Have you ever wanted to be a star in Hollywood? It's a dream that many kids grew-up having. For me, I wanted to be a professional baseball player for the hometown Minnesota Twins!
I (Sal) had some experiences rubbing shoulders with "celebrities" in the past during the years of being "star struck"-admiring those on t.v.! I sat/stand several hours in my old nearby St. Paul neighborhood trying to get a glimpse of the cast of "Grumpy Old Men". This movie was being filmed in various parts of Minnesota (e.g. Winona)-including St. Paul's Lake Phalen corridor. I remembered how "happy lucky" I was when I had a chance to wave to Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon during a break in fliming a movie scene.
Another close encounter was Bruce Willis when he threw his stocking cap from the top floor of Mall of America. He along with many other "celebrities" that I forgot was present were on hand in the "grand opening" of Planet Hollywood.
Lastly, this was probably the closest I ever got with a "celebrity". I was at the Minneapolis Convention Center for the NFL Experience during the Super Bowl in 1992. Minneapolis had the privilege to host this "big internation event" (like the NHL All Star Game last week in St. Paul), which St. Paul built their tallest ice palace! My friends that I went with ditched me, so I started looking around the big convention center. Then in the corner of my eye, I saw Mohammad Ali! I went up to him "star struck" as my mouth dropped opened and just stood there with my pen and paper (NFL Experience Brochure). He just passed me with his security guards! There was no way no one would believe me that I saw him, so I decided to be "proactive" and asked him. He struggling wrote "Mo Ali" (has a disability from boxing injuries)-oh yeah!
"What Goes Up Must Come Down"
Well, I've learn that being a "star", "celebrity", or a "professional athlete" is not easy as you are always being "watched" (gossiped, ridiculed, judged, etc..")! However, there are some "celebrities" that are able to handle it and last a long time in the "spotlight". As we hear the "negative" news of the few that get in trouble, it's hard to really look up to these "stars" anymore! I don't think God does not want us to in the first place-idolism (anything you put above God!)
Not just celebrities, but this could happen to anybody-our pride gets us to far up and God needs to take us down, like He did with the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11 or even America with the "Twin Towers" as I think about it during this writing!
What doesn't get publicity from the media (they just like to report "bad news") is the "celebrities" that "make a difference":
"Then there was a man who did not live anywhere near my house, but made a big difference in my search for a relationship with Jesus. His name is Kirk Franklin, and his music touched my soul.
As I started looking for Jesus, God introduced me to Kirk’s then-latest release, “The Rebirth.” I couldn’t believe it! Here was a young, hip, cool, guy who had a crazy and sometimes hard time in life – but he loved the Lord through it all!"
*Sylvester Stallone (see a.k.a. Rocky Balboa)
Stephen Baldwin Testimony
"Actor/skater Stephen Baldwin shares how he came to know Jesus Christ."
-...more in Reaching Your World with Luis Palau
*I heard this on the local chrisitan radio station this afternoon (@2:47pm on Wednesday, February 11th of 2004) right when I turned my radio on. I was heading to the local fitness center in Morris, MN. This got me "pumped-up" (spiritually and physically) as he also shared how we should pray for our family, friends, or any "unbelievers" on how we can share Christ's love with them-whether using a Christian CD like what happened to Stephen Baldwin! I had the opportunity to see and hear him live at St. Paul back in 2004-Twin Cities Festival 2004 with Luis Palau
I watched Mel's interview with Diane Sawyer in ABC's Dateline-Special Event on Monday, February 16th 2004 @9pm CDT. Here were some cool stuff that sticked out from the interview on the "Passion":
-Matthew 27:25 "blood on us" curse on Jews that was quoted in the movie and taken out, but left in Aramaic
-Mel has seen many Jesus' movies, which this one is not "Norwegian"
-His Publicist and the actress that plays Mary Magdalane is Jewish, which this movie isn't made to be Anti-Semitic
-Shared his testimony where he had thoughts of suicide and had an addiction to everything
-Holy Ghost (Trinity)
-was a confused Catholic
-movie explains only 12 hours of Jesus' life up to the resurrection, which isn's his "job to tell the rest of the story". I believe this is ours (believers) to share the rest of the story! -"Diane (and others out there) read the Gospels!" replied Mel after her constant questions
-hope this movie will bridge a dialogue amongst different faiths (Protestants, Catholics, Jews, etc..)
Mr. T, from the popular 80's show "A-Team"
Growing up with the "boob-tube" (t.v.), I'm curious what are these celebrities doing these days.
Kirk Cameron stars in Way of the Master in Trinity Broadcasting Network (CDT @11p on Wednesdays)
Converting Kirk Cameron "I was rich, I was young, I was famous, I could do anything I wanted with whomever I wanted." - Kirk Cameron By KEVIN SITES, TUE MAY 29, 1:47 PM PDT (People on the Web-yahoo.com) "BELLFLOWER, California - At the height of his Hollywood success, former "Growing Pains" sitcom star Kirk Cameron started worrying about something his money couldn't buy: http://www.angelfire.com/mn2/goodnewsumm/personal.html">salvation.
He had more than just legions of fanatic fans. He also had stalkers and kidnapping threats, and was sometimes driven to the set in a bulletproof car. It got him thinking about his own mortality. He had it all, but still felt empty.
Kirk Cameron reaches a new audience these days through his Christian radio show, television show, and Web site.
"I was raised not going to church. We never prayed — didn't know how. Are you supposed to close your eyes, keep them open? Look up? Look down? Get on my knees? What do I do?"
Cameron started reading the bible and going to church. He became a Christian, but says his transition had some growing pains of its own.
On the set of his hit show, the easy-going prankster became detached and sullen. Once close to the other cast members, he pulled away from them all — except his co-star and fellow Christian, Chelsea Noble, whom he married in 1991.
He also started taking issue with some of the show's writing. One script called for his TV mom to have a nightmare in which Cameron's character, Mike Seaver, wakes up next to a beautiful girl and says, "Hey, babe. Good morning. By the way, what's your name again?"
Cameron balked, pushing for the writers to change the scene. They refused. Cameron says he wasn't trying to push his religious views on the show. He just didn't want to compromise his newfound moral principles.
When the series was cancelled after a long and successful run, he continued acting, but began taking roles on low-budget Christian films, most notably the rapture-based "Left Behind" series based on the best-selling books.
A few years later, after reading one of his books, he met New Zealander Ray Comfort, a former surf shop owner-turned-roving preacher.
They teamed up to form Way of the Master Ministries.
Comfort says his ministry was already taking off, but the partnership with Cameron was like putting it on steroids.
Cameron says his priorities are very clear: "God, family, career — in that order."
"Both Kirk and myself are amazed at his celebrity," says Comfort. "How powerful it is when you call an organization and say 'Hello, this is Kirk Cameron.' They say, 'Oh Kirk, I loved "Growing Pains."' It's such a wonderful door."
They have harnessed Comfort's writing and Cameron's celebrity to create a small multimedia empire that is in service of a hardcore fundamentalist message: Accept Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior or you will not get to heaven.
Ray Comfort owned a surf shop before he became a preacher.
They get their message out through books, pamphlets, radio programming an award-winning TV show seen in 70 different countries — and a slick Internet site wayofthemaster.com.
They're not the only ones embracing the Web. Dan Smith, a pastor in Cleveland who just might be able to give Cameron a run for his acting money, also uses his creative flair to draw people to church. Smith's video romp "Baby Got Book," a parody of rapper Sir-Mix-A-Lot's song "Baby Got Back," has been streamed millions of times online. It was key in helping him get his Momentum Christian Church up and running.
Cameron is 36 now and still has the boyish good looks of his TV character — but with a few of the wrinkles and creases that go along with self-reflection and fatherhood. He and his wife have six children, four adopted and two of their own.
He says he is more comfortable in his Christian skin today, his convictions just as strong, but without the isolating air of self-righteousness. He has reconciled with former "Growing Pains" cast members and even was part of a reunion show in 2000.
But Cameron says his priorities are very clear: God, family, career — in that order.
He says those decisions have had negative consequences for his career.
"I had one producer in a meeting discussing a movie say, 'So I hear you've got content issues.' You know, absolutely I've got content issues," Cameron says. "What I would say is I've got convictions. I've got priorities. If someone was asking me to do something that would compromise my relationship with my wife I wouldn't do that; if that's going to hurt my marriage, I'm not going to do that. If it's going to hurt my kids, I'm not going to do that and I take it a step further and say if this is going to hurt someone else's kids, I don't want to be a part of that."
"It's about personal integrity," he says, "that's all."
Cameron says he'd love to do non-religious films and TV again, but at times it's difficult to convince producers that while he has found Jesus, he hasn't lost his sense of humor.
-Producer: Jamie Rubin -Video Editor: Tommy Morquecho -Motion Graphics: Chris Strimbu
"Heavenly Father, we pray for all the Hollywood stars out there that the world see on t.v. daily. May they each all come to know your Son Jesus Christ as many of them are hurting inside. I know they are just people like us and they make mistakes. As they are in the public eye, may each one shine your Light through the gifts and talents you each individually give them to the world. May each one come to a growing loving personal relationship with You! In Jesus' name...Amen!"
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