Terri Cadiente: How she ‘Experienced the Lord’s Grace and Peace Out of a Dark Lifestyle’ (Gospel Light Minute #165)

Terri Cadiente

Terri Cadiente

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She is a stuntwoman, jet-ski world record holder, life coach, wife, and mother. She has appeared in several movies including: “Evan Almighty”, “Titanic”, and “Waterworld”. She also worked on the hit TV series, “24”, for which she won the 2008 Screen Actor’s Guild award for “Best Stunt Ensemble.”

Growing up in a broken home, her perception of life and who she was, was tainted by feelings of being unloved, alcoholism, and abuse. After high school, she became a drug addict and fought that battle for over seven years. Her drug use led her to get involved in an argument with her boyfriend that almost led to her death. After she was released from the hospital she went to church that following Sunday and that is when her life began to turn around.

In an interview with CBN, she said, “I accepted the Lord in my heart and I believed that it was true, because I had just had this experience. When you are living such a dark lifestyle and you do experience the Lord’s grace and peace for the first time, it’s different. Something changes. The relationship I first thought of is ‘God is so far away, how could He have time for me’ to the relationship that I understand now is that He is very interested in me. He’s invested a lot in everyone of us. That was the amazing part.”

She went on to say, “To be a Christian in Hollywood, the cool part of it is there is no compromise. Because I kneel and bow to the Father, I don’t have to kneel and bow to man in the sense of I just know who I am. It’s really important that you know who you are when you step into Hollywood or there’s a cookie cutter that comes on you, and it will shape you.”

Her name is Terri Cadiente. Continue Reading…

Sterling Lucas on Football Becoming an “Idol” and How he Learned to “Truly Follow Christ” (Gospel Light Minute #164)

Sterling Lucas

Sterling Lucas

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He is a line backer for North Carolina State University. In high school, he was team captain and team MVP. In the Shrine Bowl, he also won defensive MVP honors after recording 8 tackles. And after his senior year, he was named an all-state, all-region, and all-area top player.

In an interview with Beyond the Ultimate, he spoke about growing up in church and how he came to know Jesus Christ. He said, “I grew up in the church my grandmother pastored. I always heard that Jesus died for our sins, but I didn’t fully grasp that Jesus was beaten and hung on a cross in our place, even when He did not deserve it, for our eternal life.

“After my grandmother died, I stopped going to church. A few years later, my family and I joined another church and I began to once again pursue Christ. When I got to college, I began doing what most students do: living the party lifestyle. I was still a believer but did not always show it, and I wasn’t bold about my faith. I basically put God on a shelf.

“Now, I understand how important it is to be plugged into a church or spiritual community to help you grow in your faith and keep you accountable. Athletes in Action provided that outlet for me. A teammate invited me to the meetings, and they talked about your identity not being in your sport, which appealed to me. I kept going back, and began really growing in my Christian walk.

“When you truly follow Christ, you find peace in knowing that whatever you go through, the Lord is able to get you through. Once I suffered a knee injury and had to sit out the season. I believe that God allowed this experience to draw me closer to Him. I realize that football does not define me as a person, but it had become an idol in my life.

“I am first and foremost a man of God, and football is just one of the many platforms that God has given me to bring Him glory. I am not perfect, and I fall short on many occasions, but I am standing here today by the grace of God, and I am going to do everything I can to fulfill God’s will for my life.”

His name is Sterling Lucas.

Keke Palmer on Staying ‘Close to God’, Staying ‘Prayed Up,’ and ‘Spreading God’s Love Around the World’ (Gospel Light Minute #163)

Keke Palmer

Keke Palmer

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She is an actress, television presenter, talk show host, dancer, singer, and songwriter. In 2004, she made her acting debut in the film “Barbershop 2: Back in Business.” She also starred in the movies: “Akeelah and the Bee” and “Madea’s Family Reunion” in 2006; “The Longshots” in 2008; and “Shrink” in 2009. In 2012, she returned to acting, starring in four films: “Joyful Noise”, “Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom”, “Ice Age: Continental Drift”, and “Virgin Mary”.

Alongside acting in movies, she has had numerous television roles including: “True Jackson, VP”, Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” and “Just Jordan.” In 2007, she released her debut album “So Uncool”. In 2012, she released a self-titled mixtape which received over 35,000 downloads. In 2013, she portrayed Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas in the TLC VH1-biopic “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story.” She has also won the “NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s Series or Special” six times. In 2010, she won the BET YoungStars Award.

In 2014, she made history as the youngest talk show host ever, at 20 years old. She is the host of the daytime talk show on BET, “Just Keke.” In September 2014, she will be the first African-American to portray Cinderella on Broadway.

She grew up in a Christian home near Chicago and sang in her church’s choir. During that time, she developed a relationship with God apart from her parents. In an interview with The Christian Post, she said, “I think that’s the whole point to Christianity… you have to live your life in order to understand God. It’s not about walking around trying to be perfect or going by a rule book. That’s how unbelievable the level of God’s love is for us. It’s that he’s willing to allow us to go our whole life in darkness because in the end we turn back to Him anyway.”

In an interview with EEW Magazine, she said: “My father’s a Deacon, my mother’s a choir director, so I grew up in the church, singing in the choir, and begging my mom if I could have a solo. That’s all very close to home for me… Real faith is when you believe in something that you can’t see. When things are going really bad and you can still get up and say I believe that they’re gonna get better, that there’s a higher lesson to what I’m going through. It can be hard sometimes, and to turn it around like that, that’s true faith.”

In an interview with Madame Noire, she answered the question of how she stays grounded in the entertainment industry. She said, “I stay close to my family, friends and God. I always make sure I am prayed up. My focus is not on the materialistic things around me. I never wanted to get caught up in the Hollywood stuff because that is not what matters. What matters is my purpose and spreading God’s love around the world.”

Her name is Keke Palmer. Continue Reading…

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

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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.

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

Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls

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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…

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