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Showing posts from January, 2012

3 Ways to Get Something Done When You Want to Run Away

Do you feel overwhelmed with what's on your plate? Are you depressed when you see things around you piling up?

Here, look at this person's kitchen:


Now...don't you feel better?

LOL

I've been at the place where I want to run away. At times my responsibilities feel so enormous I fantasize about crazy things. Don't worry, I'm not thinking of murder or abandoning my family or stuff like that.  Normally I dream of things like spontaneously taking off for a vacation with no prior planning, or living in a house so far in the woods, no one wants to come there.  Yes my friends, these are my wild fantasies.

When my imagination runs wild, most times it runs to a little cottage in the forest with a pointy roof.  Something like this...


As you can see, fancy is not the goal of this escape.

True story -- my daughter has a friend she goes to school with who lives so far in the woods I can't go there without getting horribly lost every time. I even get lost when the friend …

What do people think when the phone rings and it's YOU?

In your business, or ministry are people eager to take your calls or do you play endless phone tag?

Do people get excited when they hear your voice on the phone?

How quickly do people return your calls?

Do people want to help you? 


Are you the family member that makes other family members praise the Lord that caller ID was invented?

These are things you might want to think about.

Nobody's responsibilities are peachy 100% of the time. We all have parts of our job or our life that we may not enjoy as much. A lot of people procrastinate or put those things off, simply because they aren't looking forward to it. I'll admit, I do it too at times.

Today I had a draining call and after I hung up needed an Advil. And I thought to myself, "What's the takeaway from this? What can I learn from this?"

Rather than ruminate about the call and how I thought the other person should change, I decided to relate it to improving myself which is the best thing any leader can do.…

Formula for change

Decide.
Do.
New.

It's really that simple.

How are you different?

This is Steve Martin's business card.

It's different.

I really love it.  I've been considering what's going to go on my new business cards that I use exclusively for writing. This post yesterday was really timely in helping me to develop my ideas.

Different is good. The world has so much of the same. God didn't create you to just blend in.

Stop blending in and embrace different.

Why you need to SAY IT and say it now!

If you think something and it has the power to increase someone in any way, say it now.

Say it today.

Say it to them.

Don't wait a second longer.

You never know how that word may affect them. It may bring healing to their soul. It may change the trajectory of their career. It may convince them to keep going with a worthy goal they considered giving up on. It may just save their life.

Say it, and say it now.  Text them. Tweet them. Facebook them. E-mail them. Stop by their house. Do what it takes, and do it now.

Lately when the Lord has brought a friend to my mind and impressed upon me to pray for them, I communicate with them right then while I'm praying. Sometimes it's at 3 am. I don't call and wake them up of course, but I send a message for them to find when they wake up. Many of them have told me it's one of the best thing that's ever happened to them. Others have said, "you have no idea how this changed the course of my week."

Don't just th…

Struggling with wanting your own way all the time?

I believe most people's prayers are simply directed along the lines of how they want things to go. Prayers of total surrender aren't easy to come by. There are some things we don't need to pray about, because they are already spelled out in the Bible.  Other things aren't clearly stated and we have to seek the Lord as to His will.

What about the things we're not so sure about?

I've come to believe this.  True faith is letting God make the decision. Faith is not really faith if we just insist on having our own way in prayer and sound like a broken record telling God what we want rather than surrendering to what He wants.

True faith is believing that God will do what is best for me.

True faith is holding on to His promises, knowing that even if He makes the decision in a direction that is hard for me, I know He will see me through.

True faith is trusting God to make the decision, knowing He will strengthen, uphold and even carry me at times.

There are times tha…

What I learned from Wife Swapping

Lately Larry and I have been catching up on past episodes of Celebrity Wife Swap. If you're not familiar with this show, what happens is that the wives exchange households for a week and experience what it's like to be part of another family. Those paired together are always opposites and provide a guaranteed opportunity for conflict. There are hilarious as well as heartwarming parts of every episode.

Without exception every wife is shocked by the way the other woman's home operates and how the family members relate to one another.  Usually they learn at least one positive thing from the other, while also discovering the weaknesses of each family unit. There are times a wife can't handle the differences, goes ballistic or has a crying jag and and quits.

There's something I've realized watching a bunch of these shows.  Every family has unique dynamics that would be seen as bizarre by others. Even if you're not a celebrity, you have these idiosyncrasies, I gu…

Go cut a hole in the roof. I dare you!

Are you facing roadblocks on the way to your dream? 

God gives people creative ideas to get things done in an unconventional way. Think about the biblical account of the  four people who wanted to bring  their paralyzed friend to Jesus for healing,  but couldn't come through the door because the room was already so full.  They brainstormed to think of how their goal might be reached to get their friend to Jesus, and ended up cutting a hole in the roof and lowering him down to Jesus. It worked!

Maybe today you're in a situation where conventional things aren't working. You can't get through and when you try, you encounter "Catch 22's". Things like being told, "you've got a lot of talent but no experience."  You think, "How am I supposed to get experience if somebody won't give me a chance?"

You can stand there and get frustrated.
You can complain.
You can quit.
Or maybe...

it's time to cut a hole in the roof.

Typical conversations with my 20 year old

Friday afternoon 1/20/12
Standing in our kitchen at home

Jordan: Hey Mom, I'm soooo excited for tonight.

Me: What's going on?

Jordan: I'm going with Paul, Jorge and Hayden to see my favorite bands at the House of Blues in Orlando tonight.

Me: Which bands are these? The ones you go to where people get punched in the face while they're listening?

Jordan:  Yeah, yeah, but they're amazing. Tonight it's August Burns Red, Texas in July,Silverstein and Letlive.

Me: I will just never understand why anyone would want to go back to a concert where they get punched in the face...maybe you could explain this to me.

Jordan: Mom, mom, seriously... it's not about being punched in the face.  Some of these bands have an amazing message. You need to consider the lyrics.

Me: Be careful, Jordan. I get a little concerned with this hardcore stuff. Do you think this environment lends itself to people bringing drugs to these concerts? I'm thinking there might be some people smo…

Be still and know

These are condensed notes from the message that I preached today at Celebration. I also expect this to go on our podcast sometime this week for anyone who has interest and might want to listen.
How long has it been since you’ve been still? 
I mean absolutely still and listening for God to speak to you?
I love stillness but have to be intentional about it.  I have a hate/hate relationship with my phone. 
Lately as I’ve been researching for a book I’m writing I have been reading a book entitled Mad Church Disease by Anne Jackson.   In it, Jackson writes about her journey of pastoral ministry and the burnout and breakdown she went through. She realized she was melting down after returning text messages in the shower. She felt so pressured and so many expectations to respond to people immediately that she  actually had her phone in the shower and was texting.   She ended up needing therapy to get back on the road to health.
Before we think this is so crazy, let's consider our own habits.…

Frustrated? Time for a dance dance revolution!

Yesterday was my day off but with the way my schedule shook out this week I ended up pushing two  articles that were on deadline off until the last minute as well as three job seeker coaching sessions. That doesn't make for the best day of rest, but it couldn't be avoided this time. I worked on the articles late Thursday night after getting home from a district women's leadership meeting that I went to in Orlando early that morning. I kept nodding off as I was writing, I was so tired. This doesn't lend itself to creative writing.  I was upset with myself because my self-imposed deadline to get it done was Thursday night before bed. It just wasn't happening. I vowed to give the first moments of the day Friday to finish the articles before I did anything else.

I woke up and immediately began writing and was in perfect rhythm. Writers understand this -- it's the place of being where your fingers try to keep up with your thoughts and the words feel as if they are tu…

What makes you afraid?

"You don't write because you want to say something; You write because you have something to say."  
                                        ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

So, you have something to say.

Are you saying it?

If not, why?

What makes you afraid about saying it? Identifying what makes you afraid is really important. When you identify your fears you can deal with them, and move on with the call to share what God has placed in your heart.

Sometimes fears are realistic, other times not. Whether or not, God never intended fear to stop us because fear is not of Him.

Just because fear is not of Him doesn't mean that some things we feared may never happen as we fulfill the call. Sometimes we will face giants and mountains but God never intended a giant or a mountain to stop us.  That's why He gives us the keys of the Kingdom to move mountains and defeat giants.

I have learned that God's grace covers me even when fears about facing a giant or a mountain come true. …

When they try to suppress you

Years ago when I was first starting out in the ministry an older minister took me aside and sternly said these exact words:

"Deanna, if you're ever going to be successful in the ministry you're going to have to learn to suppress yourself."


I knew what the word suppress meant but just to get a fuller picture I went home and looked it up in the dictionary.  

Sup·press[suh-pres]
verb(usedwithobject)
1.
toputanendtotheactivitiesof(aperson,bodyofpersons,etc.):tosuppresstheCommunistparty. 2.
todoawaywithbyorasbyauthority;abolish;stop(apractice,custom,etc.). 3.
tokeepinorrepress(afeeling,smile,groan,etc.). 4.
towithholdfromdisclosureorpublication(truth,evidence,abook,names,etc.). 5.
tostoporarrest(aflow)

After this comment was made I quickly decided to suppress anything that person ever said to me again by stopping it at my ears and never letting it get into my spirit.

God never saved anyone to suppress them. 


Why it's good to speak up, even if it gets you killed

When you take a risk and share your heart you run just that, a risk.

Sometimes when you share your heart you lose everything.

Who knows but that such an unsettling event might be the catalyst that moves us to make the mark we are called to make on the world?

Yesterday a friend in ministry said to me, "Deanna, you are a voice, not an echo." That put some things in perspective for me. 

I'm really excited right now about a few things I've written that are getting ready to be published that for me are revolutionary. One is an article that I was requested to write and it's very edgy. It's pushing the limits for sure. Perhaps even disconcerting, but a message that is desperately needed. I can hardly wait to see it in print but more than that I can hardly wait to see what changes it may bring about in some people's lives. The other is the current book I'm working on. With every day I become more impassioned about the message. Yesterday I shared with a frie…

An inside look at WHY many pastors DON'T share their heart...

Yesterday I posted something my friend Gary Boggess from church wrote about the reasons he's glad he's not a pastor. If you didn't read that post it's necessary to read that one to understand this one so if you missed it you might want to go there.

A lot of people responded on facebook to that post, in fact right now it's up to 28 comments on two facebook pages although no one commented here on the actual blog site.  Other pastor-friends and their wives wrote to me privately to give their thoughts since they felt they could not safely post their thoughts publicly.

All church people who posted comments were of the belief that pastors should be free to speak their mind like anyone else. Several of our Celebration Church members shared their appreciation for how I do speak boldly on certain issues and they encouraged me to never hold back. I appreciate that. 

I want to follow up today and to try to bring greater understanding as to why many pastors do hold back.  My …

"I am soooo glad I'm not a pastor..."

My friend Gary Boggess from church sent me a private e-mail the other day and among other things had this (below) to say.
As a believer, I am soooo glad I am NOT a pastor. I can speak my mind... mention something I heard about, quote from anything, copy and paste unpopular Bible scriptures as I feel led to. I can disregard being politically correct and speak directly to-the-point whether it brings laughter or serves as a needed suggestion or painful reminder. I can risk being right or wrong in order to speak my honest opinion. I can be blunt if needed, or rebuke whatever I feel needs rebuking without being worried that I'm stepping on a parishioner's (a giver's) toes. I can raise a flag, sound an alarm and generally do anything God puts on my heart to do without having to apologize, hide, duck or sanitize it to the degree my inteneded contribution is rendered so vague, that I have to pray that I successfully make a point at all. THANK GOD I am not a pastor in Am…

A day with a special touch...

Today was such a blessed day. The presence of God was  strong as usual at Celebration and we also had special guests with us today ~ missionaries Joe and Ann Trementozzi, and their daughter Beth Ann of Special Touch Ministry. The Trementozzi's are US Missionaries to people with disabilities and their families. they create awareness in the church at large to the need of reaching this population with compassion and giving to them an adequate witness of the gospel of Jesus.

The people really responded to their ministry with quite a number of folks making a connection to get involved in their Special Touch Getaway. We're real excited about our people being a part of this.

I had the privilege of taking Joe and Ann to lunch. Their daughter had plans with some other friends who had come along, and as for our family it was just me. Dustin and Savanna had fine arts rehearsal and Larry and Jordan were blessed with tickets to the Penguins hockey game today.

I took our guests to lunch a…

To create new, do new

I asked myself this question this morning when I saw this on a friend's facebook page.

And I immediately shifted gears, put everything else aside and pursued the greatest dream of my heart.

How does it feel? Wonderful.

This post by Seth really affected me this week too.

I acted upon my dreams this morning and moved forward in creating a different outcome. What can you change for a different outcome?

Some people will never understand this...

And that's okay. Just let us be as we lavish love upon the fur-kids of the world.

It doesn't mean we don't care about people. We do care. In fact most of the people I know who are great pet lovers are also the greatest philanthropists.

If you're not a dog lover, you might not understand the overwhelming intensity that many of us felt about Tank's reunion this past week. You might think we've lost our marbles. That's okay, we think you've lost your heart. ;) 

Before I go on with this post, let me say that we were delighted that CBS 10 posted the video and article about Tank and his Celebration Church reunion yesterday. Click here to watch it. (But then come back!)

If you haven't realized it, there is a revolution in America about dogs.

Dogs have always been loved and known as the most loyal companions ~ "man's best friend". But things have gone way beyond this. Dogs aren't just dogs or friends anymore. They are family members. Wake…

And yet another lesson from Tank's miracle

Barbara Lynn let us know that she took Tank to the vet yesterday and he received a clean bill of health!  Praise the Lord.

What does this show? The mercy and grace of God.

A dog, out in the wild, fending for himself for almost a year...

Not only does he survive, but he comes out of the journey with no broken bones, no worms, no diseases.

Like the 3 Hebrew young men, he has come through the fire, not even smelling like smoke!!!  Somebody give a shout NOW!

Our God is so good.

I think of a lot of things that could have happened in my life, but didn't. It was only because of the grace and mercy of God that I'm standing today! 

He's taken me through many dangers, toils and snares! Like Tank, he's taken me through the storms and the dark of night. If it had not been for the Lord on my side...

Listen to this, one of my favorite songs today and think about how good God has been to Tank, to you and me.

Your grace and mercy brought me through...
I'm living this moment bec…

Lesson from Tank's miracle

Last night Tank's reunion was shown on Fox News 13 and CBS 10 News. As soon as links go up online I will post them here and on my facebook page. I cried all over again last night watching the CBS interview. They shared that last month the family put Tank's Christmas stocking up, hoping that he'd return even though it had been 10 months.  

The thought occurred to me that Barbara Lynn and her family may not even have realized how precious Tank was until they lost him for 10 months. A lot of things are that way in life. Like one of my mentors, June Coker says, "They don't miss the water til' the well runs dry."

Beth, the reporter from CBS, spoke to my husband off to the side last night and said, "Pastor, you have awesome people here!"  Larry told her that we know just how blessed we are and are so thankful.

Once again I am reminded of just how amazing the people who surround us are. I can't even describe the feeling that I had when Donna pull…