Overtaken by blessings

""And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.  Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field."  ~ Deuteronomy 28:2,3

Yesterday my blessings bubbled over.   First, I love my work -- and yesterday I did plenty of it.  I don't "have" to work -- I GET to work!!!   After working at the church office til' 6 pm, our pastor friends Keith and Joy met us at the church and took a tour of our facilities to see all that was done for the launch of Celebration.   They were so excited for us about all God is doing.  Then we went from there to dinner with them and over some fabulous Japanese food, caught up on each other's lives.  They are such a support to Larry and I, and we treasure their love and  friendship.

I came home from our evening out and found a package waiting for me.   It came all the way from South Africa!!!!!!   I tore into it and discovered it was from a  friend -- Deborah Meyer, (pictured here) who I met through Pastoring Partners.   (Deborah is a blogger as well and writes at "Deborah's Encouragement." ) Over the past few years that I have come to know her she has lived up to her name and truly been an encouragement.  The gift she sent is a lovely animal print scarf, jewely and some African tea.  Here's what she wrote about the jewelry in particular:

 "Deanna...just a little bit of history on the beads. They come from Ulundi (Natal).  A young girl makes them that has AIDS.  The big round earrings come from Soweto from a gogo (african word for grandmother) and the scarf is from Botswana our neighbouring country, and you will find that the tea is best  with milk and honey. Enjoy my friend...love always.. Me"

Is that not the most heartwarming thing EV-ER??!!  Deborah, your gift just amazes me.  Thank you so much.  I'm wearing it today!!!

I am so grateful for the friendships around the world that I have developed with many of you who read here.  Some of you have not only prayed for me or left encouraging comments but you've actually mailed me some kind of blessing and every time this has happened it just blows my mind that you've thought of me. 
Many people would never understand the way you can come to know someone through a blog, or the great encouragement you can receive through people you have never met face to face.  But Deborah  is a prime example of just how amazing and generous people out there on the web can be.  It's not all crazy or weird stuff going on out there on the net.   I've met some of my best friends on the internet!!!   

Another great day is in store today.  I'm speaking at Victorious Life Church this morning, for a women's group.  They have asked me to come and  share about a subject I'm often asked to address:  "How to keep your marriage/intimate life hot, hot, hot during all seasons of life."  This will be fun!  In addition they have asked for a question and answer session at the conclusion.  I never know what to expect and I enjoy that!  I love a challenge.  My passion is being real, and transparent and ministering to people's needs -- in other words addressing what's really on their minds and not just what I think is on their minds!  This will be fun!  (Yes, I just said that twice!)  After speaking I'm going to have the blessing of going to lunch with my friend Pastor Janis Russo who invited me to speak.   I value her wisdom and encouragement so much and am very grateful for any time we have together as it's always uplifting.

My prayer today as I pour my heart out to these women is that I can be an encouragement.  Just as Deborah uplifted me yesterday, so I want to be a blessing today.   I believe those of us who belong to Jesus demonstrate that by living our lives as a gift.    God has ordained that blessings overtake us.  However we have to remember that WE are used as his agents of blessing, hope, change, love, etc.  Jesus uses us to get his work done in the world, and to make blessings reality in people's lives.  May we all live in such a way today that honors and blesses Jesus and others.