Friday, August 21, 2009

Faith and football? You bet!

American Family Radio (AFR) launched its new show “College Football This Week” on Monday, and its hosts are as familiar with the pulpit as they are with what’s happening on the gridiron.

Co-host Tim Wildmon is president of the American Family Association, the Mississippi-based nonprofit founded by his dad, the Rev. Don Wildmon. AFR is an affiliate of the association, which since its founding in 1977 has pushed for decency in society and the media.

ESPN followers know Mike Gottfried, who had winning football records at Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Murray State as a head coach before becoming an analyst. Readers of this newspaper know, too, that Mr. Gottfried, who lost his father at age 11, is a champion of faith, football and fatherhood (visit He and his wife, Mickey, co-founded Team Focus, which mentors fatherless boys between the ages of 10 and 18. His autobiography, “Coach’s Challenge: Faith, Football, and Filling the Father Gap,” was published in 2007.

The radio show features the usual fare, with a twist: human interest stories about players and coaches and the role faith plays in their lives on and off the field.

“The stories of all the people’s lives and what they’ve gone through, mistakes they made are all a part of trying to get the message out there of salvation, so I think it’s going to be interesting to find out even about the past and future of a lot of the sports celebrities out in our country,” Mr. Gottfried told, another AFA affiliate..

The show airs on Mondays.

Marking Ramadan by fighting malaria

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other major American Muslim groups are urging followers this Ramadan to participate in a United Against Malaria effort.

Each year in Africa alone, an estimated 420 million people are infected with malaria, and 1 million of them die.

“Ramadan is not only a time for prayer and fasting, it is an opportunity to strengthen and renew one’s faith through positive actions that benefit society,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Malaria is a serious concern in Africa, and American Muslims can play an important role in helping to alleviate the suffering caused by this disease.”

The daylong event will be held Sept. 5 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Fort Washington.

CAIR said its participation in the anti-malaria effort is part of its Muslims Care campaign, which encourages community service by American Muslims.

‘Why I Stayed’ with Ted Haggard

“Why I Stayed.” That’s the title of the memoir of Gayle Haggard, wife of disgraced Colorado evangelist Ted Haggard.

Mr. Haggard resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and as pastor of New Life Church in Colorado after a male prostitute accused him of a cash-for-sex relationship. Mr. Haggard conceded “sexual immorality.”

Mrs. Haggard, whose book is scheduled for a January release, said, “This is my story of choosing to love my husband through some of the most difficult challenges any marriage could face.”

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