Ben Watson – Liberty University Convocation
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Ben Watson – Liberty University Convocation

December 11, 2019

>>BEN WATSON: I’m still tired, ten years
later. Isn’t it amazing where time, that was 2006. You guys were in high school, maybe?
Middle school? Born yet? And the amazing thing is Champ Bailey, obviously went to the University
of Georgia, I called him the Top Dog because he is–yes, UGA–he is, one of the greatest
players to ever come from Georgia. He was actually my teammate for a little bit with
the Saints this past year, so it’s funny, you know, we walk around the locker room,
and guys are like, “Hold on, weren’t you that guy that Ben knocked out, you know, ten years
ago?” They’re pulling up, they’re playing on YouTube, you see there was no high-def
back then, you can barely see what was going on, so.>>DAVID NASSER: That’s amazing. So, we were
going to talk about this in a little while later, but while we’re on the topic, so you
were telling me that your dad wrote a whole sermon series based on that. Like a proud
father, tell us about what makes you run 99 when everybody else ain’t running, what makes
you? Give us some thoughts behind that play if you would.>>WATSON: Well not many of you, I mean, growing
up my parents taught me to give a hundred percent in everything that I do. My mom is
over there. And my father, “whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly for the Lord, not
for men,” So, Growing up, it was always about finishing whatever you started. It was
about giving a hundred, giving effort, and then at University of Georgia there was a
time when we were playing Clemson University, and we were playing Clemson University, and
it was the first game of the season, I think. I’m a running back, fumbled the ball, right,
and it was on the fifty yard line. And their defensive end picked the ball up, ran it all
the way in for a touchdown, and everybody on offense just sat there and watched him
run into the end zone. So, Coach Mark Richt, wasn’t very happy about that. So, the next
day in practice we didn’t even practice, we just ran. We ran and we ran and we ran, and
he said, “You never give up, you chase the guy who has the ball if it’s the defensive
player.” So, fast-forward, later that season we’re playing Alabama, your school, we beat
them that year though, as we have many years. And, the same thing happened.>>NASSER: How many National Championships
does Georgia have?>>WATSON: How many do you have?>>NASSER: 17.>>WATSON: How many do you have?>>NASSER: Do I have?>>WATSON: Yes.>>NASSER: I’m a Flame now, so we just made
it into the playoffs for the first time.>>WATSON: Okay, all right, okay.>>NASSER: Did you know that, by the way?>>WATSON: Well congratulations. You know,
can I finish my story?>>NASSER: Please.>>WATSON: All right, thank you. So, the linebacker
picks the ball off, and I chase him. It’s a hundred degrees in Tuscaloosa. People are
passing out in the stands. I chase him; I catch him on the one-yard line, to find out
that the player was blown dead fifty yards ago. So, I’m on oxygen, but the point is it
was engraved in me to always chase. So when we got to the Patriots, you know, it was the
same thing. That play happened in the playoffs, and I felt it was on all of us to try to catch
him, and I was also mad because Tommy hadn’t thrown me a touchdown that game, so I figured
I’d take my frustration out on somebody.>>NASSER: That’s amazing. Man, tell us about
your upbringing. Just your family, especially with your mom being here. We’d love to tell
you–just hear a little bit about your family, and, just, yeah.>>WATSON: Well I’m the oldest of six kids.
Yeah, that lady over there is special. I’m the oldest of six kids, I’m thirty-four, my
youngest brother is fifteen years younger than me. We’re four boys, two girls, so, grew
up in a household that had a lot going on. But my parents loved the Lord, and my father–I
grew up in Norfolk, Virginia. I was actually born in Norfolk, Virginia. Yep, 757! Yeah,
back in the day, it was the 804. Y’all might not remember that. But, yeah okay, all right.
So, I grew up. I’m a Virginia boy. I heard a lot about Liberty growing up. So, I grew
up always, you know, playing sports. We used to play football out in the yard, you know,
in the street, tackling on the sidelines, stuff like that. But I really– I’m very close
to my brothers and sisters and my parents, you know. They set a great example of what
it meant to, you know, follow the Lord whole-heartedly. My father is a pastor now, and so we moved
to South Carolina. Actually, when I was in high school, my dad went down to plant a church,
which he now pastors in Rock Hill, South Carolina, a town outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.
You got people from everywhere in here, huh? Liberty is worldwide! And then we moved to
Zimbabwe. And
then we took a trip to the Moon, and–golly, we’re all worldwide in here! Universe-wide!
So I went to high school. I went to high school in Rock Hill, South Carolina at a school called
Northwestern. I was always involved in sports growing up, always involved in FCA and things
like that. Our family vacations growing up were Fellowship of Christian Athletes camps.
My father would go speak at different places around the country, and we would all pack
into our little, little car, all eight of us. Pack into the car, and we would drive
around the country, and those would kind of be like our little vacations. When I was a
kid, I was kind of like the FCA mascot, you know, running around the campus with all the
college kids, so.>>NASSER: Yeah. That’s amazing. So obviously
a Christian heritage and a strong Christian home. How did you come to know the Lord?>>WATSON: Yeah, well I–it was kind of a,
I’m going to have to get up to stand, to tell this story. So, when I was about five years
old or so, I grew up in a Christian house, as I talked about before, and I knew about
the Lord, but there comes a point where you feel the Spirit calling you, and where God
reaches out to you cause the Bible says that, you know, we turn to Him. We repent of our
sins, but we can’t come to Him unless He calls us. So when I was about five or six years
old, my father had this teddy bear that was about this big, and I was only about this
big. And my dad is about the same size as me, you know, maybe a little shorter cause
he’s a little older, you know, you shrink when you get older. But a big dude. He was
always the guy with the big muscles. He’s the reason why I wanted to play football and
wanted to work out because my dad, he played football at the University of Maryland, big
guy, so. I’m going to stop saying things so you all can stop, so. So anyway, we–he would
take this teddy bear and before I would go to bed at night sometimes he would say, “Benjamin,
do you want to fight the teddy bear?” “Yeah, yeah Daddy, I want to fight the teddy bear.”
So he said “Okay.” He’d get behind the teddy bear, and he would box me, you know I’m a
little kid; he would box me with the teddy bear even though he’d hit me in the face and
all. I think he was trying to see–it had been a while since he played football, so
I think he was trying to take out his aggression on his son in some way, I don’t understand,
but he would get behind the teddy bear and fight me with the teddy bear. And sometimes
he’d let me win, but there was one night, as the story goes, I fought the teddy bear.
I lost, and I went to bed, and I was in my bed, screaming, “Daddy, you bring that teddy
bear back here! You bring that–I’m not going to bed till I beat–!” And he leaned over
and told my mom “This boy has a serious competition problem, you know.” So he brings the teddy
bear back out, he lets me win, and that night, he said “Benjamin, you know, if you were to
die tonight, you know, in your sleep,” and I knew the right answer, but I didn’t know
it for myself, and he shared with me John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He
gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting
life.” Right there, at about five, six years old, is when I repented of my sins and put
my faith and trust in Jesus. And so, as you know there is a process, there’s a sanctification
process that happens over your life, so that was my first real encounter, knowing that
I’m a sinner. I need what Christ did on the cross for my salvation, and turning and repenting
at that young age. But since then, you know, it’s been a process of getting to know the
Lord and getting to have my full faith and trust in Him. It hasn’t been without trials
and tribulations but, it’s been a process of growing and knowing the Lord–becoming
more and more like Christ, but I point back to that time when my dad was behind that teddy
bear, fighting me with the teddy bear, was my first real encounter.>>NASSER: That’s amazing, man. And so, obviously,
you come to know the Lord, you go through college, and then, the next level: the NFL.
Love to hear just the things that Lord has been teaching you when you mix fame and faithfulness
together, and–tell us a little bit about your football career, and then, just, being
a believer. One of the things that I read one time about you was that you gave everybody
on your team a Bible as a Christmas gift, and so, just moments like that, we’d love
to hear some thoughts and perspective on. Just as a believer, walking through that.>>WATSON: Well, when you’re a believer you
are–that is who you are in your essence, and what you do, with your life is simply
what you do. You are a Christian,; you are a believer; you are a child of God; you are
all those things and what you do is become a doctor. What you do is become a lawyer.
What you do is, you know, teach, be a pastor. What you–what I do is play football. I’m
a professional football player, so that doesn’t change who I am. What I do doesn’t change
who I am, who God sees me as. And so a lot of times we, you know, separate the two, but
we are God’s children, we are be–Christians first, and then what we do flows from that.
So, for me I was drafted in 2004 to the New England Patriots–bandwagoners–I was drafted
to the New England Patriots. I
played there for six years, you know, it was a great six years, you know, taught me a lot.
I tore my ACL my first year there, and many of you who, you know, have gone through something
like that, you know how tough that is, and that was a hard time for me. You know, here
I am, got drafted, number 32, thirty-second picked to the World Champion Patriots, we
go in to another Super Bowl that year, won the Super Bowl, and I can’t play. And I was
so frustrated. I was doing rehab. I’m sitting there in Boston while I’m coming from Georgia.
Never seen that much snow before. There’s eight feet of snow on the ground. I’m miserable;
I’m being a jerk to my family when they come around because I felt like my self-worth was
all wrapped up in football. And one of the things I’ve learned over my career and one
of the things I’ve tried to pass on to the guys that are younger than me is–and I’m
passing on to you is, make sure you know your identity is in Christ, so that when you get
laid off from your job, or when your job–you get a raise from your job, or when you do
something–things don’t go right, you’re not up and down, up and down. And then that’s
how I was, you know, and one of the hardest things for me, and I’ve learned throughout
my career, is that my identity is in Him. That’s something that constantly has to be
pounded in the professional football player because we are judged on what we do, every
single day. Every single day we go to practice, we come and we watch the film, and we practice.
You did this right; you did this wrong. You play a game. The same thing; there is always
the feeling of “Am I going to make it this year? Am I going to make it this week? Is
somebody going to take my job?” And so, if you’re not grounded, you’re going to be all
over the place. You’re going to be like a leaf being blown by the wind. And so, you
know, I went to Cleveland next, Cleveland Browns–hey, Cleveland fans! You see the Cleveland
fans jumped up now. They don’t lay, they’ve been through a lot, but they’re loyal. I’ll
tell you that much. I went to Cleveland, and Cleveland was really a place of spiritual
growth for me. I was with a few guys who got me up early in the morning; praying at 6 a.m.
in the morning, some guys that really showed me what it meant to really be a father, to
be a believer in the locker room. Some guys that really stretched me, some guys that I
feel like in many ways will live more mature than me. And it’s amazing how God brought
me from New England, who was a top of the football world, to Cleveland, who was at the
bottom at the time, and how that year, that first year in Cleveland, me and my wife point
to as a real growth point and turning point, you know. And then I move over to the New
Orleans Saints, and I see–who dat! Okay, we got a few; we got a few in here. And at
this point in my career, my tenth and eleventh year, I feel like I’m at a place where I’m
more of a mentor in some ways, and you mentioned the Bible thing; that was last year, during
Christmas. My wife and I snuck in, and the kids–we have four kids, and they’re five
and a half and younger. Four kids. Yeah! Two-minute drill, baby! Two-minute drill. We just going
at it, all right, just going at it. My wife was a trooper, now. She got the “S” on her
chest, Super Woman. So we all go into the locker room on Christmas Eve, and we put Bibles
in everyone’s locker, yeah, and that was something that a teammate of mine had done before, in
New England, actually, and I just thought it was a way–and the amazing thing is, a
lot of times people ask me about that specific event and say, “Well what about the guys on
the team who aren’t Christian?” or “What about the guys who, you know, did you get any push
back?” And the amazing thing is that the guys who you would think that would have nothing
to do with a Bible were the first ones saying “Oh my goodness, this is the greatest thing
somebody’s ever given me.” And we never know the seed that we plant, when that will bear
fruit. You’re called to be faithful. You’re called to do what God has asked you to do,
and at that point it was giving Bibles to my team. I don’t know if twenty years down
the line they’re going to finally open that Bible. I don’t know if they opened it already.
But when we’re obedient, God promises that His Word won’t return void. And so, we went
in, you know, snuck in there, gave a Bible to coaches as well, and, you know, got some
amazing feedback from guys that, and coaches that you would never even thought would say
anything about it.>>NASSER: Man, that’s amazing. The good thing
about you playing for the Saints instead of the Patriots is that we knew you would be
available in January. And so–>>WATSON: Oh, he got a shot! But guess what
though? That was pretty good, wasn’t it? I got to give it to him. I got to give it to
him. My son and I went to the Sugar Bowl this year, and…>>NASSER: Never mind, never mind. Okay, you
win!>>WATSON: My son and I went to the Sugar
Bowl, you know, Georgia wasn’t in it, but we did win our bowl game, though.>>NASSER: Yes.>>WATSON: This year.>>NASSER: You did.>>WATSON: I couldn’t say that.>>NASSER: Oh man. Anyway, so–>>WATSON: What does, “Roll Tide,” mean,
anyway?>>NASSER: I don’t even know what it means.
Most people that are Bama fans, they never went to Bama or any university. We just say
stuff out loud.>>WATSON: So you call yourself a bandwagoner?>>NASSER: I’m pretty much a bandwagoner,
yeah. I just want to be on a winning team. But, can we get back to–>>WATSON: You are not on a team. You are
on the bandwagon.>>NASSER: That’s why I came on staff at Liberty.
Cause I knew we’re on a winning track over here. Did I mention that we finally made it
to the big playoffs and in a few years–>>WATSON: That’s what I’m talking about,
Liberty!>>NASSER: In a few years we will beat Georgia.>>WATSON: I just want a Liberty hoodie that
I can wear around.>>NASSER: We can hook you up with a Liberty
hoodie. They’re like eighty bucks, but we can hook you up with a Liberty hoodie.>>WATSON: Yeah, paycheck, paycheck deduct!>>NASSER: So recently, you know, so many
of us heard about you and we started to see you all over the, you know, television. We
started to just see a lot of buzz about just your willingness to be outspoken, just as
a father, and as a, you know, a very visible leader. But really, just as a believer, about
you know, all that’s been happening in our nation with the Ferguson trial, with Trayvon
Martin, and all that. And some people might not be so familiar with the Facebook post,
and I know you were going to read that for us, so we’d love to just have you read that,
and then just give you some time to just go a little further in, and speak into just,
what was on your heart and–yeah, would you read that for us?>>WATSON: I definitely will. Yeah, I know,
this past summer and year were–a lot was going on racially in this country, and if
you’re not familiar with the Ferguson event, you know, you had a young man, young black
man that was shot by an officer. There weren’t any witnesses that we know about. There was
so many questions about the event, and it seemed to drag on for so long, and so, this
thing happened I believe in the summer sometime, or maybe, early fall but the decision about
indicting the officer didn’t come until December, or November. And so, there was all this build
up and build up and build up, and I know you guys are busy, I’m busy as well, so I was
seeing at night on CNN every now and then, and just kind of keep up with it, but there
was such a build up about this whole thing, and so, the amazing thing about–well, the
thing about race is in this country, it runs very deep, you know, it’s something that is
kind of like our black eye that we try to cover up, you know, with an eye patch instead
of really dealing with it. And we get on our sides, and we point figures at each other,
and we talk about things that have happened and there’s a lot of hurt and a lot of anger
in the black community as well as the white community. There is so many layers to this,
and I think, you know, when I wrote this post, it was really just my thoughts. We had just
played a game, Monday night football, and we lost. And we lost to the Baltimore Ravens,
and that was the night that the–I probably shouldn’t have said that. That was the night
that the decision came out about not indicting the officer, and as you can imagine, social
media went crazy. I didn’t know about it–I got out of the locker room, got dressed, came,
saw my wife, and she told me they made a decision, and my Facebook is lighting up, people are
in tears, people are upset, people are angry, and then that just turned into comments being
made about other people, so much. So, I got home about one o’clock, I turn the TV on,
I kind of see it, and these are my thoughts about the whole thing. I’m angry because the
stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing
before our very eyes. I’m frustrated, because pop culture, music, and movies glorify these
types of police-citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get
young men killed in real life away from the safety of movie sets and music studios. I
am fearful because in the back of my mind I know that although I am a law-abiding citizen,
I could still be looked upon as a threat to those who don’t know me. So, I will continue
to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt. I am embarrassed because the
looting, violent protest of law breaking, only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate
the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment. I’m sad because another young life was lost
from his family. The racial divide was widened; a community’s in shambles; accusations, insensitivity,
hurt, and hatred all boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened
that day. I’m sympathetic because I wasn’t there, so I don’t know exactly what happened.
Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed
Michael Brown in self-defense like any of us in those circumstances. Now he has to fear
the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What
a horrible thing to endure. Or, maybe he provoked Michael and ignited this series of events
that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point. I am offended because
of the insulting comments I’ve seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the
painful experiences of others. I’m confused because I don’t know why it’s so hard to
obey a policeman. You will not win, and I don’t know why some policemen abuse their
power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace. I’m
introspective because sometimes I want to take our side without looking at the facts
in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just
as prejudiced as people I point fingers at, and that’s not right. How can I look at white
skin and make assumptions about what–and not want assumptions made about me? That’s
not right. I am hopeless because I’ve lived long enough to expect things like this to
continue to happen. I’m not surprised if at some point my little children are going to
inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails. I am hopeful because
I know that while we still live, we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much
different “normal” than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal
relationships with my teammates, friends, and mentors, and it’s a beautiful thing. I
am encouraged because ultimately the problem is not a skin problem, it is a sin problem.
Sin is the reason we rebel against authority. Sin is the reason we abuse our authority.
Sin is the reason we are racist, prejudiced, and lie to cover for our own. Sin is the reason
we riot, loot, and burn. But I am encouraged because God has provided a solution for sin
through His Son Jesus, and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking
past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael
Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure;
it’s the gospel. So finally, I’m encouraged because the gospel gives mankind hope. So
I, I literally sat–it’s funny because when you write things more starts to come out of
you, starts to get through these layers, you start peeling back layers, so your first reaction
is, “I’m angry! Why didn’t they do something about this? I’m sad because this kid died.”
And then you start thinking, “Okay, why am I sad? Why am I angry? Let’s get to the root
of this problem.” And you realize that you know what? Racism is simply a symptom. It’s
a symptom of a disease, and that disease is sin, and it’s a disease we’re all affected
with from birth. And so we need to get to the core root of the problem. You know, we
can try to legislate, you know, we desegregated, we did all those things, and we needed to
do all those things. We have affirmative action. We have all these different rules. People
come and speak about race, but we don’t ever get to the heart of the problem. I think we
do ourselves a disservice. And so when I was sitting there, actually in the Target parking
lot on my iPhone in the notes app, literally just writing, and I sent it off, I had not
idea that any of this was going to happen, honestly. And, the amazing thing is that I
hear again and again from people who are, you know, white, black, in between, “Man,
that’s what I was thinking, but I just didn’t know how to say it.”>>NASSER: Right.>>WATSON: So, I think that there is a honesty
that we need to have when it comes to race, you know, we’re different, and since we’ve
known each other for about–I don’t know, two hours, we’ve made some jokes, and it’s
okay to joke around sometimes. We’re different, you know. I made it here on time; I’m black;
that usually doesn’t happen. It’s okay. You know, some of y’all can’t say that, but I
can say it. But you know, we need to approach this a little more lighthearted, but understand
that you know what, I have the same propensity to be racist as anybody white in here because
I have a sin problem, and I have a pride problem. I have a selfishness problem. And so, when
we look at it holistically, that’s why I’m encouraged because the gospel gives us hope,
and the gospel, you know, before Christ there’s neither male nor female, you know. There’s
neither Jew or Gentile. We are all one, and until we deal with that issue, we’re just
putting Band-Aids on bullet wounds as we said.>>NASSER: It’s incredible, man, amen. At
the end of the day, if sin is the root, then slavery always becomes–some form of slavery,
always becomes the fruit, and if grace is the root, then peace becomes the fruit. And
so, how do we lock arms with you, man, how do we battle racism in this nation. Obviously,
we want to do that as believers, and we have a greater picture, and we know that it is
a sin problem, not a skin problem, but how do we go lock arms with those who don’t even
know the Lord, but yet want the same thing that we do. They want to see their children
not judged by their skin or their color. They want to–they want their children to be given
a fair trial, just not on the street, you know, but in a courtroom. How can we just
walk and navigate through that. Just give us some wisdom. Give us some practical advice.>>WATSON: The number one thing I would say,
as the Body of Christ, is to demonstrate it. The world is looking–when we got back to
the Bibles, you know, giving Bibles to somebody who may not even believe in the Bible. People
want to see authenticity, and when they look at the church and they see segregation in
the church and they see the most racist people say that they’re Christians, that’s a problem.
And so, as the Body of Christ we need to demonstrate what unity is. It doesn’t mean we all look
the same – doesn’t mean we don’t talk about race – doesn’t mean we don’t joke at times
about race, but it means that there’s a genuine love for people that don’t look like you.
There’s a genuine respect for people that don’t look like you, or may not have been
raised like you were. So as the body of Christ, we need to demonstrate that, you know. Secondly,
we need to pray. We need to pray for our nation. Like I mentioned in 2010, going to Cleveland
was the first time that I really got with some brothers that prayed, you know, for thirty
minutes, an hour, whatever it was, on a weekly basis. Now, with the Saints, we get together
every week, once a week, on the Saturday before the game, that night we pray. And some of
the things we pray for as a nation: we pray for our country; we pray for situations like
these, you know. Thirdly, I would say engage individually, engage your culture. Be aware
of what’s going on. You know, we have the cure for a lot of our country’s ills, but
a lot of times we feel like we don’t have a word to say to them, or that somebody may
not want to hear what we have to say. You have the truth, share it! You know, share
it on their platform. Engage on what’s going on. In the Book of Acts, when Paul was going
to–was in Athens, right, and he goes to the Areopagus, and he’s talking to the philosophers
there. What was he doing? He was engaged in the culture and what they were taking about,
but ultimately pointing them to Christ, right? So he was aware of what was going on. He was
aware of where he was. He was aware of what people were thinking about. He was up on current
events. He paid attention to the football games or, he paid attention to the race issues
that were in the culture. He paid attention to all these things. He was learned in that,
but ultimately, he pointed people back to Christ. So he entered the conversation here,
and he said, “Okay, I hear what you’re saying. How about think about this?” And the Bible
says they thought about what he had to say. People will think about what you have to say
if you offer them a fresh point of truth–point of view. And then there’s some people who
obviously don’t want to hear what you have to say, and they turn off their heart to heart,
but you will be amazed at conversations you can have, if you’re bold enough to step into
the arena. Talk about these issues, and always steer people back to Christ.>>NASSER: Really great, great advice. Just
for us to be on bended knee together. To pray together and to make our voice known and just
to become an activist in our own voice, right, in speaking truth. Man, as you have made yourself
very vulnerable in this thing, I know for–for every side that somebody is clapping and with
you on this, there’s always been–there’s also the critic. And bigger levels, bigger
devils, you know, very visible become–people become lightening rods for a lot of things,
and I know that that’s got to take its toll on you, as a leader, and not only are people
for you, but people are always also against you sometimes. So how can we pray for you?
How can we pray for your wife, your children, your family, your witness as an individual?
I know temptation doesn’t go away with all the things you have on you, buddy. So, how–how
can we just commit? You’re among family here, we love you, and how can we pray for you as
individuals?>>WATSON: Well first of all, thank you for
praying. David told me about the prayer room up here where you guys go and pray specifically
for needs that we have, so thank you for that, and, you know, my family, we really–I feel
like I’m among family, you know. There’s nothing like being around a bunch of people that you
don’t know but you do know them because they’re believers, and that’s the common thread. And
so, when my wife and I met at University of Georgia, and–back in 2002, we got married
in 2005, and I didn’t know what was going on. I’m not going to lie, I was–I was like
“We’re getting married? Okay, we’re getting married.” But we always said that our marriage
was going to be our ministry, and we’ve been married almost ten years. It’ll be ten years
in July, and so, the prayer–thank you. And so my prayer, my request, is that you pray
for unity on our marriage. You pray that we always make our marriage our ministry. And,
you know, we started this Bible Study where we’re just talking about marriage, and the
importance of it and how everything flows from that, and so being a great parent, being
a great friend, being a great teammate, leading your kids starts from your marriage, so my
request is that you all continue to pray for my wife Kirstin and I, that we grow closer
together, and that we ultimately grow closer to God. Because when we do that, we will inevitably
grow closer to each other, and we will make our marriage our ministry. Secondly, as parents,
pray for my children. We had this conversation the other day, my wife and I, just wanting
them to–even though they grow up in a Christian home, kind of like I did, at some point you
have to take it for yourself. And there are a lot of Christian young people out there–my
kids like I said are five, four, three, and one–they will at one point be in your shoes.
By the time that they get to be your age I want them to be at a place where they have
Christ in their life for themselves. It’s not Mommy and Daddy’s religion; we’re not
coming in on their coattails just because my parents are Christians. But, that we as
parents, parent them, and that they come to a point in their lives were they repent of
their sins and give their life to Christ for themselves, and they follow Him for themselves,
and that was our conversation not too long ago, so praying for our marriage, which obviously
will encompass all the temptations as well, and praying for my children, I would really,
really appreciate that, thank you.>>NASSER: Yeah, let’s do that together. Can
we pray for our brother and his family? Father we thank You, God, for this great witness
Lord, and I pray for his family, Lord specifically for his wife. I pray that she would not only
be an incredible encourager, but also just a partner, God, and that she would, when he’s
gone and he’s out ministering, that she would just sense, God. You’re the Great Provider,
and Your presence would be with her. Lord I pray, that–that she would have her faith
based on, just her relationship with You, and the days where a husband can really provide,
that’s a good thing, but where man falls short, that she would just be so overwhelmed by Your
provision, God, that that’s where she’d find her identity. I pray for his children, Lord,
I pray that they would–his children would find their own faith, and Lord, even as he
was sharing about his father, just sharing the gospel with him, I pray that there will
be opportunities for him to be a witness, to be a preacher to his own children over
and over again, and they will own their own faith. They would not just be a preacher’s
son, that they would be someone who’s come to You on their own, Lord. Thank You for that.
Lord, thank You that we are family, that even though most of us are meeting Ben for the
first time, he walks into an environment where he’s among brothers and sisters, sons and
daughters, and as family, we can do together, not just for racism but for so many other
things, we can do together what we could never do alone. We pray this in your name, Amen.
Could we thank Ben again? Just incredible, brother! We love you, man!

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