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 email@example.com – 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 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.”
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
If you want to email me you are welcome to write to me through our website at:
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.
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!
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!
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.