Julie Ertz: 2x FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion Credits Her Hugely Successful Sports Career to Her Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #244)

Julie-Ertz-celebrating-r259123_800x450_16-9

She is one of the best American soccer players. She is a midfielder for the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the highest division of women’s professional soccer in the United States, and the United States women’s national soccer team. She is a 2x FIFA Women’s World Cup champion with the U.S. Women’s National Team (2015 and 2019). She played collegiate soccer with the Santa Clara University Broncos from 2010 to 2013. Following her collegiate career, she was selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NWSL Draft by the Chicago Red Stars. That same year, she was named the NWSL Rookie of the Year. In 2015, at age 23, she became the second-youngest player to make the National Team. With her help, the United States went on to win the 2015 Women’s World Cup final. She played every minute of all seven games of the tournament and was subsequently named to the FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team. In 2017, she was awarded U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year. She also represented the United States at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament, helping to lead the National Team to their second consecutive World Cup victory and fourth overall.

In a recent interview with Sports Spectrum, she professed to focusing on one thing in particular even more than her game: that is, her faith in Jesus Christ. “I continue to work on all things, and that goes for my relationship with Christ as well,” she said. “[My faith] gives me a bigger perspective on life and my career.” With whichever squad she’s training and competing at the time, she always engages in Bible study groups and pregame prayer huddles with some of her teammates. “I want to stay true to who I am and my beliefs,” she said. “These Bible studies really help me grow and keep me accountable. It brings me closer to my teammates; we continue to grow as players and as people.” Continue reading “Julie Ertz: 2x FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion Credits Her Hugely Successful Sports Career to Her Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #244)”

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

Chris Paul
Chris Paul

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

O.J. Atogwe on Committing his Life to Christ and the Violent Nature of Football (Gospel Light Minute #115)

Oshiomogho Atogwe
Oshiomogho Atogwe

He was drafted in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams and played with the team until 2010. In 2011, he played for the Washington Redskins. And in 2012, he played with the Philadelphia Eagles. He played college football at Stanford University. In 2007, he was the NFC Interceptions leader, and in 2008, he was awarded the MVP award by the St. Louis Rams.

Born in Canada with Nigerian heritage, he said that as a child, his parents taught him about Jesus and he understood the basic Christian holidays, but it wasn’t until he was a freshman at Stanford University that he came to know Jesus Christ personally and he chose to commit his life to serving him. He joined a group called Cardinal Life, a Christian athlete ministry for all the sports teams at Stanford, and through their activities he saw that there was a better way to live.

As the son-in-law of NFL coach and former Chicago Bears middle linebacker, Mike Singletary, he is known to deliver hard hits. When asked whether there was a conflict in aspiring to be a good Christian and the violence inherent in the game of football, he said, “As long as I’m playing by the rules I’m governed by, then God will be pleased with me. As long as I’m hitting them where I’m allowed to hit them, it’s fair game. Everybody agreed to the rules. If he is hurt, you pray for him. He’s in God’s hands. You don’t want to seriously harm anybody. I don’t’ believe that is in the heart of a Christian. We are here to love each other and build them up. God wouldn’t be OK with me trying to hurt someone because we are putting the sport above the lives of the people He created. But He has called us to play this game 100 percent without fear or hesitation to His glory, and as long as we do that within the rules, I believe that in His eyes He is pleased with what we are doing.

His name is O.J. Atogwe.