CHRISTIAN STAR SHINES BRIGHT - A FAITH TALK WITH JENN GOTZON
Jenn Gotzon is the most popular and in demand actress in America. The good news is she is an authentic Christian woman whose life and career has become a ministry, by extention. In fact, with the increasing popularity of Christian Movie Ministries in Churches, in which I am also actively involved, Jenn has successfully launched into a new facet of her calling to be Christ's representative in film AND to explain it to the folks out there like you and I! The following is an interview with Jenn, a Pennsylvania native, who got her start in Ron Howard's Oscar-nominated production "FROST/NIXON" as President's Nixon's daughter. Jenn has been in two movies which were Oscar-nominated: Frost/Nixon and Alone Yet Not Alone. If you are interested in booking Jenn Gotzon as a speaker or presenter at your organization or church, after reading this interview, please leave a comment and your information will be immediately directed to her. Thank you!
BL: A lot of folks are seeing you, Jenn Gotzon, in an ever increasing number of Christian movies and you are now identified as the most visible actress of this genre. You actually had your start in mainstream movies as Tricia Nixon in (Frost/Nixon). How and when did you transition from this to Christian movies?
JG: My calling from the Lord is to make movies that can entertain, uplift and inspire hope (films that make you laugh, cry and go on a journey that only movies can do for the soul) and then through that journey of the story, prayerfully hope the characters I play relate to the audience leaving an impact in their lives to realize they too can overcome life's challenges like the character they are identifying with on-screen. Those movies I strive to align myself with films that have a Godly perspective, uplifting, family-friendly and have themes of redemption. I love Jesus with all my heart and enjoy playing characters in movie like the characters Jesus would hang out with and minister to. Even though, mostly all the movies I have done since Frost/Nixon are labeled "Faithbased" only a few of those are evangelical (with a church-based come to Jesus moment)... most are films that all audiences from all beliefs can enjoy and hopefully be attracted to the message woven with Biblical truths within the story of hope, unconditional love and overcoming the odds with God to find victory.
I'd like to be working in mainstream films that are like "The Blind Side" or "The Help" deemed of such artistic excellence they receive critical acclaim being nominated by the Academy. Not for the 'status' of an Oscar.. but because it is the mark or artistic excellence in the film making community. Id also love the movies to mainstream appeal worldwide as blockbuster hits so more people can be inspired by the love God has for us. I strive to seek after protagonist roles in scripts and productions of this caliber. BL: You sometimes have 3 or 4 projects going at the same time. In fact you just finished your first feature comedy and have done cameos in God’s Not Dead II with more to come. How do you keep it all straight while remaining firmly grounded as the Christian woman and faithful daughter you are?
ONE OF JENN'S MANY
JG: That is so kind of you, though I am a work in progress daily striving to find
Jenn's Family, led by dad Ronnie (center) is her foundation
along with her faith
the balance of keeping good health, peace over my soul, balanced diet and continual spiritual fueling, while being rested... It is a challenge for me sometimes that my body sometimes stops functioning forcing me to rest. I rely often on my prayer team that I have set up via a private Facebook group. What has been helpful (when i prioritize time to ensure Im doing this) is waking up and the first thing I reach to is Jesus in prayer and as my mind starts waking up, I like reading a devotion from "Jesus Calling" and as I begin waking up, having a glass of water, hitting the shower, then I have a little breakfast and a latte as I carve out quiet time with the Lord which entails finding a beautiful view atmospherically of God's creation praising Him for His glory, asking God to guide my time and grow my wisdom reading the bible as I continue in the chapter I left off.
Currently, I am in 1 Corinthians and sometimes I will play the Bible on tape to
hear audibly the word.. I will also put on praise music that is lyrical and transition into prayer journaling where I praise God, seek forgiveness for anything that may be causing my soul separation with the Lord (thought life, anxiousness, fears, etc) and press into His throne room in my mind'eye imagining Jesus in front of me. Often I will ask the Lord for guidance and vision with images and I journal down what ideas are coming upon my heart. I then 'test the spirit' so say to ensure that is a God idea and not a 'my desire' idea. I've learned through my journey that when its a God inspired idea there is fruit... and abundant provision, peace, opportunities flow and there is a joy.... when its a 'my desire' idea... there tends to be strive, anxiousness, and me pushing through a wall vs the ease.. I ensure that i spend solid quiet time praying to God ever day before work because I look at the opportunity as a gift from God and i am just a vessel with the talents God created in me to reach out and be an encouragement to others however God may lead through the performance while filming or the fellowship on and off set. :)
"I strive to align myself with films that have a Godly perspective, uplifting, family-friendly and have themes of redemption"(JG)
BL: Which brings me to what is really important, in terms of eternity and your relationship with God. When did you come to faith with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and how do you balance your walk with Christ, with your busy schedule?
JG: My first time experiencing the physical, spiritual and emotional presence of Jesus Christ was when I attended a retreat in Steubenville, Ohio. It was a Catholic retreat and they asked us if we knew the Holy Spirit and lead us in a prayer to ask for forgiveness for anything we may feel shame, embarrassment, upset, scorn, torment, pain, anger, jealousy, addiction and that Jesus would want to take that from us and give us His peace. I remember crying and repenting visualizing me sitting on Jesus's lap and fearful to look into Jesus's eyes. And then the Lord said, give it to me... give it to me... let me take it from you. You are no longer alone. I am with you. I love you and I want to take care of you. I forgive you my daughter. I love you. Feel my grace.
JENN GOTZON'S FIRST MAJOR FILM
WHICH PUT HER ON THE MAP
After this, I felt a peace that surpasses understanding come over my being from head to toe and electrified my body, mind, soul and i was 'born again'. I accepted Jesus as my personal savior and since then, my life has never been the same.. When life gets painful, hard, challenged as a while ago I went through a divorce bc my husband walked out on our marriage... as those years were tormenting painful, Jesus was right next to me.. As i suffered the loss of a few deaths and the pains of sadness, Jesus was right next to me and was able to hear Him whisper... "I love you, you are not alone, I am with you. let Me be your groom. you are My bride, let Me provide for you"... This was trancendingly powerful that stays my foundation. I am far from perfect and find many days, moments that I am wrapped up into all sorts of stuff that is not focused distracting my day, ie. Facebook... lol.. but once i get redialed into the Holy Spirit's guidance for the day... i feel God and Jesus' leading through my life journey.
BL: Given your powerful testimony about your relationship with Christ, I understand your path is now leading you into ministry. How do you see that developing over the next two years and what steps do you think are important to keep a narrow focus on ministering to folks from all walks of life, while “tent-making” in movies….because, as you know, the world out there with their eyes on high-profile Christians?
JG: The vision God has poured over me is using my movies as a platform to share our story on how we have overcome life's challenges like the characters on-screen in hopes to encourage others, they can overcome difficulties and live their passions and dreams with prayer, perseverance and faith in God. The program i created in 2008 is called "Inspiring Audiences" and has molded into "Jenn Gotzon's Inspiring Audiences: Music, Movie & a Message"
We (Jenn and the Greens) had our inaugural event at Fellowship Baptist Church in Hudson, NC hosted by my dear friend Julie Green and her pastor husband Sheldon. They welcomed me into their church and hosted the event. The local news covered the experience and Jim E Chandler opened with worship song, followed by one of my movies, followed by Jim singing a song about his testimony, followed by me sharing an inspirational message about how the movie relates to our lives and then an interactive exercise helping people hear the calling God has on their lives to find their passion and live their dreams. It was wonderfully anointed time. I look forward to doing this program anytime I have downtime between filming and my spokesmodel job in China and ministry with AMTC Actors Models Talent for Christ where I spend my time mentoring and educating performers for the next generation with the staff to develop a Christian foundation to use their talents and as a positive role model in culture. #MakingGoodBolder #InspiringAudiences #GodisGood
THE SUPER FIT JENN GOTZON WITH SIMPLE TIPS ON FITNESS:
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