Ben Watson: ‘I Put My Faith and Trust in Jesus; He Has My Best Interest at Heart’ (Gospel Light Minute #162)

Benjamin Watson

Benjamin Watson

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He is a tight end for the New Orleans Saints. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2004 and played for them through 2009. He also played for the Cleveland Browns from 2010 to 2012. He played college football at Duke University and the University of Georgia. He and his team, the New England Patriots, won Super Bowl 39 in 2005, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles. He helped the New England Patriots win two AFC championships in 2004 and 2007.

Growing up in a Christian home, his earliest memories are of going to church with his parents, attending Christian school, and participating in summer camps with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. His father who is a pastor led him to the Lord when he was a young child.

In an interview with Beyond the Ultimate, he said, “One night…Daddy and I knelt down to pray before bed and he asked me this question, “If you died tonight do you know what would happen to you?” I replied “no,” and Daddy proceeded to tell me about John 3:16 from the Bible: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Daddy explained to me that I was born a sinful person and that because God loves me, He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty of death that I deserved. All I had to do was receive the free gift of salvation that I could never earn on my own. Right then and there we prayed and I received that gift and made Jesus Lord of my life.”

He went on to say, “My life since that day has been an incredible journey. I have learned more and more what it means to live in the power and freedom that life in Christ brings. More importantly I’ve started to exercise and apply that knowledge in my everyday life. Through high school and college at the University of Georgia I stayed involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a local church, but it wasn’t without struggles and temptations. I can remember asking God for forgiveness a number of times, and I can say He forgave me every one of them. I always feel God’s presence, and my desire is to please Him. I do not always please Him but I know that in Him I am a conqueror and He has freed me from the guilt of past failures.”

“The number one thing He has taught me and continues to teach me is that it is not about me. God has a plan that sometimes doesn’t match up to my plan. But I put my faith and trust in Him that he has my best interest at heart and all things will work together for His glory. It is a great comfort for me to know that my job is to be obedient to Him and the rest is in His hands. One of my favorite verses is Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly as unto the Lord, not for men.” Whether I’m playing football, being a husband to my wife, being a teammate, working out, studying or one day being a parent, this verse challenges me to do it all to the glory of God.”

His name is Ben Watson.

Bear Grylls: Faith in Christ ‘is the Backbone of My Life’ (Gospel Light Minute #161)

Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls

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He is a British adventurer, writer and television presenter. He is best known for his television series Man vs. Wild. He is a part of a number of television series in the United Kingdom and the United States on the theme of survival in the wild. In 1997, he became the youngest Briton to climb Ama Dablam in the Himalayas. And in 1998, he became one of the youngest people ever to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. In July 2009, he was appointed the youngest-ever Chief Scout at the age of 35.

In an interview with Relevant Magazine, he said of his faith: “I had a very natural faith as a kid. As a really young kid, I never questioned God. I just knew God existed and it felt like He was my friend. Faith has been and is the backbone of my life.”

“I remember having one moment when some really good friends turned their back on me in a really nasty way. And I remember praying a simple prayer up a tree one evening and saying, ‘God, if you’re like I knew you as a kid, would you be that friend again?’ And it was no more complicated than that. And actually the amazing thing is that all God asks is that we sort of open the door and He’ll do the rest. So often we kinda hide behind our yearning for love and acceptance with loads of complicated theological questions, and actually once that’s stripped away what we really are is just somebody who wants to have that relationship with your Father.”

“Jesus never said, ‘I’ve come so you can feel smart and proper and smiley and religious.’ [Faith] is about finding life and joy and peace. I am not at church a lot because I’m away a lot, so I kind of cling to the simple things, like, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ and ‘I’m holding you by your right hand.’ The simple things are what I try to keep my faith like. Jesus is unchanging and we are forgiven.”

“Sometimes it’s hard for us to believe, really believe, that God cares and wants good things for us and doesn’t just want us to go off and give everything up and become missionaries in Burundi. And some people are just scared, and they go, ‘Oh, God just wants me to be religious,’ but actually He just loves us. He just wants us to be with Him, and that’s been a journey to discover that. That’s one of the big questions I asked: ‘If you do exist, are you cozy? Are you what my heart really aches for?’”

“Christianity is not about religion. It’s about faith, about being held, about being forgiven. It’s about finding joy and finding home. We all want that, but nobody wants religion. Why do people turn away from faith? They’re not, they’re turning away from religion most of the time. I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t want to be forgiven or held or find peace or joy in their life. We try loads of other stuff—we think booze or foxy women or whatever will fill it—but it doesn’t fill the hole [like Jesus].”

His name is Bear Grylls. Continue Reading…

Jenny Johnson Jordan: Volleyball Star’s Greatest Passion is “Living a Life Committed to Jesus Christ” (Gospel Light Minute #160)

Jenny Johnson Jordan

Jenny Johnson Jordan

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She played college volleyball at UCLA, starting for three seasons and serving as captain for two seasons. While at UCLA, she earned All-American honors. In 1996, she started her pro beach volleyball career and competed for two seasons on the four-person circuit. She helped her team to win the title in the 1997 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Los Angeles. In 1999, she won the silver medal at the 1999 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Marseille (Mar-sa). She also partnered with Annett Davis on two-person events and the pair qualified for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and placed fifth at the games. Throughout her athletic career, she has finished first 10 times in the U.S. and 2 times internationally, including 7 times on the AVP tour. In 2002, she was honored with the AVP Special Achievement Award. In 2004, she and Davis became the U.S. team with most career tournaments played together. Together with her husband, they work with Athletes in Action’s pro ministry.

In a testimony for BeyondtheUltimate.org, she said of her faith, “Everyone has something they are passionate about and for me it has always been sports. I can remember even at a very young age loving to compete, and when I was introduced to the game of volleyball in 7th grade I was hooked. Yet as great as this passion was, I became even more passionate about something else during my sophomore year in college.”

“During that time I developed a passion for knowing who God really is. I used to think that God was a God of ‘do’s and don’ts,’ but I learned that He is a God of love and that He loves me unconditionally. He loves me so much that He sent His son Jesus Christ to this earth so that I could have a relationship with Him. By committing my life to Christ, I know that I have been forgiven of my sins, have entered into a personal relationship with Him, and will spend eternity with God.”

“My passion for sports has provided many great experiences. I have been privileged to compete for three national titles in college, professionally on the beach and represent the United States in the Olympic Games. It has also taught me many valuable life lessons about integrity, hard work and perseverance. But my athletic experiences and lessons learned pale in comparison to my greatest passion, living a life committed to the person of Jesus Christ.”

Her name is Jenny Johnson Jordan. Continue Reading…

Bryan Davis: “To Have a Relationship with Christ is to Have Enough” (Gospel Light Minute #159)

Bryan Davis

Bryan Davis

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He is a professional basketball player who played college basketball at Texas A&M University. He played for the San Antonio Spurs in the Summer of 2010 before signing with a Polish team for the rest of the season. During this same year, he was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team as well as the All-Big 12 Third Team. In 2011, he signed with the GasTerra Flames of the Netherlands and was named a PLK All-Star. From 2012 to 2013, he played for teams in the Ukraine, China, and South Korea. In 2014, he signed with the Wellington Saints in New Zealand and was named a New Zealand National Basketball League champion.

He said of his faith, “There have been times in my life that I was told that I could not achieve something, and at those times I have looked to my favorite lifeline from the Bible: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ This promise from Philippians 4:13 has guided me and energized me. It reminds me that I can face any life challenge with Jesus Christ. Therefore, to have a relationship with Christ is to have enough. I attribute my success to my faith in God and our relationship, and my strong family values [from the Bible]. And I always hold close to this folk proverb: The smarter a man is, the more he needs God to protect him from thinking he knows everything.”

His name is Bryan Davis.

Adrian Gonzalez: ‘Christ Has Transformed My Life and I Couldn’t be Happier’ (Gospel Light Minute #158) [Listen in 50 Languages]

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