Former NBA Player and College Basketball Analyst Clark Kellogg: ‘I’m a Christ-follower and Everything I Think, Do, and Say is Influenced by That’ (Gospel Light Minute #182)

Clark Kellogg

Clark Kellogg

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He is the vice-president of player relations for the Indiana Pacers as well as the lead college basketball analyst for CBS Sports. After playing college basketball for Ohio State, he went on to play for the NBA’s Indiana Pacers from 1982–1986. In 1983, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

He said of his faith, “Growing up in a loving two-parent household, I don’t recall going to church much but know my four siblings and I were raised with Judeo-Christian values. I acknowledged the existence of God, but had no real concept of what a relationship with Him was about. Like many of us, I thought doing good things and making my parents and others proud would please God.”

After recovery from a third knee surgery in 1985, he said, “I began thinking about my purpose in life. A local minister started conducting chapel services prior to NBA games. Curious about the peace he had, I asked him to walk me and my wife through the Bible and teach us about God. I learned God loves us, gives us life and breath, and has an ultimate plan for our lives. He wants us to know and worship Him, but sin (falling short of God’s mark) creates a gap between man and a holy God. However, God, because of His great love, provides His son, Jesus Christ to bridge the gap. Through faith in Christ all can be forgiven of sin, made new, and eternal life can be yours.”

He went on to say, “No matter what role I embrace, my faith remains my foundation. Christ is my all and the driver of my life. He permeates my very being and impacts everything I do. Through prayer, patience and asking Him to work through me, I realize I’m always an ambassador for Him. Whether I’m broadcasting, being a husband and father, mentoring guys, or interacting with colleagues, that’s who I am. I’m a Christ-follower and all that I think, do and say is influenced by that. I’m a representative of Christ, and I have the living Christ alive in me through God’s grace. That will always flow out of me as I stay close to Him.”

His name is Clark Kellogg. Continue Reading…

Amar’e Stoudemire: ‘Jesus Gives Me Direction, Purpose, and Hope’ (Gospel Light Minute #181)

Amar'e Stoudemire

Amar’e Stoudemire

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He is a center and power forward for the New York Knicks of the NBA. He was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in 2002 and played with the team until 2010 when he was picked up by the Knicks. Despite chronic knee problems, he won the 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year Award and was a first-team All-NBA selection in 2007. He also made six appearances in the NBA All-Star Game and won a bronze medal with the United States men’s national basketball team at the 2004 Olympic Games.

Although his mother and father divorced when he was young, his father died when he was 12, and his mother was in and out of jail for petty crimes, he always knew he would play basketball. Due to multiple transfers throughout high school, he missed his entire junior year of basketball. He told Dime Magazine that what ‘kept him going during that difficult time was God.’

He said of his faith, “Although I didn’t start playing basketball until I was fourteen years old, I’ve been going to church my entire life. I grew up in a Christian family, and my father took us to church every Sunday and Wednesday without fail. Even though he died when I was twelve, my mother made sure that Christianity continued to be a central part of my family’s life. That’s why I have such a strong faith today. Going to church helped me develop a relationship with Jesus, and that has given me something to lean on as I have worked to reach my goals.”

He went on to say, “Winning Rookie of the Year in my first season with the Suns was an incredible honor, but I know I can’t claim sole credit. I depend on God for everything I do, including playing basketball. Jesus hasn’t just given me talent though. He also gives me direction, purpose, and hope. Without Him to guide my life, I don’t know where I would have ended up. I still say my prayers every night, and God always gives me confidence and peace of mind as a result. That’s exactly what we need more of these days. I was fortunate to grow up in a Christian environment. That may not be true for you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start living for Christ right now. If you’re looking for someone to lean on, someone to guide and encourage you through these troubled times, I encourage you to begin a relationship with Jesus today.”

His name is Amar’e Stoudemire. Continue Reading…

Soccer Star Eddie Pope: “Life is Too Short to Live Without God. He is a Necessity.” (Gospel Light Minute #180)

Eddie Pope

Eddie Pope

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He is a retired American soccer player. He last played for Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer. Although he spent eleven years as a defender for the United States national team, he spent most of his career playing for D.C. United. In 2011, he was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. In 1998, he helped United win both the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football Champions Cup and the InterAmerican Cup. In 1997, he was named the MLS Defender of the Year.

He said of his faith, “I grew up going to church every Sunday with my family. Although church was meaningful to me, it soon became more of a routine than a heartfelt faith. That began to change during my freshman year at the University of North Carolina. I was playing both soccer and football. It was a grueling time because I had two practices a day for each sport I was playing. It wasn’t long before I was exhausted. Then a teammate gave me a card that contained some Psalms from the Bible. They made a lot of sense to me. They also provided me with the peace and strength I needed to get through each day.”

He went on to say, “I came to realize that God is a ‘personal’ God. His Word can be applied in every situation. I also realized it was time to quit going through the motions, to stop treating my relationship with God as a routine and to start making it the foundation of my life. So, in a strange way, soccer has forced me to develop a relationship with God. It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. With all the traveling and being away from family, having God as part of my daily routine is essential—even though He is anything but routine. Life is too short to live without God. He is a necessity.”

His name is Eddie Pope. Continue Reading…

Actor David Oyelowo says “Being a Christian Has Been Invaluable”; ‘Voice of God’ has Guided him Throughout his Life (Gospel Light Minute #179)

David Oyelowo

David Oyelowo

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He is a British-Nigerian actor who is known for several movie roles. He won a scholarship to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and finished his training in 1998. He played supporting roles in the films “The Last King of Scotland”, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, “Jack Reacher”, “Middle of Nowhere”, “The Paperboy”, and “Lincoln”. He also earned high praise for portraying Louis Gaines in “The Butler”. His TV roles include, “Spooks”, “A Raisin in the Sun”, and “Star Wars: Rebels.” He stars as Martin Luther King, Jr. in the biographical drama film “Selma”, for which he received a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama.

In an interview with the Telegraph UK, he is described as having an unwaveringness about him which can be ascribed to his Christian faith. He said, “my faith is a very visceral, conversational one that bleeds into everything. I was brought up as a Baptist. By 16 I was ready to leave church behind. It was a time when my hormones were raging and I was nursing a nice rebellious streak. I decided to try a different church for three months and God turned up in a dramatic way. From then on my behaviour and decisions have been driven by my faith.

As a devout Christian, he often prays on film sets. For the movie “Selma”, he said he heard a voice tell him that he would play the role of Martin Luther King, Jr. In an interview with The L.A. Times, he said, “I knew that voice [of God], because it was the same voice that told me to marry my wife, the same voice that told me to give names to my children before they were even conceived. This is how God has spoken to me in the past. And it’s what kept me going even though directors at the time didn’t want me.”

He said further, “I think it’s vital to have something outside your acting to keep you rooted in the real world, and help you fill the vacuum. If you have nothing else, it can be unhealthy. For me being a Christian has been invaluable: it simply means acting isn’t the centre of my life.”

His name is David Oyelowo. Continue Reading…

Luke Ridnour: ‘Despite Fame, Success, and Money, Only My Relationship with God Gives Me True Peace and Satisfaction’ (Gospel Light Minute #178)

Luke Ridnour

Luke Ridnour

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He is a professional basketball player who currently plays as point guard for the Orlando Magic of the NBA. He played college basketball at the University of Oregon, where he helped to take the Ducks to the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament twice. He was picked 14th in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. He has played for the Milwaukee Bucks, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Charlotte Bobcats.

He said of his faith, “2 Corinthians 4:18 says, ‘So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.’ After spending the first part of my life thinking basketball was the be-all, end-all of my existence, this verse finally put things into perspective. Throughout high school, basketball was my life. I didn’t want to be known for anything other than my accomplishments on the court. But even though I was blessed with many achievements and rewards, I still didn’t have peace. The problem was, basketball was just a game; but I was treating it like it was a god. It wasn’t until college that I was finally able to see this clearly. As much as I enjoyed the game, there was no way basketball could ever give me the lasting sense of fulfillment and meaning I craved. The only one who could provide those things was God. That truth has become even more real to me since entering the NBA. Even though I now have more success, fame, and money than I ever dreamed, my relationship with God is the only thing that brings me true peace and satisfaction.”

His name is Luke Ridnour. Continue Reading…

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