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2009 Conversations

2008 Conversations

2007 Conversations

2006 Conversations

2005 Conversations

2004 Conversations

Alicia Chole: The truth about joy (12/28/03)

Cookies and Christmas: A roundtable discussion (12/21/03)

John Tesh: In pursuit of passion (12/14/03)

AGWM's L. John Bueno: Bread of life (11/23/03)

Teen Challenge's John Castellani: Christ breaks addictions (11/16/03)

Christian humorist Justin Fennell: Justifiably funny (10/19/03)

Representative Marilyn Musgrave: The role of Christians in government (10/12/03)

Dennis Gaylor: Fifty more campuses (9/28/03)

Kathy Troccoli: A message of hope (9/21/03)

Kristy Starling: Dreams come true (9/14/03)

CeCe Winans Love: Of Gospel and Grammies (8/31/03)

Gary Heavin: Faith and fitness (8/24/03)

Gracia Burnham: Grace in the jungle (8/17/03)

Seattle Mariner John Olerud: Hope when your health fails (8/10/03)

Chris Maxwell: Pastor recovering from memory loss (7/27/03)

Wayne Warner: Today’s Pentecostal Evangel: a historical view (7/20/03)

Paul Drost: Every church a parent or a partner (7/13/03)

Dr. J. Calvin Holsinger: What can be learned from history? (6/29/03)

Ron Drye: Ministering to the whole person (6/22/03)

Matt McPherson: Doing business by the Golden Rule (6/15/03)

The difference (6/8/03)

Fory VandenEinde: Fulfilling the Great Commission (5/25/03)

Tom Greene: The church's new generation (5/18/03)

Lisa Whelchel: Former sitcom star now an advocate for moms (5/11/03)

Tony Lamarque: Warden speaks about unconditional love (4/27/03)

Ann Graham Lotz: Just give her more of Jesus (4/20/03)

Lee Strobel: The case for Christ (4/13/03)

Randall K. Barton: Extravagant stewardship (3/30/03)

Bishop Gilbert Patterson: Bringing people together under Christ (3/23/03)

Pat Boone: A unique celebrity speaks out (3/16/03)

St. Clair Mitchell: God in Washington, D.C. (3/9/03)

Kay Gross: Ministry by women, ministry to women (2/23/03)

Thomas E. Trask: A historic General Council (2/16/03)

Denise Jones: Girls of Grace (2/9/03)

Doug Greengard: Beyond the NFL (1/26/03)

Three pro-life advocates call the church to action (1/19/03)

Chaplain Charles Marvin: The gospel in uniform (1/12/03)

2002 Conversations

2001 Conversations


Dreams come true

Southwestern Assemblies of God University student Kristy Starling had her life plans change when she appeared on the Today Show’s Superstar competition last fall. Her performance led to a recording contract with Warner Brothers Christian Division. Kristy’s single “Water” from her self-titled album is a top 10 hit. She and her husband, Adam, are youth pastors at Peoples Church (Assemblies of God) in Oklahoma City. Kristy recently spoke with Jodi O. Harmon, advertising coordinator for Today’s Pentecostal Evangel.

PE: In the world’s eyes you’ve arrived; how do you plan to balance your newfound success with the rest of your life?

STARLING: It’s overwhelming to me that I’m able to do what I love. There’s nothing else I’d rather do than sing and minister to people. I’m just like any other minister. I’m just in a different arena. I’m out in the public where a lot of people who normally wouldn’t go inside church doors hear me. Every time I hear myself, I think, That’s me! Thank You, Lord, so much.

PE: Tell me about the plans you had before all of this started.

STARLING: Adam and I had interviewed at five or six churches to be youth pastors. We were going to finish our degrees through distance education. We loved every church we went to, but we didn’t feel like the Lord wanted us there. We followed His will and started school again. I was planning on being a music minister in a church and Adam was going to be a youth pastor. Then the Today Show’s Superstar competition came along and changed our plans.

PE: It’s been a whirlwind since you went on the Today Show. What lessons about God and life have you learned?

STARLING: He wants so much more for us than we want for ourselves. It’s neat that He wants us to succeed, and our dreams to be fulfilled in His plan and not our own.

PE: When did you get over your fear of singing in front of people?

STARLING: Probably during early high school years. I had said, “God, I can’t do this on my own.” I was scared to sing in front of anybody, but I knew I was called into music ministry. God took the fear away gradually, and I think it was about making me trust Him.

PE: Do you ever get nervous now?

STARLING: Every now and then I get a little nervous feeling in my stomach, but I think it’s just anticipation. When the Lord took my fear away, He took it all away. I was more relaxed on the Today Show than some of the concerts I’ve done.

PE: What are your long-term goals?

STARLING: Adam and I were talking the other day about this and saying, “God, You are so good. We’re so young and feel like every dream we had has already come true. Lord, what else do You have in store for us?” We know we want to continue to minister to people.

PE: What fears, if any, do you have about where the road you are now on could lead?

STARLING: I don’t want it to get routine, and I don’t want it to become second nature. I want it always to remain fresh.

PE: Have you received any criticism for singing secular songs?

STARLING: I’ve gotten some flak for even being on television. It’s really sad, because in my mind it’s an opportunity for a Christian to be in a secular world and allow God to minister. Some big-name people have commented, “There’s something different about you.” I didn’t know I was acting any differently, but I think it was the love of the Lord shining through that many people don’t experience every day of their life.

PE: Why did you decide to attend Southwestern Assemblies of God University?

STARLING: I had a lot of friends and family who had gone to SAGU and had said it was the greatest school. I knew it was an awesome school, and I wanted to see for myself.

PE: Did you consider attending a secular university?

STARLING: I did, but I knew I had been called into the ministry and that I needed to go to a Christian college. I also heard [SAGU] had a good music program, and I thought it was the best place for me to go.

PE: How has college prepared you for what you are doing now?

STARLING: College helped me develop personal dedication. You don’t have your mom and dad in your ear saying, “Do your homework.” You have to motivate yourself and grow up. I have to motivate myself constantly to work, to practice my songs, do my warm-ups every day, simple things that you think don’t really matter.

PE: Are you going to finish your education at Southwestern?

STARLING: I would like to, although I don’t know when it will happen. I want to get my degree, and I have worked really hard for it. I have 15 or 16 hours left, so it’s one good semester. At this point in my life I know God has given me this opportunity to sing, so I know I need to do this right now.

PE: Do you miss any of the college scene?

STARLING: I miss all my friends. They were such encouraging people and all my professors were awesome.

PE: How has your life changed?

STARLING: Nothing is similar; it’s a totally different world. It was a routine of getting up every morning, going to classes and work every day. Nothing was spontaneous. Now somebody can call me up and tell me, “Tomorrow you’re going to Florida.” I never know what’s coming up next, but it’s fun.

PE: Why would you advise a student to consider a Christian college or university?

STARLING: The atmosphere at a Christian college is so much better because you’re constantly reminded that the Lord is with you. Going to chapel was a time for me to say, “Lord, everything I do today, I want to give it all to You.”

You can make so much more of your day when you know the Lord is with you. I saw many prayer requests answered through prayer in the classroom. People would come back and say things like, “My mom doesn’t have cancer anymore.”

PE: What encouragement would you give to a young person contemplating their future?

STARLING: Go out on a limb and trust God to help you do things you wouldn’t normally do. I would never have thought of the path God has chosen. God’s way is so much more than I could have ever imagined. You have to be faithful to God in your everyday walk, and He will be faithful to you.

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