Shanna Zolman Began Enjoying Basketball After she Made Jesus the ‘Ultimate Leader’ in her Life (Gospel Light Minute #238)



She is a professional basketball player who plays for the Tulsa Shock of the WNBA. She was drafted 16th overall in 2006 by the San Antonio Silver Stars after completing college at the University of Tennessee. At Tennessee, she is the 9th scorer in the school’s women’s basketball history. She is also an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

She said of her journey to faith in Christ, “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 relationship 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.”

Her name is Shanna Zolman. Continue reading “Shanna Zolman Began Enjoying Basketball After she Made Jesus the ‘Ultimate Leader’ in her Life (Gospel Light Minute #238)”

Paige McPherson: Trusting in the Lord Makes her ‘Fierce’ (Gospel Light Minute #236)


She is a taekwondo competitor in the Olympics welterweight events for the United States team. She won silver in 2011 at the Pan Am Games and gold at the same games in 2015. Additionally, she represented the U.S. at the 2012 Summer Olympics and earned the bronze medal. In 2016, she was selected to represent the United States at the Summer Games in Rio.

Before the 2012 Olympic Games, she said this of her faith, “I was adopted at four days old into a Christian family and we went to church every Sunday. I really came to my own faith at age 16 in a Christian Bible camp when I began asking questions. I knew then I was ready to be part of God’s family. Since then, I have been walking by faith through all my trials.

“I began studying taekwondo after my older brother Evan, who is Korean, started taking classes; I wanted to do everything that he did. My younger sister started classes later, so it became a family thing. We mostly participated in after-school clubs and competed at state tournaments. One year I tried sparring and my coach recognized a talent there. I started training more, and sparred at the nationals, earning a medal. I made the U.S. junior team, then the senior team and the national team.

“I knew I had a God-given talent, and I have always wanted to glorify Him in any way I can through my sport. I wanted to be the one saying, “God gave me the talent. Let me see how far I can go and how I can increase it for Him.” I took my problems to God and knew He was in control. If I didn’t win, I knew it was His will, and I had that inner peace in me when I fought in tournaments.

“My faith plays a big role in my sport. Being able to trust my Lord and have faith that whatever happens is His will, gives me the inner peace that makes me ready for anything.

“A lot of athletes think the best approach is to be cocky and think you’re better than the other person. Whenever I tried to be overconfident, I didn’t win. But I know that the opponent is just as human as I am. I believe whoever the Lord wills wins, and it’s really anyone’s win on any given day.

“Growing up, my family would watch the Olympics every year together. I have always been a fan and wanted to be one of those athletes, having those special moments. One of my biggest goals was to make the 2012 Olympic team. I wanted to win it and glorify my Lord in the process. I trusted God, and I gave it my all for Him. He wants me to glorify Him whether I win a medal or win nothing, so I pray I will do that (no matter the outcome).”

Her name is Paige “McFierce” McPherson. Continue reading “Paige McPherson: Trusting in the Lord Makes her ‘Fierce’ (Gospel Light Minute #236)”

Alana Beard: ‘Good Things Will Come if I Wait On the Lord’ (Gospel Light Minute #223)



She is currently a professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. In high school, she led her team to four consecutive state titles and was named a WBCA All-American. In college at Duke University, she became the first NCAA basketball player to collect over 2,600 points, 500 assist and 400 steals. She helped her team reach two Final Fours. Since being drafted, she has played in 4 WNBA All-Star games and in 2016, she helped the Sparks win the WNBA championship.

Growing up, she and her family attended church at Greenwood Acres Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana and at the age of 13, she gave her life to Christ. In an article for Sports Spectrum, there is a reason she doesn’t allow all the hype to go to her head. She said, “I believe in being humble because it’s in the Bible. Whenever I’m having problems or feel that nothing is going right, I always go to Matthew 6:25-32, which says that if you seek God’s kingdom first, everything else will be fine. Of course, I want to be the best. But I also believe in being patient. I know that good things will come when I wait on the Lord.”

Her name is Alana Beard. Continue reading “Alana Beard: ‘Good Things Will Come if I Wait On the Lord’ (Gospel Light Minute #223)”

Track Star Trayvon Bromell Put his Faith in God to Get Through Difficult Times (Gospel Light Minute #218)

Trayvon Bromell
Trayvon Bromell

He is an American track and field athlete specializing in sprinting events. He is the first junior to surpass the 10-second barrier. He is majoring in film and digital media at Baylor University and completed his sophomore season with one NCAA title, three NCAA All-American honors, three Big 12 individual titles and five All-Big 12 accolades. In 2015, he won bronze at the World Championships in Beijing and gold in the World Indoor Championships in Portland in 2016. He competed in the 4-x-100 relay and the 100-meter dash in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

After suffering three injuries in three years, he told the Baylor Lariat, “It was a process. It made me stronger as a person, spiritually and physically. I put my faith in God, knowing he would get me through it. Throughout the whole thing it was a struggle because, really, where I’m coming from, you don’t have a lot of resources. I didn’t have the resources and my family didn’t either, but God got us through it and it all paid off.”

His name is Trayvon Bromell. Continue reading “Track Star Trayvon Bromell Put his Faith in God to Get Through Difficult Times (Gospel Light Minute #218)”

Stephanie Cox: ‘Faith in Christ Makes My Role as an Athlete More Meaningful’ (Gospel Light Minute #211)

Stephanie Cox
Stephanie Cox

She is a Mexican-American retired professional soccer defender and Olympic gold medalist. She attended the University of Portland, where she started 23 matches her freshman year. In 2005, after returning to the Pilots following a redshirt season to play for the US, Stephanie helped lead her team to an undefeated record of 23-0-2 and an NCAA Championship and was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team. She most recently played for the Seattle Reign FC of the National Women’s Soccer League in 2013 and the United States women’s national soccer team. Prior to that she played for the Los Angeles Sol and the Boston Breakers. Continue reading “Stephanie Cox: ‘Faith in Christ Makes My Role as an Athlete More Meaningful’ (Gospel Light Minute #211)”

Matt Holliday: Christ’s Coming is ‘What Gets Me Excited’ (Gospel Light Minute #202)

Matt Holliday
Matt Holliday

He is a professional baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball. He plays the position of left fielder. He and the Cardinals won the World Series in 2011 and he is considered a major part of the team’s success. He is well known for his baserunning, hitting, and leadership abilities. Previously, he played for the Colorado Rockies and the Oakland Athletics. He has been selected as an All-Star 6 times. In addition, he has been recognized with four Silver Slugger Awards and a National League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award.

He said of his faith, “My walk with the Lord has come about very gradually. I had always recognized there was God, but I did not know about Jesus or how to have a relationship with Him. My dad was head baseball coach at Oklahoma State University. We did not go to church much because my dad was always working – including on weekends – and we were usually going to the stadium to support him and the team. However, I feel I was raised in a great family. I had an extremely blessed childhood.

Beginning in my rookie season, I had a lot of people come into my life sharing their faith with me. There were individuals who mentored me and helped me realize I needed Jesus, and that the only way to true life is through Jesus. My faith in Jesus has shaped how I handle my family, how I am a friend, how I am a teammate, how I handle all the things I do in my life and how I list my priorities. How you represent Jesus in the way you live your life is the best way to share Christ. Jesus puts all things in proper perspective. It has allowed me to live a lot freer.

I like the book of Job. Much of Job is about trials and struggles, but also about understanding that God is God and we are not. The tattoo on my arm is Job 38:4: ‘Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell Me, if you understand.’ We are not going to understand His ways sometimes, but we must remain faithful as Job. Job 36:26 says, How great is God – beyond our understanding!’ Playing this game offers struggles at times. You have anxiety when you put pressure on yourself to perform, as well as the struggle to not get caught up in your worth or who you are as a pro baseball player.

Players like everyone else often feel the need for approval from other people besides Jesus. For me now, the most important – and only – thing that really matters is Jesus accepts me. The future for a Christian is eternity with the King! I see my relationship with Christ leading me where I know I will spend eternity worshipping Him. It does not make your life perfect, but it allows you to have a perspective that, at the end of the day, Christ will be coming to take us to be with Him forever. That is something that gets me excited.”

His name is Matt Holliday.

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 Matt Holliday 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!

NASCAR Star, Darrell Waltrip: ‘What’s More Important than Winning Races? Serving God and Putting Him First’ (Gospel Light Minute #199)

Darrell Waltrip
Darrell Waltrip

He is a former racing car driver, television broadcaster, and author. He is a 3-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, a 3-time NASCAR Cup Series runner-up, and winner of the Daytona 500 in 1989, and a 5-time winner of the Series’ longest race—the Coca-Cola 600. He still holds many NASCAR records, more than a decade after his retirement as an active driver. He has received numerous awards including NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver Award, American Driver of the Year, and NASCAR’s Driver of the Decade in the 1980s. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012. He is the lead television analyst and race commentator with Fox, a columnist at Foxsports.com, and an author.

He said of his faith, “In 1983 I wasn’t very popular. I was a smart-mouthed, cocky, arrogant sports figure. Then a couple of things got my attention. First, I had a serious accident in Daytona; it was a really ugly scene. After that crash, I said to myself, ‘My priorities are right.’ I was so wrapped up in my professional life. I never thought about a commitment to God.

As I became more and more successful, I would think, ‘I have a great life, but I have this hollow feeling.’ I looked at what I had accomplished and what I had won, and realized there was no glory there. Soon I met minister named Dr. Cortez Cooper, and we developed a solid relationship. He was the first minister in my life who could really make the Bible come alive. With his help, I accepted Jesus as my Savior. I have learned that God is there all the time.”

“I’ve been a Christian since 1983 but even then I was more interested in what I wanted than what God wanted. As I began to grow as a Christian I began to realize that there were more things in life more important than winning races and what I thought. I began to see that serving God needed to be first. God showed me just how blessed I was in having such a strong Christian wife and how children are a true blessing as well. The most important thing to do is to pray and study the Bible. God can take your need and bless you as well as others around you if you put Him first.”

His name is Darrell Waltrip.

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 Darrell Waltrip 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!

Tyler Zeller: Winning the Right Way With Jesus (Gospel Light Minute #198)

Tyler Zeller
Tyler Zeller

He is a professional basketball player who plays the center and power forward positions for the Boston Celtics of the NBA. In high school, he was named “Mr. Basketball” as well as a McDonald’s All-American. He played college basketball at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was named the ACC Player of the Year in his senior year. In 2009, North Carolina won the NCAA championship against Michigan State. He was selected by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2012 NBA draft and traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers that same night. He played for the Cavaliers from 2012 to 2014 before being traded to the Boston Celtics.

In an interview with Athletes In Action, he said of his faith, “I’ve got to give my parents a lot of credit for making me the person I am today. They took me to church every Sunday. As a little kid you draw pictures and everything, but over time you start to develop an appreciation for that, and you start to pay attention.

I came to faith my freshman year of high school. My brother took me to a couple of Bible studies and then to a camp, which is really where I got to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I embraced that as my own – what He did for us, how He died on the cross and took all our sins away and gave us the life that we shouldn’t be able to have.

Being competitive and being a Christian can go hand in hand. You’ve got to go out and play hard and compete, but you also have to do it in a Christian way. If you lose, you can be hard on yourself, but you don’t want to go curse up a storm, hit somebody and all this. It’s about the way you act. You can be very competitive, but you’ve got to be able to win in the right way and lose in the right way.

Audience of One is a huge concept in my life. It means that even though you have all these fans and things going on, your audience is really only God. Your main focus is on what He believes about you, not what all these people think. Maybe you missed a game-winning shot and you’re very frustrated. But God still loves you, and there’s a purpose for everything. Maybe He wanted you to miss that shot to learn a lesson, or there’s something down the road, or maybe you just weren’t supposed to win that game. There’s always something. When you can understand that, it makes life so much easier. You can go out – you’re going to lose, you’re going to be frustrated at times – but you can come back and know that God’s got a purpose for you. He’s going to give you what you need to have, but He’s also going to challenge you in ways. When you face challenges, it’s going to develop perseverance in you and help you, and going forward it will make you a stronger person and a stronger Christian.

The line that I always use is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I know if you look at the actual verse it’s not speaking in terms of basketball, but God really does strengthen me emotionally and physically. He’s always with me, always getting me through things, in basketball and in life.”

His name is Tyler Zeller. Continue reading “Tyler Zeller: Winning the Right Way With Jesus (Gospel Light Minute #198)”

Barrett Jones: ‘Nothing Will Ever Fill the Void in Your Life but Christ; That’s Just How We’re Designed’ (Gospel Light Minute #191)

Barrett Jones
Barrett Jones

He plays the position of offensive lineman for the St. Louis Rams of the NFL. After high school, he played college football at the University of Alabama, started three BCS National Championship Games at three different positions in 2010, 2012, and 2013. After his 2011 season, he was recognized as a consensus All-American and won the Outland Trophy for being the best lineman in college football. After the 2012 season, he won the Rimington Trophy for being the best center in college football. He was chosen by the Rams during the 2013 NFL draft. In 2014, he was named one of the recipients of the Today’s Top 10 Award, given annually by the NCAA to 10 outstanding student-athletes.

He said of his faith in Jesus Christ, “I was saved at a young age. I had really good parents who took me to church, and I started asking them why they went to church all the time and called themselves Christians. Once they explained it to me, I wanted to be a Christian too. Football has played a big part in my life and at times, it has been a big stumbling block. What I’ve learned is to make Jesus the Lord of your life. When I was growing up, sports were really everything. I focused on sports, and all I wanted to do was get a college scholarship. I really focused only on playing, practicing and working out in the off-seasons in sports. Pretty much everything I did was geared toward how I could be a better athlete. I spent the majority of my time on that.”

“As I got into college, it was the same thing but even more so because we practiced so much more and worked out so much more. I really defined myself as an athlete more so than a Christian who happened to be an athlete. I got hurt one year, and God really started showing me that if this is the most important thing in your life, if this is what you’re putting all your emphasis on, you’re going to be empty. That’s something God has continued to teach me, especially when we won the national championship. I remember holding the crystal football and thinking to myself, ‘This is great, but it’s not going to fulfill me in life.’ It was such a short-lived feeling and that led me to realize that nothing was going to fulfill me but a relationship with Jesus Christ.”

He went on to say, “As I read through the Bible, that’s evident throughout the whole Bible. John 6:35 says, ‘I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to me will never hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst.’ I think that verse describes what I’m talking about. Nothing can fill that void in your heart except a relationship with Jesus Christ. Even though I’m saved, I have to teach myself that daily, because I sometimes try to fill that void with other things like sports, school work, girls or whatever. Nothing is ever going to fulfill that but Christ; that’s just how we were designed.”

His name is Barrett Jones. Continue reading “Barrett Jones: ‘Nothing Will Ever Fill the Void in Your Life but Christ; That’s Just How We’re Designed’ (Gospel Light Minute #191)”

How Golfer Suzanne Strudwick Began a Personal Relationship with the God Who Listens and Cares (Gospel Light Minute #190)

Suzanne Strudwick
Suzanne Strudwick

She is an English professional golfer who turned professional in 1983. That same years she joined the Ladies European Tour. Ten years later, she joined the U.S. based LPGA Tour and was rookie of the year in her first season. She made the top 100 on the LPGA Tour money list nine times. In 1989, she won the Open de France Dames and in 1991, she won the AGF Ladies’ Open. She played a full tournament schedule until 2004, and now runs her own golf academy based in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to that, she is a golf coach at Carson–Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee.

She said of her faith, “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 Jesus. 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.”

Her name is Suzanne Strudwick.