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Showing posts from March, 2012

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

Help people. It works.

Yesterday was our day off and I started out by sleeping in until noon. No, I'm not kidding. I am usually so tired that on my day off I often don't wake up until afternoon.  When I just allow myself to sleep and don't set the alarm, there is no telling what time I will wake up. The bummer of this is that half the day is gone but the upside is, I really do need the rest. Once I woke up and showered, Savanna was walking in the door from school. She's used to this whole mom-moving-really-slowly-on-Fridays thing and is not at all surprised when she gets home and sees that I am just waking up and starting my day.  We spent the evening in Tarpon Springs with Jordan and Savanna. This is one of our favorite things to do as a family. We eat at Hellas. It's the best place to eat there. I get the same thing every time. A small greek salad, moussaka,and greek vegetables. Then we walk around in the shops for about an hour and stop back at Hellas for a dessert. Usually I

Lessons Learned from Whitney Houston's Toxicology Report

Turning the television volume all the way up in my bedroom, I quickly dashed to the bathroom, leaving the door open, so I could pee after holding it for almost four hours. I didn't want to miss even one moment of the Whitney Houston Homegoing service. Like millions around the world , I was practically glued to the television that Saturday morning, taking in every moment of the service, from Kevin Costner’s unforgettable remarks to Bishop Marvin Winans powerful message.  My TV was so loud it drowned out the sound of the flushing toilet and water swishing in the sink as I washed my hands. Drying them and running back to the TV, I  managed to keep a watchful eye online. Friends in other countries were posting status updates on Facebook. They were tuning in as well, and gave a running commentary on the service. Without exception all of us remarked that the tears were streaming down as I Will Always Love You began to play and Houston’s casket was wheeled down the center aisle of th

Praying in his new year...

What's a better birthday gift than a bunch of friends surrounding you and praying a powerful prayer over your life? It's better than chocolate cake ...although that was really good. :)  Sisterly speeches are good too... and so are sisterly hugs.  Brotherly thoughts are good too... and the blessing of Dad is incomparable... Thank you, Lord, for another year...

"Hey Mom, I just invited 174 people..."

  Tonight we're having a celebration of Jordan's 21st birthday after the service at Celebration . I prayed that we'd just make it to 18 with Jordan, things were so precarious at times. And here we are at 21! God is so good! What an amazing son he is. If you're wondering what I'm talking about when I say things were precarious , go here . Especially if you are a frustrated mom, please do yourself a huge favor and read it . If you are a worried Mom, let me encourage you today with this: God makes no mistakes. He knew what He was doing to give you the specific children He gave you. LOVE them. It works. More than anything, LOVE them. Openly, unconditionally, radically...LOVE THEM! Show affection, give words of love, blessing and encouragement.  Ooze love for those babies even when they are not babies anymore. Just one of the many ways I show my love to my kids is by making their favorite foods.  Jordan's favorite cake is chocolate. This is the cake we

The lost Mom

Last night I went for a walk with a friend that was supposed to be about an hour but ended up to be much longer. We ended up going to her house to talk afterwards. I didn't really worry because Larry had taken Savanna to the Pirates spring training game, Dustin was working at the hospital, and Jordan was at the beach with his friends. I thought I'd be home long before any of them got back so I didn't bother to leave a note or anything but I did tell Larry I was going walking with a friend. Jordan got back earlier than I did. He went through the house and saw that I was no where to be found, then called his Dad to ask where I was. Larry told him I had gone for a walk much earlier. Jordan got concerned and left and started looking through the neighborhood for me. He called my phone numerous times but I never got any of the calls because in our neighborhood they most often drop. Twelve calls never went through. My phone never rang even once. He went on his longboard thro

Heroes Among Us

Tom and Phyllis Benigas were with us yesterday in service at Celebration . They served as our Assemblies of God Pen-Florida District Youth Directors for 24 years, and are now headed to Europe on the missionfield. It was such a blessing to have them share about their new direction, as well as have Tom preach. Many people received a touch from God at the altars at the conclusion of the service. Phyllis's book was such a hit they ran out of them and had to go get another box from the car to make available to the people! I began reading it this morning and it's just wonderful.  The best thing for Larry and I was the opportunity to publicly thank them for all they have invested into our kids. They have invested in all of Pen-Florida's kids for 24 years, but I am particularly grateful for what they have poured into our three children. My husband shared with the church that there was a time in his life that Dustin was really hurting and in need of healing. He had experience

I can't wait for today...

to see who is going to come to Celebration Church for the first time. I wonder if I'm going to smell like pot again when the service is over? Today we have Tom and Phyllis Benigas , missionaries to Europe, with us as our guest ministers.  They were our Pen-Florida district youth directors for the past 24 years and now they are going on the missionfield. We are all very excited to have them with us today, and also looking forward to our "Raise the Roof" fundraiser after the service, which is to raise funds to do new construction on our youth and children's wing. It's gonna be a great day! 

Are you just hanging on for dear life?

"I wish I could just follow you around..." Someone said this to me last night after I preached at a regional women's event at Victorious Life Church.  The truth is, if they followed me around this week they would have just found me hanging on for dear life. Have you ever felt that way? That you were just praying that God would help you get to the next day? Not many people in the audience last night, if anyone, would have guessed that this past week I have struggled through daily headaches, elevated blood pressure, and a work agenda that took me until after midnight each night to accomplish. In spite of all that God was so good to us last night. Whenever I get up to speak, I wonder why anyone ever invited me. Every single time I ask, "why am I here?" It blows my mind that people show up. I never lose the wonder of being asked to share. I walk through the door when someone invites me in. Then the Lord shows up and does really cool things. There is nothing be

Hunger Games Premiere Worth the Wait

Why would people go to a movie hours ahead of time and sit and wait in a dark movie theater? Those who have never read The Hunger Games books may wonder about this. In fact, I know people are feeling that way. I've already received e-mail from a friend this morning asking, "what's the deal with this movie? I saw what you wrote about it last night on Facebook. Explain it to me..." (They were not criticizing, simply wanting information to see if it was something they should read or see with their kids.)   After working very late every night this week trying to catch up on work, I topped off my exhaustion by fulfilling a promise to go to The Hunger Games premiere with my family. It was a promise I was excited to keep. Although really tired, I was never tempted doze off during the movie. Having devoured the books after my son nagged me into reading them, I was counting the days for this moment!  I thought we would leave at 11 pm to go over to the theater which was o

If you want to change lives, try this...

I was was just an elementary school girl when Sue Duffield and her husband Jeff came to my home church to minister at a banquet. I looked like this at the time:  If you're a first time blog reader, just so you know, I'm the one on the left. ;) Sue and Jeff had been married just a short time and were on the road full time, ministering. They looked something like this, as I recall:  I thought they were the coolest people I had ever met in my life. They had just made a new recording (back then they were eight tracks and cassettes) and we got both of them to take home after the banquet. I remember my sister and I wore them out! We would listen and sing along and jump around in our room. (I did a lot more jumping around than she did. I was goofy that way. I sang into the hairbrush, actually pretending to be Sue Duffield.) Over and over I sang  her song, "Bread Upon the Water."     "Good measure pressed down, shaken together running o-----ver...soon it

Be different...but never indifferent.

People are often encouraged to be different. That's a good thing.  God created us to stand out, not blend in. Different is good. Indifferent is bad.   Indifference is actually deadly. I'm preparing a message to preach this weekend at a women's event. I was asked to speak on the theme, "Greater Things." Those aren't possible if a person lives with indifference. If we really want to live in such a way that we make an impact we have to be concerned about something beyond ourselves.    When you only give attention to yourself or your own agenda, you've actually started to decay. One of my favorite authors, Elie Wiesel once said, "because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies." He also said that, " ...the opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it'

3 Ways to Tame the E-mail Monster

Ever get messages that make you want to reach through your computer and choke someone? For me, this would include occasions where people e-mail me in the morning and by afternoon are sending another e-mail asking why I haven't responded yet. It happens to me all the time, no exaggeration. No one has done it to me today probably because everyone knows I just got back from vacation and am plowing through mail and an assortment of other things. Last week while I was away my friend Melissa Kelly graciously stepped up to handle my blog and Facebook for me. I know you may wonder, "why do you need someone to handle your facebook? Has facebook become so important you need someone to manage it while you are on vacation?" The fact is that blog traffic is very dependent upon facebook updates and I wanted my guest bloggers last week to get the most traffic possible. These ladies had something really important to say and I wanted everyone to be aware of it. So I asked Melissa to

Who wants rest? 3 Helpful Hints

God has been speaking to me more about rest. Everyone needs it. Leaders especially need it! I require solitude to function at my optimal.  We all have needs in this regard but many of us feel really guilty about being assertive about it. Why is that so? I don't know whether I'm getting better at being assertive or whether I am just too needy when it comes to rest in this season of my life to care about offending anyone. In just a moment I'm going to share with you three new ways I've found to make it easier to rest. No, they don't involve a cruise. I know I just came back from one yesterday and my faithful readers who know that may be thinking, "Great. She's going to tell us to go on a cruise. Impractical! Irrelevant!  I can't afford it nor do I have the vacation time to take..." Relax. That's not the direction I'm headed. But please do indulge me for a moment before I tell you the three hints, while I share with you a few peaceful

Has Someone Reached Out to You For Help?
Guest Post: Melissa Kelly

Maybe you're not a professional licensed counselor, a pastor, or someone in an "official position".  Many women choose someone to share with first who is not one of these people.  My friend Melissa Kelly has been in both situations. She's served as the person in the official position of leadership, and also served on the other side of things, just being approached as a friend. I call Melissa a "go to" person. A lot of people trust her with challenging situations and she has unique experience to speak to this. No matter what place you find yourself in today, here's some great advice from her about helping those who are in pain. Just a reminder that all of our guest bloggers this week are available to chat with you in the comment section here on the blog or on my facebook page where the blog also publishes.     ***     There have been so many times that I have sat at the end of a phone call, Facebook chat/message or next to someone on a pew or couch