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700 Club

On Fire for Jesus with Duck Royalty

WHAT IS A GOSPELER?

According to the Oxford Languages Dictionary, a Gospeler (gos-pel-er rhymes with feller or dweller) is a person who zealously teaches or professes faith in the Gospel. Willie says, “As a follower of Jesus, I believe we are all called to be Gospelers." Although he does not claim to be a Bible scholar or a pastor, he does claim to be a proclaimer of the Gospel both publicly and personally. 

He began as a Gospeler in his teen years over takeout pizza and landline phones. These days he tries to share the Good News with people around him whether he is in a deer stand or a pro athlete’s hotel room because everyone needs to hear it. 

GOSPEL GENEALOGY

Willie is the third son of Phil and Kay Robertson. Growing up, Kay was taught to be a good person, but she did not know what the Gospel was all about. Phil’s parents were Christians, but he rejected the faith for many years. He describes himself before Christ as a “rank heathen.” Without God in their marriage, things began to go south for their young family. After they separated, Kay became a Christian. She and her boys began going to church.

Phil’s younger sister, Jan Dasher, went to a church pastored by Bill Smith. She asked him to go to Phil’s bar (which was out of state) and have a conversation with him about the Gospel. Bill agreed to go and share the Gospel with him. After he gave it his best shot Phil replied, “I’ll keep that in mind.” Phil went back to his same old miserable lifestyle. Less than a year later, the seed that had been planted took root in Phil’s life. He made things right with Kay, became a Christian, and was even baptized. From that day on, Phil decided to share the good news of Jesus with anyone God put in his path.

Although Willie was very young when God restored his family, he does remember watching how Phil and Kay shared their faith with many people sitting at their dining room table. Willie can even remember countless people going to the river by their house and being baptized by Phil after he prayed with them. 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most important thing to their family. Willie recalled. “Not even hunting or fishing was as important to our family as the Gospel. “The lives of my siblings and their families, and all those who heard the message from Phil and Kay over these past fifty years, are forever changed because of the Good News. Changed because one man and woman acted on the Gospel.”  

QUALIFIED TO SHARE THE GOSPEL 

For many years, Willie was the CEO of Duck Commander. Then Duck Dynasty became quite the success, but with it also brought challenges. As the Executive Producer, he was pulled in every direction daily. Willie felt the weight of responsibility for his job, career, and his family. His faith was intact, but not burning hot as it once did. Willie was not in a good place and therefore neither was his marriage. His job and pursuit of money had shifted to the number one goal in his life. When Willie and his wife, Korie, realized they needed help they began counseling and slowly worked through their issues. During this time, Willie did not share this information with his close friends. He mostly talked to God and listened to worship music nonstop. Willie wants everyone to know that we all have baggage that could disqualify us from having a conversation with anyone about God. However, the message of the Gospel is not based on what we’ve done, but on what He’s done for us. 

SHARING YOUR FAITH 

Willie believes that “most people want to share their faith…but they believe that they just don’t know how.” He offers the following methods to help you share the Gospel with those around you:

•   Listen to their story. Show people you care by listening to their story, but also offer hope. “Even though everyone’s story is different, Jesus has a solution for every problem,” shares Willie. 
•   Ask a question. In the Bible, the woman at the well shared her story after Jesus asked her for a drink of water. Then Jesus shared His story about water that springs into His gift of eternal life. 
•   Don’t be intimidated that you will say the wrong thing. Instead, start the conversation and go where their story leads, always pointing to Jesus as the answer.
•   Don’t preach to people but have a conversation.
•   Refrain from talking about how bad the world has become. Instead, talk about the hope that Jesus gives us.
•   Keep sharing the gospel with someone, knowing that Jesus never gives up on us. “Aunt Jan never gave up on dad,” shares Willie.
•   Don’t focus on a person’s past. We all have baggage. Willie shares the story of Ruck, a drug dealer for many years who spent time in prison. After serving his time, he always went back to what he knew, dealing drugs. When his grandmother got sick, he moved to Louisiana to help take care of her. He applied for many jobs but received no callbacks, so he was about to go back to drug dealing. Then he decided to apply at an old warehouse that sold duck calls. Duck Commander received his application and gave him a chance. The guys at work began bringing him to Bible studies and church and Ruck became a Christian. He went on to become an addiction counselor. Today, he leads a giant Celebrate Recovery group. 
•   Focus on what’s truly important (Jesus) instead of what’s not (religion). 

He says, “The spread of the Gospel has depended on only one thing – people who love Jesus telling others about Him.” During COVID, Willie decided to become more intentional about sharing the Gospel with more people. He shared some ideas with his church and a new ministry called 99/One was formed. The idea behind this ministry was based on Matthew 18 and Luke 15 (the parable of the shepherd who left the ninety-nine sheep to find the one that was lost). The ministry was designed to help answer spiritual questions for anyone who came in to visit. Together they would go over scriptures, cover the basics of repentance, baptism, confessing Christ, and sin. 

One woman who came to their meetings was always taking notes, but she never said a word and did not feel comfortable sharing her faith with others. About a month later, Willie was unable to fill in for one of the meetings on Easter Sunday, so he asked Shellie to fill in for him in case someone showed up wanting to know more about Jesus. Two people came to the meeting that day and Shellie not only shared the Gospel with them, but also baptized them. Since that day she has gone on to share her faith with many. 

ABOUT WILLIE

Willie is the CEO of Duck Commander and Buck Commander and star of A&E’s Duck Dynasty. He has expanded his family companies, from a living room operation to a multi-million-dollar enterprise. Duck Commander is the best-selling duck call brand in the U.S. It, along with Buck Commander are popular trademarks on apparel, hunting gear, food items and more. Willie is executive producer of A&E’s Duck Dynasty and Buck Commander on the Outdoor Channel. 

Discover more about Duck Commander and purchase Willie Robertson's book, Gospeler, here: Gospeler.

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700 Club

Supplying Physical and Spiritual Help

When a tornado struck Cottonwood, Alabama, residents like Florence were staggered by its intensity. Florence said, “It was a horrible scare, because the sky had turned colors I had never witnessed before.”

When the winds subsided, the extent of the damage seemed insurmountable. Florence recounted her experience after the storm. “A lot of damage was done to the property. One particular tree, which fell on the side of my home, actually fell over my bedroom. Sometimes in a case like this, you feel, ‘Wow, what? What do I do? How do I get that done?’”

That’s when Florence learned about Operation Blessing’s disaster relief efforts in her area. We had helped Florence’s daughter earlier that week and she told her mom all about us.  

She said, “She was with me for hours trying to just say, ‘Oh, mom, it was going to be all right. I trust these people. I trust this Operation Blessing, Mom.’ And I said, ‘All right, you trust, I trust.’”

Thanks to you, Operation Blessing pulled together a team with cranes and chainsaws. We removed the fallen tree and other hazardous debris from around her home— work not covered by her insurance company. We also prayed with Florence to encourage her. 

Florence gratefully said, “I experienced kindness and people were actually eager to do the work. ‘What do you need? How can I help you?’ I feel comfortable that the work is superior.”

Now Florence’s property has been cleared, making way for her insurance company to repair her home and property.  

She said, “I will tell the donors how tremendously blessed I am because of the help from Operation Blessing and all of the service that they provided. Thank you again. Thank you. In fact, I’ll thank you in my dreams.”

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700 Club

Having Vision Bigger Than Circumstances

“It was a Sunday morning. I was sleeping and my phone rang and it was one of JB's coworkers and she was like, ‘Hey, I was just calling to check on JB.’ And I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’" Brandie Jones had no idea what had happened in the early hours that day in December, 2016. “She's like, ‘the accident.’ She said, ‘I heard JB got in an accident.' I was like, ‘I think you're confused.’ And she was like, ‘Maybe I am.'"

Unfortunately, her friend was not. Brandie’s husband, JB, a high school basketball coach, was driving home from his night job at a residential facility when he nodded off and crashed his car into a ditch. Brandie had few details. “Once I got to the hospital, I found out they had my number written down wrong, so that's why they couldn't get ahold of me,” she says. “I was praying, that was always my first reaction, ‘God, that Your will be done, whatever that is. However, that, however this turns out, like Your will be done. And let us find peace and comfort and rest in that.'”

At the hospital she learned JB had suffered multiple injuries, the worst being fractured C5 and C6 vertebrae. “I'm not a reactor. For me, I'm going to stay calm until I have a reason not to," Brandie says. “So in my head, I still don't have a reason. Yes, I have a reason because my husband is in a car accident, it's not bad in my head until somebody tells me, ‘This is bad.’” 

JB, a former college basketball star and Southern Illinois hall of famer, was conscious, but scared. “I barely could move, couldn't do nothing. Just was laying there. At that time I was just thinking about if I was gonna ever walk again, thinking, ‘Will my feeling ever come back?’” 

Within hours, doctors were performing surgery to repair JB’s spinal chord. “I knew it was severe, but because I'm in the medical field, I still think everything could be okay,” Brandie says. “And because my faith, like my faith is huge. And so, I was like until God tells me this is a real problem, everything's gonna be okay."

The surgery was successful, but doctors were not offering up much hope that JB would ever walk again. Brandie believed otherwise. “The doctors and the therapists, they said, ‘We have to teach you guys a new normal. Your life is about to be changed and different. And so we're gonna have to teach him how to do everything over again with, with equipment.’ And I said, ‘Okay, that makes complete sense.’ And when they would leave out the room, I would tell him, ‘This is not our new normal until God tells us this is our new normal.’”

After several days in ICU, JB was moved to a rehab facility still unable to move below his neck. By then, Brandie had gotten the word out to their family and the community to pray for their friend and beloved coach. Brandie told him, “We're gonna do everything we can do. Because the only thing you can do is use your mind. I need you to picture yourself opening and closing your hand, flexing and extending your ankles and your wrist. I need you to picture yourself doing, doing that, grabbing hold of something. And I need you to picture yourself lifting up your arm. And I would do the motion for him.”

She also knew he faced more than a physical challenge and posted a prayer board in his room. “People would come and they would write whatever they want. I’d say, ‘You can write scripture, you can write a little note, you can write a joke, whatever you wanna write,” she says. “So I would tell him, 'Hey, we have to speak our words, right? They're important. Power lies in the tongue.'”

By now, JB also believed for his healing, speaking words of hope and pushing himself to the limit in physical therapy. “I told 'em I was gonna walk out of there,” he recalls. “They didn't believe me. I think they think I was a little out of my mind.”

After two weeks of prayer and physical therapy, JB turned the corner. “In my mind I'm still trying to move, but nothing was moving,” he says. “And then one day something moved and so that gave me encouragement.”

It didn’t stop there. JB began moving his hands and then his feet. Two weeks later, he stood up. After 30 days in rehab, he walked out on his own, just as he had predicted.

“I knew what the doctors and the therapists thought as far as, ‘This isn't supposed to happen. I never told him that this stuff wasn't supposed to happen. I was like, ‘God isn't telling me that, so let's just expect greatness and goodness.’ And so, that's what we did.”

“They were super surprised. My physical therapist, she was just amazed of how far I had came along,” JB says. “The doctor who did my neck surgery, it just blew his mind. Like he was super shocked.”

Today, JB is back to coaching basketball and has nearly all of his mobility back. “When you really think about it, it's nothing but a miracle. I mean, it has to be the power of God to do this,” JB says. “I can see God using this to minister to others and showing them not to give up,” Brandie adds. “Don't give up even when it seems like it's hopeless, even when the doctors and therapists are saying, ‘there's no way.’”

“I don't know how strong your faith is in God, but if you do believe in Him, He can heal you and work it out for you,” JB says. “I'm more thankful every day, um, thankful that I can move, thankful I could hear. I always thank Him and try to live for Him and try to do things right and just understand that He’s got a plan. And sometimes, my plan might not be His plan, but if it's His plan and I believe Him, okay. Whatever His plan is, I'm all right with that.”
 

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700 Club

 New Life After Surgery

Peng and Rao always spoiled their little sister because they didn’t know how long she’d be around. Miao had a hole in her heart.

“Doctors said if it got bigger, she could die of heart failure,” her mother shares.

“My mom kept her at home. So, I bought her a little toy frog. When she saw it jumping, she smiled,” Miao’s brother says.

“I always gave her stuffed animals and said, ‘See sister, you have friends,’” adds Miao’s sister.

Meanwhile, Miao barely ate and struggled to breathe. So, Mrs. Zhou found a witch to help.

“The witch told me the devil had taken her healthy soul,” reports Mrs. Zhou. “She did some spells and said they would make her healthy.”

Yet after that, she got weaker.

Miao’s sister, explains, “Her heart beat really hard, like someone hit it with a hammer. She liked music, especially ‘Two Tigers Running Fast.’ So, I played that a lot. I wanted her to be as fast and strong as a tiger.”

Before long, Miao had pneumonia.  

Mr. Miao says, “The hole in her heart had grown from the size of a grain of rice to the size of a bean. Her life was in danger.”

“When I touched her back, I only felt bones,” adds Miao’s sister. "And she didn’t clap anymore when I played music. She just stayed in bed and took medicine.”

Her brother says, “I asked my dad, ‘Is sister going to die?’ He sighed and told me an operation was too expensive.”

Mrs. Zhou shares, “It was the most painful thing to watch. I wish it was me with heart trouble, not her.”

“I didn’t want to see my daughter die like this,” Mr. Zhou adds. “So, I looked around for a charity to help.”

A friend told the Zhous about Operation Blessing, and you helped make heart surgery possible for Miao. 

“My sister is a different person now,” exclaims Miao’s brother.

Her dad declares, “She put on a lot of weight and is full of energy every day.”

“Now when I play songs, she dances like a beautiful butterfly,” Miao’s sister proclaims. “She even danced on stage. I couldn't stop clapping for her.”

“Whenever I see her smile, I am the happiest person in the world,” concludes Mrs. Zhou. “And during the surgery, Operation Blessing volunteers shared God with us. I will try to pray to this God in the future. Thank you to all the Operation Blessing donors. You brought my family out of the dark. Thank you for your love.”

CBN’s impact around the world

USA

Daily prayers for people across the country

CBN’s prayer team prayed with over 1.2 million callers in 2022 alone, while also praying with people through email, social media channels, live chat on the website, and written correspondence.

Latin America

Highlighting testimonies of God’s faithfulness

Vida Dura or “Hard Life” stories are sourced throughout Latin America and produced in Spanish to reach a region with testimonies of people who hit rock bottom and turn to God for change. CBN has a prayer center in Latin America to support people through prayer and faith resources.

Turkey

Serving in the wake of natural disasters

CBN's Operation Blessing was on the ground quickly in the wake of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey, providing much-needed food, relief supplies, and medical aid. After large-scale natural disasters, Operation Blessing strives to be the first to arrive, and the last to leave, tending to the needs long after the news cameras leave.

Ukraine and Poland

For 30 years, CBN has been serving the people of Ukraine

Through CBN’s Orphan’s Promise and Operation Blessing, we were able to quickly provide valuable resources soon after the conflict began, and we continue to support Ukrainian refugees.

International

Projected 135 million* watched a CBN program in 2022

CBN partners are reaching children around the world with the Gospel of Jesus through Superbook, a Bible-based animation series. In 2022 alone, children in 139 countries watched at least one episode of Superbook.

Bible Reading for the Day

Read or listen to today's Old and New Testament Bible readings. Each day is portioned to give the entire Bible to you in a year. Start anytime. Scroll forward or backward if you miss any days or want to get ahead.

Read Now 

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