The Mississippi Riverkings welcomed actress Candace Cameron Bure to Mississippi in March (2007) as their special guest at the final home game of the season in Southaven and gave her the opportunity to share her faith with hockey fans prior to the game.
Candace is best known for her role as oldest daughter, D.J. Tanner in ABC’s hit television series, “Full House.” But for the past 10 years, hockey fans have come to know her as the wife of Los Angeles Kings’ player Valeri Bure. Cameron Bure has developed a love of the ice, but says she still has work to do on the ins and outs of the game.
“After attending each of Valeri’s home games for 12 years in the NHL, you’d think I’d know what icing is,” Cameron Bure said. “Hockey is an awesome sport to watch and having someone to root for each game makes it even better. Being married to Val isn’t wonderful just because he’s a player, but because he’s a man of faith who is devoted to his family.”
Candace and Valeri live in South Florida with a “Full House” of blessings. Three of those blessings are their children, Natasha, 8, Lev, 7, and Maksim, 5. As a stay-at-home mom, Candace sees the importance of passing on their faith to their children and “training them up in the way they should go.” Her faith plays an important role in Candace’s life and the life of her family, now that she has truly discovered what it means to be a Christian.
Growing up, the Cameron family did not attend church. Her mother was a believer, but her father was not and did not want God discussed in their home. A dramatic shift occurred, and when Candace was 12-years-old, her family began attending a local church and she was “saved.” Over the years, she would do things and ask forgiveness – do things and ask forgiveness, but deep down, she thought there should be something more.
“I called myself a Christian for many years, but I was definitely not living a Christian life,” Candace said. “But then someone shared the gospel with me in a way that I had not heard it before and it made me understand that it doesn’t matter how good I am by the world’s standards, it is still not good enough for God and that it is only through the blood of Jesus Christ that I am justified and will live eternally with God in heaven.”
Kirk was about to begin filming the first of the Left Behind movie series and encouraged his little sister to read the book. The character Bruce Barnes got Candace’s attention. In the book, Bruce Barnes was a pastor who was “Left Behind” when the rapture came.
“I thought the authors must not know anything about the Bible,” Candace said. “How could a pastor get left behind?”
But a passage from the book really hit home with her and she shared it with Riverkings fans in Southaven. Pastor Bruce Barnes is speaking: “I had a real racket going and I bought into it. Down deep, way down deep, I knew better. I knew it was too good to be true. I knew that true Christians were known by what their lives produced and that I was producing nothing. But I comforted myself that there were worse people around who called themselves Christians.” (Left Behind by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, Tyndale House 1995).
The Left Behind series left Candace with a lot of wake up calls and even more questions. She wanted a set of rules from God. She wanted a list of things to do to make life better and to know what God wanted her to do. But reading the Bible was difficult. And “did all that still apply today?”
A little while later, Kirk discovered a book that changed Candace’s life forever. Kirk called and said there was a book that “rocked my world” and he wanted her to read it. Candace said Kirk was the strongest Christian person she knew and if this book was “rockin’ his world” she needed to read it for herself. That book was called, “The Way of the Master” by Ray Comfort. The book spurred Kirk to join Ray in a new ministry also called, The Way of the Master, that is transforming lives and hearts throughout the nation by telling people “Hell’s Best Kept Secret.” The book also made an incredible impact on Candace.
“For the first time, I was seeing my sin in the mirror of the Ten Commandments,” Candace said. “Before, I had asked forgiveness of my sins, but I really didn’t know what that meant or what my sins really were. I was sitting on my couch reading that book and it was like taking the blindfold off. It was like, I got it. My life changed from that day on. I wasn’t about to go back to the way I had lived. I wanted to live my life in a right relationship with God and live my life for Him.”
Candace said God has changed her life in so many areas. She thought she was a “good person” because compared to so many others in Hollywood, she was a “saint.” She tried to justify her actions by saying that the good things she did far outweighed the bad things. But deep in her heart, she knew that simply asking for forgiveness for her actions was not enough. She knew God wanted more. She knew God wanted her to turn from her sin and live for Him.
She said the book made her face some really hard questions. Was she still okay with God? Will I go to heaven when I die?
Since that day on the couch, her life has been different. She said her biggest accomplishment is not really her accomplishment. It is all about God working in and through her.
“To be used by God to share the gospel has been a pretty awesome thing,” Candace said. “And to realize this platform He has given me to speak His truth is such a neat thing. But it is all God-given and God done. It is not me at all. Words can not express the gratitude that I have for Him.”
Candace ended her testimony by encouraging people to go home, find a Bible and read the Ten Commandments and ask yourself, “Do I measure up?”
“If you have committed one, it is like committing all of them in God’s eyes,” Candace said. “You will never be ‘good enough’ for God. You must be completely redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Your eternity depends on it.”
This story was published in the April 2007 edition of North Mississippi Christian Family at NMCF April 2007 page 10-11