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Showing posts from August, 2010

Have we not learned anything from Job?!

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Does what you believe change according to the circumstances in your life or that of someone close to you?  The foundation of our faith is designed to be developed to the point where it will hold up regardless of the atmosphere. 

I have been in vocational ministry now for 23 years now and here is something I have observed.  All it takes for many ministers to change what they believe is for them to experience a failure.  If their church would have exploded  they would possess a completely different outlook than they do now.  When their ministry venture doesn't turn out as they dreamed, they get angry, critical and cynical and find every fault possible with the church world.  On the other hand, if their ministry would have exploded...more than likely they'd still be in the same location doing, believing and being all the same things they were before!   At some point we all experience  failure, and it's then that our our doctrine is either stronger and more resolute or we star…

What happened yesterday...and notes from leadership mtg.

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Yesterday was a great day at Celebration.  We had several who came to Jesus at our altars, including a friend I invited named Eric.  Candy and I have been ministering through facebook to Eric for about four months now.  We met him when he sold me a bed.  Candy was with me when I purchased it and Eric was the salesman.  We have kept up with him all this time and shared with him on facebook and yesterday he came to Celebration Church, walked down the aisle and accepted Jesus and then went to lunch with us afterwards at Acropolis.  What a lovely day!

Last night was our leaders meeting.  Along with a fantastic time of sharing dinner together, and our insights and praise reports of what God is doing at CC, I shared some thoughts with our leaders and we had a time of prayer together.  I thought I'd take time to share here some major points from my talk last night that those who are leaders might find interesting...here we go...

Leadership talk ~ August 29, 2010

It's said that leaders…

Shout outs...

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I wanted to point out some great recent posts by some blogger friends. It's been a while since I've done a shout out like this and it's long overdue...

Has God sold you?  It can happen, you know!  Really.  Read this excellent post here by my friend, Ruth Kaup.

My friend Pastor Leanne Weber will give you a lot to think about in her current series she's writing, "My Story:  Beginnings" which is a chronicle of the spiritual abuse she and her husband went through years ago, and her healing process.  I've known her for years and loved her writing, and known the situation she's sharing about, in fact I prayed for her while she was going through it.   But, reading it now is a whole new experience that has me on the edge of my seat each day as I'm reading!  Start here at the beginning and catch up...

"I think they're in the Hoover..."  Only you, Pastor Lisa, only you....lol    I love it!!!  By the way, I have never worn faux eyelashes.  Am I …

The case against keeping things to yourself

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If you are in a difficult situation and wondering for the sake of all concerned if it would be easier to keep things to yourself...the answer is NO.   Now, before I go further, please go read this.

I'll wait.  I'm absolutely begging you to go read it.  Seriously, if you're going to understand this post you have to go read this link and then come back to me.  

Okay, now that you've done that, let me just rest my case that it's a bad idea for you to keep some details to yourself.  Open up to a few trusted friends about what you are really going through.  We are designed by our creator for at least a few close, accountable relationships.  My friend reached out...but not far enough.  As you can see by the comment stream below her post...we reached back, but didn't push hard enough.   Sometimes we are just a "listening ear" for our friends or we respect what they say without a challenge when one is needed.  There's a time to listen, also a time to sp…

I declare WAR on "special unspokens"!!!!!!!!!

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I'll never let a friend get away with asking for a "special unspoken" prayer request again.  Some life lessons are much harder to learn than others.

Years ago, through Pastoring Partners Network, I became friends with a wonderful pastor's wife named Deborah.   She hails from South Africa and we quickly became kindred spirits, loving many of the same things including high heels, leopard prints, the color pink and most of all, a love for Jesus and serving His people.  This past February I came home from the church office one day to find a package in the mailbox and seeing that it was from South Africa, could hardly wait to tear it open!  Inside were earrings, a necklace, some african tea, and an animal print scarf she said, "had my name all over it".  I blogged about that day here.

She planned on meeting up with me on my preaching trip to East Africa in June.  When I declared on facebook that I had my final sermon ready for the Kenya conference, she facebooke…

You don't have to stay there

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Perhaps you've had your blood pressure or sugar or cholesterol checked recently,  but do you monitor your emotional or spiritual health as closely as you would your cholesterol?  All those things are important but many people give little regard to their mental, emotional or spiritual health and what it takes to stay at their optimal best.  We tend to downplay this. 


Nobody is standing in line to watch your overall health.  You have to be your own advocate on this one.  Why do we so often think we HAVE to remain exposed to things that aren't spiritually or emotionally good for us?  Sometimes for our own health we have to position ourselves differently.  You can't control others, however you can control yourself, in fact it's one of the fruits of the spirit - self control.  You can decide exactly what YOU'RE going to do. 

You are the primary caretaker of your emotional health.  So, how's it going?   What have you decided to do?  How have you decided to re-posit…

When your faith goes off a cliff

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There were two truck drivers who were interviewing for the same driving job and the boss took each of them for a test drive.  The test was conducted on a winding mountain road and while they were riding along the boss asked the first trucker, "how close can you go to the edge without driving over?"  The guy said, "oh, I can get right on the edge of it -- I can get within an inch or so without going over...no problem!"  The boss took note.  Then he took the second driver out for a test and asked him the same question.  The second driver said, "I don't know how close I can get to the edge.  I've never tried it.  When driving on a road like this my goal is to stay as far away from the edge as I can."  The second driver got the job.

For those of us who profess to be Christians, we can make a decision to stay as far away from the edge of the cliff as possible or we can try to live on the edge, believing whatever our flesh longs to do must certainly be …

It's coming together...

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God has a way of working things out when His will is involved.  Many thanks to all who have prayed for Jordan in this time of transitioning from home to home.  It really IS a transition because we all thought he was leaving but God had another plan.  Jordan starts working today at Cracker Barrell.  It's pretty awesome that he got a job this quick in this economy.  We give God the glory...and I don't think his charm or the fact that I did some interview coaching with him for his two interviews hurt anything.  :)  So he has a job, starts bible schooling September 11, and is looking to the future.  Praise God!

I've got a whole lot going on this week in addition to my regular responsibilities, which I mentioned had really increased due to a few things..  In addition to all that we're doing a night at Fusion this week called, "How Sweet It Is"  (I'll blog with details once the event is over -- some of it is a surprise)  I also have a leadership luncheon for th…

Sunday messy Sunday...

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Yesterday was a great day at Celebration.  We had new visiting families/individuals, the children's ministries broke their attendance record, (thereafter making our children's director into a human pizza!  Ecccckkkk!!!  It was incredibly messy) and most of all God was present to work in hearts and lives which  he truly did in worship and at at the altar.  Larry and I brought a tag team message yesterday, which we always enjoy.  We also had "bring a friend to choir day" and after a choir luncheon invited people to sit in on our rehearsal and check out what it's like to be part of the choir, to see if they'd like to consider being a part of the team.  So far most of the people who visited have committed to be a part and it looks like we're getting LOTS of new choir members, which is exciting.  I know I'm partial, but really these folks are an amazing team that truly bring it, week in and week out!

Realizing how the enemy had tried to distract me with s…

Don't expose yourself

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Protecting the anointing upon your life is a very important thing.  This is not just for pastors but for all believers.  The enemy goes after pastors and leaders in even greater measure.  Sometimes it's not so much an all out "attack" -- just a distraction.  Enough distractions piled up can become fatal to your spiritual walk.   Leaders have such an effect on other believers, that's why he really tries to affect us, so that it will create a domino effect on the body of Christ.  Some pastors don't really have to be knocked out of the race completely, just a simple distraction unchecked, will do.  I tell you, it's not good enough for me just to finish the race without falling into some immoral trap!  I don't want a distraction to mar my effectiveness either.  It's not just what some might consider "big things" that can render us ineffective...like the Bible says,  it's the small foxes that ruin the vineyard.  (Song of Solomon 2:15)

Protec…

The Bible said it, not me!

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" People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed?"
Proverbs 19:3  (MSG)

God gets blamed for a whole lot of things He never had anything to do with.

What an interesting turn of events there would be in our world if people simply owned their stuff.

Ten things that really help me grow spiritually

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1)  I read the Word, not just devotionals.  

Something I've noticed about a lot of today's Christians is that a lot of them don't read the Bible anymore.  If they read the Word in any form, it's in devotionals that contain short excerpts from the Bible.  I'm a fan of devotionals as they definitely bring greater clarity on the Bible, but we have to be careful to not use them as a substitute for the Bible.

2)  I read the Word in different versions.  

I am a fan of bible gateway, and love going there to read passages in different versions.  This expands my thought process on the various scriptures I'm studying and gives me a greater perspective -- the full counsel of God's Word.

3)  I write my prayers.

I'm an intercessor and pray in many different ways but writing is a favorite tool when I'm distracted easily, which is a lot.  Many times I'll write my prayers in a password protected format -- they are totally confidential between God and myself, just…

Dear Pastor Deanna...

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The following is a letter (names/locations changed)  from a young adult pastor's son that came to my inbox  in response to Tuesday's blog post.  I'm sharing it with his permission, taking identifying details out.  This note is one of many that arrived, from PK's, PW's, and Pastors, all sharing their experiences and just wanting somebody to listen.  I got letters from pastor's kids who had been physically and emotionally abused by church members, PW's sharing about their emotionally scarred PK's who want nothing to do with the church and are currently prodigals, others who just wanted somebody to pray who has been in their shoes.  My heart goes out...

Dear Pastor Deanna:

I just read your PK post, and then the one you linked with your son Dustin's essay. I started getting really emotional.  It was like everything came flooding back from the church my parents pastored when we lived in Detroit, and some of the (much rarer) psychotic experiences in Colum…

I love it that my husband surprises me...

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Yesterday I was working from home and had a phone appointment until 5:45 pm, and my husband planned a special surprise.  He could hardly wait for me to come out and see what he had planned...an amazing feast of steamed crabs and corn!     


I'm from Baltimore and steamed crabs to me are no other way than the B'more way.  We've never been able to find them here in Florida but yesterday Larry was driving home from work and saw a sign that advertised blue crabs.  He stopped and ask the man if he could steam them our way.  The man had no clue what he was talking about and Larry had to explain to him how to do it with the Old Bay Seasoning.  The guy thought it was a little odd (he was a man from the middle east - had never seen anything like it) but he did as Larry asked him to.  The result:  amazing!  I came out of my room and saw everything set up on the table and FREAKED!

  I have the most amazing man..  Thanks babe.

No grace for the PK

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Something I never thought about before is that although PK's (pastor's kids) are immersed in ministry by virtue of their parents being in it, they don't receive the same grace to deal with issues as their parents do.  PK's don't ask to be in a pastor's home, they just land in it by virtue of birth.  They don't sign up to make the sacrifices, they just live them because they have no choice.  They don't surrender to the call, they just wake up and have to live the pastoral lifestyle that has been dictated for them already due to their parents surrender to the call.  Their parents on the other hand, having been called by God to pastor, and responding to the call, receive a special grace from God to deal with the difficulties of the ministry.  (Otherwise they would never make it.)  There are some perks to being a PK but the sacrifices usually far outweigh it, even in a good church setting like my kids have here at Celebration.  (And we are VERY thankful for…

What attitude?

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I've been teaching a class on "Attitudes" at Celebration, and yesterday I asked my class, "do you remember when you were a kid and your parents would say, "hey, watch your attitude"?  You probably rolled your eyes and said, "WHAT ATTITUDE?!  I DON'T HAVE AN ATTITUDE!"

If the response of my class is any indication, the majority of us did this.

We didn't even realize how bad our attitudes were back then, did we?

Kids aren't the only ones with this problem.  This week I talked with two adults who had really bad attitudes.  Quite honestly they are clueless about the fact that they have issues (and aren't open to correction) and really don't want to change.  

There was once a grandfather who decided to take a nap.  His grandson decided to play a little prank and took a small dab of limberger cheese and put it on his mustache as he was sleeping.  The grandfather woke up with a snort and staggered out of his room and yelled, "S…

The real kind you can believe in...

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Yesterday I spoke at life coaching about being women who bring change.

Are you content to just accept whatever life throws your way without believing the God can do something about it?   We can make change in two ways: PrayerThe way we choose to walk the path.  (Sometimes the path in life is chosen for us at least for a while, but we have a choice as to how we will walk it.) This week I talked with a few people who are stuck at whatever place they have been in for a while whether it be hurts from the past, sickness, joblessness, under-employment, etc.  We all go through times like this, but to believe that there is nothing you can do is a lie.  The truth is, there's no telling what will happen when you passionately seek the Lord about your challenge.

Lately at Celebration we've had breakthroughs of all kinds - healings, people getting free operations (God works in different ways), new jobs, and much more.  All of this has come through intercessory prayer.  God is still showing …

Poopy purses and other things much more pleasant to think about...

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Last night Larry and Savanna and I went with Eddie and Candy to Sarasota for the evening.  While there we were in a store that had lovely things ~ clothes, purses, housewares, all in a very elegant environment.  However, I think some child or perhaps a very immature adult had gone in amongst a lovely display of monogrammed purses and did a little "creative rearranging."  All of a sudden amidst our shopping, Savanna loudly declares, "Oh my gosh, does that say POOP??!!"  We looked over and burst out laughing to the point of tears and couldn't stop for a while.  Candy and I had been looking around the displays and had not even noticed the word the purses had spelled out but Savanna noticed it the first second she laid eyes on it.   She's not only prophetic, she's observant!  :)  Candy and I were laughing too hard to do anything about it but Savanna pulled out her phone to take a picture.

In other news, today is life coaching!  Yay!  I know God is going to …

My three treasures

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These are all recent photos of my children.  Just wanted to share the beauty that colors my world.

Dustin Michael
 Jordan Andrew

Savanna Rose

Baby dedications are the new weddings

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I said something in my class a few Sundays ago that generated an overwhelming response of applause.  It sorta surprised me how passionately people agreed with me on this.  

I want to start sending people DVD's of their baby's dedication at random times when I think they need a reminder of the vows they made in front of God and the church.   I said, "baby dedications have become the new weddings."

Weddings got out of control in America with lavish amounts of money and creativity the likes of which our parents and grandparents could have never envisioned in their wildest dreams.  This photo is from a recent wedding that boasts the "longest train in bridal history."  I have to be honest with you I think it looks like a giant roll of toilet paper and isn't the least bit attractive.  But seriously.  I'm not against celebrating marriage. I don't regret one cent we spent for our wedding.   What I take issue with is investing more in a wedding than a ma…

Signs that a youth leader is immature

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For those of you who work with youth, this is an excellent article you need to be aware of that speaks to the maturity (or lack thereof) of youth leaders.  It lists the signs that a youth leader is lacking maturity and healthy adult relationships.

Every met a youth leader who shares their personal "issues" with the kids?  (Even older ones in the youth group, seniors, etc.- still not right!)     

Chimes in with negativity or worldliness and acts more like one of the kids than a spiritual leader?

Cops attitudes and encourage youth to chime in?

Sides with a teen against other leaders, even the senior pastors?

Ultimately leads people away from the Lord, or the church...not closer to?  (They don't really help to build people, nor the church and are basically the pastor's worst nightmare not their answer to prayer.)
If you work with youth you need to be aware of falling into these pitfalls yourself.  If you oversee those who work with the youth of your church this is somet…

The main thing learned from this latest situation

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Do you feel out of control when it comes to the decisions your kids are making?  I'm here to tell you that even if your "kids" are 32 years old, you are not helpless.  The main thing I've learned through this latest situation with Jordan is that the person who prays has the power...period.

We've never pushed our children toward the ministry - EVER.  Instilling a passion for God and faithfulness to the house of God has always been top priority, but to full time vocational ministry, absolutely not. I've always said if you can do anything else and you don't really have a divine call - don't do it!  It's too hard and you won't have the grace to do it and to say your days will be a challenge is an understatement.  But if you are called to it, there won't be anything else that satisfies. 

My role as a mother has simply been to pray that God's will would be made clear to our children, with whatever they are supposed to do.  Along with that it…