Thursday, December 13, 2007

Operation Holly Pics

This year the Children of Praise put on a performance of Bows of Holly. I am blessed to have a wonderful friend, HollyBren, who shared her pictures with me. My camera decided to play hide-and-seek, waah. So, HollyBren, who did NOT have the play named after her per Bro. Booker, took some awesome pictures of my kids, as well as the rest of COP, and I will share them now with you!
Holly and her crew during one of the rehearsals
Holly was played by Destinee Martin
and Jessica was Molly


The Children of Praise Choir
Look! It snowed inside ILC!!!


Molly and Holly had a minor disagreement over who should be in charge and
what the name of the Operation should be called.
Holly! Molly! Holly!! Molly!!


Zachary Garrett as David
He looks hard at work, doesn't he?


The Gang of Needy Kids who are getting
ready to go and partake of Holly's stash of goodies!
It's not stealing...They "need-y" them!


Holly has discovered the thievery! Woe is she!!!
Molly is trying to determine what happened.
Holly is upset that her "rep" will be damaged.
She even has a Fan Club and thinks she may lose it.


David, Molly and the other workers look for clues as to who took the food and toys.
Hmmm...look at this newspaper article....it has a map drawn on it...
Let's see where it leads!


The Gang is having a blast after absconding with the food and toys.
They were 'light on their feet, they go with the flow'
(words to a "rap" style song they sang as they committed their crime)

Check out the hairdo!!! Nate was one of the Gang leaders!


Justin played Brad, one of the gang.
He was worried about getting caught and being taken to juvie.
Jessica as Molly during a scene.
Beautiful JessiBear!!

Jessi and Zach listening to Holly as she get ready to confront the gang.
They reminded her about being a blessing and letting your light shine to ALL the world.


Singing about letting your light shine.
Holly confronts the gang. However, she realizes that she should forgive and show God's mercy and grace to these kids.
Brad is happy he isn't going to juvie!!
Miss Emily Thomas
Miss Vanessa Sanchez in the stripes


Miss Amanda Thomas....isn't she a doll?


For more great pictures of the play, visit www.inlandlighthouse.com!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hang Loose vs. Rock Star Laughs


These are a couple of pictures of my co-workers. We are Supplemental Instructor Leaders at Riverside Community College. Last Friday, we had our last mandatory in-service for the semester. Our Esteemed Marquis, Gilbert has decided to give up his exalted position and a new Marquessa ?, Trisha, was crowned. Gilbert has made this semester quite interesting with his nicknames and proper English throwbacks. Our Dean was called the Queen and the SI's were called Counts and Countesses. It was quite a hoot!!! Lots of fun working with this group and I look forward to working with them again next semester.

The picture below has me acting the goof that I am. We, the three speech Countesses, Amy, Irma and I, had given a mock SI session during the meeting. I had acted the goof-off, lazy, half-interested student while Amy was the Model Student (which as SI's we are to enbody) while Irma was the exalted SI leader for our mock session. During the skit, I am learning about Johari's Window and the open, blind, hidden and unknown areas of self-concept when I determine that one of my unknowns could possibly be that I could grow up and become a "rock star." (Now, fellow saints, remember this was just an act and I have NO desire to be a rock star.) The reason we included this is because I used the hang loose sign during one of our practices and Amy corrected me and showed me the real rocker sign. It was hilarious because as you can see, I look nothing like a rock star nor know much about them either, as exhibited by the hang loose sign! LOL

My fellow Counts and Countesses, as well as the Marquis, had quite the laugh at my expense. So....in the picture below, I am recounting my "moment" for the camera. HAHAHAHA I know this: they will not soon forget our mock SI session because it was so funny and entertaining.

P.S. From the above picture, you can tell that I have NO problem being the center of attention!! LOL Gotta love it!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Shopping Joys?

Alas, I am SO behind in my preparations for Christmas! Normally, I am 75% or more done by now with my shopping. The only thing I can think of as to why I am so far behind is working AND going to school this semester. I honestly have no idea WHEN I will get to finish my shopping since I work 5 days a week and there are SO MANY parties, performances with Nostalgia Singers, and practices for plays (recording sound tracks this Saturday) that my every waking moment is filled with work, homework or the aforementioned activities! WAAAAHHHH!!!!

Well, I will figure out something I am sure!

Hope your season is going better and less rushed than the McVay's! I know I have GOT to slow down and celebrate the REAL reason for the season. Without HIM, it wouldn't be CHRISTmas anyhow!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Joys

Happy Thanksgiving!!! Today has been a wonderful day. Well, except for when my brother-in-law, who lives in Alabama, called at 6 am CA time to wish us a happy day! We had gotten into Fresno around midnight and finally in bed around 1 am and then to get this "wonderful" loving call so early, needless to say our day started early!!

We visited and got ready for a short hop up to Friant where our cousin has 40 acres. Bev had gotten the turkey cooked, green bean casserole baked, mashed potatoes mashed, yams candied, salad tossed, rolls warmed, and the gravy stirred by the time we got there around 1 pm. My sister-in-law, Becky, and her family had driven in from San Jose and met us up there. My other sister-in-law, Sharon, had come in to Fresno yesterday and Mark and I rode up the hill with her family. All in all there were 26 of us who celebrated God's bountiful blessings together.

After we ate, Mark took a nap in my lap for about an hour while the kids got to ride Bev's and Roger's horses. Riss, Jessi, and Justin, as well as their cousins, LOVE getting to ride the horses and roam the acreage for hours when we visit! It is a beautiful area and where Mark and I had our very first "date" 16 years ago when we celebrated Memorial Day with Roger, Beverly, and the rest of the family. It was fun sitting in the back seat, holding hands, and remembering how things got started for us so long ago!

I am soooooo blessed to have Mark in my life! He is a wonderful husband and loves me JUST LIKE Jesus loves me!! He knows all about me and yet, when needed, he forgives, encourages, and keeps on loving me!!!! He may be quiet around most people, but he sure does tell some of the funniest jokes and shares his innermost thoughts with me!! ME!!! Yeah, I am blessed!

My children are another wonderful blessing! Marissa is now 13 and is growing into a beautiful young lady. She is a wonderful cook and once we get her to keep her opinion to herself except when solicited, she will prove what we already know is true....she is a smart, sweet, take charge kind of person who will become a great leader for her family and friends in the future! Our bear, Jessica, is also becoming a beautiful young lady! She is 11 and entering the pre-teen angst ridden years. I have to keep her in prayer because she is sooooo sensitive! I don't want her getting bogged down with the cares of life and lose sight of who she is in God! Justin, our future preacher, president, general, contractor, policeman, scientist, is 9 and will shortly be entering the pre-teen years as well. He is simply brilliant and who knows what he will become for the Lord!?! I tell him to serve the Lord whole heartedly and let God lead him into what He has in store for the future!

The rest of my family, friends, fellow saints, co-workers, and a host of others are more reasons to give Thanks unto the Lord! My home, car, clothes, etc. weigh in as well. I could spend the whole eternity listing "things" I am thankful for but what matters most is God's grace and mercy! Thank God for His sacrifice, His blood, His resurrection that make a way for me to be forgiven and blessed!

I pray your Thanksgiving time has been blessed and will bear fruit of another year of God's blessings being showered upon your life! Live with an Attitude of Gratitude every day and you will find there is nothing to complain about!!!!

GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU UNTIL HIS SOON RETURN!!!!!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Monday, November 12, 2007

ReJOYce and Stand Firm For HIS Coming is Nigh

Yes, I took liberty with the spelling of rejoice but I am re-joy-cing this morning. Last night was a momentous time for my children and Mark and I. We finally broke through the cloud that has shadowed the childrens eyes from the truth. Yes, we have taught them God's Word, taken them to Church faithfully, and spent time in prayer with them. Yet they didn't seem to understand how soon Christ is returning or how important it is for them to DAILY live for Christ, repented and ready for the rapture. We have tried to teach them that television is full of things that can harm your soul, yet, when we visit homes that have a TV, they glom to it and ignore our warnings until we have to physically remove them from the room and chastise them for their disobedience.
Unfortunately, last night was one of those occasions when I had to go in to a room and make my child exit because she was watching TV with a relative. Mark and I had just spoken to her and her sibling about always asking 'what would Jesus think' before doing something that may be questionable. Yet she willfully went in and ignored our suggestion. When I got her out of the room, we talked about what she had done. The other two children were listening in and when I pointed out that if you are not ready for God's coming then you would spend eternity in Hell, burning, never feeling God's presence again, never seeing your parent's faces again, she broke. My son broke as well and felt convicted over some of the PS2 games WE have ALLOWED him to play. That convicted my heart and at the same time left me rejoicing for the power of salvation was strong in his life! The children then spent close to 30 minutes repenting and praying (alone at first) for God's help. It was beautiful!
This morning I was reading the Word and came upon James Chapter 5. It reaffirmed what we had felt last night and I wanted to share it with you.
James 5
1Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
4Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
5Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
6Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
7Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
8Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
9Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
10Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
11Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
12But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
13Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
14Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
17Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
18And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
19Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
20Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
The McVay family has already spent time this morning reading God's Word and reaffirming through prayer that we want to make it to Heaven!
Keep the Faith, neither turning to the right or left. Stand firm in the Word. Don't let Satan fool you into thinking your ways are right. Live your life as an example of God's grace to this wicked world. Be patient, just, and love your neighbor as Christ loves you!
Hope to meet you in the Rapture when we see our God, Jesus Christ, who gave His life for our redemption!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hanging on to JOY


Sometimes we just have to hang on for the ride. God is in control, on His throne, and always knows what it best for our lives. The waves may toss us too and fro but God is there to speak peace. The thunder may roll and lightning flash but God is there to protect. The devil may try to tear us down, ruin us, maim us, but God is there to help us overcome.


Thank God for His JOY and His mercy. I don't know about you but I am determined to just keep hanging on for dear life. Devil, you are a liar. You are defeated in Jesus' name. I may be down for the count but watch out, I won't be down for long and when I shall arise, I will be triumphant over your cunning lies and fiery darts!


I may have lost a lot of things and may lose more, but I will NEVER lose my praise. God has been tooooo good to me!!!! I WILL PRAISE HIM IN THE STORM!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bringing JOY to the community

At first, I thought the guy at a school crossing on Alder Avenue was nuts!! He would wave and smile real big, then point to every car that passed by. I could only think...CRAZY! But since I drive by him every morning after dropping off my girls, I have found that he makes me smile. He is enjoying his job as a school crossing guard and spreading his enthusiasm to everyone who passes his way.

My first reaction to him was skewed because in this day and age how many people do we see who are truly joyful? I wasn't used to seeing someone who was happy! Even many church people, forgiven and full of hope for life everlasting, tend to walk around with the weight of the world on their shoulders. They don't smile as they walk through the mall, they don't smile as they interact with the lost, they don't appear to have the JOY of the Lord as their strength. I realized I am guilty of that as well!!

This young man, probably 5 feet 10 inches or so, thin as a rail, standing on a sidewalk in a small town, has taught me to smile again. My daily infusion of JOY from his smile reminds me to spread the JOY, to be kind to others, to SMILE, SMILE, SMILE!! My kids are learning from him and I thank God for this sweet man who is happy fulfilling his duties in life! Does he ever get down or sad? Probably. However, from what I see every Monday through Friday, he doesn't share his sadness, he just shares JOY!!!

I hope to find my digital camera (oh, where are you, little camera?? why are you hiding from me??) and take a picture of this young man. I might even stop my car one morning and simply thank him for reminding me to Smile and share the JOY of the Lord! When I do, I will be sure to share the picture here with you!

Take time to renew your JOY in the Lord and be sure to SMILE as you go about your day. There is enough sadness and woe in the world already!!!

P.S. Happiness is a choice!! Choose to smile!!
Choose JOY!!
SMILE, SMILE, SMILE!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Not As JOYous A Day As I Hoped

This last Monday started out so joyfully. The kids got to school on time and I went out to breakfast with Tiffany. It was nice to just relax for a little while since my schedule has been soooo hectic lately. We had a nice visit over coffee and our Denny's specials. But alas, as we left, I found that my battery was dead. Ummm, this happened because it had been overcast and I had left my lights on. :{ Tiffany had already left the lot and I quickly called her and asked her to come back. She nor I had jumper cables in our cars and Tiffany asked the security personnel and other men if they cables and was repeatedly told no. Sooooo, I told her that we could run get cables from Wal-mart, return, and jump the car. I just needed to grab my purse, lock the door, and...........OH, NO!!!! I just locked my keys inside the dead car!!!!!!!!!! LOL

Thank God for AAA!!!! The man who answered the phone was so polite and helpful but he hurt my feelings when he laughed when I told him what had happened! By the time the tow truck arrived, I was late for work. So, I called in and told them I wouldn't make it.

I ran an errand and then headed to pick up my girls from Middle School. While nearing the school, Marissa (my oldest who JUST turned 13!!) called and said something was going on on campus. She told me they were in the Library with the Librarian but the campus was in lockdown. I hurried to the school, especially after seeing the helicopter flying over the area where the school is located!! There were at least 15 police cars pulled up in front of the school and many, many police officers standing in front of the school. I finally got to talk to an officer and he refused to say what was wrong but did agree to send in armed officers to escort my girls off the campus. After at least 45 nail biting minutes, they brought out my girls and we left. We hurried to my sons campus which had been out of school now for 30 minutes. I had called and asked if they would head off my son and keep him in the office til I arrived. They said they would....but.....they didn't!!! My son walked home from school, let himself in, and sat down to do his homework. I was much relieved when I realized Justin had made it home safely.
Turns out that a student had prank called the school, saying that someone had a gun on campus and was threatening to shoot people. After all the hullabaloo, they traced the call and arrested the kid!! They are holding the parents responsible for the cost of the 2 helicopters, SWAT team! These parents shoud be made to pay the costs and fines The son should spend some time in juvenile hall. Our youth today view almost everything as a "game"!! Do you agree that the parents should be responsible?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

William Tell Overture For Moms

If you are a Mom, this says it all!!!

Joy of Good Ethos

Ethos:
the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature or
guiding beliefs of a people or group
**********************************************************************
One definition said this word originated from the Greek
and one possible translation in English could be
"to appear."
**********************************************************
Now, you might be asking why in the world I am looking up such an obscure word?
And who really cares anyways?
**************************************************
  1. We should all care what others think of us!
  2. We should all be aware that everything we do and say is creating ethos in our lives.
  3. We should all realize that even if we never speak to someone, they perceive our ethos from what they see of us!!

************************************************************************

  • Why am I studying this word? I learned it last year in my speech class. However, until I heard it again this semester while in the classes I am SI Leader for, I hadn't grasped what ethos truly is! The instructor I work with was talking to one of her classes last week about ethos and what it means to a speaker and the audience who is listening. She made this statement that has been eating at me all week; "From the moment you walk into a room, your audience is "judging" your credibility. Even a trip to the grocery store could establish your ethos with someone who will hear you speak in the future!" She told of going to the store, through the register to make her purchase and having a surface conversation with the female clerk. Several months later, the clerk showed up in one of her speech classes. Both the clerk and the instructor had an "impression" or perception of who the other person was based on that quick experience months before.
  • This perception is based on your appearance and clothing, your choice of words when you converse, your facial expressions (even when you aren't aware that someone is watching you ) and the car you drive. If this is the case and people are always "perceiving" our ethos, then everything we say, wear, and do, is creating an awareness of who we are. Now, I know you might be thinking this is just for speech makers but if so, you're wrong!
  • As a people who have surrendered their sinful past to Christ, repented, been baptized in Jesus' Name, and received the Holy Ghost evidenced by speaking in tongues, we are commanded to share the Gospel. We are to be a "separate people" who live sober lives that magnify God. Are we exemplifying Christ? Are our actions speaking louder than our words? Do we practice what we preach or believe? Do we treat people, both saved and unsaved, like Christ would treat them? Do we speak in love? Or do we dress one way, professing a christian walk while we sin, treat our friends and enemies with disdain, and deliver a mixed-up message to those who see us?
  • The Bible says for those who are saved to come out of the world, be a separate people and then to go out to spread the good news of Jesus' saving grace. If we are going to be a shining beacon of hope to the lost, our ethos must send out that same message. When people see us as we go about our day, they must see the love of Christ. They must see someone who doesn't look like the world, act like the world, or talk like the world. They have to see someone who doesn't go where the world goes but walks upright and holy. We must make wise choices in our actions, our words, and our clothing so that those who are lost can see someone who is DIFFERENT from everyone else around them! We must appear as one who walks humbly before the Lord and who practices what they preach.
*************************************************************************************
The meaning of this little Greek word, ethos, has powerfully impacted my every thought and action. Especially, now that I am working outside my home and coming in contact with the lost everyday. I want my life to speak to those I meet and create a question in their minds as to why I seem so different. I want them to wonder and then ask why I live the way I do. I want those at church to feel that they can trust me to be in tune with God when I sing, play the piano, or lead the choir. I want God to know He can trust me to be a living example of His forgiving grace. I want my children and husband to be able to perceive a change in me. To feel they can trust me to do what is right.
A song God blessed me with, Lifesong, is a shining example of this quest. The words are in the margin. I pray that this post blesses you and that we all become beacons of positive ethos, or moral character, that proclaim the salvation of our God!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Today's Markism



Received from Mark via e-mail:


"What happened to the world the day Johnny Cash died?"


I Replied:"


"Ummmm, they went bankrupt? didn't have cash?"


Mark's reply:


"They became a cashless society"


Groan.....snicker....ha....haha...LOL


Hope you like these Markisms, they certainly keep me in good health!


Proverbs 17:22

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

My Mom The Blogger

My mother, Jacque Chance, called me tonight and told me she FINALLY did it!! She made her first entry in the blogging world. Mom is an incredible writer and she and I have set several of her writings to music. In fact, I called my Dad Thursday night to ask him something real quick. When he answered, I could tell that he was at the church and music practice was going on. As we spoke, I realized that the song I could hear sounded familiar. Then it hit me! That was Mom's song that she and I put to music this summer!!!! The ladies group was practicing it and it sounded SO incredible. Maybe she will post some of it on her blog. I know I plan on teaching it to the praise team at my church!

Mom's blog is called Scribbles and I put a link to it under my favorite blogs and friends area. She only has one post at this time but plans on adding many of the writings God has inspired through preached messages, books, the Word of God, and through song. I hope you visit her and I am working on getting her to allow us to comment! We shall see! LOL

Another Markism While at Marriage Retreat

This weekend, we had an awesome time fellowshipping with other couples from our church while at the ILC Marriage Retreat. We stayed at the Ayres Suites in Costa Mesa, CA. We had gorgeous weather, a gorgeous room, and a gorgeous gift basket with lots of goodies.

We were blessed with the Word of God, delivered with such wisdom and power by Rev. Steve Pixler. While he was speaking this morning, he said that if we were to spiritualize marriage we would all have to take a vow of celibacy. We would all have to be nuns and monks. It was powerful what Bro. Pixler was saying when all of a sudden, Mark leans over and whispers something in my ear.

Mark said, "If we did that, there would be nun amonks us."

Needless to say, I started giggling yet tried to be quiet about it. After the session, Sis. Cindy Pierce came up and asked me what had been so funny. She said she KNEW Mark had said something hilarious and wanted to know what! So, I told her. She and Rhonda Lee started cracking up. They thought it was a hoot.

We had a blast. Bro. Pixler blessed us in song and the Word. Sis. Booker blessed the ladies with some tips on how to be a loving wife while Bro. Pixler spoke to the men about what I do not know. Between the session Friday night and two sessions this morning, we learned what God really intends for marriage to be; a reflection of him through the unity of man and wife!!! I came away realizing that I need more Holy Ghost to help me to be a respectful and loving wife, even in my thoughts!!! Mark came away knowing that it is his duty to love me like Christ loves the church, sacrificially!!! WE came away knowing that it is time to let God help us have a great marriage and to seek God's help in raising our children to love Him with all their hearts!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Markism Joy



My husband is a wonderful yet quiet man. However, he has a very funny sense of humor and is always coming up with funny jokes or thoughts. Katie and I decided to call his jokes markisms. LOL


Here is his latest....I think it's really cute!





The cow and chicken were arguing.
The argument kept getting more heated because neither one would give in.
Finally, the cow says to the chicken, "Quit your squawking!
I've got a lot more at stake than you do!!!!"

Get it????

LOL

Hope you enjoyed today's markism brought to you by MJM publications.

BTW, now that this joke has been published here on my blog...it is copywrited and Mark gets to be the one who calls Dr. Laura at Thanksgiving and try to win her corniest joke contest!! LOL

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Joy of Being an Artist

It has been a while since I labeled a post with Joy in the title. Not that I haven't had joy, but you can only come up with so many ways to incorporate it into a title!!! LOL

Today, while waiting for my SI class to start, I was reading from Rory Noland's book, Heart of the Artist. I started this book with Chris McCorkle almost 2 years ago. We were going to read a chapter or two and then discuss them and what they mean to our ministries as Music Minister of our churches. Life got in the way and we didn't get too far. So, today, I picked it up and started it all over again! As I read, I came across a passage that spoke VOLUMNS to me!

Mr. Noland was writing about the proven character of an artist in a church setting. He wrote, "Authenticity is a powerful witness to the presence of God in our lives. It doesn't mean that we're perfect. It means that we're real." He goes on to say that when we, the Christian, put on a happy face to cover up our pain, we aren't being honest about our imperfections and struggles. Being authentic means we're real with our struggles and shortcomings. Then he talks about how God wants our character growth to be as high a priority as our talent. We shouldn't hide behind the talent and conceal our real selves, being hypocrits while ministering on the platform.

Now, I will be "authentic" and confess that I haven't always practiced this principle. People have even been aware of things I was struggling with, but I would put on a smile and go ahead and "minister" when I really shouldn't have been allowed on the platform! To those who may read this post and have been privy to my past foibles and failures, I sincerely apologize for my lack of authenticity before you and God. The one thing that consoles me today is that I honestly prayed for forgiveness of my faults, told God to do with me what He felt should be done, and TURNED from my past and determined to do what was right and true.

Am I perfect today? NO...not by a long shot but I AM FORGIVEN and God has blessed my repentance with anointing!! His Grace is greater than I can ever comprehend!!!
I want to follow God's plan for becoming spiritually mature! Ephesians 4:15 says we are to "in all things grow up" into Christ. Grow in areas such as moral excellence, intimacy with Christ, self-control and discipline, perseverance, godliness, kindness, and love. 2 Peter 1:5-9 says if we possess these qualities and keep growing in them, they will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive in our knowledge of Jesus!!! I also want to walk in my home, job, and where ever I go with integrity!!!

I want that authenticity to shine as I minister in song or on the piano during services. My art is a huge part of who I am but without God leading the way, I AND my art are nothing! I pray that my future songwriting endeavors, CD projects, and my ministry of music will reflect the heart of the artist who is writing my song, my story, my life.

Above all else, I want to honor and please God and have my life
reflect my desire to do God's will.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Never Forget - Whether you agree or not!




Yesterday and today, I spent time in Speech 1 and 52 classes consisting mainly of students under the age of 25. The instructor gave a daily quiz both days and asked what the significance of the day or yesterday was. I was amazed at how many of these students didn't realize it was the anniversary of 9/11/01. In both classes, there were students who actually said, "Awww, I'm not interested in stuff like that." The instructor told them that to be successful speakers it is their job to insure they are aware of events and dates so that they can be sensitive to the crowds' feelings.

It struck my heart hard to hear these students so callously disregard such a devastating event in America. However, it also hit home the selfish nature of Americans!!!! Politicians criticize one another so crudely and rudely because of pride. Everyday American citizens are led by ads and such to believe that their individual happiness is more important than anyone elses. Now we have a society of young people who feel no shame for going after what they want even if it means stealing to obtain it. God shine your mercy upon America and keep her from harm. If our country doesn't get it together soon, soon we will be so divided politically, spiritually, financially that we may not be able to survive any attacks that are made on our shores.

Let us never forget the cost of the lives that were taken on 9/11. Never forget that families are living 6 years later with holes in their lives where loved ones were taken from them in the tragedy of 9/11. Never forget the emergency workers who lost their lives trying to save the victims of the Twin Towers attacks. Never forget and Never surrender to the apathy that is trying to overtake our society! NEVER!!!!

God bless the families who lost their loved ones and keep them under the shelter of Your wings. Shine your light of love on them and comfort their aching hearts. Bring joy again to their lives.


THE FOUR BLESSED LOOKS

unknown author

Look back and Thank God.

Look forward and Trust God.

Look around and Serve God.

Look within and Find God!"

"I asked God, 'How do I get the best out of life?'

God said, 'Face your past without regrets. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear!'"

"Without God, our week is: Mournday, Tearsday, Wasteday, Thirstday, Fightday, Shatterday and Sinday. So, allow Him to be with you every day!"

"Life is short, so forgive quickly. Believe slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably. Never regret anything that makes you happy. And have a wonderful journey!!!"

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

God Loves His Children

Good morning! Just wanted to encourage someone today that God truly loves His children. No matter what comes, He loves us. He may hate the sins we commit but He never quits loving us. I am blessed to know that I am a child of the King of kings, Jesus Christ, who gave His life on Calvary for me! He loves me THAT much!! And He loves YOU that much too!

A simple little song comes to mind that just about every child learns in Sunday School in their early years. "Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so."

If you are feeling low today, take a moment and talk to your heavenly Father who truly loves you. The Bible says so!! He is waiting to shower His love on your life today!

John 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Protecting The Anointing

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.....tonight's sermon by Bro. Doug White was just incredibly awesome!!!!! He came to the pulpit heavily burdened with this message and he was almost weeping as he told us what God had laid on his heart. We are currently having our annual Youth Explosion and the house was full tonight. Bro. White talked about feeling the anointing, being a chosen vessel of anointing and yet somehow not protecting it. He spoke about how we can allow time to steal our anointing when we get so caught up in life that we forget to spend time in prayer, how we can let others steal our anointing when they attack us because of jealousy or other things, and how that we ourselves can allow ourselves to get to a place where God has to destroy the vessel or else it will contaminate other vessels. The altars were packed with young people, ministers, musicians and singers who wanted to make sure they were right with God and that with His help, they were determined to protect their call. There was even a young person, from Chula Vista, who received the Holy Ghost for the first time!!

I will refrain from going to go into more detail as I am going to suggest that you go to http://www.inlandlighthouse.com and click on online messages, look for tonight's message and listen to it yourself!! The message should be loaded onto the website within the next day or so. Please, please, PLEASE avail yourself of this opportunity to be reminded and encouraged to protect the anointing God has for you!!!

There is a beautiful song that I believe was written by Nancy Grandquist that I was reminded of tonight. The chorus says....."Lord, we need a new anointing. Lord, we need a brand new touch. Holy Spirit come and rain on us. New anointing, fall on us."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Old Friends

Just a thought about how awesome it is to have friends. Today, I picked up the phone, dialed a number and called an old friend (not OLD, but old....LOL.) I had to leave a message and when I got the return call, it was as if we had just seen each other yesterday. It has been 2 years since I last spoke with Melissa and I feel SOOOO guilty about that. We did discuss both our guilt in thinking about calling but letting life get in the way and we forgave each other our transgression!

It was so wonderful to hear her voice and to bring each other up to speed in what has happened in our lives and our children's lives over the last few years. Melissa is such a sweetheart and she and her hubby, Calvin, are doing the Lord's work in Glenpool, OK. They have started a home missions work there. It was a blast from the past and such a relief to know that even though we only keep in touch regularly through emails, our bond still holds!

Thank God for good, Godly friends!!! And Lord, please bless the work Calvin and Melissa are doing for You!!

Visit their website at http://pentecostalighthouse.com and drop them a note of encouragement in their guest book.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Blessings Joy

We are blessed!! God has been sooooo good to us, showering us with blessing after blessing! We were blessed with a gorgeous dining table and chairs last Friday night at the ILC Fun Night and Auction. It is HUGE and HEAVY DUTY....which is good with 3 kiddos!!! It survived many games of spoons and years of use by a very dear family, who shall remain unnamed at this point. It looks wonderful in my house!!! Now I need to paint my dining room/kitchen so they don't look sooooo shabby!! LOL

I have also been blessed with a job!!! Now I will have 3 part time jobs to accompany my full time wife/mother position! I will be starting as a Supplemental Instructional Leader at Riverside Community College when the fall semester begins. My speech instructor from last semester asked me if I was interested in a part time job. She said my grades and such were so good that she thought I would be great as her "assistant"! Sooo, I applied and was called yesterday to let me know I got it!!! Thank you, Jesus, for being sooooo goood to me!!! (Now we just need to be like Katie and Phillip and Shegazelle, become converts of Ramsey and have a TMM!!!)

One more blessing to share. I got together with a group of singers Tuesday night. Four of us had already learned the song a year ago. In one hour, the other 4 singers NAILED the song and I just know that with the next couple of practices under our belts, we will be able to sing this song so well and confidently that people WILL believe what we sing and be blessed!!!! Sometimes, when you don't know a song so good, well, you struggle and hinder God's move!! So, now this song won't be a hinderance but an instrument of anointing, breaking the yoke and blessing the souls of those who are struggling with sin or just life getting in the way of their praise!!! We are singing a wonderful medley of For Every Mountain, Thank You, O How I Love Him, and We Give You Praise. It is a POWERhouse medley of praise for God's blessings!!!! I am so thankful that ILC is soooo blessed by the abundance of talented and anointed singer we have!!!!

God bless you and I hope to read about blessings coming YOUR way!!!!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Raise the praise

Here is a video from youtube of the song I mentioned in my previous post. The song is by Clint Brown. The group singing is from Phoenix Revival Center Apostolic Church. The father/daughter duo are pretty good! Hope you enjoy!!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Twin Pillars of Grace and Mercy

Today's services at ILC were incredible!!!!! This morning we were blessed to have Bro. Carl Brown teach the Adult Sunday School class. He PREACHED!!! Man, did he preach!!! He talked about worship and how we need to move beyond the HIGHS of our physical worship into the POWER of being a servant in our worship of God. Bro. Brown talked about being sure to find time to humbly approach our God and to worship at His feet. That is where we find the strength to stay on course in this race towards Heaven. The high we feel when we dance and shout for God is really about us PRAISING Him, not us getting a deep anointing and making a strong commitment to make it through our trials. By the time Bro. Brown was finished and we started into song service, many were ready to spend time at Jesus' feet. Several people who haven't really touched God in a looooooonnnnngggg while were weeping and praising God. We also had several receive renewals of the Holy Ghost. One couple was back for the first time in months after thinking that they might find a better "fit" in another church. The gentleman told me Saturday that they had found that there was something missing at all those other churches and were ready to come home!!!!
Tonight, great worship service and then some of the best preaching around. I know that I probably shouldn't admit this, but our church is blessed with some of THE best preachers in Pentecost!!! Of course I feel that Rev. Larry Booker, my pastor, is THE CREAM OF THE CROP!!!!! However, we have a tremendous pastoral staff and lay minister's who ably fill the pulpit when Bro. Booker has to be gone. Tonight, even though I shouldn't admit it, we had our second (tied with one other minister) best preacher deliver God's Word to us. Rev. Adam Pierce (or as Natalya Booker says Amad Pierce) PREACHED a MESSAGE straight from the throne of God!!!! He spoke about Samson and his vow as a Nazarite and how he slowly toyed with the "world" and broke his vows. How that even as Samson "flirted" with things he shouldn't, he still felt God's anointing. How that Samson believed because he still felt the anointing he was doing okay in God's site. How that we can't play with the world, run to the altar for safety but go right back into sin, over and over again. How that as we do that, we run the risk of hardening our hearts to God's leading and His will. But that just like Samson, after he finally gave in to Delilah and broke the final vow, had his hair cut, couldn't feel God's anointing, and was made a slave of the Philistine's, he still found grace and mercy. Bro. Adam said that just like Samson's hair started to grow back, God's mercy and grace are growing in our lives even after we have sinned. We just have to be like Samson, humble ourselves, be led to the altar or in Samson's case, the twin pillars of Grace and Truth. Samson found that when he put his hands to the pillars of Grace and Truth and humbled himself, God was still with him and anointed him again. Several young people heard what Bro. Adam said and realized that even though they had sinned, God still had grace and mercy waiting for them if they just would humble themselves and pray. One young man broke for the first time in probably close to a year! I was sooooo excited to see him weeping and praying for God's mercy and grace!!! The altars were FULL of people who, new or old, wanted to avail themselves of the twin pillars of Grace and Mercy!!!

I am sure many of you have heard the song "I Need Your Mercy" by Clint Brown but it was perfect for the altar call tonight. I wanted to leave you with the words of that song and hope that you too avail yourself of the twin pillars of Mercy and Grace!!

"I need Your mercy. I need Your grace. I need Your hand leading the way. Can't make it without You, not for one day. I need Your mercy. I need Your grace."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fourth of July Joy


Fourth of July has come and gone....again. I am thankful for a day that has been set aside to remember the cost of the freedoms we enjoy. This year we stayed home....again and were blessed to have Mark off for 4 days. We got to enjoy having our hubby and Daddy with us from Friday before til the Thursday after the holiday. It was WONDERFUL!!!

We had a pitiful little car wash to raise money for the kids, Nathaniel and Ian to be able to attend Jr. Camp. They each made a whole $10!!! They washed their parents' cars and then four other cars of church members. The poor little guys so on the corner for hours, yelling for people to come and get a car wash, but alas, noone ventured our way. Thankfully, the kids were completely relying on the car wash for their funds. They are all going and looking forward to the week away at camp! Justin has been sooooo jazzed that he has been packed for 2 weeks!! He has to keep wearing the same clothes every few days because everything else is ready for camp! LOL

Back to the Fourth. We slept in and then Mark went to work in the fireworks booth that Lighthouse Christian Academy runs every year. The girls and I made salads, fruit, and a flag cake then got ready for the celebration at the church. After Mark came back, showered and took a short nap, we headed to the church at 4:30. I immediately went to work making sure the instruments were set up for our Jazz ensemble and groups that were going to sing.

The celebration started at 5. The church provided the tri-tip sandwiches and members brought the sides and desserts. There were quite a few people who attended and we had a huge tent set up on the parking lot with gigantic "air conditioners" set up to keep us cooled down. It was a HOT day!! The music entertainment started at 6 and we had the Rialto Youth Chorale, Lighthouse Voices, a trio, a duet and the Jazz ensemble who played and sang. Everyone did a great job and I personally had a wonderful time playing the jazzy renditions of classic church songs like Amazing Grace, The Blood, I Feel Jesus, Dance Like David, and other songs. We also had patriotic songs like I Still Do, God Bless America, America, and others.

At dusk, we started the fireworks display. There was a cordoned off section of the parking lot and everyone brought their chairs over to watch as some of the men set off a $500 box of fireworks purchased by the church. After all those were set off, the area was opened to parents and their children to set off their own small fireworks. Justin got to set off around $15 worth and LOVED every second!!

Then, it was over and everyone quickly helped to clean up and put away the tables and chairs, instruments. etc. It was a wonderful day spent with family and friends. By the way, while the celebration was going on, the customers from the fireworks booth were invited to join us. We had several families sit down with us and enjoy the food and fellowship. I hope that they come back and decide to make ILC their church home!!!

Thank God for the men who fought and are still fighting for our freedom. God Bless America, land of the free and the brave!










Thursday, July 12, 2007

Justin's and Jessica's EXCELlent Joys

Well, I said I would come back and brag on my kiddos, so, here goes.

Towards the end of school, Justin went to an assembly. They were handing out awards and Justin heard his name called. His award was for being THE highest level reader in his entire elementary school. He had tested at 12.9+ on his STAR reading. That number indicates that my 9 year old is reading at college level and beyond and comprehends what he is reading!!! Needless to say, we were jazzed that he was honored and that he is doing SO well. Just goes to prove that NO TV makes a little guy love reading all the more and helps him to EXCEL!!!!

On the day that Jessica graduated, *sniff*, from 5th grade, she also was a recipient of a great honor. For academic EXCELlence, she received a letter and certificate from President Bush. It was the President's Gold Seal Certificate for Academic Excellence in her overall education! She was the only one in her class to receive this award!

Isn't that just AWESOME??? I love my babies and am SOO proud of them and their achievements.

P.S. Marissa was homeschooled, so, she didn't get any awards but we are looking forward to seeing what she will do now that she will be in 8th grade and in public school. Go Rissa!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Finally-Another Post

Hello all!!! I am still in the land of the living!!! HAHAHA Sorry that a whole 2, oh my, 2 months have passed and I haven't blogged!!! I have to say that blogging just was not high on my list of priorities with finals and the beginning of summer on the horizon. I am back and hope to be more faithful with this blogging enterprise. Well, let's see if we can catch up with what has been happening, ok?

May came and went in a blur of classes, papers to write, Spanish to learn, and BIG speeches to give. My BIG speech was a persuasive speech about drunk driving and it's dangers. It took us 3 weeks to prepare the speech and 2 weeks to have the whole class perform. I have to say that it was a pleasure to finish my speech, have the class ask me questions and make positive comments, and for my instructor to whisper, "Wow! I mean, WOW!!" Comments on my speech from my young classmates included, "Where do I sign up for MADD?", "You really moved me to be sure to have a designated driver" and the best one, "Makes me want to never drink and drive!!" I got a VERY high score and ACED the whole class!!! My Spanish class was harder to earn an A BUT I DID IT!!! As for my Critical Thinking and Writing class, the instructor returned from her operation with the good news that the cancer had been localized and the doctors had gotten all of it!! I wrote my heart out on the last few papers and missed an A by 8 points!!!! My GPA for the semester was 3.6667!!!!! Now I only have 12 units to complete to obtain my Associates of Arts and Science both!!!!!!!!

June came and went in a blur of trips to central and northern California to visit family, my nephew's graduation, and lots of activities at the church. We finished the month with a quick revival with Rev. Jonathan Stringfellow. It was an awesome time of refreshing and seeing new souls added to the kingdom!!

I will brag on my kids in posts to follow because they are EXCEPTIONALLY bright and awesome in my estimation!! Be sure to check out what they have been up to!!!

Glad to be back and hope to be able to keep going faithfully when I go back to school this fall. If I slack, just email me and remind me to freshen up my blog, ok? Thanks for coming by and checking to see if I had finally done anything!!!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

WOW!! What a service!!!

Tonight at ILC, we had Bro. Ted Molander in service with us. Today was his birthday and he turned 81!!! (Happy Birthday Bro. Molander!!) When he took the pulpit, I wasn't sure what to expect!

Well, I have to say even if his style of preaching was so different from what I am now used to, he preached us THE WORD!!! His message was that we, the saints of God, need to move away from religiosity and create a friendship with God. Bro. Molander was right on the money!!!
I ran to the altar, weeping and repenting of my surface relationship with my best friend!

Lord, please let me turn my mind away from what I think I am and want to what you know I am!!! Let me go beyond my duty and be a witness for You in everything I do or say!!!! As the choir sang tonight, "please make me, let me be, a vessel of honor used to praise Your Holy name....."

Know Your Audience

Hello, I am not sure who might be sneaking around my blog, checking things out, yet going away without comment but I am glad you have been stopping by. I am preparing for a speech on Monday about knowing your audience. Here on this blog, I have no real way of knowing who my audience is. I just write what is on my mind, post it, and hope someone reads it and likes it. In life though, we do know who our audience is the majority of the time.

One continual presence in our audience is God himself. He is always with us, watching and gently leading our steps. Since we know HE will be in our audience, do we stop and think about what we say, how we say it, and who we say it to? Most audience members are egocentric, or self-centered, listening only to find what is in it for themselves. Is God that way too? Is He listening to, or in this case reading, my thoughts and my attitude towards others and Himself?

This topic has made me stop and think about who my audience is every day of my life. My Lord, my family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers deserve my consideration in all I say or do. Wow, God, You are truly awesome for taking the time to speak to me through my speech assignment! Now, would You help me to do well and earn a good grade? :)

Chorus of song: "My Audience of One"

To my audience of one
You are Father, and you are Son
As your spirit flows free,
Let it find within me
A heart that beats to praise you.
And now just to know you more
Has become my great reward
To see your kingdom come
And your will be done
I only desire to be yours,Lord

Artist: Big Daddy Weave
Album: "One And Only"

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

More RKK Joy



Here are more pictures that Holly took during our recent Royal Kids of the Kingdom II musical. Hope you enjoy the pictures of some of the most wonderful kids on earth!


Left to right: Ian, Jocelyn, Destinee, Dino, and Jerry






Joyanna and Sade singing about going Down, Down, Down in Jesus' Name (A great song that tells about full immersion baptism in THE Name above all Names!)



Here are Nate and Denise singing (I don't remember which song this was, sorry!)






Aren't these two just adorable? Lil' Miss Alexus and Bro. Logan (this was a funny song because these two had to share a mic and kept "fighting" for control, HAHAHA)






The Choir section. Half of these children are from our Sunday School Bus Route. Isn't God awesome?!!




Here are two of the main characters. Destinee did a fantastic job memorizing an abundance of scriptures that teach about the plan of salvation! Dino, her little brother, was a riot playing the part of the school bully who comes to see the error of his ways.







Here are Nate and Ian. Both of these young men are VERY smart and talented!!








Mr. Zachary sang so sweetly (but manly!!) :)




Monday, April 30, 2007

Children of Praise Joys


Jessica singing "I'm Sorry" during the Royal Kids of the Kingdom II Musical on April 29, 2007.


Inland Lighthouse Church was blessed with a cute and funny performance from our Children of Praise. The kids worked hard on this play written by Sis. Kim Ballestero. They sang really well and all the kids did an awesome job!! They shared the 5 step plan of salvation with over 400 people on Sunday morning!!! I am slightly predjudice, I know, but Jessica did such an awesome job on her song about asking God for forgiveness! Oh, I don't have a picture of him yet, but my little guy, Justin, had a solo part as well! He did an incredible job telling about how God came down and became a child just like us. I was a very Holy Ghost proud mama!!!

In the audience was my bible study lady, Lillian, her daughter Kathleen and grandchildren Dustin and Destinee. They seemed to enjoy the service and stayed afterwards for our family day potluck and activities. I see them again in the morning and covet your prayers!

After the kids musical, Bro. Arlo Moelenpah spoke to us about creation and science, particularly about the dinosaurs and "pre-historic" man. It was awesome! I love learning more about how science works with the Bible!! He is coming again this week and then will take questions and return to answer them in two weeks!! I can't wait!!!!!!!



Isn't She Lovely? :)

Update:
My dear friend, Holly, also had a picture of my sweet lil' guy and she shared it with me. He is the one holding the mic. He did such a fantastic job!!! GO, Justin!!!

P.S. Holly's gorgeous older son, Ian, is in the aqua shirt and right behind him (on his right) is her other gorgeous kid, Zachary!! They both had speaking AND singing parts and did WONDERFUL!!! See, I can brag about other kids than my own. Even if mine were somewhat "better" LOL

Thank you, Holly for all the pics of my babies!!! Love ya!!!



Friday, April 27, 2007

Bible Study Joy!!!!!!

I gave my first solo Bible study on Tuesday morning of this week!!!!!!!!!! Through a survey that we, Inland Lighthouse Church, have been doing on Saturday outreach, we contacted a lady named Lillian. She was interested in a Bible study. So, I was asked if I could teach it. I wanted to say no, not because I am ashamed of my God but because I have never done this alone!!! I don't feel qualified to "instruct" someone about the Bible, primarily because I honestly have not studied it enough!!! But the Bible study coordinator prevailed and I scheduled the study.

Tuesday morning Marissa and I drove to Lytle Creek and met Lillian and her daughter, Kathleen. We had a nice time studying the Word and they even want me to come again next week!!!

Please pray that I find time to immerse myself MORE in the Word and that I can study to show myself approved!! I have to admit it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be!! I didn't fumble and stutter but we were studying about something I have been learning about since my first toddler class, the creation and the first man's sin. :)

Sharing Good News

Good evening, everyone. Once again, it has been a few days since my last blog entry. Unfortunately, sickness has struck me and I have been laid up, fevered up, and specifically, fed up with the flu! I started feeling ill Tuesday night and by Wednesday morning, I was feeling like death warmed over. I have missed two days of classes!! Woe is me!

Yesterday, I ventured out for a rehearsal with the Nostalgia Singers, a choir of senior citizens that love to sing old music. While at the rehearsal, I talked to a gentleman, Kenny Snyder, and found out that he has been diagnosed with cancer and scheduled for surgery on Wednesday of next week. I encouraged him and promised that our church would be praying for his surgery and recovery. He is a sweet gentleman and was very thankful for the prayers.

This morning I called my English professor to inform her of my forthcoming absence and found out that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer! She found out over spring break and is already scheduled for surgery next Friday! Needless to say, I was astounded! She is young, most likely in her 50's and judging by her voice, scared! I immediately told her about my grandmother and her battle with the same disease just this last August. My grandmother is in wonderful health and is recovering well. Professor Howard and I spoke for a while and I believe I was able to lift her spirits and give her some hope for her future. As we closed our conversation, I told her I would be praying for her and she was very appreciative.

As I type this, I wonder if I am part of the Nostalgia group and attending school just to encourage these two people? I know that when I prayed about whether or not to accompany a secular choir that I felt very strong about the possibilities for being a witness for Christ. I hope that this is the case!!! It has been exciting to see different ones come and visit our church!! I have also met a lady who is the Activities Director for a retirement home the Nostalgia group performs for. She is currently attending an Apostolic church in Redlands and has family who doesn't want to drive that far and who are looking for a church!!! Of course, I invited them to ours!!!!! :)

So, sharing the good news about Who my God is and what He has done has been an exciting addition to an otherwise sick (pun intended) week!!! Thank You, Lord for these opportunities and may I continue to follow Your leading and be a light for You!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Friends and Food Joys

There is nothing like getting together with likeminded ladies and fellowshipping while enjoying a meal. Today, my english instructor did not show and so my class and I left. I was overJOYed!! I finally had a day to try and invite someone over for lunch.

So I got on the phone and invited several friends. Marissa and I made homemade potato cheese soup. It was YUMMY!!! Everyone had a second bowl (they were small) and we had a very nice relaxing visit. Katie was not able to make it but Maureen, with her onboard twins baking, Sarah and little Miss Natalya, and Tiffany came to fellowship. For a scrumptious desert, Marissa quickly baked some banana bread!!. I wish I had a picture to share but alas, I was too busy visiting and cooking to think of a camera.

Now, I have a confession: I have been wanting to do a luncheon for a while but I always talked myself out of it because my home isn't big and fancy!! However, last Friday night at Ladies' Fellowship, Sis. Linda Jones spoke about being a good hostess and one of the things she covered was waiting to invite people until everything is perfect and how that will NEVER happen!!! She said to get organized and step out and GO FOR IT!!! SOOOOO, today I did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Joys of Family and Friends

As some of you will have noticed, Sister Karla Holley and I have been blogging back and forth regarding mutual friends, family and connections to things in the past. This made me start thinking about the family of God. Isn't it awesome that God gives us brothers and sisters of like minds to share our lives with? And isn't it neat how we are all connected?

I was sharing a little of this thought with my daughters this morning at breakfast. I told them that when I was unable to meet their needs God has provided "sisters" for them to talk to. My girls both piped up and said that I am always able to help them but I told them I want them to remember for the future when as teens they may not feel like I am listening or such. I can remember many times as a teen when I would sit down with someone other than my mom and glean spiritual and practical wisdom from them. I want that for my kids!!!!

I found this song/poem online and think you will agree that it describes God's family!

Family, Friends and Fellowship
He gave you arms to hold me up - when I am falling down
He gave you lips to cheer me up - when storms are all around
He gave you songs to fill me up - when words will never do
For this family, oh Father I thank you!
He gave you tears to cry with me - when I am filled with grief
He gave you joy to laugh with me - when I find relief
He gave you eyes to watch over me - as I walk the narrow way
For this family, Father I thank you today!
Family Friends and Fellowship keep me going strong
There’s always someone by my side - I know that I belong
To a family bound for glory land, I find myself at ease
’Cause this family who loves Jesus, has His peace!
He gave you tears to cry with me - when I am filled with grief
He gave you joy to laugh with me - when I find relief
And because you love Jesus, I can trust you to love me too!
For this family, oh, Father I thank you!
For this family, oh, Father I thank you!
song- 2002 Marquita Lawson
And one of the awesome parts is that while YOU are doing all the above for ME, I am doing the same for YOU!!!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

A NEW song for you to enJOY

A friend and I ran into each other at the supermarket recently.
She shared a song with me that she had just found.
It is SO powerful!

You can hear it at www.dovebrothersquartet.com and I promise you will love it!
My 10 year old sits at the computer and sings this song over and over and over. I hope she is getting the message!!! I think we will sing it together with my other daughter in the near future.

Talking to my friend yesterday, she told me that she sang the song last week and the Holy Ghost fell and she ended up singing for 45 minutes! The saints were greatly moved by the simple message of this song!! It is called "I Can Pray."

Here it is:
You say, “I’m not able I’m too young or I’m too old.
And I can’t sing or teach and no title do I hold.
Lord, What can I do? For I want to do my part
And I want to help the hurting with all of my heart.”

I can pray until the walls come down
til there’s healing all around
that’s something I can do
I can pray in my secret place
calling on your name
that’s something I can do
I can pray

My family shows no interest, my child is gone so far
Tho’ I try my best to reach them, their hearts just seem so hard
Lord, what can I do to help bring them back to you
For my family’s lost and dying and my words can not get through

Spoken:
You may not be a preacher You may not be a Sunday school teacher
You may not be able to sing But friend there is something that we all can do


You can pray in your secret place
calling on His name
that’s something you can do
You can pray
I can pray
We can pray

I can pray
You can pray
I know you hear us Lord when we pray

We will pray
I will pray
Will You pray?


The Dove Brothers are a great quartet and although Southern Gospel is NOT my favorite music, I have GREATLY enjoyed the songs you can listen to via their website!!!!! May God bless them and bring them into ALL Truth!!

Let's PRAY!!!!

Birthday Joy


This weekend my hubby and I celebrate our xx'th birthdays. Okay, I am NOT ashamed of my age so......it is 38 years since our births!!! I have to say that I get asked all the time how old I am and no one, NO one, gets my age right when I make them guess!! I am always being told I look like I am in my early 20's, occasionally someone will guess early 30's. It is exciting to know that if I continue to age gracefully, when I am in my 60's everyone will think I am in my late 40's or early 50's!!!! YEAH!

My hubby is a tax baby and I was born on the 16th. It is unusual for such close birthdays, I know, however, my girls have birthdays a day apart as well. They will celebrate their 13th (yes, Marissa will officially be a teen) and 11th birthdays on October 5th and 4th respectively. Justin is the lucky one who has a solo birthday in March!!! :-) (However, he does have a close friend who celebrates his birthday on the 11th, Logan Booker, and Justin's is on the 12th.)

Anyhow, do you have birthdays that are close together like the McVay's??

God Is At The Window!

The Duck &the Devil

There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods; but he could never hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner.

As he was walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it.

He was shocked and grieved! In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile; only to see his sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch the next day Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes" But Sally said, "Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen." Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?"

So Johnny did the dishes. Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, "I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper." Sally just smiled and said, "Well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help" She whispered again, "Remember the duck?" So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's; he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, "Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you."

Thought for the day and every day thereafter?
Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done... and the devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.)...whatever it is...You need to know that- God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing. He has seen your whole life. He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven. He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you. The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness; He not only forgives you, but He forgets. It is by God's grace and mercy that we are saved.

Always remember: God is at the window! When Jesus died on the cross; he was thinking of you!

P.S. Author Unknown

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

TBC Update

Sorry everyone!!! Life has been so very hectic with kids, hubby, school, church, etc., that I just have not been able to spend the time blogging!! But I am here now and will attempt to leave something that you will enjoy!!!!!! :)

Higher Ground at Texas Bible College was INCREDIBLE!!! I learned a lot from some really awesome instructors and I LOVED being back in my original stomping grounds for a little while. Tiffany and I stayed with my sweet cousin, Tracey, and she was the hostest with the mostest!!! Her kids were simply adorable and I just love, love, love her son, Josh!! He actually thought I was only 19 or 20!! Can you believe that???!!!! He was in shock that I had children his age!!! He was soooo cute!!! (He told his mom that she looks like she is 25 or so, and she is actually a year younger than I. THAT really went over well!! HAHAHAHA) I told Tracey she needs to watch him because he is already learning how to sweet talk the ladies! LOL

Tiff, Tracey, Mom, Reena, Andy, and I attended the music conference. One of the best things we gleaned was from a class by David Geri. He talked about the music ministry and it's spirituality. Tiffany picked up a book that is revolutionizing my ministry. It is called, "When They Began To Sing" and it covers why God created music and how we can have a deeper communion with HIM!! Dedie Cooley had a HUGE class on Friday. She was presenting new choruses, if you hadn't heard them or don't do them, then they were new to you. I had to sit on the floor the class was SO full!!!!!! She was able to quickly teach 28 choruses in 45 minutes!!!!!

I wish I had written when everything was SOOO fresh in my mind!! I do want to share a quick note about the concert on Friday night at Higher Ground. There was one group who, unfortunately, came to "star" or to "perform". Their spirit and behavior was in such contrast with the rest of the singers and groups that there were only 3 or 4 people who stood and supported them. Personally, I was so aghast at one of the ladies provocativeness that I could not even look up at the platform while they were singing!!! On the other hand, there was a group there from a ranch that sang and testified. The whole choir consisted of already rehabilitated and currently being rehabilated people who live at the ranch. One gentleman had only been off meth for 10 days!!! But they are ALL filled with the Holy Ghost, are in the ACTS program and are recovering and rebuilding their lives!!! It was AWESOME to watch God use them to minister!!!!! They were so humble and thankful for where they are today!!!

So, I hope I have provided ample information re: the conference and how fun it was!
Been nice talking with you!! Be sure to come back in a day or two and I will be sure to have added at least a little something!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

TBC Higher Ground Joy

I'mmmmmm off to see Lufkin, the wonderful Lufkin of T'xas..... LOL

Really I am off to Higher Ground music conference in Lufkin, Texas for the rest of this week, March 7-10!!!! I am going with my friend, Tiffany Martin, and we are going to have a blast!!!! I was born in Lufkin and grew up only 30 miles or so away from there in Nacogdoches. I lived in Nacogdoches until I was 14. So this will be old home week for me.

We are meeting my mom and dad at the airport (they are flying in from San Francisco) and then driving together to the conference. My parents are going to stay with our cousin and her husband, Mildred and Eldon Benton. Tiff and I are staying with their daughter and her family, Tracie and Jubal Cannon. Tracie and I haven't seen each other since 1997 and we both LOVE music and are the Music Directors for our local assemblies. SOOO, we have a lot to catch up on and lots of common interests to share!!!!! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!

I will be back LATE Saturday so it will be Monday before I can get on here and let you know how much fun I had and what I learn from the conference!!! Dedie Cooley is teaching there and I LOVE her enthusiasm and verv!!! There are a TON of good instructors teaching and I know I am going to have a hard time choosing which classes to take! Perhaps, between Tiff, Mom, Tracie and I we can all cover some good classes and share what we learned!!!!

Until then, keep singing HIS praises!!!

"Sing unto the Lord a new song! Sing unto the Lord all the earth! Sing unto the Lord a new song! Sing unto the Lord all the earth! For GOD is GREAT and greatly to be praised!!!"

Monday, February 26, 2007

Am I My Brother's or Sister's Keeper?

Hello, everyone, I have a request for your opinion on something that I have been thinking about.

When someone tells you that they have done something that is spiritually detrimental, how do you handle it? Do you immediately call them on it or do you let them know you love them and aren't judging them and leave it to them to deal with? For sake of discussion, we will say this person is an adult and not used in the ministry of their local assembly. Should you get into a discussion with them and try to make them see the error of their way? How far do you push?

I don't want this person to continue making the same choices and reap the repercussions of their actions. I also want to know how responsible I am for my brothers and sisters in the Lord. I know that it is important for me to hold them up in prayer and I am doing that, but is that enough?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Not much joy


This week has been a killer for me!! I thought I was having a heart attack or pleurisy but wanted to be sure which and spent MANY hours in the ER Monday night. Then I get a raging, hippo stomping, burning infection in my bladder. TOO many glasses of cranberry juice later and I am still in pain. Probably will have to give in and actually go and see the doctor this time. Self medicating isn't working! I guess my pastor's message Wednesday night about going to God, asking for healing, and having faith yet also using the physician to help that healing to become a reality is being played out in my life!


I didn't want to let too much time pass before I blogged again since I let it go WAY too long recently. Sorry I didn't have much joy to share!!! I hope to recover quickly as I have school and am attending the Ladies Conference and Higher Ground Music Conference in the very near future. Please pray for my healing! I thank you for those prayers.


Thank God for His mercy and grace and for the stripes He took upon His back that I may be healed. I plead the blood of Jesus upon my life and my poor, pitiful person. (Had to add that little bit alliteration since I helped Justin tonight with his language arts homework and that was part of it! LOL)


Friday, February 16, 2007

A New Note Of Joy

Wow, what life changes!! I am sorry that I have been so lax in updating my blog but to be honest, I have been sooooo busy there hasn't been enough time to sit down and really put in words what I have been dealing with! :)

Life throws curve balls in your way every once in a while and we have had several thrown our way lately. First, sickness has been rampant in our household with Mark and I trading it back and forth it seems! We have been fighting the flu and now I am fighting my chronic bronchitis!! I am SOOOO tired of illness! I rebuke it in Jesus' name!!

I am homeschooling Marissa now. We had to take her out of her privated school and I didn't want to shock her with public Middle school mid-year, so, here we are waiting on her curriculum from Gorman Learning Center. She is very bored and is ready for school stuff again! LOL (I doubt that will last for very long!)

One of the biggest changes is that I am now back in college!!!!!! YEAH!!! I am only 15 units from concurrent Associate Degrees in both Arts and Science!! And I am taking classes that are transferrable to Cal State San Bernardino!! This semester, I enrolled in English 1B, Public Speaking, and Spanish. I am taking the Spanish class because to be bi-lingual opens SOOOO many more doors AND we have a growing Spanish work at ILC!!

This weekend we have a dinner drama and I am looking forward to sitting back and enjoying it for once! I am not involved this time and it is wonderful (I miss being involved but I don't miss the work!! LOL)

Ok, I promise to try to do better on keeping up with my notes of joy!

Love you all!!! I ask for your prayers for our family and my schooling!!! Thank you!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Crusade Joy Update II

Ok, I finally got some sleep and a week has passed SO quickly but here are pictures from the Inland Crusade, Rialto, CA., January 12-14, 2007.
Hope you enjoy them!


The tent going UP!

Here it is up, without the sides added yet.

The inside of the tent. 1500 chairs!!!!

View from the sound booth! See the tiny people on the platform? That's Sis. Cathy Clark, Sis. Chris McCorkle, Bro. Scott Blair, Bro. Casey Clark, and myself practicing and doing an early (freezing cold) sound check!

A nighttime view of the tent. That is Bro. Thurman Thomas doing an awesome job directing traffic!





Kacey Lynn and Joni Ayn Clark - "Kacey's Prayer and God Bless America"




Bro. Paul Bertram - ENTHUSIASTICALLY leading us in worship!!!




The CROWD!!!





The Mass Choir -"Lord, You're Holy"




Bro. Cody Marks preaching THE WORD!!
Bro. Cody Marks praying for those who wanted the Holy Ghost!!