Athlete Profiles:

Mark Redman

Cubs 3, Marlins 0. Five outs to go. In Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. However, one fateful foul ball, a pivotal error by Cubs shortstop Alex Gonzalez, seven straight hits and eight runs later, the Florida Marlins had gutted out another win.

After posting three straight wins against the Cubs in the NLCS the Marlins went on to beat the New York Yankees in the World Series four games to two. But for Marlins' pitcher Mark Redman fun hasn't always been there.

In 2001, Redman was brought in to Detroit, where in his first year he finished 8-15. Redman's faith was being stretched like it never had been before. "It was frustrating," Redman says. "Everyone knows it's easy to win. But what about when you're losing? There were a lot of times when I wondered why God had me going through this. What had I done wrong?"

Redman then signed with Florida. But although so much had changed, one thing stayed the same. God had a plan for Redman. "God really used me as a disciple," Redman says.

Now, after a trade, Redman finds himself with the Oakland Athletics. "I'm looking forward to seeing what God's going to do with (my family and I) here."

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Tim Tebow

As the current quarterbacks for the last two national championship teams, Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow have taken center stage in two of the most intensely scrutinized college football programs in America. Even as sophomores, this concept is not lost on McCoy and Tebow. They know they are being watched. They also know that with the immediate access they have to so many people, the opportunities to be a model and a spokesperson for Jesus Christ are preeminent. "In some places it's not the cool thing to do or the popular thing to be and God is not No. 1," says McCoy.

Tebow and McCoy were both hatched from close-knit, deeply Christian upbringings that saw them come to faith at an early age. Tim Tebow's fater, Bob Tebow, heads the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association, which claims to be the conduit of close to 9 million people coming to faith in Christ in the last 8 years.

An NFL career is a goal for both of these young quarterbacks, but they are realistic enough to know there are no guarantees. McCoy looks forward to what God has in store. "God willing, I'd like to be in the NFL, but the important thing to do is His will."

Shaun Alexander

Whether Shaun Alexander spends his Sunday morning wearing a football jersey on a field or a suit in a pew, he's the same guy. "Shaun is a Christian 24/7," says close friend and teammate Mack Strong. "He's a great example. It's a testimony to him, to God."

Alexander has made a lasting name for himself in the NFL. The accomplishments and praises he's received are only dreams for many. He's not surprised by his success; he's always set lofty goals and worked hard. Now he's a household name, but he says, "This is no time to say, 'Look at me.'" That's because, for Alexander, it's not just about football. "I play football to make a difference in people's lives."

The difference he wants to make is a difference for Christ. He has a heart for providing hope, especially for youth, and giving to others as unto the Lord. That's the purpose of his foundation and the community center he started with his brother. "You can't outgive God," he says.

The best day in his life? Being valedictorian of his graduating class? Setting NFL records? Becoming 2005 MVP? No. "It was the first time I led someone to Christ," says Alexander. What else would we expect?

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