By Del Duduit
There are many facts in life I find hard to believe – yet they are true.
For instance. I am an Elvis fan, but did you know he was a natural blond? It’s a fact.
Were you aware dead people are able to get goosebumps? Yes, they can.
This is amusing, but perhaps you knew that Neil Armstrong had to go through U.S. customs in Hawaii when he returned from the moon. That is so ironic.
For those who like to check expiration dates on food – honey will never spoil. You can eat it even if it’s 300 years old.
Finally, don’t ever eat a liver from a polar bear, because it contains too much vitamin A and you will die. Please don’t try to prove me wrong. And by the way, you will also die if a polar bear eats your liver while you are still using it.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. I recently was told something I found difficult to believe, but sadly it’s also true.
When I spent some time with NFL Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz in Cincinnati, he told me an astonishing story.
The 6-foot-6 former offensive tackle said he never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ until he was a freshman at the University of Southern California (USC).
Keep in mind he grew up in SoCal, yet no one ever presented the saving gospel of Christ to him until then.
“I sat down with Ed Holt of Campus Crusade for Christ, and he asked me about how my grades were going, how football was going,” Anthony said. “Then he asked me how my spiritual life was – I told him, okay, but it was non-existent because I didn’t know what he was talking about.”
Within a few days, a player transferred to USC and began sharing his faith with Anthony. Soon the player’s friends were doing the same thing. Who was this Jesus?
“They were coming at me from everywhere. I’d never heard this before.”
When Anthony went home after his first year at USC, he started dating DeDe. Their first date was at her sister’s wedding. The barrage of witnessing continued as DeDe’s sister and new husband started sharing their faith with him.
“Everyone was ganging up on me,” he told me. “They were coming from everywhere. I’d never heard this before.”
The Lord must have wanted this giant of a man on his team really bad. God must have thought if He drafted Anthony on His team, surely, No. 78 would make a fantastic ambassador. Obviously, He was right.
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In October of 1978, the big rough and tough football player realized he needed God more than anything in the world. Both he and DeDe were saved at the same time. What a wonderful story he told me upstairs in the media box before a recent Bengals pre-season game.
“So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Hebrews 13:6
God used a variety of people to finally get the message to Anthony. He used a staff member with Campus Crusade for Christ, a few teammates, and his future relatives over the course of a couple of months.
Anthony was ready for the change once the option was presented to him.
As most of you know who follow the NFL, Anthony went on to have a glorious career which culminated in 1988 when he was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. He is considered by most to be the best offensive tackle to ever play the game. He was the third overall pick in the NFL draft in 1980. He became a starter for Cincinnati his rookie year and missed only three games in his first 12 seasons.
But to think Anthony was never told about the saving grace of salvation until he was a freshman at a major university is beyond belief. There are churches everywhere — I thought.
Does that make you question yourself? Are you doing enough to talk about God’s goodness? Are you inviting people to become a Christian? Are you sharing your faith?
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” I Peter 3:15
Just be ready at all times to share the good news of Christ. You don’t have to shove it down someone’s throat, but be prepared if the subject comes up in a discussion. Perhaps you can give signals you are a Christian which might lead to a conversation. Pray over your food at lunch, post a scripture on your social media page or put a Bible on your desk. Do something.
Just be ready.
Who knows? You might just get a chance to witness to the next greatest lineman in NFL history.
4 thoughts on “I Didn’t Know That”
Del, it is incredible that Anthony had never heard about the saving grace of Jesus for so many years. It shows that we Christians need to step up our game.
I like your suggestions about ways to share our faith. I usually mention church, or God casually and see what kind of response I get before saying more. I pray and ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. A daily prayer is for God to bring me His divine appointments.
I also love the way “the Hound of Heaven” is relentless in His love and pursuit of His children.
Thanks for a great post with a great challenge.
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Thanks Beckie — always appreciate your perspective. We do need to step up our game.
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I am a big fan of Anthony Munoz!
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Thanks — I enjoyed my conversation with him.