Carson Wentz: Through Ups and Downs of His NFL Career, Faith of Eagles Quarterback Is Solidly Anchored in Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #250)

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks
Dec 3, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) takes a break during pregame warmups against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

He is an American football quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. He played college football at North Dakota State University from 2011-2015 and was selected by the Eagles with the second overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the highest selection ever for an FCS player. During his time at NDSU, the team won five NCAA FCS national championships. In his first year with the Eagles, he accumulated multiple NFL and Eagles rookie records, including most pass attempts by a rookie quarterback and most pass completions by a rookie. In the 2017 season, he was crucial to the strong and powerful start which had the Eagles at an 11–2 record at the time he went down with an injury. He was 2nd in the NFL in touchdown passes with 33, as well as a media and fan favorite to win MVP but unfortunately missed the last three games of the season due to a season-ending ACL injury in his left knee. However, the Eagles would go on to win Super Bowl LII over the New England Patriots 41–33, the first in franchise history, earning him a championship ring. Some credited the Eagles’ victory to a revival in the team’s locker room led by their injured quarterback. In 2017, he launched the AO1 Foundation, with AO1 standing for “Audience of One,” referring to playing for God. He also started a project in 2018 in conjunction with Mission of Hope Haiti to build a sports complex in the country using funds from his NFL contract.

Continue reading “Carson Wentz: Through Ups and Downs of His NFL Career, Faith of Eagles Quarterback Is Solidly Anchored in Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #250)”

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)

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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)”

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)”

Stephanie Cox: ‘Faith in Christ Makes My Role as an Athlete More Meaningful’ (Gospel Light Minute #211)

Stephanie Cox
Stephanie Cox

She is a Mexican-American retired professional soccer defender and Olympic gold medalist. She attended the University of Portland, where she started 23 matches her freshman year. In 2005, after returning to the Pilots following a redshirt season to play for the US, Stephanie helped lead her team to an undefeated record of 23-0-2 and an NCAA Championship and was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team. She most recently played for the Seattle Reign FC of the National Women’s Soccer League in 2013 and the United States women’s national soccer team. Prior to that she played for the Los Angeles Sol and the Boston Breakers. Continue reading “Stephanie Cox: ‘Faith in Christ Makes My Role as an Athlete More Meaningful’ (Gospel Light Minute #211)”

Chris Paul says he’s Thankful his Parents Taught him to Have Faith in God (Gospel Light Minute #195)

Chris Paul
Chris Paul

He is a professional basketball player who currently plays the point guard position for the Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA. He played college basketball at Wake Forest University. He was drafted by the New Orleans Hornets and played there from 2005 to 2011 before joining the Clippers. He won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2006 and an Olympic gold medal with USA Men’s basketball team in 2008 and 2012. He also led the NBA in assists four times and steals six times from 2008 to 2015. He has also been selected to eight NBA All-Star teams, six All-NBA teams, and six All-Defensive teams. Since 2013, he has served as the National Basketball Players Association president.

He said of his faith: “I am a Christian. I grew up in the church and still go to church every Sunday if we don’t have practice. It’s always something that my parents instilled in me. I’ve grown to be pretty devout in my faith. I am so thankful that my parents raised me and my brother, C.J. to depend on God’s guidance and our faith in Him, and to always be thankful for what we receive. As I went through the past year, I just kept trying to have fun, knowing that I was playing basketball at the highest level, and remain humble, keeping in mind that all this [I have received] could be taken away from me as fast as it was happening.”

His name is Chris Paul. Continue reading “Chris Paul says he’s Thankful his Parents Taught him to Have Faith in God (Gospel Light Minute #195)”

Actor David Oyelowo says “Being a Christian Has Been Invaluable”; ‘Voice of God’ has Guided him Throughout his Life (Gospel Light Minute #179)

David Oyelowo
David Oyelowo

He is a British-Nigerian actor who is known for several movie roles. He won a scholarship to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and finished his training in 1998. He played supporting roles in the films “The Last King of Scotland”, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, “Jack Reacher”, “Middle of Nowhere”, “The Paperboy”, and “Lincoln”. He also earned high praise for portraying Louis Gaines in “The Butler”. His TV roles include, “Spooks”, “A Raisin in the Sun”, and “Star Wars: Rebels.” He stars as Martin Luther King, Jr. in the biographical drama film “Selma”, for which he received a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama.

In an interview with the Telegraph UK, he is described as having an unwaveringness about him which can be ascribed to his Christian faith. He said, “my faith is a very visceral, conversational one that bleeds into everything. I was brought up as a Baptist. By 16 I was ready to leave church behind. It was a time when my hormones were raging and I was nursing a nice rebellious streak. I decided to try a different church for three months and God turned up in a dramatic way. From then on my behaviour and decisions have been driven by my faith.

As a devout Christian, he often prays on film sets. For the movie “Selma”, he said he heard a voice tell him that he would play the role of Martin Luther King, Jr. In an interview with The L.A. Times, he said, “I knew that voice [of God], because it was the same voice that told me to marry my wife, the same voice that told me to give names to my children before they were even conceived. This is how God has spoken to me in the past. And it’s what kept me going even though directors at the time didn’t want me.”

He said further, “I think it’s vital to have something outside your acting to keep you rooted in the real world, and help you fill the vacuum. If you have nothing else, it can be unhealthy. For me being a Christian has been invaluable: it simply means acting isn’t the centre of my life.”

His name is David Oyelowo. Continue reading “Actor David Oyelowo says “Being a Christian Has Been Invaluable”; ‘Voice of God’ has Guided him Throughout his Life (Gospel Light Minute #179)”

Kim Hamilton Anthony Finds her Sense of Worth and Value in Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #167)

Kim Hamilton Anthony
Kim Hamilton Anthony
She is the first African American woman to be recruited and to receive a scholarship for the gymnastics team at UCLA. At UCLA, she was a six-time All American and a four-time national champion. In 2000, she was inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame. She competed with the U.S. National Team from 1984 to 1986 and together, they won the South African cup. She, along with her husband, served as chaplains to the Miami Dolphins and their wives.
As a child, she grew up on the rough side of Richmond, VA with a loving mother and a drug-dealing father. Throughout her teenager years, she struggled to gain acceptance and approval from her father who was in and out of her life. It wasn’t until she got to college at UCLA when her life began to change. The man who would become her husband, shared the Gospel with her during her sophomore year and she asked Jesus Christ into her heart.
She said of that time in her life and her faith in God, “I met someone who explained to me that there indeed is so much more to life than I had been experiencing. He shared with me that God loves me, has a plan for my life, and that I can have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. That’s what I had been missing. That’s what I had been searching for. I asked Jesus to enter my life and make me the person He wanted me to be. Since then, my life and attitude have changed. No longer do I look to the opinions of others, or my own accomplishments, to give me value. Now I look to the unconditional love of God, knowing that He created me as a unique individual with a very special purpose. The change didn’t take place over night. But the more I experience the love of God, the more I realize how much worth and value I have. My search for a sense of worth and value is over. I found it in the unconditional love of God. And His love will never leave me nor change.”
Her name is Kim Hamilton Anthony.

Continue reading “Kim Hamilton Anthony Finds her Sense of Worth and Value in Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #167)”

Ben Watson: ‘I Put My Faith and Trust in Jesus; He Has My Best Interest at Heart’ (Gospel Light Minute #162)

Benjamin Watson
Benjamin Watson

He is a tight end for the New Orleans Saints. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2004 and played for them through 2009. He also played for the Cleveland Browns from 2010 to 2012. He played college football at Duke University and the University of Georgia. He and his team, the New England Patriots, won Super Bowl 39 in 2005, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles. He helped the New England Patriots win two AFC championships in 2004 and 2007.

Growing up in a Christian home, his earliest memories are of going to church with his parents, attending Christian school, and participating in summer camps with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. His father who is a pastor led him to the Lord when he was a young child.

In an interview with Beyond the Ultimate, he said, “One night…Daddy and I knelt down to pray before bed and he asked me this question, “If you died tonight do you know what would happen to you?” I replied “no,” and Daddy proceeded to tell me about John 3:16 from the Bible: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Daddy explained to me that I was born a sinful person and that because God loves me, He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty of death that I deserved. All I had to do was receive the free gift of salvation that I could never earn on my own. Right then and there we prayed and I received that gift and made Jesus Lord of my life.”

He went on to say, “My life since that day has been an incredible journey. I have learned more and more what it means to live in the power and freedom that life in Christ brings. More importantly I’ve started to exercise and apply that knowledge in my everyday life. Through high school and college at the University of Georgia I stayed involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a local church, but it wasn’t without struggles and temptations. I can remember asking God for forgiveness a number of times, and I can say He forgave me every one of them. I always feel God’s presence, and my desire is to please Him. I do not always please Him but I know that in Him I am a conqueror and He has freed me from the guilt of past failures.”

“The number one thing He has taught me and continues to teach me is that it is not about me. God has a plan that sometimes doesn’t match up to my plan. But I put my faith and trust in Him that he has my best interest at heart and all things will work together for His glory. It is a great comfort for me to know that my job is to be obedient to Him and the rest is in His hands. One of my favorite verses is Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly as unto the Lord, not for men.” Whether I’m playing football, being a husband to my wife, being a teammate, working out, studying or one day being a parent, this verse challenges me to do it all to the glory of God.”

His name is Ben Watson.

Ann B. Davis: Salvation Through Christ “Changed My Whole Life for the Better” (Gospel Light Minute #151)

Ann B. Davis
Ann B. Davis

She is an American TV actress. She gained prominence for her role in the NBC situation comedy, The Bob Cummings Show, which ran from 1955–1959. She won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series twice for this role. She is perhaps best known for her role as Alice Nelson, the housekeeper in ABC’s The Brady Bunch series which ran from 1969–1974. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960 and received three TV Land Awards in 2004, 2006, and 2007 for her role in The Brady Bunch series. Her TV credits include “McKeever and the Colonel”, “The Love Boat”, and “Something So Right” among many others. Though she never married, she continued to act in various roles including TV commercials until she died on June 1, 2014.

In an interview with the Associated Press in 1993, she said she was a born again Christian. She said, “Salvation changed my whole life for the better…I spent a lot of time giving Christian witness all over the country to church groups and stuff… Now, I know I am where the Lord wants me to be.” In a 1992 interview with People Magazine, she said, “I’m convinced we all have a God-shaped space in us, and until we fill that space with God, we’ll never know what it is to be whole.” She spent many of her days as a volunteer for her church. Her friend Bishop William Frey said, “What you see on ‘The Brady Bunch’ was who she was. She was a very faithful Christian person.

Her name is Ann B. Davis.

Andy Pettitte: ‘The Day I Got Saved, I Knew Something Had Changed’ (Gospel Light Minute #145)

Andy Pettitte
Andy Pettitte

He is a former American baseball starting pitcher who played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball. With the except of two years with the Houston Astros, he pitched primarily for the New York Yankees. He won five World Series championships with the Yankees and was a three-time All-Star. He ranks as Major League Baseball’s all-time postseason wins leader with 19. His pitching repertoire includes a four-seam and cut fastball and several off-speed pitches such as a slider, curveball, and changeup. Among Yankees pitchers, Pettitte ranks first in strikeouts with 2,020, third in wins 219, and tied for first in games started with 438. He won the most games of any pitcher in the 2000s. He is the only MLB pitcher since 1930 to win at least 12 games in each of his first nine seasons. He is also the only major league pitcher who played at least 18 seasons without having a losing record in any season.

In an interview with CBN Sports, he said of his faith, “You know the biggest thing in my life is my relationship with the Lord, and that’s really what I think my life’s all about — trying to spread the Word of Jesus Christ and trying to get people to get saved. The day I got saved I knew there was something changed about me. I knew that I was going to spend eternity in Heaven with Him whenever I pass from this life. But the deal is you have to accept Him. He has to be living inside of you. If you don’t know Him, just ask Him to come into your heart, accept Him. It’s not going to solve all your problems in the world but it makes life a lot easier.”

His name is Andy Pettitte.

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?