Archive for January 5, 2008
Source: Xinhua News Agency January 4, 2008
The FIFA World Player of the Year trophy awarded to Kaka will be on display at the Chruch Renacer em Cristo, in the neighborhood of Cambuci in Sao Paulo, local press said on Thursday.
Kaka and his wife celebrated the holidays in Brazil. While at a church ceremony, the player stated that, “I want to thank God for all the victories and conquests that I have won this year as a player.”
In a few days, the trophy will be displayed in the lobby of the church’s headquarters, located on Lins de Vasconcelos Avenue. The trophy will receive its own stand to better display the trophy and pay homage to the player.
The player claimed that he wants to share his victory along with the fans. He said, “I don’t win alone,” and affirmed that one day he would like to be a priest.
Apart from the FIFA award, another trophy won this year by Kaka, the Golden Ball, will be on display in the halls of the Sao Paulo soccer team, where he started his soccer career.
In practice this week, Roy Williams wore No. 38 instead of the No. 31 jersey he’s had throughout his six seasons in Dallas. He plans to switch next season to the higher number that has spritual significance to him.
“Eight in the Bible is a new beginning, and I feel that after this season, it’s time to switch,” Williams said. “I have always been a spiritual person. After rededicating my life, I felt it was a good time to do it. It’s about my life. Football is my job. My walk with Christ, I am taking to a whole another level and I am serious about it.”
This isn’t the first time Williams wanted to wear No. 38.
Williams said he didn’t switch two years ago because so many fans were wearing No. 31 and he “didn’t want Jerry (Jones, the Cowboys owner) to lose any money as far as people recalling those jerseys back.”
He said he tried to get No. 38 when he first arrived in Dallas as a rookie in 2002, but the number was already taken.
Article from March, 2007:
Some of the nation’s top athletes from Major League Baseball (MLB) are sharing and revealing their faith in an upcoming film that premieres today in Phoenix.
All-stars such as catcher Mike Piazza, pitcher Tom Glavine, National League Championship MVP Jeff Suppan, Royals Captain Mike Sweeney, and many more will star in Champions of Faith: Baseball Edition, where each player will discuss how their relationship with Christ has shaped their careers within professional baseball.
According to a preview, “these superstars of America’s favorite pastime speak frankly about family, faith, sacrifice, leadership, humility and the many virtues and spiritual lessons they have learned from the game.”
Including within the movie will be high-definition game highlights alongside the players’ testimonies, which will allow viewers to see the public and personal lives of the subjects and how God has affected those.
Contained in the video is inspirational, uplifting music from famed singer, Bob Dylan, who had a powerful conversion in his life late in his singing career. He is known as one of the greatest songwriters in history. (more…)
Travis Fryman knows stats are the main criteria for a player to get into the Hall of Fame, and he keeps his expectations accordingly grounded with his name on the ballot for the first time.
If part of the measure of a player is the effect he has on his teammates, however, then Fryman can look back on his days in uniform and feel pretty happy. That’s how he likes to look at his career, and that’s one reason he’s giving himself a shot at managing.
“That would be what I am most proud of in my career,” Fryman said, “not what I ever did between the chalk lines, but the changes that took place in my life, to the point that I began to care for the men that I played with and try to contribute to their success in life and their careers. Some of those relationships continue even through today. (more…)
LPGA Golfer Suzanne Strudwick:
I grew up in a good family environment, playing lots of sports— especially golf. I attended the church of England, but I didn’t understand how I could have a “personal relationship” with Him. How could He hear me? Why would He listen?
Another tour player told me about Jesus’ love. She shared of how I could repent or turn away from my sin and receive forgiveness in and through the person of Jesus Christ. I saw a daily difference in the lives of some Christians I knew. In 1983, wanting to know God in that same way, by faith through prayer I received Him as my Savior and Lord.
God does listen and care! He answers my prayers. He is in my life—in my heart, in my mind, and in my friendships. He has even shown me ways that I can give back and experience greater fulfillment than I find in sinking a putt. He is always with me.
Source: Beyond The Ultimate
USA Men’s Soccer Forward Eddie Johnson:
As a kid, my grandma made us go to church every Sunday. I never looked forward to it. But over time, I began to realize I was missing something. Then, at just the right time, God sent a friend, Brian, to guide me. He encouraged me to begin my day by reading the Bible. He also showed me how to turn negatives into positives. Finally, at 18, I followed his example and became a Christian.
Before coming to Christ, I got frustrated with circumstances. I didn’t handle relationships very well, and I had a bad attitude that got me into a lot of trouble. After becoming a Christian, I began to think positively for the first time in years, and I became more patient. With God’s strength, I was able to handle tough situations without losing my cool, and my relationships improved as I surrounded myself with people who are a positive influence. Overall, God showed me how to make the most of my life, both on and off the field.
Forgiveness has also been important for me. Through Jesus’ example, I have learned to forgive people and not hold grudges like I used to.
I’ve also found that when things aren’t going well, all I need to do is believe that God will see me through. And He always does!
That’s the key to the rest of my life: faithfulness, both His and mine. I encourage you to make it the key to the rest of your life as well.
Source: Beyond The Ultimate
USA Men’s Soccer Defender Eddie Pope Testimony:
I grew up going to church every Sunday with my family. Although church was meaningful to me, it soon became more of a routine than a heartfelt faith. That began to change during my freshman year at the University of North Carolina. I was playing both soccer and football. August was a grueling time, because I had two practices a day for each sport. It wasn’t long before I was exhausted.
Then a teammate gave me a card that contained some Psalms from the Bible. They made a lot of sense to me. They also provided me with the peace and strength I needed to get through each day. I came to realize that God is a “personal” God. His Word can be applied in every situation. I also realized it was time to quit going through the motions, to stop treating my relationship with God as a routine and to start making it the foundation of my life.
So, in a strange way, soccer has forced me to develop a relationship with God. It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. With all the traveling and being away from family, having God as part of my daily routine is essential—even though He is anything but routine.
Life is too short to live without God. He is a necessity.
USA Women’s Soccer Defender Cat Reddick talks about her faith:
Many people think church is the only place to worship God. But you can worship God no matter where you are or what you’re doing. A soccer field is one of my favorite places to worship. Before the national anthem, I pray my performance will bring glory to God. Then the field becomes my church, and playing to the best of my ability, a form of praise.
I haven’t always regarded soccer this way. During my freshman year in college, I took my abilities for granted, showing up for games and practices totally unprepared. I was in such poor shape that a walkon senior actually started over me. That was hard to take, because I really wanted to go out there and help my team. When I called on God for help, James 1:4 came to mind:
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (more…)
San Antonio Silver Stars’ Shanna Zolman talks about her faith:
I was raised in the great basketball state of Indiana and I began dribbling a basketball not long after I learned to walk.
Then at the age of seven, I made the decision to become a Christian. A couple years ago something very interesting happened to me. I was going through a major slump in my game. The first half of my junior season at the University of Tennessee was the worst I have ever had as an athlete. I placed the blame on many different things, but the slump remained. God really got my attention, and I realized that I had been trying to find significance and fulfillment in my success as a basketball player instead of finding it in my relationsip with Jesus Christ. When I got my priorities back in order and looked to Him as the ultimate Leader for my life, I began to enjoy basketball again. My life and my game are far from perfect, but I realize that Jesus is the One who gives meaning and purpose to it all. Since then, I not only have married Andrew Crossley, the most amazing blessing in my life, but am also continuing my basketball career in the WNBA with the San Antonio Silver Stars.
The following is from Washington Head Basketball Coach Lorenzo Romar:
Points. That’s all I cared about growing up.
Putting points on the scoreboard and earning points with God. Obeying my parents, that was good for two. Helping a friend, field goal. Going to church, slam-dunk.
My obsession with scoring points continued into the NBA. Lacking exceptional ability, I had to work twice as hard as everyone else. But I didn’t care; I was just happy to be there!
One day in the midst of this striving, I sat down with the Bible—a rare moment. Four hours later, I read a passage that startled me. It said that no matter how good I tried to be—no matter how many points I tried to score with God—His standard would always be out of reach. In that moment, I wanted to give up. If my best wasn’t good enough for God, what was?
As I continued reading, my dejection turned to excitement. I learned that God knew I wasn’t good enough, so He sent Jesus to die in my place. I didn’t have to do anything to win God over. Jesus had taken care of that. All I had to do was believe. (more…)