Ben Carson and Nancy Wilson’s Bold and Beautiful Faith

When they saw the courage of Peter and John …they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

Last week two heroes of the faith inspired me. First, Dr. Ben Carson talked about his life and faith at a fundraising event. Next, I attended my friend Nancy Wilson’s memorial service via Zoom. Their gentle and personable personas might fool you. They both have lived bold and fearless lives directed by their faith.

Dr. Carson told stories of the tough life or death decisions he made as a neurosurgeon. One man lay at death’s door in the emergency room because someone had bashed his head with a baseball bat. He faced certain death if untreated. But the surgery that Dr. Carson thought might save him had never been done before. And it wasn’t sanctioned by the medical authorities.

Dr. Carson considered the worst-case and best-case scenarios of doing the surgery versus doing nothing. If he did nothing, the man would die, and no one would blame Dr. Carson. If he removed the damaged part of the brain and it didn’t go well, he could suffer medical discipline, even lose his career. But if it worked, the man would live. He chose surgery. Today, some twenty years later, his former patient serves as a child psychologist.

How did Dr. Carson know what to do? His faith provided a compass. Human life is worth risking your career to save.

How did Dr. Carson know what to do? His #faith provided a compass. Human #life is worth risking your career to save. Share on X

To Save a Soul

I met Nancy Wilson when we were assigned to the same team with Cru. Nancy had the gift of evangelism and loved people. Her zeal for God propelled her to share the gospel of Jesus in 77 countries.

Nancy and I were listening to one of the Beach Boys tell a crowd about his brand of faith. We hoped to start some conversations with the college students in the crowd. But talking to one person wasn’t enough for Nancy. She raised her hand and asked to speak. Knowing Nancy, I braced myself. When they acknowledged her, she took the mic, turned to the crowd, and began to talk about Jesus!

How did Nancy find the courage to risk being booed for interrupting a renowned Beach Boy? Her faith said a human soul is worth saving, whatever the cost.

How did Nancy find the #courage to risk being booed for interrupting a renowned Beach Boy? Her faith said a human soul is worth saving, whatever the cost. Share on X

Nancy Wilson and Dr. Carson remind me of the apostles in Acts. They fearlessly seized opportunities to boldly live by faith.

Bold Faith

The Jewish leaders explicitly told Peter and John not to teach about Jesus. But Jesus had commissioned them to be His witnesses (Matt. 28:19-20). An angel of the Lord told them to teach in the temple courts, the place these leaders ruled (Acts. 5:20). That was like thumbing their noses in the leaders’ faces.

But that wasn’t their motive. They wanted to bring Jesus to those seeking God. If the Jewish leaders accused them of being thoughtless troublemakers, it didn’t matter. Neither did being jailed and beaten stop them. Like Dr. Carson and Nancy, they played to an audience of One.

Right now, we are facing a time of unprecedented oppression in our country which promises to only get worse. As Dr. Carson said, when private entities can silence you and the government does nothing it is the same as if the government is censoring you. Will we be manipulated by fear? Will we go along to get along? What reliable compass is there to guide us through this maze?

Spending time with Jesus transformed Dr. Ben Carson, Nancy Wilson, and the apostles into bold and courageous witnesses who could say with Peter and the other apostles, “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29 NIV). May the same be said of us.

Spending time with Jesus transformed Ben, Nancy, and the apostles into bold and #courageous witnesses who said, “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29 NIV). May the same be said of us. Share on X

Click here to comment.



Nancy Wilson showed up at her memorial service. I can hear her laughing at the surprise. This link will take you to various Youtube videos of her and the service. I know you’ll enjoy hearing her story.

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InspireMeMonday, #InstaEncouraements, #TellHisStory  #Recharge Wednesday, #Grace&Truth,

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  1. Ann J Musico

    This is so encouraging and inspiring – we truly are in times that require us to take a stand and being reminded of those who have, is very helpful.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, it is helpful to see those who live with real courage. I appreciate you!

  2. J.D. Wininger

    Amen! I loved these examples of man’s willingness to be bold for God. I’m looking so forward to the day to be able to speak with your friend Ms. Nancy in the halls of heaven. I pray God will one day help me to become as bold in my decision making so that I too can impact His kingdom here on earth. God’s blessings my gentle friend; and thank you for inspiring me this morning.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, J.D. Their faith and courage is inspiring.

  3. Eare& Sara Finley

    Debbie this is a real great devotion! Thank

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Earle and Sara!

  4. PaulaShort

    Debbie, thank you for sharing this blessed message today. So beautifully spoken. Blessings.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Paula. It’s a joy to share about their courageous faith.

  5. Stephanie

    Lovely article. Lovely lives for Jesus!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen! They certainly shine brightly. Thanks, Stephanie.

  6. Joanne Viola

    Thank you for sharing both of these stories. Debbie. They have encouraged me to share my faith and stories so others may be inspired to do the same.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Joanne, they have encouraged me too. Thanks so much.

  7. Barbara Latta

    Wonderful testimonies of two of God’s agents. They are modern day examples of what the apostles did. Thanks for sharing.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Barbara!

  8. Candyce Carden

    Thanks for sharing these living examples of God’s gentle warriors stepping out boldly in faith.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Candyce, what a blessing to see people living their faith. Thanks for reading.

  9. Lisa Blair

    Wow! Thanks for sharing, Debbie. “They fearlessly seized opportunities to boldly live by faith.”

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Lisa!

  10. Jen

    Beautiful bold stories. Thank you for sharing.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you for reading, Jen.

  11. Tammy Kennington


    What incredible stories! May God give us such courage. Thank you for sharing these wonderful testimonies of two faithful believers.


    • Debbie Wilson

      Tammy, I’m glad you enjoyed their stories. I love watching God’s faithful servants.

  12. Joanne Chambers

    My Mom was a witch, I remember being burned with an iron. I was to tell everyone it fell. While my mom said don’t move, Also 3rd. Degree burns on my right arm. As she screamed at me while I was fixing bottle for my brother. Several family members have tried to get me in their family as they have tried God has always given the right thing to say. My mom would want me too do somethings or go somewhere and she showed me what she did, she would use her thoughts hate and anger to send my brain south, an awful thing. In which case I would end up in the hospital . One time in a horrid place, I wouldn’t fold the clothes for the lady and it seemed like wicked devils attacking me on my bed. My mom knew what they had done, and would threaten me again. So tired of all Satanic churches here in this area also. I asked the daughter how she copes with it, she was working at a place I called for an order.The good to come out of this is my Mom got saved, I just kept taking care of her had her house renovated, She actually asked me to pray for her too. They tell me it is so wide spread now. Was in the hospital for heart thing and just too many always trying to get me. When your eyes are opened. It is amazing . God is good. Please pray for this area…

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