As we enter September, many of us are looking forward to the beginning of autumn, possible cooler weather and football season. Many families enjoy the fun of Friday night lights in high school and Saturdays in college stadiums across the country. Local sports can be the heart of a community and a time for fellowship with friends and other families. Whether your children are involved in the sports community by playing on a team or just enjoy watching sports, it’s an opportunity to share in comradery through the love of Christ.

How does faith play a role in sports? In so many ways. If properly cultivated, being involved in sports develops character, values and a platform to demonstrate your faith and honor God. There are a multitude of athletes and sports figures that profess their faith through their sport, including Tim Tebow, Tony Dungy, Mike Singletary and Kurt Warner, just to name a few. Now is a perfect time to read about how athletics and Christianity can be a platform for testimony.

1 Corinthians 9:25 tells us in the New Living Translation, “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.”

Triumph! Powerful Stories of Athletes of Faith
By Pat Williams and Ken Hussar

Former Philadelphia 76ers player and Orlando Magic executive Pat Williams has become a popular Christian speaker and author. This book is a collection of stories that describe how some of the biggest names in sports have used their faith to guide them through challenges both on and off the playing field. For a young sports fan, this book will serve as a knowledge of sports history while demonstrating how many committed Christians have been able to make a name for themselves in amateur and professional sports.

Called to Coach: Reflections on Life, Faith and Football
By Bobby Bowden

Called to Coach offers an up-close and personal look at one of the winningest coaches in football history, Bobby Bowden. From his boyhood in Alabama to his 55-year career in college football, this book reveals never-before-published details of his life, including the tragic death of his grandson and son-in-law in a 2004 accident, and the details of his retirement in 2009. Called to Coach is an inspiring story of a remarkable man and the unwavering faith in God that sustained him.

All Things Possible: My Story of Faith, Football and the Miracle Season
By Kurt Warner, Michael Silver

This is the courageous saga of Kurt Warner, a man who refused to relinquish his dream or his belief in God’s guiding hand and went on to become the winning quarterback and MVP of Super Bowl XXXIV. More than just a thrilling sports story, this is also the intimate tale of how Kurt’s devotion to his family sustained him as he pursued his lifelong dream. On December 14, 2000, Sports Illustrated honored Kurt as one of its six sportsmen of the year.

Game Changer
By Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins is an NFL quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. He exhibited a passion for football at an early age and went on to play for Michigan State University. In 2012, Cousins was selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins and led them to a 2015 NFC East Division Championship. He is known both on and off the football field for his exemplary leadership qualities and his commitment to making a difference in the name of Christ, committing everything to the glory of God. In Game Changer, Cousins gives readers an inside look at his life and how he puts his faith and values into action, both on and off the field.

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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.