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)”

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)”

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)”

Robert Allen Dickey says God’s Grace Saved him from Suicide and Showed him ‘How to Stop Clinging and Start Living’ (Gospel Light Minute #222)


While in college at the University of Tennessee, he was named Academic All-American and Academic All-SEC. He is also a member of the 1996 US Olympic Baseball team that won a bronze medal. He is a pitcher for the Atlanta Braves and one of only two active players in the majors who is skilled at throwing a knuckleball as a primary pitch. He has also played for the Texas Rangers, New York Mets, and Toronto Blue Jays among other teams. In 2012, he played in his first All-Star Game, became the first knuckleball pitcher to win the Cy Young Award, and in 2013 received an honorary doctor of sacred letters degree from Wycliffe College in Toronto.

He describes his life and salvation experience in a 2015 article for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In June of 2007, his life, professional baseball career, and marriage were falling apart. Under the intense pain of being sexually abused by a 13-year-old female babysitter at the age of 8 and being molested by an older teenager in that same year, he felt the best way out was through suicide. At 32, he jumped into the Missouri River but it wasn’t God’s time for him to go. One of his teammates tracked him along the riverbank and reached in to pull him out of the river’s darkness.

God mercifully saved his life. He said, “I felt like He had a strong pull on my heart from then on. Whether I always pursued that was something else, but He always pursued me. Only God’s imagination can script a story like mine….I am amazed—and I’m not. I know that sounds funny. I feel loved, sure, and His grace is abundant in my life, but I also feel a responsibility. He’s given me things to do. It makes me feel like a tool in a good sense of the word, like he’s using me to make a difference this side of eternity. I feel a real purpose in that. That’s just His way. It also helps me to believe in a God that big. I’m never hopeless.”

He wrote in his 2012 memoir, “Wherever I Wind Up”: “The Missouri may not be holy water and people may not go there to be baptized and seek absolution of their sins, but nobody can tell me that God didn’t use it to humble me and help me and recharge my faith and reset my focus. I jumped in to prove my worth and failed spectacularly, but wound up with one of the greatest gifts of my life. What a deal. What a day—the day God’s grace showed me how to stop clinging … and start living.”

His name is Robert Allen Dickey.

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 Robert Allen Dickey gave his 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!

Harvard and Yale Graduate Courtney B. Vance Realized he Needed the Lord (Gospel Light Minute #219)


He is an actor who is respected amongst his colleagues and praised as one of the best in the entertainment industry. Born in Detroit, Michigan, he graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts and later attended Yale School of Drama to earn his Master of Fine Arts. He is notable for his roles in the feature films “Hamburger Hill” and “The Hunt for Red October,” the television series “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” in which he played Assistant District Attorney Ron Carver, and “The People v. O. J. Simpson,” in which he played Johnnie Cochran. For the latter, he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. He guest starred on the TNT series “The Closer as Chief Tommy Delk” from 2010–11. In 2013, he won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his role in “Lucky Guy.”

Along with being an actor, he is a dedicated husband to actress Angela Bassett; a father to twins, son Slater Josiah Vance and daughter Bronwyn Golden Vance; and a contributor to society. Faith plays a big role in his life. When he was cast as Reverend Henry Biggs in “The Preacher’s Wife,” he felt an overwhelming need to get in touch with his faith. He said: “I knew I wasn’t going to get into that role without coming to the Lord. I had been trying to do that my whole life. My family was raised in the church and then we stopped going to church when I was about nine or ten – so I was on that search. I didn’t really understand how much I needed my faith until I got married. Two become one – it’s a mystery and I needed help and to know how to do it.” Through counseling, service, and scripture, he gave his life to the Lord and got baptized at a historic Harlem, New York, church.

When asked how faith played a role in his acting journey, he said: “The difficult thing is viewing things from God’s eyes. From his perspective a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. So I have learned to look at the pauses in between, God is working something out and for me not to worry about it and for me to continue work. Just like a farmer is not standing over his seedlings waiting for them to grow. He is busy getting things done, preparing for that time when it’s time to harvest because when it’s time to harvest and you’re not prepared then you’re in trouble. It’s all about preparation and perceived blessings. I’m just trying to be prepared.”

To excel in having a relationship with God, he said: “[God] is asking us to let Him in and if we let Him in, He will give us the desires of our heart and ‘open up the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing we don’t have room enough to receive.’ That’s ours; that’s the promise.”

His name is Courtney B. Vance.

Track Star Trayvon Bromell Put his Faith in God to Get Through Difficult Times (Gospel Light Minute #218)

Trayvon Bromell
Trayvon Bromell

He is an American track and field athlete specializing in sprinting events. He is the first junior to surpass the 10-second barrier. He is majoring in film and digital media at Baylor University and completed his sophomore season with one NCAA title, three NCAA All-American honors, three Big 12 individual titles and five All-Big 12 accolades. In 2015, he won bronze at the World Championships in Beijing and gold in the World Indoor Championships in Portland in 2016. He competed in the 4-x-100 relay and the 100-meter dash in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

After suffering three injuries in three years, he told the Baylor Lariat, “It was a process. It made me stronger as a person, spiritually and physically. I put my faith in God, knowing he would get me through it. Throughout the whole thing it was a struggle because, really, where I’m coming from, you don’t have a lot of resources. I didn’t have the resources and my family didn’t either, but God got us through it and it all paid off.”

His name is Trayvon Bromell. Continue reading “Track Star Trayvon Bromell Put his Faith in God to Get Through Difficult Times (Gospel Light Minute #218)”

Nancy Stafford: A Religious ‘Seeker’ Whose Life Was ‘Radically’ Changed by Jesus (Gospel Light Minute #174)

Nancy Stafford
Nancy Stafford
[audio https://www.buzzsprout.com/3192/221271-nancy-stafford-a-religious-seeker-whose-life-was-radically-changed-by-jesus-gospel-light-minute-174.mp3]

She is a former model, actress, author, and speaker. She is perhaps best known for playing the role of Michelle Thomas on the popular TV show, “Matlock” in the 1980s. From 1995 to 2005, she hosted a show about fashion and beauty called “Main Floor.” Her other film credits include: “Moment of Truth”, “Christmas with a Capital C”, and “Season of Miracles” among others. Her TV credits include: “Sidekicks”, “Quantum Leap”, and “The Mentalist” among others. In 2011, she was nominated for the Movie Guide Grace Award for her role in “Christmas with a Capital C”. Her Christian books include: “Beauty by the Book: Seeing Yourself as God Sees You” and “The Wonder of His Love: A Journey into the Heart of God”.

In an interview with the Christian Post, she described her Christian faith journey. Even though she was raised in a Southern Baptist family and taught to have a strong, faithful relationship with God as a child, she said, “For 15 years, I was a prodigal. I still believed [in God], it’s just that He was not the center of my life, but I chose my projects based on those beliefs. I looked at myself as the one making things happen and put my career at the center of my life. My personal choices left me broken and going from boyfriend to boyfriend to boyfriend. So I had an epiphany and was diagnosed with cancer on my face. It threatened the career I’d built my life on. I realized that everything I had built my ‘perfect’ life on could be taken away in a moment.”

In an Assist News interview, she spoke further about her faith and the moment she turned her life over completely to Jesus Christ. She said, “I actually came to faith after I started my career, but I was a lapsed Christian for many, many years. I’d become a seeker and I was seeking all the world religions looking for answers and I was a student of Buddhism and Hinduism and Rosicrucianism and the whole new age gamut. I was reading my Bible at the same time too. And one day I was shooting an episode of ‘Magnum P.I.’ in Hawaii back in 1984 and I had brought my Bible with me and I had this incredible encounter with the living Lord. So right there on a beach in Hawaii, I went rushing into the arms of the one who’s been rushing after me all these years.”

She went on to say, “[This decision] certainly began to radically change the roles that I chose and how I conducted myself in the workplace. I began to pray about whether or not to take certain roles. As with all of us, when Christ is really the one informing us of our choices, you may not rise to quite the heights because you know it’s harder to say yes to projects that are anathema to our faith, so I turned down an awful lot of work over the years.”

“I am so aware now of why God has enabled me to be an actress, especially on a show like ‘Matlock.’ It’s because it gives me equity and a platform, and so I appreciate it and am glad for it. I want to give them [the public] assurance that God loves them, cares for them, and provide them hope.”

Today, she serves on the Biola University Studio Task Force as well as on the advisory board for The Dove Foundation. Along with speaking to Christian groups and writing inspiration books, she also assists her husband, a Dallas Theological Seminary graduate, in church planting and Christian music and ministry.

Her name is Nancy Stafford.

Sen. Tim Scott: ‘I’ve Never Been the Same Since Giving My Life to Christ’; ‘God Isn’t Through with America Yet’ (Gospel Light Minute #173)

Tim Scott
Tim Scott

He is the junior United States Senator for South Carolina. He was appointed as senator in 2013 after South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley named him to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint. He ran in a special election in 2014 for the final two years of DeMint’s second term, and won the seat. In November 2010, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives for South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, and served from 2011 to 2013. He is the first Republican African-American Congressman from South Carolina since 1897. From 2009-2011, he served one term in the South Carolina General Assembly and from 1996 to 2008, he served on the Charleston County Council. He is one of two African Americans serving in the United States Senate, the first African-American senator from the state of South Carolina, and the first elected from the South since Reconstruction in 1881. He is also the first African-American to have been elected to both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

In a speech to the Values Voters Summit, he spoke of his faith. He said, “The words of Amazing Grace never meant more to me than on September the 22nd, 1983. I was on a little college football scholarship at Presbyterian College and they had this thing called the FCA, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I remember walking down the aisle and I got down on my knees as a person who is so selfish, but when I rose back up the Lord had become the Master of my life.” As a member of Seacoast Church in Charleston, he went on to say, “I have never been the same since that day of decision….And I have good news for all of us: God is not finished with me yet and God is not finished with you yet. But perhaps the best news is God is not finished with America yet.”

His name is Tim Scott.

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 Tim Scott gave his 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!

Phil Dawson: ‘In the NFL There is No Security; Real Security is Found in Christ’ (Gospel Light Minute #170)

Phil Dawson
Phil Dawson

He is a placekicker for the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL. He previously for the Cleveland Browns from 1999 to 2012 and holds their franchise record for most field goals made. He played college football at University of Texas at Austin. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2012, twice to the Second-team All-Pro in 2007 and 2012, and twice was named NFC Special Teamer of the Week in 2013.

In an interview with the Baptist Bulletin, he said of his faith, “For a long time, football was a god for me. Although I was raised in church and I knew it shouldn’t be that way, it was. You know all of the church songs and the hand motions that go with them; you go to summer camp; you go to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. This was me up until I was nine years old—when I realized Jesus died for me, and I recognized He died for my sins.”

After high school, he experienced spiritual struggles in college. He said, “The problem was that I continued to be that little kid in church, doing all the same things. So when I went to college, I don’t know how personal my relationship with Christ was.” He credits attending a Fellowship of Christian Athletes retreat and the Longhorns’ team chaplain for helping turn his life around.

We went on to say, “It’s a struggle to find contentment when I’m thinking I’m never good enough. At one point, I had seven good seasons until one year—an off year—and I really struggled with being content. It’s been a working lesson in being content and trusting God. It makes you appreciate the security we have in Christ, because in the NFL there is no security. They can drop you at any time.”

His name is Phil Dawson. Continue reading “Phil Dawson: ‘In the NFL There is No Security; Real Security is Found in Christ’ (Gospel Light Minute #170)”

Bear Grylls: Faith in Christ ‘is the Backbone of My Life’ (Gospel Light Minute #161)

Bear Grylls
Bear Grylls

He is a British adventurer, writer and television presenter. He is best known for his television series Man vs. Wild. He is a part of a number of television series in the United Kingdom and the United States on the theme of survival in the wild. In 1997, he became the youngest Briton to climb Ama Dablam in the Himalayas. And in 1998, he became one of the youngest people ever to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. In July 2009, he was appointed the youngest-ever Chief Scout at the age of 35.

In an interview with Relevant Magazine, he said of his faith: “I had a very natural faith as a kid. As a really young kid, I never questioned God. I just knew God existed and it felt like He was my friend. Faith has been and is the backbone of my life.”

“I remember having one moment when some really good friends turned their back on me in a really nasty way. And I remember praying a simple prayer up a tree one evening and saying, ‘God, if you’re like I knew you as a kid, would you be that friend again?’ And it was no more complicated than that. And actually the amazing thing is that all God asks is that we sort of open the door and He’ll do the rest. So often we kinda hide behind our yearning for love and acceptance with loads of complicated theological questions, and actually once that’s stripped away what we really are is just somebody who wants to have that relationship with your Father.”

“Jesus never said, ‘I’ve come so you can feel smart and proper and smiley and religious.’ [Faith] is about finding life and joy and peace. I am not at church a lot because I’m away a lot, so I kind of cling to the simple things, like, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ and ‘I’m holding you by your right hand.’ The simple things are what I try to keep my faith like. Jesus is unchanging and we are forgiven.”

“Sometimes it’s hard for us to believe, really believe, that God cares and wants good things for us and doesn’t just want us to go off and give everything up and become missionaries in Burundi. And some people are just scared, and they go, ‘Oh, God just wants me to be religious,’ but actually He just loves us. He just wants us to be with Him, and that’s been a journey to discover that. That’s one of the big questions I asked: ‘If you do exist, are you cozy? Are you what my heart really aches for?’”

“Christianity is not about religion. It’s about faith, about being held, about being forgiven. It’s about finding joy and finding home. We all want that, but nobody wants religion. Why do people turn away from faith? They’re not, they’re turning away from religion most of the time. I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t want to be forgiven or held or find peace or joy in their life. We try loads of other stuff—we think booze or foxy women or whatever will fill it—but it doesn’t fill the hole [like Jesus].”

His name is Bear Grylls. Continue reading “Bear Grylls: Faith in Christ ‘is the Backbone of My Life’ (Gospel Light Minute #161)”

Oprah Winfrey: ‘I am a Christian… I Wouldn’t be Who I am Today Without My Faith’ (Gospel Light Minute #143)

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey

She is a media mogul, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. Her multi-award winning talk show was the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011. Known as the “Queen of All Media”, she has been ranked as the richest African-American of the 20th century by Forbes, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and is currently North America’s only black billionaire. CNN and TIME called her “arguably the world’s most powerful woman” and TIME named her “one of the most influential people” from 2004 to 2011. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama and received an honorary doctorate degree from Harvard University. In fact, Barack Obama would not be president of the United States without this woman.

On April 23, 2012, while introducing her “Lifeclass Tour” to a Radio City Music Hall audience in New York City she made a public profession of her faith. She said, “I am not talking about religion. I am a Christian. That is my faith. I’m not asking you to be a Christian. If you want to be one I can show you how. But it is not required. I have respect for all faiths… My favorite Bible verse, because I am a Christian, is Acts 17:28. It says, ‘In God I live, and move, and have my being.’ And you want to know why I’m so successful? Because I knew that at four-years-old, I wouldn’t be who I am today without that.”

On June 1, 2011, after Oprah delivered her public farewell from her talk show, I wrote the following on a news site that our organization runs: “Evidently, Oprah got saved recently, now she needs to make that clear to her millions of fans. Based upon statements that Oprah made throughout last week regarding God and Jesus Christ, we believe that Oprah has recently truly accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour and has been born again this year.”

Now, I took a lot of heat for making that statement, but as I explained in my article, “some people are going to doubt Oprah’s profession of faith in Christ and some are going to say negative things about this because she has people of different faiths on her show and so forth. However, please understand that OWN is not a Christian network. It is a network for all people. OWN is Oprah’s business, and we as Christians know what that is like when you’re doing business in a secular world. So Oprah’s business side is going to be different, but it does not take anything away from her faith in Christ.”

For example, Mark Burnett, is the producer behind the popular “Bible” mini-series and the “Son of God” movie. However, before he produced those Christian-based works, he produced such popular shows as Survivor, The Apprentice, The Voice, Shark Tank, The Sing Off, and the People’s Choice Awards which have nothing to do with his Christian faith. Yet, based on his own words and on his life, I believe Mark Burnett is saved just as I am.

In fact, in the Bible, we see examples of these types of believers. Jesus had His public disciples, the Peters, Jameses, and Johns, but He also had his secret disciples, the Nicodemuses and Josephs of Arimathea. When His public disciples, Peter and the other disciples, forsook Him at His trial and His crucifixion, it was His secret disciples, such as Joseph of Arimathea, that stood with Him until the end. This Joseph took His body off the cross and placed Him in his own grave. All of Jesus’ followers are not out front; some are behind the scenes, but they are doing just as much for Him.

Based upon Oprah’s public profession of faith in Jesus Christ, she is saved by the grace of God through faith by believing in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, according to the Word of God. So instead of worrying about what she is doing or not doing, how about you? Are you saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?

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.

Bobsledder Elana Meyers: Win or Lose, ‘I’m in this Sport to Glorify God’ (Gospel Light Minute with Daniel Whyte III)

Elana Meyers
Elana Meyers

She is an American bobsledder who has competed in the sport since 2007. She won the silver in the bobsled two-woman event with Shauna Rohbock at the 2009 FIBT World Championships in Lake Placid, New York. Named to the U.S. team in 2010, she along with Erin Pac won the bronze medal at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. In 2013, she and brake-woman Katie Eberling won the silver at the FIBT World Championships in St. Moritz. She is currently competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Though she always dreamed of being an Olympian, it wasn’t an easy road to get there. Before taking up bobsledding, she was the first softball recruit at George Washington University and quickly set nearly every offensive record. However, she said, “My sophomore year, our softball team was doing really badly and our season ended up getting canceled. So, that being the center of my life, I got really depressed. I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t know what my purpose was. I just started researching religions. Something inside of me told me I needed more than this.” While reading a book about spiritual things over Christmas break, she became overwhelmed with emotion, and said of that time, “It hit me that Jesus is the way. I can’t explain it by anything other than that. It was so strong and powerful; I knew that I needed to change my life.” When she returned to George Washington University, she began to understand what it means to be a Christ-follower. She joined Athletes in Action, began studying the Word, and growing in her faith.

In 2003, she was invited to try out for the 2004 Olympic softball team but the experience did not go well; she says she “crashed and burned.” After retiring in 2007, she took up bobsledding and she has worked hard to become one of the top female bobsledders in the country. After winning the bronze in 2010, she said, “To walk away with a medal was the accomplishment of a lifelong dream. It’s hard to put into words how incredible that experience was. That’s one of those moments when you know how real God is. I think I won that medal to glorify Him. One of the big reasons I was put in bobsled is to help people not only reach their goals, but come to Christ. God put me here for a specific reason and I don’t think it’s just to win medals. At the end of the day, I’m in this sport to glorify God, so if that means I come in last place or I win the gold medal, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Her name is Elana Meyers.

New York Giants Player, Justin Tuck, says his Faith in Jesus Christ is ‘Essential’ to his Development (Gospel Light Minute #114)

Justin Tuck
Justin Tuck

He is a defensive end for the New York Giants. He played college football for the University of Notre Dame. And was picked in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He was selected to the Pro Bowl twice in 2008 and 2010 and twice to the All-Pro in 2008 and 2010. He and his team won Super Bowl 42 in 2008 and Super Bowl 46 in 2012. He has also been voted defensive team captain by his teammates for the past 3 years. His commitment to serving others inspired him to create the “R.U.S.H. for Literacy Program” which seeks to encourage children to Read, Understand, Succeed, and Hope.

He said of his faith, “For me, it started with my upbringing. My mother and father raised us in the church. I know a lot of times you hear about people going to church every day, but I can honestly say that I went to church…just about EVERY DAY. It was this lifestyle of constant worship that was embedded at an early age. I truly believe that I have been blessed to have this platform as an NFL player in one of the biggest markets in America for a reason. That reason is to spread how good God has been to me and to let his light shine through me…Faith is tremendously important in my family and it’s been essential to my development.”

On the impact of Bible study with his teammates, he said, “For our team dynamic, I feel that bible study serves as another way of helping guys stay faithful to God. In the locker room it can be very hard sometimes because you don’t always have guys that are necessarily living for God, so sometimes you need to see a face or hear a voice from guys that are trying to walk in that way. I think it’s been really beneficial for our locker room because it’s brought a lot of guys closer in their faith and closer to each other. It’s really helped us.”

He encourages young people and student athletes to place their faith in Jesus Christ as well. He said, “When I started being recognized as an athlete, it was hard to prioritize my faith. I tried to play both sides of the fence. When I was around people that were Christians, I tried to act like them. Then when I would get around guys that wanted to go out in the club and party I tried to put on that front. If I could offer any advice from the mistakes that I’ve made, I would say: Don’t try to fight it, and don’t try to impress everyone. Live your life the way that you know you’re supposed to, which is living for God. Don’t worry about what people might say or think…You’re not going to make everyone happy so you might as well do what you know is right. Be who you are and that’s good enough. There will be a lot of pressure that will come your way. However, I’ve found out that by being who you are, a child of God, you have all the defense that you’ll need in life.”

His name is Justin Tuck.

Duck Dynasty’s Uncle Si: ‘Jesus Beat the Grave and He Can Make You Beat it Too’ (Gospel Light Minute #111)

Uncle Si
Uncle Si

He is known as “Uncle Si” on the A&E TV hit, Duck Dynasty. Along with his show, he is a backwoodsman, duck hunter, and philosopher. He is the brother of Duck Commander founder Phil Robertson and uncle to Willie, Jase and Jep, his show co-stars. On the show, he has a penchant for telling stories that have been stretched with fiction. Growing up in Louisiana with six other brothers and sisters, his family lived in a small log cabin and were very poor. However, his older brothers fed the family by hunting and that is how the family tradition of hunting started. He has been married for over 40 years and has two children and seven grandchildren.

In an interview with LifeWay Christian Resources, he said this about his faith in God and the success of Duck Dynasty, “A lot of people say, ‘Hey, God doesn’t have a sense of humor.’ Yes, He does. God has a great sense of humor. Look at me. Look at Phil. Look at Willie. Look at Jase. God has taken four guys that look like five miles of muddy road and made them famous in the TV world. [People] ask us all the time, ‘How did you become so successful?’ That would be one answer: The Almighty is the one who has made this a success.”

While he has experienced success, he also credits God for being there for him in the difficult times. He said, “I wonder when people run into bad times, when they go to the doctor and they find out, ‘I’m dying of cancer,’ and they don’t believe in God, who do they turn to? We are all mortal. We are all going in that grave. There ain’t but one way you gonna beat it. If you’ve got something to offer me better than [Christ], I’m all ears. [Jesus] beat the grave and He promises you that since He beat it, if you believe in Him, He’ll make you beat it.” He offers his own apologetic for why he believes in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he said, “In the winter, things are dead and dull, but then there is an explosion of life. That’s what He promises people who believe in His Son. That’s what all the Robertsons are banking on.”

His name is Si Robertson.