NFL Coach John Harbaugh: ‘I Surrendered My Life to Christ’ (Gospel Light Minute #157)

John Harbaugh

John Harbaugh

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He is the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens. Before that, he coached the defensive backs for the Philadelphia Eagles and served as the Eagles special teams coach for nine years. While leading the Ravens to 71 wins since 2008, he is considered one of the best head coaches currently in the NFL. His 9 playoff wins are the most by any head coach in the NFL since 2008. He led the Baltimore Ravens to win Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans in 2013.

In an article for BeyondtheUltimate.org, he said of his faith: “I had always been more fascinated by church history than the Bible itself. When I arrived at Miami University (Ohio) as a freshman defensive back, two teammates invited me to a Bible study. I was intrigued by the Bible’s logic. Things started clicking about God, the universe, sin and Christ’s death on the cross. Before long, I surrendered myself to Christ. I remember walking home thinking, ‘If I fall on the ground and die right now, I’m right with God.’ I felt a real freedom.”

He went on to say, “My Christian faith brings me peace. It brings a certain peace that surpasses all understanding. I think if you have that, it gives you a chance to accomplish whatever it is you are supposed to accomplish. I think it’s critical to make time for God; it’s a way to honor and praise God. You just humble yourself before God and let Him know that these things that we do are for Him. The biggest thing I’ve learned faith-wise is that God is in the driver’s seat. That is what faith is. It’s the belief in the things that are unseen. It’s a certain trust in life and in God, our Creator.”

“More than anything else, I want God to stay close to me so I don’t get caught up in myself and basically embarrass myself. I used to pray for other reasons, and every now and then I’d pray for a turnover. But that’s selfish behavior. When you make yourself small and raise up the other people around you, that’s the Christian message.”

His name is John Harbaugh. Continue Reading…

Mike Brown says his Relationship With God Gives him Peace in Times of Uncertainty (Gospel Light Minute #156)

Mike Brown

Mike Brown

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He is a wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was signed by the Jaguars in 2012. He played college football at Liberty University, where he played quarterback. In 2011, he was named the Big South Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and named to the Big South Preseason All-Conference. While at Liberty, his team, the Liberty Flames, won four straight Big South Conference championships between 2007 and 2010.

After being overlooked in the 2012 NFL draft and overcoming a back injury in 2013, he has been committed to his faith in Jesus Christ, which he said has given him peace in times of uncertainty. He said, “I have no idea how people deal with (the pressures of this job) without a relationship with God. I can sit back, and I can trust in Him and know that no matter what, He has my back. At the end of the day, whatever He has planned for me is going to happen.”

His name is Mike Brown.

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How Tim Howard Found Peace Through Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #155)

Tim Howard

Tim Howard

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He is an American soccer goalkeeper with English club Everton and the United States national team. His U.S. nationals team played in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and even though the team lost to Belgium, he is considered by many to be a winner with a record 16 saves.

He also played with the North Jersey Imperials, the MetroStars, and Manchester United. On January 4, 2012, he scored a goal, his first as a professional player. This made him only the fourth goalkeeper to score a goal in a Premier League match. With Manchester United, his team won the Football League Cup in 2005-2006 and the FA Community Shield in 2003. Personally, he was named Major League Soccer Humanitarian of the Year and Major League Soccer Goalkeeper of the Year in 2001. He was also named the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year Award in 2008, and the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football Goalkeeper of the Year Award in 2013.

In an article for Athletes in Action, he wrote of his battle with Tourette’s Syndrome and how he came to faith in Jesus Christ. He wrote: “Having spent the first 10 years of my life with an undiagnosed case of Tourette’s syndrome — a neurological disorder characterized by physical and verbal tics — I did not experience a lot of peace. But even though my life often seemed chaotic, I knew I could always count on at least one person to provide calm and stability: my grandmother. Nana’s sense of peace was so powerful because it came from her faith in the Lord. Through her, God revealed His love for me as well. It wasn’t long before I was following in her footsteps. I wanted the same kind of faith and peace she had, and that is exactly what God gave me.”

He went on to say, “Living with Tourette’s is not easy. But God has blessed me with the gift of athleticism as well. He has done some powerful things in my life through the combination of these two gifts. He also has shown me ways to use my position as a professional athlete to encourage others with Tourette’s syndrome. Today, I am blessed to be living a dream. And yet, if it all went away tomorrow, I know I would still have peace. That probably sounds crazy to most people, but that’s the kind of peace Christ gives. It is rooted in His love, and it surpasses all understanding. You can experience this same sense of love and peace, too. All you have to do is ask for it.”

His name is Tim Howard.

Shola Ameobi: ‘Playing Football (Soccer) is What I Love, but it is Second to My Faith in Christ’ (Gospel Light Minute #154)

Shola Ameobi

Shola Ameobi

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He is a professional footballer who plays as a forward. He played for 14 years with Newcastle United. His team won the Championship in 2010, and he received a winner’s medal. He holds the record for the most appearances as a substitute in the Premier League. Born in Nigeria but raised in England, he was capped by the England under-21 team before making his debut in Nigeria in 2012. He is currently playing for Nigeria in the 2014 World Cup.

In an interview with the Independent UK newspaper, he said, “[My faith in Christ] has kept me going. I’m doing what I love, playing football, but it’s second to my faith. When I had a career-threatening hip injury five years ago, it was touch and go for a while. It was a terrible time, but I felt God was going to see me through, and He did.” He also said that his popularity does not keep his parents, especially his father who is a pastor, from making sure he goes to church each Sunday.

His name is Shola Ameobi.

Clint Dempsey: Soccer Star says his ‘Faith in Christ’ Gives him ‘Confidence for the Future’ (Gospel Light Minute #153)

Clint Dempsey

Clint Dempsey

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He is an American soccer player who plays for the Seattle Sounders in Major League Soccer. He is the captain of the United States national team. As a teenager, he played for one of the top youth soccer clubs in the state, the Dallas Texans, before playing for Furman University’s men’s soccer team. In 2004, he was drafted by Major League Soccer club New England Revolution. Between 2007 and 2012, he played for Premier League team Fulham and is the club’s highest Premier League goal scorer of all time. He also became the first American player to score a hat-trick in the English Premier League, in the 5–2 win over Newcastle United in January 2012.

He first represented the United States at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates. And in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he scored the team’s only goal of the tournament. In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, he scored against England, becoming only the second American to score goals in multiple World Cup tournaments. In the 2014 FIFA World Cup, he beat his previous record, making the fifth fastest goal in World Cup history. He and his team are currently playing in the World Cup in Brazil.

In an interview with Christian Today, he said that his faith did not become active and real to him until after his sister died from a brain aneurysm. He said, “Her death triggered all kinds of questions about why some things happen and what role God played in it all. For a number of years, I struggled and put distance between God and me. But He was faithful and patient and provided gradual healing and strength.” When he went to college and got into Bible study, his faith became more real to him. He said, “God’s Word brought me peace and a desire for a relationship with Him. I found that questioning Him and searching for answers through Scripture helped me grow and gave me direction. Now my faith in Christ is what gives me confidence for the future. I know that through both good times and bad, He is faithful and will watch over me.”

When two of his college teammates died in a car crash on their way to a concert that he only pulled out of because he didn’t have the money to go, it gave him a gratitude for life and a desire to make sure his life is for God more than anything else. He said, “Today, I pray for strength to walk the road before me. I play to the best of my abilities and am thankful for the many opportunities and amazing success He has given me. Through it all, I want to do right, not make mistakes, and live a life that is pleasing to Him.”

His name is Clint Dempsey. Continue Reading…

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