Posts Tagged ‘God’

American Idol: The Untold Story

Sunday, 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!

Sunday, 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!

Monday, 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

Thursday, 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

4th Annual WELL DONE Awards Launched Today…

Monday, May 3rd, 2010
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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

Day Before My Birthday…

Monday, 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…

Saturday, 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:

www.kingdomassignment.org

Gun in her face…One Woman’s Assignment from God!

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Check out this woman’s amazing Kingdom Assignment… you just never know when God will call on you!

Atheists Campaign

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

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.

Go Billy… Graham Devotional

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

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.

WELL DONE Awards!

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

This post is long in coming… so much about AI I have not even gotten to, but I will.  Got to go to the Finale and sit with the Gokey’s, After Party, Limo… all good and fun (pics to follow).  But what I had to throw myself into the day after was the 3rd Annual WELL DONE Awards that I was producing.  Millions of details including publishing and printing 3 new books.  Kingdom Assignment 3 “What Will Do With The TIME God Has Given You”,  Children’s book “I Have A Special Purpose” Daniel Goes On A Kingdom Assignment, and a pictorial book telling the story of the Kingdom Assignment and how it came to be… whew!  Miracle… something only God could do and He did!

A few AI people were there… Phil Stacey, Jason Castro, Michael Castro, Warm-Up Artist from AI Cory Almeida, and from iCarly Nathan Kress and Noah Munck…

If you go straight to our website www.kingdomassignment.org     you can check out the latest on the WDA, below is the thank you I sent to all who served us and the Master so so well.  WELL DONE!

To those of you who gave of your Talent, Treasure and/or Time (prayer) to the 3rd Annual WELL DONE Awards Denny and I want to thank you so much.

It was a glorious evening… something only God could do.  
To Him be the glory for ever and ever!

 

 

We will be in touch, but wanted to get this off to you asap!
Please check out Todays and last Fridays article in the OC Register.  
Lori Basheda did a wonderful job covering this years WDA story. 

Check it out at:
  


Video/ intro of the night…
Also, Darren Kings Pics (taken by Joe Ohman, thanks Joe) from the night…
fun to relive it all :-)


I don’t have everyone’s email so please pass this on and please forgive me if some of you get this twice or even three times :-)
Love, love, love to you all – Leesa and Denny
Jeremiah 333
“call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

 

AI Scary with Sweet Surprises

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Stream of consciousness…Crazy day at American Idol this week… Tuesday Margie , Lizette and I made our way into the line for the performance show… it was an especially hot day… I was dressed in all black… what was I thinking… after an hour of standing in the line longer than most… the CBS Page told us it had been a strange day… just to hold on.  Hold on we did as Ambulances started filing into the sound stage and then right behind me a young girl fainted… more ambulances… more medics… we filed in an hour late…. got our wristbands… turned in our phones to then hear we weren’t getting in… bummer, but that we instead would get tickets to the finale to make up for it… nice :-)  Heard today that Stage Manager Debbie just needed stitches, but it was a very very serious fall.  Thanking God for a good report…the young girl also made it back into the line only to not get in… all was well with her…Margie made it in and had many ministry opportunities and fun surprises as I did out on the street… met these two fantastic people (below)… became quick friends… they attend the Dream Center where Danny is attending right now and had also NOT gotten in… was there to root for the Danny…as we talked found out Adrian is a singer and he busted it out… fantastic… while Sherry is a Red Carpet Photographer.  They both asked what can they could do to help at the WELL DONE Awards… what a wonderful surprise to find the replacement singer I needed and the Red Carpet Photographer I had prayed for just that morning out on the street… God is so good… gotta have eyes to see and anticipate them… their coming at us all the time… Please enjoy this string of pics from the last two weeks at AI.sheri-signSinger and Photographer Adrian and Sheri… my new friends I met on the street after we all “did not” get in to AI… God had other things in mind for us…what a blessing :-)

sheriUnexpected prayer time out side CBS…

ai-lineBeautiful pic of Sherry (Danny’s Cousin) waiting in line for the Dress Rehearsal two weeks ago… what a blast :-)

margie-and-meHad to…couldn’t miss this opportunity to do one of our JUMP SHOTS with the CBS sign in the background… were 50 something and happy :-)

ai-girls-jumpConvincing the others was not difficult…

girlsLysa, Jenn, Sherry, Margie, Jenn and Lizette’s famous sign…ai-lizette-with-sistersThis sign has a life of it’s own… everyone seems to want to pose with it… Lizette,Damadis and Lezzit (Sophia Gokey’s Sisters) Sherry (Danny’s Cousin)… later that night the girls introduced Lizette to her favorite American Idol Danny… fun memory huh girl…

friendsAI Home Girls….ai-margie-5th-graderOkay… so Margie got into AI Tuesday Night… while she was there she over heard an associate Producer talking about auditions for “Smarter Than a 5th Grader”… my Reality Star friend… remember “Mama Fogal” (google it) piped up… gave her a copy of her book “Tales of Crazy Pastor’s Wife” and right there on the spot the Producer auditioned her, fell in love with our Margie, gave her her card, told her to call the next day…which Margie did today and tomorrow Thursday Margie has a audition in front of the other Producers to be a contestant on “Smarter than a 5th Grader” …woo hoo… Margie you’re amazing….and God is so good… He loves to surprise us…

Where’s the Beef… I ask where’s the Fruit?

Monday, April 20th, 2009

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.

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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!

Celebrating my Birthday with Billy Graham

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Today is my 54th Birthday… I feel like I did when I got married at 19… so how is it possible that they keep trying to send me an AARP card… I just tear them up… denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

My parents are here and we will be having a great family meal together later, but it is what I did this morning that made my birthday.  I woke up at 4:00 am which was really 3:00 am due to day light savings time and once I was fully awake I did my devotions (below).  Even on a Sunday, when I knew I would be going to church.  You know some times I would slide on Sundays thinking church balanced it all out… do you do that too?  But God wants quiet time with us.  Alone time with us.  We  always hear it the other way around.  But actually He desires our full attention so He can whisper things to us and we can actually hear them.  You just never know what life is going to swing your way, but ever since I have been consistent with my devotions first thing in the morning I have been able to withstand better the unexpected side swipes that come my way.  Which, in every day, there are quite a few for all of us.  Life is a gift and so fun when lived on purpose and “On Assignment”!

Day by Day with Billy Graham for March 8th 2009

1 John 2:15 (TLB)

“Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love these things you show that you do not really love God…”

There are certain elements of daily life which are not sinful in themselves but which have a tendency to lead to sin if they are abused.  Abuse literally means “extreme use” and in so many instances, overuse of things lawful becomes sin.  Ambition is an essential part of character, but it must be fixed on lawful objects and exercised in proper proportion.  Thought about the necessities of life and taking care of one’s family is absolutely essential; but this can generate into anxiety, and then, as Christ reminded us, the cares of this life choke the spiritual seed in the heart.  Making of money is essential for daily living; but money-making is apt to degenerate into money-loving, and then the deceitfulness of riches enters and spoils our spiritual life.  Much so-called worldliness in Christian circles is misunderstood.  You cannot confine it to a particular rank, walk or circumstances of life, and say that one person is spiritual and another is unspiritual.  Worldliness is actually a spirit, an atmosphere, an influence permeating the whole of life and human society, and it needs to be guarded against constantly and strenuously.

Thanks Billy…

Put on your Armor: Billy Graham Devotional

Friday, March 6th, 2009

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:

Romans 10:8-13

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.