 years into things, nothing happened. Many times people do not truly want help. They have come to enjoy their excuses. When Jesus came on the scene here he didn’t allow the man to wallow in his excuse anymore, he simply said, “get up and walk!” and that was that.

Have you ever expected people around you to be mind readers? And then you got mad because they didn’t do something you longed for them to do? It happens more than you think. Years ago in the first church we pastored, a lady was quite upset with my husband one Sunday. At the close of the service she came to my husband at the door and said, “Pastor, on Tuesday night, I had a pot of coffee on and I was just waiting for you to stop by and visit with Bob and I, but you never did. My feelings were kind of hurt. I had prayed about it and just felt the Lord tell me to be ready, that you were going to stop by, and so I put on a pot of coffee and waited and waited, but you never came.” My husband said, “well sister, that’s because it definitely wasn’t God speaking. First of all, I had a board meeting on Tuesday night. Second, I absolutely hate coffee!” They actually shared a good laugh over that but my husband went on to say, “Alice, if you want me to stop by or have Deanna and I to the house to fellowship with you, you’ll have to do more than pray about it or put on your pot of coffee. You’ll have to actually give me an invitation and then we’ll be more than happy to come.” A few weeks later upon invitation, we went over to their home for tea and coffee and spent some time with them.

That might sound like a really silly story, but how many of us have expectations, hopes, prayers, desires that we never mention to God or anyone else and then we get all whipped up when our needs or even our wants are not met? In the beginning of our marriage, I used to get upset with my husband when he would not automatically take the initiative and hold my hand while we were out and about at places. Most of the time he was clueless that I was upset about anything. I finally realized how silly that was. I simply started taking the initiative and reached for him and took his hand, or I would simply ask him to take my hand, give me a hug, a kiss or whatever it was I felt I needed. The same thing was accomplished, and all I had to do was ask.

Let your desire be known to God and to others. God is the ultimate need meeter and is always there. If you need forgiveness, ask him! If you need healing, ask him! Even though he already knows, he loves to hear you ask.

People are more limited and cannot always meet our level of expectation, now should we expect them to at times. There are occasions where our expectations are unrealistic. However there is a much greater chance of getting help with our needs when asking than to stay silent and just hope they read our minds.

Monday, June 09, 2008

One word meme from Tara


Tagged by Tara ...here we go...

1. Where is your cell phone? PURSE
2. Your significant other? TEEBY
3. Your hair? HIGHLIGHTED
4. Your Skin? COMBINATION
5. Your mother? UNIQUE
6. Your favorite thing? SERVING
7. Your dream last night? FORGOTTEN
8. Your favorite drink? TEA
9. Your dream/goal? WRITING
10. The room you're in? FAMILY
11. Your ex? NONE
12. Your fear? UNDERWATER
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? WRITING
15. What you're not? LAZY
16. Muffins? YUMMY
17. One of your wish list items? AFRICA
18. Where you grew up? BALTIMORE
19. The last thing you did? LAUNDRY
20. What are you wearing? NIGHTIE
21. Your TV? LIFETIME
22. Your pet(s)? NADA
23. Your computer: HP
24 Your life? ADVENTURE
25. Your mood? PASSIONATE
26. Missing someone? SOME
27. Your car? GONE
28. Something you're not wearing? SHOES
29. Favorite store? PENNEYS
30. Summer time? BEACH
31. Like someone? LOVE
32. Your favorite color? PINK
33. When is the last time you laughed? TODAY
34. Last time you cried? YESTERDAY
35. Who will reply to this? LEANNE
36. Whose answers are you anxious to see? LEANNE