Paige McPherson: Trusting in the Lord Makes her ‘Fierce’ (Gospel Light Minute #236)


She is a taekwondo competitor in the Olympics welterweight events for the United States team. She won silver in 2011 at the Pan Am Games and gold at the same games in 2015. Additionally, she represented the U.S. at the 2012 Summer Olympics and earned the bronze medal. In 2016, she was selected to represent the United States at the Summer Games in Rio.

Before the 2012 Olympic Games, she said this of her faith, “I was adopted at four days old into a Christian family and we went to church every Sunday. I really came to my own faith at age 16 in a Christian Bible camp when I began asking questions. I knew then I was ready to be part of God’s family. Since then, I have been walking by faith through all my trials.

“I began studying taekwondo after my older brother Evan, who is Korean, started taking classes; I wanted to do everything that he did. My younger sister started classes later, so it became a family thing. We mostly participated in after-school clubs and competed at state tournaments. One year I tried sparring and my coach recognized a talent there. I started training more, and sparred at the nationals, earning a medal. I made the U.S. junior team, then the senior team and the national team.

“I knew I had a God-given talent, and I have always wanted to glorify Him in any way I can through my sport. I wanted to be the one saying, “God gave me the talent. Let me see how far I can go and how I can increase it for Him.” I took my problems to God and knew He was in control. If I didn’t win, I knew it was His will, and I had that inner peace in me when I fought in tournaments.

“My faith plays a big role in my sport. Being able to trust my Lord and have faith that whatever happens is His will, gives me the inner peace that makes me ready for anything.

“A lot of athletes think the best approach is to be cocky and think you’re better than the other person. Whenever I tried to be overconfident, I didn’t win. But I know that the opponent is just as human as I am. I believe whoever the Lord wills wins, and it’s really anyone’s win on any given day.

“Growing up, my family would watch the Olympics every year together. I have always been a fan and wanted to be one of those athletes, having those special moments. One of my biggest goals was to make the 2012 Olympic team. I wanted to win it and glorify my Lord in the process. I trusted God, and I gave it my all for Him. He wants me to glorify Him whether I win a medal or win nothing, so I pray I will do that (no matter the outcome).”

Her name is Paige “McFierce” McPherson. Continue reading “Paige McPherson: Trusting in the Lord Makes her ‘Fierce’ (Gospel Light Minute #236)”

NBA Player and Olympic Gold-medalist Michael Redd: I Want People to Say, ‘He Loved God and Represented Christ Well’ (Gospel Light Minute #223)



Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

He is a retired professional basketball player. In 2000, he was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks and in 2002 set a then-NBA record after making eight three-point field goals in the fourth quarter. He was named to both the NBA All-Star and All-NBA Third Team in 2004. In 2011, he signed with the Phoenix Suns before retiring in 2013. Midway through his NBA career, he played for Team USA in the 2007 FIBA Americas tournament and went on to win gold in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

In a piece for Beyond the Ultimate, he described how he came to faith in Christ and what it has meant for his NBA success:

“I grew up in a Bible-believing home, my father being a pastor for 30 years; it’s all I’ve known. I received Jesus Christ [into my heart] when I was 17 years old but He didn’t really become personal to me until [some time after that]. It took some experiences, some trials and tribulations, that’s what helped develop my relationship with Christ over the last few years.

“God is Love, His Love is unconditional. God has pulled me out of situations that I knew I shouldn’t be in. But in His mercy, He loves me so much that He gives me a second chance [and] a third chance. I handle temptation by staying rooted in [reading and knowing] the Bible, and prayer. You literally have to do those things to avoid temptations. I walk in [God’s] Spirit and surround myself with people that love God and continue to encourage me.

“My dad is my role model, my hero. My dad has taught me everything I know as far as life and basketball. He has had a great impact on my life…to see what he’s gone through to be a fulltime dad, pastor and husband; it’s not an easy thing to do. Those are things I value, that is success.

“Success is being obedient to what God is telling you to do. Worldly achievements [like playing in the NBA] are a blessing from God, but not ultimate success. Winning championships, the Hall of Fame, or being mentioned as one of the best—MVP, these are not ultimate success.

“I believe basketball is the greatest sport in the world! But basketball is not who I am. I value my faith and my family more than basketball. After everything is said and done…after I retire, I want people to say, ‘He loved God and he represented Christ well.’”

His name is Michael Redd.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

Maya DiRado: ‘Being a Child of God Gives Me Quiet Confidence’ (Gospel Light Minute #220)

Maya DiRado
Maya DiRado

She is an American competitive swimmer who specializes in freestyle, butterfly and backstroke events. While at Stanford, she won NCAA titles in the 200 and 400 yard individual medley in 2014. After winning three individual events at the 2016 US Olympic Trials, she qualified to swim the 200 meter and 400 meter individual medley events, and the 200 meter backstroke at the 2016 Summer Olympics. At the 2016 Olympic Games, she won the silver medal in the 400 meter individual medley, the bronze medal in the 200 individual medley, and the Gold Medal in the 4x200M relay event.

She shared with Christianity Today, “Knowing that I’m a child of God and that his love for me is determined by nothing I can achieve or do on my own has given me a quiet confidence. My faith has helped me chart my own course and pursue my goals when people around me may be going in different directions. Jesus’ love for me and all humanity is something that always helps me better love people around me when things get difficult.”

When asked what she thinks God does care about as she competes in Rio, she replied, “I think God cares about my soul and whether I’m bringing his love and mercy into the world. Can I be a loving, supportive teammate, and can I bless others around me in the same way God has been so generous with me?”

Her name is Maya DiRado.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freestyle Skier, David Wise, Wants to Show People that ‘God Created Us All With the Potential to Enjoy His World’ (Gospel Light Minute #138)

David Wise
David Wise

He is an American freestyle skier. He won the gold medal at the Winter X Games #16 in the SuperPipe in 2012, 2013, and 2014. He also won gold at the 2013 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships. Most recently, at 23-years-old, he went to the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and returned home with a gold medal in Men’s Halfpipe.

He became a Christian as a teenager and his faith is an important part of how he sees himself as a competitor and athlete. He said, “For me, if you’re going to go so far as to believe something, then it really should be a big part of whom you are. So, whenever I’m out there skiing, I try to be the same person as a skier as I am in church on Sundays. I try to be the same in everything that I do. I really feel blessed and fortunate to be a part of such a cool sport.” He added that his dream is to “take what I love to do and inspire other people…Show people that the world is beautiful. Yes, there’s ugliness mixed in, but God created us all with the potential of enjoying this place.”

He and his wife run the youth group at their church in Nevada and he said he could even see himself as “a pastor of a church at some point.” “If that’s the way it works out, or if that’s God’s plan for my life, then that’s something I’d be totally okay with, but if not, then I’ll do whatever else comes.” In the meantime, he runs a non-profit fund called the Clean Water Project, which aims to provide clean drinking water to people in Malawi.

His name is David Wise.

Olympic Speedskater Jilleanne Rookard: Christ Gives her ‘Courage to Chase a God-Sized Dream’ (Gospel Light Minute #137)

Jilleanne Rookard
Jilleanne Rookard

She is an American speed skater who has competed in the sport since 2006. She was named to the U.S. team for the 2010 Winter Olympics and reached 12th place in the 3000 meter competition and 8th place in the 5000 meter competition. She won the 3,000-meter women’s speedskating event at the Olympic Trials in Salt Lake City, Utah, on December 27, 2013. She is currently competing with the U.S. Olympic team in Sochi, Russia, at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

When she started training for the Olympics in 2006, she had every reason to give up. For two years, she had to search for the right coach, had very little financial support, and had to work to pay for groceries, rent, and coaching. On top of that, her father passed away in 2001, and her mother began undergoing chemo treatments before passing away soon after. Many people around her expected her to quit and give up on her dreams, but she had her faith in God to rely on.

She said, “I had accepted Christ just before I made the decision to train for the Olympics in ice speed skating in 2006. I was training at a gym and I started pouring out some of my troubles to a woman. Without hesitation, she asked me if I would like to pray. We prayed right then and there on the floor at the gym. I said yes, and that is when the magic started to happen. It goes to show that God is everywhere! God is on the floor of my local gym and He is in my bedroom at 3 a.m. when I am pouring my life out to Him!”

Her faith is a source of strength and inspiration for the times when she feels like giving up. She said, “it was strange that God didn’t solve all of my problems. But it seemed as though He was giving me the strength to handle more!” She had to remind herself every day why she was pursuing her dream. She told herself that whether she succeeded or failed, she would learn something. She said, “I realize that it’s not about me at all. It’s about finishing what I started… I’ve just kept growing since the time I accepted Christ, and it’s not anything sudden. I realize now that I’m never going to stop learning.” She thanks God every day for the lessons He has taught her in her journey. Even with the risks of moving, training, and uncertain outcomes, she says there is one thing she has learned, and that is: “Success is not defined by the outcome, but by the courage it takes to chase God-sized dreams.”

Her name is Jilleanne Rookard.

The Olympics of Eternal Life

100 Days of Preaching the Gospel #16 | with Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: 1 Corinthians 9:24-25: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”

As you probably know, the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games have been played over the past 17 days. During this time, over 10,000 athletes from 204 countries competed in almost every sport imaginable. Thirty new world records were set and 946 medals were awarded. Last night, the closing ceremony of the London Olympics took place.

The Bible talks about a spiritual Olympics that is far more important than the Olympics we saw over the past 17 days. You see, an Olympic medal will not last for ever. The medals that Olympic champions receive will one day decay and the money they receive will be used up. But the Bible talks about an eternal prize, “an incorruptible crown, that fadeth not away.”

Paul, the writer of this passage, was familiar with the games at Isthmia near Corinth which took place every two years. He may have even been in Corinth during one of these events. The city would have been packed and many people would be forced to camp out in tents, so Paul, who was skilled at tentmaking would have probably applied his trade during this time. Since he is writing to the Corinthians who are familiar with this event, he uses the metaphor of runners racing for a prize to get his point across in this passage.

Please notice with me five things that we can learn about the olympics of eternal life:

I. The first thing that Paul urges his reader to do is to run with a purpose.

II. The second thing I want you to notice is that when you run, you must run with discipline.

III. The third thing I want you to notice is that earthly prizes and rewards are only temporary.

IV. The fourth thing we notice is that if we run this race and run it well, we will receive an eternal prize that cannot be taken away.

V. The fifth thing we notice is that in order to win this race, you have to get in the race.

+ Plus, listen to Steve Ivey singing “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

Sanya Richards-Ross: A Three-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Who Gives her Best for God (Gospel Light Minute #66)

Sanya Richards-Ross
Sanya Richards-Ross

She is a track and field athlete who was born in Kingston, Jamaica and competes internationally for the United States. She won an Olympic gold medal in the 4×400 meters relay at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. She also won an individual bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics for the 400 meters. In 2009, she became World Champion, winning a gold medal in the 400 meter race at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. Most recently, she won the gold medal in the 400 meters at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

She said of her faith in Christ, “I became a Christian when I was 12 years old. It was when I moved to Florida and started going to church consistently. Prior to moving to the States, I wasn’t exposed to Christianity much. But as soon as I got involved, I gave my life to Christ. I now go to church every Sunday that I am not traveling or competing.” On her life Bible verse, she said, “There are so many meaningful verses to me in the Bible, but I guess the one I say to myself most often is, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’ That’s my favorite because on the track, I am usually trying to do things that have rarely been done before. I know that it’s only God that gives me the strength to accomplish these things. ”

She went on to say of her faith, “My faith keeps me grounded. People always ask me how come I’m so good, and even though I try never to overwhelm people with my faith, I always think to myself, how come God is so good. My faith also encourages me to give my best. I know that my talent is God’s gift to me, and how I use it is my gift to him.” She often encourages people by saying, “Continue believing and trusting in Christ. He will never leave or forsake you!” She openly gives God all of the credit for granting her the strength to attain amazing accomplishments as a Christian athlete. Her name is Sanya Richards-Ross.

Dawn Harper and God’s Special Plan for Her Life (Gospel Light Minute #64)

Dawn Harper
Dawn Harper

She is an American track and field athlete who specializes in the 100 meter hurdles. She was the gold medalist in the 100 meter hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. During her time with the UCLA Bruins, she won the sprint hurdles at the US Junior Championships and at the Pan American Junior Athletics Championships. She received All-American honours twice at the 2004 NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship, after coming eighth in the 100 meter hurdles final and taking second place in the 4×100-meter relay. She ran 12.61 seconds to win a silver medal at the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Final. She qualified first at the 2012 United States Summer Olympic Trials and is competing in London.

She says of her faith, “My faith was definitely a part of me growing up. I went to church on Sundays, but I knew that God was real in my life. A lot of people start to look towards God when they get hurt, and when I hurt myself as a sophomore and had knee surgery, the doctors told me I would probably never run as fast again. I was only 15 years old and track was what I wanted to do. So when I came back from that, I realized God had a much bigger plan for me. And then, when I had knee surgery before the 2008 Olympics, that just sealed the deal. I was thinking, ‘There is another plan for me that I may not see for myself. I’m supposed to reach out to other people and show them what God can do because of what He’s done through me.’ I knew that it was all about giving God the glory. And once I crossed the finish line, that’s the first thing that crossed my mind. A lot of people call me the “What” girl because once I won the race, you can watch the footage and see that I’m saying “What” over and over again. But what I was saying, was that from this big ole globe, God chose this little girl from East Saint Louis out of all the kids who have said, ‘I want to go to the Olympics.’ He knew that I could handle this—the knee surgery and all of the things that come with being an Olympic champion. He took the girl that no one thought would win. He chose me. He entrusted me with this. And after that race in 2008, I just broke down crying.” Her name is Dawn Harper.

GLMX #108: How to Win At the Olympics of Life

London 2012 Olympics
London 2012 Olympics

Olympic events get our adrenaline going. The greatest athletes in the world have assembled for the 2012 Summer Games, just as they have since the first modern summer games in 1896.

But it’s not easy to compete in the Olympics. In the triathlon, athletes engage in swimming for nearly one mile, bicycling for nearly 25 miles, and then running for six miles.

Or how about the ten thousand meter races? Or the four hundred meter hurdles races?

Olympic competition is for an elite few. Not many can do these things well. For most of us, it’s hard enough to get out of bed in the morning. And while few experience the olympic thrill of victory, the rest of us are more familiar with smaller successes and the occasional agony of defeat. Life can be tough, filled with “I should’ve, could’ve, or would’ve” and not to mention “Uh-ohs” instead of gold medals.

Fortunately, there is someone who can empathize with our struggles. He suffered the ultimate agony of defeat: total rejection and pain, so we can win at the olympics of life. 700 years before He walked the earth, Isaiah the prophet had this to say about Jesus in Isaiah 53:3, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”

Yet He suffered defeat for us. Verse 8 says, “…for the transgression of my people was he stricken.”

And then He had the greatest victory of all time: Rising from the dead! Verse 11 says, “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” Jesus defeated death, lives forever, and has made a way for you and me to do the same.

+ Plus, listen to Mandisa singing “Victorious”

Allyson Felix: “Running for God’s Glory” (Gospel Light Minute #23)

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Allyson Felix
Allyson Felix

She is a track and field athlete, who competes internationally for the United States of America. She is an Olympic gold medalist, winning gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics as a member of the United States’ Women’s 4 x 400 meters team. She is also a two-time Olympic silver medalist at 200 meters, as well as the only woman ever to be a three-time Athletics World Championship gold medalist for that distance. She is also a member of President Barack Obama’s Council for Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.

Raised in a Christian home in Southern California where her father was an ordained minister and New Testament professor, she sees her running ability as a gift from God. She says of her faith, “My faith is the reason I run – it calms my heart and makes everything feel like a lift. My speed is definitely a gift from Him, and I run for His glory. Whatever I do, He allows me to do it.” Her name is Allyson Felix.