LISTEN: Billy Graham Preaching the Gospel in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1975 is the Foundation of the Amazing Success of Chip and Joanna Gaines (Gospel Light Minute #249 with Daniel Whyte III)

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They are the ultimate home improvement power couple. With her decorating skills and his handiwork, their passions have been successfully merging since they wed in Waco, TX, in 2003. Since opening their first retail store, Magnolia Market, that very same year, they have spent the past nearly two decades building an impressive home improvement empire from the ground up, which includes a restaurant, magazine, and line at Target. They are the stars of HGTV’s massive hit “Fixer Upper,” which turned them into a household name, known for their ability to transform rundown properties into beautiful homes. Since the show first aired in 2013, their flagship store, Magnolia Market, has grown into a lifestyle brand that is often credited for revitalizing the small town of Waco, Texas. In 2015, they converted an abandoned Waco site into a bustling retail marketplace, complete with a bakery, food trucks, and more. “Somehow, against every odd in the world, Waco [became] a tourist destination, a lifestyle aspiration, a relocation consideration, and it’s all because of [this couple],” Texas Monthly wrote of the duo in 2016. That same year, this husband-and-wife team published a memoir that quickly became a national best-seller. Their hard work and unique dynamic continue to propel their business to new heights even as they raise their five children. Today, they are gearing up to launch their own family-friendly TV network with Discovery.

Continue reading “LISTEN: Billy Graham Preaching the Gospel in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1975 is the Foundation of the Amazing Success of Chip and Joanna Gaines (Gospel Light Minute #249 with Daniel Whyte III)”

LISTEN: How the Death of NFL Center Kevin Mawae’s Brother Helped Him Find His Life’s Purpose (Gospel Light Minute#248)

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He is a former American football center who played in the National Football League for sixteen seasons, primarily with the New York Jets, and is currently a member of the Arizona State University coaching staff. He played college football for Louisiana State University, where he was a four-year starter and was later inducted into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. He was picked by the Seattle Seahawks in the 1994 NFL Draft, and also played for the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans. Over his stellar pro-football career spanning 16 seasons, he evolved into one of the greatest centers in the league and helped set the bar for offensive linemen in the NFL.

Continue reading “LISTEN: How the Death of NFL Center Kevin Mawae’s Brother Helped Him Find His Life’s Purpose (Gospel Light Minute#248)”

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)

torikelly

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)”

How Golfer Suzanne Strudwick Began a Personal Relationship with the God Who Listens and Cares (Gospel Light Minute #190)

Suzanne Strudwick
Suzanne Strudwick

She is an English professional golfer who turned professional in 1983. That same years she joined the Ladies European Tour. Ten years later, she joined the U.S. based LPGA Tour and was rookie of the year in her first season. She made the top 100 on the LPGA Tour money list nine times. In 1989, she won the Open de France Dames and in 1991, she won the AGF Ladies’ Open. She played a full tournament schedule until 2004, and now runs her own golf academy based in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to that, she is a golf coach at Carson–Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee.

She said of her faith, “I grew up in a good family environment, playing lots of sports— especially golf. I attended the church of England, but I didn’t understand how I could have a ‘personal relationship’ with Jesus. How could He hear me? Why would He listen? Another tour player told me about Jesus’ love. She shared of how I could repent or turn away from my sin and receive forgiveness in and through the person of Jesus Christ. I saw a daily difference in the lives of some Christians I knew. In 1983, wanting to know God in that same way, by faith through prayer I received Him as my Savior and Lord. God does listen and care! He answers my prayers. He is in my life—in my heart, in my mind, and in my friendships. He has even shown me ways that I can give back and experience greater fulfillment than I find in sinking a putt. He is always with me.”

Her name is Suzanne Strudwick.

Singer and Actress LeToya Luckett On the Power of Prayer, Letting God Guide her, and Being a Woman of Faith (Gospel Light Minute #175)

LeToya Luckett
LeToya Luckett
[audio https://www.buzzsprout.com/3192/223339-singer-and-actress-letoya-luckett-on-the-power-of-prayer-letting-god-guide-her-and-being-a-woman-of-faith-gospel-light-minute-175.mp3]

She is a singer, songwriter, and actress. As an original member of Destiny’s Child, she won two Grammy Awards with the group and sold over 25 million records as a vocalist on the group’s first two albums. She went solo in 2006 and debuted “LeToya” which topped the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart in July 2006, and was certified platinum by the RIAA in December 2006. In 2009, she released her second solo album “Lady Love” to great success. As an actress, she starred in “Preacher’s Kid”, “Killers”, “From the Rough”, and “Drumline: A New Beat”. Her television roles include HBO’s “Treme” and VH1’s “Single Ladies.”

In an interview with Essence Magazine, she shared how her upbringing as the daughter of a minister and her faith in God guides her in life. When asked to describe her relationship with God, she said, “I am definitely a woman of faith. My prayer life and my connection with God are on the highest level. I definitely would not be standing here doing what I do were it not for that. It is my only way of survival. My father was a minister so I was raised in the church. I guess I’m a lucky girl because I’ve always been taught, since I was a little girl, this is who you count on. This is who you lean on. It is my foundation.”

When asked how her faith has helped her in her day to day life, she said, “Things just started happening even without asking. I just let him lead with every single thing. I don’t get in the way. A lot of times we get in His way; we get in our own way, and it ends up taking us in the wrong direction. This would be a boring world if we all made the same decisions and all were doing the same thing. The beauty of this whole thing is God has carved out a different story, a different path for all of us. It’s up to us to connect to Him and follow it.”

She went further to talk about the importance of prayer by saying, “I know how to fall on my knees, even when I’m having hard days. I know how to go in a corner and just talk to my Daddy (God). Me and my sister and my best friend get on the phone every morning and pray about different things. Even if we can’t talk, because both of them have kids and I’m on the road, we shoot each other texts. “What can I pray for you today?” It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that you have women of God praying for you. There’s nothing like that.”

Her name is LeToya Luckett. Continue reading “Singer and Actress LeToya Luckett On the Power of Prayer, Letting God Guide her, and Being a Woman of Faith (Gospel Light Minute #175)”

Jen Lilley: ‘I Would Rather Not be an Actor and Be in God’s Will; I Can’t Deny the Power of Jesus Christ’ (Gospel Light Minute #168)

Jen Lilley
Jen Lilley

She is an actress best known for her TV roles including her portrayal of Maxie Jones on the ABC soap opera “General Hospital” from 2011 to 2012. In 2013, she joined the cast of “Days of Our Lives” as Theresa Donovan, and starred in “The Book of Esther” portraying the biblical character. Her other film and television credits include “Revelation Road,” “Crossing Streets,” “Criminal Minds,” and “iCarly” among others.

In an interview with the Christian Post, she spoke about leaving “General Hospital” and how her faith in God guides her to make the right decisions. About leaving General Hospital, she said, “It was definitely a really scary and challenging experience…[However] At the end of the day we know that our battle is not against flesh and blood. You have to hold your head high and have grace…. I’m actually really excited to be off of ‘General Hospital’ because I know God orders my steps, and this only means He has a new adventure for me. I pursue God on a daily basis, I’m not stepping into oblivion.

On turning down a role in a major motion picture, she said, “I remember reading the script and being like, ‘I can’t do this as a Christian for a lot of reasons. One being that it is a horror movie. I like psychological thrillers but when it’s demonic, there’s no uplifting message. The first person (in the script) to die was a child. I’m a huge advocate of children’s rights. They kept saying God is dead, God doesn’t exist. I would rather not be an actor and be in God’s will.”

As a child, she witnessed her mother pray for Jesus to heal her brother from a debilitating disease while he was still in her womb. Though he was delivered still-born and had stopped breathing for a few minutes, she maintains that her mother’s prayers and laying hands on him brought him back to life. She said, “Regardless of whether I can prove it, I can’t deny the power of Jesus Christ. I can’t deny he raised my brother from the dead. I can’t deny when you say things in the name of Jesus, things happen.”

Her name is Jen Lilley. Continue reading “Jen Lilley: ‘I Would Rather Not be an Actor and Be in God’s Will; I Can’t Deny the Power of Jesus Christ’ (Gospel Light Minute #168)”

Jeremy Affeldt on ‘Praying on the Mound’ and ‘Feeling God’s Pleasure’ as a Pitcher (Gospel Light Minute #149)

Jeremy Affeldt
Jeremy Affeldt

He is a professional baseball relief pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. He also played for the Kansas City Royals, the Colorado Rockies, and the Cincinnati Reds. He is left-handed and throws three pitches: a fastball, a curveball, and a sinker. In 2009, he won Baseball’s “Set-Up Man of the Year Award.” He helped his team, the San Francisco Giants, win the World Series twice in 2010 and in 2012. When not playing baseball, he is a strong advocate for ending child poverty. He also founded an organization known as Generation Alive that works to let people know of the world’s social justice issues.

In an interview with CBN, he said when he is on the mound, he prays to help him focus. “I’m in my own little world out there. There’s nobody coaching me. I’m focused on what I’m doing. I’ll be asking God for help but other times I’m having a conversation ’cause He gives me peace when I’m talking to Him.”

He went on to say, “When it comes to worship, a lot of people have gifts. In church it’s fun to sing — the only thing is I’m not good at it. I believe God gave me a gift to pitch. That’s where I ‘feel His pleasure’ a lot.”

His name is Jeremy Affeldt.

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.

Peyton Manning: ‘My Faith in Christ has Been #1 in My Life Since I Was 13-Years-Old’ (Gospel Light Minute #134)

Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning

He is the quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Before playing for the Broncos, he was selected by the Indianapolis Colts as the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. He played 14 seasons from 1998 to 2011 for the Colts. He led the Colts to eight division championships, two AFC championships, and one Super Bowl championship in 2007.

His statistics throughout his playing career have ranked him among the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. He has been awarded four NFL MVPs — a league record. He has also been named to 13 Pro Bowls and 7 AP All-Pro teams. He has thirteen 4000-yard passing seasons, and is the all-time leader in passing yards and touchdown passes for the Indianapolis Colts. Fox Sports and Sports Illustrated named him the NFL “player of the decade” for the 2000s. And in 2013, Sports Illustrated named him “Sportsman of the Year.”

Also in 2013: He broke the record for most passing touchdowns in a season with 55 of his own; he joined Brett Favre and Dan Marino as the only NFL players in history to throw for over 60,000 yards; and he broke the NFL’s passing yardage record by exactly one yard in the final game of the regular season.

He led his team, the Denver Broncos, to a Super Bowl berth by throwing for 400 yards and two touchdowns in the January 19th AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. His team plays the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl 48 on February 2, 2014.

He said of his faith, “At age 13, I committed my life to Christ, and that faith has been most important to me ever since….For me generally it had always been the big four: faith, family, friends, and football. As important as football is to me, it can never be higher than fourth. My faith has been number one since I was thirteen years old.”

He said further, “Some players get more vocal about their faith, and some point to Heaven after scoring a touchdown and praise God after games. I have no problem with that. But I don’t do it, and I don’t think it makes me any less a Christian. I just want my actions to speak louder, and I don’t want to be more of a target for criticism…My faith doesn’t make me perfect, it makes me forgiven, and provides me the assurance I once looked for. I’ve been blessed—having so little go wrong in my life, and being given so much. I pray every night, sometimes long prayers about a lot of things and a lot of people, but I don’t talk about it or brag about it because that’s between God and me, and I’m no better than anybody else in God’s sight. But I consider myself fortunate to be able to go to Him for guidance, and I hope (and pray) I don’t do too many things that displease Him. I believe, too, that life is much better and freer when you’re committed to God in that way.”

His name is Peyton Manning.