James Harden: “In Jesus’ Name I Play” (Gospel Light Minute #100)

[audio http://gospellightminute.buzzsprout.com/3192/94277-james-harden-in-jesus-name-i-play-gospel-light-minute-100.mp3]
James Harden
James Harden

He is an American basketball player who plays for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association. He was a first-time All-Star in 2013 in his first season with the Rockets. He was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012. He played college basketball for the Arizona State Sun Devils, where he was named a consensus All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2009.

He was selected third overall by Oklahoma City in the 2009 NBA Draft and became a key part of a young core of players which led the team to the 2012 NBA Finals. He was also a part of the United States national team for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where they won the gold medal.

Even though he spent much of his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder on the bench, he said that “God had a plan” for him in being traded to the Houston Rockets. And after a record-breaking debut performance with the Rockets, he gave God the glory for his success. He said, “I just want to thank God for everything he has done in my life. I really am a believer. All glory to God.” When he is on the court, he wears a wristband that says, “In Jesus’ name I play.” His name is James Harden.

Francena McCorory: ‘No Matter How Fast I Run, it’s Important to Not Get Ahead of God in Life’ (Gospel Light Minute #67)

Francena McCorory
Francena McCorory

She is an American track and field athlete, known primarily for running the 400 meters. She is the NCAA and American indoor record holder in that event. She was also a United States representative to the 2011 World Championships in Athletics and she anchored Team USA to a gold medal in the 4 x 400-meter relay at the 2011 World Championships in South Korea. She was a part of the U.S. Women’s Track & Field team at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She and her team won gold in the 4 × 400 meter relay competition.

Before she left for the 2012 Olympics in London, she said of the race, “I want to win for Jesus Christ. It’s a tough race, but if you have faith in God and faith in yourself and just faith in your training and what you’ve been working towards, it can be fun. It’s all about your mindset.” She says of her faith, “I tell my friends and family all the time, ‘Jesus is the one who gave me this ability.’ I can’t get out here and run on the track by myself. It’s all Him. He blessed me with this talent, and I just want to use it to glorify Him. No matter how fast I run, it’s important to not get ahead of God. I make sure He is leading the way on and off the track.” Her name is Francena McCorory.

Lolo Jones: How Faith and Determination Took Her to the Top (Gospel Light Minute #63)

[audio http://gospellightminute.buzzsprout.com/3192/54404-lolo-jones-how-faith-and-determination-took-her-to-the-top-gospel-light-minute-63.mp3]
Lolo Jones
Lolo Jones

She is a star American track and field athlete who specializes in the 60 and 100 meter hurdles. She won three NCAA titles and garnered 11 All-American honors while at Louisiana State University. She won indoor national titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009 in the 60 meter hurdles, with gold medals at the World Indoor Championship in 2008 and 2010. She went on to win silver at the 2008 World Athletics Final. She is the American record holder in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 7.72. She recently placed third in the 100 meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympics trials, qualifying her for a spot on the 2012 Summer Olympics team.

Growing up with a difficult childhood in Iowa, she often had to shoplift dinners for her family to survive. Her mother worked two jobs to support her family of six. Her father was, for the most part, in the Air Force, and later in state prison. While in third grade, her family settled down in the basement of a Salvation Army church; and she had to wake up early each morning to avoid being teased by other children who found out about her situation. When her family was about to move again to another city in Iowa, she told her mother, “Mom, I can’t go to a city that doesn’t have a track. I’m trying to pursue my dream.” At that time, her and her family parted ways. She lived with four different families throughout her high school years while at the same time she kept up her grades and fought to fulfill her dream.

She often speaks of how her strong faith in God helped pull her through difficult times. And she has a ritual of reading the Bible before a race and listening to Christian music. She created a buzz when she recently revealed in an interview the difficulty of remaining a virgin until marriage. She said that “This journey of staying a virgin until marriage has been hard — Harder than training for the Olympics and harder than graduating from college. It’s just something, a gift I want to give to my husband.” Her name is Lolo Jones.