This weekend I was in Orlando speaking for the Pen-Florida Hope Tour, and I had taken the life coaching ladies with me. There was a Friday night "Women in Worship" night before the big event the next day. A few of us decided to go up early on Friday night and experience it. Afterwards, we went out for dessert. We landed at Denny's being that they are open late and 24/7 and we knew we wouldn't get kicked out, well...at least not due to time constraints. :) (Although there are 18 life coachers this year, only 7 are pictured above at Denny's, and Lourdes took the photo.)
We told the hostess that we'd want to sit where we could be loud if possible, so they put us in a seating area that had no people. It's a good thing because we roared with laughter so often it would have been a serious disturbance to those around us otherwise. The waitress who served us was a sweet young attractive girl named Tanisha. She seemed to take all of our hilarity in stride. When she came to take our orders we were already engrossed in playing a game called, "I have never" and you should have seen her face when she walked up to the table the first time wondering what in the world was going on because we were cutting up and being so silly. Even the manager ran over a couple times to bring drink refills to our table because he said he was drawn to what in the world we were talking about and what was going on. Seriously!
When we finished eating and paid our bills we went out to the parking lot to leave. The waitress came outside in the parking lot to talk to us as we were on our way out. She knew we were from Tampa but we never told her outright while she was serving us that we were from a church, or that we were Christians, or anything like that. But she must have picked up our conversation. She said, "Excuse me, but I just want to ask what church you are from?" We told her Celebration Church. She said, "I've considered moving to Tampa in fact I am coming for the weekend in two weeks. I saw how much fun you all have. You just seem like such an amazing group of people, and I want to come to your church." We said, "absolutely!" and started giving her directions and right away Candy whipped out a piece of paper and said, "we'll do more than that! Let's all become friends on facebook tonight!" She wrote all our names and phone numbers down and told her she was welcome to be our new friend as well as come to Celebration Church. (Incidentally I'm sure the fact that we tip well was not lost on her. Not that we're financially wealthy as none of us are, but at Celebration Church we believe very strongly in being a blessing in giving to those around us and not being cheap or stingy. Larry and I teach our church family that we need to be a blessing in this and any other ways possible to those around us. I'm sure the fact that we were generous further spoke to her heart.)
It's amazing how many people are drawn to Christians who just love to laugh! It's so important that we be welcoming, that we live lives of joy and giving -- and most of all that we love one another.
Can't wait until Tanisha joins us on the 14th in service, and maybe permanently!