Other than television personality Glen Beck, I don’t recall the last time I’ve heard a popular media star bear their testimony on prime time television of the divinity of Christ, the blessings of the Bible, the value of church attendance, building family bonds, and the importance of faith. But, this week Kathie Lee Gifford – famous for her decades of talk show presence – did all of that during a moving life tribute to her husband of three decades, Frank Gifford (1930-2015), who passed away on August 9, 2015. I already have a soft spot in my heart for Kathie Lee. During my early marriage and child-bearing years I watched the Regis and Kathie Lee Show nearly every morning. Her children were born about the same time as mine, so we were “raising them together.” I appreciated her candid advice and humorous stories about being a Mom. She always made it very clear that her family was #1 in her life, and that she was a woman of faith. One story that stands out in my mind was her passionate plea in the late 1990’s for ABC Disney to return to annually broadcasting the animated classic Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey, which tells the Christmas nativity story from the donkey’s perspective. Additionally, she called for them to make this faith-based film available for families to purchase. Viewers and fans rallied. The film was shown that Christmas, and it was released to DVD not long afterward, in 2000.
That’s just one story that stands out to me as an example of her willingness to champion Christianity and family values with no hesitation or apology.
Kathie Lee’s moving tribute this week is a remarkable 8 minutes of broadcast time that has already received millions of views and “shares” just since airing yesterday – Monday August 17 – on NBC’s Today Show. I encourage you to watch it!
“He strayed from his faith on occasion but his faith never left him. His world got smaller as his God got bigger, and he’d want you to know that.”
I have to admit that I became particularly emotional when she shared the story of their experience visiting the Holy Land, and the significance and symbolism of a simple stone, as drawn from the story of David and Goliath. It reminded me of a scripture;
“Ye also, as [living] stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 2:5
Recalling Israel brought back so many tender memories for me from my time living and studying abroad in Israel from 1986-87. That was one of the most powerful, life changing and testimony building experiences for me, as I believe it is for anyone who has that opportunity to travel to the Holy Land and walk where Jesus walked.
I extend my sympathies and love to Kathie Lee Gifford, her children and their extended family. I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to her for choosing to make her time of grief an opportunity to spread goodness, build faith and share gospel truths with the world. I can think of no greater way to honor the life of someone we love than by sharing our love for our Creator; the author, finisher and restorer of life. – MoSop