Monday, April 30, 2007

What Remains

This past Friday, I was a guest speaker/singer in El Cajon, California at New Life pastored by Marc Stevenson. This was a sectional ladies event directed by Brenda Ghiloni, section one ladies director. Women came from all over the San Diego area to join in fellowship and worship. After singing several songs, I spoke about "What Remains." I will give you a brief summary. A couple years ago I read an article about Mt. Rushmore. The first thought in 1924 was through inspiration given by Duane Robinson. He spoke his dream to many and had many scoffers. In 1927, he had finally gained enough support and sculptor Gutzon Berglum was hired. Before the project was completed Berglum passed away, but his son caught his father's vision to see it finished. In 1941, it was unveiled and has become a national monument. I then shared the story of David wanting to build a house for the Lord and could not, yet he accumulated everything needed to build the house so his son Solomon could build it when it was time. My thought was to encourage everyone to dream big and make it reality. Don't be concerned with who gets the glory, just go ahead and begin to build. Although David had the original thought to build the temple, it is known as Solomon's temple. I have even wondered why the great monument was named Mt. Rushmore. Why wasn't it named Mt. Robinson after the man who envisioned it, or even Mt. Berglum after the sculptor? These men just wanted to see their vision complete and did not concern themselves with who gets the praise. Don't just live for the moment, but consider the future and what remains.

On Saturday, we visited a mission to gain some materials for Blake. He is working on a mission project. I snapped a couple pics of Bryn (the boys had stayed home) at the mission and next to the old door of the sanctuary. She is growing like a weed. That dress was nearly at her feet about a month ago. I really like these pictures. (Click on the pictures to enlarge them.)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I Challenge You

If you have not often felt the joy of doing a kind act, you have neglected much, and most of all yourself.- A. Neilen

Are you up for a challenge? Here it goes - pick a day that you will determine to do at least three kind acts and then be willing to write a comment on how you felt after giving away kindness. It seems that life is too busy and many people are in too big of a rush to take time for their spouse, children, neighbor, or let alone a stranger. If you hurry past those around you, they are unaffected and you have neglected yourself. Remember, it is more blessed to give than to receive. I want to bless and be blessed.

P.S. I just arrived home from San Diego and feel I must get some rest. I will "fill you in" on the week-end events tomorrow.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Thy Will Be Done

At last Monday evening prayer, I spoke the words, "God, we want Your will to be done." Immediately, my mind recalled the Lord's Prayer and the words, "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." The thought that struck me was this - if the will of God was "done" in heaven, what was necessary to complete it? From there I began to ponder how there was a time when heaven was occupied with rebellion, insubordination, pride, arrogance, and even prejudice, but it was "kicked out" of heaven to make the will of God complete. Therefore, if we want the will of God "on earth" as it is in heaven, then we must "kick out" rebellion, prejudice, etc. Now before you jump ahead and crucify me, let me say I realize we are not perfect and will never achieve eliminating all bad behavior from the earth. But, as we have been told we are dust and will return to dust, we must begin cleaning house in our personal "earth" to achieve the Lord's will. I have heard many different interpretations of the Lord's Prayer, but I don't recall having heard anyone present this idea. I have often been asked how does one know when they are in the will of God? Now, I think I have an answer. You will never be wholly in His will if your life contains rebellion, insubordination, pride, arrogance, and prejudice. Truly, I want to submit to the Lord and have His will done in my life.
P.S. I will be speaking/singing in San Diego tonight and may not be able to respond to your comments until late Saturday.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


It is now my distinct pleasure to return the kindness and give awards to bloggers who make me think.

My first award goes to Debbie Pryor because she is the one who put the thought in my head to begin blogging. I love to read her blog. I must admit, she doesn't post as often as I would like but, she has caused me to think.

I think the goal of these awards are to find other people, but I feel I must give my second award to Helen Losse because she makes me think in such ways that I am at times filled with inspiration, gain great comical relief, or feel such strong emotions. If we lived near each other, I would want to meet on a regular basis. Actually, Helen has been the one who has made blogging the most fun for me because I can never predict her response and I look for her responses first.

My third award goes to Mark Pryor. He posts frequently and always has thought provoking quotes, stories, sermons, and more. He is also the husband to my dear friend, Debbie.

I must add an HONORABLE MENTION to Ronda. Her blog has a great variety. Sometimes she makes me think, other times she takes me to other places with her great photos, and frequently gives me a good laugh. My favorite recent post was a photo of her great-nephew pouting. Too cute!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Walk On

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.- Helen Keller

As soon as I read the above quote, my mind was immediately drawn to Virgina Tech and the speech given by Nikki Giovanni at a memorial. I have attached a video clip of her speaking. Please listen to the applause following her words. In essence, she was acting on the above quote - she was taking their eyes away from the closed door and encouraging them to continue through the new opening. If I could add to Nikki's thoughts, I would share the words of this song - "Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart, and you'll never walk alone."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Chance Of A Lifetime

A day dawns, quite like other days; in it, a single hour comes, quite like other hours; but in that day and in that hour the chance of a lifetime faces us.- Maltbie Babcock

After reading this quote, I immediately wondered how many people have missed a chance of a lifetime because they were so stuck in their routine and unable to spontaneously "go for it." Then, I wondered what would be classified as a "chance of a lifetime." Is it something that only gives personal gratification or could that "chance" save someone else? Because we live in such a selfish society, most people would probably consider a chance of a lifetime as winning the lottery. Yet, each day we pass many "chances" without recognizing the opportunity before us. How about some of these chances - to kiss the face of your sleeping child, to take time to converse with a lonely senior citizen, to show a random act of kindness, and share God's love. In this day, and in this hour, I had the chance to pray for you. In this moment, I asked God to send angels to guard over you and keep you safe from harm and danger. Let me know if you feel the wind of the angels wings.


Helen is one of my favorite blogging friends. She is running for 2007 Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere with the campaign slogan, “Vote for Helen cuz she wants ta win!” (Is that honest or what?) Please visit her blog at Or go to the site of Billy the Blogging Poet to vote for Helen. Trust me - Helen is an outstanding poet and deserves this award.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Thank You, Helen

From Helen: My first Thinking Blogger Award goes to Jana Allard. Jana has the perfect position in life to be way too “preachy,” but she isn’t. She’s sweet and warm and understanding. Jana makes me think. Thanks, Jana.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Bryn Has A Match

They got this one right! 83% match to Shirley Temple! We hear it all the time!!! I really thought this celebrity match was just a funny game to bring laughter, but now I think they may be on to something. If not Shirley Temple, people remark about Bryn looking just like Annie. Regardless, Bryn is still the cutest of them all.

Look Like? He Is!

Can't leave out Bryce. He's so good looking, the celebrities need to look like him. A'ight! I hear you, but yes I am a very proud and prejudice mom. LOL

It Is Only The Red Hair!

Well, the eyebrows are similar and the red hair, but that is as far as this goes. These two match as much as Ronda and Larry King! In reality, there is only one Blake and nobody comes near being a match to him. He is my Prince Charming.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Brian's Incognito Faces

This was so funny I had to post it!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Connected To God

Last Friday night was our sectional business conference. While the ministers conduct their business, the wives meet in another room and have a time of fellowship, games, and devotion. Our district ladies secretary was setting up the game before the meeting and casually said to me, "You know you are speaking on Connecting to God and will be the first one up?" YIKES! I felt a wave of panic sweep over me! Apparently, I was disconnected and missed communication some where. It seemed as though my brain froze and fear overwhelmed me. What was I going to do?!?!? As the meeting started, my brain seemed to suddenly power on and I began to think of Abraham. In a nutshell, here is the small thought I presented. Abraham was a "friend" of God according to James 2. Friendship is a powerful connection. To connect to God, there are two factors one needs - believe and act. The mesh of believing and acting earned Abraham the title, "Friend Of God." You can pray, fast, and read the Word, yet never be connected to God unless you believe and act. Abraham would have never offered his son as a sacrifice without believing in God and having the confidence that "God would provide a lamb." He believed in God and was willing to serve through action. I hope God considers me his friend.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Celebrity? Yeah, Right!

Gene made me do this - - - not really, but when I saw his blog, it tempted me until I gave in. This is too funny! The first picture I submitted, it came back that I was an 80% match to Beyonce. Yeah, right! I might somewhat believe the Kirstie Alley - that is before she met Jenny Craig. LOL

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech

Virgina Tech - We love you and send our condolences.

I found it timely to read the following scripture from Luke 6:27, 28 (which was the "daily Bible verse" on my computer welcome screen) the day of the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech.

New International Version: "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."

King James Version: "But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you."

May the peace that passes all understanding be with you.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Seeing Through Eyes of Compassion

As a chaplain for the Kern County Sheriff Department, my husband frequents sadness and tragedy. Easter Sunday he received a call for a possible drowning and I have included the news release below. However, the real reason I am posting this, is to write about the surrounding people of this tragic happening. When we arrived at the lake, there were hundreds of Hispanic people celebrating Easter and having barbecues. The men were grilling meats, the mothers organizing plates, cups, and serving portions, while the children happily played. Most of these people were very poor and the opportunity to have a festive day at the lake was a "big deal." Yet, when tragedy struck and the police had rolled out yellow tape, all barbecues ceased. Police, Sheriff, Search and Rescue Teams, and other official personnel worked to find the body and help console the distraught mother for nearly two hours. During this time, all the other people at the lake stood quietly looking towards the grieving family. It was obvious they were hurting for a mother they didn't know. After the boy's body was found, the mother held him in the "blue bag" and wailed loudly. Finally, the two assisting chaplains got the family to the car and home. An uncut bakery cake remained on the park table.
I try not to post such sad happenings, but the hundreds of people who stood quiet with respect for a grieving family they really didn't know was such an overwhelming sight that I had to write about it. Wouldn't it be amazing if everyone could see through eyes of compassion? Each day we live, there are people around us who have been hurt and wounded. It may not be as obvious to us as the horrific scene at the lake, but if we would always treat people with compassion and respect, maybe their pain could be dampened. If the clerk in the store seems rude, the waitress forgetful, or the postman impatient, give them a kind smile and a gentle response. Seeing them through eyes of compassion and responding with love just may help healing begin in their wounded soul.
Teen Drowns
The Bakersfield Californian Sunday, Apr 8 2007 10:40 PM
A drowning outside of Delano was being investigated by the Sheriff's Department Sunday.
A teen drowned at the north end of Lake Woollomes, according to a Kern County coroner's office news release.
The 15-year-old boy, identified as Jose Angel Cuella Martinez of McFarland, disappeared below the surface of the water at about 12:15 p.m., the news release said.
Bystanders and family members searched for the boy but couldn't find him, the news release said.
Search and Rescue divers arrived at 1:50 p.m. and in about 10 minutes discovered the body 15 to 20 feet from the shore. Medical staff at the scene were unable to revive him, the news release said.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

All That Happened at the 53rd Family Reunion

Great! Fantastic! Amazing! Just a few words that were used to describe our 53rd Family Reunion that happened this week-end. To get the party started, Saturday night was a concert that featured the releases of my new CD and Bryce's CD. After some praise and worship, I was introduced by my husband who bragged on me much more than I deserve. After singing five songs, Blake and I introduced Bryce. I first spoke and gave a brief history of Bryce's singing which began at five years of age singing the solo part of Isaac in an Easter musical, progressing to elementary school talent shows, runner-up in the 2005 Exalting Him National Talent Search, to the current time of his solo project. Then Blake took over and said, "He is also the guy that picks on me and torments me, but I will give him credit for teaching me how to play basketball. Would you please put your hands together for my big brother - BRYCE ALLARD!" Bryce brought the house down singing the first five cuts from his CD and I was the proud mom. He was followed by Tim Spell who gave us an amazing hour of his vocal abilites. Immediately following, was a wonderful reception which included four different salads, gourmet crackers, veggies, specialty cookies, mango-peach tea, and an assortment of fresh fruit complete with fresh strawberries and a chocolate fountain. There was a large board set-up where people could write congratulatory notes to Bryce, and then Bryce was presented with a Spumoni ice cream cake. He loves Spumoni ice cream and was so happily surprised. We had many guests, but topping the guest list for Bryce was his dear friend, Tyler Sullivan from Sacramento, California and Laura and Felicia Cardoza. Laura is the mom of one of Bryce's school mates, Chuck, from Kindergarten to sixth grade. Chuck wasn't able to attend, but his younger sister Felicia came with her mom. This was such a great surprise for Bryce and he had a great time visiting with them.
Sunday morning, Tyler sang "Play It Again." It was fantastic! He has also recently released a new CD. Of course, Tim Spell sang and then he preached an incredible message about The Good Samaritan. He spoke of how the thieves were communist, socialist, and marxist, and the priest and levite were capitolists. His sermon also instructed people to suppress prejudice. It was just an outstanding message. After a fabulous lunch at P.F. Chang's, we returned to the evening service. Again, Tyler sang and Tim Spell sang and preached. His message was about spiritual dehydration and hunger. I won't take the time to give you the whole thought, but it was awesome. The snapshots are, Bryn and Spell, Bryce, Blake and Spell, and Bryce and Tyler.
It was such a happy time, but I am now completely exhausted and hear my pillow calling my name.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Family Reunion

Tonight is the kick-off for our 53rd Family Reunion. That is, church family. Several years ago, we decided to change our church anniversary services to Family Reunion. This gives us the opportunity to invite anyone who has been connected to the church but for some reason may not still attend. Family Reunion has been quite successful and a great pleasure for the church. This week-end will feature the ministry of Timothy Spell, renowned singer and recording artist. There will be a reception following tonight's concert which gives everyone a chance to socialize. Wish you could all be here! I added a snapshot of Bryce and Tim Spell.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Color Is Beautiful

My friend Helen inspired me to post this. (Click on Helen's blog at right and read White Into Black. You might even want to read the comments.) I received this picture in an e-mail and thought you would enjoy it too. Just in case you can't read the quote on the picture it says, "Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable." The second picture is my little girl Bryn with my other "daughter" Mieshia. That snapshot was taken at Mieshia's wedding just before she left for her honeymoon to Spain. God's world is full of color and was created for our pleasure. I just can't understand people who hate the rainbow. People are exited over the new HDTV, but God had hi-definition a long time ago. Color is beautiful.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Well, some of you have bragged about your 10's of thousand hits on your blog, but I will humbly brag about reaching 5,000. LOL Thanks to all my friends for dropping by, leaving comments, and joining in my "conversations." I have only blogged less than four months, and it has been quite fun. You all keep teaching me cool things like slide shows and such. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Progress Report On Katelyn

This is a progress report about Katelyn. Several of you have e-mailed asking how her surgery went and how she is recovering. The surgery was successful and she is recovering nicely. She appeared to have a swollen and somewhat black eye for a few days, but it is greatly improved. Please keep her in your prayers. Her mother noticed a small bump on the top of the same eye and became worried that a "repeat" was occurring. This precious darling was dedicated to the Lord as an infant and we are trusting the Almighty God to keep her in His care and take care of her beautiful blue eyes. The snapshot was taken Easter Sunday morning at church. Isn't she a doll?!

Monday, April 9, 2007

You are cordially invited...

You are invited to our CD release concert. Click on poster to enlarge and read details.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter

I hope your day has been blessed with the presence of the risen King. We had a wonderful church service and Bryn and Blake received Easter eggs stuffed with chocolate from a senior lady who enjoys spoiling all the children. Although exhausted from a hard week of school and youth convention, Bryce did a wonderful job leading praise and worship this morning. The sun is shining, a breeze is blowing, and it is a great day to celebrate Christ's resurrection. Enjoy it with your loved ones.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Bryn and David

Bryn is still in love with David. (That should be said in a sing-song voice, Daaay-ved.) Last summer while traveling with the Western All-State Youth Choir, David Leonardo (a choir member) always took time to play with Bryn. His attention towards her, captured her everlasting love. She has an old, non-functioning cell phone that she uses to "call" David, and some of these "conversations" are hysterical. She couldn't wait to get to Youth Convention because she would probably see David. Well, she did get to see him and even get another snapshot. It was the highlight of the conference for Bryn.

P.S. Ronda, you will have to let David know I posted this picture.

Sunday, April 1, 2007


To all my blogger friends - I will be away from my computer this week attending the Western District Youth Convention in Bakersfield, California. Bryce will be singing at this event and we will have a booth selling CD's. If you are in the area, drop by and see us. Hopefully, I will post again Friday evening, April 6.

P.S. Did anyone pull a good April Fool's joke today? Tell me about it. I enjoy the laugh. Blake told some friends we would be gone by May 1 because his dad was resigning the church. LOL I wonder how many people are thinking it is really true?!? It is an April Fool's joke.

Courtesy, Manners, and Such

Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing, and conveys much.- Erastus Wiman

Do you ever wonder where respect has gone? Whenever I travel across the USA, I am still amazed when I encounter "southern hospitality" and good manners. Living in California has its good points because of all the state has to offer, but there is something missing. Manners, respect, and genuine kindness. Yes, I know there are some good manners, but the majority lacks such qualities. In our house, we expect our children to say, "please," "thank-you," "excuse me," "Ma'am," and "Sir." The above quote caught my attention and caused me to think about courtesy. What's your take on this subject? Do you find courtesy, respect, kindness, and manners in the area you live? Recently, one of my friends had a baby and her mother came to visit from a mid-western state. Her mom was appalled at the lack of manners in our town. Of course, I was embarrassed and wondered, is there anything that can bring change? Is it a parent fault for not teaching manners, is it just society in general, or what? I wish courtesy was common.