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Showing posts from June, 2011

What To Do First to Make a Profit

The PF Women Team at our Annual Team Retreat  ~ 2018 Today on Seth Godin's blog, he said: It's tempting to decide to make a profit first, then invest in training, people, facilities, promotion, customer service and most of all, doing important work. In general, though, it goes the other way. Yes, it does. If you are waiting to make a profit before you do these things, in my experience you're  not going to make a profit. So many organizations, ministries and churches are struggling with financial issues. I know your pain. As anyone who follows our story knows, our ministry was in a ton of debt four years ago when I came on as director.  Since that time, we've gotten out of debt and turned a profit every year.  God has done amazing things through out team, for which we give Him the glory! I find that what Seth is saying here is absolutely true, with one disclaimer. For Christian leaders, spiritual disciplines must always be first. Before we started inve

The tradition lives on!

One of the most important things we can do is make memories with our family. One of our kid's favorite memories are of going to Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh. All three of them like it more than Disney! When we lived in Maryland we went every summer and now that we're in Florida we don't make it every summer but we try to make it back as much as possible. The Memories at Kennywood go back to my husband's childhood and then when we dated and were engaged he took me there and I fell in love with it. (Shhhh don't tell anybody but we used to kiss going through The Old Mill in the dark!) ::smile:: Today we'll spend our day at this very special place that holds so many memories. Our kids have told us that when they get married and have kids someday they'll be carrying on the tradition. I love days like today, riding the coasters with my kids (Kennywood was named Rollercoaster Capital of the World) and eating cotton candy and stuff! Thank you Lord for Yo

Quiet times and emotional health

My oldest son and I are so much alike. Late last night our family was in New York City and decided to get some pizza. We went to a stand and got some slices and were eating them at some stand up tables. Dustin looked up at the skyscrapers then looked at me and says, "Mom, I could never live here." "Oh, me neither," I said. We both agreed that while we enjoy a short visit now and again we were ever so glad to get to our hotel last night and have peace and quiet. Driving out of Times Square Dustin said he felt like he fell into a giant pop up ad! Ha! I could so relate. Mine and Dustin's idea of vacation is sleeping lots, reading, quiet times, etc. We are both people whose emotional health requires lots of solitude. Jesus did too. Scripture records He often went to the mountains and such to get away from the crowds. We're driving thru some areas today that I find quite beautiful. We will have some quiet time in the car and catch up on reading. I lov

Leaders and emotional health

Blogging from my phone today. Believe it or not, I didn't bring my computer on vaca! Larry did bring his and I'll blog from it on some days but others like today will be a short thought from my phone. I purposely didn't bring my computer because it has too much work that could distract me and quite honestly I seriously need a break from it. Larry's computer holds none of my files so it's not an issue if I get on to blog for a few minutes or what not. Blogging's not work, by the's nothing but pleasure. Otherwise I wouldn't be doing it from a device I love to hate...the! Since I'm blogging from this invention that has such a love/hate relationship with me I'll just put one quick thought in this post today. The other day I listened to someone talk about the emotional health of a leader. It's so important that leaders be in optimal emotional health. One difficult part of our role is that we are helping sick peopl

24 years of HOLY matrimony!

Today!  Count 'em, 24! Matrimony is not only holy, it's still hot! "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife , and they become one flesh." Genesis 2:24

Breaking news...

 If anyone really knew what I've faced just to get to today which, after church today will be the start of a family vacation they would probably be quite amazed. To say I've felt some intense pressure is an understatement. I need to breathe...really breathe.  I intend to do that once I am in the car today, as well as let go of the angst I feel over things that went undone that will be there for me to come back to. Breathe Deanna...let repeat...

Bringing HOPE to Jacksonville...

So today the most amazing gal pals on the planet are bringing HOPE to the women of the Jacksonville area.  Very excited to see what's going to unfold today.  It has been such a busy week for me, getting ready to go on vaca and literally tripling up on my work load to get it all done in time for departure plus preparing for a tag team message with my husband in the morning.  But...even with the insane schedule and my fatigue I couldn't be more excited about what's going to happen today because LIVES ARE CHANGED BY THIS TOUR AND WHAT GOD DOES IN EACH PLACE WE GO TO. Today my teaching is on the subject, "Running on Empty."  I found it ironic that I was assigned that topic to speak on.  :)  The Lord spoke to me greatly as I was preparing that teaching and I have made some changes as of late in my own life.  Really! It's true.  Keep our team in prayer today for great sessions and lives transformed!


"You ought to be glad for the troubles on your job because they provide about half your income. If it were not for the things that go wrong, the difficult people with whom you deal, and the problems of your working day, someone could be found to handle your job for half of what you are being paid. So start looking for more troubles. Learn to handle them cheerfully and with good judgment, as opportunities rather than irritations, and you will find yourself getting ahead at a surprising rate. For there are plenty of big jobs waiting for people who are not afraid of troubles." Robert Updegraff as quoted by Max Lucado Every Day Deserves a Chance: Wake Up to the Gift of 24 Hours

The time in between

"There are very few things you can be sure of in life, and anything could happen even if you're not expecting it.  For instance, I could go out of here today and be hit by a truck.   Let's not become wrapped up in worry about these results because anything COULD happen in life but we aren't going to focus on that, instead we are going to believe for the best." Those are the words my doctor said to me yesterday before letting me know that we're officially in a time of "not knowing."  While I got many good results yesterday, in fact things to do a "jumping up and down praise report" about,  the test result we were most concerned about was not completely normal.  But it wasn't conclusive either and is the kind of thing that needs to be tested over time to know for sure.  So, I need to be tested again in six months.  Until then she's given me orders to get in the best shape of my life, being that I need to do that no matter what the r

Rock solid faith in an ever changing world

The biggest thing we have to fear in the midst of or as a result of our adversity is not our actual trial, but a shifting of beliefs that so many seem to develop as a result. What a tragic thing to allow problems, weaknesses or sin to dictate one's theology.  I thank God that my doctrine isn't based on what I can or can't do but on what HE HAS DONE.  Do I live my life like He's actually DONE IT?  If you've read my blog for a while you already know I'm no stranger to adversity.  In fact, if you are a personal friend or just a lurker here, do me a favor and pray for Larry and I all day today.  Today is a crucial day for both of us, one that will determine so much for us.  We covet your prayers.  I don't know what I'd do without all my friends who are praying!  Now, with that said, I am believing God's report but no matter the outcome, my faith remains rock solid.  Whatever happens or doesn't happen won't change a thing except for the fact

I choose to respond as a BELIEVER.

So yesterday morning my husband and I were getting ready to go to the church office and a call came from our bank asking us to come in.  Evidently we were the victims of something called skimming, and upon checking our personal account we saw that someone had stolen money from our personal checking account.  Neither of us has been to New York in quite some time so we were absolutely sure that all the withdrawals from our account in the middle of the night from New York were not  My husband and I didn't panic, no heart racing, anger or anything really.  Either we're both just numb or we're at a whole new level of faith in our lives...not sure which and maybe a combo of both!!  We've been through too much else for this to even phase us, quite honestly.  Larry just patiently talked to the people at the bank, went through all the paperwork and got things straightened out.  He's good that way.  :)  By the end of business today things should be back to no

When you wanna "let them have it," let God have it!

Do you have one last nerve and someone's on it? Yesterday I brought a teaching at Celebration about what to do when you just wanna "let someone have it"!  Since I announce my message titles on facebook for our Celebrators, I had some requests there for my teaching notes or a recording of the teaching and thought I'd post a condensed version of my notes here for anyone who would like them. Ephesians 4:26 & 27 says, "Be angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath.  Neither give place to the devil." Anger is not sinful, if we handle it correctly.  Jesus got angry, God gets angry, Paul got angry, and we could give a lot of other examples of Godly people who got or get angry.   The key to being angry and not sinning is learning keys to godly anger management. The Lord tells us to cast our cares upon Him for He cares for us, but how many of us really do that with all the things that have us so fed up we have envisioned revenge in our m

Real daddies

Many men can conceive children, but it takes a real man to be a invest time, to be there, to be a spiritual leader for those who God has entrusted into their care. I'm glad Larry Shrodes is not just my baby daddy...he is the true father to my three children on earth and one waiting for us in heaven, and to our spiritual children at Celebration Church .  (Plus all those we have spiritually parented over the years who are in other locations.) I realize everyone does not have the privilege of having a real dad and there's nothing more important for a Mom than knowing that their children are taken care of.  I thank God for His grace over my life in selecting Larry as the father to my children. I'm setting this post to publish after our service at Celebration has already started so as to not ruin any surprises.  This morning Larry has a special treat for all of the Dads at CC.  It's super hot here in Florida right now as it is in most parts of the country. 

Weekend potpourri

So last night I went with two gal pals to our favorite place to meet.  It's a little hole in the wall up north from us about 30 minutes.  We love it there because first of all the food is fab, the ambiance is so cool, and it's more private for us if we happen to be discussing sensitive matters.    One of my friends loathes having her picture taken. When I got out my phone to snap a pic I said, "don't flinch, I'm not taking your pic (at least not your face)...knowing how much she hates photos I just turned the camera downward and got a shot of all of our feet while we were sitting outside the place waiting to go in. They really wanted to go to this particular place last night because it's a favorite even though it's not on my program as far as Weight Watchers.  My solution is to order what I really want and box half of it up.  I did so, and stayed right on track.  Then I brought the rest home and threw away the sour cream from the restaurant and used my

Fun (?) Friday

I have actually had people say to me, "so are you pumped all the time?  By your blog and facebook it appears you have a perfect life and you are always happy."  Well, yes,  People get a little skeptical sometimes around people who are always pumped about stuff.  Well let me just say first of all that I am always pumped and hyped about SOMETHING because I have stuff to genuinely be pumped and hyped about.  That's is reality.  Second, even when I have things to be upset about, I choose joy and make a decision to respond in faith.   I always do have things to look forward to.  I'm very stoked about the weekend, excited about what's going to happen at Celebration , thrilled beyond words for what God is doing and I have the most incredible people in my life.  At the same time this wasn't the most exciting "Fun Friday".  It's the kind of Friday I normally hate.  My reality was that I spent the majority of my day at the doctor's o

If you are a person who prays, please read this!

I really don't know where I'd be without the power of prayer and fasting.  I also don't know where I'd be without people in my life who are actively doing the same on behalf of me, and others.  History belongs to those who pray!! Right now I'm praying for a lot of people in very serious situations that need a miracle or else.  My heart is very heavy for a few people who have contacted me this week.  One of them that is on my heart most are Pastor Mike and Judy Cayson from right here in Tampa.  They pastor at The Connection AG.  Last evening their daughter Bethany went into cardiac arrest and is in a medically induced coma right now.  We have activated our prayer team at Celebration on behalf of Bethany and her parents and I am asking everybody who reads my blog to pray.  We need to stand in the gap for these folks and not stop til' the breakthrough comes.  I ask you to put them on your prayer list whether you know them or not.  Thank you so much!! So many

Take time to grieve, or be sick - it's that simple

One reason we don't emotionally heal properly is that sometimes we don't take time to grieve loss.  Many are familiar with the five stages of grief and if you aren't I highly recommend you learn about them.  Grieving properly actually saves you time in healing because if you skip grieving you just backtrack later to go back and do it right in order to heal properly.  You either grieve or become mentally ill - take your pick. A friend of mine recently shared on Twitter that she believes all churches should teach their people about grieving properly.  It kind of made me happy to read that tweet because it's exactly what I'm teaching on the past week or two in my Sunday morning class. I'm feeling like I must be sharing something relevant and helpful to  lots of people.  I hate that so many have so much to grieve but I'm glad to share something that will eventually bring hope and healing if they just apply it. I tend to teach things as I'm going through

This is how they thank people for cleaning the church??!

I had the best first time visitor conversation on Sunday morning.  A guy named Alex came to Celebration for the first time. He has a Catholic background and CC was a whole new learning curve for him, but one he enjoyed.  In fact, he came to the altar to surrender his life to Jesus on Sunday.  Now, that NEVER gets old!   In the guest room afterwards he told me what first excited him about CC. Saturday we had a work day all day.  People worked hard...I mean really hard, to get the place in shape for the next season.  Men, women, teens and little children all served -- I was so proud of everybody.  I'm a leader that strongly believes in showing appreciation, "catching people doing things right," and rewarding what you want to see repeated.  I don't EVER get up and talk about people who don't show up, who don't do stuff, who aren't doing whatever -- I just talk up the daylights out of anybody who IS showing up, and is doing stuff.   Did you ever sit in a s

Time for a change of address!!!

"We all find ourselves in situations that at times seem hopeless.  And, we all have the choice to do nothing or take action."  ~ Catherine Pulsifer  Are you tired of your living conditions?  So many people tell me they are.  If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time you know I've been through some mountains and valleys.  The key is to trust God through the journey and never just accept that your situation is what it is.  Nothing just "is what it is" with God.  You don't have to stay where the devil left you. On the other hand some people blame the devil for things he had nothing to do with and claim they are being attacked when in reality it's their own lack of wisdom.  Some people aren't somewhere because the devil left them there, they got there by their own  mistakes.  Even so, you don't have to stay there.  No matter how you arrived at the situation you're in today, you don't have to accept it and you don't hav

Heroes: Meet Kaylyn Rice

Meet one of my heroes ~ Kaylyn Rice.  Kaylyn is an amazing girl who is a part of our Celebration family.  She's there every time the doors are open and sometimes even when scheduled services or events aren't even happening.  Her Dad and Mom are always working around the church, serving in some capacity so I see her a lot. Kaylyn is a smart cookie - she might be only 12 but she talks like she's 41 or something.  The conversations she carries on are so insightful. At the same time she's one of the most innocent young ladies I've ever met.  I always know when I see Kaylyn coming there will be no shortage of things to talk about.   Sometimes I am literally shocked (in a good way) by what comes out of her mouth.  She has a way of expressing herself that is wise beyond her years.  Kaylyn was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis a few months ago.  She has gone through a real struggle, yet she is one of the happiest children I have ever met.  Ever since I heard about her d

Is there something down in there?

"I've had a few setbacks in my life, but I never gave up."  Harry S. Truman Nine weeks ago I got a splinter or some foreign object underneath the skin of my index finger.  I thought I worked on it successfully and got it out, but I didn't.  I even had Larry work on it for me one night, but days later it still bothered me.  I was getting a nail fill one day and asked my manicurist, Lisa, about it.  I said, "just take one of your power tools and sand it down as far as you have to until it comes out!  I'm tired of it!"   She actually obliged me on that and tried it but after a few seconds stopped and said she didn't want to hurt me, but knew there was something down in there. I went home, took a needle and thought I got the particle of whatever was in there out, cleaned it out and put antibiotic ointment on it and thought it would heal up.  It just kept hurting.  This isn't good for someone who is always playing the piano or typing, I assure you.

Wanna move forward faster? Join with others on the journey.

By flying in a "V" formation, birds fly 71% faster than if they would have been flying on their own. I looked up the aerodynamics of birds and statistics on what happens when they fly together last night because I was thinking about how being on a forgiveness journey with others is affecting me. Two kids in our church have basically rocked my world this week!  Both of them have experienced severe hurts in their past and revealed that they have  forgiven their offenders in the past week.   One of those children did not go to their class and was actually sitting with their parent, sleeping in my Sunday morning class, because they weren't feeling well.  They woke up for a few moments just as I was sharing something about the forgiveness journey I'm on, and giving the illustration of how this other child had forgiven the people in their past who hurt them.  When the child woke up and heard that, God spoke to them to forgive their offender.  During praise and worship t

How do you even begin when it hurts so much?

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."  I Corinthians 12:9 Do you know how many people have asked me advice lately on how to forgive?  A LOT!!  Many people in my life both in person and through social media have talked to me about it, not really so much using me as an example, but just reaching out to a fellow struggler.  If anyone has listened to me preach lately or read my blogs or ezines or just had a cup of coffee with me they've heard that this is what's on my mind lately.  Knowing that I'm going through a particular journey has prompted others who are hurting to reach out, even if  just to have a hand to hold.  I don't mind -- it's just been one more thing to add to my list of things that make the emotional trek worth it. When people ask me, "how are you doing it?" my first response is grace.  I

The next big thing

Monday night while I was soaking in my garden tub I had a thought that I'm always looking to the next big thing and experienced a revelation that I need to stop doing that! While I ride my bike or soak in the tub or have any time to quietly think, my thoughts are immediately drawn to the next big thing that I'm looking forward to.  I'm honestly not bragging, but with me, there is always a next big thing.  I'm sincerely humbled and grateful that God gives me "next big things".  I am often drawn to think about the next big church event, next vacation with my family, next ministry trip to Africa, next Hope Tour, next holiday with my family and church, yada yada yada.  When I get into reflective time, I am always drawn to these things.   The next big thing comes, and it's awesome -- sometimes even more than I ever imagined!  As soon as it's over I wish it wasn't.  I used to look forward to milestones with my children but I don't anymore because I

You bet I'm a proud church momma!

Really...I live for this!  What could be greater? It's pretty AWE-some!  Mothering can be challenging in the natural or the spiritual, but it's so worth it.  Just like I love special times with my husband and three children (and Max & Maddie) so I love special times with my Celebration Family.  Sunday we spent the day at Ft. DeSoto and baptized a bunch of people and hung out together until the sunset.  There are hundreds of photos from the day but I selected just a few of my favorites to post.  These were taken by Rachael Rice.  If you look at these and go, "hmmm...from these pictures this looks like an amazing church family..." you're right. :)