Nancy Stafford: A Religious ‘Seeker’ Whose Life Was ‘Radically’ Changed by Jesus (Gospel Light Minute #174)

Nancy Stafford

Nancy Stafford

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She is a former model, actress, author, and speaker. She is perhaps best known for playing the role of Michelle Thomas on the popular TV show, “Matlock” in the 1980s. From 1995 to 2005, she hosted a show about fashion and beauty called “Main Floor.” Her other film credits include: “Moment of Truth”, “Christmas with a Capital C”, and “Season of Miracles” among others. Her TV credits include: “Sidekicks”, “Quantum Leap”, and “The Mentalist” among others. In 2011, she was nominated for the Movie Guide Grace Award for her role in “Christmas with a Capital C”. Her Christian books include: “Beauty by the Book: Seeing Yourself as God Sees You” and “The Wonder of His Love: A Journey into the Heart of God”.

In an interview with the Christian Post, she described her Christian faith journey. Even though she was raised in a Southern Baptist family and taught to have a strong, faithful relationship with God as a child, she said, “For 15 years, I was a prodigal. I still believed [in God], it’s just that He was not the center of my life, but I chose my projects based on those beliefs. I looked at myself as the one making things happen and put my career at the center of my life. My personal choices left me broken and going from boyfriend to boyfriend to boyfriend. So I had an epiphany and was diagnosed with cancer on my face. It threatened the career I’d built my life on. I realized that everything I had built my ‘perfect’ life on could be taken away in a moment.”

In an Assist News interview, she spoke further about her faith and the moment she turned her life over completely to Jesus Christ. She said, “I actually came to faith after I started my career, but I was a lapsed Christian for many, many years. I’d become a seeker and I was seeking all the world religions looking for answers and I was a student of Buddhism and Hinduism and Rosicrucianism and the whole new age gamut. I was reading my Bible at the same time too. And one day I was shooting an episode of ‘Magnum P.I.’ in Hawaii back in 1984 and I had brought my Bible with me and I had this incredible encounter with the living Lord. So right there on a beach in Hawaii, I went rushing into the arms of the one who’s been rushing after me all these years.”

She went on to say, “[This decision] certainly began to radically change the roles that I chose and how I conducted myself in the workplace. I began to pray about whether or not to take certain roles. As with all of us, when Christ is really the one informing us of our choices, you may not rise to quite the heights because you know it’s harder to say yes to projects that are anathema to our faith, so I turned down an awful lot of work over the years.”

“I am so aware now of why God has enabled me to be an actress, especially on a show like ‘Matlock.’ It’s because it gives me equity and a platform, and so I appreciate it and am glad for it. I want to give them [the public] assurance that God loves them, cares for them, and provide them hope.”

Today, she serves on the Biola University Studio Task Force as well as on the advisory board for The Dove Foundation. Along with speaking to Christian groups and writing inspiration books, she also assists her husband, a Dallas Theological Seminary graduate, in church planting and Christian music and ministry.

Her name is Nancy Stafford.

Sen. Tim Scott: ‘I’ve Never Been the Same Since Giving My Life to Christ'; ‘God Isn’t Through with America Yet’ (Gospel Light Minute #173)

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He is the junior United States Senator for South Carolina. He was appointed as senator in 2013 after South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley named him to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint. He ran in a special election in 2014 for the final two years of DeMint’s second term, and won the seat. In November 2010, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives for South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, and served from 2011 to 2013. He is the first Republican African-American Congressman from South Carolina since 1897. From 2009-2011, he served one term in the South Carolina General Assembly and from 1996 to 2008, he served on the Charleston County Council. He is one of two African Americans serving in the United States Senate, the first African-American senator from the state of South Carolina, and the first elected from the South since Reconstruction in 1881. He is also the first African-American to have been elected to both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

In a speech to the Values Voters Summit, he spoke of his faith. He said, “The words of Amazing Grace never meant more to me than on September the 22nd, 1983. I was on a little college football scholarship at Presbyterian College and they had this thing called the FCA, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I remember walking down the aisle and I got down on my knees as a person who is so selfish, but when I rose back up the Lord had become the Master of my life.” As a member of Seacoast Church in Charleston, he went on to say, “I have never been the same since that day of decision….And I have good news for all of us: God is not finished with me yet and God is not finished with you yet. But perhaps the best news is God is not finished with America yet.”

His name is Tim Scott.

This is the “Chief of Sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me. Just as Tim Scott gave his life to Christ, may I encourage you to do the same. Here is how:

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Remember, friend, Believe by faith. Share the faith. and Keep the faith!

Madison Bumgarner: ‘Jesus Christ Means Everything to Me. He is My Saviour and I Live for Him.’ (Gospel Light Minute #172)

Madison Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner

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He is a major league baseball pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. He and the Giants have won three World Series championships in 2010, 2012, and 2014. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 World Series. He is a two time MLB All-Star and won the Willie Mac Award in 2014. In 2010, he became the fourth-youngest pitcher to start and win a World Series game as well as the youngest to make a scoreless start of six innings or more. He holds several MLB records including the record for longest save in a World Series and the record for most World Series wins through age 25.

In an interview with CBN, he said of his faith, “If it weren’t for my faith, there is no way I would be where I am at today. My faith is a really big part of my career and my life. I married a Christian girl as my wife and it has been great. It has helped me along the way so much. I know I wouldn’t be where I am at now without my faith. The biggest thing I want people to know about me is that I am a believer, I’m a Christian, not just that I’m a baseball player or any of the other stuff I like to do. You’ll see me and I will always go out there and kneel down and pray before the game. I try to lead that lifestyle and make it so people can recognize that. Jesus Christ means everything to me. He is my Saviour and I live for Him. As a Christian, you have a sense of peace. I grew up in a church at home, got saved when I was 16, and ever since then I have been trying to live for Jesus Christ. That’s the main thing. I don’t want to live for myself; I want to live for Him.”

His name is Madison Bumgarner. Continue Reading…

Bobby Evans On his Relationship with Christ and how it Influences his Family, his Marriage, and his Work in Baseball (Gospel Light minute #171)

Bobby Evans

Bobby Evans

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He is the assistant general manager for the San Francisco Giants. He played an important role in helping the organization win two World Series titles in 2010 and 2012. He also assisted the Giants in being named the Topps Organization of the Year in both 2009 and 2011 and the Baseball America Organization of the Year in 2010. Along with negotiating all major league player contracts, he helps to acquire free agents and signing minor league talent. In 2012, he received the Bowie Kuhn Award, which is presented annually to an individual, team or organization which demonstrates support of the chapel program in professional baseball.

He became a Christian at 7-years-old and for the past 21 years, he has been a faithful member of First Baptist Church in San Francisco. He has served on the leadership board of First Baptist for 18 years, and he makes worship attendance with his family a priority.

In an interview with the Baptist Press, he said of his faith, “You want your life to point people to Christ. It starts for me with my own relationship with Christ. That’s going to direct and dictate what influence I have for Christ in my family, in my marriage and in the workplace. In baseball, as in other businesses, following Jesus and being a faithful church member is hard, but it’s going to all start with where I am in my relationship with Christ.”

His name is Bobby Evans. Continue Reading…

Phil Dawson: ‘In the NFL There is No Security; Real Security is Found in Christ’ (Gospel Light Minute #170)

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He is a placekicker for the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL. He previously for the Cleveland Browns from 1999 to 2012 and holds their franchise record for most field goals made. He played college football at University of Texas at Austin. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2012, twice to the Second-team All-Pro in 2007 and 2012, and twice was named NFC Special Teamer of the Week in 2013.

In an interview with the Baptist Bulletin, he said of his faith, “For a long time, football was a god for me. Although I was raised in church and I knew it shouldn’t be that way, it was. You know all of the church songs and the hand motions that go with them; you go to summer camp; you go to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. This was me up until I was nine years old—when I realized Jesus died for me, and I recognized He died for my sins.”

After high school, he experienced spiritual struggles in college. He said, “The problem was that I continued to be that little kid in church, doing all the same things. So when I went to college, I don’t know how personal my relationship with Christ was.” He credits attending a Fellowship of Christian Athletes retreat and the Longhorns’ team chaplain for helping turn his life around.

We went on to say, “It’s a struggle to find contentment when I’m thinking I’m never good enough. At one point, I had seven good seasons until one year—an off year—and I really struggled with being content. It’s been a working lesson in being content and trusting God. It makes you appreciate the security we have in Christ, because in the NFL there is no security. They can drop you at any time.”

His name is Phil Dawson. Continue Reading…

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