Recently I have had the unique pleasure of watching a close friend’s son come close to being the next American Idol.
It’s Jonny Brenns if you are watching; as of now, he is in the top 14!
This experience of watching Jonny shine has been marinating my soul on many different levels for the past few weeks. I have never watched American Idol before. From where I stood, I only saw the harsh and unsupportive style of Simon Cowell, the originator of American Idol. He was well-known for dissing contestants and in my opinion possibly putting an end to their dreams and calling. I simply wasn’t interested in watching any human face such harsh discouragement.
What I am finding on this 2018 season is love, support, and encouragement from the judges.
I am seeing young people chase dreams and when they are not yet ready for full stardom they are encouraged to keep honing their skills and press onward.
I have never been star-struck. I have never been one to idolize stars as much as I have admired everyday people who make this world a better place. It was hilarious watching Katy Perry call my friend Lisa on national TV, before Lisa knew that her 18-year-old son had gone to Los Angeles for the American Idol tryouts. Though Lisa clearly thought she was being prank-called, until Lionel Ritchie started singing to her, I was wondering what the judges would think if they knew who they were talking to.
Many people in America now know who Jonny Brenns is. We have seen his gifts and talents displayed, but a lesser known fact is that many people worldwide know who his mother is. I am going to take the liberty and tell you who she is to me.
A beautiful woman who never has a hair out of place does not begin to describe the woman whom I believe will one day be canonized by the Catholic church.
Lisa grew up in a God-fearing Bible-believing home, watching her parents lead and develop Bible studies such as Community Bible Study.
Lisa was trained early on to be a speaker and leader in the church. The man God chose for Lisa must have come to a surprise to many that he was Catholic. Lisa was subsequently called to convert to Catholicism, and over the years her calling included bringing the Bible into the Catholic Church through contemporary studies for Catholic and Protestant women as well. Her renowned Bible study and her book Walking With Purpose has spread to parishes worldwide. I have even seen a picture of Pope Francis holding a copy of her book. Lisa received the National Award for Outstanding Catholic Leadership, in 2012.
I have watched the Bible Study Walking With Purpose grow from a dream to a reality. I have watched Lisa open her beautiful home and her heart to as many children as God would desire. Her seventh child bears my name, a real treasure in my heart. I have watched Lisa diligently pray, patiently wait and actively persevere through challenges. She has dedicated her gifts to touch lives around the globe for Christ.
What touches me the most about my friend Lisa is the way she courageously approached me in a season of life where I was in desperate pain, and I was on the verge of grotesque self-medicating with sin. My actions, had they not been intervened, would have brought incredible despair to many lives and very likely destroyed my call to ministry.
Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
Can you relate to a friend or an acquaintance who you know is not in the will of God?
I know I can. You see them making a huge mistake, but you think it best to “mind my own business and be there when they fall.” Lisa did not do that. I will never forget the Monday morning she called me and told me that in her quiet time, the Lord had led her to come alongside me and put an end to the self-medication that was becoming more important than anything else in my life. She lovingly called me out. Lisa made time to support me and that day was one of the most important days of my life.
Katy Perry might be a superstar and an idol to many, but on the phone, on national Television, she was speaking to one of the biggest American Idols I know, Lisa Brenninkmeyer.
What about you, who has done something courageous in your life? Might you take a minute to let them know? How about someone who needs you to approach them courageously?
My desire is that sharing this story has inspired you on some level. I hope Katy Perry knows who she was on the phone with and feels a bit star struck herself. One day I will share with you the surprising story of how Katy Perry has inspired me in mothering, of all things, and in my career.
You don’t have to be famous to impact people. You just need to be prepared to hear God and willing to move when He says and where He says.
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If you are not a part of Charlotte’s Soul Private Facebook group, please be sure you join and tell your friends. It is a place where women are supporting one another and feeling safe to be authentic. It is a politic (or any other divisive thing) free zone. All females are welcome. I give a self-care talk every Monday at 8 PM, however next week it will be at 7 so I can watch American Idol live, I believe there will be voting. Also if you miss me live, you can always watch at your convenience.
I will be the Keynote speaker at the Celebrate Resilient Women event at All Saints Church here in Frederick on March 24, if you can make it, we’d love to see you there. Click here to download the flyer.
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If you don’t have Walking with Purpose at your parish you’ll want to look into bringing it, trust me.