Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yesterday...all my troubles seemed so far away...

I just love riding and walking through the streets of Savannah just lookin' at old homes...could do this for hours...oh wait a minute, we DID do this for hours...

The waving girl.  I love this because the pastor who did Savanna's dedication when she was a baby spoke of the waving girl in Savannah, GA.  He said the waving girl waves ships back home, but that Savanna would wave many souls to Christ back home.  I believe it.

THIS was the line at Mrs. Wilkes restaurant.  There were hundreds waiting.  We waited an hour and a half but it was totally worth it.  If you were to eat at just one restaurant in Savannah, GA I would probably recommend this one although I adore the Old Pink House.  Mrs. Wilkes is a place like NO other.  Every morning a HUGE LINE gathers.  It takes about an hour and a half no matter what time you go.  There are two small rooms of this restaurant, with four tables of ten in each room.  You wait until a table opens and then you are seated with strangers.  A lady said, "Just want to warn you, at this restaurant you are seated with strangers" and Candy replied, "oh, that's cool.  We're into strangers."  I laughed so hard.   

This was the spread on the table when we sat down at Mrs. Wilkes.  It was rather amazing.  You walk in and the food it already completely set on your table.  You just walk in sit down and start eating.  The fried chicken was amazing as well as the roast beef and there were probably 25 vegetable dishes on the table by the time all was said and done, plus banana pudding and peach cobbler.  And it was all OUSTANDING.  This is the kind of place you waddle out of. 

The Wilkes house.  Started out as a boarding house.  Mrs. Wilkes ran this boarding house when her husband was off working on the railroad.  It developed into the restaurant.  The way the staff works together to keep the food coming and the folks fed and through the doors is incredible.  We were noticing how well they work together as a team.  I would honestly wait longer than an hour and a half if necessary for this restaurant.  It's THAT good.
St. John the Baptist Church.  I love visiting churches and this was just magnificent taking in all the architecture.  Love taking pictures at churches...

Beautiful...I lit one myself...and prayed a prayer for Jordan who is leaving for boot camp on Tuesday.  (A whole 'nother story...)

From the vantage point in my pew where I just reflected a few minutes... 

Gosh could this be any more beautiful?

I really wanted to start singing but restrained myself...Galatians 5:22.

We're coming home this morning.   Service at Celebration Church in the morning...Jordan's last Sunday with us before he leaves for boot camp and it's my birthday.  Why God chose to do things this way, I don't know but I trust Him.   

Friday, July 30, 2010

Memories from yesterday


I cut the "h" off the end of this so that it would match Savanna's name!  :)

Candy and I saw this sign first when we parked:  "Fabulous Finds Under $20" and we were so excited!

I love these little stones but not enough to buy them all, so I just took a photo.  I said to Candy, "let's take photos of a bunch of stuff we want but aren't going to spend our money on..." So we did. 


 [sigh]...

 Candy and I  both LOVE this t-shirt.  It says, "walk a day in my flip flops."

Is this t-shirt not HYSTERICAL?  In case you can't read it it says, "I have the body of a God.  Unfortunately, it's Buddha."  Bahahahahha!!!

A dog store...all things dogs...made me miss the babies...


Okay so I am officially in love with these purses.  They have multiple animal prints AND pink.

Watching taffy being made...

Love the horse and carriage rides all over this town...

Love walking along the river...watching boats, visiting shops, sipping ice cold lemonade.  As far as shopping  -- I looked a lot and laughed a lot, but bought nothing.  I decided to wait and if I really want something I'll go back and get it before we leave.  (Just say no to impulse buying!)  If anything I'll probably go back and get one of the purses.  :)

We had a great day, all day.  Candy and I sat in the back on the five hour trip here and watched a movie, and laughed and cried.  We went shopping on the river once we got here and ate dinner at a place our friend Mike Gibson recommended called, "The Olde Pink House".    It was truly amazing.  I even went and wrote a review about our experience on City Search!  I was that impressed.  I would definitely go back there to eat...it totally rocked. 

We're spending today on one of the trolley tours, looking at historical sites, mostly gorgeous homes.  Yes, it's hotter than hot, but I just love doing this.  So grateful to my babe for deciding to bring me here.  Love doing all this stuff, but really love being with him! 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Runaway Love


A few Sundays ago I was teaching my class of adults that I teach each week and I asked the question:  "When did a time come in your life when you really had to rely on the Holy Spirit for direction?"  A lady immediately raised her hand and said, "Well, many years ago when I first came to the Lord I was at another church where our pastor ran off with the piano player."  I quickly quipped, "yeah...that happened to me too."  The whole class including that lady laughed a lot -- they knew I was inferring the fact that my husband (a pastor) ran off with me (a piano player).   The amusement over my little joke didn't stop there.  A few days later we were in an ice cream shop in St. Pete with  Eddie and Candy and Todd and Bonnie.   They told the owner who was serving the ice cream that my husband was the pastor of their church and then said something about him "running off with the piano player".  When the owner looked rather shocked my husband said, "well, this is actually  my wife of 23 years who happens to play the piano."  LOL   As if that wasn't enough the other night in Fusion we were watching a DVD by John Bevere and he said something during his teaching about a pastor running off with the piano player.  Everyone in Fusion bursted out laughing at what would have otherwise been a serious moment in the video.  [sigh]  Anyway...

Today the pastor and the piano player (who also happens to be a pastor herself)  have indeed run off together to Savannah, GA for much needed "couple time".   I'm very excited to get away on this trip which will also include our friends Eddie and Candy.  We are celebrating my upcoming birthday which is Sunday, and also Eddie and Candy's anniversary which is this weekend.  Last year on vacation we stopped for a day/night in Savannah on our way back and I just loved it.   Larry thought it would be nice to go back there since I enjoyed it so much.  I dreaded telling my kids where we were going because they were so crazy about it there that I knew they were going to be mad we weren't taking them this time.   Oh well, there WILL be a next time.  For now Jordan is given the charge of caring for the dogs and holding down the fort at home.  :)  Dustin will also take care of things at the office and lead our prayer meeting at Celebration today while we're gone.  Savanna's enjoying some time with her second family, the Hart's.   All is covered well so that we can escape for a few days and enjoy each other and our friends in a beautiful city.

If you are from Celebration Church and you happen to be wondering, we WILL be back for Sunday's service.  I can't wait.  God is moving so mightily!!!!  As excited as I am to go to Savannah for a few days (til Saturday  night) I also can't wait to get back and experience what God has for us on Sunday morning.  Get ready!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Good news bearers in a bad news world


 "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" 
Isaiah 52:7

I try to think positive everyday.  I do this despite the fact that I usually receive at least one piece of bad news a day.  Usually there's at least one e-mail in my box that says that somebody won't be able to do what they said they would do, or a voice mail that lets me know something I thought was going to happen isn't happening, or a text of the same nature.  Sometimes somebody requests a meeting where they deliver bad news.  Whatever the case I'm sure you hate bad news just as much as I do.  Even though I'm a pastor and deal with this because I lead a congregation I know I'm not the only one who gets at least a shred of bad news everyday.   Some of you probably don't want to go to your mailbox because you don't want to see your bills which represent bad news.  You get the picture...

So the fact is - people everywhere get bad news everyday.  The other day the Lord spoke to me about how important it is for Jesus followers to be the bearers of good news.   First, we have the honor of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ - who He is and what He came to do.  Second, the bearer of good news of other kinds which also shine the light of Christ as we communicate.  My greatest moments in life are when I come on the scene and say something like:

"How can I help you?"
"God sent me to you to tell you..."
"Let me put your mind at ease..."
"I want to tell you about something amazing!"
"You're going to love this!"
"I'm about to solve your problem..."
"It's my privilege to help you..."
"I've got it covered..."

To give someone good news in a bad news world is one of the most amazing things ever!  Are we sharing good news on our blog, our facebook, our twitter, and most of all through our life and our attitude up close and personal?  One thing about being a good news bearer is that people love to see you coming and hate to see you leave! 

And speaking of good news, my husband has started a new blog.  I'm sure he'll be sharing lots of good news and probably a lot of humorous things there -- he's a lot funnier than me.  Go check him out...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Time to unload!

Baggage Check

 "Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you."  I Peter 5:7

Every one of us has a resource 24/7 that we can completely and safely unload on, yet most people never take advantage of this great provision.

Psalm 55:22 says, "Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall."

I was reading something recently that Joyce Meyer wrote about worship and she said that she believes a lot of people have not had a proper emotional release in worship, therefore they release emotions improperly at other times.  I agree.

It got me to thinking that a lot of people also don't have a proper vent session with the Lord, therefore they have inappropriate vent sessions with others.  Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.  God is supposed to be our best friend.  He talks to us and we need to be listening but do we also give him all of our anxieties?  He's the only friend we're ever instructed to completely, utterly, 100% do that with.  

I don't mind teaching people to pray, in fact I thrive on it.  Part of the way I teach them is by example -- having them pray right alongside me to learn.  But quite honestly there are many of my prayer times that would never be appropriate for anyone to listen to, except the Lord.  This is because I discuss many things with the Lord that are not only sacred but sometimes quite honestly they are anything BUT sacred-- they are negative emotions that need to be released and to a person it would be toxic, but to the Lord it's what he expects.

A constant casting of our cares is essential.  Where we cast them is crucial.  While we all need trusted friends to confide in, none of them are equipped to bear our emotional load 24/7.   And some things are only meant for the ears of God.

Sometimes He listens and wraps me in His love.   Other times He rebukes.  Yet at other times He gives me a course of action to respond with.   He is faithful to be there and respond at all times.

Remember to regularly unload to the Lord and minimize the danger of improper unloading to those who were never equipped to handle every single thing that's inside.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Unpublished ramblings

Ever write a draft of a blog post and then discover it was just for the purpose of you getting something off your chest but not something for you to actually post?

That happens to me all the time.  Probably at least once a week.

Twenty years ago if blogging existed, I might have published such a post.

It's probably a real good thing that blogging never existed then although I'm sure glad it exists now.  :)

That's all.  It's a Monday and I'm tired, and not in the mood to create a another post.  Yeah, you guessed it.  I wrote a rant today about something and then elected not to publish it.   So now this post concerning unpublished posts is my post. 

If you are missing a real post from me today that contains something substantial, there are worse things in life to cope with.  Consider the fact that the gulf cleanup is slowing down yet againPerez Hilton is still writing headlines and there's still a heat wave going across the USA.

By the way I'm making my family's favorite meal tonight for dinner.  It cooks all day.  Any guesses as to what it is?  Maybe I'll post the recipe another day this week when I'm not experiencing the usual Monday morning feelings.

p.s.  It was a fantastic day yesterday at Celebration, and a very late night for me at the church...part of the reason I'm so tired, but it's all good.  :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

And here's what's on the menu today
both spiritually and naturally...

It's going to be a great day at Celebration Church today -- I just feel it in my spirit.  You know each time we gather it's a Celebration, thus our name.  But God is doing something new all the time, and today I know He's going to show up and do His thing in a brand new way and I can't wait to see it unfold. We've been seeing some amazing stuff in people coming to Jesus, and healings and all kinds of breakthroughs and I know today will be a whole level.

Tonight we've got leadership meeting and we always have dinner together as a team before we talk.  One reason I always make sure there's food at any meeting Larry or I are leading is because we know hungry people don't listen to what anybody says.  If you are hungry your blood sugar is low all you are thinking is, "where are going to eat when we leave here and how soon is this meeting going to be over?" Well, at our meetings, nobody thinks that because it's all provided and we can just stay put and share to our hearts content!  :)  

This is what I made last night for leadership meeting tonight - my "second day" lasagna.   Yes I know lasagna is  a very common dish that most people make.  A few people have told me my version is one of their absolute favorites.  I thought I'd share here how I make mine and the two things I think might set it apart as a little different - first I use a few breakfast sausage patties and add it to the ground beef.  The mixure of the two meats gives it such a good flavor.  Second, I assemble the lasagna, cover and refrigerate (unbaked) for a night before I bake it and serve it.  I believe these two things make a major difference in how mine comes out.  (Note:  You can make it, bake it and serve it the same night but I always make it the night before because I noticed the taste after it settles is more amazing.  Plus this is a great thing to make ahead of time when you are having guests or when you have church the next day and don't have time to cook.)  Alright, here we go:  

Deanna's "Second Day" Lasagna

2 lbs. ground beef
6 breakfast sausage patties (make sure they are regular - mild - with no maple flavor, etc.)
1 jar spaghetti sauce 
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce
1 cup water added to sauce
1 large onion, chopped
1 and 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1 Tbsp basil
1 Tbsp oregano
1 box lasagna
Large container (1 lb) cottage cheese
2 eggs
1 cup parmesan cheese - shredded or grated
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown ground beef as well as sausage patties, with chopped onions.  (Crumble patties up before cooking or if they are already pre-cooked I put them in my food processor to grind up).  Drain.  Add all of the following ingredients down to the oregano.  It's important to note that the above measurements on the spices are approximate and I add a dash here a pinch there and do things to taste.  Simmer sauce on low while you are getting the other things ready.  Get pot to cook the lasagna noodles - prepare them as directed on the box - take care not to overcook - I cook them for the minimum time.  While pasta is cooking, mix cottage cheese, eggs, and parmesan cheese in bowl.  Once pasta is done,  get 9 x 13 pan and put about 1 cup of sauce in the bottom swish around to cover bottom of pan.  Line up 6 lasagna noodles to cover entire pan.  On top of this gently spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture.  Sprinkle  half of the mozzarella on top of this, and then cover with about half of the sauce that is in the pot.  Spread carefully so it's just sauce on the top layer.  Then repeat with another layer of pasta, cheeses from bowl, mozzarella and rest of sauce.  Then on top of that sprinkle a little bit of parmesan cheese.  Cover with tin foil and put in your fridge for the night.  The next day cook it for about 45 minutes on 350 or until you can tell it's hot in the center.  Sometimes it takes an hour.  Once you take it out of the oven let it sit at least 15 minutes to firm up, and then cut into squares.  Yum!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Do this for fun

Need a fun distraction?  I sometimes do.  
For fun, google this:  your name and the word "loves".  Then write down the first ten things that come up on the google search.  I did.  My comments in parenthesis...

1)  Deanna loves guys who are sensitive but edgy and have a killer style. (lol)
2)  Deanna loves pretty things.  (Yep!)
3)  Deanna loves Billy.  (Who?)
4)  Deanna loves her thesaurus.  (I truly do.)
5)  Deanna loves Jonas.  (Man, this is makin' me sound like I really get around...lol)
6)  Deanna loves cooking and baking, as well as eating the fruits of her labour. Needless to say, she also loves working out.  (Gosh, who's been stalking me?  Well, I dunno about the "loving" to work out part..)
7)  Deanna loves Kevin.  (Who the heck is Kevin?  I have a cousin named Kevin...I do "love" him but we aren't from West Virginia or anything...)
8)  Deanna defines love as physical affection, the feeling of ’smokin hot.  (Actually...no.  But physical affection is cool as well as the feeling of smokin hot.)
9)  Deanna loves to write memoirs and poetry.  (I like to write...period.)
10)  Deanna loves to sing and sings well.  (Some say that's true.)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another Breakthrough ~
New Day Dawning



Lately these two songs have had particular significance in the Celebration Church prayer meetings and although this Youtube version is really not the best, I'm posting it anyway.   Both songs are from Pastor Mary Alessi's  "More" album which is an older one, but man, oh man...SO powerful.   Get the CD to hear it clearly - you'll be so glad you did. 
 
Although these aren't brand new songs, God has put a fresh anointing them for us at CC right now as we push through in prayer.  As these two songs are played the spirit of God just comes into the sanctuary in such a powerful way and there's a moment in time where the anointing of God is so strong in there it's unbelievable.   There are times I've honestly thought..."Okay, the eastern sky is splitting NOW."  Last Thursday I went in to prayer meeting and it was sunny...not a cloud in the sky.  As I read my Bible that morning and got quiet before God He gave me this word that I quickly wrote down and tucked back in my Bible:  "My house has been prepared, in the most important way possible. The sound of praise has been heard by the remnant in the secret place. It is the preparation by this remnant that causes the rain clouds to gather for the outpouring upon my people. Get ready, for my house has been prepared and the rain is coming!!!"

After a while I began praying while laying face down on the floor at the altar just crying out to God to rain on His church with His Holy Spirit.  The next thing I knew, a HUGE (I mean the loudest I've ever heard) thunder clap happened.  I thought, "what in the heck is that?"  I hopped up and ran to the back doors.  Still sunny out.  I asked someone at the altar, "what was that?"  They said, "sounded like thunder but I don't know."  I went back and laid down again and kept praying and the next thing I knew another deafening boom of thunder came and then a flash of lighting and it rained down hard just right over the church for about five minutes.  John and Sofia came in for prayer during this time and said they ran into the church as fast as they could because Sofia was frightened at first because she said she "never saw anything like that before" outside.  I pulled the paper out of my Bible and showed what God had given me earlier that morning.  There was nothing to fear!  

I'm not a spooky or mystical person...I simply believe God sometimes gives us a preview in the natural of what He's doing or going to do in the supernatural. 

As I sit here and type this post at this very moment a friend from our previous congregation just instant messaged me to tell me about a miraculous personal breakthrough they just had in their family a few hours ago.  She says, "hey PD, I just wanted to say thank you. I am a prayer warrior and I know my calling because of what you and Pastor Larry taught me..."  It works, my friends!!   Prayer and praise has stood the test of time throughout thousands of years, and changes the course of history.

Just listen to this song today, breathe in the presence of God, and believe for YOUR breakthrough today.  I can see a new day dawning...I can see a breakthrough coming...joy comes in the morning...breakthrough!  breakthrough!  

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Send a prayer someone's way
and keep your good vibes

Do you believe in the power of prayer?   I'm not talking about well wishes or good vibrations.  (I recently saw that a friend had sent another friend who has cancer "good vibrations" on facebook.  What?!)  Um... a vibration might actually make you feel good temporarily but it will not heal you.  But that's another blog post for another day.   When we're sick we need healing, not a buzz.  A good vibration, a dream or a wish never healed anyone but the power of JESUS can and will heal.  Healing DID NOT END with the book of Acts!!  We are living Chapter 29!    I tell you this from experience both past and present.  I often wonder why some people worship a God who they honestly believe stopped doing things once the Bible was complete.  What a boring tragedy to serve a God who you think doesn't do stuff anymore.  I tell you, I wouldn't wake up on Sunday mornings for that.  I'm not worshipping some anemic God.  My God can do ANYTHING.   I tell our people, I love to sleep too much to go to church if I thought God wasn't going to show up and do something!!   Listen to these two incredible testimonies of how God has moved lately in some people at Celebration Church.  We are a group of people who believe in PRAYING UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS!!!  (P.U.S.H - ing)

One of our ladies, MaryAnn, was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago.  We have been feverently praying for her healing.   She just had her first chemo treatment.  This past week we found out, after the first treatment they went in to look at her tumor to see how much it had shrunk to prepare for the next round of chemo.  Amazingly the doctors found NOTHING!!!  No lump!!!  It's gone.  Praise God!!!  The doctors might have been surprised that her tumor has vanished, but we're not!!  This is what the power of God can do.

Another person with a great need is someone very dear to me, my friend Bonnie Stewart.  All our people in our church are special to me, but Bonnie is especially so.  When you look up the words "supportive church members" in the dictionary Bonnie and her husband Todd's photos come up.  (lol)  I love them so much.  Bonnie does everything in the church from helping me direct the choir, to organizing meals for the sick in our church, to cleaning the church, to singing alto on the frontline, to ANYTHING that needs to be done!!!  It has been difficult to see Bonnie walk through the physical problems she had dealt with for the past year or more.  She was diagnosed with a serious condition ("female" problems here that I won't go into detail on)  almost 6 months ago and told she needed an operation ASAP or it was likely to turn to cancer.  The problem is, she has no insurance and doesn't have the money for the operation. It's gotten worse and worse and she's in so much pain she can hardly stand it sometimes though she NEVER misses a church service or a function of any kind.   She and Todd have been faithful through his time of unemployment which lasted quite a while (he has a job now, praise God!). They are the type of people who even stay faithful in tithing and giving offerings when unemployed.   Some call that crazy,  God calls it obedient.  There are so many facets to this testimony...

Sometimes God heals people divinely when we pray -- other times he uses  medical science to do so through the wisdom and anointing that is upon doctors.  We have prayed for God to heal her body divinely or make a way where there seemed to be no way.   Yesterday  she had a consultation with her doctor and he said, "Bonnie, with the test results that have come back and what I can see, I don't know how you're still standing..." Well, weeping endures for the night but joy comes in the morning!!!  She has now gotten her breakthrough!    Last night at church she announced that the doctors told her yesterday they decided they are are DOING HER OPERATION FOR FREE!!!  THAT'S RIGHT, NO CHARGE!!!

Somebody shout now!!  Let me tell you that's exactly what I did last night.  I was so excited.  We're believing she can have the operation before our life coaching retreat and be recovered before we go.   

Going back to faithfulness in giving let me just say this -- finances are the only issue where God invites you to TEST HIM.  (Malachi 3:8-12)  Bonnie and Todd have put God to the test many times in this, and He proved Himself.   How much would that operation cost if they had to pay for it themselves?  It would be astronomical.  But now they don't have to pay for it.  God has made a way. 

God honors faithfulness.  He answers prayer.  He honors obedience.  He listens to the cries of His people that have gone up in intercession.  History belongs to the people who pray.  

He's not just doing the same stuff He did back in the days of the Bible, He's doing even more amazing things in these days, because He said He would doing GREATER WORKS in these days and times.  I trust Him -- I praise Him no matter what anything looks like on the outside for however long, I know my God!!  I can't wait to see whose breakthrough is around the corner next!!!  A wish is just a dream your heart makes, but a prayer launches the supernatural power of the Holy Ghost to work!  I can't count on a wish, a dream, a vibe, but I can be sure of Jesus everytime!

p.s.  Celebraters, don't forget prayer meeting today at 11:00 AM in the sanctuary.  :) 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dontcha' just LoooooooooVE it???!!

When a cashier looks your way and directly tells you, "I can take you over on register 6..." and then as you are moving your cart there somebody else slides in front of you, even if it's just with a few items and now you have to stand there and wait because the cashier takes them first?"  (Just happened to me yesterday and it always makes me wish I would have stayed at the previous register.)   In my head I say, "if I were a cashier I would say to that person, 'hold on a moment, I just invited this lady to this register first'.  But then I realize they might be one of those people who sit in a church somewhere week after week and think, "If I were the pastor I would..."  Nah, forget it.  I'll stand there, smile, be quiet and quit thinking their job for them.

When teens ask other teens (who have never lived any longer or much longer than they have) advice about decisions that will affect their lives forever?  

When people rant about the importance of tolerance yet they are intolerant of those who won't tolerate just anything.

When your dog goes around in little circles time and time again in the same spot before sitting or laying down?

When you sit on the toilet and start going before you realize that the last person left you about 1/2 inch of toilet paper?

When your husband asks you where you want to go out to eat and you tell him, "Panera Bread" and he says, "well, I mean...where else would you like to go other than there?"

When your cell phone falls out of the little pocket in your purse and it's ringing incessently in the "black hole" that is the totality of your purse and by the time you finally find it the ringing stops.

When you go through a drive through, forget to double check the bag, get home and discover they left one of your sandwich orders out of the bag so now one of your family members is without one.

When someone asks you  on instant message why you are on line so late but they are on at the same time themselves?

That anybody thinks it's any of their business why you are awake at any given time?  Since when was it a crime to be AWAKE for crying out loud?  You are awake.  You are not committing murder or robbery, nor even failing to put your grocery cart back.  You are AWAKE. 

When salespeople come to your door at home?  No, I do not want to buy steak from out of your trunk.  I do not want a candy bar.  I do not want to order a candle.  I can get all three at Superwalmart and didn't need you to make me put clothes on to come to the door just to tell you no so my dogs would stop barking and you'd stop ringing my doorbell.

When somebody goes on and on telling you something for at least 15-20 minutes and then says, "you know, I could go on and on, but I won't..."

When somebody goes on and on about something else and then says, "to make a long story short..."   (I don't ever do that.  If I go on and on, I'm famous for saying, "to make a long story longer..."  My friends always laugh at this - not sure if they are laughing with me or at me...lol.)

When you are with someone and they answer their cell phone and talk to someone else more than they talk to you.  

For a pastor:  when someone in the community (not a Christian) finds out you are a pastor and they proceed to tell you about their cousin, nephew, or other distant relative who is a pastor and then sprinkle your conversation thereafter with a bunch of Christianese that is code for, "I have not been to church in YEARS, nor had a conversation with God in eons either, but I am desperately trying to make you think otherwise..."

When the dental hygienist pushes hard on your molars with that little silver sharp thingy that makes you feel like he/she's giving you a cavity if one's not there already.

When people throw plates with food in the side of the sink that is NOT the garbage disposal?

This ends the rant of July 21, 2010.

Carry on.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Recalculating your agenda

When I'm riding along and take a different turn than the GPS told me to, it recalculates the route.  In a few moments time, it comes up with a way to still get to the original destination albeit just a little bit later.

Recalculation is something I apply to my personal weekly agenda when I am given an opportunity to do something special with my family or friends.  I don't want to live so rigidly that I can't ever accept a last minute invitation.  My family members are very spontaneous and it's very common for them to decide just moments before that they're going to go to the movies, or for ice cream, or pretty much anywhere.  I am not very spontaneous myself, but flow with people who are.  My husband has decided at the last minute that we'll go away overnight.  Taking advantage of any of this requires an immediate recalculation for me.  It's important to me to work it out if at all possible because I want to enjoy life and do things with those I love.

Looking at my agenda, I see what could possibly be moved to the next day.  If a change is possible, I make a decision to add a few things to the following day's agenda in order to get it all done, and on time -- by Sunday.  The most important thing with a recalculation is that you don't put it off again and absolutely follow through.  (This is the stuff leaders are made of, by the way.)  It's tempting after recalculation when I have ten items to acccomplish the next day  instead of five to just keep putting them off, but that would eventually lead to greater stress not to mention bad character.

 A recalculation does no good if you don't actually arrive at your destination by week's end.  The step where most people fail is the follow through to actually add the deferred items to the next day's schedule.  I have to be honest that it does drive me a little okay maybe  a lot insane when people don't do something they agreed to do for me and then say, "well you know, we just decided to take off and go to [take your pick of destination here] and therefore I never got to your whatever that I promised you I'd do..."   This is truly a lack of character being that faithfulness and dependability are values God holds in high regard not to mention most other people do too.    

Through careful recalculation, flexibility and follow through you can get your work done and spend time with those you love.

Monday, July 19, 2010

How to be exhausted and successful at the same time

On Mondays I pretty much feel like I've been run over by a truck.

It doesn't matter whether Sunday was amazing or difficult.  Either way, the run-over-by-a-truck-feeling is there simply because I give Sunday it all I've got whether things are good or bad.  (Yesterday was an excellent day at Celebration Church, by the way.  Still the wrung out feeling remains.)

Right now I'm especially busy because in addition to all of the other roles that I've been fulfilling for a long time we're also without an administrative assistant in our office  and I'm covering the tasks of that job too as well as all of my other stuff, until we hire.  At one point in the past I did the admin job for a whole year and a half  in addition to mine, while we were waiting to hire and I thought it would be the end of me some days.  One of the keys to making it through is that I didn't overthink it and just jumped in to do what had to be done.

A friend posted last night on his facebook status that there are "no traffic jams on the second mile."  This is SO TRUE.   I'm basically writing this post today for people who are living on the second mile.  You've got a lot spinning and are aways looking for ways to make it work, or make it work better than it's currently going.  If you're like me your ears are constantly perked for anything having to do with time management.

One thing that helps me is that I don't live aimlessly.  I have a very defined agenda, with margin yet still very detailed.  By Thursday of each week I have the following week's agenda mapped out and on my Word Outlook.   This is my second bible and basically by Saturday of each week, the entire agenda has to be completed, no exceptions  There may be some detours concerning what gets done daily and the amount of items to be completed each day tweaked, but the bottom line is that by week's end it's done.  (I also blogged with my notes from a series of workshops I was asked to teach at a conference.  These are called God's Wonder Woman, One, Two, and Three.)

Just a word to the wise for today... I usually think about things like dinnertime for the next day the night before, especially for Mondays.  Since I start the day Monday feeling exhausted the last thing I want to do is come home and cook supper in the evening.   The tiredness I feel is always accompanied by hunger and desire for something comforting and of course my family wants the same.  Make no mistake there are times we just do PB & J and I'm not standing over a stove stirring anything.  But by and large I like to plan ahead.  Last night we had game night at the church but I came home and put something together in the crock pot so I could just take it out of the fridge this morning, turn it on and leave for work.  I like to do that for Mondays because when we come home from the office it's ready to eat.     Tonight we're having Crockpot Thai Chicken with Rice.  Doesn't that sound good?   

Planning ahead is a key to successful juggling a lot of roles.  I believe it's also important to not be wrapped so tight where planning is concerned that we don't ever do anything spontaneous.  It's good to be open to a detour, so you can do fun unexpected things but still cover responsibilities.   More on this tomorrow...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

...and this is what I'm making today

Celebration Church is having a game night tonight and this is the Shrodes family contribution. (We're having appetizers and desserts along with games.) Yes, I know the combination of strawberries and pretzels might seem strange, but if you have never had this before, try it just once...I promise you, it's absolutely moan-worthy. You will thank your lucky stars that I gave you this recipe.  


Strawberry Pretzel Jello Dessert

2 c. pretzels, crushed
4 tbsp. sugar
1/2 - 3/4 c. butter, melted
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
8 oz. carton Cool Whip
1 lg. box strawberry Jello
2 c. boiling water
2 pkgs. strawberries (frozen), thawed and drained

Mix pretzels, 4 tablespoons sugar, and butter together; press into bottom of 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 6 minutes; cool. In mixing bowl, fold Cool Whip into cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar. Spread over cooled crust. Dissolve Jello into boiling water. Add strawberries to Jello and pour over cream cheese. Chill and let set. Cut into squares to serve. Serves 12.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

This is so good it would make a tadpole slap a whale!

This morning is our monthly  life coaching meeting at Celebration Church.  We've gotten in the habit of eating brunch at these meetings, and the natural and spiritual food is just wonderful.  Today God has given me a very powerful word for them, and I know we're going to have an amazing time.  I can just feel the "next level" coming on!!! 

My food contribution for this morning's meeting is hash brown potato casserole.  If you've never tried this, oh MY, you need to.  It's UH-May-Zing!!! 

Hash Brown Potato Casserole

1 (32 oz.) package of frozen hash brown potatoes
1/2 cup of butter  (1 stick)
8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of onions, chopped
1 pint of sour cream
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt (or I use fresh garlic)
1 cup of corn flakes
1/4 cup of melted butter
Partially defrost hash browns. Mix potatoes, 1/2 cup margarine, cheese, onions, sour cream, soup, and spices. Put into greased 9 x 13 dish. Sprinkle corn flakes over the potatoes. Pour the 1/4 cup of margarine over corn flakes. Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

*Yes, I know it's not exactly calorie friendly, but it's so good, at least for "occasions.This is one of our traditional dishes for Christmas dinner.   My family LOVES it, especially my father in law.  I always make this dish, along with other casseroles.  On holidays, I have a tradition of making Larry's and each one of our children's favorite vegetables or vegetable casseroles. So, we end up with quite a smorgasbord on our table, with four different vegetable casseroles!  If you make this dish for a covered dish dinner party or potluck, you are guaranteed to come home with only your empty dish.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Greatest

Savanna took this photo of Maxie this week.  I can never have enough photos of my dogs or my kids!  Okay, today here on the blog it's FUN FRIDAY (can't describe how excited I am about that either!) and nothing super deep here today, just a few thoughts I'll share on this great day off (fingers crossed that it will be a day off -- you never know in a pastor's home...) 

Greatest way to relax ~ stay home
Greatest vacation memory ~when we went back for Larry's high school reunion.
  Greatest success ~ my kids
Greatest regret ~ some hiring decisions in the past
Greatest resource ~ prayer/fasting 
Greatest personal attribute ~ strong work ethic
Greatest personal weakness ~ anger
Greatest way to work off steam ~ bicycle ride
Greatest surprise ~ 30th b'day party from Larry
Greatest way to relax ~ moonlight path bubble bath or writing
Greatest comfort ~ prayer/worship
Greatest stress ~ the phone 
Greatest irritation ~ lazy people or those who feel entitled.
Greatest joy ~ seeing lives changed for Jesus.
Greatest thing I'm longing to do right now...sleep...peace out.