1219) Physical Training Has Some Value, But…

Michael Phelps carries the American flag at the Olympic Opening Ceremony, August 5, 2016

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By  Veronica Neffinger, August 8, 2016, at:  www.christianheadlines.com

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     Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time.  He recently won his nineteenth Olympic gold medal at the Rio Games.  His fiance, Nicole Johnson, recently gave birth to their son, Boomer Robert Phelps.
 
     It seems that everything is going well in Phelps’s life, but despite his fame and achievements, that wasn’t always the case.
   
     After the London Games in 2012, Phelps was not in a good place.  He thought he was done with swimming and instead took to living his life recklessly.  He got caught smoking marijuana and drunk driving.
 
     The old issues he had struggled with all his life after his parents divorced and he became estranged from his father began to resurface.  Phelps became so depressed that he contemplated taking his own life.
 
     It was then that his NFL friend Ray Lewis, an outspoken Christian, stepped in.  “This is when we fight.  This is when real character shows up.  Don’t shut down.  If you shut down we all lose,” Lewis told Phelps.  Lewis also convinced Phelps to go to rehab which Phelps reluctantly agreed to do.
     While he was in rehab, however, Phelps not only gained some needed perspective on his life, but his life was changed forever when he read Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life which Lewis had given him.  Phelps said that the book “turned me into believing there is a power greater than myself and there is a purpose for me on this planet.”
 
     The video link below tells the story of not only Phelps’s career, but of the new person he became after attending rehab, reconnecting with his father, and putting his trust in God.
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 “Michael Phelps’ testimony illustrates the salvation and peace that can only be found in Jesus Christ.  When the devil tried to detour Phelps’ Olympic dreams with substance abuse and family problems, God sent him a miracle in the form of a Christian book given to him by his brother in Christ.  Phelps’ restored Christian faith empowered him to persevere and reach heights most athletes will never see.”  –Qpolitical
 
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“Michael Phelps’ story is a reminder that no matter how big a mess your life may be, and no matter how dim the last embers of hope may glow, God is still there.  It’s also a reminder of the role that God’s people are called to play as bringers of hope and agents of restoration.  The results may not be as dramatic as Phelps’ story but they will matter every bit as much.”   –Eric Metaxas

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I Timothy 4:7b-9  —  Train yourself to be godly.  For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.  This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance.

II Corinthians 5:17-18  —  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.

Philippians 2:12-13  —  Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

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Take, Lord, all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my whole will.  You have given me all that I have, all that I am; and I surrender all to your divine will.  Give me only your love and your grace.  With this I am rich enough, and I have no more to ask.  Amen.

–St. Ignatius Loyola  (1491-1556)

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