Faith


I have been teaching children’s ministry for over 20 years and in that time I have seen a lot of different curriculum and parenting resources.  These are the best five parenting books I’ve found to actually make a difference in our family. 1. 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change […]

Best 5 Parenting Books I’ve Ever Read


I spent the better part of the Summer working on Church projects, one of which was planning our first Community Carnival. I was inspired by Grace, a little girl in my Sunday School class who was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 4. She’s now 7 and healthy again […]

Hope Community Carnival


While we were in Hawaii, we had the good fortune of our flight being delayed on Sunday which allowed us the extra time to visit our sister church, Hope Chapel Honolulu, which is a recent church plant out of Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay, now called Anchor church.  Ralph Moore is […]

Hope Chapel Honolulu



Gentleness lessonWhen Luke’s school asked me to come and speak at their Chapel I was hesitant to agree because I was afraid of taking on yet another responsibility.  On top of that, the topic was “gentleness” and if you know me at all, “gentleness” is not exactly a word you’d […]

Gentleness


Although it’s three weeks late, I couldn’t not write a post about our Easter Celebration this year. Our theme was “The Case for The Resurrection” so I created a lesson which walked the kids through different evidences for Christ’s resurrection. (You can click here for the full lesson: Easter 2016 Case for […]

Easter 2016


Two years ago Jeff and I were in Scottsdale attending a wedding when we got the call from our dear friends that their 4 year old girl, Grace, had been diagnosed with Leukemia. My heart broke that day.   In tears, I prayed without ceasing that weekend but the road […]

Celebrating Grace



I’ve been thinking a lot about Winter lately probably because it’s been the coldest one I can remember having in Southern California for a very long time. The cold. The dark. The seemingly lifeless trees. I thought about how we used to store up for winter growing up. The provisions […]

Winter Fears


I have kept a prayer journal since I was 12 years old. Prayer is no secret formula, it’s nothing more than just talking to God.  So mostly my prayer journals are simple chats with Jesus.  It’s fantastic to look back over all those years of writings and see how my […]

How to Keep a Prayer Journal


My nickname at work is “Joy” because I jokingly say to my co workers that “I bring the joy” to the office by hosting a basket of candy and treats at my desk. Like everyone else though, I’ve experienced my fair share of pain too.  This season has been an […]

Joy to the World



Most of us can remember Bible stories from Sunday School lessons growing up, but how many of us have ever been shown how those stories are interconnected? That they are not just a collection of stories, but rather all part of one big story that God is telling.  A redemption […]

The Big God Story


Every October for the past 5 years we have participated in the annual Walk for Life to benefit Open Arms, our local crisis pregnancy clinic and resource center.  This year was challenging because Jeff was getting over a stomach virus and I woke up feeling sore all over but the three […]

Walk For Life 2015


Last weekend our church hosted the annual Purple Event, a celebration of life that brings awareness to domestic violence.  Being a survivor of domestic violence myself, this is a cause that has always been near and dear to my heart.  My late father was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was […]

Purple Event



I was diagnosed a few years ago with something called “Autonomic Neuropathy” which basically translates to a sensitive nervous system. It affects all of the things that your body does on auto-pilot, heart-rate, sweating, digestion, body temperature control, etc.  When you have neuropathy, it can send these otherwise automatic bodily […]

Never Alone


I have been to the Women of Faith conference a few times over their 20 year run, see last year’s post [here]. 2015 was their farewell tour and I really wanted my mom and sisters to be able to experience it before it was too late so last weekend we […]

Women of Faith Farewell


I’ve been making new habits lately.  New habits of gratitude, new habits of mindfulness and slowing time that way.  I’ve been trying to be in the moment, finding joy in the moments because life is comprised of little moments.  There have been lots of heavy things swirling around my life […]

Stress Rescue



It is incredibly humbling to meet one of your childhood heroes. Last week I met one of mine, Joni Eareckson Tada. I first heard of Joni’s story when I was 13 years old and my church showcased the movie about her life, “Joni”. When she was seventeen she dove off […]

Joni and Friends


A few weeks ago I stumbled upon the most beautiful blog, AHolyExperience.com.  Ann writes with such poetry,  her words are pure art.  I began reading her book this week, One Thousand Gifts, and in it she brings a fresh perspective on how to find joy in the midst of suffering.  […]

The Power of Gratitude


Stop Striving. That was the message from God on a busy September morning.  I had spent the last 6 months planning, preparing, away from home far too often and obsessing about balancing it all.  In reality it had been far longer than 6 months,  I had spent the last 40 […]

Be Still



We had our annual Hope Chapel Beach Day last weekend at Zuma Beach in Malibu.  Jeff hosted free surf lessons for everyone and it was a beautiful day.  Luke and I didn’t surf, he boogie boarded and I took photos but we had the most fun. {Jeff brought our collection […]

Church Beach Day


I don’t typically have to travel for work on the weekends, but once in a while like this past weekend I was away on a Sunday. I had planned to wake up in time to order room service and then head to the airport to go home to my boys, […]

Sunday Brunch with Purpose


On Saturday we were invited to a prayer vigil at Zuma Beach in Malibu for a 2-year-old girl named Bailey. Bailey was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer, a year ago and doctors had recently taken her off of all medication and said there was nothing further that […]

Pray For Bailey



While we were in Anaheim, we popped over to Downtown Disney between the conference sessions. We found ourselves at Ridemakerz, where Luke got to build a toy car from the ground up. He first chose the body style, then the wheels, rims and any fancy extras. We paid for all […]

RideMakerz


This year I was able to attend our Annual Foursquare Church Convention in Anaheim with Jeff and Luke and I took away so much from the conference. It was an amazing gift to be able to take a few days off from work to focus on God and hear from […]

Love Does


On my way to catch the train last week, I happened to walk by this church and the sign stopped me in my tracks. “Grace House” was written on the gate and a nearby sign said “we’re open. come in and pray”.  Of course I had to pop in for […]

Grace House



Every year at Easter I try to come up with a lesson for kids that brings the Bible to life in a special way. This year I put together a lesson on the eye-witness evidence of the Resurrection. It asked the questions “How do we know Jesus is Alive? Who […]

Resurrection Sunday Lesson


I found this amazing idea on Pinterest called “You’ve Been Egged”. I stumbled across [this blog post] by Jaqueline Rizo of Living A Redeemed Life and thought it would be much more fun to invite our neighbors to our Easter service & egg hunt this way than through a traditional flyer!   Luke even […]

You’ve Been Egged!


I had the privilege of meeting [Jill Stanek] last week at the annual [Open Arms] banquet, a local pregnancy clinic that I support which offers free counseling and ultrasounds to women in crisis pregnancy situations.  When I heard Jill’s story, I was amazed at her courage. She risked her job, her […]

Open Arms Charity Banquet



Luke’s school always amazes me the way they honor people. Each year they take a special Chapel service to honor Grandparents. This year was a 50’s Sock Hop theme, which had kids whizzing around the sanctuary on roller skates in poodle skirt and twirling hoola hoops. Luke has a very […]

Grandparents Day


Do you ever feel like you spend more time planning your future than you spend living your present? This is my constant struggle. Part of it is due to my nature (I plan everything), part of it is due to my job of being a parent (parents need to be […]

Forward Thinking


The Church world is a bit upside down right now around this issue of “Missional Community”.  It’s the idea that the collective body of Christ, “The Church” should be focused on the lives of those around them as if that were their mission.  As if they had been “sent” by […]

Missional Community



On day two of my best friend’s birthday celebration, we headed out to Malibu for a tour down memory lane where our friendship all began 23 years ago- [Pepperdine University]. It was so restorative to walk around and remember all the little things that bound us together so closely all […]

Memory Lane


Last week was our annual Week of Prayer at Hope Chapel where we gather nightly for seven days to pray and each night has a different focus.  It could not have come at a better time for me.  I didn’t know what was in store at the end of last […]

Week of Prayer


2014 was a beautiful year that flew by faster than I imagined. In reviewing my posts to round up the year’s best, I was reminded of how much we really did together this year, as a family, as a couple, as a church and as a company at AOL.  God’s grace […]

2014 Round-Up



Sunday was our big Christmas Service at Hope Chapel. Per our tradition, we sang Christmas Carols and heard the Christmas Story. In the afternoon, I led some of the children from our Family Ministry to a local nursing home where we dropped off child-made Christmas cards and homemade cookies to […]

Joy To The World


Last month Jeff and I began a newsletter series at our church called “Family Night” as a way to help equip parents with ideas on how to set aside one night a week to focus on experiencing God together with their kids. This month’s focus is on “Heart Metamorphosis”. We […]

Heart Metamorphosis


Last weekend we had the privilege of witnessing the wedding of a young man who grew up in our church. He was in my Sunday School as a kid and now runs the sound board for worship on Sundays. Jeff performed the ceremony and it was such a sweet wedding […]

Sweet Wedding



About a month ago Jeff and I decided that we needed to be more intentional about teaching Luke how to have a faith in God that can stand on its own.  We instituted what we have been calling “Family Night” where basically every Friday night we order pizza and read […]

Family Night


On Saturday we participated in the annual Walk for Life to benefit the [Open Arms] Pregnancy Center in Northridge. They are a non-profit organization committed to supporting women in crisis pregnancies and they offer everything from free ultrasounds to counseling to free diapers and baby clothing to those Moms struggling […]

Walk For Life 2014


What little girl didn’t want to be Wonder Woman when she grew up?  Actually, for me it was probably a tie between Wonder Woman and Daisy Duke, since Lynda Carter and Catherine Bach were both such beautiful women who were also smart and strong.   I had the privilege of growing up […]

Wonder Women



For the past few weeks I have been waking up in the night thinking about the concept of Identity, specifically what it means for us to have our identity in Christ. I put together this window display at our church as a reminder of the power of our identity. Identity is of […]

Identity in Christ


When we arrived for our church denomination’s regional Pastor’s Conference I was delighted to find that the guest speaker was Pastor Ralph Moore, founder of the Hope Chapel church movement and personal mentor to my husband.  Ralph spoke about how our actions, little though they may seem, will matter 100 […]

Legacy


Despite having the gift of Faith, I do not possess the most positive of attitudes.  I came across this article on Forbes which summarized the book [Positive Intelligence] and why only 20% of teams and individuals achieve their true potential.  In a nutshell, it is the negative “self talk” that goes on […]

Positive Intelligence



I attended the Women of Faith Conference in Anaheim this past weekend with my Family Ministry Team. I had not attended Women of Faith since before Luke was born, but remembered how impactful it was on my life at the time so I really wanted to share that experience with […]

Becoming Dauntless


Words have so much power. The power to build up, the power to tear down, the power to sustain and the power to propel forward. I believe in speaking life to people. By that I mean, speaking words that bring life. I practice this in the way I encourage my […]

Speak Life


Birthdays have always been one of my favorite things to look forward to. I remember the anticipation of turning 13, 16, 18, 21, 25 and 30. Since each of those particular ages held promises in our culture for what those years might bring that had not been possible the years […]

Pushing 40



I watched the [Fault in Our Stars] the other night, alone in my hotel room, and I cried so hard my heart hurt. I thought about my little 4-year-old friend Grace who has suffered so much this year with leukemia. I thought about my brother and the 10 years he’s […]

Waiting for You


In high school I remember combing through the AP Honors Summer Reading list with eager anticipation to decide which three books I would choose to read before school was back in session. Books like [Jane Eyre], [To Kill a Mockingbird] and [Anna Karenina] are just a few that I remember […]

Summer Reading List


Deep breaths. That is all I could think as I stepped into the air conditioned gondola to embark on our ride of the [Capital Wheel] at National Harbor. The ride operator smiled at us and closed the sliding doors shut. Immediately my heart began to race and I had to […]

Capital Ferris Wheel



Last week was really trying for me.  I came up against a lot of criticism from within my own family and within my own church family for this blog.  As I mentioned {here}, I do not fit neatly into any particular category and this sometimes disappoints people who expect me […]

Hearing God


I can remember my mother emphasizing modesty growing up. She did so in a way that was a bit unconventional in that she sat me down and explained that men were visual beings and how the sight of a woman’s body could have actual physical effects on a man. I […]

Modest Summer Swimsuit


Yesterday I was able to visit my little friend Grace at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. You may remember {this post} from when I found out she was diagnosed with Luekemia earlier this year.  Since then she has been fighting ALL like a ninja princess.   She has come through so much […]

Ninja Princess



If you have not seen the movie or read the book, {Divergent}, I urge you to. It is a story of courage in the midst of fear.  In it, the protagonist, Tris, has to face choosing which group will define her in society for the rest of her life.  Which […]

Divergent


Life is messy. Things don’t always go the way we planned and sometimes they go very wrong. We forget that life is even messy for kids.  The children in my Sunday School class come from all different backgrounds.  Some are homeless at the moment, others have just come out of […]

Sunday School Lesson- Testimony Power


AOL owns the Huffington Post so I had the unique privilege of being invited to host clients last week at an intimate event with Arianna Huffington where she was talking about her new book, Thrive. I found the focus of her talk and of her book very interesting because it […]

A Night With Arianna Huffington



The greatest thing about God’s story is His promise to send a rescuer.  A Messiah, one who would through Israel, the people chosen of God to deliver His rescue plan to the world, come to fulfill the law and allow himself to be delivered up as a sacrifice. The one […]

Sunday School Lesson- The Messiah


A few weeks ago, one of the baseball Dads in Luke’s little league came down with Strep throat. It quickly led to pneumonia and he passed away very suddenly.  He was young and left behind a wife and two young children. It was so sad.  Last Saturday, Luke’s team played […]

VCAA Baseball


I remember hearing Bible stories when I was a child but it wasn’t until I was nearly through my twenties that I really started to understand how all those stories fit together to make a beautiful tapestry of God’s plan for the world.  I am really excited to be teaching […]

Sunday School Lesson- The Complete Picture



It is often hard to understand why God chooses to do what he does when He decides to do it, but this week I taught my Sunday School class about the concept of the “fullness of time”.  It’s the idea that God orchestrates situations and works everything together ultimately for […]

Sunday School Lesson- The Fullness Of Time


One of the most exciting things to me about being a Children’s Ministry Director at Easter is that I get the unique opportunity to tell the Gospel story to those who are hearing it for the very first time.  I always try to make the lessons interactive and interesting for […]

Sermon Sunday- He Is Risen


Jeff’s sermon this Sunday, the second part of his “On a Mission” series, focused on God’s mission. That mission is to rescue people and ultimately renew all of creation that they may enjoy His presence and live the way He intended from the beginning.  Jeff focused on three motivations people […]

Sermon Sunday- God’s Mission



Jeff started a new sermon series this week titled “On a Mission”. It seeks to answer the question of why we do what we do as the church. This week he explained the overarching message of the Bible. That the Bible is not one book, it is 66 books. Written […]

Sermon Sunday- One Story


We went to the see NOAH as a family on Friday night. I was so excited to see it because the previews looked like they captured the Bible story in such an epic way but I was so disappointed.  The only thing epic about the movie was its distance from […]

Sunday School Lesson- Noah’s Ark


Jeff completed his “Off the Wall” series Sunday with LEAD Courageously.  You can listen to the sermon [here]. It was such an encouraging sermon for me personally because I so often feel as if I am not really doing anything for God with my life because I am not in […]

Sunday Sermon-LEAD



Last Friday Jeff and I attended the annual fundraiser for Open Arms, a local crisis pregnancy resource center near CSUN that we support.  The speaker was Melissa Ohden, a survivor of a failed saline infusion abortion. In 8th grade I wrote a report on abortion, the different types available as […]

Open Arms


This week I taught a Sunday School lesson on bragging. We live in a culture where self promotion and bragging abound within social media and children today are more susceptible to this pitfall than ever before. At the root of boasting is a desire to be thought well of by […]

Sunday School Lesson- Kids Decorated


Jeff’s “Off the Wall” sermon series continued yesterday with Live. You can listen to the full sermon here.  It was all about what it means to live abundantly as Jesus promised when He said “I came that you might have life and life more abundantly”.   In short, to live […]

Sunday Sermon- LIVE



This Sunday we had a guest preacher from Liberia, Joshua Nador, who is pursuing his Doctorate degree in Missiology, the study of God’s mission to reach people throughout the ages.  It was a fascinating message to me because it drew on the parallels between David’s Tabernacle, the original place set […]

Sermon Sunday- Pierced Ears


This week Jeff continued his series (introduced here) of taking our words “Off the Wall” and bringing them to life. This week’s sermon was about what it means to Learn continually. It was all about how we are transformed by the scriptures, the Holy Spirit and each other. Disciple means […]

Sunday Sermon- Learn


At Hope Chapel, we are all about the mission of “Helping People Follow Jesus”.  We focus that mission through four core values which are painted on the wall on the front our our building (Love, Learn, Live, Lead).  Yesterday, Jeff started a sermon series titled “Off the Wall“ which references taking […]

Sunday Sermon Love



Every year our church hosts a “Week of Prayer” where we get back to basics and nightly gather together to seek God for our families, our neighbors, our community, our nation and our world. Each night has a different focus. One of the nights Jeff handed out 4 playing cards […]

Week of Prayer


Last week I was able to take a day and volunteer with Luke’s school at the Children’s Hunger Fund in Sylmar, CA. This is such an amazing organization. They recently passed the milestone of giving away $1Billion in aid, yet their entire organization only has 50 employees! They ship food […]

Children’s Hunger Fund


Luke’s 1st Grade class acted out the story of Noah’s Ark for their elementary school last week. Luke was one of the wicked people. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it into the ark. It was amazing to see these little ones bring the story to life. {Luke and his wicked friends […]

Noah’s Ark



As a Pastor’s wife I witness so much pain. People’s marriages crumbling, their health failing, death of loved ones, abuse, loss of jobs, loss of homes, the list goes on. I am accustomed to getting calls with bad news because I am often called upon to pray for people in […]

Grace


Jesus said “I am the light of the world”.  It’s so fitting that the entire world would light up with twinkling lights at Christmas time.  To me, all the lights are a subtle and beautiful reminder of the light that Christ brings to the world.  To our lives. To our […]

The Light of The World


As I look back on life this year, I have so much to be thankful for. My husband is home and recovering from pneumonia. My own health is strong, as is my son’s. My brother has healed from his terrible two story fall earlier this year. I have a job […]

Thankful



Samaritan’s Purse is one of my favorite charities. They are one of the first responders when catastrophe hits, offering emergency rescue, recovery and hope to hurting people around the world. Even now they have efforts under way in the Philippines and you can donate here to help the victims of […]

Operation Christmas Child


Luke and I sat down to write his letter to Santa last weekend and used this free printable from Alpha Mom.  It was an interesting exercise because he started out by searching google for all the toys he wanted, but when he realized he could only fit so many toys […]

Dear Santa


Sometimes we can be going along in life just fine and all of a sudden something happens to us that makes us stop and remember just how fragile our lives really are. This weekend was one of those reminders. What started out as Strep Throat turned into Pneumonia and landed […]

ER



Saturday we participated in the Walk For Life for the Pregnancy Resource Center, now renamed Open Arms Clinic and relocated adjacent to the CSUN campus.  I love this organization so much because they offer hope to women in crisis pregnancy situations who feel like Abortion is their only option.  I […]

Walk For Life 2013


I recently had lunch with a woman in our church who shares my love for poetry. She asked me if I would like to share some of my poetry with her and I consented even though I hadn’t written any substantial poems in about 13 years. In our time of […]

Food for the Soul


Dr. Michael Frost, an Australian Author, Pastor and Professor spoke at our Pastor’s conference about the idea of living your life on mission. The mission being to live our lives in such a way that allows people to experience reconciliation, justice, beauty and healing.  I thought about this in light of […]

Missional Life



Despite the amount of travel that I do, I get anxiety every time I have to fly. Last week’s trip to San Francisco was my first flight alone in a good while but I followed my standard regimen for calming my nerves, sans alcohol, and made it through feeling really […]

Anxiety Free Travel


I celebrated another year of health and strength this weekend and stopping to reflect on God’s grace in my life, I was overcome by emotion. I do not fit the mold of a Pastor’s Wife, and yet I am blessed to have the most wonderful husband and be able to […]

Birthday Weekend


Last week we had the privilege of hosting missionary & evangelist Greg Mead and his son in our home. Greg is strength personified, yet he humbles himself to share the love of Christ with anyone who will listen. That included hundreds who showed up for our church’s community outreach on […]

Breaking Bad



It’s such a blessing to be able to spend Saturday afternoons with my brother.  He’s well on his road to recovery and last Saturday he managed to have a gift waiting for Luke- new Power Rangers.  Luke was stoked.  I was happy to witness another evidence of God’s grace in […]

Brotherly Love


VBS, aka Vacation Bible School, has been a wonderful tradition in my life since I first experienced it as a youth helper at the age of 13.  It’s a daytime or evening camp for kids that usually lasts 2-3 hours and serves to teach children principles from the Bible through […]

VBS Son West Roundup


A young lady in our church gave birth to her baby boy last November. All signs up to the birth pointed to a healthy baby, but unfortunately he was born without his lungs fully developed, completely unable to breathe on his own. Our church began to pray. The doctors told […]

Baby Eliu



Tonight we were part of the prayer vigil for Ye Mingyuan and Wang Linjia, the two 16-year-old girls from China who were lost in the tragic plane crash into SFO last Saturday. They were two of thirty five children aboard who were headed to West Valley Christian, Luke’s school, for […]

SFO Tragedy Prayer Vigil


I have had a heart for children since I was a child. I can remember in 3rd grade coming home from Catholic school with a little cardboard box, in the shape of a church, with a slit in the top to collect coins for the starving children in Ethiopia. I […]

Child Sponsorship


Being that my husband is a Pastor, we don’t often get to visit other Sunday services except when we’re on vacation. While we were in NY, we visited the Brooklyn Tabernacle. Their commitment to prayer and their heart for the people of Brooklyn is legendary in Christian circles. It is […]

Brooklyn Tabernacle



Many of the children in my Sunday School class do not have their Fathers at home. Some have had to flee abusive Fathers, other Fathers are absent because of military station overseas or divorce. This makes Father’s Day especially painful for them, so rather than focus on crafts and ideas […]

Heavenly Father’s Day Lesson


Three months ago when I got the call that my brother had fallen from the hospital roof (two stories) and shattered both wrists, broken his pelvis, and fractured his face I could hardly contain my emotion.  Fear and sadness gripped my soul.  I cried out to God, whom the Bible […]

Hope Restored


Last weekend we hosted a mini retreat at my church to benefit a local battered women’s shelter. My prayer was to reach out to hurting women and provide a spiritual respite for them if only for a morning. That they might experience God. That they would know they are not […]

Women’s Mini Retreat



I love being married.  I often talk about how much I love it but there really is nothing better.  Jeff and I attended “The Art of Marriage” seminar at our church on Saturday. It was such a refreshing time together. The content was put together by the organization called Family […]

The Art of Marriage


There’s nothing quite as entertaining as watching my husband and son play together.   There is a unique manliness to their style of play that I could never replicate, mostly because I am much too concerned with getting hurt.  I think this is what makes it so fascinating to watch […]

Lawn Wrestling


On Mother’s Day I taught my Sunday School class on the importance of prayer. I explained that prayer is simply talking to God and we can talk to him anytime throughout our day. Our inspiration came from Daniel 6, where Daniel refused to stop praying even when faced with the […]

Mother’s Day 2013



God has blessed me so much more beyond what I ever imagined was possible. The chiefest of those blessings being my immediate family but beyond that he has blessed me with a few lifelong friends, and through two of them I have the privilege of having God Children. Each of […]

God Children


As the Director of Children’s Ministry for my church, I have the exquisite pleasure of teaching the Bible to children on a regular basis. This year, I created an Easter Discovery Walk out of the acronym “EASTER” to take children through the story of the gospel from the very beginning, […]

EASTER


Last Saturday my church once again had the privilege of serving our local community on Cohasset Street. We fired up the pancake grills, filled the pinatas and took to the streets cleaning up trash. We’ve found these free neighborhood pancake breakfasts to be such an amazing time connecting with the […]

Backpacks of Love



Two years ago, I was blessed to be introduced to the teachings of one of the greatest female spiritual leaders of our day, Kay Arthur. Kay has an amazing story of how Jesus Christ brought her through divorce and the suicide of her ex-husband to a completely new life, found […]

Kay Arthur on Ephesians


My sister-in-law who has been battling colorectal cancer with such grace since 2010 received the news on Monday that there is no longer any trace of cancer in her liver or her pelvis! I had announced here that we were praying for her because the cancer had spread to her […]

Miracle Monday


We spent Martin Luther King day in Malibu. We tried to really focus on each other and made an effort to guard our time as a family. No computers, no phone calls, just the three of us. After grabbing lunch at Marmalade, one of our old haunts in Calabasas, we […]

Sweet Afternoon



One of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2013 is to seek God more in my daily life.  What I mean by that is to be more intentional about focusing my thoughts on Him and really committing “my” time to Him.  When you think about it, time does not belong to us […]

Seeking God


It’s been an incredibly full year. We traveled to the Mountains and the Sea from Malibu to Park City to Miami to Charleston to Jerusalem to NYC to San Francisco to Austin to San Diego to Napa to Palm Springs. We witnessed God’s hand in our community. We celebrated a […]

2012 Roundup


The word “Christmas” literally means “Christ’s Mass”, an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus.  According to Luke 2:10, on the night Jesus was born, the angel who appeared to the shepherds in the field said “Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all […]

Merry Christmas



Last Christmas my church, Hope Chapel of the Valley, launched “Project Hope“, a short term local mission to serve over 50 homeless families at Limerick Elementary School in Winnetka.  This year the school asked if we could do it again and once again the community rallied around the event with […]

Project Hope Take Two


That song has special meaning for me because starting in about the 3rd grade I became obsessed with my two front teeth. I had a space wide enough to stick my tongue through. I desperately yearned for braces. Around 7th grade my Mom finally said, “I’m sorry but if you […]

All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth


Our normal Christmas tradition is to get the tree the day after Thanksgiving and decorate it Thanksgiving weekend.  This year the time got away from us so we just got around to the tree trimming festivities last weekend.  Christmas music from the likes of Amy Grant, the Chipmunks and Faith […]

Trimming the Tree



One year ago marked my very first post on this little lifestyle blog. It was a personal story of how God intervened and healed my sister-in-law from the threat of sepsis after her year-long battle with colorectal cancer.  Last week, nearly a year to the day, we got another call […]

His Eye is on the Sparrow


Last weekend we hosted our 4th free pancake breakfast for the community of Cohasset Street. This time, in addition to pancakes and pinatas, we set up a stage and brought in world-renown evangelist, Greg Mead, to share Christ’s love. Greg’s story is amazing. Beaten and abused by his stepfather from […]

Street Evangelism


My husband is a Pastor of a Foursquare Church in Los Angeles so I knew ahead of time that Kathy Lee Gifford had written a play on the life of our church founder, Aimee Semple McPherson, based on the book This is That, but I didn’t know when it would come to NY.  I so hoped […]

Scandalous



Today marks the second Election Day in the past decade that I will have spent on a plane but Godwilling I will get to take in all the excitement of the final hours from a restaurant in NYC.  A true patriot at heart, I am moved with emotion whenever I think about […]

I voted for Mitt


Acting was one of my passions in younger years, starting with the 8th grade production of The Ghosts of Benjamin Scrimp, followed by a spoof of Indiana Jones called Hurricane Smith and the Garden of the Golden Monkey, and later as Maid Marion in Robin Hood.   I found much […]

Peter Pan


This was my second year running the 5K at Hansen Dam for the Pregnancy Resource Center of the San Fernando Valley.  It is an organization near and dear to my heart that offers counseling and support for women in crisis pregnancy situations.  I ran my first (and only) marathon when […]

Run For Life



The weekend was really full.  On Saturday our Church hosted another free pancake breakfast for Cohasset Street and close to 400 people showed up. We flipped about 1,500 pancakes and had a great time serving the community.  Then we headed to my Step Daughter’s house for a Birthday Barbecue for Jeff. […]

The Weekend


Glenn Beck hosted the third installment of his restorative series, “Restoring Love”, for over 40,000 people in Texas this Summer.  Quoting the Gettysburg Address, he reminded all Americans to commit that these men who died would not have died in vain, with malice toward none and charity toward all.  “For […]

The Third Great Awakening


Last November marked the 93rd birthday of one of the world’s greatest men.  The Reverend Billy Graham is one of the few high profile men of integrity of our time.   His ability to uphold this integrity throughout his lifetime is amazing.  If he were to be reading this post I’m […]

The Reverend Graham



Hope Chapel began in Hermosa Beach, CA  in 1971 and was one of the first churches that welcomed surfers just as they were, barefoot, long-haired, rough around the edges.  My husband was one of such surfers, living in Manhattan Beach at the time who wandered into the church and soon […]

Surf Baptisms


I married my prince charming in a little stained glass chapel on a hill, overlooking the Pacific.  It was without a doubt a true marker in my life.  One of those things you can point to and say “that day changed everything”.   I have many of those markers along my […]

9 Years Ago Today…


Riding home on Saturday I just happened to look up at the sky and saw this beautiful etching of “LOVE” in the air.   The word just hung there requiring nothing, bringing such joy to our faces as we turned down our street.  Sometimes we forget the inspiration that can […]

Love In The Air



Once upon a time the San Fernando Valley was covered with beautiful orange groves-  See Orcutt Ranch.  Today it is a bustling suburban community.  If it were one city, its population would be 1.75 Million, over half the size of Los Angeles. The commute time of valley residents is 13% longer […]

Orange Line Dedication


Our church likens itself to a spiritual hospital- a place where people can come and be accepted just as they are, often spiritually hurting, and find healing.  We also believe that the church exists for the world, not to be shut out from the world, so we look for practical […]

God’s Love


Few things in life bring me more joy than children.  This Easter Weekend our church hosted a pancake breakfast for a local neighborhood, constructed a life-size Tomb and hosted a massive Easter Egg Hunt for the kids.  That meant my weekend was filled with much joy.  Hope yours was happy! […]

Easter Weekend



Good Friday.  A special day to remember that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.  God became flesh and bore our punishment.  The Bible says the punishment inflicted on Jesus was so great that you could not even recognize Him as a man.  They pulled His beard from His […]

Good Friday


I first read the Bible from cover to cover when I was 12 years old.  Since then it has been a dream of mine to visit Israel to see where it all unfolded.  Last week my husband and I had the privilege of accompanying Pastor Jim Tolle, of the Church […]

Israel


I started this blog, in part, as a way to bridge my two worlds.  The world of advertising which is governed by deadlines, revenue and a fast paced lifestyle with the world of ministry which is ruled by patience, generosity and peace.   One of the ways I stay grounded is […]

Quiet Time



Sunday’s sermon featured a special guest speaker by the name of Chuck Girard.  Chuck was one of the original hippies who became part of a movement in the 60’s-70’s known as the “Jesus People Movement”.  His group “Love Song” was one of the bands that pioneered Christian Rock.  Now 40 […]

Sunday Sermon: “Welcome Back”


The Winnetka City Council brought it to my Pastor husband’s attention that there were 52 kids at Limerick Elementary School whose families had lost their homes in the foreclosure crisis and were currently living out of their cars or in garages or in one room with extended family members.  One […]

Project Hope


Last Sunday a Jewish woman by the name of Sally Klein O’Connor came to my Church and shared her story.  It was so moving to me that I’m still thinking about it 4 days later.  When she was 8 years old she moved from the Westside of LA to the Valley.  One day […]

Pure Grace



My husband and I ventured to Walmart for our Christmas Tree hunt this year.  We chose our tree in about 10 seconds flat.  He went to pay for it while I was picked out sparkly things (see above photo).  After being gone quite some time he returned with this beautiful […]

Graceful Giving


Around 7pm last night we received a phone call that my husband’s sister (who has been battling colorectal cancer since last Christmas) was being rushed to the emergency room in excruciating pain with a fever of 103.7.  The feeling of helplessness when one of your loved ones is in distress […]

Our Thanksgiving Miracle