6 People Who Have the Guts to Put God First No Matter What Others Say
(And You Can Do The Same)
Don’t allow the world to silence your voice. Never allow anybody to rob you of your God-given potential. You were no accident; you are here on this earth with a purpose.
Have you ever felt the need to express your faith? Do you want to put God first in your life, and do what God called you to do? Yet, you shy away because you feel intimidated about how people would respond to what you say or do.
The good news I want to share with you today though, is that you don’t need to back-off and hide away. To prove this I’ve decided to do some research on people (from ordinary people to preachers; from little-known to well-known) who have the guts to put God first, no matter what other people say, and to see where they are in life today.
I would like to point out 6 people in this post. Some of these people not only had to face severe personal challenges in their personal lives, but no matter what they do, they still get accused of just about everything. Yet they have the guts to openly put God first, no matter what other people say, and just do what they do.
1.) Yvonne Wilson – Empowerment Moments Blog
Yvonne I. Wilson is a born again believer and a licensed Minister of the Gospel, residing in the Virgin Islands.
A certified RN, who nursed for 10 years (although she is no longer in direct practice of that profession), she is currently working as the Materials Manager for the BVI Health Services Authority.
Yvonne has had her fair share of set-backs and hardships, even facing physical abuses, child molestation, low self-esteem, depression and pain over the years to the point of almost losing her mind and becoming suicidal.
Yvonne recalls the many times that she has hit rock bottom in life, more times she can count or even care to mention. She said, “I’ve seen it all and the one tipping point for me was the shame that came with having to deal with two young daughters – ages 16 and 21 years pregnant at the same time in my home while in leadership position in church.”
But she came through victoriously and today she believes that all those trials have helped to groom her and prepare her for the ministry and the work of God. Her faith is unwavering and she is determined to serve God and put Him first in everything she does no matter what she is faced with in life.
In January 2012 Yvonne started blogging at Empowerment Moments Blog, which is her online ministry to share the Word of God to equip and empower believers all over the world. The aim of her online ministry is to empower believers to be transformed by God’s supernatural power for lasting change.
Although Yvonne is still working fulltime, it is not preventing her from actively spreading the Gospel through blogging. She is actively interacting with her readers and always willing to encourage and support.
If you like reading about how to deal with circumstances and conditions that life throws at you and how to empower your mind to deal with it in practical ways, I encourage you to follow the practical advice that can be found right here on her blog.
A post you’ll enjoy – 14 Verses on God’s Promises
2.) Sandra McCollom
It doesn’t matter who you are, you have to develop your own relationship with God. Just because you are related to someone else who has dedicated his / her life to God, doesn’t automatically put you in a relationship with God.
Sandra McCollom is a typical example of this. Daughter to the well-known Joyce Meyer, Sandra speaks out in her testimony about how even she became a victim to a life of legalism. Irrespective of the environment she grew up in, Sandra felt she had to deserve God’s love based on her works.
In her book I Tried until I Almost Died – From Anxiety & Frustration to Rest & Relaxation she shares her journey from always having to perform and please God to earn His love, to a place of total peace and relaxation. She tells how joyful life has become and how she practically applies her faith in everyday living.
With her joyful, bubbly personality, she makes a huge, but positive impact on many people’s lives through her writing.
If you feel bound by legalism and the need to keep lots of rules, visit Sandra McCollom’s site and see how you can be set free, living an uncomplicated lifestyle and experience peace and joy in your life.
A post you will enjoy: SKYPE interview with Pastor Clowers
3.) Ann Voskamp – A Holy Experience
Ann Voskamp describes herself as “a bit of a mess”, but she’s okay with it.
She had a full-tuition scholarship to university, but never finished. She preferred to come home to gravel roads and cornfields, where she married a Farmer instead.
Mother of six, her laundry basket is never empty, and most days she feels a bit overwhelmed and crazy.
Yet, when the kids and the washing machine sleep, she washes her real dirt down with words and The Word.
Ann Voskamp is the author of the New York Times Bestseller One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.
Ann Voskamp certainly has a way with words. She has been named one of Publishers Weekly’s Bestsellers for the year of 2011 and a USA Today Bestseller. Her debut memoir received an award of merit in Christianity Today’s Books of the Year in 2012. Ann Voskamp’s blog was also named in the Top 100 blogs of 2011 by Babble.
Voskamp is without pretense or pose, and when she gets criticized, she doesn’t back down, but she responds with kindness and a grateful spirit.
Every day she writes on her blog about her everyday-holy life. Ann Voskamp believes there is more than believing. There is living what you believe. If that sounds like you, if you want to know what it’s like to live your faith, you should visit her site and learn more about it.
A post you will enjoy: 6 Ways to Speed Clean to a Clean Enough House
4.) Nick Vujicic – Life Without Limbs
Nick Vujicic is a Christian evangelist and motivational speaker. What makes his story absolutely unique is the fact that he was born with Tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs.
As a child, he struggled mentally and emotionally as well as physically. At the age of ten, Nick got so depressed that he decided to end his life by drowning himself in a bathtub. After a couple of attempts, he realized that he didn’t want to leave his loved ones behind with the burden and guilt that would result from his suicide.
According to Nick, he wasn’t depressed his entire childhood. At age thirteen he realized that he needs to be more thankful for his abilities and less focused on his disabilities. This happened as he hurt his foot which he uses for things like typing, writing and swimming. At age fifteen he sealed his faith in God and from there it has been “an amazing journey”, as he describes it.
At age seventeen he got inspired by a janitor at his school to start speaking about his faith and overcoming adversity. He started speaking at very small groups, but this eventually grew to larger groups.
Since his first official speaking engagement at age nineteen, Nick has travelled the world, sharing his story with millions, sometimes in stadiums filled to capacity. Nick has spoken to a range of diverse groups such as students, teachers, young people, business professionals and church congregations of all sizes.
Nick says the victory over his struggles, as well his strength and passion for life today, can be credited to his faith in God. His family, friends and the many people he has encountered along the journey have inspired him to carry on as well.
Nick Vujicic started speaking on motivational topics after creating the company Attitude is Altitude, and he launched a non-profit ministry, Life without Limbs, to spread his message of faith and hope around the world.
Nick has also authored several books. Amongst these are Life without Limits; Unstoppable and Love without Limits.
Quotes you’ll enjoy: Nick Vujicic quotes also here
5.) Creflo Dollar – Creflo Dollar Ministries
Creflo Dollar got born again and gave his life to the Lord in the summer after his freshman year in college. He never had the desire to become a minister. He planned on becoming a professional football player.
After he got injured he started witnessing to students on campus while he was recovering from his injury. This led to another student getting born again, who in turn brought back ten more people. Before he knew what was happening, Creflo Dollar and his roommate were running a Bible study group in their dorm room.
Dr. Creflo Dollar received the vision for World Changers Ministries in 1986 and he started working on developing the ministry in the same year. The first worship service was held in a cafeteria of Kathleen Mitchell Elementary School in College Park. Eight people were in attendance. Today Creflo Dollar is ministering to thousands of people in meetings all over the world.
Creflo Dollar doesn’t pull any punches and call things as they are. He is known for his practical approach to the Bible, and how he reads it in the Bible is how he teaches it.
He is a popular conference speaker and a bestselling author. Some of the books he has authored are Why I hate Religion: 10 Reasons to Break Free from the Bondage of Religious Tradition; Overcoming Fear; and 8 Steps to Create the Life You Want: The Anatomy of a Successful Life.
An article you’ll enjoy: Facing Fear Head On
6.) Kenneth & Gloria Copeland – Kenneth Copeland Ministries
Kenneth and Gloria Copeland started right at the bottom. If you want to see living proof of how God can change your life when you decide to make His Word the final authority in your life, this couple is the perfect example.
They started out, struggling with continual lack, debt, sickness and discouragement. They jokingly say that Gloria actually married Kenneth Copeland with his notes.
But trusting God, they decided to make God’s Word Final authority in their lives. They literally took what they read in the Bible and applied it to their lives. If any situation in their lives didn’t line up with what they read in the Bible, they changed what they did.
This proved to have been the best decision they could have made. It wasn’t too long before they began to experience God’s blessing in every area of their lives. They started prospering in joy, peace, freedom, health and love. They have a very practical approach and apply the Word literally as it is written.
Kenneth Copeland Ministries was founded in 1967, and since then thousands of Partners have learned to apply the Word to their lives through the teachings of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland.
Both in their late seventy’s and more than 45 years in ministry, they are still going strong, spreading the message all over the world.
Both Kenneth and Gloria are bestselling authors and I have personally read many of their books. Books that have stood out for me personally are: The Blessing of the Lord – by Kenneth Copeland, and God’s Master Plan for Your Life – by Gloria Copeland. These books (including many of their other books) had a great impact on my life (which is also why you are able to read this very article).
A post you’ll enjoy: (Question of the day – 16 November 2015) – How Can I Be Sure I’m a Christian?
I would like to encourage you to stop listening to what other people say about people. Find out for yourself what that person said. Then test that against the Word of God.
Yes, the Bible does warn us against false prophets, and preachers who would only say things that people want to hear. In Mark 12:38-40 Jesus describes them. But judge according to the Word, not according to what other people say.
We are not to judge people; judgment is not ours. Judge what the person says based on the Word of God, and look at the fruit in the life of that person. Does he practice what he preaches, or is it all talk? His or her earthly possessions (or lack thereof) have nothing to do with us. Does the message line up with the Word?
This will enable you to decide for yourself who you can believe. Secondly, I believe that you now have sufficient proof that you don’t need the world’s permission to do what you need to do.
Are you ready to trust God? Do you have the courage to do what you were born to do?
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The people you have mentioned are indeed people who would put God first no matter the what.
Yvonne is indeed an inspiration and her words have made so much impact to the world. She preaches love and gives hope to the helpless.
Creflo is a wonderful minster of the world and I am so impressed that he stood his ground for the word of God and is making a difference to the world.
The Copelands are a couple that I have come to appreciate especially their ministry which has blessed the world.
It is great to know about Sandra and Ann. As for Nick, he amazes me and I have written so much about him.
Thanks for sharing this awesome post. Take Care
It is great to see that you are familiar with the majority of the people in this list. They all are indeed a blessing in their own right.
I have also been blessed personally by the messages from these people. Yvonne has been a blessing, not only with her online messages that I’ve read, but with her moral support and encouragement too.
Have a blessed week.
Hey Jaco / Yvonne,
What a wonderful inspiring post. I always enjoy when people follow their hearts and not their heads or those who surround them. From the time I met Yvonne I was taken in by her amazing strength and her ability to get out of bed after everything she had been through.
I have listened to Nick speak and there is not one part of me that can ever feel like I can’t achieve all that I desire, however I have to continue to learn and share. That is what I believe when I think of Nick.
I have always felt a deep obligation, ‘to serve’ however I have never quiet known how that applies to me. I have a generous nature, a high energy level and a great ear for listening. I have always been a person others can lean on. But I still did not know how to serve. Then I found blogging and while I still feel I am in the throws of a learning curve, it feels like no matter what happens, what I have to go through – the ‘to serve’ has finally found its place for me.
So while I have not heard of the other people you speak of Jaco, I am certainly one who believes what you are saying – regardless of what others say – believe in Gods word and I do this by following what is so strong within me. Thanks for a wonderful post because it reiterates to me to stand firm and follow what feels so right.
It’s really nice to see you here.
It is true what you say about Yvonne and there is no doubt that she certainly leads by example.
I can also associate with what you say about listening to Nick Vujicic. It is so inpsiring to listen to the man. Looking at his achievements and listening to what he says, removes all excuses about not being able to do something.
Both these examples bring a scripture to mind – Philippians 4:13; which says that ” I can do all this through him who gives me strength”(NIV). With God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26), and the proof is all around us.
As I read about how you’ve always felt a deep obligation ‘to serve’, and I see how you describe yourself as being willing to listen and being there for others to lean on, I think you’ve been serving all along without you even realizing it. In blogging you have found another channel through which you can now express yourself and reach out to others even more, which is great and you should develop it, it can only make you stronger and allow you to keep on growing.
But do not disregard your other strong points and what you have already done. In Matthew 25:35-40 Jesus explains how every time when we are there to assist or support someone in need, we are also doing it unto Him.
That’s the beauty of God’s Grace. It’s not about our works, it’s about being available.
I am glad that you enjoyed my post. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, I really do appreciate it. And keep on blogging, you are doing a great job!
Have a blessed day,
Hi Jaco, And Yvonne,
Good to read about some amazing people who are in the vineyard of God the Almighty!
Of course the host Yvonne is a well known personality in the blogging world! Her amazing will power could overcome lot of struggles and shame she faced one by one in her life, and she is the best example who put God before everything. Thanks for sharing a bit more about this talented person Yvonne. I know only one person in the list that is Nick Vujicic (The Living Legend Who Lives To Proclaim the Glory of God) rest all are new to me. Will surely check in their page and activities in the building up of His Kingdom.
I fully agree with you Jaco,
Yes, the Bible does warn us against false prophets, and preachers! In these times (The END Times) there are a good number of such so called prophets and preachers who come as an Angel of light, but in fact they are the sons and daughters of darkness! The Bible very clearly says that at the End times such people will come in plenty to dupe the gullible believers, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:24. And 2 Peter 2:1 Says: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”
There a good number of warnings like this in the Word of God.
So Let us me more alert and vigilant about such false prophets, teachers and preachers!!!
Thank you so much for being a guest author and a future contributor to Yvonne’s page. We appreciate your time here. Keep sharing. 🙂
Thanks Yvonne for bringing Jaco to this place and for the wonderful intro on the other page.
Yes, in short, thanks for the wonderful conclusion and with the thought provoking questions!
Yes, If we are the genuine follower of the Lord God Almighty surely we will proclaim about Him and the very purpose of His arrival on this earth. And of course we will surely know for what purpose He brought us on this earth.
Let us make known the great and wonderful things He did for us!
It is for sure many around us may not like this!
And they may not even look or visit your web blog pages too!!!
May you both have a good rapport in relation to blogging sharing and caring!
Keep sharing my friends.
Thank you so much for this valuable input. As you say about Yvonne, not only has she faced many challenges in life, but she has been victorious and she leads by example. It was an honor to include her in this list. I’m glad that you enjoyed reading about the other people in this post too and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed when you visit their pages and look at their activities.
I appreciate you sharing more about the biblical warnings against the false prophets and for qouting those scriptures, it is important for us to know what the Word says regarding the subject. That will enable us to know who we can trust and who should be avoided.
Thank you for the warm welcome as a guest author and future contributor here on Yvonne’s page, I do look forward to my journey within this community.
And yes, our responsibility is to proclaim the truth, and as you say, many around us may not like this, but then also, this is not about a popularity contest either, is it? As Yvonne always says, “just be yourself and God will provide the people who needs to listen”.
Thank you so much for your valuable input and for your words of encouragement, Philip. I really do appreciate it.
God bless you.
Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts with us on this debut post on EMB by Jaco. Appreciate the support and encouragement you have given him. I am confident that he has brought much value to this community and I am really looking forward to hear what else God has laid on his heart to share. I am really happy to have him join as a staff writer.
Glad that you pointed out Biblical facts about false prophets and no doubt, they are all around us deceiving others and being deceived themselves. We must also be mindful not to know any man according to the flesh but to test every spirit and to see whether that spirit is of God or not. Our thoughts, words and actions must be measured for accuracy against one thing and that is the Holy Bible. Our duty also is to love everyone.
Your input is valuable and thought provoking. It is also filled with encouragement and hope. God bless you. Have a great day/week.
Great article! I was especially intrigued by the story of Sandra McCollom. I imagine growing up as the daughter of such an esteemed evangelist/pastor it must have been hard to find her own spiritual path. Thanks for giving such an esteemed list of people to study.. Blessings!
Thank you for your input, Chanler Jeffers. I am glad that you enjoyed the article.
Have a blessed day!
Welcome to my blog. It is a pleasure having you here. 🙂 I am so glad that you enjoyed this post written by Jaco. There are children of ministers/preachers who have been stigmatised or labeled by the phrase “preachers kid” and it just seems like they have a little harder time growing up and just as you mentioned it must be hard for one to find their own spiritual path. But God is the deliverer and He makes all things to work well in the end.
Have a great day/week. Blessings! 🙂
Jaco, this indeed an excellent reminder to us on how God work and not only that, God can work through us ALL. I will not say I am fully knowledgeable of ALL those who you have shared with us here, but I can tell you – I enjoy coming to Yvonne’s page (although I haven’t in a minute) and about 6years ago I was introduced to Nick Vujicic and his message, POWERFUL to say the least. He’s definitely a living proof of what’s possible.
It’s really nice to see you here on Yvonne’s page.
It is true what you say, God can (and WILL) work through us all, as long as we are available. God is gentle, and will never force anybody, but if we are available….God is no respecter of persons, He will work through us all.
Some time ago I heard someone saying it this way; “it is not about your ability, it is about your availability”.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Richard.
Have a great day.
Indeed Jaco, the key word “Available” My pleasure for sharing. Have a blessed week!
SO good to see you here again after a short while. One contributing factor from my end was due to the fact that I went on a 6 weeks break from mid September and during that time away was not as involved online.
So glad you enjoyed this column by Jaco and while you met Nick a few years back there are some new faces that I am sure one day your path will cross with their’s in person. Have a blessed day. Enjoy your week. Cheers! 🙂
My pleasure. Hope you had a wonderful break. Well, since then my library extend so much.
Have a blessed week yourself!
Welcome to my blog, this time as staff writer and contributing Author. I am super excited to have you as part of our valued team of writers and to bring hope and encouragement to all our readers. Congratulations!
Now to the post – I thank you for your courage and bravery for going ahead with this project. I am honored that you choose to include me among this highly esteemed list of persons who as the title clearly states are persons who have the guts to put God first no matter what others say. The persons you have included are truly inspiring and motivating and their ministries have certainly been a blessing to me personally, even during those times past when I was going through some of my most difficult days.
I have learned some new things through this post about each person. I am looking forward to reading their books, some as I can see have made it on to the New York Times Best-Sellers list such as the one from Ann Voskamp or who have earned themselves the coveted title of best selling authors.
I love the title of Sandra McCollom’s book “I Tried until I Almost Died – From Anxiety & Frustration to Rest & Relaxation” and can relate to that so well. For years I suffered with anxiety, fear, doubt and frustrations but thank God for HIs saving grace and His mercy I have been healed and delivered from all of that where I can confidently say that I am at peace, not only with God but with myself. I experience His unconditional love every step of the way. I was not always like that but I had to come to the place of total surrender to Him.
The idea of including a couple in the persons of Kenneth and Gloria Copeland was a brilliant one. It is a true reflection two becoming one flesh, it great model of what marriage should be and it is a stellar representation of the way in which God’s work in His Kingdom here on earth is being accomplished through the man’s help meat.
Creflo Dollar’s story shows us that while we may have our own ideas or plans for ourselves, the steps of a good man are ordered by God. He wanted to become a football player that his purpose for which he was created proved to be greater. It tells us too that we should never despise our small and humble beginning because once we remain faithful, God will continually add His blessing and make our name great in the earth. Some may not like his no nonsense attitude but it is clear that he is not doing things to please man but to please God.
Nick Vujicic’s story is a perfect example of a miracle at work each day and that it also shows while it is impossible with man, with God all things are possible to them who believe.
Fantastic post Jaco! Thank you for sharing it with our reading audience. God bless you and have a great day/week.
Thank you so much for the warm welcome to your blog. I look forward to a long and lasting journey with you and the readers here at EMB. I am blessed and honored to be here.
I am grateful and glad to see that you enjoyed this post so much and that you can testify to the fact that the people discussed in this article have been a blessing to you too. I can testify to the same in my own life to the extent – as mentioned in the article – that this is why you are able to read this very article today.
I respect and appreciate the fact that these people not only preach the un-compromised Word of God, they actually practice what they preach. They are not moved by what people are saying, but they are moved (and they do move) by what God is saying.
What you point out about each individual in your comment is so true, Yvonne. I do thank you for your valuable input and for the great work you are doing through your ministry and this blog.
Have a great week.