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Showing posts from May, 2011

Potpourri of thoughts after the weekend

Just wanted to start today by posting one of my greatest blessings ~ a photo of what I experience most nights when I walk in my neighborhood at sunset.  My husband took this picture in our back yard the other night.  I thought it was a good one. 

I'm a little late posting my blog today...have been enjoying face to face relationships and there's nothing better.  We have been hosting some guests at our home since Sunday night, some very dear friends of ours ~ Pastors Russ and Betty Jones, lead pastors at Faith Family Worship Center in Palm, City, FL.  We just love them to pieces and it was good to have them here for the Memorial Day holiday and spend time together just relaxing and enjoying fellowship.  They stayed over 'til this morning and we had breakfast together before they had to leave and get back to their sweet daughter Anneka and the church.  We love Anneka dearly and wish she could have come with them but due to her severe allergies to pets she couldn't come a…

I'm in full blown HTW...
Hope Tour Withdrawal

On the last day of our Caribbean cruise the cruise director came out and told us he wanted to prepare us for "cruise withdrawal" that we would go through.  He said, "you're going to be at restaurants and start to get up to leave without paying your bill" and "you're going to miss the little towel animals on your beds" and stuff like that.  He was right!  My husband is STILL in cruise withdrawal.

Me?  I'm going through Hope Tour Withdrawal.

I am having dreams about unscrewing banner stands and setting them up on platforms.

I'm resisting the urge to run outside and arrange big pots of flowers.

I keep taking my t-shirts out of my dresser drawers at home and refolding and stacking them.

My hands are shaking as I'm putting my suitcase back in the garage.

I'm waiting for somebody on the team to text me and tell me it's time to come down to the lobby to go eat.

I am reaching around to try to feel for tables of purses and jewelry sur…

Life Saving Hope

Some women in Miami got fresh hope this weekend.  Here's Tammy (our amazing emcee) as she was introducing something or someone -- I snapped this photo on my iphone.  It's not the greatest photo but it's what I've got...there was a professional photographer there and I'm hoping to snag a few of their photos that I'll post later.

It was a fantastic weekend but I am just so exhausted right now when I'm writing this (as 12:30 am after getting home) and need to crash before having to get up this morning for church.  We have a full morning at Celebration and then our friends Pastors Russ and Betty Jones, Pastors of Faith Family Worship Center in Palm City are coming to spend the night at our house tonight and be with us tomorrow for the holiday.  It's going to be a really good time but I need to get some sleep so I'll actually be half way alert to enjoy it. 

I am so thankful for all that God did on this Hope Tour stop.  One lady who had been struggling w…

Therapy

“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.” ~ George Eliot
Girl time is the best therapy...the kind of girl time that is characterized by the above quote.  I'm going to give out SO much of myself today in ministry (teaching three 45 minute sessions in a row, PLUS doing the keynote message).  However, I know I'm going to come home with much more than I give away.  Not only am I going to treasure in my heart whatever happens in the sessions and around the altars with the women attending, but I'm going come home absolutely full because of the time spent with friends, and especially my friend Tammy Young who will have a long car ride home again with me tonight.  We'll solve the world'…

Miami or bust!

Today I'm headed to Miami!  (If you live in the area, come see me!!!)  This weekend is the start of our district's "Hope Tour 2011" and we're kickin' it off in south Florida.  I was on the core speaker team of this event last year and I'm blessed to be serving again this year, and this weekend I'm also the keynote speaker!  I'm very excited about what God is going to do.   Our district WM Director Marsha Woolley told us weeks ago that they already had 500 pre-registrants (and there are loads of walk ins at Hope Tour, because it's free!  In fact if you are reading this and are anywhere near the Miami area, JUST COME ON OVER TOMORROW!!!  Your cost to come to this event is ZIPPO, and you will receive so much, it's UNBELIEVABLE!!!   It's at Upper Room AG and you want to be there!)   They are also broadcasting it on the radio!  This is gonna be A-May-Zing!  HOPE is here, friends!

Please keep all of our speaker team in prayer for safe travel…

Leadership Q & A @CC Life Coaching
Part IV ~ Obstacles in Leadership & Motivating Others

This is the conclusion to this week's series from the  Q & A on leadership from life coaching this past month at Celebration.   
When you were new to leadership, what were some of the toughest obstacles you had to overcome when dealing with people?

Looking back most of the obstacles were probably my own.  People are people.  Adults are just grown up kids and teenagers, and quite frankly many of them have never grown up.  They act out in immature or even cruel ways.  As a leader it’s my responsibility to control myself.  Self control is one of the fruits of the spirit.  It’s been my hardest fruit, for sure!  Responding and not reacting is true maturity.  My friend Marsha Woolley (a former pastor/pastor's wife herself, now our district WM leader) says that being a pastor is definitely the hardest job because it requires extended good behavior.  I would agree.  Extended good behavior isn't easy by any stretch.  My hardest obstacle is still anger -- justifiable anger -- an…

Leadership Q & A @CCLife Coaching
Part III "How do you know it's time to step down?"

This week I've been doing a series on the blog from a Q & A session with our life coaching group last weekend.  Our time together was really profitable and I thought I'd share it here on the blog.  If you missed the previous days, here are Part I and Part II.

When you can tell it is time to step down from a leadership role?
I always find it interesting that people ask the question, “when should I step down?” much more than asking “when should I step up?"  But that's another topic for another day.
I will start out by telling you when you should never step down.  Don’t step down when you are frustrated, tired or in the midst of conflict.  For some of you that would be…all the time.  Ha!  In all seriousness, these are times it would be unwise to step down.  Everything is clouded by your fatigue and frustration and you don’t think clearly during times like this.  Before I ever step down I step back.  What do I mean by that? Let me clarify right off the bat that it doesn…

Leadership Q & A @CC LifeCoaching
Part II

Yesterday I began a leadership series from a Q & A that I did with our Celebration Life Coaching group last week.  Our time together went so well I thought I'd share what we talked about here on the blog.  Here we go with Part II ~
Question:  What steps can I take to gain self confidence to feel qualified and to inspire others?

First of all, self confidence and qualification are two different issues.  Let me speak first about qualification.
There are times that people who have been doing things for many years don’t feel qualified.  It’s sort of like feeling worthy.  People will say, “I feel so unworthy.”  Don’t we all?  And if we don’t we probably need to repent.

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the call.
Also it’s probably a bad idea to just take on roles you feel qualified to do.  It will be way too boring.  I have never taken a job I felt qualified to do.  If you feel totally qualified to do a job when you accept it, there's nothing to work toward - no challenge,…

Leadership Q & A ...get it!
Part I

Last weekend I did a question and answer session for our Celebration life coaching group on the subject of leadership and we had a great time together -- such a fruitful time that I thought I'd share some of the questions/answers on the blog this week.  This will be a series, and...here we go...
Does a leader need to be motivated? How can leaders maintain themselves to stay motivated?
Motivation is very important and some of that is usually provided by the leader of a team if you are one of many leaders on a team and are not the team leader yourself, but all of it can’t come from there.  In fact in my experience it’s a small percentage.
Motivation really comes down to inspiration. Since motivation comes from within, it is a form of self-inspiration.  There are sometimes long periods of time in between times that I receive motivation or inspiration from others.  This is why it’s very important for me to put myself in position to receive motivation from the Lord.
“And David was greatly …

The baby's growing up!

These are photos we took before she went to the 8th grade dance last night.  She enjoyed herself very much and went with friends to Applebee's afterwards (well supervised of course).

Ahhhhh...milestones.  I can't believe this school year is just days away from coming to a close and the middle school chapter will be closed and she is going on to HIGH SCHOOL.  I was just birthing her yesterday, for crying out loud.  [sigh]

 Notice Max in the background...he was hanging around the whole time she was getting ready to leave and had such a sad look on his face as she was leaving.  I think he wanted to go!  Well, I know he wanted to go.  Max ALWAYS wants to go "bye bye's"!

We love you, baby girl and you are ALWAYS gunna be the baby no matter hold old you get!

Weekend Potpourri

This is such a busy weekend for us and today is a very special day because it's Savanna's 8th grade dance!  I'm so excited for her!!  Here's a photo of her that we took at the beach - one of my favs...I don't have photos yet from the dance tonight because it hasn't happened yet as of the writing of this blog but I plan to have a photo or two to share later if she'll agree to it.  (You never know with teens...she'll probably be peeved that I posted this beach photo, but forgiveness is better than permission, right?! lol)  I am excited about her event tonight.  It is basically their farewell from 8th grade.  She's done so well and has been on the high honor roll her entire time in middle school.  We finally found "the perfect dress" and shoes, and so on and so on.  I really wish we had all day to get ready for this but she also decided she doesn't want to miss out on the youth tubing trip to Rainbow River today.  So...she's going, an…

We don't always get what we wish for

I've been on a forgiveness journey for a few months, and have written about it weekly in my "cup of coffee" devotional e-zine that I send out on Wednesdays but haven't written too much about it here on my blog.  Today however, it's heavily on my mind for a few reasons, one being that today is shaping up to be one of the more challenging days in the process So I'm going to write about it here today.

Some of you may wonder why I'm using the terms process or journey.  The fact is that some hurts are deeper than others.  If someone just forgets to call you  when they said they would or neglects to say hi to you, that's a very small slight, something that most people can easily forgive and forget in a few moments time.  Other hurts are things that rock your world, or cause long term ramifications.  Those things aren't usually forgiven overnight and you go through a process of steps to total forgiveness.

The person I'm forgiving has caused conseq…

How to wake up each day and change lives
before you even get out of bed!

In this post I'm going to share how I wake up each morning...in a life changing way!

Yes, I'm serious.

Call me crazy (it's been done many times before) but I had the thought a few days ago while riding my bike that somebody may actually benefit from hearing my routine on how to wake up everyday and change the world before you even get out of bed!

First let me say, I don't like to wake up.  I love to sleep.  I mean I looooooove to sleep.  So waking up in itself is a challenge but my own special routine makes it not only bearable but pleasant and actually makes a difference in the world.

Life changing?  Making a difference in the world?  I can sense what some of you are thinking now.  Must she hype everything?  Is everything she does or participates in really A-May-Zing, life changing, off-the-chain, phenomenal, yada yada yada?  Well, in a word...YES.  I choose to live that way.  You can too.

So, back to the wake up routine, now that I've chastised all of you who ma…

Leadership That Connects
Part 3

Monday  I began a series on leadership and ways to connect with those we lead.  Tuesday I continued it with Part 2 and  I’m continuing with those thoughts today with three more ways we can do that. 
7)  Process relationship before task.    In every meeting that I personally lead I make this a priority.  Before we get down to business we have some discussion about our lives and how things are going.  Many times people don’t hear a word you say because you have no idea what other things are going on in their lives.  Sometimes people come into our meetings burdened down about things like reports they’ve received from their doctor, a wayward child, a layoff they experienced that week.  At other times they may be excited to give a praise report about something.  Meetings go much better when they’ve had a chance to share those things first, with others who care.  And I shouldn’t have to say this but for some who may need it, I’ll just say – YOU NEED TO CARE!  Once they share these things, yo…

Leadership That Connects
Part 2

Yesterday I began a series on leadership and ways to connect with those we lead.  I’m continuing with those thoughts today with three more ways we can do that.  

4)  Take advantage of every possible way to connect.Social media is here to stay.  It’s not a fad. If you believe that, please note that some people said the same thing in the past about cars and phones.  The most important thing is to connect face to face however these days it’s easier than ever to be a leader who connects because social media makes it easier than ever.  Facebook, Twitter, text, and e-mail are just a few great ways to connect , encourage, update, motivate, etc.  I'm doing this literally ALL THE TIME with our team and probably connect with no less than 20-30 church people a day through facebook comments, private messages, chats, tweets, etc. not to mention phone calls or in person meetings in addition to that.  Social media really simplifies things A LOT.  Before the age of the internet I probably sent out…

Leadership That Connects
Part I

“Our daughter is absolutely amazed at the way you connect with your leaders!” This was said to Larry and I a few days ago as we were at district council talking to a pastor and his wife who are long time friends.   Our children have connected over the years and become friends as well.  This past Christmas their daughter who is a bible college student was hanging out with our kids on what happened to be the weekend of our leadership Christmas party at our home.  About 70-80  people attend this event, as the leaders also bring their spouses and kids.  After witnessing this event and being part of it, she couldn’t wait to go home and tell her parents all about it.   She couldn’t believe how much fun our team had together and the bond that exists between us.  Hearing our pastor-friends talk about this sparked a thought for me on sharing some ideas on this subject. So, today begins a series about things I believe are important in really connecting with those we  lead.
1)Spend time with them…

I know, I know!

Why, why, why am I posting yet ANOTHER post albeit just a day later about my dog Max?

I feel just a little guilty to do two Max posts in a row since a few friends at district council told me this past week they actually use my blog as their devotional each day.  JESUS HELP US.  What have they done on the days I post a recipe or some trite observation like this?  They might die on the vine spiritually if I do this too many days in a row.  ::smile::

I missed him so much while I was at council.  I miss him when I go overnight anywhere.  I miss him even if I'm at the office!  Who couldn't miss this adorable face?  He's just as kind as he appears to be in this photo.  Yesterday I came home from life coaching and I was exhausted.  I planned to lay down for a few minutes and get up and start working on things.  Max laid down next to me and three hours later we both woke up.  Now THAT'S a nap.

Okay, today's Sunday so I don't feel too awful bad for my friends who are re…

100 pounds of sweetness!

Here we are taking a little nap together yesterday on my day off...Fun Friday!  Max has been snuggling up to me since we brought him home at just a few weeks old, at two or three pounds.  He was so tiny he could fit in the palm of one hand.  For the first few months of his life he slept right under my chin each night...until he was old enough to stop crying at night and go into his kennel.  I could have put him in the kennel the first night but his whimpering just broke my heart, and I couldn't do it.  He stayed with me and was comforted by the warmth of sleeping right under my chin.  I didn't mind...although I won't speak for Larry.  :) 

Max soon matured enough to sleep on his own each night.  Even so he still spends a little time snuggling with me each day and we take a nap if I'm off and able to take one.

He still has the same pattern of sleeping right under my chin...will often  come and plop down on me -- all 100 lbs of him!  Doesn't matter how big he gets, he…

"Just warning you:
I'm fixin' to get on my soapbox..."

I've said this many times before I talk about something like the second coming of Christ, the end times, the rapture, holiness, righteousness, sanctification, sin, etc.  I don't hold back in preaching on these topics -- I believe any preacher is held responsible for this before God, especially pastors.

I have made the "soapbox" comment so many times (and our church people never mind, they actually love it!) that one of our members, Todd Stewart, made me a soapbox as a gift!  The Sunday he presented it was just TOO FUNNY.  I was so touched.  Nobody wanted me to take it home, or put it in my office, they wanted me to keep it nearby so we keep it in the choir room.

On Mother's Day Sunday I was preaching at Celebration and I was getting ready to talk about Jesus coming back and I said, "now folks, I'm fixing to get on my soapbox again," and (this was  not planned) but Todd quickly ran to the choir room and as I was making my point he ran on the stage w…

So who are you gonna be today?

Oscar Wilde once said, "Be yourself!  Everyone else is already taken."  One thing I've discovered is that it's really exhausting to change depending on who you're with.  I have had to risk friendships or losing opportunities in order to be myself but it's not worth it to me to live any other way.

At times I've known if I answer truthfully I'm going to lose a friend, but chose to do it anyway.  It's really an easy choice for me now realizing how painful the alternative is.  What a miserable life trying to figure out who you're switching to be real quick so as to make sure you don't upset anyone.  In reality when you do that you upset the most important person of all. (God)


In Bible times merchants would sometimes keep rocks of different weights that were marked wrong, "scales" that were inaccurate when they saw certain buyers approaching.  If they knew these people had more money they would pull out a dishonest scale to charge the…