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Faith

With his record-setting, high-octane offense, his waves of points, yards and victories, Baylor head football coach Art Briles has taken his once-woeful, now wow-inspiring team to heights even the most optimistic Bears fans never thought possible. He changed the attitude from consistent loser to Big 12 Conference champions complete with a sparkling, new multi-million dollar stadium, tens of millions of dollars of revenue for the school and the rightful expectations that Baylor can continue as a faith-based, private school powerhouse for years to come...

Before one of my team’s golf matches against a big, public school in Charlotte, I gave each one of my players a notecard that read: “'The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.' Westminster Catechism, 1646”. I’m not sure if it meant anything to them. One of my players just said, “Whoa, that’s older than my dad...”

Each week, Bryce Johnson interviews intriguing guests on his syndicated faith and sports radio show UNPACKIN’ it. We highlight a portion of that interview for your enjoyment in our magazine. This issue, Bryce is joined by Scott Hanson, host of NFL RedZone and NFL Network host, who talks passionately about his faith and serving others, and not putting an exciting career first in his life. You can listen to the full interview HERE...

You look the most hipster out of all of us with that bike,” Switchfoot lead singer Jon Foreman laughs. I look back over my shoulder at Foreman behind me. “I don’t know about that,” I laugh, as I coast down a hill on a yellow, rusted fixie they’ve lent me from their tour bus. The paint is peeling, and the bike appears to be more silver than yellow. The bike is wobbly and the front brakes are practically non-existent...

During the NFL off-season, most players spend time vacationing with their families, participating in charity golf tournaments, and renegotiating contracts. New York Jets wide receiver David Nelson does something a little different during his time away from the gridiron. In fact, a lot different! After a life changing missions trip to Haiti in the spring of 2012...

Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius’s book Meditations found Clint Irwin at a perfect time. Irwin was playing soccer in the Canadian minor leagues when he started...

Our biggest breakthrough moments sometimes come when we least expect them. In 2005, United States goalkeeper Brad Guzan had thought he played poorly in place of Chivas USA’s injured keeper. The squad finished with an abysmal 4-22 record in its first season, and Guzan believed much of it fell on him. “I was young,” he says. “I wasn’t sure I was ready mentally, physically…"

The putt only covered 15 feet, but it seemed more like 100 to the gallery gathered at the eighteenth hole at Pinehurst No. 2 on that early Sunday evening in June 1999. It traveled uphill, broke ever so slightly to the right...and slipped gently into the cup. Payne Stewart, wearing his trademark knickers and argyle socks, hoisted the ball up to the heavens. The crowd roared. And for the second time in his career, Stewart was crowned champion of the U.S. Open--the most prestigious event for American golfers. The victory would be his last on the PGA Tour. Four months later, on October 25, 1999, Payne Stewart entered the gates of heaven after his private jet plowed into a dirt field in Minot, South Dakota, taking the lives of Stewart and three business associates. His death at only 42 years old shook the golf world and the entire nation...

Randy Johnson. Just the mention of his name elicits a collection of defeated, almost fearful responses from major league hitters. Some shake their head and laugh nervously. Others ponder their fate for a moment...then shrug their shoulders in resignation. Still others take a deep breath and slowly exhale as if they've narrowly escaped death. Remember the 1993 All-Star Game? The always colorful, left-handed hitting John Kruk stepped in to face Johnson. The 6-foot-10 inch southpaw promptly sailed a fastball over the first baseman's head. That's all Kruk needed. He was finished. He was transformed into a wide-eyed little leaguer batting for the first time as he bailed...

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