In August of last year, beloved talk show host Kathie Lee Gifford lost her husband and best friend, legendary football icon Frank Gifford.
In the midst of her grief, she turned to her faith, much to the chagrin of liberal NBC executives.
“He would want you to know that he died in complete peace. He knew every sin he had committed was forgiven,” Kathie Lee said of her husband’s death.
Executives at NBC, where Kathie Lee is employed, told her to stop talking about Jesus so much during her Today Show hosting duties. The talk show host responded by giving a full length interview about her faith, talking about her origins as a Jew and her journey into a Christian woman. Here’s an excerpt of what she had to say, courtesy of Q Political:
“For most of my childhood, my family honored God in a general sense but didn’t know Him personally. We were culturally Jewish on my father’s side and culturally Christian on my mother’s side. But our faith — and indeed everything about our lives — began to change one night when I was 12.
I came home to see my mother and sister in our living room, sobbing in front of the television. A couple years prior, President Kennedy had been assassinated, so I walked in thinking, ‘What cataclysmic event has happened this time?‘ But I discovered that my mother and sister had been watching one of Billy Graham’s televised crusades. That night they both came to Christ.
A few months later, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association released its first movie in theaters, ‘The Restless Ones’. It is about a girl at the cusp of making big decisions in her life. She asks herself whether she’ll follow the way of faith or the way of the world. I went to see it at a small theater in our town, Annapolis, Maryland. As I watched, I heard a voice speak to me directly. Although it wasn’t audible, I sensed God saying deep in my spirit, “Kathie, I love you. If you’ll trust Me, I’ll make something beautiful out of your life.”
At the end of the movie, someone in the theater stood up and announced, “Whoever would like to make this step of faith, come forward.” I couldn’t get out of my seat fast enough. My brother didn’t want me walking into the crowd on my own and said, “You’re not going anywhere.” I spurted back, “Oh yeah? Stop me.” He came with me to make sure I was safe. Standing at the front of the theater, I asked Jesus into my heart.”
She went on to talk about how she’d always wanted to be a Hollywood star.
“At that age , all I wanted was to become an actress and a singer. The Lord met me in a movie theater, in the very world I dreamed of being a part of. From that point on, God was with me at every twist and turn, every decision. The Holy Spirit would say, “Go that way. Go down that road,” or, “No, Kathie, don’t take that part. No, that will not glorify the Lord.” God kept me on his path and eventually led me to Hollywood.”
When Kathie Lee finally got to Hollywood, she joined a Bible study for Christians in the entertainment industry, but she was stunned to find they were “chastised far more by Christians than anyone else.”
“They’d ask, ‘How can you say you’re a Christian and be in Hollywood?’ I’d always respond, ‘How could I be in Hollywood and not be a Christian?’ How could I put up with the work and rejection without the security of God’s faithfulness?”
These days, amidst all her grief, it is Kathie Lee’s faith in God that allows her to refuse to give up hope.
“At this point in my life, having lost my father, my husband, and many others, I’m tempted to lose heart and just focus on the day I will finally be with them and Jesus. It’s overwhelming at times since the world is so dark and so void of God’s Spirit.
But Scripture tells us, “Let us not be weary in well doing” (Gal. 6:9, KJV). When I read that, I prayed, “Okay, Lord, you’re going to have to help me be strong. You’re going to have to help me with inspiration. You’re going to have to help me keep going.”
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