3rd Annual CHRISTMAS SPECIAL: “It’s All About JESUS” (Famous Believers Open Up About Their Faith In Christ)

It’s that time of year again friends! The time to present my most anticipated article of the entire year as a gift to all of you. Every other article that I write, over the course of a year, simply compliments this annual Christmas Special. 2 years ago, the Benham Brothers kicked off the yearly tradition on the website. Last year, many well-known Christians joined them.

The Bros were joined by the young rising star Masey Mclain, her “I’m Not Ashamed” co-star Ben Davies, Duck Dynasty stars, and Steve Deace. Thanks be to God that this year makes a “Triple Play” for the former MLB players, Jason and David, as it wouldn’t be a Christmas Special without them. Plus, I’m blessed to announce that other familiar faces from last year are returning.

I’m so happy to say that Masey Mclain is one of them! Her “I’m Not Ashamed” co-star, Ben Davies is back too. Also, this year, Masey and Ben brought a well-known friend from the movie, Emma Elle Roberts. While that alone is a great lineup, there are some other new faces joining them. Accomplished actress, and co-star of the upcoming film “The Reliant”, Julia Denton is here. Plus, the “salty and lit” Activist Mommy, Elizabeth Johnston.

Since there are many returning guests this year, who shared their “Favorite Memories and Traditions” in the previous Special, I had to change up the theme this year. Since Lord Jesus is the Reason for the season, I’ve entitled this year’s theme “It’s All About JESUS”. This Special will focus on my special guests’ “relationship” with Him, and what He means to each of them personally.

I posed 2 questions to each of them – “How, and when, did you come to truly KNOW the Lord Jesus Christ?”, and “What one verse, in the entirety of the Holy Bible, BEST describes your personal walk with Him?” Also, I asked them all to send a message to anyone reading this who may not know Jesus as Lord and Savior this Christmas, as to why YOU SHOULD.

I believe that their testimonies will bring many new souls into God’s Kingdom, and strengthen the Faith of those who already believe. Now, I’m sure that you’re all eager to hear what my guests had to say, so without further ado I present the 3rd Annual CHRISTMAS SPECIAL –

(Former MLB Players/Real Estate Entrepreneurs/Authors/Actors/Speakers/Culture Warriors)

How, and when, did you come to truly KNOW the Lord Jesus Christ?

BROS: I (David) fully surrendered my life to Jesus at a youth camp in Bastrop, Texas when I was 12. Jason did the same thing that year in a chapel service at school. We began to read the Bible at the same time, and from the ages of 12 to 18 we truly started to KNOW God. After graduating high school we went to Liberty University where we developed even deeper roots in our Faith.

What one verse, in the entirety of the Holy Bible, best describes your personal walk with Him?

DAVID: EPHESIANS 6:10 – “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.”

My desire is to be a strong man of God, fighting against Satan and his schemes in my life, my family, and in the nation where I live.

JASON: MARK 14:50 – “Then they all deserted Him and fled.”

This reminds me I’m not better in possibility than the worst deserter in actuality!

Do you have a message for anyone who does not know Lord Jesus this Christmas, as to why THEY SHOULD?

DAVID: Because Jesus came to the earth we are in the year of our Lord’s favor – in other words, NOW is the time to meet Him before the judgment day. He is the Axis of history, so turn to Him and away from your sins that you may find life!

JASON: “As they should” needs to be qualified.  We should all love Jesus unconditionally, meaning we’re willing to surrender everything for Him whatever the cost.  When you’re willing to love Jesus like this you will experience a freedom you’ve never had before.  We become enslaved by the things we won’t let go, so when we fully surrender to the Lord, “as we should,” then we free ourselves from that prison and can live life to the fullest. 

Learn more about the Benham Bros

(Actress – Star of “I’m Not Ashamed”; Other Films include “Because of Gracia”, and “Vindication: Episode II”/Author/Musician/Speaker)

How, and when, did you come to truly KNOW Jesus?

I came to know Jesus when I was seven years old. I was at a revival service where I realized all that Jesus had done for me, and why I needed him so badly. That night I gave my heart to Jesus, and it was the best decision I have ever made! Even at seven years old I knew I was different after that day. I would say it was in high school though that I really began seeking the Lord.

What Holy Bible verse BEST describes your personal walk with Him?

I’m not sure if i can pick one verse to describe my walk with Him, but a verse that comes to mind is PSALM 16:11 – “You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy, at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

I love this verse because no matter what season of life I’m in – whatever high or whatever low – there is fullness of JOY in HIS PRESENCE. Joy isn’t found in circumstances. Life is a roller coaster, and is constantly changing, but His presence doesn’t change. It’s constant. And it’s in every season. I’m so thankful for that!! THAT is what I cling to in every season. He continues to teach me to STAY in His presence, no matter what.

Message for those who don’t know Lord Jesus, as to why THEY SHOULD?

Jesus loves you so much. He has made a way for you to have purpose, hope, and a future as He offers the gift of salvation to YOU! We celebrate the Birth of Jesus because it was God’s greatest act of love to mankind – to send His one and only Son, in the form of a baby, to grow up and pay for the sins of the world, and defeat the curse of sin. When Jesus rose from the dead, He defeated the death and sin, and WE now have hope!

He says that all who believe in Him will have eternal life. How incredible is that!? This life on earth will end for all of us one day, but Jesus made a way for all who believe and follow Him to have eternal life. Not only do we get that, but we get His Presence and the gift of the Holy Spirit that guides us through life until we get to Heaven one day. That doesn’t compare to anything in this world. He is so good, and He loves you so much! 

Learn more about Masey 

(Actor – Films include “I’m Not Ashamed”, “Courageous”, and “Because of Gracia”)

How, and when, did you come to truly KNOW Jesus?

I am blessed to have been raised in a home teaching me about Jesus. My parents have been married for over 30 years, giving me a wonderful example to live by. I went to Church, I learned Holy Bible verses, and I did my best to “act” like a Christian. I had a wonderful life, so I had always figured I must be on the right track when it came to knowing Jesus.

It wasn’t until I was 14, and entering freshman year of high school, that I understood and thus began the process of knowing Jesus. A mentor of mine flew me out to L.A. for a Church conference. Once there, I slowly started to understand that true “Christianity” is not simply knowing verses, but rather knowing the center of them all – that was JESUS. Once I understood that, I continued to pursue Him and truly began to “know” Him.

What Holy Bible verse BEST describes your personal walk with Him?

JOHN 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I Am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

I was bullied and lied to through most of middle school and high school. My parents did their best to help, and often told me “don’t worry, people grow out of this”. Unfortunately, this may have been the only thing my parents ever told me that wasn’t completely accurate, though I’m sure it was more to comfort me 🙂 What I have learned is that the older I became the only thing that changed were the reasons, and how openly people would bully and lie to others.

This came in various forms: attacks on values, history, family, opinions, politics, and religion. However, I do not regret those early years of tribulation. I am thankful Jesus helped me through them. It was because of those challenges that I was inspired not to simply learn “what” I believe, but “why”. In doing that, you find truth. The only place I knew that I could get information or guidance without error, bias, or conflicting interests was the Bible.

What finally gave me great peace and courage was that God is the God of truth, and Jesus is the literal embodiment of TRUTH. Though faith is the central truth that I cling to, because of verses like John 14:6, I know if God is truth than I can also defend and know “why” with facts and reason. Every truth I read should also point to His intelligent design, the sinful nature of man, and the Biblical parables should also apply to life.

As I focused less on opinions, cultural trends, and social norms, life became more clear. I focused more on values, history, family, western civilization, politics, and religion, and the more I do the more I see Jesus. I wanted truth, to know the “why”, and found more Jesus because He is the Author of all truth.

It’s funny, I used to allow people to tell me all sorts of myths and lies which I always felt were wrong, but never questioned it because I was simply walking in faith. Not in truth. As a Christian, I am walking by faith and am right next to my Father in Heaven. However, the search for truth has also lead many to Christ (“The Case for Christ” book/film), and I believe wholeheartedly if we as Christians abandon the fields of debate, politics, and academia, the country and those around us will lose truth.

God is a God of truth, and He is on our side. However, if we let enough professors, politicians, and “intellectuals” say 2 + 2 = 5 without speaking the truth that 2 + 2 = 4 than many people will fall astray. Feelings will trump facts, emotions will trump reason, and worst of all, to the “intelligent” people of the world Jesus will simply be another religious deity with no more accuracy or truth than a character in a science fiction novel.

People in America may even start to believe that Christmas, the celebration of the Savior of the world becoming flesh among us, is not the main reason we celebrate this time of year. People may believe that there are many cultures that celebrate “equally important” holidays during this time, and we should hold them all in reverence.

People may tell you Kwanzaa, a holiday made up in the 1960s by a convicted criminal Maulana Karenga, the founder of the black nationalist group “Organization Us”, is equal in importance to Christmas. They would be wrong. People may also tell you Hanukkah is a major holiday for the Jewish people. It is not. It is in fact a minor holiday historically, with no work restrictions, and is not found in the original Old Testament text.

It did not become widely celebrated in North America until a couple of reform rabbis in Cincinnati decided to make it a little more Christmas-like in the late 19th century. So when people say “Happy Holidays” you can say proudly, and lovingly respond, “Merry Christmas” because the Savior of the World is the TRUE reason why we celebrate this time of year. 🙂

Message for those who don’t know Lord Jesus, as to why THEY SHOULD?

If there is anyone out there who does not know the Lord Jesus as they should, I can speak from my own experience… it… is… worth it! In this life we have a longing for purpose, a desire for unconditional love, and a drive for Truth. Jesus is all of those things and more. I honestly cannot imagine a life without that solid rock and foundation to stand on, to serve with a purpose, and to be comforted with love through the trials and tribulations of this world.

Learn more about Ben 

(Actress – Films include “I’m Not Ashamed”, “Because of Gracia”, and episodes of “Vindication”/Model)

How, and when, did you come to truly KNOW Jesus?

I grew up in a Christian household, but truly began to understand the power of the Lord Jesus when I began having bad dreams as a child, and the only thing that would stop them was reading His Word and lifting up His Name in worship. My life really changed as I grew into adulthood, and particularly when I was cast as Celine in the film “I’m Not Ashamed”. Her story revealed God’s redemption to me and His constant pursuit of my heart in a way I’d never seen before, and I knew then that I wanted my story to tell of His Glory.

What Holy Bible verse BEST describes your personal walk with Him?

This year specifically, I believe the Lord has spoken REVELATION 12:11 to me – “They triumphed over him by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”

In my life, I’ve always had a personal struggle with anxiety and fear of death, but this year I know He has given me the authority to overcome those fears; through the sharing of my testimony and the firm knowledge of, and confidence in, His sacrifice on the Cross.

Message for those who don’t know Lord Jesus, as to why THEY SHOULD?

In our society, there are endless amounts of status quos, social standards, and honestly religious regulations to be measured up to. There is so much pressure day to day to live a picturesque life, and fit into this one very specific shape. With Jesus, there is freedom from all of that. He loves you, and meets you exactly where you are, with grace for every part of you that isn’t “good enough”.

He breaks all the rulers the world has been holding up to you and trying to measure you by, and replaces them with His loving open arms. The world will constantly remind you that you are “not enough”, and it’s right, you aren’t. But I can rest assured that Jesus is, and always will be enough. His arms will always be open, and His heart will always be waiting to be enough for you too. 

Learn more about Emma 

(Actress – Films include “The Reliant”, “The Fundamentals of Caring”, and “Geostorm”)

How, and when, did you come to truly KNOW Jesus?

I was raised in the Church and my father was a pastor for most of my life. I had lots of knowledge and belief in God and Jesus entering into adulthood, but everything I had learned didn’t make sense until my heart desired to know Him and how what He did for me mattered. Not just for where I would go when I died, but in my daily life. When I was about 5 years old, I had gone forward with my parents in our church in Alaska to tell the church I accepted Jesus as my Savior.

I really didn’t know what I was doing, but I knew all the right answers to the questions, and I think I really just wanted to take a swim in the baptistry. It looked fun. When I was 8 years old at our church in Florida, I was listening to the pastor’s sermon and it just clicked for me. I realized that I had never really understood why Jesus did what He did for me at the Cross, and I was excited to let people know that I understood.

So I took off down the aisle by myself at the end of the service to tell the pastor that I wanted to publicly profess my faith in Him. I was excited and fearless, even taking that step alone in front of a big group of people. It was a precious time to remember, knowing at that age that I was so valuable to Him. I believed. As far as really “knowing” Jesus personally, it wasn’t until I was about 33 years old. I was going through a very difficult loss in my life.

My marriage was falling apart, and I found myself laid bare and just completely leveled. I was in a heap on my kitchen floor crying out to God, asking Him why I was trying so hard to do all the right things and failing miserably at them, and why everything was always falling apart even though I believed in Him. I asked Him to please show me what it was that He wanted from me, what to do, and I’d do it.

I was compelled to read the big fat Bible I had (that I rarely ever opened) for answers, but I had no clue what to read. I called my Mom and asked her where to start, and she pointed me to Ephesians. The next day I began reading, and for the first time in my life, I actually understood the words I had read and heard for decades about Jesus and His ministry of love and grace. The words leapt off the page at me and I couldn’t put it down.

It was surreal how every sentence almost glowed and sunk into my heart and mind, like they were written for me. I actually laughed as I was reading because I started talking out loud to God in response to what He was saying to me through the words, like an actual conversation with God who was literally right there. I was in shock at this Bible. I thought, so that’s what they mean by “the living, breathing Word of God.” I consider that day to be the beginning of my spiritual growth.

I had a lot more to go through, a lot to learn from that point forward, and life didn’t become suddenly easier; it became different. I learned quickly that when you are seeking to be led by the Spirit of God in this world full of people and things that are not walking in the same Spirit as you are, you are fighting a real spiritual battle that your physical eyes can’t see.

With new spiritual eyes though, it became very real to me, and I knew that I was not alone. I knew that I had a distinct purpose, and had this otherworldly supernatural peace. I had joy over happiness, having a very real and loving God that would walk alongside me in everything as He began to reveal to me why He created me, and what He wanted for me to do on Earth before I get to meet Him face to face. I’m so thankful for that very significant and difficult turning point that prepared me for the rest of my life.

What Holy Bible verse BEST describes your personal walk with Him?

That’s a tough one! I narrowed it down to two passages. The first being EPHESIANS 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

EPHESIANS 6:11-13 – “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

Message for those who don’t know Lord Jesus, as to why THEY SHOULD?

Your relationship with God is extremely unique, and as special as the very person He created you to be. The fact that you are alive means that the Creator of the Universe chose you. Ask Him to show you what He wants for you. And seek Him out in the Word, the Bible. He will honor your heart’s desire to know Him. Don’t compare your life with others. Don’t try to be someone else. Don’t depend on other people, who are just as flawed as you are, to show you your value to God.

Seek that one-on-one relationship with Him, and He will show you how He has made that relationship with you possible by sending Jesus to Earth to destroy the enemy and the power of sin and death. The victory has already been won, and is yours to receive through Jesus. He sent the Comforter, his Spirit, to live inside your physical body to teach and lead you. He is real, and you will know His voice. And His direction and leading for your every step is real.

There is no substitute for walking through this life with the knowledge, the confidence, the peace that you are chosen, that you are made perfect in His eyes through Jesus, that nothing will ever separate you from His love, and that you will one day live in a blissful, perfect world alongside the One who created you. 

Learn more about Julia 

(Elizabeth Johnston is a Conservative Christian Vlogger and Activist/Speaker/Culture Warrior/Mother of 10 kids)

How, and when, did you come to truly KNOW Jesus?

When I was 13 years old, I witnessed someone commit their life to Christ and I knew I needed to do the same. My parents were divorced. I lived with my single mother who had fallen away from her childhood commitment to God. One night, I kneeled by my bed and asked God to forgive me of my sins and save me.

No fireworks or drama. I walked out of my room and went straight to my mom and told her what I had done. It wasn’t long at all before my mom repented and bowed her knee to Christ as well. Neither of us have ever been the same again. God has been so faithful to keep us, and teach us, throughout the last 30 years.

What Holy Bible verse BEST describes your personal walk with Him?

PSALM 34:8 – “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”

Message for those who don’t know Lord Jesus, as to why THEY SHOULD?

I have never once been failed by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If people would only taste of Him and His goodness, they would find Him to be remarkably faithful. The Christian life is truly the blessed life. 

Learn more about Elizabeth 

(Founder and Author of Biblical Signs In The Headlines)

How, and when, did you come to truly KNOW Jesus?

I have believed in Lord Jesus since youth, as I was raised by Godly Christian parents, but it was not until the age of 26 that I came to truly “KNOW” Him. Between the ages of 17-25, I was always falling in with the wrong crowds and living a very sinful life. Though many young adults do, I had taken it to the extreme. I was literally the worst sinner on the block.

Though I believed in God, I did not have any knowledge of the Word of God. I only knew the basics of the Faith that I was taught in Church, and in Private School, growing up. One night in 2006, after hitting rock bottom in life, I got down on my knees in repentance before God. I asked for His forgiveness, and begged for a second chance.

That night, He showed up (literally), and I had a life-altering “come to Jesus” salvation experience. From that point, I dedicated my life to the Saviour of my soul, because He gave me a second chance and a new lease on life. For the past decade, my relationship with Him has gotten stronger each new day, and every new year. I could never imagine living life without Him. It would not be worth living.

What Holy Bible verse BEST describes your personal walk with Him?

There are so many verses that could describe my personal walk with Christ, as everyone knows that I love every page of God’s Word, but if I had to pick just one to sum up my life journey with Him, it would have to be –

1ST TIMOTHY 1:15 – “… Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE SINNERS; of whom I am (was) CHIEF.”

As I said, I was the WORST sinner on the block before coming to know our Lord, but thanks be to God that I was made a “NEW CREATION” in Christ. This verse from Paul has always spoken directly to my soul. If not for the Father’s Grace and Mercy through Christ, I wouldn’t be here today. Even a CHIEF of sinners is not too far off to be reached, and saved, by the Arm of Almighty God’s Mercy – JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.

Message for those who don’t know Lord Jesus, as to why THEY SHOULD?

I have played on both sides of the fence in this life. I lived for nearly a decade as chief of sinners, and now for over a decade as a Holy Bible-thumping ambassador for God. My old life was leading me straight to Hell. It felt like I was enduring a daily curse. I was entrenched in darkness. My new life with Lord Jesus has blessed me with the comfort, and confidence, that I will enter Heaven at the end of the road. Every curse has been replaced with blessings.

I’m now engulfed in His Glorious Light, and each new year is more blessed than the last. The closer you get to Christ, the closer you will get to indescribable peace, contentment, and true joy. The world, and the things of the world, can never bring you any of these feelings. Only Jesus can. His sinless shed Blood washes you and cleanses you of ALL past sins against God, and reconciles you to our Father in Heaven.

The Father will forgive and forget every sin that you have ever committed if you confess them to Jesus, and ask Him to be your Lord. You can start FRESH, and begin a NEW life in Christ today, with a clean slate before God. Who wouldn’t want that?! Rededicate your life to Him this Christmas, and I guarantee that you will never regret it. It will be the best decision of your life. He will be more than your Savior, King, Lord, and God. He will be your BEST FRIEND. 

Learn more about me

With that, another Christmas Special comes to a close. I want to humbly thank the Bros, Masey, Ben, Emma, Julia, and Elizabeth for taking time out of their busy schedules to participate. I pray that their powerful testimonies, and messages, have brought someone new to Lord Jesus this year. He’s waiting to enter into a relationship with everyone of you reading this.

So, if you don’t know Him already, how much longer are you going to keep Him waiting? If this Special led you to Christ, in this season that we celebrate His miraculous Birth, then please share your testimony in the comments section below. Also, I’d love for all believers reading this to answer the questions that I posed to my special guests.

Leave your responses in the comment section as well. Thanks be to God for my guests, thanks be to God for all of you faithful readers, and thanks be to God for every soul that comes to Lord Jesus in this Holy season. MERRY CHRISTMAS, and Happy New Year, to all of my guests and to all of you! Be sure to remind everyone you know that Christmas begins with CHRIST. 

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us A SON is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty GOD, The everlasting Father, The Prince of PEACE.” ~ Isaiah 9:6

“Mary shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His Name JESUS: for He shall SAVE His people from their SINS.” ~ Matthew 1:21

“Behold Mary, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a Son, and shall call His Name JESUS. He shall be GREAT, and shall be called the Son of the Most High GOD: and the Lord (YaHWeH) God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall REIGN over the house of Jacob (Israel) FOR EVER; and of His Kingdom there shall be NO END.” ~ Luke 1:31-33

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a SAVIOUR, which is Christ the LORD…” ~ Luke 2:11-14

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4 comments

  1. Enjoyed these testimonies! Thank you.”The testimony of the Lord is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10. May many come to know our sweet Lord Jesus through your articles. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael,
    I have always known your whole life that you would be a follower of Jesus.
    From the time you were 6 months old and a family tradition by letting you crawl to an item on the end of the blanket. Of all of 5 you immediately went to the Rosary. I have always been so Blessed my whole life for the man you have become today. When you were going thru your bad stages of life I trusted in Jesus the whole time to bring you back to him. The world can be a deceiving place so as long as your heart and love is with Jesus
    You will never go astray. I am so proud of you for all you have accomplished and bringing Christians of this world together to share their stories about their faith with Jesus. Never fear what other people think as Jesus will always protect his Children.
    Love Mom.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Michael,
    Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I just was able to read this new Christmas message to us. I enjoyed reading the different testimonies, including yours. I liked the part about sharing special verses for each person. Made me reflect on what my favorite verse would be, so hard as there are many so I am going to try narrowing it down, lol.
    Was nice reading your Mom’s message, as I connected with her, being a Mom of 5
    myself and grandma of 13, in prayer day after day for the Lord to be seen by each of them.
    May your New Year be filled with joy and happiness, great health and wonderful people all around you and lots of good cuddles from your beloved furry buddy. May the Lord equip you daily with your fight against the darkness in this world, keeping your whole armor on. Yo
    You are in my thoughts and prayers, Michael, on doing your work for bringing Glory to our Lord Jesus.
    Love,
    Diane

    Liked by 1 person

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