An Inner View with Flo Oramasionwu

An Inner View with Flo Oramasionwu

What does it really mean to have “influence”? Read this week’s INNER VIEW as Flo Oramasionwu unpacks both the privilege and responsibility of having influence, and how she lives as an “encourager” of others everywhere she goes.

BIO
If you were searching for a soulful pop singer with a huge, heart-stopping voice, the Canadian Prairies is likely not the first place you’d start looking.  But that’s exactly where Flo got her start. Flo is a multiple award-winning soul/pop artist who captivates with undeniable stage presence in every type of venue from intimate clubs to arenas. She represents encouragement, personal strength, passion, and positivity. Her enduring message of faith and self-empowerment reflects her resolve: to overcome all obstacles and continue to live out her dreams, “I believe this dream is bigger than I am.” Luckily her voice is bigger than her dreams. She is passion in living form and travels into realms of soul that some artists never tap into, and this is only the beginning.

“And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” – Marianne Williamson

 

INNER VIEW
Kathleen Cooke: As an award-winning musical artist in Hollywood, what lessons has God recently taught you about who He is?

Flo Oramasionwu: God has taught me that He is personal, present, and REAL!  Not just a distant God that our parents, grandparents, and friends teach us about. Not a fictional or past character that was just active in the historical Old/New Testament times. JEHOVAH JIREH has come through for me in so many miraculous ways throughout my journey in LA that my mind is blown! He is not only faithful, but He is also so loving. He does miraculous things through people (even absolute strangers) and circumstances.

He moves and creates the resources to bless, encourage, and keep you going on your journey to ensure that you are on the right path. He’s got your back. He KNOWS you so well. He not only supplies your needs but also provides for your desires and the things that sometimes you think are unnecessary or may feel frivolous. He wants to give you the things that make your heart jump and smile. He truly is our provider. And, when God does it, He does it in beautiful ways.

Kathleen: The music industry is a constant struggle to create more music and get yourself seen. It takes enormous grit and endless determination. What have you learned about setting aside your ambitions and choosing God’s perfect plan for your life and work?

Flo: God has patiently taught me the importance of surrender and not to obsessively strive so much that there’s no room left for Him to drive. In other words, He’s been showing me the beauty of letting Him take hold of the “steering wheel” while I rest in Him and enjoy the beautiful view from the passenger seat.

Ambitious striving to accomplish specific dreams and goals can turn into an idol. It requires trust and faith to let go and leave it in God’s hands. He not only knows best, but His way is so much better than what we could ever try to do on our own. He is so much more efficient than our timing and far more effective than our efforts could ever be.

I personally don’t believe there is anything wrong with aiming for excellence (Daniel and Joseph were men of excellence), or having a vision (David had a vision for building God’s temple and left the blueprints to execute them with his son Solomon) and working towards it. But I do think God wants to eliminate the fear of needing to do everything on our own or else it won’t be completed or get done well. God knows and places the desires we have in our hearts for a reason and a purpose. He created us with gifts and abilities “for such a time as this” (as Mordecai told Esther) in history. He will fulfill the things He has planned for us. There is no need to spin our wheels and strive. God’s got this, and He’s got us!

Kathleen: It takes great faith to set aside yourself and your way for God’s way and choose to trust Him. You make yourself vulnerable and exposed in a world that thrives on self-assurance. What has God taught you about choosing Godly choices? (more…)

An INNER VIEW with Pam Christian

An INNER VIEW with Pam Christian

How do we live according to the truth of God in a deceived, yet truth-obsessed culture? How can we tell if “our truth” is a little askew or not rooted in Jesus? Read this week’s INNER VIEW with Pamela Christian as she breaks down the building blocks of both truth and lies—and how to tell the difference.

Bio

For over twenty-five years, Pamela Christian has compassionately helped people discover and live from life-giving truth. Pamela is a keynote, radio/television talk-show and podcast speaker, teacher, multi-award-winning author and blogger, and an ordained international itinerant minister. As an apologetics enthusiast (Biola University) and charismatic apologist herself, Pamela uniquely helps people balance rational thought with spiritual realities.

 

INNER VIEW

Kathleen Cooke: What’s something that God has taught you lately?

Pam Christian:  Recently, God’s been teaching me the vital importance of teaching our children absolute truth, morality and righteousness. I wasn’t raised in a Christian home at a time when the culture pushed every limit—a trend that’s continued to this day, bringing with it all sorts of egregious immoralities, corruption, censorship and more—all promoting evil. Unless children are taught truth, they will, as I did, follow the ways of the world, leading to their personal demise.

The entire world today is suffering under the gross increase of evil, which would have been restrained had more people been firmly standing on and promoting truth. I wouldn’t have such a strong understanding of this without experiencing my own personal life crisis, which revealed I’d been deceived and not living in the light of truth.

Kathleen: I, too, believe that young women—and men—are under attack from the deceiver as never before. Your heart, like mine, is to help others discover and live in life-giving truth and experience the hope that truth provides. What can you share to help others in their quest for truth?

Pam: My own experience and current conditions compel me to help others understand that truth is not personal and relative as many people claim. Those who claim truth is relative would say, “There’s no such thing as absolute truth.” Yet that statement relies on the laws of absolutes, proving those who claim truth is relative, in reality, believe truth is absolute. As I share in my book, Examine Your Faith! Finding Truth in a World of Lies, unless we intentionally examine what we believe and why, we can easily be deceived and unaware of our condition because that’s the nature of deception. And in this condition, people are pawns in the hands of the devil.

Kathleen: Yes, the world is obsessed with truth today because we live in a culture of internet lies and deception. Yet, the Bible says, “the truth will set us free.” How can we know the truth today?

Pam: There is a three-point proof-test we can use to discover truth. When all three are in place, we can confidently embrace the matter as truth. These are:

  1. Truth is based on reality (i.e., gender is not a choice)
  2. Only one thing can be true and all opposing matters are false (i.e., it cannot be both dark and light at the same time)
  3. Truth is universal (i.e., tyranny is recognized as tyranny anywhere in the world)

One question I ask is, “Who in this room wants to live your life on the basis of lies?” No one ever raises their hand, which is highly revealing. That one question reveals that each of us has an innate moral compass enabling us to recognize truth as good and lies as bad. The fact that we universally desire truth is a God-given trait to guide us in discovering Truth, namely Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth and the Light.

Kathleen: God tells us to go and be an influence on the world. Why is this important in our truth-obsessed culture?

Pam: Today, more than ever, we have overwhelming evidence worldwide of the importance of those of us who have the truth, to be actively sharing the truth, consistent with the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). We are to partner with Jesus to share the truth with those who are deceived—to share the gospel of truth and hope. When God’s people fail in this, the enemy increases his influence bringing all manner of evil and destruction as we’re seeing today. As was true in my own life, sometimes it takes a major crisis to cause us to realize the path of destruction we’ve been on. And even in that, we experience the restoring grace of God.

 

Follow and Connect with Pam:

Podcast: Faith to Live By with Pamela Christian

Website: PamelaChristianMinistries.com 

 

 

An INNER VIEW with Michelle Watson-Canfield

An INNER VIEW with Michelle Watson-Canfield

Have you ever wished you could hear the voice of God more clearly? A sexual abuse survivor, learning to hear the voice of God was a healing game-changer for Michelle Watson Canfield. Speaker, author, counselor and founder of The Abba Project, enjoy this INNER VIEW as she shares her journey and the emotional stability and confidence she has gained through her relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Bio – Michelle Watson Canfield, Ph.D., LPC
Michelle Watson Canfield is a national speaker, author, professional counselor of over 25 years, and founder of The Abba Project, a nine-month group forum for dads whose daughters are in their teens and 20’s. She writes guest articles for journals and magazines and her own bi-monthly Dad-Daughter Friday blog and has been interviewed on numerous radio and television programs. Her best-selling book, Dad, Here’s What I Really Need from You: A Guide for Connecting with Your Daughter’s Heart, is followed by her most recent field guide for men, Let’s Talk: Conversation Starters for Dads and Daughters. She has also written contributing chapters in Fathers Say and How to Disciple Men…

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Influence Lab Sponsors Hollywood Prayer Network’s 20th Anniversary Party

Influence Lab Sponsors Hollywood Prayer Network’s 20th Anniversary Party

On August 14, 2021, over 400 people attended the anniversary celebration of the Hollywood Prayer Network in Hollywood, California. Phil Cooke emceed the gala event as the sold-out crowd celebrated 20 years of HPN’s work in the entertainment industry. Additionally, The Influence Lab helped sponsor the event with a booth where our team gave away multiple copies of Phil and Kathleen Cooke’s books to help bring value to the attendees.

“We had a fabulous time and the event was over-the-top successful,” said Kathleen. The event featured red carpet interviews, a live band, 007 VIP Lounge and a “living” chess game with 32 human chess pieces. Besides manning The Influence Lab booth, Kathleen was asked to be a pawn piece for the live chess game as part of the festivities of the evening. (Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages for fun photos!)

Phil and Kathleen have been on the Hollywood Prayer Network’s board for many years and now serve as key advisors. HPN was founded in July of 2001 by Karen Covell, a producer with extensive experience producing TV specials, documentaries and children’s programming, and a member of the Producer’s Guild of America. With the firm belief that Hollywood is not “Sodom and Gomorrah” but rather a “Ninevah” that can be redeemed, HPN’s grassroots prayer ministry led by Hollywood professionals mobilizes Christians around the world to pray for the people who work in Hollywood while also coordinating prayer for Christians working within the film and television industry.

With over 12,000 intercessors and 130 HPN chapters around the world, The Influence Lab was honored to be a sponsor of the anniversary event and come alongside this ministry with our support.

Find out more about the Hollywood Prayer Network here.

Support The Influence Lab!
Your support of The Influence Lab helps increase our influence in Hollywood as well as strengthening our ability to train pastors and Christian communicators around the world to use media effectively in sharing the gospel. Give your donation today.

Special offer! For your generous gift of $25 or more to The Influence Lab, you’ll receive your choice of these books by Phil Cooke and Kathleen Cooke:

  • Maximize Your Influence: How to Make Digital Media work for Your Church, Your Ministry and You
  • Hope 4 Today: Stay Connected to God in a Distracted Culture (New paperback edition!)
  • Unique: The Ultimate Planner for Creative Professionals

Give here for this special offer!

An Inner View with Heidi Rasmussen

An Inner View with Heidi Rasmussen

BIO

Heidi Rasmussen is the co-founder and COO of Freshbenies – a fresh approach to benefits. She is a communicator, strategic planner, customer service advocate, builder, mentor, defender and coffee addict. Mostly, she says she’s a “gettin’ stuff done and make it happen” gal. She worked for over 27 years in the retail industry having started at JCPenney where she worked her way up the ladder to the Divisional VP at Corporate and led the largest brand launch in JCPenney history.

Seeing the need to make company benefits used wisely, she launched Freshbenies to give employers and employees practical tools to control their dime, time and peace of mind. Freshbenies has been named to the INC. 5000 list as one of the fastest growing companies in America for the past four years and the top 100 companies for two years in a row in Dallas, Texas, as well as receiving two Health Value Awards for their innovation and for providing value-based healthcare. She is a passionate believer that people matter and is an advocate for making life simplified so that they can succeed in all God’s called them to be and do. She serves on the board for, 4WordWomen, where she mentors and encourages women in the corporate business space to live out their faith to the fullest.

Kathleen CookeHeidi, I love that you call yourself a communicator. We live in a polarized culture today in which just chatting with someone can be challenging. What has God taught you about how to communicate effectively?

Heidi Rasmussen – So far, 2021 has been another crazy year! With all the racial injustice and political discord, the Lord is showing me how to live out His command to “love one another as I have loved you.” The Holy Spirit is working in me to change my thinking which is changing my actions. Specifically, when I’m speaking about someone on the “other side of the aisle,” I no longer use certain words or phrases (like “What an idiot!”) in casual conversation. He reminds me that He loves that person just as much as He loves me, no matter what their background and, He wants to love that person through me. It’s the main reason I’m on this earth – to love Him, love His people and bring glory to Him.

KathleenI have found that having great conversation starts with a relationship foundation. Talk to us about why relationship is at the heart of candid conversations and how it affects good leadership.

Heidi – To build strong relationships, I’ve had to learn to have candid conversations. At the core, candid conversations are about love. If we love someone, we’ll have a hard, truthful conversation because it’s a lot easier to avoid those kinds of talks! When I was a young manager, I was very capable and would just come behind those who weren’t doing their job and fix everything. As I grew in my career, I didn’t have the time to do that, so I had to get good at setting clear expectations and having tough conversations when expectations weren’t met. It is harder and takes more courage to tell someone they aren’t meeting expectations and need to improve their performance. As soon as I realized this and started to master the principles around conflict, I experienced more peace in my life.

Kathleen Business decisions are often places of uncertainty and risk. What has God taught you about how to trust Him and about taking a posture of obedience in challenging situations? 

Heidi – You know that saying, “God will never give you more than you can handle?” It’s nowhere in the Bible and it’s not true. How am I, in my own strength, supposed to love another person as Jesus loves me? That is impossible. In Matthew 19, Jesus says, “…with God all things are possible.” I spent many years working hard for God and asking, What Would Jesus Do (WWJD)? Then, I learned the necessity of working with God and asking, What Will Jesus Do” through me? He’s in me and His Spirit is working through me all day every day. I just need to be available and let Him use me to do His work. I ask Him to help and guide me every step of the way. That includes when I don’t feel Him nearby. I often pray, “Lord, please help me to feel Your presence.” When I’m in a bad mood, I pray, “Lord, please lift me from this funk.” And, when I’m mad at Him, I pray, “Lord, please change me.” I can ask Him anything and be confident that “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).

KathleenHow do you view influence in a culture where many strive endlessly today to be influencers?

Heidi – At the risk of sounding like a broken record (if you remember what one of those is), I’ve learned that influence is about loving people and letting Christ work through me. People are influenced positively by other people they love or like on some level. I’ve learned that if I want to influence the world, I have to be salt and light to others and loving (and lovable) in all circumstances. To do that, I have to ask Christ to do it through me and be available to let him shine through me to others.

Find out more about Freshbenies here or connect with Heidi on LinkedIn here.