Skip to main content

What to do when you don't know what to do

When I pray, I walk most times. By now I'm surprised there aren't holes where I have worn a path going around and around and around in the Celebration Church sanctuary. Sometimes, it's so hard to keep my focus. I have prayer lists and needs in front of me, but other concerns try so hard to pull me away from prayer.  Some people might think I pray out loud and strong just because I was raised Pentecostal. Well, that might be part of it but one reason is simply to keep focused! 

As I'm walking around praying, my eyes notice things that are broken. I see repairs that need to be made. Other things that need to be adjusted and tweaked. I've shut my eyes to walk around and pray, but after all the bruising, decided to stop. Just kidding.

A few weeks ago I was walking around the sanctuary in a time of prayer and I noticed some important things that needed to be taken care of. I don't know how to do them.  Even in our congregation of many capable people, among them licensed contractors, I wasn't aware of anybody who could handle these specialized problems. I became concerned, even to the point of worrying myself sick about getting some things taken care of -- and felt powerless to do anything about it.

In a few days Larry and I would be leaving on a getaway -- just us without the kids -- and I was looking forward to it. But so many times, concerns I leave behind stay on my mind.

Facilities concerns...
Financial concerns...
People concerns...

As a pastor this stuff is always, always, always with you. You try to put it out of your mind when you go away but it's hard. Many of my vacations have been spent silently pouring over and praying about concerns back home.

As I wore out the carpet that day in prayer, I felt God speak to me as I gave him my concerns down to the last detail about all these things. In my spirit I distinctly heard him say, "I've got this. Now will you please promise me that you're going to go away this week with your husband and enjoy your time and not think about this?"

"Yes," I said.

And I made good on my promise.

We went away and had an amazing time. And I left all the problems at the altar where I had poured them out.

We arrived home late Saturday night. I had not said a word to anyone about my prayers, not even my husband.

My first time to consider the problems again was Sunday morning when we arrived. We had church and all the same problems were still there, right where I left them. At the conclusion of the service I had just finished greeting visitors when a man named Randy Ross who has been at our church for about a year, is extremely quiet and shy and has only ever said "hi" and "bye" to me in the past, came to talk to me.

"Pastor Deanna, can I see you for a moment?" he quietly said.

"Yes, of course," I replied.

"I wanted to bring some things to your attention I'm not sure you're aware of," he said.

"Okay," I said, having no idea what was coming next, but I'll be honest, I held my breath. Usually when people start out with that sentence and you're a pastor, it's not a good thing.

"There are some issues with the facilities I'm not sure you've noticed..." he said. And with that he proceeded to take me around the building and point out to me every single thing I had taken to the Lord in prayer. 

When he was done pointing all this out he said, "Pastor Deanna, what you may also not be aware of is, I have seven years of experience fixing these exact problems. I am specially trained in this, and all I need from you and Pastor Larry is the authority to fix these issues, all of which I will do as a volunteer, to bless the church. I am asking this morning if you will simply give me the go ahead to fix all these problems."

"YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  How soon can you start?" was my only question.

All this after I restrained myself from doing the happy dance around the sanctuary. (That came later.)

Friends, I share this testimony with you today because I know some of you have problems that you don't know how in the world will work themselves out. You have no idea where the miracle is coming from.  Things are out of your control. You don't have the know how to fix some things whether they be facilities problems, relational problems, money problems, etc.

But God has the answer.  Trust Him. Take your concerns to the altar and leave them there!


Douglasrice said…
I'll Second that one PD YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Awesome...Awesome>>>did I say Awesome?
Thanks for the Blog today. Really need it :) You and Pastor are such a rich blessing to us in ways we could never repay!
Doug, you have gotten me out of so many "fixes" I've been in and helped us so much -- we could never repay. The gratitude is mutual. Love you guys

Popular posts from this blog

This Could Have Ruined Everything... (But It Didn't!)

 No one would ever guess what happened to me this weekend in Jacksonville, I'm going to tell you. :) As I was preaching at the Fearless Tour at New Hope Assembly of God this weekend,  I got choked up, literally. For probably 2-3 minutes I coughed profusely and greatly struggled. Then I drank some water and kept preaching. Everyone was gracious to give me a few moments to get my bearings. If you were there, you'll remember it! What no one realized at the time was that I swallowed a bug that flew right in while I was preaching! So disgusting! I said nothing because I was at a point in the sermon where I was really connecting and I knew if I said, "I swallowed a bug," everyone would either laugh profusely or be really concerned, or start feeling sorry for me.  And at that point whey wouldn't be thinking about the message anymore, but the fact that I had just swallowed a bug. They would then imagine what it would be like, and feel grossed out which

I'm Just Being Transparent...

This year at the Stronger Conference, a young minister stopped me as I was walking out of the room at the conclusion of a workshop and she said, "I want to tell you something..." (I was all ears.) She said, "Do you notice how many of the speakers this weekend are saying, "Now, I'm just being transparent when I tell you..." or "I'm just keepin' it real..." I nodded yes. In fact, I mentioned that I was one of those speakers. I think I probably said a few times in both my keynote message and my workshop that I was just "keepin' it real." After I affirmed that yes, I had noticed that -- she said, "Do you know why they have to do that? They do it...and you do it, because so many people don't keep it real. So many in leadership aren't transparent, Deanna. That's why all these people speaking here feel an urge to declare their transparency.." I let her know that usually when I say, "I'm just kee

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