Do you ever find yourself in other peoples situations and find yourself giving some of the best advice and then think to yourself "Hmm, I should really practice what I preach". Well I feel like that has been happening to me a lot lately.

There have been a few incidents where I see myself in these people and what they're going through and I still find myself feeling like I'm the exception to the situation. Thinking that whatever it is that I'm going through is "different". Why? Who says it's different? Me? It most definitely doesn't sound any different, or look any different. So why do I feel like because it's me and because I'm going through the motions that it would be different.

I try to look at my situations from the outside and think to myself "If this wasn't me, what would I tell myself" half of the time I don't like my answer. I don't like my answer because it's most likely the correct one. When is it that I stop and say "Hey Brenda, it's ok to be wrong on this one". Just something to think about. What situation do you face that you feel you are the exception?

Fan Friday

Drum roll please.....

This week I chose none other than Chris Kretzu


I wanted to write about you because I know that life has been pretty crazy for you this past year. So many transitions and so many changes that have been happening and that are going happen. I chose you because you are one of the best examples at how God can turn some of what seem to be the worst situations into great ones. When I first heard that you and Es were moving to Iowa I had mixed emotions. Selfish emotions of losing two really great people in my life and also feeling extremly happy for you both.

God is definitely growing and using you for something so much bigger than I'm sure you've ever thought of. I know you've heard it all so I wont "preach" to you about how God does everything for a reason because I know we both strongly believe He does. But it really amazes me to see that through all of this craziness that God has really blessed you with a great position where you are free to be you and to continue growing and blessing people through your music.

I find it admireable that through everything that has happened that you still managed to get up every morning and make something of the day. That you continued fighting for yourself and for your family. That you didn't give up on being in ministry because you feel so strongly about where God has His call on your life. I am beyond excited to see how many more ways you are going to be blessed. I know you've blessed my life and for that I thank you. You're the big brother I never knew I always wanted ;)

P.S. Get your place ready for my visit next year!


Fan Friday

Today/Tonight's lucky winner: JOLENE CAMPBELL!

Where do I start with you? You're one of the most valuable people in my life. So much so that I don't just consider you my friend but I consider you my sister. You have such an amazing heart that it shines through you. You have the ability to make me laugh and cry all at the same time. You have this amazing energy about you that is contagious.

So much is changing and so much is coming. I know that God has so many amazing things in store for you that will blow your mind! The transitions may not be the best but the outcomes are what really matter. God's pushing you through some pretty crazy times and I have no doubt in my mind that you are going to come out stronger and with more clarity than you have ever had.

Thank you for being so supportive of me and my walk with God. Thank you for being the shoulder to lean on when things get crazy. I appreciate you more than you know and I am thankful to be able to call you my friend. Love you Jo Jo

P.S. Thank you for "family time" ;)



Flight 645

It's official. I've booked my flight to Philadelphia. Seriously, it may not seem like a big deal to anyone else but I've never booked my own flight before, I've never flown by myself either. All the times that I've ever flown anywhere the trips have been planned for me. Anyone that knows me well enough knows that I don't like to fly, I've gotten much better. I think eleven straight hours to London and then another eight to Africa broke me a tiny bit of the fear. Yes, I just name dropped.

I'm just excited to get out of California for a tiny bit. My goal is to go somewhere at least once a year if not more than that. So far I've been doing pretty well on that goal. This time last year I was in Florida, not exactly for the best reason. My grandpa passed away this month last year so it was definitely a family trip. But none the less it was good to see family that I hadn't seen in years.

This trip will be much different. I fly into Philly around 6 am and I'll be going straight to Broadstreet ministries where we will be working with homeless people. I love listening to their stories of how they got there and where they came from. It really just puts your life in perspective and really makes you reliaze how blessed you are and how there are too many people in the world that need help.

From there it's sightseeing and a Philly's baseball game! I love going to baseball games, it's one of the few places I can be loud and not get told to be quiet. It's the little things that make me happy. The next day we're heading out to NYC, heck yes! That will be a lot of sightseeing. I'm looking forward to taking tons of pictures. Should be a great time. I don't leave for another 5 weeks but I'm sure it'll fly by.

The big 25 is coming up in September... already planning my next adventure. Till next time.



Fan Friday

Today's lucky winner...

Lindsey Megan Price AKA Roomie #3

First of all. I love you dearly, seriously. I wanted to start by giving you props on how you manage to do to everything you do. I've watched you handle two jobs for the past few months and I'm always in awe at the fact that you just keep going and keep pushing forward. I know that you're searching right now for what you want to do in life and where you're going to be next year. I wanted to tell you that I fully 110% believe that you can do whatever YOU want to do.

I think it's fantastic that you want to go to school to make furniture and someday open your own coffee shop. How amazing would that be?! I would be your #1 customer. I love the fact that you're such a free spirit, I love that you can decide to move to Florida for school and just do it. I love that you have such a calming presence. I love that I almost never hear you speak negatively about anyone or anything. Thank you for being such a positive person.

I wanted to tell you that I think you're a beautiful human being with a sensitive heart and a love for God and his people. You're such a supportive friend and for that I thank you. I am blessed and privelaged to say that I share a home with you.

Love you Linds!

Analyze this...

I seriously think I have a problem... well more than one but that's not where I want to take this. I OVER analyze almost everything. Especially lately. I feel like everyday that goes by I'm trying to figure out what's going to happen next. I'm on a six month plan right now, well it's more of a 5 1/2 month plan now. I literally have a list of to do's from now until January.

And then something happened... I don't know if it was God saying "Hey Brenda, don't put me in a box k?" or if it was just me realizing that I can't have everything perfectly planned out. SO much can change from now until January, so much can happen TODAY! I guess I just need to realize that it's ok to have set goals and it's ok to have expectations but that I shouldn't be surprised if those things don't go the way I planned them to.

A LOT has happened in the past few days that is really making me think..."Is this really what I want?" I don't like that feeling... "confusion" I HATE it actually and I don't hate many things. Actually, it's not even a "Is this what I want?" because I know EXACTLY what I want I just dont know the who or the where or the when. Does that make sense?

I feel like I'm rambling and none of this makes sense but oddly I feel better just typing it out. So if it doesn't make sense to you I apologize. Can you see now how I over analyze?



Fan Friday

So I know I've been MIA on the last two "Fan Friday's" I'll chop it up to me being sick and incapable of blogging.

This week I chose Miss Alexandria Amador. For those of you who may not know her you should really get on it. She is by far one of my favorite students at South Hills and one of my favorite people in life. I feel I connect with her because we've been through similar things in life.

It hasn't been that long that you and I have known each other and even a shorter time of you and I getting to know each other but I feel like I've known you for years. I thank God for placing you in my life and I thank you for letting me be an influence and a voice in your life. You have such an amazing heart for God and His people, please don't ever loose sight of that. You have so many awesome things ahead of you. Already God has pushed you through some great things and some not so great things, but through all of it He has been there just like I will be. I can't wait to see the rest of what this world has to offer you. You are a very smart girl with so much promise. Set your sight on things above and you can never go wrong. Love you girl!!!

Brenda AKA "Mama Bear"



"Pending" for the past month and a half all I see when I check my time off request is "Pending" I have 3 different requests in right now.

Youth Summer Camp- First week of August

Philly/NYC- Middle of August

PASSION 2010- January 2010

I feel they are all equally important and I want to do ALL of them, only I'm stuck in this "Pending" mode because someone can't get their act together and give me a yes or a no. I don't ask for this much BUT if you read this... can you pray that God put me exactly where I need to be in any of these three. It would be fantastic if I could do all three but realistically with my luck I maybe get one of three.

Youth Summer Camp would be amazing! A whole week with some of my favorite students and a whole week of getting to know new ones! I missed our on Kids Camp, which I am still super bummed about. The kids and leaders are actually all up there right now, I hear nothing but great things so far. Hopefully next year I can go to that.

Philly/NYC... need I say more? Five days with some of the most amazing people I've ever met in a city I've never been. Bring on Lady Liberty and the city of Brotherly Love! I really hope I get to do this, It would be amazing to get a break from CA and get some time to relax and just have fun without worrying about all the things I've got going on down here. I've never been to either city so I look forward to new memories and taking TONS of pictures.

PASSION 2010... This one almost doesn't need an explination of why I want to go. I went to the last one they had and it was literally life changing. From what I hear the one in Atlanta is even more amazing than the one I went to. Thank you Kretzu for getting me to go last time. This would be awesome to get be able to go to "HOTlanta", especially now that I have friends from there that can hook Jolene and I up with a place to stay!

Anyways... These are the places on the calendar that will hopefully become a reality. I'm going wherever God approves. I just pray he approves them ;)

"Movin' on up, to the East Side!"

Last night was our South Hills Youth service. We have them every Tuesday night for the J. High and High School students. We used to meet in the "Kidzone" of our church building. I say "used" to because last night was a big step in the direction that we are heading. Last night we moved all of our students from the Kidzone to the main sanctuary where they have what the kids call "Big Church".

We moved because for the past month we had to keep adding chairs to the service because students keep coming. The past two weeks we had to pull chairs from the main building because we ran out! How amazing is that?! A couple months ago I remember vividly saying to P.Chris "We won't make it to September before switching over into the other room" sure enough, it's July and two months away from our RE:Launch. It's so exciting to see the students really living out what "church" is. Watching them care about someone other than themselves.

I can't tell you how fulfulling it is to watch these students grow up. I mean that in the spiritual, physical and emotional sense. I love that I get to pour into these people on a daily basis. I really feel like their my kids. If being a mom feels even a tenth as awesome as that then I really can't wait to have my own family with my own kids. What an amazing thing to be able to mold these young minds and really teach them about God and how we are to live our lives.

This ministry is blowing up just as predicted months ago. We are just barely getting our feet wet. We WILL reach the entire city, and this "church" that we call family will never be the same. I finally feel like I am a part of something meaningful. I thank God every day for not letting me give up when things got difficult, when I felt I wouldn't make it through the transitions and changes.

Until next time...