Henry Simmons: ‘Giving It All to God Gave My Life Clarity and Purpose’ (Gospel Light Minute #242)

glm242henrysimmons

He is an actor best known for portraying NYPD Detective Baldwin Jones on the ABC police drama “NYPD Blue” for five years, and his leading role in the CBS legal drama “Shark.” He starred alongside Queen Latifah in the action/comedy film “Taxi”; with Taraji P. Henson in “From the Rough;” opposite Robin Williams in “World’s Greatest Dad”; and with Henson again and Idris Elba in “No Good Deed.” He currently stars as Director Alphonso “Mack” MacKenzie on ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Continue reading “Henry Simmons: ‘Giving It All to God Gave My Life Clarity and Purpose’ (Gospel Light Minute #242)”

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

Monica Wright
Monica Wright

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.”

Around that time, she began to notice the difference in the lives of other Christian athletes. She said, “There was something I desired they had, and I wanted to know what it was but I never went up to them and asked them. Maybe it was something I was afraid of or insecure about so God came up to me.” After meeting a local pastor on a bus ride one day, she began studying the Bible with his wife on a regular basis. She said, “At first I was trying to find fault with her and see where I could catch her in a contradiction. At the time I was taking a German philosophy class where I learned about Martin Luther and his works. Both the class and the pastor’s wife challenged my thinking. I’m reading these books (95 Thesis) and studying with this lady about the Bible, the solidity of the Bible, and what the Bible is and how true it is and how can we be sure. She really wanted me to search it out for myself and read who canonized the Bible, the Council of Nicea, what happened? When people were deciding what books to put in the Bible; what books were left out? Why were they left out?”

The more she studied, the more God began to work in her life and she started making some changes. She said, “I just stopped cold turkey stopped doing some of the things I was doing; drinking, going out, partying, dressing in a certain way. My language changed altogether. My attitude changed about my teammates and basketball changed altogether.” After further Bible study, she began to realize that she needed more than just knowledge. She said, “Okay, I’m over this. I’ve looked and studied and read everything there is to read, bottom line is me as a person I’m not who I want to be. I’ve read scripture upon scripture about how I can change my everyday life. I’ve done it, I’ve put it into action. Overall I can’t be who I need to be without Christ.”

After a while, she went to a small church and gave her heart to Jesus Christ. After she was baptized, she said, “I had people there who knew me as well but didn’t know I was studying the Bible and they were like, ‘wow, is this the Monica we know?’ And it was awesome, I went into the tub they dunked me in and it was just great. I never cry—and I never, ever cry in public—but that day I bawled. I let it out in front of the whole church. I couldn’t contain it.” SIx weeks later in April 2010, her lifelong dream of playing in the WNBA came true as she was selected by the Minnesota Lynx as the second overall pick.

She said, “God has spoken to my heart and said this is a pause in preparation for more that I have planned for you in the future. I trust Him. I’m just going to hold fast to those promises and knowing that He has the best intent for me and He knows exactly what I need.”

Her name is Monica Wright.

NBA Player, Richard Jefferson, says he Has ‘Confidence Because he Can Do All Things Through Christ’ (Gospel Light Minute #192)

Richard Jefferson
Richard Jefferson

He is a professional NBA basketball player who currently plays for the Dallas Mavericks. He was selected by the Houston Rockets in the first round of the 2001 NBA draft. He previously played for the New Jersey Nets, the Milwaukee Bucks, the San Antonio Spurs, the Golden State Warriors, and the Utah Jazz. In 2002, he was selected to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. He was also a member of the USA men’s national basketball team at the 2003 Tournament of the Americas and the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics.

His parents were both Christian missionaries, and he moved frequently throughout his young life. He said, “My life has always been a mix of church and basketball. But through tough moments and times of extreme growth, I still have confidence, not because of my athletic success but because of Philippians 4:13. ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ When I step out on the court I don’t believe there’s anybody I can’t guard, I don’t believe that there’s a shot that I can’t make.”

He also said, “I don’t think anyone can call themselves a finely-tuned Christian. It’s an everyday struggle. I’m a perfectionist, and if I mess up I’ll feel so guilty that I won’t read my Bible, then it’s a snowball effect. I really need to get to [that place of] consistency. I know God is teaching me, and I feel extremely blessed.”

His name is Richard Jefferson. Continue reading “NBA Player, Richard Jefferson, says he Has ‘Confidence Because he Can Do All Things Through Christ’ (Gospel Light Minute #192)”

Fernando Tatis: God is the ‘Real Deal’; ‘It’s the Best Relationship Ever’ (Gospel Light Minute #189)

Fernando Tatis
Fernando Tatis

He is a former professional baseball player. Over his 11 year career, he played for the Texas Rangers, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the New York Mets as well as the Montreal Expos and the Baltimore Orioles. He currently holds the Major League record for RBIs in an inning, becoming the only player in MLB history to hit two gran slam home runs in one inning during a 1999 game. He played his last game in 2010 before officially retiring in 2014. In 2008, he received The Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award for the National League and was named to the Dominican Republic national baseball team for the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

In an interview with CBN, he said of his faith, “In those difficult moments in my life, I pray. I pray and continue to pray. I know that God has the answer. Not in the moment that I want, but I know in His moment, because I know that His moment is going to be the right moment….I’m different, because I’m a Christian. Every Christian should be different. Faith is everything. If you put God in your heart and ask Him, ‘I want the real deal,’ God is going to answer you. He’s going to support you. It’s the best relationship ever. More than your wife, your mother, you father. Jesus is going to support you in every moment of your life.”

His name is Fernando Tatis. Continue reading “Fernando Tatis: God is the ‘Real Deal’; ‘It’s the Best Relationship Ever’ (Gospel Light Minute #189)”

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

Bryan Davis
Bryan Davis

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.

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

Clint Dempsey
Clint Dempsey

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