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Monthly Archives: July 2013

  • Spiritual Fitness

    Boyd

    For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 1 Timothy 4:8, NKJV

    An exercise in faith is what grows the spiritual lungs of the soul and grows grace in a humble heart. However, a faith that has not been stretched cramps up, consumed with itself in the heat of competition with the culture. Like sweat cools the human body and flushes out toxins with regular rigorous activity, so fervent prayer calms the human spirit and cleanses inner impurities. Yes, a faith unchallenged and underused atrophies like a limp muscle lacking resistance. So, spiritually fit saints are intentional in their daily disciplines of prayer, Bible study and service.

    What is your routine for exercise in righteousness? How do you keep your spirit moving and growing in the ways of God? Perhaps you start with a prayer list of those who need you to lift them to the Lord for love and encouragement. Assign each day to a separate group, like on Monday pray for missionaries, on Tuesday pray for your family, on Wednesday pray for the sick, on Thursday pray for the unsaved, on Friday pray for government leaders, on Saturday pray for church leaders and on Sunday confess, repent and listen to the Spirit’s still, small voice.

    And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18

    Furthermore, feed your soul with a steady diet of Scripture. What fresh fruit and vegetables are to the body is what God’s word is to your spiritual nourishment. The meat of the Bible gives you the stamina to resist the devil and to persevere through pain. As the Holy Spirit applies the Lord’s unchanging truth in your changing world, you become more like Jesus in your attitude, actions and speech. Obedience to Christ’s commands creates in you a healthy and holy heart.

    Lastly, look to your service for the Lord as a privilege to work out your salvation. You are saved to serve. A faith void of works is spiritually suspect of authenticity. Is God calling you to volunteer in the church nursery, pay for your neighbors yard work or take your children to feed the hungry? Perhaps missions is tugging at your heart, just make sure to care for your neighbor first, before you contemplate sharing the gospel with strangers overseas. Yes, the fruit of godliness is good deeds for God’s glory. Spiritual fitness is profitable in this life and for eternity!

    But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6 Prayer: Heavenly Father, keep me spiritually fit with daily faith exercises inspired by Your Spirit.

    Related Readings: Psalm 37:11; Proverbs 22:4; Matthew 6:33; Mark 10:29-30; 2 Peter 1:6

    Post/Tweet today: A faith unchallenged and underused atrophies like a limp muscle lacking resistance. #spiritualfintess

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Gavin MacLeod - A Man Changed By Christ


    The remarkable life, career, and faith journey of the star of The Love Boat and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

    For 16 years, millions of Americans welcomed Gavin MacLeod into their living rooms every Saturday night. This veteran of stage and screen transformed himself from a seasoned character actor into the leading, lovable father-figure of The Love Boat at the height of TV’s boom years.

    For more than 30 years, Gavin MacLeod has served as the global ambassador for Princess Cruises. Speaking to thousands of travelers each year, and signing hundreds of autographs at every port, he stands poised to celebrate his amazing journey with a look back at the golden era of American television.

    The consummate storyteller, Gavin shares his fondest memories of meeting and working with countless stars, such as Cary Grant, Steve McQueen, Gregory Peck, Bette Davis, Frank Sinatra, Ethel Merman, Ella Fitzgerald, Ronald Reagan, Milton Berle, and Fred Astaire.

    At first I was a bit hesitant to interview Gavin. I didn't know where he was coming from, and I didn't know much about his story. I knew that he claimed Christ as his savior, but I didn't know how passionate he was about Christ.

    Now, on the other side of the interview, I am so grateful for meeting this man. A man who has obviously been so changed by Christ.

    John: Gavin, before we begin talking about your new book, which is called This is Your Captain Speaking--obviously a very appropriate title--can you give us the rundown about how you got into Hollywood? How did you become an actor?

    Gavin: This is all in the book, too. Anyway, it started really when I was four years old. If you do it from four to 82, I’ve always said I should be a lot better. I was in kindergarten and I was in a play. I had a lot of cute hair then at that time. It was a Mother’s Day play; I remember it so vividly, John. A Mother’s Day play and I played a little boy who wanted to get something for his mother for Mother’s Day but I didn’t have any money. I didn’t know what to do, so I walked into the forest, where each one of my classmates played a different animal. The last animal was the largest one in the class, he must have been five years old and he was a bear. He said the thing to give your mother was a bear hug.

    I went back through the forest, the play must have taken about ten minutes, I don’t know. Each animal saying I’m going to give my mother a bear hug and I finally got back to the girl playing my mother, I gave her a bear hug. The play was over. Everybody took a bow and I took the last bow and I heard that applause. You talk to many actors my age, it’s kind of a similar thing. The applause made me feel that somebody really liked me. I said I want to do more of that. From that moment on, when I started writing compositions in school it was all about how I wanted to be an actor, how I wanted to spend my life. Then eventually when I got to high school, I quit the football team to go and do a play and they had a contest and I won that contest every year.

    I finally won a scholarship to Ithaca College, and that’s when I was first exposed unbelief (in God). I never realized until I got to college, because I came from a small town called Pleasantville, New York, that anyone ever thought there wasn’t a God. We’re all believers in our community, most of the ones I knew anyway. That opened a whole new world to me of new thinking. I thought, “Gee whiz, what is going on here?” That was the beginning.

    After college, I went to New York and got Radio City Music Hall and made $34 a week. One of my big thrills was taking up Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in my elevator one night. I was bald, I had lost my hair in college. I saved enough money, I thought, $125, so I could get a hairpiece--because they don’t write parts for young guys with bald heads. I finally went to a place--and it’s a long story; it’s all in the book--but I finally got a second-hand hairpiece for $125. That hairpiece got me my first Broadway play! I wore that hairpiece on and off.

    Anyway, after that, I did four off-Broadway plays. And then I went on the road without my hair. I had to save enough money to get married because I became engaged to a Rockette.

    So I went on the road, saved all that money, got married, and was working at a restaurant in New York City where all the big stars would go. I was the cashier, and that’s where I met Marilyn Monroe. That’s all in the book, too. They were doing a Hatful of Rain, an incredible play with Shelley Winters, Ben Gazzara, Anthony Franciosa, Harry Guardino. It was an Actor’s Studio project and I didn’t belong to the Actor’s Studio at all. Anthony Franciosa was discovered and was going to movies and everybody was moving up. I went to audition opposite all these Actor’s Studio actors and I came back to work. I was at my cashier’s post one night and the producer came in and said, “You got your first Broadway show, kid.”

    I was with the Hatful of Rain in New York and on the road for a year and a half. On the road, when I was in California, I had an offer to do a movie. Playing a drug addict and drug pusher, but I couldn’t do it because I was under contract to the play and I wouldn’t leave the play. That gave me a spurt of encouragement. I said maybe I can do something out there. I finished the whole tour in Boston, got to New York and my wife and I talked about it. I couldn’t get an agent in New York. I was this young guy with a hairpiece which belonged to somebody else years ago. I said, “I think I’ll go to the west coast.“

    We knew one person who knew an agent on the west coast. So we contacted that agent, Lou Irwin, and I flew out and went to Lou Irwin’s office and that’s where I met Ted Knight. If you’ve ever watched the Mary Tyler Moore show, you know who Ted Knight is. I don’t know how old you are, John, so a lot of the stuff I talk about I don’t know if you even know who I’m talking about.

    John: A little bit.

    Gavin: The eventuality was that Ted Knight was one of the best actors of all time. I met him in the office my first day on the west coast. I did a play immediately there and I got attention from that. That was the beginning of my career on the west coast. Eventually, one of the greatest moments I’ve ever had in my life would transpire: I brought my friend Ted Knight to the Lord before he passed. That was one of the greatest moments I have ever had in my life and that’s all in the book too. It’s all because of the business, and if you want to hear how God works, after the Mary Tyler Moore show was over, that ran for seven years.

    My wife and I had a nightclub act. We were going to go do that again and go back in the theater. I got a call from Aaron Spelling to do this thing called the Love Boat. I asked my agent, “Well what do you think about it? Have you read it?” He says, “I’ve read it.” I said, “Well, what do you think?” He says, “Well, I think it sucks. Do you want to read it?” I said, “Sure, I want to read it.” He gave it to me. I read it and said, “I think this can do something.” My wife read it and said “I think this can go, Gavin.” We went and did the Love Boat. Every critic thought it was going to sink like the Titanic. That it was mindless television. They thought it was just a waste of time, but the public loved it! You can see what the cruise industry is today and it’s all because of the Love Boat. You talk to anybody who is in the industry who was there years ago. It’s all because of the push it had from that show.

    John: How many years was the Love Boat on?

    Gavin: Almost ten years. All over the world. The Mary Tyler Moore show was just here and in England, and I saw one in Italy, too, when I was there. The Love Boat was international. Completely international.

    This is the point I wanted to make. I found out later that they had made two pilots of the Love Boat, way before me. With two different captains. They both had their own hair. They both had what you might call leading men kinds of bodies, you know, but it didn’t sell. I think the Lord was waiting for me. He put me in that job and as a result of that job and a result of the happenings in my life since then, and the kinds of movies I have done now like the Secrets of Jonathan Sperry and Timechanger.

    My preoccupation, my reason for living is to bring people to Jesus. He has brought me so much in my life. He has given me way beyond anything I thought. I thought I could maybe do my one Broadway play and maybe do one movie and then go and teach. It just hasn’t worked out that way. I am a very grateful, grateful person. Did I answer your question?

    John: (Laughter) Yes, you did. Absolutely. Gavin, just talking a little bit more about the Love Boat. I’m sure you have 1,001 memories about that time in your life. What is one memory that stands out that you’re really fond of?

    Gavin: When my wife did the first show she had ever done. We had attended a wedding for the actress who played Julie McCoy on the show--the cruise director--was getting married. It was at Bel Air Hotels. My wife’s name’s Patti, and we were sitting behind Aaron Spelling, who was Mr. TV, the giant producer, and his wife, Candy. He turned around and said, “Patti, I’ve got a great part for you next week.” Completely unsolicited. Patti came in and she played opposite Jim Backus, if you’re familiar with him. She was just socko! She was just wonderful on that show.

    I was very protective of her because she had never done anything like that, playing scenes without me before. She was basically a dancer and a singer. When I met her, I said “Oh, you’re so funny and you have such wonderful timing when you tell your stories, let’s see if you can walk and talk at the same time.” That’s what we call it. I took out a play called the Seven Year Itch, where she was like the third lead, she was the wife. She only had three or four smaller scenes. I wanted to see how she’d do and she did really great. I knew she had that aptitude and so, consequently, she just went on and had a wonderful career of her own acting. That first one she did on the Love Boat, where I was so protective of her, that on the last shoot, the last day, the crew came with a big t-shirt, a yellow t-shirt that said “Stage Mother Captain” on it for me.

    John: I love it.

    Gavin: We had a very happy crew.

    John: You guys all got along very well?

    Gavin: Yes. I learned a lot from Mary Tyler Moore. Mary Tyler Moore set the pace. When you’re in the theater, you have to be conscientious, you have to be early. I’ve taught that’s what you have to do. You’re the leader of the pack and how you are behaving is how the rest will pick up on. If you know you’re lines, if you’re on time, if you’re early, if you’re pleasant…

    The great thrill about that, there’s so many different things with the Love Boat, I’m still in awe, is that I was working with some of the people that I wanted to be like when I was a little boy. They would come to my captain’s table. I would have scenes with them like Mary Martin who I saw do South Pacific originally with Pinza in New York City. I was in high school. I just fell in love with her. When she sang “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” I thought she was singing to me. Then 35 years later, I’m holding her in my arms. I said, “Can I tell you something? I’ve been in love with you since I was 16 years old.” She signed a nice picture for me, she’s gone now, too.

    There’s so many different moments. Marion Ross is a good old friend of mine, too. She played Mrs. C on Happy Days, Mrs. Cunningham. Do you remember that?

    John: Yes.

    Gavin: Okay. Well, she and I have been friends. If you read the book you’ll see that we had worked together in 1957 when I first came out here opposite each other. We had been friends and then we did Operation Petticoat together with Cary Grant and Tony Curtis. Did you ever see that movie?

    John: I did not.

    Gavin: You should see that movie. That’s a wonderful movie for the family to see. It’s a comedy and it’s all based on real events that happened to different ships during the second World War. They encapsulated it into one ship for the movie. It’s a wonderful, wonderful, clean, family movie. It broke the record at Radio City Music Hall at that time when it played there.

    John: I wrote it down.

    Gavin: You should see that, John. Honestly, if you have any children ever. It’s just a fabulous movie. I played a little guy called Hunkle in that, the yeoman and there’s a great scene where Tony and I steal a pig, but Marion is in it, too. Marion and I go way back.

    On the Love Boat, like the last couple of years, they said you know we’re thinking about having a permanent love interest for the captain. I said “I think that would be great.” It’d be good for some of the older people out there. They had a list of different stars, big names. I said, “You know who I would like? Marion Ross.” She had just had a run on Happy Days and all, so they said Mrs. C. I said, “Yeah.” I said, “We play very well together.” They hired her. We had two years of working together on that show. When the show ended, we went on the road in a play called Never Too Late and wound up in Cape Cod.

    When I was in Cape Cod, that night, I got a call that Ted had died. His wife communicated with me that she wanted me to do the eulogy. I prayed that the Holy Spirit would just tell me what to say because I know there were going to be a lot of nonbelievers there. It just came out reviewing our friendship and everything and about all the awards you’ve ever received, Ted, nothing was as important as the last time I saw you when you gave your life to Christ. Now you have it all. I’ll always remember you as a little song, a little dance, a little salsa down your pants.

    It’s too bad you don’t know who I’m talking about because if you ever look at the Mary Tyler Moore show, and that’s another show if you have children that you can watch. It’s one of the most brilliantly written comedies ever and it’s very poignant in areas, too. It came about 1970 when Women’s Lib. was really big, so it addressed all that.

    John: We have the full season of the Dick Van Dyke show at home and we’ve certainly enjoyed watching that.

    Gavin: I did one of those. I did the one called “Empress Carlotta’s Necklace.”

    John: I’ll have to play it when I get home from work today.

    Gavin: I was the one, remember Richard Deacon played Mel with the bald head. When he said, “Oh, my cousin’s here.” On the sets in Hollywood, you always have a guy showing up or a woman with a big thing selling jewelry. This is about this guy coming in, Dick and Mary are having an anniversary and he says, “I want you to meet my nephew,” so I show up. It’s a wonderful character part. I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s done in the mid-60’s there and I sell Dick Empress Carlotta’s necklace for like $39.95. He brings it to Mary as a gift, that’s all I’ll tell you then you just have to see the show. It was one of the prizewinning ones. “Empress Carlotta’s Necklace.”

    I did that, and then I was doing another one where I played this little Jewish guy who was in love with Rosemary. She used to order sandwiches and I sent her notes in the middle of the sandwich to read. We were in the middle of the shoot, rehearsing and then we had a weekend off and I came down with appendicitis. I couldn’t do it then and they got another actor. I was in the hospital feeling so sorry for myself because what a wonderful group. You can’t imagine being in the presence of Carl Reiner, Sheldon Leonard--one of the great guys of all time--Danny Thomas and Dick and Mary and Maury and Rosie, you know. Rosie’s pretty long in the teeth right now.

    Anyway, well I’m glad you’re watching that. I did a lot of those things you know. The other thing as far as the Love Boat goes, a highlight with me was when Patti came on. Meeting those big stars, having Marion Ross and the last one we did, we got married and I had my friend Jan Peters from college, he played the minister and married us.

    The other favorite one was when my daughter Jill came aboard, when Vicki came on the show. Aaron Spelling came to me and said, “We’re thinking about you having a daughter.” I said, “How can I have a daughter if I’m not married?” He said, “Remember the episode that we did a long time ago where you were in love with this model?” I said, “Oh yeah.” “And she wanted to marry you?” I said, “Yeah, but she issued an ultimatum. She told me, either you or the sea. I don’t want to marry you and have you be gone all the time.” Some very interesting things going on.

    After much, much trepidation he says, “I have to be on the sea, I have to be on the water.” He said, “From that relationship, you could have produced a child. That child shows up on the boat.” That’s how that whole story started. We had some very interesting stuff with Vicki, this young girl showing up on the boat and how we all realized, and how I realized... It’s very, very interesting stuff. Also, we got a lot of young viewers because there was someone for them to associate with. The Love Boat picked up another few thousand people. It’s interesting to think why that show was so successful.

    There were so many different ingredients, but I think the main thing to me is when a show was all over. My wife and I had an apartment in New York, so I went to the apartment in New York and I had some cleaning, so I brought some cleaning to the cleaning shop that we used to trade in and it was a new young woman there. She said, “Oh man, aren’t you the captain?” I said, “Well, yes I was.” “Well, why did they take that show off?” I said, “Well, someone else bought the network and I guess they thought it was too expensive.” “But you have to go back and tell them to put it back on.” I said, “Why young lady?” She said, “Because that show used to give me something to dream about. There’s nothing on television that gives me anything to dream about.” That’s what it did.

    I represent Princess Cruises, you know John? Ever since the show went off the air. I was in Australia just last year and it was my birthday and I was meeting this huge congregation of Princess employees in Sydney. I said what am I going to tell these people and then I realized what that girl said. I said, “You know, it’s an honor for me to be here in front of all of you. I’m glad you’re taking time out from work with me to celebrate my birthday, but let me celebrate you because you should know, what you are doing with your lives are allowing people to realize their dreams. A lot of people go to work and that doesn’t happen. They don’t have that kind of a job, but you have that job.” I said, “I’ll tell you the truth, as my captain would say, ‘I salute you.’”

    I think that’s a very important ingredient that someone has something to dream about. It’s not a shootout kind of thing, it’s not a negative thing, it’s not these sex things that go on. Cruising does change lives. I’ve seen it happen over and over and over again. I’ve been on so many ships and seen so many people.

    John: Gavin, I had read that you and Patti got divorced and then remarried. Obviously, there’s reconciliation that took place. What brought you guys back together again?

    Gavin: That’s a major theme in my book. I mean that’s one of the major moments in my book. When things started to move with the Love Boat, it got so big, and big, and big and I was the leader and the responsibility I had was enormous. If I wasn’t on the screen, I was all over the country pushing it and doing interviews. It became almost obsessive to me and I didn’t know the Lord at that time. I just put my work before my wife. I said I just don’t have time; I can’t come in after work. I leave when it’s dark; I come home when it’s dark. I’m learning lines. I do a lot of stuff behind the scenes you don’t see when you see the show.

    I very selfishly put myself and my job before my wife and so I’ve got to get a divorce. I have to get out of here. I could just concentrate on all that. I did. For those three years, she had gone to a therapist. When I met her, she introduced me to a new age teaching and that new age teaching was me. I’m first. There’s no such thing as sin. You’re supposed to be happy, not unhappy. Do what you want to do. That’s why having that kind of indoctrination in my head, leaving her was not as dreadful as it really is. It really is, it’s a terrible thing. I was very selfish at that time, but because of that kind of a teaching it sort of falls into place.

    For three years, we didn’t see each other. Three years she went to a psychiatrist in New York and out here all saying I want my husband back and he doesn’t want to be married so you’ve got to carry on. One day she went to some kind of a Buddhist place where they had pictures of a yogi or Gandhi or something and a picture of Jesus and she was sitting there. All she did was pray for me to come back. She wasn’t born again yet. She was praying. This man came up to her who was one of the yogis in a robe and he says, “Is there anything I can do for you?” She says, “My husband, I need him back.” He said, “You know, there are those pictures there on the altar. Jesus is the real thing.” She carried that with her.

    One day, she got a call from Patti, Jerry Lewis’ ex-wife. She told my wife Patti, she says, “Patti, I want to take you some place. I want you to meet some ladies.” We were living at the beach then. Patti Lewis picked her up and took her to a house in Beverly Hills where she went and saw all these ladies sitting there and on the mantle of this big house there were all these Oscars. She says, “Wow, this is really something.” It was Johnny Green’s wife. Johnny Green was one of the major musicians here. He usually conducted the Oscars. He did “Raintree County.” He won all those Oscars for his music.

    These women were there in a prayer circle. Patti says, “I’ve never seen anything like that before.” They introduced her and asked her, “Would you like prayer for anything?” She says, “Yes, I’d like to have my husband back.” One little voice, this good friend of ours who went to be with the Lord two years ago, she said, “If you want your husband back, you can have him back.” They started to pray for me. Patti had never experienced anything like that. That lady’s name was Louise French. She’s with Jesus now.

    The night of that happening, we researched it. The night of this happening, I went to a play with Bernie Kopell and his wife, he played the doctor on the show, in Santa Monica. That’s where Patti was having this. After the play, I said, “I wonder how Patti’s doing?” I hadn’t had that thought before. I drove around where we used to live. I tried to see her. Then I went home. The next morning I prayed to Jesus because my mother had a brain situation. A cyst the size of a baseball in the left brain and they were going to have to operate. That morning, you get the chronology? They prayed for Patti that day, that same day I went to see the play I started to think about her.

    The next morning, I’m in bed and my mom’s operation’s in Palm Springs and I’m in Beverly Hills. I prayed to Jesus that if you give my mother more time I’ll turn my life over to you. I don’t care if I act anymore, but dear Jesus give her more time. After I said that, something told me to call Patti. I didn’t even have her phone number. I called my secretary Judy. I said, “Judy, have you got Patti’s number?” “Why boss?” I said, “I don’t know. I have to call her.” “Why?” “I don’t know. I just know I have to call her.” She gave me the number.

    It was like 7:15 in the morning. I’m usually off to work at a quarter to six, but I had a late call that day. I called her. I said, “This is Gavin.” She said, “Oh, I was just thinking about you.” “Can I see you?” I don’t even know why I’m saying this John, it’s just coming out. I said, “Can I see you?” She said, “Well, yes, but I have to be away. I started a group called LADIES.” I said, “Well, what it is?” She said, “Well, it stands for Life After DIvorce can Eventually be Sane.” All these ladies who’ve been divorced by well-known people, Patti was one of the starters of this group. She says, “We go from city to city as a support team for other people like us. Who’ve been dumped.” I said, “Okay.”

    We made a date for the following Monday. I went down there. I got out of work early. Nobody answered the door. I kept knocking and knocking and knocking. The third time there she is. We hug and she says, “I’m sorry, you’re dinner’s cold. It’s been waiting for three years.” Great line, huh?

    John: Great line.

    Gavin: Then we started talking. She said, “Pat and Shirley Boone have become very good friends of mine and they’ve been a blessing to born again marriages.” Wonderful ministry. They’ve taught me to do some things and this is what I do. Whenever I come in the house now,” (it was an apartment), she said, “Hi honey, I’m home.” She said, “Look, I put my wedding ring back on,” and “Let me go get you something.” She went and she showed me a Bible with my name on it she had made. We just sat down there and we talked and fell asleep and talked and fell asleep. We never did eat that food.

    So much had changed. She had changed so much, it seemed to me. Now, she really had Jesus. She really had committed to Jesus and I said, “Patti, this is what I want. This is what I long for.” She had put on some television and the first one we saw was Kenneth Copeland. He eventually became a very good friend of ours and to Gloria and all. We went up there in Texas a few times to see them.

    Anyway, that was the beginning of our whole getting back together. Then I had to go to work. I started to hear with different ears. I started to see with different things. God started to do a work in me. I didn’t want to hear those dirty jokes anymore. I used to be the leader of all that. I didn’t want to hear those things. The guys weren’t too happy with me, but they tolerated me. I didn’t care because now I was with the Truth. My Lord has forgiven me of my sins.

    I eventually went through a process and I became born-again. Patti and I were both baptized in the water at Church on the Way with Pastor Jack. I will never forget that moment in my life as long as I live. Being baptized in the water and being told nothing before this moment has ever happened. Our sins are washed away.

    John: That story, just is absolutely incredible. There’s two things that I hear going on that just fly in the face of contemporary culture. First of all, you rarely hear of couples that have been divorced being brought back together just in regular contemporary Americana. Secondly, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard that story for anybody who has worked in Hollywood such as both you and Patti have. You both stand as a testimony of God’s grace and reconciliation.

    That story is so fantastic and, honestly, this is my prayer for you, that both of you will continue to share that because it speaks volumes of God’s grace to so many couples that are struggling even right now. This is going to be transcribed into a blog, and so people who are reading this and reading your testimony, Gavin, they’re going to be encouraged by the dramatic effects that God has done through both you and your wife.

    Gavin: That John, that’s exactly to me the purpose of my book. I didn’t care about writing a book about my life. If I can bring one person to Jesus, or if I can bring one couple back together, it will be worth all of the work and all of the energy and everything else that it’s taken to get this book done. That’s the purpose in life. My purpose in life is as an ambassador for Christ. The thing is John, I’ve never won an Oscar, never won an Emmy, never won a Tony. I’ve been given the greatest award anyone could ever receive, that’s eternal life.

    John: Amen, brother.

    Gavin: He’s forgiven me my sins. Born again, I’ve become an ambassador for Christ as John says. The most rewarding role I have ever had. With that comes a lot of responsibility. Someone was looking on a blog the other day and they saw my name. I said, “Patti, look I finally made it. It says Gavin MacLeod, actor and Christian activist.” Wow, Christian activist. That’s like getting a star from the Lord. You know what I mean? Putting it right out there.

    This story, I haven’t even finished how God has blessed us… We used to go to different born-again marriage seminars and give our testimony. Then on Trinity Broadcasting Network, we had a program for seven years called Back on Course. That was our first book, Back on Course. God used us that way. Even just two weeks ago, I got a note from someone. I get notes from people all over the world. This lady was from Trinidad and the husband had left for about six years and he saw our program one night and he contacted her and they got remarried.

    We were on a ship once and our little mailbox, if you’ve been on a ship outside your suite or wherever you are, they have a little mailbox and we found a thing there. Some lady was saying, “My husband and I owe our marriage to you because we were broken, completely broken. We heard your story and he said well, my heavens if God can do it for them, He can do it for me too. We’ve been back together and I just want to thank you for that.”

    When I go on Princess Cruises, sometimes they let me do a Sunday service. I get to do my testimony. The last one, I was coming from the Mediterranean and Adriatic and mostly English people on this ship. I got a wonderful, wonderful note from a woman who said, “I have been a pastor all my life and I decided, okay, now I’ve done it and now I don’t have to do it anymore. Then I heard you this morning, I realized it’s never over. What have I done? I said I don’t want to pastor anymore? I don’t want to speak the Word of God anymore? I don’t want to be a symbol of what God can do for you?” She wrote me this, she says, “I’m going back to the ministry after hearing you.”

    Those kinds of moments really feed into my gratitude so much. You know what I mean? God can take me, this guy that used to drink and I thought I knew Him but I didn’t know Him and all that kind of stuff and use me as an instrument. That’s what He used me as, an instrument. I’m just so grateful. I’m 82 now, but I have such a purposeful life. I want to go and go and go and bring as many people. When I go on the road with my book, I’ll be preaching almost all over the place until they close me down. I want people to know that, what I want to get across, is that He can do this for anybody.

    John: Amen.

    Gavin: My wife is going through a very difficult time now, John. She needs assisted living right now. The devil has attacked her for years and years and years in her mind. Her frontal lobe has decreased 40%. She’s in a place where they kind of help her with medication and things like that now because of this really abnormal depression and anxiety. We know Joyce Meyer says it’s a battlefield of the mind, you know? It’s true. We have everybody we know praying for Patti and her healing.

    John: We are joining you.

    Gavin: Listen, God bless you and your family and all the time you’ve given. It just made this a very important hour for me.

    John: Thank you, Gavin, so much for your time. God bless you, brother.

    Gavin: God bless you, too.

  • Overlooking an Offense

    Wendy

    "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense." Proverbs 19:11 (NIV 1984)

    What did she mean by that? Why does she always hurt my feelings? Why does she treat me that way? I didn't realize these words played through my head on a continual basis until my daughter pointed it out.

    She ended many of our conversations with, "Why do you get your feelings hurt so easily?" Or, "Mom, you're so sensitive."

    At first, her words angered me. But over time, I began to hear what she was saying.

    For years, I allowed people's words to hurt my feelings. In turn, I harbored anger for those words. The anger took root. Satan fed the words to me over and over again. I re-played them in my mind. Each time the anger grew deeper roots.

    Listening to a sermon in church, I would think, "I wish ______ was here. She really needs to hear this!" Of course, the sermon by-passed my heart all together.

    Without realizing it, the words of others consumed my thoughts and focus and stole my time. About this time, God called me to teach a Bible study on the book of Proverbs. I spent days and weeks absorbed in this amazing book of wisdom.

    One afternoon, this verse leapt off the page and into my heart, "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense" (Proverbs 19:11). I had a choice. Up until then, I heard people's words, jumped to a conclusion and chose to be offended.

    But through His Word, God gently corrected me. I sensed Him saying that I can choose to look past people's words and not receive them with an offended heart. I discovered that I needed to LISTEN objectively and ask: What is driving their words? Do they have a valid point? Do they have a deep hurt? Or do they need something I am not giving?

    The responsibility was on me to stop the words from taking root in my heart. When I accepted this, my attitude changed. Yes, it took time, and I am a work in progress. But now when someone speaks a hurtful word, I check it before letting it take residence in my mind. I hear the words, recognize my issue, and speak Truth over my heart. I literally say, "It is to my glory to not receive this as an offense."

    Everyone wins because I don't ruin the rest of the day by pouting, making it all about me, or soaking in self-pity. Each time I make this choice, I sense God is pleased as I honor Him by choosing NOT to be offended.

    Heavenly Father, thank You that I am created in Your image. Thank You that I find my identity in You. Thank You that it is only Your Word and Your opinion that matter. Lord, give me Your ears to hear. Help me not to be easily offended and easily angered. Help me lay down any offenses to which I am currently holding. Let me live in the freedom of Your love and forgiveness. Help me live not in my flesh, but supernaturally in the fullness and freshness of Your Spirit. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources: The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness by Suzanne Eller

    Reflect and Respond: Read 1 John 1:8-10 and reflect on its meaning in relation to this devotion.

    Over the next week, listen to your conversations and note if you are easily offended.

    Power Verses: Ephesians 4:26-27, "In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." (NIV 1984)

    Ephesians 4:32, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (NIV 1984)

    © 2013 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • Rich Living

    Boyd

    Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. (Colossians 3:16, NLT)

    Those who invite the message of Christ to dwell in their lives, learn to live life to its fullest. Like a guest who brings a generous house warming gift, so God is generous in handing out His wise instruction to humble hearts. Indeed, the Holy Spirit looks to decorate an individual’s interior with spiritual decor that displays His glory and honor.  Jesus makes things beautiful in His time. What He fills is full of His gorgeous fruit. Rich living follows a surrendered life!

    What is the message of Christ? It is the message of salvation that saves your soul. It is the message of hope that comforts your heart. It is the message of love that sustains your life. It is the message of truth that transforms your thinking. It is the message of forgiveness that wipes away wrong doing. It is the message of humility that becomes nothing, so Jesus can become everything. It is the message of the cross and resurrection that brings alive all who believe.

    Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. Romans 10:17

    Yes, the message of Christ is the Lord’s megaphone to all mankind. He admonishes us to teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. We are responsible to reason together around the principles of Scripture. As wise mentors, we apprentice hungry hearts in rich living. Be intentional to instruct infant Christians and to encourage mature ones. Everyone needs advice from time to time. Who needs the investment of your time so they can grow rich in God’s ways?

    Lastly, look to the Lord in grateful praise and worship. Join with other Jesus lovers and corporately proclaim His majestic grandeur and glory. Praise Him in your prayer closet, praise Him on your prayer walk, praise Him in the car, praise Him in your pain, praise Him in your comfort, praise Him in the bad times and praise Him in the good times. As long as you have breath praise God always! By faith, rich living regularly recalibrates its focus on Jesus Christ.

    In order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:7

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the rich living I have by faith in Jesus Christ.

    Related Readings: John 1:14, 5:37-40; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Ephesians 3:6; Philippians 4:19

    Post/Tweet today: By faith, rich living regularly recalibrates its focus on Jesus Christ. #richliving

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Hezekiah Walker's "Every Praise" is the #1 Gospel Song

    Hezekiah Walker’s “Every Praise” is quickly becoming an anthem in Gospel music.  Today the song has landed in the #1 spot on the R&R Gospel chart and, after debuting #1 seven weeks ago, his album - AZUSA THE NEXT GENERATION -  is also #1 on Billboard’s Gospel sales chart.

    “The airwaves are saturated with powerful music right now, and it feels great that ‘Every Praise’ has cut through to the top of the charts,” says B. Jeffrey Grant Clark, Vice President of Radio Promotions for RCA Inspiration.  “’Every Praise’ is another Hezekiah Walker song that will be sung throughout the ages – it continues his outstanding legacy of creating timeless church music.”

    Donald Lawrence, who produced “Every Praise,” says the song “sonically and stylistically ushers in and validates a potential new genre – ‘Christian Soul.’ “It was an honor to once again produce great music with Hezekiah Walker and tread new water by developing a new sound for choirs and choir music,” says Lawrence.

    Hezekiah Walker says that “Every Praise” is a universally relatable song.  “Whether they go to church or not, people have a praise in them that is reserved for God,” says Walker.  “This song connects with a feeling of thanksgiving and honor that everyone has at some point.”

    “The driving force for me is keeping choir music relevant,” says Walker.  “Back in the day when I came along there were a lot of choirs, but you could tell the difference between a Ricky Dillard, a Donald Lawrence, a John P. Kee and a Hezekiah Walker because we all had our certain sound.  That’s what kept us in the game, and I’m constantly keeping a focus on delivering a unique sound,” he says.

  • New Single from Royal Tailor - Remain

    After a debut album that landed them a plumb spot on Winter Jam and a hit single at radio ("Make A Move"), Royal Tailor is back with their electrifying second record.  THE band for student ministries and college students, Royal Tailor delves deeper into themes that resonate with this audience, from talking about a love that will always remain, even when Earthly love fades to expressing a desire to living only for the true original Creator.

    Check out their new single, Remain in the lyric video below.

  • Jamie Grace Introduces New Single

    GRAMMY®-nominee and Best New Artist GMA Dove Award winner Jamie Grace has released her follow up single to the smash hit success of “Hold Me." The single, titled “Beautiful Day,” is available from Gotee Records beginning now. The song reunites Jamie with producer/songwriter Christopher Stevens under the direction of TobyMac and will be a part of her forthcoming new album to release later this year.

    Accompanying the single, Jamie has also released a lyric video for “Beautiful Day” that combines her performance of the song with animated hand drawn lyrics and imagery here:

    "I'm still having a hard time processing the response to 'Hold Me,' the song I started in my dorm room," says Jamie. "The past few years have been absolutely incredible and I feel so blessed to have the privilege of sharing even more music. 'Beautiful Day,' although a fun song, has a message saying that in spite of what we're going through, every day is a good day and an incredible gift because God made it. In my young life I've learned that every day can begin with worshipping my Creator."

    The breakout success of her previous GRAMMY®-nominated, No. 1 smash hit “Hold Me (feat. TobyMac)” assisted in propelling Jamie to win her first GMA Dove Award—for New Artist of the Year—last year, in addition to a Billboard Music Award nomination. As a result, in part of the huge success of “Hold Me,” she has experienced a major wave of acclaim and popularity in the last few years, that is evident in her YouTube's channel combined 13 million views and even finding her making an appearance on ABC's hit talk show 'The View." This fall, Jamie will appear on the silver screen with the release of the LIONSGATE® film GRACE UNPLUGGED, an entertaining story of a talented teenager rising in the music industry led by AJ Michalka (Super 8, The Lovely Bones), James Denton (Desperate Housewives), and Kevan Pollak (A Few Good Men).

    Jamie Grace will be a featured guest on TobyMac’s “HITS Deep Tour 2013,” making stops across the country in November and December. The “HITS Deep Tour” 2013 will also include Brandon Heath, Mandisa, Colton Dixon, Chris August and Capital Kings.

  • Believer - New Music Video from Audio Adrenaline

    After five years away, Audio Adrenaline is back with a renewed mission and a new line-up. Kevin Max of dcTalk takes the mic and founding member Will McGinniss is on bass, while Dave Ghazarian of Superchick, Jared Byers of Bleach and singer-songwriter Jason Walker round out the band. Former front man and co-founder Mark Stuart contributed to many of the songs for the new album, titled Kings & Queens.

    This talented group of like-minded musicians shares a common goal: to be the voice for orphans in Haiti and around the world. To that end, the lead single, "Kings & Queens," is an orphan anthem that celebrates the transformation God can bring about.

    Watch the behind the scenes for their new video, Believer

    Watch their new video, Believer

    Check out the interview that we did with Kevin, Will and Mark by clicking here.

  • Will You Give Me Your Son?

    Glynnis

    "And she made a vow, saying 'LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.'" 1 Samuel 1:11 (NIV)

    As my arms wrapped tighter around my son, I squeezed my eyes hoping the hot tears stinging my lids would stop. Forcing a smile I knew he'd want to see, I released him and stepped back on the airport sidewalk.

    Despite my efforts, tears dripped down my cheeks. I grinned and shrugged, unable to speak. Thankfully my son's gentle teasing helped get past the awkwardness of the goodbye. With a final hug, my 19-year-old left for a mission trip to China.

    Having children willing to serve God was my heart's desire before they were born. It was what I've prayed for since they were small. And it is what I have worked toward for years. I just didn't know it was going to stretch my faith so much.

    You see, long ago my husband and I dedicated our children to the Lord, and we raised them to serve God. I was thrilled at my son's decision to go on a mission trip, but the reality of releasing him to God's calling felt like a piece of my heart was being torn away.

    It was so much easier to dedicate my children to God during the three years my husband and I struggled with infertility. Each time I read the story of Hannah and her struggle with infertility in 1 Samuel 2, my heart leapt in hope. Just as she pledged her child to the Lord if He would only give her one, I was willing to do the same.

    It was also easier to dedicate my children to God once we finally had them, while they were wrapped safely in my arms.

    But standing at the airport, there was a fragile part of me that wanted to take back that offer. Fears rose up. My son is so adventurous, what if something happened? What if I never saw him again?

    I tried to put the fears aside, but hours after our final goodbye, I still had a crumpled tissue in my hand. It was then, I heard God speak to my heart. It was unmistakably Him. I'd never ask myself this question: Will you give Me your son?

    By that time my son was on a plane, so the question seemed pointless. But what I wanted to say was this: Well, now that You've asked ... the answer is no, I've changed my mind about all that dedication stuff I said years ago.

    In the weeks since that day, I've often wondered why God would ask that question since He didn't really need my permission. I've come to believe it's because He knows the influence a mother has on her children, even when they're grown. With words spoken or withheld, tone of voice, and emotional and financial support (or lack thereof) a mother can influence her children's obedience to God's call at every age.

    And in my case, God knows my fears have affected my children. Ten years earlier when my oldest son wanted to go on an international mission trip, my fears stopped him. At that time, I thought he was too young and the destination too far. Without my active support, his plans fizzled.

    Over the years, God has helped me overcome that fear time and time again, and eventually that same son went on other mission trips. Every time I've released my tight grip on my children to obey God, my faith has grown. Apparently my faith needed to grow again, hence God's heart check that day: Will you give Me your son?

    Gripping my soggy tissue, I whispered a shaky "yes." Hoping it was good enough, but sensing it wasn't, I answered again, this time with confidence: "Yes! You can have my son!"

    Immediately peace started to grow in my heart as I turned my eyes from my own situation to His plan for my son. Peace and joy continued to grow stronger each day.

    Sometimes I wish I were one of those mothers who never deals with fear. They seem so confident and faith-filled. But I've learned when I give God my weaknesses, His power is displayed and His kingdom is advanced. So in spite of a bit of trembling, and a few tears, I'm going to say yes each time God asks if He can have one of my children.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me in spite of my weakness. I want to trust You more and confess the times fear has held me back. Help me to be honest with You and receive Your strength. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness by Suzanne Eller

    Reflect and Respond: Fear has the power to stop us from obeying God's calling for ourselves and in how we support others in their calling.

    How has fear affected your obedience?

    Power Verse: Psalm 56:3, "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • Kind But Direct

    Boyd

    But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ Matthew 5:37, NKJV

    Love uses direct language laced in grace. There is no ambiguity with those who care about communicating clearly from a caring heart. Yes, they take the risk of hurting someone’s feelings when being forthcoming with the facts, but better to be aware and adjust now, than to remain ignorant and unmoved. Insightful questions from a compassionate heart are a respectful way to show someone the way. Indeed, kind but direct conversations grow deeper relationships.

    Yes, wise are we to receive what may feel like a rough response from a friend. Because they love us, they will not leave us to languish in unwise behavior. When we are blinded by our own ambition, greed or self righteousness, we need words from our spouse, boss or mentor that challenge our unhealthy thinking. Our ability by God’s grace to ingest another’s instruction into our mind and heart, moves us closer to Christ. Be grateful for good friends who don’t hold back.

    Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. Proverbs 12:25

    Therefore, pray and prepare your heart before you deliver a direct message to one who means so much to you and to your Master Jesus. See them like the Lord sees them: a sheep without a shepherd, a child in need of nurture and instruction, or a novice hiker in want of a guide. Take the time to tell a loved one the truth in love and one day they may thank you. Better for them to be a little offended now than to wander down a destructive path later. Love is kind, but talks direct.

    Moreover, make sure to cultivate a culture of prayer in your home and community of friends. Prayer is relational lubricant that opens the heart of those who need to hear. It gives grace and courage to those whose speech needs to be straight forward. Talk with the Lord before you talk with those who need the Lord. Better to have a little talk with Jesus, before you have a big talk with a child or coworker. Your initiative to kindly instruct another in God’s ways is a gift.

    The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction. Proverbs 16:21

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use me to speak kindly to those who need a gracious but direct word.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 8:33, 9:9; Jeremiah 17:7; Acts 5:40; 1 Corinthians 1:5; Titus 2:8

    Post/Tweet today: Talk with the Lord before you talk with those who need the Lord.

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved. Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

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