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Finding Christ on the Court

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson
The Truth Network Radio
December 14, 2019 5:00 pm

Finding Christ on the Court

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson

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December 14, 2019 5:00 pm

Stu interviews Randy Shepherd of Crossfire ministry and former NBA and UNC basketball player Al Wood. The guys talk about how they find ministry and spread the word of God through basketball.

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This is the Truth Network, the game of basketball brings together the most interesting people in the studio with me there some serious game ever talk about on the side of Mike talk about who I'm looking at right now.

Unbelievable disguise traveled all over the world. I think 40 countries ratings are right 6046 states, 68 countries 46 days he spends balls and toothbrushes.

He sure is Jesus and he's got a living legend with them either some powerpack gravitas and psychic the studios here and I'm so glad to have you guys. What a blessing Randy on the use of such an incursion to be managed in a conversational rain Shepherd. How long does it take to get your ticker on for him to get to the conversation of Jesus Christ. Well, I love to share the gospel like Bill Bright said five minutes with the person is in divine opportunity to share the gospel and another mentor of mine years ago Adrian Rogers said not everyone has the gift of evangelism but everyone is called to be an evangelist, so I try to live out those principles, by the grace of the Lord and that's really cool crossfire. I just love your motor newsletter here sharing Jesus through different ministries MC lot of basketball and senior picture of Michael Jordan seeing you playing all over the world spin involves everything effectively.

What is crossfire's ministry, and how did you guys get started. What's the essence of the ministry. Apostle Paul said in God's word to use all means necessary to reach some severe listing in your Dr. be a doctor for Jesus. If your nurse be a nurse for Jesus your plumber plumb for Jesus aware as athletes. Jamie Johnson outplayed Gardner Webb University apply to UNC Asheville. We came together in 1993 and the lower birth division of cross rights evangelistic basketball ministry with preaching churches youth rallies revivals play basketball imprisons colleges and internationally to gain an audience to share the good news of Jesus Christ and have time or in a basketball camp on the streets or wherever God of him as a door while the last him a bump in use of the NBA All-Star weekend in Charlotte. We got interviews and in the rear with Bobby Jones and the Adm. David Robinson and where this is another hardwood legend. This guy unbelievable to me how you said how you introduce out with me how you and set it up right. Well, it's a blessing to be without he not become great friends now has a unbelievable story. He'll share some of it but many people may not remember its battle of record for so long, but 1981 now score 39 points in a game against Ralph Sampson and the Virginia Cavaliers Virginia had beaten him twice that year and I'll drop 39 points in the Philadelphia to put the Tar Heels in the championship and then he was 1/4 picture drafted by the Atlanta Hawks played seven years in the NBA was an Olympian and one great thing about Al now as he loves Jesus helping those hands are listed so that the picture that unbelievable event would mantle.

Those are some big while unreal in Ralph Sampson who can get a shot over 7 foot four Ralph Sampson now was the baby hooked it did it or was it he just to go up and under either the go up and under that, you know that 8 foot 12 wingspan Ralph Sampson may catch you in on a noetic telehealth the world will actually have the trick in my little bit. Ralph was a great player but they also have some of the great players on the team.

Jeff Lampley Raker, all of us can run high school same time so just one of those times where really what we say in the sporting world is that you in the zone, but I have to than to say that ugly. I was just really anointed that night and basketball and it was just something that really had given me an amazing platform for the past 40 years and you use that platform just like Randy talked about what a great set of the greatest results. This guy is ready Shepherd while using a platform tell us how God has just what was it you realized that while there some bigger.

Here are some of an eternal nature with this massive wingspan is amazing gift on the hardwood.

When was it that came into your light came on in that what you're going come onto a little late length of the leg and in comparison to the time you graduate from college go on the play professional basketball that rends that I got released to my seventh year from the Dallas Mavericks, but then I went to Europe to play and what happened after that. Really I ended up in a state of depression. I was really depressed going through some bows with alcoholism runs in my family and I didn't have no understanding of it at the time, but once I realized what was going on and I began. I got on his journey which I'm still owned today because it's our Christian walk is a journey, but it's an amazing journey while what's been what's been the most impactful in your life when it comes to who made the greatest impact on you for Jesus it is you're looking for something a little list is out there and you're like well there has to be a look in your search. And if they can't find it.

Next time you most these NFL NBA guys run near one every day because they can't get back to when he walked in that stadium and in a million people return form on national TV and on into think that what was that, what's that impacted for you, in your life that is so true what you just said there was one person I would have the signal will be John lots are John lots is in heaven with the Lord. Right now, but John lots was a guy who was the assistant athletic director at UNC. John had been walking with the Lord for long long time.

He used to basically track me down share with me and I would run from it I wanted no parts of it will have those people alive again. We can get all notary on the elevator with this guy is a Jesus freak.

Know that you are so right, we say God help me with guys like well is telling who sell so anyway but what John would do is he will have books on share with me some articles and so forth, and eventually got to the point where I started chasing John down because once I met the Lord in realized Brandon like to use the phrase taste and see the once I realized just how amazing God, Jesus Christ, was as I went through some bows with the addiction. John became probably I would say but maybe my best friend while I in terms of market share with him anything I can go to him anytime and he was just out to me the most amazing ambassador that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have ever had in the heat. You can never replace him while you get to how dodgy is your testimony on ask you first wonderful insight basketball inside baseball and basketball. What is it like to have all the lights on the call was a warning UNC Division I starting All-American in a final four recordholder for points once it what kind temptations are are coming at you at that level and even in the MBA level when you're like all will miss the most elite basketball in the world. Tell us about what maybe not just you but what what what what he's got hit with this is a real real issue lawful. One thing you have different guys in different places in our life. You, me, you have a lot of guys who've grown up in a Christian home to parents. They know the Lord. Some of them have walked away from the Lord and on the other hand, you have a lot of young men who have grown up didn't know the Lord and really think that all the things that are happening to them because sin is fun for season.

But one day you know what sort of a man so that he shall also reap so that some of the things that go on is going on that you just don't realize what was happening and so forth. So now you have the enemy just put all types is almost like a smorgasbord everything that you can imagine that would satisfy the flesh before you and so you not realizing what is going on in terms of all the temptation I say temptation before person who does not walk with the Lord is not really temptation is something he looking forward to.

He don't realize the walking right into a trap. So all that is happening to a lot of guys in the happened to me as well is unto you become unknowledgeable of what's going on that you realize that you in a war you only know you in a war fought so for any person a man a woman to be involved in a war don't know that in war they've already lost journey a little more the next segment. Don't ask you in that moment where your soul was latching on anything and everything every temptations come at you University your your your how you say no to this. You know this isn't right. But it's just so easy and so they are so ready.

What was the was the moment when you realize that Jesus was so much better. While I think the moment that my life really got sick and that was when my son Al Junior walked into a room where I was. One day, and he had a picture of me in my Carolina uniform on number 31 on the third at the time and he gave me that picture he said here that this you and I took a look at it and I began to cry like a baby because it was a picture of me going up taken a jump shot, but he had taken little bottles and paste all over because that's what he saw and so the very thing that I hated the most.

When I was coming up in terms of my mother and my relationship with her and her addiction I was doing the exact same thing to my kids and economics really had nothing to do with because my mother was on welfare. Get $144 a month. He was making six figures again. Still I was doing the exact same thing as the voice of NBA UNC legend basketball player Al Wood but he is known now.

More even more for his love for Jesus and there's a whole story and that addiction world working to talk to when we come back, stay with us ready shepherds also with us with crossfire ministries. This guy takes basketball and leads people to Jesus. What a great tool.

My favorite one. By the way big guy can use whatever gift you have don't go away will be right back with some living legend basketball guys in the house right now with me. I'm Stu Epperson always a special thank you to wonderful partner helping us advance the message of this program of the gospel in the thank you goes out to my Mike Lindell, the inventor and CEO has now open his heart to say thank you as well. He wants to give you the opportunity to do what I've done I've slept on this pillow. I love my pillow. I sleep better. What would you give her good night sleep right now for the first time you get deep discounts on all the my pillow products. I'm talking about the my pillows.

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How can you be at the top of your game all the way up there.

I mean everyone the world knows your name you're playing on the on the big screen on TVs all over the world and the NBA for UNC basketball before that setting records playing in some of the best players who have ever played the game who are Hall of Fame members will guidance do you do that with me and another guy in the studio is buddies with this guy and he loves Jesus and he takes basketball the 60+ countries all the world and in 40 states and he's coming to one near you. I guarantee it is Randy Sheppard with crossfire Randy. What's it like to hear Elwood talk about this. What's it like to hear how I did hear illegal pumps. Every time I hear it and house just in one of the Lord on. Thank God he brought them into my life for good tandem for the gospel but being a guy that played small college basketball.

I grew up with a guy named Buzz Peterson buzz used to beat me every day.

We did shooting drills in the backyard and puzzles player the year in the state of North Carolina over Michael Jordan.

We all met at Dean Smith's basketball camp when I was 16 and buzzer 17 went down there to camp to African-American guys beside us in the dorm room one knocks on the door comes to us as hey I'm Mike Jordan buzz and Mike became friends.

The rest is history and I went to a small college UNC Asheville and God got a hold of my life. My junior year in call made of full-time sports ministry through basketball and here we are 26 years later in 68 countries, 46 states later and I'm just blessed to be here a while and you just forget gospel to them. You guys are drop buckets of the big-time teams we play the ACC All-Star game every year. How does the color commentating for our game. Now we've had the guys all way back when Grant Hill was a senior. He played Tim Duncan played when he was a senior Hansbrough play JJ Reddick, Danny Green, we just talked about another local legend here in Winston-Salem. Rusty Leroux played against us and forth a few times so we try to get the ACC seniors to Asheville after March madness feel UNC Asheville's Jim up 3400 people and then have time we put the ball down, we get the word out will have an hour-long's service with music testimonies in the gospel and glory to God.

Last year over hundred people came forward where pastors and youth pastors there we go into a room they counsel with him one-on-one and then a local church in Asheville within two weeks followed up on every decision well to get up try to get them in a Bible believing church going to God, praise the Lord and she you go wherever God opens a door you your Tony recently had to be changed is amazement college. Imagine you had a connection and just share the gospel with the team share with the coaches and you invite them to receive Christ mean, how hard is it to invite you receive Christ, but they may be hard if they don't know you and I don't think you care about them when you walk in with basketball that changes everything that is Randy yes we walked in with three piece suit song with with a leather big fat Bible which we cure our Bibles but the ball gets you in places that you normally couldn't get in and we don't compromise the word were share the same word that all your speakers are on this awesome truth radio station but were also coming as athletes that they can relate to. So what you hear Elwood talk to me. Let's go back out here and to talk tell me what what's what's the most powerful thing in your heart when you're out. Would you puke you guys travel around.

He speaks what what is it that about this. It resonates with you and with the people that listen well. A lot of his store. He didn't get to tell this morning, but I know the insides of that and how God could take a guy that was broken going to steal his story, but in change in and now is a share in Christ. Everywhere he goes and he was on that level that I wanted to be athletically and he's been there so we can relate all sorts of people. There's a lot of kids out there like me that wanted to play major college ball did make it and they now made it to the top so we try to hit the whole cross of any government puke where buddy on Colorado's rope who got cut from Augustine's and was just a shorter guy was and was athletically pushed through and ended up making it, but he goes and tells kids that you have to be athletic athlete, you, you can be happier and more satisfied and more wealthy in Christ than the richest, most wealthy top of the game athlete in the world right Elwood. That's what you found out what else that's for sure. And if you think about it this time that we are participating in sports, so really living here in the earth is a short period of time compared to eternity. So when you start looking at things from that perspective, it really changes everything in sports and itself, especially on professional level is like a fantasy world that is so short.

Leo and the thing is, are you going to use sports are you all that sports you you wow that something so tell us you use sensors on me before even coming in here you got a 31 year or some kind of addiction free Accolade praise the Lord about tell us a little bit about that journey to get there. What that was. Well, it was a situation where I share the story or a little bit about my son coming into the room that day and give me that picture after I receive that picture.

I realize that my life had not turned out nowhere near what I want it to turn out. I have played professional basketball played on the US Olympic team now me anything in basketball you can think of. I had been able to accomplish but yet still there was something missing and what was missing really kept me chained and bind up and I didn't really know how to break loose until Gann, John Lotz, who was my mentor helped me tremendously, but through the entire process.

As I began to realize that once getting getting a Bible begin the reading read the Bible, having someone to teach me be a disciple. I realized that God had a much bigger plan for my life and that you realize in one side began to realize that to take the information and to put into action man a whole new world opened up for me and I realize the thing that God had for me is to be able to open up their world for other people.

That's a voice of Elwood NBA great UNC basketball legend holds a record in the final four for the most points played against a Virginia team that had Ralph Sampson in the middle.

So for for a guy to get a shot over a guy simply for him to have that many 39 points. I think this is record of're talking to people out there listening who have family members that are trapped in addiction through stock and they they need help. What you say to what what's willing to continue take us back to Elwood when you were there when you say these folks were the first thing is you have to really come to the realization that I have a problem. I have a problem and what she can say that that I have a problem and really give up is the one time that you give up that you win if you can come to that realization.

As you can see things happening in your life you can see our friends who are talking to you telling you things you can see your whole family being destroyed being broken up, and so forth. And, you realize I have to do something differently than what I'm doing right now and that's what happened to me. I realize I had to do some differently so to with anyone who's out there now listening to us and you. You know that some things happen with your children.

Something happened with your wife or your husband or whatever and I need to do something differently. One thing I can say for sure that is the answer, and I'm telling you the answer is Jesus Christ.

And now, how you use that is entirely up to you, that you get surrounded by the right people who tell you what you need to hear that what you want to get around it Randy shepherd cross our ministries and introduced today. You, the addition of Jesus is what comes out with him and you're praying in your and the word it just brings a whole different realm around this guy just I want to share Jesus with somebody was no doubt about it. Randy and I really a perfect match because I will I do think a little bit different than Randy. Randy do the things a little bit different. I do but yet still the same results. Are we looking for. We want people to know that Jesus Christ love you Jesus Christ. Have a plan for your life a perfect plan and all you have to do is take a limited time to listen to his voice and see what he's saying and it can completely change of community can change the household they can literally change the entire world well and good, which is noticed as more into the crossfire ministries website crossbar also were to put this out on social media. I just did some things on Instagram with these guys some fun pictures were to have held my hand up this guys hands like all my soul. This guy could probably pump two basketball library palm one, but Elwood working out with the Joe Gibbs somebody with a game plan for life and Jeanette ministries well such a great outreach always an amazing Joe Gibbs and Rinaldo Nguyen, who also are what would you give.

I've had the good pleasure and another friend of ours to love one is Christopher out of Salisbury North Caroline and Tara Osborne who actually Osborne who actually work with the IBC board have done some sponsorship for us and we been able to go into all the school and then one thing that we talk to young people about is a game plan for your life. God has a plan for your life, you need to seek him to find out what is that plan and what you can do to make sure that plan is implementing you give Chester carried out his underage drinking is one of the things that we talk about so is something that actually did happen in my life. In terms of me starting to drink early, but I started drinking late, so that some people who do it laying there something will do it early. One thing about the enemy he don't care when he get you what is early. What is late. You need to know that thank you so much. Thank you, Randy shepherd crossfire ministries Elwood.

What a powerful testimony to mentor God in the house we are placeable to this podcast. By the way earlier when you know and were to make it available in order to keep up share Jesus and we can write a man that about you just really good two minutes of bones were truly ready to equivocate since only real quick where you guys live now you current like where we for Japan your pastor testimonies, Randy seen as a junior guys usually basketball and such so many now you know through your journey in college and pro basketball. Finding Christ to John Lotz other godly testimonies right now what what's going on right now give us the current in the current chapter of your life which happy to be real quick. Okay right now. I actually live in Fort Mill, South Carolina. I am a part of a ministry called MorningStar Fellowship Church Richard Jonah my senior pastor and we are the group that actually bought the old PTL Doug Vega how physically do you get is a huge deal and we are pretty much have a pretty large international ministry as fast as we are and we deal a lot in the prophetic ministry.

A lot of teaching people, people from all over the world is just to come there and so that's where I pretty much work out of as well as a mountain foundation which is called yes you can. My primary focus and there is to be able to do a tremendous amount of education on the dangers of early drinking teenage dream is in your you're working with your son will have him on to share his testimony. But it's really neat how God used you to dad the son helping the dad back. Never dads help bring the sun back and to keep it all goes to the one father is the only one who can satisfy any of us right this awesome appraisal.

Randy give us an update report on you and how we can be praying for you.

Crossfire ministries is based in Asheville, North Carolina, have an awesome ministry partner Jamie Johnson.

We were in 12 countries and 18 states this year and the Lord blessed with over 21,100 public professions of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And when people hear numbers I so how many of Mireille.

We pray they were all rail and we did all we could to make a real some plant some water and got to see increase.

So were looking forward to 2020.

We have a basketball camp that started in 1990 when I finished UNC Asheville. It was just a dream. I said Lord if one boy comes the camp learn some basketball and gives his life to Christ, will be a success.

Glory to God's doing 29 years we've had 21,000 young people come to the camp and just teach them basketball and share the good news of Jesus with them and we have awesome staff of local college coaches and former college players that work the campus totally Christ centered parents, we have the overnight camp Marcio we have some half-day sessions throughout West North Carolina. We did five international trips this year took two teams of the Philippines and Filipinos love basketball so we play Filipino teams those gems will fill up and going to God, we saw over 10,000 professions of faith in the Philippines, so just got back from Israel and spoke in Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, that show poor and got to speak to Muslim kids Jewish kids."

Christian kids in that silly ball gets their attention available here Jesus with a smaller I did a couple clinics how we can take a team but we been bond all seem they are sent appraisal board going on guys going to be lifted up, and forgive my voice today, I'm on the back end of the cold, but it my throat when your talkshow host.

It's a little tough. I can go requite Rouleau but I try to get to see you don't have it so bless you guys. Elwood Randy shepherd crossfire ministries keep these men in your prayer and have them come speak have them come play and we have to get the cooking I yeah I know there's a replay pickup game and we make a commitment would ensure Jesus would want to guys Aman have any repent for get mad just to say a word about truth. The still appreciate which all are doing here.

If you one for this voice none. The testimonies would get out its own encourager listing audience to support truth calls that you guys are getting testimonies like Al and others out on the airways, so you guys pray for truth and support your local station here that sharing Christ across the street and around the world is more than command.

God bless you guys. What a treat. Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and I just opened a new tick-tock when my tick-tock says 1.3 million, while views you had to tell me what tick-tock is.

After the show body talk to someone 1200 okay but I got to see someone make sure monitor but to get us another plant to share Jesus writing then

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