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“How Will I Know?”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Whitney Houston asked the question, “How will I know … How, will I know if he really loves me… I say a prayer with every heart beat…  I fall in love whenever we meet… I’m asking you what you know about these things… How will I know if he’s thinking of me…? Falling in love is so bitter sweet… How will I know?”

How do we know when someone really cares about us? How do we know if someone loves us? There are a lot of things that we can do to show others that we care for them.  But the ultimate expression of care and love takes place when somebody sacrifices a part of themselves or all of themselves for you. Jesus put it this way, “Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Ah, this is good… {John 15:13}. When somebody does something like that there can absolutely be no doubt in your mind they care for you, they love you!  I want you to know that the Cross is God’s exclamation point! The Cross is the exclamation point at the end of a sentence in which God is screaming, “I love you and I’ll do whatever it takes to get your attention.” Hear me and hear me good… God paid an unbelievable price to send an unbelievable message.  Inseparable love {Romans 8: 35-38} who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  When God wanted to demonstrate His love for us, He did it on a much higher level. He was willing to risk our rejection by first being honest about our behavior.   And even though we have messed things up with Him through our actions and sin, He continues to stand by us…  If there is any doubt in your mind that God is interested in you; if there is any doubt in your mind if God loves you, please look again at the Cross. For it is good to look through history and see how God, time and time again, demonstrates His love for us.  Sometimes it is almost as if He is shouting, “I LOVE YOU!”  But do you hear Him?

In Luke chapter 2 verses 8-14 it tells us that there was “a shout of love in a dark night!” This is one of the texts that some of you need to hear today.   It should help you be reminded that God loves you, because ‘this shout in the dark of night’ sets the stage for how we can understand God’s interest and love for us. The angels were proclaiming God’s wonderful plan and praising His name as He began to demonstrate His love for us through His One and Only Son Jesus… Can you hear it…?  “I have sent my Son, He is here for you, and I love you that much.” Knowing the intensity of this, never wonder again if you are loved.  God loves you to the point he sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus to be the perfect sacrifice for all your sins and mine. I don’t know whether you remember or not, but in Malachi 1:2 Jesus had a complaint against us too. He said, “So you want to complain, you want to know if I love you, well let me tell you something, I got a complaint against you too. I have loved you deeply, but you got the nerves to ask Me, wherein have I loved you… Really!  My answer… The Cross… Now what have you done for me lately? I can’t hear you…. What you say…. That’s what I thought… Never question whether I love you again! {Paraphrased by me}

Now I know that sometimes life’s circumstances don’t seem fair. That’s when it’s easy to start to doubt God’s love for you. Moments of disappointments, fear, frustration, struggle, and uncertainty can make you feel that God has failed you. In reality, God knows what you need, and has everything under His control. He may have a different time, place, process, or way to move you through life that you may not have expected, but it doesn’t mean He doesn’t love you. I tell you, we need to come up with a different definition of God’s love. We need one that is not so narrow as to suggest that the only true love from God is that which makes us happy. We need to see the boarder perspective, from God’s view, where the ultimate sign of love does not have to do with this life, but with the life to come. This perspective lets us see suffering of this life in a different perspective {Romans 5:3-5}. Don’t allow Satan to distort God’s love for you. There is nothing like the love of God! It is the most overwhelming thing I have ever encountered in my life. It is the greatest thing God ever did for any of us! You should be shouting right now for God’s overwhelming love! There is no greater love than the love that God has for you.  Will you believe it?  Will you accept it?  Will you live through it? I want you to know that God’s love is such that it cannot be comprehended through the mortal and corruptible mind of man. It must be spiritually conveyed. My question for you today is simple, it is not,   “What if God loves you?” but, “What if you believe, really believe it?” You see no matter how much God loves you and no matter how much He does for you, you must accept the truth of that love and accept His son Jesus as your Savior and Lord. I will say it one more time, God loves you!  We need to be reminded of what God did — more than anything else — even as He could smell the stink of sin all over us, He allowed His perfect Son to be sacrificed for us.  We are the reason Jesus died; we are the reason Jesus hung on the Cross.  Don’t question if God loves you. . , know that He was willing to send His Son Jesus to die for you while you were still in sin. We all play a part in the crucifixion of Jesus.  Each of us, because of our sin, led Him to be killed so that we could be forgiven. Oh, how He loves you and me, He gave His life, what more could He give.  I don’t know about you, but that sure does encourage my heart!  Jesus loves me this I know!


A Taste of Hollywood

staff photo

staff photo

sax player

sax player

RIVERSIDE, CA- On Saturday, May 16, the red carpet was rolled out for student artists who rocked the stage at the UCR Campus Theater in the much anticipated Changing Lives Showcase!

The red carpet extravaganza was presented by Music Changing Lives, (MCL) a non-profit music and art after-school program for at-risk children and youth, which works to inspire kids through performing arts programs to keep them focused on their education and their futures.

The evening was definitely a night to remember. As guests arrived, they walked on to the red carpet to have their photo taken, then were treated to delectable Hor D’oeurves and refreshments as they entered the theater. Then shortly after there was an incredibly entertaining show from students who set the bars high for talent in the Moreno Valley for the fourth year in a row.showcase - boys

Four schools from the Moreno Valley School District, where MCL offers its programs, brought their A-game to compete for the Bruny Awards.  Teens from Vista Del Lago High and Moreno Valley High battled it out, while younger students from Butterfield Elementary and Edgemont Elementary competed against each other.

Participants competed for the Bruny Award in four categories – Musical Instruments, Lyrical Performance, Band, and Visual Arts, while the schools competed for Overall Performance.  The fate of these talented kids rested in the hands of two celebrity guest judges, hip-hop artist L’Marco Smith and singer Joamber Armijo.

The competition was fierce, but in the end Butterfield Elementary beat Edgemont Elementary and Moreno Valley High triumphed over Vista Del Lago for the third year in a row! First place winner for the Bruny Award in Musical Instruments was Jose Davalos from MoVal High and Edgemont Piano Group: Albelina Perez, Pilar Ramirez, Carolina Cortez, Yoselinee Barajas and Isidro Quitnero.

showcase - butterfield studentIn the Lyrical Performance Jabri Baqvet from MoVal High and Jalie Leon from Butterfield reigned in first place.

Vista del Lago students: Fernando Barrera, Luke Bythe, Peter Bythe and Justin Allen dominated the Band category and took home the first place Bruny Award.

The very talented Sandy Calero from MoVal High and Maria Lomeli from Butterfield both took home first place in Visual Arts.

Every student who participated also was honored with a certificate from Senator Richard Roth’s office and Assemblymember Jose Medina for their dedication to make a difference in their community.

As students prepared to compete in the showcase they also managed to increase their school performance by volunteering for a minimum of five hours in their community.  Participants were instilled with the message, “Together we can be the change we would like to see in our community.”

The Changing Lives Showcase was sponsored by Music Changing Lives, MVUSD, Wells Fargo Foundation, UC Riverside, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Target, Edison International, Goliath Graffix and Clothes the Deal.

For more information about Music Changing Lives send an email to info@musicchanginglives.com or visit them on the web at www.musicchanginglives.org.

red carpet showcase

Dedication to Helping Others Highlighted at the Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County 50th Anniversary Gala

From left:  Dr. Joshua Beckley, CAPSBC Board Chairman, Julie Borlaug, Borlaug Institute of International Agriculture at Texas A&M; Patricia L. Nickols-Butler, CAPSBC Chief Executive Officer; Robert Lovingood, Vice-Chairman, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, First District; and James Ramos, Chairman, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, Third District.

From left: Dr. Joshua Beckley, CAPSBC Board Chairman, Julie Borlaug, Borlaug Institute of International Agriculture at Texas A&M; Patricia L. Nickols-Butler, CAPSBC Chief Executive Officer; Robert Lovingood, Vice-Chairman, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, First District; and James Ramos, Chairman, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, Third District.

Fanco Family

Fanco Family

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County (CAPSBC) held its 50th Anniversary Gala celebration on Friday, May 15, 2015 at the National Orange Show in San Bernardino.  The event was a celebration of five decades of helping low-income residents of San Bernardino County with quality programs designed to help eliminate poverty and empower people to achieve self-reliance and economic stability.

Those in attendance came out in support of CAPSBC and experienced an inspiring evening with a VIP Reception with music by Jazz saxophonist, Vaughn Fahie, an inspiring message from keynote speaker Julie Borlaug from the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M.  Event Masters of Ceremonies for the evening were James Ramos, Chairman, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, Third District and Robert Lovingood, Vice-Chairman, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, First District.

Frances Grice

Frances Grice

CEO Patricia Nickols-Butler welcomed attendees and stated, “Since 1965, Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County (CAPSBC) has worked diligently to improve communities and assist residents to achieve economic stability.  We ar­­e proud of our accomplishments and partnerships built over the years.  CAPSBC has created many wonderful community service programs that have had a great impact on the lives of those in need.   50 years ago, we began this ‘War on Poverty.’  Tonight we pledge to continue to do all we can to help our communities and assist our fellow residents in need.”

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Community Action Legacy Awards by the CAPSBC Board of Directors.  The Venny H. Newman Humanitarian Award was presented to Frances J. Grice outstanding efforts in fighting poverty in San Bernardino County.  Ms. Grice is a long-standing leading advocate for diversity, promoting civil rights and equal opportunity in education, employment, housing, and economic and community development.  She was a member of the San Bernardino grassroots organization known as The League of Mothers for whom diversity and economic opportunity was their mission.  Her work represents our local San Bernardino history in the national movement to address the poverty and its symptoms since the 1960’s.

The Spirit of Hope Achievement award was presented to Luis and Leticia Franco, successful graduates out of CAPSBC’s Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program.   Through IDA, the family was helped to navigate through the process of saving and buying their first home.  The family of five previously went through very difficult circumstances and were living in a converted garage sharing one set of bunk ­beds.   They spoke in jest about what an adventure it was and how the family really got to know each other during this time.

The Legislative Advocate Award was presented to Assemblymember Cheryl Brown for her dedication to community reform and improvement.  She is an active community leader and a small business champion.  She has worked with numerous community support groups and councils.   Ms. Brown generously presented CAPSBC with a donation of $3,000 in support of the agency’s programs and services.

Also receiving Community Action Legacy Award honors this year were:  Helping People, Changing Lives Award – Amazon; Community Partner Awards –  Kohl’s and Mitsubishi Cement Corporation; Spirit of Hope Achievement Awards – The Fellas and Generation Now.

Gala wide shot

Gala wide shot