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Scoop ~ Interview with GQ Model, Hollywood Actor & Author, John T. Prather

John T. Prather is an actor and model with a heart for God, passion for spreading the Word, and helping out kids in the foster care system. With roles in some successful TV series as well as being featured on major national magazines like GQ, People, and Men’s Health, success didn’t come easy for John as he often makes it clear the need to stand for Jesus no matter what. With his recent release of his debut novel, The Nephilim Virus—endorsed by Hollywood actress, Megan Fox, John is set to break new ground which he believes will open doors for Christians to spread the Word through stories that provide a crossover platform to accommodate both Christian and non-Christian readers. John stopped by on TBAP to talk about life, faith, his new book, as well as his work in Hollywood. Take a look!


Miranda ~ Hello John! Delighted to have you visit TBAP today! Please tell us a bit about yourself that we don’t already know.

John: Thank you for having me! Well, I’m married to a wonderful woman, and we have three children. One of them is adopted out of the Los Angeles county foster care system. I’m a big advocate for foster care and adoption, and often write on the subject when I’m not working on a novel or acting.

Miranda ~ When did you first give your life to Jesus and make Him your personal Lord and Savior?

John: I was raised in a Christian family, so I was often in church while growing up; but when I was twelve, I decided I needed to figure out if the “God thing” was for me, or if it was just for my family. I’ve never been a halfway person, so I knew I needed to figure out what I believed for myself and go all-in one way or the other. I chose God. I always say God knew He had to get me when I was young or I would have gone all-in in the other direction.

Miranda ~ What event inspired that particular moment?

John: I was sitting in church. I remember the exact seat, but I have no idea what the pastor was speaking about. I honestly don’t remember anything more than the feeling of realizing that I needed to get exactly what my life was going to be about nailed down for myself. Was I going to chase God or chase selfishness?

Miranda ~ You’re an actor who’s been in successful TV series like Project: Phoenix, Scream Queens & WWE Raw, and also a model who’s been featured on national magazines like GQ, People, & Men’s Health. What principle guides your choice of contracts, and as a Christian, what has this cost you in Hollywood?

John: Having faith costs quite a bit in Hollywood. I often say that when Jesus talked about the gates of hell, He was referring to Hollywood because, it is the voice piece for the worldly way of living. I grew up in the south where belief in God was normal and accepted for the most part, but being a Christian in Hollywood is completely different. Christians face persecution out here because when they live the way Jesus called them to live, they are at odds with the Hollywood system. I’m not trying to compare Los Angeles to places like China or North Korea where Christians are literally dying for their faith, but as far as America goes, I think being a Christian costs more in LA than anywhere else in the States. Personally, I’ve lost jobs, gotten ostracized, and literally been screamed at for refusing projects I felt I shouldn’t do. But the great thing is, Jesus promised us the gates of hell would not prevail. For that to be true, though, Christians have to be out here attacking those gates.

Miranda ~ You have a new fiction novel out, your debut into writing—The Nephilim Virus. Huge congrats! At what point did you know you were going to be a writer?

John: Thank you! Getting a book published was a huge milestone for me, but I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved telling stories. I think I got it from my grandfather who was a wonderful storyteller. I used to listen to him and then try to write my own stories. I have stacks of old notebooks filled with stories I wrote as a child.

Miranda ~ Why now, why this story, and why do you believe it’s the perfect crossover that will invite both Christian and non-Christian readers?

John: I think all great themes such as faith and sacrifice and hope and courage and love are all just small pictures of the great story—God’s story. As a Christian in Hollywood, I wanted to write a book that was all about God’s story, but people wouldn’t realize it until it was too late and they were already hooked. My goal was to write a fast-paced thriller that Christians wouldn’t be embarrassed to give to their non-Christian friends. Actress, Megan Fox, loved the book and was kind enough to endorse it for me, so I hope that means I at least partially succeeded!

Miranda ~ What elements in the story make this possible?

John: C.S. Lewis once famously noted that the world doesn’t need more Christian literature, but more Christians writing good literature. I tried to keep that in mind as I wrote. As a Christian, everything I create comes from that worldview so that I can focus on creating a really fun, fast-paced, enjoyable story, and God will be in that.

Miranda ~ Since you’re already an actor/writer, do you have plans to turn it into a script for film, especially as it has the crossover element in place?

John: I would love to see The Nephilim Virus turned into a film or TV series. I can’t say too much yet, but there are things on the horizon that are very exciting. I hope to be able to share more soon, but I will say that having the endorsement of an actress like Megan Fox is a wonderful sign.

Miranda ~ What advice would you give a Christian presently struggling in Hollywood the way you initially did, but believes God has called them to remain and work there for His kingdom?

John: I would tell them to get used to struggling! Haha. I would also tell them to stay strong. I’ve been out here for eight years, and this last year was the most difficult yet. Los Angeles isn’t an easy city. It’s a battle every day. But if God has called you to be out here, then He will give you the strength to stay in the fight. Count on it!

THIS or THAT (The Fun Qs!)

Coffee or Tea? Neither! But tea, if I have to choose.

Gym or Outdoor? Both! Man, I’m not very good at this. Haha. I’ll say gym.

Sneakers or Boots? Boots. No contest.

Running or Walking? Running.

Cereal or Fruit? Fruit.

Music or Books? Books. Lots of books.

TV or Magazine? TV. Magazines don’t pay residuals. Haha.

Summer or Spring? Summer.

Rain or Snow? Snow.

Blazer or Leather Jacket? Leather jacket. To go with my boots.

Thank you, John, for visiting today! Thank you so much for having me! I really enjoyed our talk.

About John Prather


John T. Prather grew up with seven siblings in Memphis, Tennessee, on a steady diet of BBQ and southern values. After graduating from the University of Memphis, he moved to Hollywood to try his hand at the entertainment industry. As a model, he has been featured in the national magazines such as People, GQ, Men’s Health, as well as on the cover of Muscle and Fitness magazine, among others. As an actor, he has played characters in TV series such as Scream Queens on the Fox network, as well as WWE Raw. As a writer, Prather has contributed articles top several websites and magazines including Focus on the Family, The Daily Caller, Stream.org, and iBelieve.com. Prather’s wife recently gave birth to twins, and they have adopted their foster daughter whom they raised since she was days old. Learn more about John Prather on his official website.

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Movie DVD Review ~ Saving Faith By Lionsgate

About the Movie


Saving Faith revolves around Faith Scott and her Uncle Donny. Faith is the Executive Director of the Ritz Theater in the small Tennessee town of Clinton. After years of struggle to keep the doors open it looks like it might be time to shut them for good. In one last ditch effort to keep the theater alive, Faith and Uncle Donny look to put together a big Christmas show…in June. Using his connections, that Faith knows nothing about, Uncle Donny is able to book a big time headliner for the show – Vince Gill and Amy Grant. Peter Marsh is a local business man in Clinton that has been waiting for the Ritz to go under so he can buy it cheap from the bank and sell it to a big time developer. When he hears about the Vince Gill/Amy Grant show, he pulls out all the stops to make sure the show does not go on. Uncle Donny, Faith and their friends and family pull together to make sure that they have done everything in their power to keep the doors to the Ritz Theater open, but can they succeed?


Category

Religious/Christian

Genre

Drama/Comedy

Initial Release Date

February 1, 2017.

DVD Release Date

September 18, 2018.

Rating

2.5 Stars

Review


The Story line is built to inspire with these three themes: that trusting God no matter the situation is the best thing any child of God could do; secondly, to step out, make decisions, make efforts, and never give up. Thirdly, in the midst of trusting God, things may not go the way we hoped that they would, but it doesn’t mean that God isn’t in control; ALL things will work out for the good of those who trust God.

While this plot has a beautiful message, screen and behind-the-scenes execution could have been better. The story is engaging enough to follow through to the end, but this isn’t enough to make the movie utterly spectacular.

Article ~ The [Entertainment] Gatekeeper

The New Faces Director

Many years ago, I worked in a major acting and modeling agency in the West as the New Faces Division Director (I will keep the agency unnamed). I was responsible for seeking new talent, vetting new talent, and training and helping develop new talent. Pretty much, you had to impress me in order for you to move forward to be represented as…new talent. It meant going forward to introduce models and actors to directors, casting directors, producers, and setting up “go-sees” for models for national and international agencies like IMG, BOSS, LA MODELS, and also, going to Milan, Paris, Japan. You get the idea. I LOVED my job and I was GOOD at it!

During my time in this capacity, I was “important” because I had business cards and the card named my title. I WAS THE GATEKEEPER.  I discovered some fantastic talent, met some colorful characters, and made some great friends and colleagues. I opened doors for many aspiring talent and I (unfortunately) single-handedly crushed many dreams of potential new talent or talent that wasn’t meshing with us, and had to tell them it wasn’t working out.

An agency is a business and this is a real side, albeit—not always pleasant, a fact many people seem to overlook. Agents look at new talent in dollar signs because, this is their business like any other.

A cold hard fact.

Developing New Actors and Models

I mentioned ‘developing new talent’. What this means is that, along with my co-worker in our department (who I didn’t really like or agree with), we were required to sell classes to wide-eyed individuals with the caveat: there are no guarantees you will get work as a model or actor. I have nothing against learning or taking classes to enhance your acting skills and becoming fierce on the runway. Heck, I was/am an acting instructor. I think you should learn how to have etiquette on set, how to put on your makeup, speak properly, learn to cold read, etc. These are all necessary abilities for this industry. My colleague and I would essentially guide the talent. If they wanted to take classes, so be it; they made the informed choice. We were doing our jobs and received commission for it (YES, when you are sold a class for thousands of dollars in an agency or talent scouting company, the agents get a commission. This is a self-serving industry. It is a business. Not that this is all bad. Just know that going in.). People were learning, the owner was happy, we discovered some awesome talent and weeded folks out. Everybody won, right?

Sure.

Until my conscience started whispering nags at me like, “Selling classes to people who obviously don’t have a future or the right temperament for this industry is wrong. Stop and use better judgment!”

If It Doesn’t Challenge You It Won’t Change You

Some examples of poor choices that come to mind as to whom we sold classes to include:

 A little boy who couldn’t read. This child was enrolled by my associate because, he was an absolutely beautiful child. I mean, gorgeous! His grandmother thought for sure that he would be a star. I ended up refunding their money, which made my co-worker extremely angry. It was painful to see this child under so much pressure each time I looked at the tape. I knew it wasn’t right. I was ashamed we let it happen.

A painfully shy young woman with very low self-esteem who often walked hunched over and hid behind her hair. This young lady was about 17-19 years old. Her mother and ex-model sister thought this was the way she could improve herself, and that, somehow, she would become a supermodel. No pressure. Later, in watching the tapes of the class, I saw that she would freeze and cry on camera, and not in a ‘cry on cue kinda way,’ but more or less, in a humiliated and terrified way.  She never spoke, but was allowed to coast in the classes (more on this later).

A mentally disturbed young man who was disruptive. His parents had money to burn and wanted him to “flourish”. An advance acting workshop was coming up, and a guest director from L.A. was coming to teach. My boss said, “Sign him up because his is a sure bet on tuition.” Against my better judgment, I didn’t speak up because I was afraid of my boss (Amanda Priestly, anyone?), and because I didn’t want to lose the big commission.  Well, several professional actors who were in the class, as well as the guest instructor, complained about this young man’s outbursts. We later explained to the parents that this wasn’t for him and refunded their money (along with my sure bet of a large commission).

She Hid behind Her Hair and Looked at Her Shoes

Remember the painfully shy young woman in her teens? Well, here is what happened:

A year later, the girl and her beautiful, confident, former model big sister (who gave up modeling to be married with children), came to visit me in my office. The younger sister, as always, hid behind her hair and remained silent and sat hunched over. The big sister did all the talking…and I mean ALL the talking. She demanded to know why we hadn’t contacted her sister with auditions. “After all,” she said, “she took all the classes.”

I listened intently. My face was getting hot and I was ready to do battle. Remember I mentioned I was important because of my title? I was thinking, while they…I mean SHE—the ex-model now turned beautiful perfect mother and Christian homemaker—was talking, that, how dare they come into my beautiful expensive, hoity-toity office and make such demands on me? ME? Irene Santiago, the New Faces Director?! Because…I AM important! My business card says so! I AM THE GATEKEEPER!  Be gone, sisters! Your sister shall not pass because she isn’t good enough! Well, that didn’t happen, because, thankfully, I didn’t say any of that. Not even close. (Thank you Holy Spirit. Proverbs 13:16a, NLT Wise people think before they act.)

Instead, something else happened.

I remembered an interview that I had watched with Jay Leno and the supermodel, Elle Macpherson, a few nights prior. I remembered how beautiful she was and how well she carried herself. She was so eloquent, funny, and charming. This is what the young woman seated in my office was expected to be. And not celebrated for who she truly was. My heart softened, and, gently, I thanked the ladies for coming to see me. Instead of going all “The Devil Wears Prada” on them (not that I owned any Prada or could afford it), I spoke with love from my heart. I said to the younger sister (and I’m paraphrasing because it’s been a long time), “You must be extremely special because your big sister loves you very much to come here to support you in this way and speak on your behalf.” She nodded. Then I said, “I have heard what your sister has said, but I would like you to tell me, what do you think of all this?” The poor girl remained quiet for some time as she looked at her shoes. Hiding behind her hair, she eventually mumbled her answers.  She was so scared and embarrassed, and cried. Then the big sister cried too. I felt really bad. If I wasn’t so “important,” I would have cried too (Okay, I teared up).

I asked her if she wouldn’t mind showing me how she was instructed to walk on the runway. She agreed.  Then she walked hunched over, unsure of herself and still hiding behind her hair, then sat back down and looking at her shoes still hunched over. I asked her to tell me what she liked about the classes, and she mumbled that it gave her more confidence, and that it was fun to learn scripts and socialize with the other girls.

Okay. I was happy to hear that!

Then I explained, “When you go to an audition, the first thing they notice is your confidence and ability to look them in the eye; then they want to hear you speak. It is scary enough as it is going into auditions, but this is what it is. This is what is expected. Did you happen to see the interview with Elle Macpherson on The Tonight Show the other night?” Both girls nodded. Clearly, they remembered how elegant Elle was. I said, “Yes, she is beautiful, but that is not what really makes her beautiful, memorable or successful. What makes a woman beautiful is her confidence, a loving heart, and her charm. There are many beautiful women out there, but beauty fades. It’s what’s inside that counts.”

Now I had to tell them the whole truth.

I explained that the business is immensely competitive. While the classes did give her some confidence and taught her many useful skills for life, it was not reflected in her walk and talk. It did not mean that she was any less special. This business just wasn’t for her. Her heart was not in it, and she even admitted that she was taking the classes because of her mom; it wasn’t her passion but her mother’s. Both sisters understood and agreed with me. They thanked me for my time and left. I was so grateful!

Crisis averted.

But then, about an hour later, their mom called, demanding to know what I’d said to them. “All I know is that I have two daughters that are in tears,” she exclaimed.  In my mind I was thinking, “Wait, I thought this was worked out?” Then I started to get a little queasy in my stomach. A thought came to me, just tell the mother the same truth.

So I did.

“Thank you for calling me, Ma’am.  You have two special daughters. Let me explain what I told them. Did you happen to catch The Tonight Show with Jay Leno the other night when Elle Macpherson was on…”

She understood.

The Gatekeeper Turns In Her Keys

 I made mistakes and regretted them. The agency is still a major and legit business.  In the owner’s defense, she believed one-stop shopping was the way to go. But that is her business, not mine. I turned in my keys and eventually left. I was grateful for working there, I learned much and moved on. When I left, I realized that, yes, my job was important, but not for the reasons that I’d initially thought. It was important because I’d done a lot of good for clients—as a catalyst who believed in and guided them.  A title is not what defines me. My heart and actions do.

Summary Points To Remember About the Business of Agencies

If you learn anything at all from my musings, it should be this: There are no GUARANTEES that you will get work as a model or actor no matter how much money you spend. Agencies and Talent Scouting Companies are a business. Show business is still a business. They are not daycares, babysitters or magicians. YES, you should plan on spending money in the industry, but be wise about it. Do your homework and due diligence. Prospective talent/parents/grandparents/legal guardians, don’t be so desperate to be a part of the film and modeling industry that you would sell your soul, dignity, kids’ dignity or spend your entire life savings. Scams see you coming a mile away. Be smart.

There are No Shortcuts

Successful talents have supportive agents/agencies. The film and modeling industry can be fun and worthwhile. While it is NOT for everyone, it is also NOT all evil. It’s what’s inside you that counts! Your PASSION! What makes a person appealing is their confidence, a loving heart, and their charm. There are many beautiful people out there, but remember, beauty fades.

About this Contributor


Irene Santiago’s motto is A.B.C = I Act Because of Christ. She is a busy, award-winning actress, voice over talent, speaker, acting coach, model, producer, wife and mother. She is mainly recognized for her role in High School Musical (Part 1) as the “Chem Teacher” (and her kids roll their eyes whenever someone mentions it!). Other credits include: One Tree Hill, Providence, Adrenaline, and Badge of Faith.  You can connect with her on her official website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and IMDb page.

 

*The article, The Gatekeeper, first appeared on ToBeAPerson (TBAP).

**To learn more about Irene Santiago’s work or about reputable talent agencies and scouting companies check out these helpful links below:

Irene Santiago’s other articles on TBAP

How Fear Inspired My Life and Career

Respecting the Creation You Were Meant To Be

Helpful Acting and Modeling Links

5 Ways to Recognize an Acting or Modeling Scam

Modeling and Talent from the Better Business Bureau

Backstage – So Your Child Has an Interview With a Talent Rep? How to Prepare

How to Choose An Acting Class

Watch out for modeling scams as per IMG MODELS

Album Review ~ Daydreamer By Matthew Parker

Category

General

Genre

Pop

Release Date

October 26, 2018.

Rating

4.5 Stars

Review


Matthew Parker’s Daydreamer opens with the eclectic Alice, an invitation to a musical journey inspired by a heart rich with much to say about life, which is the undertone expressed throughout the album in a myriad of ways. The beauty of Daydreamer album—as showcased by the song, also, by which the album is titled—is that it highlights the truth that Christians, like everyone else, live in a world where each individual is exposed to multiple experiences that come together to build the individual into the person that they are—love, dreams, friendship, mistakes, faith, hope, heartbreak, sorrow etc. And in the midst of the lyrics and the music, is a signature blend which brings to the music scene a quintessential pop quality unique to Parker and Parker alone. Parker hits his notes with such beautiful melodious ease and impressive skill that it is nothing short of outstanding.

Daydreamer is an album that invites the listener to experience the highs and lows while maintaining faith and a positive outlook on life!

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. My appreciation to DREAM Label Group for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 

About Matthew Parker


Matthew Parker grew up in the mitten-shaped state of Michigan, USA. He wasn’t especially interested in music as a kid, but at about age 12, after learning to play guitar and fiddling around with making weird synthesizer sounds in Garageband, Matthew found a love for creating creative, catchy tunes with electronic and organic sounds and it looks like he’s never going to stop. After releasing 2 well-received albums and getting one #2 and two #3 hit singles on the Billboard CHR Radio Chart, Matthew is gearing up to release his third album with DREAM and is incredibly excited for the world to hear his newest tunes.

About the album, Matthew Parker says, “I’m beyond excited for this new album because I’ve been working on it for 2 years ever since my last album, Adventure, came out, and I’ve put my WHOLE mind and soul into this. It’s been amazing to see how much I’ve grown as a songwriter and producer, and I’m so excited to show the world the new sounds I’ve come up with. I’ve taken risks on some of the songs, especially in departing somewhat from the pure EDM vibes I’ve somewhat been known for, with more of the songs on this record being more on the Pop side, with electronic influences. I can’t wait to see what happens with it. I know this is going to be the “adventure” I’ve been “daydreaming” about for a while. Keep your eyes open for my upcoming album, Daydreamer.”

 

Article ~ I Am Samson (Part 2) – The Power of God’s Redeeming Grace

 

“Come boldly to the Throne of Grace and obtain mercy and grace in your time of need.” —Hebrews 4:16

Samson is named in what is popularly referred to as the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11. While the first few names were listed along with the events in which their faith travailed, other names that followed were simply mentioned; Samson was one name in the latter group.

Some people often wonder why Samson is called a hero of faith—Didn’t his story end tragically? How could such a tragic tale be inspiring to anyone?

Well, Samson is listed as a hero because his faith highlighted the depths that God’s redeeming grace, which yearns to restore man, could reach no matter how deep the pit of despair and destruction. It’s astounding that despite the horrors that happened to Samson because of continued complacency, he dared to have the bold faith that would lead him to pray to God and say, “O Lord, God, remember me…” This speaks of a person who’d known God on a deeply personal level, and had experienced richly His goodness, faithfulness, and mercies on numerous counts.

It’s a known fact that, typically, when the average person falls into sin, there’s the tendency to want to run from God; it takes God’s love and believing on this love, to be drawn back to Him in full hope and faith, and receive joy, peace, comfort, and restoration. Sadly, running is more common today among Christians than not. Thankfully, more people are being taught the truth that God gladly anticipates us turning to Him when we stumble or fall.

This is what Samson’s story brings to the table.

This is what Jesus’ coming and work on the cross illustrates—a loving Father Who wants to redeem!

Are you lost and in despair of redemption?

Do you believe that you’re too far gone to be saved?

Do you despair that at this point, it is impossible for your life to make meaning?

I invite you to look at Samson’s story and dare to be inspired by his faith and boldness to seek God’s grace that first forgave, then restored his purpose, and finally, gave his life and story impressive meaning that resonates to this day—so much so that he is recognized eternally as one of the great heroes of faith!

Remember this: no matter who you are, what you’ve done, and where you are right now—even sick in the hospital or in prison—in the hands of the Almighty and Faithful Jehovah, your story can make a difference and not be wasted or turned into ashes. The arm of God is not too short to restore purpose and use you to bless others. The wisdom of our Father in heaven—Jesus Christ—manifests in our lives in a myriad of ways if we let Him be the author and finisher of our faith.

Just dare to be bold to seek His grace and face.

What do you say?

 

About the Editor


Miranda A. Uyeh is the founder and editor of To Be A Person (TBAP), the author of Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, and a Mogul Global Ambassador. She was a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards in 2014 in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/Suspense Category.

When Miranda isn’t working on TBAP, she’s writing, reading for fun or relaxing with a good movie! When she gets bored with the world, she talks to God about it! To learn more about her book, To Die Once, her journey as an author and her other activities, you can follow her personal website. You can also connect with her on TwitterFacebookPinterest, and Google+.

*The article, I Am Samson (Part 2), first appeared on ToBeAPerson (TBAP) Blog, and is part of the ‘I Am’ series.

Author Scoop ~ Interview with Author, Speaker, and Radio Host, Dr. Deb Waterbury

Dr. Deb Waterbury is an author, speaker, and the host of the popular radio show, “Doing Life with Dr. Deb,” where she does interviews/talks about a myriad of tough issues that Christians face in the world every day. She recently released a book, The Lies That Bind, detailing aspects of her life when she was a troubled Christian, and also how Jesus led her back into the light; in The Lies That Bind, Deb explains her truth in a way that she hopes will set many captives free from the lies and self-doubt which hold them back from victory in Jesus Christ. Dr. Deb took some time to talk about bits of her journey back into the arms of Jesus, as well as her work and radio show. Take a look!


Miranda ~ Hello Deb! Delighted to have you visit TBAP today. Please tell us a bit about yourself that we don’t already know.

Deb: I love to run, sing, and do just about anything that has to do with an adrenaline rush. I’ve been bungee jumping, sky diving, zip lining, and para-sailing; the next thing I really want to tackle is hand gliding (but my husband is putting is foot down on that one.😉) Jeff and I have visited and/or lived in 27 countries, and we love to travel. However, I have yet to visit the Holy Land, and I want to go very badly. Prayerfully, we will be going with a group of pastors here in Tucson in 2020.

Miranda ~ When did you first give your life to Jesus?

Deb: When I was 11 years old.

Miranda ~ After the mistake of your past, what led you to realize that you needed to recommit your life to Jesus? Describe the experience.

Deb: I had come to the end of myself, literally. I was finished and exhausted with running a race that was actually a treadmill going nowhere. I had spent years trying to figure out how to be “happy”, and I was quite literally miserable. I finally saw that I had made myself that way. And the most beautiful thing was that, God was standing right there next to that treadmill, gently beckoning me to get off. No condemnation. No anger. Just love and sorrow over the choices I had made, and a willingness to take me right where I was. To put it simply, I thought I had lost everything; but in an instant, I realized I had actually come home.

Miranda ~ You now host a show on Christian radio called, “Doing Life with Deb”. While it is clear that you delve into the tough and difficult issues of life, what would you categorically say is your mission/vision for this show? What do you primarily hope it will accomplish in the lives of many?

Deb: My mission for “Doing Life with Dr. Deb” is really twofold. First and foremost, I want to be “the voice for the Christian community,” which is the tagline for the show. I interview authors and ministry leaders who can serve Christians in the community in ways the community might not be aware; and then I want to be that voice for my listeners when they might not feel they have one. Secondly, I teach and share the Gospel so that my listeners can hear and ask questions pertaining to their walks with Christ in a practical everyday fashion in ways that pertain to their everyday lives.

My prayer has been, from the very beginning, that, “Doing Life with Dr. Deb” will be a show for everybody; that is, for the “everyday Christian”—stay-at-home moms, working parents, single fathers and mothers, pastors, teachers—from every walk of life who simply want to have a voice in their community. I want it to be the place where no one feels like they don’t belong or can’t be represented.

Miranda ~ You recently released a book, The Lies that Bind, detailing your affair, which is pretty courageous and humbling at the same time. What do you hope to achieve with this book that you haven’t already with the radio show?

Deb: The book really focuses in on five specific lies that I believe Satan traps us in, so that we don’t live in the truth of who we are as the bride of Christ. The book then reveals the opposing five truths of who we actually are from Scripture. Whereas the radio show speaks of those same things on occasion, the show is much broader, covering a myriad of topics on a weekly basis, intermingling many different guests and interviews along the way.

Miranda ~ What advice do you have for a child of God (or anyone else for that matter) who feels trapped in fear and in a lie that they’ve been living and appears impossible for them to get out of?

Deb: You are not alone, so DO NOT believe the lie that you are! Bring those lies into the light of the truth of Scripture. The enemy cannot maintain his charade in the light of God’s Word, so we must seek to expose every single one of those lies in our lives. Understanding who we are in Christ translates into breaking the chains of isolation that bind us.

THIS or THAT (The Fun Qs!)

Coffee or Tea? Coffee

Gym or Outdoor? Gym

Sneakers or Boots? Sneakers

Running or Walking? Running

Cereal or Fruit? Fruit

Movies or Books? Books

TV or Magazine? TV

Summer or Spring? Spring

Rain or Snow? Rain

Blazer or Leather Jacket? Leather Jacket

About Dr. Deb Waterbury


Dr. Deborah Waterbury is the founder of Love Everlasting Ministries, and has authored nine books. Her ministry founded the Reap What You Sew tailoring school in Malawi, Africa, which exists to teach destitute women in the world’s poorest country to learn a trade and start their own businesses. She hosts a radio show called “Doing Life with Dr. Deb” which airs Monday through Friday on two stations in Tucson and Sierra Vista, Arizona. Dr. Waterbury holds a Masters in the Art of Teaching from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, and acquired her Doctorate of Ministry in Biblical Expository Studies from Pillsbury Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. She and her husband, Jeff, have been married for 33 years and have two grown sons. For more information, visit www.debwaterbury.com.

Article ~ I Am Samson (Part 1): The Women

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Samson was a great man of God whose birth was foretold, and his purpose made known to his parents before he was born. He was a leader among leaders, uniquely set apart in a very special way than all the other judges before him and after him. But Samson had a weakness: the type of women in his life.

Now, the devil CANNOT possess a child of God because s/he is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. And as Jesus pointed out, “unless you bind the strongman in his house, you cannot loot or steal from him” (Matthew 12:29; Mark 3:27), and if the Holy Spirit is the “Strongman” in your house/temple (body), no devil can bind him and take you from Him. However, the devil is VERY cunning and has two ways by which he operates in the lives of God’s children: Strongholds and Footholds (a topic for another day). I’ll briefly discuss the one of the pair that matters to this topic: foothold.

A foothold is something in your life that you DO that opens a door to the devil to SNEAK in and WRECK havoc—first, silently and in the shadows, and then, when it can no longer be hidden or the time is right, he strikes devastatingly. Where you should be a slippery slope for the devil all around, a foothold gives the devil a place to “hold” onto you, and eventually stand and do damage. Think of it this way: you, a child of God, are hedged in and protected; a foothold is a crack in the wall created by YOU that will ALLOW the deceitful serpent to quietly creep in and be with you within that hedge. The thing with footholds is that they start very small and appear harmless—a neutral ground—like a little bud of a creeping plant that appears at the foot of a wall. It grows and eventually “creeps” all over the wall and ground until it covers everywhere. The interesting thing with this analogy is that, no matter how far spread the vines of a creeping plant go, when you yank the vines and follow and trace their route, ALL the far-spread vines lead to that one place at the FOOT of the wall where that first tiny bud appeared. Only this time, it has a deep-seated root that may take some serious digging to remove, leaving considerable damage in/under the wall. This is EXACTLY how a foothold operates.

Footholds come on two fronts—BESETTING SIN and COMPLACENCY. Think of each as the young bud that appears at the foot of the wall. For the purpose of this topic, we’ll stick to the one that matters: complacency.

Complacency is a passive, non-aggressive approach to specific instructions that God has given about certain matters. Sometimes even, it’s a direct IGNORING of God’s specific instruction about a particular issue WITH the attitude that it “really” doesn’t matter, or it doesn’t apply to you, or that it CANNOT hurt you or affect you badly.

For Samson, his complacency was the women in his life.

In Old Testament times, God specifically warned His children to marry outside of Israel unless the foreigners were grafted in, as was with Rahab (Joshua 2; 6:22-24, 25) and Ruth (Ruth 1-4) Moses gave instructions for foreigners who wanted to be a part of Israel. And God hasn’t changed His mind about this Today. It is amazing the degree of damage that has come to God’s children because of this same mistake, yet, some people still believe that “it could never happen me” or “even if something did happen, I can always bounce back stronger; I’m invincible!” Let me say this real quick before we continue: the trials that God permits to come to you that enable you to “bounce” back stronger do NOT include you directly VIOLATING His specific instruction. Yes, when you make a mistake, He will lovingly raise you up again by His wisdom and grace, but it is NEVER His intention that you go the wrong way in the first place. So do not mistake past victories in trials as an indication that no matter what you do, you will come out stronger. It nearly isn’t always the case. Samson triumphed for a while with this, but when Delilah came along, he fell, and his fall was great. God helped him to rise again, but the damage done was overwhelming—so overwhelming that he preferred death.

This is the reality of what a “foothold” is capable of, if you keep going. As a side note, whatever your foothold is, do yourself a favor and pay attention to what God is telling you. God won’t send multiple warnings to you if this isn’t important.

Back to the topic. The women.

With the above being said, this next sub-topic is to SPECIFIC people. This does NOT apply to every child of God, because, God leads each of us in different ways in the matters of choosing a life partner. For this context, there are certain people who are looking to God for a life partner, and have probably found someone that they believe is the “right one” for them. So far, so good, everything about this person checks out. Except for one thing.

SPIRITUALITY.

The interesting thing about this is how deceitful our hearts or the devil could be in presenting you with a life partner. Perhaps, you’re a child of God who’s concluded based on past experiences and hurts that you will NEVER be romantically involved with another Christian, because, for the life of you, you’ve found that a lot of “Christians” are terribly stringent in their approach to life, and so cannot understand your worldview nor the liberty that you believe the Holy Spirit provides for God’s children—for as many as are willing to allow themselves to be set free from legalism. It’s frustrating, annoying, and you’ve come to a place where you’ve [stubbornly] decided that you will NOT deal with it any longer to the extent that you’re able to avoid it. This puts you in a dilemma. And so you say to yourself, you will find that special someone who “mirrors” your moral views, as well as your heart and purpose (if you’ve already discovered it). And that will be enough for you.

I’m sorry, but God doesn’t agree.

And before you argue, God has seen the end from the beginning, and in His wisdom, this is His final verdict on this matter. And guess what, God is a LOT wiser than you.

That being said, you’re taking matters into your own hands instead of trusting God to provide. It could be that you’ve waited a long time, and it seems God isn’t coming. Know this: He hasn’t forgotten you. If you take matters into your own hands by choosing outside of God’s children, I promise you this, heaven isn’t the only one who will take notice. The devil will to. And if you’re someone like Samson, anointed in a special way that sets you apart even among the children of God, be sure of THIS: THE DEVIL WILL COME AFTER YOU WITH EVERYTHING, and very likely, with a “Delilah.” It breaks my heart to say this, and I wish it weren’t true, but devil is NOT playing. He is serious. And God can only do so much, before you make that mistake that will make you fair game to the devil.

Let me be clear, the Delilah in your life wouldn’t have to be cunning and deceitful like the one in the people. In fact, as you initially proposed, they might be charming, sweet, and mirror your heart, purpose, and views in ways that will probably blow your mind. What you fail to realize is that, this person is actually a “masked likeness” of the person that God has for you. They are a likeness, but they are NOT the person. Two things will stand out about this person, and bear in mind that these two things are DESIGNED to keep you comfortable so that you will remain in your comfort zone. This is dangerous. This is complacency:

  1. They will fit the “perfect image” that you created for yourself when seeking a special someone. They will likely come from your world, mirror your success, your drive for life, and will speak your “heart” language. Like I mentioned earlier, our hearts are deceitful, and consequently, what you “see” will make you comfortable. This is why the children of God are instructed to be Spirit-led.
  2. They will appear to fit well your “SHAPE” (see Pastor Rick Warren’s teaching on SHAPE), but will lack in the most vital of them all: SPIRITUALITY/SPIRITUAL GIFT. What’s SHAPE, you ask. For a brief breakdown, S- Spirituality/Spiritual Gift; H- Heart; A- Abilities; P- Personality; E- Experiences. Everything about this person, from H to E, will be “special” or “perfect” for you, except for “S”. But you already decided that you didn’t want this any way. This is not only sad and wrong, but it will damage you long term. When discussing below the signs of the person that God has for you, you’ll understand why this is damaging, and also why this person that you’ve chosen for yourself is a “masked likeness” of them.

Who, then, does God have for you?

As mentioned above, this message is for SPECIFIC people. God doesn’t always operate this way with every child of His. For this particular group that I’m speaking to, you will HEAR from God concerning the one He has for you. I’m not talking about voices in your head. These two things will stand out about this person. He will CONSTANTLY impress them upon your heart/spirit and He will confirm it with His Word. For a broader understanding of how God speaks, I highly recommend you watch these free videos by T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren and Joyce Meyer.

Here are a few signs of the one God has for you:

  1. God will set them before you, and He will do it in a way that you clearly did not orchestrate. You had no power or control over how you came to “see” them. He does it this way so that you’ll know it was Him, and not you.
  2. At initial glance, they may very likely appear to be your worst “misfit”, until you look a little closer. Truth is, you will only realize how “perfect” you are for each other when God reveals or opens your eyes to see their heart and spirit. When God presents a person to you, don’t be so quick to peg them a certain way, and then dismiss them. There could be a whole lot more to that person that you don’t know because it isn’t obvious. For instance: I’m a dyslexic (who’s clearly overcome much of it; as you can see, I’m a prolific writer/blogger!) who’s passionate about justice, women’s right (with emphasis in human trafficking and self-defense), and children’s welfare (health, education, basic needs provision, evangelism, and anti-child pornography; sorry, I can’t pick one!) who THRIVES on encouraging the children of God to become EXACTLY who God has called them to be! Now, at first glance, you wouldn’t know that about me now, would you, because most of it is absent from my bio? LOL. Don’t be so quick to dismiss the one that God has set before you. Allow Him to show you their spirit.
  3. In the place of prayer, meditation, and quiet time, God will CONTINUALLY bring them before you, and then confirm His Word concerning them to you. This will not happen with the one you’ve chosen for yourself. Test this. Whenever you pray to God concerning the person you’ve chosen, there’s silence, and sometimes even, unrest. But NEVER confirmation or peace. For the person that God will set before you, THROUGHOUT the season that the Holy Spirit will convict you concerning them, TAKE NOTE that it will ALWAYS or MORE FREQUENTLY happen in the place of prayer, meditation, and quiet time. Again, this will NEVER happen for the one that you’ve chosen for yourself.
  4. About the time that God sets them before you, you will sense a season of preparation, where the Holy Spirit will “prepare” you to be a spouse with this particular person as the center of focus. This, too, will be made clear and obvious in the place of prayer, meditation and quiet time.
  5. This person will be connected to you somehow. It doesn’t matter how far away this person is from you, but something about you connects you to them, or them to you. In fact, this connection might very well be the medium or channel through which God “set” them before you.
  6. God will use them to speak to you without them realizing it. Some things about you that you KNOW THAT YOU KNOW only you and God know. God will use them to speak to you on matters that deeply concern you, but you’ve probably NEVER voiced to anyone or just a few people. The beauty of this is that, you will recognize that there’s NO way this person could have known to say those things to you.
  7. God will use this person to hold up a mirror to you to see certain things about your life that you either need to let go of or change. Issues and hurts of the past that haven’t been dealt with, God will remind you of them, open them up, and heal you using this person, and this person may not even be aware that God is using them this way in your life.
  8. Unlike the person you chose for yourself, this person will not only speak your heart language, but will also speak your spiritual language. That thing that you were so worried about—that they might not understand why you’re so different or why you view life and the world so differently—you’ll notice that they speak very similarly or perfectly to/like you. This is where they are a blessing to you in a way that your own “chosen” cannot be. You may wake up one morning and want to say, “God has impressed this on my heart to do so and so,” but you will not be able to share with your “chosen” to the fullest joys of your heart and spirit the way you would with the rest of your family and friends that share your faith. Eventually, this will break your heart and break you. There’s how far the two of you will go together before you both become frustrated. Some things, God will ask of you, which will require extraordinary faith, which only another believer can understand. These kind of feats appear very foolish to the ordinary person, and I promise, it will cause friction, either with them or in you. How? You may present this God-given desire to them and they’ll fight you (friction with them) or in fear of rejection, you may keep it to yourself and it will eat you up on the inside (friction within you). The implication of this is that, anyone who can speak a particular language, can also understand it when it is spoken to them. In order words, when YOU speak what God has impressed on your heart/spirit, the spouse that God will choose for you will not only HEAR you, they’ll UNDERSTAND what you’re saying. They WILL pray with you and for you, and “agree” with you in spirit and in truth. And for the days when your faith is failing, they’ll encourage you in the same way that your family/parents/friends initially did before you met them. Your own “chosen” cannot do this with you, and it will eventually damage you, your calling, your purpose, and more distraughtly, your life.
  9. The case for this person will be stark raving overwhelming. [Almost] everywhere you turn to dispel what God has told you about this person being your mate, you will ONLY find more witness toward God’s Word to you. The only “alarms” going off will be the “alarms of doubt.” But as far as God’s Word and Him providing a witness, EVERYTHING will check out wherever you turn.
  10. During the season of conviction, for the moments when you’re inclined to accept God’s Word, it is followed by increasing peace. But this will also do something else: there will be increasing unrest and a sense of [spiritual] detachment from the one you chose for yourself. The more you pray and listen to God’s Word, the more you’ll see that your own “chosen” is just a “masked likeness” of the one that God has/will set before you. This will be a time of intense frustration. But if you follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, you will come out on the brighter side of this very thankful/grateful to God.

If this message is for you, know that God sent it your way because you are DEEPLY LOVED AND CHERISHED by God, and He doesn’t want you to make a mistake that will damage the beautiful plan that He has for your life. Listen to Him and follow His leading. Secondly, if God tells you about a particular person being your mate, PLEASE give God a chance to speak to them to. Let them hear God. too, concerning you. Do NOT try to manipulate your way into their life. It will only end badly. I do NOT believe that God will tell you, and not tell them or direct them toward you. God is a God of order and not chaos.

God bless!

miranda-a-uyeh-6About the Editor


Miranda A. Uyeh is the founder and editor of To Be A Person (TBAP), the author of Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, and a Mogul Global Ambassador. She was a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards in 2014 in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/Suspense Category.

When Miranda isn’t working on TBAP, she’s writing, reading for fun or relaxing with a good movie! When she gets bored with the world, she talks to God about it! To learn more about her book, To Die Once, her journey as an author and her other activities, you can follow her personal website. You can also connect with her on TwitterFacebookPinterest, and Google+.

*The Article, I Am Samson (Part 1): The Women, first appeared on To Be A Person (TBAP) and is part of the I AM Series on this blog.