The Question God Asked Steve Smith: “When Are You Going to Start Playing for Me?” (Gospel Light Minute #133)

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Steve Smith

Steve Smith

He is a wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers. He played college football at the University of Utah. He was chosen by the Panthers as a third round pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. He was selected to the Pro-Bowl five times and to the All-Pro three times. He is known as one of the most productive wide receivers in the NFL. In 2005, he led the league in receiving yards, catches, and touchdowns. This same year, he was the NFL Alumni Wide Receiver of the Year, AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year, and the PFWA NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Having spent his whole career with the Panthers, he is the team’s all-time leader in total touchdowns, receptions, and receiving yards. He currently leads all active NFL players in all-purpose yardage.

He says of his faith, “I accepted Christ in a boiler room in Tampa Bay in 2003. I accepted Christ, but I didn’t understand the responsibility, or understand the full lifelong commitment, the true covenant between a believer, myself and—with Christ. And so I was kind of lukewarm, I was straddling the fence. I kind of looked for (it) when I needed it, but when I didn’t need it, just kind of shoved it to the side.”

With talent, pride, and a chip on his shoulder, he often got into arguments with other players and teammates. During the 2010 season, he decided to change that. After taking a long look in the mirror, he said, “I really just did not recognize the man, the young man, in the mirror. I didn’t recognize him, I didn’t see it, I didn’t like what I saw; vain, egotistical, and self centered. The world revolved around me. And, it was only important thing at that time was me. And that’s not how real life works. That’s not what it’s about. That’s not what a husband ought to think, ought to be, that’s not what a father ought to be.”

He says that’s when he was faced with a question from God. He said, “God just really broke me and asked me that question that I think everyone has in different ways. Which was, ‘You’ve played this game long enough for yourself; when are you going to start playing for Me?’ That was a question that hit home.” It was then that he decided to rededicate his life to the Lord.

He said, “You can have your bank account at Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, every big business, but on that weekend, they aren’t open. At midnight when you’re broken, that bank account isn’t going to help you. God has been in my life whether I’ve known it or not, and been looking out for me the days that He knows, He’s known. And He’s been there in the muck and the mire. For me, He’s redemptive; He’s that Father that even when your dad is striking out, He’ll hold you.”

His name is Steve Smith.

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

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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.

Rashad Jennings: ‘If You Put God First, He Will Take Care of Everything Else in Your Life’ (Gospel Light Minute #131)

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Rashad Jennings

Rashad Jennings

He is a running back for the Oakland Raiders. He was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft before going to the Raiders in 2013. He played college football at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Before transferring to Liberty, he attended the University of Pittsburgh in 2005 and became only the fourth true freshman running back to start there.

At Liberty, he set a Big South Conference record with 3,633 yards with 42 TDs and a 5.7-yards-per-carry average. He holds numerous rushing records including most rushing yards and touchdowns in a single season and most 100-yard consecutive, single-season, and career games. He also played high school football at Liberty Christian Academy where he helped the team advance from a 0-11 season to a 10-1 season in two years.

He says of his faith in God, “I am truly humbled to be in the position I am. There is nothing special about me; I am just in a special position, and it is my job to utilize it to advance the kingdom. My faith is what got me here. My faith is going to keep me here. A part of playing in this game is to make sure that I witness to as many guys as I can; that truth (the Gospel) is going to last longer than the NFL.” He says his time at Liberty University showed him that “if you do things the right way, if you put God first and give him honor in your life, He will take care of everything else.”

His name is Rashad Jennings.

LL Cool J says, “I Am a Christian” and “I Love God” (Gospel Light Minute #130)

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LL Cool J

LL Cool J

He is a rapper, entrepreneur, and actor. He has released thirteen studio albums and two greatest hits compilations including “Mama Said Knock You Out” in 1990 and “The DEFinition” in 2004. His latest album “Authentic” was released on April 30, 2013. He is well known for the popular hip-hop tracks, “I Can’t Live Without My Radio”, “I’m Bad”, and “Rock The Bells” among others. He has also appeared in numerous films and TV shows including: “Krush Groove”, “Charlie’s Angels”, “Deliver Us from Eva”, “Last Holiday”, “Kingdom Come” and “30 Rock”.

He is currently starring on the CBS crime drama TV series, “NCIS: Los Angeles” as Special Agent Sam Hanna. He has won several awards including, a Grammy award in 1992 and 1997; an MTV Best Rap Video Music Award in 1991; 4 NAACP Image Awards; and 2 Soul Train Music Awards. He was inducted into Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007.

In an interview with Crosswalk, he talked extensively about his faith. He said, “I’m a Christian. Faith is a huge part of what I do, on every level – and I mean from salvation to tithes and offerings, and on every level and every dynamic that you can think about. … I was raised in church, and I read the Bible constantly. I stay in the Word constantly, on every level, because ultimately I think that we need that strength. You need that power in your life – that wisdom and discernment. You need that rain on all the seeds that are inside of you, and constantly nurture that potential that God placed inside of you, by watering it with that Word and constantly getting that in you, so that you can deal with the industry, so that you can deal with the trials and tribulations and temptations that come your way because of film, because of television, music and various other areas of the world, and the industry that I’m in. For me, it started off as a boy, and here I am.”

Asked how he nurtures his faith in the music and film industry, he said, “It’s kind of interesting. Sometimes, you have to let your life be the testimony. You have to let your life and yourself be the example. If I can be successful in the secular world and give God the glory, then it’s not so difficult. If ultimately he gets the glory, then the proof is in the pudding. If I can go out and claim a victory for God, and if I can go out and do incredibly exciting things and take my life to new dimensions and new levels and, at the end of the day, when I’m standing in the end zone, give God the glory, then I’ve done my job. Yeah, you get some of those weird vibes that people have because they fear being looked upon as different from everyone else when they talk about God. But for me, I love God, and I’ve never had a problem with going out in front and saying that it’s because of the tithes and offerings, and because of the faith and because of the fact that I’m willing to step out of everything worldly that I’m able to be in this position. I don’t have a problem saying that. It doesn’t bother me.”

His name is LL Cool J.

ABC News Anchor, Paula Faris, Aims to ‘Show Christ’s Love’ Through her Actions (Gospel Light Minute #129)

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She is a television correspondent for ABC News. She has co-anchored the overnight news programs World News Now and America This Morning on ABC with Rob Nelson. She is a graduate of Cedarville University with a degree in broadcasting. She is married with three children and attends Hillsong Church in New York.

As a high school student, she was unsure of what she wanted to do with her life until her high school drama teacher encouraged her to study broadcasting in college. She did that and soon found peace from God regarding her direction in life when He opened up the door for her at ABC News. As a Christian, she says there are tests in the news business. “I feel some of the choices that are made in terms of editorial [content] — I’m not going to do anything that compromises my beliefs and I’ll stand up for that. It’s also a challenge because people expect that because I’m a Christian I’m going to do all these faith-based stories, but at the same time, I feel I’m there to influence and to pitch stories.”

She says her church, Hillsong Church in New York, helps to equip her for those long, tough news days. She said, “We try to be involved, but it’s hard with such a frenetic and spontaneous schedule. But we’re there every week — faithful members. Our kids are involved in the kids’ ministry there. We’re at church every Sunday and we stay in contact with fellow believers throughout the week, just encouraging each other throughout the week.”

She chooses to let her light shine for Jesus through her work. She said, “People know that there is something different about me. I think most people know that I’m a Christian. I’ve had some great opportunities to share the love of Christ with people but I think if I’m not first and foremost showing Christ’s love, it doesn’t matter if I wear a bracelet or wear a T-shirt.”

Her name is Paula Faris.

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