Jonathan Lippmann of the boy bands 98 Degrees and True Vibe tells his story.
I grew up as a kid with a lot of attitude. When I was in 7th grade, my father had a brain tumor and was given 6 months to live. I knew it was bad when his high school marching band came over to the house to perform for my father in the front yard. I knew at that point he was probably going to die from the brain tumor.
My grandmother was a Christian, and she used to always witness to us, and I never used to want to hear it as a kid. She had a pastor call my father and lead him to Christ, and he gave his life to Christ a couple of weeks before he went back to the hospital to see how big the tumor was. They had given up hope and tried chemotherapy and everything. He went in and they did the test, and the tumor was completely gone! By the grace of God He healed my father. God definitely used that to show me how real He is, and although I wasn't living for Him and didn't know anything other than what my grandma told me -- Jesus healed my father -- I knew that to be true.
I came to know Christ in L.A. I met a friend who is a news anchor at Fox News.
We used to work out together all the time. I used to talk to him about Take Six, the vocal group, how much I loved the harmonies, and I'd just be myself, cussin'. He never judged me and never told me not to cuss. He just listened to me and showed me love. And I saw that, as much as he didn't realize I saw it; I saw every bit of it.
I was getting depressed because I couldn't get acting work for the first month. So I was sort of depressed and I opened up the Bible. I read Revelations and it scared me. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" so I ran over to my friend's house and he shared the gospel with me. I went to church that Sunday with him, and the pastor was speaking on lost sinners and how we need to come to know Christ and how important it is. And that Sunday I gave my life to Christ. I ran home and called my grandma, all excited, and called my parents and told some people I probably shouldn't have told who thought I was in a cult (laughs). 'Jonathan's over here talking like a Jesus Freak!
All the other events with my father having the tumor and my grandmother talking, those were all there and planted, but I didn't even think about knowing Jesus until I was in L.A. I'll destroy the myth; people really can get saved in L.A. and I was one of them.
I have some friends who were real strong believers at that time when I wasn't a believer, and I can see now how they are stuck in sin and actually not living right now, and it shows me we are always one step away from sin. We're still sinners and that's why it's so important to focus on His word and growing in Christ, because I've seen people that were once so strong and are now walking away from His word.
When I was talking to the news anchor, that guy, just seeing how he lived his life, I never saw any anger, and he was very honest and just showed me complete love, and that was a huge thing to me and he never put me down. And when I read Revelations, that was a huge thing. That's the first time I ever remember reading the Bible although I'm sure I read it with my grandma.
That was 8 years ago. When I became a Christian, God pulled all of that attitude and rebellion I had as a kid out of my heart. A friend told me that was the biggest change he saw. I was real street; I talked real street dialect cussing all the time, and as soon as I became a Christian, God got rid of that. My friends in Cincinnati that aren't Christian, they brought it up to me, "Wow, you act different" They can see you can still be cool and live for Jesus. God has used me to talk to a lot of non believers, to say we're all the same, we're all of us sinners.
We're just saved by Grace.
More info on Jonathan Lippmann and True Vibe can be found at:<p>
<a href="http://www.christianactivities.com/industryinsider/story.asp?ID=1393">True Vibe Tour Captivates Fans & Industry Alike</a><p>
<a href="http://www.christianactivities.com/industryinsider/story.asp?ID=1386">True Vibe Joins Aaron Carter's TEENICK PRESENTS AARON'S PARTY</a><p>
<a href="http://www.christianactivities.com/gma/story.asp?ID=1268">GMA Journal: Wednesday with True Vibe</a><p>
<a href="http://www.christianactivities.com/gma/story.asp?ID=1267">True Vibe at Gospel Music Week: Provident Showcase</a><p>
<a href="http://www.christianactivities.com/artistspotlight/story.asp?ID=1007">True Vibe to Release New Project in May</a><p>
<a href="http://www.christianactivities.com/artistupdates/story.asp?ID=976">Artist Updates: True Vibe</a><p>
<a href="http://www.christianactivities.com/industryinsider/story.asp?ID=853">ESSENTIAL SIGNS TRUE VIBE</a><p>
<a href="http://pub69.ezboard.com/fchristianboybandsfrm1">Christian Activities True Vibe Board</a><p>
<a href="http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/truevibenews">The <b>True Vibe News</b> Yahoo!Club</a><p>
<a href="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TrueVibeNews">The <b>True Vibe News</b> Yahoo!Group</a><p>
<a href="http://www.1689.net/truevibe/index.html">True Vibe Official Fan Club</a><p>