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

mawae6

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)”

Tasha Smith: From Atheism to ‘Challenging God’ to Finally Understanding God’s Love (Gospel Light Minute #146)

Tasha Smith
Tasha Smith

She is an actress who has appeared in numerous movies and plays. She is well-known for her role as Angela Williams in the Tyler Perry films “Why Did I Get Married?” and “Why Did I Get Married Too?” She also stars as Angela on the OWN comedy-drama television series Tyler Perry’s “For Better or Worse”. She launched an organic perfume line titled “US” with her husband in 2011. And she coaches many aspiring actors through her acting workshop. She has appeared on America’s Next Top Model as an acting coach, helping the models with different scenes. Her TV credits include: “The Parkers”, “Girlfriends”, “All of Us” and “The Game”. Her other film credits include “Miles from Home”, “Couples Retreat”, “Something Like a Business”, and “Jumping the Broom”.

In an interview with EURweb.com, she discussed her conversion from atheism to Christianity. She said, “When I was 25 I had an encounter with God because my father had gotten sick. I had a time where I really challenged God, like, if you’re really God you’ll show me such-and-such’. I was going through this whole thing where I questioned whether God was real or not. I really needed God to be real because I was feeling so depressed and so unhappy, I felt like if there isn’t a God [then] I have no reason to live. It was just a bad time in my life and God really showed up and met me where I was.”

In an interview with Da Gospel Truth, she said of her faith, “There was definitely a time where I did not believe in the Lord. I needed to understand the love of God. You hear so many people always telling you what you should or shouldn’t do, telling you you’re a sinner, telling you how bad you are, all those things about yourself. I was lacking the understanding of the love of God. I didn’t know there was a God that loved me. I think that it’s the love of God that brings man into repentance. Once you embrace that love and have that fellowship with God, all those things that you shouldn’t be doing will go away. He said no flesh is going to glory in His presence. Once we spend time in the presence of God and fellowship with him, all that stuff that we thought was so great, that we idolized, that we made so big in our lives become so small and insignificant in the presence of God. I strongly encourage people to fellowship with God and show them in the Word how much He loves them.”

When asked how she stays motivated in her work, she replied, “I know God has a purpose for my life. I know that every opportunity I have in my life, whether good or bad, is another journey that I’m going to have with God. To be honest, I am so grateful about where I am in my life right now. Based on where I’ve come from, every day is a blessing. I’m human and there are definitely times when I get down, but I try not to focus on that. I try to stay in the Word and stay in fellowship with God. I get excited when I’m doing something for somebody like teaching my classes, working on a script and just staying creative, focused and prayerful! That’s it.”

Her name is Tasha Smith. Continue reading “Tasha Smith: From Atheism to ‘Challenging God’ to Finally Understanding God’s Love (Gospel Light Minute #146)”

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.

Veronica Roth: God Wants to Mend Our Broken World (Gospel Light Minute #109)

Veronica Roth
Veronica Roth

She is the New York Times bestselling author of “Divergent” and “Insurgent”. Over 4 million copies of the novels have been sold. The first book in the Divergent series spent over 50 weeks on the New York Times Bestsellers List and is currently being made into a film by Summit Entertainment. She is also the recipient of the Goodreads Favorite Book of 2011 award and the 2012 Goodreads winner for Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction. The “Divergent” trilogy will conclude with the third book, “Allegiant”, which will be released on October 22, 2013.

She is a Christian who seeks to provide a role model through her books to many young girls “who are growing up and trying to figure out what it means to be female/feminist in a post-feminist world.” Even though she writes for a broad audience, she has never hidden the fact that she is a follower of Jesus Christ. And she often includes questions about faith in her characters’ lives in her books.

In a post on her blog, she wrote: “You can summarize Christian teachings in two parts: crucifixion and resurrection. Brokenness and mending. My concern with many Christians is their refusal to acknowledge brokenness. It’s all fine and good to walk around thinking “I’ve been saved!”, but seriously: saved from what? Sometimes I wonder if they even know, or if it’s too uncomfortable to think about.

“I believe the resurrection has little significance unless you understand the crucifixion — and vice versa. We Christians need to understand both to the best of our abilities. And our belief is that the crucifixion happened because of sin — everyone’s. I try to think primarily of my own sin, because it reminds me not to get self-righteous. My sin. Mine. Just as much as anyone else’s.

“The world is broken. No matter how much time you spend covering your eyes, and covering your children’s eyes, the world will still be broken when you uncover them. And when I say the world is broken, I mean that bad crap is happening to people everywhere and people are doing terrible things everywhere. Do you want your kids to understand just how beautiful the grace of God is? Then they have to understand how crappy the world is. It’s not just ‘a good idea.’ It’s necessary.

“The world is broken, and we need to know that. We need to understand how damaging sin is or we’ll never understand why we need to turn away from it, and fight against it with everything we have… We can talk about how sometimes the world is broken but we believe in a God who wants to mend it, and we are His hands and feet; we get to help.”

Her name is Veronica Roth.

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.