Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2011

Get out the kleenex!!!
This will rip your heart out...

This photo was captured yesterday at the altar at Celebration , where God is moving in power, doing great and mighty things!!!  The blonde haired boy on the left in the American Eagle shirt is a young man named Daniel who has been coming to CC for just a week.  Invited by his good friend Ben, (who is one of our Celebrators) he came for the first time last Sunday.  Then on Wednesday he came to our youth ministry -- "Refuge", and when our son Dustin gave the altar call at the conclusion of his message, Daniel responded to the call to accept Jesus as His Savior.  This young man has a story that will break your heart.  Just recently his father died of a heart attack.  When his father died, his mother was so traumatized over the death that she had a stroke, and also died!  Daniel is now without natural parents in this world.  He lives with his grandmother.  But he has found REFUGE...literally. Ben reached out to him and invited him to Celebration Church where he has been surrou

Okay, so I have trust issues.

  "Faith isn't the ability to believe long and far into the misty future.      It's  simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step. "                                                                     - Joni Erickson Tada Every year in our life coaching group I have the women select a "word of the year" to focus on as their theme.  Several of them have used "trust" as their word in the past and we've got some who chose that word  this year too.  I've never chosen the word, "trust," but probably should have. To say I have had and still have trust issues is an understatement.  I won't go into why...it wouldn't just be a blog post for another day...it would probably be the longest blog series ever.  And I doubt anybody wants to read blog posts for several months about why I find it hard to trust people.  As a kid I went on one of those ropes courses that you go on to build trust with others, and  I miserably f

I get knocked down, but I get up again...

My life this week reminds me of this song. Last Sunday morning was one of the hardest days I've had in YEARS.  This was the last time felt like this...March 18, 2007.  That's not too bad I guess - almost 4  years ago.  (I have a better memory now that I'm a blogger.  All I have to do is look back in my blog notes to remember anything.  lol)  It also occurred on a Sunday, of course!  The enemy makes sure of that. By the time the altar service was over Sunday morning I was in full blown fever, chills, nausea, headache, the works...and by Sunday night I couldn't speak a word.  This thing pretty well knocked me flat til late Wednesday night.  I've had an adjusted schedule all week long. Now I'm pretty much trying to get to 100% by this Sunday.  Congestion, cough and issues with my voice are all that remain.  I would say my voice it at about 75 % -- it fades in and out.  I really need your prayers to see a miracle by tomorrow.  That's really what I'm

My journey to making history through prayer - Part 5
(Keys to leading an effective weekly prayer meeting)

I promised that today I'd be sharing about keys to leading an effective prayer meeting.  This post is going to be very practical, basically the nuts and bolts of what works for us at CC . It's just what we have found to be effective for us, not what I believe is "the plan of God for every church."  If something here helps you, take it and run with it.  That's why I'm posting it!  At the same time, if there's something you think I would benefit from in your experience, please comment and let me know. I'm ever learning and welcome your suggestions. I've been in church all my life, and pastoring the last 24 years.  One thing I've experienced over the years is that prayer meetings tend to be a whole lot of sharing (sometimes even gossiping) and very little praying.  Sometimes people even come to prayer meeting with the intention of talking to those present, getting things off their chest, or spending time with the leader/pastor present.  I have

My journey to making history through prayer - Part 4

One thing I realized  a while back was that if the climate was going to change in our church in the way of intercession and become healthy, the women were going to have to have a healthy biblical understanding of it. I do believe that while both men and women are powerful in prayer, many women seem to be more drawn to prayer.  In many churches the prayer groups are almost exclusively women.  We work hard at Celebration to involve the men in prayer and I'm so thrilled to say we have GREAT participation on the part of our men.  ( Side note:  if men realized how attractive it is to us when they pray, more of them would do it!  lol  Really, is there anything more smokin' hot than a man who loves God?!  Booyah! )   Still I realized no matter how involved the men are, chances are if I have an issue pop up with someone who is out of line with intercession, it's probably going to be one of the ladies. I lead our Wednesday night Fusion service and am the main speaker in that

My journey to making history through prayer - Part 3

So yesterday I gave you many of the reasons why the last thing in the world I wanted to do was apply the label of "intercessor" to my life. First let me say, I've discovered that labels aren't really that important but functions are.  I've come to realize that what you call a person - their title or label, isn't really all that significant, but the purpose they fulfill certainly is. As a side note, I've found that although they don't advertise it, most pastor's wives are intercessors ,  at least if they have been in the ministry for any significant period of time.  You have to be - you won't survive for the long haul in the pastorate without becoming a praying person.  All  pastors or their spouses won't label themselves an intercessor but most will tell you that they prioritize prayer.  Quite frankly most of them that I know don't care about receiving a title for it, or recognition - they just see it as an essential tool in th

My journey to making history through prayer - Part 2

So yesterday in Part One of this series, I said that I figured out that "gatekeeper" didn't mean I was supposed to stand at the entrance of the church and greet people.  Although there was nothing wrong with this, it wasn't what God was asking me to do.  The explanation of this will be rather lengthy...you might want to grab a snickers bar and a cup of coffee and settle in for a long read.  I usually don't write posts this long.  I strive  to keep them 500 words or less and this will be the lengthiest one in this series  but  I hope you'll stick with me not just today but through Friday.  I promise I'll be back to under 500 words next week (smile).  If nothing else some of these stories have great entertainment value, now that they are the past.  They were not funny when I was experiencing them, though.   Writing all this openly has been many years in the making and quite frankly I wouldn't be able to share all this in the past without it blowing up

My journey to making history through prayer - Part 1

Walter Wink once said that "history belongs to the intercessors."   I believe that wholeheartedly.  All of us have the power at our disposal to change the world on a daily basis!  I am a strong believer in the power of God, and the fact that miracles are for TODAY . Author Mark Batterson says this about prayer:  "Your prayers outlive you.  There have been moments in my life when the Holy Spirit has whispered to my spirit: I'm answering the prayers of your grandparents in your life right now. Those are powerful moments.  Intercessors typically don't make headlines, but if you read between the lines, they are the ones writing His-story!" It's no secret to most people who know me that I'm very passionate about prayer. People ask me questions from time to time about what really led me to grow deeper in this area.  I will be writing about this subject this  week in a five part series here on the blog. To begin this blog series journey, I need to

Weekend Potpourri

Oh my stars, where do I start? I'll just start off the top of my head in no particular order: I am so grateful for those in my life who surround me.  I am so blessed. Tomorrow at CC is going to be off the chain!  We're having a weekend of impact with Evangelist Fred Felton .  We are expecting a "Next Level" day!!  Yesterday there was a men's breakfast at the church and he was the speaker, and from all reports I received it was amazing. I came down with a cold/flu on Friday and it's pretty much full blown today...could really use your prayers!  This is not real good timing with having to lead worship at both of the services today.  My voice is rarely if ever on the fritz and today...it is!  Jordan has the same symptoms I do but worse.  Thanks for your prayers for him today too.  I know no matter how he feels he will be there, faithfully playing the drums. A lot of people have asked how I'm doing with my new wellness/weight goals.  Well, right now as

I've been set free from F.O.Y.A.S.!!
I tried to keep the wall up but they stole my heart.

There's a group at our church that has won me over.  I know that sounds sorta crazy.  Nobody should have to win their pastor over.  It was kind of sad but the bottom line was, I needed healing.  It's not a requirement for someone to love me for me to pastor them.  Really, I'm not that shallow or babyfied, and I do realize those Christ gave his life for ended up crucifiying Him.  I'm also not Christ, and although I don't have to be loved and adored to pastor or invest in someone, I dread suffering like the next person.  I think we all tend to try to protect ourselves, which doesn't necessarily involve hate, lack of forgiveness or bitterness ~ you just go in your shell because you fear pain.   I didn't hate this group of people, I was just scared to deeply love them again, to move beyond the "professional aspects of doing my job" to taking them into my heart.  Leading people works best when you deeply love them.  One of my favorite authors, Elie W

She literally had to put ice packs on her cheeks...

Wednesday nights after church at Celebration we go with a big group of people to Perkins which is right around the corner from the church.  The waiter, Michael, knows us extremely well.  In fact, he's usually got my unsweetened iced tea with lemon and bowl of soup waiting for me!  He doesn't come to CC (yet)  but he calls us his pastors.  He also knows our crowd is going to be laughing ourselves silly.  We get deafeningly loud sometimes with the laughter that comes from our group.  It usually doesn't turn people off, in fact they laugh with us, Michael included.  He tells us often, we're his favorite customers.  We really believe that soon, Michael will be joining us at Celebration Church, in fact he has told us he's coming soon for a service.  (Can't wait!) Wednesday night we laughed so hard and so long, my abs were sore.  Thursday morning three of the ladies who were at Perkins the night before were also at prayer meeting.  Bonnie mentioned that her stomac

True Church Stories - #34

My husband and I were youth/music pastors for 7 years before we became lead pastors.   (Since we served at 3 churches, the location of where this happened will remain undisclosed.)   I was "called on the carpet" when the pastor somberly called me in one day and let me know he had something to discuss with me.  My heart was beating a little faster than normal.  I had no idea why I was being called in and couldn't imagine what it was about.  There was nothing I was doing that would warrant him being upset --I had not failed to meet any of his expectations that I was aware of.  We went into his office and shut the door.  The next thing that came out of his mouth was one of the most shocking things I had ever been accused of. "Deanna, this is about your use of the F-word with the youth group." Oh my stars. My heart was racing at least twice as fast and I was feeling relieved in one sense (because I knew in my heart I had not done such a thing) yet racing ahead

Catching up!

Ugh. I'm tired. I feel like this photo really could be me today - wearing my headset (that I wear to career coach - talking to people while on line with them).  I don't get the luxury of sleeping during meetings though - I have to be on my game. I saw this photo and it reminded me of how I feel.  I can't wait to sleep on my day off this week.  I am really praying for a "Fun Friday" without incident or interruption.  We'll see! (Fingers crossed!) Taking time off is always a double edged sword.  Most people tell me they find it's that way  for them so I know I know I'm not alone. I took off Monday and paid for it Tuesday.  I didn't finish my work until almost 2:00 am this morning.  There are some things that have to be done by Tuesday nights or it's too late in the week. The reality of deadlines!  I have quite a few new job seekers I'm working with right now, some even in Canada! I did have a 2 hours break to relax yesterday.  I too

Just another day in paradise...

Yesterday was the last day we had with my "in-love's" here in Florida.  They leave to go back to Maryland today.  We were very blessed to be with them for a week, but sure wish it could have been two weeks.  :)  Maybe next time. They don't come to Florida very often and we treasure any time that we have with them. Larry and I took the day off yesterday and allowed Savanna to stay home from school.  She's a straight A student and doesn't really miss much when it's just one day and she easily makes it up.  We went to one of our favorite places ~ Tarpon Springs, and ate greek food at Hellas Restaurant and Bakery (the BEST greek food ANYWHERE, hands down!) and walked along the sponge docks and shopped.  I got some of the almond soap and scrubs from a store called Lori's that I've shared about here before that I love so much.  Even if you don't live here in Florida and have access to go there to shop I'd recommend that you purchase her soap