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Showing posts from March, 2011

I know the peace speaker

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"Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”  ~ Mark 4:38-40 (NLT)

This morning we awoke early to a text from our friend and church member, Doug Rice, letting us know that a tornado warning was in effect for our county, and that school buses had been pulled off the roads.  We immediately went in to tell Savanna, who was getting ready for school.  She was disappointed.  This girl LOVES school.  


My husband moved a few things out of the way on the patio so they wouldn't come crashing through our sliding glass doors and for the next few hours we kept an eye on things by utilizing our cell phones and talking to our friend Lisa Currie.   (The TV went out due …

I am pro-choice!!!

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I HAVE A CHOICE

...to speak words of life, or not. 
(Proverbs 18:21)

...to bring people closer to Jesus, or not.
(II Corinthians 2:15)

...to take control of my toxic thoughts, or not.
(II Corinthians 10:5)

...to do something about my unholy behavior or not.
(I Peter 1:16)

...to receive God's empowering grace that goes beyond my natural ability, or not.
(II Corinthians 12:9)

...to use all the time I'm given to make a difference for Him, or not.
(Ephesians 5:16)

...to actually do something about people dying and going to hell, or not. 
(Jude 1:23)

...to take these choices seriously, or not. 
(Deuteronomy 30) 

I have a choice ~ to obey...or not.


"Live as children of obedience to God; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires that governed you in your former ignorance when you did not know the requirements of the gospel."   I Peter 1:14 

Keep doing what's right...it'll catch up with you!

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If there's one thing I've learned about weight loss it's that there are so many variables as to why the scale might be up or down on any given day.

For instance, I might not have eaten as many calories on one day but if I've had too much salt, the scale can be up a pound or two.  This happened a few weeks ago when I stayed totally on program but also had a few pieces of bacon that day and the scale reflected it for a short time.  "That time of the month" can also reflect on the scale.  And sometimes it's not anything particular that I could ever figure out or narrow down, it just is what it is, at least for a day or two. 

But here's something I know to be truth and have come to believe and now DO..and that is, if you keep doing what's right, it will catch up with you!  This is true in weight loss or anything else in life.

Last week could have been a very frustrating week for me.  Although I was biking 1 hour a day every single day, and weeding a…

"You remind me of..."
and social media's impact on eternal destinies...

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Something happened  yesterday that made me giggle and also blessed my heart, incredibly!!!

We had a first time visitor who is here for baseball camp -- he is trying to get into major league baseball and currently here for that purpose.  He is from Charlotte, NC and after the service he met me in the hospitality room where we greet visitors and share refreshments and conversation.

He loved the service and was very eager to talk to me.  Several Celebrators were also there with me to hear this conversation and they found it a blessing as well.  He said...

"You know Pastor Deanna, this was an amazing service and it reminds me so much of my church back home in Charlotte, only on a smaller scale but I'm telling you, you guys remind me SO much of my church it's uncanny."

I said, "what's the name of your church?" 


And he said, "Elevation Church."  

He said, "You guys are Celebration, and we're Elevation.  You call your people, "Celebrator…

What you WANT might drive you to WORRY!
(The case for the simple life!)

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Did you know that the more possessions or promotions we have in life, the more we also have opportunity to worry?  That doesn't mean we HAVE to worry, simply that there is greater occasion to.
This might just be the case for "the simple life"! 

Today at Celebration I am teaching the final message in the "Dealing with Anxiety God's Way" series and one thing I'm going to point out is that many times people worry over their stuff that they  have been blessed with.
Ecclesiastes 5:12 says, “The sleep of the laborer is sweet, but the abundance of a rich man provides him no rest.” (emphasis mine)
We think that the more we have, the more secure we will feel, but the opposite is often true.

My husband and I were listening to one of our heroes, Pastor Tommy Barnett, as he was teaching a session for pastors.  He mentioned something about people thinking it must be easy to be Tommy Barnett. After all he pastors Phoenix First AG, an amazing mega church with a huge staf…

Are you dread locked?

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Two things in life that I really don't enjoy doing are cleaning the house, and weeding the yard.  If I suddenly came into money, aside from tithing and missions giving, I would start making plans to pay someone to do those two things.

I used to not just do those two things...I would moan and groan before, during and after doing them.  And then I learned that laying on my coach saying, "Ughhhhhhhhhh I dread getting up to do this..." didn't help anything.  It just made things even worse once I verbalized it.

So I stopped doing that. 

Dreading something doesn't help matters at all.  It just locks us into a cycle of complaining and bellyaching that makes the mundane things we have to do seem all the more overwhelming.

Right now we are in a busy season of trying to get our yard in shape by March 31.  Most of the yards in our neighborhood were really affected by the temperatures this winter and ours was also affected by some of our sprinkler heads not working.  (In Fl…

It really IS your choice!

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Stop blaming other people for your bad attitude and your choices!   They are yours, and the first step to moving forward is to own them.

All of us have encountered problems in our past and all of us have problems currently.  It is our choice as to how we respond.  Some people allow their obstacles to swallow them up.  They complain (which is the equivalent of giving praise to the devil) or use their past or present circumstance as an excuse to refuse to move forward. 

No one us can make the decision for us to move forward.  It's all on us to do that.    The other day I encountered someone who is blaming their ancestors for their alcohol problems.  The truth is, their ancestors have nothing to do with their current alcohol problem.  They have a choice when they wake up everyday to move forward but it is easier to say, "My great grandfather started all this, and my grandfather took up where he left off, and then my Dad and here I am..."   It's so much easier to shift…

Did you ever notice?

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Your kids never approach you when you are refreshed and in your right state of mind to ask you for things you haven't seen in years, like birth certificates, old photos, and other important papers.  Requests like this seem to be reserved for times when you feel so exhausted and tapped out you can hardly function, like midnight the night before they need this for a school project...A dog gets excited every time you walk into a room again...at least mine do.  If I ever want to just feel great about myself all I have to do is walk out the front door, shut it, then walk back in a few minutes later.  Max acts like I just got home all over again.Just the day you have to sleep in for once you will get a call from one of those political surveys or somebody like that.

I am shocked by the results of this litte experiment...

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So for years now I've led women's events. I've not only announced the events but basically "babysat" women in the days leading up to the event...reminding them, calling them, e-mailing them, and holding registration while my team of leaders also market the daylights out of the event, trying to get as much participation as possible.  There's nothing wrong with any of that -- nothing at all.  In fact I advise people to do it!  But I'm really excited about what happened last night at Celebration Church.

We're in a new season at CC and I did a little experiment.  (Years ago I would have never done this, convinced that it would have been me and two or three friends sitting in the sanctuary by ourselves on the night of the event.)  I wondered, "just how much of a new season ARE we in?"  I made a personal decision with this event (didn't tell anybody) that I was going to just announce the event but not follow up and call, e-mail, or do a regist…

Chocolate and coffee and soooooooo much more!

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Tonight I get to do one of my favorite things EV-er!  I'm going to spend time with our Celebration Women.  Tonight's event is called, "Heart to Heart" because I'm going to be sharing my heart with our ladies among other things that are on the agenda.  The night is starting with LOTS of chocolate and coffee and the Celebration worship team will be on hand to lead us into the presence of God and then  I can't wait to unleash the word that's in my spirit for us at this time. 

I don't ever take for granted the honor of leading a person or a group of people.  It doesn't matter how many years I do this, the significance and the responsibility isn't lost on me, and I seek God with all my heart for His message for the hour.

We've gone to a whole new level in general at CC lately and I believe it's time for the next level as well for the ladies of Celebration.

My life is made up of so many great people and things, but NOTHING compares to spen…

The reward of anxiety

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Yesterday I taught a class on anxiety at Celebration.  Actually all month I'm teaching, "Dealing with anxiety God's way."   Today I'm going to share just a few things I said in the teaching  yesterday.
What is the reward that we get for anxiety?
ZERO!!!  
That's right, we get zero payoff for anxiety.

The bible indicates that worry only makes matters worse and anxiety is worthless.
 "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?"   Luke 12:25
Worry and anxiety don't add to our life, they subtract from it!!
This is the reality of anxiety:
An average person’s anxiety is focused on :
40% -- things that will never happen
30% -- things about the past that can’t be changed
12% -- things about criticism by others, mostly untrue
10% -- about health, which gets worse with stress
8% -- about real problems that will be faced

Even when dealing with the 8% of REAL problems, anxiety doesn't help you -- it hinders you and weakens  you in dealing …

Weekend Potpourri

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I got so busy with my new writing project (my book) that I almost forgot to blog today.  Now you KNOW that's taking some serious focus!  I never forget to blog.  Someone recently asked me, "how do you find time to blog everyday?  You're so faithful."   I told them, "The question is not how do I find time to blog but how do I tear myself away from writing to get anything else done?"  Writing is my greatest passion and I never tire of it, nor have to work myself up to do it, or really have to "discipline" myself.  If I could only do one thing in life, it would be to write.

And write I am!  I'm not giving up the blog nor my other normal writing pursuits but I am carving out time every day for this book, no matter what.

While I don't have to discipline myself to write I do have to train myself to make the right decisions for my health day after day.  It doesn't come easily to me and is a never ending journey of right choice making over an…

Everything has changed

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I usually don't blog anything big on a Saturday.  The reason being, most of my readers aren't here.  They are out weeding their yards, like I often am on Saturdays.  They are doing laundry, attending ball games, baby showers, shopping, or watching TLC.  Rarely are they just sitting around reading blogs on Saturdays.   My stats tell me loud and clear each week that the majority of my readers depart by Friday afternoons and come back in droves Monday morning.

For a season I started just posting a photo I took or a video of a song that was meaningful to me on Saturdays and saved the "important stuff" for later when people were actually around to read it.  But today I don't care.  Here I am.  With something big...at least to me.

I've been disobedient to God on something.  Some of you might think I chose Saturday to bring out the fact that I've been a naughty Christian , since fewer readers are here...ha ha!  No, not really, the timing just fell this way.

God …

Spiritual and natural parenting...no easy job, but oh the rewards...

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Larry and I performed the wedding ceremony for this sweet couple last night ~ Brad and Amber Richards.  We are so proud of them for how far they have come!   We have watched them grow so much...coming to Celebration this past summer and giving their lives to Jesus, and maturing so much during this time.  My husband commented yesterday about how Brad and Amber are both like 'sponges' ~ taking every word that comes out of our mouths, just soaking it up.  They never miss church unless it's a true emergency.  They are there, on the edge of their seats - fully participating and ready for change.  Their growth is a reflection of their passionate pursuit of God.  Brad and Amber, we are so proud of you, and we love you so much.

What a responsibility it is to be a spiritual parent!   Leaders, take note!!   There ARE people taking in each and every word we say, so let's be real careful what we put out there!  

In other news, Jordan turns 20 today.  How is this possible?  It was…

True Church Stories - #35

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Okay, this may just be the most BIZARRE church story EVER!  I told you it was coming!  This one happened to me on the Cayman Islands trip.  Thank God there was a witness to this, otherwise nobody would believe it.  My husband even said, "Only YOU Deanna, only YOU!!!"

At the end of the last service in the Caymans our team was ministering around the altars.  I was with a lady at the altar who I would guesstimate was in her late seventies.  We were standing there at the altar and my friend Wendy who also ministered on the speaker team was with us.  This lady was going on and on saying, "Thank God for these messages this weekend from you all! This is what the church today around the world needs!  Not milk!  They need meat!  I have been so blessed!"  

After a while, we were saying our goodbyes and she turned to Wendy and said, "God bless you sister, you've been such a blessing!" and she hugged her.  Then she turned to me, and said, "God bless you sist…

More Cayman Memories...

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Cayman Memories

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I tried to get on line last night and the internet was out at the hotel.  I'm home tonight safe and sound.  Here are some photos that I took on my cell phone.  I am so tired and in need of rest -- blogging these and going to bed - preparing for a full work load tomorrow and LOTS of catching up to do.

So glad to be in my own bed, with  my  husband and home with my family although my time with the friends on our speaker team and enjoying what God did in these precious women in the Caymans was truly amazing!!!


It's a beautiful morning...

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Well, I set my cell phone alarm to wake up this morning here in the Caymans and didn't realize that while their clocks stayed the same here, my cell phone is still back on Tampa time and so therefore I'm up WAY before I actually need to be.  However it's all for the best because once I was out of the shower and dressed I realized it and was giddy with excitement that I was going to get to watch the sunrise.  I went outside with my cell phone and walked the beach (in my dress for church with sandals) and watched the sunrise and took pictures.  No one else was out there --- not a soul -- it was just me and God and the absolutely gorgeous Cayman sunrise.  What a blessing.  Actually it was so amazing I'm going to set my alarm accordingly and do it again tomorrow before we have to leave!  With the way I love to sleep friends will know how amazing this really must be for me to do this!  God's handiwork is just astounding.  This is actually all part of me "maximizing…