2018 – Changed Lives Archives – Jul/Aug
Dancer To Disciple
D. James Kennedy
We often call ministers “men of the cloth” and think of them as pristine individuals who have lived clean and perfect lives. But if a minister should reveal their seedy background, we are shocked. How could someone so far from God’s ideals become a minister of God’s word? In that moment we forget the power and beauty of a “changed life through Christ.”
Take D. James Kennedy for example. He was Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida for 47 years. He also held several degrees, wrote many books and was the founder of the popular Evangelism Explosion Training Program. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 77, leaving a strong Christian legacy behind him.
But who was D. James Kennedy before he gave His life to Jesus Christ? You may be surprised to learn he was a typical worldly person in his twenties. He wasn’t a church-goer nor did he think about God. He said, “I was millions of light years away from being anything like a minister.”
Kennedy studied music in college but dropped out after a couple of years. He was all about dancing and parties; he actually became a dance instructor for Arthur Murray Studios. He was very good at it and had won a few awards. He eventually met his wife, Anne, there while giving her lessons.
After partying one Saturday night until two in the morning, he set his alarm clock for noon the next day. Sunday arrived and his clock radio came on. But the radio dial must have moved inadvertently because instead of the music he was used to hearing, he heard a voice that seemed quite odd. He actually thought someone had come into his room!
The voice said, “Young man, if you were to die tonight and stand before almighty God and He were to say to you, ‘What rights do you have to enter into my heaven?’ What would you say?”
At that point James realized the voice was coming from his radio. And the question posed to him was something he had never considered, ever in his life. He was a young man and didn’t think he would die for a hundred years, so to speak. Even so, he thought about the importance of what the man had said: “Why should God let me into His heaven?”
James began to reason through some answers. They were similar to what other folks have said: “I’ve lived a good life, and kept the ten commandments, and followed the golden rule and done the best I could.”
The radio preacher interrupted his line of thought and echoed the very same answers. Then he said, “. . . if you had the audacity to say such a thing as that to the all Holy God that knows your every thought and deed he would have instantly plunged you into the lake of fire.” Wow. That really got Kennedy’s attention. He sat straight up and listened as the preacher went on to share the Good News of the Gospel. He heard that eternal life was free and that Jesus suffered and paid for all of our sins so that we could live in eternity with Him.”
Kennedy thought about these truths and later found himself on his knees, weeping and praying to the Lord for the forgiveness of his sins. He said, “Lord, I’m so, so sorry. I didn’t know that you’d done all of that for me.” He went on to accept the Lord’s gift and gave his heart and life to God.
D. James Kennedy uses biblical principles forged in his own life and in the life of the church to highlight practical ways for believers to go deeper in their spiritual walk and set long-term goals according to God’s Will. Readers will learn to partner with Christ and set goals that will affect the way they interact with family, friends, church, community, colleagues, and their environment.
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MORE BOOKS BY D. JAMES KENNEDY:
Kennedy was truly born-again that day. And in the days following he thought about how wonderful it was to know he’d live with God eternally. It truly was Good News; it was the best news he had ever heard.
God is still in the business of changing lives. Have you asked Him to come into your heart and change you?
For more information about how to become a Christian, visit: https://kathyveer.com/become-a-christian/
href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._James_Kennedy” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._James_Kennedy
I Saw The Face Of God
We don’t often think about the lives of news anchors and journalists. After all, it’s the message we want to hear; they’re just the messengers. Once in awhile though, there’s a share-worthy narrative from the world of media. So today, we bring you the story of Senior Political Analyst for Fox News, Brit Hume.
Hume has been in the news business for decades. He began in the field of print media but later became well established on ABCs World News Tonight with Peter Jennings as chief White House correspondent. He’s also served as the managing editor at Fox News for twelve years, and has hosted a number of shows and events including the 2016 Presidential elections.
Growing up, Brit attended St. Albans school and comes from an Episcopal background. You could say he believed in God and may have even confessed that he was a Christian, but it was nominal at best.
During an interview with David Brody of The Brody File, Hume shared, “I went through my adult life with little thought day by day of God or Christ or any of the rest of it. I just didn’t think about it very much. When my son died in 1998, you know, when something shattering like that happens, I think it’s likely to be a moment . . . where you find out what you really believe . . .” Hume further went on to say that he “saw the face of God” after the tragedy. It was a life-changing experience that led him to surrender his life to Jesus Christ from that point forward.
In another interview in 2009, on Fox News, Hume explained, “Eleven years ago my son committed suicide and it was–as you can imagine–absolutely devastating. And yet throughout that whole, horrible time, I had the sense that God was there for me; that He would rescue me; that He would save me, and He did, in ways I couldn’t have imagined or expected . . . I felt it was time for me now to face up to the Christian faith . . . and the implications of what I purported to believe. And I’ve been trying ever since.
Hume described Christianity as being a “religion for sinners.” And that statement was the perfect transition into another topic: the scandal surrounding Tiger Woods. When asked what advice he could offer Woods, Hume simply said: “. . . the extent to which he [Tiger] can recover, it seems to me, depends on his faith. He’s said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith, so my message to Tiger would be ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith, and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.’”
Brit took a lot of heat for that comment. He was put down by many including broadcasters, writers, radio hosts, celebrities and more. His words were not understood nor appreciated. But Hume has no regrets. He said, “If you’re trying to find the two most explosive words in the English language, those two words are Jesus Christ. You start talking about Jesus Christ . . . and all hell breaks loose. People rage about this and it’s very offensive to people that don’t share the faith . . .”
This is a heart-level conversation with you, the reader. Every excuse, reason, and roadblock for not coming to Christ is examined and duly dealt with. If you think you may be too bad, or that you sin either openly or behind closed doors, you will discover that life in Christ is for you too. Come and embrace the truth, claim it for your own, and be genuinely set free for now and eternity. Come, and live a victorious life for God.
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The Bible says, “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God,”(II Corinthians 4:4 NLT).
People seem unable to hear the truth of the Gospel and they get angry and upset over it; that makes it very difficult to be a witness for Christ.
Conversely, born-again Christians have the spirit of God dwelling within them. They have come to understand God’s message. Jesus is the Emmanuel, which means, “God with us,” (see Matthew 1:23). And this same God is not willing that any should perish, (see II Peter 3:9). Sharing the hope of one’s faith is a life and death matter. And while the implications are eternal, there’s also a very practical side to following the Lord: He wants us to be blessed in this life too.
Are you facing a challenge of some kind in your life? Turn to Jesus. He promises that His yoke [harness] is easy and His burden is light, (see Matthew 11:30).
From A Shrimp To A Whale
The Story Of William Wilberforce
Slavery has been practiced throughout the centuries, and was once even supported by the church. How can that be, you ask? We need to define slavery to understand what is meant here.
Slaves in ancient times were not taken against their will. People sold themselves as slaves in order to pay debts. Once those debts were fulfilled, slaves were free to go. But many stayed on as “bond-slaves” because it was preferable; it improved their economic situation. Times were hard back then, and often, people couldn’t make a living on their own. Being a slave offered security and protection. The Bible acknowledges the use of slavery but outlines fair practices for slave owners.
In the 1800s, especially in America, slaves were greatly abused. They were treated as property; they were without rights; their living conditions were inhumane; they were over-worked, starved, and terribly mistreated. Such was also the case in the British Empire.
Martin Luther King Jr. fought for racial equality in this country back in the 60s. His work achieved great milestones and we are grateful. Similarly, William Wilberforce of Great Britain was an activist in his day. He fought for the abolition of slavery in the 1800s. At the age of twenty-one and while still a student, Wilberforce was elected as a Member of Parliament. During that time the British were taking goods to Africa and taking part in the slave trade. It was then that Wilberforce began to campaign against it. So, why had this become such a hot-burning issue for Wilberforce?
Growing up in East Yorkshire, England, William was an only child. His health was poor and his eyesight was quite bad causing him to struggle in school. His father died when William was nine. His mother couldn’t cope and sent him to live with a rich aunt and uncle whom he became extremely fond of. His aunt influenced him in the Christian faith which led William to become interested in evangelism. But when his uncle and grandfather passed, leaving him a massive fortune, he took on a lifestyle of gambling and late-night drinking parties.
Wilberforce managed to press through the distractions of life. He studied hard and earned a Bachelors and a Masters degree. He also became interested in politics and thus worked in the government. That’s where he was learned about the atrocities of the slave trade which drew him back to the spiritual principles his aunt Hannah had taught him years ago.
He began rising early to read the Bible and pray and underwent an evangelical conversion which changed his life. Because religious enthusiasm was generally looked down upon in polite society, it led him to question whether he should quit or remain in public life.
John Newton, a leading evangelical clergyman of the day had befriended Wilborforce as did Prime Minister William Pitt. Both Newton and Pitt counseled Wilberforce to remain in the Parliament, and he agreed to do so “with increased diligence and conscientiousness”.
Wilberforce’s political views were deeply conservative based on his faith in God. He opposed radical societal changes and focused on issues like observance of the Sabbath and the eradication of immorality through education and reform. And he strongly opposed the reprehensible slave practices of the day.
This edition of the classic book from 1797, Real Christianity, is paraphrased in modern language and made more accessible to contemporary readers. This is the book that helped abolish the slave trade in the United Kingdom and called Christians to live a more authentic life of faith more than two hundred years ago. The timeless truths it contains will speak to readers in fresh ways today. Readers will also find the book is a good litmus test of the authenticity of their own faith.
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James Boswell, a well know author witnessed Wilberforce’s eloquence in the House of Commons and noted, “I saw what seemed a mere shrimp stand at the table; but as I listened, he grew, and he grew, and he grew until the shrimp became a whale.”
His impact was enormous and one month after the death of William Wilberforce, the House of Lords passed the Slavery Abolition Act, which abolished slavery in the British Empire. Even though he never saw this victory for himself, his fight was not in vane. He won the war!
Dear friend, if you are in battle this day, remember: never give up. Never, ever give up! Righteousness and goodness will always win!!
The Ben Carson Story
Ben Carson not only has gifted hands, he has a gifted mind! He was a Yale graduate and excelled to become the Director of Neurosurgery at John Hopkins Hospital. He retired from there in 2013 completing a twenty-nine year tenure. His fame, however, came from an exceedingly risky operation he performed back in 1987. He and his seventy member team of doctors successfully separated a set of conjoined twins. The procedure took twenty-two hours to complete, and four months to plan and rehearse.
Growing up, Ben Carson’s life was less than ideal. He and his brother lived in poverty with their single mom. She had only a third-grade education and had a hard time making ends meet. She worked several jobs outside the home, often leaving the kids to fend for themselves. She also battled depression and had actually checked herself into a mental institution at one time.
The flip side to the story is that Ben’s mom had strict values. She was a believer in the Lord, and tried to instill a good work ethic in her children along with a desire for learning, discipline, and good manners. Ben’s upbringing paid off, but not without its obstacles. He was not a good student in his elementary years, and he had an ill, uncontrollable temper.
One day, at the age of eleven, Ben found himself in a situation: he was arguing with a school mate about which radio station to listen to. The disagreement escalated and Ben pulled his knife on the boy. He intended to stab him, but the knife missed, hitting the boy’s belt instead. That was a real wake-up call for Ben.
He ran home and locked himself in the bathroom with his Bible. He prayed that God would take his temper away and help him be who he needed to be. He found a passage in Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” He read further. “An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins,” (Proverbs 29:22). Also, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall,” (Proverbs 16:18).
God faithfully answered his prayer and changed his life. Ben said in an interview with LifePoint Assembly of God in Osceola, Iowa, as reported by The Des Moines Register, “When I came out [of the bathroom that day], my temper was gone and I’ve never had a problem since.”
As a man of faith, Ben Carson has had much influence in American society. Isn’t that what we’re all called to do as believers in Christ? Be influential? God wants us to spend our talents, time, and energy not only making this world a better place but sharing the Good News of the Gospel with those around us.
In 2015, Carson announced that he would become a Republican Presidential nominee. In 2016, he withdrew his candidacy and became Chairman of an organization called My Faith Votes. In March of 2017 to the present day, Carson has been established as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Trump Administration. He continues to bring his faith and values to our world.
This book is for you if your life is a series of shattered dreams. This book is for you if you have no dreams at all. It’s for you if you’ve bought the lie that you’ll never amount to anything. That’s not true. Your life is BIG–far biggerthan you’ve imagined. Inside these pages lie the keys to recognizing the full potential of your life.
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In another interview with Carson on God Reports, he explained how his personal relationship with God is supremely important: “The privilege of that relationship is always a gift. Actions do not really have anything to do with it. The question is whether or not we accept what God did for us. When we accept him and allow him a place in our hearts, we become a different type of individual. Our whole life is changed – not because of our behavior but by the relationship itself.”
Christianity is so much more than a religion. It is a relationship with Jesus Christ. God’s love for us is immeasurable. He always has our best interests at heart and seeks to transform each of us into becoming who He created us to be. The first step on the journey is accepting Him as Savior and as Lord. Following that, we are to spend our life time pursuing Him as He continues to pursue us. “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns,” (Philippians 1:6 NLT).
Tebow became famous during his football career. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2007 during his college days. Later, he played for several teams: the Denver Broncos, the New York Jets, and the Florida Gators.
In 2016, Tebow announced he was switching careers. He signed a contract with the New York Mets becoming an outfielder in Baseball’s Minor Leagues where he is today. He turned to baseball for the love of the game and because he didn’t want to “have any regrets later in life” by missing out on the sport.
Tim’s early life was greatly influenced by his Christian parents. They had been Baptist missionaries in the Philippines. After working there for a couple of years, Tim’s mom became quite ill. She was treated with some very strong medications and subsequently realized she was pregnant. The doctors said the fetus was probably harmed and that she could expect a still birth. They advised her to have an abortion but Tim’s parents believed God; they believed all would be well, and it was! She gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby. Tim Tebow was born August 14, 1987 in Manilla.
Tim and his four siblings were all home-schooled. During his high school years, Tim was able to participate in local school sports without having to attend public school. Some folks were quite upset about this sort of privilege. But it advantaged him: he bloomed as an athlete and was the first home-schooled football player to be nominated for the Heisman Trophy.
Tebow went on to play for the University of Florida, and became a major college football quarterback after being named Player of the Year. He was interviewed on ESPN; the segment was called “Tim Tebow: The Chosen One”. It described Tebow’s home schooling controversy and missionary work in the Philippines. Later he was featured in Sports Illustrated with the story, “Faces in the Crowd”. His fame spread far and wide.
Over the years, Tim Tebow also developed his writing skills. He became a New York Times best-selling author by the time he was 30. He has written several titles: This Is The Day, Shaken, Know Who You Are, Through My Eyes, and his biography, Tim Tebow. You can visit his author page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B005JVAQRC/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1532215327&sr=1-2-ent&redirectedFromKindleDbs=true
Tebow encourages people through his faith-based writings. He believes it’s OK to fail and that failure shouldn’t stop you from trying new things. And it shouldn’t define you; nor should success. He believes love and relationships are very important. And he says we should “live bigger” and go for our dreams.
Most of us have been on the receiving end of rejection, a broken dream, or heartbreak. And while this is not an easy space to go through, when we are grounded in the truth, we can endure the tough times.
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Tebow spoke to a crowd of about 20,000 people in Florida one Easter Sunday in 2012. He talked a bit about football, but then went on to the crux of his message. He said, “Regardless of what happens, I still honor my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, because at the end of the day, that’s what’s important, win or lose. We need to get back to one nation under God, and be role models for kids.”
Yes, Tebow walks the talk, and he’s not afraid to share his faith either. He speaks regularly at schools and prisons and at church conferences and youth group meetings. He also runs his own non-profit organization, funneling money into various charitable causes. And besides kneeling to thank the Lord during games, he also once printed “John 3:16″ on his “eyeblack”. According to Thoughtco.com, unconfirmed reports had it that “John 3:16” was the most searched term on Google the Sunday following that game.
We need fewer “Colin Kaepernicks” in the world that use their American freedoms to protest and complain and we need more Tim Tebow’s in the world to influence society in positive, Christian ways.
Dr. Van Haywood
God cares deeply about each of us and is especially involved in the life of Christian believers. His plans for us are wonderful if we will listen, trust, and obey. Augusta’s very own Dr. Van Haywood found himself at the crossroads of his career when he remembered his wife’s favorite Scripture verse: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope,” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT).
Yes, God’s plans and our gifts and talents go hand in hand; God gave them to us for a reason. Such is the case with Dr. Haywood. He studied dentistry at the Medical College of Georgia and received his D.M.D. (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry) degree in 1974. He then launched his practice but also became interested in teaching and dental research, especially in the area of esthetics and simple predictable affordable quality dentistry. For those of us who are less technical, these esthetic techniques are what dentists use to create beautiful smiles.
There was a time when Dr. Haywood was a faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. He describes it as a prestigious dental school with a great clinical focus, but with strong research demands as well. He said, “In order to gain tenure and keep my job, I had to publish research papers and obtain grant money. There was a fixed amount of time in which this process must occur.” He said others had lost their jobs there because they couldn’t meet the requirements.
Haywood was to spend regularly designated days on research assignments, but this one particular day, he had also been invited to speak to the Coastal Dental Study Group about Esthetic Dentistry in Jacksonville, NC. Changing plans could compromise his research efforts due to time restrictions. He earnestly prayed about it and felt God was calling him away, giving up his scheduled work day. He trusted God and went.
The worse part about it was that when he got to the airport in Jacksonville, no one was there to meet him. He waited several hours and wondered whether he had made a mistake. He said, “. . . every morning in my quiet time, as I read God’s Word and prayed about the decisions I faced, I had the strong sense from God that I should use [this] day to go teach. I repeated my prayer. `Lord Jesus, I still feel that I heard you right, but I don’t understand what is going on here’.”
Eventually, Haywood’s contact person did arrive and soon, the meeting was underway. Dr. Haywood made his presentation and included everything he had researched about making beautiful smiles, from bonding to ceramics restorations. The small group of dentists appreciated the lecture, but finally told him after the lecture: “all the procedures you showed us to make smiles beautiful were very nice, but we don’t do things that complicated here. We just make a mouth-guard (a tray that fits over your teeth) and bleach the patient’s teeth whiter at night”. Haywood didn’t know it, but this tray bleaching technique would be a major turning point in his career.
The study group said they used this technique with great success. Dr. Haywood doubted the technique would work and had not come across any literature to support it. Even so, he felt God was pointing him in a new direction. Since the materials for the procedure were already FDA approved, with the blessings and encouragement of the study group, Haywood tried the technique on one of his patients and it worked extremely well!
Dr. Haywood and Dr. Harald Heymann subsequently co-authored an article for an international Dental Journal describing the technique; it was accepted and published in 1989. Haywood said, “God had blessed me with a technique that revolutionized dentistry as we know it . . . and a nationally-known esthetic dentist gave validity to the technique. We both individually and collectively have continued research and publications, [over 140] along with many other dental students and faculty members, on many of the variations and applications of the tray bleaching technique. Always for me, it was with the assurance that God had brought this technique into my life and the technique was a good one.”
Here is one of Dr. Haywood’s favorite books among several. It will serve as a foundation to your faith. In the book, Adventures In Prayer, Catherine Marshall shares her personal discoveries about how surprisingly down-to-earth God wants our prayers to be. To bring us closer to Jesus, she offers a practical, intimate prayer at the end of each chapter of insight and experience.
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Currently, Dr. Van B. Haywood, D.M.D., is a Professor in the Department of Restorative Sciences, Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia. He is also contributes his skills to the Dental Bus Ministry once a year to teach students; it is an outreach of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board”.
Great things happen when we give our talents to God. What about you? What are you doing with your life?
Putting God First
Wow. Look at that picture! Kathy Ireland is considered to be one of the world’s top super-models. Her career as a model and actress rocketed in the 80s and 90s. She became most famous for appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated–the Swimsuit issues–13 times in a row. By 2012, her brand sold two billion dollars worth of products. So how could she possibly be lacking in anything?
In a video interview that was posted on YouTube back in 2012, Kathy said, “I don’t remember a time when I didn’t believe in God, but I didn’t know Him, and I didn’t know, that I didn’t know Him.” She was a typical rebellious teenager; she questioned authority and used to always say, “Who really knows the truth; who’s to say?” Then her mom became saved and Kathy said she really liked the changes she saw in her.
Kathy began modeling in the city of Paris at the age of 18. She said it sounded a lot more glamorous than it really was. She was all alone and staying in home that made her feel extremely uncomfortable; so much so that she would lock herself in her room at night. She met other girls who had stayed there too, and they had named that room, “the dungeon”.
One night, after trying to settle down to sleep after wrestling with jet lag, boredom, and loneliness, Kathy was going through her suitcase and came across a Bible. Her mother had slipped in there without her knowledge. Kathy explained that she “had never read a Bible in her life,” but had nothing better to do so she cracked it open to the Gospel of Matthew and started reading.
God spoke to Kathy through those pages. She said, “As I read, my life was forever changed . . . I knew that what I was holding in my hands was the truth. One of the things that grabbed a hold of me was that Jesus wasn’t anything like I thought. He wasn’t condemning; He wasn’t yelling; He was loving.” Kathy’s early church experiences were rather negative in comparison. One of the churches she attended as a child had a minister that was rather harsh. But Jesus was so different!
Kathy explained that as a women, being out there in the world for the first time; a place seemingly dominated by men of questionable character, “It gave me such comfort to know that Jesus loves women and honors them. Jesus Christ became my Lord, my Savior; my best Friend.”
God offers salvation freely to all who will receive it. Once saved, the next goal is for a Christian is to develop that deeper life. Miss Ireland wishes she had pursued God in a more passionate way. She said, “I regret that I remained such a baby Christian for so long.” She read the Word but she didn’t grow through the Word. She said she was trying to mold God into who she wanted Him to be instead of letting Him mold her into who He had created her to be.
The good news is God pursued Kathy. During prayer time at a women’s retreat, Kathy felt God was speaking to her about her priorities in life. She claimed that God was first, but the Lord let her know that wasn’t really true. She realized, besides being so self-reliant instead of God reliant, that she was putting her children ahead of God. But God said, “Trust me . . . put me first and I’ll give you more time . . . and better time with your kids.” So she obeyed. She started getting up earlier and spending quality time with God.
She found that God is faithful. She shares, “He’s our perfect Father. He knows us. He made us. . . . he gives us exactly what we need.”
Powerful Inspirations reveals the sources of Kathy’s strengths and enthusiasm, through insightful lessons that form a life-changing plan for her readers. In sharing her plan, Ireland also tells stories from her life, offering an intimate portrait of her inner life and her spiritual growth, and of the support and comfort she has found in the Bible and other Christian teachings.
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As a famous celebrity, people often ask Miss Ireland, “What are your goals? Here is her response: “My goal in life is to grow closer to Jesus each day; to follow His lead for me; to stay on His path; to be obedient; and it’s just day by day.” She has really learned to walk that deeper walk and put Him first. She ends her story by saying, “My name is Kathy Ireland, and I am second.”
Who is first in your life?
Remember that show Hercules? “Da-da-da- dah dah dah dah, Hercules!” or something like that. The movie was a 1994 blockbuster. Then-36-year-old Kevin Sorbo played the leading role as an ancient Greek hero. Universal Pictures released five Hercules movies beginning that year. The following year it also became a television series that had a six year run. It was one of the highest rated syndicated shows in its time. Due to its success, Kevin became an international star!
Careers in Hollywood sometimes seem to ascend so easily. Did you know Sorbo was turned down for the lead roles in Superman and The X-Files? People don’t realize how much toil and trouble there really is along the way.
Kevin got interested in acting through his high school drama class. After graduation, he studied marketing and advertising at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He did modeling on the side for income but he dreamed of being an actor one day. So he left school during the 80s and traveled around Europe and Australia making T.V. commercials; by 1990, he had made over 150 of them. He also made an acting debut in 1986, and made his first film debut in 1993, filling a supporting role in, Slaughter of the Innocents.
Everything was going so well. Kevin was doing the work he loved, he was engaged to be married, and he was on top of the world. Then the unthinkable happened. He got sick.
It started with a problem in his shoulder. In a CBN interview released October of 2012, Kevin described his devastating illness: “My shoulder was just killing me. I was getting these pains that were driving me nuts.” He said his hand was getting numb and cold. Kevin’s doctor believed it was just a pinched nerve and sent him to a chiropractor.
While he was being worked on Kevin heard a voice in his head that said, “Don’t let him crack your neck.” But it happened anyway. As a result, he heard two loud pops in the back of his head that felt like two sharp finger jabs. His vision went wacky and, “It was as if an 8.9 earthquake struck his head,” he said. “It was unbelievable: the buzzing, the humming, the vibration that was going on. I looked up at the sky and said, ‘I’m going to die today’.”
During the next few days, Kevin’s condition worsened. He was admitted to an ICU unit where they found an aneurysm in his arm along with thousands of clots; they thought they might have to amputate. Kevin remembers how he just broke down and cried, like there was a death in the family: his. It was at that point that Kevin reached out to God and asked, “Help me to find the acceptance in this.”
This was not a short lived problem. The aneurysm led to four strokes and caused various symptoms for three years. He experienced weakness, impaired balance, migraines, and a permanent ten percent vision loss. He had to reduce his filming schedule, and when he did work he made every effort to hide his condition. Kevin said he was scared for his future, his career, and his life, but he prayed to God, “If this is the best I’m going to be then help me fight through this every day.”
LET THERE BE LIGHT-MOVIE
World-famous atheist Dr. Sol Harkens (Kevin Sorbo) delights in debating Christians. Isolated from his wife Katy (Sam Sorbo), his self-destruction culminates in a car crash that leaves him clinically dead for 4 minutes. The message from that experience challenges his convictions. Reluctantly leaning on his family’s forgiveness, Sol struggles to find meaning in the words
“Let There Be Light.”
Starring: Kevin Sorbo, Sam Sorbo, Dionne Warwick
Runtime: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Watch Trailer, Rent, or Buy:
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He put it all in God’s hands. He was ready to take on the battle but he was ready to humbly accept what ever God’s plan was for him. His faith grew far beyond his conversion experience as a thirteen year old boy at a Billy Graham crusade. With God’s help, Kevin stepped out to meet the challenge. He pursued physical therapy so he could learn how to walk again. He continued filming. And he married the woman of his dreams. In his 2011 autobiography, True Strength, Sorbo shares the details of his injury and how his wife, Sam, helped him recover.
God brought Kevin back to health once again. Since his illness he’s completed dozens of movies and shows and has filled all kinds of roles as actor, director, and producer. His latest film, Let There Be Light, was released October 2017 (see above).
About his faith he says this: “Faith is not tangible; you can’t touch it . . . It’s a belief . . . that’s inside of you . . . My true strength comes from God and from my family. They’re the most important things in my life.”
Tim Allen is a comedian but there’s nothing funny about his relationship with God. Although he’s famous for his hilarious jokes and comedy there’s a Tim Allen that not many people know about. Underneath the laughs, he tells about the rougher side of his life that caused him to turn to Christ.
At eleven years old, Tim’s father was killed by a drunk driver. He wondered, had he been with his father that day, could he have prevented his death. In an interview posted by BeliefNet, he said: “I knew my father was dead, but I was never satisfied with why he was dead. I wanted answers from God. I would ask Him, ‘Do you think this is funny? Do you think this is necessary?’ And he said he had a rocky relationship with God ever since.”
Like many of those who live in the limelight, Tim wrestled with addictions. He felt there was nowhere else to turn for comfort so he turned to alcohol and drugs. He didn’t know it but he was about to pay a major price for his dependencies.
In October of 1978, things took a dramatic turn. Allen was arrested at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport in Michigan for possession of over 650 grams of cocaine. He plead guilty to drug trafficking charges and spent the next two years and four months at a federal prison in Minnesota; he was paroled in 1981.
Upon his release from prison, Allen turned to the world of entertainment and began doing comedy; he says it saved his life. Before too long he landed the lead role in the hit show, Home Improvement. He also starred in a couple of Disney movies: The Santa Clause trilogy, Wild Hogs, and Toy Story trilogy.
In spite of his success however, he still hadn’t come to terms with the dark places in his life. He thought church might be the answer but said, “For years, I just did not like this idea of God, church,” he said. “(I was) still a churchgoer, but constantly a cynic.” So he continued to have an on and off relationship with God.
In his heart, though, Tim truly desired to know his Creator in a real way. He explained, “Whoever built me, it didn’t happen just by accident.” He knew there was so much more. Allen made the decision to give his life to Christ and since then, it’s been so amazing to see how God has worked through him.
Today, Tim refers to God as, “The Builder,” and says, “I always do ask . . . The Builder, what did you want me to do? . . . But you got to be prepared for the answer.” In other words, it’s not enough to know what God wants; we need to obey Him too. Tim’s walk with God has grown into something genuine and he’s not afraid to let others know he is serious about the Lord.
In the sitcom, Last Man Standing, Tim found a way to incorporate Jesus Christ into one of the scripts. Even though he took a lot of grief for talking about his faith, Allen refused to back down and the scene was aired. That’s the kind of boots-on-the-ground faith we’re talking about!
One of the most common objections to the Christian Faith is ‘If God created the universe, and is still in control of it, then Why does he allow suffering and injustice?’ Melvin Tinker considers the different opinions people have before investigating the biblical answers about this crucial topic. The book provides the key factors behind the benefit and purpose of suffering.
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Overcoming his addictions has been a fight but now having over a decade of sobriety, Tim is able to enjoy his family. His life reflects the Lord’s wonderful grace, and proves that no man is beyond God’s reach.
Since his role as Tim Taylor, he has become a household name. But he says, “I’m not the same guy I was when I was hiding and doing what people who drink too much do.” Tim Allen, the Christian, said, “I’m 68 percent joyous, aiming for 70 percent . . . I’m also extremely grateful for where I am today.”
Matthew 16: 26, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but
lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”