Today show host Kathie Lee Gifford dives into the influence of her Jewish heritage, the impact of Scripture, and the importance of simply being ourselves. Rabbi Jason Sobel chimes in on this hearty conversation. Filmed on the set of Today in New York City. Don’t miss a single episode of Dinner Conversations – subscribe below!


TRANSCRIPT FROM THE SHOW

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Mark: We are in New York City today filming Dinner Conversations up in 30 Rock, Rockefeller Center, at the Today show set, and Kathie Lee Gifford was our guest. Incredible lady. She talked about Israel, her new children’s book. It was a wonderful conversation.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s right. A lot of lessons in faith and spirituality, but also just her personal experiences both with her family, with her community, with her work life, but also with God. And she is a wonderful sweetheart of a person, and we are so thankful to get to share some of her energy, lots of energy.

Mark: And there’s one seat left at the table, and it’s yours. Let’s join the conversation.


Kathie Lee Gifford

Kathie Lee: Okay.

Andrew: All right. Well, I wanna start with the children’s book, and I wanna talk about–

Kathie Lee: Well, he doesn’t want to, so that’s a problem.

Mark: I read it this morning.

Kathie Lee: It took you what, five seconds?

Mark: Well, I’m 60. It should take me five seconds. But you know, what I love about it is that you’re teaching people, these young people, these babies, to love themselves.

Andrew: And not just children.

Kathie Lee: And not just children. I think that their parents who are reading them this book have grown up. They were growing up with people asking the question, which I think is the wrong question to ask our children, what do you wanna be when you grow up? I think if you look at everything biblically in terms of scripture, we’re supposed to be saying to our children, what has God already prepared you to do, and what are the gifts inside of you that were wonderfully and fearfully made in your mother’s womb? And what did God see you doing even before the foundations of the world were laid? That’s what the Bible says about kids.

Andrew: And that’s more who you wanna be versus just what you wanna do, right?

Kathie Lee: Yes, because if God is the Creator, most of us of our faith believe that, and we are created by him, and we are created to co-create with him if we’re made in his image, we are here to bring his Shalom to the chaos of the world. And kids, if you notice, kids wanna help. They’ll hear about something. They’ll go, “Mommy, so and so and they’re trying to get and they (speaks gibberish) and this happened. What can we do mommy?” It’s natural for these kids, you know why? Because they were just in heaven

Andrew: Yeah, they were just reflecting that Creator, weren’t they?

Kathie Lee: Yeah!

Andrew: And isn’t that our true reflection? Like, our friend, Patsy Clairmont, always says, okay, that because he is Creator, his like innate character is to create, that since we’re reflections of him, our natural being is to be creative and to be creators. So is that part of the book, too, is like saying, hey–

Kathie Lee: Without being biblical about it, it comes from actually my publisher. I’d just written with my friend David Pomerantz a little children’s musical called “The Little Giant” based on the story of David and Goliath. And I didn’t realize till I went to one of my rabbinical trips to Israel that we all think we know the story of David and Goliath, but we don’t. We think it’s a little 12-year-old to 14-year-old, little shepherd boy could go out there and beat the giant who was like, he was like Shaq O’Neal, okay.

Andrew: Who we saw this morning.

Kathie Lee: Yes, who was here today. That’s why he’s fresh in my brain. My neck hurts. Anyway, he’s a gentle giant, that man. Anyway, my first teacher in the rabbinical way was a man named Ray Vander Laan of That the World May Know Ministries. Brilliant, brilliant man. And we were at the Valley of Elah, and there’s the ridge where the Israelite army was and there’s the ledge where the Philistines were and there’s the Valley of Elah in the middle unchanged in 3,000 years. And Ray basically tells us that the story of David and Goliath is profound because all of those guys were cowering up with King Saul, cowering in terror on that ledge, because they had religion. They had religion. What did David have? David had relationship with the living God. He was not afraid. And he had already killed lions, he had already killed bears. He had everything he needed to go and kill that giant because what’s another giant to him? That’s the way we should be teaching our children.

Andrew: It’s the equipped, right? It’s the idea that we are born equipped.

Kathie Lee: Fully loaded, fully equipped for everything we are gonna face if we are in right relationship with God and Jehovah.

Mark: Jesus also said, unless you come as a child, you can’t enter. And the thing I love about children, you don’t have to teach them to love. They come loving. You have to teach them to hate. 

Kathie Lee: If you start teaching them to love too late, it is too late. Because we come out of the womb, I believe, selfish. It’s give me, give me, give me, mine. And I think that every human heart longs to love and be loved, but I believe we need to help our children by example, show them how to love. And that’s what this book is about. That’s ultimately the greatest gift any of us can give regardless of whatever talents we have. No matter how talentless we think we are–

Mark: You start off in the book with talent and passing the ball, but in the second half of what you call a simple book, I think it’s pretty profound, you talk about kindness, of things that aren’t–

Kathie Lee: Universal, yes.

Mark: I heard a parent say one time, “I don’t care if my child is happy. I care if my child is good. And I don’t care if they’re happy. I want them to be good.”

Kathie Lee: Wow, I’m sorry. I want both.

Andrew: Yeah!

Kathie Lee: More than happy, because I believe happy is an interesting word. I want them to be joyful. Because happiness comes from the root word happenstance, which means circumstance. So you can be happy one morning. Oh, it’s a sunny, beautiful day. Lightning, I’m not happy anymore. Now it’s raining. That’s so–

Andrew: Joy is in the belly.

Kathie Lee: Yeah, that is so capricious. What I want is joy that nothing can touch, the world can’t touch, like Paul had. I’ve learned in every circumstance to be content.

Andrew: Can you define capricious? We have simple viewers. No, I’m just kidding.

Kathie Lee: I misused the word. Even when I said it, I just thought capricious. Never go over two syllables. Not with you guys.

Andrew: Cheers. Where’s your mug?

Kathie Lee: Is it the Today show mugs? Welcome to the Rockefeller Center, to the Today show. We’re surrounded by–

Andrew: By your book.

Kathie Lee: Illustrations by Julia Seal. I’ve never met her. This is the third time I’ve done a children’s book with somebody that does these beautiful illustrations, and I don’t know–

Andrew: You’ve never met them?

Kathie Lee: No, but I fell in love with her work the minute I saw her. You get to choose from a bunch of different people and just this little girl, especially look at that one where she’s got just, it’s so simple. She’s got two little dots, her eyes, and a little scrawl for a nose and a mouth. But look at the wonder in her face.

Andrew: Well, this artist’s giftedness and the way it resonates with others, that’s what I think about. So you look at a line up of artists and what this woman has been created to do suddenly resonates within a place and who you don’t even know, you know?

Kathie Lee: That’s the whole point of this. I think back on my life and what I couldn’t stop doing when I was little kid. I was putting on shows. I came out of my mother’s womb with a rim shot and a pratfall. And that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do all my life, and that’s what I’m still doing. That’s what God intended me to do. So we make a mistake as parents when we see what our children are like in their early stages of development. And say maybe we see them dancing. We think, they can’t make a living dancing, so we better get them off that. Better get them to dentistry. No, they’re not interested in dentistry.

Mark: You would make a horrible dentist.

Kathie Lee: I would be a terrible dentist! A terrible dentist.

Andrew: You have nice teeth though.

Kathie Lee: Well, because I have a great dentist.

Mark: Who doesn’t do pratfalls.

Kathie Lee: No, he doesn’t, he doesn’t. You know what I’m saying? Let them be what God created them to be, and get out of the way.

Mark: Exactly.

Andrew: Okay, since in 2018, we are living in the midst of very me-driven culture. But you are saying there’s a certain element, a focusing on me that is healthy. Like, how are you truly selfless while also being focused on like what is my gift and finding that and then giving that out?

Kathie Lee: We’ve got that confused because Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” So he was not putting down self love. He was saying, listen, you get up in the morning and you feed your body. You get up in the morning and you put on a coat when it’s cold. You’re loving yourself, you’re caring for yourself. We’re supposed to do that for our neighbor. We pass somebody that’s hungry, we’re supposed to feed them the way we got fed that day. We’re supposed to put a coat on a, take it off our own body and put it on that person because we can afford another one. That’s the way Jesus wants us to live.

Mark: Let me ask you something. You were raised, you’re Jewish, and I just recently found out I was 11% Jewish.

Kathie Lee: You okay with that?

Mark: I am thrilled.

Kathie Lee: Mazel Tov.

Mark: Thank you. I tell everybody it’s the Jesus in me.

Kathie Lee: Or the Judas.

Andrew: Only 11%.

Mark: I did the 22andMe and I–

Kathie Lee: Is it 22andMe, 23?

Mark: 23andMe.

Kathie Lee: 23. That’s a part of the movie that I just have coming up.

Mark: Have you ever done that, done the DNA?

Kathie Lee: No, but my son just did it. I haven’t talked about him yet–

Andrew: I wonder what he found out.

Kathie Lee: I’m a little worried.

Mark: Wouldn’t it be funny if he found out you weren’t even Jewish.

Kathie Lee: Oh no, my mother had it done a long time ago. She knows her children are because my father is Jewish.

Mark: My great grandmother was 100% Jewish, and we never knew it.

Kathie Lee: Because there was a stigma for many, many years. There’s a lot of anti-Semitism to this day.

Mark: Do Jews have that–

Kathie Lee: My father, when he was 13-years-old, grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, he remembers walking by, my daddy had asked Jesus into his heart when he was 8-years-old at a black little church for vacation bible school. He asked Jesus into his heart when he was 8-years-old. Now it’s all these years later, he’s walking along Capital Street in Annapolis, Maryland. People start throwing stones, stoning him, calling him a Jew killer because his name was Aaron Epstein.

Andrew: Because he became a Christian?

Kathie Lee: No, they didn’t know about it. Just because he’s Jewish.

Andrew: His Jewish heritage.

Kathie Lee: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew: Really? You know, you’ve had this, I don’t know if you wanna call it obsession, but with the Holy Land, with the homeland since you were young. I mean, we’ve all been to the Holy Land, but you’ve been 17, 18, what is it?

Kathie Lee: I started going when I was 17-years-old.

Mark: What did you love most about it?

Kathie Lee: Everything, everything, everything but Tel Aviv. I land there and I go, There is nothing I’m gonna learn in Tel Aviv regarding where I come from and why I’m here. You’re gonna have a good time. You go to Jerusalem to pray, you go to Tel Aviv to play.

Andrew: Sure, sure.

Kathie Lee: And it’s a very, very secular city. So I just land there. But everything else is just fascinating to me beyond words.

Mark: Is there any place left you haven’t seen in Israel?

Kathie Lee: I’m sure, yeah, sure. I mean, you have your favorites but–

Mark: What’s your favorite?

Kathie Lee: It depends. When I’m in Capernaum, it’s Capernaum. When I’m in Gedi, where David hid in the caves, it’s in Gedi. When I’m in the Garden of Gethsemane, if I had to choose one, it would be the Garden of Gethsemane. If I had to choose one.

Andrew: One of the most vulnerable positions–

Mark: Have you ever thought about hosting a tour? It sounds like you could lead one.

Kathie Lee: That’s what I say in the very beginning of The Rock, The Road and the Rabbi. I said, I am not a biblical scholar. I have too much respect for real— I know enough to bring them, I don’t know enough to–

Andrew: To teach them, yeah.

Kathie Lee: And that’s why I did the book with one of my dear friends, Rabbi Jason Sobel, who’s a messianic rabbi. I could study the western way of reading the Bible for 50 years and not know what that man learned the first year in Yeshiva school.

Andrew: What do you think unlocked that for him?

Kathie Lee: Okay, here’s it. First of all, the Bible is not a western book. It is not a western book. It is a story about middle easterners written by middle easterners, and you’ve got to understand when it was written and by whom it was written and to who.

Andrew: Yeah, right, context.

Kathie Lee: You’ve got to understand it culturally. Context is so important. Second of all, the Bible as we know it is written in Hebrew, the ancient Hebrew in the Old Testament; the ancient Greek in the New Testament. The only two modern languages today that were ancient languages and have existed and still exists today that have never changed, Hebrew and Greek. God has sustained his perfect Word by sustaining those two languages all these years, millennia, millennia. Here’s the problem. Most of the translations of the Bible are flawed beyond belief, flawed. And that’s what you learn when you study the original Greek and the original Hebrew.

Andrew: Well, there’s a lot of us in it, right? I mean, a lot of–

Kathie Lee: I’ll give you a perfect example. This one drives me crazy. If I asked you guys what did Jesus do, like his earthly father Joseph did before he became a rabbi, when he turned 30-years-old? What did he do for a living?

Andrew: He was a carpenter.

Kathie Lee: Yeah, guess what.

Andrew: You don’t wanna say it. It’s wrong?

Kathie Lee: It’s wrong.

Mark: Well, what is it?

Kathie Lee: There was no buildable wood in Israel in the first century.

Mark: Well, where did we get that?

Kathie Lee: I’ll tell you where you got it, and you’re gonna get mad. And you’re gonna say, then why didn’t anybody ever tell me?

Mark: All right.

Kathie Lee: All right. It’s in the Bible. It talks about it in the New Testament what Joseph and Jesus did. When the New Testament was translated into English for the King James Version, English guys did the translation. They knew Greek, right? They knew Greek. They knew that the word used in the New Testament was tekton. T-E-K-T-O-N. Translated, it means builder/architect. Now we know that Jesus in the beginning was the Word and the Word was God and everything was created through the Word and all of that.

Andrew: Sure, John 1, yeah.

Kathie Lee: So we know Jesus was one of the architects, along with the Holy Spirit and the Father of all of creation. All right, so Jesus fits the architect part, right? Then it says builder. Well, here’s the problem. You know your scripture enough, guys. You know that all the big wood of Herod’s or anybody else’s construction sites in first century AD Israel came down from where? Lebanon. The cedars of Lebanon were cut down, made into rafts, floated along the Mediterranean Sea and then brought to Joppa, which is modern day Tel Aviv except just south of there, broken up and carried over land to the different places where construction sites were happening. Jesus was not…

Mark: So he was a stone mason?

Kathie Lee: Thank you! There was nothing but rocks if you go to Israel today. There’s 99%–

Mark: You’re welcome!

Kathie Lee: You’re welcome!

Andrew: Look in that camera and say, King James Version is false.

Mark: No, don’t.

Kathie Lee: Let me just say, I’m gonna get a lot of people mad at me because people love their King James Version. And you know what, it’s because they just don’t realize–

Andrew: We’re making a God of something–

Kathie Lee: Well, of course it did!

Mark: Who would not love something that would tell us about Jesus?

Kathie Lee: How about let’s find out the truth about Jesus?


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Rabbi Jason Sobel

Andrew: So Rabbi Jason, or what do I call you?

Rabbi Jason: That’s fine, that’s fine.

Andrew: Rabbi Sobel Jason?

Rabbi Jason: No, Rabbi Jason is good.

Andrew: Okay, okay. I always think of like growing up in the baptist church, it was pastor, preacher whoever, brother.

Rabbi Jason: Yeah, brother.

Andrew: Brother.

Rabbi Jason: Brother Sobel. Glad to have Brother Sobel here. Now Brother Sobel, he’s a Yankee and a Jew, but we love him. That happened to me.

Andrew: Seriously, down south?

Rabbi Jason: And we love him anyway. He’s a Yankee. And being a Jew wasn’t bad, but the Yankee part, that War of Northern Aggression never officially ended.

Andrew: The Jew was the lesser offense–

Rabbi Jason: Brothers of the confederacy.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah, let’s talk about all that. We’re talking about the lens we read scripture through, right? Okay, okay. So let’s go to the Jew aspect, okay? The Jewish aspect, because I think a large part of what you offer, I think not just through your heritage but through your experience and research and study, is digging into scripture, the Jewish roots of scripture. But I am curious. So if I’m thinking me as a Christian, a disciple of Jesus in 2018, what of importance do you feel like is revealed to me or do I discover by digging into those Jewish roots of scripture?

Rabbi Jason: I think there’s a few things. I mean, number one, I’ll never forget a number of years ago right before the Super Bowl, I went out and had to have a high-definition television. I watched the whole game and I’m like, “This isn’t that great.” Until the end of the game, I flipped through the channels during the commercial and I realized there was a difference between standard definition and high definition channels, and I watched the whole game in standard definition. And then I got to the high definition, I’m like, “Well, this really does make a difference.” And I do, I think there’s a richness, there is a clarity, there are details that you just don’t get when you don’t read it from that perspective. And it’s like what Jesus did on the road to Emmaus, where he opened the Torah, the writing of the prophets, and showed how all these things pointed to him, and their hearts burned within them.

Andrew: I love you said it, because we’re looking from without it. Like you think about scripture as, my brother always said, who’s a minister, and the Bible especially culturally today we go back and forth about conversations of why is it important, is it important, all this kind of conversation. And he said, “What I feel like is of utmost importance, regardless of any other angle or opinion, about reading scripture is that it is our greatest revelation, written revelation of who God is.” It may be even that the compelling desire to know God is already within us, but then it sets it on fire. Can you think of like if I’m learning to look at scripture through a Jewish context or perspective, what would be one or two things of like utmost importance?

Rabbi Jason: Yeah, I mean I think there’s a lot of different things. I think first of all, just looking at the scriptures and connecting the old and new, there’s a sense of wonder, right? I think the thing, when you read it from the Jewish roots perspective, there is a depth and a richness to the way that you read the scripture that kind of blows your mind. So for example, the first miracle that Jesus performs is the turning of the water into wine. Well, why is that the first miracle that he performs? Well, what’s the first miracle that Moses performs? He turns the water into blood. Jesus doesn’t come to bring death, he comes to bring life. What’s the sign of the life of the messianic kingdom? It’s the new wine. That he came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. He’s greater than Moses. He does the miracle with six stone pots. If there’s a detail in the scriptures or a number that’s there, you better believe that they’re significant. So six stone pots, why? Because man was created on the sixth day. In Jewish thought, he fell on the sixth day, he lost six things as a result of the fall. When Jesus comes, he comes to restore it, six stone pots. When he dies, he dies on Good Friday, which on the Hebrew calendar is the sixth day. So the same day we were created and fell is the same day that he dies. He dies on the cross. Why a cross? Christians don’t even think why do we have this symbol because how did sin enter the world? Man stole from a tree. God put back on the tree for you and me to make a redemption or correction for the sin of the first man and woman. He has a crown of thorns on his head. Why? Because what’s the curse of creation? That the ground is gonna produce thorns and thistles. He literally takes the curse of creation on himself to reverse it and to restore the blessing.

Andrew: Okay, so hold on. So first, it’s kind of a broad question, you don’t just state, like it’s not all hocus pocus, it’s not coincidence, it’s not just happenstance. You think that all this is intricately woven by God. This is connected?

Rabbi Jason: Absolutely. I think that when you look at how the New Testament authors interpret scriptures, how they take messianic prophecies from the Hebrew scriptures and apply it in the gospels themselves, this is exactly what they’re doing. They are looking before the connections between the old and the new. But I also think there’s a sense of creativity that we’re called to bring to the text. I think yes, there is of course the historical grammatical hermeneutical approach of the text, but I think the spirit of God is a spirit of creativity. And I think that the scriptures are shallow enough that anyone can swim in them, wade in them, but they’re deep enough that you could never explore the depths of them. And that’s part of like the prayer of the Psalms. “Open my eyes that I might see the wonders in your Word.” There are wonders untold that God wants to open our eyes and to be able to see these connections. And that’s part of the beauty of it.

Andrew: Some of the endless nature of the possibility of the endless nature of these connections is also the possibility that endless nature, and not just possibility but I believe the truth of the infinite character of God, right? That he is our exploration, our search for who he is.

Rabbi Jason: God’s Word is inexhaustible. There’s infinite wisdom and understanding in the Word because God is an infinite God.

Andrew: So it’s more than just this. Like, seeing the connectivity is a way of seeing really the design of creation and the intentionality of God connecting us?

Rabbi Jason: Exactly. Another aspect of why it’s significant to understand the roots is found in Matthew. It says, “What can a scribe who understands the kingdom of God be compared to like a household the brings forth new and old treasures.” And when that first popped out at me was one of the parables that Jesus told, I realized that so many Jews are settling for the old treasures, and so many Christians are settling for the new. But the full inheritance is when the old and the new come together. That is the fullness.

Andrew: So the new doesn’t like negate the old, or it doesn’t kind of trump it?

Rabbi Jason: Absolutely not.

Andrew: It’s more of a fullness of that. I guess I can preach it that way.

Rabbi Jason: Absolutely. And when we talk about why this is significant to understand, the Hebraic roots of the text, I think that you can’t really understand the historical and cultural context in which the scriptures occur without understanding the Jewish roots of the faith. And you just can’t get the full picture. So for example, what is one of the most famous pictures of Jesus? It’s da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” Well, what type of bread are they eating in that picture?

Andrew: I have no idea, in everything they–

Rabbi Jason: Fluffy loaves of white bread. If there’s anything you don’t eat at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, it is fluffy loaves of white bread.

Andrew: Right, yeah, yeah.

Rabbi Jason: What are they eating as the main course? They’re eating fish. Well, what should they be eating? Lamb, because it’s the Passover lamb. But they’re eating fish, because he’s a nice Catholic boy and they eat fish on Fridays during Lent.

Andrew: Interesting. Besides that, I think he’s got blue eyes and–

Rabbi Jason: Yeah, I mean, he’s European, they’re eating at a table, they’re not… So the thing is, you can’t fully understand what Jesus is doing on the cross if you don’t understand, or even “The Last Supper,” if you don’t understand the symbolism that goes into the Passover.

Andrew: I mean, some people, I’m just playing devil’s advocate, some people would say this is kind of like mystics, they’d be like looking for things. And if you look for something, you’re gonna find connectivity, which maybe that just further proves your point, I don’t know. I mean, does this point back to love, like this idea that God lovingly is showing us?

Rabbi Jason: Yeah, I mean, I think it shows a couple of things. I think, one, it shows us that God is very much into the details.

Andrew: Okay, which means he cares.

Rabbi Jason: Which means he cares. Like when God is in the details, he cares. He’s part of this master plan. And I think part of what it communicates to us really is a message of hope, because hope is the belief that your future is gonna be better than your past. But hope in part is rooted in the idea that God is in control.

Andrew: Right, right, right.

Rabbi Jason: Because God is in control, you can have hope that he can work all things out together for good. But knowing that he worked all of these details together in such a a precise and intricate way is something that’s amazing, but it’s not something we’re just making up because these are things Jewish people have understood for thousands of years. It’s just that Christians are so divorced from the Jewish context in which it occurred that they don’t understand these things.

Andrew: Do you think it’s perilous that Christians are not more connected to that Jewish perspective or understanding?

Rabbi Jason: Part of the challenge of Christianity is I feel like there’s such an over-spiritualization where the focus becomes on just trying to get people into heaven and focus on the spiritual side of faith, where the Great Commission is go and make disciples of all nations. And part of that discipleship involves the body and the soul. It involves heaven and earth. And the beauty of being connected to the Jewish roots is saying the Jewish roots is a very physical earthly reality. God cares about what we eat. He cares about how we treat the poor. He cares about how we embody our faith in very tangible ways because Jesus was the word of God embodied in flesh and blood. And there’s an embodiment of faith like the embodiment of God that’s lost when we disconnect from the roots of our faith.

Andrew: Which I think is bad theology and a lack of understanding of God’s integration into our lives. We’re biding our time. When we get to heaven, when we get to heaven, it’s all gonna be okay. But that then diminishes my responsibility here and now to help make things okay, which I think is part of bringing the kingdom of God–

Rabbi Jason: Yeah, absolutely. There’s a prayer, Tikkun olam, to repair the world under the sovereignty of God. And we’re called to transform the world and to, in partnership with God, by the power of his spirit, we’re called to change the world around us. In fact, what I’d say is that the body of Messiah, the “church,” are meant to be, believers lives, are meant to be a sneak preview of the coming Kingdom. So whatever is not in the Kingdom should not be in our lives. Whatever is in the Kingdom should be in our lives. We can’t be racist because there’s no racism in heaven. We have to be concerned about the poor because there’s no poverty in heaven. We need to be concerned about the sick because there’s no sick in heaven. If the goal is new heavens and new earth, then our goal has to be concerned about this earth as we wait for that to come.


Mark: What do you think the truth is?

Kathie Lee: The truth is that he was a stone mason. The truth is that he worked with–

Mark: I mean, is that that important?

Kathie Lee: Yes, I’ll tell you why it’s that important.

Mark: Okay, tell me.

Andrew: Back down.

Kathie Lee: Because if we’re wrong about that, what else are we wrong about? If we can get something that’s simple wrong, what else are we getting wrong— All right, yeah, okay, a lot of people just discount the Bible completely because they say, “Why should I read that 5,000-year-old dusty book about all this stuff? Look how thick it is, because I know right away from the story in Genesis that the world wasn’t made in six days and then God rested. I mean, we know the earth is billions of years old. So why should I waste my time?” People discount it. They also discount that I don’t wanna be afraid of God. Why should I be afraid of God? The word fear is used so often.

Andrew: Yeah, talk about that, I read about that–

Kathie Lee: I’ll tell you about all of them. Okay, the New Testament, women say, “Why should I follow the New Testament when it talks about how I’m supposed to be subservient to my husband? Uh-uh,” you know? So I’ll take them in order, and I’ll make them very quickly. The word for day in the Old Testament in the Hebrew is yom, Y-O-M. But it can mean several different things depending on how it is used, okay? The word yom means basically a period of time with a distinct beginning and a distinct end. It can be a solar 24-hour day, or it can mean a year is 1,000 years to God, a moment. It’s nothing to God of all eternity and all of creation.

Andrew: Yeah, what do we know of time.

Kathie Lee: Yeah, time is nothing to God, it’s everything to us. But we know from the Genesis story that the sun and the moon were not created until the fourth what, yom. So how can it be a solar day?

Andrew: We have no idea then.

Kathie Lee: We don’t know. We’ve been told, and then you say, “Well, then I can’t believe in anything in science.”

Mark: I mean, do you have to know everything?

Andrew: That opens us up–

Mark: The whole thing I’m learning about God, because I’m a recovering fundamentalist.

Kathie Lee: I am a fundamentalist. I want the real fundamentals, not the stuff I’ve been taught in church that’s not true.

Andrew: So legalism.

Mark: Yeah, the legalism. So I’m discovering the mystery of God that he’s the Father, I’m the kid. I don’t understand the mortgage, but I get to live in the house.

Kathie Lee: I understand that, and I think that’s a wonderful thing. I’m the complete opposite of you. If I’m gonna build…

Mark: You have to know everything?

Andrew: Oh, I like you.

Kathie Lee: No, I don’t have to know everything. I have to know that what I’m learning and reading is true. The Bible says, “As for God, his way is perfect. The Word of the Lord is flawless.” That I can build my life on. But if I’m reading a translation that is not true, that is flawed, I’m not gonna get the power from the Word that I need in everyday life.

Andrew: Hang on, hang on–

Kathie Lee: You study what the Word really means in the Old Testament.

Mark: Do you read the Greek and Hebrew?

Kathie Lee: Yeah, I study what–

Mark: Do you know it?

Kathie Lee: I don’t know how to read Greek or Hebrew.

Mark: Then how can you know?

Kathie Lee: Because you can Google. What does the word tekton mean in Ephesians? There’s no excuse.

Andrew: We go off all the time on stuff that we’ve just been told without doing research.

Kathie Lee: We don’t do the research.

Andrew: But I think your research is a way of opening up sooner though, because when you’re talking about time, you’re talking about yom, right, yom–

Kathie Lee: You wanna go on to fear?

Andrew: Well, I do, but when you’re talking about that, when you’re talking about any of these things, it opens us up to an element of surrender because it opens us up to mystery. It’s saying we don’t know everything by–

Kathie Lee: We’re never gonna know everything, and I love the mystery of God. But we have no excuse for this kind of–

Mark: For knowing he was a stone mason?

Kathie Lee: No, why perpetuate something that isn’t true when Jesus then says, “Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Gates of hell is a real place. That’s a literal place near the Syrian border in the north of Israel, that they thought that they would descend, it’s the lowest place you couldn’t even measure, this chasm. People should know that. Jesus was standing there when he said, “And the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” And he said, “You who are without sin, cast the first stone.” The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. You’ll never read the Psalms again the same way. You’ll never read everything Jesus ever said the same way when you understand what he did with his hands before he became–

Mark: Well, how did you find all this out? All that’s in your book?

Andrew: That is, that’s in this one.

Kathie Lee: Yes, books are meant to be read.

Mark: How did we know anything before you came along?

Andrew: Yeah, now we know.

Mark: Now that Kathie Lee’s here, we’ll get it all straightened out.

Kathie Lee: I don’t know everything. But that’s why… I know that I don’t know. So that’s why I go there and I keep learning and I keep–

Andrew: Go into fear.

Mark: You said the bible. There’s a bible of–

Kathie Lee: The one I’m fascinated with now is called the Tree of Life bible written by and translated by messianic rabbis. Messianic rabbi means that you are a bonafide, board-certified, Good Housekeeping-approved rabbi. You have all the information and the scholarly understanding of scripture, but you believe that Yeshua, the Jewish Hebrew name for Jesus, is the Messiah. Jesus came and fulfilled hundreds and hundreds and some say thousands of prophecies. So they translate–

Mark: Are there notes in the Bible too?

Kathie Lee: Yes, yes, yes.

Mark: There’s not just translation, they put their notes so you can kind of–

Kathie Lee: Buy it, look it up. And they leave lots of room for mystery because rabbis love the mystery of–

Andrew: Yes, they do. Jewish people love the mystery.

Mark: Well, I figured they must because they wrote this. I mean, it was Jews that wrote the bible in Hebrew and–

Andrew: Go to fear, go to fear.

Kathie Lee: Luke was a Greek. Luke was a doctor, he was a gentile.

Mark: I like him.

Andrew: Go to fear because I think that’s a huge topic in our culture, this idea that we’re supposed to cower before God.

Kathie Lee: The word in the Old Testament is so often misused. It’s Y-I-R-E-H, yireh. My Hebrew is terrible, but I know it when I see it. And most of the time that it’s used in the Old Testament in the original Hebrew, it’s used in the understanding of the wonder of God, the reverence of God, the awe of God. It’s only used with fear if you’re an enemy of God. We are God’s children. We are not to fear him. Perfect love casts out all of fear.

Andrew: Yeah, so fear is a complete awe, it’s a reverence?

Kathie Lee: Yes, a reverence and awe and a worship of, of the mystery and the magnitude.

Mark: Now I knew that already. My mother used to call me and and say, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom,” and I’d quote that other, “Perfect love casts out fear,” and hang up.

Kathie Lee: Yes, but what would really quiet her down a little bit is you say–

Mark: Yeah, now that she’s dead, she’s very quiet.

Kathie Lee: It means reverence and awe and worship of Jehovah God. That’s what it means, mom, unless you’re an enemy of God. So see, mom?

Andrew: But we fear we’re an enemy of God, talk about fear.

Kathie Lee: You should fear him if you’re an enemy of God.

Andrew: Yeah, but we fear that we are even when–

Kathie Lee: But we’re not, we are his children.

Mark: Who are the enemies of God?

Kathie Lee: Those who reject him and those who purposely work against his shalom coming into the world. The shalom is a word that people think means peace. In its original form, it means every attribute we give to Jehovah God. Faithfulness, righteousness, justice, joy, peace.

Mark: So when you say shalom, you’re wishing that on someone.

Andrew: Like the wholeness of–

Kathie Lee: You’re blessing God almighty.

Andrew: Talk about shalom. Like, you talk about original virtue. I’d be interested in what you think about this–

Mark: I don’t believe in original sin. I believe in original virtue. We come from God and we were infected with sin, right?

Kathie Lee: Well, I don’t know. I think we’re born with capacity for both, definitely, yes. I think when we come straight from heaven, we’re as close to being perfect as you can be. A baby doesn’t know what a baby does.

Mark: And they smell like heaven.

Kathie Lee: Yeah, until they poop. Yeah, you know what, I don’t have all the answers. I make it a point to study. And if I have a question, I go now to one of these teachers of mine and Google and just say, what does this mean? Now the women with the submission.

Mark: Gloria Gaither says Paul was a — what’d she say — a male chauvinist.

Kathie Lee: Well, if you believe what the translations of the Bible say.

Mark: Okay, how would you translate that?

Kathie Lee: I will translate it with the word that’s actually used, which is hippotasso, H-I-P-P-O-T-A-S-S-O, and it’s the only place in the entire Greek language where it’s used in that way. The derivative of it is subject, servitude, that sort of thing when you use it about being slave-like. But the way it’s used in that, I think it’s Ephesians where that’s used, it means to reach down and lift up in loving support. The men have the much harder job in that same verse.

Mark: Lay down your lives.

Kathie Lee: Men, love the church the way Jesus did and gave his life for her. You guys have the much harder job to do. We’re just supposed to reach down and lift up in loving support.

Andrew: That’s what I feel right.

Kathie Lee: Which Jesus says we’re supposed to do to anybody. The Samaritan we find on the side of the road–

Mark: Submit yourselves one to another.

Andrew: That’s outside of marriage, that’s our neighbor, that’s loving our neighbor.

Mark: Right, I wanna talk about this.

Andrew: Can I ask one more thing–

Mark: Go ahead.

Andrew: Okay, one more thing just because I love this Israel conversation. We’ll move on. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from a friend of ours, Patsy Clairmont–

Kathie Lee: Love her.

Andrew: Okay, she sent this to me right before I had made my first trip to the Holy Land. She said, “It is an ancient land with the palpable voices of the past. But you must listen beyond the derision of its current turmoil. Israel has a history of conflict, and you will be aware of it as you move throughout the land. Jerusalem will rise up in you because it is important to God as are you. Your bones will age in the presence of the city and a new song will be born.”

Kathie Lee: I love it.

Andrew: Does that resonate with you when you think about Israel?

Kathie Lee: Yes.

Andrew: Do you think about a new life that came in or through you because of your experience with–

Kathie Lee: You know, having grown up with a Jewish father and a gentile mom, I’ve always had a natural longing for the Holy Land. I knew I belonged there. And my father was the godliest man I’ve ever known in my life. So I couldn’t wait to get there. I missed my high school graduation because of it, because it was a gift to me from my father for graduating. I could have cared less. From the minute I landed in Israel, the Promised Land, I knew it was a transformative place. But the trouble is when we go as tourists, we go to all the wrong places and learn all the wrong things. We just go and we’re taken by people who just reconfirm what they’ve learned and it’s not true. And so you’re not gonna be transformed by it. You’re gonna get a nice Christmas card with the smelly–

Mark: So how would someone watching get an opportunity to learn or get the right–

Kathie Lee: You go with the right people. You go and Google rabbinical trips, messianic Jewish trips to Israel. Ray Vander Laan, That the World May Know. My guy, Rabbi Jason Sobel, he has something called Fusion. Also, Rock, Road and Rabbi Tours. And they’re in the minority, but you’re not gonna go on the Mount of Olives and get a picture taken with Kojak that’s smelly, smelly and nasty camel and then you get to prove that you went to Israel. That’s fine if people want to do it. I’m not judging it. I’m just saying, if you’re a real student, you wanna learn something, you can tell in the hotels who’s going on what kind of a tour by the way they’re dressed and what shoes they’re wearing. You are a tourist.

Andrew: I’m a tourist.

Kathie Lee: You’re a tourist. I am definitely a tourist right now. But when I go, you never get out of your hiking boots. And you go into the mountains and you go into the desert and you go–

Mark: So a lot of hiking?

Kathie Lee: Tons of hiking. You’re gonna love it. My husband was 82-years-old the first time we went on one of these things, and he thought he was gonna hate it. And it was the most transforming trip he’s ever had in his life. After that, he’d say to me about going to heaven, he said, “Kathie, I’m not afraid to die. I’m just starting to get really curious.” Why? Because he went on a rabbinical trip to the Holy Land.

Andrew: Well, he’s 82 so–

Mark: Yeah.

Andrew: Now’s the year.

Kathie Lee: You only look 79.


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Andrew: I think this all points to something I’ve always been interested in and maybe even concerned in as a western world Christian, or a Christian in the western world, and that is the context by which we read, filter, interpret scripture, which is an ancient text born out of a middle eastern, ancient middle eastern, context. How do you feel about the way Christians in the western world interpret scripture?

Rabbi Jason: Yeah, I mean I think there are some challenges to the way the western church interprets scripture. I think some of those core things, which goes back to why it’s important to know the roots I think, so for example it’s a very individualistic interpretation of the scripture. So the way we interact is we read, we think just about me when biblically it’s always about we. So whether it’s in a sense that my goal is for me to go to heaven or to get someone I love to go to heaven, or whether it’s thinking that all I need is my Bible and the Holy Spirit and that’s enough and I’m done, or whether it’s just praying prayers that are just me, I type of prayers, Jewish people always pray in the context of community. The prayers are we and you in the plural because we always see ourselves as part of a greater covenantal community. Even when we study the text, like we might study it alone, but we’re always gonna study it in community as well and read it in community. And even when we read it alone, we’re always gonna read it with the interpreters from the past and interacting and wrestling what they had to say. So it’s very community-focused, it’s more community focused than it is individually focused. And I think with that, one of the things on a very practical level that’s been lost is now our relationships have become transactional instead of covenantal.

Andrew: Go ahead and explain the difference between that.

Rabbi Jason: Yeah, so transactional relationship is if you meet my needs, then we’re good. Then we have a great connection. As soon as you don’t meet my needs, I’m just gonna go find someone else who’s gonna meet my needs. Covenantal says that we are committed to each other in the Lord in a spiritual relationship. And for better or for worse, we’re walking together. And people treat their church relationships transactionally. Oh, I like to worship better at this church, I’m just gonna leave church. Therefore then, there’s no deep accountability, no deeper relationships, people are jumping from place to place, and that spills over into marriage. Why should I stay in my marriage? Why should I be committed during the tough times? I just go find someone else who will meet my needs. So I think this idea of covenantal friendship, of covenantal community is just so important to the greater we of what God is doing.

Andrew: This hints at Kathie Lee’s passion about why even something as, what may seem like minutia that Jesus was not a carpenter when you really go into the translation, he was a stone mason. And we go, okay, who cares, you know? But if we’re going to be able to intelligibly and effectively and impactfully speak with others about what we believe, at some point we become untrustworthy if everything’s wrong in the minutia, I guess, huh?

Rabbi Jason: Yeah, absolutely. But I think that people need to know that there’s a simple message of the great commandments to love the Lord your God. And we experience that love in the person of the Messiah, Yeshua, Jesus, and that you can have simple faith and find salvation without knowing the depth of all of these things that has nothing to do with salvation. That’s important to know. I just think it’s a matter of… Again, I think we need to be people that want to go deep. See, I think that part of the significance of it is that we’re called to be disciples. Disciple in Greek and in Hebrew literally means a learner. Why is that so important? Because I can’t say I truly love you if I don’t learn about who you are, if I don’t know who you are. So the more I learn about you, the more I am gonna fall in love with you, the greater the depth of our relationship and our intimacy is going to be. I think that’s ultimately kind of so foundational to why I get excited to teaching these things because it reveals an aspect of God and the depth of his Word and who he is that you miss out.

Andrew: It’s a proof of me wanting to know you, about wanting to know God that I would want to learn. Not just that I should learn, but that I want to learn. And I think that’s interesting.

Rabbi Jason: It says the Bereans were more noble because they searched these things out. There is a searching, there is a wrestling, with the text. There is a desire to dig and go deeper. And the very wrestling of trying to go deeper is like Jacob wrestling with the Lord, and he’s transformed in the process. We’re so ends-orientated in the western culture instead of process-orientated–

Andrew: Tied up, right, mm-hmm.

Rabbi Jason: We’re just, how do we get there in the shortest possible way? There’s something about the wrestling and taking the time and questioning and meditating. Why are these things the way they are? Why does he say this this way? That just is transformative.

Andrew: And isn’t that almost like an indicator of how we’re gonna be transformed throughout all of eternity because we’re never gonna get to the end of our learning of who God is. I don’t believe.

Rabbi Jason: No.

Andrew: I believe that’s an endless pursuit, because if it’s not, I don’t wanna live for eternity, I wanna take a nap.

Rabbi Jason: Absolutely.

Andrew: If God just ends somewhere and I’ve figured it all out, what’s the purpose?

Rabbi Jason: There’s always gonna be more surprises, and that creates in us a sense of wonder.


Andrew: I’m always curious about that. With your audience, with the Today show, with Hoda, and all that kind of stuff, and sipping on your vino, I mean, I’m sure people are like, What does Kathie Lee know? And why is she some kind of imperative voice on this?

Kathie Lee: I shouldn’t be. That’s the Bible, the Word of God is the imperative voice.

Andrew: So you point it, you deflect that to–

Kathie Lee: Oh yeah, I’m so clear about the fact that I am a student, I’m just a student. But I’m an eager one. I wanna learn something on the day I die. I want it to change me on the day I die.

Andrew: Do you ever fear there’s a separation from an audience? Do you fear even with your coworkers? Not everyone’s walking around saying, “I’m interested in this Christian way.”

Kathie Lee: I don’t expect them to be. I’m there for people that are interested in it. I make tons of room for people to be who and what they are, and I can tell when somebody wants to know something and somebody is disinterested. I never force anything on anybody. Definitely never force my faith. That’s the Holy Spirit’s job to create a longing in a person’s heart. I’m just supposed to water the seeds and reap the harvest.

Mark: I’ve bet you’ve had a lot of private calls from people who know when they’re in trouble they can call you though.

Kathie Lee: Yeah, I do. And NBC, to their credit, they have been amazing to me here. They have allowed me to be me, say what I wanna say, that I’ve never been asked to quiet down or to dilute my message ever. The fact that we’re sitting here on our set is unbelievable. And since I came here, they are open to… We have somebody of faith pretty much every single day on the Today show. It was not that way 11 years ago. It was not that way. So God has been very faithful here. Wherever the Holy Spirit shows up, things change.

Mark: I wanna talk to you about loneliness because I heard that you get lonely?

Kathie Lee: Well, of course.

Mark: I mean, do I hear that like… I mean, I’ve heard that you… How do you deal with it? Because everybody knows you, everybody loves you.

Kathie Lee: I don’t know. Have you read my Twitter?

Mark: I mean, I understand that being in the limelight can be a lonely place, too, because I think New York City is one of the loneliest places in the world if you’re by yourself.

Kathie Lee: It can be, it can be. I have a friend of mine that does my makeup, and she was with me in Nashville all weekend long. I led her do the Lord the first day that we were in Scotland on my new movie, and she was ready. She’s one of those people that is just ready to have Jesus in her life. And it’s a great privilege when you can lead somebody into faith like that. But now she’s starting to understand that she needs community. And Nashville is so awesome that way. There’s so many people that are there for you and share your faith and encourage you. It’s a city of encouragers. Even though everybody’s competitive about the same business, I never sensed that. Not with the people I hang out with. They’re like, “Yeah, let’s write a song!”

Andrew: Yeah, exactly just like that!

Kathie Lee: It might not be as good as the one I wrote yesterday with somebody else, but let’s do it!

Andrew: Yeah, do you think it’s different now that… I mean, here you’re at home, you have kids who are adults, and Frank’s gone. Has it changed?

Kathie Lee: Well, of course it has. My husband’s not gone, but not here. I know where he is. People say, “I’m sorry you lost your husband.” I say, “He’s not lost. I know exactly where he is.” But it dawned on me just recently, because my mom passed away a year ago, I’ve been a widow for over three years. I’m now an orphan. I don’t care how old you get. Your parents are your parents. I’m an orphan now. And for the last six years, I’ve been an empty nester. My children live in California. That’s pretty far from Greenwich, Connecticut. So yeah, the loneliness is… And I’m honest about it. At times, it’s crippling. It’s crippling to me, and I wanna give up. And there are times, many times, when I say, “Lord, if this is all you have for me for the rest of my life, I’d rather go home with you than live another day this crippled by loneliness.”

Mark: How do you fix that–

Kathie Lee: You got to power pray through it. Scripture, what did Jesus do when he was 40 days and 40 nights in the desert? He said, “You say this, but it is written.” That’s why I’m also grateful that I’ve learned to memorize mountains of scripture so that I don’t have to look up something. I can go for a long, long time just proclaiming, proclaiming scripture. That’s where the power is.

Mark: Which translation have you memorized?

Kathie Lee: Most of them are either The Living Bible, which is what I learned so much of it on. But I’m learning now more and more to change it to what I’m learning to be more true, more accurate. More accurate.

Andrew: More accurate.

Kathie Lee: More accurate. The truth of Jesus’s divinity. But somebody said to me the other day, “Well, Jesus was half Jewish. He was not half human and half God.” And I said no, “He was fully human and fully God according to scripture.” We need to understand these things or else we get a misconception about our Savior. I mean, Frank would have never thought about going into a football game unless he knew every play in that playbook, you know? We as Christians, most of us, have never even read the bible, even a bad translation of it. Yet we call ourselves a Christian, which means little Christ. That’s what it means. And yet we don’t even know our guide book. And we certainly don’t know, if we’ve been reading certain translations, what it actually says. If I’m gonna build my whole life, because the Bible says that to be a Christian has nothing to do with one hour in church on a Sunday morning. It says in him, we live and move and have our being. That doesn’t leave room for anything other than every nanosecond of your existence is about him. Is about him. From every thought we think to every word we say, and I’m bad at it still after all these years. I’ve read the Bible now 11 times from beginning to end. I started reading the Bible in a year, and that’s been fascinating. But I discovered that some of the translations of it were not, so I’ve spent 11 years learning something that is not accurate. I’m running out of time to be learning something that’s not accurate. If I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna study it, it’s got to be true. The truth is what sets you free. And he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

Mark: Right.

Andrew: And that you say you’re bad at it, I would say you’re human at it.

Kathie Lee: I’m human, yeah, but I just tease about it. People say, “Well, you’ve been walking with the Lord.” I say, “Mostly stumbling.”

Andrew: I love the idea that we’re not waiting until we’re dead to experience more revelation of who Jesus is because that is how a lot of us were taught. Just bide your time.

Kathie Lee: He said, “The Kingdom of heaven is now.” It’s here. And we just transfer into a whole new dimension of it when we pass.

Andrew: Last question. I think about something you said about promises, about how when we originally promise something, I think in the spiritual sense, how much different we are by the time a promise is fulfilled to us. You know what I’m talking about?

Kathie Lee: In the other book.

Andrew: Yeah, we won’t talk about the book.

Kathie Lee: The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi, you mean?

Andrew: Yeah. Have you experienced something in your life where there has been that translation? From the time you felt a sense of a promise from God and the fulfillment of that promise and you became a different person?

Kathie Lee: That’s happening to me right now. God has promised me certain things that will be fulfilled in my life, in this new season of my life, that have yet to happen. I am a true believer that whatever God promised to his first believers in first century Israel is for us today. I don’t believe the gifts of the spirit died out when the first century Christians did. If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, guess what, his promises are for today, yesterday, and forever too. And to not think that, I think, is to miss out on everything. If God’s promises for them are not his promises for me and for you guys right now, then why are we here? Then Paul said basically we’re the most pathetic of people if it’s not true, if they’re not for us. And don’t you love the scripture that says, “So hold unswervingly to the hope that you profess, for he who promises is faithful.” And I wrote to somebody the other day, I said, “You know what, I choose to believe what I can’t yet see, for he who promised has promised me.” And at times, I give up. At times, I sob my eyes out to God and I say, “I can’t keep believing it. I have no reason to believe it’s true.” But he always is faithful to lift you up. The Bible says, “Cry out to him.” That’s not weakness, that’s understanding of the Abba Father. You can crawl up in your father’s lap and pour out your heart to him. I do it every day.

Andrew: There’s a translation of Psalm 34 in The Voice bible. It’s a newer translation that says, “To look to his face and shine so that shame will never contort.”

Kathie Lee: Yes, it says, “They looked at him and were radiant and they were not afraid.”

Andrew: Yes, not afraid.

Kathie Lee: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, I love that. Speaking of not being afraid, I think about your children’s book, The Gift That I Can Give, who we are, giving ourselves to others.

Kathie Lee: Yeah, and I’m excited about it. All proceeds are gonna go to Childhelp, which is an organization I’ve worked with for years and years and years. It’s a 60-year-old organization that battles child abuse and neglect. These two incredible ladies out in Arizona started it, and they have the biggest organization in the world that battles it, and we’re going in the wrong direction in our country with the amount of children that die, five of them now every day die, from child abuse or neglect. I think it’s many more than that. That’s just those we know of. So anyway, buying this book will benefit those children. It comes in the board book kind of way, which is cute. It’s like for really sloppy–

Andrew: That’s how I read.

Kathie Lee: Wish they did this in adult form. And it comes in a more traditional way here.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s beautiful.

Kathie Lee: And it’s about not being afraid. It’s about embracing who you are. God didn’t make a mistake with you. In the world we live in today, it’s very easy to compare ourselves to other people and go, but I’m not that pretty. I’m not that thin. I’m not that talented. I can’t sing like that. I’m not as smart as she is. Whatever it is, and God says, “Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I don’t make mistakes. People do. And I’m gonna be there when you make your mistakes, but I did not make one with you. And I’ve got a plan for you.” Jeremiah 29 says, “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. To prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.” I want a future for these children. I want them to understand from their first earliest experiences in life that God is there for you. Not to be afraid of him. It’s the worship and the awe and the adoration of the Lord. That’s what the Bible says, not the fear. Do not be afraid of your Heavenly Father. You are his child, and he loves you.

Andrew: We are grateful for who you are.

Kathie Lee: You should be. I’m just kidding.

Andrew: Listen.


Kathie Lee: And people love their King James Version. Well, guess what, it’s the worst version of the Bible ever, ever translated.

Mark: Well, wait, hold up, hold up!

Andrew: Yeah, you got to say that on camera.

Mark: Hold the tape!


Mark: My mother comes out in me wherever I go. “Do you know what you need to do?” All my friends say, “Back down, Beverly.” Because when she passed, she didn’t go to heaven, she jumped in me, and now I hear her coming out in me. That’s what that reminded me of.

Kathie Lee: Excuse me? He’s fine, okay?

Mark: Oh, Celeste.

Andrew: This is our executive producer, Celeste Winstead.

Kathie Lee: Hi, so nice to meet you.

Celeste: Thank you so much–

Kathie Lee: Sure, no thanks for having me. Hi everybody. Woman camerawoman, I like it.

Andrew: Kelly, there’s Kelly and Chris.

Kathie Lee: Good to meet you all. 


Kathie Lee: Hoda will be a dear, dear, precious friend like that. She’s unbelievable. She’s sunshine in a bottle. I hate her guts.

Mark: Cheers!

Kathie Lee: Cheers to that phony, baloney Egyptian girl. Thanks for having me.

Andrew: Yeah, thank you for letting us.


Mark: I hope you’ve enjoyed this conversation with Kathie Lee. That child needs a Valium. She is wild!

Andrew: She is wild, speaking from–

Mark: Yeah, really.

Andrew: So you can check out her new book, The Gift that I Can Give, through our Amazon affiliate links, which are right here in our episode descriptions.

Mark: And if you wanna binge watch Season Two of Dinner Conversation, you can do that right now on Amazon Prime.

Andrew: Thanks for watching Dinner Conversations with

Mark: Mark Lowry.

Andrew: And Andrew Greer.

Mark: Turning the light on.

Andrew: One question at a time.

Mark: Dinner Conversations is brought to you by Food for the Hungry, a relief and development organization serving those in need around the globe for more than 40 years.

Andrew: Help our friends at Food for the Hungry save thousands of refugee lives today by considering a generous gift.

Mark: A gift that will be matched 22 times.

Andrew: It’s incredible. Visit FH.org/Dinner to give now.


Join Mark and Andrew as we support our Dinner Conversations Season Two title sponsor, Food for the Hungry (FH) – a relief and development organization serving those in need around the globe for more than 40 years. 

Partner with us as we partner with FH save thousands of Rohingyan refugee lives in Bangladesh today by considering a generous gift – a gift that will be matched 22-times! And remember, every dollar enters you into the Season Two Grand Prize Giveaway, which includes dinner with Mark and Andrew in Houston, plus more surprises. 

Give generously here: FH.org/Dinner


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Watch Our Other Episodes:

S02, E01: A Change of Mind featuring Danny Gokey and Dr. Caroline Leaf
S02, E02: The Last Goodbye featuring Amy Grant
S02, E03: The Humanity of Billy & Ruth Graham featuring Will Graham and Gigi Graham
S02, E04: Life After Divorce featuring Crystal Lewis
S02, E05: Place in this World featuring Michael W. Smith and Ginny Owens