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Billboard for God

Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! As I have been preparing for Christmas, I remembered I never finished and published this blog post from my birthday, and I felt it would be in order to release it before we celebrate Christmas Day and launch into the New Year.

I hope this happy little video entertains you and this write-up blesses you!

When I asked God on my birthday morning, August 11, 2022 (the day after my "Glendale Girls" party), if He had a “verse of the day” for me, He gave me Ephesians 4:8 —

“He led captivity captive and gave good gifts unto men.”

Is that not a perfect birthday verse!? A few things I’d like to say about it:

First, “He led captivity captive.” That is so powerful. He chained what chained me. He

defeated death — essentially putting death to death! He makes fear run away. He takes hold of what is wrongfully taking hold of me and brings me freedom. Hallelujah!

And then to expound upon the part about God giving good gifts, I must share the verse (and especially its Aramaic translation) that the Lord showed me before I went to my party:

3 John 6, according to the Aramaic commentary in The Passion Translation:

“You outfitted them like a ... billboard for God”


“The gifts you gave them made them an advertisement for God.”

That second translation especially — wow! I literally underlined it in my Bible and wrote next

to it, “wow!!”

“The gifts you gave them made them an advertisement for God.”

Do you ever read a particular Bible verse and feel super connected to it, even if you don’t know why? When I read that verse, I immediately felt very connected to it.

As it turns out, that verse was about to come true in my life.

At my party (and as I look back and tell the stories!) I feel like I get to be that billboard for God, with my “dresstimony” about my birthday dress from Christi Given, founder of The Holywood Network, and also with these other gifts that were direct responses from God to my prayer requests and the recent desires of my heart.

And it was a special treat for me because it tends to be a struggle for me to not write “no gifts” on an invitation, let alone think of things to say I want when people ask what to give me for any occasion! I never want people to feel pressured or obligated.

But Kelry Kirschenmann, program director for Hollywood Prayer Network, gently nudged me

out of that shell and encouraged me to allow people to give to me for my birthday, and it

turned out to be such a blessing — not just because “new stuff” but because I believe these

girls were being led by the Lord as they picked out these gifts for me.

Of course, their presence was their biggest “present,” as well as the way they prayed over me and worshipped God with me! But these gifts, I just have to share, because the stories behind them are too good!

I pray that the gifts God has given me — for my birthday and beyond — make me a billboard for His goodness and a walking, real-life advertisement for the Lord!

I remember praying in early 2019 that my life could be a display of God‘s goodness, and I see Him often bringing that answered prayer to fruition.

Really the only time that it isn’t made reality in my life is when I disobey (sorry!) and thereby fail to receive something He’s trying to give me, but the more I get to know God, the more I

see that at His core, who He is, is a giver. The more I recognize and remember that, the more open and even excited I am to do what He says, even if it sounds nonsensical or like it would

make me lose something I want. If He's causing me to lose something, He must be giving me something greater — He must! — because He is always a giver.

Jesus says in John 10:10,

"The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I come that they may have and enjoy abundant life to the full."

All the gifts I received for my birthday were blessings and so thoughtful, but I especially wanted to share about these items because they were either answers to prayer or the fulfillment of specific desires that had recently arisen within me.

And all of them are given to me by people who had no idea in the natural — based on human knowledge — that I particularly wanted that item. They just “happened” to give them to me, though I believe they were led by the Lord.

Two of the gifts I received upon arrival that really blessed me — a tiara, because I believe that all girls and women are created by God to be royal 👑, and birthdays are an excellent day to embrace that; and a bouquet of flowers, because I enjoy holding them in photos 🤪, because they can look great in a vase for days to come, and because they are an extra reminder that this day is special. 💐

The satin pillowcase — I’d been wanting a silk or satin pillowcase ever since I slept on one at Christi’s house the weekend before my birthday. (I had somewhat wanted one before, after being in a commercial for them, and then that desire was revived after enjoying sleeping on nice, slick yet soft material for three days straight.) I am enjoying sleeping on it nightly, and I definitely recommend getting one!

The lip masks — My lips were consistently chapped leading up to my birthday, and I had been wanting a good moisturizer for them. I had previously bought a lip moisturizer online that had good-sounding ingredients, but when I tried it out, it just felt (and tasted! And looked!) like white body lotion sitting on top of my lips. Not quite what I was going for. But these look great!

The hairline wrap — Okay, this is crazy. Literally *right* before my party where I

received this wrap, as I was getting ready and putting on my makeup, I thought, it sure would be nice to have some sort of headband that I could put on while I’m doing my

makeup so I wouldn’t get the make up onto my hairline.

Just a few hours later, I received that very thing!

Sans-makeup pic from me using it on set, just about to get ready.

Kelry, who gave it to me, was blown away to hear that. She actually gave me all the above three items (as well as my birthday crown and other gifts, plus she hosted and organized my

whole party!). She was delighted to hear how all her gifts blessed me, but she was blown

away by this one because my desire for it had come so recently to the moment that she

gave it to me.

Right when I was wanting it, she had already bought one for me!

I feel like that is so much how it is with the Lord — oftentimes, right when we are wanting or

needing something — an item, a healing, a breakthrough — he already has it “purchased” — bought by the blood of His Son.

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with

Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).

And He’ll bring it to us at the perfect timing.

As regular readers of this blog know, the dress was a very big answer to prayer. But also, the necklace was just the style I’d been wanting! (For the dress story, see

Another gift that has a special story behind it in a different way is a gift Joelle Monroy gave me — a book written by her godly grandfather who won thousands of souls to Christ. I also have a grandfather — technically grand father-in-law — who led thousands to Christ! "The Final Hours — It's Too Late to Wait," by Bill Phipps.

No wonder Joelle and I connect with each other so well — we both are getting to help

carry the mantle of our grandpas and do our best to carry on their legacies. Do you have a Godly grandparent? If so, I'd love to hear about it; please do share! We all ought to honor any godly people in our lineages — and do our best to carry on what they have lived out.

Joelle’s gran dpa, Bill Phipps, was president of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship

International chapter in Kansas City, and my grandfather-in-law, Tony Salerno, was a

founding member of FGBMFI’s Covina chapter, which was one of the first chapters outside the initial chapter in DTLA, as well as some other chapters, including one in Palm Springs. Furthermore, Tony’s testimony was featured in "The Voice," which is FGBMFI’s magazine.

So it is likely that our grandfathers knew each other! 😃

My grandfather-in-law, Papa Tony, also known as the O.G. Tony Salerno.

You can listen to his testimony here. Yay for Godly grandpas!

Also, I had just been wanting a cute desk décor piece, especially after seeing the cute décor at Christi’s house! (Her styling and decor consistently inspires me. You can check it out on her new blog, “Miss to Mrs.!”) In addition to he meaningful book, Joelle gave me this “THIS GIRL CAN” desk décor and the swirly pink painting behind them. I kept the painting on my desk until I recently switched to more Christmasy decor, but the "THIS GIRL CAN" stays.

May this be a message to you as well — whatever God has called you to, you can do it with His help. Through Christ in you,

“THIS GIRL (you) CAN.”

Joelle's grandfather ran businesses that functioned as ministries — saving, healing and delivering people who entered as customers — in and around Kansas City's Troost Avenue, an area that has been known for poverty, drugs and crime. Similar to her grandfather's calling, Joelle founded and leads Hope House of Prayer, a life-changing ministry on Skid Row in Los Angeles.

It's why she moved to LA from KC, and it's such a priority to her that when she met her future husband, Hector, even after a 10-hour phone conversation that led him to certainty that she was his future wife, Joelle was adamant that she needed to take him to Skid Row and see how he performed in serving the homeless.

Hector passed with flying colors, serving LA’s dirtiest and neediest with humility and grace. They married 3/20, based on Ephesians 3:20.

Isn’t God good!?

Joelle (center) and her now-husband, Hector (back center) with some of the Hope House of Prayer participants participants and volunteers present that day (you may recognize the one on the front left 😊).

I am about halfway through Joelle's grandpa's book, and I am really enjoying it so far! I especially appreciate the late Mr. Phipps' boldness and spiritual awareness to take authority in the Name of Jesus when people tried to rob him at his store.

This aligns with something God is currently teaching me through Kelry and the Bible — believers have authority and need to know it and exercise it, to receive back to us things that are lost or stolen and to make any environment under our jurisdiction look more and more like heaven.

I also am grateful for many other gifts given at my party, including some beautiful fancy silver earrings from the Abban sisters, Jennifer and Antoinette. The earrings were perfect because I had only one fancy silver earring (I had lost its mate). They also gave me as well as a fun little clutch purse! Thank you also to Kelry for some moisturizing face masks, candles and a vase of flowers in addition to the initial bouquet, and to Dehlia for some Scriptural gifties, a handmade card by her little girl and a gift card for a Christian tee!

Thank you, Jennifer and Antoinette! They are awesome women of faith from Ghana, Africa.

(My apologies if I am currently not remembering anything anyone gave; I really do appreciate it all!)

Also, I appreciated Anthony's and my worship teammate, Patti, bringing this balloon and bouquet to Mt Baldy Village Church on the Sunday after my birthday.

And big thanks to Ginia Choy, co-owner of Chala Handbags, for giving me this cute and useful tote bag (shown below) for my birthday. It is durable and delightful!

Thank you also to Christina So, a talented piano and viola teacher who wasn't able to make it to my party, for this lovely soap and Scripture set! What the soap does for our bodies, the Bible does for our minds (Ephesians 5:26)!

But some of the most valuable birthday gifts were intangible, including receiving prayer from my girlfriends; having worship time afterward at the hotel; and just simply having all of them come from their various locations across LA to celebrate with me.

Presence is a truly great present, and when those people present also help invite the presence of God —

now that is a gift greater than any earthly present.

Moving forward into others’ birthdays and into Christmas and other situations where I will be the giver rather than only the recipient, I prayed this little prayer. Maybe you want to pray it along with me:

Lord, please help me give people gifts that make them billboards for You!

Let’s be that walking advertisement for God everywhere we go, clothed in His love, joy and


And let’s help others be His billboards too.

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