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)”

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)

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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)”

Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh on ‘God Being in the Driver’s Seat’ and the ‘Critical’ Habit of Spending Time with Him (Gospel Light Minute #157)

John Harbaugh
John Harbaugh

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.

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.

Michael Vick says he is ‘Determined to Leave his Life in God’s Hands’ (Gospel Light Minute #74)

[audio http://gospellightminute.buzzsprout.com/3192/62017-michael-vick-says-he-is-determined-to-leave-his-life-in-god-s-hands-gospel-light-minute-74.mp3]
Michael Vick
Michael Vick

He is an NFL quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. After playing college football at Virginia Tech, he was drafted first overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2001 NFL Draft. He became the first African-American quarterback to be selected first overall in an NFL Draft. In six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, he gained wide popularity for his performance on the field, and led the Falcons to the playoffs twice. He ranks first among quarterbacks in career rushing yards. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl four times. He won the Ed Block Courage Award in 2009 and the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award in 2010.

While growing up in a Virginia public housing project that was consumed with constant violence, poverty, and low finances, he often dreamed of playing sports. His father taught him and his brother the fundamentals of football and he often says that sports kept him off the streets during those difficult years. He excelled in football in high school, college, and in the NFL. In 2007, he was charged with funding and participating in an illegal dog fighting operation and was sentenced to 23 months in prison and three years probation. He was released from prison in 2009.

He became a Christian in high school in Virginia and began reading his Bible, but the more success he achieved on the football field, the less he thought he needed God. He said, “I was so self-centered, I forgot about the Lord.” However, after going to jail for dogfighting, he realized how much he needed the Lord back in his life. He said of that time, “”I got back to my roots. The only thing I could do in prison was fall back on God. I wanted to do things right, that I didn’t do the first time.” In the final months of his prison term, Tony Dungy stepped into his life and helped him put his life back together and restore his walk with God. He says, “I thought the transition [from prison to the NFL] would be easy, but it was hard for me. I did things I never thought I would do, like studying and working by myself. I stayed close to my faith, constant in prayer and close to Tony’s calls and texts.” He goes further to say, “I am determined to leave my life in God’s hands and leave the results up to Him. The main thing is I don’t want to disappoint God…God has blessed with a second chance and that is something I will value forever. I don’t want to let Him down.” His name is Michael Vick.