Great beginning to the new year (see the post below regarding our new partnering project with World Vision).
Great beginning to the new year (see the post below regarding our new partnering project with World Vision).
Greetings for the New Year!
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!
‘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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org – 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
Every once in a while I have to express my convictions and here is one of them.
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
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.”
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!
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.
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
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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.
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
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!