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.

Candace Cameron Bure: “God Has Changed Me in Ways that Words Cannot Describe” (Gospel Light Minute #132)

Candace Cameron Bure
Candace Cameron Bure

She is an actress, producer, author, loving wife and mother of three. She is perhaps best known for her role as D.J. Tanner on the hit television series “Full House” from ages 10 to 18 which ran from 1987 to 1995. She is the sister of actor Kirk Cameron. Her other film credits include: “Punchline”, “The Wager”, and “To the Wall.” Her television credits include: “Cybill”, “Boy Meets World”, “Make It or Break It”, “The Heart of Christmas”, and “Let It Snow” among others. She was nominated for the Young Artist Award seven times primarily for her role in “Full House”, and she won the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award in 1994.

She says of her faith, “When I was growing up, my family wasn’t Christian. We didn’t talk about God and I didn’t know anything about him. When I was twelve years old, my parents told us we were going to church; a friend had invited us. It was strange to me, and I giggled at the thought of God. But as we continued to go every Sunday, my heart felt warm, and I saw how happy my mom, brother and sister were. I decided that I wanted to feel the same way. It was Jesus Christ that was producing this change in them, so one Sunday morning, I asked Jesus into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior. I was baptized along with some of my family at a later service. I was extremely excited about what I thought was my new Christian life.”

As a teenager, her popularity caused church to become an after thought .She said, “It wasn’t until I read the book Left Behind that I started rethinking my Christian life. There was one character that stood out to me. Pastor Bruce Barnes. He was left behind after the Rapture had occurred. I could not understand how a pastor could be left behind and figured the authors had probably never read a Bible! But, the book went on to explain, and it was my own ignorance that had me to believe that I could ask God into my heart, live my life the way I wanted to (even if it was not pleasing to the Lord), and still go to Heaven when I died.”

She said, “After reading a book my brother gave to me, now called The Way of the Master it changed my walk with God forever! It talked about the 10 commandments, and showed me my sin in it’s true light. You see, when I prayed the “sinner’s prayer” that day in church when I was 12, I asked God to forgive my sins. But I didn’t even know what my sin was. But, the law showed me my sin. As I went through every commandment, I saw that I’d broken all of them. Then I learned that God was going to judge me by this standard, not the world’s standard. So, while I thought I was a good person compared to other people, I saw that I was a horribly bad person by God’s standard. It was then that I truly recognized and understood my sin and what Jesus did for me. I broke the Law, and Jesus paid my fine. God has changed me in ways that words can’t describe. He has transformed the way I think and live my life. Things that were once important to me are no longer. I can’t help but share the Good News with everyone! I know there is nothing more important. I know that without Christ, the eternal consequences are devastating. I urge you to surrender your whole life to Jesus, turn from your sin and trust in Him with all your heart. Pick up a bible, and start reading.”

Her name is Candace Cameron Bure.

Peyton Siva: How God Lifted him from his Difficult Childhood to Being a Champion (Gospel Light Minute #96)

Peyton Siva
Peyton Siva

He is a point guard who finished his college basketball career with the Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team in 2013. Recently, he helped lead his team to the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball championship. He was the 2012 and 2013 Big East Tournament MVP as well as a 2013 Academic All-American.

Growing up in a rough, crime-ridden area of Seattle, his father was mostly absent from his life, struggling with drugs, alcohol addiction, and being in and out of jail. His mother worked three jobs to support his family, and his siblings also had brushes with the law. However, at a young age, he decided to take a different route. At 13, he taught himself to drive so he could find his father. He found him in a drug den with a gun, contemplating suicide and was able to successfully talk him out of doing so. He soon found a love for sports, and though he was told he was too light at first, managed to play both football and basketball.

Danny Cage, youth pastor at Mount Calvary Christian Center in Seattle said of him, “He had so many people pulling at him at such a young age. He wanted to be focused spiritually through that. It separated him from the pack. He would study scriptures, and fast, and would ask to be held accountable.”

When his team won the NCAA championship, he told reporters, “First off, I got to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for blessing us for this opportunity. I thank God, and without my teammates, without my parents, my girlfriend, my sisters, my brothers, none of this would be possible. I’m just thankful to God. Today, his father and siblings all have learned about Jesus through his life. He said in an interview, “God lifts us up so we can lift Him up. He’s definitely using me in basketball to give Him glory and to use me to show other kids that God is with you and God has a plan for you no matter whether it’s basketball, football or being a doctor.” His name is Peyton Siva.

Having Jesus Christ in his Life Made Former Alcoholic Pat Summerall Feel ‘Ecstatic, Invigorated, Happy, and Free’ (Gospel Light Minute #95)

Pat Summerall
Pat Summerall

He was an American football player and television sportscaster who worked at CBS, Fox, and ESPN. In addition to football, he also announced major golf and tennis events. In total, he announced 16 Super Bowls on network television (more than any other announcer), 26 Masters Tournaments, and 21 US Opens. He also contributed to 10 Super Bowl broadcasts on CBS Radio as a pregame host or analyst. After retiring as a football player, he joined CBS as a commentator and worked with Tom Brookshier and John Madden on NFL telecasts for CBS and Fox. Though he retired in 2002, he continued to announce games on occasion.

He was named the National Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association in 1977, and inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1994. That year, he also received the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame in 1999. He was honored by the NFL with an award named after him which is presented during Super Bowl weekend at the NFL headquarters “to a deserving recipient who through their career has demonstrated the character, integrity and leadership both on and off the field that his name represents.”

Early on in his career, much of his life was characterized by alcoholism and the abandonment of his family. In 1992, his friends and family staged an intervention on his behalf, encouraging him to get professional help for his alcohol problems. He was angry at the idea but reluctantly agreed to enter rehab. While in rehab, he made the decision that changed his life.

He said, “I realized there was a Savior, there was a God.” He made the decision to accept Christ as his Saviour and said, “once I began to realize His involvement in my life, it was easy [to overcome alcoholism]. I never had a craving since then. My thirst for alcohol was being replaced by a thirst for knowledge about faith and God. I began reading the Bible regularly at the treatment center, and it became a part of my daily routine. The more I read, the more I felt a void in my life that needed to be filled.”

He was later baptized at the First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas. He described emerging from the water as though he was surfacing in a new world. He said, “For the first time in my life, I knew what people meant about being ‘born again’. I had already accepted that Jesus Christ was the Son of God who died for our sins. Now, I felt I was truly part of his family. I felt ecstatic, invigorated, happier, and freer. I felt as though my soul had been washed clean.” His name is Pat Summerall.

Adam Young: Making Music to Glorify Jesus Christ and ‘Spread Light’ in the World (Gospel Light Minute #93)

Adam Young
Adam Young

He is an American musician, producer, song writer, vocalist and the founder of the electronic musical project “Owl City”. While suffering from insomnia and working loading Coca-Cola trucks in his hometown of Owatonna, Minnesota, he began to compose music and record songs which he uploaded to MySpace from his parent’s basement. When his first label album, Ocean Eyes, went online, the iTunes music store chose “Fireflies” as its single of the week. “Fireflies” had 650,000 downloads that first week, and it wasn’t long before it was the No. 1 song in the U.S. It has been played almost 30 million times at his MySpace page alone. Suddenly, everybody knew who Owl City was, and album sales skyrocketed.

When asked about the source of his creativity, he said, “Faith and imagination. Faith is the reason I do what I do, imagination is the fuel that keeps the creativity flowing. The Lord Jesus Christ is my reason for creating and I have nothing but thanks and gratitude toward him for being allowed to do what I do, and ultimately, seize my wildest dreams as if they were just there waiting for me.”

He gave his life to Christ in middle school after hearing a testimony at church and says, “From then on, I’ve just wanted to serve Christ in every way I know how, music being the only thing I’ve ever considered myself any ‘good’ at. I guess my whole message or goal of this whole operation is to bring glory to Jesus Christ by all that I do and say.”

He wrote in his personal testimony, “Music is something that I can’t imagine living without, and though it means more to me than the world itself, there is something that weighs significantly heavier on the scale of all things valuable and important in my life, that being my relationship with Jesus Christ. I am left breathless, completely and utterly bereft of speech at how the Lord has chosen to use music in my life and what I do as Owl City to plant seeds, spread light like fire in an age where darkness feels more oppressive than ever, and ultimately, to glorify Him. I am endlessly honored and humbled that He should use me — a completely average, ordinary shy boy from the middle of nowhere, to do great things in order to further His kingdom.

“One thing I’ve never wanted to be shy about is the reason behind why I do what I do, why I create art, why I dream and imagine. That reason is my faith in a God more powerful and omnipotent and full of love for us than words can even begin to describe.” His name is Adam Young.

Jesus Christ: The Son of God, the Savior of Man (Gospel Light Minute #92)

[audio http://gospellightminute.buzzsprout.com/3192/84376-jesus-christ-the-son-of-god-the-savior-of-man-gospel-light-minute-92.mp3]
"Come unto Me"
“Come unto Me”

He was born in Bethlehem in a manger in a stable surrounded by animals. Herod sought to kill Him before He was even born, but God had another plan. He grew into a young boy and “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

By 12 years old, he was teaching the religious scholars about the kingdom of God. By age 30, He was working miracles across the then known world. He turned water into wine, commanded the sea to sit still and the wind to be quiet, walked on the water, fed five thousand people with a boy’s small lunch, healed ten lepers, cast out demons, made the blind see, the lame walk, and the dumb speak. He raised Lazarus from the dead, healed an official’s daughter, and caused the disciples to catch a boatload of fish after catching none all night. He did many other things as well but as John records in his Gospel, “if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.”

Not only did He work miracles, but He is the Son of the living God, the only begotten Son of the Father, the Son of the Highest, and the Son of the Blessed. He is the Mighty God, the Everlasting God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of the whole earth, God manifest in the flesh, the True God, and My Lord and my God. He is the Great I Am, the Strong and Mighty Jehovah, the Lord of Glory, the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the Almighty, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Creator of all things, the Everlasting Father, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last. He is life eternal, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the Rock of my Salvation, the Light of the world, the Chosen of God, the Redeemer, the Bright and Morning Star, the Day-spring from on High, the Hope of His people, and the Hope of the world.

Henry Ward Beecher said, “He painted no pictures. Yet some of the greatest paintings of Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci received their inspiration from Him. He wrote no poetry; but Dante, Milton, and scores of the world’s greatest poets were inspired by Him. He composed no music; but Haydn, Handel, Beethoven, Bach, and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfection in the symphonies and oratorios they composed in His praise. Every sphere of human greatness has been influenced by this humble carpenter of Nazareth!

He was crucified on a cross between two thieves; mocked and ridiculed as He hung on the cross. One Friday over 2000 years ago, He stretched out His arms and died for the sins of the whole world. He didn’t stop there, however, He was buried, and on Sunday morning, with all power, strength, and victory over sin and death, He got up out of the grave and now sits on the right hand of God the Father in Heaven. His name is Jesus Christ.

For Former “Three 6 Mafia” Rapper, Delmar “Mr. Del” Lawrence, a Stop in Church Unexpectedly Changed his Life Forever (Gospel Light Minute #89)

Delmar Lawrence
Delmar Lawrence

He is a hip hop artist and music producer. He is president of the independent record label Dedicated Music Group. Before becoming a Christian, he was a member of the Oscar winning, platinum-selling rap group Three 6 Mafia, which became famous for their hit song, “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.” He received a Grammy award nomination for Best Rock Gospel Album of the year and a 2010 GMA Dove Award nomination for Rap/Hip Hop Album of the year. His first Christian solo album, “The Future” was released in 2005 and debuted at No. 15 on Billboard’s Gospel Chart. “Hope Dealer” was released in 2007 and “Thrilla” was released in 2009.

As a member of Three 6 Mafia, which was known for its profane lyrics, he was a rising rap star with money, fame and a gold record — all before the age of 21. After being on tour for nearly a year, he made a return trip to his hometown of Memphis to surprise his family. Arriving on a Sunday morning, he made a stop at his home church, not knowing that he would leave that service a changed man. He said of that time, “I heard God speak to me during service, and He gave me a vision of what He wanted me to do. Based on that experience, I decided to give my life to God right then and there.” After giving his life to Christ, he now leads his own record label and a hip-hop influenced church, City of Refuge in Memphis. He is on a mission to win youth to Christ. He said, “I want youth to see they can have fun and still represent Christ. It does not matter what you did the night before; I am giving this word and I want these people to feel the love of Christ in their lives.” His name is Delmar “Mr. Del” Lawrence.

Brady Ellison: The Right Aim in Life (Gospel Light Minute #68)

Brady Ellison
Brady Ellison

He is an athlete from the United States who competes in team and individual archery. In 2007 and 2011, he won gold in the Pan American Games. In 2010, he won gold in the Archery World Cup. And in 2009 and 2011, he won gold in the World Indoor Archery Championships. He led the United States archery team in the London 2012 Olympics to a silver medal in the team archery competition.

He accepted Jesus Christ into his heart when he was a child, but at the time, he said, “I never knew what that meant. I believe that God saved me from dying in a horrible car accident in Vermont, and from there I started to take my faith a little more seriously. I met a man named Jansen Asbill and he really opened my eyes to the Lord. And then my wonderful girlfriend and family helped change me for the better.”

Regarding how his faith impacts his sport, he says, “Once I put winning in God’s hands, I stopped worrying about that. I just went to tournaments and shot with no fear, doing only the best I can do and leaving the rest up to God.” His name is Brady Ellison.

Smokey Robinson: Jesus Christ is the ‘Way Out of this Havoc and the Way Into Paradise’ (Gospel Light Minute #15)

He is known as one of the primary figures associated with the great days of Motown hits, second only to the company’s founder, Berry Gordy. His consistent commercial success and creative contributions earned him the title “King of Motown”. As an original member of Motown Records’ first vocal group “The Miracles” and as a solo artist, he delivered many US and UK Top 40 hits for Motown between 1960 and 1987. Besides recording and singing, he also wrote hit songs such as “My Guy”, “The Way You Do the Things You Do”, “My Girl”, and “Get Ready”. His 1960 single “Shop Around” was Motown’s first number one hit on the R&B singles chart and its first million-selling hit single. He has won many awards for his work including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999 and the National Medal of Arts in 2002.

One day while visiting a local minister’s home, he accepted Jesus Christ into his life by praying what is called the sinner’s prayer. He says of his faith in God, “I know the strength that Christ gives me. I know what He did for me. I know that He is my way out and my way in.
He’s my way out of all this havoc and my way into paradise. He suffered for me and for everybody. It’s so simple. God loves us so much. He said, “I’ll tell you what. I’m going to make it real simple for you. I’m going to send my Son, Jesus Christ. He’s going to take on all your iniquities and all your sins. He’s gonna die in your place so you can have everlasting life. All you’ve got to do is accept Him as your Saviour.” The gentleman who gave this testimony is Smokey Robinson.

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MP3 Download Link: Gospel Light Minute #15

Avery Johnson Answered the Call to Follow Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #11)

He is best known as the former head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. As a coach, he holds the highest winning percentage in NBA history and set the record for reaching the 150 win mark in the shortest number of games. In the 2005-2006 season, he led the Mavericks to their first ever appearance in the NBA Finals and earned the NBA Coach of the Year honor along the way. Known as “The Little General” for his on-court leadership abilities, he also helped guide the San Antonio Spurs to an NBA Championship in 1999. Before he became a coach, he became the 75th player in NBA history to play 1,000 career games. At 5’11”, he joined Calvin Murphy as the only other player under 6-feet in height to reach that milestone.

After a long night of drinking in 1989, he decided to attend a church service the next day. The minister preached a message about being fully committed to Jesus Christ. He says of his experience that day, “I don’t know how else to explain it except to say that I suddenly
felt the call to truly trust Christ. I had one foot in and one foot out. You’re either hot or you’re cold, and I wanted to be hot. That day I decided that I wanted to be different. I wanted to put my faith in Jesus Christ once and for all…I’ve been on that journey for a number of years now, and I can honestly say that it’s the best decision I ever made.” The man who said those words is Avery Johnson.

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MP3 Download Link: Gospel Light Minute #11

The Power of Prayer and Being in Partnership With God (Gospel Light Minute #9)

For eight years, she hosted her self-titled television show, which is now in nationwide syndication. She graduated from Mt. Holyoke College and Emory University School of Law. After college she became the highest-ranking African-American woman at Delta Air Lines, serving as senior attorney and manager of public relations. This position earned her a spot on Ebony magazine’s “100 Best and Brightest Women in Corporate America.” After leaving the corporate world, she became Georgia’s first African-American Chief Presiding Judge of a state court and department as well as the head of one of the largest juvenile court systems in the country.

While leading many cases involving children, she became interested in creating positive solutions for families. This led her to start “Parent Power Now”, the premiere online parenting network. Growing up in a small Baptist church, which she still attends today, she credits her parents, especially her father who died suddenly over 17 years ago, for teaching her to have her own direct relationship with God and to make prayer the source of her strength. She says that the power of prayer continues to be an anchor in her life, and that as we live life, we have to be in partnership with God and live life with purpose and intention. Her name is Judge Glenda Hatchett.

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MP3 Download Link: Gospel Light Minute #9