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Showing posts from February, 2012

One Way to Stay Blessable

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It's leap day! What does this have to do with living a blessed life? I'm about to tell you.

My husband has been sending facebook messages all throughout the day to different people, thanking them for who they are in his life and what they have done to influence or bless him.  He says that with the extra day we have been given this year, he wants to spend it with an attitude of thanks. What a great idea!  I can't think of a better thing to do.

I'm a little behind on the gratitude curve today. The first time I gave thanks was when I woke up this morning and went bike riding. As I was breezing along I thanked God for the moments we shared. I chose to go without music this morning and just let it be him and I in the silence while I rode.

The second time was a quick prayer over lunch with my husband as we thanked God for our meal.

Aside from that I haven't given a lot of thanks today for anything specific because I have been overwhelmed getting ready to leave on a trip…

3 Questions To Ask If You Want to Work at Home

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Are you a good candidate for teleworking? Would you thrive in your own business, working from home? There are a lot of things to consider, but here are three I believe are most important.


1) Are you a self starter? 

I have an office at the church, however I work from home for about 50% of my work week. This actually enables me to get a lot more done than I would otherwise, being that I am extremely self motivated.

Nobody is home with me most of the time, except for my dogs. They don't give me instruction to do all the computer or paperwork associated with my job seekers,  to finish the five projects on my plate for church that day, or to prepare a message to preach when I travel this weekend. I am responsible to start those projects, and finish them.

If you can't start projects on your own and follow them through without someone prodding you on, working from home is not for you. If you need constant encouragement or feedback from others to keep you motivated, you might want to …

A half hour lunch would be nice!
Guest Post: Lisa Alexander

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Today's post is a guest post by my good friend, Lisa Alexander. One of the reasons I am such a kindred spirit with Lisa is that like me she wears a lot of hats. We understand each other's worlds very well. Lisa is a wife, mom, minister, student, business owner, marketing guru (she wouldn't call herself that, but I'm just speaking truth) and lots more. She creates the WOW factor for her clients and does it like no other. If you need help with web launches, advertising campaigns, social media marketing, book launches and the like, she's your gal! We first met many years ago online but our relationship has transcended to an in person one as well. I've had the privilege of being in her home and meeting her family. She's the real deal, ya'll! Here's what's on her heart to share with us today about half hour lunches and so much more...

I am a wife.
I am a mom.
I am a minister.
I am a student.
I am a business owner.
I am also a few me’s short to get done eve…

Why it took me 56 days to do one household chore

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I cleaned up our patio yesterday from the New Year's Eve party we had 56 days ago. True story. The chairs were still in the same little circle around the fire pit and the blankets right where everyone left them. The wood next to the fire pit needed to be reorganized and the blankets washed. I even found a stray napkin and cup in the yard.  They had migrated all the way over to the tangerine tree.  While I was at it, I finally took the Christmas lights off of the bushes in the backyard. This was in between the normal household chores yesterday and doing some cooking in advance for our leadership meeting tonight at CC.

I didn't get a moment to take care of the patio til' yesterday. It's been on my "to do" list that long. I say this for the benefit of everyone who says to me, "how do you do it all, Deanna?" Well, there's just one practical example for all of you who wonder, of one thing on the list that never got done until later.  I'm fixin…

How to avoid a bad day

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Nobody's life is perfect. I know you probably have a few people that you think have near perfect lives, but really, they don't.  There are those who have fulfilling lives, who are happy. But nobody escapes challenges in life. Not the rich, not the well-connected nor the educated. Nobody!

We look at people who are granted great responsibilities in life and we think, "Wow. What a privilege it must be to lead this or that." Yes, it's a privilege, and it also comes with a price.  I've learned the more people and things I'm responsible for, the greater my challenges.

So what's the key to waking up and having a good day in spite of all that's pressing on you?

I can only tell you what I personally do, and that is determine my contribution to the day. Aside from the skills and talents I will use to get various things done it starts with my decision of what the other ingredients I'm going to include. For me, gratitude is the biggest ingredient that mu…

How to identify and respond to verbal abuse in marriage

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As a pastor I am often asked about verbal abuse. Many are confused on the issue and this is understandable. To be quite honest, I've dealt with countless people who are actually living with abuse and don't realize it or are in denial, while others claim to be verbally abused, and really aren't.

Obviously, physical abuse is much more identifiable. In a situation where a person is being physically abused, any leader with their head on straight will advise them to get to safety as soon as possible.

Verbal abuse presents a lot of questions. For starters, at what point does something become verbal abuse? How should one respond?

When questioned, I have always answered by telling people that this is very case-by-case specific and requires a lot of discernment. I still believe that, and would also like to thank my friend, certified life coach Terri Yarbrough von Wood, for sharing this article.  It's really helpful and provides a lot of insight not only to those who may be st…

What success looks like

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People have weird ideas about success. 

Most people who have achieved anything worthwhile pretty much have to go through hell and back to get there.  

And, ever notice that some people think they should be able to achieve in two weeks or even a few years what it took those who have gone before them a reaaaaaaallly long time to accomplish?

Crazy. 


As the famous opera singer Beverly Sills once said, "There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going."

Can you imagine a PASTOR doing THIS?!

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The following is a guest post from a great man who walks with God. I'm honored to have my husband, Pastor Larry Shrodes, share with my readers today. He wrote about this topic in his weekly ezine to the men of our church recently and I thought it was a great word. I invited him to share on my blog today about what he believes is one of the greatest inconsistencies in the church at large, today. I hope it is enlightening for you.






The lead pastor of Northeast Assembly of God followed Carl Dallas and his family out the church doors following the service this past Sunday.  Stopping Carl in the parking lot he said, "Carl, I need a minute of your time to talk to you about something.  You've been coming to our church for the past year and and a half and I want you to know that I love you.  You have a great family and I really enjoy you.  We've had some great times of fellowship, however I want you to know that today is your last Sunday here at Northeast.  We feed you way …

One really bad habit that will stunt your growth!

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Let me ask you a question...what's your sore spot?

Whatever it is, potential exists for it to completely halt your growth and make the next level impossible. 

For the sake of illustration let's say we're talking about a guy named Clarence.

Clarence had a terrible father growing up, a deadbeat dad. He has tried his best to move beyond it, but it's been a real challenge. As a result he's sensitive to anything concerning fatherhood. He doesn't like hearing about dads, fatherhood, or even references to "God the Father."

Clarence is a business man who is sent to many conferences on behalf of his company. Sometimes in seminars and workshops those presenting will give an illustration about being a father. Or maybe a woman will  reference something about her father and experiences she had growing up.  Clarence bristles right away, shifting in his seat and hears little that is said after that. He just wonders why in the world they had to use that illustration…

One HUGE way to reach your goals

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I'm not going to keep you in suspense. I'm going to tell you right off the bat in this post exactly how to do as the title suggests. You need to sleep.


After watching this TED talk by Arianna Huffington right before the new year started, I determined to do three new things in 2012 to reach my goals. I'm getting  adequate sleep, I'm taking my weekly sacred day off no matter what and I'm planning vacations well in advance. It's another blog for another day but by "vacation" I mean true vacations. This doesn't include times of handling business, visiting people, covering bases, but a true getaway where I have no expectations or responsibilities whatsoever.

A lot of people ask me how I do all that I do, handling multiple jobs and roles. I've been thinking about more intentional answers to this question instead of just saying, "a lot of prayer," or "God's grace." Yes of course I do it with a lot of prayer and without grace …

It's true love

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They're coming

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“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't.”
  ~ Steve Maraboli, Life, The Truth & Being Free

Let go of what's driving you crazy.

Let go of what's driving your blood pressure up, that you can't change.

Loose it and LET. IT. GO.

Then look at what's left and decide what to change.

Follow through and do it. 

Are you a bandwagon Whitney Houston fan?

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I'm not.

I've been a true fan for a long time, and more than that, an intercessor. I'm just one of many people, probably thousands who have seriously prayed for her for many years. We saw the hand of God upon her life -- an amazing gift, and we also saw the intense struggle she faced. She was more than an icon - she was a real person standing in need of prayer.

I do understand the bandwagon thing. It happens after any tragic death. Whitney Houston posts are at an all time high as well as downloads of her music. 

There are bandwagon fans and then there are those like me who have every project she's ever recorded, every movie she's ever made, and prayed for a long time although they've never met her and knew they probably never would.  I've blogged about Whitney many times before, and spoken about her in messages. To read some of my previous writings about her or even a small reference I've made about her in my writing you might want to go here, and her…

Before you have a moral failure...

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Lately it seems not a week goes by that I don't hear about a friend in vocational ministry experiencing a moral failure. Yesterday was again one such day and again I found myself angry and bewildered asking, why.

I ask why even though I already know it's a question without an answer. I guess it's just natural instinct  to ask this. The Lord spoke to me years ago that the question why would never be answered. The reason for this is that sin doesn't make sense. Satan is the author of confusion and therefore things he orchestrates never have a comprehensible reason. We'll never be able to wrap our brains around the sinful decisions that people make.

I do not want to come across as arrogant or above a failure. Pride goes before a fall. It's so important for all of us to stay humble and teachable and realize that none of us are above falling. One friend of mine was close to a famous minister who fell. If I said the name of this person, all of you reading this would …

Do you feel respected?
Part 2

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Do you secretly believe that you are better than, or superior to your partner in some way?  
Many people believe that if their husband or wife was just more like them or would just do things their way, their relationship issues would be fixed.
WRONG. 
This is a lie of the enemy.  It's also why in many marriages one person refuses to go to counseling. (They don't think they have any problems -- they think everything is the other person's fault.)
Mutual respect starts with coming to terms with the fact that your spouse is a capable person worthy of respect. You have different gifts, but you are both just as valuable. 
Competition is a marriage killer. Your spouse may not be as good as you are at organization, or baseball, or cooking, or gardening or whatever. But, guess what? You aren't as good as they are at many things. Which of you is better? The only answer in a successful partnership is neither! 
Partnership can never be about whom is better. Partnership is about recogniz…

Do you feel respected?

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Many times when people bring up respect in marriage, it's not in a mutual context, and Larry and I have come to believe that it's one of the main reasons many marriages don't last.
Strong marriages have a high degree of mutual respect. Not one sided respect. God never intended respect to be one sided. That just makes for a lopsided, out of balance relationship and it's no wonder why many marriages don't last. Even in lasting marriages, many are not truly happy because God never intended for us to disrespect anybody, man or woman.
Larry and I shared openly with the couples in New Smyrna Beach on Sunday that there hasn't always been mutual respect in our relationship. That was the reason for some seasons of unhappiness. Since we have fixed this problem, things have gone a lot better.
One way to find out if there is a good deal of respect in your marriage is simply ask your partner: "Do you feel respected in our relationship?"  Resist the urge to defend yo…

Who's number one in your life?

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The answer to that question determines a lot.
A man or woman can never be truly fulfilled unless God is in the number one spot. If we don’t have things in the proper order, we will be miserable.
Last night Larry shared with the couples at the event in New Smyrna Beach that we're not number one in each other's lives -- Jesus is. When we got married we wrote our own vows and Larry's vows to me began with this phrase:  "Deanna, I promise to fulfill my role as your second love…” He understood from the beginning that he would never be the number one man in my life. 
Deuteronomy 5:7 “You shall have no other gods before me.”
No one before him. No idols.
Many have made an idol of their marriage partner. Is there any wonder why many have problems in their marriage when they have placed the expectations upon their partner that only God can fulfill?

By the way, I'm still in New Smyrna Beach with my #2 man today. :)  

Last week a lot of things got in the way of a true day off.  (Our…

Are you married to your opposite?

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Sometimes the perfect combination is the complete opposite.

Larry and I are tag team preaching tonight for The Well, a church in New Smyrna Beach, FL, at a couples event they are hosting. There isn't enough room for all of the couples who will be attending so they have had to make arrangements to hold the event at the First Presbyterian church. That's a great problem to have!
We're going to talk about many of our favorite subjects regarding marriage, one of them being the fact that opposites can not only survive but thrive in marriage.


For those of us who are married, here's an important truth...if both of you were the same, one of you would be unnecessary! God has given us a partner to enrich our life, not reflect it. Larry and I used to mistakenly believe that everything one of us did was a reflection on the other. Not true. Things got a lot better once we released each other from this false expectation.


Think about it -- we're made in God's image. Whose reflecti…

THIS is what fasting and prayer will do!

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I can't wait to write about yesterday's miracle!!!  Hold on to your seat...

Our church has been in 40 days of fasting and increased prayer. The fast ended last night after our 11 PM - 1 AM prayer meeting - we all went to IHOP to break the fast together. (I couldn't wait to have a chocolate chocolate chip pancake and my husband had ice cream.)

 So here's just one miracle testimony from this fast.  Yesterday morning a young boy in our church went into the hospital to have a large cyst  removed. Before operating the doctor checked him one more time. After examining him the doctor said, "THERE WILL BE NO OPERATION TODAY! THE CYST IS COMPLETELY GONE!!!" They sent him right back home!  This was his mother's facebook status yesterday:
"Thank you, thank you, Jesus!!! He is always coming through for me and you! Right before my son was going to be operated on, the doctor came in to check him and told us he doesn't need surgery because what they had fou…