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Young: The trials of Tim Tebow

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By Mylow Young
Special to Inside The Pew

Tim Tebow has made headlines again but perhaps for the very last timeMylowYoung2 as a member of the NFL. On April 29, Tebow was released from the New York Jets and it is speculated that he will not be signed by another team. Critics have insisted since the day he was signed by the Denver Broncos as the 25th pick in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft that Tebow doesn’t possess the skills to be an NFL player. He only went out and proved them wrong by leading Denver to six consecutive come from behind wins in the 2011 season that helped catapult the Broncos to the playoffs and a victory over the top defensive team in the league, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But when all-world quarterback Peyton Manning became available in free

Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow

agency before the 2012 season, Tebow became expendable and was packed off to New York. In his first season with the Jets, Tebow was promised an opportunity to compete but was mislead when the team stuck with the inconsistent incumbent, Mark Sanchez. As the circus atmosphere in New York, escalated there was no doubt that Tebow would soon find his way out of yet another NFL door.

So what’s next for Tim? He insists he is an NFL quarterback, possessing the skills to lead a team to victory but will he get another shot at it? Many advise him to look to compete at another position while others suggest he go to Canada where the opportunity to succeed is a bit more prevalent. Tebow has decided to trust God. On Wednesday, he tweeted Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will direct your path.”

“How can he lack understanding on why he was released?” a prominent ESPN sports show panelist asked, making reference to Tebow’s skill set. “Tebow was saying, I tried everything else and it’s not working so I give up, you take it Lord” was the surprising response from the other panelist. Someone in secular media gets it!

I don’t feel sorry for Tebow; there’s no need. But I do believe that he is in a season of trial and is definitely in the fire. He has shown the wisdom and maturity to know that the position he’s in and the status that has been placed on Him is bigger than he is. I believe, and my guess is that Tebow believes as well, that it is God’s will that He endures what he must to first of all bring glory to God and secondly, to become the man he is destined to be off of the football field.

He has chosen to trust God above all else and that’s why I cheer for him. He’s trusting God above the possibility of never playing in the NFL again. But Tebow’s trials are much bigger than football, much bigger than a game. The difficult part is… the entire world is watching.

Mylow Young, a licensed minister and native of Philadelphia, is author of “Crack House Exodus: Against the Gates of Hell.” Follow Mylow on Facebook and on Twitter @mylowyoung.

Book review: Former NFL quarterback encourages others to be their best

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By Tonya Andris
Inside The Pew

For 14 seasons, Randall Cunningham was the versatile NFL quarterbackLay_It_Down_Randall_Cunningham whom teams depended on to make miracles happen on the gridiron.

Now, Cunningham, 50, is a pastor, a mentor, and an author. His second book, “Lay It Down: How Letting Go Brings Out Your Best,” (Worthy Publishing, $19.99) was recently released. The book takes readers through several episodes in his professional and private life that brought him to rely on God for support and clarification. The most pressing situation – the accidental drowning death of his 2-year-old son, Christian, in 2010. Cunningham fittingly alludes to the death of his son in the title of chapter 2, “The Biggest Hit I Ever Took.”

Instead of showing frustration for his son’s death, Cunningham immediately praised Him. “I got in my car, backed out of the driveway, and began to scream, ‘Hallelujah! Praise God! Thank you! I love you, God.”

“The goal of the book is to allow people to think about life solutions,” said Cunningham, who spent his career playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Minnesota Vikings, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Baltimore Ravens. “There is no way we could have got through this (the death of Christian) on our own.”

Fittingly, Cunningham uses football-related phrases to frame his story. Nice touch. For further study of the chapter, the book includes reflection questions and epigraphs from the Bible, C.S. Lewis, Tim Tebow, Tony Dungy, Tony Dorsett, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela.

Mentorship takes on a circular meaning in “Lay It Down.” Cunningham said mentors have been “divinely planted” in his life.

“I’ve always had mentors, I just didn’t realize it,” he told Inside The Pew. “When I was in Pop Warner as a boy, there were men who volunteered their time to coach me. When I attended church, I had pastors who would pray for me. There were teachers who took a vested interest in me because if they didn’t I would not have become the man I am today.”

Cunningham credits Troy Johnson and Robert Johnson for introducing him and his wife, Felicity, into discipleship.

In the book, he also mentions how he is mentored by the nearly 12,000 members of his Las Vegas, Nev., church – Remnant Ministries.

As an NFL player, Cunningham considered the late Reggie White as his mentor, among others. Near the end of chapter 4, he speaks highly of hall of fame defensive end. But, before the “minister” began to connect with him, Tom Cameron introduced him how to stand with God and become a born-again believer. The prose here was engaging.

“It was Reggie White who got in my face and told me you better straighten your life up,” he said.

Just as some of the same ways teachers and pastors mentored to him, Cunningham serves the same role to teens who participate in the high school track and field and club track and field teams he coaches. As a coach, he said is able to mentor to athletes, especially those who are fatherless.

Cunningham wrote, “The building block of our culture begins with strong families, and the father is vital to that equation. Children need a father who is there. … Mentoring begins as a father.”

The book can fit into the classifications of a biography and inspirational non-fiction (well-organized story telling in several chapters). Cunningham’s message is clear as the reader closes its covers: set goals, stay focused, and never hesitate to rest on others for support. These attributes have taken Cunningham pretty far.

“Lay It Down: How Letting Go Brings Out Your Best” is available at Amazon and Borders. To learn more about Remnant Ministries, visit http://www.remnantministries.net/.

‘God has brought me this far’: A glance at Super Bowl warriors Kaepernick, Lewis

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By Aimee Herd
Special to ASSIST News Service

NEW ORLEANS, La. (ANS) — “God has brought me this far, He’s laid out a phenomenal path for me and I can’t do anything but thank Him.” — Colin Kaepernick

On Feb. 3, the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers will wrangle on the grid iron in Super Bowl XLVII.

The faith of a few members of the NFL has been increasingly highlighted in recent years, and it is certainly not lost on some of this year’s players.

Colin Kaepernick is the first. In fact, forget the eye-black-with-Scripture so significant when worn by Tim Tebow in his time as a Gator; 25-year-old Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers has plenty of it-in the form of tattoos on his arms.

Perhaps literally guilty of “wearing his heart on his sleeve” (pun intended), Kaepernick seems to back up the tatt depictions of his Christianity with a personal devotion to the God he follows.

“My faith is the basis from where my game comes from,” Colin explained in a Daily Sparks Tribune interview last year. “I’ve been very blessed to have the talent to play the game that I do and be successful at it. I think God guides me through every day and helps me take the right steps and has helped me to get to where I’m at. When I step on the field, I always say a prayer, say I am thankful to be able to wake up that morning and go out there and try to glorify the Lord with what I do on the field. I think if you go out and try to do that, no matter what you do on the field, you can be happy about what you did.”

Regarding his tattoos, Kaepernick told Reuters, “I don’t really care what people think about my tattoos. I got them for me and to show people this is what I believe in. God has brought me this far, He’s laid out a phenomenal path for me and I can’t do anything but thank Him.”

On the young quarterback’s right bicep the word “Faith” is inscribed, and “to God the glory” and a scroll with Psalm 18:39 elsewhere on the same arm.

On the other side of the field, there is equal passion for the Lord, probably most prominently displayed by the Ravens’ defensive leader and linebacker, Ray Lewis.

“I just know that when you put your trust in God, that anything is possible,” Lewis told a CSN reporter about making it to this year’s Super Bowl contest. Earlier this year, after returning from an injury, Lewis announced that he would be retiring at season’s end.

Lewis’ fiery on-field persona is balanced by a strong faith in the Lord, one that has helped lead the Ravens through the season, as Lewis reads and preaches from the Bible in the locker room, prior to games.

While Lewis’ faith has risen out of troubling circumstances and a very different scenario than that of, say, Tim Tebow-Ray is just as passionate, and has had a huge impact on his teammates, especially this year.

Orlando Magic vice president Pat Williams described Lewis’ faith this way, “He’s come from a totally different background than someone like Tim Tebow. He has come to Christ later in life but isn’t that true of so many? The Bible teaches us that not only are our sins forgiven but they are forgotten.”

What does Lewis say?

“Don’t look at my yesterday, look at my tomorrow,” explained Ray in a Fellowship of Christian Athletes interview. “I’ve said it before, God never changes. The relationship was there all along.”

Perspective on Tebow

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Author releases eBook centered on quarterback’s influence

By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

Can he play?

Should he pray?

What’s his future?

If you think Tebow mania is history because the Broncos will not play in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, guess again.

"Tebow: Throwing Stones" is now available on Amazon.

NFL Network plastered Tebow’s image in its promotion of the station’s upcoming NFL Draft coverage. Then, on Jan. 27, NBC announced programming that coincides with the 18-plus hours of Super Bowl coverage planned to run on all of its networks. The Broncos quarterback is scheduled to appear on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” on Feb. 1.

For Tebow enthusiasts and NFL faithful, a new eBook on Tim Tebow picks up where the hype leaves off.

He’s not going away, and the draft – where the Broncos will either build a team around Tebow or trade him – is right around the corner.

“Tebow: Throwing Stones” takes this moment to take a fresh look at the patron saint of the NFL.

Paul Hughes, author of the eBook, reviews Tebow’s playing and praying, and tries his hand at prognosticating the young quarterback’s future.

Available exclusively as a Kindle eBook, “Tebow: Throwing Stones” is available for sale now. Readers with a Kindle device and Amazon Prime Membership can borrow the book for free.

Hughes said the book is short – less than 50 pages – and can easily be read in the run-up to the big game on Feb. 5.

“It’s ‘conversational and accessible,’ as the kids say, with a tone that balances edge with respect,” Hughes said.

And the book is cleverly priced at $3.16. The book is available for purchase at www.amazon.com/dp/B0070HDZOE.

www.amazon.com/dp/B0070HDZOE