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Showing posts from May, 2012

It takes more than wishing

Fact!

 "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." James 2:17

I have so many dreams, and only so many years.

Daily I pray, and work.

And then pray and work some more.

I hope so much to make a difference. Every day when I wake up, I want to make the world a different place by being fully alive.


When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie...

I'm tired! But it's a good tired!

Here I am getting in a post in right before the clock strikes midnight. I always blog daily but sometimes I make it right in the nick of time.  I'm just getting home from church, believe it or not. Yes, at midnight!

Tonight we featured an "Italian Night" at Celebration  which was a Friends Night specifically designed for our people to bring new folks. Usually we do our Friends Day outreaches on Sundays but this time we decided to try Wednesday night just for something different.


In addition to all the food and ministry time we also gave away an espresso machine, gift certificates to Olive Garden, a makeup collection, gift certificates for a photo shoot with Dinah-mite, a book, and I donated one of my teapots from my  personal collection for the occasion.


To start the night we had amazing Italian dinner buffet (and some of the most delectable Italian creme cakes EVER) and music. For the ministry portion of the evening I inter…

What happens when my mind and body aren't in the same place...

If you need a laugh today, here you go...it's on me.

Saturday we had a Celebration Church event at a restaurant called Der Dutchman in Sarasota. Larry and I arrived first and right before we entered the restaurant I had taken a call on my cell phone. It was church related and presented me with some problems to solve regarding the event. I was stressed and had some logistics  to work out.

I immediately went into "fix it" mode. This is where I start analyzing to fix problems. I sort of go into a fog where I focus on solving issues and tune out everything and everyone around me while I do. Please note, this can be dangerous as I'm about to prove...

As soon as we got inside I had to use the restroom. My husband was waiting for me in the foyer area of the restaurant. I wasn't really focused on actually using the restroom and was still thinking of the things I had to solve.

No one was in the large restroom but me. I headed straight for a stall, and sat down to go. Ev…

Why I'm not partying today

I'm kinda quiet on this Memorial Day.

There's nothing being fired up on our grill outside.

I'm not going to the beach.

And having the day off has quite honestly just made me think about all the work that's going to be piled up waiting for me tomorrow.

But the real reason I'm kind of quiet is because I wrestled with a lot of thoughts about today.

Earlier this week I was putting together two presentations for Memorial Day weekend at church.  A friend of mine in the church who is very sick at this time and being treated at the Moffitt Cancer Center requested that we do Battle Hymn of the Republic. The best rendition that we do of that at Celebration is with a trio arrangement. I corralled a soprano and a tenor and brushed that up and brought it out for this occasion, not just to honor our soldiers but our dear friend.  It broke my heart a few weeks ago when my friend said, "can you please sing it while I'm still here?" My response: "Just to be clea…

Want to make a difference?

If you woke up today thinking, "I'd like to do something to change someone's life..." look no further.

Many of my friends are aware that my sister, Shari Meekins, is very involved in missions. In fact, her life's work for quite a number of years was with Samaritan's Purse.

At this time her desire is to return to Haiti, where she spent a year working for Samaritan's Purse, after the tragic earthquakes there. This time she will go back to minister with Samaritan's Feet, an amazing ministry also based in Charlotte, NC. The goal is to head there July 21, where she will partner with Samaritan's Feet and Convoy of Hope, to wash and anoint the feet of impoverished children and fit them with a brand new pair of shoes!



Right now all that's needed to get Shari to Haiti is $675.00.  Some of you know Shari well, and some of you only know her through me talking about her. I am not exaggerating when I say she is the most giving, forgiving, and compassiona…

What a Difference a Day Makes!

The past two days I've blogged about going through a big unexpected change, and handling it properly.

I am a really transparent person and loathe talking in generalities or in some kind of veiled manner. But this is an issue where I'm expected to keep confidentiality. I will just share a brief testimony today without giving specifics and I hope this builds your faith.

On Thursday morning I received a call that indicated that my day-to-day life was going to change in a big way. This came out of the blue. The news was such that the person calling asked me to sit down before they went any further.

I sat down.
I listened.
I was shocked.

I received this news and slowly began to process it.  The person calling actually said, "Do you need a minute to just breathe and take this in?" I did.

After a moment, I told the person who called me, "well, my life and it's direction is in God's hands, and I trust Him. I will receive this as being from God. I know He is goo…

3 Keys to Handling Unexpected Changes

You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler.  ~Denis Waitley

Early yesterday morning before I left for the church office, a big change was suddenly thrown into my life.

I realize seasons of change in life are the rule not the exception. And I like what Waitley said that change is the rule, but not our ruler.

While I was processing this change I found great comfort in a few things...

Getting out of the bathtub and seeing that Max and Maddie had taken up residency in mine and Larry's bed, with Max's paw wrapped around her...always warms my heart. Larry just had to take a photo even though we've seen it so many times...

Prayer in the sanctuary that I customarily lead every Thursday morning at Celebration...

Reading Jesus Calling...

Completing all my customary church ministry duties...

Coming home and riding my bike for a longer time in weather that couldn't have been more perfect...noticing on my ride that all the crepe myrtles are blooming...

Having Larry…

Do you really trust God with your life?

Changes happen in our lives all the time whether we like it or are ready for it. Sometimes we get angry about changes that are ultimately gifts from God although it doesn't seem like it at the time.

Peace comes to me when I pray for God to keep things from me that may seem like blessings but would ultimately destroy me. I consider things I don't receive as being in that category and move forward toward His greater blessing.

I've learned through experience there are times I have railed out at God over a change and in retrospect He was protecting me, sparing me, maybe even saving my life!

I'm learning to trust Him on the front end instead of waiting for the back end of something all the time to say, "oh, okay, thaaaat's what you were doing." 

A change came into my life today. I wasn't expecting it. I'm still catching my breath.

And I am blessing the Lord.
Blessing Him with every fiber of my being.

He is a good God.
I can trust Him with every det…

What I learned from wiping out on the sidewalk

A lot of the leaders that I'm friends with admit to me that they are really guilty of not taking their day off every week.  Wisdom dictates that leaders pace of themselvesand allow time for refueling and nourishment of our body and soul.

I learned this lesson in a painful way last Saturday. I'm not even going to post a picture of the aftermath of this because quite honestly it will gross you out.  I did reveal the injuries to my friend Candy and her repulsed reaction gave me pause to think about sharing an illustration photo with the blogosphere.

I woke up on Saturday, ate breakfast and rode my bike. Then I set about working around the house. After doing housework I went outside to the yard. During the hottest part of the day I worked for many hours, weeding and other things.



I skipped lunch.

I drank a small cup of water, which any rational thinking person would have realized was not enough. 

I was tired, hungry and thirsty, but addicted to accomplishment. I would finish a se…

Turning down a request for mentorship in three [not-so-easy] steps

This question came to me today on my Facebook page from Kimberly Jones and I asked her permission to share it here on the blog and answer it as part of the mentorship series.  It's not the first time I've received this question. I believe it's a common one that many leaders struggle with and my prayer is that this will help others as well.Question: How do I tell someone I cannot mentor them because they disrespect me and undermine me? This person wants me to mentor them, but if I am going to be treated like this, I simply cannot. How do I back off from them and communicate to them in a courteous way the reason for this? ~ KimberlyAnswer: Kimberly, let me say first of all that personal mentoring becomes even more of a complicated matter for those of us who serve in vocational church ministry. I am not sure whether the person who has come to you clearly unqualified for mentorship at this point [by virtue of their disrespect and undermining] is a member of the church w…

Who wants to stand out?

If you want to stand out, simply keep your word.

Apparently it's not quite that simple. By all indications this is a really hard thing to do since so many people don't do it. Which means if you do keep your word, you are a hot commodity!

Over the last 25 years time I've had considerable experience mentoring others. I also am in connection with lots of other leaders who are involved in the same thing. What's surprising to many of us is how rare word-keeping is. Who would have ever thought that people would be amazing simply for showing up?  That's pretty mind boggling to think about...that just being present would be all one would have to do to stand out above the rest. But it's true!

If I'm helping someone who happens to be looking for a job and I notice they keep their word, I always find ways to include this on their resume and underscore the importance of communicating this aspect of their character in an interview.

Keeping your word is so rare these da…

My new love affair

I'm growing cilantro. This is what I started from just a few seeds in this pot a month ago.

I'm growing basil...


and tomatoes...peppers...summer squash...and more. We're not allowed to have gardens in our yards in the neighborhood I live in, however we can grow vegetables in pots on the patio.



In addition to the food, I'm re-planting almost all the perennials in my front yard that were killed in the wintertime frosts two years ago when it was unseasonably cold. All our neighbors experienced that too. Mostly only the really large plants and palms survived.  Others replanted a lot sooner. I've been slow to restore everything because it wasn't my passion before.



But things have changed now. I've been weeding and working out there almost every day.


For hours.

It will take me until the end of summer to get things perfectly in order according to the plan I've been developing.

I used to hate this. I mean dreaded it! I wrote whole blog posts about how much I …

When Mentees Bite the Hand that Feeds Them

"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principle difference between a dog and a man." ~ Mark Twain

Mentors may need a break from time to time to heal and recharge from situations where mentees have bitten the hand that once fed them.
I hate the fact that this is so common. I can't say that I've ever met a mentor who hasn't gone through this. Most, including myself, have gone through it multiple times.  I wrote about one of those situations in this article.
A pastor-friend recently shared with me about a mentoring relationship they developed with a young person they had invested in for many years. After many years of training and investing, they helped the mentee plant a church. It became prosperous and much of that was from all their mentor had poured into them. Instead of being grateful, the mentee ultimately became upset with the mentor. He said that with all the blessings of his church launch he felt he could …

Being full of yourself will kill mentorship

If you are too full, there’s no room for you to learn anything more.  To qualify for mentorship you have to recognize your need for input.

A person who comes with an attitude that they already know as much as the mentor can’t be taught. 
Proverbs 27:7 says, “The full soul loatheth a honeycomb, but to the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet.” 
I know that my relationship with a mentee is going nowhere fast when every other word out of their mouth is, “I know,” “yes, I’m aware of that,” and “yes, I already know that.” Some people won't shut up about their qualifications enough to learn from anybody else.
The hungry soul, the one with the teachable spirit, will be filled.

What sowing and reaping has to do with mentorship

Mentees have much more affect on how much is received than their mentor does.

In the parable of the sower, the same sower sowed the same seed on the four different types of ground. In other words, it was the same teacher, mentor or preacher, with the same techniques, presenting the same message.
The condition of the ground makes the difference in results.
It’s interesting to me that in times past I’ve had people leave a church service telling me that they don’t feel the spirit of God, they feel dry, God’s not doing anything and they feel led to seek another church. After the same exact service somebody else will come up to me full of life or bawling their eyes out, moved by the spirit -- telling me that the presence of God was all over the place…they received a Word from God like never before, etc. What’s the difference? Same church, same service, same pastor, same message. Different person!!! 

Likewise, what you sow in a mentorship relationship, you will reap.

Why mentees should listen closely to conversations

The next step in qualifying for mentorship is to develop a habit of learning something from every conversation.
Listen up and listen closely! Hang on every word that your mentor says. 
Will they always get things 100% right? No. That’s not what it’s about.  Remember, you are not just learning from your mentor’s successes, but also their failures.
Mentorship is the benefit of experience without the pain of mistakes. A good mentor will share their mistakes with you, and how you can avoid them.
It really is true that you can learn something new every day!

The first thing you need to do to qualify for mentorship

The first question I want to ask you today is: When a mentor finishes a conversation with you do they feel that you wanted their thoughts, their wisdom or advice?
The second question I want to ask you is: Why would God give you a mentor if you are not really eager to learn from them and apply what they have to say?
Cultivating a teachable spirit is the first thing you need to do to qualify for mentorship.
You do not receive a mentor just because you are in close proximity to someone. Even if they are in authority over you, this is not a definite indication that they are going to take you under their wing for anything other than immediate supervision. You prove that you are qualified as a mentee by respecting their wisdom.
I’ve been mentoring people for over 25 years now and over these years it’s been amazing to me how some people will say, “It’s amazing the things I’ve learned from Deanna,” while others will say, “I haven’t really learned anything from her at all.” 
The difference isn'…

Are you qualified for mentorship?

All this week in a continuation of the mentorship series, I’m going to talk about qualifying for mentorship.
Qualifying?
Yes, I said qualifying.
This is one of those things folks just seem to have a hard time understanding.

They think because they are employed somewhere that their boss is required to mentor them. 
False.
Your boss supervises you but they don’t have to mentor you. Consider it a great perk of your employment if your boss mentors you.
People believe that because they are in a church the pastor or pastor’s wife is required to mentor them.
False.
Please consider it a great honor and privilege if your pastor takes the extra time and care to personally mentor you. Your pastor is entrusted with the leading of the flock the primary role of which is training and equipping however they do have a choice of what and who to focus on within that area. 
Mentorship doesn’t happen because you just show up somewhere. You have to qualify.
If you are thoroughly confused by now and wonder…

Greatest mentoring opportunity ever...

There's no greater opportunity for mentorship than being a mom. Nothing has scared me out of my mind more, or given me more joy. Out of everyone I've had the privilege of investing in, these are my three favorites, by far.

We went out after church today to share a meal together. I didn't get anything fancy though I could have.  We were at a nice place. Being that it's mothers day I allowed myself a treat and had a burger and fries. My first in 58 days!  I've eaten very healthy and exercised daily for 58 straight days. Why? Because I'm not done mentoring these three and need to be around a little while longer...

3 Keys to Success with Your Mentor

Lisa Alexander had some amazing insights yesterday in her guest post, and I'm following up on the heels of that with 3 keys to an effective mentoring relationship.

1) Write down what your mentor says.

One of my consistent habits is to write things down constantly. This includes everything from random thoughts, ideas, quotes, and definitely things told to me by mentors. Quite honestly when I am the one doing the mentoring and the person records nothing that I say, it's a huge red flag to me about how serious they are.

2)  Work harder than your mentor.

As Lisa said yesterday, if the mentor is doing more cheering than you, something's wrong. My boss Kathryn, (my manager at NextJob) often says that a major key to detecting a client's urgency in getting reemployed, and also their seriousness about coaching is if at any time we are doing more work than they are. In this case, something's wrong. Your mentor isn't there to do all the hard work for you. 

I've assigne…