Over the past few weeks, many in America have been surprised, shocked, and saddened by the rape allegations that have been leveled against Bill Cosby — one of the most beloved personalities in television and entertainment history. With more than ten women in the past year alleging that Bill Cosby drugged and raped or sexually assaulted them, it seems as though the proverbial skeletons of the 77-year-old comedian are coming out of the closet.
While Cosby has not publicly addressed the allegations, it certainly is ashamed that his long career appears to be coming to a close under this cloud of indignity stemming from sins that were committed twenty-five to thirty-five years ago. If, in fact, Mr. Cosby is guilty, it is a testament to the Biblical proverb, “Be sure your sins will find you out.”
Wayne Brady is one of the most successful men in show-business today. He is an actor, talk show host, singer, and television personality. He has won two Daytime Emmy Awards and one Primetime Emmy Award. He has appeared in numerous movies and television shows and has hosted his own daytime talk show. He is currently the host of the game show “Let’s Make a Deal.” making big money, of course.
Despite his success, fame and money, he recently revealed in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that he suffers from depression. He said that he hit rock bottom this past June on his 42nd birthday. He recalled, “I was there by myself, in my bedroom, and I had a complete breakdown … Just go ahead and imagine for yourself a brother in his underwear, in his room, crying…”
He described his ongoing struggle saying, “Having a bad day is one thing, having a bad week is another, having a bad life… You don’t want to move; you can’t move in the darkness. You’re like, ‘I am just going to sit right here and… wallow in this. As much as it hurts, I am going to sit right here because this is what I deserve… I am that horrible of a person.'”
Wayne Brady said that this struggle with depression is like a vicious cycle that one can’t get out of. He said that constantly giving in to negative thoughts “starts this cycle where you tell yourself these lies … and those lies become true to you. So, you stick to your own truth you’ve set up. ‘If I am this bad, then why should any of this matter?’ I feel at that point, you end up wanting to stop the pain.”
Brady said he was able to identify with Robin Williams, the beloved comedian who recently committed suicide. He said Williams “made all these people feel great. And at the same time, he had this sense of low self-worth, of belonging, of loneliness, of pain that all the money in the world can’t cure, all the accolades and awards, and all the love from people all over the world…all that love could still not stop that man from saying, I am in so much pain.”
Millions of people around the world — rich and poor, famous and not-so-famous — suffer from depression. According to recent statistics from the World Health Organization, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression around the world. And 15% of people who suffer from clinical depression end up committing suicide.
While people get depressed for various reasons, one of the most common reasons is that of searching for a life of fulfillment in something that cannot possibly provide that fulfillment. Many who are looking for fulfillment and satisfaction in life turn to, fame, sex, money, drugs, success, privilege, and material possessions. Outwardly, they seem to have it all, but, many of them, if they are honest, like Wayne Brady, they will admit that deep down inside, they are lonely, confused, restless, frustrated, unfulfilled, and afraid.
The truth of the matter is, no matter how smart, intelligent, gifted, funny, rich, or good-looking someone is, they cannot make it through life on their own. They will always feel as if something is missing, and they will go through life without hope, peace, and assurance.
She is a media mogul, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. Her multi-award winning talk show was the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011. Known as the “Queen of All Media”, she has been ranked as the richest African-American of the 20th century by Forbes, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and is currently North America’s only black billionaire. CNN and TIME called her “arguably the world’s most powerful woman” and TIME named her “one of the most influential people” from 2004 to 2011. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama and received an honorary doctorate degree from Harvard University. In fact, Barack Obama would not be president of the United States without this woman.
On April 23, 2012, while introducing her “Lifeclass Tour” to a Radio City Music Hall audience in New York City she made a public profession of her faith. She said, “I am not talking about religion. I am a Christian. That is my faith. I’m not asking you to be a Christian. If you want to be one I can show you how. But it is not required. I have respect for all faiths… My favorite Bible verse, because I am a Christian, is Acts 17:28. It says, ‘In God I live, and move, and have my being.’ And you want to know why I’m so successful? Because I knew that at four-years-old, I wouldn’t be who I am today without that.”
On June 1, 2011, after Oprah delivered her public farewell from her talk show, I wrote the following on a news site that our organization runs: “Evidently, Oprah got saved recently, now she needs to make that clear to her millions of fans. Based upon statements that Oprah made throughout last week regarding God and Jesus Christ, we believe that Oprah has recently truly accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour and has been born again this year.”
Now, I took a lot of heat for making that statement, but as I explained in my article, “some people are going to doubt Oprah’s profession of faith in Christ and some are going to say negative things about this because she has people of different faiths on her show and so forth. However, please understand that OWN is not a Christian network. It is a network for all people. OWN is Oprah’s business, and we as Christians know what that is like when you’re doing business in a secular world. So Oprah’s business side is going to be different, but it does not take anything away from her faith in Christ.”
For example, Mark Burnett, is the producer behind the popular “Bible” mini-series and the “Son of God” movie. However, before he produced those Christian-based works, he produced such popular shows as Survivor, The Apprentice, The Voice, Shark Tank, The Sing Off, and the People’s Choice Awards which have nothing to do with his Christian faith. Yet, based on his own words and on his life, I believe Mark Burnett is saved just as I am.
In fact, in the Bible, we see examples of these types of believers. Jesus had His public disciples, the Peters, Jameses, and Johns, but He also had his secret disciples, the Nicodemuses and Josephs of Arimathea. When His public disciples, Peter and the other disciples, forsook Him at His trial and His crucifixion, it was His secret disciples, such as Joseph of Arimathea, that stood with Him until the end. This Joseph took His body off the cross and placed Him in his own grave. All of Jesus’ followers are not out front; some are behind the scenes, but they are doing just as much for Him.
Based upon Oprah’s public profession of faith in Jesus Christ, she is saved by the grace of God through faith by believing in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, according to the Word of God. So instead of worrying about what she is doing or not doing, how about you? Are you saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
He is one of the longest continuously employed artists at Disney. In over 30 years, his contributions to animation have included several leading Disney characters, mostly heroines. His work includes: Princess Jasmine in “Aladdin,” Belle in “Beauty and the Beast,” Ariel in “Little Mermaid,” Young Simba in “The Lion King” and Mulan in “Mulan”. He was also the animator of the 2007 film “Enchanted”, and he directed the award-winning short film, “John Henry.” Additionally, he was the supervising animator of Princess Tiana in Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog.” He has been nominated for an Annie award four times: three times for Character Animation for “The Lion King,” “Mulan,” and “Winnie the Pooh,” and once for Short Animated Film Direction for “John Henry.” Recently, he served as one of the lead animators, overseeing the development of all of the characters on the Oscar-winning film “Frozen”.
Emily Belz of World Magazine says that he is a Christian. In an interview, she asked him, “How does your faith play into your work, into character development and storytelling?” He said, “It’s a global impact as well as day-to-day and scene-to-scene. I’m very blessed. … This has been my boyhood dream to be a Disney animator. I’ve seen a lot of change and a lot of ups and downs. I was almost fired at one point. God has been incredibly gracious to allow me to be here, and I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be… God has gotten me through many a tough day and tough scene and tough production schedule. It’s nice to work for a company where the basic values we want to put across in our films are right in line with my faith.”
Rapper and hip-hop artist Jay-Z sings a song titled “Forever Young”. In this song he talks about his desire to be forever young. Then he asks the question, do you really want to live forever and ever? His song, even though it may not be talking about living forever in Heaven, according to the Bible necessarily, (and yes, the original cut has some unsavory language), but Jay-Z’s song touches on a longing that is in the soul of every man. Listen to a few of the lyrics that I can share with you:
I wanna be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever and ever
I wanna be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever and ever
Jay-Z’s lyrics testify also to our culture’s obsession with youth. Television ads about anti-aging creams and techniques populate the airwaves. People fret over dieting and health issues all in an effort to look and feel younger. This past week, a new project was launched to study how humans can extend their life span. The project is being funded with millions of dollars from the founders of big companies such as Google and Facebook. Make no mistake about it, people have a longing and desire to live forever.
This obsession with youth is a reflection of our desire for immortality, permanence, and living forever. This is a desire that humans have experienced since the beginning of time. You might recall learning about the fabled Fountain of Youth, the waters of which were said to restore the youth of anyone who drank from them. This fountain was spoken of and sought for from the fourth century BC in Ancient Greece to the 16th century in what is today Florida.
The Holy Bible tells us about a place where people’s bodies will no longer age and decay, where people will never get sick or diseased, where no one will ever die — in other words, where everyone will be forever young. The best thing about this place, however, is that everyone who goes there will be in the presence of the loving Creator who is the source of all life, energy, and vitality. This place is called Heaven or Paradise, and right now, I want to share with you how you can get there so you can indeed be forever young.
She is a star television and movie actress who began her career at four years old. She has appeared in numerous commercials, television shows, music videos, and major movies. She was cast in her first film, the 1995 hit “Friday”, at age thirteen. At age fifteen, her performance in the critically acclaimed 1997 film “Eve’s Bayou”, earned her her first NAACP Image Award nomination.
Since then, her film appearances include: Roll Bounce, Waist Deep, Stomp the Yard, Jumping the Broom, and Think Like a Man among many others. She currently stars in the lead role of the new NBC TV drama series “Deception.” One of the things that stands out in the show is that in the midst of all that “deception”, her character wears a cross around her neck. I believe that she does this to be a witness for Jesus Christ. And may I say with all due respect to her husband and without fear of successful contradiction, she is one of the most beautiful women in the world.
Although she was not raised in the church, she says that she is a Christian and that she will not do roles that she feels might disappoint God. She said in an interview, over the years, “I have learned that I need to really keep my eyes on the prize which is God and not worry so much about what other people think of me. And if I keep my eyes on the prize, people will think what they need to think of me, good or bad.”
Regarding the roles she plays, she said, “I think that, for me, it’s about portraying a character creatively and artistically as an actress. I believe that God has gifted me as an actress and intends for me to use that gift, but He also intends for me to use it to glorify him. So, if I’m playing the most perfect, religious girl, then nobody gets anything out of it. It’s like being a Christian and only hanging out in church. When I play a character, I try not to judge her because ultimately it’s about where she ends up and what she learns from the journey, no matter what happens along the journey. Does she become a better person?”
She reads her Bible “every day without fail” and is determined to continue growing in her faith. Married to a Hollywood movie executive who is also a preacher, she said that she is happy to have “a partner who shares the same heart for God that I have, who walks down the same road as I, and who wants the same things in life that I do. I’m also happy that I found someone who understands what I do for a living, and wants to use that as a tool to help glorify God….It’s just a blessing now that people are listening as I try to share the love of God and empower young women.” Her name is Meagan Good.
He was an actor, television producer, writer, and Grammy Award-winning Southern-gospel singer. He is best known for his television roles, playing the lead characters in the 1960–1968 situation comedy The Andy Griffith Show and in the 1986–1995 legal drama Matlock. As a young man, he served as choir director at First Baptist Church of Goldsboro and pursued pre-ministerial studies at UNC Chapel Hill before changing his major to acting. He earned Tony Award nominations for two Broadway performances. At age 69, he went back to an early dream of singing Southern Gospel music. And he recorded gospel songs for “I Love To Tell The Story – 25 Favorite Hymns.” This album was certified platinum by the RIAA. In 2005, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush. He went home to Heaven on July 3, 2012 at age 86.
His wife said of him at his death, “He was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord. He is the love of my life, my constant companion, my partner, and my best friend. I cannot imagine life without him, but I take comfort and strength in God’s grace and in the knowledge that he is at peace and with God.” In a 1996 interview after he was diagnosed with Guillen-Barre syndrome, he said, “I firmly believe that in every situation, no matter how difficult, God extends grace greater than the hardship, and strength and peace of mind that can lead us to a place higher than where we were before.” His name is Andy Griffith.