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Power To Win
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Kevin Millwood's career as a pitcher with the Atlanta Braves took off soon after he joined the major leagues in 1997. With a repertoire including a good fast ball, a slider, a curve ball, and a change-up, he became the bane of National League hitters. He was such an asset to the team that fellow pitcher Tom Glavine made a prediction about their 2002 saying, "He's going to be a key part of the level of success we have this season."
So naturally, it was a disappointing for everyone involved when Millwood was traded to Philadelphia in 2003. The economics of baseball forced general manager John Schuerholz to make the tough move. Millwood and his wife Rena could have easily questioned the move and become discouraged. Instead, they relied on the faith that had always guided them through life since they got married.
They didn't trust the Lord in good times only to bail out when things didn't go quite as they would have liked. They rest on Romans 8:28 and know that "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." They choose to be faithful to fulfill His purpose wherever He leads.
There is no evidence of Kurt Warner's football career when you enter the home of Kurt and Brenda Warner. To the Warners, life is larger than football; football is not larger than life.
Let's be honest about this whole Kurt and Brenda Warner story: it's absurdly, ridiculously unbelievable. Warner came out of Northern Iowa without great prospects for pro success. Brenda married, had two children, and then divorced. Brenda and Kurt met at a club. They dated four years. Kurt and Brenda married in 1997. He made the St. Louis Rams as a back-up in 1998. Trent Green went down as the starter in the 1999 pre-season, and many considered the season lost before it started. Warner led the Rams to the Super Bowl and the first of his two NFL MVPs.
"We're a perfect example of two people who never should have been where we are," Kurt says. "We're also a perfect example that if you put things in God's hands, He can do the impossible."
"If people look at our lives, they are able to identify somewhere along the line," Brenda says. "They won't see perfect people, but they'll see two people doing our best for God."
God has a way of meeting His kids in the strangest places. He once met Kyle Elliot Korver on the floor of a Philadelphia shower. As an NBA rookie for the Philadelphia 76ers, Korver got sucked in by the fame, money, and garish, but often godless, lifestyle swirling about him. How'd it turn out, Kyle? "I woke up one morning, and I was just totally empty," he says with emphasis. "I was in the shower, and I just sat there on the floor. I was like, 'God, I don't want this anymore. These are not my desires. I want to glorify you.'"
Korver, who set the Sixers' single-season record for most three-pointers made (226), has been growing in his faith since that morning in the shower. He has led Bible studies, while also leading "Kyle's Coat Drive," which has collected over 2,200 new winter coats for low-income kids.
This is just some of the spiritual fruit beginning to manifest itself in Korver, and his corner of the world is at least a little better because of it. Maybe that's why the Lord will go to any length to fully get a hold of those He calls His own. Even if it means invading a Philadelphia shower.