What’s Your Number? & Tune In Thursday #9

What’s Your Number? & Tune In Thursday #9

I came in to church hurried and scattered.   My mind raced with all the things I needed to do, I should be doing, and I had forgotten to do.

I was running late again!  It always seems to be the case for me on Sunday mornings.  No matter what I do.  I try, I really do.

“At least I am here before the service official starts, and they begin singing the first song.” I thought to myself.

Pastor Jerry was in the back of the Sanctuary that Sunday morning as I came rushing through the door, and he just looked at me, that telling smile on his face and a knowing in his eyes.

He stopped me and said:

“What’s your number?” …..

“…. uhhhhh ….   I don’t know,” I respond.

“Sure you do,” he replied, “What’s your number!?” ….

If you didn’t know Pastor Jerry Tyler, then you may not know that he was famous for always asking people, “How are you doing?


Most would reply with the pat “Fine.”  But Pastor Jerry wouldn’t stop there, He went on to ask for a number.  On a scale of 1-10, if he asked, you were to give him a number.  Once you gave him a number, he would simply ask, “What would it take to move it one more number higher?”


That morning like so many before and after, Jerry knew things weren’t a 10.  I don’t have a poker face.  Guess it’s a good thing I don’t play poker then isn’t it.  Hahaha..


Most of the time, Jerry didn’t even ask me how I was doing, he just went straight to the number. When you have a relationship that spans years, and you serve together in ministry, you can bypass some of the pleasantries and cut to the heart of the matter.


Pastor Jerry, had a true heart for people, and he was a man who noticed things.  He knew when things weren’t right, even when you said they were.  He was a man, who didn’t let people get away with putting a smile on their face and say everything is ok.  Pastor Jerry was a man who wanted real.  He was real, and he wanted you to be real.  He was a “what you see is what you get” kinda guy.



I am not sure if you have been following my friends and my series on perseverance, but something my friend Holly said in her post Tuesday struck a chord with me.  Maybe because putting on masks is something I spent many years of my own life doing.  I would put on masks to hide the pain underneath so you nor anyone else could see what was on the inside.  If you missed any of our series, it’s not too late to join in, we are only on week 2 of a 8 week series.

Just Click on the pictures below to read.

Post #1 – Perseverance Series: Bravely                   Overcoming Fear by Mary Geisen


Post #2 – Perseverance Series:  To Persevere in Recovery by Holly Barrett


Next Tuesday, join me right here on the blog for my  wonderful friend Patricia Krank as she shares about Persevering in Prayer.

This past Tuesday, Holly started her post with this:

I saw a meme online the other day that basically said a beautiful smile hides an injured soul so that no one can really tell how broken you are.

Can you see why it struck a chord with me?  I hope it does with you too.

I say, it’s time we all take our masks off and let the world see who we really are.

No more pretending its ok when it’s not.

No more smiles when we want to cry.

No more perfect hair, or perfect faces, instead just us, real and raw.

The only way to help one another is to let each other in.

The only way to let each other in is to be real.

Let’s all take off the masks we wear and let the real us step forward.



I know I can hear some of you gasping for air.  I can hear some of your rebuttals:

“But I can’t trust everyone.”

“Some women are just plain mean.”

“They are just waiting for me to mess up.”

“They will see I am not perfect and that I don’t have it all together.”

Oh I could go on, but you get the picture…..

You are right, sadly, we can’t trust everyone, but we can trust God.  He is one that we trust to show us people we can take our masks off with.  Be smart, and yet, you must be willing to take a risk!

You are right, some women are just plain mean, and some are just waiting for you to mess up. But you can’t change them, you can only change you!

You are right – they will see you are not perfect and that you don’t have it all together. But who cares, I don’t know about you, I don’t want fake – I want authenticity.


Let’s be real, we all have “stuff” and no is perfect and no one has it all together. We can try and fool people with our masks, but the truth is, we are only fooling ourselves.

Let’s choose today, to take the masks off together.

Are you ready?

So …

What’s your number?  And then what would it take to move it up at least one higher?




If you want to read more about PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR, the author of the poem, click on his name.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16)

Again Welcome and Thank you for joining me for #TuneInThursday it is an honor to have you here!

I have had a few people ask for a badge/button to display on your blogs.  I would absolutely be honored if you would display it, or link back here in some way.  Thank you!

Tune In Thursday

Now let’s get this party started, feel free to link 1-3 posts:


Do you wonder if God still speaks today?  Do you wonder if He would ever speak to you personally?  Do you long to hear the voice of God in your life?

Have your read other books on hearing from God, but long for hands on practical application? or are you looking for ways to  move you forward  hearing from God?

If you answered YES to any of those questions, then I have exactly what you need.  I now have an online e-course designed to equip you in understanding that God still speaks today, and He longs to speak directly to you, through His word, and others.  He longs to encourage you, strengthen you and comfort you.  The training on this site, is fully based on Scripture, and taken from my training manual Releasing God’s heart through Hearing His Voice. 

I have been teaching these classes internationally for the last 10+ years equipping and training believers in discerning the Ways God speaks.  God is speaking, Can you Hear Him?

2. My new membership site, d2htrainging.com has official opened, I invite you to check it out today, and develop a deeper relationship with the Lord, as you learn to hear Him speak to your heart.


Looking for other Great Inspirational Parties. Click Here to see where I Link-Up weekly.

Several Submissions have been featured at Blessed Transgressions, an Online Magazine:

Balancing the Warrior & the Princess We’re Called to Be

Who we Are and Whose We Are

Trusting God When it Seems Illogical

Will You Sit with Me? (Jesus is Calling.)

My Post “Climb Every Mountain” was featured in the August monthly link-up at : Life on Intention Link-up Party

My Post: The Power of your Story was featured here:

My Post “What’s in a Name?” was featured here:

The Luke 2:52 Project

My Post: “Will You Sit with Me?” was featured here:

My Post: “The Journey through Change” was featured here:


Again,  I have been know to link to the following Inspirational Parties:


  1. Hello Debbie, I sit here and smile to myself. I can’t help but appreciate what your dear Pastor does.
    You know we need a lot of these around. People who genuinely care about how we are doing. We also need to be that kind of people, who are authentic and real. If we are not we are deceiving ourselves running around with plastic faces and plastic answers!
    Jesus would rather have us encouraging one another, praying for each other and moving on together in faith.
    I will try and visit the previous post on perseverance. I am not sure I’ve read them. 😉
    Finally Debbie, it is not easy leaving comments on blogs. I for one had the generator running this morning so I could attend to the blog. This brings me to saying a BIG THANK YOU for all those wonderful encouragements you leave not only on mine but on many other friends’ too.
    Thank you dear Debbie, it means a lot to me.
    Hearty Blessings to you

    • Ifeoma – I smile when I think about Pastor Jerry too. He was one of the good ones, and I totally agree, we do need a lot more people who genuinely care about others… and it can start with us doing the caring as well.

      I like what you said, about us deceiving ourselves with our plastic faces and plastic answers, if we are not authentic and kind. That is a great point. Also, thank you for taking the time to comment, especially since you had to have the generator running to do so! Wow, that means so much… and you are most welcome for the encouragements and the comments on yours and others blogs as well. It’s just a part of who I am and I truly want to build a community of people and get to know those who come linkup every week. Blessings upon Blessings to you!

  2. This really hits a note, because I’m one of those people that tends to say fine and think if I say it enough, it might be true. But our true friends need to know our struggles.
    Peace Debbie,
    Today I’m at an 8—of course, the morning just started, LOL!

    • Jodie – I am so glad that it got you thinking – I too am one who tends to say fine when it’s not so fine, but Pastor Jerry taught me otherwise, especially with those who are close to us. If we can’t be real with then, well then ….. Oh and an 8 is great – and I had to laugh at your qualifier of the morning just started…. My morning started with about a 5 – I didn’t want to roll out of bed to go workout, I wanted to sleep, but after working out and as I sit here commenting.. I would have to say I feel as if I am an 8 as well… but then again as you said, the morning has just started… stay tuned. 🙂 Blessings to you. I am looking forward to seeing what you linked up today.

  3. Amen. If you’re not good? TELL SOMEONE!

    • Absolutely! Double Amen sister!

    • Lisa, you are so very welcome, I am glad that you could join us today. I sure hope to see you more in the future as well.

  4. Debbie, I’m reading your post and wondering if maybe Sunday morning is the most “masked” day of the week. This should not be . . .
    Like you, I find that Sunday morning comes with a long list of people to see, items on a list to check off, and maybe I just need to add “worship” to that list.
    Thanks for your transparency here!

    • Hi Michele! You know, I believe you are absolutely right about Sunday mornings. I will be truthful and say Sunday’s used to be the day I firmly had my mask in place for many, many years. Thanks for sharing your thought and YES – Add Worship to the very tippy top of the Sunday checklist – we were made to Worship God and once we start there – everything else will follow. Blessings

  5. Thanks so much for hosting Debbie–and wow, wonderful post!!
    So inspirational! I needed this! Thank you….

    • Chris – I am so very glad that it was just what you needed and thank you for coming back to check it out. Blessings

  6. Thank you for this beautiful post Debbie! For years I wore that mask, trying so hard to be “good enough.” And when the mask came down, it wasn’t easy! But it sure has been worth it–to have the freedom to say I need prayer today! And thank you for this safe place to link up our posts, and be real with our words too! Blessings to you!

    • Bettie – You are most welcome and I too used to wear masks, you are right, it isn’t easy, but the freedom that comes when we let them go – oh Hallelujah Praise Jesus! You are most welcome for the linkup and the safe place to be authentically you!

  7. Love that about your pastor! let’s see – mine is 6 but working it’s way up the scale. thanks for hosting Deb. Prayers appreciated for two retreats this weekend. I should be a 7 soon as I finish packing!

    • Thanks Sue – He was amazing! It is hard to believe he is gone now, but the things he taught me are still here. I pray both retreats go just as God orchestrates and that everyone from speaker, to attendee is doubly blessed. Thanks for sharing your number 🙂

  8. Thanks for letting me know about the link-up!

    • Shannon – you are so very welcome – thank you for coming by and checking it out.

  9. I love the question of what’s your number. (Although I thought you were going to be talking about the Enneagram numbers at first; I’m a 5.) That’s a thoughtful way to hear how someone is doing. I’m probably at a 7 right now; I’d be an 8 if I wouldn’t let my body be getting me down today. I hope I’ll remember to use that question and its followup myself when I’m talking with friends.

    • HAhah Lisa – Ok so true confession – masks off .. I had to google Enneagram numbers. I have no idea what I would be on that .. maybe I should check it out one day. Oh, I pray for your body to cooperate with you so that you can move to an 8 or higher. Yes, please do use the question, it really helps us going deeper with one another. Blessings

  10. Debbie- you are so right, wearing a mask is exhausting! I did it for years. When I unmasked, my faith started to grow. I could now grow into who God wanted me to be!
    I’m enjoying this series!

    • Hi Julie – Yes, it is exhausting wearing a mask. I think growing into who God wants us all to be, does require taking off the masks and the things we think we need to be or should do. I am so glad you are enjoying the series as well. Blessings to you 🙂

  11. You’ve got me thinking about how I can get my number up, Debbie. Thank you. Hugs

    • So glad to get you thinking Lyli- that means the post did it’s job… to get us asking questions of ourselves and God, so that we can encounter His heart for us and others. Blessings

  12. Well I’m late to the party but here I am. Sharing a few photos from our trip to the Biltmore last summer. Thanks Deb <3

    • You are not late – just later than normal, but still not late. 🙂 I was wondering if the pictures were from our trip last year.!!! Yay, love it.

  13. Thanks for inviting me to your lovely party! Your pastor is an inspiration. We focus too much on the negative, but I think I will be starting to think about my number and how to get it up. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Oh Jas, you are most welcome, thank you for coming by! Yes, he was definitely an inspiration to many. I agree, e do tend to focus on the negative it’s easy with all that we are bombarded with in the news and on social media, but we need to rise above and challenge ourselves to be different. I am glad you are thinking about your number – hopefully you were able to up it a notch too.

  14. Debbie, I love your discussion about taking off the masks. It’s a hard thing to do, but so worth it in the long run. I also like Pastor Jerry’s way of asking for a number and his question about moving it up one number. That’s a great way of looking at things! Thank you for hosting the link up.

    • Thank you Leslie – for sure, it is definitely a hard thing to do, but oh so worth it. I am glad you liked Pastor Jerry’s way of asking his questions. He was a very wise man, and a wise guy too (lol) I am glad to share his wisdom with whomever reads this post, and hopefully his legacy will live on. You are welcome for the linkup too. Blessings

  15. Love this call to living an authentic life Debbie! It seems to be a continual struggle to believe real is all we are called to be.

    • Thank you Crystal… Yes, I can see and totally relate to it being a continual struggle, it is hard to always reminder – but yes, absolutely it is what we are called too!

  16. I hear that people want to honest and real all the time. Going to tell this, it is a pretty lonely life. That is how I live my life at work and I am about popular as the plague. Got denied a promotion and one of the reasons is that they know I am not going to tell them what they want to hear but the truth. I feel that that the truth doesn’t hurt.

    People will joke: “Keeping it real, really pays-not.” But I don’t really care anymore. It is the way I have chosen to live. I feel better about myself and know that people may not like me or even respect me but they know that I have honor and can be trusted.

    Thanks for hosting and have a great weekend.

    • Patrick – I am sorry that you have been punished for your authenticity and being real. I think the big thing is we assess ourselves and are we being authentic and real and when we speak are we doing so balanced and tempered in love? If we are – then we have to trust that God has our back no matter how bad people treat us…. Not easy, but it is what we are called to… Just remember that all we can control is us and pray for others and look to God for our promotion in the spiritual if it never comes in the natural. It sounds like that is what you are doing. I am so very glad that you have found our community to link up to. Blessings

  17. Great thoughts on taking off our masks and becoming ‘what you see is what you get’ people! I think it is necessary on two levels – my own sharing real, but also, I must be compassionate in responding to other people’s ‘real’ – take the time to listen and care to people who open up. Thanks for the challenge!

    • Sandra – Yes you are so right – good point – we must be real for us and compassionate in responding to other people’s real… listening – really listening and not judging them. You are most welcome for the challenge.

  18. Debbie – I love this post. In some of the classes, I teach we ask people to give their number at the beginning of class. I like the added what would it take to get to 10. I am enjoying the series on perseverance. We just hit a ten-year mark of living in the midst of mental illness. As a family, we have persevered and plan to continue persevering through the ups and downs.


    • Maree – I am so glad you can use the other part…. what would it take to get 1 more number higher … or what would it take to get to a 10. I am so glad you are enjoying the perseverance series too – today, my friend Patti shares about unanswered prayers. It’s powerful

  19. Now that’s a new one. Never had a pastor ask me my number, but I like it. Very caring.I’m an 8 tonight. Sleepy but content.

    • April – 8 is a fantastic number even if sleepy 🙂 Yes, pastor Jerry was often doing things other pastors didn’t do – that is one of the things I loved about him. Thanks for sharing. Hope you got some sleep

  20. Debbie, thanks for reminding us how important it is to be real, especially with those who can help and encourage us. And we all need those people in our lives. Blessings!

    • Donna- you are most welcome – it is very important, and we think is it safer someway to not be real, but the truth is it is not. Blessings to you as well


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *