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Showing posts from October, 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

Book giveaway starts TODAY!

Today begins a book giveaway here on the blog!  The more times you comment, the greater chance you have to win! A friend at Charisma House asked if I'd like to review some books and give some away.  What a delightful idea!  We will be giving away several books over the next few weeks.  I do need to let you know that these books have been provided to me free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. So here's how it's gonna work...for every time a reader leaves a comment on any of this week's blog posts today through Thursday, November 3 at midnight, or on the facebook comment thread when the same post publishes there, I will enter your name in the drawing one time.  You can comment more than once a day!  You get your name entered every single time you post.  So, comment away!  Let your voice be heard!    We will draw the winner's name at midnight on Thursday and announce it Friday morning.  The book will be mailed to you..  The first book we are g

Weekend Potpourri

Thursday was Dustin's birthday...after work we went to dinner as a family and I had made him a MRSA cake as he requested... Then on Friday it was our day off.  I love my Fridays!  I live for them, mostly to rest.  Most of the day I stayed in my PJ's I was so exhausted.  Larry and Max stayed there with me for the most part...that's always fun.  We watched movies in bed. Max lays between Larry and I and has to have one of us petting him constantly.  We don't mind. Friday night Larry and the kids went to the Celebration Church softball game where Larry and Jordan played.  The team won. :)   After that they came home and I had rolled out of bed and gotten showered and dressed and the five of us went to a late night showing of "In Time."  The boys' friend Stephen went too.  Stephen has been like a family member for the past ten years and has practically lived here at times. On Saturday morning I went and got my first pedi since the burn .  There is f


"The moment you can visualize being free from the things that hold you back, you have indeed begun to set yourself free."---Unknown

Are you a dynamically dangerous or disastrously dangerous leader?

There's a difference. These days, a lot of speakers and writers encourage people to be dangerous -- to the status quo, to the enemy, to hell, etc.  That's a good thing. There's another kind of dangerous we can become if we're not careful.  Even our gifts have a dark side that must be carefully watched to make sure we don't become more disastrous than dynamic. In an article on the dark side of leadership, Dr. Tuvia Melamed says:   "Think about those high hitters who leave carnage behind them. It is very difficult to challenge or argue against them; let alone stop them...organizations try to learn to live with their shortfalls and justify it by saying that the business depends on them for its success. This is probably true, but only up to a certain point. In the long-term they can cause unacceptable collateral damage, and might bring the organization to ‘its knees’."   Dr. Melamed is not referring to bringing the organization on it's knees in

He's different

This past weekend I was at a women's conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek hotel in Orlando and as I was rushing through the lobby to take the elevator to meet friends downstairs for dinner someone stopped me.  They just wanted to take a moment to tell me how amazing our son is.  I already knew it but really never tire of hearing it from anyone else.  (What mother does?  We love hearing great things about our kids!) It was a pastor's wife who stopped me to talk and she said, "That Dustin...he's one amazing young man.  So many young adults these days are just so self's all about them...but he's not like that...he's just so..............different." "I know," I said.  "We're so blessed."  Dustin really does live a consistent Christian life that centers around serving others." It's Dustin's birthday today.  It's hard to believe 22 years has gone by already.   An amazing 22 years with an amazing

I dare you to speak up

What you have to contribute to the world is important.  We need your thoughts, your voice, your ideas. Don't ever let anyone talk you into suppression no matter how wise or even anointed they sound.  They may even use spiritual lingo like, "in God's timing you can share what is in your heart, but that time is not now."  Wow.  Since when did God die and leave them in charge of who can express their heart?  Imagine if the world waited twenty more years to hear from Mattie Stepanek. God didn't create you to suppress you!  The enemy is all about containment and God is all about freedom.  This theme actually runs throughout the whole Bible. It's both dismaying to me as well as amusing to see people bristle at the unprecedented opportunity that abounds for people to share their thoughts today.  I wrote about this in another blog post recently when I turned on the TV just in time to see a well known speaker at a Christian university blasting young church plant

Move with the movers

Recently my husband asked a missionary, "what's the difference between church services in the country where you serve and America?"  The missionary responded that in their country they concern themselves with who showed up to church, not who's missing.  To clarify, they weren't referring to a lack of passion for the unchurched.  They were exclusively talking about Christians who don't show up. There were years of our ministry that I foolishly made the church members who showed up feel beat up on behalf of those who didn't.  Then I realized that was really stupid and served no purpose.  I would ramble about people who didn't show up to the faithful ones who sat in front of me.  How much sense did that make?  None.  Totally counter-productive.  I'm sorry I ever did that and made changes to remedy that. One thing the Lord told me years ago was, "move with the movers."   My goal is to pour into those who have made themselves available and

Why do pastors feel like they've been run over by a truck on Monday mornings?

It's not your imagination! There's a real reason for this and no, you are NOT crazy. This is one of the best blog posts I've ever read about this.  Every pastor and pastor's wife need to be  aware of this great writing from Clayton King about what happens inside a pastor's body! Incidentally, I was feeling like this today as I usually do on Mondays.  Even though I took a four hour nap after choir rehearsal yesterday I still got up today and felt like I had been beaten to a pulp and it was so hard to get going.  I was reminded of this article and want to share it. Clayton King is also a great blogger to follow and you can do so by going here.

The prize is home

Thank you, Lord, for home. The more I journey through life, the more I treasure home. I love to travel.  But I love home more.  Home keeps me grounded. Last night I came home from Orlando to a clean house and dinner made.  It was so peaceful.   I become easily frazzled and flip and a lot of other not-so-nice adjectives if I go very long without being home.  Home and all that it entails is a wonderful refresher for me. There's nothing that does that like coming home to my husband, children, and dogs, not to mention the bed and bathtub. Not least of all is our church.  Can I just say there is no greater joy than being a spiritual father and mother of a group of believers?   I feel like a grand prize winner every time I walk in the doors of our church.   I love being a church mama.  Sure I have to change some poopy spiritual diapers at times and clean up spiritual spit up.  That's part of it.  (Don't accept this call if you're not willing to do that!) But w

3 things pastors wish people knew about Sunday mornings

1) We have so many things on our mind in getting ready for the service.  We're probably not going to remember details that aren't related to the service that you come and ask us about or inform us of.   It's best to let us know during the week and having a written reminder is even better!  Contrary to some people's popular belief, pastors do work more than one day a week.  :) 2) If you tell us something before the service and it's of a heavy nature, it's not only going to affect us, it's probably going to affect the entire church.  It's hard to focus after a verbal bomb is dropped on you, and while most pastors can hold it together and do relatively well, the point is that the effectiveness of the overall service is at stake. Don't seek us out before service to tell us you are moving across the country or leaving the church or getting divorced.  Don't tell us that you are disgruntled or know someone who is, moments before we get up to lead.  (T

Are any of these things killing your leadership?

As leaders we have to be so careful to know our weaknesses and potential blind spots.  They can end up killing our leadership effectiveness.  On Tuesday I recommended this article on my facebook page and I think it bears repeating again here.  It's one of those articles every leader needs to read again and again to give themselves a check up. I'm passionate about honing my gifts, but also about keeping a strong check on my weaknesses.  I've had a lot of friends whose liabilities have been their eventual undoing. Check these and see where you might need some work.  This week I'm working on rigidity.  How about you?

Is your pastor being MOBBED?

Maybe you've never heard of this term before. On Monday when I published this blog  post on why some pastors are literally killing themselves I got a tremendous amount of feedback.  I got so many private e-mails about this,it was overwhelming.  I try to answer all of my mail in 24 hours time and this time I got behind and it took me a few days. One person who wrote to me privately was a Presbyterian pastor.  I never met this pastor before but someone had forwarded him the link to the post.  I am not going to share his name, keeping in mind that when people write me a private e-mail about a post versus leaving a public comment there is a reason for it.  He thanked me for bringing attention to this issue and said this: "Deanna, one of my church members forwarded your column on clergy depression.  It is very true.  Thanks for your work in this area.   Your call for members to be invested is a critical one.  I really appreciate your naming of high expectations with low i

Want to do something life changing for your wife?
Read this and act on it.

Earlier this year I was speaking on a Saturday at a women's tea at another church and the pastor's wife made an announcement prior to my message.  She said, "Ladies, please make sure you are faithful to church service tomorrow morning.  Pastor says we have to stop scheduling events on Saturdays if it affects Sunday church attendance."  I could hardly believe my ears!  Why?  Because I've dealt with the SAME exact thing. Every time we go away to a women's conference with our women I come home and tell my husband how they were touched by God.  I share with him many testimonies of the great things that happened while we were away.  Then Sunday comes and a lot of them don't show up to church.  It never fails on the way home from service, my husband says, "So, where were all these women who were so radically touched by God?  Wouldn't it stand to reason that they would come to church if God has done such amazing things in their life?"  I have to ad

"Unbelievable! There you go, finding something to praise God for...!"

This was said to me on Sunday morning when someone approached me at church to ask about my foot.  I believe even in challenging circumstances -- especially in difficulties - we are to PRAISE GOD.  There is ALWAYS something to praise God for.    Yes, ALWAYS!  If it weren't possible the Bible wouldn't tell us to bless the Lord at all times, to have His praise continually in our mouth.   Psalm 34:1 is possible!  Otherwise it wouldn't be there!  In case you missed all the excitement, I burned myself while making sweet tea.  A pitcher of boiling water exploded.  I backed my face and hands away quick enough but when it exploded it did so on my thigh and foot.  The thigh burn is not as bad as the foot. I've been researching how to heal as quickly as possible after a burn.  When something happens to me, I'm a person who reads everything I can about it, to try to learn and apply whatever wisdom I can.  I've discovered the unique difficulties people go through when ce

Why some pastors are literally killing themselves

Three weeks ago one of our board members, Bernie Currie,  came to the pulpit to share with our church about Pastor Appreciation.  He is great at doing this.  (We are so blessed!!)  He shared some alarming statistics he has found in his research, including that a recent survey reported that when it came to suicide, clergy ranked #3 as far as professions with the highest suicide rates.   That doesn’t surprise me.  I talk to people in ministry most every week who are on the brink of leaving their spouse, leaving ministry, or checking out on life altogether.  It’s why I started a ministry for them in 1998, because God has given me special compassion for those in vocational ministry.     Some other related statistics: 70% of pastors don't have a close friend. 1700 pastors leave the ministry for good, every month. 70% of pastors constantly fight depression. 90% of pastors work between 55-75 hours a week. 70% say they have a lower self worth now than when they entered the minis

Feelings, ohhhhhh feelings...

Can feelings be turned on and off? Absolutely.  They change often with most people.  That's why we have to stand on what we KNOW to be TRUTH, not our feelings. There were good parts of today.  We had two fantastic choir practices (adult & youth) and God is up to good things.   At the same time some stressful things happened today.  More challenges happened than amazing things.  I like amazing more than I like challenging.  I'm sure most people would be in sync with me on that. My feelings today are a potpourri. I read a quote by Pastor Steven Furtick today that said, "You don't get to choose whether things in your life get shaken.  You just get to choose what you stand on."  I am reminded that my feelings may change based upon what is happening around me but I can't be led by my feelings.  Emotions are terrible leaders. Feelings are important. They can be fun and amazing or they can be painful.  I wouldn't want to live without feelings.  Bu

Five ways to keep someone who is making an investment in your life

If someone is investing into you in any way, guard that as a sacred gift .  They have a choice as to where they invest.  If you aren't faithful to their investment -- if you don't take it seriously and respond with faithfulness to that deposit, they will not keep investing.  Before you know it somebody else will be reaping the blessing you once had. Many people don't realize the value of an investor in their lives until they aren't pouring into them any more.  As one of my mentors, Sis. June Coker, says:  "they won't miss the water til' the well runs dry." Here are five ways to make sure an investor keeps investing, not to mention making sure you don't burn a bridge altogether with an investor: 1)  Show up - on time.  When you're expected to meet with them, be faithful.  When people don't respect my time that's a signal to me that they don't respect my wisdom either. 2)  Take notes.   Not just in meetings but during informa

What do do when you have a terrible, horrible,
no good, very bad day

Have you heard of the book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day ?  It's a popular children's book, but I recommend it whether you have kids or not.  It may be in the fiction section of the library but I am firmly convinced it should be in non-fiction.  :) Maybe today you are having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  Fortunately when this happens we are not hopeless or helpless. Isaiah 61: 3 says, "Provide for those who grieve…a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor."  God provides for those who are having terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.  We do have to put ourselves in position to receive what He has provided.  It doesn't just fall on us.  For me that means immersing myself in praise, worship and prayer .  Completely immersing.  Getting off by myself, and getting under the tap of God's presence a

Open Pandora's box...I dare you!

Healthy relationships and organizations are ones where nothing is off limits to talk about. Last night I spoke about this in our Fusion service.  We want to be a healthy church so there's nothing off limits for discussion at Celebration. Many believe that some things are better left unsaid, and that less communication is better.  Healthy people are aware of the destructive nature of secrets or a lack of communication.  Those walking in wholeness get the fact that environments where honest conversation is taboo or avoided are sick places and those who perpetuate such behavior are sick people.

Do what you CAN do

So many people get frustrated by all the needs they see around them and think, "I can't do this.  I can't handle all this -- I can't make a real dent in the needs in this world.  I give up." Here's an important truth.  God never asked you to do what you can't do.  He asks you to do what you CAN do.  His power is there to handle everything you can't do, and it will kick in at just the right me.  Better yet, trust Him! I can't help everyone.  But I can help someone.  So I reach out to help that someone.  And you know what?  God enables me to do more than I thought I could do .  And before I know it I've usually helped a few people, not just that one. When I started out I may have thought I couldn't really do anything at all of significance.  Looking back I see God helped me do exponentially more than I ever thought possible. We are unlimited, really because God is unlimited. God never asks you to do what you can'