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Face to Face With the Author of Love

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
August 18, 2020 2:00 am

Face to Face With the Author of Love

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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August 18, 2020 2:00 am

Becket Cook, a highly successful LA set designer, spent his free time reveling in the parties and galas attended by the rich and famous. As he moved through one relationship after another, he never remotely considered that God might be the answer to his restlessness. It wasn't until a chance encounter with a Bible study group at one of LA's hippest coffee shops that Cook began to take an interest in spiritual matters. Cook remembers what happened when he accepted an invitation to a local Sunday worship service, and tells how his encounter with God that day changed his life forever.

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Beckett Cook was a gay man living in Hollywood involved in the entertainment industry who found himself a coffee shop. One day I noticed people having a Bible study at a nearby table. He decided to approach them. We talked about their faith. They told me they went to evangelical church in Hollywood and I Forced out to the 64,000.

I question and I said what is your church in Hollywood. Believe about homosexuality and they said well we believe its ascent, and I loved how Frank and just one thing. This is family life to our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson hi Bob Payne you can find us that conversation in that coffee shop was the beginning of a remarkable transformation that was about to Take Pl. in Beckett Cook's life will talk more with him about that today. Stay with us and welcome to family life to. Thanks for joining us to think they're apparent to were listing yesterday who said we got a listen tomorrow and on the edge of my right leg. What happens next. What were talking this week to Beckett Cook hi, I mean yesterday I almost tried to keep us going. If I got teaser to an episode too severely, I've said we got Beckett cook joining us again on family life today. Beckett, welcome back.

Thank you. We didn't even explain when we introduced you earlier defected to Britain a book called a change of affection which is your memoir at your story. The subtitle a gay man's incredible story of redemption. You worked and lived in Hollywood, you still live and work in Hollywood. But for years in the entertainment industry as a Hollywood set designer movies and lived throughout that period of time in the gay lifestyle until more than a decade ago at a coffee shop. There was a change that happened you've already shared with us, you grew up as the youngest of eight kids in Dallas. You sensed same-sex attraction when you are in late elementary school. You were sexually abused as a young child.

You started acting out during junior high and high school. Eventually, after college you came to a point where you said your on your identity and and say I am a gay man you are an old of relationship with somebody that you've fallen in love with. Came home, told your parents. I'm gay and I moving to Hollywood and this is who I am in and you were probably felt some sense of relief and liberation, and it's kind like my new life has started, and this is gonna be glorious yeah when I moved to LA it was this very liberating experience for me because I immediately fell into this group of friends. They were all from these codes from Ivy League schools, and they were smart and ambitious and hilarious and witty and clever and fun and funny and they all worked in the business, producers, actors, directors, writers. It was this kind of magical time for me in LA in the 90s and in my friend group people were suddenly becoming famous overnight. I moved to LA to be a writer and an actor and I struggled with it. I ended up doing a ton of commercials and commercial acting and I was really I'd really succeeded in that a lot, but that never really fully took off and then I was in over a struggling writer and I was able to write a couple of TV pilots that sold to production companies and I wrote a lot of spec screenplays and I thought okay this is what's going on.

This is where it can happen in that I wrote these two specs green plates for movies and one of them or both of them almost like came super close to getting actually made her getting green lit but then they they fell apart and sounds like what is happening. Likewise, the doors keep closing and closing now looking back I see that God was protecting me from like that kind of success because if I had become a successful actor writer. I would've just gone off and been farther out on the edge of the galaxy yeah setting a longer way back to Christ.

Yes, if you had gone in that direction and which at that point. What were your views. If God was God in the picture you have any belief, no I mean I never really connected with God as a kid I went to mass devoutly with my family and I never felt a real connection to God or thought he was real. I thought it was just kind of this religion and and then by the time I was in LA for those all those years. I just became an atheist and it was this unspoken thing we didn't have to say it.

We just all knew that God didn't exist and that Christians were just people in the Bible Belt and we never once did any of us ask the other person is there God, which is all just assumed it was it was all a myth and never any sense of may be the lifestyle I'm living is wrong in some way I never felt like it was wrong, maybe deep, deep down, there was a kind of a sense of something's a little off here, but I wasn't even aware cognizant of that at the time. What about your your view of long-term monogamous relationships versus partying and promiscuity. There was an article in the New Yorker. I read years and years ago.

This couple in the 20s. This heterosexual couple, Nate and the husband said I hope you know that our marriages can be thoroughly modern Amber is going be open but that's kind of how I felt, because when you live in a postmodern relativist world, and there is no God, then there's nothing to hold you back from doing whatever you want in it it it becomes very burdensome because you never know what's right what's wrong, what's up what's down to just, like, well, I guess I can see I guess my boyfriend can cheat on me and it's okay. I'm not sure is why couldn't he really and all of my relationships for two years alongside five serious serious relationships.

There were two years long that the same sine wave. It was always like really great in the beginning and then they would always kind of become sort of toxic and then taper off and then we would break up and that whole cycle was exhausting. I always wanted a long term relationship, I guess, but I was opposed to convention. So when you're when you're gay and living in that kind of postmodernist world.

You don't want anything to do with convention. The idea of like a long-term relationship with a picket fence and gay marriage and all that that was the last thing I wanted five breakups from serious relationships.

That's not just something you all well know they were. They were very very painful and what's what's weird about that is, every time I met a new guy got into a new relationship.

I always thought okay this is definitely the one like this one is definitely going to be lifelong or whatever. It's gonna be a long term relationship like those past three guys I thought they were the one.

But this is actually going to be the real one and never in any of those dark nights of the soul where a breakups happened and it's the fourth time and you're just feeling miserable and going. Is this all that life is and I don't know that I want to live anymore. You never thought I wonder if there's a God and that there is a meaning in life. No, I never during that time. I never thought those thoughts because I had a really bad breakup with the guy in Rome and I fly basically that I wrote a screenplay about I fled Rome and the legs literally flee for my life and that was one of the darkest times when I got back to LA I was like I was in bed for a month I can get on the bed, but I never thought about searching for God. It was just, like, okay, I guess I need to find another relationship so you are looking for other things to fill those gaps.

Yeah, there's time to know career or relationship.

People can focus on one of the other four to fill that void for me.

Career was really important.

But for me that the relationship was in the really important thing to fill the void. Anybody ever tried to talk to you about Jesus and those 20 years now not a single person so so what you think about that. I mean if you think back on 20 years and nobody ever said no Christian never came up to you and said hey back at I wasn't even aware of Christians. I don't know if there is LA I know one Christian so I don't even know who would've done that you walk into that coffee shop yeah so that was almost 11 years ago I was with my best friend and we did our usual weekend stuff we went to Brian's in Venice, California, and then we would go shopping in Beverly Hills or West Hollywood and then we would go to his coffee shop and we would hang out there and like it was a beautiful lake is always sunny and beautiful and tons of people there are coming in and out but that particular day in 2009 I was with my best friend. We are talking across from each other at the table and suddenly we look over.

We notice there's a table next to us and that's like five young people with Bibles on the table like physical Bibles.

This is best friends not a boyfriend or note best friend who's gay okay RIP love to kinda just get into sort of controversial subjects in conversation, so he urged me to talk to them and I was like now I want to talk. He likes to get into the subject urges you. Hey, I was always the one that had to do the heavy lifting thinking you are egging me on and I know I finally turned this table is like a Christians fantasy like hey what you guys believe this. So I turned and I said are you guys Christians like I and they said yes and I said will explain what you believe because I grew up Catholic.

I don't remember like what your faith they can explain what you believe he's kind of mocking know the reason. Where I was genuinely interested was six months prior to that day I was at Paris fashion week and I gone to a bunch of the shows and there's always after parties, after the shows. This was in March 2009 and I just I remember drinking champagne and looking out over the crowd.

Everyone was dancing and there was music and I was sitting with these fashion people at my table. I felt this overwhelming sense of emptiness and I thought what it was going on and I just I thought I can't live what's I can't keep doing this.

I can't just keep going to parties as I've been going to premiers and Oscars, the Golden globes enemies called after parties meeting. I knew everyone I met everyone did everything in Hollywood so that night I had that moment of is that all there is to a fire.

Is that all there is. Six months later. Fast forward when I was at the coffee shop.

That's why I was open to actually hearing because I was totally I was in a weird desperate state is like. So what you believe, like I need to know something I need. I was kind of tired of not knowing the meaning of life.

You get it can becomes very exhausting. You've been with the counselor where you would ask, what's the meaning of life right out of therapy for five years with my my analyst and yeah I mean I just every week. What I we would have sessions and is just like we never got anywhere, and finally at the end find a five years old, like Dr. Jones like what what am I doing here really, what's the point like what was the meaning of life and he just like looked at me as he always did and he said what you think the meaning of my question at some point we ask we all ask. I remember I was in second grade.

I got Jay's way of very kind to all this abuse member thinking why am I here what is the point of life.

I asked my dad that question in his 80s.

I said, when did you first think that he said I've never had that fight most of us come to a point. Thinking what is the .33 big questions I think where did I come from, yet why am I here what happens when I die you and everybody is wrestling at some level internally with where did I come from and why am I here what happened to quiet their hearts will see that that's a thing is like I had so many shiny objects in the long and so many fun and crazy experiences and parties and so weak that kinda kept me from having that goes deeper questions to those like this is a list of what life is all about.

It's about having these amazing experience of finding true love being successful in my career. That's the point of this life, so the coffee shop you say what you guys believe and there like are you serious. So they told me you know about their faith and what I said. You remember I don't remember exactly what they said I think they just basically told me the gospel and go over to where was he still he he was kind of like behind me a little bit. He was a soul was kind of stayed a little behind but he was listening to the whole conversation, and so we talked about their faith.

They told me they went to evangelical church in Hollywood and I could of course got to the $64,000 question and I said what is your church in Hollywood.

Believe about homosexuality and they said well we believe it's a sin and I loved how Frank and just want they were in that moment I had this thing of okay what if God does exist. I mean, there's a slim slim chance that he does exist and if he does exist. What if this is wrong. What if homosexuality is wrong and what if I've built my entire life on a false foundation.

I don't know it is all, just like flashed in my mind and and so I instead of just like storming off in flight, throwing a drink on them. I was just like I just accepted what they said so. This is important because every Christian is thinking. If I get hit with that question and if the guy who's asking me is giving off any signal that he might be gay Here's a stock answer.

Yeah, I've loves homosexuals he loves you he loves me. You know the sin question really do need to be answered right now, so that would be well actually want to hedge their one obfuscate and you're saying don't do that. Be straight with people and you can do that in a way that still reflects grace and kindness and say you know we think the Bible says it's it's a sin against God. Yeah, and I was impressed with that and they invited me to their church the following Sunday and I said you know I don't know if I'll go but just give me the address and will all just whatever I'll think about it, so I had a whole week to really think you and I really did. I thought about it and I was like if I go, it can be humiliating and embarrassing. If this is all a myth and it's not real and I'm really putting myself out there and you know what if my friends find out that I'm going to this church You know the real scandal, but the following Sunday morning I woke up and I was like a just going to church today and I just I don't know I just kind of and I got in my car it fell like a Tesla like just like himself drove it so I got to this auditorium where it meets and I remember thinking you know I really like how just minimal it is. It wasn't like stained glass windows and smoke in candles and bells and investments is very plain and I lie appreciated that. I've never been to an evangelical church. I didn't know what it was like and then I heard the Christian worship band playing and I immediately cringed because of the Christian music.

I forgot that was the thing that I like. I was a wait. It's actually good. It's nice and I walked in and sat near the front by myself.

The pastor came out and started preaching on Romans chapter 7 presented to your series on the Romans and we need to start preaching for an hour and it was a slight full gospel like and he's a very powerful preacher and I just remember thinking while it was happening. It just every word he was saying was resonating as truth in my mind and my heart and I didn't know why. Like well like everything he was saying I'll be like that's true and I didn't know why I didn't want to stop preaching.

I just wanted to keep guy was. I was literally on the edge of my seat and so he finally left the stage and there were people on the prayer ministry on the side of the church to during the second set of worship, it would pray for you if you need a prayer for anything so I I did the same thing.

I was like well if I go over there it's going to be embarrassing and outcome like going back and forth on my foot and I finally went over to the side and I walked up to the sky was a good and I like hey I don't know what I believe but I'm here and he said okay Lenny. It was seemed really powerful and it seemed really loving and then I walked back to my seat and I sat down. Everyone else was standing in and worshiping for 25 more minutes. They were singing. I sat down I was sitting there processing everything and all of a sudden the Holy Spirit was like and just God overwhelmed me and revealed himself to me and as I in that moment I was like in my mind. God was like I'm God.

Jesus is my son. Heavens real hell zero.

The Bible true welcome to my kingdom and I was like oh and I just started bawling and bawling and bawling and I was crying over my sin, but also over the fact that I just met the King of the universe, Jesus, and it felt like the curtains had parted for the first time in my life.

I could finally see reality and see the truth and it was so cathartic and I couldn't stop crying. I was in the Army I was hysterically crying to the former people around me were worried about me there in a call like the medics or something and and then I got home right after that service and it happened again.

I was in bed today cannot because I was overwhelmed and God.

It was like Moses when he is in the cleft of the rock and God passes by with his glory. God was like let me show you some more. My glory for any just like floods me again with his spirit and I jump out of bed and like all my I start crying again and I'm like you have my whole life is yours.

I'm done. I got in and that was it. In the middle of my bedroom is like I'm I'm all yours and I knew in that moment that homosexuality was a sin I knew that I was wrong. I knew that was no longer my identity. Why was it was a thing of the past, but I didn't care because I just met Jesus. And I'm like I'm going with this guy Jesus, so that was September 20, 2009, while so I me for few people have a conversion experience I know that I thought I just it would not happen to me.

I assumed everyone had the same conversion experience, but I guess you mean Scripture says we get the mind of Christ and for most of us it feels like that's a really overcast yeah and it's so mean for us it's over years and months that the mind of Christ to Munich. It is immediate, but yours was immediate mean understanding sin, heaven, hell here your lifestyle. All in a download that God has the time to grace on me that I don't know why and that meant that the next day was going to require some some differences in and this is one of the things you talk about in your book a change of affection.

I will encourage our listeners.

This is a compelling story of God's transforming work in Beckett's life. Get a copy of this book go to family life to order, or call one 800 FL today to get your copy of Beckett Cook's book a change of affection again man's incredible story of redemption. Again, our website is family life to You can also order by phone if you prefer the number to call is one 800 FL today, 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today. You know I love the fact that we get to tell these kinds of stories and share with listeners about God's amazing grace and his amazing work in our lives and I just want to come in and say thanks to those folks who team up with us so that we can do this and so we can share this with hundreds of thousands of people every day. Your radio to our podcast through your Amazon Alexa device.

All of the channels were family like today is now available.

Thanks to those of you who help fund this program by donating so that we can cover the cost of producing and syndicating family life to on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of people who benefited today from this conversation. Thank you for making that possible. If you're a longtime listener would love to invite you to join the family like today team and make future programs available for more listeners help us reach more people more often with practical biblical help and hope for marriages and families. You can do that by donating online or by calling one 800 FL today to donate when you do would love to send you as a thank you gift a copy of book I've just completed called love like you mean it took a long look at first Corinthians 13.

The qualities of love that are described in that chapter of the Bible talk about marriage looks like when people are patient and kind and not rude or unbecoming. Don't insist on their own way. All of the things that describe real love. The book is our thank you gift to you.

When you donate to support the ministry of family life to you can do that or you can call to donate 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today, not tomorrow. We want to find out what happens when somebody who has been living a gay lifestyle for more than a decade comes to faith and recognizes I can't keep living this way and starts talking to his friends about Beckett Cook's joins us again tomorrow.

Hope you can be with us as we continue our conversation with him. I want to thank our engineer today.

Keith Lynch along with our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson.

I'm popping see you back tomorrow for another edition of family life today. Family life to a is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas. Accrue ministry help for today hope for tomorrow

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