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Showing posts from January, 2010

The big reveal...a.k.a. "hey, is the old church gone?!"

(New church sign on our property - it also lights up at night as well as the part below that has letters that we can put special messages on.)
"But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." I Peter 4:13

Today is the day! I am filled with exceeding joy that few can completely understand. Only some loyal people who have lived it with us or are my few confidants that my guts have been spilled to over the years truly know the entirescope of what I'm feeling today.

Our church campus was full of people here yesterday for the unveiling of the sign and hitting the community with our launch advertisements. We had thousands of full size chocolate candy bars with our church launch info printed on it that we handed out at the local intersections when the cars were stopped. We had huge signs that said, "FREE CHOCOLATE!!!  NO KIDDING!!!" Groups of men, women and children…

New

"Forget the former things; do not dwell onthe past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."  Isaiah 43:18-19

It's amazing what you can forget when you make up your mind to.

People say you can't forget difficult things.  All I know is what God says.  He says to FORGET the former things -- that must mean it's possible.  Instruction or encouragement wouldn't be there in His Word if it weren't doable. 

Never in my life have I been so happy to forget - wipe clean from my mind altogether -- (and I do mean completely as if it never existed) many former happenings, people and circumstances and move on to the new thing God has for me, for us. 

The new thing springs up, even today it springs up.  This morning the new church sign is unveiled, Celebration Church is founded, and a new day has come, a new beginning -- out with the old in with the new.

He has already mad…

Goodbye walls! Hello promotion!

One of my favorite worship songs is You’ll Come by Hillsong. “Chains be broken, lives be healed. Eyes be open, Christ is revealed…” Actually I never noticed this song until Dustin’s girlfriend Becca led it in worship one day and then I went, “oh man…I love this song” and was hooked ever since. My favorite version (aside from Bec’s) is the one on the I Heart Revolution album, the part I enjoy most being the intro when those words above are sung over and over.   I listen to this song a lot as I prepare to preach or just when I'm in my quiet time with the Lord. 
We’ve been working extremely long days and nights in preparation for the grand opening of Celebration Church on Sunday. This is the start of something amazing. The main work we have been doing for months is on our facilities. It’s an exhaustive list of what has been done and it hasn’t all been “bandaid work” like just painting a room here or there but in some cases we’ve done major surgery. We’ve knocked down walls, pulled c…

The New Apple I-Pad

Oh my gosh, other people are actually thinking this too!  So funny.  After reading my blog post yesterday about the Apple I-Pad, Becca sent this to me.  I hadn't seen it yet and almost fell off my chair laughing...enjoy!


3 Questions

As you might guess my brain is still frying.  We are basically working 16 hours days in prep for the launch.  There's so much I could say here about the launch but I have to be honest, I'm looking for a diversion to write about.  I just need a break.  Here's all I'll say about it -- if you live in Tampa, BE THERE.

Next week I have a new blog series planned (when I have more time for it).   Now, on to today's diversion.   Not to be outdone by yesterday's 5 wacky facts, I thought I'd share three random questions I have right now:

1)  Why has Apple named their new computer the I-Pad?   Sorry, that sounds kind of gross to me.  I guess this new product will ALWAYS give the consumer NEW FREEDOM to STAY FREE of glitches that would come about as the result of a  poor APPLICATION, helping things to FLOW better. [sigh]

2)  Why is Joy Behar still breathing?

3)  Can chocolate ice cream be considered protein in any way?  I really need it to be for this diet I'm …

5 wacky but true facts

My brain feels fried as I have been going almost non-stop for the launch on Sunday.  We have done so much but still have so much left to do.    Last night I was at the church with Adam putting large portraits on boards for hanging in our foyer and I couldn't stop yawning.  He said, "I can't even imagine the exhaustion you guys are feeling right now..."  It's true we have been going 90 to nothing, but it's all going to be worth it this weekend.

Since I'm  really tired and not up to write anything that requires significant brain power I thought I'd share five random facts about me today that might give pause to somebody there from Seattle to Singapore who is reading this.  I'm not going to qualify them, just put it out there and you can wonder...

Five wacky but true facts about Deanna:

1)  I never finished kindergarten.  
2)  As a kid I almost burned our house down by toasting marshmallows. 
3)  My legal name used to be Melanie.
4)  When I was a p…

Double trouble!

Stuff that happens with two dogs in the house... 

This is what we came home to after leadership meeting.  Looks like they had quite a time with this Ficus tree.  Maddie continually eats these leaves and henceforth only the top portion of the tree is filled with leaves.  She gets in the dirt occasionally but usually only a tiny bit and I quickly vacuum it up.  I see she had a partner in crime who helped her make quite a bit more mess. 

The truth is I have been so busy with Celebration's launch on Sunday, regular details that I handle on a weekly basis and my other job that I have not even vacuumed this up yet!  (Critic:  "You didn't vacuum this up yet, yet you have time to blog?! "  Spare me, Mr. or Ms. Critic.  The truth is I can type this blog post in about 30 seconds and it would take me longer to find the vacuum and plug it in than it takes me for a blog post!  True story.) 

It's been a L-O-N-G day at work, and YES I did the Shred today even with all the ins…

Do unto others...

Have you seen our new addition yet?

If you didn't read my blog yesterday you probably haven't.  You might want to go back and see all the photos I posted yesterday but for now, here is a photo of Max and Maddie enjoying a meal together. 



We are really impressed by Maddie's giving spirit.  She is getting along GREAT with Max.  Yesterday Dustin gave Maddie a piece of pizza crust.  Normally she would just scarf it down as she loves them.  Instead she took it right to Max!  It's like she's mothering Max in the way she lovingly cares for him whether she brings him a toy or lets him have the pizza crust.  She even stands back and offers her food or drink in the bowl to him first!

This is what happens when you raise Christian dogs.  The follow the golden rule and prefer one another in love.  :)  

In other news, we had our last service yesterday as Northside AG!  Somebody shout now!  Six more days til' Celebration!  We had a fantastic service yesterday as well as lea…

Welcome with me...
Maximus (Max) Shrodes!

We have been talking for a while now about Maddie having a dog friend in the house.  I  know many will think it's silly but I hate being away from Maddie and if I am working late it's even worse.  I can't bear the thought of her being by herself for that long.  I am always concerned about her.   We have been discussing it but yesterday was the day, after searching for the right dog and calling several places we were able to find a combination English Bulldog and American Bulldog, the same colors as Maddie and a boy that we have named Maximus (Max). 

Max is 10 weeks old and has all his shots.  Besides being a boy there are some other differences.  His tail was not docked like Maddie's.  Also he doesn't stick his tongue out like Maddie.  He is also not deaf!  Yes, we now have at least one dog that hears.  This will be interesting as we are not used to it and will have to be aware that anything we do will wake him up. Maddie on the other hand sleeps through anything …

Life coaching today!

Today we begin a new  year in women's life coaching!  I'm so excited and everyone else seems to be too.  Great things happen through life coaching.  People have breakthroughs with issues that have held them back for years.  Some change careers.  Some go back to school.  Some heal.  Some go to the next level from wherever they were at before.  Others are returning life coachers (some for the 4th year!) who have grown in past years and are just ready for the next level.

 We meet monthly and learn and grow together, we go on trips together, we eat a lot of great food, and we do a lot of laughing. 

 It's no wonder why a lot of us can't imagine ourselves without this very special group!


Flakes, phonies and frauds

Yesterday my post was about flakes and I got some good feedback on it, both on the blog and off.  Today I just wanted to mention that an unfortunate reality about flakes is that they create confusion and cause people to be skeptical of what is real.  When God really moves some people don't even recognize it because they've seen so many shenanigans they don't even know what to believe anymore.

I have scores of friends and acquaintences in ministry who are so in tune with God.  They are not charletons, on the contrary they are truly God's men and women of power and they are anointed.

Last week one of my close friends, Pastor Melissa Kelly spoke to me by phone and said God had given her a word for me. She was right on target.  I'll be honest it was a hard word, but I received it.  Actually God had already spoken it to me but this was a confirmation and it came from a trusted friend that I've opened myself up to.  Melissa is an intercessor who moves in many gifts -…

Special prayer for someone still missing in Haiti

This request comes from one of my co-workers at NextJob, a job coach named Dale Falini.  I was very touched by this request and am asking all of my blog readers to join me in praying for this miracle.

This is a note from Dale that I am copying here with her permission:



" I am asking that you join me in prayer today for my next door neighbor, David Hames. He was in Haiti, as a videographer for Compassion. He is still missing. He was in the Hotel Montana lobby when the quake hit. He was with another Compassion worker, Dan Woolley, who was pulled out of the rubble on Friday. Dan attends my church and just came home last night. Dan has been able to give details to rescuers about where David was in the Lobby. David had his backpack with him that he takes on video shoots and his wife tells me that it is always full of water and granola bars. So we are praying for a miracle and I hope you will join me. David and Renee have 2 small boys. Renee is clinging to her faith and Psalm 91. But …

Flakes

Although I'm an intercessor I've often said that I resist announcing that or talking about it too much because the label/title causes many people to associate it with the strange things that often go on that have very little to do with God.   A lot of things get blamed on God that He really has little association with.   There are times I have sat in a meeting and thought to myself, "Am I the only one who thinks some absolutely crazy/unbiblical stuff is going on and somebody needs to say something?"  If it's in my own church, I do of course.  Being a pastor we have that responsibility.  However if I'm somewhere that I'm not in charge and this is going on it tends to give me a tension headache and I usually just get out of the room as quick as I can and hope to God that some leader steps up to the plate to bring guidance to those involved.

Yesterday a great article came out in Charisma Online entitled, "Help!  My prayer group has gone flaky!"   I…

The new plan and reflections on
health and wholeness

Whoa!  My body is in shock, for sure...wondering what in the world is going on.  Some friends are wondering what I'm doing too and have asked me.  Wonder no more.   Not only did I start the 30 day Shred on Saturday (and I'm still walking/breathing despite it) on Monday I began a new eating plan that I got from my friend, Pastor Tammy Young.  Tammy  has lost 25 pounds in a very short time by restarting her "glycemic index". 

 What this basically amounts to is de-toxing your body of sugar,which I've just been informed is extremely addicting and watching your carbs - not eliminating them altogether, just not overdosing on them as most of us do.  Ultimately you follow what's in the photo above in the balance of the foods you eat.  The first three days is a "detox".  I will tell you, it's not easy.  Honestly I could not do this without support.  Two other friends in ministry, LaDonna Jones and Joy Conley went on this plan last week as a result of Ta…

Even Brett Favre is singing it!

I love it!

Scenes from last few days

New photo of Maddie 

Prayer and pancakes...

Jordan playing his heart out...

Afterwards at Perkins for pancakes

We filled this room plus another section of the restaurant

Becca!

 There's so much more I have to say but I'll write more later when time allows.  Things are going at warp speed for the launch.  Yesterday amidst getting about 6 other jobs done, I spent most of the day sorting through photos to get the large portraits for the walls of the foyer.  There are so many things to do, I've got about 30 things on my list this week.   I need prayer!  Yesterday someone called out of the blue yesterday that I haven't heard from in a long time.  They said that God had given them a word for me.  Interestingly enough, two separate people have given me this word within days of one another.  Hmmm...lots to think about.

New church decor ~ most beautiful EVER.

This photo is from a church service at the amazing church we pastor.  This is little Dawson who is an absolute angel.  Her mother Alison was holding her during the service and Lourdes Manners, one of our church photographers, snapped this candid photo of Dawson during the service and captured the moment.

One of my tasks in preparation for the launch is to compile photos from church services and events that we are going to get blown up and on canvas for the walls of our church. This will be our new church decor that will grace the walls.   Larry  has been working on this with me today and we hope to finish ordering photos tonight.  This was one of the first photos that we chose that will adorn the walls among the many. 

The photos are all going to be ones that capture the essence that is our church -- the beautiful people of many ethnicities, backgrounds, generations, that make up Celebration Church.  The activities in the photos will show the amazing amount of fun, laughter and spec…

TTFN

It's been a blessed week with my sister Shari but this morning she has to fly back to Charlotte, NC.   It will be sad to see her go but she says she's coming back even sooner next time.  :)

Last night I did the 30 Day Shred with Becca for the second time and I am so sore I told her she's going to have to help me around today.  I wish I were kidding but I'm not.  I am feeling muscles I had no idea were there.  Also started my new eating plan this morning and have quite a number of other friends on this journey and keeping me accountable and vice versa.

We are normally off today for MLK but with the launch coming up in 13 days we can't afford to take any time off.  There is so much to do.  I plan on blogging more later today or tonight so check back and there might just be something a little more substantial here...ttfn.

Sister Power!!!

This morning is going to be a great day at church.  Shari and I are going to do a tag team teaching this morning.  We've been working on it this week and the topic is, "Thinking and Speaking Encouraging Thoughts". We are really excited about it.  Last time she was here I interviewed her about her life experiences in missions and her ministry with Samaritan's Purse (Operation Christmas Child).  Today we'll join forces to present a teaching to inspire, bless and encourage.

We are also going to sing a duet in the morning service!  We've worked on it this week and it's "Word of God Speak."  We created a power point of beautiful photos with short scriptures to go with it while we sing and it's going to be just breathtaking if it all goes off like it's supposed to.  We are excited about doing ministry together this morning.

By the way, our prayer and pancakes night was excellent.  The band was smokin', absolutely searing hot.  We had mo…

Jimmy Fallon and "Pants on the Ground" - hys-TER-i-cal!!!

Larry and I love Jimmy Fallon and we TIVO his show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon every night and watch them throughout the week whenever we have the time.  I think Jimmy is one of the funniest people EVER and his versatility amazes me.  Here's a good example.  Just 24 hours after the "Pants on the Ground" song was on AI on Wednesday night, Jimmy comes out with his own rendition, imitating Neil Young.  HYSTERICAL.  Enjoy!!!