Carson Wentz: Through Ups and Downs of His NFL Career, Faith of Eagles Quarterback Is Solidly Anchored in Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #250)

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks
Dec 3, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) takes a break during pregame warmups against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

He is an American football quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. He played college football at North Dakota State University from 2011-2015 and was selected by the Eagles with the second overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the highest selection ever for an FCS player. During his time at NDSU, the team won five NCAA FCS national championships. In his first year with the Eagles, he accumulated multiple NFL and Eagles rookie records, including most pass attempts by a rookie quarterback and most pass completions by a rookie. In the 2017 season, he was crucial to the strong and powerful start which had the Eagles at an 11–2 record at the time he went down with an injury. He was 2nd in the NFL in touchdown passes with 33, as well as a media and fan favorite to win MVP but unfortunately missed the last three games of the season due to a season-ending ACL injury in his left knee. However, the Eagles would go on to win Super Bowl LII over the New England Patriots 41–33, the first in franchise history, earning him a championship ring. Some credited the Eagles’ victory to a revival in the team’s locker room led by their injured quarterback. In 2017, he launched the AO1 Foundation, with AO1 standing for “Audience of One,” referring to playing for God. He also started a project in 2018 in conjunction with Mission of Hope Haiti to build a sports complex in the country using funds from his NFL contract.

Continue reading “Carson Wentz: Through Ups and Downs of His NFL Career, Faith of Eagles Quarterback Is Solidly Anchored in Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #250)”

Patriots Player Devin McCourty: ‘God’s Word and Christian Faith Gives Me a Great Foundation to Lean On’ (Gospel Light Minute #185)

Devin McCourty
Devin McCourty

He is a defensive back and kickoff returner for the New England Patriots of the NFL. He played college football for Rutgers University. Drafted by the Patriots in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, he has played both cornerback and safety during his career. In 2010 and 2013, he was named to the Associated Press All-Pro team. He helped his team win two AFC Championships in 2011 and 2014. He was also named to the Pro Bowl in 2010.

In the Baptist Press, he said of his faith, “Striving to be rooted in God’s Word and my Christian faith gives me a great foundation to lean on daily. Playing in the NFL or in a Super Bowl shouldn’t define a person. I don’t really think anything in this game we do defines who we are as people. It’s a blessing, it’s a great opportunity…to take advantage of the opportunity but still know who you are as a person.”

His name is Devin McCourty. Continue reading “Patriots Player Devin McCourty: ‘God’s Word and Christian Faith Gives Me a Great Foundation to Lean On’ (Gospel Light Minute #185)”

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

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.

Richard Seymour: ‘Being a Husband and Father Helped Me See My Need for a Real Relationship with Christ’ (Gospel Light Minute #122)

Richard Seymour
Richard Seymour

He is a defensive tackle and is considered by some to be the ‘best defensive lineman in the NFL.’ He was described by Yahoo Sports as ‘the best #6 overall draft pick of all time.’ He was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2001 and played with the team until 2008. He then played for the Oakland Raiders from 2009–2012. He played college football for the University of Georgia. He was selected seven times to the Pro Bowl and five times to the All-Pro team. He is a three time Super Bowl champion winning games 36, 38, and 39 with the Patriots. His team was also the AFC Champions four times.

He said of his faith, “I have three Super Bowl rings, but nothing compares to knowing Jesus Christ. I first became a Christian at a young age, but for all the wrong reasons. I was afraid and did not want to go to hell. I did not fully understand the love of God. I went to church, but only because I had to. I knew right from wrong, and felt guilty when doing wrong, but I did not follow Jesus wholeheartedly. It wasn’t until I was married with kids that I made the decision to change my relationship with Him. The challenges of being a husband and father, plus the tragedy of losing my own father, caused me to realize that I need Christ’s help and strength to be the man I need to be. I am not perfect, but Jesus says He will erase my mistakes and make me pure and clean. Today, I still experience ups and downs in life, but in Christ I have peace, joy and true happiness.”

His name is Richard Seymour.

Giants’ and Patriots’ Players say their Relationship With God is More Important than the Super Bowl (Gospel Light Minute #38)

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The New York Giants and the New England Patriots will meet today in Indianapolis for Super Bowl 46. And for so many Americans, this is the biggest event of the year. But some of the men who play on the field will be quick to tell you that football — even the Super Bowl — is not the main thing in life.

Devin Thomas, a wide receiver for the New York Giants who was a decisive player in the NFC Championship Game that sent the Giants to the Super Bowl says, “Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and I put Him first. He’s given me this opportunity to showcase on a large scale about the work He has done in my life.”

Danny Woodhead, running back for the New England Patriots and two time Harlon Hill Trophy Winner, says “Without my relationship with Christ nothing else really matters. This is obviously the greatest situation to be in in football and in my athletic career but my faith comes first.”

Prince Amukamara, cornerback for the New York Giants, says “My faith has helped me because I know it’s an audience of one and that I’m just performing for Jesus.”

Matthew Slater, wide receiver and special teams captain for the New England Patriots, says, “I’m a true believer that God is in control. You know, Romans 8:28 says that God is going to work everything together for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. So, you have to at the end of the day just trust the plan. And trust that we don’t always know what the plan is but it’s not up to us to know what the plan is. It’s God’s plan.”

Hakeem Nix, wide receiver for the New York Giants and one time NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month, says “I’m all in. I’m all in with Christ … He put me here to exalt Him and humble myself.”

Deion Branch, wide receiver for the New England Patriots, two time Super Bowl Champion, and one-time Super Bowl MVP, says “Life is bigger than football. You can’t do this forever. What I’m going to be is a God-fearing Christian.”