How David Tyree ‘Cried Out to God from a Jail Cell’ and Later Gave his Life to Christ (Gospel Light Minute #215)

David Tyree
David Tyree

He is a former wide receiver who played for seven seasons in the National Football League from 2003 to 2010. He played college football for Syracuse University. He was drafted by the New York Giants in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He also played for the Baltimore Ravens. In 2005, he earned a Pro Bowl selection as a special teams player.

He is best known for the miraculous Helmet Catch in 2008 which helped the New York Giants defeat the previously undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII (42). He is currently the Director of Player Development for the New York Giants. He retired from football in 2010.

In 2006, along with his wife, he started Next In Line, a project that counsels teenagers in his hometown. In 2011, he became an advocate against legalization of same-sex marriage in New York.

He says of his journey to faith in Jesus Christ: “The environment where I grew up was ‘anything goes.’ My mother was a Christian but she never pressed it upon us, and I was not interested in hearing about it. I started drinking at age 13. During college I was getting drunk every weekend and blacking out from too much alcohol, not knowing what happened. Basically, I was a functional alcoholic. I also began using and selling marijuana.

“When I began playing in the NFL I had a lot more money, which made things worse, as the addictions were easy to satisfy. After my first season, I was pulled over and arrested for possession of marijuana. At the time, I was dating my girlfriend — now my wife — and she was pregnant with our second child. I cried out to Christ from the jail cell and confessed that I needed him to forgive me and change me.

“On March 14, 2004, I walked back into my church to get my life right. I saw a woman at church who was so happy, but I didn’t know why. I discovered that she had also been forgiven by Jesus Christ. She had true freedom and peace with God. I wanted that too and gave my life to God.

“Now I’m all about getting to know God more intimately and allowing my life to be a testimony that he still lives today. I can’t separate any portion of my life from Christ because He is living in me.

“I now have a life with endless possibilities. God allows me to live a life of freedom, hope and joy. I had fallen victim to the surroundings that our society is engulfed in — money, pleasure, fame — that’s what I sought after and football was my pinnacle. But now I strive to know God and His attributes so I can show them to others. God continues to blow my mind by giving me an opportunity to know Him.”

His name is David Tyree.

This is the “Chief of Sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me. Just as David Tyree gave his life to Christ, may I encourage you to do the same. Here is how:

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Remember, friend, Believe by faith. Share the faith. and Keep the faith!

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)”

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.

Jacob Tamme: ‘Faith in God Comes First in Life’ (Gospel Light Minute #135)

8916-tamme-jacob_largeHe is a tight end for the Denver Broncos. Before going to the Broncos in 2012, he was drafted in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He played college football for the University of Kentucky, and as a senior, he earned first-team All-SEC honors from both the Associated Press and the coaches polls.

In 2007, he was named the SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year and elected to the first-team Academic All-America squad by the College Sports Information Directors of America. He was the 2007 recipient of the Bobby Bowden Award, a national honor presented by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

He helped his teams, the Colts and the Broncos, win the AFC Championship, the Colts in 2009 and the Broncos 2013. He recently helped to lead his team, the Denver Broncos, to a Super Bowl berth in the January 19th’s AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. His team played the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl 48 on February 2, 2014.

He said of his faith, “I’ve been blessed with two great parents who taught me how to do things the right way and that provided a great foundation for my spiritual life. Today, I am very thankful to have a life partner in my wife and a son. This has given me a great responsibility to lead my family in our faith, relationship with Christ, and provide the same foundation that my parents provided for me. To me, this is the thing that matters most in life.”

“My faith is important because it’s the core of why I believe we exist as humans. Faith allows us to spend an eternity with God and it fuels my every day actions. I’ve seen how having faith in God can change lives and it certainly has changed mine….God has to come first in all of our lives, then family second. Everything else that we chose in life comes after. Football is very consuming and I love being able to go out and compete week in and week out, but you have to elevate the other two (faith and family) because they are most important and the cornerstones of our lives.”

His name is Jacob Tamme.

Peyton Manning: ‘My Faith in Christ has Been #1 in My Life Since I Was 13-Years-Old’ (Gospel Light Minute #134)

Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning

He is the quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Before playing for the Broncos, he was selected by the Indianapolis Colts as the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. He played 14 seasons from 1998 to 2011 for the Colts. He led the Colts to eight division championships, two AFC championships, and one Super Bowl championship in 2007.

His statistics throughout his playing career have ranked him among the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. He has been awarded four NFL MVPs — a league record. He has also been named to 13 Pro Bowls and 7 AP All-Pro teams. He has thirteen 4000-yard passing seasons, and is the all-time leader in passing yards and touchdown passes for the Indianapolis Colts. Fox Sports and Sports Illustrated named him the NFL “player of the decade” for the 2000s. And in 2013, Sports Illustrated named him “Sportsman of the Year.”

Also in 2013: He broke the record for most passing touchdowns in a season with 55 of his own; he joined Brett Favre and Dan Marino as the only NFL players in history to throw for over 60,000 yards; and he broke the NFL’s passing yardage record by exactly one yard in the final game of the regular season.

He led his team, the Denver Broncos, to a Super Bowl berth by throwing for 400 yards and two touchdowns in the January 19th AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. His team plays the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl 48 on February 2, 2014.

He said of his faith, “At age 13, I committed my life to Christ, and that faith has been most important to me ever since….For me generally it had always been the big four: faith, family, friends, and football. As important as football is to me, it can never be higher than fourth. My faith has been number one since I was thirteen years old.”

He said further, “Some players get more vocal about their faith, and some point to Heaven after scoring a touchdown and praise God after games. I have no problem with that. But I don’t do it, and I don’t think it makes me any less a Christian. I just want my actions to speak louder, and I don’t want to be more of a target for criticism…My faith doesn’t make me perfect, it makes me forgiven, and provides me the assurance I once looked for. I’ve been blessed—having so little go wrong in my life, and being given so much. I pray every night, sometimes long prayers about a lot of things and a lot of people, but I don’t talk about it or brag about it because that’s between God and me, and I’m no better than anybody else in God’s sight. But I consider myself fortunate to be able to go to Him for guidance, and I hope (and pray) I don’t do too many things that displease Him. I believe, too, that life is much better and freer when you’re committed to God in that way.”

His name is Peyton Manning.

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.

New York Giants Player, Justin Tuck, says his Faith in Jesus Christ is ‘Essential’ to his Development (Gospel Light Minute #114)

Justin Tuck
Justin Tuck

He is a defensive end for the New York Giants. He played college football for the University of Notre Dame. And was picked in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He was selected to the Pro Bowl twice in 2008 and 2010 and twice to the All-Pro in 2008 and 2010. He and his team won Super Bowl 42 in 2008 and Super Bowl 46 in 2012. He has also been voted defensive team captain by his teammates for the past 3 years. His commitment to serving others inspired him to create the “R.U.S.H. for Literacy Program” which seeks to encourage children to Read, Understand, Succeed, and Hope.

He said of his faith, “For me, it started with my upbringing. My mother and father raised us in the church. I know a lot of times you hear about people going to church every day, but I can honestly say that I went to church…just about EVERY DAY. It was this lifestyle of constant worship that was embedded at an early age. I truly believe that I have been blessed to have this platform as an NFL player in one of the biggest markets in America for a reason. That reason is to spread how good God has been to me and to let his light shine through me…Faith is tremendously important in my family and it’s been essential to my development.”

On the impact of Bible study with his teammates, he said, “For our team dynamic, I feel that bible study serves as another way of helping guys stay faithful to God. In the locker room it can be very hard sometimes because you don’t always have guys that are necessarily living for God, so sometimes you need to see a face or hear a voice from guys that are trying to walk in that way. I think it’s been really beneficial for our locker room because it’s brought a lot of guys closer in their faith and closer to each other. It’s really helped us.”

He encourages young people and student athletes to place their faith in Jesus Christ as well. He said, “When I started being recognized as an athlete, it was hard to prioritize my faith. I tried to play both sides of the fence. When I was around people that were Christians, I tried to act like them. Then when I would get around guys that wanted to go out in the club and party I tried to put on that front. If I could offer any advice from the mistakes that I’ve made, I would say: Don’t try to fight it, and don’t try to impress everyone. Live your life the way that you know you’re supposed to, which is living for God. Don’t worry about what people might say or think…You’re not going to make everyone happy so you might as well do what you know is right. Be who you are and that’s good enough. There will be a lot of pressure that will come your way. However, I’ve found out that by being who you are, a child of God, you have all the defense that you’ll need in life.”

His name is Justin Tuck.

Tim Brown: ‘You Can Only Live a Good Life if You’re Submitted to God’ (Gospel Light Minute #102)

Tim Brown
Tim Brown

He is a former NFL wide receiver. He played college football at Notre Dame, where he became the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy Award. Drafted as the 6th pick in the 1988 NFL Draft, he played for sixteen years with the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders where he established himself as one of the NFL’s most prolific wide receivers. He also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times and to the All-Conference six times. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2013. He ranks number two in NFL history with nearly 15,000 yards receiving and third in catches with more than 1,000. His 240 games in a Raider’s uniform are the most in franchise history.

He became a Christian as a teenager and sang in the church choir. But after graduating from college, his life took a drastic turn. At 22 years old, he was in the NFL, had a pocketful of money, and was struggling to walk the straight and narrow. After seven years in the NFL, he wanted a change. He said, “I just got tired of living the way I was living. I mean, I’ve never been a drinker or drugs. I never did that kind of crazy stuff, but the things I was doing were bad enough that I couldn’t even look at myself. I even got to a point it was so bad that when I got up in the morning, I wouldn’t even turn the lights on in the bathroom because I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror.”

It was at this point that he chose to commit his life to the Lord. As a teammate and now as a retired football player, he takes the opportunities God has given him to be a role model to others seriously. He often admonishes children and young people to, “Go to church. You know, because in my opinion there is nothing more important you can do with your life. Education is great, but I tell them I know a lot of educated fools out there. There’s a lot of educated fools out there, but it’s the Word of God, and the Spirit of God that can keep you from being crazy and doing the things that we shouldn’t be doing.”

He went on to say, “Only when you’re living subjected to God are you capable of leading a good, clean life — not a perfect life because nobody’s gonna be perfect, but you can lead a clean life. If there are people out there that know me and know me to be a good person, I’m here to tell you that without God, I wouldn’t be that person. Without God in my life, I wouldn’t be that person because the ideas and thoughts that run through my head are just like everybody else out there. But it’s because of God that I’m able to go, ‘hey, we don’t do that, that’s not who we are,’ and I’m able to move on. But its only because of God that I’m able to do that — not because I love my beautiful wife so much. I love my kids and God knows I do I love my kids and my wife tremendously, but as a man you know sometimes that just doesn’t matter. I tell my wife all the time love doesn’t have anything to do with what happens in our world in the NFL and sports world. I mean guys get caught up in it all and things happen, but its God that can keep you.”

His name is Tim Brown.

Having Jesus Christ in his Life Made Former Alcoholic Pat Summerall Feel ‘Ecstatic, Invigorated, Happy, and Free’ (Gospel Light Minute #95)

Pat Summerall
Pat Summerall

He was an American football player and television sportscaster who worked at CBS, Fox, and ESPN. In addition to football, he also announced major golf and tennis events. In total, he announced 16 Super Bowls on network television (more than any other announcer), 26 Masters Tournaments, and 21 US Opens. He also contributed to 10 Super Bowl broadcasts on CBS Radio as a pregame host or analyst. After retiring as a football player, he joined CBS as a commentator and worked with Tom Brookshier and John Madden on NFL telecasts for CBS and Fox. Though he retired in 2002, he continued to announce games on occasion.

He was named the National Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association in 1977, and inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1994. That year, he also received the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame in 1999. He was honored by the NFL with an award named after him which is presented during Super Bowl weekend at the NFL headquarters “to a deserving recipient who through their career has demonstrated the character, integrity and leadership both on and off the field that his name represents.”

Early on in his career, much of his life was characterized by alcoholism and the abandonment of his family. In 1992, his friends and family staged an intervention on his behalf, encouraging him to get professional help for his alcohol problems. He was angry at the idea but reluctantly agreed to enter rehab. While in rehab, he made the decision that changed his life.

He said, “I realized there was a Savior, there was a God.” He made the decision to accept Christ as his Saviour and said, “once I began to realize His involvement in my life, it was easy [to overcome alcoholism]. I never had a craving since then. My thirst for alcohol was being replaced by a thirst for knowledge about faith and God. I began reading the Bible regularly at the treatment center, and it became a part of my daily routine. The more I read, the more I felt a void in my life that needed to be filled.”

He was later baptized at the First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas. He described emerging from the water as though he was surfacing in a new world. He said, “For the first time in my life, I knew what people meant about being ‘born again’. I had already accepted that Jesus Christ was the Son of God who died for our sins. Now, I felt I was truly part of his family. I felt ecstatic, invigorated, happier, and freer. I felt as though my soul had been washed clean.” His name is Pat Summerall.

Mike Singletary says Having Jesus in his Life Helps him to be the Man, Husband, and Father that he Should Be (Gospel Light Minute #86)

Mike Singletary
Mike Singletary

He is a NFL football coach and former professional football player. He played college football for the Baylor Bears and was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 1981 NFL Draft. He was known as “The Heart of the Defense” for the Chicago Bears’ Monsters of the Midway in the mid-1980s. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

He later pursued a career as a coach. He served as linebacker coach for the Baltimore Ravens and then for the San Francisco 49ers where he was promoted to the head coaching position. Today, he is currently the linebacker coach and an assistant to the head coach for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League.

Despite his tremendous success on the field, he found that he felt “empty” and unfulfilled. He said, “I had everything. And it was right after the Super Bowl that I realized that I was really, really empty. I had done all this stuff. I had made the Pro Bowl. I just signed a great contract. I was the MVP that year. I had just won the Super Bowl. But I was the emptiest and the most frustrated.” Although he was raised in a Christian home, the lifestyle of sports superstardom had overshadowed his faith, and he had come to a crossroads.

He said, “I just remember, one day, breaking down. I remember saying, ‘Lord, I’m supposed to be Your son, and You don’t talk to me or use me. You don’t do anything. I don’t understand this.’ In my spirit, I heard two things. One was ‘I want to use you, but there are some things that you gotta clean up first.’ The second thing that I had to do was forgive my father.” His father had divorced his mother and walked out on the family when he was 12 years old.

Once he chose to do that, he says, “Day by day, God began to take away some of the bad habits that I had. Had it not been for Jesus Christ in my life, I’m sure I’d be divorced. I’m sure that I’d know my kids from a distance.” Now an ordained minister, author and motivational speaker, he says, “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that I would take in place of my faith. To me, Christ means everything. I know that He’s got my back no matter what I do. So that gives me all the freedom in the world to be the man that He’s called me to be.” His name is Mike Singletary.

Colin Kaepernick: Glorifying God on the Gridiron (Gospel Light Minute #84)

Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick

He is the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He played college football for the University of Nevada Wolf Pack where he was twice named the Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and the Most Valuable Player of the 2008 Humanitarian Bowl. In the 2011 NFL Draft the San Francisco 49ers selected him in the second round with the 36th overall pick.

He began his pro career as the 49ers’ backup quarterback to starter Alex Smith. In the middle of the 2012 season he filled in for an injured Smith and became the starter as the 49ers advanced to the NFL playoffs for the second straight season. He set an NFL record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in his first playoff game. After beating the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship, he led the 49ers to their first Super Bowl since the 1994 NFL season.

Playing football is a way for him to glorify the Lord. In an interview at Summit Christian Church in Sparks, Nevada, he said, “I don’t think most people look at football as a way to glorify the Lord. I think a lot of people think of it as ‘oh it’s a game, let’s go win.’ Ultimately, that’s your goal, but you also want to glorify the Lord on your way to doing that…My faith is the basis from where my game comes from. I’ve been very blessed to have the talent to play the game and be successful at it. I think God guides me through every day and helps me take the right steps and has helped me to get to where I’m at. When I step on the field, I always say a prayer, say I’m thankful to be able to wake up that morning and go out there and try to glorify the Lord with what I do on the field. I think if you go out and try to do that, no matter what happens, you can be happy about what you did.”

He has also drawn attention for the tattoos on his body. “Against All Odds,” is emblazoned across his chest. A version of Psalm 27:3 which reads, “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not be afraid”, can be read on his left shoulder. Those words are surrounded by: “God Will Guide Me.” On his right bicep is the word “Faith” and on his left bicep is “To God be the glory.”

Even though he has been criticized for his tattoos, he says, “I got them for me and to show people this is what I believe in. And God has brought me this far. He’s laid out a phenomenal path for me and I can do nothing but thank him.” His name is Colin Kaepernick.

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.”

Tom Landry: Because of Jesus He Didn’t Worry About Tomorrow (Gospel Light Minute #29)

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Tom Landry
Tom Landry

He is ranked as one of the greatest and most innovative coaches in NFL history. He invented the now popular 4-3 defense, and the “flex defense” system made famous by the “Doomsday Defense” squads he created during his 29 year tenure with the Dallas Cowboys.

He won two Super Bowl titles (Superbowl 6 and Superbowl 12), 5 NFC titles, 13 Divisional titles, and compiled a 270-178-6 record, the 3rd most wins of all time for an NFL coach. His 20 career playoff victories are the most of any coach in NFL history. He was named the NFL Coach of the Year in 1966 and the NFC Coach of the Year in 1975. His most impressive professional accomplishment is his 20 consecutive winning seasons (1966–1985), an NFL record that remains unbroken and unchallenged. It remains one of the longest winning streaks in all of professional sports history.

He recalled his spiritual journey of attending church with his parents as a child. But as he climbed through the ranks of football, he experienced a “restlessness and emptiness” on the inside. As he neared the top of his profession, he wondered why his happiness at his achievements didn’t seem to last. Two years later, he shared his restlessness with a friend who invited him to church. At 35 years of age and having attended church all of his life, he had never entered into a personal relationship with Christ. After attending this church service, he gave his heart to Jesus Christ. He said of his faith, “I’ve often said that if they would have told me you’re saved by grace, it would have saved me a lot of time. It took me a while to get through all the facts to really understand the Bible and what the gospel of Jesus Christ was all about…I believed my destiny always had been controlled by a power greater than the Cowboys’ ability to win football games. As a Christian, I know my life is in God’s hands. He has a plan for me. Therefore, I never worry about tomorrow or never worry about winning or losing football games. That knowledge gives me a lot of composure in tough situations.” His name is Tom Landry.

I thank God for the life of Tim Tebow, however we need to remember today that there is a long line of Christian men who represented Jesus Christ on the gridiron, and the most distinguished gentleman of all time, and my personal favorite, is none other than Tom Landry. Tim Tebow is continuing that long tradition of men who use the football stage as a platform to share the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Drew Brees: ‘Everything is in God’s Hands’

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He led his team, the New Orleans Saints, to a Superbowl Victory in 2010. He was also MVP of Super Bowl 44. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl five times in his career – with the Chargers in 2004 and the Saints in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010. He was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2004 and the Offensive Player of the Year in 2008. He was also selected by voters to appear on the cover of Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL 11. Sports Illustrated named him as its 2010 Sportsman of the Year. He and his wife founded, the Brees Dream Foundation to advance research in the fight against cancer and to help rebuild what was lost in Hurricane Katrina. In his book, Coming Back Stronger, he chronicles his journey with the underlying message of never giving up and following God’s plan.

He says of His faith, “I live for God, for the faith that I have in Him. Knowing the sacrifices that Jesus Christ made on the cross for me and feeling like it’s in God’s hands, all I have to do is just give my best, commit the rest to Him. Everything else is taken care of. That takes the weight off anybody’s shoulders. It’s to give you confidence to know that you’ve got somebody looking out for you.” His name is Drew Brees.

Emmitt Smith: Faith, Success and a Strong Belief in God (Gospel Light Minute #20)

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Emmitt Smith
Emmitt Smith

Beyond his stellar college football career with the University of Florida, he played for the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals. He is the winner of 4 NFL rushing titles, and is the first player in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in 11 consecutive seasons. In 2002, he surpassed Walter Payton’s All-Time Leading Rushing Record of 16,726 yards to become the NFL’s All-Time Leading Rusher. During his career, he led the NFL in rushing 4 times, won 3 Super Bowl Titles, League MVP honors in 1993, the Super Bowl MVP Award (in Super Bowl 28), and has been selected to the Pro Bowl 8 times. He is the only running back to ever win a Super Bowl championship, the NFL Most Valuable Player award, the NFL rushing crown, and the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award all in the same season in 1993. He finished his career with a total of 18,355 yards. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010, and is the first player from the 1990 NFL Draft to be inducted.

A devout Christian and family man, he shows his strong belief in God in his daily life and in projects that he uses to help others such as the Charities for Underserved Children which he heads with his wife. He urges Christians to pursue their God-given dreams and to combine persistence, humility, determination, courage and faith to be a winner in their calling. His name is Emmitt Smith.