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Showing posts from January, 2011

Why I woke up yesterday at the crack of dawn to go to church...

My alarm goes off each Sunday well before the sun comes up, and I head to church.

It's not  because I'm a pastor. 

It's not because I'm "religious".

I'm not religious.  Doing something "religiously" just means you do it over and over again.  I used to eat brownies over and over again but it never brought me a miracle - it only made me fatter.

It's not because I have a lack of other things to do.  I have a plethora of other things to do.


I don't go because I have to, I go because I get to! (Psalm 84)

I don't go hesitating...I go EXPECTING.   That's right, pregnant with anticipation!!!


My Jesus saves!
My Jesus heals!
My Jesus baptizes in the Holy Spirit!
My Jesus restores lives!
My Jesus breaks addictions!
My Jesus turns the hearts of the children back to the fathers and mothers!
My Jesus is the cure for what doctors say can't be cured!
My Jesus does the impossible!  The unthinkable!  The unimaginable!
My Jesus is still worki…

Lord, I believe...help my unbelief

I'm going to church today fully believing for a miracle for someone.  For a lot of people, actually. I have no problem at all doing that.  My faith is high and many times I do see miracles.  I've got faith that the blind will see, the lame will walk, provision will be granted, people will be employed, promotions and favor will be given, destiny will unfold... heck...I have no problem praying to raise the dead!  Bring it on!

There's only one thing or person it's hard for me to believe for and that's...me.  Maybe because it's my life, not somebody else's.  When it comes to believing for other people and their situations, I just know a slice of their life as compared to the whole pie.  And then when I look at my circumstances, they seem insurmountable.  My friend Cassandra Stafford told me the other day when I told her this that it's very common problem, this whole having a hard-time-believing-for-your-own-breakthrough thing.   I know I'm not alone, an…

Her church wouldn't pray for her healing...

This week I was reading Matthew 4 and came to verse 23 where it says, "Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people" and was fired up once again (as I am on a habitual basis!) that every means every, and all means all, and that Jesus HASN'T STOPPED!!!

No where in the Bible have we been given a memo that the miracles of Jesus are over.  How sad for some who have limited exposure to the miracles of Jesus, not just the ones He did in scripture but the ones He is STILL DOING TODAY. 

There was a woman I'll call "Mrs. K" who along with her husband and two children, attended Celebration for a while.  For the record, I deeply love the "K" family.

Mr. and Mrs. K. are both strong pentecostal believers and in fact have been for most of their lives.    However, their children's best friends from school go to another church and are very activ…

MochiBerri and Savanna's new hair

Today will not be the same "Fun Friday" as it normally is today due to some things on the agenda so thankfully Larry and I were able to break away for a short date last night.


While out and about we went to frozen yogurt shop in Wiregrass Shops called MochiBerri.  They specialize in traditional flavors as well as some unique new ones.   They make them with fresh, all natural ingredients.    Their fresh fruit toppings are cut throughout the day and include various nuts, candies, mochi and liquid syrups.  I had an opportunity to try real MochiBerri for the first time!  I had never heard of it before.  It's like a marshmallow, only healthier.  Everything at MochiBerri is "create your own" and you have opportunity to make your own masterpiece and then they weigh  it and this determines the cost.  It was very reasonable and they also serve smoothies and coffee.  Best of all, Larry and I had opportunity to meet and talk to the owner, Scott, for a long time.  He's…

My version of "post it notes"...lol

The following is an excerpt from my message last night at Fusion...just thought I'd cut and paste a portion of my notes here...thought it might bless somebody here today who needs to hear it.  I usually don't just cut and paste a section of my message notes for a blog post but for some reason felt led to do it today and besides that, I'm exhausted from pouring out last night and just don't have a fresh blog post in me.  :)  Here goes...

Last night's message was, "Winning the Battle"


We read in Judges the fourth chapter about Deborah, a prophetess and a judge.  She held court under a palm tree during the time that Israel was under bitter oppression due to the rule of Jabin, a Caananite king.  Even his name means “cunning.”  
Now I want you to note, Deborah was discouraged about what was happening in the nation.  She was getting daily reports of Jabin’s craziness.  If this would have been in this day and age,   Deborah would be getting 24/7 Fox News Updates.…

What does a leader look for in a friend?

Did you ever wonder what leaders are looking for in a friend?  

There are several qualities that are not optional for the close friend of a leader to possess. Two of the most important are a pure heart (right motivation) and someone who always speaks well of them. I got this from the greatest leadership book every written, by the way.  I'm about to quote from it.  The truth is that leaders are so consumed with a plethora of details, they don't have time to worry all the time about whether the folks close to them are there for the right reasons, or have their back.
Proverbs 22:11 says,God loves the pure-hearted and well-spoken; good leaders also delight in their friendship."  Proverbs 22:11 (MSG)
What does well spoken mean?  It speaks of positive, loyal conversation.  
The NLT puts it this way:  "Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend."  Aperson that Proverbs 22 speaks of will not only HAVE the king (leader) as a friend, but …

Everybody needs a soft place to land

A few months ago during the holidays I was working one Monday at the church office and was completely and utterly exhausted by day's end.  It wasn't all from the workday -- it was a carry over from Sunday.  In addition to early morning rehearsals, teaching my class, and leading in the worship service, we also had a late night of ministry in a leadership meeting where I also taught.  Then on Monday I got up early and had a full day at the office that was really busy with a lot of standing up and working on a Christmas project all day.  I told Larry, "I'm so beat, I'm just aching all over and my feet are the worst.  I'm going straight from work to get a pedicure."  I was miserable.  Couldn't wait to just sink in the chair, feel the massage (the place I go has AMAZING chairs that are such a treat in and of themselves) and go to the special place in my head that I go to when Mai (the lady who does my feet) works on me.

I got there and she said, "Deee…

True Church Stories - #33

The reality show, "My Strange Addiction" on TLC jarred my memory for this true church story, when my daughter Savanna told me about a lady who was on the show that was addicted to eating couches.  Crazy!  You just ask yourself how someone even gets past the first bite without hurling! 

One time we were having a church dinner and the lady who decorated for the event had set out bowls of colorful potpourri in the center of the tables as a centerpiece.

Imagine our shock to notice that another lady at the church had sat down at one of the tables and eaten almost an entire bowl of potpourri waiting for the event to start, thinking it was the appetizer for the evening.  

Yes, I am serious.

The only thing that stopped her was a man who came and sat down at the table, noticed what she was doing and astonished, asked her why in the world she was eating potpourri.   She told him she didn't realize what it was and thought it was a food item to get started on before we opened up t…

Can old dogs learn new tricks? Yes. And people can too!!

First, let me establish that science has proven that conventional wisdom was wrong about both dogs and humans.  For years, psychiatrists thought that you could not teach an old dog new tricks but recently science has proven that theory wrong.  Dogs have the capability to learn new things and so do humans.  We do have the capacity to change, even later in life, and how much more is this possible when the Holy Spirit is involved?

Today was a fantastic day at Celebration and one of the things that made my day was watching a lady named Sharon.

I would guesstimate that Sharon is in her mid 70's or so.  Back in November Sharon visited Celebration for the first time.  I thought we'd never see her again a second time.  I follow up on our guests and I didn't think her feedback was real positive although it didn't upset me.  She didn't seem to like anything about us.  She said the music was too contemporary and much too loud.  She also said, "if I saw this on TV, I'…

My love/hate relationship with the phone and other ramblings

Yesterday on Fun Friday I had lunch with a friend and then I almost had my husband all to myself for a few precious hours of time.  Except for the constant interruptions of my husband's phone it was the PERFECT day. 

We were involved in deep, amazing, intimate conversation and within the first fifteen minutes, his cell phone rang FOUR times, with four DIFFERENT individuals calling.  And it continued several times through the night.  This is not uncommon, in fact it happens every time we spend any time together.  Every single time!!!  If they had cell phones back before we had kids, it's doubtful we would have ended up with any children. The phone would have interrupted us from conceiving every time.  I might have had to get artificial insemination if I ever wanted to become a mother, due to my husband's cell phonus interruptus.   You think I'm kidding?  I really am not exaggerating that every time we have a conversation or go anywhere or do anything for an hour or two…

True Church Stories - #32

This is a more recent true church story...it occurred a few months ago during one of our Sunday morning worship rehearsals with the band, frontline singers and choir.  

We were in the midst of a rehearsal and my oldest son Dustin was leading a song on his guitar.  Suddenly I noticed that his zipper was all the way down.  So I discreetly went over and whispered, "Son, your zipper is down."  And instead of him responding in kind and discreetly pulling it up, with a completely straight face he proceeded to announce over the microphone,   "Mother, I planned it that way.  I like to wear my zipper down."  (You have to understand my son is a total comedian.  He does NOT like to wear his zipper down nor did he intend to, he was just being funny.  It worked.  The whole worship ministries team busted out laughing when he said this.)

I had the last word, however.  When he said what he did, I turned around and announced, "Well son, I suggest you pull it back up especiall…

Thermostats vs. Thermometers

Last night I brought a message in our Fusion service called, "We've Been Chosen to Change theAtmosphere."  In this message I gave the illustration of the difference between a thermostat and a thermometer.  A thermometer simply measures the temperature in the room, but a thermostat sets it.  We have been called to set the temp, not measure it.  The atmosphere should change for the better simply because we walk into a room.  There's no telling what will happen when a Holy Spirit anointed, prayed up, activated Christian walks in on the scene.  

Last night one of our Celebrators, Minerva Sanabria brought up an excellent point.  She said that when we first come to Jesus we are basically all thermometers but when we get involved and begin serving that's when we begin to move from thermometer to thermostat.  Involvement and investment of ourselves makes all the difference.  I agreed and added that it's interesting to note the pattern of your typical criticizer in C…

Although it never gets any easier, these things do help me personally

Yesterday I shared about  my long time struggle with weight management and wellness and the fact that it really never gets easier, but that it's not an excuse to give up.

Even though it doesn't get easier I've found that some things are helpful to me on the journey.  I've found it's key to share with others about this because those who struggle learn so much from each other.  (That's one of the reasons I'm committed to Weight Watcher meetings -- as they say, "the meetings are the magic.")
I thought I'd share a few things that are helpful to me since this is a topic that seems to resonate with so many, and quite frankly I've learned that wellness has so much to do with how I'm doing as a woman, wife, mother, minister, employee, friend, etc.  It affects EVERYTHING.

Here we go...
Accountability WW meetings, plus a few friends I'm accountable to who ask me the hard questions.With a full house of others who are not all on the same jour…

Does it ever get any easier?

I have been back on the journey to wellness for a while now. This is not a new year's resolution.  I knew way before the new year that I needed to make some big changes to not only get back to where I need to be, but beyond where I used to be.  One reason I committed to this before the holidays ever came was because I knew Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year would pack at least another 10 lbs onto me and take me even further down a spiral I didn't need to be going on.  I needed to get a grip on things before then.  So, I did.

How's it going?  Very slow, but steady.  I'm learning that once you hit 40, it's harder than it was before.  It's like the weight goes off of you kicking and screaming, pulling to stay on you like a toddler in the candy aisle.  It's so frustrating at times but I'm just determined to not let it keep it's monstrous hold on me.  

I don't really talk about it a lot (and really haven't blogged about it at all) even to my h…

True Church Stories - #31

This story is from...YESTERDAY!

Back in November my friend Candy asked me why I was still wearing my boots all the time when they were obviously on their last legs, pardon the pun. (They were in very poor shape.  Max has even chewed on them, bless his heart.  However I had not gotten around to replacing them and in wintertime I wear my high heeled black boots with almost everything on a daily basis.)  I was delighted on Christmas Eve to have friends Candy and Sue corner me after communion and say, "we have a gift for you..." and when I opened it among other things there were a new pair of high heeled black boots from Charlotte Russe.  Only one thing...although my size, these particular boots were a little bit too tight.  Being that I want to wear them all the time during this time of the year I knew if they weren't really comfortable -- I wouldn't.  So, I said, "can we check for one size bigger?"  Candy said she'd be glad to and took them back to exchan…

Thought on my mind this weekend...ex-ministers who seem to eat sour grapes for breakfast

Did you ever notice how many people leave full time ministry or even their denomination and then want to criticize everything that's wrong with it?  It's like some believe they've been given some grand insight now that they aren't on the inside anymore, as to what's broken.  Evidently they have found they key as to why things will or don't work and ruminate about why things should or shouldn't be.  They have no shortage of comments on what's wrong with pastors today, church people today, worship trends today, bible colleges today, denominations today, and the list goes on.  Boy they are just great at commenting on a world they aren't a part of.  How easy it is to criticize where you don't contribute.  What do these guys and gals eat for breakfast?  Sour grapes?


It reminds me of that old saying, "Those who can't do, teach."  I love this version I heard from a blogger:

Those who can, do.
Those who can't, teach.
Those who can't…

True Church Stories - #30

Today I'm telling a true church story in honor of a sweet young woman at our church, Julie Lechner.  Her grandmother died yesterday and she's very down about this loss, as can be expected.  Yesterday I consoled her and prayed with her -- and today I'm going to try and say something to brighten her day.  Being that she absolutely loves the "True Church Stories" and reads all of them I thought I'd write one today in her honor.   Julie, this one's for you.  

Sometimes people call into the church office and ask strange questions.  Anybody who's ever worked at a church can tell you, you never know what you're going to get on the other end of that phone.  I can't even repeat some of the questions people have asked me -- quite honestly they'd be inappropriate to repeat.  But this was a particularly interesting exchange with a surprise ending -- one that had me real embarrassed.

Three things you should know to set up this story:
There are a lot of…

There was a man sent from God...whose name was John.

John 1:6
The man from Hartselle, Alabama came to church again last night.  Really!

His name is John.

After stopping me in the Wiregrass Shops and giving me that word from God for my husband and I and our church he went back to Alabama, but this week he's back for a special family event in Tampa.  He decided to come to Celebration last night and I was so glad to see him.  It's our annual week of prayer.  I asked him to come up and open the service with a prayer of freedom/victory/blessing over the church, and I told him about this past Sunday.  I shared that already the word was coming to fruition -- new freedom in the house, obstacles removed, etc.  He came up to the front to begin to pray the prayer and he just let loose.  I mean, he let out a shout of victory that if the people weren't already awake...well, they were then.  :)   It was awesome.

We had a dynamic prayer service and our friend from Alabama was thoroughly a part of it.  We also got a chance to talk for a few…

Is this E-Harmony or job coaching?

Yesterday I was having a talk with one of our assistant regional managers, Angela, and marveling at how God personally selects my job seekers.  Mine could go to ANY coach at NextJob, but in God's divine plan, they are assigned to ME!  We are a perfect match!  How do I know it's a divine connection and not just something random?  Well, in many different ways and one of the calls I had recently typifies this. Angela totally agreed with me and said it's happened to her many times.  

Job seekers don't always talk to you about career advice. They also talk to you about everything from what they are making for dinner to what made them mad about that day, what they are looking forward to, or what made them laugh that morning when they woke up. They ask my advice on what to buy their kids for Christmas or how to get gum out of the carpet.  NextJob trains us to meet them where they're at, and I really try my best to do that.  So when they say, "did you ever toilet tra…