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Peace In The Walls

The office in Steve Smith’s Charlotte, N.C., home could pass as a closet in the Sistine Chapel, the arched ceiling painted in a greenish hue, clouds bleeding onto the woodwork, angels appearing to descend from their universe, a biblical story in each corner.

The front left corner is a painting of Eve leaning against Adam in the Garden of Eden, representing Smith’s renewed relationship with his wife, Angie. The back left corner is of the Good Samaritan, representing Smith’s heartbeat for Samaritan’s Feet, a ministry that provides shoes for millions around the world… Continue reading

Another Angle — Dear Coach Bliss

Coach Dave Bliss,

I’m not sure when I started calling you “Coach.” It just kind of happened. I suppose it’s fitting since that’s what you are—from your assistant coaching days under Bob Knight at West Point and Indiana; to your head coaching days at Oklahoma, SMU, New Mexico and Baylor; and even now as the athletic director at Allen Academy in Bryan, Texas.

You’re a coach. And you have 500 NCAA victories to prove it… Continue reading

NFL Closeup: Josh McCown

From the backup quarterback in the NFL to high school quarterbacks coach to starting quarterback in the NFL, Josh McCown has taken the unconventional route back to pro football. But he was ready for whatever God had for him. “There are paths that cross in your life that are out there; you don’t even know they are coming,” he said in a My Story video by the ministry, The Increase. “What are you going to do when you get them? And are you going to join God in His mission or are you just going to miss or are you going to be so consumed with what (you have) going on that (you) miss what you can do with Him?” McCown’s career  began in 2002 with the Arizona Cardinals, but he has never played a full season. After getting in only two games in 2008 and one game in 2009 Read More

NCAA Basketball Closeup: Brady Heslip

There was a time when Baylor University senior guard Brady Heslip’s lifelong dream of playing college basketball was on the fringes. Heslip, considered one of the best three-point shooters in NCAA Division I basketball, transferred from Boston College to Baylor in June of 2010 after then-Boston College head coach Al Skinner was fired. This led Heslip—the Burlington, Ontario, native—from the east coast to central Texas. Forced to sit out a year, Heslip’s future, once certain in Boston, was now in question. What made his future more in question, Heslip knew, was his physical shape. “I was overweight, that’s just plain and simple what it was,” Heslip told The (Toronto) Globe and Mail. Heslip was a kid, and he ate like one and lived like one. He liked junk food. He didn’t take the best care of his body. But he knew he needed to change if he wanted a chance Read More

NBA Closeup: Kevin Durant

Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant and his mentor, Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz, recently dropped by Lifechurch.tv for an interview with pastor Craig Groeschel. Durant and Lentz talked about their friendship and answered questions from Groeschel about growing spiritually. Durant also talked about the importance of leaving a legacy. “I want to be known for serving people,” Durant says. “When people see me, they think I deserve something. I don’t deserve anything. I don’t deserve to be put in the front of the line at the movies or get a free meal, I don’t deserve anything. I think for me, I just wanna go up to people and impact their lives. Whether it’s from me inspiring them from playing basketball or just going up and asking them how their family is doing, that’s what I want to be known as. “Also, a legacy changer. I didn’t grow up with Read More

NFL Closeup: Case Keenum

The Houston Texans have seemingly had a revolving door at quarterback this season, but it has benefited Case Keenum, one of college football’s most prolific passers in history. For Keenum, though, the journey from top to bottom to the top again has been quick and quirky. A year after he rewrote the NCAA record books while playing quarterback at the University of Houston, he went undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft before signing with the Houston Texans as a free agent. But for Keenum, the NCAA’s all-time record holder in total passing yards (19,217), touchdowns (155), and completions (1,546), as well as the Football Bowl Subdivision’s all-time leader in total offense (20,114), he had to deal with life away from the game while still being part of the team – because he only made the Texans’ practice squad and never saw the field during the 2012 NFL season. So the Read More

NFL Closeup: Ryan Mundy

Ryan Mundy reminds us to make the most of every situation, even if the situation isn’t ideal. Mundy was leading the New York Giants in tackles (42) and had a momentous 91-yard return off an interception (in the Giants’ first game against Dallas) before hurting his hip late in the game against Minnesota on Oct. 22. That resulted in being replaced by strong safety Will Hill, who the Giants believe to be better in coverage. Mundy never got his starting role back. “It’s really frustrating and disappointing,” Mundy told nj.com. “I was leading the team in tackles. I was productive. But at the same time, we still have a lot of games to play. This is bigger than me. We’re making a playoff push right now. I don’t want to be a distraction.” Now, Mundy is playing on special teams for the Giants. Though it’s not where he feels he Read More

From the Archives — A Comeback in the Long Run

For even the world’s best athletes, the Olympics represent the chance of a lifetime. Years of sacrifice and training culminate in fleeting minutes, perhaps only seconds, of effort. And then…only one winner stands atop the award platform.

Going for the gold is one thing. Getting it is another. Just ask Jim Ryun.

Though not one, not two, but three Olympiads, he chased the gold. But every time he ran, its glitter remained just beyond his grasp…

Click here to read the remainder of Jim Ryun’s story in the Vol. 3, No. 2 (1989) issue of Sports Spectrum, which was then called Second Look. Continue reading

Airing It Out — Sharing our hope

(Originally published in Sports Spectrum’s April 2013 DigiMag)

We heard the same sermon twice on the Wednesday night we went to West Monroe, La.—and both were unexpected.

We had just finished our interview with Miss Kay, Al, Willie and Phil Robertson, cast from the popular TV show, Duck Dynasty. It was interesting listening to Phil talk about sex and relationships, Willie talk about his early days when he and his wife, Korie… Continue reading

From Puppet to Platform

Dylan Thompson had strings.

He moved the right way. He said the right things. He danced across the stage and nailed his lines. He was a shell of a man, a marionette that moved but had no life inside.

One day, the strings broke, his body fell, and he lay all twisted up and lifeless on stage.

The lights went down. And the curtains closed… Continue reading

Uncommon Challenge