Tyler Zeller: Winning the Right Way With Jesus (Gospel Light Minute #198)

Tyler Zeller

Tyler Zeller

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He is a professional basketball player who plays the center and power forward positions for the Boston Celtics of the NBA. In high school, he was named “Mr. Basketball” as well as a McDonald’s All-American. He played college basketball at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was named the ACC Player of the Year in his senior year. In 2009, North Carolina won the NCAA championship against Michigan State. He was selected by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2012 NBA draft and traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers that same night. He played for the Cavaliers from 2012 to 2014 before being traded to the Boston Celtics.

In an interview with Athletes In Action, he said of his faith, “I’ve got to give my parents a lot of credit for making me the person I am today. They took me to church every Sunday. As a little kid you draw pictures and everything, but over time you start to develop an appreciation for that, and you start to pay attention.

I came to faith my freshman year of high school. My brother took me to a couple of Bible studies and then to a camp, which is really where I got to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I embraced that as my own – what He did for us, how He died on the cross and took all our sins away and gave us the life that we shouldn’t be able to have.

Being competitive and being a Christian can go hand in hand. You’ve got to go out and play hard and compete, but you also have to do it in a Christian way. If you lose, you can be hard on yourself, but you don’t want to go curse up a storm, hit somebody and all this. It’s about the way you act. You can be very competitive, but you’ve got to be able to win in the right way and lose in the right way.

Audience of One is a huge concept in my life. It means that even though you have all these fans and things going on, your audience is really only God. Your main focus is on what He believes about you, not what all these people think. Maybe you missed a game-winning shot and you’re very frustrated. But God still loves you, and there’s a purpose for everything. Maybe He wanted you to miss that shot to learn a lesson, or there’s something down the road, or maybe you just weren’t supposed to win that game. There’s always something. When you can understand that, it makes life so much easier. You can go out – you’re going to lose, you’re going to be frustrated at times – but you can come back and know that God’s got a purpose for you. He’s going to give you what you need to have, but He’s also going to challenge you in ways. When you face challenges, it’s going to develop perseverance in you and help you, and going forward it will make you a stronger person and a stronger Christian.

The line that I always use is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I know if you look at the actual verse it’s not speaking in terms of basketball, but God really does strengthen me emotionally and physically. He’s always with me, always getting me through things, in basketball and in life.”

His name is Tyler Zeller. Continue Reading…

Joanna Gaines Trusted God With her Dreams and He Brought Them to Pass Beyond What she Imagined (Gospel Light Minute #197)

Joanna Gaines

Joanna Gaines

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She is the owner, founder and lead designer of Magnolia Homes, a remodeling and design business in Waco, Texas. Magnolia Homes is a creative compilation of construction with a heavy emphasis on quality and unique design. She, along with her husband, are the hosts of the HGTV show “Fixer Upper.” “Fixer Upper” shows the process by which they turn dilapidated but potential-rich houses into showplaces that are helping revitalize whole neighborhoods throughout central Texas. She graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Communications. Her passion is to create inspiring spaces that encourage others to do the same thing in their own homes.

In an interview with Charisma News, she spoke of how God spoke to her and how she has learned to trust His plan for her life. She said, “I heard God say very clearly… he said, ‘Joanna if you trust me with your dreams, I’m going to take Magnolia (a boutique she owned) further than you ever dreamed.’ I look back and I go, ‘God, your promise that you spoke years ago, I’m now seeing. I trusted you with my dream and you took it far beyond what I ever could have dreamed or imagined.'” She continued, “I really believe that God has a purpose for me. But he also has a purpose for you and on the other side of that is the enemy where he knows where to hit. Let God speak in your life. Let his father heart come and say, ‘this is what I have for you.’ And I think that’s the key — not believing the lies, fixing our eyes on Jesus and walking in that truth.”

Her name is Joanna Gaines.

How Studying and Applying the Bible Led WNBA Player, Monica Wright, to Faith in Christ (Gospel Light Minute #196)

Monica Wright

Monica Wright

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She is a professional basketball player for the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA. She played college basketball at the University of Virginia and was named the ACC Rookie of the Year. As a senior, she was named ACC Player of the Year, ACC Defensive Player of the Year, and National Defensive Player of the Year. She was also selected as a member of the USA Women’s U19 team which won the gold medal at the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship in Slovakia. She has won two WNBA championship titles in 2011 and 2013.

In an interview with CBN, she talked about her faith in Jesus Christ. As a new college student at UVA, she was focused on playing basketball and making good grades. She said of that time, “I’m a basketball player, so I need to play basketball and do well on the court; I need to make good grades so that I can stay eligible. There was no time to try to figure out who I was because who I was, was a student-athlete at that time.” Besides playing and studying, she also partied and by the time she arrived at her senior year, she began to feel that something was missing in her life. She said, “Once you come to your end you want to make sure that there was probably a little bit more purpose to your journey. You want to look back and see, ‘what did I do? What was my legacy?’ I felt like maybe I should be doing something more constructive. There was something missing.” Continue Reading…

Chris Paul says he’s Thankful his Parents Taught him to Have Faith in God (Gospel Light Minute #195)

Chris Paul

Chris Paul

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He is a professional basketball player who currently plays the point guard position for the Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA. He played college basketball at Wake Forest University. He was drafted by the New Orleans Hornets and played there from 2005 to 2011 before joining the Clippers. He won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2006 and an Olympic gold medal with USA Men’s basketball team in 2008 and 2012. He also led the NBA in assists four times and steals six times from 2008 to 2015. He has also been selected to eight NBA All-Star teams, six All-NBA teams, and six All-Defensive teams. Since 2013, he has served as the National Basketball Players Association president.

He said of his faith: “I am a Christian. I grew up in the church and still go to church every Sunday if we don’t have practice. It’s always something that my parents instilled in me. I’ve grown to be pretty devout in my faith. I am so thankful that my parents raised me and my brother, C.J. to depend on God’s guidance and our faith in Him, and to always be thankful for what we receive. As I went through the past year, I just kept trying to have fun, knowing that I was playing basketball at the highest level, and remain humble, keeping in mind that all this [I have received] could be taken away from me as fast as it was happening.”

His name is Chris Paul. Continue Reading…

Stephen Curry: ‘Basketball Gives Me the Opportunity to Point People to the Man Who Died On the Cross for Our Sins’ (Gospel Light Minute #194)

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He is a professional basketball player who currently plays the point guard position for the Golden State Warriors of the NBA. He played college basketball for Davidson University where he was twice named Southern Conference Player of the Year and set the all-time scoring record for both Davidson and the Southern Conference. He also set the single-season NCAA record for three-pointers made in his Sophomore year. He was twice named an NBA All-Star and in the 2014-2015 season, exceeded his own NBA record of 272 three-pointers with his 273rd on April 9, 2015. He is a two-time gold medalist as a member of the United States men’s national basketball team in both 2010 and 2014. He is also a silver medalist with the Under-19 USA team in 2007.

In an article for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he said of his faith:

“I remember it like it was yesterday, the day I gave my life to Christ. I was in fourth grade, and I recall hearing and understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ and walking down the aisle to give my life to Him. My parents continued to pour into my faith from that point on, making sure I understood the commitment I’d just made. Starting in middle school I attended Charlotte Christian School, which allowed me to hear the gospel on a daily basis. Looking back, my childhood was filled with the Lord’s presence. Continue Reading…

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