This Christian autobiography talks about the dream of a small boy to follow in the footsteps of his childhood role model to earn a full scholarship in college football.
Everyday children are influenced by athletes in high school, college and professional sports. This book offers insight into the world of a high school and college student athlete. It shows that it is possible to make the right decisions along the way and encourages student athletes to become the role models this society desperately needs.
When changes occur and adjustments need to be made, this books offers sound advice on transitioning from high school to college in pursuit of a bachelor's degree and playing college football. From getting redshirted or injured to having to transfer to another college, it explains the steps to take while continuing to persevere in the classroom and on the field.
College is a time when many student athletes "soul search" to find that balance to juggle life's complex load involving serious questions about future aspirations. This spiritual journey addresses thought provoking questions involving Christianity that student athletes have been longing to have answered. It also talks about how to effectively play for Christ, while witnessing to others and giving all the glory to God.
One day will come when every athlete will have to hang up their cleats and enter the "real world." This book addresses making that transition and finding out what it is God wants to continue to do in your life.
I pray that you will take the time to read a true story that encourages and inspires student athletes, parents and coaches to walk on higher ground and awaken the spirit within. Together we can soar to new heights and rediscover the reason we were created by the very hands of God.
SYMBOLISM OF THE NUMBER 40: The summer was coming to a close and the start of my last college football season was quickly approaching. This season I would be wearing the number 40 that followed me through high school to the University of Kentucky before having to sit out a season at the University of Rhode Island. This number went far beyond just being an identity for me on the football field. It was symbolic of my relationship with my personal Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, because it is one of the most significant and important numbers used throughout the Old and New Testament. The fact that I had the opportunity to display that number on the field as I played my senior year was a privilege and an honor. Many people are familiar with the story of Noah building the ark in Genesis before it proceeded to rain for 40 days and 40 nights which flooded the entire earth. Only Noah, his family and the animals on the ark were spared to multiply and continue life on earth. It would be the first and last time God would allow such drastic devastation. His promise to us from that day on has been the rainbow you see in the sky after it rains. Something so beautiful that only the very hands of God could have created it. If we fast forward to the New Testament there is another familiar passage in Matthew that talks about how Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights in the wilderness. It was during this time that Jesus was tempted by Satan. Every time the devil tried to get Jesus to do something that would prove to be a sin, Jesus would quote Scripture from memory. After the third time Satan tried to tempt Jesus, He simply replied in Matthew 4:10, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” If the Son of God was not exempt from being tempted by Satan, how much more does that make us vulnerable to the devil’s deceit and lies? The protection for that vulnerability can be found in 2 Timothy 3:16 where it says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Jesus answered Satan with nothing but the very inspired words of God and understood that nothing could be more powerful or encompassing against sin and temptation. Those are two very familiar passages that reference the number 40 but I want to go above and beyond those two times to show the significance of this special number. In Exodus 16:35 it says, “And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.” This proved to be so significant because God was providing for His people in the wilderness after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea with Moses. Although the Lord freed His people from bondage from the Egyptians, if it wasn’t for His provision in the wilderness they would not have survived. The Israelites were not without complaint as they ate manna for forty years and Moses would talk to God alone to ask for direction and forgiveness for the Israelites sins. In Exodus 24:18 it says, “So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.” It was during this time that God provided Moses with the instructions to build the Ark for the Testimony. Later in Exodus 34:28 Moses again visited with the Lord, “So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.” As the Israelites continued on their journey in the wilderness to the promise land, the Lord wanted them to spy on the people of Canaan before He would give them victory. Numbers 13:25 says, “And they returned from spying out the land after forty days.” After all the countless miracles the Lord performed for the Israelites, the people still didn’t think that their God could deliver the enemies of Canaan into their hands. Due to their refusal to enter Canaan from a total lack of faith, the Lord passed a harsh judgment on His people. The judgment was in Numbers 14:33-34 that says, “And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know my rejection.” The story of David defeating Goliath prior to becoming King of Israel is one of the best stories of bravery every told. Prior to David killing Goliath, 1 Samuel 17:16 says, “And the Phillistine drew near and presented himself forty days, morning and evening.” That’s right! It took forty days of Goliath ridiculing the Israelites before David took a bold leap of faith and had the Lord deliver the giant into his hands. It can also be found in the Old Testament that King Saul, David and Solomon each reigned for 40 years. The last reference I will use to the number 40 being used in the Bible is what I believe is truly the greatest. Our eternal salvation would not be possible if Jesus, the Son of God, did not die for our sins. The one infallible thing that secures Jesus as truly being the Son of God is that He conquered death by rising from the grave after three days. In Acts 1:3 the proof is delivered when it is said, “To whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” After Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He not only rose from the grave but appeared before the disciples and others for a period of forty days before transcending into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. The number 40 for some might just be two random numbers put together on a football jersey, but to me it was so much more. This special number paved the way for the creation of the mystical rainbow. It helped me understand how to overcome temptation while enabling me to become intimately familiar with the provisions of the Lord and His very Commandments. Number 40 helped me to take a bold leap of faith like David, and most importantly, it showed me that Jesus is the very Son of God. When you look at the number 40 after reading this I hope it takes on a special meaning for you as it does for me. As I prepared myself for my final college football season, the number 40 was ready to give Jesus all the glory and honor regardless of the outcome my senior season. As long as I met Him halfway, I knew He would provide according to His will for my life.
Miguel Viera, his wife, Tiffany, two sons, Mason and Trevor, and daughter, Marina, currently live in Jamestown, NC. He works at Varrow, Inc. as an Applications Systems Analyst. The family attends Gate City Baptist Church where Miguel is a Deacon and involved with the Greensboro Jail Ministry.
The creation of this book has led Miguel to start a new ministry called "Playing for Jesus Ministries." This ministry is focused on unleashing the power of students and student athletes on and off the playing field one Christian at a time. This will be accomplished through a quarterly newsletter distributed via email that offers biblical insight for Christian living and also gives student athletes the opportunity to share their accomplishments through Jesus on the playing field. If you would like to receive this newsletter or share an encouraging story about your sport, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.playingforjesusministries.com to learn more about this exciting ministry.
Miguel is available for motivational speaking engagements at churches, high schools and colleges upon request. His hopes for the distribution of this book are to solely spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and revitalize the significant importance of positive role models for our younger generation through Christian student athletes.
If you enjoyed reading this book and it has changed your life in some way, we would love to hear about your story. I hope you made the decision to receive Jesus as the Lord of your life. It is the biggest decision you can ever make and one I promise you will never regret. One day spent with Jesus Christ is far better than a lifetime spent without Him.