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Showing posts from September, 2010

Orlando or bust

After prayer meeting this morning, I'm headed with my LC ladies to Pen-Florida Women's Fall Breakaway in Orlando for the next three days.  It's going to be a great time!  Rita Springer is leading worship for the whole thing.  WHAT COULD BE MORE AMAZING THAN THAT??!!  I am so excited, it's going to be off the hook.

Life has been crazy lately with more of a work pile up than I've had in a long time.  I finished what I needed to before leaving for Orlando, and guess what?  I'm leaving my computer behind!  Yep, really.

As I am not a hobby blogger, I am here daily no matter what. (I'm even thinking of a way to set up blog postings after I have passed on or Jesus has come back.)   As such there will be something here that I've pre-set to publish just for my die hard readers on Friday and Saturday morning.

Would I leave town and not leave you with something?  :::shudders:::  Of course not!

The best dark chocolate cake EVER!!!

This is what I'm making for tonight.  We're having a dessert night in Fusion tonight, and a Q & A session with Larry and I on the subject of courageous parenting!   This cake is TO LIVE FOR!!!  You will LOVE it.  Now, it needs NO ICING.  Please do not frost it, you would ruin it for sure.  (This is a little drizzle of chocolate syrup that's on it in the photo but really it needs nothing.  I have experimented and sprinkled it with powdered sugar before but even that was totally unnecessary.)  It's absolutely PERFECTO by itself just like it is.  One bite and you'll be hooked.  Really, I promise.  It's the most moist, dark, delicious semi-sweet chocolate cake you have EVER had.  Serve it with a side scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Your guests will moan the whole time they are eating it.   I have served this at countless dinners and special occasions.
Dark Chocolate Cake
1 box of devil's food cake mix  Small box of instant devil's food pudding 8 oz. sour crea…

Some photo highlights from
The Spice Conference

All of these photos from the Spice Conference at Celebration were taken courtesy of Lourdes Manners.



























The morning after...

Yesterday was such a busy day, I'm E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D, but it's all worth it.

We had a great day at The Spice Conference and so many of the couples thanked us for what was for some a life changing day.  Through times like this I'm reminded that there's nothing quite as great as a marriage that's going right and nothing as painful as one that's  not.  I've been in both situations so I understand things from both perspectives. I'm glad we were able to bring some hope to those who wonder if things can get better.  (Yes!  They can!  We're living proof.)

I'm not sure what happened but as I was going to the Spice Conference dinner last night I came down with either an allergic reaction (sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose while simultaneously not being able to breathe freely) and was pretty much miserable while I was trying to teach and do our Q & A .  I came home and took a warm shower to clear my sinuses and took a few Benadryl's.  I'm hopin…

Keepin' it hot and spicy!

Today is the Spice Conference (our Marriage Conference) at Celebration Church.  It kicks off this morning with me teaching, "Thriving Through Incompatibility...being married to your OPPOSITE and doing more than just SURVIVING!!!"  After that my husband and I will tag team in the morning service, a message called, "PARTNERSHIP 101".  This evening we'll have a banquet at the church followed by two more sessions.  It's going to be an exciting day!  I believe it's going to bring change to people's lives and I can't wait to see what God does.  If you live anywhere near Tampa and want to come, c'mon over and join us for the first two sessions (9:30 and 10:30 am).  Reservations are required for the dinner and last two sessions.  To see if there is still availability email Candy Rivera here.

My dog has more fruit of the spirit than most Christians...

Max is an amazing "fruit of the spirit" dog.  I often marvel at his character.  I wish I could be more like him in the sense that many days he's a whole lot more like Jesus than me.

Galatians 5:22-23 definitely describes him...

Love - Max is the most loving dog I know - even exceeding Maddie in this department.  I have never known a "sweeter" dog than Max.  He wants to cuddle all day long.  He has to be as close to you as possible.  He  just wants to be near.  Even when you use the restroom, he waits outside the door and lays right up against it until you come out.  Seriously.

Joy - he leaps with joy constantly.  Sometimes too much!  He gets excited if you just leave for 10 minutes and go to the store and come back, he leaps with joy all over again.

Peace - he is a very peaceful dog and I have never known him to start a fight.

Longsuffering - he's the most longsuffering dog I know.  Maddie get aggressive with him sometimes.  Max just takes it most of the time a…

Am I the only one?

My friend Michele often tells me, "you are not alone."  I've been so grateful for her reassurance so many times in my life.


Am I the only one...

Whose children walk in the house and holler, "Mom!  Mom!  Mom!"  throughout the house expecting ME to find THEM rather than them coming to my room or endeavoring to find me?   (Especially frustrating when I'm in the bathroom or laying down taking a nap.)

Who cleans the kitchen before I go to sleep only to wake up to dirty dishes on the counter in the mornings?  Am I the only one who feels depressed about this?

Who gets a pedicure and then dings my big toe on the grocery cart, flicking the polish off?

Who wonders if my house will ever ALL be completely clean AT THE SAME TIME ever again?

Who has potato chips talk to me?

Who will be taping Sister Wives on DVR on Sunday night?  (It's like a bad accident.  We shouldn't look but many of us will check out this bizarreness.  Yes, bizarreness is a proper word.)

Wh…

Why doesn't anybody tell you this stuff???

So last Wednesday night someone was at the pulpit receiving the offering and in about three minutes I was supposed to come forward and teach.  During this time I felt my eyes drying out with my contacts feeling like they were going to pop out.  I blinked repeatedly to try to wet my eyes and thought to myself, "should I come off the platform and take my contacts out and put my glasses on, or what?"  I resisted the temptation to do that although I was extremely uncomfortable.   I just thought it would be a really unprofessional thing to possibly have to ask someone to stall at the pulpit while I removed my contacts.  I got through a 30 minute teaching while every last bit of liquid left in my eyes evaporated.

 As soon as I was done teaching, I quickly removed the contacts and put my glasses on.   This was actually a culmination of my eyes feeling parched for about  three months now.  I've been going through lot of rewetting drops but they didn't solve the issue. Wonde…

Stop analyzing and let God be God!

"We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God's purpose prevails."  Proverbs 19:21 (MSG)
God's purpose will eventually prevail, but the question is how quickly?

How many times do we analyze our way out of a miracle?  How often does our human striving delay the answer from God we've been looking for?

I'm a natural analyzer.  I do it almost as naturally as breathing. And I'm trying to stop.
When a problem comes up my natural inclination is to think of several ways it could be solved.   The problem with that is, many times God wants to do something that is totally outside the realm of anything I could conjure up.  He wants to do something bigger, and  more creative.
I hear God speaking to me to take my hands off (and my mind as well) and let Him do his thing.
I'm not talking stupidity here...if a glass of milk dropped on the floor and shatters, I'm not turning it over to God to figure out.  Obviously I know how to solve that problem and there&…

These are the times we live for!!!

This was the altar time yesterday at Celebration Church.  Savanna took the photo with her phone as the altar time was going on at church.  It was a great day, with people going hard after God.  Moments like this are what make the ministry all worth it.   Many times in ministry it's what's happened at the altar that has kept me going another week!!!


There were some wonderful speakers at this past weekend's Experience Conference and one of them was my friend Marsha Woolley, our district women's director.  She's one of the most dynamic speakers you'll ever hear. She presented a teaching on life in the ministry and the character needed to withstand the pressure.  Today I'm sharing some takeaways from this message that were meaningful to me and why.

Marsha shared about how most people [who are not in vocational ministry]  "romanticize" the ministry.  They have a conception that is completely different from reality...which is why many get disillusioned…

Rest at harvest

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

Even in the midst of a day of ministry it's possible to find rest.  We have to take God-opportunities where we can find them.  Friday I was in Lakeland for ministry all day but didn't have a hotel room to go back to.  We went to our friends Keith and Joy Conley's home at Keith's invitation, while waiting for Joy to get home from work so we could all go to dinner.  We were only there for about an hour but as soon as we got there I fell asleep in the recliner chair in the living room for about 30 minutes and it gave me the strength I needed for the rest of the time there.

Larry wisely suggested that since we've had such a packed weekend of ministry that we take this evening (Sunday evening) to rest.   I am …

It's Saturday but my Sunday afternoon nap is coming!

In the midst of the Experience Conference, but taking time for a quick post.
I miss my kids, and I miss my dogs.  Love making ministry trips, but look forward to coming back home.
The other night Larry and I were laying in bed watching a movie and Max and Maddie were laying there like they always do.  They are always snuggled up to one of us, or to each other.  
This weekend is so busy.  My day started yesterday at 5:30 am and ended after midnight.  I'm hanging on for an "after church nap" tomorrow!!!  My favorite way to nap is with Max and Maddie snuggled up beside me or on my feet just like they are above.   They add so much love, so much joy to my life.  I am so blessed.

Two seconds to change

Yesterday I read a great blog post by career coach Penelope Trunk about stability.  She spoke of staying put, making the decision to stop running away from our problems and refraining from blaming others.   She says we can make any location work for us if we just determine to take personal responsibility.

It's much more convenient to blame everyone else for our problems rather than look within at what we need to change.  To change our environment, all we have to do is change ourselves!  We can bring immediate transformation to the atmosphere we're in by changing what we speak, what we hear, what we do.

Too many times we wait for someone else to change or another opportunity to come along.  Change can take a mighty long time in that case. Changing our attitude alone can produce change in two seconds flat...much preferrable, yes?

p.s.  I'm on my way this morning to speak at the Experience Conference in Lakeland. Keep all of us who are there in prayer for God to show up and d…

Hard core parenting

Here I am with the story I promised yesterday!  I know, you've been waiting on the edge of your seat.  ::giggles::

Right now at Celebration we're doing a series, "Courageous Parenting" on Wednesday nights.  Larry and I strongly believe that there is a crisis of courage among parents today.  Many parents lead their children by fear rather than principle.  May God break the spirit of intimidation off of parents and raise them up to lead without fear, even if they are dealing with high schoolers!!  We aren't called to be pals, we are parents.

There was a girl who wanted to date one of the boys in high school.  This went on for quite a long while.  He wanted to date her too.  But, she did not profess to be a Christian and please keep in mind, throughout this whole time by  his own testimony, our son  was a believer.  Not only was this girl not a person of faith but she was disrespectful and abrasive.  It wasn't just that she speaks her mind -- I don't mind g…

When your kids date and it
scares you out of your mind

Sunday night I had a horrible dream that Dustin married the wrong person.

What's the definition of "the wrong person?"  Well, in the dream he married someone that he is spiritually incompatible with.  They don't share the same values.  I'm not just talking about mine and his father's values -- I'm talking about HIS values!  We have raised him in the ways of God and He has chosen to walk in those ways for himself.  Needless to say I was in utter shock and disbelief at this wedding.  The only funny part of the whole dream was that after they were pronounced husband and wife Dustin popped out with a big sign that said, "FINE ARTS IS #1!" and ran around the sanctuary with it.  Then after doing a few laps with the sign, he ran over and gave me a kiss on the cheek and said, "don't worry Momma, everything's gonna be alright" while I stood there numb, feeling like my legs were going to give way.  This dream was real as day!!  I woke up…

What was that last fight really all about?

That is the name of my article that was published yesterday by the Assemblies of God Women in Ministry Mobilized.  Go here to read it.  Did you know that ministers go through spiritual warfare in the areas of their lives that they preach about?  If you are a minister, you will really  appreciate this, and if you are a church member if will give you some insight into praying for your pastors.

By the way, in light of what I said in this article, keep in mind that I'm speaking on marriage at the Experience Conference this weekend.  :)

Thanks for your prayers.