Alton Brown: ‘Yes, I Am a Christian’ (Gospel Light Minute #247 with Daniel Whyte III)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 08: Alton Brown attends A Night With The Stars of Food Network at 79 Crosby Street on May 8, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jude Domski/WireImage)

He is a celebrity chef, bestselling author, actor, and TV personality. He is the mastermind and host of the television show, “Good Eats” on the Food Network. He also created the mini-series, “Feasting on Asphalt” and “Feasting on Waves.” And he is the host and primary commentator on “Iron Chef America.” His dedication, enthusiasm, and knowledge of food shine through on his shows and in his books. He is the author of seven books, including: “I’m Just Here for the Food” for which he won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Cookbook in the Reference category; and “Good Eats – Volumes 1, 2, and 3” each of which made the New York Times bestseller list. He was named “Cooking Teacher of the Year” by Bon Appétit magazine in 2004. And in 2011, he won the James Beard Award for Best TV Food Personality.

Continue reading “Alton Brown: ‘Yes, I Am a Christian’ (Gospel Light Minute #247 with Daniel Whyte III)”

Tori Kelly: ‘My Faith In Jesus Is Everything To Me’ (Gospel Light Minute #246)

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She is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. In 2004, she participated on America’s Most Talented Kids and won, beating out musician Hunter Hayes. She first gained national recognition after posting videos of herself singing on YouTube as a teenager, and after appearing as a semi-finalist on the ninth season of American Idol in 2010. After signing with Capitol Records in 2013, her debut studio album Unbreakable Smile, released in 2015, peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States with its lead single, “Nobody Love”, marking her first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She was subsequently nominated for Best New Artist at the 58th Grammy Awards, and voiced Meena in the animated film Sing. Her second studio album Hiding Place, released in 2018, peaked at number 35 on the Billboard 200 chart and garnered her two Grammy Awards, for Best Gospel Album and Best Gospel Performance/Song respectively. Though her career is still on the rise, she is already also winner of a BET Award, Billboard Music Award, Billboard Women in Music Award, Glamour Award, and GMA Dove Award among others.

Continue reading “Tori Kelly: ‘My Faith In Jesus Is Everything To Me’ (Gospel Light Minute #246)”

LISTEN: Novak Djokovic: ‘Before Being an Athlete, I am an Orthodox Christian’ (Gospel Light Minute #245)

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He is a Serbian professional tennis player who is currently ranked the No. 1 player in the world in men’s singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). To date, he has won 75 titles, including 16 Grand Slam singles titles (a record seven Australian Open titles, five Wimbledon titles, three US Open titles and one French Open title), five ATP Finals titles, 33 ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles, and 12 ATP Tour 500 titles. Following his victory at the 2016 French Open, he became only the eighth player in history to achieve the Career Grand Slam and the third man to hold all four major titles at once, the first since Rod Laver in 1969, and the first ever to do so on three different surfaces. He is the first and only male player to have won all nine of the Masters 1000 tournaments. His latest win came just last Sunday at the 2019 Wimbledon tourney in in which he successfully defended his title by defeating Roger Federer in an epic, grueling five set final that lasted four hours and fifty seven minutes, the longest in Wimbledon history. He is a six-time ITF World Champion and a five-time ATP year-end No. 1 ranked player, having held the spot for over 250 weeks. He has won numerous awards, including the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsman of the Year (four times) and the 2011 BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year award. He serves as a Unicef ambassador for his native Serbia and has founded an eponymous foundation, which fosters education for disadvantaged children. 

Continue reading “LISTEN: Novak Djokovic: ‘Before Being an Athlete, I am an Orthodox Christian’ (Gospel Light Minute #245)”

Julie Ertz: 2x FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion Credits Her Hugely Successful Sports Career to Her Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #244)

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She is one of the best American soccer players. She is a midfielder for the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the highest division of women’s professional soccer in the United States, and the United States women’s national soccer team. She is a 2x FIFA Women’s World Cup champion with the U.S. Women’s National Team (2015 and 2019). She played collegiate soccer with the Santa Clara University Broncos from 2010 to 2013. Following her collegiate career, she was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NWSL Draft by the Chicago Red Stars. That same year, she was named the NWSL Rookie of the Year. In 2015, at age 23, she became the second-youngest player to make the National Team. With her help, the United States went on to win the 2015 Women’s World Cup final. She played every minute of all seven games of the tournament and was subsequently named to the FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team. In 2017, she was awarded U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year. She also represented the United States at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament, helping to lead the National Team to their second consecutive World Cup victory and fourth overall.

In a recent interview with Sports Spectrum, she professed to focusing on one thing in particular even more than her game: that is, her faith in Jesus Christ. “I continue to work on all things, and that goes for my relationship with Christ as well,” she said. “[My faith] gives me a bigger perspective on life and my career.” With whichever squad she’s training and competing at the time, she always engages in Bible study groups and pregame prayer huddles with some of her teammates. “I want to stay true to who I am and my beliefs,” she said. “These Bible studies really help me grow and keep me accountable. It brings me closer to my teammates; we continue to grow as players and as people.” Continue reading “Julie Ertz: 2x FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion Credits Her Hugely Successful Sports Career to Her Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #244)”

Steven Edward Duren: A ‘Prodigal Son’ Finds His Way Out of Religion and Back to Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #243)

He is an American songwriter and musician best known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the heavy metal band W.A.S.P. He sang with a series of bands in the 1970s, before forming W.A.S.P. in 1981. The band, which experienced its greatest success in the 1980s, has sold over 12 million albums and continues to tour today making it one of the most enduring of the West Coast heavy metal outfits. Despite the genre’s reputation, many of the band’s songs deal with religious and apocalyptic themes due to the Christian upbringing and return to the faith of its lead singer. Continue reading “Steven Edward Duren: A ‘Prodigal Son’ Finds His Way Out of Religion and Back to Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #243)”

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The Gospel Light Minute

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Daniel Whyte III is a full-time evangelist by calling. Through the Gospel Light Minute, his main aim is to present a short, clear, understandable presentation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ which saved him over 30 years ago. Throughout his ministry, he has emphasized a clear presentation of the Gospel because he believes that many pastors and churches mix up the Gospel with other things, and this causes confusion for nonbelievers.

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Keke Palmer on Staying ‘Close to God’, Staying ‘Prayed Up,’ and ‘Spreading God’s Love Around the World’ (Gospel Light Minute #163)

Keke Palmer
Keke Palmer

She is an actress, television presenter, talk show host, dancer, singer, and songwriter. In 2004, she made her acting debut in the film “Barbershop 2: Back in Business.” She also starred in the movies: “Akeelah and the Bee” and “Madea’s Family Reunion” in 2006; “The Longshots” in 2008; and “Shrink” in 2009. In 2012, she returned to acting, starring in four films: “Joyful Noise”, “Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom”, “Ice Age: Continental Drift”, and “Virgin Mary”.

Alongside acting in movies, she has had numerous television roles including: “True Jackson, VP”, Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” and “Just Jordan.” In 2007, she released her debut album “So Uncool”. In 2012, she released a self-titled mixtape which received over 35,000 downloads. In 2013, she portrayed Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas in the TLC VH1-biopic “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story.” She has also won the “NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s Series or Special” six times. In 2010, she won the BET YoungStars Award.

In 2014, she made history as the youngest talk show host ever, at 20 years old. She is the host of the daytime talk show on BET, “Just Keke.” In September 2014, she will be the first African-American to portray Cinderella on Broadway.

She grew up in a Christian home near Chicago and sang in her church’s choir. During that time, she developed a relationship with God apart from her parents. In an interview with The Christian Post, she said, “I think that’s the whole point to Christianity… you have to live your life in order to understand God. It’s not about walking around trying to be perfect or going by a rule book. That’s how unbelievable the level of God’s love is for us. It’s that he’s willing to allow us to go our whole life in darkness because in the end we turn back to Him anyway.”

In an interview with EEW Magazine, she said: “My father’s a Deacon, my mother’s a choir director, so I grew up in the church, singing in the choir, and begging my mom if I could have a solo. That’s all very close to home for me… Real faith is when you believe in something that you can’t see. When things are going really bad and you can still get up and say I believe that they’re gonna get better, that there’s a higher lesson to what I’m going through. It can be hard sometimes, and to turn it around like that, that’s true faith.”

In an interview with Madame Noire, she answered the question of how she stays grounded in the entertainment industry. She said, “I stay close to my family, friends and God. I always make sure I am prayed up. My focus is not on the materialistic things around me. I never wanted to get caught up in the Hollywood stuff because that is not what matters. What matters is my purpose and spreading God’s love around the world.”

Her name is Keke Palmer.

This is the “Chief of Sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me. Just as Keke Palmer gave her life to Christ, may I encourage you to do the same. Here is how:

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Remember, friend, Believe by faith. Share the faith. and Keep the faith!

Tim Brown: “Our Single Purpose on this Earth is to Serve God” (Gospel Light Minute #152)

Tim Brown
Tim Brown

He is a former NFL wide receiver. He played college football for Notre Dame, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1987, becoming the first wide receiver to win the award. He played for the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders for 16 years from 1988–2003, and later played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004. He was selected to the Pro Bowl 9 times, made the AP Second-Team All-Pro, and was selected to the PFW All-Conference 6 times. He won the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award in 2012. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009. He is the only player ever to retire in the NFL’s top five leaders for both receiving and return yards. In both 2012 and 2013, he was selected as a finalist for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is currently a college football analyst for ESPN.

In an interview with Game Plan for Life, he spoke about his Christian faith. Even though He grew up in the church as a child and was taught the ways of the Lord primarily by his mother, he slacked off from following God in college and in his early days in the NFL. He said, “Even though I had all of that good teaching, it doesn’t mean that I was living the way I was suppose to live. At the University of Notre Dame and my early years at the Raiders, I was ashamed of how I was living. I remember one day, I think I was 23 or 24 years old, I looked at myself in the mirror, and I couldn’t stand the person that I was looking at. I knew that I wasn’t doing what God wanted me to do….I was around 27 or 28 when I finally said it was time for me to live right. I had been given all of the teachings. I knew what I needed to do. It was just a matter of making those tough decisions.”

He went on to tell of how God is working in His life. He said, “There are plenty of challenges around and plenty of reasons to keep us on our knees praying and fasting. There are challenges in my family. There are challenges with my kids. It is like my pastor said, if the devil is not attacking your family, then your family must be doing something wrong. He must already have your family where he wants you, if he doesn’t need to attack you anymore. The better you try to do, the more the enemy is going to discourage you.”

Looking at his impact on others and the big picture of life, he said, “When I was about 32 years old and on a Hall of Fame run, I thought my career was being extended because I was going to be in the Hall of Fame. What hit me was that I realized I wasn’t here to make the Hall of Fame. I was there, because I needed to show those young men that you can play the game at a high level and have faith. Initially, I was let down because it wasn’t about the Hall of Fame. Instead, I began to think about the impact that I was going to have on other men. I am not trying to say I lived a perfect life. Sometimes you can walk into a room without saying anything and offend people. That is not what I am trying to say. The men in the locker room the last 10 years that I was there never heard me curse, never saw me drinking or doing anything crazy. When the men talk about me now, they are either going to have to lie about me and make up something, or they are going to have to tell people the truth that I tried my best to live right. When Junior Seau died, I told people that he had lost his purpose. His purpose was not to be a football player. His purpose was not to raise money for all of his charities. His purpose was to serve God and show people how to live for God. That is your purpose even in the midst of all the stuff that you may be going through. I think that it is so important for people to understand that no matter what platform we are given our single purpose on this earth is to serve God. Whether you influence one person or a million people, that is what you have to do. You have to show people that this is what you are supposed to be doing with your life. You are supposed to be serving God.”

His name is Tim Brown.

Basketball Coach Lorenzo Romar: Jesus Christ ‘Scored All the Points for Me’ (Gospel Light Minute #148)

Lorenzo Romar
Lorenzo Romar

He is the current head men’s basketball coach at the University of Washington. He also played basketball for the University of Washington from 1978 to 1980. After college, he was drafted by the Golden State Warriors and spent five years in the NBA. He was the assistant coach at UCLA from 1992–1996, head coach at Pepperdine University from 1996–1999, and then head coach at St. Louis from 1999–2002. He is often credited for turning around the faltering state of the University of Washington basketball program. He is known by his fellow coaches as one of the top basketball recruiters in the country. In March 2006, he was given the prestigious Coach Wooden “Keys to Life” award for outstanding character. In March 2009, he was named coach of the year by the Pac 10 conference for leading the Huskies to their first outright conference title since 1953. He and his wife, Leona, founded the Lorenzo Romar Foundation to provide educational assistance for disadvantaged youth as well as support other charitable causes.

In an interview with CBN, he said of his faith and salvation experience, “Getting closer to God was like a sporting event. The one with the most points wins. The more good deeds I could do, the more they could add up and I could score points with God. And that’s just kind of how I saw it. I believed the Bible was the Word of God so I read through it. It was great until I realized that, as I kept reading, points don’t get you to heaven. The points don’t give you a relationship with God, that there weren’t enough points that you could score, as a human down here, because God’s standard was above, it was out of reach. He made a way for it to work. He himself came down to this earth in the person of Jesus Christ. He had already scored all the points, basically, for me. I realized something else, this deal didn’t start when I died. It started immediately. If I accepted what Jesus did on the cross, believed He rose from the dead and He was alive today to save me from my sin, asked Him to come in my life, then I would cease to be just a creation of God. But I would then become a child of God.”

After getting cut by the NBA, he said, “God had a plan for me. I learned a lot of ministry, how to deal with athletes. It was as if God trained me to go out and use those same biblical concepts to try and affect people’s lives. For what appeared to be failure in the NBA was not in God’s eyes, God just used that as a little credibility here to do another job in another place. And with God you’re always going through on the job training.”

“You get a scholarship, you’re on the team, they’re paying your way to school. But to make an impact, you’re in the weight room, you’re running extra sprints, doing all kinds of stuff to make an impact at that high level. To become a Christian, it’s been taken care of. You just have to agree to accept a gift. But to be an impact player for God, you got to work.”

His name is Lorenzo Romar.

Steven Jackson: The More I Walk with Christ, the More I Find Peace in My Heart (Gospel Light Minute #147)

Steven Jackson
Steven Jackson

He is a running back for the Atlanta Falcons. He played college football for Oregon State University, and was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the first round with the 24th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. He holds the Rams’ franchise record for most career rushing yards. He was selected to the Pro Bowl three times, named to the AP Second Team All-Pro two times, and was the NFC’s rushing leader in 2009. He was also awarded the MVP with the St. Louis Rams three times in 2006, 2009, and 2010.

In an interview with CBN, he said that he became a Christian at an early age. He said of his faith, “It was so much a part of my life. It was so embedded in me and I watched my mom and dad, through thick and thin, at every night and every morning, I saw them get on their knees and pray to God. So it was a part of our life that I understood that it was eventually going to be my life as well.”

It wasn’t until he got into college that he started to struggle with his faith. He said, “When I got on my own in college, I started venturing out and trying to find out who I was as a young man, that is when I kind of ran into the pitfalls and temptations — a lot of it, most of it was partying.” But he found out that such a life was not good for him so he decided to make an adjustment and live his life as a Christian.

He said, “I always say that whatever city I stop in, I want to leave a positive imprint on that city. And football is just a platform for me to grab the attention of the masses. But being successful and then being positive with it, you influence so many people. I always go around, do motivational talks, to not only young people, but actually to adults as well about my faith in Christ, about motivating them through hardship and how to achieve goals and how to deal with success.”

“Jesus Christ actually means a lot of things to me,” He said. “One, He’s my heavenly Father. He loves me wholeheartedly. He’s the true definition of unconditional love. Where a lot of times I can get frustrated with myself or with other people, I remind myself that God—He died and laid on the cross for us in my sins that one day I could come to meet Him. Love is just more powerful than anything on this earth. And, the more I try to remind myself of that, the more I try to walk in that, I find peace in myself, in my heart.”

His name is Steven Jackson.

Taraji P. Henson: “I Love the Lord and I’m Not Afraid to Say It” (Gospel Light Minute #144)

Taraji P. Henson
Taraji P. Henson

She is an actress and singer. She is well-known for her roles as Yvette in “Baby Boy”, Shug in “Hustle and Flow”, and Queenie in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2009 for her role in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. She also starred in the CBS drama “Person of Interest” from 2011 to 2013. Her other film and TV credits include, “Boston Legal”, “The Family That Preys”, “I Can Do Bad All By Myself”, “The Karate Kid”, “Think Like a Man” and “Think Like a Man Too” among many others. In 2011, she won the BET Award for Best Actress and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for the film “Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story.”

In an interview with Beliefnet, she said of her faith, “It is everything. That’s who I am. God lives within me. I meditate, I pray. I’m nothing without God. So, I just ask that He use me in my work. There’s always somebody who can identify with the characters that I portray.”

In an interview with the Christian Post, she spoke of her new role as the host of the annual Celebration of Gospel. She said, “I’m funny, but a lot of times they get comedians or personalities. So I was just very, very honored. And then when I met with the executives I got goosebumps. We all did because it just felt like the perfect marriage. Anybody that follows me, that knows me — knows that I love the Lord and I’m not afraid to say it. I’m not afraid to tweet it, I’m not afraid to talk about it in the interviews. So it just made sense. I wasn’t trying to fill steve Harvey’s shoes, they’re too big. I like my shoes. I just was myself. Somebody might get saved [from watching the show], somebody might be touched by a story that someone tells. I think this show can definitely change a person’s life. You never know.”

In an interview with Madame Noire, she also spoke of her new role as the host of the annual Celebration of Gospel. She said, “I almost dropped the phone [when I heard they wanted me to be the host]. I know the history of that. They’re trusting me with something that’s been around. Celebration of Gospel, that’s 14 years strong. It’s not new, but I think it’s a great marriage because a lot of the people who watch that show follow me so I was honored to do that. I’m very spiritual. I believe in God. I don’t do anything without praying first and listening to God’s voice. I do go to church. Church is in me. When you’re a God-fearing person, you recognize someone who has God in their heart. So I needed that at that moment. Just as I was about to go off and do all of these things, I had to host that show and it just gave me the spiritual soundness that I needed to stay grounded and focused. Everything happens for a reason and I truly believe it.”

When asked about her favorite Bible verse in an interview with HelloBeautiful, she said, “You know what it is, whenever I have an issue or problem in my life, I always go to the book of Psalms. There’s always something there that speaks to my issues, to my problems. The book of Psalms is where my head is all the time.”

In the same interview, she said, “My faith is tested everyday in small ways. It doesn’t have to be in big ways. My faith is tested everyday and that’s when I go to, ‘God is.’ I went all day yesterday thinking I was having a great day, but then that Devil likes to rear his head when you get comfortable, doesn’t he? I let him know, I see you and I say, ‘God is.'”

Her name is Taraji Henson.

Mary J. Blige: ‘When I Decided to Make a Change in My Life, I Went to God’ (Gospel Light Minute #141)

Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige

She is a singer, songwriter, record producer and actress. She has sold more than 50 million albums and 15 million singles worldwide. She has received nine Grammy Awards as well as thirty Grammy nominations, and she is the only artist to have won Grammys in the R&B, Rap, Pop, and Gospel fields. Eight of her albums have reached multi-platinum status in the United States. According to Rolling Stone, Time, and Vibe Magazines, her album “My Life” is considered among the greatest albums ever recorded. In 2007, she was named to TIME Magazine’s 100 list of influential individuals around the world. Alongside her success in music, she has earned high remarks for her work in film. In 2007, she starred in “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” and “Rock of Ages.” She received two Golden Globe Awards for her musical contributions to the films “Bobby” and “The Help.”

Although she grew up in Pentecostal churches and got her singing start there, she says, “I wasn’t a Christian when I was a child, I just went to church. I understood from childhood that there was something really big watching over me and it was God. And I was afraid to steal and lie. I was afraid to do anything that was wrong. I always got this feeling like, ‘Uh oh.’ But I understand better now who God is now that I’ve become a woman and a Christian.”

She went on to say, “It was later [in life], when I gave my life to Jesus Christ, that I found out who I am. I’m a child of God. God is my mommy, my daddy. That’s the only thing that’ll keep my head up. If I don’t remember who I am in him, I’m done….When I became a Christian, it was something I had to do because my whole life as a young adult was so bad. Things were just so bad that when I decided to make a change in my life, I went to God about my life. And he led me to other Christians, like my husband, like my pastor. And I started studying the Word. Now I get it. I understand it more, through the Word. That’s why I know God is love.”

Her name is Mary J. Blige.

Bono: ‘I Believe Jesus is the Son of God; If We Could Be More Like Him, the World Would be Transformed’ (Gospel Light Minute #139)

Bono
Bono

He is an Irish singer, songwriter, musician, and philanthropist. He is best known as the frontman for the rock band U2. He is responsible for writing almost all U2 lyrics which often consist of religious, social, and political themes. Outside of music, he is widely known for his activism concerning Africa, for which he co-founded DATA, EDUN, the ONE Campaign and Product Red. Among many awards, nominations, and mentions, he was granted a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II, was given the Man of Peace award in 2008, the NAACP Image Award’s Chairman’s Award in 2007, and was named a Time Person of the Year alongside Bill and Melinda Gates in 2005. In 2013, he was made a Commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters. He was also named the most politically effective celebrity of all time by the National Journal. He has been married for over 30 years and he and his wife have four children.

In an interview with Focus on the Family, he spoke about his faith in Jesus Christ. He said, “For people who have a hard time with Jesus being the Messiah, Jesus isn’t letting you off the hook. The Scriptures don’t let you off the hook so easily. When people say [Jesus is a] ‘Good teacher’, ‘Prophet’, ‘Really nice guy’, this is not how Jesus thought of Himself. So you’re left with a challenge, which is either Jesus was who He said He was or a complete and utter nut case. You have to make a choice on that. And I believe that Jesus was, you know, the Son of God.”

Making a connection between his faith and his activist work, he said, “It’s very annoying following this person of Christ around, because he’s very demanding of your life. You don’t have to go to university and get a Ph.D. to understand this stuff. You just go to the person of Christ… We have a pastor who said to us, ‘Stop asking God to bless what you’re doing. Find out what God is doing, because it’s already blessed.’ And when you align yourself with God’s purpose as described in the Scriptures, something special happens to your life. You’re in alignment.”

In an interview with Michka Assayas, he said, “The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled… it’s not our own good works that get through the gates of heaven… If only we could be a bit more like Him, the world would be transformed.”

His name is Paul David Hewson, better known as Bono.

Freestyle Skier, David Wise, Wants to Show People that ‘God Created Us All With the Potential to Enjoy His World’ (Gospel Light Minute #138)

David Wise
David Wise

He is an American freestyle skier. He won the gold medal at the Winter X Games #16 in the SuperPipe in 2012, 2013, and 2014. He also won gold at the 2013 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships. Most recently, at 23-years-old, he went to the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and returned home with a gold medal in Men’s Halfpipe.

He became a Christian as a teenager and his faith is an important part of how he sees himself as a competitor and athlete. He said, “For me, if you’re going to go so far as to believe something, then it really should be a big part of whom you are. So, whenever I’m out there skiing, I try to be the same person as a skier as I am in church on Sundays. I try to be the same in everything that I do. I really feel blessed and fortunate to be a part of such a cool sport.” He added that his dream is to “take what I love to do and inspire other people…Show people that the world is beautiful. Yes, there’s ugliness mixed in, but God created us all with the potential of enjoying this place.”

He and his wife run the youth group at their church in Nevada and he said he could even see himself as “a pastor of a church at some point.” “If that’s the way it works out, or if that’s God’s plan for my life, then that’s something I’d be totally okay with, but if not, then I’ll do whatever else comes.” In the meantime, he runs a non-profit fund called the Clean Water Project, which aims to provide clean drinking water to people in Malawi.

His name is David Wise.

Olympic Speedskater Jilleanne Rookard: Christ Gives her ‘Courage to Chase a God-Sized Dream’ (Gospel Light Minute #137)

Jilleanne Rookard
Jilleanne Rookard

She is an American speed skater who has competed in the sport since 2006. She was named to the U.S. team for the 2010 Winter Olympics and reached 12th place in the 3000 meter competition and 8th place in the 5000 meter competition. She won the 3,000-meter women’s speedskating event at the Olympic Trials in Salt Lake City, Utah, on December 27, 2013. She is currently competing with the U.S. Olympic team in Sochi, Russia, at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

When she started training for the Olympics in 2006, she had every reason to give up. For two years, she had to search for the right coach, had very little financial support, and had to work to pay for groceries, rent, and coaching. On top of that, her father passed away in 2001, and her mother began undergoing chemo treatments before passing away soon after. Many people around her expected her to quit and give up on her dreams, but she had her faith in God to rely on.

She said, “I had accepted Christ just before I made the decision to train for the Olympics in ice speed skating in 2006. I was training at a gym and I started pouring out some of my troubles to a woman. Without hesitation, she asked me if I would like to pray. We prayed right then and there on the floor at the gym. I said yes, and that is when the magic started to happen. It goes to show that God is everywhere! God is on the floor of my local gym and He is in my bedroom at 3 a.m. when I am pouring my life out to Him!”

Her faith is a source of strength and inspiration for the times when she feels like giving up. She said, “it was strange that God didn’t solve all of my problems. But it seemed as though He was giving me the strength to handle more!” She had to remind herself every day why she was pursuing her dream. She told herself that whether she succeeded or failed, she would learn something. She said, “I realize that it’s not about me at all. It’s about finishing what I started… I’ve just kept growing since the time I accepted Christ, and it’s not anything sudden. I realize now that I’m never going to stop learning.” She thanks God every day for the lessons He has taught her in her journey. Even with the risks of moving, training, and uncertain outcomes, she says there is one thing she has learned, and that is: “Success is not defined by the outcome, but by the courage it takes to chase God-sized dreams.”

Her name is Jilleanne Rookard.