Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ollie's First Trip to the Dog Park

Check out this quick video of Ollie's first trip to the Dog Park.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"If friends were flowers, I'd pick you"

I first met Monica around February 1999. I was working at First Bank & Trust in downtown San Jose. While working there, daily, I would see this "pentecostal" looking girl coming and going as if on her lunch break. One day I ran out of the bank, stopped her and asked her if she went to church. At the time she was attending East Valley Pentecostal Church.

We agreed to go to lunch since we worked so close together. After a few lunch dates our friendship seemed to just "click". She had no idea that at the time I had a secret crush on JW (that is another story in itself), nor that we had gone out years prior. At lunch one day we were talking about my lack of a love life. I think the conversation went something like this:
  • Me- "I am so depressed, I know that I am going to wind up an old maid"
  • Moni-"Don't be ridiculous!"
  • Me- "There are No guys at all at my church!"
  • Moni- "I have the perfect guy for you"
  • Me- "Who?"
  • Moni- "JW"
  • Me- "You have got to be kidding me, I have had a crush on him for months and have not told a soul!"
.......and thus began our friendship and Moni being known as the "Prophetess". I must admit that I took this as a confirmation that JW and I were somehow meant to be...

Looking back over the last 10 years (I cannot believe it has been that long) I am so thankful for her friendship. Besides my husband, Moni knows me better than anyone if you want the dirt on me, she is the one to go to....hahaha

She is someone that always tells me the truth about myself - even if it means I am wrong. She is the one I call when I am feeling like an emotional mess, and she always seems to say the right thing.

We have laughed together, cried together, shopped together (I had to throw that in), vacationed together.....and much, much more.

This month she is turning "21". In honor of her birthday I thought this tribute to her would be fitting.

I love you's to another 50 years of friendship!!!

"A friend is someone who knows
the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the
words." Unknown

Friday, April 3, 2009

A little about Jwest...

Alright, so The Westside Stories is not going to just be about Ministry involvement, but also to give you a little random insight into The West Family. Today's installment is my collection of ties. Not just any tie, but nice ties.
I have not bought many ties within the last 6 months. However, I have just started my bow tie collection. I am excited about the progress of this latest development.
In fact, it is my intention to spark the BOW TIE Revival in our Young Men's Tie Arsenal at the First Church. -JW

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Blue Bomber Story...

I came across this awesome picture from our Vacation Bible School last summer. This was an incredible event due to that fact that our Music Is For Kids Summer Program had taken a 2 year break. We felt to bring it back last year. The timing was perfect because we had just launched the Blue Bomber Crew and many of them were a part of The POWERLAB. It was a great event that rallied all of our children, as well as our Bus/Children's Workers together. What I remember so vividly the day of the POWERLAB Performance was not just the excitement of all the wacky hairstyles and bright colors, it was what happened that day.

It was that Sunday morning, that Doria Cruz, a mother of children that had been riding the Blue Bomber (since the first day we started the Bus Ministry) decided to make some changes in her life. She came that day and sat on the front row of the First Church. With tears streaming down her face, she watched as her kids were having a blast worshipping and singing. She had come to church that day to be baptized. She told me that she had been watching her kids come to our church for a while, and there was something that was pulling her to give her life over to God.

Since then, Sis Doria and her husband Ishmael have become some of the most faithful people at the First Church. I will not lie and say that it was been problem free journey for them, there has been a few bumps in the road, families have been separated, Kids put in Foster Homes across the city - but as I looked out in the congregation last Sunday At First Church Connect - I saw their whole family back together again.

I sat on the platform while Pastor Shoemake preached, tears running down my face as I watched this family worship the Lord together. It is incredible to watch this transformation taking place. Sis Doria is one of the first ladies to approach neighborhood moms and dads and tells them about the Lord and everything God has done for her. She is so funny too. She will walk up to some of the "hardest" young people and just tell them how it is - and how they need to surrender their lives to God. I love it.
There are great things to come from Ishmael and Doria. One day Ishmael and Doria will be route captains on the Blue Bomber Crew... just watch.
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