Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Today's potpourri

Photo I took with our new camera recently...



What happened today? (Tuesday)

It rained very hard - thunderstormed - all day in Tampa. That's great by me -- it makes my yard look great and we need the rain. I also like it as a backdrop sometimes while I'm working as it calms me. I light a few candles and get to work!

I'm trying to cram three weeks of paperwork into one week since we are getting ready to go on vaca. It's going relatively well so far. Keep in mind I'm doing all that while handling a brand new load of clients in my other job. That's going well too, or so they say. :-) Every week it seems I'm entrusted with some more responsibility. Thankfully my boss does ask first if I have "the bandwidth" to handle it. I am really blessed to work in all areas of my life with very understanding people. Things are going to a whole new level (in a good way) with my work at Next Job. I was crazy about my old boss (still am -- just had breakfast with her last week at Bob Evans and didn't want it to have to end -- she's amazing) and I am also crazy about my new one -- who lives in San Francisco. It won't be as easy to do breakfast with her, and we'll have to settle for being on our laptops and phones with our respective cups of coffee. :-)

Today amidst doing a few projects, I got the rest of the medical tests ordered by the specialist. I was dreading it (I hate needles!) but it's over now. Just moments before I went in to have it done I get an e-mail from our CEO telling me I have to get a drug test for work before the weekend. My first thought was, "are you kidding? I'm going to get poked AGAIN?" But thankfully it amounts to me whizzing in a cup and that's all. Praise God, Quest Diagnostics is literally just a few feet away from my office at the church and I can whiz in a cup tomorrow on my way in or out of the office and be done with it. I guess they want to make sure if I'm coaching people on how to run their lives I probably shouldn't be high on drugs. They have a point there.

Speaking of drugs - legal ones that is - I'm doing okay on the new meds although not healing as fast as I was prior on the strong stuff. Thanks for asking. Quite a few blog readers have emailed me to ask and I have even gotten cards from some in US mail. I feel so loved. Thanks. The new meds are okay and if I stayed on them a really long time I'd probably heal up alright in the long run, but I miss being on the other when I was getting better at such a rapid clip. Grrrrr that Blue Cross!! In six weeks I go back to the specialist and we decide where to go from here. My tests will also be back by that time and that will give us more indication of how things are. In addition to testing surrounding the situation with the ulcer, I'm also being tested for Thalassemia, which the doctor is 99.9% sure I have. He couldn't believe no one caught the problem yet. If it is confirmed that I have it, it doesn't present any new problems for me, only explains old ones that I have dealt with for a long time. It's a relief to know what was wrong. It is hereditary and the doctor's belief is that I received it from my biological father, as the disease is present in Greek families. There are not many medical issues that actually have "pros" to them, but this one has one! I can't wait to share with you what it is. Upon confirmation that I have, or do not have it -- I will share this amazing gem with you. If indeed I do have this disorder, it shows me that God can take what the enemy intended for evil and bring good out of it.

In other news, (speaking of medical) I am playing nurse with Jordan today is home very sick with 102.3 fever, chills, headache, and can't keep anything down (nausea). I've been administering Tylenol, lots of Sprite, ice packs, fresh sheets and towels, and love and care. I think it's a bad case of the flu. Larry made homemade chicken soup and we've just been praying he's well enough soon to eat. Thanks to all for praying when I put out the call on my faceook for those of you who are friends with me there.

Time to hit the sack for much needed rest...tomorrow's a new day of cramming so that next week I can have some play time with my family.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Michael Jackson...my thoughts



It has been reported in the last day or two, including on MaryMary's blog that three weeks ago, Michael Jackson prayed with Andrae and Sandra Crouch
to receive Christ as Savior after singing the song, "It Won't be Long" (til we'll be leaving here...we'll be going home).

Another report is here. More can be found by simpling Googling for them.

Whether this report is true or not, we can't judge what might have happened in a person's final moments. I'm convinced some pastors and other Christians may have forgotten this fact. I've read so many "status updates" on facebook and other social networking sites, condemning him to hell as well as chastising people for being so sad or rebuking them for being sentimental about his music. This type of judgmental behavior is pathetic. It doesn't help anyone whether they are a believer or not. Christians who do this are exactly the people I do not want to hang around with whether in person or online because my tolerance factor with them is about half a second. Can't they see this is exactly the behavior that drives many away from the Lord, not draws them to Him? Nobody decides to come to Jesus by somebody bashing Michael Jackson or anybody else.

Others say, "look what he did to those kids! Nobody should be honoring him because he's an abuser." I'm not so sure. Believe me, I don't have my head in the sand about abuse. But I'm not so sure he's guilty of it. He was accused of abusing two children. Regarding the first case, I really question any parent who would sell out their child. If someone abused one of my children I would fight to the death for their justice. Nobody could pay me off, nobody could offer me enough money to make up for it. I would keep fighting and money would be no object. It really tells me all I need to know about the character of the parents of the first child that they would so quickly and joyfully accept a bunch of money to make it go away. It smacks of extortion to me, and evidently a judge believed as much. Keep in mind as well that the accuser had also falsely accused others! As for the second molestation he was accused of, there was a lot of evidence to the contrary, including absolutely airtight evidence that he was not even in the same state as the child on some of the dates listed in the accusation. If people lie about some things they will lie about anything.

Do you know how easy it is for someone to accuse another of abuse? Very easy. All you have to do is just open your mouth and say it and it's your word against theirs. Regardless, Jackson was aquitted of all charges. However, some will always doubt and think the accusation is true even if it was not. The media can blow something up like this in two seconds flat. Look what happened in the case of the boys from the Duke University lacrosse team. The accusations were completely false, but the media - and most of America -- rushed to judgment. For that matter, think about the situation this past week with Michael Jackson's doctor. Right after his death the media circulated a story that his doctor had fled and was on the run. That was fabricated. The doctor cooperated from beginning.

Add to all of this his Jackson's eccentric behavior that would remind you more of a typical eight year old than a 50-year old music icon. He never really had a childhood and was pushed so hard by Joe Jackson in his younger years. I really believe his growth was hindered and he didn't emotionally grow up. Hence his strange behavior at times. Let's be real, the man wore Superhero pajamas at times. (Uh, wait...I do that too...lol) Seriously, the man wore footie pajamas and created a zoo at his house. I am not so sure he was abusing children as much as he was simply living as a child, trying desperately to live the years over again that he never got to live the first time.

While there are some who don't want to hear anything about him and are sick of this being on the news, no one can argue the fact that he changed the face of music not only in America but around the world, just as Elvis did. Very few people have that broad appeal and impact. He has been dubbed by many as the greatest entertainer of all time. I don't believe people should worship him by any means but certainly it is appropriate to celebrate his life and accomplishments. He has been a trendsetter in the music industry and , practically put music videos on the map. Whether you like him or not, at least accept the fact that he influenced the very fabric of music internationally and many people just want to pay their respects.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

Larry and I, tonight at the Oasis youth ministry "Improv" at our church. Dustin and Casey were in charge of this fundraiser for fine arts, to help send all our kids to nationals. We are so proud of them. They did a chicken alfredo dinner and this comedy night that was just hysterical. Lisa took some photos of the night including this one of us.

It was a good day from start to finish. We had a good service this morning followed by lunch at our house with Pastor George, Irene and Becca. I made some of my special recipes ~ and we had a thoroughly wonderful time of sharing all afternoon. At 5:30 we headed back to the church for the Improv night where we laughed ourselves silly. The Dearborn's came back to our house for a while afterwards and were only going to pick up a book quickly and head on their way but we ended up sharing for a while longer...what wonderful folks they are. We just love 'em!

When we got home Larry decided to go out to a late night showing of Transformers with Dustin and a bunch of guys. I on the other hand decided to get on my computer and get a jump on a few things for the week. I have a huge initiative list this week...amazingly fully and I need the Lord's help, that's for sure. But I have so much to be thankful for. I am grateful for each moment.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Anniversary Night :)

Larry and I went to Shephard's for an anniversary dinner and he had arranged for some friends to be there to surprise me and celebrate with us. Our friends, Currie's, Riveras & Shehans joined us. Dinner was so yummy...amazing seafood, prime rib, baklava...so many favorites, we were loving it and the conversation of course...
Here we are last night...and we've been married 22 years today! Larry also surprised me by having our wedding video (VCR tape...yeah, we were married in the old days) put on DVD. Pastor Trinity did it for us and dropped it off to the hotel last night so we'd have it to watch.

We had an awesome room with a view of Tampa Bay and a balcony. Of course the best thing of all is spending time with him. :)



Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Anniversary to us...


Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary ~ and at 2:00 pm we will have been married for 22 years. Today Larry made reservations for us to go to Safety Harbor Resort where we will stay tonight. We're going to have dinner at one of our favorite places, Shephards -- where they have amazing seafood.

I'm really looking forward to a night away with my husband. It's been a week and I'm feeling a bit overloaded. In addition to my normal work in pastoring (which entailed some extra things thrown in this week I didn't expect), and moving forward on getting my health issues straightened out, we got a bunch of new clients this week in my career coaching job. There was a plant that shut down in the midwest and we are serving ALL of the employees. I had a list of clients that I was given on Wednesday to engage and...after much hard work at 10:30 pm last night every single one of them was what we call officially "engaged", meaning they are signed on the dotted line, I have had an initial introductory call with them, and an appointment set for an assessment in the coming week. (Um, yep...it's going to be another busy week next week)

I'm going to enjoy my time at Safety Harbor and Shephards, AND with my man...that's for sure. Adios...


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Insurance is bad enough!
Let's not kill ourselves with socialized medicine!!


I was hit with the stark revelation once again yesterday that medical insurance companies could really care less whether you live or die. Commercials about being "there for you" are meaningless. Let me say up front, I have Blue Cross Blue Shield. Right now, I'm so angry with them, and I hope they are like so many companies who are googling themselves to see what bloggers are saying about them. I've actually had two companies contact me that I blogged about who wanted to apologize to me for poor service and ask for my business back. I think businesses and corporations are starting to see how much influence bloggers have. So, let me just say to Blue Cross Blue Shield...YOU MAKE ME SICK!!! LITERALLY!!! And I want the whole world to know it. I hope a bazillion people find this through Google search and see the truth about you.

I have been sick since the third week in November. Read about it here if you want.

Currently one of the top specialists in Tampa is treating me. For the past three weeks I have been on a medication that has done wonders for me. Taking three weeks worth of samples given to me by the doctor, I have had amazing relief in these recent weeks and even been able to sleep without being awakened by pain. Clearly this is a treatment that is working. Today, (after an appt. with the specialist) I was instructed to go ahead and fill a prescription for said medication and that this would be the course of treatment for my condition for several months. It's the best available at this time and also the strongest available, which the specialist feels I definitely need for the severity of my illness. Well...

BCBS denied coverage of this medication. They said it should be a last resort, and only prescribed after a bunch of other things have failed. So, my doctor called in five more prescriptions to try other things that might be comparable. Would you believe they spent all afternoon denying coverage of every single one of those too? I wanted to choke someone! They said the medication is too expensive and something weaker (lower dosage) and less expensive needs to be tried for a while first. Are they insane? I have finally been pain free the last 3 weeks and now they are wanting me to possibly regress because I don't have the proper medicine? Insurance companies need to let doctors do their job and not second guess or suggest an alternate treatment.

On the 6th try my doctor finally prescribed a medication they would agree to, however it is not the same as the other prescription and in fact on top of that they would only approve the generic version. Not that I mind generics but the thing is, it's clear to me that BCBS does not give a rat's behind about people or their health and in fact don't mind at all making people sicker if that's what's necessary before they have the privilege (?) of getting better. What the heck do we pay for insurance for? Oh yeah...our health. Hmmmm...

The insurance industry is out of control. Seriously. They have gone insane. But if we think that's bad, having the government run health care is going to be even worse. If anyone hasn't had an awakening and smelled the coffee on this one yet, please do so. We've got to do whatever it takes to fight against that, because it will literally be the death of many Americans. There will be nothing worse than Obama's people telling you that you don't really need bypass surgery and should try an aspirin first for a few months because it's cheaper.


p.s. Please pray that I can get better even though I am on this substandard medication for a while. If it doesn't work my doctor will be able to prescribe me the other medication in a few months after it has failed, but honestly I was hoping to continue to get well and not have to go through vacation, the remainder of the summer and into the fall in pain. Thank you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Becoming



"Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry."
Gloria Steinem


There are some people who won't really see the value of this quote and dismiss it, focusing exclusively on who said it rather than the meaning. That's a shame.

What does it mean? Simply that a woman doesn't have to marry a man to achieve a place of influence by virtue of being married to him. Her own leadership skills can carve a niche for her, instead of having to rely on a marriage license. Gone are the days when women had to marry certain men to utilize their leadership skills. Now women can just become whatever they want to be instead of marrying what they want to become and living vicariously through them. Today women have opportunity to have the career they want, and marry for love instead of for hopes of achieving something in whatever field they are interested in.

This is becoming exceedingly clearer all the time in the secular world, but my hope is that young ladies in ministry will see this too. It will spare them a tragic mistake. They need not marry what they wish to become...they can just...become and then marry somebody for who they are and not what they do. What a concept!



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This one's for you, Paul... :)

I would like to dedicate this picture post to my friend, Pastor Paul Grabill, senior pastor of State College Assembly of God and Assistant Superintendent of the Penn-Del District of the AG.

After lunch yesterday, we were walking through a party store to get some supplies for a church event and Larry found a huge display that they had set up for July 4th parties and excitedly called over to me and said, "Deanna, you've got to come take a photo with this stuff, just for Paul Grabill!!!" So, I happily obliged while the staff members with us were in stitches laughing and setting up this impromptu little photo shoot that Larry was convinced would be such a blessing (?) for Paul. Anyone who has read his blog for more than a few posts knows that we spar often on issues such as patriotism, the flag, the military, capital punishment, war etc. however for all the debating we do on these many sensitive subjects, I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. He is an integral man, a caring pastor and an interesting blogger.

Anybody planning a 4th of July party? I know where you can get everything from patriotic toothpicks to hula hoops at a great price.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Twirl

This is why you should ALWAYS twirl once in front of the mirror before you leave the house!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday nite wrap up...

Photo I took with my new camera...

It was a splendid day today. I'm so tired right now, therefore only taking time to blog for a moment. We had a full day at church and then went to the Currie's for a lunch. Good times, bbq'ing and enjoying all that goes with it, for Father's Day. After an afternoon of fellowship there both our families headed to the movies together and then back to their house once again for ice cream til' after 11 pm. We talked while the kids swam in the pool. I am exhausted, will have an extremely busy week this week with church, coaching, and more. Sometimes going into weeks that I know look like this, as far as my calendar/schedule goes gets me discouraged but I am going to try to look on the bright side of everything. I have a lot of opportunities to help people...what could be greater?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday stuff


This morning was life coaching at the church and as usual it was a fantastic time. I absolutely love, love, love this time with my ladies.


After life coaching I went to grocery shop and get things for our Father's Day dinner. We are going to be spending it with the Currie's and BBQ'ing. Larry requested that I make his favorite dessert, carrot cake, [a prizewinning recipe] and I made it today. It looks amazing, better than I made it last time. I'm not sure about why as it turned out right last time however this time it just seems exceptional so I just hope it tastes as good as it looks. I also made potato salad because he really likes my homemade recipe for that too.

Larry is going golfing this afternoon/evening and I'm working on the house, cleaning, ironing, returning phone calls & e-mails, laundry, weeding, and I'll take time in there to walk a few miles.

A woman's work is never done. I am so ready for a vaca.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fun Friday


I had a good Fun Friday today. Got up late this morning (oh the bliss of the kids not having school!) right in time for a client (coaching) meeting. After that I headed to get a fill (pink) and then when I came home Larry said he wanted to go on a date to the movies. We went to see "The Proposal". I loved it!!! If you read my blog or Twitter very often you probably notice I go to the movies on a constant basis. Usually I have seen just about everything in the theatre at any given time since my son works there and our family goes for free whenever we want. It's wonderful.

We picked up Savanna who has been at the Hart's all week. She and Morgan babysat twins this week, all week long and she stayed at her house since it simplified things and plus that they just love being together. After dinner tonight I walked 2 miles. Then showered and did some much needed cleaning and laundry at my house . It was a good day. On to tomorrow morning and life coaching...one of my favorite times of the month!

By the way, Casey sent me this Wonder Woman graphic tonight and I just loved it and have to share it. (Wonder Woman is a nickname I've been called by many and my ringtone is the theme from the show.)



Missing it...




A pastor friend from Africa sent me these photos recently of me ministering in a service there in '08...

Heart is aching today -- can't wait to go back.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Life today...


Is blessed.

Woke up this morning to Maddie running in the room, putting her face in mine and pawing me to get up. I was so tired but knew I was in the home stretch of this week.

Went to the office and finished cleaning out a bunch of stuff. Yes, I have gotten around to cleaning my office. I thought it would take me til the end of summer but I simply decided, I'm taking the time and doing it. I still have some more old stuff to clean out but by and large I am almost done cleaning. The offices were even steam cleaned today. In addition, I threw away a bunch of old things some of which quite honestly were not good for me to have in my office. By that, I don't mean anything sinful. I'm talking about some memories which probably weren't the best for me to hold on to. So, zap...gone. Feels awesome. I still have a few more things to get rid of but I'm well on the way. It's a new day, a new time...

After work I met my friend & church member Jenn for dinner at Weck's. We haven't been able to do this for a while with our schedules, particularly with her working on her masters in leadership right now but she had a night free tonight and we scheduled it a while back to make a point to get together tonight for a long dinner and catch up. Great food, but more than that phenomenal conversation. I really need nights like this for my mental health more than anyone would ever realize. With some people (like Jenn) you just feel so lifted up after a conversation. By the way, I miss my daughter! She's been at Jenn's house all week but she's having a blast!

Came home and watched a movie with Larry and now just chilling and thanking God for some rest. I have one client meeting in the morning but other than that I'm home free and I am going to seriously enjoy some hours off tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More...

I'm exhausted but it's a good exhausted. Larry and I got home and then to sleep at about 4:30 am after doing the show. I got up this morning right in time for a conference call. And the day is off like a rocket from here...I have work projects, Fusion tonight, and we have several errands to run, such as getting a car tune up. Tonight I'm finishing up a 10 week series I've been teaching on "transformation". It's been such a good teaching topic for me, and...I've changed along with everyone else, in several ways. It's SO important that we keep changing...after all, it's what the Christian life is all about.

My photos from our beach day/picnic/water baptism...out of the 400+ photos that we took... on this amazing day...did I mention we baptized 16 people? :)

Jordan and Eddie

Beautiful ladies...enjoying the sun and conversation...

Morgan and Savanna

My hunky man :-)


Jordan hamming it up as usual...

James walking along the beach with his daughter...

Kiddos having fun
Pastor George & Irene -- we are so blessed to have them...

Cece Mackley...the girl is so adorable (and funny too!)

Chillin with friends...

Yesenia and Daddy (Bladimir)

Bladimir and Pastor T, right before Bladimir testified and was baptized.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tonight


Larry and I just got a call this afternoon to host America's Prayer Meeting on CTN tonight, so...check it out if you are up that late from midnight to 3 am.

If you want to watch and you live in Tampa, it's channel 3 if you have Direct TV, or on local TV on channel 3 or 22. The show is now worldwide show, on SkyAngel and also for anyone who has Direct TV. If all else fails, just get on your computer HERE and watch it. Anyone, anywhere can watch it if you have a computer and internet. Simply scroll all the way down and look to the right where it says, "Live Webcast". Click there and you can watch from your computer. You can also call in if you want! There's a toll free number. I will warn you, tons of calls come in from everywhere so it's not guaranteed that they take your call as one that goes on the air, however everyone does get prayed for by ministers who are also there answering phone calls. The show airs live EST from 12 midnight - 3 am. So for those of you on the west coast that would be 9 pm-midnight.

Also, each time I'm on, I establish a different "code word" so that my friends know I'm thinking fo them. This time, our word is, "AMAZING." Everytime I say it tonight you know I am thinking warmly of all my friends and family and how blessed I am.

More church beach day photos...

Margaret -- one of my fav people in the world.
Is there anyone more fun?

Playing in the water as the sun is setting...love it!

Kirsten...such a sweetie.

Emmy buries Jordan...fun!

Emmy's feet

Girls just wanna have fun!

Ashley & the Rivera's