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Posts Tagged ‘Bible’
‘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
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.”
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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I have been slightly fascinated lately by this new PR campaign for Atheists. Someone is putting out some bank in subways and on buses to tell people that you do not need faith to do good. I literally ran into (along side of) one of these people while on side by side treadmills at 24 hour fitness the other day. Wow! Seemed smart enough. He had created his own ideology. No need for God’s miraculous change agent in people lives, they just needed to down size their lives. No Nellie Gailers could be doing anything of value, because they just were living life too lavishly. I’ve been in many a Nellie Gailers home and I could of told him of the good, the bad and the ugly, just like every other community (no dif) but their was no air space between his words. Judgement spewed from this, seemingly easy going, Surfers mouth. ”People just need to do good” is what he kept saying, “wish people did more of that”. But wait where was his joy, where was his servants attitude? I pondered his goodness as he hogged one of the work out machines, I thought… It must be exhausting TRYING to be so good. I thanked the Holy Spirit for the power that is instilled in every believer through His fruits: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, GOODNESS, Faithfulness, Gentleness and at the time most importantly… Self Control. Only God is good… read the story of the Rich Young Ruler in Mark 10:17-22.
I also thought it timely as I read my devotions today October 22nd 2009.
Day by Day with Billy Graham:
Romans 3:28 – “So it is that we are saved by faith in Christ and not by the good things we do.”
Many people still cling to the notion that man is naturally good. We did not get this from the Greeks, Aristotle said, “There is no good in mankind.” We did not get it from Judaism. Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). We did not get it from Christian teachings. The Apostle Paul said, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We got this illusion, I believe, from the philosophers and psychologists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who taught the false doctrine that man is a helpless victim of his environment. The Bible says that man is not naturally good. All human experience confirms it. Man is rebellious by nature. This first rebellion in history happened in the Garden of Eden, where the environment was perfect and there was no heredity on which to blame it!
Prayer For The Day: Each time I become obsessed by the idea that my deeds are so noble, let me remember the magnanimity of Your perfect life.
From Billy Graham’s Devotional Day by Day for August 26th:
“And the disciples were called Christians…” Acts 11:26
In the third century Cyprian, the Bishop of Carthage, wrote to his friend Donatus, “It is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people, who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any of the pleasures of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are Christians… and I am one of them.” If you have repented of your sins and have received Christ as Savior, then you, too, are one of them.
Prayer For The Day:
Today, Lord God, I remember all those Christians who have gone before me and thank You for all the inspiration of their memory. May I never take for granted the heritage I have in Christ Jesus.
Day by Day Devotional with Billy Graham for April 19th
I advise you to OBEY only the Holy Spirit’s instructions. He will tell you where to go and what to do, and then you won’t always be doing the wrong things your evil nature wants you to. Galatians 5:16 (TLB)
To walk in the Spirit is a challenging and inspiring exercise, for it combines activity with relaxation. To walk means to place one foot in front of the other. If you stop doing this, you are no longer walking – you are standing still. Walking always implies movement, progress, and direction. Sin shall no longer rule or dominate you when you are allowing the Holy Spirit to live Christ’s life through you. It is living by faith, living by trust, living in dependence upon God. If we look to our own resources, our own strength or our own ability, as Peter did when he walked on the water, we will fail. You cannot live the Christian life by yourself. The Holy Spirit must live in you and express Himself through you. Living for Christ is a day-by-day experience. It is a continuous dependence upon the Spirit of God. It is believing in His faithfulness.
The fruits of the Spirit and the marks of a Christian are:
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control… I ask myself everyday “do people see these things in me?”
The same power that conquered the grave lives in me… if you know Christ… lives in you!
Occasionally, like I promised, I will quote from my daily devotional:
“Day by Day” with Billy Graham. Every day I read a scripture with his commentary and it helps me as a believer to put on the armor of God. If I don’t do it first thing I get busy and before long I am watching TV, checking emails and drowning in the troubles of this world. When I do it first it gives me a whole different perspective of my day.
This was my reading for today March 6th:
But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming; “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
“The heart is the blood-pump of the body. It is also used metaphorically when we speak of affections and feelings. Since it is the central organ of the body and one of the most vital, the Bible speaks of it as the wellspring of life. Hence, it is used synonymously with “life.” When the Bible says, “give me thine heart,” it doesn’t mean that we are to cut out our actual hearts and give them to God. It means that we are to give Him our lives, our all. When we come to Christ, we are not only to give intellectual assent with historic Jesus, but if we have “saving faith” our belief must involve our whole being. When we believe with all our hearts, the will, the emotions, and the intellect are surrendered to Christ.”
May you enjoy today as a true gift to be lived “On Assignment” for Him.