Taraji P. Henson: “I Love the Lord and I’m Not Afraid to Say It” (Gospel Light Minute #144)

Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson

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She is an actress and singer. She is well-known for her roles as Yvette in “Baby Boy”, Shug in “Hustle and Flow”, and Queenie in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2009 for her role in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. She also starred in the CBS drama “Person of Interest” from 2011 to 2013. Her other film and TV credits include, “Boston Legal”, “The Family That Preys”, “I Can Do Bad All By Myself”, “The Karate Kid”, “Think Like a Man” and “Think Like a Man Too” among many others. In 2011, she won the BET Award for Best Actress and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for the film “Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story.”

In an interview with Beliefnet, she said of her faith, “It is everything. That’s who I am. God lives within me. I meditate, I pray. I’m nothing without God. So, I just ask that He use me in my work. There’s always somebody who can identify with the characters that I portray.”

In an interview with the Christian Post, she spoke of her new role as the host of the annual Celebration of Gospel. She said, “I’m funny, but a lot of times they get comedians or personalities. So I was just very, very honored. And then when I met with the executives I got goosebumps. We all did because it just felt like the perfect marriage. Anybody that follows me, that knows me — knows that I love the Lord and I’m not afraid to say it. I’m not afraid to tweet it, I’m not afraid to talk about it in the interviews. So it just made sense. I wasn’t trying to fill steve Harvey’s shoes, they’re too big. I like my shoes. I just was myself. Somebody might get saved [from watching the show], somebody might be touched by a story that someone tells. I think this show can definitely change a person’s life. You never know.”

In an interview with Madame Noire, she also spoke of her new role as the host of the annual Celebration of Gospel. She said, “I almost dropped the phone [when I heard they wanted me to be the host]. I know the history of that. They’re trusting me with something that’s been around. Celebration of Gospel, that’s 14 years strong. It’s not new, but I think it’s a great marriage because a lot of the people who watch that show follow me so I was honored to do that. I’m very spiritual. I believe in God. I don’t do anything without praying first and listening to God’s voice. I do go to church. Church is in me. When you’re a God-fearing person, you recognize someone who has God in their heart. So I needed that at that moment. Just as I was about to go off and do all of these things, I had to host that show and it just gave me the spiritual soundness that I needed to stay grounded and focused. Everything happens for a reason and I truly believe it.”

When asked about her favorite Bible verse in an interview with HelloBeautiful, she said, “You know what it is, whenever I have an issue or problem in my life, I always go to the book of Psalms. There’s always something there that speaks to my issues, to my problems. The book of Psalms is where my head is all the time.”

In the same interview, she said, “My faith is tested everyday in small ways. It doesn’t have to be in big ways. My faith is tested everyday and that’s when I go to, ‘God is.’ I went all day yesterday thinking I was having a great day, but then that Devil likes to rear his head when you get comfortable, doesn’t he? I let him know, I see you and I say, ‘God is.’”

Her name is Taraji Henson.

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

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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?

Korie Robertson: ‘God and Faith is What Makes Our Life Good’ (Gospel Light Minute #142)

Korie Robertson

Korie Robertson

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She is the wife of Duck Dynasty star, Willie Robertson, and mother to five children. As a business partner, she helped her husband and family grow the Duck Commander company into an ever-expanding and very successful enterprise in Louisiana. She serves as the Duck Commander office manager. Along with her husband, she is the author of the New York Times bestseller, “The Duck Commander Family Book” in which they detail their life, family, business, popular TV show, and faith. She most recently made an appearance in the movie, “God’s Not Dead”. And her newest book and accompanying five-week church curriculum, “Faith Commander: Living Five Values from the Parables of Jesus” will be released in May.

She says that she is proud of her Christian faith and often encourages other Christians to stand up for their beliefs. She said in an interview, “God and our faith is what sustains us. It’s what makes our life good. This faith is behind who we are as a family and what keeps us together and strong. Don’t let someone bully you into not standing up for your beliefs.”

Her name is Korie Robertson.

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

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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.

Disney Animator, Mark Henn, is Grateful that God has Blessed him to Live Out his Boyhood Dream (Gospel Light Minute #140)

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He is one of the longest continuously employed artists at Disney. In over 30 years, his contributions to animation have included several leading Disney characters, mostly heroines. His work includes: Princess Jasmine in “Aladdin,” Belle in “Beauty and the Beast,” Ariel in “Little Mermaid,” Young Simba in “The Lion King” and Mulan in “Mulan”. He was also the animator of the 2007 film “Enchanted”, and he directed the award-winning short film, “John Henry.” Additionally, he was the supervising animator of Princess Tiana in Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog.” He has been nominated for an Annie award four times: three times for Character Animation for “The Lion King,” “Mulan,” and “Winnie the Pooh,” and once for Short Animated Film Direction for “John Henry.” Recently, he served as one of the lead animators, overseeing the development of all of the characters on the Oscar-winning film “Frozen”.

Emily Belz of World Magazine says that he is a Christian. In an interview, she asked him, “How does your faith play into your work, into character development and storytelling?” He said, “It’s a global impact as well as day-to-day and scene-to-scene. I’m very blessed. … This has been my boyhood dream to be a Disney animator. I’ve seen a lot of change and a lot of ups and downs. I was almost fired at one point. God has been incredibly gracious to allow me to be here, and I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be… God has gotten me through many a tough day and tough scene and tough production schedule. It’s nice to work for a company where the basic values we want to put across in our films are right in line with my faith.”

His name is Mark Henn.

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