American Idol: The Untold Story

January 9th, 2011

american-idol-book-cover1

Great beginning to the new year (see the post below regarding our new partnering project with World Vision).

I wanted to make a post on a new book that arrives in book stores January 18th entitled “American Idol: The Untold Story”.   The Author Richard Rushfield became a friend during the Finale of AI’s Season 7.  Jason Castro’s Mom, Betsy, introduced us and the beginning of Richard hearing and following my story began.  At the time Richard was the LA Times most proficient collector of American Idol’s latest and breaking news where he had a featured blog viewed by millions of people daily.  I had read segments from his blog before I met him and found Richard to be a very kind writer, not into the sensational or created drama that many of the AI bloggers are.  I asked Richard and his assistant to join us for dinner.  It was after the first evening of the two day Finale and everyone was a buzz about the night.  Our ministry hosted the Castro’s, Cooks and Mercado’s for a dinner in the Hotel that many of the family members were staying.
Over the last two and a half years Richard has come to our home, sat around our round table enjoyed a few of Denny’s cafe lattes :) while I was interviewed for about 20 hours regarding the miracle of how this ministry began, unfolded and spread.  To know Richard is to love him and his understated way of “getting the story”.  He is an excellent journalist seeking to tell the story in a thoughtful and truthful way.
Richard had kept me informed on a book he was working on and planning on telling my story as he was limited to his desk with this new and exciting writing assignment.  The day before Christmas I received an unedited version and due to my fear and trepidation put off opening it and even taking a peek until the day after Christmas.  My plans were to let Denny read it first, but to my surprise as I opened the book finding a note from Richard where my story was told I became quite relieved as I read the first paragraph:
Chapter 17 “The Pastor”
“We’re all just going where the Lord sends us.  Some are sent on missions around the world.  Somehow I was sent to American Idol.”  Leesa Bellesi, an engaging blonde in her early fifties who resembles a young Florence Henderson, sits back at her kitchen table and begins her story.  Her home, located in a hilly, semirural section of south Orange County, seems another world from the American Idol bubble.  But at this table, a long line of mothers and fathers of Idol contestants have prayed for their children, watched them perform, and mourned when the Idol journeys ended.
The unofficial host to dozens of Idol families, Leesa Bellesi has in her time penetrated the protected space of the most high-profile show in the world.  She has roamed backstage, attended Idol dinners, and sat in the audience beside Idol families.
And it all began “the day a clown fell on my head,” Leesa told me with a laugh.
I knew right away that Richard was going to tell my story in a God honoring way.
Having written a handful of books myself I know the painstaking work it takes to what I have often referred to as “giving birth to a baby”.   Nine months of discomfort sometimes as excruciating as labor pains, but always ending in hope, great joy and relief when it is done and ready for the world to see.  Denny and I are excited for Richard as the “BIG REVEAL” is about to happen.
Yesterday, I met Richard at a Starbucks in LA and got my official finished copy.  Richard is so humble, I had to give him a good nudge to get him to sign my copy.  I am happy to say mine is the first copy that he has signed.  That’s pretty cool!
I also asked him to sign my denim jacket where dozens of American Idol contestants have signed their names to, which he obliged me with a wide smile.
By the way (side note) yesterday January 8th 2011 was the day Larry Poland’s Master Media Organization asked their participants to pray for the cultural influencer “American Idol”.  That means thousands and thousands of people were praying for the crew, contestants and staff of American Idol yesterday. I hope people keep it up throughout the season.
So what can I tell you about the book that my story, entitled “The Pastor”, is a chapter in.  Let me first say; this is not a Christian book.  I guess that would be followed by… duh!  There is profanity in the book.  Production people, people in this Industry curse and they are quoted many times throughout the book.  I have found it FASCINATING  to read as it lays out the story of how a dream became a reality.  I think we can all relate to having a dream.  The ins and outs of the entertainment industry are detailed unveiling some things that many of you may have wondered about.  I especially like the story of Brian Dunkleman, a “Jerry Maquire like” story that I just dug.  I hope to give the guy a big hug some day and give him a Jer. 29:11 wristband, reminding us all that God has good plans4us no matter the regrets we may have. God doesn’t do oops!
Alert!  I recommend, if you have a child that is interested in reading this book that you edit page 114.  Richard cleaned it up the best he could regarding the story and reason why one of the contestants was removed from the AI competition.  Just a warning.
Now… although the spirit of my chapter is spot on there are a few details that need some correction.
* Richard wrote that I gave a gift to many of the lady participants.  This is true.  I gave, beginning with Katharine, a sterling silver bracelet with the scripture Jeremiah 29:11 engraved on it.  ”For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”  But…what ended up being quoted is that I gave the girls a white “Livestrong style” wristband.  That was Bono who did that promoting his “ONE” charity organization.  Props to Bono for that one.  As soon as I read that, it was clear to me that it was a “God thing” and that this mix up happened for a reason. I have ordered a 1000 white silicone wristbands with the words Jer 29:11 on one side, on the other side it says “God has good plans4me” and inside is our website www.GoServeSomeone.org, giving me a more affordable way to spread this good word and help a good cause. These will soon be available for a small donation on our website supporting our partnering project with World Vision, bringing clean water to over 500,000 people in Ethiopia, East Africa.
* Some events, timelines and locations need some minor adjustments, but…something I only know and you could probably care less about…right?! :)
* Also I need to correct that it was not Danny’s Mom that called me to help with a flight for Jamar, but rather Jamar’s Mother.
* And lastly let me just make it clear that this is a ministry of unity and that it was never our intent for this to just be a help and outreach to only those of the Christian faith.  Our arms have always been open to those of all faiths.
What a blessing it has been for Denny and I to experience the people that have come (sometimes very temporarily) into our home and lives.  Thank you for all the private concerts, encouragement and joy of fellowship that you have brought to our family.  We got to do this and it has been a privilege. I am currently working on my own book (Publisher still needed) to tell the rest of the story entitled “The Day The Clown Fell On My Head”.  In this book I will prove that God hears your prayers, your thoughts and is one degree away from everyone.  That He will connect you with those that you will bear good fruit with if you just ask.  It matters not only what we say out loud, but what we think in our most private of thoughts.
He’s listening and He cares!
Sorry…
Because I have found over the years that some people are mean it is not possible to make a comment or post on this blog.  But if you would like to contact me you are welcome to through our website at www.GoServeSomeone.org or
www.kingdomassignment.org Thank you for making the extra effort to share your positive, good and encouraging words.  If you can not keep it positive than just keep it to yourself…thank you :)
Prayers for us are always appreciated!  Remember…God loves knee mail :)


World Vision here we come!

January 9th, 2011

Greetings for the New Year!

January has generally been a month of recovery after a December filled with Christmas music productions, too much sugar would make for some blues.  This year I was determined to feel my best as I knew we were hitting the ground running as of the first of the year.  I am happy that I was a good girl and kept the sugar to a minimum and it is paying off with energy as we begin our partnering project with World Vision.
Now home after 4 days in Seattle, WA speaking and having our eyes opened to the wide, HUGE impact World Vision has made over the last 60 years of it’s existence.  I have read the book “Man of Vision” by Founder Bob Pierces’s daughter Marilee Pierce Dunker and I just have a taste of the breath and width of how far God has used this incredible organization.  Denny and I are beyond honored to be asked to join in the efforts of making a difference in Africa, Ethiopia in particular.  Water: What do you have if you don’t have clean drinking water.  I’ll tell you.  You have disease, hunger, devastation of community after community.
I used to wear a lapel button that simply said; 40,000 which stood for how many people die in a day from starvation.  That number has dropped and drops every year thanks to the concentration of finding clean water for the communities most effected by water deprivation.
Our water project entitled “Liquidate for Living Water” uses the tools of Kingdom Assignment 2.  Selling something of significance and giving the money to the poor.  Denny and I have been in places of leadership in the church for over 40 years now and we know what church budgets look like.  In one word “tight”.  Having to depend on offerings there is not always money to expand to the other side of the globe when you are just trying to keep your head afloat in your own community.  No surprise the economy has effected the giving in churches, but our God is a big God and He will keep making a way for all of us to serve the poor near and far.  Jesus didn’t come to be served as a King might come to expect, but to serve.
This partnering project with World Vision is rolling out this way.  Churches will not be expected to take one penny out of their own budget with this life changing event.
It’s simple:
Using the story of the Rich Young Ruler in Mark 10:17-22 ask your congregation to “Sell Something” over the following 45 days.  We will help you with ideas how to do that in an easy and uniting way, bringing your church and community together.
We will help organize a celebration or a WELL DONE event and this will be fun.
The event will be three fold:
1. This is the opportunity to bring those that have sold something to contribute to this water project for Ethiopia.
2. We will bring celebrated Christian musicians to you making the potential for this to be a city wide outreach event in your church.  We will use media to help you tell the stories of your congregants is a beautiful and moving way.
3.  One more opportunity to make a difference and that will be the chance to embrace and support a World Vision sponsor child in Western Africa, where their future is dependent on clean drinking water.  How can they learn the good news of Jesus Christ if their stomachs are growling so loud they can not hear.
My lapel button has changed and the number has gone up.  Not 40,000, but 500,000.  This is the amount of men, women and children that will be affected and have the opportunity for life giving water if we are successful in raising one million dollars toward this project.  Think of what this could do over the next 100 years as generation after generation of children grow to healthy adults.
Would your church like to be involved?  Just let us know at www.kingdomassignment.org or www.GoServeSomeone.org

bellesis-butterworthsJessie and Marisa Butterworth did a great job leading worship for us when we spoke to the staff during chapel at the World Vision Offices in Seattle, WA…what a blessing to reunite.  Marisa and our daughter Brooke were room mates at APU.  Also… where they both met their great husbands Jessie and Darren :)

Friends Promo!

November 8th, 2010

In my desire to expand the territory of people with well done projects and groovy ministries please take a sec to check out these links that are…Fun.Fantastic+Fresh!

Cheerleading moment for:


I caught my friend Nick Vujicic in a speed text challenge last weekend. Please check it out…give it a 5 rating, leave a positive comment and pass it on!  He uses his two toes up against a Pastor with two hands…it’s epic :)

Also…Nick’s 1st book “Life Without Limits” came out Oct. 26th…pick up a copy!  What a journey…Congratulations Nick!

Katharine McPhee has a new CD out entitled “Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You” oh so true.  Get this CD and play it with your loved ones.  Old treasured favorites revised and new ones-”It’s Not Christmas Without You” wonderfully written by Kat.  Enjoy!

Bobby Banister from “Half Priced Hearts” launches his bands video “Lacy Let’s Go” TODAY!  It features Charity Vance www.charityvance.net as “Lacy”…darling! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s6IXP_ZA5M
Check out the boys other music at:

No surprise I meet people in random places.  Gotta have eyes to see…and I did at a Starbucks when I gave one of my Jer. 29:11 stickers to Linnea Ray over a year ago.  Fantastic girl for God :)   She will be performing this Friday at Life Church in Irvine, 45 Tesla, same place we had this years WELL DONE Awards.  Her voice will be used to benefit a ministry called Ceitci Demirkova www.ceitci.org that helps those that have suffered from the horrific experience of Human Trafficking.  No tickets needed.  Concert starts at 7pm!

Oh and our Grandson and his coach Dad have made it to the Flag Football playoffs…go Caeden and Darren!!!  Did I tell you Caeden has 18 TD’s for this year…ummm yea he’s goooood!!!  Had to brag :)  But let me note…our Caeden has beat every one but me in Fantasy Football!  Had to brag :)

Love you all! – Leesa

Remember…God loves knee mail!
Leesa Bellesi
Kingdom Assignment International
Home of the Annual WELL DONE Awards
“turning heads and hearts into the hands and feet of Christ.”
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Prayer for new AI Contestants-American Idol Article

August 19th, 2010

‘American Idol’s’ Christian connection

Mega-churches across the country’s heartland have served as the training grounds for many of the Fox show’s contestants, with parishioners doing their part with prayers and text votes.

By Scott Collins, Los Angeles Times

May 23, 2010

She isn’t employed by the show and viewers never see her sparring with Simon Cowell. But Leesa Bellesi exerts her own kind of pull on “American Idol,” Fox’s top-rated singing contest that has a unique if often-unstated link to Christian churches.

Bellesi, who runs a Christian nonprofit in Lake Forest with her Pastor husband, visits tapings frequently, has befriended numerous finalists and helps wrangle funds and scout temporary housing for families who trek cross-country to see relatives perform on “Idol.” Bellesi said that churches form a base for the young singers as they try to win votes and establish fan bases. Half of the Top 10 last season were worship leaders in their churches, she said.

“Most of the kids that have been really successful on ‘American Idol’ have that huge support of their church that’s pushed them — they’ve had a lot of voting and things like that,” said Bellesi, who has no official connection to the show (a spokesperson for the producers said he had never heard of her) but was spoken of as an unofficial patron by former finalists Danny Gokey, Jason Castro and others.

Read it in it’s entirety at:

Sorry for the late posting. Posting of anything since May.  By the time this article came out I was pretty whooped preparing for the  2010 WELL DONE Awards, see it at:  KA Kingdom Assignment Home or go to www.kingdomassignment.org although fantastic…still exhausting.  Shortly after I was rear ended on the 5 fwy re-injuring my neck uugghhh…and my Dad broke his hip giving cause to be on the 5 fwy a lot more.
But thankfully things are calming down and with AI Auditions happening weekly in a town near you it has given me the opportunity and privilege to pray for the hopefuls when they call.  What I have found over the last 5 years of this AI Ministy is that God does truly love us and for some strange reason cares about prayers concerning American Idol, I know because I have seen the results.  Bottom line He is waiting for us to come to Him over any little concern we might have.  Just admitting that you need God near makes Him come near and comfort the disappointed and give wisdom to the ones that make it through that first round, which is close to impossible by the way.  Many great singers have not made it past that first grueling overnight crazy audition.  I have seen it first hand and it can be shocking, but “it is what it is” (try not to over analyze) and you can be sure if you don’t make it it is for your own protection and would put a wrench on the other fantastic future He has for you just around the corner.

Note: Keep reminding yourself what a privilege it is just to have the opportunity to audition.  That you have a voice to share.  Many don’t.  My best friend has no arms or legs and he never complains…EVER! Life Without Limbs :: Nick Vujicic So just be happy you can drive or walk yourselves to the audition location.  It’s a gift to be alive…right!  Then make a point of meeting and enjoying the people around you.  Many have made life long friendships with those they have stood in line with.  When I went to support a friend I experienced this.  A few around us that we befriended made it to the top 24 and are still friends.  What a blessing just to be a part of it all.  Be in the moment and feel the joy and anticipation.

I heard great advice the other day. “If you feel that feeling in your stomach, you know that feeling…the one that makes you feel like you are going to hurl or double over.  It means you are about to do something very special so enjoy the ride.”

Also…do not complain to the Producers about the  heat, your exhaustion, your voice not being right, your song…be positive and hopefully they will be too.  You are being watched :-)

Love to you all…I will pray for you if you ask.  Write me at kingdomassignment@cox.net – If you give me your phone number I will text you little encouragements, which is what I have been doing this morning to those in San Francisco.  I’ll call and pray with you too if you would like.

God’s richest blessings!  Leesa

Miss USA Pageant…

May 12th, 2010

Every once in a while I have to express my convictions and here is one of them.


This year the theme of the Miss USA Pageant is “Waking Up In Vegas” with the promo pictures to go with them of the contestants partially dressed, most in lingerie.  After years of making it a tradition of watching the Miss USA Pageant please join with me in boycotting this years show, put on by Donald Trump and NBC/Universal.

You have joined with me in the past over Abercrombie and Fitch’s displays in stores and magazine ads that have quickly been taken down.  Your opinion can make a difference.

I hope you will join with me this time too.

Our Daughters and Grand Daughters deserve better.  Christians and young women in general in these pageants are being asked to compromise themselves regarding modesty of any kind.  This morning I listened to the President of this years Pageant on the Today Show speaking to Matt Lauer say; Yes, it is a marketing ploy, that seems to be working.  Please don’t let it work in your home this Sunday.

Quoting from a recent interview with Raquel Welch “Seriously, folks, if an aging sex symbol like me starts waving the red flag of caution over how low moral standards have plummeted, you know it’s gotta be pretty bad” end quote.
Yes, Raquel…I agree it’s gotten pretty bad!

God bless you my friends – Leesa
Added OC Register Article from May 13th 2010:

Pastor’s wife calling for Miss USA boycott – Life – The Orange County Register

4th Annual WELL DONE Awards Launched Today…

May 3rd, 2010
WDA Left
WDA HomeAbout WDAWDA RecipientsWDA Videos and PhotosWDA NewsWDA Tickets


Kingdom Assignment
WELL DONE Awards

Date: Sunday June 6th 2010

Time: 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm

Location: Life Church
25 Tesla Irvine, CA 92618

We look forward to seeing you and three of your family and friends at this years Annual WELL DONE Awards. Enjoy an afternoon of hearing amazing stories of faith while on a Kingdom Assignment. This event is to encourage the Saints, proclaim the Gospel and help Kingdom Assignment International continue their work of Globally advancing God’s Kingdom while spurring others on to be good stewards of their Talents, Treasure and Time.

Please note that seats are on a first come, first serve basis. We expect this NEW event location to be full to the brim with fellow believers, so being on time for seats will be important.
Red Carpet begins at 3:30 pm-Doors will open at 4:00 pm.

Be there at 3:30 and meet presenters and performers:
icarly’s Nathan Kress and Noah Munck
2010 American Idol Contestant Charity Vance
Singer Bobby Bannister of Half Priced Hearts
Author and Radio Host Stephen Arterburn
And many more…

Join us on Twitter and Facebook and/or check back often towww.GoServeSomeone.org for exciting updates

May God richly bless you as you fulfill your daily
Kingdom Assignments for Him…See you soon!

WDA 2010 Poster

WELL DONE Awards 2010
4 Tickets per order
(limited seating)

WDA right

Season 9-American Idol Ministry Resource…

April 13th, 2010

Every year I always tell the Lord, I will obey.  If you want to use me to bear fruit for your Kingdom here on earth and for eternity…I’m in.  I don’t go looking for AI contestants, I just stay F.A.T. Faithful, Available and Teachable. Even though I am giving my body to Science (my last Kingdom Assignment on Earth) I do want a Grave Stone somewhere and I want it to read: “She was so F.A.T.”  :-)

This season started unexpectedly early.  I received an email from good friend Mark Joseph who had passed my info on to Byron Spradling who passed my info to  Shelley Vance out of Little Rock, Arkansas and the Mother of Songbird Charity Vance.  She needed a place for her husband “Vance” to stay while Charity was in Hollywood Week.  I called Shelley…we talked, got to pray with Charity and my love affair with the Vance family began.  Charity calls me Miss Leesa…gotta love that :-) Just say it to yourself in a cute Southern accent and well…it’s just really cute, especially since I have not been a “Miss” in over 36 years.  Shelley invited Denny and I to Hollywood Week auditions and it was such a joy to attend.  When I first met Shelley and Charity face to face.  I immediately gave her a AI Ministry Resource standard, made by my friend Deborah Harder, “Sterling Grace” Silver Bracelet which read Jer. 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans not to harm you, but to give you a hope and a future. I’ve given the bracelet to several of the AI players and have worn them on the Show, Katharine McPhee, Jordin Sparks (Jordin wore hers on every show until she won at the Finale), Paula Abdul, Kristi Lee Cook, Syesha Mercado now Charity Vance.  God’s word as a constant reminder of His love and plan for them.  Two kids that had a special place in my heart also made it to Hollywood Week and we were able to cheer them on.  Colin Benward…He calls me his CA Mama, and has worked for me at the Award Shows, Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmy’s and others.  He did so so good and he was just darling…spoken like a Mom huh?!  But so true.  As I held his Sisters had as the Judges said; step forward, step back we knew he would make it past the first round.  He didn’t…whaaat?!   My theory on that is 1) He looks just like Lee and 2) He’s from Nashville like Di Di, it definitely is not because he wasn’t good, because he WAS GOOD!  Not all the best voices make it to the top.  It is a reality show and they have many  things to consider, especially giving every state someone to be proud of and vote for.  The other favorite and friend was Michael Castro.  He is just so talented and has grown so much in the last year.  Surprised he didn’t make it further, but he made it a little further than Colin, Group Night.  Big Mike was in his group and Little Mike did great, but sadly was sent home.  Michael was so gracious, I was really proud of him.

Now on to Charity…

But hold on…off to tonight’s viewing party at the Dixon’s.  Pics and her story when I get home :-)

Is One Door Hard To Swallow?

March 10th, 2010

Today’s Billy Graham Devotional reminded me of Kingdom Assignment 2, a book Denny and I wrote in 2001. After asking our Congregation to sell something worth 100 dollars and give the money to poor we saw the Lord multiply that to over $345,000.00 in just a few short months.  Every penny was given away to help local food banks and Homeless Shelters. The assignment was based on a passage in the Bible, Mark 10:17-22 read along:

17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”18“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.

20“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

21Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Billy Graham’s Day by Day Devotional for March 10th:

“People go through many doors which do not lead to the Kingdom of God.  Some try the door of good works. They say, “I can get to heaven if I only do enough good things, because God will honor all the good things I do.”  It’s wonderful to do good things, but we cannot do enough good things to satisfy God.  God demands perfection, and we’re not perfect.  If we’re going to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we have to be absolutely perfect.  You ask, “Well, how will I ever be perfect?” We need to be clothed in the righteousness of the Lord Jesus.  There is one door to the Kingdom and it’s Jesus.  And we will never get to heaven unless we go His way.”

Day After My Birthday…

March 10th, 2010

I always look forward to Tuesdays when I get to watch my Grandson Evan.  This time gives Emily and her Mommy Natalie a chance to get away just the two of them.  I do get some time with Emily… reading Daniel to her before her nap.  She is such an Angel Baby, she almost puts herself down for her nap.  Natalie and Eric are fantastic parents.  Even though Emily is not even 2 yet she reads to me.

Evan is so sweet and affectionate.  He is laughing and talking at 6 weeks.  He loves to communicate. Check out the pics.

Spent the evening at Ray and Virginia Dixon’s to watch American Idol.  We all agreed there seems to be no Danny, no Katharine, no David’s, no Daughtry…but the contestants all seem like wonderful people.  It’s still very entertaining and we all get an opinion :-)  Denny and I got invited to Hollywood week auditions.  Very fun and fascinating.   Feeling it was a mistake in letting go Charity Vance, Tasha Layton and Colin Benward this season.  But God doesn’t do oops.. and it’s okay cause they will be at this years WELL DONE Awards… don’t miss it.  Sunday June 6th back at Coast Hills Church this year :-)  www.charityvance.net   check out her new site and songs.  What a talent!

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Thank You Lord…Excellent Birthday Today!

March 9th, 2010
After my Sweet Husband Denny went to Starbuck”s and picked up Coffee for me just how I love it… Venti Cafe Latte, half caf, Non-Fat, 140 degrees (they don’t call me high maintenance for nothing :-)  We headed off to Loehman’s where I got an extra 15% off on my Birthday… I stuck to the yellow tagged stuff that was already an extra 75% off.  I got a skirt originally $280.00 for $8.28…kinda fun.  Then to Red Robin for my FREE Birthday Lunch, then Cold Stones for my favorite Chocolate, with Banana and Walnuts for FREE.  We set aside the afternoon to see Avatar…I am still creeped out by the coffin like sleeping arrangements. And how many agendas did that movie have?  Too many for us.   Many other fun and funky filled moments…too many to mention.  Thank you for all the great messages from my precious friends and family…love you true!  I have now officially lived half my life… I can dream can’t I :-)
P.S. Anybody see Jason Castro on the Bachelor Wedding tonight…what a doll!  Way to go J :-) Check out his excellent new album on iTunes.  www.jasoncastromusic.com

Day Before My Birthday…

March 8th, 2010
It’s my 55th Birthday today Monday March 8th 2010… but I want to talk about the day before my Birthday. Pics at the bottom of this post…
Stop #1- I kissed Denny goodbye as he left to go preach at Coastline, where he is Lead Pastor and I took off my Pastor’s Wife Hat to be
Mom visiting Crossline Church at their new location in Laguna Hills.  It was fantastic!  Sitting next to my daughter Brooke as we
enjoyed the worship leading of Son-In-Law Darren was such a joy.  He’s my favorite WL, as it should be.   The Staff has done a great job with
their remodeled new digs lifting high the name of Jesus.
Stop #2- Flower Shop to pick out some Lillys and a single red rose (for love) for our Grand daughter Camryn at her first Gymnastics Recital, she can hold a head stand for 2 minutes :-) Brilliant!
Stop #3-Cafe Rio, for lunch with some family and a bunch from Crossline.  I sat at the kids table and became a living jungle gym.  It was fun giving Horsey rides in between bites, while teasing the boys that I didn’t know I had salad stuck between all my teeth (an old youth worker joke :-)  They thought the old lady was pretty funny…
Stop #4- Camy’s Gymnastic Recital was so fun.  This girl is pure joy.  This is Grandma Bo Bo speaking, but, I thought, she absolutely stood out from the crowd and was the most talented child in the room, no one could tell me any different.  Denny made it there just in the nick of time to catch her choreographed performance.  He was speedy and quite the trooper, scooting off to the car and on the road just minutes after the last service.  Camy was so happy to see him.
Stop #5 has a set up story.  This last Thursday I was enjoying a pre-birthday day at “The Spa” in Costa Mesa.   During a treadmill run a conversation was struck up between myself and a young man when after a trainer commented on his good form. I said. it was because he was a dancer.  ”How did you know that”, he asked.  I said, “because I am a dancer and I could just tell.” He asked me a few questions about my dance career and then I started in on asking about his dance career, asking if he took classes at Jimmy DeFores, the best and closest dance studio in town.  He humbly replied; “no, I’m here from out of town, performing at the OC Performing Arts Center across the street.  I’m with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company.” What, what, what… I was jogging next to greatness.  He looked so young, maybe 20 years old, I figured he was with them a year or so. More about that later.
Our faith came up when I gave him a scripture sticker of Jer. 29:11.  He was a believer and had a Dance Ministry at his church in New York where Denny and I knew the Pastor.   I have always dreamed of an opportunity to see this dance company perform, but had never had the chance.  I said; “you know it’s my birthday on Monday and I’ll bet I could get my husband to get tickets for your last show on Sunday.”  We exchanged phone numbers and a hug.  On Saturday my new dancer friend Matthew Rushing (google him) called me and said he had two comp tickets for Denny and I and that we could come back stage after the show. What, what, what?
So Stop #5 came next.  We were a few minutes late, but arrived and were seated just before he took the stage in the most gorgeous solo piece.  Come to find out young Matthew has been with the Company for 18 years, he’s not 20, but 36.  He is one of their most beloved performers and choreographers.   We had, in my opinion the best seats in the house, Orchestra center.  We sat next to one of the other performers Aunts and bonded over both being Christ followers and her now living where I grew up, Northridge, CA.  Just another Godsequence in my book.  The last half hour section is a famous piece that they do called Revelation, which is basically one big dance worship sesh and revival.  What a wonderful and inspiring time.  Afterwards there Matthew was waiting for us at the Stage Door, kids all around him wanting pictures.  As we greeted he handed me a big rolled up poster.  He said; I got everyone in the Company to sign this poster for you for your birthday… Happy Birthday!  What, what, what?!  I am crying now and will always cry when I think about that unexpected moment.  I had to sit down I was so blown away.  I just could not believe this was happening to me.  We hugged and Denny and I waited tell everyone was gone and had their picture with him so we could pray with him.  What an amazing journey he has been on.  While we were chatting we met Marta, the security guard, a believer that we asked to join us in prayer.  What a privilege to pray with and for this young man that made my birthday so special and it hadn’t even happened yet. Can we say Birth Month :-) We all should have one.
Stop # 6- Home and a night of breakfast for dinner and the Oscars.  The best Oscars I have ever seen.  I just loved every moment.  Yeah!  Mom power, yeah Women power.  Denny and I both cried at the speeches.  So sincere and authentic we thought.
And finally Stop # 7- the Internet where Denny looked up “Places to eat for free on your Birthday”.  So tomorrow we are going to every place, Breakfast, Lunch, Ice Cream (2 different places) and Dinner.  I’ll let you know how it goes :-)  Good night my friends.
www.kingdomassignment.org
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Warning-Watch Your Mouth…

February 20th, 2010

James 1:26

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. TNIV

From Billy Grahams Devotional Day by Day -

“The problems of the world could be solved overnight if people could get victory over their tongues.  Suppose there was no anger, no profanity, no lying, no grumbling or complaining; suppose there were no dirty stories told, no unjust criticism-what a different world this would be!  The Bible teaches that a person who can control their tongue can control their whole personality.  We should ask ourselves three questions before we speak:  Is it true?  Is it kind?  Does it glorify Christ?  If we would always think before we speak, there would be much less evil speaking, and there would soon be a spiritual awakening that would sweep the church in America.”

There is a reason I do not allow comments on my Blog and the reason is… people have not gotten control over their tongues, or their thoughts.  People have written me the most bizarre and unkind things.  Down right evil.  Kindness in the Blog world is a pipe-dream of mine.  If you’re reading this and you make the practice of giving your unkind opinion about everything because you can, consider praying about or for that person instead.  You’ll be laying up treasure in Heaven instead of breaking some ones heart.  Sticks and Stones can break your bones, but names will always hurt you. Bones mend in time, Hearts may never.  Some of these American Idol kids, well I don’t think any of them escape the cruel, mean, obscene comments people make about the way they look, their clothing, family members…what?  No one deserves that. When I was in High School, I remember my Youth Pastor and good friend Jim Grindle told me and other student officers “what you say may be THE THING or final straw that breaks that person spirit”.  I’ve always tried to remember those words and when I haven’t I try to apologize and ask forgiveness.  Stay clean…let’s encourage one another with the words of our mouth as a testament to our lives.  Must I remind you God hears not only our words, but our thoughts too.

Psalms 7:9

Bring to an end the (verbal) violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure— You, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts. TNIV

If you want to email me you are welcome to write to me through our website at:

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Jesus calling…

October 28th, 2009
Mark and Shirley Swenson, owners of Sonshine Books here in Orange County just recently had to close the doors on their beloved store for the last time.  Location and the economy just weighed too heavy on this Icon in our area.  Denny and I shared a meal with them here in our home about the same time and heard their story.  This was such a dream of Mark and Shirley’s for so long and to see it come to an end was devastating.  In the midst of it all “one book” rose to the top amongst the thousands that had passed through their hands while managing Sonshine for over 25 years.  As a thank you they sent it to us.  It is entitled “Jesus Calling”.  It is short and I mean short daily devotionals that are from the Creators perspective.  It’s Jesus speaking to you. They are kind and yet sharp.  They comfort and then can cut through your heart… so quickly I might add, seeing as they are such small paragraphes.  I put it on the shelf for a few months and then picked it up one day this month and is now a daily routine.  It NOT consequently always seems to relate to what I am dealing with that day.  Often after Denny or I have preached a sermon or given a message people will ask us were you spying on me this week.  Ummm… no, but God was, is our usual response.
Jesus Calling – by Sarah Young, Thomas Nelson Publishing for October 28th
Do not expect to be treated fairly in this life.  People will say and do hurtful things to you, things that you don’t deserve.  When someone mistreats you, try to view it as an opportunity to grow in grace.  See how quickly you can forgive the one who has wounded you.  Don’t be concerned about setting the record straight.  Instead of obsessing about other people’s opinions of you, keep your focus on Me.  Ultimately, it is My view of you that counts.


As you concentrate on relating to Me, remember that I have clothed you in my righteousness and holiness.  I see you attired in these radiant garments, which I bought for you with My blood.  This also is not fair; it is pure gift.  When others treat you unfairly, remember that my ways with you are much better than fair.  My ways are Peace and Love, which I have poured out into your heart by My Spirit.

Recommended follow up verses.

Colossians 3:13
Isaiah 61:10
Ephesians 1:7-8
Romans 5:5

Early Viewing…This Is It…the Michael Jackson Movie!

October 28th, 2009

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It’s late and I am too tired to write a proper review of the MJ Movie that Lysa, Amy and myself went to see tonight.  The theater in Foothill Ranch was not exactly a sell out, maybe 30 percent filled.   We sat between a woman that coughed every uummm… 45 seconds, not exaggerating.   And a family that took their 5 kids, ages 5,4,3,2,1 to a 9 pm movie, but I digress.   Ignoring the outside irritation I give it a C+.  I love production, choreography, behind the scenes stuff and getting to see that aspect up close and personal was cool.  They showed a snippet of the audition process for the dancers.  Having been a dancer I really enjoyed that part… but it was just a snippet… would of loved more of that.  Seeing Michael relaxed was fascinating.  Glad I went and some of the dance sequences were wonderful.  It would of been a fantastic show.  Warning!!! and I was afraid of this.  There is an icky crouch grabbing scene at the end that I really could of done without and the “inspirational” moment following it was weird.  A little too much MJ worship for me.  I have to wonder if Michael really would of been very happy that this was made into a movie… not so sure about that.

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First In and Out Burger!

October 28th, 2009

It’s hard to believe, but our Admin Assistant Lysa has never had an In and Out Burger even though she was born and raised in Orange County, CA.  How can this be?  Our Web Designer, Victor, and I dragged her for a Protein Style (no bun) Burger.  She was given an In and Out Crown for the day.  This adventure was very bonding for our staff :-) img_1896

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P.S.  Did you know there are scriptures on bottom of the cups and other items at In and Out… also, did you know John 3:16 are on the bottom of the bags at the clothing store “Forever 21?”  In and Out Burger was founded by an amazing Christian Family.  The son that ran the operations was called home during a plane crash in the early 90′s.  The scripture tradition and great service did not change and we are thankful for that.  We love In and Out Burger!

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